Sunday, February 23, 2014

William Dudley Pelley, International Fascism, and the Sirius Tradition Part V

Welcome to the fifth installment in my examination of the life and times of Silver Shirt founder William Dudley Pelley. Over the course of the first two installments in this series (which can be found here and here) I examined Pelley's time with the Silver Shirts and his ties throughout the fascist underground both before and after World War II. Beginning in the third installment I began to consider Pelley's metaphysical pursuits, one of the least examined or understood aspects of his life.

After breaking down Pelley's early involvement in such endeavors and his extensive contacts through out esoteric circles after his "seven minutes in eternity" in 1928 in that installment I began to get into the really incredible elements in Pelley's belief system. As revealed in part four, as early as 1932 Pelley was proclaiming that humanity (or at least the white race, anyway) was descendant from beings that migrated from the Dog Star Sirius centuries before recorded history. This was one of the key features of a theological system he devised that combined elements of Theosophy, Spiritualism, Rosicrucianism, pyramidism along with Christian Gnosticism and Millennialism and a good dose of alternative planes of existence.

In other words, Pelley combined a belief in ancient astronauts with a host of occult system and claimed to be informed of these revelations by "Hidden Masters" whom he frequently contacted through automatic writing. Needless to say, this was a remarkably modern metaphysical system that likely had a large, if little acknowledged, influence on the modern New Age movement. What's more, it seems to have drawn the interest of groups with ties to the United States national security apparatus.

an aged Pelley
One such group, which I began to explore in the previous installment, was known as the Collins Elite. The existence of the Collins Elite is still highly debatable and information about the group is largely the result of several insider informants who became involved with the great Fortean researcher Nick Redfern. This group was allegedly formed in the early 1950s after a group of military intelligence officers became convinced that there was a connection to the modern wave of UFO sightings that had gone into overdrive in 1947 and occult workings, especially those related to Aleister Crowley and Jack Parsons. An excellent rundown of the group can be found on the Secret Sun via an interview the invaluable Christopher Knowles conducted with Redfern.

With that out of the way, let us now begin to consider whether the ideology of Pelley was of interest to the Collins Elite, if it did in fact exist. Certainly there is some rather obvious, superficial overlap: Pelley's theology featured celestial beings who migrated to Earth from Sirius and advocated the imposition of a theocracy on the United States based around the teachings of Jesus Christ (as prounced by Pelley) in order to prepare the nation for the Second Coming. The Collins Elite believed that demonic beings were masquerading as extraterrestrials and have allegedly considered imposing a theocracy on the United States (possibly via a faked Second Coming, Project Blue Beam-style) in order to save the citizens of this nation from these beings, who are allegedly repelled by the figure of Jesus Christ.

But aside from a taste for theocracy and dreams of a cult of personality centered around Jesus Christ, there are more tangible links between Pelley and the Collins Elite. According to one of Redfern's informants, a "Richard Duke", the Collins Elite became convinced that heightened states of consciousness were crucial to understanding the UFO phenomenon after examining the accounts of three alleged contactees from the early 1950s: George Van Tassel, George Adamski, and George Hunt Williamson.
"In order to understand how and why the beliefs of the Collins Elite came to fruition, it is important to keep in mind the point that Adamski, Williamson, and Van Tassel had made claims that their presumed-alien visitors communicated with them by telepathy, ESP, and Ouija boards. And it is equally important to note that – as FBI records declassified under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act demonstrate – the trio was investigated by the FBI determine if they had communist leanings, or knowingly or unknowingly spreading propaganda on behalf of the Soviet Union.
"Richard Duke said that as far back as 1948, the FBI began to receive reports and stories very similar to those of Adamski, Williamson, and Van Tassel – that human-like aliens were among us, that they were communists, and that their means and modus-operandi of contact seemed to utilize the occult, as well as advanced science. Duke further stated that certain elements within the FBI came to a startling, albeit tentative, conclusion: that the claimed encounters with Communist extraterrestrials had nothing to do with visitors from other worlds, but were instead the outcome of Soviet mind control and 'brain-to-brain contact' projects, in which U.S. citizens were being 'implanted with thoughts' by Russian 'mind-soldiers' that led the contactees to think they were having real-life experiences with aliens who wanted to tell us how wonderful communism was...
"Duke maintained that this theory came to fruition in 1952, specifically after cleared FBI agents had attended 'two of seven or eight' lectures that have been held in the Pentagon that year on the utilization of ESP for psychological warfare purposes. That such lectures held in the Pentagon did occur, and that U.S. Intelligence was aware of Hitler's interest in such matters, is not in any doubt. In 1977, in a document titled 'Parapsychology in Intelligence,' Kenneth A. Kress, an engineer with the CIA's Office of Technical Services, wrote: 'Anecdotal reports of extrasensory perception (ESP) capabilities have reached U.S. national security agencies at least since World War II, when Hitler was said to rely on astrologers and seers. Suggestions for military applications of ESP continued to be received after World War II. For example, in 1952, the Department of Defense was lectured on the possible usefulness of extrasensory perception and psychological warfare...'
"It was during these lectures, said Duke, that a new theory began to emerge to explain the truth behind the contactee puzzle – and it was a theory that finally led to a complete discarding of the notion that the Soviets were somehow involved and the development of one that was more in-keeping with the views of the Collins Elite involving a demonic presence, and how it was all tied in with flying saucers. And, in view of this, said Duke, the Collins Elite decided that the only viable alternative available to them was to delve further into the murky and controversial realms of altered states and ESP and see what might potentially be uncovered, regardless of the outcome."
(Final Events, Nick Redfern, pgs. 56-58)

Apparently Williamson's use of Ouija board to contact these alleged extraterrestrials was of especial interest to the Collins Elite because it was also highly regarded by Aleister Crowley.
"It may not be without significance that, just like contactee George Hunt Williamson, Aleister Crowley was a user of Ouija boards. Jane Wolfe, who lived with Crowley at his infamous Abbey of Thelema, also used the Ouija board. In fact, she credited some of her greatest spiritual communications to the specific use of the device. Crowley also discussed the effectiveness of the Ouija board with another of his students, Charles Stansfeld Jones – otherwise known as Frater Achad – who was an occultist and a ceremonial magician. In 1917, Achad experimented with the board as a means to summon angels, as opposed to elementals."
(ibid, pg. 61)

Curiously, possibly two of the individuals who alerted the Collins Elite to the significance of ESP, telepathy and the occult in general in relation to the UFO phenomenon, George Adamski and George Hunt Williamson, had ties to William Dudley Pelley. Let us begin with Williamson, whose ties to Pelley are a matter of public record.
"As for George Hunt Williamson, also known as Michael d'Obrenovic and as Brother Philip, Williamson became fascinated by the occult world as a teenager, and ultimately became a leading, albeit relatively brief, figure in the contactee movement. In early 1951, Williamson was summarily ejected from the University of Arizona on the grounds of poor scholarship. Having been deeply moved by William Dudley Pelley's 1950 book Star Guests, he went on to assist in the production of the organization's monthly journal, Valor.
"At the time, Pelley had been recently released from prison after serving eight years for his wartime opposition to the government and to the policies of President Roosevelt. The leader of a fascist body called the Silver Shirts, Pelley, like Williamson, was hypnotized by occult matters and compiled massive volumes of material on contact with allegedly higher forms of intelligence. Pelley became a major influence in the life of Williamson, who ultimately combined his fascination with the occult and flying saucers by trying to contact extraterrestrial-intelligences with the help of a home-made Ouija board and channeling. Commenting on the subject of Williamson's reported channeling of extraterrestrials, researcher Sean Devney stated: 'When Williamson started to channel, it was something truly inexplicable. [He] would begin speaking in several different voices, one right after the other.'
"In 1954, Williamson published his own saucer-dominated volume, The Saucers Speak, which focused upon his well-publicized attempts to contact extraterrestrials via short-wave radio and Ouija boards. Actar of Mercury, Adu of Hatonn in Andromeda, Agfa Affa of Uranus, Ankar-22 of Jupiter, and Artok of Pluto were just some of the many purported extraterrestrials with whom Williamson claimed interaction. Then, in the latter part of the 1950s, Williamson changed his name, drafted a wholly fictitious academic and family background to accompany his latest identity, and essentially disappeared. He died in 1986, largely forgotten by the UFO research community that had briefly welcomed him into the fold in the 1950s. The Collins Elite never forgot him, however."
(Final Event, Nick Redfern, pgs. 55-56)
Williamson's cosmology, while firmly rooted in Pelley's ideology, would adopt some interesting features of its own that would influence a host of ufologists over the years.
"George Hunt Williamson took Pelley's ideas into areas far beyond... orthodox Soulcraft system, but throughout his electric career Williamson maintained beliefs firmly grounded in the teachings of his former employer (despite his claims to have distanced himself from the Soulcraft Recorder). While Pelley utilized the flying saucers as supportive evidence for his religious system, Williamson focused his attentions on the spaceman, then worked a religious system into the 'reality' of the saucers. His ufological studies involved receiving transmissions from Martians via short-wave radio. These messages instructed him that humanity developed as Pelley had depicted in 'Star Guests' – by the mixing of apes and aliens. However, Earth had been visited by three types of extraterrestrial since then. According to Williamson, the 'Harvesters' traveled to earth from Sirius and help defeat evil on this planet. Earthly evil is a product of the violent machinations of the 'Intruders,' from Orion. Humanity is assisted in its spiritual development by the 'Migrants' (Williamson occasionally adopted Pelley's terminology and referred to this group as the 'Goodly Company'). Like Pelley, Williamson stressed reincarnation and the golden 'New Age' that will dawn after the apocalyptic battle that inaugurates the Aquarian Age.
"Williamson eventually became obsessed with uncovering artifacts from the lost continent of Lemuria and spent much of his time exploring Himalayan ruins. Although his later works focused on these endeavors, his 1950s works on 'Star Guests' activities resonated with a number of writers. Williamson's Pelley-inspired notions encouraged metaphysical oriented ufologists such as George Van Tassel, Max Flindt, and Erich von Daniken and insured an audience for his creation theories well beyond the limited sphere of Soulcraft."
(William Dudley Pelley: A Life in Right-Wing Extremism and the Occult, Scott Beekman, pg. 161)

