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Atompunk Spirituality: The Church Of All Worlds

church of all worlds

You may have read Robert Heinlein’s Stranger In A Strange Land. It’s a seminal work of science fiction, one of the most influential sci fi books of all time. So influential, the reading of it inspired a pair of college students in 1962 to found what would become one of the biggest neo pagan religions in the world.

church of all worlds stranger in a strange landIn the book, a man, Mike, who has been raised by Martians returns to Earth as an adult and experiences culture shock. Furthermore, raised with Martian philosophies, he comes with many concepts of a more self actualized way of being, founds a religions and of course gets martyred. It put the word “grok” on the map: “Hey man, i grok that”. This is archaic today but the word was in heavy usage back in the 60s and 70s. The religion Mike found is all about the Hindu “Namaste”: seeing and acknowledging the god in each other. Free love and lots of casual, polygamous sex abounds, which in 1962 was a big deal as the hippy movement hadn’t really risen from the beats yet. This book influenced the free love ideal of the late 60s quite a bit.

Heinlein’s portrayal of sex has at it basis the conviction that the Judeo-Christian fixation on purity, celibacy, faithfulness within marriage, and legitimate offspring is ultimately wrong; it inevitably results in sexual jealousy, possessiveness, negative perceptions of those born out of wedlock, and punitive sanctions against women who seek to escape these patriarchal bonds.”

A water ritual, a sharing of water, is used in the story to create a bond between people and Mike’s religion is set up as a series of small nests. All of these things became reality when the fictional Church Of All Worlds was created in actuality as well as other additions we’ll mention in a moment. The most important aspect of the Stranger In A Strange Land religion that must be noted is the idea that through a great understanding, personal awakening and a deep, devotional attitude, a person could break free of the patriarchic chains of western thought and reach an enlightened, self actualized state. This is the prime inspiration that began The Church Of All Worlds.

In 1962, two guys, Richard Lance Christie and Timothy Zell became close friends at  Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri. They were into ESP experimentation and the ideas of Abraham Maslow, a renowned American psychologist.

Maslow’s work talked at length about the concept of self actualizing. He stressed the importance of focusing on the positive qualities in people, as opposed to treating them as a “bag of symptoms. believe that every person has a strong desire to realize his or her full potential, to reach a level of “self-actualization”.  He described what a self actualized person was like:  “reality centered,” able to differentiate what was fraudulent from what was genuine. They were also “problem centered,” meaning that those treated life’s difficulties as problems that demanded solutions. These individuals also were comfortable being alone and had healthy personal relationships. They had only a few close friends and family rather than a large number of shallow relationships.Self-actualizing people tend to focus on problems outside themselves; have a clear sense of what is true and what is false; are spontaneous and creative; and are not bound too strictly by social conventions. Maslow noticed that self-actualized individuals had a better insight of reality, deeply accepted themselves, others and the world, and also had faced many problems and were known to be impulsive people. These self-actualized individuals were very independent and private when it came to their environment and culture, especially their very own individual development on “potentialities and inner resources”

Abraham Maslow

Then these two friends came across the book Stranger In A Strange Land, which illustrated these concepts to a T.

They held a water ceremony where they dedicated themselves to self actualization, political and social change. They declared themselves a waterbrotherhood and named themselves Atl, after the Aztec word for water. The group grew to 100 members. They theoretically accepted any and all religious paths. ” The only sin was hypocrisy and the only crime in the eyes of the church was interfering with another person.”

In 1968, Timothy Zell decided to take Atl further and established the Church of All Worlds formally as a religion. This was not appreciated by all the Atl members and furthermore, Timothy began heavily stressing forms of earth worship, preaching about the Gaia hypothesis which he claims to have realized independently of James Lovelock, who is credited with creating the concept. The Gaia hypothesis posits that the Earth is a self-regulating complex system involving the biosphere, the atmosphere, the hydrospheres and the pedosphere, tightly coupled as an evolving system. The theory sustains that this system as a whole, called Gaia, seeks a physical and chemical environment optimal for contemporary life.

c11

In New Age terms, this is  interpreted to mean that the earth is a single, complex, living, conscious, evolving organism in which humanity is a part of the greater body.

The formation of an official church and this move into paganism splintered the Atl and split Richard Christie and Timothy Zell.

The new Church Of All Worlds however did magnificently. A key ingredient in its success was a self published magazine it began producing in 1968 called Green Egg. Green Egg became THE magazine on neo paganism, in fact putting the very word neo-pagan on the map. As the hippy movement blossomed, the new age movement began, alternative spirituality started looking to paganistic ideas and practices (that is, forms of nature worship), Green Egg was at the center of it.

church of all worlds

In addition, Zell became passionately interested in esoterica and ritual magick. Ritual magick would become a life long passion.

church of all worlds

In 1973 Timothy Zell met Diana Moore who went by the name Morning Glory. The two fell in love, Morning Glory divorced her then husband and married Timothy. Timothy then changed his name to Oberon Zell-Ravenheart and the two lovers new aged the fuck out.

church of all worlds

In 1976 the two began almost a decade of traveling, adventure, and living in various retreats and in a school bus they converted to a mobile home. They founded the Ecosophical Research Association (ERA) in 1977 at a ranch northwest of Ukiah, California to investigate arcane lore and legends of cryptids such as Bigfoot and mermaids. Their wandering years ended in 1985 when they took up permanent residence at Coeden Brith, initially for the purpose of raising “unicorns” created from horn surgery on baby goats. The ERA sponsored a Mermaid expedition to Papua, New Guinea in 1985 and a later ERA project involved the May 1996 world-wide ritual to draw upon and re-activate the Oracle at Delphi.

church of all worlds

Their marriage was an open one. Morning Glory’s relationship with Zell developed into a polyamorous one made up of three people from 1984 to 1994, including Diane Darling.[7] When this arrangement ended, Zell and Morning Glory bonded with others to make a marriage of five and sometimes six. The group took the collective surname Zell-Ravenheart, and lived in two large homes.

church of all worlds

The Church experienced a large drop in the 80s, time’s a changin’ of course, but picked back up in the 90s, becoming especially popular in Australia. In 2001 Green Egg ceased publication and in 2004 the Church’s Board of Directors decided to terminate the Church of All Worlds due to financial and legal struggles.

