How I Managed to Expose One of The Most Secret Societies
Shôn Ellerton, April 1, 2021
Buried deep in the heart of East End London, is perhaps one of the world’s most secret and unknown societies. Learn how I managed to infiltrate it.
In the east end of London, behind a secret door accessible only by entering Mile End Underground Station, there is a passageway that extends into the darkness. Once inside this passageway, one can make out the faint audible rumblings of the many trains overhead along with the continual pitter patter of drips from the cold iron-lined walls holding back ancient water-logged clays. From thereon lies the abode and heart of an organisation very few would have come across.
The organisation is known to only a select few, carefully chosen by those members of its inner circle, guarding secrets from unwarranted eyes for centuries. In fact, it is only been recently revealed that such a society existed at all; surprising considering the age of the Internet has been with us for more than two decades. I have had a deep fascination with this secretive enclave through a friend who once held the position of being a curator in one of London’s more notorious waxworks museums. He haphazardly stumbled upon the whereabouts of the society’s location through a project he had been working on regarding the unique clay properties surrounding the area. Hence forth, he summoned me to accompany him on his quest to discover more of the mysteries that await them. It is with some fear and trepidation that I unearth this conclave along with its mysteries; however, I feel bound to reveal it on account of its potentially insidious means and aims to subvert the peace and order of our society.
On a crisp frigid morning during the early hours of the morning, we arrived at Mile End Underground station. Descending the staircase, we arrived on an empty railway platform along the District Line. A damp draught of air laced with an odour reminiscent of old bones and clay wafted out from one of the unlit railway tunnels. The dilapidated, badly lit and tired look of the station with its worn white tiles mixed in with hospital-green ones, exuded eeriness indeed. Much like one of the abandoned metro tunnels that traversed under East Berlin before the Iron Curtain was taken down. My friend led me to a maintenance door on one end of the platform, which he opened with a key given to him by London Transport to be able to access the clay findings he and his team have been working on. He led me further down a corridor to a small door for Fire Use only. Sporting another set of keys in which to open the door, I enquired how he came across them, to which he replied that he observed someone frantically looking around for something or another in proximity to the maintenance door. My friend watched him for several minutes waiting for his train to take him home but having no luck in finding what he was looking for, left in defeat, along with, what I perceived, to be some degree of trepidation or perhaps, a glint of fear from his facial expressions.
Being naturally curious, my friend roved around the location where the supposed items were lost, and, not having any success either, admitted defeat and then went back to continue waiting for another train, having missed two already. There were a few other passengers, waiting for, boarding and alighting from trains as they came and went but none paid any attention to my friend’s antics. However, as my friend turned to look back, he noticed a faint glitter of light reflecting from the floor near the first rail on the track. He went back to investigate and discovered a set of keys. Knowing full well of the dangers of electrified rails by keeping well away from the second rail, and while no one was around, clambered quickly down to retrieve the keys. He examined the keys and found two similar keys which he had in his possession. The keys allowing him access to the station after hours and through the maintenance door. The other keys, some looking decidedly aged in appearance, were a complete mystery. My friend decided to go back through the maintenance door with his newly found prize to see where they may lead him, but patiently waited over a period of several months noting any patterns of activity to assess a time when it was safe to explore. Curiously, he found that a pattern emerged insofar that the only days when anyone used the door were those dates which had an ‘6’ in it, in other words, the 6th, the 16th and the 26th of each month. To avoid detection, he explored on his own on one of the other days.
He explained this to me when I asked about the possibility of being caught, but I was even more guarded and wary sensing an ominous significance with these numbers along with a recollection of unsavoury tales of prominent members of bygone days like John Wilkes revealing the notorious Hellfire Club in the eighteenth century. Now having understood how my friend got hold of these keys, he then proceeded to open the door marked Fire Use Only. What lay beyond was a bare room with a grotty looking desk and chair, an old wardrobe and all sorts of oddments lit by one suspended lightbulb. We switched on our torches and then he opened the wardrobe and in true Narnia fashion, turned the key in another door at the back to reveal a flight of abnormally large marble stairs leading down a wide spiral to the depths. Casting our torches along the pale, black streaked marble, we came across many symbols, some depicting crossed swords, Fleur-de-Lis markings, crowns, anchors, fish and many others. Descending the staircase, I half-expected to emerge into a vast cavern of Lovecraftian proportions, but oddly the passage down was blocked by what appeared to be a cave-in. However, just off to the side was, yet another, door, albeit being well-concealed, which my esteemed friend had a key for. And on the other side, we entered the passage of iron, clay and rock as described in the beginning of this account.