some of Williamson's latter works (i.e., the late 1950s, very early 1960s)
The naming of the extraterrestrials from Sirius as "Harvesters" is interesting in this context as the Collins Elite apparently came to believe that the beings masquerading as extraterrestrials were effectively harvesting human souls for their own ends. And of course, more than a few elements from Williamson's system have been adopted by many of the more revered ancient astronaut theorists, as shall be examined a bit in the next installment. For now, let us move along to George Adamski, one of the most controversial figures in all of ufology.
"In 1952, the world found out, thanks to George Adamski, a sixty-one-year-old Polish-American who ran the Palomar Gardens Café at the base of Palomar Mountain, between San Diego and Los Angeles. Atop the mountain was the 200-inch Hale telescope, then the largest in the world, though Adamski liked to set up his own fifteen and six-inchers for passers-by to peer through at the heavens. Adamski also ran a theosophically inclined mystical order, the Royal Order of Tibet, and lectured regularly at the café on esoteric topics to a small coterie of followers who knew him as the 'Professor.'
"In 1949 Professor Adamski published a science-fiction novel, Pioneers of Space: A Trip to the Moon, Mars and Venus, under his own name, though it was actually written by his secretary, Lucy McGinnis. Soon afterwards he began incorporating flying saucers into his lectures, claiming to have seen and photographed the spacecraft. His reputation as a saucer spotter began to grow locally until, in 1950, he featured in Ray Palmer's Fate magazine. Adamski was fast becoming California's one-man flying saucer industry: business at the café was booming.
"With flying saucers very much in the news, Adamski's mystical saucer group began to attract new members, among them George Hunt Williamson...
"It was at that time Williamson and his wife, who had been attempting to contact the flying saucer occupants with an Ouija board, heard Professor Adamski's own tape-recorded communications with the Space Brothers. Deeply impressed, they joined the group and had become key members when, on 20 November 1952, Adamski, Lucy McGinnis, the Williamsons and fellow saucerers Alfred and Betty Bailey saw a large cigar-shaped object drifting over their cars as they drove through the California desert. Adamski told his passengers that it was one of the Space Brothers' airships and asked to be left behind.
"An hour later, the Professor returned with an incredible story. Alone in the desert with his telescope and camera, Adamski had seen a smaller, beautiful, craft land in the desert about half a mile away. Emerging from the craft was a human being from another world, about five feet six inches tall, in his late twenties with long blond hair, high cheekbones and a high forehead. He wore a one-piece brown outfit, red shoes and a perfect smile. Only a few words were spoken, much of the exchange taking place through telepathy and body language.
"The Nordic-looking spaceman was called Orthon. He had come to California from his home planet Venus to express his race's concerns for humankind and, in particular, its use of the atom bomb. Orthon asked Adamski to help them spread their message, then, their meeting over, Orthon and his craft took off, leaving behind only the imprint of a single shoe, which Adamski and his friends were able to preserve in plaster of Paris. Strange symbols were visible in the cast, including a star and a swastika.
"Adamski was as good as his word and immediately began to talk about his amazing encounter. In 1953 his account (again ghost written, this time by Claire L. John) was included in a best-selling book, Flying Saucers Have Landed, along with an essay on flying saucers and antiquity by the Irish peer Desmond Leslie. Adamski traveled the world talking about his meetings with the Space Brothers, which continued after his initial contact. Among those seeking an audience with the Professor were Queen Juliana of the Netherlands and, allegedly, Pope John XXIII. Meanwhile the Space Brothers kept in touch, occasionally dropping by the café to catch up with their new Earthling friend, and taking him on trips into Outer Space, which he described in another book, Inside the Space Ship (1955).
"Later investigations haven't been kind to the Polish professor – his iconic UFO photograph looks uncannily like a chicken feeder and a flying saucer design depicted in a technical paper that was widely circulated in early 1952. What really happened that day in the desert only Adamski, and perhaps Orthon, knew, but the timing of his encounter couldn't have been better, occurring just months after the Washington DC flap and just as the CIA and the US Air Force were discussing how to defuse the saucer issue.
"Adamski stories provided a much-needed answer to the flying saucer question: the occupants weren't evil Russians, they were peace-loving Venusians. While the burgeoning science-minded UFO community, epitomized by Leon Davidson, derided his account, the more spiritually minded tended to accept it, as did the general populace. As Adamski's fame spread, a number of other 'contactees' emerged, all telling similar stories of benevolent Space Brothers and joy rides into Outer Space."
(Mirage Men, Mark Pilkington, pgs. 100-102)
Unsurprisingly, there has been some question as to whether or not Adamski was merely a disinformation agent for US intelligence.
"Speculation that Adamski, and some of the other contactees were embroiled in intelligence games has existed since the 1950s. Leon Davidson contacted Adamski shortly after he went public with his encounter, exchanging several letters with him over the years. Asked by Davidson if there was anything at all unusual about Orthon and his fellow Space Brothers, Adamski replied that he was 'very definitely a human being... with his hair cut and in a business suit as men here wear he could mingle with anyone, anywhere.'
"Davidson naturally sensed Allen Dulles's stagecraft behind Adamski's encounters. His later 'trips' to Outer Space, documented in Inside the Space Ships, always began with the Space Brothers picking him up in a black Pontiac and driving him out into the desert. Here, Adamski would encounter a landed 'scout craft', inside which he would sit in a chair and watch the stars zoom by on a pair of screens (the craft's portholes were always closed), though he sensed 'no motion at all' while flying. During these trips 'newsreels' from Venus would be shown on the screens and the Space Brothers would lecture on various topics, all the while serving Adamski oddly coloured drinks. A suspicious Davidson noted that in 1955, a 'Rocket to the Moon' ride had opened at Disneyland that used black-projections to create the sensation of spaceflight. Were Adamski's space journeys concocted using similar Hollywood special effects? And just what was in those in-flight drinks that the Space Brothers were serving up to him?
"Whoever was behind Adamski's adventures, the involvement of Silver Shirt George Hunt Williamson and his circle, combined with persistent rumors that the Royal Order of Tibet masked a moonshine operation during Prohibition, would have been enough on their own to warrant the FBI's undivided attention. And Adamski had it, from an early stage in his career. A September 1950 FBI report paints a vivid picture. 'If you ask me,' the Professor told an FBI agent, 'they probably have a communist form of government... That is a thing of the future – more advanced. He also predicted that 'Russia will dominate the world and we will then have an era of peace for 1,000 years.'"
(ibid, pgs. 103-104) 

The FBI contact of Adamski was echoed in Redfern's account, which noted that originally elements of the national security apparatus were concerned that the UFO encounters were some type of communist mind control plot. No doubt Adamski's observations about communism would have raised a few eyebrows during this era (though he never seems to have run afoul of the red hunters significantly) and its entirely possible those curious drinks he was served by his Space Brothers was a part of an enhanced interrogation the US intelligence community subjected him to to get to the bottom of his claims.

Still, Redfern insists that the intelligence community (or at least the Collins Elite) had a serious interest in Adamski. They seem to have become especially taken in by his claims due to his association with the above-mentioned Desmond Leslie.
"... Richard Duke told me that the CollinsElite quickly became concerned by the working relationship that existed between Adamski and Leslie, and for one very stark and eye-opening reason: Desmond Leslie had a long and rich link to the world of the occult, including Aleister Crowley himself.
"Leslie's father, Sir Shane, who was a second cousin to British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, was a truly colorful character who caused a sensation by converting to Roman Catholicism and the Nationalist cause. In addition, he spent part of his early years in Russia, where he became friends with Leo Tolstoy, before traveling across Europe. It was during these travels that Sir Shane became obsessed with the world of the supernatural, which led him to carefully collect stories of his Ghost Book, published in 1955. Sir Shane's closest friends at this time included the acclaimed paranormal novelist, M. R. James and the eccentric Lord Tredegar, who dabbled in the black arts, under the influence of Aleister Crowley's teachings, at his country estate in Wales.
"So Desmond Leslie was, in reality, someone who had been firmly exposed to the occult and the teachings of Crowley. Just like Jack Parsons, in fact."
(Final Events, Nick Redfern, pgs. 54-55)
Leslie may well have been a key influence on Adamski's belief system. Another was potentially William Dudley Pelley himself. There have been allegations floating around for years that Pelley and Adamski had had some type of relationship even prior to the post-WWII UFO era.
"According to my information, contactee George Adamski had connections with American fascist leader William Dudley Pelley, who was interned during the war. Another seminal contactee, George Hunt Williamson (whose real name was Michel d'Obrenovic), was associated with Pelley's organization in the early 50s. In fact, Pelley may have put Williamson in touch with Adamski. Other associates of Williamson during the great era of the flying saucers were such contacteess John McCoy and the two Stanford brothers, Ray and Rex.
"The connections among all these men, who have been very influential in shaping the UFO myth in the United States, are quite intricate...
"It was about 1950 that Williamson is said to of begun working for Pelley at the offices of Soulcraft Publications in Noblesville, Indiana, before moving to California, where he witnessed Adamski's desert contact on November 20, 1952, with a Venusian that had long blond hair. Williamson, however, has assured me that he never embraced any of the racist theories that the pro-Nazi movements promoted..."
(Dimensions, Jacques Vallee, pg. 250)
Pelley's biographer, Scott Beekman, does not agree with Vallee's time frame. He places Pelley's meeting with Williamson in 1953, after the Adamski close encounter. Still, Beekman seems to believe that there was some type of connection between Pelley and Adamski as well.
"... a young anthropologist named George Hunt Williamson, who began working for Pelley in 1953. Williamson was deeply interested in ufology and wrote a regular column on UFO sightings in Valor until 1954. Williamson then left Pelley's orbit and began a long and eccentric career investigating ufology, unexplained phenomena, and the occult.
"Williamson was already well-known in 1953 because of his connections with one of the most controversial figures in the UFO movement, George Adamski, who died in 1965. An opportunist of dubious morals, Adamski established himself as a minor metaphysical teacher in the 1930s, when he created the Royal Order of Tibet. 'Professor' Adamski's teachings were swiped whole cloth from the I AM movement, and the Royal Order eked out a meager existence until the late 1940s. Inspired by the Arnold sightings, Adamski began lecturing on flying saucers (of which he claimed to have seen 184 by 1950) and writing science-fiction stories.
"During the early 1950s, Williamson had traveled to California to meet Adamski, and discuss UFOs. In November 1952 Williamson, Adamski, and five others ushered in the 'contactee era' by allegedly conversing with a Venusian near Desert Center, California. The spaceman encountered was described as 'Aryan' looking, with long blond hair and blue eyes, a point that critics familiar with the backgrounds of Adamski and Williamson quickly seized upon as evidence both fraud and racism. Adamski spent the rest of the decade writing about his frequent encounters with aliens (including rides into outer space) and promoting the spiritual teachings the spacemen allegedly imparted to him. That the spacemen's religious system was identical to Adamski's prior Royal Order of Tibet teachings (and that his pictures of the spaceship bore a striking resemblance to out-of-focus ceiling light fixtures) is usually cited as irrefutable evidence of Adamski's chicanery.
"Despite the highly questionable aspects of Adamski and Williamson's stories, Pelley continued to trumpet his association with them and the validity of their alien encounters. In Valor, Pelley recounted their adventures and reprinted letters he received from Williamson, Adamski, and Adamski's secretary, Lucy McGinnis (who ghostwrote all of his books). When Adamski began publishing accounts of the spacemen's spiritual system, which, being I AM derived, bore close similarities to Soulcraft, Pelley approvingly noted the material as further extraterrestrial evidence of the validity of his own religious teachings."
(William Dudley Pelley: A Life in Right-Wing Extremism and the Occult, Scott Beekman, pgs. 154-155)
Thus, Pelley and Adamski clearly seem to have been aware of one another, though whether this was merely by reputation, or a more personal relationship, is difficult to discern. As was noted in part one of this series, the Silver Shirts were very active in California during the 1930s, especially in Los Angeles and San Diego, and thus its possible Adamski may have been aware of Pelley's teachings for quite some time. And Pelley himself was based out of California throughout the 1920s and very early 1930s (and continued to travel there semi-regularly for some time afterwards), making the possibility of a personnel association certainly within the realm of possibility.

