Maria de Naglowska, A Herald of the New Era


When Winston Churchill called Russia “a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma,” he could as well have been describing a daughter of Russia named Maria de Naglowska. She was a poet, a journalist, a translator, an author, an occultist, and a mystic (the latter perhaps most of all), but few know anything about her. Those who have ever heard of her probably know her as the translator of P.B. Randolph’s Magia Sexualis1 (which she did far more than translate).2 Others, who have shown more curiosity about her, will say that she was a Satanist (not true, though it is an impression that she fostered).3 It has taken many years to get any reliable facts about her life, partly because she told different stories about herself.4 Her most important writings were published in very small editions (now almost impossible to get) and never translated into English. Consequently, this woman whose works should occupy a significant place in the history of Western religion, is now practically unknown, especially in English.

Maria de Naglowska was born in St. Petersburg in 1883, the daughter of a prominent Czarist family.6 She went to the best schools, and got the best education that a young woman of the time could get. She fell in love with a young Jewish musician, Moise Hopenko, and married him against the wishes of her family. The rift with Maria’s family caused the young couple to leave Russia, going to Germany and then to Switzerland. After Maria had given birth to three children, her young husband, a Zionist, decided to leave his family and go to Palestine. This made things very difficult for Naglowska, who was forced to take various jobs as a journalist to make ends meet. While she was living in Geneva she also wrote a French grammar for Russian immigrants to Switzerland. Unfortunately, Naglowska’s libertarian ideas tended to get her into trouble with governments wherever she went. She spent most of the 1920s in Rome, and at the end of that decade she moved on to Paris.

While in Rome Maria de Naglowska met Julius Evola, a pagan traditionalist who wanted to reinstate the pantheon of ancient Rome. Evola was also an occultist, being a member of the Group of Ur and counting among his associates some of the followers of Giuliano Kremmerz. It is said that Naglowska and Evola were lovers. It is known, at least, that they were associates for a long time. She translated one of his poems into French (the only form in which it has survived), and he translated some of her work into Italian.

While occultists give a great deal of weight to Naglowska’s relationship with Evola, it is clear that there must have been other influences. Some believe that she was influenced by the Russian sect of the Khlysti, and some believe that she knew Rasputin (whose biography she translated). Maria, though, gave the credit for some of her unusual ideas to an old Catholic monk whom she met in Rome. Although Maria said that he was quite well known there, he has never been identified.8

Maria said that the old monk gave her a piece of cardboard, on which was drawn a triangle, to represent the Trinity. The first two apexes of the triangle were clearly labelled to indicate the Father and the Son. The third, left more indistinct, was intended to represent the Holy Spirit. To Maria, the Holy Spirit was feminine. We don’t know how much was the monk’s teaching and how much was hers, but Maria taught that the Father represented Judaism and reason, while the Son represented Christianity, the heart, and an era whose end was approaching. To Maria, the feminine Spirit represented a new era, sex, and the reconciliation of the light and dark forces in nature.

It is mostly this idea of the reconciliation of the light and dark forces that has gotten Maria into trouble, and caused her to be thought of as a Satanist. Maria herself is partly responsible for this, having referred to herself as a “satanic woman” and used the name also in other ways in her writings. Evola, in his book The Metaphysics of Sex, mentioned her “deliberate intention to scandalise the reader.”9 Here is what Naglowska herself had to say about it:

Nous défendons à nos disciples de s’imaginer Satan (= l’esprit du mal ou l’esprit de la destruction) comme vivant en dehors de nous, car une telle imagination est le propre des idolâtres; mais nous reconnaissons que ce nom est vrai.

We forbid our disciples to imagine Satan (= the spirit of evil or the spirit of destruction) as living outside of us, for such imagining is proper to idolaters; but we recognise that this name is true.

In 1929 Naglowska moved to Paris, where she got the unwelcome news that she would not be given a work permit. Deprived of the ability to be employed in a regular job, she would have to depend on her own very considerable survival skills. She began work on the book for which she is best known today, her “translation” of Magia Sexualis,10 by Paschal Beverly Randolph. This work by the American hermetic and sex theorist is known only in Naglowska’s “translation.” I have put the word “translation” in quotation marks because it is really a compilation. Only about two-thirds of the work can be identified as being from Randolph. The rest is from sources only beginning to be identified, or from Naglowska herself, and the organisation of the material is clearly her contribution as well.

While Naglowska was working on Magia Sexualis, she began giving lectures or “conferences” on an original teaching of her own. She called it the Doctrine of the Third Term of the Trinity. Her “conferences” were at first often held in cafés. The proprietors of these venues were pleased with the influx of patrons and often gave Maria free food and coffee. In a short time her following grew to the point where she could afford to rent a large, bare room, which held thirty to forty people11 for her private meetings.12 It was thus that Maria survived.

Maria’s income was supplemented by her publishing endeavours. After the 1931 publication of Magia Sexualis, Naglowska turned to writing original works. One of these, Le Rite sacré de l’amour magique, a metaphysical novelette apparently containing elements of her own life, was published as a supplement to her street newspaper in early 1932, having earlier been serialised there.13 The little newspaper, to which she and other occultists contributed, was called La Flèche, Organe d’Action Magique. It was the public voice of her magical group, La Confrérie de la Flèche d’Or.

Later in 1932 Naglowska published La Lumière du Sexe, recently published in English as The Light of Sex.14 In 1934 she published Le Mystère de la Pendaison, or The Hanging Mystery.15 These two books were required reading for even First Degree initiation into Naglowska’s magical group,16 and contained all of the doctrine of her new religion, the Third Term of the Trinity, and much of its ritual. They are thus of paramount importance for understanding Maria de Naglowska and her teaching. They are also, unfortunately, quite rare, having been originally published in small editions of about five hundred copies. To my knowledge, the recently published translations are the first that have been made of any of Naglowska’s original works into English.

Naglowska is said to have been very psychic. She predicted the catastrophe of World War II,17 and in 1935 she foresaw her own death.18 Knowing that she was going to die, she refused to reprint The Light of Sex and The Hanging Mystery, which had both sold out. She told her followers that nothing would be able to be done to spread her teachings for two or three generations. She went to live with her daughter in Zurich, and it was there that she died, at the age of 52, on 17 April 1936.

Maria was influential among the Surrealists, and they seem to have influenced her own writing. Naglowska’s sessions are said to have been attended by the avant-garde and the notorious of the time, including Man Ray, William Seabrook, Michel Leiris, Georges Bataille, and André Breton. Jean Paulhan, for whom L’Histoire d’O was written, is also said to have attended. I have not yet been able to trace these often-made claims to reliable, original sources, so for the present they should be regarded as hearsay. We know, however, that surrealist poet and painter Camille Bryen was a member of Naglowska’s group,19 as the writer Ernest Gengenbach appears to have been, and it seems significant that one of the best studies of Naglowska was done by another surrealist, Sarane Alexandrian.20 Maria’s French was impeccable and her style clean and powerful, but she used words in a symbolic, highly idiosyncratic way. Shortly before she left Paris, she told her disciples that her teachings “would need to be translated into clear and accessible language for awakened women and men who would not necessarily be symbolists.”21 Taking this as my directive, I have added extensive explanatory notes to the English translations of her books.

Due to the small editions and her refusal to reprint them, plus her early death and the unfortunate arrival of World War II, Maria’s influence seems hardly to have extended beyond Montparnasse. This is now changing. With the perspective granted by time we can see that Naglowska was an important mystic of the twentieth century. At the very least she deserves a place in the history of religion for having achieved within the Western tradition the full, non-dualistic realisation typified by the major Upanishads. In so doing, she has bequeathed to us a vision that, while idiosyncratic, is also powerful and uplifting.

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A Naglowska Reader

The Doctrine of the Third Term of the Trinity

The Divinity is triple: the Father, the Son, and the Mother.

The Father is the setting out, or the fall, from the Origin toward the level of division and multiplicity.

The Son is nostalgia and the will to universal redemption, combated by the Adversary inherent to His nature: Satan.

The Mother is the return toward the Origin, after the definitive combat and the reconciliation in the Son of His two opposing natures: the Christic nature and the satanic nature.

The Son detaches himself from the Father and divides himself in two: He is double.

The Mother proceeds from the Father and the Son, and contains both of them: She is triple.

Only the Father is homogeneous.

The three aspects of the Trinity – the Father, the Son, the Mother – are successive in time, but simultaneous in their Eternal Presence in the regions that are not involved on the level of division and multiplicity.

The succession – Father, Son, Mother – is justified thus:

The Father is the Male principle, which accomplishes the act of negation of the Unique Spirit; it is love oriented toward the flesh.

The Son is the principle of the second negation, that which in the flesh rejects the flesh; it is love oriented toward the unreal, the love of the infertile heart. The Son is neither Male nor Female: he is on this side of the two divine sexes. He is, because of that, beyond sexed beings.

The Mother is the reestablishment of the Male principle in the inverse sense: She affirms the Unique Spirit, and her love, taking rise in the flesh, is oriented toward spiritual realisation. She consoles and glorifies the Son, for She makes concrete the dream of sublime purity in multiple life. The Mother pacifies the combat between Christ and Satan, in leading these two contrary wills onto the same path of unique ascension. The Mother proceeds from the Father and from the Son, and is successive to them in temporal subordination, because negation is not converted to affirmation except by means of the second negation.

When the work of the Mother is accomplished, that of the Father recommences, for the three aspects of the Divine Trinity are repeated endlessly.

In human history, the three divine phases are reflected in the form of three types of religions, which succeed each other constantly, determining three types of civilisations, which we find in the cycle – or triangle – to which we belong in these three religion-civilisations: Judaism, Christianity, and the religion of the Third Term, being announced now.

The symbol of Judaism – a religion of the Father – is the rod hidden in the ark. Its ethic protects reproduction of the species.

The symbol of Christianity – a religion of the Son – is, on the one hand, the cross, and on the other, the sword: renunciation of the sex act and scorn for life. But in the shadow of the Christ, the worshipers of Satan make divine the womb of the woman in secret orgies, which maintain the dynamism of the march forward. The white mass of the transubstantiation is thus attenuated by the black mass of the re-dynamisation of the flesh, which, without that, would become anaemic.

The symbol of the third religion – the Religion of the Mother – is the arrow launched toward heaven. The golden mass, which it will establish, will glorify the real love of the flesh, in order to release from the latter the renovating and ascendant spirit, which will make all things new upon the earth.

Blessed are those who shall assist at this mass.

* * *

A Selection of Favourite Naglowska Quotations


The doctrine of the Third Term of the Trinity recognises and honours the Only Living God: Life.

Each particle of the visible world is not a part of God (= Life), but a complete symbol of the latter.

Don’t exaggerate anything. Be calm and well disposed. Develop within yourself the great virtue of the heart: balance.

Having given each animal, each plant, each element its name, Adam would have destroyed the world if, in the night that followed that day of words, God (=Life) had not pulled out a rib to oppose him with the woman: Eve!

O Disciple! Today woman has found the way. The key of the great secret has been unveiled to her who has been able to repulse the maleficent gift of reason and only let shine in herself the pure light of intelligence.

Disciple, you who wish to listen to us, learn this: “temptations” come from God and not from Satan.

New wine needs to be poured into new glasses.

No man can carry within himself the root of his life. Like the foliage of a tree, we all depend on a single root, which is common to us all and from which no one can make themselves independent, without dying definitively and without causing a more or less considerable hurt to the entire human plant.

God cannot die, because in His Essence He is Life, Life that manifests, grows, and changes. The visible world exists because of that.

The skeptic is limited. He does not grasp the deep sense of things, because he only wants to fix his attention on the exterior surfaces. The deeper reality escapes him because of this.

The new sun has barely risen in the shadows that surround us, and the Divine Mother, Humanity, is starting to give birth.

Now, my friend, an answer can be sufficient, but it can never be perfect, for no one can form an adequate idea of the Truth, because it is never what it will be tomorrow.

One cannot give anything to mankind if the time for the gift has not come.

But at the last minute, and when the pain is at its peak, a woman will openly proclaim where the plagues and calamities are coming from. She will place her foot on the head of the Serpent and will remove from its unclean mouth the tail that it has been biting for so long. Then the Light of Sex will flash forth and peace will reenter the spirit of mankind.

Woe to the perverse and perfidious men who, with their vile smile and their lips bathed in abject drivel, still hinder the holy sacrifice of the Golden Mass.

What is dead belongs to death and what is living belongs to life, and if you confuse the future with the past, you create confusion on the paths where building is to be done.

To penetrate into the heart of the mysteries, everything must be considered in its symbolic sense, and Man, whose three sacred points (the Three Angles) are found respectively in the head, in the heart, and in the organ that one does not name because one is ignorant of its light, symbolises, in himself, the totality of Life (= God).

Being caprice and dance and gaiety, He is what He is…

We are not going toward Unity, we are Unity, since the origin which never was.

You can’t return to your mother’s womb to come out again with a new name, but you can plunge yourself back into the woman who receives you with love, to draw from her the light that you are lacking.

But the very thing that was a fault can become, must become, redemption.

Blessed are those who watch in the dark hours of the night of the ages.

There will then be no more, in the mystic music, of the sombre allusions that bend the crowds to the ground, and the golden petals, trembling above the tapers, will be a sign of love, joyous for all.

We shall deliver ourselves then to the new Mass not, as before, veiled like penitents, but as beautiful flowers of a splendid garland, each leaf of which breathes the sun.

The beautiful time, the new era, the rebirth of the light upon earth, must be our creation.


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  1. P. B. Randolph, Magia Sexualis, trans. Maria de Naglowska (Paris: Robert Télin, 1931). English translation forthcoming in 2012 from Inner Traditions International.
  2. Magia Sexualis has survived only in Naglowska’s French translation. It is composed of several works written by Randolph (notably The Mysteries of Eulis, and Seership) plus material from other sources, probably including Naglowska’s own ideas. Naglowska greatly improved the style and organisation of Randolph’s material.
  3. This question has been well covered in Appendix B of The Light of Sex.
  4. The “alternate” versions can be found, for example, in René Thimmy, La Magie à Paris (Paris: Les Éditions de France, 1934), 69-71. Also in Sarane Alexandrian, Les Libérateurs de l’amour (Paris: Éditions du Seuil), 186-7, which is more reliable. The most reliable version, though, is that in Marc Pluquet’s La Sophiale: Maria de Naglowska, sa vie – son oeuvre. (Montpeyroux: Éditions Gouttelettes de Rosée, n.d.), 3-6.
  5. Maria de Naglowska, The Light of Sex (Rochester, Vt.: Inner Traditions, 2011).
  6. I have drawn most of the details about Naglowska’s life from the short biography titled La Sophiale, written by her favourite student, Marc Pluquet. It is, by far, the most reliable source.
  7. Pluquet, La Sophiale, 3-6.
  8. Maria de Naglowska, “Mon chef spirituel,” La Flèche, Organe d’Action Magique 10 (February 15, 1932), 2-3.
  9. Julius Evola, The Metaphysics of Sex (New York: Inner Traditions International, 1983), 261.
  10. Randolph, Magia Sexualis.
  11. According to Pluquet in La Sophiale, there were only 30-40 people in the hall when it was full, and the overflow stood in a baie vitrée, or glassed-in bay, which separated the hall from the entrance. The hall in question was the old Studio Raspail at 46 Rue Vavin (not to be confused with the present cinema on Bd. Raspail). The building now houses an Italian restaurant that has a capacity of 120 seats. The space may have been enlarged, or it may not. The low divider that formed the baie vitrée is still there, but it no longer seems to have glass over it. It would take a sizable crowd to fill the space and still have overflow standing in the entryway. On page 14 Pluquet states that all of these “conferences” were taken down in shorthand by a certain Mr. Dufour. Unfortunately, these shorthand notes have not yet surfaced.
  12. Pluquet, La Sophiale 8,14.
  13. Maria de Naglowska, Le Rite Sacré de l’Amour Magique (Supplément de La Flèche Organe d’Action Magique, Paris: 1932). An English translation of this work, The Sacred Rite of Magical Love, was published by Inner Traditions International in February 2012.
  14. Maria de Naglowska, The Light of Sex.
  15. An English translation, Advanced Sex Magic: The Hanging Mystery Initiation, was published in 2011, by Inner Traditions, International.
  16. Pluquet, La Sophiale, 12.
  17. Maria de Naglowska, “Avant la Guerre de 1936,” La Flèche Organe d’Action Magique 20 (January 15, 1935): 3.
  18. Pluquet, La Sophiale, 14.
  19. Ibid., 7.
  20. Alexandrian, Les Libérateurs de l’amour, 185–206.
  21. Pluquet, La Sophiale 14.


DONALD TRAXLER is both a translator and a student of the occult. He recently finished a five-book series of the works of Maria de Naglowska, for Inner Traditions International: The works are Advanced Sex Magic: The Hanging Mystery Initiation; The Light of Sex: Initiation, Magic, and Sacrament; The Sacred Rite of Magical Love: A Ceremony of Word; Initiatic Eroticism and Other Occult Writings from La Flèche; and Flesh & Magia Sexualis: Sexual Practices for Magical Power. Most of his translations, which include both prose and poetry, are from Spanish, French, and Italian. All of them are labours of love. A United States citizen, he recently relocated with his wife to Uruguay.

The above article appeared in New Dawn No. 135 (Nov-Dec 2012).

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Assassination of the Humanitarian Princess: The Killing of Diana

By JOHN MORGAN (1957-2015)

1992 was the year that the relationship between Princess Diana and other senior British royals changed irreversibly. In June Diana collaborated with UK author Andrew Morton in a book which exposed Prince Charles’ relationship with his lover Camilla Parker-Bowles and Diana’s mistreatment by senior members of the royal family. The reaction was swift. Within 11 days of the book’s publication Diana received a bombshell letter from her father-in-law, Prince Philip. The letter alarmed her and Morton says that she sought out a solicitor to help draft a reply.1

Within months the Queen had moved to set up the royal Way Ahead Group – a committee dedicated to helping the royal family deal with major issues and planning the way forward. Its first meeting was held in November 1992 and in the following month the Queen requested the formal separation between Charles and Diana. This was announced in the House of Commons on 9 December.

In October 1995 Princess Diana penned a note in which she stated that she feared for her life and believed Prince Charles was “planning ‘an accident’ in my car.”2 She left the note with her butler, Paul Burrell, for safe-keeping. Later that month Diana met with her lawyer, Lord Victor Mishcon. He wrote the next morning that Diana had told him efforts could be made to “get rid of her… by some accident in her car such as pre-prepared brake failure.”3 Mishcon had this note typed up and kept it in his safe.

Five days after that lawyer’s meeting Diana pre-recorded the famous ‘Panorama’ interview with BBC journalist Martin Bashir. In the program – which went to air on 20 November – Diana declared “there were three of us in this marriage,” that she doubted Charles could adapt to being King, recounted her mistreatment by the royals, and stated she was a “very strong person” who would “fight to the end.”4

Diana also told several friends and family that she feared for her life and believed she could be killed in “an accident.”

Later that month her fears were vindicated when the brakes in her regularly-serviced Audi failed as she drove through the streets of London. She wrote about it to her close friends. Simone Simmons said she received a letter that said: “The brakes on my car have been tampered with. If something does happen to me it will be MI5 or MI6.”5

The month following the ‘Panorama’ interview, just seven days before Christmas, Diana received a hand-written letter from the Queen requesting her to divorce Prince Charles.

The decree absolute came into effect on 28 August 1996, but it was much more than a marital divorce. The Queen also moved to strip the princess of her HRH title and effectively remove her from the royal family.

Earlier, in March, Diana had been driving in London when she was hit by an out of control Fiat Uno. Her driver’s door was smashed in and witnesses said it was amazing she escaped unhurt. Although the police investigated this crash, their report has never been released.

Diana Starts Campaigning to Eradicate Landmines

Then around July 1996 Diana started taking an interest in the worldwide scourge of unexploded landmines and began collecting information and building a dossier on the industry. Her primary concern was humanitarian – to help the victims and to campaign for the eradication of all landmines.

