Monday, June 16, 2014

Bavaria, the Thule Society, the SOSJ and the Making of a Revolutionary Faith Part IX

Welcome to the ninth part in my examination of the notorious Thule Society, a journey that grows stranger with each installment. Part one largely focused on dispelling some of the popular misconceptions concerning Thule (i.e. those concerning the "Vril forces," UFOs, etc) while part two considered some of the individuals, organizations and movements that led to the development of Thule (with a special emphasis on the occult strand known as Ariosophy and the Germanenorden, a secret society steeped in Ariosophy). The third installment detailed the background of Thule's founder, Baron Rudolf von Sebottendorff, with a special emphasis on his occult studies in the Near East while part four broke down Thule's early days.

With the fifth installment I digressed again and examined the Freecorps movement that sprang up in Germany in the wake of World War I. Thule and other occultic organization would play a key role in nurturing the Freecorps movement. With part six I considered the role Thule played in the overthrow of the Bavarian Soviet Republic. Part seven concerned Thule's immediate loss of power after the revolution in addition to its longstanding influence on terroristic operations represented by the World Anti-Communist League and Operation Gladio, among others. Part eight digressed again so I could consider the alleged origins of a mysterious secret society known as the Sovereign Order of Saint John (SOSJ).

the cross the Knights Hospitaller and all other organization's that claimed descent from the Order
Regular readers of this blog are no doubt well aware that I have written extensively on the SOSJ before (such as here, here, here and here) in an effort to outline the extensive ties the organization had forged with the Pentagon and US intelligence community by the 1950s. This hardly seems to mark the beginning of the Order's intrigues and plots, however, as part eight on this series demonstrated. Before moving along to the SOSJ's likely links to Thule, let us briefly consider the origins (both mythical and actual) of the SOSJ.

Officially the SOSJ claimed descent from the Medieval crusader order commonly referred to as the Knights Hospitaller, but through the Russian line of succession, making them theoretically distinct from the far more well known Sovereign Military Order of Malta (SMOM, the "official" Knights of Malta organization). Critics of the SOSJ have insisted that it did not exist before the 1950s when it was founded in Shickshinny, Pennsylvania by a man named Charles Pichel, the Order's long time Grand Master. There is compelling evidence that the SOSJ existed by the 1930s, however, and that it came under the patronage one of the most powerful Romanov pretenders in the White diaspora, Grand Duke Cyril.
"Grand Duke Kirill had another supporter on the American far right: Charles Pichel. Pichel reports that on 13 January 1934, 'the late Grand Duke Kirill, acting officially as Kirill Wladimirovich (Kirill I)' from his place of exile in Saint Briac, France, confirmed the legitimacy of Pichel's Order. Two years later, in a proclamation dated 24 November 1936, he conferred upon Pichel 'the Order of St. Andrew the Apostle, First Class in Gold' for his 'zeal in defending and helping to perpetuate the noble history of Imperial Russia and the Imperial Families of Russia...'"
(Dreamer of the Day, Kevin Coogan, pg. 608)
Pichel himself is something of a dubious source, but enough connections between Cyril, his family and minions to the Order have emerged to indicate that there was indeed some type of connection between the Grand Duke and the SOSJ and that it likely originated prior to World War II. But I digress.

While there is little solid evidence of the SOSJ existing during Thule's peak years (from roughly 1918 to 1923), Grand Duke Cyril and other individuals affiliated with him (and later the SOSJ) were most certainly active in Bavaria during this time and traveling in the same circles as the Thulists. In point of fact, Cyril would play a key role in establishing Bavaria as a mecca for disaffected rightists during the post-WWI years.
"The other leading imperial candidate, Grand Duke Cyril Vladimirovich (1876-1938), was a grandson of Tsar Alexander II, a nephew of Alexander III, and a first cousin of Nicholas II. He had played the insouciant court dandy until the Russo-Japanese War, when a harrowing brush with death as an officer aboard the mined battleship Petropavlovsk transformed him into a pensive fatalist. Cyril avoided sharing his cousin's fate by fleeing to Finland in June 1917 with his expectant wife, Victoria, princess of Saxe-Coburg, and infant daughter, Kira. After a graciously nomadic existence in Finland, Switzerland, and southern France, Cyril settled at Villa Edinburgh, his wife's family estate near Coburg in northern Bavaria. Like Nikolasha, Cyril felt diffident about politics. Left to himself, he would have found contentment in golf, gardening, and sports cars. But Victoria ('Ducky'), an ambitious and strong-will German, had grander plans for her husband than genteel retirement. Well before the Revolution, Victoria and her mother-and-law, Princess Marie of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, had barely concealed their restiveness at the Romanov throne's, being occupied by weakling with a hemophilic heir when eminently eligible 'Vladimiroviches' (the male offspring of grand Duke Vladimir and Princess Marie, of whom Cyril was the eldest) were waiting in the wings. In exile, Victoria became convinced that German support could not only further her spouse's imperial pretensions but might someday restore the monarchy in Russia. Mobilizing her charm and her family's money, she cultivated the emigration's extreme right wing and through General Erich Ludendorff helped finance Adolf Hitler's fledgling National Socialist German Worker's Party (NSDAP). Hitler himself visited Coburg in 1922 to attend a 'German Day' rally sponsored by Victoria's family. Ducky returned the future Fuhrer's attention by gracing a number of SA (storm trooper) rallies."
(The Russian Fascists, John J. Stephan, pgs. 12-13)
There's a lot to take in here. Cyril and Ducky's financial support for the Nazi Party (as well as the Bavarian far right in general) and the above-mentioned "German Day" rally are quite important in this saga, so keep them in mind. Its also interesting to note that Pichel listed the then-current Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Charles Edward (sometimes spelled as "Eduard"), as a member of the SOSJ in his History of the Sovereign Military Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, Knights of Malta (pg. 86).

