Human and animal sacrifices, vanishings, the preserved corpse of a teenage cult princess, angelic encounters, a woman cooked in an oven, a mother chained to her bed for two months, resurrection experiments, refrigeration warehouses for the dead, nocturnal rituals, orgies, a breathing universe, an esoteric tome known as The Great Sixth Seal, and a post-apocalyptic world ruled by eleven queens from a hill in Hollywood…
The United States witnessed an explosion of cult activity in the 1920s that today is almost inconceivable. California, in particular, was a haven for an estimated 200,000 cultists, with over 400 active cults in southern California alone. These ranged from “love cults” that conducted ritual orgies to “devil worshipping” cults that branded their members with hot irons and beheaded their enemies.
Among all these, “The Divine Order of the Royal Arms of the Great Eleven” was considered by many to be the most extraordinary. Founded by failed movie producer May Otis Blackburn and her taxi-dancing daughter, Ruth, the Great Eleven was so unfathomable that accounts of its activities “elicited expressions of amazement” from justices on the California Supreme Court in 1931, who admitted, “they have never heard anything so weird.”
Not until the nephew of oil magnate J.B. Dabney admitted he had been a member of the cult would the world at large learn of the existence the “divine order.” Not until detectives opened a trap door in the floor of a cult couple’s Venice cottage would the world be exposed to its darkest secrets.
“Cult of the Great Eleven” chronicles the rise and fall of one of the twentieth century’s most enigmatic cults.