Nazi mysticism is a Völkisch movement initiation with roots in the Thule society and theosophy, as well as the ideas of Arthur de Gobineau. Guido von List and Jörg Lanz von Liebenfels were important figures early on, with significant events after World War II being the Artgemeinschaft of Jürgen Rieger and the Armanen-Orden founded by Adolf Schleipfer in 1976.
The origin of the Aryan race, the Teutons generally, and the Germanic peoples specifically, the putative superiority of said Aryans over other races, and what they claimed were the unique circumstances of their origin, are all key concepts.
Another key belief is that this Herrenrasse (master race) had been weakened through interbreeding with those they thought of as untermensch or “lesser races”.Theozoology
In 1905 Lanz von Liebenfels published a fundamental statement of doctrine titled Theozoologie oder die Kunde von den Sodoms-Äfflingen und dem Götter-Elektron (Theo-Zoology or the Lore of the Sodom-Apelings and the Electrons of the Gods). The author claims that “Aryan” peoples originate from interstellar deities who bred by electricity, while “lower” races were a result of inbreeding between apes and humans. Like much of Nazi mysticist propaganda, the book relies on a somewhat lurid sexual imagery, decrying the abuse of white women by ethnically inferior, but sexually active, men. Thus, von Liebenfels advocates mass castration of racially “apelike” or otherwise inferior males. This was in fact acted out during the Nazi era “purification”.
The term “Ariosophy” (occult wisdom concerning the Aryans) was coined by Lanz von Liebenfels, founder of the Order of the New Templars, in 1915 and replaced “Theozoology” and “Ario-Christianity” as the label for his doctrine in the 1920s. It is generally used to describe Aryan-racist-occult theories.
Guido von List called his doctrine “Armanism” (after the ‘Armanen’, supposedly the heirs of the sun-king, a body of priest-kings in the ancient Ario-Germanic nation). Armanism was concerned with the esoteric doctrines of the gnosis (distinct from the exoteric doctrine intended for the lower social classes, Wotanism).
According to The History Channel's "Decoding the Past" episode "The Nazi Prophecies" Guido von List was the founder of Ariosophy.
The Thule Society
In 1915, Pohl was joined by Rudolf Glauer. Glauer, also known as Rudolf Freiherr von Sebottendorf, came to Germany with a Turkish passport and was a practitioner of sufi meditation and astrology. Glauer is known to have been an admirer of Guido von List and the rabidly anti-semitic Lanz von Liebenfels. Glauer was a wealthy man (the source of his wealth is unknown) and quickly became a grand master of the Bavarian Order in 1918. Later that year, he founded the Thule Society with Pohl’s approval.
The Thule Society had a number of highly positioned individuals in the Nazi party, although Hitler himself never became a member. However, it was a member of the Thule Society, dentist Dr. Friedrich Krohn, who chose the swastika symbol for the Nazi party.
Perhaps the most significant Thule influence on Hitler came from Dietrich Eckart. Eckart was the wealthy publisher of the newspaper Auf gut Deutsch (In Plain German). He was a committed occultist as well as a member of the Thule Society’s inner circle. He is believed to have taught Hitler a number of persuasive techniques (some possibly mystical in nature). So profound was the influence, that Hitler’s book Mein Kampf was dedicated to Eckart.
The Vril Society
In his book Monsieur Gurdjief, Louis Pauwels claimed that a Vril society had been founded by General Karl Haushofer, a student of Russian magician and metaphysician Gergor Ivanovich Gurdyev (also known as George Gurdjieff). Pauwels later recanted many things from his book, however.
Most historians argue that no such Vril Society ever existed, or that such a society had no impact on Nazism: It is not mentioned in the extensive biography of Hitler by Ian Kershaw, nor in the one by Alan Bullock, nor the biography of Hermann Göring by Werner Maser, nor the book about the history of the Schutzstaffel (SS) by Heinz Hoehne.
General Karl Haushofer
General Karl Haushofer was a university professor and director of the Munich Institute of Geopolitics, as well as an avid student of Gurdjieff. He is believed to have studied Zen Buddhism and initiated at the hands of Tibetan lamas. Further, he worked closely with Hitler while he was imprisoned and working on Mein Kampf.
Haushofer claimed to have had contact with secret Tibetan Lodges that possessed the secret of the “Superman”, an idea that would become central to the decision of the Nazi party to embrace an extreme form of the eugenics movement.