In January 1997, launching her involvement in the campaign, Diana made a highly-publicised visit to Angola – this was the nation with the highest number of victims. She was filmed walking through minefields and stated that she sought to “focus world attention on this… largely neglected issue.”6

The following month she received a high-profile death threat. During a phone call from Nicholas Soames, Britain’s Minister of the Armed Forces, Diana was told to drop her anti-landmines campaign. Soames went on to say: “You never know when an accident is going to happen.”7

Although shaken, Diana told her friend Simone Simmons – who witnessed the call – that she was undeterred: “We must do something. We cannot allow this slaughter to continue.”8

Diana’s anti-landmine dossier grew in size to become several inches thick and she left copies with Simmons and another friend, Elsa Bowker. Her butler Paul Burrell said it contained “every fact of the landmine mission.”9

On 12 June 1997, just under 12 weeks before she died, Diana delivered a landmark speech at the Royal Geographic Society in London. She outlined the nature and scope of the landmine problem, she talked about the “evil that men do” and spoke about her vision to “end this plague on Earth.”10

Meeting the Al Fayeds

It was around this time Princess Diana accepted an offer from long-time family friend and owner of Harrods, Mohamed Al Fayed, to holiday with his family at his St Tropez villa in mid-July. The offer extended to Diana and her two sons, William and Harry. At that time Al Fayed was viewed by the British Establishment as a person of ill-repute – he had recently been heavily involved in the “cash for questions” scandal that helped bring about the downfall of Britain’s Tory Government in May 1997.

Both these actions – Diana’s increasingly public determination to eradicate the mines and taking William, the future King of England, on holiday with the Al Fayeds – were seen as a major challenge to the Establishment.

In the following days two critical high-level decisions were made.

First, senior royals called a special unscheduled meeting of the Way Ahead Group (WAG), chaired by the Queen. This meeting took place on 23 July and was preceded two weeks earlier by a special preparatory meeting attended by senior royal household officials, including the Queen’s private secretary, Robert Fellowes. The preparatory meeting was held on 8 July – three days before Diana and the princes left on the contentious Al Fayed holiday – and the full WAG meeting occurred on 23 July – three days after the holiday had concluded.

The second decision was for an arrangement to be made for friend of Diana, Rosa Monckton, to organise a holiday with Princess Diana. Monckton was a person who had two very close connections to MI6 – her brother Anthony was a MI6 officer working in Zagreb and her husband Dominic Lawson was a MI6 agent who was editor of the Sunday Telegraph.

Whilst in Hong Kong Monckton called Diana and arranged a one-on-one yachting holiday around the Greek islands, to take place in mid-August.

Diana, William and Harry left for the St Tropez holiday on 11 July, amidst a storm of controversy. Following their return nine days later, a romance developed between Diana and Mohamed Al Fayed’s son, Dodi.

On 30 July Diana broke off her nearly two year relationship with boyfriend Hasnat Khan and the following day left with Dodi on a week-long Mediterranean cruise.

Their romance blossomed throughout August, interrupted only by two events – the pre-arranged Monckton cruise and Diana’s three-day anti-landmine visit to Bosnia on 8 August.

Monckton Cruises with Diana for Intel

Diana and Monckton left for the Greek islands on the 15th – “it was just the two of us” Monckton later told the inquest.11 What she didn’t say was that their hired 20 metre boat, the Della Grazia, was shadowed by three super-yachts chartered by MI6, the Marala, the Sunrise and the Sea Sedan. These were used as decoys to distract the media – who were not looking for a smaller vessel, and despite a massive search, never actually found the boat Monckton and Diana were on.12

This strategy provided Monckton with five uninterrupted days on the ocean – time to seek inside information on Diana’s thoughts and intentions, to satisfy her intelligence masters.

Diana and Monckton returned from that holiday on 20 August – and 11 days later Diana lay dead in a Paris hospital.

On 22 August Diana and Dodi departed from Stansted airport headed for their final Mediterranean cruise. The two lovers would never see England again.

The following day they visited Repossi’s jewellery store in Monte Carlo. Diana saw and liked an engagement ring from the “Tell Me Yes” range. Dodi later arranged for that same ring to be transferred to Repossi’s Paris – he purchased it from there just hours before the couple died.

Diana and Dodi finished up their cruise in Sardinia and on the afternoon of Saturday, 30 August, they flew from Olbia to Paris, landing at Le Bourget airport at 3.20pm.

They were met by French police who provided an escort for the initial part of the journey into the city.13 The police later denied they were aware of Diana’s presence in France, falsely claiming the first they knew she was there was when they heard about the crash that occurred later that night.14

Threatened by Large, Dark Motorbikes

During that journey and other travels through the streets of Paris that evening the couple’s Mercedes was threatened by large, dark motorbikes, some carrying pillions. Witnesses in the car and back-up Range Rover described these bikes as “behaving dangerously.”15 The Mercedes driver, Philippe Dourneau, said they were “coming from all angles, from front and behind – they were all over the place.”16 They took many flash photos on these trips – none of which have ever been published. The evidence indicates they were operating as fake paparazzi, helping to create an environment where later the real paparazzi could be falsely held culpable for the crash.

Initially the couple travelled to Villa Windsor and then into the city, arriving at the Ritz Hotel – owned by Mohamed Al Fayed – at 4.35pm. Whilst there Diana made phone calls and had her hair done and Dodi visited Repossi’s and purchased the engagement ring.

They left the hotel at 7pm, heading for Dodi’s apartment near the Arc de Triomphe. Once in the apartment – where their luggage had earlier been taken from the airport – the couple relaxed, showered and prepared to leave for dinner, which was to be back at the Ritz.

They left for the hotel at 9.30pm. Didier Gamblin was on security at the apartment and said the fake paparazzi went “completely crazy” and “set off like lunatics to follow the car.”17

Ritz CCTV records Diana and Dodi arriving at the front entrance of the hotel at 9.50pm. They initially went to the restaurant for dinner, but were stressed from the intimidating actions of the fake paparazzi and soon moved themselves upstairs to the sanctuary of the Imperial Suite.

The Decoy Plan – But Who Planned It?

It is after this that a decoy plan surfaced – a plan to leave for the return trip to the apartment from the rear of the hotel in a third car, whilst the primary Mercedes and the back-up Range Rover sat outside the front entrance, acting as decoys to divert the paparazzi.

Dodi approved a plan for the use of a third car to leave from the rear – but he was not told there would be no back-up car, only one bodyguard and a driver who was not licensed to chauffeur.

The evidence indicates the plan was devised by intelligence officers working from outside the hotel, employing two of the Ritz’s senior staff as agents – Henri Paul, the acting head of security and Claude Roulet, the vice-president of the hotel.

Henri Paul was the designated chauffeur – but he was not a driver, had never driven any Ritz guests in his 11 years at the hotel, and did not possess the required chauffeur’s ‘Grande Remise’ licence. To top it off, his best friend, Claude Garrec, told the police Henri didn’t like driving and “If he could avoid [it] he would.”18

Henri Paul had been receiving large sums of money from sources unknown in the months leading up to the crash. He had links to French and British intelligence agencies and on the night of his death was carrying 12,565FF ($2,500) on his person.

The third car was the only other car available – a Mercedes S280 with untinted windows, whose regular driver was Olivier Lafaye. Every evening Lafaye would finish work, return to the Ritz and park his vehicle in the same section of the Vendôme car park. He told the police that the other chauffeurs took their vehicles home – he was the only one without a garage.19

On that Saturday evening Lafaye parked his Mercedes S280 at 8.15pm. At 8.20 Claude Roulet is shown on CCTV leaving the Ritz Hotel. It is likely Roulet pointed out this Mercedes to other agents, who then had ample time to tamper with the vehicle prior to its final departure after midnight. Later evidence revealed that Diana – a person who many witnesses said always wore her seat belt – was sitting in the right rear seat with a jammed belt.20

Henri Paul departed from the hotel at 7.01pm, but quickly returned at 10.06 following the couple’s arrival. After 11pm he made four separate visits to the paparazzi waiting out the front of the Ritz. Henri was providing regular updates on how long it would be before the couple appeared. It was essential to the MI6 plan that the paparazzi were still present when Diana and Dodi departed – they would try to follow the car and later be falsely blamed for the behaviour of the fake paparazzi, the assassins.

Detailed Account of Diana’s Final Fatal Journey

The Mercedes S280 departed from the rear of the Ritz Hotel at 12.18am – there was no back-up car, only one bodyguard, untinted windows and at least one jammed seat belt in the back.

Some paparazzi were outside the rear and they immediately followed. Those out the front were quickly alerted and some of them joined the pursuit at the Place de la Concorde, where the Mercedes was held up by red lights.

Large unidentified motorbikes also joined in from around the Concorde. The Mercedes was pressured by constant flashing of cameras – many photos were taken but they have never been published.

The principal car left quickly from Concorde and witnesses on the riverside expressway saw a speeding Mercedes surrounded by several large, dark motorbikes. As the vehicle approached the exit it would take to head for Dodi’s apartment, a blocking motorbike was seen on its right.

Failure to make the appropriate exit forced the Mercedes S280 towards the Alma Tunnel. As it neared the tunnel one witness saw the motorbikes “in a cluster, like a swarm around the Mercedes.”21 People saw photos being taken – again unpublished.

Two separate witnesses saw the Mercedes – which was already in the left lane – overtaken on the left by one of the motorbikes carrying a pillion. At the same time, just as Henri entered the tunnel, he was confronted on the right by a slow-moving white Fiat Uno straddling the two lanes.

As the motorbike got in front, a bright flash was seen and Henri immediately lost control of the Mercedes. A split-second later the Mercedes side-swiped the Uno and then zig-zagged left, right and left before crashing into the 13th central pillar of the tunnel, at around 100 kph.

The car bounced back from the pillar, swung around 180 degrees and came to rest near the wall, facing the tunnel entrance.

It was 12.23am on Sunday, 31 August 1997.

Witnesses saw motorbikes and cars fleeing the tunnel – even though it is against the law in France to not stop and render assistance. None of the fleeing vehicles – including the white Fiat Uno – has ever officially been identified. And none of the drivers or riders have ever come forward.

The two people on the driver’s side – Henri Paul and Dodi Fayed – died on impact, and the two on the passenger’s side – Princess Diana and bodyguard Trevor Rees-Jones – survived the crash.

The French ambulance service (SAMU) immediately started receiving calls from passers-by. Dr. Arnaud Derossi was manning the phones and he allocated an ambulance carrying Dr. Jean-Marc Martino.

That ambulance left the Necker Hospital base at 12.28am and arrived at the crash scene at 12.40am. It took 12 minutes to travel 2.3 km – Diana’s ambulance travelled to the scene at around 11½ kph.

Upon arriving Martino straightaway phoned the base and spoke to Dr. Derossi, who then immediately left the base heading to the crash scene. It was left to an auxiliary to notify the base’s off-duty doctor, Marc Lejay, who was asleep at the time.22

Death by Doctors?

Princess Diana was heard talking by several witnesses, saying “Oh my God” and “what’s happened?”23 When the doctor performed the standard Glasgow Coma test to assess her condition in the car, she scored very well – 14 on a scale of 15.24

However there was reason to suggest there could be an internal injury – Diana had been involved in a fatal, high speed crash and wasn’t wearing a seat belt. This possibility was confirmed after Diana was finally transferred into the ambulance, 43 minutes after the crash. The initial examination revealed there was thoracic trauma bruising.25

From that point it became even more imperative that Diana was transferred immediately to a hospital – the thoracic trauma was a clear sign there could be a life-threatening internal injury.

Instead though, these two doctors – Martino and Derossi – tarried. The ambulance remained in the Alma Tunnel until 1.41am, one hour and 18 minutes after the crash.

And worse, they poured catecholamine into her to increase her blood pressure (BP), even though the BP was 70 and high enough to comfortably make the 5 km trip to the hospital.

And on top of that, Dr. Derossi informed the base there was “nothing for the thorax,” twice, even though he already was aware of the thoracic trauma.26 This ensured the hospital would not have a thoracic specialist on hand when Diana arrived.

After leaving the scene the ambulance travelled at what one witness described as “walking pace.”27 Then within sight of the hospital gates it stopped for five minutes. A journalist who followed the ambulance described it as “rocking” while stationary.28 He also witnessed a doctor transferring from the front to the back.29

Whatever they were doing inside the ambulance, it required four people – Drs Martino, Derossi and two interns (Barbara Kapfer and a person called “Fadi”).

There has never been a credible explanation for a stoppage so close to the hospital.

Martino delivered Diana to the La Pitié Salpêtrière Hospital at 2.06am – it was now one hour and 43 minutes since the crash.

Six minutes after arriving Princess Diana stopped breathing. She would never breathe again, despite the best efforts of the hospital’s doctors.

Dr. Bruno Riou ticked the suspicious death box on the death certificate.30 The public prosecutor’s office was then forced to order an autopsy, which was conducted by Professor Dominique Lecomte. She found no suspicious circumstances.

Dr. Riou was never asked why he was suspicious.

Conflicting Evidence Points to the Cover-Up

Later that morning Professor Lecomte carried out an autopsy on the driver, Henri Paul. Samples taken were tested early the following day – the results indicated the driver had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 1.74, three times over the French limit.

This conflicted with evidence in the hotel prior to the departure of the Mercedes. Many witnesses testified that Henri was not drunk and this was supported by the CCTV footage, which showed him walking and acting normally.

Later testing revealed the blood had a carbon monoxide (CO) level of 20.7%. The combination of elevated BAC and CO meant Henri would have been incoherent, had a migraine headache and found it impossible to stay upright.

Yet that is not what the CCTV and witnesses saw.

A close analysis of Professor Lecomte’s autopsy of Henri Paul reveals she made at least 58 errors in her conduct and documentation.31 The police files reveal there were two lots of documentation for the one autopsy – each recording different samples taken and differing body measurements, weight and height.32

The evidence points to two bodies being in the room at the time of the autopsy – one was Henri Paul’s and the other was a person who had died in a fire with smoke inhalation.

Samples were taken from both bodies, but kept separate. The other person’s samples were used for the BAC testing and years later Henri’s true samples were used for DNA testing. The DNA-tested samples were never BAC tested and the BAC-tested samples were never DNA tested.

The paparazzi and Henri Paul were fraudulently set up to take the blame for the death of Princess Diana.

The truth is that the crash was orchestrated by MI6 (with assistance from the CIA and France’s DGSE and DST) on the orders of senior members of the British royal family, with the acquiescence of Tony Blair, Jacques Chirac and Bill Clinton – the leaders of the three leading Western arms-dealing nations.

Diana Princess of Wales – our humanitarian princess – was murdered in one of the most shocking inter-governmental operations followed by one of the most extensive cover-ups of our time.

If you appreciate this article, please consider a digital subscription to New Dawn.

The late John Morgan wrote two explosive books exposing the conspiracy to murder Princess Diana. Information on How They Murdered Princess Diana: The Shocking Truth, and Paris-London Connection: The Assassination of Princess Diana, can be found at Both books can be purchased from


  1. Andrew Morton, Diana: In Pursuit of Love, Michael O’Mara Books, 2004, 76
  2. Inquest evidence: INQ0010117
  3. Inquest evidence: INQ0006335
  4. ‘The Panorama Interview’, BBC, 20 November 1995,
  5. Simone Simmons with Ingrid Seward, Diana: The Last Word, St Martin’s Press, 2005, 179
  7. Diana: The Last Word, 178-180
  8. Ibid., 180
  9. Inquest transcripts: 16 Jan 08: 27.11
  10. ‘Responding To Landmines: A Modern Tragedy And Its Consequences’ by Diana, Princess Of Wales. Keynote Address at a one day seminar co-hosted by the Mines Advisory Group and the Landmine Survivors Network, London, 12 June 1997,
  11. Inquest transcripts: 13 Dec 07: 139.18
  12. ‘The Media Swarm Greek Isles, In Search Of Diana’, Philadelphia Inquirer, 18 August 1997
  13. Rene Delorm, Diana & Dodi: A Love Story, Tallfellow Press, 1998, 154
  14. Inquest transcripts: 14 Nov 06 statement read out 21 Nov 07: 57.22
  15. Inquest transcripts: Kez Wingfield: 2 Sep 97 Statement read out 18 Dec 07: 145.9
  16. Inquest transcripts: 3 Sep 97 Statement read out 29 Oct 07: 67.17
  17. Inquest transcripts: 3 Oct 97 Statement read out 7 Mar 08: 103.14
  18. Paget Report, 14 December 2006, 162-3
  19. Paget Report, 14 December 2006, 244-5
  20. Paget Report, 14 December 2006, 421
  21. Paget Report, 14 December 2006, 439
  22. Inquest transcripts: 11 Dec 07: 7.13
  23. An example: Xavier Gourmelon: Paget Report, 14 December 2006, 513
  24. Inquest evidence: INQ0004774
  25. Inquest transcripts: 24 Jan 08:124.16; Inquest evidence: INQ0004774
  26. Inquest transcripts: 11 Dec 07: 14.9, 28.23
  27. Inquest transcripts: Pierre Suu: 28 Feb 06 Statement read out 11 Mar 08: 150.4
  28. Inquest transcripts: Thierry Orban: 23 Sep 97 Statement read out 17 Oct 07: 13.7
  29. Inquest transcripts: Thierry Orban: 23 Sep 97 Statement read out 17 Oct 07: 13.3; Pierre Suu:28 Feb 06 Statement read out 11 Mar 08: 150.22
  30. Prof. Bruno Riou, Witness Statement, 7 March 2006, reproduced in Diana Inquest: The Documents the Jury Never Saw, edited by John Morgan, 2010, 375-6
  31. John Morgan, Cover-Up of a Royal Murder: Hundreds of Errors in the Paget Report, 2007, 188-194
  32. John Morgan, Diana Inquest: The French Cover-Up, 2010, 50-68


JOHN MORGAN (1957-2015) started researching and writing about the death of Princess Diana in 2005. He was the world’s leading expert on the 1997 Paris crash. Leading QC Michael Mansfield, who served at the London inquest: “I have no doubt that the volumes written by John Morgan will come to be regarded as the ‘Magnum Opus’ on the crash in the tunnel that resulted in the unlawful killing of Diana, Princess of Wales.” Mohamed Al Fayed, whose son Dodi died in the crash: “John Morgan has done more to expose the facts of this case than the police in France and Britain.” For more on John’s work, research and books go to

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Who Did Kill Rasputin?


Before the First World War the Russian royal family, the Romanovs, were heavily involved in occult activities. In the years between 1900 and 1905, the French occultist Dr. Gerard Encausse (Papus) made several visits to Russia for undisclosed reasons. In fact, he had been personally invited to the country by Tsar Nicholas II and was holding magical séances at the royal palace in St Petersburg for the tsar and his German-born wife, the Tsarina Alexandra. Both were interested in Spiritualism and the occult.

Dr. Encausse was a member of a French magical society called the Kabbalistic Order of the Rosy Cross (CORC). This was founded in France in 1888, the same year as the famous Order of the Golden Dawn in England. Dr. Encausse claimed to have been initiated into a Golden Dawn lodge in Paris run by Samuel Liddell Macgregor Mathers and his wife Moina. The Marquis Stanilas de Guaita and Josephin Peladan, two prominent French occultists, had created the CORC. Peladan had been born into an eccentric and fanatical Roman Catholic family who were supporters of the restoration of the French monarchy. His brother, Adrien, practised as a homeopathic doctor and had many wealthy and titled patients. He claimed to have been initiated in 1858 into a secret Rosicrucian order in Toulouse which had survived since the Middle Ages.

At the magical rituals held at the royal palace, Dr. Encausse attempted to conjure up the tsar’s dead father, Alexander III, who was also interested in Spiritualism. In fact, Alexander had invited the English medium D.D. Home to Russia to hold séances attended by aristocrats and members of the royal court.

In the early 1900s Russia was on the brink of revolution. There were riots in the streets, strikes, and rumours of mutiny in the armed forces. Against this turbulent background of civil disorder, the weak Tsar Nicholas II sought advice from the ‘Other Side’ on how to handle the situation. The message that came back from the spirits advised the tsar to resist the subversive and revolutionary forces threatening his throne, or he would lose control of Russia and topple from power. If the tsar did not take immediate action to deal with the deteriorating situation, then his authority and rule would be seriously undermined.

Despite this warning, Nicholas refused to act decisively and with the outbreak of the First World War in August 1914, the situation spiralled out of control as the spirits had predicted. This led to Nicholas losing his throne and eventually his life at the hands of Bolshevik revolutionaries. The vengeful Bolsheviks massacred his family and seized power from the democratic government set up after the tsar abdicated.

After his last visit to St Petersburg in 1905, Dr. Encausse stayed in contact with the tsar, and the occultist and the monarch exchanged letters at regular intervals. In this correspondence, they discussed various esoteric matters of mutual interest. However, Dr. Encausse confided to his fellow occultists that in his opinion Nicholas was a weak and easily influenced person who relied too much on his spiritual sources. The French magician believed that the tsar should instead listen more to his ministers and take their advice on the day-to-day running of the country.

The ‘Mad Monk’

The French occultist became particularly worried about how the tsar and tsarina had fallen under what he regarded as the malefic influence of a charismatic wandering ‘holy man’ called Grigory Yefimovich Rasputin. Rumoured to have been involved with the unorthodox religious sect known as the Khlysty or ‘People of God’, Rasputin managed to be invited to the royal court. As a result, he became the spiritual advisor, friend and confidante of the Tsarina Alexandra and also forged relationships with other Russian aristocrats.

