The first known publications under the name of Alistair Rey began to appear in the spring of 2012 in Bucharest, Romania. The recipient of a ministerial stipend, Rey was ostensibly hired to draft English-language pro-government articles in the midst of the impeachment proceedings opened against then President Traian Băsescu. Following a series of questionable publications primarily focused on political satire, the Interior Ministry canceled the stipend. In one article, Rey reported that anti-government forces were planning on mounting a presidential campaign behind the deceased American comedian Richard Pryor as a protest vote in both Hungary and Romania. He later elaborated on this political tactic in the article “Politics Without A Key” in which he detailed an emergent political movement known as Pryorism. At the time, it was suspected that the publications may have been the work of the dissident political organization Lupta, an allegation which has since been disproven.
In total, Rey received an estimated £4,000 from the Romanian treasury for his writings during this period. Upon withdrawing the stipend, the government demanded the sum be returned. By this point, however, Rey had left the country and was reported to be living abroad in Brussels. The Romanian government has since denied any relationship with Rey and dropped all charges.
Rey’s whereabouts following his departure from Romania can be tracked through a series of radio interviews given in Europe during the summer of 2013. However, it is questionable whether the author known as Alistair Rey did, in fact, attend these interviews. A broadcast interview given for Belgium 4 Radio on 23 July 2013 was followed an hour later by a second live-broadcast interview on the Dutch satellite station Vandaag in Europa. Both interviewees claimed to be Rey and both stations insisted that the broadcasts were recorded live and in-person. Authorities suspect that the two men who gave the interviews were in collusion and attempting to sow confusion regarding Rey’s true whereabouts at the time. This tactic was repeated on numerous occasions in the following months, leading European authorities to suspect that Alistair Rey was a nom de guerre for a collective group of writers and political activists operating across Western Europe.
Since 2014, fictional writings published under the name Alistair Rey have begun appearing in journals and literary reviews. In these publications, the author (or authors) has identified himself as “a writer of fiction and parafiction.” Biographical details claim that Rey is currently living in the United Kingdom, although this information has yet to be officially verified by the UK Home Office.
Hailing from the Midlands of England, Joseph Merrick has worn many hats over the course of his long career. In turn stage performer, movie actor and medical oddity, he has garnered an international reputation with a cult following. Beginning his career in the penny gaff exhibitions popular in London, Merrick enthralled the crowds of Whitechapel with his one-man act “The Elephant Man” before taking his show on the road across the European continent. Critics were receptive to his unique style of performance, remarking on its “depraved” and “grotesque” qualities. As one commentator insisted, Merrick’s shows offered “the most disgusting specimen of humanity” for display and drew large crowds on a regular basis. In 1980, Merrick’s showmanship and international repute drew the attention of film maker David Lynch, with whom Merrick collaborated.
His performances and achievements have been chronicled in various works over the years, including Frederick Treves’ semi-autobiographical The Elephant Man and Other Reminiscences and, more recently, Nadja Durbach’s Spectacles of Deformity: Freak Shows and Modern British Culture. Despite his fame and international notoriety, Merrick has always remained humble, stating he just wants to “be like other people.”
At present, he is a fact checker and freelance correspondent for the PR.
A woman of the world, Phoebe Sachs began her career as a P. I. in Budapest, Hungary. Her most famous cases include “The Mystery of Bloodless Bay” and “The Dark Secret of The Alhambra,” in which she teamed up with international sleuth Maximilian Abadaire to uncover the theft of priceless Spanish masterpieces. Phoebe’s unorthodox style of investigation soon brought her into conflict with European authorities. In 2013, she was forced to leave Hungary and resettle in Austria after being accused of running an unlicensed detective agency. During this period, she abandoned detective work and ran a mystery blog featuring thinly-veiled fictionalized accounts of her many exploits. Former clients complained of their portrayals in her stories, claiming they were depicted as dull-witted and heartless villains rather than calculating masterminds of deception. Phoebe has maintained that her pieces are works of fiction and has repeatedly denied ever being employed by “calculating masterminds.”
In 2014, she became a foreign correspondent and photographer for the PR, assisting with operations in Europe and North Africa.
Scion of the illustrious Wellington family, Archibald Wellington became the black sheep of his proud line due to a pronounced interest in the occult and esoteric mysticism over the course of his life. After studying law at Oxford in preparation for a career as a barrister, Wellington left England and committed his time to traveling through the Levant and Orient. He turned his attention to the serious study of magic in the late nineteenth century and took various trips to South America, Africa and the Middle East to acquire knowledge on ritualism and world religions. By the time he settled in the United States prior to the First World War, Wellington had expanded his field of study to the paranormal and human psychology. The twentieth-century newspaper tycoon Frank Ernest Gannett once referred to him as a “true polymath of the modern era.”
During the 1920s, Wellington began compiling his knowledge in Tombs of Our Elders, a book detailing the history of the occult since the Babylonian Empire. By the time of his death, the manuscript remained incomplete and is today housed in the Wellington private collection. Due to the restricted viewing policies maintained by his estate, many have speculated that the book contains arcane spells and conjurings that the family desires to keep from public knowledge. Later in his life, Wellington set up The Wellington Archive for the Strange and Curious, cataloguing the many pieces of evidence connected with the supernatural and occult that he amassed over his lifetime. In conjunction with the Wellington Archive, the PR is now working to make the collection available to the public.
Passing away in 1956 in Chicago, Archibald Wellington has been named an honorary corresponded of the other world by the PR.