Excerpt From the Terrible Mysteries of the Ku Klux Klan, 1868

Excerpt From the Terrible Mysteries of the Ku Klux Klan, 1868

The following is: the whole of Chapter V. “The Den of the Red-Death” & Chapter VI. “The Ku-Klux-Klan.” Therein we see
asinine claims of Negro beheadings and the crushing of Negro babies’ skulls, Klan titles that have never been recorded
in usage elsewhere, a throne made of skulls, self-illuminating, presumably, super-natural skulls, & super-natural animate
skeletons. Regardless of what the intent of the author was; this, & wholly mythical, fallacious stories like this, were aiding
in the perverse pseudo image that the general public, during the first era Klan, had of the KKK.

Chapter V. The Den of the Red-Death

When I came to myself, I was in a cave, lofty and spacious, but only dimly lighted. Little by little I became accustomed to the
dim half-light, and distinguished the objects around me. The centre of the cave was vacant; and in it was spread a black cloth,
with a huge white skull sitting in the middle and a pair of highly-polished thigh bones crossed in each corner. In a semi circle, before the face of the skull, were three K ‘ s, worked in glowing red, that seemed to send out rays of light. On three sides,
around this cloth, but not touching it, stood a crowd of men, all silent as the grave-each one with the crimson mask and black
flap, the crimson shirt and each one with the right arm bare to the shoulder. They were close together, and seemed to me to
be thousands; but I could only see a line of heads gradually dying into the black shadows that lined the sides of the cave. On
the fourth side of the cave, just facing where I stood, was a sort of throne, with three broad steps leading to it. These steps
were covered with black cloth, and on each one was a huge K, worked in the same dazzling shining-red as those on the centre seat. On the throne sat a tall figure, shrouded from head to foot in the folds of blood-red drapery. The mask he wore was of
the same flickering, shining crimson as the K’s upon the cloth; and the flap that fell from his mask was of duller blood-red color, and formed the drapery for his whole figure. His head was shaven clean, except three long locks of fiery red hair-one upon the crown of his head and one upon each temple. The only part of his figure showing was the bare right arm, gleaming white among the red drapery; and one bare white foot, resting on the curly wool of a negro’s head, freshly severed from its body. The blood
was still dripping from the neck and mingling with the dark stains of the black cloth on which it rested. Behind this figure was a misty cloud of half-illuminated smoke, that seemed rising from some gum, or incense, burnt at his back like him, except that
each had upon his shaven head but a single lock of blood-red hair. The figure on the right had the starry flag of the Union-that
on the left the tattered and battle stained flag of the Southern Rebels. Both flags were draped with crape; and from both hung
long tendrils of cypress leaves and willow. On the second step stood three huge brothers of the band, dressed like all the others
I had seen, and each holding aloft a naked sword, and carrying in his left hand a long brazen trumpet. Upon the third or last
step below the throne stood four glistening and shining skeletons, each holding in its fleshless arms a jet black negro baby, squirming and striving to get free.

From the eyes and nose and mouth of each horrible skull gleamed a dazzling white light, that lit distinctly everything around
it, and threw its rays far into the darkness of the Den. There was dead stillness in the cave. Then the Red Figure on the throne rose, and raised its arms aloft. With a single impulse, every brother in the cave made the sign of the K’s above his head, and
then dropped his hand over his chest, the fingers forming a K over the heart. Then the white foot of the Red Figure pressed
upon the severed head under it. The eyes, protruding from the sockets, rolled wildly, the black tongue thrust itself out, and
the white teeth clenched upon it; and drops of blood ran faster from the neck. At this a hoarse murmur ran through the cave,
low but terrible.“ Death to the negro race! Hail Brother Red-Death!” And the red figure answered: Hail Brothers Ku-Klux-Klan!
Then he dropped his arm , and the long , white forefinger pointed straight at me . “ Art thou ready.” And I answered in the
dead silence: “I am ready!”-Thou fearest not the test? ”I fear it not.” He turned to the figure that held the Union flag: “Mighty
starry Ku-Worshipful Brother of the firmament-interrogate the candidate. The giant standard-bearer slowly turned to me,
opened the flag, and waved it slowly over the skeleton lamps. At the first wave, the whole assemblage cried, with the peculiar deep murmur: “Hail to the Ku! ” At the second wave all cried: “Hail to the Klux!” At the third, a roar like thunder shook the
cave with the cry: “Hail! All Hail to the Ku-Klux Klan!” At that cry, the skeletons crushed the negro babies till they shrieked
with agony; and again all was still. Slowly the Starry Ku advanced down the steps and stood upon the centre-cloth at the
right of the giant skull. “Brother-if brother thou art-answer, and answer truly;” he said.“ I will answer truly,” I said. “Thy name
is Thomas “It is.” “Thou art 40 years old on the 10th of next May. “I am.” “Thou wast born in Penobscot, Maine.” “I was.”
“Thou art a pretended traveller for a business house in Boston.” “I am a pretended business traveller.” “Thou art really
a secret agent for William H. Seward, as a spy upon the negro lodges of the League.” Great wonder was upon me at
my mission being known. I only answered: “I am.”

