Horos, Theodore (ca. 1866– ) and Laura
(1849–ca. 1906)
A notorious man-and-wife team of occult swindlers who were
sentenced for fraud in Britain on December 20, 1901. Mrs.
Horos—also known as ‘‘Ellora,’’ ‘‘Madame Helana,’’ ‘‘Swami
Viva Ananda,’’ ‘‘Mrs. Diss Debar,’’ ‘‘Angel Anna,’’ ‘‘Claudia
D’Arvie,’’ ‘‘Editha Gilbert Montez,’’ and ‘‘Blanche Solomons’’—appeared
to have been born in Harrodsburg, Kentucky,
on February 9, 1849, daughter of ‘‘Professor John C. F.
R. Salomon.’’
In 1870, under the name Editha Gilbert Montez, she collected
money by representing herself as the daughter of famous
adventuress Lola Montez. In the 1880s she became a fraudulent
Spiritualist medium in partnership with ‘‘General’’ Joseph
H. Diss Debar. In 1888 she was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment
for fraud.
In 1898 she married Frank Dutton Jackson in New Orleans.
The couple engaged in a fake mediumship partnership in
Bucktown, Jefferson Parish, and, after complaints, were arrested
and served a short prison sentence. At that time there were
rumors of unsavory sexual practices in their ‘‘Orders of the
Crystal Star.’’
The Jacksons reappeared in Europe in 1899 as ‘‘Mr. and
Mrs. Horos,’’ and in Paris became acquainted with S. L. MacGregor
Mathers, from whom they stole some of the rituals of
the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. At that time they variously
represented themselves as being principals of the Koreshan
Unity, a communal group located in Estero, Florida, or
of the Theocratic Unity.
They moved to South Africa in 1890 and opened the College
of Occult Science in Cape Town. Mrs. Horos lectured and
gave clairvoyant readings under the names Madame Helena
and Swami Viva Ananda, assisted by her husband, who called
himself Theodore Horos. The swami issued to students certificates
of occult proficiency, modeled on the stolen teachings of
the Golden Dawn.
In October 1900 the pair set up headquarters in Britain.
Their College of Life and Occult Sciences was established in
London, teaching mental and magnetic therapeutics, psychology,
clairvoyance, mediumship, materialization, thaumaturgic
power, and divine healing. Under this cover they operated an
esoteric order using the Golden Dawn rituals, with secret mysteries
of their own in which gullible young women were raped
as well as swindled. Their odd career seems to have come to an
end in September 1901 when the couple was arrested for fraud.
Jackson was sentenced to fifteen years’ imprisonment and his
wife to seven.
Dingwall, Eric J. Some Human Oddities. London, 1947. Reprint,
New Hyde Park, N.Y. University Books, 1962.
King, Francis. The Rites of Modern Occult Magic. New York
Macmillan, 1970.

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