So to recap, the Collins Elite allegedly became convinced of the occult nature of the UFO phenomenon as a result of the experiences recounted by several contactees in the early 1950s, but most notably those produced by the three Georges: Van Tassel, Williamson, and Adamski. Of these three, Williamson most certainly had ties to Pelley and Adamski most likely did  as well. Further, the metaphysical aspects of their respective systems, which most fascinated the Collins Elite, seem to have been largely based upon the system Pelley originally devised in the late 1920s and early 1930s, and which was later adopted wholesale by the much more successful I AM movement.

Guy Ballard, the founder of the I AM movement
Given the Collins Elite's obsession with occult connections to the UFO phenomenon, it seems hard to believe that they would not have had interest in the work of a man who claimed by at least 1932 to be receiving messages (frequently delivered via automatic writing) from "higher" intelligences alleging that the white race's origins derived from extraterrestrial beings from Sirius. Certainly, they seem to have given much credence to the systems influenced by Pelley and even toyed with another of his tenets, namely that of theocracy.

But of course the very existence of the Collins Elite is still highly debatable, and thus can hardly be held up as confirmation of the American national security's apparatus' interest in Pelley's work. The existence of the next network we shall consider is not only certain beyond a shadow of a doubt, however, but evidence pointing to their interest in Pelley's theology is also much more compelling as well. Stay tuned for further revelations.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

William Dudley Pelley, International Fascism and the Sirius Tradition IV

And so we arrive at the fourth installment of my examination of the life and times of Silver Shirt fuehrer William Dudley Pelley. Over the course of the first two installments I mainly considered the founding of the Silver Shirts (part one) and Pelley's broader ties to the fascist underground, both before and after World War II (part two). In the third installment I began to focus in on the metaphysical aspects of Pelley's life.

As was noted there, these aspects were quite extensive. While Pelley is generally viewed as a marginal figure in metaphysical circles in this day and age he was something of a celebrity in said circles in the late 1920s and early 1930s, with ties to a host of esoteric groups across the country. What's more, Pelley remained active in metaphysical and occult currents from at least the time he experienced his famed "seven minutes in eternity" in 1928 until the time of his death in 1965. Indeed, a considerable portion of Pelley's life was dedicated to metaphysical and occult pursuits, much more than the decade he spent as an activist for fascism (a state of affairs partly necessitated by the terms of Pelley's parole in the early 1950s, which prohibited him from such activism).

Up to this point I've mainly focused on the aspects of Pelley's metaphysical system that were largely lifted from Theosophy, Spiritualism, Rosicrucianism, Pyramidism, and so forth. Now I would like to delve into the truly original aspects of Pelley's system. With that in mind, let us consider where Pelley's theology stood in the early 1930s.
"Pelley's writings and lectures from this period were represented a formidable, albeit flawed, theology. He read widely in metaphysics, and his Liberation Doctrine possesses a clear spiritualist undergirding. Upon this foundation Pelley added layers of Theosophy, Rosicrucianism, pyramidism, Jainism, and harmonialism, all topped with a peculiar Christocentric millenarianism. Claiming all his writings were dictated to him clairaudiently by 'Masters,' Pelley declared that his religious system reconciled creationism with evolution, free will with predestination, and Christ with eastern teachings.
"Pelley posited three significant forces in the universe. First and foremost was the Universal Spirit, 'from which all things proceed and which is of all things the substance.' Second was the Spirit of the Group, responsible for animating all the lower forms of creation. Finally, there was man, consisting of mind, body, and soul. The 'Divine Mind' created every soul twenty-eight million years ago. Pelley noted that 'there is now in each human soul a separate and distinct development of Universal Spirit which has a body for expression and which is yet able to be aware of its kinship with Divine Essence, [so that] there must be an instrument for this awareness, and this instrument is Mind.'
"Pelley's system included the Christian God, but only as one god among many. While he (and to Pelley God was always 'he') may meet in counsel with other gods, God was a very old spirit living on a distant planet who was responsible for our solar system. While souls were not directly accountable to him, the Great Avatar (Jesus) visited God for instruction. Pelley noted that there was 'no God in the sense in which the mortal theologian uses the term... [because] to name and personify Infinite Spirit would be to limit It.'
"Pelley's theology was also Christocentric. He noted that Christ was spirit 'made manifest for the moment.' His status as 'Pure Spirit' was significant, as 'Spirit is the one Law and Force and Harmony that is Love.' Pelley staunchly maintained that he was a Christian (and the Jesus dictated messages directly to him), but that his beliefs must be separated from the 'man-made dogma' termed religion that men 'ignorant of these great psychical fundamentals' had developed since Christ death. Like the sixteenth-century cleric Thomas Muntzer before him, Pelley had little use for the 'Bible thieves' who, for their own ends, buried the truth that Christ was 'the greatest psychic who ever trod the earth' and who corrupted his teachings. Although the New Testament had been corrupted for materialistic ends, Pelley considered it far superior to the Old Testament. He noted that the Old Testament 'is the record of the lives and works of the Negative Introvert Element in the human race, the effeminate manifestation of human nature in the social state, the New Testament is the record of the lives and works of the Positive Extrovert Element, the masculine exposition of aggressive and constructive spiritual accomplishment.' Pelley believed it was his responsibility to instruct humanity in an accurate understanding of this 'Positive Extrovert Element.' Once the truth was disclosed, the true orthodoxy of Pelley's version of Christianity would be revealed.
"According to Pelley, in the beginning there was only Holy Spirit (or Consciousness). The solar system was made 'for purposes of Love by Vibration.' This Love was an attempt by Holy Spirit to comprehend its own limitless existence. Matter, then, was a corruption Pure Spirit intended only as a learning tool. Ultimately, all matter (including those fragments of spirit known as souls) would revert to pure Spirit. There were numerous universes, each with its own gods and conscious life forms. These systems all followed a similar evolutionary pattern, however. Initially, life on each planet was vegetable (assisted by Over-Spirit, or the region's god). Then lower animals developed with the assistance Group Spirit. Planets eventually evolved human forms, and, ultimately, purely spiritual beings.
"Pelley believed human life on earth had developed in a particularly unusual manner. One group of souls in another planetary system, Sirius, migrated to earth thirty to fifty million years ago. The 'star guests' incarnated in certain animal forms. Initially they incarnated in a creature form with the body of a lion and the head of an eagle (the Sphinx is a tribute to this form). In lion form procreation was by thought. The 'guests,' however, switched to an ape-like body, causing the difference between human and primate 'species.' This shift to ape form led matter to become primates' 'fetish and shibboleth,' and they lost control over 'thought-generation.' They then 'gradually became the races of man as society now recognizes them.' Believing his system reconciled creationism with evolution, Pelley posited that the Genesis 'daughters of men' were apes, and the 'Sons of God' were 'star guests.' Hence, man was 'half-monkey and half-angel,' and the missing link not been discovered because it was spiritual, not biological.
"Pelley argued that this type of creation also explained religion on Earth. The mysteries and apparent falsehoods of Christian scripture made sense once one understood that extraterrestrial material was both involved and forgotten. He noted that man built his incomplete faith in gods out of his longing for the 'spiritual home from which so many long eons before he had started out on this cosmic journey.' Pelley also persisted that, following an erroneous, established form of Christianity – Roman Catholicism, for example – indicated a very young soul.
"This evolutionary system also explained the different types of people on Earth. According to Pelley there were three castes of mortal life on this planet. At the bottom of the spectrum were the beast-progeny of the ape-mothers. Above them were the reincarnated spirits from the original Sirian migration. And, finally, there was the Goodly Company, the 144,000 souls who followed the Great Avatar here to promote his teachings and put humanity on the path of righteousness."
(William Dudley Pelley: A Life in Right-Wing Extremism and the Occult, Scott Beekman, pgs. 70-72)

So, to recap dear reader: Pelley's theology had trappings of Christian Gnosticism, but also incorporated a bizarre extraterrestrial angle that posited that humanity had evolved from spiritual beings from Sirius, the Dog Star, who had migrated here millions of years ago. But there was more: these "Star Guests" from Sirius also had access to different planes, or dimensions, of existence (of which more will be said in a moment). Further, he claimed to have received this information from "Hidden Masters" he was in contact with, frequently via automatic writing.

