The story of the occult in world history is also a story of homosexuality. By occult, we mean the formalized religious expression of pagan culture as opposed, for example, to the philosophical ideas of Hellenic paganism discussed in the previous chapter. In The Occult Roots of Nazism, historian Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke identifies the roots of occultism in western history:
Occultism has its basis in a religious way of thinking, the roots of which stretch back into antiquity....Its principal ingredients have been identified as Gnosticism, the Hermetic treatises on alchemy and magic [rooted in Gnosticism], Neo-Platonism, and the Cabbala....Gnosticism properly refers to the beliefs of certain heretical sects among the early Christians that claimed to possess gnosis, or special esoteric knowledge of spiritual matters....The Gnostic sects disappeared in the fourth century, but their ideas inspired the dualistic Manichaean religion of the second century (Goodrick-Clarke:17)
Since occultism is associated primarily with Gnosticism, the association
of the Gnostics with homosexuality is of primary relevance to this study.
Thus we found an obscure reference to Hitler as a Manichaean in Steven
Katzs The Holocaust in Historical Context, Volume 1, of interest. Arthur
Evans Witchcraft and the Gay Counterculture provides some illumination
here. Mani, for whom Manichaeism is named, was a third century Prince of
Babylon who devised his own form of Gnosticism. Gnostics blended pagan
sex rituals and Mother Goddess worship with elements of New Testament Christianity
and rejected Jehovah God as an evil demon. Manichaeism imposed on Gnosticism
a caste system of leaders (elect) and followers (hearers).
A Manichaean sect called the Bogomils (later called the Cathars) arose in Bulgaria and spread across Europe. Homosexuality became so closely associated with these Bulgarian heretics that the practice became known as buggery. Indeed, the word for Cathar in most European languages came to be the word for homosexual: in German, Ketzer, in Italian, Gazarro, and in French, Herite....Heresy and homosexuality became so interchangeable that those accused of heresy attempted to prove their innocence by claiming heterosexuality (Evans:51ff).
We probably all take for granted the fact that today our modern world culture is dominated by the religions based on the Mosaic law (i.e. Judaism, Christianity and Islam). In their orthodox forms each of these religions regards homosexuality as an abomination. But pagan cultures have no such prohibition. (By definition, pagans are people who are not Jews, Christians or Moslems). In pagan cultures, homosexuals as a group often hold an elevated position in religion and society. When pagan civilizations ruled the world, homosexuality and pederasty were widely practiced and accepted. Homosexualist author Judy Grahn writes,
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Many aspects of shamanism had homosexual content, and many of the gods, spirits, and divinities of the world have been associated with Gayness. In Tahiti there were special divinities for homosexual worship. The ancient Shinto temples of Japan display scenes of sexual ritual orgies similar to those of the Bacchanalia of the Romans...the Great Mother Goddess of ancient China, Kwan-Yin, was worshiped with sexual rites that included homosexuality. When the Spanish conquistadores reached Central America and the Yucatan, they found a prevalence of Gay priests and sacred statues and stone sculpture depicting the homosexual union as a sacred act. In the Yucatan the god Chin is said to have established sacred homosexuality and a Gay priesthood serving in the temples just as was true of the temples of ancient Babylon and Sumeria (Grahn:129).
Christian writer George Grant concurs. He writes that Rome was a perpetual
satyricon. Egypt, Persia, Carthage, Babylon, and Assyria were all steeped
in pederastic tradition. And the ancient empires of the Mongols, Tartars,
Huns, Teutons, Celts, Incas, Aztecs, Mayans, Nubians, Mings, Canaanites,
and Zulus likewise celebrated depravity, degradation and debauchery (Grant,
1993:24). In Sexuality and Homosexuality, historian Arno Karlen writes
of homosexual cults throughout the ancient world: male temple prostitutesexisted
among the devotees of Ishtar and Astarte in Syria, the Albanians and Babylonians,
the Canaanite neighbors of the ancient Hebrews, and in Cos, Crete and Ephesus
in the Greek world (Karlen:6).
The ancient religion of Baal, familiar to students of the Bible as the set of beliefs and practices which so often corrupted Hebrew society in history, was one such cult. Worshippers of Baal built for themselves high places and pillars, and Asherim (phallic poles used to honor the goddess of fertility) on every high hill and under every green tree; and there were also male cult prostitutes in the land (quotation from 1 Kings 14 in Karlen:9). Reference to these practices is found in several places in the Bible, notably Deuteronomy 23:17-18: There shall be no ritual harlot of the daughters of Israel, or a perverted one of the sons of Israel. You shall not bring the wages of a harlot or the price of a dog [male prostitute] to the house of the LORD your God for any vowed offering, for both of these are an abomination to the LORD your God (NKJ).