“You have passes of safety-the grips and secrets from Benjamin F. Butler and from Thaddeus Stevens.” “I have.” “Do
you desire to serve your country from a pure heart, or from love of Seward’s gold?” “From a little of both. My motives are
mixed.” “Why do you wish to become a brother of the Klan?” “Because I feel I am called, and because I believe it the best
society the world ever saw.” “What are your principles about reconstruction?” “I believe in equal rights of States, and unmixed suffrage.” “Do you have any other belief?” “I do. I believe in Sergt. Bates and the old flag forever!” Again the Starry Ku. waved
the flag. Again the hoarse murmur rose: “Hail to the Ku! And then the whole assembly burst into a wild roar: “The Star Spangled Banner, oh, long may it wave! O’er the land of the white, and the free nigger’s grave.” Then the silence fell again like a pall over the whole assembly, and the Starry Ku stood stock still. The Red Death turned to the bearer of the Southern flag: “Down-trodden, conquered Klux,” he said: “thou shalt interrogate the brother of the Klan.” The bearer of the Southern banner waved his flag
once. Every man in the assembly bowed his head, and the murmur was almost inaudible: “Bless the Conquered Klux! Once
more he waved the banner over the skeleton lamps, and their bony arms squeezed the negro babies as if they were bagpipes, while a shrill yell of agony rose from every pickaninny throat. Slowly, and with faltering tread, the conquered Klux came down
the steps and upon the centre-cloth, till he stood beside the starry Ku, but on the left of the huge skull. “Brother, if brother thou
art,” said the Klux,“ answer, and answer truly.” “I will answer truly.” “Didst thou belong to the Union army?” “I did.” “Wherefore
didst thou draw thy sword against thy brother? Was it for love of the negro?” “It was not.” “Dost thou hate the negro?” “I hate
him from my heart.” “Why do you hate him?” “Because of his color and because of his smell; but most of all because he made
me fight my Southern brother.” “Dost thou love thy Southern brother?” “ Better than I love my soul.” “Then what did you fight against him for?” “For eleven dollars a month.” “Did you receive a bounty?” “I received seven or eight.” “Now that this cruel
war is over, do you love your Southern brother more than ever?” “More than ever.” “Your mission from William H . Seward
is to dismember and destroy the negro leagues?” “It is.” “What is his purpose in doing so?”

