Masks of Nyarlathotep
A globe-trotting writer specializing in exposés of death cults and the supernatural.
Jackson Elias is 38, of medium height and build, and dark-complexioned. He has a feisty, friendly air about him and, as an orphan in Stratford, Connecticut, he learned to make his own way early in life. He has no living relatives, and no permanent address.
His writings characterize and analyze death cults. His best-known book is Sons of Death, exposing modern-day Thuggees in India. He speaks several languages fluently and is constantly traveling. He is social, and enjoys an occasional drink. He smokes a pipe. Elias is tough, stable, and punctual, unafraid of brawls or oﬃcials. He is mostly self-educated. His well-researched works always seem to reflect first-hand experience. He is secretive and never discusses a project until he has a final draft in hand.
All of his books illustrate how cults manipulate the fears of their followers. A skeptic, Elias has never found proof of supernatural powers, magic, or dark gods. Insanity and feelings of inadequacy characterize death cultists, feelings for which they compensate by slaughtering innocents to make themselves feel powerful or chosen. Cults draw the weak-minded, though cult leaders are usually clever and manipulative. When fear of a cult stops, the cult vanishes.
Skulls Along the River (1910)— exposes headhunter cult in Amazon basin.
Masters of the Black Arts (1912)—surveys supposed sorcerous cults throughout history.
The Way of Terror (1913)— analyzes systematization of fear through cult organization; warmly reviewed by George Sorel.
The Smoking Heart (1915)— first half discusses historical Mayan death cults. Second half instances present-day Central American death cults.
Sons of Death (1918)— modern-day Thuggees; Elias infiltrated the cult and wrote a book about it.
Witch Cults of England (1920)— summarizes covens in nine English counties; interviews practicing English witches; Rebecca West thought some of the material trivial and overworked.
The Black Power (1921)— expands upon The Way of Terror; includes interviews with several anonymous cult leaders.
All of these books are published by Prospero Press of New York City, and all were edited by owner/editor Jonah Kensington. Kensington is a good friend of Jackson Elias.