The Dawn of Magic
by Louis Pauwells & Jacques Bergier
October 31 - 2002
Adolf und die Ubermen von der Golden Dawn
In the history of Hitlerism, or rather in certain aspects of this
history, everything happens as if the whole conception on which it
was based has baffled the ordinary historian so that, if we want to
understand, we shall have to abandon our positive way of looking at
things and try to enter a Universe where Cartesian reason and
reality are no longer valid.
We have been concerned to describe these aspects of Hitlerism
because, as M. Marcel Ray pointed out in 1939, the war that Hitler
imposed on the world was a "Manichaean war," or as the Bible says,
"a struggle between gods." It is not, of course, a question of a
struggle between Fascism and Democracy, or between a liberal and an
authoritarian conception of society.
That is the exoteric side of
the conflict; but there is an esoteric side as well. This struggle
between gods, which has been going on behind visible events, is not
yet over on this planet, but the formidable progress in human
knowledge made in the last few years is about to give it another
Now that the gates of knowledge are beginning to open on to
the infinite, it is important to understand what this struggle is
about. If we consciously want to be men of today, that is to say,
the contemporaries of tomorrow, we must have an exact and clear
picture of the moment when the fantastic first invaded the realm of
This is what we are now going to examine.
"At bottom," said
Rauschning, "every German has one foot in
Atlantis, where he seeks a better Fatherland and a better patrimony.
This double nature of the Germans, this faculty they have of
splitting their personality which enables them to live in the real
world and at the same time to project themselves into an imaginary
world, is especially noticeable in Hitler and provides the key to
his magic socialism."
And Rauschning in an attempt to explain the rise to power of this
"high priest of a secret religion," tried to convince himself that
several times in history,
"whole nations have fallen into a state of
inexplicable agitation. They follow the flagellants' procession, or
are seized by St. Vitus's Dance.... National-Socialism is the St.
Vitus's Dance of the twentieth century."
But where does this strange malady come from? To this question he
failed to find a satisfactory answer.
"Its deepest roots are hidden
in secret places."
It is these secret places that we feel we ought to explore. And it
is not a historian, but a poet who will be our guide.
P.J. Toulet and Arthur Machen
"Two men who have read Paul-Jean Toulet and who meet (probably in a
bar) imagine that that means they belong to an aristocracy."
himself wrote that. It happens sometimes that important things are
suspended on a pin's head. It is thanks to a minor but charming
writer, unknown despite the efforts of a few admirers, that I first
heard the name of Arthur Machen, practically unknown in France.
After some study, we discovered that Machen's works (there are some
thirty volumes in all) are, from a "spiritual" point of view, more
important than those of H.G. Wells.
Pursuing our researches on Machen, we discovered an English Society
of Initiates with a very distinguished membership. This society, to
which Machen was indebted for an experience that had a decisive
influence on his inner development and which was a great source of
inspiration, is unknown even to specialists.
Finally, some of Machen's writings, in particular the text we shall be quoting, throw
into clear relief an uncommon notion of the nature of Evil, which is
quite indispensable for an understanding of those aspects of
contemporary history we are examining in this part of our book.
Before entering into the heart of our subject we would therefore
like to say a few words about this curious man, beginning with a
little literary digression concerning a minor Parisian author, P.J.
Toulet, and ending with a vision of a great subterranean gateway
behind which lie, still smoking, the remains of the martyrs and the
ruins of the Nazi tragedy which disrupted the whole world.
of "fantastic realism," as we shall see once again, do not resemble
the ordinary paths of knowledge.
A Great Neglected Genius
In November 1897 a friend, "somewhat given to the occult sciences,"
brought to the notice of Paul-Jean Toulet a novel by an unknown
thirty-four-year-old author entitled The Great God Pan.
which evokes a primitive pagan world, not entirely submerged but
still cautiously surviving and occasionally releasing among us its
God of Evil and his cloven- hoofed angels, made a profound
impression on Toulet and started him on his literary career. He
The Great God Pan and, borrowing from
nightmarish decor with the Great Pan lurking in the thickets of our
countryside, wrote his first novel: Monsieur du Paur, homme public.