Edward was a curious figure. A grandson of England's Queen Victoria, he would become an enthusiastic Nazi by the 1930s and hold a number of posts for the regime up until the end of World War II (Edward was the head of the German Red Cross for much of this time, an organization the SOSJ's website has insisted that they influenced). Edward also seems to be a first cousin of Empress Alexandra of Russia, a figure much was written on in part eight of this series. Edward, despite being nominally British, became the Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha after he inherited the title at the death of his uncle, Alfred. Duke Alfred had been Ducky's father.

Charles Edward
Edward was also an enthusiastic supporter of the Freecorps movement.
"... In the more or less official Who's Who of the National Socialist party, for example, their appears the name of Carl Eduard, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. The Duke was as proud of his Free Corps activity as he was of his other distinctions. Along with his work as a member of the staff of the Supreme S.A. Leadership, his membership in the Kaiser Wilhelm Society and his presidency of the German Red Cross, he lists his other accomplishments: In 1919 he served in the staff of the Franconian Volunteer Rifle Regiment. During the same year he was leader of the Bavarian Einwohnerwehr. In 1920 he was Thuringian district leader for the Ehrhardt Brigade and subsequently of Ehrhardt's murder organization, the Organisation Consul..."
(Vanguard of Nazism, Robert G.L. Waite, pg. 53)
Edward's involvement in the Organisation Consul (OC; an assassination squad with occultic trappings and ties to the Germanenorden that was addressed in parts two and five of this series) is interesting. On the SOSJ's "official" website, it is claimed that the Order was who actually controlled the OC. So far Edward is the only alleged SOSJ member I have been able to link to the OC, but it most definitely had contact with various secret societies.

But moving along. Before continuing with the so-called "Coburg circle," I must digress a bit to consider the figure of General Erich Ludendorff. Of all the people in Bavaria during the early 1920s, the general seems to have been the key figure in bringing together this bizarre network of monarchist White Russians, German nationalist organizations, Freecorps veterans (and terror cells), Ariosophical secret societies, and the fledgling Nazi Party.

Ludendorff had effectively became the most powerful figure in Germany by 1917, and had ultimate authority over the nation's war effort for the final year of the conflict. After he resigned in October 1918, shortly before the nation's official surrender, the general fled to Sweden where he served a brief exile. It was here during this time that he would begin to develop the "stab-in-the-back" myth that would become so crucial to the Nazi Party during the coming years.

By 1920 Ludendorff was back in the Fatherland and latching on to the Freecorps movement. His return was just in time for the Kapp Putsch, which he became a co-plotter of. The Kapp Putsch reportedly featured a lot of Baltic veterans (the Baltic Campaign was discussed in part eight of this series), including several significant White Russians. Two of the most notable were Max Erwin von Scheubner-Richter and General Vasily V. Biskupsky. Biskupsky, as discussed in part eight, was a long time associate of Cyril's and a key member of the Coburg circle. Scheubner-Righter became a close friend of Adolf Hitler's upon arriving in Munich after the Kapp Putsch, and died next to the future Fuhrer during the failed Beer Hall Putsch. He was also, according to Stephan's The Russian Fascists, an associate of both Ludendorff and Cyril, as well as the German steel magnet Fritz Thyssen (pg. 19) who would later play a key role in bankrolling the Nazi Party.

Scheubner-Righter was not the only Kapp Putsch participant who ended up in Bavaria afterwards.
"One of the other chief plotters, Ludendorff, and his chief aide, Bauer, left Berlin by train that evening for Munich. Ludendorff, once more assuming a false name, Herr Lange, told Bauer that they were richer for the 'bitter experience', having witnessed 'the complete unreliability of the offices corps... and the fickleness of the public.' Ludendorff concluded that more revolutionary and ruthless leadership was required. As we shall see he was to find what he sought in the smoke-filled beerhalls and hate-laden atmosphere of Munich, where reactionary forces had taken advantage of the past few days' confusion in Berlin to overthrow Hoffmann's SPD-led government in Bavaria and install an ultra-Conservative regency under a Kapp-like monarchist civil servant named Gustav von Kahr. From now on, Munich was to become the magnet for all right-wing revolutionaries determined to bring down the Republic by fair means or foul. Here Ludendorff, Rossbach and Ehrhardt would gather and come under the influence of a little-known political agitator named Adolf Hitler."
(A Brief History of the Birth of the Nazis, Nigel Jones, pg. 189)
Hermann Ehrhardt, one of the most notorious Freecorps commanders, during the Kapp Putsch
Rossbach and Ehrhardt, who were both briefly discussed in part five of this series, are generally considered to be the most ruthless and extreme of the Freecorps commanders. Ehrhardt, whose men had flown the swastika during the Kapp Putsch, had been one of the plot's chief figures. He was also the individual who would create and head the Organisational Consul, an assassination network responsible for over 300 murders, in the years to come.