And he devised this theology as early as 1932, possibly even sooner.

As I'm sure many of my regular readers are well aware, the Dog Star Sirius plays a crucial role in a host of esoteric traditions the world over, but most notably in Ancient Egypt and amongst the Dogon tribe of West Africa. What's more, extraterrestrials from Sirius have become a staple in one of the most compelling ancient astronaut theories that has emerged in recent decades. Further, it is important to note that the significance of Sirius was not widely until the 1970s with the publication of books such as Robert K.G. Temple's The Sirius Mystery, Kenneth Grant's The Magical Revival and Robert Anton Wilson's The Cosmic Trigger I: The Final Secrets of the Illuminati. Prior to this point the significance of Sirius had been overlooked by many occultists and was likely only known by the most adept mages such as Crowley. Grant indicates that the Great Beast became aware of the significance of Sirius early in the twentieth century.
"Crowley identified the heart of the Thelemic current with one particular Star. In Occult Tradition, this is 'the Sun behind the Sun,' the Hidden God, the vast star Sirius, Sothis, which opened the zodiacal year of 365 days as well as the Great Year of approximately 26,000 years.
"According to Herodotus (Bk. II, 58), the Egyptians celebrated the annual return of the Star, or God, with obscene rights characterized by bestial copulation. Thus, the Dog-Star. Crowley knew that no right of antiquity was without a magical purpose. He performed exhaustive experiments with this formula (see The Diaries of Aleister Crowley) and found it more effective, in many ways, then the formula of normal sexual magick which Theodor Reuss, following Kellner, had incorporated in the O.T.O. (Kellner had received initiation at the hands of Oriental Adepts versed in Tantric ritual).
"The Hidden God, Set (represented astronomically by Sirius, the Dog-Star) typified the peculiar formula of the Eleventh Degree of the O.T.O., which could be applied to the male or the female. It is in this sense that we must understand the symbol of the Phoenix, the title which Crowley assumed in secret conclave with Frater Achad in 1915 in connection with the Sovereign Sanctuary of the Order. 
"The Phoenix or Ibis is the bird of Cyclic Return and an apt symbol of the God who administers to and by himself, his own clyster. He is thus the Double-Wanded one in a physical as well as in a mystical sense. 
"Dion Fortune notes that Venus is ultimately transcended in Sirius; and the only physical explanation of this phenomenon is as explained above. That Fortune was acquainted with this formula is evident from her references to the later Graeco-Roman degradation of it.
"In The Book of Law appears a reference to the Egyptian god Hrumachis or Hor-Makhu. The name means Horus of the Star and Hrumachis is described by Aiwaz as being beyond the present Aeon, as Sirius is beyond the Sun, for this can be interpreted in terms other than those involving the sequential flow of time. It is probable that in this concept Crowley saw an adumbration of the Hidden God, who will not therefore eventually 'assume my thrown and place,' as is written in The Book of Law, but who is already throned, has been, and will be, forever. 
"This resumes the Formula of the Phoenix, already described in Chapter 1. The Star of Horus is also the Star of Babalon – the seven-rayed star of the planet Saturn (or Set), which rules Aquarius, the eleventh house of the zodiac. Aquarius is the constellation through which the influence of Horus (the Sun) reaches man during the present Aeon. Saturn, therefore, is the power behind Venus, as Sirius is the power behind the Sun. These two great stars (Set and Horus) are therefore symbolically identical, and in this way also is being is Venus transcended in Sirius, in a celestial sense."
(The Magical Revival, Kenneth Grant, pgs. 50-52)   
And here was Pelley hailing "Star Guests" from Sirius decades before it became a staple of ancient astronaut theories. Both Venus and the Age of Aquarius will also appear in this saga, as shall be examined in a moment. I have been unable to determine whether or not Crowley and Pelley were aware of one another, but I find it curious certain elements appear prominently in either man's system despite quite a different philosophy underpinning either. Of course, both men claimed to be in contact with a "higher" intelligence for their revelations, though one suspects the message was quite a bit more jumbled in Pelley's case. But I digress.

For the time being, let us consider where Pelley's system stood after he was paroled from prison in the early 1950s and began incorporating elements of post-WWII Ufology into his system. Pelley would dub this new theology (which was virtually unchanged from his "Liberation Doctrine" of the 1930s) "Soulcraft." Pelley jumped into this new field relatively early in the game.
"... After the war, he started an occult group, Soulcraft, and published a racist magazine called Valor. He also wrote the book Star Guests in 1950, a compilation of automatic writing reminiscent of the Seth Material."
(Dimensions, Jacques Vallee, pg. 250)

Pelley's biographer, Scott Beekman, gives many more details about Soulcraft and its use of the UFO phenomenon:
"Pelley posited that the fundamental force in the universe is Divine Thought (also referred to as Holy Spirit, Universal Spirit, Over-Spirit, and the Godhead), which is 'self-functioning, and out of it in its non-physical state comes all Matter and all Substance and all Protoplasm, being the author and creator of these in the atomic and material sense.' All creation arises out of Divine Thought, which fractures into Spirit Particle to create souls. These souls are found on various planets across the universe, and also in several nonmaterial planes of existence.
"The various planes of existence are at the heart of Soulcraft doctrine. Pelley taught that all souls go through earthly incarnations, usually one every five hundred years or so, to increase their spiritual awareness. During discorporate periods, the souls (or Spirit Particle) inhabit purely spiritual planes. There are six or seven of these planes 'Beyond the Veil' (here Pelley waffled a bit) that correspond to a soul's level of spiritual development. Each soul, then, undertakes a Platonic development that eventually leads to assignment as the deity over a distant planet.
"Pelley posited that earthly existence was solely for the educational purpose of 'developing the individual consciousness to complete [the] realization of itself and of its source.' After souls reach the Fourth Plane (the 'idealized earthplane' or 'Summerland'), they realize their deficiencies and reincarnate in order to improve their spiritual development and obtained the requisite amount of knowledge to progress to the Fifth Plane (the 'Plane of Radiance'). After a soul achieves Fifth Plane status, earthly reincarnation is strictly optional. A few highly developed souls, however, willingly choose to return to material existence to serve as mentors for humanity.
"These earthly mentors are, according to Pelley, the 144,000 members of the biblical 'Goodly Company.' They return to earth periodically, following the lead of Jesus Christ (the 'Great Avatar'), from the Sixth Plane (the 'octave of amalgamation with one's spiritual affinity') to direct human affairs along a proper spiritual path. Most humans need this spiritual assistance because they are unwitting victims of spiritual ignorance owing to the peculiar nature of human creation.
"Pelley taught that humanity developed on this planet sometime between thirty and fifty million years ago is the result of 'Star Guests' material forms arriving on earth and mating with primate life-forms. These 'beast-progeny' became humans. While they are part of the constant oscillation between the Earth-Plane and the Thought-Planes, humans need assistance from the mentors because they are prone to irrational behavior, thanks to the 'dormant racial and sodomic heritage' within the physical body.
"Pelley argued that the different races reflected different planetary origins for the original 'Star Guests.' He claimed that the progenitors of the white race came from Sirius, but he never explained from which planetary system the ancestors of other races arrived. Race proved to be a problematic topic in the Soulcraft system. Pelley staunchly maintained that Whites formed the top of the racial pyramid, but he found it difficult to explain why the souls of people of color had not evolved to the point where they also reincarnated as Whites. At times he claimed that those incarnated in yellow-skin bodies forsook spiritual development to focus on wholly material pursuits, but Pelley frequently contradicted this position by noting that the yellow race was second only to the white in the racial hierarchy...
"Whereas most of the Soulcraft doctrine simply an expansion of Liberation teaching, Pelley did add several new elements to his system. Pelley not only began making increasingly outlandish claims concerning his extrasensory communications, but also introduced discussions of unidentified flying objects (UFOs) into his metaphysical system. His decision to involve UFOs in Soulcraft partly derived from difficulties he faced in utilizing his traditional prophetic backing – pyramidism. The Great Pyramid time line reached a critical prophetic date of August 20, 1953. On that date the pyramid time line reached the south wall of the King's Chamber. Most pyramidists, seeing this as an indication of cataclysmic events for humanity, predicted a momentous event for that year. Pelley, for example, had earlier posited this date would be the dawning of the Age of Aquarius. Faced with the eternal problem of explaining a failed prophecy, Pelley latched upon the novel explanation that the arrival of UFOs represented the fulfillment of pyramid predictions for 1953, and that the occupants of the spacecraft would provide humanity with new knowledge and help usher in the Aquarian age.
"Pwlley attributed enormous power and intelligence to the 'spacemen' but, characteristically, had trouble deciding exactly what they were doing on Earth. He claimed they were mentors for humanity, but that Earth residents might scare them away with our warlike tendencies (exemplified most distressingly, in Pelley's unique perspective, by the violence of motion picture westerns). Pelley also posited that the 'saucer men... constitute the advance guard of the Christ Cohorts, prefacing the Second Coming,' yet these 'semi-angelic people' were not permitted to 'alter earth destiny.' Pelley also speculated that the saucers may serve as vehicles to 'lift the Christ people off earth to leave the planet to the purely materialistic souls.' Despite his confusion over the role of the space beings in human affairs, Pelley steadfastly maintained that 'no other happening that has occurred in the world within historic time matches it in importance.'
"Just as he did with metaphysical materials, Pelley read widely in the burgeoning field of ufology. Kenneth Arnold's 1947 sightings and the reported Roswell, New Mexico, crash during the same year sparked a wave of public excitement, government investigations, and hastily published saucer accounts; the UFO mania crested in the early 1950s with publications by Donald Keyhoe, Gerald Heard and Frank Scully and the legendary Washington, D.C., sighting of 1952. Pelley demonstrated familiarity with all the leading ufology works of the period and frequently cited them in his publications. Apparently desperate to prove the validity of his 'Star Guests' theory, Pelley accepted all the UFO sighting accounts he encountered and refused to retract his support even after specific works (such as Scully's Behind the Flying Saucers) were demonstrated to be hoaxers."
(William Dudley Pelley: A Life in Right-Wing Extremism and the Occult, Scott Beekman, pgs. 151-154) 

Clearly Pelley's system, flawed as it may have been, had incorporated currents that many occultists would only begin to become aware of several years down the road and had featured several of these elements for decades.

