Welcome to the tenth and final installment in what has been an epic exploration of the notorious Thule Society. For those of you just joining me, here's a brief rundown of what you've missed over the past nine installments in this series:
Part one was largely dedicated to dispelling many of the common misconceptions surrounding Thule that are so popular among conspiracy theorists (i.e. the UFOs, the Spear of Longinus, the "Vril forces", etc). With the second installment I gave a brief overview of the ideology, organizations and individuals that paved the way for Thule, with a special emphasis on the secret society known as the Germanenorden and the esoteric strand of Ariosophy that dominated much of Germany's infamous volkisch movement in the early twentieth century. Part three considered the background of Thule's founder, Baron Rudolf von Sebottendorff, with a special emphasis on his occult studies in the Near East.
With part eight I digressed again to introduce a bizarre White Russian secret society known as the Sovereign Order of Saint John (SOSJ) and the alleged role it played in the Baltic Campaign German Freecorps embarked upon. The SOSJ is one of the most enigmatic modern secret societies one is apt to encounter. Despite seemingly having existed since the 1930s (and claiming descent from the Medieval Knights Hospitaller via the Russian tradition) and featuring various high ranking military officers and even a few CIA assets (some of whom with ties to the international drug trade to boot) as initiates, it is rarely if ever addressed by conspiracy theorists. This blog has addressed the post-1950s SOSJ before here, here and here. But back to the matter at hand.
With the ninth and most recent installment I considered the compelling evidence of ties between Thule and the SOSJ in Bavaria during the early 1920s as well as those between the SOSJ and Thule-linked groups such as the Edda Society later on. As was noted there, compelling evidence has emerged that the SOSJ's long time patron, Romanov pretender Grand Duke Cyril (sometimes spelled as Kirill), was the middle man in bringing funds provided by Henry Ford into Germany where it could be lavished upon the Bavarian far right. One of the recipients of this largess was the fledgling Nazi Party. It was noted there that Dietrich Eckart, an early mentor of Adolf Hitler and a regular guest of Thule (and long alleged member), seems to have been who initially procured funds from Ford for the Nazi Party and that Cyril (and possibly General Erich Ludendorff) was who served as the conduit.
|Grand Duke Cyril|
"The cooperation between German and White émigré rightists based in Bavaria and Vrangel proved short-live because of the Red Army's surprisingly rapid victory over Vrangel's forces. Nonetheless, the brief German-White emigre/White connection spurred the formation of Aufbau, a conspiratorial volkisch German/White emigre organizations that opposed the Entente, the Weimer Republic, Jewry, and Bolshevism. Aufbau sought to overthrow the Bolshevik regime and to set Grand Prince Kirill Romanov at the head of a pro-German Russian monarchy. Following the low point of right-wing fortunes in Germany that had been reached with the Kapp Putsche's failure, Aufbau demonstrated its resilience by rejuvenating the volkisch German/White emigre radical right on German soil in the course of late 1920 in the first half of 1921.
"Aufbau maintained close ties with the National Socialist Party from the beginning. The German Max Amann served both as Aufbau's second secretary and the secretary of the National Socialist Party. Four Baltic German Aufbau colleagues from the same Riga fraternity in the Russian Empire played leading roles in the National Socialist Party: Aufbau's deputy director Arno Schickedanz, and two collaborators with Hitler's early mentor Dietrich Eckart, Alfred Rosenberg and Otto von Kursell. Prominent White emigre members of Aufbau who did not belong to the NSDAP, but who nevertheless served its cause included Aufbau's vice president Vladimir Biskupskii, the Ukrainian Cossack Ivan Poltavets-Ostranitsa, who led Aufbau's Ukrainian section, and the close trio of Fedor Vinberg, Piotr Shabelskii-Bork, and Sergei Taboritskii. Scheubner-Richter also introduced Hitler to General Erich von Ludendorff in the context of Aufbau, thereby beginning a political collaboration that led to the disastrous Hitler/Ludendorff Putsch of November 1923."
(The Russian Roots of Nazism, Michael Kellogg, pgs. 109-110)
|Max von Scheubner-Richter, the chief figure behind the Aufbau and a close friend of Adolf Hitler leading up to the Beer Hall Putsch|
Speaking of that network, its interesting to note a German military intelligence officer known as Walther Nicolai was tapped to establish an international intelligence network for Cyril after Aufbau threw its support behind the Grand Duke.
"After Aufbau's re-founding, the organization strongly supported Kirill's claim to the Tsarist thrown in opposition to Markov II's increasingly pro-French Supreme Monarchical Council. In February 1922, the Aufbau leaders Scheubner-Richter, Biskupskii, and Ludendorff urged Kirill to move from the French Riviera to Bavaria so that he could act in the center of his German base of support. Kirill and his wife Viktoria discussed this relocation with German officials. Anticipating Kirill's arrival in Germany, General Ludendorff worked to establish an intelligence service for Kirill and his allies under Walther Nicolai in early April 1922. Nicolai had served Ludendorff as the head of the German Army High Command Intelligence Service during World War I. Ludendorff asked Nicolai to use his considerable experience and connections to establish a reliable pro-Kirill intelligence agency for the struggle against Bolshevism. The bureau was to replace the modest agency that General Kurlov and Lieutenant Iurii Kartsov had earlier established to support the legitimate movement behind Kirill.
"Nicolai was eminently qualified to lead such an intelligence service. In addition to possessing impressive intelligence credentials from World War I, enjoyed considerable influence in the contemporary right-wing German circles. In February 1921, he had taken over the leadership of the Kartell nationaler Zeitungen im Reich (Cartel of National Newspapers in the State). The Cartel propagated nationalist policies, notably rejecting the provisions of the Treaty of Versailles, which had truncated Germany, severely limited its armed forces, and subjected it to immense reparations.
