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New Salem Philanthropic Society

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The New Salem Philanthropic Society, abbreviated as NSPS and also known as the Second Salem Preservation Society or simply the Second Salemers, was a fanatical American No-Maj group which sought to expose and destroy wizards and witches.[1][2]

They were active in the 1920s and were led by Mary Lou Barebone.[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]

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

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