There have been many attempts to understand and explain fascism in purely materialistic and economic terms, and perhaps as many analyses looking beyond conventional socio-economic factors to more unusual origins. The problem is that 'fascism,' like communism, has several flavors and varieties, some of which (like Maoism and Leninism) are somewhat at odds with each other. Clearly, some of the purported influences on German Nazism, such as pan-Germanism and neo-paganism, had not played as much of a role in Spanish, Italian, or Latin American fascist movements, which emerged out of Catholic roots. Nazism has been analyzed from various perspectives, including that of Wilhelm Reich, who saw it as a massive 'armoring' of society resulting from the sexual dysfunction of the populace , and Norman Cohn , who saw parallels between the Nazis and millenarian, anti-Semitic, and eschatological movements of the Middle Ages such as the Lollards.
Historians have a problem with getting a grasp on fascism, because it is a label applied to such a wide panoply of political movements (especially by putative political opponents) - some collectivist or corporatist, others radically individualist; some rabidly puritanical, others flouting of all morality and taste; and some imperialistic, while others are isolationist.
Today, we ponder the applicability of the label to our own politicians. Is Pat Buchanan a fascist? What about Lyndon LaRouche, Jacques Le Pen, Leonard Jeffries, or David Duke, whose attacks on affirmative action closely parallel that of the 'mainstream' Republican party? Is fascism necessarily racist, anti-Semitic, or religiously biased? Was Barry Goldwater calling for fascism when he said "extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice?" How about politicians who run on a "law and order" or "America First!" platform- some of whom are assumedly liberal Democrats? German Nazism as a particularly unique brand of fascism must be closely examined and understood and its historical geneaology traced. It will not do to go after "fascism" with a wide sociological lens (which is, not suprisingly, unfocused) and tar all right-wing thinkers with the same brush. And one of the important roots of German Nazism is, in fact, the existence of certain high-profile occult societies who operated in the period between the wars- the Germanorden, the Thule Gellenschaft, Ariosophy, and the Neo-Templars .
Blame It on Blavatsky, et al.
Sadly, most of the analyses of Nazism leave all of its various occult roots at the doorstep of one poor old Russian woman, Helena Blavatsky. The German occult societies appropriated some Theosophical ideas, to be sure, to the same extent that the Nazis eagerly distorted some of the doctrines of Nietzsche (so carefully doctored by his sister to omit the parts where he condemns German nationalism as an "abyss of stupidity!"  or disavows anti-Semitism.) When Nietzsche discusses the Superman, he does not say that he shall be a German or an Aryan, only that we will not recognize him. It should be pointed out that Blavatsky's doctrine of the Six Root Races  - Astral, Hyperborean, Lemurian, Atlantean, Aryan, and the Coming Race - did not assign much importance to the Aryan race. They would also be supplanted in turn by the Sixth Root Race, which would arise out of all the existing races and nations, sort of like a 'mutant' strain. Blavatsky does not attach much importance to racial magic, which she puts in the category of "sorcery." It should be pointed out that the Nazis closed most of the Theosophical lodges in Germany, including Rudolf Steiner's Götheaneum, and banned Freemasonry and many other occult societies.
There are others often mentioned in this occult cast of villains. Jung is blamed for reviving interest in mythology and the workings of the racial unconscious, and for originally supporting the Nazis because of their attempts to revive Teutonic ritual and mythic thinking. Yet, when Jung discusses that the dreams of many patients in the 1930s reveal the archetype of a "great blond beast," he issues it as a warning, not as a herald of good fortune . Jung himself described Nazism as the type of mass psychosis that afflicts a society when its leader becomes 'possessed' by one of the archetypes of the unconscious. Gurdjieff and Crowley are also mentioned as possible Reich supporters, which is astounding based on the evidence that both may have well been working clandestinely for the Resistance movements in France and England. Many occult groups, such as the Prieure du Sion, seem to have acted as infiltrators, aping the Nazi party line while passing on important information to its enemies in their journal Vaincre. In places like Vichy France, occult groups might have had no choice but to appear firmly in the Nazi fold .
The German Occult Orders
While it is true that the various German mystical societies borrowed some of their ideas from Hermetic/Rosicrucian groups in England and from Theosophists on the continent, some of their principles are different. In particular, their emphasis on the mystical powers of the Aryan race and its resulting 'decline' and degeneration from miscegnation with lower races is a unique idea. Their Teutonophilism - interest in the Runes, Nordic myths, and the Swastika (along with the belief that Christianity had broken the back of Teutonic civilization) - came out of the general climate attendant with the new pan-Germanic nationalism. The idea that all the languages of Europe had one Indo-European source, and that many of the world's myths (from the Hindus to the Greeks) had a common 'Aryan' origin was gaining ground among respectable philologists and antiquarians . Many Russians in 1905 were already promoting the Protocols of the Elders of Zion as evidence that the inferior Semitic races were trying to bring about Bolshevism and the downfall of Europe.
