The Occult Establishment, by James Webb

"Science," the Greek word for knowledge, when appended to the word "political," creates what seems like an oxymoron. For who could claim to know politics? More complicated than any game, most people who play it become addicts and die without understanding what they were addicted to. The rest of us suffer under their malpractice as our "leaders." A truer case of the blind leading the blind could not be found. Plumb the depths of confusion here.

Re: The Occult Establishment, by James Webb

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Part 5 of 5

It is against this background that the anti-Semitism of the English illuminates must be categorized. The monetary reformer Arthur Kitson became a member of "The Britons" the year after their foundation. Arnold Spencer Leese, the founder of the Imperial Fascist League (and an expert on the diseases of camels) was introduced to "The Britons" and to the Protocols by Kitson in 1923. Kitson, he wrote, "was very nervous of the Jews because of threats and injuries received, and would never speak about them at his meetings, but he knew all about them." Kitson did in fact refer to a conspiracy of German Jews in his writings. He thought that this consortium was chiefly responsible for the industrial depression among the victorious nations after the First World War. That other economic reformer, Major Douglas, became quite extravagant during the period just before the Second World War. He announced his belief in the Protocols and endorsed Nesta Webster's occult anti-Semitism. "Any serious endeavor to identify the origins of world unrest and war," Douglas declared, "inevitably and invariably leads back to what is loosely called occultism." He had "little doubt that the Talmud so organized the Jews, that the Masters of the Cabala were able to use them as one unit." [139] He thought that Hitler was the grandson of an illegitimate daughter of Baron Rothschild of Vienna; he maintained that Admiral Canaris was really called Moses Meyerbeer. The conspiracy imagined by Douglas included not only the standard ingredients of Freemasonry and Judaism, but also Bolshevism, American finance, and the Nazi party. The result of Douglas's obsession was that the journals under his control became devoted to anti-Semitism rather than to Social Credit.

Nor were the guildsmen free from anti-Semitic elements. In Spain Ramiro de Maeztu decided that Jews were at the bottom of all the evils of the world: an absurd theory to apply to a country which had expelled its Jewish population in the 15th century. G. Stirling Taylor's The Guild State of 1919 -- which was later translated into German -- was scathing at the expense of "Trotsky and his Jewish friends." George Young's reports from Germany at the time of the council governments contain frequent pointed reference to the number of Jewish revolutionaries -- or even of Jewish members of the government the revolutionaries had toppled. Thus we hear of "Preuss, the Minister of the Interior, a Jew, a jurist and an adjuster," or of "Landsberg at Justice, a red Jew from the province of Posen." Young saw fit to tell his readers that Levine was "a black Jew of a common and rather criminal type" while registering respect for "the personal power of the idealist Jew Kurt Eisner." [140] The mysterious, diabolical, and powerful Jew was seen everywhere.

Chesterton and Belloc were also concerned with Jewish responsibility for the wicked modern world which their Distributist state would replace. Belloc's anti-Semitism dated back to his French origins and the lingering prejudices of the Dreyfus case. That of G. K. Chesterton took root in the Marconi scandal of 1912. In that year Rufus Isaacs, Lloyd George, and the chief whip of the Liberal Party were implicated in dealing in shares in the Marconi company in the knowledge that Marconi's tender for the construction of wireless stations had been accepted by the government. For those of an anti-Semitic temperament the crux of the matter was that Rufus Isaacs's brother Geoffrey was a director of Marconi and that both were Jews; the felony was compounded by Herbert Samuel's attempt to cover up the affair in Parliament.

Hilaire Belloc and G. K. Chesterton's brother Cecil mounted an attack on the proceedings in their paper The New Witness and were successfully sued for libel. While Cecil Chesterton became a fanatical anti-Semite, the wrath of his brother and Belloc was directed first and foremost at the financial system which they believed was largely controlled by Jews. G. K. Chesterton's attitude was profoundly affected by the Marconi scandal, but his anti-Semitism retained a vacillating character -- as if there were somewhere a clear thought struggling to get out. Belloc is a different kettle of fish: it is extremely instructive to compare some of the drawings in his Cautionary Tales to those in Streicher's Sturmer or Dietrich Eckhart's Auf gut Deutsch. He was suspicious of the Russian revolution and the rise of "Jewish news agencies," But like G. K. Chesterton he was too intelligent to see the Bolshevik revolt as the culmination of an immemorially ancient plot by the Semitic peoples. On the publication of Nesta Webster's The Causes of World Unrest, he castigated it as a "lunatic book." [141] Yet for all these qualifications, an anti-Semitism remained which although not particularly virulent, would not go away.

Similar reasons drove men in the direction of anti-Semitism as propelled them toward illuminated politics. The chief were a fear of change or an outright reaction toward an idealized past, which saw the Jew as the typical arriviste; a nationalist temper arising from such fear, which represented the Jew as the agent of a hideous cosmopolitanism; and a suspicion that all was not well with the economic situation, which ended by personifying financial double dealing as the Jew. These were all perfectly logical appendages of any of the illuminated movements we have surveyed. It is, therefore, somewhat surprising that few of the illuminated politicians did fall into the trap. The youth movements, the vast majority of the Guild Socialists, the Social Creditors of the period before Douglas went wild, or the followers of Hargrave -- all seem to have avoided the pitfall. Illuminated politicians are by no means necessarily anti-Semites -- although there is an illuminated anti-Semitism which is probably the most dangerous of all.

Of this we have seen traces in the conviction of Nesta Webster and Major Douglas that the Jewish menace included Theosophy and was controlled by a vast occult organization. It has recently been argued (by Professor Norman Cohn) that 19th- and 20th-century anti- Semitism represents the rebirth of the medieval vision of the Jew as a diabolical being. [142] There is evidently much truth in this view. But the retreat to the magical that this implies was everywhere assisted by the rise of the irrationalist movements that composed the Occult Revival. In the search for "other realities" undertaken by the irrationalists, the vision of the Satanic Jew occasionally appeared. Particularly was this so when the irrationalist movements relied to any great extent upon inherited Christian traditions. The exotic Catholicism of late 19th-century France, for example, often went hand in hand with a magico-demonic distrust of the Jews. It is quite logical to find anti-Semitism among illuminated politicians who base their idealistic vision on a predominantly Christian ethic, and in particular among those who denounce "usury" in the manner of medieval churchmen seven hundred years earlier. In this way Kitson, Chesterton, and Belloc, and to some extent Douglas, can be explained, and perhaps, also, the reaction of certain medievally minded guildsmen. It should be a truism that there has always been a strong current of political anti-Semitism flowing from the "Left" as well as from the "Right." Often what both Left and Right have in common is the illuminated factor.

The divide between the illuminated anti-Semite and his less simplistic brother illuminate cannot always be securely marked. When C. H. Douglas, driven to desperation by failure, claimed that Social Credit was Christian and therefore the Truth -- as opposed to Judaism, the Incarnate Lie [143] -- he was merely debasing what Hargrave and his earlier self had proclaimed: that Social Credit rested on some spiritual basis. Whereas the latter statement was abstract and called for a reorganization of man's relations with man, that of the later Douglas identified the powers of good and evil in a specific and very primitive fashion. This fashion was continued by later commentators like the extremist Mgr. Denis Fahey. The Monsignor edited the fifth edition of a notorious anti-Semitic work published by "The Britons" invoking Social Credit and Arthur Kitson to the aid of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. [144] Another instance of the thinness of the division is provided by the English Mistery. This was a body of somewhat dilettante believers in an "organic society" organized by William Sanderson and Anthony Ludovici. Sanderson advocated a return to a feudal order and laid stress on the beneficial activity of Guilds and Freemasons. The Nietzschean Ludovici believed in the aristocratic principle and the importance of selective breeding. [145] They had obvious affinities with some of the illuminates we have examined -- even organizing themselves in "Kins" -- and Hargrave recommended Sanderson's book, That Which Was Lost, in the news sheet of the Kibbo Kift. [146] Their proposals, however, contained much anti-Semitic matter, and a schismatic group called the English Array was even supposed to have conspired to poison a number of eminent Jews. [147]

Generalizations are not very useful in indicating which illuminate might, or might not, be inclined to anti-Semitism. It can only be said that a certain person was, and another was not, a Jew-hater. For many of the illuminates their redefinitions of reality were too personal to include the diabolical Jew of popular superstition. But, on the other hand, once the illuminate had left the everyday universe of rationalist reality there was nothing to prevent him from entering that other world where the Jew sat at the right hand of Satan. Neither necessarily nor predominantly Fascist or anti-Semitic, the illuminated politicians deserve a classification of their own.

This classification comprises bodies of the Progressive Underground in search of an irrationalist interpretation of society, whose members are indicated by their occult and mystical associations, Explicitly religious were the Christian Socialists and some of the rural reformers; implicitly, some guildsmen and economists denouncing usury in terms borrowed from the Christian Middle Ages. The youth movement leaders came, with one exception, from Quaker families, and cultivated in common with the protagonists of blood and soil a symbiotic approach to the landscape and doctrine of spiritual evolution.

These movements were extra-Parliamentary -- which meant, in Britain, "Underground." They were numerically small but capable of astonishing eruptions. Particularly just after the First World War their opportunities were great; and a second chance was possible in the early 1930s. In point of numbers, however, the movements were also largely Underground. A third reason for applying the description lies in the illuminated attitude, which expressed itself not only in the clustering of mystical and occult groups around the political leaders, but in the transcendental principles on which their doctrines were based. They were to effect a spiritual reformation -- sometimes based on Christianity, sometimes not. Such a transcendental impulse is even to be found in the attempts of the monetary reformers to "see through money" and abolish the existence of the cash nexus which they abhorred. The Establishment's reality which the illuminated Underground opposed -- the Britain of materialism, industrialism, and Parliamentary inertia -- succeeded in keeping the Underground down. For this there is one overpowering reason. The Underground was far too elitist and intellectual. Of all the figures discussed only John Hargrave ever had the common touch, and he too remained elitist over a long period.

The common premise of the Underground groups was that something was drastically wrong with society. They would return to a Garden of Eden. For the youth movements, this involved the recovery of the physical skills and emotional stability of "natural man"; for the guildsman, his integral and directed society of function; for the economic reformers, a more rational relationship between man and the products of his labor; and for the rural revivalists, a direct return to the imperatives of the soil. The fruits of their Garden were as elusive as those of the Hesperides. But neither difficulty nor disappointment has ever halted an idealist; and he does not stop to think whether the source of the greatest good may not also be that of great evil. The idealism is enough; and in all ages those concerned for a more "spiritual" society have congregated and recognized each other.

In the period just after the First World War one group became especially prominent in illuminated circles. This was composed of fugitives from the society concerned above all others with realities not of this world: that of Tsarist Russia.



1. Edward Carpenter, Civilisation: Its Cause and Cure (London, 1921), p. 72.

2. G. Stanley Hall, Adolescence (N.Y., 1904), vol. II, pp. 71-72.

3. Ernest Westlake and Aubrey Westlake, general introduction to "Woodcraft Way," series no. 1 -- Ernest Thompson Seton, Woodcraft (London, 1918).

4. Ernest Thompson Seton, Trail of an Artist-Naturalist (London, 1951), pp. 291 ff.

5. Seton, The Book of Woodcraft and Indian Lore (London, 1913), pp. 548-49.

6. For the influence of Seton on Europe, see Heinz Reichling, "Ernest Thompson Seton und die Woodcraft Bewegung in England" (Bonner Studien zu Englische Philologie, Heft XXX), (Bonn, 1937).

7. I. O. Evans, Woodcraft and World Service (London, 1930), pp. 49-50, 125; and see Aubrey T. Westlake, Health Abounding (London, 1944), Life Threatened (London, 1967), Miasma (Hindhead, Surrey, 1968), and foreword to Mary C. Fullerson's Bya New and Living Way (London, 1963).

8. Aubrey T. Westlake, Woodcraft Chivalry (2nd ed., London, 1917), pp. 4, 6.

9. E. Westlake and A. T. Westlake, "Introduction," p. 4.

10. See Ernest Westlake, The Place of Dionysos (Godshill, 1927).

11. See Ernest Westlake and Aubrey T. Westlake, Primitive Occupations as a Factor in Education (London, 1918).

12. Ernest Westlake, The Forest School (Godshill, 1925), p. 9.

13. Interview with John Hargrave.

14. Seton, The Book of Woodcraft, p. 3.

15. John Hargrave, The Great War Brings It Home (London, 1919), p. 61.

16. See Richard Hofstadter, Social Darwinianism in American Thought (N.Y., 1945), pp. 139 ff. and H. H. Laughlin, Eugenics Record Office Report, no. I (N.Y., 1913).

17. See Edgar Schuster and Ethel M. Elderton, The Inheritance of Ability (1902) and the Eugenics Society pamphlets, Eugenic Sterilisation and Better Unborn.

18. Huxley still maintains this view; see Evolution, the Modern Synthesis (2nd ed., 1963), p. 578.

19. Hargrave, Great War, pp. ix, 226, 295.

20. Hargrave, The Totem Talks (London, 1919), p. 91.

21. Hargrave, "The Origin and Development of the Kibbo Kift" in Broadsheet, no. 13 (August 1926), p. 1.

22. Interview with Hargrave.

23. I. O. Evans, Woodcraft, pp. 63-65; cf. Leslie Paul, Angry Young Man (London, 1951), pp. 54-55.

24. Broadsheet, no. 14 (September 1926). The books of Stephen Graham, such as The Gentle Art of Tramping (N.Y., 1926), were influential in youth movement circles. Graham's own romantic wanderings were tinged with mysticism; see his early Priest of the Ideal (London, 1918).

25. I. O. Evans, Woodcraft, p. 66.

26. Hargrave, "Origin and Development," p. 3.

27. I. O. Evans, Woodcraft, p. 68.

28. Paul, Angry Young Man, p. 54.

29. I. O. Evans, Woodcraft. pp. 69, 71.

30. Leslie Paul, "The Decline of the Youth Movements," in The Adelphi, (March 1934), p. 324.

31. Hargrave, The Totem Talks, p. 94; I. O. Evans, Woodcraft. p. 69; Broadsheet announcement, no. 25 (August 1927).

32. Hargrave, Young Winkle (London, 1925), p. 171.

33. Broadsheet, no. 16 (November 1926); Hargrave, The Confession of the Kibbo Kift (London, 1927), p. 44; Hargrave in Broadsheet. no. 27 (September 1927).

34. Paul, Angry Young Man. p. 59; cf. I. O. Evans, Woodcraft, pp. 76 ff.

35. E.g., Nesta Webster, The Socialist Network (London, 1926), p. 123.

36. See Broadsheet. nos. 4-6 (October-December 1925); Hargrave in Broadsheet, no. 28 (November 1927), p. 5.

37. Hargrave, Confession. pp. 49-50, 67-68, 110, 283; cf. the SS Ordensburgen. for which see Chapter V.

38. Paul, The Folk Trail (London, 1929), pp. 41-42, The Green Company (London, 1931).

39. Reichling, Seton, p. 34.

40. Paul, The Annihilation of Man (London, 1944) and see also his report for the Anglican Church, The Deployment and Payment of the Clergy (London, 1964).

41. Reichling, Seton, p. 108.

42. See The Occult Underground. pp. 319 ff.

43. Rolf Gardiner, "Music, Noise and the Land," in Wessex, Letters from Springhead (Christmas, 1950), p. 52; Gardiner, The English Folk-Dance Tradition (Hellerau-Dresden, 1923), p. 30.

44. See Gardiner's "Thirty Years After" in Wessex (Whitsun, 1955), p. 151; "On the Functions of a Rural University" in North Sea and Baltic (3 September 1933), pp. 6-9, and note in same, Spring 1935 by Gerald Gough on a visit to Frankfurt; see Katherine Trevelyan, Fool in Love (London, 1962), and the obituary of Goetsch in Wessex (Whitsun, 1955).

45. Gardiner, "Thirty Years After," p. 151.

46. In Northern Europe, 1930.

47. Gardiner, "On the Functions of a Rural University," pp. 6-15.

48. Ludwig Lienhard in Wessex (Christmas, 1953), p. 111.

49. North Sea and Baltic (Spring, 1935), p. 4.

50. Rolf Gardiner and Heinz Rocholl (eds.), Britain and Germany (London, 1928).

51. Gardiner, "Englische Tradition und die Zukunft" in Wilhelm Freiherr von Richthofen (ed.), Brito-Germania. ein Weg zu Pan-Europa (Berlin, 1930), pp. 20 ff.

52. Gardiner, "The Meaning of the German Revolution," in North Sea and Baltic (Whitsun, 1933), p. 5.

53. North Sea and Baltic (Spring, 1935).

54. See Leslie Paul, "The Decline of the Youth Movements," and Gardiner, letter to The Adelphi (April 1934).

55. Walter Laqueur, Young Germany (London, 1962), pp. 137 ff.; and cf. the interest taken by Reichling, Seton, in English movements.

56. From "Der zweite Aufruf" in Freideutsche Jugend (Jena, 1913), p. 4.

57. Laqueur, Young Germany, pp. 26-27.

58. The Rural Organisation Council, p. v.

59. Montague Fordham, Mother Earth (2nd ed., London, 1908), p. 164.

60. Fordham, The Rebuilding of Rural England (London, 1924), p. viii; for a mystical experience, see Massingham, World without End (London, 1932), pp. 195-97; Clough Williams-Ellis (ed.), Britain and the Beast (London, 1937), with contributions by Keynes, Massingham, E. M. Forster, Joad, A. G. Street, etc.

61. Richard St. Barbe Baker, The Brotherhood of the Trees (London, 1930).

62. Baker, I Planted Trees (London, 1944), pp. 77-78; Broadsheet, no. 14 (September 1926); Report of the Men of the Trees (Summer School and Conference, Oxford, 1938, London, 1938), pp. 75-76.

63. Gardiner, "After Thirty Years," p. 152 and cf. his letter to The Adelphi.

64. See Wessex (Christmas, 1950, and Midwinter, 1953), "In Memory Harold John Massingham"; H. J. Massingham, Remembrance (London, 1942), pp. 140 ff.; Massingham, "The Natural Order" in Essays in the Return to Husbandry (London, 1945), pp. 7, 78; Massingham, The Tree of Life (London, 1943), p. 209.

65. Wessex (Christmas, 1950), pp. 32 ff.

66. Katherine Trevelyan, after the failure of her marriage to Goetsch, found solace in Steiner's Christian Community.

67. See C. B. Purdom, The Letchworth Achievement (London, 1963).

68. Purdom, Life Over Again (London, 1951), and cf. Dugald Macfadyen, Sir Ebeneezer Howard and the Town Planning Movement (Manchester, 1933).

69. See Ernest Westlake and Aubrey Westlake, Primitive Occupations.

70. Victor Branford and Patrick Geddes, The Coming Polity (London, 1919), p. v.

71. See The Occult Underground, pp. 326 ff. As Geddes was a supporter of the Kibbo Kift, it is worth noting a nationalist youth movement called the Scottish Watch, which was much concerned with eugenics. See Wendy Wood, I Like Life (Edinburgh, 1930), p. 243. On Geddes and Mumford, see Lewis Mumford, "The Disciple's Rebellion" in Encounter (September 1966), pp. 11 ff.; Mumford, The Culture of Cities (N.Y., 1938).

72. Walter Crane, "Of the Revival of Design and Handicraft," in William Morris (ed.), Arts and Crafts Essays (London, 1893), pp. 12-13.

73. C. R. Ashbee, An Endeavour towards the Teaching of John Ruskin and William Morris (London, 1901), p. 7; Ashbee, Craftsmanship in Competitive Industry (London, 1909), and cf. the picture of his craftsman's Utopia in The Building of Thelema (London, 1912).

74. Quoted in Niles Carpenter, Guild Socialism (N.Y., 1922); and cf. the letter from Penty printed by Karl Munkes, "Arthur Penty und der Nationalsozialismus" (thesis presented to Bonn University, 1937), pp. 19-20.

75. A. J. Penty, The Restoration of the Gild System, (London, 1906), pp. 46-47, 64.

76. See his "Art and the Function of Guilds," in Architecture, Mysticism and Myth (London, 1892); G. Stirling Taylor, The Guild State (London, 1919), p. 21; Penty, Guild System, pp. 85-86; see Transactions of the Second Annual Congress of the Federation of European Sections of the Theosophical Society (London, 1905).

77. A. R. Drage (ed.), National Guilds (London, 1914), The book carried no mention of Hobson at all.

78. S. G. Hobson, Functional Socialism (London, 1936), pp. 15-16; Ramiro de Maeztu, Authority, Liberty and Function in the Light of the War (London, 1916). For de Maeztu, see later in this chapter and Martin Nozick, "An Examination of Ramiro de Maeztu" in Publications of the Modern Language Association of America (September 1954), pp. 719 ff.

79. Niles Carpenter, Guild Socialism, p. 95; The Guildsman, no. 1.

80. G. Stirling Taylor, The Psychology of the Great War (London, 1915), p. 191.

81. Niles Carpenter, Guild Socialism, pp. 109-10, 117-26.

82. George Young in The Daily News (24 April 1919), p. 2, and (26 April 1919), p. 2; Young, The New Germany (London, 1920), pp. 190-91; Young, "British Guild Socialism and the German Revolution," in The Guildsman (November 1920), p. 3.

83. G. D. H. Cole, "Guilds at Home and Abroad," in The Guildsman (November 1920), and cf. reports of a visit to Munich printed July-August, 1919, p. 11.

84. Niles Carpenter, Guild Socialism, p. 113, and The Guildsman (January 1921), p. 5.

85. Penty, "Douglasism and the Guilds," in The Guild Socialist (April 1922), pp. 4-5; Niles Carpenter, Guild Socialism, pp. 134-35; Cole, "Guilds at Home and Abroad," pp. 9-10.

86. Cole, A History of Socialist Thought, vol. IV, part I, Communism and Social Democracy (London, 1958), pp. 453-54.

87. Walter Kendal, The Revolutionary Movement in Britain 1900-21 (London, 1969), pp. 278-83.

88. Munkes, Arthur Penty, p. 21. See Fordham, Agriculture and the Guild System (London, 1923), Britain's Trade and Agriculture (London, 1932), and A. J. Penty and William Wright, M.P., Agriculture and the Unemployed (London, 1925).

89. Peter d'A. Jones, The Christian Socialist Revival (Princeton, New Jersey, 1968), pp. 228-37.

90. Quoted in Reg. Groves, Conrad Noel and the Thaxted Movement (London, 1967), p. 206.

91. Groves, Conrad Noel, pp. 70 ff. See Noel, The Battle of the Flags (London, 1921) and The Guildsman for 1921.

92. Christianity and Industrial Problems (reissue in 1927 of original 1918 publication), pp. 83, 147, 212.

93. Maurice Reckitt, As it Happened (London, 1941), p. 108; Hilaire Belloc, Economics for Helen (2nd ed., London, 1924), p. 229. The Servile State (London, 1912).

94. G. K. Chesterton, The Outline of Sanity (London, 1926). See also Robert Speaight, The Life of Hilaire Belloc (London, 1957), p. 485; Maisie Ward, Gilbert Keith Chesterton (London, 1944), pp. 433 ff.; Christopher Hollis, The Mind of Chesterton (London, 1970), p. 213; Conrad Noel, An Autobiography (London, 1945); G. K. Chesterton, Autobiography (2nd ed., London, 1969), p. 163; The Guildsman (September 1919), p. 1.

95. On Gill, see Donald Attwater, A Cell of Good Living (London, 1969), and see Gill's own Last Essays (London, 1947), in particular "The Factory System and Christianity," pp. 103 ff. (originally 1918). For Coomaraswamy and the guild idea, see Ananda Coomaraswamy, The Indian Craftsman (London, 1909), pp. 7-19,114-16. Bhagavan Das is recommended in "What has India Contributed to Human Welfare" in The Dance of Shiva (London, 1958). See Bhagavan Das, The Science of Social Organisation (London, Benares, 1910). "Manu's scheme is the nearest and only approach to a workable socialism that has been tried in our race."

96. See Penty's Distributism: a Manifesto (London, 1938); Penty, Towards a Christian Sociology (London, 1923), p. 201.

97. T. S. Eliot, The Idea of a Christian Society (London, 1936), p. 61. Eliot's avowed masters -- Christopher Dawson and Father V. A. Demant -- are Johnny-come-latelies in the field of English illuminated socialism; Dawson's Beyond Politics (1939) and Demant's God, Man and Society (1933) betray their indebtedness to their predecessors. Demant dedicated his book to Maurice Reckitt.

98. I. O. Evans, Woodcraft, pp. 53-55.

99. Westlake, in Grith Fyrd (Spring, 1933). Cf. Reichling, Seton, p. 108. On Toynbee Hall, J. A. R. Pimlott, Toynbee Hall (London, 1935) and on the Theosophical Society, "Bow Lodge," attached to it see letter in The Vahan (1 December 1894), p. 8.

100. Interview with John Hargrave.

101. Philip Mairet, A. R. Orage (2nd ed., N.Y., 1966), pp. 74-76; see C. H. Douglas, Credit Power and Democracy (London, 1920).

102. Douglas, Credit Power, p. 145.

103. Jones, Christian Socialist Revival, pp. 199-200 and p. 293.

104. See Leonard Wise, Arthur Kitson (London, 1946); Arthur Kitson, The Money Problem (London, 1903), p. 118 and p. 211; Kitson, Unemployment (London, 1921).

105. Frederick Soddy, "Economic Science from the Standpoint of Science" in The Guildsman (July 1920), pp. 3-4. On Soddy, see Leonard Wise, Frederick Soddy (London, 1946).

106. I. O. Evans, Woodcraft, p. 84.

107. Hargrave in The New Age (18 October 1928), p. 298.

108. Hargrave, Confession, p. 241.

109. Annual Report of the Green Shirt Movement for Social Credit (1922-23).

110. Eric Estorick, "The British Social Credit Party" in Dynamic America (July 1940).

111. Interview with Hargrave.

112. C. B. Macpherson, Democracy in Alberta (Toronto, 1953), p. 140.

113. K. K. Official Report Alberta (London, 1937).

114. For Boltwood, see Deathless Freedom by Charles Kingsley through Crusader (London, 1939).

115. Tom Driberg, "A Touch of the Sun," in The Adelphi, vol. 161, pp. 56 ff.

116. Hargrave, The Life and Soul of Paracelsus (London, 1951). See chapter IX for a quotation from Hargrave on the mechanics of inspiration.

117. See Westlake, Health Abounding, Massingham's introduction to The Natural Order, and Father Demant, entry in The New Age (3 March 1938), p. 97.

118. W. E. Mann, Sect, Cult and Church in Alberta (Toronto, 1955), pp. 118-21, 153-57.

119. Hugh McDiarmid, The Company I've Kept (London, 1966), pp. 113-14.

120. S. G. Hobson, Pilgrim to the Left (London, 1938), p. 177. See also Odon Por's Guilds and Co-operatives in Italy (London, 1923).

121. Nozick, "de Maeztu," pp. 726 ff. Cf. Richard A. H. Robinson, The Origins of Franco's Spain (Newton Abbot, 1970), pp. 179, 220.

122. Penty, Communism and the Alternative (London, 1933), p. 110 note 1. See also Penty, Tradition and Modernism in Politics (London, 1927) and S. G. Hobson, Pilgrim to the Left, p. 176.

123. Interview with Hargrave. For A. V. Roe's views on monetary reform, see L. J. Ludovici, The Challenging Sky (London, 1956), pp. 110 ff.; also see Hargrave's pamphlet Social Credit and British Fascism.

124. In particular, see Williamson, The Phoenix Generation (paperback ed., London, 1967).

125. See Jorian Jenks, The Stuff Man's Made Of (London, 1959), and From the Ground Up (London, 1950).

126. J. Taylor Peddie, The Economic Mechanism of Scripture (London, 2 vols., 1934), vol. II, p. 274.

127. Hargrave, Confession, pp. 244-46 and my interview with Hargrave.

128. Robert Benewick, Political Violence and Public Order (London, 1969), p. 240; see H. W. Kenyon in Blackshirt (11 January 1935), p. 10, for an attempt to equate Baden-Powell's Rover Scout textbook with Fascism, p. 10; and G. K. Chesterton in Blackshirt (1 February 1935), p. 1, for the samurai.

129. Arthur Raven Thomson, The Coming Corporate State (London, 1937).

130. Gardiner, in North Sea and Baltic (Whitsun, 1933), pp. 5-6.

131. See Andrew Sharf, The British Press and the Jews under Nazi Rule (London, 1964), pp. 194 ff.

132. See The Patriot, vol. I, no. 1. (9 February 1927).

133. Colin Cross, The Fascists in Britain (London, 1961), pp. 57-58.

134. Nesta Webster, Secret Societies and Subversive Movements (London, 1924), pp. 382.

135. See the notice in The Patriot (27 January 1927), p. 87.

136. Webster, Secret Societies, p. 405.

137. The Britons (prospectus, London, 1952); Sir William Butler: An Autobiography (London, 1911), pp. 406 ff., in particular the report to the War Office of June 1899, p. 436; cf. Edward McCourt, Remember Butler (London, 1968), pp. 245-47.

138. On Beamish, see Louis W. Bondy, Racketeers of Hatred (London, 1946), pp. 131 ff.; The Times, 5-6 December 1922 and 13 January 1923.

139. Arnold Spencer Leese, Out of Step: Events in the two lives of an Anti-Jewish Camel Doctor (Guildford, 1951), p. 50; Arthur Kitson, Unemployment, p. 12; C. H. Douglas, The Big Idea (Liverpool, 1945), pp. 15,21, and cf. The Policy of a Philosophy (Liverpool, 1945; orig. 1937, etc.).

140. Nozick, "de Maeztu," pp. 735 ff.; Richard A. H. Robinson, Franco's Spain, p. 220; G. Stirling Taylor, The Guild State (London, 1920); George Young, The New Germany, p. 32 and pp. 110-11.

141. Ward, Chesterton, pp. 283-309; Hollis, Chesterton, pp. 132 ff.; G. K. Chesterton, The New Jerusalem (London, 1920); Hilaire Belloc, The Jews (London, 1923); Belloc in a letter to Major L. H. Cohn (1923), quoted by Robert Speaight in The Life of Hilaire Belloc, p. 456.

142. For Professor Norman Cohn's writings, see chapter V below and notes.

143. Douglas on 7 February 1948 in The Development of World Dominion (London and Sydney, 1969).

144. See 5th edition of Leslie Fry, Waters Flowing Eastward, revised, enlarged, and subtitled The War against the Kingdom of Christ (London, 1965). For further lunacies, see Fahey's The Mystical Body of Christ and the Reorganisation of Society (Cork, 1945).

145. See William Sanderson, That Which Was Lost (London, 1930) and Statecraft (2nd ed., London, 1932); Anthony Ludovici, A Defence of Aristocracy (London, 1915); Recovery (London, 1939).

146. Broadsheet (March 1931).

147. George Thayer, The British Political Fringe (London, 1965), p. 106 note.
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Re: The Occult Establishment, by James Webb

Postby admin » Sun May 06, 2018 1:48 am

Part 1 of 3

Chapter 3: Wise Men from the East

Slav Mysticism and the West-The Russian Religious Revival -Symbolism and Decadence-The Occult Revival in Russia- Magicians at Court-The Emigration of the Mystics-Slav Gurus in Western Europe-Their Association with the Underground- Types of Russian Illuminated Politics

EX oriente lux: Western Europe's persistent hope in time of trouble. The influx of Eastern religions to the Roman Empire, the penetration of Renaissance Europe by Greek and Byzantine thought, the search of 19th-century occultists in the farther Orient -- all have been governed by this expectation. The Slav peoples, on the other hand, have been forced to look both ways and have made their synthesis as a matter of necessity. The triumph of Communism in the 1920s drove out of Russia the idealistic tradition of thought that many Russians have seen as the chief expression of their national genius. Representatives of this intellectual tradition -- superficially like that of the West, but essentially different -- found their way into the anxiety-ridden centers of Europe.

The remarkable hospitality of Russia to wandering saints and miscellaneous religious lunatics alike speaks more of the priorities of the East than of the West. It happened that just before the 1917 revolution, the native traditions of the Christian autocracy fused with recently imported mystical and occultist doctrines to make a cultural construction of the greatest tension. Between 1917 and 1923 this construction was destroyed and its builders suppressed or exiled. In the various Slavonic prophets who gained Western followings we can observe the struggle for the irrational in its most elemental form. In the illuminated politicians who accompanied them can be seen the search for immaterial realities in the most material of spheres of action.

Such an invasion of Slav mysticism had occurred before. In the middle of the 19th century the unending tally of Polish misfortunes had driven a horde of exiles into France. There they made contact with French mystical circles and the illuminated politicians of the day. They had brought with them a penchant for occultism and a national tradition of "Messianism" which saw the Polish nation as the redeemer of the world. [1]

An important source of this doctrine had been the presence within the ranks of Polish Catholicism of large numbers of converted Jews, followers of the prophet Jacob Frank. The mystical reputation of Jews, and particularly of Polish Jews, was long-lasting. Gustav Meyrink's The Golem played on the natural associations made by his readers between the Prague ghetto and doings mysterious and magical. As the time of Nazi rule drew near, Rudolf Steiner's enemies tried to prove that he was the son of a Polish Jew; the aim, of course, was to involve him in the imaginary international conspiracy of Freemasons and Jews, but the choice of supposed nationality was undoubtedly prompted by the reputation of Jewish Galicians. In the Viennese circle of Friedrich Eckstein could be found the poet Siegfried Lipiner (1856-1911) who had been born of Jewish parents in the Galician town of Jaroslav and who died as archivist to the Austrian Reichsrat. Lipiner was greatly influenced by Wagner, Schopenhauer, and Nietzsche; but he remained committed to the Christian religion. [2]

One important representative of Polish Messianism was active up till the outbreak of the Second World War. But his unusual preoccupations will become more intelligible if placed in the context of the exotic and almost suffocating atmosphere of the Russian religious revival. The Russian Orthodox Church has always remained a puzzle to outsiders. In the words of one of the most distinguished thinkers of the emigration:

Orthodoxy is not one of the historic confessions, it is the church itself, in its verity. It may even be added that, by becoming a confession, Orthodoxy fails to manifest all its force and its universal glory; it hides, one might say, in the catacombs.

The bewildering divergence of various currents of Russian theological speculation is seen as a virtue by those accustomed to the tradition. "It may be said that in the spiritual life this variety is most useful when it is greatest." As for the result: "Orthodox theology in Russia, in the 19th century and in our day, contains a whole series of original theological individualities, which resemble each other very little and which are all equally orthodox." The various different thinkers "express each in his own way the Orthodox conscience, in a sort of theological rhapsody." [3]

At the turn of the century this metaphysical orchestration achieved, if not perfect harmony, at any rate unsurpassed volume. The Orthodox tradition of popularly acclaimed sainthood found its culminating expression in Father John Sergiev (1828-1908), the Dean of Kronstadt, who had been born the son of poor peasants in Archangel province. His charity and remarkable healing powers secured him an immense following. The Times correspondent reported on the celebrations at Kronstadt in January 1891, to mark the thirty-fifth anniversary of the entry of Father John into the Orthodox ministry.

The festival in his honour at Cronstadt, an island most difficult and inconvenient of access in winter, was attended by great crowds of people, rich and poor, who made their way across the ice of the gulf to the isolated island, from St. Petersburg and other places. Thirty priests officiated at the church service on the occasion, and deputations from various benevolent and other societies, including even one of beggars, presented the reverend Father with gifts of silver-bound Bibles and holy pictures. The most touching sight of all was the gift of a small bunch of flowers by a poor sickly woman, with a child in her arms. An eye-witness states that the crowd and Father John were moved to tears. At a banquet in the evening, at which the Governor and the Admiral of Port presided, paupers, mendicants and moujiks sat cheek by jowl with ladies, officials and naval officers to drink the health and long life of father John. [4]

The almost universal veneration of Father John did not extend to the revolutionary priest Father Gapon, whose ambiguous part in the Revolution of 1905 is well known. Gapon wrote that John was surrounded by a band of twelve female acolytes, who managed his affairs on a weekly roster and solicited fees for visits; the dean of Kronstadt did indeed give alms, he admitted, but the whole business smacked of a commercial operation. [5] Even Gapon did not accuse John of fraud. But he thought that he had become the tool of the ruling classes. Certainly Father John's position with regard to the Establishment was sufficiently plain to earn him for a time the post of imperial confessor. And if John's personal saintliness is beyond question, this was not true of all his contemporaries or successors. Nicolas Zernov, who knew personally most of the leading figures of the religious revival, has recorded that while a genuine revival of traditional Orthodoxy did take place, "Men and women of questionable moral character became prominent in religious circles. Adventurers, quack prophets and healers acquired wide popularity and some of them even became bishops." [6]

The reverse side of the coin to Father John was represented by the notorious Sergei Mikhailovitch Trufanov (1880-1958). Better known as Iliodor, he built a monastery at Tsaritsyn on the Volga out of funds given by his devotees and became the center of a popular cult characterized by hysterical female admirers. Iliodor undoubtedly believed in his mission to chastize revolutionaries and Jews. His early asceticism was rivaled only by his suggestibility. In his memoirs he tells the story of how, when he was taken into a city for the first time, his brother told him that he must kneel and kiss the statue of a woman at the city gates. Believing implicitly in this statue Iliodor knelt and kissed the empty air. A similar atmosphere of pious suggestibility produced incessant reports of miracles during the First World War -- escapes from death when bullets struck ikons or crucifixes, miraculous deliverance accorded worshipping congregations. After the Russian defeat at the Masurian Lakes, the imperial command was given to send to the front line the ikon of the Mother of God from the Troitsko-Sergieva monastery. The government secured a huge propaganda success when soon afterward news was received of the Russian victory near Lvor and of the Allied successes on the Marne. [7]

Apart from the individual holy men who attracted personal devotion, the main tradition of Orthodox spirituality was preserved by monks. The inheritance of the monasteries of Athos was transmitted from one generation to the next, and the Russian monasteries themselves became places of pilgrimage. The most famous was the Optina Monastery, which was succeeded in popularity by the Zossimova Hermitage. The holy men, or startsy, who lived at such places in relative isolation, were famous as directors of souls -- although this did not prevent the philosopher Nicolas Berdyaev from finding Ambrose of Optina "almost dreary." [8]

Again, there was another side to the coin, represented by the numberless sects which led an underground (although increasingly popular) existence. These were hallowed by tradition, although outlawed by the regime. There was the Old Believers, or Raskolniki, who had their origins in the attempts of some 17th-century Orthodox churchmen to resist the centralizing and hierarchical reforms of the Patriarch Nikon. The Old Believers regarded themselves as the true church, and the "Christians" as frivolous and worldly. In 1880 they possibly numbered 13,000,000 to 14,000,000, and on the outbreak of the Revolution some 25, 000, 000. There were the Stranniki, or "priestless sect, " who had sprung from the Old Believers and who held that the elect must wander over the face of the earth with no permanent abode. They regarded themselves as free from moral law and discouraged marriage. Legends grew up of subterranean strannik sanctuaries where the wanderers hid. There were the "self-baptizers, " who gave themselves the sacraments, and the "milkdrinkers, " who forswore all other liquids during Lent. The Doukhobors, who practiced a sort of pacifist Gnosticism, were deported en bloc to the Caucasus.

The Khlysty attained some celebrity in fashionable society. They numbered at least 65, 000 in 1880, and they cultivated poetic utterance, ecstatic dancing, and leaders of a Messianic cast. The Khlysty gave birth to the Skoptsy, a bizarre sect of self-castrators, whose founder had been one of the many impostors claiming to be Tsar Peter III; in the middle of the 19th century they were popular in court circles in St. Petersburg, and on the outbreak of the Revolution they were thought to have numbered 100, 000. [9]

Within such a tradition it is unsurprising that the religious revival took on an exotic and at times a frenetic appearance. Russia was no more immune to the infection of anxiety than the countries of Western Europe. But within its boundaries the causes of anxiety were simpler. The threat of changes in the government or social structure of the country grew ever more acute, and with the revolution of 1905 they became reality. Among the Orthodox and the conservative a retreat to the state religion -- for the tsar was, after all, head of the church -- was a natural reaction. In contrast, there were others who interpreted the Christian gospel in a more populist light, clothing unorthodox sentiments in the garment of inherited tradition.

The intellectuals were in contact with the fashions of Western Europe:, and found sympathetic ideas in French Symbolism -- a school of thought saturated with occult speculation. [10] The intelligentsia was trebly attracted to the study of the religious and the mystical: through native tradition and inclination, through pan-European anxiety and artistic fashion, and through their own peculiar and frustrating inability to do anything that might affect the destinies of their countrymen. Otherworldly cities had an immense appeal for this group, which one observer described as bearing "the character of a religious body rather than that of a literary class." The same writer explained:

Again the devotion of the intelligentsia to theory, especially to the latest philosophical and social theories of France and Germany, blunted the sense of reality and made the average Russian even more impractical than he was compelled to be through lack of opportunity for action. He saw the march of events through a haze of hypothesis and logical syllogism. In long and noisy disputes around the samovar in rooms clouded with cigarette-smoke he analysed political occurrences from various philosophical and sociological standpoints, estimating their significance from the point of view of a remote ideal, but very often missing their immediate impact on sensibility .... The intelligentsia ... evaded nature. It theorised even when of set purpose it returned to Nature and founded Tolstoyan colonies. [11]

Vladimir Sergeivitch Soloviev (1853-1900) was the father of the peculiar sort of religious speculation that most characterized the Russian religious revival. He was the son of an eminent historian who was also an Orthodox priest. Vladimir Soloviev abandoned his early materialism for an idealistic philosophy and in 1872 underwent the first of a series of mystical experiences. This consisted in the transfiguration of a girl traveling in the Moscow-Kharkov train into the figure of a divine woman.

At once Soloviev abandoned his scientific pursuits and left Moscow University to study at the Ecclesiastical Academy. In 1874 he produced a book entitled The Crisis of Western Philosophy. This concluded that

Western philosophy affirms under the form of rational knowledge, the same truths which under the form of faith and spiritual contemplation were affirmed by the great theological doctrines of the Orient (in part of the ancient East and particularly the Christian East).

Soloviev called for a "universal synthesis of science, philosophy, and religion." This peculiarly Russian expression of the conflict between the claims of inherited Eastern methods of thought and intruding Western traditions was to find an enthusiastic welcome. Soloviev himself became a lecturer at Moscow University, and was stimulated by the historical interests of his predecessor in the past to investigate Spiritualism and the 18th-century seer Swedenborg. At one time he thought that he could elaborate the revelations of the spirits into a valid system of metaphysics. In 1874 he obtained a year's sabbatical and went to London to study Hindu, Gnostic, and medieval philosophy in the British Museum, where the second of his visions overcame him. Soloviev seems to have studied most of the classics of Western occultism. It is uncertain just what he was reading when he had his vision; but it was probably Knorr von Rosenreuth's Kabbala Denudata, a 17th-century translation of Jewish mystical texts. Once more the figure of a divine woman appeared before him. She revealed herself as "Sophia" -- wisdom -- a divine participant in the Creation of the world. In response to the vision, Soloviev abandoned his Jacob Bohme and his Eliphas Levi, and rushed off to Egypt where he received a mysterious order to go to Thebes. [12]

In 1876 Count Melchior de Vogue was introduced to Soloviev in Cairo by Ferdinand de Lesseps.

In high Egyptian summer, this Christ was wearing a long black overcoat and a top hat. He told us ingenuously that he had gone quite alone, dressed in this paraphernalia to the Bedouins of the Suez desert; he was looking for a tribe which preserved, someone must have told him, certain Cabalistic secrets, certain Masonic traditions directly inherited from King Solomon. The Bedouins had not enlightened him in the slightest about these matters: but they stole his watch and dented his top hat.

In fact, the Arabs thought this black-garbed apparition was the devil and abandoned him in the desert for the night. In the morning, the Russian awoke surrounded by the smell of roses, and Sophia appeared to him again. At this point Soloviev was completely absorbed by occult tradition. He appears to have believed that the legendary Emerald Tablet of Hermes Trismegistus did in fact contain all secrets, and that he could discover its custodians. But he finally decided that nothing had come of his journey to Egypt and returned to Russia. There in the next year Melchior de Vogue met him again. He found him occupied greatly with occultism, contemplating a book which would prove the divine principle to be female, and questioning the spirits about the Turko-Russian War. [13]

Basing his ideas upon those of the occult traditions he had so diligently studied, Soloviev next began to elaborate a philosophy of an "integral life, " which must first be accepted by a small brotherhood, then by all Russia. He began to lecture at St. Petersburg University, and he found support from Dostoievsky, the Archbishop of Lithuania, Sophie Tolstoy, (Leo Tolstoy's widow), and Princess Wolkonsky. His obsession with the name "Sophia" and with various women of that name, whom he saw as partial embodiments of his divine conception, is interesting and not a little erotic. The poet Andrei Bely saw many of Soloviev's manuscripts, covered with curious writing signed with the letter "S, " which seemed to Bely to read like love letters. [14] Toward the end of his life, Soloviev was plagued by the attentions of one Anna Schmidt (she died in 1905) who wrote a column on mysticism in a Nizhni-Novgorod newspaper. Anna decided that she was the Divine Sophia come to earth to be reunited with Vladimir Soloviev, the reincarnate Christ. Soloviev was horrified. But after his death his family kept in touch with the Sophia from Nizhni-Novgorod, and in 1916 Sergei Bulgakov published her Notes. including a "Third Testament, " which he described as "an amazing document." [15] Soloviev's family and disciples evidently thought her worth humoring, just in case.

Soloviev's legacy is many-faceted. Although it was added to by his disciples, it is remarkable how many of the elements of the Russian religious revival were contained in the ideas of its pioneer. First, there was the idea of the "God-man, " who represented the outcome of the gradual spiritualization of humanity. As the process of physical creation had produced its crowning achievement in the human being, so the process of human self-creation would produce from the human being-God. [16] Soloviev's other main preoccupations toward the end of his life concerned the status of the Orthodox church and the coming of Antichrist. His faith in traditional Russian Orthodoxy -- he had visited the staretz Ambrose of Optina Pustyn in the company of Dostoievsky -- was shaken by the church's reactionary political stance over the murderer of Alexander II, and after 1881 he began to regard the Orthodox clergy as tainted by their ancient persecution of the Old Believers. He made several attempts to approach Rome, but all were failures. [17] His followers were to continue Soloviev's concern with the ecumenical role of Orthodoxy. For a large number of the intelligentsia this meant subscribing, for a time, to the doctrine of "Slavophilism" -- the vision of Russia's messianic mission in Europe -- a belief owing not a little to the mysticism of the Polish Messianists. More important was the pessimistic attitude which engulfed Soloviev in the last two years of his life. He revisited Egypt and began to feel that all his early hopes had been disappointed. He believed that he was pursued by demons, that the end of the world was approaching, and that his divine Sophia would be incarnate only after history as such as ceased. In a dialogue he forecast the appearance of Antichrist.

Politician: And do you think the catastrophe is very near? Mr Z.: Well, there will still be a great deal of rattling and bustling on stage, but the drama has been all written long ago, and neither the audience nor the actors are allowed to alter anything in it. [18]

Soloviev's death in 1900 occurred in the same year as those of Nietzsche and Oscar Wilde, who were also heroes of the Russian intelligentsia. As some of the prophet's followers had expected his immediate resurrection, they fell back on forebodings that his gloomy predictions were to be fulfilled. The Symbolist poet Vyacheslav Ivanov and his friends computed a prophecy of Cornelius Agrippa to agree with a verdict of apocalypse in 1900, [19] and the intelligentsia turned itself over eagerly to the God-seeking movement.

The conflicting claims of Orthodox tradition, the fear of apocalypse, and the example of Soloviev's occultism formed the ingredients of a hothouse atmosphere which excited some disgust among more conservative souls. One of these wrote of Soloviev that some of the secondary and unhealthy elements of his philosophical creed were unhappily a starting-point for the eager speculations and overstrung pseudo-religious emotions of certain intellectuals of orgiastic tendencies who were eager to combine the holiest mysteries of religion, the holy of holies of the Christian faith, with the sexual excitement of the Bacchanalia. [20]

To the mushroom growth of groups of religious and philosophical speculators with names like the "Circle of Seekers of Christian Enlightenment" or the Moscow "Religious-Philosophic Society in Memory of Vladimir Soloviev" was added an eruption of French Decadent and Symbolist influence which for a time dominated the cultural life of Moscow and St. Petersburg. The convulsions experienced by contemporary French irrationalists were reproduced in Russia, but in a smaller circle and with magnified intensity. Berdyaev wrote:

It was a time of the awakening of independent and original philosophical thought, of intense poetical imagination and aesthetic sensibility; it was a time marked by a profound spiritual disquiet and religious searching, and by widespread interest in mysticism and even occultism. We saw the glow of a new dawn, and the end of an old age seemed to coincide with a new era which would bring about a complete transfiguration of life.

But such moods were prevalent only in comparatively restricted circles, cut off from the wide and far-reaching social changes which were taking place at the time. There were unmistakable signs of incipient decadence in the whole movement: sometimes it seemed to breathe the atmosphere of a hot-house with no door or window open to the fresh air. We were in fact witnesses not of the beginning of a new era but of the collapse of an old one, and we were troubled by a sense of the approaching collapse of old Russia. And, significantly enough, while moved and inspired by great visions, we experienced no real joy. Moreover, signs of genuine creativeness were accompanied by mere fashions and imitations. For many it became simply a matter of comme if faut to be an aesthete or a mystic, or a "seeker after God." [21]

The centers of the literary and artistic decadence were small coteries gathered around societies or magazines. The most important in St. Petersburg were the grandiosely titled "New Religious Consciousness" (of Dmitri Merezhkovsky, his wife Zenaida Hippius, their friend Dmitri Filosofov, and haunted by the satyrlike spirit of Vasily Rozanov) and the group of Symbolists which met at the seventh-floor flat of Vyacheslav Ivanov called "the Tower." In Moscow there was the Scorpio Press of Valery Bryussov; and the short-lived but very influential World of Art conducted by Diaghilev, which opened its columns not only to artists but also to religious thinkers like Merezhkovsky and Rozanov. Between these poles of attraction swung important figures like the poets Andrei Bely and Alexander Blok. An impressionistic picture of this illuminated intelligentsia will show some of the influences on emigre culture.

