Philip José Farmer's Wold Newton Universe discussion

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A Tale of Two Titles; or, the Mummy vs. the Si-Fan (multiple comments)

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Atom Bezecny | 21 comments While the Arabic title of Sheikh and the Turkish office of Pasha are hardly unique, there are two instances of those titles which are of particular historical interest. These titles were used both deceptively and legitimately by a variety of individuals in the pursuit of primarily wicked goals. The story begins thousands of years ago in Karnak, Egypt. A group of slaves taken from Uganda brought with them devotion to the immortal queen Ayesha of the city of Kôr. These Ayesha cults also brought with them samples of the sacred tana leaves, which once sprouted at the base of Ayesha's Flame Pool of Immortality, before they were rendered mysteriously extinct. These cultists, who called themselves the Priests of Karnak after the city of their bondage, foresaw that one day Ayesha herself would appear among the royalty of Egypt to make it part of her great empire. What was more, they foretold that a man would come among them who would use the tana leaves to become an immortal fit for Ayesha.

Eventually, the Priests believed that their prophecy had come true and their fated saviors were among them. They identified the reigning Princess Ananka with Ayesha, and when they discovered that Kharis, a priest of the royal family, was conducting an illicit affair with Ananka, they presumed that he was the one destined to become immortal. When a tragedy struck and Ananka died suddenly, the Priests helped Kharis steal the tana leaves to bring her back from the dead. However, Kharis was caught stealing the tana crop, which the pharaonic classes had stolen from their slaves upon learning that the herb had life-giving properties. One of the Pharaoh's advisers had believed that the herb was similar to a heart-shaped plant cultivated among the Wakanda people which was known to induce superhuman vitality. Edgar Rice Burroughs would document the Wakanda in a rather inaccurate light in The Man-Eater (1915). In between the World Wars the Wakanda expanded their scientific studies, which Burroughs had ignored in favor of exaggerating their xenophobia. They became a pacifistic people as they saw the devastation wreaked on their neighbors by colonialism and the World Wars, and formed a micronation of their own in the mid-20th Century, sustained by the powers granted both by the heart-shaped herb and the unusual meteoric metal they controlled. One of the Princes of the Wakanda royal family collaborated with Dr. James Clarke Wildman and determined that the herb his people used was similar anatomically to the silphium plant which Wildman encountered during the events of Lester Dent's Fear Cay (Sept. 1934). This drug had the ability to keep a 131-year-old man, Dan Thunden, alive and vital. Typically Wakandans who used the heart-shaped herb stopped using it after a set amount of time, to avoid the trap of immortality without youth. Kharis would not be so lucky. He was executed for attempting necromancy (and possibly necrophilia, at least in the minds of Ananka's family) but the Priests of Karnak revived him with a tana serum. Over the long years he would become their servant in dealing with an ever-increasing number of enemies. However, Kharis was still a subject of worship among the Priests, even though they used him as a tool. Eventually this worship began to exceed worship of Ayesha. A schism formed in the cult, forming one faction which worshiped Ayesha predominantly, and another which worshiped Kharis. The Kharis faction was suppressed and to prevent future Priests from ever forgetting their sacred mission, it was decreed that all Elders or Sheikhs among their ranks must name their firstborn daughters Ayesha.

Of course, as the Priests spread out over northern Africa as time went on, there were other diversions. One faction of the cult splintered off and traveled to the coastal region of Mora Tau, where they created a small nation in an isolated valley, dedicated to using tana to experiment on the living dead. This area became known as “the Valley of the Zombies.” It was the subject of the film Valley of the Zombies (1946), just as Mora Tau was depicted in Zombies of Mora Tau (1957). Additionally, the “mad Arab” Abdul Alhazred, author of the Necronomicon, could have once been a member of the Priests who was corrupted into studying the Great Old Ones instead. Perhaps there was a faction of Karnak Priests who began examining and even worshiping the Great Old Ones. Kharis could have been linked to Nyarlathotep, who was known to appear in Egypt in human guise. Thus the other beings these heretics worshiped, such as Cthulhu and Azathoth, could have been seen as hitherto-unknown peers of sacred Kharis. The Priests of Karnak were notably less successful in stopping the spread of devotion to the Great Old Ones.

At the end of the 19th Century, the Priests splintered again, with a faction dedicating themselves to the worship of Queen Tera, another member of the Egyptian royalty. This group believed that Tera and not Ananka was the true avatar of Ayesha. Tera's remains had never received tana treatment, and were beyond resuscitation using tana, but a researcher named Abel Trelawney, who infiltrated the Priests of Karnak, was convinced Tera's soul lived inside his pet cat. Trelawney dedicated himself to the rebel faction's cause of worshiping and reviving Tera. However, his attempt did not end well, as seen in Bram Stoker's The Jewel of the Seven Stars (1903). It is likely that Abel Trelawney was the same as or a relative of the occultist Dr. Trelawney, whom Anthony Powell wrote about in his novel series A Dance to the Music of Time.

It was in 1938 that the Priests of Karnak attained their greatest moment of prominence, as well as their greatest moment of defeat. The latest of the High Priests passed away and was replaced by a man named Andoheb. Andoheb was actually Elwyn Clayton, a Westerner who studied dark magic under various teachers, including the vampire Armand Tesla, who turned Clayton into a vampire himself. Shortly after becoming High Priest, Andoheb was forced to send Kharis after a pair of archaeologists, Steve Banning and Babe Jenson, when they tried to steal the mummy of Princess Ananka. Unfortunately, his struggle against them resulted in Kharis being badly burnt, and he was forced to fake his death. These events became the basis of the film The Mummy's Hand (1940). Andoheb ended up training a new High Priest, a man named Mehmet Bey, and ordered him to send Kharis to America to hunt down and kill Banning and Jenson. A second apprentice, Yousef Bey, was tasked with locating a new incarnation of Ananka and returning her and Kharis to their rightful home in Egypt. Andoheb then faked his death before the Priests, and abandoned the order to pursue his own goals. Andoheb's final defeat at the hands of his twin brother Lloyd Clayton was shown in the film Dead Men Walk (1944).

Mehmet Bey and Yousef Bey were chosen because they were already high-ranking members of the Karnak Priests; in turn, that meant they were already strong students of the occult. Mehmet Bey had originally come from a family which served the vampire Countess Nadine Carody. Carody, and her servant Memmet, who may have been Mehmet Bey's son, was the villainess of Jesus Franco's Vampyros Lesbos (1971). Another relative was Memé, a man who served a similar role to Memmet in the circumstances that surrounded the sorceress Queen Tara Obongo which Franco filmed as Macumba Sexual (1983). Yousef Bey, meanwhile, appears to be the man of the same name who appears in Sax Rohmer's short story “The Yashmak of Pearls,” from his short story collection Tales of Secret Egypt (1919). Yousef Bey was a rival of sorts to Abu Tabah, the friend of Secret Egypt's narrator, an Englishman named Neville Kernaby who is called “Kernaby Pasha.” Abu Tabah was a Muslim imam who seemed to possess psychic abilities and knowledge of the occult. In “The Yashmak of Pearls,” Kernaby Pasha finds himself in the middle of a conflict between Yousef Bey and Abu Tabah, involving the titular veil of pearls which Yousef wants returned. If Yousef Bey was an old enemy of Abu Tabah, he may have also possessed psychic or mystical abilities. These were what allowed him to gain rank among the Priests of Karnak. In Rohmer's “Omar of Ispahan,” also from Secret Egypt, Abu Tabah reveals he has a sister named Ayesha, the daughter of the Mudir el-Fayum. This indicates that the Mudir was a Sheikh of the Karnak cult. Presumably it was through his sister's father, and his link to the Kharis cult, that Abu Tabah was able to learn what powers he did possess. (Tabah speaks as if his sister is his half-sister. He does not say “my father,” instead always calling the Mudir “her father.” This would explain why he himself grew up to be a Muslim rather than a member of the Karnak cult.) Perhaps el-Fayum was Yousef Bey's teacher as well, and this led to the circumstances of his rivalry with Abu Tabah.

The plans of both Mehmet Bey and Yousef Bey failed, as seen respectively in The Mummy's Tomb (1942) and The Mummy's Ghost (1944). Each man had a student of his own to succeed him, but these men failed too. The schemes of Dr. Ilzor Zandaab and Ragheb were shown in The Mummy's Curse (1944). It is notable that these films added in considerable time gaps between the events depicted, stating that thirty years passed between the Banning/Jenson expedition and the events of The Mummy's Tomb. In truth the first three films transpired over the course of a few months, followed by a brief pause preceding Kharis' reappearance in 1942 during the events of The Mummy's Curse. The reason for this four-year disappearance is partially explained in a forthcoming short story of mine, which addresses a continuity error in the Mummy films. The Mummy's Tomb and The Mummy's Ghost are set in the town of Mapleton, which is specifically located in Massachusetts. At the end of the latter film Kharis is defeated when he sinks into a swamp outside the town. Yet, when Kharis is excavated from the marshland in The Mummy's Curse, the swamp and the town of Mapleton have somehow been shifted to the bayous of Louisiana. My theory involves the character of Abigail, the witch of Salem from the truly bizarre film Psyched by the 4D Witch (1972). Mapleton, Massachusetts may have existed in the 17th Century, when Abigail was alive. A Spanish town which Abigail was aware of called Pueblo de Arce existed in the area Robert de la Salle claimed as French Louisiana, which she knew roughly translated to “Mapleton.” Magic operates on coincidence and names, or at least the magic Abigail employed did, and so she used the similar names as part of a spell to link the towns together. The mystic tunnel that bound the two Mapletons—for Pueblo de Arce's name was Anglicized over the years—was unstable and therefore the length of time it took to traverse varied. Abigail did not create the gateway in a precise fashion—to her, it was a mere experiment. Swampland ended up covering both entrances over the years but Kharis did not need to breathe, so he was able to enter. For him, his journey across the country seemed to take minutes, but to the outside world four years passed.