Now comes the point at which some interesting lines of speculation become possible, most notably the possibility of whether or not some element of the American national security apparatus became interested in Pelley's work around this time. After all, said apparatus would invest a considerable degree of time and money in all things high strangeness related beginning in the 1950s via both Overworld projects such as Grudge and Blue Book and far more nefarious and hidden programs such as Artichoke and MK-Ultra (which had far stranger and more incredible objectives than merely mind control ,as we shall see in the next installment).

This researcher believes that at least three groups, all of them possibly related, within the national security apparatus did indeed develop a keen interest in Pelley's work. The existence of one of these groups is still highly controversial while the other two are a matter of public record.

The first of these groups that I would like to briefly consider is what I refer to as the Sovereign Order of Saint John (SOSJ)-American Orthodox Catholic Church (AOCC) network. This network was always briefly touched upon in the second and third installments of this series, but in brief: the SOSJ was a self-styled military order that claimed descent from the Medieval Knights Hospitallers via the Russian line of succession. The SOSJ seems to have been active as early as the 1930s when it was possibly in contact with a close Pelley associate as well as Nazi Germany. It was not until the 1960s, however, that the SOSJ reached the peak of its power. During this era it featured numerous "former" high ranking military officers (several of whom with a background in military intelligence) and even a few CIA assets amongst its members.

During this time the SOSJ also seems to have had relations with the AOCC, a fringe Orthodox denomination that was officially founded in 1964. This group also had ties to the US intelligence community as well as some type of involvement in the JFK assassination (as did the SOSJ). Beyond this, the AOCC played a role in two key events within metaphysical circles: the "discovery" of the Necronomicon (the Simon version, that is) in the 1970s and the incorporation of the notorious Process Church of the Final Judgment a decade earlier.

I do not wish to address the occult aspects of the SOSJ or the AOCC and their possible adoption of Pelley's ideology in this series as such topics will be significant in a future series I will hopefully begin some time later this year. The curious are advised to consider the prior articles I wrote on the SOSJ (which can be found herehere and here) and the AOCC (which can be found here) and start putting the puzzle pieces together for themselves for the time being.

But moving along. The next group I would like to consider is the one whose existence is still highly debatable. According to the great Nick Redfern, this network refers to itself as the Collins Elite. It came into being during the early 1950s when a group of individuals largely comprised of military intelligence officers became concerned over the implications of various bits of high weirdness that exploded across both the American and international landscapes in the wake of World War II, most notably the great wave of UFO sightings that unfolded in 1947.

the book in which Redfern initially revealed the Collins Elite
Both the Kenneth Arnold sighting as well Roswell were of special interest to this group (and most Ufologists, for that matter), but so to were the works of occultists Aleister Crowley and Jack Parsons. The Collins Elite became concerned that the magical workings of these two mages, especially Parsons' "Babalon Working" of 1946, were somehow related to the UFO phenomenon, a prospect Parsons himself was more than happy to promote. What's more, the military had picked up indications during their investigation of Parsons that he may well have had some type of contact with both Arnold as well as someone in Roswell around the time of the famous incidents either was involved in.
"... since Parsons still possessed a security clearance at that time, engaging him in a debate on matters of a somewhat sensitive nature was not seen as being problematic, providing he towed the proverbial line. And, when confronted and pressed for answers, a somewhat uncomfortable Parsons conceded that there probably was a connection, that the UFO wave of 1947 probably was linked with his door-opening actions, and that it was not down to chance that he knew Arnold, or that he had a tangential link to the town of Roswell. Of course, whether this was merely a case of Parsons carefully massaging his own ego, or the absolute truth, was a matter of some debate among officials. 
"... As a result... a small project – 'probably just two or three [people]' – was established at Wright-Patterson that made subtle and secret approaches to experts within the fields of demonology, ancient religions, and occult practices who could hopefully provide some answers with respect to what it was the Parsons might have set in motion, wittingly or not, and which the military was now struggling to comprehend."
(Final Events, Nick Redfern, pgs. 36-37)
According to one of Redfern's informants, a "Richard Duke", it was these initial inquiries that led to the founding of the Collins Elite, a kind of private group that functioned within the US national security apparatus.
"... the Collins Elite was formed, a truly historic event that is unsurprisingly forever etched in the memory of Richard Duke. 'What happened,' Duke recalled, 'was that we got a pleasant invite. Fifteen or sixteen of us [were] flown to the Pentagon and where an offer was made; which was probably no more than about a week after Parsons got killed, maybe a bit longer, but not much. The Air Force was having problems with the UFO project [Blue Book], and a lot of these reports were [similar to] ghost [reports]: they couldn't catch them, fading away, vanishing from radar, but not attacking us. So, they kind of puzzled the Air Force on how to handle it, which is why, eventually, they gave up on it. The UFOs didn't act like an aggressor – not a military aggressor, anyways, and just came and went, they thought.
"'We were asked – this was people like me, a couple of G-2 [Army Intelligence] boys, two fellows from Naval Intelligence, several of the Air Force fellows in on the early Parsons thing at Wright, and a few more – if we would look at running an op to continue where the old Parsons project stopped. We were ready for it because of the interest that had come with watching [Parsons] – but a bit amazed the Pentagon was ready to fund what was, really, a study on if the disks had devil beginnings.
"'And this is exactly why it was all kept so secret in the beginning. Everyone – particularly the Pentagon boys – knew the hammer was going to come down on all this if Congress found out good U.S. dollars were being used to pay for [a study of] demonology and flying saucers. Maybe a little more mundane than you might want to hear. But that really was the first reason for the secrecy with us. Not a big conspiracy about what we were doing, but a lot of anger and probably a hell of a lot of ridicule that would come tumbling out if anyone else found out.
"We all got an offer to relocate, with our families, to the D.C. area. The funding, we were told, was going to start coming through in a few months, after everyone was settled in D.C. The money and resources wasn't [sic] going to come exactly to us, but onto us through the [CIA's] Directorate of Plans [which was created a few months later, on August 1, 1952] to keep it all out of everyone's eyes – Congress. This wasn't really the Directorate's area at all though. It was more along the approach of flowing the money through them to us, a group no one would think to look at to find us.'"
(ibid, pgs. 39-41)

Thus, the project the Collins Elite was founded to perform was effectively one created by the Pentagon, but which was hidden within the CIA's Directorate of Plans. The Directorate in turn had its origins in the Office of Policy Coordination (OPC), a department that was originally separate from the CIA and became a kind of CIA-within-the-CIA after the two were merged. The OPC was dominated by former OSS (the predecessor organization to the CIA) officers, many of them with close ties to the Allen Dulles. The OPC/Directorate (now known as the National Clandestine Service) features the legendary Special Activities Division (SAD, hardy-fucking-har), effectively the military arm of the CIA.

While this department is mainly known for its use of U.S. special forces (and now drones), it has employed a whole host of mercenaries and "freedom fighters" for decades. This private army was both highly expensive to maintain as well as a frequent political liability, thus a whole host of off-the-books funding was established for such purposes. According the great Peter Dale Scott, this nefarious network was originally forged under the auspices of the National Security Council (NSC).
"Within a year the NSC was authorizing covert operations overseas through CIA. In fact, these operations were being implemented by an even more secret group within CIA, the Office of Policy Coordination (OPC). The CIA at least had been publicly empowered by the 1947 National Security Act, even though it contained a 'loophole' through which CIA launched covert operations in a way Congress had 'not intended.' In June 1948 the National Security Council secretly launched OPC, without any congressional authorization at all.
"The decision to create OPC was 'based on what was seen as a CIA success in Italy,' the election of a Christian Democratic government in April despite widespread fears of a Communist electoral victory...
"... OPC set in motion at least three projects that acquired a life, culture, and momentum of their own. These projects – collectively, and much later, long after the demise of OPC itself – contributed to the catastrophe of 9/11.
"The first project was an arrangement for the creation and support of right-wing 'stay-behind' groups in Europe to combat the risk of Communist take over. This arrangement in Italy, known later as Operation Gladio, led in turn to a shadow system of parallel intelligence agencies, shielded from the overview of Italy's public and more centrist government. These CIA-linked agencies developed a strategy of tension in which a series of lethal terrorist bombings, falsely presented as left-wing, were used to drive Italy further to the right... 
"In addition to this stay-behind project, OPC began a psychological warfare campaign to go beyond the State Department's official policy of containing Communism, by mobilizing public opinion and covert resources for the destabilization of eastern Europe. OPC's third project, which eventually had global consequences affecting both Afghanistan and al Qaeda, was to combat Communism by using asset supported by illegal drug trafficking."
(The Road to 9/11, Peter Dale Scott, pgs. 13-14)

The Sovereign Order of Saint John-American Orthodox Catholic Church network had extensive ties to the above-mentioned "stay-behind" networks that comprised Operation Gladio. And here, in the cesspool created by OPC, we find the Collins Elite as well. Drugs and arm trafficking as well as black market gold have been frequently used over the years and would have provided ample funding for the projects the Collins Elite wished to pursue. I point this out because whistleblower Catherine Austin Fitts has been compellingly alleging for years that drug money was/is being used to research technology derived from extraterrestrials.