The Khlysty were a neo-Gnostic sect condemned by the Russian Orthodox Church because of their practices of flagellation and sexual indulgence to make contact with God and achieve spiritual enlightenment. At this time there were many quasi-religious sects in Russia and numerous wandering holy men and healers such as Rasputin.

How much the tsarina knew of Rasputin’s background is not known, but she must have been aware he was using his personal charm and hypnotic powers to seduce many of her female courtiers. Although there is no evidence they had a sexual affair, Alexandra seems to have been infatuated with the unkempt ‘holy man’. She was in awe of his magical powers after he used his healing abilities to save the life of her haemophiliac son, the heir to the imperial throne. From then on, she would not allow anyone to say a bad word against him.

Despite his wild physical appearance, Rasputin exerted a strange power over women, especially wealthy ones. It was said this was due to his ability to withhold orgasm for long periods. One aristocratic lady said the experience of making love with Rasputin was so pleasurable that she actually fainted during it. Such comments have led some writers to suggest the ‘Mad Monk’, as his enemies dubbed him, was a skilled adept in Tantric techniques from Eastern occultism and a practitioner of sex magic.

Many friends of the Romanov royal family and members of the Russian government warned the tsar that Rasputin’s influence over his wife was sinister and evil. Dr. Encausse also wrote to Nicholas and warned him that in Kabbalistic terms the holy man was an unholy vessel like Pandora’s famous box of misfortune. As such, he contained all the “vices, crimes and filth of the common Russian people.” Prophetically, the French occultist said if the vessel was ever broken (i.e. Rasputin was killed) all its “dreadful contents will spill across Russia” destroying everything they touch.

Prelude to The Great War

In the 1900s it was widely expected there would soon be a war involving the major European powers. It was alleged that at a secret conference in Brussels, attended by leading Freemasons and members of secret societies as early as 1905, a plot had been hatched to bring down the Romanovs along with the other crowned heads of Europe. As the Great War approached, it was believed Rasputin was their secret weapon in achieving this aim.

The First World War broke out in August 1914 following the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife the Archduchess Sophia of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. When they were killed in Sarajevo, Bosnia by members of a secret society of Serbian nationalists known as the Order of the Black Hand, Rasputin warned the tsar not to let Russia get involved in a war with Germany. The monk predicted that if the Russian armed forces joined with those of Britain and France against Germany and their Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian allies, the country would suffer “a terrible defeat.” In the violent civil disorder to follow, the monarchy would fall from power. For once, the tsar ignored the advice of his ‘spiritual sources’ and committed the imperial Russian army and navy to the allied cause against Germany.

Following the assassinations in Sarajevo, Tsarina Alexandra sent Rasputin several urgent telegrams asking for his advice about the international situation. Rasputin replied that on no account should Mother Russia get involved if, as was widely expected, war broke out among the major European powers. If she did, “It will be the finish of all things.” It is presumed Rasputin was not aware Russian secret agents had been implicated in the assassination plot. Allegedly, the Russian military attaché in Belgrade had paid 8,000 roubles to the leaders of the Order of the Black Hand. The attaché had also told them that Tsar Nicholas II would support the cause of Serbian nationalism if war broke out between Russia and the Austro-Hungarian-German alliance.

It was also rumoured that in early 1914 representatives of the Black Hand had secretly met with members of the politically subversive French Masonic lodge of the Grand Orient at the Hotel St Jerome in Toulouse, France. At this meeting the assassination of Austro-Hungarian Emperor Franz Joseph and Archduke Ferdinand had been discussed. The plot was organised by the Black Hand with renegade elements of French Masonry and allegedly had the tacit support of the Russian tsar. The idea was to create the right conditions for a war between the European monarchies leading to their destruction, although why Nicholas II would support the anti-royalist plan remains unclear as he had all to lose from it.

Following the murder of Franz Ferdinand and his wife, Kaiser Wilhelm told the Austro-Hungarian ambassador in Berlin that military force had to be used to neutralise Serbian nationalism and he offered his country’s support in any action the empire decided to take. The Kaiser quoted intelligence reports that suggested Russia would not intervene. On 28 July 1914, four weeks after the assassinations, the Austro-Hungarian Empire declared war on Serbia. In response to this, Tsar Nicholas ordered the Russian army to mobilise. The Kaiser warned the tsar that unless his forces stood down he would mobilise German troops. Five days later, when this ultimatum had been ignored, Germany declared war on Russia and the First World War began.

When war was declared, Rasputin said if he had not been ill he would have travelled to St Petersburg to see the tsar personally. If this had happened, he boasted, Russia would never have entered the war and he would have single-handedly changed the course of world history. The pro-war elements claimed Rasputin was a pacifist and a pro-German traitor. It was even said the holy man was a secret agent working for the German intelligence service. The Germans had allegedly planted him in the royal palace to give the tsar and tsarina false advice and counsel.

As the war dragged on, the rising casualties at the front and food shortages at home led to strikes and riots, and open hostility to the Romanovs surfaced among the population. This unrest was aided and abetted by the subversive activities of left-wing socialist and revolutionary agitators who wanted to replace the existing regime with a worker’s republic. Rasputin meanwhile had received a psychic premonition of impending doom and believed his life was under threat. In 1916 he wrote to the tsar spelling out the consequences to Russia and the Romanov dynasty if he was killed. He said should he be murdered by common assassins who were Russian peasants, whom he described as his “brothers,” the royal family would have nothing to fear. If, however, his killers were aristocrats, then “brother will kill brother” and no nobles would be left in the country.

Several political factions in Russia had previously attempted to stop Rasputin’s influence on the royal family by violent means. In 1913 a conspiracy was revealed to kidnap the mystic monk, castrate him because of his sexual activities, and then kill him. Rasputin, however, was tipped off about the plot and managed to evade capture.

A year later, on 19 July, a prostitute attacked Rasputin while he was holidaying at the Black Sea resort of Yalta, later to be the meeting place of the Allied wartime leaders towards the end of the Second World War. The prostitute stabbed Rasputin in the stomach, but despite losing a considerable amount of blood, he managed to survive the attack. When questioned by police, the woman said she had tried to murder the so-called ‘holy man’ because he was a heretic and ‘fornicator’ who had seduced a nun. She was diagnosed as unfit to stand trial due to insanity and was committed to a mental hospital. This appears to be an official cover-up.

Significantly perhaps, the assassination attempt on Rasputin occurred only weeks after the murder in Sarajevo of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife by members of the Black Hand secret society.

Enter the SIS

Rasputin’s prediction of his own death came eerily true in December 1916, when a group of right-wing aristocrats conspired with the British Secret Intelligence Service (MI6 or Military Intelligence Department Six) to kill him. The SIS was a branch of the Foreign Office set up in 1909. According to Michael Smith’s book Six: A History of Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service: Part 1: Murder and Mayhem 1909-1939, at the beginning of the First World War the head of SIS in London, known by the code letter ‘C’, made overtures to the Russian intelligence service. This was because of serious British concerns about the commitment of Tsar Nicholas II to the war effort. In September 1914, ‘C’ was granted permission by the Foreign Office in London and the Russian government to send several military officers to set up a SIS bureau in Petrograd, the new name for St Petersburg. Its name had been changed because the original sounded too German.

One of the SIS officers, Lieutenant Stephen Alley, was a fluent Russian speaker who had been born in a village near Moscow. Before the war he worked in Russia for the Maikop & General Petroleum Trust, an American oil company owned by the future US president Herbert Hoover. The company was building a new oil pipeline across southern Russia to a port on the Black Sea. When war broke out, Lt Alley left the company and joined the British Army. He was then recruited by military intelligence, joining the SIS. Because of his Russian background, Lt Alley was sent to Petrograd posing as a military attaché to the British Embassy.

The British intelligence officer soon discovered there were members of the Russian government, especially in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who were worried about the way the war was going. Some went so far as to support a separate peace treaty with Germany. Apparently there had been several clandestine meetings between officials of the two countries at the Russian and German embassies in Rome. It was said the Grand Duke of Hesse in Germany had even been in personal touch with the German-born tsarina. He had urged her to use her influence with her husband and members of the Russian government to seek a peace agreement.

In November 1915, Lt Alley was in charge of what the SIS Russian bureau termed ‘background intelligence operations’. Two other officers, who had been recently sent out from SIS’s London headquarters, assisted him. One of them, Lt Oswald Rayner, was originally given the task of secretly opening and examining telegrams and letters. The SIS was particularly interested in the activities of neutral Swedish shipping companies believed to be supplying goods to Germany in defiance of the Royal Navy’s blockade.

Before joining the Secret Service, Rayner had worked in Finland, then a Grand Duchy of the Russian Empire. He taught English and befriended a wealthy local couple who funded his further education at Oxford University, where he studied modern languages. At Oxford, he became friendly with Prince Feliks (Felix) Yusupov, a member of one of the wealthiest and most influential aristocratic families in Russia. Rayner then worked as a correspondent for The Times newspaper in London and later joined the civil service where he became a friend of the future wartime prime minister, David Lloyd George. When war broke out in 1914, Rayner joined the British Army. He was commissioned as an officer and assigned to ‘special duties’ with the SIS. Like Lt Alley, his fluency in Russian had him sent to Petrograd to join the British Secret Service unit operating in the city.

With persistent rumours circulating that the Russian government was keen to make peace with Germany, the SIS began to focus on the specific stories about Grigory Rasputin, his alleged involvement in a pro-German anti-war peace movement and his peculiar influence over the tsarina. Their intelligence suggested the holy man was either the leader or at the very least a leading mover in a so-called ‘peace party’ made up of politically prominent Russians.

As a result, several right-wing pro-war elements within the Russian aristocracy were counter-plotting to remove Rasputin permanently so he could not influence the tsar and tsarina with his views. One of these conspirators, a member of the Duma or Russian parliament, Vladimir Purishkevich, approached a SIS officer offering information on the plot. He told the officer a plan had been drawn up to “liquidate Rasputin.” At the time, the officer was unaware that three of his SIS colleagues, Alley, Rayner and an ex-Indian Army officer Captain John Dymoke Scale, were in fact closely involved in the plot to kill Rasputin.

Lt Alley and Capt Scale had become suspicious of the tsarina’s close relationship with her spiritual advisor. Knowledge of Rasputin’s pro-German sentiments was common knowledge by 1916. Even The Times accused him of being a Germanophile whose influence at the Russian royal court was described as both “potent” and “baleful.” Capt Scale described Rasputin as a “drunken debaucher” who was adversely influencing Russian government policy and “clogging the war machine.” It was becoming evident the Mad Monk had to be neutralised, and this could only be achieved by his death.

The Plot to Kill Rasputin

The key figure in any British Secret Service involvement in a plot to terminate Rasputin with ‘extreme prejudice’ would be Lt Oswald Rayner. This was because of his long friendship with Prince Yusupov who was the leader of the conspirators. The prince invited the holy man to a ‘party’ at his family’s palace on the banks of the River Neva in Petrograd. Yusupov persuaded his wife, Princess Irina, the niece of Tsar Nicholas, to lure the monk to the party, although she was not actually going to be present. It was a typical British Secret Service ‘honey-trap’ operation that has been carried out many times since. Also present at the party was a prominent aristocrat, the Grand Duke Dimitry Pavlovich, the tsar’s second cousin; an army officer, Lieutenant Syukhotin, who was a close friend of the prince; Vladimir Purishkevich; an army medic Dr. Stanilaus de Lazoret – and the SIS officer Lt Oswald Rayner.

The usual version of events is that Rasputin was first given some small chocolate cakes and wine laced with cyanide. When these had no apparent effect, he was shot in the chest at close range with a revolver. The holy man apparently survived this, attacked his would-be killers and managed to escape from the house. The assassins pursued him and he was shot three more times. His body was then bundled into a car and driven to the Petrovsky Bridge over the River Neva, where it was thrown into the icy waters. Despite the poison and several gunshot wounds, Rasputin was still alive, if barely, when he was tossed into the river and drowned.

In reality, when Rasputin arrived at the prince’s home he was given copious amounts of alcohol until he was drunk. He was then tortured, beaten with a leather cosh on the testicles. There may have been a sexual element to this, but the aim was to get Rasputin to confess to his anti-war activities and name the other pro-German conspirators involved. Finally, he was shot several times using at least three different weapons. It is alleged that Rayner used his standard Secret Service issue Webley revolver to fire the last shot that finally finished off Rasputin. His body was then disposed through a hole in the ice of the frozen river.

It is not clear if the senior officer running the SIS Russian bureau in Petrograd was fully aware of the involvement of Rayner and the other British officers in Rasputin’s murder. He expressed total surprise at the news when relaying it to ‘C’ in London. There is indication the three SIS officers had not received official sanction for the operation. They acted without London’s approval because they feared that the plan for a Russian peace treaty with Germany was well advanced. In fact, under torture Rasputin had even named a date in January 1917 when it would be signed.

Two of the three SIS officers seemed to have been quickly posted elsewhere. Capt Scale was not even in Russia when the operation was carried out. He had already been sent to Romania to assist in a SIS operation to prevent the invading German army from capturing and using the oilfields and grain stores in the country by sabotaging them. He was later to return to Petrograd where rumours were still rife that the British Secret Service had somehow been involved in Rasputin’s death.

Lt Oswald Rayner was transferred to SIS’s Stockholm office, but Lt Alley stayed in Russia and took over as head of the bureau. He eventually was given the role of liaison officer with the new provisional government and had the task of persuading them to keep the faith by pursuing the war with Germany. He was later sacked from SIS for allegedly refusing to carry out an order to assassinate one of the Bolshevik revolutionary leaders – Josef Stalin. The real reason was said to be that ‘C’ in London wanted to get rid of Lt Alley. It is possible this was because of the lieutenant’s alleged involvement in the plot to torture and murder Rasputin.

The reaction to and consequences of the death of the Mad Monk were immediate, confirming the holy man’s own predictions about the event at the hands of the aristocracy. The Russian peasantry held him in great regard and reverence. When the news of his violent death spread, he was treated like a religious martyr and the finger of suspicion was pointed at the royal palace. Following the murder, rumours began to circulate of a right-wing coup by army officers to oust Tsar Nicholas II because he was a weak leader who was losing the war for Russia. The secret police investigated these stories, but in fact the real threat to the tsar’s continued rule and precarious position came from extreme left-wingers and, ironically, the supporters of a liberal democratic form of government.

Fall of the Monarchy

In March (or February by the Old Calendar still used in Russia) 1917, food riots broke out in Petrograd and other major Russian cities. Troops sent to put them down instead sided with the hungry demonstrators and joined them in their protest. As law and order broke down, a new liberal democratic provisional government was appointed to run the country. Faced with widespread and mounting criticism and a violent reaction to his policies, Nicholas decided the best thing for the country was to abdicate in favour of his younger brother, Grand Duke Michael. Unfortunately, the new tsar did not have the support or confidence of the peasants and, more importantly, the police and armed forces. In turn, Michael was forced to abdicate and he passed his executive powers to the provisional government. This move was widely applauded in Western capitals, as it was mistakenly believed that Russia was entering a new era of democracy replacing the autocratic rule of the tsars.

Unfortunately, divided by internal disputes and trying to fight an increasingly unpopular war, the provisional government ruled for only eight months until November (or October) 1917. During this short period of democratic rule, it did manage to promote freedom of speech, religious worship and assembly and ended the censorship of the press. This freedom was short lived as in July 1917 a group of soldiers, sailors and Bolsheviks attempted to seize Petrograd. They were only prevented from doing so by the intervention of regular army units who were still loyal to the provisional government.

Kaiser Wilhelm, himself interested in Spiritualism with an extensive private library of occult books, also decided to interfere in Russia’s internal affairs. He allowed the Bolshevik revolutionary leader Vladimir Illyich Lenin to return to Russia from Switzerland via Germany with his followers in a sealed train. Lenin promised Kaiser Wilhelm that if he managed to seize power by overthrowing the provisional government the war would be ended. On his arrival in Russia, Lenin was greeted by jubilant crowds and finally on 7 November (October) 1917, the Bolsheviks seized power. Troops from the garrison in Petrograd mutinied and, assisted by sailors and an armed workers’ militia called the Red Guard, they stormed the Winter Palace.

Russia’s New Government

The Bolshevik revolution was not bloodless by any means as in 1918 fighting broke out between the new Soviet government and the so-called ‘White Russians’ led by aristocrats still loyal to the monarchy. The Allies intervened and American, British, French and Italian troops landed on Russian soil. Their mission was to help the White Russians in the civil war and to seize materials stored in the ports of Archangel and Murmansk so they would not fall into the hands of the Germans. From October 1919 until January 1920, Allied forces blockaded the Russian coast and supplied the White Russians with military equipment.

Despite their intervention, the Allies failed to prevent the ultimate defeat of the White Russian forces and the eventual establishment of the Soviet Union. In 1918, Tsar Nicholas, his wife and their children were brutally murdered by the Bolsheviks in the cellar of a house in Ekaterinburg, where they had been held captive. Rasputin’s prediction had come true. Nicholas had tried to seek asylum in Britain, but his cousin King George V, persuaded by his government, refused him and his family refuge. The king never fully recovered from the guilt he felt over the matter. Ironically, one of the first acts of the new Bolshevik regime was to ban all religious sects, occult groups and secret societies that had flourished in imperial Russia under the rule of the Romanov dynasty.

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MICHAEL HOWARD is an Anglo-English writer, historical researcher, and magazine editor and publisher. Since 1976, he has been the editor of The Cauldron witchcraft magazine He has been studying the links between the occult and politics since he was a teenager and is the author of Secret Societies: Their Influence and Power from Antiquity to the Present Day (Destiny Books, 2008).

The above article appeared in New Dawn Special Issue Vol 8 No 3

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Microwave Towers & Faster Downloads: The Hidden Health Impact of Wireless Communications


Imagine you arrive home after work to discover a new microwave antenna tower stationed at the edge of your backyard fence? How would you respond?

  1. If you’d had non-existent mobile phone reception for years prior (or if you were a techie ‘hooked on faster downloads’) then you might find reason to celebrate!
  2. You might respond as an ambivalent disempowered citizen, “I really wonder about those things but there isn’t much I can do about this anyway.”
  3. You may be in the growing group of empowered action-takers. You’ve either experienced microwave radiation sickness attributable to exposure or you’ve read books and articles on the topic which resonate with your own truth.

Out of Sight Does Not Equal Out of Mind

Now forget the antennas in the backyard. Rather, that same day you arrived home from work telcos had erected a microwave antenna tower 300 metres from your residence. They paid someone rent to place it in a stealth location, a church steeple, behind a shop rooftop façade or on a water tower tucked out of public view behind parkland. Or it might have been located entirely visible, say next to a highway. We are already seeing so many of these towers that they no longer register. Our innate sensibility has often numbed to them in the same way we can numb to catastrophe or violence through a constant diet of Hollywood and TV news.

Telcos seeks to irradiate a large area (coverage) and increase data rate by:

  1. Multiple waveforms emitted (a variety of microwave frequencies generated and sent out through the ether via the antennas) – for instance the 700 MHz (0.7 GHz) band is highly penetrating (including through buildings) and is therefore especially effective used in conjunction with the 2600 MHz (2.6 GHz) band which has a high data rate (PENETRATION + HIGH DATA = HAPPY TELCO and customers). Keep in mind these frequencies are used to cook flesh. The microwave oven you dropped off at the recovery area of the rubbish tip the other week runs at 2.45 GHz.
  1. Turning up the ‘volume’ or microwave power density on the antenna array – in the same way we turn up the volume of our stereo. This is the same ‘invisible stuff’ emitted by your mobile device and WiFi. In the above example when the antenna tower was at the edge of your back fence (say 100 metres from your bedroom), you’d likely complain, “Not In My Back Yard!” When it is located 300 metres away and out of sight in council bushland there is no way for you to complain as you do not even know about it! Even if it is located on the side of a road you might not consider taking action, such is the distorted form of information passed on to the public (more on this later).

Distance is an important consideration per the Inverse Square Law for distance from source (of microwave radiation) – Intensity α 1/distance.2

If the antenna was at 100 metres distance then was moved to 300 metres, the intensity will be 1/9th that at 100 metres. However, what if the telco turned up the ‘volume’ of the antenna array at 300 metres to be 90 times higher than the antennas at 100 metres? Intensity would then = 1/9 x 90 = 10 times higher at 300 metres than at 100 metres. Most of us do not spend our evenings searching data on local antenna emission levels.

The Inverse Square Law applies similarly to devices. Many years ago I had a wireless emitting Telstra modem located underneath a couch I enjoyed lying on in the evening to read – not clever. I wondered why my sleep was so chaotic during that phase. I correlated to show the pre-bed ritual of a book on the couch was a contributor. I’ve since hardwired my Internet.