However, In January, 2006, due in large part to the efforts of Jack Crispin Cain, CAW was reestablished with Zells again assuming a leadership role. In 2007, Green Egg, returned to publication in an online format. The “3rd Phoenix Resurrection of the Church” continues to the present. Morning Glory passed away on May 13, 2014 but Zell is still alive, living in  Sonoma County, California and to some extent still touring and lecturing.

church of all worlds

 

Naturally, the Church of All Worlds is online. You can check it out here.

Issues of Green Egg since its return in 2007 are also online and can be found here.

That’s it, my little pretties. Drink Deep and May You Never Thirst.

 

 
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Posted by on July 18, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Atompunk Spirituality: Unarius

UnariusAfter the explosive heyday of new sects, cults and alternative forms of spiritualism that was the 1920s and early 1930s, particularly in the Western United States, things calmed down a bit WWII rolled around and everyone was kept busy slaughtering each other.

In Christianity, Pentacostalism kept raging strongly, but for more alternative forms of spirituality it wasn’t until the 50s that things saw a new boom. As the post war western world settled down, the 50s produced a new wave of groups and movements the vast majority of whom took various precepts of Theosophy left over from the original Victorian movement and all added a brand new twist: Aliens.

Aliens were the rage. If you were in a new, alternative spiritual movement in the 50s, there were aliens involved in your theology, and that was certainly true for today’s group: The Unarius Academy of Science.

The Unarius Academy of Science is quite vehement they are not a religion, but are in fact Interdimensional Science, the precepts of which have been delivered by higher energy beings (from Venus as well as others) and channeled by their founder Ernest Norman.  Unarius is an acronym which stands for UNiversal ARticulate Interdimensional Understanding of Science.

Unarius

Ernest Norman was a traveling psychic medium who put grieving WWII widows in touch with their dead husbands. In the early 50s he met a woman named Ruth whose dead husband had left her a restaurant chain. Their pairing changed their lives. They married within weeks of meeting each other. Ruth loved Ernest’s alien theosophy shtick and soon he had at his disposal the means to self publish some books written while channeling the aliens who were giving him advanced knowledge about the seven planes of Shamballa, which exist outside the conventional atomic spectrum and are spiritual or non-physical worlds. Each plane has a specialty in the teaching of advanced principles, for the betterment of an individual’s progressive evolution from life to life.

The planes’ specialties are:

  • Venus – Healing
  • Eros – Science
  • Orion – Education
  • Hermes – Philosophy
  • Muse – The Arts
  • Unarius – Leadership
  • Elysium – Devotion

The first book, The Book of Venus, describes communication from Mal-Var of Venus who gives a tour of the Venusian capital. In the work, Venusians are described as having “energy bodies” and living in a higher vibratory plane that would be invisible to a human were he to stand in the middle of the capital city known as Azure. The planet Venus and its culture are said to be more spiritual than that of the Earth and that more advanced Earth-dwellers visit and study on Venus when they sleep. Healing wards for human suicides, alcoholics, the mentally impaired and similar human wreckage exist in Azure and these souls are treated with positive energy and light to help them reincarnate with greater integration.

Unarius

The books began to attract interested people and soon the movement was off on its way.

The great part about all these groups formed in the 50s and beyond is that sooner or later they got around to filming various self promotional videos. These are of course gold.

Here is the Unarius worldview in self funded video form. You are welcome.:

When Ernest died in 1971 his wife Ruth took over and things got even wackier. The theosophical back pinnings of the movement got replaced with more and more aliens and more and more alien channeling stories. Ruth began publishing books describing her channeling of alien beings. She changed her name to Uriel after a channeling revealed a lifetime lived in ancient Atlantis with the name Uriel and began dressing… in a bizarrely lavish fashion.  Alex Heard, in Apocalypse Pretty Soon: Travels In End-Time America quipped of her that she was, “a true American original who combined the couture sensibilities of a drag queen with the joie de vivre of a Frisbee-chasing Irish Setter.”

Unarius

Her channeled messages referred to “33 worlds of an interplanetary confederation”. These worlds all had various problems and by communicating with Uriel, many of their hang-ups were solved or on the way to resolution.

The group also came up with the idea that trauma inflicted during a past life was causing you suffering in this one and thus would enact Psychodramas, acted out plays by which you could relive the event and over come it. The events would be seen by Ruth (Ioshnna).

For instance, Uriel might decide that a certain Unarian had been a murderous space captain or an evil sea serpent in a past life. So the group would do these semi-improvised and somewhat elaborate plays, that were designed to “drastically relive” these past lives, so that the Unarian follower would be freed from their karma (more or less). In the one with the sea serpent, they literally videotaped it next to a swimming pool and several people got into a crappy aquatic dragon suit fashioned from floating pool furniture and innertubes and swam around as the rest of them held a trial and passed judgement on the “creature.” A lot of their psychodramas had the trial by jury aspect to them

In the mid 70s, a notable Unariun named Louis Spiegel first channeled a message predicting a landing of spacecraft to greet Uriel in 1976. The other sub-channel, Thomas Miller, disagreed with this channeling and a schism opened up between the two. When the landing failed to materialize it was explained that this scenario was a negative “past life reliving” and the channeling was contaminated by Spiegel’s lower sub-conscious self.

As a result, a number of Unariuns were skeptical about the future predictions of a spacefleet landing, also channeled by Louis Spiegel. Many Unariuns felt that these predictions undermined the original mission of Ernest Norman and a falling out occurred. Circa 1980 Thomas Miller, the primary sub-channel, left the organization, leaving Louis Spiegel as the only sub-channel. From this point forward, ever more activities revolved around these predictions. Ruth Norman, now 80, participated less and less in the goings on at the center and so Unariuns turned primarily to Louis Spiegel (aka “Antares”, “Vaughn” and “Charles”) for guidance and instruction.

