Wednesday, June 25, 2014

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

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.

von Sebottendorff
The fourth installment revolved around the early days of Thule while part five digressed to give a broad overview of the Freecorps movement and its occultic trappings. The sixth installment concerned Thule's ties to the Freecorps movement and the extensive role it played in overthrowing the Bavarian Soviet Republic. Part seven addressed the decline of Thule and the influence it had on the Nazi movement as well as on later institutions such as Operation Gladio and the World Anti-Communist League.

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
While its difficult to determine whether the SOSJ actually existed during this era there was in fact a conspiratorial White Russian secret society based out of Munich during this time known as the Aufbau. The genesis of this organization lay in a desperate bid by White emigres, led by Max von Scheubner-Richter (who was briefly discussed in part nine of this series), to forge an alliance with German rightist and volkischists to support General Piotr Wrangel's Southern Russian Armed Forces' battle against the Bolsheviks in the Ukraine (the final White Russian stronghold in former Imperial Russian territories at the time). Wrangel's army was routed before much could be accomplished but this did not mark the end of collaboration between White emigres and Bavarian rightists.
"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
Piotr Shabelskii-Bork, who seems to have been a member of Cyril's network, was addressed briefly in part eight. Shabelskii-Bork was one of the leading figures in the spread of the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion. He was also imprisoned for taking part in an assassination that the Aufbau was implicated in: that of Vladimir Nabokov, the father of the author of Lolita. Shabelskii-Bork also had long time ties to General Vladimir Biskupsky, a close associate of Cyril's and later his son, Grand Duke Vladimir. Biskupsky effectively managed the Cyril faction of the White emigre movement all the while having a long time affair with Cyril's wealthy German wife, Grand Duchess Victoria. He was addressed briefly in part nine.

General Erich von Ludendorff was an official member of Aufbau. As was noted in part nine, Ludendorff was well versed in Ariosophy and eventually married Mathilde von Kemnitz, a member of the Edda Society. The Edda Society had been founded by Rudolf John Gorsleben, a Thule Society guest. Aufbau member Alfred Rosenberg was famously a guest of Thule, as was his mentor Dietrich Eckart. In The Russian Roots of Nazism Michael Kellogg suggests Eckart himself may also have been a member of the Aufbau. Thus, it is quite likely the Aufbau, and the broader Cyril network it was a part of, had some knowledge of Ariosophy.

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)
Thus, from a very early date Cyril seems to have acquired a rather sophisticated private intelligence network. Nor was Germany the only nation to provide former military intelligence officers for his cause. But more on that latter.

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
The bizarre and mysterious figure of Bermondt-Avalov and his roll in the Baltic Campaign were dealt with at length in part eight. Bermondt-Avalov was supposedly a member of the SOSJ, but I've found little collaboration for this. Indeed, Bermondt-Avalov seems to have had an up-and-down relationship with the Cyril White Russian faction over the years and considered Biskupsky to be his rival. Still, Kellogg compellingly argues that Bermondt-Avalov was working in conjunction with the Aufbau during this time. And here is Bermondt-Avalov working with a Freecorp that the Thule Society played a major role in founding. But I digress.

"Prince" Bermondt-Avalov
Having examined Cyril's German network in depth, let us now turn our attention to his American operators. It is through these individuals that the Thule Society may have manged its greatest, and least acknowledged, influence on the American far right. This influence is still being felt to this very day.

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.

There is a very real possibility that Pelley's work had an influence on Temple, as I noted before here. It also seems likely that Pelley was responsible for the appearance of a similar, race-centric concept of ancient astronauts in Christian Identity "theology" by the early 1960s (such notions appeared several years before the publication of Erich von Daniken's Chariots of the Gods?, the first major work to speculate on the possibility of ancient astronauts, in Identity theology). Its entirely possible the SOSJ played a key role in introducing aspects of Pelley's metaphysical system into Identity theology. The above-mentioned Howard Victor von Boenstrupp was not the only Pelley associate with possible ties to the SOSJ. Carl Mote, the president and general manager of the Northern Indiana Telephone Corporation, was an associate of both Pelley and Boris Brasol in the late 1930s according to John Roy Carlson's Under Cover.

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
Bizarrely, Houghton (according to Kevin Coogan's Dreamer of the Day) was personally involved in the spying activities surrounding German propagandist George Sylvester Viereck. During WWI he published The Fatherland, a weekly periodical that shilled for the German war effort. The paper was operated out of New York City and featured a most notorious contributor: Aleister Crowley.

Crowley of course long alleged that his work for The Fatherland was actually done under the auspices of British intelligence. Army Intelligence worked very with the British Secret Service against the Germans, making it entirely possible that Houghton had periodic contacts with Crowley. This is interesting company for a man friendly with both Henry Ford and Boris Brasol and who was involved in publishing tracts written by Thule Society initiates.