It is notable that the Priests of Karnak are also called the Priests of Arkam in the later Mummy films. It is possible that there is some etymological connection between this name and Arkham, Massachusetts. Arkham was famously subjected to many supernatural happenings, as documented by H.P. Lovecraft and others, and so it is possible it was constructed by secret magicians. It would be fitting for a town where so many of Lovecraft's tales were set to be partially founded by the cult which may have once included the author of his famous fictional book the Necronomicon. Karnak Priests could have come to America in the 17th Century and earlier via the slave trade. Some of these may have brought their beliefs with them and had an influence on the foundation of Arkham.


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Atom Bezecny | 21 comments If Arkham is near both Salem and Mapleton it gives us a hint as to where the witch Abigail got her magic. Abigail could have been a Priest of Karnak. In my book The Divine Mrs. E I hinted that Abigail was a member of the matriarchal Order of the Madonna, a massive organization that includes many famous fictional matriarchal societies and groups in its ranks; the Order is named for and descended from the Order of Our Lady from Sax Rohmer's Sumuru series. The Order is also historically linked to Ayesha, from H. Rider Haggard's books. It is possible that in the 17th Century the Priests of Karnak brooked an alliance with the Order of the Madonna based on their mutual admiration and connection to Ayesha, and Abigail was their go-between. That would explain why Kharis and the Priests knew about the tunnel connecting Mapleton to the former Pueblo de Arce.

Kharis was truly destroyed in 1942. The mummy who appeared in 1953 and was encountered by two blundering archaeologists, whose story was also told by Universal Pictures, was Klaris rather than Kharis. Klaris' reanimated body appeared in Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy (1955). In Katherine Avalon's cut-up novel Fuck Off S.R. (2018) there is a mummy called Kahlariish who may be named for Klaris. Kahlariish is said to derive his name from the Urdu Kali rishtay dar, which means roughly “kin of Kali.” Assuming that there is a link between the names, we can theorize that Klaris was an early priest of Kali who somehow ended up buried in Egypt. Klaris was perhaps one of the rare worshipers of Kali that fiction loves so much, the Kali worshiper who follows Kali's principle of destruction to evil ends. In truth the worship of Kali is not nearly so horrifying as the pulps and movies make it out to be—the image of Kali as an evil deity comes from a tradition of racism. Yet, in the Crossover Universe at least, there is a Thuggee sect which fits the fictive idea of the evil Kali worshiper, such as those seen in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and the Fu Manchu novels. Klaris may have been the forefather of this Thuggee sect, perverting the image of Kali into something evil.

We must return to the original Kharis incident, that of The Mummy's Hand, to determine the importance of all of this and how it relates to the titles I mentioned at the start of this article. As we have seen, Sheikh was a rank among the Priests of Karnak. They would use it to pass their agents off as politicians and men of achievement, though just as often these men were powerful and distinguished before they were convinced to join the cult. One such man was Swazi Pasha, a Turkish official mentioned in Sax Rohmer's The Daughter of Fu Manchu (1931). In that book, Fu Manchu plans to replace Swazi Pasha with his identical twin brother, a loyal Si-Fan agent who will bring the Turkish government under Fu Manchu's sway. This suggests that Fu Manchu was familiar with some of the powerful families of Turkey—he likely knew many of the influential clans of Egypt as well. The two often intermarried as Egypt was once part of the Ottoman Empire. In The Mask of Fu Manchu (1932), Fu Manchu used a base in Cairo as part of his attempt to stir up a Middle Eastern rebellion centered around the heretical Islamic figure Al-Muqanna (rendered “El Mokanna” in Rohmer's account). In The Bride of Fu Manchu (1933), Fu posed as the Egyptian Mahdi Bey. During his time in Egypt it is incredibly likely that he would have heard of a secret society who had access to a plant which could confer immortality. His plot involving Swazi Pasha took place in the summer of 1928; while he perfected his elixir vitae in 1929. Could he have learned something in Turkey that led him to the cult of Kharis? Could tana leaves be part of his particular variant of elixir vitae?

In The Mummy's Hand, Banning and Jenson are backed from an official from the Cairo Museum, a Dr. Petrie. The High Priest Andoheb attempted to block Petrie's support of their expedition. While Dr. Petrie could be a relative of the same Dr. Petrie who famously battled Fu Manchu, it is also possible that the filmmakers merely used the name Petrie to tip off the fact that Banning and Jenson's expedition was actually backed by British intelligence. It could have actually been a sting operation led by Dr. Petrie and his friend, Sir Denis Nayland Smith, intending to target the source of a key ingredient in Fu Manchu's immortality serum. This could further explain why the two archaeologists were selected for assassination—they had discovered secrets of the Si-Fan. Perhaps it was not merely Kharis that pursued them, but the Hashishin and Thuggees of the Si-Fan as well. The presence of these additional operatives would have been removed from the film accounts for simplicity's sake—or fear of attracting the same sort of attention in Universal's direction.

Cay van Ash theorized (with Dennis Power later elaborating) that Fu Manchu's elixir vitae was derived from an alliance he formed with Sherlock Holmes. Holmes was able to discover that by supplying bee colonies with the flowers of certain rare plants, a royal jelly was produced that had the ability to slow and even reverse the aging process. It is likely that one of the flowering plants used in this process was tana. Despite Holmes having given him the elixir as early as 1921, an unexpected bee allergy saw Fu unable to use the serum until 1929. Because he knew the ingredients, Fu would have been able to use his vast resources to track down their points of origin. Perhaps the ingredients by themselves would yield the secrets he needed.

The Devil Doctor would have already had a lead on his search. In Daughter of Fu Manchu the Si-Fan Council of Seven is led by Fu and a man named Sheikh Ismail, leader of the Hashishin. Sheikh Ismail also appears in “The Secret of Ismail” from Tales of Secret Egypt, where the horrors and wonders of his palace are witnessed by an unnamed narrator. This narrator is not Kernaby Pasha as he is Greek rather than English. However, Neville Kernaby may have edited the papers that became Tales of Secret Egypt before sending them to Rohmer, and thus been an associate of the narrator of this story. They may have worked together in some capacity. Like Yousef Bey, Ismail may have been an enemy of Abu Tabah, which could indicate membership in the Priests of Karnak. It is not unreasonable to assume that one crime lord would associate with the other. Ismail was nominally a Muslim, but as Abu Tabah himself points out in one of Rohmer's stories, there are many who claim to be good and faithful as a facade. The Hashishin were traditionally a Muslim group and therefore their leader would need to be of the faith to be accepted. However, Ismail could have been tempted by the power the Priests offered him, and therefore kept his allegiance to them a secret from his followers.

Ismail may have also known Joseph Malaglou, the Greek drug dealer described in Tales of Secret Egypt and Cay van Ash's The Fires of Fu Manchu (1987). In my story “Harry's Homecoming” (Tales of the Shadowmen Volume 13) I had Malaglou as the drug supplier to one of the story's characters, Dr. Ox, when Ox was addicted to taduki. Dr. Ox is from Jules Verne's A Fantasy of Dr. Ox (1872), while taduki is the drug that allows one to recall past lives from H. Rider Haggard's The Ivory Child (1916) and others. Taduki may be a refined or compressed version of tana, as hashish is to marijuana. Or taduki may be a specific word for smoking the otherwise-brewed tana leaves. Somehow, the smoking process causes the life-giving properties of tana to bend backwards and give one visions of one's past incarnations. Of course, it could also simply be a psychedelic plant and there is no validity to the illusions it produced. Fu Manchu would have certainly experimented with taduki, both on others and on himself. Perhaps Fu had a vision of Genghis Khan that left him questioning if he was the famous warlord's descendant. The Shang-Chi comics have Fu (and consequently his son, Shang-Chi) as the descendant of an ancient warlord called Shaka Kharn—perhaps this was the figure Fu witnessed in his visions. In any case, word got out somehow of the Devil Doctor's strange experience and in 1932, when a film was being made of The Mask of Fu Manchu, the rumor that Fu was a reincarnation of Genghis Khan influenced the filmmakers' decision to exchange Al-Muqanna for Genghis in their alteration of the plot.

In H. Rider Haggard's Allan Quatermain novels, the taduki that is consumed by Quatermain is kept by Lady Ragnall, born Luna Holmes. Given that Sherlock Holmes' family tree is mapped out extensively, it is difficult to conclude how the two Holmeses are related. But they were likely cousins of some variety, a fact which is seemingly confirmed by Thomas Kent Miller's Allan Quatermain at the Dawn of Time (2013) and Sherlock Holmes and the Fullness of Time (2016). Lady Ragnall may have been a member or affiliate of the Priests of Karnak through someone close to her, like her husband. Lord Ragnall was perhaps a man of influence in Egypt or Turkey, and his power was sought after by the Priests. In exchange for a free supply of tana or taduki he agreed. Lady Ragnall chose to isolate herself from the cult, though she tremendously enjoyed the experiences taduki could bring her. It is possible that Lady Ragnall warned her friend Allan Quatermain about the Priests of Karnak, and he did battle with them in some untold adventure. A descendant of the Ragnalls may have remained in service to the cult. This descendant was Ragheb, from The Mummy's Curse—his name may have been Ebenezer Ragnall, and he turned this name into Rag-Eb or Ragheb.