Guido von Liszt (founder of the Germanorden) may not have been as important in the Nazi pantheon as Oswald Spengler and Alfred Rosenberg, who both advanced the belief that the West was in decline from the onslaught of "Magianism" or the "World Cavern" philosophy of the Oriental Semites, which was in direct contrast to the Apollonian or Faustian guiding principle of 'no limits' which governed the European/Aryan races . Both reacted in horror to the "primitive" African, Latino, and Polynesian elements that artists like Picasso and Gauguin were importing into Western art, a clear sign of 'degeneration.' Not unlike some anti-rock music phillistines today, they heard the "savage jungle beats of the tom-tom drum" in jazz and much of modern music, and found the soaring Wagnerian operas much more to their liking. The German mystical societies essentially saw a coming struggle between the forces of materialism and relativism and that of true, Aryan, spiritual civilization - a struggle that would be apocalyptic and where there could be no quarter whatsoever afforded for the enemy. Therein lay the roots of Nazism and the Holocaust.
New World Order?
There are various authors who propose that the Nazis were only the 'front' organization for a more sinister, clandestine Hidden Directorate. There are all sorts of rumours that some sort of evil-looking Oriental monk with a green hat was often seen around Nazi party functions, suggesting perhaps that a group of mystic lamas somewhere in Tibet might be the hidden puppet-masters of the Nazis. By the 1840s in Germany the legend of Agharti was already making its rounds; the legend was that there was an underground kingdom whose ruler, the Master of the World, was already controlling many of the kings of the earth and would soon launch an invasion for complete control. While Napoleon may have contemplated ruling all of Europe, the Nazis were close students of 'geopolitics' and may well have been the first would-be conquerors to consider the ramifications of world domination. (Hitler had blueprints in place for an invasion of America, and he assumed Italy would control Africa and the Japanese, Asia.) Some think that there may well have been Theosophist-like "Ascended Masters" behind their grab for power, with some ulterior design of their own.
When George Bush used the phrase "New World Order" in 1990, conspiratorialists all over the world went nuts. They know that as the code phrase for OWG (One-World Government), but others also remember that it was one of Hitler's names for his coming Thousand Year Reich. The phrase has been associated for a long time (long before Robert Anton Wilson, anyway) with the Illuminati and their supposed design for world control . Certainly the Nazis themselves believed that the Jews, International Bankers, Freemasons, and Bolsheviks had their own plan for taking over the world - wasn't it all laid out in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion? This is a pattern repeated throughout history - various conspiratorial organizations are formed to combat real or fictitious 'subversive' conspiracies. A notable example is the Holy Vehm, a vigilante organization in the Middle Ages that wore hoods to conceal their anonymity, and rounded up and executed what they believed to be a conspiratorial band of witches and heretics opposed to the king. Hitler often made reference to the Vehm in some of his writings.
The Triumph of Irrationality?
James Webb and others have made much of the way in which irrationalistic ideas took such strong hold under the Third Reich . Bizarre hollow-earth and Horbigerian world-ice cosmologies proliferated, as did extremely strange beliefs about giants and demons and cosmic battles ripped straight out of some Ragnarokian script. In the 1930s, there were whole journals dedicated to the researches of Atlantis and other lost continents and the possible Atlantean origins of the Nordic peoples. Hitler openly declared himself an enemy of "bourgeouis reason" and extolled the virtue of "thinking with the blood." The Lebensraum (Land-Reform) movements of the 1930s reacted violently against modern industrial, technological, and urban tendencies, and extolled instead the icon of the simple, pure, noble peasant living off the land. Like the hippies of the 'irrationalist'1960s, the Lebensraumers advocated abandoning the cities for communal village life, and were just as enamored of 'deep ecology,' folk music, "natural living" and nudism, reviving authentic craftsmanship, alternative (holistic) medicine, meditation, and even animal rights.
Yet it might be a mistake to see Nazism as merely a reaction against scientific materialism and modernity. The Nazis advocated the Promethean power of science and often promoted the Hindenburg and the V2 base at Peneemünde as signs of the triumph of German science. They pursued researches into atomic energy and radar as vigoruously as the allies. (They may have been hindered in their pursuits, one might note, by exterminating or banishing the main sector of the German intellegentsia - Jews, such as Einstein.) Eugenics, the "science" of breeding better babies and carrying out applied Social Darwinism, had gained considerable respectability by the 1930s, and there were many 'respectable' medical societies promoting eugenics programs here in America, involving such aspects as forced sterilization of the lower classes and the handicapped, banning of marriages with southern and eastern Europeans, and denial of immigration to 'lower' races . The extermination program of the Nazis was carried out with industrially and scientifically efficient methodic precision - the Nazis kept genealogical records tracing back seven centuries and were able to make their trains run on time.
The Nazi doctors, for example, were interested in the answers to purely rational questions of medical science: what happens to German pilots who are downed and must live on salt water or are trapped in frozen climes? Can we transplant skin from one patient to another? They sought the answers by taking Jews, Gypsies, and other groups and performing inhumane experiments on them- experiments justified by the belief that such groups were 'subhuman' anyway. What they lacked was not reason but values, compassion, and humanity . In many ways, their experiments epitomized one of the prime problems of 20th century science: its advances far outstrip man's moral and social evolution. From Tuskeegee to Edgewood, scientists have done horrible things to people - forget the animals who anger the anti-vivisectionists - in the name of the science which is supposedly to benefit their lives. In many ways, the Nazi state merely took many of the features of the modern 'Enlightenment' nation-state to their logical extremes; they could be said represent the apotheosis, not the interruption, of modernity.
