By Richard B. Spence
Aleister Crowley is best today as a founding father of modern occultism. His wide, hypnotic eyes peer at us on the cover of The Beatles’ Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, and his influence can be found everywhere in popular culture.
“The Great Beast” has been the subject of several biographies, some painting him as a misunderstood genius, others as a manipulative charlatan. None of them have looked seriously at his career as an agent of British Intelligence.
Using documents gleaned from British, American, French and Italian archives, Secret Agent 666 sensationally reveals that Crowley played a major role in the sinking of the Lusitania, a plot to overthrow the government of Spain, the thwarting of Irish and Indian nationalist conspiracies, and the 1941 flight of Rudolf Hess.
Author Richard Spence argues that Crowley-in his own unconventional way-was a patriotic Englishman who endured years of public vilification in part to mask his role as a secret agent.
The verification of the Great Beast’s participation in the twentieth century’s most astounding government plots will likely blow the minds of history as well as occult aficionados.
Author Richard B. Spence has been seen on various documentaries on The History Channel and is a consultant for Washington D.C.’s International Spy Museum. He is also the author of Trust No One: The Secret World of Sidney Reilly (Feral House).
6 x 9 · 300 pages · illustrated · ISBN: 978-1-932595-33-8 · $24.95 · Available Now!
Aleister Crowley Was A British Agent
Encouraged Germany To Sink Lusitania
Historian Reveals The Double Life Of ‘The Great Beast 666’
MOSCOW, Idaho Aleister Crowley (1875-1947), known as “the Great Beast 666,” is most widely remembered as a practitioner of black magic and the father of modern occultism.
His hideous reputation lives on, and has grown. In 2002, the British Broadcasting Company (BBC) conducted a poll on the 100 most influential Britons of all time. Crowley came in at number 73.
Crowley has been the subject of several biographies, but none that investigate his alleged connection to British Intelligence.
“That notion was dismissed by most biographers as idle boasting,” said Richard Spence, professor and chair of the University of Idaho’s Department of History. His recently published book, “Secret Agent 666: Aleister Crowley, British Intelligence and the Occult,” reveals new facets of Crowley’s life and raises new questions about his character.
The book began as an article Spence wrote for the International Journal for Intelligence and Counter Intelligence in 2000. Following its publication, history buffs and occult aficionados from around the world began contacting Spence with tidbits of information and leads.
Referencing documents in British, American, French and Italian archives, Spence discovered that Crowley was connected to the sinking of the Lusitania, a British luxury liner that was torpedoed off of Ireland, killing 1,198 of the people aboard; the sinking turned public opinion in many countries against Germany in World War I. Crowley also helped thwart Irish and Indian nationalist conspiracies, connived with the Communist International and played a murky role in the 1941 flight of Rudolf Hess.
It is difficult to discern where Crowley the man and Crowley the public persona overlap. Spence is intrigued by Crowley’s use of the occult as cover and support for other activities.
“He was such a disreputable and even evil character in the public mind that arguably no responsible intelligence official would think of employing him,” said Spence. “But the very fact that he seemed such an improbable spy was perhaps the best recommendation for using him.”
Spence, whose dogged approach to historical research has earned him a reputation as “a frustrated detective,” began his study by securing documents from the now defunct U.S. Army Military Intelligence Division. The file revealed an American investigation into Crowley’s activities in 1918, which led to the discovery that he was an employee of the British government.
Later in his life, Crowley claimed that he came to the U.S. as a British undercover agent with a mission to infiltrate and undermine the German propaganda effort. “He did undermine that effort,” said Spence. “His writing was an over-the-top parody of saber-rattling German militarism.”
He actively encouraged German aggressiveness, such as the attack on the Lusitania, with the ultimate aim of bringing America into the war. In doing so, “Crowley followed precisely the wishes of Admiral Hall, chief of British Naval Intelligence,” said Spence.
“Crowley was an adept amateur psychologist, had an uncanny ability to influence people and probably utilized hypnotic suggestion in his undercover work,” Spence added. “The other thing he made good use of was drugs. In New York, he carried out very detailed studies on the effects of mescaline (peyote). He would invite various friends over for dinner, fix them curry and dose the food with mescaline. Then he observed and took notes on their behavior.”
Mescaline, Spence noted, was later used by intelligence agencies for experiments in behavior modification and mind control.
Measuring the degree to which his occultism was a calculated cover “gets tricky,” said Spence. “From my perspective, it ultimately isn’t all that important whether he was sincere or a grand faker. He was certainly a person who could seem one thing while actually being something quite the opposite.”
Though extremely unconventional in his behavior, “when push came to shove, Crowley had a visceral loyalty to England,” said Spence. “Because he did things that could not be publicly discussed, he could never really defend himself against these charges, though he did make attempts to redeem his reputation.”
Because of the inaccessibility of many key intelligence files, redeeming or simply clarifying Crowley’s reputation has been a challenge for Spence. British government documents have been particularly difficult to access. “If I was looking for agricultural statistics I could just go in and get them,” he said with a laugh. “But the more you have to hunt for something, the more satisfying it is when you get the answers. I like solving puzzles.”
