The Reality of ESP: An Interview With Russell Targ, Remote Viewing Pioneer

RussellTarg The Reality of ESP: An Interview With Russell Targ, Remote Viewing Pioneer

Russell Targ


Russell Targ is perhaps the best-known psychic investigator of our times, and certainly among the most academically prestigious. Born 11 April 1934 in Chicago, USA, he received a Bachelor of Science in physics from Queens College twenty years later, and did graduate work in physics at Columbia University (both in New York). He retired in 1997 as a project manager and senior staff scientist from Lockheed Martin, an American aerospace and advanced technology company, where he developed laser technology for airborne detection of wind shear and air turbulence. Wind shear, a difference in wind speed and direction over a relatively short distance in the atmosphere, is a potential aeronautical hazard. Targ’s inventions and contributions in lasers and laser communications won him two National Aeronautics and Space Administration awards. 

Beginning in the 1970s, he co-founded a twenty three-year program of research into psychic abilities and their operational use for the US intelligence community. Until 1995, it was classified “secret.” 

His autobiography, Do You See What I See: Memoirs of a Blind Biker, tells of his life as a scientist and legally blind motorcyclist. The publishing arm of The Theosophical Society in the United States – Quest Books – recently released his latest book, The Reality of ESP: A Physicist’s Proof of Psychic Abilities

According to reviewer Eugene Bourgeois, “Russell Targ looks at the subject from the perspective of an experimental physicist and finds compelling scientific evidence to confirm that something very much like ESP can be demonstrated without fail under laboratory conditions. As any physicist would, he seeks to find a model that will help us describe just how it is that such experiences are possible.”

In this pointed interview for New Dawn magazine, Targ offers his latest conclusions about the relationship between the demands of hard science and the paranormal potential of inner human experience.

FRANK JOSEPH (FJ): Your work as a physicist in the early development of lasers and research into meteorological anomalies forms an unusual backdrop to the unrelated, unconventional field of psychic investigation. What caused your radical departure from mainstream science?

RUSSELL TARG (RT): I had a childhood interest in magic and card tricks. I performed on the stage as a magician, as a teenager. In the course of doing mental magic on stage, I had numerous psychic experiences, leading me to get more interested in real magic than stage magic. At that point, as a young scientist, physics graduate student at Columbia, I began to read the professional parapsychology literature.

FJ: What was your own, most significant psychic experience?

RT: My own most significant public remote viewing experience was my very accurate description and drawing of my colleague Hal Puthoff’s location at an island airport off the coast of Columbia two thousand miles away. I have also had very powerful out-of-body experiences of a more personal nature.

FJ: What, if anything, did Robert Monroe, the mid-20th century American New York radio-broadcasting executive who achieved worldwide recognition as an explorer of human consciousness, contribute to your understanding of psychic phenomena?

RT: I knew Bob Monroe well. He brought the idea of out-of-body (OOB) experience to common usage. He helped us understand that there is a continuum from simple remote viewing, where one sees images on ones mental screen, to OOB experiences where one can bring emotional and sexual sensitivity to the fore. No one ever had a bad remote viewing experience. But one can indeed scare himself with a bad OOB trip – because of the increased emotional involvement. Aleister Crowley describes this as “sex on the astral plane.” Not for the timid. And we did not pursue this at SRI [Stanford Research Institute].

FJ: Your latest book is supposed to distil your lifetime of paranormal research and latest conclusions. Can you give us a summary of The Reality of ESP?

RT: It provides statistical proof of psychic phenomena as evidence so strong it would be logically or probabilistically unreasonable to deny. If facts alone can convince a skeptical investigator of the reality of ESP, this book should do it. It presents evidence from the research program I co-founded at Stanford Research Institute (SRI) in the 1970s, together with the Buddhist and Hindu origins of ESP. Some of the amazing feats of psychic ability include remote viewing for America’s Central Intelligence Agency and US Army Intelligence, when SRI psychics found a downed Russian bomber in Africa, reported on the health of American hostages in Iran, described Soviet weapons factories in Siberia, and forecasted a Chinese atomic-bomb test three days before it occurred.

When San Francisco heiress Patricia Hearst was abducted from her home in Berkeley, a psychic with the SRI team was the first to identify the kidnapper and then accurately described and located the kidnap car.

After leaving SRI, our group made $120,000 by psychically forecasting for nine weeks in a row the direction and amount of changes in the silver commodity futures market, without error. The odds against chance in many cases are staggering. Take the thirty-six outdoor remote viewing trials described with six US Army intelligence officers. Their overall statistical significance was at odds of three in a hundred thousand (3 x 10-5). If the officers had been baseball players, the expected six first-place matches would equal a batting average of one hundred sixty six. But they achieved nineteen matches – batting better than five hundred – while the great Joe DiMaggio had a lifetime average of only three hundred thirty five. Such numbers are what we mean by statistical proof.

We achieved an effect size of 0.6, which is ten times greater than that claimed by America’s National Institute of Health for aspirin preventing heart attacks. I am convinced that most of us have psychic abilities we haven’t tapped, and conclude my book by describing how we can learn to develop our own ESP, at no cost, working at home using the SRI techniques with a friend. It involves a simple, meditative skill that eighth-century Buddhists called moving from conditioned to spacious or naked awareness. Who would not want to try that?

FJ: In The Reality of ESP, you cite four kinds of psychic experiments, beginning with remote viewing, in which a person describes places and events independent of space and time. Professor Richard Wiseman, a British psychologist at the University of Hertfordshire, told the Daily Mail four years ago, “Because remote viewing is such an outlandish claim that will revolutionise the world, we need overwhelming evidence before we draw any conclusions. Right now we don’t have that evidence.” How do you respond to his conclusion?

Pages from NewDawnMagazine133 2 The Reality of ESP: An Interview With Russell Targ, Remote Viewing PioneerRT: We published our formal experiments in the Proceedings of the Institute of Electronic and Electrical Engineers, and in Nature. In our first decade of work at Stanford Research Institute we did three highly significant experimental series. These comprised trials wherein a person in a shielded room with me had to describe what it looked like where my colleague Hal Puthoff and another witness were hiding in the San Francisco Bay area. In the first series of nine trials, a psychic policeman, Pat Price, achieved seven first place matches, where only one would be expected by chance.

The probability of this is less than one in a hundred thousand. In the second series, a “control” subject photographer Hella Hammid, got five first place matches and four second place matches. The probability of this is approximately one in a million. In the third series, we taught six army intelligence officers how to do remote viewing, as part of the government’s program to set up an army psychic corps in Fort Meade, Maryland (USA). The six men each did six trials. Out of those thirty six trials, they got nineteen first place matches, where six would be expected by chance, again at odds of one in a hundred thousand. Our work had been replicated at Princeton and dozens of other labs worldwide.

FJ: Can remote viewing be illustrated by the concept, in physics, of photon entanglement? If so, how do you define photon entanglement in relationship to psychic activity?

RT: Photon entanglement is a consequence of space-time non-locality, wherein two photons that are created together (twin photons) travel on opposite directions at the speed of light, and the measurement on one affects the other. This non-locality, I believe, is the basis of ESP. Since remote viewing accuracy and reliability are independent of distance and time (up to a few days into the future) a physicist would say that the data for remote viewing appear to be non-local.

FJ: During the Cold War, the US Government’s Central Intelligence Agency undertook a serious study of remote viewing, eventually terminating its $20 million dollar “Stargate Project” after David Goslin, of the American Institute for Research, declared, “There’s no documented evidence it had any value to the intelligence community.” Was he right after all?

RT: The CIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency, and Army Intelligence Command would not have supported our program for twenty-three years and $25 million if we had not produced useful information. The program was secret. We successfully described Soviet submarines, a kidnapped US general in Italy, etc. That’s why they kept supporting us.

FJ: According to psychologist David Marks, remote viewers are influenced by subjective validation, a process through which correspondences are perceived between stimuli that are in fact associated purely randomly. Couldn’t this be a real explanation for remote viewing?

Pages from NewDawnMagazine133 The Reality of ESP: An Interview With Russell Targ, Remote Viewing Pioneer

(Top) Remote viewing target site was Livermore Valley Foothills Windmill Farm. Below is sketch by Viewer a hundred miles away, showing poles, hills, “moving electricity in the form of a grid” and “halo probably not visible to the eye,” at the top of the poles. Remote Viewer: Joseph McMoneagle. Trial was carried out with Dr. Edwin C. May in 1987. Graphic courtesy of Russell Targ.

RT: The first published remote viewing experiment had some clues as to the order of some of the trials. These clues were removed, and the series was re-judged with exactly the same outstanding results. All other series were doubly randomised to remove this valid criticism. Transcript clues wouldn’t help us find the kidnapped US general or the downed Russian plane.

FJ: Your book also discusses possibilities for distant mental influence, where the thoughts of the experimenter can positively or negatively affect the physiology – including heart rate or skin resistance – of someone far away. Can you cite any credible examples of this phenomenon?

RT: William Braud wrote a book called Distant Mental Influence which presents twelve of his experiments showing that the thoughts of one person can affect the physiology of another person. This is also the basis of distant healing. My book describes my daughter psychiatrist Elisabeth Targ’s published experiment showing that the half of her AIDS patients who received distant prayer had significantly better health outcomes than the thirty controls. This paper was published in the Western Medical Journal in 1999.

FJ: Our readers may be less familiar with Whole Field Isolation mentioned in The Reality of ESP. As I understand it, WFI applies to a “viewer” who accurately describes the visual experiences of someone else in another place. Does the “viewer” actually enter into the mind of another person, and how is this process achieved?

RT: The person who is isolated in the “Ganzfeld” isolation chamber can obtain information seen by his/her distant friend either clairvoyantly or by telepathy – no way to tell.

FJ: What exactly is the “Ganzfeld isolation chamber,” and how does it have any bearing on remote viewing?

RT: The Ganzfeld isolation chamber has the purpose of removing all physical stimulation from a person’s awareness. The perceiver in the Ganzfeld is isolated from all electromagnetic radiation. He has white noise fed into his earphones, together with red light shown onto Ping-Pong ball halves fitted over his eyes. This isolation is thought to be a psi-conducive state, suited to daydreams and free association. Very good ESP results have been obtained with people in the Ganzfeld chamber. But not any better than a remote viewer sitting at a table in the lab.

FJ: You write of Retrocausality, in which future events can allegedly affect history. But the future has not happened yet, so how can it influence the past?

RT: When you have a dream on Sunday night of an elephant walking down your street and trampling your flowers, and then see the elephant doing exactly that the next morning, we would say that Monday morning’s experience of the elephant was the cause of Sunday night’s dream. That’s what we mean by retrocausality. In a non-local world, your consciousness is not separated from the future.

FJ: Oral traditions from Tibet and Polynesia tell of large groups of persons who together entered into altered states of consciousness, then simultaneously focused all their individual thoughts on a single, common objective – i.e., to cure or kill someone, levitate a stone weighing several tons, etc. Were these credible examples of distant mental influence? If so, what do they say of possibilities for similar psycho-communal efforts undertaken today?

RT: As a physicist, I am not involved with the claims of oral traditions. However, I am impressed with Buddhist and Hindu books describing techniques for remote viewing dating from the time of Christ, wherein the instruction are very similar to what we do in the lab.

FJ: Exactly how does ESP work based on the Buddhist/Hindu view of our selves as non-local, eternal consciousness?

RT: The Buddhists and Hindus didn’t know how ESP works, anymore than we do today. But they did believe that separation is an illusion; that our awareness transcends all of space and time. They taught that we can see into the distance and into the future; heal the sick and diagnosis illness – all psychically. The metaphor of Indra’s net describes a world in which every vertex of the net is a highly polished jewel, which reflects all others in the net. This is an early holographic model that is very suggestive of the non-local description we use today.

