CHAPTER ONE - The Garwood Theory

"And so Man created God in his own image," Professor Garwood said in the conclusion of his lecture.

Professor Kenneth William Spencer Garwood, world renowned authority on the history and development of religion, smiled. Nineteen year old Toby Wolf smiled back. He had an idea.

The Garwood Theory suggested there was no supernatural being the like of which people called God. No god of the Christians and no god of the Jews. Allah was just as unreal in the Moslem faith as were the gods of Ancient Egypt, Rome and Greece. Yet they all spiritually did exist in their own time, some still do exist. Existence was a projection from the power of man's mind.

Man created God in his own image.

Even within the Christian religion God takes on many different forms. The god of the Roman Catholics is not the god of the Pentecostals and quite different from the Methodist and the Baptists. While man's collective mind also created the Devil his is one single persona, he does not differ from sect to sect. Hell is Hell, Evil is Evil and the Devil is the Devil.

Or was it ?

The Garwood Theory may have fame in academia but Toby believed he had within his mind an idea waiting to be developed into something of equal, if not greater, importance. Garwood had his PhD while Toby Wolf was still a humble undergraduate but what he wanted to bring forward was of greater significance than Doctor Garwood's consideration of any existence surrounding god.

Toby picked up a pen and began to brainstorm his thinking.

  • How many people lost their lives in The Great War ?

  • How many survived the conflict to suffer for the rest of their lives the injuries they had sustained ?

  • How many were killed in World War Two and how many had to live with injuries they sustained during these years of fighting ?

  • How many lost their lives under East European Communism ?

  • How many individuals today live under the flag of the European Union ?

Using they keys of his laptop and the power of Google Toby set about finding answers to all of his questions.

  • Seventeen million died in World War One with a further twenty million injured.

  • Sixty million died in World War Two, that was 3% of the world's estimated population in 1940.

  • Toby double and then triple checked the figure of 97 million who died under communism across the world.

  • Finally he found that five hundred and eight million people make up the twenty-eight member states of the European Union.

Had there been no first world war there would not have been a Russian Revolution and there would not have been a second world war, half the continent would not have been subjected to the evils of totalitarian communist rule. It could also be debated that without the two world wars there would not have been a European Union and the dissolution of national identity.

Toby posed another question, firstly to himself and then to the all-knowing power of Google. What proportion of the British public are regular attendees at church ? The answer of ten percent showed that Great Britain is not particularly a god-fearing country, so what would be the answer of America where Sunday and church attendance is more central to the way of life ?  What would the result be for Italy and the heart of the Roman Catholic religion ?

Within moments Toby had the answers. The USA and Italy both had church attendance figures of thirty-seven percent. The figures were much as he had anticipated, what did come as a surprise was the incredibly high attendance rates throughout the continent of Africa where most were way above fifty percent. In Britain only one in ten went to church and allowed their minds to create a god. How many minds projected a devil into society ? Using Garwood's Theory, Britain had a weaker god than America but how strong was the devil ? Where were those who created Satan and where were those who worshipped him to make his force real ? Applying Garwood's Theory introduced some frightening thoughts into Toby's mind.

Outside waging war what is the most terrible thing one human being could do to another ?

Murder ?

Murder, both legally and morally, has different levels. Killing a single person, no matter what the motivation is wrong but planning the killing of several is evil. Planned serial killing would have to be the most evil, either influenced by Satan or contributing to his existence. In recent years, say the past hundred years, who were Britain's most evil serial killers ?

Harold Shipman, of course. Toby was still at the computer so soon found that Doctor Shipman had ended the lives of fifteen, at least that was how many the court found him guilty of. They may have been more.

Fred and Rose West ? Twelve but just as with Shipman there could have been more.

The Yorkshire Ripper ?  Peter Sutcliffe killed thirteen.

Ian Brady and Myra Hindley ? Five.

Those were notorious killers whose names were general knowledge but there were others. Who ?

Reginald Christie, yes Toby had heard that name. Eight, possibly more.

Searching Google the name of Dennis Nilsen appeared. He had killed at twelve.

Were all acting under Satanic influence ?  Did their killings, eight people and at least fifty victims, contribute to the phenomena of the devil or did the inspiration to kill come from the devil ?

Toby printed off a map of the UK then plotted the general location of each killer's activities.  He then drew a line from each location to every other.  The majority of the killings were in the northern part of the country but as each line moved to the southern locations they crossed in one place. On the A4 printed map it was impossible to identify the location but again using the cyber power of Google, this time Google Maps, Toby was able to identify the Bedfordshire village of Clophill.

Toby felt a shiver run through his body, a shiver that turned to fear. Perhaps he should stop what he was doing, stop it immediately and forget the ideas that were now forming in his mind. Making that his intention he closed the lid of his laptop. Within the hour he was back.

