« Lore

Episode 172: Under the Influence

2021-06-07 | 🔗

Many people need something to believe, and someone to follow. But out of all the examples throughout history of bad leaders, few are as bizarre and unexplainable as one man from a century ago.


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Source Spotlight: If the topic of Brother XII intrigues you, we highly recommend the book Brother XII, by John Oliphant. Every detail we’ve skipped over today, and all the deep intricacies of the story, are expertly covered in it. You can also purchase it directly from the author at brother-x-i-i.com.

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Even good leaders make mistakes. That was still true back in one thousand seven hundred and fifty four. When tensions were running high between the dominant world powers of the day, Britain and France after. Sure of global conquest. These nations were growing very tired of always bumping into each other, and that frustration was at a boiling point in May of seventeen. Fifty For the British were trying to manage that tension on the edge of the world in the backwoods of North America, Britain and France both had colonies there and they were constant disputes over territory. So in late may they sent a twenty two year old, lieutenant colonel to represent the crown in a meeting with french forces, but it did it go very well on the way
this diplomatic meeting, the officer decided on his own that it would be ok to ambush a group of french scouts and in the chaos their leader was killed. So, when word of the officers attack reached the french authorities, it was like touching dry kindling with lit match and everything went up in flames that little unauthorized attack on the French erupted into what historians now refer to as the seven years war. It was a global conflict thick and over a million lives as it burned between the French and the British, Pauline and allies on both sides and playing out in the new world and Europe, and all because of a good leaders, mistake! Oh, and how do I know that this particular lieutenant colonel was a good leader? Well, because, two decades later, he would find himself in the middle of another conflict in North America. This time, though, he fought as an.
Enemy of the crown and his rank had changed as well. By then he was the commander in chief of the Continental Army General George. Washington leaders make mistakes The good ones learn and grow and work harder to prevent them from repeating, but others lose sight of that goal. They guide followers down dark paths and through dangerous phases of life, and while history is filled with examples of bad leaders, One man from a century ago set the bar incredibly low lives were destroyed, families were torn apart and an entire community was imprisoned by fear. All as of dark magic. I'm Erin Monkey- and this is lore.
it was either a journey of self discovery or a descent into madness born eighteen. Seventy eight in the english city of Birmingham Edward seem to have a path laid up affair him that would lead to success, but not everything was ass. It appeared his father was occur, Spain and began passing those skills onto Edward at a young age and whenever they could, the two of them would also had to the coast and go sailing instilling Edward with a love for the sea early but he had also been born into a world hungry for answers and that curiosity had become an obsession at home. decades earlier the world had begun going through a change, the enlighten. Meant the late seventeenth century had led to massive scientific and medical advancements. The world had become more defined. More understandable and for a large portion of people that sparked a renewed interest in the less definable things in life, the mysteries of the spiritual realm
for Edwards family. That meant involvement in an unusual religious sects known as the Catholic Apostolic Church, no relation to the roman catholic church. They believed in a few things that would imprint deeply on young Edward, that the world would soon end and that twelve special people, new versions of the christian apostles had been appointed. Help make that possible. But ultimately, curiosity would pull him away from home leaning on the sailing skills. He learned from his father, Edward left, England, and be and a career on a number of ships that took him around the world. After visiting a number of countries, he ended up New Zealand in nineteen o two and found a reason to settle down a woman named Marjorie Clark, a couple married and started a family and for A few years. Edwards life seemed to take on a normal shape. Along the way he learn new trade skills that allowed him to work as an electrician, surveyor a draftsman and more, but he wasn't the sort of man to settle down
in one thousand nine hundred and seven he packed up the entire family and move them to British Columbia. The change worked for a while Edward was able to serve on ships again piloting, schooners up and down the West coast of North America transporting lumber and other goods, but there must have been something about that life at sea. That was, toxic gaining to him by nineteen twelve, just five years after their arrival in BC, you abandon. his family and set sail for new lands and experiences. Edward was beginning to see these travels as a sort of pilgrimage A journey to discover not only new truths and knowledge, but also himself, and he followed the clues wherever they took him. Africa, Turkey, China and countless other stops along the way, but it was in France in nineteen twenty four that he finally found
he was looking for. He had settled down for a time in a small village in southern France, and his health had been failing on the night of October nineteenth. He recalled waking up to the feeling of deep thirst when he lit a candle, though what he saw was something unexpected. The image of an egyptian symbol known as an Unc, a sort of cross, with a loop at the top and over the next several nights. That image was joined by a mysterious voice soon enough. His visions were leading him to something that would have seen familiar to anyone involved in spiritualism automatic writing. The voice continue to feel him with words, as he traveled all of which Edward recorded on paper. He even claim to have a few out of body experiences and everything was being delivered to him by a single force, a presence that he referred to as the master of wisdom
Now, there's a lot going on here and I could honestly spend the next hour explaining all of this, but in the interest of time and focus, here's the most important stuff, Edward that he was being called to a mission by this master of wisdom and that he would be instrumental in ushering in the end of this world and the beginning of another, and while twelve separate brothers would contribute to this work, he would be the head of them all the twelve and most powerful brother twelve, But a leader needs a community right, so after spending a bit of I'm in ITALY to refine his vision for the future. Edward Arthur Wilson now known as brother, twelve received instructions for where to get started and those instructions led him back home to land and when he arrived, he found a country that already knew who he was. You see all that time.