FJ: Do you believe that psychic abilities are either inherited from a period earlier in our past, when they were more highly developed than today, but have since languished? Or do they represent a new development in human evolution?

RT: I believe that psychic abilities are an evolutionary progressive ability. They helped the caveman become aware that a tiger was at the door of his cave, etc. They are definitely not new in any sense. Buddhists and Hindus described them exactly as we know them today.

FJ: Archaeologists discovered that, some twelve centuries ago, Maya priests were ingesting 5-MeO-DMT, a psycho-active chemical excreted from the poison gland of Bufo alvarius, a local toad, because it engendered the “flight of the shaman” beyond space and time. The Bufo toad is depicted at the Mexican shrine of Izapa, where the 2012 Mayan calendar end date was inscribed. Could the Maya have thereby projected their consciousness into our time, then returned to theirs, where they composed their “prophecy”?

RT: There is no convincing data showing that DMT or anything else will make you psychic. Too bad! It only makes you feel psychic.

FJ: In Dogs That Know When Their Owners Are Coming Home, British biochemist Rupert Sheldrake describes what appears to be a telepathic bond between pet animals and their human owners. Do you believe his research is valid? And if so, can you suggest any method to strengthen or expand that bond to some degree of trans-species communication?

RT: I am confident of trans-species communication. Any cat owner knows that all you have to do is think of taking your pet to the vet, or giving her a bath, to have the cat immediately disappear.

FJ: What, if anything, has ESP got to do with questions concerning the survival of human consciousness after physical death? What might ESP teach us about the alleged immortality of the human soul?

RT: If one believes that who we are is “non-local and timeless awareness,” then the idea that this awareness is eternal, is quite natural. Our awareness, whether alive of dead, is outside space and time. I believe that the evidence for survival of consciousness and personality is quite good.

FJ: Parapsychologists argue that the greater development of remote viewing could lead to either the end of war or more deadly military applications. What is your opinion?

RT: Remote viewing is definitely useful in wartime, since it provides intelligence information, which is frequently unavailable any other way. Human beings love to be at war. ESP is not going to end that. But it might encourage people to be more honest with one another, if they are aware that lies will be immediately detected.

FJ: Larry Dossey, M.D., author of The Power of Premonitions, states that “the mind can function without limitation in space and time, and that this ability is widespread, teachable, and practical.” Should teaching psychic development become part of public education? If so, how might this be achieved?

RT: I think it would be very important to encourage children to develop their psychic abilities – it is part of who they are. I taught my own children to be polite, intelligent and psychic as they were growing up. And it didn’t seem to hurt any of them (two doctors and a lawyer). Like many things, I think psychic abilities are better taught at home, rather than at school. But since it is an ability we all have naturally, it is very desirable that children be made aware of this gift before it is stifled and repressed by the larger society.

FJ: What advice would you give anyone just beginning to explore their psychic potential?

RT: I would suggest that a beginning remote viewer should find a partner to work with. The partner can bring you little objects in a bag, and encourage you to psychically describe them. You can then do the same for your partner. This is a surprisingly easy and enjoyable activity.

FJ: Do you foresee a time when humanity in general will have developed its entire psychic potential, as described in your new book? If so, what kind of a world will that be?

RT: I believe humanity will indeed make use of their psychic potential, with the result that people will quit lying to each other. They will also begin to notice that there is more to life than flesh and bones. That is, we have the capacity for timeless awareness, which, in fact, is what we are.

The Reality of ESP: A Physicist’s Proof of Psychic Abilities (Quest Books, 2012) is available from all good bookstores and online retailers.

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

FRANK JOSEPH has published more books (eight) about the lost civilisation of Atlantis than any other writer in history. These and his twenty, other titles dealing with archaeology, military history and metaphysics have been released in thirty-seven foreign editions around the world. He was the editor-in-chief of Ancient American, a popular science magazine, from its inception in 1993 until his retirement fourteen years later. He lives today with his wife, Laura, in the Upper Mississippi Valley of the United States.

The above article appeared in New Dawn No. 133 (July-August 2012).

Read this article with all its illustrations and much more by downloading
your copy of New Dawn 133 (PDF version) for only US$2.95
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 The Reality of ESP: An Interview With Russell Targ, Remote Viewing Pioneer

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Cultivating Consciousness in an Unconscious World

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Politicians constantly evade the truth. Why can they get away with it? According to a recent study conducted at Harvard University, it’s because people have such terrible attention spans.

Behavioural scientist Todd Rogers of the Harvard Kennedy School and Michael I. Norton of the Harvard Business School conducted a simple experiment to see when and whether people can detect a dodge. They recorded a speaker answering a question about universal health care (a controversial issue in the US). Then they attached the same answer to three separate questions: the original question about health care, one on illegal drug use, and a third about terrorism. Amazingly, subjects found the speaker just as trustworthy when he gave the response about health care to a question about illegal drug use – a related but different subject – as when he responded to the original question about health care. Moreover, when quizzed immediately afterward, almost none of the subjects could remember exactly what question had been asked.

Part of the reason for these findings, Rogers believes, is simply that humans have poor attention spans. Poor attention is “universal to all animals that we managed to study,” says Rogers. “Though we don’t realise it, we go through our lives detecting just the gist of what’s going on. Even if we wanted to pay attention to each answer, we would have a limited capacity” to do so. Another, related reason is that when people are listening to a speaker, they are taking in nonverbal signals such as body language, facial expressions, and likability. In short, even when doing something as simple as listening to a speaker, the audience is overwhelmed by information, enabling politicians to dodge answers without appearing to.

These findings have more than a theoretical importance. Faced with economic and social crisis, and haunted by the spectre of global conflict, famine, and environmental collapse, people are demanding change. At the same time, however, there is a widespread suspicion of all political and economic ideologies. World civilisation at this point is like a sick man who shifts restlessly in bed, unable to find a comfortable position. It may be that what is needed is not a change in ideologies, but a change in consciousness.

The problem goes deeper than merely detecting whether a politician has answered a question or not. Many of the world’s great spiritual traditions frequently tell us that we live in illusion. The twentieth-century spiritual teacher G.I. Gurdjieff said, “A modern man lives in sleep, in sleep he is born and in sleep he dies.” The contemporary Tibetan lama Tarthang Tulku writes, “Because our powers of self-observation are usually not well developed, we are often blind to our suffering.” Could they be saying that it’s our poor capacity for attention that is keeping us in cognitive bondage?

Proposed remedies for this chronic and widespread attention-deficit disorder vary to some degree. For Gurdjieff, the answer lay (at least in part) in what he called self-remembering: an attention that is divided between the world outside and the world within. How does this work in practice? One Gurdjieffian teacher pointed out to me how, under ordinary circumstances, when you look out the window, your attention goes with it. In a certain sense you go out the window as well. Your sense of yourself is lost. To counter this, he suggested that when you look out a window, you keep some attention for yourself, even if it’s something as simple as a conscious awareness of a hand or a foot. “When you look out the window, you don’t go out the window,” as he put it.

For Tarthang Tulku, the answer lies along a slightly different route. He believes that our failure of attention has to do with a deep-seated fear of discomfort. Our suffering goes on under the surface, and we refuse to touch it out of avoidance of the emotional pain that it would bring. One alternative that he recommends is not only to touch the pain, but to explore it – to feel it as fully as possible. “Whenever we are caught in a physical or mental conflict, we can focus on it, heat it up, go into the centre of it,” he says. Going directly into psychological pain in this way will often transform it into a new, dynamic, and more creative energy.

There are many other approaches, but the point is the same: to sharpen and focus a capacity for attention does not forget what question was asked, that does not go out the window. In this the seed of will is sown. The British occultist Charles R. Tetworth writes about the training of a magician:

As an apprentice, he or she will have learned how to hold an image in his mind for an hour at a time. He will have learned how to maintain direction in the midst of life’s distractions. He will have learned to keep contact with what is real within him, even in the throes of passion. He will have learned something of the uneven tides that move the hearts of men. He will be independent of the movements of fashionable views and capable of taking a long-term view of humankind’s apparent tragedies. This will make him a more conscious member of the human race.

While some of this passage may have little bearing on us – not many people will be able to hold an image in their minds for a solid hour – it provides some genuine, and important, guidelines for living in the midst of today’s turmoils. The key practice is – however you manage to do it – to cultivate a centre of attention in yourself. You can do this right now, by closing your eyes and sitting attentively for a few minutes. At first you let your attention go to your bodily sensations, however they present themselves: sensations of the feet on the floor, your back against the chair, and so on. Then you let your attention go to the flow of thoughts, images, and emotions that pass before the mind’s eye. You will soon realise that you can watch these thoughts come into awareness like images on a screen, and pass away again just as readily.

The question then becomes, who exactly is doing the watching? It is not the body; the body is part of what is being observed. Nor is it the stream of thoughts that flow across the screen of the mind. You will rapidly find that you can observe them as from a distance. And if there is some distance, however slight, between you and thoughts, this immediately proves that the thoughts are not you.

This realisation is one of the principal goals of meditation. It will enable you, to use Tetworth’s words, “to keep contact with what is real” within you, even in the sorrows and disturbances of life. It will also free you from enslavements to such things as opinions, the current fashions of belief, and, what is perhaps most important, the subtle but debilitating attachment to your self-concept as a “good person.” If you pursue the inquiry of self-observation far enough, you will find that these opinions and self-concepts are merely what you have absorbed from the media, from advertising, from your family, from your friends. You will also discover that you have encompassed yourself in a circle. You read opinions that already mirror your own. You listen to “experts” who merely confirm what you believe already. You support politicians who appeal to your own fears and delusions.

I do not pretend that the exercises I have sketched out in this article are a panacea. Nor are they easy, and it will generally take a great deal of patience and effort to apply them in any but the most basic way. And you will notice that in and of themselves they do not present any brilliant solutions to the world’s multifold problems. But if you apply them, you will be a more conscious being, and you will be more free of the delusions and anxieties that press so heavily on the human race.

What comes next? A long work, in which you begin to become aware of your own special function – that is, the role that you can play to help the world most effectively. It may or may not mean embracing a cause or political program. Instead it may, for example, involve working quietly as a light shining in the dark corridors of an apparently soulless corporation. It does not matter: that is your work. As you move deeper into your reaches that some teachings call the Self or the “true I,” the more this function will come into focus for you, and you will be able to become a powerful force for change rather than a weak, worried, and anxious consumer.

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P.D. Ouspensky, In Search of the Miraculous: Fragments of a Forgotten Teaching, New York: Harcourt, Brace, & Co., 1949.

Peter Saalfield, “The Art of the Dodge,” Harvard Magazine, March-April 2012;; accessed March 13, 2012.

Charles R. Tetworth, Wielding Power: The Essence of Ritual Practice, Great Barrington, Massachusetts: Lindisfarne, 2002.

Tarthang Tulku, Gesture of Balance: A Guide to Awareness, Self-Healing, and Meditation, Berkeley, California: Dharma Publishing, 1977.

RICHARD SMOLEY has over thirty years of experience of studying and practicing esoteric spirituality. He is also the author of Inner Christianity: A Guide to the Esoteric Tradition; Conscious Love: Insights from Mystical Christianity; The Essential Nostradamus; Forbidden Faith: The Secret History of Gnosticism and The Dice Game of Shiva: How Consciousness Creates the Universe. Smoley is the former editor of Gnosis: A Journal of the Western Inner Traditions. Currently he is editor of Quest: Journal of the Theosophical Society in America and of Quest Books.

The above article appeared in New Dawn No. 132 (May-June 2012).

Read this article and much more by downloading
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 Cultivating Consciousness in an Unconscious World

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Mind Control: It’s All Around You!

tentacles dees Mind Control: It’s All Around You!


