That's French for "the ancient system," as in the ancient system of feudal privileges and the exercise of autocratic power over the peasants. The ancien regime never goes away, like vampires and dinosaur bones they are always hidden in the earth, exercising a mysterious influence. It is not paranoia to believe that the elites scheme against the common man. Inform yourself about their schemes here.


Postby admin » Thu Jun 25, 2015 11:03 pm

by Peter Levenda
© 1995 by Peter Levenda
Foreword © 2002 by Norman Mailer
Preface to the Second Edition © 2002 by Peter Levenda




To Rose and Vivica ("Alex"), in lieu of the Citadel

And just why it is that occultists yearn toward politics and titles of nobility, as well as to military campaigns and even espionage, is a problem quite beyond the scope of this book.


The Kaiser's republic has collapsed with the defeat of Germany in the First World War, and the whole country is up for grabs. It appears as if Germany is about to fall apart into the warring city-states from which it had been assembled nearly fifty years ago. The victorious Allies are demanding enormous concessions from Germany. Kurt Eisner -- an intellectual and a Jew, a defender of the League of Nations -- takes the initiative and proclaims a Socialist Republic in Munich on the seventh of November, 1918. It looks as if there is going to be a Communist regime in Germany -- or, at least, a Socialist one in Bavaria -- after all. Hysteria grows among the nationalists, and with it despair that their nation is on the verge of realizing the dreams of Marx and Engels as codified in their famous Manifesto.


Whereas Communism set itself up in opposition to all religion, Nazism supported a pagan revival to replace the existing religions. It is perhaps this strategy more than any other that has allowed Nazism in various forms to survive its calamitous defeat in World War II and to continue to exert an influence over young people and old down the years into our present decade.


Hartmann is of considerable interest to this investigation as it was he who helped create the Ordo Templi Orientis, a German occult society formed around the idea of sexual magic. Other illustrious members of the OTO will include another Theosophist, Dr. Rudolf Steiner, who will go on to form the Anthroposophical Society in 1912; Gerard Encausse, who -- under the nom de plume of "Papus" -- had written the first definitive text on the Tarot as a book of concealed illuminism; and Aleister Crowley, whose A...A..., or Argentum Astrum ("Silver Star"), was founded in 1907, the same year as the Order of New Templars mentioned above....

When it came to Magick, Crowley was a genius....

Ordo Templi Orientis, or the Order of the Eastern Temple. This was the brainchild of one Karl Kellner, a wealthy German Freemason of high rank in a rather distaff branch of Freemasonry (the Rite of Memphis and Mizraim of John Yarker), who claimed that he was instructed in the techniques of sex-magic by a Hindu adept and two Arab magi during his travels in the East. He introduced this concept to his associates, Theodor Reuss, Heinrich Klein, and the ubiquitous Dr. Franz Hartmann, all of whom were also high-ranking Masons in Yarker's sect...

Theodor Reuss -- the Outer Head of the Order (OHO) of the OTO -- visited Crowley in London in 1912 ... and accused him of revealing the core secret of the Order in a publication of Crowley's called the Book of Lies... Reuss pointed out a revealing phrase having to do with a "Magick Rood" and a "Mystic Rose."...

Another personal friend of Mme. Blavatsky was Dr. William Wynn Westcott (1848-1925), another coroner and a Theosophist who founded the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn in England in 1888, the same year as The Secret Doctrine was published. Westcott claimed that the Golden Dawn was in reality the English branch of a German occult lodge...

Whatever the reason, we have the Theosophical Society, the OTO, the Anthroposophical Society, and the Golden Dawn all intertwined in incestuous embrace....

The Golden Dawn -- that fabulously complex jewel of European occultism.....

The names List and Liebenfels soon became synonymous with the Pan-Germanic Volkisch movement that eventually gave birth to the Nazi Party....List adopted the Golden Dawn system of hierarchical and initiatory degrees....the volkisch romantics of List's day believed in continuing contact with the Supermen. It was a theme that vibrated subliminally throughout a lot of anti-Semitic literature and in more open form among their British counterparts in the Golden Dawn, who posited a race of "Secret Chiefs": superhuman beings who, they said, live secretly among us, and in the Theosophical Society, which held that Hidden Masters (the Great White Brotherhood) were guiding the world's destiny....

"Sex-magic" is a loaded term with all sorts of connotations....It is, quite simply, a method of sublimating sexual energy to the will of the magician in a variety of rituals, for a variety of purposes, using the sexual practice appropriate to the desired end. Thus, everything from the missionary position to sodomy to masturbation has a magical analogue and refers to a different quality of occult power. The choice of partner is also a matter for some concern, and the practice of sex-magic has become so refined by later initiates of the Order that even the specific days of a woman's menstrual cycle (for instance) each has its own occult correspondence....Hitler was (probably unconsciously) putting this same knowledge to good use...Hitler had so sublimated his sexual urges that he ...had long ceased to be interested in normal sexual intercourse with women. On the other side, his speeches were so mesmerizing that even foreigners who spoke no German at all were captivated by Hitler's oratory. In other words, the magical, tantric technique worked....He transformed his sexual desire into a tool for obtaining power, and became the leader of Germany....Quite simply, we are dealing with the subordination of the sex act to the Great Work by the magician and mystic of every age.

Interestingly enough, the degree structure of the Golden Dawn was based on the famous Tree of Life symbol: a complex diagram of ten spheres connected by a total of twenty-two paths (each path representing a letter of the Hebrew alphabet) that can be consulted in any one of a variety of books on qabalism and Western occultism. This same Tree of Life diagram was used by the old Wotanist Guido von List to represent the hierarchical grace structure in his own ideal Ario-Germanic society and, like the Golden Dawn, he reserved the top three degrees as being inaccessible to the average human being.

That List would have based his hierarchy on the patently Jewish Tree of Life and borrowed the concept from the Golden Dawn -- by way of the OTO -- would seem merely ironic to a layperson but positively frightening to an occultist, for what it implies about the relationship between the anti-Semitic List organizations and the ostensibly apolitical Golden Dawn and OTO lodges....

A great many SA men were homosexuals, which should give the nervous nellies in the Pentagon pause: for the Brownshirts -- the dreaded Storm Troopers; the brawling, two-fisted beer hall fighters; the drunken, angry mob of volunteer militiamen who defeated Communism in Germany and who propelled Hitler to power -- were the epitome of military machismo ... and Rohm, their leader and queen, was the ultimate fighting man....

And it was an amazing time, no matter who was responsible; for an occult organization -- a secret society based on Theosophical, runic, and magical concepts (a kind of redneck Golden Dawn with guns) -- had fought an armed conflict in the streets of Munich against the purely political forces of a Soviet state....and won. Today, this would be considered the stuff of science fiction or, at worst, sword and sorcery fantasy. But in Munich, in 1919, it was reality.

-- Peter Levenda, "Unholy Alliance"

Table of Contents:

• Foreword to the Second Edition by Normal Mailer
• Preface to the Second Edition
• Introduction: At the Mountains of Madness
• Part One: The By-Paths to Chaos
o 1. Of Blood, Sex, and the Rune Magicians
o 2. Volk Magic
o 3. The Occult Messiah
o 4. The Order of the Temple of the East: Sex, Spies, and Secret Societies
o 5. Cult War 1934-1939
• Part Two: The Black Order
o 6. The Dangerous Element: The Ahnenerbe and the Cult of the SS
o 7. Lucifer's Quest for the Holy Grail
o 8. The Psychics Search: For Mussolini, the Bismarck, Assassins, and the Human Mind
o 9. Cult Counterstrike
• Part Three: Witches' Sabbath in America
o 10. Walpurgisnacht, 1945
o 11. Aftermath
o 12. Is Chile Burning? The Overthrow of Allende, the Murder of Letelier, and the Role of Colonia Dignidad
o 13. Nazi Occultism Today
• Epilogue: Hasta La Vista, Baby
• Notes
• Bibliography
• Acknowledgments
• Index
• Photos
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Postby admin » Thu Jun 25, 2015 11:05 pm

Foreword to the Second Edition

Unholy Alliance is a stimulating book to read for anyone interested in Nazism, magic, the penetralia of history, the cults of the occult, and the present agonizing anxiety of our lives. It is as if something larger than our educations, our sense of good and evil, our lives themselves, seems to be constricting our existence, and this anxiety illumines Unholy Alliance like a night-light in some recess of the wall down a very long corridor.

If magic is composed of a good many of those out-of-category forces that press against established religions, so magic can also be seen, in relation to technology at least, as the dark side of the moon. If a Creator exists in company with an opposite Presence (to be called Satan, for short), there is also the most lively possibility of a variety of major and minor angels, devils and demons, good spirits and evil, working away more or less invisibly in our lives.

For some, it is virtually a comfortable notion that magic is a practice that can exist, can even, to a small degree, be used, be manipulated (if often with real danger for the practitioner). For such men and women, the proposition is assured -- magic most certainly does exist as a feasible process -- even if the affirmative is obliged to appear in determinedly small letters when posed against technology: (How often can a curse be as effective as a bomb?)

Nonetheless, given the many centuries of anecdotal and much-skewed evidence on the subject, it is still not irrational to assume -- even if one has never felt its effects oneself -- to assume, yes -- phenomena of a certain kind can be regarded as magical in those particular situations where magic offers the only rational explanation for events that are otherwise inexplicable. Indeed, this is probably the common view. One explanation for the aggravated awe and misery that inhabited America in the days after the destruction of the Twin Towers was that the event was not only monstrous, but brilliantly effected in the face of all the factors that could have gone wrong for the conspirators. The uneasy and not-to- e-voiced hypothesis that now lived as a possibility in many a mind was that the success of the venture had been fortified by the collateral assistance of magic. Few happenings can be more terrifying to the modern psyche than the suggestion that magic is cooperating with technology. It is equal to saying that machines have a private psychology and large events, therefore, may be subject to Divine or Satanic intervention.

So let us at least assume that magic is often present as a salient element in the very scheme of things. Anyone who is offended by this need read no further. They will not be interested in Unholy Alliance. Its first virtue, after all, is in its assiduous detail, its close description of the events and ideas of the occultists who gathered around the Nazis as practitioners, fellow travelers, and in the case of Himmler and the SS, as dedicated acolytes, fortified cultists.

What augments the value of this work is the cold but understanding eye of the author. Since his knowledge of magic and magicians is intimate, one never questions whether he knows what he is writing about. Since he is also considerably disenchanted by the life practices of most of the magic workers, he is never taken in by assumptions of grandiosity or over-sweet New Age sentiments. He knows the fundamental flaw found in many occultists -- it is the vice that brought them to magic in the first place -- precisely their desire to obtain power over others without paying the price. The majority of occultists in these pages appear to be posted on the particular human spectrum that runs from impotence to greed. All too often, they are prone, as a crew, to sectarian war, all-out cheating, gluttony, slovenliness, ill will and betrayal. Exactly. They are, to repeat, at whatever level they find themselves, invariably looking for that gift of the gods -- power that comes without the virtue of having been earned.

The irony, of course, is that most of them, in consequence, pay large prices in ill health, failure, isolation, addiction, deterioration of their larger possibilities, even personal doom. Goethe did not conceive of Faust for too little.

Peter Levenda captures this paradox. What he also gives us is a suggestion that cannot be ignored: The occultists on both sides in the Second World War (although most particularly Himmler and the Nazis) did have some real effect on its history, most certainly not enough to have changed the outcome, but enough to have altered motives and details we have been taking for granted. What comes through the pages of Unholy Alliance is the canny political sense Hitler possessed in relation to the separate uses of magic and magicians. Levenda's dispassionate treatment of charged evidence is managed (no small feat) in a way to enable us to recognize that Hitler almost certainly believed in magic, and also knew that such belief had to be concealed in the subtext of his speeches and endeavors. Open avowal could be equal to political suicide.

He was hell, therefore, on astrologers -- and packed off many to concentration camps especially after Rudolf Hess' flight to England in 1941, did his best (and was successful) in decimating the gypsy population of Europe, sneered publicly at seers, psychic gurus, fortunetellers, all the small fry of the occult movement. He saw them clearly as impediments to his own fortunes, negative baggage to his reputation. Yet Hitler gave his support to the man he made into the second most important Nazi in existence, Heinrich Himmler, an occultist of no small dimension.

It was as if Hitler lived within a particular Marxist notion. It was Engels' dictum that "Quantity changes quality." One potato is something you eat, a thousand potatoes are to be brought to market, and with a billion potatoes, corner the market. In parallel, a little magic practiced by a small magician can prove a folly or a personal enhancement, a larger involvement brings on the cannibalistic practices to be expected of a magicians' society, and a huge but camouflaged involvement, the Nazi movement itself, with its black-shirted Knight Templars of SS men, becomes an immense vehicle that will do its best to drive the world into a new religion, a new geography, a new mastery of the future.

All of this is in Levenda's book. It is an immense if obligatorily compressed thesis -- the economies of publishing would never permit a one-thousand-page tome on this subject by a new author -- and the potentially large virtues of the work suffer to a degree from overcompression -- one feels the need to expand being held in much too close rein by the writer, but then, there are few daring and ambitious works that do not generate sizable flaws. Literature may be the most unforgiving of the goddesses!

In any event, I am delighted that Unholy Alliance is being republished because I have always found it a most provocative and valuable work on each of the three times I have read it, and have never come away without returning in my mind to the rich ore brought forth at the pit-head of virtually every page.

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Postby admin » Thu Jun 25, 2015 11:05 pm

Preface to the Second Edition

In the years since 1995 when this book was first published, the author has had occasion to see some of his anxieties -- predictions would be an overstatement -- come to sad fruition.

The very ending of this book's final chapter, the quotation from Charles Manson that America's children were "coming right at you," came hideously to life with the Columbine High School massacre in 1999 in which children slaughtered their classmates with firearms. These same children had idolized the Nazis, and had selected Hitler's birthday -- April 20 -- as the day to launch their sickening offensive.

In a note more harrowing than thrilling, author Stephen King reminded us in the New York Times Magazine of September 23, 2001, that the next phase of the Columbine children's crusade was to hijack an airliner and fly it into the World Trade Center in New York City.

Out of the guns of babes ...

Religious fanaticism and mystical identification of the political body with the Godhead has led to increased terror attacks all over the world, most particularly of course the events of September 11, 2001. The ostensible reason behind this series of attacks was the removal of non-Muslim forces from the sacred soil of Saudi Arabia and the cessation of American support for Israel, both politico-religious goals reflective of intense mystical convictions.

In addition, we are just learning of the depth of the horror that has been taking place in the Balkan states -- in Serbia, Croatia, Kosovo, and elsewhere -- as the perpetrators of religious and ethnic cleansing and virtual genocide are brought to some form of justice at the Hague.

In Southeast Asia, the prime minister of a predominantly Muslim nation blamed the Asian economic crisis of 1997 on a Jewish conspiracy masterminded by George Soros.

In that same nation today, one can purchase reprints of Henry Ford's rabid anti-Semitic polemic, The International Jew, at newsstands everywhere. This particular edition, printed in South Africa, also includes the full text of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

In the immortal phrase of Yogi Berra, "it's deja vu all over again." Or in other words, and to paraphrase my own book, we are still fighting World War One.

On a somewhat happier note, Chilean government forces have raided Colonia Dignidad several times over the past few years in their efforts to arrest its notorious founder, former Luftwaffe pilot Paul Schafer, and bring him to justice. As mentioned in both the Introduction and the final chapter of this book, I was the unwilling beneficiary of Schafer's hospitality one Sunday morning in the Chilean winter of 1979. Schafer has managed to evade capture, it is thought, by taking advantage of the elaborate tunnel system he had built under the Colony, a system designed in part by an American neo-Nazi and mastermind of the assassination of Orlando Letelier, Michael Vernon Townsley. (Ironically, Townsley's father was a Ford Motor employee in Santiago.)

Then, in the spring of 1999, I was invited to Germany for a taping of a television documentary on evil. The venue was the spiritual headquarters of Himmler's SS, the castle at Wewelsburg which is described at length in Chapter Six. I spent several pleasant days in the company of the film crew at our base in Paderborn, and made the acquaintance of a German filmmaker -- Dr. Kerstin Stutterheim -- whose documentary on Nazi occultism is essential viewing for anyone interested in the subject. Faces of Evil was aired on the TNT network during sweeps week in April, 2000 and included interviews with Marilyn Manson, FBI profiler John Douglas, author Poppy Z. Brite, and many other experts on evil and its forms in modern life, with voice-over narration by Malcolm MacDowell. I was honored to have been asked to participate, and even more thrilled when I realized that one of my culture heroes -- from such films as If A Clockwork Orange, and O! Lucky Man -- was to be the film's narrator. It seemed like an embarrasment of riches.

Seven Years in Tibet opened in 1997, starring Brad Pitt as Heinrich Harrer, the German soldier who spent that length of time in Tibet during the Second World War and befriended the Dalai Lama, and is based on his memoir of the same title. What Harrer neglected to mention -- to the surprise and shock of filmgoers -- was that he was more than a mere soldier caught behind enemy lines: he was an 55 officer of some standing and reputation. That the Dalai Lama would have befriended a Nazi gave everyone some cause for speculation. As in our agon over Watergate, we wanted to ask the Dalai Lama: what did he know and when did he know it? The SS's fascination with Tibet and the story of their official expedition to that country in 1938 is detailed at length in Chapter Six.

Pope John Paul II has begun a series of apologies for the actions of the Catholic Church over the past thousand years or so, actions that included war, murder, and persecution of minorities. These very public apologies are welcome, however late in coming. Some of these activities are covered in Chapter Eleven, where I discuss the efforts of some Catholic leaders to rescue Nazi war criminals from justice.

Magic and occultism have come back in vogue in America and in many other parts of the world. Not only the X-Files, but shows like Charmed, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Sabrina, the Teenage Witch can be seen on television stations in countries as remote from each other -- in religious sentiment as well as geography -- as the United Kingdom and Singapore, Venezuela and Hong Kong, Italy and Indonesia. Harry Potter became a record- reaker at the box office, just as it was being roundly condemned in some circles as encouraging children in the practices of magic and diverting them from the nervous embrace of organized religion.

Magic and politics. Since the biblical days of Saul and the Witch of Endor, political leaders have banned or spurned occultism only to secretly consult mediums, astrologers, and necromancers in times of stress. We need not look too far into the past to realize that this reaction is basic to our nature. One only has to think of President Reagan's astrologer to confront this combustible mixture of magic and politics in our own time. If we insist on looking at magic from the point of view of mainstream science -- as an exploded system based on faulty hypotheses about the nature of reality -- then we miss the point entirely, since the same could be said of religion as it could about some forms of art. Calling magic a "pseudo-science" is also setting up a straw man for burning at the stake. Magic does not pretend to be chemistry or physics. One might as well call Roman Catholicism, the paintings of Picasso, or the films of Marilyn Monroe pseudo-science, if one wishes to devalue them speedily and does not have the intellectual gifts to do so on their own terms. One might as well complain about the unnecessary complexity of Rube Goldberg machinery: confusing form with function is often a characteristic of the cultural critic as it is of the devout scientist, a case of wondering why roses are red and violets are blue. And as much as the scientist scoffs at magic, in equal terms does the politician, military commander, and terrorist mastermind employ magic as one of the weapons in a specialized arsenal of the arcane, alongside psychological warfare, disinformation, Vietnamization, and assassination. War is the ultimate proof of utility: if a weapon works, it stays in the arsenal. Magic has been part of the arsenal of politics and of war (the continuation, after all, of politics by other means) for millennia, alongside the club, the siege engine, gunpowder, advertising campaigns, and dirty tricks.

Far be it from this author, however, to wrestle with such complex issues in this limited space. He would rather give credit where it is due, and this he must do by the shovelful:

To Phil Tuckett of Bristlecone Films, Alan Brown, Brad Minerd, David Sharples, and the entire crew of Faces of Evil. There are no other people I would rather be with when the ghost of Heinrich Himmler looms over me in Germany. You made taping a documentary entertaining, stimulating, and a lot of fun.

To Dr. Kerstin Stutterheim, whose brilliant film on occult practices in Germany -- Mythos, Magie und Mord (Myth, Magic and Murder) -- should be seen by everyone who considers themselves an authority. Her encyclopedic knowledge of European film archives and the cultural context of both German occultism and Nazism is an invaluable resource.

To Michael Leach, whose gracious support and encouragement at critical stages was instrumental to this edition, as was that of Dr. Eugene Kennedy and Diane Higgins. Many thanks to you.

To Judith McNally, who believed in this book enough to become its informal advocate and guardian angel. Without Judith, this book would still be languishing in out-of-print limbo, unbaptized and unsaved.

To Frank Oveis, whose advice and suggestions have made this edition even better than the first.

To those other culture heroes who surprised the hell out of me by reading Unholy Alliance and contacting me with gracious praise:

To Jim Marrs, whose kind references in Rule by Secrecy made my day. To Jim Hougan, the investigative journalist I wanted to be after reading Spooks, and to Tracy Twyman of Dagobert's Revenge who put us together; and to Hans Janitschek.

To Whitley Strieber, with whom I once shared an agent, and whose personal quest somehow parallels my own; thanks for your kind correspondence, your unstinting support of Unholy Alliance and a very rewarding time on the Art Bell show, in spite of the potential difficulties of doing a live broadcast on a syndicated program when we were ten thousand miles -- and a dozen time zones -- apart.

To Norman Mailer. It is rare to find anyone in life who will go the extra mile for another based purely on principle, and with no reasonable expectation of reward. It is even more difficult when that person is a literary legend who is probably importuned at every corner by needy (or greedy) authors. There are really no words I can use to thank Norman Mailer (without a constant and compulsive rewrite that will never allow this book to make print) so I won't even try.

And finally to all the friends and fans of this book who must remain nameless; your E-mails, letters, reviews, and encouragement raised the energy necessary to get this done. Thank you all very much.

Southeast Asia
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Postby admin » Thu Jun 25, 2015 11:06 pm

That is the secret delight and security of hell that it is not to be informed on, that it is protected from speech, that it just is, but cannot be public in the newspaper, be brought by any word to critical knowledge ...


Introduction: At the Mountains of Madness

Four o'clock in the morning of an Andean winter found me shivering and alone on the streets of a small farming community in central Chile. It was profoundly dark, as only a poor village of sleeping farmers can be. But it was not silent.

From every side came the endless crowing of roosters and the unnerving howling of dogs like a sound track from hell.

There is something biblically ominous about a rooster crowing in the night and, when compounded by the braying of unseen hounds, one's composure is shaken into splintery fragments of old horror films. Monster movies, yes; and documentary films as well, for the twentieth century has given us a surfeit of both and it's sometimes hard to tell the difference between them. I remembered grainy scenes of goosestepping soldiers, military vehicles groaning through the streets, civilians murdered in their homes. On television, when I was a child, it had been World War II in black and white. Today it was the Republic of Chile, in living color.

It was cold. I shivered. Under other circumstances I might have welcomed the blue-steel chill of anxiety as a tickle from the feather of Maat, the Egyptian goddess who measures the weight of the human soul against it. But there was, that night, even more at risk than the teasing promise of eternal life and the soul's weary passage through the gloomy domain of Anubis, the dog-faced God of Hell.

After all, there was more than hounds' teeth waiting for me in the dark.

The animals themselves were mysteriously invisible as I made my way on broken pavement past the shuttered windows of the town's bakery, grocery, stationery store; tiny buildings huddled together for warmth and succor beneath the bell tower of the village church. I supposed the dogs were tethered in yards and the roosters locked in coops behind the high, whitewashed stone and brick walls that lined the dismal streets. To the east behind me rose the Andes Mountains in all their brooding splendor, black against the black night sky. It was two days past the new moon, and the sky was full of stars.

There was menace in the air that winter. The papers had been full of stories about cells of resistance to Pinochet's fascist regime -- the brave Miristas -- being discovered by the army and wiped out with characteristic brutality. There was no police force in Chile; the army was the police. There was no Congress. The Army was the Congress. There were no courts. None were considered necessary. Even now, nearly six years after the violent and bloody overthrow of Allende's government, there was still martial law in the streets of Santiago. Only the evening before, I had to be certain to rush back to my hotel before curfew began as if I were a character in Casablanca. The Wehrmachtstyle uniforms and goose step march of the Chilean soldiers did nothing to ameliorate the feeling that I was in a time warp, living in a German city sometime in 1939 instead of in a South American city in 1979. The recruiting posters for the army that depicted the Chilean officer's engraved dagger reminded me that I was in a country whose leader admired the SS. A nervous young man of perhaps eighteen in a greatcoat and Sam Browne belt, the distinctive helmet with the ear guards like something out of Hogan's Heroes pulled down over his forehead, had aimed his M-16 at me from the guardhouse of the military academy because I had tried to take his picture. The architecture of the academy itself was like something out of the wet dream of a Bavarian sadomasochist, but it was subdued when compared to the aggressively alpine motif of the Santiago Country Club.

And La Moneda -- the Presidential Palace where Salvador Allende spent his final hours -- was, like Chilean democracy, still in ruins.

So why had I gone deep into the South American interior -- far from Santiago or indeed any other sizable city -- to find myself unarmed and alone in the village square of Parral at four o'clock in the morning? If anything had happened to me there, no one would have known. There would have been no witnesses. No official reports. No body flown back to the United States for burial.

