by Meade Layne
"I am saying to those who cry: "We want an artifact, an inscription, an ancient manuscript, we want proof!"- you HAVE proof all about you! But your minds are so slanted by wrong teachings that you interpret the artifacts and remnants on the surface which tell the truth."
The foregoing quotation is from the article called "Proofs," by Richard S. Shaver, in the June, 1947 issue of AMAZING STORIES MAGAZINE (PP. 136-146). The article sums up Mr. Shaver's "complete thoughts" on the Shaver Mystery or "Dero Mystery," which has been exercising the minds and imaginations of the Editors and readers of the A.S. magazine for many months.
"Round Robin" (this publication eventually became the "Borderland Sciences Research Foundation Journal" - RT) cannot, of course, attempt any resume of this mass of curious material. When we first referred to this matter, in "Flying Roll" (an even earlier publication - RT) for March 1946, we protested against the way in which the matter was being handled, its commercial exploitation, and its presentation in the form of scientifiction (an early term for science-fiction - RT) so that no one could decide which data were authentic (or seriously declared to be), and which were fictional. We considered that the fiction was sensational, morbid and sadistic, and that some hundreds of amateur "investigators" were breeding serious trouble for themselves and perhaps for many other people as well. The present writer has not altered his opinion on these points.
But "Flying Roll" also pointed out that, quite apart from the account given by Shaver, there is a considerable mass of alleged data, difficult to evaluate, bearing on the existence of underground peoples and activities. The Shaver reports were in agreement with these "data" -- but so they would have been, very likely, if the whole story had been the invention of a writer who had read up on his subject.
Since the "Flying Roll" article appeared, several friends of the Editor, in whom he has great confidence, have studied the problem and interviewed Mr. Shaver and Editor Ray Palmer. Their opinions differ in details, but agree in accepting the Shaver story as true in its basic and essential assertions. Further related facts have been uncovered, supernormal happenings have occurred in the offices of the magazine, and particularly in the vicinity of Mr. Shaver himself. It seems certain that we are dealing here with BOTH discarnate entities, and with human or human-like beings in bodies of dense matter like our own.
Prior to this article in the FR, this writer had made a limited investigation of some extraordinary psychic and mediumistic phenomena near San Diego: this is the story of "A Twice Told Tale" appearing in the Round Robin for January 1946. In the course of this, communication was established with certain intelligences of a very high order -- whatever their true identity may have been. These entitles took the position that "It doesn't matter what information is now given to men, since the end of the era is so close at hand," and offered, with an almost God-like indifference, to answer any question, if not asked for personal advantage. In trying (despite many earth difficulties) to take advantage of this remarkable offer, a question was put concerning the "Deros" and other alleged underground peoples.
Except for the RR Editor, no one present had any knowledge of this, or of the Shaver Mystery, and the editor himself certainly did NOT expect any verification of such fantastic reports. It is not likely, therefore, that any telepathic pick-up or subconscious desires entered into the reply received. We now reprint the following short transcript from the notes, as printed in "Flying Roll" of the date mentioned.
THE VAU COMMINICATOR, IN REPLY TO QUESTIONS:
"Yes, the deros do exist...yes, they have physical bodies much like your own. Yes, they inhabit underground regions. Yes, the machines exist.
"The deros are degenerate descendants of the Atlanteans." (Note - this conforms to occult teachings, that remnants of the Atlantean people took refuge in caverns for a long period of time-Meade Layne).
"The caverns are widely distributed, but there are foci and I will name them. The Black Forest, the Alpine regions Central America, Korea, Siberia, Iran, especially San Sebastian and nearby regions." (Note-this ties in with data lately assembled by Vincent Gaddis concerning enormous tunnel systems of unknown origin, and many curious shafts and caves of prehistoric construction...San Sebastian is on the north coast of Spain - ML).
"The situation is this: the Deros are nearly mindless, degenerate. Hence they are an easy prey to astral entities. All this gathering trouble originates among the latter. The machines are now completed creations, as thought-forms on the astral. These forms are being projected upon the Deros with the idea that the latter can be controlled to the point of constructing these machines in dense matter...or of conveying the vision of the machines to earth people until someone constructs a working model. (Note: a large number of people have reported seeing, in vision or sleep dreams, almost identical "pictures" of some machine or apparatus of unknown use. They are said to be the Stim mech - ML). Such construction would be a disaster. Pay no attention to the visions, and pay no attention to the Deros.
