Grateful acknowledgement is given for permission to quote from the following previously published material:

  • The Coming Race by E. G. E. Bulwer Lytton, published by Sutton Publishing, Stroud, Gloucestershire, 1995.

  • Arktos The Polar Myth in Science, Symbolism, and Nazi Survival by Joscelyn Godwin, published by Thames and Hudson, London, 1993.

  • The Occult Roots of Nazism by Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke, published by I. B. Tauris & Co., London, 1985.

  • Extract from PROJEKT UFO © 1995 W. A. Harbinson. First published by Boxtree Ltd and reprinted with permission from the author.

  • Trevor Ravenscroft: The Spear of Destiny (York Beach, ME: Samuel Weiser, 1982). Material used by permission.

  • The Secret Doctrine by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, published by Theosophical University Press, Pasadena, California, 1999.

  • Psychic Dictatorship in the USA by Alex Constantine, published by Feral House, 2532 Lincoln Blvd. #359, Venice, CA 90291.

  • The Making of Adolf Hitler The Birth and Rise of Nazism by Eugene Davidson, published by University of Missouri Press, 1997.

  • Casebook on Alternative 3 by Jim Keith, published by IllumiNet Press, Lilburn, Georgia, 1994.

  • Shambhala by Nicholas Roerich, published by the Nicholas Roerich Museum, New York, 1978.

  • The Last Days of Hitler by Hugh Trevor-Roper, published by Macmillan, London, 1995.

  • Explaining Hitler The Search For the Origins of His Evil by Ron Rosenbaum, published by Papermac, London, 1999.

  • The Face of the Third Reich by Joachim C. Fest, first published by Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1970.

  • Hitler and the Occult by Ken Anderson, published by Prometheus Books, Amherst, New York, 1995.

While every effort has been made to contact copyright holders for permission to use other lengthy quotes, this has not proved possible in all cases. Should these copyright holders wish to contact the publisher, appropriate credit will be given in future editions.

Many thanks also to my agent, Julian Alexander, for his indispensable help and advice over the past two and a half years; and to my editors at Virgin Publishing, Lorna Russell, who got the book commissioned, and Kerri Sharp, who made its journey to publication a pleasure.

Back to Contents





Introduction: search for a map of hell

This book is concerned with one of the most controversial notions of the late twentieth century, one that is so bizarre and appalling in its implications that serious historians have consistently dismissed it as the worst kind of nonsense. Put simply, the notion is this: that the shocking nightmare of Nazism and the destruction it wrought throughout the world were the result of an attempt by Hitler and his cohorts to contact and enlist the aid of supernatural forces in their bid for domination of the planet.


Upon reading this, older readers may be put in mind of the lurid but enjoyable occult thrillers of Dennis Wheatley, such as Strange Conflict, which deals with Nazi magical practices in a highly sensational way, and may dismiss the idea for that reason. Other readers may well pause to consider the hideous excesses practiced by the Nazis and be dismayed that the defining tragedy of the twentieth century should be trivialized by such an idea.

There is no doubt that the subject of the Third Reich inspires a deep and abiding fascination to this day, with the origin of the awful cruelties perpetrated in its name still the subject of intense debate. Ever since Hitler's death in the Fuhrerbunker in 1945, historians, psychologists and theologians have attempted to understand and explain the frightful aberration that was Nazism.


One of the foci around which discussion of Hitler moves is the question of where he stands in the spectrum of human nature.


As the journalist Ron Rosenbaum notes, the very existence of this spectrum suggests an extremely uncomfortable question:

"Is Hitler on a continuum with previous and successive mass murderers, explicable within the same framework, on the extreme end of the same spectrum of the human nature we supposedly share with Jeffrey Dahmer and Mahatma Gandhi?"

Or is he something else entirely, existing outside the continuum of humanity, evil in some absolute, ultimate way?


The theologian Emil Fackenheim believes that such was the magnitude of Hitler's crimes that we must consider him as representing a 'radical evil', an 'eruption of demonism into history'. (2) Hitler's evil is seen by thinkers like Fackenheim as existing beyond the bounds of ordinary human behavior (however appalling). Indeed, to them it is so extreme that it transcends the field of behavioral science and enters the realm of theology: in other words, Hitler's ultimate nature can only be completely understood by God.

