5 - Talisman of conquest

The Spear of Longinus
As we noted in the introduction, a number of writers on the occult have turned their attention over the years to the baffling catastrophe of Nazism and have added their own attempts to explain the terrifying mystery of its true origin by attempting to fit Nazi Germany into an occult context.

 

Perhaps unsurprisingly, these writers have paid close attention to an intriguing statement Hitler is known to have made - 'Shall we form a chosen band, made up of those who really know? An order: a brotherhood of the Knights of the Holy Grail, around the Holy Grail of Pure Blood' - and have attempted to use this statement as a point of connection between the Nazis and the occult.

 

Although serious historians accept that occult and folkloric concepts played a significant role in the development of Nazi ideas and doctrine, it has been left largely to writers on 'fringe' subjects to push the envelope (wisely or otherwise) and claim that the Nazis were motivated by genuine occult forces: in other words, that there actually exist in the Universe malign, nonhuman intelligences that seek ways to influence the destiny of humanity for their own ends and that used the Nazis as conduits through which these influences might work.

 

According to this scheme of history, the Nazis were, quite literally, practicing Satanists and black magicians.

 

This is certainly an intriguing notion, but how useful is it as a means to explain the loathsome existence of Nazism?
 


The Holy Lance and its Influence on Nazi Occultism

In 1973 Trevor Ravenscroft, historian and veteran of the Second World War, published a book that would cause more controversy than any other dealing with the subject of Nazism and that is still the subject of heated debate today. Entitled The Spear of Destiny, the book chronicles the early career of the man who would stain the twentieth century with the blood of millions and whose name would become a synonym for cruelty of the most repulsive kind: Adolf Hitler.

 

Hailed by some as a classic of occult history and derided by others as no more than a work of lurid fiction, The Spear of Destiny is still in print today and, whatever its merits or demerits, it remains one of the most important texts in the field of Nazi occultism. (It should be noted here that, such is the murky and bizarre nature of this field, to make such a claim for a book is by no means equivalent to defending its historical accuracy.)

Ravenscroft was a Commando in the Second World War, and spent four years in German POW camps after allegedly participating in an attempt to assassinate Field Marshal Rommel in North Africa in 1941. He made three escape attempts but was recaptured each time. While imprisoned, Ravenscroft claims to have experienced a sudden apprehension of 'higher levels of consciousness', which led him to study the legend of the Holy Grail 'and to research into the history of the Spear of Longinus and the legend of world destiny which had grown around it'. (1)

 

The spear in question is the one said to have been used by the Roman centurion Gaius Cassius to pierce the side of Christ during the crucifixion. Cassius suffered from cataracts in both eyes, which prevented him from battle service with his Legion, so he was sent to Jerusalem to report on events there. When the Nazarene was crucified, Cassius was present.

Isaiah had prophesied of the Messiah, 'A bone of Him shall not be broken.' Annas, the aged advisor to the Sanhedrin, and Caiaphas, the High Priest, were intent on mutilating the body of Christ to prove to the masses of the people that Jesus was not the Messiah, but merely a heretic and potential usurper of their own power.

The hours were passing and this presented the excuse they needed. For Annas was an authority on the Law, and the Jewish Law decreed that no man should be executed on the Sabbath Day. Straightaway, they petitioned Pontius Pilate for the authority to break the limbs of the crucified men so that they should die before dusk on that Friday afternoon. (2)

When the Temple Guard arrived to mutilate the bodies of Christ and the two thieves, Cassius decided to protect the Nazarene's body in the only way possible. He rode his horse towards the Cross and thrust his spear into Jesus's torso, between the fourth and fifth ribs. The flowing of the savior's blood completely restored the centurion's sight.

Gaius Cassius, who had performed a martial deed out of the compassionate motive to protect the body of Jesus Christ, became known as Longinus The Spearman. A convert to Christianity, he came to be revered as a great hero and saint by the first Christian community in Jerusalem, and a prime witness of the shedding of the Blood of the New Covenant for which the Spear became the symbol ...

