Esoteric Order of Dagon

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The Esoteric Order of Dagon is a fictional cult in the Cthulhu mythos of H. P. Lovecraft.

Esoteric Order of Dagon in the Lovecraft Mythos[edit]

Esoteric Order of Dagon was the primary religion in Innsmouth after Captain Obed Marsh returned from the South Seas with the dark religion circa 1838. It quickly took root due to its promises of precious gold artifacts and restoration of the depleted fisheries, which bring renewed if temporary prosperity to the local community. Part of its eschatology centers on a return of its followers to the water world, accompanied by gradual bodily transformation and an eternal life of sorts.

The central beings worshipped by the Order were Father Dagon, Mother Hydra, and Cthulhu. The Deep Ones were seen largely as intermediaries between the various gods, rather than as gods themselves. Even so, the cultists sacrificed various locals to the Deep Ones at specific times in exchange for a limitless supply of gold and fish. Interbreeding between the human and amphibian species is also actively encouraged.

The Esoteric Order of Dagon (meeting in what Derleth described as "a one-time Masonic hall"[1]) had three oaths which members had to take. The first was an oath of secrecy, the second, an oath of loyalty, and the third, an oath to bear or sire a Deep One child.

The Order was seemingly destroyed when one of Obed Marsh's lost descendants sent the U.S. Treasury Department to seize the town. As a result, the town was largely depopulated and still recovering years later, and the Order was thought disbanded. However, as the original founder of the sect, Captain Jean Lafitte, still maintains a branch in New Orleans, it is likely that there is more to be seen from this cult. [2]

Esoteric Order of Dagon in media[edit]

  • In the movie Dagon, the Esoteric Order of Dagon appears as the primary antagonist.
  • In the movie Cthulhu, hero Russ's father is the head of the Esoteric Order of Dagon.
  • The Esoteric Order is also featured in many Call of Cthulhu role-playing game supplements.
  • The Esoteric Order of Dagon briefly appears in the Anno Dracula series story "The Other Side of Midnight".
  • The Esoteric Order of Dagon is a primary antagonist in the video game Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth.
  • The Esoteric Order of Dagon is a primary protagonist, of sorts, in the novel "Other Nations" by T&P Marsh
  • The Esoteric Order of Dagon is one of the main enemies of the New Earth Government in the CthulhuTech RPG, where it employs giant aquatic mecha to fight the forces of humanity.
  • It is slightly mentioned in the named-by song "The Esoteric Order of Dagon Will Lead You to Your Home" by German band The House of Usher

E.O.D. Amateur Press Association[edit]

The Esoteric Order of Dagon amateur press association (not to be confused with the occult order known as the Esoteric order of Dagon - see external links below) was founded in 1973 and is devoted to scholarship related to H.P. Lovecraft and the works of the Weird Tales school of writers. Its current Official Editor is critic and scholar S.T. Joshi. Quarterly mailings of the APA (which are a collation of zines by individual members) are often used as a test-bed for critical work on Lovecraft and other weird tales writers. All mailings are permanently archived in the Lovecraft Special Collection at John Hay Library of Brown University.


As early as 1971 an APA dedicated to the study of the life and works of Lovecraft had been proposed by Texan writer Joseph F. Pumilia (a member of the famous Turkey City Writer's Workshop) and Bill Wallace. In 1973 Roger Bryant, an Ohio devotee, began the EOD under its current name.

Early charter members included Claire Beck (who had printed and published, under his Futile Press imprint, an edition of Lovecraft's Commonplace Book and Clark Ashton Smith's Nero and Other Poems (1937)); Harry Morris Jr; Meade Frierson; Stuart David Schiff, publisher of Whispers (Magazine/Anthologies); R. Alain Everts; Ben Indick (now deceased); Ken Faig Jr (who joined with 7th mailing and has been continuously in the APA until 2014); Dirk W. Mosig; David Drake; Robert Weinberg; J. Vernon Shea (now deceased); Chet Williamson; Tom Collins; Crispin Burnham; Will Hart; Glenn Lord.

Further members came and went—those still in the EOD today include S.T. Joshi; Scott Connors; David E. Schultz; Donald R. Burleson; and Leigh Blackmore; Past members include George Wetzel; Bernadette Bosky; Larry Baker;Robert M. Price; David C. Smith

With the 14th mailing, Roger Bryant stepped down as official Editor and Joe Moudry was elected in his place as EOD's second Official Editor. Moudry relinquished his place as Official Editor with the 26th mailing and the OEship passed to Bernadette Bosky, whose term was short-lived. In Oct 1980 Mollie Werba became the EOD's fourth Official Editor. Werba (who married member Donald Burleson) continued until 1987, when S.T. Joshi became the fifth Official Editor of the EOD, a position he has continued to occupy for over twenty-seven years.

The Modern E.O.D. Amateur Press Association[edit]

Joshi brought in new members including Marc Michaud of Necronomicon Press, A. Langley Searles(died 7 May 2009) and others. Further members included Steve Mariconda, Ken Neily and other important scholars in the field of Lovecraft studies.

By the beginning of 1992, EOD was well past its 70th mailing and in Sept 1997 celebrated its 100th mailing. The 150th mailing occurred in April 2010.

More recent members have included Douglas A. Anderson, John Goodrich, Alan Gullette, and Todd Fischer.

Longtime member and EOD historian Ben Indick died in September 2009.

Other current members include Scott Briggs, the noted[3] Lovecraftian poet Fred Phillips, Danny Lovecraft (Australia), Martin Andersson (Sweden), Jim Dapkus, T.R. Livesey, John Haefele, Steve Walker, Graeme Phillips (UK), Henrik Harksen (Denmark), Michael Ashley (UK), Derrick Hussey (publisher of Hippocampus Press), John Navroth, W.H. Pugmire, T.E. Grau and Juha-Matti Rajala (Finland).

Australian E.O.D.[edit]

The Esoteric Order of Dagon was a Canberra-based horror club started by David Tansey in December 1988. The club's first newsletter was produced in January 1989. After Tansey announced in 1990 that he was going to have to abandon publication Chris A. Masters approached him with a proposal to take over its running. Under his editorship the name of the zine was changed to EOD and continued for a further 9 issues (late 1990-1993). [1]. Thus the Australian E.O.D. was not an apa (amateur press association) but an organisation which produced two distinct print magazines devoted to horror fiction.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ August Derleth The Trail of Cthulhu. New York : Ballantine Books, 1976 [c. 1962]. ISBN 0-345-25017-6. pb. 216p. p. 56
  2. ^ Source: H. P. Lovecraft "The Shadow Over Innsmouth", August Derleth "The Trail of Cthulhu" and Secrets of New Orleans (Chaosium, 2009)
  3. ^

External links[edit]