Gothic Grotesque: Precursor of Modern Horrors
by Prof. Eugene Narrett
In the last decades of the 19th century, stimulated by the fantastic and racist mythologies of Helena Blavatsky, by Malthus, Darwin (as formulated and promulgated by T. H. Huxley), by new data from geology and by a thirst for a preeminent history, for moral and physical superiority, Germany and Austria produced occultist theorists that invented and then exalted an ancient history for the Aryan peoples. The result was millenarian evolutionary cults featuring an eternal struggle by Aryans against various kinds of aggressive sub-humans and against religious persecution of their pure race-based, nature-worshipping gnosis.
Like the original Romantics with their quest narratives of an embattled, spiritually starved self, and their Victorian successors, contemporary to the “Ariosophists,” these Aryan cultists idealized the feudal past and all its trappings, considering it an essential expression of the German spirit. Medieval “Gothic” heraldry, for example was interpreted as a Gnostic transmission of the primary wisdom in Icelandic runes. Aryan supremacists “preached the necessity for a new feudal order and corporate state,” as suggested by Hegel; they made a cardinal point of selective racial breeding, and usually “claimed that Germans were blood descendants of the ancient [Norse] pagan gods” .*
The formulators of Ariosophy, many of whom changed their names and added the aristocratic prefix, von, drew heavily on Scriptural patterns, personae, and centuries of textual and esoteric commentary; grotesque distortions of Kabbala filled nearly all their theories, creative linguistics, symbolism and numerological speculations. The swastika and a related form, the triskelion (three spinning legs joined at the crotch) by 1875 became popular symbols of their wish to displace Scriptural symbols. The appropriations of post-Modernism, its attack on identity and integrity were chillingly prefigured in their use of the “gibor-rune” (in Hebrew gibor means strength), a distorted aleph, first letter of the Hebrew alphabet and a reference to the Creator’s unity. In their subjective historicism and drive to create, personally a new mythos, a spiritual history in which man bursts through to godhead, Ariosophists continued the quest that is Romanticism (core period 1780-1835 in England the dates vary with nation). Like Romantic and subsequent “Victorian” texts their writings reveal the regressive and anxious tenor of post-Enlightenment dogmas of progress and exaltation of the Will to power and to re-create the world offset by a sense of impending collapse as seen in short lyrics like Arnold’s “Dover Beach” or sprawling epics of passion and civilizational rise and collapse like Wagner’s operas, Spengler’s Twilight of the West or serial historical novels as disparate as the Buddenbrooks of Mann of Hermann Broch’s The Sleepwalkers.
These texts and cultists also testify to the devolution of the West as its increasing powers over and categorization of aspects of the world lead it to heightened awareness followed by denial and hatred of the Jewish content it appropriated and buried in establishing its composite culture, or perhaps one should write, cult. Recapitulating in brief compass the entire trajectory of the West, the more the Ariosophists adapted and distorted Jewish content to embody their pseudo-histories the more they demonized Jews, identifying their extermination with the salvation of humanity. In this way they are the ultimate expression of the “identity theft,” self-conflict and guilt built into formation of the West, a penultimate great wave of Roman imperial persecution and genocide. In this way too they directly influenced all Germanic culture and top Nazis, like Heinrich Himmler who sought to build a world ruled by SS supermen, a guild of priest-kings (Armanenschaft) who carried the esoteric wisdom of Nordic runes that was wholesaled for commoners in Norse myths. Bizarre as they seem, the social and political trends these cults stimulated continue to inform the crusade and jihad against Israel and the Jews that typify the mass media, geopolitics, finance and military maneuvers of the Post-War World till today.