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)
Now folks comes the part where things really start getting weird. The articles that appeared in The Dearborn Independent being referenced above were published in a notorious book known as The International Jew and credited to Henry Ford himself. Virtually everyone agrees that Ford was not the actual author and likely contributed little, if anything, to the work. While Carlson (a pseudonym for FBI informant Arthur Derounian) pegs Brasol as contributing heavily to the work, the man commonly thought to have been the chief author was mentioned in the above quotation: William J. Cameron. Carlson/Derounian would go on to note that Cameron had become involved in a most curious religion by the late 1920s:
"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)
In case you're wondering, Cameron and Howard Rand just happen to be the two individuals most commonly cited as transforming British Israelism into what is now known as Christian Identity theology.
"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
There's a lot of important points to take in here, but most especially the appearance of the American Coalition of Patriotic Societies (ACPS). Barkun is incorrect in stating the ACPS was founded by Marvin. In point of fact it was founded by a "former" military intelligence officer named John Trevor Sr. I've already written a bit on the ACPS and Trevor before here but in brief: Trevor appears to have been an early player in the murky netherworld commonly referred to an "industrial security".

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
Once the Bolshevik Revolution broke out this network became obsessed with smoking out communists, who were increasingly defined as virtually anyone with progressive views. This resulted in the notorious Palmer Raids and the First Red Scare. A midst widespread public outrage van Deman's network was shut down around 1920, at least for a time. In 1928 van Deman's network was covertly reactivated by the FBI and military.

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)
Both's Lanz system and Christian Identity theology are obsessed with the notion of two distinct seed lines for humanoids and miscegenation between the two. Lanz blamed Adam while most Christian Identity strands blame Eve, but the end results are basically the same: a divine white race is corrupted by having sexual relations and offspring with a non/sub-human species. Both systems were also obsessed with stopping further miscegenation between the two so as to preserve the divine seed line. Or something to that effect.

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.

There are also some indications that Dietrich Eckart, a Thule guest and early mentor to Adolf Hitler, also practiced some type of volkische Gnosticism. According to Peter Levenda in Unholy Alliance, Eckart was known to refer to himself as a "Christian mystic." More on this later.

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)
Earlier in the above-quoted work Luhrssen had noted Thule's legal notions had even been adopted into the Nazi Party's infamous Twenty-Five Points.:
"... 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"
This notion of an ancient common law rooted in the mystical Volk has striking parallels to concepts of "Biblical" law that has obsessed Identity believers for decades. Naturally these beliefs seem to have their origins with William Cameron and Howard Rand.
"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.

 While none of this conclusively proves that this White Russian network had an interest in Ariosophy, it at least indicates that they traveled in the same circles in Bavaria during the early 1920s. That Brasol may have been struck by the similarities between British-Israelism and Ariosophy and shared these ties with Cameron (who was already a British-Israeli believer by then and may even have been raised with it as his religion) during his time working on The Dearborn Independent is hardly beyond the realm of possibility. Then of course there's the fact the Brasol was likely working for US military intelligence during this time, an institution that was seemingly quite taken by some of the ideas coming in from Europe at this juncture as well.

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
Things went much better in the United States. Cyril's network forged early ties with US military intelligence and this relationship would continue with SOSJ well into the 1980s at the very least. Whether the SOSJ existed when this relationship was initially forged is highly debatable but the probability that it was active in American by the 1930s is quite high. There can be no debate that the Aufbau, a possible predecessor organization to the SOSJ, was in existence by the early 1920s and that it had ties to both German and American military intelligence (and likely with Soviet intelligence as well).

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
Thule's spies, its weekly newspapers and pamphlets and its Freecorps and assassination councils proved to be remarkably effective in this regard, if nothing else. For this reason it would have made an apt model for Cyril's own schemes. While American industrialists and FBI and military personnel likely had no real interest in restoring Cyril to power, they were deeply concerned over the prospect of the Bolshevik Revolution spreading. For this reason a Thule-like secret society mainly geared towards union busting would have had an obvious appeal on their end as well. Certainly any number of radical organizations were used to suppress domestic "subversion" in the interwar years and during the Cold War and the SOSJ was working from a strategy that had been battle tested.

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
Thus, Thule may well be responsible for laying the foundation for one the most prominent conservative revolutionary strands (or counterrevolutionary, if one prefers) in modern American history. As I noted before at length here and here, much of what now constitutes the Patriot movement can be traced back to organizations and movements largely created by the SOSJ. While those articles mainly focused on the intelligence ties the SOSJ possessed, this series has been intended to raise the very real possibility that some type of cult operated at the heart of the Patriot movement for decades (and may still exist).

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.

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.