The industrialized mass murder perpetrated by the Nazis resonated irresistibly through the latter half of the twentieth century, and is certainly the principal contributing factor to what the British historian Norman Davies calls 'a demonological fascination with Germany'.


In summarizing the historiography of the Western Powers, Davies states:

'Germany stands condemned as the prime source both of the malignant imperialism which produced the First World War, and of the virulent brand of fascism which provoked the Second.' (3)

In the post-war years, this contributed to the 'Allied scheme of history' in which the West presented (and still presents) itself as the pinnacle of civilization, morality and altruism. While the numerous reasons why this is far from the truth lie beyond the scope of this book, the attitudes that have accompanied the Allied scheme are of extreme importance with regard to our continuing fascination with the Nazis.


Davies writes of,

'The ideology of "anti-fascism", in which the Second World War of 1939-45 is perceived as "the War against Fascism" and as the defining event in the triumph of Good over Evil.' (4)

It is easy to understand, therefore, how such defining events (particularly those separated from us by a mere 55 years) can tenaciously maintain themselves in the public consciousness.

While historians have tended to concentrate on the many important economic, social and historical factors that influenced Nazi ideology, somewhat less attention has been paid to the Nazis' fascination with arcane and esoteric belief systems, in spite of their undeniable influence upon Hitler and the architects of National Socialism in the years leading up to and including the Second World War. The purpose of this book, therefore, is to attempt to make some sense of the irrational and benighted realms of Nazi occultism and pseudoscience, and to attempt an explanation of the strange attraction they held for their proponents.

Given the human capacity for myth-making, it is perhaps unsurprising that the known history of the Third Reich should have given rise, in subsequent decades, to the assertion that the Nazis were, quite literally, in contact with an evil, transhuman intelligence that chose to exert its influence over humanity through the living conduits of Hitler and other high-ranking members of the Reich.


In the course of this book, we shall see that the intellectual fathers of National Socialism, aggressively anti-Semitic Pan-German and volkisch nationalists like Guido von List, Jorg Lanz von Liebenfels and Rudolf von Sebottendorff, cultivated an undeniable and profound interest in occultism, theosophy, the idea of Atlantis as a lost Aryan civilization, and the magical powers inherent in the very blood of racially pure Germans. That Hitler's immediate subordinates themselves dabbled in occult sciences such as astrology is also beyond doubt.


Occultism played a significant role in the formation and rituals of the SS; and it is also a matter of historical record that the Nazis embraced cock-eyed cosmological theories such as Horbiger's World Ice concept (which provided them with an opportunity to denounce the ideas of the Jewish Albert Einstein).

In the decades since the end of the war, some historians have seen Nazi occultism as evidence of the essential irrationality underlying the Third Reich, and as a salutary lesson regarding the power that myth can exercise over the human mind. This point of view is, of course, based on the fact that occultism (however important it may be in the history of the human quest for understanding) is not an accurate way of describing the nature of the Universe.


The concepts, beliefs, attitudes and actions we shall encounter in this book, however, are based on the opposite notion, that occultism is a genuine and useful system with which to apprehend and influence the workings of Nature.

If we take Fackenheim's belief that Hitler represents an 'eruption of demonism into history', which can only truly be understood by God, and apply it to the subject of Nazi occultism, it becomes clear that the various claims for the reality of genuine Nazi occult power were inevitable.


One can easily imagine the thought processes of the writers who have made these claims: the Third Reich was an atrocious aberration in the history of humanity, an utter catastrophe even by our usual bloody standards.

  • How could it have come about?

  • If Hitler was uniquely evil, why was he so?

  • What was it in his mind, his nature, his essential attributes and the actions to which they gave rise that took him beyond the continuum of human behavior and placed him at the level of the absolute, comprehensible only to the creator of the Universe?

  • If his evil extended beyond the human, is it possible that its origin lay beyond the human?

