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For other uses, see Diogenes (disambiguation). The Diogenes Club is a fictional gentleman's club created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and featured in several Sherlock Holmes stories, most notably "The Greek Interpreter". It seems to have been named after Diogenes the Cynic (although this is never explained in the original stories) and was co-founded by Sherlock's indolent older brother, Mycroft Holmes. The club is described by Sherlock Holmes in the stories thus: "There are many men in London, you know, who, some from shyness, some from misanthropy, have no wish for the company of their fellows. Yet they are not averse to comfortable chairs and the latest periodicals. It is for the convenience of these that the Diogenes Club was started, and it now contains the most unsociable and unclubable men in town. No member is permitted to take the least notice of any other one. Save in the Stranger's Room, no talking is, under any circumstances, allowed, and three offences, if brought to the notice of the committee, render the talker liable to expulsion. My brother was one of the founders, and I have myself found it a very soothing atmosphere." – The Greek Interpreter It is described as a place where men can go to read without any distractions, and as such the number one rule is that there is no talking, to the point where club members can be excluded for coughing. Relation to British Secret Service Although there is no hint in the original Sherlock Holmes canon that the Diogenes Club is anything but what it seems to be, several later writers have developed and made use of the idea that the club was founded as a front for the British secret service. Although the club itself is not referred to in such a way in the original stories, this common supposition may have its root in the fact that Mycroft Holmes, in "The Adventure of the Bruce-Partington Plans," is revealed to be the supreme and indispensable brain-trust behind the British government, who pieces together the collective government secrets and then advises the best course of action. Given that Mycroft Holmes is established both as a co-founder of the club, and an indolent man who almost exclusively travels only between his home, his office, and the Club, this extrapolation would appear to be a logical one. This idea was largely popularised by The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes, a 1970s motion picture directed by Billy Wilder, and has been frequently used in pastiches of Conan Doyle's original stories. British fantasy writer Kim Newman has written a series of stories chronicling the activities of various agents of the Club (described in his stories as "an institution that quietly existed to cope with matters beyond the purview of regular police and intelligence services") from the late 19th through the 20th centuries, particularly in the 1920s, 1940s and 1970s. In Newman's stories, the cases investigated by the Club are generally paranormal or occult in nature and occasionally science fiction. The Club came under fire from Winston Churchill, but survived until shut down by Margaret Thatcher (who is shown as being a brainwashed agent of a rival agency of the Club). The Club is replaced by a quango called the Institute of Psi Tech (I-Psi-T, pronounced 'Eyesight'). The Diogenes Club is a central motif in several collections of Newman's stories, including Seven Stars (2000), where one mystery in particular is explored through many decades by generations of Diogenes-related investigators; The Man from the Diogenes Club (2006), featuring the 1970s agent Richard Jeperson; and The Secret Files of the Diogenes Club (2008). The story "The Man Who Got Off The Ghost Train", written for The Man from the Diogenes Club collection, reveals a number of Diogenes Club members, including Carnacki, Adam Adamant, Flaxman Low, Robert Baldick, Cursitor Doom, and Sir Henry Merrivale. (At least in the case of Merrivale, we already know this, of course, from the novels of Carter Dickson.) The story "Swellhead" also mentions Dion Fortune as an agent of the Club, and that its files included the identity of Jack the Ripper, the secret of what really happened to the Mary Celeste, and what the alleged Roswell UFO actually was (apparently, not an alien as conventionally understood). The Diogenes Club is also featured in Newman's Anno Dracula series, where it is explicitly identified as the British Secret Service. In the first novel, it is chaired by Mycroft Holmes, Admiral Sir Mandeville Messervy and Waverly. In the sequel, The Bloody Red Baron, the club's Ruling Cabal consists of Holmes, Mansfield Smith-Cumming, and Newman's original character Charles Beauregard. Beauregard becomes Chairman following Mycroft's death in the novel. In the second sequel novel, Dracula Cha Cha Cha, Beauregard was stated as having resigned as Chairman after the end of World War II, being succeeded by his protege Edwin Winthrop. In the short story "Who Dares Wins", set in 1980, Richard Jeperson has become the Club's Chairman. Among the agents used by the Diogenes Club in the Anno Dracula series are Daniel Dravot, Elliott Spencer, and Hamish Bond. The club, and its connection to the secret service, was featured in the Doctor Who Virgin New Adventures novel All-Consuming Fire, a Doctor Who/Sherlock Holmes crossover novel, which also refers to Newman's character Beauregard. An upcoming follow-up to this, in Big Finish's Bernice Summerfield series of audio adventures is The Adventure of the Diogenes Damsel. Most recently, The Diogenes Club has been featured in the Facebook/MySpace game Bloodlines as a secret section of the British Secret Service, formally titled "Her Majesty's Secret Service, Occult Branch". Other appearances In Philip José Farmer's Wold Newton Universe, specifically The Other Log of Phileas Fogg, it is stated that the real Diogenes Club was the Athenaeum Club, but that Arthur Conan Doyle changed the name for his stories. The club also appears in Nicholas Meyer's novel The Seven-Per-Cent Solution, Alan Moore's The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Black Dossier graphic novel, the computer game Sherlock Holmes - Case of the Rose Tattoo, the Dark Horse Comics Predator: Nemesis comic, and in the short story "Closing Time" from Neil Gaiman's collection of short fiction Fragile Things. The club also provided inspiration for the name of the English Society of King's College London, officially known as The Diogenes Club (KCL English Society) Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal used to sell a "Diogenes Club: better living through omniscience" T-shirt but it has since been discontinued.[1] ^ "Smoking Lounge".