Falk, Samuel Jacob Chayyim (1710–1786)
Samuel Falk, a Kabbalistic magician, was a prominent figure
in the occult community of London in the late eighteenth century.
He had been born in Poland amid a community of followers
of the Jewish messianic figure Sabbatai Zvi, and as a young
man had learned the occult arts as perpetuated through the
Kabbalah. Along the way he settled in Germany (Westphalia),
where he ran into trouble for his beliefs and only narrowly escaped
being executed as a heretic. He fled to Holland in the
early 1730s and in 1742 took up residence in London.
Falk ran a secret occult group out of his home on London’s
East Side and had an alchemical laboratory in one of the houses
on London Bridge. He led a colorful career as a magician and
appeared as the teacher of a number of prominent people such
as Theodore, the pretender to the throne of Corsica. Falk did
various rituals to assist Theodore in his efforts to regain his
royal inheritance. He also worked with the Duke of Orleans,
also known as Philippe Egalité, to whom he gave a ring of lapis
lazuri (some accounts suggest a talisman) to assist in the process
of gaining the French throne. Though he did not succeed, supposedly
he passed the ring to his son who in 1830 became the
king of France as Louis Philippe.
Some have speculated that Falk met the Swedish seer Emanuel
Swedenborg during his residency in Holland in the 1730s.
Among Swedenborg’s early books was On the Infinite (1734),
which discusses his meetings with several referred to as ‘‘other
minds.’’ Swedenborg also settled in England in 1744, just two
Encyclopedia of Occultism & Parapsychology • 5th Ed. Falk, Samuel Jacob Chayyim
539
years after Falk moved there. In the 1770s, Falk also seemed
to have joined the list of the associates of Alessandro Cagliostro,
the Italian occultist.
While experiencing periods of poverty, Falk died in relative
wealth. He owned a large home on Wellclose Square in London
and is known to have given a silver Torah to the Great Synagogue
of London. He died in the city in 1786.
Sources
Godwin, Joscelyn. The Theosophical Enlightenment. Albany,
N.Y. State University of New York Press, 1995.
Schuchard, Marsha Keith. ‘‘Freemasonry, Secret Societies
and the Continuity of the Occult Tradition in English Literature.’’
Ph.D. diss., University of Texas, 1975.

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