Hitler's WWI experienceHitler claimed that during his time served in WWI that he had a religious awakening, specifically around when he was temporarily blinded by an enemy gas attack or prohaps visited or saved by Aryan Nordic Aliens.
Hitler's Odinist poem
In 1915, while serving in the German Army on the Western Front, Hitler wrote the following esoteric poem mentioning the pre-Christian Germanic deity Wotan:
- "Ich gehe manchmal in rauhen Nächten
- Zur Wotanseiche in den stillen Hain,
- Mit dunklen Mächten einen Bund zu flechten -
- Die Runen zaubert mir der Mondenschein.
- Und alle, die am Tage sich erfrechten,
- Sie werden vor der Zauberformel klein!
- Sie ziehen blank - doch statt den Strauß zu flechten,
- Erstarren sie zu Stalagmitgestein.
- So scheiden sich die Falschen von den Echten -
- Ich greife in das Fibelnest hinein
- Und gebe dann den Guten und Gerechten
- Mit meiner Formel Segen und Gedeihn."
Which can be translated as:
- "I often go on bitter nights
- To Woden's oak in the quiet glade
- With dark powers to weave a union -
- The moonlight showing me the runic spell
- And all who are full of impudence during the day
- Are made small by the magic formula!
- They draw shining steel - but instead of going into combat,
- They solidify into stalagmites.
- Thus the wrong ones separate from the genuine ones -
- I reach into a nest of words
- then give to the good and fair
- With my formula blessings and prosperity"
The founder of Esoteric Hitlerism was Heinrich Himmler, who, more than any other high official in the Third Reich (including Hitler) was fascinated by Aryan (and not just Germanic) racialism and Germanic Odinism. Himmler has been claimed to have considered himself the spiritual successor or even reincarnation of Heinrich the Fowler, having established special SS rituals for the old king and returned his bones to the crypt at Quedlinburg Cathedral. Himmler even had his personal quarters at Wewelsburg castle decorated in commemoration of him.
Prayer to Hitler
In Nazism, Adolf Hitler was occasionally believed to be a better Messiah then Jesus, or revered as a savior sent by Gods
A prayer recited by orphans at orphanages runs as follows:
- Führer, mein Führer, von Gott mir gegeben, beschütz und erhalte noch lange mein Leben
- Du hast Deutschland errettet aus tiefster Not, Dir verdank ich mein täglich Brot
- Führer, mein Führer, mein Glaube, mein Licht
- Führer mein Führer, verlasse mich nicht
This translates roughly as:
- Leader, my Leader, given to me by Gods, protect me and sustain my life for a long time
- you have rescued Germany out of deepest misery, to you I owe my daily bread
- Leader, my Leader, my belief, my light
- Leader my Leader, do not abandon me
With the fall of the Third Reich, Esoteric Hitlerism took off as Hitler, who had died at the end of the war, was now able to be deified. Savitri Devi was the first major exponent of post-war Esoteric Hitlerism (see her Hitlerian Esotericism and the Tradition ), and connected Hitler’s Aryan ideology to that of the pro-independence Indians (specifically Hindus) such as Subhas Chandra Bose. For her, the swastika was an especially important symbol, as it symbolized the Aryan unity amongst the Hindus and Germans (and was also a symbol of good fortune for the Tibetans). Devi integrated Nazism into a broader cyclical framework of Hindu history, and called Hitler an avatar of Vishnu (Kalki) and the “Man against Time,” having an ideal vision of returning his Aryan people to an earlier, more perfect time, and also having the practical wherewithal to fight the destructive forces forestalling his vision from fruition--a combination of the best traits of Akhenaton (a visionary, but ineffectual) and Genghis Khan (violent, but selfish).
The next major figure in Esoteric Hitlerism is Miguel Serrano, a Chilean diplomat. He wrote both The Golden Ribbon--Esoteric Hitlerism and Adolf Hitler, the Last Avatar.
He believed that Hitler was in Shambhala, an underground centre in Antarctica (formerly at the North Pole and Tibet), where he was in contact with the Hyperborean gods and from whence he would someday emerge with a fleet of UFOs to lead the forces of light (the Hyperboreans, sometimes associated with Vril) over the forces of darkness (inevitably including, for Serrano, the Jews) in a last battle and inaugurating a Fourth Reich.