Man’s task is to become conscious of the contents that press upward from the Unconscious. Masses are always breeding grounds of psychic epidemics.
– Carl G. Jung

Mind Control. It’s easier than you think! Anybody can do it. Don’t believe me? You don’t think everybody has the power to control hundreds, thousands, even millions of other people’s minds? Then watch this little experiment we’re about to make: I shall now control your mind!

Yes; wherever in the world you are reading this, I hereby order you to think of the Eiffel Tower on a rainy evening being struck by lightning. OK? Thinking about that image? Right… Now try to stop thinking about the Eiffel Tower on a rainy evening being struck by lightning. You can’t? Try harder! Still can’t? Ha! I’ll tell you why: because I am controlling your mind!

You see? It’s that easy to implant ideas and images into other people’s brains! Now, imagine that I did this “little experiment” on global TV to an audience of say, 1 or 2 billion people. And imagine too that instead of my innocent “Eiffel Tower” image, I “ordered” you to watch and think about something far more powerful… like the World Trade Centre imploding, or Osama bin Laden firing his machine-gun at an unseen “target” (Western babies, perhaps?), or Prince William’s wedding as he is groomed to become “the Once and Future King”?

Harnessing Collective Psychic Energy

What are the effects and the perils of making hundreds of millions – even billions – of people see and hear exactly the same thing at exactly the same time all over the world, repeated time and again and again? What, if any, is the aggregated effect on the collective psyche, on physical brains and even on the physical world of all that psychic energy? Can the collective psyche unwittingly precipitate physical events?

Thanks to global TV, radio, and internet, these collective effects are unprecedented in history. We are treading unexplored territory; we just don’t know whether or not such effects exist; whether we might be opening a veritable Pandora’s Box by tapping into deep recesses of the Collective Psyche.

Even more: is it possible this aggregated effect generated by untold hundreds of millions of human brains could be consciously tapped by unseen controllers to generate certain effects, phenomenon or circumstances that fit their agendas? Could such a subtle effect even be used to materialise ideas and events and thus used to influence worldly matters?

Clearly, these are leading-edge questions for which we have no answers today, however, if ever there was a time to start investigating such possibilities, now is definitely the time, irrespective of whether you think this may or may not be possible.

If it should someday be discovered these phenomenon do exist, and the Global Power Elite think tanks – Tavistock Institute allied with the CIA, MI6 and others – harness such unconscious collective psychic energies for their own ends and purposes using masses of human beings everywhere (at least everywhere there’s a TV screen) to psychically materialise their objectives, then we had better investigate this sooner rather than later.

What an irony if they were to use our own minds against ourselves to enslave us to their objectives and needs! In other words, can the Collective Psyche be harnessed to (mis)lead Man onto paths of social, political, cultural, economic and intellectual destruction? A lot of this is happening today, as any student of PsyOps and PsyWar well knows.

Levels of Communication

The upper echelons of power often interact and communicate through a totally different system of symbolic language that, when properly understood, lends credence to Illuminati Tradition and the impact of Freemasonic Orders. Don’t be fooled: they are not just playing around with signs, symbols, “words of power” and dates. They know only too well the intrinsic power of Kabbalistic numbers, for example, and use them in many of their “tricks of the trade.”

At times, they function as signposts and markers for their Strategic Planning and False Flag operations knowing that the majority of people’s untrained eyes will miss them altogether or, worse still, will just consider them innocent whims; a play of no importance. They function as did the spies of old who would send instructions to their covert agents in a foreign land by publishing some small ad in the classified section of a local newspaper: right out in the open; innocent and innocuous and yet… so important!

matrix passport Mind Control: It’s All Around You!With hindsight, we now realise the numerous tell-tale signs from Hollywood that 9/11 was being planned and that, somehow, it had to be “communicated” to “friends in the know.” There we have it in plain sight: in the City of New York versus The Simpsons episode (aired 21-Sept-1997) America’s favourite family decides to visit the World Trade Centre after Bart and Lisa show a brochure saying “9/11”; later a hobo on the subway gives his address as “Jesus c/o The Pentagon.” Or, the 1997 movie The Matrix: when Neo (Keanu Reeves) is arrested, his passport’s expiry date is… 11 September 2001. Or the Deputy NSA Director’s (John Voigt) birth date in Enemy of the State (1998) is shown as… 11 September 1940. Or the launch episode of the series The Lone Gunman (FoxTV, March 2001). The plot? Insiders plan to ram a jetliner into the WTC and blame it on “terrorists…” There’s even a strange, out of context scene in The Devil’s Advocate (1997), showing an ultra high-speed day-night video of the WTC Towers with the gothic-style Woolworth Building in the forefront… Warnings?

photo9 11movieEnemyoftheState Mind Control: It’s All Around You!Clearly, behind the most innocent looking things there are signs to be read. To understand what is happening today is analogous to driving on a highway from one town to another, you need to understand and properly interpret a whole host of signs, warnings and notices telling you where to exit, when to step on the gas and, when to brake. We would all do well to understand such “signs” and have the proper “maps” or – better still – our PsyOps “GPS” to find our way.

The Media is the Message

The human psyche has very deep archaic recesses where powerful dormant forces await to be awakened. The Collective Unconscious about which Swiss psychoanalyst Carl G. Jung spoke, is a powerful source of archaic, collectively inherited, psychic tendencies embedded in man and rooted into the very fabric of the Cosmos – Jung called them “Archetypes” – that, when channelled in specific directions may unleash the “psychic epidemics” he warned us about.

Towards the end of his long life, Jung feared that the uncontrolled unleashing of just such epidemics would represent the greatest danger facing mankind as the millennium drew to a close. Only three years before his death in 1961, he warned that “an archetype was stirring in a way that was characteristic for ‘the end of an era’,” and of the upheavals and great changes we can expect. In fact, on 30 May 1961 – just eight days before he died – Jung dictated to his daughter his last visions: “I see enormous stretches devastated, enormous stretches of the Earth. But thank God, not the whole planet.” And Jung made a drawing, with a caption under it that said, “The last 50 years of humanity.” That points exactly to our time…

When he spoke of “the end of an era” he was referring to psychic processes that play out very long-term – over thousands of years – thought to be “synchronistic” (i.e., a-causally linked) to the relative position of Earth, Sun and Stars. As the constellations of the Zodiac are “visited” by the Sun through a long-term process known in astronomy as the “precession of the equinoxes,” certain collective archetypes seem to “awaken” and remain active for thousands of years, whilst others until then active, fall dormant.

The Global Power Elites know this only too well and make good use of it, which might explain why Jung’s psychology is much less publicly talked about than the Elite’s favourite son, Sigmund Freud. Freud thought of the “subconscious” as basically a trash can of repressed personal traumas; Jung thought of the Unconscious as superior to the conscious mind and held that it was governed by inherited psychic tendencies. Freud thought his “laws” of psychology were universally valid; Jung believed every race or ethnic group had blatantly obvious psychological differences – as different as the physical appearance of the Caucasian, Semitic, Chinese and Negro peoples.1

Clearly, it’s high time we too wake up to the (not so) hidden signs being used to unleash “psychic tsunamis” on us, taking advantage of these unconscious energies, perhaps to even create self-fulfilling prophecies.

Was this understood by that elusive character known to students of Gnosticism as “Fulcanelli” (an Adept? A Brotherhood?) who, after writing his beautiful treatises on occult alchemical symbolism in temples and buildings of France and Spain – The Mystery of the Cathedrals (1926) and Dwellings of the Philosophers (1930) – disappeared after World War II, only to unexpectedly reappear in 1999 with what is believed to be his long-promised third opus: Finis Gloria Mundi?

In this last work, Fulcanelli describes how the Global Power Elite are manipulating their own Satanic occult agenda parodying Gnosticism’s Opus Magnus, which is Thoth/Hermes’ Emerald Tablet, perverting it from a profound esoteric Gnostic Treatise into an exoteric Power grabbing manual.

As many know, the Emerald Tablet is a very short text which opens saying, “It is true, without a lie, certain and most true: That which is below is as that which is above, and that which is above is as that which is below, to perform the miracles of the One Thing. And as all things were from the One, by means of the mediation of the One, thus all things were born from the One, by means of adaptation.”

Fulcanelli’s explanation of today’s materialistic prophecy-come-true parody is based on subsequent parts of the Emerald Tablet sequentially “acted out” by the Elite.

“Its father is the Sun” (this is why the Elite built the A-Bomb: to show the world in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945 that they had harnessed the power of the Sun); “Its mother is the Moon” (then, in July 1969 they “harnessed” the Moon with the Apollo Moon Landing); “The Wind carried it in its belly” (“wind” being a metaphor for both the Global Media which flows everywhere and HAARP Climate Control); “Its nurse is the Earth” (Fulcanelli points to the criminal meddling with DNA in the vegetable and animal kingdoms, and the Human Genome Project).

Here, again, we find dates being used symbolically. When “harnessing” Sun and Moon, the Global Power Elite’s first nuclear test at Alamogordo New Mexico took place on 16 July 1945, whilst Apollo 11’s “Moon landing” journey lifted off from the Kennedy Space Centre on 16 July 1969.

This is more than just playing with symbols, dates and words. Instilling a long-term far-reaching, all-inclusive global strategy and action plan with deep roots dating back untold millennia to the Egyptian God Thoth may have more subtle and profound consequences than we can fathom.

For years now, the Elite have been drilling into our collective psyche that we are facing the impending “end of the world.” Together with their staunch servants and operatives in Hollywood, the major TV producers, Fox, Disney, DreamWorks, Universal, MGM, Paramount, they have prepared our collective psyche to “be ready to accept the end of the world.”

This all seems to serve three goals: (a) make us all feel increasingly helpless (I mean what can you do if an asteroid is about to hit Earth?), (b) instil a powerful “something big is-a-coming” expectation of sudden change; (c) remind us that there is always “an enemy” out there – a really big, nasty one bent on our destruction. So, we need to have a really big, powerful – even if harsh – protector to shield us from impending calamities.

It’s today’s version of programmed Feudalism: you want food, shelter, protection? Then you’d better obediently and loyally serve your Feudal Lords, even if it means surrendering your sons and daughters, otherwise, you’re really in for a hard time! Today: the Elite is the Feudal Overlord whom we either obediently and diligently serve for which we are fed, housed and “protected”, or else… well, you know: it’s the basic “you’re either with us or against us” Baby Bush Syndrome.

Big, nasty, scary enemies are Rule No. 1 to ensure domination over large masses of people. Yesterday it was Hitler, the Japs, the Red Menace… Today it’s Global Terrorism, Muslim Fundamentalists and Osama’s throngs…

As “The Report from Iron Mountain” explained back in the sixties, an enemy need not be real in order to be useful to the Elite; an enemy need only be perceived as real by the majority of people. Credibility, not reality, is what counts. Once people believe an enemy “exists,” the rest is a piece of cake. People will then willingly march and yell and ship their sons and daughters off to Vietnam, Europe, Japan, Iraq, Korea, Panama, Libya – anywhere – to “fight the enemy”; to “defend our country.”

It’s all a Question of Time

Why this is coming to a head just now is intimately related to our concept of Time. Time is of the essence; everything we do is based on Time. You’re meeting somebody? Achieving that always comes in two dimensions: Space (e.g., my house coordinates) and Time (e.g., Monday, 16 July 2012, 8:30AM). This, however, is the materialistic, secular, “Western” use of time: Chronos.

Time is etched into our collective psyche in other more subtle ways. Again, we turn to Carl Jung who spoke of Archetypes of the Collective Unconscious as being beyond Space and Time, and governed by cosmic forces difficult to perceive because their manifestation spans many generations.

In his formidable book Aion: Researches into the Phenomenology of the Self, Jung analyses the activation of the Archetypes relating to one of the twelve 2,160 year-long (average) “Platonic Months” or “Ages”: our now ending Age of Pisces. Under Pisces, Christianity was the governing “tonic note” or leitmotiv so to speak, that gave life to the Christian ICHTYS fish symbolism, balanced by its feminine (and astronomical) counterpart, Virgo: the Virgin Mary. Today, as we enter the Age of Aquarius, a new Archetype is dawning and the old Archetype – Pisces – will fall “asleep” and be “sacrificed.”