But I digress. For more details on the Collins Elite and their objectives, check out Christopher Knowles' interview with Redfern.

Let us now turn to how the Collins Elite possibly relates to Pelley. Shortly after the establishment of the Collins Elite the group became convinced that altered states of consciousness were crucial to understanding the UFO phenomenon.
"When the terrifying realization hit home the Jack Parsons was actually onto something very big and incredibly ominous, one of the first things that struck those who held the distinction of becoming the first incarnation of the Collins Elite, Richard Duke explained to me, was that many of the Crowley and Parsons experiences occurred while the men were in altered states of mind. As a result, a tentative conclusion – albeit a not wholly understood or fully appreciated conclusion – was reached by Duke and his colleagues to the effect that successfully assessing the world of the UFO intelligences, and understanding both their true point of origin and their actual intent, was perhaps far more likely to be achieved by opening the mind to radically new experiences and twilight realms than by vigilantly scanning the skies via radar and fighter-planes. 
"Duke told me that attempts were made to determine how, and under what specific circumstances, the human mind could be taught to skillfully penetrate the veils of secrecy and stealth under which the UFO intelligences were apparently operating. If blasting flying saucers out of the sky was not going to work as a viable option, they reasoned with a fair degree of logic and common sense, then perhaps invading their space and territory remotely, perhaps even via astral-form, might provide the much-sought-after answers. Thus began a deep and lengthy study of how such actions might very well be successfully achieved.
"This weird saga encompassed government agents, official secrets, and revolutionary powers of the mind, and had its origins in the early 1950s with the controversial UFO contactees George Van Tassel, George Adamski, and George Hunt Williamson – all of whom, said Duke, the Collins Elite came to believe were being visited by occult entities rather than by extraterrestrials."
(Final Event, Nick Redfern, pgs. 48-49)

And it is here that we return to William Dudley Pelley, for at least one, and probably two, of the above mentioned UFO contactees the Collins Elite became interested in had close ties to Pelley. In the next installment of this series we shall consider these individuals in further depth and the likelihood that Pelley had an enormous influence on their perception of their experiences. From there we shall consider the possibility that the Collins Elite were also interested in Pelley himself, as well as such a possibility existing amongst another group with ties to the US national security apparatus. Stay tuned.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

William Dudley Pelley, International Fascism, and the Sirius Tradition Part III

Welcome to the third installment in my examination of the notorious 1930s-era fascist William Dudley Pelley. Pelley is chiefly known in this day and age for founding the Silver Shirts, one of the most notorious fascist organizations in pre-World War II America, and his eventual imprisonment after being charged with sedition in 1942. During the first installment in this series I considered a bit of Pelley's background (with a special emphasis on his time spent in the East around the time frame of the World War I) as well as the founding, structure and goals of his Silver Shirts. In the second installment I broke down the allegations of Pelley being a Nazi collaborator as well as his extensive ties to both the pre- and post-WWII fascist underground.

In this installment I would like to begin considering in earnest one of the least examined aspects of Pelley's life: his dabblings in the occult. Many researchers treat the occult and metaphysical aspects of Pelley's life as a minor footnote in relation to his fascist activism when in fact the former consumed far more of his life than the latter. Pelley had already developed his own bizarre metaphysical system well before the founding of the Silver Shirts and he would continue to promote it to literally the end of his life. By contrast, Pelley effectively ceased publicly promoting fascism after being imprisoned in the 1940s (though he never ceased supporting the ideology). That being said, both obsessions were closely entwined in Pelley's mind throughout his life.

Pelley with the Silver Shirts
As there has been very little written about Pelley's metaphysical beliefs I will devote much of this article toward examining the origins of Pelley's occult doctrines and the groups that he came into contact with in the early years. With that in mind, let us begin examining the event that sent Pelley on his curious journey into the arcane. It occurred in 1928 while Pelley was living in a bungalow in Altadena, California. This was toward the tail end of Pelley's career as a Hollywood screenwriter (which was discussed in part one) when he was first beginning to discover his latent anti-Semitism and racialism. In point of fact, Pelley was literally in the midst of "studying" the question of race in his bungalow when he slipped into a mystical experience (seriously).
"On the night of his conversion experience, Pelley went to bed early and read ethnological tracts until dozing, only to be awakened early in the morning by an inner voice shrieking 'I'm dying.' He felt a physical sensation like a 'combination of heart attack and apoplexy.' This physical distress subsided as Pelley plunged 'down a mystic depth of cool blue space not unlike the bottomless sinking sensation that attends the taking of ether for anesthetics.'
"'Whirling madly' into the blue mist, Pelley closed his eyes and hoped for the quick end of the experience. Feeling hands holding him up, he opened his eyes and found himself lying naked on a marble slab in an environment reminiscent of a Maxfield Parrish painting, with two men in white uniforms attending to him. The two vaguely familiar helpers told Pelley not to be afraid and not to try to see everything in the first 'seven minutes.' They instructed him to bathe in a nearby reflecting pool, which caused Pelley to lose his self-consciousness over being naked.
"One man left, and the remaining white-clad individual, 'William,' explained to Pelley that he had gone 'over' while stationed at a military camp in 1917. William told Pelley that everyone has lived hundreds of times before, because earth is a classroom where souls learn and move up the spiritual hierarchy. This hierarchy accounts for human races, which are simply 'great classifications of humanity epitomizing gradations of spiritual development, starting with the black man and proceeding upward in the cycles to the white.' Having completed his first spiritual lesson, the blue mist appeared to return Pelley to the bungalow.
"Although Pelley awakened to conscious awareness of his earthly existence, he remained in contact with the spirit world, as William continued to speak to him clairaudiently. He instructed Pelley to relax and return to the 'Higher Reality.' This time the marble portico was full of people, and Pelley realized that he knew all of them and that they were all saintly individuals, with 'no misfits, no tense countenances, no sour leers, no preoccupied brusqueness, nor physical disfigurements.' After a brief chat with these folks Pelley, again enveloped by the blue mist, returned to his bedroom, but now possessing 'strange powers of perception' to assist him in completing a specific errand on the material plane.
"Shaken by the experience, Pelley determined to regain his sense of the material world by visiting his office the next morning. He related that his employees found him to appear like a different person who stood straighter and healthier and less wrinkled. The experience also eliminated his troubling insomnia and anxiety."
(William Dudley Pelley: A Life in Right-Wing Extremism and the Occult, Scott Beekman, pgs. 53-54)
Maxfield Parrish's Daybreak
At this point let me pause and note that Pelley had little experience concerning Spiritualism or the occult (although greater than he long admitted) when the events of May 28-29, 1928 transpired. Its also interesting to note the location of where Pelley's "seven minutes in eternity" occurred: Altadena, California. Altadena is located about fourteen miles from downtown Los Angeles and is directly north of the city of Pasadena.

As I'm sure many of my readers are aware, Pasadena was the long time home of Jack Parsons, the notorious rocket scientist and Crowley disciple who has long obsessed conspiracy culture. Parsons was barely a teenager when Pelley's mystical experience occurred, but he displayed an interest in the occult at a very young age. Pelley's experience would make him something of a minor celebrity in the late 1920s and early 1930s and Pelley's mystical teachings would continue to be propagated in the Los Angeles area by the Silver Shirts well into the 1930s. I've found nothing to indicate that Parsons was aware of Pelley, but given the closeness of Pelley's initial experience, it does not seem totally beyond the realm of possibility that Parsons was at least aware of Pelley on some level.

Jack Parsons
But back to the matter at hand. Pelley underwent a second experience not long after the first when he was in the midst of traveling cross country.
"Pelley decided that the 'fleshpots' of Hollywood could not help him understand his metaphysical experience, so he traveled to New York to meet with his friends there. While crossing New Mexico by train, he underwent a second experience. As he was reading Ralph Waldo Emerson's essay 'The Over-Soul,' a brilliant shaft of white light poured down on Pelley. A disembodied presence explained to Pelley that Jesus Christ was an 'actual Personage,' and that existing churches and ministers were not only wrong about Christ's teachings, but were leading millions of people astray. The presence instructed Pelley to continue to receive clairaudient messages by utilizing the 'hidden powers' within him, and to spread the correct understanding of Christ.
"In New York, Pelley met with his friend Mary Derieux, fiction editor for the American Magazine. Deeply immersed in spiritualism herself, Derieux excitedly joined Pelley in exploring his new powers. During the summer of 1928 they spent two weeks engaged an automatic writing.
"The beings from the other side instructed them that the Music of the Spheres (a concept swiped from Pythagorus) is the very center of the mystery of universal creation. Within this universe there is no force but love; hatred and evil are merely the absence of love. These beings also explained to Pelley and Derieux that they dwelled on the 'harmonious plane' (which is the next level above the earth) and communicated with certain earth-dwelling souls to promote love and harmony.
"A large portion of these messages focused specifically on the role of Pelley in spiritual history. The voices allegedly explained to Pelley that he would apprentice in tribulation, then achieve financial independence so he might be ready for freedom and service to higher beings. He had been chosen because art is the 'handmaiden of God,' and artists like himself are the true chosen priesthood."
(William Dudley Pelley: A Life in Right-Wing Extremism and the Occult, Scott Beekman, pg. 55)