In view of the extreme nature of Nazi crimes, the idea that an evil external to humanity (a cosmic evil) exists and that leading Nazis actually attempted to make contact with trans-human entities in their pursuit of world domination and the creation of an Aryan super-race maybe seen by many as distasteful in the extreme, and demeaning to the memory of those who suffered and died under Hitler's tyranny.


It is an uncomfortable notion, to be sure, and one that, as the British writer Joscelyn Godwin notes, occupies,

'that twilight zone between fact and fiction: the most fertile territory for the nurturing of mythological images and their installation in the collective imagination'. (5)

However, it is for this very reason that the idea of genuine Nazi occult power demands our attention: it has become an important (if unwelcome) aspect of the history of the Second World War and the second half of the twentieth century.

At this point, I should clarify my reasons for and intentions in writing this book.


The prevalence of the Nazi-occultism idea is such that I considered it worthwhile to attempt an evaluation of it - especially in view of the fact that humanity stands on the threshold of a new millennium more or less intact. With the arrival of the year 2000, human culture finds itself in an intriguing position, the nature of which might best be captured by the British writer Thomas De Quincey's statement that the present is the confluence of two eternities, the past and the future.


As we look with curiosity, hope and some trepidation to the new century and the new millennium before us, we will also, of necessity, look back at the thousand years we have just left behind, and in particular at the century that has just ended - without doubt the bloodiest and most violent, but also the century that saw more and greater scientific advances than any other in the history of our species.


And yet, despite the myriad scientific and technological advances that have carried us to this point in our history, it cannot be said with any confidence that science itself has triumphed over mythology. In some ways, this is by no means a bad thing: human beings are not machines, and a worldwide culture based exclusively on hard scientific principles would be intolerable to human nature, which is fascinated by spirituality, mythology and mystery.

However, this inherent need in human beings to mythologize can seriously hinder the quest for truth, particularly historical truth. As the British historian Hugh Trevor-Roper put it, 'reason is powerless against the obstinate love of fiction'.


When he wrote this, Trevor-Roper was referring to the so-called 'Hitler survival myth', the idea that the Fuhrer did not die in the Berlin bunker in 1945, but somehow managed to escape - according to various versions, to South America, to Antarctica, and even to a monastery in Tibet.


As a historian and British intelligence officer, Trevor-Roper was given the task of establishing Hitler's fate by the then-head of Counter-intelligence in the British Zone of Germany, Sir Dick White. He made his report to the Four-Power Intelligence Committee in Berlin on 1 November 1945, and the report inspired one of the finest history books ever published, The Last Days of Hitler (1947). In this book, Trevor-Roper calmly establishes beyond all reasonable doubt that Hitler did not survive the end of the Second World War.


Nevertheless, the Hitler survival myth continued to circulate, particularly in far-right and neo-Nazi circles, and can still be encountered occasionally to this day.

This mythopoeic capacity is brought to bear in the absence of verifiable data. In the case of the Hitler survival myth, in September 1945 no one knew for certain what had happened to the Fuhrer: he had simply disappeared. This gave rise to numerous speculations, particularly from journalists, that he had somehow managed to escape from the ruins of Berlin as his Thousand-Year Reich imploded to the dimensions of his bunker.


When Trevor-Roper's final report was delivered, stating that Hitler had died by his own hand and that all other theories were 'contrary to the only positive evidence and supported by no evidence at all', it drew criticism from some quarters.

'The critics did not indeed deny the evidence that was produced, but they maintained that there was still a possibility of escaping so final a conclusion; they maintained that the body that had been burnt was that not of Hitler but of a "double" introduced at the last minute ...' (6)

Trevor-Roper's use of the phrase 'a possibility of escaping' is interesting and very significant with regard to the present book, since the idea of escaping from a final conclusion to the horror of Hitler resonates powerfully with the fact that Hitler himself managed to escape human justice through suicide. Indeed, as more than one commentator has suggested, Hitler managed a twofold escape: not only did he elude punishment for his crimes but he has also eluded explanation, as noted earlier.