In fact, if things had gone just a bit more badly than they did, there would have been very little body left to send back.

I was in Parral, in central Chile, at the foot of the Andes Mountains that late June of 1979 because I was probing the heart of the Chilean darkness, a neo-Nazi encampment, cult and torture center known as Colonia Dignidad.

The Colony of Righteousness.

Mark my words, Bormann, I'm going to become very religious. [1]


Like many people, I was shocked to learn of the Catholic Church's complicity in helping Nazi war criminals escape Europe and certain death at the hands of the Nuremberg Tribunals. The Church had provided them with visas and passports in false identities, an underground railroad out of Europe composed of monastery "safe houses" along the way, and -- in some cases -- religious costume: dressing up the various butchers and torturers in the robes of Catholic priests. That the Church would be involved in aiding and abetting these fugitives from justice was shocking enough; that they were helping some of the most rabid anti-Catholics the twentieth century had ever known was beyond comprehension. And the man in charge of this now infamous operation, called by various names Caritas or Aktion Hudal, was none other than the future Pope Paul VI.

These were some of the allegations made in a book by the bestselling author of Patton and The Game of the Foxes: Ladislas Farago. The book was called Aftermath: Martin Bormann and the Fourth Reich. With meticulous detail, Farago reported his search for el gran fugitivo, Martin Bormann -- former Reichsleiter and Hitler's right-hand man -- who, Farago claimed, had escaped to South America dressed as a priest. Farago even went so far as to claim that Bormann, using the name "Father Augustin," had celebrated Mass and performed at least one marriage ceremony in Argentina. Farago even had Bormann attending the funeral for former President Juan Peron, his alleged protector in Argentina.

The Nazi/South American connection is so well known it has become part of the folklore of World War II. Whether Bormann really made it to South America or died in Berlin in 1945 is still a matter for speculation. When Farago's book was published, there was a general reaction among establishment historians that he had been fooled and manipulated by unscrupulous Latin police departments and shadowy "informers" who had lied to him pathologically ... and profitably. For some reason, it was anathema to believe that Bormann had escaped even though we knew Adolf Eichmann had made it to South America (where he was captured by the Israelis) and that Dr. Josef Mengele, the Angel of Death at Auschwitz, was in fact hiding in Brazil.

Heretofore a well-respected popular historian, Farago found himself attacked on all sides for daring to suggest -- albeit with careful documentation -- that Martin Bormann, the highest-ranking Nazi in the world after Hitler, had actually survived into the 1970s. Those of us who were familiar with the success of Simon Wiesenthal, among others, in hunting down Nazi war criminals through a labyrinthine maze of underground safe houses, secret societies, and foreign countries, were willing to at least credit Farago's research, which was as extensive, scrupulous, and thorough as one had come to expect of this Hungarian- born specialist in World War II history. But some of what he discussed seemed so outlandish that critics felt Farago was being had.

Like many others, I bought Aftermath and read it cover to cover in almost a single sitting. It was, after all, the height of Watergate paranoia those days, a time when anything was possible and when any criminal conspiracy by government leaders entirely credible. While his story read like any of the best political thrillers of the day, one statement in particular caught my eye. It concerned Bormann's living accommodations in Chile when he -- according to Farago and to various Argentine and Chilean security officials -- had to leave Argentina after the death of his friend, Juan Peron. It seemed he spent his time between a friend's estate outside Santiago and a small town south of the city. A town by the name of Parral:

Located in the latter region is the weirdest Nazi encampment of the postwar world, housing a sect that combines Nazism and voodooism. Enormously rich from mysterious sources, it maintains a heavily fortified estancia called Colonia Dignidad. It is virtually extraterritorial, enjoying privileges and immunities otherwise reserved only for diplomats. It was to the hacienda of Colonia Dignidad, called "El Lavadero," eighteen miles from Parral, camouflaged as a "cultural and welfare society," that Martin Bormann would move when, fatigued by his restless life in exile, he sought a place where he could be at peace. [2]

Nazism and voodooism? Weird encampment? Wealthy from mysterious sources? It sounded like something out of a Ludlum novel, and I began making arrangements to see it for myself.

Farago's book was published in 1974, the year after General Augusto Pinochet's overthrow of the Allende government in Chile, with its resulting dissolution of the Chilean Congress and the suspension of all civil liberties following the establishment of martial law. As the book by Thomas Hauser and later the Costa-Gavras film, Missing, made abundantly clear, Chilenos were not the only ones subject to arrest, interrogation, torture, and murder by government forces in Chile. Americans were also vulnerable. At least two American citizens were taken from their homes, tortured, and murdered in the days immediately following the coup.

Living in New York City, I was able to keep abreast of developments in Chile through a wide circle of emigres and political refugees, some of whom were on government hit lists. Through them I was able to learn of the actual existence of Colonia Dignidad, although no one I spoke with knew very much more about it than was published in Farago's book. Chile was in turmoil; people were being rounded up and "disappeared" for years after the initial coup. It would be five years before I was able to venture into the Chilean hinterlands myself, but when I did I was to find that nothing there had changed. Nothing at all.

As I boarded the Lan Chile flight from Kennedy Airport in New York to Santiago, Chile, I was frisked for the first time in my life. My youthful, bearded appearance must have given the security people pause. Yet, a few minutes earlier a crew-cut, blond-haired American man in front of me had very kindly opened an aluminum carrying case and displayed his rifle with telescopic sight to the counter people prior to having it tagged for our flight.

The scene came back to me as I boarded the plane, knowing that at least one person -- and an American at that -- was taking a firearm with him, even if it was in the luggage compartment. So (I asked myself for the hundredth time that week) what was I doing traveling to that most frightening of potential destinations, a Third World military dictatorship?

Writing a book, as it turns out. A potentially soporific study of how religious and cult organizations have influenced political movements since the Middle Ages. The occult has rarely been a topic of serious study by professional historians; yet occultism and secret societies devoted to the occult have been known to wield a disproportionate influence over political events in many countries. While academic historians may agree that this has been the case in the past, no one seriously wants to entertain the notion that cults still function effectively -- if somewhat haphazardly -- in the present day. Because the basis for occult beliefs is often what historian James Webb has called "rejected knowledge," [3] academics tend to reject occultists as history's sideshow freaks: gullible, wide-eyed, and crazed naifs floating in a twilight world of schizophrenia and paranoia. Whatever one thinks of the beliefs of the occultists -- I thought -- one must credit their basic courage and their unusually high levels of intelligence. Courage, because they have chosen to live outside the "system": of religion, of custom, of all those things with which society identifies itself and its members. Intelligence, because the occultists one comes across in the few histories available are generally well traveled, speak several foreign languages (including a few dead ones), and have done considerable reading in a variety of disciplines, both mainstream and underground. In effect, occultists share many traits in common with JFK conspiracy theorists; and, yes, paranoia does seem to be a prerequisite for membership in either community but then, as the late literary critic Anatole Broyard once remarked, "Paranoids are the only ones who notice things anymore." [4] I knew the occult was a major factor in the Nazi Weltanschauung, but this fact was being ignored both by most historians and by those people who considered themselves well read on twentieth century history.

As I write these lines, the Skinheads have become a menace both in America and in Europe and the rise of racist violence on both sides of the Atlantic seems to be taking social critics by surprise. No one seems able to understand what attraction the defeated Nazi Party holds for adolescent white males; certainly no one understands the dimensions of the potential threat to world peace a resurgence of Nazism has in store for us and for our children. To fill this gap -- and to satisfy those smug critics of occult "histories" who insist that the evidence for a Nazi occult conspiracy is virtually nonexistent or at best irrelevant and trivial -- I was busy developing a mass of source material that would show not only how the Nazi Party was essentially the product of a mystical and peculiarly occult vision, but that the weight of previous centuries of religio-political history would demonstrate just how pervasive is the relationship between politics and occult ideas.

So, to counteract the drowsy accumulation of dense references to forgotten fraternities and lunatic philosophies, Colonia Dignidad seemed like a natural: Nazis in hiding, weird voodooistic rites in the mountains, unlimited sources of income. It would be the crowning achievement of an otherwise dry, academic study of right-wing fanatics, fundamentalist Christian, Jewish, and Muslim sects, spiritual corruption and corporeal violence at all levels of society. Colonia Dignidad would represent relevant, up-to-date, man-on-the-scene research.

I had already spoken with Klan leaders and the members of several neo-Nazi organizations in the United States, most of whom were really pathetic groups of men who lived somewhere on the border of abused child and serial killer. I watched convicted Klansman Roy Frankhouser literally kick his mother down the stairs of his Reading, Pennsylvania, "church." I helped a Volkswagen van full of American Nazis find their way out of a small town when it turned out that none of the Master Race could read a road map. I stood on line at a McDonald's in New Jersey as a half-dozen crazed hypoglycemics, sporting outlandish black SS-type uniforms with red, white, and back double-thunderbolt armbands -- the elite guard of James Madole's rabid National Renaissance Party -- loaded up on Big Macs, fries, and shakes while I tried to appear as if I was traveling alone.

Now I was about to investigate the real thing. Real Nazis. Escaped war criminals. Pagan idolators. Screaming psychos in the Andean forests. Little did I know that at that very moment events were being put in motion ten thousand miles away that would have an effect on my activities in Chile and which would, in the final analysis, actually save my life.

Farago's book was roundly, even viciously, attacked. "It wasn't true. It couldn't be true. Bormann's body was found in Berlin, wasn't it? There were eyewitnesses who said that Bormann had been shot crossing a bridge, weren't there?" Therefore, the rest of the book had to be flawed. The troubling implication for me was that perhaps there was no Colonia Dignidad, or that the whole thing had been exaggerated beyond recognition. Perhaps Colonia Dignidad was nothing more than a community of old European immigrants, living out their lives growing the grapes from which the excellent Chilean wines are produced. Perhaps they were -- as Penthouse editor Peter Bloch would later tell me to my astonishment -- merely some unpleasant people who only happened to be German, and not Nazis-in-hiding.

Perhaps there was no Colonia Dignidad at all.

When I landed in Santiago I immediately tried to make reservations on a flight back to the States for the following week, but found that all seats were booked a month in advance. Nonetheless, I put my name on a waiting list and gave the airline the name of my hotel -- the gravely misnomered Grand Palace, two floors of an office building in downtown Santiago. I phoned in every day and visited the ticket offices, but there were no seats, a situation that would soon change in an unexpected way.

I spent the first few days in Santiago seeing the sights, reheating my Spanish, and looking for a few of the locations identified in Farago's book as Nazi fronts. The house and gift shop of Mark Buchs was there, in the Providencia section on Calle San Pablo, just as Farago described it. Mark Buchs was a friend of Bormann, according to Farago, and a devoted Nazi. His gift shop was on the main street -- with a large sign that said, simply, "Mark Buchs" -- and I brazenly went inside and bought a small trinket. A souvenir, you might say, of my days of Nazi-hunting on a budget. Then, I followed Calle San Pablo down to the house at the cul-de-sac, which had several burly men standing around, doing nothing, staring at everything. There were two Mercedeses in the driveway; a nice touch.

I went back across the street from Mark Buchs's and took a few surreptitious photographs from behind a lamp post.

So far, none of this was earning me a Pulitzer. In the midst of all my Nazi-hunting paranoia, however, there was also sadness. After all, I was walking in the very footsteps of Pablo Neruda and Gabriela Mistral ... for that country has given the world two Nobel Prizewinning poets. Chile had been the most literate country in the Western Hemisphere until the coup d'etat that put Pinochet in power. Chile had also boasted the longest continuous democracy in South America. Unlike its neighbors, it had never succumbed to the peristaltic intervals of civil war and revolution that stereotype Latin governments in the eyes of most North Americans. Salvador Allende had been a democratically elected president who had also survived a confidence vote later in his administration. It would take a CIA-ITT-financed truckers' strike, punitive World Bank actions instigated by the United States, and a junta of Chilean military power -- aided, abetted, and gleefully encouraged by the United States government under Nixon and Kissinger -- to put an end to democracy in Chile for many years. And Pablo Neruda, Chile's most beloved poet, would die only days later; some say of a broken heart but the truth is much grimmer: his home was surrounded for five days by Pinochet's troops so that Neruda -- gravely ill with cancer of the prostate -- could not receive the vital medical attention he needed.

Later, a much-admired former Chilean statesman -- Orlando Letelier -- would be murdered in the streets of Washington, D.C., by agents of the Pinochet regime; victim of a conspiracy masterminded by an American assassin: a morally bankrupt psychopath and electronics freak who had designed the torture chambers of Colonia Dignidad.

In the end I managed to make arrangements to go to the tiny town of Parral, where the infamous Colonia was supposed to be located. I rode a very comfortable Pullman bus that took the Pan American Highway south through the village of San Fernando (a rest stop where I ate a cold hot dog on a stale bun: a local delicacy called una vienesa, a "Viennese") and then into the province of Linares. As we drove further south the sun began to set, and in the waning light at one stop I could see a small crowd of people -- old men and a few women -- in a poor, ramshackle village, huddling around a fire in an oil drum in the muddy dirt road that served as their Main Street. Small children, dressed in little more than rags, were coming from all directions carrying planks and odd lengths of lumber to feed the flames. It was as if they were tearing down their village, piece by piece, for warmth.

I arrived at Parral in the middle of the night. Other than the sounds of the howling dogs and crowing roosters, the streets were absolutely empty. There were no lights on in the homes, or around the square with its obligatory statue of Bernardo O'Higgins, the oddly nomenclatured Father of his Country. The Catholic church in the square was dark, its only illumination the deep red glow of the tabernacle lamp that affirmed the lonely presence of God somewhere in the mysterious heart of this remote village. In the distance, I could make out the train station and decided to walk in that direction and perhaps find someplace warm to sit until the sun came up.

June in Chile is the beginning of winter. It was quite cold, and I was getting hungry, but there was nothing for it but to wait until I could find someone to drive me out to the Colony. As I made my way down the deserted calles to the station, a bizarre figure from out of a Fellini film suddenly appeared in the dull wash of a streetlamp at the far end: a man, wrapped in a dark woolen poncho and wearing a beret, riding on a bicycle, and carrying a large greasy stick, with a mangy dog attached to his bike by means of a heavy chain.

He bade me stop and identify myself, claiming that he was the "night watchman" (el vigilante) for the town. He appeared old and grizzly, with a three-day growth of stubble, but he was the only human being abroad in the night and his dog looked vicious, so I dutifully handed him my passport.

"North American, huh? We've never seen a norteamericano down here before. Where are you from? Chicago?" He grinned at me in my trench coat, visions of Al Capone and bathtub gin dancing in his eyes.

"No. New York."

Almost as good.

"What are you doing here?"

"Waiting for a train."

At this, he laughed.

"A train? In the middle of Parral in the middle of the night? I don't think so. You had better tell me the truth."

As he was trying to find out what I was doing in his town, we were approached by two more men drawn by the sound of our voices. These wore the uniforms -- and carried the rifles -- of the army, and my newfound friend made the introductions.

They also asked to see my passport, and they passed it among themselves, shifting their weapons from hand to hand as they did so. Now I was nervous. Would I be arrested? Would I be "disappeared" like my American predecessors? Would I be tortured first, then killed?

At that point, the night watchman, Senor Francisco Molinas, invited us all to his house for a drink.

The pickle jar of homemade aquardiente went around a few times, and I was observed drinking the stuff and eating a grape that had been marinated in that crystal-clear, overproof moonshine for what must have been more years than I was alive if the mule kick it gave me was any indication. The two soldiers leaned their rifles up against the wall of the one-room

shack, warm in the heat of a smoky, wood-burning stove, and we all sat around talking. I was well aware of my position, and I most certainly did not want to get drunk. I feigned shock at the tremendous alcoholic content of the moonshine, coughing and gasping, which brought smiles of approval from my companions along the order of "that gringo has never tasted really good, strong liquor before, not like we have in Chile." And eventually the topic of conversation turned to what exactly I was doing in their tiny town in the middle of a rural Chilean nowhere.

It was then that I realized I could not keep it a secret any longer. It was foolish to insist that I was simply waiting for a train, although that was the first thing that came to mind when I saw Mr. Molinas and his dog. I told them the truth, that I had come to Parral to seek Colonia Dignidad.

It was as if a cold wind had just gusted through the room straight from the snowy peaks of the Andes. My hosts sobered up immediately. It was their turn to be shocked, for it seemed as if they had truly not expected me to be there on so foolhardy a mission.

The troops warned me repeatedly not to go. That it was dangerous. That the people of La Colonia were hated and despised throughout the region. That they functioned as an independent state, completely separate from any local authority. That they operated a medical clinic that was free to the locals two days a week, but that it was a last resort for most Chileans because they did not trust the German doctors and especially not a particular German nurse with a sadistic gleam and brutal disposition. That they were all foreigners, not a Chileno among them. That they received checks for large sums of money that came in the mail from all over the world. Including the United States. That they were well armed. That if I went there, I would probably not return.

That they practiced strange rites in the forests on holidays that were unknown to the Christian calendar.

Whether it was the false courage of the aguardiente or the realization that I had come this far and wasn't about to return empty-handed, or the immortal confidence of a twenty-eight-year-old weekend warrior sitting around hobnobbing with armed soldiers in an alien land as if he belonged there ... I decided that, as soon as the sun was up, I would go.

We parted amicably at dawn. The troops would not prevent me from going to the Colony. It was not against the law to go there, to voluntarily enter where many had tried to escape, only stupid. After the soldiers left, Senor Molinas introduced me to his young and beautiful wife and three children in a neighboring hut where they had been sleeping, wrapped in woolen blankets on the floor. Blinking in the light of a kerosene lantern, they stirred awake and smiled at me: a weird apparition in trench coat and camera. Molinas had to return to his mysterious occupation, and left me temporarily in the care of his brother, who insisted that I visit his house. Dawn was just breaking, and there was no transportation anyway, so I followed the shorter Sr. Molinas hermano to his home, whereupon he disappeared for a moment into another room.

Looking around, I could see that the people of Parral lived quite simply. There were religious pictures on one wall, and a heavily carved and painted wooden crucifix -- that looked at least a hundred years old -- on another. Finally, my host appeared and in his hand was a rifle.

It took me a moment to realize it wasn't pointed at me. He offered the rifle for my inspection -- a surprisingly lightweight, bolt-action model of uncertain manufacture -- and asked me if I wanted to go hunting with him and his friends. I swallowed, and then politely declined, saying that I had to go to La Colonia. He smiled a little ruefully and took a good, long look at me as if for the last time. He shook his head, and then my hand, and led me out the door and directed me back to the town square.

It still being deserted, I made my way on foot to a gas station on the highway outside of town that had a cafe, and I ate what I reasonably assumed could very well be my last meal, of steak and onions in an otherwise-deserted restaurant.

Then I returned to the square and, finding a cabdriver waiting around in front of the church -- it was now Sunday morning and I could see preparations for Mass being made through the open doors -- we agreed on a price and made for Colonia Dignidad with all haste.

In 1979, the Colony of Righteousness was reached by a dirt road off the Pan American Highway, south of Parral, that wound up and around a series of foothills of the Andes Mountains. At one point there is a fork in the road. A left turn will take you to a popular hot spring resort. The right road takes you past something called La Colonia Italiana, a poverty-stricken estate of starving burros and emaciated farmers, before you reach the higher ground and the main entrance to Colonia Dignidad. I thought it ironic that the German colony should be situated cheek by jowl with an Italian counterpart, as if the Axis powers had felt it necessary to reproduce themselves in microcosmic form in this out-of- the-way section of South American forest.

But as we climbed higher into the mountains, passing a pair of huasos or Chilean gauchos on horseback, their Clint Eastwood hats and serapes making them seem like noble lords of the hills, I noticed a striking difference between Colonia Italiana and Colonia Dignidad. The latter smelled of money. The very forests-mostly dark and evergreen, like some kind of displaced Schwarzwald -- seemed manicured. Finally, we crossed a small, decorative bridge and drove through an open gate to a parking area in front of a rustic wooden building that I guessed housed some sort of reception facility.

At this point my driver became very agitated. He urged me to take my photographs quickly so that we could get the hell out of there. I didn't need to be warned twice. I jumped out of the car and took perhaps ten or twelve shots in rapid succession, covering 360 degrees around me, elated that I had what were probably the only photos of Colonia Dignidad in honest (that is to say, civilian) captivity. It was then that I heard muffled conversation coming from behind the door of the wooden reception building, a building that I had thought was unoccupied. From the bursts of static that accompanied the voices, I knew that someone was talking on a radio. In German.

I ran back to the car and my driver hit the gas pedal ... and then the brake in rapid succession. Before us, the gate we had driven through so brazenly only moments before closed electronically, and a car -- a white Mercedes with venetian blinds in the rear window -- appeared from nowhere to block our escape. All four car doors opened, and some of the largest human beings I have ever seen left the Mercedes and came over to surround our car. My driver's hands were frozen, white-knuckled, to the steering wheel, and he kept saying, over and over, "Oh, no. Oh, no." From every angle around us, more men appeared, some dressed in ersatz fatigues with Sam Browne belts and others in surgical blues. Visions of Mengele in his lab, or of the mad dentist in Marathon Man, fought for control of my heartbeat. All the men were running, panting, out of breath.

We had caught the Nazis with their pants down on a beautiful, sunny, Sunday morning ... and now they had caught us.
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The German soul has passages and galleries in it, there are caves, hiding-places, and dungeons therein; its disorder has much of the charm of the mysterious; the German is well acquainted with the by-paths to chaos.


1. Of Blood, Sex, and the Rune Magicians

Prologue: Christmas Day, 1907. A Castle in Upper Austria, on the Danube. Against a backdrop of snow-covered hills and ice-blue sky, church bells and Christmas carols, a flag is raised over Burg Weifenstein and, for the first time, the world sees a swastika banner fluttering in the breeze over Europe. Men dressed in white robes emblazoned with red crosses -- Rune Magicians -- raise their arms and voices in pagan chant to Baldur, the Sun God, Lord of the Winter Solstice.

The Order of the New Templars is proclaimed, while, only a few miles away, young Adolf Hitler has just buried his mother.

Most of us live in a world that is neatly organized around several basic principles. Like medieval serfs who lived secure in the knowledge that there was a God in heaven and a Satan in hell, that humanity was the battleground between these two forces, and that God was winning; we twentieth-century serfs bask in the comfort of a world that (we are told) is the product of purely scientific principles. Genesis has given way to The Origin of Species and the Big Bang. We have landed on the moon, rather than drawing it down with incantations and rites of witchcraft. We heal with lasers and sterilized instruments to a backbeat of the blips and beeps of electronic monitoring equipment; the fractured rhythms of the witch doctor's drums are but a faint echo of old fears and tainted memories.

Thus, we assume, all sane men and women are guided by scientific principles in their daily lives; and this is especially true, we sometimes like to think, of our politicians. What more prosaic a lot of people can there be but the House of Representatives or the House of Commons? A debate on the Senate floor -- although televised in all its stultifying detail on something called C-SPAN -- is rarely gripping; not quite the stuff of Becket or Richard III There is little in the way of poetry or vision in American politics anymore, and that is largely because the Romantic ideals of our ancestors have been discredited with the passage of time. We are nations of laws, and these laws are constantly changing to reflect new "realities" created -- not by philosophers or metaphysicians or theologians -- but by scientists and technicians. The very fact that Americans can tune in their television sets and watch live coverage of a debate in the House over funding allocations for a program they've never heard of is somewhat comforting. It means, in fact, that the wheels of government grind on, in the open, with boring, peristaltic regularity, aided and abetted by scientific invention and technological achievement. A bureaucracy on Geritol.

While, outside on the streets, civilization is breaking down so fast western society is on the verge of a catastrophe of major proportions.

A Communist might say the reasons for the decline of the Western way of life are purely economic and that the warring factions are economic classes struggling for dominance over the means of production.

But there are few Communists abroad in the land anymore; fewer still who could carry that argument with any conviction, no matter how reasonable it might seem today. After all, an L.A. street gang performing a drive-by shooting on rival gang members to enforce their control of the drug trade on some bleak city block seems hardly what Mao had in mind when he wrote "All power comes from the barrel of a gun," or what Marx and Engels meant by "Workingmen of all countries, unite!"

The polarity within which so much of the twentieth century was written -- Communism and Fascism -- has crumbled. The Soviet Union -- Hitler's greatest enemy after the Jews -- has fallen. The map of Europe has been redrawn, with a reunified Germany as its centerpiece. Its capital is Berlin, once again.

Who had reason to celebrate the most when the Berlin Wall came down?

And who is celebrating now that the races have become, if anything, even more divided; when we read once again about a "Jewish-Masonic conspiracy" as the rationale for "ethnic cleansing"; when the potential for racial violence all over the world has escalated to heights unheard of thirty, forty years ago?

While science is humming along nicely inside our homes, just what the hell is happening outside, and why?