Clophill was fifty-four miles away. Toby did not drive and public transport to such a small village would be non existent. He had to get there somehow, he needed to feel for himself if what he had read was true or not. Steve had a car, if he paid him the petrol perhaps he would take him. Toby was sure his friend would but what reason could he offer for the visit ?

The truth ?

St Mary’s Church in Clophill is thought to be around four hundred years old.  It was abandoned as a church in 1848, when it became too small to serve the village congregation and a new Victorian church was built in the centre of town.

There are several myths that surround St Mary’s Church.  It is generally believed to be a church of dark magic and orientated incorrectly.  Another myth is that the church is built on top of an ancient leaper colony where infected villages as well as those suffering from plague were left to die. 

St Mary’s Church hit the headlines in the March of 1963.  During the night ‘satanic’ graffiti had been daubed on the church walls and  several graves had been damaged with the remains removed from the grave of the apothecary’s wife, Jenny Humberstone, who had died in 1770.  The bones were found to have been arranged on a make shift alter and the skull impaled on a metal spike.  The press at the time leapt on the supposed arrangement of the remains and stated that a dark mass, witchcraft or Satanic rituals had taken place in the church.

There a number of reported paranormal sightings associated with Clophill Church. Many visitors report a chilly and oppressive atmosphere at the church even during warm days. Visitors report watching a faint light moving up the hill and towards the ruins of the church before vanishing. The ghost of a monk has been sighted at Clophill Church. Toby showed his printed notes from his Internet search to his friend.

"Garwood says that man created god from his own imagination, the collective imagination of millions make god real. If this can happen then surely the same can happen for the devil." Toby said." I would not take any notice at all of that on the paper you have just read," he continued, "if it were not for the way those lines from the serial killers all crossed at Clophill."

"I know about Clophill," Steve said in reply. "It is supposedly the most evil place in England."

Toby was reading philosophy at university, he was in his second year of a BA course. He wanted to continue through a masters and then, ultimately, take a doctorate. Although any doctorate thesis was a long way off he wanted to develop Garwood's Theory and suggest not only good but also evil are projections of the mind.

In the same student year group, Steve Murphy was reading European History. He was not thinking beyond a bachelor's degree and did not have a lot of ideas for a future beyond that. Toby had never heard of Clophill, not before his Internet search directed him towards it, so was surprised his friend knew of its fame.

"When I read that on the Net," Toby continued, "it scared me a bit and I thought I would drop it but sensibly it is a subject nobody has properly considered before and it would be a good area for a thesis."

"You may be wrong there, about you being the first to consider the mind projecting evil. What you have said makes a lot of sense but it made sense to another before you."

Toby was puzzled.

"Adolf Hitler had a secret unit within wartime Germany. It was supposedly investigating the supernatural and looking to see if it could be used as a weapon. The Allies covered up all they found and turned it to a myth so no credibility was ever attached to it but that special Nazi unit was there. Hitler, we know, was not a religious man so I would think he may have been moving down the same train of thought that you are."

An idea flashed into Toby's mind.  "The most evil aspect of the Third Reich was the death camps ?"

Steve pondered. "Probably."

"If we were to plot all of the camps on a map in the same way I plotted the serial killings then connected them with lines, where would the lines cross ?"

"Let's do it. I have maps of the Third Reich. Let's do it now."

Together they plotted Auschwitz-Birkenau, Bergen-Belsen, Sobibór, Treblinka and many more, Toby had no idea there were so many. It took the two friends more than an hour but when they drew the connecting lines between each location there was no single intersecting point as Toby had found with his serial killers, instead they formed a rough circle.

"What's in the middle ?"

"Let me check," Steve said. "It's a place called Brocken."

"I've never heard of it."

"Nor have I," Steve confessed, "and I am supposed to be the student of European History."

"Google will have heard of it," Toby smiled.

Indeed Google had.  The Brocken, also sometimes referred to as the Blocksberg, is the highest peak of the Harz mountain range and also the highest peak of Northern Germany; it is located near Schierke in the German state of Saxony-Anhalt between the rivers Weser and Elbe................... And so read the first paragraph of Brocken's page within Wikipedia.  Both of their eyes were drawn to the next paragraph.

The Brocken has always played a role in legends and has been connected with witches and devils................   Walpurgis Night is the English translation of Walpurgisnacht, one of the Dutch and German names for the night of 30 April, so called because it is the eve of the feast day of Saint Walpurga, an 8th-century abbess. In Germanic folklore, Walpurgisnacht,  literally "Witches' Night", is believed to be the night of a witches' meeting on the Brocken

"Oh my god ! How awful."