This inability on our part to arrive at a satisfactory explanation for Hitler has been called 'evidentiary despair' by Ron Rosenbaum, who illustrates the concept with comments from historians such as Trevor-Roper, Alan Bullock and the Jewish-studies scholar Alvin Rosenfeld. Trevor-Roper still considers Hitler a 'frightening mystery', while Bullock states that the more he learns about Hitler, the harder he finds him to explain.


Rosenfeld sums up the problem best:

'No representation of Adolf Hitler has seemed able to present the man or satisfactorily explain him.' (7)

Of course, there have been many attempts to explain the mind of Hitler, to chart the process that took him from unprepossessing Viennese down-and-out to the assassin of European Jewry. Surprisingly (indeed, shockingly), the debate that has continued for more than half a century concentrates partly on the question of whether or not Hitler can accurately be described as 'evil'.


Our first reaction to this might be that it is the easiest question to answer that has ever been posed, to echo Alan Bullock's 'If he isn't evil, who is?'


Nevertheless, the ease with which we seem to be able to answer this question is illusory and, in addressing ourselves to it, we find ourselves grappling with one of the oldest problems of humanity: the problem of the nature of evil itself.


As Rosenbaum reminds us, 'it doesn't matter what word we choose to apply to Hitler', it does not alter the number of people who suffered and died.

'How we think about Hitler and evil and the nature of Hitler's choice is a reflection of important cultural assumptions and divisive schisms about individual consciousness and historical causation, the never-ending conflict over free will, determinism, and personal responsibility.' 8

It is important to emphasize that to question the use of the word 'evil' as applied to Hitler is not to minimize in any way the enormity of his crimes (which were inarguably horrific). However, our intuitive sense of the existence of evil and the certainty with which we perceive its presence in Hitler is little help in our search for a definition of it. Rosenbaum informs us that during the course of interviews with many historians, conducted as part of the research for his remarkable book Explaining Hitler: The Search For the Origins of His Evil, he discovered to his surprise that many were reluctant to call Adolf Hitler evil.

Rosenbaum is instructive on the problems of defining evil in terms sufficiently accurate to allow a serious and rigorous discussion of the primary motivating factors in Hitler's crimes:

[I]n the realm of scholarship, it's remarkable to discover how many sophisticated thinkers of all stripes find themselves unwilling to find a principled rationale for calling Hitler evil, at least in the strict sense of doing wrong knowingly. The philosophical literature that takes these questions seriously makes a distinction between obviously evil deeds such as mass murder and the not-always-obvious nature of the intent of the doer, preferring the stricter term 'wickedness' to describe wrongdoers who do evil deeds knowing they are doing wrong.


I was drawn to the philosophical literature on the problem of wickedness ... by another defining moment in my encounters with Hitler explainers: my conversation in London with H. R. Trevor-Roper, former Regius Professor of Modern History at Oxford, one of the first and most widely respected postwar Hitler explainers.


I'd asked him the deceptively simple question I'd begun asking a number of Hitler explainers:

'Do you consider Hitler consciously evil? Did he know what he was doing was wrong?' (9)

Trevor-Roper's answer was an emphatic No: Hitler was convinced of his own rectitude.


Although his deeds reached an extreme of awfulness, he committed them in the deluded belief that they were right. Rosenbaum also points out that the assumption that Jewish people themselves might be expected to be the first to reject this 'rectitude argument' is also flawed, as evidenced by the statement of Efraim Zuroff, director of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre's Jerusalem headquarters, and the chief Nazi-hunter in Israel.


When asked if he thought Hitler was conscious he was doing wrong, Zuroff almost shouted:

'Of course not! Hitler thought he was a doctor! Killing germs! That's all Jews were to him! He believed he was doing good, not evil!' (10)

The acceptance by many historians of the rectitude argument leads Rosenbaum to a tentative and very interesting conclusion:

'that beneath the Socratic logic of the position might be an understandably human, even emotional, rejection - as simply unbearable - of the idea that someone could commit mass murder without a sense of rectitude, however delusional.