"Nicolai met with Scheubner-Richter and Ludendorff in the middle of April 1922 to discuss matters in greater detail. He agreed to establish an anti-Bolshevik intelligence agency so that Ludendorff and his allies, including Scheubner-Richter, Kirill, and Hitler, would have a reliable source of information on the events in the Soviet Union. The money for the intelligence service, code-named Project S, came from Kirill. Nicolai began sending regular reports to Scheubner-Richter in the first half of July 1922. Scheubner-Richter expressed satisfaction with Aufbau's intelligence information in an October 1922 edition of Aufbau Correspondence. He noted that agents were sending reports from Vienna, Budapest, the Balkans, Kiev, and 'other' cities in the Soviet Union. In addition to using information from Project S for Aufbau's purposes, Scheubner-Richter passed intelligence on to Hitler's National Socialist Party, to which he belonged, and with which Aufbau was ever increasingly allied."
(The Russian Roots of Nazism, Michael Kellogg, pgs. 152-153)
Its interesting to note that the above-mentioned Walther Nicolai was alleged by the SOSJ's "official" website to be a member of the Order and the head of its intelligence during this time. It also notes that Nicolai was involved in the right-wing assassination squad known as the Organisation Consul (OC, addressed in part two and five of this series). While I've found nothing to substantiate these claims (Nicolai is not even mentioned as an SOSJ member in History of the Sovereign Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, Knights of Malta by long time Grand master Charles Pichel) Kellogg did seem to believe that there was a connection between Aufbau and the OC, especially in the case of the assassination of Walther Rathenau. As was noted in part two, the OC was also linked to the Germanenorden, the secret society to which Thule was a lodge of. The OC also had indirect links to Thule via a Freecorps known as Freikorps Oberland.
"Section B of Organization C under Lieutenant Manfred von Killinger oversaw military matters. Section B supported German self-defense organizations in Upper Silesia, most importantly Freikorps Oberland (Uplands Volunteer Corps), the only fully armed formation of the roughly 80,000 German soldiers who opposed Polish invaders in 1921. The Thule Society, which had helped to spawn the National Socialist Party, had overseen the formation of Freikorps Uplands. The former Latvian Intervention commander Colonel Pavel Bermondt-Avalov possessed connections with Freikorps Uplands in the fall of 1921. In another example of nationalist German-White emigre collaboration, he raised volunteers from Russian interment camps in Germany for action against the Poles in Upper Silesia. Freikorps Uplands held ideological view similar to those of White forces in the Russian Civil War. The formation advertised for members with the assertion: 'We fight Jewish-Russian Bolshevism and American-Jewish capitalism, both of which are diseased outgrowths of economic life.'"
(The Russian Roots of Nazism, Michael Kellogg, pg. 174)
|an eagle used by Freikorps Oberland|
And with that being said, let us consider Cyril's American operatives. Chief among them was Charles Pichel, the long time Grand Master of the SOSJ. Whether or not the secret society actually existed at this point is highly debatable, but clearly it's nucleus had emerged as the above-mentioned Aufbau demonstrates.
"To understand the presence of the Grand Duke Kirill's network in the Knights, we must examine the group's leader, Charles T. Pichel. Pichel's interest in chivalric orders went back at least to 1924, when he helped establish the American Heraldry Society in New York City. By the early 1930s, he was active in the far right. On 15 July 1933, he wrote a prominent Nazi named Ernst Hanfstaengl offering his services as liaisons between the American right and Hitler. In the late 1930s he became involved in a nebulous Axis propaganda ring called 'The Order of the Blue Lamoo. Pichel's ties to the Blue Lamoo surfaced in a 1939 report by New York detective named Boris Casimir Palmer (Pilenas). A former World War I military intelligence agent, Palmer ran his own detective agency out of an office located at 170 Broadway. One 27 January 1939 he sent a letter to the Non-Secretary Anti-Nazi League (NSANL) under the title 'Subject Japanese espionage.' In it, he discussed Pichel's involvement with Boris Brasol, a leading White Russian anti-Semite, intelligence operative, criminologist, literary figure, and founder of the Union of Czarist Army and Navy Officers. Brasol was said to have been a representative of a Nazi propaganda organization called the Fichte Bund, and was close to the Cossack General Grigori Semionov, who was financed by Japan.
"Palmer told the NSANL that a Franciscan priest, Father Peter Baptiste Duffee, claimed that Brasol also belong to 'a Nazi propaganda organization known as the Blue Lammoo [sic]. At the head of the group is Charles T. Pichel, an ex-con.' Pichel, then living in Leonia, New Jersey, was said to be working for a member of the IRA who is in the employ of the Japanese Commercial Attaché in Washington. Duffee identified the IRA man as Vincent Walsh. Walsh, who later worked with the Japanese consulate in New York, was tied to Pichel, who was 'said to be an Englishman, alleged drug smuggler, and Nazi spy.' Duffee also reported on another Blue Lamoo'er close to Pichel, a 'Count Tcherep-Spiridovich.'