We have many examples of this every 2,200 years or so (the average period of each Platonic month). When Pisces dawned around two millennia ago, the previous “month” – Aries the Ram – had to be “sacrificed” (Angus Dei qui tolis pecata mundi); the Lamb of God who takes the sins of the world was duly sacrificed on the Cross. 2,200 years before that, when Aries dawned we saw Jason and his Argonauts follow the Aries Archetype all the way to the Colchides on their Quest for the Golden Fleece; just as millennia later Parsifal, Lohengrin and Titurel would embark on the Quest for the Holy Grail. Then, it was the Taurus Bull’s turn to be sacrificed, as the Age of Taurus (so important to ancient Egypt and Crete) fell dormant and was “sacrificed” – Iberian bull fights and Mithras’s bull-slaying being psychic vestiges that reached our own time, and so on.

Here, modern languages again play us a bad card because today we only have one word for the concept of “time,” whilst in Classical times there were three very distinct ones: Chronos referred to so-called physical “chronological” time used to record and coordinate worldly affairs; Kairos was used to represent significant moments in time, i.e., what today we would call “milestones;” whilst Aion – a venerable god to the Romans – was used to describe very long periods of time that no human could ever experience first-hand; from there comes our word Eon.

Today, we are so shortsighted that we forgot the importance of understanding long periods of time – Eons. They mark the psychic chords and tonic notes from which we cannot stray too far because, like it or not, the “signs of the times” will always impose themselves on us.

The Elite’s Achilles’ Heel: They Need You to be a Willing Accomplice

They need you to be passive; they need to buy your acceptance to do what they want you to do; they need you to “sell your soul” to them. Literally! They need you to “sign” a virtual “contract” in which you say, “yes; I will obey your Feudal Elite Overlords if you will allow me to live and enjoy ‘rights’.”

Now this Truth is as old as Mankind. In his play Faust, German playwright Johann von Goethe shows us a knowledge-thirsty over-intellectualised professor – Faust – “signing a blood contract” with Mephistopheles – the devil himself – in exchange for the minor glories of worldly fame and shine. Now, have you ever asked yourself why should the devil need anybody to “sign a contract” with him? Easy: the powers of Darkness, the forces of Evil, need you to serve them of your own Free Will.

It seems there’s a cosmic rule that even Old Man Devil himself cannot override, which says that his victims must serve him of their own free will. That’s the Elite’s Achilles Heel that we must exploit to the utmost.

Three examples – a tragedy, a comedy and a drama – from the Hollywood Global PsyWar power house of films spell this out; that you must freely serve them, in plain language:

A Tragedy – The Devil’s Advocate (1997) where young, up-and-coming lawyer Kevin Lomax (Keanu Reeves) joins a New York law firm only to finally discover that his bizarre boss John Milton (Al Pacino) is the Devil himself. Reeves’ wife Mary Anne realises that long before he does, but collapses mentally and physically into suicide. In one key scene, Pacino tells Reeves, “Go back to your wife for a couple of weeks… she’s sick, she needs you, take a break from the case you’re working on.” Reeves thinks for a few seconds and says, “No, I’ll carry on with our case!” Whereupon Pacino/Devil shrugs his shoulders and says, “OK, do as you like.” At the end when Pacino unmasks himself as the Devil, he reminds Reeves that he was given a choice but he chose the company over his wife… of his own free will!

A Comedy – Bruce Almighty (2003) where Jim Carrey plays a goofy loser complaining to “god” once too often, whereupon “god” (Morgan Freeman) shows up in a most unpresuming garb and gives Jim “almighty powers” to teach him just how difficult it is running the Universe. Carrey can then do anything he wants but “god” tells him, “One thing, though: you can’t mess around with free will.” So, when Jim wants to get his estranged girlfriend to love him, she just turns around and walks away. Again: Free Will!

v for vendetta Mind Control: It’s All Around You!A Drama – V for Vendetta (2006) where Hugo Weaving plays a powerful mysterious freedom fighter known only as “V” who, inspired by Eve (Natalie Portman), uses PsyWar tactics to fight a future Orwellian totalitarian society in the UK. In a splendid scene, “V” interferes with all TV signals and broadcasts a message to the People, saying,

“… Words offer the means to meaning, and for those who would listen, the enunciation of the Truth. And the Truth is, there is something terribly wrong with this country, isn’t there? Cruelty and injustice, intolerance and oppression, and where once you had the freedom to object, to think and speak as you saw fit, you now have censors and systems of surveillance coercing your conformity and soliciting your submission. How did this happen? Who’s to blame? Well certainly there are those who are more responsible than others, and they will be held accountable, but again, truth be told, if you’re looking for the guilty, you need only look into a mirror. I know why you did it. I know you were afraid! Who wouldn’t be? War, terror, disease… There were myriad problems that conspired to corrupt your reason and rob you of your common sense. Fear got the best of you, and in your panic, you turned to the now High Chancellor Adam Suttler.2 He promised you order, he promised you peace, and all he demanded in return was your silent, obedient, consent.” Your Free Will…

Not surprisingly, in all three of these films, the key that opens the door to liberation is Woman: Mary Anne’s death in Devil’s Advocate, Jennifer Aniston’s temporary rejection of Jim Carrey in Bruce Almighty, and Eve’s strength and love in V for Vendetta. Significantly, Goethe ends Faust with these words: Das Ewig-Weibliche zieht uns hinan – “The eternal feminine draws us upwards.”

The “Mystery Factor”

We opened this article talking about how collective psychic energy can be harnessed for matters pertaining to this world. I’d now like to close with a more speculative view of how subtle forces of Darkness may also be harnessing collective psychic energies to achieve their “ends beyond this world.”

Those who have read the Tibetan Bardo Tho-dol – better known in the West as the Tibetan Book of the Dead – know that when we depart this world, a subtle part of us – mind, the psychic personality residue – remains “for a while.” It is suddenly left, however, without a physical brain and the senses to support it.

There are indications that psychic “residue” may continue to guide Soul onto the next Incarnation as we still experience in the Beyond through the mental body – the Ka of the Egyptians – however it has no control over the physical world as we had when our live brains controlled our feet, mouth, hands interacting with the world; i.e., to “do this” and “do that.” When we die, we no longer have those physical organs, however in our soul’s journey Beyond, the Ka still continues to project ideas and concepts, and here lies a terrible danger.

When we are incarnate, mental projections are kept at bay because our trustworthy senses immediately kick in with their logic to filter out or buffer and separate what can from what cannot be. So, even if my mind imagines a pink elephant floating past my window, I will not actually “see” nor experience that because my eyes-brain-senses kick-in to say “that’s impossible!”

Another simple experiment: imagine that on a sunny day in a bar full of people I told you, “think about being all alone in a cemetery with crypts opening and walking dead coming at you.” You’d just laugh me off because there is no way you can even project such a preposterous image. Now, imagine I say exactly the same words whilst we are both alone, at midnight on a moonless night inside a real cemetery. Your eyes cannot see but your mind’s eye certainly conjures up all sorts of horrific images! Worse still, your ears are pricked… “What was that rushing sound?” “Did I hear a sinister whisper?” “What was that shadow I thought I caught with the corner of my eye?” By now, many people would start going into full panic mode. Why? Because when it’s dark and silent, our senses offer little protection against mental projections of the most horrible images. That’s when you REGRET having seen such and such a terror movie whose images now come back to haunt you. That’s when you start having doubts about what may really be out there in the shadows of the night… which are a symbol of the deepest recesses of your own psyche.

Well, my friends, when we die it gets even worse than that! For we no longer have eyes and ears and a brain to sort out and organise what we “see and hear”; it would seem that whatever we project in the Beyond, becomes REAL, at least psychologically real.

Now I believe some of the folks running Hollywood know this. And the fact that they have overloaded our brains with the most horrific images and atavistic fears may serve the purpose of sending us all – literally – to “Hell”!

Because in the Beyond, if in life you were scared of hornets, you will project “real” hornets; if you were scared of the “waking dead”, you will project the “waking dead”; and if the movie Aliens really made you jump from your seat, well… get ready… many will actually run into it (by the way, Aliens was the result of an investigation into Man’s deepest atavistic fears by Hollywood PsyOps experts).

By the same token, if we cherished and believe in Christ and the Blessed virgin, They will greet us when we die. Same if you believe in Allah… And departed mom, dad and your long-lost dog will be projected too. Actually, initial projections are from the “heart” and they are always beautiful and warm, but as the After-death “Intermediate State” (Bar-do) progresses, projections from the mind begin… That’s when the soul can run into trouble… Spanish painter Francisco Goya alludes to this in his 1799 print “The dreams of Reason produce monsters.”

So, maybe the Global Power Elite are aiming at controlling us here and in the Hereafter.

Why? I don’t really know. Maybe it’s part of a Satanic ritual whereby they must feed their ghoulish “gods” or demiurge, rather: Beelzebub, Satan, YHWH, Baphomet and other such bloodthirsty – and soulthirsty – cosmic ghouls. The essence of Blood on “this side” of Reality has its counterpart in psychic energy in the Beyond.

I know we are delving into much theory but this may also help to explain many of the things that happen around us without any of us ever realising it. This may also help understand why the antidote to such madness may spontaneously spring in sensitive and good people naturally aligned with the Forces of Light – Sun, God – who “perceive” this drama, as “messages from the Eternal Feminine”: i.e., the many Visions of the Virgin Mary throughout the last two centuries.


The “rules of the game” are there for all to see. Don’t deliver up your mind and soul. Don’t be a passive collaborator, because doing nothing is exactly what the Global Power Elite wants from you: passive collaboration.

Biblical tradition says Lucifer shouted his rebellion to high Heaven yelling “Non Serviam” – “I will not serve.” In an uncanny twist of Fate, it is now our duty to turn the table on the Evil One and shout back to him: “Non Serviam”I will not serve!

That’s called Personal Sovereignty, which is the very first step towards collective sovereignty for entire nations and continents.

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


1. The collective psychic forces we are born with form part of our DNA. Just as we get the colour of our eyes and hair from our parents and the way our veins cross in our hands and feet from grandparents, so too we inherit psychic conformations and tendencies: how we feel, think, react; what is harmony to us and what is not. Why certain music is agreeable and others not; whether we will emphasise Rhythm (as the peoples of Africa do) or Melody (as Orientals do), or Harmony as Caucasians do (or did): Melody manifests inside time, Rhythm marks out time; Harmony is beyond time.

2. A fictitious future Orwellian dictator in the UK.

ADRIAN SALBUCHI is a political analyst, author, speaker and radio talk-show host in Argentina. He has published several books on geopolitics and economics in Spanish, and recently published his first eBook in English: The Coming World Government: Tragedy & Hope? which can be ordered through his web site, or details can be requested by E-mail to Salbuchi is 58 years of age, married, with four adult children, and works as strategic consultant for domestic and international companies. He is also founder of the Second Republic Project in Argentina, which is expanding internationally (visit:

The above article appeared in New Dawn No. 131 (March-April 2012).

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Trickster Pack: At the End of Deception – A Gnostic View of Disclosure

alien priest Trickster Pack: At the End of Deception – A Gnostic View of Disclosure


In a text in the Nag Hammadi collection discovered in Egypt in December 1945, an unnamed teacher declares to his student: “Behold, I shall reveal to you the path of deliverance. Whenever you are seized [in the soul] and undergo mortal fear, a multitude of archons may turn on you, thinking they can capture you. And in particular, three of them will seize you, those who pose as toll collectors. Not only do they demand toll, but they take away souls by theft.” (Nag Hammadi Library in English, ed. by James Robinson, 265)

Consider the information packed into this short paragraph: the certainty of a supernatural confrontation, the mortal fear it inspires, the threat of being captured or taken hostage, the large number of predators, their habit of appearing in threes, the demand for tribute or toll, the feat of abduction (“take away souls by theft”). And the intruders are even named outright: archons.