The Baal cult survived into Roman times and figured prominently in the infamous debaucheries of the Roman emperors in the first centuries after Christ. Karlen writes,
It was in association with such cults that emperors deviance became most flagrant. Commodus, who took the throne in 180, appeared in public dressed as a woman and was strangled by a catamitic [homosexual] favorite; Hadrian deified his homosexual lover Antious. But neither matched Elegabalus, who began his rule at the age of fourteen in 218, after having been raised in Syria as a priest of Baal. He entered Rome amid Syrian priests and eunuchs, dressed in silks, his cheeks painted scarlet and his eyes made up. Various Roman historians say that he assembled the homosexuals of Rome and addressed them garbed as a boy prostitute; put on a wig and solicited at the door of a brothel; tried to get doctors to turn him into a woman; offered himself for buggery while playing the role of Venus in a court mime; kissed his male favorites genitals in public and, like Nero, formally married one of them...Elegabalus erected in Rome the great phallic asherim which the Hebrew kings had kept trying to purge from their land (Karlen:62).
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It is relevant to point out that this time period in the Roman empire can
be considered the Christians Holocaust. In 64 A.D. Christians were blamed
by Nero for the burning of Rome and were targeted for extermination. Many
Christians suffered unimaginable tortures as entertainment for the sadistic
homosexual emperors of Rome. Though Rome was less homosexually-oriented
than Greece, Roman society was nevertheless heavily influenced by homosexual
practices. In Homosexuality, the Torah and Grace, Dwight Pryor reports
that 14 of the first 15 Roman emperors were homosexual (tape one). In
The Construction of Homosexuality, historian David F. Greenberg writes
that Roman homosexual tastes were so taken for granted that when Antony
asked Herod to send his younger brother-in-law Aristobulus to the Roman
court, Herod refused because he did not think it safe to send him...to
the principal man of the Romans, that would abuse him in his amours (Greenberg:154f).
While there are many differences between the treatment of Christians in
Pagan Rome and Jews in Nazi Germany, the prominence of homosexuality among
the chief perpetrators of both atrocities cannot be ignored.
As we seek to understand Nazism, it is important to remember that Judaism and its Christian and Islamic offshoots are fundamentally opposed to homosexuality. As we begin to grasp the relationship between homosexuality and occultism on one hand, and between homosexuals and Nazism on the other, the hatred of the Nazis for Jews and Christians may be more easily explained. The Jews were the people responsible for the demise of pagan world domination. Their theology (especially in its Christian form) banished pagan practices, including homosexuality, to a hidden and often reviled subculture. This is not to say that anti-Semitism is strictly a result of occult or homosexual influences. But at its very root there is a spiritual element to the Holocaust that suggests that it was, in some respects, vengeance against the people whose moral laws had relegated pagan sex-religions to obscurity and ignominy.
Yet, while Christianity made great strides in limiting pagan practices, they were not eliminated. Under Judeo-Christian cultural pressure, surviving pagan beliefs and practices, including sexual perversion, were forced from public life, reemerging in secretive and mystical occultic societies.
It is important to our study that we recognize that the Nazis were strongly influenced by pagan occult beliefs and, additionally, that homosexuality is fundamental to many pagan belief systems. As noted by Greenberg this is especially true in relation to aristocratic warrior societies (ibid.:111). Indeed, this was true even of the Greeks, whose homosexuality was forced upon them by the Dorian invaders of the twelfth century B.C. Plutarch (Erotikus, 761 D) states: it was chiefly warlike peoples like the Boeotians, Lacedemonians and Cretans, who were addicted to homosexuality (Flaceliere:64ff). Author Brian Pronger notes that even the ancient Egyptians exhibited this tendency; their warriors raped enemy soldiers after defeating them in battle (Pronger:138).
It is also important to recognize that homo-occultism has remained a part of pagan cultures throughout the centuries to the present, even though the global predominance of the Judeo-Christian sexual ethic has limited its acceptance in most modern pagan societies such as China and Japan. When Jesuit missionaries arrived in sixteenth century China, for example, they found widespread pederasty (Spence:220) which they quickly moved to erase. And Rossman compares the institutionalized pederasty of the privileged warrior class of medieval Japans pederastic military structure to Nazi society (Rossman:23).
Greenberg reports on dozens of mostly primitive modern pagan societies which practice ritual homosexuality, usually pederasty. These societies are found throughout the world, in countries such as Brazil, New Guinea, Morocco, sub-Saharan Africa and Malaysia. Greenberg writes,
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In many societies, male homosexual relations are structured by age or generation: the older partner takes a role defined as active or masculine; the younger, a role defined as passive or female...[In many cases] The homosexual practices are justified by the belief that a boy will not mature [without these attentions] (Greenberg:26ff).