"It looks as if your theory is correct. You have stumbled on to something."

"Do you think a similar place could be found in other parts of the world ?"

"Most certainly," Steve said. "Toby," he hesitated. "Toby would you allow me to work with you on this. I could assist you develop The Wolf Theory. What you have here is far more important that Doctor Garwood's thinking."

Toby was fearful about his logic but tried to smile. "The Wolf-Murphy Theory. The Tobias Wolf - Stephen Murphy Theory, sounds almost as grand as The Garwood Theory."

"Toby, what are you doing for the rest of the day ?"

"I'm supposed to be working on an extended essay but the deadline isn't for ten days so I could leave it."

"I've got a book to finished for a tutorial tomorrow but I can read it when we get back."

"Back from where ?"

"Clophill."

Toby decided to take a number of things with him on the visit to Clophill: a camera, pen and notebook and a thermometer. He could not trust what they may find to a smart phone so opted for pen and paper. His grandmother had given him a camera for his birthday, he would take that along.  All recorded the visit made by the friends and all were brought back safely to the university's hall of residence.

"You don't think it was auto-suggestion that made us both feel the way did there ?"

"You are the philosopher Toby but isn't auto suggestion what this is all about ?"

"That's psychology more than philosophy."

"It's still minds focussed together in one direction to form a focal point of influence. Hitler had messianic influence over an entire country, we have got to go to Germany and check that Brocken place."

"What have I started ? "Toby said, "That church in Clophill felt evil."

The thermometer Toby had taken with him to Clophill, just a simple gardener's greenhouse thermometer had given some odd results. He took the temperature when they left Oxford, he took it again as they parked Steve's car in the village. It was two degrees lower. That meant nothing but standing in the shell of the ruined church it was another three degrees lower.

"I am sure," Toby said, "if we had been able to measure air pressure, humidity and so on there would have been a difference from the village in general to the church itself."

"You could be right. It was an odd place."

Steve was fascinated by Toby's thinking and wanted to be a part of the research.  In his own study area of European History he wondered what the truth was concerning Hitler's interest in the paranormal. If it was nonsense and superstition then why did the allies deny it ? There had been attempts to hide other activities of the Third Reich.

"We are going to need to visit Germany," Steve said. "We need to find out more about Brocken."

"I agree but it will be expensive."

"If we were able to present the research in a way that interests the right people we may be able to find some funding."

"But who are the right people ? I would not know where to start looking."

"Neither have I bet I bet your Doctor Garwood would know."

"Let's look again on-line, see what more we can find out about Brocken. Fifteen minutes later the initial fear Toby had felt when he discovered the website reports on Clophill was nothing to the terror the friends had for their discovery of Brocken."

"I'm scared," Toby said.

"You and me both."

Later and alone and in his room Steve took a sheet of paper to begin his own brainstorm of ideas. At the top he wrote MASS HYSTERIA then underneath listed three things: Beatlemania, The Death of Princess Dianna, Football Supporters.

Steve's grandfather was for ever telling him that things were better in his day. As a child he had been taken by his paternal grandfather to Saturday football matches where this aging relative explained there was no longer atmosphere in the all-seater stadiums. Money had crushed the game and removed the real spirit of being a football fan. Steve was not particularly interested in the game but could believe modern-day football did not take over the hearts and minds of fans in quite the way it had once done.

Beatlemania was something Steve cont not remotely relate to even if he did understand what it was. It was a female thing, perhaps his grandmother had screamed at the Fab Four.

It was twenty years since Dianna Princess of Wales lost her life in the Paris car crash. He knew well what had happened and the reaction not only of the British public but people the world over. She died before he was born yet never a week went by without reference to her somewhere in the media. Her influence was reaching down through the years.

In each of these situations something connected the minds of so many individuals then interacted between those minds to generate the hysteria. Steve scribbled notes on to the sheet of paper. Beatlemania, football, Princess Di, three totally different situations producing outwardly different reactions but fundamentally all were the same. Mass hysteria.

Steve continued to make notes on his brainstorm paper.

It was a person or persons who generated the force. It was clear who these persons were - the four Beatles, the eleven football players, one member of the royal family. But they had not generated the force had they ?  Others generated the force round them. Could there be persons within the areas he and Toby had identified ?  People within Clophill and within Brocken who were at the centre of the force to generate the power ? Power that then reached out and made others do what they did ? The death camps ? The serial killings ?