Spence has appeared on the History Channel, and he has spoken at the International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C. He also is the author of “Trust No One: The Secret World of Sidney Reilly” and “Boris Savinkov: Renegade on the Left.”
Local book signing events will be announced later this summer.
… ©2008 University of Idaho.
The British Occult Secret Service – The Untold Story
By Michael Howard
© 2008 By Michael Howard
“Since the time of Elizabeth I, British secret services have worked according to the principle of ‘the end justifies the means’. Money, bribery, blackmail these are their recruitment methods…”
Nikolai Patrushev, head of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), October 2007
It is not really surprising that historically occultism and espionage have often been strange bedfellows. The black art of espionage is about obtaining secret information and witches, psychics and astrologers have always claimed to be able to predict the future and know about things hidden from ordinary people.
Gathering intelligence is carried out under a cloak of secrecy and occultists are adept at keeping their activities concealed from sight. Like secret agents they also use codes, symbols and cryptograms to hide information from outsiders. Occultists and intelligence officers are similar in many ways, as both inhabit a shadowy underworld of secrets, deception and disinformation. It is therefore not unusual that often these two professions have shared the same members.
The ‘father of the British Secret Service’ was the Elizabethan lawyer, politician, diplomat and spymaster Sir Francis Walsingham. He was a Protestant and as a young man during the bloody reign of the Catholic Queen Mary was forced to flee abroad to escape persecution. While in exile, Walsingham learnt Italian and French and became acquainted with the work of the famous Venetian Secret Service that used its spying skills for trade and commerce under the cloak of diplomacy.
When Queen Elizabeth I was crowned Francis Walsingham returned to England. He was appointed as a secretary to the English ambassador to the French court in Paris and also worked as a secret agent reporting back the intelligence he gleaned to Queen Elizabeth’s Secretary of State, Sir William Cecil, later Lord Burghley. Between 1568 and 1570 Walsingham, who had become a Member of Parliament, worked in England in domestic counter-espionage exposing Catholic plots against the monarchy.
In 1570 Walsingham was appointed as the new ambassador to France. He proceeded to set up his own network of undercover agents in France, Italy, Spain and the Low Countries. The late Cecil Williamson, who worked for British Intelligence during World War II and later ran a witchcraft museum, told this writer that Walsingham often used witches as spies.
The Mysterious Dr Dee
One of the famous occultists he is known to have recruited was Queen Elizabeth’s court astrologer and the magical architect of the British Empire, the Welsh magician Dr John Dee. Walsingham was involved in the machinations for the proposed marriage of the Duc d’Anjou and Elizabeth. At the spy master’s personal recommendation, the queen dispatched Dee to France with orders to report back on the progress of the marriage negotiations. The magus travelled to the Duchy of Lorraine and drew up the birth charts of both the Duc and his brother, who was also regarded as a possible husband for the English monarch. Dr Dee, probably influenced by Walsingham, diplomatically reported back to London that the stars suggested a political alliance would be far wiser than matrimony and the queen took his advice.
In 1573 Sir Francis returned to London and became a privy councillor. This placed him at the heart of government and he proceeded to set up what amounted to the first organised foreign espionage service to operate from England. In 1566 he had put in place a pan-European network of spies extending as far to the east as Turkey and Russia, where Dr Dee reported on the goings-on at the Tsar’s court. This network mostly gathered intelligence on the military activities of the Spanish, who were England’s primary enemies at this time. Walsingham was also responsible for foiling the Catholic plot whose exposure led to the execution of Mary, Queen of Scots. Using Dr Dee’s psychic powers, he was apparently able to discover that the plotters were passing secret messages to the imprisoned Scottish queen hidden in bottles of wine.
While travelling in Europe in 1562, Dr Dee had come across a book written by Abbot Trimethus of Spanhiem (1462-1516). This was a guide to writing ciphers and secret codes for magical purposes and Dee informed Sir William Cecil about his discovery. On his return to England Dr Dee adapted the abbot’s cryptography and gave it to Sir Francis Walsingham for use by his secret agents. He also passed on the political and military intelligence he had acquired during his travels across Europe. It has been alleged that Dee used the famous Enochian magical alphabet as a code to disguise this information. If he had been arrested his captors would not have understood it and dismissed it as nonsense.
In 1587 Dee even claimed he had received a spirit message from one of his angelic contacts concerning a threat to the English Fleet. The message said that a group of disguised Frenchmen working for the Spaniards was secretly visiting the Forest of Dean. The forest was the centre for English ship-building and the French agents planned to bribe disloyal foresters to burn it down. Dr Dee sent his supernatural intelligence to Walsingham and the saboteurs, who were masquerading as squatters, were arrested.
Information supplied to Sir Francis Walsingham from his European spy network convinced him that a Spanish armada would be launched against England in 1588. He asked Dee to use his knowledge of astrology to calculate the weather prospects for an invasion. The magus told him there would an impending disaster in Europe caused by a devastating storm. When news of this prophecy was leaked and reached Spain, naval recruitment fell and there were desertions of sailors from the Spanish Fleet. In Lisbon an astrologer who repeated the prediction was charged with spreading false information. In an act of psychological warfare, Dr Dee also informed Emperor Rudolf of Bohemia (the modern Czech Republic) and King Stephen of Poland that the predicted storm would “cause the fall of a mighty empire.” Rudolf, who was an occultist and Dee’s patron when he stayed in Bohemia, passed on the warning to the Spanish ambassador.