If we are honest with ourselves we know we can't answer all these questions with a few canned explanations about the decline of the nuclear family or the failure of the social welfare system. There is clearly something more going on here. Our politicians are not men of science; they never were. They live as dangerously close to the Beast Within as the rest of us; perhaps even more so. In the end, the difference between a seasoned politician and a gang-banger with a machine gun is very slight, a difference of style rather than substance. If that seems to be overstating the case, just ask anyone who lived in Berlin in 1919. Or in Munich in 1923. Or Vienna in 1938. Poland in 1941.

Santiago in 1973.

Or Sarajevo in 1994.

Ask anyone on the receiving end of Nazi occultism.

The epigraph from Thomas Mann at the beginning of this book is taken from Doctor Faustus. The author thought that both quotation and source were apt selections to christen this discussion. Doctor Faustus, after all, is a novel that takes place in Germany during the rise and fall of Hitler. Its title comes from a long German tradition of Doctors Faustus: magicians and occultists who have sold their souls to Satan in the next life for personal power and glory in this one. Thomas Mann himself lived to see his books burned in great bonfires throughout Germany in that impotent gesture by the Nazi government during the war of ideas that has characterized our century.

Even more apt, however, is Satan's own explanation for the "secret delight of hell": as Mann understands it, hell's delight is that it cannot be discussed or described, that "it is not to be informed on."

It is the author's intention, therefore, to steal some of hell's secret delight and security; to shine a light, however feebly or inexpertly, on that corner of history's basement few professional historians have dared to visit, and to show the reader why. We will trace the history of a cult so lethal no sensationalistic tales of satanic serial killers hacking women to death in suburban cellars can come close to matching the horror, or the evil; a cult that still exists to this day, its activities aided, abetted, and protected by a variety of the world's governments.

And to do that, we must begin with a scene of utter chaos; with the breakdown of civilization; with rooftop snipers and roving gangs with guns; with terror and madness; with mystical diagrams and pagan rituals in ruined castles; with a vision of hell itself.

We must begin with Munich in 1918.

Descent into Hell

The city is in turmoil. The Kaiser's republic has collapsed with the defeat of Germany in the First World War, and the whole country is up for grabs. It appears as if Germany is about to fall apart into the warring city-states from which it had been assembled nearly fifty years ago. The victorious Allies are demanding enormous concessions from Germany. The Russian Revolution has been in full swing for a year, and German soldiers returning from the front are being cajoled into helping midwife the same type of Communist regime amid the ashes of the Second Reich.

Kurt Eisner -- an intellectual and a Jew, a defender of the League of Nations -- takes the initiative and proclaims a Socialist Republic in Munich on the seventh of November, 1918. It looks as if there is going to be a Communist regime in Germany -- or, at least, a Socialist one in Bavaria -- after all. Hysteria grows among the nationalists, and with it despair that their nation is on the verge of realizing the dreams of Marx and Engels as codified in their famous Manifesto. Germans are bewildered, shocked ... stunned into a kind of nervous stupefaction. They have lost the war, their country may be broken up once again into many separate bickering pieces, and there will soon be Communists calling the shots in Berlin and in the capital city of Bavaria: Munich.

Within forty-eight hours there is a meeting of the Thule Gesellschaft. The Thule, a mystical society based in part on the theosophical writings of Guido von List and Lanz von Liebenfels -- which is to say, an amalgam of Eastern religion, theosophy, anti-Semitism, Grail romance, runic mystification, and Nordic paganism -- meets every Saturday in spacious rooms at the elegant Four Seasons Hotel in Munich. There are roughly 250 members of the Thule in Munich ... and over fifteen hundred in Bavaria. On that day, November 9, a bizarre individual, an occultist, an initiate of the Eastern mysteries in Turkey as well as of Freemasonry, and the leader and founder of the Thule -- the self-styled Baron Rudolf von Sebottendorff -- makes an impassioned plea to the assembled cultists for armed resistance to the Reds. This plea eventually degenerates into a monologue on runes, German racial theory, Nordic mythology, and other arcane lore. No matter. Most of his listeners know what to expect. They are, in fact, members of the supersecret, superracist, and superoccult "German Order Walvater of the Holy Grail," or Germanenorden, which is using the name Thule Gesellschaft -- or Thule Society, a "literary-cultural society" -- as a cover to confuse Munich's fledgling Red Army, which is on the lookout for right-wing extremists. Sebottendorff himself is Master of the anti-Semitic Germanenorden's Bavarian division under its leader and founder, Hermann Pohl.

The Thule cultists -- whose symbol is a long dagger superimposed on a swastika -- need no encouragement. They begin stockpiling weapons in secret supply dumps in and around Munich, anticipating a counterstrike against the new Socialist Republic. They make alliances with other nationalist groups, such as the Pan-Germans under editor Julius Lehmann, the German School Bund, the Hammerbund ... and an organized resistance movement is born. All the mystical and clandestine labors of the past twenty years involving a series of secret and occult organizations with elaborate initiation ceremonies and complex magical rituals, from the List Society's inner HAO (Higher Armanen Order) to the Order of the New Templars, will soon culminate in a pitched battle in the streets of Munich between the neopagan Thule Society and the "godless Communists."

FEBRUARY 21, 1919. The idealistic but hapless Kurt Eisner -- who preceded political speeches with symphonic concerts -- is assassinated by a young count and would-be Thulist. The police descend upon Thule headquarters, looking for inflammatory leaflets and other evidence of Thule Society involvement in the plot. Was the notoriously anti- Semitic Thule Society somehow responsible for Eisner's assassination? Sebottendorff stonewalls, and threatens to instigate a pogrom if the police don't leave the Thule Society alone. The police comply.

APRIL 7, 1919. A rebel Bavarian Soviet Republic is proclaimed in Munich as the legitimate minister-president of Bavaria flees north with his council to the town of Bamberg to prevent the Communists from taking over the government. The Thule organizes among the anti-Communist factions in Munich and Sebottendorff (together with his friend, the racist priest Bernhard Stempfle) begins conspiring with the "exiled" Bavarian government in Bamberg for a counterrevolt.

APRIL 13, 1919. The Palm Sunday Putsch. An abortive attempt by the Thule Gesellschaft -- with other anti-Communist groups -- to take power in Munich. There is bloodshed. The Putsch fails. Munich explodes into anarchy. The Communists seize control of the city and begin taking hostages. The Red Army is on the march ... and hunting for the Thule Gesellschaft.

APRIL 26, 1919. Sebottendorff is away at Bamberg, busy organizing a Freikorps (Free Corps) assault on Communist headquarters, when a Red Army unit raids Thule Society offices and arrests its secretary, the Grafin Hella von Westarp, and seizes the Thule membership lists. Six more Thulists are arrested at their homes, including the Prince von Thurn und Taxis, a well-connected aristocrat with blood relations among the crowned heads of Europe.

APRIL 30, 1919. Walpurgisnacht. The High Holy Day of European Paganism and Witchcraft. The Red Army executes the captured Thulists and other hostages, shooting them against a wall in the courtyard of Luitpold High School.

It is probably the worst mistake they could have made.

The next day, an obituary appears in Sebottendorff's Munchener Beobachter -- a newspaper which a year later becomes the official Nazi propaganda sheet, the Volkischer Beobachter -- giving the names of the seven murdered cultists and laying the blame on the doorstep of the Red Army. [1] The citizens of Munich are finally outraged, shaken out of their lethargy. Thulists continue their well-organized campaign of agit-prop against the Communist regime. The people take to the streets.

The Free Corps -- twenty thousand strong -- marches on Munich under the command of General von Oven. For the first time in history, storm troopers -- members of the Ehrhardt Free Corps Brigade -- march beneath a swastika flag with swastikas painted on their helmets, singing a swastika hymn. As they enter the city, they find that the Thule has managed to organize a full-scale citizen rebellion against the Soviet government. They join forces.

When the dust settles on May 3, the Communists have been defeated in Munich, politically and militarily. Hundreds of people, including many innocent civilians, have been senselessly slaughtered in their streets and homes by the crusading "Whites" with the swastika banners. But there will be no Socialist or Communist government in Germany until after World War II, over twenty-five years later, and even then it will rule over only half of the country and will take its orders from Germany's most despised enemy, the Soviet Union.

But now, so soon after the victorious march of the Freikorps through the streets of Munich, the threat of a Soviet regime in the rest of Germany is still very real. Units of the navy are in mutiny, raising the red flag over Germany's battleships. France will march into the Ruhr valley, Germany's industrial heartland. But the spectacular success of the Freikorps has aroused the admiration of anti-Bolshevik forces all across Europe. In Riga, the newly formed Latvian Republic begs for Freikorps assistance to defend their country against the Bolsheviks and even the British support this decision. Hence, Freikorps units move to the defense of Latvia until the British themselves have to intervene to free Latvia from the death grip of these rabid proto-Nazi brigands. [2]

Even Germany's own right wing is divided into two camps: those in favor of restoring the monarchy and separating Bavaria from the rest of Germany, and those in favor of a unified Greater German Reich, without a monarch but with a leader, a leader with vision. A German messiah. A Fuhrer. Where is that Fuhrer to be found?

Unwittingly, the Thule Gesellschaft provides the answer. Meeting in the expensive Four Seasons Hotel, the leading industrialists and aristocracy of the city, along with a generous helping of local police and military officials, are designing a two-pronged strategy of political activism. The Thule Society will do the organizing, will make the right connections among the society figures, the wealthy capitalists, the intelligentsia. They will stockpile the weapons. They will organize units of the Free Corps, particularly the Ehrhardt Brigade (which will become an official unit of Germany's navy as the Ehrhardt Naval Brigade and, eventually, subsumed into Himmler's SS) and the Freikorps Oberland.

But another arm of the Thule has already begun recruiting -- not among Munich's "beautiful people," the rich and the powerful -- but among the working people, the lower- and middle-class citizens who have been hit hardest by the civil wars, the enormous rates of inflation, the chaos and confusion. There will be no overt involvement of the Thule Society in this group, which is to be called instead the German Workers Party and which will be led by a serious, humorless, railroad employee and locksmith named Anton Drexler. They will meet in a beer hall. Perhaps between the two groups -- the Thule with its academics, nobles, and factory owners meeting at the Four Seasons, and the German Workers' Party with its rough-and-tumble factory workers meeting in beer halls -- they will be able to form a united front against Communism, international Freemasonry, and world Jewry.

Within a year, this project of the Thule Gesellschaft will become the NSDAP: the National Socialist German Workers' Party. The Nazi Party. It will sport a swastika flag and a swastika armband, and its leader will be a war veteran, a corporal who had been sent by the German Army to spy on the organization: Adolf Hitler.

And by November, 1923, the tiny German Workers' Party will have grown to enormous proportions with many thousands of members, and will attempt to take over the country in the famous Beer Hall Putsch. The Putsch will fail, but Adolf Hitler the Fuhrer will be born -- not in a manger like the Son of God he often believed himself to be -- but in a jail cell at Landsberg Prison.

What was the Thule Gesellschaft? What were cultists doing fighting Communists in the streets of Munich? What did they believe? How did it influence the Nazi Party?

A Philosophical Digression

The once-fashionable and still-controversial French philosopher Michel Foucault once described two major impulses in European culture and its dynamics of power. [3] The first of these he called "the blood." This impulse was directly related to old-fashioned concepts of political sovereignty. According to Foucault, the death penalty was important and indulged in heavily during this period because it represented the monarch's divinely given power to cause the death of enemies; i.e., to rob them of their blood. One pledged to defend a monarch to the last drop of one's blood. People became rulers owing to their consanguinity with the previous ruler (they shared the same blood, were of the same family). And, of course, although Foucault does not say it so baldly, an essential element of the dominant European religion, Christianity, is the idea of the redemption of humanity through the spilled (and sacred) blood of Christ.

This cultural conceit existed in the West well until the advent of the nineteenth century, at which time it was gradually replaced by the second of the two impulses, that of "sexuality." "Sanguinity" gave way to "sexuality" as political attitudes shifted from the importance of blood (and, hence, of the mystical value of death, the spilling of blood) to the importance of life itself: to the regulation of life's processes, the (selective) preservation of life, and the survival (or destruction) of entire populations. Power, therefore, was no longer a mystical quality of kingly blood -- i.e., of an individual sovereign -- but inherent in the control, manipulation, and interpretation of the sex act and its product. Power shifted -- according to Foucault -- from the symbol or sign of the blood toward the object of sex; Machiavelli moving down the talk show couch to make room for Freud, who will take it with him when he leaves.

The author has imposed this seeming digression on the reader because it so perfectly describes what will follow in the remainder of this book; we will be watching how these twin forces -- blood and sex -- came to be epitomized in the occult struggles, the mystical agon, of the Third Reich. Rather than remain an abstract philosophical problem, however, the themes of blood and sex become very real, very conspicuous in the writings, acts, and preoccupations of the magicians who gave birth to the Nazi Party and of those who carried out the gruesome policies of the SS. (Robert J. Lifton, who has written extensively on the psyches of the Nazi doctors, has also recognized this mystic obsession with "the blood" that characterized the Nazi phenomenon. [4]) The reader is asked to remember this brief encapsulation of Foucault's observations as we follow the argument down the last hundred- odd years since the birth of the German Theosophical movement and its illegitimate offspring, the sex-and-blood rune magicians List, Liebenfels, and Sebottendorff.

Before we get ahead of ourselves, however, let us begin where most Western twentieth- century occultism begins, with the birth of the Theosophical Society in New York City in 1875 and the subsequent occult revival that spread to England and the Continent with such powerful (and often dire) consequences.

Secret Chiefs, Secret Doctrines

Madame Helena Petrovna Blavatsky (1831-1891) was born in what is now Ukraine. She would be forty-four years old before creating the Society for which she is best remembered, but her most important achievements still lay ahead of her.

In 1877 -- two years after starting the Theosophical Society -- she would publish Isis Unveiled, an energetic blend of Eastern religion and mysticism, European mythology and Egyptian occultism, whose rambunctious style would pave the way for her even more ambitious The Secret Doctrine in 1888. Some authors have written that the popularity of Blavatsky's writings in the late nineteenth century was evidence of an antipositivist reaction among the middle classes to the effect that science was having on religious belief. [5] In other words, science was going so far toward "proving" the errors of faith that the average person -- suddenly up the existential creek without a paddle or a prayer book -- embraced the quasi-scientific approach toward religion represented in The Secret Doctrine.

Darwin had published The Origin of Species in 1859 and this was followed by The Descent of Man in 1871; both books offered evolution as the means by which humans were created, as opposed to the Biblical account found in Genesis. The effect of the theory of evolution on religion was as great then as it is now; the controversy over Darwinism caused many people to question the existence of God, the possibility of redemption, life after death, etc. People were startled to discover that Biblical myths were at odds with scientific theories, and thus began to doubt everything they ever believed. They found themselves spiritually -- and, perhaps, morally -- adrift.

Blavatsky provided a much-appreciated antidote to Darwin even as she was brazenly appropriating (and reversing) his theory of evolution. As bizarre as her theories appear today, they were actually quite brilliant for her time [?], for they enabled intelligent and educated men and women to maintain deep spiritual beliefs while simultaneously acknowledging the inroads made by scientific research into areas previously considered beyond the domain of mere human knowledge. Blavatsky outlined a map of evolution that went far beyond Darwin to include vanished races from time immemorial through the present imperfect race of humans, and continuing on for races far into the future. Based on an idiosyncratic selection of various Asian scriptures -- including a few she made up herself -- The Secret Doctrine's message would later be picked up by the German occultists, who welcomed the pseudoscientific prose of its author as the answer to a dream. The smug and condescending attitude of scientists and their devotees toward the "unscientific" had proved contagious among many in the newly created middle class, and mystics began to find themselves in the ridiculous position of having to satisfy the requirements of science in what are patently unscientific (we may say "nonscientific") pursuits. Modernism in general was seen as being largely an urban, sophisticated, intellectual (hence "Jewish") phenomenon, and this included science, technology, the Industrial Revolution, and capitalism. The only wholesome lifestyle was that of the peasant on his "land," and the naive beliefs of the people of the land, the paganus or pagans -- with their sympathetic magic and worship of ancient gods in the form of such superstitious practices as fertility rites, the lighting of bonfires on particular days sacred to the old calendar, and the whole host of cultural traditions that can be discovered by consulting Frazier's The Golden Bough -- were set up in opposition to "science," with its suspect lack of human warmth and its cold indifference to the "gods."

Science in its hubris was treading dangerously close to the territory claimed by religion (the origin of life, the creation of the universe, even the existence of God), and in order to get there it would have to dance a jig all over the occult "sciences." Science still smarted from the religious furors caused by Galileo and Copernicus; so rather than mount an all-out attack on God, it was a lot safer to conduct a rearguard action and go after the ghosts.

But then along came Blavatsky, who took new scientific attitudes as they were popularly understood and gave them a mystical twist. Taking her cue from Darwin, she popularized the notion of a spiritual struggle between various "races," and of the inherent superiority of the "Aryan" race, hypothetically the latest in the line of spiritual evolution. Blavatsky would borrow heavily from carefully chosen scientific authors in fields as diverse as archaeology and astronomy to bolster her arguments for the existence of Atlantis, extraterrestrial (or superterrestrial) life-forms, the creation of animals by humans (as opposed to the Darwinian line of succession), etc.

It should be remembered that Blavatsky's works -- notably Isis Unveiled and The Secret Doctrine -- appear to be the result of prodigious scholarship and were extremely convincing in their day. The rationale behind many later Nazi projects can be traced back -- through the writings of von List, von Sebottendorff, and von Liebenfels -- to ideas first popularized by Blavatsky. A caste system of races, the importance of ancient alphabets (notably the runes), the superiority of the Aryans (a white race with its origins in the Himalayas), an "initiated" version of astrology and astronomy, the cosmic truths coded within pagan myths ... all of these and more can be found both in Blavatsky and in the Nazi Party itself, specifically in the ideology of its Dark Creature, the SS. It was, after all, Blavatsky who pointed out the supreme occult significance of the swastika. [6] And it was a follower of Blavatsky who was instrumental in introducing the Protocols of the Elders of Zion to a Western European community eager for a scapegoat. [7]

This is not to imply that Theosophy is inherently "fascist," or that Madame Blavatsky is somehow responsible for the horrors of Auschwitz [?]. Although Blavatsky herself did not become overtly involved in political campaigning or intriguing, many of her followers and self-appointed devotees could not help but use their newfound faith as a springboard into the political arena. In this context it is interesting to note that Blavatsky's successor as president of the Theosophical Society -- Annie Besant (1847-1933) -- became an important figure in Indian politics during World War I and was the first woman elected to serve as president of the Indian National Congress. She served as mediator between various warring factions, and made the Theosophical Society (a magnet for intellectuals and Brahmin-class English-educated Indians at Theosophical Society headquarters in Adyar, outside of Madras) prominent in the Indian Nationalist Movement. [8] (Later, the Nazis would attempt to exploit the Indian Nationalist movement for their own ends, since India then was still under British control, making the Indian Nationalists and the National Socialists seem like natural allies.) [9]

The fascinating mixture of armchair archaeology, paleoastronomy, comparative religion, Asian scriptural sources, and European mythology that can be found in Blavatsky's writings was enough to cause a kind of explosion of consciousness among many women and men of her generation, including the scientists who would one day direct entire departments within the SS. Blavatsky's "creative" method of scholarship inspired admirers and imitators throughout the world, who considered the theories put forward in such books as The Secret Doctrine to be literally true, and who used her writings as the basis for further "research."

In a way, this was understandable. In ancient times, alchemists were the only chemists; as the centuries went by and science developed a philosophy and methodology of its own, the alchemists and chemists split off from each other and went their separate ways. So it was with the rest of academia. In the nineteenth century -- bereft of a unified vision of humanity and cosmos, cosmos and God -- it was no longer easy to be an expert in every field of science and philosophy; by the twentieth century, it would become impossible. The writings of people like Blavatsky and her spiritual descendants represent the last gasp of the "Renaissance Man" before science, medicine, the Industrial Revolution, and mechanized warfare made specialization a necessity and the medieval image of the all- powerful and all-knowing Magician a bitter-sweet memory.
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German Initiates

The German Section of the Theosophical Society was founded in the town of Elberfeld on July 22, 1884. Blavatsky was staying there at the home of Marie Gebhard (1832-92), nee L'Estrange, a native of Dublin who married a well-to-do German and, moving to elegant surroundings in her new homeland, devoted her leisure time to a study of occultism and ritual magic. Frau Gebhard had corresponded regularly with the famous French magician and author of several popular books on magic, Eliphas Levi (the Abbe Louis Constant). [10] She is known to have visited the Master at least once a year in Paris for ten years until his death in 1875 in order to receive personalized instruction in the occult arts. A room at her estate in Elberfeld was completely devoted to these pursuits, and it was there that the German Section of the TS was inaugurated with a Dr. Wilhelm Hubbe-Schleiden (1846-1916) as its first president. [11]

Although Hubbe-Schleiden would become well known as the publisher of the influential German occult magazine, Die Sphinx, prior to his occult career he was an outspoken supporter of German nationalism and colonialism. This is mentioned only to show how early on in the game occultism and political adventurism -- specifically an elitist, racist adventurism -- were linked. While not exactly a proponent of an early Lebensraum policy, Hubbe-Schleiden had once been the manager of an estate in West Africa and was at the time of his tenure as president of the Theosophical Society in Germany a senior civil servant with the Colonial Office, energetically promoting the expansion of Germany's colonies abroad.

In all fairness, however, it must be admitted that Die Sphinx was one of the first, and also more upscale, occult periodicals of its time. It catered to an intellectual audience and its contributors included scientists, philosophers, and other mainstream academics writing on a variety of topics, from the paranormal and psychical research, to archaeology and Christian mysticism. As such, it was firmly in the Theosophical camp, which required some sort of (one-sided) accommodation with mainstream science.

One man of science [?] who would come to personify this uneasy truce was a Blavatsky enthusiast who became influential in the German movement. Dr. Franz Hartmann (1838- 1912), the prolific author of a wide range of occult books, first studied medicine at the University of Munich. While spending seventeen years as an eye doctor (and sometime coroner) in the United States, he became interested in the Spiritualist movement and began reading Theosophical tracts. In 1883 he traveled to Theosophical Society headquarters in Adyar, India, to sit at the feet of the Masters, evidently impressing his hosts greatly. He was trusted so highly that, while Blavatsky was in Elberfeld helping jump-start the German Section, Hartmann was in Adyar as acting president of the Theosophical Society and remained in India until 1885.

Hartmann is of considerable interest to this investigation as it was he who helped create the Ordo Templi Orientis, a German occult society formed around the idea of sexual magic. Other illustrious members of the OTO will include another Theosophist, Dr. Rudolf Steiner, who will go on to form the Anthroposophical Society in 1912; Gerard Encausse, who -- under the nom de plume of "Papus" -- had written the first definitive text on the Tarot as a book of concealed illuminism; [12] and Aleister Crowley, whose A...A..., or Argentum Astrum ("Silver Star"), was founded in 1907, the same year as the Order of New Templars mentioned above. (The OTO will be discussed in greater detail in Chapter Four.)

Another personal friend of Mme. Blavatsky was Dr. William Wynn Westcott (1848-1925), another coroner and a Theosophist who founded the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn in England in 1888, the same year as The Secret Doctrine was published. Westcott claimed that the Golden Dawn was in reality the English branch of a German occult lodge, a claim that would later be proven a hoax [?] and which is, for that very reason, highly suggestive; for why would anyone claim a German origin for their occult society when so many other cultures are much more consistent with popular mystical stereotypes, such as those of India or Egypt? [?]


THE entrance of the Jew into European history had, as Herder said, signified the entrance of an alien element -- alien to that which Europe had already achieved, alien to all it was still to accomplish; but it was the very reverse with the Germanic peoples. This barbarian, who would rush naked to battle, this savage, who suddenly sprang out of woods and marshes to inspire into a civilised and cultivated world the terrors of a violent conquest won by the strong hand alone, was nevertheless the lawful heir of the Hellene and the Roman, blood of their blood and spirit of their spirit. It was his own property which he, unwitting, snatched from the alien hand. But for him the sun of the Indo-European must have set. The Asiatic and African slave had by assassination wormed his way to the very throne of the Roman Empire, the Syrian mongrel had made himself master of the law, the Jew was using the library at Alexandria to adapt Hellenic philosophy to the Mosaic law, the Egyptian to embalm and bury for boundless ages the fresh bloom of natural science in the ostentatious pyramids of scientific systematisation; soon, too, the beautiful flowers of old Aryan life -- Indian thought, Indian poetry -- were to be trodden under foot by the savage bloodthirsty Mongolian, and the Bedouin, with his mad delusions bred of the desert, was to reduce to an everlasting wilderness that garden of Eden, Erania, in which for centuries all the symbolism of the world had grown; art had long since vanished; there were nothing but replicas for the rich, and for the poor the circus: accordingly, to use that expression of Schiller which I quoted at the beginning of the first chapter, there were no longer men but only creatures. It was high time for the Saviour to appear. He certainly did not enter into history in the form in which combining, constructive reason, if consulted, would have chosen for the guardian angel, the harbinger of a new day of humanity; but to-day, when a glance back over past centuries teaches us wisdom, we have only one thing to regret, that the Teuton did not destroy with more thoroughness, wherever his victorious arm penetrated, and that as a consequence of his moderation the so-called "Latinising," that is, the fusion with the chaos of peoples, once more gradually robbed wide districts of the one quickening influence of pure blood and unbroken youthful vigour, and at the same time deprived them of the rule of those who possessed the highest talents. At any rate it is only shameful indolence of thought, or disgraceful historical falsehood, that can fail to see in the entrance of the Germanic tribes into the history of the world the rescuing of agonising humanity from the clutches of the everlastingly bestial.