This neo-Gothic material is as murderous as it is juvenile, fully revealing the unleashed appetites intrinsic to the modern West’s embrace of the sensate and animal and thus of its antithesis and partner, jihad. From comic books to Hollywood’s “plausible people” personalities, to irrational great power dictates it is the substance of our times; it is the twilight of the West though not, perhaps as those who popularized the term meant it. The culture that since its inception has been obsessed with and sucking the blood of its Jewish texts and victims whom it perennially accused of its own obsession with human sacrifice increasingly confronts itself in the terrible dawn, the millennial idea it took from the Jewish Scriptures, and in taking deformed, as the following discussion indicates. Its culture of communion and death, of gigantism and rapture, of orgies and group think is the antithesis of Judaism whose emphasis on freedom, free will and responsibility, whose story patterns and metaphors it consumes and turns from radiance for all human beings into a tyranny of an elite. As the idea has devolved under Soviet influence, the elite have become superficially multicultural but the animus remains. Scripture states that G-d laughs and holds them in derision; that He and His people will have the last laugh. But Hitler’s words of 1943, “I have eliminated from the Jews all desire to laugh” are not far from being true. The West has been building Iran (Farsi for Aryan) into a machine that repeatedly vows to finish Hitler’s cultic job, — first undertaken by Marcion (c.150 CE) who sought to purge the New Testament of all Jewish content — while Western diplomats and their clients vivisect and straitjacket Israel.
This neo-Gothic material is grotesque but not funny. The millenarian and apocalyptic dualism of Adolph Lanz (1874-1950, styling himself Jurg Lanz von Liebenfels) pits the Aryans (true humans) against the darker peoples (“beast men” or “pygmies” bred for sexual pleasure by sinning Aryans); a conflict that will last until the destruction of all the beast-men (Anthropozoa as Lanz termed them). Re-writing the Scriptures as only Europeans can, Lanz stated that Adam was the first beast-man and his spawn the eternal opponents of the Aryans, the least-contaminated humans. Lanz established the Order of the New Temple patterned on ecclesial semi-secret societies (he entered and then left clerical orders in the 1890s), published a widely distributed monthly, Ostara named after the northern European spring goddess (Easter in English) and developed a theory of Theo-zoology to distinguish Aryan-humans from the issue of their cross breeding with darker people. Lanz was one of the first to adopt the Indian swastika as a flag of these various cults often collectively called “Ariosophy.” His book, Theo-zoology or the lore of the Sodom-Apelings and the Electron of the Gods (1905) asserted that the gods, the original form of earthly life, had organs enabling them to receive and send electro-magnetic rays for telepathy, a faculty that had decayed due to miscegenation with Adam’s anthropozoan descendants but that Aryans could reclaim by strict in-breeding with each other.
Not the least bizarre of these theories was formulated by an Austrian cavalry officer, Karl Maria Wiligut (1866-1946). Like the catalyst and precursor for many of these pan-German cults, Guido [von] List (1848-1919), Wiligut believed that the Scriptures originally were written in Germany for Germans and celebrated a German god, Krist. (There was much punning on the term Krist-all and crystal [Kristall in German] with a distortion of Jewish ideas about the role of gem-stones in focusing divine energy and Lanz’s own ideas about telepathy and electronic brain waves of which Aryans were said to be capable). As for Wiliger, he claimed to be the last in a very ancient line of German sages and kings who had come to reveal the Aryan origins of Christianity, including intense hatred of Jews. As will be noted, this resembled List’s claim to be descended from a thirteenth century knight and himself the last Wotanist priest-king and seer who could reveal how Nordic runes were the proto-language used to create the universe (Clarke, 41).
Precisely when German “Biblical criticism” became ensconced in universities, elaborating with little evidence critique of Biblical events and places for which there already was evidence German folk philosophers elaborated fantastic personal theories on the origin, devolution and racial conflict of human beings.