He'd been traveling the world and exploring himself. He had also been publishing articles through various magazines. This included a publication called the Occult review in all those people of writing, had drawn a large following who were excited to receive him. It during his year in England that Edward I'm sorry, brother, twelve learned three important lessons. First, that he knew how to recruit dozens of followers travelled to join him and learn from him, and it was exciting to see his community grow. Second, those followers had resources and they were willing to hand them over to him. In fact, through the editor of the culture of you, a man named Harry sudden, the group received their first major donation Everyone knows how attractive and addictive money can be. And, lastly, he learned that his community needed a new home. This was a message he claimed to have received from the master of wisdom
so. He told his followers that the group would be moving and then started planning for a trip into the unknown. Well, the unknown to damn it seems. The master of wisdom had conveniently chosen British Columbia as the sight of their new community, but brother twelve failed mention that he'd already live there. All they knew was that their time in England was coming to an end, but it wasn't really the end was it in fact it was just the beginning Brother twelve was like a two way radio, and there was no way to turn him off after docking other east coast of care, in February of nineteen twenty seven, he boarded a train and headed west to the opposite coast and the entire trip was spent.
in July, seen in recruiting for his group now call the aquarium foundation, but he also received messages During the journey he stopped along the way and spoke at other similar groups. People like the theosophical society to share messages from the master of wisdom and he continued to write train driving messages from the spiritual realm that would become part of the group's wholly writings once hold on Vancouver Island brother. Twelve in his early followers went through the boring process of setting up the aquarium foundation as an official society within canadian law weaken skip a lot of those details. But one important thing to remember is this: their group would be run by a board of twelve governors and brother twelve would report to them and be its high breaker in decision making and then life there began to take off. The group had settled in the town of the NATO on the coast across the water, from the city of Vancouver, in fact think
do a bit of fun raising among themselves. They were able to purchase a plot of roughly one hundred and twenty five acres just south of town, and it was beautiful, lush forests beautiful waterways, green everywhere. For them, it must have felt like Paradise and, like I said they were growing, not. The community thereon Vancouver Island, but also elsewhere around North America. According to John Olaf, I too literally wrote the book on brother twelve. the foundation had grown to over one hundred chapters in locations all across Canada and the United States clearly be carried
magic and unique. Teachings of brother twelve were catching on, but something else was happening to burst. Those early experiments in fund raising had switched on a light in his mind soon enough, new requests were sent out in money, absolutely flooded in some of its funding, their activities and mission. Yes, but a lot of it was converted by brother twelve into gold coins, which he stacked in glass, Mason, jars, sealed with wax and then buried in
current locations all around the property and the secrets went deeper to you see there might have been a board of governors, but brother twelve was on a mission from the master of wisdom, and that meant that he felt empowered to do whatever he wanted whenever he wanted and one thousand nine hundred and twenty eight just a year after their arrival there, he took some of their funds and secretly purchased a four hundred acre plot on nearby Valdez Island and had a separate settlement constructed oh and bought a boat to. But the governor is didn't know this. At the time
What they knew was that brother twelve was writing. Prolifically teaching the community about their mission and demonstrating his mysterious towers. In fact, many of those board members themselves reported having conversion experiences complete with visions. Obviously, something magical was going on throughout one thousand nine hundred and twenty eight hundreds of people move to the community outside of Nanaimo, both individuals and families and as their numbers swelled. So too did their vision for a better world and for brother twelve, that included politics, because in his world view, the only hope for the future was to replace both american political parties with one of his own there's now a lot to say about it: brother, twelve hopped on it.