Around this time Ludendorff would also develop a fascination in the occult that would last the rest of his life, as well as with conspiracy theories. He became a Wotan worshiper and denounced Christianity as a Jewish plot. He believed that Germany was under the assault of a cabal of Christians, Jews, communists, and Freemasons. With such views, it was inevitable that he would come into contact with the Thule Society. Indeed, Thulists may even have been who introduced Ludendorff to Hitler.
"Following Germany's defeat, Ludendorff crossed into the occult underground and Nazism. After the Thule Society's Rudolf Hess brought Hitler to his attention in May 1921, the old general became eager to lend his prestige to the Nazi movement. Ludendorff's wife, Dr. Mathilde von Kemnitz, was introduced to the general by Thule confederate Gottfried Feder. She has been depicted by historians as the malevolent influence on her husband's postwar life and blamed for encouraging his alliance with Hitler. A student of psychiatry and one-time scientific debunker of astrology, Kemnitz was a charter member of the Edda Society, which was steeped in List and founded by an associate of the Thule Society. 'My acquaintance with the earliest work of Dr. Mathilde Kemnitz was a decisive influence on the course of my inner struggles,' Ludendorff wrote, especially concerning 'secret supranational forces such as Jews, the Roman Catholic Church, Freemasonry, and 'occult and satanistic structures' bent on diminishing the Aryans."
(Hammer of the Gods, David Luhrssen, pgs. 88-89)
General Erich Ludendorff
This proved to be most useful when Ludendorff himself and the rest of the German General Staff were accused of elaborate treacheries by the legendary British conspiracy theorist Nesta Webster during the interwar years. Naturally it was a Thulist who rose to the general's defense.
"Nesta Webster was herself in contact with another secret German order with political ambitions: Munich's Thule Society. The Thule Society was a cover organization for the Bavarian branch of a quasi-masonic, ultra-right group called the Germanenorden, which had been founded in Berlin in 1912 and had lodges in many cities. Starting in April 1922, Webster launched a series of attacks against pan-Germanism in the pages of the rightist journal The Morning Post. Her articles were triggered by the stunning news of the Rapallo Treaty between Germany and Communist Russia. Webster explicitly rejected any attempt to blame Rapallo on a 'Jewish conspiracy.' She argued instead that the Jews 'from the time of Frederick the Great had frequently acted as Prussia's most faithful and efficient agents.' She also denounced the German General Staff for aiding the 1917 Bolshevik coup.
"One 10 June 1922, The Morning Post ran a response from Kurt Kerlen, a Thule Society member and a Hitler supporter. Kerlen wrote to defend his friend General Ludendorff against charges that the German General Staff had helped the Bolsheviks. Around the same time, Ludendorff was working with the White Russian Grand Duke Kirill in an attempt to get American anti-Semites like Henry Ford to help finance the German far right. In fact, the exchange between Webster and Kerlen was reprinted in America by the Beckwith Company, founded by Dr. Harris Houghton, the former head of U.S. military intelligence in New York during World War I who worked closely with Ford."
(Dreamer of the Day, Kevin Coogan, pg. 571)
presumably this work chronicles the debate between Nesta Webster and Thulist Kurt Kerlen
Keep Ford and Houghton in mind as we shall be coming back to them. At present, there's another Thule associate whom Ludendorff seems to have had ties with that bears mentioning. His name is Rudolf John Gorsleben.
"... a new post-war Aryan occultist movement was started by Rudolph John Gorsleben (1883-1930). On the basis of the runes, occultism, and the Edda, Gorsleben created an original racist mystery-religion which illuminated the priceless magical heritage of the Aryans and justify their spiritual and political world-supremacy. Born on 16 March 1883 at Metz, Gorsleben was brought up in Alsace-Lorraine, a French province which had been annexed by the German Reich in 1871 after its victory in the Franco-Prussian war. The inhabitants of this area spoke a German dialect and wavered in their political allegiance between Berlin and Paris, thus encouraging the local growth of Pan-Germanism during the 1890s. Gorsleben encountered nationalism at an early age in this borderland; as a staunch German patriot he was proud to traces ancestry back to a fourteenth-century noble family in Thuringia. Little is known of his youth except that he arrived in Munich sometime before the First World War. His first ambitions concerned a career in the theatre, for he published a play called Der Rastaquar (1913), which had a short run in the city. He then turned to journalism and edited a pamphlet magazine devoted to nationalist and Pan-German ideas, Allegemeine Flugblatter Deutscher Nation. At the outbreak of war Gorsleben volunteered for service with a Bavarian regiment, which fought for two years on the Western Front. He then transferred to a German unit attached to the Turkish army in Arabia, fighting against the Bedouin tribes and their British supporters in Palestine. Gorsleben held the rank of lieutenant and won twelve military distinctions. He also kept a wartime diary, from which an extract about his Arabian campaign was later published. Even these early writings reflect a strong interest in mythology and the importance of race in historical development.
"At the end of the war Gorsleben return to Munich. The revolutionary period politicized him further and he became associated with the Thule Society. In April 1919 he was arrested together with Dietrich Eckart by communist insurgents during the Soviet revolution in the city. Only Eckart's quick-witted answers under interrogation prevented their summary execution in common with the other Thule hostages. On 18 December 1920 Gorsleben delivered a lecture entitled 'The Aryan Man' to the Thule. In his diary of society meetings Johannes Hering commented on the occult tendencies in Gorsleben's thought and their later efflorescence in his mature doctrine of Aryan mysticism. Over the next two years Gorsleben was highly active in local revolutionary right-wing politics. In July 1921 he became Gauleiter of the south Bavarian section of the radical anti-Semitic Deutschvolkischer Schutz-und Trutzbund, which was then competing with the early Nazi party for support in Southern Germany. By December 1921 Gorsleben had decided to break with the league's central office at Hamburg and he formed a new alliance with Julius Streicher – who later edited Der Sturmer under Nazi auspices – finding considerable support at Regensburg and Nuremberg. Gorsleben also work closely with Lorenz Mesch, the Germanenorden chief in Regensburg, whose protégés Schulz and Tillessen carried out the Erzberger assassination. However, after a stormy period of internal party strife, Gorsleben retired from volkisch politics to devote his time fully to literary and ideological interest. He embarked upon a major translation of the Edda, which he regarded as a distillation of old Aryan religion."
(The Occult Roots of Nazism, Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke, pgs. 155-156)
Certainly Gorsleben seems to have been traveling in circles we have encountered frequently throughout this series. Dietrich Eckart was of course a very close associate of Thule (David Luhrssen has compellingly argued he was a full fledged member in Hammer of the Gods) while the Germanenorden was the organization from which Thule derived and was a lodge of. The Germanenorden's role in the Erzberger assassination was already considered in part two, as was the Deutschvolkischer Schutz-und Trutzbund. As noted there, the overlap between the Germanenorden and Schutz-und Trutzbund was considerable. Also of note is the above-mentioned Thulist and friend of General Ludendorff, Kurt Kerlen, was the head of the Nuremberg wing of Schutz-und Trutzbund during the time Gorsleben seems to have been in contact with it.

