Nazism and The New Age,

Hitler and the Occult

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The New World Order could not have been realized had it not been for the intense activities of various secret societies throughout the world. One is  the Brotherhood Of Death Society, whose symbol is the skull with two crossed bones. The German Brotherhood of  Death Society is the Thule Society. Adolf Hitler joined this society in 1919, becoming an adept under the leadership of Dietrich Eckhart. Later, the Thule Society selected Hitler to be their leader of the New World Order, as Eckhart revealed on his deathbed, saying:

Follow Hitler; he will dance, but it is I who have called the tune. I have initiated him into the Secret Doctrine, opened his centers in vision, and given him the means to communicate with the powers.

~Trevor Ravenscroft, The Spear Of Destiny

In August, 1990, President George Bush announced that the world had now entered into a New World Order. Shockingly President Bush is an adept in an American Brotherhood of the Yale Skull and Bones Society. Bush's New World Order is virtually identical with Hitler's; the key connecting point is the common membership in their respective Brotherhood .

Here is a quick overview of the Thule Society, beginning with a study of its practices and relevant history.

They were Satanists who practiced Black Magic -- this means that they were "solely concerned with raising their consciousness by means of rituals to awareness of evil and nonhuman intelligences in the universe; and with achieving means of communication with these intelligences." (Ravenscroft). Concentrate on that seemingly innocent word, rituals. Christians equate a ritual to a church service, thereby not understanding its occultic meaning. The New Age Dictionary defines ritual as a "ceremony to restore balance with nature...and bring back lost harmony and sacredness." Remember we are dealing with the Satanic world, where good is called evil and evil good. The sacredness mentioned here is a Satanic sacredness. Rituals literally are proscribed activities designed to allow demonic power to flow through the participants. These activities are proscribed chants, formula wordings, and carefully planned actions. The effect is devastatingly powerful, as demonic force pours through the participants, delivering a counterfeit spiritual experience which literally transforms their lives. Never skip over the word ritual, as it is a word of Satanic power.

Thule members practiced a form of Sexual Magic derived from a lodge of which Aleister Crowley was a member. Crowley was recognized as the foremost worshipper of Satan in the 19th Century. "The origin of this...medieval magic...can be traced to a Freemason, Robert Little, who founded the Societas Rosicruciana in 1865... (Ravenscroft, Spear of Destiny). While the actual sexual perversions which were practiced are too offensive to share, the results are not. Author Revenscroft stated that "indulgence in the most sadistic rituals awakened penetrating vision into the workings of Evil Intelligences and bestowed phenomenal magical powers." (Ibid). This is the Thule Society.

Ravenscroft records its effect upon Hitler:

Sexual perversion took a central place in [Hitler's] life...a monstrous sexual perversion was the very core of his whole existence, the source of his mediumistic and clairvoyant powers, and the motivation behind every act through which he reaped a sadistic vengeance on humanity. (Ibid)

Eckart's final act was to initiate Hitler into "a monstrous sadistic magic ritual...after which he was sexually impotent. Hitler's impotency had a deep psychological foundation. He knew sexual fulfillment through the extremes of sadism and masochism..." (Ravenscroft,). This impotency delivered a final devastating blow to Hitler's psychological foundation, finally making him into the sadistic murderer that history knows.

The Thule
society believed in "communication with a hierarchy of Supermen, the Secret Chiefs of the Third Order". (Ibid) The quality which make these beings supermen was occultic spirituality. Further, they believed in Madame Blavatsky's Secret Doctrine, which teaches that certain superman had survived the destruction of Atlantis with their higher levels of consciousness intact. These supermen were Aryans. These two beliefs combined into one through the Thule Society and Hitler, culminating into the Nazi Death Camps. (Ibid). When one group of people incorporate into their spiritual belief structure that they are inherently superior to another group of people, it is inevitable that genocide will be attempted as soon as possible.

The Thule Society regularly held occultic seances, during which time they communicated with demons who were either masquerading as a dead person or who were just appearing as their guiding spirits. Dietrich Eckart, Alfred Rosenberg, and Adolf Hitler invoked the Anti-Christ into manifestation at the mediumistic seances of the Thule Group in Munich. (Ravenscroft, Spear of Destiny)

Eckart believed he had been told by his guiding spirit he would have the privilege of training the coming Great One, the Anti-Christ. From the beginning of their association, Eckert believed Hitler was Anti-Christ. Therefore, Eckert spared no occultic knowledge, ritual, or perversion in his attempt to fully equip Hitler for the role. Once the training was completed, Hitler believed he was "born anew with that super-personal strength and resolution he would need to fulfill the mandate ... ordained for him." (Ravenscroft) Hitler literally equated this with the Christian claim to be born again.

Now, let us look at the Skull and Bones rituals and beliefs. Little is firmly known about Skull and Bones, because their secrecy since they were established in 1833 is as complete as any society in the world. However, they possess all the requirements of a true secret society:

  • They were formed in secret and all their activities are carried out secretly.
  • Membership is by invitation only. Potential members are carefully screened as to suitability before they are invited to join.
  • The first night of the new member, who is called an initiate, is critically important. The initiate swears total obedience and loyalty to the secret society. This pledge is bound by serious oaths, some of whom would be deadly if actually carried out. The first night is also critically important as it bounds the initiate to the society by means of ritual, oaths, and confessions.
  • The Skull and Bones also incorporates sexual activities into their practices. "The death of the initiate will be as frightful as the use of human skeletons and ritual psychology can make it..." (Esquire Magazine, "The Last Secrets of Skull and Bones", Ron Rosenbaum). Sexual perversion is part of ritual psychology. Ron Rosenbaum, author of the Esquire Magazine article, stated that on initiation night, called tap night, "...if one could climb to the tower of Weir Hall, the odd castle that overlooks the Bones courtyard, one could hear strange cries and moans coming from the bowels of the tomb as the 15 newly tapped members were put through what sounded like a harrowing ordeal..." (Esquire, September, 1976).

    Further, [initiates] "lay naked in coffins and tell their deepest and darkest sexual secrets as part of their initiation." (Esquire). These experiences in the coffins incorporated sexual pain and resulted in being born-again, into the Order, as we mentioned above. (Cooper) Powerful force charges through the participants of these ceremonies, transforming their lives dramatically. This type ritual is classic Satanism. Anton LaVey states, in his book The Satanic Rituals: Companion To The Satanic Bible: 

    The ceremony of rebirth takes place in a large coffin..This is similar to the coffin symbolism found in most lodge rituals." Make no mistake about it: Any organization which utilizes this coffin ritual to simulate rebirth is practising Satanism, including Skull and Bones.

    The Skull and Bones believes that on the night of initiation, the initiate "dies to the world and be born again into the Order..." (Esquire Magazine, September, 1977). Remember Hitler's belief that he had been born anew after his ritualistic initiation and training? This term is a common one in occultism. During the 1988 Presidential Campaign, a TV reporter asked Vice-President Bush if he were a Christian. Bush initially stammered, but then said, "if you mean born again, then, yes, I am a Christian".

    As born-again Christians carry out the ritual of water baptism by immersion to demonstrate that they have died to the old way of life and have been reborn into a new life, the occultists have their ritual to demonstrate the same life transformation. Rosenbaum continues his expose' of the born-again experience, "then it's into the coffin and off on a symbolic journey through the underworld to rebirth, which takes place in room number 322. There, the Order clothes the newborn knight in its own special garments, implying that, henceforth, he will tailor himself to the Order's mission." (Ibid). This ritual description is as occultic as any I have read, and truly reveals the Skull and Bones as occultic.

    One of the most sobering facets of this counterfeit born again initiation ritual is that the initiate swears to an allegiance to the Secret Order that transcends any allegiance later in life. Christian author Bill Cooper captures this disturbing fact most succinctly:

    Members of the Order (Skull and Bones) take an oath that absolves them from any allegiance to any nation or king or government or constitution, and that includes the negating of any subsequent oath which they may be required to take. They swear allegiance only to the Order and its goal of a New World Order...according to the oath Bush took when he was initiated into Skull and Bones, his oath of office as President of the United States means nothing. (Cooper, Behold A Pale Horse).

    Since the oath as President occurred after the Oath to Skull and Bones, it is not worth the paper on which it is printed. That kind of hold is powerful. Indeed, as Ron Rosenbaum began the research necessary to write his article for Esquire, he was warned about the power of Skull and Bones:

    The power of Bones is incredible. They have their hands on every lever of power in the country.

    The only thing which is important to the Skull and Bones is their goal of a New World Order. In conjunction with this understanding, remember one other Secret Society belief, i.e., the ends justify the means.

    As Rosenbaum continued his research, he found definite links between Bones and the Bavarian Illuminists. The Bavarian Illuminists were part of the original Masters of the Illuminati. First, Rosenbaum discovered documents which detailed the origins of Bones back to Germany. These documents stated, "Bones is a chapter of a corps of a German University..." The document described at length its relationship with this German Secret Society (the Thule Society) which lead to the founding of the Skull and Bones in 1832.

    econdly, Rosenbaum discovered that, "above the arched walls above the vault of the (Bones) sacred room, #322", is a painting of skulls surrounded by Masonic symbols. Above this painting is the slogan, in German, which means, "Who is the fool, who the wise man, beggar, or king? Whether poor or rich, all's the same in death." This means that only the works which one does in this life is what matters; in death, all men share the same fate. This statement is very consistent with the teachings of Secret Societies, showing their Works-oriented philosophy.

    Thirdly, Rosenbaum discovered a "haunting photograph of the altar room at one of the Masonic lodges at Nuremberg that is closely associated with Illuminism. Haunting because at the altar room's center, approached through an aisle of hanging human skeletons, is a coffin surmounted by...a skull and crossed bones that look exactly like the particular arrangement of jawbones and thighbones in the official Bones emblem. {Finally}, the skull and crossbones was the official crest of another key Illuminist lodge..." (Esquire). It is shocking also when we realize that German Nazi death camp guards wore this emblem of Skull and Bones on the shoulders of their uniforms.