Such modern societies are profiled in The Sambia, by anthropologist Gilbert
Herdt, who studied homosexuality in primitive cultures. He writes that
ritual homosexuality has been reported by anthropologists in scattered
areas around the world [revealing a]...pervasive link between ritual homosexuality
and the warrior ethos....We find these similar forms of warrior homosexuality
in such diverse places as New Guinea, the Amazon, Ancient Greece, and historical
Japan (Herdt:203). The process of a boys homosexual initiation in these
societies is horrific: he is deprived of sleep, starved, beaten and raped
over several days until he is completely resocialized as a homosexual
Thus homosexuality in paganism is not a relic of antiquity but an ongoing phenomenon. And the prevalence of homosexuals as occult leaders continues today. In the context of Western culture this may simply be because homosexuals gravitate to philosophies which oppose Judeo-Christian morality. But this would not explain the wide occurrence of homosexual rituals in primitive and pre-Christian pagan cultures.
Homosexualist Laurence J. Rosan writes that the priests of polytheistic or spirit religions...[are] expected to be different-- unworldly, even eccentric, given to visions, dramatic pronouncements and so on -- an ideal opportunity for both male and female homosexuals! (Rosan:268f). The Bible, however, offers its own explanation, defining an individuals homosexuality not as an incidental factor in pagan religion but, at least in some cases, as the consequence of worshiping the creation rather than the Creator. The Book of Romans, Chapter 1, Verses 18-27 reads as follows:
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For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due (NKJ).
Ironically, the Biblical event which marks the beginning of homosexual practices in the post-flood world is the same one that is misinterpreted by pseudo-Christian white supremacists to justify their racial theories. Christian researcher Dwight Pryor gives the following interpretation (which we have summarized) of a familiar Biblical passage. In Genesis 9, Noah fell unconscious from drinking too much wine and while he was thus incapacitated Ham saw [or uncovered] his nakedness. This term, used primarily in the book of Leviticus, is a Hebraic euphemism for sexual intercourse. And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done to him. As a result of his sexual attack on his father, Ham is cursed by Noah. (In Call of the Torah Rabbi Elie Munk cites Hebrew scholars who also interprets Hams violation as an act of pederasty) - (Munk:220). Thus Ham becomes Canaan, for whom the land of Canaan is named. Some generations later the Canaanite cities of Sodom and Gomorrah would be destroyed by God because of homosexuality. White supremacists refer to Ham as the father of the colored races which they call mud people. But it is homosexual perversion, not skin color, which is associated with the curse of Canaan.
Madame Blavatsky and the Theosophical Society
An examination of the homo-occultic influences on the Nazis must begin
with the Russian-born mystic Helena Petrovna Blavatsky (1831-1891), founder
of the Theosophical Society and a figure who looms large behind some of
the defining actions and beliefs of the Nazi Party. Blavatsky was probably
a lesbian, but we have no proof that she actually engaged in lesbian sexual
activity. She is described as a very masculine woman who dominated her
many followers, both male and female (Cavendish:250). She was married twice
and maintained a long association with Theosophical Society co-founder
Henry Olcott, but these were relationships of convenience. Blavatsky insisted
she had never had sex with either husband (Meade:137) and wrote, There
is nothing of the woman in me. When I was young, if a young man had dared
to speak to me of love, I would have shot him like a dog who bit me (ibid.:50).
A world famous occultist, Blavatsky founded the Theosophical Society in 1875 in New York, but soon moved her operation to India where she wrote an influential occult book called The Secret Doctrine in 1888. In The Secret Doctrine Blavatsky expounds the Theosophical theory of creation; a seven-step progression of human evolution in which successive races evolve from a lower to a higher form of life. She calls these stages root races and identifies our current root race as the fifth of seven -- the Aryan race -- which follows the fourth race, known as the Atlantean. Blavatsky used a variety of esoteric symbols in the book, including triangles and swastikas. She claimed to be the chosen spokesperson for two exalted masters who communicated telepathically with her from their secret dwelling place in Tibet (Goodrick-Clarke:18ff).
In 1884 the first German Theosophical Society was established. Despite its ludicrous tenets, Theosophy became extremely popular in Germany and Austria. Its Aryan racist elitism appealed to the growing number of ethnic Germans whose voelkisch, or nationalist, sentiments demanded a reunited Germany. According to Blavatsky, the Aryans were the most spiritually advanced people on earth, but the Jews had a religion of hate and malice toward everyone and everything outside itself. This was a message tailor-made for Nazism.
Before she died in 1891, Blavatsky chose her British disciple Annie Besant to be her successor. Besant, who had once been a devout Christian, became a dedicated occultist after meeting Blavatsky. James Webb writes,
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Mrs. Besants extraordinary transformations from Anglican ministers wife through birth-control propagandist and labor leader to Theosophist ...are...well known...Arthur Nethercot, her biographer, suggests an element of the lesbian in the rapid domination of Mrs. Besant by H. P. Blavatsky (Webb:94).
She addressed Annie in suspiciously fulsome and endearing terms, writes
Nethercot, Dearest, My Dearest, Dearly Beloved One, and signing
herself Very adoring. Nethercot also reports that she dispatched missives
to Annie...and addressed them to My Darling Penelope from Your...female
Besants mentor and partner in running the Theosophical Society was Charles Leadbeater, whom Webb describes as that type of mildly homosexual clergyman who is as familiar now as he was then (Webb:95). But Leadbeaters homosexuality was not mild enough to keep him out of trouble. From his early days as a Hampshire curate until the close of his life, writes Webb, he seems to have had an incurable taste for young men (ibid.:95).