During 1920 Gorsleben acquired a floundering Munich newspaper that he eventually renamed Deutsche Freiheit (German Freedom). Initially the paper stuck to relatively conventional volkisch topics but it became increasingly arcane over the next five years. By 1925 Gorsleben founded his own "cultural study group". It is with this organization that his association with Ludendorff seems to have officially begun.
"Gorsleben regarded old Icelandic literature, especially the Edda, as 'the richest source of Aryan intellectual history.' On 29 November 1925 he founded and Aryan study-group called the Edda Society at his farmhouse in Dinkelsbuhl, a romantic medieval town in Franconia. The members of the Society were mostly authors in their own right and contributed to Gorsleben's eclectic reconstruction of the Aryan religion. Werner von Bulow (1870-1947), the Grand Master of the Society, was a retired civil servant from West Prussia who owned the Hotel Karwendel at Mittenwald in Upper Bavaria. He designed a 'world-rune-clock,' which showed the correspondence of the eighteen runes with the colours, the zodiac signs, the gods of the month, numbers, skaldic names, and the Listian trinity of 'birth', 'being', and 'death'. Similar ideas were expressed in his short work Der Ewigkeitsgehalt der eddischen Runen und Zahlen (1925). The treasurer of the Society was Friedrich Schaefer at Muhlhausen, whose wife Kathe kept open house for another occult-volkisch group which gathered around Karl Maria Wiligut in the early 1930s. Other members of the Edda Society included Martin Brucher and Albert March, who had written an esoteric book on German nationalism involving a quasi-Listian proto-language and the principle of parallax; Karl Nuse, a prominent volkisch private scholar; Otto Sigfrid Reuter, the leader of the Germanic Belief Fellowship and author of many books on astrology, prehistoric pagan religion, and the Edda; Carl Reinhold Petter, president of a pan-Aryan league at Danzig; and Mathilde von Kemnitz, a prolific volkisch writer who spearheaded the Ludendorff movement after her marriage to the general in September 1926. Gorsleben was Chancellor of the Society and his periodical Deutsche Freiheit, later Arische Freiheit, was published as the organ of the Society. After Gorsleben's death due to a long-standing heart complaint, on 23 August 1930 at Bad Homburg, Bulow took over the editorship and the paper was renamed Hag All All Hag, later simply Hagal, and continue publication up until 1939."
(The Occult Roots of Nazism, Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke, pgs. 159-160)
the Edda Society's "World Rune Clock"
While the Edda Society is normally overlooked in favor of more well known Germanic occult orders such as Thule its influence on Nazi esotericism was seemingly quite significant. Hagal would enjoy tentative support of during the early years of the Third Reich while the above-mentioned Karl Maria Wiligut, whom the Society was an early patron of, would become something of an occult adviser to Heinrich Himmler and the SS. While I do not wish to digress further, the role Edda helped play in the rise of Wiligut is worth noting as we shall return to Wiligut's beliefs in the next installment. Consider:
"After his eventual release from the asylum in 1927, Wiligut remained in Salzburg and received visitors from Germany (the Edda circle) and from Vienna (mainly ONT brothers). It was during this period that Wiligut revealed his Halgarita-Spruche (Halgarita Charms), which were handed down primarily to his student Emil Rudiger in the years 1928-29. In the fall of 1932, he received Fraulein Frieda Dorenberg. She was a member of the NSDAP even before Adolf Hitler (she carried the membership number 6) and was sometimes called the 'conscience of the Party.' She was also deeply involved in esoteric matters, and was a member of the Edda Society. It was she, in cooperation with other members of the Society, who arranged to have Wiligut smuggled into Germany with a false identity. So, with his children grown, and freedom from observation by authorities granted, Wiligut fled Austria in 1932 and began living underground near Munich in the suburb of Bogenhausen. There he began teaching in the context of an esoteric circle called the Freie Sohne der Nord- und Ostsee (Free Sons of the North and Baltic Seas). It was during this period that, under the pseudonym 'Jarl Widar,' he began to write the contributions to the journal Hagal...
"Wiligut, now in his late sixties, was well received and much respected in these volkisch circles. It is likely that at least some of this respect stemmed from his long and distinguished military record and his service in combat in the 'Great War.'
"It was Wiligut's long-standing friend Richard Anders, by this time a member of the SS, who was instrumental in introducing the old colonel to the Reichsfuhrer-SS, Heinrich Himmler. The National Socialists came to power in Germany on 30 January 1933. Later that year Wiligut met Himmler for the first time at Detmold at a conference of the Nordische Gesellschaft. Shortly thereafter, in September 1933, Wiligut himself joined the SS under the pseudonym 'Karl Maria Weisthor.' Wiligut's own curriculum vitae, which he wrote himself in 1937 under the name 'Karl Maria Wiligut-Weisthor,' indicates his past history as a patient in a mental institution. Therefore Himmler was aware of his past, but kept it secret."
(The Secret King, Stephen E. Flowers and Michael Moynihan, pgs. 47-48)
Needless to say the Edda Society, with its seeming nucleus in Thule and the Germanenorden, would play host to a wide variety of occult doctrines. Ludendorff's wife was a charter member of this society at the same time the old general was still working with Cyril. This raises the distinct possibility that Cyril and the Coburg circles were aware of these esoteric strands.