    Without doubt, we have established Skull and Bones to be a Brotherhood of Death Society, which is itself tied into the Masters of the Illuminati. It is no wonder that Bush has been proclaiming the New World Order


    We have studied the common philosophical and religious links between the German Thule Society and Skull and Bones. We now need to study the historical results of the attempt of the Thule Society to establish a New World Order. After the Thule Society selected Adolf Hitler to be their leader of the New World Order, they faced the problem of practical implementation of this goal. They realized that their plans for world domination required control of military power of Germany; however, the military is controlled by those holding political power, and Germany was a democracy. Therefore, the Thule Society created the Nazi Party.

    The Guiding Spirits of the Thule Society became the Guiding Spirits of the Nazi Party. In only 10 tumultuous years, Hitler gained high political office, from which he catapulted himself into the position of absolute dictator in 1933. In 1938, Hitler began the Final Solution of the Jewish problem by initiating the Holocaust. In 1939, Hitler initiated World War II, which lasted until Mid-1945. As I read the results, remember James' words, "Then the evil desire, when it has conceived, gives birth to sin, and sin, when it is fully matured, brings forth death." By 1945, the occultic sin conceived by the Thule Society had come to full completion. These are the results: (Source is The Webster Family Encyclopedia, Volume 19, 1984)

    Enormous armies were mobilized around the world:

    Russia 12,500,000 men
    America 12,400,000 men
    Germany 10,000,000 men
    Japan 6,000,000 men
    France 5,000,000 men
    Britain 4,700,000 men
    Italy 4,000,000 men
    China 3,800,000 men
    Canada 1,100,000 men

    Total World-Wide Mobilization: 59,500,000 men.

    The death toll was almost incomprehensible:

    Russia 10,000,000 soldiers - 10,000,000 civilians 
    Germany 3,000,000 soldiers - 500,000 civilians
    Japan 2,000,000 soldiers - 500,000 civilians
    Italy 330,000 soldiers - 80,000 civilian 
    Britain 350,000 soldiers - 60,000 civilian
    France 200,000 soldiers - 200,000 civilian
    China 1,300,000 soldiers - (no estimate on civilian deaths)
    Poland 600,000 soldiers - 5,000,000 civilians
    America 390,000 soldiers (negligible civilian deaths)

    Total human lives killed was:

    18,200,000 soldiers and 16,300,000 civilians for 34,000,000 total deaths. When you add 18,000,000 deaths from Hitler's Death Camps, you realize that over 54 million people lost their lives as the final result of the occultic practices and goals of the New World Order of that German Brotherhood of Death Society, the Thule Society. The 6,000,000 Jewish deaths from Hitler's Final Solution represented two-thirds of the total world-wide Jewish population.

    Hitler came close to winning WWII, but God's timing was not yet come. However, some of the after-effects of WWII served to set the stage for the current drive toward the New World Order.|

    Alice Bailey states in her book, The Externalisation of the Hierarchy, that the world must be united regionally before it can be united into one. Stalin repeated this concept shortly before his death in 1953. World War II certainly provided the impetus for this type reorganization. The World was reorganized militarily into NATO in Europe, the Warsaw Pact in Eastern Europe, and SEATO in Asia. Economic regionalization also occurred along approximately the same lines. Repeated cultural, economic, and religious regionalizations have been created since WWII.

    The infant One-World Government was created as the United Nations, in 1948. A similar effort was orchestrated after WWI as the League of Nations, but was defeated. One of the first actions of the United Nations was to create the nation of Israel, thus fulfilling God's prophecies to return her back to her Promised Land in the Last Days.

    Tremendous technological progress was achieved under the impetus of war. The atomic bomb was created, as were the jet engine, the rocket, and modern telecommunications. New Age author, Allen Neuharth, in his book, Nearly One World, states that these inventions have brought the world to the threshold of a One-World Government, Economy, and Religion, i.e., the New World Order.

    This brief review of the after-effects of WWII clearly shows much was achieved that set the stage for the current New World Order. Let us now review some of the goals which Secret Societies today have for the New World Order. Keep in mind that the Skull and Bones is the driving force and is the "first among equals" among all other Secret Societies and all other open organizations which are committed to this new order.

  • One World Government -- the only answer to man's problems.
  • One World Religion -- Man's evil actions historically are ascribed to his divisions into many different religions. Therefore, much emphasis is being laid on the re-uniting into one religion. The current Ecumenical Movement is leading the charge toward this all-important goal. In a seminar held in Boston in August, 1991, the current New England Director of the Theosophical Society stated that, at the proper moment in world history the Roman Catholic Pope would travel to Jerusalem to address a world-wide religious conference. In his speech, he would declare all the world's religions to be united into One. Thus, Alice Bailey's Plan, stated almost 50 years ago, would be realized, i.e., that the Great One would reinstate the Ancient Mysteries Religion as the New World Order Religion. "These Mysteries, when restored, will unify all faiths." (Externalisation of the Hierarchy, written in 1946).

  • One of the most basic plans after the New World Order is established is to reduce the world's population from its present 6 billion to 2 billion ... (Constance Cumbey, Hidden Dangers of the Rainbow). Thus, birth control and abortion were early identified as necessary to begin reducing population. Our current emphasis on man's devastating effects upon the earth and upon Global Warming and pollution are designed to convince people that only united, drastic action from the United Nations can save this planet from collapse.

    How can this drastic reduction be achieved within this short time frame? The basic answer is war.

    Bailey, in her book, The Externalisation of the Hierarchy, states that the atomic bomb will be turned over to the One-World Government and will be used against any nation who refuses to go along with the New World Order.

    Bill Cooper, in his book, Behold A Pale Horse, quotes a document from the Bilderberg Secret Society, which is an offshoot of Skull and Bones:

    Since most of the general public will not exercise [economic] restraint...[we must] take control of the world by the use of economic silent weapons in a form of quiet warfare and reduce [the dangerous levels of consumption] of the world to a safe level by a process of benevolent slavery and genocide.

    How could anyone ever think of slavery and genocide as being benevolent? This was the precise thinking of Hitler as he was planning his New World Order. He was going to rid the world of all the undesirables by benevolent warfare. We reviewed the horrible results in the beginning of the pro-gram; however, these figures pale in comparison with the deaths of 4 billion people.

    At this point, you may protest that the drive to the New World Order is being achieved peacefully. This is true, and when it is fully achieved will fulfill Biblical prophecy which states 1 Thessalonians 5:3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape

    Further, these plans, if carried out, will also fulfill Biblical prophecy in Revelation 6:4 And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.

    Nazis: The Occult Conspiracy

    The Nazis wanted to build a sinister New World Order led by a so-called race of Aryan supermen, spreading a reign of terror unlike any the world had ever known. Many believe the Nazis conjured strange spirits and followed occult practices that had lain dormant in
    Europe for thousands of years. Now documents prove that their beliefs were based on a perversion of ancient pagan law; a twisting of mythic battles between forces of light and darkness and of a terrifying journey into a world ruled by mystics, madmen and murderers.

    In the 1930s, the Nazis began searching the top of the world, the Himalayas of Tibet, for evidence of ancient high-priests who they believed were their blood ancestors. The Nazi belief in these ancestors was to form the foundation of
    Germany's new religion. A religion with Adolf Hitler as its high-priest. Inspiring Hitler's evil crusade, was a belief that pure Aryan blood was being contaminated by so-called "inferior races" and that once rid of foreign elements, a new race of Aryan supermen would rule the world. This was the Nazi interpretation of ancient myths and occult lore dating back thousands of years.

    To prove their superiority, the Nazis would leave no myth or religion unexplored. In effect, borrowing from any belief they could adapt to the Aryan cause. As a foundation for this new faith, Hitler needed to eliminate competing religions. To achieve absolute control, he not only used the power of myth, but co-opted Christian ritual. His inner circle who had strong ties to the occult, would help him to accomplish this goal. Among them were: Deputy Führer Rudolf Hess, whose correspondence reveals a devotion to astrology and forecasting by the stars; Nazi Commissioner for Philosophy and Education, Alfred Rosenberg who wrote the book "Laying Out the Tenets of the Nazi Religion"; Josef Göbbels, Hitler's Minister of Propaganda, whose diary records his use of astrological forecasts in planning the war against the allies; and Heinrich Himmler, head of the SS and the Nazi death camps, whose personal papers reveal that he was the master occultist of the Third Reich, and ultimately the architect of the new Nazi religion.

    At the foundation of this new religion was an ancient occult legend that tells the story of a continent somewhere in the north
    Atlantic. There lived a race of super-beings who'd fallen from grace through evil and vice. A great flood wiped these beings off the face of the earth, but before they could all be destroyed, certain priests escaped by boat eventually finding their way to India and the high peaks of Tibet. These escaped priests, believed by mystics to be the original race of Aryan god-men, were said to be the ancestors of all Indian and European people. The land was called Atlantis.

    Certain German mystics claimed the Atlantis myth was actual history; their proof that Aryans were the chosen people descended from the super-beings of Atlantis and that they had lost their powers by mating with mere mortals. In these theories lay the seeds of Nazi doctrine.

    Reichsführer SS Heinrich Himmler, an extreme nationalist, made it his mission to prove that the Germanic peoples were the descendants of the Atlantic master race.


    Nationalists, particularly those who believed in the superiority of the Aryan race, always had entertained a notion of a vanished island, hidden world, some kind of utopia. Himmler may have thought it was in Tibet and that this master race, the Atlantic master race as Himmler liked to call it, might have been in the Tibetan mountains and that their descendants would still be alive.


    Himmler believed the occult legend of Atlantis was true; that the mythical super-beings of Atlantis eventually made their way from Tibet to northern Europe and that their descendants became the Nordic, or Aryan races.


    Government funded expeditions under Himmler's direction were sent to Tibet searching for evidence of their ancestors. To document this process, Nazi researchers took this film footage. In 1946, in a post-war interrogation by the US Army, the SS scientist who led one of the Tibetan expeditions described his first meeting with Himmler. He said:

    Himmler mentioned his belief that the Nordic race did not evolve, but came directly down from heaven to settle on the
    Atlantic continent and that ancient immigrants from Atlantis had founded a great civilization in central Asia.


