Author of Masonic Mysteries, a Cold War Novel and Non-Fiction Investigations


News from Julius.

A New Introduction.

I sent Dr Harrison a proof copy of the new book The Astrology Letters for him to write the Foreword and soon afterward he phoned me.

“I noticed you quoted Robert Lomas quite a lot, although not aways favourably,” he said.

“Yes,” I replied, “I think he has done some useful research, but he doesn’t always see the wood for the trees. He was so obsessed with looking for a symbolic meaning behind the myth of the Bright Morning Star that he completely overlooked other implications of what he found about the theory of gravitationally mediated electro magnetic pulses he put forward in an appendix. All I did was sort out his and other writer’s ideas into a logical sequence.”

“But you spoke to lots of the other writers.” David said. “Why didn’t contact Lomas?”

“Because his website didn’t let me, and he ignored me on X, which used to be Twitter.” I said.

“I know him pretty well,” David said. “In fact, we are both members of the same research lodge.”

“Which lodge is that?” I asked.

“Coronation Lodge 2927 in Runcorn,” David said. “Would you like me to put you in touch via email?”

“You can try if you want too," I said. "We do have interests in common and we are both Freemasons so what’s to lose in making contact.”

David did put us in touch and Dr Lomas who was kind enough to give his blessing to my reinterpretation of his work in Turning the Solomon Key and so I acknowledged his gracious encouragement.

Who knows he might co-operate with me in looking at other non-Masonic stuff he glossed over. Now we are talking to each other, watch this space.

A Visit from an Old Friend.

A couple of months ago I got a surprise visit from my old friend the historian and author Dr David Harrison. As you will probably know if you have been reading what used to be my tweets and are now my posts on X, that the ferry service to our little island can be somewhat unreliable. We have been promised that new ferries will be built but nothing ever seems to happen apart from the existing ones breaking down and service being rather intermittent. Even though David knew he was taking the risk of getting stranded at the ferry port he had decided to chance the tides and come up to visit me.

Visits from anybody, let alone old friends from England are something I had learned to live without during the Great Scottish Lockdown.

It all started with a telephone conversation I had with David where I mentioned to him that to prevent myself going completely mad during the great isolation I had been incited by another old friend to undertake an intensive study of Astrology with the devout intention of proving that it was complete and utter nonsense.

"And did you succeed?” David had asked.

“No,” I replied, “I have to admit that I've found a strange and outrageous theory which might annoy both astrologers and skeptics because what I've found is obvious but also totally overlooked.”

“That sounds interesting,” David said, “Can I read it?”

Wanting to deter him from reading a series of rather personal emails which recorded my findings and the discussion of them with the other old friend, I told him the work with not properly written up so he would have to pop over to read the jumble of papers, thinking the distance and the lack of a proper ferry service would put him off. But he'd taken me by surprise when he said, “I need a breath of fresh Hebridean air so I’ll see when I can arrange a trip up.” How could I refuse after that, so as not to appear surly and churlish I set about collecting the letters I had written by email into a proper file which could be read in order. The following week he rang back to say he when he could come. I told him that I had printed out the email exchange and cobbled it into a roughly readable sequence, but I hadn’t redacted some of the personal themes we had also discussed.

“Some of its rather political and personal,” I apologised. “And I don’t really talk about politics too much.”

“I’m a grown up I can take it, you weren’t afraid of discussing sex in your last novel” David said. “And you rant enough about ferries all the time.”

“But this book was driven by love, not just sex. And the issue of the ferries isn’t political its survivalist.” I said as rung off.

When David rang me from the village pub I packed the manuscript into my old attaché case, wrapped myself in my old army great coat and put on my old college scarf for our meeting.

We enjoyed a few pints of my favourite Skull-Splitter local brew along with a steaming bowl of Scotch both and freshly backed wholemeal bread. David skimmed through the manuscript and pointed out it wouldn’t be possible to read it carefully overnight so he would speed read it and if he liked it, could he take in back with him. “Yes,” I said, “of course you can, but I want my case back now, because it was gift from a dear friend who is no longer with us.”

The following day I gave a David a tour of the island and took him to the old Kirkyard where I had spent many hours in quiet contemplation during the darkest times of Covid. As we sat on a time-worn bench, looking at the graves of the victims of Covid I asked David what he thought of the manuscript. “There is a thread of highly personal stuff as well as the academic stuff,” I said. “Do you think I should redact that and just publish it as a literature survey?”

“It’s the personal thread interwoven into the intellectual argument which makes it such compelling reading,” David said. “You are not just engaged in a scholarly debate you are intensely engaged in what has become a forbidden relationship and your humanity and human need, keeps intruding into the academic debate. The narrative structure reminds me of C S Lewis’s The Screwtape Letters.”

“Are you accusing me of being an apprentice Devil?” I asked with what I hoped was a disarming grin.

“If you want to take it that way. Then Yes.” David said, “And you’ll have to get back used to smiling more often if you want to look less demonic.”