The Russian Decadence began with the writings of Nicolai Minsky (N. M. Vilenkin, 1855-1937) and A. L. Volynsky (A. L. Flekser, 1865-1926). In 1890 the former published a Nietzschean thesis on the liberty of the individual; and the criticism of the latter broke away from the accepted "civic" standards of literature much in the way in which the French Symbolists had rebelled against the naturalism of the French novel. In 1892 Merezhkovsky published a work heavily influenced by the French Symbolists; and in 1894 a Symbolist anthology was issued by Valery Bryussov. The Symbolist approach was defined by its chief theoretician, Vyacheslav Ivanov (1866-1949) as "from the real to the more real." It was, in other words, an attempt to see through the appearances of material objects and the ordinary occurrences of life to an Absolute reality which was assumed to lie beneath them. Symbolic art, wrote Ivanov, "enables us to become aware of the inter-relationships and the meaning of what exists not only in the sphere of earthly, empirical consciousness, but, in other spheres too. Thus true symbolic art approximates to religion." [22] Ivanov held his "at homes" in his Tower on Wednesday evenings. The chaotic Bohemian life of this flat was experienced by Bernard Pares when he stayed there in 1907; he was asked not to sing in his morning bath, as that was the time that the inmates usually went to bed. The doctrines of the French Symbolists were adopted wholesale: thus the poet Konstantin Balmont recorded in his notebook that "a grain of sand can become a system of the astral world." [23] Russian Symbolism, however, was permeated with the influence of Vladimir Soloviev. Ivanov had known him as a child; Andrei Bely was brought into literature by Soloviev's youngest brother Mikhail; both Soloviev's sister and his nephew Sergei wrote Symbolist poetry.

Somewhere between those who were mystics because of their art and the religious thinkers proper came "the Merezhkovskys" -- Dmitri Merezhkovsky (1865-1941), Zenaida Hippius (1868-1944), and their friend Dmitri Filosofov. Their flat was as Bohemian as Ivanov's, but centered round the poetess Hippius. "The Merezhkovskys' drawing-room, " Berdyaev wrote, "was not a place where you would meet a real person, though it was frequented by a multitude of people; one felt absorved in an impersonal whole; there was a kind of magic spell overshadowing the lives -- something similar to the atmosphere prevailing at the gatherings of mystical sects." [24] Merezhkovsky's own interest in mystical sects was considerable. For his novel Peter and Alexis he had studied the traditions of Russian dissent, he had visited Semenov on the Volga, where the mysterious city of Kitei-grad was said to be submerged and where he spent St. John's Eve talking to wandering stranniks and adepts of extraordinary cults. If the novel which resulted from these researches is any indication of what he found, he held conversations with Khlysts. Old Believers, those who hourly expected Antichrist, and he gathered material for an unforgettable character -- "Tifon the Sordid, " venerated for his saintly sordidness.  [25] Merezhkovsky saw the possibility of evolving a "new religious consciousness" from the two peculiarly Russian types represented by Tolstoy and Dostoievsky. Tolstoy stood for a pantheistic mysticism of the flesh, and Dostoievsky for the more ascetic spiritual virtues. "In this Russian the 'Man-God' shall be manifested to the Western world, and the 'God-man' for the first time to the Eastern, and shall be, for those whose thinking already reconciles both hemispheres the 'One in Two.' " Such mystical mathematics are somewhat alien to the Western mind, but similar speculations occupied the "Religio-Philosophical Assemblies" which Merezhkovosky and his friends held from 1901 to 1903. They secured the personal sanction of the reactionary Procurator of the Holy Synod and the Metropolitan Anthony. But official permission was withdrawn when the proceedings became too outspoken, although the participants were able to issue the results of their deliberations in a magazine called The New Way. [26]

These assemblies mixed together Orthodoxy, apocalypse, and some curious personal heresies. The most original viewpoint was probably that of Vasily Rozanov (1856-1919), who once caused "a confusion and explosion of fury" in the Religio-Philosophical Society when he suggested that newly married couples should begin the sacrament of married life as a monastic novice keeps his vigil. Rozanov preaches an orgiastic phallic religion which he combined with a veneration for antiquity in general. "The life of Ambrosius of the Optina Monastery is not more resplendent than the biography of a veteran of Caesar's legions." One of his books was suppressed by the Holy Synod because of obscenity. When Rozanov discussed his sexual mysticism in his family circle, one of his daughters would regularly have hysterics, but his wife used to fall asleep. [27] Although he despised Christianity for its taboo on sex, Rozanov carried on a love-hate relationship with the church and died a Christian. [28] A new age was approaching: "Probably something must have happened in the semen (and in the ovum); it is remarkable that now human beings have begun to be born quite different from those of 60 or 70 years ago." Rozanov summarized his creed in a letter of 1917:

I am sure that the whole universe is parcelled out of "the body of Apis" ... and strictly of his genitalia. and still more strictly, of his eternally gushing semen, of storms of semen, of whirls of semen. Electricity, volcanoes, light, thunder, "The hammer" -- all these come from the phallus and nothing but the phallus. Cosmogony, the symbols of the world -- all is phallus. The fir, the spruce, the pine tree, especially the pinecone, the "form of a tree, " the cupola of heaven, is all phalloid. Everything is "he, " "he" is everywhere. [29]

Between the Symbolist poets and mystics and the traditions of the Russian holy men there was only a small gap. Alexander Dobrolyubov became a Decadent while scarcely out of school. At the age of eighteen he took opium, lived in an attic whose ceiling he had papered black, and associated with the Symbolists. His poems were less a cause of his fame than his following of women and girls who began (in the words of one authority) to "take too seriously his remarks on the beauty of death." Dobrolyubov was expelled from Moscow University after an unfortunate series of suicides. He abandoned the attic room with its collection of mysterious, ritualistic objects, encased himself in iron hoops according to the tradition of wandering holy men, and set off for the Solovetsky monastery in the far north. [30]

Dobrolyubov soon decided that a monastery was not for him and went traveling on foot throughout Russia preaching a gospel of love to all beings. After gathering two Cossack deserters among his disciples, he was imprisoned. He next escaped from a lunatic asylum where his mother had had him confined in mitigation of his sentence. His obscure wanderings, punctuated by arrests, caused distant echoes to reverberate against the mystical consciousness of the intelligentsia. Once Dobrolyubov turned up with a Moslem at Merezhkovsky's; Merezhkovsky did not doubt that he was in the presence of a saint. Nicholas Berdyaev used to frequent a Tolstoyan colony in Kharkov -- it sounds rather like Monte Verita -- where all sorts of progressive thinkers gather. Through this colony would pass members of Dobrolyubov's sect who were under a vow of silence and could only answer questions after a year had elapsed. [31] Valery Bryussov of the Scorpio press published Dobrolyubov's From the Book Invisible; and the Russian idealists relished the story of the poet who had "gone to the people."

Even the religious philosophers proper -- although they naturally did not go so far in heterodoxy as the Symbolist poets and the mystics of the New Religious Consciousness -- could not escape an exoticism in which a few saw some artificiality. The group of which the center was Pavel Alexandrovic Florensky (1882-1952) -- Rozanov thought him a saint -- was composed of Orthodox priests drawn from the ranks of the intelligentsia. Heavily influenced by Soloviev, they tried to see the world as an organic whole. Florensky himself is described as having a taste for folklore and occultism. He praised the "integral" life of the people and believed that everything was related by mysterious bonds. [32] Such assertions that nature is an organic being are common in the traditions of Western occultism. And if Russia had produced similar conclusions out of her inherited philosophy, the example of Soloviev, and the mysticism of the Symbolists, it is only natural to find that occultism of a Western pattern also penetrated both intelligentsia and fashionable society. The process of exchange between West and East was already two-way -- for had not that stormy petrel of the occult world, Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, been born Helena von Hahn, the daughter of a Russian military family and cousin to the future prime minister, Count Witte?

When the Sufi Inayat Khan visited Russia he found much to commend in "that Eastern type of discipleship which is natural to the nation." [33] He was not the first guru to come knocking on the gates. Spiritualism, the basis of the Western irrationalist revival, had been introduced by the famous medium Daniel Dunglas Home. Home visited St. Petersburg in 1871, gave seances before the tsar, and married a relation of the leading Russian Spiritualist, Count Alexander Aksakov. Aksakov's efforts to have Spiritualist phenomena investigated were foiled by the guardians of religious orthodoxy, and the Count was forced to publish his periodical, Psychische Studien, in Leipzig. In 1874 arrived the French medium Bredif, who converted Professor N. A. Wagner of St. Petersburg, with whom Aksakov and the chemist Butlerov reopened the campaign for an investigation into Spiritualism. [34] A committee was formed under Professor Mendeleyev, which promised to hold forty seances and examine the results. But after the negative demonstrations with which their tests began, they abandoned the project as a waste of time. Amid loud protestations from Aksakov and Butlerov about the "materialist" and "biased" method of the experiments, a petition was organized which was signed by a large number of titled personages, protesting at the closure of the commission after only eight seances. [35] However, the sole tangible evidence of organized Spiritualist activity in turn-of-the-century Russia was a small magazine called Rebus. which was founded in 1882 and dealt cautiously with Spiritualist topics.

During the preparations of the abortive committee, Count Aksakov had written to H. P. Blavatsky -- at that period (1874-76) deeply involved in American Spiritualist circles -- and asked her to choose a reliable medium to sit for the commission. Madame Blavatsky and Colonel Olcott selected Henry Slade -- the same Slade who was to convert Zollner of Leipzig and fare so badly in Vienna -- who unfortunately arrived in Russia after the commission had dissolved itself. [36] In the autumn of 1875 Colonel Olcott and H.P.B. inaugurated their Theosophical Society, which four years later moved the scene of its operations to India and began to build up the reputation for miracles and supernatural masters that was to prove its earliest attraction. H. P. Blavatsky's stockpiling of anti-Christian and pagan legends in her Isis Unveiled endeared Theosophy to the authorities of her native land no more than Spiritualism. But it was proportionately attractive to the mystical inclinations of the Russian intelligentsia. Under the pen name "Radda Bai, " Madame Blavatsky contributed to the Russian press the adventurous occult tales published in English as From the Caves and Jungles of Hindustan (originally a series in the Moskovkiya Vyedomosti in 1879). There followed several further series in Katkov's Russkiy Veslnik. [37] Madame Blavatsky -- or at least Radda Bai -- was fairly well known to the literate, and in 1892 it could be written that although Isis Unveiled was not sold by bookshops in Russia it was "no secret; it is easy to get on order." Vladimir Soloviev favorably reviewed The Key to Theosophy in August 1890, commenting that H.P.B. could not have invented her masters, because the Abbe Huc had mentioned them. This seems to have been a lapse from his normally hostile position -- for Soloviev usually saw Christianity threatened by a creeping Buddhism and Theosophy as "an attempt by charlatans to adapt Buddhism to the metaphysical and mystical needs of halfcultured European society." [38]

On the other hand, Vladimir Soloviev's brother, the historical novelist Vsevolod Soloviev, dallied for several years with Theosophy and its foundress. In 1884 Vsevolod Soloviev (1849-1903) was in Paris. He was planning a series of articles on mystical subjects and carrying out absorbing occult researches at the Bibliotheque Nationale, much as his brother had studied at the British Museum. But instead of a vision of Sophia, he was granted the real presence of H. P. Blavatsky. He solicited her acquaintance through a Russian friend after having been enthralled by From the Caves and Jungles of Hindustan. "This American Buddhist, who had been away from Russia God knows how many years, who had dissipated her life in unknown parts, among unknown people, was an incarnation of the type of old-time Russian country lady of moderate means, grown stout in her farm-house." Throughout their friendship Soloviev never ceased to remark on her as a fellow countrywoman. It is necessary to emphasize this point, because the occultists of the West have so long regarded H.P.B. as their private property that her background remains obscured. Soloviev even recalled an occasion when she had exclaimed: "I would gladly return, I would gladly be Russian, Christian, Orthodox. I yearn for it. But there is no returning; I am in chains; I am not my own." And "in half an hour her wanderings about the 'master' had begun again."

Not until 1886 did Soloviev finally turn against her as he became disillusioned with her attempts to produce miraculous "phenomena." It is evident both from his own account and from his letters published by H. P. Blavatsky's sister, Vera Jelikovsky, that in 1885, at any rate, Vsevolod Soloviev believed in masters and was thick as thieves with Madame Jelikovsky and her two daughters. He believed he had convinced the French psychical researcher Charles Richet of Madame Blavatsky's sincerity and was promising to make propaganda for Theosophy in Russia. [39]

We shall return in another connection to the quarrels and scandals provoked by Soloviev's second thoughts; in 1892 he and Madame Jelikovsky began open battle in the press. But as early as 1887 H. P. Blavatsky could write to A. P. Sinnett from Ostend:

The Russian papers are again full of me. It appears that "my hand" saved from a death peril a gentleman while he was occupied with abusing me and calling all my writings LIES. It is called "The Mysterious Hand" -- Madame Blavatsky's slender materialised form was recognised, the hand likewise, the voice ditto. My aunt is in a funk and a religious tremor on this occasion. Writes to me to enquire whether it is I, or the Chozain (Master) who did it. All mystic Petersburg is in a fever; and the Holy Synod deliberating whether they should not send me some Holy water. A Tibetan who came back with the Prjivolsky expedition (or after it) -- a "plant doctor" they call him as he produces mysterious cures with simples, told Soloviev and others it appears, that they were all fools and the SPR asses and imbeciles, since all educated Tibet and China know of the existence of the "Brotherhood of the Snowy Range, " I am accused of having invented; and that he, himself, knows several Masters personally. And when asked by General Lvov what he knew about the London Psychic R. Society since he had never been in Europe before, he laughed and told the General "looking him straight between the eyebrows" that there was not a book of any importance pro or contra Tibet and its wise men that remained unknown in Tchigadze. When the General, "much struck, " asked him if that Brotherhood would not help Russia against England -- the "Doctor" laughed again. He said England or Russia were all one for the "Wise Men"; they left both to their respective Karma. [40]

Thus H. P. Blavatsky was as early as 1887 a topic of debate in "mystic Petersburg" and received the prestigious support of the Tibetan Dr. Badmaev, soon to become notorious for the favor he received at court and his friendship with Rasputin. In Odessa, H.P.B.'s aunt, Madame N. A. Fadeyev, organized a Theosophical Lodge in the early 1880s. In St. Petersburg, H.P.B.'s sister, Vera Jelikovsky, recalled various supernatural incidents of their common childhood and even claimed that the fledgling Theosophist had been taken under the ample wing of Orthodoxy. In 1860, she wrote, she and her sister had left for the Caucasus to visit their grandparents. At Zadonsk they attended Mass celebrated by Metropolitan Isidore of Kiev, whom they had known in their childhood when Isidore had been Exarch of Georgia. After Mass, Isidore recognized them and asked them to visit him. Their conversation was interrupted by a tremendous outbreak of spirit rapping and poltergeist activity. Isidore "had read a good deal about the so-called 'spiritual' manifestations, and on seeing a huge arm-chair gliding toward him laughed, and felt a good deal interested in this phenomenon." The Metropolitan had kept the sisters talking for over three hours. He dismissed them with a blessing and the admonition to Helena to use her powers with discretion, as he felt sure they were given her for some purpose. Not unexpectedly, Madame Jelikovsky was not allowed to publish in ful1 this account which she submitted to Rebus. [41]

Despite her natural desire to prove the respectable status of Theosophy, there is little reason to doubt her story of Isidore's reaction. Russian Orthodoxy was able to adapt itself to innumerable spiritual standpoints and was unlikely to be baffled by a mere poltergeist. But because of the strictness of the rule maintained by Pobedonstsev and the Holy Synod, the little Theosophical groups had to depend for their contact with the outside world on travelers acting as colporteurs. Of these the chief was Madame Nina de Gernet, who smuggled books across the frontier to groups in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kiev, Kharkov, and Vladikavkaz. In 1902 two Russian visitors to the Theosophical Convention formed a new group in St. Petersburg. Three years later further circles. sprang up including a publishing organization, and in 1908 the Theosophists final1y managed to register themselves legally by abandoning mention of al1 objects other than that of universal brotherhood. This itself gave the policemen of the Okhrana some qualms, but it avoided the classification of "sect" and the consequent hurdle of the Holy Synod. [42]

Theosophy thus entered into the life of the Russian intel1igentsia and could be found, for example, in the concourse of musicians around the Moscow Conservatoire. Meanwhile the Symbolists adopted the magical beliefs of their French counterparts. Alexander Blok declared that he had prophetic visions. Valery Bryussov dabbled in hypnotism and seems to have played Svengali to a woman who was having an affair with Andrei Bely -- this ended with the girl trying to shoot both Bely and Bryussov and eventually passing through morphine addiction to suicide. As in the West, mockery was not entirely absent. The writer Alexey Remizov noted in his diary for 28 September 1905: "At Vyacheslav Ivanov's there was Spiritualism. O. Dymov was the medium; while I took the villain's part -- scratched like a cat, and tapped like an imp of Satan. It was very terrible." Nicholas Berdyaev, who had been associated both with Ivanov and Merezhkovsky, was introduced to occultism by his brother, a spirit medium controlled by Himalayan masters. Berdyaev's dislike of matters occult never saved him from their obtrusion. At the end of December 1913, he was visited by a Dr. Lubeck of the "Order of the White Brothers, " who transmitted the benediction of the order and prophesied that he would become a professor at Moscow University (which happened in 1920, against all the odds, for Berdyaev had no degree). Berdyaev was present at the most famous of the musical soirees organized by the Russian intelligentsia. One evening in the house of Nicolai Minsky, a group of Symbolists met to perform a rite which tried to imitate the Mysteries of Dionysios and induce ecstasy in the participants. This gave rise to all sorts of rumors about "black masses." The occultist intelligentsia soon began to see in their traditional Russian startsy the "initiates" of Western occultism. There then arose a belief in the existence of "hidden startsy." The cult of the holy men was interpreted as "the esoteric tradition in Orthodoxy." [43]

The branch of Western occultism which made the greatest headway in Symbolist circles was the Anthroposophy of Rudolf Steiner. Steiner's second wife and earliest colleague in building up his Anthroposophical movement was herself a Bait, whose family had moved to St. Petersburg in 1877, ten years after her birth. Marie von Sivers was forbidden to study by her family, and after a period living with a brother who was dabbling in social reform, she left for Paris to learn to act. She arrived in 1895, at the high point of the occult revival, and became influenced by the Theosophist Edouard Schure. On her return to St. Petersburg Marie von Sivers found it impossible to go on the stage because of social and family pressure. She left for Berlin, where she gave up acting as the result of disillusionment at theatrical chicanery and turned instead to Theosophy and Steiner. She naturally transmitted her enthusiasm to her contacts in Russia. In her own words, "a stream of friends began to flow to Berlin, hoping to hear more." In 1905 a group came to hear a lecture course in Marie von Sivers's rooms, and arrangements were made for Steiner to go to Russia in June 1906 to give a cycle of talks on an estate at Kaluga. But the 1905 Revolution intervened, and many of the illuminated intelligentsia chose voluntary exile rather than face disappointment at home. The result was that the lectures were given in Paris, the exile capital, when Steiner was attending the Theosophical conference in 1906. It was this unofficial series of lectures that really established the specialist on Goethe as a prophet in his own right. Of the Russian Symbolists and mystics, there came Merezhkovsky, Zenaida Hippius, Konstantin Balmont, and Nicolai Minsky. [44]

Other devotees of Steiner at one time or another were Andrei Bely, his companion Asya Turgenev, their friend the poet Kobylinsky-Ellis, and Vyacheslav Ivanov. Ivanov used the Steinerite conception of Lucifer and Ahriman. According to Berdyaev, he was heavily under the influence of Steiner's chief Russian representative, Alexandra Mintslova, who seems to have fished successfully in the waters around the Symbolist publishing house Musaget. Berdyaev, who knew her well and disliked her, thought she looked like Madame Blavatsky and once had a strange vision of her unattractive face, which he only succeeded in banishing by the greatest effort. He has also recorded the legends which surrounded her disappearance:

A few days after her return to Moscow from ·the Crimea she went to the Kuznetsky Bridge with a woman friend of hers with whom she was staying. Her friend turned away for a moment, and then found that Mintslova had disappeared. No one knew where she had gone, and she was never seen again. This contributed still more to her mysterious reputation. Some believed that she had gone into hiding in a Roman Catholic convent somewhere in Western Europe, a place which was associated with the Rosicrucians; others thought that she had committed suicide because Steiner had condemned her for failing to fulfil her mission in Russia.

People like Mintslova could only exercise influence in the atmosphere which prevailed among the cultural elite of that time impelled as it was by occult moods, and seeking as it did intimate acquaintance with the secrets of the cosmos. [45]

Andrei Bely and his companion Asya (who was a niece of Turgenev) became attracted to the occult through a journey to Egypt and the Holy Land in the winter of 1910-11. On their return to Moscow, they gravitated into Anthroposophical circles, and it seems that the turning point was a course of lectures that Steiner gave at Helsingfors in 1913 especially for the Russians. The next year the Belys left for Dornach, and although the poet himself was to return to Russia, full of disillusionment at the "half-crazy occult old maids, " he never lost his interest in Anthroposophy and married another former follower of Steiner. Asya Turgenev stayed at Dornach, where she engraved the glass for the windows of the second Goetheanum. Kobylinsky-Ellis also visited Dornach, and he was probably the "Dr. Kobylinsky from Berlin" who wrote to Psychische Studien in 1917 complaining that Steiner's exercises had given him heart disease. He stigmatized Anthroposophy as a dangerous combination of "Manicheism and Cabalistic magic with its always attendant cynicism, cunning, avarice and sexual magic." It is interesting, also, that two more vociferous opponents of Anthroposophy -- they had, of course, been at one time firmly attached to Steiner -- were also Russians. Hofrat Max Seiling, whose brochures furnished the basis for much shouting about "sexual magic, " was a Russo-German; and Grigori Schwarz-Bostunitsch was an "honorary German" who came straight from the ranks of the illuminated Russian intelligentsia. He recalled meeting the poetess Olga Forsch-Komarova in Kiev in 1919 after she had been on a course at Dornach: "She was not to be recognized, and above all, scarcely to be understood -- she struggled for speech like Steiner." [46]

If the intelligentsia occupied themselves with otherworldly realities, it is notorious that fashionable society and the court did the same. Here the interest was on a much more primitive level, lacking the poetic flights of mystical logic that characterize the Decadent philosophers and concerned, rather, with the cultivation of Orthodox holy men and Spiritualistic miracles. Yet the fascination with the mystical was equally intense. The French ambassador wrote in his diary for December 1915:

I called on Mme S -- for tea rather late this evening. Her company numbered about a dozen. Conversation was general, and very lively. The subjects of discussion were spiritualism, ghosts, palmistry, divination, telepathy, the transmigration of souls and sorcery. Nearly every man and woman present told some personal anecdote or incident received from direct tradition. These agitating problems had been warmly debated for two hours already, so after smoking a cigarette I retired, as once a conversation of this kind is in full swing it may last until morning. [47]

There were two chief cliques of intermediaries between the society of "mystic Petersburg" in general and the Imperial Court. For a long time, Tsar Nicholas II lived under the influence of the Grand Duke Nicholas Nikolaievitch and consequently of the "Montenegrin princesses" who were his wife and sister-in-law. They had as their object little more than to ingratiate themselves with the imperial couple. The names of the Montenegrins were Militza -- who was married to the Grand Duke Peter Nikolaievitch -- and Anastasia -- who from 1907 was the wife of the Grand Duke Nicholas. Both were passionately interested in the occult. To them people hoping to secure imperial favor through the presence of a particular "holy man" at court would send their proteges. The group which gathered in the "black Ignatiev salon" of whom the center was Count Alexander Pavlovitch Ignatiev, were also hawkers of mystical wares. [48]

The first guru of Nicholas and Alexandra was the orthodox John of Kronstadt, who had been summoned back to the deathbed of the previous tsar after some years in disfavor. But, like the intelligentsia, the court was attracted by the teachers which the occult revival had spawned in other lands. It was natural that political ties with France should place the nobly born as well as the intellectuals in contact with the flourishing body of Cabalists, Rosicrucians, and thaumaturges that quartered in the country. The two French magi who for a time exercised great influence at Tsarskoe Selo were Papus -- the most famous popularizer of Hermetic doctrines during the Belle Epoque -- and his "spiritual master, " who was known as "Monsieur Phillippe." [49]

Papus was the pen name of Dr. Gerard Encausse (1865-1916), a member and often the instigator of many of the occult groups of his time. He had quarreled with the French Theosophists, with whom he had made an inauspicious debut; he was on the Supreme Council of Stanislas de Guaita's Ordre Kabbalistique de fa Rose-Croix; and he directed the leading French occult review, L'Initiation. His own particular specialties were Martinism -- a philosophy stemming from the speculations of two eighteenth-century occultists -- and the propagation of the complicated theories of his "intellectual master, " the Marquis de Saint-Yves d' Alveydre. Papus, in fact, held in his hands as many of the threads of French esotericism as he could possibly manage. When the tsar and the tsaritsa visited France in 1896, it was he who sent them a greeting on behalf of "the French Spiritualists, " hoping that the tsar would "immortalize his Empire by its total union with Divine Providence." This greeting was reminiscent of the hopes of mystics at the time of Tsar Alexander I's Holy Alliance and was evidence that visions of Slav Messianism, contracted through Polish influence, continued to haunt the Occult Underground of the West. The message of Papus was acknowledged by the Russian embassy. It was probably this contact that led to his first trip to Russia in the summer of 1901, accompanied by Count Muraviev-Amursky, the Russian military agent in Paris. Papus was introduced to the tsar that year by the Grand Duke Nicholas, and it was rumored that he set up a lodge of his Martinist Order in St. Petersburg with the tsar as the president of the "Unknown Superiors" who controlled it. [50] If this is true, Papus was merely reviving devotion to a philosophy that had flourished in Russia at the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries before being suppressed.
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Re: The Occult Establishment, by James Webb

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Part 2 of 3

Through Papus, the Montenegrins and then the Imperial family came to know of his "spiritual master, " Philippe. It is not clear whether they traveled together to Russia in 1901 or whether Philippe's visit of that year was independent. His invitation seems to have come through the Grand Duke Vladimir, and Philippe did no! meet the tsar and the tsaritsa until September 190 I in the Palace of Compiegne, where the introduction was made by the Montenegrins. Muraviev-Amursky, however, was a fervent admirer of Philippe. As Count Witte wrote: "There is no doubt but that the count was practically out of his mind. He tried to involve us in a quarrel with the republican government which he hated wholeheartedly." By Witte's account, Muraviev and the other devotees of Monsieur Philippe believed that the little Lyonais had not been born in ordinary fashion but had descended from heaven and would leave in the same manner. It is most likely that Papus put Muraviev-Amursky and his other Russian contacts in touch with Philippe inadvertently; for he is on record as protesting to Philippe -- who was jealous of his privacy -- that he had never named him specifically in Russia, although he had talked of his wonderful "unknown Master." This was quite enough for the Slav mystics. They pursued Philippe throughout 1901 and began the process of escalating his reputation which culminated in the introduction to the tsar and tsaritsa. Philippe was invited to pay a second visit to Russia, and a house was set aside for him at the imperial palace at Tsarskoe Selo. [51] During this single visit to the court in 1902, Philippe exercised an extraordinary influence over his Imperial patrons.

The real name of Monsieur Philippe is somewhat in dispute. He was born to two Savoy peasants in 1849: his father was Joseph Philippe and his mother Marie Vachod. From the age of thirteen he had shown miraculous powers of healing. It was natural that the wonderworker of Lyon was taken up by the mystics of the capital. By 1895, Philippe was established as the head of a school of magnetism and massage at Lyon, which was linked to a similar establishment at Paris over which Papus presided; and Papus himself was pledged to the Christian mysticism of his "spiritual master." Legends grew up of Philippe's powers that far exceeded those of curing the sick. Papus claimed that he had witnessed Philippe call down the lightning; and two other Paris occultists were astonished by his sudden appearance in a locked room to carry off a bundle of proofs.

Such legends multiplied in Russia. Philippe -- who had undergone ceaseless harassment in France for practicing medicine without a license -- was medically qualified by express order of the tsar. The tsar appointed him president of a commission for sanitary inspection and forced the St. Petersburg Military Academy to grant him the status of an army doctor. Nicholas had already failed to persuade the French government to confer a diploma on Philippe; but in Russia, where the tsar was master, the thaumaturge was promoted from the rank he held in Lyon (captain of the fire brigade) to that of general and member of the Council of State.

Philippe's hold over the Imperial couple is easily explained. Nicholas was a weak and isolated figure, whose solace was found in mysticism. His wife fostered this taste, which corresponded to her own. And both Nicholas and Alexandra needed a son, feeling the absence of a tsarevich all the more acutely because of the mounting threat to the autocracy. Prayers to their recently canonized Saint Seraphim of Saratov had gone unanswered. The ministrations of a Dr. Schrenk from Vienna proved ineffectual. Even the holy John of Kronstadt had failed in his intercessions, but (according to one story( he had appeared to salute Philippe as an equal, greeting the little man as "brother" in preference to the notables who surrounded him. Philippe had joined some daring to this apostolic succession. He actually predicted the birth of a son. Indeed, for some time it seemed that he was at once to be proved correct; for the suggestible Alexandra imagined herself into a hysterical pseudo-pregnancy and even went through the motions of going into confinement before subjecting herself to conventional medical opinion. Such an atmosphere easily explains the stories about Philippe -- such as that of the day when he made himself invisible for fear of causing the tsaritsa the embarrassment of being seen with a civilian in her carriage at a military review. [52]

To his adroit handling of a ready-made position, Philippe added political advice, which told the tsar and the tsaritsa what they wanted to hear: they must not give in to demands for a constitution. Philippe was given rank and honors and presented with an imposing automobile. He really does not seem to have solicited gifts. (He had, anyway, small need for material profits from his association with crowned heads, as he had married the daughter of a rich industrialist in 1877.) But his favored position naturally made him enemies, who forced the tsar not to recall Philippe from Lyon after his single visit of 1902. The relationship between the court and Philippe continued by correspondence until the death of the healer in 1905, and the letters of the tsar and the tsaritsa bear witness to their continuing regard for their exiled mentor. Papus, on the other hand, was able to return to Russia in 1905 and 1906, and in 1904 his Traile elemenlaire de science occulte was published in translation in St. Petersburg. On coming home from six months in Russia, he is said to have remarked to his neighbor: "Those people over there are mad; they are at the mercy of the first rogue who knows how to pander to their obsession; they are sliding towards the abyss." [53]

After the enforced exile of Philippe, seekers for power and influence continued to try to insinuate their prophets into the palace. For a short time, Nicholas hoped for something from the fortunetelling Matronushka the Barefooted, who made predictions for Petersburg servant girls; but Matronushka died in 1908. Then the imperial couple made a pilgrimage to the irascible Pasha Sarovskaya, who lived in a monastery in the middle of the Tambov forests and was said to be 110 years old. Pasha at first wanted to beat her exalted visitors and to send them away, but in the end she made a rather grudging prediction of a son. The Grand Duke Michael discovered an illiterate soldier from Kuban called Vasily Tkachenko who strode about Russia armed with an immense silver cross. This possession so excited the envy of the countless rival holy men that he required a special safe-conduct from' the tsar. After the death of Vasily in a drinking bout came the supremacy of Mitya the Blissful, (otherwise Mitya Kozelsky) who was discovered by the monks of Optina Pustyn. Mitya's inarticulate grunts and cries were interpreted "by special illumination" by the sexton of Optina. According to one story, Mitya first arrived in the Ignatiev salon and was introduced to the Montenegrins by Prince Obelensky; but possibly he was introduced by the Archimandrite Theophanes, who was soon to discover Rasputin. The clairvoyant and his interpreter frightened the tsaritsa, and Mitya was replaced by Daria Ossipova, an imbecile from the estate of General Orlov who had periodic fits of violence. When Daria arrived at Tsarskoe Selo, the tsaritsa did in fact give birth, and the reputation of the "holy fool" for a time stood high. [54]

But the two figures who exercised the greatest influence over the court and so over the minds of the tsar's enemies were the Tibetan Badmaev and the notorious Rasputin. To speak of them at all requires some apology; but just because Rasputin has become so notorious it has often been forgotten that he was part of a broad spectrum of irrationalist opinion and that his opponents shared many of the assumptions of his supporters. We have seen already how Badmaev lent his authority to the claims of Madame Blavatsky; it is also interesting to observe how the writer and prophet of the cosmic orgasm, Vasily Rozanov, could mention -- certainly not casually, but not as something completely out of the way -- how he met Rasputin at a party.

He was dancing with a married woman, with whom he "lived" and in the presence of her husband was talking of it: "See, his wife loves me, and her husband too loves me!" I came up to him and said: "Why did you leave so soon last time?" (That was in the house of Father Yaroslav with whose wife Rasputin also lived, and Father Yaroslav approved of it. Altogether it was a sort of Paradise, the Eden of a community of wives and children). And he replied: "Because I got frightened of you." Upon my word, I felt bewildered. [55]

Court, intelligentsia, and church came in contact with the holy man as a matter of course. Grigory Rasputin's introduction followed the manner of the other prophets. At the age of twenty-eight Rasputin had repented of his sinful existence and taken to wandering about Russia. In the course of his travels he received the benediction of John of Kronstadt. This was probably the chief factor which recommended him to the Archimandrite Theophanes, who took Rasputin to visit the Montenegrin Grand Duchess Militza and her husband at Easter 1905. From this point Rasputin's rise was rapid and need not be followed. Between his introduction to the imperial family and his murder in 1917 there was only one notable check to his career: an attempt in 1912 to have him indicted. Like Philippe, Rasputin attracted his enemies, drawn mostly from moderate supporters of the monarchy, who saw their cherished institution brought into disrepute. It is, accordingly, difficult to know how much to credit the stories of Rasputin's orgies with his high society followers. To some extent they are probably true: the Siberian peasant certainly led an interesting and active sexual life, and his devotees did include a number of high-ranking and probably psychopathic ladies. Among these were the widow of a state councillor and the strange Olga Lochtina, who for a time acted as Rasputin's interpreter and went about in a hat of camel's hair inscribed with the text: "In me lies all power. Hallelujah!" The staretz was commonly rumored to be a Khlyst and to have been photographed in the middle of his heretical congregation. Again, there is nothing inherently unlikely in this; but the allegations were used to provide a religious motive for Rasputin's satyriasis and further to discredit his circle. For the Khlysts were thought to indulge in unbridled sexual license; yet there is little evidence other than the accusations of their enemies that they in fact did so. [56]

In the strange world of Russian sects, nothing is quite impossible. [*] But it is as well not to make too much of the orgies of Rasputin and to see most of the accusations as inspired by his opponents. Their mythology extended to a theatrical plot which was supposed to involve Rasputin, the Tibetan Badmaev, and the tsaritsa's confidante, Anna Vyrubova.

Shamzaran Badmaev was one of the most striking of the mystagogues who clustered round the court. He was a Buriat Mongol who had been educated at Irkutsk and St. Petersburg; he had been converted to Orthodoxy with the Tsar Alexander III acting as godfather.

From 1875 to 1893 he had held a post in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and lectured on Mongolian at St. Petersburg University. His considerable political expertise was said to have been used to secure the Mongol tribes in the Russo-Japanese War. Badmaev's brother, Zaltin, had set up shop as an herbalist in St. Petersburg in the 1860s, and when Shamzaran Badmaev appeared in the capital, he quickly turned this establishment into a fashionable clinic of "Oriental medicine, " where he prepared mysterious herbal remedies with exotic names. It is said that he entered political information on his patients' files. His powers of survival were great, and his position was unaffected by the advent of Grigory Rasputin. It was put about that Badmaev was poisoning the tsarevich with "a yellow powder" to ensure that Rasputin's services as a healer remained in demand. Their supposed confederate was the friend of the tsaritsa, Anna Vyrubova, and the mysterious conspiracy was referred to as the "Dark Forces" influencing the throne. [57] The Dark Forces -- depending on the political stance of the accuser -- could also be seen as in league with another conspiracy: the alliance of Jews and Freemasons, aiming at world domination.

Needless to say, both conspiracies existed only in the minds of their detectors. The absurdity of believing that Anna Vyrubova's simple, uncritical devotion to the tsaritsa would lend itself to such a complex deception must be obvious to anyone who has read the evidence; and the unwillingness to admit the real nature of the illness of the heir to the throne is an interesting indication of anxiety. [58] The most significant part of this theory is the light it throws on the mentality of those who devised it. Created for public consumption, it was still fostered by those who believed, and the nature of this belief in the "Dark Forces" was superstitious in the extreme. It could grow only in an atmosphere in which the activities of mystics were commonplace and the vocabulary of the supernatural mingled with that of the everyday. It also found its way into politics. My next chapter will be concerned with a specific and disastrously influential brand of illuminated politics; the rest of this chapter will survey briefly some more general aspects of the impact of Slavonic irrationalists on the outside world.

The fissures in the intellectual landscape of Western Europe through which Slav irrationalism was to fall were well defined by 1917. Tolstoy and Dostoievsky, the two great obsessions of Russian literary criticism, had found their admirers in the West. From the publication of Count Melchior de Vogue's The Russian Novel in Paris in 1886, the intellectual world had not been able to ignore Russian literature. The mystical tendencies which it celebrated blended so exactly with the turn-of-the-century flight from reason that the popularity of the great Russians was assured. Tolstoyan ideas, in particular, found their way into the heart of the Progressive Underground. They engendered what Peguy called "the flock of Tolstoyizing snobs" who adopted in theory the vegetarian and pacifist mysticism of the prophet of Yasnaya Polanya. Outside Russia few active Tolstoyans were found -- although they would have been quite at home at Monte Verita, where indeed one of the founder members was a Tolstoyan; and Russians took part in the affairs of Monte Verita as well as in the life of Ascona. [59]

The English Progressives made contact with Tolstoy chiefly through the novelist's propaganda on behalf of the pacifist Doukhobor sect. At the turn of the century it was suffering severe persecution because of its refusal to submit to the demands of military service. A body of English Quakers made contact with the Doukhobors. The Tolstoyan V. G. Chertkov was banished for campaigning on the sect's behalf and he chose England as his country of exile. Here he set up a rather unsuccessful colony of "Doukhobors" at Purleigh in Essex, and it seems to have been this colony which once descended on Conrad Noel in London in the middle of the night. Although these Doukhobors had abandoned the belief in money, Noel noted, London hotel keepers had not, and it was his three rooms which were selected as their London base. [60] The Doukhobors proper emigrated first to Cyprus, then to Canada, where their fundamentalist fervor still periodically explodes.

The emigration after the revolution of 1917 was of a different character from the gentle optimism that had earlier characterized the Tolstoyans. And it found the Western Underground itself less transcendental, less sanguine, and more ready to adopt solutions of an extremist and even desperate nature. The role of the emigres was threefold: as witnesses to the national tragedy and reminders of the insecurity which also troubled the West; as bearers of an illuminated culture that was preoccupied with Apocalypse; and as carriers of the plague of conspiracy-theory politics. Excluded from the citadel of dialectical materialism, the Russian idealists brought their inheritance with them.

The capitals of the European emigration were Berlin, Munich, and Paris, although there were colonies everywhere that work could be found. The emigrants scattered to Prague, for a time to Harbin in the Far East; and then, as economic pressure forced them out of their temporary refuges, increasingly to North and South America. Zenaida Hippius wrote that modern Russian literature had been bodily expelled -- "whatever names you think of, they are all here." In Paris, Berlin, Prague, Stockholm, Sofia, and even in America and China, Russian publishing houses were established. In Berlin alone there were over fifty. The German capital at one time harbored Gorky, Remizov, Bely, Minsky, and hundreds more literati. In Paris lived Merezhkovsky, Hippius, Balmont, and Bunin. The Orthodox Church was naturally well represented among the exiles, as were the religious philosophers who counted among themselves several converts from Marxism, such as Nicholas Berdyaev, Sergei Bulgakov, and Simon Frank. The exotic nature of Orthodoxy was noticed by Western Europeans. "Let us only note, " wrote one Frenchman, "that Slav mysticism sometimes lends itself to such regrettable deformities that one could not reasonably subscribe to it without reservations."

The material misery of the emigres only increased their irrationalist tendencies. In 1921 the Orthodox Church in exile held a council at Karlovtsy in Yugoslavia, which deplored the increasing sectarianism among exiled Russians. It condemned their susceptibility to "occultism, Theosophy, Spiritualism and other immoral Eastern cults, Freemasonry and its organizations, especially the YMCA ... socialism and communism and anti-Christian sects like adventism and Anabaptism." As a link between Orthodoxy and the Anglo-Catholic wing of the Church of England, the Fellowship of St. Alban and St. Sergius was founded; and in France the Russian Brotherhood of St. Photius began translating the Orthodox liturgy into French. [61]

The attempt to create a French Orthodoxy is interesting, as it shows the sort of people attracted by the unfamiliar traditions of the Russians. The translation of the liturgy was carried out by the Viscount Serge d'Hotman de Villiers. His Russian mother was a relation of Madame Blavatsky, and her Paris salons had been the center for the French occultists gathered round Charles Melinge ("Alta"), a member of Stanislas de Guaita's Rose-Croix. In 1927 the first French liturgy was celebrated. Three years later the group took over a congregation at Nantes descended from the Polish Mariavite Order that had been condemned by the Papacy for heresy and sexual irregularities. The chief of this group, one Georges Verdin, was named by the Orthodox hierarchy as head of the French rite. Verdin believed that since the coming of the Holy Spirit at Whitsun 1923 the members of his sect had lived in a state of grace. The cult possessed a center known as the "Earthly Paradise" and encouraged nudism. Verdin declared that after the tree had borne fruit which each of his followers had dedicated to them in the grounds of this earthly Paradise -- his own was an apricot -- they might take "mystical brides." [62] This was an extreme example, but it is suggestive. What had been perfectly acceptable in Russia became in the West rejected knowledge; and the rejected situation of the emigres drove them into the arms of the Western Underground.

The most obvious impact of the Russian emigration was on the visual arts. But in terms of general philosophical outlook there were three concepts especially cultivated by the Russians which found a particular echo in illuminated circles in the West. These were the notion of the organic nature of the universe; the expectation of imminent apocalypse; and a pervasive hatred of materialism. The organic concept stems from Vladimir Soloviev and his researches in occult tradition; it might have been taken directly from Plotinus. The idea that the world is really a vast animal of which all humans are mere corpuscles gave rise to the ideal of social good called sobornost, which means something like "organic unity" or even "togetherness." From Soloviev, a historian of Russian philosophy writes, "the hypnosis of this conception has entered Russian thought, bewitching and subjugating men's minds." Some Western thinkers, recoiling from the disarray around them, had reached similar conclusions, and it was logical that those bred in the Russian religious revival should find them congenial. Thus -- as one unimportant example -- Vyacheslav Ivanov, the high priest of Russian symbolism, ended his life as a Catholic in Italy, and as a member of the Fascist party. [63] The corporate society could be seen as an attempt to realize the natural functional order.

Much more spectacular was the tradition of apocalypse, which stemmed from Vladimir Soloviev's expectation of Antichrist and was reinforced by the terrible experiences of the Revolution: a crisis, thought the Archpriest Sergei Bulgakov, which might "be compared in importance with the fall of Byzantium and the taking of Constantinople by the Turks." [64]

Vasily Rozanov died of starvation in the early days of the Revolution at the Sergieva monastery near Moscow. In his last fragmentary publications he expressed the current feeling of apocalypse: "Do you know, Europeans, " he asked, "that the Universe is already transfigured? Your cut-and-dried categories don't exist any more. Where is jurisprudence? Where are the laws? There's nothing left of them. Where is pride? Europe is quite made of pride, Europe is proud, everything it has created comes from pride. It's not necessary! It's needed no longer. Heaven! Give us heaven! But heaven ... " [65]

In Paris, Nicholas Berdyaev tried to make the feeling of the Russians intelligible to the West.

Contemporary history is being wound up, an unknown era is upon us, and it must be given a name. The old measures of history are no longer serviceable as we realised with a sudden shock when the World War broke out; the more perceptive minds saw at once that the peaceable bourgeois pre-war way of life would become impossible. The rhythm of history is changing: it is becoming catastrophic.

Berdyaev proclaimed the end of the old Renaissance culture of humanism and its values and the beginning of a "New Middle Ages, " an age of revived faith, which would witness the struggle of Christ and Antichrist. Like Penty in England a quarter of a century earlier, he saw the popularity of mystical and occult doctrines as presaging a new and hopeful era of the spirit. He called for a "new knighthood" for the spiritual combat, and asserted the fundamental presence of meaning in the cosmos. "Man is not a unit in the universe, forming part of an unrational machine, but a living member of an organic hierarchy, belonging to a real and living whole, " His attack on bourgeois values is probably the most cogent of any:

Individualism, the "atomisation" of society, the inordinate acquisitiveness of the world, indefinite over-population and the endlessness of people's needs, the lack of faith, the weakening of the spiritual life, these and other are the causes which have contributed to build up that industrial capitalist system which has changed the face of human life and broken its rhythm with nature. [66]

The critique of Established society evolved by the Western Underground was practically identical. Hatred of materialism -- for the emigres saw Bolshevism as yet another instance of dog-eat-dog -- was an essential part of this outlook, and again such aspirations harmonized with those of the illuminated politicians of the West. As in the West, hatred of materialism implied, though it did not compel, distaste for rationalism as the mode of thought which had erected the detested social system. One famous emigre, Simon Frank, wrote that "Russian thought is quite definitely anti-rationalist, " and of this trait we have seen many examples: few, however, quite so explicit as Leo Shestov (L. I. Schwarzmann), an emigre author admired by D. H. Lawrence.

Can reason be anything but lazy? Laziness is of its very essence, as is cowardice. Open any manual of philosophy and you will soon be convinced that reason even boasts of its submissiveness, its humility, its cowardice. Reason must servilely reproduce what is "given" to it and it reproaches as the greatest of crimes every attempt at free creation. As for us human beings, we in turn must servilely obey all that reason dictates to us. And this is what is called "freedom." [67]

Within the body of anti-Establishment, antirationalist emigres, there naturally arrived in the West some of the more exotic gurus who had inhabited "mystic Petersburg" and flourished in its unusual climate. Dmitri Merezhkovsky took his new religious consciousness (and a great bitterness) to Paris. He also saw the changing of the world at hand; more specifically, the Second Coming. An unorthodox, hypersymbolical, and often downright incomprehensible version of Christianity was elaborated. Christ, thought Merezhkovsky, was "concealed in paganism and revealed in Christianity." In much of Christian symbolism Merezhkovsky detected relics of the mystery religions of Atlantis, transmitted via Crete. He maintained that the physical body of Christ was not fully human -- his features, for example, must always have been in flux between his human personality and his Sacred Self. [68] It is doubtful whether this "new Christianity" ever made any converts, although it attracted a surprising amount of notice. However, there were other systems more worthy of consideration.

Of Georgei Ivanovich Gurdjieff (c. 1877-1949) it is easy to say too little or too much. [*] Just before the outbreak of the First World War, this enigmatic figure had appeared in Moscow and St. Petersburg and gathered around him a band of disciples drawn chiefly from the illuminated intelligentsia. It was not known where Gurdjieff had derived the singularly comprehensive system that he taught. He began from the principle that mankind was asleep and that by following a technique of "self-remembering" man could wake up. This is not the place for an examination of the details of Gurdjieff's system, which probably originates in a combination of Western occultism and certain Oriental doctrines. The ideas seem to represent a restatement of traditional doctrine in the language of the 20th century. In this aspect the work of Gurdjieff is comparable to that of Jung. Gurdjieff himself disliked occultists and Theosophists, regarding such groups as breeding grounds of delusion. But he discovered that his ideas met with an encouraging response in such circles. When this remarkable man emerged from the debris of revolutionary Russia, by the way of an astonishing spiritual and physical obstacle course in his native Caucasus, he brought with him a small group of disciples whose way toward him had led through the tortuous mysticism of the illuminated intelligentsia.

This was particularly true of the man through whom Gurdjieff was to become most widely known: P. D. Ouspensky. Ouspensky had been intimately connected with the Theosophists, and just before he met Gurdjieff he had embarked on a tour of the world during which he had visited the Theosophical headquarters at Adyar. He was a friend of A. L. Volynsky, the Symbolist critic, and his profession as a journalist had led him to an extensive acquaintance with the intellectual underworld of Moscow. When Gurdjieff and his disciples decided to leave Russia, Ouspensky broke with his former master and went to London. Gurdjieff established himself at Fontainebleau, near Paris. By way of Ouspensky's lectures, English idealists went to work at Gurdjieff's Institute for the Harmonious Development of Man. Two already mentioned in connection with the guildsmen were A. R. Orage and Rowland Kenney. There was also Katharine Mansfield, who spent her last weeks at Fontainebleau, and Maurice Nicoll, a pupil of Jung. Later, Orage went to America, where the tantalizing theories he expounded attracted other followers, like Jane Heap and Margaret Anderson of the Chicago Little Review. Later still, Gurdjieff collected French disciples, such as the writer Rene Daumal; and through the still-increasing body of his followers, his ideas have become remarkably widespread. [69]

There was a natural link between the emigre Russian intellectual Ouspensky and the idealists who had grown up in comparable traditions in the West. Orage, with his Theosophical background, was an obvious candidate for conversion. But, in general, the idealistic Underground had inherited a sufficient quantity of 19th-century occultism to make the transition from National Guilds to Gurdjieff less of a puzzle than it might appear. Nor was it inconsistent when in 1930 Orage returned from preaching the word in the United States and immediately took up anew the cause of Social Credit. There are certain ideas which are necessarily part of the Underground, and the system of Gurdjieff found a hearing in the same circles that -- had their attention been directed to political problems -- would have felt attracted to theories of effecting a spiritual revolution or to the movement of a John Hargrave.

If Gurdjieff and Ouspensky influenced the idealists of Western Europe and America, Central Europe found a source of inspiration in the philosophy of another casualty of the Russian Revolution, the Baltic Count Keyserling.

Baits occupy a quite unusual place in the story of European irrationalism. Their mystical reputation can be substantiated but not fully explained. We have already met Marie von Sivers and Grigory Schwartz-Bostunitch in connection with Anthroposophy and "mad Baron Rechenberg" at Monte Verita. Natives of the Baltic countries will recur in the following pages. To the turn-of-the-century flight from reason, the Baits had contributed the figure of Count Eric Stenbock, whose decadent occultism had decorated the scenery of the London '90s. When Ludwig Klages and his colleagues founded their German Graphological Society in Munich, they discovered an immense body of support in lands under Russian domination, and particularly in the Baltic and Polish areas. A relation of Keyserling, Baroness Isabelle Ungern-Sternberg, became a vice-president of the society. In part the Baits -- often with a dual allegiance to Russia and Germany -- were the representatives of Russian culture most often seen in German-speaking lands, and consequently they had fastened on to them the mystical reputation that properly belonged more generally to the nation which found them such useful administrators. In part, the enduring primitivism of Baltic peasant culture may have provided a source of irrationalist speculation. The chief cause of Baltic mysticism was probably the upheavals of the 18th century, when a series of Jewish prophets attempted to popularize the esoteric doctrines of the Cabala and in so doing contributed to the rise of Polish Messianism. [70] A residue of mysticism dating from these episodes is the likeliest source for the Baltic propensity to the occult.