Transform your brain health by simply stretching out to arms-length and putting your phone on ‘speaker’ rather than pressing it to your ear and literally ‘cooking’ parts of your brain.

  1. Working with trajectory and strategic location – there is an overlay strategy to eliminate ‘black spots’. One element that can assist (and hinder) this strategy is trajectory. If in the above example the tower 100 metres from your bedroom is at 50 metres elevation per Figure 1 (note this is indicative software only) and you happen to live in a tenth floor apartment, then you could well be in the direct line of fire. If you were in a house on the ground floor the power density (or exposure levels) would not be as high. However, consider the ‘side lobes’ that are the diagonal high intensity lobes dependent on antenna design/type. There is a myth that you are ‘protected’ directly beneath an antenna array. Because of side lobes this is not the case, though you are less exposed than if you were directly in front of it.

Faster Data Rates PLEASE MR TELCO

The telcos suggest the market is requesting faster data rates and ‘eradication’ of mobile black spots. The suggestion is we want high-speed coverage everywhere.

Telcos tell us the public is demanding faster rates on their devices and that is why they need to build more towers and turn up the power density. Do you want to download ten videos simultaneously rather than just one? We are a misinformed public with minds etched by PR and advertising. We are told of the benefits of a wireless world such as convenient communications, improved work efficiency, and safety devices.

The law of polarity holds that wherever there are benefits we find shortcomings. We do not hear that in 2009 over 300,000 Swedes indicated they are detrimentally affected by electromagnetic radiation. We are not presented the stories of thousands of Australians experiencing anxiety, headaches, brain fog and even heart palpitations, lost in an unreceptive, outdated and often derisive medical system. We aren’t informed of the snake-oil industries that have sprung up to ‘service’ the desperate.

Presently ‘we’ as powerful individuals are not demanding faster downloads. There is a collective entity influencing and it can be difficult to create space to ‘see’. I switch on my phone for around 10-20 minutes per day. Not everyone can do this, and I may have a work-lifestyle that requires more connectivity in the future. Why not experiment? The act of experimenting is an act of questioning the status quo. How low can you go?

Am I Being Rattled by Microwaves?

For those who have been feeling ‘off’ for no apparent reason, with headaches, anxiety, a general ‘jitteriness’ and irritation, insomnia and perhaps more extreme symptoms such as tingling in the extremities, brain fog and palpitations, the answer may be YES. Microwave radiation exposure is not the only contributor, however it’s one of multiple environmental factors.

In Playing GOD Biological and Spiritual Effects of Electromagnetic Radiation I present a thorough palette for someone seeking next-level awareness. For a period I facilitated clients, many who’d been baffled by medical and alternative practitioner inability to diagnose and provide a path to health. Many had been on the searching merry-go-round for years and were absolutely desperate. I’d start by checking in with the client:

       How are things going in your life? Are there emotional contractions contributing to the cellular stress response. There is no space to ‘heal’ if cells are overwhelmed by stress. Typically many of us have over-aroused nervous systems and cells literally never rest. I have some tools to work with held-trauma and therefore create space for recuperation. It is unlikely someone at optimal health (physical/emotional/spiritual) will be experiencing microwave radiation sickness symptoms as their cells are freed-up to detoxify.

       Have you experienced a recent zoonotic infection? Have you had recent tick or mosquito bites? Do you live near animals? Chickens? A pet dog? Rats in the house? Many individuals unknowingly have zoonotic bacterial infections such as Lyme-like infections (and many more). Medical professionals are particularly weak in the area of ‘new’ bacterial infections, not only weak but also lacking interest (mostly – there are a few bright lights). Symptoms from over-exposure escalate significantly when the client is riddled with infections. Without addressing zoonotic infections, progress will be limited.

       Tell me about your living situation? Many had a WiFi modem running all night just two metres from their bed. Other clients left their mobile device running on their bedside table during the night (as I did many years ago). We would work to reduce the radiation burden with simple strategies. Sometimes multiple chemical sensitivity would come into the picture and we’d work through that. Occasionally I’d provide advice for radiation shielding alternatives, though always as a last option. My experience with those selling so called ‘solutions’ was that many were ‘salesmen’ rather than adept technically.

       How do you see yourself as an empowered action-taker? It is those of us who have had our lives redirected by health issues who often become the change agents. How can you share your new awareness? Could you talk to teachers and parents at your child’s primary school or your local medical centre? Can you petition council to NOT put up the suburban tower? Might you have fun at home but with 8pm to 8am switch off?


As you read these words you are exposed to background microwave radiation levels tens of thousands and in some cases millions of times higher than if you’d been reading this two decades ago. Many of you are completely healthy at physical, emotional and spiritual levels and undisturbed by these radiation energies, and this may continue to be the case. Some of you are now considering low-level ‘nagging’ anxiety and insomnia may be related to microwave exposure as one of multiple factors.

I’ve presented for the action-takers the perspective of microwave radiation exposure as home-based, community based and national/global. The antenna tower does not have to be visible or ‘In My Back Yard’ to be affecting your family’s health. It (or they – multiple towers = stacked radiation levels) could be a kilometre away with the effects just as significant.

The microwave radiation now used for wireless communication derives from military sources. It was never designed for 24/7 exposure. The US Army understood the potentially devastating uses of microwaves including the agitation of the masses and mind disturbance. Unless we dig deep (and for me it was having the experience of a health decline correlating with increased exposure) we might remain hooked by the media-presented ‘benefits’. Let’s occasionally recognise the shortcomings of the wireless revolution and share this with our circle of influence. With the outlay of the hyper-powerful 5G just around the corner in 2020, as they say in the movies, “you ain’t seen nothing yet.”

If you appreciate this article, please consider a digital subscription to New Dawn.

„Benjamin Nowland is the author of Playing GOD Biological and Spiritual Effects of Electromagnetic Radiation, a book for empowered action-takers in the community, health practitioners and for those experiencing symptoms. To obtain your copy, visit or call Vivid Publishing on 08 9467 4143. For further information on Ben’s work, visit his website


BENJAMIN NOWLAND (Honours Mechanical Engineer, Grad. Cert. Environmental Management, Cert. IV Training and Assessment, Certified Health Practitioner and Yoga Teacher) shares original perspectives on health and spirituality. Ben is the best-selling author of Playing GOD Biological and Spiritual Effects of Electromagnetic Radiation – a book created to stretch perceptions whilst easily digested by the householder. He has spent two decades exploring human potential, the infinite and eternal. Connect with Ben at:

The above article appeared in New Dawn Special Issue Vol 10 No 5

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The Great Beast on Politics: Aleister Crowley’s Thelemic State Revealed


For those who believe the spiritual realm intersects with the mundane, there are a multitude of references across time and place that warn of a spiritual ‘combat’. Saint Paul and John of Patmos spoke of such things, as did Hopi elders, Jeremiah, the Hindu holy texts, the Voluspa of the Norse, the Muslim historical philosopher Ibn Khaldun, and our Western counterparts Oswald Spengler and Julius Evola, as well as René Guénon who wrote of the present era as the ‘reign of quantity’. Many thinkers such as Evola, Guénon and Rudolf Steiner, speaking from first-hand experiences, identified a conspiracy by ‘Black Adepts’ to enslave humanity to matter (the physical realm), detached from the cosmos and separated from the Divine.

Among those who warned of this increasing dehumanisation was the ‘infamous’ British occultist Aleister Crowley, scourge of respectable English society during the 1920s, portrayed by the tabloid press as a ‘Satanist’ and ‘the wickedest man in the world’, but also an operative for the British secret service in both the major 20th century world wars.1 Far from being a ‘Black Magician’, Crowley sought to oppose the ‘Black Adepts’ in what he, along with Steiner, Evola and Guénon, et al, saw as an occult war. Crowley’s doctrine, when applied to the political, social and economic spheres, is contrary to that of the Anti-Traditionalist and Counter-Traditionalist currents addressed by Evola and Guénon. Thelema is aristocratic rather than communistic, despite incongruous allusions by Crowley to Adam Weishaupt and the Illuminati.2 Thelema is the antithesis of Illuminism, Jacobinism, secular humanism and other such currents that emerged from Freemasonry.

Crowley explained that while the Yellow School “stands aloof,” “the Black School and the White are always more or less in active conflict.”3 He wrote of the nexus between the Black School and Freemasonry, and how Masonry had been taken over and redirected by the Black Masters and their adepts. According to Crowley:

The meaning of masonry has either been completely forgotten or has never existed, except insofar as any particular rite might be a cloak for political or even worse intrigue.4

Crowley also referred to English Masons “in official relationship with certain masonic bodies whole sole raison d’etre is anti-clericalism, political intrigue and trade benefit,” despite English Masonry supposedly eschewing such motives.5

Thelema & Nietzsche

To the mass movements and doctrines that were sprouting in the name of ‘the people’ but can only result in tyranny, Crowley offered what he intended to be the religion of a new Aeon, Thelema, the Greek word for Will.

“There is no law but do what thou wilt”6 is the dictum of Thelema, misunderstood precisely for what it is not: anarchism and ego-driven individualism of the type promoted by the ‘Black Adepts’ in the name of democracy, liberalism, human rights and other popular clichés designed to fracture and deconstruct society as a dialectical process for reconstructing a ‘new world order’. Crowley unequivocally stated that “do what thou wilt” “must not be regarded as individualism run wild.”7

The essence of Thelema is the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. Crowley lists Nietzsche as one of the ‘saints’ of Thelema in the Gnostic Catholic Mass.8 It is Nietzsche dressed up with mysticism and religious garb. But Nietzsche also presented his doctrines in quasi-religious and mystical ways, calling his most well-known book after the name of the founder of Zoroastrianism, Zarathustra, and writing Thus Spoke Zarathustra in the style of an Old Testament prophet. The dictum of Nietzsche’s Zarathustra is Will. The means of achieving one’s will is through “self-overcoming”9 that requires the sternest discipline upon oneself. Nietzsche wrote in opposition to Darwinian evolution,10 stating that human evolution would be willed, not the result of random genetic mutations. This next step of human evolution would result – if able to ‘cross the abyss’ of self-destruction – in the Over-Man. In this – misconceptions to the contrary – one is most brutal towards oneself, not others.

True Self

Schooled in the occult by the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, where Egyptian mythology was in vogue, Crowley coated Thelema with a largely Egyptian façade. His ‘bible’, ‘The Book of the Law’, Liber Legis, an automatic writing scripted in Cairo by Crowley in 1904, is said to be a transmission from “the Gods” through an entity named Aiwass, or Aiwaz, depending on the numerological significance, which Crowley on other occasions referred to as his own ‘Holy Guardian Angel’, or ‘Higher Self’.

In Thelema this is the ‘True Self’. The only purpose in life is to discover one’s True Self and follow that path regardless of the hardships; equivalent to Nietzsche’s self-overcoming, the individual’s battle against his or her own weaknesses and all obstacles that stand in the way of following one’s path. This requires, states Crowley, the harshest self-discipline, and is far removed from hedonism and self-indulgence. It is what the Muslims call the ‘greater Jihad’, the fight within oneself. It does not justify any sociopathic disregard for others.

Thelema’s other primary dictum is “Every man and every woman is a star.”11 Since every star has its own orbit, the course of one’s star should not, if the law of Thelema is correctly applied, conflict with another’s orbit or the path of a True Self. Again Crowley was clear: “The highest are those who have mastered and transcended accidental environment… There is a good deal of the Nietzschean standpoint in this verse.”12

Thelema, in recognising that everyone has a True Self, does not recognise that the brightness of all stars is equal. Hence, Thelema eschews socialist and other neo-Jacobin – and New Age – ideologies that demand universal equality. Again, Crowley is clear when describing Thelema as a stellar religion, “reflecting the highly organised structure of the universe,” which includes “stars that are of greater magnitude and brilliance than the rest.”13 Equality is rejected: “The is no creature on earth the same. All the members, let them be different in their qualities, and let there be no creature equal with another.”14

Thelema was intended for the creation of a new aristocracy, one neither blood nor money based, but the merit of one’s own struggle. Crowley advocated the Nietzschean revival of a “master morality and a slave morality,”15 meaning that the great mass of people would always have servile characteristics, hence, “the slaves shall serve”:16 their characteristics are to follow those who are innately aristocratic and capable of fulfilling their True Will to the fullest extent. The masses are “that canting, whining, servile breed of whipped dogs which refuses to admit its deity”; “the natural enemy of good government.”17 The new aristocracy would be able to pursue long-range goals without the encumbrances of pandering to democratic whims.18 This aversion to mass politics shuns the democratic vote, “the principle of popular election [being] a fatal folly,” resulting in the election of “mediocrity”: “the safe man, the sound man, and therefore never the genius, the man of progress and illumination.”19

Thelemic State

That is not to say any Thelemic state would be a crushing tyranny as per socialism. To the contrary, Crowley eschewed all levelling doctrines. He shared the views of other creative types of the time, including his arch rival in the Golden Dawn, W.B. Yeats, and the Italian philosopher Julius Evola, that all arising mass movements including Bolshevism, Fascism, and the emerging consumer society with its cultural levelling, were very much negative developments.

Thelema was also intended as a fighting creed or more aptly, a knightly creed, to wage a Thelemic holy war against creeds that aim to suppress freedom. The ‘new Aeon’ is, after all, one of ‘force and fire’, presided over by the hawk-headed god Horus. Crowley saw an era of conflict preceding the new Aeon, in which the new “aristocrats” would be in conflict with the masses: “and when the trouble begins, we aristocrats of freedom, from castle to the cottage, the tower or the tenement, shall have the slave mob against us.”20 Again one sees the focus for the new aristocracy on character rather than either wealth or birth; a new aristocracy that, like Nietzsche’s Over-Man, emerges through struggle.

Crowley described a government following a Thelemic course as one in which, far from a hedonistic free-for-all, “set[s] limits to individual freedom. For each man in this state which I propose is fulfilling his own True Will by his eager Acquiescence in the Order necessary to the Welfare of all, and therefore of himself also.”21

Crowley advocated the organic state, or what was in his time known as corporatism, of which Fascism was an effort. The doctrine of the organic or corporate state (as in corpus, or body) was a broad movement across the world, often influenced by Catholic social doctrine as a vestige of Tradition, contending with both capitalism and Bolshevism. In the organic state, as the term implies, society is regarded as analogous to a living organism: the government is the brain co-ordinating each organ (classes, professions), while the body is composed of cells (individuals). This organic conception of society parallels Traditional societies, as explained by Evola,22 in which the socio-economic structure was a pyramidal hierarchy with the guilds at its foundation. Again, Crowley was specific, describing the organic state very cogently:

In the body every cell is subordinated to the general physiological Control, and we who will that Control do not ask whether each individual Unit of that Structure be consciously happy. But we do care that each shall fulfil its Function, with Contentment, respecting his own task as necessary and holy, not envious of another’s. For only mayst thou build up a Free State, whose directing will shall be to the Welfare of all.23

In fulfilling one’s True Will the individual (cell) contributes to the social organism. This is a Traditional view of society where every individual’s calling is a reflection of his character as part of the cosmos. Anything subverting this order, such as class struggle – “not envious of another’s” task as Crowley put it – could be described as a cancer in the social organism, disrupting the correct function of the cells and organs of society.

The socio-economic structure of a Thelemic state would return to the guilds as in Medieval society, in which work is not economic drudgery but one’s divine calling. There was no class struggle in the Medieval world, whether of a capitalist or Marxist nature. Economic competition was alien to the Medieval mind. In the European Medieval period, guilds were the fundamental organs of society. Crowley alluded to the guilds when describing the structure of his magickal order, Ordo Templi Orientis (OTO):

Before the face of the Areopagus24 stands an independent Parliament of Guilds. Within the Order, irrespective of Grade, the members of each craft, trade, science, or profession form themselves into a Guild, making their own laws, and prosecute their own good, in all matters pertaining to their labour and means of livelihood. Each Guild chooses the man most eminent in it to represent it before the Areopagus of the eighth Degree, and all disputes between the various guilds are argued before that Body, which will decide according to the grand principles of the Order.25

Crowley’s OTO is here seen as a society in microcosm. Crowley’s ideas on the organic state, and the role of the arts, are most closely reflected in the very brief time of the Free State of Fiume, created by Italian war hero and eminent man of letters, Gabrielle D’Annunzio. The Free State of Fiume attracted idealists from all over Italy – Anarchists, Fascists, Futurists and Traditionalists – into a remarkable experiment,26 albeit one that seems to have been oddly unmentioned by Crowley, despite existing when he was present in Italy (1920).

Economics of Leisure & Art

Crowley said that once obligations to the social order are met, there should be “a surplus of leisure and energy” that can be spent “in pursuit of individual satisfaction.”27 Again, we hark back to the pre-industrial epoch of Europe, when the artisan and peasant in a village-based economy, worked according to his social obligations, but had an abundance of leisure that today seems utopian.

Such a renewed social order would include a realistic approach to money as a means of exchange rather than as the commodity it became over the course of centuries. As mentioned in New Dawn,28 Crowley addressed the issue:

What is money? A means of exchange devised to facilitate the transactions of business. Oil in the engine. Very good then: if instead of letting to flow as smoothly and freely as possible, you baulk its very nature, you prevent it from doing its True Will. So every “restriction” on the exchange of wealth is a direct violation of the Law of Thelema.29

It seems likely that Crowley was introduced to new economic theories through A. R. Orage, editor of The New Age, from whence T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound and the New Zealand poet Rex Fairburn also learned about economics.30

In a Thelemic state, one might envisage usurers being dragged through the streets and pilloried in stocks, if not worse, and then declared a literal outlaw.

Once the material needs of the people are met there would be leisure to pursue higher callings in life. It suggests the ‘self-realisation’ and ‘hierarchy of human needs’ model of the humanistic psychology of Maslow et al, if one seeks a current theory.

Again, this returns to a bygone era where the peasantry and townsfolk had an abundance of holy-days. The work week was five and a half days.

People also rested on the day of the patron saint of their guild and of their parish, and there was, of course, a complete holiday on Sundays and on holy days of obligation. These were very numerous in the Middle Ages – 30 to 33 a year, according to the province.31

The work day was based on sun-rise and sun-set, which meant fewer working hours during winter, and a few hours longer in summer. Popular theatre was lively, and actors were widely drawn from the village folk. Not only religious themes but burlesque, satire, romance and history were themes.

Crowley proposes a state in which people are free to pursue higher cultural attainments.

These things being first secured, thou mayst afterward lead them to the Heavens of Poesy and Tale, of Music, Painting and Sculpture, and into the love of the mind itself, with its insatiable Joy of all Knowledge.32

Realising that ‘stars’ are of unequal brilliance, Crowley condemned “the cant of democracy,” stating it was “useless to pretend that men are equal,” and that most are content to “stay dull.”33 Given every opportunity, most would be content satisfying their material needs, with no horizons beyond “ease and animal happiness.” Those whose True Wills are to ascend the social hierarchy would form “a class of morally and intellectually superior men and women.”34

Crowley addressed the problems of the machine age, relevant to the present technocratic era, where man is becoming an economic cog. What Crowley said about industrialisation is prescient in light of the modern technological age, with its ongoing dehumanisation and life increasingly virtual and detached from interpersonal bonds, whether individual, family, or community. Paradoxically, the oligarchic interests promoting all this do so behind catchcries of ‘brotherhood’ and a ‘new world order’. Hence Crowley, like Oscar Wilde,35 W.B. Yeats, et al, lamented the destruction of craftsmanship that proceeded apace after the Industrial Revolution. One might say prior to that since the mercantile spirit of the Reformation made economics the master, again in the name of ‘freedom’. Crowley wrote:

Machines have already nearly completed the destruction of craftsmanship. A man is no longer a worker but a machine-feeder. The product is standardised; the result mediocrity… Instead of every man and every woman being a star, we have an amorphous population of vermin.36

Today, in place of the machine-feeder there is the data-feeder, while products remain standardised, including the arts, aggravated by mass techno-entertainment.

Crowley’s vision was that of the Thelemite as Knight fighting every tyranny that suppressed the human will:

We have to fight for freedom against oppressors, religious, social or industrial, and we are utterly opposed to compromise, every fight is to be a fight to the finish; each one of us for himself, to do his own will, and all of us for all, to establish the law of Liberty… Let every man bear arms, swift to resent oppression… generous and ardent to draw sword in any cause, if justice or freedom summon him.37

It seems we still await the emergence of such Knights of Thelema, although one suspects that like Yukio Mishima, the modern age Samurai, these Knights would be quickly liquidated by the weapons of mass destruction in the hands of religious lunatics, whether in the name of Jesus, Allah or YHWH, leaving little scope for chivalric combat.