Monsieur du Paur was published towards the end of 1898, and met with
no success. It is not an important work, and might never have been
heard of had not M. Henri Martineau, a great Stendhalian and a
friend of Toulet, taken it upon himself, twenty years later, to
republish the book at his own expense in the Editions du Divan.
Martineau was determined to show that Monsieur du Paur was inspired
by Machen's book, but was nevertheless an original work, so that it
was through him that the attention of a few literary people was
drawn to Arthur Machen and his Great God Pan and some correspondence
between Toulet and Machen was brought to light.
For Machen, as is apparent in all his works, "man is made of mystery
and exists for mysteries and visions." Reality is the supernatural.
The external world can teach us little, unless we look upon it as a
reservoir of symbols and hidden meanings. The only works which have
some chance of being real and serving some useful. purpose are works
of imagination produced by a mind in search of eternal verities.
the critic Philip van Doren Stern has pointed out:
stories of Arthur Machen perhaps contain more essential truths than
all the graphs and statistics in the world."
It was a strange adventure that brought Machen back to literature.
It made his name famous in a few weeks, and the shock this gave him
decided him to devote the rest of his life to writing.
He found journalism irksome, and no longer wanted to write for his
own satisfaction. War had just broken out. There was a demand for
"heroic" literature. This was hardly his line.
The Evening News,
however, asked him for a story. He wrote it straight off, but in his
own individual style, calling it The Bowmen. The newspaper published
this story on 29th September, 1914, the day after the retreat from Mons. Machen had imagined an incident in this battle: St. George in
shining armour, at the head of his angels in the guise of the old
archers of the battle of Agincourt, comes to the rescue of the
The next thing that happened was that scores of soldiers wrote into
the newspaper to say that this Mr. Machen had invented nothing. They
had seen with their own eyes on the Mons front the angels of St.
George mingling in their ranks. This they could swear to on their honour. Many of these letters were published. England, anxious for a
miracle in her hour of peril, was profoundly stirred. Machen had
been hurt when no notice was taken of him when he had tried to
reveal the secrets of reality. Now, with a cheap kind of fantasy, he
had aroused the whole country.
Or could it be that hidden forces
rose up, in one form or another, summoned by his imagination that
had so often been concerned with essential truths and was now,
perhaps unconsciously, at work deep down within him? Dozens of times
Machen insisted in the Press that his story was pure invention. No
one ever believed it.
Right up to his death, thirty years later, Machen, now an old man, often reverted in conversation to this
fantastic story of the Angels of Mons.
How We Discovered an English Secret Society
About the year 1880, in France, in England and in Germany some
secret societies of Initiates and members of hermetic orders were
founded to which a number of very influential people belonged.
story of this mystical post-romantic crisis has not yet been
written. It deserves to be, as it might throw light upon the origin
of several important trends of thought which have determined certain
In two letters written by Arthur Machen to Toulet we find the
following remarkable passages. In the first, written in 1899, he
"When I was writing Pan and The White Powder I did not believe
that such strange things had ever happened in real life, or could
ever have happened. Since then, and quite recently, I have had
certain experiences in my own life which have entirely changed my
point of view in these matters...
Henceforward I am quite convinced
that nothing is impossible on this Earth. I need scarcely add, I
suppose, that none of the experiences I have had has any connection
whatever with such impostures as spiritualism or theosophy. But I
believe that we are living in a world of the greatest mystery full
of unsuspected and quite astonishing things."
In 1900 he wrote as follows:
"It may amuse you to know that I sent a
copy of my Great God Pan to an adept, an advanced 'occultist' whom I
met in secret, and this is what he wrote me: 'The book amply proves
that by thought and meditation rather than through reading, you have
attained a certain degree of initiation independently of orders or
Who was this "adept?" And what were Machen's "experiences?"
In another letter, after Toulet had been to London, he wrote:
"Mr. Waite, who likes you very much, asks me to send you his best
We were interested to learn the name of this friend of Machen and to
discover that he was one of the best authorities on alchemy and a
We had reached this point in our researches into the intellectual
interests of Arthur Machen, when a friend revealed to us the
existence in England, at the end of the nineteenth and beginning of
the twentieth century, of a secret "initiatory" society of
Rosicrucian inspiration. [See Nos. 2 and 3 of the review La Tour
Saint-Jacques, 1956: 'L'ordre hermetique de la Golden Dawn' by
Machen and Waite together in 1936.
