Thelema and the Third Reich, book recs?
...I swear that I'm not violating Godwin's law in my first lashtal post...
I would like to find books and materials that discuss the supposed magical and occult relationships between Thelema and the Third Reich, such as is discussed in Francis King's "Satan and Swastica," Gerald Suster's "Hitler and the Age of Horus" (also published as "Hitler: Occult Messiah"), and John Symonds' "The Medusa's Head."
Recommendations please? ;D
I am interested in finding the kooky, fictional, and downright false ideas on this topic as well as the earnest "factual" accounts. I have heard rumors, for instance, that a bogus title was published in the 60s-70s that alleged (hilariously) that O.T.O. was connected with the Thule Society and political Nazism. Let me know!
Pasi's 'Aleister Crowley and the Temptation of Politics' would be a good place to start. Goodrick-Clarke's 'Occult Roots of the Third Reich' might also be of interest.
Thanks WilliamThirteen, these are exactly the kinds of titles that I am looking for! Both of these books are interesting to me. Please let me know if you think of anything else, whether it includes more serious scholarship as you have already recommended, or otherwise ventures into the realm of the amusingly ridiculous, as I am sure that there are others that I am missing.
oh, and there is 'Unholy Alliance' by Peter Levenda - another sensationalist book. Do you read German?
I would also highly recommend this paper by Peter Staudenmeier:
You actually have a fairly descent start with what you already mentioned but here are a few suggestions to further push it over the edge. I should point out that not all of these make mention of any connections between Crowley/Thelema and Nazi occultism but you may find them interesting nonetheless. Not all of these are credible either but you seem to want anything along these lines so here it goes. 😉
First, as already mentioned, Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke's book may be one of the best and most credible of sources for the topic overall. My copy is titled The Occult Roots of Nazism: Secret Aryan Cults and Their Influence on Nazi Ideology.
The book that first infused the idea of Nazi occultism into popular consciousness is The Morning of the Magicians (aka The Dawn of Magic) by Louis Pauwels and Jacques Bergier first published in 1960. One could also argue that this book also helped to kick-start the occult revival of the 1960's and '70's as well. Overall the book is more about occult ideas and suppressed information in general but it contains a notorious section titled "A Few Years in the Absolute Elsewhere" where the Nazis' occult ideas are explored. Several authors who wrote about the subject later seemed to have taken their leads from this book as well as the inaccuracies.
Gods and Beasts: The Nazis and the Occult by Dusty Sklar - Sometimes published as just The Nazis and the Occult, this one is rather sensational and not so credible but can be an entertaining read. Brief mentions of the Golden Dawn and Crowley but nothing very significant. This is one that probably started with the previously mentioned title.
Aleister Crowley and the Aeon of Horus by Paul Weston - A more recent book where Weston takes a look at the 20th century through the lens of the New Aeon. Several opening chapters cover Crowley's connection to and/or involvement (or lack of) with Nazi occultism and WWII in general. Good read overall.
The Occult Establishment by James Webb - A fairly scholarly work with lots of mention of the topic at hand. This book may be better read with Webb's previous The Occult Underground to fully understand the larger context of his focus.
Unholy Alliance: A History of Nazi Involvement with the Occult by Peter Levenda - A semi-credible work that also covers a great deal of the topic. Levenda looks at Crowley and the OTO. (Looks like WilliamThirteen beat me to mentioning this while I was typing but I'll leave it)
Arktos: The Polar Myth in Science, Symbolism and Nazi Survival by Joscelyn Godwin - Another scholarly effort with an often overlooked focus on the archetype of the Poles, or the "Polar Tradition" as it is sometimes called. Full of interesting information.
The Black Sun Unveiled by James Pontolillo - This is a massive book that covers just about every aspect of the more recent trend of the black sun symbolism in Nazi occultism. Pontolillo documents and traces the origins and use of this symbolism in numerous places. There is not a chapter on Crowley but there is a chapter on Kenneth Grant where Crowley is talked about. This work also contains enough references to keep you busy for a long time if you were to further your research.
The Lucid View and Homo-Serpiens both by Aeolus Kephas - Both of these books are full of meandering myth-making and contain several chapters on Nazi occultism and Crowley and just about everything else in between.
The Black Sun by Peter Moon - Perhaps the most outlandish of the collection I've listed here. Throughout Peter Moon's "Montauk" series of books he continually makes references to Nazi occultism and Crowley but this book brings his ideas into focus. I don't even want to try to explain what he's on about with this one. All I'll say is that I had fun reading it back in the late 1990's when it came out.
As for "... the kooky, fictional, and downright false ideas on this topic as well as the earnest "factual" accounts ...", I don't know what to make of the following book-review on amazon.com, but maybe the author of the said review knows more:
""The origins of Nazi occult thinking!", July 19, 2014 By Mark Newell Phd (Augusta, GA) [...] Verified Purchase [...] This review is from: Among The Adepts: The Brotherhood Of The Golden And Rosy Cross And Their Occult And Mysterious Powers (Paperback)
"The origins of Nazi occult thinking!" By Mark Newell Phd on July 19, 2014 "Franz Hartmann was an early member of the Munich OTO/Thule Society (the force behind the early Nazi Party). This book - once a great rarity among occult researchers, gives interesting insight into the thinking of the men behind one of the most horrific and occult driven political movements of the early 19th century. The book is a must for the bookshelf of any historian seeking to truly understanding the hidden thinking that drove Adolf Hitler (and those who mentored him) in his quest to release a torrent of blood across Europe. Steiner's "Occult Significance of Blood" should be the companion piece to this book - the two reveal much that is not generally understood about the mind set of Germans such as Hitler and Himmler. An important book by a fascinating occult researcher.""
More "kooky, fictional, and downright false ideas on this topic": Spear of Destiny: The Occult Power Behind the Spear Which Pierced the Side of Christ, by Trevor Ravenscroft. Quote from a one star review of this book on amazon.com:
"He gets the names wrong of well known personalities in the occult movement, makes a silly error in naming Aleister Crowley's own occult lodge the "Astrum Argentinum", and no it isn't a typo, as it is repeated a few pages later. Worse, he uses spurious facts to try to fit the Thule Gesellschaft to Crowley's Abbey of Thelema at Cefalu in Sicily. For someone from a background as a British Commando, I find it incredible that he would talk, in more than one place, of Germany's "war with England". Germany was never at war with England. It was at war with Britain, of which England is just one small part ! He also describes John Scotus Erigena as an Englishman. Ye Gods, the very name means John the Scot ! The book is full of errors, small and large, like this, and a few that are mega large !
As someone who has been reading around the subject matter of this book for several decades, I could find absolutely nothing to recommend it. It is, in my opinion, sensationalist nonsense which will appeal to a certain group of people of a fanciful mental disposition. For the intelligent reader, however, it holds no charm."
"Mention of a contact between Crowley and Hitler—without any sources or evidence—is [...] made in a letter from René Guénon to Julius Evola dated October 29, 1949, which later reached a broader audience."
Source: Nazism and occultism — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nazism_and_occultism#cite_note-Hakl205-27
Goodrick-Clarke's other book 'Black Sun: Aryan Cults, Esoteric Nazism and the Politics of Identity' has a chapter titled 'Nazi Satanism and the New Aeon' which has a few pages on Crowley.
its good that these new books and info are shedding light on the much bad rumours over many years suggesting AC was on or closer to the Nazi "side". first he was always on his own side lol. and became a helper of the allies as our world was much more like his vision of freedom if anything