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


Postby admin » Fri Jun 26, 2015 12:53 am


4. The Order of the Temple of the East: Sex, Spies, and Secret Societies

Heydrich was informed about the smallest detail of Hitler's private life. He saw every diagnosis made by Hitler's doctors and knew of all his strange and abnormal pathological inclinations.... They showed that Hitler was so ruled by the daemonic forces driving him that he ceased to have thoughts of normal cohabitation with a woman. The ecstasies of power in every form were sufficient for him. [1]


The Silly Season

The British sometimes call periods of chaos in which the unpredictable always seems to happen the "silly season." Certainly, the years between the two world wars constituted a Silly Season for Europe. In 1920, Aleister Crowley started his ill-fated occult commune in Cefalu, Sicily, at the same time that D.H. Lawrence's novel Women in Love was published. In October, 1922, as Hitler "marched" on Coburg, Mussolini and his black-shirted Fascists marched on Rome. (One of their first official acts will be to ban occult orders and secret societies.) On December 16, 1922, the partners in archaeology Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon officially opened King Tut's tomb, thus instigating a worldwide fad of everything Egyptian and simultaneously giving birth to the legend of the Mummy's Curse. That same year, the Necronomicon made its sinister debut in the pages of Weird Tales magazine. A year later -- inspired by Mussolini's success in Italy -- Hitler will attempt his own putsch in Munich, and fail.

By the end of 1923, Hitler was stewing in Landsberg Prison, writing Mein Kampf with the help of his good friends Rudolf Hess and Fr. Bernhard Stempfle, and enjoying a little geopolitical input from Professor Karl Haushofer.

The Entourage

We will discuss Father Stempfle in more detail in Chapter Five, and Rudolf Hess's flight to England (and its occult ramifications) will be analyzed fully in Chapter Nine. But a few words about both Hess and Haushofer and their relationship to the Fuhrer will do well here.

Rudolf Hess was an early confidant and friend of Hitler, one of his few coconspirators arrested after the Beer Hall Putsch in 1923. Hess acted as Hitler's secretary while they both served prison terms. It was Hess who transcribed Hitler's dreary memoir Mein Kampf From all accounts, Hess was something of a puppy dog around men like Hitler and Haushofer: blindly loyal, eager for any scrap of attention or affection, and fanatically devoted to these personalities (to a greater degree than to the ideas they represented). But he adopted their ideologies as his own, and ran with them as far as he could. Hess was the type of man that Hitler seemed to enjoy most, for Hess would never disagree with him; rather, he lived for every word that fell from the Fuhrer's mouth.

Once the Nazis gained power in Germany -- nine years after the Putsch -- Hess became Hitler's right-hand man, ahead of all other Nazis and next in line in succession to the Fuhrer's throne. He was one of the signers of the infamous Nuremberg Laws, which deprived Jews of their German citizenship and which paved the way for the Holocaust. Naive, credulous, and always ready for a new faith to believe in -- as long as it didn't interfere with his love affair with the Fuhrer -- Hess was easily influenced by a wide variety of astrologers and occultists and read avidly anything having to do with Eastern mysteries and the power of the mind. He had been an intimate of the Thule Society along with Eckart and Rosenberg, and his wife was as mystically inclined as he was. But in 1933 Hess found himself in a position of great power in Germany; his easy access to Hitler made him very popular with the wheelers and dealers in the Party, men with their own (usually hidden) agendas.

Among the latter could be counted Professor Karl Haushofer and his son, Albrecht. Hess had studied under Haushofer at the University of Munich and had brought the geopolitician to Hitler's attention while they were both serving time in Landsberg. Although there is still a great deal of controversy over just who influenced whom with regard to the Hess Affair, it is likely that the Haushofers had something to do with Hess's flight to England and that astrological advice (as well as what was essentially a conspiracy against the Fuhrer) also played an important role.

Hess had been a keen student of Haushofer (1869-1946), the inventor of Lebensraum, at the University of Munich. Professor Haushofer, a general in the Kaiser's army who had spent considerable time in the Far East as military attache for the German government and who could speak and write Japanese fluently, was believed to have been initiated into some secret society or other in Asia. This story of Haushofer's occult initiation has appeared several times, most notably in Le matin des magiciens by Pauwels and Bergier, [2] and his surviving son Heinz has denied it vigorously. However, some evidence does exist that Haushofer had an abiding interest in astrology and even claimed a certain degree of clairvoyance. It is certain that Haushofer eventually came to wield considerable power in the Third Reich, through both his Deutsche Akademie and the Institut fur Geopolitik at the University of Munich -- a kind of think tank-cum-intelligence agency -- of which he was director. His early associations with influential Japanese businessmen and statesmen were crucial in forming the German-Japanese alliance of World War II. He was also the first high-ranking Nazi to form important relationships with South American governments in anticipation of military and political action against the United States, relationships that would eventually be exploited by war criminals -- and Nazi cultists -- fleeing the reach of the Nuremberg prosecutors.

In Hess he found an adoring, fawning student and true believer (for whom he actually had rather little respect) and Hess wasted no time in bringing the professor to the attention of Hitler at Landsberg Prison, where the three of them discussed Haushofer's Lebensraum concept and other ideas concerning global politics.

Haushofer deserves an entire book to himself and, indeed, the amount of available documentation on his life and work is considerable, so we shall not go into it here. It is enough for our purposes to say that, until he dropped out of favor, Haushofer was Hitler's most valuable political and military adviser, responsible for many foreign policy coups. His Deutsche Akademie had branches all over the world -- including the United States -- where information on local geography, economics, politics, military preparedness, food supplies, industrial capability, cultural affairs, media influence, etc. was collected and analyzed by teams of well-paid professional scholars, engineers, meteorologists, historians, psychologists, agricultural specialists, and advisers in virtually every aspect of human life. Blended with all of this otherwise scientific information gathering was a heavy dose of astrology, mysticism, and occultism which caused Haushofer, geopolitics, and the German Academy to be ridiculed in the world press ... even as many governments were trying to set up geopolitical institutes of their own.

But it is the Lebensraum policy for which Haushofer is generally known in the short histories of the war that can be found in any library. Lebensraum -- literally "living room" -- is the doctrine that gave Hitler the "right" to seek to expand the Reich as far as possible into neighboring countries, seizing the land and deporting (or exterminating) the local residents and replacing them with Germans. It was a doctrine that was adopted enthusiastically by the Japanese, who were Haushofer's close friends, and which gave them the ideological basis for their invasion of China, the Pacific, and Southeast Asia. Lebensraum was the simple statement of policy which said that a sovereign nation, to ensure the survival of its people, had a right to annex the territory of other sovereign nations to feed and house itself. Japan was certainly a nation that could appreciate this idea, crowded as it is on a set of rather small islands that is poor in natural resources and which has to import nearly everything it needs to survive. The Lebensraum concept was crucial to Haushofer's general theory of "geopolitics" and was embraced by Hitler in those early days in Landsberg Prison. After all, if an esteemed professor at the University of Munich, and a former statesman and military theoretician for the Kaiser at that, said Germany would be justified in expanding its national boundaries at the expense of other nations, it was tantamount to a seal of approval from the intelligentsia for Hitler's wilder ambitions.

If the patient reader remembers what was broached in Chapter One concerning the ideas of Michel Foucault, it may be perceived that Haushofer's concept of Lebensraum is a manifestation of the "sexuality" impulse as an implement of national policy. While wars of conquest were conducted in the old days for religious reasons, or for sheer glory, or to avenge an insult real or imagined, Haushofer put forward the idea of "living room" as a kind of natural law that transcended sovereign boundaries and national agendas: the necessary expansion of a human population into whatever space could be found to feed and house it. Lebensraum was not presented as a plan of mass murder or as a weapon of the will of an individual despot, but as the natural expression of the need of a people for "living room": i.e., for the survival of an entire nation or race. In that sense, Lebensraum was the twentieth-century "sexual" (to use Foucault's term) extension of Hitler's nineteenth-century "sanguine" Messiah-complex entailing human sacrifice. The twentieth century thus became the battleground of the "blood" versus "sex" ideologies, and when no means of accommodation could be found between the two impulses it was only natural that Haushofer -- whose Lebensraum theory was a twisted version of the sex impulse -- should later come to doubt Hitler and to actively plan to destroy him. [?]

After the flight of Hess to England, Haushofer came under attack from the Fuhrer. Blamed for a baleful influence over Hess that contributed to Hitler losing his right-hand man and close companion from the old days -- his dear little Hesserl -- Haushofer and his eldest son and colleague, Albrecht, rapidly fell out of favor with the Reich. The Hess flight was seen as a debacle for Nazi Germany, causing all sorts of political problems for Hitler. He did not want Russia or Italy to think he was making a separate peace with England, and his secret plan for the Russian invasion (code-named Barbarossa) was known to Hess. If Barbarossa should be revealed to the English, all would be lost, for Hitler was double-dealing, but with the Soviet Union and not with England.

Hitler quickly issued statements characterizing Hess as a sick individual with a history of mental problems; a strategy that was not entirely successful, for the man in the street wondered why Hess had remained the second most powerful man in Germany for so long if he was insane? Hitler also ordered the suppression of all fortune-telling practices and establishments, including astrology, palm-and tea-reading, seances, and the like on the assumption that occultists had brainwashed Hess into committing this treasonous act. Everyone knew that Hess took astrology and the occult arts very seriously, so this seemed to be a logical step to take. This "occult conspiracy" angle would be thoughtfully examined by elements of British Intelligence, which would consider using Aleister Crowley as a tool in an occult counteroffensive. (See Chapter Nine.)

Many historians have pointed to this general ban on occultism as evidence that Hitler did not believe in the black arts. They also cite references against the volkisch secret societies in a few of his speeches as further proof that the Fuhrer was -- even if somewhat insane -- not as crazy as the stargazers or demon-summoners. However, as anyone who has had anything at all to do with occult societies knows very well, the internecine warfare that takes place among occultists at every level of sophistication is furious, spiteful, and altogether nasty. The stories about Crowley's own "magical war" with his mentor, MacGregor Mathers, are well known, as are many of the fights that took place between various French lodges of the nineteenth century (which can be consulted in Richard Cavendish's thoroughly enjoyable The Black Arts). [3] Occultists in general have no difficulty distancing themselves -- with appropriate invective and astral curses -- from other occultists with whom they disagree on philosophical grounds; and virtually every "serious occultist" that the author has ever encountered has had nothing but disdain for tea-leaf readers, palmists, and cut-rate astrologers. Thus, in light of the foregoing, the author finds no contradiction at all in Hitler's fascination with occultism on the one hand and his order to ban "popular" occult practices on the other.

While Professor Karl Haushofer was not arrested or otherwise physically abused, his son Albrecht Haushofer was arrested and taken to Gestapo Headquarters at 8 Prinz Albrechtstrasse, an address with a reputation as dire and forbidding to the Germans as Dzerzhinsky Square and the Lubyanka are to the Russians. There he was interrogated for days about his relationship to Hess and about how much advance knowledge he had concerning the flight. Albrecht survived this interrogation more or less intact, and was released. What Hitler and the Gestapo did not discover, however, was that Albrecht and his father had developed connections to the German Resistance movement against Hitler. This would all be tragically revealed a few years later when, after the failed July 1944 assassination plot against Hitler in which Albrecht was a coconspirator, Professor Haushofer himself was sent to Dachau, the concentration camp conveniently close (nine miles) to Munich where the Ahnenerbe-SS had some unusual interests. Son Albrecht was sent to prison, and later executed at the last minute on the streets of Berlin as the city was falling to the Red Army.

Upon the collapse of the Reich, Karl Haushofer was questioned by Allied investigators working for the Nuremberg Tribunal eager to learn of his relationship with Hess, a relationship to which Haushofer -- mourning the execution of his eldest son -- freely confessed. Before he could testify in open court against his old student and comrade, however, he committed suicide by taking arsenic.

The rest of Hitler's entourage included, of course, the pagan ideologue Alfred Rosenberg (whom Hitler made head of the Nazi Party pro tem during his residence in Landsberg). Rosenberg -- a native Balt with an abiding hatred of Soviets, Jews, and Freemasons -- had appeared one day at Dietrich Eckart's apartment in Munich and offered him his services as a "fighter against Judah." The two soon became inseparable and it is believed that it was Rosenberg who introduced Eckart to the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Rosenberg agitated for the creation of a state religion based on Odinic paganism and Teutonic magic, and could be relied upon to appear at the meetings of every major Nordic, Teutonic, and Aryan society in Germany both before and after the Nazis' seizure of power. It was Rosenberg who ordered that Freemason temples in the Occupied Territories be looted by Einsatz commandos and their contents shipped back to him in Berlin, an order cheerfully carried out by Franz Six and Otto Ohlendorf, both men known for their abiding interest in cult activity. Rosenberg's close associate and fellow pagan, Richard Walther Darre -- a native of Argentina -- was made Agriculture Minister of the Third Reich but Darre's interest was less in animal husbandry and crop rotation than it was in the mystical doctrines of the runes and the Blood and Soil. We have covered runic mysticism already; the Blood and Soil doctrine is too tedious to examine thoroughly here but the reader can immediately grasp its essentials if it is understood that, if it had been left up to Darre, pure-blooded German peasants would have reverted to fornicating in the fields on Walpurgisnacht to ensure fertility of the crops.

The team of Rosenberg and Darre picked up in Nazi Germany where the team of Rosenberg and Eckart left off in Weimar. Rosenberg, with his impeccable credentials dating back to the early days of the formation of the Nazi Party and its baptism of blood in the Beer Hall Putsch, was a high-profile Reichsleiter with a blatantly pagan and anti- Christian philosophy, a philosophy which received wide coverage in the German press. Darre was there to support this platform and, if possible, to do him one better on occasion. Together, they ran around the nation drumming up support for an official state religion based on the worship of the Old Gods, a religion that included purifying the Aryan race of elements that were in the process of polluting it and diluting the strength of its Blood. To these True Believers, sex was at once fascinating and repellent; the danger of the Jews to the Aryan man and woman was their sensuality, their ability to seduce the purebloods away from their duty to procreate only blue-eyed Teutons. The Jew was the Serpent in the pagan Garden of Eden.

One pagan and occultist who was not bothered with sexuality, however, and who made it a cornerstone of his philosophy was the English magician and tabloid-crowned "Wickedest Man in the World" (this, in the age of Mussolini, Hitler, and Stalin!): Aleister Crowley. Crowley -- whose life has been well and thoroughly discussed by a wide variety of authors, including himself -- provides us some entree into the German occult scene of the 1920s and 1930s. Indeed, at one point Crowley was actually roughed up by a roving Nazi SA gang in what is arguably the single documented instance of a good deed in the entire history of the Nazi Party: the Storm Troopers stopped Crowley from beating his girlfriend!

Crowley will take us to such important German sex cultists as Theodor Reuss, Karl Germer, Eugene Grosche, Heinrich Tranker, and Marthe Kuntzel, not to forget the British Army officer Maj. Gen. C.F. Fuller, who was once a guest of Hitler himself at the latter's Berchtesgaden retreat to celebrate the Fuhrer's fiftieth birthday on April 20, 1939; Fuller -- an anti-Semite and contributor to Oswald Moseley's Fascist Quarterly, a devoted Thelemite (that is to say, follower of Crowley's own religion) and an intimate of Crowley -- was said to be the "only Englishman that Hitler actually liked." [4] Crowley will take us on a tour of Leipzig, Munich, and the province of Thuringia, where a secret convocation of German occultists was held in 1925 to determine the future leadership of the Ordo Templi Orientis, the German sex-magic occult lodge that would eventually be suppressed by the Nazis, its members thrown into the camps.

So, in order to understand what the "subversive" German sex cults were doing, and why, we must start with Aleister Crowley and what he was up to in Germany in 1912.

The Great Beast

Crowley was born on October 12, 1875, in England, not far from the town of Stratford-on-Avon where Shakespeare was born and only a few weeks before Baron Sebottendorff's own birth near Dresden that November. Raised in an oppressively fundamentalist Christian environment, he came early on to regard himself as the Beast of the Apocalypse, the one branded with a 666 and with the Whore of Babylon for aid and comfort. He became an initiate of the Golden Dawn -- that fabulously complex jewel of European occultism -- on November 18, 1898.

The Golden Dawn had been created ten years earlier by the team of Mathers, Westcott, and Woodman. As we have seen, the official story had it that the Golden Dawn was a branch of an order that existed in Germany, and that a charter from the parent lodge had been granted to the Englishmen from a Fraulein Anna Sprengel of Stuttgart. At the time that Crowley was initiated into the Golden Dawn, that would have been accepted as truth and Crowley would probably have believed that he was indeed being initiated into what was the British section of a German secret society. Since then, the German origins of the Golden Dawn have been more or less demonstrated to be a hoax. It is quite likely that the entire ritual and initiatory structure of the Dawn was nothing less than the brilliant invention of Mathers himself, an invention for which, sadly, he could never claim credit since a major element in the attraction of occult societies rests on their having a long and distinguished -- if covert and underground -- pedigree.

Interestingly enough, the degree structure of the Golden Dawn was based on the famous Tree of Life symbol: a complex diagram of ten spheres connected by a total of twenty-two paths (each path representing a letter of the Hebrew alphabet) that can be consulted in any one of a variety of books on qabalism and Western occultism. This same Tree of Life diagram was used by the old Wotanist Guido von List to represent the hierarchical grace structure in his own ideal Ario-Germanic society and, like the Golden Dawn, he reserved the top three degrees as being inaccessible to the average human being. (Crowley, of course, would eventually assume all three after leaving the Golden Dawn and forming his own organization, the A...A....) It is entirely possible that List -- writing about these ideas in 1911 -- had adopted this degree system from the Golden Dawn, which had put it to use as early as 1888 based on "Anna Sprengel's" instructions. If so, the only way in which List could have discovered this degree system was either through initiation into the Golden Dawn or from another initiate who (breaking his oath of secrecy) described it to him. That the unregenerate anti-Semite and godfather of the Nazi Party, Guido von List, might have been a Golden Dawn initiate is an amusing if unsettling proposition but, thankfully, there is no evidence for this. However, there was much communication taking place at this time between England and Germany involving such occult celebrities as Golden Dawn initiate Dr. R.W. Felkin (who was actually looking for Fraulein Sprengel in Germany), Dr. Hubbe-Schleiden (whom we met in Chapter One as the first president of the German branch of the Theosophical Society) and Dr. Rudolf Steiner (who was involved at this time with Franz Hartmann's Masonic lodges as well as with the OTO). Felkin, intent on forging links with legitimate Rosicrucian lodges and acting under mediumistic supervision of a discarnate Arab entity by the name of Ara Ben Shemesh, was desperately seeking Sprengel and hoped that either Hubbe-Schleiden or Rudolf Steiner could assist in that regard. Needless to say, the search came to naught, but the fact of these three occultists communicating and exchanging information on cult activities is provocative. [5]

Historian Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke opines that List got the idea of a Tree of Life initiatory system from the inescapable Dr. Hartmann, who possibly heard of it from the energetic Dr. Westcott. If so, we have the leaders of the Armanenschaft (List's name for his own secret society), the Golden Dawn, and the OTO exchanging details on their secret initiations. That List would have based his hierarchy on the patently Jewish Tree of Life and borrowed the concept from the Golden Dawn -- by way of the OTO -- would seem merely ironic to a layperson but positively frightening to an occultist, for what it implies about the relationship between the anti-Semitic List organizations and the ostensibly apolitical Golden Dawn and OTO lodges. In any event, List amended the qabalistic correspondences to suit himself and essentially developed his own -- Aryan -- version of the Golden Dawn initiatory system. [6]

In contrast to the new, growing, Anglo-Saxon race, look, for instance, at the Sephardim, the so-called "Spanish Jews"; here we find how a genuine race can by purity keep itself noble for centuries and tens of centuries, but at the same time how very necessary it is to distinguish between the nobly reared portions of a nation and the rest. In England, Holland and Italy there are still genuine Sephardim but very few, since they can scarcely any longer avoid crossing with the Ashkenazim (the so-called "German Jews"). Thus, for example, the Montefiores of the present generation have all without exception married German Jewesses. But every one who has travelled in the East of Europe, where the genuine Sephardim still as far as possible avoid all intercourse with German Jews, for whom they have an almost comical repugnance, will agree with me when I say that it is only when one sees these men and has intercourse with them that one begins to comprehend the significance of Judaism in the history of the word. This is nobility in the fullest sense of the word, genuine nobility of race! Beautiful figures, noble heads, dignity in speech and bearing. The type is Semitic in the same sense as that of certain noble Syrians and Arabs. That out of the midst of such people Prophets and Psalmists could arise -- that I understood at the first glance, which I honestly confess that I had never succeeded in doing when I gazed, however carefully, on the many hundred young Jews -- "Bochers " -- of the Friedrichstrasse in Berlin. When we study the Sacred Books of the Jews we see further that the conversion of this monopolytheistic people to the ever sublime (though according to our Ideas mechanical and materialistic) conception of a true cosmic monotheism was not the work of the community, but of a mere fraction of the people; indeed this minority had to wage a continuous warfare against the majority, and was compelled to enforce the acceptance of its more exalted view of life by means of the highest Power to which man is heir, the might of personality. As for the rest of the people, unless the Prophets were guilty of gross exaggeration, they convey the impression of a singularly vulgar crowd, devoid of every higher aim, the rich hard and unbelieving, the poor fickle and ever possessed by the longing to throw themselves into the arms of the wretchedest and filthiest idolatry. The course of Jewish history has provided for a peculiar artificial selection of the morally higher section: by banishments, by continual withdrawals to the Diaspora -- a result of the poverty and oppressed condition of the land -- only the most faithful (of the better classes) remained behind, and these abhorred every marriage contract -- even with Jews! -- in which both parties could not show an absolutely pure descent from one of the tribes of Israel and prove their strict orthodoxy beyond all doubt.

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

Another element of the Golden Dawn which is relevant to our case is that the structure of many of its rituals, the peculiar language in which its invocations are made, and the odd designs of many of the magic seals and insignia are all based on a system of occult correspondences known as Enochian, and codified within the writings of Elizabethan mathematician, philosopher, and spy, Dr. John Dee.


The living channels of the Secret Tradition in Israel -- otherwise the successive mouthpieces -- according to the Tradition itself, are Enoch, Abraham, Moses, Solomon, and then -- after long ages -- one born far after due time, Rabbi Simeon ben Yochai at the beginning of the Christian Dispensation, a Greater Exile for Jewry. The romance-writers -- who passed as historians of Masonry before and after the formation of the UNITED GRAND LODGE -- knew nothing whatever of the last, for Kabalism was reflected into their reveries at second and third hand. But they knew -- confusedly and vaguely -- that there was a Secret Tradition in Israel, and some gleams concerning it were splintered on their glass of vision from people not themselves, and not of the Masonic Brotherhood, who derived certain rumours at a distance from yet others, being those who had dipped into Picus de Mirandula, Reuchlin, Archangelus de Burgo Nuovo and Baron Knorr von Rosenroth. The manner in which it was reflected revealed to them Masonry everywhere, or if any of the goods and chattels in which they and their authorities dealt could not be called Masonry by any stretch of a Georgian cum William IV imagination, it was then a debased substitute. Of Enoch who walked with God till he was not for God took him there are strange theosophical reminiscences in the SEPHER HA ZOHAH and its adjuncts; there are also Talmudic stories. Their final reflection into the annals of Masonry was summarised as follows in the year 1764.

"Enoch, the fifth from Seth, who prophesied of the deluge and conflagration, lest arts and sciences should slip out of the knowledge of men, raised two columns, one of brick, the other of stone, and inscribed their inventions upon them, that, if the pillar of brick happened to be overthrown by the Flood, that of stone might remain; which Josephus tells us was to be seen, in his time, in the land of Siriad."

-- The Ancient and Primitive Rite of Memphis and Misraim, Extracts from "A New Encyclopaedia of Freemasonry," by Arthur Edward Waite

Crowley would become so conversant with the "Enochian" language that he would translate medieval spirit conjurations into that tongue for use by his own cult members. Having its own alphabet and its own rules of grammar, its very existence is a technical impossibility: an artificially created language developed by one (or at most two) men in the sixteenth century, John Dee and his assistant Edward Kelley. According to their story, it was given to them by an angel who communicated the language, the alphabet, and all the magic squares, invocations, etc. by means of a laborious process that took months of "scrying" in the equivalent of a crystal ball. The massive amount of manuscript that resulted from these bizarre efforts has been largely ignored by historians of the Elizabethan period, or cited as evidence of Dee's emotional instability. In fact, the existence of these writings was used for many years to discredit Dee's genius altogether. (This is a pattern of thought that exists to this day: occult practices are evidence of either insanity, emotional instability, or simple credulousness.)

However, recent research into the Elizabethan period and particularly concerning Dee's relationship to Sir Francis Walsingham (1530?-1590), Queen Elizabeth's secretary of state, suggests that Dee was on a secret mission for the British government at the time of the angelic revelations (which took place in Prague). Further, as the pseudonymous historian Richard Deacon has pointed out, [7] the Angelic language itself may have been devised as a particularly effective code -- based on the work of famed German cryptographer Johannes Trithemius (1462-1516) -- for communication between Dee in Prague and Walsingham in England.

In other words, the entire basis of the famous occult order known as the Golden Dawn may well have had its origins in espionage work, from the coded language of Elizabethan spy and mystic John Dee to the "Cypher manuscript" of a nonexistent [???] German lodge.

Some years later, following his various and several initiations into the Golden Dawn, Crowley found himself in position to help a lodge brother, Gerald Kelly. Kelly, a distinguished member and president of the Royal Academy, had a sister by the name of Rose, who was engaged to someone she did not wish to marry. Crowley rushed to the aid of Rose Kelly, and proposed that -- in order to thwart the fiance -- she elope with Crowley himself. It was to be purely a marriage of convenience, of course, whose only purpose was to ensure that she would not have to marry the unfortunate gentleman who was pursuing her. She agreed. They eloped. Fell madly in love. Consummated the union. And went on a honeymoon.

This, much to the consternation of her brother Gerald.

The honeymoon took the blissful couple to Cairo in 1904, where the event was to take place that would change Crowley's life -- and the lives of thousands of his followers down the years -- forever, for Rose, who had never before evinced any signs of mediumistic powers, suddenly began to "channel" an alien entity who demanded to speak directly to Crowley. To be exact, she began receiving impressions that the Gods wanted to speak with Crowley on an urgent matter and, for verification, she led Crowley to an exhibit at the Cairo Museum which bore the fateful number, 666. Rose, not aware of her husband's personal identification with that number and the Great Beast it represents, was obviously in contact with divine forces, and Crowley took her impressions seriously.

For three days in April, 1904, Aleister Crowley communed with a spirit called Aiwaz, an entity that Crowley had claimed at times to have been the Devil -- Shaitan -- itself. Aiwaz communicated a scripture to Crowley in the voice of three Egyptian gods -- Nuit, Hadit, and Ra-Hoor-Khuit -- that became known as The Book of the Law: the gospel of the New Age, the Aeon of Horus.

Crowley himself has written that the book initially repelled him; [8] that he put it away and actually lost track of the manuscript for five years until one day he found it in an attic and reread it for the first time since 1904. At that point, he suddenly realized he was holding the key scripture of the next Aeon (a magickal age of two thousand years). While Hitler would eventually proclaim a Thousand Year Reich, Crowley was doing him a thousand years better.

The Book of the Law attacks most modern religions, from Judaism to Christianity to Islam to Buddhism, and thus would have been an interesting document to the inner circle of the Reich. It also proclaims -- in a book written in 1904 -- "I am the Warrior Lord of the Forties," [9] an eerily prescient prediction of the greatest military conflagration ever to hit the planet.
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Postby admin » Fri Jun 26, 2015 12:54 am


Crowley's occult career did not end with The Book of the Law. In due course he penned many hundreds of tracts, pamphlets, articles, and books, all on the theme of "Magick": spelled with a "k" to differentiate it from all other types. When it came to Magick, Crowley was a genius. His command of mythology, religion, philosophy, the arts, and foreign languages was (and remains) legendary. He was the English version of a Guido von List with at least one important distinction: Crowley had a sense of humor, and it is through this sense of humor that the full range of his intellectual brilliance shines. Whatever one thinks of Crowley as a human being or of Thelema -- the cult he founded on the basis of The Book of the Law -- one thing is certain: Crowley was an inspired and engaging author on the whole field of occultism.

Sex Magick

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

The OTO was founded between 1895 and 1900 by a pair of powerful Freemasons, Karl Kellner and Theodor Reuss. Politically, the order was right-wing in the extreme, proposing the creation of a pan-German world based on pagan spiritual beliefs. Kellner died in 1905, and Reuss, a former spy for the Prussian Secret Service, assumed the office of high caliph. While living in London, Reuss spied on German socialist expatriates. In 1912 he made the acquaintance of Aleister Crowley, and appointed him head of the OTO's British chapter. But The Beast's political loyalties have always been an open question.

While living in the States, he wrote pro-German diatribes for two fascist publications, The Fatherland and The Internationalist. After WW II, there were calls for his head. But Crowley offered that his pro-German stance was a ruse of MI6, the military intelligence division in the UK.

In 1912 he had informed the secret service of his correspondence with Reuss, the German spy. Throughout the '20s and '30s, Crowley gathered intelligence on European Communists, the Nazi movement and Germany's occult lodges. Crowley died in 1944, willing the copyright for his books and unpublished manuscripts to the OTO, and leadership of the order to Karl Germer, otherwise known as Frater Saturnus X., formerly Crowley's Legate in the U.S. Germer was born in Germany, served in WW I and was reportedly tossed in the prison by the Nazis for his involvement in Freemasonry. (Crowley believed Germer to be a Nazi spy, but admitted him to the OTO anyway. Typical.)

-- The OTO and the CIA, by Alex Constantine

"Sex-magic" is a loaded term with all sorts of connotations, and it is perhaps best that we discuss what Kellner -- and later OTO initiates -- meant by it. It is, quite simply, a method of sublimating sexual energy to the will of the magician in a variety of rituals, for a variety of purposes, using the sexual practice appropriate to the desired end. Thus, everything from the missionary position to sodomy to masturbation has a magical analogue and refers to a different quality of occult power. The choice of partner is also a matter for some concern, and the practice of sex-magic has become so refined by later initiates of the Order that even the specific days of a woman's menstrual cycle (for instance) each has its own occult correspondence. While this concept may seem somewhat scandalous to the casual reader, one should remember that a core doctrine of all occultism -- from the highest qabala to the meanest sympathetic magic -- is that of correspondences. In this doctrine, everything that exists in the "real" world has a counterpart in the astral world. Thus an object made of gold can be used to represent the sun, which is itself representative of a host of ideas (vitality, warmth, the Male principle, action, ego, etc.). On this is magic based. Following that line of reasoning through, every conceivable sort of sex act must also have its analogue in the astral domain, where magic works its mysterious wonders.

Obviously, this dimension was hard to find in the generally available teachings of the Golden Dawn, the Freemasons, and other like organizations with their heavy emphasis on formal ritual alone. The sex magicians also used a great deal of ritual -- much of it familiar to magicians of other disciplines -- but with some version of the sex act as the central feature. Magic is, after all, about power; about directing energy and will to a given end. Sex is the natural companion to this doctrine of power, for it is arguably the most potent of all human experiences. Wed sex to magic and theoretically one would obtain a dynamo of vast occult potential.

In India, this combination was already well-known as a form of worship called "tantra": a Hindu religious practice in which members of both sexes would participate in various rituals (not all of them overtly sexual by any means) designed to invoke the gods and to imitate the union of the two forms of polar power in the universe, the male and female energies referred to in China as Yang and Yin, respectively, and in India as Shiva and Shakti.

Traditionally, there are two forms of tantric ritual: right-hand and left-hand. Right-hand tantric ritual is that which takes place when the female participant sits at the right hand of the male. In this instance, actual physical contact between the partners will not take place.

It is left-hand tantra that gets all the attention, however, because of the mistaken notion that it is somehow "evil." The term "left-hand path" has become synonymous in the West with black magic and with evil sorcerers who have sold their souls to the Devil: a manifestation of the superstition that left-handedness itself is a sign of aberration. [??!!!] However, "left-hand" tantric ritual is simply that in which the female participant sits at the left hand of the male in the ritual. In this case, physical contact takes place between the two partners but this in no way mandates sexual intercourse every time, in every rite.

Certainly, among some practitioners in the East, the left-hand tantric circle has become a sexual one and there is a small library of techniques, rituals, invocations, chants, etc. appropriate to this type of magic. But the point to be made here is that all tantra is inherently sexual in nature as it is concerned with the activities of both the male and female gods and goddesses and their relationship to each other in the eternal play of creation. Whether or not actual sexual intercourse takes place on the physical plane or not is a matter for tantric "engineers" to decide, depending on the path chosen and the means agreed to by all parties. In all cases, the sexual act is considered subordinate to the ultimate goal of spiritual liberation. It is a means to an end, and nothing more.

As we have seen, Hitler was (probably unconsciously) putting this same knowledge to good use. As Schellenberg pointed out in the quotation that begins this chapter, Hitler had so sublimated his sexual urges that he found relief in the rabid speeches he made to the assembled, adoring masses and had long ceased to be interested in normal sexual intercourse with women. On the other side, his speeches were so mesmerizing that even foreigners who spoke no German at all were captivated by Hitler's oratory. In other words, the magical, tantric technique worked. Hitler wanted power more than anything else and was willing to sacrifice friends and lovers to that end. He transformed his sexual desire into a tool for obtaining power ... and became the leader of Germany (a country he wasn't even born in). Schellenberg -- who is no fool -- even credits the stories about Hitler's "powers of intuition and personal magnetism," [10] in effect giving credence to what a medieval audience would have called Hitler's abilities as a sorcerer. A modern, twentieth-century occult audience would call Hitler a sex magician.


The most comprehensive document of Bin Ladenolatry so far produced comes from the bowels of the CIA, the work place of Anonymous, the author of Imperial Hubris. This book can only be interpreted as a semi-official compendium of CIA doctrine on today's world. Anonymous is sure that Bin Laden will be able to strike the U.S. again, and this time most likely with a weapon of mass destruction, but he still offers the erratic millionaire praise without stint:

Viewed from any angle, Osama Bin Laden is a great man, one who smashed the expected unfolding of universal post-Cold War peace. The New York and Washington attacks, Andrew Bacevich and Sebastian Mallaby wrote in the Wilson Quarterly, "revealed that the pilgrimage to perfection was far from over," though "not for a moment did they cause American political leaders to question the project's feasibility." Post-11 September, Dr. Bruce Hoffman also offered an acute judgment of Bin Laden's impact. "Whatever else," Hoffman wrote, "Bin Laden is one of the few persons who can argue that they changed the course of history."...All told, Bin Laden in certainly the most popular anti-American leader in the world today. His name is legend from Houston to Zanzibar to Jakarta, and his face and sayings are emblazoned on T -shirts, CDs, audio and videotapes, posters, photographs, cigarette lighters, and stationery across the earth. "Afghanistan's children," Daniel Bergener wrote in the New York Times Magazine in July 2003, "suck on Bin Laden candies, sugary balls in wrappers showing the leader's face, his pointed finger and the tip of a rocket." So too with his name: "one of the most common names for newborn males is Osama," James Kitfield reported in the National Journal in November 2002. "Even among those who publicly denounce his terrorist methods, the namings indicate the nearly mythical status the Islamic world has bestowed on Osama Bin Laden." (Anonymous 104-105)

Our anonymous CIA agent waxes positively indignant about those in Saudi Arabia and around the world who impugn Bin Laden's world-historical genius. He is especially upset about certain Saudis who have worked closely with Bin Laden in the past, and who find it impossible to believe that he is now functioning as the evil demiurge of the twenty-first century. Anonymous detects a "theme of Bin Laden's limited mental and leadership abilities" which has been spread by "a number of Saudi officials and writers. Their intent seems simple enough: to prove that Bin Laden is intellectually incapable of managing al Qaeda and designing its operations." (Anonymous 107) As an example of this line, Anonymous quotes an account given by Saudi Prince Mahmoud bin Abdel Aziz to the U.S. press. The Prince recalled

that night a decade ago when Osama Bin Laden attended an evening salon to describe his exploits fighting in Afghanistan. ...[The prince] remembers young Osama floundering when guests questioned him about the interpretation of religious texts. "Finally, I had to signal with my hands for them to stop it," said the prince. "He really is quite a simple man." (Anonymous 108)

Here we have a rich misfit and fanatic who cannot hold his own in theological debates, which should supposedly be his strongest suit. In Anonymous' view, "the most common form of the Saudis' defamation of Bin Laden is done by having his friends in the kingdom describe him as a gentle, amiable, and relatively unintelligent man." (Anonymous 108) But the yelping detractors of Bin Laden do not stop here. According to Anonymous: "A final side to the effort in the Moslem and Western worlds to denigrate Bin Laden's brains and talents lies in the studied attempt to depict Bin Laden as a simpleton who is directed by that evil terrorist genius Ayman al-Zawahiri, former chief of Egyptian Islamic Jihad and now Bin Laden's deputy in al Qaeda. 'My knowledge of Bin Laden makes me unable to conceive what is happening now,' said Dr. Abdullah al Muayyad, a former director general of the Saudi finance ministry who worked with Bin Laden during the Afghan jihad." (Anonymous 107) Like a good CIA agent, Anonymous tries to make his readers think that the Saudis are passing the buck to the nefarious Egyptians, but this is hogwash. Zawahiri, once again, was a key part of the Sadat assassination, and afterwards was protected by London. The world needs to remember Sadat's widow, Jehan Sadat, recalling in a television interview after 9/11 that Zawahiri, a murderer of her husband, had lived in London for years after that crime, while extradition to Egypt was always refused by the UK. The guess here would be that Zawahiri is a double agent working for MI-6, while Bin Laden is indeed a fanatical, deluded patsy and dupe; at any rate, if this is Bin Laden's mentality, it would make him the ideal type for the role he is presently carrying out.

Anonymous devotes a lyrically fulsome passage to evoking Bin Laden's status as a beloved figure among the Moslems; the Moslem love for Osama, he argues, is

love not so much for Osama Bin Laden the person -- although there is much of that -- but love for his defense of the faith, the life he lives, the heroic example he sets, and the similarity of that example to other heroes in the pantheon of Islamic history. (Anonymous 124)

Anonymous concludes this paean to his hero Bin Laden by favorably comparing the psychotic sheikh to Abraham Lincoln. This is all coming, we recall, from a high-level CIA officer, one of the founding members of the "Manson family," as the original CIA Bin Laden station called itself. If Arabs and Moslems can be convinced that Bin Laden is really their leader, and not a creature of the CIA, then they will never accomplish the modernizing reforms which the progressive nationalists promised. They will spend their time fighting among themselves in the name of re-creating the caliphate. They will be unable to make alliances against the Anglo-Americans with Europe, with the Orthodox, the Hindus, the Buddhists, the Confucians, the atheists, or anybody else; they will self-isolate themselves in endless backwardness. Bin Laden's mass line is, after all, that it is the duty of every Moslem to kill infidels wherever they are found. If applied literally, this would even cut off all scientific and commercial exchanges in a kind of murderous self-embargo. All these factors will make the Moslem ummah ever so much easier to divide and defeat. No wonder the CIA is so proud of having made Bin Laden a folk hero of the Moslem world, with the help of the 9/11 attacks which the unstable dreamer could never have carried out by himself: literally billions of dollars of publicity for the Saudi misfit have paid off in one of the greatest psychological warfare operations of all time. Any cause that chooses Bin Laden or some similar figure as its leader, we may be certain, is damning itself to a lonely and ignominious defeat at the hands of the: laughing CIA kuffar.

-- 9/11 Synthetic Terrorism Made in USA, by Webster Griffin Tarpley

But to return to Crowley, in post-Victorian England this was racy stuff. Sex magic was certainly far and away from anything the Golden Dawn was teaching, and Crowley became intrigued by it all when Theodor Reuss -- the Outer Head of the Order (OHO) of the OTO -- visited Crowley in London in 1912 (during the height of a flurry of occult activity in Germany involving everything from the death of Theosophist eminence grise Franz Hartmann, warring Theosophical societies vying for members and recognition, and the creation, by Rudolf Steiner, of his Anthroposophical Society that same year, not to mention the founding of the Germanenorden that May) and accused him of revealing the core secret of the Order in a publication of Crowley's called the Book of Lies. Crowley, taken rather aback, replied that he could not reveal the secret of the OTO since he had not attained the appropriate degree in the Order and had therefore never been told what the secret was. When Reuss pointed out a revealing phrase having to do with a "Magick Rood" and a "Mystic Rose," (elements which, in a Freudian sense, could be understood as representing the male and female genitals, respectively) Crowley had a flash of satori and the two men came to a mutual understanding.


-- Bleeding Roses, by Salvador Dali

Crowley visited Berlin later in 1912 to obtain a charter making him the head of the OTO for Great Britain and all of the English-speaking peoples of the world, in the process choosing as his magickal name the title of that infamous Templar statue: Baphomet.

He then descended upon the rituals of the OTO with relish, rewriting them to make them more overtly sexual and incorporating his own newly minted religious ideas -- which he called Thelema after the Greek word for "Will" (shades of Leni Riefenstahl!) -- into the liturgy. It was as if a whole new world was opened up to him, for now he could make his favorite pastime -- sex -- not only compatible with magick but central to it. He began to see that the whole universe of magick -- the rituals, techniques, specialized language -- was merely a means of presenting sexual information in a coded form. With this sudden illumination came a profusion of small articles on sex-magick that were translated into German by Reuss's people and published there for the first time. Until relatively recently, in fact, they had not been available in English at all. [11] These treatises discuss the occult methods to be employed during autoerotic, heterosexual, and homosexual sex acts, and concern everything from uniting with one's god or goddess through masturbation or intercourse, to making talismans for various purposes, and even using sex to achieve enlightenment. These few booklets can stand as the West's answer to, and interpretation of, Hindu tantrism, particularly of the Kaula Shastra variety, with a little distaff Sufism thrown in for good measure. Quite simply, we are dealing with the subordination of the sex act to the Great Work by the magician and mystic of every age.

The only true criteria for the legitimacy of a mystical/occult order has always lain in the Latin word Opus, the Work. Who has the Work; documents are hollow without it, and the Work stands alone on its own intrinsic value as a reflection of Truth that any sincere seeker can determine by intuitive resonance.

-- Manifestations of the Martinist Order, by Milko Bogaard

The Christian eremites who suffered intense sexual fantasies in the desert as they strove to transform their desire for sex into a desire for God would have recognized the singular purpose in these Crowleyan tracts while at the same time abhorring the practices described. Crowley maintains that every sex act of an Adept is a sacred act and should not be the result of a lascivious appetite; the papal encyclical Humanae Vitae is in essential agreement on this. Yet, while Crowley -- and the members of the German occult lodges who were following this regimen -- believed that every sexual act was a magickal expression of the Will and had to be performed with procreation in sight, it is not the type of procreation the Church has in mind. Crowley's ideal children were magickal children, such as described in his entertaining and revealing novel, Moonchild [12] Every magickal act -- and this includes sex -- has a purpose that must be established beforehand. With Crowley -- as with the Pope -- there is (officially) no sex for pleasure only.

This attitude of Crowley's has been underrepresented in the many books and articles written about him. Most authors view Crowley's description of his sexual antics as "magickal rites" with a huge amount of derision; yet, his diaries are full of just such occult annotations as he meticulously recorded hundreds of sexual acts that he performed along with a careful description of their occult purposes: whether they were to consecrate talismans, obtain information through divination, commune with a spirit or a god, or whatever. Crowley was at great pains to find a way to indulge a tremendous sexual appetite in a manner that was free of any hint of the "baser" nature of sex. In this, he may have been searching for a way to satisfy subconscious elements of his psyche that were linked to his fundamentalist Christian upbringing: a way of having one's cake of light and eating it, too.

Whatever the purpose, and however successful or not he may have been, Crowley's initiation into the Ordo Templi Orientis is the source of much of the literature by and about Crowley today. The discovery of the existence of a sexual occultism was all the fuse this brilliant if eccentric Englishman needed to detonate the volatile compound of his great intelligence mixed with a sincere -- if outlandish -- spirituality.

That there existed a higher form of sex, perhaps the application of the sex act, sexual positions, sexual fluids, and even sexual pleasure to spiritual goals like illumination and unity with Godhead, appealed to Crowley immensely for it made of sex a magickal laboratory wherein any experiment was justified if not actually demanded by the rigors of scientific method.

And then you have, what I think that you may have here. You have an internationally-connected cult. In which persons move from one place to another and [have] very set rituals and are busy attempting to bring about a force of evil of the anti-Christ. Now [Paul Bonacci] knew such things, as for instance, let me give you an example. In discussing the Caesarean section, which was done here in Nebraska, the Triangle. When he was there the girl was fifteen, as he describes her two year old son had to have sex with her prior to her death, prior to the hysterotomy or C-section. ... The two year old had sex with his mother. The mother was a believer, he states that she was not tied down, though she was drugged, and a lot of them had drugs. The baby was removed and the blood drained, the chalice passed, the high priest urinated in the chalice, in the blood. Because part of the way of the reverse Christian belief is to take the blood and defile it. But only the high priest may do it. And he knew it. ... The baby was dismembered. ... The next thing that he said is that the child would not stop crying and so they eliminated that child as well. And ate the flesh. And the mother died and she was also eaten by the cult. And I said, "well, what happened to the bones and teeth?" And he said that they were ground in a machine. Which is one of the ways that they do do it. He described it extremely well.

Occasionally you have to ask a question in a matter of fact way. So instead of saying was there anything done with any body part that was unusual, I said "Who ate the eyes?" Because part of this ritual is the eating of the eyes. And because the concept is that when you eat the eyes of the fetus or the new born, you gain sight, that's a Celtic Druid ritual which has been taken by these individuals. And without a change in voice or anything else he said Malachi ate the eyes. ... And I said but you were supposed to eat the eyes [as the third-ranking member in the cult]. And he said I was out of favor and was not permitted to eat the eyes. ... But I have to tell you the detail that he knew about how the rituals are conducted have convinced me he has been at ritual events. There is no other way that this child could know.

-- Dr. Judianne Densen-Gerber, New York-Area Pyschiatrist, Lawyer, Child Abuse Expert and Member of the International Society of Multiple Personality and Dissociative States, from The Franklin Cover-Up -- Child Abuse, Satanism, and Murder in Nebraska, by John W. DeCamp

The occultists of the OTO had applied "the art of German engineering" to the sex act, taking it, in effect, out of the bedroom and into the lab. (One is irresistibly reminded of Tim Curry as Dr. Frankenfurter in the Rocky Horror Picture Show.) Of course, the use of sex in rituals was nothing new to Europe. The use of sexual rites to insure fertility of the crops was known thousands of years before the word "tantra" became a commonplace on European tongues; and the witches were accused by the Holy Inquisition of conducting sex orgies on the top of Mount Brocken. The Rites of Eleusis were almost certainly sexual in nature, and sex in general formed part of many ancient mystery religions in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia (to wit: the voluminous evidence available in Frazier's The Golden Bough).

It could be argued that the advent of Christianity changed all that with its bachelor God, its virgin Mother, its celibate priests and nuns, and its general hostility to sex of any kind. It is probably for this reason that we find no discussion of "sexual secrets" in Freemasonry, for example, and the sexual discussions around Rosicrucianism are almost always hidden behind the heavily veiled symbolic shorthand of the alchemists.

In short, the mystification of sex has always been with us; so has the mystification of eating and drinking (in the Mass, in various pagan festivals of harvest time) and the mystification of respiration (in the pranic exercises of the yogis, in the meditations of the Eastern Orthodox "Jesus Prayer," etc.); in other words, all the senses and most physical functions have been the subject of magical or mystical practices at one time or another and sex is no exception. In the modern Western world, however, with the sexual act pushed into the background by a fastidious Christianity and not discussed in polite company, it was inevitable that only the most outrageous occult societies would have fixated on sex as the key to all other magical rites and powers. Thus, the popular image of the satanic altar in the Black Mass as being a nude virgin or prostitute is apt: to be anti-Christian was to be pro sex.

[Testimony of Paul Bonacci]: I went in January of '84 on every trip. I was paid by men King knew for sex. In the summer of '84 sometime I went to Dallas, Texas and had sex with several men King knew in a hotel.

I flew on YNR Airlines and Kam Airlines normally for King. I never had much personally to do with King, only went where he told me to go.

In or on July 26th I went to Sacramento, Ca. King flew me out on a private plane from Eppley Airfield [in Omaha] to Denver where we picked up Nicholas, a boy who was about 12 or 13. Then we flew to Las Vegas to a desert strip and drove in to Las Vegas and to some ranch and got something. Then flew on to Sacramento.

We were picked up by a white limo and taken to a hotel. I don't remember the name of it. We meaning Nicholas and I were driven to a area that had big trees, it took about an hour to get there. There was a cage with a boy in it who was not wearing anything. Nicholas and I were given these tarzan things to put around us and stuff.

They told me to f---the boy and stuff. At first I said no and they held a gun to my balls and said do it or else lose them or something like that. I began doing it to the boy and stuff. And Nicholas had anal sex and stuff with him. We were told to f-- him and stuff and beat on him. I didn't try to hurt him. We were told to put our d---s in his mouth and stuff and sit on the boys penis and stuff and they filmed it. We did this stuff to the boy for about 30 minutes or an hour when a man came in and kicked us and stuff in the balls and picked us up and threw us. He grabbed the boy and started f---ing him and stuff. The man was about 10 inches long and the boy screamed and stuff and the man was forcing his d-- into the boy all the way. The boy was bleeding from his rectum and the men tossed him and me and stuff and put the boy right next to me and grabbed a gun and blew the boys head off.

The boys blood was all over me and I started yelling and crying. The men grabbed Nicholas and I and forced us to lie down. They put the boy on top of Nicholas who was crying and they were putting Nicholas hands on the boys ass. They put the boy on top of me and did the same thing. They then forced me to f-- the dead boy up his ass and also Nicholas they put a gun to our heads to make us do it. His blood was all over us. They made us kiss the boys lips and to eat him out. Then they made me do something I don't want to even write so I won't.

After that the men grabbed Nicholas and drug him off screaming they put me up against a tree and put a gun to my head but fired into the air. I heard another shot from somewhere. I then saw the man who killed the boy drag him like a toy. Everything including when the men put the boy in a trunk was filmed. They took me with them and we went up in a plane. I saw the bag the boy was in. We went over a very thick brush area with a clearing in it. Over the clearing they dropped the boy. One said the men with the hoods would take care of the body for them.

I didn't see Nicholas until that night at the hotel. He and I hugged and held each other for a long while. About two hours later the men or Larry King came in and told us to go take a shower since we had only been hosed off at some guys house. We took a shower together and then were told to put on the tarzan things. After we were cleaned up and dressed in these things we were told to put on shorts, socks and a shirt and shoes and driven to a house where the men were at with some others. They had the film and they played it. As the men watched they passed Nicholas and I around as if we were toys and sexually abused us.

They made Nicholas and I screw each other and one of the men put the dead boy's penis in mine and Nicholas' mouth. I didn't want to write this because the man forced me to bite the boys' penis and balls off. It was gross and I saw the film where it happened and started freaking out remembering what they made us do afterwards to the boy. They showed us doing everything to the boy. I was there for about 5 days attending parties but only recall cutting my wrist which is why I stayed two days in a hospital under a name I can't recall. Some guy paid for me.

-- Franklin Cover-Up -- Child Abuse, Satanism, and Murder in Nebraska, by John W. DeCamp

The Politics of Sex

But how does one maintain an anti-Christian stance in an environment unremittingly pro- Christian? Either by going underground -- as the occultists did and still do -- or by going overboard. The German lodges -- such as the OTO and the Brotherhood of Saturn -- opted for the former, but the Nazis chose the "left-hand path."

Let us read the words of SS officer Otto Rahn, the reluctant Nazi and enthusiastic Grail- seeker, who defines the problem for us towards the end of his Luzifers Hofgesind:

Whereas Christianity is occupied above all with Man and condemns Nature as antidivine by abandoning it to the atheistic realms of science and technology, Paganism believed that nature was full of gods. All phenomena were words or actions attributed to Genies and Spirits. In this sense one must consider it more pious, more "religious," more "Christian" than Catholicism and Protestantism which both display a desire for domination and the imposition of an implacable Law, ideas which permeated Christianity more due to the influence of Rome and Judaism than due to the influence of Christ. [13]

(It should be noted that this view -- in a book by an SS officer published in Germany with, it must be assumed, Nazi imprimatur -- anticipated the controversial 1967 article by Lynn White in Science magazine, [14] which blamed Christianity for the world's ecological crisis by calling our "arrogance towards nature" the result of "Christian dogma.")

So, there we have the "overboard" solution. Simply claim that you are more pious, more "religious," and more "Christian" than the Church. Claim you have penetrated to the deepest mysteries of Christianity and that, in your opposition to the organized Church, you are only doing what Christ did to the money-changers in the Temple and would do today had he been around and was the one with the whip. For this is what Hitler believed, and what Himmler carried out.

For example, the Lebensborn organization of the SS -- which every SS officer was obligated to join -- put some of this into practice. It was inevitable that someone like Hitler, who had grown up reading the pornographic occult newsletters of von Liebenfels and, later, of Julius Streicher, would have agreed to the institution of a cult brothel for the propagation of the Aryan race. In this organization, women selected for their racial purity and adherence to the Teutonic ideal of womanhood in physical appearance as well as in spiritual composition were maintained for their impregnation by equally Aryan SS men. [15] The Lebensborn communities were, in a sense, farms where Aryan babies were bred like blue-eyed cattle. There was even a plan to do away with the whole idea of matrimony as it placed an undue burden on the Aryan race, whose mission was to colonize the entire world with perfect racial specimens. There were, after all, many more non-Aryans in the world than Aryans, and it would take time and manpower to exterminate them all. Besides, healthy Aryan stock was needed to cultivate the fields appropriated during the drive to the East mandated by Haushofer's Lebensraum policy. Although the Lebensborn concept was never openly discussed as an anti-Christian policy -- and anyway the Nazis in general and the SS in particular were the repository of the real secrets of Christianity and were on the verge of obtaining the Holy Grail itself -- it was generally understood that the Catholic Church would not approve. The christening or baptismal ceremonies which took place in the Lebensborn communities were pagan rites devised by Nazi occultists to replace those familiar to these husbandless Lutheran and Catholic mothers; thus there could be no doubt among even this, the most militarily uninvolved segment of Nazi Germany, that Nazism was paganism, and that Christianity was to be eventually replaced as surely as Judaism was on the list for immediate extinction.

In this, however, the Nazis were close to their sometime brothers in arms, the anti-religious Socialists, for does not the Communist Manifesto describe the desirability of putting an end to marriage and the nuclear family? [16] And if this goal were to be reached, what role does sexuality play in the new society?

For the occult lodges, this was not a problem. Marriage was, indeed, a bit petit bourgeois and destined for the junk heap of history but, in the meantime, sexuality was still a powerful occult tool, the manifestation in the visible world of the flow of energy in the unseen dimensions. Magicians had "magickal children" on those planes, and could even create familiars and homonculi -- artificial humans -- using these techniques, thereby rendering the institution of marriage as a means of ensuring the future of the race rather outre. Magicians already lived in the world the Nazis were trying to create. It was a vast one, with a multiplicity of dimensions in endless space, and to their credit they did not require the use of crematoria or mobile gas vans to pursue their particular Lebensraum. [?!]

The next child I will share about, and I am going sort of by categories here, how we learned, and the types of killings, this little girl is 11 today, she was 9 when she first talked. It was a very painful thing when she first started to share the sex things. The sex things are so harmful to the children and they are so embarrassed and it is so personal to the children, and they know that they enjoyed that. They know that. We had been through all that. She began to draw pictures of cats, and the cats all had tails that were on the other side of the page, or their leg was someplace else. As we began to work with her and talk, she said that she had had to kill a pregnant cat. She first said that they had killed a pregnant cat. We said how did you know it was pregnant. Well, she could not explain that, but as we got into it, she confessed that she had had to kill the cat. And I asked her. And her description was, "With a knife, I put it in her bottom, and twisted it."

Now you tell me, does a kid know that? If I ask a kid how do you kill a cat, do you think they will say that? Those are the kinds of details these children tell us. Later, and they eventually cut the cat open, and that was how they knew the cat was pregnant. And they eat parts of the cat, and the feces and the blood. And again, this was just the beginning. It progressed, and the next time she had to kill a baby, the same way -- put the knife in the bottom and twist. The baby was alive and he was screaming. And that child hears that, to this day, and has nightmares and flashbacks. And they cut the baby open, and they ate the baby. They do this, so there are no bodies left, and they burn what is left and grind up the bones. And she talked about that, pouring gasoline on the bodies and burning them in the back yard. And I used to think that was nuts, but I have heard it enough times now that I know it must be so. ...

We know there are mortuaries involved, to cremate the bodies, and that makes sense. ...

The most horrible story about fire that I have to tell, and this is extremely, extremely disturbing, it was a little girl, she was a teenager when she was telling me. And she was describing a barn where they used to go to have their meetings and they used to gather outside the barn, and there would be chanting. And then as they went inside the barn they would be split into different groups. And she was never with any of her family, they all went to different places. And I asked her where she had to go and she said "I was always in the burning room." And as she went on to describe the burning room, I thought, how she came out of this, with any sanity at all, I don't know. She was a very small child.

They would take in children, probably pre-schoolers, and they would hang them from the rafters in this barn, and there would be as many as five or ten hung in a row. They would be fully clothed, which is unusual, because frequently they are naked. The children, like this girl, were all given candles. And you can picture the ceremony as she described it. And the candles were lit. Then the adults would go forward and would pour liquid from a cup on each of the children's clothing, which was obviously gasoline or kerosene. And then they would give a signal and the others would have to go forward and set the children on fire. When they were done they would cut them down. The first child that this girl had to kill was a cousin, a little cousin. What does that do to you? But you couldn't object, because the children that objected were killed. Frequently, she said, people would come in families, not knowing that their child would be sacrificed, and she described the screams when they realized that their child had been killed. ...

This child, about two years ago, just fell to the ground at Christmastime, everyone thinks that Christmas is such a wonderful time. And she confessed that she hated Christmas, she couldn't wait until everything was put away, because all she could hear was babies crying. Christmas is the time when the most babies die. And she covered her ears and cried for 2- 1/2 hours, and screamed, "Stop it, stop it, stop it! Talk to God and make him stop it!" All she could hear is the screams and the babies crying. ...

Christmas for the children I have talked to, has been one of the worst times. I have had three children tell me about a very similar ceremony, and I will kind of merge that and tell you how it went. They were taken to a church, and all the children, it is a very festive occasion, and they are taken to the front of the church, and a small child is now brought in, two of them talked about babies and they put them on a platform. The adults are all celebrating and dancing, and singing and the children are getting into the spirit of it, and what they are doing is forming a circle around the child, and of course the child represents the child Jesus, and they begin mocking, and spitting, and calling names, and then they encourage the children to begin doing it, and you can imagine how it gets out of control. And at some point they hand all of the children knives and then they are all hacking, and slashing until the baby is dead, and then they all celebrate because the child Jesus is dead.

-- The Franklin Cover-Up -- Child Abuse, Satanism, and Murder in Nebraska, by John W. DeCamp
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We have taken all this space to discuss the official Nazi attitude to sex and marriage since it can be seen as an indirect result of ideas current in Germany for many years before Hitler came to power: ideas concerning sexuality that were ostensibly alien to pious, anti-Semitic Germany and its organized religion and which had to come from somewhere. Hitler, with his hit-and-miss street education in the pages of Ostara and at the feet of men like Eckart and Hanussen, took a very broad-minded view of sex. Indeed, he is said to have known about SA Leader Ernst Rohm's homosexuality for years and tolerated it ... a rather astounding generosity for that man in that time and place. In fact, a great many SA men were homosexuals, which should give the nervous nellies in the Pentagon pause: for the Brownshirts -- the dreaded Storm Troopers; the brawling, two-fisted beer hall fighters; the drunken, angry mob of volunteer militiamen who defeated Communism in Germany and who propelled Hitler to power -- were the epitome of military machismo ... and Rohm, their leader and queen, was the ultimate fighting man.

The morning is humming, it's a quarter past nine
I should be working down in the vines
Yeah, but I'm lying here with a good friend of mine
Watching the sun in her hair

I pick the grapes from the hills to the sea
The fields of France are a home to me
Ah, but today lying here is such a good place to be
I can't go anywhere

As we slip in and out of embrace
Like some old and familiar place
Reflecting all of my dreams in her face like before
On the last day of June 1934

Just out of Cambridge in a narrow country lane
A bottle-green Bentley in the driving rain
Slips and skids round a corner, then pulls straight again
Heads up the drive to the door

The lights of the party shine over the fields
Where lovers and dancers watch catherine wheels
And argue realities dig in their heels
In a world that's finished with war

And a lost wind of summer blows into the streets
Past the tramps in the alleyways, the rich in silk sheets
Europe lies sleeping,
you feel her heartbeats through the floor
On the last day of June 19...

On the night that Ernst Rohm died voices rang out
In the rolling Bavarian hills
Swept through the cities and danced in the gutters
Grown strong like the joining of wills

Oh echoed away like a roar in the distance
In moonlight carved out of steel
Singing "All the lonely, so long, so long
You don't know how I long, how I long
You can't hold me, I'm strong now, I'm strong
Stronger than your law"

I sit here now by the banks of the Rhine
Dipping my feet in the cold stream of time
And I know I'm a dreamer, I know I'm out of line
With the people I see everywhere

The couples pass by me, they're looking so good
Their arms round each other, they head for the woods
They don't care who Ernst Rohm was, no reason they should
Just a shadow that hangs in the air

But I thought I saw him cross over the hill
With a whole ghostly army of men at his heel
And struck in the moment it seemed to be real like before
On the last day of June 1934

-- Last Day of June 1934, by Al Stewart

Crowley went to America during World War I after being rejected for military service by his own government (or so he claimed), and when Hitler was fighting the Allies as an enlisted man in the trenches of France and Belgium, writing Wotanist poetry full of magical symbolism, Crowley was writing pro-German propaganda for The Fatherland, a journal published in New York by one George Viereck, who had known Crowley slightly from years before. [17] Crowley needed a job, and agreed to take over as editor of The Fatherland. He claimed to be Irish, which would have made him a natural enemy of the English if true (which it wasn't). He even went so far as to row out to the Statue of Liberty one day and mime burning his British passport, an event that was duly recorded by no less an astute observer than the New York Times. [18]

Later, when confronted by all of this, he would claim that he was really working for the British cause since he had turned The Fatherland into something of a joke. Reductio ad absurdum was the technique he employed: in other words, his articles were so outlandish that the journal was reduced to absurdity, a caricature of serious political discussion, which would help the British cause much more than harm it. In one such article, for instance, he compared Kaiser Wilhelm II to Parsifal in search of the Grail, and claimed that the Celts were descended from the same race as Osiris and Isis. [19] In another, an article dated November, 1917, for a sister publication of The Fatherland called The International, he wrote that the world's press was responsible for the war and that the aftermath of the conflict could only bring about "bankruptcy, revolution, and famine," which was certainly true but did not require the special skills of a master magician to foresee. [20] Incidentally, the above topics were quite in keeping with Listian sentiments and would have been familiar to any volkisch audience.

George Viereck himself is something of a minor legend. He is probably the same Viereck whom Freud mentions as a "journalist, politician, writer, quite a handsome fellow" who supplied him with some food during the terrible shortages in Vienna at the end of 1919. [21] The same George Sylvester Viereck interviewed Freud years later, in 1926, on the subject of anti-Semitism and included the interview in a collection entitled Glimpses of the Great, that was published in 1930. [22]

And it was certainly the same George Sylvester Viereck who was implicated in one of America's most famous spy cases of the Second World War. Viereck -- who was the illegitimate grandson of the Kaiser -- became an enthusiastic admirer of the Third Reich and essentially its chief publicist in America from his posh apartment on Manhattan's Riverside Drive. The Kaiser had a son in the Gestapo, and Viereck used this connection to get close to Himmler, whom he saw as a kindred spirit: a royalist who admired the old Teutonic kings and who wished for nothing so much as a restoration of the Hohenzollern monarchy. Himmler, with his mystical worship at the shrine of King Henry I, with whom he identified, seemed simpatico; a door into the corridors of power for the scheming journalist.

Crowley's German Case Officer

During the First World War, Viereck became implicated in a plot to sabotage American factories as early as 1915 (in other words, two years before America entered the war). This would have been about the time he encouraged Crowley to take over as editor of The Fatherland. A briefcase full of plans for espionage, sabotage, and the invasion of the United States had been left, forgotten, by one of Viereck's agents on the Sixth Avenue El in Manhattan in plain sight of an American secret agent who had been sent to follow them. He picked up the briefcase and blew the story wide open. Oddly, Viereck never spent a day in jail for his role in the elaborate plotting against his adopted country.

With the start of the Third Reich, Viereck oversaw an extensive pro-Hitler propaganda campaign and was central to Nazi efforts to generate support among German-Americans for the Hitler regime. Through his "Board of Trade for German-American Commerce" he was also able to provide an underground railroad for German agents fleeing South America when they became unmasked.

But by far the most sensational aspect of Viereck's career was the revelation that a United States Senator, Ernest Lundeen of Minnesota, was in his employ. On August 31, 1940 --- one step ahead of an FBI arrest -- Lundeen took a flight from Washington, D.C. to his home state, ostensibly to confess all to his wife. He never made it. Lundeen, an FBI agent sent to tail him wherever he went, and eighteen other passengers died when their plane went down in a severe storm amid suspicions of Nazi sabotage.

Two days later, and Lundeen's wife Norma was in Washington, demanding possession of the "Viereck files." These files revealed the full extent of Lundeen's complicity in Viereck's massive propaganda campaign, even to the extent of using the senator's franking privileges to send Nazi literature through the mail without ever paying postage.

Money is always a problem in espionage campaigns, and Viereck's was no different. Although he was being handsomely paid for his services by the Nazi government, the expense of importing propaganda materials past the censors was daunting. It is reported that Viereck received additional funds from the fascist and pro-Nazi dictator Rafael Trujillo of the Dominican Republic. But, eventually, Viereck brought off the brilliant plan of using the government of the United States to do his propagandizing for him. He paid Senator Lundeen thousands of dollars at a time for the privilege of writing his speeches for him, speeches which were delivered in the Senate and printed in the Congressional Record.

Eventually, Viereck was arrested, tried, and convicted, and managed to serve only about a year or so in prison before having his sentence reduced; but his effectiveness as a Nazi agent was thereby diminished. [23] What is not known is the extent to which Crowley would have been able to provide information on Viereck to British Intelligence, or if he could have been used to infiltrate Viereck's circle in New York City. Quite possibly Crowley's cover had been "blown" by this time: that is, perhaps he really was working for American and British intelligence services during the Great War, as he claimed.

In a written defense of his actions, published in 1929, Crowley insisted that as soon as America entered the war in 1917, the U.S. Department of Justice employed him as an agent-in-place at his Fatherland and International editorial offices. [24] The author has so far been unable to verify this, but other -- unbiased -- researchers claim that Crowley was, indeed, telling the truth (see Chapter Nine).

To British Intelligence, however, Crowley was officially just "a small-time traitor" [25] who had no connection with any British Government intelligence or counterintelligence operation taking place in America. Or anywhere else. But the fact that they even had an opinion to express indicates that someone in British Intelligence was keeping an eye on Crowley, as indeed they were. In 1916, apprised of his pro-German propaganda effort in New York, agents of the London Police raided OTO headquarters and confiscated Temple paraphernalia. Whether this was for the purpose of conducting an actual investigation into possible criminal activity or simply as a means of retaliation against Crowley, is not known. But this would not be the last time Crowley would come to the attention of the Intelligence services.

Appropriately enough, during his tenure as editor of both The Fatherland and The International Crowley's romantic interests revolved around several German women in New York. Perhaps the most famous to Crowley enthusiasts was the ghostly Leah Hirsig, the younger sister of the Swiss-German Alma Hirsig, who had attended one of Crowley's lectures on occultism in 1918 (and who would later become involved with Pierre Bernard, the founder of the Oom the Omnipotent love-cult). She eventually moved in with Crowley in his Greenwich Village studio and became his "Scarlet Woman" (a reference to the consort of the Great Beast of the Apocalypse and a title Crowley used for many of his female lovers). Leah eventually became pregnant and bore a child -- Anne Leah -- in February of 1920. Shortly thereafter, Crowley decided to set up an occult community in Italy, on the island of Sicily and near the village of Cefalu. This was to become the famous Abbey of Thelema, the object of so much attention by the world press and, eventually, by the government of Benito Mussolini.

The Occult Spies

While Crowley was writing German propaganda in New York, some of his colleagues in the German and British OTO lodges and the Golden Dawn were employed in actual military work. His former brother-in-law and fellow Golden Dawn initiate, Gerald Kelly, was working as a British secret agent in Spain. [26] Karl Germer (whom we will meet at the great convocation of occult leaders in Thuringia in 1925) was probably a spy for the German secret service during the Great War, and was awarded the Iron Cross, First and Second class [27] (as was, it will be remembered, Adolf Hitler, except that Germer entered the army as an officer while Hitler was an enlisted man). Was Crowley, therefore, supplying information on Germer's activities to the British and American intelligence agencies? If so, that would seem to exonerate him of any claims of treason by his government, but it would also seem to make him a traitor to his own Order. Did Germer ever discover the extent to which Crowley might have been spying on him for the British? Or was there a "gentleman's agreement" between the two magicians that enabled them to act as "double agents" against each other without anyone doing the other any real harm?

Theodor Reuss -- Kellner's successor as head of the Order when the latter died in 1905 "in mysterious circumstances" -- was also a member of the German secret service, but not during World War I. During the height of that war he can be found living at the Ascona vegetarian community at Monte Verita in the Ticino province of Switzerland (where we found Franz Hartmann almost thirty years earlier), and which then became the headquarters of the OTO for a while.

Years previously, however, Reuss had infiltrated the fledgling Socialist movement in England, where he spied on the family of Karl Marx for German Intelligence. [28] He did this in the guise of an admirer of Marxism, and most of his intended victims were actually emigre Germans living in London. This would have been in the years immediately preceding the founding of the OTO by Kellner, which was supposed to have taken place in 1895. By that time, Mathers -- cofounder of the Golden Dawn -- had already moved to Paris with his wife, Mina Bergson, sister of the famous philosopher and onetime president of the Society for Psychical Research, Henry Bergson (1859-1941). From about this time until Mathers's death in 1918, there is a lot of speculation about the involvement of the Golden Dawn with everything weird and Continental from the Edelweiss Society (an anti- Semitic front group operating out of Sweden) to an occult group supposedly organized around Karl Haushofer and called variously (by various authors) the Lumen Club or Lumen Lodge or Luminous Lodge of either Berlin or Vienna (possibly confused with the Lumenclub of Vienna, an organization founded by a follower of Liebenfels which promoted Nazi ideology in pre-Anschluss Austria). While the Golden Dawn certainly had the English-speaking world covered -- with lodges from England to America to New Zealand -- there is very little evidence for genuine Golden Dawn activity taking place anywhere else, with the exception of whatever Mathers was up to in Paris. After Mathers's death he would have been unable to continue strategizing with German and Scandinavian occult groups, at least on the physical plane. The Edelweiss Society was at its heyday in the 1920s, and the existence of something called the Luminous Lodge is debatable. While it would have been physically possible for Haushofer to have met Mathers when both were living on the Continent at the same time, there would have been no earthly reason to do so. Mathers was an impoverished occultist living in France; Haushofer, a respected professor of geopolitics at the University of Munich. The likelihood of their having met on common ground is virtually nil. While there is evidence that Haushofer was interested in astrology and related forms of mysticism, Mathers was not selling horoscopes or doing the medium circuit, unlike people such as Hanussen. If there was any connection at all between Mathers and the Golden Dawn on one side and German occult lodges on the other, it would have been through either Hartmann or Crowley and there we have the two, verifiable links.

However, once the Nazis began to crack down on the occult groups operating in Germany and the occupied territories, the Golden Dawn -- under the German version of its name, Hermetische Orden der Goldene Diimmerung -- was included on the list, along with Crowley's A...A... and Reuss's OTO. [29] The Nazis were nothing if not thorough; thorough ... and paranoid. The list of banned societies was probably compiled by one Dr. Gregor Schwartz-Bostunitsch, a self-proclaimed authority on occult societies who entertained a consuming hatred for Freemasonry, Theosophy, and Anthroposophy, and who once counted a youthful Adolf Eichmann among his pupils.

The Weida Conference

Established at the Abbey of Thelema at Cefalu, Sicily, after the war in the spring of 1920, Crowley found himself chronically short of funds and made several trips to Paris and London in an attempt to raise money and gather disciples for his commune. One of these disciples was the unfortunate Raoul Loveday, whose botching of an occult ritual (it is said) resulted in his tragic death. It was this incident involving Loveday -- an Oxford undergrad, who arrived at Cefalu accompanied by his friend Betty May -- that eventually closed down the abbey. Ms. May, appalled at the degenerate goings-on and general squalor of the abbey and distressed at the death of her friend, returned to England after the occult funeral and told some rather hair-raising stories to the London papers. The resulting furore in England (human sacrifice, cannibalism, satanic rites, etc.) soon spread to Italy, and the Fascists decided to deport Crowley. [30] He left Cefalu in May, 1923, never to return. (His followers stayed behind for a while, but they eventually abandoned the abbey and it fell into general oblivion until a visit one day by filmmaker Kenneth Anger many years later.)

In 1921, Crowley decided that he attained the magical rank of Ipsissimus, equal to God.

He went to France in 1922 to try to end his heroin addiction but was only partially successful. He and Hirsig went to England, where Crowley earned money writing articles and books. His novel Diary of a Drug Fiend (1922) drew heavily upon his own experiences.

He discovered a 23-year-old Oxford student, Raoul Loveday and named him his magical heir. He took Loveday and his wife, Betty May, to Thelema where Loveday engaged in Crowley's practices of drugs, orgiastic sex, and self-mutilation. Betty May despised Crowley. Loveday's health declined, and he fell ill after drinking cat's blood in a ritual. Crowley attempted to cure him magically, without success. On February 15, 1923, he told Loveday that he would die the following day. Loveday did. The official cause was enteritis, but Crowley believed Loveday had brought about his own demise by leaving a magic circle during a ritual, thus exposing himself to evil forces.

The Loveday episode created a scandal, and in May 1923, Benito Mussolini expelled Crowley from Italy, forcing him to abandon the abbey. By the end of the year, Crowley and Hirsig parted ways.

In 1929, Crowley married his second wife, Maria Ferrari de Miramar, in Leipzig. Her reputed magical powers led him to name her the High Priestess of Voodoo. They separated in less than a year when Crowley took up with a 19-year-old girl. Maria entered a mental institution, enabling Crowley to divorce her.

Crowley's later years were plagued by poor health, drug addiction, and financial trouble. He kept himself barely afloat by publishing nonfiction and fiction writings. In 1934, desperate for money, Crowley sued sculptress Nina Hammett for libel. Hammett had stated in her biography, Laughing Torso (1932), that Crowley practiced black magic and indulged in human sacrifice. The English judge, jury, spectators, and press were repulsed by the testimony that came out in the trial. The judge stated he had "never heard such dreadful, horrible, blasphemous and abominable stuff ..." The jury stopped the trial and found in favor of Hammett.

In 1945, Crowley moved to Netherwood, a boarding house in Hastings, where he lived the last two years of his life, asthmatic, dissipated, and bored, consuming amounts of heroin every day that would kill some addicts. During these last years, he met Gerald B. Gardner, an English Witch, and shared ritual material with him. He was involved with Jack Parsons, criticizing his attempts to create a "Moonchild" (see homunculus).

In 1946, Cambridge professor E. M. Butler visited Crowley to interview him for her book The Myth of the Magus. She was repulsed by his sickly appearance and pretentious demeanor, and his squalid surroundings, the walls of which were covered with his grotesque drawings. Crowley spoke of himself in reverent terms and offered to prove his magical ability by making himself instantly invisible, but he was unable to do so. According to Butler:

Yet there he sat, a wreck among ruins, living or rather dying in penury on the charity of friends, speaking of himself in all seriousness as an "instrument of Higher Beings who control human destiny."

Butler barely mentioned him in her book and in Ritual Magic (1949) dismissed him as a "failed Satanist."

Crowley died of cardiac degeneration and severe bronchitis on December 1, 1947. He was cremated in Brighton. At his funeral, a Gnostic Mass was performed and his "Hymn to Pan" was read. His ashes were sent to followers in the United States.

-- The Encyclopedia of Magic and Alchemy, by Rosemary Guiley

Crowley wound up in North Africa with Leah, wondering what to do next. Their daughter had died shortly after their arrival in Cefalu in 1920, the second of Crowley's children (both daughters) to have died young. In the summer of 1925 the acting head of the OTO -- one Heinrich Tranker -- invited Crowley to Germany to decide the fate of the Order; that is, Tranker (who had initially opposed Reuss's decision to have Crowley succeed him as OHO) had had a vision in which he saw Crowley as the new head of the Order. [31] Most of the German initiates had opposed Crowley on at least two grounds: the imposition of his personality and personal religion on the rituals and general philosophy of the Order, and the fact that he was an Englishman and not a German like themselves. While there is no evidence to suggest that the OTO was a volkisch or Pan-German or neo-Teutonic society, [?!] this was still Germany, after all, and Germany in the grip of a political fever with Hitler out of jail and Mein Kampf on the best-seller lists.

Yet, OTO initiate Karl Germer ("Frater Uranus") was prevailed upon to provide the funds necessary to transport Crowley to Germany from France, where he had been staying with a small group of disciples, and the Great Beast himself arrived in Thuringia in June of 1925 for the conference that would decide the fate of the Order.

Unfortunately, Crowley had sent a copy of The Book of the Law ahead of him for the chiefs to digest. It was quickly translated into German by one Max Schneider and all was more or less acceptable until the infamous third chapter, which contains the diatribe against Christianity, Judaism, etc. aforementioned. At this point, there was a flap among the chiefs and even Herr Tranker of the mystical vision demurred.

Worship me with fire & blood; worship me with swords & with spears. Let the woman be girt with a sword before me: let blood flow to my name. Trample down the Heathen; be upon them, o warrior, I will give you of their flesh to eat!
Sacrifice cattle, little and big: after a child.
Mercy let be off; damn them who pity! Kill and torture; spare not; be upon them!
For perfume mix meal & honey & thick leavings of red wine: then oil of Abramelin and olive oil, and afterward soften & smooth down with rich fresh blood.
The best blood is of the moon, monthly: then the fresh blood of a child, or dropping from the host of heaven: then of enemies; then of the priest or of the worshippers: last of some beast, no matter what.
There cometh a rich man from the West who shall pour his gold upon thee.
From gold forge steel!
Be ready to fly or to smite!
Them that seek to entrap thee, to overthrow thee, them attack without pity or quarter; & destroy them utterly. Swift as a trodden serpent turn and strike! Be thou yet deadlier than he! Drag down their souls to awful torment: laugh at their fear: spit upon them!
Let the Scarlet Woman beware! If pity and compassion and tenderness visit her heart; if she leave my work to toy with old sweetnesses; then shall my vengeance be known. I will slay me her child: I will alienate her heart: I will cast her out from men: as a shrinking and despised harlot shall she crawl through dusk wet streets, and die cold and an-hungered.
But let her raise herself in pride! Let her follow me in my way! Let her work the work of wickedness! Let her kill her heart! Let her be loud and adulterous! Let her be covered with jewels, and rich garments, and let her be shameless before all men!
Then will I lift her to pinnacles of power: then will I breed from her a child mightier than all the kings of the earth. I will fill her with joy: with my force shall she see & strike at the worship of Nu: she shall achieve Hadit.
With my Hawk's head I peck at the eyes of Jesus as he hangs upon the cross.
I flap my wings in the face of Mohammed & blind him.
With my claws I tear out the flesh of the Indian and the Buddhist, Mongol and Din.
Bahlasti! Ompehda! I spit on your crapulous creeds.
Let Mary inviolate be torn upon wheels: for her sake let all chaste women be utterly despised among you!
The study of this Book is forbidden. It is wise to destroy this copy after the first reading.
Whosoever disregards this does so at his own risk and peril. These are most dire.
Those who discuss the contents of this Book are to be shunned by all, as centres of pestilence.

-- The Book of the Law, by Aleister Crowley

Heinrich Tranker was a Leipzig bookseller specializing in occult works, who had his own occult imprint in the pre-World War I days, [32] Also attending the conference were two Theosophists, Otto Gebhardi and the elderly Marthe Kuntzel, as well as Germer, Eugene Grosche, two others (members of Crowley's entourage), and Crowley himself. It was held in the small town of Weida, near Gera, which was then evidently the headquarters of the OTO with Tranker as its acting head, or OHO.

After several days of politicking, although Tranker came around to seeing The Book of the Law in a slightly more favorable light, he still wound up opposing Crowley's stewardship of the Order. Eugene Grosche ("Frater Saturnus"), accepted Crowley as an important occult teacher but not as the OHO. It was left to Karl Germer to accept Crowley completely and unconditionally, and thereby the OTO split into three warring factions: the largely German, anti-Crowley group under Tranker, the new Brotherhood of Saturn under Eugene Grosche, and the OTO under Crowley, with Germer as his financial sponsor and devoted disciple.

Tranker's OTO was concerned with working the sex-magic degrees as created and refined by Kellner and Reuss without, however, having to accept either the Law of Thelema or Aleister Crowley as the occult messiah. Crowley, it should be emphasized, was the perfectly legitimate head of the OTO for Great Britain and the English-speaking peoples, anointed as such by Reuss. The question of whether or not Crowley was actually the head of the entire Order is a debatable one, since Crowley claims that Reuss appointed him as his successor. If that were true, however, why then the conference in Thuringia? It seems there was at least some room to debate Crowley's position as international OHO, and Tranker -- who had the vision that Crowley should be the head -- reneged and removed his support during the conference. As Tranker was acting head of the Order, it can be assumed that he held such position legally and with the approval -- not only of the other members -- but of Crowley himself, if only up until the Weida Conference when the OTO began to splinter in typical occult fashion.

Although Crowley, for all practical intents and purposes, lost the bulk of his German constituency, he left Thuringia with some new friends, among them Karl Germer, who would become OHO upon Crowley's death, and Marthe Kuntzel who accepted the Law of Thelema and its Bible, The Book of the Law. It would be Ms. Kuntzel who would wind up caring for some of the fallout from Crowley's rituals, in the persons of Leah Hirsig and her new companion Norman Mudd, at Kuntzel's residence in Germany, until Leah returned to the States and Mudd committed suicide in the waters of the English Channel in June, 1934, coincidentally at the time of the Rohm Purge taking place in Germany. [33]

And it would be Ms. Kuntzel who, full of approval not only for Crowley but for another occult messiah, would claim that Adolf Hitler's views were virtually identical with those found in the The Book of the Law; Kuntzel, interrogated by the Gestapo because of her connections to Theosophists, Thelemites, and Freemasons galore, remained a devoted Nazi and a devoted follower of Crowley to her dying day. It is interesting that she found no conflict of interest between the two. Karl Germer would even claim that the Fuhrer was, quite probably, Crowley's Magickal Son. [34]

Of the third group to leave Thuringia that summer, we may say a little more than has been mentioned elsewhere, for Eugene Grosche's Brotherhood of Saturn also managed to survive the war and to continue its own version of the sex-magic that was taught in the secret councils of the Ordo Templi Orientis.

Grosche's system took the rather Masonic outlines of the OTO a step further and created a whole system of sex-magic based on astrology. This was not a horoscope magazine approach to selecting one's spouse based on sun signs, but rather a complex method of determining sexual positions and partners according to the purpose of the ritual and the actual location of the planets as determined by reference to a common ephemeris and table of houses.

For the curious, the most important astrological aspect (according to this cult) is the square; that is, when two planets are ninety degrees apart on the ecliptic as viewed from the earth. This is supposedly an aspect of great tension between the planets, and those planets specifically related to sexuality (Venus, Mars, Neptune, and the Moon according to the Brotherhood) are particularly powerful for this type of working. All heterosexual and homosexual couplings have been accounted for in this system, as well as the specific positions to be used according to either the natal horoscopes of the individuals involved or actual transits, or both. Conjunctions of the planets were also considered appropriate, but the squares seemed to dominate the sex-magic practices of this group.

While it would take too much space to discuss the theory behind all of this and would perhaps bore the reader not willing to wade through some of the rather surreal jargon of the modern occult movement, suffice it to say that the square aspect was believed to represent a gate, open into the hidden dimensions. In general Western astrology, a square is often considered an unlucky or "hard" aspect: one that represents obstacles to success or illness, accidents, losses of various types. The magicians of the Brotherhood of Saturn saw it, therefore, as a gate opening upon this world from the domain of daemons; and daemons were thought to be nothing more than powerful forces which -- to the uninitiated -- appeared fearsome and evil but which the initiate (with proper training and discipline) could tame to more productive ends. [35]

This mystification of the sex act among the German occult lodges was perfectly consistent with later Nazi fashions regarding sex and power. As Susan Sontag points out in her essay, "Fascinating Fascism":

The fascist ideal is to transform sexual energy into a "spiritual" force, for the benefit of the community. The erotic (that is, women) is always present as a temptation, with the most admirable response being a heroic repression of the sexual impulse.... Fascist aesthetics is based on the containment of vital forces; movements are confined, held tight, held in. [36]

General Jack Ripper: Mandrake, do you recall what Clemenceau once said about war?

Captain Mandrake: No, I don't think I do, sir. No.

General Jack Ripper: He said war was too important to be left to the generals. When he said that 50 years ago, he might have been right. But today, war is too important to be left to politicians. They have neither the time, the training, nor the inclination for strategic thought. I can no longer sit back and allow Communist infiltration, Communist indoctrination, Communist subversion, and the international Communist conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids.

-- Dr. Strangelove Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, directed by Stanley Kubrick

While no one would accuse Crowley of repressing his sexual impulses, the transformation of sexual energy into a spiritual force was -- and remains -- the goal of the Ordo Templi Orientis and the other German sex-magic lodges, as it was a personal practice of Hitler himself. The vital force was worshiped as tantamount to magical power and -- with the precise instructions of Eugene Grosche and others for the timing of the moment of orgasm to coincide with the passage of some star or planet over a hypothetical point in space -- we can say that this vital force was restricted in its flow, subject to the conscious direction (the will) of the magician. Like the Nazi art that Sontag brilliantly describes, the German art of sex-magic is also "both prurient and idealizing." [37] While the Office of the Holy Inquisition used guilt by association to equate sexuality with the practice of witchcraft and devil worship (because sexuality was already considered base and animalistic by the Church) and thereby confirmed the evil of lust as a creature of Satan, the German lodges acknowledged this relationship of sex with darkness, sex with demonic forces, but cynically manipulated it toward various personal ends. One might reasonably agree that the Nazi ideal was to sublimate the sexual urge for the "benefit of the community" as Sontag has pointed out; but the German sex magicians were not concerned with the community at all. Their goal was their own benefit, the entirely personal one of spiritual enlightenment and individual power.

Sex and spies. And secret societies. The great sex magicians -- Crowley, Germer, and Reuss -- were enthusiastically involved in all three pursuits at various times of their lives. All had worked for Germany's benefit, even though Crowley insisted that he worked as a spy for the U.S. Department of Justice and would later work for MI5. All were leaders of the Ordo Templi Orientis, a German sex-magick occult lodge. And when, in 1922, Theodor Reuss suffered a stroke and had to step down as OHO of the Order, it was Crowley -- fellow spy and sex magician -- who rushed in to fill the space. And when Crowley died, it was Germer (veteran secret agent) who took over as OHO.

Crowley has claimed that Reuss appointed him his successor as OHO of the Order, but that ignores the tremendous flap that took place when a German translation of The Book of the Law was made available to lodge members in Germany. It can honestly be said that most OTO members in Germany at that time disapproved of Crowley's taking over the OTO. They objected to the way he rewrote their rituals to deify himself and to enshrine his new religion of Thelema in their lodge work. Many initiates defected ... or, it can be said, the Crowley faction defected from the original OTO organization. In the late 1970s, the author received a communication from a traditional (that is to say, non-Crowleyan) OTO lodge operating out of Frankfurt; evidence, if slim, that an OTO continued to function that had not accepted Thelema and was still working the original grades.

In Germany.
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5. Cult War 1934-1939

It was on a dreary night of November that I beheld the accomplishment
of my toils. [1]


Hitler came to power -- as Hanussen predicted -- on January 30, 1933, in the shadow of the ancient pagan feast of Oimelc. A more important, if less pagan date, is that of November 9; possibly a date selected with premeditation by the Occult Messiah -- or else, arrived at without much contemplation at all, just a weird little wrinkle in history.

First, of course, comes Germany's most famous contribution to world religion: Martin Luther, for November 9 is his birthday.

But November 9 was also the birthday of the founder of the Thule Gesellschaft, the man who organized Munich into a full-scale rebellion against the Communists, and who synchronized the Bamberg government and its regular and irregular troops for the final assault on the Bavarian Soviet: Baron von Sebottendorff. It was also the day that the Second Reich collapsed with the abdication of the Kaiser. It was the day that Sebottendorff called the Thule/Germanenorden brethren to arms. It was the day Adolf Hitler lost his eyesight for the second time at the Pasewalk sanatorium.

And so it was the day of the Beer Hall Putsch of 1923, a day that Hitler commemorated forever after with speeches and festivities, and sanctified with the creation of the Blood Order: a society of those men who marched with him on that fateful day, and symbolized by the Nazi flag that they carried and with which all other Nazi flags were "blessed" by being touched with it in impressive ceremonials presided over by Hitler himself. It was the day of a failed assassination attempt in 1939 on Hitler's life at a meeting commemorating the Putsch. (Coincidentally, November 9, 1939, was also the date the trial of American Nazi and Bund leader Fritz Kuhn began in New York City, a trial that resulted in his conviction on various charges and his sentencing to Sing Sing.) And it was also the day of Kristallnacht, when roving Nazi gangs went on a rampage in 1938, smashing shop windows and destroying Jewish homes, businesses, and temples. If anyone in Hitler's Germany believed in numerology, they would have spent considerable time in analyzing this most pregnant of dates for the Third Reich.

As he bent to the task of solidifying his position as absolute dictator of Germany -- using the Reichstag fire in February 1933 as the excuse for assuming virtually total control of the government while waiting for the president to die -- Hitler also began ensuring that very little of his past would be revealed to the public by his friends from the old days in Vienna and Munich. The "November 9" days.

Dietrich Eckart was already dead; Eckart's disciple Alfred Rosenberg was safely on board with the Party, as was Rudolf Hess. Hanussen will be murdered in the woods near Berlin only weeks after the Reichstag fire.

And May 10, 1933, would witness a quintessentially barbaric act of the new German ruling party: the burning of hundreds of thousands of books that were considered dangerous to the regime. Significantly, these massive bonfires marked the first time the word "holocaust" was used by the Western press in association with the Nazis; [2] it would be eight years before the same word would be used to describe the mass extermination of the "non-Aryans." This first, frenzied auro-da-fe -- which took place all over Germany, in thirty cities -- symbolized all that was wrong with the Third Reich and all that is still wrong with its admirers on both sides of the Atlantic: the anti-intellectualism that is born, not of an educated disagreement with particular philosophical ideas, but from a primitive's fear of what it cannot comprehend.

And there was one book in particular that really attracted everyone's attention in the newly Nazified Reichstag.

The Return of the Baron

Just when everything seemed set to allow Hitler to strjde onto the global political scene with a minimum of personal embarrassment and domestic opposition, who should reappear but the one man who had the most to do with setting that very stage -- Baron Rudolf von Sebottendorff!

He was probably the last person Hitler wanted anyone to hear from, for Sebottendorff knew where all the bodies were buried. The self-styled Baron was proud of his participation in the early days of the Nazi Party and of his struggle to free Munich from Communist control in 1919. Although the Thule Gesellschaft had died a slow death, Sebottendorff was back to revive it.

And not only that. The Baron had written and published a book. Entitled Bevor Hitler Kamm ("Before Hitler Came"), it outlined the entire early history of the Thule Society and the first days of the Nazi Party.

Sebottendorff's whereabouts after the successful putsch against the Communists in Munich in 1919 are well known. He left active membership in the Thule Society because his brethren held him responsible for the deaths of the original Seven Thulists who were executed by the Reds. For several years, the Baron published a series of astrological works which were very well received, and in 1923 he made for Lugano in Switzerland. There he wrote another occult treatise, comparing subjects as diverse as alchemy, Rosicrucianism, and Sufism. This completed, in 1925 he made for his occult "alma mater": Turkey.

For a while, Sebottendorff managed to convince the Mexican government to accept him as their honorary consul in Istanbul. This enabled him to travel throughout Central America and the United States for several years, but he returned to Munich after Hitler came to power in 1933. Perhaps he thought he could obtain a position with the new Nazi government based on his credentials with the Thule Society. Whatever his motivations might have been, they didn't keep him out of jail.

At a time when the Fuhrer was trying desperately to win world recognition of his stature as statesman and Chancellor of the Reich, here was the old Orientalist, Pan-German, and occultist Sebottendorff virtually giving the game away in black and white. Hitler would not have been able to survive having this book on the reading list of those heads of state with whom he was most anxious to negotiate. Also, revelation of his connections to a patently occult organization like the Thule Gesellschaft might have resulted in an erosion of support from the middle class and in the renewal of opposition from other political blocs within Germany and even within his own political party. (The mid-1930s was a time of great upheaval within the country as various Nazi factions tried to gain the upper hand in the government, resulting in the famous Blood Purge of 1934 and the execution of SA leader Ernst Rohm and many others.)

And then there was the attempt to blackmail the Fuhrer, which proved to be the last straw.

The Blackmail Plot

A typed letter dated September 15, 1933, on Thule Gesellschaft stationery shows Sebottendorff inviting one "Professor Stempfle" to a Thule Society meeting that Saturday evening. [3] It can be seen from this note that the Thule Society had returned not only to Munich but to its old headquarters at the Four Seasons Hotel, and to its old schedule of Saturday meetings, as if nothing had happened in the last fourteen years.

Even more interesting, however, is the addressee. Quite possibly it is the same Bernhard Stempfle who was the Catholic priest who had edited an anti-Semitic newspaper in the old days before the Beer Hall Putsch. A friend and coconspirator of Baron Sebottendorff, he had helped design the framework for armed resistance to the Bavarian Soviet Republic in 1919 by the legitimate government in Bamberg. He was a guest of Hitler's at Obersalzberg after the latter's release from Landsberg Prison, along with Hess and Hitler's indefatigable press secretary "Putzi" Hanfstaengl. This bizarre trio helped Hitler to complete the first volume of Mein Kamp/in the spring of 1925. (It would be published in Munich on July 18 of that year.) Stempfle was included for his editorial services, and it was probably this access to information on the early days of Hitler -- including Hitler's reminiscences about his youth in Austria and Munich -- that led to one of the most scandalous episodes of the early days of Hitler's rule in Germany.

Stempfle was a friend not only of Sebottendorff but of a strange little gentleman by the name of J.F.M. Rehse, who owned what was probably the largest single collection of Nazi memorabilia in captivity. Rehse collected every scrap of paper he could find concerning the Nazis, Dietrich Eckart, the Thule Society, etc., and meticulously catalogued each item and stored them in boxes. He and the anti-Semitic priest Stempfle were close friends. [4]

In 1929, Father Stempfle made an astonishing claim. He professed to own a letter that Hitler had written -- but never mailed -- to the one true love of his life, Geli Raubal. Ms. Raubal was Hitler's niece (a daughter of his half sister, Angela) and the Fuhrer was infatuated with her, saying on at least one occasion that she was the only woman he could ever conceive of marrying. According to Stempfle, Hitler had written an alarming, sexually explicit letter to Ms. Raubal.

The nature of the sex being discussed in the letter was of a rather debased type, involving both masochistic and what the psychologists term "coprophilic" fantasies. Obviously, it would spell political and personal disaster for Hitler if this scatological letter were ever made public. It had probably been stuck in some forgotten corner of his rented room in Munich, for it fell into the hands of his landlady's son and from there into the possession -- or so it was said -- of Mr. Rehse.

The existence of the letter became known to Hitler, who sent the Party's treasurer -- a discreet and trustworthy aide by the name of Franz X. Schwarz -- to obtain it from Rehse. Stempfle saw this as a means of insuring the existence of Rehse's invaluable "Archive," and convinced Rehse to extort enough money from the Nazis to enable his archival pursuits to continue. Although it was blackmail, pure and simple, Hitler agreed to assume financial responsibility for the collection, and in return Father Stempfle gave the purloined letter to the Party treasurer.

Geli Raubal, to whom the famous letter had been addressed, had eventually committed suicide in Hitler's Munich apartment in 1931, during Adolf's failed run for president of Germany. The reason is unknown. (Eva Braun would attempt suicide during his next campaign in 1932. It seems Hitler shared Aleister Crowley's abysmal track record with women. Several of Crowley's mistresses, wives, and Scarlet Women committed suicide or wound up in mental asylums. Six of Hitler's mistresses attempted suicide: at least three succeeded, four if you count Eva Braun's final attempt in Berlin in 1945.)

Rehse probably never had the Geli Raubal letter in his possession in the first place, for the integrity of the Rehse Collection remained intact and can be viewed today on microfilm at the Library of Congress (the originals were "returned" to the Bundesarchiv in Koblenz).

Father Stempfle, however, did his penance for the sin of blackmailing Adolf Hitler, for he was murdered -- terminated with extreme unction -- in the woods outside Munich during the famous Blood Purge of June, 1934. His assassin pumped three rounds into his heart. [5]

These were the types of people Sebottendorff was calling to his side in 1933. It's possible that the Baron knew of Stempfle's blackmail scheme regarding the FUhrer, but the author has been unable to find proof of this. In any case, Sebottendorff was a dangerous man with dangerous friends and an equally dangerous flair for publicity. He, like Stempfle and that other troublemaker, Rahm, had to be stopped.

After his brief attempt at reviving the Thule -- possibly with even more occult trappings and arcane rituals than before -- he was sent to prison early the following year and released soon after, thus managing to avoid the Blood Purge in June, which might have resulted in his going the way of piously prurient Father Stempfle. Instead, he found himself back in Turkey, where he managed to convince the local head of German Intelligence to take him on as a secret agent ... yet another occultist-turned-spy.

He did not cover himself with glory in this position.

The end of the war would find the hapless Sebottendorff broke, disillusioned, and thoroughly depressed. All that he had worked for since the early days of National Socialism had come to nothing. His own party -- that is, the party he had done so much to create -- had seen fit to imprison him at the moment of its greatest triumph. And now Hitler was dead and the Reich was in smoking ruins.

Sebottendorff committed suicide by jumping into the Bosporus. The date was May 9, 1945.

Cult War

Meanwhile, Hitler was on the rampage against dissident factions in the Party. June, 1934, saw the Blood Purge take place in which the head of the SA, Ernst Rahm, a longtime comrade in arms, was arrested and executed and the SA effectively shorn of its previous position and power in the Party. Many other enemies of the Reich -- real and imagined -- were targeted for death that summer, and the bodies piled up. Among those who escaped the Fuhrer's wrath were Himmler, Hess, Rosenberg, Haushofer, and the other cultists around the dictator.

The death of Rohm was seen by many to be the key event, giving Heinrich Himmler and his SS virtually unlimited power in Germany and, eventually, in the occupied territories as well. But in order to consolidate this power a number of other steps had to be taken. The opposition had to be crushed. Himmler, the guard dog of the new Reich, was told to round up the usual suspects.

As early as May 26, 1934 (and therefore a month before the Blood Purge of Rahm and other enemies), an order of the Reich War Minister (1 p 90 J (I a) Nr 2066/34) quite bluntly stated:

"I forbid any member of the Wehrmacht, including workers, employees, and officials, from membership in Freemason lodges and similar Organizations." [6]

This was followed by more explicit instructions on behalf of the Party, instructions that were updated and expanded every few months and then every other year or so. To understand the official opprobrium in which the Freemasons were held, it is only necessary to read that section of the law which lumps Freemasons in with violators of the "race laws." [7] Also, a certain special hatred was reserved for those Masons who had the temerity to advance to the III degree of the Craft. These men were forbidden from participating in any but the lowest forms of labor and, in many cases, were subject to penalization of various types, punishment, and even a term in the camps.

This obsession with Freemasonry did not begin with the Third Reich but was a by-product of the first wave of twentieth-century anti-Semitism that took place during the First World War with the publication of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, which described a Judeo- Masonic conspiracy to take over the world. The Jews -- thought to be operating through the Masonic lodges of Europe -- were believed to be planning world conquest beginning with the collapse of the monarchies. They had already "succeeded" with the American and French revolutions and were now well on their way to complete success with the destruction of the Kaiser and of the Czars of Russia. The Masonic lodges were believed to be fronts for the Jewish world government that was forming; their secret initiations, handshakes, code words merely a continuation of politics by other means: a way of operating clandestinely in their host countries. This was taken quite seriously by a large segment of the otherwise well-educated population, including university professors, lawyers, doctors, etc. The revelation of the "Judeo-Masonic" conspiracy "is presented as a turning point in the spiritual history of mankind." [8] The Germans were finally able to identify who and what had destroyed their country, brought them into war, and made them lose the war: a cabal of Jews and Freemasons bent on world domination.

In fact, Adolf Eichmann's first job as an SS noncom in Berlin in 1934 (after preliminary training at Dachau) was as a clerk working with Professor Schwarz-Bostunitsch, an "expert" on Freemasonry who had once worked for the Czar of Russia and who then became the scientific director of the Information Section of the SS Security Service, the SD or Sicherheitsdienst. [9] (Schwarz-Bostunitsch had been the author of various anti- asonic polemics in his time and was quite possibly the Reich's preeminent expert on everything from regular Freemasonry to Rudolf Steiner and his Anthroposophy to the various cults that comprised the list of banned organizations used by the Gestapo.) The future head of the Bureau for Jewish Affairs of the Reich's Security Headquarters (RSHA), who would be ultimately responsible for implementing the Final Solution, Eichmann first worked in Berlin maintaining a card catalogue of information on the Freemasons. Later, he was transferred to the Freemasonry Museum proper. This museum, directly under the authority of the SS, was visited ("inspected") two to three times a week by Himmler himself. It consisted of material confiscated from Masonic lodges all over the Reich, everything from aprons and ritual implements to seals, photographs, documents, etc. There was a room decorated as a St. John's Temple and another as a St. Andrew's Temple. Eichmann's desk was in the St. John's room, where he catalogued thousands of Masonic seals and medallions, until his transfer to the "Jews" -- Judenamt -- Department of the SD.

One may obtain a rather intimate glimpse of the ferocity with which the imagined threat of the Freemasons was fought by looking over the shoulders of the Reich officials responsible for keeping the souls of the German volk free from any taint of this ancient brotherhood. As an example, we have before us a letter on the stationery of the Reichsbetriebsgemeinschaft Druck (The Reich Printers Management Union) of the German Labor Front (Die Deutsche Arbeitsfront) dated May 17, 1935. It shows the head of that organization requesting confirmation from the Information Office of the German Labor Front that several employees -- Messrs. Strowigk, Buchhorn, and Kickelhahn -- were Masons and that one Max Fischer was a Christian Scientist. [10]

A reply from the head (Amtsleiter) of that office -- dated May 21, 1935 -- shows that one of the gentlemen in question, the unfortunate Hans Strowigk, was indeed a Freemason, and furthermore gives the dates of his initiations into the three grades of the Golden Plough Lodge beginning in 1931 and culminating in January 1933, about four weeks before Hitler came to power. [11]

The actual wording is suggestive. Strowigk is described as "a distinct enemy of National Socialism" (ausgesprochener Gegner des Nationalsozialisumus) for having advanced the three basic degrees of Freemasonry!

As for Buchhorn and Kickelhahn, the Amtsleiter had no information, but requested birthplace, dates, etc. to enable him to more thoroughly research the files. This letter ends with a "Heil Hitler" and the stamp of the German Labor Front. One wonders if the young Eichmann had been responsible for maintaining the card files that ultimately branded Strowigk a "distinct enemy."

More evidence regarding the Reich's anti-Masonic drive is represented by a letter addressed to the office of the Reichsfuhrer-SS in Berlin. [12] Dated February 25, 1935, it is from the Central Office of the German Labor Front and concerns a rule book of the St. John's Pyramid Lodge (possibly containing membership lists) that is being enclosed. According to the letter, it was obtained by one of their workers whose father had been a former member of the Lodge. Accompanying this letter in the file is another, dated April 1, 1935, [13] acknowledging receipt of the book and signed by an SS-Obersturmbannfuhrer- SS (the equivalent of a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army) at the office of the Reichsfuhrer-SS.

This is the type of material that would have wound up in Eichmann's Section and, indeed, the dates in all the above cases seem to match the time of Eichmann's employment at the Freemasonry Museum, for he was not transferred to the Juden Department until the latter half of 1935.

Among other evidence that has been collected and microfilmed on the same roll at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. is an inventory of confiscated Masonic temple furniture and ritual objects; [14] a clarification of SS regulations concerning the employment of former Freemasons in the Luftwaffe (in which those holding III degree are considered, of course, the worst offenders along with those holding any important office in the Lodge); [15] and much other material. Some of these communications are both to and from the Gestapo, the Secret Police organization of the Third Reich that was eventually subsumed into the SS, and are marked "Geheim!": Secret.

One of the major anti-Masonic personalities in Nazi Germany -- aside from Schwarz- ostunitsch -- was Rosenberg himself. Convinced that the notorious forgery, the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, was authentic and supplied with all the paranoid literature of the day linking a clandestine Jewish government with the operation of the Masonic lodges (after all, the Protocols are signed by an Elder or Elders with the obviously Masonic title of "33 degrees"), Rosenberg was certain that the Masons were a genuine enemy to be feared. On the first of May 1941, Hermann Goring confirmed that official policy by instructing all units of the Wehrmacht in the Occupied Territories to support Rosenberg's Einsatztab in the seizure of Masonic ceremonial objects, books, and temple property, these items being considered cultural objects representative of anti-Nazi ideology. These would have wound up in the Freemasonry Museum, or in Rosenberg's personal possession.

The entire list of proscribed organizations can be found in the Zugehorigkeit von Beamten zu Freimaurerlogen, anderen Logen oder logenohnlichen Organizationen (Membership in the Offices of Freemason Lodges, other Lodges, or Lodgelike Organizations of the Reich's Home Office of June 6, 1939 (II SB 2212/39-6190 a*)). A swift glance down the names of Section B, "Freemasonlodge-like Organizations", will show the Theosophical Society, the Anthroposophical Society, the Golden Dawn, the OTO, and the Brotherhood of Saturn, cheek by jowl with the Odd Fellows, the Ancient Order of Druids, Christian Science, and something called -- in English -- the Independent Order of Owls! While it might seem that the Nazis were simply banning all fraternities and sects, one should remember that this was considered the "anti-Freemasonry" law and that all of the above- mentioned groups were lumped together under the rubric "Mason-like Organizations." The real enemy was Freemasonry. The others were considered -- at least on paper -- to be fellow travelers.

This was cult war, pure and simple.

There Is a Specter Haunting Germany.

Why this persecution of the Masonic societies?

The Nazis were not alone in history in their fear of Freemasonry. The Masons have always been much maligned since their creation over two hundred years ago. There was even a Masonic "scare" in the United States in the mid-1800s when they were believed to be infiltrating every level of government and conspiring to rob Americans of their democracy. And there was another Masonic scare much more recently in Italy, involving the infamous P-2 Society and members of the Italian parliament.

The Masons are, of course, a secret society. That is, there is a set of ritual phrases and handshakes that identify Masons to one another and which represent initiatory steps taken behind the closed doors of the Masonic temple. There are secret rituals of an initiatory nature (though most, by now, have been published), and secret doctrines that form the rich and varied tradition of Masonic "lore."

And then there are the oaths.

These are blood oaths, taken with great solemnity, which guarantee that the initiate will not reveal any of the secrets of the lodge under pain of quite terrible punishment involving torture, dismemberment, and death. The existence of these oaths alone would be enough to attract the attention of the authorities, for the governments of most (if not all) nations really don't approve of their citizens having secrets. (The author is quite certain that, were he to take an oath to keep secret his late grandmother's recipe for poppy seed strudel, some government somewhere would find it necessary to beat it out of him.)

In a dictatorship, the citizens can have no secrets since possessing a secret means withholding something from the Fuhrer and this is not consistent with the idea of a dictatorship. In Nazi Germany, the citizens took oaths of loyalty to the Reich and to the person of Adolf Hitler himself. How could a secret legally exist in such an atmosphere, where everything is the property of the Fuhrer? Secrets held by members of the polis imply dissent, and dissent can only legally exist within some form of democracy.

The secret societies, on the other hand, relish their secret oaths because they instill in the new candidate a sense that something really important is hidden behind all the veils of the temple. This, of course, is not always true. Aleister Crowley once wryly pointed out that, after taking a similar, terrible oath upon entering the Golden Dawn, the secrets that were revealed to him were nothing more than the Hebrew alphabet!

More importantly -- and more dangerously, in the eyes of the Reich -- a secret makes its keeper an individual. The Indo-European ("Aryan") root for the word "secret" gives us related words, like "self" and "secede." [16] Keeping a secret is a means of separating oneself from society at large, of seceding from the group, the government, the Reich. In Nazi Germany, there was no "self"; the slogan Ein Volk, Ein Reich, Ein Fuhrer told you that, even if the Nuremberg Rally of 1934 didn't.

Also, the Masons believe themselves to be in possession of secret knowledge concerning the creation of the cosmos and thus of the truth behind the world's religions. Outsiders, therefore, came to believe that the Masons had set themselves up as higher than the Church and independent of the local laws, marching to a beat consistent with these esoteric rhythms. Certainly, if the Masonic oaths were to be enforced to the letter it would mean that the Masons would be conducting their own trials based on their own laws and executing their own judgments against transgressors -- in effect, by-passing all branches of civil (and especially religious) government and becoming a law unto themselves. For this reason, certainly, membership in the Society of Freemasons was forbidden by the Catholic Church: an organization which already had a history of superseding civil legislation. And, secret knowledge of an occult kind has its parallels in secret knowledge of a political kind. Men (and women) adept at keeping one kind of secret and living one kind of secret life might be equally adept at keeping and living the other.

In fact, the membership of some early Masonic lodges reflects the attraction the cult of secret handshakes and costumed rituals had for some of the most famous freethinkers and rebels in history. Several studies have been published on Mozart's life as a Mason; Goethe and George Washington (and Franklin Roosevelt, Hitler's bugaboo) were Masons. The infamous Illuminaten Orden of Adam Weishaupt -- yet another frothy Bavarian confection of political conspiracy lightly folded into an Enlightenment attitude toward organized religion (and also on the Nazis' hit list of banned organizations) -- infiltrated Masonic societies in Germany, France, and Switzerland with political intent. Masons in the eighteenth century were largely aristocrats, intellectuals, adventurers, and artists; by and large they were the influential persons of the societies in which they lived, not unlike the Thule Society of later years, which thrived in the heady atmosphere of wealthy industrialists, idealistic nobles, and the Prussian officer class.

Add to this the romantically styled history of Freemasonry, which traces its covert lineage back to King Solomon and later through the Knights Templar -- that other much-maligned and much-abused fraternity of crypto-occultists -- and one has a conspiracy theory that transcends centuries and the globe. A conspiracy theory isn't much fun unless it reaches wide and deep, and the Freemasons fit the bill.

Several books that helped frame Himmler's early view of world history -- and therefore wound up influencing the entire scope of the SS -- were popular studies of Freemasonry in the style of the more rabid conspiracy theory books of today. These included World Freemasonry, World Revolution, World Republic (Weltfreimauerei, Weltrevolution, Weltrepublik) by Friedrich Wichtl and Freemasons and Anti-Masons in Struggle for World Mastery (Freimaurer und Gegenmaurer im Kampf um der Weltherschaft) by Franz Haiser. [17] These were books spawned from the great controversy over the Protocols and were based, in part, on "revelations" contained within that forgery. From these books Himmler borrowed the concept of the Kshatriya warrior caste of "Aryan" India, a concept to be found in the writings of Blavatsky and other theosophical authors and which made its way into the volkisch and conspiracy literature popular at that time, and enthusiastically adopted it as his own. He drank in the paranoid fantasies of Wichtl, who exculpated the Germans for any responsibility in having started the war, and instead blamed it on the Jewish-Masonic syndicate which included Trotsky, no less, as well as Lenin and George V! [18]

Although Himmler may have needed a new Aryan Secret Society, he did not need another Thule Society around to foment discord. The Nazis knew all too well how much power a secret society could wield in Germany. The Thule was, after all, a front for the Germanenorden, and that organization had been conducting high-level assassinations for years when it wasn't organizing resistance against the Communists. The Masons had a rather vast underground network by comparison, and the benefit of two hundred years of organized activity from Germany to the rest of Europe, the Americas, the Middle East, and even Asia. By comparison, the Freemasons made the Thule Society look like the kindergarten of secret societies, at least insofar as the prestige of antiquity and international membership was concerned. Besides, the rumors had it that Masons were responsible for every political upheaval from the American Revolution to the French Revolution to the Russian Revolution. (As early as 1919, Alfred Rosenberg's articles for the Volkischer Beobachter were full of references to a worldwide conspiracy of Jews, Bolsheviks, and Masons to take over the globe.) [19] To the Nazis the Masons were a well-organized, hierarchical society with members in virtually every nation on earth which had enthusiastically taken part in revolutions and armed conflicts everywhere. Worse, they were seen as staunch supporters of democracy, and the word "democracy" to the Nazis carried a distaste almost as bad as "Jew." In fact, democracy was believed to be the weapon of Jewish interests, created to keep the common man living in a fool's paradise of equality and brotherhood while the cynical, conniving Jew reached into the worker's pocket and took all his money.

Democracy. Freemasonry. Judaism. Secret societies. The Nazis were bent on removing all trace of any philosophical opposition to their cause, for they knew the power of ideas and -- the quotation of Chairman Mao notwithstanding -- it was far stronger than the power of a gun.

The Nazis were not simply a political party. As has been mentioned before, they were a cult, and as such had every trapping of the typical cult, from a spiritual Master to a brotherhood of identically clad disciples, secret rituals performed in remote castles, and a sign -- a totem -- that summed up their ideology as effectively as the Cross and the Star. The swastika is the single, most obvious, even glaring piece of evidence to support this view, and yet calling the Nazi Party nothing more than a cult on steroids has yet to become an accepted and legitimate point of view.

Yet, as with any typical cult, its chief enemies were other cults.

Karl Germer Speaks to an Angel

One of the cults on the list of banned "Freemason-like" organizations is the Ordo Templi Orientis, which appears under the German translation of its name: Orientalischer Templer-Orden (OTO), number 14 on the list. The author has so far been unable to discover what happened to specific members of the anti-Crowley faction of the OTO that remained loyal to Tranker, but the Eugene Grosche branch (the Brotherhood of Saturn) is number 15 on the list. It's interesting to note, however, that something calling itself Thelema Verlag was still publishing Crowley material in Leipzig as late as 1937.

Karl Germer was Crowley's chief disciple in Germany at the time Hider came to power. He and Marthe Kuntzel were holding down the fort while Crowley -- who had visited Germany again briefly in the spring of 1930 -- was busy drumming up support abroad for Thelema. Ms. Kuntzel had grown so infatuated with Hitler as early as 1925 that she had sent him a copy of The Book of the Law in German translation. Crowley had told her that the first country to accept the Law would become master of the world and Ms. Kuntzel was determined that it would be Germany.

Some years previous, Crowley had attracted the attention of Scotland Yard. There is a record of a meeting taking place between Crowley and one Colonel Carter of the Yard concerning Crowley's activities on the Continent. He had just been deported from France - a move that was recorded in the world press -- for the authorities felt that Crowley was in fact a spy for Germany, and that the OTO was nothing more than either a front for a German spy ring or a blind with which to confuse the intelligence services. As it happens, the meeting with Colonel Carter went well and Crowley was not subject to any prosecution by the British government.

That same year (I929) Crowley had married a Nicaraguan citizen -- Maria Theresa di Miramar -- in Leipzig in a marriage of convenience so that his new Scarlet Woman could obtain a visa for England, but he soon tired of her there and returned to Berlin, taking up with a series of German women. One of these, the thirty-six-year-old Gertrude "Billy" Busch, was the woman the Brownshirts rescued in 1931 when Crowley was slapping her around on a street corner. [20] He had met her while standing bemused in front of a travel agency on Unter Den Linden and soon thereafter consecrated her as one of his Scarlet Women, much to the consternation of Frater Uranus. The storm troopers found Crowley beating her on the street, and -- according to John Symonds -- "trod Crowley's face into the gutter." [21] Whether this was simply wishful thinking on Mr. Symonds's part, we shall never know. One thing is for certain, however; at the same time as Crowley was engaged in this peculiar form of worship of his Scarlet Woman, Gertrude, he was spying on the German Communists for British Intelligence. Living with the notorious espionage agent and avowed Communist, Gerald Hamilton -- the onetime companion of Sir Roger Casement -- he was able to spy on him in return for fifty pounds sterling, courtesy of MI5. [22]

But in 1935, the cult war began in earnest and the Nazis banned the Freemasons and similar Lodges. This included the OTO and the Golden Dawn, and Karl Germer -- who had occult connections everywhere and was a high-grade Mason himself -- was finally arrested by the Gestapo in 1935 and thrown into solitary confinement at the Alexanderplatz prison. [23] Prior to 1935, he had been largely responsible for Crowley's many debts and a letter survives to Crowley from Germer's wife complaining about the sum of fifteen thousand American dollars that Crowley evidently frittered away on red wine and Scarlet Women. [24] Fifteen thousand dollars was an enormous sum of money in pre-WWII Germany. This kind of largesse from a ranking German Freemason and leader of the German OTO to an English occultist -- if indeed the financial transactions were known to the Gestapo -- would have made Germer's punishment particularly harsh. Further, Germer was a known associate of Eugene Grosche, whose Brotherhood of Saturn was also on the list, and of the elderly Marthe Klintzel, the erstwhile Theosophist (now an enthusiastic member of the OTO and follower of the accursed Englishman, Crowley) whose personal papers and Order documents were seized. From all this, the Gestapo must have thought that Karl Germer was Satan incarnate.

As it was, he spent several weeks in solitary confinement and was cruelly tortured. Once the Gestapo were through with him, he was shipped off for ten months as a reluctant guest of the SS at the Esterwegen concentration camp. [25]

What happened to Germer during that year of internment, torture, and unspeakable inhumanity can only be the subject of conjecture. He wrote a memoir of his time in the camps which has so far remained unpublished, but it is to the spiritual transformation of Germer that the author refers; for Karl Germer -- Frater Uranus, to give his Order name -- claimed that it was while at Esterwegen that he attained Knowledge and Conversation of his Holy Guardian Angel.

This is a technical term in the lexicon of twentieth-century ceremonial magic, and was used to denote a particular state of enlightenment in the Golden Dawn and in Crowley's expanded version of the Golden Dawn, the A.·.A.·.. In a way, it denotes conscious "contact" with one's higher Self except that the Self as understood by modern psychoanalysis is woefully short of what the occultists mean by it. Imagine that there is an aspect of one's personality which has already attained the ultimate spiritual apotheosis it is possible to attain, that the eternal element of one's self -- that element beyond space and time -- already sits at the right hand of God. Between one's self and one's Self there exists a chasm so wide that most people never even know a Self exists; yet, after much concentrated effort in that direction suddenly, and perhaps all too briefly, there is a moment when the self becomes conscious of the Self: the two meet in a lightning flash of absolute awareness in which it is safer to say that there is a "before" and an "after" rather than a "self" and a "Self."

If all this sounds like so much hyperbole, that is perhaps more due to the lack of a proper vocabulary in the English language to describe an event that lies beyond the scope of normal experience. The Golden Dawn -- borrowing the term from a medieval grimoire (book of magician's rituals) called the Sacred Book of Magic of Abra-Melin the Mage -- used the rather cumbersome title "Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel" to represent that moment of awareness that comes only after much meditation and psychological preparedness through ritual. The Holy Guardian Angel is, of course, what a Jungian might -- for lack of a better term -- call the Higher Self.

While this event is spiritually momentous, it is not the ultimate goal of the magician. Once Knowledge and Conversation has occurred, it requires more work and concentration to achieve a gradual union of self and Self and there are more obstacles to be overcome and trials to be survived before this can take place. Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel is no guarantee of immortality or enlightenment, but this phase -- no matter what one calls it -- must take place before higher states are reached.

The Masons and the OTO are similar societies in that they offer a series of grades of initiation in which certain "secrets" are imparted or revealed to the initiate. The basic number of grades in Freemasonry is three, although there exist as many as thirty-three degrees in American Freemasonry and there are certain illegitimate and distaff branches that add degrees with reckless abandon. The Masonic society that Germer belonged to -- that of Memphis and Mizraim (also banned by the Nazis) -- boasted as many as ninety- even degrees. However, these organizations are not "teaching" Orders in the sense of the Golden Dawn curriculum, which was quite complex and which was designed gradually to bring a person to spiritual enlightenment through a series of initiatory rituals that were complemented by private ritual and academic study. The A.'.A.·., however, was just such a "teaching" Order, as it followed the Golden Dawn grades with the addition of three degrees on top of the eight created by Mathers, et al. Germer's experience in the concentration camp at Estetwegen can be understood in that context, then, as he was also a member of Crowley's A.·.A.·..

A word about Estetwegen: this camp was built in 1933, shortly after Dachau and in tandem with Sachsenhausen. [26] Its purpose was clearly the internment and punishment of the ideological opposition, from Communists to Church leaders, from Freemasons to Jews. The prisoners were beaten and tortured daily in the relatively spacious camps (relative to their condition by 1943), and within a rather liberal time schedule. These first years of the camps were the worst in many cases, for individuals were easily singled out for brutal and bestial behavior. Once the camps became crowded far beyond capacity, the ability of SS guards to inflict specific torture on each individual became reduced. (Instead, the great masses of prisoners were subjected to inhuman and nightmarish living conditions in which corpses were left to decay in the barracks for lack of space -- or time -- to bury them. Those who were selected for medical experimentation, however, experienced the worst the human mind could conceive. More often than not, these experiments were carried out under the auspices of the Ahnenerbe-SS, an organization we shall study in the following chapters.)

In order to preserve his sanity during his incarceration and torture, Germer recited to himself those of Crowley's writings he had memorized; a set of scripturelike texts entitled the Holy Books that Crowley had collated back in 1907 (the year Liebenfels raised the swastika flag over Burg Werfenstein, and the year the A.'.A.·. was founded) and published about 1909. Naturally, these texts are to be understood in light of The Book of the Law and reflect Crowley's communication with his own Holy Guardian Angel, Aiwaz: the Being of whom Crowley was made aware those three April afternoons in Cairo in 1904.

One of the texts included in that collection -- Liber Liberi vel Lapis Lazuli -- is subtitled "These are the birth words of a master of the Temple," a fairly obvious reference to the spiritual transformation undergone by Germer, as a Master of the Temple is the degree attained by those who have just "crossed the Abyss," i.e., undergone what psychologists and poets alike refer to as the "dark night of the soul."

That Germer should have attained spiritual illumination in a concentration camp sounds at first blush to be entirely inappropriate. Yet, a study of the literature of spiritual processes would demonstrate that the terrible anxiety and stress of the camp -- when accompanied by constant meditation and spiritual exercises -- could very well have resulted in just such a satori-like episode.

Masonic initiation in the first degrees is concerned with simulating physical trials. A blindfolded candidate for initiation is bound and brought before a group of men at the point of a sword. These days, this can be understood by most people as a lot of mumbo jumbo and few candidates would take the ritual seriously. In the early days of Freemasonry, however, being bound and blindfolded and dragged before a mysterious council and made to swear an oath at the point of a sword would have been seen as serious business, indeed.

For Germer, being thrown into a concentration camp, tortured, and threatened with extinction provided him with a natural initiatic scenario. He is said to have recited Crowley's Holy Books to preserve his sanity; what actually took place, however, was a Zen-like self-initiation in which the unnatural stress of the situation was further complicated by constant meditation on a spiritual path, resulting in a psychic explosion; similar to what the Zen teachers call a "satori." Ironically, this took place under the eyes of the SS, a rival cult dedicated to the eradication of just such independent initiatory experiences as Germer's.

Shortly thereafter, Germer was surprisingly released from the camp and made his way to Belgium, from where he managed to keep an eye on what remained of the OTO in Germany and particularly on Thelema Verlag in Leipzig. He was arrested once again in Belgium and deported to France, spending another ten months in an internment camp, before finally emigrating to America in 1941, thus escaping certain extinction in the last years of the war.

So perhaps he had a Holy Guardian Angel, after all.

To Defy the Stars

Others were not so lucky. In the insanity that followed the flight of Rudolf Hess to England in May of 1941, regulations were drawn up to forbid the practice of astrology. As it was known that Hess had consulted frequently with astrologers, the casting of horoscopes suddenly became a matter of national security and it was considered best if all astrologers were thrown into the camps.

The role of astrology in the history of the Third Reich is fascinating in its own regard, and several books have been published that describe it in some detail.

One of the most fascinating of these-because told from a first person perspective -- is that of Himmler's astrologer, Wilhelm Wulff, entitled Zodiac and Swastika. [27] In it, Wulff discusses the early days of post-World War I Germany and the gradual growth of the Nazi Party, leading up to the eventual ban of astrology by the government. This ban took place over a period of years, beginning with a formal law against the practice of astrology in the Greater Berlin area and gradually extending to the entire Reich. People who consulted astrologers could expect -- it was believed -- a visit by the Gestapo. Wulff himself wound up in Fuhlsbtittel concentration camp for four months of interrogation and hard labor in June, 1941 (one month after Hess's flight to England). His books, files, and card indexes were seized and later returned only after he met with the Reichsfuhrer-SS, Himmler himself.

(An indication of how sophisticated the Gestapo had become on the occult is evidenced by the type of questions they asked Wulff, including whether or not he had ever cast mundane horoscopes. The term "mundane" horoscope refers to those cast not of individual persons, but of countries, political parties, and other groups of people.)

After the flight of Hess, of course, a scapegoat was necessary and the astrologers were the unlucky victims. Prior to May, 1941, however, the reason for the initial ban remains murky, even today. Certainly, many astrologers predicted a doomed future for Hitler and the Reich and this was bad propaganda that had to be stopped. Also, the practice of astrology implied access to a source of information that the Nazis could not control: the stars themselves. It was as if the old stories about God keeping a big book in which everyone's sins were recorded was literally true; a good astrologer could perhaps consult the stars and reveal the secret machinations of the Nazi leadership.

But another problem the Nazis had with astrology was perfectly consistent with their primary obsession: race. How could a horoscope not take into consideration the race of an individual, but only the time and place of birth? Was the horoscope of a Jew, therefore, the same as that of an Aryan? If so, this was a good (if somewhat bizarre) argument against the "inferior race" and "subhuman race" dogma of the Reich.

Also, astrology's origins were suspect.

The first Western astrologers might have been Semites, at least according to the state of archaeological knowledge at the time. In any event, astrology was seen to be inextricably linked with various Asian sources that seemed racially impure. Did the ancient Teutons practice astrology? Most probably these hunter-gatherer-warriors held only the most tenuous notion of the movements of the sun and moon. (This would later prove erroneous, as recourse to Professor de Santillana's Hamlet's Mill will verify.) But as far as dividing the ecliptic into twelve zodiacal signs and assigning values for signs, houses, angles, etc., this was considered just too non-Aryan for words. If nothing else, it was egalitarian -- virtually democratic -- and seemed to argue against the Cult of the Will that was so necessary to the self-image of the Reich.

Wulff's approach, however, gave the interested parties among the Nazi elite a way out. Wulff had studied Sanskrit in order to read the ancient astrological texts of India. The system of astrology he used was based on a rather different method of computing planetary positions and rulerships than is generally practiced in the West. This "Hindu" form is known as Sidereal astrology, and is based on the actual positions of the planets and luminaries as seen against the backdrop of the ecliptic rather than on the traditional positions used by the more common (in the West) Tropical astrology. Thus, Wulff's system was both more scientific (the actual positions of the planets) and "politically correct": it was based on an Aryan system of astrology as translated from that ultimate Aryan tongue, Sanskrit.

Wulff's arguments in favor of the practice of astrology within the Reich are interesting in themselves. Wulff claims the reason he wrote the book was to answer a description of him by historian Hugh Trevor-Roper in The Last Days of Hitler, in which he says that "Schellenberg found that in politics Wulff was sound." [28] (Schellenberg was Himmler's counterespionage chief, the head of AMT (section) VI of the SD.) Wulff, angered that he was being perceived as a good Nazi, answered by writing his version of the period (a version, by the way, in which Himmler's famed masseur, Felix Kersten, comes out looking like the perfect cad).

Wulff's response to Himmler's objection that astrology did not figure race into the equation is interesting. Himmler complained that any system which applied in equal measure to members of every race was ideologically opposed to Nazi racial doctrine. (This was actually the Party line; during the Aktion Hess, in which astrologers were arrested all over Germany, they were asked a specific question from a printed form concerning this very issue.) Wulff answered, "But in the astrological manuals of the Aryan Indians ... constellations have been described which reflect the diversity of racial characteristics and which have found practical expression in the caste systems of ancient Indian cultural life." [29]

Excuse me?

Based on the above explanation alone, we can conclude that Wulff's politics were -- if not sound, then -- at least presented in such a way that no reasonable objection from one of the most despised racists in world history would have been possible. What Wulff described above and in his own words was essentially the blueprint for a Nazi astrology. What Wulff does not discuss in his autobiography is his membership in something called the "Swastika Circle" in Berlin circa 1920, a group which included Ernst Issberner-Haldane, the famous palmist. Wulff contributed to a magazine issued by the ardent New Templarist Herbert Reichstein (von Liebenfels's publisher) in company with such noted -- and pro-Nazi -- astrologers as Reinhold Ebertin. [30]

(We may also find reasons to object to the manner in which Wulff fought with Kersten. While Kersten seems, from Wulff's account, to have been an obnoxious and thoroughly objectionable human being who was interested in feathering his own nest more than in actually saving Jews -- despite his seal of approval from the World Jewish Congress after the war -- Wulff might have swallowed his disgust and worked with Kersten to save a few more prisoners from the gas chambers. Instead, Wulff saw through Kersten's program of self-promotion and self-enrichment at the expense of these same prisoners and decided to work instead "for the end of the war." This, from a man who attacked both Kersten and Himmler for living in a dreamworld and being too confident of their own capabilities!)

To be fair, Wulff was walking on thin ice. He had been released from a camp and could go easily once again into that dark night. His very life was at the mercy of the men he found himself working for. Whatever his personal ideology, Wulff eventually wound up calculating charts for the exclusive use of the Reichsfuhrer-SS, Heinrich Himmler himself, right up to the very end of the war. He had a ringside seat at the Byzantine machinations of various SS leaders and their confidants (including Schellenberg and Kersten) to save themselves, save prisoners, and/or save as much of Germany as they could. Those who don't believe that Himmler would be calling on Wulff the astrologer at every hour of the day and night -- through bombing runs by Allied planes, strafed convoys, the arrest of Goring, the negotiations with Bernadotte and the World Jewish Congress, the onward Russian advance-hysterical for advice on what to do on virtually every decision he had to make, have never known otherwise normal people in desperate straits. The account is quite believable in most parts, and bears a foreword to the English edition by Walter Lacqueur, not a man known for his gullibility. Further, Schellenberg did give Wulff the credit he was due and, in Trevor-Roper's account, verifies that "Himmler seldom took any steps without first consulting his horoscope." [31] Wulff survived the war to befriend respected occult historian Ellic Howe, and to write Zodiac and Swastika, his memoir of the war years. We will come back to Wulff in Chapter Eight.

His colleagues, however, were not so lucky. Dr. Karl-Gunther Heimsoth was a well-known and popular astrologer in Berlin, and a close friend and confidant of the old Nazi hand Gregor Strasser. Heimsoth had written several letters to Ernst Rohm, while the latter was in Bolivia training troops, dealing with issues such as astrology and homosexuality; [32] these letters were used as evidence of the vile nature of astrology (guilt by association) in a 1932 attempt to discredit Rahm's SA. In a rehearsal for what would happen seven years later, after the Hess flight, selected astrologers and "fortune-tellers" were rounded up during the Rohm Purge using the official ban on the practice of astrology in the Greater Berlin area as a pretext. Dr. Heimsoth -- the gay astrologer -- was one of those arrested, and executed that year.
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I can most highly recommend the Gestapo to everyone.


6. The Dangerous Element: The Ahnenerbe and the Cult of the SS

The hierarchical organization and the initiation through symbolic rites, that is to say, without bothering the brain but by working on the imagination through magic and the symbols of a cult, all this is the dangerous element, and the element I have taken over. [1]


While the Gestapo was busy mopping up cultic opposition to the Third Reich, from Freemasons to astrologers to Thelemites, Himmler was fully engaged in turning the SS into the official state cult, with all the "dangerous elements" that Hider described in the above extract from his table talk concerning Freemasonry. In this chapter, we will not only review the history of this bizarre organization but we will also examine some documents of the Ahnenerbe: the Ancestral Heritage Research and Teaching Society which became incorporated entire into the SS. These documents have never before been published in the English language.


The SS (initials that stand for Schutzstaffel or Guard Detachment) was originally intended to be Hitler's personal bodyguard. The early history of the Party was such that the SA, or Brownshirts, were really the first shock troops -- "Storm Troopers" -- of the Nazis: brutal enforcers and street gangs in uniform that intimidated the opposition and acted as a kind of private army for the Party (a type of Free Korps, such as that supported by the Thule; indeed the leader of the SA, Ernst Rohm, had been a Free Korps leader well known around Thule headquarters). As the SA grew in importance and size it became an actual threat to Hitler's complete control of the state apparatus. Elements within the Party wanted Rohm out of the way and presented Hitler with enough trumped-up evidence to warrant Rohm's arrest and speedy execution on June 30, 1934. On July 1 the entire SA was to go on a month's holiday to prove that they had no intention to overthrow the government; Hitler's advisers, however, counseled a preemptive first strike against the SA anyway. As we have seen, the bloodletting did not stop with Rohm but was extended to include a wide range of persons and organizations (both of the Left and the Right) deemed hostile to the totalitarian regime Hitler and his disciples had envisioned. It was not the first time, nor the last, that the existence of an alleged conspiracy was used as the excuse for wholesale slaughter.

Before this time, the SS functioned as a kind of elite corps of pureblooded Aryan supermen. Himmler joined the SS when it was still a bodyguard unit with no more than about three hundred members and he marched with Hitler's men during the Beer Hall Putsch of 1923, carrying a flag. After he became the head of the SS in 1929, however, he began to reform it along lines that can only be described as cultic, while its membership rose from three hundred to fifty-two thousand by 1933. The very selection of the twin Sig rune as its emblem had its roots in the doctrines of List and Liebenfels. (German typewriters manufactured during the Nazi era included the twin Sig rune as one of their keys.) Even the graves of dead SS men were adorned -- not with crosses or other more traditional tombstones -- but with a German rune symbol (the "mensch" rune) made out of wood. This same rune was used on the cover of the articles of the Lebensborn society, [2] the "human stud farm" operation of the SS, thus making a curious statement about the life and death cycle as perceived by the official pagans of the Reich.

Once Rohm was out of the way, however, Himmler came to a position of even greater importance. Eventually even the Secret State Police -- Geheime Staatspolizei, or Gestapo -- came under his jurisdiction, making Himmler one of the most powerful men in Nazi Germany and second only to Hitler himself in authority and enjoying the fear which the black uniforms of his elite SS aroused in the populace.

While it is known that he consulted astrologers and was interested in various forms of alternative medicine, alternative science, and alternative religion, what is not generally known is the extent to which the Nazi government became committed to serious support of such practices. Nor is it generally understood just how thoroughly Himmler's eccentric ideas of race, ritual, and mysticism came to infuse the entire Nazi phenomenon, thus coalescing into one of the most dangerous cults in the world. Much of what has been written before on this subject is either unavailable in English or, worse, the stuff of such tabloid-style journalism that serious historians are forced to laugh it off as the result of wild imaginations and the woeful lack of "primary sources." We will attempt to rectify that situation as much as we can in the space allotted us, with constant reference to supporting documentation, beginning in this chapter with the strangest of all modern governmental agencies, the mysterious Ahnenerbe: The Ancestral Heritage Research and Teaching Organization.

A Personal Confrontation

As I was researching the Ahnenerbe in the files of the Captured German Documents Section of the National Archives, I heard the archivists discussing the current attitude of many Americans toward the Nazis. They were dismayed at the relative lack of sophistication among average Americans when it came to the Third Reich, lamenting the fact that most of us seem to get our information on world history from Hollywood.

"The point of view out there is that the Nazi Party was some kind of science fiction fantasy," grumbled one man. The others murmured assent.

I thought it was a remarkably perceptive statement coming from these overworked and highly intelligent custodians of one of the world's most important collections of twentieth- century knowledge, and the image stayed with me for a long time.

Science fiction. That is how many of us think of the war by now, filtered as it has been through the creative eyes of filmmakers and of the producers of popular television programs for a citizenry that gets most of its information from canned news shows and made-for-TV movies. It's almost as if the Holocaust were a sideshow, something not completely relevant to the tales of Darth Vader-like SS officers in their black uniforms, jackboots, and silver flashes. In fact, how much of the Holocaust ever appeared in such popular television programs as Hogan's Heroes, for instance, which certainly did not glorify Nazism but instead made it seem ridiculous? Certainly, the Indiana Jones trilogy goes a long way toward depicting the Nazis in that "fashion," a situation Jones producer Steven Spielberg has attempted to correct with his more recent Schindler's List.

Combing through the files, however, one comes away with a more complex emotional reaction. Of course, there is that perverse initial thrill when one comes across a swastika letterhead for the first time and realizes one is looking at the actual documents of the Third Reich. "My God," you say to yourself. "Here it is. I am looking at history." You realize that you are suddenly a lot closer to the Third Reich than you ever were, and it is not an entirely comfortable feeling. It is as if the printed pages were the spoor of the Beast itself; as if, in reading the lines, you become aware that you are not entirely alone in the forest. H.P. Lovecraft, the brilliant if racist father of gothic horror, depicted the infamous Necronomicon in much the same way, hinting that merely to pronounce the barbarous words would be enough to summon unimaginable evil.

But then I spent many long hours of many long days in front of microfilm readers, poring over page after page of official SS documents, diaries, reports, and publications ... and slowly realized that I was becoming numb with a mystifying sense of horror, a horror that was at least partly directed toward myself. For what I saw in those pages was the spoor of the bureaucratic Beast: thousands of pages of boring correspondence, red tape, thank-you notes, official forms, polite inquiries, expense reports. It was like the contents of the file cabinets of any large corporation; like the files of any of the large corporations I had worked for in my time. I recognized the kinds of people who kept those files; I recognized their concerns, their anxieties, their hopes, their fears. I began to identify with the authors and recipients of those letters, the keepers of those files, the meticulous fillers of those forms.

And then, almost surrealistically, among the thousands of pages that marched across the magnifying lens of the microfilm reader in blinding profusion, I would come across a single word, buried in a report, a letter, a requisition.




Concentration Camp.

And I would feel the breath go out of me. For I was looking at the records of people like me; people who were working for a large, bureaucratic organization; people who were thinkers, scholars, academics.
Authors. People whose interests lay in the bizarre, the unusual, the philosophical, the psychological -- the occult. People specializing in what occult historian James Webb calls "rejected knowledge."

The men of the Ahnenerbe-SS.

And as they filled out their forms, wrote their letters, and filed their reports, millions of human beings were being tortured and killed in horrible, unbelievable ways by their coworkers. What Hannah Arendt called "the banality of evil" never came home to me quite so strongly as during the days I sat before the microfilm screen as if it were a magic mirror into the past, and watched people like me make casual, passing references to the death camps.

Ancestor Worship

So, how to describe the Ahnenerbe?

Imagine that the evening adult education program of the New School for Social Research had suddenly become an independent government agency with a budget as big as the Defense Department, with Lyndon Larouche as president and, perhaps, Elizabeth Clare Prophet as the physics chairperson.

Or maybe the summer session at the University of California, Berkeley, had become militarized and all the students had immunity from prosecution for any crime they had committed, or would ever commit, and could conduct any form of independent study they liked as long as they wore their black uniforms with the silver death's head insignia at all times and swore an oath of personal loyalty to the dean.

Then one might have some idea of what the Ahnenerbe was, and of the type of people it first attracted to its ranks.

It was a humanities program. With guns.

Some traditionally trained historians might find levity a trifle out of place in a study of one of the most heinous "academic" and "research" institutions ever created in the twentieth century, but if anything combines both unimaginable horror and sadism with a pose of sophisticated scientific method as it was applied to some of the most ridiculous and unfounded "scientific" theories ever concocted, it was Himmler's dream agency, the Ahnenerbe-SS.

The roots of the Ahnenerbe are a tangled snarl of various special interests. Depending on the source consulted, it was either founded by Himmler and the Nazi "eternal pagan," ideologue Richard Walther Darre, in 1935, [3] or it had existed before that time as an independent institute and was only absorbed into the SS much later. [4]

Whatever source is considered the most reliable, one thing is certain: the Ahnenerbe was not founded as an SS unit. Something calling itself the Ahnenerbe Society ("an association for clan- and heraldry-research assistance, heredity science and race-cultivation") had existed as early as 1928. [5] But on the first of July, 1935, a "Deutsches Ahnenerbe Verein" was formally established in Berlin by Heinrich Himmler and Hermann Wirth, along with some associates of Darre. [6] According to documents available to the Nuremberg Tribunal, it was formally incorporated within the SS only on April 1, 1940, even though for years previously its leadership was largely composed of both honorary and career SS officers. Indeed, according to the available records it is obvious that Wolfram Sievers already held the position of Reichsgeschaftsfuhrer, or Reich's Manager, of the Ahnenerbe with a rank of Obersturmfuhrer-SS by 1937 [7] and had been associated with the Ahnenerbe as early as August of 1935. [8] So Sievers's insistence that it only became part of the SS in 1940 is disingenuous, to say the least.

In any event, the Ahnenerbe existed as an independent agency prior to its incorporation into the SS and may have had its earliest roots as a research bureau formed by a number of German intellectuals (and outright occultists, like the Atlantis buff Hermann Wirth) who had been inspired both by the works of the volkisch writers of previous years and by the exploits of a generation of romantic adventurers and amateur archaeologists and anthropologists, a generation that included Wolfram Sievers's defense witness Friederich Hielscher, and the internationally famous Swedish explorer Sven Hedin.

Hedin, a native of Stockholm, left Sweden in 1885 at the age of twenty on his first trip abroad, to Baku on the Caspian Sea. From that time on, Hedin managed to visit most of Asia from the Caucasus to the South China Sea, but with a special emphasis on Tibet. In 1925 (at the age of sixty) he published a memoir of his travels -- My Life as an Explorer -- which was very well received in Europe and America, as were other travel books he had written on Tibet and China. (As previously noted, at least one of these was in Hitler's small collection of books in his early, pre-Putsch Munich apartment.) [9] Hedin's tales of trekking through snow-choked Himalayan passes in search of fabled Asian cities while both camels and guides perished in grisly profusion along the route contributed to the general fascination the public had for anything to do with the mysterious East, a fascination due at least in part to the writings of Mme. Blavatsky and her followers in the Theosophical Society, who saw the East (and particularly India and Tibet) as the repository of arcane knowledge hidden from the rest of the world for centuries.

The Germans could not help but be charmed by Hedin's accounts of his adventures in Asia. In My Life as an Explorer he describes his discovery of the ancient Chinese city of Lou-lan in the Taklimakan Desert, and of the artifacts he uncovered there which included an ancient, swastika-decorated rug nearly two thousand years old along with some of the earliest examples in the world of writing on paper. What must have bothered at least some of his volkisch audience, however, was his statement that "... not a single one of our ancient Swedish runestones is older than the fragile wooden staffs and paper fragments that I found in Lou-lan." [10] Heresy!

(Hedin revisited Lou-lan in 1934, at the ripe age of sixty-nine. Now, in the years since the Chinese Revolution, the entire area has become a restricted military zone where atomic testing is carried out and Lou-Ian is lost once more to the shifting desert sand.)

There is evidence to suggest that the Ahnenerbe itself was formed as a private institution by several friends and admirers of Sven Hedin, including Wolfram Sievers (who would later find justice at the Nuremberg Trials) and Dr. Friedrich Hielscher who, according to the records of the Nuremberg Trial of November 1946, had been responsible for recruiting Sievers into the Ahnenerbe. [11] In fact, there was a Sven Hedin Institute for Inner Asian Research in Munich that was part of the Ahnenerbe [12] and as late as 1942 Hedin himself (then about seventy-seven years old) was in friendly communication with such important Ahnenerbe personnel as Dr. Ernst Schafer from his residence in Stockholm. [13] Moreover, on January 16, 1943, the Sven Hedin Institute for Inner Asian (i.e. Mongolian) Research and Expeditions was formally inaugurated in Munich with "great pomp," a ceremony at which Hedin was in attendance as he was awarded with an honorary doctorate for the occasion. [14]

It has even been claimed that Sven Hedin and Karl Haushofer were friends, a claim that is not completely unlikely as the two had spent considerable time in the Far East during the same period: Hedin as an explorer and sometime ambassador-at-large for the Swedish government, and Haushofer as military attache for the Germans. Given Haushofer's excessive interest in political geography and his establishment of the Deutsche Akademie all over Asia (including China and India, Hedin's old stomping grounds), it would actually be odd if the two hadn't met. Later, as the Ahnenerbe was formally absorbed into the SS and made an official agency of the Reich, Hedin still maintained contact with all his old friends there even though, by 1942 and 1943, the Ahnenerbe was steeped in the blood of projects that would earn its director, Wolfram Sievers, the death sentence.

Indeed, by 1941 it was already clear that Haushofer's Deutsche Akademie and Sievers's Ahnenerbe were virtually parallel organizations. Letters and newspaper clippings from that period -- including Deutsche Akademie correspondence seized after the war -- show that Dr. Walther Wiist, who was the "Humanities" chairperson at the Ahnenerbe and, with Sievers, part of its ruling administration, was also acting president of the Deutsche Akademie. [15] As the Ahnenerbe was also at this time an agency of the SS, Professor Wust -- Rektor of the University of Munich and an expert on Sanskrit, the Aryan Ur- tongue -- enjoyed the dubious distinction of the SS rank of Oberfuhrer, or Brigadier. And both organizations had made their field trips to the one place on earth whose name has become an epithet ... Dachau. [16]

The Middle Point of the World

Once Himmler was fully in control of the SS, he began its transformation into a pagan religious order. The headquarters for this cult was situated at the medieval castle of Wewelsburg, near the towns of Paderborn and Detmold in the German province of Westphalia, close by the site in the Teutoburg Forest where Arminius made his stand with its famous, Stonehenge-like stone monument known as Externsteine.

Here the secret Chapter of the Order assembled once a year. Each member had his own armchair with an engraved silver nameplate, and each had to devote himself to a ritual of spiritual exercises aimed mainly at mental concentration. [17]

Contrary to the flashy show enjoyed by so many other Nazi leaders -- such as the irrepressible Goring -- Himmler kept his Order Castle extremely private. No one was allowed inside who was not expressly invited by Himmler himself; thus, only the Inner Twelve and occasionally a select general or two, a Reichsleiter, or some other official would be welcomed, but only at Himmler's convenience. Secrecy was the key element in the SS and most especially at Wewelsburg.

The focal point of Wewelsburg, evidently owing much to the legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, was a great dining hall with an oaken table to seat twelve picked from the senior Gruppenfuhrers. The walls were to be adorned with their coats of arms; although a high proportion lacked these -- as of course did Himmler himself -- they were assisted in the drafting of designs by Professor Diebitsch and experts from Ahnenerbe. [18]

Underneath the dining hall with its Round Table in a sunken chamber was to be found the "realm of the dead": a circular room which contained a shallow stone well. In this well, the coat of arms of the deceased "Knight" of the Black Order was to be ceremoniously burned. [19]

Each of the Inner Circle of Twelve had his own room, decorated in accordance with one of the great ancestors of Aryan majesty. In Himmler's case, his room was designed to reflect his hero, King Henry the Fowler, a Saxon king responsible for the first German "Drive to the East." Although some writers have argued that Himmler saw himself as King Henry's reincarnation, there is also testimony that he admitted to speaking with the dead king's ghost at night. In any event, Himmler created the King Heinrich Memorial Institute in 1938 in Quedlinburg as yet another boondoggle, this one devoted to the revival of the king's spiritual legacy.

It was within the great dining hall with its Round Table that Himmler and his Inner Circle of Twelve Gruppenfuhrers would engage in mystic communication with the realm of the dead Teutons and perform other spiritual exercises. [20]

During an investigation of the commander-in-chief of the (regular) German Army, General von Fritsch, for "serious moral offences" (a charge later found to be a mistake resulting from a similarity in name between the general and a cavalry officer), Foreign Intelligence Chief Walter Schellenberg observed Himmler and his "Round Table" involved in one of these "spiritual exercises":

He assembled twelve of his most trusted SS leaders in a room next to the one in which von Fritsch was being questioned and ordered them all to concentrate their minds on exerting a suggestive influence over the General that would induce him to tell the truth. I happened to come into the room by accident, and to see these twelve SS leaders sitting in a circle, all sunk in deep and silent contemplation, was indeed a remarkable sight. [21]

SS men were discouraged from participating in Christian religious ceremonies of any kind and were actively encouraged to formally break with the Church. New religious ceremonies were developed to take the place of Christian ones; for instance, a winter solstice ceremony was designed to replace Christmas (starting in 1939 the word "Christmas" was forbidden to appear on any official SS document) and another ceremony for the summer solstice. Gifts were to be given at the summer solstice ceremony rather than at the winter solstice, and a special factory was established for the manufacture of appropriately Aryan tschochkes. (A possible, though by no means documented, cause for this switch of gift-giving to the summer solstice is the death of Hitler's mother on the winter solstice and all the grief and complex emotions this event represented for Hitler. It's understandable that Hitler -- as the Fuhrer and at least nominally in charge of the direction the new state religion would take -- would have wanted to remove every vestige of "Christmas" from the pagan winter solstice festival. As a means of denying his grief? Or as an act of defiance against the god whose birth is celebrated on that day, a god who robbed Hitler of his beloved mother? It's worthwhile to note in this context that for a national "Day of the German Mother" Hitler chose his own mother's birthday.)

These ceremonies were replete with sacred fires, torchlit processions, and invocations of Teutonic deities, all performed by files of young, blond-haired, blue-eyed Aryan supermen, ceremonies that, according to my informants, had been revived in the Andean mountains (a site sacred to the Nazi Horbigerians, of whom more later), at Colonia Dignidad in the 1960s and which were still being performed there as late as my trip in 1979.

(It is ironic that the establishment of Christmas on December 25 was itself an attempt of the Church to identify the birth of Jesus with the winter solstice ceremonies of the pagans since Christ was most probably not born in December at all; hence, all Himmler was doing was reinstating a holiday that the Christians themselves had usurped for their own purposes, as indeed the rune manuscript -- quoted below -- suggests. And so it goes.)

Weddings and "christenings" (especially at the Lebensborn communities) were replaced by pagan SS rituals, [22] and, gradually, the entire Christian liturgical rubric was in the process of being replaced by a completely pagan version. Even the Hitler Youth were not immune. A so-called "Nazi Primer" published during the war contains many examples of pagan ideology and anti-Christian sentiment designed for its youthful readership. [23]

Even the selection of Wewelsburg as the cult center was far from accidental. According to Teutonic legend, an apocalyptic battle would be fought in that area between the forces of East and West, and the Eastern hordes would be defeated by a mighty storm. Himmler -- who highly valued such old German myths -- evidently believed he would have a ringside seat at the conflagration that would consume his enemies.

Paderborn and Detmold were also important archaeological sites in the view of the Ahnenerbe, for they contained important relics of Germany's ancient glory. It was even bruited about that the Nordic World-Tree -- Yggdrasil -- had its roots in that region on the border of Westphalia and Lower Saxony and might still be located, perhaps at the Externsteine site.

A typescript copy of an article that appeared in a monthly called Lower Saxony in 1903/1904 was preserved in Ahnenerbe files. Devoted to this pagan cult center located in the same region as Wewelsburg, it refers to the summer solstice celebrations that took place there as late as the middle of the nineteenth century: [24]

[They are] like giants from a prehistoric world which, during the furious creation of the Earth, were placed there by God as eternal monuments . . . Many of our Volk are known to have preserved pagan beliefs and their rituals, and I remember that some sixty years ago, in my earliest childhood days ... the custom was to undertake a long, continuous journey that lasted for whole days and which only ended on St. John's Day, to see those ancient "Holy Stones" and to celebrate there, with the sunrise, the Festival of the Summer Solstice ...

Goethe says, "Nobody can overcome the impressions of his earliest childhood," and I have also, despite a long and costly journey, often since celebrated the summer solstice on those very stones.

The summer solstice festival, of course, was kept sacred by the Nazis and, as we have seen, was the occasion of the "human sacrifice" of Walther Rathenau. But to tie in this prehistoric monument to twentieth century Aryan mysticism, the author -- one A.E. Muller -- goes on to say:

Especially included for your consideration are the sculptures found on the reverse of the Externsteine on which were thus originally discovered the image of the tree Ydragsil [sic], the World-Ash, whose melancholy myth embraces the Origin, the Life, and the Death of the Earth and its generations.

Muller goes on to describe how images of a human couple seen within the form of the root of the World-Ash, Ydragsil (sic), and embraced by the Serpent, Nidhogur (the symbol of a devouring Death), were used by the Church to substantiate its own legend of the "Biblical- Babylonian legend of the first human couple, Adam and Eve, and their fall into sin as a result" of the Serpent. Muller complains that the essentially pagan iconography of the four Norns and associated images were co-opted by the Church into representing other Biblical stories and that the whole monument was exploited for the purposes of converting the pagan population of Lower Saxony to that Semitic interloper, Christianity.

Concerning the cultic significance of Paderborn itself, we may refer to a letter addressed to Wolfram Sievers by one Von Motz that is to be found in the Ahnenerbe files. Dated January 29, 1937 -- from Detmold no less -- the author begins by referring to a recent issue of the official SS magazine, Das Schwarze Korps:

I am sending to you now ... six photographs with explanatory text. Maybe these can appear in one of the next issues of Schwarze Korps in order to show that it is to some extent a favored practice of the church on images of its saints and so forth to illustrate the defeat of adversaries by [having them] step on them.

The referenced essay also mentioned that there are depictions of the serpent's head, as the symbol of original sin, being stepped on [by the saints].

These depictions are quite uncommonly prevalent. It is always Mary who treads on original sin.

Now these pictures appear to me particularly interesting because the serpent refers to an ancient symbol of Germanic belief. At the Battle of Hastings the flag of the Saxons shows a golden serpent on a blue field....

The Mary Statue at Paderborn was erected in the middle of the past century in the courtyard of the former Jesuit College. As professor Alois Fuchs related several times before in lectures concerning the Paderborn art monuments, the artist that created the Mary Statue must have been a Protestant. This is for me completely proven because the face in the moon-sickle in every case represents Luther.

It is well known that Rome and Judah, preferring thus to take advantage of their own victims, created victory monuments for them. [25]

These are motifs which we find throughout the volkisch and occult impulses in Nazism: that the serpent, which represents Satan to Christians, was considered a sacred symbol for the Aryans; and that "Rome and Judah" shamelessly exploited the suffering of their own people by depicting them as heroes or as vanquishers of evil through their agonies (thus reinforcing weak, non-Aryan suicidal tendencies among the oppressed populations of Europe).

In a related context, Himmler -- in conversations with Schellenberg -- also discussed such subjects as European witchcraft and the Holy Inquisition at length. Himmler evidently subscribed to the belief -- made popular across the Channel by British anthropologist Margaret Murray in The Witch Cult in Western Europe (1921) and The God of the Witches (1933) -- that the medieval witches burned at the stake by the Church were pagans; he particularly stressed the fact that "so much good German blood" was "stupidly destroyed" when thousands of German witches were murdered by the Inquisition. [26] If it seems odd to the reader that the man who ordered the destruction of millions of Jews and Gypsies would decry the mass murder of pagans by the Church, then he or she may be assured that they are in good company. Particularly as Himmler -- like Lanz von Liebenfels before him -- actively admired the organization, ritual, and mystique of the Church while denouncing its most cherished beliefs:

The SS organization had been built up by Himmler on the principles of the Order of the Jesuits. The service statutes and spiritual exercises prescribed by Ignatius Loyola formed a pattern which Himmler assiduously tried to copy. Absolute obedience was the supreme rule; each and every order had to be accepted without question. [27]

One of the books recovered from the so-called Hitler Library at Berchtesgaden after the war comes under the heading of "pagan rituals," and deserves a brief mention here.

Of the some two thousand volumes that were recovered (and which are now stored in the Rare Book Room of the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.) many were of the occult sciences. One in particular concerns us at the moment, and that is Das Buch der Psalmen Deutsch: das Gebetbuch der Ariosophen Rassen-mystiker und Antisemiten. This can be translated as The Book of German Psalms: The Prayerbook of the Ariosophist Race-Mystics and Anti-Semites. It was written by none other than our old friend, Lanz von Liebenfels, he of the Order of New Templars, and is nothing less than a hymnal of hate, a "prayerbook" that proudly calls itself "anti-Semite."

To give the reader an idea of what, typically, the Ahnenerbe thought valuable and worth salvaging in the spiritual legacy of the world, one only has to glance down the list of works cited in Tod und Unsterblichkeit im Weltbild Indogermanischer Denker (Death and Immortality in the Indo-Germanic Thinker's Worldview) coauthored by R. Schrotter and Ahnenerhe Kurator Walther Wust and published in Berlin in 1938, bearing a foreword by Himmler.

This official Deutsches Ahnenerbe publication contains appropriate quotations from the Vedas, the Upanishads, and the Bhagavad-Gita but doesn't stop there. It goes on to include everyone from Homer, Socrates, Plato, Cicero, Seneca, Marcus Aurelius, and Empedocles to the Eddas, Meister Eckhardt (the darling of the Pan-German mystics), Jacob Bohme, one of Dietrich Eckart's favorite philosophers Angelus Silesius and Giordano Bruno (who was burned at the stake by the Inquisition for his heretical -- mystical -- views). The collection also contains selections from Omar Khayyam and that other Persian philosopher-poet Rumi. This amounts to nothing less than a Nazi "canon" of important and accepted texts, appropriate for meditational reflection by prospective SS recruits and the general public alike. Of course, neither the Old nor the New Testament appears in the above collection.


It was not enough for the Nazis to assume a pagan stance; they had to prove that it was historically justified. Himmler wanted nothing so much as to be able to prove to the world that his personal idiosyncracies were the stuff of reality. In order to do this, he enlisted the help of an organization that, by its very name, was devoted to restoring the ancient knowledge of the Aryan forefathers to contemporary awe: the Ahnenerbe Forschungs-und Lehrgemeinschaft: the Ancestral Heritage Research and Teaching Society.

Himmler gave the Ahnenerbe official status within the Reich in 1935 (thus protecting it and its members from the spate of new laws that were designed to ban occult-related activity); in 1940 it became a formal division of the SS. With over fifty separate sections devoted to a wide range of scientific and pseudoscientific research, the Ahnenerbe became a boondoggle for Nazi scholars of every description. There was a Celtic Studies group within the Ahnenerbe; a group to study the Teutonic cult center Externsteine (near Wewelsberg), which as we have seen was believed to be the site of the famous World- Tree, Ydragsil or Yggdrasil; a group devoted to Icelandic research (as the Eddas were sacred to the Teuton myth, and since Iceland was considered to be the location of Thule itself); a group that was formed around Ernst Schafer and his Tibet expeditions; a runic studies group; a "World Ice Theory" division; an archaeological research group that scoured the earth for evidence of Aryan presence in lands as remote from Germany as the Far East and South America (an idea possibly inspired by the writings of Blavatsky and by contemporary research "proving" that the Aryan Norsemen had discovered America hundreds of years before Columbus); the list goes on and on. [28]

In fact, it was just such a servant of the Ahnenerbe, SS-Obersturmfuhrer Otto Rahn, who credited the belief of some Nazis that even Latin America held promise as a land of the Aryans, a view sacred to contemporary Chilean author Miguel Serrano. In Rahn's book Lucifer's Servants he describes a Mexican legend concerning the mystical Thule:

In the wake of Columbus ... the sails of Ferdinand Cortez crossed the seas. It was he who conquered the kingdom of the Aztecs and Mexico for the benefit of Spain. In an account that he sent to the imperial court one reads that the king of the Aztecs had bowed to the Emperor because he held [the Emperor] to be the same Lord of luminous beings and superior essence "from which had issued his own ancestors." Montezuma had also been about to permit Cortez to appropriate all the idols ... that is until he, the king -- imprisoned by the gold-hungry conquerors and mortally wounded by them -- understood who they really were. He refused to allow them to treat his wounds and, energetically resisting the idea of converting to Christianity, wished for nothing more than death. And he did die, the victim of a frightful mistake. Cortez was the envoy of the Pope and the Catholic emperor and not at all of the "White God" for whom [the king] and his people had been waiting so long. This White God was to have come from the ancient land of Tulla or Tullan (which, according to their beliefs, had once been "a country of the sun" but "where now ice reigned" and where "the sun had disappeared") -- that is to say: from Thule. Rather than the servants of Lucifer, those whom they had greeted ... were the representatives of that "ilk" which, shamelessly, dishonors the face of our mother the Earth with its filth and its horrors. [29]

That "ilk," of course, is the Catholic Church.

Ironically, it would be Rahn's organization that would most permanently be identified with dishonoring the face of the Earth with filth and horror; for it should be remembered that this was the same organization that commissioned the infamous medical experimentation taking place at Dachau and other camps; an agenda fully consistent with the Ahnenerbe's program of "scientific" research.

There has been no complete and comprehensive study of the Ahnenerbe in English so far, and we will not attempt to do so here. However, let us examine several of the separate sections of this eerie operation by studying the documents that were saved from destruction after the war. By doing so, we will find that the Ahnenerbe is really the best evidence we have that the SS was a fully constituted cult. If the SS was Himmler's pagan answer to the Jesuits -- as has been suggested many times, and by the Nazis themselves -- then the Ahnenerbe was a kind of seminary and teaching college for the future leaders of the Thousand Year Reich.

The Rune Scholars

Among the documents that comprise the Ahnenerbe collection at the National Archives is an undated manuscript that was evidently intended to accompany Himmler's most famous "Christmas" gift: the red clay candlestick that was to be burned on the night of the winter solstice by all faithful SS leaders.

There is no space here to quote the document completely, and indeed it was meant to accompany some ninety-three illustrations which have not survived with the document. However, parts of this interesting work are worthy of translation here as they represent nothing less than a complete introduction to the subject of runes, from the point of view of a Nazi scholar working for the Ahnenerbe-SS.

The document begins:

The Reichsfuhrer-SS has sent to all SS Leaders the beautiful Swedish peasant candlestick, fired in red clay, that stands here before us as a symbolical Christmas -- or Yule -- offering. It is a replica of a piece that is located in the collection of the Deutsche Ahnenerbe in Berlin which, on the other hand, is itself a replica of the original that was stored in the Staten Historik Museum in Stockholm and which came from Hallands Province.

Such peasant candlesticks in fired clay in the shape of a tower we find not only in Sweden, in Scandinavia and in North Germania [sic] but likewise in South Germania here in Germany, for instance in Westphalia.

It is worthwhile to point out that the use of the word "Germania" refers to the ancient Teutonic kingdom and not to Germany proper, which is referred to as Deutschland in the original.

The anonymous author then goes on for thirty-five, single-spaced pages to describe not only the candlestick itself but the whole history of the runes, and does not resist taking a few potshots at Christianity in the process. Some of this will be incomprehensible to those not well versed in runic symbols, but a few paragraphs will give one a taste of the type of scholarship-cum-ideology that is the hallmark of Ahnenerbe publications:

Both the Germanic God-Runes and God-Names -- hagal and man, mensch --become, at the Christianizing of the Rune Calendar, Christus, translated as the God-Son, which in the Germanic meaning is represented as hagal for "the creators of the most ancient world," i.e., of Time and Space. This old German deity, Tuisco ("from God" or "from heaven descended") as well as Tuisto ("the Twofold Name") as the Roman Tacitus in the First Century relates in his book about Germania, comes from a word meaning "Earth Born."

The hagal rune had a life of its own, of course. It became the title of a runic magazine published by Rudolf John Gorsleben, a friend of Dietrich Eckart and onetime lecturer at Thule Society headquarters in Munich and later managed by Werner von Bulow after Gorsleben's death in 1930. (Gorsleben had served during the First World War with a Turkish regiment in Arabia, and thus was probably on the receiving end of the Arab forces under that brilliant military strategist, T.E. Lawrence.) The hagal rune -- which is really an asterisk -- accumulated a wealth of mystical and magical associations under Gorsleben's "scholarship." It became the mother of all runes, as each of the individual runes could be discovered hidden within it. To Gorsleben, the hagal rune signified nothing less than a mystical diagram for attaining unity with God. [30] It is also owing to Gorsleben that we first encounter an occult tradition concerning crystals, something that is enjoying a rebirth among the New Agers of today.
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Postby admin » Fri Jun 26, 2015 1:03 am


Later, concerning a different rune we read:

And a thousand years afterwards we discover this "Son of the All-Father and the Earth": Thor or Donar ... He, the Born-Again, who overcomes the wintry power of darkness and death, rousing all life from the tombs once more, is represented as a figure with upraised arms. His rune therefore is the symbolic sign of the upraised arms, two-or three-pointed; the former, the two-pointed Image the rune k, Anglo- axon name cen or "Light", and the latter the Image three-pointed m rune, called "Man" (Old Nordic madhr, Anglo-Saxon man), and an Old Nordic peasant rune- song says of this rune that it "gladdens man and makes the earth increase."

The "All-Father" is, of course, a Teutonic pagan term for God. It may be remembered that Sebottendorff's secret Order was called the Germanenorden All-Father And The Holy Grail, and that Sebottendorff's Order publication was (under the influence of Gorsleben and other Aryan cultists) entitled Runes. Further along, we find a slanting attack on the Church:

This is the legacy of the Celtic Old Ones, of the most supreme HeavenFather and Earth-Mother, which depict the Year-Wheel and the Soul; the Aryan, Germanic ancestral legacy, the former Christmas when the Yule Candlestick -- reaching to the Year-Wheel God -- stands silent next to the Soul of the Earth Mother which, revolving, spins upward.

Now, in conclusion, it remains only to clarify a final symbol. Whence comes this "Soul" that belongs to the Earth-Mother which, according to the ancient Aryan myth becomes the Heaven-Son, the "Joy of Man"? What is the origin of those "Red Hearts" which later become prominent on images of the Virgin Mary, the Mother of the Son of God Jesus Christ whose festival the Roman Church only decided in the Fourth Century AD to celebrate on December 25th, the ancient Aryan Winter Solstice festival? ... We must turn our gaze back to that Ur-time when our Nordic, peasant ancestors of the New Stone Age erected those mighty clan dolmens three to four millennia before Christ: the "Giants' Beds" of which only a few in north Germany have survived the irreverent vandalism and brutal profiteering of the past two centuries.

Much of the foregoing would find a respectable home in any New Age or pagan publication today. Much of it is familiar to students of mythology and the occult. But as we wind up the Odinist ferverino, we once again come crashing into a reminder of just who is writing this thesis, and why:

Long ago our ancestor, that noble Nordic wife and mother, guardian of her family and of the meaning of the Homeland, was sacred; she to whom one could go -- Seeress and Race-Mother -- in order to know what was fit and proper. "We bow in reverence before the image of the German mother," said our Reichsfuhrer Heinrich Himmler on the last Reich's Peasantry Day in Goslar. And so a German doctor once recognized the most-sacred image of our ancestral legacy, Earth Mother and Race-Mother, the miracle of the love of the Nordic Mother-Soul: that the sacred and eternal Homeland is renewed from her womb, embracing life, as she preserves and protects unsullied the most sacred spiritual and mental values of Family and Race.

And Frigga, Isis, Mary are merely names,
Transient veils of the hallowed womb.

The stars, suns and men's souls ...
No mortal lips can praise your Majesty enough.
O incline, Mother, your divine countenance
And guide us to our sweet home in the Eternal Light.
We but wish to stand in faithful watch on the soul
of the Homeland, on the Living Tree of our Race,
and by its Fuhrer. [31]

One can see how these "lapsed Catholics" still needed their dose of saccharin-sweet sentiments and sloppy poetry to get them through the night. The difference was the projection of the Catholic Church -- poisoned by the Jewish Satan, Jehovah, and corrupted from a pure, Aryan version of an ancient deity, Krist -- as one aspect of the enemy against which they were finally rebelling. One could offer some armchair psychology on this point, that the repressive sexual, social, and moral environment of Roman Catholicism contributed to this tremendous backlash against anything Christian; that it was necessary to deny the basic tenets of Christianity in order to wreak unspeakable havoc on the Jews; and that there were enough Catholic priests and bishops around to accommodate the Nazis -- sometimes eagerly -- that the SS must have felt they were on the right track, anyway. But if Rome was not the spiritual homeland of the Race, where were the occult secrets really being kept?

The Iceland Project

As we have seen, the Nazis viewed Iceland as the last surviving link to their ancestral homeland, Thule. This was an inheritance from their Ascended Master, Sebottendorff, who understood Ultima Thula, the famous destination of Pytheas in the fourth century BC, to be identical to Iceland. For them, Thule corresponded to their own Atlantis myth; while the rest of the human race might have descended from monkeys, the Nazis were convinced that the Aryan race descended from heaven. (Hence that discussion of the Mensch and Hagal runes as symbolic of a "descent from heaven" of the real "Menschen," the Aryan Man.) They believed that the Icelandic Eddas contained secret keys to their own history, and that possibly more clues still existed on that tiny republic in the form of dolmens, ancient caves, and prehistoric monuments, etc.

To galvanize support for a pan-Nordic union against the subhumans, they arranged for the formation of something called the Nordic Gesellschaft, or Nordic Society: an organization headquartered in Lubeck that was a pet project of mystic race theorist Alfred Rosenberg, by now a Reichsleiter and member of Hitler's innermost circle. Year after year Rosenberg would address this society composed of members from Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and, of course, Iceland to warn them of the immediate danger to the "white race" coming from the East, and of the essential unity of the Nordic peoples -- based on race and mystic ancestry -- demanded by the combined Soviet, Jewish, and Masonic threat.

To get an idea of who attended such meetings and of what was discussed, we only have to read an article in the official Nazi newspaper, Volkischer Beobachter, concerning one such event, attended by both Rosenberg and Soil-Mystic Darre (a cofounder of the Ahnenerbe):

The conclusion of the 5th Reichs-Convention of the Nordic Society in Lubeck gained special importance from a grand speech by Reichsleiter Alfred Rosenberg ...

. . . the first speaker, National Librarian Dr. Gudmundur Finbogason of Rekjavik, presented a lecture about Icelandic-German cooperation in the field of Nordic Science.

Subsequently State Council Johann E. Mellye, the president of the Norwegian Peasantry Association, spoke concerning the Norwegian Peasant Movement. Protocol Secretary Carl Patric Ossbahr, Stockholm, then spoke concerning Sweden's North-European mission ...

Reichsleiter Alfred Rosenberg heartily greeted the German and Northern country participants and then began to speak ...

The Reichsleiter reminded us ... of the grave military and revolutionary events taking place in the Far East, the Near East, and in Spain. If the Scandinavian north and the Baltic states have been spared to some extent from political earthquake tremors, such signifies no more than a temporary reassuring moment for these people and for Europe altogether, and is not to be understood as a sign that these people and these nations themselves are able to escape the larger problems forever. The struggle between Tradition in its various forms and another Breed coming forth for a New Era shall become everyone's destiny.

"Germany stands since 1933," so the Reichsleiter drove home, "before the question: whether historical survival has come to an end or if the gravity of these events directly constitutes the makings for a renaissance.

"After a great struggle within the soul of the German people the entire nation finally agrees about the personality of the Fuhrer ... In only a few years Adolf Hitler's Germany has reaped the harvest of an entire millennium.

"This historical fact is big enough to demand attention. It must naturally extend widely beyond political limits because German problems, the first of which are the immediate social-political ones, are also the problems of the remaining peoples. The evolution of the other nations might go more gradually since they are not under an immediate force of destiny; still these problems are also theirs.

"We all stand under the same European destiny, and must feel obliged to this common destiny, because finally the existence of the white man depends altogether upon the unity of the European continent! Unanimous must we oppose that terrible attempt by Moscow to destroy the world, that sea of blood into which already many people have dived!" (Strongest applause!) [32]

The Nordic Gesellschaft even made the ailing Dr. Alfred Ploetz -- founder of the Institute for Race Hygiene and the Nazis' most prestigious (if rather reluctant) race theorist -- an honorary member about a year before he died. [33] Thus were the worlds of "scientific racism" or Social Darwinist eugenics and mystical Nordic paganism and anthropology linked, and to them both the political agenda of the Third Reich, which involved not only Lebensraum and a "drive to the East" but also the extermination of the indigenous populations of the Eastern countries. That Rosenberg and Darre would both attend these meetings is significant, for these men were the premiere pagans in Hider's inner circle. Where Himmler wished to surround himself with the trappings of a twentieth-century secret society based partly on the Jesuits, partly on the Masons, and partly on the Templars, Rosenberg and Darre eschewed secret societies and occult lodges for a more general, more popular state-organized pagan religion designed to replace Christianity forever. While Himmler shared these ideas to a large extent, he was not likely to be seen stumping town to town for state paganism. He wanted to conduct his rituals in secret, far from the prying eyes of the profane.

Thus, while Rosenberg and Darre were doing their best to create the illusion of a pan- Nordic community, Himmler was authorizing missions to Iceland -- under Ahnenerbe auspices -- to search for pagan relics.

Thus we read -- in a document addressed to the Ahnenerbe from Dr. Bruno Schweizer at Detmold, dated March 10, 1938 -- of a proposed research trip to Iceland that summer:

Plan for an Iceland Research Journey

From year to year it becomes more difficult to meet living witnesses of Germanic cultural feelings and Germanic soul attitudes on the classical Icelandic soil uninfluenced by the overpowerful grasp of western civilization. In only a few years has the natural look of the country, which since the Ur-time has remained mostly untouched in stone and meadow, in desert and untamed mountain torrents, revealed its open countenance to man and has fundamentally changed from mountainsides and rock slabs to manicured lawns, nurseries and pasture grounds, almost as far from Reykjavik as the barren coast section, a feat accomplished by the hand of man; the city itself expands with almost American speed as roadways and bridges, power stations and factories emerge and the density of the traffic in Reykjavik corresponds with that of a European city.

. . . the people forget such ancient techniques as ... the forge-and woodworker's art, the methods of grass-and milk-cultivation, spinning, weaving, dyeing; they forget the old legends and myths that were once narrated on long winter evenings, the songs and the art of the old verses; they lost the belief in a transcendent nature ... Their innate Germanic sobriety becomes cold calculation; pure material interests then step to the foreground; the intelligentsia migrates to the capital and from there swiftly assimilates international tendencies. Genuine Germanic vigor in Iceland is also often transformed into speculation and not at all through real trade; excessive pride of homeland drives them to want to be 150% more modern and progressive than the rest of Europe. This then often permits the present-day Icelander to appear in an unfavorable light and thus can not usually avoid giving a good German visitor a bad first impression.

These situations determine our research plan.

Every year that we wait quietly means damage to a number of objects, and other objects become ruined for camera and film due to newfangled public buildings in the modern style. For the work in question only the summer is appropriate, that is, the months of June through August. Furthermore, one must reckon that occasionally several rainy days can occur, delaying thereby certain photographic work. The ship connections are such that it is perhaps only possible to go to and from the Continent once a week.

All this means a minimum period of from 5-6 weeks for the framework of the trip.

The possible tasks of an Iceland research trip with a cultural knowledge mission are greatly variegated. Therefore it remains for us to select only the most immediate and most realizable. A variety of other tasks ... should be considered as additional assignments.

Thus the recording of human images (race-measurements) and the investigation of museum treasures are considered to be additional assignments. [34] (My italics, P.L.)

The following year, Dr. Schweizer proposed the creation of an Icelandic-German dictionary to help those future Nazi "researchers" in their endeavors, and was joined in this concept by other men of science. It is not known just to what extent the Icelandic people welcomed this quiet invasion of German scholars bent on performing "race measurements" on their citizens, or photographing valuable museum pieces for possible later, ah, "acquisition." Surely, the SS would have considered anything Aryan in the Icelandic museums as fair game for export, objects for further study and for research into their Aryan forebears.

But Iceland -- Ultima Thule -- was not the only piece of real estate to which the Nazis associated a peculiar Aryan heritage. One of the most important was that sad and bleeding country that has not stopped hemorrhaging since the early days of the Second World War and whose destiny has become such a matter of international publicity and concern. We are speaking, of course, of Tibet.

The Tibet Expedition

At dinner [Himmler] talked to me on various scientific questions and told me about an expedition to Tibet. [35]


One of the more controversial stories circulating about the occult activities and interests of the Third Reich concerns Tibet. Much is made of the Nazi-Tibet connection in Pauwels and Bergier's Morning of the Magicians (Le matin des magiciens), a sixties international bestseller whose sometimes outrageous claims of magical forces and sinister conspiracies overshadowed a more serious message that discovers in the occult underworld of the Third Reich the seeds of a spiritual crisis about to be born.

It was therefore with some skepticism that the author approached the vast microfilmed records of the Captured German Documents Section of the National Archives to see whether or not there was evidence for such a mysterious "connection," and was rewarded by the discovery that several complete rolls of microfilm -- representing hundreds of pages of documents -- record nothing but the efforts and adventures of the SS-Tibet Expedition led by that tireless promoter of Tibetology in all its forms, Dr. Ernst Schafer of the Ahnenerbe. [36]

What is even more striking is that the records contain not only Schafer's personal and official correspondence, his Tibet notebooks, and his personal SS file, bur also clippings from German newspapers chronicling the "SS-Tibet Expedition" in all its glory. [37]

What is compelling in these records is the day-to-day story of Schafer's struggle to get his various expeditions off the ground: searching for the funding, permissions, and support from the Nazi government that were not always forthcoming. It would seem that Schafer's primary goal in trekking through the Himalayas was more scientific in nature -- and hence of less immediate value -- than the Reich leadership was willing to accommodate. After all, much of Schafer's reporting has less to do with concerns of a military value than it does with the flora and fauna of this inaccessible land. Schafer's academic credentials were in zoology and botany, with some courses in geology, geography, and ethnology. He seems to have been marching in Sven Hedin's footsteps and was indeed for a time the head of the Sven Hedin Institute, the organization based in Munich that also became a "Reichs Institute" and eventually a separate section of the Ahnenerbe SS. [38] As mentioned earlier, the files also contain correspondence from Hedin to Schafer as late as July 27, 1942, in which Hedin signs himself as Ihr treu und aufrichtig ergebener ("Your faithful and sincerely devoted ...") [39] after forwarding greetings from his sister, to Schafer's wife, and to the Kurator of the Ahnenerbe, Dr. Wust. Schafer's SS personnel file shows one trip to East and Central Tibet from 1934-1936 and another to Tibet (the official SS-Tibet Expedition referred to in the press) from April 1938 to August 1939 ... in other words, during the period of the so-called "phony war" that predated the invasion of Poland in September of 1939. [40] Thus, we cannot rule out the hypothesis that Schafer was involved in something more than butterfly gathering in this historic (and official) trek to the Himalayas at a time of great international crisis and global tensions. To be sure, Schafer was not back in Germany two months before preparations were being made to organize a Tibetan-North Indian strike force to oust the British from their rule in India. [41]

Ernst Schafer was born in Cologne (Koln) on March 14, 1910, the son of an important industrialist and director of the Phoenix Rubber Company, and attended school in Heidelberg and Gottingen before becoming part of a Tibet expedition organized by the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia in 1930, when Schafer was only twenty years old. He then became a member of the American Brooke Dolan expedition to Siberia, China, and Tibet in 1931. [42]

In 1933, Hitler became chancellor of Germany and it appears as if Schafer was one of the "March violets" who got on the Nazi bandwagon after Hitler consolidated his political power that spring. His membership number in the Nazi Party was 4690995, and his personnel record shows membership in the SS as beginning in the summer of 1933, rising in rank to Untersturmfuhrer in 1936, Obersturmfuhrer in 1937, Hauptsturmfuhrer in 1938 and finally to Sturmbannfuhrer in 1942. He had also been awarded the coveted Totenkopfring, or Death's Head Ring, which was the rune-inscribed piece of SS jewelry designed by volkisch occultist Karl Wiligut (described in the following chapter on Otto Rahn), and was a member of Himmler's Personal Staff (as was Wiligut). All of this is mentioned to demonstrate that Dr. Schafer was nothing if not the ideal SS man, at least on paper. The orders raising him in rank were signed by Himmler, and his fiancee had to undergo the usual investigation of her racial background as the prospective spouse of an SS officer. (They were married -- evidently with the blessing of the Reichsfuhrer-SS -- in December of 1939, and were busy dutifully producing Aryan offspring; three daughters by 1944.)

But as an academic, Schafer's published works include -- according to his SS dossier -- Berge, Buddhas und Baren (Mountains, Buddhas and Bears oh my!), Unbekanntes Tibet (Unknown Tibet), and Dach der Erde (Roof of the World). Among his articles can be found this typical one in English: "Four New Birds from Tibet" in the 1937 Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia. So, Ernst Schafer was also a scientist who published regularly in respected journals on his discoveries, and an explorer who emulated the master, Sven Hedin, by writing books about his travels in the mysterious East.

Thus, we have established that Dr. Schafer was a man of many parts: one part SS officer and one part scholar, one part explorer and one part scientist: a Nazi Indiana Jones.

Schafer was a career scientist who does not seem to have been interested only in the possible military potential of his travels in Tibet but kept meticulous notes on the religious and cultural practices of the Tibetans, from their various colorful lamaistic festivals to Tibetan attitudes toward marriage, rape, menstruation, childbirth, homosexuality (and even masturbation). For instance, in his account of Tibetan homosexuality he goes so far as to describe the various positions taken by older lamas with younger boys and then proceeds to inform his audience how homosexuality played a significant role in the higher politics of Tibet. [43]

One wonders how Schafer was privy to such intimate detail of Tibetan sexual practices, and then comes across a report by SS-Obersturmfuhrer and filmmaker Ernst Krause (who was part of the SS-Tibet Expedition of 1938-39) dutifully recording his personal observation of a fifteen-year-old Lachung girl masturbating on a bridge beam. [44] (It is not known whether Krause took advantage of this opportunity to film this particular episode, but the author was startled to discover that a collection of his film clips -- silent, black and white -- have survived and may be viewed at Tibet House in New York City in VHS cassette format; certainly this is one of the most intriguing video documents of the Third Reich.)

There are pages of such careful observation of the local people engaged in a variety of intimate acts that would otherwise have been performed privately had it not been for the ever-present and watchful eyes of the Master Race.

Happily, not all of Schafer's observations were of the sexual habits of the Lachung and other Himalayan peoples, nor of the flora and fauna, as the following article from the Nazi Volkischer Beobachter of July 29, 1939, relates:

Dr. Ernst Schafer, SS-Hauptsturmfuhrer, has now completed the first German SS- ibet Expedition with extraordinarily great success and will soon return to Germany with his guides. The participants of the expedi tion visited, as the first Germans, the capital of Tibet, Lhasa, the seat of the Dalai Lama, as well as Tibet's second- largest city, Shigatse, the capital of the Panchen Lama, and visited the huge monastery of Taschtimmps first visited in 1907 by Sven Hedin. By comparison, Sven Hedin's Trans-Himalaya's discoveries required several trips to accomplish. The harvest of the expedition regarding botanical and zoological collections is uncommonly rich and rare and of great value. [45]

And an article from Der Neue Tag dated July 21, 1939, is even more informative: [46]

Sacred Tibetan Scripture Acquired by the Dr. Schafer-Expedition on Nine Animal Loads Across the High-Country

(SPECIAL) FRANKFURT-20 JULY The Tibet Expedition of Dr. Ernst Schafer, which during its expedition through Tibet stayed a long time in Lhasa and in the capital of the Panchen Lama, Shigatse, is presently on its return trip to Germany. Since the monsoons began unusually early, the return march of the expedition was hastened in order to secure the shipment of the precious collections. The expedition has singularly valuable scientific research results to inventory. In addition to outstanding accomplishments in the areas of geophysical and earth-magnetic research they succeeded in obtaining an extra rich ethnological collection including, along with cult objects, many articles and tools of daily life.

With the help of the regent of Lhasa it was Dr. Schafer who also succeeded in obtaining the Kangschur, the extensive, 108-volume sacred script of the Tibetans, which required nine animal loads to transport. Also especially extensive are the zoological and botanical collections that the expedition has already shipped, in part, to Germany the remainder of which they will bring themselves. The zoological collection includes the total bird-fauna of the research area. Dr. Schafer was also able, for the first time, to bag a Schapi, a hitherto unknown wild goat. About 50 live animals are on the way to Germany, while numerous other live animals are still with the expedition. An extensive herbarium of all existing plants is also on its way. Furthermore, valuable geographical and earth-historical accomplishments were made. Difficulties encountered due to political tensions with the English authorities were eliminated due to personal contact between Dr. Schafer and members of the British authorities in Shangtse, so that the unimpeded return of the expedition out of Tibet with its valuable collections was guaranteed.

No further mention is made of the sacred scriptures, the Kangschur, which is the core document of Tibetan Buddhism, and I have been unable to discover what happened to it after the war, though (for reasons too complex to discuss here) I suspect it wound up in a museum in Vienna. (It is worthwhile noting that nowhere in the abovementioned article does the term "SS" appear, or "Nazi." Der Neue Tag was a newspaper published in Prague, and the article was printed only two months before Blitzkrieg began. In an identical article published the following day in the Hannoversches Tageblatt -- a German newspaper -- the missing "SS" in "SS-Tibet Expedition" is faithfully restored.)

Sadly, a search of other articles from the same period do not reveal the disposition of the 108 volumes of sacred scripture.

An interesting aside to this story of the official SS expedition to Tibet is revealed by a list of the expedition members. They include one Dr. Bruno Beger, an anthropologist. Later, Dr. Beger would become better known as one of the scientists who -- working for Professor Hirt of the Ahnenerbe -- was involved in the collection of 115 human skeletons at Auschwitz for inclusion in a Nazi Anthropological Museum. [47] Assisted by one Dr. Fleischhacker, Beger selected the skeletons while their owners were still alive as Jewish, Polish, and Asiatic prisoners of the death camps. The "specimens" were then murdered at Natzweiler concentration camp in such a way as to avoid damaging the skeletal material and their bodies were shipped out for scientifically managed decomposition.

Beger's "mentor" according to interviews with other Nazi scientists was the same Dr. Ernst Schafer, [48] and Beger even provided Schafer with a collection of Asian skulls while he was collecting over a hundred "Jewish Commissar" skulls for the Berlin Institute. Another colleague of both Beger and Schafer was the botanist, Dr. Vollmar Vareschi, whom we find at the Sven Hedin Institute in Munich when he isn't attending lectures with his friends on various pseudoscientific topics. [49]

Dr. Hirt himself was also involved in the notorious study of the effects of mustard gas on yet another 150 prisoners at Natzweiler.

Much has been made of this expedition, and elsewhere it has been suggested that the "earth-magnetic" and "geophysical" studies -- undertaken in the inhospitable terrain of the Himalayas during a time of the greatest international crisis -- were actually experiments conducted by order of the Reichsfuhrer-SS himself; that is, that they were bizarre scientific attempts to prove the World Ice Theory, a theory which -- had it been proven -- would have provided the Third Reich with an invaluable weapon against its enemies.

The Horbiger Doctrine

Among the intimidatingly vast accumulation of Ahnenerbe documents on microfilm at the Archives are manuscripts, journal articles, and newspaper clippings concerning the Welt- Eis-Lehre or World Ice Theory once popularized by Austrian engineer Hans Horbiger, [50] a favorite of both Eckart and Hitler. Horbiger's vision of a universe composed of spinning balls and particles of ice managed to account for every crank cosmological theory from Atlantis to Lemuria and obviously owed a great deal to Madame Blavatsky's idea that the Earth is far older than the geologists tell us it is, and that it once had multiple moons and -- naturlich! -- multiple root-races. Horbiger's ideas were embraced by some South American occultists of the author's acquaintance who believe to this day Horbiger's contention that the Andes Mountains were once the site of an advanced civilization since its peaks were the only land mass above sea level during one of the last great Ice Age "meltdowns" ... about six thousand years ago! Indeed, the Chilean author and Nazi mystic Miguel Serano subscribes to similar theories. [51]

The details of the World Ice Theory are too tedious to go into here; suffice it to say that the concept of a universe composed of little more than ice crystals in various stages of formation and deformation corresponded neatly with volkisch instincts. After all, Nordic Man was a creature of the ice fields and thus the natural ancestor of the human race: the being most fit to rule in a universe composed entirely of snow. (Where Same will one day see Nothingness at the root of the chestnut tree and recoil in horror, Horbiger saw only sleet, and rejoiced.) Did not the ancient Nordic legends refer to the land of ice at the top of the world, the Teutonic Atlantis or Ultima Thule, as the origin of all Life? And doesn't the very whiteness of ice and snow itself suggest certain, ah, racial characteristics consonant with the divine source of the universe?

It was probably no accident that Horbiger counted among his closest friends Ottocar Prohaszka, the Catholic bishop who acted as ideologue for the fanatical Nazi Arrow Cross Party of Hungary.

The real value of the World Ice Theory to the Nazis -- aside from the fact that it represented an alternative, underdog science, and the Nazis were always looking for alternatives -- was its supposed utility in weather forecasting. The nation that could accurately predict the weather far into the future was obviously the nation with an edge in military strategy. One need only recall how weather patterns disrupted many Nazi campaigns -- from the freak flood that destroyed much of Rommel's materiel in North Africa to the severe winter that blocked Nazi victory in Russia -- to know how important it was for the Reich to have a corner on meteorology.

For instance, a publication entitled Zur Welteismeteorologie (On World Ice Meteorology) by a Dr. E. Dinies, published by the Reichs Office for Weather Service in Berlin in 1938, quotes from Horbiger's "epic work" Glazialkosmogonie (Glacial Cosmology) and provides tables of data comparing ice temperature and air temperarure for relative humidity values.

With some (perhaps unconscious?) irony, the editors of the Nazi student newspaper Rhein- ainische Studentenzeitung summed up the problem best in their lead for a series of brief articles on the World Ice Theory. Dated June 1, 1938, the lead-in reads:

Our time is rich in theories about the formation and structure of the world. Frequently these days such matters are dealt with by laymen. In our opinion only scientists and experts can successfully answer these kinds of questions. For instance, there has been a great deal of talk in recent years about the World Ice Theory. We have asked therefore a variety of scientists to tell us their position on the questions piling up concerning the World Ice Theory and we offer them now to the public. [52]

And the paper goes on to compare the theories of Horbiger and his co-author Fauth to those of Galileo!

In a manuscript authored by an anonymous SS-Obersturmfuhrer, we note the same attempt to put the World Ice Theory into a purely "scientific" framework, with the same unselfconscious irony:

The Need and Format of a New Implementation of the World Ice Theory

As the Reichsfuhrer-SS himself first spoke out in support of the Viennese engineer Hans Horbiger's World Ice Theory, he offered, by way of substantiation, the following: "Hans Horbiger's monument doesn't need to wait a hundred years before it is built; one can employ these ideas even today." Of course, the implementation of the World Ice Theory ordered by the Reichsfuhrer-SS must be planned in accord with scientific methodology. Thus is the manner of working in the Administration for Scientific Research in the Ahnenerbe unambiguously set forth. At the same time, however, a change from the usual method of implementing the World Ice Theory has been decided upon as well:

A scientifically thorough study of the World Ice Theory, together with a proof of its veracity, should be preserved from false teachers. This is only what official science attempts to do itself. [53]

Do we note the presence of a slight inferiority complex? Or was there some internecine conflict over the manner in which the World Ice Theory was being handled by nonscientists within the Ahnenerbe? After all, the theory was a pet project of many occultists and believers in Atlantis, including one of the founders of the Ahnenerbe, Hermann Wirth. This document, dated December 9, 1937, might have been part of the ammunition used by a faction within the World Ice department of the Ahnenerbe (probably being led by that earnest soul, Dr. Scultetus, who wanted the occultists out of the World Ice department so that he could conduct appropriately "scientific" experiments proving its validity) that eventually convinced Himmler to put the theory to the test in the frozen wastes of the Himalayas, where variations in altitude, humidity, and temperature could be meticulously recorded with the same vivid intensity that Lachung sexual practices were observed and logged and the truth -- or myth -- of the World Ice Theory established at last.

Schafer returned home from Tibet in the summer of 1939. By September, the world had changed forever. And on the summer solstice of 1941 -- a date sacred to the pagan calendar, to the cultists at Paderborn, Detmold, and Externsteine, and to the memory of the sacrificial lamb, Walter Rathenau -- Hitler invaded the Soviet Union, thus ripping the veil from before the tabernacle of the Jewish-Masonic-Bolshevik cabal.

Only a month later, and he was two hundred miles outside Moscow, within easy striking distance of total victory in Russia.

And then -- inexplicably, astoundingly -- he decided to wait.

Historians will never agree on why Hitler chose this disastrous strategy. He sent crucial divisions to Leningrad and the Ukraine while the main army waited in position for two months before moving on Moscow. It bought the Soviets all the time they needed, for in October the snow -- the politically correct, white, white snow -- began to fall.

Six months later, the Nazis had lost over one million dead in the freezing wastelands outside Moscow. In summer uniforms, light boots, no winter clothing at all of any kind, the Germans lost more men to the ravages of winter than to Soviet machine guns. Out of the 162 divisions thrown against the Red Army, only eight were combat-ready in the spring of 1942. Why did Hitler wait?

Because the Horbigerians -- under the auspices of the Ahnenerbe's meteorological division -- had predicted a mild winter.

The Knight, Death, and the Double

The SS-Tibet Expedition was not composed simply of a handful of academics who got caught up in the war, but of dedicated Nazi scientists with their own agenda; men who were constitutionally capable of using the "raw material" of the concentration camps for their own research, research which was designed to support the blatantly occult racial, anthropological, and archaeological theories of the Third Reich, specifically of Himmler's Black Order, the SS.

How could otherwise sane, scientifically trained professional men become involved in such gruesome and sadistic activity? Dr. Robert J. Litton, who has spent twenty years studying the Nazi doctors, has suggested the psychological phenomenon known as "doubling," [54] a kind of splitting apart of the personality to accommodate two types of reality, the normal and the obscene. It may be safe to say that this is also a phenomenon common to many people who become involved in the occult. It is usually necessary for serious occultists to conduct themselves appropriately in the "real world" while simultaneously maintaining privately held, complex belief systems that have little in common with the beliefs of those around them. This is much more than simply believing in a different religion or belonging to an unpopular political party. Frequently, the occultist is operating with a totally different set of moral and spiritual values, a set based on an alternative view of the world. The serious occultist of, say, Germany has much more in common with the occultist of New Orleans or Bangkok than the Roman Catholic has with the Lutheran of any country. It is for this reason that occultists are frequently reviled everywhere they are found, for their secret beliefs and practices are considered heinous and inimical to the well-being of the State.

In Nazi Germany, however, the State became an occult organization and the secret beliefs and practices of a select coven of deranged occultists became the official policy of the nation. Scientists, doctors, and professional people in every field found themselves "doubling" to the extent that what would be considered normal, civilized behavior in a healthy society had to be suppressed in favor of a fanatic belief in the purity of the race and the sacred mission of the Occult Messiah. Science was still expected to carry on, however, and scientists found themselves making their knowledge and method subservient to the New Religion.

This might have been a bit harder to swallow had it not been for the fact that social conditions and official policies in the rest of the world seemed to favor the Nazi programs. Eugenics policies in the United States were looked upon for confirmation of the Nazi eugenics programs; prestigious American financiers such as Henry Ford wholeheartedly supported -- with cash donations -- the Nazi Party from its infancy; the wholesale slaughter of the Native American population in the United States was a practical model for the Nazi Lebensraum program and particularly for the genocide of Jews, Gypsies, and other indigenous populations of Eastern Europe; the Catholic Church supported the Party's anti- communist crusade; and the British, after all, gave us the world's first concentration camps.

Therefore, it became obscenely easy for an armchair academic to suddenly find himself (and this was, remember, an exclusively male environment) encouraged to go into the "field" as it were and collect human skulls by examining their living owners in advance. All for the sake of scientific research, of course. The cult had made it easy to suspend normal modes of conduct; as in any cult, the cult leadership decides what is, and is not, moral. The cult leader is the sole interpreter of the sacred texts. Within the sex cults, for instance, the laws and taboos pertaining to sexual morality in society at large were abrogated in favor of the occult version; adultery was no longer a crime, as an example, and even so prestigious an occult ancestor as John Dee was known to have swapped wives (albeit reluctantly) with his assistant, Edward Kelley, on the advice of an Angelic being. [55] The Judeo-Christian injunctions against murder, fornication, and adultery were similarly suspended under the leadership of David Koresh, for instance, at his commune near Waco, Texas. In that environment, previous marriages were effectively "annulled" by Koresh, who saw it as his prerogative to sleep with the wives of the male members of the cult and even with their underage daughters. The relevant point to be made is that the cult allowed this activity; Koresh's moral universe was reinforced by the acquiescence of his followers and became the only real moral standard for the "chosen." In their view, the rest of the world crawled blindly through a swamp of spiritual ignorance, victim of conspiracies and evil, vested interests. The rest of the world was to be feared, for it could not allow such a beautiful creation as the (Branch Davidians, Temple of God, Nazi Party) to exist.

This is the famous Fuhrerprinzip (Fuhrer Principle) in action.

Perhaps, then it would be fitting to end this chapter with a quote from a song composed by some concentration camp prisoners forced to build Himmler's Grail Castle at Wewelsburg:

And the stones are hard, but our step is firm
As we carry along the picks and the spades
And in our hearts,
In our hearts the sorrow;
O Wewelsburg, I cannot forget you
Because you are my fate. ..
And whatever our future is,
Nevertheless we say "yes" to life.
Because soon a day will come
And we will be free! [56]

By 1943, some 1,285 concentration camp inmates had gained their freedom ... and were buried in the red earth of Westphalia or burned in the crematorium at Niederhagen.
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7. Lucifer's Quest for the Holy Grail

As long as I live I will think of Sabarthes, of Montsegur, of the Grail castle, and of the Grail itself that may have been the treasure of the heretics spoken of in the Records of the Inquisition. I haven't been fortunate enough, I admit, to discover it myself! [1]


Probably one of the most outlandish -- yet somehow oddly grand, strangely cosmic -- endeavors of the Third Reich in general, and of the SS in particular, was Himmler's search for the Holy Grail. This was an actual program of the SS, a program which has since been immortalized in the first and third films of Steven Spielberg's Indiana Jones trilogy. The author is not aware of the degree to which Spielberg was cognizant of actual SS operations designed to acquire such legendary treasure, but there is enough fact in the fiction to warrant serious consideration in this chapter.

In order to understand what Himmler was up to, we will have to look at the climate surrounding the Ahnenerbe and at what many readers probably think of as being a purely Christian symbol: the Holy Grail. As we do so, we will come across a fascinating individual whom history has treated rather shabbily, the young SS officer and historian, Otto Rahn (1904-1939).

It was, after all, Otto Rahn who helped popularize the notion that the Grail was not the special property of the Catholic Church (should it actually exist, and should it ever be found). For Rahn, the Grail was an emblem set up in opposition to the established Church -- indeed, was a Luciferian symbol -- and for this the Nazis were grateful; for, if Rahn's conclusion was correct, it gave them a philosophical and historical edge over organized Christianity.

The Crusade against the Grail

Rahn's first published work, Kreuzzug gegen den Graal (Crusade Against the Grail), was devoted to a study of what is sometimes referred to as the Albigensian Crusade: a war that took place between the Roman Catholic Church and a Christian cult known alternatively as the Albigensians (after the town of Albi in southern France) or the Cathars: "the Pure." The Cathars were a type of fundamentalist Christian sect that enjoyed enormous popularity in thirteenth-century Europe, even among the nobility. They were opposed to the materialism of the Catholic Church and what they perceived to be the corruption of Christ's teachings by the Church. In many of their beliefs, they were closer to the Gnostics and Manichaeans than to Roman Catholics; indeed, there is a great deal of evidence to suggest that they might have been a Manichaean survival. Regardless of their actual origins, however, they began attracting converts in large numbers, particularly in France.

Their beliefs included the doctrine that Christ was pure spirit and had never inhabited a human -- that is, a material -- form; that the dead will not be resurrected in the body, since the body was made of matter, which the Cathars viewed as Satanic; that there were two forces in the universe, one of good and the other of evil; that procreation was evil, as it increased the amount of matter in the world and trapped souls within material forms.

That death was good, and not a time for mourning; that there was no particular reason why the bodies of the dead should be revered since the bodies were the evil part of the human constitution.

Naturally, they were branded as heretics by the Church and eventually Catholic armies were sent to destroy them under order of Pope Innocent III in 1209. It was from a Catholic commander -- a Cistercian abbot, no less -- surrounding a French town composed of both Cathar and Catholic civilians (men, women, and children) that we receive the immortal line: "Kill them all. God will recognize his own."

The belief of the Cathars -- and of their close relatives, the Albigensians or Albigeois of the Languedoc region of France -- that matter was essentially impure and evil, and that only spirit was pure and good is a patently Gnostic doctrine. The belief in two gods -- one evil, the other good -- is both Gnostic and Manichaean. Hence, it has been argued that the Cathars were an extension of a Middle Eastern sect of Manichees or of Gnostics in possession of a "secret tradition" concerning the life and death of Christ and the origins of Christianity. The Cathars claimed that the Bible (particularly the Old Testament) was full of references to an Evil God -- Jehovah -- even as they insisted that the Bible was either full of errors or had been interpreted incorrectly by generations of self-serving Roman Catholic theologians. (One should remember that in 1209 the Gutenberg press had not been invented and that Bibles were in scarce supply. Those that existed were in the dead tongues of Latin and Greek, and in the possession of the Church. The average person knew very little of what was in the Bible, except for what he or she was told by a priest.)

Another Cathar peculiarity is that -- perhaps late in their tragic story -- they legitimized a form of ritual suicide, called the endura: one simply starved oneself to death, or was poisoned, or was strangled or suffocated by the brethren. They also rejected most of the sacraments of the Church as so much superstitious nonsense. In their anti-Papal stance they were close to the rather more Calvinist Waldensians with whom they have been frequently -- and erroneously -- linked.

At dinner ... he spoke of India and Indian philosophy. This led him to speak of a subject which was a hobbyhorse of his: in a lively manner he described to me the result of researches in German witchcraft trials. He said it was monstrous that thousands of witches had been burned during the Middle Ages. So much good German blood had been stupidly destroyed. From this he began an attack on the Catholic Church, and at the same time on Calvin; before I had caught up with all this he was discussing the Spanish Inquisition and the essential nature of primitive Christianity. [2]


These words from Foreign Intelligence Chief Walter Schellenberg's memoirs concerning a meeting with Himmler in the Ukraine in the summer of 1942 indicate just how interested the Reichsfuhrer-SS was in such philosophical and metaphysical questions, including early Christianity, Calvinism, the Inquisition ... even the witch trials, on all of which Himmler considered himself something of an expert.

The Cathar ideology must have appealed to him and the other Nazis in a profound way. After all, the very word "Cathar" means "pure," and purity -- particularly of the blood as the physical embodiment of spiritual "goodness" -- was an issue of prime importance to the SS. The Cathars railed against the gross materialism of the Church; the Nazis viewed themselves as inherently anti-Capitalist, even though they were forced to deal with large industrial concerns in order to obtain absolute power in Germany. (To Hitler and his followers, Capitalism was immoral and they equated it with the excesses of the Jewish financiers that -- they said -- had brought the nation to ruin during the First World War and the depression that followed.)

The Cathars, in denying the value of the Old Testament and in attacking Jehovah as a kind of Satan, naturally seemed to be in perfect agreement with Nazi ideology concerning the Jews and, as we shall see, with the current incarnation of neo-Nazi ideologues in the Christian Identity movement and in the Process Church of the Final Judgment.

Further, the Cathars were fanatics, willing to die for their cause; sacrificing themselves to the Church's onslaught they enjoyed the always enviable aura of spiritual underdogs. There was something madly beautiful in the way they were immolated on the stakes of the Inquisition, professing their faith and their hatred of Rome until the very end. The Nazis could identify with the Cathars: with their overall fanaticism, with their contempt for the way vital spiritual matters were commercialized (polluted) by the Establishment, and with their passion for "purity." It is perhaps inevitable that the Cathars should have made a sacrament out of suicide, for they must have known that their Quest was doomed to failure from the start. They must have wished for death as a release from a corrupt and insensitive world; and it's entirely possible that, at the root of Nazism, lay a similar death wish. Hitler was surrounded by the suicides of his mistresses and contemplated it himself on at least one occasion before he actually pulled the trigger in Berlin in 1945. Himmler and other captured Nazi leaders killed themselves rather than permit the Allies to do the honors for them. Haushofer committed suicide. Even Sebottendorff plunged himself into the Bosporus. Perhaps the passionate desire of concentration camp survivors to see all Nazi war criminals executed for their crimes -- even at this late date -- represents an unconscious realization that suicide (like a natural death) is too good for the monsters of the Reich; that, like the Cathars whom they admired, the Nazis saw in suicide that consolation and release from the world of Satanic matter promised by this most cynical of Cathar sacraments.

For some reason, it became popular to assume that these same Cathars were in possession of a mysterious sacred object and that, on the eve of destruction of the last major Cathar opposition at the fortress of Montsegur in southern France on March 14, 1244, some Cathars managed to escape with this object down the side of their mountain citadel (then under siege by Catholic troops). This sacred object has been identified by later generations of amateur historians as nothing less than the Holy Grail. [3]

Before the collapse of Montsegur, as some (mostly French) authors have proposed, the Grail was in the possession of the infamous Order of the Knights Templar, the Order after which von Liebenfels and Kellner named their respective cults; the same Order that was created by St. Bernard of Clairvaux, the famous abbot of the Cistercian Order. Depending on whom one reads, the Templars were believed to have discovered either the Grail or the Ark of the Covenant (or both?) during their sojourn in Palestine at the site of Solomon's Temple. Several studies have been made of the Templar cathedrals -- Chartres in particular -- to prove that the Templars left a coded message in stone revealing that they brought a sacred object of great value back with them from the East, an object whose tremendous, otherworldly power enabled them to finance, design, and build a series of magnificent churches all over France in an amazingly short period of time. Indeed, the time line is suggestive for, according to an authoritative work on the subject by Henry Adams, during the space of one hundred years (from A.D. 1170 to A.D. 1270) the Church built eighty cathedrals in France and hundreds of other "cathedral-class" churches at an estimated cost of one billion in 1905 U.S. dollars. [4]

The pseudonymous author on alchemy and architecture, Fulcanelli, contributed to this idea of a Templar secret tradition in his Le Mystere des Cathedrales, first published in 1925. It has been translated into English and forms the core of yet another mystical tradition. [5]

Just why the Cathars should then have found themselves in possession of the Grail remains something of a mystery. Certainly there is a robust literature concerning the Grail -- known as Grail Romances to the historians -- that identify it as anything from a sacred stone that fell from the sky (the lapis exilis or lapis ex coelis) to the actual cup used by Jesus at the Last Supper and which was used to catch drops of his blood during the crucifixion. Indeed, Wolfram von Eschenbach's Parzival depicts the Grail as a stone and not as a cup; the older romance by Chretien de Troyes depicts the Grail as a cup and not as a stone, and this image is perpetuated in Malory's Le Marte d'Arthur. As if to compromise on this controversy, one of the carved figures on the north door of Chartres Cathedral -- that of the Old Testament High Priest Melchisedek -- is shown holding a Cup from which the Stone rises.

And from time to time various objects have been found which their owners claimed to be the Grail but none of these have stood up to even cursory scrutiny.

Recently, the writing team of Walter Birks and R. A. Gilbert have conspired to put an end to all the speculation. [6] Birks served with the British Army in the Middle East during the war with the rank of major, prior to which he had been involved in esoteric and spiritualist circles in England; Gilbert is an historian of occultism, most notably of the Golden Dawn. Together, they denigrate the writings of Rahn as "tortuous reasoning and linguistic lunacy" [7] and the book by Baigent, Leigh, and Lincoln (Holy Blood, Holy Grail) as evidence of a "lunatic theory" supported by an "inchoate mass of irrelevancies." [8]

For Birks and Gilbert, the treasure of Montsegur "never was": it was not the Grail, not a cache of Templar gold, not the bloodline of Jesus, but "the power to transmit the apostolic succession, the seed perhaps of a higher form of Christianity to be revealed when the world is ready to receive it." [9] They base this theory on Biblical exegesis, interpretations of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the writings of Josephus and others, and on what remains of Cathar ritual and theology. Birks was present at a Cathar research site at Ussat-les-Bains in the late 1930s (although too late to have met Rahn, who also researched and lived at the site) and was friendly with one Antonin Gadal, about whom more later. Birks himself states that it was during conversation with a member of the Nosairi sect in the Middle East that he realized the Cathar treasure was not a material Grail at all, but the "Light-filled vessel": i.e., a purely metaphorical image based on the cup of sacramental wine which the Nosairi use to drink "to the Light": an emblem of the true teaching of Christianity before it became confused and bowdlerized by the Evangelists and the various Councils. This is all involved with a Nosairi tradition of the "way of the Stars," that a human soul, after death, proceeds up a ladder of lights, of stars, to heaven. Birks was satisfied with that, and the doctrine of Light provided him with a great illumination (no pun intended); but we have come full circle, for the way of the Stars and the doctrine of the Light are amply represented by the myths of the Celts, the Nordic peoples, and many others in whom Rahn discovered the scattered fragments of a lost mystical tradition, and the "Light-filled vessel" may be an entirely appropriate reference to Rahn's rediscovered doctrine of Lucifer, the Light-Bearer.

SS-Obersturmfuhrer Parzival

As mentioned, one of the most famous Grail romances is that composed by Wolfram von Eschenbach, entitled Parzival. It is this particular romance that has remained the authoritative word on the subject for many people, and which was the work that inspired Otto Rahn in his researches (and Richard Wagner in his famous opera by the same name).

Rahn was an impoverished scholar of history whose soul became inflamed by equal doses of Wagner and von Eschenbach in his youth. The beneficiary of a classical education in both literature and philology, he spent five years traveling throughout Europe in search of myths, legends, and the records of heretical cults, all of which he believed would point to the existence of a native, crypto-pagan, Gnostic-type religion in Europe. Finding mythological and philological links between such varied phenomena as the troubadours, the Grail legends, European paganism, and the heretical sect known as the Cathars, Rahn felt he had discovered evidence of an ancient German religious tradition that had been suppressed by the Church.

Identifying the pure knight Parzival as a Cathar or Cathar manque, Rahn went on to write a history of the Cathar rebellion from the point of view of Grail Romance. Although this sounds like pure Guido von List or Lanz von Liebenfels, Rahn was a scholar of somewhat greater integrity who based his work on accepted primary sources (such as the records of the Inquisition, the poems and songs of the troubadours, and the medieval Grail legends) and on his own, on-the-scene research.

He arrived in the Languedoc region of France in 1931 and there met a gentleman well-known in Grail circles, Antonin Gadal. [10] Gadal maintained a private Cathar museum at the small town of Ussat-les-Bains, a tourist attraction and spa in the Pyrenees with an allegedly Cathar connection. He also had an extensive library on the subject of the Cathars and the Grail, from which Rahn probably derived much benefit. Gadal was a member of a society called The Friends of Montsegur and the Grail, of which the noted historian Rene Nelli was vice president (it was Nelli who would translate Rahn's work into French). [11] The society -- as its name implies -- believed that a connection existed between the Cathar movement and the Grail Romances. This concept had been broached in 1906 by the popular French author Josephin Peladan in Le Secret des Troubadours. Former Golden Dawn member Arthur Edward Waite had discounted the theory that the Grail legend had anything to do with either Cathars or Albigensians in a book published three years later (The Hidden Church of the Holy Grail), but then Waite was in a state of apostasy from the Golden Dawn as he had denied their occult rituals as essentially evil and replaced them with Christian versions, forming his own rather boring occult order in the process.

In May of 1932 Rahn decided to become an innkeeper to support his researches and invested in a local establishment at Ussat. By September he was bankrupt, and disappeared from France only to reappear shortly thereafter in Germany. By then, he had accumulated quite enough information to write his own book on the subject of the Cathars and the Grail, Kreuzzug gegen den Graal, which was published in 1933 and translated into French the following year as Croisade contre le Graal (Crusade Against the Grail).

Although the book did not earn Rahn a lot of money, it eventually came to the attention of no less an admirer than Heinrich Himmler.

According to one version of the story, [12] the Reichsfuhrer-SS personally invited the author to meet him at his Prinz Albrechtstrasse headquarters in Berlin. There, he offered Rahn a commission in the SS and virtually unlimited resources for which Himmler expected Rahn to continue his research into the Grail legends, the Cathars, and related subjects of Aryan interest.

According to another version, [13] Rahn was a personal friend of volkisch "channeler" Karl Maria Wiligut -- also known as SS-Oberfuhrer Weisthor -- a gentleman who had once been certified insane but who nonetheless claimed that he had perfect recall of the entire ancient history of the Teuton peoples going back over 200,000 years, a kind of ancient racial memory upon which he could call at any time. This was, of course, a very handy ability to possess and Himmler considered himself fortunate to have access to the services of a man who could fill in those great gaps of Teutonic history that result when a master race proves rather lax in developing a written language. Wiligut's ability was, he claimed, due to the fact that his family's lineage had been kept pure at every generation down the millennia from that time in the misty past when the gods of air and water mated in humid embrace to produce the milky Wiligut bloodline. Wiligut, another of Germany's rune scholars, clairvoyants, and Teutonic mystics, held salon-type meetings at his home on arcane Aryan topics at which Himmler and the young Otto Rahn were said to be frequent guests.

Wiligut insisted that Christianity was really a German invention; that Christ was really the ancient Teutonic god Baldur, who was crucified by a schismatic group of Wotan-worshiping thugs. Baldur, however, managed to escape to the Middle East and ... and ... well, the rest is New Testament. His remaining followers in Germany built a cult center sacred to their faith at the prehistoric site of Externsteine, which was to become the subject of much discussion and excavation by the Ahnenerbe. (See Chapter Six.)

Of course, like most other occult theory, Wiligut's cross-eyed thesis is based on a number of verifiable historical traditions that can be found in a careful reading of ancient texts, in this case of the Eddas and other Scandinavian and Gothic lore that predate the Christian conversion of these peoples by hundreds (and not hundreds of thousands) of years. Baldur, for instance, was a slain and resurrected god like many other agricultural deities of many other lands. The Norse Creation story is remarkably similar to that of ancient Sumeria, with the known universe created out of the corpse of another slain god. That Christianity adopted pagan ceremonies, cult centers, holidays, and myths is by now well known; in fact, it becomes increasingly difficult to identify just what a "pure" form of Christianity would look like. However, Wiligut's problem -- and the problem of many amateur historians in his class -- is that he took the myths and legends of the ancient European peoples and blended them together with theosophical and other newly coined mystical beliefs with little or no historical basis. The commonality of motifs in these various myths from widely divergent sources may best be explained by the type of research undertaken by MIT Professor de Santillana (as mentioned in a previous chapter) and others who see in these stories a coded form of astronomical observations. The relatively new sciences of epigraphy and paleoastronomy may answer many questions previously considered the domain of occultism.

Yet, on the basis of this and related historical fantasies, Wiligut was made the head of the Department of Prehistory at the Race and Settlement Office (RuSHA) of the SS, and eventually attained the exalted rank of SS-Brigadefuhrer, or Brigadier, on Himmler's Personal Staff. It was Wiligut who designed the Schutzstaffel's special Death's Head (totenkopf) ring, a device replete with runic symbols including the inevitable swastika as well as those of Wiligut's personal armorial design. The latter detail implied that somehow Wiligut was, himself, the last and sole physical repository of glacially pure Teutonic blood; a claim that was the cornerstone of his philosophy and which gave him that unique unbroken memory which made him so valuable to those lesser mortals who could only prove their racial purity back to the year 1750 (as required of SS recruits) and whose race memory had therefore fallen victim to the ravages of ancient couplings with diseased and drooling subhumans, such as Hungarians.

It has been said that Rahn was introduced to Himmler by Wiligut himself, and that Himmler accepted the young scholar into the SS on Wiligut's personal recommendation. Wiligut then kept in constant touch with Rahn as the latter went about on his travels through France, Germany, and Iceland, hot on the very cold trail of the mysterious Cathar treasure he believed was the Grail. He communicated his findings to Wiligut periodically in letters that were to be shared with no one else but Himmler, so secret and so important were their contents. One wonders what these secrets were, for they are certainly not to be found in Rahn's second book, a work published under Nazi supervision. However, some letters from Rahn to Wiligut have survived, [14] marked "extremely confidential," dealing -- for instance -- with linguistic evidence of pagan sites concealed within modern German place names, and begging the Seer to communicate his findings with "the Reichsfuhrer-SS only." As these letters are dated as early as 1935 -- and signed with a hearty "Heil Hitler!" -- we can see that Rahn was intimate with the highest circles of the SS hierarchy by this time. Rahn's friend Paul Ladame, however, insists that when he ran into Rahn in July, 1936, on the Joachimstaler Strasse in Berlin, Rahn was resplendent in full SS uniform, bearing the flashes of the Liebstandarte Adolf Hitler and, when asked how he had come to be wearing such a thing, replied "My dear Paul, a man has to eat!" [15]

Whether or not Rahn was any kind of real Nazi, his two books do reveal, however, that he believed the Catholic Church had all but destroyed essential elements of a secret German religious tradition, a tradition whose persecution began with the Cathars in the thirteenth century and which ended, triumphantly, with the destruction of the Templar Order a hundred years later. The German tradition was not a Christian one in the generally accepted sense. Rather, it was a pagan religion whose elements were appropriated by the Church as a means of diluting it of its power: the Grail, the knightly Orders, the sacred Quest, and the eternal struggle between Light and Darkness. Except, for the Cathars as filtered through the meditations of Rahn, Light in this case was represented by -- not Jesus or Jehovah -- but by another spirit, the "Light-Bearer." To Rahn, this Entity represented the highest good. To Rahn (at least officially), the Nazi Reich in general -- and the SS in particular -- became the servitors of an ancient pagan cult whose god was known to the medieval Christians not as Jesus but as Lucifer.

Lucifer's Servants

As we saw in the preceding chapter, Himmler's personal agenda was to amass enough data -- archaeological, historical, cultural, religious, and occult -- to prove that the Aryan "race" was superior to all other races on earth and that the Germans were the inheritors of the Aryan bloodline. He also had to prove that, at some point in history, what are now the German peoples owned virtually all the real estate in Europe. This would not only seem to legitimize Hitler's Drive to the East, but might prove useful in establishing that the Germans had an historical right to do whatever they wanted with whatever inferior, mongrel races they found there.

Proving the existence of a hitherto unknown German religious tradition that predated Christianity and which was more in tune with the German Volk would go a long way toward propping up Himmler's other theories and give substance to the twin policies of Aryan racial superiority and German claim to the land. It would provide the necessary philosophical underpinning for an occult renaissance in Europe and prove stronger than the various Christian sects that had arbitrarily divided the race along ideological lines. A German spiritual tradition that transcended Christian history would provide a blood religion that could unit the racially pure peoples of Europe -- Aryans in diaspora -- and thus erase national boundaries and Christian sensitivities in one blow.

(To those readers of today who find this mission a trifle weird, might the author be permitted to remind them that no less a modern state than Israel was founded along pretty much the same lines? Jewish claims upon the territory are based upon religious scriptures, and citizenship in the State of Israel is limited to those who can prove they are Jews. One may remember the difficulty Ethiopian Jews had in emigrating to Israel. The author does not point this out in order to devalue Jewish claims upon the territory known as Palestine before 1948, but to illustrate a point: that great nations -- and national agendas -- are sometimes erected on such weak timber as a human-interpreted word of God or on the blood of the "Aryans." If it could have been proven that the so-called Aryan peoples were at one time in the distant past in control of vast amounts of European, American, and Asian real estate ... so what?)

In this dubious endeavor, Himmler had two distinct sets of ideological opponents. First of all, there were the genuine scientists who disparaged such canonical Nazi claims as Aryan racial purity and the prevalence of an Aryan cult or proto-Christian society over all of Europe and Asia in the distant past. For these, Himmler hoped to provide concrete evidence that Aryans (and, hence, Germans) had established communities in such remote locales as Minsk in Russia, northern India, and Tibet. The Deutsche Akademie and later the Ahnenerbe were both heavily involved in the archaeological work necessary to buttress this argument.

His second opponent was the established Christian Church itself. Himmler's dream was to create, out of the SS, a new religion based on the pagan elements of what he perceived to be the original, Ur-Aryan religion of ancient India and Europe. However, many Germans were devout Christians. Hitler himself realized this, and knew that he had to play politics with them for as long as the churches held power and as long as the people felt they owed spiritual allegiance to the churches and what they represented. In this he was as cynical in his dealings with the Church as he was pragmatic with the Capitalists.

Himmler, on the other hand, wanted nothing so much as the destruction -- not only of the organized Church -- but of Christianity itself. And, with the assistance of Wiligut and other like-minded individuals, Himmler drew up new ceremonies and a new liturgical calendar to thoroughly replace Christian versions. He was dealing Judaism the death blow in the camps and with his roving bands of death squads, the Einsatzgruppen, under the command of such men as Theosophist and convicted war criminal Otto Ohlendorf and the notorious Dr. Six. The Church was next on the list. How better to capture the attention and imagination of the pious than to appropriate the Grail as a purely pagan and Aryan symbol, actually restoring to the Grail its original character and identity? The Grail figured prominently in European folklore as a powerful occult symbol, and was also the basis for a Wagnerian opera that was just as powerful, just as compelling. It was assumed that Wagner, an admitted anti-Semite who provided the sound track for the Third Reich, would not have wasted his time writing a Christian or Jewish propaganda tract. Therefore, Wagner's own take on the Grail must be consistent with rest of the Aryan operatic canon that included, of course, the Ring Cycle. It was all Aryan myth and, therefore, part of a single, continuous epic story.

Rahn's thesis went a long way to establishing just that. Based on research undertaken in the Languedoc region of southern France and especially at fabled Montsegur, site of the Cathars' last stand, Rahn believed he had acquired enough evidence to repudiate any Christian claim to the Grail. The Grail of von Eschenbach and Richard Wagner was redeemed as the ultimate Aryan relic around which Himmler would build his pagan Temple. The castle at Wewelsburg, with its Round Table for himself and the members of his Inner Circle, would be the heart of a new metropolis; the chamber containing the Round Table and the crypt below it would be the precise geographical center of the new city, the Aryan Camelot, and of the New World itself. And what is King Arthur, a Round Table, and Camelot without a Grail?

Initially, Rahn did not seem to hold pro-Nazi ideas in the least. According to his friend, the French author Paul Ladame, [16] Rahn thought the Nazis faintly ridiculous. But he was starving. He could not turn down a lucrative offer of employment with Himmler, and so he eventually donned the black uniform of the SS and continued his researches better fed and more warmly (if somewhat ostentatiously) clothed.

He may not have had much of a choice in the matter, but it was a decision that nevertheless proved his downfall. As Himmler encountered more and more difficulty in finding hard evidence to prove his Aryan thesis, he became increasingly disillusioned with Rahn and his ilk. Finally, according to Ladame, he gave the frightened young scholar an ultimatum: he would finish his next book by October 31, 1936 -- the pagan festival of Samhain -- and provide it to the Nazi editors for approval. Or else.

This, Rahn managed to do. According to one source, he was then sent to Dachau for the four months of scheduled military training required of all SS men (as was Adolf Eichmann at the same camp several years earlier). That would have been sometime in the last half of 1937. [17]

He resigned his commission in the SS sometime after leaving Dachau.

Then, in 1939, at the age of thirty-five, he was dead.

The book that resulted from this relatively unknown Nazi project was entitled Luzifers Hofgesind or Lucifer's Servants, sometimes translated as Lucifer's Court. [18] It reads quite differently from Rahn's first book, which was at least sincere in its effort to portray a kind of occult underdog group of purists who held the secret of the ages in their hands if only the rest of us would pay attention. Lucifer's Servants, on the other hand, is at least partly a genuine Nazi propaganda tract and several passages make a good case for the worship of Lucifer, if one follows (and credits) Rahn's exegesis on several ancient sources including Parzival and the surviving texts of troubadors, Cathars, and even Persian mystics. Indeed, this idea of Lucifer as a benign or divine being was familiar and congenial to the "white light" Theosophists of the 1920s who, after all, entitled one of their official German publications Luzifer.

The following citations should adequately illustrate this claim (all translations by the author, all emphasis by Rahn):

It was necessary, in effect, to be faithful to God until death, "and God will give to his servant the crown of eternal life," as it is written in the Bible. Having established that, for the Church of Rome -- the sole repository of "Truth" in the eyes of its faithful -- the troubadors were members of the servants of the Devil; having also established that they were faithful to the God of Love; and finally having established that they celebrated -- as numerous examples have proved -- the marvels of the crown of Lucifer, it is permitted to believe that they had faith in the existence of a Luciferian crown of eternal life (to speak Biblically). And if we follow this thought to its logical conclusion, we will say that, for them, the God of Love was none other than Lucifer in person.

This hypothesis will become certain if we allow our thought to range more widely: the god Amor is the god of Spring, as is Apollon.... Apollon brought back the light of the Sun: he is a light-bearer, or "Lucifer." According to the Apocalypse of John, Apollyo-Apollon was equated with the Devil, and according to the belief of the Roman Church ... Lucifer is Satan. Consequently, the god of Spring Apollon-Amor is, according to the doctrine of the Church, the Devil and Satan. [19]

In a further ferverino on the subject of Lucifer, he writes in the same chapter:

There is much more [Light] than in the houses of God -- cathedrals and churches -- where Lucifer neither is able nor wishes to enter due to all the somber, stained glass windows wherein are painted the Jewish prophets and apostles, the Roman gods and saints. The forest, that, that was free! [20]

As the above two passages indicate, Rahn is using Biblical and Patristic writings to support his thesis that the Cathars and the troubadors were, in a sense, Devil worshipers ... but only so far as they worshiped pagan gods whom the Church had demonized. In an earlier chapter Rahn notes that Esclarmonde, a famous Cathar saint, "one of the noblest women of the Middle Ages" and heretic of the highest rank, believed that Jehovah -- the Old Testament God of the Jews -- was none other than Satan himself; that Christ never died on the cross and that, therefore, his suffering and death do not redeem the lives or souls of his followers. (This idea that Christ did not die on the cross is one possible reason why Templar postulants were to trample a crucifix underfoot during their initiation ceremony into the Order, and may be the reason there were no crucifixes at Chartres.) "Cursed by the Pope, detested by the King of France, she thought -- until her dying breath -- of nothing other than the religious and political independence of her country." [21] These ideas -- Jehovah the "god of the Jews" as the real Satan, inherent falsehoods in the Gospel account of Christ's life, and dying for the religious and political independence of the state -- all had a receptive audience among the scholars of the Ahnenerbe and of the SS in general, and still does among the racist and anti-Semitic Christian Identity movement today. The Cathars had represented a pure form of Christianity that denied even large portions of the Bible, and they were a political threat to the established Church; certainly, Himmler could approve of this point of view married, as it was, to the idea of a pagan Grail and of the Cathars as "guardians of the Grail." Characterizing Jehovah as an evil demon tallied nicely with the mass destruction of his followers in the camps, and made the extermination of the race of Jehovah an even greater spiritual necessity. Now they were no longer simply members of an inferior race that conspired to rob good Germans of their money, their pride, and their birthright; they were also the children of Satan.

Further, and perhaps even more importantly, as the Old Testament Jews were worshipers of Satan, then Christ could not possibly have been Jewish. Strip away the Jewish content of the New Testament and -- relying on the Biblical "revisionist" scholarship of generations of genuine German academics who cast doubt on the validity of the Gospels themselves -- you are well on your way to accepting Wiligut's thesis that Christ was Baldur, and a Teutonic Sun God!

The "Crusade against the Grail" -- subject and title of Rahn's first book -- was that undertaken by the Catholic Church during its vicious assault on Catharism, in which hundreds of thousands were brutally murdered. To Rahn, the Church was the Enemy both during the time of the Cathars in the thirteenth century and right up to the present day. Worse, it was the enemy of all that was pure, and noble, and good in the world, ideals represented by the Grail: centerpiece of Parzival, of Wagner's operas, of the Morte d'Arthur, and the entire Camelot mystique. The idea of the virgin knight, on a mystic quest throughout Europe for the Sacred Cup, must have appealed enormously to the young, virtually penniless scholar. Himmler referred to his SS men as the knights of a new Order, and one must wonder if Rahn felt -- in his heart of hearts -- somehow at home in his elegant black uniform with the silver runes, a new Teutonic Knight on the same sacred quest for the Grail. In his introduction to the French translation of Luzifers Hofgesind (La Cour de Lucifer), Paul Ladame insists that Rahn joined the SS because there was no option: Himmler offered him a salary, perks, and the freedom to conduct his own academic research unhindered. To refuse would have seemed like madness, and perhaps would have resulted in Rahn's eventual imprisonment anyway.

Other scholarship on the question provides a somewhat different perspective. Evidence from the Nazi side depicts Rahn as an enthusiastic Grail scholar, an admirer of WiIigut (a man who claimed that the Bible was a German creation; a man whom anyone in his or her right mind must have known was a lunatic), and an eager member of the SS.

At first glance this is consistent with Rahn's introduction to Lucifer's Servants, which ends with the proud and defiant claim "My ancestors were pagans. My forebears were heretics." [22] Yet, there is a mystery surrounding Rahn's sudden and unexplained resignation from the SS, a resignation that took place a little over a year after his leave from military service at Dachau.

He resigned his commission in February 1939.

He died less than a month later, on March 13 of that same year, supposedly from exposure while hiking in the mountains. This, from a seasoned traveler, and a trained survivalist (as all SS men were), at an altitude of less than 2,000 meters a week before spring! As Ladame puts it, "to die of cold the 13th of March at less than 2,000 meters, one needs a lot of patience, a strong will ... and time ... perhaps one or two weeks." [23]

Thus Ladame disputes the dating, insisting that his friend died in 1937, shortly after finishing Lucifer's Servants. [24] Ladame claims that Rahn was no Nazi, and no racist. He insists that the Nazi elements in Lucifer's Servants were not of Rahn's making or, if they were, they were inserted at the command or instigation of the SS. And, not surprisingly, Ladame implies that Rahn was murdered; executed by his former colleagues for reason, or reasons, unknown.

Unfortunately, there is some documentary evidence that Otto Rahn was alive and well at least as late as January 1938, when he gave a lecture -- based on Luzifers Hofgesind -- to the Dietrich Eckart Society at Dietrich Eckart House in Dortmund, in Westphalia ... a lecture that was reported upon in the local newspaper. From the tone of the review, Rahn was in fine form that evening:

The Albigensians were exterminated. 205 leading followers of Lucifer were burnt on a huge pyre by Dominicans in the South of France after a large-scale priestly Crusade in the name of Christian clemency. With fire and sword, the Lucifer doctrine of the Light-Bearer was persecuted along with its followers. The Albigensians are dead, but their spirit lives on and has an effect today through new devotion and rejuvenated enthusiasm. The Vicar of Christ could truly burn men; but he was mistaken if he believed that he burned along with them their spirit, devotion and longing. This spirit became alive again before many men yesterday, powerfully and visibly, in Otto Rahn, a descendant of the old Troubadours. [25]

Could someone as intelligent as Rahn's published writings indicate he was, a scholar for whom medieval legend and lore came alive only through careful research and study, have willingly taken up with a character like Wiligut, who claimed that the Teutonic tribes had a verifiable history going back to the year 228,000 B.C.... when the Earth had an embarrassment of three suns? As much as one may wish to argue with the thesis of Crusade against the Grail or Lucifer's Servants, there is nothing of the raving mystagogue about Rahn. One likes to think that his period of obligatory military service at Dachau opened his eyes to the horror of the Reich, and that -- in a final, doomed but proud gesture of dignity -- he resigned his commission in the SS in outrage and disgust at the atrocities he may have witnessed at the death camp associated with the SS base there; and was then murdered for his insubordination a month later.

Then, too, the fact that both Wiligut and Rahn retired from the SS at the same time -- in the same month -- is suggestive of some collusion between the two mythologians: the one elderly and quite insane, the other young and quite intelligent. Rahn's exploits and the mystery surrounding his resignation and subsequent death have received a great deal of attention in European circles over the years, although they are little known in America. His unusual life story has led to considerable speculation that Rahn actually did discover something in his travels, and that since he seemed to confide in Wiligut they both had to be gotten out of the way to protect the secret. That, in fact, they "knew too much." Wiligut was kept under SS lock and key for some time until the end of the war, and died in 1946; he was eighty years old and, with his background of mental illness, hardly a serious threat to the Reichsfuhrer-SS. Rahn, on the other hand, was a bit more of a liability and -- so the theory goes -- he had to be killed.

Either that, or Himmler decided to can them both at the same time when reports of Wiligut's earlier hospitalization for mental illness became common knowledge within the SS. But why would news of Wiligut's infirmity have jeopardized Rahn's career?

There is an intriguing note in the definitive study of Wewelsburg by Prof. Dr. Karl Huser [26] to the effect that Rahn was kicked out of the SS because of his homosexuality. Himmler had a rabid dislike of homosexuals, and through the auspices of Nazi psychiatrists at the Goring Institute tried to have several SS men "cured" of this "malady." [27] Many homosexuals, of course, wound up in concentration camps themselves. Although that was probably not an option with an SS man as relatively well known as Rahn, he was possibly looking at some sort of reprisal in the future, either professionally or in some other way. Unfortunately, we shall never know.

One final possibility -- though there is no evidence to support it -- is that Rahn himself was the first of the SS men to take refuge in that sad Cathar rite, allowed only to the privileged few, the Perfect; that, in the mountain snows above Kufstein, and on the anniversary of the destruction of Montsegur, the miserable scholar exchanged the secret of the long-sought-after Grail for that other treasure of the Cathars: the consolation of a noble death.

Holy Blood, Holy Grail

If the Cathars and troubadors -- heirs of a Gnostic tradition in Europe, possibly brought over from the Middle East from whence the Templars had brought their own mysterious rites -- were crypto-pagans as Rahn believed, and if the set piece of their mythology was the Holy Grail, then it follows that the Grail is not a Christian symbol at all but a purely pagan one. And if the Grail is a pagan ikon, then the Nazis -- overt pagans as they were -- saw in the Grail a sacred instrument of divine power that they could use for their own ends. As the inheritors of the pagan traditions in Europe (at least in their own eyes) the Grail belonged to them. After all, were they not the spiritual descendants of the Teutonic Knights, a chivalric Order that pressed Germany on in a Drive to the East centuries before Hider's invasion of Russia? Were they not the people of the Runes? The people of the Pure Blood?

Messrs. Baigent, Leigh, and Lincoln might have been more correct than they realized when they entitled their famous book Holy Blood, Holy Grail. For them, the Grail was in reality the bloodline of Jesus Christ, preserved down through the millennia and safeguarded by yet another secret society, the Priory of Zion, which the authors link to an underground tradition of Freemasonry and Templarism spanning the centuries and which finds its modern manifestation in the Knights of Malta, Italy's P-2, and other such groups.

Part of the problem lies in the term "holy grail," and in the word "grail" itself. Messrs. Baigent et. al. consider that the term sangreal as found in Le Morte d'Arthur and other Grail Romances is really composed of two words: sang and real, that is, blood and royal. (The term sangreal is usually interpreted to mean san greal, "holy grail.") It is an attractive theory and to an extent linguistically satisfying since no two authorities can agree on where the term "grail" comes from and what it means. By denying that such a word really has any meaning at all -- that it is merely the result of misunderstanding the syllable break in sangreal -- we have neatly solved the problem of the Holy Grail by revealing its true nature as Royal Blood. After all, the Grail makes its appearance to Parzival alongside a lance that is dripping blood onto the floor. This scene is presented wordlessly, without comment, as if in a dream. Was the intention of the author to communicate the fact that sangreal really does indicate "royal blood"? This would have pleased the Nazis enormously if the story had been current at the time, for the Nazis were nothing if not Blood enthusiasts after the Foucault model introduced in Chapter One, and -- if they could have somehow linked the concept of "royal blood" with a Teutonic Christ and the Aryan race -- they would have had the basis for a new religious synthesis that could have brought together all acceptable Christians and pure-blooded Aryans in one, big, happy (if rather inbred) family.

By claiming the Grail as their own the Nazis rob Christianity of a huge chunk of its popular mythology. The chalice a Catholic priest raises during the Mass becomes a pagan cauldron; the mystery of the Blood of Christ becomes a hollow echo of pagan sacrifice. Appropriation of the Grail symbolism then becomes an assault on Christian faith itself; at least, on the popular faith of the lumpenproletariat of Europe, from the Pyrenees to the Alps to the Caucasus.

That the Grail was originally a pagan symbol is today virtually beyond debate; that it was appropriated by romantic elements within the Christian world (as was much pagan iconography) is certain. However, had Himmler succeeded in producing an actual "Grail" during the war, the effect on the Christian populations of Europe might have been traumatic. Depending on the spin, it would have signaled either the divine mission of the Nazi Party as true inheritors of the ultimate representation of occult power ... or the need for a holy war against the black-clad SS, the satanic monsters who had "stolen" God's sacred Cup from the righteous.

As it is, history records no such discovery of the Grail by the Nazis, or by anyone else. Birks and Gilbert claim that there is no evidence that Nazi hierarchs had any interest at all in the Cathars or in Montsegur. [28] Yet, Himmler had enlisted the talents of a young Grail scholar in a search for the perfect centerpiece for his secret cult headquarters at Wewelsburg, and put his favorite prehistorian, SS-Brigadier Karl Wiligut, in charge of the project. Whether Cathar or Templar, sacred stone or golden cup, finding the Holy Grail was certainly a dream of Himmler's; his Wewelsburg center was beyond any doubt a reverent shrine to the legend of the Round Table. If he eventually gave up on the search, one imagines he did so only with the greatest reluctance.

A final word on Montsegur -- this time by Sabine Baring-Gould, an author who wrote extensively on history and travel at the turn of the century -- is in order, for it shows how Rahn's feelings were shared by a great many people on both sides of the Channel:

The treasures of the Albigenses ... have never been recovered; but the true treasure, for which they fought and for which they died, the emancipation of the human soul from the fetters of slavery in which it had been bound by Rome, has been won by nearly all Europe. [29]
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8. The Psychics Search: For Mussolini, the Bismarck, Assassins, and the Human Mind

Most of what the Ahnenerbe undertook had very little application in the real world other than for propaganda purposes. If they could prove -- through their archaeological researches -- that the "Aryans" had conquered everything east of the Rhine to the Chinese border, it would have at least justified (in their own minds) their military aggression against most of the world. If they could prove "Aryan" racial superiority through their anthropological experiments at Dachau, that would justify (again, to their own minds) their extermination of the "subhumans." And, if they could come away from the savage medical experimentation in the camps with a coherent scientific study of the effects of various drugs, of freezing and rapid thawing, etc. on humans, then they could justify to themselves the unbelievable sadism of their doctors, such as Sigmund Rascher.

Occasionally, Hitler had to receive verification from his colleagues that the expense of such organizations as the Ahnenerbe-SS was justified. Himmler was under a great deal of pressure to show positive results. After all, he was spending a lot of money on his SS fantasies, including the fabulous shrine at Wewelsburg, which seemed to have no identifiable military purpose. Of course, he was also raising his Waffen-SS as a worthy competitor of the Wehrmacht (the regular German Army) and indeed these elite troops were distinguishing themselves in combat as well-trained, well-motivated, death-defying fanatics. But such competition gave rise to jealousy and suspicion on the part of the old- time generals who had fought Germany's battles with distinction in previous conflicts. And, when the Ahnenerbe's archaeological digs began coming up empty, Himmler was hard- pressed to demonstrate actual value in other areas.

In September 1943 he had his chance.

The Pendulum Solution

When Hitler received word of the imprisonment of Mussolini by the Fascist Council on orders of the king on July 25, 1943, he was understandably distraught. On a personal level, although his political platform did not agree completely with Italian fascism, Hitler still saw Il Duce as something of a spiritual mentor. More importantly, Mussolini was an ally. He had been replaced by Marshal Pietro Badoglio, who at that moment was negotiating with the Allies for Italy's surrender. Only two weeks earlier, Allied forces composed of both British and American units had landed in Sicily and were meeting with less-than- enthusiastic resistance from Italian troops. This crisis caused the implosion at the emergency meeting of the Fascist Grand Council (which had not even met since 1939), resulting in a demand for the restoration of the monarchy under King Victor Emmanuel III; in essence requiring Mussolini's resignation as leader of the armed forces. This was enough to alarm the Fuhrer, but in early September Allied forces had crossed from Sicily onto mainland Italy ... and Badoglio rushed to sign an armistice with the Western powers. Italy -- bereft of Mussolini's leadership -- had been handed over to the Allies. Germany had been betrayed.

No matter what, Mussolini had to be rescued and Fascism once more restored to its rightful place in Rome.

But there was a problem. No one knew where Mussolini was being held.

According to Walter Schellenberg, head of the Foreign Intelligence Division (AMT VI) of the RSHA (Reichsicherheitshauptamt or Reich's Main Security Office) in his published memoirs, [1] he had no idea where Mussolini had been taken after his arrest by the Carabinieri. The RSHA was an organization created by the notorious Reinhard Heydrich in September 1939 to combine the various secret police agencies (the Gestapo, the SIPO, and the Sicherheitsdienst des RFSS or SD) into a single, monolithic police organization under Himmler's control.

According to Schellenberg, Hitler had given orders to find and rescue Mussolini as early as the beginning of August. However, Schellenberg was at a loss as to where Il Duce was being held. And he was already in hot water with the Fuhrer for suggesting that Hitler withdraw German troops to a position on the wrong side of the Po River to aid Badoglio in his efforts to "neutralize" Italy. Hitler considered such reasoning defeatist, and wanted Schellenberg arrested and thrown into prison (at best) or executed for treason (at worst).

Himmler (who prized Schellenberg's abilities very highly and who would come to rely upon him extensively in the last days of the war) managed to run interference, and promised Hitler instead that his intelligence service would find Mussolini. Thus, both Himmler and Schellenberg were extremely motivated in their search for Mussolini, and were willing to try anything.

Schellenberg, though, "had not the faintest inkling of where he was." To go on in his words:

Therefore, Himmler summoned some of the practitioners of the "occult sciences" arrested after the flight of Hess to Great Britain, and had them closeted in a Wannsee country house. These quacks were given orders to find out the whereabouts of Mussolini. [2]

The "quacks" were quite expensive, demanding the very best in food, wine, and cigars, all of which were paid for by Schellenberg's department. Imagine the scene for a moment, and savor it if you will: people who had been arrested and thrown into the death camps in 1941 were now, in 1943, summoned to the aid of the Reichsfuhrer-SS, Heinrich Himmler himself, on a mission of great importance to the Reich. A hairbreadth away from being sent back to the camps if they failed and possibly being tortured and killed as the very "quacks" Schellenberg said they were, they instead settled in quite comfortably and ordered the best of everything: like prisoners on death row requesting their last meal. It was either a mark of incredible audacity or an indication as to how far gone these individuals were that they were able to maintain their composure under these terrifying circumstances and go so far as to make the Foreign Intelligence Service foot a hefty entertainment bill for their "services." And a hefty bill it must have been, for it has been the author's experience from direct observation that occultists in general have tremendous appetites.

For a while it must have been touch-and-go at the country house, and the anxiety levels of both SS officers and psychics alike must have risen to previously unrecorded heights. After all, finding Mussolini was a top priority of the Fuhrer himself. He was counting on the Italian leader's help in forming a new Fascist government and holding the line in Italy against the inexorable Allied advance. Moreover, there was danger on other fronts -- notably in the Balkans -- of the Italian Army simply surrendering en masse and leaving vast territories to the like of Marshal Tito of Yugoslavia. Thus, finding Mussolini was no sideshow.

And the outlook for locating Il Duce using psychic powers didn't seem too optimistic at first. Even Himmler must have doubted the wisdom of employing his former prisoners in this ultrasensitive intelligence mission.

Nevertheless, a "Master of the Sidereal Pendulum" succeeded at last in locating Mussolini on an island west of Naples. To do this seer justice, it must be recorded that at the time Mussolini had no apparent contact with the outside world. It was, in fact, the island of Ponza to which he had been transferred at first. [3]

In other words, the "Master of the Sidereal Pendulum" had successfully located the most famous Italian prisoner of the twentieth century ... and with no more than a decent meal, a few drinks, a good smoke, and a pendulum swinging over a map of Italy.

It will be remembered that one of Hitler's closest friends was the "Master of the Sidereal Pendulum" Dr. Gutberlet. Whether or not it was this same "Master" who worked on the Mussolini problem is not revealed. Yet, Schellenberg's use of the same phrase to describe both men is provocative, if only coincidental.

At the same time, astrologer Wilhelm Wulff was summoned to the office of Arthur Nebe, the head of the Kriminalpolizei and an SS-Obergruppenfuhrer who was also charged with finding Mussolini. According to Wulff's own account, [4] he drew up a Hindu astrological chart and pinpointed Mussolini's location on the same island of Ponza, which had been identified by the "Master of the Sidereal Pendulum." Wulff's success with this and other projects for Nebe led to the Gestapo releasing all of his previously confiscated books and most of his papers, [5] and marked the beginning of his short career as Nazi astrologer working directly for Nebe, Schellenberg, and, eventually, Himmler.

As for Mussolini, he was later taken to a hotel on the top of the Gran Sasso (in the Abruzzi), where he was spectacularly rescued by German commandos and glider pilots under the command of Austrian-born Luftwaffe officer Otto Skorzeny. Skorzeny will figure later in our account in a somewhat more sinister context, but for now let us examine the pendulum swingers a while longer.

The Naval Research Institute

Schellenberg's psychics were not the first pendulum specialists to be employed in an intelligence capacity by the Reich. Earlier, a mysterious department of the German Navy used just such a technique in an effort to locate Allied warships in the Atlantic Ocean.

The best account we have of this agency -- referred to rather cryptically by some authors as the Naval Research Institute -- is from Wulff's memoir, Zodiac and Swastika, [6] in which he reports that he was recommended as a scientific research assistant by his friend, Dr. Wilhelm Hartmann, a Nuremberg astrologer and director of the astronomical observatory there in 1929, [7] who was obviously in the good graces of the Nazi regime. Wulff at this time had been recently released from Fuhlsbuttel prison and had been working for a pharmaceutical company.

He had never heard of the institute to which he was now assigned in Berlin, and learned to his astonishment that the navy was engaged in paranormal research of the most extreme variety:

All intellectual, natural, and supernatural sources of power -- from modern technology to medieval black magic, and from the teachings of Pythagoras to the Faustian pentagram incantation -- were to be exploited in the interests of final victory. [8]

The man in charge of the top-secret institute was Captain Hans A. Roeder of the German Navy. His "crew" on this astral voyage was composed of specialists in every field from astronomy and astrology to ballistics and spiritualism. The top priority of this motley accumulation of psychics and scientists was the location of enemy ships.

Before the days of satellites and AWACS, there was no reliable method for determining the location of enemy convoys beyond actually seeing them (by which time it was usually too late to do anything about it). Radar and sonar were good only for quite limited ranges. If a system could be developed that would pinpoint the location of battleships, destroyers, cruisers, and supply vessels hundreds if not thousands of nautical miles away, then absolute dominion over the sea could be virtually assured. U-boats could be sent directly to the spot on the map where the enemy convoys had been located and the offending vessels sunk without wandering about for weeks in the open sea looking for targets of opportunity, wasting precious time and fuel.

The navy came up with the idea of using pendulum experts after an experience with an elderly architect by the name of Ludwig Straniak, whose home was in Salzburg. Straniak -- a master builder who was also an occultist and author of at least one book on the subject, The Eighth Force of Nature -- claimed the ability to locate anything with his pendulum, and said that if he were shown a photograph of a ship, he could locate it on a map. The navy decided to give him a try, and Straniak was shown photographs of two of Germany's proudest vessels: the Bismarck and the Prinz Eugen. Naturally, these were ships whose precise location would have been considered a top military secret for the "unsinkable" Bismarck especially was the pride and hope of the whole country. A juggernaut of armed nautical might, the Bismarck was the flagship of the new German Navy put to sea in 1941. Its destruction had become an obsession of the British Admiralty. They would play hide- and-seek with it for weeks in a desperate attempt to sink it once and for all.

Straniak studied the photos of both ships, and then held a small device on a string over a map. A pendulum in this instance can be virtually any small object -- like a crystal, a metal weight, a glass bauble, even a paper clip or a nail -- tied to a string and allowed to dangle over a map or a chart of numbers and letters (much like a planchette on a Ouija board). Subtle forces are believed to move the pendulum in various directions depending on the question being asked or the information sought. In this case, the pendulum was suspended over a map of the world's oceans and Straniak would slowly pass it back and forth until either the pendulum began to move on its own accord or until Straniak felt a stirring -- a weight slightly in excess of the normal force of gravity and possibly pulling in a different direction -- and then the position of the pendulum over the precise coordinates of the map would be noted at that time.

Astonishingly, Straniak did what the British Navy could not. He identified the exact location of both ships.

One can easily imagine the consternation of Naval Intelligence officers when it was learned that a man with a string and a weight could sit in a Berlin office building and locate their most prized warship without benefit of advanced electronics or a network of spies. And it meant that the British, too, might possibly have someone like Straniak working for them, pinpointing the exact location of their ships and transmitting that information to the submarine fleet. Indeed, the huge losses suffered by the German Navy due to the success of the British Admiralty in locating their ships and V-boats led many to assume an "occult" explanation. (They would not realize until the end of the war that the Brits had cracked the German code system.)

Straniak's success actually irritated some people in Berlin, who -- perhaps suspecting some sort of hoax or weird series of multiple coincidences -- demanded that Straniak be tested thoroughly to determine the extent of his gift. In one of these tests, a piece of metal was placed on a sheet of paper for a few seconds and then removed. Straniak was then brought into the room and asked to identify the spot on the paper where the small metal object had rested.

The results were consistent. Straniak could identify the precise spot, even when he was not allowed into the room to see the actual sheet of paper used but had to use the same size paper in a different room.

Straniak's odd ability was evidence that there exists in nature a force that science has yet to recognize. As usual, this aggravates scientists. So, men of science were summoned to Berlin to devise even more strenuous tests for Straniak and the pressure on the old man became too much. Straniak began to fail these tests miserably, and then to fall ill. It would be awhile -- until the 1943 search for Mussolini -- before the pendulum swingers could cover themselves in glory again.

Zen and the Art of Memory

At about this time, astrologer Wilhelm Wulff was brought to Berlin, but on a rather different mission. Wulff's other speciality -- beyond Hindu astrology and his own preferred vocation, sculpture-was Asian religion and mysticism, including Hinduism and Buddhism. According to Wulff the Japanese had just captured Hong Kong, and in the process demonstrated to the world their suicidal fanaticism. This would have been in late December 1941 ... that is, only six months or so after the Hess flight to Great Britain and the roundup of astrologers and occultists that took place, but Wulff puts his internship at the Institute at March 1942, six months after his release from prison. [9]

The Japanese troops had thrown themselves bodily into the attack on well-fortified positions in Hong Kong, anticipating the much-vaunted "human wave" tactic of the Chinese Communists. Japanese soldiers would block the firing apertures of pillboxes and other fortifications with their own bodies. They would rush, screaming, into strongly held positions and fall by the thousands and still not give up the charge. Clearly, the Wehrmacht could use a few divisions of men like that and it was Wulff's job -- as a specialist in Asian religion and mysticism -- to come up with a proposal on how best to instill such a complete and utter disregard for one's own safety into the common German soldier. [10]

Sadly, we do not have any more information at our disposal on these proposals. We don't know if Wulff completed them, or if the Wehrmacht eventually made use of them if he did. One thing is certain, of course, and that is that the first SS divisions put into actual combat were models of just this type of "complete and utter disregard" for their own safety. They rushed into extremely dangerous situations and came out victorious. The Wehrmacht had to grudgingly admit their prowess and courage.

The incident at the Naval Research Institute concerning Asian psychological techniques modified for German purposes takes us into another realm of psychic warfare, one that has persisted to this day. As in World War II, the impetus for developing a means of psychologically conditioning combat troops began with a threat from the East. Five years after the end of the war, another one broke out in Korea. This time, American soldiers were returning home from brief periods of captivity in Korea and Manchuria having undergone complete personality changes. The term "brainwashing" became the watchword of a generation of military men, intelligence officers, novelists, and filmmakers, who saw a whole world of terror and unseen saboteurs in the idea of men who could control human behavior -- Svengali-like -- from afar. As usual, the credit for the invention of this technique was given to unknown masters in the mysterious East.

But brainwashing was more than simply a method for turning liberty-loving American troops into diehard Communists; it comprised the entire field of behavior modification, including the implanting of false memories and the retrieval of true ones. It also concerned the programming of the perfect assassin: one who would kill without regard for his personal safety ... and then forget who had programmed him to kill, and why. [11]

To these sinister ends an entire menu of devices and theories were employed, from hypnosis to hallucinogens. And the first to experiment with drugs as a means of altering human behavior were the Nazis.

As revealed by statements in Wolfram Sievers's diaries and by other records and Nuremberg testimony concerning medical experimentation at Dachau, [12] the Ahnenerbe was actively involved in a program of experimentation on unwitting prisoners with the use of mescaline. Under SS-Sturmbanfuhrer Dr. Kurt Plotner and an inmate-assistant, Walter Neff, [13] drinks given to concentration camp prisoners were spiked with mescaline and the prisoners observed for signs of altered human behavior.

This experimentation continued right up to the end of the war. An entry in Sievers's official Ahnenerbe diary for February 1945 shows that discussions were being held with SS- Hauptsturmflihrer August Hirt concerning the use of both mescaline and canabinol by the Soviets, and this being coordinated with RSHA Amt VI, in other words, with Schellenberg's own Foreign Intelligence Section. The actual entry reads:

14. Drugs for various purposes / for coordination with RSHA, Amt VI, SS-Stubaf. Lassig reference Hirt in connection Soviets employment Caucasian rue (Steppenraute?) with Mescaline (synthetic manufacture) and Canabinol. [14]

It is doubtful that either the Soviets or the Nazis were experimenting or using mescaline for purely medicinal purposes. Hirt, of course, was one of those involved -- with Bruno Beger, Oswald Pohl, and Rudolf Brandt -- in "anthropological research" carried out at Auschwitz, in which the skulls of POWs and concentration camp inmates were measured in order to develop a standard against which various grades of human and subhuman skull structure could be compared. Sievers's diary for 1943 is full of references to this work being carried out under Ahnenerbe jurisdiction at Auschwitz.

Also being studied -- and this, by the notorious Dr. Rascher -- was the possible application of Hennyon root extract as a cure for cancer. [15] Rascher also developed his own styptic formula, [16] and one may well wonder just how this particular type of research -- the development of an agent to stop bleeding under battlefield conditions -- was carried out. One can be forgiven for doubting that the notorious sadist Rascher (whose thirst for other people's pain was exceeded only by that of his wife) used self-inflicted wounds as test samples. In fact, as Nuremberg testimony would eventually reveal, living prisoners were shot at close range to simulate battlefield conditions and the styptic formula then applied to see if it would work.

During this same time, the OSS would not consider falling behind its enemies in mind- control research. A "truth drug" committee under the direction of Dr. Winfred Overholser at St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Washington, D.C.:

... tried and rejected mescaline, several barbiturates, and scopolamine. Then, during the spring of 1943, the committee decided that cannabis indica -- or marijuana -- showed the most promise, and it started a testing program in cooperation with the Manhattan Project ... [17]

These are the words of John Marks, who went a long way toward exposing the origins of CIA mind-control research in the bloody laboratories of Dachau in his book The Search for the "Manchurian Candidate." And, lest we rest comfortably in the assumption that our people were not as ruthless as the Nazis, Marks goes on to record that:

Wherever their extreme experiments went, the CIA sponsors picked for subjects their own equivalents of the Nazis' Jews and gypsies: mental patients, prostitutes, foreigners, drug addicts, and prisoners, often from minority groups. [18]

After the liberation of Dachau, US investigating teams read through the Ahnenerbe and Luftwaffe files on the concentration camp experiments, looking for anything that might be useful in a military application. Marks goes on to note that "None of the German mind- control research was ever made public." [19] Other than the hints of it we can discover in Sievers's diary and similar memoranda, that pretty much remains the situation today. A glimpse, however, into the techniques employed by the Nazis might be had from a look at the famous 1939 attempt on the Fuhrer's life by a possibly psychotic individual named Elser who planted a bomb in a wooden pillar which went off just a few minutes too late to do the world any good.

The Beer Cellar Bombing

Himmler himself was not unaware of the progress of the mind experiments and took an avid interest in their outcome. At the time of the attempt on Hider's life known as the Beer Cellar Explosion of November 8, 1939, Himmler ordered the suspect -- the Swabian engineer Georg Elser -- subjected to injections of a "truth serum" called pervitin and, eventually, interrogations by four hypnotists. [20] Thus, even as early as November 1939, Himmler's Black Order was aggressively employing drugs and hypnosis in intelligence matters.

Hitler had just finished giving his usual November 8 speech in honor of the failed Beer Hall Putsch of 1923 and had left the building when a bomb went off right where the Fuhrer had been standing. Oddly enough, Hitler had finished his speech a few minutes early as if he were aware of the threat. Anyone familiar with Hitler's speaking knew that he rarely, if ever, cut a speech short. In this instance, his change of habit saved his life -- just another instance of his famous intuition at work.

A suspect -- Georg Elser -- was picked up and the interrogations began. Historians still disagree as to whom Elser was working for, if anyone. Nazis on the scene, such as Walter Schellenberg, tended toward the view that Elser was a psychotic who worked alone and who had planned the assassination attempt for a year before carrying it out. Others were not so sure, and Hitler was determined to show that he had been the intended victim of a conspiracy.

The bombing had the effect of making everyone paranoid. Many Nazi officials agreed with Hitler and feared that Elser had not acted alone in the attempt, but had been conspiring with either a Communist cell, an Allied hit team, or even with an internal cabal of anti- Hitler Nazis. Himmler was certain that two British officers, Best and Stevens -- recently arrested by Schellenberg -- were Elser's handlers even though Schellenberg knew it wasn't possible. Arthur Nebe, the Nazis' chief Criminal Investigator, had to endure Himmler's other fear that a left-wing Nazi such as Otto Strasser might have been responsible. Himmler -- in need of confirmation from some source if his own Criminal Investigation people could come up with nothing more substantial than a "crazed, lone assassin" -- even went so far as to enlist the aid of a trance medium to scour the aether looking for signs that the dreaded Strasser was to blame.

A further side effect of the Elser bombing was the prediction -- by the brilliant if eccentric Swiss astrologer Karl Ernst Krafft (1900-1945) -- of an attempt on the Fuhrer's life that very day. Krafft had tried to warn the Nazis of the possibility, bur his report was filed and forgotten.

Krafft's contact within the RSHA (the Reich Security Service) was Dr. Heinrich Fesel (1890-1958), an amateur astrologer and yet another student of Sanskrit, who had been recruited by Schellenberg. Fesel worked for AMT VII of the RSHA, the "Ideological Research" Division that handled occultism, Freemasonry, and cults. From 1941-1945, this division had been under the leadership of one Dr. Franz Alfred Six, [21] a scholarly SS- Brigadefuhrer who earlier became prominent as the leader of the Vorkommando Moskau: a death squad that roamed occupied Russia, murdering hundreds of civilians, dissidents, and Jews in 1941. Six joined the SD in April of 1935 when he was only twenty-six years old; in 1939 he became head of AMT II of the RSHA. A year later, Heydrich named him his future representative in Great Britain after the hypothetically successful Nazi invasion of the British Isles. In other words, Dr. Six would have been largely responsible for a program of "ethnic cleansing" in England had the Nazis managed to invade and occupy that country.

Prior to his involvement with the SS, Six had been the dean of the faculty of the University of Berlin, and a professor of law and political science; "one of the most distinguished professors of his generation." [22] He joined the Nazi Party in 1930, long before Hitler came to power.

Dr. Six served about four years of a twenty-year sentence for war crimes after the war before returning to work for the "Special Forces" section of the Gehlen Organization (the spy cabal of ex-Nazis used by the American CIA for anti-Soviet intelligence work) together with longtime Rosenberg friend Dr. Michael Achmeteli and Dr. Emil Augsburg, a Standartenfuhrer with Adolf Eichmann's notorious S-4 department in charge of the "Jewish problem." It is said that Himmler created the bizarre occult research division of the RSHA- MT VII -- specifically for Six, so pleased as he was by Six's enthusiasm for hunting down the enemies of the Reich in Russia during the summer of 1941 at Smolensk. [23]

In 1961, Six was still at large and this time working as an agent for the Porsche automobile company.

Six's former subordinate, Adolf Eichmann, standing trial for war crimes in Israel, had worked for Daimler-Benz, Porsche's competitor. Six -- one of the most eager murderers of Jews in the Reich -- very kindly showed up in Jerusalem as Eichmann's defense witness.

(As of this writing the scholarly and satanic Dr. Six is still at large and will probably never serve more than those four years in prison long ago for the war crimes he committed with such enthusiasm.)

When the attempt on Hitler had actually taken place, Krafft began pestering the Nazis and calling their attention to his prediction. This was a mortal error, for eventually Krafft ended his days as a guest of the SS and would die in a concentration camp. He was one of many astrologers who came under official suspicion after the flight of Rudolf Hess to Scotland. and wound up arrested and packed off to the camps, even though in Krafft's case he had previously been on Fesel's payroll at AMT VII of the RSHA.

The "affaire Krafft" has been described in great detail by occult historian Ellic Howe in Urania's Children, [24] but the salient points should be briefly mentioned here as an indication of the extent to which the Reich used occultists, astrologers, clairvoyants, etc. in a climate of total war.

Although Krafft's peculiar character made him a difficult person to work with, his brilliance seemed to make him, at times, indispensable. He is typical of that type of genius for whom no science has yet been invented; i.e., imagine Einstein having been born in an age when mathematics was virtually unknown. Or Mozart, a child prodigy in music, born to a family of cavemen. That Krafft was a genius is probably without doubt; that he was forced to find an outlet for his genius in such areas as astrology is probably more an indication that whatever Krafft was born for had not yet been invented than evidence that Krafft was somehow congenitally neurotic or paranoid, or intellectually impaired.

A few months after his prediction about the Hitler assassination attempt came true, Krafft was hired by the SS -- supposedly under contract to Dr. Goebbe1s, the Nazi propaganda chief -- to compose a translation of Nostradamus's famous prophetic quatrains in such a way that the medieval French seer would seem to be predicting a Nazi victory in the Second World War.

This was obviously to be used in a propaganda effort against the Allies, and at first the task was undertaken with gusto. After a while, though, Krafft experienced pangs of conscience at distorting the message of the ancient astrologer and struggled to make his version an acceptable vision of the original. It should be mentioned that Krafft was an enthusiastic Nazi and sincerely believed that Nostradamus had predicted the Second World War and various German victories.

Eventually, in December of 1940, Krafft's version of the Nostradamus prophecies was published in a limited edition of 299 copies, but it was not enough to save him from the camps. On June 12, 1941 -- a month after the flight of Hess -- he was arrested by AMT IV of the RSHA: the notorious Gestapo. This time, even his highly placed friends in the Party -- including the Nazi Governor-General of Poland, Hans Frank -- could not help him. Frank himself had attended the meeting with Hitler and Bormann in which it was decided to blame the flight of Hess on the astrologers.

Karl Ernst Krafft -- the astrologer who accurately predicted the Beer Cellar Bombing -- joined that other famous Hitler seer, Hanussen, in a bitter, undeserved fate, for he died on the way to Buchenwald from Oranienberg concentration camp on January 8, 1945.
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9. Cult Counterstrike

It might be assumed from the preceding chapters that the cultic elements of the Second World War were all on the side of the Nazis. This was not the case, as we will attempt to show in this chapter. Several rather famous officers of the British intelligence services were involved in a campaign to anticipate or even counteract the activities of the German cults and their grim reincarnations in the Ahnenerbe-SS, Goebbels's Propaganda Ministry Department AMO (Astrology, Metapsychology, Occultism), the Naval Research Institute, and AMT VII of the SD.

This does not imply that the Allies were taking occultism seriously. They did recognize, however, that the Nazis were taking it seriously and for a while it was incumbent upon British Intelligence to discover as much as they could about the various occult sciences adopted by the Nazis in general and the SS in particular. Once they realized that Himmler was listening to his astrologers, they knew that a few good astrologers working for the British could tell them what Himmler's astrologers were telling him.

That there is a certain level of internal consistency in astrology was taken for granted; that is, a Sun-Mars square affecting the first and fourth houses of someone's natal chart -- an event that could be identified by simply referring to an ephemeris and a table of houses, astrological tools which are pretty much identical no matter what country one is working in -- could be interpreted similarly by both the British astrologers and the Germans; or, at the very least, a British astrologer familiar with the methods employed by his German counterpart would be able to predict with reasonable success what the German astrologer was telling Hitler, Hess, or Himmler. The fact that such planets were in alignment at all was something of which every astrologer anywhere would be aware, and could thus be used in such a way by a capable propagandist to insinuate the success or failure of a military enterprise.

And when the Nazis banned the German occult lodges, they provided the Allies with a useful tool to use against them. The occult lodges had an underground network throughout Europe -- replete with coded phrases, secret hand signals, and the like -- that could be exploited by the intelligence agencies and it was to this end that secret agents like future novelists Dennis Wheatley and Ian Fleming toyed with the idea of using Aleister Crowley's connections in Germany (and among the secret societies of Europe and America) against the Third Reich.

Crowley Redux

The British War Office had a long memory.

During the Great War it was well known that Aleister Crowley had written pro-German propaganda from a safe berth in New York City. Crowley's protestations that he was really working on behalf of Allied Intelligence interests -- from the British Secret Service to the American Justice Department -- seemed to have fallen on deaf ears back in Great Britain, where Crowley was officially characterized as a "small time traitor" by the former British naval attache in Washington, Sir Guy Gaunt. However, Crowley's services to MI5 during the period between the wars proved reliable enough, and there is some evidence that he might actually have been telling the truth about his World War I experience in New York. According to at least one researcher, [1] the Americans admitted that Crowley actually was working as their intelligence agent while editing The Fatherland and The International, just as Crowley himself had always insisted. Whatever one cared to believe about Crowley's loyalty and motives, however, by 1941 the situation had changed dramatically.

Hess had been seduced into flying to Great Britain in what was probably one of the greatest intelligence coups of the war thus far (a coup that was badly bungled by the British when it actually occurred, for they did not make the political hay out of it that they could have). But who actually did the seducing? Nazi astrologers who advised Hess in all sincerity to undertake his doomed "peace mission"? A German resistance movement, of which Karl and Albrecht Haushofer were members, feeding Hess false information concerning their connections with sympathetic British nobility?

Or was it another cabal entirely?

While the whole story of the Hess flight may never be known, there is enough evidence to suggest that the occult circle around Hess might have been infiltrated by astrologers working for MI5.

And that's where Aleister Crowley comes in, as one of MI5's oddest -- but potentially most useful -- secret agents.

In the first place, most of Crowley's cronies on the Continent were being rounded up and sent to the camps. All the occult lodges were banned, from the Golden Dawn to the Masonic Societies to the OTO, and this was especially true after the Hess affair. Ceremonial magicians with outrageous titles of astral eminence were being shoved unceremoniously into Esterwegen and Dachau. Crowley's many German mistresses had probably wound up in similar circumstances (those who had not committed suicide or found themselves in mental asylums beforehand), either as social misfits, "useless eaters" (a term that covered every variety of the physically and mentally handicapped), or simply as guilty by association with Baphomet himself.

But the leadership of the Third Reich was replete with deranged mystics, even after the lodges had been shut and the camps swollen with the presence of Freemasons, Thelemites, Theosophists, Odd Fellows, and Swedenborgians. Some occultists were actually being freed to work for the Nazi cause (as described in the previous chapter). And, interestingly enough, Crowley's old partner-in-propaganda, George Viereck, was still operating his pro- German apparatus in New York City, this time with a decidedly Nazi agenda. Viereck had actually grown somewhat well-to-do on the constant flow of funds coming his way from Party sources in Germany, funds that were paying for his adroit hand at propaganda and disinformation.

Was there a chance that Crowley's connections and knowledge of the occult scene -- particularly in Germany, but also in the United States -- could be used in a constructive way to aid the Allied cause?

The Devil Rides Out

Dennis Wheatley is the well-known author of dozens of novels as well as a few nonfiction books. It is said that even Hermann Goring was a Wheatley fan, and a Nazi spy in London once communicated to Berlin that Wheatley would make an excellent Gauleiter for northwest London after a Nazi invasion! [2] In the United States he is perhaps best known for his occult novels of which three -- The Devil Rides Out, To the Devil a Daughter, and The Satanist -- stand out as more "hardcore" than the others. These books introduced modern ceremonial magic to Wheatley's audience and combined elements of Thelema -- Crowley's cult -- with those of some Eastern religious practices and the more staid Golden Dawn rituals and Theosophical beliefs in a hodgepodge of cultures that proved nonetheless exciting to that portion of the market that thrills to tales of Satan worship and secret, worldwide societies that mix sexual initiations with military adventurism (an "Allied" version of the Nazi Bolshevik-Jew-Freemason conspiracy theory). Needless to say, the Thelemites and Satanists both come out looking pretty much the same: lewd black magicians with terrible body odor who live in fear of arousing the displeasure of Lucifuge Rofocale, the British Foreign Office, or some other Demon.

Oddly enough, Wheatley is one of the very few occult novelists who actually met the Beast himself. According to his own account -- published in The Devil and All His Works - - he found Crowley a wonderful conversationalist and had him to dinner several times. [3] In another place in the same book -- a nonfiction summary of occult practices and beliefs with an emphasis on the seamier side -- he mentions casually that he worked with Churchill's own Joint Planning Staff during the war in a basement under Whitehall. [4] What he neglects to mention (for fear of arousing the wrath of Lucifuge Rofocale? or of being prosecuted under the Official Secrets Act?) is that, laboring in an intelligence capacity along with that "other" spook novelist, Ian Fleming, he actually once considered using the services of Aleister Crowley around the time of the Hess flight.

This was not so strange as it might seem. In the first place, of course, it was well known that Hess was mystically inclined and deeply involved with astrology. The German resistance movement knew that the Haushofers had secretly turned against the Fuhrer, and that the Haushofers were also -- if only peripherally -- involved in occult practices; indeed, it was an open secret that Albrecht Haushofer was something of an astrologer himself, or at any rate an educated layman. [5] Who better to debrief Hess the Egyptian-born mystic than another mystic, one with strong ties to the German occult movement: Aleister Crowley himself?

Further, it was probably no secret at all to American and British intelligence officials that deep within the United States' own rocket program -- and thus engaged in a highly classified race against the Nazi scientists at Peenemunde -- lurked another Thelemite and member of Crowley's OTO, the brilliant engineer Jack Parsons.

Parsons was involved in rocket fuel research, principally of the "solid-fuel" variety, and therefore his work was vital to the war effort and to the subsequent space program. A charter member of Cal-Tech and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Parsons is probably the only known occultist -- and certainly the only Thelemite -- who has a crater on the Moon (dark side) named after him.

Although this is not the space to go into the Parsons story in detail, some information is necessary to show the extent to which Crowley's organization was involved in magick and the war effort on the side of the Allies and on both sides of the Atlantic.

In 1939, Jack Parsons became involved with Crowley's OTO through the Agape Lodge of California, then being run by one W. T. Smith, who had been a Thelemite since 1915 via the Vancouver Lodge under Charles Stansfeld Jones ("Frater Parzival"), an accountant and a very early member of the OTO from the first days of Crowley's rulership of the Order's English-speaking world community. In 1942 -- a significant year as we shall see -- Crowley removed Smith from leadership of the Agape Lodge and installed Parsons as its chief.

The Agape Lodge was run from Parsons's home in Pasadena, where rituals were held daily and from where Parsons would collect membership dues, etc. and forward them to Karl Germer on the East Coast, who would send them on to Crowley in London. In other words, this OTO Lodge was being run more or less openly during the war by a man -- magickal name "Frater 210" -- simultaneously involved in critical work for the war effort, under the spiritual guidance of a former concentration camp inmate who corresponded regularly with a man accused of being a former German spy, now living in London!

Parsons joined the Guggenheim Aeronautical Laboratory, California Institute of Technology (GALCIT) in 1936, working for FrankJ. Malina and Theodore von Karman at Pasadena on various problems related to rocket propellants. [6] Once America entered World War II, the need for discovering a reliable solid propellant became crucial, particularly if the Navy was to develop JATO (Jet Assisted Take-Off) aircraft.

Try as they might, the GALCIT people could not come up with a workable formula. The fuels they developed had a tendency to deteriorate after only a few days, making them impossible to transport and store aboard ship. All the different types of black powder fuels were tested and scrapped.

Finally, it was Jack Parsons who came up with the solution that enabled America to enter the rocket-propelled aircraft race. In 1942 -- the year he became head of the Agape Lodge and moved its headquarters into his home -- he decided to abandon the black powder concept altogether and came up with a solution that could only have come from someone with a working knowledge of the arcane lore of alchemy and magic: Greek fire. [7]

To this day, no one really knows how he intuited the switch from black powder to asphalt and potassium perchlorate. But it worked, and was GALCIT's first breakthrough of the war. The solid propellant designed and formulated by Jack Parsons became widely used by the US Navy in 1944 and 1945 with great success. [8]

Parsons himself, however, became the subject of what might have been a Federal investigation into his occult activities during the war. In April 1945 -- the month the war ended in Europe -- he became involved with one "Frater H," who proved a disastrous companion for Frater 210. Claiming he was working either for Naval Intelligence or the FBI or even, oddly, LAPD -- depending on the source you believe, if any -- Frater H succeeded in virtually destroying Parsons's life and his grip on reality. Performing various rituals of sex-magick and angelic invocations with Frater H, Parsons believed he had contacted some of the same higher powers with which Crowley had conversed in Cairo in 1904; he even went so far as to communicate these beliefs to the Great Beast himself, without going into details, pledged as he was to a pact of secrecy with these alien beings. Crowley rightly assumed that Parsons was being made a victim of some sort of confidence trick just as the mysterious Frater H was absconding with money from a joint account he held with Parsons and wound up actually marrying Parsons's girlfriend.

By 1948, Parsons had declared himself the Antichrist. By 1952, Parsons -- now known as "Belarion Armiluss Al Dajjal Antichrist" -- would drop a vial of fulminate of mercury at his home laboratory and with the resulting explosion one of the more brilliant [?] -- if terribly sad -- figures in contemporary occultism would be dead at the age of thirty-eight. Upon hearing of her son's death, his mother committed suicide the same day.

"Frater H" -- the man who was most responsible for leading Parsons into madness by (among other things) stealing his money and his girlfriend -- was none other than science fiction author and Scientology creator L. Ron Hubbard.

In addition to people like Parsons in America, Crowley's contacts throughout Europe were numerous and they involved a wide range of people from society-type spiritualists who dabbled in ritual magic to coffeehouse intellectuals and artists of various persuasions to the lowest rungs of civilization. His utility to MI5 during his Berlin days, when he spied on German Communists, was not forgotten. Further, he had been cultivated by Dennis Wheatley, who found the occult fascinating and who eventually -- according to Anthony Masters -- became a low-level initiate in what must have been one of Crowley's own magickal lodges, the A...A... or the OTO. [9] The ostensible reason for this was to study magic under the Master, so that he could lend an air of verisimilitude to his occult novels. Anyone interested in seeing how much Wheatley absorbed merely has to pick up any of the three abovementioned books and study them carefully. The reader will find Crowley's A...A... degree structure used and many of the incantations and rituals (in appropriately abridged forms) shamelessly exploited for dramatic effect.

Crowley was introduced to Wheatley by the journalist Tom Driberg, who would later become a Labour MP and who for years served as an MI5 spy inside the Communist Party of Great Britain. [10] (Driberg, referred to as "Z" in Wheatley's book, joined the Communists and dutifully reported back to MI5 until being discovered by British spymaster and Soviet mole Anthony Blunt, who had him kicked out of the Party.) While Wheatley admits he found Crowley fascinating, he did not feel the Great Beast merited the degree of awe and fear that his followers and detractors, respectively, accorded him. It was Driberg who was quick to point out that Crowley did, indeed, possess marvelous occult powers but, alas, that the ritual in Paris had all but killed him.

This story -- which became one of Wheatley's favorite tales and which is repeated in several of his books -- has Crowley invoking the Great God Pan in the upstairs room of a hotel on the Left Bank along with the assistance of his "son," the pseudonymous MacAleister. Evidently the ritual (like the proverbial surgical operation) was a success, but the assistant died. Crowley himself -- according to this tale -- spent four months in a mental asylum after being found completely naked and curled up in fetal position in a corner, gibbering. Needless to say, this story does not appear in any of the official biographies of Crowley but it's a great story, nevertheless.

(It should be pointed out that John Symonds -- whose biography of Crowley, The Great Beast, was published in 1951 -- refers to Mr. Driberg's loan of Crowley's diaries on his acknowledgments page without giving us a clue as to how Mr. Driberg -- Wheatley's "Z," Member of Parliament, and British secret agent-managed to be in possession of them in the first place, so soon after Crowley's death in 1947. [11] Was the story about the Paris evocation of Pan contained within those very pages?)

Wheatley -- who was friendly with many of the twentieth century's most famous occultists, including the reincarnationist Joan Grant and the author Rollo Ahmed (whom he may have once tried to recruit into MI5) [12] -- also had an abiding interest in crime and detection. It was in this connection that he happened to meet one of the most famous names in the history of British intelligence, Maxwell Knight.

Knight was the prototype for Ian Fleming's character, "M": the Intelligence chief whom we always see in the movies giving Sean Connery or Roger Moore his dangerous, "license to kill" assignment. What is not generally known is that "M" was also introduced to Aleister Crowley -- by Dennis Wheatley -- and was actually quite friendly with the Magus.

Wheatley had met Knight at a party and the two hit it off right away. Knight wanted to get a book published, and Wheatley helped him to publicize it. What they eventually realized is that they also shared an interest in the occult.

Wheatley invited Knight to dinner at his home when he knew Crowley would be there, and the three of them became quite friendly. Wheatley and Knight approached Crowley on the subject of magick (Crowley's version, spelled with a "k" to distinguish it from both legerdemain and from other, lesser, forms of magic), and Crowley agreed to take them on as students. This has got to be one of the most startling, if amusing, situations imaginable; for here is Maxwell Knight -- "M" after all -- accepting a kind of occult initiation from Aleister Crowley and becoming his pupil! [13] Himmler was obsessed by the idea that British Intelligence was being run by the Rosicrucian Order and that occult adepts were in charge of MI5 (a view still held today by such political eccentrics as Lyndon LaRouche). How would he have reacted had he known that the formidable Maxwell Knight, head of Department B5(b), the countersubversion section of MI5, was a disciple of Aleister Crowley himself? And that Dennis Wheatley -- he of the occult novels favored by Goring -- was also a student of Crowley's and simultaneously working for Churchill's Joint Planning Staff?

Oh, how the black candles would have burned that night!

Particularly if Himmler had also been told that yet another British secret agent -- this time James Bond novelist Ian Fleming of the Department of Naval Intelligence -- was plotting to bring Reichsleiter Rudolf Hess to England on an occult pretext involving ... Aleister Crowley.

As this story is told in several places by respected historians of the British Secret Service, [14] and thus has the seal of authenticity, it is worth repeating here for the benefit of those not normally involved in such research.

It is generally agreed among the various sources that the outlandish idea of capturing Rudolf Hess -- a man largely viewed as Hitler's second-in-command at the time -- began with Ian Fleming. Fleming, who had been a banker before the war, wound up at the Department of Naval Intelligence in what was essentially a desk job. Hungering for more dramatic employment and realizing he would not get it at DNI, he turned instead to Knight, who had a reputation for being something of a maverick (and who had, more importantly, a direct line to Churchill through yet another mutual friend of Wheatley and Knight, Desmond Morton). Basically, the idea was this:

There had been a rather subversive organization in Great Britain known as The Link. The Link was ostensibly an Anglo-German "cultural society" once under the auspices of a Sir Barry Domville, who had also once been Director of Naval Intelligence from 1927 to 1930, but who had since been interned because of his pro-Nazi sentiments and connections. The Link had been under Knight's surveillance in the 1930s and then dissolved when enough evidence was found implicating it in espionage activities and the like.

Fleming -- whiling away his time behind a desk at DNI -- had been reading the files on Domville and an idea occurred to him.

He thought that if the Nazis could be made to believe that The Link was still in existence, they could use it as bait for the Nazi leadership. The point was to convince the Nazis that The Link had influence sufficient to overthrow the Churchill government and thereby to install a more pliable British government, one which would gladly negotiate a separate peace with Hitler.

But whom among the Nazi leadership was naive enough to fall for the story?

Rudolf Hess had always been something of an Anglophile and it was known through intelligence sources -- probably by way of the Haushofers and their Resistance circle -- that he was anxious for peace with England so that Germany could concentrate on defeating Russia, the "real enemy." Hess also had a reputation for being something of a gullible sort who surrounded himself with mystics and stargazers.

It was but a short leap from there to realizing that Knight's friend and occult mentor, Aleister Crowley, would be quite useful in such a context. Also, it is possible that Fleming -- poring through the DNI files as he was -- had come across Sir Guy Gaunt's World War I records on Crowley. Gaunt, it will be remembered, was Britain's naval attache in Washington during that war, and therefore DNI's man in America. He also ran an effective espionage campaign in the States that kept an eye on pro-German activities, and was even running agents inside the Austrian Embassy. Gaunt had succeeded in arranging the capture of an important German saboteur -- Captain Franz Rintelen von Kleist, who was responsible for several explosions at US arms factories -- and eventually retired to Tangier with the rank of admiral. When Crowley's hostile biographer, John Symonds, wrote to Gaunt concerning Crowley, it was Gaunt who agreed with Symonds that Crowley was just a "small time traitor." [15] Gaunt had kept Crowley and The Fatherland on his list of usual suspects, and had discussed him with A. J. Balfour (the Foreign Secretary) and Basil Thomson (the Secret Service's liaison at Special Branch, Scotland Yard) advising them both not to worry about the Great Beast, that Gaunt had everything under control. [16] Unfortunately, owing to the Official Secrets Act and the strange, twilight landscape of the secret services, we shall probably never know Gaunt's real take on Crowley.

Fleming and Knight pondered the problem for a while. Crowley's personality was such that the two spies were unsure how far they could control him in the field. Even more importantly, Crowley's intelligence contacts were probably well known to the Germans since his early Berlin days spying on Communists for the British; thus, Crowley's cover was probably already "blown" in spook parlance, although the well-publicized raid on OTO headquarters in London in reprisal for Crowley's ostensibly pro-German activities during World War I might have been used to convince the Nazis that Crowley was really their man.

However, they turned to astrology. Via a Swiss astrologer known to Fleming, astrological advice was passed on to Hess (again, via the Haushofers and by Dr. Ernst Schulte- Strathaus, an astrological adviser and occultist on Hess's staff since 1935) advocating a peace mission to England; further, the Duke of Hamilton was persuaded to let it be known that he would entertain a visit from Hess for just that purpose. May 10, 1941, was selected as the appropriate date since an unusual conjunction of six planets in Taurus (that had the soothsayers humming for months previous) would take place at that time. [17] The aspect would signal important and long-lasting developments in the mundane world. It was a most auspicious time for an undertaking of global ramifications, and this was precisely the day Hess chose to fly, solo, to Great Britain to meet with the Duke of Hamilton to discuss a peace treaty between England and Germany that would allow the Nazis free rein on the Continent and particularly against the Soviet Union. (It is for this reason that the Soviets steadfastly refused to allow Hess to leave Spandau Prison after the Nuremberg Tribunals; Hess's mission -- had it been successful -- would have permitted the destruction of the Soviet Union and the probable massacre of most of its population by the SS.)

Indeed, to Hitler both the astrologers and the Haushofers were guilty of some kind of conspiracy. In what was eventually known as the Aktion Hess, the astrologers were rounded up and sent to the camps while Albrecht Haushofer was picked up for questioning by the Gestapo.

The rest, as they say, is history. On that day, coincidentally the date of the last major air raid on Great Britain, Hess made the flight, landed in Scotland, and was promptly arrested. Oddly, however, the British government did not make the use they could have of this outstanding intelligence coup and Hess languished in prison. Fleming tried to obtain permission for Crowley to debrief Hess in order to develop intelligence on the occult scene in the Third Reich and particularly among the Nazi leadership, but suddenly the "secret chiefs" turned cold toward the idea. [18] For reasons which were never made clear -- and which probably had more to do with internal British politics and the danger of exposing a genuine pro-German cabal of traitors high up in the British government -- Hess was treated as a pariah almost from the moment he landed and a chance to learn once and for all about the genuine extent of an Occult Reich was lost forever. The idea that Hess had been lured to Scotland by British Intelligence -- and possibly with the help of the American OSS -- was suspected by many in Germany. When Hess's Messerschmidt was inspected by aeronautical engineers, for example, they found numerous examples of American-made parts, including the tires and the gas tank, which gave rise to rumors that the Allies had been more than cooperative in the effort to ensure the Reichsleiter made it safely to Scotland. [19] What is more mysterious is why, once Hess had arrived safe and sound on British soil, he was then totally ignored and the incident shrugged off as the act of a madman, much to Hitler's relief as it was identical to the way he was handling it in Germany. What could have been a major propaganda coup against the Nazis went utterly wasted, as if by tacit agreement on both sides.

Crowley's efforts to help the British war effort did not end with Hess, however, for he plied MI5 with all sorts of plans for occult propaganda. According to published sources, these were not implemented. Yet, there was one cult countermeasure that smacks of Crowley's fine Thelemic hand. In a way, it had been recommended by Crowley, but its execution was left to another section of British intelligence led by Sefton Delmer of the Political Warfare Executive.

Astrological Warfare

Crowley felt that profit could be gained by dropping occult pamphlets from planes onto the German countryside. [20] While the exact nature of these proposed pamphlets has never been revealed, it seems safe to say that they would have at least contained predictions about the outcome of the war and descriptions of the Nazi leadership as "satanic," etc., and perhaps even details of the occult practices -- both real and invented -- of the Nazi elite. While that idea was rejected, a similar one was eventually developed on both sides of the Channel.

While the Swiss astrologer Krafft was working up his faked Nostradamus predictions (as described in Chapter Eight), there was yet another astrologer working for the spooks, this time for the Department of Psychological Warfare in London. Holding the rank of captain in the British Army, Hungarian-born Louis de Wohl made much of his connections with Nazi astrologers and managed to convince the Secret Service that he could be of inestimable value to the war effort. [21]

This was to be exploited in two ways. In the first place, de Wohl could inform British Intelligence of what the Nazi astrologers were telling Hitler, Himmler, and the rest of the leadership. In other words -- since he was familiar with the methods employed by those astrologers closest to the halls of power in Berlin -- he would know when Hitler was being advised to attack or retreat, negotiate or fight, declare war or sue for peace.

In the second place, he could be counted on to provide falsified astrological information that would be disseminated among the German astrological community, causing them to counsel peaceful negotiations and to advise the Nazis of the impossibility of winning the war.

To this end, a forged version of the popular German astrological magazine, Zenit, was produced by de Wohl and his collaborators -- among them the noted occult historian and wartime spook Ellic Howe -- and dropped behind enemy lines. Virtually identical to the original Zenit (down to the classified ads), it nonetheless contained subtle Allied propaganda in the form of astrological advice.

It would be the annoyingly helpful Wilhelm Wulff who would be handed a copy of the magazine and who would identify it as a clever British forgery to Schellenberg, all the while marveling at its authentic appearance. Crates of it had been intercepted on the way into Germany from Sweden, and the publisher's name had been given as the famous Dr. Korsch, an astrologer who had died in the camps years earlier. Thus, while it would not have fooled the Nazis themselves, it might have succeeded in alarming the general population, which was starved for astrological advice anyway. As it is, we shall never know the extent to which the forged Zenit could have been useful for, as mentioned, crates of it were seized by the Gestapo before they could be distributed. But another occult operation of the British intelligence services did work admirably well.

An OBE for an OBE?

The intelligence operative known by her code-name, Anne, probably never received the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for her amazing work for the Secret Service during World War II, but she certainly deserved it for she performed one of the most amazing feats of intelligence gathering of that or any war. She penetrated to the heart of the Reichswehr in Berlin, copied classified documents, and reported on secret conversations between military leaders ... and all without leaving her armchair in London. She did it by utilizing her special gift of astral travel, what New Agers today refer to as "Out of Body Experience" or ... OBE.

This charming and intriguing story is given in only one place the author is aware of, a book entitled Women in Espionage by a former Czechoslovak government official whose book on Rudolf Hess -- Hess: The Man and His Mission -- appears in many World War II bibliographies. The official's name is J. Bernard Hutton, and he claims to have tracked down and met the mysterious "Anne" ... who unfortunately remained loyal to the Service (and to the Official Secrets Act) and would not divulge any details of her exploits on behalf of MI5. However, he was able to determine that "Anne" had one day appeared at the office of an "Intelligence chief" with a sealed letter of recommendation from one of his friends. I like to think this "chief" was Maxwell Knight, whose tolerance for the occult was no secret, but that is pure speculation on my part.

No matter. "Anne" -- a former ambulance driver whose poor health had forced her to retire -- professed to be able to obtain information on Nazi military intentions by "mind- traveling": that is, she would lean back in a chair, close her eyes, and "travel" to the place desired and eavesdrop on what was being said. She could even read documents and -- with her photographic memory and command of the German language (the result of some student years spent in Berlin and Zurich) -- relay their contents completely and accurately upon her "return."

Anne was tested several times by the Service, and found to be quite reliable. She was then "sent" on various intelligence assignments to Germany and parts unrecorded, successfully bringing back the war-critical data as required. Mr. Hutton reports that Anne's information was treated with respect and that "British political and military strategy was influenced and helped by Anne's reports." [22]

Compared to the trance medium employed by Himmler to uncover the conspiracy behind the Beer Hall explosion, Anne wins by a landslide. One wonders if any Nazi psychics were ever aware of Anne's spiritual form wafting through the halls of the Reichswehr, the Reichstag, or perhaps even the bedrooms at Hitler's Berchtesgaden retreat, recording everything she saw with her ethereal -- yet lethally photographic -- second sight?

The Yonkers Connection

Lest the reader come away with the suspicion that the cult counterstrike was strictly a British affair, the author hastens to point out one particularly interesting American contribution, in the person of Samuel Untermyer.

Sam Untermyer was reportedly a member of the Golden Dawn in New York City, [23] and was well known in local legal and political circles as something of a philanthropist as well as a formidable attorney. According to investigative journalist Maury Terry, a British newspaper called Untermyer a "satanist." [24] To the British press, of course, this could have meant anything from Theosophist to cannibal. Considering Untermyer's accomplishments and sentiments, however, the author tends to agree that, if anything, he truly was a member of the Golden Dawn.

In 1903, he purchased the former estate of Samuel Tilden in Yonkers. Tilden was famous for his unsuccessful bid for the presidency against Rutherford B. Hayes in 1876. This property -- known as "Greystone" -- became a public park after Untermyer's death in 1940, and it would be here at Untermyer Park (within walking distance of David Berkowitz's Yonkers apartment) that the Son of Sam cult would have its earliest meetings -- and where it sacrificed dogs to Satan -- thirty-seven years later.

But Untermyer was also well-known for his persistent anti-Nazi crusade in New York, a crusade which began in 1933 with Hitler's accession to power in Germany and which did not end until Untermyer's death in March 1940. [25] Untermyer was tireless in promoting a boycott of German products under the aegis of his "Non-Sectarian Anti-Nazi League to Champion Human Rights" and the "World Anti-Nazi Council." The World Anti-Nazi Council was a truly global organization, with representation in Asia, Africa, and South America as well as in Europe. Untermyer even financed a touring exhibit of Nazism across the United States in the mid-1930s. More than that, however, he also threw his considerable resources behind the hunt for Nazi agents who were pouring into the country from freighters and steamship lines at New York's west-side piers. As evidence in various Congressional investigations at the time had shown, Untermyer's was a name the Third Reich had learned to fear. In May 1935 Sam Untermyer enlisted the aid of a volunteer investigator, Richard Rollins, in a campaign of counterespionage against the various Nazi and Fascist gangs who were openly and aggressively recruiting in the United States at that time, primarily under the leadership of Fritz Kuhn, the notorious head of the German- American Bund, who was on the payroll of the Third Reich and who had marched in Berlin at the head of a Bund column during the Olympics. Rollins was named chief investigator for a secret society, referred to only as "the Board" and under the leadership of Untermyer, composed of individuals and organizations whose identities have never been revealed.

Rollins went on to great success against the Bund, the Silver Shirts, the Black Legion, and the Klan, among others, always with the discreet but powerful force of Samuel Untermyer and "the Board" behind him. How this old Golden Dawn initiate and tireless anti-Nazi crusader would have felt about his beloved Greystone estate being used for Satan worship is left up to the reader's imagination.

In Rollins's published memoir of his anti-Nazi escapades -- I Find Treason -- we discover a bizarre account of the fascist Black Legion initiation ritual, whose oath is revealing, indeed:

In the name of God and the Devil, [it begins] and by the power of light and darkness, Good and Evil, here under the Black arch of heaven's answering symbol, I pledge and consecrate my body, my limbs, my heart and my mind and swear by all the powers of Heaven and Hell that I will devote my life ... [26]

The oath goes on to include a Masonic-type injunction that, should the initiate break his oath, he will be torn to pieces, scattered over the earth, and so forth, and ends with "In the name of God and the Devil, Amen." What interests us here, however, is the invocation of both God and the Devil: a peculiarity that will crop up again in the neo-Nazi Process Church of the Final Judgment, a group that (as we shall see in Chapter Thirteen) has been implicated in several of the twentieth century's most ghastly crimes.

Thus, as we have been at pains to prove, the cult war was not entirely one-sided. The stories about Louis de Wohl, Aleister Crowley, Jack Parsons, Dennis Wheatley, Ian Fleming, Rudolf Hess, Ellic Howe, Maxwell Knight, and the mysterious Anne all demonstrate that British Intelligence took the occult aspects of the conflict very seriously and -- like their Nazi counterparts -- exploited whatever it could, no matter how bizarre or "unscientific," to ensure final victory and the survival of its people. Everyone reading this book already knows who won that conflict; but perhaps they are not aware of the occult ramifications of the final Gotterdammerung and of its legacy to a new generation of cultists and Nazis.
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America? You must be mad! ... Oh, a witches' sabbath is on the way! Pity we can't be there in the midst of it. Do you suppose ... that there is any more solid a world over there, across the big ditch, than among us here?


10. Walpurgisnacht, 1945

I'm positive there's going to be the maddest of Witches' Sabbaths. The Americans have all those characteristics of ours which up to now have made us the disturbers of the world. But they have a country with almost inexhaustible resources.... Over there radicalism can sweep away literally into infinity. Up to now America has still remained an old-world country, only reupholstered a bit. The real world has still to come into existence. Depend upon it, it will come. [1]


Hitler came to power in Germany on a day sacred to the pagan calendar, and would die by his own hand on another sacred day. As there are only eight days of major pagan importance -- called Sabbaths in modern parlance -- the odds against this must be pretty high.

For those interested in such coincidences -- perhaps what Swiss psychologist (and sometime Nazi admirer) Carl Jung would have called "synchronicity"- -- submit the following in addition to the November 9 coincidences mentioned in Chapter Four:

APRIL 30, 1919. The seven Thulists are murdered by the Red Army in Munich.

APRIL 30, 1945. Adolf Hitler commits suicide in Berlin as the Red Army advances on the city.


APRIL 30, 1975. Saigon falls to the North Vietnamese Communists.

Thus April 30 had grim associations for not only was it the famous Witches' Sabbath of German folklore but the day on which the seven Thulists -- the Ur-Nazis -- were murdered by the Reds. While it provided the spark that ignited the popular revolt against the Bavarian Soviet, it also served to oust Baron Sebottendorff from the Thule Society and thus to rob the cult of its most charismatic and powerful leader. If we were to take only the above three dates as a guide, we might be forgiven for thinking that April 30 -- the Witches' Sabbath -- is an auspicious day for Communism as well, and that their celebration of May Day is perhaps but another indication that, on some level, they realize this. But what about the Witches' Sabbath that Gauleiter Koch speaks about in the quotation above? Is America -- North and South America -- ripe for conflagration?

We have focused on the Nazi Party as a cult, and the Third Reich as a government of dark initiates. Black magicians, if you will. This is not a traditional perspective on German history, but the author believes it is vitally important that we come to terms with this aspect of the Third Reich if we are to understand its current manifestations around the world. From the Skinheads of Germany and America to Colonia Dignidad in Chile and from the underground SS organization in South America, Asia, and Africa, to the domestic racial violence of the United States, this phenomenon is not comprehensible in purely economic, political, or social terms but as a virtual religious movement with its ikons, its litanies, its satanic rituals. Its bloody sacrifices. But didn't the Nazi cult effectively die in Berlin on April 30, 1945 with Hitler's suicide?

Of course not; if nothing else, his death can be seen as a martyrdom to the Luciferian cause he represented and is, even now, being viewed that way by those of his followers who keep the black candle of their unholy faith brightly lit.

The Final Days

Since the disastrous defeat of German forces at Stalingrad in 1943, Hitler's much-vaunted powers of intuition began to fade, and fade quickly. This was something that was noticed by many of his associates, and remarked upon in their memoirs. [2] Stalingrad seemed to rob the Occult Messiah of his strength, and he began to withdraw more and more from his inner circle of friends and acquaintances. He grew even more short-tempered than usual, and started to make serious strategical mistakes. Ignoring the advice of his generals, he demanded victory after victory, refusing to retreat or to listen to appeals to negotiate with the Allies. The idea of negotiation, to Hitler, was tantamount to treason. Offenders would be sent to the camps.

Then, of course, came the D-Day invasion of June 1944 and suddenly Europe was swarming with well-armed and well-fed British and American forces. A month later, and a cabal of patriotic but terrified German officers and civilians planned and carried out the assassination attempt on Hitler by placing a bomb in a briefcase beneath a conference table where Hitler was discussing military strategy with his staff. The bomb went off, but the Fuhrer (once again) miraculously survived.

As in the Rohm purge ten years earlier, Hider demanded the death of the traitors who had conspired against not only himself but Germany. Guilty and innocent alike were either executed or offered suicide as a way out. The unfortunate victims of "Operation Thunderstorm" included Professor Karl Haushofer and his eldest son, Albrecht. As we saw previously, Professor Haushofer was sent to Dachau, where he survived the war. Albrecht was imprisoned in Berlin and later taken out -- ostensibly to be moved to a safer location as Russian shells were falling on the city -- and shot against a wall on a side street. Albrecht's connections with the Resistance movement had become known; what is not known is the extent to which the Gestapo ever discovered his putative involvement in the disastrous Hess affair.

The search for traitors and would-be assassins involved in the July plot continued right up to the last days of the war: to April 1945.

Himmler's final days are ably recorded by his favorite astrologer, Wilhelm Wulff, in Zodiac and Swastika, and in the memoir of the man who hired Wulff, Foreign Intelligence chief Walter Schellenberg, as well as in Felix Kersten's memoirs. What is remarkable about all of these is the picture they give us of the terrified head of the most dreaded police force and secret society in modern history -- second, perhaps, only to the Office of the Holy Inquisition itself -- asking Wulff for astrological updates on the political and military situation as the war was rapidly coming to an end. Kersten and Schellenberg were trying to get Himmler to commit to a deal with the Allies through the mediation of the Swedish government and the World Jewish Congress, but Himmler's constant indecision from day to day and hour to hour made it impossible to reach any kind of settlement. Himmler would keep referring to the oath of loyalty he took to the Fuhrer as being sacred; this enabled him to feel he had a moral reason for what was really moral cowardice. Himmler was continually being advised to have Hitler either arrested or shot, and to take over the country and negotiate with the Allies; but his fear that the plan might possibly fail (after all, Hitler had already survived several assassination attempts) made him choose to do nothing and bear those ills he had, rather than fly to others he knew not of. Further, Wulff had advised Himmler that Hitler would not die from an assassination, although his aspects for the end of April looked particularly bleak. A prognostication like that only seemed to confirm Himmler's worst fears.

In the final days of the conflict, Wulff was by Himmler's side day and night, ready at a moment's notice to cast a chart ... even going so far as to accurately predict Allied air raids; a talent the Nazi High Command might have made better use of much earlier in the war.

Wulff was summoned to Himmler's quarters at Harzwalde on the day Germany learned of the death of U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt -- Friday, April 13, 1945 -- and told to bring all his charts with him, including those of Martin Bormann, Albert Speer, Seyss-Inquardt, Count Schwerin von Krosigk and Field Marshal Schorner to see who among them might be appropriate for the formation of a new German government. He also brought the charts of Churchill, Eisenhower, and Montgomery to determine the outcome of peace negotiations with them through Count Bernadotte of Sweden. To understand how desperate Himmler was for this type of astrological advice, it must be remembered that transportation and communication services were all but nonexistent at that late date in the war. Wulff was at his home in Hamburg, and the fact that a phone call got through to him at all is amazing in itself. Hamburg was being heavily bombed at the time, and the phone and electrical lines were severely damaged.

Wulff was then expected to negotiate his way -- with the car and driver reserved for him by Himmler -- along the shell craters, bombed-out vehicles, wounded soldiers and civilians, and the corpses of the less fortunate along the road, meanwhile dodging lethal strafing runs by Allied planes, just to be able to arrive at Himmler's hideout to (in effect) read him his daily horoscope.

Alas for the Reichsfuhrer, he had waited too long. Events were running along faster than anyone had thought possible. Wulff spent Hitler's fifty-sixth birthday at Harzwalde with Himmler, Schellenberg, Kersten, and a representative of the World Jewish Congress, pondering the gloomy situation and trying to negotiate -- unsuccessfully -- for the release of ten thousand more Jews.

In the last days of April, Wulff finally managed to extricate himself from the deadly scene at Harzwalde and made his way home to Hamburg. A few weeks later, and his most famous astrological client -- Heinrich Himmler -- would be dead by his own hand after chewing a cyanide capsule while a prisoner of the American forces.

Thousands of miles away, Rudolfvon Sebottendorff -- the man who started it all in rented rooms of the Four Seasons Hotel with a "literary-cultural" society, an occult society known as the Thule Gesellschaft -- ended his own life by drowning himself in the Bosporus, grieving for the end of the Third Reich he had helped to create in those heady days on the streets of Munich when the swastika banner was the symbol of all that was good and right in the world, the last best defense against the horrors of Communism and the Jewish-Bolshevik-Masonic conspiracy to rule the globe.

But not all the Nazi cultists were dead by war's end, not by any means. Some of the most notorious would remain alive to stand trial at Nuremberg, while still others would go into hiding aided and abetted by one of their sworn enemies, the Roman Catholic Church.

The Vatican Rag

The mass destruction of files that took place at the end of the war is one indication of how aware the Nazis were of their culpability for acts that would be considered heinous by the rest of the world. Most of the Lebensborn records were destroyed, for instance, rendering the tracing and identification of babies born out of wedlock or stolen from their homes in the Occupied Territories virtually impossible. Thousands of people now alive today in Germany and in the rest of Europe as well as in North and South America do not know who their parents -- and particularly their fathers -- were. Many are the descendants of high-ranking officials of the SS who were encouraged to "breed" with the racially pure maidens of the Lebensborn communities.

The records of many of the concentration camps were also destroyed as the relentless advance of Allied troops brought them closer and closer to the murderous estates. The results of medical experimentation on prisoners were particularly sensitive and haste was made to destroy both the documentary evidence and, where possible, the physical evidence as bodies -- and body parts -- that had been experimented upon were burned in the crematoria.

But another indication of Nazi guilt lies in the fact that many of the SS dived underground immediately it became apparent that they had lost the war, and that the Allies were condemning the Schutzstaffel as a criminal organization; this was certainly a precedent in modern history, for the armies of the vanquished are generally disarmed and the divisions dissolved, but rarely have all the members of an entire military and police apparatus been declared criminals prima facie. This was not so of the regular German Army, the Wehrmacht, which was immune from such treatment. The horror and outrage of the Allies was reserved solely for Himmler's secretly occult and openly pagan Black Order, and for the doctors who helped carry out sadistic medical experimentation under the aegis of the Ahnenerbe-SS.

This resulted in an underground movement of SS personnel across Europe and out to North and South America and North Africa. The Order functioned, even in defeat, as solidly as it had during the days of victory. Safe houses and secret transportation were arranged for the SS, who were being hunted all over the world. Some SS officers, confident that their identity was successfully concealed, remained behind in Germany to help organize this "underground railroad" and are still there today, as numerous reports and published research have shown. The secret and often lethal ODESSA was not merely a fantasy of fiction writer Frederick Forsythe; it existed then (in various forms, from the fiendishly effective Die Spinne to Hans Ulrich Rudel's Kamaradenwerk) and still does as I write these lines.

What does seem fantastic, however, is the assistance given to many of these men by what was always believed to be their sworn enemy: the Roman Catholic Church. While Ladislas Farago -- mentioned in the Introduction to this book -- must be credited with bringing this story to worldwide attention, [3] it is useful to know that, since then, it has been corroborated many times over by other authors. [4]

Why would the Catholic Church help the very men who had vowed to eradicate it, who had participated in pagan rituals designed to replace those of Christianiry, who worshipped Baldur and Thor and Freya in candlelit ceremonies in the forests and castles of Bavaria, Thuringia, Westphalia, and the other German Lander? Men who had caught and imprisoned thousands of Catholic and Protestant clergymen, sent them to the camps, and executed them in cold blood?

Was it simply that the Church found common cause with Nazi anti-Semitism, and figured it would help them now and deal with Nazi paganism at a later date? Or was it more practical than that? Did the Church hope to negotiate a separate peace with the Nazis so that they both could concentrate on "the real enemy": international Communism?

There is certainly enough evidence to suggest that both of the above rationales played parts in the Church's unofficial policy toward the SS. In the early days of the Parry, few German Christians of any denomination would have been upset by the blatant anti- semitism shown by Hitler, Streicher, Darre, Rosenberg, et al. Hitler very carefully sought to cultivate Christian (and especially Catholic) support for the Party as they remained a substantial voting bloc within the country. Indeed, the Catholic Center Party played a pivotal role in Reichstag elections that catapulted Hitler to power. And just as he wooed the financial support of leading industrialists in contradiction to his personal beliefs concerning the evils of that "Jewish invention," Capitalism, he also courted the powerful Catholic and other Christian lobbies in the country. He knew he could not afford to alienate them entirely from his program, at least not until after he had won the war; for this reason he occasionally found it valuable to attack occultism and volkisch paganism in his speeches, even while encouraging it among his entourage and condoning its manifestation in the SS.

On its side, the Roman Catholic Church played a similar game of realpolitik with the Nazi Party, while at the same time many Catholic priests performed heroic service underground in rescuing Jewish and other potential victims from the camps. But there were those Catholic officials who found themselves in secret agreement with much of the Nazi platform, particularly where the potential threat of Russian Communism was concerned. Pope Pius XII, for example, was notoriously silent regarding the fate of the Jews and was eager to avoid any confrontation with the Nazis. He jumped to praise the Fuhrer, however, when the latter moved against the "godless Communists" in the East. Like many of his contemporaries, he figured the Allies were shooting in the wrong direction.

It should be remembered that this was not an unusual position to take. Many otherwise respectable Allied leaders felt quite similarly. Even General Patton was known to have growled on occasion that they had fought the wrong enemy, and lobbied for permission to take his famous spearhead right into the Soviet Union. [5] It was this attitude that -- directly or indirectly -- permitted many war criminals who had committed ghastly crimes against humanity to escape forever the long reach of the Nuremberg Tribunal and even, in some cases, to find themselves working in official capacities for the Allied intelligence services in their Cold War against the Soviet Union.

While Patton may represent the peculiar stance of a United States Army four-star general, it would be Bishop Alois Hudal who would carry the fascist flag for the Vatican. [6]

Born -- probably in Austria -- on May 31, 1885, he was ordained a Catholic priest in 1908. The parallels between his career and that of Lanz von Liebenfels are striking. In the first place, both were Austrians, born within eleven years of each other (von Liebenfels was born on July 19, 1874, in Vienna-Penzing). Both entered the Catholic priesthood, with von Liebenfels entering the Cistercian novitiate in July of 1893 and taking his solemn vows in September 1897, eleven years before Alois Hudal.

Hudal became a professor of Old Testament and Oriental languages; von Liebenfels, under the direction of the anti-Semitic novice-master Nivard Schlagl, also studied precisely Old Testament and Oriental languages and would later (in 1905) become such an acknowledged expert in this field that he was chosen to be one of the editors of the Monumenta Judaica, a collection of early Hebrew and Aramaic sources for the books of the Old Testament, along with a panel of Jewish and Protestant scholars. Von Liebenfels was selected as the Catholic editor because of his unequaled knowledge of these ancient texts. The first five volumes of this series had appeared by 1908, so it is certain that Hudal would have been quite aware of his Landsman, Lanz von Liebenfels.

What is even more certain is that, as the years went by, Hudal would have become an admirer of von Liebenfels's work in the Pan-German community for Fr. Alois Hudal himself became something of an Armanist and fellow traveler. Just as von Liebenfels became the head of his own order of knights, the Order of the New Templars, Hudal became Procurator General of the Order of German Knights, a Catholic institution.

And, on May 1, 1933 -- in honor of the pagan holiday approved by the Nazis and known as Walpurgis or Beltane to the Celts, celebrated with the famous Witches' Sabbath at midnight -- Father (now Bishop) Hudal presided over a meeting in Rome attended by over seven hundred members of the German expatriate colony there, including many Church officials, Nazis, and Nazi leaders such as local SA and Hitler Youth officials. On that occasion, he made a fiery speech defending the Nazi Party and its program in a blend of Catholic and Teutonic slogans, ending with the battle cry of Arminius (the hero of the Pan-Germans, volkisch cultists, and Aryan mystics) in the Teutoburg Forest: "German unity is my strength, my strength is German might." It was Arminius who was the inspiration for Guido von List's Armanenschaft, the cult that List formed to worship Wotan and to instigate a return to the old, pagan, ways of the ancient Teutons. For Alois Hudal to invoke Arminius at this gathering in Rome was tantamount to aligning himself with the neo-pagan, Pan-German, volkisch movement represented by List, Liebenfels, and Sebottendorff.

This strange little man then went on to publish The Foundations of National Socialism in which he outlined and defended the Nazi Party programs, including the exclusion of the Jews, in no uncertain terms. Soon, his efforts in combating Marxism -- a legacy of his friendship with the future Pope Pius XII, Eugenio Pacelli, which dated from 1924 -- became widely known as the Aktion Hudal in Nazi circles. Like many anti-Communist and pro-Nazi Catholic leaders such as Archbishop Ivan Buchko of the Ukraine (who managed the incredible escape of the entire Ukrainian Waffen-SS division of eleven thousand men plus their families to North and South America and Australia)'? Monsignor Krunoslov Draganovic (who helped the Croatian Fascists escape justice, many to Argentina), [8] and lay Catholic Gustav Celmins of the Nazi Latvian organization Perkonkrusts and leader of the Latvian SS (who became an important member of the notoriously anti-Communist Intermarium Society [9] of the Roman Catholic Church which, in addition to helping Nazi war criminals escape justice, also served as an arm of German intelligence), Hudal was greatly admired in Nazi circles and every effort was made to cooperate with his underground network of spies and collaborators even as official Nazi policy remained stridently anticlerical.

Intermarium itself is interesting, not least because one of its goals was the establishment of a new Holy Roman Empire of Eastern European nations encircling the atheistic Soviet Union. [10] Intermarium developed a close working relationship with Alfred Rosenberg, [11] who was not only the Nazis' chief pagan ideologue but also a Baltic native who was tremendously sympathetic to anti-Soviet causes of any kind. After the war, many Intermarium notables became involved with the CIA and other Western intelligence services. On Intermarium's agenda was the formation of an exile army of anti-Communists, many of whom would be former Nazis, to defend Europe's borders against the Soviet Union and eventually to partition the USSR into small, separate ethnic enclaves ala the Alfred Rosenberg and Heinrich Himmler plans. [12] This involved dividing and conquering the Soviet state and thus eradicating the "cancer" of Communism forever while ensuring that the Russians could never again consolidate their power and threaten the world. Intermarium, like Hudal's Caritas Internationalis, was to provide escape routes and "ratlines" for fleeing Nazis for many years, supplying the necessary passports and travel documents as well as steamship fare to ports all over the world. One wonders how today's Roman Catholics would feel about their Sunday donations, Widow's Mites, Peter's Pence, and other charitable contributions being used to help 6nance the survival of Heinrich Himmler's Black Order.

Some of the beneficiaries of Hudal's operation -- which was being run by Cardinal Montini (the future Pope Paul VI) in his capacity as Vatican Secretary of State -- include Heinrich Muller, the Gestapo chief who once debriefed astrologer Wilhelm Wulff, Walter Rauff, who was in charge of the mobile gas vans in which thousands of Jews were murdered, and (alleges Farago and many other European officials) Hitler's second-in-command, Martin Bormann himself. Muller disappeared at war's end and followed the ratline to Argentina along with Eichmann, Mengele, and so many others, comforted in exile with a suitcase full of American dollars. Rauff turned up in Chile. Bormann -- according to Farago -- did them all one better, and arrived in Buenos Aires dressed as a Catholic priest, a Jesuit.

In what must be one of the most sickening scenes to any believing Catholic is that of Bormann -- as "Father Augustin" -- celebrating Mass at the Cathedral of San Juan de Dios in La Paz, Bolivia, where he escaped when Argentina became too hot. (Klaus Barbie would find a safe house with another Nazi "priest" living in Bolivia, in this case a Croat war criminal -- see Chapter Eleven.) He also performed weddings, baptisms, and other sacraments while serving in the role of "auxiliary priest." This, of course, is the ultimate blasphemy. The most-wanted war criminal in the world, a devoted Nazi since the 1920s, special assistant to pagan mystic Rudolf Hess and third in line for leadership of the Reich after Hitler and Goring, a man whose womanizing was excused by his wife because by fathering children out of wedlock he was only doing his sacred duty by the Fatherland to produce as many Aryan citizens as possible ... this man with the blood of millions on his hands, celebrating Mass and dispensing Holy Communion to the faithful in the fiercely Catholic country of Bolivia ... what Black Mass could ever be Blacker?

And they call Aleister Crowley a Satanist!

We will return to the exiled Nazi leaders in the next chapter for they are the springboard to today's problem of neo-Nazism, neo-Fascism, and racism around the world. As recent discoveries have made clear, many hundreds (if not thousands) of Himmler's Black Order managed to escape capture and set up shop in South America where they still wield tremendous influence.


Not all the SS men managed to flee, however. Some of the worst names in German history were captured alive. Alfred Rosenberg, the Baltic-born architect and rabid anti-Semitic, anti-Christian ideologue from Hitler's early days in Munich with Dietrich Eckart was captured and made to stand trial. Rosenberg was sentenced to death, and alone of all the condemned Nazis nearly collapsed from fright on the way to his execution.

Hermann Goring, defiant to the end, took his own life in his prison cell rather than permit his captors to do the honors.

Hess -- whose story has occupied so many of these pages for it highlights the extent to which occultism was employed on both sides of the conflict -- was spared execution but was sentenced to life imprisonment at Spandau; real life imprisonment, for the Russian vote made it certain that he would never be paroled even after many attempts by British and American authorities to have him released on humanitarian grounds. The Soviets felt that Hess had gone to Britain to arrange a separate peace so that Germany could invade Russia with impunity. World Jewish leaders wanted Hess to stay in Spandau since he had been a signatory to the infamous Nuremberg Laws, laws which robbed Jews of their rights as German citizens and as human beings, and which paved the way for the atrocities of the camps. They felt, and quite rightly, that life imprisonment was better than Hess deserved since his policies had helped exterminate many millions of innocent human beings.

When Hess died the New York Times ran a cover story on his life, [13] and tried to explain why the British did not exploit the Nazi's flight to Scotland as well as they might. To the British psychiatrists, Hess was a borderline madman. As proof, they cited his interest in astrology, his paranoia, and his lapses of memory. (One wonders what they would have made of Ronald Reagan. Where was British psychiatry when we needed it?)

But an interesting sidelight to the Hess story concerns one of the Allied inheritors of Nazi medicine, particularly in the area of mind control. [14]

The above news story notwithstanding, British psychiatrists had already examined Hess and decided he was sane enough to stand trial, but the Americans wanted to perform their own examination. For this purpose, the Scotland-born Dr. Ewen Cameron was sent to Germany to interrogate Hess and draw up a psychological profile of the Reichs Deputy. Before he was able to do so, he was approached by Allen Dulles, the man who was so successful running spies for the ass (America's precursor to the CIA). Dulles asked Cameron to perform a small service for him during the course of his examination.

There was reason to believe -- said Dulles -- that the man in custody was not Rudolf Hess at all, but a double! He asked the astonished Dr. Cameron to find some way of getting Hess to show Cameron a scar he should have received from an accident he had long before the war. If the scar was there, it was probable that the prisoner really was Hess. If it wasn't, then the man was an impostor and perhaps a plant by British Intelligence to disguise the fact that they had executed the real Hess soon after his arrival in Scotland.

Needless to say, Dr. Cameron agreed to Dulles's request and -- during the course of many hours of intense psychiatric examination -- attempted to get the prisoner to remove his shirt for a routine physical. The guard, however, refused to allow Hess to remove his handcuffs to enable the examination, saying that he had no such authorization. Cameron had to return to Dulles with the sad report that he was not able to verify whether the man in the prison cell was the infamous mystic Rudolf Hess.

Cameron's failure did nothing to cool Dulles's appreciation of his talents, however, for the psychiatrist soon became the architect of the CIA's notorious Montreal-based mind-control project at the Mount Royal clinic in the late 1950s and early 1960s, a project whose goal was to discover a means of countering the effects of Russian and Chinese brainwashing and to develop an American version for use as an offensive weapon. The experiments were nearly the equal of anything the Nazis themselves had come up with under the aegis of the all-powerful Ahnenerbe-SS and were, indeed, based at least partly on the results of those concentration camp experiments, the records of which had been confiscated by American intelligence, becoming part of CIA and Pentagon files shortly after the Nuremberg Tribunals. As CIA investigator John Marks points out, [15] the records of Ahnenerbe-SS experimenters Dr. Kurt Plotner and Walter Neff regarding mescaline and hypnosis research at Dachau were sent back to the States and never revealed. Thus, the files of Nazi brainwashing, interrogation, and mind-control experiments using drugs, hypnosis, and torture -- techniques associated today with the worst of America's religious cults and secret societies -- are still classified if indeed they survived at all the famous shredding of MKIULTRA documents ordered by Richard Helms in the 1970s.

In a related development, Hess's final statement before the Nuremberg Tribunal on August 31, 1946 was never finished. As it seemed he was in danger of rambling on forever, the president of the Tribunal ordered him to cut it short and history was cheated out of a bizarre tale of mystical phenomena (or saved the dreary task of recording the paranoid fantasies of a mass murderer, depending on your point of view). But there are elements within Hess's statement that bear repeating here for they either cast doubt on the pronouncement of his sanity (and thus question his fitness to stand trial) or they are evidence that some form of mind-control was being tested on Hess while he remained a prisoner in the Tower.

Some of my comrades here can confirm the fact that at the beginning of the proceedings I predicted the following:

. . . That witnesses would appear who, under oath, would make untrue statements while, at the same time, these witnesses could create an absolutely reliable impression and enjoy the best possible reputation. . . . That some of the defendants would act rather strangely: they would make shameless utterances about the Fuhrer; they would incriminate their own people; they would partially incriminate each other, and falsely at that. Perhaps they would even incriminate themselves, and also wrongly.... All of these predictions have come true.... I made these predictions, however, not only here at the beginning of the Trial, but had already made them months before the beginning of the Trial in England to, among others, Dr. Johnston, the physician who was with me ... [16]

At this point, one would imagine that Hess was simply being realistic. It was not unusual for the Nazi defendants and witnesses to invent all sorts of stories and alibis to excuse away their crimes (Sievers is just one possible example); Hess may have tried to insinuate that the prosecution witnesses were all lying. The Nuremberg jurors were certainly in no mood to entertain such a notion, and that might have been the end of it except that Hess went on to say:

In the years 1936 to 1938 political trials were taking place in one of these countries. These were characterized by the fact that the defendants accused themselves in an astonishing way. For example, they cited great numbers of crimes which they had committed or which they claimed to have committed. At the end, when death sentences were passed upon them, they clapped in frenzied approval to the astonishment of the world.

But some foreign press correspondents reported that one had the impression that these defendants through some means hitherto unknown, had been put into an abnormal state of mind, as a result of which they acted as they did. [17]

Here Hess is obviously referring to the infamous show trials which had taken place in Stalinist Russia. It should be remembered that the Soviet Union formed one-fourth of the Nuremberg Tribunal, along with France, Great Britain, and the United States. Later on in his statement he specifically mentions the "Moscow trial." One imagines that this is a decidedly unwelcome tactic on the part of the defendant.

Hess goes on to link the method used to mentally condition these Russian defendants to the acts of otherwise sane Germans carrying out atrocities in the camps. His implication is that mind-control was used in a massive way to robotize the German population. He wisely drops that rather pathetic line of approach, but then his statement takes on a strange angle all its own:

I said before that a certain incident in England caused me to think of the reports of the earlier trials. The reason is that the people around me during my imprisonment acted towards me in a peculiar and incomprehensible way, in a way which led me to conclude that these people somehow were acting in an abnormal state of mind. Some of them -- these persons and people around me were changed from time to time. Some of the new ones who came to me in place of those who had been changed had strange eyes. They were glassy and like eyes in dream.... Not only I alone noticed these strange eyes, but also the physician who attended me at the time, Dr. Johnston, a British Army doctor, a Scotsman.

In the spring of 1942 I had a visitor who quite obviously tried to provoke me and acted towards me in a strange way. This visitor also had these strange eyes. Afterwards, Dr. Johnston asked me what I thought of this visitor. He told me -- I told him I had the impression that for some reason or other he was not completely normal mentally, whereupon Dr. Johnston did not protest as I had expected, but agreed with me and asked me whether I had not noticed those strange eyes, these eyes with a dreamy look. Dr. Johnston did not suspect that he himself had exactly the same eyes when he came to me.

The essential point, however, is that in one of the reports of the time, which must still be in the press files on the proceedings -- this was in Paris, about the Moscow trial -- it said that the defendants had had strange eyes. They had had glazed and dreamy eyes! [18]

This Kafkaesque monologue goes on to cover British concentration camps (implying that the Nazi camps were no worse, and that concentration camps in general must be an internationally recognized means of solving what Hess calls "incomprehensible riddles"), and then winds up with a speech in which Hess is clearly leading up to an exposition of just what exactly happened to him in the spring of 1942, prefaced by oaths to God that he will tell the truth and calling God as his witness.

"In the spring of 1942" he begins, then is cut short. The president of the Tribunal tells him he has already used up his twenty minutes. Hess demurs, then agrees to end his statement by simply saying, "I am happy to know that I have done my duty to my people, my duty as a German, as a National Socialist, as a loyal follower of my Fuhrer. I do not regret anything. If I were to begin all over again, I would act just as I have acted, even if I knew that in the end I should meet a fiery death at the stake ..." [19] A fiery death at the stake. Hess imagining himself as heretic, or witch?

Was Hess insane? What had happened to him while he remained a prisoner of Great Britain? Why was his flight to Scotland not exploited in a more obvious manner? What was the relationship between the mysterious, Scottish-born Dr. Johnston and the Scottish-born Dr. Cameron, the mind-control expert? The author feels certain that, owing to the Official Secrets Act, we shall never know the whole story about the Nazi's most famous mystic, Rudolf Hess.

As for Hess himself, who practiced yoga conscientiously while imprisoned in Spandau, he never abandoned his occult beliefs and was said by his wife to be in constant telepathic communication with her until the day he died.

And what about Martin Bormann? Did he really die in Berlin in the final days as has been reported? Or was Farago right? Did Martin Bormann escape to South America?

Ironically enough, as I write these lines in the early days of 1994, new evidence has come to light to suggest that the much-maligned Ladislas Farago may have been correct after all. Hundreds of files newly released by the Argentine government of President Menem show that many more Nazis managed to flee to South America than had ever been previously imagined, not even in the wildest dreams of veteran Nazi hunters. [20] Included in these records -- which consist of official files of the Argentine police and intelligence services -- are the faint traces of el gran fugitivo. As the files reveal, the American Ambassador to Argentina had come into possession of intelligence that neatly confirmed Farago's claim that Bormann had managed to make his way into Italy through a series of safe houses and then shipped out to Buenos Aires. Due to a typographical error in transcription, the province to which Bormann had subsequently fled was incorrectly identified and the Argentine officials -- at that time, working for the administration of pro-Nazi and pro- fascist Juan Peron -- shrugged their shoulders and replied that they could not help the American authorities as no such town existed in that province!

These newly released reports will, hopefully, help vindicate the late Mr. Farago's efforts to track down the most famous Nazi war criminal of all, and rehabilitate his most controversial work, Aftermath.

The Interrogation of Wolfram Sievers

The Ahnenerbe, for all its reputation for horror, is mentioned only rarely in the forty-two- volume set of the published Nuremberg Trial transcripts. The interrogation of Wolfram Sievers covers less than fifty pages in total, [21] and most of the evidence at the time was in the form of his Ahnenerbe Tagebuch or diary and which contained references to the camps and to the hideous experiments that took place under his stewardship. It is from his diary that we learn, for instance, of former SS-Tibet Expedition member Dr. Bruno Beger's involvement in the "anthropological research" being undertaken at Auschwitz. We learn of the Ahnenerbe's medical experimentation involving cancer cures, coagulating agents, and low-and high-pressure research using human guinea pigs, freezing research using prostitutes to "thaw out" frozen concentration camp prisoners, etc. In the coagulation experiments, for instance, living human beings were shot with live ammunition to create wounds to which would be applied various experimental styptic formulas to see which could be used in the field as an interim measure to stop bleeding until proper medical attention could be obtained.

Before the Tribunal, Sievers did his best to extricate himself from the medical experimentation taking place at Dachau and Auschwitz under his jurisdiction, and even went so far as to claim he was actually a member of the Resistance -- calling on his old friend Dr. Friedrich Hielscher (who was imprisoned by the Gestapo for his role in the July 20, 1944, assassination plot against Hitler) as a corroborating witness [22] -- but the Nuremberg jurors weren't having any. Sievers admitted to being present at some of the above-mentioned experiments, and other witnesses put him on the scene of many more. Sievers, who claimed to be little more than the business manager for the Ahnenerbe and a relay center for reports, "one of these distinguished Nazi post offices" in the words of one Nuremberg attorney, [23] was eventually prosecuted himself during that series of trials (the Doctors' Trials) which took place after the celebrated Nuremberg Trials of Hess, Goring, et. al., at which he testified.

Wolfram Sievers -- Himmler's aide and chief of the Ahnenerbe -- was given the death sentence and executed in 1947.

The records of the Ahnenerbe, however -- some ninety microfilm rolls at the National Archives alone -- remain a treasure trove for the historian of the bizarre. It is an enlightening task to wade through the thousands of documents detailing research in astronomy, anthropology, ethnology, archaeology, Icelandic lore, Celtic studies, rune symbolism, Tibetan religion, the World Ice Theory, and Norse paganism and to realize that this massive undertaking by hundreds of university professors and serious academics was pointed directly at world conquest and genocide. These Nazi academics and "mythologians" -- the Joseph Campbells and Mircea Eliades of their country in some cases -- were as at home in the foul abbatoirs of the death camps as they were in the lecture halls of the great German universities. To them, Auschwitz and Dachau were simply other forms of laboratory and schoolroom; higher education in the lower depths, a continuation of scholarship by other means.

Many of these men escaped justice. The former Catholics and Protestants who had become converts to Nazi paganism -- and there is truly no fanatic like a convert -- made their way to freedom and, as numerous interviews by a wide range of journalists has shown, they remained (and remain) unrepentant: true believers in the Cult of the Black Order, Himmler's Schwarze Orden. And, as they grow old and die, they leave behind a new generation of believers who carry on the rites of a new faith -- sometimes in secret, sometimes openly -- in their adopted lands.
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