Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The British Occult Secret Service

It is not really surprising that historically occultism and espionage have often been strange bedfellows. The black art of espionage is about obtaining secret information and witches, psychics and astrologers have always claimed to be able to predict the future and know about things hidden from ordinary people.

Gathering intelligence is carried out under a cloak of secrecy and occultists are adept at keeping their activities concealed from sight. Like secret agents they also use codes, symbols and cryptograms to hide information from outsiders. Occultists and intelligence officers are similar in many ways, as both inhabit a shadowy underworld In 1570 Walsingham wasof secrets, deception and disinformation. It is therefore not unusual that often these two professions have shared the same members.

The ‘father of the British Secret Service’ was the Elizabethan lawyer, politician, diplomat and spymaster Sir Francis Walsingham. He was a Protestant and as a young man during the bloody reign of the Catholic Queen Mary was forced to flee abroad to escape persecution. While in exile, Walsingham learnt Italian and French and became acquainted with the work of the famous Venetian Secret Service that used its spying skills for trade and commerce under the cloak of diplomacy.