The First Apocalypse of James, probably written down around 300 CE, presents a glimpse of “higher education” in the Mystery Schools – that is to say, education concerning the supernatural, the paranormal, parapsychology, and the noetic sciences.

The founders and leaders of those schools were ancient seers called Gnostikoi, “those who know divine matters.” Gnostics were the arch-enemies of the early Christian converts and ideologues such as Irenaeus, who established the canon of the four Gospels of the New Testament. In order for Christianity to rise to power and meld with the Roman Empire as a state religion with an agenda of totalitarian mind control, its advocates had to eliminate the competition. Gnostics threatened the salvationist agenda due to something they knew, or claimed to know, about its origins.

Scholars of Gnosticism do not ask why the threat posed by the Mystery adepts was so great and grave that it required centuries of murder, persecution, and intellectual genocide to be eliminated. On the contrary, they routinely assume that Gnostic sects were early, innocuous variations of primitive Christianity. They take the writings found in the Nag Hammadi Codices for out takes of Christian material. That being so, why did the Gnostic message simply not co-exist and mingle with the writings that were to become canonical for the Judeo-Christian faith? Why did they have to be extirpated, root and branch?

The threat posed to Christian ideology by the Gnostic message was very great, indeed. And still is. For one thing, Gnostics asserted that the paternal father god of Jews and Christians alike, Jahweh-Jehovah, was in reality one of the archons. An alien intruder, a hostile ET. And moreover, they insisted that this alien pretender is insane and working against humanity. Needless to say, this proposition was extremely alarming to devotees of the Abrahamic faith. Since the discovery of the Gnostic cache in Egypt in 1945, that alarm is again sounding across the land.

The Sophianic Vision

Extensive noetic and parapsychological training, undertaken in teams (cells) and maintained for generations, allowed adepts of the pre-Christian Mysteries to detect predatory ETs, discern their origin and habitat, identify their forms, and to unmask their motives and methods, as well as how to resist them. That itself was an immense achievement in psychic detection.

But for all their scope and finesse in supernatural matters, the Gnostikoi were also acute observers of the social world. They had a rigorous deconstructive view of history and the belief-systems that drive human behaviour.

“Pagan adepts from the Mysteries in the Levant and Egypt saw in the salvationist agenda of Abrahamic religion both the evidence and the instrument of archontic deviation” (Not in His Image: Gnostic Vision, Sacred Ecology, and the Future of Belief by John Lamb Lash). The evidence and the instrument.

In other words, they saw in the religious ideology of male-only creation, election, messiahship, atonement, retribution, etc., the evidence of deviant intrusion on the human mind, and they identified that ideology as the very instrument of the intruding force, archons.

This analysis is extremely close to the notion of the “foreign installation,” attributed by Carlos Castaneda to alien intruders called flyers. Interestingly, the made-up Aramaic-Hebrew name, Ialdabaoth, assigned by Gnostics to the archon overlord, may mean “the one who flies or flits around in space.”

Gnostic teachers in the Mysteries were devotees of the goddess called Sophia, “wisdom” in Greek. They were deeply versed in the designs and purposes of this divine power through their method of mathesis, instruction by the Light – that is to say, the primal living radiance of the goddess herself. Gnostics accessed the source of life and consciousness on this planet, for Sophia, although originally a goddess from the galactic centre, had morphed into the material body of our planet. So goes the Gnostic origin myth. Prior to her conversion into materiality, the aeon Sophia (as she was addressed honorifically) had engineered the human genome among the company of gods in the galactic core, the pleroma (“fullness, plenitude”).

In the sacred instruction of the Mysteries, Sophia is both the source of pre-terrestrial humanity, our divine parent, and the setting in which human life unfolds, this planetary habitat. Her biography, the Sophianic origin myth, is the story that guides our species on its proper course of experience. Illumined teachers in the Mysteries taught the three Ss: source, setting, story. Ancient writers assert that all the Mysteries were dedicated to the Magna Mater, the Great Mother, i.e., Sophia embodied in the Earth. Today an appropriate name for the wisdom goddess would be Gaia-Sophia. I suggest the pronunciation So-FI-uh over So-FEE-uh, to distinguish the sacred name from the latter, the common name for a woman: Guy – UH – so – FI – uh.

Error, Not Evil

The Sophianic vision story of the pagan Mysteries is the cosmic biography of Gaia-Sophia, divine wisdom embodied in the Earth. Amazingly, this scenario not only recounts the origin of humanity in the galactic centre, but also the origin of the species of the predatory aliens called archons, who endanger the human adventure in certain ways.

Gnostics saw the threat operating along two trajectories: by psychic intrusion or mental parasitism, and by deviant and insane beliefs framed in religious ideology, such as creation by an off-planet father god, the chosen people, messianic expectations, the redemptive value of suffering, apocalypse, and divine retribution. Indeed, they attribute such beliefs to a kind of channelling from the archons.

In the Gnostic view, the invasion of our world by hostile ETs has been underway for millennia. Via the intrusion of an alien mindset into human consciousness, rather than a physical invasion with saucers and Flash Gordon death-rays. No such event was foreseen by Gnostics, for archons are unable to live in the terrestrial habitat. However, they would have us destroy the home planet out of sheer envy against us, Gnostics cautioned.

Several texts in the Nag Hammadi Library warn explicitly that archons envy humanity for the qualities of freedom and love, not to mention ingenuity and imagination, all of which they lack. These texts state that the envious ETs operate through deception and excel in simulation (Coptic HAL), but basically have no agenda or master plan except to disrupt and confuse. Their plan is “senselessness,” a pointless game of “fear and enslavement” (NHLE, 364-5) to which humans succumb due to egotism. Detesting the innocence and brilliance of the human species, they delight in deception and confusion for its own sake, cosmic spoilers, tricksters bent on absurdity. Our confusion actually entertains them, and they feed vicariously off our fear.

It is important to emphasise that Gnostics did not consider archons to be evil as such. The autonomy of evil and similar propositions are – if you will allow this expression – alien to the Gnostic way of thinking. Gnostic were the cream of pagan intelligentsia. Pagans essentially did not see evil in the cosmos, but they realised the risk of deviance from cosmic harmony. Gnostics refuted the concept of cosmic or “satanic” evil working against humanity. In their view, no one can sin, but we can all make mistakes. And mistakes can be corrected. Even the error of the archons can be corrected.

Mystery teachings do not carry apocalyptic predictions, but the plot of the Sophianic myth contains a key event called “correction” (Greek diorthosis), indicating a decisive moment in the human adventure when we as a species come to terms definitively with the archon problem, the alien presence on Earth. We would resolve and correct that problem through reaching an interactive connection to the wisdom goddess.

Indications point to that moment being now, right now. The decisive factor in the event would not be disclosure, for aliens have been known to lurk around the human world since time immemorial, including many benevolent kinds. Are we to assume there is only one predatory alien, identified by those ancient seers? Well, one is all it takes. And if there were more than one malevolent intruder, and we cannot clearly see even one, we would really be in trouble, wouldn’t we?

What if, at the moment of correction, humanity achieves deliverance from the delusion of the Archons, overthrowing the devious strategy that gives them an advantage in our minds? The follow-up of Gnostic psychic detection would then be deliverance from Archontic influence rather, than disclosure of their presence in some official capacity. But more on this distinction at the close of this article.

Prison Planet

The “foreign installation” or archontic implant may also be regarded as a delusional matrix, a false paradigm. By broad definition a matrix is any setting or habitat: the natural world is the matrix of all terrestrial creatures. Your home is the matrix of your domestic life. Your soul-life is the matrix of your sensibility, aesthetics, ethics. But a matrix can also be a construct of unnatural or inorganic origin. Like a labyrinth or house of mirrors. Like a bureaucracy or government agency, a Kafkaesque impersonal system. Gnostic seers saw the danger of humans getting trapped in such systems, to the extent of becoming soulless and losing our humanity.

In the citation above, the Gnostic master says archons act like toll keepers, or gatekeepers. This allusion is consistent with the Mystery teaching on “planetary spheres” conceived as a maze of confining shells defined by the orbits of the planets in our solar system. This paradigm, leaked from the Mysteries and never widely discussed in the world at large in ancient times, compares the solar system to a multilevel computer game inhabited and guarded by trolls who prohibit passage through the maze unless they are provided with passwords, tolls, or tokens.

In the cynic or fatalistic spin, the “planetary spheres” may be envisioned as a vast penitentiary system where human souls are captured. Misunderstanding of this initiatory concept by those outside the Mysteries led to the assumption that this Earth is a hell-world where the human soul is imprisoned. This ancient teaching is the origin of the “prison planet” meme, a stroke of pagan, pre-Christian and anti-Christian genius. Note that point, Mr Alex Jones.

Gnostics did not view the penitentiary paradigm (which they originated) in that sense. They saw it as a labyrinth of error and illusion, not a diabolical tool of punishment. Behind their view was a sophisticated cosmology that proves to be compatible in many respects with modern Gaia theory. In Gnostic cosmology, the Earth does not properly belong to the celestial clockworks of the solar system but is merely captured in it: an organic planet captured in an inorganic system. Because Sophia permeates life on Earth through and through, and she herself is the ground on which we stand, the air we breathe, this planet is different from the rest of the solar system. It is alive, aware, sentient, nurturing organic life, whereas the other planets such as Mars and Jupiter are inorganic worlds suitable as habitats for inorganic or cyborg entities such as archons.

Moreover, Gnostic seers claimed that the alien mind parasites who intrude upon humankind originated along with the solar system before the Earth itself arose – that is, before the galactic goddess Sophia morphed into her terrestrial body. The term archon comes from the Greek root archai, “prior, before, in the beginning.” The archon horde arose in a region of the galactic spiral arms prior to the formation of the Earth. That region was a kind of fracture zone produced by the impact of the plasmic luminosity of Sophia when she dove from the galactic core (pleroma) into the relatively dense materiality of the spiral arms (kenoma). Sophia allowed the archons to establish a habitat for themselves in that zone, called the stereoma. It was a virtual reality simulation of the pleromic region of fractal animations, the realm of the galactic gods in the core, the aeons. But a mechanical, lifeless imitation. Archons cannot create but only imitate. They did not produce the stereoma of celestial clockworks out of their own intelligence and intention: they merely acted in drone-like fashion, executing the design lent to their minds by the Aeon Sophia.

So, prior to the moment in cosmic evolution when the Earth appeared and human life emerged on this planet, the archon stereoma was already constructed, up and running. Sophia produced the Moon to set a boundary to their activities, thus establishing a mechanical, seemingly artificial regimen of moments and measures (NHLE, 121. Note: That the Moon is older than the Earth is a recent hypothesis supported by quite a lot of convincing evidence, and some solid inference). The archontic heaven comprises our solar system exclusive of the Earth, Moon, and Sun which form a three-body dynamic of autonomous and cooperative properties, as Gaia theory confirms. Such is the amazing assertion of Gnostic astrophysics.

The Sophianic vision story presents a complete and coherent rendition of world origin and human origin, cosmogenesis and anthropogenesis. It tells us that the human genomic design (anthropos) was engineered in the galactic core, but archons arose in the spiral arms due to a freak event, before that human strain had time to seed on a planet and emerge.

“The world-system we inhabit came about due to a mistake (anomou), an anomaly” (Gospel of Philip, NHLE, 154). This is perhaps the most famous one-liner in the Nag Hammadi corpus. A sensational remark, to say the least. And totally, precisely accurate in cosmological terms. The anomaly was Sophia’s plunge from the pleromic core, producing a fracture zone where the locust-like cyborg archons emerged by spontaneous generation – exactly as shown in the abiogenesis of Acari insects performed by Andrew Crosse in 1837, reported to the Royal Society, and duplicated by Michael Faraday.