But enough about the Edda Society for now. Let us return to the matter of Cyril's funding of the Bavarian far right. By most accounts this funding was quite significant.
"Of all the claimants to the Romanov thrown, the Grand Duke Kirill maintained the most intimate relations with the Nazi Party. His liaisons to both the NSDAP... was his chief aid-de-camp General Vasily Biskupsky, a friend of General Lundendorff, who led the most anti-Semitic wing of the exiled White Russians. Biskupsky may also have channeled money from Kirill to the German far right in the early 1920s. In 1939 he told one Nazi bureaucrat that the Grand Duke Kirill had given general Lunderdorff 'a sum of nearly half a million gold marks in 1922-1923 for German-Russian national matters,' which Biskupsky now wanted repaid. The money was linked to a reported 'Russian-German treaty of 1923' between Kirill's forces and Ludendorff. Relations between the Nazis and Kirill began to deteriorate in the mid-1920s over the issue of Great Russia, when Biskupsky tried without success to turn the Estonian-born Alfred Rosenberg against Ukrainian separatism. The Gestapo actually jailed Biskupsky from June to September 1933, although two years later the Nazis made him the head of Russian emigration in Germany."
(Dreamer of the Day, Kevin Coogan, pgs. 602-603)
Reportedly the Nazi refusal to repay Cyril stemmed from the belief that it was not his money that had been loaned to the Party, but the money of Henry Ford.
"... Kirill and his chief aide-de-camp General Vasily Biskupsky appeared to have received financial support from Henry Ford, with Brasol serving as the intermediary. According to Robert C. Williams' book Culture in Exile, Kirill's wife Viktoria managed 'to obtain funds for the movement from the United States.' In their book Who Financed Hitler, James and Suzanne Pool state that Brasol was Kirill's American representative at the time. They report that Brasol sent money from Ford to the Grand Duke and Duchess, who in turn gave it to Ludendorff to support the Bavarian far right, including Hitler. If this information is correct, it might explain the Nazi refusal to give Biskupsky the money he claimed was due him, since the funds hadn't originated with Grand Duke Kirill in the first place."
(Dreamer of the Day, Kevin Coogan, pg. 608)
Henry Ford
The above-mentioned Brasol, Cyril's American agent, is Boris Brasol, a figure we shall be returning to in the next installment, so do keep him in mind.