In Hermann Keyserling (1880-1947) the Baltic lands provided the most influential guru of Central Europe between 1918 and 1933. Keyserling's readiness to investigate areas that more cautious men avoided came from his Baltic background, and the cosmopolitan irrationalism of the 1890s. The philosopher remembered that "from 1898 to 1900 I was beyond doubt the most unspiritual, the crudest type of animal among the Korps-studenten of Dorpat." [71] In 1900 the young aristocrat nearly died from a dueling wound, and the shock turned his mind toward more philosophical pursuits. From Dorpat he went to study at Heidelberg and Vienna. On his very first day in the Austrian capital, he met Houston Stewart Chamberlain, the strange and influential son of a British admiral, whose book The Foundations of the Nineteenth Century was published in 1900 (and was responsible for so much later theorizing about the predestined conflict of the German and Jewish races). In 1904 Chamberlain dedicated a book on Kant to Keyserling; but the count never shared Chamberlain's racist ideas and their relationship foundered after the older man's marriage to Eva Wagner. During Keyserling's time in Vienna, he formed part of a reading circle organized by Chamberlain, of which another member was Rudolf Kassner (1873-1959). Kassner was a gifted writer of mystical inclinations whose first publication in 1900 introduced the poetry of Blake and the pre-Raphaelites to Germany. He was a confirmed Neo-Platonist -- a school of thought that occupies a central position in occult Tradition -- and passed his enthusiasm on to Keyserling. After 1908 Kassner traveled widely in the East and came under the spell of Indian metaphysics; in the German-speaking countries he is remembered as the rediscoverer of physiognomy, the "science" of reading the character from the face. Kassner's physiognomy was of a distinctly religious nature; he called it "rhythmical" physiognomy as opposed to "rational" physiognomy, and he contrived to press his science into the service of an ill-defined "Kingdom of ultimate unity."  [72] From this Viennese friendship with the leading theoretician of German racism and a notable adept of rejected knowledge, Keyserling passed on to Paris.

Nowhere did the count ever stray far from the paths of the occult. About this period he met at Bayreuth a beautiful Irishwoman with whom he fell in love. Together they traveled to Scotland where Keyserling sat up all night by a lochside waiting for a kelpie. In Chartres the pair spent a "mystical Christmas" and Keyserling had a religious experience in the cathedral, which he later came to consider the origin of all his work. Of the women whom Keyserling regarded as the most important influences on his life at least one other was devoted to the occult. [73]

Apart from indulging in unworldly love affairs, Keyserling wrote several philosophical works before setting out in 1911 to travel around the world. On his return he spent six years on his estate in Estonia writing the book that was to make him famous. The rambling but impressive Travel Diary of a Philosopher records at length its author's attempts to capture the inner experience of the countries he visited. It ends with the conclusion that "the essential truth lives beyond the sphere of definite manifestation" and that freedom depends on the feeling of oneness with the whole of nature.

During his pilgrimage, Keyserling settled for a time in Adyar at the invitation of Annie Besant, and his musings on Theosophy and occultism in general provide a revealing insight into his attitude to life. "I have been interested for years in the secret doctrine of antiquity, " he admitted. "All the more important documents which are available to non-members of occult societies, I have read .... anyone who like myself takes trouble to study them seriously, will come to the conclusion that it is not all imaginary, that the possibility of much of it is certain and the reality probable." Keyserling was inclined to believe in the gorgeous pictures painted by Bishop Leadbeater of the world beyond the senses and thought it probable that the spirit if not the letter of Theosophy would one day be accepted by "the majority of men."

Theo- and Anthro-posophy, New Thought, Christian Science, the New Gnosis, Vivekananda's Vedanta, the Neo-Persian and Indo-Islamic Esotericism, not to mention those of the Hindus and the Buddhists, the Bahai system, the professed faith of the various spiritualistic and occult circles, and even the Freemasons all start from essentially the same basis, and their movements are certain to have a greater future than official Christianity. [74]

The basis of all religious belief, Keyserling decided, was self-realization. His subsequent sorties in a variety of philosophical directions were all directed toward achieving or helping others to achieve this goal. In 1918 the count lost his estates when the Baltic countries caught up with the Russian revolution, and he fled to Germany where he married a granddaughter of Bismarck.

Next year the publication of the Travel Diary won him an immense public in Germany. He wrote: "The vital effect of the Travel Diary soon showed that my personal problem had thenceforth become the problem of the whole West: that I, the outsider ... had become a representative type." Keyserling was soon able to display his representative qualities on a stage of his own. In November 1920, the School of Wisdom at Darmstadt was opened under the patronage of the former Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig of Hesse. Keyserling's vision of his center was indefinite and ambitious. "Darmstadt in no wise represents a fixed program, for it is nothing more or less than the living center of a new manner of life which issues from the spirit." In the disturbed atmosphere of Weimar Germany, the School of Wisdom formed for many more intellectual seekers for security the chief source of irrationalist doctrine. One of Keyserling's supporters wrote in 1934:

That bent of German intellectuals, and particularly the younger ones among them towards one or another spiritual "craze, " drove them in great numbers for a certain number of years to Darmstadt. ... The tidal wave has now found its level; Keyserling is no longer a fashion for studious and over-enthusiastic German youth.

Once or twice a year the School of Wisdom held conferences at which Keyserling and his guest speakers lectured. Rom Landau attended one of these. Although he was impressed by the quality of the speakers, he thought the atmosphere of the conference more like that of a German provincial court than a center of a new spirituality. Most of the audience were as interested in the former grand duke as they were in the author of the Travel Diary. [75]

Of course, it was not just the social attractions of Darmstadt that made the congresses of the School of Wisdom so popular. The very indefiniteness and eclecticism of Keyserling's approach probably enhanced the appeal of a philosopher who never "filled a chair at any university, and philosophizes much more after the manner of ancient Athens or Alexandria than of contemporary Paris, Oxford, Heidelberg or Harvard." Keyserling considered his own life as an example of how the application of will could change what most people assumed to be innate qualities in themselves. To further his objective of self-realization, he investigated every area of rejected knowledge. "I know men who can draw from horoscopes conclusions of exactly the same reliability as from handwritings. I know others again, whom the observance of cabalistic tradition has enabled to attain what seem to be miraculous insights." He was introduced to Jungian psychology and found it personally helpful. Throughout his torrential sequence of ideas he maintained a consistent distaste for the "anti-metaphysical mass-spirit" and the perspectives of materialism and rationalism. "The superstitious belief in the omnipotence of reason" he thought had even led to "the bankruptcy of reason" which "no longer rules anything, not even high finance." [76]

Keyserling is very difficult to pin down as a thinker, and his self-obsession makes him profoundly irritating to read. His enthusiasm, his anti-rationalism, and his capacity for lecturing in four or five languages greatly extended his influence. After the Nazi seizure of power, Keyserling underwent a short period of harassment and was later forbidden to publish. Undeterred, the count began to write in French. In 1944 his house in Darmstadt was destroyed in an air raid, and he spent the last years of his life in a single room in a pension at Kitsbuhel. His relationship with the Nazis is difficult to define: in 1934 he was claiming to have been one of the prophets of the Third Reich, but he was later summarily denounced by the Nazis themselves. [77] It seems that, like other idealists such" as Johannes Muller, he took the Nazi regime as symbolic of the spiritual rebirth he had long been awaiting. A common opposition -- at least in theory -- to Rationalism and Materialism explains the confusion.

Gurdjieff, Ouspensky, and Keyserling are the best known of the prophets whom the Russian Revolution thrust into Western Europe. There were others; but before discussing their significance it is as well to make the point that Slav mysticism was not confined to Russia proper or its Baltic appendages. The sense of being the inheritor of Byzantium, for example, was found as keenly in Bulgaria as Russia, and it was natural that Bulgaria would produce its own occult prophet.

"The Master" Petr Deunov (1864-1944) was the son of a priestly family. His followers believe that his ministry began when the physical body of Petr Deunov was possessed by the spirit of the Master Deunov at the age of thirty-three. The sources of Deunov's teachings are various. Madame Blavatsky's Theosophy obviously played a large part, and to the Theosophical doctrine of the missions of various successive races Deunov and his followers added a superstructure of Slav Messianism. According to Deunov, the culture of the previous age (transmitted by the Anglo-Saxon branch of the white race) was passing. The new era was the predestined age of the Slavs. To support this claim his disciples cited Russian supporters of Slav Messianism like Andrei Bely, Merezhkovsky, Tolstoy, and Vladimir Soloviev as well as the Polish Messianist Hoene-Wronski. [78] Deunov, the divine master, had descended from "Alfeola, the Star of Stars" to begin his mission in Bulgaria, a country adapted to his purposes both by the inheritance of the medieval Bogomil heretics and the presence of the Rila mountain range. Masters could only operate where the mountains were high.

Deunov also placed emphasis on the significance of astrology. The new age was the astrological age of Aquarius, and in 1914 at a congress held at Tirnovo by his Brotherhood of Bulgaria the Master announced its advent. He proclaimed the birth of "a new type of man" on earth, to coincide with the Aquarian Age. God Himself had sent Deunov to instruct man how to conduct himself in the new age, according to what the Master termed the Laws of Living Rational Life. The disciple was instructed that his chief task was to harmonize himself with the rhythm of the stars, and it seems that a form of natural magic was taught for this purpose. After 1945 the "Universal White Brotherhood" of Deunov's disciple Michael Ivanov made great headway in France; and contact between Paris and Sofia probably began in the late 1930s. [79] Deunov himself was greatly disquieted by the approaching Second World War; for, according to his astrology, the First should have closed a cycle.

International affairs and politics in general have always concerned prophets of new revelations. Gurdjieff and Ouspensky steered clear of political pronouncements, while Keyserling and Deunov contented themselves with general hints of what the ideal order might be. But two of the Slav prophets who taught in the West between the world wars were as concerned with politics as with their systems of metaphysics or their moral code. The minor figures of Wincenty Lutoslawski and Dmitri Mitrinovic will serve as an introduction to more important considerations.

Wincenty Lutoslawski was born in Warsaw in 1863. In 1885 he took a degree in chemistry at the University of Dorpat, two years later acquired a degree in philosophy, and in 1898 became a Ph.D. at Helsingfors. From 1890 he lectured for three years at the University of Kazan and at the turn of the century held various appointments at Cracow, Lausanne, and Geneva. The influences on Lutoslawski were his native tradition of Polish Messianism, Russian irrationalism, and the Western occult revival. His early studies were guided by the Leibnitzean Gustav Teichmiiller, who directed his attention toward H. P. Blavatsky and the Theosophical Society. In 1887 Lutoslawski could recommend to his readers H.P.B.'s Isis Unveiled, the writings of A. P. Sinnet, and a book of Franz Hartmann. But by 1890 he had become disillusioned with Theosophy and, in particular, with its foundress. Three years later Lutoslawski, writing from Kazan, seemed to have found a starting point for his own irrationalist system. At Kazan he claimed to have converted all his students to a belief in telepathy through experiments involving the transmission of numbers between two subjects. He thought that immortality could be scientifically proved and considered the greatest division among men was between those who knew incontrovertibly that they were to survive death and those who did not. [80]

This affirmation was made in a lecture delivered to the World's Parliament of Religions in Chicago. And in 1896, in the Chicago magazine The Monist. Lutoslawski issued an extraordinary appeal. His article is headed, "In Search of True Beings" and in tone is possibly unique. Lutoslawski considered himself, he wrote, "a real substance, outside time and space." He did not admit that God had created him. Other philosophers were "parts, manifestations or servants of their God -- I am my own Lord." One day, he thought he might meet this God whose extensions most other people were; and he expected an alliance as between equals. Meanwhile, he hoped to meet other true beings and proclaimed a faith in an immortal Lutoslawski, who would maintain his independence of God and time "with everything that makes up my personality, memory, affections, the same aims and increased power." In the years 1897-99 he published a highly thought -- of study of Plato and two expositions of his idealist individualism.

In November 1900 the true being met his God. He had given a course of lectures in Polish Messianism at Cracow. Because of its nationalistic overtones the doctrine had been banned by the Russian government, but the course had been outstandingly successful. While cleansing his body in a steam bath after this coup. the idea came to Lutoslawski that he might also cleanse his soul. The philosopher confessed to a friendly Franciscan and then went to Communion for the first time since 1879. At the moment of communicating he was converted, and he began to synthesize his philosophy with Christian dogma. [81]

From 1903 to 1906 Lutoslawski lectured at University College, London. "To many in England he seemed totally mad." [82] An anonymous English critic found it scarcely possible to believe that Lutoslawski also applied his theories to politics. For the philosopher had founded a party called the Philaretes, with the object of liberating Poland from Germany and Russia by presenting the controlling powers with the spectacle of a nation which was their superior in virtue.

His Philaretes form, though not in the usual sense, a secret society, a sort of Polish religion within the Catholic pale. Men and women, calling themselves "Brothers and Sisters, " after a public confession of all their lives, must swear to give up gambling and drinking, smoking and all immorality.

The critic of this Messianic politician was incredulous at the support given to the Philaretes.

Lutoslawski's adherents are mostly young students of an extraordinary turn of mind, as may be supposed. As to their number, it cannot be computed, on account of the reticence observed; but there are certainly many more than those who openly profess that they belong to the party. Many branches of it are supposed to exist in Russian and in Prussian Poland. He affirms -- the present writer has heard him -- that he gets his thoughts and inspirations directly from God. His followers, as a consequence, believe in him blindly; as a consequence too, other persons think him a heretic or a madman. [83]

Not counted among these was William James of Harvard. Professor James met Lutoslawski twice, in 1893 and 1899, and kept up a long correspondence with him. On the publication of Lutoslawski's Seelenmacht in 1899, James wrote that "it has a value beyond its possible defects, it is a Gospel, an Act, rather than a book." Around 1900-01 the American wasted his energies in trying to persuade the Pole to stick to theory, rather than trying to put his ideas into practice with the Philaretes. But gradually he was won over, declared his faith in Lutoslawski as "knight of the holy spirit, " and in 1906 withdrew all criticism of his Polish friend's attempt to make political use of his occult experiments. James's final expressions of admiration arose from his conviction that through the methods of Yoga, Lutoslawski had contrived to tap his "deeper levels." [84]

The true being would not even take a master in the tricky Yogic exercises; he bemoaned his lack of success in finding a guru. "I have called in my prayers for such a Teacher for many years in vain, " Lutoslawski wrote; "but whenever I was on the track of such persons, I was deceived, as when I saw and spoke to H. P. Blavatsky in London, or some of her friends and pupils or other so-called occultists in France, Belgium and elsewhere." "I need to know everything about everything and everybody for all times and places, " he announced, at the same time declaring that he had no interest whatsoever in the business aspects of existence and rested in the serene conviction that if money were required for his sacred undertakings, it would immediately be forthcoming. He abstained from alcohol, tobacco, meat, and fish, and from sexual intercourse as well, in order to acquire the powers of "an emancipated soul." All these privations kept in view the Messianic role of Poland "the nation of Yogis, " trained by Providence for a special purpose to help mankind in "the great approaching crisis when everything will be questioned and ruined." [85]

Lutoslawski's investigations turned in the direction of Western occultism, in particular toward the odd sexual doctrines of John Humphrey Noyes's Oneida community, Thomas Lake Harris, and Laurence Oliphant. After various lecturing jobs the Pole received enough money to enable him to set up an institute for the achievement of an "integral psychophysics" at Tlemcen in Algeria in December 1911. The work of this "Polish Forge" was to combine Yogic techniques with Western experiments in strengthening the will and to ensure a superhumanity to future generations. But the Algerian climate proved inhospitable, and Lutoslawski's French benefactress died soon after the psychophysicists arrived at their Forge. Lutoslawski failed to secure the chair of philosophy at Melbourne University, and he resolved to resume teaching at the University of Geneva, where he planned to move his institute.M6 He then disappeared during the First World War, and was discovered in 1919 living in a castle in Savoy.

When the Treaty of Versailles reconstituted Poland and the Russians had been driven back from its northern frontier, Lutoslawski became professor of philosophy at Wilno. In the year 1930 he was still appealing for the establishment of a Forge (six years earlier he had estimated that "a trifle of some £200, 000 would be sufficient to ensure permanently its existence"). He lamented that in view of the Polish world mission only one university professor -- presumably himself -- taught Messianism. He saw his years of struggle fulfilled. "Having devoted fifty years since the age of fifteen to the quest for truth, I claim to have found it, and to own it at least within my own thought." [87]

A witness of Lutoslawski's triumphant latter years was the historian Arnold Toynbee. Toynbee met the Polish philosopher in Wilno in 1928. Lutoslawski greeted Toynbee and his wife with the inquiry, "Is it your habit to eat?" -- explaining that he himself did not and claiming that he had once made possible stringent economics in the running of mines by reducing the food intake of the miners to a single lettuce per day. (Unfortunately the miners struck and resumed eating corned beef and potatoes.) Lutoslawski was then very much the spearhead of Polish culture in Wilno, which the Poles held in defiance of Lithuanian and Russian claims. So when he took the Toynbees to the theater it was the simplest of matters for him to remove three members of the audience from the front seats of the dress circle by whispering that he was Lutoslawski -- and that the foreigners must see the play "in the interests of the resurrected Polish people." This heroic representative of his national traditions vanished in the upheavals of the Second World War, and even his son could discover nothing of his fate. [88]

An eccentric? A late representative of the peculiar school of Polish Messianism who naturally combined politics and mysticism, and whose small number of Western disciples counted for little compared to his followers in Poland? This is probably true, but it is significant that Messianism could flourish into the 20th century. Lutoslawski's peculiar amalgam of Slav Messianism, Yoga, and sexual doctrine has many points of comparison with the theories of Dmitri Mitrinovic, around whom clustered members of the underground of English illuminated politics.

Dmitri Mitrinovic was born about 1884 near Monastir in Herzegovina. He was not the only Serbian to become involved in London occult circles. Chedomile Mijatovic, Serbian ambassador to London, had been noted for his interest in occult phenomena, and when Mitrinovic made contact with A. R. Orage and his circle, he himself was an attache at the Serbian embassy in London. The war had found Mitrinovic in Munich, where he was studying art (he was a friend of Kandinsky), and he played a part in organizing the wartime exhibition in London of his friend and countryman the sculptor Ivan Mestrovic, who shared some of his visionary ideals. [89] Edwin Muir describes Mitrinovic as "a tall, dark, bullet headed Serbian with the lips of a Roman soldier." Both Edwin and Willa Muir have recorded the lively and attractive personality of the seer on his first arrival in London, when his mood allowed him to expand companionably on his themes of the objective science of criticism, cosmology, astrology, and mysticism. [90] It was Mitrinovic's hope to influence those in positions of authority to adopt his plan for the salvation of mankind. Just at this time, Orage was in a limbo between his earlier Theosophy and his later adherence to Gurdjieff. As always, the New Age was open to articles of a mystical nature. In 1918, for example, yet another Serbian, "R. A. Vran-Gavran" -- alias the Orthodox priest Nicolai Velimirovic -- contributed a series of mystical "London Songs" featuring a character called Buck Legion, who extolled the Unknowable God as the solution to all problems.

A. R. Orage and Dmitri Mitrinovic began to collaborate on a series of articles on "World Affairs" under the pseudonym "M. M. Cosmoi." These were written in the most extravagant fashion, apocalyptic, symbolical, and displaying Mitrinovic's personal vision of history as the development of a giant man. Each nation or people represented some particular organ of this great world body. To Mitrinovic it seemed "that the Negro is black not because he is born in the Tropics, but because only on the Negro Continent of the Earth could he find his proper abode and vehicle, the globe of the Logos itself being the body of the Universal Man, his very body." Particular roles were attributed to Russian man as mankind's "greatest historical, purely human, promethean self-realization, " and to the Aryan race which was interpreted "in the Nordic and solar sense of the First truly Born." The exotic and confusing terminology applied by Mitrinovic to various organs of his world body is a great handicap in understanding him. For example, he called the doings of men in Britain "Caractacus" and of women "Boadicea." Caractacus and Boadicea Clubs were formed in 1939. Behind all the verbiage and the name coining was -- according to those who knew Mitrinovic well -- the old Slav Messianic vision of a united Christian Europe. On top of this was piled the lumber of every sort of occultism and religion. Mitrinovic admitted three revelations: first, the Vedanta, of whose spirit he thought Rudolf Steiner the modern interpreter; and second, Christianity. There was also a modern revelation he called Zenithism, whose prophets were Vladimir Soloviev and Erich Gutkind (who contributed to Mitrinovic's publications after his flight from Nazi Germany). Almost any belief could be incorporated into Mitrinovic's system. Thus in 1927 he founded the Adler Society and was responsible for introducing the work of that psychologist to London. Such eclecticism resulted in pronouncements that combined the language of the sexual psychologist and the seer. Mitrinovic decided that the Holy Ghost was sperm; and the sin against the Holy Ghost was a sin against sperm, and unforgivable. [91]
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Re: The Occult Establishment, by James Webb

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Mitrinovic's New Britain movement united inhabitants of the idealistic Underground who found themselves at odds with the causes they had earlier supported, or who had seen those causes come crashing round them. The New Britain movement was founded in 1933 out of an earlier Mitrinovic creation called "the IIth Hour Group." New Britain was dedicated to a spiritual revolution. Its magazine was edited by C. B. Purdom, formerly of Garden Cities and Meher Baba, now of Mitrinovic and the mission of Albion. Arthur Kitson and Major Douglas were both involved. Professor John Macmurray -- who was also interested in Gryth Fyrd -- united with Orage's biographer, Philip Mairet, John Middleton Murray, Stephen Graham, Odon Por, and G. D. H. Cole in the pages of New Britain's publications. Guilds, Social Credit, the theories of Silvio Gesell, and the economics of Rudolf Steiner -- all found a place under Mitrinovic's wing. The money reformer Frederick Soddy was one of the presiding spirits, together with the guildsman S. G. Hobson, while Montague Fordham wrote on rural reconstruction. George Lansbury contributed thoughts on usury and on Christianity, Hugh McDiarmid some poems on Social Credit and the New Order, and Orage himself returned from America to assume the joint directorate of New Britain with Mitrinovic. Major-General Fuller mourned the death of Virility, Gerald Heard lectured on Eugenics, and it is possible to discover that the most engaging eugenic fanatic of all -- the indomitable Edward Alexander Wilson, who escaped from a lunatic asylum and published numbers of pamphlets from both inside and outside hospitals on the problem of "surplus women" -- spoke in Gower Street to the members of New Britain. [92]

Mitrinovic's movement was composed of all the elements of the illuminated underground put together. Thus in 1934, when the representatives of New Britain held their conference at Glastonbury -- what place could be more appropriate? -- the organization was pledged to a functional society, guilds, social credit, the welfare state, a European federation, Rudolf Steiner's Threefold Commonwealth, and a restored Christianity. [93] The synthesis contrived from these doctrines was a major feat of logistics. The expense of publishing various lavish magazines was heavy, and although Purdom's New Britain achieved a circulation of over 32, 000 copies per week, internal quarreling helped to sink the venture. The only source of consistent policy was Mitrinovic. His recommendation that his followers read Merezhkovsky, Berdyaev, Blake, and lung were interspersed with strange and urgent political pronouncements like the motto decorating on a page of The New Atlantis which asked -- apparently with no rhyme or reason -- "Is it or is it not fitting and righteous that HIS MAJESTY THE KING OF THE BELGIANS as a gentleman and a patriot of Europe should take initiative for Federation of Europe?" There was more consistency than might appear from the diverse commitments of the New Britain. All at least were united in hopes for an idealistic society and a spiritual revolution, while theories of an organic society could harmonize well with Mitrinovic's guiding vision of the great organism of the world. But the Serbian prophet was not strong enough to hold his supporters together. Willa Muir has described the change she and her husband saw in their former friend when they returned to England in the 1930s and discovered New Britain emanating from Gower Street. Mitrinovic had become flabby and pretentious and his self-sacrificing followers appeared exploited. The last years of Mitrinovic's life were spent in illness; and in 1949 he renounced control over all his groups and organizations. His disciples had no doubt that his illnesses were connected with the state of the world. [94]

The consistent attraction of Slav irrationalism for illuminated movements in the West is shown by a brief glance at a French movement with which New Britain was allied. L'Ordre Nouveau kept closely in contact with New Britain, published its manifestoes in the British magazines, and sent representatives to Mitrinovic's conferences. New Britain's commitment to European federalism stems from this French source. L'Ordre Nouveau arose out of the meetings of a group of young French intellectuals around Alexandre Marc which (from about 1928) began propaganda for a "Spiritual revolution." By 1933 they had established contact with organizations of a similar complexion. In Germany these were the National Bolshevists and Otto Strasser's Black Front. Apart from the New Britain movement, L'Ordre Nouveau looked with contempt on most idealistic British groups, which they thought would appear "a little puerile to Frenchmen." [95] Alexandre Marc was the pseudonym for Alexander Lipiansky, who had been born in Odessa in 1904, and who at the beginning of the discussions of L'Ordre Nouveau had been especially concerned with religious and spiritual problems. Among the Catholic priests, Protestant pastors, and Orthodox clergy who took part in the initial conferences, there was room for Nicholas Berdyaev.  [96]

There is a little more to this coincidence of Slav prophets and illuminated Western politicians than a personal and historical affinity. We have already discussed the possibilities of illuminated anti-Semitism, and both Mitrinovic and Lutoslawski are suggestive in this connection. In January, 1934, Mitrinovic inserted in his magazine The New Atlantis an "Urgent appeal to his Excellency the Chancellor of the Reich, " in which he requested Adolf Hitler to renounce the evil ways which would lead to a catastrophic war. Mitrinovic asked Hitler to believe that he was not himself hostile to the "Aryan idea"; his own culture was "predominantly German"; and the Aryan mission "is an idea, even politically and racially speaking, which is not foreign to my mind, not misunderstood by my own heart." In the winter of 1914, he wrote, he had been preparing a pan-European magazine which he hoped would lead to European federation and was first to be published in Germany under the title of Das arische Europa. When war was declared by Austro-Hungary on Serbia, Mitrinovic was in the house of a famous man who he hoped would contribute to his enterprise: the Bayreuth home of Houston Stewart Chamberlain. [97]

The idea of the Aryan mission did not seem to lead Mitrinovic into the associated heresy of anti-Semitism. On the other hand, under the pressure of severe personal stress Wincenty Lutoslawski jumped from Aryanism to its more sinister companion. In 1907 he was declaring that to concern himself with the standards of economics "would be unworthy of a true Aryan, " and he had also decided -- as did Houston Stewart Chamberlain -- that Jesus was no Jew. In 1919 Lutoslawski announced that his two younger brothers had been killed by the retreating Russian armies because they had "discovered the secret treaty by which the Germans authorized Bolshevist propaganda in Poland" -- "and nobody can deny now, after the publication of the British White Book on Bolshevism, that Jews have been the chief leaders of the criminal gang." [98]

The next chapter will show how both "Aryanism" and anti-Semitism are closely allied with the occult, and in particular with the Theosophy of Madame Blavatsky. But it remains here to indicate by two examples that not only did the ideas of Slav irrationalism infiltrate the Western Underground, but that they could also influence the conduct of armies.

One of the intellectual movements associated with the Russian intelligentsia around the time of the 1905 Revolution was called "mystical anarchism." Berdyaev was associated with this body of opinion, and its most famous spokesman was the Symbolist Vyacheslav Ivanov. The doctrine entailed a refusal to accept the conditions of the world and a Dostoievskian commitment to the cause of individual liberty. Naturally it was also permeated with the spirit of the religious revival. Within the context of this mystical approach to social conditions it is possible to understand the relationship of Dmitri Merezhkovsky, Zenaida Hippius, and the terrorist Boris Savinkov.

Savinkov (born 1879) was one of the heads of the terrorist organization of the Social Revolutionary party, and it was he who organized the assassination of the Grand Duke Sergius in February 1905. He made a sensational escape from prison, where he had been confined under sentence of death, and went into exile in Paris, where Merezhkovsky and his wife had also established themselves. At this time -- it was only two years after the founding of the Religious-Philosophic Assemblies -- Merezhkovsky and Hippius had moved temporarily to the left. In 1907 they published quite a violent pamphlet (with Dmitri Filosofov) called The Tsar and the Revolution. Filosofov called for the destruction of orthodoxy and autocracy and the liberation of the free spirit of man. Merezhkovsky announced that the Old Believers were the first Russian revolutionaries and that Doukhobors and Khlysty posed the proper social and sexual problems, respectively. Zenaida Hippius expressed the dilemma of the principled activist. "One cannot shed blood, it's impossible. But in order that this impossibility should become real, one must!" We have it on the authority of Prince Mirsky that Savinkov came heavily under the influence of Zenaida Hippius and, to a lesser extent, of her husband. In the novel Savinkov published in 1909 under the title of The Pale Horse, the very language of Hippius can be discovered, slightly adapted, in the mouth of one of the characters. "We have to kill in order that no one should kill after that; that men should live forever according to the divine law." [99]

In The Pale Horse Savinkov narrates a terrorist attempt to assassinate a provincial governor. Subsequently, he described the last phase of his adventurous career: in the provisional government Prime Minister Kerensky made Savinkov acting minister of war. After the Bolshevik coup he joined the White armies but soon became disillusioned. For a time he tried to persuade the Allied leaders to cooperate with what he termed "The Third Russia, " directed by a "Union of the Resurrection of Russia" which included supporters of Kerensky -- and once again, Merezhkovsky, Hippius, and Filosofov. [100] The Union of the Resurrection of Russia was based in Poland, where Savinkov formed an alliance with Marshal Pilsudski and began to raise an army of 20-30, 000 men to march on Moscow. Merezhkovsky, his wife, and Filosofov arrived in Poland in January 1920, and the prophet of a new Christianity immediately began to adapt the doctrines of Polish Messianism to a political object. Merezhkovsky visited Marshal Pilsudski. At once he saw him as a true hero -- "the unchanged revelation of the Godhead, the Theophany." Pilsudski was designed by God to save the world, and the Messianic mission of Poland would be fulfilled by her saving Russia. But by the middle of the year Merezhkovsky was disillusioned. Poland had signed a peace with the Bolsheviks and betrayed her mission. Merezhkovsky was reduced to applying the ideas put about by Polish exiles in the last century to the Russian emigration in the 20th. They were the dispersed tribes of Israel, and Bolshevism was Antichrist. [101]

Savinkov moved off into Russia in June 1920, with the army he had largely created, but which he claimed himself incompetent to command. At Mozyr his ill-equipped forces were routed. Savinkov took to the forests with a band of peasant insurrectionaries before resuming his old activities as a terrorist. The story of this last adventure is told in another novel, The Black Horse, from which it is clear that the influence of Hippius and Merezhkovsky was still potent. The same vacillation is present as in The Pale Horse, and it ends in the same ruthlessness. The constant companion and alter ego of the narrator is an Old Believer who sees Bolshevism as Antichrist. Savinkov was arrested in 1923 by the Bolsheviks, and he committed suicide in the Lubianka prison. His brand of idealistic politics demonstrates that illuminated ideas and a life-or-death brand of politics might go hand in hand, and it is significant that Savinkov is said to have proposed to Mussolini a plan of international Fascism. [102]

The second example of Russian mystical politics is that of an out-and-out illuminate. Roman Feodorovich von Ungern-Sternberg was born into an old Baltic family in 1885. It is possible to arrive at a sketchy early biography. About 1900 Ungern went to school in Reval and was expelled. In 1903 he entered the Corps of Cadets and accumulated large gambling debts. At the outbreak of the Russo-Japanese war he was discharged from the cadet corps for demanding to fight; and by himself he made his way to the Far East, where he arrived too late to see any action. In 1906 Ungern entered infantry college (or possibly a naval school) and three years later received a commission in a regiment of Transbaikalian Cossacks at Chita. He fought many duels, and in one he received a saber cut on the head, which several chroniclers have made responsible for his later eccentricity and sadism. After this episode Roman Ungern-Sternberg left his regiment and made his way alone across unexplored country. According to one rumor, he lived for a while as a bandit; but a more probable story is that he acted as guide to an expedition of topographers. About 1911 he traveled to France, Germany, and Austria; returned to Siberia in 1912; and during the war contrived to enlist under Rennenkampf. His bravery and ferocity earned him countless decorations. After the Revolution broke out he was seen in Reval in full uniform with medals, epaulettes, and saber. Ungern left his Baltic home in December 1917 to join the Siberian forces of Ataman Semenov, who promoted him to Major-General. There then began the brutal adventure which made the baron -- yet another Bait known as "the mad baron" -- more of a legend than a historical character. [103]

Ungern-Sternberg very rapidly became the property of occultists, and it is important to realize why. The West was introduced to the mad baron by the Polish engineer and scientist Ferdinand Ossendowski in his book Men, Beasts and Gods (1924), which had sold over 300, 000 copies a year after publication. It told in a very romantic fashion of Ossendowski's escape through Central Asia from his position in the government of Admiral Koltchak's Far East Republic. Its author's struggles with the elements and his human enemies were rivaled only by the supernatural marvels he encountered at the hands of Mongolian lamas. His contact with Ungern-Sternberg -- whose cruelty and mysticism were already legendary -- fitted artistically into this most Slavonic of traveler's tales. Soon after the publication of Ossendowski's book, the explorer Sven Hedin challenged its truthfulness. He was able to explode Ossendowski's claim to have been in Tibet, and he eventually discovered a most revealing plagiarism. Men, Beasts and Gods is certainly more fiction than fact. But it tells more about Ungern-Sternberg and his milieu than might appear at first sight.

Ferdinand Ossendowski was a typical member of the Russian intelligentsia: he graduated from St. Petersburg University (c. 1900) and made his first expedition to the East. He was an expert in coal and gold mining, and for some time he held a chair in "industrial geography" in the Russian capital. His political sympathies -- of a social revolutionary nature -- as well as his Polish birth made him for two months president of a rebel government of the Far East in the Revolution of 1905. Ossendowski was rescued from a death sentence by the intervention of Count Witte. After the 1917 Revolution he was drafted by Admiral Koltchak into the government of Siberia. From the collapse of Koltchak's armies, Ossendowski escaped -- he claimed -- through Mongolia. [104]

Ossendowski was brim full of illuminated attitudes and occultism. He had met Father John of Kronstadt several times and had been involved in "occult and spiritualist circles in Paris." He once encountered Rasputin and while tutor in a noble household had been invited to an unsuccessful seance given by Papus. He speaks familiarly of the Ipatyev salon and of other occult meeting places. While in prison under sentence of death he experienced mystical illuminations and was very impressed by the works of the startsy. [105] When this illuminated scientist took to the forests and plains of Central Asia, he certainly did not go as far as Tibet, and no detail of his narrative can be relied on. But it remains possible that he did meet Ungern-Sternberg. The baron occupies the central section of the book -- one of the "men" described after the "beasts" (the Reds from whom Ossendowski had escaped), who come before the "gods" (otherwise the Mongolian lamas with their peculiar variant of Buddhism).

Sven Hedin discovered that the source for Ossendowski's final chapter was a posthumous book by the 19th-century occultist Saint-Yves d' Alveydre, Mission de l'Inde en Europe. In certain parts of his narrative of the "King of the World, " whom Mongolian legend has dwelling in the subterranean kingdom of Agartha, Ossendowski obviously copied from the fantasies of Saint-Yves, which in their turn had derived from Theosophy. [106] Into this occultist dream-come-true, Ossendowski inserted his portrait of Baron Ungern -- a sadistic dictator of the Mongolian capital, Urga, relying on prophecies and fortune telling; a convert to Mongolian Buddhism with knowledge of the exact date when he would die. Besides the obvious desire to sell books, there was another reason behind Ossendowski's placing the portrait of the mystical baron in the midst of his fantastic pilgrim's progress. This is Ungern's place within the atmosphere of credulous mysticism which surrounded the White armies. In this tradition Ossendowski tells elsewhere of how Koltchak's court in Siberia was preoccupied with Christian mysticism, Spiritualism, and even local shamans. [107]

Hermann Keyseriing was related to Roman Ungern-Sternberg. Ungern's brother had married his sister, and Keyserling himself had an Ungern grandmother. He had known the mad baron from the age of twelve, when Roman had tried to strangle Keyserling's pet owl. Keyserling thought him "one of the most metaphysically and occultly gifted men I have met, " and he told Sven Hedin that Ungern used to talk in geometrical symbols. Ungern's metaphysical ideas, he wrote, "were closely related to those of the Tibetans and the H indus, " and on occasion he showed clairvoyant gifts. As for his character, it was completely erratic, and vacillated between the extremes of evil and good. Keyseriing remembered Ungern-Sternberg's protesting violently at being made to think. "Thinking is cowardice, " he said, "thought comes and goes like a breeze." The last time he had been in contact with Ungern was when the baron telegraphed him to send the Ungern-Sternberg coat-of-arms to Mongolia, as he wished to use it as the insignia of his Mongolian state.

Keyseriing did not like to believe Ossendowski, but he thought his characterization of the baron extremely accurate. In particular he commended the Pole's insistence on Ungern-Sternberg's cult of purity. [108] This particular piece of corroboration gives us license to record, without approving, Ossendowski's claim that he talked to Ungern-Sternberg who told him that he had tried to create an "Order of Military Buddhists" that was celibate and obeyed the teachings of Mongolian Buddhism. For a time, in order that the Russian should be able to live down his physical nature, he introduced all manner of excess -- alcohol, opium, hashish -- but afterward hanged his men for drinking. [109] Fortunately, there are more reliable authorities for Ungern's military moves, but it is necessary to arrive at them through the unreliable Ossendowski in order to see two things -- how easily the baron could become part of the myth of the Russian "idealists, " and how Ungern's real mysticism assisted the process.

When Ungern-Sternberg arrived in the East he was theoretically under the command of Admiral Koltchak, then of the Ataman Semenov. In practice he maintained a highly independent line of conduct. He established himself at Bauris on the Transbaikalian railway, where he instituted a regime of ferocious cruelty. In late September, 1920, after a series of differences with Semenov, he left Dauria and retreated fighting into Outer Mongolia. [110] He ousted the Chinese general "Little Hsu, " who at that time controlled Mongolia. At the third attempt Ungern took Urga, the capital, and restored the Khutuktu -- the so-called "Living Buddha" -- who made the Baltic baron military adviser and conferred on him lavish titles indicating that he was the reincarnate God of War. In Urga, Ungern installed electricity and a wireless station. He enrolled Mongols in his "Asiatic division of cavalry" and terrorized his army with beatings, torture, and murder. It seems that he accepted aid from the Japanese -- he needed all the help he could get -- but his own schemes were based on the idea of a greater Mongolia extending North as far as Lake Baikal and allied both with a monarchist Russia and with a restored Manchu dynasty in China. At the end of May 1921, Baron Ungern and his small force rode out of Urga into Soviet territory. After a series of defeats the general was abandoned by his favored Mongols to the mercy of the Communists. He was captured, tried, and shot. [111]

The convictions which sustained this strange man were entirely of an illuminated nature. He literally saw Bolshevism as evil incarnate. Thus, on 16 February 1921, he wrote to the Chinese monarchists, who he hoped would cooperate with his plan for a greater Mongolia: "It is not without consideration that I think of the Chinese blood that has been shed, and which, no doubt would be attributed to my cruelty; on the other hand I am positive that every soldier should consider it his duty to root out every revolutionist, irrespective of his nationality, for they are no less evil spirits in human shape." [112] Before setting out to emulate Ghengis Khan's ride to Moscow, Ungern issued his notorious "Order No. 15" (he had never issued an order before but the numbering, as well as the inaccurate date, were because the lamas had told him the figures were auspicious). [113] The order forbade any mercy. "The ancient foundation of justice -- truth and pity -- has gone. Now there must reign truth and pitiless severity. Evil, come to earth in order to destroy the divine principle in the human soul, must be wiped out together with its rationale." [114] Ungern's vision of a united Mongolia was based on a twofold reasoning. "On the one hand, to enable all the tribes of Mongolian origin to unite round one center and on the other, military and moral defense against the rotten West which is under the influence of mad revolution and the decline of morality in all its manifestations, both physical and spiritual." [115] And so the man -- Keyserling wrote that the lamas recognized him by his horoscope as Tamerlane returned -- rode out of Urga believing himself the real representative of spiritual powers against the equally tangible demons of materialism. Ungern ended his Order No. 15 with a quotation from the Book of Daniel. This predicted the appearance of "Michael, the great prince" -- he had just proclaimed the Grand Duke Michael, "All-Russian Emperor" -- and concluded "Blessed is he that waits and fulfils the 3330 days." [116]

There is further corroboration of Ungern's mysticism. At Dauria, an Associated Press correspondent found him talking of Ghengis Khan and telling his fortune with cards. [117] Dmitri Alioshin (who later served as an interpreter to General Graves's American expeditionary force and whose account is generally accepted as authentic) acted as one of Ungern's regimental fortune tellers, and he tells how his commander paid 7, 000 lamas to perform services for his final expedition. His description of Ungern just before his final defeat is horrifying:

The baron, with his head dropped to his chest, silently rode in front of his troops. He had lost his hat and clothing. On his naked chest numerous Mongolian talismans were hanging on a bright yellow cord. He looked like a reincarnation of a prehistoric ape man. People were afraid even to look at him. [118]

Alioshin confirms Ungern's extraordinary cruelty, and he concurs with all the authorities in pointing to the objects of the mad baron's particular hate: the Jews. When they captured Urga in the first days of February 1921, Ungern's henchmen, led by a Dr. Klingenberg (whose legs Ungern later broke for some misdemeanor) instituted a pogrom, and "Order No. 15" also called for the extirpation of Jews and commissars. Under Ungern's regime in Urga the Khutuktu's minister of the interior issued what has been called the only document of anti-Semitism in Mongolian history, defining the Communists as Jews "without distinction of Russian, Mongol, American, Japanese or Chinese" and as such forbidding his subjects to help them. [119]

Once more we are confronted with the existence of an illuminated anti-Semitism, which, in the case of Ungern, identified the Jews with the children of an evil materialism. We have seen that Western illuminates of a certain type were prone to anti-Semitism and that in at least two of the Slavonic prophets we have looked at, allied trains of thought were present. The particular sort of illuminated politics of which Roman Ungern-Sternberg was so extreme an exponent was, to a large extent, brought to the West by an influx of Russian refugees. The 19th-century Occult Revival can be shown to be inextricably connected with its origins.

Ossendowski is an interesting example of the connection. His doubtless mythical account of Ungern takes pains to make the point that the baron, after all, had "many Jewish agents" -- in other words, that the accusations against him are not true. Yet Ossendowski undoubtedly believed in the myth that there was a conspiracy against right order; and it is quite probable that he agreed with the baron's definition of who was responsible. The mystical engineer also identified the magician Papus and other gurus of the court, as "Buddhist and masonic agents" and he seems, therefore, to have believed in a legend current in the West that the Freemasons were conspiring to overthrow society. To this he coupled Vladimir Soloviev's fear of "Buddhism" advancing from the East. [120]

But what is this of conspiracies, occultists, and anti-Semitism? It is a new sort of history, an irrationalist history, which found its hour in tsarist Russia and Nazi Germany. "Horoscopes, horoscopes, horoscopes, " muttered Vasily Rozanov, dying at Sargeva Posad. "Oh, how terrible are their predictions. Is it indeed the whisper of the stars? Run historians, shut your ears." [121]



* I have it on emigre authority that some of the mystics have recently turned their devotion in the direction of the atom bomb.

*See my forthcoming study of Gurdjieff and his movement, The Harmonious Circle. This full-length study must excuse the disproportionate space given here to some comparatively unimportant figures.

1. See my discussion of this in The Occult Underground, pp. 245 ff.

2. Siegfried Lipiner, Uber die Elemente einer Emeuerung religioser Ideen in der Gegenwart (Vienna, 1878; a lecture given that year by Lipiner to the German Students Reading Club). On Lipiner, see Harmut yon Hartungen, Der Dichter Siegfried Lipiner (thesis presented to Munich University, 1932).

3. Sergius Bulgakov, The Orthodox Church (tr. E. S. Crann, London, 1935), pp. 215, 100-101.

4. Quoted in preface to John Ilyich Serviev, My Life in Christ (tr. E. E. Goulaeff, London, 1897), p. viii. See also W. Jardine Grisbrooke, ed., Spiritual Counsels of Father John of Kronstadt (London, 1966).

5. George Gapon, The Story of My Life (London, 1905), pp. 115-16.

6. Nicolas Zernov, The Russian Religious Revival of the 20th Century (London, 1963). I have drawn heavily on this invaluable work.

7. Zernov, p. 100 for Tsaritsin. See also The Mad Monk of Russia, Iliodor, Life, Memoirs and Confessions of Serge Michaulovitch Trufanoff (New York, 1918), pp. 12-13, 50; J. S. Curtiss, Church and State in Russia 1900-17 (N.Y., 1940), p. 379.

8. Nicholas Berdyaev, Dream and Reality (tr. Katharine Lampert, London, 1950), pp. 188-89.

9. Details and estimates from F. C. Conybeare, Russian Dissenters (Cambridge, Mass., and London, 1921). Compare the Skoptsy leader "Kondrati Salivanov" with Naundorff and the other pretenders to the title of Louis XVII of France.

10. See The Occult Underground, pp. 160 ff., 245 ff.

11. Harold Williams, Russia of the Russians (London, 1914), pp. 129, 132.

12. D. Stremoukhoff, Vladimir Soloviev et son oeuvre messianique (Paris, 1935), pp. 19-26; Vladimir Soloviev, Crise de la philosophie occidentale (tr. M. Hermann, Paris, n.d.), p. 343; Stremoukhoff, Solo viev, pp. 37-38, 41-45.

13. E.-M. de Vogue, Sous l'horizon (Paris, 1904), pp. 17-18.

14. Stremoukhoff, Soloviev, pp. 46 ff.

15. Oleg A. Maslenikov, The Frenzied Poets (Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1952), pp. 59-60.

16. See Vladimir Soloviev, Lectures on Godmanhood (tr. P. P. Zouboff, 1948; orig. 1877-84).

17. See Soloviev, Russia and the Universal Church (tr. Herbert Rees, London, 1948) and Stremoukhoff, Soloviev, pp. 122 ff.

18. Vladimir Soloviev, War, Progress and the End of History (tr. Alex Baksly, London, 1915), p. 227. There is some significance in the date of this translation -- fifteen years after its author's death, the piece is resurrected in London of the First World War.

19. Maslenikov, Frenzied Poets, pp. 70-71 and p. 201.

20. Nicholas Arseniev, Holy Moscow (London, 1940), pp. 116-17.

21. Berdyaev, Dream and Reality, pp. 141-42.

22. On this cultural development, see Maslenikov, Frenzied Poets, D. S. Mirsky, Contemporary Russian Literature, 1881-1925 (London, 1926), M. J. Olgin, A Guide to Russian Literature (London, 1921), and Camilla Grey, The Russian Experiment in Art (London, 1966); Ivanov quoted by James West, Russian Symbolism (London, 1970), p. 51 from his "Two Elements in Contemporary Symbolism" (1908).

23. Bernard Pares, My Russian Memoirs (London, 1931), p. 132; on Ivanov see Maslenikov, Frenzied Poets, pp. 198 ff.; Olgin, Guide, p. 174.

24. Berdyaev, Dream and Reality, p. 145.

25. Jean Chuzevill, Dmitri Merezhkovsky (Paris, 1922), pp. 16-17; see Merezhkovsky, Peter and Alexis (London, 1905).

26. Merezhkovsky, Tolstoy as Man and Artist: With an Essay on Dostoievsky (London, 1902), p. 161; Zernov, Revival, pp. 90-95.

27. V. V. Rozanov, Fallen Leaves, Bundle One (tr. S. S. Koteliansky, London, 1929), pp. 16-20, 150; E. Gollerbach, "V. V. Rozanov, " in Rozanov, Solitaria (tr. Koteliansky, London, 1927), p. 40.

28. See, e.g., his La Face sombre du Christ (Paris, 1964) and Solitaria, p. 75.

29. Rozanov, Solitaria, pp. 103-4, 187.

30. Maslenikov, Frenzied Poets, pp. 25-26.

31. Merezhkovsky, "Religion et Revolution" in Merezhkovsky, Hippius, Filosofov, Le Tsar et la Revolution (Paris, 1907), pp. 222-24; Berdyaev, Dream and Reality, p. 208. .

32. On Florensky, see N. O. Lossky, History of Russian Philosophy (London, 1952), pp. 176 ff. and V. V. Zenkovsky, A History of Russian Philosophy (tr. G. L. Kline, London, 1953), vol. II, pp. 875 ff.

33. Inayat Khan, Confessions, pp. 154-55.

34. Josephine Ransom, History of the Theosophical Society (London, 1938), pp. 16-18.

35. The petition is printed, and the debate can be followed in full in The Complete Works of H. P. Blavatsky, vol. I (ed. A. Trevor Barker, London, 1933), pp. 112-15.

36. Ransom, Theosophical Society, p. 18.

37. Bibliographical information in Geoffrey Baborka, H.P.B., Tibet and Tulku (Adyar, 1966), pp. 153-54. It appears not to have occurred to the philosopher that the Abbe Huc was precisely the source from which H.P.B. acquired her information; quoted in Stremoukhoff, Soloviev, p. 217 note 7.

38. Vsevolod Soloviev, A Modern Priestess of Isis (tr. Walter Leaf, London, 1895). This is abridged from the original articles of 1892; Charles J. Ryan, H. P. Blavatsky and the Theosophical Movement (Point Lorna, 1937), pp. 225-27.

39. Vsevolod Soloviev, Priestess, pp. 23, 219; see especially Leaf's abstract of Vera Jelikovsky's H. P. Blavatsky and a Modern Priest of Truth, pp. 287 ff.

40. The Letters of H. P. Blavatsky to A. P. Sinnett, pp. 227-28, dated 10 January 1887.

41. Ransom, Theosophical Society, p. 18; quoted in A. P. Sinnett, Incidents in the Life of Madame Blavatsky (London, 1913), pp. 107-8.

42. "Alba, " "Theosophy in Russia" in Theosophy in Scotland, vol. I, pp. 40-41.

