Lords of the Levels
I was alerted to this book by a reference made to it in the manuscript that Suzanne Thomas is preparing for publication in the next little while, called Who’d Have Thought It. As a major portion of her work is a reprint of Colin Bloy’s work, the passing remark about Michael Bentine’s novel having Colin in it sparked my curiosity.
Here is precisely what Michael wrote starting on page 85:
I quickly outlined our dowsing procedures, as they had once been taught me by my friend Colin Bloy of Brighton, a scholarly protagonist of ‘ley’ theories, and added, ‘Every landscape generates its own atmosphere, as we know only too well in the case of the Marsh. Your instincts told you that certain influences had been at work, terrorizing the area. All we had to do was to pinpoint where these actions had affected the ethos of the Levels, to find the negative centres of force.’
My friend hung on every word as I went on, ‘Colin has done some similar research on the Templar sites around south-eastern England. He showed me how these knightly ritual magicians of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries learned to manipulate the ethos by constructing abbeys, fermes, granges and manors, all laid out to precise formulae and using étangs (ditches) and other waterways as their boundaries, to channel the power.
‘Apparently, the Templar system was based on a deep knowledge of earth-magic, and depended on the exact pinpointing of springs, holy wells and other sources of underground water. Their knowledge, which was derived from the “gnosis” of the ancient civilizations, such as the Egyptians, Chaldeans, Greeks and Chinese before them, was part of the arcane wisdom. The secrets are contained in the system of “ritual-manipulation” of these subtle forces within the landscape. The art of earth-magic is still very much alive.’
A Novel of the Paranormal
(From the back cover:) The Department of Parapsychology at Wessex University was held in disdain by more conventional faculties, but when a hideous evil reared up from the desolate Romney Marshes, the varied psychic talents of Professor Daniel Fortune and his team were able to fight fire with fire.
But amidst the pattern of desecrated churches and ritually sacrificed animals the hand of a more contemporary evil was discernable. Hard drugs were being smuggled on the marsh. Soon the three academics were pitted against a deadly force that would test their extraordinary abilities to the outer limits…
Meet Michael Bentine
(According to Wikipedia🙂 Michael Bentine, CBE (born Michael James Bentin; 26 January 1922 – 26 November 1996) was an English comedian, comic actor and founding member of the Goons. He was a Peruvian Briton. In 1971, Bentine received the Order of Merit of Peru following his fund-raising work for the 1970 Great Peruvian earthquake.
Of note for our present review was this little tidbit: “Bentine’s subsequent investigation into regulations governing private airfields resulted in his writing a report for Special Branch into the use of personal aircraft in smuggling operations. He fictionalised much of the material in his novel Lords of the Levels.”
In Suzanne’s book, there is a sequence where Colin and Michael enact a ritual at Arthur’s tomb in the grounds of Glastonbury Abbey. The information contained therein will make all this ‘stuff’ clearer for the interested reader.
In the meantime, have a laugh or two, watching this video of a children’s programme featuring Michael: