The Nazis And The Occult

Lowell K. Dyson, Ph.D. Columbia, 1968

There is probably more mythology about the nazis and the Occult than about Hitler's sex life or his later (?) life in Argentina -- or at the South Pole. In certain circles it is a cottage industry and a particular kind of writer repeats "facts" from earlier books which were repeated from "facts" in other earlier books, which in turn may have come from such absolutely trustworthy sources as the National Inquirer. (I am very sorry to tell you that simply because something is in a book does not make it true). The following bibliography is my interpretation of some of the books which I have collected over the years.

Lets's start our with the one serious book which everyone with an open mind and a willingness to evaluate sources should start with:

Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke, The Occult Roots of Nazism: Secret Aryan Cults and Their Influence on Nazi Ideology, The Ariosophists of Austria and Germany, 1890-1935 (published 1985; republished as pb. by I.B. Tauris & Co., Ltd. London: 1992 -- I think there is also now an American publisher) This is a book by a scholar with a D.Phil. From Oxford and who is a serious student of the occult. It has well-researched material on the 19th and early 20th century volkish and occult groups and leaders: Ariosophy, Wotanism, the Armanenschaft, Order of New Templars (NOT the OTO), the Germanenorden, the Edda Society, the Thule, the probably imaginary Vril; von List, Lanz "von Liebenfels", "von Sebottendorff", Wiligut, et cetera, et al. You come away with a recognition that although a few occultists operated on the fringes of Nazism, they were pretty pitiful.

After reading G.C, one is pretty well prepared to separate truth from mythology in the other books. G-C, by the way, maintains an interest in the serious study of mysticism and the occult He was one of the major participants in the conference on Rosicrucianism in Bohemia last year.

If you want to get a fascinating background of the renaissance of interest in the occult in the 19th and 20th centuries, which forms a wonderful foundation for the above, I suggest two magnificently researched and well-written volumes:

James Webb, The Occult Underground [originally published as The Flight from Reason] (La Salle, IL: Open Court Publishing Company, 1974) (Someone should tell us more about Open Court which does a lot of good solid occult and mystical books. Apparently one son of the wealthy family which started it married a granddaughter of Dr. P. B. Randolph)

________, The Occult Establishment (Idem., 1976)

Webb later wrote a book on Gurdjieff which I haven't read. According to a friend in occult circles, Webb later went mad and has since died. Another friend says that he sometimes gathered together with Ellic Howe, Bob Gilbert, John Hamill, Francis King, and Occasionally Gerald Suster in a bonny drinking and discussion "seminar." I cannot attest to this, but it would have been grand.... Joscelyn Godwin's Theosophical Enlightenment, is also a good backgrounder here, although less than Webb as leading to the groups supposed to control the Nazis.

A book which destroys.many of the myths about nazi occultism and Hitler s supposed dependence on astrology is:

Ellic Howe, Astrology: A Recent History Including the Untold Story of its Role in World War II. [originally published in the UK as Urania's Children] (New York: Walker and Company, 1967).

Howe was in British "black" intelligence in WW II. In his later years he wrote The Magicians of the Golden Dawn, arguably the best book on that group although quite skeptical of the cypher mss. Etc, but using sources unavailable to other scholars.

Recently an Australian journalist has published a partly reliable and partly credulous book based on sources, some dependable and some not so.... His heart and mind seem to be approximately in the right place in that he is debunking the theories of occult control of the Nazis, but I am a little contemptuous of an author who almost completely refuses to acknowledge Goodrick-Clarke, who preceded him and better. At any rate:

Ken Anderson, Hitler and the Occult (Amherst, NY: Prometheus, 1995).

Prometheus is the publisher of CSCIOP books of skepticism. I guess they weren't too skeptical about publishing a book which followed the tail blazed earlier and better by G-C.

I have not read Lewis Spence, The Occult Causes of the Present War (London, 1940) or lesser books of that era.

Nor have I read the ravings of Alfred Rosenberg, the Nazi occult philosopher, whom no important Nazi took seriously. Nor have I read the nutsy German authors whom I cite under G_C above. Sorry, my German went dormant 40 years ago.

Nor have I been able to locate a copy of Francis King, Satan and Swasticka, much to my regret (London: Mayflower Books, 1976) , although I would love to find one, hint, hint,...(beg?). King, who died fairly recently, wrote generally excellent popular books on the occult as most of you know (including a now almost impossible "expose" of OTO rituals). Sometimes he seemed to write in haste (need of money, that old devil?). By all reports this is not one of his better books and has indeed been called a potboiler by those I respect.

Joscelyn Godwin (again), The Polar Myth in Science, Symbolism, and Nazi Survival (Grand Rapids, MI: Phanes Press, 1993) does not really fall into the present category, but it has a lot of fascinating stuff on the weird beliefs of Nazi fringe groups in re Shamballa, Agarthi, Tibet, etc. It is completely enlightened by Godwin's characteristic cool dissection of nonsense.

Similarly, Walter Kafton-Minkel (WHO IS HE?), Subterranean Worlds: 100,000 Years of Dragon, Dwarf, the Dead, Lost Races, and UFOs From Inside the Earth (Port Townsend, WA: Loompanics Unlimited {you all know them folks, don't you, Arcanoi?}, 1989) has a generally "interesting" chapter on "The nazis and the Inner World", along with others on Symmes, Teed, "Koresh", Ray Palmer and Richard Shaver, etc.

I will not go into Himmler and the SS. Just too many more myths.

Now for the rest. For the best discussion of these, see Appendix E of G-C.

There is a junkyard of odds and ends connecting pre-Nazism and Nazism, the Secret Masters, Unknown Superiors, Nine Old Men, Agarthi, Shamballa, Tibet, the Gobi, etc. Much of it centers on Herr Professor Doktor General Karl Haushofer, his supposed initiation into a Japanese occult society prior to WW I, his unposed trips to Tibet and meetings there with Gurdjieff, his supposed contacts with the King of the World, and on and on. For a recent recrudescence of this, see some of the ravings of the Larouchites (according to whom, btw, the world drug trade is controlled by Queen Elizabeth and the Wittelsbachs, former kings of Bavaria).

The book which has been given the greatest credibility by some occultists is the famous (in some circles) Louis Pauwels and Jacques Bergier, The Morning of the Magicians, sometimes cited as The Dawn of Magic (Le Matin des Magiciens, Paris: Editions Gallimard, 1960; New York: Stein and Day, 1974) They were, I guess, reputable French journalists (?) And quite convincing (though without notes, bibliography, or index), but Part Two on the Nazis is, in reality, a wild fairy tale of the ice world, inner world, attempted contacts with the King of the World, a Hitlerian attempt to perform an act of creation to create a new race of supermen ;and demigods (shades of AC and Babalon, the Scarlet Woman!) (Although one of AC' followers, however, did believe that Hitler was AC's mystical child, I rush to deny any belief that AC or the OTO had any influence on Hitler) (although I am not particularly a lover (no pun intended) of the OTO).

J. H. Brennan, The Occult Reich (New York:Signet, 1974). I picked this up at an airport magazine shop, and it shows.... Cover quote: "How Hitler harnessed the pwers of Satan and practiced Black Magic in hi plan to conquer the world! . . . in terrifying detail." No sources cited. Do I need say more than the publisher's blurb did?

Gerald Suster, Hitler: Black Magician , first published in 1981 by Sphere Books in Great Britain as Hitler and the Age of Horus, 1981 (my copy, London: Skoob Books, 1996) does indeed see Hitler as a product of the Age of Horus. The author "an MA in Philosophy and Law at Cambridge,. . . advertising executive. . . , " and so on, ties young Hitler very closely to the Austrian pre-WW I anti-Semites as though it were a proven fact. It is not. Much of the rest of the book is full of similar speculations. This recently reissued book is for you only if you are a collector or credulous.

Dusty Sklar, The Nazis and the Occult (New York: Dorset Press, 1977). She at least gives us an index and a bibliography, which is a melange of good, inconsequential, and what the. . .??? The point seems to be that Nazi cultism happened there and can also happen here. You can usually get it cheap on remainder, especially from Barnes and Noble.

Savitri Devi, The Lightning and the Sun (my copy: Buffalo: Samisdat Publishers, , but originally in Calcutta, 1958). From the intro: "Savitri Devi, will be remembered in White History as one of the truly great names of Our Race, when our history is once again written by White Historians." The dedication: "To the god-like Individual of our times; the Man against Time; the greatest European of all times; both Sun and Ligtning: ADOLF HITLER, as a tribute of unfailing love and loyalty, for ever and ever."

The occult history of the world and its saviour, AH.

Note: this book is also sold by AMORC. DO THEY KNOW ITS NATURE?

Trevor Ravenscroft, The Spear of Destiny: The Occult Power Behind the Spear Which Pierced the Side of Christ (New York: Putnam, 1973), This is wild, folks. After WW II Ravenscroft met an emigre Austrian Jewish Anthroposophist who supposedly had picked up an ancient copy of the Parzifal legend, annotated and previously owned by -- guess who -- Adolf Hitler. Hitler came to believe himself a reincarnation of Klingsor/Landulf II of Capua, the villain of the tale, and that he went through intitiation by Dieter Eckart and Haushofer to confirm it. To seize absolute power as the anti-Christ, he had to seize the "spear of destiny of of Longinus", which had been used to pierce the side of Jesus on the cross, from the treasure house of the Habsburgs in Vienna in order to conquer the world.

And I have a bridge to sell you on the cheap. I have seen the spear, which the Austrians simply label, "A medieval relic" whilst around it are several labelled "pieces of the True Cross. Major (ret.) Bruce Pirnie (Ph.D. Heidelburg), a friend of military days, has told me that this is definitely a medieval spear because the base has a stop to prevent deep penetration, something which was not true in classical times.

Jean-Michel Angebert (pseud. for two or more journalists), The Occult and the Third Reich: The Mystical Origins of Nazism and the Search for the Holy Grail, published in France as Hitler et la tradition cathare, 1971 (New York, Macmillan, 1974). The Nazis searched for the Holy Grail and had all sorts of connections with occultism, Atlantis, Hyperborea, Asgard, Templars, R+C, Wagners, etc, etc. Sorry, I am not going to search Colin Wilson for references. Probably not much if I remember rightly.

I have mentioned the Larouchies. Now for The Reverend Doctor Pat Robertson, J.D,, Yale, Esq.:

The New World Order (Dallas: Word Publishing, 1991), p. 168:

"...the occult power leads straight to demonic power, and these lead, in turn, to a single source of evil identified by the Bible as Satan (the adversary), the Devil (the accuser), Lucifer (the light one) or Abbaddon (the one who rules over hell and destruction).

"To understand this concern, I recommend a careful reading of a 1977 book by Dusty Sklar, called The Nazis and the Occult, which details what happens to a government and its people when occultic forces begin to influence its leaders. Occultism was pervasive among the leaders of Nazi Germany, and it clearly influenced their ghastly programs for world domination."

Well, isn't that just special.... (There are also denunciations of the usual gang of world-manipulators, including at the center, of course, Freemasons and hints of a certain ancient tribe.

Well, I just about forgot, although no great loss:

Michael Howard, The Occult Conspiracy: Secret Societies -- Their Influence and Power in World History (Rochester, VT: Destiny Books, 1989) Hitler, Haushofer, Tibet, Gurdjieff, Hess, Stalin (Stalin?), Alfred Rosenberg, Himmler -- need I go on?

Hey, gang, this has been fun. I hope that I have offended a few people (the right kind), and entertained, if not amused others. But underneath, I am a very serious student of the subject, and I welcome all corrections, emendations, additions, suggestions for further research.. There is a huge Nazi file on their investigation of occultism, which to the best of my knowledge has hardly been touched. I hope someone does. I grow old, in body at least, and as I said my German is probably irretrievable.

Lowell K. Dyson
lkdyson@ers.bitnet or
(202) 219-0786

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