Unarius

The group has built landing sites for the variety of spaceships that have promised to land and deliver them, but it has never occured. The group is still in existence today and can be found right here.

 
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Posted by on February 26, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Atompunk Era Spirituality: The Aetherius Society

Aetherius Society

Atompunk in theory encapsulates the 50s into the 70s, and fringe spiritual movements from the 60s are in abundance. But i don’t consider hippy type counter culture to be necessarily Atompunk. One could argue that a lot of the cosmic consciousness ideas going around even including some of Timothy Leary’s ideas on the 12 steps of cosmic consciousness are intrinsically tied to “the atomic age”  and the new vistas the space race was inspiring.

I’m going to consider how much of 60s counter culture would theoretically fall under Atompunk (in my opinion at least) but in the meantime, we’ve done our Victorian Spirituality, we’ve done our Dieselpunk Era Spirituality, welcome one and all it’s time to start up Atompunk Era Spirituality.

We begin with some 1950s groups. Atompunk Era spirituality is when all the ideas passed down from Theosophy and Spiritualism started to get aliens attached to them. Welcome one and all to The Aetherius Society.

The Aetherius Society began with George King.

In the 1940s King started to become interested in yoga. In 1954, about 10 years into a serious yoga discipline a disemobied voice suddenly called ot him while he was along in his apartment. This voice, “Master Aetherius” cried “Prepare yourself! You are to become the voice of Interplanetary Parliament”‘.

Several days later an unnamed yoga master, whom King knew was alive and well in India, appeared by walking through the locked door of his apartment and taught King exercises which enabled him to receive psychic transmission from Venus. Blavatksy’s Great White Brotherhood concept once again resurfaces, although King relabels them the Cosmic Masters, and they inhabit the higher planes of other planets. The Cosmic Masters of course wanted to use King as the “Primary Terrestrial Mental Channel” to transmit teachings to the sad little people of Earth.

Aetherius Society

The Great Cosmic Masters contain some of the same tropes the Great Masters always do,  Lord Buddha, Confucius, Jesus, and Count Saint-Germain, although King added some new space members,  Master Aetherius, Goo-Ling, and Mars Sector 6.

“George King has been described both as a “mystagogue” , or as someone “who performs magical and/or sacramental actions to promote salvation”. He can also be described as a psychic, mystic, or spiritual healer. After receiving the command to become a channel for the Cosmic Masters, King claimed to have mastered many of the various techniques of Yoga, including Raja, Gnani, and Kundalini, all of which led him to consciously attain the state of Samadhi.

This allowed King to communicate with beings from other spiritual energy spheres. In this state of consciousness, he was able to receive teachings from the Cosmic Masters that the Aetherius Society believes will guide humanity as a whole to spiritual enlightenment. King is acknowledged as the “Primary Terrestrial Mental Channel for the Cosmic Masters.” His full title in the Society is “Sir George King, OSP, PhD, ThD, DD, Metropolitan Archbishop of the Aetherius Churches, Founder President of the Aetherius Society.” He also has other honorary titles, including Prince Grand Master of the Mystical Order of St. Peter, HRH Prince George King De Santori, and Knight of Malta. Certificates of these various degrees and titles are displayed at the Society’s Temple in Hollywood, California.

After receiving his call to channel, King gave up his research and materialistic pursuits in order to publish The Cosmic Voice, which included a transcript of his communications with the Cosmic Masters. He also began giving lectures around England describing his spiritual experiences. On May 21, 1959, BBC broadcast King while he was in a Samadhic trance, allowing a huge audience to witness his yogic skills (Aetherius Society n.d.b). In June, 1959, King expanded the Society to the U.S. and established a center in Hollywood, where, in 1963, The Aetherius Society was incorporated as a non-profit religious, scientific, and educational organization.”

As we see, Scientology’s cosmic story was, like The Aetherius Society, the 1950s new trope gift to the next wave of spiritualities.

Aetherius Society

The group’s beliefs include many of the usual: life after death, special place in the cosmic hierarchy as one of the Great Cosmic Masters, and survival if not reversal of the coming catastrophe of the human race destroying themselves through technololgy without sufficient spiritual maturity to handle it.

The Great Masters concept is very, very central. “The Cosmic Masters are believed to be far more technologically and spiritually advanced than human beings. They have, therefore, been able to build spacecraft that avoid detection by radar and telescopes until they choose to let their presence be known. According to the Society, this has happened repeatedly through recent history. Society members explain that extraterrestrials can decrease their vibratory rate at will and assume physical bodies as easily as they can increase their energy levels and dematerialize. When asked why the Masters choose to visit us, the Society responds that they are benevolent beings who wish to guide humankind in its evolution. They define the evolution process as the journey back to God the Creator. Once a soul masters its lessons on Earth, it leaves the cycle of rebirth and moves on to a more subtle and lasting body. This is described as an inward journey toward the “Spark of God” within us (Aetherius Society. 2006d). Not only do these extraterrestrials act as spiritual guides, they also protect the human race from both internal and external forces. Members of the Aetherius Society believe that the Cosmic Masters actively prevent ecological disasters, as well as cosmic warfare, and that there are flying saucers hovering constantly around the Earth guarding us from evil and warning us about imminent attacks . At one point, the Cosmic Masters went so far as to devise an invisible barrier around the planet to shield it from destructive forces. Despite their efforts, however, Earth is believed to be presently under attack by “The Black Magicians” who wish to enslave its inhabitants

Aetherius Society

Also of great importance though is the Law Of Karma:

“One of the central beliefs of the Aetherius Society is the Law of Karma (Aetherius Society 2006k; cf. King 1962b), namely “the law of consequence with regard to action, which is the driving force behind the cycle of reincarnation or rebirth in Asian religions” (Bowker 1997: 535). Members of the Aetherius Society believe that humankind is severely out of karmic balance and, therefore, is teetering on the brink of total self-destruction, an event which they believe has taken place twice before on Earth. The first catastrophic fall occurred in what is known as Lemuria, or Mu, and was followed by the fall of Atlantis. Before our existence on Earth, members of the Society believe that humankind lived on a planet called Maldek, once found between Mars and Jupiter. The Aetherius Society teaches that this planet was destroyed in a global war which left only an asteroid belt in its wake.