At one point Leadbeater claimed to have discovered the new Messiah -- the returned Christ -- in the person of a young Indian named Jiddu Krishnamurti. Krishnamurti gained international acceptance among followers of Theosophy as the new Savior. The boys father nearly ruined the scheme for the Theosophists, however, when he accused Leadbeater of corrupting his son. There was...small doubt that Leadbeater had been up to his old tricks again (ibid.:102).
Under Besant and Leadbeater, Theosophy attracted an even greater following. The writings of both Besant and Leadbeater, as well as Blavatsky, were translated and published in Germany. An 1892 periodical, Lotus Blossoms, featured Blavatskys writings and was the first German publication to sport the theosophical swastika upon its cover (Goodrick-Clarke:25). As time went on numerous other Theosophy-based occult groups formed in Germany and Austria. Several of these groups would provide the philosophical framework for Nazism.
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Guido von List and the Armanen Order
Guido von List (1848-1919) was the first to combine German nationalism
with the occult teachings of Theosophy. A bitter critic of Christianity,
especially Catholicism, List had converted to Wotanism (worship of Wotan,
the ancient German god of storms) as a young teenager. Years later List
became a cult figure on the eastern edge of the German world. He was regarded
by his readers and followers as a bearded old patriarch and a mystical
nationalist guru whose clairvoyant gaze had lifted the glorious Aryan and
German past of Austria into full view from beneath the debris of foreign
influences and Christian culture (Goodrick-Clarke:33).
Although twice married, List was almost certainly homosexual. His closest associates included occultists Jorg Lanz von Liebenfels and Harald Gravelle, the former very probably, the latter avowedly, homosexual. Gravelle, a leading Theosophist in Germany, also contributed to the pederast journal, Der Eigene. List was also known as the Aleister Crowley of Vienna because he was deeply involved in Hindu Tantrism, a form of black magic that incorporated deviant sexual rituals (J.S. Jones:124). In The Magical World of Alister Crowley, biographer Francis King states that as part of his occultic rituals, Crowley deliberately humiliated himself by being...the passive partner in act[s] of buggery (King in Tompkins:421).
In 1908 List formed the Guido von List Society in part to promote his Ariosophist research and writings, which by this time had become viciously anti-Semitic (ibid.:43).
Lists occult activities ranged across a wide spectrum. He was an expert on the Rune alphabet and wrote several books on the subject. He was particularly infatuated with the dual lightning bolt symbol that would later become the designation for the SS. (J. S. Jones:125). (The single lightning bolt would be adopted by the Hitler Youth.) He was also a self-styled occult master, claiming to be the last of the Armanist magicians who had formerly wielded authority in the old Aryan world (Goodrick-Clarke:33). In 1911, List formed an elitist occult organization called the Hoeher Armanen-Orden (Higher Armanen Order). The HAO was a hierarchical priesthood in which he was Grand Master. List claimed this cult was the surviving remnant of an ancient order of priest-kings called the Armanenschaft. This group was the source of Lists greatest influence on the Nazis. Goodrick-Clark writes,
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Lists blueprint for a new pan-German empire [based upon a revival of the Armanenschaft] was detailed and unambiguous. It called for the ruthless subjection of non-Aryans to Aryan masters in a highly structured hierarchical state. The qualifications of candidates [for positions in the new social order]...rested solely on their racial purity...But List went further still, anticipating the mystical elitism of the SS in Nazi Germany...Lists ideal was a male order with an occult chapter (Goodrick-Clarke:64f).
Not only is Lists design strikingly similar to the later plans of Heinrich
Himmler for the SS-controlled state, but it is also reminiscent of the
Brand/Friedlander philosophy of militaristic male supremacy.
Although the Armanen Order was never a large organization, its membership included high-ranking members of Austrian society (ibid.:233n). One devotee of Lists writings would become the hub of the Nazi movement: the young Adolf Hitler. After the fall of the Third Reich, a book written by Guido von List was found in Hitlers private library. On the inside cover was written the inscription: To Adolf Hitler, my dear brother in Armanen, although this is insufficient evidence to conclude that Hitler belonged to the order itself (J.S. Jones:124; Waite, 1977:90).