The legend grew around it, gaining strength with the passing of the centuries, that whoever possessed it and understood the powers it served, held the destiny of the world in his hands for good or evil. (3)

Ravenscroft informs us that, by rights, the man who should have written The Spear of Destiny (and would surely have done so, had he not died in 1957) was a Viennese philosopher and wartime British secret agent named Walter Johannes Stein (b. 1891). An Austrian Jew, Stein had emigrated from Germany to Britain in 1933. His association with Ravenscroft came about as a result of a book Stein had written, entitled The Ninth Century World History in the Light of the Holy Grail (1928).

 

Ravenscroft was greatly impressed by the book, which asserts that the medieval Grail Romances and their description of the quest for the Holy Grail Veiled a unique Western path to transcendent consciousness. (4)

 

It was clear to Ravenscroft that Dr Stein had conducted his historical research along rather unorthodox lines, relying on occult methods of mind expansion to apprehend data rather than the more traditional means of consulting extant medieval texts. In view of his own experience of higher levels of consciousness, and his resulting fascination with the Grail legends, Ravenscroft decided to call on Stein at his home in Kensington.

During this meeting, Ravenscroft voiced his belief that Stein had utilized some transcendent faculty in his research for The Ninth Century, adding that he believed a similar faculty had inspired Wolfram von Eschenbach to write the great Grail romance Parsival (c. 1200). According to Stein, von Eschenbach based Parsival on the key figures of the ninth century, who served as models for the characters in the romance.

 

The Grail king Anfortas corresponded to King Charles the Bald, grandson of Charlemagne; Cundrie, the sorceress and messenger of the Grail, was Ricilda the Bad; Parsival himself corresponded to Luitward of Vercelli, the Chancellor to the Frankish Court; and Klingsor, the fantastically evil magician who lived in the Castle of Wonders, was identified as Landulf II of Capua who had made a pact with Islam in Arab-occupied Sicily and whom Ravenscroft calls the most evil figure of the century. (5)

Stein had first read Parsival while taking a short, compulsory course on German literature at the University of Vienna.

 

One night, he had a most unusual extrasensory experience:

'He awoke ... to discover that he had been reciting whole tracts of the ... romantic verses in a sort of pictureless dream!' (6)

This happened three times in all. Stein wrote down the words he had been speaking and, on comparing them with von Eschenbach's romance, found them to be virtually identical. To Stein this strongly implied the existence of some preternatural mental faculty, a kind of 'higher memory' that could be accessed under certain circumstances.

His subsequent researches into the Grail Romances led to his discovery, one August morning in 1912 in a dingy bookshop in Vienna's old quarter, of a tattered, leather-bound copy of Parsival whose pages were covered with annotations in a minute script. Stein bought the book from the shop assistant and took it to Demel's Cafe in the Kohlmarkt, where he began to pore over its pages As he read, he became more and more uneasy at the nature of the annotations.

This was no ordinary commentary but the work of somebody who had achieved more than a working knowledge of the black arts! The unknown commentator had found the key to unveiling many of the deepest secrets of the Grail, yet obviously spurned the Christian ideals of the [Grail] Knights and delighted in the devious machinations of the Anti-Christ.

It suddenly dawned on him that he was reading the footnotes of Satan! (7)

Stein was repelled yet fascinated by the vulgar racial fanaticism displayed in the annotations, by the 'almost insane worship of Aryan blood lineage and Pan-Germanism'.

For instance, alongside the verses describing the Grail Procession and the Assembly of Knights at the High Mass in the Grail Castle, there appeared an entry written in large letters scrawled across the printed page:

'These men betrayed their pure Aryan Blood to the dirty superstitions of the Jew Jesus - superstitions as loathsome and ludicrous as the Yiddish rites of circumcision.' (8)

To Stein, the annotations represented the workings of a brilliant but utterly hideous mind, a mind that had inverted the traditional idea of the quest for the Grail as a gradual and immensely difficult awakening to wider spiritual reality, turning it into its antithesis: the opening of the human spirit, through the use of black magic, to the power and influence of Satan himself.

Shaken by what he had read in the annotated pages of the book, Stein glanced up for a moment through the cafe window and found himself looking into a disheveled, arrogant face with demoniacal eyes. The apparition was shabbily dressed and was holding several small watercolors that he was trying to sell to passers-by.

