Pitted repeatedly against the radical, and usually at least somewhat populist, Richter-Thomases are the aristocratic, elitist Cromwell Beckets Though they usually don't use the name "Cromwell" in their own names (one exception being John Cromwell Becket, oldest of Colonel Tom Becket's five sons), they trace their ancestry back directly to the 17th-century dictator of Britain, Oliver Cromwell, and use him to claim that they are the true royal family of America, whose right to absolute rule was usurped by none other than the Founding Fathers of the American Republic. So they are absolute monarchists as well. By claiming that they can solve all America's problems by destroying the Republic in order to save the American Empire and make it stronger, they have made themselves — and their family business, the private mercenary army known as Dictel Corporation — the darlings of the American imperial elite, and their court intellectuals known as the neoconservatives.
So how did this clan that claims to be the American royal house come about, and why have they become such a menace to American freedom and world order?
They seem to be Boston Brahmins and have intermarried with that Yankee aristocratic caste, but they first set roots in the American colonies as slave traders based in Newport, Rhode Island, where the Southern slave lords bought their African slaves. The Cromwell Beckets (they used the full name then) were among the cruellest lords of the Middle Passage. One branch of the Becket family was given dominion over parts of Ireland by Cromwell and later married into it; before they went to America to take up the lucrative trans-Atlantic slave trade, they were one of the most monstrous and murderous Anglo-Irish overlord clans. When Ireland became a republic independent of England in 1922, one of the first things the new republican government did was to ban the Cromwell Beckets from ever again stepping foot in Ireland, and the decree stands to this day.
During the Civil War, a charismatic young Confederate commander named Alexander Augustus Power, scion of a slave-owning Southern American branch of an Anglo-Norman noble family in Ireland, claimed to be king of America. By that time the Confederacy was in disarray and on the verge of defeat. The slave lords, who previously could not be persuaded to unite against the Yankee enemy, began to rally around this claimant to an American throne to be modelled on the absolute monarchy in Russia. Rumors began flying that President Jefferson Davis was about to be overthrown and replaced by Alex Power as a king with no limits on his power. A messianic cult grew up around him among Southern lords. Back up in Newport, his richest and most powerful Yankee "Copperhead" supporter, Alexander Cromwell Becket, plotted treason against the Union and made plans to assassinate President Lincoln, overthrow the US government, and make Alex Power king of a united American Empire. Only the assassination of Lincoln was successful — and by then, the Confederacy had been defeated and Alex Power had been assassinated himself — by the anti-Confederate guerrilla Harvey Richter, ancestor of the Richter-Thomases. However, by then, Power had married Cromwell Becket's daughter, and they had a son before he was killed. Cromwell Becket raised Alexander Power, Jr. as his own son, and since then this branch of the Power family has been considered part of the Cromwell Becket clan.
The evil yet tragic young beauty who would be all-powerful emperor of America, Alexander Power, was the inspiration for Richard Wagner's Parsifal. His monarchist ideals, and the Masonic justifications he used to justify them, inspired that European cult of occult oligarchic despotism known as Synarchism, founded by the French oligarchist, occultist, and antidemocrat Joseph Alexandre Saint-Yves d'Alveydre. The form of government known as "synarchy" — which is merely a pretty Greek word for "junta" — is intended to, in Darth Vader's famous words, "bring order to the universe". How? By establishing a rigid caste system on the Spartan-inspired Platonic political principles (read the Republic for the gory details — and read I. F. Stone's The Trial of Socrates to understand what I mean) and keeping the people stupid and obedient while the ruling caste of Gnostic "philosopher kings" strives to escape this world into the higher realms, precisely as Plato (speaking through Socrates in the Republic) advocates. The Synarchist cult is directly ancestral to all the Fascist and Nazi dictatorships which made the 20th century so horrific, and it has been secularized as Stalinism, Maoism, and neoconservatism. The Synarchists, in turn, inspired Wagner's world-hating "Montsalvat" in Parsifal, unworldly source of the opera's notorious decadence.
Parsifal was dead. But he had left behind the Synarchist jihad against democracy and the people (and remember, by "Mein Kampf", Hitler meant "My Jihad"), and the Cromwell Beckets, that family of slave traders who were now Southern feudal lords as well, became devoted to its victory over the people. Thus the most elitist of the ancient schools of Gnosticism, the Nicolaitans, was revived in its full power. Not just in the New Age today, or in European politics, but also in mainstream religion (including Islam and Evangelical Christianity), it remains a menace to this day. (An excellent Christian description of the concept of "Nicolaitan" as found in the New Testament Apocalypse of John/Book of Revelation can be found here.)
After Power's assassination and the fall of the Confederacy, Alexander Cromwell Becket concocted a scheme to take over the US government, abolish the Republic, and establish the antidemocratic Empire which the Puritans and slavemasters always strove for. Freemasonry was to be the means of carrying out the counterrevolution. This quickly became known simply as The Plan.
Dictel Corporation was founded by Roger Steele Becket in 1947 specifically to carry out the Plan. That's why he hired so many Nazis as his agents, and why Dictel attracted so many former Nazi collaborators as his confidential investors. Later, a Freedom of Information Act request submitted by rogue clan member Alexander (Alec) Power IV revealed that one of Dictel's confidential investors was none other than Sen. Prescott Bush. So the Beckets and the Bushes are known to be very close allies. Indeed, some say they helped rig the 2000 and 2004 elections.
When Bush launched his invasion of Afghanistan after the 9/11/2001 terrorist attacks and of Iraq in March 2003, Dictel went into the mercenary business. It is now the largest private army in the world, yet remains far less visible than almost all its competitors. This is in fact one of the major steps prescribed by the Plan: take military and police power away from the government in order to render it helpless.
Now the Bush era is about to end. If a Democrat, and especially Barack Obama, wins the Presidency, Dictel's contracts (and immunity to prosecution) will be threatened and the Plan will be in danger of failure. So Colonel Tom Becket, heir to Dictel and shepherd of the Plan, invades America in order to seize absolute power for himself. This is the core of the plot of Bad Company. Foiled in that attempt, the company returns to the shadows, though it remains a menace until its complete destruction by turncoat clan members led by Major William Becket at the climax of Spanner.
The deepest contrast between the Richter-Thomases and the Cromwell Beckets lies in their magic. The Richter-Thomases are largely shamans. Shamans journey into the spirit world to protect the tribe and retrieve lost soul fragments, among other things. Many of them are also hereditary witches, some of whom (like family matriarch Eleanor Richter) collect spells and folk remedies from all over Europe and the world to preserve them for future generations. The Beckets, on the other hand, are mainly occultists and ceremonial magicians. There is a long tradition of black magic in the family, starting after the fall of the Cromwell dictatorship, when embittered family members and supporters took up black magic in order to avenge the Cromwells' fall and restore them to power. (But the Stuarts had their own royal army of sorcerers, so the Cromwellians could not prevail...). As they intermarried into various royal and aristocratic clans (including, ironically, the Stuarts [or Stewarts] themselves), they gained entrance into their secret societies and were initiated into their occult schools of magic. Once again, the Richter-Thomases are populist and the Cromwell Beckets elitist and authoritarian, even in the realm of magic.
The supreme magical battle between a Richter-Thomas and a Becket occurs in the middle of Bad Company between Eleanor Richter, acting as shamanic soul retriever for her granddaughters Charlie and Desiree Richter-Thomas, and Drusilla Becket, the guru and sorceress who just happens to be the girls' abusively tyrannical mother. I'll deal with this battle in more detail next.
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