“In Operation StarLight, King climbed to the tops of eighteen out of nineteen Holy Mountains (Aetherius Society 2006j) where he transmitted a charge of spiritual energy from the Cosmic Masters. These mountains are described as “spiritual energy batteries” that cannot be discharged or depleted and are, therefore, a continuous source of blessing to those who climb them. They are powerful psychic centers and the Aetherius Society organizes regular pilgrimages to them”

Aetherius Society

In a nutshell, what makes the Aetherius Society such a good starting place for Atompunk Spirituality, is that it is classic Theosophical tropes, having survived and thrived all the way from the Victorian Age, honed through a repetition you find in group after group after group. The Aetheius Society takes it and makes it Atompunk. They bring aliens into it, new to that moment, but about to become a MAJOR player in alternative spirituality.  Planetary symbolism become far more than astrological concepts, they make it part of the new space age consciousness.

Popular science fiction of the day swooned over daring exploits on other planets such as Mars and Venus and King was right there, with visions of alien civilizations on those planets and others. Popular tropes such as the magnetic pole shift and Planet X or Planet Nibiru where in their infancy, and King was right there, helping to popularize some of the notions that would become mainstays of later beliefs systems.

Because you know i love you, here is actual footage and an interview with King himself.

The Aetherius Society is indeed still around today. You can find them here.

 
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Posted by on November 15, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Ariosophy and Nazi Mysticism

rune clock

The World-Rune-Clock, illustrating the correspondences between List’s Armanen runes, the signs of the zodiac and the gods of the months. A whole lot of well thought out bullshit.

There are lots of books, movies and even video games which like to play with the pairing of Nazis and the occult. And let’s be honest, who can resist Nazi zombie lichs? While more wild theories about this get into just plain ridiculousness, the fact remains there is some basis of truth to the connection.

Here is a brief summation:

Germany leading up to the Nazi takeoever was an incredibly wild and explosively creative hotbed of culture and ideas. We’ve talked about the famed Weimar Era in length. While all the artistic achievements were going on however, the far right was a strange nest of underground occult and political societies centering around a racist esoteric system called Ariosophy.

Ariosophy was a system of pseudo science and mythology disguised as religious history pioneered by Austrians Guido von List and later Jörg Lanz von Liebenfels between 1890 and 1930.

List was indeed influenced a great deal by Blavatksy and Theosophy, although it should be mentioned Theosophy was not racist in any of the ways List developed. Theosophy talks about root races of Man which evolve from bestial to angelic. List of course placed the Aryo-Germanic race as the higher evolution of Man.

“List called his doctrine Armanism after the Armanen, supposedly a body of priest-kings in the ancient Ario-Germanic nation. He claimed that this German name had been Latinized into the tribal name Herminones mentioned in Tacitus and that it actually meant the heirs of the sun-king: an estate of intellectuals who were organised into a priesthood called the Armanenschaft.

So the orginal Aryans as we can see are pretty twink-ish and really gay.

His conception of the original religion of the Germanic tribes was a form of sun worship, with its priest-kings as legendary rulers of ancient Germany. Religious instruction was imparted on two levels. The esoteric doctrine (Armanism) was concerned with the secret mysteries of thegnosis, reserved for the initiated elite, while the exoteric doctrine (Wotanism) took the form of popular myths intended for the lower social classes.

List believed that the transition from Wotanism to Christianity had proceeded smoothly under the direction of the skalds, so that native customs, festivals and names were preserved under a Christian veneer and only needed to be ‘decoded’ back into their heathen forms. This peaceful merging of the two religions had been disrupted by the forcible conversions under “bloody Charlemagne – the Slaughterer of the Saxons”. List claimed that the dominance of the Roman Catholic Church in Austria-Hungary constituted a continuing occupation of the Germanic tribes by the Roman empire, albeit now in a religious form, and a continuing persecution of the ancient religion of the Germanic peoples and Celts.

Guido von List the douchebag fucktard

He also believed in the magical powers of the old runes. From 1891 onwards he claimed that heraldry was based on a system of encoded runes, so that heraldic devices conveyed a secret heritage in cryptic form. In April 1903, he submitted an article concerning the alleged Aryan proto-language to the Imperial Academy of Sciences in Vienna. Its highlight was a mystical and occult interpretation of the runic alphabet, which became the cornerstone of his ideology. Although the article was rejected by the academy, it would later be expanded by List and grew into his final masterpiece, a comprehensive treatment of his linguistic and historical theories published in 1914 as Die Ursprache der Ario-Germanen und ihre Mysteriensprache (The Proto-Language of the Aryo-Germans and their Mystery Language).”

In 1903 century an ex monk and Bible scholar named Jörg Lanz von Liebenfels published an articel where he used fossils, iconography and literature to argue that mankind was divided into two groups, one who had interbred with lower evolutionary forms, apes, and one who hadn’t (Aryan, surprise surprise).

Lanz von Liebenfels of clan asshat

“He claimed that “Aryan” peoples originated from interstellar deities (termed Theozoa) who bred by electricity, while “lower” races were a result of interbreeding between humans and ape-men (or Anthropozoa). The effects of racial crossing caused the atrophy of paranormal powers inherited from the gods, but these could be restored by the selective breeding of pure Aryan lineages. The book relied on somewhat lurid sexual imagery, decrying the abuse of white women by ethnically inferior but sexually active men. Thus, Lanz advocated mass castration of racially “apelike” or otherwise “inferior” males”

List and Lanz became friendly colleagues, influencing each other’s work and using each other as sources.

In 1908 the Guido Von List Society formed, to study, publish and further List and Lanz’s Ariosophy ideas. The Society was founded by the prominent Wannieck family, and catered to and attracted a more high class membership which also included many leading figures in Austrian and German politics, publishing, and occultism. It also included two Jews.