Sheikh Ismail was, as per Rick Lai's “Sirens of the Si-Fan,” the brother of Hassan of Aleppo. Hassan, who was a Syrian Wali or priest, was the father of Miska, a servant of Si-Fan officer Fo-Hi, in Sax Rohmer's The Golden Scorpion (1919). He was also the leader of the Hashishin in the early 1910s, as seen in Rohmer's The Quest of the Sacred Slipper (1913). The brothers had a sister, Zarmi, whose tryst with the pirate Death Larsen (from Jack London's 1904 novel The Sea-Wolf) produced Lorelei Larsen; Lorelei was the mother of Lola Dumas from President Fu Manchu, and the parent of a girl also named Zarmi, who appeared in The Hand of Fu Manchu and also fought Doc Savage as “Lo Lar” (see The Feathered Octopus, Sept. 1937). Hassan, however, shares a name with a man who will become important to our account, the Sheikh Ahmed bin-Hassan.

Ahmed's story was told by Edith Maude Hull in The Sheik (1919), which was turned into a famous movie in 1921 starring Rudolph Valentino. The story appears to be set in the early 1900s. The Sheikh as seen in the book and film is a hedonistic, free-spirited playboy of sorts. He frequents parties at fancy casinos and may in fact own some of these casinos himself. He is also not above rape, as seen in his treatment of The Sheik's protagonist, Diana Mayo, whom he repeatedly assaults. Despite the fact that he is meant to be a romantic figure, Ahmed comes across as rather displeasing to modern audiences. Similarly upsetting is the story's end, where it is revealed that Ahmed is not an Arab at all, but an Englishman with Spanish ancestry—which is used to explain why Diana can end up in a relationship with him. This reference is an ugly attempt to avoid miscegenation. Not only does the story say that Arabs are rapacious, bloodthirsty, and without civilization, but the narrative still insists on its two leads ending up together, which means that the man we have seen thus far could not truly be an Arab, as per the racist standards of Hull's time. Just as we perceive them as such today, the Sheikh's actions would have been perceived by some of his Arab peers as inappropriate.


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Atom Bezecny | 21 comments Many would question, and not without reason, how a white man came to become a Sheikh when he was of such despicable character as to be both a defiler of women and a thief of a culture that was not his.

Perhaps some would seek to punish this foreigner for his arrogant behavior. Perhaps his seemingly ill-deserved title was seen as being of some use to these vengeful parties as well. I propose that the Priests of Karnak used Sheikh Ahmed bin-Hassan's name and identity to implant themselves in key areas Turkish and Egyptian society.

Ahmed's Spanish-English ancestry is interesting. In my article on the Orloff and Renault families, which includes Elwyn Clayton/Andoheb, I said that Clayton's grandfather was a man named Renault; elsewhere I've identified him as one Sir Montalban Renault, who was likely named for the knight Renaud de Montauban, from the medieval French tale The Four Sons of Aymon. Montalban is a Spanish name, and while Renault is French, it is related to the Spanish name Ronaldo and the Italian Rinaldo. Sir Montalban's ancestors could have been Spanish. I thus propose that Rachel Renault, mother of the Clayton/Renault triplets, had a brother, Asher Renault, who was the son of Sir Montalban and his wife Rebecca Mirakle. In The Sheik Ahmed is given the hereditary title of Lord Glencaryll; this is likely a title which Sir Montalban additionally possessed. (I additionally believe that Montalban Renault had ancestors with the name Rinaldo. In fact I believe that Sir Montalban was a direct descendant of Sabbath Rinaldo, also called Rinaldo Sabbata. Sabbata was mentioned in the 1947 film The Ghost of Rashmon Hall as an architect from the 18th Century who was also a practicing necromancer. In my story “A Parliament of Counts,” I suggested that Sabbata built a house to the orders of a cousin of the Orloff family, a Mr. Orlofsky. About a hundred years later, Orlofsky House was the home of one of Dracula's granddaughters, and a descendant of the Talbot family. The two were married and conducted strange experiments in the old mansion. Andy Milligan filmed this with a small budget in 1970 as Blood.)

Asher Renault was an adventurous youth and decided to run away to explore north Africa and the Middle East. He left home at the mere age of thirteen, and only luck saved him from being trampled underfoot in the dangerous outside world of the 19th Century. Eventually, as he became a young man, he became known by the name Ahmed bin-Hassan. At some point he may have ended up in Morocco, where he at some point became briefly involved with a white woman who would give birth to his son, Louis Renault. Captain Louis Renault's corruption and Vichy loyalties were shown in the film Casablanca (1942).

While in Persia in the 1870s, Asher Renault met the circumstances that granted him the title of Sheikh. He was wandering a beach near the palace of the Shah of Mazandaran when he encountered two men standing over a headless corpse. Renault was able to determine from eavesdropping that the two men were using the corpse to fake one of their deaths; he reasoned that this man had escaped execution from the Shah. He had figured correctly, but he could not have predicted the appearance of the escaped man until he caught a glimpse of his features. This man had a hideous, shriveled face, like a naked skull. Renault recognized the man aiding him as the Daroga, or Police Chief, of the Shah. He realized there could be a reward if he reported this treachery—deep down, he hoped he would be given a wife from the Shah, despite his youth. In truth, his reward was much larger. When he finally believed his teenaged guest, the Shah was deeply stung by his Daroga's betrayal in helping the villainous Erik escape. The Daroga was dismissed immediately from his position, stripped of his possessions, and sent into exile. Asher Renault, alias Ahmed bin-Hassan, was rewarded with a sizable tract of land in Algeria, which belonged to the Shah's family. His title of Sheikh was to be recognized in all the lands once touched by the Persian Empire, and those beyond as well. Only later did Ahmed read that the man the Daroga helped escape went on to terrorize Paris in the events related in Gaston Leroux's The Phantom of the Opera (1910). The former Daroga, now known simply as “the Persian,” tracked Erik to Paris and was one of the parties responsible for his defeat.

Ahmed bin-Hassan took the Shah up on his promise of recognition to its fullest extent. He traveled even farther than he had before, learning every inch of the northern coast of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. He became famous for his wealth, which came from the large deposits of oil located on his land—he was mostly famous for his freedom with his wealth. Adding to his fame, albeit in a negative light, were the rumors that the women he conquered were left traumatized by their conquering. Ahmed began to claim he was an Arab rather than an Englishman, he made false presumptions to being a Syrian Wali (despite being a Christian), and he would cite his crude and oftentimes immoral behavior as defining Arabs. Ahmed became used to people criticizing him publicly but he never suspected that his actions would attract the criminal element.

Once Fu Manchu learned that his associate Sheikh Ismail had contacts within the Priests of Karnak, he began moving his pieces. First, he spread a lie that the bloodline of bin-Hassan was the true ancestral bloodline of the Old Man of the Mountain, leading the then-current Old Man to be deposed. He was replaced with Sheikh Ahmed bin-Hassan—though no one knew that “Sheikh Hassan” was actually Hassan of Aleppo, a humble Wali. Rick Lai relates, however, that Fu Manchu and Fo-Hi were forced to use Hassan's daughter Miska as blackmail against him to bring the Hashishin under the control of the Si-Fan, which would not be necessary if Fu was the one who made Hassan the Master of the Hashishin. Hassan was originally a loyal follower of the Priests of Karnak, who gave him the necessary training to lead the Assassins. Unlike his brother Ismail, who practiced his faith hypocritically, Hassan was truly dedicated to his Islamic beliefs, and sought to find apology for the Karnak tenets within his faith. This explains why his daughter Miska was not given the traditional name of Ayesha. Hassan was convinced by Fu Manchu that he would play a critical role in the coming revolution of the Middle East against Europe and America. When he discovered that Fu sought to control the artifacts of the heretic Al-Muqanna, however, he rebelled, taking his Assassins with him. Fu Manchu knew that Fo-Hi lusted for Hassan's daughter Miska because she greatly resembled Fo-Hi's deceased wife. Playing upon this he came up with the scheme to hold Miska hostage with Fo-Hi. This had the consequence of Fu Manchu losing Sheikh Ismail's loyalty. The Sheikh wound up backing a coup to replace Fu Manchu with his daughter Fah lo Suee. The Priests of Karnak withdrew from participation in the Si-Fan under his command. But they had already played into the hands of the Lord of Strange Deaths.

Thanks to what he had learned, Fu Manchu not only had an inside man to give him access to the tana leaves he needed for his research, but who could also place the government of Turkey under his control.

We must take a look at Fu Manchu's aforementioned scheme to replace the Turkish official Swazi Pasha with his twin brother. Who was this brother? If he was a servant of the Si-Fan he could been the master of his own criminal organization. In The Sheik, Diana Mayo is kidnapped by Ibraheim Omair, a lustful warlord. In the film The Barbarian (1933) a slaver named Achmed Pasha, similar in appearance to Omair, attempts to enslave the film's protagonist Diana Standing, played by Myrna Loy. (Notably, Myrna Loy also played Fu Manchu's daughter Fah lo Suee in the 1932 film adaptation of The Mask of Fu Manchu. There could be a connection between Fah lo Suee and Ms. Standing.) In the film The Castle of Fu Manchu (1969), Fu Manchu works in concert with and betrays Omar Pasha, an opium dealer. These all provide hints of who Swazi's brother was—evidently, a man with the names Omar and Achmed. Before we decipher his identity we must examine the legitimacy of the Fu Manchu films that include Castle of Fu Manchu—all of them long-reviled, Castle especially. I am willing to believe that these accounts of the Devil Doctor (played here by Christopher Lee) represent authentic, albeit significantly embellished, accounts of the Si-Fan's activities and plans, which are of relevance to events later described in this article.