-- The Foundations of the Nineteenth Century, by Houston Stewart Chamberlain

Whatever the reason, we have the Theosophical Society, the OTO, the Anthroposophical Society, and the Golden Dawn all intertwined in incestuous embrace. These are the organizations most familiar to a casual reader of occult histories, and we will come back to them later on, for they all bear directly on our story. For now, though, let us follow the careers of the German Theosophists to see where they will lead us.

Upon his return to Europe in 1885, Hartmann took up residence at a town near Salzburg, and the directorship of a Lebensreform sanatorium. Lebensreform (or "life reform") was a back-to-nature movement that espoused a wide range of "clean living" practices that would be the envy of any New Ager of today. Vegetarianism, abstention from alcohol and tobacco, homeopathy, and even nudism informed this movement, and Hartmann saw it as a vehicle for the more overtly mystical program of Theosophy.

Like most occultists who are inveterate "joiners" and collectors of paper dignities, Hartmann was not content to confine his spiritual search to the leadership available in the Theosophical movement or any other movement. Most Western occultism is long on text and short on practice (contrary to forms of occultism found in the East, which rely on strict discipline, rigorous mental and physical exercises, and the constant supervision of a teacher or "guru"), and occasionally a Western seeker -- starved for genuine accomplishment -- will accumulate vast quantities of initiations into wildly disparate organizations with awesome-sounding titles, hoping thereby to satisfy his ego if not his spirit. In this way, occultism becomes a hobby -- rather like stamp-collecting, or bird- watching -- but with the added benefit that the seeker elevates himself in his own eyes to stratospheric levels of arcane wisdom beyond the feeble understanding of mere mortals. That is, until the next occult order is formed and another -- more formidable -- initiation becomes available. (This phenomenon is by no means limited to occultists, of course; it is to be discovered among the highly elevated and multiply consecrated "bishops" of a wide variety of distaff Eastern Orthodox and Old Roman Catholic denominations, some of whom also become involved with occult secret societies, such as Theosophist Hugo Vollrath -- mentioned below -- who became "Bishop of Erfurt" under the jurisdiction of Metropolitan Abdul Bahai, head of the Gnostic Church of Haifa.) [13]

Thus Hartmann will become involved, in 1902, with one John Yarker whose Masonic order, the Ancient and Primitive Rite of Memphis and Mizraim, would claim many otherwise-sincere individuals as members. It would be from among the German leadership of this organization that the future founders of the OTO -- including Hartmann himself -- would be selected. Hence, it is Franz Hartmann who provides us with some excellent connections between the seemingly apolitical Ordo Templi Orientis and the rest of the German occult community, which was, more or less, aligned with either the Lebensreform movement or directly with the Pan-German, anti-Semitic movement which gave birth to Nazism. Thus Hartmann is the axle on which this peculiar Wheel of Life will turn. Wherever we pick up the thread of twentieth-century Western occultism and ritual magic, we can follow it back along a trail that leads to Hartmann.

Luciferianism, a deceptive and dark form of gnosticism, can still be found in the Memphis Misraim Rite of Freemasonry (34º-99º) (318) and the even more low-profile Martinist and Synarchist Order (319)....It appears that Licio Gelli, the former notorious head of the fascist P2 lodge, is a 99º 'grand hierophant' and honorary international head of the Memphis Misraïm Rite in Italy (320). In 2004, there were rumors in Spain that the newly nominated head of the Guardia Civil (equivalent of the Belgian gendarmerie) was picked because of his membership in the Martinist and Synarchist Order (321). Allegedly, the royal house of Serbia, which in 2004 hosted a meeting of the private intelligence group Le Cercle, is also involved in Memphis Misraim and Synarchism (322).

-- Beyond the Dutroux Affair: The Reality of Protected Child Abuse and Snuff Networks, by Joel van der Reijden

A few years later, Hartmann became involved with another Lebensreform community, this time at Ascona, in Switzerland, where we will eventually find his associate and fellow OTO initiate Theodor Reuss sitting out the First World War in 1917.

There Hartmann began his own journal, the Lotusbluthen, (Lotus Blossoms) in 1892, which printed translations of many Theosophical and related writings. Lotusbluthen's logo included the ubiquitous swastika. Among Hartmann's many other publications were translations of the Bhagavad-Gita (one of Himmler's favorite texts), and the Dao De Jing, the sacred text of Taoism. It is a measure of Hartmann's popularity and reputation that some of his writings have been translated into English and are available today under a variety of imprints. [14] Little of what Hartmann wrote, however, could be said to fall under the OTO's domain of "sex-magic."

Hartmann would eventually take on as a kind of disciple and amanuensis a young Theosophist, Hugo Vollrath (born 1877). In 1899, Hartmann picked up this university student as a personal secretary and the two would go on speaking tours together, trumping up business for the Theosophical Society. Vollrath, an intense young man whose peculiar appearance dovetailed nicely with that of his mentor (nicknamed "Dirty Franz" because of his slovenly deportment), eventually became involved with the Leipzig branch of the Society, and soon found himself embroiled in one scandal after another. It quickly became evident to the other members that Vollrath saw Theosophy as a potential cash cow. He began a series of publishing ventures, introducing Theosophy and, later, astrology to the German-speaking public. The Theosophists complained about Vollrath's apparent lack of sincerity to the General Secretary of the German Section of the Society, who at that time was Dr. Rudolf Steiner. Steiner, a friend of Dr. Hartmann, had become involved with both Theosophy and the OTO only to eventually leave them both to found his own group, the Anthroposophical Society (which also exists to this day). In 1908, Steiner was forced to expel Vollrath from the German Section but the damage had already been done. The Theosophists had created a monster, and Vollrath would go on to become a Theosophical publisher to be reckoned with, providing a forum for the men who were laying the foundations of a New World Order.

An associate of Vollrath will be Johannes Baltzli, a Theosophist and the secretary of yet another mystical organization, the List Society. [15] Baltzli would contribute articles to Vollrath's new Theosophical magazine, Prana, and soon the bizarre ideas of racist and rune magician Guido von List would fill the pages of this otherwise-bland outlet previously devoted to the writings of Blavatsky, her successor Annie Besant, and wandering "Bishop" Leadbetter. [16] And, as if to emphasize how inextricable German occultism was with German racism, it is through his astrological journal, Astrologische Rundschau, that Vollrath has additional impact on our story, for in 1920 he turned it over to the editorial ministrations of no less a historic personage than the Baron Rudolf von Sebottendorff: mystic, Freemason, initiate of the Eastern mysteries, and now astrologer. The Baron needed a new career. After all, his last occult experiment -- although an unqualified success in the political arena -- had turned on him. He needed new pastures, and editing Astrologische Rundschau from the relative safety of Switzerland seemed just the ticket. Maybe there -- with a completely new audience of adoring fans -- he could forget about the Thule Gesellschaft.

And about Munich in 1919.

To hear most historians speak of the Thule Gesellschaft, one would think that it was a slight aberration, an anomaly that does not deserve close scrutiny. Oh, it is mentioned (almost in passing) in John Toland's Adolf Hitler and in works by Joachim Fest and other historians of the Nazi episode. Its founder, the same Rudolf Sebottendorff, wrote its story himself in a book he published in 1933, a book that was suppressed by the Nazis. But to understand the nature of neo-Nazism today it is necessary to investigate the origins of the Nazi Party itself much more thoroughly than has been done to date. For the Nazi Party was never merely a political party; it was always much more. Hitler himself warned his critics that if they understood National Socialism as a political party only, they were missing the point. Many observers have since agreed. Politics alone did not create such an engine of destruction, such a willing collaboration in mass murder of citizens from every walk of life. As Robert G. L. Waite says in his The Psychopathic God: Adolf Hitler:

The hard historic fact about the genocide is that it was not caused by the exigencies of war, nor was it a political maneuver to cope with internal unrest and domestic conflict. These people were killed as the result of one of Hitler's ideas: the idea of a superior race and the need to exterminate what he considered to be the vermin that were attacking it. [17]

This was an "idea" that can be traced to Hitler's early, student days in Vienna and to the influence of racial tracts published by the leading occult, anti-Semitic lights of the day: Guido von List and Lanz von Liebenfels. And from there, directly to the occultist and Eastern initiate Rudolf von Sebottendorff and his brainchild, the Thule Gesellschaft. In this century, in Europe, racism had its roots in occultism. Racism is, after all, an expression of irrational fears (often, as we shall see, with sexual components) and the irrational often finds a home in the milieu of primordial, preconscious archetypes that is the environment of both religion and occultism. Racism and the occult were often found sharing the same magic circles in the early days of this century, and therewith hangs a tale.

Thereby hangs a tale, and it is with genuine regret that I establish the fact that we have inherited from the Hellenes not only the results of their "remarkable ability," as Berger puts it, but also their mania for creating "authorities" and believing in them.

-- The Foundations of the Nineteenth Century, by Houston Stewart Chamberlain

The Protocols of the Elders of Zion

It has been the refusal of historians to view the Nazi Party as a religious -- or at least a mystical -- organization, a cult, that has contributed to so much confusion over the problem of neo-Nazism, "ethnic cleansing," the white supremacy movement, and the Skinheads.

Indeed, yet another Blavatsky protege -- during the time of Hartmann, Hubbe-Schleiden, and Vollrath -- was the mysterious Yuliana Glinka, a Russian noblewoman who donated enormous sums of money to spiritualist mediums and their circles and who was instrumental in promoting that notorious forgery, the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, which, along with Mein Kampf, can be considered one of the sacred texts of Nazism and neo-Nazism. As Norman Cohn illustrates at some length in Warrant for Genocide, [18] the Protocols were largely the product of a conspiracy between the Okhrana (the Czarist secret police) and occult circles operating in Paris and St. Petersburg. Originally, this pamphlet was a smear against both the Jews and the Freemasons, and was probably created around 1895 to discredit enemies of the head of the Okhrana in Paris, one Rachkhovsky. It was the occultist Mme. Glinka who "leaked" the manuscript to the press (after first attempting to convince a journalist that she was able to speak to the dead!). The newspapers seized upon it in the heyday of the Dreyfus Affair and the first-ever Zionist Congress presided over by Theodor Herzl in 1897. Here was "documentary" evidence that the Jews, operating through the lodge network and secret rituals of the Masonic Society, were putting the final touches on their program of world domination. As is well known by now, the Protocols are a forgery, an old satire using an imaginary conversation between Machiavelli and Montesquieu to draw attention to the policies of Napoleon III; but at that time the authenticity of the Protocols was a matter of faith among some of the most influential political and intellectual leaders of Europe and would eventually become one of the sacred scriptures of Nazism.

Thus, this single most inflammatory and crucial document of the Third Reich had its origins in that strange twilight world where occultism and espionage meet, a world we will visit again and again in the course of this study. And it is important to realize that the Masonic Society was considered just as culpable as the Jews; that it was, in fact, a Jewish "front": for the Elders sign themselves as thirty-third degree Masons. The plot as described in the Protocols involves a schedule for world domination that was believed to be well on its way to full implementation. By taking over the reins of commerce and by fomenting world revolution, the Jewish-Masonic conspiracy against Christian monarchies was nearly successful. With the destruction of the Second Reich, the last bastion of Aryan supremacy was removed and victory virtually assured. Using the twin tools of Democracy and Communism, the Jewish-Masonic cult had emasculated the potentially troublesome populations of America and Russia. The rites of Judaism and Freemasonry would soon replace those of Jesus and Odin.

To the volkisch believers, their only hope of salvation was to be found -- not in any revived Christian fundamentalism, for Christianity (as a Jewish creature, after all) was also suspect -- but in the rediscovered faith of their fathers, the Odinist religion that had been stolen from them by the fire and sword of the Inquisition. The Protocols implied that the Jews had "infected" all governments, all commerce, all of the arts and media; everything was suspect. Only the pure faith of the Old Ones -- abandoned for centuries and thus beyond reproach -- could offer salvation.

The Rune Magicians

On the Continent there existed a gaggle of purely German nationalistic cults that were the result of this underground surge of neo-paganism. These cults were usually linked in some way with the more overtly political "Pan-German" movement, which sought to unite all the German-speaking peoples of Europe into a single, coherent nation. The "Pan-German" movement can be seen as analogous to those of the "Pan-African" or "Pan-Arab" variety, except that the latter are attempts to form unified fronts among individual nations for economic or political purposes, whereas the Pan-German movement envisioned a single, German national and racial entity that would abrogate or dissolve sovereign boundaries and unite the German speakers all over Europe wherever sizable numbers could be found.

In order to provide a solid philosophical or ethical framework for this peculiarly German lust for monolithic statehood, some sort of precedent was required to show that much of what is now Europe was actually once part of a greater German Reich, even if that Reich was in the remote -- even prehistoric -- past. If it could be proved that everything from the Ukraine to the Atlantic was at one time part of an ancient Teutonic Empire, then the German people would have historical justification for the acquisitive urges they were suddenly experiencing, as well as a seemingly rational excuse for the exercise of their right to bear arms against all and sundry. What was required, then, was the assistance of the twin sciences of archaeology and linguistics and where better do these two rational arts combine but in their bastard child, the runes?

The obsession with runes that was enjoyed by a certain minority of Germans at the turn of the last century has been discussed by other authors in other books, but usually as a kind of crank occupation not fit for serious academics. Before we go on to study the contributions to Nazi ideology by such famous rune promoters as Guido von List and Rudolf von Sebottendorff, it would behoove us to pause for a moment to observe to what extent this arcane lore was -- and is -- making its effect on traditional academia. After all, nothing devalues otherwise-useful information and research so much as to link it with the Nazis. So let us extricate the Black Order from the runes for a moment so that we can see what they are and why rune studies exerted the influence that they did.

Runes are simple alphabetic symbols. They owe their odd and distinctive shapes to the fact that they were designed to be carved on wood, stone, or metal, as opposed to written with a pen; thus, only straight lines are used to form the letters. The words formed by the runes that concern us are generally in some form of Nordic tongue, and thus belong to that class of things purely Teutonic, pre-Christian, and German. (At least, that is the Party line.) In the new, urban, middle-class world where a multiplicity of words, books, ideas, and philosophies seemed to contend in a violent thunderstorm of polysyllabic chatter, the clean simplicity and bare prose of the runes and their sagas stood (to the Pan-Germans, the anti- Semites, and the Aryan mystics) for a saner time, an honest time, when the questions were few and the answers as clear and natural as the light of the sun.

They are also tangible relics of an ancient legacy-landmarks of historic accomplishments. Unlike words printed or written on paper (a German proverb reminds us that "paper is patient"), runes were inscribed with earnest deliberation using iron implements on solid rock; serious messages from the past intended to survive the centuries. The effort required to carve these messages was quite different from the ease with which pen slides over paper; the implication being that whatever was written in runes was not the mindless static of superficial minds, chewing up the forests with self-absorbed monologues.

Further, if runic inscriptions could be found on stones buried or standing in such faraway places as Minsk or the Pyrenees, then the assumption was that Minsk and the Pyrenees were once German territories.

And, if the sounds represented by the runic symbols could be discerned in place names from other parts of Europe, then it followed that Germans had once colonized and settled in those places. This was much more convenient than actually finding runic petroglyphs in situ, for it meant that merely transliterating the name of a French town or a Russian river into appropriate runic words (which a clever runic scholar could do given virtually any cluster of native phonemes from China to Chile) was equivalent to proclaiming that town or river a domain of the once -- and future -- German Reich.

The alphabet was therefore abandoned for mystical purposes by the Pan-German cults in favor of the runes. What was the alphabet, after all, but some sort of Semitic invention? The runes, on the other hand, were the pure expression of people of German blood. If a rune were discovered carved into a stone found lying in a field in Tibet, for instance, it was simply further proof of Teutonic migration and domination. And once the swastika -- a sacred symbol in many parts of the world that never knew a rune -- was identified as a rune," the Nazis were well on their way to proclaiming the entire globe German territory.

Although this concept seems a little farfetched, many academics of the day placed a great deal of importance on runic studies and on the use of runes to establish the extent of Nordic migrations. For instance, as late as 1932 and 1940 Hjalmar R. Holand was publishing his analyses of the famous Kensington Stone, [19] analyses that were later examined by some of the leading German rune experts in Nazi Germany, including Richard Hennig in the Zeitschrift fur Rassenkunde (Magazine of Race Science) in 1937, Wolfgang Krause in an issue of Germanien (the official organ of the Ahnenerbe-SS: see Chapter Six) of the same year and Eilert Pastor in Wacht am Osten, also of 1937. If his analyses were determined to have merit, then the presence of Nordic peoples in America as far back as the fourteenth century (over a hundred years before Columbus) could be established, with rather sobering political ramifications considering Nazi policy regarding former Teutonic territories!

Briefly, the Kensington Stone is a slab carved with runic characters found on a farm in Minnesota in 1898. The runes describe an Indian massacre said to have taken place in the year 1362. While some scholars have considered the Stone to be a hoax, others disagree. Mr. Holand went even further, however, by suggesting that various Indian tribes may have intermarried with Nordic peoples at that time; a circumstance that would account for the presence of blue eyes and fair hair among the Mandan population, for example. [20] (Wouldn't this also, after all, explain how the swastika turns up in North America as a Native American symbol?) While Holand himself does not take all this to its illogical conclusion, it is clear that some in the Third Reich would have considered this just one more proof of ancient Teutonic expansion. More importantly, this work is not a Nazi propaganda tract or the crazed scribblings of a volkisch medium under the influence of peyote or Wotan. It is the sober offering of a college-educated American author of Scandinavian descent, representing his carefully considered contribution to the growing literature of rune studies.

Today, similar studies have been undertaken by American and European epigraphers and by the Diffusionists led by Harvard Professor Barry Fell. [21] These professional and amateur archaeologists have made substantial contributions to this neglected field, and labor to preserve from vandalism and neglect those ancient stone inscriptions wherever they might be found. Runic inscriptions are evidence of ancient voyages otherwise unrecorded, and refer to vast tracts of unexplored history for which few documents remain. They have also demonstrated sophisticated advances in astronomy and navigation that may require significant portions of world history to be rewritten.

Books and research like the foregoing provide the "missing link" between the fanciful and outlandish works by authors such as von List on the one hand, and the regular academic community that considers the rune scholars to be nothing more than a cabal of proto-Nazis on the other. It was too easy for an unwitting public to slide from the serious research of a Hjalmar Holand, for instance, to the "channeled" discoveries of a Guido von List .

The notion of a hidden science of runes was given heat by the writings of Blavatsky, in which the runes are discussed in connection with her peculiar racial theories. [22]

For example, if there truly is a caste system of races, and if the present Master Race is the Aryan, and if the Aryan is a blond-haired, blue-eyed Nordic race, then it stands to reason that the Germans are the Master Race. If runic symbols, such as the swastika, are evidence of a secret Aryan science of symbols, and if the ancient German (Teutonic) method of communication was this same runic system, and if runes can be discovered all over the known world, then (a) that is further evidence that the Germans are the Master Race and (b) it is also further evidence that Germans once ruled the entire world; from which it follows that Germany has a "legitimate" stake in such property. Heute Deutschland, Morgen Die Welt.

Even more importantly, the runes themselves have mystical as well as practical applications. They are not merely alphabetic symbols that identify their users as Aryans: within the construction of the individual runes themselves are certain potent designs -- like printed electronic circuitry -- that can connect one directly to God. Coded within their stark diagrams are secret formulae for achieving telepathic power, foretelling the future, and peering into the past: innate magical abilities that the Aryans -- through inbreeding, neglect, and ruthless suppression by the Christian authorities -- have lost. The remains of this occult science are to be found in an "initiated" interpretation of the runes and, in conjunction with an aggressive eugenics program, the careful application of rune magic will enable the Aryan race to walk once more with Odin, Frigga, and Thor in the sterile, frozen halls of Valhalla.

Thus the Aryans are not simply a superior race in a strictly Darwinian sense; they are also the Chosen People, divinely ordained supermen locked in cosmic combat with a race of subhuman beings -- red, brown, black, yellow -- under the command of the Jews, the Communists, and the Freemasons: worshipers all of the demon Jehovah. This satanic conspiracy has robbed the Aryan male of his manhood, has leeched from him his birthright, his mystical powers, the very land that once was his; it has enslaved him in chains made of debts to Jewish bankers, of twisted ideas of democracy and freedom learned from the Masons, under a dictatorship of the proletariat imposed by the Bolsheviks. The Aryan man is Samson, his beard shorn by a Semitic Delilah and his strength, his potency, utterly drained from him as he now strains helplessly against the wheel of commerce.

But then, how to explain the sad condition of this once and innately superior race? Divided, conquered, bereft of all its old territories, in enormous debt ... what happened? And how to rectify the situation? For the answers to these questions, we must resort to the literature of the volkisch apologists, specifically to Guido von List and his student, the former Cistercian monk and darling of at least one modern "satanic" cult, Lanz von Liebenfels.
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2. Volk Magic

There is no religion without magic any more than there is magic
without at least a trace of religion. The notion of a supernature exists only for a humanity which attributes supernatural powers to itself and in return ascribes the powers of its superhumanity to nature. [1]

Return of the Teutons

1902, the Austrian novelist, poet, folk-historian, and philosopher Guido von List underwent cataract surgery. He was blind for almost a year. Like Hitler over fifteen years later -- himself blinded by mustard gas during World War I -- it was during this period of darkness that he received his greatest illumination. It was an experience that would transform his life, and that would later have an indirect effect on Hitler.

Guido von List (1848-1919) had begun his career as a nature worshiper and lover of ancient German folk myths and culture, a man who believed in the reunification of his native Austria with Germany, and who came to despise both Jews and Christians as alien forces in Europe who had robbed Germans of their spiritual and territorial birthrights. He wrote a series of romantic novels about the ancient Teutons, and dreamed of reestablishing the ancient priesthood of Wotan, an organization he called the Armanenschaft either after the Teutonic warrior Arminius who defeated the Roman Legions under Varus at the Battle of Teutoburg Forest (A.D. 9), or after a qabalist bowdlerization of the name of one of the three Teutonic tribes mentioned by Tacitus in Germania, the Hermiones.

In 1875, the same year that Blavatsky founded her Theosophical Society in New York, List was invoking Baldur, the Teutonic Sun God, on a hilltop outside Vienna. In Baldur's honor, he buried eight wine bottles there in the shape of a swastika and pledged himself to the worship of the Old Ones, Baldur and Wotan being prominent among them. At this time, the Armanenschaft -- the priesthood of the sun -- was but a gleam in his Aryan eye.

He took up journalism when his family's fortunes went awry, and began daydreaming in print about the prehistoric Teutons, a hypothetically pure race free of the taint of spiritually retarded blood.

However, during his convalescence after cataract surgery at the age of fifty-four -- dwelling in a temporary but nonetheless unnerving state of blindness -- he understood that his main preoccupations of politics and race were but two halves of a single coin. Always interested in the past more than the present (what anthropologist Claude Levi-Strauss, quoted above, might have interpreted as a morbid interest in death: an interest that is central to most, if not all, occultism as well as to the detective story), List had developed an intense fascination with the signs and symbols of heraldry as well as those of the proto-Aryan language he believed could be found in runes and ancient inscriptions. He was not alone in these ruminations. Like his contemporary, S. L. "MacGregor" Mathers (1854-1918) of the British secret society, the Golden Dawn, he had a desperate desire to represent himself as of noble blood (in Mathers's case, he saw himself as an heir to the old Scottish noble houses). He was joined in this obsession by his young colleague, Lanz von Liebenfels, who, like List, adopted the aristocratic "von" even though there was little evidence in either case that it was deserved. And all three of these men -- List, Liebenfels, and Mathers -- were set upon developing (or "rediscovering") a complete, internally consistent, quasi-qabalistic system of interpreting the world, each in his own way.

For Mathers, the story of the Golden Dawn requires a whole separate study and as this has already been done by several scholars, it will not be repeated here except as it bears upon our story. [2] However, let's point out at once that the names List and Liebenfels soon became synonymous with the Pan-Germanic Volkisch movement that eventually gave birth to the Nazi Party: they wanted to resurrect what they perceived to be the genuine Teutonic orders of knighthood and priesthood, a mission that included many occult and pagan teachings; at the same time, Mathers -- who had military as well as aristocratic pretensions -- was desirous of restoring the House of Stuart and once claimed to have rejected "politico-military" work solely on the grounds that it would have meant severing his connections with the Golden Dawn. [3] In fact, much of his correspondence during the late 1890s from Paris is concerned with just such matters. (His first published book was entitled Practical Campaigning Instruction in Infantry Exercise, a translation from a French original.) Curiously, one of his close friends in Paris was the German author Max Dauthendey (1857-1918) who wrote occult novels, among them the provocatively entitled Die Frau von Thule (1898). [4] The author has been unable to find any more concrete link between Mathers and his German counterparts, however, although the occult underground is always a "small world" and it would be highly likely that Mathers was at least aware of List and Liebenfels (possibly through some mutual Theosophical or Masonic link, via Hartmann for example). As we shall see, List adopted the Golden Dawn system of hierarchical and initiatory degrees so it is likely that he at least knew of Mathers even if Mathers did not know of List.