It is a fact that in 1588 a great storm did scatter the ships of the Spanish Armada in the English Channel and aided the English victory. This metrological event was popularly credited to a magical ritual performed by the buccaneer Sir Francis Drake on the cliffs at Plymouth. Superstitious people believed Drake was a wizard and sold his soul to the Devil in exchange for success over the Spanish. It is claimed that he also organised several covens of witches to work magically to raise the storm and prevent the invasion. Meanwhile, as a result of scrying in his shewstone or crystal, Dr Dee saw a symbolic vision of a castle with its drawbridge drawn up (England) and the image of the elemental king of fire. As a result he urged the Navy to employ fire-ships against the Armada and they did so with good results.
After Sir Francis Walsingham’s death in 1590, and the ascension to the English throne of the Scottish king James, Dr John Dee fell into royal disfavour. The new king had an unhealthy obsession with witchcraft and his early reign was dominated by this preoccupation. It led him to employ the Secret Service in his own personal vendetta against suspected witches. James I ordered its agents to hunt down alleged practitioners of witchcraft and expose their alleged plots against the monarchy. One of those involved was the Earl of Bothwell, accused of high treason for organising a coven of Scottish witches to work magic against the king in an attempt to seize the throne. To assist his secret agents in their new witch-hunting activities, King James persuaded Parliament in 1604 to pass a new and stronger Witchcraft Act to deal with the problem. The Bill was rushed through and it was made law within three months.
Dashwood & the Hellfire Club
In the 18th century the Secret Service became concerned at the activities of the so-called ‘Hellfire Club’ founded by Sir Francis Dashwood, later the Chancellor of the Exchequer and a close friend and political adviser of King George III. As a young man Dashwood went on the Grand Tour of Europe that was compulsory for aristocrats and he was initiated into a Masonic lodge in France. While visiting Italy he developed anti-Catholic views, violently broke up a celebration of the Mass and insulted the Pope. Even though he was an aristocrat, Dashwood was disgusted at the vast wealth of the Roman Church compared with the poverty of its devoted worshippers. He also became fascinated by classical mythology and decorated his country house at West Wycombe in Buckinghamshire with murals, paintings and statues of Greek and Roman gods and goddesses.
Sir Francis Dashwood founded a secret society called the Order of the Friars of St Francis of Medmenham (more popularly known as the Hellfire Club) named after the abbey he had purchased on the banks of the River Thames where its meetings were held. Rumours circulated in the coffee houses of London that the Friars practised sexual orgies featuring aristocratic ladies and prostitutes dressed up as nuns. There were also satanic rites such as Black Masses where the naked body of a noblewoman acted as an altar. However, according to one senior member of the Hellfire Club, this occult mummery was just an amusing diversion for the dandies. The inner circle of the Order was actually dedicated to the serious revival of the pagan Eleusian Mysteries and the worship of the Bona Dea or Great Mother Goddess. Dashwood’s present-day descendant, also called Sir Francis, confirmed this fact in a BBC radio interview some years ago,
It has been claimed secret agents infiltrated the Hellfire Club because of its many famous members. They included the Earl of Sandwich, John Montagu, who was the First Lord of the Admiralty, the Paymaster General Thomas Potter, several members of Parliament, the Lord Mayor of London, a son of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Earl of Bute, who was the prime minister, and it has been claimed even the Prince of Wales. At least four members of the group were known to be actively involved in espionage. They was a radical MP called John Wilkes, a transvestite French diplomat, Chevalier D’Eon de Beaumont, the American statesman and philosopher Benjamin Franklin, and Sir Francis Dashwood himself. Wilkes had allegedly recruited the chevalier into the British Secret Service.
During his stay in Russia on the Grand Tour Dashwood had spied on the court of the Tsar through his close friendship with the Grand Duchess Catherine. In Italy he gathered intelligence on the exiled Stuart dynasty and their supporters, although the head of the British Secret Service in Rome believed Dashwood was a Jacobite agent. In fact he was only pretending to support the Stuart cause and was passing on information about their activities directly back to London. In later years Sir Francis and Benjamin Franklin were involved in a clandestine plan to reconcile the American colonists and the British government to prevent the War of Independence.
Rudolf Hess & the British Occult Connection
During World War II British Intelligence invited many occultists into its ranks because it needed their specialist knowledge and skills. The assistant director of Naval Intelligence during the war was Lt. Commander Ian Fleming RN, best known later as a thriller writer and the creator of the famous fictional spy James Bond 007. Fleming was also interested in astrology and numerology and he was a friend of the notorious magician Aleister Crowley, who had worked for MI6 (the Secret Intelligence Service) during World War I and in the 1920s and 1930s spying on Germans with occult interests (see ‘The Magus Was A Spy’ by Dr Richard Spence in New Dawn No. 105, November-December 2007).