in the summer of nineteen twenty eight to travel to Chicago, where he plans to build a political party around himself uniting all the third party voters under one banner, I dont think he understood that he couldn't be a presidential candidates not having been born on american soil, but I also don't think he was the sort of guy who operated by logic and common sense. The political adventure was a failure, but the journey to show Cargo and back added to new members to the foundations community. One was a woman named Mary Connally. Incredibly wealthy woman from Asheville North Carolina, her family was well connected and their fortune was old. Mary fell for everything. Brother, twelve was selling pact. and move to minimise the second new member was more personal to brother, twelve, on the train to Chicago he met a woman named Myrtle Baumgardner, who was traveling alone. The two struck up conversation and hit it off on multiple levels, both spiritually and
physically by the time the pair return to normal. She was pregnant and they leave that they were reincarnation of OSIRIS. An ice is ready to give birth to a new Horace. I know just role with it because believe me, brother, twelve, was a whirlpool of crazy and anyone who sailed to close was swept up and swallowed. Whole Myrtle was clearly the victim here, suckered by a smooth, talking self styled guru, and he knew it too, which is why he kept her secret when they reached the community, and I mean that literally be smuggled her in and then quickly transported her over to the secret settlement on the near by island, but this
It is a tangled web and soon enough, the governors found out. Actually they found out about everything, the mistress, the boat, the island settlements, and I got them digging through the community's finances where they found a lot of problems. Brother twelve might have held his followers in the palm of his hand, ruling them through fear and oppression, but none of that authority men's anything if was all built on a foundation of lies, and so the Board of Governors decided it was time to hold him accountable for his actions of all the new arrivals in their community mistrust and division were the most powerful and soon enough, then division would play out in an unlikely place in a gathering of the aquarium foundation or even in a meeting of the group's governors know. The next battle would be fought in the courtroom,
now I know what you're thinking courtroom drama is rarely entertaining and it certainly not the place. We would expect to find powerful examples of folk lore and the supernatural, but it's always dangerous to assume, and I look forward to prove in Europe. First, a bit of political manoeuvring, because the board of governors were still firm, believers in brother, twelve vision for the future. They didn't want to just throw him aside, because that would also throw aside their life's work. So, in September of nineteen twenty eight, they give him a chance to make things right. The trouble was, he turned them down. Life got intense after that friends turned on brother, twelve, a journalist published a series of exposure like articles that cast
and his coat like group in a terrible light, and then the Board of Governors found the lawsuit against him, accusing him of mishandling the group's money soon enough. It was clear that it was going to take something other worldly to stop his downfall. I ll begin on October. Thirtieth of nineteen twenty eight and you can profit, We imagine what the atmosphere and process were like brother. Twelve was on one side legally there as Edward Wilson with his attorney and the governors were on the other and for a while things didn't look good for brother twelve. Then, at some points in the trial, the attorney hired by the governors, a man named Thomas Morton, stood up to address the court. Remember he was in charge of defeating brother twelve, so Morton was the enemy and ass. He spoke the papers in his
and began to shake involuntarily. A moment later it was Morton who is shaking trembling so violently that he fell to the floor and not just Morton three or four others in the courtroom also became overcome with they misuse. His horse toppling over where they sat only to continue riding on the floor. The audience seem stun and brother twelve while he seemed status it was almost as if he had intended the disturbance to happen. Naturally, the magistrate presiding over the trial try to restore order, but as he shouted for everyone to reach in their seats. Something invisible seem to attack him in a heartbeat. He went from addressing the people in the room to literally growing, like a dog with a herculean efforts. The magistrate was able to adjourn the trial without a verdict in brother. Twelve walked away victorious, but his enemy