The Golden Dawn
This society was called the Golden Dawn, and its members included
some of the most brilliant minds in the country. Arthur Machen was
himself a member.
The Golden Dawn, founded in 1887, was an offshoot of the English Rosicrucian Society created twenty years earlier by Robert Wentworth
Little, and consisted largely of leading Freemasons. The latter
society had about 144 members, including Bulwer Lytton, author of
The Last Days of Pompeii.
The Golden Dawn, with a smaller membership, was formed for the
practice of ceremonial magic and the acquisition of initiatory
knowledge and powers. Its leaders were Woodman, Mathers and Wynn
Westcott (the "occultist" mentioned by Toulet in his letter of
It was in contact with similar German societies, some of whose
members were later associated with Rudolf Steiner's famous
anthroposophical movement and other influential sects during the
pre-Nazi period. Later on it came under the leadership of Aleister
Crowley, an altogether extraordinary man who was certainly one of
the greatest exponents of the neo-paganism whose development in
Germany we have noted.
S.L. Mathers, after the death of Woodman and the resignation of
Westcott, was the Grand Master of the Golden Dawn, which he directed
for some time from Paris, where he had just married Henri Bergson's
William Wynn Westcott
A Nobel-Prize Winner in a Black Mask
Mathers was succeeded in his office by the celebrated poet W.B.
Yeats, who was later to become a Nobel Prize-winner.
Yeats took the name of "Frere Demon est Deus Inversus." He used to
preside over the meetings dressed in a kilt, wearing a black mask
and a golden dagger in his belt.
Arthur Machen took the name of "Filus Aquarti."
The Golden Dawn had
one woman member [no mention of Fraulien Sprengel...? -B:.B:.]:
Florence Farr, Director of the Abbey Theatre and an intimate friend
of Bernard Shaw. Other members included: Algernon Blackwood, Bram
Stoker (the author of Dracula), Sax Rohmer, Peck, the Astronomer
Royal of Scotland, the celebrated engineer Allan Bennett, and Sir
Gerald Kelly, President of the Royal Academy.
It seems that on these
exceptional people the Golden Dawn exercised a lasting influence,
and they themselves admitted that their outlook on the world was
changed, while the activities they indulged in never failed to prove
both efficacious and uplifting.
A Hollow Earth, A Frozen World, A New Man
The Earth is hollow. We are living inside it. The stars are blocks
of ice. Several Moons have already fallen on the Earth. The whole
history of humanity is contained in the struggle between ice and
Man is not finished. He is on the brink of a
["alien hybridisation" -B:.B:.] which will confer on him the powers
the ancients attributed to the gods. A few specimens of the New Man
exist in the world, who have perhaps come here from beyond the
frontiers of time and space.
Alliances could be formed with the
Master of the World or the King
of Fear who reigns over a city hidden somewhere in the East. Those
who conclude a pact will change the surface of the Earth and endow
the human adventure with a new meaning for many thousands of years.
Such are the "scientific" theories and "religious" conceptions on
which Nazism was originally based and in which Hitler and the
members of his group believed -- theories which, to a large extent,
have dominated social and political trends in recent history.
may seem extravagant. Any explanation, even partial, of contemporary
history based on ideas and beliefs of this kind may seem repugnant.
In our view, nothing is repugnant that is in the interests of the
Against Nature and Against God
It is well known that the Nazi party was openly, and even
flamboyantly anti-intellectual; that it burnt books and relegated
the theoretical physicists among its "Judaeo-Marxist" enemies.
is known about the reasons which led it to reject official Western
science, and still less with regard to the basic conception of the
nature of man on which Nazism was founded -- at any rate in the
minds of some of its leaders. If we knew this it would be easier to
place the last World War within the category of great spiritual
conflicts: history animated once again by the spirit of La Legende
Hitler used to say:
"We are often abused for being the enemies of
the mind and spirit. Well, that is what we are, but in a far deeper
sense than bourgeois science, in its idiotic pride, could ever
This is very like what Gurdjieff said to his disciple
Ouspensky after having condemned science:
"My way is to develop the
hidden potentialities of man; a way that is against Nature and
This idea of the hidden potentialities of Man is
fundamental. It often leads to the rejection of science and a
disdain for ordinary human beings.
