Masks of Nyarlathotep
Accomplished author and investigator of occult activities, Jackson is a hard nosed sceptic with an imposing presona.
Samuel F. Pickens has known Jackson for quite some time now. And has received an intriguing radiogram from him. They have corresponded regarding questions surround cults and strange phenomena around the world. When they are both in the same city they make it a point to meet for a drink.
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.
You like him, and value his friendship, even though months and sometimes years separate one meeting from the next. You’d be upset and probably crave vengeance if anything happened to your friend. The world is better for having Jackson Elias in it.
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.
Jackson was found murdered in his room at the Chelsea hotel on January 15th 1925, shortly after 8pm. He was disemboweled by seemingly crazed cultists.