Ian Fleming conceived an audacious plan to lure a high-ranking member of the German government into defecting to Britain so as to provide a morale-boosting propaganda coup. This idea had been inspired by a novel written by Fleming’s brother, Peter, called Flying Visit (Jonathan Cape 1940). Peter Fleming was a journalist and also worked for both MI5 (the Security Service) and the propaganda section of the clandestine Special Operations Executive (SOE). The novel imagined that Hitler’s plane crash-landed in England and he was captured. The Reichminister and deputy fuehrer himself, Rudolf Hess, was chosen as a suitable candidate for the actual plot. This was because he was a supporter of peace with Britain and was also under the influence of astrologers and occultists. It was believed this could be used against him.
Commander Fleming recreated The Link, a defunct Anglo-German friendship society of the 1930s that had a wealthy membership of Nazi sympathisers drawn from the British Establishment. Ironically, or perhaps coincidentally, The Link had been founded by Admiral Sir Barry Domville, an ex-director of the Naval Intelligence Department (NID), after he retired in 1930. Domville was arrested and interned in May 1940 because MI5 believed he was plotting a fascist coup d’etat supported by aristocratic peacemongers. The admiral was a friend of Major-General J.F.C. ‘Boney’ Fuller CBE, a famous military analyst who designed the tactics for the first tank battle in World War I. Fuller also invented the concept of blitzkrieg used so successfully in World War II by the German Panzers. Fuller was an open admirer of Hitler (he attended the fuehrer’s 50th birthday party in 1939), a leading member of Sir Oswald Moseley’s British Union of Fascists (BUF), a friend of Ian Fleming and a leading disciple of Aleister Crowley. In the 1930s Fuller formed the extreme-right wing Nordic League (aka the White Knights of Britain), allegedly established by Nazi agents. However in the 1950s he was a member of a MI6 supported group of Russian émigrés engaged in anti-communist propaganda. It has been suggested that Fuller was not interned during the war with other leading fascists such as Mosley and Domville because he was a MI6 double-agent.
Ian Fleming’s idea was to persuade the German High Command in Berlin, and especially Rudolf Hess, that when war broke out The Link had not disbanded but had gone underground. It had allegedly regrouped and recruited even more prominent pro-Nazi members in the British Establishment including aristocrats and royalty. These were represented by the NID as influential people with the political muscle to overthrow prime minister Winston Churchill’s national wartime government, call a ceasefire and agree to a peace treaty with Germany. Under its terms Britain would keep control of its Empire and Germany would have free reign in occupied Europe. The Nazis also hoped that British troops would be sent to fight alongside the German Wehrmacht and the SS against the Soviet Union in a joint anti-communist crusade.
Hitler did not want to invade and occupy Britain. Instead he would have preferred to negotiate a treaty with a sympathetic new government in London. It has been suggested that the only reason the fuehrer abandoned Operation Sea Lion the proposed invasion of Southern England and instead invaded the Soviet Union was to force Churchill to accept peace terms. If the Red Army had been defeated Britain would truly have been standing alone, as Hitler did not believe the Americans had the political will to enter the war. Unfortunately he underestimated the ability and resolve of the Soviets to defend their motherland and also the clandestine support that the US was already offering Great Britain.
The NID plot to ensnare Rudolf Hess used bogus astrological predictions combined with political intelligence. Hess was persuaded that a Scottish aristocrat, the Duke of Hamilton, was willing to negotiate peace terms on behalf of the influential people at the top of British society who wanted to end the war. The duke had met Hess at the Berlin Olympics in 1936 and the deputy fuehrer for some reason thought he was a member of the surviving Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. Ian Fleming commissioned an astrologer to produce a faked astrological forecast indicating that 10 May 1941 would be a propitious date for Rudolf Hess to fly to Scotland and meet secretly with the Duke of Hamilton and other members of the so-called British ‘peace party’. Hess’ occult advisors had also told him there would be an unusual planetary conjunction on 10 May. On that day six planets would be aligned in the zodiac sign of Taurus and conjoined to the full moon. At the same time Hitler’s chart showed ‘malefic’ astrological aspects. Hess saw himself in the role of a messianic hero saving Germany from possible future defeat by making peace with the British. All the (false) reports reaching the deputy fuehrer about the political situation in England and the astrological aspects convinced him that his mission would be a success.
Rudolf Hess flew to Scotland on 10 May 1941 in the firm belief that on landing he would be met by the Duke of Hamilton and the Duke of Kent and whisked off to London for a private audience with King George VI. He had been convinced by the misinformation fed to him by British Intelligence that these three men represented a genuine peace movement capable of removing the warmonger Churchill and agreeing to German terms. Hess had also previously met the Duke of Windsor when he had visited Berlin before the war. As a result Hess was persuaded that some members of the German-descended royal family were sympathetic to Nazism. Certainly the Duke of Saxo-Coburg, formerly Prince Charles Edward, a grandson of Queen Victoria and a close friend of the Duke of Windsor, had willingly embraced Nazism. In fact Hitler had appointed him as the head of the German branch of the Red Cross that was responsible for exterminating the mentally sick and physically disabled.