"How well-informed was Father Duffee? In his book American Swastika, Charles Higham reports that the priest served as Father Coughlan's liaison to Boris Brasol. Duffee was also right about the Blue Lamoo. According to the anti-fascist Friends of Democracy group, the Ancient and Noble Order of the Blue Lamoo was a White Russian fascist organization, one of whose members was the 'Count V. Cherep-Spiridovich.' The 'Count' was born Howard Victor von Boenstrupp. A former patent lawyer, Boenstrupp was also known as 'the Duke of St. Saba,' 'Colonel Bennett,' and 'J. G. Francis.' A close associate of Silver Shirt leader William Dudley Pelley, he was indicted along with Pelley on sedition charges on 21 July 1942. Nor was this his first encounter with the law. In 1933, when he was just plain Howard, he was charged with grand larceny for allegedly stealing a valuable book and other crimes. During the House Committee on Un-American Activities questioning of Fritz Kuhn, Cherep-Spiridovich's name came up in connection with two publications, Intelligence and American Tribunal. He was also linked to 'the Order of the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem.'
"Boenstrupp said he got his title after being legally adopted by a real White Russian count, Major General A. Cherep-Spiridovich, who died a suicide. A friend of Boris Brasol, the count lived in America after World War I, and headed the Anglo-Latino-Slav League. He was also involved in the Anti-Bolshevik Publishers Association, which published The Gentiles' Review. Cherep-Spiridovich was the author of a near-psychotic 1926 tract called The Secret World Government of the Hidden Hand, and was intimately involved in promoting The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion in the United States.
"Starting in June 1922, the well-known journalist Norman Hapgood ran a series of exposés in Hearst's International entitled 'The Inside Story of Henry Ford's Jew Mania.' In it, Cherep-Spiridovich and Brasol were identified as two of the most influential figures behind Ford. According to Hapgood, Cherep-Spiridovich at one point lived in Detroit and worked for Ford. He also identified another Russian friend of Brasol's involved with the Protocols, a former diplomat and Hereditary Knight Commander in Pichel's order named Boris Bakhmeteff.
"As for Brasol, his ties to Ford evolved out of his earlier connection to American military intelligence. One of his ex-military intelligence cronies was C.C. Daniels, the head of the Ford Detective Agency in New York and the brother of Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels. Dr. Harris Houghton, C.C. Daniels' family physician and the New York head of Army Intelligence, was also close to Brasol. After World War I, Houghton created the Beckwith Company to publish tracts like the Protocols.
"Casimir Palmer, who worked for the Military Intelligence Division in Washington during World War I, also knew Brasol. In a signed affidavit dated 2 April 1937, he said he first met Brasol in April 1918 when the Russian was working for the War Trade Board in New York City. After telling Palmer that the downfall of the Russian monarchy had been part of a Jewish conspiracy, Brasol 'mentioned something about there being in existence some sort of secret document known as the Protocols of Zion.' They next met on 29 June 1918 at Brasol's apartment on West 84th Street. Again Brasol claimed that Jewish bankers like the Warburgs were behind the Bolshevik Revolution, information that Palmer relayed 'to my superior, Captain Carleton J H. Hayes, now professor of history at Columbia University.' Palmer then reported that a copy of the Protocols manuscript was sent to a Congressional Committee by a very close friend of Henry Ford, Dr. H.A. Houghton. When Palmer met Brasol for a third time, Brasol gave him a copy of the Protocols, which he had gotten translated into English."
(Dreamer of the Day, Kevin Coogan, pgs. 606-608)
There's a lot to take in here. I've already addressed William Dudley Pelley at length before here, but in brief: Beyond his well known ties to the pre-WWII fascist underground, Pelley was also deeply involved in the U.S. metaphysical scene by the late 1920s after having a near-death experience (which he later dubbed "hypo-dimensional"). Pelley would develop his own elaborate metaphysical system and would become a minor celebrity in search circles by the early 1930s. Even after's Pelley's star waned upon his founding of the Silver Shirts his ideology would continue to have an enormous influence on the I AM Movement (which had a million followers in the United States by 1938) and other pre-WWII metaphysical strands.
Pelley was incarcerated as a result of his sedition trial in 1942 and was not released until 1950. Almost immediately he latched onto the emerging UFO movement and developed ties to George Hunt Williamson and likely famed contactee George Adamski (who claimed to have been visited by very Aryan looking extraterrestrials). Even more curious was the fact that Pelley had been claiming that the white race was descendant from celestial beings from Sirius since at least the 1930s. By the 1950s he proclaimed these beings to be extraterrestrials. Pelley's views in this regard bear remarkable similarities to Robert K.G. Temple's ancient astronaut theory involving Sirius, which were not publicly revealed until 1976 with the publication of his The Sirius Mystery. Pelley himself had already been dead for over a decade by this time.
The above-mentioned figure of H.A. Houghton, a doctor and military intelligence officer who had headed Army Intelligence in New York City during WWI, is also interesting. We already met him briefly in part nine of this series where it was noted that his publishing house, the Beckwith Company, reprinted the serialized debate between famed British conspiracy theorist (and fascist) Nesta Webster and Thulist Kurt Kerlin over Germany's role in the Bolshevik Revolution.
|Houghton's publishing house, Beckwith Company, was responsible for one of the earliest English-language editions of the Protocols distributed in America|
As was noted parts seven, eight, and nine of this series, both Thule and the SOSJ would play an early and key role in spreading the Protocols in Germany after World War I. The same was true in America, where Grand Duke Cyril's agent Boris Brasol took the lead in this endeavor.
"Brasol came to America in 1916, followed by Major-General Count Cherep-Spiridovich. The passion of these two frustrated Czarist was the restoration of the Romanoff Czar, using American dollars and American suckers as their medium. Hatred of the Jew in Russia was transferred to a dynamic hatred of the Jew in America. An old world cancer was transplanted to the new world. It gained as its chief promoter America's wealthiest but politically most naïve personality – Henry Ford.