Sophia provides the archons with a Disneyesque virtual world to inhabit, but as one Nag Hammadi corpus text says, the archon overlord Ialdabaoth, “because of the power of luminosity he possessed of Sophia’s light [which the goddess lent to his mind], he called himself [the only] god, and he did not obey the place from which he came” (Apocryphon of John, NHLE, 111).

The demented alien overlord assumes a reptilian form (Greek drakon) and sports the mask of a lion-head, representing the usurpation of authority and his preference for working through royalty, dynastic lineages, blood-lines. He arrogantly assumes himself to be the Supreme Being and would have others do the same. He does not respect boundaries and attempts to invade the human world, an absurd objective, doomed to fail. Yet he can harass and confuse the human species to the point where it loses contact with Sophia and the pleromic gods, destroys its own habitat, and turns into a horde of mindless zombies.

This is the ultimate peril of ET invasion in Gnostic terms. There is much evidence that we today are at the ultimate threshold of that drama of absurdity and alienation.

Spiritual Control

When I began to write Not in His Image around 1996, I was deeply immersed in researching the ET/UFO phenomenon. In all I delved into some 150 books. I talked to many people who had seen flying hardware or been abducted. I also drew upon my own encounters with Castaneda’s flyers over many years. Among all investigators of the alien enigma, I found in Jacques Vallée a diagnostic and deconstructive view closely compatible with Gnostic sources.

Vallée and his mentor, Allen Hynek, both initially considered that the ET/UFO phenomenon was benevolent. They concluded that it was not. I totally concur. Vallée’s sophisticated and in-depth analysis tallies with that of another outstanding mind in the field, John Keel, who views ETs as tricksters. But not tricksters out to play with us in a kind and instructive manner. Vallée and Keel both observe that speculation about ETs and UFOs tends to develop religious dimensions – clearly seen in the messianic zeal of Steven Greer, head of the Disclosure Project. A Gnostic living today would perhaps comment, “Yes, but we already have an ET religion on Earth: Judeo-Christianity, the brainchild of a reptilian freak.”

My studies are summarised in Nine Theories of Extraterrestrial Contact under archon files on Among these are the Sitchin theory said to be drawn from Sumerian cuneiform tablets (although Sitchin’s translations are extremely dubious), the ancient astronauts of Erich von Daniken, and biblical Ufology which asserts that divine visitations in the Bible are reports of alien encounters. This third hypothesis would be positively shattered by Gnostic deconstruction, showing that angels, if they be archons disguised, are indeed ETs, but there is no divine plan working through them, and the god who sends them is definitely not on our side. The Rapture is a ludicrous soap-opera of archon deliverance.

As for Sitchin’s slave species scenario, now widely adopted and mindlessly repeated by many people, it is frontally refuted by several Gnostic texts that describe how the archons wished to rape Eve and plant their seed in her, but failed (NHLE, 164). So much for the incest delusion of the alien interbreeding program. Archons cannot hack the human genome. The claim that they can is an archontic lie. Yet with their acute powers of simulation, archons can induce humans to life-like experiences of what they pretend to be doing. Without a touchstone to reality grounded in the wisdom of the Earth itself, it may be impossible to detect and unravel such virtual reality con-games.

Entrants to the Mysteries learned that we on Earth live in the terrestrial paradise of the body of the wisdom goddess, supported by the Moon and Sun, an Edenic three-body system (trimorphic protennoia, NHLE, 511f). But at the same time, this system has been captured in the planetary stereoma, making us subject to certain properties of inorganic, archontic physics. And blinding us mentally to the divine presence in our world. This situation recalls the metaphor of a two-source hologram proposed by Philip K. Dick, who was deeply versed in Gnostic writings. Indeed, the archontic theme of simulation (HAL) dominates his novels.

Awakening to this situation involves a dual solution (diorthosis): a return to the ground of our being, the goddess who originated our species in the galactic core, and deliverance from the archontic maze, the matrix of deception, hoaxing, concealment, secrecy, and desolating make-believe. Although archons may inspire that maze by insinuating their mindset into ours, it is human egotism, greed and fear that keep it up and running. We are our own worst enemies, for only archons can only assist us in defeating ourselves. Archons are merely a phantom pretext for our betrayal of our own divine potential. Undetected, their influence exaggerates our errors beyond the scale of correction. Such is the Gnostic message on the alien presence in this world.

I have deliberately front-loaded this article with Gnostic material before getting to the specific topic of disclosure – understood as formal announcement of an extraterrestrial presence by world governments. I realise that the Gnostic material is massive and may be largely new to some readers. But having a chance to overview this material, you may remark how much debate and investigation of the ET/UFO phenomenon is conducted in total ignorance of the above views and insights. In total oblivion to what may be the single most important information we have for reading and repelling the alien presence. The word archon also means “ruler, authorities.” If disclosure means public admission by authorities of an alien, ET presence, then it cannot be anything but another ploy of archontic deception. Anyway, who would believe anything the authorities or governmental rulers say at this point in the world game? If anything gets corrected right now, it ought to be blind confidence in what authorities say. The absurd credulity of the human species.

No doubt, the authorities would announce the presence but hold back further details as a matter of global security. “We are in negotiations,” Obama says with a straight face. Well, the game is not hard to call. If the ETs in contact with world authorities are benevolent, there is nothing to conceal. If they are malevolent, they can get the hell off the planet along with the federal and military psychopaths who are colluding with them. Along with the bureaucratic drones and media whore who keep their sick charades up and running.

In Sophia’s correction comes the follow-up of the Gnostic expose of the archons: time to go after the lot and take them out. According to the Sophianic vision story, the power to do so comes from the wisdom goddess, the planetary animal mother – rather as last-minute rescue comes from the Pandoran goddess Ey’wa in Avatar. After all, SHE was the one who put humanity in harm’s way by unwittingly and unintentionally producing the archon horde of neonate drones with its reptilian overlord, Ialdabaoth. But for Sophia’s precipitous plunge from the galactic core, these pesky intruders would not ever have threatened our world in the first place.

So the story goes. Just a story? Well, maybe. But what a story it is. And consider how it can be enacted and tested… It may be that following out the plot of the Gnostic vision story can lead to frontal defeat of the archons and their human accessories, archontified people. The Sophianic myth is open-ended and certainly does point to that opportunity, the moment for which is right now. Deliverance from the error and illusion of the archontic matrix is the best option for our species, but disclosure is bound to be just another con. Many people are already alerted to this deceit: for instance, consider the widespread caution that the authorities are due to stage a false-flag alien invasion, Operation Blue Beam.

Whatever the case, Vallée’s warning that the ET/UFO phenomenon operates as a “spiritual control program,” and Castaneda’s assertion that the flyers are the way the universe tests us, both tally beautifully with Gnostic deconstruction of the cosmic error in our minds. Human potential comes in a trickster pack. It is as if the prize in the Cracker Jack box was a device that tricks your mind. Eat the toasted corn, observe the show closely, be entertained and learn, keep freedom and love uppermost in your mind, and do not be tricked by the cheap bauble in the box.

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JOHN LAMB LASH is a leading exponent of the power of myth to direct individual experience and drive historical events over the long term. His website is an inquiry into the contemporary meaning of humanity’s myths and beliefs, with emphasis on star lore and the legend of the Grail. He has written a number of books, including The Seeker’s Handbook, Twins and the Double, The Hero – Manhood and Power, Quest for the Zodiac and Not in His Image: Gnostic Vision, Sacred Ecology, and the Future of Belief. He is featured on the DVD Sophia Returning: The Path To Planetary Tantra.

The above article appeared in New Dawn Special Issue 17.

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Rasputin & the Hidden Hand

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The Templars and the Assassins: Angels and Demons?

templar seal The Templars and the Assassins: Angels and Demons?


Following the success of The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown’s earlier work Angels and Demons has been discovered by fans who are now fascinated by references to the medieval secret society known as the Order of Assassins. This group triggered exceptional public interest in the last few years, particularly after the September 11 attacks when the media was rife with accounts of the Assassin-like Al-Qaeda group. Public curiosity in the actual Assassins was at an all-time high and interest has not yet abated.

While there have always been people fascinated by secret societies, James Wasserman, author of The Templars and the Assassins: The Militia of Heaven,1 believes contemporary interest in this area has peaked under the effect of two main social factors. The first is the breakdown of traditional religion prompting people to look for alternative theology, or in Dan Brown’s case, alternative re-readings of traditional religion. This is certainly a more popular option for the majority of thinkers who would rather not step too far away from their comfort zone. The second factor put forward by Wasserman is the increasing power of separatist groups within the socio-political life of world affairs. Political protocols are now limiting the actions of large governments who move too slowly to compete with smaller, more dynamic groups. As these smaller groups gain more ground, they trigger public interest and in some cases, public fear.

Many influential groups started in a similar fashion. The famous Templar Knights were at first a small group of nine French knights who kept every action hidden under the radar of the established authorities. Within the conditions of secrecy they built the basis of a network that later extended across Europe. Wasserman believes the Assassin Order was created through the same process and had a great deal in common with the more well known Templars. Many scholars actually point to the Assassins as a seminal forefather of the secret society model, and as more evidence comes to light researchers are beginning to realise the Assassins were more influential and innovative than they were ever given credit for.

The Assassins are infamous for their political murders. They created the concept of the ‘sleeper agent’ and pioneered the practice of training and placing operatives who would lay dormant within their environment, later spurred to action by a distant commander.

The Old Man of the Mountain

When the Prophet Muhammad died in 632 without having designated a successor to lead the community he founded, many Muslims believed his son-in-law and cousin Ali to be his legitimate successor. Over time this group, known as the Shi’atu ‘Ali, or party of Ali, divided from the majority Sunnis who followed Caliphs chosen by the consensus of the community. Centuries later a breakaway from the Shias, the Ismailis, founded the Fatimid dynasty in Egypt. A schism arose when the rightful Fatimid leader Nizar was imprisoned and supplanted by his younger brother. Hence, the followers of this subsect were called the Nizari Ismailis.

The Nizari Ismailis are believed to have adopted elements of the Sufi tradition and its mystical symbolism, best known through the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. Part of the Nizari sect took on a proactive military function with the aim of ensuring the survival of the Nizari as a whole and also working toward shifting the political scales in their favour.

The founder of this militant group was a Persian called Hasan-i-Sabbah, born of lower middle class parents at Rayy, an old city a few kilometres to the south of modern Tehran in approximately 1060. A dedicated Ismaili, in 1090 he united the entire movement and took possession of a stronghold in Khorassan which became headquarters for the Order and known as Alamut, ‘the eagle’s nest’. Once established in a secure and permanent base, Hasan sent his agents out from Alamut in all directions, while at the same time pursuing a policy of territorial expansion, taking surrounding camps by force.

Marco Polo claimed he passed Alamut in 1271 and described the splendour in his travel diary:

In a beautiful valley, enclosed between two lofty mountains, had formed a luxurious garden stored with every delicious fruit and every fragrant shrub that could be procured. Palaces of various sizes and forms were erected in different parts of the grounds, ornamented with works of gold, with paintings and with furniture of rich silks. By means of small conduits contained in these buildings, streams of wine, milk, honey and some of pure water were seen to flow in every direction. The inhabitants of these places were elegant and beautiful damsels, accomplished in the arts of singing, playing upon all sorts of musical instruments, dancing, and especially those of dalliance and amorous allurement. Clothed in rich dresses, they were seen continually sporting and amusing themselves in the garden and pavilions, their female guardians being confined within doors and never allowed to appear.2

Polo also put forward his explanation for the purpose behind such an impressive display.