43. Paul Dukes, The Unending Quest, (London, 1951), pp. 49 ff. Of Russian musicians the most mystically inclined was Scriabin, who expected .a Union of the male Creator-Spirit with the Woman-World. He, of course, was the "messiah of the union." See Martin Cooper, "Scriabin's Mystical Beliefs, " in Music and Letters (1935), pp. 110 ff.; Sophie Bonneau, L'univers poetique d'Alexandre Blok (Paris, 1946), pp. 149-50, 154 ff.; Maslenikov, Frenzied Poets, pp. 112-14; quoted by Alec Brown in his preface to his translation of Remizov, The Fifth Pestilence (London, 1927), p. ix; Berdyaev, Dream, p. 17; Donald A. Lawrie, Rebellious Prophet (London, 1960), p. 128; Lawrie, Prophet, p. 88; Berdyaev, Dream, pp. 162, 188.

44. Savitch, Marie von Sivers, pp. 25-41; Wachsmuth, Steiner, p. 79; cf. Steiner, Story of My Life, p. 333.

45. Vyacheslav Ivanov, Freedom and the Tragic Life (tr. Norman Cameron, London, 1952), pp. 120 ff.; Berdyaev, Dream, pp. 190-94.

46. Berdyaev, Dream, p. 193; Savitch, Marie von Sivers, pp. 114-15. Returning from this course of lectures Berdyaev told an acquaintance that Steiner exuded "demonic power." Lawrie, Prophet, p. 127; Maslenikov, Frenzied Poets, pp. 84-94; Wachsmuth, Steiner, p. 232; Kobylinsky in Psychische Studien (1917), quoted Kully, Wahrheit, p. 303; Schwarz- Bostunitsch, Doktor Steiner, p. 26.

47. Maurice Paleologue, An Ambassador's Memoirs (London, 3 vols. 1923-25), vol. 11 p. 105.

48. Rene Fullop-Miller, Rasputin: The Holy Devil (tr. F. S. Flint and D. F. Tait, London and N.Y., 1968). Despite the strictures passed on this book by Colin Wilson, it remains very useful. It is easy to detect the "dramatizations, " and it is worth noting that the author edited a book with Friedrich Eckstein.

49. See The Occult Underground, chapters V and VII for a precis of Parisian occultism.

50. Philippe Encausee, Le Marlre Philippe de Lyon (Paris, 1958), pp. 223-25.

51. The Memoirs of Count Witte (tr. and ed. Abraham Yarmolsinsky, London, 1921), p. 192; Papus, quoted Philippe Encausse, Papus; sa vie, son oeuvre (Paris, 1932), p. 43; Encausse, Le Maitre Philippe. pp. 229-30.

52. Alexandre Spiridovitch, Les dernieres Annees de la cour de Tsarskoe Selo (Paris, 1928), vol. I, pp. 100-101; Witte, Memoirs. pp. 203-4; Encausse, Le Mdttre Philippe, p. 203, 231-33.

53. Henri Rollin, L'Apocalypse de notre temps (5th ed., Paris, 1939), pp. 375-76; Encausse, Le Maitre Philippe, pp. 224-25, 247.

54. Iliodor, Mad Monk. pp. 170-74, 175; cf. Fullop-Miller, Rasputin, pp. 96-99.

55. Rozanov, The Apocalypse of Our Times. p. 184.

56. Iliodor, Mad Monk, pp. 94-95, 187 ff.; Fullop-Miller, Rasputin. pp. 171 ff.; see, e.g., M. V. Rodzianko, The Reign of Rasputin (tr. C. Zvegnitz, London, 1927), p. 8. Cf. Conybeare, Dissenters. pp. 343 ff. for the Khlysty.

57. Fullop-Miller, Rasputin. pp. 100-103. Cf. note 84, this chapter. For the "yellow powder, " see Iliodor, Mad Monk, p. 181. It should not he forgotten that this book was written at the instigation of the revolutionary Vladimir Burtsev, who played an important part in exposing the Protocols of the Elders of Zion -- for which see next chapter. The best example of the conspiracy theory in action is in the report, La Chute du regime tsariste: Interrogatoires par la commission extraordinaire du gouvernement provisoire de 1917 (tr. J. and L. Polansky, Paris, 1927).

58. On this, see Pierre Gilliard, Thirteen Years at the Russian Court (tr. F. A. Holt, London, 1921), pp. 81-83.

59. On this development, see Thais S. Lindstrom, Toistoi en France (Paris, 1952); F.W. Bennings, The Russian Novel in France, 1884-1914 (London, 1950); Helen Muchnic, Dostoievsky's English Reputation: 1881-1936 (Smith College Studies in Modern Languages, vol. XX, part II 1938-39; Landmann, Monte Verita, pp. 26-27, 36-37, and passim.

60. George Woodcock and Ivan Avakumovic, The Doukhobors (London, 1968), pp. 111-12; Conrad Noel, Byways of Belief (London, 1912), pp. 115-16.

61. Hippius, quoted in Hans Erich Volkmann, Die Russische Emigration in Deutschland, Marburger Ostforschungen, Band 26 (Wiirzburg 1966), p. 125; see Alexander Eliasberg, Russische Literaturgeschichte (2nd ed., Munich, 1925), pp. 185 ff.; Charles Ledre, Les Emigres russes en France (Paris, 1930), pp. 247-48; quoted in Michael d'Herbigny, S. J. and Alexandre Deubner, Eveques Russes en exil; 1918-1930, Orientalia Christiana, vol. XXI, no. 67, January-March 1931, p. 22; Zernov, Revival. pp. 251-52.

62. D'Herbigny and Deubner, Eveques russes, pp. 263-69.

63. Zenkovsky, History of Russian Philosophy vol. I I, p. 874; Zernov, Revival. p. 175.

64. Bulgakov, Orthodox Church, p. 219.

65. Vasily Rozanov, L'Apocalypse de notre temps, printed by Nathalie Reznikoff in her translation of Le Face sombre du Christ (Paris, 1964), p. 281.

66. Berdyaev, The End of Our Time (tr. Donald Atwater, London, 1933), pp. 11, 91, 109, and cf. Berdyaev, The Bourgeois Mind (tr. Countess Beningsen, London, 1934).

67. Simon Frank, Die Russische Weltanschauung (Darmstadt, 1962; orig. 1926), p. 13; Lev Shestov, Athens and Jerusalem (tr. Bernard Martin, Athens, Ohio, 1966), p. 375.

68. Merezhkovsky, preface to The Birth of the Gods (tr. Nathalie Duddington, London, 1925), pp. vi-vii; Merezhkovsky, Jesus the Unknown (tr. H. C. Matheson, London, 1933), pp. 36-37. The sequel, Jesus Manifest (London, (935), is less eccentric.

69. I hope to give a reasonably complete Gurdjieff bibliography in my forthcoming study of the movement. The best books to start with are P. D. Ouspensky, In Search of the Miraculous (London, 1950), which gives an accurate account of Gurdjieffs teaching until he arrived in the West, and Fritz Peters, Boyhood with Gurdjieff (London, 1965).

70. See my Occult Underground. p. 245 ff.

71. Herman Keyserling, "Autobiographical Sketch, " in The World in the Making (tr. Maurice Samuel, London, 1927), pp. 22-23.

72. Keyserling, "Utopians and Prophets" in The Art of Life (tr. K. S. Shelvankar, London, 1937), p. 104; Rudolf Kassner, Die Mystik, die Kunstler und das Leben, in Samtliche Werke. Band 1 (Pfullingen, 1969); for Kassner's Neo-Platonism, see his Die Mystik. Cf. Keyserling, Creative Understanding (New York and London, 1929), pp. 321-22, and "Autobiographical Sketch, " p. 31; on Kassner generally, see Hans Paeschke, Rudolf Kassner (Pfullingen, 1963) and Kassner's own Buch der Erinnerung (Leipzig, 1938). See also his Grundlagen der Physiognomik (Leipzig, 1922).

73. Keyserling, Reise durch die Zeit. Band I, (Vaduz, 1948), pp. 101-03, 106.

74. Keyserling, The Travel Diary of a Philosopher (2 vols., London, tr. J. H. Reece, 1925), vol. II, pp. 364, 370; vol. I, pp. 117, 157-58.

75. Keyserling, "Autobiographical Sketch, " pp. 67, 78; Mercedes Gallagher Parks, Introduction to Keyserling (London, 1934), p. 27; Landau, God, pp. 20-25.

76. Parks, Keyserling, pp. 29-30; Keyserling, The Recovery of Truth (New York and London, 1929), p. 352; Keyserling, "Reason and Religion" in Problems of Personal Life (tr. M. G. Parks, London, 1934), p. 212.

77. Landau, God, p. 167; cf. Pierre Frederix, "Un Petit Village d'Autriche, " in Graf Hermann Keyserling, ein Gedachtnisbuch (Innsbruck, 1948).

78. Methodi Konstantinov, La Nouvelle Culture et l'ere du verseau (Paris, 1963), p. 92; Marianne Kohler, A l'ecole de sagesse (Paris, 1961), p. 186 note 1; Konstantinov, La Nouvelle Culture pp. 262, 168.

79. Konstantinov, La Nouvelle Culture, p. 92 and Petr Deunov, La Vie pour le tout (Sofia, 1939), pp.79 ff.; Konstantinov, La Nouvelle Culture, pp. 240-41; on Ivanov, see Kohler, A Ncole de sagesse, pp. 183 ff. The first French-language publication of the Deunov group was in 1936.

80. Biographical sketch from W. Kwiatkowski, Informations sur W. Lutoslawski (n.p., c. 1917); MS note by the author in the British Museum copy of Lutoslawski, El Personalismo (Madrid, 1887); Lutoslawski, Vber die Grundvoraussetzungen und Consequenzen der individualistischen Weltanschauung (Helsingfors, 1898), p. 28; Lutoslawski, "On the Difference between Knowledge and Belief as to the Immortality of the Soul, " in Journal of Speculative Philosophy (December, 1893), pp. 437-39.

81. Lutoslawski, " 1n Search of True Beings" in The Monist (April 1896), pp. 351 ff.; The Origin and Growth of Plato's Logic (London, 1897), Vber die Grundvoraussetzungen, and Seelenmacht (Leipzig, 1899), the last partly translated as The World of Souls (London, 1924); Lutoslawski, "Psychologie des Conversions" in Comptes rendus du VI Congres internationale de Psychologie (Geneva, 1909), pp. 709-12.

82. Marion Moore Coleman, Adam Mickiewicz in English (Cambridge Springs, Pennsylvania, 1954), has an entry on Lutoslawski.

83. "The Polish Nation" in The Quarterly Review (October 1904), pp. 417-18.

84. See letters quoted Kwiatkowski, Informations sur W. Lutoslawski, pp. 12-14 and cf. William James, Letters, vol. II, and G. W. Allen, William James (London, 1967), p. 401.

85. Lutoslawski, "Polish Letters to a Hindu Devotee" in East and West (Bombay, November-December 1907), pp. 1087, 1089-90, 1238.

86. Lutoslawski, Volonte et liberte (Tlemcen, Algeria, 1912); and see his two articles in Hiram Butler's Bible Review, February 1910 and October 1911.

87. See Lutoslawski, The World of Souls (London, 1924), Pre-existence and Reincarnation (London, 1928), and The Knowledge of Reality (London, 1930).

88. Arnold Toynbee, Acquaintances (London, 1947), pp. 252-61.

89. For Mijatovic, see his Memoirs of a Balkan Diplomatist (London, 1917); on Mitrinovic, see Mairet, Drage, pp. vii ff; and Purdom, Life Over Again, pp. 266 ff.

90. Edwin Muir, Autobiography (London, 1954), pp. 174 ff; Willa Muir, Belonging (London, 1968), p. 41.

91. "M. M. Cosmoi on World Affairs" in The New Age (vol. XXVII, no. 11, 13 June 1921), p. 123; Purdom, Life Over Again. pp. 271-76; Mitrinovic's Adler Society held a meeting every night of the week with a party on Saturdays.

92. New Britain began as a quarterly in October 1932, and on 7 June 1933, became a weekly under Purdom's editorship. The group also published a quarterly, The New Atlantis (for Western Renaissance and World Socialism) in October 1933 and January 1934, which became The New Albion (for British Renaissance and Western Alliance) in April 1934, and reverted to being New Britain (for British Revolution and the Social State) in the autumn of that year. A silver-covered New Europe (through the Social State and Federation of Progress to the Dignity, Freedom and Happiness of Persons) appeared in September 1934. See also The Meaning of New Britain (Tracts of the New Order; no. 1 London, 1936). For S. G. Hobson's contribution, see his Functional Socialism and for E. A. Wilson, his MS autobiography in the British Museum.

93. See report in The New Albion.

94. Purdom, Life Over Again, pp. 155-56; The New Atlantis (October 1933), p. 15; Willa Muir, Belonging. p. 168; Purdom, Life Over Again. p. 280.

95. Rene Dupuis and Alexandre Marc, Jeune Europe (Paris, 1933), p. 165.

96. On L'Ordre nouveau. see J. L. Loubet del Bayle. Les Non-Conformistes des annees 30 (Paris, 1969), pp. 79 ff.

97. Supplement to The New Atlantis (January, 1934).

98. Lutoslawski, "Polish Letters, " pp. 1220, 1235; Lutoslawski, Bolshevism and Poland (Paris, 1919), pp. 4-5.

99. Merezhkovsky, Hippius, Filosofov, Le Tsar et la revolution, p. 132; "V. Ropshin" (Boris Savinkov), The Pale Horse (tr. Z. Vengerova, Dublin and London, 19I7), p. 79, Mirsky, Russian Literature, p. 160, and cf. Savinkov, Memoirs of a Terrorist (New York, 1937).

100. M. K. Driewanowski, Joseph Pilsudski (Palo Alto, Calif., 1969), pp. 208-9. For Winston Churchill's estimate of Savinkov, see his Great Contemporaries (2nd ed., London, 1938), pp. 125-33. Cf. R. H. Bruce Lockhart, Memoirs of a British Agent (London, 1932), p. 182 and Geoffrey Bailey, The Conspirators (London, 1951); Stremoukhoff, Soloviev, p. 175 note 50 and Venceslas Lednicki, Quelques aspects du nationalisme et du Christianisme chez Tolstoi (Cracow, 1935), pp. 91-92, and p. 92 note 2. 101. See in sequence, Zenaida Hippius, Mon Journal sous la terreur (Paris, 1921), Merezhkovsky, Joseph Pilsudski (London, 1921), "Polish Messianism and Russia" in Le Peuple crucifle (Paris, 1921), pp. 191 ff. and Le Regne de l'Antichrist (Paris, 1921); Savinkov, The Black Horse (tr. Paul Dukes, London, 1924).

102. Henri Donjon, "Notre Ami l'assassin" in Les Oeuvres libres (October 1930), p. 320; sketch based on Vladimir Power, White Despot (tr. W. B. Wells, London, 1938), pp. 40-46; cf. George Stewart, The White A rmies of Russia (New York, 1970; reprint of 1933 ed.), pp. 401 ff. and Dmitri Alioshin, Asian Odyssey (London, 1941), pp. 186-87. Keyserling, Reise durch die Zeit. vol. II, (Darmstadt, 1958), pp. 54-55 and Sven Hedin, Ossendowski und die Wahrheit (Leipzig, 1925), pp. 32-33 have useful information. For further comments on sources, see text above. I have not been able to use the substantial collection of materials in the Hoover Institute.

103. See Ossendowski, From President to Prison (London, 1925), and note by his collaborator, Lewis Stanton Palen, in Man and Mystery in Asia (London, 1924).

104. See Ossendowski, From President to Prison, pp. 197-200 and in particular his Shadow of the Gloomy East, (tr. F. F. Czarmoniski, London, (925), which was written without Palen's collaboration.

105. Hedin, Ossendowski, pp. 29 ff. Cf. Ossendowski, Men, Beasts and Gods (London, 1924), pp. 299 ff. and Saint-Yves d' Alveydre, Mission de l'Inde (Paris, 1910).

106. Ossendowski, The Shadow of the Gloomy East, pp. 202-3.

107. For Keyserling on Ungern-Sternberg, see his Reise durch die Zeit, vol. II, pp. 53 ff., his letter to Vladimir Pozner printed Pozner, White Despot, p. 68, and conversation with Sven Hedin recorded Hedin, Ossendowski, pp. 19-20.

108. Ossendowski, Men, Beasts and Gods, p. 246.

109. Pozner, White Despot, pp. 122 ff., gives extracts from White newspapers covering this development, and M. A. Novemeysky, My Siberian Life (London, 1930), p. 303, records Ungern's cruelty at Dauria.

110. C. R. Bawden, The Modern History of Mongolia (London, 1968), pp. 216 ff.; E. H. Carr, The Bolshevik Revolution, vol. III (London, 1963), pp. 500 ff.; A. Lobanov-Rostovsky, "Russia and Mongolia, " in The Slavonic Review (March 1927), pp. 518 ff.; J. Korostovetz, Von Cingis Khan zur Sowjetrepublik (Berlin and Leipzig, 1920), pp. 302-3; Alioshin, Asian Odyssey, pp. 219 ff.

111. Printed Ken Shen Weigh, Russo-Chinese Diplomacy (Shanghai, 1928).

112. Printed Ken Shen Weigh, Russo-Chinese Diplomacy, p. 200.

113. Alioshin, Asian Odyssey, pp. 256-57.

114. Ungern's Order No. 15, quoted J. Levine, La Mongolie (Paris, 1937), p. 136.

115. Ken Shen Weigh, Russo-Chinese Diplomacy, p. 200.

116. Keyserling, Creative Understanding, p. 276, and Carr, Bolshevik Revolution, vol. III, p. 514.

117. Pozner, White Despot, pp. 31-33 and cf. pp. 55-65.

118. Alioshin, Asian Odyssey, p. 264.

119. Bawden, Mongolia, p. 232; Alioshin, Asian Odyssey, pp. 230 ff.; Novomeysky, Siberian Life, p. 340.

120. Ossendowski, The Shadow of the Gloomy East, p. 96.

121. Rozanov, Solitaria, p. 158.
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Re: The Occult Establishment, by James Webb

Postby admin » Wed May 09, 2018 3:57 am

Part 1 of 3

Chapter 4: The Conspiracy against the World

The Protocols of the Elders of Zion-The Occult, anti-Semitism and Conspiracy Theories-The Theosophical Society and the Plots of Jews and Jesuits-The "Secret of the Jews" and its Occult Sources-The Protocols and the Rival Gurus-The Illuminated Nature of Russian anti-Semitism-The Supernatural and the Myth of the Ipatyev House-Illuminated anti-Semitism comes West

THERE is a secret plot to take over the world. It is masterminded by an international syndicate of Jews, who make it their business to foment party strife, to upset the established social order, and promote international conflict. These men are called the Elders of Zion, and they delight in the destruction of conventional morality and the comforts of religion. Their particular agents are the Freemasons, but other secret societies exist to carry out their mission of subversion. So ruthless are the elders that they stop short of none of the repertoire of tricks normally reserved for mad scientists -- the clandestine inoculation of diseases, for example -- and are even now burrowing beneath the earth, their sinister purposes camouflaged as the construction of underground railways, to create a network of tunnels from which they can blow up the capitals of Europe. The goal of these elaborate preparations is the establishment of a Jewish despotism, whose total control over all aspects of human life will surpass the most gloomy precedents known to history.

Such is the burden of the document known as The Protocols of the [earned Elders of Zion. It has been known to be a forgery since the year after its first publication in the West in 1920. Some apology may seem necessary for returning to the Protocols after the study by Professor Norman Cohn. [1] But the occult has played a larger part in the genesis and propagation of this forgery than has been admitted, and the recognition of this fact can make plainer the devil-ridden universe in which such imaginings originate. Particularly it sheds light on the Nazi episode.

The first book to discuss in detail the section of the Underground in which the Protocols circulated was published in Paris in 1939 and was suppressed by the Germans after their conquest of France. Henri Rollin's ['Apocalypse de notre temps borrows its title from Rozanov's last desperate utterances. It demonstrates how the Protocols were written in France around the time of the Dreyfus case, were carried into Russia and published there to give substance to the semiofficial campaign against Zhidmasonstvo -- the Freemasonic-Jewish conspiracy -- and, after the Revolution of 1917, re-entered the West in the baggage of refugees to provide fuel for the flame of Nazi anti-Semitism. Professor Cohn and Professor Walter Laqueur [2] have added the weight of their researches to confirm Rollin's basic narrative. From its beginning in turn-of-the century French anti-Semitism, to its first application at the fall of the Russian autocracy and its apotheosis in the gas chambers, the myth of the Jewish conspiracy has been accompanied by the most extravagant elements of the occult underworld.

Anti-Semitism arose in 19th-century France as a political force at the same time as the Occult Revival reached its peak. In part, the two developments responded to the same stimuli. The 19th-century crisis of consciousness, experienced on one level, might result in an adoption of one or another of the current occult palliatives; on another level the danger to personal security could be perceived not as a cosmic threat but as a tangible, political menace, soon identified as Freemasons and Jews. The antagonism which vented itself so wretchedly against these groups was not so much a fear that these agencies would destroy society as a perception that the society which its defenders believed themselves to be protecting had already crumbled and that scapegoats had to be found. For such people the essence of Freemasonry or Judaism lay in their internationalism. The secure basis of the Nation-State, which had become the established form of government for much of Europe, was undermined by the existence of these bodies. One was explicitly devoted to international brotherhood; and the other had traditionally occupied an anomalous position in the body politic since the days of feudal legislation. Nor was this all. The Church had traditionally seen in the Masons the embodiment of secularist tendencies and threats to the Christian social order; and the identification of Jewry with the demon of negotiable capital was common to those who felt the security of landed property or traditional crafts vanishing in the imbroglio of industrialized society.

The reaction against insecurity might lead both to the underground of the occult and to the thesis that there existed a conspiracy to overturn established order. The two positions were compatible in terms of their strange logic, although they were by no means necessarily complementary. Edouard Orumont, the father of French anti-Semitism and author of its cardinal text, La France juive (1888), carried around with him a mandrake root and made a practice of reading the palms of the staff of his newspaper, the Libre Parole. In 1890 he denounced General Boulanger on the grounds of palmistry; and as early as 1881 he predicted disaster from an analysis of Gambetta's right hand. [3] One of Orumont's closest friends (and the financial editor of the Libre Parole) was Gaston Mery, an eccentric anti-Semite who in 1892 published a novel, Jean Revolte. preaching a holy war of the Celtic races of France against the Latins and the Jews who were ruining the nation. [4] In March 1897, Drumont sent Mery -- otherwise incessantly involved in dueling -- to write a story about the latest of the popular prophets who had taken public fancy. This was Mlle. Henriette Couedon, "the seeress of the Rue de Paradis, " whose inspired utterances were very much in the line of French Catholic prophecy of a semipolitical nature. France was to be chastized for arrogance and impiety, and Paris to be especially punished. The Hotel de Ville and the Opera were to burn down, the bourse was to be closed, and something unspecified and holy was to happen at the church of Sacre Coeur. [5] Mery became converted to the cult of Mlle. Couedon. In 1897 he founded an occult review, the Echo du Merveilleux. with another member of the staff of the Libre Parole. Drumont contributed articles to the Echo and gave it free advertising in his own paper. [6]

Not very far removed from this nest of illuminated anti-Semitism were the figures of Leo Taxil and his protegee Sophia Walden. This lady had been invented by Taxil and his colleagues as a source of information on the Satanic practices of the Freemasons. The reputation of the lodges as houses of devil worship was eagerly spread by numbers of clerics and was recognized by the Pope himseff. [7] When Taxil eventually revealed his fraud in 1897, certain of his more fanatical supporters refused to abandon belief in the existence of the Satanic church and accused Sophia Walden's progenitor of having murdered her. [8] Before Taxil put an end to his deception, Mery had turned Drumont and the Libre Parole against the prophetess of Satanic masonry, lamenting that public interest was directed to Sophia Walden as opposed to his more deserving seeress. This provoked retaliation from Jules Doinel, a collaborator of Taxil, who retorted that Henriette Couedon was inspired, not by the angel Gabriel, but by "a mediocre, dull, second-rate Lucifer." [9] Even the originators of conspiracy theories found it difficult to agree.

For the general anti-Semitic public a synthesis was nonetheless contrived. This emphasis varied with the individual agitator, but the outline remained the same. The Jews had infiltrated the Masonic lodges and were manipulating the Freemasons from behind the scenes. Depending on the relative sophistication of the anti-Semite, the conspiracy might then be extended to include the Devil himseff. As the frenzy grew, Jews began to adopt a circumspect attitude to Masonry. [10] This did nothing to allay the fears of their enemies. The agitation mounted from Drumont's publication of La France juive in 1884, through the scandals arising from the financial double dealing around the Panama Company in 1892-Drumont founded the Libre Parole the same year -- to the high point of the Dreyfus case toward the end of the decade. The attempts of the Dreyfus family to clear the name of Captain Alfred Dreyfus in the face of the military establishment could be made to appear very like the machinations of the mysterious Jewish syndicate, which mythology supposed to be at the back of social disturbance. With the famous letter of Emile Zola headed J'accuse in January 1898, the shifty nature of the maneuvering of the military was laid bare, and the public could take up positions for or against.

It was at the height of the debate over Dreyfus -- which was also related to the superstitious myth of the Judeo-Masonic conspiracy -- that the Protocols were composed. From internal evidence, Professor Cohn has dated the forgery at about 1897 or 1898 and has even discovered that the forger probably did his work in the Bibliotheque Nationale. The Protocols are supposed to be the minutes of a meeting of the secret Jewish world government; and it has been known since 1921 that the unpleasant regime that they predict was constructed by adapting the Dialogue aux enfers entre Montesquieu et Machiavel. a satire on the authoritarian rule of Napoleon III, published in 1864 by the Paris lawyer Maurice Joly. One of the copies of the satire in the Bibliotheque Nationale "bears markings, " writes Professor Cohn, "which correspond strikingly with the borrowings in the Protocols." [11]

There is no possibility of doubting the date of the forgery or that the Protocols were composed somewhere in France. Their first publication was in St. Petersburg, in Krushevan's anti-Semitic paper Znamya during August-September 1903. In 1906-07 the Protocols appeared in popular format edited by G. Butmi and in 1905 they had been added to the third edition of The Great in the Small, a mystical work by Sergei Nilus, which was published at Tsarskoe Selo itself. It is probable that the forgery entered Russia with Yuliana Glinka (1884-1918), the daughter of a Russian diplomat who spent her time in Paris and St. Petersburg and was a Theosophist devoted to Madame Blavatsky. [12] It is possible to identify Yuliana Glinka in one of the best-known books of the Occult Revival, and when it becomes clear what sort of person she was the historian of the occult at once grows pensive. The reasons that give one pause must be reviewed.

The flight from reason, as I have suggested, might land the fugitive with one foot in the country of the occult and another in the land of conspiracy theories. But there is more to the coincidence of occultism and anti-Semitism than a common basis in the fear of change. This can best be initially expressed as "a similar quality of hate." In the ceaseless quarreling that besets occult groups, black and white are the only colors and the occultist's opponents are most viciously attacked. Such a general statement can be further refined. The hatred in the occultist and in the anti-Semite -- we have already seen that they can coincide -- are similar in degree, which is almost limitless; in object, which is undirectional; and in subjective effect, which is obsession -- that is, such a hatred becomes the dominant feature of the hater's life, the cornerstone of his cosmology. Obviously, this generalization cannot be too vigorously applied. It becomes suggestive, however, when occultists and illuminates are discovered all along the path of anti-Semitism.

Dr. James Parkes distinguishes three basic forms of anti-Semitism: among peasants and proletarians a version that seems inherited from the superstitions of the Middle Ages; among the middle classes and the urban artisans, a recognition of the Jews as competitors; and among the land-owning aristocracy and ecclesiastics, a vision of Jews as the arch materialists, the skeptical destroyers of culture and tradition.[13] Professor Cohn follows others in arguing "that whereas the Russians and Poles and Yugoslavs were decimated in the name of racist theories which were less than a century old, the drive to exterminate the Jews sprang from demonological superstitions inherited from the Middle Ages." [14] This would seem to argue the predominance of only one of Dr. Parkes's categories, while it is obvious that all three versions of anti-Semitism have been at work in the progress of the Protocols and the execution of the philosophy which lay behind the forgery.

But Professor Cohn is certainly more right than wrong in that the really dangerous aspects of modern anti-Semitism are without doubt superstitious and magical, although probably only a small proportion of anti-Semitic feeling is directly derived from the legacy of the Middle Ages. In the 19th and 20th centuries the chief repository of superstition has been the Occult Underground, and it is chiefly from this source that there stems the most vital element in modern anti-Semitism.

This argument implies yet another category of anti-Semitism which interpenetrates the other useful distinctions and represents the dynamic that makes political programs out of passive attitudes. This is the category of fanatical belief and the instigation of murder. For although cynical politicians have certainly used anti-Semitic feeling in a completely amoral manner, pogroms and extermination camps are the products of faith. Just as more innocuous brands of antimaterialist politics have been identified as "illuminated" by their frequent association with the occult, there is an illuminated form of anti-Semitism, which is the most dangerous and can in the present century be identified by similar indicators.

The knowledge that the person who, in all probability, brought the manuscript of the Protocols from France to Russia was a Theosophist encourages a deeper examination of Theosophy. And there is yet another reason to examine more closely the connection between occultism and anti-Semitism. This becomes intelligible if we think of the not uncommon phenomenon of an anti-Semitic Jew, whom social pressures have driven into an unenviable position. In a similar fashion, renegade occultists are the most ferocious assailants of the occult. Because of the leading role played in many occult systems by the elaborate Jewish metaphysical system known as the Cabala, it would be perfectly logical (according to the strange laws operating in these regions) for a former admirer of Jewish mystical theology to turn upon the object of his veneration and see in the occult society which he has left, or been expelled from, part of a diabolical conspiracy of which he has been the victim.

An example of precisely this sequence of events can be found in the career of Miss C. M. Stoddart. For several years this lady was one of the three "ruling chiefs" of the English magical temple known as the Stella Matutina. Then suddenly, she reversed her values and wrote a series of anti-Semitic articles eventually published in 1930 as a book called Light Bearers of Darkness. All esoteric groups, she thought, were "consciously or unconsciously linked up with the Central Group which is acting behind the Third International of Moscow." This, of course, was the Jewish Freemasonic conspiracy.

To bring about the unity of humanity, bound by the magnetic chain into the "Universal Republic" of the Grand Orient Judeao-Masonry, perverted sex consciousness by every means possible is necessary, such as illuminism, eurythmy, nudity cults and dances etc., and perhaps in some groups psycho-analysis. [15]

The Hon. Ralph Shirley, the editor of the London Occult Review, deplored the anti-Semitic tendencies of the book, but he himself endorsed "the suspicion that the ranks of occultism are secretly working for disintegration and revolution. Positive proof in the shape of a group of occultists working with this object in view recently came under the notice of the present writer." [16]

Miss Stoddart was not the only English conspiracy-theorist to come from the ranks of occultism. Major-General Fuller, who had been a disciple of Aleister Crowley, developed an extraordinary magical anti-Semitism in the pages of Sir Oswald Moseley's Fascist Quarterly. The Jew, he wrote, hoped "to gain world domination under an avenging Messiah as foretold by Talmud and Qabalah." As a former member of a magical order -- Crowley's Astrum Argentinum -- Fuller knew all about the real significance of the Cabala. But now he alleged that "the Jews attack by Magic and Gold" and raked up one of the most celebrated occult scandals involving a magical order so as to justify his condemnation of a tradition to which he had once belonged.

In France, around the time of the forging of the Protocols. a similar apostasy occurred. Jules Doinel -- the same who attacked Mery and Henriette Couedon from under the umbrella of Leo Taxil -- was the founder of a Gnostic Church, of which one of the members was Papus. At the end of 1895 Doinel was reconverted to Catholicism. He then wrote a book under the pseudonym of Jean Kotska called Lucifer demasque, which attacked occultism in general and in particular his own Gnostic Church and the Martinist Order of Papus. [17] In his reply Papus complained of the unsystematic way in which the campaigners against occultism "mixed up in the same salad the atheist Freemasons of 'the Grand Orient, the Spiritualists, the mystical groups and the Martinists, whose ancestors had themselves guillotined in '93 to defend Christianity 'against the secularising obscurantism which had already begun." [18] Of Doinel's Lucifer demasque he wrote that it obviously had not been the unaided work of the former Gnostic. The book displayed traces of Taxil and his collaborators. Doinel, Papus wrote, "lacked the necessary scientific education to explain without trouble the marvels which the invisible world squandered on him." There had been only two possibilities open: conversion or madness. "Let us be thankful that the Patriarch of the Gnosis has chosen the first way." [19]

The propensity of occultists to do about-turns appears to have been recognized by those who wished to foster conspiracy theories. At any rate, when the German Foreign Office wanted to place the blame for the First World War, it turned to the best-known purveyor of mysticism in the German language: Gustav Meyrink.

In July 1917, Pastor Carl Vogi visited Meyrink to find his worktable covered with books on Freemasonry. The novelist told him an unusual story. He had been summoned to the Foreign Office in Berlin, where he had met an embassy official and two secret agents, including the former confessor of the queen of Bavaria. He was asked to write a novel that would blame the Freemasons for the outbreak of the war. It was to be translated into English and Swedish; 500, 000 copies were to be printed; and it was to be sent all over the world. Meyrink was presented with a pile of books for his research, but he protested that possibly Gustav Frenssen or Ludwig Ganghofer would do the job better. This suggestion of the two fervently Germanic novelists must have seemed faintly ironical, for Meyrink had even published a parody of Frenssen's exaggerated celebration of peasant wisdom. [20] He was informed that if the tale was told by him it would be much more believable; and he took on the task. However, for one reason or another -- according to Vogl, pressure from important Freemasons was responsible -- a diplomat arrived in Starnberg to persuade Meyrink to drop the project. Pastor Vogi had held the instructions for the book in his hands: Meyrink had been directed to lay the blame for the war especially on French and Italian Masonry. [21]

If this official project foundered, the postwar period saw several attempts to follow the blueprint given Meyrink. One of the earliest was the occultist Karl Heise's Die Entente-Freimaurerei und der Wettkrieg, which made the villain "Anglo-Jewish Masonry" and on the first page noted the predeliction of Freemasons for the occult. [22]

It is expecting too much to find any great consistency in the noman's land between occultism and anti-Semitism. There was even published in 1895 a book by a Catholic abbe accusing Edouard Drumont of being "not a Jew, but an Israelite" and insinuating that he was a member of a Rosicrucian organization that prostituted its female members. Every time Drumont wrote the word "Christ, " cried the abbe, this must be taken as signifying "the unknown tribunal of Kadosch." [23] Drumont actually found these allegations worth replying to in his memoirs, which is a good indication of the territory in which he lived. With the necessary proviso that it is certainly not possible to fit every extravagance of a deranged mind into a neat pattern, it is always admitting defeat to condemn such extravagances as "mad." For whatever "madness" may be, it always has its own logic. The connection between occultism and anti-Semitism obeys certain rules.

Yuliana Glinka was not only a Theosophist: she was a secret agent. At least, for a period she had tried to be. In 1881-82 she had ta ken on the task of reporting on Russian terrorists exiled in Paris through her friend General Orzheyevsky, who was highly placed in the secret police. She was not very good at this and her cover was blown by the left-wing press. [24] If it was she who brought the Protocols into Russia -- and there seems every reason to believe so -- this was the second anti-Semitic -- document she had transported. The first, entitled The Secret of the Jews. is dated February 1895 and passed through the hand of General Orzheyevsky. It is a tract of muddled occultism, and while it is definitely a fabrication directed to the same ends as the Protocols. the impression it gives is remarkably different. Its paternity may become clearer as we examine Glinka and her Theosophical connections.

In June 1884, Glinka was living in Paris. Madame Blavatsky had just arrived from India, and Glinka received a letter full of scandalous gossip about H.P.B. The author of this letter was, like Glinka, a maid of honor at the Russian court and is referred to by Madame Blavatsky merely as "la Smirnoff." La Smirnoff wrote to Glinka that the foundress of the Theosophical Society had been banished from the Caucasus for theft and that her sister, Madame Jelikovsky, had destroyed her husband with unfaithfulness before leaving St. Petersburg for a life of sin in Odessa. The irate H.P.B. telegraphed the governor-general of the Caucasus to clear her good name and dispatched her informant Glinka together with Madame Jelikovsky to confront la Smirnoff in the Place Vendome. The gossip was suitably discountenanced and the two ladies retired with great glee to inform Madame Blavatsky. [25] Yuliana Glinka was thus sufficiently concerned with Theosophy, or sufficiently a friend of Madame Blavatsky, to report to her gossip contained in a private letter. During the course of the year she met H.P.B. at least once again.

Glinka is not mentioned by name in Vsevolod Soloviev's account of his disillusionment with the Theosophical Society. But thanks to two passages in the letters of Madame Blavatsky, she is easily identified as the maid of honor, "Miss A." [26] Soloviev introduces her as a great friend of the secretary of the Paris Theosophical Society, Emilie de Morsier. Yuliana Glinka was

continually surrounded by "phenomena" and miracles of all sorts; her marvelous stories of what happened to her at every step were enough to make one's head swim. She did not live in Russia and had lodgings in Paris; but she was continually vanishing, no one knew where, and was absorbed in some very complicated and intricate affairs of her own.

It is easy to guess something of the nature of Glinka's secret business, and possible to suspect Vsevolod Soloviev's account of his relationship with her. He writes that he left Paris on 24 August 1884 on his way to Elberfeld, where Madame Blavatsky was staying, and ran across Yuliana Glinka in Brussels. They decided to go together to visit H.P.B. "This point settled, we passed the rest of the uay together, and in the course of the evening Miss A told me so much that was startling, marvelous and mysterious that I went oil to my room with my head positively in a whirl, and though it Was very late I could not get to sleep." The next morning they had arranged to start for Elberfeld, but Solovjev found Glinka standing in the middle of all her luggage, claiming to have lost her keys. A locksmith was called, opened a portmanteau, and discovered inside the bunch which would have opened the lot. By this time prostrated with nerves, Soloviev rested before embarking on his journey and had visions of unknown landscapes. When he and Glinka eventually caught the train for Elberfeld, he saw these landscapes pass by the carriage window.

Such inexplicable happenings had prepared the couple for H. P. Blavatsky and her masters. On their arrival at Elberfeld they were kept in front of brilliantly lit portraits of the Masters Morya and Kut Humi. In his hotel that night Soloviev awoke to see sitting beside him an exact representation of the Master Morya, who told the Russian "in an unknown but intelligible language" various matters of interest to himseff. Soloviev discovered that he possessed "a great and growing magnetic force." At breakfast the next morning, Glinka told him that she too had seen the Master Morya, who had informed her that "we have great need of a little beetle like you." When the pair called on Madame Blavatsky, that sage lady claimed that she knew they had seen a Master. Glinka was amazed, but Soloviev was still skeptical, and his suspicions that he had been suggested into the experience were not allayed by Colonel Olcott's discovery of a Master's letter in his pocket. Madame Blavatsky persuaded him to stay and help her revise the manuscript of her latest series of articles for Katkov. Soloviev agreed, and while he was occupied at this task, Glinka, H.P.B., and Colonel Olcott sat in Madame Blavatsky's bedroom next door. A letter from the Master Morya fell at Glinka's feet. "This phenomenon secured her for the Theosophical Society." [27] The same day there arrived Frederic Myers of the London Society for Psychical Research, who induced Soloviev to communicate the "phenomenon" to the society. [28] It is this incident which positively identified Yuliana Glinka as "Miss A"; for Madame Blavatsky is on record as protesting to A. P. Sinnett that Soloviev later claimed "that the phenomenon of Mlle Glinka receiving Master's letter at Eberfeld when I was sick in bed, was produced with the help of my aunt who detained him in the drawing room while Olcott was throwing the letter on Glinka's head." [29]

We have, therefore, a clear indication of the sort of Theosophist Glinka was: credulous, easily impressed, and at all times "surrounded by phenomena." Soloviev, however, gradually began to dig in his heels. He refused to be sucked further into the swamp of uncritical faith, and in the course of his messy self-extrication from the Theosophical Society he precipitated a scandal of ferocious proportions. During this he outdid the wildest fantasies of la Smirnoff. He accused Glinka of being madly in love with the young Indian Theosophist Mohini Chatterji, affirmed that a member of the Paris Theosophical Society had tried to rape him, and threatened Madame Blavatsky with the continuing existence of her long-forgotten husband Nikifor Blavatsky, now "a charming centenarian." H.P.B. retaliated that Soloviev was a well-known gossip, and that he had seduced his present mistress when she was only thirteen. [30]

Besides these diverting innuendoes and the general dispute as to whether or not Madame Blavatsky was a fraud, lay another cause of war. This was the question of H.P.B. and the Russian secret service. The suspicion that she was "a Russian spy" had dogged her ever since her first arrival in India -- it was also to attach itself to Gurdjieff and Ouspensky. But, according to Soloviev, in the autumn of 1885 H.P.B. asked him to propose her as a secret agent. When he returned to St. Petersburg, he was to transmit her request to the authorities and to tell them that she believed it perfectly feasible to use her position in India to raise a large rebellion against the English. (She had proposed a similar scheme, she said, "when Timashev was Minister.") Soloviev wrote that he promised to pass the request through their mutual friend, the editor Katkov. [31]

Madame Blavatsky, as always, had her riposte prepared. Soloviev, she wrote, had been the one to make the proposal of espionage. He was now "either crazy or acts so" because having compromised himself, he was afraid that Madame Blavatsky would discredit him in St. Petersburg. [32] When they had known each other in Paris Soloviev had tried "every day for five weeks" to persuade her to resume her Russian nationality -- she was an American citizen -- and to submit a "project" for subversion in India which he would pass on to St. Petersburg. [33] As her sense of persecution mounted, she maintained that Soloviev was quite capable of denouncing her to the secret police for treason. "All Russia knows it." [34] Out of this turmoil it is difficult to draw any definite conclusion; but it might be asked, why, if Soloviev was telling the truth, H. P. Blavatsky picked him, a journalist and historical novelist, in whom to confide her grandiose project? It is quite possible that Soloviev -- who held the rank of groom of the chamber, the male equivalent to Glinka's maid of honor -- was indeed involved in some of the shady activities of his traveling companion, and there are substantial grounds for thinking that the two had a much closer relationship than Solovlev indicates. [35] It is important, after discovering that Yuliana Glinka lived chiefly on the astral plane, to notice that the language of espionage and the secret police entered naturally into the abuse of Soloviev and Madame Blavatsky. Even assuming that both were lying, each could use the epithet "spy" and imagine that they might be believed. Whether or not H.P.B. or Soloviev ever joined Glinka on the roster of unofficial informants of the Russian government, the possibility was thought to exist, and -- as we know in the case of Glinka -- could easily coexist with Theosophy in the same person.

Theosophy, its doctrine, its foundress, and its adherents, can all be shown to have been involved in racism, conspiracy theories, and at least one anti-Semitic tract. This tract is of considerable importance, as it is one of the earliest anticipations of The Secret of the Jews and the Protocols. In order to understand how the Theosophical Society could have reprinted it in 1888 we must return to Madame Blavatsky and her doctrine.

Madame Blavatsky was by birth a Russian of the official classes, and it would be surprising if something of the anti-Semitic mythology of the Russian aristocracy had not rubbed off on her. She cannot be accused of any active anti-Semitism, but her attitude was that of her origins. In 1877 she was in New York, and on 25 September she published a letter in The World protesting against an article in the New York Sun which described the continuing persecution of the Russian Jews. The condition of the Jews, she wrote -- and in this she was justified -- had improved since the accession of Alexander II. But then the anti-Semitic myth takes over. In Kiev, she thought there were "more Jews than Gentiles": "pretty much all the trade is in their hands." The chief rabbi of Moscow had just been forced to publish an appeal to the Jews to be patriotic Russian citizens. And

in 1870, during the emeute in Odessa, which was caused by some Jewish children throwing dirt into the church on Easter night, and which lasted more than a week, the Russian soldiers shot and bayonetted twelve Christians and not a single Jew: while -- and I speak as an eye-witness -- over two hundred rioters were publicly whipped by order of the Governor-General, Kotzbue, of whom none were Israelites. That there is a hatred between them and the more fanatical Christians is true, but the Russian Government can no more be blamed for this than the British and American Governments because Orangemen and Catholics mutually hate, beat, and occasionally kill each other.

The fact that the Jews were not killed by the soldiery because they were themselves not rioting is passed over, and the blame laid at the door of the "fanatical Christians" whom H.P.B. detested. It is, thus, not a persecuting anti-Semitism, merely a passive acceptance of some elements of the myth. Her attitude to the Cabala was similar. She allowed it value but thought it should be stripped of its Jewish guardians. It may also be significant that she included in the references for Isis Unveiled (published in the same year as the letter about the Odessa riots) a book on human sacrifice among the Jews -- a common topic of Russian anti-Semitism. [36]

If H.P.B. was to be believed, there was certainly a conspiracy plotting to take over the world; but it was a much older conspiracy than that of the Jewish Freemasons. The objects of her detestation, as befitted a rabid anti-Christian, were the Jesuits. In this she followed a widespread tradition of 18th-century pamphleteering against Jesuit plans for world domination, the basis of which was a tract entitled Monte Secreta, published in 1612 at Cracow by a renegade member of the order. She never tired of inveighing against "that crafty, learned, conscienceless, terrible soul of Jesuitism .... the hidden enemy that would-be reformers must encounter and overcome." She provided an interesting counterpart to the claims of the anti-Semites that the Jews were secretly manipulating Freemasonry by applying the same argument to the Jesuit attempt to control the Church. "They have succeeded. The Church is henceforth an inert tool, and the Pope a poor weak instrument in the hands of this Order." This diabolical Order made use of a secret cipher, and Madame Blavatsky quoted the Royal Masonic Encyclopaedia of Kenneth Mackenzie to the effect that "they may appear as Protestants or Catholics, democrats or aristocrats, infidels or brigands, according to ·the special mission with which they are entrusted. Their spies are everywhere." The clerical campaign against the Freemasons was organized especially to cover up the evil machinations of Jesuitry. [37] Madame Blavatsky transmitted her prejudice to her adherents. The devoted Theosophist Countess Wachtmeister thought that the Church was "fighting for life" against H. P. Blavatsky's Secret Doctrine, [38] and Annie Besant accused Rudolf Steiner of being a "pupil of the Jesuits." [39]

In the published correspondence of Madame Blavatsky there is an extraordinary document. It is undated and unsigned, although there can be little doubt that the style is that of H.P.B. -- quite apart from its inclusion in an edition of her correspondence. It is headed "Private and confidential" and is rooted in her anti-Jesuit bias. It is unique in that it actually shows the application of this particular conspiracy theory to a specific political situation. After a preamble about the plotting of the Jesuit Order, the document warns that such conspiracies "have a much wider scope, and embrace a minuteness of detail and care of which the world in general has no idea." The only European statesman to keep himself informed of their activities is Bismarck, who contrives "to know accurately all their secret plottings through his own private adept of the Schwarzwald." The purpose of the Jesuit plan is to plunge man back into his passive ignorance and to institute a "Universal Despotism." The Jesuits have been expelled from France and have transferred their headquarters to England, against which country they now direct the brunt of their evil efforts The Fenian agitation in Ireland is Jesuit-organized. The extremist and self-contradictory tone of the following extracts from the document is exactly in keeping with contemporary agitation directed against the Jews.

The Jesuits have of late years candidly avowed that they hoped to succeed by enlisting ignorant democracies on their side. Accordingly, in 1885 W.E.G. plays the game of pandering to democrats by giving the suffrage to 2, 000, 000 of farm labourers ....

If W.E.G. be not a Jesuit, we think he ought to be. His renewed advent to power was speedily followed by an insurrectionary meeting in Trafalgar Square ....

The Jesuits have already been shown avowing their intention to excite revolutions to get what they think their rights. Now here are public speakers in England inciting to revolution. Ought you not then to come to the conclusion that these are Jesuit emissaries?

Students of Occultism should know that while the Jesuits have by their devices contrived to make the world in general, and Englishmen in particular think there is no such thing as Magic and laugh at Black Magic, these astute and wily schemers themselves hold magnetic circles and form magnetic chains by the concentration of their collective WILL, and when they have any special object to effect or any particular and important person to influence. [40]

"W.E.G." of course is Gladstone. The political tone of the document is exactly that of the author of the Protocols in its admixture of antimodernism and counterrevolution. The Jesuits replace the Jews as the Satanic conspirators because of H.P.B.'s dislike of Christianity, but the logic of the plot is the same. Because the audience addressed are occultists, there is the farrago of Jesuit "magnetic circles"; but such supernatural elements are not lacking in standard anti-Semitic propaganda. Obviously, the circular -- for it reads as such -- was concocted between 1885 and H.P.B.'s death in 1891. If its placing in the edition of her correspondence is anything to go by, it was written soon after the row with Soloviev, in late 1885 or early 1886. This approximate dating is quite enough to establish the occasion of Madame Blavatsky's manifesto. On 8 April 1886 Gladstone introduced his Irish Home Rule Bill into the House of Commons, and on 7 June the measure was rejected at the second reading; Gladstone resigned after the July elections had failed to confirm his mandate. The "Private and confidential" circular is undoubtedly directed against Gladstone's Home Rule policy -- and it may be asked what H.P.B. thought she was doing in issuing such a document. It can be seen merely as a manifestation of her particular version of the conspiracy theory. Or if one is inclined to accept the story of H. P. Blavatsky's possible link with the Russian secret service, the circular resembles other attempts of the Russian police to discredit reform movements abroad as well as at home. It may have had certain results in occult circles -- the Rev. William Aytoun, an alchemical clergyman involved with the Golden Dawn, subscribed to the theory that Gladstone was a Jesuit, and it is difficult to imagine another source for this idea. But the Jesuits were no longer the most satisfactory candidates for the role of disturbers of society, and other scapegoats were soon found.

In 1888 the Theosophical Publishing Society in London issued another document concerned with a conspiracy. This time it was directed against the Jews. The Hebrew Talisman was originally published in 1838: I have not myself seen a copy of the Theosophical reprint, [41] but the date of publication, publishing house, and editor were recorded in 1927 in the anti-Semitic paper The Patriot. The Patriot thought that the tone of The Hebrew Talisman recalled that of the Protocols, and it printed sections of the pamphlet as a supplement for independent circulation. It also gave an extract from the introduction of the editor, Richard Harte.