"Ford was induced to publish the Dearborn Independent, and placed William J. Cameron in charge as editor. It became such an organ of anti-Semitism that E.G. Pipp, editor-in-chief of the Detroit News who had been hired to run Ford's paper soon resigned in disgust. But Ford's secretary, E.G. Liebold, insisted that Brasol be added to the writing staff. And Brasol boasted in a letter to Spiridovich in 1921:
"'Within the last year I have written three books, two of which have done the Jews more injury than would have been done to them by ten pogroms.'
"This was the beginning of the political black magic which Brasol-Spiridovich thrust upon Henry Ford and America. Detroit became the Mecca to which disgruntled White Russian Czarists – and later, Bundists – flocked. They wanted Ford gold; they wanted to revive the Black Hundred; they wanted to sabotage Democracy in the land of its greatest attainment.
"As soon as Natalie De Bogory, daughter of the Czarist Russian General made the first translation of the Protocols in America, Brasol turned it over to the Dearborn Independent. He also introduced them as 'truth' to the United States Secret Service and was appointed to a position in our Department of Justice during the regime of Harry M. Daugherty. Vouching for the veracity of the scandalous forgeries Brasol then induced the staid American Defense Society to distribute them to its members...
"The Dearborn Independent articles defaming the Jews were published in book form and are still making the rounds among Park Avenue and rabble 'patriots.' They were peddled and promoted by all those who had earned a place of honor on the World Service list: True, Winrod, Pelley, Hudson, Deatherage, Edmondson, Mrs. Fry – and countless others, including Sanctuary and Kullgren. Mrs. Schuyler loaned me a copy. The Klan made capital of it in vitally important Detroit. Every Nazi from Mrs. Fry down to McWilliams used it as a reference source. Translated into more than sixteen languages, they spread to many corners of the world, and served as an invaluable supplement to the Protocols from which they were inspired. And all of it was due to the trusting nature of a wealthy old man, a genius in his business, but unskilled in politics – and to the energies of such alien minds as Boris Brasol."
(Under Cover, John Roy Carlson, pgs. 204-206)
"When in 1927 Ford suspended the Dearborn Independent after seven years of relentless anti-Semitism and apologized with the lame remark that he was 'deeply mortified' for 'resurrecting exploded fictions.' Its editor, known to millions of Americans as 'the voice of the Ford Sunday Evening Hour,' by no means recanted. In 1928, William J. Cameron gave an interview to Hitler's first emissary to America, Kurt G.W. Luedecke.
"That same year, 1928, there appeared an organization known as the Anglo-Saxon Federation, with offices in Detroit. Howard B. Rand was secretary and Cameron was president. It published an expensive magazine called Destiny and propagated the astounding thesis that Anglo-Saxons, not the Jews, were the true sons of Israel. Invoking 'historical fact' nowhere found in standard history books, Destiny held that the ten lost tribes of Israel were not lost at all, but had wandered all over Europe and finally settled in the so-called Anglo-Saxon countries – chiefly in the British Isles. The Federation promoted anti-Semitism by distributing wholesale editions of the Protocols.
"Cameron wrote a tract denying that Christ was a Jew (he was Anglo-Saxon-Celtic-Israel)..."
(ibid, pgs. 208-209)
"From the perspective of the development of Christian Identity, however, Cameron's chief contributions were of a different sort. In collaboration with Rand he facilitated the first systematic attempt to link British-Israel religious ideas with the political right. Unlike Reuben Sawyer, who pursued the two activities separately, the two men made a concerted effort to reach the political right with Anglo-Israel teachings. Cameron entered the federation already publicly identified with the most notorious program of anti-Semitic publications in American history. His presence at the federation's helm, therefore, implied the compatibility of British-Israelism and anti-Semitism, and at one stroke undercut the philo-Semitism of Edward Hine.
"The linkage with ultraconservative politics arose in September 1931. Rand was on his way back to Massachusetts from the federation convention in Chicago, and stopped in Detroit, where he met with Cameron. Since the formation of the Anglo-Saxon Federation, it had published a monthly newsletter, then titled merely the Bulletin, which would eventually grow into a slick-paper magazine, Destiny. Cameron suggested to Rand that the federation produce 'a special issue of our paper sent out to the leading men in this country' and wondered how such a mailing list could be secured. Rand knew just the person to furnish such a list, a small-time conservative political operator named Fred. R Marvin. Marvin had 'formed a Coalition of patriotic organizations... to fight subversive activities in America.' Rand and no doubt Cameron already knew Marvin, who had just delivered an address at the Chicago convention.
"Marvin was one of those who play out their lives on the margins of great events. He began as a newspaperman at the turn of the century, and later served as an aid to legislators and as a publicist. In 1924, he had played a bit part in Teapot Dome and was accused of attempting to smear Senator Thomas Walsh of Montana as an associate of 'the radical elements.' By 1928 he was publishing 'daily data sheets' on persons and organizations 'designed to destroy' the American system of government, a precursor to the blacklists of the 1950s. Along the way he was accused of using his blacklisting power to favor the more conservative elements within the Daughters of the American Revolution – a relative distinction, to be sure, but enough to lead some to suggest that Marvin was able to gain control of the DAR's internal politics. In addition to these activities, Marvin found or ran a number of conservative political organizations, particularly the Key Men of America and the American Coalition of Patriotic Societies. It was presumably the latter's mailing list that Rand was able to secure for Cameron's project. In 1930, Marvin had told a group of army reserve officers that he had 'documentary evidence that as far back as 1890 the movement to break down government and abolish national defense had started.' It must have given him some satisfaction to learn that the Anglo-Saxons, as instruments of God's will, were now in a position to save the nation, and eventually the world from such evil and subversion. Cameron agreed to finance the production of the special issue, to be distributed by the patriotic organizations of their members. The special issue came out in a printing of thirty thousand the following February, so that Rand's British-Israel message could blanket the American right in the darkest days of the Depression."