That Hitler could have done it out of pure personal hatred, knowing exactly what he was doing and how wrong it was.' (11)

Allied to this is the so-called Great Abstraction Theory of history, which places emphasis on profound and inevitable trends at the expense of the activities of single personalities as formulated in the now-unfashionable Great Man Theory.


According to the Great Abstraction Theory:

'Nothing could have prevented the Holocaust. No one's to blame for the failure to halt Hitler's rise. If it hadn't been Hitler, it would have been "someone like Hitler" serving as an instrument of those inexorable larger forces.' (12)

The alternative, which is considered unthinkable by many historians and philosophers, is that a single human being wanted to bring about the Holocaust - a human being ... a member of our species. (The reader may detect a similarity between this notion and the reluctance by some to allow Hitler to be placed within the continuum of human behavior mentioned earlier.)

While the implications of the Great Abstraction Theory may serve as a form of consolation (nothing could have prevented the Holocaust from happening: it was the result of uncontrollable historical forces), it has been rightly criticized in some quarters for its implicit removal of Hitler from the position of sole creator of the Final Solution. In the last analysis, he remains the greatest enigma: any attempt to explain seriously the origin and nature of the evil of the Third Reich must centre on Adolf Hitler - not as a pawn of larger forces, but as the prime mover of Nazism.

All of which brings us back to the central question, phrased memorably by Rosenbaum: what made Hitler Hitler? What turned him from an apparently ordinary, undistinguished human being into the very embodiment of wickedness, the destroyer of more than six million innocent people?


According to Yehuda Bauer, a founder of the discipline of Holocaust Studies, while it is possible in theory to explain Hitler, it may well be too late.


The deaths of crucial witnesses and the loss of important documents may have resulted in our eternal separation from the means to answer the question, to draw an accurate map of the hell Hitler created on Earth.

Of course, there have been numerous theories put forward, including the suggestion that Hitler's anti-Semitism derived from the unproven seduction and impregnation of his paternal grandmother, Maria Schicklgruber, by a Jew, resulting in the birth of his father, Alois Hitler. According to this theory, Hitler exterminated the Jews in order to exterminate what he perceived as the poison in his own blood. Another conjecture has it that Hitler discovered an affair between his half-niece, Geli Raubal, and a Jewish music teacher, and that he either drove her to suicide or had her murdered.


This resulted in a desire for murderous vengeance against the Jews. Yet another theory suggests that the death of Hitler's mother in 1907 was in some way made more painful by the malpractice of her Jewish doctor, Eduard Bloch, for which Hitler, once again, exacted terrible vengeance.

As we have just seen, the desperate search for an adequate explanation of Hitler has resulted in a number of contradictory theories, many of which are built on flimsy evidence.


Interestingly, this search has also generated a mythology of its own, revolving around what Rosenbaum calls,

"the lost safe-deposit box. A place where allegedly revelatory documents - ones that might provide the missing link, the lost key to the Hitler psyche, the true source of his metamorphosis - seem to disappear beyond recovery." (14)

This mythology was inspired by real events in Munich in 1933, when Fritz Gerlich, the last anti-Hitler journalist in that city, made a desperate attempt to alert the world to the true nature of Hitler by means of a report of an unspecified scandal. On 9 March, just as Gerlich's newspaper, Der Gerade Weg, was about to go to press, SA storm troopers entered the premises and ripped it from the presses.

Although no copy of the Gerlich report has ever been found, rumors have been circulating for many years about the ultimate fate of the information with which Gerlich hoped to warn the world of the danger of Hitler, one of which involves a secret copy of the report that was smuggled out of the premises (along with supporting documentary material) by one Count Waldburg-Zeil. Waldburg-Zeil allegedly took the report and its supporting documents to his estate north of Munich, where he buried them somewhere in the grounds.


According to Gerlich's biographer Erwin von Aretin, however, Waldburg-Zeil destroyed them during the war, fearful of what might happen should they be discovered by the Nazi authorities.