The Spear of Destiny and the Holy Grail
Of particular interest to students of the 'hidden history' of the Third Reich is Hitler's interest in the Spear of Destiny. The so-called Spear of Longinus kept in the imperial museum of Austria was said to be the spear that pierced the side of Christ (and contained a nail from the Cross) and was the spear that the Roman emperor Maximilian and the Holy Roman emperors of Austria carried as a standard into battle . Walter Stein insisted that Hitler was fascinated by the spear and felt that possession of it would mean victory for the Nazi cause of world domination and the triumph over Christianity. How important the spear really was to Hitler - who never really seemed to make a big deal out of it when it was seized from the museum, at least in public - is not clear. But we know- and not just from Indiana Jones movies- that the Nazis were fascinated with finding lost mystical relics, particularly those associated with Christianity. That is unusual, considering the anti-Christian bias of the Nazis, who felt that everything wrong with the West (pacifism, belief in equality, etc.) had been rammed down its throat by Christianity, an 'alien' religion from the Orient.
Nonetheless, it is clear that Hitler modelled his S.S. troops on the Templars and other Crusader orders, and the Jesuits and the Masons. There is a famous poster from 1937 showing Hitler as a Templar Knight, in holy armor, preparing to do battle with Satan. While Nieztsche felt nauseous from Wagner's Parsifal (for its caving into the 'sickening' ideals of Christian chivalry), the Nazi cadres seem to have vigorously promoted it. Otto Rahn was searching for the Holy Grail in the south of France in 1938, though he did not appear to think that what he was looking for was a wine cup from the Last Supper or the blood of Jesus. Instead he claimed it was "a power source of indescribable magnitute."  It is not known whether the Nazis really ever searched for the Ark of the Covenant, though there are tantalizing hints that they may well have been laying out blueprints for a search of northern Africa and Egypt for that Jewish relic. Why they thought they might enlist the gods of their enemies in their destruction is not clear.
Nazi Interest in Parapsychology and the Paranormal
There was widespread interest by the Nazis in various paranormal topics. Albert Speer was clearly very interested in geomancy and the ley lines and sacred spots of Germany, and some of his architecture betrays knowledge of principles of mystical geometry and numerology. The Vril Society in Germany promoted the idea that there might be a mystical energy within the earth that could be tapped by the German people, although Bulwer-Lytton had maintained it was the property of a race living inside the earth. It is well known that Hitler consulted astrologers for propitious dates for his military campaigns and employed dowsers on the battlefield to search for water and for minefields. There was also some interest by the Nazi cadres in parapsychology as an espionage device - research that appears to be carried along by the intelligence apparati of the two victorious Allied powers (our CIA and the Soviet KGB.) Further, the Nazis were interested in antigravity and 'free energy' devices. Viktor Schuberger a Nazi scientist, worked on a saucer design for one of his 'antigravity' ships . For a long time, it was believed that the ‘foo fighters’ and ‘ghost rockets’ of the 1940s were a secret Nazi weapon, and there was a small minority that thought the Nazis may have created the 'flying saucers,' though the ETH-UFO hypothesis caught on soon after, by 1949.
But what captivated Hitler's interest most of all was his interest in hypnosis or the occult powers of 'fascination.' Witnesses of the Nuremberg rallies claim that people there were in a trancelike state, glassy-eyed and open mouthed with awe. Hitler claimed to have studied the mystical charismatic powers of earlier leaders, and read a great deal about the Jesuits' psychological techniques of focused concentration and devotion. It is certain that Hitler's minister Göbbels did employ carefully crafted techniques of social control - lighting, the tenor of the voice, and crowd psychology - for maximum propaganda value. But Trevor Ravenscroft and others are of the opinion that the Nazis may have been more than just master propagandists; they may have been true sorcerous mesmerists, possessing the minds of thousands of people. Some people maintain the CIA's MKUltra mind-control experiments may have been derived from Nazi researchers smuggled into this country through Project Paperclip .
Occultism = Nazism? NOT!
There are those of a so-called 'skeptical' bent that have been promoting a rather sloppy thesis of late. That thesis is based on a few deceptively simple assertions. The Nazis were devotees of the irrational, the occult, and the paranormal. The Nazis did horrible things. Ergo, if we do not stamp out belief in the occult and paranormal, another Nazi regime may come to power. This silly syllogism is employed to maximum effect by the purported rationalists of CSICOP: when irrationalism (ergo, Forteanism, et al., which they consider to be an irrational pursuit) is on the rise, democracy and freedom are threatened. The idiocy of this position should be fairly clear. There were many occultists who resisted the Nazi regime, such as the Coventry witches who placed an 'occult circle of power' around the British Isles to protect them from the Germans (well-intentioned, if ineffective against the V2s.) And there were many attempts by the Nazis to stamp out occult societies who did not agree with their party line, such as Steiner's Anthroposophists. (One of the first acts of the Nazis was to ban fortunetelling and Tarot card reading, as well as other forms of divination, since they associated them with the 'despicable' Gypsies.) Not everyone interested in the paranormal, mythical, metaphysical, or occult is a Nazi; the Nazis clearly distorted and twisted many occult philosophies and systems to fit their own purposes and goals.
