The Tyson Necronomicon and Me

Ludwigprinn speaks on some message board:

What is interesting is that according to Tyson Dan Harms while criticising Left Hand path texts and fussing about fake Necronomicons revised and contributed to the Tyson Necronomicon before publication in 2004. This seems rather hypocritical to me to say the least. The Tyson Nec does say it is fiction but only in very small print but I have talked to people who thought it was the real thing.

I have heard a wild rumour that claims Harms’ crusade against the Simon Necronomicon is based on the fact he is in a rival group working Mythos based magic connected to Tyson. Sounds like nonsense but interesting anyway. Tyson certainly wrote the forward to the Necronomicon Files book for Harms.

What Ludwigprinn is referring to, most likely, is Donald Tyson’s statement in this interview, which I hadn’t seen before now:

After completing the first draft of the book, I sent it off to an expert on Lovecraft and the Necronomicon, Daniel Harms, co-author of the Necronomicon Files with John Wisdom Gonce (Weiser, 2003), and Dan was kind enough to read it over and point out a few errors I had made, and references I had missed. His criticism was taken into account when I wrote the finished draft of the book.

So, let’s get started.

The Tyson Necronomicon FAQ

Q.:  How the hell did you get involved in this project, Dan?

A.:  Donald Tyson wrote me and told me that, after writing the introduction to The Necronomicon Files, he’d been thinking about writing his own version of the book.  The book would have two characteristics – it would be based rigorously on the works of Lovecraft, and it would be fiction.

Q.:  So, what was your involvement?

A.:  Just what Donald said in his interview – I read over the book, noted material on the Necronomicon that Lovecraft had mentioned (usually from the letters) that he hadn’t noticed, and caught a few errors.  I do remember suggesting that the magic squares of the various planets be used to construct the sigils for the Mythos entities’ names, but he might have been thinking about that himself.  I was even slated to write the introduction to it.

Q.:  But the book wasn’t published as fiction – or at least, it skirts very close to that line.  Didn’t you know this?

A.:  Not until the book was at the publisher.  I can’t say too much here, largely because I don’t know too much.  I know that the book was fiction when Donald Tyson sent it off.  He let me know and was apologetic, and I retracted the introduction.

Q.:  You haven’t talked about any of this.  Why not?

A.:  When it occurred, I wondered about how to handle it.  I decided to leave it in the hands of the readers – I’d step in when controversy about the book was becoming an issue, which I was certain was going to happen.  I kept an eye out for people posting that the Tyson Necronomicon was real on Internet forums, and statements as to the book’s authenticity.

Honestly, I thought it was going to be a huge deal, with lots of screaming and recriminations.  Instead, the response was, “Yes, there’s a new Necronomicon by Donald Tyson.  It’s a hoax, of course.”  I’ve never seen more than one or two people since publication who actually believed that, and someone set them straight quickly when it did.  After a while, I stopped checking to see how it was received.

So, if there is anyone who’s not certain, Donald Tyson’s Necronomicon is a modern creation – one well-written and faithful to Lovecraft, but modern nonetheless.  If you’re angry with me about not telling you, then please accept my apologies.

Q.Dan Harms is a hypocrite! or Dan Harms has something against LHP practitioners!

A.:  Those aren’t really questions, but I don’t see them as being the case.  I'[ve known a great number of people of all faiths over the years.  The only ones I really see as problems are those who:

  • Encourage or engage in behavior intended to frighten or harm others, and
  • Try to use Lovecraft to legitimize themselves and said doctrines or practices.

The Simon book and certain individuals fall into both these categories.  I’m not opposed to the creation of Necronomicons – I’ve actually assisted with the creation of at least one before this, and I even talked about it in the Files – and I certainly am not engaged in any sort of crusade against anyone based on their philosophy.

Q.:  Are you indeed a member of a secretive magical order led by Donald Tyson dedicated to the destruction of the Simon book and all its practitioners, thereby leaving the earth vulnerable to attack by aliens when they return?

A.:  I cannot deny this.  Well, I could, but anyone inclined to believe it won’t take my word for it.  Besides, watching people make up what I believe is one of my favorite pastimes.

Copyright 2008 by Dan Harms.  Permission is granted to reproduce this in a complete and unaltered form.

Published in: on August 12, 2008 at 4:36 pm  Comments (7)  

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7 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Hmmm…aliens huh? That explains a lot 🙂

  2. […] I suppose that settles that.  Hey, what’s this about me being in the OTO?  I thought I was spending my spare time casting Mythos magic with Donald Tyson. […]

  3. To set the record straight, if there is still any confusion after Dan’s explanation, Dan Harms was kind enough to help me out while I was writing my version of the Necronomicon, by pointing out errors and omissions. It’s always an enormous aid when a writer has a set of informed eyes to read over his manuscript. In return for this favor I was happy to write an introduction to The Necronomicon Files. It seemed a reasonable way of thanking Dan for his kindness.

    Originally it had been my intention to present my Necronomicon as purely fictional, with no ambiguity or evasion, but a marketing decision was made at Llewellyn Publications that the book would attract more notice and would sell better if its status were left a mystery. I did manage to insert the statement on the back cover to the effect that the work was my own composition. Really, there was no intention to mislead — it was more a matter of creating an intriguing air of mystery that would increase both interest and enjoyment for the reader.

    When Dan learned of the way the book was going to be presented by Llewellyn, he regretfully withdrew his offer to write an introduction. I fully understood his reasons for doing so and had no problem with his decision. He did not wish there to be any inference that he was supporting some sort of deception.

    Since writing the Necronomicon, I’ve become more deeply involved in Lovecraft’s mythos. There are many in the Western esoteric tradition who take seriously Lovecraft’s overall vision of great Old Ones who exist just outside the edges of our normal reality, and who watch and wait for their chance to regain the presence and power they once exercised over the earth. It is a surprisingly fertile vision, having correspondences in diverse areas of folklore and mythology.

    It seemed to me that since so many occultists talk about Lovecraft’s mythos as a practical system of mysticism and magic, without ever coming forth with the system, it was only fitting that I produce a book of practical magic based in the mythos — the result was my Necronomicon Grimoire, which sets forth a system of rituals and beliefs for my proposed Order of the Old Ones (the OOO as I like to call it). Dan Harms has not yet become a card-carrying member, but I assume it is only a matter of time before the tentacles of Cthulhu draw him in. You can only flee from the hounds for so long, Dan.

  4. Donald,

    Thanks so much for weighing in.

    I’m sorry to disappoint you, but it seems I’ve already joined the OTO:

  5. I was wondering if Tyson’s “Necronomicon Grimoire” is a magickal system that fills out a hole in Llewellyn’s line: a magic system of interest to teenage males. The basic ritual implements are inexpensive, easily made, portable, and not recognizable by parents as “occult” items. The mythology is…hmm, anti-Wicca, not empowering to females over/vs males, and appealing to the identity issues in the development of adolescant males.

    • actually it appeals to both teen males and females! I know several females at follow the Grimoire,and personally as an adult male I like it doesn’t promote one gender over the other like Wicca does,because in that area Wicca evolved since gardners death into the new Christianity!

  6. i really like the tyson necronomicon..

    creates a weird but not negative feeling in me at some points…

    i read it only once till today…

    gonna read it a second time soon i think…

    wonder if ill curse the mad arab then, as supposed in the book itself….

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