So I now get this channel called History International with my cable plan. This is best channel EVER. It should be called the PseudoHistory Conspiracy Theory Channel. Almost nothing on it is true, but it’s really fun to watch and they have strange long commercials like I used to watch when I was a teenager and stayed up watching tv until sign-off.
On a show about the Hitler/Ancient Alien connection (please tell me you knew about this! Don’t they teach anything is schools these days?), I saw something that fascinated me–a mention of the mysterious Vril Society and one of its members, Maria Orsic. (That’s her in the photo, which I think is fascinating in it’s own right.) To explain what this is, I’m going to take a step back and introduce the Thule Society, an occult group in Berlin that, through some twists and turns, turned into the Nazi party. That’s how the Nazi party ended up appropriating the swastika, which is a beautiful symbol of ancient origins that crosses many cultures–the Thule Society folks studied the occult intensely, and, in fact, shared many of the obsessions of modern occultism: aliens, Tibetan Buddhism, and ancient Hinduism. In fact, I’ve read in a number of places that a handful of Tibetan lamas actually came to Berlin to help Hitler with his cause–obviously, they’d been entirely misled as to what his true cause was, but Jeez, can’t these lamas, like see shit? That’s a big bubble burst. The whole Nazi thing actually makes a lot more sense as you look at is a case of religious fanaticism, rather than a political movement, and it also helps explain why so many otherwise intelligent people were taken in by them–the whole occult, pseudo-mystical thing is very appealing. It’s also useful to keep in mind that these occult groups were all the rage across Europe and the US from the Victorian Era through the thirties–the Golden Dawn is the best known example. But while the Golden Dawn was seriously devoted to spiritual study (and in-house bickering), many just took the form and forgot about the religious stuff: the pseudo-freemasonic trappings of the Ku Klux Klan (calling themselves Grand Dragons and the like) were influenced by this mystical trend, as were the masked, point-hatted costumes of Mardi Gras krewes. (As an aside, many Nazis also believed the earth was hollow, an old theory that has waxed in waned in popularity over the years.)
Anyway, I hadn’t known (and am still not entirely sure, given my sources) that the Thule Society had a kind of ladies auxiliary in the Vril Society, led by Maria, a medium and psychic. According the always-factual internet, the women of the Vril Society channelled Sumerian entities and never cut their hair (like some Sikhs, they may have believed the hair can serve as an antennae for otherworldly news). They worked towards channelling alien technology to create a flying saucer for their Nazi brothers. Apparently it all relates back to a Victorian-Era work of science fiction called Vril: The Power of the Coming Race, by Edward Bulwer-Lytton–the inspiration-by-fiction bit reminds me of the current hoopla around the Anastasia books. According to this deleted wikipedia page (how massively insane does something have to be to actually get deleted from wikipedia?), Maria and her Nazi-ettes disappeared in 1945. So who knows if there was a Maria and if there was, what became of her and her long-haired sisters?
Of course, one reason why all this fascinates me so is because I, too, study the occult, Tibetan Buddhism, and yoga. And I find the alien thing pretty interesting too. But the conclusions I’ve reached–that all sentient beings are truly one, subject to the illusion of time, space, and separation, and if I cause another harm that is literally indistinguishable from harming myself (not that I always practice that, of course)–are pretty different from those the Thule Society reached: kill everyone.
Incidentally, someone recently spray-painted some swastikas on a road sign near my house. I don’t think it was personal– HALF-JEW LIVES HERE, ATTACK! I think it was likely just some bored kids who figured the one and only thing they could do to get in trouble in our little hippie town. But when I saw those swastikas I realized, after over ten years of studying yoga, I couldn’t see Hitler’s swastika anymore. The real symbol is so much stronger and older than that. Instead I enjoyed those swastikas as a reminder of the divine Self inside, every day, until, the country sandblasted them away, and I missed them when they were gone.