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Jorg Lanz von Liebenfels and Ariosophy
If any occultist can be said to have had more influence on Hitler and the Nazis than List it would be Jorg Lanz von Liebenfels (1874-1954). Lanz was a former Cistercian Monk who had been thrown out of the order for carnal and worldly desires (Sklar:19). Since the Cistercian Order was a closed, all-male monastery, it is assumed that Lanz's indiscretions were of a homosexual nature. German writer Friedrich Buchmayr noted the following about Lanz
[F]ollowing his ordination in 1898, as a priest, Lanz was put to use as a teacher of choir boys. In April of 1899, the 24-year-old left the order, stating his reason for this step as increasing nervousness and irritation. In the Chapter Book his departure was accounted to carnal loves. His later radical hatred of women suggests a failed relationship with women (Buchmayr, Biographisch- Bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon, Vol. XVI, 1999)
It was through Lanz that Hitler would learn that many of his heroes of
history were also practicing homosexuals (Waite, 1977:94f). After being
expelled from the monastery, Lanz formed his own occultic order called
the Ordo Novi Templi or the Order of the New Temple (ONT). The ONT was
related to the Ordo Templi Orientis or Order of the Temple of the East,
which, like Lists organization, practiced tantric sexual rituals (Howard:91).
Hitler was aware that Lanz was a homosexual, according to Frau Elsa Schmidt-Falk of the Nazi Genealogy Office of Munich, as reported by Daim. Schmidt-Falk frequently spoke with Hitler personally in her role as a genealogical researcher whose task was to verify the racial purity of highly-placed Nazis. She did not conclude from her discussions that Hitler was personally associated with Lanz (although he may have been) but she reported that
Lanz was also mentioned once in the following connection: a convicted homosexual had addressed a plea for clemency to Hitler, in which he designated [Lanz] as a homosexual. Hitler allowed this man to disappear...immediately....[At another time] Hitler mentioned Roehm, Heines, etc. and also Lanz von Liebenfels and his group, about which (group) he (Hitler) at least accepted that it was actively homosexual (Daim:41).
Both Lists and Lanz organizations were modeled on the Teutonic Knights and the Knights Templars, militaristic monastic orders founded in 1118 A.D. to fight in the Crusades (Goodrick-Clarke:60). Following the crusades, the Templars returned to Europe, but did not demobilize. Instead the members established monasteries which became centers of trade and influence. In the early 1300s the Knights Templars were condemned by Pope Innocent III for homosexual perversion and occultic practices. They were brought to trial and disbanded by King Philip the Fair of France. Igra writes,
[Homosexualitys] morbid history in the German blood dates from the time of the Teutonic Knights...Their personal lives were as infamous as the more widely publicized infamies of their brother Knights, the Templars. These latter became so corrupt that they raised the practice of their cardinal vice [homosexuality] into a religious cult...There were innumerable public trials where the most revolting details were brought to light (Igra:18).
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Others have confirmed the prevalence of homosexuality among the Teutonic
Knights. Adolf Brand, writing in Der Eigene, said of the Teutons (from
whom the Teutonic Knights take their name), that the Edda [Norse mythology]
extols it [homosexuality] as the highest virtue of the Teutons (Brand in
Oosterhuis and Kennedy:236f). Nazi leaders, especially Himmler, were infatuated
with the Teutons. Sklar writes that Like List and Lanz, Himmler was obsessed
with...the Order of the Teutonic Knights and that he saw his Black Guards
[the S.S.] as an elite cadre of Teutonic warriors (Sklar:14ff). Likewise,
Frederick the Great, Hitlers personal hero, revived the vices of the
Teutonic Knights in his army (Igra:19).
Hitlers Ordensburgen (Castles of the Order) were the highest residential academies for the training of the Nazi elite and received their name from the medieval fortresses built by the Teutonic Knights (Snyder:261). It was fitting, then, that the swastika flag would first be flown over one of these fortresses. On Christmas day, 1907, many years before the swastika would become the symbol of the Third Reich, Lanz and other members of the ONT raised a swastika flag over the castle which Lanz had purchased to house the order (Goodrick-Clarke:109). Lanz chose the swastika, he said, because it was the ancient pagan symbol of Wotan (Cavendish:1983). Wotanism, incidentally, was claimed by List to have been the national religion of the Teutons (Goodrick-Clarke:39).
The journal of the ONT was called Ostara, named for the female counterpart to Wotan in the pagan Germanic pantheon. Some of the titles of Ostara pamphlets included The Dangers of Womens Rights and the Necessity of a Masculine Morality of Masters, and Introduction to Sexual-Physics, or Love as Odylic Energy. Lanz claimed homosexuality was the result of Odylic influences (Waite, 1977:93f). Lanz hated women, writing that the soul of the woman has something pre-human, something demonic, something enigmatic about it (Rhodes:108). Nature herself, wrote Lanz, has ordained women to be our slaves (Lanz in Daim:31). He blamed Aryan racial impurities on promiscuous women who were copulating with men of lower races.
Lanzs occult philosophies, which he dubbed Ariosophy (Aryan Theosophy), were an enlargement upon the ideas of Guido von List. To the foundation of Theosophy and German nationalism, Lanz added the popular theme of social Darwinism, as promoted by Ernst Haeckel and the Monist League. Haeckel is famous today for his debunked theory that ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny, the idea that the unborn young of all species pass through distinct embryonic stages that recapitulate the evolution of successive phyla. But in pre-Nazi Germany, Haeckel was famous for his application of Darwins concept of survival of the fittest to human society. Cambridge historian and London Times journalist Ben Macintyre writes,
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The German embryologist Haeckel and his Monist League told the world, and in particular, Germany, that the whole history of nations is explicable by means of natural selection: Hitler and his twisted theories turned this pseudo-science into politics, attempting to destroy whole races in the name of racial purity and the survival of the fittest...Hitler called his book Mein Kampf, My Struggle, echoing Haeckels translation of Darwins phrase the struggle for survival (Macintyre:28f).