    Although he was a very rational, calculating power broker, he was also a romantic idealist and he certainly believed in these myths, otherwise he wouldn't have spent the money and the time and the energy he did sending expeditions to Tibet.


    In Tibet, villages were subjected to full body inspections by Nazi researchers looking for what the party called "Aryan physical traits": narrow foreheads, long limbs and angular features.


    The quest to prove the superiority of the Aryan race soon moved into the criminal. The Nazis would begin killing people and using their bodies for experiments. They believed that once they had proven that their ancestors were gods it would be a simple step to recreate this race of Aryan god-men through selective breeding; that you could somehow force human evolution in a sort of hot-house environment by selecting the parents of a child and then rebreeding their offspring until the day when eventually you managed to breed the superman who was predicted by all their occult theories."


    Hitler proclaimed:

    Humanity accomplishes a step-up every 700 years and the ultimate aim is the coming of the sons of God. All creative forces will be concentrated in a new species. It will be infinitely superior to modern man.


    The breeding stock was Himmler's SS. He recruited only the strongest, best conditioned and what he considered the best looking young men: tall, blond and blue-eyed. These future warriors had to be well educated and only from families of pure Aryan heritage.


    The SS had been generally rather tall, well-made men/warriors. Himmler did decree this for the SS in so much that they should all be at leat 5'9" tall, [Himmler was 5'9"]. In addition to their size, they had to be of pure blood. For the officers, they had to prove pure German ancestry without interbreeding back to 1750.


    Himmler's SS, at one point three million strong, were encouraged to father as many children as possible regardless of their marital status. The SS, he told them, had a sacred duty to their nation and to their Fuhrer to beget healthy Aryan babies.


    One of Himmler's ideas concerned polygamy. The only way in which he could breed the master race ever faster was by instituting the practice whereby SS men would be able to take more than one wife.


    In 1935, Himmler created the SS Lebensraum, "Fountain of Life," Program. Lebensraum was designed to facilitate the birth, housing and raising of as many pure Aryan babies as possible. Himmler's program was documented by actual images of Lebensraum babies.


    The SS Lebensraum was providing conditions whereby young girls could in fact be served by SS studs. He suggested that young Aryan girls in Germany who hadn't been able to find a boyfriend or a husband, need not forego the pleasures of motherhood.


    According to Lebensraum doctrine an illegitimate child was no disgrace as long as the mother was genetically fit. Women were thought to have only one function, to breed the children whose offspring the Nazi party believed would become gods. An estimated 11,000 Lebensraum babies were bred between 1935 and 1945. Most of these children never knew their parents.


    The SS weekly newspaper declared:

    Only when the number of cradles constantly exceeds the number of coffins, can we look forward with good cheer to a better future.

    The babies of the Lebensraum immediately became property of the state. Some were raised at Lebensraum homes, while others were adopted and raised by SS families. During the war, children with Aryan appearance were abducted from conquered nations and sent to Lebensraum homes in
    Germany. Nazi records indicate that 200,000 Polish babies alone were kidnapped and placed in Lebensraum homes where they received careful training in every aspect of Nazi culture and mythology.


    Long before Hitler came to power, these beliefs were flourishing against an already racist backdrop. There were many organizations in Germany and Austria around the turn of the century which blended racist ideology with occult practices. But their ideas became popular only at the conclusion of World War I.


    The once mighty empire of Germany had been disarmed and at the mercy of the victorious nations after the First World War. In formerly wealthy cities, disabled veterans haunted the streets like ghosts from another lifetime.


    Millions were unemployed; inflation was rampant; recession, starvation and poverty were everywhere.


    People looked for a scapegoat. Fear and distrust of foreigners intensified. Both ends of the political spectrum made a bid for the loyalty of the German people.


    After serving with distinction in the First World War, Hitler was stationed in Munich where it was his job to infiltrate left-wing organizations for the army. One assignment changed the course of his life. He infiltrated an organization that was a back-room political club called "The German Workers Party." But, far from being the communist organization that its name implied, the party turned out to be extremely right-wing. Hitler liked what he heard, joined and eventually became leader of the organization. Attending an early rally where Hitler spoke, was a disillusioned war veteran named Rudolf Hess. [Wolf Rüdiger Hess, son of Rudolf Hess: "He came back taking three steps by one, jumping up and said 'I saw a man this evening, he's going to bring back Germany to what it was before the war and this is the only man who is able to do it.']


    Hess was convinced the dynamic orator he heard was the long-awaited messiah prophesied in German occult circles. With racist philosopher, Alfred Rosenberg, Hess was a supporter of one of the more prominent groups, the "Thule Society," which actively sought a Germanic messiah and was dedicated to the revival of the so-called "Aryan master race." Members practiced astrology, sun worship and other occult sciences thinking that this would help them reach their goal. Their emblem was a dagger set against a curved swastika. With a membership that included some of Munich's richest and most powerful citizens, the society financed Hitler's German Worker's Party. In 1920, Hitler's party officially changed its name to the German National Socialist Worker's Party, the NSDAP or as it would soon become known, the Nazi Party. With Hitler as its leader, the Nazi Party grew quickly, sweeping people up in a frenzy of fear-mongering and fiery oratory. He gave them the strong, charismatic leader they'd yearned for since the war.


    Like many Germans and Austrians of the time, Hitler lived in an environment that was already hostile to Judaism. He would have easily found these ideas in popular publications such as Ostara, an overtly racist occult magazine written by a renegade and ultimately defrocked monk and mystic named Lance von Liebenfels. Ostara magazine was a good example of how Hitler would have picked up his racism and his antisemitism. He even paid a visit to Lance's editorial office to obtain back numbers.


    Immensely popular at the time, the journal preached that the Nordic or Aryan races had much to fear from people darker than themselves and targeted Jews as the most threatening. The Ostara claimed that the Jews were preventing the Aryans from taking their rightful place as rulers of the world, an eternal struggle dating back to Biblical times. Headlines read, "Are you blond? Then you are in danger. You should therefore read Ostara. Publications for blonds and the male rights movement." The publication outlined what would become the Nazi world view, racial selection, Lebensraum, and even the Nazi death camps. With these ideas in place, Hitler's developing theories of race were ready to be further influenced--this time by Thule Society supporter Alfred Rosenberg, the racist philosopher and occultist who would eventually become the Führer's voice in spiritual matters. In his book "The Myth of the Twentieth Century," Rosenberg reinvented Germanic history and laid out the foundation for the new Nazi creed, "the religion of the blood."


    He saw blood, particularly in a religious sense, as the determining factor. In other words, a church had to be a church of the blood, rather than a church of faith or a church of belief. The blood tied together the Nordic races. So for Rosenberg the blood, racial stock, racial identity, became the keynotes of this new ideology.


    Rosenberg preached that the blood of the people carried the soul of the race.


    Nordic myth replaced the Christian Bible as the foundation of the new Nazi religion. In a pageant orchestrated by Rosenberg and captured on film, the Nazis celebrated their newly conceived version of Aryan culture and history. Rosenberg wrote:

    Today a new mythos is dawning, the mythos of the blood, the belief that the godly essence is to be defended through the blood.

    Hitler took
    Rosenberg's idea further when he wrote:

    The old beliefs will be brought back to honor again. The whole secret knowledge of nature, of the divine, the demonic. We will wash off the Christian veneer and bring out a religion peculiar to our race.


    As a symbol for the new religion, Hitler chose the swastika. The swastika can be found all over the world in many different cultures throughout history. From earliest times, it was the symbol of good luck in China, and to this day it remains a religious emblem in the Hindu and Buddhist faiths.


    Among the Norseman the swastika was a reminder of the Arctic sun worshiped throughout pagan lore as a bearer of life and good fortune. For Hitler, the swastika held a different meaning. He wrote:

    In the swastika we see the mission of the struggle for the victory of the Aryan man.


    Hitler's bid for power began on November 9, 1923 with an attempted overthrow of the Bavarian government. Leading a private army called Storm Troopers, he launched a surprise attack on a beer hall where government leaders were meeting. With Hess and Rosenberg at his side, Hitler brashly announced the formation of a new government, then took to the streets, marching 3,000 Storm Troopers through Munich. They were confronted by police, shots were fired and 16 of Hitler's men were killed. It was a failed coup, but in the ten years before Hitler seized power, the 16 would become martyrs.

    At that time they were carrying a swastika flag and this sort of fell with the people and the blood of the dead got upon it and a ritual arose whereby every new Nazi flag and banner was not empowered until Hitler had touched the flag against this flag.
    Nazi blood attained a sacred symbolic power, ritualized and sanctified in the ceremony known as "The Rite of the Blood Flag."

    The Blood Flag was the crucifix of Hitler's religion. It would come to symbolize his new reign. In 1933, Hitler succeeded in becoming the Führer, "the leader." A title which would come to resonate with religious connotations of the anointed one, or even the messiah. Adolf Hitler's time had come.

    The party is Hitler, Hitler is
    Germany and Germany is Hitler.

    With Hitler's elevation to leader, the blood religion became the undisputed religion of the Nazi party complete with holy days and martyrs. Propaganda Minister Göbbels orchestrated a ritual in which the 16 Nazi heroes were honored as martyrs of the Reich; the dead were resurrected then achieved eternal life. Göbbels assured that all Germans would partake in the ceremony by broadcasting it over loudspeakers placed on street corners throughout the country. Part of the message said:

    The night of the dead, the dead march in. At
    midnight a mystical ceremonial play, the birth of the Reich. They fight, die and are victorious just as the Third Reich was founded.

    According to Hitler, their blood was the holy water of the Third Reich.

    The first martyrs of the Reich became known as the "Sixteen Immortals." In
    Munich, the ritual began with a funeral march down the very streets where the "Immortals" fell. At the front of the procession, they carried the "Blood Flag." Along the route hung huge red flags bearing slanted Germanic runes, the ritual symbol of sacrifice from pagan lore.