Through all the centuries, as they (the Jews) believe, Jehovah has been disciplining them and preparing them for their final triumph. Already the despised outcasts of a thousand years ago are the masters of kings and republics alike. There are a score of Jews today each one of whom is a greater power in the world than an army of a hundred thousand men. Were they to combine they could purchase Palestine ten times over, and then keep a million Christian workmen joyfully slaving at starvation wages for twenty years in doing the work of making the country once more a garden, while they stood by to superintend. [42]

Richard Harte himself was a minor Theosophist, who in the year that he republished The Hebrew Talisman was a member of the Theosophical household at 17, Lansdowne Road in London. H. P. Blavatsky was finishing there her massive Secret Doctrine, and he had a hand in expanding the commentary on the spurious Stanzas of Dyzan, the product of Madame Blavatsky's imagination that is the book's crucial text. At the end of 1888 he traveled out to India and became temporary editor of The Theosophist, the magazine that his society published from Adyar; but at the end of 1890 he resigned his post over a difference of opinion. [43] His Indian career was distinguished only by the expenditure of much time and money in constructing a boat which was propelled by a mechanism designed to reproduce the action of a fish's tail. Harte was an authority on hypnotism and hoped for the day when telepathy would be sufficiently developed to allow rapid two-way communication. [44] He remained a staunch admirer of Madame Blavatsky and thought that she had often been under the control of some supernatural entity. The only other anti-Semitic statement he made in print was his assertion that "the conception of the incarnation of a God for the salvation of men is a purely Aryan idea, absolutely and completely 'Pagan, ' and nothing would have horrified the Jews themselves as a nation more than the notion of Jehovah having a son by a woman." [45] Needless to say, Harte himself was on the side of the pagans against the Jews.

The Hebrew Talisman, which Harte reprinted in 1888, is a satire originally published in London two years after the death of the financier Nathan Meyer Rothschild in 1836. A caricature of Rothschild forms a frontispiece. The middle of the 19th century was a great era for French polemics directed against the Rothschilds' rising fortunes. But with a single exception, the Talisman seems to be the only English example of the genre. [46] It is much more, however; for the occasion was only partly Rothschild's recent death. The satire is directed generally against the financial power of the Jews, with special reference to their recent dealings on the London Stock Exchange, and against the first Jewish Emancipation Bill, which was introduced in 1830. It is in the form of a story told by the Wandering Jew, a figure who was to appear frequently in mid-19th -- century novels, and who had even been reported in 1830 as actually visiting England. [47] The Wanderer tells how he took the signet of Solomon from the Temple at Jerusalem to save it from destruction by the troops of the Emperor Titus, who had taken the city. At the moment of grasping the seal he was snatched away by supernatural power. He was given a mission "to teach the trampled Jew to become very mighty in despoiling his oppressors, very cunning in availing himself of their heart's leprosy-avarice." The power of the Talisman can ensure boundless riches. These are to be accumulated for the purpose of "making glorious the towers of Zion" and encouraging a return to Palestine.

The bigotry of a whole people, and the cupidity of their tyrants could easily degrade the Jew in social condition; debar him from this or that privilege, condemn him to this or that burthen, and brand him with an outward and visible token of his debasement; -- but the Jew could always amass wealth, preserve wealth, ... and sway the fate of the haughtiest 'and bloodiest of his oppressors. Aye! the Talismanic power has ever been at work; in every land hath its influence at some time been felt, in every land have I at some time made one of my people a mighty man, in the despoiling of the princes and the people who believe in the prophet of Nazareth. [48]

By the power of the Talisman, Necker was enabled for a time to support the extravagance of the court of Louis XVI. But the Wandering Jew withdrew the Talisman and unleashed the French Revolution. In London he bestowed the Talismanic power on Solomon Salvador but again withdrew the magical seal and selected Abraham Goldsmid. "Who among the elder frequenters of the great temple of Mammon which is called the Exchange, does not remember the golden box with which the hand of Goldsmid was perpetually occupied in his busiest and most important moments? It was his talisman." Unfortunately, Goldsmid, too, neglected the sacred task of resurrecting Zion, and the guardian of the charm

found him incorrigible in his neglect of the cause of our people and our God; and even while he was wassailing at his luxurious villa in the neighborhood of Morden, the words of power went forth from my lips, and his talisman had departed from him for ever. Large rewards were vainly offered for what al1 but himself supposed to be a mere toy, a mere thing of effeminate luxury; but those rewards were offered in vain. He appeared upon the Exchange without his palladium; bargained, lost, and saw absolute ruin looking at him with steadfast and unpitying eyes. Ten days he bore this AND THEN BLEW HIS BRAINS OUT! None can be false to our cause and prosper. [49]

Not content with attributing the sensational suicide of Abraham Goldsmid to his Talisman, the author moved on to Rothschild. Who was it, he asked, who secured the downfall of Napoleon? Blucher and Wellington? Pshaw! "Simply Nathan Meyer Rothschild, armed with the Talisman." Rothschild had provided Lord Liverpool with the money needed to bribe the French deputies to abandon Napoleon. But as he then betrayed his original bargain with the British prime minister for a restored Palestine and settled for a Jewish Emancipation Bill in England, the Wanderer withdrew his sanction, and Rothschild "never ventured upon the Exchange again." [50]

Who the author of this elaborate mystification was is not known. Such indications as are contained in the text only tell us that the writer was very well informed about Jewish affairs and was conceivably present at the capture of Frankfort by the Napoleonic armies.  [51] The original authorship is unimportant, as it is clear why Richard Harte reprinted the pamphlet toward the end of the century. Its wide-reaching anti-Semitism, anti-Zionism, and, above all, its emphasis on the financial power of the Jews, well fitted the pattern of Jewish conspiracy literature that was growing up. For a Theosophical audience, moreover, the Jewish power was seen to be actually supernatural. Besides using the legendary magical relic of Solomon's seal, The Hebrew Talisman contains much pseudo-Jewish magical lore. Such is the reference to the "Wondrous and invaluable root BAARA, " which can only be drawn from the earth if sprinkled with human blood and, when aided by a spell engraved on the Talisman, "is potent exceedingly in tasking the hidden powers, and in discovering the most hidden things." [52] In the secret world of conspiracy theories it is permissible to wonder whether the plot detectors themselves go armed with the root BAARA as well as with a dark lantern.

From H. P. Blavatsky's publication of The Secret Doctrine in the year that Harte reprinted The Hebrew Talisman, there existed for any Theosophist a powerful sanction for one or another doctrine of race supremacy. This lay in H.P.B.'s formulation of a doctrine of cosmic evolution, which entailed belief in a series of successive races, each embodying a different spirit and stage of evolution. The day of the "Sixth Root Race" was approaching. But throughout the world still remained representatives of archaic races which had been left behind on the cosmic spiral and were to die out in obedience to natural law. Such teaching was obviously open to distortion. For example, in England the Theosophist Isabelle Pagan published in 1937 a work ominously entitled Racial Cleavage. The book is essentially harmless, much of it written on the principle that "foreigners are very foreign." But it will soon be seen how such premises might provide less aimless cannoneers with an addition to their arsenal. [53]

When Yuliana Glinka passed to her protector the manuscript known as The Secret o/the Jews, she was not only fulfilling her function as a good secret agent and loyal anti-Semite. She was probably also proceeding in accordance with her private inclinations as an occultist and a member of the Theosophical Society. Her contribution was a sort of memorandum, which does not attempt to provide the spurious authenticity of the Protocols or the novelistic appeal of The Hebrew Talisman. It was dated 10 February 1895, and was handed to General Orzheyevsky so that he should pass it on to General Cherevin, the commander of the Imperial Guard, who had the ear of the tsar. Cherevin disappointed the conspirators. He avoided possible accusations of suppressing evidence of state by placing the report in his files and leaving a copy to the tsar in his will. When the document was later discovered, Stolypin (who was minister of the interior in 1900) was found to have written in the margin "this is a form of propaganda wholly inadmissable by the government." [54] With the manuscript was a letter from Orzheyevsky to one Pyotr Alexandrovitch:

I consider it essential that you should peruse the enclosed material, and request that you acquaint yourself with it, and pay special attention to its contents.

It encloses exclusive material which confirms an invisible link between the Jewish faith and Freemasonry.

In this sphere, I am forced to keep under constant surveillance those of our people who hold the highest posts, and even those whom considering the responsibilities they hold, it would seem should have a clearer understanding of similar questions which are not only of State, but of world importance.

Recently, one of our Ministers in conversation with me about the revolutionary movement expressed the opinion -- "Bloody Masons ... they're the root of all evil. They rejoice that the people are idle and drunk. They're trying to negate and destroy everything."

To my question, "How do they manage this, and what is their ultimate goal?" the minister, after a moment's thought, replied, "What should one say -- simply le neant" [nothingness]. [55]
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Re: The Occult Establishment, by James Webb

Postby admin » Wed May 16, 2018 12:09 am

Part 2 of 3

The Secret of the Jews is an odd and interesting production. It consists of four distinct elements jumbled together. There is a preamble on the origins and significance of Judaism, to which is attached a short section of "occult history" of a familiar pattern. A long rigmarole about the structure of Freemasonry and its relationship with Judaism forms the body of the memorandum. The final pages are devoted to an analysis from the point of view of a conspiracy-theorist of how the forces of subversion are operating against Russia. This contains direct recommendations which are of considerable interest. Before discussing the contents in greater detail, it is important to emphasize that The Secret of the Jews is not directed at a popular audience. It takes the form of a report from a person possessed of "secret information" who wants this information placed before higher authority.

The sources of the interpretation of Jewish history are quite easy to identify; for the result is a scrambling of two or three strains of contemporary occultism. The author begins with a survey of the evolution of monotheism and its cultivation within "one all-embracing, world-wide religious brotherhood" (which included the Indian and Chaldean Magi and the Egyptian hierophants). This doctrine was introduced to the Jews by Moses, who instituted a ceremony of initiation -- circumcision -- and a grade structure symbolizing three different levels of understanding: for the ordinary people, for their leaders, and for the priesthood. The essence of the doctrine was taken from the Emerald Tablets of Hermes Trismegistus; and Moses also adopted the Egyptian system of hieroglyphs. The result was that the inner meaning of the religious symbolism was known only to the Essenes, the esoteric community of Jewish adepts. Among this community Jesus spent his youth and learned their secret doctrine. His mastery of this lore partly accounts for the rapid spread of Christianity. The untimely death of the apostle John robbed the Christians of their true understanding of the fundamental hidden truths, for it prevented their transmission from high priest to high priest. Christianity as such continues only on the "second level" of understanding. However, when the Roman Emperor Titus sacked Jerusalem in AD 70, a small community of Essenes was living isolated in the desert. And it is from this group, the -- custodians of the secret religion of antiquity, that the present clandestine organization of Jewish Freemasonry is descended. [56]

Of the various general occult allusions scattered about the document, some could have been derived from anywhere: the Emerald Tablets of Hermes, for instance, and a reference to the mystery religions of Serapis and Eleusis. But the insistence on the role of Moses and the deliberate organization of the Jewish people into a community of the chosen could have been taken at this period from only one distinct line of occult speculation. This began with the writings of Fabre d'Olivet (1767-1824), passed through those of his adaptor, Saint-Yves d'Alveydre (1842-1909), and was again incorporated in the writings of Saint-Yves' disciple, Papus. The most likely source, however, is Saint-Yves's Mission des Juifs (1884), but given an anti-Semitic twist. Saint-Yves declares explicitly that the Jews "have been the salt and the ferment of Life amongst Christian peoples, and they remain absolutely unresponsible for the Evil in the general government." In contrast, the author of The Secret of the Jews takes over the idea of the special organization of Jewish society around an esot~ric religion but attributes the flight from Egypt to the natural indignation of the Egyptians at Jewish religious agitation and the impending threat of a gigantic pogrom. This complete reversal of the original occultist's attitude of reverence for Jewry is also typical, for example, of Miss Stoddart's Light Bearers of Darkness. [57]

We return to the surviving Essene community. It was their lot to reorganize the Jewish people after the fall of Jerusalem and to lead the nation in its predestined penitential mission to expiate the sin of the crucifixion. The best way of easing the position of condemned Jewry was to hasten the spiritual evolution of the rest of humanity and so to shorten the duration of God's curse. This meant encouraging the spread of Christianity, but also -- and here The Secret of the Jews takes wing for the thin atmosphere in the upper reaches of illogic -- undermining the Christian faith in those countries already professing it. At the same time the Jews preserved their traditional exclusiveness. They concentrated their political energies on the elaboration of a worldwide secret society to direct operations.

The memorandum then traces the activity of this secret society throughout history. At the coronation of Charlemagne in the year 800 a deputation arrived from the "Old Man of the Mountain" -- who is represented as a Jew -- proposing a joint attack on Islam. The Crusades were arranged on the advice of an Israelite delegation which wished to see Jerusalem exalted as the capital of the world and the seat of the papacy; and they resulted in the establishment of the Knights Templar, whose mission was to resurrect the Temple of Solomon in the Jewish interest. At this point the Jewish secret society had begun its work of recruiting collaborators among the Christians. This it was to continue through various occult groups and, eventually, among the Freemasons. The achievements of the secret society to date -- Humanism, the French Revolution, the American War of Independence, the expulsion of the Turks from Europe, Capitalism, the unification of Italy, the 1848 International -- are merely masks for the ultimate goals of Jewry. [58]

From its occult premises, The Secret of the Jews thus contorts itself through some attempts at "occult history" until it emerges with a condemnation of occult societies very much like that made by the repentant Gnostic Jules Doinel. The association with anti-Masonic propaganda is then easy. This kind of occult history is of a type familiar to readers of Margaret Murray, the witch Gerald Gardner, and the Sufi Idries Shah, in which any secret and intriguing association can be seen as carrying the thread of the true doctrine. In the case of anti-Semitic propaganda, the "true doctrine" is that of the supposed false plot. The "Old Man of the Mountain" is a figure from anti-Semitic mythology, who occurred as early as the notorious Simonini letter of 1806; [59] while the Templars are largely occult preserve. There is little point in giving details of the memorandum's theories about the supposed connection between Freemasons and Jews. Although they much impressed General Orzheyevsky they are indistinguishable from countless other anti-Masonic tracts. The author's survey of the contemporary activities of the Jewish-Masonic society in Russia is more interesting.

According to the author, by 1895 the conspiracy has come to concentrate on a few main methods of attack. These are the encouragement of the liberal bourgeois intelligentsia and of all secularist elements of society; the introduction of the capitalist system and the destruction of the landed nobility; and the incitement of discontent among the peasantry (which had been dissatisfied by a fault in the reform program of February 1861, which gave the peasant insufficient land while improving his possibilities of collective action). The villains of the piece are the liberal intelligentsia, the capitalists, and the socialists. The Secret of the Jews then makes two recommendations. All the subversive agencies must be vigilantly watched; and, as the best way of enlightening the well-disposed elements of society, a popular summary and exposure should be printed of the Jewish plot against the whole Christian world and against Russia in particular.  [60]

This is exactly what did happen in the case of the Protocols, although not with government backing. It is not possible to see the Protocols as an "official response" to the proposal of The Secret of the Jews, because we do know that the memorandum was pigeonholed. But if we accept the story of how Yuliana Glinka brought the text of the Protocols to Russia after handing over The Secret of the Jews to General Orzheyevsky, we are entitled to ask whether the author of the memorandum had not become impatient with the lack of response to the original suggestion and had decided to take matters into his or her own hands. For the author of The Secret of the Jews it may not be necessary to look any further than Glinka herself. The document is a report, not a fabrication and would come easily from the lady perpetually "surrounded by phenomena." Of the three occultists from whom the author might have drawn the vision of early Jewish history Papus may well have had his finger in the pie. But it is worth noting that Glinka's friend Vesevolod Soloviev probably knew Saint-Yves d' Alveydre personally, and this in the year that he published The Mission of the Jews. Different parts of the report might have come from different hands, but the more "occult" opening section came not only from an occultist, but a Russian occultist -- the use of the term "god-seeking" and mention of the expectation of Antichrist seem to show this. [61] A reference at the end of the report to the policy of the "new regime" indicates that the occasion of the memorandum was the advent of a new tsar. Nicholas II succeeded his father, the reactionary anti-Semite Alexander III, in November 1894, and was crowned in May 1895. The date of The Secret of the Jews places it in the period between accession and coronation, and the tone of the document shows that it was possibly designed to discredit modernizing policies -- such as those of Count Witte -- with the advisers of the new monarch. The memorandum is not directed specifically against Witte. There does not seem to be a specific attack on the gold standard, as has been suggested. This is unsurprising as Count Witte (who had become minister of finances in 1892) did not introduce this particular measure until 1897.

We come at last to the Protocols and the confusion surrounding them. It would be foolish as well as unnecessary to try to emulate Professor Cohn and Henri Rollin, whose conclusions may be quickly summarized. The Protocols attack liberalism and the industrial society; specifically, they attack the introduction of the gold standard and the modernizing policies of Count Witte, which are stigmatized as being exactly those of the secret Jewish world government.

These targets approximate, as we have seen, to the targets of The Secret of the Jews. In France the circle surrounding Juliette Adam and her Nouvelle Revue was implacably opposed to Witte and his policies; in Russia the diehard conservatives and reactionaries were concerned to alienate Witte and the tsar. Yuliana Glinka was Juliette Adam's close friend and the link between the two groups. She probably brought the Protocols to Russia when she returned sometime after the middle of the 1890s and was exiled to her estates in the government of are\. This banishment took place because Glinka was suspected of complicity in a book published by Juliette Adam in Paris in 1886 under the pseudonym of "Count Paul Vasili." This had provided unwelcome revelations on the life of the imperial Russian family and the aristocracy. Professor Cohn has argued convincingly that Glinka passed a copy of the Protocols to the marshal of the nobility for her district, Alexei Sukhotin, who turned the forgery over to Filip Stepanov, the procurator of the Holy Synod. Stepanov (according to his own testimony) reproduced the Protocols in hectograph, then had them printed without any indication of place or date, sometime at the end of the 1890s. [62]

To complicate the issue, there appears on the scene the historian's nightmare, a professional double dealer. Pyotr Alexandrovich Ratchkovsky was from 1884 to 1902 the head of the foreign section of the Russian secret police. His headquarters were in Paris, and he delighted in counterrevolutionary activities of an uncanny deviousness. Ratchkovsky kept exiled Russian terrorists under strict surveillance, and when it came to a really dangerous situation he was preferred by the French President Loubet over his own security officers. His methods extended to instigating terrorist bomb attacks and promoting forgeries exposing himseff. It is really not possible to make any statement for certain about Ratchkovsky's responsibility for any particular covert act; on a few points, however, his stance was consistent. These concerned his counterrevolutionary activities on behalf of the Okhrana and action above and beyond the call of duty in the way of instigating pogroms. He is supposed to have unwaveringly loyal to the beleaguered Count Witte, but it is a matter of some doubt how far this loyalty extended. When Count Witte, disturbed by anti-Semitic agitation, gave the order to destroy all the printing presses concerned in such enterprises, he was unable to silence the secret organization of Ratchkovsky which maintained itself in a privileged position outside the normal channels. [63] But while Ratchkovsky is a priori a likely contender for the dubious honor of having forged the Protocols, it must be agreed that (at least during his period in Paris) the secret policeman was not likely deliberately to assault his own government -- and it was against Witte that the Protocols were directed. [64] It remains possible that the Okhrana and their sinister chieftain were somehow involved.

There is a plethora of testimony pointing toward them, although most of it is unspecific and apparently based on the fact that Ratchkovsky was recognized as a likely person to have had a hand in an anti-Semitic forgery. Very little trust can be placed in claims by tsarist police officers to have forged the Protocols themselves. But Ratchkovsky is known to have participated in an intrigue in which it is thought that the Protocols were used. This odd conspiracy was part of the ceaseless game of chess that we have seen played around the Russian court, in which the pawns were magicians and mystics and the principals those concerned to influence the throne. Ratchkovsky was called in to assist the party gathered around the Grand Duchess Elisabeth Feodorovna whose business it was to replace the little captain of the Lyon fire brigade, Monsieur Philippe. Early in 1902, when the chief of the Okhrana visited St. Petersburg he brought a detailed report on Philippe. It denounced him as an agent of the Alliance Israelite Universelle -- a Jewish philanthropic society whose name sounded sinister enough to anti-Semites to be used as the title of their imaginary band of conspirators. A report of some kind did in fact reach the tsar, who informed Philippe that he believed none of it. But in the end he was forced to give in and cease inviting the healer to Tsarskoe Selo. [65] If Philippe was exiled, Ratchkovsky was for a time disgraced: he was recalled from France and deprived of all offices. This did not prevent his vindictive nature from making the last years of Philippe a misery. He was haunted by secret agents, his correspondence was opened, his standing was ruined with the French authorities; Philippe's death in 1905 can be directly attributed to the machinations of Ratchkovsky.

Where do the Protocols come in? The mystagogue which the group who enlisted Ratchkovsky's aid had selected as their ambassador to the tsar was Sergei Alexandrovich Nilus. It was Nilus who published the Protocols in 1905 in the third edition of a book describing his conversion to Orthodoxy, The Great in the Small. The Grand Duchess Elisabeth Feodorovna, a highly religious woman who had founded an unofficial religious community, was impressed by the original publication. She made the acquaintance of Nilus with the idea of introducing to the court a mystic in the Orthodox tradition, instead of the dubious occultists who dominated it. Nilus was a landowner who had been converted from atheism after losing his fortune, and he had taken to the life of the wandering Russian pilgrim rather in the manner of Dobrolyubov. The grand duchess had him introduced to a maid of honor at Tsarskoe Selo by the name of Helena Ozerova; it was intended he should marry her so as to qualify according to the Orthodox rule to be ordained priest. The plan was for Nilus to be made imperial confessor; but this was foiled by Philippe's supporters. They replied to the grand duchess's stratagem by exposing several reasons why Nilus was an unsuitable candidate for the priesthood. Nilus had to leave the court, but Helena Ozerova -- whom he was later to marry -- performed a service for him that was to prove an essential link in the diffusion of the Protocols. When the new edition of Nilus's book was submitted to the censor, it ran into trouble because of the anti-Semitic complications. Through Ozerova's intervention the edition was passed, and even then the censor stipulated that all personal names must be removed from the appended Protocols themselves. [66]

One of these names -- that of a rival secret agent, Akim Effront -- has been taken by Professor Cohn as confirming the story of Ratchkovsky's responsibility for giving the Protocols to Nilus. Nilus himself said in 1917 that the Protocols came to him from Alexei Sukhotin; it has also been claimed that his source was Filip Stepanov. [67] Sukhotin or Stepanov, it makes no difference -- this is the channel of communication which sees the forgery entering Russia with Yuliana Glinka. If the inclusion of Effront's name among the agents of the Jewish world conspiracy is taken as evidence of Ratchkovsky's meddling hand, it is also possible to see both him and Nilus using the Protocols as a device to link Philippe with the Jewish-Freemasonic world conspiracy. It is not possible (and Professor Cohn has pointed this out) to see Ratchkovsky as instigating the forgery in order to implicate Philippe. Philippe was a faith healer and a Martinist; it will be remembered that his disciple Papus is supposed to have enrolled the tsar as a member of his Martinist order. Philippe's opponents would certainly have lost no opportunity of attacking Martinism as a manifestation of the Jewish plot. But Martinism remains uncondemned by the Protocols' sweeping condemnation of every possible bete noire. At the most, therefore, all Ratchkovsky did was use an already-existing forgery to suit his general purposes or urge on Nilus the publication of an anti-Semitic forgery in 1905, when he himself was busy inciting pogroms in defiance of Count Witte -- and when he had long ago defeated Philippe, who in fact died in August 1905, one month before the book of Nilus, containing the Protocols but still in manuscript, was passed by the Moscow censor.

It is fairly clear that Ratchkovsky as a prime mover in the affair -- as in so much of his devious career -- is a gigantic red herring. Although there is every reason to think that he may have had something to do with the Protocols at some stage in their diffusion, he did not forge them to discredit Philippe; he did not bring them to Russia; and if he had a hand in their publication, it was probably only that inspired by his general anti-Semitism. So I return again to Glinka, whose transmission of the Protocols to Sukhotin, Stepanov, and thus to Nilus remains the only credible channel of communication. Now, if the Protocols contain no attacks on Martinism, Glinka's previous production, The Secret of the Jews, most certainly does.

The First Crusade brought into existence the first order of knights -- the Knights Templar -- founded with the mystic mission of resurrecting the Temple of Solomon.

This cult which seemed to be so alien to the Christian Brotherhood, symbolises the first victory of the Jews in their attempts to attract Christians to work unwittingly for the benefit of secret Jewish religious aims.

Since that time, the Jewish secret society has been trying, under various names -- Gnostics, Illuminati, Rosicrucians, Martinists etc. -- to have invisible influence on the subsequent course of Jewish history. The basic principles have remained the same: to undermine fundamentals, sow discord, and incite intellects; in a word, endlessly serving as the fermenting agent in the crumbly, amorphous mass of the Christian people. [68]

Some recapitulation is necessary to understand the precise significance of the attack on occultism in The Secret of the Jews. The document is dated 1895, the year of the defection of the Paris Gnostic Jules Doinel and his exposure of occult groups as part of the Satanic conspiracy. Papus, besides being a Martinist, was a member of Doinel's Gnostic Church and was deeply affected by the incident. He was also a disciple of Saint-Yves d'Alveydre, from whom as we have seen, the author of The Secret of the Jews drew a considerable amount of material. There is further confirmation of this in the extract cited above.

The author uses the metaphor of the Jews being the ferment in the body of .Christian people, which is exactly that used in a good sense, by Saint-Yves d'Alveydre, when absolving Jewry from blame for political troubles. Papus is thought by his disciples to have introduced Saint-Yves d' Alveydre to Grand Duke Peter, and he certainly made the ideas of his "intellectual master" well known in Russian mystical circles. It is exceedingly likely that the author of The Secret of the Jews was an occultist infected by the current suspicion of the occult -- possibly a renegade like Doinel or even a timeserver like Meyrink.

We have suspected the author of the document to be Glinka herself. We know her to have been an occultist, and if she acted only as colporteuse of The Secret of the Jews or the Protocols she was certainly an anti-Semite, an attitude which her Theosophy may have encouraged. Could Glinka have turned on the teachings of Saint-Yves and Papus, or (like her friend Vsevolod Soloviev) left the Theosophical Society because it was anti-Christian? It is quite possible. For in these realms of rapidly changing allegiance from one master to the next, all is uncertain. It is impossible to see in the attack on Martinism in The Secret of the Jews an assault on Papus and Philippe, except incidentally; for it was only in 1896 that Papus sent his message to the tsar and five years later that he and Philippe set foot in Russia for the first time. But -- even if Glinka was not the author -- the root of the trouble lies without doubt in French occultism and its links with Russia.

Of the three branches of the Theosophical Society in Paris in 1884, one was a Spiritualist group, one a "scientific" society of occultists; and the third (the "Theosophical Society of the East and West") a branch of Theosophy proper. The president was the Duchesse de Pomar, the secretary Mme. Emilie de Morsier, and the membership included such celebrated occultists as Edouard Schure, Albert Jounet (Barlet), and Charles Richet. Three Russian names appear on the list of members: Princess Olga Wolkonsky, Countess Marie Balowska, and a Madame Jakouleff. In a membership list written shortly before July 1887 Glinka's name can be found. In the same year the name of Papus also appears as a member of another Theosophical organization. [69] By this time, Vsevolod Soloviev had succeeded in breaking up the original society" of the East and West" and had seduced Emilie de Morsier and some of the original mem bers from their allegiance: in 1892 he could still refer to Mme. de Morsier as "one of my true friends." Glinka had apparently survived this test of loyalty to Madame Blavatsky; unfortunately her name then disappears from the records. But in 1888 there was conflict in the Paris Theosophical Society between one party led by Papus and another led by Felix-Krishna Gaboriau, who controlled the magazine. The result was that Colonel Olcott dissolved the existing branch and refounded the Paris group in a way that was favorable to Papus and his friends. Papus meanwhile founded the Groupe Independent des Etudes Esoteriques. His independent line of conduct annoyed Madame Blavatsky, and in 1890 he was finally expelled from the society. [70] In this cut-and-thrust there was plenty of scope for the brewing of enmity, and, if Glinka remained a stalwart supporter of Madame Blavatsky, there is plenty of reason to represent her as a possible opponent of Papus. If this was so, however, her enmity probably did not show itself until 1895; for it seems that Glinka's close friend Juliette Adam may have been in relations with Papus during the period 1891-92.

All authorities on the Protocols have united in the opinion that the forgery emanated from the circle of Juliette Adam and the Nouvelle Revue. This is one of the initial reasons for supposing the story that Glinka took the document to Russia to be correct. From this has come the suspicion that the forger was a publicist and politician known as Elie de Cyon (Tsion), a known opponent of Witte and in many other ways a likely guess. Once more it is Professor Cohn who has shown that de Cyon, a humane man and an opponent of pogroms, could not possibly have produced the Protocols as they stand; instead he suggests that, when Ratchkovsky burgled de Cyon's villa in Switzerland in 1897, he discovered a satire directed against Witte and gave it an anti-Semitic bias. [71] But, apart from the inherent unlikeliness of the procedure, the satire would after all still be directed against Witte, in whose interests Ratchkovsky was burgling the villa. This introduces yet a further step between the group of the Nouvelle Revue and the appearance of the Protocols in Russia via Glinka and Stepanov. Ratchkovsky would have had to have given his adulterated forgery to Glinka, a friend of Juliette Adam and the burgled Tsion, who could not have failed to have recognized his own work had it come his way, however altered. Tsion appears as red a herring as Ratchkovsky, and distracts attention from Juliette Adam herseff.

At the end of October 1855, Vsevolod Soloviev called on Juliette Adam about a story of his called "The Magnet" appearing in the Nouvelle Revue. At this time he had not completely broken with Madame Blavatsky, and he wrote to her from Paris on 8 October:

I have made friends with Madame Adam, and talked a great deal to her about you; I have greatly interested her, and she has told me that her Revue is open not only to theosophy but to a defence of you personally if necessary. I praised up Madame de Morsier to her, and at the same time there was another gentleman here who spoke in the same tone, and Madame Adam wished to make acquaintance with Madame Morsier, who will remain in Paris as the official means of communication between me and the Nouvelle Revue. Yesterday the meeting of the two ladies took place; our Emilie was quite in raptures.

Later, in a more skeptical frame of mind, Soloviev wrote that he had found Madame Adam talking of how she was a pagan and worshipped the pagan gods; he had been hard put not to laugh. This pagan cult of Juliette Adam in fact culminated in a book of 1888 called Un reve sur le divine which constructed her own occult synthesis. The book attracted the attention of occult circles -- indeed Madame Adam was said by the anti-Masons to entertain such gentry as Papus and the Gnostic Fabre des Essarts in her salon. In 1892, Papus lectured on the merits of her book, and it was rumored by her opponents that Juliette Adam was a member of that magician's Groupe Independant des Etudes Esoteriques. But the pagan Madame Adam became increasingly Christian. Around 1903-04 articles began to appear hailing the reclamation of this fervent French patriot by the Catholic Church. Indeed, Juliette Adam's religion was linked with her patriotism, for she saw French Catholicism as part of her racial heritage and directly opposed to the K ultur of Bismarck. [72]

The name of Juliette Adam was associated with Papus and his group after the magician's quarrel with Madame Blavatsky, and before the general crisis in the French occult world which resulted from the defection of Jules Doinel in 1895. In the minds of those addicted to conspiracy theories, occultists only became fully associated with the Jewish-Masonic plot after this incident. If the author of The Secret of the Jews were indeed Glinka, there is nothing in the facts to contradict the idea that in 1895 she had decided either that occultism was in reality part of the diabolic conspiracy, or that it should appear to be so. The conversion of her friend Juliette Adam from a heterodoxy hospitable to Theosophy to an eccentric Catholicism might well be part of the same process of revulsion with the occult. Glinka, of course, was by no means the only Parisian Russian with occult learnings. There seem to have been few who were free of them.

Emilie de Morsier (whom Vsevolod Soloviev introduced to Juliette Adam in 1885 and who was to remain his contact with the Nouvelle Revue) initiated a lasting communication between "progressive" ladies in Paris and those of St. Petersburg, when in 1892 she and a Russian friend collaborated on raising funds for the relief of the famine which devastated Russia that year. Madame de Morsier died in 1895, but the contacts established survived her. [73] One result of her efforts was a magazine, La Revue des femmes russes (1896-97), edited from Paris by Olga Besobrasova, who was prominent in mystical and progressive circles. The Revue at first bore a sphynx at its masthead and contained contributions by Raymond Nyst and Count Leonce de Larmadie, both associated with the magician Peladan. From the Russian end, Countess Ina de Kapnist reported a special interest in new university courses for women in "psycho-physics" and a general interest in Spiritualism. In March 1897 the Revue reported the first annual general meeting of the "Societe d' Aide Mutuel des Femmes de St. Petersburg, " which was as "near as the aristocratic Russian ladies -- as opposed to the intelligentsia -- were allowed to come to "Progressive" activities. It was patronized by, among others, the Grand Duchess Militza and John of Kronstadt, who gave the group his blessing; and the same meeting recorded the election of a new member, the maid of honor "C. S. Oserow" (who might well have been a relation, if not a misprinting, of Helena Ozerova). [74] The mystical atmosphere of the whole undertaking must have suited its editress splendidly. She was able to serialize her own synthetical The New Religion, which laid particular stress on Pythagoras and the Cabala: its authoress knew all the texts of contemporary occultism, such as Saint-Yves d'Alveydre, Fabre d'Olivet, the alchemist Louis Lucas, and of course, Papus. [75] Olga Besobrasova is discovered in 1898 contributing to the Paris Theosophical magazine, and in 1901 her volume of mystical poems carried a preface by Paul Adam, a member of the Ordre Kabbalistique de la Rose-Croix -- and also an anti-Semitic novelist. [76]

In the circles from which the Protocols originated in France; in those in which they were received in Russia; and in the communication between the two milieux there was a substantial dose of the mystical. Almost any of the illuminated Russians might have written or provided the material for The Secret of the Jews. But could they or Glinka or any of the other mystics in contact with Juliette Adam have produced the more dangerous -- because relatively more down-to- earth -- Protocols? For there is almost nothing in the Protocols to suggest the mystical: they are adapted from a political satire, and where they describe horrors which do not originate in Joly's vision of the rule of Napoleon III they are directed solely toward substantiating the legend of a tangible Jewish plot to establish a global despotism.

Almost the only "occult" thing about them is the appendix, which the early Russian editions carried. This dilated on the Symbolic Serpent, which was supposed to demonstrate the march of Jewish conquest. The serpent was drawn on a map, with its tail in Palestine, its body encircling Europe and its head in Russia, through which it would pass to join the tail and complete its victory. This conception is said by one of the oddest Russian anti-Semites to have originated in the writings of the defrocked clergyman Hippolytus Liutostansky; [77] but the motif is also present in French anti-Masonry. Both sources probably took the symbol from a misapplication of contemporary occultism, in whose idiom Olga Besobrasova could ask, in the Revue des Femmes Russes of 1896: "Does not the esoteric theosophy of the temples of Isis and Horus, symbolized by the serpent squeezing the universe in its coils incorporate in an obscure cult, the highest religion ... ? [78] In several occult systems the serpent symbolizes wisdom and eternity: it appears in Cabalistic diagrams and on the seal of the Theosophical Society.

The Symbolic Serpent apart, the Protocols are the least occult document of militant anti-Semitism that it is possible to imagine. It is probably for this reason that they have been so effective. But in Glinka the forgery has a common factor with the memorandum entitled The Secret of the Jews, which gives the appearance of being produced by a renegade occultist, in a year of occult apostasy. That document, it will be recalled, ends with a recommendation that there should be printed and circulated a popular exposure of the Jewish conspiracy in Russia. Glinka later returns with a document which is eventually put to just that use. This is scarcely coincidence.

Because illuminates of the type who cultivate and believe in anti-Semitism are apt to write in the manner of The Secret of the Jews, it does not follow that they cannot write otherwise, or that they cannot persuade others to do their writing for them. Who actually discovered Maurice Joly's satire on Napoleon III and decided that it would make good anti-Semitic material will probably never be known. But one case is known in which an illuminate concocted an attack directed both at Count Witte and at a conspiracy aimed at undoing the Russian regime: and he had the sense, although he was an experienced man of letters, to secure the collaboration of a professional journalist skilled in polemic. This illuminate was none other than the magician Papus.

In late October 1901 -- the month after Monsieur Philippe was introduced to the tsar and tsaritsa, when both he and Papus had returned from their respective Russian visits -- a series of articles under the pseudonym "Niet" began to appear in the Echo de Paris. for which Papus was primarily responsible. He attacked Witte; he attacked Ratchkovsky, whose operations in Paris were circumstantially surveyed; he attacked the machination of a sinister financial syndicate that was trying to disrupt the Franco-Russian alliance. It is quite clear that this syndicate, which is identified with that responsible for the scandal of Panama, is Jewish. In terms of policy, this broadside conformed with the policy of Juliette Adam and her associates. It was this series of articles that aroused Ratchkovsky's abiding ill-humor against the hapless Philippe, who was naturally associated with Papus: not only was the spy's political master attacked, but his amour propre was at stake. In the articles ofNiet, the primary target was the "hidden conspiracy, " about which the public was hideously uninformed and unperceptive.

It does not see that in all conflicts whether arising within or between nations, there are at the side of the apparent actors hidden movers who by their self-interested calculations make these conflicts inevitable. For example, is it necessary to remember the role of the Jesuits in the wars of Louis XIV and the revocation of the Edict of Nantes? Again, it is known that the French Revolution was planned in 1740 by the Duc d' Antin and his friends, begun by the publication of the Encyclopaedia, organised in 1773 by the foundation of the Grand Orient, to hatch out for all to see in 1789.

Lastly, no one is any longer unaware that the Risorgimento of Italy was contrived long before by the Carbonari associations, in the same way as the Mafia is trying to establish -- and perhaps will establish sooner or later -- a Republic on the other side of the Alps.

Everything which happens in the confused evolution of nations is thus prepared in secret with the goal of securing the supremacy of a few men; and it is these few men, sometimes famous, sometimes unknown, who must be sought behind all public events.

Now, today, supremacy is ensured by the possession of gold.

It is the financial syndicates who hold at this moment the secret threads of European politics ....

A few years ago there was thus founded in Europe a financial syndicate, today all-powerful, whose supreme aim is to monopolise all the markets of the world, and which in order to facilitate its activities has to acquire political influence. Let us remember in passing that the notorious Cornelius Hertz was one of the principal agents of this international association, whose centre is at London and whose most important ramifications are at Vienna and in Germany.

Nothing could better illustrate the reasoning behind conspiracy theories than this introductory passage. From the mention of Hertz (heavily involved in the Panama scandal) and the covert reference to the Rothschilds, it is obvious that the Anglo-German financial syndicate the authors go on to describe is supposed to be fundamentally Jewish. They take elements from current anti-Masonic agitation by combining their conspiracy with the myth of the all-powerful British Secret Service -- which was sometimes said to stand behind the Masonic lodges. The object of this unholy alliance is to weaken the ties that bind Russia to France (because this is the greatest obstacle to British imperialism). In France the agents of this syndicate concentrate on anti-Russian propaganda. In Russia they have infiltrated the Ministry of Finances -- Witte -- and the General Staff: in particular they have forced the adoption of a system of loans, of deflation and of financial trickery so that the Russian army can be stopped at any moment at the will of the sinister "trust." Tsar Nicholas II knows nothing of this -- why his minister of finances and his General Staff circumvent all his most generous projects. "May we be able, " Niet concluded his introduction, "to preserve the Russian Emperor -- so loyal and so generous -- from the evils which this syndicate of financiers visited on us in our recent troubles: this syndicate which at the present controls the destinies of Europe -- and of the world." [79]

The elaboration of this theme proved particularly distressing to Witte and Ratchkovsky. From St. Petersburg Witte dispatched a huge bribe to prevent the Echo de Paris from publishing a second series of articles. [80] Ratchkovsky then began his campaign against Philippe. If the result was the death of the Lyonais mystic, his friend and pupil Papus was made of sterner stuff. Under pressure the imperial couple had renounced their beloved Philippe, but continued to see Papus. The legend told by the disciples of Papus is that when the Revolution of 1905 broke out in Russia, one of the highly placed friends of the magus ordered him to the Russian court. The day after his arrival, Papus evoked the spirit of the reactionary Tsar Alexander III before the tsar and the tsaritsa. Nicholas was advised by the spirit not to make any concessions to the liberals and was told that revolution would nonetheless break out again: "It doesn't matter! Courage, my son! Don't give up the struggle!" [81] Take or leave this story -- most commentators have left it, and the authority is that of the credulous French ambassador Paleologue -- it is probably an accurate reflection of Papus's political advice. This echoed the counsels of Monsieur Philippe, whose warnings against granting a constitution are recalled in the letters of the tsaritsa.

Papus -- what was he really up to? Occultist, guru en titre in the shoes of Monsieur Philippe, and believer in conspiracy theories, his role is, on the face of it, equivocal. From his papers it is known that he furnished documentation to the tsarist authorities on the subject of Masonic activities (for example, to the tsar's ambassador in Rome). He had once himself written Masonic textbooks. But the whole tenor of his Martinist propaganda was that Freemasonry was atheistic in contrast to the esoteric Christianity of Louis-Claude de Saint-Martin. The confusion is no greater than is customary in occult regions. His friends among the Paris occultists thought that in his Martinist activities, Papus was deliberately meddling in European politics; and, according to Victor-Emile Michelet, most of the Balkan princelings were Martinists.

This is not so farfetched as it sounds when we remember the part played by the Montenegrins in introducing mysticism to the Russian court. It is a typically occult boast to claim influence over heads of state -- but then we know that Papus did in fact exercise such influence in Russia. Then there is the question of the row of decorations Papus claimed: three of these are verifiable in works of reference, comprising an ancient Portuguese order and two recently instituted decorations from Venezuela and Turkey. On the whole, these seem products of folie de grandeur. But there remains the certainty that the magus saw himself as a power behind thrones. His Martinist policies fitted easily the preconceptions of Russian "idealist" reactionaries. He castigated "our epoch of scepticism, adoration of material forms, so vitally in need of a frankly Christian reaction, independent of all the priesthoods." [82] In his association with the Montenegrins and the mystics of Philippe's party in both Russia and France, Papus (like his master, Philippe) certainly accepted their view of Russian politics. The articles of Niet, for which the magus was largely responsible, express precisely the standpoint of the Russian right wing.

In July 1920 a Warsaw newspaper accused Papus himself of fabricating the Protocols with the aim of discrediting Monsieur Philippe. This cannot be true, because of the magician's unwavering loyalty to Philippe, and because a manuscript of the Protocols shown by Sergei Nilus to Count du Chayla appeared to the latter definitely to have been written by a Russian. [83] But, as regards the magician's essential attitude, there is little to prevent the speculation. In 1896, around the time of the forging of the Protocols. Papus was in cordial relations with the illuminated anti-Semite Gaston Mery. The Societe des Sciences Psychiques had appointed a committee to investigate Mery's protogee, the seeress Henriette Couedon -- whose prophecies, incidentally, included the information that someone was trying to poison the tsarevich and that the Jews were soon to make a concerted move. On the committee, Papus found himself upholding the claims of Mlle. Couedon against the anti-Mason and collaborator of Leo Taxil, Charles Hacks (alias "Dr. Bataille"). [84] It was 1896, the year of the tsar's visit to France, when Papus sent his message on behalf of the French Spiritualists, and it is possible that even then his conspiracy theory had been formed.

As for his collaborator, the other half of Niet, this was Jean Carrere, a journalist. A note discovered among the papers of Papus apportioned responsibility as that of "Papus for the material, and Jean Carrere for the drafting, " while Carrere's wife sold the articles to the Echo de Paris. Jean Carrere (1865-1932) began life as an anarchist Bohemian associated with the Symbolist poets. In 1891 Jean Renard wrote of him that "he believes in the Ideal, in the infinite, in Job, in a pile of unremarkable things." Around the middle of the 1890s, Carrere underwent a conversion. He became a fanatical Felibre -- an adherent of the movement for Provencal culture headed by Mistral -- and in 1898 published an answer to Zola's J'accuse. blaming degenerate art for leading France astray. He became increasingly attached to Drumont and the Libre Parole. and, when he was sent to South Africa in 1901 as a war correspondent, he was well prepared to receive the anti-Semitic views put about by the supporters of Sir William Butler which inspired Henry Hamilton Beamish. His collaboration with Papus followed hard on his return from South Africa, and throughout the articles of Niet there are found obvious references to the hidden action of a financial syndicate in inciting the Boer War. There is even a section on "The Tsar and the Transvaal." Carrere subsequently served as a war correspondent in Italy and became associated with d' Annunzio, but was latterly prevented from much energetic activity by ill health. When Papus was in search of his collaborator, it was thus to a known anti-Semite that he turned. There is no doubt that their views coincided. [85]

The lines are converging. We are within a hair's breadth of a solution to all these complexities when we recall that one of the starting points for this chapter was that "the quality of hate" of anti-Semites and occultists is often the same. Although Papus was an anti-Semite, associated with the group around the Montenegrins, it was logical for Ratchkovsky and Philippe's opponents to try to use Nilus and his edition of the Protocols to exclude Papus and Monsieur Philippe from the counsels of the empire -- to associate them with the conspiracy imagined by Niet. But (as we have noted), in the Nilus edition of the Protocols there is no mention of Martinism, which Papus was assiduous in representing as opposed to Freemasonry. In the more popular editions of the Protocols, published under the editorship of G. Butmi, Martinism generally -- and Papus and Philippe by name -- are represented as attached to. the universal Jewish conspiracy. Martinism, Butmi declared, was responsible for all revolutions. He attacked the reputation of Martinism as the sworn enemy of Freemasonry and the representative of "pure Christianity." It was "the most Jewish" of all occult orders, and its representatives were those responsible for advising the governing classes to adopt self-destructive policies. The political stance of Butmi is as clear as it could possibly be. His main assault is on an organization called the "Great Universal League, " which he claims has just been founded in St. Petersburg, headed by "sorcerers and dangerous agitators" like Philippe and Papus, who had come to Russia "to make adepts among the members of the highest society who were seeking in Martinism for a support against Judaism." [86]

From his own distorted point of view, Butmi suspected rightly. This seems exactly what must have happened. The Montenegrin group won favor with their own reactionary gurus, and the Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna attempted to counter with Nilus. At the same time Butmi and his associates tried to displace Philippe and Papus by attaching their names to the Protocols. When it is remembered that Ratchkovsky was returned to favor in 1905 and given a police post in Russia, which he used to print anti-Semitic propaganda (and to assist Butmi and others in the founding of the ultra-right-wing "Union of the Russian People"), the division of the parties becomes clearer. On the one hand the Montenegrins and their friends: occultists, aristocratic, and using Philippe, Papus, and Martinism as a transcendental sanction for their anti-Semitism. On the other hand, Butmi and his colleagues of the "Union of the Russian People, " using brutal methods, repugnant to most of the aristocracy, printing the Protocols as a popular incitement to pogroms (and wishing incidentally to displace the reigning gurus). Attached to this party is Ratchkovsky, who, in Paris, has begun a lasting personal feud with Papus and Philippe. A third group intervenes in the shape of the Grand Duchess Elisabeth Feodorovna and her circle, representing the Orthodox element, which wishes to displace the Martinists and substitute Nilus. Again the Protocols are used, but without specific mention of the Martinists and this time incorporated in a well-produced mystical work aimed directly at the tsar. It is obvious that this more subtle approach, if not exactly that of the "Union of the Russian People, " could not but meet with its approval. Whether Ratchkovsky or StepanovSukhotin transmitted the Protocols to Nilus, all parties possibly involved in the transaction were united in their objects.

What is interesting is that Papus and the Martinists had fired the first shots in this war. These were the articles of Niet in the Echo de Paris attacking Witte and Ratchkovsky. To most reactionaries in Russia, attacks on Witte would have been perfectly acceptable. To Ratchkovsky, on the other hand, they constituted a personal affront. But even without Ratchkovsky, the Russian right wing might have become disquieted at the provenance of the Martinists. The author of The Secret of the Jews had included them as early as 1895-before there had been any contact between Papus, Philippe, and the Russians -- in the list of occult agencies through which the Jewish conspiracy worked. If the Protocols are seen as the result of the appeal in The Secret of the Jews for a popular exposure of the Jewish plot, we can explain Glinka's carrying the Protocols to Russia as part of this express plan. Who provided her with the forgery is quite impossible to guess. If she wrote The Secret of the Jews. she would undoubtedly have been on the lookout for material to use for this specific purpose. It would be chasing will-o'-the-wisps, however, to pursue the inquiry any further.

Glinka's exact role in the episode must remain a matter of speculation. It is safe to assume that, by the time she transmitted The Secret of the Jews to General Orzheyevsky, she concurred with its opinions, even if she did not actually write it. When she brought the Protocols to Russia, she would therefore be perfectly prepared to see a forgery, which was perhaps designed as a popular exposure of the Jewish plot, used in a campaign against the Martinists and Montenegrins. Not only did Nilus probably derive his copy of the Protocols from Stepanov's private publication, but it is likely that the version printed in 1903 by Krushevan in Znamya came from Glinka as wel1.87 This version was used by Butmi for his two popular pamphlets on the Jewish conspiracy. It thus came about that the recommendation of the shelved memorandum, The Secret of the Jews. was adopted unofficially ten years after that production had briefly seen the light of day.

This is the only explanation that fits the facts. It may contain too many ifs and buts to be regarded as proven; but it is the most likely. It surely shows the importance of examining the occult Underground: an importance magnified by the presence in that Underground of the indispensable quality of belief The actual forger of the Protocols may have been a cynical pogromtschik, but his object was to induce belief in others. The fact that anti-Semites are often frighteningly sincere men is frequently passed over -- probably because of fear of what this discovery means for a general vision of man. We have seen how the Protocols were transmitted through illuminated circles, and how the battle of the magicians was that in which they were at first deployed. The case is reinforced by the continued role played in both anti-Semitism and the propagation of the Protocols by representatives of the illuminated point of view.

