Brotherhood of the Mummy’s Hand
Some people suspect that forces just below the surface shape the events
of this World. Shadowy cabals, with sinister plans, mold society to their
dark purpose. The people that study these things are considered cranks,
charlatans, and conspiracy theorists. But, is there not a grain of truth
to some of the myths, and legends that inspire these fears?
In 1899 a young Bostonian by the name of Assyrian Prescott Knowles was
recruited into a fraternal order so secretive that their rituals and initiations
and even their true purpose is a mystery today. This secret society was,
and is known as, the Brotherhood of the Mummy’s Hand.
He was initiated as a 4th order “portophorus” in the Temple
of Osiris situated at 8th St. and 5th Ave. New York. As he rose in the
orders he must have become dispirited in the organization. For whatever
reason, perhaps inspired by the great muckrakers of his day, he decided
expose the Brotherhood. This was a brave act.
A.P. Knowles, scion of a Boston shipping empire, was brought into the
inner circles of the many chapters and subgroups of the B.M.H. across
America. In fact, what little we know of this society was exposed by Mr.
Knowles. Writing under the pseudonym of M.T. Vessel he published The
Secret Empire in 1928. In this tome he endeavors to shine a Promethean
light into the dark chambers of the Order. One year later he disappeared.
Though he scrupulously hid his true identity from all, including his publisher:
Kneiper, Milhous, Heidt and Sons, he was eventually exposed as the author
of The Secret Empire. Many people believe Walter M, Kneiper was
a 51st order member of the B.M.H. In fact he was known to wear the coveted
“Jasper Scarab” of a scribe on his left hand. Could Kneiper
have given Knowles the “Judas kiss”?
Rumors surrounding his death are rampant. In one: he is set upon by a
“Heve”, or serpent, a member of the “killing order”,
dispatched to silence him.
There are accounts that he was found with his tongue and eyes removed.
That he was flayed alive and his still warm flesh draped over his form,
backwards. Though no actual police report to confirm this ghastly fate
has ever been uncovered. In fact, the city where his murder occurred changes
with each telling. Sometimes it’s New York. Other times it’s
Kansas City, Missouri. One thing is certain. There are no records of him
after October 1929.
Of course perfectly reasonable explanations exist for his loss. Knowles’
family was financially ruined by the Crash of 1929. Perhaps he committed
suicide. Or, even more likely, simply lived out his life in pecuniary
Some people even believe that The Secret Empire was a red herring,
published to draw the “hounds” as it were from the scent.
Possibly this was a ruse to cover the true nature of the “amoun”,
or secret, of the Order. We may never, truly know.
Whatever the case, we are left still trying to parse the truth, from the
possibly mendacious, in The Secret Society. A riddle of the Sphinx,
if ever there was one
Excerpt from: Herbert Salisbury’s, The Caliphs of Ra: Mysterious
Ways of the Mummy's Hand. Chicago: Marley Independent Press, 1962