 

When Stein left the cafe late that afternoon, he bought some watercolors from the down-and-out painter and hurried home. It was only then that he realized that the signature on the watercolors was the same as that on the copy of Percival he had bought: Adolf Hitler.

According to Ravenscroft, by the time Stein found the annotated copy of Percival Adolf Hitler had already paid many visits to the Weltliches Schatzkammer Museum (Habsburg Treasure House) in Vienna, which held the Lance of St Maurice (also known as Constantine's Lance) used as a symbol of the imperial power of Holy Roman emperors at their coronations. (9)

 

Having failed to gain entry to the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts and the School of Architecture, and growing more and more embittered and consumed with an increasing sense of his own destiny as dominator of the world, Hitler had thrown himself into an intense study of Nordic and Teutonic mythology and folklore, German history, literature and philosophy.

 

While sheltering from the rain in the Treasure House one day, he heard a tour guide explaining to a group of foreign politicians the legend associated with the Lance of St Maurice: that it was actually the spear that Gaius Cassius had used to pierce the side of Christ during the Crucifixion, and that whoever succeeded in understanding its secrets would hold the destiny of the world in his hands for good or evil.

'The Spear appeared to be some sort of magical medium of revelation for it brought the world of ideas into such close and living perspective that human imagination became more real than the world of sense.' (10)

Intent on meeting the man who had written so perceptively and frighteningly in the battered copy of Parsival, Stein returned to the dingy bookshop and this time encountered the owner, an extremely unsavory-looking man named Ernst Pretzsche.

 

Pretzsche told him that Hitler pawned many of his books in order to buy food, and redeemed them with money earned from selling his paintings. (Apparently, the shop assistant had made a mistake in selling Parsival to Stein.) Pretzsche showed Stein some of Hitler's other books, which included works by Hegel, Nietzsche and Houston S. Chamberlain, the British fascist and advocate of German racial superiority who frequently claimed to be chased by demons.

In the conversation that ensued, Pretzsche maintained that he was a master of black magic and had initiated Hitler into the dark arts. After inviting Stein to come and consult him on esoteric matters at any time (which Stein had no intention of doing, such was the loathsomeness of the man), Pretzsche gave him Hitler's address in Meldemannstrasse.

Hitler was extremely irate when Stein walked up to him and told him of his interest in the annotations in the copy of Parsival he had bought. He cursed Pretzsche for selling one of the books he had pawned. However, once Stein had told him of his own researches into the Holy Grail and the Spear of Longinus, Hitler became more amicable, apparently regarding the young university student as a possible ally in the Pan-German cause.

 

They decided to pay a visit to the Schatzkammer together to look at the Holy Lance. As they stood before the display, the two men responded to it in very different ways.

For some moments [Stein] was almost overcome by the powerful emotions which filled his breast and flowed like a river of healing warmth through his brain, evoking responses of reverence, humility and love. One message above all seemed to be inspired by the sight of this Spear which held within its central cavity one of the nails which had secured the body of Jesus to the Cross.

 

It was a message of compassion which had been so wonderfully expressed in the motto of the Grail Knights: 'Durch Mitleid wissen.' A call from the Immortal Self of Man resounding in the darkness of confusion and doubt within the human soul: Through Compassion to Self-Knowledge. (11)

As Stein glanced at his companion, it seemed to him that Hitler was responding in a way which was diametrically opposite to his own.

Adolf Hitler stood beside him like a man in a trance, a man over whom some dreadful magic spell had been cast. His face was flushed and his brooding eyes shone with an alien emanation. He was swaying on his feet as though caught up in some totally inexplicable euphoria. The very space around him seemed enlivened with some subtle irradiation, a kind of ghostly ectoplasmic light.