The exotic history of this German culture and religion, and the fervor with which it was received indicates the disordered cultural condition of the Modern era, the confusion, fantasies and madness that arose from the dogma that “man is the measure of all things.” For example, according to Wiliger, an anarchic pre-history of dwarves and giants going back 228,000 years was put into order by his ancestors, the Adler-Wiligoten (“eagle-willed gods”) about 80,000 years ago in creating “the second Bozo culture” (his first wife was from Bozen; the homonym, bose means “malevolent”). Like other Ariosophists, Wiliger designated fabulous continents and islands, like Atlantis to which this primal race of super-beings was dispersed. The Armanist “Krist religion” was asserted 12,500 years ago but was challenged by adherents of Wotan (Odin) about 9600 years ago. These Germanic schismatics crucified Baldur-Chrestos who nevertheless escaped. Lanz also had a new version of the passion story: for him it encoded an attempted rape of the Aryan Christ by the beast men. Note that Lanz’s call for strict racial segregation and harsh servitude or death for the mixed races was analogous to the thesis and proposals of American eugenicist Lothrup Stoddard (The Rising Tide of Color against White World Supremacy, 1920) whose apocalyptic call for “isolating the bacterial invasion…of inferiors” brought him a place on the board of Margaret Sanger’s American Birth Control League which sponsored “Neo-Malthusian and Birth Control” conferences between the Wars, — and then evolved into Planned Parenthood. The brood-houses (lebensborn) Himmler established as urged by Lanz (zuchskloster) and Wiligot had less totalitarian formulae in eugenic leagues in America. Thus, strange bedfellows underlie the encouragement of modern and post-modern institutions for population control with promotion of contraception and of sterile sex replacing enforced overt sterilization (as opposed to that via food additives or processing). If some of those Lanz termed “apelings” bred for deviant sexual pleasure now are supported by the State the purposes still are for control and those who give can also take away. As the Island of Dr. Moreau indicated, for more than a century dogmatic Darwinism has made us all animals and made sensitivity to pain a sign of being defective, as Sanger considered charity to be.**
In Wiligot’s historical fantasies the Wotanists continued with their perverse form of the “pure” gnosis until attacked by Charlemagne and converted to the ‘Jewish import,’ Christianity which, Hitler averred had destroyed man’s healthy animal nature by giving us a conscience.
Not to worry: the dispersed and exiled Wiligots, descended from air and water gods, established themselves at Vilna in Lithuania and established a vast Gothic empire that was destroyed by the Russians from the East and Christians from the West. In 1242 they found refuge in Hungary and maintained themselves against persecution by the Catholic Church, Freemasons, and Jews. Since establishing an anti-Catholic cult in Catholic Austria was a non-starter, and there was little volkish cachet in attacking Freemasons, Wiligot reverted to Europe’s default option and founded an anti-Semitic league and newspaper.
Wiligot hated his wife Malvine for failing to bear him a living male heir to carry on his royalty. She, in turn in 1924 had him committed for “grandiose designs, occult interests and paranoid delusions” about the various groups afflicting his cult and race. Upon his release, he left for Germany and became celebrated among those deeply immersed in speculations about the gnosis in Icelandic runes in which he wrote poems and from which he deduced numerological messages. In 1933 he joined the SS and gained the intense interest and favor of Heinrich Himmler for whom he designed many symbols, including the SS death’s head and circular seal and the “eye of god” within a triangle, a symbol of Horus, the Egyptian sun god and castrator of his father (uprooting and fantastic responses to rootlessness typify all these myths). Wiliger selected the Wewelsberg hill and castle as the site for an apocalyptic battle between Europe and Asia in which he prophesied that the Aryans would save the West; he wrote lengthy memos to Hitler on these matters. Himmler duly selected the Wewelsberg as an SS officers’ college under his personal control in 1934-5. His plan for a ‘restored’ Aryan Germany ruled by the SS as godlike priest-kings was seen in more prosaic ways as it competed, throughout WW II with the vast IG Farben cartel for slave labor, buying and selling shipments of Jews for experiments, vying for economic control of conquered lands and peoples; and of course, spear-heading the holocaust. The Nazi underground has appeared on schedule. .