    The bodies of the 16 heroes were interred in a building known as the Feldherrenhalle
    . It would become a Nazi shrine. During this annual ceremony, the names of the 16 were called out with anonymous voices answering the heroes' role-call as if the dead marched in spirit with the living.

    With the rituals of his new religion in place, Hitler unleashed the next step of his plan. He wrote: "Force without spiritual foundation is doomed to failure."

    Indoctrination into the Nazi faith with Hitler as god began early and continued into adulthood. (Children singing "Adolf Hitler is our saviour, our hero. He is the noblest being in the whole, wide world. For Hitler we live. For Hitler we die. Hitler is our Lord.")

    In 1933, the party took over all
    Germany's youth organizations. For girls, the compulsory organization was the League of German Maids where they were taught self-sacrifice, to marry young and that their bodies belonged to the nation.

    Ten year-old boys became members of the Organization of Young German People. At 14, they joined the Hitler Youth and at 18, the Nazi Party. At each stage they were taught the Nazi creed of sacred blood rituals, racial superiority and total allegiance to Hitler, even to the death.

    Hitler stated: "I want to see again in the eyes of youth, the gleam of the beast of prey." The Hitler Youth chanted a song of death.

    At the core of every German's indoctrination was Hitler's autobiography "Mein Kampf," or "My Struggle." In it, he outlined the philosophy of the plans for a thousand year Nazi reign. Mein Kampf became the Nazi Bible.  

    In conjunction with Mein Kampf, the principles of the blood religion began to form the basis of Nazi policy. Forced sterilization laws were enacted, even Aryans were investigated for hereditary diseases. Ailments ranging from tuberculosis and epilepsy to alcoholism and depression were cause for automatic sterilization. Over 400,000 Germans suffered this fate. Hitler rationalized, the demand that defective people be prevented from propagating equally defective offspring is a demand of clearest reason and if systematically executed, represents the most humane act of mankind.


    Children with health problems were registered at birth. If their problems persisted, Nazi doctors would secretly administer lethal injections, telling their parents they died of natural causes. The euthanasia program was instituted for the mentally and physically impaired. Propaganda films claimed these were acts of kindness, freeing trapped souls from tormented bodies.


    By 1935, Hitler had created the blood laws which made it a criminal act for a pure German to marry or even have sex with a Jew. And German Jews were stripped of their rights as citizens. But the worst was still to come. Purifying the Aryan bloodline was only half of Hitler's demonic plan. To finally clear the way for the last stage of human evolution and assure the coming of the Aryan millennium, the Nazis felt that one obstacle remained. The very existence of non-Aryans.


    Hitler wrote:

    The greatest and most ruthless decisions will have to be made. A barbaric measure for the unfortunate who is struck by it, but a blessing for his fellow man and posterity. The passing pain of a century can and will redeem millenniums from sufferings.


    The idea that the few should be sacrificed for the good of the many extended even to Hitler's SA, the Storm Troopers. Eventually the SA, who were among Hitler's first supporters, became an obstacle, one that he had no qualms about removing.


    The middle-class and the army came to fear the SA. To the army the SS was a more acceptable organization, like themselves, but members of the SS were from the German upper-class. The SS consisted very often of professional people, doctors, solicitors and so-on. They joined the SS while ordinary working people were in the SA and they didn't like each other.


    The military offered the Führer a deal: their full support if Hitler would eliminate the SA. Hitler accepted and with Himmler rid the Party of the Storm Troopers in one night. the 'Night of the Long Knives' that happened on the 30th of June in 1934.


    The SA leadership was rounded up and executed so quickly, so ruthlessly, many never knew why. It is reported some were still shouting "Heil, Hitler" when they died. After the purge of the SA, Himmler transformed the SS into an elite military order. In time, they would come to run the concentration camps where Jews and all other enemies of the state were being executed.


    But Himmler's vision of the SS was not yet complete. He planned to turn the SS into Germany's new aristocracy, the new supermen prophesied by Hitler's religion of the blood. Himmler's conception of the SS was no less than the creation of a new blood stock elite for the Nazi order in Europe. At every stage, the SS was constantly reminded that it was no less than a warrior elite whose values of hardness and military valor were absolutely central to its existence. And more than that, that they were in fact ensuring the survival of the race in this way.


    Himmler was born a Catholic, but by the time he met Hitler, he was already a confirmed occultist.


    Himmler brought a range of unlikely influences to his design for the SS including the Hindu religion. During the war he reportedly traveled with a copy of the Bhagavad Gita, a holy book from the Hindu religion. It tells the story of a great battle on the "Field of Righteousness" between the forces of good and evil. The Hindu belief in reincarnation and its rigid caste system appealed to Himmler. It was a perfect model for a Nazi warrior elite which would rule the world.


    Historians now say that Himmler was convinced that he was the reincarnation of King Heinrich, a German leader from the middle ages who stopped the Slavs from invading Germany. As the Nazis prepared to march on eastern Europe, Himmler believed he was on the path to realizing his karmic destiny, that his SS had returned to the Fatherland to fight a similar holy war. Himmler modeled his SS on the 13th century order of Teutonic Knights who killed and enslaved the people they conquered. The parallels with Nazi Germany's own practices were unmistakable.


    The Reichsführer SS attempted to reinstate the feudal system that the Knights had lived by. As new lands were conquered, each SS officer was to take possession of a feudal estate. Local people were either killed or turned into slave labor.


    Like the Teutonic Knights, Himmler transformed a series of ancient castles into SS training schools that were both military and religious centers, here, recruits were initiated. At the Wewelsburg Himmler tried to create a replica of the Grail Chapel from the Arthurian legend. A mystical chalice, the grail was said to have contained sacred blood. To Himmler, the sacred blood of the grail legend was pure Aryan blood. He believed it possessed a magical quality. His closest advisor on grail law was archeologist Otto Rahn. Also obsessed with the grail legend, Rahn believed it was hidden in the caves of southern France. Himmler was drawn to Rahn's knowledge of the occult and his life-long pursuit of the grail. Once in Himmler's inner circle, Rahn would continue his quest for the holy grail, only now as a knight of the Nazi Party. Himmler personally funded Rahn's expeditions, several in Southern France. There stood the sight of the great fortress of the Cathars, the heretical sect accused of devil worship and wiped out by the church in the 13th century.

    Rahn's expeditions also took place in
    Germany. A letter on file from Rahn to SS headquarters, suggests that he believed he was close to realizing his life-long dream.

    To bring my work to a successful conclusion, I must personally inspect the sites. First, I have to go to the Wildenberg ruins, the German castle of the holy grail. There are currently digs under way. Heil, Hitler.

    But, Rahn was never able to secure the ultimate prize--the sacred chalice itself. In 1939, Otto Rahn mysteriously resigned from the SS. Many believed Himmler issued orders to have Rahn killed once it was clear his quest for the grail had failed. Two months later, he was found dead in the Austrian Alps. The cause of his death remains unexplained.


    In his continued quest to prove the superiority of the Aryan race, Himmler created a research institute called the "Ancestral Heritage Organization." In addition to conducting medical experiments on human beings and checking bloodlines to ensure racial purity, the organization's mission was to resurrect and reinterpret occult practices, ancient Germanic myths and pagan lore. This Nazi film shows one such ritual--young girls dancing around a Nordic pagan symbol of war and divine order.


    To control all occult knowledge, Himmler confiscated the libraries and artifacts of any occult society that was not associated with him. This included secret societies such as the Freemasons, who the Nazis believed were an occult organization created by the Jews to conspire against the Germanic people.


    While Himmler suppressed certain occultists, he also advanced the careers of others, such as Karl Willigut. In Willigut, Himmler believed he had found the key to popularizing the ancient pagan tradition in modern Germany. The mystic became a high ranking SS officer and one of Himmler's prized possessions.


    Willigut believed he was a direct descendant of the Norse god, Thor. Copies of his papers, found in Himmler's personal file, reveal that Willigut believed he possessed extrasensory powers. One document entitled the "Nine Commandments of God" was signed by Willigut and initialed by Himmler. Written in both modern German and the runic alphabet, it suggests that Willigut thought he was using his powers to rediscover the ancient rites and rituals of Germany's pagan past.


    According to Nordic legend, the runic alphabet used by Willigut was given to mankind by Odin, the supreme god in Norse mythology. This sacred alphabet was his gift to mankind. These symbols appeared throughout the Nordic world on such objects as Viking ships, battle spears and shields. The alphabet of ancient priests and magicians, runes were believed to be mystical tools for fortune telling, casting spells and invoking magical spirits.

    As Germany's warrior elite, members of the SS were taught the meaning of the runes.

    A photograph that survived the war shows an SS officer at a blackboard teaching the runes to a class of SS recruits.


    These mysterious figures were worn on the shoulders and helmets of all SS uniforms. The Hitler Youth used a single SIG rune. These ancient mystical symbols were seemingly everywhere. Serving as a constant reminder to Germans of their pagan past.


    After the SS recruit had passed his training and taken the oath, if he was an officer he was then given the SS dagger which was a sort of hunting knife with a black handle, the SS runes on it, the swastika and a wreath and a German eagle. This was a very prized possession. Engraved into the dagger were the words "my honour is called trust." SS men received the dagger in a solemn ceremony. Every member of the SS wore the SS signet ring, but for his inner circle the elite of the elite, Himmler personally handed out the death's head ring.


    In a speech given to SS officers stationed at Dachau, Himmler stated:

    Never forget. We are a knightly order from which one cannot withdraw, to which one is recruited by blood and within which one remains body and soul.


    Borrowing from Germany's pagan past and his own Catholic upbringing, Himmler invaded SS family rituals from the moment of birth.


    The marriage ceremony also became an SS ritual. Mimicking ancient Germanic tribes, SS officers took on the role of the clan leader who presided over marriages. Himmler himself officiated at one such ceremony. This rare footage shows one of his SS officers marrying Gretl, the sister of Hitler's mistress, Eva Braun. Rings were exchanged, as well as bread and salt, the ancient pagan symbols for fertility and purity of the soil.