The Surrealists (Andre Breton, etc.) also wanted to get 'in touch' with man's unconscious or 'nonrational' side, and most of them fled Germany early on, when the Nazi canon of naturalist realism in art took hold. Heidegger, Thomas Mann, and other metaphysical philosophers may have been initially flirtatious with Nazi ideas, but they eventually came to repudiate them as well. The relationship between occultism and 'irrationalism,' however vaguely defined, and other attempts at resistance to the unwanted tendencies within the urban-industrial nation-state, are not as clear-cut as some might have us think, and the relationship of all these ideologies to Nazism is highly complex. It is simply unfair and simplistic to see the Nazis only as a revolt against science, reason, technology, the Enlightenment, and Western Judeo-Christianity, and by extension accuse other social movements that are against the notion of 'progress' (e.g. environmentalists, postmodernists, or punk rockers) of being Nazis. For the record, it should be noted that a little-known journal of irrationality, Doubt , never carried one pro-Nazi editorial, despite all its anti-Roosevelt diatribes.
By 1975, the thirtieth anniversary of [Hitler’s] death, there were already 50,000 serious works about him and his Reich. In 1976 there appeared yet another 1000-page volume which was proclaimed ‘the definitive biography for generations to come.’ And so it goes.
- Robert G. L. Waite, The Psychopathic God
Over half a century after the capitulation of the German Third Reich and the end of the Second World War, Hitler and National Socialism still loom large in the public imagination. Adolf Hitler is upheld as the very personification of absolute evil. Countless books and films ensure we never forget the concentration camps, horrific images of death and destruction. To this day, Western governments introduce legislation outlawing the public display of the notorious Swastika, while diligently seeking out octogenarian Nazis suspected of war crimes. Hitler and his Nazis reign supreme as the universal symbol of abomination that the modern world loves to hate.
Despite decades of study into the Hitler phenomenon, there is not much attention paid to Nazi connections with mystical and occult elements as perhaps there should be.
A respected British writer on Ancient Wisdom, Nigel Pennick, sees in Hitler and the Nazi phenomenon the perversion of occult forces.
"The whole Nazi ethos grew out of a magical view of the world,” says Pennick in Hitler’s Secret Sciences, "and the history of Nazi Germany was forged by strange fanatics whose actions can only be explained in occult terms. To orthodox historians, their crimes can only be dismissed as crazy obsessions, yet in terms of certain well-established occult beliefs, they fit a well-defined pattern. Far from being just another political doctrine, Nazism was nothing less than a deliberate magical attempt to alter the world."
There is certainly an undeniable occult link in the early history of the Nazi Party. Unfortunately, it is buried in an avalanche of disinformation and sensationalism, promoted in largely spurious books by authors like Trevor Ravenscroft, a former British intelligence officer. Such exaggerated and wildly inaccurate writings serve to screen and distract attention from the real power sources of the Nazi occult connection.
The modern mythology of Nazi occultism, concludes respected historian Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke in his excellent book The Occult Roots of Nazism, is “typically sensational and under-researched. A complete ignorance of the primary sources is common to most authors and inaccuracies and wild claims are repeated by each newcomer to the genre until an abundant literature exists, based on wholly spurious ‘facts’ concerning the powerful Thule Society, the Nazi links with the East and Hitler’s occult initiation. But the modern mythology of Nazi occultism, however scurrilous and absurd, exercises a fascination beyond mere entertainment.”
Goodrick-Clarke’s book does identify a wide circle of philosophers, occult societies and mystical groups, who saw in the chaos that beset Germany after the Treaty of Versailles the working out of ancient prophecies. At the pinnacle of this ‘mystical underground’ was the Thule Gesellschaft (Thule Society).
Among the secret societies burgeoning in Germany immediately after World War I...the Vril Society and the Thule Society, otherwise known as the ‘Thule Gesellschaft’ seem most clearly to have given birth to the Hitler movement.
~The Occult and the Third Reich
Formed toward the end of World War I as an offshoot of the Germanen Order, the Thule Society quickly grew into the most powerful secret organisation in Germany. One of its most influential and shadowy leaders, Baron Rudolf von Sebottendorff, portrayed the Thule Society as the custodian of an Ancient Wisdom perverted by Freemasonry.
“The old Freemasonry,” wrote Sebottendorff, “had been a keeper of secrets which they had learned from the Aryan wisdom and from the alchemists.” An article in the July 21, 1918 edition of the Society’s journal Runen gives Sebottendorff’s view on the antithesis between modern Freemasonry and the Thule Society: “We look at our world as a product of the people. The Freemason looks at it as a product of conditions...”
Baron Rudolf von Sebottendorff, the chief architect of the Thule Society, was born Rudolf Glauer in Silesia in November, 1875. After an early life at sea and exploring distant lands, Rudolf found himself in Turkey where he was adopted by an aged Austrian nobleman, becoming Rudolf Sebottendorff.
In 1910, while living in Istanbul, Sebottendorff founded his own secret society based on a combination of Islamic Sufi mysticism, masonry, alchemy and anti-Bolshevik ideology. He fought heroically in the Balkan War of 1912-13 and directed the Turkish Red Crescent. He was also named Master of the Order of Rose Garland (Rosenkrantz). Years later he titled his autobiographical novel Der Talisman des Rosenkreuzers (The Rosicrucian Talisman), confirming a special link with the original Rosicrucian Order.
Regarding Sebottendorff’s Turkish experience, Francis King says:
It is reported that he became acquainted with the former variety of esotericism (oriental mysticism) by means of direct personal contacts with initiates of various Dervish Orders. There is no reason to doubt this, for Sebottendorff unquestionably knew a great deal about Islamic mysticism, particularly about Sufism in all its aspects.