 

His whole physiognomy and stance appeared transformed as if some mighty Spirit now inhabited his very soul, creating within and around him a kind of evil transfiguration of its own nature and power. (12)

The inscrutable occult processes that were set in motion by Hitler's discovery of the Holy Lance were consolidated on 14 March 1938, when Hitler arrived in Vienna to complete the Anschluss of Austria. While the Viennese people cheered the German forces' arrival, the Jews and opponents of the Nazi regime faced a persecution that, while utterly appalling, was but a pale foreshadowing of the horrors to come. Seventy-six thousand people were arrested when the Nazis arrived, with a further 6,000 people dismissed from key ministries in the Austrian Government. (13)

 

Jews of all ages, whether they were religious or not, were ordered to scrub anti-Nazi slogans from the streets; the water they were given was mixed with acid that burned their hands. Hitler's SS Death's Head squads and members of the Hitler Youth urinated on Jews and forced them to spit in each other's faces; others were forced to dance on Torah scrolls. In less than a month, the deportation of Jews to the concentration camps would begin. (14)

While these atrocities were being perpetrated, Hitler (according to Ravenscroft) went to the Habsburg Treasure House to claim the Holy Lance. With him were Heinrich Himmler and Wolfram Sievers, whom he ordered to leave him alone with the object of his diabolical desire.

Although ... the Spear of Longinus had been the inspiration of his whole life and the key to his meteoric rise to power, it was more than a quarter of a century since he had last seen it, and nearly thirty years since he first beheld it and heard of its unique legend.

Whatever Hitler's visions on this occasion, the scene of the German Fuhrer standing there before the ancient weapon must be regarded as the most critical moment of the twentieth century until the Americans claimed the Spear in Nuremberg in 1945, and, while holding it in their possession, inaugurated the Atomic Age by dropping their atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. (15)
 


Problems with Ravenscroft's Account
Joscelyn Godwin has called The Spear of Destiny 'a bloodcurdling work of historical reinvention', (16) and in spite of the breathless praise it has received from occult writers and reviewers over the years, it is difficult to disagree with his judgment.

 

This view is also taken by the Australian author and journalist Ken Anderson, whose book Hitler and the Occult (1995) is a powerful and well-argued critique of Ravenscroft, Stein and The Spear of Destiny. For the rest of this chapter, we must therefore turn our attention to the problems inherent in Ravenscroft's account, as he learned it from Stein, of Hitler's desire to claim this allegedly most powerful of magical talismans.

 

To be sure, these problems are manifold and display clear inconsistencies both with what we know of the history of the Third Reich and the wider context of European history.

For instance, we are told in Spear that the Holy Lance had been prized by many great warriors through the centuries, including Napoleon Bonaparte, who had demanded the lance after the Battle of Austerlitz of December 1805.

'Just before the battle began, the lance had been smuggled out of Nuremberg and hidden in Vienna to keep it out of the French dictator's hands.' (17)

However, as Anderson comments, it would have been a rather stupid decision to hide the lance in Vienna, since the French had already occupied the city the previous month.

'Why would anyone want to smuggle anything into an occupied city if the purpose in so doing was to keep it out of the hands of the head of the occupying force?' (18)

Moreover, historical records prove that the lance was taken from Nuremberg to Vienna in 1800 and placed in the museum on full display. Had he wanted the lance, Napoleon could have acquired it at any time.

And what of the spear itself, which, claims Ravenscroft, was the very one used by the Roman centurion to pierce the side of Christ? We are told that Hitler found little difficulty in sorting out the merits of the various Spears, purporting to be the weapon of the Roman Centurion Longinus, which were scattered around the palaces, museums, cathedrals and churches of Europe... Adolf Hitler was excited to find one Spear which appeared to have been associated with a legend of world destiny throughout its entire history.

 

This Spear, dating back to the Third Century, had apparently been traced by numerous historians right through to the tenth century to the reign of the Saxon King Heinrich I, the 'Fowler', where it was last mentioned in his hands at the famous battle of Unstrut in which the Saxon Cavalry conquered the marauding Magyars. (19)


At this point, a question will doubtless have occurred to the reader: how could a weapon dating back only to the third century have been used to pierce the side of Christ?

 

It is a question Ravenscroft does not answer. (20)

 

The existence of a lance which was supposedly used to stab Christ is first recorded in the sixth century by the pilgrim St Antonius of Piacenza, who claims to have seen it in the Mount Zion Basilica in Jerusalem. When Jerusalem fell to the Persians in AD 615, the shaft of the lance was captured by the victors, while the lance-head was saved and taken to Constantinople where it was incorporated into an icon and kept in the Santa Sophia Church.