The Face of Fu Manchu (1965) has the mastermind threaten to unleash a poison gas against the Western world. I do not believe the film mentions the year the film is set in, but its first sequel, The Brides of Fu Manchu (1966), is set in 1924. It is thus possible that Face is set in 1923. This is the same year when Denis Nayland Smith was posted to Scotland Yard, as well as the year in which the Lord of Strange Deaths first fought detective Solar Pons. It is possible that Pons' battle with Fu Manchu led to Pons recommending that Scotland Yard put Smith among their ranks again. It had been some time since Fu Manchu had shown his face—he had not been seen since the events of The Fires of Fu Manchu in 1917—and it would make sense to have the crime-lord's old rival on their side once more. British Intelligence, where Smith was posted during Fires, kept Smith too far away from England. It was good timing, as without Smith's help it is not known if Scotland Yard could have stopped the gas.

Perhaps the gas Fu Manchu sought was not a poison vapor, but a disintegration gas. I mentioned elsewhere that Boris Kolomb Orloff, under the name “Boroff,” used a disintegration gas in 1935 against Lieutenant Terry Kent, in the serial SOS Coast Guard (1937). Boris Orloff was also an agent of the Si-Fan, having married the daughter of the Gray Dragon, who had once led the Council of Seven. The mother of his daughter, Tania Orloff, was not the same woman who was the mother of Boris' daughters Anya and Nana Karlova. Perhaps in 1923 Boris Orloff was working on the gas for Fu Manchu. This weapon would replace the Ericksen Ray which was in Fu's possession via Fo-Hi. He had discovered an element which could efficiently disintegrate matter but was unable to produce it to Fu Manchu's specifications. This was symbolized by the events of Face of Fu Manchu, in which Fu's defeat stood in for the failure of his gas tests. To test out the disintegration element, Boris Orloff made the material into a lens which could be used to make a crude death ray. He created a variety of criminal gangs to serve as scapegoats for these tests. It took nearly ten years for Orloff to come up with a workable prototype. Initially, his plans were derailed when he was betrayed by his comrade Dr. Schulter, who stole the ray and used it to attack Barry Eldon's Transcontinental Airlines. This incident was filmed as Air Hawks (1935). Orloff's gangs eventually recaptured the ray, and used it for crimes that were set to film as Ghost Patrol (1936), Sky Racket (1937), Flight to Fame (1938), and Q-Planes (1939). That all of these incidents involved attacks on airplanes using the ray point to the fact that they were part of one joint operation.

They were two interruptions in the development of the ray created from Orloff's test in 1923. The first took place in 1934, and saw the end of Boris' service to the Si-Fan. Boris Orloff discovered that his former employer, the Gray Dragon, had survived his battle with Peter Moore. He had set himself up as a minor crime boss in Mongolia known simply as the Dragon. The Dragon was unable to return to the Si-Fan because his ousting had been to the great benefit of Fu Manchu, who took his place as the leader of the Council of Seven.


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Atom Bezecny | 21 comments Orloff allowed the Dragon to use the ray to battle Ace Drummond, a pilot who wanted to stop the Dragon's scheme to sabotage International Airways, whose business infringed on the Dragon's chance to plunder a mountain of jade. International Airways was likely the same company as Transcontinental Airlines from Air Hawks. Their struggle against the Dragon was shown in the serial Ace Drummond (1936), based off the comic strip character of the same name by Eddie Rickenbacker and Clayton Knight. After the defeat of his Boroff guise, Boris Orloff next appeared as Colomb, an embittered ex-servant of the Black Dragons. Rick Lai, in his “Sirens of the Si-Fan,” said that the Black Dragons were enemies with the Si-Fan because of an incident from Jack London's The Sea-Wolf, wherein the villainous Wolf Larsen (brother of Death Larsen) rapes two Japanese women. One of them gave birth to famous detective Mr. Moto, but the other committed suicide from shame, which caused the Black Dragons to kill Fo-Hi's wife Lorelei Larsen in revenge against the Larsen family. In return, Fu Manchu and Fo-Hi exterminated the Black Dragons, or at least many of their key families. In The Return of Fu Manchu (1915), Fu Manchu uses a Japanese sword which Lai says he took from this incident. Boris Orloff's joining with the Black Dragons was partially motivated by self-defense—he had earned Fu Manchu's wrath for abetting the former Gray Dragon, and therefore tried to find safety among the enemies of the Si-Fan.

In 1935, just before unleashing his disintegration gas, Boris Orloff saw the ray he was working on stolen by a criminal named the Octopus, who took it from an assistant of Orloff's, David Dow Harriman. Harriman was the stepfather of a young woman named Vesta Vernoff. The trials of Harriman, Vernoff, and several others at the hands and tentacles of the Octopus were shown in the film Sh! The Octopus (1937). Because the name Vernoff is similar to Vornoff, I have to wonder if perhaps Boris Orloff collaborated with his brother Feodor as well as with Harriman. If Feodor did help them on the disintegration ray then he may have met Harriman's stepdaughter. Seeing the name “Vernoff” as being somewhat similar to “Orloff,” and having taken a liking to the girl, Feodor would keep the name in mind when he was forced to abandoned his Richard Marlowe alias, and combined the two names into “Vornoff.” Feodor took the name “Eric” from Erik Usher, which his father Dionysus Orloff used as an alias.

The Brides of Fu Manchu took place in 1924, as mentioned earlier. This incident ties in with what occurred above, as it involved Fu Manchu kidnapping the daughters of twelve famous politicians and scientists. In the film he forces the scientists to build him a death ray. In truth these scientists were brought together to work for Boris Orloff, and like the Face incident, Nayland Smith and Dr. Petrie probably had only the slightest inkling of what was occurring. Fu Manchu was able to kidnap scientists and politicians before using his trick of faking their deaths using F. katalepsis, the catalepsy drug. Only later did the British authorities discover that these twelve men and their families were not dead, and that they had something to do with the death-ray incidents that pocketed the 1930s.

The Vengeance of Fu Manchu (1968) possibly depicted happenings from 1925. However, it depicts Nayland Smith trying to establish Interpol, an event which happened in 1923—a year before the established date of Brides of Fu Manchu. That puts a good deal of this movie's reality in question. Taking this to be a dramatization of a plot Fu Manchu was working in 1925, we can derive that 1925 was the the time in which he first considered the plot which would materialize in Rohmer's Re-Enter Fu Manchu (1957), set in 1956. That novel sees grad student Brian Merrick paired with Sir Denis Nayland Smith, but for much of the book he is unaware if Smith is actually Smith, or a double created by the Si-Fan using plastic surgery. This is nearly the same premise as Vengeance of Fu Manchu, down to a plastic surgery doppelganger of Smith. It is unlikely that Fu Manchu used the same plot twice against his enemy, but again, this may have simply been when the idea was formulated. It is notable that in Vengeance, however, Fu Manchu kidnaps Dr. Lieberson, a world-famous plastic surgeon, to carry out his work. After becoming an enemy of the Si-Fan, Boris Orloff became a plastic surgeon. Perhaps in 1925, Fu Manchu kidnapped Dr. Lieberson, who passed his skills on to Orloff, as well as at least one other Si-Fan member. I cite this member of the Si-Fan who learned Lieberson's secrets because I believe they escaped the Si-Fan to instead become an agent of SPECTRE. In the 1971 film adaptation of Ian Fleming's Diamonds Are Forever (1956), SPECTRE leader Ernst Stavro Blofeld is shown to have a facility where his henchman are transformed into his body doubles through plastic surgery. This goes some way towards explaining all of Blofeld's various deaths in both literature and film at the hands of James Bond. Because Blofeld was played in this film by Charles Gray, who also played Bond's friend Dikko Henderson in the 1967 film named for Fleming's You Only Live Twice (1964), Dennis Power suggested that following the events of the film You Only Live Twice in 1966, Dikko Henderson (who was a character in the original novel, to which the film seems like a sequel) was kidnapped by SPECTRE and turned into a Blofeld double to spite Bond.

The Blood of Fu Manchu (1968) concerns Fu Manchu's 1926 plan to inject ten girls with deadly snake poison to give them a kiss of death. In this effort he was joined by Mexican bandit lord Sancho Lopez. In this, there is another parallel to the adventures of James Bond. In Fleming's On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1963), Bond foils Blofeld's plot to unleash his “Angels of Death,” a group of young women whose bodies are contaminated with biological agents that will wipe out crops and cause agricultural disasters. Perhaps the same plastic surgeon who helped SPECTRE during the Diamonds Are Forever incident provided them with information on these events, which inspired Blofeld to try to improve on Fu Manchu's plot.

Sancho Lopez was likely the father of the gangster which the 1964 film version of Goldfinger (1959) called “Senor Gonzales.” At the beginning of the film Bond blows up Gonzales' opium smuggling operation. Gonzales could have survived to fight Bond during the events of the short story “For Your Eyes Only” (1960); that tale featuring a Major Gonzales who murdered Colonel Timothy Havelock and his wife when they refused to sell their Jamaican property. The Havelocks were avenged when their daughter Judy killed Herr von Hammerstein, the ex-Nazi who employed Gonzales, while Bond killed Gonzales himself.