~Satan and Swastika
In 1913 Sebottendorff returned to Germany fortified with a vast knowledge and substantial funds from his inheritance. During the next few years he made extensive contacts with the leading members of the ‘mystic-political’ groups rapidly proliferating in Germany at this time. An able organiser and writer, Sebottendorff soon gained the attention of Herman Pohl of the Germanen Order. In the closing days of World War I, Sebottendorff laboured energetically to spread his occult-nationalist doctrines through the establishment of two newspapers, Runen and Münchener Beobachter (eventually purchased by the Nazi Party to become its official journal under the name Völkisher Beobachter).
On August 17, 1918 the Thule Society was founded in Bavaria. Close to two decades later, Baron Sebottendorff wrote of this event: “This decision was important, for Bavaria has thereby become the cradle of the National Socialist movement.” By November of that year the Thule Society had 1,500 active members.
On Saturday, November 9 as revolution swept Germany and the old imperial order collapsed, Sebottendorff addressed the leaders of the Thule:
Yesterday we experienced the collapse of everything which was familiar, dear and valuable to us...What will come out of this chaos, we do not know yet. But we can guess. A time will come of struggle, the most bitter need, a time of danger...
Significantly, he closed his impassioned speech by exhorting Thule members to fight “until the Swastika rises victoriously out of the icy darkness.” Thule quickly became the focal point for the anti-communist and nationalist struggle across Germany.
Adolf Hitler was not a member of the Thule and would not join the fledgling German Workers Party (the political wing of Thule, later to become the National Socialist German Workers Party) until late 1919. Alfred Rosenberg and Rudolf Hess were active Thulists, both going on to high positions in the Third Reich.
Outwardly, the Thule Society passed as a literary circle devoted to studying ancient German history and customs. Its name derived from the mythological land of the north, the ancient Ultima Thule. Pauwels and Bergier in The Morning of the Magicians inform us:
The legend of Thule is as old as the Germanic race. It was supposed to be an island that had disappeared somewhere in the extreme North. Off Greenland? or Labrador? Like Atlantis, Thule was thought to have been the magic centre of a vanished civilisation.
French writer Jean Robin argues that the original power sources of the National Socialist German Workers Party were Sebottendorff and the Thule Society, which derived from the Bektashi Dervishes in Turkey (see Hitler, l’elu du Dragon). Like fellow French author Rene Alleau, Robin shows that Sebottendorff’s central idea (or rather, of those who inspired him) was to give a popular movement, still embryonic and veiled by its political structure, the internal coherence of a Prophet with militant followers, forming a sect of devotees comparable with the Ismailian ‘fedayeen’ (Assassins) guided by their spiritual leader, the Old Man of the Mountain. In other words, the idea was to form a militant Order of initiates, with a military and religious structure.
Incidentally, many years later Adolf Hitler said that while Freemasonry had largely decayed, “there is one dangerous element which I have copied from them. They have developed an esoteric doctrine, not merely formulated it, but imparted it through the medium of symbols and mysterious rites....That is to say without bothering their brains but by working directly on the imagination through the symbols of a magic cult. All this is the dangerous element I have taken over. Don’t you see that our Party must be of this character. An Order that is what it has to be. An Order, the hierarchical Order of a Secular Priesthood.”
Sebottendorff claimed his mission was to reveal certain arcane secrets thereby reviving the forgotten Ancient Wisdom, while simultaneously launching a counter to what he saw as the malevolent forces engulfing Europe. The rituals of the Thule had as their aim, the same as that of all authentic esoteric groups, namely dissolving the ‘small self’ so that the ‘divine self’ could become manifest. Sebottendorff taught:
Once come to the end of our training, we sense our terrestrial body becoming more and more a stranger to us. We cross beyond it. We see distinctly that it has become dust and ashes. It is the lowest point that can be attained, that where the shadows of death and their terrors involve us. It is for this reason that the ancient Oriental Freemasons received into their community nothing but courageous men because the tests reserved for the neophyte were very harsh. Courage and endurance were the two principle virtues that were necessary.
Following the murder of seven prominent Thulists by the Communists on April 30, 1919, we know an intense struggle broke out within the Thule Society. This struggle was to have a dramatic and incredibly far reaching effect not only on Germany, but the entire world.
From the few records made public by the Secret Chiefs of Thule, we know that corrupt and sinister forces, only identified as the “brothers of darkness”, tried to gain control of the Society and reverse its authentic spiritual current. They sought to invert the original mission of Thule and produce a counterfeit image. This led the few true initiates to withdraw from Thule and the society declined, until in 1923 Baron Sebottendorff fled Germany for Turkey. The following year he published Praxis of old Turkish Freemasonry, a study of the practice of Islamic alchemy that influenced the novelist Gustav Meyrink.
A process of counter-initiation was triggered, of which, as Jean Robbin shows, Hitler was the primary, if unconscious, agent. Hitler himself confessed to being a “sleep walker on the way Providence dictates” and “living in a dream”.
The Nazi SS leader, Walter Schellenberg, wrote of Hitler in his memoirs:
This idea of himself as the German Messiah was the source of his personal power. It enabled him to become the ruler of 80 million people - and in the space of 12 short years to leave his ineradicable mark on history.