I hesitated a moment. The eyes of the Klux blazed through his mask. “Dost thou repent?” he cried. “Art thou not a brother of
the Klan, body, blood, and soul?” “I am-body, blood, and soul. Seward wishes to destroy the negro to get the Southern vote
for Johnson for the next presidency.” “I know it. Thou hast answered truly. “Tis well.” Both the standard-bearers turned toward
the Red Death.“ Direful Red Death, the brother is ready . He can be admitted-body, blood, and soul!” “He shall pass the terrors
of the initiation. He shall enter the horrid gates of hell. He shall become a purified bloody brother of the Holy Klan,” the Red Death said. And again the murmur rose once more: “Hail to the bloody brother! All hail to the Ku-Klux Klan!” “Let the Grand Recording
Cyclops read the Book of Klan from the foot of the Veiled Throne,” said the Red Death.“ Let the bugles of the Giant Bloodsuckers sound for the Cyclops. Prepare!” Swiftly the three huge sword-bearers came from the second step, and stood upon the centre cloth. Each one raised his gleaming blade, and struck a fearful blow upon the huge skull. It sounded like a great gong. The dull echoes rumbled through the cave, the great jaws clashed together, and the polished cross-bones at the corners of the mat
danced and rattled in horrid chorus. Then each giant Bloodsucker placed his brazen trumpet to his mouth and pealed a terrific
note. The cave shook-the Klan bowed their heads-the masses of smoke behind the Red Death became denser and more luminous. Out of the heart of the smoke a terrible voice cried: “Hail to the Red Death! The Grand Cyclops answers hail!”
“Let the Book of Klan bray,” answered the Red Death,“ signing a K with his bare right hand ” “Prepare! The Grand Cyclops
is ready,” answered the voice. A bandage was pressed upon my eyes, and in the dead silence I heard
every word that follows strike upon my straining ear, as if it was the blow of a sharp hammer.

Chapter VI. The Ku-Klux-Klan

“Is a band of the brothers of blood, bound body and bone blood and brain, mind and soul-for today and for ever-one and
indivisible to destroy the Tyrant!“ The Ku-Klux Klan is of three parts-the Ku, the Klux, and the Klan.“ The Mighty Starry Ku represents that mysterious branch which loves the union of the States now and forever. But while it loves the Union , the
Starry Ku believes it can only be preserved by Justice, by Right, and by Law. Justice is sleeping Right is dead-worms eat
the festering corpse of Law.“ The Starry Ku will use the sword of the sinner to smite the sinner’s hip. He is pledged in the
bloody goblet to smite and The day is born of night. Out of rottenness cometh health. The live lion is begotten on the dead
ass!“ The starry Ku embraces the Klux, and the Klux opens her arms, and the Klan claps its hands! “Hail to the Ku-Klux
Klan!” The voice of the Red Death spoke here. “Brother-if brother thou art-dost thou understand?” And I answered, “I do!”
“What is the mighty starry Ku?” I tried to speak, but a fearful terror seized me. I gasped for breath: I was drunk.“ Speak,
and fear not!” The voice was a new one in the Den, and yet familiar. It was further off than the Red Death-but sweet and
clear. Yes, it was the voice of the White-Arch Death.“ Speak, and fear not,” he repeated.“ Who is the starry Ku-the Right
Hand of the Ku-Klux Klan?” Then I spoke: “I believe the mighty starry Ku to be the power of the United States Government,
as represented by its soldiers stationed in the South. I believe many of these are members of the holy Klan, and will strike
for the white race, and crush the negro under their heel! I believe the Sinner to be the Radical Congress, and that its own
sword will smite the hip when the Klan is ready for the spring, The health to be born out of rottenness, is the reconstruction
of the States after the negro race is swept away. ”Then the voice said “Brother-and brother thou mayst be-thou hast read
rightly the first page of the Book of Klan!” Three times the swords struck upon the huge skull, the thigh bones rattled, and
then all was still. Again the voice of the Grand Cyclops sounded in the stillness: “Second to the mighty starry Ku is down
-trodden, conquered Klux. The Klux is the living dead, and it is the strength of weakness.