(Religion and the Racist Right, Michael Barkun, pgs. 32-33)
|The American Coalition of Patriotic Societies was also an early backer of the anti-immigration movement in America during the early 20th century|
Industrial security came into being during World War I when a military intelligence officer named Ralph van Deman was tasked with devising a plan of securing the nation's factories from sabotage. Van Deman formed a broad intelligence network headed jointly by the FBI and military intelligence and which included major private detective agencies such as the Pinkerton and Burns outfits; corporate security divisions; and various "patriotic societies" of various repute such as the American Legion and the American Protective League.
|a badge of the notorious American Protective League|
During this time the industrial security network was chiefly concerned with keeping dibs on the politics of potential employees so as to guard against "subversives." Thus began the practice of blacklisting, which was not confined to Hollywood but was (and likely still is) a common practice for virtually any industry deemed vital to the nation's security. I've written much more on industrial security before here.
Trevor, as a "former" military intelligence officer, would have been an idea candidate during this era to be used for such purposes. Fred Marvin, who was actually the ACPS's secretary, was blatantly engaged in blacklisting. If the ACPS was indeed a part of the military/FBI industrial security network, and the ACPS's mailing list was in fact used to spread this proto form of Christian Identity theology, then this raises the unsettling possibility that at least someone within the military saw value in this ideology. While this may seem incredible, keep in my the above-mentioned Harry Houghton, another "former" military intelligence officer, furnished his publishing house for one of the earliest English language translations of the Protocols while Boris Brasol himself was seemingly an asset of military intelligence during that era.
Its also interesting to note that the ACPS would later become a member of the American Security Council (ASC, an organization I've written at great length on before here), for years the premier lobby group for the military-industrial complex, at least publicly. The ASC was deeply involved in industrial security, maintaining a massive database of files on millions of Americans at its peak. It effectively was a kind of clearing house for the nation's industrial security apparatus during its heyday. The ACPS was a member of the ASC's Coalition for Peace Through Strength. Another member was the Sovereign Order of Saint John.
But moving along. One of the major differences between British Israelism and Christian Identity were there conceptions of Jews. While there was some anti-Semitism during the early years, most British Israel followers were typically philo-Semitic, taking an almost paternalistic view of Jews prior to the 1930s. Christian Identity was not simply anti-Semitic. Many branches believed that Jews are the physical descendants of the Devil. Jews (and most non-whites in general) are largely perceived as soulless creature that the Devil created out of matter. Old Scratch is often described as the "Lord of the World" while the Jews are totally obsessed with materialistic pursuits. This part of a plot to trap whites, whose origins are deemed to be celestial, in a prison of matter.
This is of course bears some striking similarities to Gnosticism. Unsurprisingly, the origins of these views have long baffled serious scholars of Identity theology.
"The most distinctive doctrine associated with Christian Identity is the belief that Jews are the direct biological offspring of the Devil. This belief is the final extension of a process of delegitimation... according to which Jews became progressively more racially contaminated through marriages with forbidden heathen peoples. This view, saturated though it was with anti-Semitism, accepted the Jews were human beings who had sprung from the stock of Abraham. Hence, the excessive concern with out-marriages was premised on the notion that no matter how impressive the religious pedigree of Jews, it had been forfeited by their own misconduct. Although British-Israelism manifested increasingly anti-Semitic reactions to Zionism, it never adopted the view that Jews were nonhuman, demonic creatures. Christian Identity, while it accepts the theory of Jewish out-marriage, seeks to demonstrate that the Jews were never human beings, a position fundamentally different from that of their Anglo-Israel parent.
"The theory of satanic origins differs not only from the position of British-Israelism but from that of the most ferocious period of Christian anti-Semitism, the Middle Ages. Late medieval popular religious culture, as well as the writings of theologians, associated Jews closely with the Devil. They were represented as having horns and tails, and were believed capable of summoning the Devil, as well as being an intermediary for those anxious to sell their souls to him. Jews were alleged to be allies of the Devil in continuing warfare against Christ, and they were even thought to teach in the Talmud that the Devil was their parent. Yet ultimately these charges could all be reduced to affiliations with the devil and metaphors of demonic paternity but not to assertions of actual biological dissent. They constituted variations upon volatile New Testament phraseology: 'they [Jews] are of their father the Devil,' and 'the synagogue of Satan.' But obsessed though the late medieval Christians were with the Devil as a real force, they in the end shrank from advancing the demonic descent of Jews with the literalness Christian Identity was to adopt. In other words, Christian Identity might associate itself with ancient strands of anti-Semitic beliefs – the Jew as the Devil's ally – but more was clearly required in order to carry that belief to the point of asserting a biological link.
"The theory of the Jews as the Devil's seed may be summarized as follows, although... there are small variations among Identity writers. According to the theory, either the Devil himself or one of his underlings, had intercourse with Eve in the Garden of Eden. Cain was the product of this illicit union. Hence Cain and all his progeny, by virtue of satanic paternity, carry the Devil's unchanging capacity to work evil. These descendants of Cain became known in time as 'Jews.' This theory, with no real precedents in either medieval anti-Semitism or British-Israelism, did not in fact emerge out of a vacuum, nor was it purely the product of some anti-Semitic writers inventiveness. The ideas themselves – Eve's seduction, Cain's satanic paternity, and the demonic origin of the Jews, for example – may be found in Gnostic writings from the early centuries of Christian era. This Gnostic literature was almost certainly unknown to the Identity writers who put this anti-Semitic theology together, since they tended to be either autodidacts or the graduates of small Bible colleges. There is no evidence that they knew of or used these ancient sources. To the extent that Gnostic precursors had any influence at all, it was in highly mediated form, through untraceable layers of intervening texts."
