The Ponape Scripture

From [YSDC] The Veiled Society
Jump to: navigation, search
"The Ponape Scripture", illustrated by Joseph Sutliff

The Ponape Scripture first appears in Lin Carter's 1975 short story "Out of the Ages (fiction)".

“Most called them ‘sea devils’ but one tribe chose to treat with them, and worship them. It was from the sea devils the tribe learned of the god Dagon, and during the abhorrent rites to this god, the tribe would couple with the sea devils.” — Capt. Abner Ezekiel Hoag, 1734.

This testament was written in 1734 by Kingsport sea captain Abner Ezekiel Hoag. An alleged transcription of testimony given to Hoag by South Sea Islanders, the severely abridged published version appeared in paper-bound form around the end of the 18th century. Copies of Hoag’s far more complete manuscript are said to still exist. A longheld rumor in occult circles says that Hoag used not only native testimony but also information gleaned from ancient Muvian documents translated by Yogash, Hoag’s half-Polynesian manservant. The testimony of the islanders specifically details a local cult of humans who worship and breed with the deep ones. Hoag hints that this tainted worship may have been adopted by American sailors who, after visiting the island, imported it to their homelands. References to Cthulhu and his star-spawn are many, as well as Cthulhu’s “sons,’’ Ghatanothoa and Zoth-Ommog.

The Muvian Documents

These wooden-bound books are kept at the Kester Library in Salem, Massachusetts. Other copies are said to be secreted away in a cave on a small deserted island somewhere in Polynesia. The pages are made of palm-papyrus and inscribed in the ancient Naacal hieroglyphs of Mu.

The Hoag Manuscript

The original manuscript of 300+ hand-written pages is more complete than the version eventually published in the late 18th century. Most manuscript copies of the original include Hoag’s translation notes, as well. Only a few copies exist, all in private hands.

The First Published Ponape Scripture

The crudely printed 1794 edition was carefully expurgated before publication. Bound in heavy paper and measuring 4 by 6-3/4 inches, it is believed that approximately 500 copies were printed at private expense.

Copeland’s Annotated Version

The archeologist Harold Hadley Copeland (see “Zanthu Tablets”) had an annotated edition of the Scripture published by Miskatonic University Press in 1907. Copeland’s inquiries into the Cthulhu cult were just beginning, and he seems to have been unaware of either the Muvian tablets or Hoag’s manuscript, making the translation of little value.


Most versions will contain:

Only Hoag’s manuscript and the original Muvian documents contain the following spells:

The first published version describes the rites but does not provide the necessary details. In the notes to Copeland’s edition, the editor manages to re-construct the Contact Deep One spell, but the rest remain corrupt.