Rosenbaum informs us of an alternative version of these events, involving documents proving that Geli Raubal was indeed killed on the orders of Adolf Hitler. According to von Aretin's son, the historian Professor Karl-Ottmar Freiherr von Aretin, his father gave the documents to his cousin, Karl Ludwig Freiherr von Guttenberg, co-owner of the Munchener Neueste Nachrichten, who put them in a safe-deposit box in Switzerland. Guttenberg was killed following his involvement in the attempted coup against Hitler on 20 July 1944.


For the sake of security, he had not told anyone the number of the safe-deposit-box account.

The idea that somewhere in Switzerland there lies a set of documents containing information that might be of some help in explaining the transformation of Adolf Hitler from man to monster is a powerful one, and has generated more than one subsequent controversial claim.


There is, for instance, the account given by a German novelist named Ernst Weiss, according to which the voice Hitler claimed to have heard while recovering from war injuries in a hospital at Pasewalk summoning him to a mission to avenge Germany following her surrender in 1918, was actually that of Dr Edmund Forster, a staff psychiatrist at the hospital.

Forster, 'sought to cure Hitler's hysterical blindness by putting him in a hypnotic trance and implanting the post-hypnotic suggestion that Hitler had to recover his sight to fulfill a mission to redeem Germany's lost honor'. (15)

Weiss, who apparently befriended Forster, claimed that the psychiatrist discovered a dreadful secret during the course of Hitler's treatment, a secret with the potential to unlock the future Fuhrer's psyche and which Forster took with him when he fled Germany in 1933. Shortly before his suicide (to which he was driven by the Gestapo), Forster took his Pasewalk case notes to Switzerland and placed them in a safe-deposit box in a bank in Basel. As an added security measure, Forster rewrote the notes in a cipher of his own devising, the key to which he took to his grave.

As Rosenbaum notes, the unreadable cipher in the lost safe-deposit box is a powerful metaphor for the elusive explanation of Hitler:

These lost-safe-deposit-box stories clearly serve as expressions of anxiety about - and talismans against - an otherwise apparently inexplicable malignant evil. In fact, despite the despairing tone of the safe-deposit-box myths, they represent a kind of epistemological optimism, a faith in an explicable world.


Yes, something is missing, but if we don't have the missing piece in hand, at least it exists somewhere.


At least somewhere there's the lost key that could make sense of the apparently motiveless malignancy of Hitler's psyche ... A missing piece, however mundane or bizarre ... but something here on earth, something we can contain in our imagination, something safely containable within the reassuring confines of a box in a Swiss bank. Something not beyond our ken, just beyond our reach, something less unbearably frightening than inexplicable evil. (16)

If I have relied rather heavily on Rosenbaum's work in the last few pages, it is because it is of considerable relevance to our concerns in the present book. When I began to think about writing Invisible Eagle, my intention was to attempt an evaluation of the evidence for Nazi involvement with occultism and black magic. In the course of my preliminary reading, however, it became clear to me that, while early racist organizations like the volkisch movement and the Pan-Germans were most certainly influenced by occultist notions, the evidence for Adolf Hitler and other leading Nazis as practicing black magicians was decidedly weak.


Nevertheless, in the decades since the end of the Second World War, an elaborate mythology has developed around this very concept, the details of which (as lurid as they are unsubstantiated) have been presented in a number of popular books, mainly in the 1960s and early 1970s.

The reason for this, it seems to me, has a great deal to do with what we have been discussing in this Introduction: the need - desperate and perhaps doomed to failure -to arrive at an adequate explanation for the catastrophic wickedness of Hitler and the Nazis. Indeed, this notion first arose during the actual war years and was adhered to at first principally by members of the Spiritualist community, and later by many others (it is estimated that by 1941 as much as 25 per cent of the British population had some belief in the paranormal).


An interest in occultism and Spiritualism became a great comfort to those who had lost loved ones either overseas or in the Blitz, since it held the potential to establish for them the reality of an afterlife, a world of the spirit where their sufferings would be at an end, replaced by ultimate peace and love. For many people with an interest in esotericism, it became evident that the war was very much a war between Good and Evil in the cosmic sense: a battle between the powers of Light and Darkness. The Nazis were using (or perhaps being used by) monstrous occult powers, and the only way to have even a chance of stopping them was to employ the opposing magical powers of goodness and love.