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  1. Richard Spence, ‘The Magus was a Spy: Aleister Crowley and the Curious Connections Between Intelligence and the Occult’, New Dawn 105, November-December 2007, 25-30
  2. Weishaupt is listed as a ‘saint’ in Crowley’s Gnostic Catholic mass. Magick in Theory and Practice, Samuel Weiser, 1984, 430
  3. Aleister Crowley, Magick Without Tears, Falcon Press, 1983, 66
  4. Crowley, 1986, 68-69. Crowley also writes here of Masonic ‘Christian’ degrees being changed in the USA to enable the initiation of ‘Jewish bankers’.
  5. Crowley, The Confessions of Aleister Crowley, Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1986, 697. Rudolf Steiner was also similarly critical of English Masonry.
  6. Crowley, Liber Legis, Samuel Weiser, 1976, 3:60
  7. Crowley, The Law is for All, Falcon Press, 1985, 321
  8. Crowley, Magick, 430
  9. Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Penguin Books, 1969, 136-138
  10. KR Bolton, ‘Nietzsche Contra Darwin’, in Southgate, ed., Nietzsche: Thoughts & Perspectives, Vol. 3, Black Front Press, 2011, 5-19
  11. Liber Legis, 1: 3
  12. Crowley, The Law is for All, 175
  13. Crowley, The Law is for All, 143-145
  14. Crowley, The Law is for All, 228
  15. Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good & Evil, Penguin, 1984, 175
  16. Liber Legis, 2: 58
  17. Crowley, The Law is for All, 192
  18. Crowley, The Law is for All, 193
  19. Crowley, Liber CXCIV, ‘OTO. An intimation with references to the Constitution of the Order’, para. 10, The Equinox, Vol. III, No. 1, 1919
  20. Crowley, The Law is for All, 192
  21. Crowley, The Book of Wisdom or Folly, Samuel Weiser, 1991, Liber Aleph Vel CXI, De Ordine Rerum, clause 39
  22. Julius Evola, Men Above the Ruins, Inner Traditions, 2002, 224-234
  23. Crowley, The Law is for All, 251-252
  24. Supreme court.
  25. Crowley, ‘OTO. An intimation with references to the Constitution of the Order’, para. 21
  26. Bolton, Artists of the Right, Counter-Currents Publishing, 2012, 27-30
  27. Crowley, The Law is for All, 230
  28. Bolton, ‘A Secret History of Money Power’, New Dawn Special Issue Vol. 10, No. 2, 55, 58
  29. Crowley, Magick Without Tears, Falcon Press, 1983, 346
  30. Bolton, New Dawn, 58
  31. Hugh O’Reilly, ‘Medieval Work and Leisure’,
  32. Crowley, The Law is for All, 251
  33. Crowley, The Law is for All, 192
  34. Crowley, The Law is for All, 227
  35. Oscar Wilde, The Soul of Man Under Socialism, Black House Publishing, 2012
  36. Crowley, The Law is for All, 281
  37. Crowley, The Law is for All, 317


DR. K.R. BOLTON, Th.D., is a Fellow of the World Institute for Scientific Exploration, and a contributing writer for Foreign Policy Journal. His 2006 doctoral dissertation was ‘From Knights Templar to New World Order: Occult Influences in History’. Widely published in the scholarly and general media, his books include Revolution from Above; The Parihaka Cult; Babel Inc.; Perón and Peronism; Stalin – The Enduring Legacy; The Banking Swindle; The Psychotic Left; Geopolitics of the Indo-Pacific; Zionism, Islam and the West.

The above article appeared in New Dawn Special Issue Vol 10 No 3

Read this article with its graphics by downloading
your copy of Special Issue Vol 10 No 3 (PDF version) for only US$5.95

© New Dawn Magazine and the respective author.
For our reproduction notice, click here.

New Dawn 161 (March-April 2017)



Fake News: Why the Mainstream Media Lies

Patrick Henningsen looks at the history of mainstream media lies and what’s really behind fake news.

Greatest Fake News of All-Time

For decades, explains Patrick Henningsen, the government-media complex has been waging information warfare against the public.

The Assassination of Donald J. Trump

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The Dark Side of Aquarius

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Spiritual Powers & Teachings of Precious Stones

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A Link in the Golden Chain

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Unity: The Remarkable Story of Charles & Myrtle Fillmore

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The Key to Immortal Consciousness: The 82 Commandments of Reyna d’Assia by Jason Jeffrey

Did You Ever Meet the Human Wet Blanket? by William Walker Atkinson

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Awakening Your Psychic Powers: An Interview with Kurt Leland


Kurt Leland is one of today’s most intrepid explorers of the inner planes. A musician and author as well as a visionary, he has written books including Otherwhere: A Field Guide to Nonphysical Reality for the Out-of-Body Traveler and The Multidimensional Human. His latest work is Invisible Worlds: Annie Besant on Psychic and Spiritual Development (Quest Books, 2013). It is an anthology of writings by the Theosophist Annie Besant (1847–1933). Kurt’s website is

I met Kurt during his visit to the Theosophical Society’s American headquarters in Wheaton, Illinois, in the fall of 2011. I was immediately impressed with the depth of his knowledge of, and experience in, the astral and mental realms, which are for most people little more than vaguely understood concepts. He is one of the most lucid and intelligent writers on the inner planes working today. The following conversation was conducted by e-mail in April 2016.

RICHARD SMOLEY (RS): A lot of people these days are interested in developing their psychic powers. What advice would you give them?

KURT LELAND (KL): The mind tends to conceptualise a term such as psychic powers, thinking of them as something other than normal, from an unknown realm or level of being – something to be afraid of or acquired by force of will or perpetual practice. Typically such powers come under headings such as telepathy, precognition, clairvoyance (seeing auras), second sight (perceiving ghosts), remote viewing, astral travel, even magical influence over people and events. Some people want to prove to themselves and others that such things are possible and they can do them, not once only (spontaneously or by accident) but regularly (at will or on demand).

However, I think of psychic powers as the natural concomitant of living within and evolving our subtle bodies:

An etheric body, having to do with life force and health and offering us the ability to perceive such things as nature spirits, fairies, the recently dead, even angels, as well as to sense events hours or days before they occur;

An astral body, having to do with desire and emotion, and allowing us to experience our dreams and visit the dead in the afterlife;

A mental body, having to do with our thoughts and beliefs and allowing us to perceive and travel within a world of ideas and sometimes to contact and learn from them; worldviews of famous dead people;

A causal or soul body, allowing us to know our past lives, meld minds with others, and perceive and alter the forces in play that create the events of our present life;

And other bodies whose abilities are less easy to describe.

My advice to people who want to develop so-called psychic powers is not to target specific name-brand abilities, but rather to develop the subtle bodies and see what shows up. The will- and proof-based approach often leads to frustration and feelings of failure. The approach of developing the special senses of subtle bodies can unfold naturally and organically and enrich our lives with a multitude of adventures in consciousness we may never have heard of before.

For example, one of my first psychic experiences was sensing the fear of a tree in a wooded area in my neighbourhood after I’d climbed it. At seventeen, I didn’t know trees could feel fear, and I didn’t know this was a psychic experience – until I went back to climb the tree a few days later and it was no longer there, having been bulldozed down to clear the land for a new house. That was an etheric-body experience, not one that could be easily sought after or named or conceptualised. It just showed up, indicating a possible avenue to explore, and gradually developed into a more or less constant, wonderfully enriching awareness of the beingness and inner life of trees.

RS: How did you develop your own abilities?

KL: My grandfather on my mother’s side introduced me to the writings of the famous American psychic Edgar Cayce when I was ten or eleven years old. My grandfather knew how to read palms and had some predictive ability, but renounced palm reading when he accurately predicted the age of onset of a serious illness in one of my aunts. Though he taught me the mechanics of palm reading, I can’t say I had any notable psychic experiences when I was a child – yet, after reading about Cayce, I desperately wished for such experiences.

It wasn’t until I met a woman in college who was a natural psychic from birth that I began regularly having experiences of my own. She had recurring dreams that came true, including dreams about meeting me before we both arrived on campus in the fall of 1976. She knew when people close to her had died, scolding her mother for withholding the information so as not to bother her at school. We developed a telepathic rapport that climaxed with my inventing a place in my imagination that she could see and describe back to me. Whenever I added anything to it, she could tell me what it was. Somehow in the process of hanging out with her, my own abilities began to develop. She had nothing to teach me, she knew nothing about how her abilities worked. Yet somehow my being near her opened up new possibilities for me. Now I understand she was awake and aware within, and could use the senses of a subtle body I had little or no access to – perhaps the etheric body – and that her being awake in that body somehow stimulated mine.

Otherwise, I’ve never had a formal teacher. I learned much from books, especially the Seth material channelled by the American medium Jane Roberts. When I began to experiment with the Ouija board and automatic writing in the fall of 1980, there was no evidence that I had any talent for such things. Yet I was persistent. It was as if I never stopped knocking on the door, and finally someone let me in. I met my inner teacher by means of these experiments about six months later.

It certainly seems that my college friend represented nature and I represented nurture. But using the Theosophical framework of subtle bodies, there may be another explanation that encompasses both the notion of being born psychic and that of developing psychic abilities. If we’ve developed any of our subtle bodies in a past life to the point of being able to use their inner senses for clairvoyant (seeing) or projective (travelling) abilities, then we can carry those capacities with us into a subsequent life. The real issue is how soon we recall and realise them – a process I call self-remembering. By this light, my friend self-remembered her use of the etheric body very early and therefore seemed to be a born psychic, whereas I self-remembered my use of this body much later and seemed to develop psychic abilities.

To extrapolate from this, any spontaneous psychic experience may indicate the possibility of self-remembering the use of a particular body, as in my case with the fearful tree. The challenge is not so much developing psychic powers as finding a way to recall the proper use of one or more of our subtle bodies. Even so, there may be a leading edge of our growth – a body we haven’t mastered yet, which challenges us to develop new inner-sense abilities and the powers of awareness and action within that body.

RS: Why would you say people today feel so distant from the unseen, subtle levels?

KL: They’re locked in their mental bodies, a result of family and social conditioning along the lines of scientific materialism, rationality, scepticism, and agnosticism. An overdeveloped mental body is like an overdeveloped physical body – it’s muscle-bound; the focus on increasing size and strength (mathematical, linguistic, and reasoning abilities) has reduced its flexibility or receptivity. The result is alienation from the physical and emotional bodies on one side and from the soul or causal body on the other. The mental body becomes like a fearful teenager hiding in his or her bedroom, with thoughts speeded up through overstimulation by social media, electronic devices, and computer games, and dominated by what one spiritual teacher calls “the tyranny of likes and dislikes.” This results in anxiety, indecisiveness, and black-and-white thinking. To the mental body isolated in this way, the physical body seems bent on betraying us, there’s no soul to guide us, and the whole purpose of life seems to be managing our anxiety.

The physical body needs quality sense experience – exercise, healthy food, beautiful surroundings, bare feet on the grass or beach, a tempered yet satisfying sex life. The emotional body needs authentic heart-to-heart connection with others. The mental body needs the experience of a community of others who share our beliefs and values. The causal body needs a sense of usefulness and purpose, usually along the line of service to humanity. When the subtle bodies are nurtured in these ways, the boundaries between them soften and we start using them for more than we normally do (acting, feeling, thinking, and serving). That’s when our spiritual powers begin to unfold. We start seeing with the eyes of each body, its inner senses, providing new ways of looking at the world we normally experience and glimpses of the invisible worlds beyond. Eventually we learn to travel in those worlds.

RS: One major issue with psychic powers is self-delusion. You see something uncanny, either visually or with the mind. It seems real. But sometimes it isn’t. How does a person develop discrimination with such things?

KL: There are many tests and challenges in developing accurate perception from the perspective of each subtle body. I’ve experienced them as a graded course set up by inner teachers and guides, unfolding in projections from the dream state over decades. One example would be learning to identify the same guide under different appearances. Another would be learning the difference in inner-sense impressions associated with a dream character, a deceased individual, a guide, a nonhuman entity, and so on.

In Invisible Worlds, my anthology of Annie Besant’s Theosophical writings on psychic and spiritual development, she says that the more excited you are about what you’ve perceived, the less likely it is to be real – for example, seeming to receive a mission from some high being. A real experience of receiving such a mission would come with a sobering sense of responsibility and self-examination about what might be required and how to achieve it, not an orgy of self-congratulation over one’s putative spiritual status. 

RS: Another area of interest is astral travel – the ability to go out of the body in a trance state. Could you start by telling us a bit about this?

KL: I’m interested in your use of the phrase trance state. Some people may project in that way. My adventures along these lines generally begin from a dream.

In its simplest form, astral projection is an out-of-body experience in which the etheric body separates from the physical body in a twilight state between waking and sleeping, often accompanied by so-called sleep paralysis (indicating that one’s consciousness is no longer primarily focused in the physical body and so can’t control its movements), a loud vibration during separation, and the ability to view the physical body from a vantage point several inches or feet away. Such experiences are often spontaneous rather than intentionally produced, as a trance state would be.

Some people report that they can free up a higher body, such as the astral, mental, or causal body, through meditative states, and go travelling on the physical plane or some higher plane. I suppose an intentionally produced trance state, as by self-hypnosis, would be just as effective. But it seems to me that the actual mechanism of so-called astral travel is that we shift the focus of our consciousness from one layer of our energy field (aura) to another. Each layer is actually one of our subtle bodies. When such a shift is successful, we can perceive the plane associated with that body and perhaps travel on that plane. Thus the word astral in the term astral travel is used in a general way to describe any experience in a nonphysical body.

For most people, the hope or aim is to travel in the astral body on the physical plane to distant places or people. A related ability is remote viewing, which places you on location without the sense of travel. I suppose the only difference between projection and travel is that the first term emphasises the act of leaving the location of the physical body and the other only the experience away from the physical body. Not everyone recalls the actual exit from or return to the physical body. In the case of shifting the focus of consciousness to a different layer of the energy field, there may be no sense of exit or travel from one plane or location to another. You’re just there, wherever it is. 

RS: Is it a good idea to learn to do astral travel?

KL: I believe astral travel to be an inevitable outcome of the process of developing our subtle bodies. First, we have what Besant calls a sheath. It allows us to act at the physical, feel in the emotional, think in the mental, and serve in the causal levels of being. Then we develop a body, which begins to perceive on the physical, astral, or mental planes. We all have a well-developed physical body in that sense. Our dreams indicate that we have an astral body capable of perceiving on the astral plane. Mental and causal body dreams are less common. Finally, we develop a vehicle of consciousness, capable not only of perceiving, but also of moving through every level of the physical, astral, mental, or some higher plane. Lucid dreamers and people who can project on the astral plane, knowing the difference between dream characters and locations and the actual scenes, dwellers, and phenomena of the astral plane, are developing the astral body as a vehicle of consciousness.

My first projections took place when I was fourteen. They terrified me and I avoided them for several years. Subsequently, I learned to develop my etheric, astral, and mental bodies under the guidance of teachers encountered in such projections. Forty-five years later, I think it safe to say that I have fully functional vehicles of consciousness on the physical, astral, and mental planes.

RS: Whom would you advise not to undergo psychic development?

KL: Anyone who is anxious, depressed, or prone to exaggerated states of enthusiasm or elation or to obsessive or addictive behaviour. These indicate strains in the relationship between the bodies and the occupying consciousness that we call ourselves. Such strains need to be overcome (along the lines recommended in connection with what our bodies need) before psychic development can be pursued safely.

The problem with anxieties and fears is that they attract what we’re afraid of, resulting in interactions with undesirable scenes, dwellers, and phenomena of the astral plane. Undesirable interactions may also occur with depression. The problem with enthusiasm or elation is that it makes everything we experience seem more glamorous than it really is, resulting in self-deception or deception by prankish or malevolent astral entities. Obsessive or addictive behaviour can result in our coming under the control of negative entities, as in possession.

In the end, each of these situations is nothing more than a challenge to be overcome in the development of the bodies. We need to learn how to maintain a balanced, clear-headed perspective as we investigate the possibilities of these bodies. The real shame is when we do so prematurely and frighten ourselves off from further exploration because some passing mood has distorted our perception or attracted unpleasant experiences or made us seem foolish to ourselves or others.

RS: Is there a connection between the astral level and the post-mortem state?

KL: I like to think of the astral plane as comprising a number of realms or zones. One such realm is the astral Dream Zone, where our dreams ordinarily take place. Another is the astral Afterdeath Zone, where the initial stages of our journey through the afterlife take place. I’ve explored both realms for many years in projections from the dream state. They’re similar in that their primary function is dealing with emotions and desires. Dreams frequently allow us to satisfy our unfulfilled desires and experience our unexpressed emotions, such as fear, lust or anger. We purge such things through our dreams so we don’t have to act them out on the physical plane. In the astral stage of the afterlife, we perform similar purges of a lifelong accumulation of unfulfilled desires and unexpressed emotions, thus rising from darker to lighter experiences of this realm, as in the Catholic notion of purgatory.

On the mental plane, there is also a Dream Zone and an Afterdeath Zone. These realms involve exploring our lives in terms of learning and growth – what we have or haven’t learned among the lessons our soul may have intended for us. They’re full of exciting opportunities for exposure to the world’s great minds and cultural achievements. For example, I once visited an area in which it was possible to experience any opera from the vantage point of each of its characters. In the mental Afterdeath Zone, we review our life on earth and fulfil the plans for learning and growth that we were blocked from implementing there, because of lack of courage or extenuating circumstances. This can be a joyful, even heavenly experience.

RS: Can you contact dead people through psychic means?

KL: I believe this is possible and I’ve experienced it, though not in the way most people expect. I don’t ordinarily perceive people who have passed on in the auras of others or as ghostly presences hanging about with a desire to give messages. Nor do I go into a trance state so that others can communicate through me with people who have died. When I channel, the being who works through me is almost exclusively the inner teacher I call Charles. I suppose he could be described as a dead person, since as far as I know he’s not currently embodied on the physical plane.

But I think you mean dead relatives and friends. My interactions with the latter take place in astral projections, usually from the dream state. I visit them in situ, wherever they may be in their progression through the afterlife, from the death of the current body to their preparation for reincarnation. Usually these are people I have a close association with.

For example, I tracked the afterlife progress of one of my uncles through several stages over a course of eight years – his orientation to the afterlife, the beginning and completion of his long and detailed life review, and his being informed of certain lessons to be learned in his next life just prior to rebirth. Though I observed my uncle without communicating with him, others among the dead have shared with me their thoughts and feelings about their earth life and post-mortem existence. One was a counselling client who died of a reaction between prescription and recreational drugs and was passing through a rehabilitation program on the Other Side because his death had been classified as an unpremeditated suicide.

I’ve rarely gone looking for people whom I’ve never met at someone else’s request – though Charles has sometimes commented on the progress of a client’s deceased loved one through the afterlife. This is not my favourite kind of work, since some elements of the afterlife can seem distressing to people who think only in terms of happiness in heaven

RS: Why is so much of society today dead set against believing in the existence of the psychic realms? 

KL: Religious teachings in many cultures indicate that such things are at best distractions on the spiritual path and at worst the product of malevolent beings such as the Christian devil. Scientific materialism has persuaded us that psychic realms, spiritual paths, malevolent beings, and the devil are nothing but superstitions. Yet I believe such things are what the Buddha called views. The point isn’t to dismiss one view in favour of another, but to try each on for size, to meditate on it, and investigate and explore where it takes us, what it does for us.

The scientific view that the physical body is a machine that gradually wears out and needs to be ‘fixed’ by an ever-expanding medicine chest of only partially effective remedies isn’t terribly hopeful or inspiring, though it provides the opportunity to explore the function and dysfunction of body parts in relation to each other, time, and illness. The metaphysical view that the body is a conscious entity that needs care, that it could be our friend, that we might have ways of learning from and dialoguing with it, is unprovable in scientific terms, but can yield favourable results when explored as a provisional belief or object of meditation, to be lived as if it were true to see where it takes us. Notions of an etheric, astral, mental, or causal body could be treated in the same way.

RS: One of your books is called The Multidimensional Human. In what ways are we multidimensional?

KL: I believe reality consists in as many descriptions of it (views) as we have tolerance for. Each view opens up new possibilities for exploration – new dimensions – and none absolutely excludes another. I’ve gotten the best results in my personal exploration of psychic and spiritual development by adopting the Theosophical view of multiple bodies, each fitted to a particular plane of existence by a specialised set of inner senses that carry us from sheath to body to vehicle of consciousness. The planes themselves are ranged along a continuum of human potential from lowest physical to highest spiritual, and each body and its corresponding level of being is an adventuresome dimension to be explored as we develop our multidimensional humanity – our ability to respond appropriately to each other and to other realms and beings for the mutual benefit of all.