In either late 1928 or early 1929 Pelley would write down his initial "seven minutes in eternity." It would go on to become his most successful piece of writing.
"Returning to New York, Pelley rented a room at the Commodore Hotel and, through a process he later called 'super radio,' wrote the narrative of his 'seven minutes in eternity' in less than two hours. Derieux presented the article to her boss, American Magazine editor Merle Crowell, who agreed to run the story and pay Pelley $1,500 for it. Appearing in the March 1929 issue of American, Pelley's tale of travel to other planes of reality generated a mass of mail both to the editor and to the writer. The American boasted a subscription list of over 2,200,000 people at the time, and Pelley's tale became one of the most widely read accounts of paranormal activity in American history.
"Stunned by the response to his article – the American's offices received thousands of letters concerning the 'seven minutes' – Pelley decided to move to New York in summer 1929. He rented part of a 53rd Street brownstone for himself... Pelley spent much of 1929 responding to his voluminous correspondence and participating in Manhattan séances and spiritualist meetings.
"During one of these meetings, Pelley made the acquaintance of the trance medium George Wehner. Something of a 'psychic to the stars,' Wehner carved out a very successful career for himself during the 1920s. Pelley attended séances in which Wehner served as amanuensis for such diverse celebrities as Joseph Conrad, film scenarist June Mathis, various prominent American Indians, and Robert Louis Stevenson.
"Pelley eventually began contacting many of these same people during his own sessions. He claimed that Robert Louis Stevenson provided him with an unused chapter and asserted that Joseph Conrad clairaudiently dictated an entire novel to him. Pelley published this work of fiction in summer 1929 as Golden Rubbish, allegedly to answer many of the questions readers raised in response to his American Magazine article."
(ibid, pgs. 57-58)

Pelley had become involved in the then thriving New York spiritualist movement even before his description of his "seven minutes in eternity" appeared in American Magazine in 1929. His most notably contact was with the American Society for Psychical Research (ASPR). This association began due to the active involvement of Pelley's friend Mary Derieux in the Society.
"As chair of the publications committee of the American Society for Psychical Research (ASPR), Derieux provided Pelley with entry into New York spiritualist circles. These contacts garnered Pelley's exposure to current theories and writings on psychical research and undoubtedly helped him develop his own ideas. Further, Pelley's account of visiting another plane made an immediate splash in the psychical community, as it placed him squarely within the debate over the most divisive spiritualist issue of the period – reincarnation.
"Established in 1884 by, among others, physicist William Barrett and psychologist William James, the ASPR staggered through a tumultuous early career. Unlike the older English Society for Psychical Research, the ASPR faced chronic underfunding and a lack of full-time psychical researchers. Owing to financial difficulties, the ASPR was absorbed by the English society in 1889, only to reappear as an independent organization in 1909, thanks primarily to the dynamic leadership of Columbia professor James Hervey Hyslop.
"Although Hyslop died in 1920, the Society reached the pinnacle of its public success in the ensuing decade, propelled by vigorous researchers such as Walter F. Prince and Lamarkian psychologist William McDougall. A spate of best-selling books, including Sir Oliver Lodge's Raymond and Baird T. Spaulding's five-volume Life and Teachings of the Masters of the Far East; successful speaking tours by Lodge, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and the playwright Maurice Maeterlinck; and the publicity surrounding annual international congresses help push psychical research into the headlines. In the early 1920s, even Thomas Edison became involved, spending part of his final years working on a spiritual communication machine.
"The seriousness with which psychical research was taken is illustrated most clearly by the establishment of the first university-affiliated psychical laboratory, at Duke University in 1928. Headed by J. B. Rhine, who originally moved to Duke to work with McDougall, the lab investigated scores of mediums and psychics. Rhine initially studied the question of life after death but, realizing the pitfalls of this line of inquiry, quickly restricted his focus to 'corporeal parapsychical'  material (mental or subjective phenomena, including spiritualism). Rhine, who worked at Duke until 1965, published a series of best-selling books and coined the terms 'parapsychology' and 'extra-sensory perception.'
"Despite growing public awareness of the Society, psychical researchers faced increasing schisms within the movement. Issues such as reincarnation and ectoplasmic evidence divided the ASPR into warring factions. When disputes arose over the validity of trance medium (and ectoplasmic material spewer) 'Margery,' local branches of the Society left to organize themselves into independent organizations.
"Although never a member of the ASPR, Pelley found a great deal of interest in the debates swirling within the society during the late 1920s. Needing to get his business affairs in order, however, he returned to California in summer 1928. Pelley and Mina began automatic-writing sessions almost as soon as he returned to the Pacific coast. During the sessions Pelley became increasingly convinced of his own spiritual importance. Pelley related that one of his California spirit contacts noted that, in numerous previous incarnations, he had been one of those 'people who kicked up more of a rumpus on the human stage than humanity especially liked at the time, and always in some proselytizing capacity that wrought alterations in the mode of humanity's living.' This developing sense of self-importance, coupled with the urging of Mary Derieux, led Pelley to publish the account of his conversion experience."
(ibid, pgs. 55-57)

By 1930, in the wake of the success of his American Magazine article recounting his "seven minutes in eternity", Pelley began publishing his own metaphysical-centric magazine. It was was called the New Liberator and purported to promote Christ's teachings (as defined by Pelley) and the "vast machinery, operating with infinitesimal precision and accounting for every event on our present plane of consciousness." These were bold objective to be sure, but the magazine experienced financial difficulties from the onset. Eventually he worked through these difficulties after he started receiving advertisement revenue from other metaphysical organizations.
"The issuance of the October New Liberator inaugurated a short period of stability, and Pelley published the magazine on a monthly basis for the rest of the year. Pelley reorganized the editorial staff during this period, and brought Olive E. Robbins on board as business manager. Robbins, in a move that greatly aided the magazine's continued existence, managed to increase advertising revenue. The advertisements, however, proved to be something of a double-edged sword. In no position to refuse advertising dollars from any source, Pelley accepted money from a variety of shady metaphysical organizations, including the Ancient Mystical Order Rosae Cruces (AMORC) and Psychiana. Although the advertising revenue was desperately needed (and Pelley agreed with significant aspects of the teachings of these groups), affiliation with such organizations did nothing to promote the acceptance (or perceived validity) of Pelley's religious doctrine. 
"Established by New York advertising man H. Spencer Lewis, also known as Wishar Spenle Cerve, the AMORC represents one of several Rosicrucian groups active in the United States. All of these groups claim that their teachings are based upon writings ascribed to the mythical seventeenth century mystic Christian Rosenkreuz. Lewis, however, went on to persist that his organization's teachings actually dated from the reign of Thutmose III, circa 1500 B.C. In a sort of spiritual alchemy, the AMORC blends Christianity with Kabbalism and Hermetic theories, with the ultimate goal of transcending material form. Lewis skillfully mixed in Theosophical elements to separate his version of Rosicrucianism from his competitors (completing a circle begun with Theosophy founder Helena P. Blavatsky, who earlier swiped elements from European Rosicrucianism for her movement). During the 1930s Lewis oriented much of his teachings towards the spiritualist mecca of Mount Shasta. His 1931 volume Lemuria:The Lost Continent of the Pacific placed the Atlantis myth in the Pacific Ocean, with Mount Shasta as the continent's peak and current home of cavern-dwelling Lemurian survivors. Owing to its image as a mail-order religion, AMORC has never been respected within the esoteric religious community."
(William Dudley Pelley: A Life in Right-Wing Extremism and the Occult, Scott Beekman, pgs. 64-65) 

The AMORC is most well known in this day and age to conspiracy buffs for a certain alleged assassin who attended in single meeting of the order in either 1966 or 1968.
"On May 28, 1966, a young Palestinian immigrant fascinated with the occult had attended his first meeting of the Ancient Mystical Order Rosae Crucis (AMORC) at the society's Akhnaton Lodge in Pasadena, and was the subject of an experiment in sensory perception, sitting blindfolded while attempting to identify objects by touch. AMORC was one of the many splinter groups that broke off from the SRIA in England; they had OTO and Golden Dawn connections, but created a distinctly American style of recruiting: direct-mail. Most people of a certain generation are familiar with those ads in all sorts of magazines with the tag 'What Secret Power Did These Men Possess?' and a P.O. box where one could send for information and began a correspondence course in mental telepathy, meditation and, eventually, magic.
"This interest continued for the next few years. In March 1968, the Palestinian was in Pasadena – where he lived with his mother, some blocks north of where Jack Parsons had lived in the 1940s and 1950s – attending a meeting of the Theosophical Society's Adyar Lodge...
"A few months later, he would be arrested for the assassination of Senator Robert F. Kennedy. The Palestinian, of course, was Sirhan Bishara Sirhan."
(Sinister Forces Book I, Peter Levenda, pgs. 297-298)
Early ads for the AMORC
Other accounts hold that it was May 28, 1968 that Sirhan Sirhan attended his first (and reportedly only) AMORC meeting. This date is most striking as May 28, 1928 was the day upon which Pelley claimed to have had his "seven minutes in eternity" experience. Thus, Sirhan Sirhan attended at AMORC meeting either 38 or 40 years to the day of Pelley's experience beginning. I have been able to determine whether Pelley ever attended meetings at the group's Pasadena lodge, but its hardly beyond the realm of possibility as Pelley lived in Altadena during the final years of his Hollywood days. As noted above, Altadena is directly north of Pasadena.

Sirhan Sirhan
If nothing else, the AMORC seems to have had a long lasting influence of Pelley in one way: How to raise funds via direct mail. Pelley's metaphysical work would be subsidized for much of his life through revenues generated from direct mail beginning in the early 1930s.

Before leaving the AMORC, its also worth noting an organization Levenda notes in the above quote: SRIA, which stands for Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia. This outfit arguably has an even more colorful history than its AMORC offshoot.
"The SRIA was an occult lodge founded in the United States at the end of the nineteenth century as an outgrowth of the British lodge, the Societas Rosicruciana In Anglia (also known as SRIA). The British SRIA was the breeding ground of the Golden Dawn, which itself was the breeding ground of Aleister Crowley. Without going into too much detail about the creation and history of these orders, which is certain to bore and confuse the reader, let us summarize by saying that the head of the American SRIA was, for quite some time, one George Winslow Plummer, a devoted occultist and Hermeticist who edited a magazine of all things alchemical and Rosicrucian called Mercury. Plummer was also interested in Christian mysticism, and aligned himself with several renegade Christian churches, including something called the Holy Orthodox Church. He was also a member of Aleister Crowley's OTO, and thus fits the mold of occultists everywhere: the inveterate joiner and accumulator of dignitaries. Plummer died in 1944, and was succeeded in the SRIA by his widow, the ethereal Mother Serena, who played the organ at the church's headquarters at 321 West 101st Street on the Upper West Side of Manhattan when the author knew her. Mother Serena later married Theodotus Stanislaus de Witow (1890-1969), who then became the Patriarch of the Holy Orthodox Church, as well as the head of the SRIA until his death in 1969."
(ibid, pg. 278)
George Winslow Plummer (left), founder of the American branch of the SRIA
The SRIA opens up a series of curious synchronicities. Another member of SRIA was Francis Israel Regardie, a prominent occultist and author who was both a member of a successor organization to the Golden Dawn as well as Aleister Crowley's personal assistant for some years. Regardie was initiated into the SRIA in Washington D.C. in 1926, according to Levenda.