The "Union of the Russian People, " with its notorious bands of bully-boys, the Black Hundreds, was the leading Russian anti-Semitic organization. The union was founded in 1905 by a St. Petersburg doctor, A. Dubrovin, as the successor to a number of similar right-wing groups. Its membership was drawn from the sort of elements who were to give the German Nazis their support: a few aristocrats, some churchmen, many declining petit bourgeois, and the violent flotsam that drifts on the top of urban life. The union was chiefly concerned with whipping up mass discontent against foreigners, the intelligentsia, and Jews. Generally speaking, the union and the Black Hundreds were looked down on by the monarchists, for whom Count Witte's opinion can stand:

The bulk of the party is dark-minded and ignorant, the leaders are unhanged villains, among whom there are some titled noblemen and a number of secret sympathisers recruited from the courtiers. Their welfare is made secure by the reign of lawlessness, and their motto is: Not we for the people, but the people for the good of our bellies. [88]

Deeply involved in this unbeautiful assembly were Krushevan, the instigator of the terrible pogrom at Kishinev in 1903 and the first publisher of the Protocols; and Butmi, the editor of the popularized editions. The most effective leader of the Union of the Russian People was Vladimir Mitrofanovich Purishkevich (1870-1920), a landowner and former government official, who attempted to use his redoubtable energies in stemming the liberal tide. In the Duma, he and his equally notorious colleague, Nicholas Yevgenievich Markov (known as Markov II), caused ceaseless disturbance in an effort to discredit parliamentary government entirely. From about 1908, when the Revolution of 1905 had been forgotten and the activities of the union became less necessary to the powers that were, the Black Hundreds began to decline. Purishkevich founded his own organization, the "Union of the Archangel Michael." Dubrovin and Markov II were at daggers drawn, each leading rival groups and denouncing each other to the police for "sympathizing with the Jews." [89]

From the "Union of the Russian People" emanated the force behind organized anti-Semitism. The leaders of the Black Hundreds may have been cynics of the worst possible type, but they naturally made use of any anti-Semitic material lying to hand. One of the most potent elements was the illuminated body of opinion which could be led to attack the Jews either through inherited Christian tradition or through the association of anti-Semitism with the irrationalist reaction of the time. The Orthodox church, as a pillar of the established regime, contributed several high-ranking clerics to the leadership of the Black Hundreds (for example the Bishops Antoni of Volhynia and Hermogen of Saratov, or the Metropolitan Vladimir of Moscow). After the publication of Sergei Nilus's version of the Protocols. Vladimir ordered that a sermon quoting the forgery should be read in all of Moscow's churches. When Dubrovin and his supporters held a congress in Kiev in October 1906, proceedings were opened by a Te Deum sung by the Metropolitan of the city, and Vladimir of Moscow sent a telegram wishing the union success. There were many other instances of clerical support for the Union of the Russian People. In March 1905 the Holy Synod ordered its bishops to "permit and bless" the participation of clergy in the union's activities. After the pogrom of Kishinev, the holy John of Kronstadt accused the Jews of bringing persecution on themselves. [90] The Russian church certainly harbored social reformers among its members, but its alliance with the anti-Semites was strong.
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Re: The Occult Establishment, by James Webb

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The obvious reason is that the Orthodox church was, as always, concerned to prop up the Orthodox regime. But there is probably a further explanation. This can be illustrated by the example of the monk Iliodor, who from his Pochaeivskaya Monastery published a number of anti-Semitic newspapers, including the local organ of the Black Hundreds. Iliodor's The Vision of a Monk portrayed an apocalyptic battle between the "holy Black Hundred" and a revolutionary army of the urban proletariat, students, and Jews. Yet on his own admission, the monk had never seen a Jew until he went to the United States. He describes his hate in blood-curdling terms:

The Jews I hated with every fibre of my soul. In the Jew I saw only the descendents of the priests of Judaea, who pursuing their trivial personal interests, had condemned to death the greatest Jew that ever lived. Of the Jewish scholar, the Jewish artist, the Jewish author and the Jewish inventor, I knew nothing. All I had been taught about the Jews was this: the Jew drinks human blood, the Jew regards it as a pious deed to kill a Christian, the anti-Christ will spring from Jewish stock, the Jew is accursed by God, the Jew is the source of all the evil in the world. Much hatred of Jews was thus based wholly on religious fanaticism. [91]

Iliodor went to elaborate lengths to instill in his hearers a superstitious fear of Judaism. He led anti-Semitic "missions" all over the country. He hired river steamers on the Volga, which he packed with his devotees. On one occasion he prepared an immense model of a dragon from whose mouth jumped children he had clad as demons. He preached that from the dragon of revolution came the devils of devastation, starvation, and death; and at the end of his sermon he incited the crowd to burn the symbolic monster. [92] Better than any accumulation of examples perhaps, this shows the atmosphere in which the anti-Semitic clerics worked, and the nature of their convictions. These convictions were used by men like Dubrovin, who was in direct contact with Iliodor.

The most notorious incident in the annals of Russian anti-Semitism is the Beillis case of 1911-13. A Jew, Mendel Beillis, was made the scapegoat for the murder of a small child in Kiev. At a higher pitch of hysteria, the case was the Russian equivalent to the Dreyfus trial. From the early activity of the Kiev branches of the "Union of the Russian People" and Purishkevich's "Union of the Archangel Michael" to the propaganda of of Dubrovin and Markov II during the trial itself, the anti-Semites appealed to "Orthodox Christians." The prosecution called in a notorious Roman Catholic priest as an "expert witness" in cases of Jewish ritual murder. Always the appeal was to the apocalyptic, to the religious aspect of anti-Semitism. Such manipulation of the illuminated factor could not but strike a chord of response in the minds of the Illuminated intelligentsia. Although few of the more famous names would have anything to do with the pogromtshchiki. certain intellectuals did respond. [93] Vasily Rozanov was one of the most eminent among them. His strange sexual mysticism had given the Jews pride of place as the race who had harnessed the power of the universe. But by a typically "occult" inversion of attitude, Rozanov hated Jews and wrote articles calling for pogroms after the Beillis trial.

Around the throne, where illuminates clustered thick, anti-Semitism was a natural corollary. The mystics who came from the "black Ignatiev" salon and from the other mystical groups knew the political message they must preach. [94] Count Witte wrote:

The Emperor is surrounded by avowed Jew-haters, such as Trepov, Plehve, Ignatiev and the leaders of the Black Hundreds. As for his personal attitude to the Jews I recall that whenever I drew his attention to the fact that anti-Jewish riots could not be tolerated he either was silent or remarked: "But it is they, the Jews (His Majesty always used the opprobrious Zhidy instead of Yevrei) that are to blame." The anti-Jewish current flowed not from below upward, but in the opposite direction. [95]

It was fostered, however, by the gurus whom various interested parties propelled toward the throne. According to Iliodor, almost all the mystics who held sway in the period when the "holy fools" dominated the court preached against the revolutionaries and Jews. He records a rumor -- untrue but significant -- that when the crowd led by Father Gapon was fired upon in 1905 it had been the mumbling Mitya the Blissful who had given the order. Rasputin was certainly one of the chief instigators of anti-Semitism in court circles, and denunciations of Satanic Jewish revolutionaries pepper his correspondence.  [96] It has been plausibly suggested that Rasputin was deliberately planted at court by Ignatiev and Black Hundred sympathizers.  [97] The tsaritsa was in communication with Dr. Dubrovin as late as December 1916 and wrote to the tsar that Dubrovin found it a shame that his inflamatory Russkiye Znamya could not be sent to the troops at the front, adding "I agree." Significantly, a letter of the previous day had mentioned the name of the revered master from Lyon in connection with Alexandra's attempts to stiffen her husband's backbone: "Remember even Mr. Philippe said one dare not give constitution." [98] Whether primitive Russian holy men or comparatively sophisticated Western mystics, the gurus at the Russian court almost all brought with them political views of a reactionary type; and probably that is why their sponsors chose them. Such views carried all the more conviction by seeming transcendentally justified.

Among these anti-Semitic illuminates was Sergei Nilus, who had been expected by certain interested parties to become the tsar's confessor. Nilus was thoroughly representative of the type of holy fool. After he had to leave court, he settled down with his new wife, Ozerova, and a former mistress at the monastery of Optina Pustyn. Here he associated with the friends of Mitya the Blissful and edited the diary of a visionary. The Revolution passed him by in a hermitage in South Russia, and he led a wandering life until his death in 1930. [99]

Nilus connected his manuscript of the Protocols with the expectation of the coming of Antichrist which, as we have seen, was quite common in the Russian religious revival of the time. The subtitle of his book The Great in the Small (in which the Protocols were inserted) was Antichrist Considered as an Imminent Political Possibility, and the King of the Jews whom the Protocols describe was obviously Antichrist in person. This had been more or less the opinion of the writer of The Secret of the Jews, who saw in the common expectation of Antichrist a euphemism for the arrival of the despot of World Jewry. Nilus buttressed his own convictions with the apocalyptic visions of St. Seraphim of Saratov, Merezhkovsky, and Vladimir Soloviev. He concocted a symbolic system that enabled him to detect the mark of Antichrist in almost any geometrical design -- including commercial trademarks. This latter method of "research" was also very popular among German anti-Semites; but the sense of apocalypse and the reality of the advent of Antichrist are purely Russian. Indeed, in the appendix to the 1905 edition of The Great in the Small, Nilus included an appeal for the summoning of the Eighth Ecumenical Council, which might have been derived directly from Vladimir Soloviev himseff. [100]

Totally in keeping with this incense-filled atmosphere is the fact that when it was decided that affairs were completely out of hand and that Rasputin -- the latest and most powerful of gurus -- had to go, his murderers themselves subscribed to the conspiracy theory. Principally, these were Vladimir Purishkevich and Prince Felix Yussupov. For Purishkevich, Rasputin was the evil counsellor, and thus naturally in the pay the of Jews; the tsaritsa was a German and, of course, under the influence of a German-Jewish conspiracy. [101] Yussupov believed in a mysterious syndicate called "the greens, " who operated from Sweden, and he thought them to be Jews. He was himself illuminated to a surprising degree. As a child he had made predictions, seen ghostly trains where no lines ran, and intensively studied occultism and Theosophy. He took up a system of exercises designed to enable him to master himself and then dominate others; while at Oxford he developed a distressing form of second sight which allowed him to predict deaths. In particular he was devoted to the Grand Duchess Elisabeth Feodorovna, whom he regarded as a saint. After the murder of Rasputin, the grand duchess consoled him that the deed was justified as ridding the world of a fiend incarnate. Yussupov recorded, on her authority, that at the time when he and Purishkevich had finally succeeded in their task "priests had suddenly gone mad, blaspheming and shrieking; nuns ran about the corridors howling like souls possessed and lifting their skirts with obscene gestures." It is worth recording the fact that the prince appears to have believed in the Protocols, and that his story of their origin leads once more to an occult source. According to Yussupov, one of the neighbors of his family in the Crimea, a Countess Kleinmichel, had found the Hebrew manuscript in her library and sent it to Moscow to be translated. Countess Kleinmichel was famous for her Spiritualist seances, read Swedenborg assiduously, and, when forced to leave Russia by the Revolution, stayed with the Theosophical family of Wachtmeister in Sweden. [102]

It is an unbroken chain, this association -- occultism, anti-Semitism, and back to occultism again. There seems little enough substance to Yussupov's narrative, but again the Protocols are attached to an illuminated source. The story that really launched the Protocols contains similar ingredients of occultism and conspiracy theory.

On 17 July 1918 the imperial family -- now no longer imperial, and the tsar called Colonel Romanov -- were murdered in the Ipatyev house in Ekaterinburg by a body of men supposedly under a Jewish commissar. By chance, the tsaritsa had recently been sent a copy of Nilus's book containing the Protocols, and it was one of the articles listed by the magistrate deputed to take an inventory. Almost as sinister, in the eyes of conspiracy-theorists, was the discovery of a subsequently notorious symbol in the Ipatyev house. Pierre Gilliard (the French tutor to the imperial family) writes in his memoirs of how he

noticed on the wall in the embrasure of one of the windows of Their Majesties' room the Empress's favourite charm, the swastika, which she had put up everywhere to ward off ill-luck. She had drawn it in pencil, and added, underneath, the date 17/30 April, the day of their incarceration in the house. The same symbol, but without the date, was drawn on the wallpaper on a level with the bed.

The swastika was already known through the theories of German racists as symbolizing the supremacy of the Aryans over the Jews.103 The combination of swastika and Protocols was to prove more than enough for distracted anti-Semites to see the iron fists of Jewry -- much as Charles Maurras was to scream, when sentenced for collaboration, "It's the revenge of Dreyfus."

The swastika must be disposed of as quickly as possible. Generally speaking, a symbol of good luck, widely diffused throughout prehistory, the swastika was resurrected by turn-of-the-century occultists interested in the Orient. It appears on the seal of the Theosophical Society. In Germany, Ernst Krause, in a book called Twiskoland published in 1891, called attention to the swastika as a particularly Aryan symbol; in fact, the Jews have certainly also used it. There followed, hard on the heels of Krause, the Austro-German racists Guido von List and Lanz von Liebenfels who had definite connections with the occult revival and used the swastika as a leading symbol in their illuminated anti-Semitism. Their theories may have penetrated Russia and influenced the Russian anti-Semites. I can find no evidence for the assertion that Guido von List's ideas had reached Russia. But Lanz von Liebenfels claimed that in 1904 he had sent copies of his Theozoologie to "several of the most distinguished Russian gentlemen in the closest proximity to the tsar (Baron Frederiks, Prince Urussov, and several Baltic barons at the Imperial court)." Frederiks was the minister responsible for court protocol and favored a pro-German policy; Urussov was an opponent of anti-Semitism but around 1904 was making general inquiries from any writers on the Jewish problem; and the Baltic barons ring true. Lanz claimed to have spoken personally with those to whom he sent his book; but the result was that his Theozoologie was banned and he himself threatened with imprisonment.

Nonetheless, there are indications that something of the racist view of the swastika came to Russia and stayed. A biography of Purishkevich published in Leningrad in 1925, when the racist associations of the swastika were not familiar outside Germany, carries the symbol on the cover. The swastika also appears on the stamps of the Mongolian Republic of yon Ungern-Sternberg. In the melee around the Ipatyev house and a plot which was hatched to rescue the tsar, there are further indications that the swastika may have come to represent for the Russian right wing something of what it eventually signified in Germany. [104]

The real launching of the symbol may have been the legend of the Ipatyev house itself. The tsaritsa's use of the swastika carried no anti-Semitic overtones. She was not an anti-Semite, and the object was her good-luck charm. But the confused attempts made by the friends of the imperial family to extricate them from their confinement took place under the sign of the tsaritsa's talisman. The swastika became the symbol of the rescue organization. How real this organization was is difficult to say, particularly as the verdict is bound up with the later conspiracy theories of paranoid White officers. The two main actors in the tragedy were Boris Nikolaievitch Soloviev, representing the friends of the tsaritsa gathered around Anna Vyrubova; and Sergei Vladimirovitch Markov, a distant cousin and the agent of Markov II.

Boris Soloviev was the son of a minor official of the Holy Synod. It is tempting to try to link him with the family of Vladimir Soloviev, but the name was common. According to his adversary Paul Bulygin, (the former commander of the dowager empress's bodyguard), Boris shared the inclinations of his famous namesakes. After studying at Berlin, he became secretary to a German tourist and traveled with him to India. Here he left his employer and went to the Theosophical headquarters at Adyar where he remained for about a year. The Great War found him once more in Russia, where he volunteered for the army and fell in with Anna Vyrubova and her friends who shared his occult interests. His father was a friend and neighbor of Rasputin, and Boris Soloviev was the candidate whom the staretz favored for his daughter's hand. The marriage between Matriona Rasputin and the young Theosophist actually took place in September 1917. At the request of Anna Vyrubova and other monarchists, Boris Soloviev left for Siberia to act as the official representative of the royalist organizations. Here, according to his opponents, Soloviev made contact with one Father Alexis and represented to the imperial family that there were 300 loyal officers ready to free them. This organization -- said by Bulygin to have been completely nonexistent -- was dubbed by the tsaritsa, the "Brotherhood of St. John of Tobolsk" and was to identify itself by her personal good-luck charm -- the swastika. [105]

Another emissary arrived from Finland, where Markov II had set up his headquarters. This was the young lieutenant S. V. Markov, who at that time was instructing his agents to help the Bolsheviks to overthrow the provisional government as the first step to restoring order. According to Bulygin, S. V. Markov was used as camouflage by Soloviev -- who was in fact a Bolshevik agent -- to convince members of other monarchist organizations that the plot to free the imperial family was proceeding satisfactorily. Perhaps Soloviev, Markov, and the imperial family were the only people ever to use the identification sign of the swastika. But the references to Markov II by the younger Markov show that he regarded his anti-Semitic relative as the "Head of the organization which had made it its mission to protect and free the imprisoned Imperial family" and that the sign of the swastika was that of "our organization." [106] If there was a conspiracy, it failed, and the imperial family was taken to Ekaterinburg and murdered.

The result was that the White Russians had to find a scapegoat. The energetic S. V. Markov had contrived to make contact with German relatives of the tsaritsa and the elements of the German General Staff surrounding Ludendorff and Hoffmann who were contemplating a royalist restoration in Russia. He was consequently seen as part of the German-Jewish conspiracy. As for Soloviev, whose role was indeed suspicious, his marriage to Rasputin's daughter made him more suspect still. The magistrate Nicholas Sokolov (who devoted the remainder of his life to collecting evidence about the murder of the imperial family) had Soloviev and his wife arrested in Vladivostok as they were preparing to emigrate. From Soloviev's captured diary Sokolov constructed a remarkable theory, which passed into White Russian mythology. Soloviev had married Matriona Rasputin to ingratiate himself with monarchist circles, and he kept his wife under his control by means of hypnosis. If the diary extracts quoted by Sokolov are correct, there seem to be some grounds for this otherwise unbelievable suspicion. [107] For the Whites, the identification of Soloviev and Matriona Rasputin with the German-Jewish conspiracy was further assured when it was discovered that, after they were eventually able to leave Russia, the couple had stayed with a Jewish friend of Rasputin. In 1921 Bulygin denounced Boris Soloviev to Markov II and other emigre leaders in Berlin.los Five years later Rasputin's son-in-law died in Paris as the result of an attack by White Russians in the street.

Suspicion of Boris Soloviev may well have been justified. Documents found on him in Vladivostok indicate that he was a complete opportunist. Some of the vehemence against him undoubtedly came from the supporters of Markov II, whose own activities had been less effective than might have been expected. But the German-Jewish conspiracy that was concocted by White Russian illuminates to explain the deaths of the imperial family acquired a particularly diabolical cast from its constant association with the supernatural. The marriage of Soloviev to Rasputin's daughter, his hypnotic control over her, and the devotion which Rasputin's former devotees still showed to their dead master -- for Rasputin's spirit was said still to haunt the seance room of Anna Vyrubova and her set -- all these details filled in the outline drawn by the tale of the Protocols, the swastika, and the Jewish commissar. Such an atmosphere could only have been generated in Russia at that time of apocalypse or in Germany a few years later. But this species of mythologizing has still not been completely buried. Wilder and wilder grow the stories, such as a recent tale that Rasputin and his associates were directed through a "Green center of Moravian flagellants" by a colonel of German intelligence. It seems that it was a "Moravian flagellant" who had given the tsaritsa her swastika in the first place. [109] Whatever Boris Soloviev was trying to do, he was a denizen of that shadowy land between Theosophy and espionage which was occupied by Yuliana Glinka. The story demonstrates that not only do illuminates profess an extraordinary quality of hate but that their suspicion of "occult powers" in others may mobilize this hate against them. Yussupov's vision of Rasputin as the incarnation of Satanic powers and the semisupernatural nature of the deceptions attributed to Boris Soloviev remain an essential part of the myth.

In the legend of the Ipatyev house there were, thus, several important elements. The presence of the Protocols and the "Jewish" executioners form the first and most important. The use by the tsaritsa of the swastika and its possibly wider significance as a symbol of resistance to "Jewish Bolshevism" among right-wing Russians form the second. The third element is that of a fundamental irrationalism -- the conspiracy was that much easier to believe if coupled with the use of magic by a traitor within the ranks of the heavenly host. This irrationalism was perpetuated in the West. The Russian-American anti-Semite Leslie Fry (Paquita Shishmarev) interpreted the scrawls on the wall of the Ipatyev house as evidence "that the murder of the tsar was committed by men under the command of occult forces; and by an organization which, in its struggle against existing power resorted to the ancient cabbalism in which it was well versed." [110]

In the diffusion of the Protocols throughout the White Russian armies the means employed were those of organized propaganda. Purishkevich distributed an edition to the armies of General Denikin on the Don. The forgery was assiduously cultivated in the Crimea. In Siberia, Admiral Koltchak printed the Protocols and was himself obsessed by the Judeo- Masonic conspiracy. [111] Illuminates -- who actually believed in the conspiracy -- were essential to the propagation of the myth. In exile, Merezhkovsky had visions of a struggle between the Pentacle and the Cross, but he thought Lenin and Trotsky to be "blind instruments of mysterious forces" rather than part of an active conspiracy. In Mongolia, the anti-Semitism of the mystical Ungern-Sternberg was notorious. Grigori Bostunitch lectured to the armies of General Denikin, and he purveyed a very "occult" brand of anti-Semitism. He had written a pamphlet on Rasputin, commented on the Protocols, and analyzed the conspiracy of the Freemasons. His theories included the suggestion that Fabre d'Olivet had been ritually murdered; it is significant that he should attach importance to Fabre d'Olivet, an obscure figure to all but French occultists and a very few illuminated anti-Semites like the author of The Secret of the Jews. Vladimir Soloviev, who himself had in fact been attracted to the Jews, is made by Bostunitch to denounce the conspiracy. It is scarcely surprising to find that he ended up in the SS, where he was known as Schwartz-Bostunitch. [112]

It is intriguing to discover that at the same time as propagating conspiracy theories Bostunitch had continued his own activities in occultism. His first esoteric teacher, he tells us, was in the Caucasus in 1917-18; when he emigrated he spent time in Bulgarian Theosophical circles. The only esoteric teacher who is known to have been in the Caucasus at that time was Gurdjieff, and it is more or less certain that any Bulgarian contacts would have been associated with "the Master" Petr Deunov. On his arrival in Germany, Bostunitch fell in with the Anthroposophists, met Rudolf Steiner personally, and came deeply under his influence. In a Viennese magazine of 1925 he wrote an obituary on Steiner, praising him as "one who fought Evil"; and three years later (in a second edition of his book on Freemasonry) he apologized for having in the Russian edition called Steiner a "black magician." In 1929 he changed his allegiance and issued a pamphlet against Anthroposophy of an especially vicious sort. This sudden reversal of values and the consequent association of the abandoned idol with the power of darkness -- Steiner immediately became part of a Jewish-Masonic conspiracy of sex-magicians -- are exactly in keeping with the process we have already observed as common among occultists." [113]

Schwartz-Bostunitch is an extreme case, but this illuminated SS-man does show the extent of what was possible. There were many others -- marginally less eccentric but equally fanatical -- who arrived, like Bostunitch, in the West, and set about propagating the Russian view of the occult conspiracy. In Germany their effect was much the same as that of alcohol on certain drugs: they potentiated an already powerful mixture.



1. Norman Cohn, Warrant for Genocide (paperback ed., London, (970). The text of the Protocols can be found in Leslie Fry, Waters Flowing Eastward (4th ed., London, 1953).

2. Walter Laqueur, Russia and Germany (London, 1969), pp. 50-125.

3. Robert F. Byrnes, Antisemitism in Modern France, vol. I (New Brunswick, 1950), p. 144.

4. Gaston Mery, Jean Revolte (Paris, 1892). "Com bien de gens se sentiront Celtes quand je leur aurai den once Meridional, une nombre d'indifferents se sont reveilles socialistes quand Drumont leur a denounce le Juif' (p. 68).

5. See Gaston Mery, La Voyante de la rue de paradis (Paris, 1896-97), p. 33.

6. Byrnes, Antisemitism, p. 145.

7. See The Occult Underground, pp. 144 ff.

8. Eugen Weber (ed.), Satan Franc-macon (Paris, 1964), pp. 216 ff.

9. Quoted Byrnes, Antisemitism, p. 316.

10. See Alec Mellor, Our Separated Brethren, the Freemasons (London, 1964), pp. 263-65.

11. Cohn, Warrant, p. 113.

12. Cohn, Warrant, pp. 109-10. Cf., for example, Schwartz-Bostunitsch, Judischer Imperialismus (3rd ed., Leipzig, n.d.).

13. James Parkes, The Emergence of the Jewish Problem 1878-1939 (London, 1946), pp. 195-96.

14. Cohn, Warrant, pp. 11-12.

15. "Inquire Within, " Light-Bearers of Darkness (London, 1930), pp. 23, 201. Nesta Webster, Secret Societies, pp. 3-24, identified the Great Conspiracy with Gnosticism. The sexual innuendoes used against the Jews are also used by propagandists against occultism; see chapter I for the accusations against Steiner.

16. Shirley in The Occult Review (June 1930), p. 362.

17. On the apostasy, see Pierre Geyraud, Les Petites Eglises de Paris (Paris, 1937), p. 78 and Fabre des Essarts, Les Hierophantes (Paris, 1905), p. 17. Doinel lost none of his eccentricity by becoming ecclesiastically orthodox. He was to be seen wandering around Carcasonne in a hat trimmed with episcopal purple, with Gnostic insignia on his chest and wearing a large amethyst on his finger. He died in 1903.

18. Papus, Le Diable et l'occultisme (Paris, 1895), p. 10. Cf. Georges Bois, Le Peril occultiste (Paris, 1899).

19. Papus, Le Diable, pp. 24-25.

20. Gustav Meyrink contra Gustav Frenssen (Munich, 1908).

21. Eugen Lennhoff and Oskar Posner, Internationales Freimaurerlexicon (Zurich, Leipzig, Vienna, 1932), pp. 103-5, quoting Carl Vogl, Aufzeichnungen und Bekentnisse (Vienna and Berlin), which I have been unable to obtain. My attention was drawn to this passage by Mr. Ellie Howe.

22. Karl Heise, Die Entente-Freimaurerei und der Weltkrieg (2nd ed., Basel, 1920; orig. 1919). For Heise, see Chapter VI.

23. Charles Renaut, L'Israelite Edouard Drumont et les societes secretes actuellement (Paris, J 895).

24. Cohn, Warrant, p. 110.

25. See letter of H. P. Blavatsky to M. Biliere printed Blech, Societe Theosophique en France, pp. 138-40.

26. Compare Soloviev's account of the Eberfeld miracles with Madame Blavatsky's assertion that the lady in question was "Mile de Glinka." Letters of Madame Blavatsky, p. 268, and cf. corroboration of Countess Wachtmeister, Letters of Mme. B., p. 273. Throughout Vsevolod Soloviev's Modern Priestess of Isis read "Miss X" = Madame Fadeyev; "Mme Y" = Vera Jelikovsky; "Miss A" = Glinka.

27. Vsevolod Soloviev, Priestess, pp. 34, 74-76, 80-85, 90.

28. See SPR Proceedings (vol. III, 1885), pp. 393-95.

29. H.P.B. to A. P. Sinnett, Letters, p. 208.

30. Letters, pp. 184, 192-93, 208.

31. Vsevolod Soloviev, Priestess, pp. 114-15, pp. 169-71. It is interesting that not only paranoid colonial officials believed that H.P.B. was implicated in the Russian secret service -- Rudolf Steiner believed that the Theosophical Society had been taken over by Russian-oriented politics.

32. Letters of H. P. Blavatsky, p. 208.

33. Vsevolod Soloviev, Priestess, pp. 311-12.

34. Letters of H. P. Blavatsky, p. 192.

35. This is because, although it is certain that Glinka was Soloviev's companion on the visits to Eberfeld, the visitors are twice described as "the Solovievs" -- see Blech, Societe Theosophique en France, p. 115, and William Kingsland, The Real H. P. Blavatsky (London. 1928), p. 219. Kingsland places "the Solovievs" in quotation marks because of "an ancient scandal." It would follow that Glinka was the person whom H.P.B. accused Soloviev of seducing at the age of thirteen. Cf. Leiters. p. 208. Soloviev claimed not to have seen Glinka for some years before the Eherfeld affair: and their relationship must remain conjectural.

36. H. P. Blavatsky to The World (24 September 1877), printed in The Complete Works, vol. I, pp. 156-57; H. P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled (Point Lorna, ed. 1919), vol. II, pp. 69-70, note 1107. The book referred to is Friedrich Wilhelm Ghillany, Die Menschenopfer der alter Hebraer (Nuremberg, 1844). Ghillany (1842-46) appears to have believed that the Jews still practiced ritual murder, and he advocated a reform of Judaism -- to put it mildly. The anti-Jesuit bias was shared by several of H.P.B.'s mystical compatriots, for example, Olga Besobrasova -- for whom see this chapter -- and at the Karlovtsy Council the pope was described as "the Black Pope, head of the Jesuit Order."

37. Rollin, L'Apocalypse, pp. 30-32; Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled, vol. II, section II, p. 352; Iliodor, Mad Monk, p. 355, pp. 369-72, 397.

38. Wachtmeister to A. P. Sinnett, The Letters of H. P. Blavatsky, p. 265.

39. This, of course, may have stemmed from the idea that Steiner, as an Austrian Catholic, was educated by the Jesuits; but the sense in which it was meant is quite clear.

40. Document headed "Private and Confidential" in Letters of H. P. Blavatsky, pp. 230-31; all extracts, Letters, pp. 232-33.

41. Mr. Francis King, who discovered the existence of the pamphlet in the first place, has seen one, nor is there any reason to doubt the editors of The Patriot, who were rather put out by finding an "exposure of World Jewry" by an organization that their ideologist, Mrs. Webster, told them was linked with the Jewish conspiracy.

42. "The Hebrew Talisman, " supplement to The Patriot (8 September 1927), p. 1.

43. William Kingsland, The Real H. P. Blavatsky (London, 1928), pp. 230-33; Ransom, Theosophical Society, p. 252 and p. 254; see supplement to The Theosophist (October, 1890), pp. ii-iii, and cf. Ryan, Theosophical Society, pp. 252-53, where Harte is said to have quarreled with Madame Blavatsky over the question of whether the Theosophical Society should appeal to a wider audience.

44. See Richard Harte, The New Psychology (3rd. ed., London, 1903), especially p. 127; and Hypnotism and the Doctors (2 vols. London, 1902-03).

45. Harte, Lay Religion (London, 1894), p. 45. For his opinion of H.P.B., see pp. 16-17.

46. The other is a sermon by a very dissenting clergyman -- see John Styles, The Mammon of Unrighteousness (London, 1836). The Hebrew Talisman of 1838 is a pamphlet of 47 pages, undated, anonymous, and printed by W. Whaley, 12 Holywell Street, The Strand.

47. Joseph Gaer, The Legend of the Wandering Jew (N.Y., 1961), pp.59, 122 ff.

48. The Hebrew Talisman, pp. 18-20.

49. The Hebrew Talisman, pp. 26-27.

50. The Hebrew Talisman, pp. 43-45.

51. See The Hebrew Talisman, pp. 27-30, for a very circumstantial account of the siege. The suicide of Abraham Goldsmid is historical. There was a legend of a Jewish mystic who lived with the Goldsmid family to whom he gave a box which was not to be opened until a certain date. Of course the box was opened prematurely -- and the suicide was supposed to have been only one of the disasters that befell the family. See Moses Margouliouth, The History of the Jews (3 vols. vol. lI, London, 185 I), pp. 144-45. This story passed into the mythology of anti-Semitism -- see Nesta Webster, Secret Societies and Subversive Movements (7th ed., London, 1955), pp. 185 ff.

52. The Hebrew Talisman, p. 11.

53. See Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine (London, 1888), vol. II, pp. 779- 80. Cf. Isabelle Pagan, Racial Cleavage (London, 1937). For an application of Theosophical race theories of a more sinister sort, see remarks on Lanz von Liebenfels in Chapter VI.

54. John Gwyer, Portraits of Mean Men (London, 1938), pp. 69-70; cf. Cohn, Warrant, pp. 114-15.

55. Text of Tavnya Yevrestia in Yuri Dyelevsky, Protokoly Sionskikh Mudretsov (Berlin, 1923), pp. 138 ff. I am greatly indebted to Liz Cowgill for a translation of the document (p. 137).

56. Dyelevsky, Protokoly, pp. 139-44.

57. See in particular Fabre d'Olivet, The Hebraic Tongue Restored (tr. N. L. Redfield, London and New York, 1921; orig. 1815); Saint-Yves d'Alveydre, Mission des Juifs (Paris, 1884). Cf. the comments of Leon Cellier, Fabre d' Olivet (Paris, 1953); Saint-Yves d' Alveydre, Mission des Juifs, p. 912. For another occult expression of loyalty to the Jews, directed against Drumont, see Lady Caithness, Theosophie Semitique (Paris, 1889); Dyelevsky, Protokoly, p. 139.

58. Dyelevsky, Protokoly, pp. 145-49.

59. Cohn, Warrant, pp. 31 ff.

60. Dyelevsky, Protokoly, pp. 154-58.

61. Vsevolod Soloviev, Priestess. p. 29; Dyelevsky, Protokoly, pp. 144.

62. See Cohn, Warrant, pp. 108 ff.

63. Rollin, L'Apocalypse, pp. 462-64.

64. This is the verdict of Professor Cohn.

65. Cohn, Warrant, p. 92; Rodzianko, Rasputin, p. 2; Encausse, Le Maitre Philippe, p. 242.

66. Rollin, L'Apocalypse, p. 34, pp. 382-84.

67. Cohn, Warrant, p.117.

68. Dyelevsky, Protokoly, pp. 148-49

69. Blech, Societe Theosophique, pp. 35, 144-48.

70. Vsevolod Soloviev, Priestess, pp. 30-32; Ransom, Theosophical Society, pp. 250-51. Papus was noted for joining any occult society that came his way and inventing those that did not.

71. Cohn, Warrant, pp. 116-17.

72. Vsevolod Soloviev, Priestess, pp. 288-89. 326; Juliette Adam, Un Reve sur le divine (orig. 1888), 2nd ed. bound with Paienne (Paris, 1903), p. 261; "Dr. Battaille, " Le Diable au 19e. siecle (2 vols. Paris, 1896), vol. II, p. 950. Cf. Winifred Stephens, Madame Adam (London, 1917), p. 211.

73. Isabelle Bogelot, "Emilie de Morsier et la fondation de l'Adelphie" in La revue des femmes russes (Paris), tome 1, nos. 5-6, pp. 193 ff.

74. Ina de Kapnist, "Echos de Russie" in La revue, tome 2, nos. 1 and 2, pp. 86-93, 163 f.

75. Olga Besobrazova, "La Religion Nouvelle" in La revue, tome 1, nos. 9-12.

76. See Olga Besobrazova, Poemes mystiques (Paris, 1901), and in Le Lotus bleu, vol. IX, no. 8. On Paul Adam's anti-Semitism, see in particular Le Mystere des foules (Paris, 1895), in which the lust of a Jew for another man's wife causes war between France and Germany. It was very popular in occult circles.

77. Schwartz-Bostunitch, Judischer Imperialismus, p. 220.

78. Besobrazova, in Le Revue des femmes Russes, tome 1, no. II. p. 462.

79. "Niet, " La Russie d'Aujourd'hui (Paris, 1902), pp. 6-7, 12, 46. This is a compilation of the newspaper articles. Cf. Alec Mellor, Separated Brethren, pp. 265-66. Sometimes even the Salvation Army was involved in the conspiracy theories.

80. Rollin, L'Apocalypse. pp. 355-56.

81. Encausse, Papus, pp. 31-33.

82. Rollin, L'Apocalypse, p. 363; V.-E. Michelet, Les Compagnons de la hierophanie (Paris, n.d.), p. 41; Encausse, Papus, p. 51. I have identified the Imperial Order of Mejdie (Turkey, founded 1852), the Ordre royal et militaire du Christ (ancient Portuguese) and the honor of Chevalier de L'Ordre de Bolivar (Venezuela, founded 1857); Papus, quoted in Encausse, Pap us. p. 51.

83. Rollin, L'Apocalypse, pp. 363 ff.; du Chayla quoted in Cohn, Warrant, p. 100.

84. Gaston Mery, La Voyante de la rue de paradis (Paris, 1896-97), first collection, pp. 121 ff., 169 ff., second collection (no. 7 onward) p. 162.

85. Encausse, Le Maitre Philippe. p. 240; Jean Renard, Journal 1887-1910 (Paris, 1960), p. 77; Jean Carrere, Affaire Dreyfus-response a Emile Zola (Paris, 1898). His thesis was summarized in Degeneration in the Great French Masters (tr. Joseph McCabe, London, 1922) praising the "healthy" art of Mistral and the Parnassians. "All these geniuses are clear, radiant and beautiful. ... , " p. 236. Juliette Adam was sympathetic to the Felibrige -- in 1896 she published Mistral's Poeme du Rhone and for many years kept a property in Provence. It is worth noting that a lady who was possibly Glinka claimed to have received the Protocols from a journalist who had stolen them from the Jewish headquarters in Nice -- why Nice? It may also be significant that Fabre d'Olivet was seen by the Felibres as a precursor, and that from 1883, when a book by J. Donnadieu was published, the occultist was placed -- a little doubtingly, it is true -- in their heroes' gallery. See Cellier, Fabre d'Olivet; Rollin, L'Apocalypse, p. 363; for Butler and Beamish, see chapter III.

86. Butmi, quoted in Rollin, L'Apocalypse, p. 363. My italics.

87. See the story of the journalist Menshikov told by Professor Cohn, Warrant, p. III.

88. Walter Laqueur, Russia and Germany (1969), pp. 79-80; Witte, Memoirs, p. 129.

89. Laqueur, Russia and Germany, pp. 86-87.

90. Laqueur, Russia and Germany, pp. 84-85; Cohn, Warrant. pp. 73-74; Curtiss, Church and State, pp. 260-61; Curtiss, Church and State, pp. 260-61, 2611-69, 271-72; Gapon, Story of my Life. pp. 115-16.

91. Gapon, Story of my Life, p. 204; Iliodor, Mad Monk, pp. 41-42.

92. Iliodor, Mad Monk, pp. 42-43.

93. On the case itself see Alex B. Tager, The Decay of Czarism (Philadelphia 1935), and Maurice Samuel, Blood Accusation (London, 1967); Laqueur, Russia and Germany, p. 84.

94. Fullop-Miller, Rasputin, pp. 88-90; Curtiss, Church and State. p. 370.

95. Witte, Memoirs, p. 190.

96. Iliodor, Mad Monk. p. 176; e.g., on his indictment by the Duma: "Darling Papa and Mama, the cursed devil is overpowering. And the duma serves him. It contains many revolutionists and Jews." Iliodor, Mad Monk, p. 193.

97. Hans von Eckhardt (born Riga, 1890), Russisches Christen turn (Munich, 1947), p. 285.

98. Letters of the Tsaritsa to the Tsar, 1914-16 (London, 1932), pp. 456-57.

99. See Cohn, Warrant, pp. 96-107.

100. Dyelevsky, Protokoly. p. 144; Cohn, Warrant. pp. 100-102, 319; Leslie Fry, Waters, p. 180.

101. See Vladimir Purishkevich, Comment j'ai tue Raspoutine (tr. Lydie Krestovsky, Paris, 1924) and compare another version translated by Mikhail Purishkevich in Les Oeuvres fibres (August 1953). The two versions differ substantially.

102. Felix Yussupoff, Lost Splendour (tr. A. Green and N. Katkoff, London, 1954), pp. 106, 254; see Countess Kleinmichel, Memories of a Shipwrecked World (tr. V. Legard, London, 1923) and Serge Obolensky, One Man in his Time (London, 1960), pp. 26-27, 138.

103. Gilliard, Russian Court. p. 274; photograph p. 276; Norman Cohn follows Henri Rollin.

104. Rollin, L'Apocalypse, p. 70; Cohn following Rollin; Wilfried Daim, Der Mann, der Hitler die Ideen gab (Munich, 1958), p. 99; see A. A. Mossolov, At the Court of the Last Tsar (ed. A. A. Pilenco and E. W. Dickes, London, 1935), pp. 109-10; see Prince S. D. Urussov, Memoirs ofa Russian Governor (London and New York, 1908). The liberal Urussov had been appointed governor of Bessarabia just after the pogrom of Kishinev with instructions from Plehve for "less speech-making and less philo-Semitism"; Daim, Der Mann, pp. 99-101; Laqueur, Russia and Germany. p. 336 note 4; G. Franz-Willing, Die Hitler-Bewegung. vol. 1 (Munich, 1962), p. 84.

105. Paul Bulygin, The Murder of the Romanovs (London, 1936); cf. Marie Rasputin, The Real Rasputin (tr. Arthur Chambers, London, 1929).

106. Sergei Vladimirovitch Markov, How We Tried to Save the Tsaritsa. (London and New York, 1929), pp. 82 ff., 202.

107. Nicholas Sokolov, Enqu'ete judicia ire sur I'assassination de la famille imperiale russe (Paris, 1926), pp. 132-34.

108. Bulygin, Murder, p. 211.

109. See Paleologue, Memoirs. vol. III, p. 173, for the story of the crazy Prince Kurakin and cf. Anna Viroubova, Journal secret (tr. M. Vaneix, Paris, (928), p. 304 for her devotion to her "master" after his death; the remarkable "Moravian" theory is that of Victor Alexandrov, the End of the Romanovs (tr. Sutcliffe, London, 1966). However, even the normally careful Henri Rollin fell into the trap of accepting a conspiracy theory.

110. Fry, Waters. p. 186.

111. Cohn, Warrant. pp. 128 ff.

112. Merezhkovsky, "La Croix et Ie Pentagram me" (tr. de Gramont, Paris, 1921), in Le Peuple Crucijie (pp. 212-18); Schwartz-Bostunitsch, Judischer Imperialismus, pp. 69-70; see Laqueur, Russia and Germany. pp. 122 ff., and the forthcoming work of Ellic Howe, The Lunatic Fringe in Germany, 1890-1925.

113. Schwartz-Bostunitch, Doktor Steiner. p. 3; Karl Heyer, Wie man gegen Rudolf Steiner kampft (2nd ed., Stuttgart, 1932), pp. 90-94.
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Re: The Occult Establishment, by James Webb

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Part 1 of 4

Chapter 5: The Magi of the North

The Underground in Power-"volkisch" Occultism-The Mystic Dietrich Eckart-The Spirituality of Gottfried Feder-Alfred Rosenberg and Russian anti-Semitism-Rudolf von Sebottendorff and the Thule Bund-Adolf Hitler and "volkisch" Occultism-The Ludendorffs and the Conspiracy Theory-The Fate of the Mystics after the Machtergreifung-Rosenberg's Aryan Atlantis- Himmler's Occult Fantasies-The Deutsches Ahnenerbe-Hitler and Horbiger-Other Realities and the Divine Sanction

NAZI Germany presents the unique spectacle of the partial transformation of the Underground of rejected knowledge into an Establishment. In the process, the Underground was considerably altered, and the nature of this change is not the least significant fact about the Nazi period. Despite all compromises with the demands of power, the seekers of "other realities" did partly succeed in establishing a different vision of the world from that of the pragmatic, materialist Establishment, which the First World War had shown to be so damaged. This success is probably why the Nazi party continues to attract attention despite all the unpleasant aspects of studying it at all. Other realities cultivated by established governments are rare indeed.

The Nazi universe was, of course, largely a matter of chance; it was formed from various irrationalist elements, which were to hand and lent themselves to political application. Very much of the propaganda, at least, was similar to the approach of English illuminated politicians: the new universe was to be anti-Establishment in the sense of being anti-individualist, antimaterialist, and antirationalist. Occultism, mysticism, and the religious impulse characterize the illuminated attitude. What is more, because some portion of the German Underground's vision of a new heaven and a new earth found its way into the necessary synthesis with power, some very peculiar elements of previously rejected knowledge crawled out into the light of day.

Because the attainment of German nationhood had come comparatively late, the glories of this status had been the subject of panegyrics by those concerned with any reality but that of the present. When, after the First World War, it could be represented that the nation was corporately in peril, a nationalism of the most visionary kind arose. At the same time German illuminates felt the pull of the tide which ran through the whole European Underground, toward rejection of the Establishment culture which had failed. This again pressed reformers in the direction of the ideal, because the Establishment which had governed in Germany by Realpolitik could be seen as the quintessence of the old order of the rule of force and the pursuit of profit. This gave the Underground its chance.

As we have seen, the growth of apocalyptic cults and the popularity of the occult were fostered by the misery of material conditions in the confused period immediately after the Great War. Because of the peculiar factors that encouraged an illuminated nationalism in Germany, a great deal of the transcendental impulse behind the occult revival was given a specifically nationalist twist.

Within the ranks of the volkisch movement are to be found several influential prophets of a nationalist occultism. The word volkisch carries overtones of "nation," "race," and "tribe," as well as the more antiquarian associations which cling to the English ideas of "folklore" or "folk dancing"; "folk," however, is an adequate translation. The movements which can be called volkisch have already found their historian, [1] but it has not been sufficiently emphasized that the sort of attitudes these men adopted were in many respects derived from theories of the Occult Revival. The forms their rebellion took were associated with the new "spirituality" of Progressive thought.

For example, Julius Langbehn's enormously influential book Rembrandt als Erzieher (1890) made a hero of the Swedish mystic Swedenborg and coupled him with the 13th-century Meister Eckhart; the contemporary cult of Germanic mystics like the obscure Jacob Lorber is part and parcel of this veneration. When applied to nationalist principles the mystical doctrine of the dissolution of the self in the Godhead has interesting results. The individual subject of the state must dissolve his personal identity in that of the people, the Volk. [2] This is precisely the doctrine we have already observed in the Guild Socialist Ramiro de Maeztu without emphasizing its mystical origins. Langbehn himself was attracted to the Theosophy of Madame Blavatsky but ended his life in a Catholic religious order. The prominent volkisch publisher Eugen Diederichs cultivated Oriental mysticism and theories of a return to the soil. When he established his publishing house in Jena he originally intended to call it "theosophical," and he believed in mystical fluids uniting the individual with the community. His friend and associate Martin Buber developed ideas similar to those of Diederichs on the basis of Jewish Hasidic mysticism. Once more the keynote was that the self must be absorbed into the Divine. [3] With such currents of thought other idealisms, like that of the Wandervogel. mingled: Diederichs and his Sera circle sent a greeting to the Hohe Meissner meeting composed in hexameters. [4]

Like the more generally Progressive Underground, whose concern was an unspecified new life rather than the resurrection of Volk, the volkisch idealists constructed their own Utopias. Buber and his disciples took Monte Verita one summer for a conference. The romantic Theosophist "Fidus" (Karl Hoppner) -- whose volkisch paintings of the young heroes and heroines of the new era were exceedingly popular [5] -- was one of the visitors to the Ascona colony. [6] There were also purely volkisch Utopias, some following the theories of Adolf Damaschke and the money reformer Sylvio Gesell (in fact, Gesell bears a distinct kinship to British rebels against the financial system like Arthur Kitson and C. H. Douglas). Then there was the settlement of Eden, founded in 1893, which was based on a system of profit sharing and an internal barter economy. Eden increasingly emphasized the exclusively Aryan nature of its elite and celebrated what its directors imagined were ancient German festivals. The doyen of German anti-Semitism, Theodore Fritsch -- who was also, quite typically, absorbed in designing garden cities -- attempted to apply the ideas of Eden to founding a settlement for his own Hammerbund. His friend Willibald Hentschel -- yet another pupil of Hackel -- projected a Utopia called Mittgart under the presiding spirit of the Aryan god Artam who gave his probably concocted name to the influential Artamanen Bund. [7]

In many ways the volkisch idealists obeyed the same impulses as the illuminates who were not concerned with the state of the "nation" or the "race." The two elements can be easily confused. Thus Rudolf Steiner observed how Langbehn's book Rembrandt als Erzieher passed in the Theosophical circles he frequented as a work of deep "spiritual" import: a verdict with which Steiner did not at all agree. [8] In a similar way Rom Landau could see Keyserling as a guru of general "spiritual" significance; while to at least one historian he has appeared an important volkisch thinker and preparer of the way for Nazism. [9]

The distinguishing characteristic of volkisch spirituality was, of course, its racial emphasis. We have already seen how the teachings of H. P. Blavatsky's Secret Doctrine embodied the idea of the occult destinies of each particular race; and it is worth noticing that the Theosophical Society was at one time called the "Theosophical Society of the Arya Samaj." The Arya Samaj was a body of Hindu revivalists with whom Colonel Olcott and Madame Blavatsky had allied themselves. Although the connection did not last very long it persisted in terminology -- for example, in 1883 a New York branch of the Theosophical Society was formed by William Quan Judge called the" Aryan Theosophists of New York" and had as its first object the promotion of Aryan and other Eastern religions. [10] The word "Arya," in fact, is Sanskrit for "noble," and the term had been applied by anthropologists to the most ancient Indo-European race. But it is common knowledge how the vision of the Aryan race was ultimately applied, and it is within a Theosophical setting that the theories of the Viennese racialists Guido von List and Lanz von Liebenfels can best be understood.

Guido von List (1848-1919) was the son of a businessman and a keen Alpinist. His mystical ideas took long to germinate. [11] In 1889 he published his novel Carnuntum, which extolled the sacredness of Vienna on the grounds that it had been the home of Gluck, Hayden, Mozart, Beethoven, and the discoverer of the "Odic force," Baron Reichenbach. It was also the place where, according to an ancient prophecy, the coming church of the Aryans would arise to spread throughout the world. In 1891 von List published a work of "archaeological occultism," which placed a romantic interpretation on Germanic landscapes and prehistoric relics like runic inscriptions and burial mounds. [12] In the same year he was inspired to compose a pantheistic and Germanic catechism. Von List's god, Allvater. was honored by leading a virtuous life, working, and serving the Volk. The last of his Ten Commandments read, "To your Volk and Fatherland be true unto death." [13] Von List gradually developed a system of interpreting runes, symbols, peasant carvings, and coats of arms to discover the esoteric religion of the "Ario-Germans." In 1905 the Guido von List Society was founded, which included among its members the Theosophist Franz Hartmann, whom von List's biographer -- himself a prominent Theosophist -- describes as "very honored among us." In 1910 Hartmann placed von List's ideas in a class with Isis Unveiled and remarked on their correspondence to Indian tradition. [14]

Guido von List and his society were in the mainstream of the occult revival. Friedrich Wannieck (who financed the group) wrote to von List in December 1914 that he had lost his son in the war and was seeking consolation from a Spiritualist medium. This medium was a Fraulein von Rantzau, with whom Franz Hartmann had been closely associated. Both Wannieck's son and Hartmann himself spoke through the medium commending von List's work. At the same time the society counted on its books the names of General Blasius von Schemua, the chief of staff of the Austro-Hungarian army, and Dr. Josef Neumayer, a former mayor of Vienna. [15]

List's ideas filtered into volkisch and occult thought in Germany as well as Austria. Philipp Stauff, the president of the Guido von List Society, adapted his master's theories to the interpretation of carved beams on old houses. He was a member of the group around the Munich newspaper that later became the official Nazi organ under the name of the V6lkischer Beobachter.

