The Whitethorn Foundation
No mystery that the Whitethorn Foundation researches will ever be as profound as the mystery of the Foundation itself. The founders’ secret motivations and plans continue to influence the destiny of the Foundation to this day. The known founding members of the Whitethorn Foundation are:
- Samuel Whitethorn – for whom the group is named. Heir to a small fortune (his family had made its money in the textile industry of the 19th century), Samuel became obsessed with Spiritualism and was determined to discover the truth of its claims. After debunking many supposed mediums and spiritual phenomena, he started to run into cases he could not explain. He used his vast resources to set up the Foundation to continue his research into supposed supernatural occurrences. Samuel Whitethorn had a large family whose descendents still associate with the Foundation to this day.
- Francis Saint-Germaine – a close friend and advisor to Samuel Whitethorn, is somewhat of an enigma. Almost no records of him exist outside of the Foundation archives. He was especially interested in alchemy and Hermeticism. His eventual fate is also unknown – he seems to have simply vanished.
- Adam Bishop – a self-proclaimed ceremonial magician, seems to have had a darker influence on the Foundation. His ancestor, Isaac Bishop, had been accused of witchcraft and had left the Massachusetts Bay Colony for Rhode Island in order to avoid a hanging. An admirer of Aleister Crowley, Bishop believed that the purpose of the Foundation’s investigations should be to wrest power from the Unseen Worlds and to use that power for the benefit of the Foundation’s members. He seems to have particularly disliked Saint-Germaine and to have feuded with him often. Saint-Germaine always claimed that Bishop was withholding dark secrets from the Foundation. Bishop was, like Whitethorn, wealthy (though the source of his wealth is less clear) and he is famous for having founded Bishop’s Asylum on the old family estate in Riverside (East Providence). His yacht went down in a storm off Cape Cod in 1939; his body was never recovered.
- Jacob Springer – a Spiritualist believer and supposed psychic medium, has one of the strangest backgrounds of all. He was a founding member of the group, and tried very hard to sway the founders into a belief in and acceptance of supernatural phenomena. Around 1900, however, he began to argue that the supernatural ought not to be studied, but destroyed – he claimed that the ghosts with whom he communicated were almost universally tormented souls waiting to be laid to rest. Springer also believed that other supernatural beings existed that preyed upon humanity and ought to be wiped out. Springer was murdered by parties unknown in 1938, his body literally torn apart.
- Reverend Henry Cramer – a Protestant minister and theologian, joined the society because of his friendship with Whitethorn and his interest in the theological implications of Spiritualism. He soon became disenchanted with the group’s apparent tolerance for superstition, and left the group around 1900. However, the group continued to consult him on religious matters until about 1950, when he died of extreme old age.
- Catherine LaVoisin Montespan – the one female founder, was an heiress to a shipping fortune. She dabbled in Spiritualism for a while, but the rumors say she was fascinated with occult ritual practice and began to practice mystic rites in secret. She was stabbed to death by parties unknown in 1929; many in the Foundation have believed that she was about to reveal some occult secrets to the Foundation.