On this level very few men really
exist. To be, means to be something different. The ordinary man,
"natural" man is nothing but a worm, and the Christians'
but a guardian for worms.
Dr. Willy Ley, one of the world's greatest rocket experts, fled from
Germany in 1933. It was from him that we learned of the existence in
Berlin shortly before the Nazis came to power, of a little spiritual
community that is of great interest to us.
Haushofer and the Vril
This secret community was founded, literally, on Bulwer Lytton's
The Coming Race. The book describes a race of men psychically
far in advance of ours. They have acquired powers over themselves
and over things that make them almost
godlike. For the moment they
are in hiding. They live in caves in the centre of the Earth. Soon
they will emerge to reign over us.
This appears to be as much as Dr. Ley could tell us. He added with a
smile that the disciples believed they had secret knowledge that
would enable them to change their race and become the equals of the
men hidden in the bowels of the Earth.
Methods of concentration, a whole system of internal gymnastics by
which they would be transformed. They began their exercises by
staring fixedly at an apple cut in half.... We continued our
This Berlin group called itself The Luminous Lodge, or
Society. The vril [the notion of the 'vril' is mentioned for the
first time in the works of the French writer Jacolliot, French
Consul in Calcutta under the Second Empire. ] is the enormous energy
of which we only use a minute proportion in our daily life, the
nerve-centre of our potential divinity.
Whoever becomes master of
the vril will be the master of himself, of others round him and of
the world. [Reich's "orgone"...? -B:.B:.]
This should be the only object of our desires, and all our efforts
should be directed to that end. All the rest belongs to official
psychology, morality, and religions and is worthless.
The world will change: the Lords will emerge from the centre of the
Earth. Unless we have made an alliance with them and become Lords
ourselves, we shall find ourselves among the slaves, on the
dung-heap that will nourish the roots of the New Cities that will
arise. [shades of Crowley's
Liber AL? -B:.B:.]
The Luminous Lodge [Silver Star, Argon Astron, L.V.X. and latter-day
"Lightworkers" woven together in this Luciferian tapestry? -B:.B:.]
had associations with the theosophical and Rosicrucian groups.
According to Jack Fishman, author of a curious book entitled
Seven Men of Spandau, Karl Haushofer was a member of this lodge.
shall have more to say about him later, when it will be seen that
his association with this Vril Society helps to explain certain
The Idea of the Mutation of Man
The reader will recall that the writer, Arthur Machen, we discovered
was connected with an English society of Initiates, the Golden Dawn.
This neo-pagan society, which had a distinguished membership, was an
offshoot of the English Rosicrucian Society, founded by Wentworth
Little in 1867. Little was in contact with the German Rosicrucians.
He recruited his followers, to the number of 144, from the ranks of
the higher-ranking Freemasons. One of his disciples was Bulwer
Bulwer Lytton, a learned man of genius, celebrated throughout the
world for his novel The Last Days of Pompeii, little thought that
one of his books, in some ten years' time, would inspire a mystical
pre-Nazi group in Germany. Yet in works like The Coming Race or
Zanoni, he set out to emphasize the realities of the spiritual
world, and more especially, the infernal world. He considered
himself an Initiate. Through his romantic works of fiction he
expressed the conviction that there are beings endowed with
superhuman powers. These beings will supplant us and bring about a
formidable mutation in the elect of the human race.
We must beware of this notion of a mutation. It crops up again with
Hitler, and is not yet extinct today.
Hitler's aim was neither the founding of a race of supermen, nor the
conquest of the world; these were only means towards the realization
of the great work he dreamed of. His real aim was to perform an act
of creation, a divine operation, the goal of a biological mutation
which would result in an unprecedented exaltation of the human race
and the "apparition of a new race of heroes and demigods and
god-men." (Dr. Achille Delmas.)