So, to recap: In many accounts Cyril's wife, Victoria ("Ducky"), is credited with coming up with funding that Cyril lavished upon the Bavarian far right, including Hitler. Compelling evidence has emerged, however, that it was not Ducky's money that was being distributed, but Henry Ford's (who is a well known financial supporter of Nazism). Reportedly Cyril's American agent, Boris Brasol, received these funds from Ford and dispatched them to Cyril. The Grand Duke in turn gave these funds to General Ludendorff, who spread it around amongst the Bavarian far right.

All of this is most interesting as a certain individual long linked to the Thule Society also claimed to be receiving funds from Henry Ford during this time frame that he then gave to the Nazi Party: Dietrich Eckart.
"Another contribution of Eckart, and one that is frequently missed even by occult historians, is his connection with Henry Ford.
"Ford was a notorious anti-Semite, and had actually written a book – The International Jew – which was enormously popular in Germany where a German-language version with the title The Eternal Jew was a best-seller. Hitler had read it before writing Mein Kampf, and some authors insist that whole sections of Hitler's memoir were lifted, practically verbatim, from Ford's book. Hitler even had a picture of Ford hanging in his office at Party headquarters (the Brown House) and stacks The Eternal Jew piled up on a desk outside along with other Nazi literature... It is worthwhile to note the German publisher of The Eternal Jew (as well as of an early edition of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion) was none other than on other than Theodor Fritsch, the man who founded the Germanenorden in 1912 for which the Thule Society served as a front...
"Thus it was Eckart who handled some of these early cash contributions from Henry Ford, and Eckart who, among others, dealt directly with the Ford representatives in Germany. As we continue along in our catalog of this century's most unspeakable evil, we must pause now and again to fully appreciate the depths to which some honored American heroes – industrialists, after all, like Ford; scientists, engineers, and technicians – have sunk, and to resurrect these memories (no matter how painful or simply distasteful) for they are crucial to a full understanding of who we are and of how we came to this impasse. Eckart, the drug-addicted occultist, racist, anti-Semite, and borderline psychopath as Henry Ford's bag man and Hitler's Bebe Rebozo, is one of those tragic accidents of history that merit a few moments of silent contemplation."
(Unholy Alliance, Peter Levenda, pgs. 100-101)
Indeed. As was noted in part eight of this series, one of the earliest versions of the Protocols to pop up in Germany was brought by Vasily Biskupsky's close associate, Piotr Shabelsky-Bork. The first complete German language edition of the Protocols was published by a Ludendorff associate named Ludwig Mueller. By mid-1920 Fritsch's publishing house had issued a best selling edition of the Protocols. Thus, it would seem Thulists and the Coburg circle (and possibly the SOSJ) played a key role in introducing the Protocols to Germany. The same seems to be true of the United States, as we shall see in the next installment.

I have been unable to determine which representatives of Henry Ford approached Eckart during 1920-1921, but it seems all but certain they were either affiliated with Ludendorff and/or the Coburg circle. While its likely Eckart would have initially been contacted by someone connected to Ludendorff, there is circumstantial evidence that he eventually became acquainted with Grand Duke Cyril and the rest of the Coburg circle. Consider the "German Days" rally that was mentioned at the beginning of this article. Let us now consider a few more details:
"With Eckerd and now Rosenberg at his side, Hitler strode all over Germany like an avenging angel on a budget, seeking out targets of opportunity. With him could be counted upon a contingent of six hundred oddly dressed former Free Korps men who had sworn an oath of loyalty to the cause, a kind of bodyguard that was now known as the dreaded SA, the Strumabteilung, the brown-should Storm Troopers.
"The SA at this time was dressed in a motley of uniforms, many with patched and mismatched clothing, but their unifying symbol, of course, was the swastika, which they wore as armbands and which they flew as black-red-white flags after a design approved by Hitler. They were also accompanied by a brass band that played rousing marches at every public meeting of the Nazi Party and, at the event scheduled for Coburg, even had a van full of beefy Bavarians in lederhosen and alpenstocks for a little local color... and brute force.
"Hitler himself presided over very little actual armed conflict up to this time, but was ready for battle when they reached the town of Coburg in Upper Bavaria on October 14, 1922, for a 'German Day' celebration. This time, they were met with opposition in the form of a crowd of anti-Nazis of various persuasions who began by jeering and shouting epithets, calling the Nazis murderers and criminals, and who preceded very shortly to throw rocks at the marching Storm Troopers.
"Hitler gave a signal with his whip, and the Troopers fell upon the crowd with merry and reckless abandon. (Hitler had often pictured himself as Christ throwing the money-changers out of the Temple, and the whip was his favorite weapon at this time. Even Eckardt was growing tired of it, and began to think that maybe his protégé was a trifle insane.) The hostile crowd was forced back, and the march continued, but the talk on the street was that the Communists had only fallen back to regroup and that a major confrontation would take place in twenty-four hours.
"The following day, in spite of a call to all leftist to throw out the Nazis, Hitler – who anticipated a full-scale battle with an opposition numbering close to ten thousand, and whose own SA contingent (swollen with newly arriving members and converts) now numbered only fifteen hundred – found himself greeted instead with wild approval by the people of Coburg and surprisingly the rest of the day passed without conflict. Hitler – his friends the poet-mystic Eckart and the architect-mystic Rosenberg in tow – had actually liberated the town of Coburg."
(Unholy Alliance, Peter Levenda, pgs. 97-98)
a picture taken during the "German Days" trip
Keep in mind this "German Days" rally was sponsored by Grand Duke Cyril and his wife, which may explain why Hitler's "liberation" of Coburg has a whiff of stagecraft about it. And here we two of the Thule Society's most notorious guests accompaniment Hitler to the German Days rally: Eckart, the alleged Henry Ford connection for the fledgling Nazi Party, and the Baltic German and former Tsarist subject Alfred Rosenberg.