Unfortunately instead of meeting pro-Nazi aristocrats and royals when he landed, Hess was captured by a local farmer and a Home Guard unit. They handed him over to the police and he was transferred to London to be interrogated by MI5. Unfortunately the British government completely mishandled the capture of Hess. It has been suggested that Churchill believed the subterfuge by the NID and SIS suggesting leading members of the British Establishment might be pro-German may have been based on fact. For that reason the government did not capitalise on Hess’ ‘peace mission’. The German High Command had also disowned him and said that his flight had been unauthorised. They also suggested that Hess might be insane so his value for propaganda purposes was undermined and diminished.
Rudolf Hess’ apparent defection caused widespread panic in Berlin concerning the influence of occultism on the Nazi Party. The Gestapo immediately launched Operation Aktion Hess. On the direct orders of Hitler, they rounded up hundreds of occultists, psychics and astrologers, including Hess’s leading occult advisor Ernst Schulte-Strathaus. In June 1941 a decree was issued banning all public performances of clairvoyance, astrology, fortune-telling or telepathy. Anybody associated with Hess and his esoteric interests was thrown into concentration camps and occult secret societies were closed down. Because of staff shortages in the Gestapo, officers from the Naval Intelligence Service were drafted in to interrogate some of the arrested psychics. It has been claimed that they recruited some of them for secret operations using dowsing on maps with pendulums to hunt down British submarines.
It has also been claimed that Ian Fleming and the NID was involved in a plot to silence the Spiritualist medium Helen Duncan, the penultimate person to be charged under the old Witchcraft Act of 1736. She was arrested in 1944 after holding a séance during which allegedly the spirit of a dead sailor from the sinking of the HMS Bolham physically manifested. As the news of the loss had not been publicly released, and the Admiralty was keeping it secret for morale purposes, Duncan became a target for the security services. She and other psychics were regarded as a serious threat to national security and they became the object of a MI5/NID dirty tricks operation to silence leaks. This suggests that the Intelligence Services actually believed these mediums had genuine powers. Duncan’s arrest and subsequent trial, which in fact was condemned by Winston Churchill as a waste of public funds, was allegedly meant to deter other mediums. The War Office was paranoid that military secrets about the forthcoming D-Day landings in Normandy would be revealed at séances and become public knowledge or passed to the Germans.
Derek Wilson, Sir Francis Walsingham (Constable 2007)
Richard Deacon, John Dee (Muller 1968)
Donald McCormack, The Hellfire Club (Jarrolds 1958)
P.Mannix, The Hellfire Club (Four Square 1961)
M.R.D. Foot, SOE: The Special Operations Executive 1940-46 (BBC publications 1984)
J.M. McKenzie The Secret History of the SOE 1940-1945 (St Ermins Press 2000)
Nigel West, The Secret War: The Story of SOE (Hodder & Stoughton 1992)
Richard Deacon, The History of British Secret Service (Frederick Muller 1979)
Donald McCormick, The Life of Ian Fleming (Peter Owen 1993)
MICHAEL HOWARD has had a lifelong interest in intelligence matters and the strange links between the occult and politics. Since 1976 he has edited The Cauldron newsletter (<http://www.the-cauldron.fsnet.co.uk>www.the-cauldron.fsnet.co.uk) featuring witchcraft, folklore and Earth Mysteries. He is the author of Secret Societies: Their Influence and Power from Antiquity to the Present Day, published by Destiny Books USA.
The above article appears in
New Dawn No. 107 (Mar-Apr 2008)
© Copyright 2008 by New Dawn Magazine and the respective authors.
(4) Occultists At War
Fake Astrological Advice Passed On To The Gullible Rudolf Hess
(Author anonymous; could be by an intelligence agency, because it carries a link to a Hannah Newman webpage)
The Thule-Gesellschaft (Thule Society) was founded August 17, 1918, by Rudolf von Sebottendorff. He had been schooled in occultism, Islamic mysticism, alchemy, Rosicrucianism and much else, in Turkey, where he had also been initiated into Freemasonry.
Its original name was Studiengruppe für Germanisches Altertum (Study Group for German Antiquity), but it soon started to disseminate anti-republican and anti-Semitic propaganda.
A movement to promote Thulian ideas among industrial workers and to offset Marxism, was formed in August 1918 – the Workers’ Political Circle with Thulist Karl Harrer as chairman.
From this came the German Workers’ Party in 1919.
A year later this became the NSDAP under the leadership of Adolf Hitler. It had members from the top echelons of the party, including Rudolf Hess and Alfred Rosenberg, though not Adolf Hitler. Serbottendorff stated, “Thule members were the people to whom Hitler first turned and who first allied themselves with Hitler.”
The swastika flag adopted by the NSDAP was the brain-child of another Thulist, Dr Krohn. …
With the victory of the Nazi Party, the occult tradition was carried on in the Third Reich mainly by the SS, who Reichsführer, Himmler, was an avid student of the occult. An SS occult research department, the Ahnernerbe (Ancestral Heritage) was established in 1935 with SS Colonel Wolfram von Sievers at its head. Occult research took SS researchers as far afield as Tibet. Sievers had the Tantrik prayer, the Bardo Thodol, read over his body after his execution at Nuremberg.