I pondered what lay on the other side of the collapsed stones blocking the staircase going down further and how it may have happened. Was it accidental or deliberate? And if deliberate, why? An uncomfortable revelation was there was no evidence of any way to unblock it. No dig marks. No apparent movement of stone. And yet this side passage exists.
In this dripping cold passageway, the atmosphere of walking through the Castle of Otranto would be complete if we had an old-fashioned flame torch. We walked for some time further contemplating that our luck is sure to run out when either our torches give up or someone or something lurks and awaits us. For my friend, this has been the furthest he has dared to venture alone. Pressing forward, we encounter, on occasion, side passages with closed iron gates, blackness beyond, much like the mysterious locked gates tourists to the Paris Catacombs come across, which I later learned connect to the much larger and very dangerous Mines of Paris, an underworld where even the police dare not venture.
In the distance ahead of us, we could just make out the sound of drips landing onto water. As we slowly progressed, we noticed that the coating of the rocks around us were irradiate in a bluish sheen giving a chill and ghostly light across a vast lake still as a mirror. We had just emerged along the edge of this lake and were now standing on a wooden pontoon with two or three small rowboats hitched to the cleats. The vault of the chamber, easily thirty-foot high, holding the lake was a curious mix of natural stone and carved murals but after turning off our torches, the bluish light became more pronounced illuminating the still water much like walking into a cave of glow azure-lit worms. The vault was astonishingly beautiful not unlike an illuminated version of Willow porcelain dinnerware, depicting Far East Asian gardens and temples. In the middle of this substantially sized lake, appeared to be an island with a cube-shaped building of two to three stories made of glass faintly illuminated by the subdued bluish light. This was becoming quite interesting.
Having lost our fear of reprisal if caught, we unhitched the boat’s rope and clambered in very quietly. We quietly rowed across the stygian-black still lake not knowing how deep it was, although it was certainly deeper than the length of our oars. When we approached the island, we gasped in astonishment as the whole of the island suddenly became illuminated. We must have tripped on an automatic light sensor of some sort. The building, made of glass was, in fact four-stories high. It had sides of approximately forty metres in length and its height about the same implying at this point in the cavern the crown must be around fifty metres in height as the cube-shaped building was contained in whole. Surrounding the building on this island was a nicely manicured garden with sculptures and artificial grass. The building was well-lit within and the sculptures and paths were illuminated. We docked the boat along one of the grassy banks and disembarked.
Everywhere there was no sign of life and except for the occasional drop of water into the lake, one could hear a pin drop. When we approached the building, we could make out what each floor contained. The ground floor was sparse save for a smattering of comfortable-looking couches and an array of dimly lit computer terminals. In the centre, appeared to be a centrepiece made of a black glassy sort of stone. The next two stories contained racks and racks of books, filing cabinets, old-style leather-padded seats and desks complete with green-glass banker and Tiffany lamps looking entirely out of place in this, otherwise, modern setting. What was inside the top floor was not visible from where we were standing.
The double sets of sliding doors were not locked, and they automatically opened for us. On closer examination of the black glassy stone centrepiece, it bore the inscription, MOK, behind which was an image of two crossed swords and two fish back to back tails pointing down and heads up. Unfortunately, accessing the computers required a username and password which we did not have of course. We found the stairs leading to the first floor and we found ourselves amidst a labyrinth of books, many of them quite archaic. The organic layout of comfortable leather couches, creative lighting mixing with old and new and plush desks made it a very cosy and likeable atmosphere to be in. We decided to have a quick peek at the top floor before examining in detail what was contained in this library.
On the top floor, we found an assortment of beautifully furnished rooms in a most modern style. Board rooms, kitchens, a few bedrooms, a TV room and even a games room. The centrepiece was a large room in one of the corners with a central all-round gas-operated fireplace with flue extending upwards. Around the fireplace were shaggy carpets, beanbags, shelves adorned with fine wine and other such niceties. We could even access the top of the roof which, itself, had outdoor furniture, a BBQ and a low wall. Looking over the wall, one could only take in the massive cavern tinged with the intricate blue light under which, only the blackness of the lake can be seen.
Having bought our own supplies of food and drink, taking care to avoid the temptation of opening one of the bottles of wine so tantalisingly in reach in that fireplace room, we made our way to the third floor library and made a closer examination of what was held there. The vast majority of material in the library was centred around history, politics, economics, symbology, mythology and, much to our surprise, fine porcelain. In fact, most of the material on the floor below was completely dedicated to porcelain, and it thus dawned on me what all the symbols meant on our passage here. Crossed swords, fishes, crowns and so on. These were symbols used on some of the world’s most prestigious, ancient and finest porcelain and pottery. Being interested in porcelain myself, I remember rummaging through an old document written in 1894 by Hooper and Phillips titled A Manual of Marks on Pottery and Porcelain. The very insignia used behind the mysterious MOK acronym was a near-identical version of Meissen’s double sword logo combined with a double-fish symbol sometimes found in some of ancient Chinese pottery. Apart from being an exceptionally grand, secure and expensive headquarters to house the secrets of pottery, much like the seed vault in the northern wastes of Svalbard, we could not work out why this was here at all. Why the secrecy? Why the expense?