By 1911 an inner circle was set up, the High Armanen Order, a magical order exploring Ariosophical ideas using occult rituals and techniques.

In 1912 some members of the High Armanen Order formed the notorious and highly influential Freemason-like occult group the Germanenordan. They teamed up with a man called Herman Pohl who belonged to a far right group called Reichshammerbund. Herman Pohl brought to the table Reichshammerbund’s virulent anti-semitism.  Reichshammerbund blamed the Jews for controlling capitalism and controlling Germany, and wanted to fight for racial purity, anti capitalism and a renewal of the German way of life.

So Reichshammerbund met Ariosophy, fell in love and the hell baby their love spawned was the new Germanenordan group.

germanenorden

It’s not The Watchtower, but it’s in the same ballpark critical thinking wise.

And, these damn 5 syllable names are driving me nuts too. Typing them is a serious bitch, but let’s not digress. This repellant lesson is almost over.

The Germanenordan hummed along nicely until 1916 when it split into two factions, one who wanted to focus on a widespread Ariosophical religious revival, and one who wanted to become more politically active. The occult faction became rather popular and by 1917 numbered 1500 members. The politically active offshoot became the Thule Society.

In 1918, in a hotel in Munich,  Anton Drexler of the Thule Society begat the German Worker’s Party at the behest of another Thule Society member.  Initial membership was 40 people. The Thule Society oversaw the German Worker’s Party or Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, DAP.

In September of 1919 a corporal in the German army was ordered to go to a DAP meeting and spy on what was going on. This corporal was of course Adolph Hitler, and the violent argument he got in that night impressed the hell out of DAP founder Anton Drexler. Drexler asked Hitler to join and as we all know Hitler did. Hitler became a  superstar within DAP and eventually Drexler grew to loath him and quit.

It is important to remember that all these far right secret societies and their racist occultism which hatched many of the ideas that would become the foundation of the Nazis were all disbanded in 1933. In 1933 when Hitler became Chancellor he disbanded all societies in Germany except Nazi ones. Thule: gone. Germanenordan: gone. All others: gone. It was expected all members would become Nazis.

However, the occult practices around Ariosophy did continue. In 1929 a young Heinrich Himmler ended up in charge of Hitler’s little bodygaurd squad. Himmler asked to make this protection force (known as SS) into a volunteer elite. Given the go ahead he transformed the SS into the immense, fearsome monster we all remember it as today. Himmler made it into a Nazi freemason group, which was rife with Ariosophical occultism and secret society like rituals and structures. The SS staff department contained three departments dedicated to research into Occult, pagan and Ariosophical subjects.

The most serious occult rituals were performed at a medieval castle in Westaphalia called Wewelsburg. It is from this that wild speculation and fanciful theories arise. While i personally believe in a healthy dose of skepticism, there is no doubt that there was an occult arm of Nazism, led by Himmler which was the child of the groups we’ve just taken a stroll through.

This picture is found in the dictionary illustrating the word Douchebaggery

And there you go. I’ve been waiting for some time to write this post, but dedicating myself to discussing Nazis and their dumb ass ideas is not something i really relish, so it’s taken awhile to get around to it.

 
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Posted by on April 18, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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The I AM Activity (Dieselpunk Era Spirituality)

As we have mentioned, the 1920s and 30s were an explosion of alternative spirituality, centered in California, proliferated by endless mail order correspondent courses, many encapsulating ideas derived from the now dying Theosophical Society. Over these two decades what was left over from Theosophy was slowly mutating into what would soon be the New Age movement and our featured movement today was key in bringing about that transition.

The I AM Activity was a major player during the 30s. They were enormously huge in their heyday. By 1938 they had a million followers, hundreds of centers and made millions of dollars off their incredibly successful merchandising operation, which would be a template for many later movements. Indeed, The I AM Activity, like another alternative spirituality organization called Psychiana, an hysterically popular mail order correspondence course, showed that during the height of the great depression, enormous success in the alternate spirituality was indeed possible.

We have covered the Compte St. Germain previously, our prolific Ascender of the Higher Planes returns to center stage once again in the I AM Movement.

The Compte St. Germain was a tall tale telling socialite of the 1700s who was later dug up and giving a fresh coat of spiritual spackle by Helena Blavatsky, the leader of the enormously influential Theosophy movement. St. Germain was made into a purified and dazzlingly holy Ascended Master. The Ascended Masters were a group of great, holy teachers which included Jesus who had become spiritually perfect, and were working together to secretly guide the rest of mankind to become enlightened.

Blavatsky, the founder of the Theosophy Society, died in 1891 and over the next 30 years the Theosophical Society ebbed and splintered due to the craziness of Blavatsky’s successor Annie Besant. Thus it is we come to the early 1930s when a gentleman by the name of Guy Ballard is hiking Mt Shasta in California when lo and behold St. Germaine appears to him.

Guy Ballard was an avid reader of Theosophy and he started a movement which focused on the Ascended Masters which Blavatsky had invented some decades before. St. Germain became on par with Jesus (who was also an Ascended Master and thus why The I AM Activity considered themselves a Christian organization). Saint Germain supposedly assigned Ballard the task of initiating the Seventh Golden age, the permanent “I AM” age of eternal perfection on earth. The saint designated Ballard, his wife, and their son Donald as the only accredited messengers of the masters.

Guy and Edna Ballard

In 1934 and 35 Ballard published two books Unveiled Mysteries and The Magic Presence, which describe Ballard’s experiences with the masters. Unveiled Mysteries is of course reminiscent of Blavatsky’s famous Isis Unveiled, a seminal Theosophical work. Ballard set up shop in Los Angeles and used the profits from the books to advertise heavily on radio. He began holding public classes in which he would channel St. Germain and deliver expositions on morality and the state of the upper worlds.

