The Nameless Cults book


Classification: Historical occult text/mystic text

Creator: Friedrich von Juntz

User/Possessors: Friedrich von Juntz, Erwin, Tussmann, Starry Wisdom Cult, Cult of Dagon, Cult of Shuma Gorath, Cult of Sligguth

First Appearance: (Historical): “The Children of the Night” (1931);

(Marvel Universe): Marvel Premiere I#4 (September, 1972)

Powers/Abilities/Functions: This text was originally published by the German occult researcher, Friedrich von Juntz, and had a heavy leather cover and iron clasps. It was published under the title of “Unaussprechlichen Kulten” in Dusseldorf, Germany, in 1839. No more than a half-dozen copies of this edition were likely to survive for many of its owners burned their copies in panic after learning the manner of the author's demise. This edition was nicknamed the “Black Book”, not because of its appearance, but because of its darkly written contents.  This book was a depository of lore regarding ancient cults from around the world. Nameless Cults describes many objects and locations of power that act as keys to doorways from which to awaken slumbering gods. Many sections detail the stories of demonic alien gods that sleep and will one day awaken from rituals that will allow them to return. Many of the gods listed include Nyarlathotep, Sligguth, Dagon/Dagoth, Shuma Gorath, Shub-Niggurath and the Toad God. Unknown Cults also gives extensive reference to the lost civilizations of Atlantis and Mu. The book is quasi-mystical and may have other undefined abilities yet to be seen.

Henry Gordon reads the book


(Marvel Premiere I#3 - BTS) - A year before the eccentric occult researcher, Friedrich von Juntz, mysteriously died, he wrote a massive volume of occult lore dealing with ancient and lost civilizations who worshiped mysterious and evil demonic gods. He titled it "Unaussprechlichen Kulten." All the materials within were based on places he had visited as well as ancient texts he had read, plus legends and personal experiences from modern day cults. After returning from a trip to Mongolia, he was found dead in the midst of writing a second book, which was immediately destroyed by suspicious and frightened friends.

(Savage Sword of Conan#74/2 - BTS) - The book mentioned the "Black Stone", a monolith that loomed somewhere in the mountains of Hungary and told of a cult that worshiped a toad-thing.

(Savage Sword of Conan#74/2) - An unnamed traveler, having read the book, Unaussprechlichen Kulten, took a trip to Hungary in hopes of learning secrets of the Black Stone. Falling asleep at the great black monolith, he dreamt of an ancient tribe that sacrificed a young woman to a giant toad-like god that had been given the name the Master of the Monolith by von Juntz.

(Chamber of Chills#4) - The wealthy explorer, Tussmann, used an inferior copy of Nameless Cults in his pursuit to discover the treasure in the Temple of the Toad God, deep in the jungles of the Honduras. Unable to locate the treasure, Tussmann gained assistance from Erwin, an expert in ancient Mayan lore, who was able to find and purchase an original edition. Using this higher quality book, Erwin researched that the treasure can be claimed using a ruby key shaped like a toad that could be found on the body of a mummified priest within the Temple.

(Journey into Mystery II#3 - BTS) - The Starry Wisdom Cult had a copy within its abandoned church in Providence, Rhode Island.

(Journey into Mystery II#3) - While investigating the Starry Wisdom Cult, Robert Blake discovered a copy of Nameless Cults, the Necronomicon and de Vermis Mysterii in a library within the abandoned church.

(Marvel Premiere I#3) - The Ancient One instructed Doctor Strange that the book called Unaussprechlichen Kulten was being used by a cult in Starkesboro and that this book was based on the Thanatosian Tomes and was being used to awaken the slumbering god, Sligguth.

(Marvel Premiere I#7 - BTS) - Jediah Gordon, an Englishman, possessed a copy that he used as a cult guide for the worship of Dagoth. Soon after reading it, he fell victim to an evil influence and died mysteriously. The book and his estate was inherited by his nephew, Henry Gordon.

(Marvel Premiere I#7) - Henry Gordon discovered the book on a library shelf. He read about Dagoth and Shuma Gorath of whom it served. He further learnt that his uncle had led a cult that had summoned the demon-god Dagoth from the ocean depths.

Comments: Created by Robert E. Howard (writer), Adapted by Archie Goodwin & Roy Thomas, Barry Smith (pencils), Dan Adkins (inks).