 

More than six centuries later, the point found its way into the possession of the French King Louis and was taken to the Sainte-Chapelle in Paris. The lance-head disappeared (and was possibly destroyed) during the French Revolution. The shaft of the lance was sent to Jerusalem in about AD 670 by the Frankish pilgrim Arculf, and only reappears in history in the late ninth century, turning up in Constantinople. It was captured by the Turks in 1492, who sent it as a gift to Rome.

 

It has remained in St Peter's since then, although its authenticity has never been established beyond doubt. (21)

However, archaeologists have established that this lance, first mentioned in the sixth century, is not the one Hitler found in the Habsburg Treasure House. This lance is known as the Lance of St Maurice, or Constantine's Lance, which was made in the eighth or ninth century. (22)

Anderson writes:

'It would take much research to examine each one of Ravenscroft's claims concerning the possessors of the Maurice Lance and its affect on them and on world history.' (23)

And in fact, such a task lies well beyond the scope of this book also.

 

He goes on:

Besides, we do not have the unique facility Ravenscroft had [i.e. techniques of psychic mind expansion] in tracing its owners where there is no written record, for example its progression from the time it left the hands of Heinrich I and turned up many years later in the possession of his son Otto the Great.

 

Ravenscroft says Hitler's henchman SS head Heinrich Himmler put the finest scholars in Germany to work on bridging the gap but they were unable to do so. However, Ravenscroft's mentor, Dr Walter Stein, 'by means of a unique method of historical research involving "Mind Expansion" was able to discover Heinrich had sent the lance to the English King Athelstan.'

(Athelstan [895-940] was the grandson of Alfred the Great. Crowned King in 925, he was the first ruler of all England.)

Stein 'found' that the lance was present at the Battle of Malmesbury in which the Danes were defeated on English soil. It was subsequently returned as a gift for Otto's wedding to Athelstan's sister Eadgita. (24)

 

Anderson spots a crucial mistake in this account of the lance (and one which certainly casts doubt on Stein's unorthodox methods of historical 'research'.) According to William of Malmesbury, the sword of Constantine the Great was sent by Hugh the Good, King of the Franks, to King Athelstan to persuade him to give his daughter's hand in marriage.(25)

 

It so happens that historical inaccuracies are also to be found in Ravenscroft's account of his own exploits in the Second World War, in which he claims to have been taken prisoner by the Germans after the attempted assassination of Rommel. Born in 1921, Ravenscroft attended Repton Public School and then Sandhurst Military College. Six months later, in December 1939, he received his commission in the Royal Scots Fusiliers. He then trained as a commando and joined the Special Services. (26)

 

According to the cover blurb on various editions of The Spear of Destiny:

'He was captured on a raid which attempted to assassinate Field Marshal Rommel in North Africa and was a POW in Germany from 1944 to 1945, escaping three times but each time being recaptured.'

Although the raid on Rommel certainly took place on 13-14 November 1941 (with all but two of the party being captured), Ravenscroft is not mentioned in records as being present in the 28-man team who conducted the operation.

 

Anderson reports that when he made enquiries of former Commando Sergeant Jack Terry, the ex-soldier insisted that Ravenscroft was not a member of the party. (27)

'In any case Ravenscroft's service record shows he was "missing at sea" on 24 October 1941, well before the raid. He was subsequently taken prisoner of war on an unspecified date.' (28)

There also appear to be inconsistencies in Ravenscroft's account of how he came to meet Walter Stein. A few years after the war, Ravenscroft read Stein's book World History in the Light of the Holy Grail and came to the conclusion that much of the material in the book had been accessed by Stein through occult means of mind expansion, perhaps similar to those he himself had employed while a prisoner of war.

 

Paying Stein a visit in Kensington, London, Ravenscroft informed him of his belief, and also of his belief that Wolfram von Eschenbach had employed the same talents in composing his Grail romance Parsival in the twelfth century.

Ravenscroft quoted to Stein this extract from Eschenbach's work: 'If anyone requests me to [continue the story] let him not consider it as a book. I don't know a single letter of the alphabet.' Ravenscroft says that the reason Eschenbach was stressing that he did not know a letter of the alphabet was to make it clear that he had not gathered the material for the book from his contemporaries, traditional folklore, or any existing written work. Rather, he was saying his so-called Grail romance was an 'Initiation Document' of the highest order. (29)

Stein was impressed enough by his visitor's argument that he invited him to stay to lunch, and the two men remained friends and colleagues from then until Stein's death. Ravenscroft himself died of cancer in January 1989 in Torquay, England.