is worth about to lead up just yet. Just a month later, in early December, brother, twelve was forced back into court this time to defend himself against a lawsuit by a member of his own community. The man named James Lip and caught had been a passionate follower, but had been hired by brother twelve to help build that secret second settlements on the near my island, and he was never paid for his work and leaping cards attorney Thomas more the same man. The governors had hired in the previous trial and so. December sixth brother, twelve found himself back in the courtroom back in danger of losing everything he had built and back in the spotlight of the press, The most dangerous moment of the trial was when lip and caught and Morton called their star, witness one of the members of the Board of Governors amending Colson Turnbull just minutes after he was sworn in, and the questions began. Now the man began to tremble uncontrollably and then collapsed right there in the witness seat, chaos
opted, partly because it was disturbing to see, but also because many in the room had attended. The previous trial here again was proof that brother twelve could defend himself. Through some supernatural power or influence over other people. In fact, turn bulls wife was heard shouting from her seat, urging her husband to ignore the evil man telling him that he couldn't hurt him And it seems that for a time it worked, order was restored in the trial move forward but towards the end of the session, Thomas Morton stood up to wrap up his case against brother twelve when he suddenly stopped and not because he decided to quit talking, but because it seemed as if his voice just sort of gave out. There was this moments when Morton simply stood there with a look of panic on his face. Clearly he had wanted to speak, but the power to do so had been stripped away and it had left him frightened and the room was silence
for the soft sound of his papers, trembling in his hand from the outside. It certainly seemed as if brother twelve had ways of stopping those who spoke out against him, powers that allowed him to silence, sometimes, quite literally any and all of his enemies, and to have those powers demonstrated in public right in front of a room full of officials and professionals. Well, it built a strong case for something supernatural or at the very least unexplainable, and as a result of this second disturbance and Morton's inability
a verbally tie. Everything together the case against brother twelve was tossed out. He was escorted out of the courthouse by his driver in the press was left to ponder what had brought it all to an end. Later, conversations with members of the foundation would reveal a complete lack of surprise. Of course he had powers over others. They said they had seen it all the time in their own community brother, twelve, they said was too powerful to touch part of being human, is believing that there's something more. We see that,
our inventiveness, the way. Some people can look at a problem and envision a better tool or device. We see it in our faith in our ability to find hope in the darkest of times, and we see it in people like brother, twelve will seem to offer proof that there is something more to this world We can see with our eyes in one sense, though, he and his aquarium foundation were just one more expression of along trend that filled the two centuries that preceded them, spiritualism and mysticism in search of something more and Edward, Arthur Wilson seemed like a man uniquely wired to give people they wanted. There were many observers both during his time and in the decades that followed, who believed he was gifted in some supernatural way, something he was possessed by a demon. Other
believe he was insane. There are even some who think his arrival on Vancouver Island exposed him to some dark power and it took control like a puppet master life after the trials was different and a lot of ways. Yes, a good number of his followers stuck around, but a lot of them left to his mistress, Myrtle Baumgardner suffered to miscarriages before leaving her island hideaway and brother twelve replaced her with another known only as Madame Z and yes, he replaced her because that's how the man treated everyone around him like tools without personality or value group members were there to work and donate their resources, and how is it that only got worse over time with the settlements becoming more of a forced labour camp in eighteen? Thirty, two, four years after his victory in court, a group of form,
disciples. All work together to see him for the money he took from them, including Mary Connally, be wealthy elderly women from North Carolina, but rather than stick around to defend himself. One more time, brother, twelve and Madame Z, which I realized, sounds like some badly written comic Book Duo dug up a bunch of their gold, boarded his ship and sailed off into the unknown. The next time we hear about brother twelve, he was sick in a hospital bed in Switzerland, where he is said to have died on November seventh of nineteen thirty four, the trouble is the physician who certified his death was a disciple of his, which clearly invites questions, one last story in nineteen: thirty, six, two years after brother, twelve suppose a death, his former attorney received CALL according to Arthur and Historian John all a fund that call was overheard by the attorney sun and eventually lead to a family trip to San Francisco.