“Through Ballard the masters taught of the “I AM,” the basic divine reality of the universe, God in action. Individualized, the “I AM” is the essence of each person, they said, and should be constantly invoked and activated. It is pictured as an entity residing above each person’s head and surrounded by golden light and a rainbow of color. It is connected to the person by a shaft of white light. The “I AM” presence is invoked by use of decrees, affirmative commands that the “I AM” presence initiate action in the self and the world. Basic in the daily activity of an “I AM” student is the violet flame decree, in which a violet flame is pictured surrounding the person and purifying him spiritually.”

Ballard was both a showman and had the right product at the right time. He channeled, he wrote, he held mass gatherings where he would exorcise any of the countless psychic entities plaguing the earth and humankind. He held services that were classic seances   He led audience in prayers and affirmations. He held classes and let the attendees hear directly from the great disembodied St. Germaine Himself (channeled through Ballard of course) and he sold a cascade of merchandise “including books, records, pins, rings, posters, and portraits of the Masters, including Saint-Germain and Guy Ballard himself. I AM rings sold for $12, photographs of Ballard for $2.50, a Chart of the Magic Presence for $12, and $1.25 bought a special binder in which to store the flood of continuing I AM edicts. New Age Cold Cream was also available.” He made millions.

By the late 30s The I AM Activity was unstoppable.

I AM Temple

I AM had its detractors. Cult critic Carey McWilliams described “Ballardism as “a witch’s cauldron of the inconceivable, the incredible and the fantastic… a hideous phantasm. The movement was attacked by occultists no less than skeptics, because of I AM’s bastardized version of esoteric teachings, and its vast appeal to New Age believers. Theosophical magazines rejected Ballardism as a perversion (and of course it tread upon and plagarized their own teachings), and in 1937, Rosicrucian H. Spencer Lewis denounced these “mystical racketeers:” he ruefully confessed that his own writings on Lemuria had provided Ballard with some of his sources.

The most powerful condemnations are found in the pamphlets produced from 1936 onwards by the former Ballard student, Gerald Brya who comprehensively attacked the dubious origins of the movement, its plagiarized scriptures, and the mercenary motives of the founders. He also charged that I AM devastated the lives of its members. Bryan argued that “probably in no other movement has there ever been such widespread interference with the personal lives of its members as in this cult of the Mighty I AM.” Members were told to sever all contact with anyone who rejected I AM teaching, even family members, and the strain on family life was enhanced by the Ballards preaching against sexual desire, which was an enemy to be suppressed. I AM prohibited sex except for procreation, and recommended against bringing children into a world so close to its end. “Husband, wife, mother, or some other relative living in a fanatical Mighty I AM family has actually been kept in another part of the house and denied former privileges because he or she would not embrace the Ballard doctrines.” Intolerance was demanded of “hundred percent students.” Also bizarre was the Ballard view that animal life was the creation of black magicians, and that spirits in animals should be freed, in other words, that members should “release” their animals by having them killed.

The I AM leaders instructed movement followers to buy and burn Bryan’s work, which they did “with all the fanaticism of a witch-burning rite, reminiscent of a former age of bigotry and superstition,”

Ballard taught that followers could become spiritually pure and Ascend straight to heaven, bypassing physical death just like Jesus and His buddy St. Germain had. But in 1939, at the absolute peak of his popularity Ballard did the dumbest thing he could possibly do for the movement. He died. He didn’t ascend, he just died and was cremated. This has been the downfall of many a spiritual leader claiming superhuman abilities. Few have come out unscathed, although Hubbard managed it, But Hubbard had learned an enormous amount from Ballard.

Ballard’s wife, Edna, quickly redefined Ascention to mean dying normally but ascending to the highest plane of the afterlife. Edna had been right there with her husband the entire time and could have carried business forward admirably, but in 1942, she and her son were charged with eighteen counts of mail fraud on the basis of claims made in books and pamphlets sent through the mail.

In the trial the prosecutor argued that Ballard had made up the religion and that he and other members did not believe it and operated the foundation purely as a fraudulent moneymaking scheme. Although the defendants were initially convicted, the convictions were eventually overturned in an important Supreme Court decision holding that one’s religious faith could not be put on trial. No matter how nutty sounding a belief system, a defendant’s faith in it cannot be put on the stand.

However, during the prosecution the movement was stripped of the right to use the postal service as well as their tax exempt religious status, neither of which was returned until 1957. Edna removed the group from public spotlight but quietly continued on and indeed The I AM Activity is still in existence today, although no knew messages from the Masters have been received since Edna’s death in 1971.

 
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Posted by on April 13, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Los Angeles and the 1920s Occult Explosion

Los Angeles and the 1920s Occult Explosion

When folks think of explosions of wild spiritualities they usually think of the 1960s and 70s. But California in the 1920s was equally as crazy, and many would argue more.

The Victorian Era started the ball rolling with Spiritualism, Theosophy and The Golden Dawn. Between these, all the concepts that would grow and be experimented with through the 20th century emerged: mediuimship/channeling, clairovoyance, astral projection, astrology, mixtures of eastern and western religious concepts, past lives, ceremonial magick, cabalic esotericism for non Jews, the list is endless.

All of these interests and the children of the Victorian generation who begat this explosion converged in Los Angeles during the 20s to the 40s.

It was at first accidental then purposeful. In 1920 the population of Los Angeles was 576, 673. By 1930 the population had more than doubled to 1, 238, 048. Why? Hollywood, baby. Hollywood came on the scene and hopefuls from across the land gathered to be part of the film industry. They were a perfect audience for the new forms and creative mixtures of Spiritualist, Theosophical and post Golden Dawn ideas that were erupting in the young, loose, anything goes era of the roaring 20s.

occult los angeles

Before now, Lodges were the way this stuff was explored. Men had their Freesmasonry lodge, or their Rosicrucian group or hundreds of other types of lodges practicing everything from drinking to symbolic morality to the occult. During the 1800s Lodges were how it was done. But in the new 20th century things were changing. People with interesting systems of alternative spirituality were discovering a way to actually achieve stability was to form a little hub in LA and offer a correspondence course by mail across the country or even mail as far as Europe.