National Socialism and the Third Reich represented a major attempt by high esoteric Adepts to re-establish a Culture based on the Laws of Nature, against the entrenched forces of anti-Life. Nothing that ambitious had been tried since the founding of the American Republic by Masonic adepts. …
Himmler and the S.S.
The S.S. (Schutzstaffel) was originally formed as a personal bodyguard to Hitler, and numbered around 300 when Heinrich Himmler joined. But when he rose to its leadership in 1929, things changed a bit. Four years later, membership had soared to 52,000. He established headquarters at a medieval castle called Wewelsburg, where his secret inner order met once a year. According to Walther Schellenberg’s memoirs:
Each member had his own armchair with an engraved silver nameplate, and each had to devote himself to a ritual of spiritual exercises aimed mainly at mental concentration. The focal point of Wewelsburg, evidently owing much to the legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, was a great dining hall with an oak table to seat twelve picked from the senior Gruppenführers. The walls were to be adorned with their coats of arms.
Underneath this dining hall there was kept a so-called “realm of the dead”, a circular well in which these coats of arms would be burnt and the ashes worshipped after the “knight” had died. (There are tales of Himmler using the severed heads of deceased S.S. officers to communicate with ascended masters). In addition to this, each knight had his own room, “decorated in accordance with one of the great ancestors of Aryan majesty.” Himmler’s own room was dedicated to a Saxon King Henry the Fowler, whose ghost Himmler sometimes conversed with.
Outside of the inner order, SS officers were discouraged from participating in Christian ceremonies, including weddings and christenings, and celebrated the Winter Solstice instead of Christmas. The traditional day of gift exchange was switched to the day of the summer solstice celebration. These ceremonies were replete with sacred fires, torchlit processions, and invocations of Teutonic deities, all performed by files of young blond-haired, blue-eyed Aryan supermen. Although Himmler admired the ceremonial nature of Catholicism and modeled the S.S. partially on the Order of the Jesuits, he also despised Christianity for what he considered its weak, masochistic nature. He held further resentment because of the persecution of German witches during the Inquisition. …
The Allied Occult Offense
Himmler was obsessed by the idea that British Intelligence was being run by the Rosicrucian order, and that occult adepts were in charge of MI5. Whether or not that was true, the Germans were certainly not the only participants in the war using the power of magick to their advantage. Levenda provides the details of a “Cult Counterstrike” organized by the intelligence agencies of the U.S. and Britain, an effort centering around the “most evil man in the world”, the Great Beast 666, Aleister Crowley.
Crowley had gone to live in New York during WWI after being rejected for military service by the British government, and began writing “pro-German propaganda” for a magazine called The Fatherland, published by George Viereck. Crowley took over as editor. He later claimed that he had really been working for British Intelligence, because his articles were so outlandish that the journal was reduced to absurdity, a caricature of serious political discussion, which would help the British cause more than harm it.
There is some evidence to suggest that Crowley was working for MI5 during this time, spying on his fellow OTO initiate Karl Germer, a German intelligence agent, so perhaps his excuse for working for The Fatherland is sound. Whatever the case, he was definitely hired by MI5 during WWII. Crowley had become friends with author Dennis Wheatley, well-known for a number of fiction and non-fiction books based on the occult who had once worked for Winston Churchill’s Joint Planning Staff. He had been introduced to Crowley by a journalist named Tom Driberg, who would later become a spy for MI5 as well, and who would come into possession of Crowley’s diaries shortly after his death in 1947.
Wheatley also introduced Crowley to yet another MI5 agent, Maxwell Knight. Knight was the real historical figure behind the fictional character “M” in all the James Bond novels, written by Knight’s friend in the Department of Naval Intelligence, Ian Fleming. Crowley met Knight for dinner at Wheatley’s house, and it was there that Crowley agreed to take them both on as magick students.
Later, Ian Fleming dreamed up a way to use Crowley’s expertise in a scheme against the Germans. The scheme involved an Anglo-German organization known as “The Link”, a supposed “cultural society” which had once been under the leadership of Sir Barry Domville, Director of Naval Intelligence from 1927 to 1930. The Link had been investigated by Maxwell Knight in the 1930s because of its involvement in German spy operations, and was soon dissolved after much incriminating evidence was found. As Levenda describes, Fleming “thought that the Nazis could be made to believe that the The Link was still in existence, they could use it as bait for the Nazi leadership. The point was to convince the Nazis that The Link had sufficient influence to overthrow the Churchill government and thereby to install a more pliable British government, one which would gladly negotiate a separate peace with Hitler.”