Garwood's Theory said there was no such thing as god. Garwood always spelt god with a small and never a capital G. God became real only because so many minds believed in his being and projected his existence into the world. God was supposedly a force for good - supposedly. If he was all-seeing, if he was all-knowing and all-powerful then he was not effective. As a power for good god was a failure. Christians defend the failure of their god by blaming themselves for having a lack of faith so allowing bad things to happen in the world. If god was what his followers claimed him to be then he could have dealt with the bad and not stood helplessly by watching it happen. If god loved the world, as his followers would claim, surely he would never allow bad and terrible things to happen.

Steve wrote one word on his brainstorm paper which was now almost covered with scribbled text. IMPOTENT. God was impotent.

Steve knew how Christianity had been a constant influence throughout the history of Europe and how it sustained the existence of Hell for the unbelievers and sinners. Only the righteous could expect to be allowed into Heaven. Could it be that Christianity itself projected the devil through its relentless presentation of Hell ?

The pentecostal sect tapped into the mass hysteria and generated the same results within its church as Steve had noted for beatlemania, football and Dianna, there wasn't any difference. However, by a long way the majority of christians lack enthusiasm for their belief has turned church into religious club. The church's outlook on life, the way christians set themselves above others, quick to condemn anyone and everyone for the way they live their lives, probably encourages the existence of the Devil.

Steve realised that while he was observing Garwood's methodology of using a small G for god he was spelling devil with a capital.

Religion is the opium of the people.

Steve turned over his sheet of paper then wrote that at the top of the page.  He knew from his studies that the full quote from Karl Marx translates as: Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people. 

When Enver Hoxha tried to make Albania a fully atheistic state it could be argued he was doing the right thing.  European Communism had, save for Albania, tolerated religion but would have preferred it to simply have gone away. Pope John Paul, of course, came from the Polish communist state.

Steve's mind returned again to the way superstition had been used to keep the masses in place. The threat of hell, damnation and the Devil were then real and more present, if only as a threat, in people than was god. Could it be the collective mind over so many centuries had created the Devil, not simply projected him but actually created him as a real entity ? Could the same be said about god or was Garwood's Theory right. The Roman Catholic Church projected one version of God, Anglicans another, Baptists, Methodists and all the minor radical sects had their own. There was no single united god so he did not exist. There was a united view of the Devil and so, yes, he could exist. In all probability he did exist.

The Devil existed and god did not.

Toby's room in the hall of residence was in a different part of the building. Steve raced there, his brainstorm sheet of paper in his hand, he had to share his conclusion.

CHAPTER TWO - Spooks

When Ian Flemming needed a name for his fictional head of MI5 he chose M. Likewise  John le Carré his the identity behind his character naming him Control. In the twenty-first century, just as Toby and Steve, had used the Internet for their initial research it takes but a few strokes on a laptop keyboard to fid out the name of the person leading MI5 within Britain's Secret Intelligence Service. But while this may be a real person he is just as much an enigma as the fictional M and Control. Throughout the service code names are in daily use. Lloyd Barrington-Ford is RAV6 and Daniel De Richleau is JAG4. The headquarters, in so far as the general public is aware, is there for all to see on the banks of the River Thames in London but this is not where the leadership is to be found. It is also not where RAV6 and JAG4 share an office.

Hanslope Park, if not secret,  is a highly secure area in North Buckinghamshire. Once a manor owned by the Watts Family it became part of Britain's secret decoding operation during the second world war and has been the headquarters of the country's secret service since the mid nineteen fifties.

"Just a couple of adolescents playing," RAV6 suggested.

"They are getting a little too close to the truth,"  JAG4 commented, "I do not like the website they have set up."

"Perhaps we should put them on the watch list, no harm in being careful."

"If we put our ideas on to a website and ask people to share opinions it would help. We could use social media to get people to help us. We may even be able to generate some funding to support what we want to do."

"What do we want to do ?" Steve asked.

"Win the Nobel Prize ?" Toby smiled. "No seriously, to prove the theory."

"We still need to decide what that theory is."

Very soon two followers joined the website's Twitter account, SirVax and Jogfagu. When Facebook friends were sought they both added themselves in, at the same time subscribing to the website blog.

SirVax and Jogfagu were typical of social media names, there was no hint at all that SirVax was RAV6 or Lloyd Barrington-Ford or that Jogfagu's true identity was JAG4 and Daniel De Richleau, both of Her Majesty's Secret Intelligence Service Department Thirty-Four.

Soon there were more, many more followers but within their numbers was a small group who had masked heir identity in a far more sophisticated way than had MI5.  Sophisticated but not so sophisticated that the team at Hanslope Park was not completely aware of them. Aware but awareness not sufficient to appreciate what the full extent of their activities were.

Jeremy Mottrill had every intention of making capital of the boys' research. He could use them but he could not allow them to use their thinking in anyway outside his absolute control. There had been those in the past who had tried. Tried and failed. failed and then disappeared without a trace.

© Max Robinson