Correspondence courses quickly became the new Lodge. You would advertise whatever incredible new system or method of achieving amazing hidden knowledge of reality in magazines, and interested parties would contact you and pay you to send them a step by step educational course by mail. You would get your lessons mailed to you, mail back your “tests” and when finished with the system, which could take anywhere from 25 to 75 letters,, you’d graduate and be able to form local Lodges.

Over the decade as Los Angeles’ reputation grew, it attracted droves of occultists and those wanting to start their own systems of alternative spirituality as well as all the young Hollywood fodder.

occult los angeles

To be sure, there was also an explosion of charismatic Christian sects as well as numerous more sedate Protestant denominations. But we talk today about the wild and crazy stuff.

Examples include the Blackburn Cult, also known as the Divine Order of the Royal Arms of the Great Eleven, or the Great Eleven Club. It was started in 1922 on Bunker Hill in Downtown Los Angeles,California and later formed a retreat in the Southern California Simi Valley. The group’s founder, May Otis Blackburn, is said to have received revelations directly from angels, and along with her daughter Ruth Wieland Rizzio believed she was charged by the archangel Gabriel to write books revealing the mysteries of heaven and earth and life and death.

In 1929 group leaders were indicted for grand theft and investigated in the disappearances of several members. These indictments created a media sensation when the background on the grand theft was revealed to the public. May Otis Blackburn was charged with twelve counts of grand theft, and articles at that time referred to Blackburn as a “cult leader.”  The cult later collapsed after May Otis Blackburn was imprisoned for stealing $40,000 from Clifford Dabney.

The following is a wonderful summation by a gentlemen who goes on the web by the moniker Deadhand who was going to write a book on the subject of Occult and cult activity in Los Angeles during the 20s to the 40s. I alas, do not know his real name, but would LOVE to be able to properly credit him. Here is his take:

“A great many “lost” souls hoped to abandon the ways of the old world and make a new one on the West Coast, where the motion picture industry seemed to teach that all things were possible.

Films stars of the 1920’s immersed themselves in the occult.   A society page reporter, not from Hollywood and so unfamiliar with its ways, once visited a major studio of the time was astounded to find that, “hundreds of performers are more than passingly interested in necromancy, superstition, and prognostication in general.”  He reported that seers – palmists, crystal gazers, and trance mediums – were everywhere.  “I am told that these do a truly amazing business among the players (actors).”  He learned that many actors paid annual fees to astrologers so that they would be informed of any momentous planetary changes that might affect their careers.

medium

“This modern world is full of primitive minds,” stated the famed religious scholar, Dr. Lewis Browne in 1929, when explaining how it was that men and women of his age could be so easily drawn toward unorthodox, pagan, or primitive religious practices.   A resident of Santa Monica, Dr. Browne was said to have found Southern California a “fruitful field” for his studies of religious movements.   He estimated that there were, in the late 1920’s, approximately 400 cults active in Southern California alone, with memberships numbering in the hundreds of thousands.   The included such notable organizations as Zeralda and Omar’s “Love Cult,” also known as the “Sacred Schools Cult”, the Mazdaznan Cult, the “Perfect Christian Divine Way” cult, the “Christian Church of Psychosophy,” and the “Pisgah Work.”

There were numerous Devil-worshipping cults, too.  A man name Macario Timon was murdered in Oakland in 1926, and in the victim’s home police found books and manuals of the cult and prayers signed in blood, indicating the victim himself was part of such the cult.  They also found, behind a large red seal in a folder a sketch of a sun rising behind some hills, with a cross at the base of a tree, surrounded by bizarre symbols.   One of the prayers written in blood began, “Most powerful Lucifer…” and went on to beg for wisdom and knowledge that could be used to overcome enemies.

occult

Purification by fire and “Garden of Eden orgies” were the hallmark of the Oroville-based House of Judah cult, in which members prayed and chanted together while a stitch away from being nude.  They sacrificed lambs, which were burned alive, according to horrified neighbors.

A certain self-proclaimed “Bishop,” Wilbur Leroy Cosper, was arrested in Oakland in 1926 and sentenced to six months for violations of the “medical practice act” for mixing levity, religion, and medicine.  His minions, who gathered to wait for him outside the jailhouse were “lightly clad dancers, major and minor deities, a scattering of archangels, and scores of (uncostumed) followers – mostly women.” They promised passersby a “resurrection day” to celebrate their leader’s eventual release.  The “Bish,” as he was called, told reporters through the bars of his jail cell that they should attend the promised gala, which he hinted would include “graceful maidens in aesthetic dances.”  It is likely that many of them accepted the invitation.

Margaret Rowen founded the Reformed Seventh Day Adventist Mission, not to be confused with the Seventh Day Adventist church.  Mrs. Rowen, who will play a peripheral but important role in another cult’s future, was based in Los Angeles and was adamant that the end of the world would occur on February 6th, 1925.  She is estimated to have had a thousand followers and was the subject of much publicity at the time, to include mention in national magazines, yet she was rather more successful as a self-promoter than as a prophetess, as most LA residents would attest on the seventh day of February 1925.

A Mrs. Nelson was investigated in Oakland for her fitness as a mother after she admitted abandoning her children and husband.  At the time of the interview, the abandoned husband was a resident of a state asylum.  She claimed that one child, whom she had found and reclaimed, was born as a result of “delvings in the occult, mysterious experiments in mind control, and spiritual investigations” while she and her husband were members of an unnamed cult.

occult los angeles

One woman under police protection in 1930 was so terrified of the cult she had joined and abandoned that she refused to state its name for fear of deadly retribution.  Eventually it would be known as the cult of “Hickory Hall.”  The woman said that the priestess who ran the cult, a Mrs. Leech, also called the “Most High Interpretess,” “dominated the household mentally and physically…We could have no wills of our own, no thoughts except hers.”  When the former member objected to children in the cult being spanked with sticks, she was bent over a chair and spanked by five other cult members instead,  “just like a child”.  She fled that same night.  Later she would receive a telegram from her former cult brothers and sisters that contained only four telling words: “We won’t hurt you.”