And just why it is that occultists yearn toward politics and titles of nobility, as well as to military campaigns and even espionage, is a problem quite beyond the scope of this book. Quite possibly, they have a perfectly understandable need to duplicate in society, i.e., in the "real world," what dignities and powers they have accumulated in the secret world of the occult Orders. After all, it's no particular satisfaction to a reasonably intelligent person if the only ones who know you are practically God are fellow cult members. In the eyes of society, you remain whatever you were when you began your spiritual Quest, or perhaps have become even less: considerably poorer, distracted in personality and appearance, abandoned by family and friends. This disparity between inner attainments and outer accomplishments can strain even the noblest of intentions. At any rate, the situation hasn't changed much in the last hundred years since Mathers strode about Paris in complete highland costume, Aleister Crowley called himself the Laird of Boleskine or dressed in the guise of a Russian nobleman or an Eastern potentate, and List and Liebenfels sported spurious heraldic emblems on their letterheads.

By the spring of 1903, List's thesis on the common origins of an Aryan language, runes, heraldic emblems, epigraphic and other inscriptions as evidence of a secret store of knowledge concerning the creation of the world has been written. Vaguely theosophical in nature -- List had been quite familiar with the works of Mme. Blavatsky -- his magnum opus also expounded on the occult significance of the swastika. [5]

Satan and Swastika

List had been fascinated with the swastika since his early youth, recognizing it as the Ur-symbol of the Teutonic (read "Aryan") peoples; a pagan sign equivalent in power and emotional meaning to the cross for Christians or the Star of David for Jews. He first pointed this out in a series of articles published about 1905-1908, [6] and thereafter this symbol began to take on more than just a cosmological or theosophical significance and would soon come to represent an entire body of ideas -- both occult and political -- that would eventually culminate in the formation of the Thule Gesellschaft nearly two decades later.

Called hakenkreuz (or "hooked cross") in German, the swastika is an ancient design, much revered in India and the Far East. The very word swastika is Sanskrit, formed of the words su and asti meaning "it is well" or "it is fortunate." The arms seem to spin around a central axis and, depending on the direction of the spin -- clockwise or counterclockwise (deosil or widdershins) -- the swastika in question is either male or female, yang or yin, positive or negative. In many Hindu and Buddhist paintings and Tibetan tangkas -- as well as in temple architecture in China, Tibet, and India -- the swastika appears in both forms as if to emphasize the necessity of the polarization of both forces. It has been asserted by some authors that a counterclockwise-turning swastika (the type eventually adopted as the symbol of the Nazi Party) is somehow a representation of Evil, but this would be unknown to the Eastern peoples who probably gave the world the swastika in the first place. As an example, a wooden statuette in the author's possession -- purchased in 1991 at a curio shop in Shanghai -- is of a kindly Kuan Yin, Goddess of Mercy, with a counterclockwise swastika carved on her breast.

Thus the swastika was not a Nazi invention, nor was its association with occultism solely a figment of Mme. Blavatsky's imagination. As early as 1869 the British astrologer "Zadkiel" (Richard James Morrison, 1795-1874) had already announced the formation of something called the Ancient Order of the Suastika; [7] the swastika symbol was also a common decoration for the covers of books by Rudyard Kipling ...

... and in 1897 the young Adolf Hitler, attending school at the Benedictine Monastery at Lambach, would pass every day beneath an archway which bears the monastery's coat of arms cast in stone. Its most prominent feature is the swastika.

While an educated perspective on the swastika reveals the symbol as an ancient Eastern symbol of good fortune, words themselves have their own intrinsic power. Thus, when a German calls the swastika by the term hakenkreuz he is calling it a "hooked cross." To a German of the twentieth century (as for a German of the thirteenth century) the word cross has decidedly Christian overtones; a hooked cross therefore implies some deviation from, or modified form of, Christianity. In this way, the link between the inherently amoral swastika and questionable religious beliefs is made by way of the emotionally loaded term "hooked cross." When the various volkisch and German cultural societies began adopting the hakenkreuz as their emblem, then, they were just as conscious of its anti-Christian potential as they were of their own anti-Semitic intent. This was not paganism as a pure, Earth-Mother-worshiping cult [?] (such as the modern Wicca phenomenon) but paganism as a movement set up in opposition to Judeo-Christianity as well as to Communism, Capitalism, and Democracy, which were all creatures of the Jewish-Masonic conspiracy. In the Listian mode, therefore, the swastika as hakenkreuz identifies the volkisch Nazi movement as an ideological enemy not only of the prevailing political forces of the time but also of the majority religions of Western Europe. Whereas Communism set itself up in opposition to all religion, Nazism supported a pagan revival to replace the existing religions. It is perhaps this strategy more than any other that has allowed Nazism in various forms to survive its calamitous defeat in World War II and to continue to exert an influence over young people and old down the years into our present decade. Political systems come and go as they are useful or not; religions (in part because their immediate utility is not easily proven or disproven) can survive for centuries after their creation. After all, even Christianity itself survived hundreds of years of an underground existence before coming into its own.

The List Society

Although the Imperial Academy of Sciences in Vienna did not take List's occult researches seriously and rejected his thesis (as the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna would later reject Hitler's applications), many other groups and individuals took him very seriously, indeed. A List Society was formed in 1907 to finance his work, and the roster of members and founders of this Society reads like an anti-Semitic Who's Who of early twentieth-century Austria and Germany. Clearly, the idea that there existed a "scientific" rationale for both racism and nationalism was very attractive to a certain element among the New Agers of the day, for science -- the new religion -- could thus be relied upon to provide moral support for a position that would otherwise seem either absurd or repugnant. The same motivation that prompted List, Liebenfels, and even Mathers to "prove" they had aristocratic blood also served to define the efforts of the volkisch supporters to prove that German blood in general was superior to that of the other races. And, in order to obtain an even greater degree of respectability, it was necessary to go deeply into the past in order to "discover" an aristocratic ancestor. For List personally, it was his great-grandfather who, he claimed, had been of gentle, if not noble, birth. For the volkisch movement in general, it was the mysterious race of Teutons from the mists of ancient European history who gave the German people -- the Volk -- their pedigree and excluded all other races.

It is difficult to give a perfect translation of the term volkisch. To an English ear, the term sounds suspiciously like "folkish" and, in a way, that is true if we do not make the otherwise-inevitable associations with "folk music," for instance, that somehow devalue the term "folk" for certain generations of Americans. For volkisch means not only "folkish" but also "national" or "popular" in the sense of "the People," similar to the Spanish concept of "La Raza," especially in the context of the volkisch movement in Germany. This movement was nationalist in the extreme, for it extolled a perceived common heritage that was believed to go back over several (even hundreds of) millennia and which included everything from art to science, from medicine to communal living, from religion to magic. The German volkisch movement had all of these, and it was also inextricably linked to the Lebensreform (or "life reform") movement which sought to purify the German people by a whole program of "clean living" practices. (With the possible exception of nudism -- although he was seriously attracted to paintings of nudes, and the more erotic the better [8] -- Hitler incorporated all of these tenets into his own belief system. As is generally known, he was a vegetarian who did not smoke or drink; and he identified himself as the physical and spiritual incarnation of the Volk itself. As the virtually untranslatable Nazi-era slogan would tell us: Ein Volk, Ein Reich, Ein Fuhrer. Perhaps: "One People, One Empire, One Leader.")

According to List, the German people -- the Volk -- could trace their spiritual ancestry by careful reading of the Edda, that compilation of Old Norse lore and legend from Iceland which became particularly sacred to Hitler. This belief was so pervasive that the Ahnenerbe-SS would later devote a whole category of its research to Icelandic studies in concert with its runic investigations, evidence of which can be found among the captured Nazi documents microfilmed in the National Archives. [9] (The enigmatic Grail scholar and SS officer Otto Rahn would even make a special pilgrimage to Iceland in search of the legendary Thule.) [10] The ancestral links to the past through Guido von List were thus kept intact until well after List's death in Berlin in 1919.

The style and nature of List's writings would be familiar to anyone who had read Blavatsky's The Secret Doctrine back-to-back with de Santillana's Hamlet's Mill. In fact, the latter could be said to represent (with abject and profuse apology to Professor de Santillana) Listian neo-Aryan philosophy taken to its logical conclusion: that the Edda, the runic poems and spells, the tree Yggdrasil, and all the Norse myths do represent a secret, sacred knowledge about the origins -- not only of the Teutons or mythic Aryans -- but of the entire human race, as these motifs are present everywhere and in many cultures from Africa to the Middle East to the Far East to the Western Hemisphere; except that, for Professor de Santillana, that origin lies not in a sunken hyperborean continent but in the stars.

(Some American Nazis actually became converts to this point of view, at least partially. The author is reminded of William Dudley Pelley, the leader of the fascist Silver Shirts organization of the 1930s, who eventually abandoned organized Nazism and went on to help found the "I AM" movement: a cult that believes in ongoing human contact with alien space creatures, and Soulcraft, a similar movement. To Pelley, the "Aryans" are descendants of an alien Master Race.)

Ultima Thule and the Secret Chiefs

The ancient homeland of the Aryan race was believed to be the legendary Thule: the northernmost point on earth, an entryway into a subterranean landscape peopled by giants. A kind of Teutonic Eden, Thule or Ultima Thule was the mythic origin of all "Aryans": an equally mythic white-skinned, blue-eyed, blond-haired race of wise giants who were once the masters of the Earth but who lost their birthright due to sexual liaisons with the irresistibly seductive members of inferior, subhuman, half-animal races.

It should be mentioned now that, according to science (and the dictionary), there is no such thing as an Aryan race. The term Aryan refers to a language group -- what has been called the Indo-European language group -- and not to a race of people. Obviously, speaking any of the Indo-European languages does not make one a member of the Indo-European "race." There is no such thing. Yet, this is exactly the type of reasoning that led the early "Aryan" promoters into one of the worst blunders of twentieth-century history. [11] They confused a language group with a race. They claimed that language was somehow a function of the blood. Indeed, the bulk of List's researches were based on interpretations of the ancient writing systems of the Celtic and Nordic peoples, the runes; i.e., they were etymological and linguistic studies, yet they steered him and his followers onto a disastrous course whereby the modern day residents of Germany and Austria were somehow the pure-blooded descendants of a master race of ancient Teutonic godlings, the Ur-Volk.

He was not alone in this, of course. The movement to isolate the German-speaking populations of Europe from all other "races" and to unite them into one cohesive national unit -- the Pan-German movement -- had begun much earlier, and there were many anti-Semitic political parties and discussion groups abroad in the land in the 1880s, a full fifty years before Hitler came to power. Some groups formed around academic types who claimed to have proved their racial theories based on linguistic research -- such as List -- and others on physical characteristics such as skull size or eye color (factors which would later figure so prominently in the membership requirements for the Germanenorden, later in SS racial identification programs and in experiments carried out at the death camps). During the same era of the Indian wars in the American West -- which were quite reasonably understood by the Nazis as a federal (and therefore legal) program of genocide against the Native Americans in pursuit of a Yankee Lebensraum policy -- Germans and Austrians were plotting its equivalent in the extermination of the Jews and, it is said, actually taking their lead from the blatantly racist American war on the Native American tribes. [12]

Unfortunately for the anti-Semites, the difficulty of forming an entire political party around the single issue of anti-Semitism made it necessary to continue the offensive by other means. Magazines, pamphlets, and books were written and widely disseminated on the subject of the heroic, blond-haired, blue-eyed Aryan peoples fighting the dark-skinned Semitic, Mediterranean, and African hordes. The pornography of anti-Semitism would eventually take the form of future Nazi Gauleiter Julius Streicher's obscene broadsides against everything from miscegenation to psychoanalysis. But a constant theme of this subculture was the rape and murder of beautiful blond women by the bearded, crazed, dark-haired mongrel races. Psychoanalysts would understand it as a theme of blatant sexual insecurity and, indeed, the anti-Semitic journalists and "academics" would constantly and openly rail against the sexual prowess of the inferior peoples and of how the Semites -- through various means, but especially including the fledgling "Jewish" science of psychoanalysis -- had nearly succeeded in emasculating the Aryan male! [13]

(One may jump a few generations to Los Angeles in 1969, and ponder the murder of Sharon Tate -- a beautiful, blond actress who was nine months pregnant -- by a band of "mongrels"; one may match the famous photos of the day of Charles Manson to the caricatures of the crazed, bearded Mongrel murderers of the anti-Semite's dark fantasies; one may scan the interviews and transcripts of the case, and discover that a proposed motivation for the killings was to instigate a race war between whites and blacks; one may then reasonably jump to the present day and wonder about the conversion of neo-Nazis and members of the Aryan Brotherhood to Manson's "cause," and of Manson's adoption of the swastika as his "emblem." This is a problem we will deal with in a later chapter, but for now it is important to realize that this type of thinking is by no means alien to our times or to our culture.)

At one point the Aryan homeland, Thule, was actually believed to be in Iceland, for Iceland is also the repository of the most ancient Teutonic legends extant: the Edda. Nazi apologists and racial theorists pored over the Edda endlessly, looking for clues as to their own origins, the appropriate pagan rituals to perform to appease and summon the gods, and for justification for their political and racial theories. Prehistoric Nordic sites all over Scandinavia and Europe were investigated, and no stone was left unturned. Literally. There are pages and pages of documents and photographs of megaliths, dolmens, and standing stones from all over Europe, and their interpretation by Nazi academics, in the files of captured German documents in the archives of Germany and America. [14]

Thule was a siren song to these early German occultists. It was a pagan Eden; not a Semitic, Judeo-Christian paradise in the sweltering deserts or marshes of Iraq, but a cool Nordic landscape of virgin snows and evergreen trees in the far north. A place not of warm sensuality and Mediterranean seductiveness, but of a cold, uncompromising purity. Similar to today's romantic notion that the human race somehow originated in the stars -- that the stars are our "home" -- Thule was "home" to the Pan-Germanists and to the lonely, alienated, impoverished, and disenfranchised anti-Semites and volkisch sympathizers ... and just as inaccessible. Further, just as today's romantics believe in our extraterrestrial origins and in continuing contact with beings from other planets (our forebears?), the volkisch romantics of List's day believed in continuing contact with the Supermen. It was a theme that vibrated subliminally throughout a lot of anti-Semitic literature and in more open form among their British counterparts in the Golden Dawn, who posited a race of "Secret Chiefs": superhuman beings who, they said, live secretly among us, and in the Theosophical Society, which held that Hidden Masters (the Great White Brotherhood) were guiding the world's destiny. Among the volkisch cults it was believed that -- as soon as the Germans had purified the planet of the pollution of the inferior races -- these Hidden Masters, these Supermen from Thule, would make themselves known, and the link which had been lost between Man and God would be forged anew. [15]

This is not quite as absurd as it seems at first glance, since a constant theme in much Jewish and Christian eschatology is that of the coming of a Messiah who will purify the world and destroy the "not-chosen." This Messiah always seems to be a rather militaristic being, whether the armed Deliverer of the Zealots and other pious Jews who await the New Jerusalem, or the Messiah of the Book of Revelation -- the Apocalypse -- who will lay waste with fire and sword in a global, if not galactic, conflagration. The German version is not so far afield from these cherished beliefs of the Judeo-Christian fundamentalists, but is based on racial qualifications (and thus is beyond the realm of personal choice and ethical behavior) rather than on individual moral or spiritual worthiness.

The tradition of Hidden Masters is not restricted to occult Aryanism, of course. Some Muslims believe in the "Hidden Imam," an Ismaili concept similar to the "Secret Chief" idea of the Golden Dawn. The Strict Observance Masonic society of eighteenth-century Germany also claimed a tradition of Secret Masters, and there is the tradition of the Nine Unknown Men of India, secret Masters of the world's various sciences who invisibly guide the fortunes of the human race. That Himmler believed in this idea is revealed by his masseur, Felix Kersten, who -- in his memoirs -- quotes the Reichsfuhrer-SS on just this point with regard to the Freemasons. [16]

And then, of course, we find ourselves back on familiar ground with the ancient legend of Agartha -- or Arktogaa -- the subterranean kingdom of an alien race buried deep within the Himalayas or somewhere in the far North (at any rate, in the appropriately Nordic frozen wastes), another Aryan "Thule." Years before H. G. Wells described a similar race of beings in his novel The Time Machine, the English author and Rosicrucian Bulwer-Lytton (1802-73) was writing of a subterranean master race in his celebrated novel, Vril. All of this is mentioned only to show that these concepts of secret master race and subterranean kingdoms are not peculiar to German or even Nordic legend and myth, and certainly not to Nazi ideology, but form part of a global tradition that may have some basis in reality [?]; a basis that is now dimmed by the passage of too many millennia to place it clearly and authoritatively into a modern perspective. The volkisch theorists were merely drawing on a bank of myth and tradition familiar the world over, and sculpting from selected pieces a cosmological worldview that placed the German-speaking peoples at the top of a pyramid of power.

Lanz von Liebenfels and the Templar Revival

The eccentric ideas of Guido von List were carried to another extreme by his young follower, Jorg Lanz von Liebenfels (1874-1954), who created the Order of the New Templars as a secret society bent on reviving the chivalric brotherhood of knights, but in an aggressively Teutonic -- and anti-Semitic -- format. While List's sympathies were clearly already pagan and anti-Christian, von Liebenfels sought to restore a non-Christian, Teutonic Grail Order to its rightful place in the world. He used those of List's racial and linguistic theories he found most appealing; but it should be remembered that von Liebenfels was a Cistercian monk who abandoned his vows but who never, in his heart, abandoned the Church ... at least, not his idealized, medieval version of it. While von Liebenfels had no sympathy for the Catholic Church as such -- for its beliefs [?] -- he had unbounded admiration for its pomp and ceremony, its elaborate ritual. He managed to combine this fascination with stately ceremony with a peculiar understanding of the Templar Order. To von Liebenfels, the Templars were an Aryan brotherhood dedicated to the establishment of a greater Germany and to the purification of the race. The Grail, in his estimation, was symbolic of the pure German blood.

Even modern historians of the Grail legends disagree on the meaning of the term "Grail." To a linguist, the phrase Sangraal or Saint Graal ("Holy Grail") may simply be a pun on Sang Real or "Royal Blood." Indeed, the British research team of Baigent, Leigh, and Lincoln offer just such a theory in their best-selling Holy Blood, Holy Grail; [17] except that for these gentlemen the Holy Blood is not that of an Aryan super race, but the very blood of Christ himself, preserved in a dynastic lineage kept secret for two thousand years and protected by a secret society with the unfortunate name of Priory of Zion, a title which, combined with mysterious purpose, has perhaps too many resonances to those fictional Elders and their famous Protocols.

The ambivalence of men like List and Liebenfels toward the Christ figure is revealing. Hitler himself would later insist that Christ couldn't possibly have been Jewish. [18] For all their hatred of Christianity and Judaism, many Nazis and anti-Semites were loath to throw the Baby out with the bathwater. That may have been simple pragmatism in the land of Luther; but it also may have been evidence of deep uncertainty over ingrained concepts like heaven and hell, retribution and salvation. As the title character in the movie version of The Man in the Glass Booth tells us, a Christian is "a nervous Jew with an insurance policy." [19] To turn one's back completely on Christ may have seemed unsettling to these Supermen. A serious exception to this would be, of course, Heinrich Himmler whose unabashed paganism we shall discuss in a later chapter.

This hearkening back to a glorious German past was what united List and Liebenfels, although in many other ways their paths diverged. It was von Liebenfels's notorious magazine, Ostara, that so attracted Hitler in the latter's early days as an impoverished artist in Vienna, and we now know that Hitler -- so inflamed by the wild occult, racial, and anti-Semitic theories he found in Ostara -- actually paid an unannounced visit to the editor's offices and came face-to-face with Liebenfels himself. [20] This information comes from an interview with von Liebenfels after the war, when he was struggling with the de-nazification process and would have had no ulterior motive in describing this meeting since the revelation of a personal relationship with Hitler could conceivably only hurt him.

Who was Lanz von Liebenfels, and how did he manage such an emotional impact on young Hitler?

If all one had to go on were back copies of Ostara, we would have to say that he was a cross between Pat Buchanan and Henry Lee Lucas, with a little Jimmy Swaggart thrown in to provide the Biblical and sexual references. Actually, von Liebenfels was a bit more complicated than that.

His Order of the New Templars was an occult lodge that met at a ruined castle high on a cliff over the Danube -- the eerie Burg Werfenstein in Upper Austria, a few miles upriver from Hitler's childhood home -- among other sites. The members wore white, surplice-style robes emblazoned with the red cross of the Templars, a cross that von Liebenfels believed was formed of two, superimposed and counter-rotating, swastikas. At the same time, another such lodge was operating in Germany: the Ordo Tempii Orientis (Order of the Eastern Temple), which had nothing to do with Liebenfels's ONT but everything to do with Aleister Crowley as we shall see in a later chapter.

Von Liebenfels -- in Ostara and in other publications, such as his weirdly entitled Theozoologie oder die Kunde von den Sodoms-Aefflingen und dem Gotter-Elektron (1905), which we may translate as "Theozoology, or the Science of the Sodom-Apelings and the Electron of the Gods" -- prescribed sterilization and castration for inferior races and, of course, denounced miscegenation owing to its pollution of the pure-blooded German Volk. He also sounded a theme that was to occupy all other racist ideologues, including Hitler, and that was the forced submission of women to Aryan men. To the Nazis and their ideological predecessors, feminism was an evil on the same level as Freemasonry, international Jewry, and Bolshevism. In fact, the Nazis believed feminism (like Bolshevism) to be a creation of international Jewry for the express purpose of finishing off the Aryan race. The irony has come full circle, of course, for the term "feminazis" has become a staple of Rush Limbaugh-style, talk radio agit-prop.

But von Liebenfels did not stop at sweeping political indictments. He included occult biology in his repertoire, with a concentration on the pineal and pituitary glands. He believed -- as did Blavatsky and as do many current mystics and theosophists -- that a space between these glands in the hypothalamus of the brain was formerly a supercharged area that gave Aryans the twin powers of telepathy and omniscience: the third Eye; but that -- because of the pollution of Aryan blood with that of members of the inferior races -- these two glands had so atrophied that the Aryan people had lost their psychic abilities. This is a somewhat liberal borrowing from the teachings of legitimate Eastern adepts who train their devotees in methods of awakening this innate potential (regardless of their racial background).

According to von Liebenfels, however, the solution to the problem of the incipient physical and spiritual degeneration of the Aryan race was not hatha yoga or Transcendental Meditation but the creation of a new priesthood of the Holy Grail; a new Knights Templar of the German Blood (for that was, according to von Liebenfels, what the Grail represented). As for the inferior races? They were to be deported; or incinerated as a sacrifice to God; or simply used as slave labor.

All of these proposals -- from Knights Templar to slave labor, from Holy Grail to crematoria -- were to be accepted, incorporated, and expanded upon by Adolf Hitler personally, and by the Third Reich as official policy. It was also von Liebenfels who proposed that the finest specimens of Aryan males should mate indiscriminately with the finest specimens of Aryan females in specially controlled and tightly monitored villages in order to create the super race. [21] This would, of course, be a cause taken up by Himmler's Lebensborn organization to which every SS officer was expected to belong.

Lanz von Liebenfels and his mentor Guido von List can be viewed as archetypal Social Darwinists and the Third Reich as Social Darwinism carried to its logical conclusion. Similar to the rationale behind the race eugenics programs in the United States (which also influenced American immigration policies, both of which the Nazis regarded with admiration and approval), it was an ideology of the survival of the fittest, and the enslavement and destruction of the weakest, from Jews to women, from the mentally and physically handicapped to the aged, from Slavs and Gypsies to Communists. Gradually, the distinction between race and ideology became so blurred that the Soviets were viewed as race enemies as much as political enemies. This explains the ferocity with which Russian Communists were slaughtered by roving bands of Einsatzgruppen during the war, notably under such racist ideologues as Dr. Franz Six and onetime Theosophist Otto Ohlendorf. To support this program, they enlisted the aid of history, of romance, of legend, and of the occult significance of alphabets, geometry, ancient architecture, ritual magic ... and the Knights Templar.

During the early twentieth century in Europe, the romance and lure of the Knights Templar myth was strong. The original Order of the Knights of the Temple had been destroyed by an agreement between the king of France (Phillipe le Bel) and Pope Clement V in the fourteenth century. Their leader at the time, Grandmaster Jacques de Molay, was burned at the stake in A.D. 1314 and the Order's assets seized all over Europe (primarily in France). One reason for all this bloodshed and chaos was the fact that the Order had become notoriously wealthy by loaning money to the king ... so much money that the king now had no hope of repaying it. The official reasons given by Church and State for the suppression of the Templars were much different, however, and it is the mystery of this Order that has given rise to so many myths and legends, and which has contributed to the creation of several occult societies in the twentieth century. The works of Louis Charpentier in France [22] and Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh, and Henry Lincoln in Great Britain [23] may be consulted for a more detailed discussion of pop Templar literature, but for now all we need to know is that the Templars were believed to be the heirs of a mystical tradition of which Lanz von Liebenfels considered himself the modern incarnation.

