Order of the Peacock Angel

Order of the Peacock Angel

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Order of the Peacock Angel is the name of a Yazidi
Yazidi
The Yazidi are members of a Kurdish religion with ancient Indo-Iranian roots. They are primarily a Kurdish-speaking people living in the Mosul region of northern Iraq, with additional communities in Transcaucasia, Armenia, Turkey, and Syria in decline since the 1990s – their members emigrating to...

-influenced secret society
Secret society
A secret society is a club or organization whose activities and inner functioning are concealed from non-members. The society may or may not attempt to conceal its existence. The term usually excludes covert groups, such as intelligence agencies or guerrilla insurgencies, which hide their...

 described in the 1961 book, Secret Societies Yesterday and Today (subsequently reissued as A History of Secret Societies). The pseudonymous
Pseudonym
A pseudonym is a name that a person assumes for a particular purpose and that differs from his or her original orthonym...

 author, "Arkon Daraul", describes encountering members of the organization in the suburbs of London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

 and attending their rituals. Daraul appears to be the only source for the existence of this group.

"Peacock Angel" is the customary translation of "Melek Taus
Melek Taus
Melek Taus , the Peacock Angel, is the Yazidi name for the central figure of their faith.In the Yazidi belief system, God created the world and it is now in the care of a Heptad of seven Holy Beings, often known as Angels or heft sirr...

", the divinity honored by the Yazidi. According to Daraul, the English version of the cult was brought to Britain
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was the formal name of the United Kingdom during the period when what is now the Republic of Ireland formed a part of it....

 in 1913 by a Syrian
Demographics of Syria
Syrians today are an overall indigenous Levantine people. While modern-day Syrians are commonly described as Arabs by virtue of their modern-day language and bonds to Arab culture and history...

 whose name is only known to initiates. Membership grew to encompass "several hundred members throughout Britain" as well as three lodges in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

".

The group subscribes to a belief in a power governing human affairs, symbolized by a peacock. Recruits are instructed through a series of mental and physical exercises intended to place the experience of emotion
Emotion
Emotion is a complex psychophysiological experience of an individual's state of mind as interacting with biochemical and environmental influences. In humans, emotion fundamentally involves "physiological arousal, expressive behaviors, and conscious experience." Emotion is associated with mood,...

 under the control of the will
Will (philosophy)
Will, in philosophical discussions, consonant with a common English usage, refers to a property of the mind, and an attribute of acts intentionally performed. Actions made according to a person's will are called "willing" or "voluntary" and sometimes pejoratively "willful"...

. Daraul described a ceremony where robed members engaged in an ecstatic dance in the presence of a large statue of a peacock.

As a sign of identification, "the right hand is placed, with the fingers spread out (perhaps to represent the tail of the peacock) on the left breast, just above the heart." Some members are said to keep live peacocks.

Fiction


Edward D. Hoch
Edward D. Hoch
Edward Dentinger Hoch was an American writer of detective fiction. Although he wrote several novels, he was primarily known for his vast output of over 950 short stories.-Biography:...

's 1965 short novel, People of the Peacock, featured an "Order of the Peacock Angel" which matches the description given in Secret Societies Yesterday and Today:

The society had an uncertain origin in the area that is now Syria and Iraq, some hundreds of years ago. It was imported into England by a mysterious Syrian back in 1913, and has enjoyed some success there. ... The rites of the Peacock Angel consist mostly of white-robed worshippers dancing madly before an eight-foot ebony statue of a peacock.

The novel describes a chapter of the organization in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 run by a British emigrant.

In Robert Shea
Robert Shea
Robert Joseph Shea was an American novelist and former journalist best known as co-author with Robert Anton Wilson of the science fantasy trilogy Illuminatus!. It became a cult success and was later turned into a marathon-length stage show put on at the British National Theatre and elsewhere. In...

 and Robert Anton Wilson
Robert Anton Wilson
Robert Anton Wilson , known to friends as "Bob", was an American author and polymath who became at various times a novelist, philosopher, psychologist, essayist, editor, playwright, poet, futurist, civil libertarian and self-described agnostic mystic...

's 1975 The Illuminatus! Trilogy
The Illuminatus! Trilogy
The Illuminatus! Trilogy is a series of three novels written by Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson first published in 1975. The trilogy is a satirical, postmodern, science fiction-influenced adventure story; a drug-, sex-, and magick-laden trek through a number of conspiracy theories, both...

, "Order of the Peacock Angel" appears in letterhead
Letterhead
A letterhead is the heading at the top of a sheet of letter paper . That heading usually consists of a name and an address, and a logo or corporate design, and sometimes a background pattern...

 as the title of an organization taking part in the Discordian
Discordianism
Discordianism is a religion based on the worship of Eris , the Greco-Roman goddess of strife. It was founded circa 1958–1959 after the publication of its holy book the Principia Discordia, written by Malaclypse the Younger and Omar Khayyam Ravenhurst after a series of shared hallucinations at a...

 "Operation Mindfuck
Operation Mindfuck
Operation Mindfuck or OM is an important practice in the Discordian religion. The concept was developed by Kerry Thornley and Robert Anton Wilson in 1968 and given its name by Wilson and Robert Shea in The Illuminatus! Trilogy...

" project outlined in "Appendix Yod".

Cooper McLaughlin's 1987 short novel, The Order of the Peacock Angel, published in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction
The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction
The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction is a digest-size American fantasy and science fiction magazine first published in 1949 by Mystery House and then by Fantasy House. Both were subsidiaries of Lawrence Spivak's Mercury Publications, which took over as publisher in 1958. Spilogale, Inc...

, claims historical sources for its tale of a 1,000 year old society that continued into the 1960s. http://www.sfsite.com/fsf/bibliography/fsfstorieswhen198701.htm