    The Nazi year was marked with celebrations taken from the ancient Germanic calendar. The May-Pole Festival, initially accepted as a celebration of fertility, was transformed into a show of nationalism and military strength. Hitler said:

    And so it is that this day the first of May, the land is filled with celebrations of the resurrection of the German people out of eternal inner strife.


    Nazis even began to restore ancient pagan temples like Externstein which was dedicated to a solar deity. At Externstein , during the summer solstice, a shaft of light shines through a window and lines up with a point on the altar. While Externstein  was considered a holy place for Germanic tribes, it is far from unique among ancient temples in tracking the sun's movements. Himmler was convinced, however, that it was proof of the superior intellect of prehistoric Germanic priests.


    In Nazi Germany, the festival at the summer solstice would be turned into a fascist rite. Traditionally, summer solstice festivals were a celebration of life and of the sun's powers. Dramatically staged and carefully choreographed, speeches were given preaching self-sacrifice and heroism. In this particular ritual, Propaganda Minister Göbbels gave the speech. In ancient times, the bonfire represented the ritual relighting of the sun. In Nazi Germany, they were tributes to the Fuhrer. In the largest of these rituals, torch-bearing troops created symbolic patterns in the night.


    At the end of the year, the long night of the winter solstice honored Germany's dead. Himmler explains in his Dachau speech: "The winter solstice is not just the end of the year, but it is also the festival on which one thought of the ancestors and of the past, on which the individual is clear that he is nothing--an atom to be wiped away at any time while linked in the eternal chain of his lineage by a true humility."


    The full calendar of rituals culminated with the rally at Nuremburg where the vows between party and people were renewed year after year. Tens of thousands of uniformed Nazis joined forces. The week long rally was orchestrated to sweep people up in a spectacle of sheer power.


    As the Nazi frenzy swept Germany, Hitler made clear what he expected from the nation:

    The Party is the selecting ground for German political leaders. It's doctrine will be unchangeable. It's organizations will be as hard as steel. It's total image, however, will be like a holy order.


    The Nazi mass rallies were carefully orchestrated to build to an overwhelming emotional epiphany that evoked a religious fervor. At the center of this ritual was Hitler. Everything was constructed to make Hitler look like divinity, a messiah.


    Having won the unquestioning support of the German people, Hitler was now ready to dominate the world. From the onset of the war in 1939, country after country fell to the Nazis. By the winter of 1942, however, the tide turned and the Nazis began to experience what they thought was impossible--defeat. As the Nazi war effort grew more and more desperate, they expanded their use of the occult sciences. From research and ritual to a basis for making military decisions. Certain members of the German naval command became convinced that the allies were already employing mystical forces to wage war against Germany. They believed that the British successes of locating and destroying German U-boats had been achieved through occult means and that the best way to combat this was also by using the occult as a weapon.


    This led Himmler to establish a top secret institute dedicated to the ancient occult practice of pendulum dousing. Over maps of the North Atlantic, clairvoyants would swing an object suspended from a string attempting to locate the position of allied convoys. German u-boat missions were dispatched based on the results. In this letter written by Himmler dated January 12, 1943, he refers to dousing research and training having made great progress during the year.


    Still, the most common occult arts employed by the Nazis were astrology and prophecy although they were approached in two distinctly different ways. Rudolf Hess and Heinrich Himmler genuinely believed in the occult and used it for making political decisions. But Josef Göbbels, head of the Propaganda Ministry, wanted to use the occult purely for propaganda purposes, to manipulate people and undermine allied morale. Göbbels soon became aware of a great source of mystical knowledge, the predictions of Nostradamus one of the most celebrated visionaries of all time. Nostradamus completed his masterpiece of prophesy in 1555. The book contains subtle references to a crisis in Britain and Poland in the year 1939, the year Nazi Germany invaded Poland, nearly 400 years after Nostradamus wrote his book. For Göbbels, Nostradamus was a perfect propaganda tool who's work could be interpreted as predicting a great victory in Germany's future.


    To interpret the French prophet, Göbbels recruited renowned astrologer and Nostradamus expert, Karl Ernst Kraft. A particular quatrain that Göbbels seized on, seemed to refer directly to Hitler and quickly became part of the Nazi leader's mystic.


    In Göbbels' diary, he expressed his excitement when a member of his staff began to formulate a plan to use the prophesy. May 19, 1942:

    Burndt handed in a plan for the occultist propaganda to be carried on by us. We are getting somewhere. The Americans and English fall easily to this kind of propaganda. We are, therefore, pressing into service all star witnesses of occult prophesy. Nostradamus must once again submit to being quoted.


    The creation of fake prophecies and fraudulent mysticism to influence the enemy became known as "black propaganda."


    British intelligence discovered the deception and recognizing its propaganda potential, began to wage their own Nostradamus campaign. Just as the Nazis had flooded France with fake Nostradamus prophecies, the allies smuggled their own "black propaganda" into Germany. The "black propaganda" campaign in England soon took a new turn with the arrival of Hungarian-Jewish emigre and astrologer, Louis DeValle Recruited by British intelligence, DeValle was assigned to work with master counterfeiter, Elik Howe.

    Howe and DeValle decided to create a counterfeit version of Germany's leading astrological magazine, Zenit. But Howe's master stroke came with a so-called special edition of Der Zenit dated April, 1943. He cleverly waited until July to publish an April edition, thus seemingly being able to predict events he knew would come true. British intelligence believed that if these predictions were picked up by the crews of German U-boats, the result would be a loss of morale and possibly even mutiny. The British counterfeit Der Zenit, however, contained one glaring error. They incorrectly titled the magazine Der Zenit instead of the actual title Zenit.


    Astrology and espionage would soon collide again in what is still considered by many to be the most bizarre incident of the Second World War When Rudolf Hess, the Deputy Führer and one of Hitler's closest friends and advisors, made an astonishing solo flight to Scotland. Hess's idea to make the flight began with his belief that the British, a Nordic race, would be made sympathetic to the Aryan cause and could even be persuaded to side with the Germans if only Churchill could be overthrown. One of Hess's mentors, Karl Haushofer, reinforced this idea by telling Hess about a dream he had. In it he saw Hess walking through a Scottish castle with tapestries hanging from the walls, bringing peace between Germany and Great Britain. In addition to prophesy, astrology would also come to play a role in Hess's decision to make the flight.


    Astrologer and close friend, Ernst Schulte-Strathaus, cast a horoscope for the Deputy Führer that revealed an auspicious arrangement of the planets.


    On May 10, 1941 there was a particularly powerful astronomical line-up. Basically there were six planets in Taurus and a full moon exactly on the opposite side of the zodiac in Scorpio. According to astrological tradition, when you get such a line-up you'll get a major shift in global affairs and, therefore, it was fair to assume that May 10, 1941 could provide the turning point in the war.

    There has always been some doubt whether Hess flew to
    Scotland based upon astrological advice. However, recently discovered documents written by Hess from prison in England, include a letter to his mother. In it he asked her to have two documents notarized: a record of Karl Haushofer's dream and the horoscope cast by Schulte-Strathaus.

    Before Hess made the flight, some believe he conferred with the Führer. [Wolf Rüdiger Hess, son of Rudolf Hess: "Six days before my father flew, there was a discussion between Hitler and my father which lasted four hours. Nobody knows what they were talking about, but one knows that when the four hours were over, my father came from the room and Hitler had his arm around the shoulder of my father and said 'Yes, you have always been and are still a very stubborn chap.' This was a very friendly good-bye." ]

    Whatever words passed between Hitler and Hess, at
    5:45 pm on May 10, 1941 Hess climbed into a Messerschmidt fighter and set off for Scotland. His plan was to meet with the Duke of Hamilton, a man he'd met through Karl Haushofer. Hess hoped to use the Duke to bypass Churchill and attempt to make peace directly with the King of England. Having written the Duke several letters in advance of his mission, Hess was expecting a warm welcome.

    Instead of a greeting party, when Hess entered British airspace, he was shot down by the RAF and forced to bail out.

    Hitler's reaction to Hess's flight was one of his major acting performances. He made a tremendous performance of surprise, shock, horror and everything else. When it appeared that Hess's mission had failed, of course, then all propaganda came out that Hess was a lone madman.

    Hitler blamed the entire Hess affair on the advice of Hess's astrologers. In response, the Nazi Propaganda Ministry issued an edict called "Action Hess" that forbade the public practice of any occult sciences including astrology. The result was a further clamp-down on the activities of astrologers who were eventually all rounded-up in the 'Action Hess' a month after Hess's flight. They arrested all the prominent astrologers that they knew about and took them away for interrogation.


    Karl Kraft, the man who provided Göbbels with the powerful reinterpretations of Nostradamus as well as strikingly accurate astrological predictions, would suffer the ultimate punishment , he went to Buchenwald and he was killed there.


    The astrologers who were arrested under the "Action Hess" were treated in different ways depending on their use to the Reich. Those already working for Himmler were released immediately and allowed to continue their work. During this time, Himmler came into contact with one of Germany's leading astrologers, Wilhelm Wulff.


    In 1943, Wulff predicted that Hitler would survive a great danger on the 20th of July, 1944, that he would fall ill in November of 1944 and die a mysterious death before the 7th of May 1945. On the basis of these predictions, Wulff became Himmler's personal astrologer and one of his most trusted aides. All of these predictions came to pass.

    In a post-war interrogation by the allies, Walter Schellenberg admitted using Wulff to advance his own position. He believed that Wulff's influence would carry great weight with Himmler.


    According to Schellenberg's interrogation, during the final weeks of the war Himmler became obsessed with the astrology of a coup when the stars suggested that he might successfully overthrow the Führer.


    Reading Hitler's chart, Wulff saw planetary arrangements that indicated a downfall. Wulff and Schellenberg continued to urge Himmler to overthrow Hitler and install himself as the leader of the waning Reich.


    Despite Hitler's order to continue the exterminations to the end, Wulff was instrumental in convincing Himmler to temporarily stop the killing. Having taken this action, it appeared that Himmler was ready to launch his coup. But ultimately, his fear and loyalty to the Fuhrer prevented him from seizing power. Himmler remained hopeful that some mystical force of destiny would alter the defeat that was clearly at hand.