The suggestion came in the form of fake astrological advice passed on to the gullible Rudolf Hess, who was already under the delusion that only he could talk the British into peace with Germany, and that it was his destiny to do so. One of his staff astrologers, Dr. Ernst Schulte-Strathaus, under British employ, encouraged Hess to make his mission to England on May 10, 1941 a significant date because of a rare conjunction of six planets in the sign of Taurus. The Duke of Hamilton was also enlisted to let Hess know that he would be happy to entertain him should he plan to go through with such an endeavor. So Hess, a trained pilot, embarked on a rather dangerous solo flight to the British Isles, parachuting into Scotland donned in various occult symbols, where he was immediately arrested by the waiting Brits. Fleming tried to obtain permission for Crowley to debrief Hess in order to develop intelligence on the occult scene in the Third Reich and particularly the Nazi leadership. But this permission was denied, and Hess spent the rest of his days in prison not being much use to anybody. What could have been a major propaganda coup against the Nazis went utterly wasted, as if by tacit agreement on both sides.
After Hess’ arrest, Hitler denounced him as a crazed madman, and began persecuting astrologers and occultists in his own domains more so than ever before. Crowley continued trying to help the Allied cause, but most of his ideas were rejected. One, however, while initially dismissed, was later implemented. This involved dropping occult pamphlets on the German countryside that predicted a dire outcome for the war and depicted the Nazi leadership as Satanic. A forgery of a popular German astrological magazine called Zenit was created and dropped onto enemy battlefields. It was set for full-scale distribution, but the delivery was intercepted by the Gestapo before it could be completed.
Besides Crowley, there were other occultists involved in the fight against the Third Reich. One of Crowley’s protegés, Jack Parsons, who was the Head of the Agapé O.T.O. Lodge in California as well as a charter member of both Cal-Tech and the Jet propulsion Laboratory, invented the “Greek Fire” rocket propellant which was widely used by the United State Navy between 1944 and 1945. It was a solution that could have only come from someone with a working knowledge of the arcane lore of alchemy and magic. (Parsons later killed himself in an accident involving fulminate of mercury. He had been driven crazy and proclaimed himself the Anti-Christ after becoming involved with one “Frater H”, who was actually a spy sent by Naval Intelligence to infiltrate the O.T.O. That spy’s name was L. Ron Hubbard!) There was also a Golden dawn initiate named Sam Untermyer, an attorney and wealthy philanthropist once called a “Satanist” by a British newspaper. Untermyer started the “Non-Sectarian Anti-Nazi League to Champion Human Rights” and the “World-Anti-Nazi Council, which both promoted the boycott of German products. He also donated money to the hunt for Nazi agents coming into New York. And with the help of a man named Richard Rollins, he started a secret society called “the Board” which engaged in counterespionage against Nazi groups who were recruiting in the United States.
World War II was a magick war, and a holy war, a war in which both sides consider themselves to be fighting the forces of evil. It was a war operated behind the scenes by mystical adepts using their esoteric knowledge of symbolism, astrology, meditation, astral travel, clairvoyance, and mind control against the enemy. A war inspired by age-old beliefs in the Elder Gods of Europe’s ancient past.
Aleister Crowley – Racist, Antisemite, And Misogynist
… Throughout the period of 1895, he maintained a vigorous sex life, which was largely conducted with prostitutes and girls he picked up at local pubs and cigar shops, but eventually extended into homosexual activities in which he played the passive role. During the course of his life, Crowley practiced sexual magic rituals with both men and women. …
Crowley was a product of his age in some senses more than others. Biographer Lawrence Sutin stated that “blatant bigotry is a persistent minor element in Crowley’s writings.” The book’s introduction calls Crowley “a spoiled scion of a wealthy Victorian family who embodied many of the worst John Bull racial and social prejudices of his upper-class contemporaries,” Sutin also writes, “Crowley embodied the contradiction that writhed within many Western intellectuals of the time: deeply held racist viewpoints courtesy of their culture, coupled with a fascination with people of colour.”
Crowley defended the use of violence against the Chinese, specifically the lower classes. He applied the term “nigger” to Italians (in Diary of a Drug Fiend Book I, Chapter 9) and Indians, and called the Indian theosophist Jiddu Krishnamurti “negroid.”
Crowley, according to his biographer, Lawrence Sutin, used racial epithets to bully Victor Neuburg during a sadomasochistic magical working: “Crowley leveled numerous brutal verbal attacks on Neuburg’s family and Jewish ancestry…”. The two became lovers by the end of that year if not before, but “[w]hether or not Crowley and Neuburg had sexual relations during this magical retirement is unclear,” according to Sutin.
Crowley’s published expressions of antisemitism were disturbing enough to later editors of his works that one of them, Israel Regardie, attempted to suppress them. In 777 and Other Qabalistic Writings of Aleister Crowley (Samuel Weiser, 1975), Regardie, a Jew, explained his complete excision of Crowley’s antisemitic commentary on the Kabbalah in the 6th unnumbered page of his editorial introduction: “I am … omitting Crowley’s Preface to the book. It is a nasty, malicious piece of writing, and does not do justice to the system with which he is dealing.”
What Regardie had removed was Crowley’s “Preface to Sepher Sephiroth”, originally published in Equinox 1:8. Written in 1911, at the same time that Menahem Mendel Beilis was accused of ritual cannibalism in Kiev, Russia, it contained a clear statement of Crowley’s belief in the blood libel against the Jews:
Human sacrifices are today still practised by the Jews of Eastern Europe, as is set forth at length by the late Sir Richard Burton in the MS. which the wealthy Jews of England have compassed heaven and earth to suppress, and evidenced by the ever-recurring Pogroms against which so senseless an outcry is made by those who live among those degenerate Jews who are at least not cannibals.