Judy Havelock's middle name was Iona, and under the name Iona Havelock she married a man whose name was Timothy, like her father. He was one of the rare grooms to change his surname to hers, thus also being named Timothy Havelock. The son of Major Gonzales, named Hector, wanted revenge on Iona for murdering his father. This caused him to ally with Aris Kristatos, son of the criminal Kristatos who fought Bond in “Risico” (1960). Kristatos was likely a descendant of Sophy Kratides, who, along with her brother Paul, encountered Sherlock Holmes in “The Adventure of the Greek Interpreter” (1893). In that story, Greeks Sophy and Paul Kratides were victimized by two Englishmen named Latimer and Kemp, who sought to force Paul to sign over Sophy's property to them. Though Holmes thwarted Latimer and Kemp's plot, Sophy's descendants grew up to be criminals much in the same style as the extorters. Perhaps Sophy's harrowing experience (which caused the death of her brother) caused her to become a criminal herself, and her family merely followed her example. The Greek narrator of “The Secret of Ismail” could have been her son. While he does not describe any criminal activity he did break into the home of Sheikh Ismail with the intent of learning the Sheikh's “secret.” It is possible that this man believed the secret was treasure, and he came to steal it. He may have broken into other homes before with the intent of robbery.

In any case, Hector Gonzales, Aris Kristatos' partner, was one of the villains of the film For Your Eyes Only (1981). At the end of the film Gonzales is killed by an arrow to the back, fired by the Havelocks' daughter Melina. Melina remembered her mother's tale of avenging her parents and sought to honor her by repeating history. Even she couldn't believe that she shot down the son of the man who killed her grandparents.

However, Gonzales survived. He, too, had learned from his father, though the lesson came posthumously. He wore a bulletproof vest, which was enough to block the arrow. Before James Bond's colleagues could mop everything up he escaped and began plotting revenge. In the film Licence to Kill (1989), Bond goes up against drug lord Franz Sanchez. Sanchez attacks Bond's friend, Felix Leiter, and his wife, maiming the former in a shark attack and raping and killing the latter. However, Leiter was already maimed in a shark attack during the events of the novel Live and Let Die (1954). Assuming rather reasonably that Franz Sanchez and Hector Gonzales are the same man, this fictional shark attack could have been the filmmakers' way of showing that Gonzales, or perhaps his father worked with Mr. Big, the villain of Live and Let Die. Maybe by working with Mr. Big in the world of drug smuggling, Major Gonzales met Hector's mother by working with Mr. Big. Sanchez also could have known through his father's experiences under Mr. Big that Leiter and Bond were friends, thus setting the scene for him to take revenge on Bond through Leiter. In the novelization of Licence to Kill, Sanchez is implied to be the son of a Panamanian businessman and a female German fascist. Hector Gonzales is Cuban, but Major Gonzales could have been Cuban-Panamanian. This means a female German fascist was working with Mr. Big on drug-smuggling operations. This woman will be important later.

The Castle of Fu Manchu, likely set in 1927, features Fu Manchu holding the world to ransom by threatening to freeze the world's oceans, using an invention created by a man named Professor Heracles. He also seeks to control the world's opium supply with the aid of the aforementioned Omar Pasha. As said before, Omar Pasha is likely the same as Achmed Pasha and Ibraheim Omair. He engaged in human trafficking as well as drug pushing. In the film, Fu betrayed Omar Pasha, but this is likely a fiction. 1927 was when Omar Pasha proved his worth to Fu Manchu by helping him capture Professor Heracles. Heracles was likely the man whom Kurt Vonnegut called Felix Hoenikker. In Cat's Cradle (1963), Vonnegut named Hoenikker as one of the inventors of the atom bomb the U.S. dropped on Hiroshima. He was also the inventor of a compound called ice-nine, which could trigger a chain reaction that could freeze all water on Earth. Vonnegut's novel concluded with all life on Earth being wiped out by ice-nine turning the oceans to ice—clearly, this did not historically happen. But Hoenikker or his son could have told Vonnegut that there had once been a man who sought to do it deliberately, which inspired Vonnegut. Also, it cannot be ignored that one of the inventors of the atomic bomb once worked with Fu Manchu. Though Hoenikker doubtlessly objected to being kidnapped, he may have discussed scientific principles with Fu Manchu. During this time Fu may have mentioned some ideas that eventually enabled Hoenikker to invent the A-bomb.

During their work together on the ice-nine and opium operation, Fu Manchu enlarged the domain that Omar Achmed controlled by convincing him to shift his name to Ahmed and pose as the Sheikh Ahmed bin-Hassan, as he had with Hassan of Aleppo.


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Atom Bezecny | 21 comments This may have been partly to shift control of the Hashishin back to the hands of the Si-Fan. Omar Pasha could have deposed Sheikh Ismail as the head of the Assassins, who could have identified Omar with Hassan, who had commanded them once before. (Few among the Assassins had seen the Old Man of the Mountain in person and therefore they could not tell the difference between Hassan and Omar.) Omar would have been a mere puppet of Fu Manchu, as he was not a fighter. Only by seizing control of the top ranks of the Hashishin did Omar Pasha survive in the face of his lack of fighting ability. An inner council of sorts was formed among the Hashishin to represent the Old Man of the Mountain—this council was made of fighters that the rest of the organization could respect.

It was also in 1927 that Omar informed Fu Manchu of his brother Swazi's appointment to the position of adviser at the ear of the President of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk (1881-1938). Swazi and Omar were virtually identical and as seen in Daughter of Fu Manchu, Fu Manchu tried and failed to replace Swazi with Omar.

Also seen in Daughter of Fu Manchu was Sheikh Ismail's rallying against Fu Manchu for the treatment of himself and his family. He viewed Omar Pasha and his replacement of his brother Hassan in the Assassins' eyes to be one final insult. When he failed in his mission to strip Fu Manchu of his power or destroy him, he decided to make an attack against the family of the man who impersonated his brother. He learned that Swazi and Omar had a third brother, a triplet, who lived under the name Mohammed al-Kafir.

Upon meeting Mohammed, Ismail decided not to kill him, but to instead turn him into a weapon against Fu Manchu—as well as provide cover for himself. He turned over his lands in Syria to him, as well as command of the few Assassins who still followed him. Mohammed proved himself to a worthy leader; he had grown up apart from his brothers and therefore kept himself in good physical condition. He had even managed to pick up an education for himself, studying medicine in Europe under Dr. Erik Usher. Here, he befriended a young man named Quincey Harker, who was the son of a divorced Englishman named Jonathan Harker. Jonathan claimed that he and his ex-wife Mina Murray (who had gone off to join some band of lunatics doing work for the government, last he'd heard) had faced down a vampire some years back, and Mohammed took his tale of the living dead quite seriously. Both of the Harkers took such a liking to Mohammed that he was informally adopted into their family, under the name “Alan Harker.” Mohammed was depicted under the name “Alan Hacker” in the film Revenge of the House of Usher (1982), where he witnessed the final fate of Dr. Usher.

Ismail also introduced Sheikh Mohammed to the Priests of Karnak, and he became one of them. Shortly after his joining in 1927, his wife gave birth to a daughter, Ayesha. She became his pride and joy.

Omar Pasha, as the leader of the Hashishin, was eventually initiated into the Priests of Karnak as well. As a vessel for Fu Manchu's will he granted the Devil Doctor access to the Priests' source of tana. In 1929, Fu Manchu completed his elixir vitae. Later on, Fu would use the contacts he'd made in Africa and the Middle East to establish himself as Mahdi Bey. Bey was the title of the governors of the Ottoman Empire—Mehmet and Yousef Bey bore this title anachronistically, indicated it was likely a title in the Priests of Karnak. Fu took this identity on around 1932, while The Barbarian, the last known sighting of Omar Pasha, probably took place in 1931. Perhaps Jesus Franco was right when he had Fu Manchu betrayed Omar Pasha in Castle of Fu Manchu. Fu may have liquidated his former ally to take direct control of the Hashishin.

Sheikh Mohammed learned of his brother's death and consequently learned of the existence of Fu Manchu. He believed it was the duty of the Priests of Karnak to withhold the tana leaves from him, if nothing else than because he was an outsider who had never formally joined the Priests' ranks. It took seven years before Fu Manchu caught up with those who had stolen the secret to his elixir vitae. During these seven years Elwyn Clayton entered the ranks of the Priests as Andoheb, and rose in power until he was the High Priest. Mohammed believed there was a connection between himself and the old man, and there was. Mohammed was a triplet, being the brother of Swazi Pasha and Omar Achmed—because of how rare triplets are it is possible he himself was the son of a triplet. Not only was Elwyn Clayton a triplet but he had siblings who formed a second set of triplets. Elwyn Clayton was Mohammed al-Kafir's father. When he was young, Elwyn had an affair with a wealthy Turkish woman whose surname was Murat. Mohammed Murat was born in Turkey but as he distanced himself from his brothers Swazi and Omar he grew up in Egypt. Mohammed learned from his father that he had a cousin. Ms. Murat eventually married and had family of her own. Her grandson was Kemal Murat, a tough cop who ended up facing down the crime organization known as the Ninja Empire. Some of his exploits were depicted in the Turkish films Holy Sword (1982), The Biggest Fist (1983), and Death Warrior (1984).

Steve Banning and Babe Jenson believed they had accomplished their mission by stopping Kharis and destroying the tana crop in the process, preventing Fu Manchu from continuing the making of his elixir. However, Banning and Jenson never learned they played right into Fu's hands. What they had done was shake up the leadership of the Priests of Karnak, making the cult more vulnerable to outside attack from the Si-Fan. Fu would have taken the existing tana supply had it not been stolen by Mohammed. To protect himself and his daughter, Mohammed took on the alias of Ilzor Zandaab. Alongside Ragheb, another Priest, he hid out in Louisiana and waited for word of Kharis' return.