Lanzs Ariosophy would fuel the imaginations of the Nazi elite, despite (or perhaps because of) its lunatic qualities. Lanz fulminated, writes Goodrick-Clarke, against the false Christian tradition of compassion for the weak and inferior and demanded that the nation deal ruthlessly with the underprivileged (Goodrick-Clarke:97). Waite reports that Hitler was an avid fan of Ostara and developed his anti-Semitic philosophy with the help of racist pamphlets published and distributed by Lanz and Guido von List.
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[Hitler] bought some anti-Semitic pamphlets for a few pennies. These pamphlets, which were so important to the formation of Hitlers political thinking, were distributed by a virulently anti-Semitic society called the List-Gesellschaft. The tracts were written by two now-forgotten pamphleteers, Georg Lanz von Liebenfels (1872-1954) and Guido von List (c. 1865-1919). Of all the racist pamphlets available to Hitler during those years, only those written by Lanz and List set forth in explicit detail the ideas and theories that became unmistakably and characteristically Hitlers own. Only they preached the racial theory of history which proclaimed the holiness and uniqueness of the one creative race of Aryans; only they called for the creation of a racially pure state which would battle to the death the inferior races which threatened it from without and within; and only they demanded the political domination of a racial elite led by a quasi-religious military leader. Hitlers political ideas were later developed and reinforced in racist circles of Munich after the war in 1919-1923, but their genesis was in Vienna under the influence of Lanz and List (Waite, 1977:91).
In 1958 Wilhelm Daim, an Austrian psychologist, published a study of Lanz
entitled Der Mann der Hitler die Ideen gab (The Man Who Gave Hitler His
Ideas). In the book, Daim recounts that Lanz had met Hitler in Vienna
when the latter was 20 years old. Hitler often visited occult bookstores
and he used his contacts in some of them to locate Lanz after having trouble
finding back issues of Ostara. While he was destitute in Vienna, Hitler
hotly defended Liebenfels ideas against skeptics writes Snyder (Snyder:211).
In 1932, twenty-three years after that fateful meeting, Lanz wrote, Hitler
is one of our pupils...you will one day experience that he, and through
him we, will one day be victorious and develop a movement that makes the
world tremble (Cavendish:1983). This proclamation, however, did not sit
well with der Fuehrer, and he had Lanzs writings banned in 1933 (Snyder:211).
Lanzs Ostara was a focal point for racist and occult figures in Germany. In Ostara, Lanz proposed that unsatisfactory racial types be eliminated by abortion, sterilization, starvation, forced labor and other means. He also recommended Aryan breeding farms where a master race, destined to control the world, could be hatched (Cavendish:1983). Heinrich Himmler would later create such a breeding program (called Lebensborn) during the Third Reich. The close similarity of Lanzs prescription for the elimination of inferiors to the views of Benedict Friedlander suggests the possibility of a relationship between The ONT (Order of the New Temple) and the Community of the Elite. One link was Harald Gravelle, a homosexual member of the Guido von List Society who wrote for both Ostara and Der Eigene (Steakley:67n.34). Gravelle was the principle theosophist of Lanzs acquaintance, with the exception of Guido List (Goodrick-Clarke:100).
Although not directly connected to the ONT, the astrologist, Dr. Karl Gunther Heimsoth was another link between the Community of the Elite and the occultists. Heimsoth, a homosexual, was a close friend and Freikorps comrade of Roehm and maintained close contact with several future Nazi big wigs (Machtan:108f). He wrote a book titled Charakter Konstellation, which was devoted entirely to the horoscopes of homosexuals (Rector:81); he was also a contributor to Der Eigene. Heimsoth is remembered for coining the term homophile (Oosterhuis and Kennedy:188), which was a common American synonym for homosexual in the early decades of the gay movement here.
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The Thule Society
In 1912, various followers of List and Lanz formed an organization called
the Germanen Order. Diverging radically from the purely philosophic and
spiritual focus of the groups that the two masters had formed, the Germanen
Order was to take an active role in fulfilling the goals of Ariosophist
teachings. The principle aim of the Germanen Order, writes Goodrick-Clarke,
was the monitoring of the Jews and their activities by the creation of
a center to which all anti-Semitic material would flow for distribution
(Goodrick-Clarke:128). Only Aryans of pure descent were allowed to become
members. The first World War disrupted the organization, but in the aftermath
of the war the chapters of the Order began to engage in direct action against
those they considered to be their enemies.