Anderson interviewed Ravenscroft's brother, Bill, in January 1995. A former King's Own Borderers officer, Bill Ravenscroft stated that his brother met Walter Stein not by paying an unannounced visit to his Kensington home but rather through Stein's wife, Yopi, while Trevor Ravenscroft was teaching at the Rudolf Steiner school in East Grinstead, England just after the war. (30)

 

According to Bill Ravenscroft, Trevor learned of Stein's impressive library through Yopi and was given permission by her to consult the books in the library in order to complete The Spear of Destiny. Trevor Ravenscroft makes no mention whatsoever of Yopi in his book.

 

Anderson asks: why?

'Was Bill's memory of events incorrect? Was it because the symbiotic relationship that supposedly developed between Trevor and the man he claims was his mentor never happened?' (31)

If The Spear of Destiny is to be believed, the moment Hitler entered the Habsburg Treasure House upon the annexation of Austria in 1938 and stood before the holy artefact he had coveted for so long humanity in the twentieth century was lost, locked into an irrevocable collision course with disaster. And yet there are more problems with this pivotal point in the book.

 

Ravenscroft writes:

'When Hitler was driven down the Ringstrasse to the Ring and on to the Heldenplatz to the reviewing stand in front of the Hofburg, the tumultuous jubilation of the crowds reached near-delirium. How could the citizens of Vienna have known that the ecstasy on the face of Adolf Hitler was the twisted ecstasy of revenge!' (32)

Joachim Fest, one of the greatest authorities on Hitler and the Third Reich offers a slightly different account of the Fuhrer's moment of triumph at the 'reunion' of Germany and Austria:

'All the aimlessness and impotence of those years were now vindicated, all his furious craving for compensation at last satisfied, when he stood on the balcony of the Hofburg and announced to hundreds of thousands in the Heldenplatz the "greatest report of a mission accomplished" in his life ...' (33)

If Fest's academic credentials are insufficient, there are also photographs to prove that Hitler faced the Viennese crowds from the balcony of the Hofburg, not on a 'reviewing stand' in front of it.

Ravenscroft goes on to claim that after reviewing the Austrian SS and giving his permission for the founding of a new SS regiment, Hitler refused an invitation for a tour of the city.

 

Instead, he,

'left the Ring to drive directly to the Imperial Hotel where the most luxurious suite in the city awaited him'. (34)

Arrangements for a civic dinner and reception were cancelled because Hitler was 'terrified that an attempt would be made to kill him' (35) and remained in his suite. Anderson asks a pertinent question: if Hitler was terrified that an attempt would be made on his life, why did he arrive in Vienna in an open car that passed through the cheering crowds, then stand in full view outside the Hofburg, and then go out onto the balcony of his hotel suite several times at the insistence of the Viennese people? (36)

In spite of this, Ravenscroft has Hitler leaving the Imperial Hotel 'long after midnight' to head for the Habsburg Treasure House and the Holy Lance.

 

According to Anderson:

... Hitler arrived in Vienna at 5 p.m. on 14 March and the mass welcome in the Heldenplatz took place the next day - the fifteenth. If Ravenscroft has meant us to understand that the rally in the square he speaks of was on the fifteenth, then there is a further problem: Hitler stayed in Vienna less than twenty-four hours! He was not there on the night of the fifteenth.

After attending a military parade at the Maria-Theresa monument at two o'clock that afternoon - the same parade which Ravenscroft says Hitler attended before going on to the Imperial - Hitler flew out in his Junkers aircraft as the twilight settled on an enervated Vienna. (37)

It is also difficult to imagine how Hitler could have left his hotel and gone to the Treasure House without being seen by anyone in the seething crowds that remained in the streets. It would surely have been easier for him to order the Holy Lance to be brought from the museum to his hotel suite. (38)

 

On reflection, it must be said that the only things in the Habsburg Treasure House Hitler coveted were the Habsburg Crown Jewels (which were sent to Nuremberg immediately following the Anschluss), not to mention the Austrian gold and currency deposits that would aid a German economy stressed by preparations for war. Hitler was motivated more by financial than occult concerns, as the transfer of Austrian gold and currency reserves to Germany amply demonstrates. (39)

It will, one hopes, be apparent from this all too brief overview of the problems inherent in The Spear of Destiny that, while the book may be a fascinating - if somewhat lurid - read, in the Dennis Wheatley mould of occult ripping yarns, as a serious historical work it is completely unsatisfactory. It is, of course, conceivable that Trevor Ravenscroft was well aware that he was penning a work of almost total fiction; however, this is mere conjecture and is absolutely not proven.