In 1940, Dr. “Zandaab” and Ragheb were forced to defend themselves once more against Fu Manchu. His daughter, Fah lo Suee, had set herself up in the Caribbean as “Queen Mamaloi” as seen in The Island of Fu Manchu (1941). Striking from her Caribbean base Fah lo Suee attacked Mohammed and Ragheb's homes in Louisiana and took the tana back to her father. Somehow the pair survived the attack with their lives and a small supply of tana. Around this time, Mohammed learned of the tunnel that linked the swamps of the two towns of Mapleton and therefore knew he'd come to the right place to wait. He had even told Dr. James Halsey, a local researcher, that he believed Kharis the mummy was buried in the Mapleton swampland, convincing Halsey that the two Mapletons were the same. In 1942 Kharis did rise from the swamp and the events of The Mummy's Curse took place.

Ragheb, one of the last of the Priests of Karnak, was killed, and Mohammed had to fake his own death. He returned to Syria where he was forced to report that Kharis was completely destroyed. The Priests no longer had a reason to exist, but the Sheikh nonetheless hung onto his collection of tana leaves, believing they would be useful someday. In any case he saw it important that they stay out of the hands of Fu Manchu. This would have terrible consequences for him later.

Mohammed allied himself with several of Fu Manchu's enemies. Chief among these were the Black Dragons. Mohammed may have learned of Boris Orloff at some point. In the film Black Dragons, Boris Orloff is able to escape from the Dragons by swapping faces with a fellow prisoner via plastic surgery. Doing plastic surgery on oneself without anesthetic would be borderline impossible. It is more likely that the man Orloff met in captivity already resembled him. This man could have been Paul Orloff, his brother—Paul worked with the Nazis under his Emil Nardo guise and therefore may have worked with the Japanese through an Axis negotiation. Paul Orloff was able to free his brother, but if Boris Orloff met Mohammed al-Kafir through the Black Dragons he could have told Paul about Mohammed and his crop of tana leaves. Paul Orloff was interested in working with zombies, as seen when he worked as Paul Renault in Zombies on Broadway (1945). Orloff probably stole Mohammed's tana leaves and used them for his experiments, circa 1943 or 1944—the Sheikh would have been defended by his loyal Assassins, so Orloff would need military force to take the leaves. Though Vichy French forces in Syria were defeated during the Syria-Lebanon campaign of 1941, a small force could sneak in without notice. The Sheikh and his daughter would be lucky to survive the attack.

While Sheikh Mohammed lived, Ayesha did not. We know this because of events seen in Jess Franco's Oasis of the Zombies (1982). In that film a small oasis in the Syrian desert (likely in the south, as we see the oasis is within driving distance of Tripoli, Lebanon) turns out to be infested with the zombies of Nazi soldiers who died in battle there. Eventually these zombies are encountered by an English college student named Robert Blabert and his friends—Robert is the son of Robert Blabert Sr., a soldier who discovered the oasis while looking for gold. During the War Blabert Sr. encountered Mohammed al-Kafir and Ayesha, and he and Ayesha fell in love. However, he was pulled away by his duties before he could fully explore his relationship with her, and when he returned at the end of the War in 1945 he found the Sheikh reduced to poverty, and Ayesha dead. But before her death, Ayesha gave birth a son, Robert. It is clear that the Nazis were responsible for the Sheikh's situation. Under the orders of Paul Orloff they attacked his camp and while many of their soldiers died, in the end, they killed Ayesha and all of Mohammed's men. The Sheikh was just barely able to escape with his infant grandson.

Paul Orloff conducted experiments right on the site of the battle. It was there that he discovered that tana contained a particular compound which he called trioxin. This substance could restore life, or some semblance of it, to living tissue. The consequences of raw trioxin exposure were shown in Return of the Living Dead (1985). The experiments that Paul Orloff did on trioxin were responsible for the zombies that Robert Blabert Jr. encountered. Further experiments created other outbreaks of Nazi zombies, such as those seen in Zombie Lake (1980) and Dead Snow (2009).

(It is notable that while Oasis of the Zombies seems to be set in the 1980s, when it was filmed, Robert Jr. is shown to be in his early twenties. Clearly this is an error, and the film's events took place in the early 1960s. A more egregious error occurs in Zombie Lake, which features the daughter of a Nazi soldier who died in 1945 being a whole ten years old in 1980.)

Sheikh Mohammed's allies in the Black Dragons attempted to take revenge on the Nazis, but they were overwhelmed and slain when they confronted the battalion they sought. The leader of the faction Mohammed befriended, a man named Moriaji, was deeply shamed by this crushing defeat. He committed suicide, leaving behind three children, Norimoto, Nariyoshi, and Yujiko. Because of their father's death, they were left in dire financial straits until 1949, when Yujiko found an American man, Roger Mansfield, who wanted to marry her. In the film Oriental Evil (1951), Roger Mansfield is the business partner of an American working in Japan named Steve Banning. Steve's sister Cheryl comes to investigate her brother's apparent suicide after a revelation that he was apparently involved with drug trafficking. The only clue she and Roger can find is that Steve was framed by a man named Thomas Putnam. Cheryl and Roger fall in love and get married around the same time that the audience learns that Roger is Thomas Putnam, a former Army officer driven insane by alcoholism and disgrace over a court martial for cowardice.


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Atom Bezecny | 21 comments In his desperation Roger turned to drug dealing to try to make his fortune. His marriage to Yujiko was fraudulent, a ploy to steal her property—when Yujiko realizes this she kills herself. Cheryl is joined by Yujiko's brother Norimoto and a policeman named Yoshida and ultimately, Roger pays for his crimes with death.

Some of the names of this incident—Moriaji and Steve Banning in particular—are interesting. It is likely that Steve and Cheryl Banning were the children of the same Steve Banning who tried to stop the Priests of Karnak as part of an operation to cut off Fu Manchu's source of immortality. In The Mummy's Tomb, Steve Banning has a son, John, though this son is depicted as a grown man when he was likely a child or teenager in 1938. The Steve Banning depicted in Oriental Evil could have been fully named Steven John Banning.

Moriaji resembles the name Moriarty, and while we could ordinarily dismiss this as a coincidence, one has to remember that Wolf Larsen, who raped a member of the Black Dragons, was the son of Professor James Moriarty. Perhaps before committing ritual suicide as Rick Lai reports, the woman Larsen assaulted gave birth to a son. This son learned of his lineage and took on a Japanese stylization of his grandfather's name. Moriaji was a member of the Black Dragons just as his mother had been. His children grew up distantly aware of their father's criminal contacts, and none of them were interested in following in their father's footsteps. When the remnants of the Black Dragons learned that Roger Mansfield/Thomas Putnam was responsible for the death of their former comrade's daughter, they took this as an opportunity to attempt to restore themselves. They discovered that Roger Mansfield was part of a large drug cartel that had bases in Turkey, Algeria, and Syria. This drug cartel was ultimately controlled by the Si-Fan, their old enemies—Fu Manchu had taken what remained of Omar Pasha's syndicate and united it with many other local drug cartels. The Black Dragons realized that their original aims of criminal activity and right-wing nationalism were no longer adequate to combat threats in this post-War world. Seeking out dedicated practitioners of martial arts and training them in the old ways of ninjutsu, they reorganized into a larger organization, which would be known under many names and depicted in many films. In Ninja Thunderbolt (1984), Ninja Terminator (1985), and Empire of the Spiritual Ninja (1988), this group is known simply as the Ninja Empire. In Ninja and the Warriors of Fire (1987) and Ninja Operation: Licensed to Terminate (1987) they are the Black Ninja Empire. Ninja Commandments (1987) has them as the Silver Ninja Empire, and they are likely the same as the Black Ninja Gang from Ninja Project Daredevils (1986), the Black Ninjas from Golden Ninja Invasion (1986), the Black Ninja Clan from Ninja Strike Force (1988), and the Purple Ninjas from Ninja Showdown (1988). The different colors may have indicated different factions of the Empire. Gold was a significant color to the Empire, as the Golden Ninja Warrior and its importance to the Empire was featured in Ninja Terminator, The Ultimate Ninja (1986), and Diamond Ninja Force (1988). Red, too, was of importance, as shown by two of the Empire's officers: the Red Devil, from Challenge of the Ninja (1986), and Red Ivan, from The Ninja Squad (1986).

These colors could have represented schisms within the “Empire” as well. Ninja Powerforce (1988), one of the last ninja movies put out by director Godfrey Ho, pits the Golden Ninja Empire against the Red Ninjas. This could represent the fracturing of the Ninja Empire, which probably occurred in late 1986.

But the road leading up to that final collapse was rooted in the events of the film Oriental Evil. Norimoto Moriaji, along with his friend Yoshida, attempted to stop the Black Dragons from reorganizing throughout the 1950s, but by 1961, the Black Dragon Club appeared in Japanese society, attracting a few hundred members. The Club was able to appear because they had finally had Norimoto assassinated. Yoshida reached out to the last surviving member of the Moriaji family, Nariyoshi. Nariyoshi had changed his name to the more ordinary Miyagi to disguise his descent from a famous criminal. It was under this name that Nariyoshi had served in World War II. With Nariyoshi's reluctant assistance, Yoshida established an academy dedicated to training fighters from all over the world in the ways of martial arts. Nariyoshi contributed his mastery of karate. Because they knew that their enemies claimed and tried to train its students as shinobi—practitioners of ninjutsu—they similarly looked to older training techniques to create their warriors. Many of their students would claim to be ninjas or samurai.

