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"We have to fight—join us, the Second Salemers, in our fight!"
—The Second Salemers fight against wizardkind[src]

The New Salem Philanthropic Society (NSPS), also known as the Second Salemers, was a fanatical American No-Maj group which sought to expose and destroy wizardkind. It was led by the extremist Mary Lou Barebone, a descendant of Scourers, and her three adopted children Credence, Chastity and Modesty. Their meeting place was a "dingy" church in Pike Street, New York City where they ran a soup kitchen for poor children to whom they distributed anti-magic pamphlets.

When Credence Barebone's Obscurus killed Mary Lou and destroyed the whole Salem church, this marked the end of the New Salem Philanthropic Society.

History

The New Salem Philanthropic Society were active in the 1920s and were led by Mary Lou Barebone.[1][2] Mary Lou was a descendant of an unknown Scourer that escaped capture in the 17th century. She was also related to Bartholomew Barebone, the man who propelled one of the largest ever breaches of the International Statute of Secrecy. It is very possible that her hatred of magic and therefore the Society's hatred of magic steams from her connection to Bartholomew.

Porpentina Goldstein lost her job as an Auror after stopping Mary Lou Barebone from whipping her son Credence with a belt. The followers who saw Tina use magic had to be Obliviated, and her actions were considered a breach of the Statute of Secrecy and Rappaport’s Law dividing wizards and No-Majs[1][2]

In December of 1926, they picketed a rally held by supporters of Senator Henry Shaw Jr, presumably to try to get him to support their anti-witchcraft views.[3][4][5]

Based at Pike Street, New York, they held weekly meetings on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Sundays.[6] They also published and distributed a pamphlet entitled Witches Live Among Us!.[7] They would have orphans distribute the pamphlet in exchange for food and water. Chastity Barebone was in charge of handing out the pamphlets to the children.

The group may have come to an end following the destruction of their church and the deaths of Mary Lou and Chastity.

Behind the scenes

  • Members of the New Salem Philanthropic Society may be of Scourer descent.[8] The Scourers were a band of wizarding vigilantes who wrought terror in North America in the 17th century.[8] Some of them managed to escape justice by marrying No-Majs and integrating into No-Maj society.[8] In revenge for their exile from the wizarding world, they instilled in their non-magic descendants an abiding belief that magic exists, and that witches and wizards should be wiped out.[8]
  • Their banner depicts a wand being snapped over a large fire, possibly a reference to both the stopping of magical practises and the Salem Witch Trials.
  • In the film inspired by Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Langdon Shaw refers to the group as the "New Salem Preservation Society" when introducing Mary Lou Barebone to his father. This is the only time the group is referenced by this name; it may have been a slip of the tongue of actor Ronan Raftery's, since that same line reads "New Salem Philanthropic Society" on the original script[9] or an improvisation to show his character's insobriety or carelessness.

Appearances

Notes and references