    Himmler was also very interested in historical parallels between the situation in the mid 40s and previous historical periods. Himmler looked back to a previous great German war with Russia, the Seven Years War, fought between Frederick the Great of Prussia and the Russians. Fortunes were said to have turned then when the Russian Tsarina Elizabeth died. In April, 1945 President Roosevelt died and Himmler took this as a sign that history was about to repeat itself and Germany was going to be saved."


    Two weeks later, Göbbels and his entire family descended with Adolf Hitler into the Führer's private bunker. On April 30th, Adolf Hitler and his bride Eva Braun committed suicide. Göbbels poisoned his six children, then shot his wife and himself. Dressed as a common German soldier, Heinrich Himmler almost managed to escape. He was arrested by the British but during a physical examination crushed a cyanide capsule he kept in his mouth. At 11:04 pm on the 23rd of May, the Reichsführer who had summoned occult forces in the service of Aryan glory was dead.


    In November, 1945 several top Nazis were brought to trial by the allies at Nuremburg. Rudolf Hess was sentenced to life in prison. He died there at the age of 93. Occultist Alfred Rosenberg was found guilty of crimes against humanity and hanged in October, 1946.


    The Third Reich which was to have lasted over a thousand years ended after only twelve. Nearly 50 million had died. Ironically among them were the first generation of Hitler's so-called "master race" who were to father further generations of Aryan supermen.


    Throughout history, mythology has had a powerful influence on the human mind. All cultures have been mythically driven. However, in Nazi Germany, the linking of political aims to a corrupted mythology led to an evil unparalleled in history.


    The problem -- the horror -- of the New Age belief system is that it is practically, point-for-point, identical with the doctrines of Nazism


    In the introduction to his book, "The Occult and the Third Reich," Dr. Lewis Sumberg states:

    The rise of occultism and the practice of the black arts was noted everywhere in Germany during the '20s. That we are witnessing much of the same phenomena in the U.S. today -- in the ominous and prodigious growth of politico-religious-elitist cults, Manson type families, and the epidemic of occult inspired suicides and assassinations -- should cause civilized man the greatest concern.


    Most people don't know that Hitler was a full-fledged occultist. I was reminded of this while watching a showing of "Hitler: The Occult Messiah" on PBS last week. It's amazing to me how the history books have overlooked this fact -- that the whole raison' d'Ítre of the Holocaust -- the very heart and soul of Nazism -- was rooted in Hitler's belief in occultism.


    While still a child, Hitler was initiated into the mysteries of the occult. He attended a Benedictine monastery near his home. The abbot in charge was fascinated by the lore of the Albignesians or Cathars, who can be described as early New Agers in that they believed man could gain the powers of a god.


    The occult interests Hitler gained in his youth stayed with him all of his adult life.


    While Hitler was in Vienna pursuing a career as an artist, he spent practically all of his spare time in occult bookstores, reading up on white and black magic as well as transcendent states of mind expansion. He befriended an astrologer (though he would later decry astrology). He devoted every spare cent to the pursuit of this higher consciousness. He studied Yoga, astrology and the many and sundry forms of Eastern and Western mysticism. From his youth, Hitler was also fascinated by Norse mythology and the Grail legend.


    Hitler was impatient. His goal was to attain "higher consciousness." At some point, the young Hitler decided to speed the process up by supplementing his daily meditation with drugs. He used mescaline to bring about these so-called higher states of consciousness. He continued to devour occultic books by the dozen.


    However, there is one book in particular that, when discovered by the young Hitler, literally changed his life (and the course of history) forever. That book, actually part of a series of books, is entitled "The Secret Doctrine," written ("channeled" according to the author) by a woman named Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, the founder of the Theosophical Society. The teachings outlined in Blavatsky's writings provided the focal point for Hitler's belief system. These same teachings provide the basis for the entire New Age Movement.


    An associate of Hitler's interviewed by PBS recalled that Hitler checked "The Secret Doctrine" out of the bookstore literally dozens of times (bookstores operated like libraries at the time, and Hitler was apparently too poor to purchase a copy). The acquaintance described Hitler as being "obsessed" by Blavatsky's writings and said that after reading this book that Hitler "changed" in some way that was impossible to describe. "It was as if some new force, a new being had entered his body," the friend recalled.


    Blavatsky's teachings are founded upon the notion that mankind originated in Atlantis, and that the Aryans were the master race of the seven Atlantean races. Purportedly, specially selected "enlightened" beings were chosen throughout history to pass on "The Mystery Teachings" to certain initiates. Those who followed these teachings would gradually evolve to higher and higher levels of consciousness until they attained perfection. Of course, not all were destined for this much vaunted state. Those not included were Jews and (later) Christians. To see that the psychic superiority was not lost from the Aryan race, the process of "initiation" was developed by the Masters.


    Blavatsky further held the Germanic peoples were actually Asian migrants, having "migrated millennia ago from Asia and spread throughout Africa and Europe."


    Once Hitler had come into power, he openly expounded on his occultic beliefs to the masses. By this time, Hitler had become an adept in two occultic groups, The Thule Geselschaft and The Vril Society. Secret meetings were held in an underground bunker in Hitler's castle. Later, he would instigate a governmental occultic branch known as the SS Occult Bureau.


    This operation under was under the direction of Heinrich Himmler, Hitler's right hand man. Himmler himself was forced to undergo initiation in the occultic mysteries, as were all members of the SS. Shrouded in Aryan grail esoterics, the initiate's goal was to gain psychic abilities and superhuman strength.


    Initiation became the sine qua non for leadership in the SS occultic group. Purportedly, only adepts (not initiates) could communicate with the so-called supermen or "higher powers" who were needed to give direction to the New Race.


    The doctrine of Aryanism was (and is) an integral part of both the NAM and Nazism (as well as other forms of anti-semitism and racism). After the resurrection of Christ, St. Paul specifically said that all distinctions, even between Jew and Gentile, were abolished. If your doctrine is that all men are created in the image of God, it is hard to maintain racism and anti-semitism. Where the doctrine says that man has evolved from differing root races and is at various stages of evolutionary development, it becomes easy to justify all forms of discrimination. It even becomes easy to eradicate an entire people.


    "The Final Solution" became the next logical step for Hitler. Only pure, white Aryans were capable of achieving "full initiation," into the Mystery Teachings. Anybody else had a "blood taint." Thus, Hitler included Christians on his extermination list after he began systematically murdering the Jews. The idea of a "blood taint" (though often hidden) is also at the core of New Age beliefs.


    A few quotes from Alice Bailey (a disciple of Madame Blavatsky and one of the higher-ups in the Theosophical Society).


    Today the law of karma is working and the Jews are paying the price ... for all they have done in the past. The Jews have never faced the problem of why the many nations, from the time of the Egyptians, have neither liked nor wanted them. Yet there must be some reasons inherent in the people themselves. The evil karma of the Jew today is intended to bring him to the point of relinquishing all material goals, or renouncing a nationality that has a tendency to be somewhat parasitic...


    Later, Bailey indicated that the "Jewish Problem" might be "astrological" in origin.


    The behavior of the Jew is the guided by the 'personality ray'... the material form of the third ray. This egoic ray is first for the Jew. Their astrological sign is Capricorn with Virgo rising. Mercury and Virgo play a prominent part in their destiny. Because of this third ray influence, you have the tendency of the Jew to manipulate forces and energies ... to pull strings in order to bring about desired ends.


    Alice Bailey stated that she penned these words under the direction of her "Tibetan Master" in 1949, when the world was already aware of what was happening to the Jews in Europe.


    Bailey's husband, Foster Bailey, also a high ranking Theosophist, during one of his speeches, let it be clear that Hitler was "one of them."


    "Another hierarchic project," said Bailey, "is the uniting of the nations of Europe in one cooperating peaceful community. One attempt was about to begin by uniting the peoples living in the Rhine River valley. It was an attempt by a disciple of ours, but it did not work. Now another attempt is in full swing, namely the six nation Common Market."


    Like the Nazis, New Agers also believe in the existence of "Masters" (sometimes called guardian angels") who are organized in a hierarchy which will ultimately be overseen by the "New Messiah." The Nazis believed in the existence of a hierarchy of Masters who would be overseen b a "New Age Christ." This New Age Christ was obviously Hitler, who often referred to himself in those exact terms.


    John White, in the introduction to the 1979 International Cooperation Council Directly (now known as the Unity In Diversity Council) stated:

    What is coming to pass today is not a generation gap or a communications gap, but rather a species gap. A new species is making its way onto the planet. This inevitably brings it into conflict with the dominant species. And that dominant species is a dying species. A higher form of humanity is taking control of our planet ... this form will survive while the older species dies out. Outwardly these mutant humans resemble the earlier forms. The difference is inward, in their consciousness...


    If this sounds similar to Nazi doctrine, it should. Hitler said almost the same thing:


    Creation is not yet completed. Man must pass through many further stages of metamorphoses. Post-Atlantaen man is already in a state of degeneration and decline, barely able to survive. All creative forces will be concentrated in the new species. Two types of man, the old and the new, will evolve rapidly. One will disappear from the face of the earth. The other will flourish.


    Hitler was a master, as are occultists today, at making what he was doing seem harmless. Extermination of Jews and gypsies was not called "killing." It was called "a cleansing action." Death camps were disguised to look like health camps. Mass extermination of whole areas of people was labeled "resettlement."


    From a book written by two French Scholars, who wrote under the single name Jean Michael Angebert, called "The Occult And The Third Reich":

    Those who induced Germany to embrace the swastika are not dead. They are still among us, just as they have been in every era, and doubtless will continue to be until the Apocalypse. National Socialism was for them but a means, and Hitler but an instrument. That undertaking failed. But another one is surely on the horizon.


    The pre-war climate that gave rise to Nazism is uncomfortably similar to that which exists in the world today. It was an atmosphere beset with disappointment over political events. Germany had experienced the trauma of a wartime defeat and post war inflation with it's accompanying hardships. The youth of Germany tried to escape the harsh tenor of the times by turning to Eastern mysticism, studied in concert with German and Nordic mythology -- mythologies of a never-never land where ancient adepts were always invincible and defeat existed only as a "state of mind."