(Religion and the Racist Right, Michael Barkun, pgs. 149-150)
What's interesting to note is that these bizarre traces of Gnosticism are also present in certain branches of Ariosophy. While Ariosophy is usually depicted as a pagan ideology, only the strand set forth by Guido von List was explicitly so as far as major figures within the movement are concerned. Jorg Lanz von Liebenfels dubbed his system "Ario-Christianity" and took a view of non-Aryan human beings similar to the one latter adopted by Christian Identity adherents.
"... According to his theology the Fall simply denoted the racial compromise of the Aryans due to the wicked interbreeding with lower animal species. The consequence of these persistent sins, later institutionalized as satanic cults, was the creation of several mixed races, which threatened the proper and sacred authority of the Aryans throughout the world, especially in Germany where this race was most numerous. With this definition of sin, the sexo-racist gnosis offered an explanation for the wretched human condition that Lanz subjectively perceived in modern Central Europe.
"Within a year Lanz published his fundamental statement of doctrine. It's very title, Theozoologie oder die Kunde von den Sodoms-Afflingen und dem Gotter-Elektron [Theo-Zoology or the Lore of the Sodom-Apelings and the Electron of the Gods] (1905), distills the gnostic essence of Lanz's thought. It was a strange amalgam of religious beliefs drawn from traditional Judaeo-Christian sources, yet modified in the light of new life-sciences: hence theo-zoology. The book repeated the basic hypotheses of the earlier article within an expanded scheme of biblical interpretation spanning both Testaments. The first section sought to understand the origin and nature of the pygmies. Four chapters entitled Gaia (earth), Pege (water), Pyr (fire) and Aither (air) described the satanic realm by relating the story of the first pygmy, called Adam, who spawned a race of beast-men... Lanz employed a cryptic scheme of translation, whereby the words 'earth,' 'stone,' 'wood,' 'bread,' 'gold,' 'water,' 'fire' and 'air' all connoted 'beast-man,' while the verbs 'to name,' 'to see,' 'to know' and 'to cover' meant 'to copulate with,' and so on, in order to create a monomaniacal view of the ancient world. According to Lanz, the chief pursuit of antiquity appeared to have been the rearing of love-pygmies... for deviant sexual pleasure. The prime purpose of the Old Testament had been to warn the chosen people (the Aryans!) against the consequences of this bestial idolatory...
"... Lanz appreciated the popular appeal of these futuristic forms of energy and exploited such notions for his descriptions of the gods. He began by asserting that the gods were, but earlier and superior forms of life... quite distinct from Adam's spawn of Anthropozoa. Following the hand of Wilhelm Bolsche (1861-1939), a popular zoological writer who may have owed his inspiration on this point to theosophy, Lanz claimed that these early beings had possessed extraordinary sensory organs for the reception and transmission of electrical signals. These organs bestowed the powers of telepathy and omniscience upon their owners but had atrophied into the supposedly superfluous pituitary and pineal glands in modern man owing to the miscegenation of the god-men with the beast-men. However, Lanz claimed that a universal programme of segregation could restore these powers to the Aryans as the closest descendants of the god-men.
"The next four chapters, entitled Pater, Pneuma, Hyios, and Ekklesia, followed the account of the New Testament; attention was focused on the coming of Christ and his revival of the sexo-racist gnosis in order to redeem his chosen people, namely the Aryan race. Christ's miracles, his magical powers, and the transfiguration all serve to confirm his electronic nature. Lanz substantiated this hypothesis with quotations from the apocryphal Acts of John, the Oxyrhynchus Sayings and the Gnostic apocrypha known as the Pistis Sophia, which was the subject of contemporary German scholarship. Lanz finally interpreted the Passion as the attempted rape and perversion of Christ by pygmies urged on by the disciples of the satanic bestial cults devoted to interbreeding.
"These frequently obscene and always radical interpretations of the Scriptures logically embraced the familiar Judaeo-Christian notions of linear history and an apocalypse. In place of the formally distant divine and demonic species, there had develop several mixed races, which the Aryans with the least corrupt. However, throughout all recorded history the inferior races had sought to tyrannize the Aryans by dragging them down the evolutionary ladder by means of their promiscuity. The history of religion described the struggle between the bestial and endogamous cults. At the end of this neo-manichaean temporal scheme stood the promise of final redemption and the Second Coming. Lanz's concept of the millennium was clearly generated by an overwhelming sense of cultural pessimism..."
(The Occult Roots of Nazism, Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke, pgs. 94-96)
Its also interesting to note that Lanz did not perceive the ancient Aryans as God men per say, but as celestial beings with interstellar origins. This is of course very similar to William Dudley Pelley's concept of the origins of the white race, though Pelley did not publicly arrive at this notion until the early 1930s. Lanz put forth this notion in the early 20th century prior to WWI. What's more, major Christian Identity "ministers" such as Wesley Swift and William Potter Gale would also assign an interstellar origin to the white race the early 1960s. But I digress.