At the Wewelsberg, pagan spring, solstice and harvest festivals were organized for SS officers and local villagers (List had focused on these rites since 1875). A mausoleum for SS High Commanders was planned, and Goodrick-Clarke writes that Himmler projected “an enormous semi-circular complex, an SS Vatican for a millenarian Greater German Reich” dedicated to “the celebration of ancient [Aryan] religion as revealed by Wiliger who had by now re-named himself, Weisthor (“wise Thor”). The King Arthur myths, various medieval kings, the Grail legend all were appropriated to the Aryan cult which may be said to be the first and most grandiose of the “counter-factual histories” of post-Modernist higher education. There is a strict, measure for measure cultural logic in the fact that 19th century “Biblical criticism” led to the replacement of the history of the Jewish people by the genocidal fantasies and racist programs of Pan German supremacists, eugenicists, and increasingly, to morbid fascination with aliens and erotic encounters between them and humans. Truth, charity and humanity became animalism, sadism and relativism with the greatest power, the State left to shape its servants to suit its purposes, very like the ‘original sin’ of the Aryans as Lanz told it…
While the more serious researchers employed by the SS attacked Wiligot and got his budget zeroed out for the War, his vision continued to inspire the SS top ranks. More importantly, it persists in the ongoing revival of pagan-New Age cults, nature worship, and pseudo-history that complements so well the emerging world state’s interest in mass forgetting, manufactured rapture, and the dominance of fantasy and the realm of the senses. It all tends to a disorienting virtual reality and identity theft – successor to the theft of the attested provenance of the Hebrew Scriptures. As the French in the visual arts, the pan German cultists with their fellow traveling Darwinists and eugenicists led the way in Modern ideology, just as their bland but ambitious descendants lead in building the New Europe about which a few comments now are pertinent.
The EU Constitution or Treaty that Germany and France have been pushing includes “a road map for the further development of a European military and defense policy” with a European army and Naval HQ on the Baltic [i.e. German coast, — Friedrich Ebert Policy Institute, June 2007, “Towards a European Army”]. Given what is being done to Israel in its name, such “maps” should alarm all peoples. Also pushed by German and EU Social Democrats are a call for unified European Air Command and Army with a German role in making policy about using French and British nuclear forces. There will be a Council and Minister for Military Affairs to decide when to wage war and smaller states will be delegated to “niche capabilities.” According to defector Vladimir Bukovsky, Trilateral Commission heavies have been pushing Russian involvement in this block since 1989 . The Russo – German alliance is back with the leaders of the Oceanic block pleased to play with each facet of the pyramid.
British geopolitics that for centuries built up Prussia and Germany is now suffering poetic justice with terrible consequences for accountability in governance everywhere. During the interwar years the French pleaded fruitlessly with Britain for a multinational force to protect them and others from Germany; now the French have decided that their interests are with a German-led bloc, coercive, collective and invasive as it may be. The elite will laugh and dine together, unveiling Isis to dazzle the masses while Aryans act out their psychodrama…
Here then is a grotesque but real history of occultism as bizarre as any Gothic tale, the literature that began to be written in the 1790s and came to dominate 19-20th popular culture. It is a terrible testament to the German thesis of “the world as Will and Idea” wielded by those who would be human gods while condemning others to beast-hood. It is an antithesis to the blessings, prayer and grace that the Hebrew Scriptures denote as the stance of G-d toward His world through the Jewish people who remain the target, the past to be buried in this New Age of giant, continental blocs swept by fantasies, terror, war and economic predation and ruin. The psalms teach that these power-mongers “will be consumed with bewildering terrors” and indeed they have created a world and mystique of, by and for terror. Of course they have: those who would bury the past have no future, and the lies of the power-mad displace the modest state and lives of service of those the Bible identifies as the Chosen People in an everlasting covenant with the Creator. A way of life based on remembrance, family, abundance and the divinity of the human soul yields to enforced forgetting, groupthink, vulgarity and imperialism, — to a high-tech Egypt.
As the armies of the North itch for action, it may be as Orwell wrote: “the past was erased, the erasure was forgotten; the lie became truth.”
* The main source for this essay’s discussion of German cults is Nicholas Goodrick-Clark’s overview, The Occult Roots of Nazism: Secret Aryan Cults and their Influence on Nazi Ideology (NY 1985; 2004).
** Black, Edwin, The War Against the Weak (NY 2003), 130-43
3. Curt Riess, the Nazi Underground (NY 1944); In August 1943, Holland’s ambassador to Washington stated about the Nazi’s global network, “they must hide, they must play dead, they must wait…to gain time for preparation for WW III.” The terrorism of the Wehrwolfen in 1944-47 was only the crude harbinger of the suave Globalism to come.
4. Bukovsky interview with Paul Belien, 2-27-06
The thoughts and writings of Prof. Eugene Narrett