Recall that the French esotericist Rene Guenon warned how false Messiahs become the unconscious tools of malicious supernatural forces:
When you reflect that these false Messiahs have never been anything but the more or less unconscious tools of those who conjured them up, and when one thinks more particularly of the series of attempts made in succession in contemporary times, one is forced to the conclusion that these were only trials, experiments as it were, which will be renewed in various forms until success is achieved....But might there not be, behind such movements, something far more dangerous which their leaders perhaps know nothing about, being in themselves in turn the unconscious tools of a higher demonic power?
The post-1945 world owes much to the Nazis. Here is the great paradox. Without Hitler and the holocaust there would likely be no Zionist State of Israel. Without the Nazi invasion of Russia there may well have been no Cold War. Not to forget the numerous technological advances that derive directly from Nazi research, some of it first carried out in the Nazi death camps. Indeed it is also difficult to conceive of the Western liberal values that dominane the second half of the twentieth century without their Nazi demon. Hitler provided the West, sated on its own self-righteousness and brutal colonialist past, with the perfect other, the ideal devil. As Roger Garaudy, the French political philosopher, observed:
Hitlerism was a human catastrophe which, unfortunately, had a precedent in the policy applied over five centuries by the European colonialists to ‘colored people’. What Hitler did to white people, they did to the American Indians, of which they killed 75% (also through forced labor and epidemics, even more than through massacres); just as they did to the Africans, of which they deported between 10 and 20 million, which means that Africa was robbed of 100 to 200 million of its inhabitants since ten people had to be killed for one to be taken alive during capture by the slave-dealers.
The shocking spectre of Nazi evil suited both the capitalist West and the communist East. To speak of Hitler’s crimes was for the Western colonialists to have their own crimes forgotten, as it was a way for Stalin to mask his own ferocious repression.
Nevertheless in defeat and ignominy Hitler invariably shaped the modern world. Was the root of this diabolical process the reversal of a powerful spiritual current?
The distortion of the original impulse behind the Thule Society accelerated the cosmic forces of decay. War, misery and death were unleashed on an unprecedented scale. The labour camps, mass slaughter, global upheaval, and a decomposing world are only its more obvious bitter fruit.
“BEFORE HITLER CAME”
In the 1920’s Baron Sebottendorff was inducted into the Imperial Constantine Order, a virulently anti-Communist secret society, and acted as their secret agent when he returned to Germany from Turkey in 1933. Turkish Freemasonry had kept the Ancient Wisdom intact. “It must be shown,” wrote the Baron, “that Oriental Freemasonry still retains faithfully even today the ancient teachings of wisdom forgotten by modern Freemasonry, whose Constitution of 1717 was a departure from the true way.”
A few months after the establishment of the Nazi regime, Rudolf von Sebottendorff published in Munich a fascinating book titled Before Hitler Came - Documentaries From the Early Epoch of the National Socialist Movement. The author stated right at the outset: “Thule people are the ones to whom Hitler first came.” The remarkable revelations therein proved to be quite threatening to the Nazis and when a second edition of the book appeared in early 1934 the Bavarian political police stopped the publication of the book and with the aid of the Gestapo seized all traceable copies and had them destroyed.
With his book suppressed by the Nazis, Sebottendorff was arrested by the Gestapo in 1934, interned in a concentration camp and then expelled to Turkey, where he died under mysterious circumstances in 1945 at the end of the world war.
In Before Hitler Came Sebottendorff offers a detailed discussion of the importance of Islam and the Ancient Wisdom that he felt gave the Muslim faith a special dynamism. “Islam,” he wrote, “is not a static religion; quite the contrary its vitality is greater than Christianity.”
Sebottendorff believed that the esoteric tradition of Islam, particularly Sufism, was the purest stream of Ancient Wisdom and that it had nourished European occultism through the Rosicrucians, alchemists and authentic Freemasons of the Middle Ages. He claimed:
No one can accuse me of profanation, nor of sacrilege in uncovering the course of these mysteries...It is the means that the communities of dervishes traditionally use in order to acquire special strength by means of unusual techniques. They are, for the most part, men who aspire to the highest rite, that from which come those who have been prepared for their missions as spiritual leaders of Islam...This high rite is the practical basis of Freemasonry, and it inspired in times past the work of the alchemists and of the Rosicrucians...But to reply to the accusation of my being guilty of some kind of treachery: I say to you plainly that this book has been written on the instructions of the leaders of the Order.
~Bevor Hitler Kam as cited by Jean-Michel Angebert, The Occult and the Third Reich)
Sebottendorff then proceeds to explain why “the leaders of the Order” directed him to write Before Hitler Came:
A vast organization of disbelief, of monstrous proportions, intends to bend to its will the civilized world. The religious institutions have been so gravely weakened that they are not even capable of pulling themselves together, let alone putting up a united front. If spiritual leaders do not come forth in the West, chaos may bring down everything into the abyss. In this kind of danger, the Moslem Brotherhood recalled that tradition had it that there was a time, in Europe, when men possessed ultimate knowledge...The imminent danger dispelled every objection to the publication (of this work).
~Bevor Hitler Kam as cited by Angebert, op. cit.
Sebottendorff often spoke of the rediscovery of some lost thread of knowledge that once was “a torrent which nourished everything at the time of primitive Christianity, and which in the Middle Ages gave rise to the most marvellous civilisations”. His references to “communities of dervishes” and a “Moslem Brotherhood” point us to the custodians of this lost Wisdom.