With that encouragement I returned to my desk and practised smiling as I produced a final manuscript for my publisher.

Pre-Christmas Visit from Dr David Harrison

It is quite a while since I last had a chance to catch up with Dr David Harrison. I had followed his advice to publish Outside the Gates of Eden. and it has proved to be popular.

"It's a classic work" he said. It was mainly set in the early 1970s and Dr Harrison said he felt it had a powerful sense of time and place. "I think the manuscript should be published." he was kind enough to say.

"Let me think about it", I said. And I have thought about it. I've done some editing, consulted my agent and some ex-colleagues, and decided to publish.

I asked Dr Harrison if he would write an Introduction for this old tale and he agreed.

14 July 2022 Advice from Dr David Harrison

As I mentioned in an earlier blog Dr Harrison had persauded me to allow him to read a manuscipt of a novel I wrote over twenty years ago, with the provisonal title Outside the Gates of Eden. He was kind enough to say that he had been unable to put it down and had spent the night reading it

"It's a classic work" he said. It was mainly set in the early 1970s and Dr Harrison said he felt it had a powerful sense of time and place. "I think the manuscript should be published." he was kind enough to say.

"Let me think about it", I said. And I have thought about it. I've done some editing, consulted my agent and some ex-colleagues, and decided to publish.

I asked Dr Harrison if he would write an Introduction for this old tale and he agreed.

He also gave me a cover blurb.

Here we have Outside the Gates of Edened, a long lost work that takes us back to the Cold War of the 1970s, a time of secret government projects and uncertainty, a time of darkness but a time of light. This book could be classed as horror fiction, a mystery novel, perhaps even science fiction. The book is typical Harlande, filled with strange twists and turns, and has that sinister feel in parts that suggests that man can be capable of dark things. I hope you enjoy this novel as much as I have. What was once thought to be lost, has now been found.

Dr David Harrison Author of Down the Rabitt Hole amd many other more formal Masonic works.

May 2022 A Visit from Dr David Harrison

I have long been a fan of Dr Harrisons books on Masonic rites and rituals, so I was surprised when he got in touch with me, via Twitter and said he would like to visit me. I warned him it was a long and narrow road up to the far north west corner of Scotland where I live, and sent him a map reference to find me. He told me that he had decided to venture into Masonic Fiction and wanted me to write a foreword for his new collection of fictional short stoires Down The Rabbit Hole, which I was pleased to do. I emailed the copy off to him to save him a journey.

A few months later Dr Harrison rang me up said he would like to visit me and deliver me a signed copy of the book. And insisted he wanted to make the long trip, so I had to agree.

When I met Dr Harrison we had an interesting discussion about plotting and continuity then he told me that he had an ulterior motive for visiting me. He had heard I had written a novel, twenty years ago, which in the light of the present hostilities with Russia, had become a topic of discussion among my fans, who I was flattered to discoiver include Dr Harrison himself.

I concluded that he must be talking about my very first novel set in the Cold War of the 1970s, which I wrote over twenty years ago. As relations with Russia were warming at that time, I decided not to even try to publish it and had quite forgottoen about it. However, I had a rummage around my study and found I still had a rather battered copy, which Dr Harrison asked to borrow to read. As he was staying in my village pub, I lent it to him overnight and insisted that he returned before he left, and did not discuss it with anyone. He agreed.

The following lunchtime we met in the pub and he told me he hadn't been able to put it down. he told me it was a classic work with a powerful sense of time and place. He thought it should be published and encouraged me to think about it.

I did think about and have decided to discuss publication even though it is not a Masonic story. Watch this space for further developments.

Dec 2011 The Moment of Truth

For the last ten years I have been nurturing an idea and a dream. The idea was to meld together into one genre two disparate yet compelling categories of story that I enjoy. I mean detective stories, which I first read as a young man and masonic stories which I learned by acting out.

The intrigue, secret teachings and dark mysteries of Freemasonry fascinated me before I joined and still fascinate me as an insider. The Craft is like a Russian doll. Each time I crack open a shell I find within it another question to confront me. It is an enigma, wrapped in a puzzle engulfed in a mystery. The more I learn about the Craft the more I find there is to learn. The structure of its tales is the complete opposite of the detective story. A detective story begins with a confusing and frightening situation. Nothing can be taken at face value but all the seeds of the solution are on view. As the detective investigates the facts, interrogates the suspects and interprets the actions so the mystery unravels towards a spectacular and surprising denouncement.

The joy of a detective story is that at the moment the truth is revealed the reader instantly understands the sequence which made that outcome inevitable. Yet the delight of a Masonic ceremony is that the moment the truth of its teaching is imparted it raises a thousand new questions in the mind of the participant. The stories of Freemasonry are open ended, forcing its brethren to think more broadly this is what I have tried to capture in Darkness Visible

© 2024, Julius Harlande.

Use of website in accordance with regulations & privacy policy.