This the Spiritualist community did, paying special attention to British pilots fighting in the Battle of Britain. It is a little-known fact that there was an additional battle being waged at the time, by Spiritualists giving psychic aid to the brave pilots defending the nation's skies. This came to be known as the Magical Battle of Britain.

The Spiritualists were in turn aided in their efforts by the white witches who feared that a Nazi invasion of Britain would see their extermination. By raising their own occult forces, they hoped to stave off the invasion in the summer of 1940. Travelling to the Kent coast, the witches threw a substance known as 'go-away powder' into the sea. Made according to an ancient recipe, this substance, combined with certain potent magical spells, had the effect (so the witches believed) of raising an impassable psychic barrier around the shores of Britain.


Another coven travelled to the Hampshire coast with the intention of raising a magical cone of power that would turn back the advancing forces of Darkness. Indeed, magical operations were carried out by covens all over the country, concentrating on the idea of confusing the minds of Hitler's High Command and making them think that to invade Britain would be too difficult. (In the autumn of 1940, the invasion of Britain was postponed indefinitely.)

At this point, I should pause to note that at various points in this book I shall be using two phrases that at first sight might appear to be synonymous but which actually have very different meanings.

  • The first is 'Nazi occultism', by which I mean the Nazi belief in the occult and supernatural

  • The second is 'Nazi occult power', by which I mean the belief of occultists and crypto-historians that the Nazis wielded genuine supernatural powers, achieved through their alleged contact with transhuman intelligences

It will become clear in the course of the book, I hope, that the latter concept, while far less verifiable in historical terms, is nevertheless of considerable importance in the mythology of the twentieth century and the manner in which we view reality today.

That said, let us now turn to a brief overview of the subjects that we shall be examining in the following pages. This survey can in many ways be categorized as conspiracy literature. As such, it presents certain problems both for the writer who explores it and the reader who agrees to accompany him or her. With regard to Invisible Eagle, it will become clear that the early sections refer to data that have been verified and are accepted by professional historians.


However, as the reader proceeds through the book, it will also become clear that ideas about the involvement of leading Nazis with occultism and black magic grow more outlandish and less believable, particularly when presented by writers who have little or no official training in the history of fascism and the Second World War.

It might therefore appear to the reader that this book itself is only half legitimate, based as it is partly on verifiable historical data and partly on bizarre and spurious notions that have few claims to historical accuracy. Such a conclusion would, however, be a mistake: the various claims made regarding Nazi involvement with the occult have come to occupy a central place in the mythologizing of the Third Reich that has developed in the years since the end of the Second World War.


Just as the Nazis mythologized the history of their so-called 'Aryan' ancestors in order to legitimize (in their own minds, at least) their claims to racial superiority, so they themselves have, to a great extent, been mythologized by writers in the fields of occultism and conspiracy theory.

The result is that a body of wild historical speculation now exists alongside what we know for certain about Nazi Germany, and it is an unpalatable but undeniable fact that this speculation forms a significant element in the public attitude to Hitler and the Nazis. However spurious the ideas that we shall examine in the later stages of this book, it is essential that we do discuss them in order to gain some understanding of the awful fascination the Third Reich still holds for us.

Thus, in Chapter One, we will examine,

  • the origins of occultist belief in Nazi Germany in movements such as volkisch nationalism and Pan-Germanism

  • the adoption of Theosophical concepts

  • the development of the occult-racist doctrine known as Ariosophy

  • the occult societies that were used as conduits for the propagation of racist esotericism and the doctrine of Aryan supremacy

In Chapter Two, we will concentrate on the bizarre mythology adopted by the Nazis, which centered on the idea of a lost Aryan homeland in the far North, and will examine the occult origin of the swastika.

The first two chapters contain information that is historically verifiable and accepted by serious historians.