Needless to say, it does not seem much of a stretch that Cyril and the Coburg circle were acquainted with either Eckart and Rosenberg. While Cyril and his people do not seem to have arrived in Bavaria until the after the heyday of Thule was passed with such associations and company it hardly seems beyond the realm of possibility that the Grand Duke was aware of Thule and the role it played in overthrowing the Bavarian Soviet Republic.

Then several decades later the Sovereign Order of Saint John, a secret society that first Cyril and later his son Vladimir were said to be patrons of, seemingly embraces the same tools Thule used to overthrow the Bavarian Soviet Republic: an intelligence network that employed spies and propagandists alike and paramilitary forces. In the case of the SOSJ, it played a key role in founding the John Birch Society (JBS) and may have played a role in the Liberty Lobby as well. It is these two organizations from which virtually all of the modern NWO/Masonic-Judo-Communistic World Government conspiracy theories derive from.

Thus, the JBS seems to have played a key role in the SOSJ's intelligence operations. The Society itself was chiefly concerned with propaganda while the closely linked and far more exclusive Western Goals Foundation (WGF) engaged in intelligence gathering activities. Publicly Western Goals was geared toward carrying on the work of the House Committee on Un-American Activities. It compiled files on the political activities of millions of Americans and engaged in blacklisting throughout its heyday. Nor was the WGF the only Bircher-linked group engaged in such activities either. Cleon Skousen's Freemen Institute was another competent of this network.

Its military wing was handled initially by William Potter Gale, a former military intelligence officer who essentially created the Posse Comitatus movement. He did this at the urging of several members of the SOSJ and seemingly went on to create a militant underground network that used organizations such as the Posse and the Minutemen as recruiting grounds and fronts. The Minutemen and other such organizations were also used to gather intelligence for these patriot networks. I outlined these things at length before here.

a poster used by the Minutemen group in the 1960s
These methods are of course strikingly similar to Thule's, as are several others employed by the so-called "Patriot movement." For instance Thule also possessed an obsession with the notion that Aryan common law had been usurped by Roman civil law. A similar notion was incorporated by Gale into his Posse Comitatus ideology and is the basis for much of the modern day sovereign citizen movement. This was briefly addressed before in part five of this series.

And there a few more compelling examples that shall be addressed in the next installment when I begin to break down the American branch of the Coburg circle/SOSJ. For now, I would like to wrap things up by briefly considering a rather curious claim made by Baron Rudolf von Sebottendorff, the founder of Thule, following his departure from the Society. It concerns his claims in regards to an order of knighthood he had joined during this time.
"... He became a night in the Imperial Order of the Knights of Constantine and St. George, a chivalric order whose fanciful lore claimed Constantine the Great as its founder. According to Sebottendorff, the Order was involved in the aftermath of the Bolshevik Revolution in anti-Communist intrigue."
(Hammer of the Gods, David Luhrssen, pg. 195)
von Sebottendorff
This claim was also mentioned by Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke in The Occult Roots of Nazism, though he referred to the order as the Imperial Constantine Order. In actuality both Luhrssen and Goodrick-Clarke seem to be wrong: the order being referred to was almost surely the one that is currently known as the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George, and which does indeed claim Constantine the Great as its founder. in actuality, however, this Roman Catholic order of chivalry seems to have been founded some time between 1520 and 1545 by members of the noble Angeli Comneni family (which curiously gives this Catholic order ties to the Orthodox faith, a similarity it shares with the SOSJ). Goodrick-Clarke implies that to Sebottendorff the order was "dear to his heart" and yet neither he nor Luhrssen seem to have put much stock in Sebottendorff's passion for the organization.

the cross of the Constantinian Order
I find this claim most interesting for the SOSJ's "official" website makes elaborate claims concerning the anti-Communist intrigues the Order was involved in the aftermath of the Bolshevik Revolution as well. What's more, it also alleges that other orders of knighthood assisted the SOSJ in these intrigues. Specifically, these were: the Sovereign Military Order of Malta (SMOM, the "official" Knights of Malta), the German Order of Saint John (presumably the Johanniterorden) and the Venerable Order of St. John. I have found no reference of any Constantinian order on the SOSJ's website, but clearly the claims made by Sebottendorff concerning this order and those made by the SOSJ are remarkably similar at the least.

And with that I bid you adieu for now dear readers. In the next installment we shall consider the American Coburg affiliates and the remarkable role they played in shaping the modern American Patriot movement. Stay tuned.