„Kurt Leland’s Spiritual Orienteering website is, which lists his books and services.

To read the above article with its images and companion article ‘What Are Humans Made Of?’, please purchase the PDF of this magazine.

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RICHARD SMOLEY latest book is How God Became God: What Scholars Are Really Saying about God and the Bible. He is the author of Inner Christianity: A Guide to the Esoteric Tradition; The Dice Game of Shiva: How Consciousness Creates the Universe; Conscious Love: Insights from Mystical Christianity; The Essential Nostradamus; Forbidden Faith: The Secret History of Gnosticism; Supernatural: Writings on an Unknown History; The Deal: A Guide to Radical and Complete Forgiveness; and Hidden Wisdom: A Guide to the Western Inner Traditions (with Jay Kinney). A frequent contributor to New Dawn, he is editor of Quest: Journal of the Theosophical Society in America. Visit his blog at

The above article appeared in New Dawn Special Issue Vol 10 No 3

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The Untold Story of China’s Rise


There are many untold stories about China’s rise. Initially, this story will begin almost four decades ago, but it will ultimately reach back as far as four millennia. It will close with the conclusion that we have today only witnessed the beginning of China’s rise.

We begin in 1976 when the Australian Ambassador in Beijing completed a Dispatch exploring the implications for Australia were China to emulate Japan at that time and grow its economy by 10 percent each year. In Mao Zedong’s last year and at the end of the Cultural Revolution, this seemed improbable to most foreign policy officers, but Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser liked the Dispatch and used it to shape Australia’s China policy.

The case for such rapid Chinese economic growth was based on a simple perception. After following Japan closely in the 1960s and as an Embassy officer who had studied economics at university, I was convinced that Japan’s unprecedented economic growth had little to do with the simple application of Western economic principles. Rather, it needed to be explained by distinctive cultural qualities.

Considering much of Japan’s sense of civilisation, including the characters used in its language and the nature of its administrative class, derived from China, it was hard to see why the vast home of East Asian civilisation, China, would settle for second best, behind its off-shore, smaller neighbour. Moreover, by this time other Asian communities with a strong sense of Chinese tradition and civilisation were beginning to show the potential for economic growth similar to Japan.

This line of thought poses many problems for the Western mind and for Western leaders. The implied irrelevance of ideologies like Capitalism and Communism has major implications not only for economic thought but also for political rhetoric and strategy.

Consequently, although there was an emerging interest in the relationship between ‘Asian values’ and economic performance in the 1980s and 1990s, this was effectively killed off by the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis (AFC). A torrent of triumphalism about the failure of ‘Asian values’, Asian ‘crony capitalism’ and an associated unhealthy relationship between government and business seemed to discredit forever everything associated with the phrase ‘Asian values’. As a consequence, there has been little real follow up on the thought that inspired the 1976 Beijing Dispatch, although a public R G Neale Lecture in the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in 2007, 31 years later, commended the foresight of the Dispatch.

Even that lecture neglected to mention three books informed by the same insight that had used experience in Japan to predict China’s future rise. The Confucian Renaissance (1989), The Tyranny of Fortune: Australia’s Asian Destiny (1997), and A Confucian Daoist Millennium? (2007) were easily ignored as curiosities of no concern to men entrusted with practical commercial and political responsibilities.

A decade after the 1997 AFC and a year after the 2007 R G Neale Lecture, the 2008 Global Financial Crisis revealed Western ‘crony capitalism’ to be far worse than the Asian version. Moreover, by this time Asia had again grown stronger. China had deftly managed Western attempts to exploit the AFC and was becoming the flag bearer of an Asian economic miracle that was transforming the global order. With typical discretion, however, this was branded ‘China’s peaceful rise’ and even used the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games to distract the attention of the West from its own rapidly declining economic power.

In retrospect, global order has been discreetly reshaped since the American defeat and occupation of Japan in 1945 by the astute utilisation of China’s ancient cultural wisdom. This wisdom involved a form of ‘conquest through service’. It was first executed by Japan, then by other Asian communities and finally, and most critically and definitively, by China. Most remarkably, this strategy has continued, unrecognised by Western communities and their leaders for almost three quarters of a century.

To a significant degree, this failure has been the unintended product of a political/intellectual strategy of ‘intellectual apartheid’ that marginalised and ridiculed in the Western mind all cultures but those shaped by the European Enlightenment and its ‘universal values’. By closing its own minds to the possibility of an alternative, more politically, administratively and strategically advanced culture, the West effectively ensured its own decline.

While it might be suggested Australia used the 1976 Beijing Ambassador’s Dispatch to fully capitalise on the Asian economic miracle, this would be an exaggeration. Despite much rhetoric over more than half a century about being part of Asia, Australian leaders remain totally uneducated in terms of the Chinese classics that define Asian wisdom and success, and have done nothing to introduce such education for younger Australians. In addition, they have mirrored the folly of other Western nations in allowing themselves to be ‘conquered by service’, that is, for Australia, by the service of easily accessible and lucrative export markets.

This may have been less insidious than in America and Europe, which have largely been stripped of their industry, technology and labour skills and left bankrupt and dependent on fiat currencies (printed paper serving as money) with less and less asset backing. Like Western communities in general, however, Australians have shown themselves to be incapable of understanding the irrelevance of their ideologies and, most importantly, their thought cultures in comprehending the transformation of the 21st century global community.

The Source of Asian & Chinese Wisdom & Strategy

It is critical to understand the sense in which Asia’s rise has been China’s rise. Everywhere in East and South East Asia, administrative and commercial elites are shaped and informed by Chinese tradition, classical wisdom and historical experience. This may be directly as in Japan, Korea, Vietnam and Singapore. Or it may be through elite minorities in the rest of the region, where Chinese traditions of education and thought set standards of excellence that other ethnicities must match to be competitive. Moreover, none of these peoples have been influenced in any comparable manner by their brief exposure to Western corporate and commercial intrusion and assertion.

Today, there is a robust revival of traditional Chinese classical education in China and these other regions of Asia. In academies defined by ancient practices, children from the age of three learn the classics by rote and can recite whole chapters word perfect by the age of five.

The best learning years of three to six are devoted to mastering texts in their original language from more than two thousand years ago. These texts are then effectively left in charge of shaping and guiding thought and life experience from a very early age. Early familiarity with classical Chinese language ensures ready access to China’s long, rich and continuously recorded historical experience.

When one reflects on the content of the Confucian Analects, the Daodejing and the Book of Changes, it becomes obvious that this thought has many qualities not found in the Western tradition. Moreover, it is also evident the habit and discipline of learning that is nurtured at such an early age can be easily focused on mastering Western thought and tradition, but as an alternative and mostly less profound option. Consequently there are many educated Asians who are truly bicultural and capable of thinking and acting alternatively in competing thought cultures. For several reasons, there are very few, if any, comparably skilled Westerners.

This poses a daunting challenge for most Western peoples. First, China has a thought culture that guides more than two billion people in East and South East Asia but that is little, if at all, understood in the West. Second, it also has deftly placed itself at the strategic and financial centre of new, potentially global initiatives like the BRICS Bank, an expanding Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and a transformative Eurasian trade zone. Third, it is becoming indisputably the world’s largest economy with the strongest financial reserves and almost certainly the global leader in educational depth and excellence as well as technological productivity. None of this fits comfortably with the mythologies that have guided the Anglo American powers over recent centuries in working towards a New World Order.

All this is the contemporary manifestation of the renaissance of the world’s most remarkable continuous civilisation. Despite almost unanimous denial in Western communities, and, it must be recognised, much of the rest of the world, it is already impossible to think about the future in an informed and positive manner without basing one’s thought on the central and authoritative role that will be played by cities like Beijing and Shanghai.

Even more important, wherever one goes in China, most parts of Asia and many parts of the world, it will be most advantageous to understand the pervasive and definitive role being played in contemporary affairs by the Chinese classics, Chinese history and Chinese political and commercial culture. Yet this will be made difficult by a common modesty, humility and discretion that characterises the behaviour of the classically educated Chinese gentleman or ‘junzi’.

The Character of China’s Modern Rise

In a major sense, it is a mistake to speak of China’s rise. It is more appropriate to speak of China’s renaissance. Until the Opium Wars in the middle of the 19th century, China had led the world in technology and economic production for much of human history. By the middle of the 20th century Mao Zedong’s revolution had begun to lay the foundations of China’s renaissance. This renaissance became apparent a little over a quarter of a century later when Deng Xiaoping took charge.

The major new feature of contemporary China is the fact that the Anglo American powers have constructed a nascent global order and that China’s renaissance must take place at the centre of this global interconnectedness. This is the truly unique character of China’s contemporary rise, or renaissance. It is something which other powers have made unavoidable and not something that China’s leaders have taken the initiative in bringing about.

Consequently, there is much in the rise of contemporary China that can only be understood by examining the interaction of modern Western influence with the renaissance of traditional Chinese culture. Until now, the impact of Western influence seems to have been dominant. Yet China’s success is only truly explicable in terms of the way in which its traditional culture has equipped it to out-strategise and out-compete the West.

Equally, much Chinese activity has been dictated by imperatives imposed by the West’s modernity. Yet, as China becomes stronger, more independent and more Chinese in its choices, it is likely to expose many Western initiatives to profound re-evaluation.

One needs only to look at the harm done to the environment, water, air, food and medicine by Western corporate imperatives to see possible benefits in this development. Of course, China today is a poor advertisement, having embraced many of these corporate imperatives in its rush to build its economy, re-establish its own cultural autonomy and gain some control over its future. It has, however, now largely achieved that and has the capacity to address such issues.

China’s own traditions of law and government would seem much better designed to correct harmful corporate imperatives than common practices in Western democracies. Large corporations have increasingly demonstrated the capacity to write the policies and laws of elected governments through lobbyists, media influence, industry expertise and political funding, often with little regard to harm inflicted on the well-being of communities.

In fact, exposure to the Chinese classics, history and political culture highlights the reality that many features of contemporary Anglo American civilisation have derived first from the imperial adventures of British corporations like the East India Company and more recently from the related initiatives of American corporations within a global institutional order constructed after victory in World War II.

The rise of China and its Asian and other allies suggests that many Anglo American practices, values and priorities are likely to be reassessed from perspectives that have the capacity to surprise and marginalise today’s certainties. The failure of Anglo American strategists to understand vulnerabilities in their own culture and to explore the strengths of a culture with the world’s most outstanding historical record has led to both Western decline and Eastern rise. It is hard to see this situation now being reversed.

Western peoples now have a diminishing period of time in which to educate and prepare themselves for a predictable future where past certainties and comforts will be subject to re-evaluation. The existing global order has been constructed on assertions of the superiority of Western values but these have proven vulnerable before an Asian challenge. It is still too early to outline the likely outcome of this competitive interaction of competing cultures but an understanding of traditional Chinese culture will be essential if Chinese approaches to the West are to be evaluated with any hope of strategic insight, accuracy and success.

Classical Chinese Values

China’s 21st century rise can only be appreciated in the context of the teachings of its classics. As already remarked, these are undergoing a revival of popularity as the foundation for shaping life and thought from a very early age. It must also be understood in the context of learnings from the use of those classics across several millennia, copiously recorded as a continuous account of the achievements and failings of the Chinese people. It is also critical to recognise that the fundamentals of traditional Chinese social, legal, economic and political behaviour are often very different from those of the modern West. Moreover, Western values are unlikely to have gained in authority from their failure to defend and preserve a position that seemed beyond challenge only several decades ago.

It is also essential to appreciate that Chinese words and ideas rarely translate accurately into English or other European languages. The reverse also applies, as the respective cultures and histories are too different to allow simple verbal equivalences. Yet, even if one begins the examination of Chinese classics in translation, it is immediately apparent that the Western mind is entering unfamiliar territory. For instance, the first three lines of the Confucian Analects read in English translation:

Is it not a pleasure, having learnt something, to try it out at due intervals?

Is it not a joy to have like-minded friends come from afar?

It is not gentlemanly not to take offence when others fail to appreciate your abilities?

It is hard to deny that this seems immediately to be a strange way to commence perhaps China’s greatest classic text. A number of comments may be made. First, the Analects illustrate clearly the difficulty of translating Chinese, particularly classical Chinese, into contemporary English. Second, the Analects are best rote learned in the original language at an early age and then used as needed as a remarkable collection of guiding wisdom throughout life. Third, the Analects exude a type of practical, searching humility that contrasts starkly with the sense of intellectual or philosophical pride and superiority evident in key Greek classics.

Nevertheless, having recognised those stumbling blocks for the Western reader in a foreign language, it is clear the text places the highest authority in life on a lifetime of practical education, on the cultivation of diverse and far-reaching friendships or networks and on the ultimate virtue in human life of humility. These qualities are readily identifiable in Asian elites and, as will be explained further, are fundamental to Asian strategic wisdom.

It should also be remarked that the Analects and the Book of Changes constantly use the family and its continuity over time as a central organising theme that illustrates intuitively the importance of the group over the individual. This echoes the distinctive character of China’s flood story four thousand years ago. This does not show God’s preservation of a virtuous man but rather the virtuous man’s preservation of his community, through the practical construction of canals and embankments.

This family and group focus serves to highlight something strange, even corrupting, about the contemporary West’s prioritising of the individual, freedom and equality. It is possible to see this fragmenting both family and society and working to reduce much of life to a quantitative calculation among contending individuals. Certainly, the group coherence of Asian economies seems to have played a central role in their success.

The first two lines of the Daodejing also reward reflection, reading:

The Dao which one can explain is not the unchanging Dao.

The Name which one can name is not the unchanging Name.

From personal experience, I know that it is possible to struggle with these words for twenty years and still be bemused by their meaning. Yet, then, in a flash they can assume a meaning that changes the whole character of one’s thought. For me, this was to conclude that while words, ideas, concepts, rational structures and theoretical frameworks can be critical in organising the thoughts of the human brain and in communicating between human beings, they do not capture the full organic complexity and dynamism of the natural world. In my experience, the Western tradition with its central role of belief, whether in Plato’s transcendent forms, the Church’s God, the Enlightenment’s ‘universal values’ or the economist’s marketplace, nurtures a type of rigid attachment to abstract ideas and theories which impose limits on practical opportunities if they do not fit established thought patterns.

The Six Secret Teachings of Jiang Taigong, a strategist and general who helped King Wen establish the Zhou Dynasty three thousand years ago, needs to be mentioned here even if it is not one of the more commonly referenced classical or strategic texts. It contains Twelve Civil Offensives that detail how a weaker party can overcome a more powerful adversary, simply through disciplined humility. This explains the provision of a service that conquers, first through cultivating dependency and later vulnerability.

Once familiar with East Asia and with the contents of this text, it becomes almost impossible not to conclude that it has been this strategic thought that made Asia rich and the West bankrupt since 1945. In particular, Japan’s behaviour in the face of defeat and occupation seems to have followed meticulously the prescriptions of this work as it built the foundations of its economic rise. Other Asian communities familiar with the work, and ‘conquest through service’, did not find it hard to follow Japan’s example.

A comment on the importance of historical literacy and awareness also directs attention to an area where China has a strength that is little understood in the West, where end of empire talk often refers back almost two thousand years to the Roman Empire. The more recent Austro-Hungarian or Ottoman ends of empire are rendered irrelevant because of the fragmented character of Western experience and consciousness. In China, however, the sense of history embraces at least six major and a number of smaller end of empire experiences over the past two thousand years.

A television series on the mid 19th century Han General Ceng Guofeng, who saved the Qing Dynasty and its Manchu aristocrats from the Taiping rebels, can be revealing. It shows Manchu aristocrats whose sense of privilege and certainty does not allow them to address the mounting challenges to their world in any coherent or strategic manner. It is remarkable how this invites comparison with contemporary Wall Street bankers and their neglect of the mounting challenges to their political certainties, all defined by the incestuous preoccupations of New York and Washington.

It should also be noted that Chinese language and history are enriched with thousands of words and expressions that simply do not translate into English. One example is the opposing expressions ‘junzi’ (gentleman) and ‘xiaoren’ (small or petty man). Neither bracketed translation is adequate. ‘Junzi’ might be said to refer to those humbled and refined by classical knowledge and suitable for administrative responsibility. ‘Xiaoren’ refers to those with an eye to a quick, and possible nasty, profit. It is not difficult to raise a laugh with a Chinese friend by saying that an American MBA qualifies one to be a ‘xiaoren’, making an easy target for a ‘junzi’ aware of Jiang Taigong’s civil offensives.

Any outline of Chinese classics, history and culture can hardly scratch the surface of this world. Many Chinese today understand it poorly, but all of China’s leaders since 1949, including Mao Zedong [see ‘Mao’s Communism’ on page 58], were deeply educated in it and this is unlikely to be any different with future leaders.

The Challenges Inherent in the Untold Story of China’s Rise

A recent American response to the challenge of civilisation posed by China’s rise has been remarkably misguided. It involves ramping up a campaign of misleading allegations against the Chinese attempt to share their understanding of civilisation through the expert and financial support of Confucius Institutes. This suggests that a continuing denial of obvious realities will characterise much of the Western response to China’s economic and cultural renaissance.

In some ways, the challenge that confronts the West is comparable with that which confronted distant peoples colonised by the European people’s use of corporate organisation and aggressive technology to enhance their wealth several centuries ago. It is less violent but it is just as incomprehensible in terms of the familiar mythologies that shape Western certainties.

History suggests that the Chinese custom of tributary states is much more benign and enriching than the West’s colonising or ‘civilising mission’. Yet this is dependent on an acceptance of reality in a peaceful and constructive way. Despite a widespread continuing assumption of Western pre-eminence, there is already much evidence there is little prospect of reversing established trends of growing Chinese strength and declining Western capacity. This seems true, whether in terms of political, military, technological or economic influence. Moreover, there is growing evidence that we have only seen the beginning of China’s rise, or renaissance.

Any realistic assessment of the challenges ahead now needs to address questions related to the movement from the certainties of an Anglo American global order to the probabilities of a reborn Chinese civilisation that influences events in all parts of an interconnected global community. Policies that are already publicly understood, although minimally reported in mainstream Western media, make it clear that China is taking the lead in the construction of major infrastructure like very-fast trains, in the transformation of Siberia and Eurasia through unprecedented initiatives, in investing globally in previously undeveloped natural resources, and in acting independently of institutional forms long established and reinforced by Anglo American authority.

The continued denial or distortion of such realities will only compound mistakes and misjudgments that have already damaged Western interests. Despite major failings in Australia’s response to China’s rise, its experience and that of other Western peoples offers evidence there can be as many opportunities as challenges in this rapidly changing environment. Political, commercial, educational and other leaders need to take the initiative. After all, Anglo American corporate and commercial culture has proven uncompetitive in a world where it made the rules. It is unlikely to do better in a world where it no longer makes the rules.

An expectation and insistence that China conform with the often self-serving Anglo American norms of recent history can only prove increasingly counter-productive. In contrast, rewards will be won by those who display humility and initiative and commit to the arduous toil of mastering, if only in a limited way, the untold story of China’s remarkable economic and cultural rise, or renaissance.

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REG LITTLE was an Australian diplomat for 25 years, during which time he received language training for 18 months in Japanese and 15 months in Chinese and served as Deputy or Head of 5 Australian overseas diplomatic missions. In Canberra he headed Divisions concerned with North Asia, International Economic Organisations and Policy Planning, and directed the Australia China Council. In 1976 in Beijing, while Mao Zedong was still alive, he foreshadowed China’s future 10% growth. For the past 25 years, he has been active in China and other parts of Asia in conferences addressing the renaissance of Confucian traditional values, about which he has been involved in writing three books. Since 2009 he has been a vice president of the Beijing-based International Confucian Association, a discreet organisation which has been shaped, informed and led by key leaders who have guided and overseen China’s peaceful economic rise. Further background and the writings of Reg Little can be accessed at

The above article appeared in New Dawn Special Issue Vol 9 No 1

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A Secret History of Money Power


The most hated sort [of moneymaking], and with the greatest reason, is usury, which makes a gain out of money itself, and not from the natural use of it. For money was intended to be used in exchange, but not to increase at interest. And this term usury which means the birth of money from money, is applied to the breeding of money, because the offspring resembles the parent. Wherefore of all modes of making money this is the most unnatural.
– Aristotle (384-322 BCE)1

Aristotle’s definition of usury is perhaps the most cogent ever made. Usury, as originally defined, is any money made from a loan. The Christian and particularly Catholic opposition to usury was founded on the dictum in the Gospel of Luke about giving without expecting anything in return, and on the Old Testament precepts against charging interest.

Opposition to usury seems to have been instinctive in many diverse civilisations and cultures, with an intuition it is something unnatural, parasitic and outright sinful. When a civilisation accepts usury as normal business practice, as does Western civilisation, it is symptomatic of an advanced cycle of decay.