Most of the fighters of the academy Yoshida and Miyagi formed appeared in the '70s and '80s, though in the '60s they trained a special unit which was commanded by James Bond's associate Tiger Tanaka. One of their early successes after the Tanaka arrangement was Lee, who was hired to take down the elusive crime lord Mr. Han in Enter the Dragon (1973). Lee may have had several other adventures before he perished around the same time as his principle actor, Bruce Lee. A renegade group that splintered off from the academy attempted to create an army of clones from the deceased martial artist (as seen in the 1980 film Clones of Bruce Lee), which might explain the sightings of Bruce Lee or men who resembled him after his death. These sightings could also be signs that the “fictional” Lee survived his apparent death.

Another of their agents was Ninja Master Gordon, who squared off against the Ninja Empire in several of Godfrey Ho's films. The aforementioned Inspector Kemal Murat trained at the school. Cole, the hero of Enter the Ninja (1981), was another of their recruits—his surname is unknown but given that he is played by Franco Nero, he may have been a descendant of the famous Django. Ted Fast, who appears in the film Thunder of Gigantic Serpent (1988), was one of their students—Fast may have appeared, under other names, in other films starring his actor Pierre Kirby. Drew Collins, from the film American Samurai (1992), was probably yet another of their disciples.

These men trained alongside Joe Armstrong, who was eventually conscripted to the U.S. Army, where he put his ninja skills against the Black Star Order, which was likely a faction of the Ninja Empire. Armstrong's tale was the subject of the film American Ninja (1985). Another Joe, Joe Marshall, used his training in his police work against the Katana Gang in Samurai Cop (1991). In that film, Marshall goes up against the evil samurai Yamashida. Yamashida must be a codename, as he is not Japanese (or Asian at all). His name is similar to Yoshida, who trained the students of the academy. “Yama” is also a god of death in Buddhist mythology. Yoshida means “lucky one” in Japanese and therefore Yamashida could be seen as an ironic inversion of that name, meaning instead some variant of “deathly one.” Assuming the Katana Gang is another fragment of the Black Dragons, we can assume that Yamashida was a spy planted in the academy by the faltering Ninja Empire. He could have killed Master Yoshida and taken on his alias both for the reasons named above and to symbolize that he had slain the teacher of a prominent martial arts school. Yamashida, alongside the rest of the Katana Gang, were wiped by out by Joe Marshall in 1989.

In the 1970s the academy had at least one school in China, where one of their teachers was Luke Tanzania. His battle against an army of Chinese demons was shown in the film Gang Wars (1976), where he was played by a relative of his, Warhawk Tanzania. Any relation between these demons and the spirits who appear in Oriental Evil, the destiny-ghost Unmei and his counterpart the Beggar of Fate, remains unknown.

These Japanese and Chinese schools abetted fighters such as Richard Dragon, Daniel Rand (“Iron Fist”), and Shang-Chi. Shang-Chi, the son of Fu Manchu, supposedly killed the Devil Doctor in 1982. If he studied at the Yoshida Academy, then the conflict which Fu Manchu created through his interference in the Middle East later struck back to play a role in his death. (Katherine Avalon has it in her novel Fuck Off S.R. that Fu Manchu reincarnated into the novel's protagonist, Qiang Jiantou, who eventually unlocked all of the memories of his former self. Whether this is true or not in the mainstream crossover reality is a mystery.)

At some point, Nariyoshi Miyagi quit the academy and moved to America. He worked as a janitor, until he met a boy named Daniel LaRusso. Their famous story was told in The Karate Kid (1984). If my research is correct, this means that Mr. Miyagi is a cousin of Doc Savage, Tarzan, and many others through his descent from Professor Moriarty. I believe Mr. Miyagi is a fitting addition to the Wold Newton Family.

The Si-Fan remained active in the Middle East and Africa even into the '70s, when they were primarily occupied in defending themselves against Shang-Chi. This would have been the right time and place for the Si-Fan's operations to rub up against those of a warlord more ancient than Fu Manchu, Ra's al Ghul. Whether Ra's would aid or battle Fu Manchu is unknown. Dennis Power believed they were allies.

While all of the people in Sheikh Mohammed's camp had been killed in 1944, the Sheikh had done work to benefit some of the folk of the local villages. Paul Orloff and the Nazi officers he worked with realized that it could be valuable to replace the Sheikh in this role with someone loyal to the Nazi cause. They were contacted by a man who claimed to be Sheikh Ahmed bin-Hassan, who told them that he was a white man who had been posing as an Arab for several decades. He had seen the inferiority of the Arab race and wished to offer his services to the Nazi cause. Ahmed was given control over the area that Sheikh Mohammed had once ruled. What they didn't know was that the man claiming to be Ahmed was in truth Ahmed's nephew. His name was Hakim but he went by the name El Sharif (“the Noble”). He was the son of Swazi Pasha by an Arab woman, and a servant of the Si-Fan.

El Sharif was the villain of the film Ilsa, Harem Keeper of the Oil Sheikhs (1976), which served as a follow-up to Ilsa, She-Wolf of the SS (1975). El Sharif controls a valuable oil field and not only engages in drug smuggling and human trafficking, but he subjects his harem women to gruesome and terrifying punishments as well. Through his girls he plots to assassinate several of his political rivals from around the world. El Sharif maintained his power by imprisoning his nephew Prince Ali. Ali was only vaguely his nephew, in truth being his cousin. He was the grandson or great-grandson of Asher Renault and Diana Mayo, who ruled over the lands that Asher had received as Ahmed bin-Hassan. El Sharif learned of his familial relationship to Ali and used it as an opportunity to take his estate.

There is evidence to suggest that El Sharif was a member of the Si-Fan outside of being the heir to the drug empire Fu Manchu created. At the beginning of Ilsa, Harem Keeper of the Oil Sheikhs, El Sharif kidnaps three girls of exceptional wealth and beauty. The first, Molly Atchison, is said to be the daughter of Edward Atchison, a chain store kingpin. The name recalls the name Awickerman or Ackerman, which, in his essay “Hyde and Hair,” Dennis Power associates with the name Acme—this ties in with his effort to explain manifestations of the “Toon World” in fiction. In truth Marvin Awickerman, founder of the Acme company seen in the Looney Tunes universe, was named Marvin Micawber, and he was a descendant of Wilkins Micawber from Charles Dickens' David Copperfield (1850). Edward Atchison—ne Edward Micawber—likely founded his chain of stores using the wealth Wilkins Micawber found in Australia.


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Atom Bezecny | 21 comments Power reports that Wilkins' great-grandson James Micawber married Regina Dawkins, who was the daughter of either Wolf or Death Larsen. Assuming that Molly Micawber was thus a descendant of one of the Larsens, she would be of interest to the Si-Fan, who were entangled with the Larsen brothers at several points in their history.

(An alternative possibility is that Molly Ackerman was a descendant of SS officer Elsa Ackerman, whose evil was depicted in the 1977 film Elsa, Fraulein SS. Since they were both played by Malisa Longo, it is likely that Elsa was the same woman as the eponymous figure of 1978's Helga, the Wolf of Spielberg. Elsa/Helga would have been another affiliate of El Sharif's lieutenant—see below.)

The second kidnapee, Inga Lindstein (an actress described as “the new Scandinavian love goddess”), shares her name with Frau Inga, one of the main Nazis from Bruno Mattei's film SS Girls (1977). In that film Frau Inga aids Hans Schellenberg, a fictionalization of SS officer Walter Schellenberg (1910-1952), in establishing a brothel full of spies who seduce their guests to learn if they are loyal to Hitler. This is based on the real incident of the Salon Kitty brothel, which was the subject of a 1976 film of the same name (which Mattei was likely ripping off). Frau Inga was a comrade and rival of one of El Sharif's lieutenants, who will be described below. Her capture was part of a personal vendetta on behalf of this lieutenant, which would ultimately result in El Sharif's dishonor before the Si-Fan.

The third Amina Karlova, an equestrian champion. She shares a surname with Nana Karlova, Boris Orloff's dancer daughter from the film The Mad Genius (1931). I previously believed that Nana and her husband Fedor Ivanoff never had any children, but it seems I was wrong. Amina Karlova could have been selected for kidnapping because of who her grandfather was. Boris Orloff was exiled from the Si-Fan because of the failure of his disintegration gas. He also joined the Black Dragons who had given Fu Manchu so much trouble. Tania Orloff, Boris' only other surviving descendant, was a sometime ally of the Si-Fan, and so if Fu Manchu wanted posthumous revenge on Orloff, Amina was the only candidate worth kidnapping.

When El Sharif's assistant opens the containers holding these women they are in a death-like trance, not even needing to breathe. An “antidote” is called for, implying that this trance is caused by drugs. It is likely that the girls have been paralyzed with F. katalepsis, the drug Fu Manchu and his servants use to simulate death. In addition to sharing F. katalepsis with El Sharif, Fu could have also shared his elixir vitae. Despite being born in the mid 1920s, El Sharif only appeared to be in his early thirties in the mid-1970s. When El Sharif made his next cinematic appearance, under a different name, he was dramatically older, indicating he had lost favor with the Lord of Strange Deaths. El Sharif's access to the elixir vitae explains a mystery that surrounded his chief lieutenant.