Having thus implicitly defended the recent antisemitic pogroms in Kishinev Russia and elsewhere, on the grounds that the murder of thousands of Jews was a rational response to the implied danger of Jewish ritual cannibalism, Crowley rhetorically asked how a system of value such as Qabala could come from what “the general position of the ethnologist” called “an entirely barbarous race, devoid of any spiritual pursuit,” and “polytheists” to boot. As Crowley himself practiced polytheism, some read these remarks as irony.
Crowley repeated his claim that Jews in Eastern Europe practice ritual child-murder in at least one later work as well, namely the section on mysticism in Book Four or Magick. Here he uses quotation marks for “ritual murder” and for “Christian” children.
An article at The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum makes the following claim while speaking of the previously mentioned remark elsewhere in Magick:
At first glance Crowley seems to be advocating an atrocity, the sacrifice of a child, the bugaboo of witchhunters and anti-Semites everywhere. But in fact he is claiming that the historical legend of child sacrifice, used to persecute so many “witches” and Jews, veils a sexual formula of self-sacrifice. In a secret document of the IX*, the “blood libel” against the Jews — the story that they celebrate covert rituals employing the blood of sacrificed children — is taken as a statement that certain sects of the Hassidim possess this secret. The early Christians were accused of such practices by the Roman establishment, and the Gnostic Catholic Church considers this to be evidence of a continuity of the sexual secret from the Gnostics.
Crowley studied and promoted the mystical and magical teachings of some of the same ethnic groups he attacked, in particular Indian yoga, Jewish Kabbalah and goetia, and the Chinese I Ching. Also, in Confessions Chapter 86 , as well as a private diary which Lawrence Sutin quotes in Do What Thou Wilt chapter 7, Crowley recorded a memory of a “past life” as the Chinese Taoist writer Ko Hsuan. In another remembered life, Crowley said, he took part in a “Council of Masters” that included many from Asia. He has this to say about the virtues of “Eurasians” and then Jews:
I do not believe that their universally admitted baseness is due to a mixture of blood or the presumable peculiarity of their parents; but that they are forced into vileness by the attitude of both their white and coloured neighbours. A similar case is presented by the Jew, who really does only too often possess the bad qualities for which he is disliked; but they are not proper to his race. No people can show finer specimens of humanity. The Hebrew poets and prophets are sublime. The Jewish soldier is courageous, the Jewish rich man generous. The race possesses imagination, romance, loyalty, probity and humanity in an exceptional degree.
But the Jew has been persecuted so relentlessly that his survival has depended on the development of his worst qualities; avarice, servility, falseness, cunning and the rest. Even the highest-class Eurasians such as Ananda Koomaraswamy suffer acutely from the shame of being considered outcast. The irrationality and injustice of their neighbours heightens the feeling and it breeds the very abominations which the snobbish inhumanity of their fellow-men expects of them.
All these remarks must necessarily be contrasted or reconciled with Crowley’s explicit philosophical instructions in Magick Without Tears. Chapter 73, which is entitled “‘Monsters’, Niggers, Jews, etc,” states his essentially individualistic and anti-racialist views, citing relevant verses from The Book of the Law: “Ye are against the people, o my chosen!” (Liber Al II:25), “Every man and every woman is a star” (Liber Al I:3). Here Crowley emphasizes by way of commentary upon these verses the instant debasement and un-Thelemic viewpoint which any notion of human beings as “classes” or “races” -whether belonged-to or feared- instead of as individuals, is likely to bring. The “Thelemic” philosophical position which he taught in this volume (which is a series of letters of direct personal instruction to various disciples) is clearly an anti-racialistic one. Even in private comments on Mein Kampf, Crowley said that his own preferred “master class” was above all distinctions of race.
Biographer Lawrence Sutin stated that Crowley “largely accepted the notion, implicitly embodied in Victorian sexology, of women as secondary social beings in terms of intellect and sensibility.” Occult scholar Tim Maroney compares him to other figures and movements of the time and suggests that some others might have shown more respect for women.
Crowley stated that women, except “a few rare individuals,” care most about having children and will conspire against their husbands if they lack children to whom to devote themselves. In Confessions, Crowley says he learned this from his first marriage. He claimed that their intentions were to force a man to abandon his life’s work for their interests. He only found women “tolerable”, he wrote, when they served the role of solely helping a man in his life’s work. However, he said that they were incapable of actually understanding the work. He also claimed that women did not have individuality and were solely guided by their habits or impulses.
Nevertheless, when he sought what he called the supreme magical-mystical attainment, Crowley asked Leah Hirsig to direct his ordeals, marking the first time since the schism in the Golden Dawn that another person verifiably took charge of his initiation. In the Hierophant section of the Book of Thoth, he interprets a verse from the Book of the Law that speaks of “the woman girt with a sword; she represents the Scarlet Woman in the hierarchy of the new Aeon.(…)This woman represents Venus as she now is in this new aeon; no longer the mere vehicle of her male counterpart, but armed and militant.” …