[Perhaps these same neo-Nephilim
Nazi "ubermen" are today clothed in the time and culture-appropriate
sci-fi regalia of "alien"/human "hybrids" a la
Harvard's Dr. John Mack, and a veritable cornucopia of other
often Rockefeller-financed -- socio-cultural
We must also beware of the notion of the "Unknown Supermen." It is
found in all the "black" mystical writings both in the West and in
the East. Whether they live under the Earth or came from other
planets, whether in the form of giants like those which are said to
lie encased in cloth of gold in the crypts of Thibetan monasteries,
or of shapeless and terrifying beings such as Lovecraft describes,
do these "Unknown Supermen," evoked in pagan and Satanic rites,
When Machen speaks of the World of Evil, "full of
caverns and crepuscular beings dwelling therein," he is referring,
as an adept of the Golden Dawn, to that other world in which man
comes into contact with the "Unknown Supermen."
It seems certain
that Hitler shared this belief, and even claimed to have been in
touch with these "Supermen."
G.'. D.'. Mathers Meets the "Great Terrorists"
We have already mentioned the Golden Dawn and the German Vril
We shall have something to say later about the Thule Group.
We are not so foolish as to try to explain history in the light of
secret societies. What we shall see, curiously enough, is that it
all "ties up," and that with the coming of Nazism it was the "other
world" which ruled over us for a number of years.
That world has been defeated, but it is not dead, either on the
Rhine or elsewhere. And there is nothing alarming about it: only our
ignorance is alarming. [Indeed, those who forget history, etc.
Mathers claimed to be in communication with these "Unknown Supermen"
and to have established contact with them in the
company of his
wife, the sister of Henri Bergson.
Here follows a page of the
manifesto addressed to "Members of the Second Order" in 1896:
"As to the Secret Chiefs with whom I am in touch and from whom I
have received the wisdom of the Second Order which I communicated
to you, I can tell you nothing. I do not even know their Earthly
names, and I have very seldom seen them in their physical
bodies....They used to meet me physically at a time and place fixed
For my part, I believe they are human beings living on
this Earth, but possessed of terrible and superhuman powers....My
physical encounters with them have shown me how difficult it is for
a mortal, however "advanced," to support their presence....I do not
mean that during my rare meetings with them I experienced the same
feeling of intense physical depression that accompanies the loss of
On the contrary, I felt I was in contact with a force so
terrible that I can only compare it to the shock one would receive
from being near a flash of lightning during a great thunder-storm, experiencing at the same time great difficulty in breathing.... The
nervous prostration I spoke of was accompanied by cold sweats and
bleeding from the nose, mouth and sometimes the ears."
Hitler Claims to Have Met Them Too
Hitler was talking one day to Rauschning, the Governor of Danzig,
about the problem of a mutation of the human race. Rauschning, not
possessing the key to such strange preoccupations, interpreted
Hitler's remarks in terms of a stock-breeder interested in the
amelioration of German blood.
"But all you can do," he replied, "is to assist Nature and shorten
the road to be followed! It is Nature herself who must create for
you a new species. Up till now the breeder has only rarely succeeded
in developing mutations in animals -- that is to say, creating
himself new characteristics."
"The new man is living amongst us now! He is here!" exclaimed
Hitler, triumphantly. "Isn't that enough for you? I will tell you a
secret. I have seen the new man. He is intrepid and cruel. I was
afraid of him."
"In uttering these words," added Rauschning, "Hitler
was trembling in a kind of ecstasy."
It was Rauschning, too, who related the following strange episode,
about which Dr. Achille Delmas, a specialist in applied psychology,
questioned him in vain: It is true that in a case like this
psychology does not apply:
"A person close to
Hitler told me that he wakes up in the night
screaming and in convulsions. He calls for help, and appears to be
half paralyzed. He is seized with a panic that makes him tremble
until the bed shakes. He utters confused and unintelligible
sounds, gasping, as if on the point of suffocation. The same person
described to me one of these fits, with details that I would refuse
to believe had I not complete confidence in my informant.
"Hitler was standing up in his room, swaying and looking all round
him as if he were lost. 'It's he, it's he,' he groaned, 'he's come
for me!' His lips were white; he was sweating profusely. Suddenly he
uttered a string of meaningless figures, then words and scraps of
sentences. It was terrifying. He used strange expressions strung
together in bizarre disorder.
Then he relapsed again into silence,
but his lips still continued to move. He was then given a friction
and something to drink. Then suddenly he screamed: 'There! there!