Once in a city, this attorney withdrew a huge amount of cash from the bank and then visited a small ship at the docks. When the attorney returned from the ship, the briefcase of cash was gone, Later the man sat his son down and showed him an object that he said related to the mysterious phone call and the cash she had handed over. It was the corporate seal of the aquarium foundation. Called activity hasn't been a rare or unique occurrence throughout history by certain groups managed to stand out above the rest. I hope our tour today, through this story of brother twelve and his special community, made that
but even in turn of the century, american history, his story isn't alone. In fact, there is another amazing group. I want to tell you about, and I think you're going to find it both familiar and bizarre, and if you stick around through this brief, sponsor break I'll, tell you all about it they were the most unlikely. Do oh right and her mother may had been working together since the early nineteen twenty to attract followers to their southern California gatherings and it had been working like a charm. Ruth was just twenty more than her mother may, with sixty they weren't powerful men. They didn't come from a wealthy family and they had no political connections, but they had a compelling story, an attractive promise and that's what drew the people in it was a group based loosely on the christian faith. There was the Tippit
obsession with the return of Jesus predicting its dates and engaging in rituals meant a speed that event up a bit. But the foundation of it. All was an outlandish claim that surprisingly many people believed is he. and may claim that they had been in contact with two archangels, Gabriel and Michael, to be exact and through their conversations with these angelic beans, they had learned powerful secrets secrets that they promised to share with their followers ass time went by, but, like all things, access to this sort of power came at a cost. They called their little group the divine order of the royal arms of the great eleven, which is, admittedly, quite the mouthful early days. It was simply a way to convince investors to hand over money, but in the process it also attracted devoted followers. It didn't take long before they built a series of cabins out hills, north of Malibu and Semi Valley, land donated by an investor of course, actually
This investor would turn out to be rather well invested. His name was Clifford Daphne and he was a rich oil tycoon with a hunger forces so when Ruth and her mother may approached him with an offer, he listened to their story. that they were writing a book, the content of which was being dictated to them by those angels I mentioned earlier and in the book they promised to reveal the location of gold and oil deposits. Naturally, Daubeny wanted in exchange for forty thousand dollars. They agreed to keep the book private for three years to allow him enough time to pursue those deposits without competition. But of course writing that book would take time and never other activities to keep them all busy, while they
did. What sort of things did the divine order of the royal arms of the great eleven get up to the well? They apparently had a secret temple built in their community in the hills wherein eight hundred pound gilded wooden thrown stood watch over their gatherings. It was flanked by a gilded lions head on a pole, known as the lights of God, which they revered, ass, a sacred objects, and then there were the sacrifices It seems that the community captain number of mules on hand and occasionally gathered in an outdoor location, where a number of small hills met at the base forming a natural theatre like space their Ruth and the other priestess is, would arrive wearing purple robes, leading the mules to the centre of the audience and then sacrifice it for all to see- and I love this went on for years. Ruth and may it was the right of their lives. They had money, power and connections in a world where women typically lacks all three, but they were also attracting the attention of the world
them who found their beliefs and rituals to be more than a little unusual, and then, of course, there worthy investors by nineteen, twenty nine Clifford DAB, any headway. Long enough. He had given May and her daughter a lot of money and they had failed to hold up their end of the bargain. So he contacted the authorities, told them about her fraud and watched ass. She was arrested and brought to trial, but that's not all that happened. First, the body of one of her call members. A sixteen year old girl was found hidden away beneath the floorboards of her adoptive parents house. She had died of natural causes and had been preserved in the belief that she would arise from the grave one day to rejoin them. But while the authorities ruled out foul play, I think you can guess how the surrounding communities viewed that sort of discovery. Another member of the
rule thirty year old Florence Turner also died and the circumstances of her death were much more questionable. It seems that she had been suffering from what the newspapers at the time referred to as a blood malady and in an effort to treat her. She had agreed to lay insight brick oven to have her illness baked out of her. In the end, none of the deaths could be pinned on May or her daughter, Ruth
but along with Daphne. A number of other group members also defected and found suit, resulting in a long and drawn out legal battle when it was over, May was found guilty of multiple counts of grand theft and sentenced to ten years in prison. A year later, she managed to successfully appeal her conviction and get released when she left San Quentin. She rejoined her daughter and their remaining followers, and then they all packed up and headed farther north, the hills around Lake Tahoe, and they were never heard from again.
This episode of war was written and produced by me, Erin Monkey, with research by SAM L, birdie and music by Chad. Lawson from time to time, my researchers will find a book that provides a deep well for a particular topic, and while an episode like this only tries to scratch the surface curious listeners might want to learn a bit more
and I want to point you in the direction of brother, twelve by John olefins. Every detail that I've skipped over today and all the deep intricacies of his story are expertly covered in this very readable book. So I highly recommended, if you want to learn more, I've, put a link to it in the episode notes and on the episode page on the lower website, but you can also purchase it directly from the author on his website at brother dash acts dash. I dash I dont come more, is much more than just a pod cast. There's a book series available in bookstores an online and two seasons of the television show on Amazon. Prime video check them both out if you want, More lore in your life also make an executive produce a whole bunch of other podcast, all of which I think you'd enjoy my production, company grim and mild specializes in shows that sit at the intersection of the dark and the historical you can learn more.
About all of these shows and everything else going on over in one central place, grim and mild dot com, and you can also follow this- show on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, just search for lore podcast, all one word and then click that follow button. And when you do say hi, I like it when people say I, and as always, thanks for listening.
Transcript generated on 2022-03-11.