"Invoke the powers of Good. The Deros constitute a nexus with the evil forces of the astral. If you attend to them in any way you will strengthen that bond."
So far, that's all we have from the VAU Communicators. It is not very clear why Western occultism, which has something to say about everything else, should be either ignorant or extraordinarily close-mouthed on the whole subject of subterranean peoples...especially since the witless but vicious Deros are said to be only one class or group, while others are friendly and anxious to help the surface dwellers.
With this last remark we recur to the quotation with which this article began.
The complaint of Mr. Shaver, and the long continued outcries of Editor Ray Palmer to the same effect, have a strangely familiar ring. It is exactly what spiritists, spiritualists and occultists have said ten thousand times, in thousands of different ways, for many decades past.
The "proof" of spiritism (i.e. of survival and communication) is cumulative, legalistic, and has the nature of "probability beyond reasonable doubt." This evidence, this cumulative proof is all about us, in daily life, and stored up in millions of printed pages. It is not yet acceptable to the intelligentsia, perhaps not even to the common man, because in Shaver's own words, their minds are "slanted by wrong teachings" - and by ignorance and prejudice. Yet for a long time the mere suggestion that any discarnate entities were mixed up with the Shaver Mystery was regarded by the eager-beaver "investigators" as the height and depth of superstitious nonsense.
The essential correctness of the analysis made by the VAU Communicators has since been confirmed to us by two men whom we regard as genuine Adepts. Perhaps more importantly still, the accumulating facts seem to point in the same direction (consider the poltergeist-like annoyances of which editor Palmer complains--excarnate entities of some sort--and type-forms are not juggled about by "rays" and machines, although perhaps typewriter keys might be melted by some such contraption). And the naive excitement of the cave explorers is somewhat tempered by reflection. Consider now this artful, reluctant, yet highly intelligent paragraph by Editor Palmer himself (Amazing Stories June 1946, p 176):
"We cannot fully explain the research we have gone into in the matter of "spiritualism," nor our suspicion that between Shaver and the spiritualists there exists no real difference of opinion, only interpretation--that we find his opinions fully substantiated by what some call the astral. The "astral" can very well be nothing more uncanny than a real cave world with real people in it with real machines to operate, instead of "astral" powers. We consider "spiritualism" to be just one more proof that Shaver theories are more than theories, but can be accepted as factual, and that there is only need for more understanding."
This is double-talk of the first water, a true paragraph of genius with an "out" no matter what happens, and our admiration for it is genuine: we are not trying to insult Mr. Palmer at all. "Spiritualism" says to him, in the words of the VAU: "You are right, the Deros exist. But your minds are so slanted (quoting Mr. Shaver) that you misinterpret the data. The astral entities also exist, and your data involve them also. You are right, that there is only need for more understanding". You have proof all about you (as Shaver says) - proof of far more than your editorial position will allow you to admit."
We are dealing, in our opinion with data which are genuine, significant, and dangerous. And it is a serious and dangerous error to rule out, a priori and because of prejudice, any productive method of approach, and worthwhile hypothesis...We are not intimating for a moment that the communicators at the ordinary seance (messages and phenomena) can be of help in this problem; they are simply ordinary people who happen to be invisible and intangible to our range of sense impressions. But there are higher intelligences than these, and there is an immense body of ancient and modern knowledge of which the anti-dero crusaders are as innocent as babes-in-arms. There are scientific occultists and occult-scientists who know their way around - just as there have been for thousands of years past; and there are many here-living people who function freely on the astral levels outside of the dense body.
All phenomena known to our senses are rooted in the planes we do NOT normally apprehend. This is a truism of science and philosophy.
It is only by uniting all knowledge and all methods of approach that we can in fair measure understand phenomena of ANY order.
It is probably neither right nor practicable to forbid to the human mind knowledge of any description. Nevertheless, it is difficult to believe that this eager prying into the hidden viciousness and evil of the world can be productive of any good thing.
There are many who believe, and there is reason to believe, that our civilization is poised upon the brink of destruction. The day and the hour are ill-chosen for the breeding of new perplexities.
Reprinted from ROUND ROBIN, May/June, 1947. Many thanks to Tom Brown, former editor/publisher of the BSRF Journal, who now resides in New Zealand.