The object which the chief had in view in forming a garden of this fascinating kind was this: that Mahomet having promised to those who should obey his will the enjoyments of Paradise, where every species of sensual gratification should be found, in the society of beautiful nymphs, he was desirous of it being understood by his followers that he also was a prophet and a compeer of Mahomet, and had the power of admitting to Paradise such as he should choose to favour.

Hasan had an excellent knowledge of theology, and the energy and allure needed to influence the minds of his contemporaries. He patiently prodded a potential candidate’s religious doubts until they were weak enough to admit the possibility of an alternative. Over time he managed to create a vast group and a powerful sectarian sense of community based on secrecy and conspiracy.

According to the legend popularised by Marco Polo, the fortress court held boys as young as twelve years old who Hasan thought destined to become courageous men. When he sent them into the garden in groups of four, ten or twenty, he gave them hashish to drink where they slept for three days. It is thought they were carried sleeping into the garden where he had them awakened.

Marco Polo, based on what he had heard about the Assassins, wrote:

When these young men woke, and found themselves in the garden with all these marvelous things, they truly believed themselves to be in paradise. And these damsels were always with them in songs and great entertainments; they received everything they asked for, so that they would never have left that garden of their own will.

And when the Old Man wished to kill someone, he would take him and say: ‘Go and do this thing. I do this because I want to make you return to paradise’. And the assassins go and perform the deed willingly.

The strongest source of information on the Assassins came long after the Order fell from influence. Following the eventual demise of their headquarter stronghold in Alamut, volumes from their amazingly extensive library were examined by the Persian scholar Jawani, who later wrote a careful book in which he detailed the organisation of the Order. Their name has been attributed to the Arabic hashshashin meaning “consumer of hashish,” which they were said to use in the Initiation ritual. This is one of numerous explanations for the name of the sect, none of which can be confirmed. Assasseen in Arabic signifies ‘guardians’, and some scholars have considered this to be the true origin of the word: ‘guardians of the secrets’. There is no mention of hashish in connection with the Assassins in the library of Alamut. Even the most hostile Islamic writers of the time, both Sunni and Shia, nowhere accused the Assassins of drug use.

Jawani’s account of the library of Alamut became the main reference for study of the Assassin Order. The only other sources are the few sparse accounts of the day, one of which came from a visit by Count Henry of Champagne to the stronghold of the Assassins in 1194. Following the murder of the Latin King of Jerusalem at the hands of the Assassins in 1192, Henry was appointed his successor and as a result was eager to negotiate a truce with the Assassins to avoid a similar fate. At a palace in the Nosairi Mountains Henry met the Assassin Master. Also popularly known as the Sheikh or ‘Old Man’ of the Mountain, he claimed that he did not believe Christians were as loyal to their leaders as his disciples were to him. He demonstrated his point by signalling to two young men standing high above on the palace towers. Immediately they leapt to their deaths on the mountain rocks below. It was written that Henry arrived from his visit “visibly shaken” by the ordeal of this contact.

Influence on the Templars

Dr. F.W. Bussel in Religious Thought and Heresy in the Middle Ages writes that it cannot be disputed the Templars had “long and important dealings” with the Assassins “and were therefore suspected (not unfairly) of imbibing their precepts and following their principles.”3

Islamic culture of the day was a great deal more refined than that of Europe during the Dark Ages. The Templars along with all Europeans in the area were greatly affected by their contact with the Muslim East. They learnt the daily customs, the languages and business practices, discussed philosophy, and lived amongst what must have seemed an almost alien culture. In time, Templar ranks contained people who had spent more time in the Middle East than in Europe, and some who had little or no memory of European life, custom and philosophy.

Under these conditions, the initial contact between the Templars and the Assassins occurred. “As the systematic overturning of Muslim Shariah took place among the Syrian Nizaris, some sense of the subtlety of their beliefs may have been communicated to their new acquaintances,” observes James Wasserman.4

By this time, the Assassins had already rejected Islamic dogma and acquired the heretic tag. Later the Templars would also find themselves denounced as ‘vile heretics’. Assassins became known to the Muslim world as Ta’limiyyah or “people of the secret teaching.” The idea that they were the guardians of a secret or inner doctrine had always been promoted by Hasan, and they were feared and revered for this very reason.

Branded as heretics, the Templars met their end in the 14th century. One of the charges levelled against the Templars was they kept “secret liaisons with Muslims,” and were accused of “being closer to the Islamic faith than to the Christian.” In reality, the Templars had found a mirror image of themselves in the mysterious Order of Assassins, and held the Western face of the same esoteric doctrine. It was even written that a number of Templar Knights were initiated by the Assassin Master, while others were given standing rank, so close was their secret teaching considered.

The Organisational Model

The Christian Order of the Knights of Templars, who came into contact with some of Ben Sabbah’s commanders during the Crusades… were reputed to have adopted Ben Sabbah’s system of military organisation.5

The organisation of the Assassin Order called for missionaries and teachers known as da’is, the disciples and spiritual followers known as the rafiqs, and the fidais or devotees who in practice were the trained killers. The fidais were not part of the original Ismaili model, but were later added by Hasan. The Templar hierarchy is said to be derived from this model and can be easily compared, where the Assassin offices of da’is, rafiqs, and fidais correspond to the Templar degrees of Novice, Professed, and Knight.

The Templars assimilated the system but adjusted the core symbolism to their own purposes. Where the levels used in the Assassin model denoted particular functions and duties, the Templar levels further developed the concept of progressive learning and acquired skill, similar to the modern military ideas of private, corporal, and general. Every Templar Knight was, at one point, a novice, and a professed member, but not every Assassin was a da’is or a rafiq. In fact it was said that Hasan would never let a candidate become a fidais who had sufficient intellect to become a missionary. The spiritual man stood above all others in the Order.

The Assassins believed they held the secret or inner Islam, a completely esoteric component unavailable to those uninitiated in their philosophies. Their system of organisation was developed to both guard the secret doctrine and strictly control the continuance of the teaching. A number of schools were established practicing this organisational model, including secret rites and rituals. Members were enrolled on the understanding they were to receive hidden power and timeless wisdom that would enable them to become as important in life as some of the great teachers.

Hasan enlisted young men between the ages of twelve and twenty from the surrounding countryside. Each day he held court where he spoke of the delights of Paradise. It was said that Hasan would often buy unwanted children from their parents, and train them in line with his purposes. The Order was an organisation of the common people of the land, far removed from the typical aristocratic blueblood that petitioned for the Knights Templar mantle.

Another regular activity of the Assassins was the kidnapping of useful, rare and distinguished personages who could be of value to them in educational, military or other spheres and holding them captive in Alamut. These prisoners were respected physicians, astronomers, mathematicians and painters. Assassins coveted knowledge the way the Templars seemed to covet spirituality, although they were separated by the Assassin’s willingness to take knowledge indiscriminate of context, at any cost and by whatever means.

It is true that both the Templars and the Assassins shared a policy of secrecy. Their teachings were kept for the eyes and ears of initiates only. Comparisons with the Essenes, Cathars, and Sufis spring to mind as similar attempts to release the esoteric heritage of the soul. In the past, these enlightened groups existed without knowledge of each other, but the Crusades caused two of these groups to meet, comparing doctrines and making alliances.

The Legacy

Following the destruction of Alamut by Hulegu in 1256, members of the Order are thought to have fled to Afghanistan and the Himalayas. Many of them journeyed to India where the Nizari Ismaili community flourished under the leadership of the Aga Khans. Other groups have been put forward as possible candidates for the legacy of the Assassins, but the true legacy of Hasan-i-Sabbah is his seamless creation, both religious and political. In this wider sense the thought and doctrines of the inventor of the Assassins may be said to have an enduring influence in the religious and political life of the Middle East.

The Templar Order is believed to have refined their approaches under the direct influence of Eastern philosophy, and in confronting another group on the opposite side which existed to safeguard the same ancient teachings. According to Julius Evola, the Crusades, in many respects, created a “supratraditional bridge between West and East” where the Templars were the “Christian equivalent of the Arab Order of the Ishmaelites (Ismailis).”6

Unfortunately, the Templars and the Assassins did not write the history books, and thus they have fallen to the state of Demons rather than Angels, while the authorities of the day are remembered in glowing terms. Yet, despite this, as James Wasserman concludes:

The legends of the Templars and the Assassins are indeed very much alive to this day. The long-term survival of the memory of these two rather obscure groups points to various archetypal levels at which they affect the psyche. Meditation on certain concepts may help us better to understand this. Despite the best efforts and tenacity of the modern secular campaign to disparage traditional beliefs and ideals as either outdated or based on erroneous assumptions like God – traditional values somehow survive. The “innate knowledge of the Gods” described by Iamblichus demands of us that we aspire to honor, chivalry, self-sacrifice, redemption, patriotism, courage, and integrity. What better words could be used to describe the ideology shared by the Templars and Assassins of yore?7

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1. Wasserman, James, The Templars and the Assassins, 2001, Destiny Books, USA.

2. Polo, Marco, Travels in Asia, 1938, G. Routledge, London.

3. Bussel, F.W., Religious Thought and Heresy in the Middle Ages, 1918, R. Scott, London.

4. Wasserman, James, The Templars and the Assassins, 2001, Destiny Books, USA.

5. O’Ballance E, Language of Violence: The Blood Politics of Terrorism, 1979, San Rafael, CA: Presidio Press, p. 4.

6. Evola, Julius, The Mystery of the Grail: Initiation and Magic in the Quest for the Spirit, 1996, Inner Traditions, USA.

7. Wasserman, James, The Templars and the Assassins, 2001, Destiny Books, USA.


ROBERT BURATTI is an Australian curator, artist and researcher. He is a Past President of the Friends of the Art Gallery of WA, a member of The Blake Society, founding President of Collective777. He contributed this article to New Dawn in 2005. Robert Buratti is the owner and director of Buratti Fine Art. Website:

The above article appeared in New Dawn No. 93 (Nov-Dec 2005).

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 The Templars and the Assassins: Angels and Demons?

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 The Templars and the Assassins: Angels and Demons?

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Chinese Triads, Japanese Black Dragons & Hidden Paths of Power

The triads 2009323921 Chinese Triads, Japanese Black Dragons & Hidden Paths of Power


The influence of secret societies on the history of the West is well documented in numerous books and articles. Freemasons figured prominently in the American Revolution and the birth of the American Republic. The French Revolution, with its notions of “Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity,” originated in the radical Masonic lodges. Secret societies have been connected to a range of movements that sprang up around Europe in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries to defend people’s rights against the abuses of royal and priestly power, and to promote freedom by any and every means.

Secret societies are often viewed as a largely Western phenomenon, but their roots reach deep into the ancient civilisations of the East. While much is written about Europe’s hidden fraternities, little attention has been given to Asia’s secret societies and the important part they played in organising resistance to the violent onslaught of European colonialism. As one China specialist points out, the Chinese secret societies “were closely linked to the struggles which the Chinese people tirelessly waged… against their internal and external adversaries.”1

Secret societies were deeply rooted in Chinese historical reality, and did not divide matters into the spiritual and the mundane. The source of their power lay in their total opposition to the established order: political and religious, social and ideological. The secret societies relied for support primarily upon the oppressed classes of China. They were the authentic expression of popular hostility to China’s harsh imperial authorities and to foreign encroachment. In the words of the Sorbonne professor Jean Chesneaux:

the secret societies constantly threatened the imperial regime in the nineteenth century, formed a powerful part of the tidal wave which finally overwhelmed it in 1911, and reacted strongly to foreign penetration at the end of the nineteenth century as they did to the Japanese invasion in the twentieth.2

Enter the Black Dragon

Secret societies also emerged in Japan, Korea, Vietnam, and Southeast Asia. Like the societies in China, their mystico-political teachings combined elements of Buddhism, Taoism, and traditional beliefs. All refused to recognise the dominant system and resolutely opposed the humiliations inflicted by the Western powers.