After the war the Order began to be used as a cover organization for the recruitment of political assassins (ibid.:133) who revived the practices of the Vehmgericht, a medieval vigilante society whose only sentence was death (Waite 1969:216ff). Prominent among these assassins were Gerhard Rossbach, Edmund Heines and other Butch homosexuals who would later help to shape the Nazi Party (Snyder:92, Waite:222f).
Some 354 enemies of the nationalists were killed over several years in the campaign of Vheme murders, the most prominent being Walther Rathenau, Foreign Minister of the German Republic during World War I. Ironically, many of the victims were killed for sexual and not political reasons. Waite writes,
The Feme [Vheme] was often directed against former comrades of post-Free
Corps organizations. The very multiplicity of Bunds and secret societies
led to competition, quarreling and death....Competition and conflict was
intensified by the fact that many of the Freebooters were homosexuals and
hence prone to jealousy and lovers quarrels. The Mayer-Hermann case
will serve as an example.
Oberleutnant Mayer was Kreisleiter of the Arbeitsgemeinschaft Rossbach. He was also, as court testimony euphemistically put it, an enemy of women, as was his Leader, Gerhard Rossbach and, supported by a wealthy tobacconist, one Kurt Hermann, he founded his own Arbeitsgemeinschaft Mayer. But Oberleutnant Mayer soon became jealous of a certain Gebauer, a former Baltic fighter, who was also courting Herr Hermann. Mayer charged Gebauer with treason and sent two of his men to Hermanns home. They found the traitor in bed with Herr Hermann -- Frau Hermann was away at the time -- and carried out the sentence of the Feme (Waite 1969:222f).
In 1917, because of the association of the Germanen Order with political terrorism, its Bavarian chapter changed its name to the Thule Society to spare it the attentions of socialist and pro-Republican elements (ibid.:144). The Thule Society retained many of the bizarre occult theories originated by Blavatsky and had close ties to Crowleys organization (Raschke:339). Historian Wulf Schwarzwaller writes,
Briefly, the creed of the Thule Society inner circle was as follows: Thule was a legendary island in the Far North, similar to Atlantis, supposedly the center of a lost, high level civilization. But not all secrets of that civilization had been completely wiped out. Those that remained were being guarded by ancient, highly intelligent beings...The truly initiated could establish contact with these beings...[who could] endow the initiated with supernatural strength and energy. With the help of these energies of Thule, the goal of the initiated was to create a new race of supermen of Aryan stock who would exterminate all inferior races (Schwarzwaller:66f).
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The leader of the Thule Society was a man named Rudolf von Sebottendorf
but its chief organizer was Walter Nauhaus, a former member of the Wandervoegel
movement (Goodrick-Clarke:143). Members of the Thule Society who figure
prominently in the rise of Nazism included Hans Kahnert, Dietrich Eckart
and Rudolf Hess. In 1919 Kahnert founded Germanys largest gay rights
organization, the Bund fuer Menschenrecht (Society for Human Rights)
which counted SA Chief Ernst Roehm among its members (J. Katz:632n94).
Eckart, meanwhile, was a founding member of the German Workers Party and
became Adolf Hitlers mentor (Shirer:65). Like Hitler, Eckart was a subscriber
to Ostara (J. S. Jones:301n91).
Dietrich Eckart adopted Hitler as his student in 1920. He later stated that he felt drawn to his [Hitlers] whole being and that he and Hitler developed an intimate relationship in which he referred to the younger man as my Adolf (Machtan:117). Eckart never confessed to being a homosexual, but the evidence suggests that he was. He is alleged by some to have been involved in Tantric occult sex rituals similar to Crowleys, and even to have initiated Hitler into such activities (Raschke:399). We do know that Eckart was one of the most enthusiastic followers of Otto Weininger, a leading homosexual supremacist whose theories denigrated women (Igra:100). Alfred Rosenberg characterized Eckart as an inveterate misogynist whose exclusively male company destroyed his short and childless marriage in 1920 (Machtan:118f).
There is no question at all that Eckart was instrumental in Hitlers early successes. With Eckart as his mentor, writes Schwarzwaller, the gauche and inhibited Hitler -- the unsuccessful painter, former PFC, who had not even been promoted to corporal because of lack of leadership qualities, quite suddenly...became an outstanding organizer and propagandist (Schwarzwaller:68).
Like Roehm and Lanz, Eckart claimed credit for creating Hitler. In 1923, shortly before his death, Eckart wrote to a friend, Follow Hitler! He will dance, but it will be to my tune. We have given him the means to maintain contact with them (meaning the masters). Dont grieve for me for I have influenced history more than any other German (Schwarzwaller:69). Though he would later ridicule many of the occultists and their ideas, Hitler dedicated his book, Mein Kampf, to Eckart, and at one time called Eckart his John the Baptiser (ibid.:70).