    Sound familiar?


    Today, the United States is in a similar position to the pre-World War II Germans. Our national pride -- in light of the Clinton scandal -- is wounded. The truth is, it's been leaking steadily ever since Vietnam. The country is in the throes of a horrid economy which all the experts say is only going to get worse. Since the sixties, there has been a massive turning towards Eastern mysticism, with the route to transcendental consciousness accelerated by the widespread use of drugs. The exact same scenario could be used to describe post-World War One Germany.


    Both Nazism and the NAM are programs for expediting the "path" to transcendental consciousness. Occult teachings and pagan practices were injected into the mainstream of a nation during Hitler's reign. Look around today. What do you see? Go into the New Age section of any bookstore and look at the titles on the shelf. It's all there, the same old stuff, dressed up in new clothing. The waxy faced, hollow-eyed authors of the books -- assorted MDs, PhDs, healers, mystics, gurus and astrologers -- smile out at you from the covers. Each author tells you that they have "the answer." You buy a book (doesn't matter which one). Take it home. It doesn't talk about killing Jews or taking over the world. It talks about "feeling good," about "taking charge of your life." It seems benign (if a bit boring). You figure what the heck ... I'll give this stuff a try.


    Don't be fooled. You open those doors, and you're opening the floodgates to hell.


    The Theosophical Society is not some piece of ancient history. Open your local paper. You'll likely find an ad for "classes" in Theosophy. Its headquarters and main library are located, as they have been for years, in Ojai California.


    Still doubt that there is a massive revival in the occult movement? Flip on your computer, go onto Yahoo and type in the words: occult, satanism, vampire (or any one of dozens of other words related to these subjects) and start following the links. You won't believe what you'll find.


    Despite the fact that New Agers would like to separate their activities from the more overt satanically oriented groups, this division is arbitrary. The basic tenets of both New Agers, Satanists (the non reality of evil, the constant striving for higher levels of consciousness) are identical. One might say that Satanism is simply the logical conclusion of New Age occultism.


    Hitler failed in his mission to become the "New Christ." However, the Bible clearly tells us that the Anti-Christ is coming. If you take a look at the events in the world today, it would appear that the stage is just about set. Would you have pictured this world -- the world we live in today, with it's instant communication, with bloodthirsty gangs and evil run rampant in the streets, with pornography on your TV screen in prime time, with gay pride (pride in what?) parades drawing millions of enthusiastic onlookers, with blitzed out, freaked out, drugged out, hypnotized kids jumping headfirst off the stage and beating the crap out of each other at rock 'n' roll concerts -- with evil men running the country? Would you have pictured this existing ten years ago?


    No, you wouldn't have dreamed this could exist, would you? But here it is! Now imagine the future. Nothing's crazy anymore. Nothing is shocking. It's all out there ... right now. There are no more taboos (except telling the truth).


    Now think about this world we live in, in light of what the Bible says in Revelation.


    Am I saying the Apocalypse is around the corner? That the new Hitler (the Anti-Christ) is about to be revealed? I'm not in the prediction business. I don't believe in prophecy, but I do believe that 99 percent of the people who call themselves prophets are wolves in sheep's clothing. You'd have to be a fool not to see that something on the horizon..


    One thing is for certain. Today we're all engaged in warfare, like it or not. I'm talking about spiritual warfare. The time is coming, and quickly, when you'll have to choose sides. It will be the most important choice of your life, for it involves literally everything you do, every move you make.


    These words are not meant as scare tactics. Nevertheless, if they make you uncomfortable, that's as it should be. Each of us must make use of every bit of information available to us. We must be willing to look at painful truths about ourselves and not the guy next door! More importantly, we must hone our ability to discern truth from falsehood. The enemy is a liar. His minions are liars. Therefore, we must seek the answer within the solitude of our own hearts. Sorry, but you can't sit on the fence any longer. Like the Dylan song says, "You gotta serve somebody." And you do -- and you are -- whether you know it or not.

    The choice is yours. The battle lines are drawn. The time is now.

  • From UFOs to Yoga

    By Martin A. Lee

    George Lincoln Rockwell, leader of the American Nazi Party until his violent death in 1967, gushed about having had a mystical experience when he first read Hitler's Mein Kampf: “I realized that National Socialism [was] actually a new religion," said Rockwell, who considered April 20th the holiest day of the calendar year.

    That's when neo-Nazis around the world celebrate Hitler's birthday at secretive gatherings with Aryan shrines, devotional rituals, white power regalia, and other racialist kitsch.

    These annual conclaves are akin to religious ceremonies where true believers worship Hitler as an infallible deity whose every utterance is gospel.

    The bizarre quasi-religious and mythic elements that proliferate in sectors of the contemporary neo-Nazi milieu are explored by Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke in his important, new book Black Sun: Aryan Cults, Esoteric Nazism, and the Politics of Identity.

    Although there has always been a theocratic strain in fascist movements, several factors are contributing to a latter-day, "folkish" (or tribal) revival among white youth who are beset by an acute sense of disenfranchisement in Western societies.

    In response to the challenges of globalization, multiculturalism, and large-scale Third World immigration, neo-Nazi racism in the United States, Europe and elsewhere has sometimes morphed into what the author describes as "new folkish religions of white identity."

    This neo-folkish resurgence — reminiscent of some early Nazi ideas — encompasses a hodgepodge of anti-Semitic neo-Pagan sects, Christian Identity churches, skewed variants of eastern mysticism, occult influences, New Age conspiracies, and Satanists into the "black metal" music subculture.

    Goodrick-Clarke, a British scholar who writes in an engaging and accessible style, has long foraged on the farther shores of right-wing extremist politics.

    His first book, The Occult Roots of Nazism, is a masterful study of a much sensationalized subject — racist groups in early 20th century Austria that embraced forms of mystical nationalism and helped incubate Aryan racial ideas.

    Building on his previous work, Goodrick-Clarke draws a parallel in Black Sun between folkish ferment in Hitler's Austria and the role of today's marginalized neo-Nazi sects, many of which have repackaged Aryan racism in new forms influenced by eastern religions.

    A crucial difference, the author maintains, is the shift from the virulent German nationalism of the Third Reich to a broader racist ideology of global white supremacy.

    "It is highly significant that the Aryan cult of white identity is now most marked in the United States," says Goodrick-Clarke, adding that American neo-Nazi groups behave like persecuted religious sects preparing for the final confrontation with a corrupt world.

    Although each have their specific eccentricities — ranging from anti-Semitic Christian Identity churches to anti-Christian, racist Odinist groups — almost all of them espouse millenarian visions of a white racial utopia.

    Satan Meets the Führer

    Early American neo-Nazi James Madole, who rejected Christianity as a degenerate Jewish construct, became a key figure in developing bizarre forms of fascism after he founded the National Renaissance Party, the first U.S. neo-Nazi organization, in 1952.

    Although he never attracted many followers, Madole became known as "the father of postwar occult fascism" by saturating his ideology with a mish-mash of science-fiction and other notions drawn from eastern traditions and theosophy, a mystical religious movement originating in late 19th century America.

    During the 1960s and 1970s, Madole's party cultivated close links with a Church of Satan spin-off — an alliance that anticipated the recent emergence of a violent, international fringe network devoted to Nordic gods, black magic, occultism and devil worship.

    David Myatt, chief representative of Nazi Satanism in Great Britain, defends human sacrifice and praises a new wave of satanic black metal Skinhead bands that spout demented lyrics and anti-social rants.

    Myatt's "religion of National Socialism" owes much to Savitri Devi, the grand dame of postwar neo-Nazism, who had traveled from her native France to India as a young woman. An admirer of the racist caste system, Devi immersed herself in early Hindu texts.

    Noting that the Nazi Swastika is also an ancient, mystical Indian symbol, she romanticized the Third Reich as "the Holy Land of the West." Devi was the first Western writer to acclaim Hitler as a spiritual "avatar," a supernatural figure who pointed the way toward a future Aryan paradise.

    The Jews, whom Devi blamed for all the world's suffering and alienation, were predictably pegged as the main obstacle on the path to the Golden Age.

    Devi's obsession with the pre-Christian origins of Indo-European culture was shared by Julius Evola, an Italian Nazi philosopher whose racial theories were adopted and codified by Mussolini in 1938.

    Calling for a "Great Holy War" to battle national and ideological enemies, Evola exerted a significant influence on a generation of militant neofascist youth in postwar Italy.

    Among his protégés were leaders of right-wing terrorist organizations linked to numerous bomb attacks from the 1960s to the 1980s. Evola's mystical fascist writings include books on Zen Buddhism, yoga, alchemy, Tantrism (a kind of sexual mysticism), and European paganism.

    After he died in 1974, his esoteric musings were rediscovered by New Age publications. Today, many of Evola's books are available in English translation in trendy New Age bookstores in the United States, despite his status as an avowed fascist.

    UFOs, Polar Bases and the Black Sun

    Another influential figure in the occult-fascist underground is Miguel Serrano, a former Chilean diplomat and Nazi die-hard who touts yoga, meditation, and hallucinogenic drugs as ways of raising consciousness in order to make contact with higher Aryan intelligence.

    Serrano blends exotic oriental religious themes with dubious lore about secret religious societies. He likens the Nazi SS — which was condemned in its entirety for war crimes — to an order of initiates seeking the Holy Grail.

    This notion appealed to Wilhelm Landig, an Austrian SS veteran and postwar Nazi activist who coined the idea of the "Black Sun," a mystical energy source allegedly capable of regenerating the Aryan race.

    Goodrick-Clarke credits Landig with reviving the folkish — and far out — Germanic mythology of Thule, the supposed Arctic homeland of the ancient Aryans, in order to prophesy the recovery and resurrection of Nazism as an earth-conquering force.

    Landig and other occult-fascist propagandists have circulated wild stories about German Nazi colonies that live and work in secret installations beneath the polar icecaps, where they developed flying saucers and miracle weapons after the demise of the Third Reich.