Lanz was not the only Ariosophist to take such a stance either. Karl Maria Wiligut, who gained support in post-WWI Germany thanks to the efforts of the mysterious Edda Society (another study group founded by a Thule Society guest and was briefly addressed in part nine of this series), promoted a system he dubbed "Irmin-Kristianity." Wiligut essentially argued that what is now known as Christianity had originated in Germany before being debased and corrupted by foreign influences who linked it to Jews. His ideas enjoyed patronage from Himmler and the SS for a time during the 1930s.
These bizarre Gnostic influences are not the only overlap between Ariosophy and Identity theology either. Identity theology's concept of whites as the "chosen people" (largely adopted from British-Israelism) is comparable to the mystical notions applied to the German race in volkisch thinking. Even more curious, however, are the obsession many Identity strands and the Thule Society itself had with common law.
The Thule Society had an entire study ring, headed by prominent member Johannes Hering, that was dedicated to the study of ancient Nordic law and the possibility of replacing Germany's current, Roman-derived legal system with it. A member of this study ring was Hans Frank, who would later rise to some prominence in the Nazi Party.
"... Dr. Hans Frank, was condemned to death at Nuremberg for his role in the Holocaust and the enslavement of Poles. As governor-general of Poland (1939-1945), Frank presided over his fiefdom in regal splendor from Cracow Castle, but his authority was continuously undermined by the SS. Joaquim Fest memorably called him an 'imitation of a man of violence,' torn between an ideal justice and the need to prove himself as a strongman among the toughs of the Nazi movement. His legal principles were rooted in Thule's call to replace jurisprudence based on Roman law, the Code of Napoleon, or written constitutions, with ancient Nordic common law. With Germany's monarchy swept away and replaced by a hated Republic, Thule's interest in overturning the legal system in favor of an organic law rooted in the Volk became more than an academic topic. Frank's worldview aided his rise as the Nazi Party's most successful attorney during its brawling years in the late 1920s and early 1930s. It emboldened him to advocate the destruction of the Jews, yet it also led to his proclamation in a 1942 lecture at Berlin's Friedrich-Wilhelm University that 'no empire has ever been conceivable without justice – or contrary to justice.' In his capacity after 1933 as Reich Commissioner for the Coordination of Justice in the German States and the Renovation of the Administration of Law, Frank was placed in charge of the German Judicial Front, to which all court officials and attorneys were required to belong. Through his office, the theories expounded by the Thule Society had a practical effect."
(Hammer of the Gods, David Luhrssen, pg. 196)
"... Point 19 restated the premise of the Thule Society's law ring: 'We demand that the Roman law, which serves the materialistic world order, shall be replaced by a German common law.'"
(ibid, pg. 174)
|the notorious "25 Points"|
"Identity's goal of 'biblicizing' American law – making it conform to the law presented in the Bible – must be distinguished from two related ideas. First, it is not the same as some concepts of natural law, according to which God's revealed law provides a standard for measuring the adequacy of man-made statutes. This idea presumes the existence of two rule systems, one of divine and one of human origin, the letter subordinate to the former. When Christian Identity speaks of the Bible as an ultimate source of law, it looks to a future in which man-made law will not exist, having been displaced by the superior divine version. Second, Identity's view is not the same as that of Protestant Fundamentalism, which accords to the Bible attributes of completeness, perfection, and inerrancy. While in principle, Fundamentalists accord equal status to all segments of the biblical text as the inerrant word of God, they rarely urge the incorporation of detailed biblical rules of law into existing positive law... Influential Identity writers regard the Bible as a sourcebook for rewriting positive law, which, particularly in the economic realm, must reflect biblical legislation in order to produce a righteous society.
"This position received early attention from Howard Rand and William J. Cameron through the Anglo-Saxon Federation of America, and in Rand's subsequent writings. Their demand for a wholesale restructuring of the American legal system gained momentum from the general dissatisfaction with American economic institutions during the Depression years, when the federation was most active. Indeed, Rand and Cameron advanced biblical ideas about law as a means for pulling the country out of its economic slump. In a more general way, however, ideas about biblical law have resonated in a distinctive matter within both British-Israelism and Christian Identity, for dependence upon biblical law may be shown to be a logical outcome of British-Israelism's and Christian Identity's central doctrine..."
(Religion and the Racist Right, Michael Barkun, pgs. 200-201)This central doctrine is of course that Anglo-Saxons are the Biblical Israelis --the true "chosen people". This led to the notion that the historic law of the Anglo-Saxon peoples --the common law --was a divine institution and that it was being usurped by the "Babylonia system" (variously described as civil, Roman or Admiralty law). This notion really started to gain popularity not just among Identity followers but the fringe right in general when "former" military intelligence officer William Potter Gale launched the Posse Comitatus movement (which he claimed he did at the urging of Sovereign Order of Saint John members General Pedro del Valle and Colonel Benjamin von Stahl and other "former military officer).
"In addition to his activities as a Christian Identity preacher and writer, Gale was instrumental in organizing two related political organizations, the United States Christian Posse Association, one of several Posse Comitatus groups; and the Committee of the States, which sought to revive the government structure of the Articles of Confederation. Gale began with the proposition that the Articles of Confederation, which shaped the national government in 1781 until 1789, remained in effect even after the adoption of the Constitution. 'These articles, being perpetual, remain in effect to this day. They've never been altered, amended nor repelled. They cannot be.' Further, in Gale's mind, they were divine: 'The source of the Articles of Confederation for a perpetual union is the Holy Bible.... It contains God's law for his people, for their nations and their governments.... The sources is the Bible, otherwise known as the common law.'"