Around 1530, more than eighty years before the publication of the first manifesto, the association of cross and rose already existed in Portugal in the Convent of the Order of Christ, home of the Knights Templar, later renamed Order of Christ. Three bocetes were, and still are, on the abóboda (vault) of the initiation room. The rose can clearly be seen at the center of the cross. At the same time, a minor writing by Paracelsus called Prognosticatio Eximii Doctoris Paracelsi (1530), containing 32 prophecies with allegorical pictures surrounded by enigmatic texts, makes reference to an image of a double cross over an open rose; this is one of the examples used to prove the "Fraternity of the Rose Cross" existed far earlier than 1614.

-- Rosicrucianism, by Wikipedia

The Knights of Malta and the Knights Templar are the Rosicrucian upper-degrees of Freemasonry. The insignia of the Knights of Malta is the unusual 'Cross of Malta' that was the original emblem of the Knights Templar, before being forced to adopt the Latin cross (the red cross) following the Inquisition. Occult initiates discover that the Cross of Malta is a cryptogram for the Goat of Mendes, the occult idol Baphomet, as is the inverted pentagram or five-pointed star, that represents the goat's beard and horns. This is the symbol of ruling matter and spirit by the Will, and the controlled magickal direction of sexual energies. Past Grand Masters of the Knights of Malta, including Manuel de Fonseca, are known to have been initiates of the Templar tradition, and according to the Dragon Court's current Sovereign Grand Master Prince Nicholas de Vere von Drakenberg, who is a direct descendant of the originator of the Knights Templar Godfroi de Vere de Bouillon, the Templars were "a Satanic order, whose rituals included infanticide, sodomy and witchcraft."

-- The Knights of Malta, by VOXNYC
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Created by the mystical philosopher St. Bernard of Clairvaux -- and therefore corresponding to von Liebenfels's own Cistercian background -- the Templars were originally nine Knights who abandoned all they owned and ventured off to the Holy Land to "protect pilgrims" who were on their way to the various Catholic shrines. How nine recently impoverished men were expected to accomplish this mission -- especially while there were already large, fully funded knightly organizations in Palestine doing just that -- was never explained. However, about the year A.D. 1118 they found themselves bivouacked at the site of King Solomon's Temple in Jerusalem and spent their days there in relative obscurity -- nine knights in charge of the entire Temple site -- until their return to France ten years later, no pilgrims having been especially protected.

The legend states that these nine men returned with something important. Something discovered in the ruins of the Temple. Whatever it was, it made the Templars unbelievably rich and powerful virtually overnight. They began building cathedrals all over France and -- according to the legend -- not a single Templar-built cathedral (and this includes the famous Chartres Cathedral) contained a crucifix anywhere as part of its original design. The author should point out to any non-Catholics that a crucifix is, strictly speaking, a representation of Christ crucified on a cross. The Templar buildings did contain crosses; they simply omitted depicting the crucified body of Christ on them. This was seen as evidence that the Templars did not believe in the crucifixion and by extension did not believe in the resurrection of Christ after death; that, in fact, the Templars had somehow ceased being Christians entirely and become heretics, or worse.

What did the Templars find in Jerusalem that exerted such a profound if pernicious effect? Some say the Templars had located the Holy Grail itself. Others, that the Templars had found the Ark of the Covenant with its famous contents: the stone tablets on which the Ten Commandments were inscribed, and the magical Rod of Aaron. [24] Whatever it was, it revealed a secret so shattering that a thousand years of Christian teachings lay helpless in the face of it.

And whatever it was, it could not protect the Templars indefinitely. The Crusades proved to be a catastrophic series of campaigns for Church and State and eventually the Holy Land was "lost" to the Muslims. At home, the Church was worried about the wealth and influence of the Templars and suspicious about their onetime cozy relationship with the Saracens: Muslim warriors with whom the Templars might have exchanged "initiations." Then there were the rumors that the Templar initiation itself included a ceremony in which the postulant would trample upon a cross; or in which obeisance was paid to an idol called Baphomet (a suspiciously Arabic-sounding name). There were even rumors that homosexuality was being practiced on a wide scale among the knights -- a charge that would later be brought in the twentieth century against Ernst Rahm and many other SA men as an excuse for their destruction.

These rumors -- including some "eyewitness" testimony -- were used as evidence in an Inquisition against the Templars; the Order was destroyed; and whatever members managed to escape the bonfires of the Church wound up in Germany, Portugal, and, it is theorized, in Scotland.

Oddly enough, during the eighteenth century the Templar legend enjoyed a kind of revival during the development of speculative Freemasonry. Templar degrees were added, and a tradition grew up around them that the Freemasons had been somehow Templars in disguise, heirs to the same mystical tradition surrounding the Temple of Solomon. This is odd because the Nazis would later persecute Freemasonry and arrest many of its members even though the Nazi Party itself was heir to the Order of the New Templars created by its early theoretician and Hitler mentor, Lanz von Liebenfels, and in fact borrowed its swastika emblem. As we shall see, Liebenfels himself and other Templar organizations were also persecuted, notable among them the Ordo Templi Orientis or OTO of Theodor Reuss, Karl Germer, Franz Hartmann, and Aleister Crowley.

Thule Gesellschaft

Many followers of List and Liebenfels were not satisfied with the metaphysical, meditational, essentially passive and academic nature of the List Society and the Order of New Templars. While they devoured Ostara and similar publications -- and professed to read the longer, more complex books of both List and Liebenfels -- they found themselves inflamed by their wild rhetoric and the countless attacks on Jews, Freemasons, Jesuits, Bolsheviks, and Capitalists. It was no longer enough to perform pagan rituals at the summer solstice or to decode a particularly interesting series of runes found on a rock or described in a forgotten book.

If the theories and proposals of List and Liebenfels were right -- if a war was, in fact, taking place between the forces of Light and Darkness and the fate of the entire human race was at stake -- then why wasn't someone doing something about it? Why wasn't there a program in place to weed out the Jews and other Minderwertigen: "beings of inferior value"? Where were the Germans of pure Aryan blood? Why weren't they taking charge in the political arena? And why weren't all German peoples united in a single great Reich?

To that end, and following the lead of a wealthy if small-time industrialist by the name of Theodor Fritsch -- whose publishing hobby included an inflammatory anti-Semitic periodical, the Hammer, and one of the first German editions of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion [25] several members of the List Society and the ONT formed their own, ultra-secret and ultra-right-wing society, the Germanenorden (or "German Order") in concert with a more overt propaganda effort called the Reichshammerbund based loosely on the anti-Semitic diatribes to be found in Fritsch's Hammer magazine.

The Germanenorden had an impressive series of initiatory rituals, replete with knights in shining armor, wise kings, mystical bards, and forest nymphs. The desire of the founders was to implement a Masonic-style program of secrecy, initiation, and mutual cooperation to counter the imagined conspiracy of Jews and Freemasons with their secret meetings and hidden agendas. What the Germanenorden became was, essentially, an anti-Masonry: a Masonic-style society devoted to the eradication of Freemasonry itself; an anti-Judaism: a mutual help and support network based on racial principles (one had to prove one's Aryan heritage by providing birth certificates going back several generations) that was committed to the destruction of the Jews. (As offbeat as this all sounds today, the Germanenorden would be spiritually reborn decades after the war as the Italo-Argentine P-2 Society, which we will discuss later).

The Germanenorden was formally established -- along with the Reichshammerbund -- in May of 1912 at the home of Fritsch. [26] Things went along fine for a while until World War I broke out and many Germanenorden members found themselves called to the front. At that time, the Order began to weaken and split into schismatic factions until the arrival on the scene of Baron Rudolf von Sebottendorff.

Sebottendorff had an exotic past. Initiated into a Masonic society in Egypt and communicant with a variety of secret societies in the Middle East and Turkey -- for whom he fought in the Balkan War of 1912 -- Sebottendorff was another self-styled aristocrat in the tradition of List, Liebenfels, Mathers, and Crowley. Born Adam Alfred Rudolf Glauer to a locomotive driver on November 9, 1875, young Rudolf would take to sea at the age of twenty-two. After some misadventures in Australia, he fetched up in Alexandria in 1900, visited the pyramids at Giza and witnessed the rites of the Dervishes. Later in Constantinople he learned Turkish from a Muslim imam and worked for a Sufi initiate at a town near Bursa, becoming initiated into Freemasonry there in 1901.

Although he returned to Germany for a short while, he would find himself back in Turkey in 1908, studying Islamic alchemy, mysticism, and the practices of a Dervish sect with Janissary lineage known as the Baktashi. It is said that he founded his own mystical lodge in Constantinople in 1910, eventually winding up back in Germany in 1913.

During the war, Sebottendorff made contact with the head of the Germanenorden, Hermann Pohl, with whom he shared a fascination with Nordic runes and Eastern mysticism. Pohl enlisted his aid as a recruiter for the Order in Bavaria and Sebottendorff became a very successful promoter during 1917, even going so far as to publish his own Order magazine, called Runen (Runes) in 1918. By the end of 1917, Sebottendorff was admitted to the exalted rank of Master of the Order's Bavarian section.

It should be recognized from the above that Sebottendorff's interest in the Germanenorden was obviously of a strongly occultist nature. His background was that of a mystic and Orientalist (as Arabists then were called); his contact with Pohl was made on the basis of rune symbolism and other arcane lore. Although he served in the Turkish Army, he managed to avoid conscription into the German Army because he claimed Turkish citizenship. Therefore, we do not see Sebottendorff as a fanatic German nationalist or political activist first; rather, he comes upon his politics somewhat later in the game.

By 1918, the Germanenorden in Bavaria had grown to over fifteen hundred members -- an astonishing rate of growth particularly considering the number of able-bodied men who were fighting World War I at the time. In need of space, Sebottendorff would rent rooms at the upscale Four Seasons Hotel in Munich. These rooms would eventually become known as the meeting place for the Thule Gesellschaft. The Thule Society was originally conceived as a cover identity for the Germanenorden which, at this time, was becoming identified with the type of right-wing extremism and virulent anti-Semitism that the various German republican and socialist groups were seeking to weed out and destroy. In short, the Germanenorden -- another magic-oriented, occult society with its secret initiation rituals patterned after Masonic ceremony and its Theosophical-style philosophy encompassing everything from Eastern mysticism to runic lore to a rabid, pseudoscientific racism -- was considered a subversive organization and a threat to society. The Thule Society, while ostensibly a "literary-cultural group," had as its emblem the famous swastika superimposed on a dagger. The Thule Society front fooled no one, probably -- certainly not its members, who, in the beginning were all Germanenorden initiates, and which included the Justice Minister Franz Gurtner (who would retain that title in the Third Reich), Ernst Pohner, the police chief of Munich, and various titled aristocrats. [27]

Sebottendorff enlisted the aid of young ex-soldier and art student Walter Nauhaus. Another occultist and a follower of Guido von List, Nauhaus joined the Germanenorden in Berlin in 1916 and in 1918 made contact with Sebottendorff (the Order's Bavarian master) after moving to Munich. The two magicians decided to divide the responsibilities of attracting new recruits to the cult by having Nauhaus devote himself to university-age prospects. Nauhaus was about twenty-six years old at the time.

The membership restrictions of the Germanenorden/Thule Gesellschaft make those of the New York Athletic Club or any typical American "whites only" golfing gesellschaft pale by comparison (no pun intended). Aside from proving one's purity of Aryan blood as far back as the Thirty Years' War, there were physical examinations that had to be passed (measurement of skull, foot; color of hair, eyes; etc.). In addition, the deformed or simply unattractive were also refused admittance. Those uncertain of where they stood in relation to these draconian requirements were advised to refer to past issues of von Liebenfels's Ostara.

It was directly due to this screening out of potential members that the minister-president of Bavaria's first Socialist government -- the oddly sympatico Kurt Eisner -- was assassinated, thus precipitating a national crisis. The assassin, a young count, was refused admittance to the Thule Society because he had Jewish blood. Angry at the rejection, and consumed by a desire to prove his pro-German bona fides, he shot and killed Herr Eisner while the latter was actually on his way to quit his post, letter of resignation in hand.

What happened next is detailed in the pages that begin Chapter One. The young art student and occultist Walter Nauhaus was one of the seven Thulists captured, and later murdered, by the Red Army during the debacle of April 30, 1919. Munich was "liberated" from the Reds in May and Sebottendorff -- stinging from charges he had let the Order down and was indirectly responsible for the deaths of the seven Thulists by failing to conceal the membership lists -- officially resigned from the Germanenorden/Thule Society organization in June of that year and devoted the following years to a serious study of the stars. The Germanenorden continued to operate until well into the 1920s and actually carried out several political assassinations -- including that of Matthias Erzberger, [28] one of the signatories of the Armistice and hence a "November criminal" -- making the name Germanenorden synonymous with political terrorism as well as occult conspiracy. As for the Thule Society itself, there is documentary evidence in the diaries of Thule member Johannes Hering to show that it lasted at least until 1923, the year of Hitler's Beer Hall Putsch. [29]

Its foremost creation, however, took place while Sebottendorff was still in charge in Munich, and that was the formation of the "workers' society" arm of the Order. Heretofore, the Germanenorden and the Thule Society were virtually the exclusive domain of the wealthy, educated, and prominent among Bavarian society. There was no room for the lower-middle-class elements who were hurting the most from the effects of war, revolution, and inflation. The enemies of the Germanenorden, the Communists and Socialists, were actively recruiting among these elements, however, poisoning them against their aristocratic leaders and promising them a heaven on earth, a "workers' paradise." The monarchists and industrialists understood the need to counter this threat, or else their population base -- a given for a thousand years of royal rule over the peasant populations of Europe -- would wither and die. The arcane occult theories and snarled academic prose that characterized the meetings and publications of the Germanenorden, the Thule, the List Society, and the Order of New Templars was not likely to be easily understood -- or warmly embraced -- by the largely Christian masses. The Thule, it was recognized, was an elite society, attractive only to those who had done the reading; to those who could afford the initiations and the leisure time to devote to occult studies; and to those who had already abandoned their traditional Christian faith or who were on the verge of doing so.

Thus, in order completely to unify the German population in opposition to the threat of Bolshevism and international Jewry, Sebottendorff formed a workers' circle with a few handpicked men, among them Anton Drexler. This group did not meet at the fancy Four Seasons Hotel but at a tavern, and was called the German Workers' Party, the Deutsche Arbeiterpartei or DAP, a consciously Socialist-sounding title. It was this group that Hitler was sent to spy on in September, 1919, and which, five months later, became the National Socialist German Workers' Party, the NSDAP or Nazi Party.

As we shall see in more detail in Chapter Five, Rudolf von Sebottendorff would eventually return to Germany in the 1930s with a mission to revitalize his old Order, calling upon his former colleagues and even reissuing his old magazine, Runen. He wrote a book -- Before Hitler Came -- describing the early history of the Thule Gesellschaft and the Nazi Party, showing how the occultists had virtually created both the Party and Hitler. This book -- consulted with appropriate caution -- has become invaluable to researchers tracing the lineage of many of the principal actors and organizations in this drama and in providing a time line against which the history of the Nazi Party can be established.

However, his revelations aroused the ire of the Party -- and particularly of Hitler, who would take steps to ensure that no one who knew of his early days would be around to talk about them. Sebottendorff was thrown into a camp for a while, and then released to make his way to Turkey, where he worked for German Intelligence as a perfectly useless agent until the war ended. (The degree of his ineptitude as a spy may be judged by the fact that Schellenberg, chief of SS Foreign Intelligence, never mentions the illustrious Sebottendorff in his memoirs even though he wrote at some length about his visit to the Nazi intelligence apparatus in Turkey. [?]) The new Thule Gesellschaft never got off the ground, and died aborning, divided by petty squabbles among its members (including an acrimonious attack on Franz Dannehl) and increasingly under pressure from the Nazis to disband. But the damage had already been done, many years before.

It should be pointed out that there is a great deal of controversy over the early days and connections of the DAP with the Thule Society. Some historians insist that there was no direct connection between them -- although many DAP members were also Thulists, such as Franz Dannehl, Karl Harrer, and Friedrich Krohn (who designed the swastika flag for Hitler), and although the adoption of the swastika as Party symbol is a virtual admission of the link between the List, Liebenfels, and Sebottendorff groups and the DAP and NSDAP. Indeed, during the "troubles" of 1918 when the German revolution was in full swing with the collapse of the Second Reich, Pan-German groups were shut down all over Germany with the exception of the Thule Society (which was, we remember, purely a "literary-cultural" society); and its premises at the Four Seasons Hotel were used as a meeting place -- and sometime hiding place -- for such notables as Rudolf Hess and Alfred Rosenberg, not to mention the poet Dietrich Eckart who was the Doctor Frankenstein to Hitler's Monster. (It was only Eckart's fast talking and fancy footwork that kept him and Rosenberg alive when the Red Army began arresting -- and shooting -- Thulists.) So, while we cannot show a document stating that the DAP and NSDAP were subsidiaries of the Thule Gesellschaft or the Germanenorden, the author believes it is safe to say that the DAP (and, by extension, the Nazi Party) was originally a creature of both the Thule Society and Sebottendorff (as claimed by Sebottendorff and as admitted by Toland), [30] and, certainly, the wildest, most extreme aims of the Thule Society would all eventually become official policy of the Third Reich, while its purely metaphysical and occult characteristics were adopted wholeheartedly by the SS.

Between them, Guido von List -- an elderly man in flowing beard and quasi-Renaissance attire -- and Lanz von Liebenfels (a younger, clean-shaven, somewhat more imposing sort photographed in the ritual vestments of his Order) created the atmosphere of "rational" anti-Semitism in Vienna that was based on suspect scholarship in a number of fields, from etymology and linguistics to anthropology, astronomy and astrology, archaeology, and the occult. Sebottendorff, with his initiations into Eastern cults and his background in Middle Eastern mysticism and Freemasonry, personified the Aryan Mystic. As an aristocrat, a proven man of action who fought with Turkish forces in the Balkan War, and with his political connections and his activism at the time of the 1919 Putsch, he showed what a serious occultist could accomplish with a few hundred men and a stockpile of weapons. Sebottendorff was an ideal figure, a perfect combination of mystic and militarist, an echo of the times when kings were initiates, and when priests raised armies.

Although he was held responsible by the Thule for the murder of the seven hostages held by the Red Army by allowing the Thule membership lists to fall into enemy hands, it was Sebottendorff who had tirelessly organized -- first for the Germanenorden, of which he was a Master, and then for the Thule Gesellschaft, which he founded -- and who had created an armed cult and sophisticated intelligence apparatus in the midst of pre-Weimar Munich. His Society had received such distinguished guests as Alfred Rosenberg, Dietrich Eckart, and Rudolf Hess. His Society had created the German Workers' Party, from which the Nazi Party would be born. And his Society bestowed the single most important symbol of the Third Reich upon the fledgling Nazis: the occult sign of the swastika, inherited from Liebenfels, Hitler's early mentor. Sebottendorff and the Thule Society were both ultimately and directly responsible for the collapse of the Soviet regime in Bavaria, both from force of arms and from force of ideas.

And it was an amazing time, no matter who was responsible; for an occult organization -- a secret society based on Theosophical, runic, and magical concepts (a kind of redneck Golden Dawn with guns) -- had fought an armed conflict in the streets of Munich against the purely political forces of a Soviet state ... and won. Today, this would be considered the stuff of science fiction or, at worst, sword and sorcery fantasy. But in Munich, in 1919, it was reality.

rzezinski was also the great promoter of Islamic fundamentalism, which he celebrated as the greatest bulwark against Soviet Russian communism. Using the Islamic fundamentalists, Brzezinski hoped to make the entire region between the southern border of the USSR and the Indian Ocean into an "arc of crisis," from which fundamentalist subversion would radiate into Soviet territory, first and foremost into the five Soviet republics of central Asia, Azerbaijan, etc. It was in the service of this Islamic fundamentalist card that Brzezinski first helped overthrow the Shah of Iran, and then insisted that the replacement could be no one else than Ayatollah Khomeini. To magnify the impact of Khomeini, Brzezinski sent subversion teams into Afghanistan during the summer of 1979 to undermine the pro-Soviet forces there and induce Moscow to intervene. When the USSR invaded Afghanistan at Christmas 1979, Moscow claimed that they were responding to earlier aggressive moves into that country by the U.S. In an interview about ten years ago, Brzezinski conceded that this had been true: Zbig had indeed sent subversion and terror teams into Afghanistan at least six months before the Soviet invasion, as is clear from this excerpt from that interview:

Brzezinski: ... According to the official version of history, CIA aid to the Mujahadeen began during 1980, that is to say, after the Soviet army invaded Afghanistan, 24 Dec 1979. But the reality, secretly guarded until now, is completely otherwise: Indeed, it was July 3, 1979 that President Carter signed the first directive for secret aid to the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul. And that very day, I wrote a note to the president in which I explained to him that in my opinion this aid was going to induce a Soviet military intervention.

Q: Despite this risk, you were an advocate of this covert action. But perhaps you yourself desired this Soviet entry into war and looked to provoke it?

B: It isn't quite that. We didn't push the Russians to intervene, but we knowingly increased the probability that they would.

Q: When the Soviets justified their intervention by asserting that they intended to fight against a secret involvement of the United States in Afghanistan, people didn't believe them. However, there was a basis of truth. You don't regret anything today?

B: Regret what? That secret operation was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Russians into the Afghan trap and you want me to regret it? "The day that the Soviets officially crossed the border, I wrote to President Carter: We now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam war. Indeed, for almost 10 years, Moscow had to carry on a war unsupportable by the government, a conflict that brought about the demoralization and finally the breakup of the Soviet empire.

Q: And neither do you regret having supported the Islamic fundamentalists, having given arms and advice to future terrorists?

B: What is most important to the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the cold war?

Q: Some stirred-up Moslems? But it has been said and repeated: Islamic fundamentalism represents a world menace today.

B: Nonsense!

(Nouvel Observateur, January 15-21, 1998)

-- Obama, The Postmodern Coup -- Making of a Manchurian Candidate, by Webster Griffin Tarpley

Zbigniew Brzezinski was born in Warsaw, Poland, in 1928. His family, members of the nobility (or "szlachta" in Polish), bore the Trąby coat of arms and hailed from Brzeżany in Galicia. This town is thought to be the source of the family name. Brzezinski's father was Tadeusz Brzeziński, a Polish diplomat who was posted to Germany from 1931 to 1935; Zbigniew Brzezinski thus spent some of his earliest years witnessing the rise of the Nazis. From 1936 to 1938, Tadeusz Brzeziński was posted to the Soviet Union during Joseph Stalin's Great Purge.

-- Zbigniew Brzezinski, by Wikipedia
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3. The Occult Messiah

... this idea of himself as the German Messiah was the source of his personal power. It enabled him to become the ruler of eighty million people -- and in the space of twelve short years to leave his ineradicable mark on history. [1]


That Hitler was fascinated by the occult is proven: the Berchtesgaden library, discovered in a mine after the war, contained many volumes on occultism. [2] His small collection of books as a student contained works on mythology and a collection of von Liebenfels's racist-occult magazine, Ostara, [3] and he even visited with the Templar Master (as seen in Chapter Two). Friends of his from the early days recall long conversations on occult themes -- everything from reincarnation to yoga to paganism and magic [4] -- and his later biographers, such as Sir Allan Bullock, record Hitler's familiarity with occult topics in the days prior to the Second World War. [5]

That Hitler ever actually belonged to an occult lodge has never been proven and, in fact, probably never will be. While Hitler appreciated the "scholarship" he discovered in the occult magazines and books he devoured, he never took a particular liking to the type of people who composed occult lodges. The occultists who were members of his inner circle -- such as Hess, Rosenberg, Gutberlet, and Eckart -- lived on the periphery of the Thule and Germanenorden lodges; while Eckart and Rosenberg may have been members of the Thule, it is clear to the author that they would have been exploiting that membership for their own, hidden, agenda. The leadership and influence of men like Sebottendorff was strong, and it is doubtful whether Hitler would have willingly accepted a role subservient to an occult (or political) master. History has shown that no occult order can survive two masters.

Hitler was an activist. Almost any action was better than sitting around a room in a robe and meditating on Thor. Hitler was a pacer. He couldn't sit still for long. And he was a demagogue, almost from the beginning. He had to lead; and if he couldn't lead, he would absent himself from the action and the conversation altogether. Hitler was a paranoid, and the occult holds special attractions for the paranoid. But Hitler as cultist? As a black-robed, ritual-performing, invocation-chanting priest of Satan? Probably not.

But Hitler as tool of other cultists?