 

Even assuming that he wrote the book in good faith, believing its revelations regarding Hitler and the Holy Lance to be accurate, it is crippled by the research methods on which he appears to rely: namely, the use of occult techniques to enhance the powers of the mind and thus gain access to historical information that has not been preserved in any conventional way.

 

In the final analysis, we must dismiss The Spear of Destiny on the grounds that when information gathered through psychic processes conflicts with what has been established through documentary evidence or the testimony of first-hand witnesses we have no serious alternative but to abandon it in favor of what can be verified by those who do not possess these psychic talents.

Before moving on, we must say a few words about the claims of many occult writers that Hitler was involved in black magic practices, having been initiated into the dark arts by Dietrich Eckart and Karl Haushofer.

 

(Eckart, Alfred Rosenberg and Rudolf von Sebottendorff were said to have conducted horrific sťances, in which a naked female medium exuded ectoplasm from her vagina and through whom contact was established with the seven Thulist hostages who had been murdered by the Communists in April 1919. The ghosts predicted that Hitler would claim the Holy Lance and lead Germany into global conflagration.) (40)

 

There is no evidence whatsoever to link Hitler directly with black magic practices of any description. While it is of course beyond question that the Nazi Party arose out of the National Socialist German Workers' Party, which in turn began as the Thule Society (a group founded on occult and racist principles), there is no evidence that Hitler himself was an occultist - and considerable evidence that he wasn't.

Speer, for instance, recalls Hitler's contempt for the woolly-headed mysticism of Heinrich Himmler:

What nonsense! Here we have at last reached an age that has left all mysticism behind it, and now he wants to start all over again. We might just as well have stayed with the church. At least it had tradition. To think that I may some day be turned into an SS saint! Can you imagine it? I would turn over in my grave... (41)

Hitler was also scornful of Himmler's attempts to establish archaeological links between modern Germans and the ancient Aryan descendants of Atlantis:

Why do we call the whole world's attention to the fact that we have no past? It isn't enough that the Romans were erecting great buildings when our forefathers were still living in mud huts; now Himmler is starting to dig up these villages of mud huts and enthusing over every potsherd and stone axe he finds.

 

All we prove by that is that we were still throwing stone hatchets and crouching around open fires when Greece and Rome had already reached the highest stage of culture. We really should do our best to keep quiet about this past. Instead Himmler makes a great fuss about it all. The present-day Romans must be having a laugh at these revelations. (42)

In truth, those who subscribed to occultist or pseudo-religious notions were indeed something of a laughing stock in the high echelons of the Third Reich. Himmler's beliefs about the original prehistoric Germanic race were considered absurd by both Hitler and Goebbels, the propaganda minister.

'When, for example, the Japanese presented [Himmler] with a samurai sword, he at once discovered kinships between Japanese and Teutonic cults and called upon scientists to help him trace these similarities to a racial common denominator.' (43)

As for the belief that Hitler was deeply interested in astrology and kept in constant touch with astrologers who advised him on the various courses of action he should take, this too is completely fallacious.

 

According to the former Office of Strategic Services (OSS) officer Walter Langer:

All of our informants who have known Hitler rather intimately discard the idea [of Hitler's belief] as absurd. They all agree that nothing is more foreign to Hitler's personality than to seek help from outside sources of this type.

The Fuhrer had never had his horoscope cast, but in an indicative move Hitler, some time before the war, forbade the practice of fortune-telling and star-reading in Germany. (44)

As we have just seen, while Hitler was contemptuous of mysticism and pseudo-religion, Himmler was another matter entirely, and it is to him that we must now turn our attention.

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