(Religion and the Racist Right, Michael Barkun, pg. 207)
Needless to say, this and other overlaps with various strands of Ariosophy, and most especially those associated with the Thule Society, and Christian Identity "theology" are most striking. I suspect many serious scholar of Identity theology have probably been aware of these links for some time, but never advanced the possibility of an influence from Ariosophy because there did not seem to have been an obvious link. After all, there was very little information even available on Ariosophy in the English language until recent decades.
But as this article has illustrated, there is an obvious figure who could have served as a bridge between the two ideologies: Boris Brasol. As noted above, Brasol worked for Cameron at the Deerborn Independent during the early 1920s. Michael Kellogg's groundbreaking The Russian Roots of Nazism provides interesting insights into some of Brasol's other activities during this time:
"Some White emigre Aufbau members possessed valuable American connections. Boris Brazol resided in New York, where he played a leading role in the Russkoe natsionalnoe obschestvo (Russian National Society). This organization supported Grand Duke Kirill Romanov's candidacy for Tsar. As we shall see, Aufbau increasingly backed Kirill for Tsar. Brazol also worked on the staff of the American industrialists and politician Henry Ford's anti-Semitic newspaper, The Dearborn Independent. In particular, Brazol provided information on the Jewish question. Scheubner-Richter praised Brazol as one of the leading personalities in the Russian emigre circles of America. Brazol also spent much time in Munich, though he was not officially registered there. He collaborated with Scheubner-Richter and furthered Aufbau's cause by writing anti-Semitic literature"
(The Russian Roots of Nazism, Michael Kellogg, pgs. 130-131)
As was noted in part nine of this series, Max von Scheubner-Richter was an associate of the SOSJ's patron, Grand Duke Cyril, and a close friend of Adolf Hitler during his Munich days. Scheubner-Richter also happened to be a close friend of Thule guest Alfred Rosenberg, who during this time was closely collaborating with another regular Thule guest: Dietrich Eckart. According to Kellogg Rosenberg even introduced Scheubner-Richter to Eckart at one point. What's more, Scheubner-Richter, Rosenberg and Brasol were all members of the Aufbau. As noted above, Eckart may have been a member of this organization as well or, at the very least, had ties to it via Rosenberg and another Aufbau member known as Otto von Kursell. Both Rosenberg and von Kursell were writers for Eckart's newspaper In Plain German during the early 1920s.
What's more, the brand of Ariosophy that seems to have been transmitted to these United States was that which was implicitly shaped by the Thule Society and its descendants (for these White Russians would continue to share close ties with the German volkischists during the rise of the Edda Society as well), the heart of whose operation was based out of Bavaria during this time.
This network and region would prove to be instrumental in Hitler's rise to power, but he began to distance himself from them after the failed Beer Hall Putsch. This gap further widened after 1927 when General Erich Ludendorff (the man who seems to have initially brought together these White Russians, German volkischists and early Nazis in Bavaria circa 1920) decisively broke with Hitler and Grand Duke Cyril departed Germany for France, where he would reside until his death in 1938. Cyril and his network would continue to aid the Nazi regime throughout the 1930s, but whatever real influence they held had effectively ended and the Nazis were even less receptive after Grand Duke Vladimir, Cyril's son, became the movement's figure head. The fact that Cyril's network seems to have forged ties with US military intelligence even before the Nazi Party was founded probably didn't help their cause either as Germany prepared to go to war with England.
|Grand Duke Vladimir|
Even more curious is that the SOSJ seems to have consciously attempted to imitate the methods of the Thule Society via its use of private intelligence networks, literary propaganda and paramilitary organizations. While no doubt many will scoff at the notion that a White Russian association would self consciously attempt to immolate the Thule Society, there is a very obvious reason for such:
The Thule Society had managed to do something the Czar and all his minions had failed to do, namely stop the spread of communism.
|a scene from the Battle of Munich, a conflict Thule played a key role in as noted in part six|
But did SOSJ's mimicking of Thule end with its counterrevolutionary methods? Its interesting to note that the SOSJ has long been accused of being some type of occultic order.
"Although it poses as a Catholic organization, the Order of St. John is a Masonic group that claims to be the real Knights of Malta. Its Grand Master for fifty years until his death several years ago was Charles Pichel, an adviser (via correspondence from the U.S.) to Hitler aide Ernst Hanfstaengl. Pichel's Order is a secret society led by anti-Semites who have worked with the quasi-Nazi Liberty Lobby, and with neofascist Lyndon LaRoche groups."
(Old Nazis, the New Right, and the Republican Party, Russ Bellant, pg. 45)
The Thule Society was the Bavarian branch of a broader organization known as the Germanenorden. As I noted in part two of this series, despite the Germanenorden's loathing of Freemasonry many of its rituals were adopted from the Masons. These rituals were passed on to Thule. If some of them had been picked up by the SOSJ, its possible outsiders would have interpreted them as being Masonic even though the Germanenorden/Thule had developed into something very different over time. This, combined with the fact that the SOSJ seems to have continued to promote aspects of Thule's ideology (most notably its concept of common law) for decades certainly makes such possibilities plausible.
|this image is widely believed to be a scene from a Germanenorden/Thule ritual, but I have not been able to confirm this|
If the SOSJ is then a kind of modern recreation of Thule, the Patriot movement in many ways plays the role of the militant German volkisch movement the Society spawned. Truly, this must be one of the most bizarre revolutionary faiths that the modern world has witnessed and it was quietly nurtured upon these shores by the "underground" currents of wealthy industrialists such as Henry Ford and US military intelligence.
Clearly the modern history of this nation is not what either the mainstream or alternative medias would have us believe.