Rene Alleau relates that Sebottendorff also wrote that: “...‘secret Muslim Masters’ had entrusted him with the mission of ‘illuminating’ Germany through the revelation of the secrets of advanced magic and initiation into ancient Oriental mysteries.” (Hitler et les Societes Secretes)
How does one evaluate or reconcile Sebottendorff’s Oriental Islamic mysticism with the Thule Society’s stated aim to revive pagan ‘Aryan’ culture, symbolism, and mythology? The two traditions are not as mutually exclusive as they may first appear. E.H. Palmer, in his widely respected 19th century text Oriental Mysticism, held that Sufism is “the development of the Primaeval religion of the Aryan race”. Both the Rosicrucians and the Freemasons of Europe find the ultimate source of their teachings in the Orient. Sufi-European links are discernible in much of the West’s hidden history.
A 9th century Celtic cross, now in the British Museum, incorporates the Islamic Arabic declaration Bismillah ir Rahman ir Rahim, suggesting close connections. The Sufi Master, Hakim Jami, said that Sufism predated the Prophet Mohammed, declaring that Plato, Hippocrates, Pythagoras and Hermes were part of an unbroken line of Sufic transmission. As an initiate of Islamic mysticism, Sebottendorff could rightly call himself a Rosicrucian, a Muslim Brother, and an Odinist.
Sebottendorff drew from Oriental Freemasonry a complete initiatory system requiring a probationary period before the admittance of a candidate to the Thule Lodge. Once admitted the member had to take a ritualistic vow of obedience and loyalty. “Symbolically,” wrote the Baron, “it was the return to Halgadom.”
Halgadom was central to the Baron’s mission. According to Jean Mabire, Sebottendorff had as his ultimate goal the creation of a spiritual community that he called Halgadom.
This temple of Halgadom is simultaneously spiritual and material. It belongs to earth and to heaven, to the past and the future. It is the Hyperborean equivalent of the Ark of the Covenant of the Israelites. Halgadom, in Sebottendorff’s mind, far surpasses that Second Reich which Wilhelm’s Germany had incarnated since 1871. It is the empire of all the Germans, but also many other Europeans: the Scandinavians, faithful to their Nordic origins; the Netherlanders, more German than the Germans; the British, divided between Celts and Saxons; the French, heirs of the Franks and regenerated by the Normans or the Burgundians; the Italians, in whose veins runs the blood of the Lombards; the Spaniards, who still carry many an imprint of the Visigoths. And also the Russians, whose country was founded by the Swedish Varegs, those Vikings of the rivers and steppes.
Clearly, Hitler’s Third Reich was a monstrous parody of this profound vision. The Pan-European spiritual outlook of Sebottendorff and Thule was distorted by Hitler and the Nazis into a bloody Germanic chauvinism.
The core of National Socialism was the racism of Social Darwinism, summed up in the myth of ‘Blood and Soil’. A legacy of the nineteenth century which believed blindly in the reality of matter.
In a direct attack on the spiritual worldview, a leading Nazi thinker declared, “We do not agree with the proposition that the spirit creates the body.” The interests of those of ‘Germanic blood’ were therefore paramount. Before this, said Hitler, “considerations of party politics, of religion, of humanity - in a word, every other consideration - can have no place whatever.”
Thus this myth of ‘Blood and Soil’ was one of physical ties, of heredity, of the land, of living space, of property, of possessiveness, of natural life. And as William Blake noted:
Nature teaches nothing about spiritual life, only about natural life. The devil is the mind of natural structure.
This narrow Germanism ultimately cost Hitler the war.
"Thus it fell out that Hitler’s Germany missed the mark, and it is very fortunate that it missed it; for it was necessary that things should have happened as they did, and not otherwise”, writes the novelist Jean Parvulesco in La Spirale Prophetique.
Why should the Europe of the End have been a German Europe? The Europe of the End must be European, and it will be so; the Europe of the End cannot be otherwise than European. For such is the sole question that is truly and totally revolutionary at the present time, the sole liberating question: when the time comes (and it is already here), will the European nations find, in their deepest selves, the burning reality of the ‘nation before all the nations,’ the transcendental legacy of the ‘Indo-European nation’ of our former origins?
Hitler had little time for the revolutionary pan-European vision of Thule and only used it to get him on the road to power. His dream of a Thousand-year Reich had no room for the love of individual liberty with which the Thulists romantically endowed their ancestors. Advocating ‘mysticism as politics’ and calling for a ‘spiritual revolution’, the Thulean vision was ruthlessly stamped out by the Nazi state. Addressing the 1938 Nazi Party Congress, Hitler said:
At the pinnacle of our program stands not mysterious premonitions, but clear knowledge and hence open avowal. But woe if the movement or the state, through the insinuation of obscure mystical elements, should give unclear orders. And it is enough if this lack of clarity is contained merely in words. There is already a danger if orders are given for the setting up of so-called cult places, because this alone will give birth to the necessity subsequently to devise so-called cult games and cult rituals. Our cult is exclusively cultivation of that which is natural and hence willed by God.
One of the few early members of the Thule Society not purged from the Nazi Party in the 1930s was Hitler’s close advisor Rudolf Hess (1894-1987). Hess, strongly influenced by the ideas of Sebottendorff, ate biodynamic food, studied Rudolf Steiner’s
No one more than Hess knew the secrets of the early Nazi links with the Thule. Was this the reason the victorious Allies had Hess held in isolation in Spandau prison for over 40 years?