  1. If I read this correctly Levenda calls Ford's articles The Eternal Jew rather than The International Jew. While some people claim that Ford's four little volumes were instrumental in Nazi circles I find it hard to believe. There is nothing applicable to German sensibilities in Ford's volumes except the Protocols and those were supposed to have been brought from Courland by Rosenberg. Without prepping it's impossible for an American to understand much of what Ford's (or Cameron's) talking about.

    Ford was probably more influential in Hitler's development of the Volkswagen than he was in Nazi ideology. Hitler may have been more fascinated by Ford's assembly line than his Jewish ideas that he had already developed on his own. I have been suspicious of Levenda for some time and a gaffe like The Eternal Jew is unforgiveable. Obviously he hasn't always read his stuff.

  2. R.E.-

    I'm sorry, but if you're referring to Levenda quote of "Unholy Alliance", pgs 100-101, I believe you misread it. Levenda stated the Ford book was called "The International Jew" at the onset, then stated that "The Eternal Jew" was its title in an early publication in Germany. As far as I can tell this is factually correct, though there seems to be some confusion due to the release of a film called "The Eternal Jew" during the reign of the Nazi Party that was apparently unrelated to the Ford book. I have suspicions about Levenda as well, but generally facts are accurate. What can infuriate is what he chooses to emphasize/leave out in his narratives.

    As for Ford, I would agree that his views on Jews probably didn't have much influence on Hitler, though both men seem to have been in contact with the same bizarre circle of White Russians during this era. But more on that in the next installment.

    The big thing Ford's (or rather Cameron's, who is most fascinating figure) articles and book did for the Nazi movement in terms of the Jews was add legitimacy to one of their chief tenets. It would be sort of like someone along the lines of Warren Buffet or Bill Gates allowing a book proclaiming the existence of the Illuminati to be published under their name. But Ford was arguably far more respected during his era than either of these two men (or really any business person in this day and age) presently are.

    Beyond this, Ford's ideas of mass production and "labor relations" clearly influenced Hitler. He was, after all, the only American mentioned in the first edition of "Mein Kampf" and at one point Hitler even kept a picture of Ford in his office.


  3. I guess I carelessly read the The Eternal Jew reference. My apologies. By White Russians I suppose the reference is to Boris Brasol. Supposedly he received 10,000 from Ford for a copy of the Protocols. What Brasol did with the money is as far as I know unknown.

    I find it very difficult to believe that Ford funded a Hitler who in 1924 was a non-entity, he couldn't have been that well known in the US. Of course Ford did do business in Germany so perhaps was better informed but this notion is contradicted by the slanders that he was an ignoramus.

    It is also an exaggeration for him to be described as a raging anti-Semite. It simply is not true. He had legitimate disagreements with the Jews. His articles in the Independent written by Cameron, who by the way is knowledgeable about his topics, were meant to resolve the Jewish Question by a proper airing.

    The Bolshevik Revolution in which Jews were dominant threw a scare into the entire West. Ford was an important player in that scene but not dominant.
    That Hitler had his picture on the wall means little to nothing. It says something about Hitler but not Ford. Ford had no control over whose pictures Hitler displayed.

    I have a picture of Aimee Semple McPherson on my wall but only because I am fascinated by her career. I am not Four Square nor do I intend to be. Most of what you're going to read on these issues is heavily, dare I say, completely biased toward the Jews.

    I have several essays on these matters on my blog. If you're interested I'll post references for you. If you're going to get to the Aaron Sapiro case, that has been totally misrepresented.

  4. R.E.-

    There are reports that Brasol received much more than $10,000 over a number of years. Probably the best and most recent account I've found on this is Michael Kellogg's "The Russian Roots of Nazism." Much of his source material was long classified (and since re-classified) documents from the archives of the Russian FSS.

    Ford seems to have funded a lot of far rightists causes in Germany during this time, Hitler being one of them. This was likely done out of a desire to stop the spread of communism. This fear drove many wealthy individuals to lavish funds on far right sources who were perceived as useful in this regard during the 1920s. Ford would not have been especially unique in this regard.

    I personally tend to give Ford the benefit of the doubt and blame a lot of these misadventures of his hanger-ons. Ford does not always seems to have made the best judgments as to whom he surrounded himself with and this seems to have led to some rather questionable uses of his money. I suspect the use of Ford's business empire was akin to purposes Howard Hughes' was put towards years later.

    My point in mentioning that that Hitler had a picture of Ford on his wall was meant to reflect upon Hitler's feelings toward Ford and not vice versa. There really doesn't seem to be a lot of information available concerning Ford's views on Hitler. But to say that Hitler seems to have had a degree of admiration for Ford is not an especially controversial statement.

    Please post the links if you wish.


    1. A belated comment on what was a brilliant series of articles. You mentioned Crowley's work for Fatherland in passing. Has anyone thought that Crowley's work for the German propaganda machine during WWI may have been related to his Jacobite sympathies? Crowley was a Jacobite, as were many of his close collaborators, notable S.L. Mathers. Many British Jacobites supported Germany during the war because they believed a German victory would lead to the Jacobite pretender Prince Rupprecht of the Bavarian House of Wittelsbach being placed on the throne. Crowley's actions would have been consistent with his ideological leanings and the actions of some of his co-thinkers.