El Sharif is the villain of Harem Keeper of the Oil Sheikhs but the titular character is of course the mysterious Ilsa. Ilsa also appears in Ilsa, She-Wolf of the SS (1974) and Ilsa, Tigress of Siberia (1977). (The film Ilsa: The Wicked Warden from 1976 is not part of the series, being in truth a retitle of Greta, the Mad Butcher. Greta may be a relative of Ilsa's. She may also have something to do with the women named Gretta seen in Erskine Caldwell's 1955 novel Gretta and its 1984 film adaptation, as well as the 1969 film Wanda, the Sadistic Hypnotist.) Ilsa is probably not meant to be the same woman in all three films but Dyanne Thorne plays her as if she is. If the three Ilsas are the same, her youthfulness could be explained if she had access to the elixir vitae or one of its ingredients. As I mentioned, Paul Orloff had an assistant in his tana research, who was likely a Nazi. Ilsa's concentration camp performed medical experiments in She-Wolf of the SS, so this is probably where Orloff's tana work took place. It is not clear why Orloff did not make himself immortal as Ilsa did. Perhaps at the time both Paul and Ilsa lacked the knowledge to use tana to create anything other than zombies.

Ilsa faked her death at the end of World War II and could have met El Sharif shortly afterwards. If she joined Paul Orloff during the attack on Sheikh Mohammed, which she likely did, she could have created a hideout in Syria or Lebanon, and returned there, where she met the young drug lord. Even then, El Sharif could have associated with Fu Manchu, and, intrigued by the leaves and flowers Ilsa brought with her, he showed them to Fu Manchu. Fu seized this new tana crop for himself, and as a reward he granted El Sharif access to the resultant elixir. Seeing Ilsa as something of a mentor, El Sharif shared the elixir with her.

El Sharif knew that it would be foolish to share with Fu Manchu that he was collaborating with a Nazi. He knew that Fu had tried to assassinate Hitler in the 1930s. But keeping Ilsa secret from the Si-Fan had its benefits. She managed to work her way into the position of Colonel within the Soviet gulag system. By 1953, the year of Stalin's death, she was the commandant of the infamous Camp 14. Here, she became an enemy of one of the prisoners, Andrei Chyakunin, who would later take vengeance on her. When the gulag was shut down by Nikita Khrushev, Ilsa was forced to go into hiding, but remained interested in Soviet matters. In the meantime Ilsa ended up involved in a Soviet scheme that ran her up against the Black Coats.

The following is taken from one of my unpublished essays. It concerns the early life of Tania Orloff and how it fits in with a confusing string of events from my novel Deus Mega Therion, which Ilsa was involved with behind the scenes.

“After the fall of the Gray Dragon, Tania was placed in the hands of a tong friendly to the Dragon called the Black Robe. Long ago, the Black Robe had adopted a custom of worshiping a female priestess, which perhaps suggests a connection to the Order of the Madonna. They referred to their holy woman as Zenobia, and at one point a Si-Fan agent named Zarmi occupied the position. (Zarmi served the Si-Fan in The Hand of Fu-Manchu.) Tania briefly served as Zenobia herself, after the tong was ostensibly defeated by eccentric detective Donegal Dawn, as seen in the film Secrets of Chinatown (1935). During this time, Tania attempted to acquire wealth to help her build an organization of her own. An agent of the Black Robe named Madame Ying Su, in tandem with an unscrupulous art collector named Varanoff, tried to steal a dagger which contained a valuable jewel in a hollow space in the hilt. However, this scheme failed and the jewel and dagger escaped their clutches. The incidents surrounding the failed attempt were filmed as Chinatown After Dark (1931).

Eventually the Black Robe ended up in a battle with another tong known as Hip Sing. In the process Tania Orloff became familiar with one of the Hip Sing Tong's agents, a man named Julius No. No was eventually disowned from the Hip Sing after he tried to steal from them, an incident which led to the loss of his hands, and nearly his death as well. After they abandoned their respective tongs the pair kept in touch, and through Dr. No, Tania Orloff learned of SPECTRE. SPECTRE was enmeshed in the Soviet government to a certain extent; there were Russian officers tied to SPECTRE directly, along with the organization SPECTRE co-opted, SMERSH. Tania Orloff was able to find work in the Soviet government training some of their agents, including Donovan Grant and Natasha Romanov—Romanov passed her training on to Anya Amasova, alias Agent Triple X, who, in her own time, eventually trained infamous assassin Xenia Onatopp. However, there was an agent for SPECTRE who clashed with Tania frequently: her uncle, Victor Poten. Poten's 1934 defeat in Shadows of Chinatown strengthened his resolve to wipe out the Asian races—he allied himself with the criminal organization known as the Black Coats to this effect, though that was not one of their goals. According to Rick Lai and Jean-Marc Lofficier, the Black Coats were the gang James Moriarty used in his crime-spree which was eventually stopped by Sherlock Holmes. Thus, via Alan Moore, we know that the Black Coats were at war with the Si-Fan in 1898. The two organizations sometimes came close to bridging the gaps between them—Moriarty's grandson Carl Peterson once worked alongside Fu Manchu after all—but perhaps they had enough enmity towards each other by the 1930s that the Black Coats attracted the xenophobic Poten. Tania Orloff realized that she could help empower the Si-Fan to gain favor with Fu Manchu while also taking down a nuisance at the same time. She began using her influence in SPECTRE to demonize the Black Coats, though there were probably other SPECTRE agents who had ties to the gang. While I'm not qualified to say, this may be one reason why the Black Coats reorganized into Blackspear Holdings as the 20th Century marched on.

This culminated in a campaign wherein Tania imitated Colonel Bozzo-Corona, the leader of the Black Coats, and initiated several schemes using his identity. These schemes were designed to look arbitrary and ridiculous, to make the Colonel and the Black Coats by extension look like uncontrolled madmen. By the end of it an American biker gang was left with brutal, contradictory mental conditioning at the hands of a masked 'man' calling himself 'Comrade Boznik-Koronovich.' Tania arranged for her victims to fall into the hands of others who used hypnosis and brainwashing, so that there would be further contradictions in their programming. The biker gang in question caused trouble for the band Jagged Skull in Deus Mega Therion.”

Ilsa served as Tania's lieutenant in the early phases of this operation.

Ilsa helped El Sharif to create his crime empire, and spread its influence around the world. Roger Mansfield was one of her drug customers in his Thomas Putnam guise. She formed a partnership with Mr. Big, both in the early '50s and when he reemerged under the name Dr. Kananga. During her first period of association with Big, she operated under the name Lisl Baum. In this guise she became the paramour of both Major Gonzales and Enrico Columbo. Her relationship with Columbo was seen in “Risico,” and she could have been the mother of Milos Columbo from For Your Eyes Only. But when Milos Columbo reared his head in 1980, he was joined by a woman, the Countess Lisl von Schlaft. This woman could have been the daughter of Ilsa and Herr von Hammerstein, Major Gonzales' backer, and she and Milos were committing incest. However, she could have been Ilsa herself. Enrico Columbo and Milos Columbo could be the same man, unaffected by age due to Ilsa sharing her elixir. As they now shared immortality, he and Ilsa could have continued their relationship.

Enrico Milos Columbo was a guerilla fighter in Greece working for the British. He was the son of General Nikolas Pherydes, whose madness was depicted in the film Isle of the Dead (1945). Enrico had a cousin, Frank Columbo, who always seemed to have just one more thing on his mind.

Security among the Si-Fan forces El Sharif commanded was far from perfect. In the late '60s through 1971 there were a series of busts on the heroin supply being shipped out of Turkey. Fu Manchu and El Sharif loathed Popeye Doyle for helping Eddie Egan and Sonny Grosso break the French Connection. Eventually, El Sharif and Ilsa were placed under investigation by U.S. Intelligence Commander Adam Scott and a diplomat, Dr. Kaiser. Ilsa's greatest weakness was sex; it had nearly undone her during World War II. The relationship she took on with Commander Scott cost her El Sharif's trust, and he proved more dedication to his business interests than to her.


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Atom Bezecny | 21 comments He sentenced her to be molested by a leper she had belittled earlier. Ilsa returned El Sharif's mistreatment of her with death. She bound and gagged him and convinced one of his harem girls to pleasure him. The girl didn't know that she had been implanted with one of Ilsa's inventions, a small bomb that could be hidden in the womb. Ilsa was subsequently placed in the dungeons of Prince Ali, either because of what she did in El Sharif's service, or because Ali was just as sadistic as his uncle.

But she escaped, and later appeared in Canada. In 1975 her conflict with Andrei Chyakunin continued, which led to her facing an attack by the KGB. While in Canada, she plagiarized her rival Frau Inga's Salon Kitty plot (which in turn had already been plagiarized by Elsa Ackerman) by establishing a brothel which served a secretive double purpose. That she later turned up in 1980 shows that she escaped the incidents of that film. However, she does not appear beyond that year, so one has to wonder what happened to her. Perhaps Fu Manchu recaptured her and cut her off from her immortality treatment. He could have even given her drugs that accelerated her aging, and watched as her lost time caught up with her.

As for El Sharif, he was able, for a time, to escape Fu Manchu's wrath. Cut off from his tana supply, he took on the alias of Prince Hassan, claiming descent from Sheikh Ahmed bin-Hassan, whose name still had some weight in Iran and other territories. He decided to live out the rest of his days reenacting the orgies he'd carried out for much of his life, as he slowly lost his borrowed youth. In 1977 he was seen buying trafficked women from a slaver named Suleiman; Suleiman's kidnapping of the wife of a prominent UN official was the subject of the film Ashanti (1979). Suleiman may have been the son of El Sharif, but I believe he was instead the son of Jamil El Shebab, who kidnaps Diana Standing in The Barbarian and brings her to Achmed Pasha. Jamil in turn may have been an illegitimate son of Asher Renault. Jamil could have been the father of Suleiman and the grandfather of Prince Ali.

Prince Hassan died some time in the early '80s, around the same time as Ilsa. He was the last of the line of Swazi Pasha, and the last of the claimants to the title of Sheikh bin-Hassan.


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