Over in the comer! He is there!' -- all the time stamping with his
feet and shouting. To quieten him he was assured that nothing extra-ordinary had happened, and finally he gradually calmed down. After
that he slept for a long time and became normal again..."
Hitler m'a dit. Ed. Co-operation, Paris, 1939. Dr.
Achille Delmas: Hitler, essai de biographie psycho-pathologique.
Lib. Marcel Rivimere, Paris, 1946.]
We leave it to the reader to compare the statement of Mathers, head
of a small neo-pagan society at the end of the nineteenth century,
and the utterances of a man who, at the time Rauschning recorded
them, was preparing to launch the world into an adventure which
caused the death of twenty million men.
We beg him not to ignore
this comparison and the lesson to be drawn from it on the grounds
that the Golden Dawn and Nazism, in the eyes of a "reasonable"
historian, have nothing in common. The historian may be reasonable,
but history is not.
These two men shared the same beliefs: their
fundamental experiences were the same, and they were guided by the
same force. They belong to the same trend of thought and to the same
religion. This religion has never up to now been seriously studied.
Neither the Church nor the Rationalists -- that other Church -- have
ever allowed it. We are now entering an epoch in the history of
knowledge when such studies will become possible because now that
reality is revealing its fantastic side, ideas and techniques which
seem abnormal, contemptible or repellent will be found useful in so
far as they enable us to understand a "reality" that becomes more
and more disquieting.
We are not suggesting that the reader should study an affiliation
Rosy Cross-Bulwer Lytton-Little-Mathers-Crowley- Hitler, or any
similar association which would include also Mme Blavatsky and
Gurdjieff. Looking for affiliations is a game, like looking for
"influences" in literature; when the game is over, the problem is
still there. In literature it's a question of genius; in history, of
The Golden Dawn is not enough to explain the Thule Group, or the
Luminous Lodge, the Ahnenherbe. Naturally there are cross-currents
and secret or apparent links between the various groups, which we
shall not fail to point out. Like all "little" history, that is an
absorbing pastime. But our concern is with "big" history.
We believe that these societies, great or small, related or
unrelated, with or without ramifications, are manifestations, more
or less apparent and more or less important, of a world other than
the one in which we live. Let us call it the world of Evil, in Machen's sense of the word. The truth is, we know just as little
about the world of Good.
We are living between two worlds, and
pretending that this "no-man's-land" is identical with our whole
planet. The rise of Nazism was one of those rare moments in the
history of our civilization, when a door was noisily and
ostentatiously opened on to something "Other." What is strange is
that people pretend not to have seen or heard anything apart from
the sights and sounds inseparable from war and political strife.
All these movements: the modern Rosy-Cross, Golden Dawn, the
German Vril Society (which will bring us to the Thule Group where we shall
find Haushofer, Hess and Hitler) were more or less closely
associated with the powerful and well organized Theosophical
Society. Theosophy added to neo-pagan magic an oriental setting and
a Hindu terminology. Or, rather, it provided a link between a
certain oriental Satanism and the West.
Theosophy was the name finally given to the whole vast renaissance
in the world of magic that affected many thinkers so profoundly at
the beginning of the century.
In his study Le Thiosophisme, histoire d'une pseudo-religion,
published in 1921, the philosopher Rene Guenon foresaw what was
likely to occur. He realized the dangers lurking behind theosophy
and the neo-pagan Initiatory groups that were more or less connected
with Mme Blavatsky and her sect.
This is what he wrote:
"The false Messiahs we have seen so far have only performed very
inferior miracles, and their disciples were probably not very
difficult to convert. But who knows what the future has in store?
When you reflect that these false Messiahs have never been anything
but the more or less unconscious tools of those who conjured them
up, and when one thinks more particularly of the series of attempts
made in succession by the theosophists, one is forced to the
conclusion that these were only trials, experiments as it were,
which will be renewed in various forms until success is achieved,
and which in the meantime invariably produce a somewhat disquieting
Not that we believe that
the theosophists, any more than the
occultists and the spiritualists, are strong enough by themselves to
carry out successfully an enterprise of this nature. But might there
not be, behind all these movements, something far more dangerous
which their leaders perhaps know nothing about, being themselves in
turn the unconscious tools of a higher power?"