Another line of communication between Vienna and Munich was a charlatan whom the Guido von List Society always referred to as "the exalted Tarnhari." Tarnhari presented himself to the Viennese in 1911 as the head of the still-surviving family of the Volsungs -- whose family traditions appeared to tally strangely with the discoveries of von List. It seems that von List and his adherents expected great things from this hereditary descendent of ancient Teutonic prowess. [16] Despite all Germanic trappings, von List's ideas were thoroughly those of the Occult Revival. His symbolic interpretations -- in which the swastika and the "sun-wheel" played a great part -- led him to the discovery of the sacred primeval language of the secret Aryan priestly caste, the "Armanen." [17] This secret caste professed an esoteric religion which the popular worship of Wotan concealed. It incorporated belief in karma and reincarnation and found its supreme expression in the Cabala, which von List's disciples maintained was not at all Jewish, having originated in Gothic Spain. The teachings of the Freemason Kerning were modern versions of the ancient secret religion. [18]

Near to von List in spirit and sharing supporters with him -- Schemua belonged to his organization and he himself belonged to von List's -- was Adolf Lanz, alias Jorg Lanz von Liebenfels (1874-1954). Lanz von Liebenfels was a renegade Cistercian monk. He was expelled from his monastery in 1899, and almost immediately he developed a romantic attachment to the Germanic past and a prejudice against the Jesuits. He founded the Order of the New Templars on the model of the Roman Catholic hierarchy and set about collecting castles as centers for his order of "Aryan heroes." In 1907 the New Templars acquired their first fortress, Burg Werfenstein on the Danube. By the 1920s they had accumulated three more, to say nothing of a house in Salzburg and a "cell" in Hungary. Lanz gathered great support in volkisch circles through the issue of his racist magazine Ostara. The specifications for members of the New Templars laid down in the magazine went far beyond the simple formula of "blonde hair and blue eyes," and included slender hands and feet and an elongated cranium. Lanz proposed the founding of colonies of the pure-blooded far from the corrupting influence of the towns, and he compiled a handbook for prospective colonists. He exercised considerable influence over Strindberg, claimed a protracted correspondence with Lord Kitchener, and (as we have seen) tried to convert several Russian nobles to his doctrine of "Ariosophy." [19]

Ariosophy was a teaching of eclectic occultism, whose cardinal text was Lanz von Liebenfels's Theozoologie of 1904. Almost any reasonably "Germanic" occult text was appropriated. For example, numbers 7-10 of the Ariosophical Library were devoted to Lanz's elaboration of the monumentally boring Jacob Lorber under the title of "the greatest modern Ariosophical medium." To his racism and volkisch principles Lanz added an interesting method of scriptural interpretation which entailed reading "Angel" as "Aryan Hero" every time the word was used.

"The Aryan hero," wrote Lanz, "is on this planet the most complete incarnation of God and of the Spirit." The enemy of the Aryan hero was the Tschandala, the underman, whose political organization was democracy and who favored free competition and materialism. The coming age of Aquarius would see the purification of the Aryan hero from the sin of mixing his blood with that of such ape-men. According to a friend of Lanz, the prior of the Order of the New Templars was in touch with H. P. Blavatsky and Annie Besant. [20] His racism is peculiarly important because it shows the transition between the general possibilities implicit in Madame Blavatsky's Secret Doctrine and their practical application.

The Secret Doctrine was published in German translation the year before Lanz's Theozoologie, and the Ariosophist found much material in its pages to justify his position. Through his method of scriptural interpretation, Lanz discovered a series of subhuman races that existed in the time of the Assyrians. There had been for example the Pagutu, a race of river-men. He was convinced that the authoress of The Secret Doctrine, with its basis of "root-races" and "sub-races," had known all about them: the Pagutu -- was it not obvious? -- had been one of her Lemurian root-races. "When H. P. Blavatsky wrote her inspired Anthropogenesis" (the first part of The Secret Doctrine), Lanz mused, "she was almost a generation ahead of her time and of anthropology. Today for the first time work on the latest material has brought to light results which show a completely amazing identity with those of the spiritual Theosophist." [21] Lanz taught that men had not evolved from apes -- apes were degenerated men. H.P.B. herself had recognized the "unfruitfulness" in the mixing of races. [22]
In 1918 Lanz was in some manner involved in the Hungarian revolution and seems to have narrowly avoided being shot. During the late 1920s he was the center of a group of volkisch occultists that included Ernst Issberner-Haldane (a palmist and astrologer), Rudolf John Gorsleben (the translator of a version of the Edda known in Munich volkisch circles merely as "the Gorsleben Edda"), and the ubiquitous and highly illuminated anti-Semite Grigori Schwartz-Bostunitch. They acknowledged Lanz as "our Leader and Teacher" and published a volkisch paper to spread the gospel. [23] In 1938 Lanz was forbidden to publish by the Nazis; and it is possible that this ban was connected with the personal influence of Lanz on Hitler, a story to which we shall soon return.

In Munich similar theories held sway. In Schwabing there was another side to the posturings of the occultists and prophets, a side that one witness called "Secret Germany," where the Bohemian atmosphere nourished projects certainly of a Utopian nature, but also of practical application under conditions of crisis. [24] Ludwig Derleth's project of a new order dwelling in the Rosenburg has already been compared to the Order of the New Templars. The emphasis placed by the Munich Cosmics on the disruption of bourgeois standards and their use of the symbolic interpretations of Bachofen are similar to the methods of Guido von List and Lanz von Liebenfels. Ludwig Klages became a great influence on the youth movement; but possibly the most influential member of the Cosmics was Alfred Schuler, whose personal doctrine of the sacredness of the blood had been symbolized by the sign of the swastika ten years before Lanz von Liebenfels raised his swastika banner on Burg Werfenstein. The 1890s revival of Bachofen took on new life in the 1920s, with lectures given by Schuler, the propaganda put about by Klages, and a crowd of young disciples. Of these an example is Bertha Eckstein-Diener, who wrote under the names of "Helen Diner" and "Sir Galahad," translated the American mystic Prentice Mulford, and, apart from interpreting Bachofen into a feminist history of culture, produced occult novels and a denunciation of Slav Messianism. This she naturally saw as transmuted into Russian Communism, the epitome of mob rule and an expression of the Chosen People of Jewry. Her profoundest veneration went out to "the most obvious aristocrat of his time," the French Catholic magician, Josephin Peladan.[25] This was merely one of the possible syntheses of elements to hand. The presence of the occult in Munich should not be thought to have ended with the First World War.

Hitler himself must be ignored until the stage is fully set, because one of the most telling arguments for classing the early Nazi movement as "illuminated" is the constellation of ideas that presided over its birth. There is no longer much dispute over who or what in terms of ideas most helped Hitler to develop the Deutsche Arbeiterpartei of Anton Drexler into a force able to attempt a coup in 1923. There was his own orientation up till that time and the general confusion both of present conditions and plans for an improved future. In Munich the men who influenced or helped him beyond any question were the engineer-economist Gottfried Feder, the Bohemian playwright and mystic Dietrich Eckart, and two fugitives from the Russian Revolution, Alfred Rosenberg and Max-Erwin von Scheubner-Richter. Indispensable pieces in the game that was played up till the failure of the Beer-Hall Putsch were the representative of the old order betrayed, General Ludendorff, and the amalgam of occult-volkisch opinion around the Thule Bund of Rudolf von Sebottendorf.

Dietrich Eckart (1868-1923) was born the son of a lawyer in Neumarkt in the Oberpfalz. He went to the University of Erlangen to study medicine, and his chosen field is connected with his addiction to morphine, contracted while still at university. His friend Alfred Rosenberg wrote of him: "Without the sweet poison he could not live, and applied the whole cunning of a possessor of this craving to get himself dose after dose. Eventually he was taking daily measures from which a normal man, not possessed of such bear-like strength, would have died." Eckart had to give up his medical studies and took the cure in a sanatorium. He determined on a writing career; lived as Bohemian an existence as he could contrive in the town of his birth; and first published in 1893. Two years later his father died, and Eckart quickly ran through his inheritance. He moved from artistic circles in Leipzig and Regensburg to Berlin, where he settled in 1899. Eckart became the Bayreuth correspondent for several newspapers and wrote novels and political verse. Eventually he broke through with a play, Familienvater in 1905-06, and he made a reputation as a volkisch playwright with a translation of Peer Gynt. a historical drama Henry the Hohenstaufen. and his widely acclaimed Lorenzaccio. After another spell in a sanatorium, Eckart married and moved to Munich where he became a fixed star in the Schwabing firmament. [26]

Eckart was an archetypal Bohemian and an emotional cripple. To his early morphine addiction and his later overindulgence in alcohol -- which probably killed him -- he added a contempt for women. As Rosenberg said: for Eckart, Woman was nature and no more. [27] Eckart's anti-Semitism had burgeoned in Berlin. The lack of success that attended his first attempts to have his plays produced was attributed to the same Jewish conspiracy as lay behind the early hostility of theater critics. [28] From December 1918, Eckart issued at his own expense and very largely wrote Auf gut Deutsch. an anti-Semitic news sheet, which he was forced to distribute personally. This activity brought him into contact with Gottfried Feder, Alfred Rosenberg, the Thule Bund, and Hitler.

It is important to see this man not as a "precursor of Nazism" or "an influence on Hitler," but as a creature in his own right, for only in this way will the nature of Eckart's influence become apparent. Nazi studies of the playwright and "veteran fighter" unite in presenting him as a mystic and seer rather than as an orthodox exponent of volkisch ethics, and there is every indication that they are correct.

Dietrich Eckart was never a politician in the usual sense. As a politician he remained -- as he did as poet -- a seer of essentials, and from this standpoint he passed judgment on men and events. With the politics of everyday and their advancement, with practical Realpolitik and its hypocrisy and readiness to compromise, he had nothing to do. [29]

Eckart was a seeker of other realities. He especially admired Schopenhauer for his adoption of the Hindu doctrine of maya -- that the world is illusion. According to Rosenberg, the Cherubinischer Wandersmann of the mystic Angelus Silesius was Eckart's Bible.

The basis of Eckart's doctrine was Christian mysticism. Man must free himself from the world and deny the supremacy of matter, which is illusion. Only death will break the spell under which humanity labors. This negation of the world has its opposite in the teaching of world affirmation, whose greatest representative Eckart saw as the Jew. Christ, for Eckart, was an incarnate revelation; but his teaching had been overlaid by St. Paul and others with the Jewish gospel of the Old Testament from which proceeded all evil. Belief in the true God, on the other hand, was essential to all Germans.

In Dietrich Eckart mysticism and racism were inseparable; and his most definite personal views later caused his friends and panegyricists much embarrassment. Rosenberg complained that even in purely political articles, Eckart would keep dragging in Christ. In 1941 a study of Eckart was published, which stigmatized the Nazi hero's beliefs as "dangerously Indian." Eckart's curiosity extended further than Angelus Silesius, and he considered himself well able to denounce the "Theosophical Society ... which never knew -- and still does not know -- what Theosophy really means." [30] A curious feud took place between the volkisch playwright and the Anthroposophists, which is worth examining in a little detail because it reveals the milieu in which Eckart moved.

In Schwabing all elements of the idealistic Underground could come together. Rudolf Steiner and his followers were as free to make converts as the volkisch prophets, and an example may help to show how closely the various "idealists" and illuminates brushed against each other.

Until after the First World War the Schwabing home of the novelist Helen Bohlau (1859-1940) [31] was a center of volkisch prophets, and nationalist sentiment. Apart from a series of novels describing life in medieval Germany, Helen Bohlau published in 1896 what she considered her best novel, suggestively entitled Das Recht der Mutter -- the reference is to Bachofen's Mutterrecht. The author found the inspiration for this book in her husband, Omar al Raschid Bey, yet another German-Russian of mystical temperament. He had become a naturalized Turk in order to marry her. Apart from presumably keeping another wife elsewhere, Omar's peculiarities extended to going around in Turkish dress. "He is a philosopher," wrote one of the couple's friends, "and although he objects to calling his philosophy and comparative religious sciences theosophy (a certain odium always attaches itself to this word), it is nevertheless extremely like it." This opinion was that of Princess Helen yon Racowitza, a devotee of H. P. Blavatsky, whom she had known in New York at the time of the founding of the Theosophical Society and again in London at the close of H.P.B.'s life. When Princess von Racowitza was not using her title she became plain Frau von Schewitsch, and as such is mentioned by Rudolf Steiner as the hostess to gatherings at which he was able to find a sympathetic hearing when he was building up his Anthroposophical movement. [32[ By easy stages the inquirer moves from Helen Bohlau and her salon of illuminated nationalism, through the mysticism of her Slavinfluenced husband, to Theosophy, and finally to Steiner.

Eckart himself was approached by Steiner's agents on a political rather than a transcendental footing. The publisher of Auf gut Deutsch had founded a political organization directed against Jews and Communists, which he called the Deutsche Burgervereinigung. By May 1919 this organization was advertised across the front page of the Munchener Beobachter. This was the month in which army and Freikorps units entered Munich and overthrew the workers councils of the Left, which had governed the city since the assassination of Kurt Eisner at the beginning of the year. Bloody revenge was taken by the occupying forces because of a dozen hostages murdered by the Communists. For Eckart the importance was that the murdered hostages had belonged to the Thule Society, with which he was connected by ties of sympathy if not yet by actual membership. The tide of politics had turned to the Right, and Eckart and his Burgervereinigung were among those who might be assumed to profit from this. In July 1919, Eckart wrote in Auf gut Deutsch:

Recently I have been asked incessantly what I think of Dr. Rudolf Steiner. My answer confined itself to the facts that many years ago in Berlin when he was enthused by Nietzsche I once heard him speak from a miraculously suspended dais; that recently an "Appeal" concocted by him came my way signed by a number of "eminent" names which was nonetheless completely without content, indeed thoroughly confused; and lastly, that I saw him as a Jew whom I wouldn't trust across the street. In the meantime I came somewhat more closely in contact with him through the visit of one of his disciples, an artist, who had several times vainly sought me out in the offices of the Deutsche Burgervereinigung, finally to reconcile himself however, to my flat -- apparently for him not nearly sufficiently neutral territory. In ten minutes we had both said all we would ever say to each other, I really don't need to enlarge. Whether he was sent by Steiner himself in the hopes of being able to use my supposed influence for his Munich plans, I don't know, but I believe so; at least the persistence with which I was sought out in the Burgervereinigung argues strongly for it. [33]

The chances are that Eckart was right. During the troubled year of 1919 -- in which form of government succeeded form of government, giving place to no government at all -- Rudolf Steiner had decided that spiritual science should enter politics. His panacea was called the "Threefold Commonwealth," and the theory had first been outlined by Steiner to Count Otto Lerchenfeld in 1917. Together with another Anthroposophist, Count Ludwig Polzer-Hoditz, Steiner and Lerchenfeld had elaborated the scheme for Polzer-Hoditz to communicate to the German emperor. Through Polzer-Hoditz's brother the plan reached the emperor that November, but nothing further came of the project till 1919.

Steiner's original strategy might be compared to that of Papus, who also tried to influence thrones. This is a somewhat ironic comparison, considering that the design for the Threefold Commonwealth was taken lock, stock, and barrel from Papus's "intellectual master," Saint-Yves d'Alveydre. Saint-Yves had called the system "Synarchy" -- by which he said he meant "Totalism," the association of everyone with everyone else, as opposed to Nihilism, the association of no one with nobody. The basis of the theory is an analogy of human society and the human body. In both there are said to be three systems -- the "eating," "living," and "thinking" (in the words of Papus); the "transformers of material," the "rhythmic system," and the "head-system" (in the terminology of Steiner). In terms of the State this meant the division of government into three equivalent functions: economic life; legislature and judiciary; and the directing force (interpreted by Papus as authority and instruction, and by Rudolf Steiner as the spiritual life of the nation).J4 In France the occult publisher Chamuel had issued a series of "synarchical" works. But Steiner had no need to go beyond Saint-Yves or Papus for his material.

In 1919 the fully elaborated plan was ready to be applied to a Germany boiling with revolution. Steiner's opponents were unanimous that the Anthroposophist thought that his time had come. In April 1919 The Threefold Commonwealth was published in book form, and 80,000 copies were sold in the first year. Steiner's attempts to interest statesmen ensnared Prince Max of Baden, the last imperial chancellor, but this time Steiner addressed his chief efforts to the workers. He lectured to trade unions and established organizations to campaign for the Threefold Social Order in both Germany and Switzerland. The Stuttgart-based Union for the Threefold Social Order published a weekly paper. It was, therefore, as an organized political force that the Anthroposophists took the field.

The "Appeal" that Eckart had read almost certainly had to do with the Threefold Commonwealth, and Steiner stated in 1922 that the book embodying the theory had been written specifically for "the time Spring 1919 and the place South Germany." On 7 May two of Steiner's followers -- probably Dr. Carl Unger and the industrialist Emil Molt -- approached the Wurttemberg state president, the Social Democrat Bios, and tried to persuade him that Steiner would make a good addition to the state government. Blos strongly disapproved of Steiner and rejected his advances. [35] It is more likely than not that Eckart was deliberately approached by the Anthroposophists in a similar fashion.

With Eckart the Anthroposophists had no success. Indeed they had stirred up a hornet's nest. The hostility and indifference that met the later efforts of Steiner to engage a mass audience can in part be attributed to the work of Eckart and other volkisch agitators. By the time the Anthroposophist lectured to those involved in the Saar Plebiscite in 1921, his standing had been irreparably damaged. In two attacks in Auf gut Deutsch in July and December 1919, Eckart set the style for all subsequent polemics against the Anthroposophists. Steiner was a Jew from Galicia, he insisted; his society was built on love of money and megalomania. Eckart reprinted large sections of a pamphlet by the Russian-German Max Seiling accusing Steiner of "sexual magic," and he revived accusations that had been the cause of the first attacks on Steiner during the Great War. These consisted of a fatuous theory that when Steiner had met General Helmuth von Moltke just before the 1914 Battle of the Marne, he had somehow mesmerized his sympathizer into military ineptitude. This was soon to be given a contemporary turn and Steiner represented as the agent of the Jewish-Masonic-Communist conspiracy. "Whether it's Preuss or Hirsch or Steiner," wrote Eckart, "the spirit's the same even when it goes disguised in a Theosophical beard."

In the course of his attacks Eckart revealed himself to be very well informed on internal Theosophical politics and occultism generally: for example, denying Steiner's book Theosophy any more value than "Brandler's Okkultische Lehrbriefen." "Brandler" was Karl Brandler-Pracht (b. 1864) a central figure in the German astrological revival and a practitioner of what Ellic Howe has described as a "primitive" brand of occultism. Brandler-Pracht had been in Munich during 1908-09, when he had quarreled with the Steinerites in the Theosophical Society (who, of course, considered themselves immeasurably his superiors). [36] Eckart's cut was, therefore, both subtle and revealing. To refer in familiar terms to "Brandler" shows that the leader of the Deutsche Burgervereinigung was quite at home in the rapidly growing Occult Underground.

Why did the Anthroposophists approach Dietrich Eckart? He was known to be a mystic, fond of "philosophizing" as his friends described him. He was a Schwabing character, and in a good political position. It might reasonably have been expected that Eckart's call for a more "spiritual" politics would have found favor. After all the Threefold Commonwealth was well-received in other illuminated circles. A review in the English Guildsman gave Steiner a guarded welcome, and the theory was later to form the basis of the economic policy of Dmitri Mitrinovic's "New Britain." [37] Steiner's vaguely medievalist praise of the guilds might be expected to endear itself to a supporter of the economic theories of Gottfried Feder. Furthermore, the analogy with the human body and the whole concept of the political organism working together must have seemed tailor-made for the prophet of a less materialist and more organic, more volkisch society.

We can learn much from the violence of Eckart's rejection of the Anthroposophists. To react so strongly -- he was not the only volkisch thinker to do so -- he must have taken them seriously. Indeed he was right, for Germany seemed prepared to consider any alternative to her previous unfortunate system. But, in a way, the volkisch reaction was an admission that both camps were operating on the same level. And a proportion of the volkisch rage came from the realization that here was another vision of the universe which claimed to be "spiritual." Did not the prophets of the Yolk have a monopoly of spiritual politics, were not they alone truly geistreich?

It was not necessarily illogical for Steiner's disciple to approach Eckart. The accusation of being "Indian" rather than German which was leveled at Steiner was later to be applied to Eckart himself. Steiner was not really alien to volkisch thought. He was a friend of the painter Fidus, and he had already made an effort to ingratiate himself with supporters of an organic nationalism by propounding a doctrine of "folk-souls" in the early days of the First World War. The British folk-soul was, naturally enough, the expression of pure materialism -- the German, alone of all such corporate entities, communed directly with the spirit. [38] This was further trespassing on the sacred preserves of volkisch orthodoxy. Eckart chose to regard Steiner as internationalist and Communist -- hence a Jew of the conspiracy to be hated with the hate of an illuminate for rejected associates.
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Re: The Occult Establishment, by James Webb

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Part 2 of 4

Eckart's anti-Semitism sprang from his peculiar Christianity. His biographers have insisted upon the place of Christ in Eckart's theology, and it is odd to find this true. Christ was made the man of action. Christ did not temporize when his country was occupied, shouted Eckart; Christ did not try to form alliances with impure elements in his society. He threw the Jewish (!) money changers out of the temple and went on to oppose his own government. The Crucifixion was by no means the culmination of Judah's hate for everything "poured down from Heaven." This malevolence expressed itself in the 20th century in the Masonic conspiracy and the Alliance Israelite Universelle. In his search for comrades in the fight against the Jew, Eckart soon discovered the Britons and their incomparable founder, Henry Hamilton Beamish. In June 1920 the Volkischer Beobachter carried an article on the Britons' news sheet Jewry uber alles. for which Eckart was probably responsible. In a November number of Auf gut Deutsch its editor disclosed that through a friend -- who signed himself Kurt Kerlen -- he was keeping in touch with various anti-Semitic organizations in Britain. They had revealed to him that the latest dastardly move of the Jews was the financing of the Irish movement -- for was not de Valera a Portuguese Jew? On 23 January 1923, the Volkischer Beobachter reported a meeting of the Nazi party in the Zirkus Krone attended by several thousand. There were two guests: Hitler's chauffeur Emil Maurice (who had emerged from prison after attempting some unspecified move against the Mannheim Stock Exchange) and Henry Hamilton Beamish (refugee from the English courts and the prosecutions of Sir Alfred Mond). Beamish was introduced to the meeting as "an English mineworker" and moved the Beobachter's reporter to enthuse on the possibilities of international cooperation between anti-Semites. [39] The presence of the obscure Beamish testifies to the enthusiasm with which Eckart cultivated his anti-Semitism and yet more surely identifies him -- as if further identification were needed -- as a member of the international Underground. Goffried Feder (1883-1941) was Eckart's first contact with another who was to stand high in the councils of the early Nazi party. Feder was born in Wurzburg of an academic family and in 1904 qualified in Munich as an engineer. He specialized in working with reinforced concrete, and in 1908 he founded his own firm, which carried out contracts in Bulgaria, Italy, and Russia as well as in Germany. "As a young engineer and contractor with too little capital for ambitious projects I soon learned to know the iron grip of impersonal moneymaking." His experiences abroad taught him how quickly small states ran into debt, and the First World War increased his concern over the financial situation. Personal experience led to generalizations; and after approaching bankers with his own solution for the mounting national debt, Feder sent a memorandum on his financial proposals to the Marxist government of Bavaria on 20 November 1918. This "Manifesto for the Abolition of the Interest-Slavery of Money" was directed at familiar targets: encroaching materialism and the "Golden International." It is worth noting that at the same time in England another engineer, C. H. Douglas, was expanding similar theories into the doctrine of Social Credit.

The villain of the piece Feder called "Mammonism."

By Mammonism is to be understood, first, international money-power, the supra-national financial arbiter which lords it over every right of self-determination of peoples, International Capital, the so-called Golden International. Next, a spiritual orientation which has come to dominate the most far-flung groups of people, the insatiable acquisitive urge based on a purely temporal view of life which has led to an appalling degeneration of all moral standards and must lead further still. [40]

The Manifesto ended on a grandiose note: "Give me your hands. workers of all countries, unite!" In August 1919 the document was printed in the Volkischer Beobachter; and in September, Eckart and Feder founded the German Union for the Abolition of Interest Slavery. They had already taken their first joint action, for on 5 April, just before the proclamation of the Bavarian Council Republic, Eckart had composed a leaflet entitled "To all Workers!" on the basis of Feder's manifesto, and the two had distributed this throughout Munich from automobiles. The leaflet was directed "to everyone who works, doesn't matter at what or where, as long as they just work" and -- seemingly as an afterthought -- "to all reasonable men." It combined Feder's dislike of usury and anonymous capital with Eckart's anti-Semitism, and it represents their first strategic synthesis of the anti-Semitic myth with an appeal for more "spiritual" standards. The root of all evil is "capital lent at interest," and the "Golden International" which caused the war is manipulated by Jews. [41] Eckart seems to have been responsible for the passages which refer specifically to Jewish bankers; for Feder's anti-Semitism was a rather more ethereal affair.

In 1933, when he had very nearly slipped out of sight, Feder made two pronouncements on the Jewish question. He wrote that though the Nazi was by definition an anti-Semite, it was not the Nazi way to plunge headlong into Jew-hating without making inquiries from the experts. Jewry, however, was the representative of the materialistic spirit, the direct opponent of those who wished to abolish interest slavery. But at a meeting of his German Union for the Abolition of Interest Slavery (27 May 1920), Feder had said, in reply to a questioner, that his projected reform "was not a question of race. Obviously however the Jewish question is connected with the solution of the problem, for representatives [of Jewry] stand in the first line of attack -- which is their own fault." [42] In other words, Feder initially conceived his mission as that of combating materialism, not Jews, and his later statements are evidence of how fatally easy it was to progress from the appeal to the spiritual instincts of man to a positive identification of the agents of evil. It was not to be expected that Feder could escape the contorted logic that his anti-Semitic friends supplied. But the way in which his theories and those of Eckart fitted like two pieces of a jigsaw puzzle points to the dangers of an illuminated position. Feder's "spirituality" identifies him also as a seeker for "other realities." In 1930 he made a speech in the Reichstag which warned his audience to have no truck with the "political atheism" of the Left and in this respect to conform to the wishes of the Vatican. They must not forget the center of gravity of the whole enterprise, he cautioned -- this was "the religious basis of our movement, which can be recognized through the highest innate qualities of man, through sacrifice, devotion, through sacred anger." [43] If we dismiss this merely as the rhetoric of propaganda -- which, of course, it also was -- we run the risk of imagining that Feder disbelieved his own theories. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Alfred Rosenberg was born into a merchant family of Riga in 1893. With Rosenberg and his fellow refugees from the collapse of tsarist Russia, we are back on the trail of Russian mysticism, its illuminated anti-Semitism, and its supreme expression in the Protocols. It is no coincidence that the Baltic areas from which Rosenberg came provided not only the mystics whom we. have already noticed, but also many of the more influential volkisch prophets and supporters of the idea of German expansion (like Paul Rohrbach, Julius Langbehn, and Paul de Lagarde). To the political reasons which led these "German colonists" to advocate the greatest possible unification of the Volk,44 was added the mystical bent that Russian culture generally and their homeland in particular, seemed to nourish. Contact between Russian mystical circles and volkisch opinion had been established long before the Revolution of 1917, which sent Slavonic idealists scurrying to the West. An important example is that of Arthur Moeller van den Bruck, whose book The Third Reich (1923) coined the phrase that forms its title to describe a new "spiritually reformed" Germany based on metaphysical premises. Moeller van den Bruck met his second wife, the Lithuanian Lucy Kaenick, in Paris in 1902 and began a romanticized attachment to things Russian. Through his wife's sister, he met Merezhkovsky, and together they produced the first complete German translation of Dostoievsky. At that time Merezhkovsky was proclaiming a new age for his new Christianity in accordance with the m'edieval prophecies of Joachim of Flora (who had dreamed of a tertius status), and it is almost certain that his influence played a part in Moeller's attempt to usher in an empire of the spirit. [45]

Rosenberg was educated in Reval, and in 1910 he went to the Technische Hochschule in Riga to study architecture. Here he joined the student corps "Rubonia," which may have been one source of his anti-Semitic opinions; the previous year he had discovered Houston Stewart Chamberlain. In 1915 he married and moved to Moscow when the Riga Hochschule was transferred to the Russian capital to remove it from the area of German occupation. In Moscow he lived with a family of Cadet sympathies and seems to have absorbed their political opinions, regarding the Cadets as leading the fight against the tsarist system. He also acquired something of the White Russian theory that Rasputin and the "Dark Forces" were part of the conspiracy of subversion.

In his great speech of Winter 1916, the [Cadet] leader Miliukov attacked openly for the first time the "Dark Forces" by which he meant Rasputin and the supporters of a separate peace with Germany. The Conservative Markov [11] answered him unbendingly but cleverly and prophesied the most frightful consequences for Russia. The banned speech of Miliukov was secretly printed and distributed throughout Russia, but it had to have Markov's speech attached to it. I was able to glance through both speeches in F-'s house.

Sometime in 1917 -- as Rosenberg was later to claim -- "an unknown hand" placed on his desk a copy of Sergei Nilus's book The Great in the Small, with its translation of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. This seems to have been a revelation. Apart from scraps of art criticism, Rosenberg wrote nothing until 1923 that was not connected with the Protocols and the Jewish conspiracy. During 1917 Rosenberg's sources of money dried up and he had to think of leaving Moscow. He returned to Reval with his wife and eventually left for Germany with the retreating forces of occupation. His last act in his Baltic homeland was to give a lecture on "the Jewish question" some hours before he left. From Berlin he made his way to Munich, where there seemed more hope of getting work. [46]

It is now established beyond any doubt that Russian emigres were at the bottom of much of the anti-Semitism that blossomed suddenly after the Russian Revolution. The convenience of the conspiracy theory in explaining the collapse of the old order in Russia was also appreciated by Western sympathizers like the journalists Robert Wilton and Victor Marsden. It is rare to find an anti-Semitic source after 1917 which does not stand in debt to the White Russian analysis of the Revolution. The Protocols arrived in Germany under the wing of P. N. Shabelsky-Bork and Colonel F. V. Vinberg -- both of whom were greatly influenced by the legend of the Ipatyev house and devoted to the tsaritsa. From Vinberg the Protocols were passed to the volkisch anti-Semite Ludwig Muller von Hausen, who published six editions of his German translation in 1920. Many other Russian righl wingers arrived in Germany with anti-Semitic beliefs firmly entrenched.

Among "straightforward" emigrant anti-Semites like General Netchvolodov and Markov II, [47] there were naturally the more "illuminated" members of the right wing. One of these was the Catholic General A. Cherep-Spiridovich, who had been convinced of a worldwide Jewish conspiracy as early as 1914. Then he had seen the Germans as the chief agents of the Semitic plot, and he blamed Bismarck for his own financial ruin -- caused by the collapse of his shipping business on the Volga. Spirodovich appeared to think of himself as an agent of heaven: in 1903 he had tried to influence the papal conclave, and after the Armistice had been signed ("thanks to my advice") he spent three years in the British Museum carrying out research into the machinations of "the Anti-Church or the executors of Satan's will -- the Jews." [48] Cherep-Spiridovich later operated from the United States. In Germany a man of a similar stamp -- according to the general "a brilliant Slav author" -- was Gregori Schwartz-Bostunitch, who had decided that he was a Bait, a scion of the race which had produced Rosenberg and Keyserling. About 1925 Bostunitch began to work for Rosenberg, but he later switched allegiance to Heinrich Himmler. [49]

Alfred Rosenberg was one of many Russian and Baltic emigrants, and by no means the most conspicuous, when he arrived in Munich in December 1918. Through a Frau von Schrenck, another Baltic refugee, he was introduced to Dietrich Eckart, who was looking for writers on the Jewish question. Rosenberg began to write for Auf gut Deutsch; his material was drawn from the traditions and publications of the Russian emigrants. Rosenberg formed a fast friendship with Eckart, whose mystical preoccupations he, to some extent, shared: before leaving Russia he had been preoccupied with Schopenhauer and Indian philosophy. His correspondence with two fellow-members of his old student corps in Riga led to the arrival in the circle of Eckart and the Munich right wing of Max-Erwin von Scheubner-Richter (1884-1923), a German Bait with aristocratic connections and considerable pull with the Russian emigration. Von Scheubner-Richter's first effort at securing cooperation between German and Russian right wingers was in 1920, when he was sent by several Bavarian firms to negotiate with Baron Wrangel's army in the Crimea. [50] Eckart recorded Scheubner-Richter's return with hopes of an eventual White victory. What -- asked the publisher of Auf gut Deutsch -- was the attitude of 'Wrangel's forces to the Jews? All officers and most men were dead against them, was the reply. "And the Allies?" "Almost only Jewish officers in the Crimea, English as well as French." [51] This invaluable contact man -- the description is Professor Walter Laqueur's -- the drummer up of funds, joined the Nazi party in the spring of 1920, when Rosenberg introduced him to Hitler. Meanwhile, Eckart, Rosenberg, and Feder came together in the Thule.

The Thule Society was a cover organization disguised as a "Germanic Studies group" run by the art student Walter Nauhaus for a branch of the Germanen Order. The Germanen Order was founded in 1912 as an "Aryan" anti-Semitic group composed of members of the already-existing Hammerbund of Theodore Fritsch. At the end of 1917 Rudolph von Sebettendorff was appointed head of the order's Bavarian branch and began to build up its moribund Munich lodge on the basis of the Thule Society. Sebottendorff (1875-1945) -- alias Adam Glauer, although he claimed to have been adopted by a Baron von Sebottendorff under Turkish law -- was a drifter and adventurer whose chief preoccupations were astrology and occultism. According to Ellic Howe, the leading authority on Sebottendorff, the Freiherr was probably familiar with Sufi and other texts of Islamic esotericism. This partly accounts for a deep occult coloring to the activities of the Thule; although a certain amount of mysticism was present in its parent Germanen Order. For example, Hermann Pohl, a leader of the Germanen, circularized his members calling for a religious revival. The Munich branch of the Germanen Order was inaugurated by Sebottendorff on 17 August 1918 in the fashionable Munich hotel, the Vier Jahreszeiten. Its activities went forward with much emphasis on ancient Germanic subjects and a talk from Sebottendorff on the occult uses of the pendulum. [52]

In June 1918 Sebottendorff acquired for his Germanen Order the publishing house of Franz Eher. The firm owned the Munchener Beobachter, a small weekly newspaper, which the Thule Bund promptly transformed into an anti-Semitic broadsheet. In the contributions which decorate its early pages along with swastikas, S-runes, and all the paraphernalia of volkisch symbolism is found the headline: "Down with the Tschandalen!" To the theories of Lanz von Liebenfels, which gave birth to this term, was added the innuence of Guido von List: Philip Stauff contributed a touching obituary describing how his master had died in his arms. [53]

In July Sebottendorff left his intrigues in Bavaria to devote himself to occultism proper. He became the editor of the Astrologisches Rundschau and published several books on astrology and occultism. Chief among these was his so-called History of Astrology (1923), which is nothing of the kind and only uses astrology as a peg on which to hang Sebottendorffs version of occult prehistory -- mostly adapted from Guido von List and Lanz von Liebenfels. Sebottendorff seems to have believed that the stars prophesied great things for the Germans and asked rhetorically: "Whether the Germans especially must give to the world a new species? It almost seems like it." At the same time as proclaiming the German mission for the new astrological eon, Sebottendorff decided that the pure Aryan religion was in his day represented by -- of all people -- Bo Yin Ra. In 1923 Sebottendorff returned to Turkey. The following year was published his Praxis of old Turkish Freemasonry, in which the Freiherr attributed the moral strength of the Moslem peoples to their practice of Islamic alchemy. [54] It is possible, if there is any truth in the rumor that Meyrink practiced "Sebottendorff-exercises," that they were derived from this source.

With the esoteric Freiherr presiding over the Germanen Order, one can be reasonably certain of two things: that his colleagues would share his tastes to some degree, and that these pursuits would separate the Thule Society from the realities of politics. Sebottendorffs misleading account of the Thule is interesting in that it makes clear that he shared the concern of Eckart and other volkisch friends with the political efforts of Rudolf Steiner. The Anthroposophist appeared as a significant part of the Munich political scene. I have myself talked to a former member of the Thule who met Steiner several times in Schwabing. It is clear that other members of Sebottendorffs volkisch circle were as concerned as the Freiherr at the possibilities of Steiner's tentative. Thus a front-page article in the Munchener Beobachter -- now called the Volkischer Beobachter -- in late August 1919, characterized Steiner's movement as "Jewish" and drew attention to a papal directive forbidding Catholics to have anything to do with Theosophy or Anthroposophy.  [55] Eckart was at home in these circles, as were both Feder and Rosenberg. From this connection at least one historic result was the purchase in December 1920 from Sebottendorff's colleagues of the Volkischer Beobachter by Eckart on behalf of the newly founded National Socialist German Workers' Party.

A second result of the agitation of the Thule was the arrival in Munich volkisch circles of Adolf Hitler. A member of the Thule Society called Karl Harrer was deputed by his colleagues to form an alliance with the workers, to try to spread the volkisch message. Harrer (1890-1926), a sports writer, was impressed with the locksmith Anton Drexler, who had recently started a Munich branch of a worker's party founded in Bremen in 1916. Together with Drexler, Harrer founded a "workers' circle," which grew into a "workers' party." In January 1919, in the rooms of the Thule Society in the Vier Jahreszeiten, the group became the "National Socialist German Workers Union," and the title was altered to "party" a year later. From the Thule Society Drexler took as members Dietrich Eckart, Gottfried Feder, and Friedrich Krohn (a dentist of volkisch leanings). On 12 September 1919, Gottfried Feder gave a lecture on economic problems in the Sterneckerbrau at which was present Corporal Adolf Hitler, who forgot his role as "information officer" so much as to make a fifteen-minute speech and afterward to join Drexler's party. [56]

Hitler's career up to this time is in outline very well known, although in detail the information is woefully uncertain and the authorities agree only on certain points. Hitler's birth in Braunau am Inn in 1889, his schooldays in Linz, the period of mendicant Bohemianism in Vienna from 1907 to 1913, and his short stay in Munich before the outbreak of the war have provided little certain indication of the real mentors -- or even of the surroundings -- of the future dictator. The example of Dr. Leopold Potsch (an anti-Semitic schoolmaster of Linz), the inspiration of the notorious Carl Luger (the anti-Semitic mayor of Vienna), and the impression made by the massed processions of the Austrian Social Democrats have all been cited as influences. No doubt all are correct. But there is some further evidence, which has usually been dismissed a priori as fantastic but which deserves a more extended airing in the general context of the early Nazi party and of what little we know about the nature of the young Hitler. The resentful, under-educated aspiring architect and hack artist who tended to live withdrawn from the world, the denizen of that sub-Bohemia of skid row, was quite likely to be attracted by the underground of rejected knowledge. It is known that Hitler carried with him into power one rejected theory which very definitely belonged to the underground of Central Europe -- this apart from the various racial theses, which were also widely diffused -- and I shall maintain on the basis of new evidence, that this theory was known in Hitler's early circle in Munich.

Enough has been said already about the connection of occultism and mysticism with the type of politics I have called "illuminated" to show that there is a case for considering seriously all evidence pointing in this direction. And enough has been said about Eckart, Feder, Rosenberg, and the Thule Society to show that they come under the "illuminated" classification. In this context the well-known fact that Hitler turned to vegetarianism is extremely suggestive.

The engineer Joseph Greiner is not a witness on whose authority one would care to rely heavily. In 1947 he published a book called Das Ende der Hitler-Mythos. which was banned by the Allied forces of occupation and has since been proved untrustworthy on many important points of detail -- so much so that it has sometimes been doubted whether Greiner knew Hitler at all. Nevertheless both other sources of personal information on the young Hitler -- armer Teufel Reinhold Hanisch and Hitler's Linz school -- friend August Kubizek -- have also been caught out in inaccuracy and distortion. Greiner claimed to have known Hitler in Vienna, when the future dictator was living in a men's hostel in the Meldemanstrasse -- but Franz Jetzinger (who rejects Greiner's story as being concerned merely to detract) claims Greiner was in Berlin at the time. Nevertheless, it seems that the Nazi archives were informed of a publication of Greiner's in 1938, and Konrad Heiden, writing in 1944, mentions Greiner as one of Hitler's companions in misfortune. The leading authority on the subject of Hitler's early life is Werner Maser, who thinks that Greiner is virtually worthless as a source, yet occasionally uses his account when it is supported by documents. And Sir Alan Bullock in his biography of Hitler must have relied on Greiner for his impression of Hitler's studies in a Vienna public library. For nowhere else is there found the information that Hitler was interested in the occult. [57] With the greatest reservations, let us look at Greiner's story.

Hitler, he says, was interested in Yoga and Indian fakirs. He compared these to Christian mystics and was particularly impressed by their powers of strengthening the will. In an effort to strengthen his own he tried holding his hand in the flame of a gas jet. "At that time in Vienna there were several open lectures held on occultism which Hitler attended." The results, says Greiner, included a belief that mediums could move objects from a distance, and several experiments in water divining, which were made by Hitler in the Wienerwald. Astrology, graphology, and number mysticism occupied his attention, together with physiognomy and the study of hypnosis. In places, Greiner's recollections altogether exceed the bounds of probability: for example, Hitler is said to have drawn up his own horoscope in the Meldemanstrasse, and Greiner then goes on to give an astrological interpretation of Hitler's birth, which is obviously supposed to be Hitler's own. [58] But inherently, there is nothing improbable among a society of rejects in a concern with occultism, and if Greiner did know Hitler at any time during his Vienna period, this acquaintanceship is itself suggestive. For whether or not Hitler was able to make astrological delineations, Greiner himself was evidently well read in occult literature and fully able to draw up a horoscope himself. Although nothing can be relied on, the possibility remains that Greiner's account is a reflection of a general interest in the occult among the down-and-outs among whom Hitler lived.

A somewhat more reliable connection is made by Wilfried Daim between the young Hitler and the volkisch racist Lanz von Liebenfels. In May 1951, Dr. Daim and two companions visited Lanz von Liebenfels in Vienna; this was three years before the prophet's death. Lanz told his visitors that one day in 1909 Hitler called on him in his office and said that he regularly bought Lanz's Ostara in his local tobacconist in the Felberstrasse. Lanz sent Hitler away with copies of his magazine and two kroner for his fare home. Dr. Daim discovered that Hitler had indeed been living in the Felberstrasse until August 1909, and that there was a tobacconist two doors down from his lodging. The former prior of the Order of the New Templars was still considerably annoyed that he had been forbidden to publish by the Fuhrer, and he claimed that many Nazi racists had plagiarized his ideas without acknowledgment. Daim connected this story with Hitler's statement that he had bought his first anti-Semitic tracts in Vienna and has discovered what seem to him to be correspondences between issues of Ostara and Mein Kampf This would tie in with Lanz's statement that he had a great influence on a journalist who was imprisoned with Hitler in the Landsberg jail after the failure of the 1923 putsch and who "edited" Mein Kampf. A friend of Lanz supplied the name: Dietrich Eckart. [59]

Again, there is nothing inherently improbable in the connection of Hitler or Eckart with Lanz-Eckart had been a supporter of the occult charlatan Tarnhari. But it would be dangerous to accept more than the simple narrative of Hitler's arrival at Lanz von Liebenfels's office. Even this must be treated cautiously, although there was no reason for Lanz to lie; for in 1951 any connection with Hitler could have been, at the very least, inconvenient. It is possible to discount Greiner's evidence as sensationalism, and to accuse Rudolf von Sebottendorff of trying to jump on the Nazi bandwagon (by claiming that his Thule Society had inspired the NSDAP), but it is not possible to write off Lanz. He was evidently so far removed from reality that it was still more important to him to establish his racist priorities than to lead an undisturbed existence. After his discovery, Wilfried Daim wrote to Joseph Greiner to see if he could throw any light on Hitler's contact with Lanz. Greiner not only confirmed that Hitler read Ostara but added to his published memoirs some information that he said his publishers had asked him to exclude. This story made Hitler the discussion partner of one Grill, another inmate of the Viennese men's hostel. Grill (said Greiner,) was a lapsed Catholic priest, the son of a Polish-Russian rabbi, who preached a religion of brotherly love. All life, he believed, was animated by cosmic rays; and man achieved a sort of immortality in his children. He and Hitler would have long metaphysical discussions, with Grill trying to cure Hitler of his hatred of the Jews. In his account of their interview, Daim altered some details to test Greiner, and sent a memorandum for the engineer to sign: Greiner corrected the details Daim had changed. [60]

We are left with the impression that there might be more to the stories of Greiner than has been admitted, and certainly there is a strong possibility that Hitler read Ostara and once met Lanz von Liebenfels. The keenness of historians to play down and even to suppress such stories is a natural reaction to most investigators of the "occult," who are always eager to claim that Hitler's "occultism" was his guiding force. Circumstances alter, however, if the object is merely to establish that rejected knowledge interested Hitler and thus to draw some conclusions about his type of personality in a specific historical situation.

Hitler returned to Munich after the war, and here again he has been associated with an adept of the irrational. Alfred Schuler gave a series of lectures in Munich in 1922-23 in the house of Hugo and Elsa Bruckmann. The Bruckmanns had taken up Hitler, and it is generally accepted that the Nazi leader's frequent visits to their house entailed hearing Schuler in full mystical flight. [61] According to Joseph Greiner, Hitler had cultivated in Vienna a combined veneration for Rome and the swastika, which sounds very like the resurrected Bachofenism of the Cosmics and other volkisch occultists. [62] This may well be fantasy; and there is a great difference between stating that Hitler probably heard Schuler lecture and maintaining (as has been done) that this was the source of his inspiration of his adoption of the swastika. Attempts to trace responsibility for the adoption of the swastika by the Nazi party are bound to be fruitless, for the sign was so widely diffused among volkisch organizations that nothing can be said except that Alfred Schuler, Lanz von Liebenfels, and Guido von List were three of the earliest propagandists of its renewed symbolic significance.

The influence of the Thule Society should not be entirely overlooked. According to the very well informed Dr. Georg Franz-Willing, in Hitler's early days in Anton Drexler's National Socialist German Worker's party the future leader came into conflict with the Thule member Karl Harrer. Harrer wanted the party to be organized on a secret lodge structure like Sebottendorff's Germanen Order -- which was run on lines familiar to Freemasons and was sedulously ceremonial. Hitler, says Franz-Willing, was by no means opposed to the concept of an order, but he held out for realism, although Drexler was sufficiently struck with the idea of an order to support the party's decision of January 1921 to exclude women from the movement. Between 1919 and 1921 Hitler also read copiously in the volkisch library established by the Thule member Friedrich Krohn, which ran to 2,500 titles. [63] Then Karl Harrer left the NSDAP, and by the end of 1921 Hitler dominated no "secret lodge" but a political party with a mass following.

His chief support came from the returned soldiery, the men bred in the ethics of violence, Captain Ernst Rohm and the Freikorps. He referred in scoffing terms to the volkisch movement.

It is typical of such persons [Hitler wrote] that they rant about ancient Teutonic heroes of the dim and distant ages, stone axes, battle-spears and shields, whereas in reality they themselves are the woefullest poltroons imaginable. For those very same people who brandish Teutonic tin swords that have been fashioned carefully according to ancient models and wear padded bearskins, with the horns of oxen mounted over their bearded faces, proclaiming that all contemporary conflicts must be decided by the weapons of the mind alone. And thus they skedaddle when the first communist cudgel appears.

Repeatedly, Hitler wrote in Mein Kampf, he had had to warn his followers about such impractical "wandering scholars." In the party program, he deliberately excluded the word volkisch, because it was so imprecise: "It is just as general as the word 'religious,' for instance."  [64] He was out for a mass following and a severely practical approach. But because of the peculiar conditions prevailing in Germany after the First World War, it would have been surprising if the illuminated approach had not played a large part in the early days of the Nazi party. Although it might not take the guise of Teutonic swordsmen intent on discovering the quickest route to Valhalla, there were less lumbering possibilities.

We have already seen that Hitler himself may have been no stranger to irrationalist opinion; and that Dietrich Eckart, Gottfried Feder, and Alfred Rosenberg -- all following different versions of the quest for "other realities" -- met in the Thule Society, dominated by Rudolf von Sebottendorff, an irrationalist of the most extreme sort. In the new quest for practicality, the volkisch image was dropped. But particular illuminates survived in surprising numbers: Eckart, the only man of education whom Hitler would allow to advise him; Feder, the maker of the "unalterable" party program and the economic theorist whose lectures opened Adolf Hitler's eyes; Rosenberg, the editor of the Volkischer Beobachter and later the "party Philosopher," dragging in his train von Scheubner-Richter and the Russian emigration from which came money, ideological fuel for the crusade against communism, and, above all, the terrifying Protocols in which Hitler implicitly believed. These are mystics, irrationalists, protagonists of spiritual revolution, the kind of men of whom the Volkische in bearskins were only caricatures. In the period up to the Beer-hall Putsch other supporters of Hitler can be detected in similar attitudes. We shall then discuss how much of the illuminated approach or the relics of devotion to rejected knowledge was borne by the Nazis into power.

Erich Ludendorff, the "War Lord of the World War," met Hitler in Berlin in 1920 when Hitler and Dietrich Eckart flew to the capital in the hope of assisting at the triumph of the right-wing Kapp Putsch. That August, Ludendorff moved to Munich and became the totem of the volkisch parties. It has been argued that his Kriegfuhrung und Politik (1923), with its vision of the state in arms, was a leading influence on Hitler and perhaps the only positive vision the Nazi leader possessed. [65] In October 1923, the field marshal met the woman who was to become his second wife. This was only a few days before the unsuccessful putsch of 9 November 1923, in which the aging soldier was to take part, and the political atmosphere in Munich was charged with tension. Mathilde von Kemnitz was a devotee of the occult conspiracy theory. Of their meeting Ludendorff wrote:

The part played by the Jews in the decline of our Volk. no less that of Rome, stood clearly before me, and I was discovering the role of the Freemasons. The other secret brotherhoods, the nature and influence of Christianity and other insane positions of an occult sort remained at that time hidden from me.