Nameless Cults: Historical Context

This book of esoteric lore written by Friedrich von Juntz is also known as Unaussprechlichen Kulten and the Black Book.

Much of my information comes written works by Robert E. Howard’s short stories, " the Black Stone", "the Thing on the Roof", "the Hoofed Thing" and H.P. Lovecraft’s "Out of the Aeons."

Unknown Cults was originally published as "Unaussprechlichen Kulten" in Dusseldorf in 1839. No fewer than a half-dozen copies of this edition are likely to now exist for many owners had destroyed their copies in fear after learning the manner of von Juntz's demise.

A London book printer named Bridewell copied the work and produced a cheap translation in 1845. This edition was full of horrendous wood-cut images, misspellings and faulty text. Although both books were quickly suppressed or destroyed soon after publication, a third printing was produced by the Golden Goblin Press of New York in 1909. This third printing had very little in regards to the original manuscript and only contained a quarter of its actual material.

Much of the work concerned ancient and present day cults that worshiped dark gods and the use of keys to awaken them, but which was not explained in great detail. It did describe some of these keys, such as a ruby toad within a Honduran temple and a great black monolith in Hungary, but their references were very ambiguous and lacked detailed information. The original manuscript tells of a strange god that was worshiped by an ancient civilization that became extinct before the coming of the Spaniards. The mummy of the last high priest was to be found in this temple, which had a red, toad-shaped jewel around its neck that was the key to the treasure of the Temple that lay hidden in a subterranean crypt beneath it.  The Golden Goblin edition described the Temple, but barely mentioned the mummy. The Bridewell version mistakenly gave the Temple's location as Guatamala. The Bridewell text said that the jewel was a key, but did not say what it was a key to. It was the Dusseldorf edition that stated that the jewel was the key to the hidden treasure beneath the Temple, revealing that the "treasure" of the Temple was the very god that was worshiped there.

Friedrich von Juntz also wrote in the book of an age before prerecorded history that he labeled Hyborian Age and described the destruction of Atlantis, Lumeria and Mu. This told of a tribe of savages that fled to the Arctic Circle where they evolved into Hyborians and of their struggles to conquer Stygia. He also wrote of an unknown tribe that had conquered Hyboria and Stygia, but was not given a name.

Unassprechlichen Kulten gave brief references to Nyarlathotep and Cthulhu, describing them as being Great Old Ones, gods from the distant past who came from the stars.

Profile by AvatarWarlord72.

The Nameless Cults book has no known connections to:

Master of the Monolith

Master of the Monolith

Friedrich von Juntz wrote in his book about a huge, black monolith in the mountains of Hungary where an ancient cult worshiped a horrifying toad-like god  he called the Master of the Monolith. He went on to describe that the monolith was a doorway to awaken this creature and needed a key of some kind to unlock it.

  An unnamed explorer investigated the Black Stone monolith after reading from von Juntz's book, Unaussprechlichen Kulten. He fell asleep and dreamed that an ancient cult had sacrificed a woman wearing a toad amulet to their god, “the Master of the Monolith”. The vivid dream frightened the poor man awake and, to his horror, he discovered the very amulet he dreamed of lay on the ground beside him.

  The Master of the Monolith may be related to the Toad God, but this is not confirmed.

--Savage Sword of Conan#74/2


images: (without ads)
Chamber of Chills#3 p6, pan4 (Nameless Cults)
Marvel Premiere I#7 p5, pan4 (Henry Gordon reading the book)
Savage Sword of Conan#74/2, p55, pan1 (Master of the Monolith)

“The Children of the Night” short story (1931) - Robert E. Howard (writer)
Marvel Premiere I#4 (September, 1972) - Archie Goodwin (writer) Roy Thomas (plotter), Barry Smith (pencils), Frank Brunner (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Journey into Mystery II#3 (February, 1973) - Roy Thomas (writer), Frank Brunner (pencils and inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Marvel Premiere I#7 (March, 1973) - Gardner Fox (writer), Craig Russell (pencils), Esposito/Giacoia/Hunt (inkers), Roy Thomas (editor)
Savage Sword of Conan#74/2 (March, 1982) - adapted by Roy Thomas, Gene Day (pencils), Louise Jones (editor) 

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

First Posted: 10/24/2007
Last Updated: 10/24/2007

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