He also connected the Aryans and their Hyperborean gods to the Sun and the Allies and the Jews to the Moon, and also had a special place in his ideology for the SS, who, in their quest to recreate the ancient race of Aryan god-men, he thought were above morality and therefore justified in their seemingly cruel deeds.
AhnenerbeThe Ahnenerbe Society, the ancestral heritage branch of the SS (also called by some the Nazi Occult Bureau) was dedicated primarily to the research of proving the superiority of the Aryan race but was also involved in occult practices. Founded in 1935 by Himmler, the Society became involved in searching for Atlantis and the Holy Grail (and is believed to be the basis for the Nazi archaeologists in the Indiana Jones series of movies).
Research and expeditions
A great deal of time and resources were spent on researching or creating a popularly accepted “historical”, “cultural” and “scientific” background so the ideas about a “superior” Aryan race could prosper in the German society of the time. Mystical organizations such as the Thule Society, Schwarze Sonne, and others were created, usually connected with elite SS corps, and adopting specific rituals, initiations and beliefs (Erich Halik (Claude Schweikhart) - Um Krone und Gipfel der Welt Mensch und Schicksal 6 no. 10 1952 pp 3-5).
A German expedition to Tibet was organized in order to search for the origins of the Aryan race. To this end, the expedition leader, Ernst Schäfer, had his anthropologist Bruno Beger make face masks and skull and nose measurements.
Similar expeditions were organized in the pursuit of semi-mythical objects believed to bring power or granting special powers to their owner, such as the Grail of the Gods and the Spear of Destiny ( Odin's Spear).
Suppression of secret societies
The Nazi party actively discouraged certain mystical secret societies, in fact interning, and sometimes executing, a number of high-ranking mystics in Europe, particularly members of the Freemasons and Rosicrucians.
It is said that Aleister Crowley and Gurdjieff sought contact with Hitler, but actual contact is unconfirmed. Hitler would later go on to reject many German mystics, openly ridiculing them, particularly practitioners of Freemasonry, Theosophy and Anthroposophy.
Artur DinterIn 1927 Hitler fired the Gauleiter of Thüringen, Artur Dinter, from his function because he wanted to make too much a religion of Aryan racial purity. In 1928 Dinter was expelled from the party when he publicly attacked Hitler about this decision.
Modern Neo-Nazism has links to Ásatrú, as well as black metal, folk metal, and neofolk music. Mystic influences often appear in modern Nazi music, particularly references to artifacts such as the Spear of Longinus. On the other hand, some northern European neopagan organisations and groups have stated clearly that Neo-Nazism and its Ásatrú connections are certainly not to be considered common or ‘mainstream’ with their adherents. Organisations such as the Theods, the Ásatrúarfélagid, and the Viðartrúar are notable in their disavowal of any connections.
Nazi mysticism and modern pseudoscience
The writings of Miguel Serrano, Julius Evola, Savitri Devi, and other proponents of Nazi Mysticism have spawned numerous later works connecting Aryan master race beliefs and Nazi escape scenarios with enduring conspiracy theories about reptilian humanoids, hollow earth civilizations, and shadowy new world orders. In his book Arktos: The Polar Myth in Science, Symbolism, and Nazi Survival, Hypnerotomachia Poliphili scholar Joscelyn Godwin discusses pseudoscientific theories regarding surviving Nazi elements in Antarctica. Arktos is notable for its scholarly approach and examination of many sources currently unavailable elsewhere in English-language translation.
Godwin and other authors including Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke have also discussed Hitler’s purported Antarctic reptilian companions (sometimes seen to be Hyperboreans) as well as the connections between Nazi Mysticism and Vril energy, the hidden Shambhala and Agartha civilizations, and underground UFO bases.
Christainity"The Führer is deeply religious, though completely anti-Christian; he views Christianity as a symptom of decay. Rightly so. It is a branch of the Jewish race."—Joseph Goebbels, in his diary, December 28, 1939.
- "Christianity is the prototype of Bolshevism: the mobilisation by the Jew of the masses of slaves with the object of undermining society." —Hitler 1941
- "The German people, especially the youth, have learned once again to value people racially-they have once again turned away from Christian theories, from Christian teaching which has ruled Germany for more than a thousand years and caused the racial decay of the German Volk, and almost its racial death." —Heinrich Himmler May 22 1936 at a speech in Brocken, Germany.