The Vedic scripts of ancient India (2000-1400 BCE) call the “usurer” kusidin, a lender charging interest. Brâhmanas (priests) and Kshatriyas (warriors) were prohibited from practicing usury. The Sacred Laws of the Aryas states:

God weighed in the scales the crime of killing a learned Brâhmana against the crime of charging interest; the slayer of the Brâhmana remained at the top, the charger of interest sank downwards.2

As in the Western and Classical civilisations, the definition of usury was compromised over time. By the second century CE the Laws of Manu defined usury as beyond a “legal” interest rate, after which the interest cannot be recovered. The fact there is now a legal rate of interest, rather than an outright prohibition, indicates compromise of the type that arose in Western Christendom and Classical Greece and Rome. Additionally, like the exemption of the Jews from laws on usury under Mediaeval Christendom, the Hindu merchant caste were permitted trade in usury:

To invest money on interest, to be a jeweller, to tend cattle, tillage and trade – these are declared as occupations for the Vaisya caste.3

Siddharta Gautama Buddha offered a more unequivocal stance:

One discerns wrong livelihood as wrong livelihood, and right livelihood as right livelihood. And what is wrong livelihood? Scheming, persuading, hinting, belittling, and charging interest. This is wrong livelihood.4

Plutarch (46–127 CE), in his essay “Against Running In Debt, Or Taking Up Money Upon Usury,” described usurers as “wretched,” “vulture-like,” and “barbarous.” Cato the Elder (234–149 BCE) compared usury to murder. Cicero (106–43 BCE) stated, “these profits are despicable which incur the hatred of men, such as those of… lenders of money on usury.”

Contemporary financial analysts Sidney Homer, who worked for Salomon Bros., and Professor Richard Sylla, in their historical study of interest rates, state that the first known law on the issue was that of Hammurabi, 1800 BCE, during first dynasty Babylonia, who set the maximum rate of interest at 33⅓% per annum “for loans of grain, repayable in kind, and at 20% per annum for loans of silver by weight.”5 Sumerian documents, circa 3000 BCE, “show the systematic use of credit based on loans of grain by volume and loans of metal by weight. Often these loans carried interest.”

As early as 5000 BCE in the Middle East, dates, olives, figs, nuts, or seeds of grain were probably lent to serfs, poor farmers, or dependants, and an increased portion of the harvest was expected to be returned in kind…. Earliest historic rates were reported in the range of 20–50% per annum for loans of grain and metal.6

In Greece, 600 BCE, Solon established laws on interest when excessive debt caused economic crisis. Likewise, in Rome the “Twelve Tables” of 450 BCE, establishing the foundations of Roman law, after pervasive debt was causing servitude and crisis, established a maximum interest rate of 8⅓% per annum. When Brutus tried to charge the City of Salmais 48% for a loan, Cicero reminded him that the legal maximum was 12%. The interest rate was often 4%. Some Greek “loan sharks” charged 25% per annum, and even 25% per day.7

In the Old Testament, Jews were prohibited from usury: “Thou shalt not lend upon usury to thy brother; usury of money; usury of victuals; usury of anything that is lent upon usury” (Deut. 23:19). Critically, for history, the Jews were allowed to charge usury to non-Jews: “Unto a stranger thou mayest lend upon usury; but unto thy brother thou shalt not lend upon usury, that the Lord thy God may bless thee in all that thou settest thine hand to in the land whither thou goest to possess it” (Deut. 23:20).

Those prohibitions, as well as the general ethical character of the New Testament, and the Classical heritage including the Aristotlean, inherited by the Catholic Church, established the basis for Catholic social doctrine in which opposition to usury was a key element. In 325 CE the Council of Nicaea banned usury among clerics. Under Emperor Charlemagne (768–814 CE) the prohibition was extended to laymen. Here usury simply meant the extraction of more than what was lent. This is in accord with what Jesus in the Gospel of Luke (6:35) stated, that one should not expect back more than one gives. In 1139, the Second Lateran Council in Rome declared usury theft, and usurers would have to give restitution. In the 12th and 13th centuries, strategies that concealed usury were also condemned. In 1311 the Council of Vienne declared that anyone claiming usury not a sin was a heretic and should be excommunicated.8

Dante (1265–1321) placed usurers in the seventh rung of Hell, where the usurer would spend eternity with a heavy bag of money around his neck. Dante wrote:

From each neck there hung an enormous purse, each marked with its own beast and its own colours like a coat of arms. On these their streaming eyes appeared to feast.9

But the Church often allowed the Jews to practice usury. Moreover, when laws against usury slackened the pretext was an adaptation of Deut. 23:20, allowing Christian lenders to charge usury on loans to non-Christians, such as Muslims, who for their part were also forbidden usury, which the Qur’an calls the sin of riba (Al-Baqarah, 2:275). Likewise, the loophole for the Muslim lender has been that of being able to charge a “fee” for a loan, rather than interest.

The Church attitude from Medieval times was inconsistent – in some places usury remained prohibited while in other places what was instead called “interest” was permitted and justified for the recovery of “losses” by the lender, such as late payment. Hence the Lombards who, like the Jews, also became identified with money-lending, did not charge “usury” but “interest” as high as 100%. Genoa became a centre of merchant banking where usury was pursued and the Church felt powerless to act.

In Medieval England personal loans could range from 52-120% a year, depending on collateral. Frederick the Fair of Austria was borrowing at 80%, while merchants in Italy could borrow at 5-10%. The Crown of Spain was paying 40% for short-term loans, while Dutch merchants could borrow at 1¼%.10

Usury Triumphant

The Reformation ushered in a revolt against the traditional order of Europe. The Protestant attitude towards usury was in flux but soon clarified with Zwingli, Luther and Calvin stating there are circumstances in which usury is acceptable. Under the division of Church and State, economic theorists began to write in defence of usury as a “progressive” form of commerce, laying the basis for the amoral merchant outlook that now grips most of the world. Money-lending was defended as a “service,” a concept that is, of course, now taken for granted by almost everyone, as argued by the French jurist Molinaeus in his 16th century Treatise on Contracts and Usury. The Church banned Molinaeus’ book and forced him into exile, but his ideas spread. It is significant that England was the first to establish a legal rate of interest, at 10%, in 1545 under Henry VIII, after he embraced the Reformation. According to Homer and Sylla:

During the Reformation many Protestant leaders defended interest and credit. As a result, the usury doctrine, which had held a firm grip on Jews and Christians for 2,000 years, was weakened and finally deserted.11

A century later the focus on economic thinking shifted to Holland where usury was defended as productive and essential by economic theorists such as Claudius Salmasius (1588–1653). Holland became the centre of banking, and the model for the Bank of England. English utilitarian philosophers such as Adam Smith and Jeremy Bentham who wrote A Defence of Usury, justified the social utility of usury. Other fathers of English economics, David Ricardo, Jean Baptiste Say and John Stuart Mill, went further in stating there should be no restraints on contracting parties in money-lending.

In the 17th century the Bank of England was founded as a private institution lending to the state. The Napoleonic war plunged Europe into colossal debt with its subsequent social, moral and political devastation. It set the pattern for the “modern age.” This era of revolutionary upheaval throughout Europe, reaching to its far off colonies, and ending with Napoleon’s defeat in 1815, saw the rise of the Rothschilds and other money-lenders to become the real masters of Europe. While Metternich of Austria tried to establish a new social order for Europe based around Throne and Altar, the real rulers would henceforth be the bankers. Historian Adam Zamoyski writes:

Every government in Europe taxed whatever it could to pay off war time borrowing. Britain had spent more in real terms than it would on the First World War, and its national debt was astronomical. Russia’s had multiplied by twenty times between 1801 and 1809, and would more than double again by 1822. Austria was technically bankrupt: over the next three decades an average of 30 per cent of state revenue would be siphoned off to service this debt.12

Zamoyski states that the five Rothschild brothers (who had been placed strategically throughout the capitals of Europe by their father Mayer Amschel Rothschild):

and particularly James in Paris and Salomon in Vienna, had lent most of the governments of Europe, and particularly those of Austria and France, large sums of money in return for government bonds… Metternich had close links with Rothschild, who had resolved many difficulties for him in the past and who had now arranged for his mother-in-law’s 400,000-franc debt to be written off.13

As for the Church’s traditional bulwark against usury:

The Papal states were bankrupt by 1832, and Metternich saved the pope by persuading the Viennese banking house of Rothschild to provide him with a loan.14

The Great Depression & Social Credit

Moving forward in history to the Great Depression of 1929-1939. This spurred a widespread awakening among all sectors of society as to the character of the banking system. Proponents of a “new” yet traditional economics began appearing in many lands across the world around the same time. During the 1930s Major C.H. Douglas’ lectures on Social Credit impacted on nations such as Britain, Canada, New Zealand, Japan, Norway and Australia (see ‘What is Social Credit?’ on page 53). The famous New Zealand Labour politician John A. Lee remarked that the problems of credit and banking were discussed widely everywhere, in pubs, on buses, in the home. The First Labour Government in New Zealand was largely elected on the issue of banking.

Who now, in this era of universal communications and education, gives five minutes to such questions, especially in pondering how to exercise one’s futile vote? Our grandparents and great grandparents, although they might not have gone to school beyond the primary level, knew immensely more about such matters than subsequent generations. They saw the effects of “poverty amongst plenty.”

As the Hermetic dictum goes: “As above so below.” What occurs in the mundane, earthly realm is a manifestation of a spiritual dichotomy. As discussed at the start of this article, the great philosophers, the primary religions, and most civilisations during those eras in which they remained attuned to their original divine origins, knew that money was a source of “evil” if it was permitted to be used beyond its original purpose and assume a power of its own. The Bible succinctly references the “love of money” as “a root of all kinds of evils”:

But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. (I Tim. 6:9-10).

Paul stated this fight is against more than terrestrial powers, but those emanating from another realm:

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (Eph. 6: 12)

Like the great religious codes that formed the spiritual foundations of civilisations over millennia and across the Earth, those who have sought a return to traditional values cannot but see the role of usury and money as a commodity in the demise of our spiritual, moral and cultural being.

The influential English occultist Aleister Crowley, founder of the religion and philosophy of Thelema, was fully awake to the character of money, writing:

What is money? A means of exchange devised to facilitate the transition of business. Oil in the engine. Very good then: if instead of letting it flow as smoothly and freely as possible, you baulk its very nature; you prevent it from doing its True Will. So every restriction on the exchange of wealth is a direct violation of the Laws of Thelema.15

Apparently Social Credit is Thelemic. This might be more than coincidence. While it is reasonable to suppose that Crowley was aware of the strictures on usury by traditional religions, Crowley knew of A.R. Orage’s literary and political journal The New Age. Orage was a guild-socialist, and a prominent Fabian. He was also a follower of Russian mystic G.I. Gurdjieff, and had been a theosophist to the point of being called “The Mystic of Fleet Street.”16

Orage was the most avid and earliest promoter of Major C.H. Douglas’ Social Credit theory, and had a primary influence on the doctrine. Ezra Pound and New Zealand poet Rex Fairburn were familiarised with Major Douglas’ ideas through Orage. They would both become lifelong champions of Social Credit as the means by which the rule of Mammon could be dethroned and culture again allowed to bloom. For Orage the economic question had to be dealt with for spiritual rebirth to succeed. Hence, his commitment to both Gurdjieff and Social Credit were part of the same process. T.S. Eliot, who also adopted Social Credit, stated of Orage, whom he met in 1922:

[A]ny real change for the better meant a spiritual revolution; and he [Orage] said that no spiritual revolution was of any use unless you had a practical economic scheme.17

Kibbo Kift & the Green Shirts

In Britain, John Hargrave’s Kibbo Kift woodcraft movement was a particularly unusual development into what became one of the most militant Social Credit movements of the Depression era: the Green Shirts. Among those who publicly supported the Green Shirts was the “father of tank warfare,” Gen. J. F. C. Fuller, who had previously been one of Crowley’s most avid supporters, but who later turned to Sir Oswald Mosley and the British Union of Fascists while retaining his interest in mysticism and the esoteric. Fuller is quoted on a Hargrave leaflet as stating:

The science of credit is the secret of the limitation of wars. Therefore I welcome Social Credit, because in the clearest terms it reveals this secret to all.18

Hargrave, or White Fox, his nom de plume in Scouting journals, was a 26 year old war veteran and Commissioner for Woodcraft and Camping in Baden Powell’s movement when he and other Scout masters formed the Kindred of the Kibbo Kift. The term derives from archaic Kentish meaning “a proof of great strength.” The movement was inspired by Medievalism, Saxon heritage, Indian totemism, and other archaic influences. Folkmoots and Althings were organised in heathen tradition, with initiates wearing green, home-made Saxon-like tunics. Training included woodcraft, the forming of craft guilds, cultural development and the use of Norse and Saxon type rituals. Kinsmen were organised into Clans and Tribes.

Hargrave’s experiences as a sergeant with the stretcher-bearers in the world war (he was at the time a pacifist from a Quaker family) led to his belief that civilisation had failed and that only a few individuals could recreate themselves by withdrawing from corrupt industrial society. One can see the raison d’etre of Kibbo Kift with its harking back to pre-industrial and pre-capitalist English society to reinstate values that were beyond materialism and aligned with nature and the folk. The moral, social, political, and economic crises of the world had evoked a similar movement across Germany in the Wandervogel of young people who hiked through the country, singing as they went and forging a new camaraderie. Indeed, there were contacts between the two. Hargrave’s woodcraft books had been translated into German, and Kinsmen attended Wandervogel camps.

Employed as a draughtsman for an advertising agency, in 1923 Hargrave was introduced by the agency to Major C.H. Douglas. While Kibbo Kift enabled its members to devote themselves to a life as individuals cleansed of the corruption of industrial civilisation by harking back to a pre-capitalist ethos, Hargrave saw that Social Credit could free the whole of society.

Hargrave wrote:

Half our problem is psychological and the other half is economic. The psychological complex of industrial mankind can only be released by solving the economic impasse.

The conclusion is similar to Orage’s concerns. By 1927 most Kibbo Kift leaders had converted to Social Credit.

In 1930 the Legion of the Unemployed was established in Coventry. In 1931 the legion adopted a military style green shirt and beret. Soon the Legion was affiliated to Hargrave’s movement as the Green Shirts of Kibbo Kift. At the annual Kindfest of January 1931 Hargrave stated it was the duty of Kibbo Kift to break the power of the “money mongers.” This could not be done by party politics but by a movement to show the people “that absolute, that religious, that military devotion to duty without which no great cause was ever brought to a successful issue.” In 1932 Kibbo Kift adopted the green shirt uniform, and the name was changed to the Green Shirt Movement for Social Credit.

Hargrave advocated a new strategy. Social Credit until then had been quietly discussed in study groups and written of in journals of limited circulation. A militant campaign would break the silent treatment of the press, and take the issue to the streets, with marches, street corner meetings, banners and drums, publicity stunts and tabloid newspapers. Major Douglas gave the movement his approval.

With opposition from both the news media and the Communists, the Green Shirts were noted for their discipline and order in the face of provocation. They joined or organised hunger marches and demonstrations by the unemployed workers’ movement. On 9 June 1932 the first open air meeting of the Green Shirts was held in Lewisham High Street. From then until October 1934, numerous meetings and demonstrations were held, and hundreds of thousands of newspapers sold and leaflets distributed.

With the end of the war, the Social Credit Party was reactivated, and a Social Credit Envangel formed. Despite the constant activism, mass apathy reigned in the post-war world. After a poor showing of votes in April 1951 for Hargrave, the Social Credit Party was dissolved.

One of the enduring Social Credit movements founded during the Depression era is the Pilgrims of St. Michael based in Quebec, Canada. The Pilgrims are among the few movements to maintain the original crusading zeal of the Social Crediters and other opponents of usury, perhaps due to the religious basis and character of their crusade.

Ignorance of the dire effects of usury is all pervasive in this era where Mammon stands victorious over most of the Earth, where everyone from the individual credit-card holder to entire states groan under compounding mountains of debt as never before. Burdened by debt is, we are assured by politicians, bankers and economists, actually regarded as normal, until an individual or entire nation defaults. Then the bailiffs arrive, or there is an embargo or even a war.

The Austrian philosopher and social reformer Rudolf Steiner referred to the present worldly dispensation as the “Ahrimanic” power, the aim being to enchain humanity to matter. One cannot break Mammon without breaking the system that upholds its power: usury.

To read the full article with its two sidebars “What is Social Credit?” and “Ezra Pound, Social Credit & Fascist Italy”, purchase the PDF version of this magazine.

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  1. Aristotle, Politics (Book I: 10: 5)
  2. The Sacred Laws of the Aryas, Part II, Ch. 2: 40-42
  3. Parasara smrti 1.63
  4. Sermon on the Eightfold Path, Majjhima Nikaya Suttra, 117:5
  5. Sidney Homer & Richard Sylla, A History of Interest Rates, Wiley, 2005
  6. Ibid.
  7. Ibid.
  9. Inferno, Canto XVII
  10. Homer & Sylla, Op. cit.
  11. Ibid., 77
  12. Adam Zamoyski, Phantom Terror, Harper Collins, 2014, 97
  13. Ibid., 384-385
  14. Ibid., 473
  15. Aleister Crowley, Magick Without Tears, Falcon Press, 1983, 346
  16. Paul Beekman Taylor, Gurdjieff and Orage: Brothers in Elysium, Weiser Books, 2001, 14
  17. Ibid., 19
  18. “These Names Make Social Credit News,” Hargrave, Green Shirts/Social Credit Party of Great Britain.


DR. KR BOLTON, Th.D., is a Fellow of the World Institute for Scientific Exploration, and a contributing writer for Foreign Policy Journal. His 2006 doctoral dissertation was ‘From Knights Templar to New World Order: Occult Influences in History’. Widely published in the scholarly and general media, his books include Revolution from Above; The Parihaka Cult; Babel Inc.; Perón and Peronism; Stalin – The Enduring Legacy; The Banking Swindle; The Psychotic Left; Geopolitics of the Indo-Pacific; Zionism, Islam and the West.

The above article appeared in New Dawn Special Issue Vol 10 No 2

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The Next Big Bang: Human Consciousness & the Universe’s Ultimate Secret


The stream of human knowledge is heading toward a non-physical reality. The universe begins to look more like a great thought than a great machine.
– Sir James Jeans

For at least two hundred years science has been telling us that any ideas of spirituality we might hold dear are little more than ignorant leftovers of a superstitious past – foolish relics. But the truth is, physics itself, that most foundational of all sciences, has now progressed far beyond that initial, dismissive assessment, to a conceptual worldview far more accepting of spirituality than ever before. To grasp the nuts and bolts of this new science, then, is to understand the nuts and bolts that support a new, evolving and far more sophisticated grasp of spirit than has ever before been available to us.

This new conceptual framework is absolutely critical to our grasp of spirit, and, frankly, for those previously unfamiliar with the discoveries of modern physics, this new framework may at first seem nothing short of “other worldly” itself – as the old saying goes, the truth can at times be far stranger than fiction. So let’s start by taking a close look at what the new physics has to tell us.

In 1964 the scientific world was literally turned on its head by a new theorem, but very few at the time understood just what had taken place. Indeed, so astounding were the material, philosophical, and spiritual implications of this assertion that it would soon be referred to as “the most profound discovery in science.”1 Yet even today, few beyond a small community of physicists have come to grips with its meaning. The conceptual implications for particle physics were so extreme that for decades after its announcement many within the scientific community resisted its implications, as do some resist them to this day.

The theoretical contentions offered in 1964 have been confirmed and replicated in laboratories across the globe on numerous occasions, and today there is no question that the original assertion was correct. This monumental insight is called Bell’s theorem, and the sea change it caused in physics is still being digested as I write. So central is Bell’s theorem to our understanding of the physical universe, how it functions, and what that means for us as human beings, that to grasp its implications is crucial for anyone interested in the science that today enables us to envision universal processes as far more than simply material phenomena. Yet, simultaneously, to truly grasp the new reality Bell’s theorem implies, it is essential that we first understand the old reality it so violently overturned.

Today many within the scientific community believe that our modern science – that is, the science of observation and testing, of the scientific method – was inaugurated in the seventeenth century when Galileo Galilei first pointed his homemade telescope toward the heavens and started poking around. How did this new science differ from previous approaches to the study of physical phenomena? Dr. Dean Radin, Laboratory Director at the Institute of Noetic Sciences in Petaluma, California explains:

“Classical physics began in the seventeenth century when pioneers such as Italian mathematician Galileo Galilei, French philosopher Rene Decartes, German astronomer Johannes Kepler, and English mathematician (and alchemist) Isaac Newton advanced a new idea. The idea was that through experiments one could learn about Nature, and with mathematics, describe and predict it. Thus rational empiricism was born. Classical physics was extended and substantially refined in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries by luminaries like James Clerk Maxwell, Albert Einstein, and hundreds of other scientists.”2

This physics – called classical, or Newtonian, or material physics – has made an enormous contribution to our understanding of the universe we inhabit, and as a result has had a profoundly positive effect upon the overall human condition. Food production, health services, economics, education, transportation, etc., etc., have all been vastly improved as a result of scientific applications made available through analysis and testing. No doubt, material science has been a boon to human kind.