Probably so. [6]

The basic details of Hitler's life story are so well known, and so well documented in other sources, that to repeat them here would cheat the reader who is, after all, looking for the occult angle to the mystery of the Third Reich. Let us concentrate then on those aspects of Hitler's life that reveal occult interests and involvements, all the while remembering what has been said here before: that there is no evidence that Hitler ever actually joined an occult society per se, but that the evidence for his fascination with occult themes and subjects is extensive and that a great portion of the program of the Third Reich concerning race, Jews, Freemasons, genetic engineering, etc., was the veritable platform of the volkisch and Pan-German occult lodges carried out in actual practice, a platform Hitler inherited from Liebenfels, Rosenberg, and Eckart during his early days in Vienna and Munich. Indeed, his major argument with the occult lodges was only that they had been unable to carry out their programs in the real world. Hitler, in a sense, had mastered himself and the "real world" to an extent that men like Mathers and even Crowley had not, but wished to. That is -- not satisfied with phony titles and the accumulation of pedigrees and initiations that typified the fin de siecle occultist -- he was able to take his occult beliefs and enact them on the world stage to a degree undreamed of by mainstream occult philosophers. In that sense, then, he was a tool of the occultists. More, he was their Creature.

Hitler was born on April 20, 1889, to an Austrian civil servant in the town of Braunau-am-Inn, a locale said to be famous at the time for its large proportion of native mediums. [7] It is even claimed that Hitler shared the same wet nurse as two famous "channelers" of the day: Rudi and Willy Schneider. [8] That Hitler himself might have been a medium was a contention made by a great many of his personal friends and other observers, who described the Fuhrer in terms ranging from "hypnotic" to "demoniacally possessed" to the "Prince of Darkness" himself. [9] As this is a rather subjective judgment, for which no proof is available, let us pass over it in silence as there will be ample opportunity to examine the occult influences on Hitler's life from a variety of other sources.

Instead, we will begin with Hitler's childhood schooling at Lambach Monastery, from 1897 to 1899, under the guidance of Catholic monks. It is so indicative of the atmosphere in which the Nazi Party would later take root in Germany and Austria that, as mentioned earlier, the coat of arms of this monastery is a swastika before which Hitler would pass every school day and which even now adorns the chapel where Hitler would attend choir practice, and in several other places, and which was even visible from his apartment window.

Hitler (like Heinrich Himmler, Dr. Mengele, Joseph Goebbels, Klaus Barbie, and so many other prominent Nazis) was born and reared a Roman Catholic, a fact that is often forgotten. [10] His mother was devout, his father rather less so; and it is important to recognize that Hitler never got along well with his father but idolized his mother.

Like all good Catholic children of a certain age, Hitler was confirmed in the Church. The Roman Catholic Confirmation ceremony is one in which young Catholics reaffirm the sacrament of Baptism: that is, with their own voice they confirm their acceptance of the vows made for them by their godparents when they were infants. They officially reject "Satan, and all his pomps, and all his works," in a ceremony which evidently left the young Hitler either totally unimpressed or strangely tense, for he was distracted and restless that whole afternoon until some neighborhood children came by and invited him to a game of cowboys and Indians, which he joined with unbridled enthusiasm. We may wonder at what point Hitler lost his interest in the Church or, indeed, if he ever had any interest to lose. Many Christian organizations enthusiastically supported Hitler in the early years of his dictatorship, choosing not to believe that the virulently anti-Christian stance of his neo-pagan Nazi Party was sincere. They were accompanied in their folly by many Jewish people and organizations which could not accept that the anti-Semitism of the Party was anything more than a cheap political ploy.

Germany, of course, was the birthplace of the Lutheran Reformation, the last stronghold of the Holy Roman Empire and a country of Christians of whatever persuasion. Germany was also the country of Walpurgisnacht, that famous pagan festival celebrated on April 30 every year, traditionally at the top of Mount Brocken in the Harz Mountains, where the Witches' Sabbath supposedly takes place. Germany was also the scene of what we might call "Christian revisionism," an attempt to describe the resurrection of Christ as a myth perpetrated by his disciples: a thesis promulgated by Professor Reimarus of Hamburg in the eighteenth century, who insisted that Jesus was nothing more than a Jewish rebel, and that his body had been stolen from his tomb by his followers. Eventually, German scholarship would prove that the Gospels were written much later than anyone had previously realized, a position represented by no less than the esteemed Biblical commentator and professor of the University of Marburg, Rudolf Bultmann who, in his Jesus and the Word -- published before Hitler came to power -- came to the conclusion that the life of Jesus was virtually unknowable. [11] Thus we have a land where scientific research and religious fervor meet; a country that will occasionally engage in an almost masochistic turning-inward upon itself and its cherished ideals, devouring its own children in the process.

We have a nation where fierce religious beliefs live cheek by jowl with fierce religious dissent; a land where Lutherans and Catholics, Christians and pagans, each lay claim to the country's psyche. The Holy Inquisition was founded there in 1231 in response to the Cathar threat to the Holy See; yet Germany was also the birthplace of Rosicrucianism, the core documents of that movement -- the Fama Fraternitatis and the Confessio -- having been published there in 1614 and 1615. The infamous bugaboo of right-wing conspiracy buffs -- the Illuminaten Orden, the dread Illuminati of Adam Weishaupt -- began in Ingolstadt, Bavaria, in 1776 (the birthplace of Ernst Rohm and once the home of Heinrich Himmler and now of BMW, Ingolstadt is also well known as the city where the fictional Dr. Frankenstein created his Monster). And Germany became the country where the Anthroposophical Society of Rudolf Steiner was founded less than 150 years later, an organization that was banned and persecuted by the Nazis resulting in Steiner's own untimely death in 1925.

So it was perhaps inevitable that the type of occultism which would develop on such fertile soil would be the syncretist type represented by List and Liebenfels: an anti-Papist neo-Templarism mixed with Teutonic mythology and anti-Semitism, blended in a mind-boggling metaphysical stew and spiced with a fanatic desire to prove the undiluted "purity" of the blood. It also comes as no surprise that the ultimate British secret society of that era -- the Golden Dawn -- was traditionally said to have originated, not on that "blessed isle," but in Germany itself with the forged "cypher manuscript" of a nonexistent Fraulein A. Sprengel in Stuttgart. It was somehow important to the Chiefs of the Golden Dawn -- Dr. William Wynn Westcott, MacGregor Mathers, and Dr. William R. Woodman -- to demonstrate a German origin for their Society, even though later scholarship has shown that the forged documents [?] were in a grammatically poor, error-ridden German. So why not a British or a Celtic origin? Or French or Italian, for that matter? Or Middle Eastern? Mathers's command of Latin was good enough to enable him to perform the first ever English translation of the Sefer ha-Zohar, the central text of Jewish Qabalism, from the Latin version by Knorr von Rosenroth, a translation still in use today. [12] Indeed, Qabalism is a major element of the Golden Dawn system of initiation. So why strain for a German origin for the Golden Dawn when Mathers could have forged an ancient Latin pedigree from anywhere else in Europe or the Middle East much more easily?

Because the late nineteenth century occult revival was taking place -- not in England or France or anywhere else on the Continent -- but in Germany itself: the land of the first Rosicrucians, the Teutonic Knights, Paracelsus, Johannes Trithemius, the notorious Vehmgericht (the secret tribunal to exact vigilante justice that was revived in Nazi Germany), [13] and other famous figures of medieval mysticism, both real and mythical. And it was from Germany, after all, that Aleister Crowley's most famous import originated, one still in existence today: the Ordo Ternpli Orientis, or OTO.

We have noted how Hitler was influenced by the writings of volkisch occultists like Liebenfels. This had happened at a time in his life when everything around him was falling apart. In 1907, his beloved mother died in an excruciating manner: diagnosed with breast cancer, she submitted to the painful application of iodoform to her chest. This was a method by which -- it was believed -- the acidlike characteristics of iodoform would literally burn out the cancerous cells. She succumbed, however, on December 21, dying in the light of a Christmas tree near her bed. (Four days later, Lanz von Liebenfels would raise his swastika flag over Burg Werfenstein, not far from the Hitler home in Upper Austria.)

Your Mother
"When your mother has grown older,
When her dear, faithful eyes
no longer see life as they once did,
When her feet, grown tired,
No longer want to carry her as she walks -
Then lend her your arm in support,
Escort her with happy pleasure.
The hour will come when, weeping, you
Must accompany her on her final walk.
And if she asks you something,
Then give her an answer.
And if she asks again, then speak!
And if she asks yet again, respond to her,
Not impatiently, but with gentle calm.
And if she cannot understand you properly
Explain all to her happily.
The hour will come, the bitter hour,
When her mouth asks for nothing more."
-- Adolf Hitler, 1923.

That this experience would have figuratively burned itself into her son and thereby affect his psyche in profound and disturbing ways -- particularly in relation to women and, possibly, to Jews (his mother's doctor was Jewish) -- has already been discussed at length by other authors; [14] we may take a little license here ourselves, though, and call to mind another man whose early experience of the barbaric medical treatment of his mother would also affect him profoundly: Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky, the Russian composer, who at the age of fourteen watched his mother die at the hands of doctors who were trying to cure her from cholera by submerging her body in boiling water. In Tchaikovsky's case, he managed to channel a great deal of this traumatic episode into his music (while suffering from an ambiguous sexual identity in the process). In Hitler's case, there is similar evidence that his mother's gruesome death may have affected his sex life but, being rejected as an artist -- his first career choice -- no less than three times, he abandoned the humanities for politics and thereby came to vent his anger and frustration on the whole world. It has been said that Hitler's problem in terms of art was his inability to draw the human body; perhaps, then, his inability to purge himself of the trauma of watching his mother die in such a horrible fashion on the eve of the winter solstice.

Thus orphaned, estranged from most of his family, impoverished, continually rejected in his quest for acceptance at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, sleeping in men's dorms and living on the dole, this lover of grand opera -- reduced to prostituting what he believed was his great artistic talent by painting picture postcards for tourists -- was prime material for the paranoid screeds of the German and Austrian occultists. In another age, or another country, Hitler might have blamed his gross misfortunes on a plague of evil spirits and sought the assistance of an exorcist or witch doctor. Instead, the perfectly scientific-sounding jargon he found in Ostara provided him with another -- equally occult and nefarious -- enemy: an evil race whose very blood, and cells, and genes were slowly possessing and dispossessing the entire German people. Hitler would not have to burn sacrifices at the altars of pagan gods to obtain release from his demonic possession; he would only have to build the crematoria. Authors like Liebenfels took the racial theories of Blavatsky -- with her innumerable root-races and her pyramiding evolutionary scheme -- and mixed them with the programs of Social Darwinists and crank eugenicists, and took the resulting mixture to a logical conclusion: exterminate the subhumans and so avoid polluting the gene pool with their recessive traits.

Hitler was not completely credulous: that is, he did not surrender his entire life to a blind acceptance of occult beliefs; otherwise, he would have spent his remaining years sitting around seance tables and invoking spirit guides like many of his contemporaries, in Europe and America. Instead, Hitler was nothing if not pragmatic, and not easily fooled by fake mediums and other occult charlatans. He sought real-world solutions to the problems posed by mystics such as Liebenfels. That is, he agreed with occult theory and seemed to take much of it as accepted fact; it was occult practice -- particularly the occult practices taking place in his own environment of self-deluded albeit self-proclaimed magi and bishops and seers -- that he couldn't stomach, although he loved to read about occultism and to discuss it with those of his friends who had done some of the same reading. In this, he was not so different from millions of other people who enjoy being entertained by tabloid tales of true occult rituals and occult crimes but who would never actually perform an occult ritual.

To Hitler, the occult was possibly a further refinement of the Roman Catholicism he was brought up with. According to Schellenberg and other Nazis around the Fuhrer, Hitler did not believe in an afterlife or a personal god. [15] The author, however, submits that it lay there in the back of his mind like the faint buzz of a mosquito. He couldn't ignore it completely; as it was for Himmler, the concept of an afterlife was probably simultaneously real and threatening to him, but not something around which he would arrange his life. He paid attention to omens and prognostications from a variety of sources, and was not averse to having others work magic for him (as we shall see); but, like a Mafia don, he kept his hands clean of the actual bloodletting itself.

In the years before World War I and after the death of his mother, Hitler lived in poverty in Vienna. (This would make him a typical occultist, even today. As the congenial author of many respected histories of secret societies and occult personalities -- Francis King -- once remarked in the author's presence, "It seems to be a requirement of great and powerful magicians that they live on public assistance.") He eventually had his own space at a men's dormitory where -- after having been deloused -- he was given a small, clean room of his own and managed to buy some watercolors. He would paint scenes of churches and local landmarks, and a friend would hawk them on the streets for a cut of the proceeds. It was in Vienna and during these tough times that Hitler made the personal acquaintance of Lanz von Liebenfels at the latter's office, sometime in 1909. Liebenfels remembered that Hitler appeared so distraught and so impoverished that the New Templar himself gave Hitler free copies of Ostara and bus fare back home. [16] It would be von Liebenfels who would greet the ascension of Hitler to Germany's throne with tremendous enthusiasm as a sign of the great occult power that was sweeping through the world under the sign of the swastika (before he was silenced by that same regime after Anschluss in 1938).

Hitler was also fascinated by the opera, particularly Wagner (1813-1883). The four operas that compose the famous Ring Cycle were a favorite, of course, and Parsifal Lohengrin ... virtually all of Wagner's mythological and mystical work. One Wagnerian opera that stands out as an early favorite of Hitler's is a lesser-known and infrequently performed work called Rienzi. Hitler was captivated by this opera and took a childhood friend to see it several times. They had to stand during the performance since they could not afford seat tickets. It is an intriguing footnote to the story of the occult Reich that Rienzi's libretto was based on an historical novel of medieval Rome by the celebrated English occultist and best-selling author Lord Bulwer-Lytton (1803-1873). Rienzi was a patriot who attempted to reform the Roman government, but who eventually failed and went to his death. Rienzi -- whose real name was Niccolo Gabrini -- was often called "the last of the Romans." As for Bulwer-Lytton, who is probably best known for his The Last Days of Pompei, he was the author of the popular occult novels Zanoni and Vril: The Coming Race, the latter having inspired the creation of a German secret society by the same name. (Bulwer-Lytton's name would also be lumped together with those of Byron, Moore, Shelley, Rousseau, George Sand, and Victor Hugo as a member of the "Satanic School" of literature: a trend of certain Romantic poets towards the anti-Christian, unconventional, and occasionally obscene in literature.)

It would be Wagner's peculiar vision of cosmology and world history -- that finds its most perfect expression in Parsifal, with its moving, if peculiar, pagan spin on the Christ mythos -- that would influence Hitler and an entire generation of Germans who were cutting their milk teeth on Teutonic mythology as German prehistory and on the writings of erstwhile Wagner devotee Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900), the philosopher who popularized the concept of the "superman." The heady combination of Nietzsche and Wagner provided an atmosphere in which strange pagan societies could develop among the otherwise fastidious members of polite society. Groups such as the Thule Society, the Edda Society, the List Society, the Germanenorden, and the Order of New Templars would include nobles, military officers, college professors, and wealthy industrialists among their ranks. It was also the influence of Wagner to which we can attribute that fascination for orders of knighthood, the quest for the pagan Grail, Teutonic gods, and blond-haired heroes that would eventually dominate the Weltanschauung of Hitler's most ardent supporter, Heinrich Himmler.

About the year 1911 Hitler made the acquaintance of one Josef Greiner -- another resident of the men's hostel, an unemployed lamplighter -- and they would spend hours discussing such arcane lore as astrology, religion, and the occult sciences. [17] According to Greiner in his published memoirs, [18] Hitler was fascinated by stories of yoga and the magical accomplishments of the Hindu fakirs. He read with enthusiasm the travel books of Swedish explorer Sven Hedin, who blazed trails through the Himalayas in search of Tibetan Shangri-las. [19]

But in 1913, defeated in his dream of becoming an artist and thereby redesigning the great public buildings of Vienna, Linz, and other Austrian cities, Hitler finally left his homeland for Germany, crossing over the border from Austria-Hungary on May 24 and arriving in Munich the next day.

A year and a month later, Archduke Ferdinand would be assassinated at Sarajevo by a member of a Serbian secret society called the Black Hand. In July 1914, Austria will declare war on Serbia. Three days later, on August 1, Germany will mobilize against Czarist Russia; on August 3, she will declare war against France; on August 16, Hitler will enlist with the 1st Bavarian Infantry Regiment. The young artist -- broke, his artistic efforts constantly rejected, and living a humiliating life on charity -- embraces war with glee.

If there is still any doubt about Hitler's enthusiasm for occult and volkisch themes, the following should put all objections to rest.

Obsessed by some of his occult ideas, Hitler wrote a poem in the autumn of 1915, while in the trenches. Reproduced in part in Toland's biography of Hitler, [20] it sings the praises of Wotan, the Teutonic Father God, and of runic letters, magic spells, and magic formulas. Had it been printed today in any of a dozen occult and New Age journals of the author's acquaintance, it would have raised few eyebrows so consistent is its theme of magic, mystery, and esoteric paganism.

I often go on bitter nights
To Wodan's oak in the quiet glade
With dark powers to weave a union -
The moonlight showing me the runic spell
And all who are full of impudence during the day
Are made small by the magic formula!
They draw shining steel - but instead of going into combat,
They solidify into stalagmites.
Thus the wrong ones separate from the genuine ones -
I reach into a nest of words
Then give to the good and fair
With my formula blessings and prosperity.
-- Adolf Hitler

Adolf Hitler is twenty-six years old; by the time the war ends in 1918, he will have been awarded the Iron Cross, First and Second Classes, and will have proven himself an exceptionally brave combat soldier.

But in October of 1918, he is blinded by a mustard gas attack in Belgium. He temporarily loses his sight, and is sent to the sanitorium at Pasewalk. The doctors, not familiar with this type of condition, believe it to be psychosomatic. While they may be wrong, he does eventually regain his sight, only to lose it again as word of Germany's surrender reaches his ears on Martin Luther's birthday: November 9, 1918. (On that same day, in Munich, Baron Sebottendorff would call the Saturday meeting of the Thule Gesellschaft to order and his cultists would begin to forge identity papers, spy on the Reds, and stockpile weapons.)

Yet it is during Hitler's blindness that he receives a kind of mystical enlightenment, like that experienced by Guido von List many years before during his own temporary blindness (or like that of Saul, blinded on the way to Damascus) for, from that point on, Adolf Hitler has changed. He has been illumined, perhaps. Spoken -- as the Golden Dawn would have said -- to his Holy Guardian Angel, his higher Self. He has been blinded fighting the Allies in defense of his adopted country, Germany, only to regain his sight to witness Germany's capitulation and the abdication of the Kaiser -- whom the Allies had already characterized as the Antichrist -- and the resulting collapse of the Reich.

After the successful overthrow of the Soviet Government by the Free Corps under Thule Society leadership, the Thulists recognize that they need to organize the workers into a coherent political party, else the Communists will return with a vengeance. Sebottendorff has already formed the Political Workers' Circle out of his base at the rather expensive and exclusive Four Seasons Hotel. From this Circle will be spawned the German Workers' Party with rail worker and locksmith Anton Drexler at its head. It is this Party that Hitler will infiltrate -- on the orders of a Captain Mayr, who reports to a clique of wealthy industrialists and officers operating coincidentally (?) out of the Four Seasons Hotel -- in September of 1919. [21] Drexler will give him a small pamphlet that he has authored containing explosive phrases like "National Socialism" and the rather sinister "New World Order." Hitler is captivated by these concepts, and decides that his spying days are over. Drexler is equally captivated by the brash and outspoken young Austrian corporal, and urges him to join the Party.

Adolf Hitler becomes German Workers' Party member 555.

Later, perhaps for superstitious reasons, Hitler will annoy the Old Guard by claiming that he was member number 7; this will be proven wrong when it is revealed that the Party began its numbering system at 500 in order to appear larger than it really was. (Hitler was actually member number 7 of the executive committee of the Party, formed later.) In a bizarre coincidence, the number 555 will come up again a little later as the numerological value of the word Necronomicon, a book of black magick that was first introduced to the Western world in a short story by H.P. Lovecraft entitled "The Hound" (1922). Lovecraft was also an anti-Semite and an ethnophobe, as many of his writings and letters attest. During the years that Nazism rose to total power in Germany, Lovecraft was writing stories about an unnamable evil that could be conjured using the formulas of the Necronomicon and along the way introduced yet another "black book," the Unaussprechlichen Kulten ("Unspeakable Cults" or, alternatively, "Unpronounceable Cults"!) of the mythical German anthropologist von Junst. He wrote about the mysterious and abhorred practices of Asians and Arabs in his short story "The Horror of Red Hook" among other tales and -- save for the rather high literary quality of his stories when compared to the articles of a von Liebenfels -- their racist nature could have easily promised him publication in select copies of Ostara. While the actual nature and extent of Lovecraft's anti-Semitism and ethnophobia have become the subject of much debate, it is safe to say that many of his stories do not meet the criteria set down by our faithful watchdogs of the Politically Correct.

(To followers of Aleister Crowley, the number 555 is the qabalistic equivalent of an ancient Hebrew term meaning "Darkness," an appropriate connotation from a Jewish perspective of what Hitler represented. But then, of course, 555 is also the number used by Hollywood for nonexistent telephone exchanges in movie and television scripts; one may also dial 555-1212, preceded by an area code, to get the information operator for that area code. I leave it to qabalists more advanced or more creative than I to interpret these "synchronicities.")

Gradually, Hitler -- carrying out his own, mysterious agenda spawned at the sanitorium in Pasewalk -- begins to assume total control of the German Workers' Party (Deutsche Arbeiterpartei or DAP). He changes its name to National Socialist German Workers' Party or Nazionalsocialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei or NSDAP. He will also design its emblem with the help of a Thule Society member, the dentist Dr. Friedrich Krohn, and the swastika will become the official symbol of the new Nazi Party.

Still broke, Hitler lives in a tiny rented room in Munich. His bookcase has a few, well-thumbed volumes, including the memoirs of a famous Swedish explorer, Sven Hedin, (already mentioned) whose principal destination has always been Asia with an emphasis on Tibet. Sven Hedin will later become deeply involved with the infamous Ahnenerbe: a research organization within Himmler's SS which was responsible for some of the worst atrocities of the Reich.

Dietrich Eckart

Although hungry, poorly (some say, ridiculously) dressed, and uncomfortable in high society, Hitler comes to the attention of one of Germany's most famous poets, the eccentric genius Dietrich Eckart (1868-1923). Eckart, encouraged by his friends in the Thule, went to hear him speak at DAP meetings and, like so many people after him, became entranced by the hypnotic, wild-eyed Austrian fanatic. He takes Hitler under his wing and introduces him to the elite of Munich society.

Dietrich Eckart was a drug addict who owned his own newspaper. Famous for his translation into German of Peer Gynt, Eckart was one of Munich's coffeehouse darlings, as well known for his biting wit and sarcasm as for his felicitous use of the German language in poetry and plays. He was also a former mental patient and a rabid anti-Semite. With a circulation of some thirty thousand, his newspaper -- Auf Gut Deutsch ("In Good German") -- ranks with the Volkischer Beobachter and Ostara as a racist sheet with intellectual pretensions. His protege was none other than Alfred Rosenberg, the Baltic- born anti-Semite who is later to become one of the architects of official Nazi pagan policies. Eckart, Rosenberg, and, later, Rudolf Hess become Hitler's closest companions and coconspirators in the first years of the 1920s in Munich. It was Eckart who, on his deathbed after the failed Beer Hall Putsch of November 8-9, 1923, was widely quoted as saying "Hitler will dance, but it is I who plays the tune.... Do not mourn for me, for I will have influenced history more than any other German." [22]

Eckart -- it will be no shock to learn -- was an occultist. An intimate of the Thule Society, he was as well versed in its beliefs (and, hence, of those of the Germanenorden) as any other member. He was also an early admirer of the weird cosmological theories of Hans Horbiger, and introduced them to his Austrian corporal. His cozy relationship with both Rosenberg and Hess would have provided fertile ground for any number of wide-reaching discussions on mystical subjects. It has even been claimed that Eckart and Hitler attended seances in which ghostly ectoplasmic forms were seen; but, alas, there is no evidence for this. [23]

There is evidence, however, that Eckart was approached by none other than the eminent occultist Rudolf Steiner himself. Steiner was interested in forming an alliance with Eckart as the latter was known to be a mystic and as Steiner had his own politico-mystical agenda. During the "troubles" of the spring of 1919, Steiner sought out Eckart in an attempt to get coverage for his "Threefold Commonwealth" idea in the pages of Eckart's Auf gut Deutsch, an attempt that was doomed to failure. Eckart considered himself a "Christian mystic" and spurned Steiner's advances as a result of the latter's membership in the OTO, attacking Steiner in articles published in his newspaper in July and December, 1919. According to Eckart, Steiner was a crazed sex magician and a member of the Jewish-Masonic conspiracy. [24]

An article, written by Alfred Rosenberg and published almost a year after Eckart's death, asserts that Eckart was steeped in the lore of ancient India and was as well versed in the mystical concepts of Maya and Atman as he was in the poetry of Goethe and the philosophy of Schopenhauer and Angelus Silesius. This is extremely relevant, for it shows that Eckart believed in the idea of Cosmic Consciousness (Atman) and in the concept that the visible, tangible world is illusion (Maya). The term "atman" has also been used, and abused, by a variety of occultists to mean a higher Self and to refer to the next stage in human evolution, which was, of course, virtually a strategic goal of the Nazis and a tenet of their basic beliefs. The eulogy also describes another crucial element of Nazi ideology, and that is the alleged usurpation by the Jews of Christianity; for Rosenberg mentions that the Jewish Jehovah is corrupting the "so-called Christian churches." [25] This is an essential part of the Nazi mythos that we will return to in a later chapter.