Bound hand and foot with cords that gall and eat into run ning sores the dead flesh, the living Klux riseth and walketh abroad
in the black night.“ She openeth her arms; she receiveth the starry Ku. Bitter as wormwood and gall is the milk of her breast.
But she nourishes the wolf and the adder upon it. “She bares her breasts to the night; she cries aloud to her children. Come
to be nourished, that ye may grow strong and venemous! Come to thy mother, that she may give thee to suck of the milk of
hate. Then will ye wax strong to sting and to rend the Black Dragon that fattens upon your heart’s blood!“ The Klux is dead!
She is murdered and burned and blowpn into the winds in fine dust. But out of the ashes the young Phoenix doth rise; and
the Klux, though dead, yet liveth.” Yea, the Klux liveth-she openeth her breast and taketh to it the mighty starry Ku – and the
Klan claps its hands! “Hail to the Ku-Klux Klan!” Once more the Grand Cyclops ceased; and once more the White – Arch Death spoke-“Brother and brother thou mayst be, speak and fear not. What is the down-trodden conquered Klux?-the left hand of
the Ku-Klux Klan?” And I answered with joy, for I felt my trial was over: “I believe the down-trodden conquered Klux to be the
South. She is dead, because she is disarmed; and the negro race is placed by her enemies over the old masters of her soil.
But she liveth, because her spirit is unconquered; and she means yet to rise in secret against the oppressor. I believe that she
is bound hand and foot by laws that she spurns and hates; and that she rises and walks, because the spirit of her children
can yield its rights but not its honor.“ And I believe the black night is the negro rule over the lords of the land; and that the
Southern people receive the Northern soldiers who join them-the wrongs and oppressions they exhibit being the bitter milk.
And I believe the Black Dragon is the chain of secret negro Leagues and Lodges, that the vile slaves of the Radical Congress have netted over the face of the South; that the Southern army is dead but that its organization and its spirit can never die;
and that out of its de struction arises a secret League sworn by solemn oaths to de stroy the oppresor , and to crush the
egg of the Dragon while there is yet time.” Once more the voice of the Arch Death spoke:

“Brother, for thou art nearly a brother, thou hast read aright the second page of the Book of Klan.” Then there was a murmur through the den, but it took no shape in words, and once more the swords clashed on the skull. The skull answered louder
than ever, and the cross-bones rattled and danced. Then in the silence that followed, the Grand Cyclops spoke again: “Mighty
and mysterious is the awful Klan! Filled with fearful wrath it is!“ The Klan is every thing and it is nothing; it is still while it moveth everywhere, and speaketh loudest while silent.” Where the night is darkest, the Klan seeth best. Where the dragon’s eggs are nearest hatched, there presseth its foot most heavy!“ Motionless and silent is the Klan, yet it moveth swiftly, and the clamor
it maketh is loud.“ The dragon squirmeth in his fright, and the Klan claps its hands.“ Hail to the Ku-Klux Klan! for thus it is
made.“ There is an awful father, and he hath ten sons, and each son is a RED DEATH, who called the Father the WHITE
-ARCH DEATH,“ And of the ten sons each hath ten sons, one of whom knoweth not the other, nor knoweth any of these
the Awful Father of his father.“ But each of the ten sons who is a RED DEATH is a father of all the sons of the other nine
sons, each of whom is a RED DEATH also.“ Countless are the eggs of the dragon, but not so countless as the children of
the Awful Father of ten sons, who hath each ten sons.” And the children of the White Death shall crush the eggs of the dragon;
and thereat the Klan is glad, and the Klan claps its hands!“ Hail to the Ku-Klux Klan!” The voice of the Grand Cyclops ceased .
In the silence the Arch Death called aloud: “Speak once again, Brother; for thou art near a brother, and tell me what is the mysterious Klan, the body of the Right Hand and of the Left Hand? And I spoke boldly and answered; for in my heart I felt
the truth. I said: “The Klan is the holy company of the true men of north and south who work in silence and in secret, and
do most where the negro leagues have their lodges most frequent. And I see the Awful White-Arch Death is the great head
of the order. The ten Red Deaths are the chiefs of the ten principal Dens; and each of these is divided into ten chapters,
none of which know the officers or meeting-places of the others.

And I under stand that a Red Death may preside at his own Den, or at that of any other Red Death; but that these lesser
Dens know not who is the head of the order.” “Furthermore, I understand that numerous as are the negro Lodges, still
more numerous do the Dens spring up around them; and that while silent itself, it causes great trepidation as to its acts.
And the mighty Starry Ku, the Conquered Klux, and the Grand Cyclops, I believe to be officers of the Royal Chapter of
the Order-the Den of the White-Arch Death!” I paused a moment. There was a murmur like the wind in the pines; and a
thousand voices cried: “Welcome, brother! For brother thou art! ” Then I said: “I believe I am in the Royal Chapter now-
even in the presence of the awful White-Arch Death. Hail! All Hail to the Ku-Klux Klan!” “Welcome, brother!” said the
voice of the White Death “Welcome, for thou art here indeed-Behold!” The fold fell from my eyes, and I dropped upon
my knees and signed the K’s above my brow.

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