The Arcanum Chapter House
One of the oldest buildings in Sydney has, in fact, been built and rebuilt many times over the decades. The Sydney Chapter House is a large sandstone building which has had a dark history of explosion, fire, and sabotage. It has two stories and includes libraries, lecture theatres, studies, kitchens, and residences for those Arcanum members who do not have suitable accommodations elsewhere; there are also extensive basements and catacombs beneath the buildings. The grounds are protected by a constant security presence and the most up-to-date surveillance systems.
That the building still stands after all these years of fires and other unexplained accidents speaks volumes about the tenacity and resourcefulness of the Australian Arcanum Society.
The Sydney Arcanum Building was originally constructed by the founding member of the Arcanum in Sydney in 1926. For the first three years of its existence the Sydney Arcanum suffered from not having the resources or the manpower to carry out normal operations. After the stock market crash of 1929, the Arcanum in Sydney had to close it´s doors due to a terminal lack of funding.
This poor state of affairs continued for twelve years, during which the handful of Arcanum operatives in Australia relied upon the generosity of the founding member and the historical faculties of local universities. But in 1941, the Grand Chancellor in Great Britain, revitalised by the threat of Nazi Germany, secretly sent to Sydney a shipment of occult books liberated from Arcanum libraries in Austria and Germany. To house these libraries it became necessary to reopen the Sydney Chapter House; an undisclosed sum of money was included to enable proper functioning of an Australian Chapter.
The next fifteen years were very difficult for the Society. After the War, the College of Parapsychology attempted to establish a modern laboratory for the investigation of spirit phenomena in Sydney; however, this project was fraught with accidents, up until the incident which caused the Arcanum to abandon it in 1951. Furthermore, finding a new Chancellor after the electrocution of Prof. Frederick Kohn in the parapsychology labs proved to be difficult; most Arcanum members were more interested in the Old World and Palestine.
But in 1956 the Australian Arcanum became the beneficiary of a wealthy industrialist, and discovered evidence of some kind of psychic phenomena in the Pacific Islands, of a nature and magnitude never before seen. This sudden interest allowed the Arcanum to establish Houses in Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide; enticed new members to join; and ensured that the Australian Arcanum Society should never suffer from a lack of resources ever again.
Despite a renewed string of accidents and mishaps in the 1990s (fires, the death of the Chancellor in a mysterious explosion) the Arcanum is still researching the paranormal and unexplained in Australia. Indeed, a whole new era of occult research is about to begin, as the supercomputer ArcanumNet has been completed and is ready for operation.
This supercomputer is a recent innovation in database design, combining all of the records of the world wide Arcanum with other on-line databases and resources. The most powerful feature of ArcanumNet, however, is a powerful processor which operates on principles of chaos theory and fuzzy logic. ArcanumNet´s full capabilities are not yet known; its designers believe that it will be able to predict supernatural trends and deduce secret information not researchable by normal means. ArcanumNet may even achieve the lofty goal of artificial intelligence status.
ArcanumNet is accessible by any Sydney Arcanum member from almost any internet browser; internal security is maintained by powerful anti-intrusion and antivirus software, and the hardware protected and secure from sabotage.