The ‘eureka’ moment came when we spotted an untidy desk in the middle of the second floor clearly forgotten to be tidied away and secure by whoever was working there. I expect that person would be reprimanded when the group meets on the next date with a ‘6’ in it! Amongst numerous pieces of paper were lists of scheduled conferences, banquets, reserved restaurant books, and other events involving dining with those of worldwide political and economic influence. Cross-referenced were other lists of who will attend, what the agenda will be, where it will take place and when. More interestingly were lists with symbols taken from the various manufacturers of prestigious porcelain, each containing a variety of slightly cryptic messages alluding to specific actions that were required to happen by someone or some party. Many of the symbols looked alike but many were, in fact, slightly different albeit with entirely different messages. We deduced that we might have stumbled upon a secretive network, the intention to communicate to the powers at be attending these high-profile events through their dinnerware!
It all made sense as I recall from my childhood when my grandfather, Sydney Ellerton, possessed a card in his wallet which gave him express permission to overturn dinnerware at formal functions or at a dinner hosted by one of his friends or colleagues. He aptly said it was just for fun but was there a connection? Did I remember the initials, MOK, printed on the card? I cannot say for sure, but there is a remote possibility. After all, he was one of the leading figures in the field of sugar beet production during the 1950s and had thousands of contacts worldwide in his field of research. Imagine that, a system of altering the political and economic landscape through dinnerware and fine porcelain!
Delving further into the ancient library, we came across references to the mysterious anagram, MOK. We later learned it signified the Messengers of Kaplinius, an order dedicated to tempering significant decisions made by people of influence and power and to map the course of history. It oddly reminded me of the psycho-historians in Isaac Asimov’s seminal Foundation science-fiction novels, the inspiration for the Star Wars movies.
But who was Kaplinius? Unfortunately, we were at a loss to discover this puzzle; however, we had our own inclinations who or what he was. Perhaps, a figure lost in the annals of history who dreamed of morphing civilisation to some grand plan. Perhaps a John Galt-like figure out of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged. This, of course, begs the question if prominent authors of philosophy coupled with architecture like Rand had been a member of MOK. It is conceivable. We felt like we just touched the tip of an iceberg, but our stay here was cut short when my friend noticed some activity whence, we came from at the pontoon at the edge of the great lake.
We panicked and rushed out of the building to find our boat which was not an easy thing to do considering the subdued lighting at the shore. Once we embarked, we traversed over the water to the opposite side of the island towards the other side of the great cavern, not knowing what we would expect to find there. We made haste and progressed smoothly until we were near the edge of the cavernous vault. We heard the faint sound of falling water in the distance, perhaps an overflow of some sort. By closer inspection, we could just make out a grating in the wall in which to tie the boat up and disembark.
We began to hear voices from those pursuing us from the other side of the island but we managed to slip through the bars of the grating, a feat which managed to get us thoroughly soaked by the water flowing over the sill into a channel below us leading through another dark tunnel which we knew we had to follow. The walls here did not exude that strange light as in the cavern, so we switched on our torches again. We made haste through this rocky tunnel following the channel of water in the middle of the floor. We must have walked for more than an hour through a winding network of tunnels but as long as we followed the course of water, we were bound to find an exit.
The lining of the tunnel transformed from rough-hewn rock to brick lining, an era cast out of Victorian times. An odour not unlike sewerage began to get pervasively stronger each step we took along this tunnel. We noticed tributaries of raw sewerage merging into the channel we were following. My friend nearly passed out from one point, perhaps of asphyxiation or simply of the unpleasantness of the stench. We steadfastly continued our progress until we merged into a much stronger channel of decidedly smellier sewerage.
It was, at this point, that we realised that we had reached the Fleet River. A river that had been entombed over the years to carry effluent from the denizens of the City of London to the River Thames over hundreds of years. With success, we managed to find a portal ascending from the side of the brick-lined tunnel of the Fleet River and after climbing a manhole cover emerged unscathed out onto the streets of east London. At that moment, amidst a great sigh of relief, we longed for a shower and a hot meal, although, I dare say, dinnertime using fine porcelain will never be quite the same again!
If you enjoyed my April Fools article, perhaps try out some of my previous ones from 2017 and 2020.