Jean Mabire shows that Hess’s flight to Britain in May 1941 on a desperate mission to bring an end to the war, was the last attempt of the old Thule Society - long dissolved or driven underground - to counter the actions of a Führer who had so completely deformed their vision. We read in Jean Mabire’s Thule: Le soleil retrouve des Hyperboreens:
Hess knew of the projected attack on Russia. He wanted to warn the English. It has been said that he dreamed of a reversal of alliances. I believe that it was even more complicated. He simply wanted peace. He hoped to defuse this bomb, more fatal than the atomic bomb. He knew the inner workings of the regime well enough to know that the Führer was not only going to attack the East, but that he could only be following the most stupid of politics. Hess had understood that it was certainly not the spirit of Thule that was reigning in Germany, but the narrowest pan-Germanism. All these Gauleiters from South and West Germany understood nothing of the Slavic world. Have you already noticed how little importance the North and East Germans had in this Third Reich, which considered itself so ‘Nordic’? I think that the Baltic Germans would not have allowed such elementary and, to be honest, such criminal foolishness.
Only days after Hess’s arrival in Britain, the official Nazi Party newspaper the Völkischer Beobachter published an article that included the following:
As was well known in Party circles, Rudolf Hess was in poor health for many years and latterly increasingly had recourse to hypnotists, astrologers and so on. The extent to which these people are responsible for the mental confusion that led him to his present step has still to be clarified.
Warrants were issued for the arrest of Hess’s adjutants, a number of his close friends and even his chauffeur. Hundreds of other people including astrologers, faith healers, spiritualists, Anthroposophists and mystics of every kind, were rounded up by the Gestapo to die in the concentration camps.
The notorious Aleister Crowley in the early years of World War II made a study of Hitler’s ideas, at the behest of the British intelligence service. While attracted to many of the German Führer’s pronouncements Crowley concluded that Hitler was probably a “Black Brother.” An interesting admission from the self-proclaimed ‘Great Beast 666’.
In Nazi Germany Occultists, along with the original National Socialists opposed to Hitler, where the first inmates of the concentration camps. The Nazis closed the Masonic Lodges, the lodges of the OTO (Ordo Templi Orientis), the Order of New Templars and the Theosophical Society. Occultists were purged from all areas of public service. For example, all Austrians who held government posts had to take oaths that they were not members of the Freemasons. Dennis Passero publisher of The Conspiracy Tracker, after an intensive study of available material, concluded, “Hitler’s war was a war against the occult...”
National Socialism could not, however, avoid its early influences. Baron Sebottendorff’s Thule Society acted as the defacto parent organisation to the Nazi Party. There is no doubt that it provided the perfect environment for the birth and meteoric growth of National Socialist German Workers Party (NSDAP).
The French writers of The Morning of the Magicians, Pauwels and Bergier, come close to the truth when they recognise of secret societies:
We believe that these [secret] societies, great or small, related or unrelated, with or without ramifications, are manifestations, more or less apparent and more or less important, of a world other than the one in which we live...The rise of Nazism was one of those rare moments in the history of our civilization, when a door was noisily and ostentatiously opened on to something ‘Other’. What is strange is that people pretend not to have seen or heard anything apart from the sights and sounds inseparable from war and political strife.
The Thulean stimulus succumbed to corruption and distortion. The original mission of Thule was to give birth to an agent of the everlasting Forces of Light and Life amidst the growing darkness of the Dark Age. A conception was arranged but the birth had to be delayed. The Nazi Party of Adolf Hitler became a monstrous travesty, intoxicated on power and force. A deadly perversion of a higher impulse. A vehicle at the disposal of the cosmic forces of disintegration, chaos and death.
Ernst Niekisch (1889-1967) was a truly great German thinker who saw the colossal dangers in Hitler’s National Socialism. Unlike so many others, Niekisch actively opposed Hitler and publicly denounced the Nazi agenda. In his paper Widerstand, which he founded in 1926 to advocate a policy of friendship towards the Soviet Union, Niekisch exposed Hitler’s treachery and opportunism. With the triumph of Nazism, the paper was banned in 1934 and three years later the Gestapo arrested Niekisch and interned him in a concentration camp until the end of the war.
Niekisch advocated an “elite of the spirit” in opposition to the banal demagogy and ruthless populism of Hitler’s Nazism. He wrote:
The spiritual elite derives its authority from the power of the masses and has the prospect of an exalted political position only in so far as it is able to win the trust and devotion of the masses. With the help of the masses it can unsaddle the landowning and plutocratic elite....But this elite has a dangerous rival in the form of individuals obsessed with power and glory who descend to the level of the primitive masses and are able to win a mass following not through the way they selflessly pursue their real interests, but through irresponsible predictions and promises of good times ahead. These are the demagogues who, armed with pseudo-dogmas and pseudo-ideologies, turn the heads of the masses and thwart the attempt of the spiritual elite to establish the rule of reason and morality. The Hitler-Reich was an example of the triumph of demagogy over a spiritual elite. The demagogue is the travesty of the spiritual leader: he eclipses him and makes everything play into the hands of the landed or money elite.
A metaphysical foundation is still essential for united action in the present Dark Age. The reader would do well to contemplate the words of Jean Parvulesco:
...the surest way of understanding nothing of the present business is to go on to confuse the Black Order, as it should be, with its political counterfeits, of which one, as one knows only too well, ended in the most abject nightmare.
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