Then, in 1964, the above-mentioned Patriarch Theodotus Stanislaus de Witow would consecrate a man named Walter (Vladimir) Propheta a bishop of the American Orthodox Church. Shortly thereafter Bishop Propheta would incorporate this church as the American Orthodox Catholic Church (AOCC). The AOCC was a curious domination that was along alleged to have had ties to the US intelligence community as well as the assassination of JFK (both Jack S. Martin and David Ferrie were bishops of the AOCC). Much more information on the AOCC and its ties to the JFK assassination can be found here.

The AOCC also had some type of connection to the Sovereign Order of Saint John (SOSJ), a secret society than claimed descent from the Medieval Knights Hospitallers via the Russian line of succession. The SOSJ has existed since at least the 1930s, but during its heyday in the 1960s it counted numerous "former" high ranking military officers and a few CIA assets as members. The SOSJ has also been linked to the Kennedy assassination. More information on the Order can be found here and here.

Thus, Pelley was involved in the AMORC, an organization that gained infamy through its brief affiliation with Sirhan Sirhan in 1966/68. But beyond this, the AMORC had ties to the SRIA during the time period Peley was involved with the former. The SRIA featured members linked to both Aleister Crowley and the Golden Dawn and eventually became involved in the bizarre netherworld of fringe Christian churches and military orders claiming Medieval descent. What's more, Pelley was reportedly a close associate of a reputed member of the SOSJ during the 1930s, as was noted in the second installment of this series. Thus, this web of strange connections comes full circle.

Another famous occult organization Pelley became involved with on some level was the Theosophical Society. At a minimum the Society had an influence on his own theology.
"... Although Pelley steadfastly refused to admit that his teachings came from any source other than clairudient messages, he did admit his familiarity with Theosophical writings. While decrying their relegated status of Christ, Pelley noted that 'the Theosophists are nearest to the true facts about the forces operating behind life of any of the so-called theological creeds or sects.'
"Established by Russian émigré Helena P.Blavatsky (HPB), and Henry S. Olcott in 1875, Theosophy became the most successful occult system in American history. Blavatsky's bombastic writings attracted thousands of followers in America, India, and Europe. Like Pelley she claimed that her writings came to her through messages received from Ascended Masters. Blavatsky's system was a syncretic blending of Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, spiritualism, Egyptian Hermeticism, Kabbalism, and occultism. Theosophy is generally Buddhist and Hindu in doctrine and Christian in morality. Her cosmology outlined the development of seven root-races of humanity, each with seven subroots. These human forms (d)evolved from a purely spiritual form to a material one, with the ultimate, emanationist end of returning to immaterialism. Like Pelley, Theosophy promoted evolution, karma, reincarnation, and after-death states.
"Pelley's debt to Theosophy cannot be underestimated, yet he frequently decried Blavatsky's contention that Jesus represented simply one of many equally important Ascended Masters. Although at least two Theosophical splinter groups developed a Christocentric cosmology not unlike Pelley's system, Pelley never mentioned either Rudolf Steiner's Anthroposophical Society or the Arcane School of Alice Bailey in his writings. Given Pelley's voluminous appetite for metaphysical books (and the esoteric circles he moved in), it seems highly unlikely that he did not possess at least a rudimentary knowledge of these groups, particularly Bailey's group, which (like the Theosophists) was active in Los Angeles during the 1920s. Pelley's silence regarding these groups may have been an attempt to separate his movement from two theologies so similar to his own beliefs (and potentially capable of siphoning off Liberation followers).
"Pelley, like many other esoteric writers of the period, also borrowed the notion of ancient, advanced civilizations from the Theosophists (and buttressed these beliefs with evidence from the works of Isaac Newton Vail). He persisted that global cataclysms resulted in the destruction of highly developed societies in Atlantis and Lemuria. According to Theosophical teachings, Lemuria housed the third root-race (the first race to possess physical bodies, reproduce sexually, and bear responsibility for good and evil), while the fourth root-race, the last remnant of whom perished a few thousand years ago, called Atlantis home. The Atlantians are especially significant to Theosophists because they were the alleged composers of the 'Stanzas of Dyzan,' the book of knowledge upon which all world religions were based."
(William Dudley Pelley: A Life in Right-Wing Extremism and the Occult, Scott Beekman, pgs. 74-76)

It's interesting to note that the above-mentioned Rudolf Steiner was also a member of the eventually Crowley-dominated OTO. And of course the blogosphere is awash with countless conspiracy theories concerning Alice Bailey, a long time bugaboo of the conspiratorial right. But back to Pelley.

Pyramidism would also be heavily incorporated into his theology.
"For Pelley tangible proof of the existence of these ancient civilizations can be found by studying the timeline preserved in the Great Pyramid of Giza. Pyramidists believe the passageway from the pyramid's entrance to the king's chamber is a prophetic account of the history of humanity. They discern the course of human history by dividing this time line into 'pyramid' inches. The 'pyramid' inch, slightly larger than the English inch, as one five-hundred-millionth of the Earth's axis. Using this measurement, the pyramidists determined that the time line runs from 2624 B.C. to A.D. 2001. For most of its course the time line is one inch per year, but, at the year 1909, it becomes one inch per month, thereby giving even more specific prophetic messages. Although pyramidism reaches back into the nineteenth century, Pelley developed his ideas on the matter from David Davidson, pyramidism's leading twentieth-century proponent. Pelley's views on the Great Pyramid were taken almost verbatim from Davidson's writings.
"Pelley's support for Davidson's theories derived in part from the pyramidist's claim that May 29, 1928, represented a significant date in human history. This, of course, was the night of Pelley's 'seven minutes in eternity.' Following this lead, Pelley promoted the idea that this date began the 'Time of Tribulation,' which would end on September 16, 1936. Pelley placed great significance upon these dates, as well as several other 'pyramid dates,' such as January 31, 1933 (the day Hitler took power), August 20, 1953 (the potential end of the Piscean Age), and September 17, 2001. Pelley believed the 2001 date denoted the Second Coming of Christ or, as Davidson declared, 'the final cleansing of the whole world for the full extension of the Kingdom of Heaven to all the earth.'"
(ibid, pgs. 76)

Before wrapping things up I would like to briefly consider one final group Pelley became involved with during the early days: the Mighty I AM movement.
"Established by former Chicago fortune-teller Guy Ballard and his wife, Edna, the Mighty I AM (the 'inner reality of the divine') achieved startling success during the 1930s. The Ballards' cult melded Christian Science, Unity, Rosicrucianism, and Pelley's teachings (which they borrowed freely) with Theosophy. While I AM represented the most popular diffusion of Theosophy ever attained in this country, one scholar has quite accurately persisted that the Ballards 'reduced the resulting mishmash to the mental level of the comic-books.' The cult began in 193o when Guy Ballard allegedly met the legendary Comte de Saint Germain on Mount Shasta. Ballard swiped most of Helena Blavatsky's religious system, placing Saint Germain and Jesus Christ at the top of a pantheon of Ascended Masters. While Guy Ballard developed ideas from Theosophy (and a few meetings with Psychiana's Frank. B Robinson), Edna Ballard began holding esoteric classes based on material she lifted from Pelley's League for the Liberation writings. The group peaked in the mid-1930s. At the height of its success their meetings attracted more than six thousand devoted followers. Guy Ballard's death in 1939 and a series of fraud trials against Edna, beginning the next year, spelled the end of their prominence. The I AM Foundation continues to this day, but only with a shadow of its former grandeur.
"Although the Ballards claimed that their teachings came directly from Saint Germain, they did reveal a debt to Pelley. Their writings included references to 'Christian Democracy,' citations of No More Hunger, and a decidedly Pelley-like, anti-New Deal, conservative political perspective. Part of the Ballards' appeal was the nationalistic overtones of I AM doctrine. They argued that the Masters lived in the United States (primarily in the far West), that humanity began in America, and that this country would be the vessel of spiritual light. The Ballard essentially filled the void (with admittedly much greater success) left by Pelley when he formed the Silver Shirts. Their doctrines were almost interchangeable, and the Ballards promoted a pro-American, conservative agenda very similar to Pelley's pre-anti-Semitic position. It was not surprising, then, that Pelley spiritualist followers deserted him for the I AM organization.
"As a tribute to Pelley, Guy Ballard, in his second book of I AM doctrine, even named a lesser Master 'Pelleur.' The Ballards' acknowledgment of influence, however, did not prevent them from raiding Pelley's membership for I AM converts. The Ballards attracted both rank-and-file League for the Liberation veterans and close Pelley associates. For example, Harry Seiber, the man who burned the Galahad Press's records in anticipation of the bankruptcy proceedings, left his post as Silver Shirt treasurer in the wake of Pelley's trail to become the associate director of the Saint Germain Activities."
(William Dudley Pelley: A Life in Right-Wing Extremism and the Occult, Scott Beekman, pgs. 110-111)
Guy and Edna Ballard
The Mighty I AM cult plays a crucial role in a latter part of this saga, so do keep them in mind. At this point I shall wrap things up for now. In the next installment I shall finish outlining Pelley's theology by the early 1930s, from which point it went through few variations for the rest of his life. From there I shall consider Pelley's role in the post-WWII New Age and Ufology scenes as well as the possible interest powerful figures in the American national security establishment took in his work at the onset of the Cold War. Stay tuned.