In 1929 the Fresno Bee reported that the leader of the “Brother Isaiah” cult was traveling around Southern California in his “tri-motored airplane” inspecting property upon which he might open a new branch of his own cult.  Area realtors were on the plane with him, pointing out properties that were available and haggling prices.  Indicative of just how accustomed Californians had become to cult activity is the fact that this story did not appear on the front page of the newspaper.  It was not reported as news at all.  It was conveyed as a minor happening on the Women’s Daily Feature Page, alongside “Fall Formal Fashion,” “Rector’s Recipes,” and a notice that a party was to be held at Mr. and Mrs. E.W. French’s home the coming Saturday.

There were so many cults that the District Attorney had an undercover man whose job it was to infiltrate and monitor them.  His name was Detective Eddie Kane and he achieved a flash of fame for befriending and then exposing the fraudulent activities of a popular spiritualist of the time, Elsie Reynolds.

An editorial in a Van Nuys newspaper in 1930 complained that, “Los Angeles…extends a welcome asylum to every cult of every kind that seeks a place to hide temporarily its ugly head until it can build sufficient strength to begin the spreading of its poisonous propaganda.  The number of cults in Los Angeles are a standing joke the country over.”  Dan Thomas, a Los Angeles reporter echoed these sentiments when he wrote, “Detroit has its auto factories, Pittsburgh has its steel mills and New York has its night clubs; and Los Angeles, not to be outdone, has its own peculiar and unrivaled specialty, too – Los Angeles probably has more fake “religious leaders” – and more suckers to follow them – than any other city in the country.”

werewolf ceremony

It wasn’t just Californians joining cults, though.  In Michigan there was the infamous “House of David” and the Evangalista cult – the leader of the latter was found beheaded, with all his family members murdered in their sleep, allegedly by disgruntled followers.  Chicago had the “Magi Cult”.  Pennsylvania had the “Hex murders.”   Iowa had the “Flock of Holiness.”  Kansas had the “Brotherly” cult, led by a blind pastor who required married women to kiss men other than their husbands or else suffer eternal damnation.   And a New York writer complained in 1922 that, “We have the most variegated menagerie of cults anywhere to be found,” lamenting that “freak religions” were infesting the city, being supported by “women of a certain age suffering from suppressed religion.”

Not surprisingly, cult activity was not contained within the borders of the United States.   In 1927, a reporter posed the question to his readers, “How do Americans and English residents of the Riviera amuse themselves?”  According to Italian police, he wrote, “They join cults.”  He went on to say the local police stations had to employ a secretary to track all the cults and sects.  There were, one policeman reported, nude cults, vegetarian cults, Spartan cults, the Simple Life cult, and of course numerous “Occult” cults, which, he said, caused the most trouble.”

 
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Posted by on April 4, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Fraternitas Saturni (Dieselpunk Era Spirituality)

 Fraternitas Saturni saturn planetary magick

Fraternitas Saturni is an extremely influencial and long running German occult society which is technically still operating today.

The Fraternitas Saturni was begun in 1925 as a splinter from another society, Collegium Pansophicum as a result of a dispute between the Collegium’s founder, Heinrich Traenker’ and Aleister Crowley.

Here’s the deal: Heinrich Traenker was a bookseller who founded an occult group, the Collegium Pansophicum. Like every single occultish entity for the past 400 years, it invented a backstory in which it claimed to be a direct descendant of the fictional Rosicruciansof the 17th century. However, the type of magick it practiced was pretty standard for the 1920s.

fraternitas satruni

 

They had a  33 degree initiation system straight out of Freemasonry.”Yogic and meditative techniques combined with Astrological and Planetary Magic held a significant role in their Work, and Crowley’s Thelema and Sex Magic played a part in their Work. Probably their biggest contribution to current magical practice was the development and use of the idea of an egregor or group generated spirit that acted as a magical powerhouse and guide for the Brotherhood.” It is a Luciferian system, positing a Gnostic idea that what passes for God in the dominant monotheistic religions is actually an evil Being intent on Man’s subjugation and imprisonment, and there is a higher God who wished to see Mankind freed and thus gives him the knowledge to rise out of his chains. (The apple from the Tree of Knowledge is not a bad thing, it’s a good thing).

Crowley’s sex magick and his new religion Thelema were big influences and thus one day in 1925 Crowley popped on over to Germany to visit for the Weida Conference. Corwley had his magick society the OTO and the conference was expected to proclaim both Crowley’s world leadership oft eh OTO and his position as World Teacher.

Crowley stayed with Heinrich. However Crowley’s ego, pompousness amd stubbroness was always too big for any room and when it ran up against Heinrich’s own stubborness, chaos ensued. The two men ended up quarreling constantly and hating each other. Heinrich Traenker finally went to the German authorities to have Crowley kicked out of Germany.

The Collegium Pansophicum became split as well. There were those who wanted to keep Crowley’s Thelema, those who wished to expunge all things Crowley, and those who wanted to continue on without either Crowley or Heinrich in control of them. Thus the Fraternitas Saturni was founded. It kept Crowley’s Thelema mixed in with all their other interests, but never had any ties to Crowley or involvement with Traenker.

fraternitas saturni

Why Saturn? In a planetary based occult system, the planets represent different stages of spiritual consciousness as well as numerous other properties and aspects of reality and you can work your through the planets. As you master each planet you master that state of being and the forces of reality associated with it.

Thus there is the concept of Saturn gnosis. The idea is that everyone is bound in a mechanism of predetermined influences (karma, originally) ruled over by (or identical with) the demiurge Saturn. Everyone is everyone else’s tool. By magically transcending Saturn, they would free themselves, evolve to the Uranian sphere and become controllers of the Saturn-Uranian Age.

The Lodge flourished but after the Nazis took power it was shut down, as was every society, lodge and fellowship in Germany under the Nazis.

The FS was reformed in 1945 and although it has struggled, it still continues to this day.

If you want more info on their beliefs and practices, this comprehensive book is available in its entirety for free online:

fraternitas saturni

 
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Posted by on April 1, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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