    The abundance of UFO sightings, which began in the early 1950s, is attributed to the amazing prowess of Nazi science and technology.

    The fall of the Third Reich is cast merely as a temporary setback; at any moment, a battalion of Nazi extraterrestrials could zoom forth in their magical discs to deliver Aryan folk from the ills of democracy and Judeo-Christian decadence.

    A hot item among New Age conspiracy theorists and promoters of Holocaust denial, stories about Nazi UFOs may seem ludicrous to anyone with their feet firmly planted on terra firma. And, certainly, this kind of thinking does not dominate even the contemporary world of the extreme right.

    But these sci-fi legends underscore, in the words of Goodrick-Clarke, how "Aryan cults and esoteric Nazism posit powerful mythologies to negate the decline of white power in the world."

    Moreover, if the past is any kind of prologue, these bizarre, new religious sects "may be early symptoms of major divisive changes in our present-day Western democracies."

    "The risks of race religiosity are great. ... Whenever human groups are interpreted as absolute categories of good and evil, light and darkness," Goodrick-Clarke cautions, "both the human community and humanity itself are diminished."

    A timely warning, indeed.

    Flirting With Hitler


    Gothic is a way of dressing, a taste in music, a style. But in Germany - at the extreme fringes - it has also become the point at which neo-Nazism and Satanism meet

    Links between Nazism and esoteric and occult movements are nothing new. Hitler, rejecting Christianity, embraced instead the paganism of the early Germanic tribes. Their beliefs, both real and imagined, offered a basis on which any number of sinister concepts could be superimposed. The process reached its apogee at Schloss Wewelsburg, near the town of Paderborn. Though the present-day castle dates from the late 16th century, records suggest that there has been a fortress on the site since the days of the Huns, more than a thousand years earlier. The surrounding landscape is wooded, often misty, and interspersed with giant, weirdly-shaped rocks. The castle and its environs were ideally suited to the purpose for which Heinrich Himmler rented them in 1934 - that of providing the officers of his elite corps, the SS, with an education in the supposed pagan mysteries underpinning National Socialism.

    Though it does not make much of an impact at election time, the far right remains a disturbing undercurrent in German life: sufficiently disturbing for the federal government to have launched an all-out drive against the neo-Nazi fringe two years ago (including the attempt to ban the NPD). "The problem with the far right in Germany is not that its members are particularly numerous, but that they are readier than their counterparts elsewhere in Europe to resort to violence," said a senior intelligence officer who asked not to be named. That point was driven home by a string of savage attacks in early 2000, culminating in the beating to death of a Mozambique-born German citizen in Dessau.

    The far right is especially pervasive in the formerly communist east where unemployment is high and where, after the war, there was not the same painful reckoning with the past as in the west. Despite - or perhaps because of - the fact that there are fewer immigrants in the former GDR, surveys also show that racist attitudes are more prevalent there than in the cosmopolitan west.

    One possible reason why the degree of support for the far right does not show up in election results is that the most extreme rightwingers will have nothing to do with the democratic process and abstain. This is particularly true of those connected with the so-called Kameradschaften which form a network of mutually independent, neo-Nazi secret societies. Each may have no more than 10 or 15 members, but around them is a wider circle of associates and sympathisers. Indeed, the secretive and hierarchical world of the German far right mirrors that of many occult communities.

    On several occasions since the fall of the Third Reich, evidence has surfaced of connections between the far right and Satanism, however, they have been limited to individuals or, at most, small groups. But in the past five years, an entirely new phenomenon has developed: a mass youth culture in which neo-Nazi ideas and symbols have merged with the Gothic scene.

    This movement can be traced back to 1993, when Roland Bubik, widely regarded as the leading thinker of the German extreme right, wrote a seminal article for the magazine Junge Freiheit. Entitled "Culture as a question of power", it argued that "new possibilities or influencing people are arising in the area of communications networks. In particular, the entertainment industry... has an immense influence that until now has gone unremarked." Within a couple of years, Bubik's partner, Simone Satzger, was stating as fact, in a collection of essays edited by Bubik, that the far right's strategy was "to open up contemporary cultural and political phenomena to use them for our own purposes".

    Since the mid-1990s, Germany's neo-Nazis have attempted to penetrate several youth scenes, including techno, but it is with Goths that they have had their greatest success. The Gothic movement may be on the wane in Britain and many other countries around Europe, but in Germany, where its adherents are known as Gruftis (from the German word for "crypt"), they constitute a vast group. It is particularly strong in the former GDR. East Germans are still reeling from the fall of communism, and the young in particular seem to be searching for new values to fill the gap left by a creed that was as much a religion as an ideology.

    "The concentration of Goths in Germany is much higher than in other European countries," says Stephan Tschendal, who edits an online Gothic magazine. He estimates that between 5% and 7% of all young Germans between the ages of 12 and 25 are Goths, an overall population of at least 650,000. Many of them are doing no more than making a fashion statement, or registering a protest against the drabness and conformity of modern adult life. Devil-worshippers exist only on the extremist fringe. But in two specific areas of the Gothic scene - the areas in which the neo-Nazis have had the greatest success in infiltrating their ideas - Germany's intelligence officers believe there is genuine cause for concern. One of these is "neo-folk"; the other is black metal, the dark variant of heavy metal.

    In a darkened hall in the centre of Leipzig, blue lights play on the smoke billowing out from under a stage where Darkwood, a three-piece neo-folk band, play placid, lilting, slightly weird music. The band's gig forms part of an annual, three-day Gothic festival, which this year attracted some 17,000 people from all over Europe to Leipzig. Churches in the city that had been asked to host concerts refused to do so, citing the risk that Satanists could assemble on consecrated ground.

    About half the crowd at the gig are typical Goths, but the rest look as if they have wandered in from a Nuremberg rally. There are men wearing high, heavy boots and black military-style shirts and trousers. There are women, also wearing boots, with calf-length skirts and white shirts with a symbol on the right arm that resembles a badge of rank. Everywhere, there are leather cross-straps, forage caps and 1930s-style shorts.

    As its name implies, neo-folk draws on the musical heritage of Bob Dylan, Joan Baez and other protest singers of the 1960s and 1970s. Some German groups dig further back into the past, updating and reworking traditional folk tunes. The acoustic guitar is central to its music, which also features flutes, cellos and violins. Yet neo-folk is anything but folksy. Punk has had an influence on its evolution and much of the music could be described as industrial. Unusually extensive percussion sets are typical of the genre. Another characteristic is that gentle melody-making can all of a sudden give way to something much more visceral: the lead singer of Darkwood seized hold of a pair of heavy drumsticks and beat out an intimidating tattoo on a bass drum. It was like Japanese Kodo drumming, but with the rhythms of a Prussian parade ground. The drumming rose in a crescendo, then ended as abruptly as it had begun, prompting the loudest cheers of the night.

    The Leipzig festival was launched in 1991, soon after German reunification, and has helped turn the city into the Gothic capital of Europe. Like neo-Nazis, Goths are drawn to its Völkerschlachtdenkmal, one of the strangest and most intimidating monuments to be found anywhere in Europe. A vast, stepped pyramid towering over a lake on the wooded fringes of the city, it resembles a Mayan temple. The Völkerschlachtdenkmal was inaugurated in 1913 to commemorate the defeat of Napoleon at the battle of Leipzig 100 years earlier. But since German reunification, it has become a favoured rallying point for the far right.

    According to Dr Rudiger Sunner, author of a recent book on Nazism and its use of myth, the Black Sun is "definitely a sign of the SS". Himmler fashioned the SS emblem from one of the Black Sun's 12 jagged "rays", and a large Black Sun was set into the floor of the Obergruppenführer's Hall in Schloss Wewelsburg, immediately above the crypt.

    How close, really, are the links between Gothic - or, specifically, neo-folk - culture and the German far right? Unquestionably, there is an element of sheer, apolitical mischief: it is not easy for the sons and daughters of the generation of 1968 to find a way of shocking their parents, but dressing up in vaguely neo-Nazi garb should do the trick.

    The organisation charged with protecting Germany from a Nazi revival is the Verfassungsschutz, a body roughly equivalent to Britain's MI5. Reinhard Boos is its director in Saxony, the state in which Leipzig lies, and so has a special interest in gauging the threat posed by far right penetration of the Gothic scene.

    "I think the truth is in between," says Boos.

    The Gothic scene is not to be confused with rightwing extremism. But there are some groups that use symbols which refer to rightwing extremism and they do it mainly for provocation. Very, very few of them do it to support rightwing groups. On the other hand, the rightwing extremists know that there are people who can be useful to them, so some of them try to win them over for their own aims. It is not a plan by a few [people] that is carried out in a clear, structured way. Those who think it is a good idea do so of their own accord.

    "Things are not going well for the far right," argues Wolfgang Hund, an educational scientist and the author of several books on the occult.

    They are under pressure from all sides and they are looking for allies... They are looking for foot soldiers in the ranks of disoriented youth - human raw material for any Pied Piper who comes along.

    Boos believes that recruitment is not, in fact, the far right's primary aim. The threat posed by the infiltration of the Gothic scene is, he believes, subtler.

    We take it seriously because it opens people's heads to extreme rightwing thought.

    Solveig Prass and her colleagues in Leipzig, who talk regularly to DJs and others, have been keeping a running estimate of how much of the Goth scene is under the influence of the far right.

    The link was first noticed in the mid-1990s. At that time, it was estimated that the overlap was about 5%. Two years ago, we put it at 7-8%. Now, our estimate is 9%.

    Alfred Schobert, a lecturer at the Duisberg Institute of Language and Social Research, took a similar view in his 1998 academic investigation into the infiltration of the Gothic scene by the far right:

    It is not about recruiting in the short term. It is about [producing] an overall reversal that picks up on and distorts the prevailing mood.

    Through the Gothic scene, the far right can obtain access to the minds of hundreds of thousands of young people throughout Europe. If they can be taught to accept certain beliefs and symbols as normal, then the extreme right will have made significant progress towards achieving what Schobert argues is a key, medium-term goal:

    The removal of the taboos that attach to Nazi symbols and racist-nationalist ideology.