As for Eckart himself, most histories give him very little print space. His influence over Hitler is downplayed, perhaps owing to the fact that there is insufficient documentation of the type needed to expand upon their relationship. Yet, for the last three years of his life, Eckart was Hitler's constant companion and the man who helped propel him into the public spotlight. It was Eckart who first introduced Hitler to all the right people, to the wealthy and powerful movers and shakers of Bavaria. Eckart clearly groomed Hitler for the role he was later to play and spent those three years orchestrating his rise to power. It was Eckart who helped arrange financing for the nascent Nazi Party from European and American industrialists, including Henry Ford. And it was Eckart who, along with Rosenberg, accompanied Hitler to Upper Bavaria with fifteen hundred Storm Troopers to "liberate" the town of Coburg from the Reds in what was arguably Hitler's first real military victory.

Hitler's popularity and influence in Germany was growing at a speed that must have amazed Hitler himself, considering that only a few years earlier he had been cold and hungry, living on charity. But his anti-Communist, anti-Capitalist platform was winning him converts from all over Germany's political spectrum. The old guard -- those members of Germany's defeated army that came home to find their nation unrecognizable, in shreds from the hundreds of wars taking place between dozens of private armies and political parties, and in absolute economic chaos -- drank in Hitler's speeches like cool steins of draft in the very beer cellars where the Nazi Party met. And on February 24, 1920 -- at the meeting during which his Twenty-Five Point program for saving Germany was proclaimed, introduced by Marc Sesselmann (a Thulist and member of the DAP) -- he told them what they wanted to hear: that the war was lost because of Capitalists, Communists, Freemasons, and the ever-present bugaboo, international Jewry, which was behind them all. That the Germans were enslaved by punitive interest payments. That swift and violent action was needed if Germany was to be snatched from the jaws of a satanic conspiracy. The speech was welcomed by thunderous applause from the approximately two thousand listeners, and the die of the Nazi Party was cast.

At this time the Protocols of the Elders of Zion was being widely disseminated, and raising alarms about a grand conspiracy of Jews and Freemasons bent on destroying Germany as they were at that moment destroying Russia. If Hitler were in power, his listeners believed, he would throw out all these undesirable elements -- by force of arms, if necessary -- and the country would be right again. Of course, subtract all the Capitalists, Communists, Freemasons, and Jews from the population (and eventually all the Christians) and one wonders who would remain.
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Eine Arte Menschenopfer (A Kind of Human Sacrifice)

As Hitler was tramping around Germany, raising consciousness and gathering recruits, a secret organization within the Ehrhardt Freikorps Brigade was itching for revolution. They eventually carried out (on June 24, 1922) the most famous assassination of the era, one that is still remembered today by those who lived through it, as Americans remember where they were when Kennedy was killed. [26] The society was called Organization Consul and its members included Erwin Kern, Hermann Fischer, Ernst von Salomon, and Ernst-Werner Techow. Organization Consul was a terrorist cell within the Ehrhardt Brigade, dedicated to carrying out bombings and assassinations against leftist targets and "Versailles" politicians, i.e., the "November criminals" who were believed to have sold Germany down the river at the Armistice and later at the Versailles Peace Conference. While the Freikorps marched openly and provocatively through the streets, their brothers in Organization Consul stuck to the alleys.

Their target for June 1922 was none other than Walther Rathenau, foreign minister of the Weimar Republic. Rathenau's father had founded what later became AEG, Germany's version of General Electric, by purchasing Edison's patents on the electric light bulb. Rathenau himself, a sensitive, artistic soul who became enmeshed in high finance, industry, and politics almost against his will (he was a lover of poetry and music who had written volumes of aphorisms under a pseudonym) was Jewish. But that was not his only crime. He was also wealthy, admired, powerful, and a man with far-ranging vision. He had virtually single-handedly ensured that Germany would be able to wage a continuous war under the Kaiser by arranging to bring all of Germany's raw materials under centralized control in 1914. He had successfully negotiated the famous Treaty of Rapallo with the Soviet Union when France was frantically trying to isolate Germany from the European community after the war. He had written books describing the political and cultural situation in Germany with insight and wit. In short, he was a man of many accomplishments and, what is more, a sympathetic and elegant figure whom even the conspirators admitted "unites in himself everything in this age that is of value in thought, in honor, and in spirituality." [27]

So naturally these Freikorps thugs were committed to his destruction.

We might not be discussing Rathenau at this point were it not for a peculiar phenomenon surrounding his death that is referred to by historian Norman Cohn. Of course, the Freikorps (and particularly the Ehrhardt Brigade, as we have seen) was heavily influenced by volkisch and other Pan-German occultism. And it was the Ehrhardt Brigade, remember, that marched into Munich that May Day in 1919 wearing the swastika as their symbol and singing the hakenkreuz hymn.

But Rathenau was identified with the most legendary conspiracy of all time, and was numbered among its members in the crazed imaginations of desperate men. Walther Rathenau, they believed, was one of the actual Elders of Zion. His assassination would be a blow against the international Jewish/Masonic/Communist/Capitalist cabal to dominate the world. He did unite in himself all those qualities and values recognized by the Organization Consul itself, and thereby symbolized the success of the Zionist conspiracy.

Therefore, according to Cohn:

... Rathenau was not simply assassinated as an Elder of Zion, he was offered up as a human sacrifice to the sun-god of ancient Germanic religion. The murder was timed to coincide with the summer solstice; and when the news was published, young Germans gathered on hilltops to celebrate simultaneously the turning of the year and the destruction of one who symbolized the powers of darkness. [28]

In later years, Ernst Rohm would deliver a eulogy at the graves of two of the assassins, saying that their spirit "is the spirit of the SS, Himmler's black soldiers." [29]

The human sacrifice of Walther Rathenau -- timed to occur on a pagan holiday or "sabbath" that was observed by Nazi cultists throughout Germany -- was the signal that the new Aryan faith was increasing in strength. It certainly must have seemed that way to Hitler.

The Liberation of Coburg

With Eckart and now Rosenberg at his side, Hitler strode all over Germany like an avenging angel on a budget, seeking out targets of opportunity. With him could be counted upon a contingent of six hundred oddly dressed former Free Korps men who had sworn an oath of loyalty to the cause, a kind of bodyguard that was now known as the dreaded SA, the Sturmabteilung, the brown-shirted Storm Troopers.

The SA at this time was dressed in a motley of uniforms, many with patched and mismatched clothing, but their unifying symbol, of course, was the swastika, which they wore as armbands and which they flew as black-red-white flags after a design approved by Hitler. They were also accompanied by a brass band that played rousing marches at every public meeting of the Nazi Party and, at the event scheduled for Coburg, even had a van full of beefy Bavarians in lederhosen and alpenstocks for a little local color ... and brute force.

Hitler himself had presided over very little actual armed conflict up to this time, but was ready for battle when they reached the town of Coburg in Upper Bavaria on October 14, 1922, for a "German Day" celebration. This time, they were met with opposition in the form of a crowd of anti-Nazis of various persuasions who began by jeering and shouting epithets, calling the Nazis murderers and criminals, and who proceeded very shortly to throw rocks at the marching Storm Troopers.

Hitler gave a signal with his whip, and the Troopers fell upon the crowd with merry and reckless abandon. (Hitler had often pictured himself as Christ throwing the money-changers out of the Temple, and the whip was his favorite weapon at this time. Even Eckart was growing tired of it, and began to think that maybe his protege was a trifle insane.) The hostile crowd was forced back, and the march continued, but the talk on the street was that the Communists had only fallen back to regroup and that a major confrontation would take place in twenty-four hours.

The following day, in spite of a call to all leftists to throw out the Nazis, Hitler -- who anticipated a full-scale battle with an opposition numbering close to ten thousand, and whose own SA contingent (swollen with newly arriving members and converts) now numbered only fifteen hundred -- found himself greeted instead with wild approval by the people of Coburg and surprisingly the rest of the day passed without conflict. Hitler -- his friends the poet-mystic Eckart and the architect-mystic Rosenberg in tow -- had actually liberated the town of Coburg.

And now they were ready for the rest of Germany.

The Combination of Stellar Influences

In a letter written to Hitler by a female admirer in Munich a little over a month before the famous Beer Hall Putsch of November 1923, the future leader of Germany was advised of certain astrological predictions made by Frau Elsbeth Ebertin, the dowager empress of an impressive line of German astrologers whose innovative techniques are still employed today in Europe and America. The author believes that this is the first time that the entire letter has been published in English translation:


Highly honored Mr. Hitler,

Allow me, as an old member and a fanatical adherent of your movement, to point our to you a matter that would surely interest you. I have in front of me a work of an expert of scientific astrology who is famous and popular in all of Germany, E. Ebertin Publishers, 1914.

The following is an excerpt of the article in question. No name is given in the article, but it can only be your esteemed person who is referred to therein (Ebertin, p. 54).

"A fighter born on April 20, 1889, at whose birth the sun stood at 29°of Aries, might, by his all too daring actions, place himself in danger and possibly soon contribute to the impetus which will start the stone rolling.

"According to the stellar constellations the man must definitely be taken seriously and is destined for the role of a leader in future struggles.

"It almost seems as if he whom I have in mind has been chosen by fate, under this strong influence of Aries, to sacrifice himself for the German people and to bear everything courageously and bravely; even if it should be a matter of life and death; but at the least to give the impetus to a German liberation movement, which then will erupt quite suddenly in an elementary way.

"However, I don't want to preempt fate. Time will tell, but as things are going at the time of my writing they cannot continue!

"The German people can only come to itself again in the political and religious field through some spiritual leaders sent by God, namely by the agency of individuals who believe in God and have a cosmological sensitivity, and who are above party politics, several of whom I have discovered among April natives (that is to say only if the star constellations are favorable).

"Once the right point in time will have come, i.e., once the Versailles peace treaty will have proved to be impossible to fulfill and will have been overturned, then the stars -- which are now still shining in hidden places -- will beautifully appear as shining meteors, similar to the heavenly bodies which are now newly discovered or become visible ..." etc. etc.

You must forgive me if I could not help but inform you of the foregoing.

Most respectfully,
Heil und Sig!
Most devotedly,
Maria Heiden, Munich [30]

This author felt it worthwhile to quote the entire text as it illustrates both the self-professed "fanatical" devotion of the letter writer as well as the political sentiments of Frau Ebertin at this time. Frau Heiden quoted the comments from Ebertin's own book of predictions, Ein Blick in die Zukunft (A Glimpse into the Future) for the year 1924, which was published in July of 1923. It was brought to Hitler's attention by a number of other admirers as well, and Frau Ebertin herself sent a copy of her book to the Nazi newspaper, Volkischer Beobachter ... but according to Ebertin her predictions only served to irritate the Fuhrer. [31] Hitler was not one who was willing to believe that his fate was out of his hands and written in the indelible ink of the stars, at least not when he felt he had the future -- and Germany's -- in his grasp, as he did that September of 1923.

But it all came to an end with the failed Munich Beer Hall Putsch of November 1923. An ill-planned and poorly executed attempt to take over the Bavarian government by force resulted in a major setback for the Party. Hitler was arrested; Hess -- who had escaped to Austria -- was being sought by the authorities and would eventually surrender himself; and Dietrich Eckart -- Hitler's mentor and protector and the man who midwifed the Nazi Party into prominence -- died at Hitler's mountain retreat, Berchtesgaden, on December 26 of that year, his protege in prison but his optimism unbounded. Eckart knew where Hitler was headed, because it was he who had pushed him in the right direction.

To rebut those who claim that Eckart's influence and effect on Hitler was not relevant, one merely has to indicate the memorial services that were held every year in his honor by the Nazi Party, including the lavish ceremony on December 26, 1933 (the year Hitler came to power); the monument put up over his grave in Berchtesgaden; the eulogies written for him by such important contemporaries as Rosenberg (who would later become enormously influential in the Third Reich) and the speeches made on the anniversary of his death by such men as Baldur von Schirach (the head of Hitler Youth). Hitler owed a great deal to Eckart, and the evidence left behind shows that he knew and understood that; after all, the final words of Mein Kampf show that Hitler's infamous memoir was dedicated to him.

A Mark, a Yen, a Buck, or a Pound ...

Another contribution of Eckart, and one that is frequently missed even by occult historians, is his connection with Henry Ford.

Eckart was approached by agents of the American automobile manufacturer as early as 1920-1921. Ford was a notorious anti-Semite, and had actually written a book -- The International Jew -- which was enormously popular in Germany where a German-language version with the title The Eternal Jew was a best-seller. Hitler had read it before writing Mein Kampf, and some authors insist that whole sections of Hitler's memoir were lifted, practically verbatim, from Ford's book. [32] Hitler even had a picture of Ford hanging in his office at Party headquarters (the Brown House) and stacks of The Eternal Jew piled up on a desk outside along with other Nazi literature. (Consider the surreal nature of that image. Imagine ousted Ugandan dictator Idi Amin with a framed portrait of Lee Iacocca ...) It is worthwhile to note that the German publisher of The Eternal Jew (as well as of an early German edition of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion) was none other than Theodor Fritsch, the man who founded the Germanenorden in 1912 for which the Thule Society served as a front. (See Chapter Two.)

The support of Henry Ford was vital to the survival of the Nazi Party in the early days, and one of Hitler's proudest achievements. He would award that quintessential American with the highest Nazi honor it was possible to bestow to a non-German, the Grand Cross of the Supreme Order of the German Eagle, in 1938. He was the first American and only the fourth person to be given the award. And why not? Even Baldur von Schirach would credit Henry Ford's writings for having converted him to anti-Semitism. An earlier recipient of the award was Benito Mussolini that same year.

Thus it was Eckart who handled some of these early cash contributions from Henry Ford, and Eckart who, among others, dealt directly with the Ford representatives in Germany. As we continue along in our catalogue of this century's most unspeakable evil we must pause now and again to fully appreciate the depths to which some honored American heroes -- industrialists, after all, like Ford; scientists, engineers, and technicians -- have sunk, and to resurrect these memories (no matter how painful or simply distasteful) for they are crucial to a full understanding of who we are and of how we came to this impasse. Eckart, the drug-addicted occultist, racist, anti-Semite, and borderline psychopath as Henry Ford's bag man and Hitler's Bebe Rebozo, is one of those traffic accidents of history that merit a few moments of silent contemplation.

Money, connections, ideology. Perhaps no single other human would come to exert that type of influence over Hitler until Hanussen, the psychic and astrologer who honed Hitler's public-speaking skills ... and who performed occult rituals on Hitler's behalf. As Eckart's ghost piped an infernal melody from beyond the grave, Hitler would indeed dance; and in that danse macabre Hanussen would lead.


In the last days of 1932, Hitler was contemplating suicide.

Released from prison in 1924 after the Beer Hall Putsch got him a light sentence for what was, after all, high treason, his Mein Kampf a best-seller, and his Nazi Party back and stronger than ever, he nonetheless was losing ground in the Reichstag. Hindenberg -- the much-respected and very popular president of the Republic -- was not pleased with the rough-and-tumble crowd that seemed to compose Hitler's voting bloc, and various ministers were conspiring against Hitler to keep him out of government altogether.

In 1932, they were succeeding. Hitler was facing a crucial election. Members of the Nazi Party were in danger of defecting to other political organizations. His own trusted disciples were dividing the Party into warring factions that could not be controlled.

And on Halloween night -- the pagan Sabbath of Samhain -- his mistress Eva Braun shot herself.

Although Eva survived what the doctors would later characterize as a serious suicide attempt, Hitler himself knew he was politically dead. It appeared as if he had lost the will to fight, and he began to speak more and more of his own death. He entered the political campaign a distracted, depressed leader who seemed unable to hold his fractious Party together. They lost heavily in the Reichstag five days later -- losing seats to the hated Communists -- and the press began publishing the Party's obituary.

At this nadir of his career, he turned to an old friend whom he had met years earlier, in 1926, in Berlin. This was Erik Jan Hanussen, a famous astrologer and master of several occult disciplines who had -- it was said -- taught Hitler everything from the body language and gestures to use in public speaking to what friends and associates he should cultivate.

The Viennese Hanussen -- whose real name was Herschel Steinschneider, the son of a Jewish vaudeville performer -- began his career as what Americans call a "carny," doing odd jobs in a traveling circus, until he began his own newspaper and threatened to publish vile things in it about people he knew unless they paid up! This small-time blackmailer soon became interested in hypnosis and mediumship and published several books on the subject, eventually becoming the darling of the international socialite set, a man who never failed to entertain at parties but who also provided more serious assistance to those of his hosts who needed a horoscope drawn up or a spell cast. He dyed his hair blond to fit his new persona as a Danish aristocrat, and dived into the frantic, heady atmosphere of early 1930s Berlin competing with astrologers, clairvoyants, and mediums of every description. Although he had never cast Hitler's astrological chart before, now in the late days of 1932 with Hitler morose and on the verge of doing himself damage, Hanussen erected his natal and probably a transit or progressed chart and appeared before Hitler with an eerie prognosis.

Hanussen told his host that there were good times ahead, but that a few "obstacles" remained that had to be eliminated. The implication was oddly surreal. The "obstacles" were not actual people or circumstances. Instead, Hanussen claimed, Hitler was the victim of some sort of hex or magical spell. [33]

History has not recorded who might have been responsible for this, and it is possible that all Hanussen knew -- or claimed -- was that "evil occult influences" were around Hitler, causing him to lose his edge. We may fantasize about a lodge of German magicians, summoning angelic forces to thwart the attempts of Hitler and his Nazi Party to gain power in Germany. We may wonder if a witch or sorcerer -- operating alone in some mountain fastness in the Obersalzberg, perhaps -- was casting a spell against Hitler for something as relatively trivial as a broken promise or unrequited love, and thereby altering the course of European history forever. We will certainly never know the actual dimensions of this baneful influence around the Fuhrer, but the outcome of Hanussen's meditations was nothing short of spectacular.

In order to rid himself of this evil spell, he said, one would have to go to Hitler's hometown. At the time of the full moon. At midnight. In a butcher's backyard.

And remove a mandrake from the ground.

Now a mandrake is the man-shaped root famous throughout European folklore for its occult and medicinal properties. According to some traditions, one had to stop one's ears with cloth or cotton before pulling the root from the earth, as it would emit a piercing scream that would shatter the eardrums. A dog was sometimes used to pull the root from the earth as the magician kept his hands clasped around his own ears. The resulting shriek -- it is said -- normally killed the dog.

The mandrake is also known for its powers as an aphrodisiac, and as an amulet of protection. We must assume that Hanussen was thinking of this last property in connection with Hitler. Also, the significance of the butcher's yard should not be ignored: such a place would have given the surrounding earth the peculiar quality of a veritable Teutonic orgy of blood, dismemberment, death, and pain, which would have been mystically absorbed by the root itself.

Hanussen decided to perform the necessary rituals himself and set off for Hitler's birthplace in Austria, returning on New Year's Day 1933 with the amuletic root and with a prediction: that Hitler's return to power would begin on January 30, a date roughly equivalent to the pagan Sabbath of Oimelc: one of the four "cross-quarter" days of the witches' calendar.

It seemed an outrageous prediction but -- after a series of bizarre coincidences and half-baked conspiratorial machinations on the part of his opponents -- Hitler went from washed-up political has-been to chancellor of Germany with dizzying speed in thirty days and, on January 30, 1933, he assumed power.

Hanussen s impossibly optimistic prediction came true to the day.

That was not the end of Hanussen's ability to predict the future, however, for on February 26 of that same year -- during a seance held that evening at his own lavishly furnished "Palace of Occultism" on Lietzenburger Strasse and attended by Berlin's movers and shakers -- he predicted that the Communists in Germany would attempt a revolution, signaled by the destruction (by fire) of an important government building. [34]

The next day, the Reichstag was in flames and Hitler had all the excuse he needed to go from chancellor of Germany to Fuhrer of the Third Reich. European history had been changed forever, and once more the Society Seer was right on target. But, six weeks later in April of 1933, Hanussen would be dead; murdered in a forest outside Berlin by agent or agents unknown. There was speculation that Hitler ordered the execution since Hanussen "knew too much" or perhaps might even have had connections to the Communist Party (hence his accurate prediction of the Reichstag fire; some mediums and psychics -- and Hanussen was no exception -- are known to "enhance" their abilities by gathering intelligence on their clients ahead of time or by bugging the rooms in which seances are held, etc. In fairness, however, no amount of dirty tricks could have explained Hanussen's accurate prediction of Hitler's enormous success in January [???!!!]). Another version had it that Hanussen's murder enraged the Fuhrer, and that he ordered the death sentence for its perpetrator, Karl Ernst, who was executed during the Rohm purge with a bewildered "Heil Hitler" on his lips. [35] Another story, that SA leader Count Wolf Heinrich von Helldorf had Ernst arrest and murder Hanussen because the count owed him money, is also current. [36] Hanussen was said to have thrown orgies at the count's Wannsee villa, where attractive young ladies -- usually "actresses" -- were thrown into hypnotic trances and made to mime orgasms. The count was a rather degenerate sort who went through money like schnapps, and wound up owing a great deal to Hanussen, who carried the count's markers with him wherever he went. Needless to say, the markers were never found (which either proves that the count killed Hanussen and removed the IOUs from the body, or that the story is completely fictitious and never happened; take your pick).

And then, of course, Hanussen's father was Jewish, which would have been reason enough to execute the inordinately influential seer. Unfortunately, we will never know what happened, for Hanussen died as he had lived: the Count St. Germain of Weimar and early Nazi Germany, a complete and compelling mystery.

The Master of the Sidereal Pendulum

Another occultist in Hitler's inner circle was the Thulist, astrologer, and pendulum expert Wilhelm Gutberlet (born 1870). Gutberlet first comes to the historian's attention as a shareholder in the Volkischer Beobachter, Sebottendorff's former newspaper. Franz Eher Verlag was a publishing company that Sebottendorff purchased in 1918 for about five thousand Reichsmarks (RM). It consisted of a newspaper, the Munchener Beobachter, that had ceased publication with the death of its founder in June. Sebottendorff picked it up and moved its offices to the Thule meeting rooms at the Four Seasons Hotel, turning it into an anti-Semitic organ that was eventually taken over -- after a series of intervening ownerships by other parties -- by the German Workers' Party after Sebottendorff left Munich. In 1920, Wilhelm Gutberlet owned shares worth 10,000 RM, or about 8.5 percent of the total value of the paper. It was renamed the Volkischer Beobachter, and as such became infamous as the propaganda machine of the Nazi Party.

As mentioned, Gutberlet was a Thulist. He was also one of Hitler's earliest followers. A medical doctor, he was present at the first meeting of the German Workers' Party that Hitler attended and had remained a close friend and confidant since then. In other words, since 1919.

Gutberlet virtually disappears from most official accounts of the Nazi Party until he reappears in Schellenberg's memoirs. Walter Schellenberg was chief of the Foreign Intelligence section of the SD (Sicherheitsdienst or Security Service), and survived the war to write about his experiences as spymaster in Europe. According to Schellenberg:

Hitler's racial mania was one of his characteristic features. I discussed this several times with Dr. Gutbarlett [sic], a Munich physician who belonged to the intimate circle around Hitler. Gutbarlett believed in the "sidereal pendulum," an astrological contraption, and claimed that this had given him the power to sense at once the presence of any Jews or persons of partial Jewish ancestry, and to pick them out in any group of people. Hitler availed himself of Gutbarlett's mystic power and had many discussions with him on racial questions. [37]

Thus, in Gutberlet, we have an occultist, a Thulist, an astrologer, a racist, a pendulum expert, and a confidant of Hitler, all wrapped into one. The matter of the "sidereal pendulum" itself will come up in a later chapter, but for now we can agree that Gutberlet's influence over Hitler's thinking must have been profound, for the Fuhrer himself constantly ridiculed the volkisch occult groups in his official speeches ... while secretly soliciting their advice and counsel away from the prying eyes of both the press and the superstitious Christian public. And it is revealing to know that Gutberlet, the astrologer and mystic, was consulted by Hitler on racial matters as well as on mystical subjects, thus providing additional evidence -- albeit circumstantial -- that Hitler's racism was fueled by his occultism.

List, Liebenfels, Eckart, Hanussen, Gutberlet. These are only five of the many occultists whose influence surrounded the Fuhrer from his early days as an art student to his last days as leader of a ruined nation. To complete the story, we have to investigate Haushofer, Hess, Himmler and many others for -- as the Reich consolidated and became more powerful -- other occult lodges in Germany were active and were seen to pose a threat to the new regime. While drawing upon some of the same traditions as the Order of New Templars, the Germanenorden, and the Thule Society -- Eastern religions, weird rituals associated with astrology and mythology, sexual formulas for becoming powerful and casting spells -- they had other associations which made them suspect.
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