Initially, this new science looked outward as had Galileo toward the planets and stars for answers regarding how the universe worked and the matter by which it was constructed. Larger and better telescopes were developed in order to augment this process, and today, of course, spacecraft have been constructed that fly to points distant enough to inspect and photograph distant terrestrial bodies. As a result, a great deal has been learned.

In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries enormous strides were made in terms of our understanding, not only of the greater cosmos, but also of the physics by which it functions. Most of the planets, their orbits, and their relationship with the sun were established early on. The mathematical calculations for all of this fit nicely within the prevailing understanding, or model, of the universe, and all of these findings both confirmed and augmented our grasp of Newtonian physics.

The Emergence of Quantum Physics

Still, despite all the advances, there were some oddities that did not quite fit. In 1801, for instance, British physicist Thomas Young conducted a “double-slit” experiment in an attempt to deduce the true nature of light. Prior to that, it was assumed that light was composed of small particles of matter, but the result of Young’s experiment seemed clearly to indicate that light was in fact a wave. It was presumed, as a consequence, that light waves would require some sort of medium in order to propagate (conceptualised as a luminiferous ether or ether “wind”), and the search for this medium was promptly initiated. Physics soldiered on essentially unruffled by all of this, however, still confident in its overall grasp of the universe. But this subtle medium, despite numerous attempts at detection, remained elusive.

As a result, light continued to be a thorn in the side of Newtonian physics, thus it was naturally toward the study of light that much attention became focused. In 1900, for instance, American physicist Max Planck developed a mathematical model that demonstrated that light appeared to exist as distinct bursts or “packets” of matter. Planck named these packets “quanta” after the Latin quantus, which translates as essentially “how much.” Planck’s discovery proved the birth of what we today call quantum physics – that is, the study of that group of infinitely small particles that ultimately comprise all matter. Then, in 1905, Albert Einstein, an unknown physicist at the time working as a patent clerk in Switzerland, clearly demonstrated the validity of Plank’s quanta, but it was a proof that also allowed that light had to have both wave and particle characteristics – a perplexing side issue.

Quantum understanding snowballed rapidly. Dean Radin tells us that, “Danish physicist Niels Bohr showed how the quantum concept could explain the structure of the atom (1922 Nobel Prize). In 1924, Louis de Broglie proposed that matter also has wavelike properties (1929 Nobel Prize). In 1926, Erwin Schrodinger developed a wave-equation formulation of quantum theory (1933 Nobel Prize).”3 Our insight into quantum mechanics was accelerating rapidly, but, despite all the progress, the seemingly dual nature of light remained a vexing problem. Was light comprised of particles or waves? No one could say.

The Big Bang Theory

Meanwhile, additional progress was being made at the observatory by looking in the opposite direction – far out into the depths of the universe. In 1929, as an example, by carefully analysing the red shifts (observed light frequencies) of distant galaxies, American astronomer Edwin Hubble demonstrated that the universe was expanding. An expanding universe was evidence contrary to the Steady State theory of the universe, or a universe that was essentially constant and eternal. Hubble’s finding also suggested that our universe, since it was now seen to be expanding, may naturally have had a beginning; that is, a moment when all that matter had been consolidated in a single point before it started to expand.

Over time this “beginning” became conceptualised as what we today call the Big Bang theory of the universe, or a moment when the material universe emerged from a background of utter nothingness in an enormous burst of heat, light, and matter. The name actually came from British astronomer Fred Hoyle, who quipped one day on British radio that the theory sounded like little more than a “Big Bang,” and while this was stated in jest, the term stuck, nevertheless. The Big Bang theory postulates that the universe emerged from a “singularity” (a point of infinite density, which remains, frankly, beyond our current physics to explain or, as humourist Terry Pratchett once quipped, “In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded”) some 13.8 billion years ago as an incredibly small and incredibly hot point of matter. According to the theory, this material then inflated, expanded then cooled over time allowing for the formation of light elements like hydrogen and helium. Due to a slightly uneven distribution of matter throughout the universe, gravitational attraction then began to consolidate these elements into clouds which over eons formed the stars, planets and galaxies that comprise the celestial panorama we observe today in our night time sky.

Evidence supporting the Big Bang theory of creation then began to accumulate. This evidence included the original “red shift” Hubble discovered, the discovery of cosmic microwave background radiation (which had been predicted as a residual product from the heat of the initial inflation), and more recent red shift observations of distant supernovae indicating that the expansion of the universe is actually accelerating (and which suggest the existence of dark matter in substantial quantities as the driving force behind this acceleration).

This explanation of the Big Bang is, to say the least, a very brief and general summary of a vast and complex event, but it serves our purposes by bringing us forward conceptually to the year 1964, and the model of the universe that was prevalent at the time Bell’s Theorem made its shocking appearance (minus the dark matter, which was theorised later).

The truth of the matter is, however, while the Big Bang theory provided the universe with both a beginning and a direction, it did not alter the assumption that the universe was fundamentally a material phenomena; a belief central to modern science ever since Galileo had peered through his telescope. History tells us, as an example, that when asked by Napoleon Bonaparte in the early years of the nineteenth century as to why his most recent treatise did not mention the existence of God, the great French scientist Pierre-Simon Laplace was said to have remarked, “I had no need of that hypothesis.” Later, and likewise, Laplace explained to an admiring audience that, “We may regard the present state of the universe as the affect of its past, and the cause of the future.” In other words, Laplace, along with almost all other scientists at the time, believed that the universe was little more than a vast, material machine, driven by physical forces, and nothing more. If, for instance, you could determine the position and direction of every particle in the universe at any given point in time, it would be possible, at least theoretically, to crank that picture forward or backward, observing as you did every event that had taken place in the past while accurately predicting every event that would take place in the future. This view therefore supported the notion of a deterministic universe, and a universe that was devoid of either free will or human consciousness as a result.

Importantly, this understanding, or model, of the universe rested on certain suppositions that were accepted as true and universal by material physics down through the years simply because the universe appeared to function in accordance with them. The Big Bang was conceptualised as the beginning of an entirely material process that had evolved over eons in accordance with the known parameters of Newtonian (or classical, reductionist, or material) physics. In that sense, the universe was still perceived essentially as a vast, physical mechanism, a machine that was now understood to be a bit more complex than it had been conceived during the earlier days of, say, Pierre-Simon Laplace one hundred and fifty years before, but differing now only in terms of its sophistication, not its fundamental nature. Thus Laplace’s statements regarding the absence of God and the predictive power of the original conditions still held true as far as modern physics was concerned.

The universe was also considered to be a true, functioning reality, and a reality that, having been put in motion by a natural (although inexplicable) occurrence, remained utterly deterministic, events formed and driven forward in time, no longer by the unseen hand of God, but by random particle collisions alone. All events occurred due only to the action of physical forces in contact or proximity with one another, and no force, field, or matter could – according to Einstein’s calculations – ever travel faster than the speed of light. But the wave/particle nature of light still remained an intellectual conundrum that, much like one rotten apple, threatened to subvert the entire structure of physics if not sensibly accounted for.

‘Uncertainty Principle’ Neuters Newtonian Physics

Still, as far as the quantum theory was concerned, great new strides were being made. Physicist Nick Herbert tells us, for instance, that, “By the late [nineteen] twenties physicists had constructed a quantum theory adequate to their needs: they possessed, thanks to the work of Heisenberg, Schrodinger, and Dirac, rough mathematical tools that organised their quantum facts to a remarkably accurate degree. At this point Hungarian-born world-class mathematician John von Neumann entered the picture. Von Neumann put physicists’ crude theory into more rigorous form, settling quantum theory into an elegant mathematical home called ‘Hilbert space’, where it resides to this day, and awarded the mathematician’s seal of approval to the physicists brand-new theory of matter.”4

But the enigma of light continued to plague quantum theory, and it is precisely here where the old physics of determinism and cause and effect began to unravel. In 1927, for instance, German physicist Werner Heisenberg authored his now famous uncertainty principle, the intellectual consequences of which did great mischief to Newtonian physics. Heisenberg was at the time attempting to measure the precise speed and position of a particle in order to predict its future position – a process that should have been entirely within the accepted parameters of Newtonian physics. But Heisenberg discovered that this could not be done. British physicist Stephen Hawking tells us that Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle indicated unequivocally that “the more accurately you try to measure the position of the particle, the less accurately you can measure its speed, and vice versa.” This finding sent shock waves rippling through physics. “Moreover,” Hawking tells us, “this limit does not depend on the way in which one tries to measure the position or velocity of the particle, or on the type of particle: Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle is a fundamental, inescapable property of the world.”5

In a very real sense, Heisenberg’s principle delivered a body blow to Newtonian physics. Because, if the precise state of the universe was impossible to measure at any given moment, then any state either before or after was also impossible to calculate. It was as simple as that. Laplace had been wrong. Determinism, material cause and effect, even the forward moving arrow of time surely appeared to be “on the ropes.” Suddenly, many of the underlying presumptions upon which classical physics rested had seemingly evaporated into thin air due to Heisenberg’s principle. What was going to replace them? Moreover, what did Heisenberg’s findings actually mean? How could it be that aspects of the material universe were, had always been, and would always be, utterly beyond our ability to measure?

And there was still more damage as a result of Heisenberg’s new principle. Because, if particles could not be clearly defined in terms of their position and movement, then particles could no longer be clearly defined as material objects anymore. If, after all, the position and movement of a particle could not be described with precision, then in a sense a particle could only be described with imprecision – a mathematical approximation. A photon, for instance, could no longer be considered a discrete particle, but rather a combination – part particle, part wave – or a mathematical description now called a wave function. Even more importantly, if the manner by which a particle was measured (or observed) altered the resultant observation (a fact Heisenberg had demonstrated), then it followed logically that observation itself had to be a fundamental aspect of reality. Physics had been thrown for a loop.

A World of Pure Possibility… Magic

Indeed, some physicists, Heisenberg included, began to interpret the wave part of the particle/wave aspect of light as meaning that particles became particles only when observed, and remained waves (that is, in a state of material potential) when not observed. This, of course, was an extraordinary claim, something that many physicists thought sounded disturbingly akin to ancient superstition, like magic or voodoo. What Heisenberg and his colleagues were suggesting, in essence, was that the unseen world of quantum mechanics was not a material realm at all, but a realm rather of pure potential. That’s right: quantum researchers like Heisenberg argued that the fountainhead of the physical universe appeared to be utterly immaterial. And as damaging as all of this was to classical physics, even more shocking news was on the way. Because if the foundation of our physical reality arose from a source of pure potential (was not material at all), then what, exactly, was this non-physical stuff? Could it even be called stuff? At this point in time many scientists became dizzy just trying to get a handle on the facts, and who could blame them?

Nick Herbert explains the next leap in logic that took place. “If we take quantum theory seriously, it seems to demand that the world before an observation is made up of pure possibility. But if everything around us is only possible not actual, then out of what solid stuff do we construct the device that will make our first observation? Either there are some physical systems whose operations unaccountably evade the quantum rules or there are nonphysical systems not made of multivalued possibility, but of single-valued actuality – systems that exist in definite states capable of interacting in an observational capacity on indefinite quantum-style matter.” Yet it was clear that all material systems consisted of particles, and that these particles always obeyed the rules of quantum mechanics (not individually, but in statistical aggregates), because these rules had been tested and verified throughout countless experiments. “On the other hand,” Herbert continues, “we are aware of at least one nonphysical system that not only can make observations but actually does so as part of its function in the world – the psychological system we call human consciousness.”6

This assertion, while sound mathematically and entirely logical, was so startling that it literally turned classical physics on its head. A science that had accepted as utterly valid a universe constructed of, and driven by, material particle movement was told suddenly that it had had it all wrong from the very beginning. And make no mistake about it, that’s exactly what was being said. “The general idea of von Neumann and his followers,” Herbert explains, “is that the material world by itself is hardly material, consisting of nothing but relentlessly unrealised vibratory possibilities. From outside this purely possible world, mind steps in to render some of these possibilities actual and to confer on the resultant phenomenal world those properties of solidity, single-valuedness, and dependability traditionally associated with matter. This kind of general explanation may be enough for philosophers, but physicists want more. They want to know exactly how it all works, in every detail.”7

Indeed, the notion that our material reality was not real after all was simply too much for many physicists, and their response at the time was entirely reasonable. No determinism, cause and effect, or arrow of time? What was happening to the foundational principles of classical physics? Many physicists tossed up their hands in dismay, others in disgust. One of those physicists was the extraordinary Albert Einstein himself, the very father of relativity theory, and the most respected physicist in the world. All of this sounded crazy to Einstein. As to the notion that the universe was the construct of little more than the capricious whims of human observation, he supposedly responded with the now famous quote that, “God does not play dice with the universe.” Obviously, he did not agree with the newest speculations of quantum physics.

Einstein bristled at these new interpretations of quantum theory to the point that in 1935 he along with Boris Podolsky and Nathan Rosen issued a thought provoking analysis now known as the EPR (Einstein, Podolsky, Rosen) paper. This analysis was meant to be a clear-headed challenge to the wave function description of matter that had been adopted by many quantum physicists, and described above. The EPR paper insisted that the position and momentum of any given particle had to be able to be measured far more accurately than Heisenberg’s principle allowed for, or else information between certain “entangled” particles (Erwin Schrodinger had previously demonstrated that when quantum systems interact their wave functions become entangled, and they will remain entangled even when no longer interacting) would be theoretically transferred faster than the speed of light, instantaneously in fact, which was a fundamental violation of Einstein’s theory of relativity. According to the EPR paper, hybrid particles like wave functions, and instantaneous transmissions (what Einstein called “spooky action at a distance”) were inelegant solutions clearly out of line with relativity theory, which was the accepted gospel of physics at the time. In that sense, then, the EPR paper was issued as a direct challenge to quantum theory as it was currently being developed.

Bell’s Theorem & a Nonlocal Universe

This was more or less the state of affairs in 1964 when John Stewart Bell entered the picture. Without going into great detail, suffice it to say that Bell demonstrated in his theorem that the EPR analysis was right, but that its conclusions were wrong, and that superluminal (faster than light) entanglements were not only possible, but required if quantum theory was to make sense. Prior to this, physics had always assumed the universe to be local in nature, that is, interactions between physical systems had of necessity to involve a signal transferred by force at a rate below the speed of light. Bell’s theorem, on the other hand, demonstrated that the universe was in fact nonlocal (“a nonlocal effect is an interaction that does not involve force, nor does it involve the transfer of signals, and it happens instantaneously regardless of the distance between objects”8), and as a consequence the “spooky action at a distance” Einstein had argued against, was, in fact, a foundational aspect of the universe. Not only that, but within a few years, and repeatedly, Bell’s theorem was tested in the laboratory, and found to be accurate. The science was now clear: we live in a universe that is nonlocal. As Columbia University physicist, Brian Greene, noted, “This is an earth-shattering result. This is the kind of result that should take your breath away.”9 The fact is, this finding has taken a good many people’s breath away.

And if all of this is not weird enough for you, Philippe Eberhard, then working at Berkeley, soon demonstrated that “no quantum calculation will ever result in an observable superluminal connection between the patterns of individual quantum events.”10 Nonlocal interactions are thus built into the fabric of the universe, but in such a way that we can never actually observe them. But that does not mean we cannot observe their effects. For as Herbert explains, “The present situation seems to be as follows: quantum theory is superluminal [faster than the speed of light], quantum reality is superluminal, but quantum appearances are not… Since quantum theories of consciousness assume that the cause of individual quantum events lies in the mental world and Bell’s theorem proves that the causes of some quantum events must be superluminally connected, then we should expect to find some mental events that behave like the Bell connection, that is, human experiences that are unmediated, unmitigated, et cetera.”11

In the span of approximately seventy-five years the world of particle physics had been turned upside down, and the philosophical and spiritual implications of this have yet to be fully digested by either science or the public in general. Indeed, the implications are mind-boggling. Our conceptual understanding of the universe (of which we are all material manifestations) changed from one that might be characterised as a vast, relentless, grinding particle machine, to one that seems almost, well… magical. What other word will do? As physicist Richard Feynman noted, “What I am going to tell you about is what we teach our physics students in the third or fourth year of graduate school… It is my task to convince you not to turn away because you don’t understand it. You see my physics students don’t understand it… That is because I don’t understand it. Nobody does.”12

Yet to this day many scientists continue to scoff at any understanding of physics beyond the material boundaries of the classical interpretation, as if all the advancements in quantum theory had never really taken place. We are often lectured that any sort of spiritual or religious belief we may hold are the products of faith alone, discredited convictions rooted in either medieval dogma or rank superstition; that they are simply not scientific. But today the truth of the matter is actually the polar opposite, for it has been clearly demonstrated that those individuals making these charges are the ones trafficking in faith, in fact clinging to material dogmas that physics has left behind in the dust. Laplace’s material cosmos is now an intellectual relic of the past, overturned, not by faith, but by science.

All is One in the Entangled Universe

It seems to me, for a moment, then, that the seemingly limitless world of the observatory and the minute world of quantum mechanics are far more than even light years apart; that this universe of colossal, spinning galaxies, numbered now to be in the hundreds of billions, and the world of the particle wave function are so intellectually incompatible that today they seem almost alien to one another. Then again, maybe they are not. For if the Big Bang began with a singularity, as we are told, and a singularity that was infinitely dense, then every particle that has ever emerged was initially contained within this extraordinary particle of infinite density, merged or forged or crushed in some magical way into this one tiny something. The seeds of our entire universe were fused into that one, and if all were once one then is it not reasonable to speculate that all were entangled at that moment – if indeed it can even be described as a “moment” – and thus quite possibly remain entangled to this day. Suddenly, then, from this perspective, the universe no longer appears to be an alien landscape of far distant, whirling bodies at all, but rather a vast masterpiece of infinite and instantaneous communication – of instant knowing.

As Feynman suggests, what, precisely, the world of quantum mechanics might ultimately be determined to be remains a mystery, and may well remain a mystery some time to come, but what has already been established is surely enough to reformulate our ideas about what the universe is and how it functions. For, while quantum interactions cannot be observed, their effects can nonetheless be experienced, and those experiences can be demonstrated scientifically.

But for now the most important concept for us all to hold onto is that of a vast and connected universe of instantaneous communication and knowing, of a universe that begins to look far more like a conscious organism than it does a grinding material mechanism, and this is far more than mere layman’s interpretation.

Indeed, it was the great British physicist Sir James Jeans who penned the quote heading this article: “The stream of human knowledge is heading toward a non-physical reality. The universe begins to look more like a great thought than a great machine.” This a view of reality shared today by many physicists. In all probability we will not have all the answers to the true nature of the universe in our lifetimes, but one thing does seem abundantly clear – the old dogmas of material science have been proven relics of the past, and a new concept of a foundationally conscious universe appears clearly to be arising to take its place. And there, in simple terms, rests the case for human consciousness, for our compassion, and the spirit that binds us all.

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  1. Dean Radin, Entangled Minds, Simon & Schuster, 2006, statement from Henry Stapp as quoted, 226
  2. Ibid, 209–210
  3. Ibid., 213
  4. Nick Herbert, Elemental Mind, Plume Books, 1993, 248
  5. Stephen Hawking, A Brief History Of Time: From The Big Bang To Black Holes, Bantam Books, 1988, 55
  6. Herbert, 249–250
  7. Ibid., 250
  8. Dean Radin, Supernormal: Science, Yoga, and the Evidence for Extraordinary Psychic Abilities, Deepak Chopra Books, 2013, 209
  9. Radin, Entangled Minds, as quoted, 231
  10. Herbert, 238
  11. Herbert, 238–239
  12. Radin, Elemental Mind, as quoted, 215


JIM STEMPEL is the author of seven books, including nonfiction, historical fiction, spirituality, and satire. His articles have appeared in numerous journals including North & South, HistoryNet, Concepts In Human Development, New Times, Real Clear History, and the History News Network. His exploration of warfare, The Nature of War: Origins and Evolution of Violent Conflict examined war from a psychological perspective, while his newest novel, Windmill Point, was released to considerable critical acclaim. He is a graduate of The Citadel, Charleston, South Carolina, and lives with his wife and family Maryland. Feel free to explore his website at

The above article appeared in New Dawn 160 (January-February 2017)

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