With Chapter Three, we find ourselves departing from this path of respectability and entering what the French writers Louis Pauwels and Jacques Bergier call the Absolute Elsewhere: an intellectual realm of extreme notions that is the equivalent of Godwin's 'twilight zone between fact and fiction'.


Much of the remainder of this book will deal with these notions, not through any misguided belief in their veracity but rather in an attempt to establish the reasons for their inclusion in the mythology that has been imposed upon the history of the Third Reich in the last five decades. Chapter Three, therefore, will introduce us to the mysterious Vril Society and its use of a vast and hidden power known as 'vril' and said to be wielded by a race of subterranean superhumans.


In Chapter Four we will travel to Tibet to examine the curious notion that the Nazis were in contact with certain high lamas, through whom they intended to ally themselves with the powerful race living beneath the Himalayas. Chapter Five will be devoted to an examination of one of the most enduring myths regarding Nazi occult power: that of Hitler's quest for the so-called Spear of Destiny, the Holy Lance said to have pierced the side of Christ during the crucifixion and whose possession would enable those who understood its mysteries to control the world.


In Chapter Six we will chart the origins and ritual practices of the SS and attempt to establish how much of what has been written regarding its use of black magic is true. Chapter Seven will see us plunging ever deeper into the Absolute Elsewhere, where we will encounter the fantastic principles of Nazi cosmology, including the theory that the Earth is hollow (a theory that has enjoyed more or less constant currency in certain UFO circles - the fringe of the fringe, one might say).

Although at first sight it might appear out of place in a book dealing with the subject of Nazi occultism, I have devoted Chapter Eight to an examination of the radical and highly advanced aircraft designs on which the Nazis were working towards the end of the war, and which were captured, along with many of the scientists and engineers who were attempting to put them into practice, by the Allies in 1945.


I have included this subject because it provides a connection between the alleged occult philosophy of the Third Reich and the sinister but increasingly popular concept of Nazi survival to the present day. It has been suggested by a number of researchers and commentators that modern sightings of UFOs (unidentified flying objects) may be due to the development by America and Russia of captured Nazi secret weapon designs.


It is certainly beyond dispute that both Allied and German air crews encountered highly unusual aerial phenomena over Europe in the form of small (three- to four-foot diameter) illuminated spheres, which appeared to follow their fighters and bombers and interfered with the electrical systems of the aircraft.

These glowing balls of light were known as 'foo fighters'. Others (including certain neo-Nazi groups) have suggested in all seriousness that some UFOs are actually operated by Nazis and are powered by vril energy, and that the Third Reich survives today in the icy fastnesses of the North and South polar regions, in particular the region of Antarctica known as Queen Maud Land (so named by Norwegian explorers) which the Nazis claimed for Germany in 1939 and renamed Neu Schwabenland.

In Chapter Nine we will examine the notion of Nazi survival in various secret locations, which has it that the Third Reich (or, perhaps more accurately, the Fourth Reich) is alive and well and continuing its quest for world domination.


Finally, in the Conclusion we will attempt a summing up of the material we have covered.

By the end of the book, I hope to make it clear that the history of Nazi occultist beliefs, in combination with the attempt to enlist the Nazis' quest for genuine supernatural power to explain the motivations of Hitler and the Third Reich, has resulted in an elaborate mythological system that has had a definite influence upon our attitude to the practice of official secrecy and the putative abuses of political and economic power in the post-war world.


The structure of belief we will be discussing is thus twofold: on the one hand, we can identify the pernicious esotericism of the Nazis themselves and the revolting cruelties it engendered; and on the other, the modern mythological system that has developed in the years since the end of the Second World War, and which has Nazi occultist beliefs as its starting point.


Readers will find themselves embarking on a journey into realms both outré and unsettling; we will of necessity be exploring concepts from which most academics would turn away with the utmost disdain. We will look at claims and beliefs that most rational people would find it hard to accept anyone could seriously entertain - were it not for the atrocities committed in their name that have irreparably demeaned our species.


And we will see how the frightful and irrational concepts of Nazi mysticism and pseudoscience have survived to the present day to cast a fearsome shadow over the future.

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