Hitlers next spiritual mentor was Karl Haushofer, who later became Germanys leading theorist on the subject of geo-politics (the scientific study of the influence of geography on political events). A secret member of the Thule Society, Haushofer is credited with training Hitler to think in terms of world conquest and is believed to have virtually dictated Chapter 16 of Mein Kampf, which outlines Hitlers foreign policy (Sklar:63f). Haushofers Lebensraum (living space) theory was later used to justify German expansion, while his familiarity with the Orient allowed him to forge Hitlers alliance with Japan (ibid.).
There is evidence to suggest that Haushofer was homosexual as well. In Hitlers Cross, Erwin Lutzer accuses Haushofer of taking Hitler
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through the deepest levels of occult transformation until he became a thoroughly demonized being. Hitler was even transformed sexually; he became a sado-masochist, practicing various forms of sexual perversion (Lutzer:61).
More persuasive is the testimony of Ilse Hess, wife of Rudolf Hess, the Thule Society member who would rise the highest in Nazi circles. Hess, a homosexual (his marriage notwithstanding) was one of Hitlers closest friends and a fellow student of Haushofer. Machtan reports that Ilse Hess...complained that she had gotten no more out of her marriage than a girl confirmand and she even compared herself, where the pleasures of matrimony are concerned, to a convent schoolgirl (Machtan:149). He adds the following:
Hess had developed a close relationship with Haushofer, who was twenty-five years older than himself. The two of them often spent whole nights sitting together in Haushofers home, and they also made joint excursions. Hes a wonderful person, Hess enthusiastically told his parents, and Haushofer dedicated to his young friend Rudolf Hess a hymn reminiscent of Stefan George [a well-known pederast], which spoke of his eyes festively illuminating closed doors just as a sunset is reflected in a spring. Ilse Hess later confessed in a restrained fashion, that she had long been almost a trifle jealous of Haushofer, who seemed to have positively absorbed her boyfriend (Machtan:144f).
Hess eventually became the Deputy Fuehrer of the Nazi Party. Both Hess
and Alfred Rosenberg had an immense influence on Hitler to whom they preached
the gospel of the Thule Society (Angebert:172). In addition to his involvement
with the Thule Society, Hess belonged to yet another offshoot of the Theosophical
cult. It was an organization called the Anthroposophical Society, formed
in 1912 by Rudolf Steiner. Steiner was a former leader of the German Theosophical
Society who split with the group following their discovery of the new
messiah. Hess was also a firm believer in astrology (Howe:152).
Hitler was also influenced by other members of the Thule Society. Waite writes,
In describing his initiation into politics at Munich in 1919, Hitler stressed the importance of a little pamphlet entitled My Political Awakening ...[written by] a sickly fanatic called Anton Drexler...Drexler was an adjunct member of the Thule Society, the most influential of the many racist anti-Semitic groups spawned in Munich during the immediate postwar period...By the time of the revolution of 1918, the society numbered some 1500 members in Bavaria and included many of Hitlers later supporters. Hitler himself, it is reported was often a guest of the Society...The actual German Workers Party which was to become the mighty Nazi movement...differed very little from the discussion groups and activities of the Thule Society or the other racist groups to which all the founders belonged. (Waite, 1977:115).
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Yet another prominent Nazi who was strongly influenced by the German occult
movement was Heinrich Himmler. Himmler maintained a close relationship
with a prominent occultist named Karl Maria Wiligut, who became known as
the Rasputin of Himmler (Goodrick-Clarke:177). It is not clear if this
designation is meant to imply that Wiligut shared the infamous Russians
penchant for sexual licentiousness. Wiligut claimed to have a gift of clairvoyant
ancestral memory, certainly quite useful to the racial purists of the
Nazi Party who were concerned with proving their own Aryan heritage. Wiligut
was responsible for designing the Deaths Head ring worn by members of
Under Himmler, the SS became a veritable occultic order. Christian names of SS soldiers were replaced with Teutonic names, and all members were required to maintain the strictest secrecy and detachment from the rest of society (Sklar:100). In later years Himmler spent vast sums of money on esoteric research projects such as an expedition to Tibet to look for traces of a pure Germanic race which might have been able to keep intact the ancient Nordic mysteries (ibid.:102). (This little-known aspect of Nazi history is, of course, the inspiration for the Steven Spielberg movie, Raiders of the Lost Ark.)
Himmler may well have been a homosexual (two sources are cited later in the book), however, his intense obsession with secrecy largely shielded him from disclosure of his private life. He did, however, foster the cult of the maennerbund among his men. Some report that SS special forces training required recruits to soap each others bodies during showers to establish mutual dependency (Reisman, 1994:3). Later, Himmler would make empty threats against homosexuals in public pronouncements, but it is clear that he was completely comfortable being part of Adolf Hitlers clique of pederasts.
In any case, we can see that the occult roots of the Nazi Party ran deep into German history. It is also apparent that many of the leading occult figures responsible for this legacy were homosexuals. From ancient pagan roots through Blavatsky to List and Lanz, and to Hitler himself, the evolution of homo-occultism gave the Nazis their theories of an Aryan Master Race and their justification for the vicious extermination of inferior life.