Frau Mathilde von Kemnitz visited Ludendorff in the company of Gottfried Feder. Apart from the specific political arrangements that were the main subject of their conversation, the three talked of the horrible news brought to Frau von Kemnitz by a German-Russian pastor from the Volga. He claimed to have discovered documents written in Hebrew, proving that the Russian revolution was the work of world Jewry. [66]

Who was this woman who was to enlighten Ludendorff as to the role of the occult orders in the collapse of Germany? Most important, she was a friend of Gottfried Feder. It was in Feder's company that Ludendorff first met her, and it was Feder who introduced her book Triumph des Unsterblichkeitswillens (1921) to the field marshal. "Putzi" Hanfstaengel records an incident in Gottfried Feder's house when Hitler tried to stop Frau von Kemnitz from philosophizing about the spiritual reawakening of the German people. Perhaps, he said, some philosopher would one day make a system of what his party did. "This, unfortunately, was just the opening his partner needed. Rising to her full height -- she was wearing a sort of chiffon tent and every outline of her massive person was clearly visible -- she' announced: 'But Herr Hitler, that philosopher already stands before you.' This was too much, even for Hitler, who tore his eyes away from her silhouette and stood up to go." [67] It was Feder, too, who discussed Mathilde von Kemnitz's feminist activities in the Volkischer Beobachter. In June 1920, Frau von Kemnitz issued invitations to a women's congress in Munich, and in December she published five these for a World League of Nationalist Women. Evidently Feder thought his friend's position left much to be desired; at the end of 1920 she was still an "integrationist" on the Jewish question and dared to protest at the use of force. Feder concluded that despite these aberrations they were both fighting for the same cause and recommended his readers to study her manifestoes. [68]

Certainly Frau von Kemnitz later adopted a more militant stance. Her type should be by now familiar: the manufacturer of conspiracy theories and opponent of occultism who uses all the most extravagant weapons in the occultists' own armory.

Mathilde von Kemnitz was the daughter of a theologian and Orientalist, Professor Bernhard Spiess. After her first husband (a Dr. von Kemnitz) had been killed in an avalanche, she herself went into medical practice. She studied under the Munich psychiatrist Emil Krapelin and distinguished herself by penetrating the seances held by the psychical researcher Baron von Schrenck-Notzing to expose their unscientific procedure. Her pamphlet on Moderne Mediumforschungen was published in 1914 and marked the beginning of a career devoted to opposing magical orders and psychical research. In the summer of 1914 she attended a psychical research congress in Berlin as a "scientific opponent" and during the 1930s devoted much labor to denouncing astrology as a practice decisively connected with pollution of the bloodline. At the same time, she attacked the conspiracy of the Jesuits, declared Christianity to be a non-Aryan importation from the Orient, and preached her own religion of "German God-Knowledge."

Her idea that Christianity originated in the Far East came from the late 19th-century romancer Louis Jacolliot. Jacolliot's works furnished H. P. Blavatsky with no less than fifty-nine plagiarized passages, and he shared H.P.B.'s prejudice against the Jesuits. He never published his sources, and he was soon written off as a forger. Mathilde von Kemnitz made the unlikely claim that her father, Professor Spiess, had verified Jacolliot's sources and thus proved Christianity unworthy of those of German blood. [69]

After the first meeting of Ludendorff and this illuminated lady, their acquaintanceship prospered. In Ludendorffs company Frau von Kemnitz visited Hitler in the Landsberg prison. At the joint request of the field marshal and Goffried Feder, she spoke on the religious problem at the Nazi Party Congress at Weimar in 1924. The tone of her speech was that the communal life of the Volk was an expression of the "holy idea of the Cosmos." In 1926 she and Ludendorff were married. "This was a profound turning-point in my life," wrote Ludendorff, "indeed in the life of our people, perhaps of all peoples. Some day historians will establish this." [70] For the warlord it meant chiefly that he became converted to his new wife's obsession with the magical conspiracy against the moral tone of the Volk. Jointly they conducted research and mounted attacks on the demons of Theosophy, Rudolf Steiner, Mazdaznan, and the O.T.O. An obsession developed with the secret signs of Freemasons and with the Jewish tradition of Cabalistic number mysticism called Gematria. Thus Mathilde Ludendorff discovered a Freemasonic "magic square" which had been printed next to a newspaper report of the tsar's murder. Her husband maintained that the double cube was favored by the designers of Freemasonic memorials, and he pointed to just such a memorial where the Nazi march to the Feldherrnhalle had been fired on by troops. Similarly, Mathilde Ludendorff added up the date of the tsar's murder at Ekaterinburg on "Cabalistic" principles and discovered that it totaled 15 -- for some reason a secret Jewish number. It was also the number, declared the field marshal, which could be obtained by assigning numerical values to the letters of the word Weltkrieg and once more performing a simple sum.

Rudolf Hess was another participant in the march to the Feldherrnhalle whose tendency to mysticism was widely known. Hess had been born in Alexandria in 1896 and served in the same regiment as Hitler during the First World War. On his return to Munich he became heavily involved with the Freikorps and the confused fighting of the year 1919; naturally, he was also a member of the Thule. Eckart inscribed a copy of his Lorenzaccio to Hess, praising those who "soar boldly above the age." At least in respect of his weakness for certain sorts of occultism, particularly fringe medicine, Hess remained solidly anchored in his generation. In 1938 he addressed the International Conference on Homeopathy in Berlin, and when he arrived in Scotland in 1941 his pockets were stuffed with peculiar remedies for illusory illness. One of his doctors reported the Nazi leader's explanation of these.

He confided in us that for years he had carefully followed out Rudolf Steiner's injunctions about not eating vegetables grown under artificial conditions, and that he had had a special greengrocer who delivered farm produce reared on natural manure. This opening into the world of the occult provided an opportunity for observing that he had for years been interested in Steiner's anthroposophy and related magical topics, notably astrology and the prophecies based upon it, as well in herbalist lore which to some extent is founded upon the mystical doctrine of "correspondences." [71]

We have already noted that Eckart, von Sebottendorff, and others of their circle were concerned about the influence of Anthroposophy, and it is significant to find that by his own admission a former member of the Thule was sympathetic to Steiner's doctrines. A similar fascination with unorthodox theories led Hess to become the disciple of the geopolitician Professor Karl Haushofer. The leading authority on Hess has shown that his voice in party councils was heard less and less as his mysticism increased. [72] This rings true both in terms of personal psychology and as a particular instance of what was more generally occurring. After the Nazis attained power, it was inevitable that the more illuminated attitudes which had accompanied them during their rise would be dropped (or at the very least greatly transformed) owing to the exigencies of government.
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Re: The Occult Establishment, by James Webb

Postby admin » Thu May 17, 2018 12:12 am

Part 3 of 4

The occult has been defined as "rejected knowledge" and its adepts termed "irrationalist." This is historically justified in that it can be shown that the occult consists of an amalgam of theories which have failed to find acceptance with the establishments of their day; and the Establishment of the late 19th and early 20th century was still precariously rationalist. If a rationalist or materialist viewpoint equips a man for anything, it is the struggle for survival: thus we are presented with the spectacle of casualties from the battle for existence taking refuge in a "spiritual" interpretation of life. But irrationalist theories may become the property of more than a small minority owing to a situation of anxiety; and, although some of these ideas can be adapted to the necessities of survival, to incorporate others in such a synthesis is quite impossible. The Nazis were to show that the conspiracy theory of history and the idea of racial supremacy were quite capable of being joined to -- and indeed out of all proportion reinforcing -- the ethics of material survival. On the other hand, the vaguer idea of a "spiritual revolution" or a "religious basis," while it may provide an extra dynamism for a political movement, has little to do with the everyday business of governments. Whereas something of the transcendental impulse adhered to the Nazi party in power, the more basic manifestations of the flight from reason -- Spiritualism, for example -- would merely have proved embarrassing. The men who counted when the Nazi party had become an Establishment were those who were skilled in manipulating power. But because the Nazis in their early days possessed some of the characteristics of an illuminated movement, they attracted elements of the Underground of rejected knowledge -- and when the Nazi party became an Establishment, some parts of the Underground by accident became Established with it.

What happened to the old illuminates? Most were dropped, suppressed, or had died by 1933. Dietrich Eckart died in 1923 and kept only a niche in the National Socialist hall of fame. Von Scheubner- Richter fell in the November putsch in the same year; and with him died the close collaboration between the Russian emigration and the Bavarian right wing, which might have provided fresh material for German irrationalism. [73] Rosenberg did survive, and he preserved something of the legacy. The Ludendorffs were tolerated, but they never exercised any influence after the failure of Hitler's putsch; and Hitler prided himself on having kept Mathilde von Kemnitz out of the Reichstag. [74]

Gottfried Feder dissolved into the background. He formulated the "unalterable" party program in 1924 and fought a running battle with a persistent libel -- at least he claimed it was a libel -- until 1932. This concerned the fact that Feder, carrying out his designated function of "finance minister" in the putsch of 8-9 November, had issued an order freezing all financial transactions and nationalizing the banks. By a strange coincidence, a letter of Feder's reached his own bank on 8 November, withdrawing the bulk of his personal deposits. Not until September 1932 was he able to silence criticism in the press. [75] His economic theories were never seriously applied, and, although comparable approaches seemed to attract the party hierarchy for brief periods, Feder's influence was negligible. For example the "Universalist" economics of Othmar Spann, inspired by a Catholic view of the "body of Christ" and a semimystical vitalism, attracted Rosenberg, Robert Ley, and others, but were ultimately condemned; and it is difficult to see the similarity of Feder's theories as accounting for this attraction. Feder himself filled a minor governmental post, held a chair at the Technische Hochschule in Berlin, and spent the years before his death in 1941 -- how predictable his absorption is -- in designing "New Towns." [76]

The Thule Society fell completely under Hitler's ban on volkisch activities. Occasionally it would be remembered as an early comrade-in-arms by some alter Kampfer, like Eckart's friend, the painter Albert Reich. It had never really been anything more than a meeting place, although Sebottendorff had been involved in his quota of political intrigue and had helped in the recruiting for the Freikorps Epp. Even the extreme irrationalists became disillusioned with his overloaded esotericism. One example is that of Fritz von Trutzschler, a member both of the Thule and of Eckart's Deutsche Burgervereinigung. He had appeared in Munich at Easter 1919, distributing leaflets calling for a spiritual revolution and advocating "mysticism as politics." Von Trutzschler was scathing at Sebottendorff's lack of success in gathering funds and accused him of "crocodile tears" over his famous murdered hostages. He decided that there was more hope of a resurrected Germany in a society which he himself founded to purify the German language than in the turgid ceremonial of the Thule. Sebottendorff returned to Munich for a while in 1933 and was arrested for a short period early the next year before returning to Turkey. In 1936 Julius Ruttinger, the founder of the Germanen Order, was informed that he could not hold Nazi office because he had been a member of the order; which verdict "simply corresponds to the basic attitude of the NSDAP towards Freemasonry." [77] Impotent and inconvenient, the Thule was forgotten.

A similar fate overtook stray occultist thinkers, whom the party had inevitably absorbed. A good example is Arthur Dinter, whose immensely popular novel Sin against the Blood (first published in 1918) provided the classic statement on the evils of marriage between Aryans and Jews. Its sequel, Sin against the Spirit (1921), contained the admission that Dinter had been occupied with Spiritualism from 1914, when a fallen comrade contacted him at a seance. The spirit revelations that pepper the novel had been made to Dinter himself or to a Munich circle of the 1890s, and Dinter gave the address of a Spiritualist organization in Hamburg to which his readers might apply. By 1922 he was asserting that Spiritualism was "the metaphysics of the racial theory" and its necessary corollary. Dinter had a strong connection with Julius Steicher, and from 1924 to 1927 he was Nazi Gauleiter of Thuringia. In 1927 his enemies had him removed. Dinter founded the Deutsche Volkskirche, whose symbol combined cross and swastika. Although condemned by the party, Dinter's sect survived until 1937; and it is clear that, despite his fervent anti-Semitism, its leader found his true metier in the world of religion rather than that of politics. [78]

After the Nazi accession to power, the burgeoning sects of the German Reich were gradually prohibited. They could be seen as part of the international conspiracy controlled by Jews, and this made a convenient excuse for disposing of sources of divided allegiance. But the comprehensiveness of the authoritarian action gives food for thought. By 1936, not only comparatively large sects like the Anabaptists, Seventh Day Adventists, and the Weissenberger had fallen under the axe, but also Mazdaznan, "Sheep and Shepherd," the Bund der Kampfer fur Glaube und Wahrheit and even the Gottesbund Tanatra. The occultists proper were rounded up in 1941 in response to a decree dated 4 July and signed by Heydrich. This was directed against Anthroposophists, Theosophists, Ariosophists, Christian Scientists, faith healers, astrologers, occultists, Spiritualists, "followers of the occult theory of rays," and "fortunetellers, fake or otherwise (no matter which type)." It ordered the Gauleiters to intern such parasites in concentration camps. Ellic Howe has shown that the Nazi authorities evidently decided to make Hess's known interest in astrology and mysticism the public explanation of his flight to Scotland. Arrests and interrogations followed. [79] After this point there was little future for adepts of rejected knowledge in the Third Reich.

Unless, of course, they were adepts of the sort of previously rejected knowledge on which the Reich itself was built. There is little point in adding to the many accounts of the "Final Solution," the culmination of a believing anti-Semitism. The racial theory is also too well known to need any further discussion. But in support of the argument that the Third Reich, to some extent, represents the Underground become Establishment it is suggestive to glance at less well-known beliefs held by three illuminates who survived: Hitler himself, Rosenberg, and Heinrich Himmler.

Hitler's utterances record many of the attitudes which characterize not only illuminated politicians but also occultists pure and simple. On the night of 25-26 January 1942, he mused: "I imagine to myself that one day science will discover in the waves set in motion by the Rheingold, secret mutual relations connected with the order of the world." A moment of passing fancy, certainly; but also the magical doctrine of correspondences and the musical analogy used by the Rosicrucians and Gurdjieff. In Mein Kampf, the Fuhrer gave vent to the complaint which is heard time and time again among occultists: "The so-called intellectuals still look down with infinite superciliousness on anyone who has not been through the prescribed schools and allowed them to pump the necessary knowledge into him." His obsession with secret societies extended to the idea that it might be possible to make an alliance with the Ku Klux Klan. This is attested by Hanfstaengl and by Kurt Ludecke, who was actually sent on an embassy to Hiram Evans, the Imperial Wizard of the Invisible Empire. In the context of Rudolf Hess and his captivation by fringe medicine, it is very significant indeed that Hitler did not become a vegetarian until after he started his political career. At his political meetings, Hitler recalled, he used to drink stein upon stein of beer; after he gave up meat he only needed a sip of water. In 1942 he was well equipped with a barrage of arguments and statistics on behalf of vegetarianism. [80]

It is difficult to know how far to believe the accounts of Hermann Rauschning, the former Gauleiter of Danzig. No historian has cast serious doubts on his book Hitler Speaks; yet it almost goes against the grain to accept it. If Rauschning's record is true, Hitler believed in the popular occult doctrine of the emergence of a new type of man on the evolutionary spiral. Man was separating into two types: the man of the new age and the undeveloped creature. "I might call the two varieties the god-man and the mass animal. ... Man is becoming God -- that is the simple fact. Man is God in the making. According to Rauschning, "there were only a few people, mostly women, among whom he used to talk in this style." [81]

It has been argued by Louis Pauwels and Jacques Bergier in their book The Dawn of Magic that Hitler was primarily motivated by such eccentric mystical and cosmological ideas, and to these authors belongs the credit of pointing out the possible application of Rauschning's words. The trouble with The Dawn of Magic is that it is itself written from an occult viewpoint. It is exaggerated, under-researched, and erratic on many points, such as the nature and influence of the Thule Society or Himmler's Ahnenerbe. Its authors are occasionally right and often have the advantage of an expert knowledge of occult patterns of thought. But they are wrong in suggesting that Hitler's private beliefs controlled his military actions or his short-term plans. What does seem possible is to divine from such beliefs the sort of man Hitler was and the sociological territory from which he sprang. If we accept Rauschning, then there is absolutely no doubt that Hitler believed in a theory of occult evolution of a Theosophical type, out of which would emerge a "god-man" -- a term used particularly by Russian occultists. Science, says Rauschning's Hitler, must become once more a Geheimwissenschaft. This is usually translated as "secret science." But it is nothing more or less than the term used by German esotericists for their "occult sciences." There is further confirmation that the Fuhrer did believe in this sort of doctrine embedded in the story -- which the authors of The Dawn of Magic succeed in burying beneath a mountain of fantasy -- of Hitler's undoubted adherence to the Cosmic Ice Theory of Hanns Horbiger. Fantasy is not necessary; but to make such beliefs comprehensible, we should first consider the mysticism of Rosenberg and Himmler.

Alfred Rosenberg ought not to have survived the transition from Underground to Establishment. He did so because of a double failure in the ranks of the Nazi party. There was no "Russian expert" and there was no Ideologist. The death of von Scheubner-Richter in 1923 had deprived Hitler of his chief link with the Russian emigration; and Rosenberg was the only candidate who seemed fitted to pronounce on Germany's all-important relationship with the East. At the same time, he represented the victims of the "Jewish" revolution. Dietrich Eckart -- the obvious candidate for the role of philosopher -- also died in 1923, and for a time Hitler seems to have hoped for something from the German Christians led by Reich Bishop Milller. That movement threatened to become unruly, and in January 1934 Rosenberg was created the Fuhrer's overseer of the "geistigen und weltanschaulichen Schulung und Erziehung der Partei," a truly untranslatable title embodying notions of philosophical, spiritual, and intellectual tutorship, which cannot be rendered word for word in English.

Rosenberg's Myth of the 20th Century had sold over a million copies by I944. It has been the fashion to discount its representative qualities and to point out that Hitler privately described Rosenberg as quite unintelligible. Yet Hitler elsewhere defended Rosenberg as "the most acute thinker in questions of Weltanschauung." Rosenberg's organization could declare without contradiction that the Myth was the most important Nazi text after Mein Kampf Hitler's self-distancing from Rosenberg's production may well have been a tactical maneuver. According to Rosenberg, he gave Hitler the Myth on its completion in 1929. Five months later he received it back from his leader with the comment that is was most ingenious, but that he wondered how many of the party comrades would be able to understand it. Understand it or not, they naturally bought the book. It is not generally realized that The Myth of the 20th Century is merely the most "official" expression of a body of irrationalist opinion quite widely diffused through Germany between the wars. Rosenberg had written one section of what became his book before leaving Moscow in 1917; in 1919 he finished a section on German idealist philosophy; but he seems to have written the bulk of the Myth in the 1920s. [82]

The Myth of the 20th Century is written in homage to Houston Stewart Chamberlain. "Racial history," declared Rosenberg, "is both natural history and spiritual mysticism." By Myth, he intended the meaning of Georges Sorel, of a complex of ideas that symbolized the guiding spirit of the age. This, of course, was the death of Materialism and Individualism and the submersion of the grasping individual in the all-embracing Volk. The ideas that accrued to Rosenberg's history of the Aryans -- it is really "occult history" -- were curious in the extreme. First, there was Atlantis. It was very probable, he thought, that Atlantis had really existed and had been the original home of the Aryan race.

And these waves of Atlantean people travelled by water on their swan and dragon ships into the Mediterranean, to Africa; by land over Central Asia to Kutschka, indeed, perhaps even to China, across North America to the south of the Continent.

It was crucial to Rosenberg's Atlantis that it lay in the extreme north. For he then went on to explain the symbols of Middle Eastern religion-like that perennial volkisch favorite, the "Sun-Wheel" -- as based on racial memories of the Arctic sun. Races other than the Aryan had resulted from a mixing of Atlantean blood with already existing primitive strains. [83]

This sort of Atlantis speculation had greatly affected German theorists of history and anthropology. The anthropologist Leo Frobenius published in 1926 -- naturally enough, with the volkisch and Theosophical publisher Eugen Diederichs -- his Die Atlantische Gotterlehre, which argued that various symbols widely diffused round the Bight of Benin had all come from a common Atlantean source. One of these symbols was the swastika. Although Oswald Spengler never published anything on the subject, in his private musings on prehistory he used the idea of Atlantis as a working hypothesis. The most successful popularizers of the Atlantis legend were the occultists. H. P. Blavatsky and the British Theosophist Walter Scott-Eliot had started the fashion, and in Madame Blavatsky's account of occult evolution, her third and fourth races had been made to live on the now-submerged continents of Atlantis and Lemuria. In Germany, Rudolf Steiner added by his clairvoyant investigations to Atlantis literature. Among the Russian emigration Dmitri Merezhkovsky used the idea of Atlantis as a crucial point in his "new Christianity." The Myth of the 20th Century was published in 1930; in October 1931, an exhibition of "trance paintings" of Atlantis could been seen in Berlin. After the publication of the Myth, occultists continued to parade their speculations, usually based on Merezhkovsky and Steiner. [84]

Naturally the Volkische had adapted the vision of the occultists to whom they were so much akin. The most important of such theorists was Professor Hermann Wirth, whom Rosenberg used as a source, and who was eccentric almost to the point of insanity. Wirth was more closely attached to Himmler and will be discussed in connection with the SS leader. Some of his arguments were used by Albert Herrmann, professor of geography at Berlin University, who became convinced that a tract of desert in Tunisia had once been covered by the sea and was the former site of the capital city of Atlantis. Herrmann was quite open about his aim; this was to abolish "the dogma that our most ancient ancestors were primitive barbarians." Even Herrmann was embarrassed by over-credulous supporters of the thesis, like Karl Georg Zschaetzsch, whose Aryans had been published as early as 1920 and might have served as a blueprint for Rosenberg's speculations. Here Atlantis was madly identified both with Asia and the home of the Norse gods, Asgard, and it was stated flatly that the blond-haired, blue-eyed race were Atlanteans. [85] In this sort of occult racism, Rosenberg's "history of the Aryans" has its roots.

Another sure indication that Rosenberg is using occult techniques of history is his method of opposing Roman Catholicism. Beside all the "martyrs of free research" and the "heroes of Nordic philosophy" who have opposed the suffocating power of Christianity must be set "the Albigensians, Waldenses, Cathars, Arnoldists, Stedingers, Huguenots and reformed Lutherans," who represent the struggle of the Aryans for freedom of belief. Such a catalogue of heretics is a common device of occultists, concerned either to demonstrate the continuity of their particular version of the "Secret Tradition" or to display the sins of past Establishments. In his memoirs Rosenberg recalls how, once, on a trip to Brittany, he had wanted to go south to investigate the homeland of the Cathars, who had always interested him. He makes it clear that he sees his favorite heretics as representatives of the "true doctrine." This partisanship of the historical Underground is all of a piece with Rosenberg's insistence that the new total "German knowledge" must incorporate "every occurrence (like somnambulism, clairvoyance, etc.)" which present methods did not explain. [86] Once more this is the perpetual cry of the 19th- and 20th-century occultist: a call for synthesis and an accommodation with unreason.

For Rosenberg the supreme hero of the race is the German mystic. "For the first time and in full consciousness in the German mystic ... appeared the new, the reborn Teutonic man." Meister Eckhart is the supreme example of this type, and Rosenberg finds something of his calibre in Dietrich Eckart's hero Angelus Silesius. The influence on Rosenberg of his old friend Eckart is undoubtedly seen in the contrast made between the enlightened soul of Germanic mysticism and the Jew, the creature of the world. Rosenberg defines freedom as "organic freedom"; freedom in accordance with the old neo-Platonist idea of the world-body transformed to suit the demands of racist ideology into the body of the Valk. He declares that Paracelsus would have approved of this new vision of occult community, this "freshly-awakened Myth of our life."

Paracelsus was the hero of a book that was published in 1926 and that bears comparison with Rosenberg's Myth. It does not seem possible to argue a direct influence, and the differences between the two books are as evident as the similarities. But the two stand directly in the same tradition of semioccult philosophy. The earlier book is The Rise af the West by John Macready, which was written in direct answer to Spengler's Decline af the West and published in German at Leipzig. Nothing can be discovered about the author, except that he was an Englishman who had earlier lived a long time in Germany and found it impossible to have his book published in England. Macready seems almost as "Germanized" as Rosenberg's master, Houston Stewart Chamberlain. His book opposes to the material decline of the West the prospects of a spiritual and religious rebirth. Beside racists like Chamberlain and de Gobineau, Macready sets vitalists like Bergson, Driesch, and the German Romantics. In the Spiritualist movement which the World War has called into life in England, he sees the first stirring of a new attitude. But his real hero is Madame Blavatsky, the main opponent of his chief enemy, Charles Darwin. Atlantis, Paracelsus, and the legend of Steiner's influence on von Moltke jostle each other in his pages. Macready preached what he called a "transcendental Monism." Naturally his book does not carry the specifically Nazi superstructure of Rosenberg's; but within their limits, and with all the divergences, the two reached the same conclusions. Materialism must at all costs be abandoned. "As certainly as the perplexity of Reason in the World War begot the falling away from God, so certainly true Socialism can conquer only through the feeling of unity in mankind -- in the feeling of oneness with the God of 'immaterial' eternal life." [87] For Macready the cementing factor was God, for Rosenberg the transcendental Volk; many of their preconceptions were the same.

Linked with the occult philosophizing of Rosenberg were the preoccupations of Heinrich Himmler. Himmler's position as an irrationalist in control of the Nazi regime's bluntest instrument is really quite extraordinary. Only recently has the full extent of his irrationalism become apparent. A reading list from Himmler's early years shows that he was -- predictably -- occupied with literature of the conspiracy theory, like Friedrich Wichtl's Weltfreimaurerei, Weltrevolution, Weltrepublik (1919) or Dietrich Eckart's Bolshevism from Moses to Lenin (1924) and Artur Dinter's Sin against the Blood. It also shows that as Himmler veered away from his early devotion to Christianity, the transcendental impulse found another expression, and he became preoccupied with occultism. Soon after its appearance, he read Carl Du Prel's Spiritualism (1922) and commented: "a scientific little book with a philosophical basis that allows me really to believe in Spiritualism." About the time of the Hitler putsch (during which he carried the standard of Ernst Rohm's Reichskriegflagge), he was reading a compendium of miracles dealing with astrology, hypnosis, Spiritualism, and telepathy. In February 1926 he read Karl Heise's Okkulte Logentum, which had been published five years earlier. He concluded that he had greatly profited by its argument that there were good and evil principles, which manifested themselves in human organizations. Heise was a Zurich bookshop assistant who specialized in revealing the Freemasonic conspiracy and exposing the "sexual magic" of orders like the O.T.O. [88]

On top of this dose of "basic mysticism" Himmler gulped down draughts of volkisch medicine. The Utopian Willibald Hentschel had provided the inspiration -- and elements of the youth movement the enthusiasm -- for the Artamanen Bund. The Artamanen were founded in 1923 with the object of establishing Guilds of Nordic peasants. These were to form settlements on the Eastern borders of the Reich to hold back the incursion of the Slav undermen. The members of the Bund began by working on the land with the aim of raising enough money to form their own settlements. In 1924 the first colonists departed for Saxony, and the reaction of the Artamanen to the strangulation of Nordic man by urban civilization attracted many Volkische and future Nazis. Among these were Himmler, who became the leader of the Bund in Bavaria; the future minister of agriculture, Richard Walter Darre; and Rudolf Hess, who was to become the kommandant at Auschwitz. Even before the foundation of the Artamanen, Himmler had been impressed by the volkisch ideal of settling in the East and had tried to add a knowledge of Russian to his agricultural education. [89]

Thus Himmler was yet another who combined an interest in the occult revival with an illuminated nationalism. His personal beliefs were at least as odd as those of Hess. The masseur Felix Kersten records how Himmler was interested in nature cures and medieval herbalists; he knew the works of Albertus Magnus and was proud that Paracelsus was a German. The Reichsfuhrer SS was also a believer in karma and reincarnation, and he declared that he would really like to be minister for religious affairs. Himmler fancied himself the reincarnation of his namesake Henry the Fowler -- or possibly, on occasion, Henry the Lion. He supported a cult of Teutonic heroes with shrines at Quedlinburg, the burial place of Henry the Fowler; the Externsteine, a rock in the Teutoburgerwald, which was the favorite hunting ground for German archaeological mystics; and a memorial to the Stedingers near Gruppenbuhren dedicated in 1934 by himself and that other lover of heretical doctrine, Alfred Rosenberg. The reason for this cultivation of racial traditions seems to have been Himmler's particular version of reincarnation, which entailed belief that man would be reborn in his family. One Karl August Eckhart represented this as the ancient doctrine of the Germanic peoples in his book Temporal Immortality published in 1937. Himmler ordered 20,000 copies for the SS but was forced to cancel the order on political grounds. In a speech at Dachau in November 1936, Himmler told his assembled Gruppenfuhrer that "we have all seen each other somewhere before, and in the same way we will see each other again in the next world." [90]

This seems to argue that Himmler had a vision of his SS as a sort of time-defying order of heroes with a special mission: a concept not unknown among occult bodies. It would be strange if the private beliefs of the Reichsfuhrer had not affected the organization that he led. Notoriously, he did regard the SS as an order, which would spread the Nordic ideal throughout the world and act as an improving agency for the bloodline. Their opponent, Bolshevism, organized as it was by Jewry, was no mere eruption of the last fifty years. The struggle in which the SS were engaged had been going on for as long as there had been life on the planet. Himmler's vision of the progress of this diabolical conspiracy -- it really seems to have appeared diabolical. in the supernatural sense -- began with a massacre of Persians by Jews in Biblical times, progressed through the witch persecutions -- directed against "the mothers and maidens of our people" -- and moved toward Bolshevism by way of the Freemasonic French Revolution. [91]

His order was equipped with the ceremonies Himmler deemed necessary. The first ritual question asked of an SS candidate was what he thought of a man who did not believe in God; and the condemnation was absolute. The use of runes, of symbolism and ceremonial, was deliberate. The SS-man progressed through various grades with appropriate ceremonies: the program laid down for him was not only a comprehensive educational plan based on Social Darwinian principles, but a ritual with definite party feast days and observances. The structure of the SS has been compared to that of the Jesuits -- Hitler called Himmler "my Ignatius" -- and it well may be that Himmler derived some inspiration from this source. Felix Kersten was told by a member of Himmler's staff that SS uniforms and ranks could only be understood as in direct emulation of the opposing power of Freemasonry. If this represents Himmler's own opinion it may have coincided with that of Hitler. Rauschning's report is explicit: Hitler claimed to have taken ideas from the Catholic church and the Freemasons that included "the hierarchical organisation and the initiation through symbolic rites, that is to say without bothering the brains but by working on the imagination through magic and the symbols of the cult." [92]

Himmler's sanctuaries for his order were called Ordensburgen. The secrecy surrounding these institutions has given rise to all manner of fantasies. Belief in the importance of ceremonial and in secrecy as an aid to its effectiveness probably accounts for most of the isolation. What little is known shows the ceremonial to have been of a most uninspired kind. For example, at Wewelsburg, which by the end of the war had cost Himmler some thirteen million marks, there was a crypt containing a well in which a wooden plaque bearing the arms of dead SS-Obergruppenfuhrers was to be burned. The ashes would then be placed in an urn, which stood on one of the pedestals lining the wall. [93]

Rosenberg provided guest lecturers for the Ordensburgen: the names of these lecturers show them to have been a predictable bunch. Darre lectured on politics, together with Philipp Bouhler, the editor of Hitler's speeches. Ribbentropp dealt with foreign policy. Under the heading of "Art and Culture" came Hubert Schrade, an authority on Christian iconography who wrote a megalomaniac survey of German national memorials; and Richard von Kienle, a rather less demented student of ancient German history, one of whose publications carried a foreword by Himmler. Experts on the racial question included Wilhelm Grau, the director of research into the Jewish problem at the Reichsinstitut for the History of New Germany; his associate Karl Georg Kuhn, who was certain that Jewish emigration into the United States was the latest phase in the conspiracy; and Professor Julius Andree from Munster in Westphalia, the leading expert on the Externsteine. [94] "Philosophy and Weltanschauung" was supervised by the well-known Nazi philosopher Alfred Baumler, with the cooperation of, among others, Hans Alfred Grunsky of Munich and Ernst Krieck of Heidelberg. There is nothing apparently "occult" here, although a fair quantity of volkisch mysticism naturally had a place in the curriculum. On the other hand, Himmler used his organization to foster projects of an occult nature, to make propaganda for pseudo-sciences and rejected knowledge, which he cultivated as a private interest. So, while it is wrong to look at the SS as more than slightly influenced by their Reiehsfuhrer's mysticism, it is possible to gain a deeper insight into the nature of the Nazi leadership by examining the process by which such causes were brought to their attention.

The chief refuge of eccentrics and rejected theories was the organization known for short as the Deutsches Ahnenerbe which Himmler made part of the SS. This institute was the culmination of a series of attempts made by Professor Hermann Wirth to give his pseudo-academic ideas some sort of official framework. Wirth was a German-Flemish specialist in the more abstruse aspects of prehistory. He maintained that a pure monotheistic religion embodying the notion of the Eternal Return and originating in Atlantis could be followed by a trail of symbols. He described his method as "a combination of science and religion" and Alfred Baumler maintained that "to whomever perceives this (symbolic) trail there appears a new dimension of reality." Wirth derived evidence for his ideas from the Edda, and also from a notorious late-19th-century forgery called the "Ura-Linda Chronicle," whose supporters overcame the fact that it was written on modern paper by arguing that it had been copied from a genuine 10th-century source. Even Alfred Rosenberg had his doubts about the Ura-Linda Chronicle. But these did not prevent him from using Wirth's theory of a Northern Atlantis in his Myth of the 20th Century. Wirth's eccentricities were personal as well as scholarly, and visitors to his house at Doberan passed a sign reading "Please walk softly and don't smoke: a deep breather lives here." The professor believed that his wife was a clairvoyant, and when Friedrich Hielscher called at Doberan for a vegetarian meal, he was greeted by the total silence of his hostess, who sat impassively with her brow bound with a golden fillet, while Professor Wirth interpreted her thoughts by telepathy. [95]

It was through the racist Johann von Leers that Wirth met Himmler, and in early 1935 the Deutsches Ahnenerbe was founded as a private institute of learning with Himmler as curator. Gradually Wirth himself was elbowed out of positions of authority, and control of the Ahnenerbe passed to one of his former disciples, Wolfram Sievers, who was responsible to Professor Walter Wust, deacon of the Philosophical Faculty at Munich. By 1939 the Ahnenerbe was a fully "coordinated" branch of the SS and part of Himmler's personal staff.96 Its chief functions were financing and publishing "Germanic" researches along the lines initiated by Hermann Wirth -- symbols, runes, and mythological archaeology remained its chief preoccupations. For example, a bibliography was compiled of an eccentric anthropologist called Grunwedel on whose works Rosenberg relied. During the war the Ahnenerbe's function as the instrument of Himmler's pseudoacademic interests drew the organization out from its harmless if pointless activities, and the always-present racist overtones -- Ahnenerbe means "ancestral heritage" -- became coupled to the most infamous experiments in crank medicine. For example, at Dachau, Dr. Sigmund Rascher used inmates of the concentration camp for his research program designed to discover the best method of reviving pilots who had been shot down in freezing water -- and he did this under the aegis of the Ahnenerbe. Because of his responsibility for these and other activities, Wolfram Sievers was condemned to death by the Nuremberg tribunal. His friend and former colleague Friedrich Hielscher has claimed that Sievers and others of the Ahnenerbe formed a resistance group led by himself which on several occasions planned to assassinate Himmler. [97] The important fact is that the Ahnenerbe contained within it the entire spectrum of rejected opinion from the religiously inclined Hielscher on the one hand to the cold-blooded Rascher on the other.

An impression of its activities can be gained from the diaries of Sievers. For example, on 6 January 1944, he was in Munich and had an especially busy day. At 9:30 he spoke to his "South-East Office" in Salzburg, at 10:00 attended to administrative matters and half an hour later met Dr. Eduard May in the Hotel Vierjahreszeiten. With May, another medical student who was carrying out unorthodox "research" into malaria at Dachau, he drove from Munich to the concentration camp and held a series of meetings, which discussed the apportioning of funds for Christmas expenses, the hiring of a Oat in Vienna for a "malaria institute," and the newly completed Volksmikroskop (which may have had something to do with Himmler's belief that a view of the mystical correspondence between microcosm and macrocosm would be encouraged by putting microscopes or telescopes into the hands of as many people as possible). By 3:15 Sievers was back in Munich, again spoke to Salzburg, and at 4:00 visited Professor Wust at the university to talk about the Ahnenerbe publishing firm and their Sven Hedin Institute for Asian Exploration. [98] This was only six months before the Allied invasion of Normandy. In the summer of 1944 Sievers's activities were still following a similar pattern.

It would be easy to show the unorthodox nature of the studies more openly pursued under the aegis of the Ahnenerbe; but once again it is the occult which provides the best indicator of the emergence of rejected knowledge. Most of the occult records of the Ahnenerbe have vanished; they were filed with the "Secret" documents and were no doubt destroyed with them. One story of which the record survives is that of the Freiherr Stromer von Reichenbach (perhaps a relation of the Reichenbach of the Odic force). In March 1938 Stromer was billed to give a lecture in the Central Library for Occult Science in Berlin-Charlottenburg. An SS-Scharfuhrer reported this forthcoming lecture to his Sturmbannfuhrer, and thus information on Stromer filtered through to Himmler himself, who passed it to Professor Wust for evaluation. An unidentified Obersturmbannfuhrer wrote to Himmler (14 July 1937) giving the Reichsfuhrer Wust's glowing opinion of Stromer's work -- needless to say, Himmler had previously made his own attitude quite clear to Wust. Wust linked the name of Stromer von Reichenbach with those of Nietzsche and Spengler. Stromer's work appeared to him "as a new expression of the really Nordic theory of the eternal return" and the professor added some comparisons with the idea of Samsara and the "Iranian" concept of successive ages of history. [99]

Who was this genius whose intellect rivaled Nietzsche and Spengler? Stromer von Reichenbach lived near Nuremberg and was the originator of a theory of history he called "historionomy." He had worked at this theory since the 1890s and had compiled a series of charts containing over 22,000 of the "essential dates" of world history. Historionomy was racial history, and as such became popular in volkisch circles. Stromer maintained, for example, that colonists living far from their homelands -- or, of course, Jews in Germany -- were subject to the influence of periodical laws which he had calculated from his date charts, and which applied exclusively to races. In 1913 Stromer had hoped to see his charts published in conjunction with his friend Max Kemmerich -- another manufacturer of historical laws who claimed telepathic abilities up to a few hundred kilometers. But the project had fallen through, and he had been reduced to publishing sections of his great work in a small mystical publishing house run by a son of Heinrich Lhotzsky, in the Ariosophical library, and in his own Historionomical Company in Constance. [100]

Apart from the obvious appeal of a theory of racial determinism and the occult overtones of Stromer's calculations, Himmler and the Ahnenerbe must have been chiefly attracted by the Freiherr's success as a prophet. In 1919 he predicted the overthrow of the existing regime for 1929-33 and the emergence of a "German Cromwell" between 1935 and 1939. In 1924, with Hitler in the Landsberg prison, his sympathies had become quite plain, and he hailed the advent of the Great Man as imminent. After the Nazi accession to power, Stromer claimed to have prophesied not only the advent of Hitler, but many less earth-shaking events, such as the murder of the German ambassador in Lisbon. [101] It was suggested that the Ahnenerbe publish his work, and Stromer sent Himmler a touching letter expressing the joy of a "seventy-year-old scholar" at achieving such exalted recognition. Nothing came of the project; and perhaps the reason can be found in ominous rumbling made by Himmler's aides that "the great work" must not be allowed to fall into the wrong hands. Embarrassingly enough for the inventor of historionomy, he had predicted a monarchist restoration for 1940-44.

Although the Ahnenerbe was not the only Nazi organization to inquire into the occult, it was easily the most credulous. Rudolf Hess had applied for a vast grant to establish a Central Institute of Occultism; but this never materialized. [10]2 Rosenberg's department, in its function as ideological watchdog, inquired into out-of-the-way theories and occasionally became briefly interested. One such instance was when a certain Johannes Lang applied in December 1938 for permission to lecture on the Hollow World Theory of Koresh (Cyrus Reed Teed) which had a certain vogue in Germany between the wars. Lang was discovered to be an official in the Berlin Patent Office and to have committed the unpardonable sin of publishing a horoscope of Hitler. After consideration the Reichsleitung Rosenberg replied that the Hollow World theory was "a completely unscientific explanation of outer space." [103] In contrast, the Reichsfuhrer-SS and his Ahnenerbe were actively engaged in pushing a cosmological theory no less eccentric than that of Koresh. The reaction of even Rosenberg's department to the overtures of the Hollow Earthers shows in comparison just how divorced from reality some of the Ahnenerbe were. It should be said that not only Himmler, but Adolf Hitler himself was deeply interested in the World Ice Theory of Hanns Horbiger, and that perhaps the Ahnenerbe had therefore little choice.

Hanns Horbiger (1860-1931) was born in Lower Austria. His family moved to Hungary when he was a child. Horbiger began life as a blacksmith's apprentice, then came to Vienna to study engineering. He invented a patent valve, which enabled him to set up his own firm, and by the outbreak of the First World War he had become rich enough to devote his time to his hobby of astronomy. Horbiger had his first intimation of the Cosmic Ice Theory in 1882, when he wondered whether a comet which appeared that year could be made of ice. Some ten years later a vision in the early hours of the morning gave him the clue to the secrets of the cosmos. By 1906 Horbiger's theory was complete, and he had succeeded in convincing Philipp Fauth, a private astronomer who specialized in observation of the moon. Horbiger and Fauth published their Glazialkosmogonie in 1912, and disciples set about making their unorthodox views known to the world of learning. Even a study favorable to Horbiger makes it clear that Cosmic Ice became an obsession with its originator. He once had to take a rest cure on the advice of a doctor who tried to tell him that it really did not matter whether or not the moon was made of ice; and he bombarded the astronomers of Europe with letters and telegrams, followed by doubtless equally welcome visits. [10]4

The basis of Horbiger's theory is that the universe is filled with "cosmic building stuff." This occurs in the form of hot metallic stars and light gases -- chiefly hydrogen and oxygen existing as H20, ("in its cosmic form"), ice. When a block of Cosmic Ice plunges into a hot star, a vast explosion ensues, which generates a stellar system. Such systems are governed by further Horbigerian laws, chiefly that of spiral motion toward the central sun. This results in the ceaseless capture of small fragments resulting from the original explosion by larger bodies in the system. In this way the Earth has captured several of the dozen small planets originally existing between it and Mars. These earlier moons spiraled down on to the Earth with cataclysmic results. Our present moon was captured some 13,000 years ago, and the tragedy of its descent will inevitably repeat the great horror that occurred when the earlier moon crashed, of which memories are preserved in myths and legends. [105] Horbiger's sources -- apart from Heraclitus -- are uncertain. But resemblances have been observed between his idea of successive moons and the theories of Madame Blavatsky. [106] These probably stem from a common source in Charles Fourier, who also believed in previous moons that had fallen on the earth. Horbiger's Cosmic Ice was decisively rejected by the learned establishment and itself spiraled toward the Occult Underground. It is to be found, for example, in the writings of Egon Friedell, who thought that it was "in subterranean agreement" with Relativity and belonged to "the category of didactic poetry." [107] To his "scientific" ideas, Horbiger coupled a metaphysics that included a Platonic World-Soul, the influence of Nietzsche, and a belief in a separate world in which the laws of Cosmic Ice did not apply. These considerations were at once attractive to the European Underground.

V6lkisch thinkers of the sort who followed Hermann Wirth and speculated about Atlantis gleefully pounced on the idea of a previous moon crashing on the earth. This conveniently explained why their beloved continent, the Urheimat der Arier, had sunk beneath the waves. The chief among these romancers was the surveyor Edmund Kiss, a volkisch playwright who was known as "the poet of Atlantis" and contrived a synthesis of Wirth and Horbiger. [108] For mythological evidence of the fall of an earlier moon the Volkische pounced on their "Nordic Bible," the Edda, well-known from the translation by Rudolf John Gorsleben, an anti-Semitic friend of Dietrich Eckart. Gorsleben himself entered on a Wirthian explanation of prehistory, and others reinterpreted this in Horbiger's favor. The first "popular" (as opposed to pseudo-scientific) presentation of Cosmic Ice was that of the engineer Heinz Voigt in 1920, and the doctrine' earned a classification in the German index of books published for the following five years. Uncritical acceptance of Cosmic Ice was rivaled only by the adulation accorded Horbiger himself. His life, wrote one of his devotees, showed itself "an astonishing compedium of tragedy, heroism, patience and unexampled industry." [109]

Himmler and the Ahnenerbe naturally determined to make this theory their own. Hermann von Hase, the publisher of the Ahnenerbe's magazine Germanien, was a disciple of Horbiger and a friend of Kiss. In late summer 1936 Kiss was planning a journey to Abyssinia to undertake investigations into Cosmic Ice. Himmler came to hear of this and allowed him to carry out his research through the Ahnenerbe. At the same time, Horbiger's collaborator, Philipp Fauth, was taken up by agents of the Reichsfuhrer and a certain Dr. Hans Robert Scultetus placed in charge of the Ahnenerbe department concerned with weather forecasting, which made its predictions on the basis of Cosmic Ice. Himmler lost no opportunity of making propaganda for his favorite pseudo-science. He tried to suppress attacks on Horbiger, ordered Horbigerian experiments to be made on the German expedition to Nanga Parbat, and sent literature to high-ranking party officials. [110] But because of the impossibly quarrelsome nature of occultists and adepts of rejected knowledge in general, no sooner had the interest of the Reichsfuhrer in Horbiger become known than the theorists of Cosmic Ice began a ferocious dispute among themselves.

At Bad Pyrmont on 19 July 1936, the leading representatives of the new cosmology signed a document known as "the Pyrmont Protoco1." Those included Alfred Horbiger, Philipp Fauth, Heinz Voigt, Edmund Kiss, and Dr. Scultetus.

Some extracts from the "Protocol" follow.

1. The undersigned are convinced that the Cosmic Ice Theory of Hanns Horbiger is in its basic form the intellectual gift of a genius, and extremely valuable for all mankind both from the practical point of view and from that of Weltanschauung; and for us Germans of quite especial importance as a really Aryan treasure of the intellect. ...

4. The undersigned think it right and proper to put into practice the incontrovertibly proved deductions from the Cosmic Ice Theory and suggest for this purpose primarily weather-forecasting. They think it wrong, however, to waste time and money on areas which are not really related to Cosmic Ice and are mostly of a fantastic nature ....

6. The undersigned heartily welcome the fact that Reichsfuhrer-SS Heinrich Himmler is taking the Cosmic Ice Theory under his protection.

7. The undersigned consider it their duty to see to it that the applications of the Cosmic Ice Theory, now that it is under the Reichsfuhrer's protection, appear only in a fashion corresponding to the position of the Reichsfuhrer SS. The cause must always rank above personal considerations. All reports must command the strictest standard of scientific procedure and confine themselves to relevant material.

8. In order to coordinate and apportion correctly the tasks selected, the assembled researchers into Cosmic Ice must put themselves under an intellectual director of Cosmic Ice who is alone responsible to the Reichsfuhrer SS. The undersigned suggest for this position Hanns Robert Horbiger, the eldest son of the founder of the Cosmic Ice Theory, and are prepared to recognize his leadership. Hanns Robert Horbiger is not only the bearer of the name of Horbiger, but was taught by the Master himself ... as his deputy Dr. Scultetus is suggested ....

10. The undersigned declare that the following gentlemen Captain von Etzdorf (rtd)
Georg Hinzpeter
Hanns Fischer
are not collaborating, on their own initiative and according to their own opinions, on the proposed work .... [111]

Von Etzdorf, thought the signatories, should be suppressed completely, as he would damage the Reichsfuhrer's project of having Cosmic Ice accepted by the scientific Establishment. Georg Hinzpeter and Hanns Fischer might be useful if put to work under the stern supervision of Dr. Scultetus.

Hanns Fischer had other ideas. He was an obvious target for the "scientific" specialists in Cosmic Ice, as he had been one of the founders of Hermann Wirth's first pseudo-academic institution, and he was certain that Horbiger's theory represented the proof of astrology. [112] A month after the signing of the "Pyrmont Protocol," news of the document reached him and he flung back an irate letter to Himmler. He accused the Pyrmont group of acting behind his back and exposed the maneuver as a cunning move by the publisher of Germanien to secure the monopoly of books on Cosmic Ice -- no doubt a lucrative market if sponsored by the Reichsfuhrer-SS. Fischer was not prepared to work under Hanns Robert Horbiger. As the Reichsfuhrer knew, Horbiger was a Catholic. But more sinister still, he had published an essay for the Grand Lodge of the Druid Order, a sort of "druid freemasonry" to which he belonged. [113] Not unnaturally, little more was heard of "Brother Horbiger," who however, was still publishing after the war -- which is more than can be said for Hanns Fischer or indeed almost any of the theorists of Cosmic Ice. [114]

Within the Ahnenerbe, Scultetus pursued his eccentric meteorology and kept Himmler informed on the progress of his pet theory. In August 1936 he sent Himmler the weather forecast by Cosmic Ice principles to impress Goring and General von Milch. Just over a year later he wrote excitedly that Cosmic Ice had now been given "official recognition" by the allocation of a class in the German equivalent of the Dewey Decimal library index. [115] Progress was made in Nazifying the theory, a process that had begun when in New Year 1936 the Illustrierte Beobachter gave space in three successive issues to the works of Meister Horbiger. It continued the next year with the publication by Rudolf von Elmayer-Vestenbrugg of a pamphlet on Cosmic Ice as part of the series Kampfschriften der Obersten S.A. Fuhrung. Elmayer-Vestenbrugg used at least one other pseudonym, was a propagandist of colonial expansion, and the Nazi biographer of Ritter von Schonerer. In his S.A. handbook, the Cosmic Ice Theory finds its most Nazified expression: it is coordinated with Rosenberg's revised version of Atlantis, which incorporates some probably apocryphal stories about Horbiger's careful experimentation, and concludes that here at last is a German scientific world-picture. [116] "The Theory of Relativity is to it [Cosmic Ice] as the Talmud to the Edda."

It is now well known that Hitler himself believed in Horbiger and Cosmic Ice. In several conversations in 1942 he made his position quite clear. Horbiger was comparable to Copernicus, and Hitler would set up in the ideal city that he proposed to build at Linz an observatory dedicated to Horbiger as one of the three great cosmologists. The Fuhrer was also convinced that a great disaster had long ago struck the world when civilization was already advanced, and he considered Horbiger to have explained the Flood. [117] How did Hitler come in contact with this theory? There are indications in the following letter of February 1937 from Hauptsturmbannfuhrer Bruno Galke of Himmler's personal staff.

Dear Frau Gahr,
Enclosed I send you three books by Kiss
The Sea of Glass
The Last Queen of Atlantis
Spring in Atlantis
which the firm has ordered for you as a friendly gesture.

Please place the books in your library -- they all deal with the Cosmic Ice Theory, and will certainly greatly interest you as indeed you have often discussed the Theory with the Fuhrer. They are three of the best books that have ever been written about Cosmic Ice. [118]
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