By the late nineteenth century secret society networks in Indochina were struggling against French occupation. Tracing their origins to China, these Vietnamese brotherhoods served economic and social purposes as well as religious ones. A sense of solidarity between members was strengthened by initiation rites drawn from Buddhism and Taoism, and directed by a spirit medium. Resembling Freemasonry in some ways, their elaborate ceremonies were held at night with the blessings of Buddhist monks. As in China these groups had clearly defined political objectives, in this case, the ending of French domination.

In the 1890s members of the Japanese secret society Genyosha (the Black Ocean society) created the Tenyukyo (Society for the Celestial Salvation of the Oppressed) which gave covert support to the Tonghak, a Korean mystico-political group, espousing equality and the dignity of human beings, opposed to Korea’s imperial Yi dynasty.

Founded in the mid 1800s, the Tonghak or Eastern Learning society sought to rally the Korean people against foreign intrusion. The movement’s leader Ch’oe Che-u, after a period of ‘aimless wandering’ reminiscent of a Taoist monk, derived the movement’s ideology from Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism. The Tonghak greatly contributed to the development of Korean national consciousness, one of their leaflets proclaiming:

The people are the root of the nation. If the root withers, the nation will be enfeebled… We cannot sit by and watch our nation perish. The whole nation is as one, its multitudes united in their determination to raise the righteous standard of revolt…

At the dawn of the twentieth century secret societies were behind radical nationalist uprisings across Asia. From the Young Turks and Young Persians of the Muslim East to Japan’s Black Ocean society and Chinese Triads, the secret societies provided support networks for Asia’s young revolutionaries.

With Japan’s military victory over Russia in 1905, Tokyo became the centre of a powerful Pan-Asian movement aimed at freeing all the people of Asia from Western domination. One notable founding member of the Black Ocean society was Toyama Mitsuru (1855–1944).

According to historian Richard Storry, Mitsuru “appeared to be the opponent of all established governments in Asia, including that of his own country. Chinese, Indian and Filipino dissidents visiting Tokyo tended to gravitate to his home in Shibuya.” A complex, charismatic, and controversial figure known as the “Shadow Shogun” and “Spymaster Supreme,” Mitsuru became one of the most powerful men in Japan. A master of traditional Japanese brush work, he lived frugally and remained a private citizen all his life.

Hiraya Amane, another prominent leader of the Black Ocean society and a pioneer of revolutionary Pan-Asian solidarity, compiled the first authentic history of the Triads and other Chinese secret societies. His book was the fruit of friendships he cultivated with Chinese secret society leaders and militant Chinese revolutionaries. Hiraya Amane’s writings were diligently studied by a new generation of Japanese secret society members in the 1920s.

The Amur River Society (Kokuryukai), later to become notorious in the West as the Black Dragon society, took over the work and traditions of the Black Ocean society in the years leading up to the First World War. Established in 1901 by a Black Ocean society leader and Buddhist monk, Ryohei Uchida, the Black Dragons, with their Pan-Asian vision, had links with the Triads and supported China’s 1911 Republican Revolution. Their agents undertook intelligence gathering operations in China, Korea, Manchuria, Mongolia, Siberia, and established relations with anti-colonialist circles in the Muslim world.

Forming alliances with revolutionaries in Indochina, India, Indonesia and the Philippines, the Black Dragons also had close contact with several Buddhist sects. Throughout the 1920s and 30s the Black Dragon society supported Indian independence activities, providing political and financial assistance to Indian nationalists who looked to Japan as the only Eastern power capable of liberating Asia from the stranglehold of European colonialism. One such Indian nationalist was Subhas Chandra Bose (founder of the anti-colonialist Indian National Army), a correspondent in the 1930s for the influential German journal Geo-political Review, published by Professor Karl Haushofer.

Major General Karl Haushofer encountered the Pan-Asian geopolitics and Buddhist mysticism of Japan’s secret fraternities during his time in Tokyo as the German military attaché. After the First World War, Haushofer became Professor of Geopolitics at the University of Munich where Rudolf Hess (later to become Hitler’s deputy) was his student assistant. Haushofer wrote that, “the struggle of India and China for liberation from foreign domination and capitalist pressure agrees with the secret dreams of Central Europe.” He urged Japan to come to terms with China and the Soviet Union, and consistently advocated an alliance between Germany and the USSR. This would facilitate what Haushofer called the “Eurasian continental organisation from the Rhine to the Amur and the Yangtze [rivers].”

Some researchers are convinced Haushofer, a lifelong admirer of Oriental wisdom, was the emissary of “Unknown Superiors” in Asia, effectively acting as a crucial link between the Eastern secret societies and their European counterparts in the German lodges. The French authors Pauwels and Bergier mention a rumour that Haushofer was initiated into a secret Buddhist society and to have sworn, if he failed in his ‘mission’, to commit suicide “in accordance with the time-honoured ceremonial.” Haushofer, who committed suicide in 1946, is still remembered today by Russia’s Eurasian thinkers because he never reconciled himself to Hitler’s invasion of the USSR. Had the Nazi leadership taken note of Haushofer’s views, the Second World War could have been avoided. No doubt conscious of Haushofer’s remarkable role in hidden history, Anton LaVey, founder of the Church of Satan in the United States, dedicated his infamous Satanic Bible to the German general.

By the start of the Second World War agents of Japanese secret societies, all lumped together by Western intelligence agencies under the name Black Dragons, were operating worldwide from North Africa to the United States. One successful Black Dragon agent in America was Satohata Takahashi. Sent to the US in 1929, Takahashi formed a mystico-political movement called the Society for the Development of Our Own, recruiting several thousand members to his Pan-Asian cause, most of them of African-American, Filipino, or East Asian descent. The “Five Guiding Principles” of the group were “Freedom, Justice, Equality, Liberty, and Honour.”

Through Takahashi the Black Dragon society channelled financial aid to Black Muslim groups in the US. The Moorish Science Temple, founded by Noble Drew Ali in 1913, taught the true origin of Black Americans was “Asiatic.” Another Muslim teacher, Master Wallace D. Fard, the mysterious leader of the Allah Temple of Islam declared, “I’m an Asiatic black man. I have come to America to save my long lost uncle [the Black Americans].” Fard’s chief disciple the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, prophet of the Nation of Islam, told his followers, “It is Japan’s duty to save you; they have been given the power by the Asiatic nation to save you in the West.” Another organisation to enjoy Takahashi’s patronage was the Pacific Movement of the Eastern World, which campaigned for the US to stay out of the war and promoted the Pan-Asian agenda among non-white Americans.

Based on intelligence reports from their agents around the globe, the Black Dragon leadership in Tokyo concluded in 1941 that the United States had secretly started preparing to enter the war against Germany, Italy and Japan. Fearing a surprise American attack on Japanese forces, the Black Dragons urged Japan’s military hierarchy to launch a pre-emptive strike on the US. “The signal for war in the Pacific was given on August 26, 1941, at a session of the Black Dragon Society in Tokyo,” an American author noted in 1944. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor the espionage and sabotage operations carried out by the Black Dragons became legendary.

However, the society’s original mystico-political vision of Pan-Asian solidarity and anti-colonialism had been subsumed in the pre-war years by Japanese ultra-nationalism and militarism. Many Black Dragon members were part of Japan’s industry and government, holding key diplomatic and military posts. With the Japanese surrender in 1945 some Black Dragons in government were charged as war criminals. But the Allied victory in Asia could not extinguish the dream of freedom. Japan had shattered the myth of the military invincibility of Western colonialism. The seeds sown by the secret societies flourished in a new wave of national liberation movements that led the peoples of Asia to independence in the years immediately following the end of the war.

Political Intrigues of Secret Societies in the Modern World

A century and a half ago, the British politician Benjamin Disraeli commented that, “the world is governed by very different personages from what is imagined by those who are not behind the scenes.” In our twenty-first century most people, mesmerised by the electronic media, are conditioned to dismiss the notion that secret societies may be tied-up with political intrigue. Yet Western intelligence agencies frequently rely on clandestine conspiratorial networks in their subversion of foreign governments. British intelligence services have a long history of involvement with underground ‘Muslim’ brotherhood groups actively opposed to the Arab nationalist states of the Middle East. The roots of the recent bloody conflict in the Russian republic of Chechnya can be traced to British intelligence service support of secretive ‘Muslim’ sects in the Caucasus. Many believe the American CIA is currently using a range of quasi-religious cults in clandestine operations aimed at destabilising the People’s Republic of China.

“The history of the world is the history of the warfare between secret societies,” said the African American poet Ishmael Reed. Has world history been shaped by conspiratorial groups employing secret knowledge? Are the Anglo-American secret societies engaged in a titanic struggle with Eastern adepts and their allies?

At a time when a shadowy global “war on terror” is used to justify increased government control and the serious erosion of personal freedom, we’d do well to recall the admonition of the Roman poet Ovid: “It is one’s duty to learn from the enemy.” The counterculture novelist William S. Burroughs once suggested the form of the Chinese secret society served as the perfect mode of organisation for marginal groups. Indeed, when the State becomes the oppressor of its own citizens, the only alternative is to disconnect and seek autonomy by any means necessary. The hidden history of secret societies may still have a lot to teach us.

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1. Jean Chesneaux, Secret Societies in China in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries 
2. Ibid.


MEHMET SABEHEDDIN is a researcher, writer and global traveller. He is a longtime contributor to New Dawn magazine. His areas of interest are wide ranging and include Sufism, Islam and esoteric Christianity. He can be contacted c/- of New Dawn Magazine, GPO Box 3126, Melbourne VIC 3001, Australia.

The above article appeared in New Dawn No. 92 (Nov-Dec 2005).

Read this article with its illustrations by downloading
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 Chinese Triads, Japanese Black Dragons & Hidden Paths of Power

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 Chinese Triads, Japanese Black Dragons & Hidden Paths of Power

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The Rosicrucian Vision

09 01 datrosa The Rosicrucian Vision


The word “Rosicrucian” is one that most readers will have heard many times. Yet if I were to ask for a definition of the word I would probably be given a wide variety of different answers. I might be told that it was something to do with esoteric Christianity, with alchemy, or with Cabala. All of these things are part of the answer, but not the whole answer. 

So what is Rosicrucianism? For the time being let us call it a current of thought and ideas which has been flowing through history for at least three and a half centuries and probably quite a bit longer, sometimes underground, sometimes coming to the surface, but always pushing human beings towards certain goals. I say that we can trace the current back three and a half centuries because that was when it first came to the surface. So let us go back to that moment in history.

The opening scene is Germany at the beginning of the 17th century. The Reformation had taken place just over a hundred years earlier. Now part of Germany was Protestant, part was still Catholic. The two sides had not yet reached any proper modus vivendi, and the tension between them was soon to erupt into the Thirty Years War, which was to prove one of the most disastrous wars in European history. So there was an expectation of coming calamity. And there was a feeling that European civilisation in general had somehow gone wrong. Now it was at this time that strange things began to happen in a certain part of Germany.

We now focus on the town of Kassel. It was here, in 1614 and 1615, that there appeared two mysterious manifestos of unknown authorship. The first was in German, but its title was a mixture of German and Latin. It was called Fama Fraternitatis dess Löblichen Ordens des Rosenkreutzes, which means: The Fame (or Proclamation) of the Praiseworthy Order of the Rosy Cross. The second was called the Confession Fraternitatis, the Confession of the Fraternity.

These documents told a curious story. They told of somebody called Christian Rosenkreutz who was born in the year 1378. As a boy of 16 he travelled to the Middle East and spent some time at Damcar in Arabia where there evidently existed some kind of utopian community. As the Confessio puts it: “those who dwell in the City of Damcar in Arabia… have a far different political order from the other Arabians. For there do govern only wise and understanding men, who by the King’s permission make particular laws.”

At Damcar Rosenkreutz learned Arabic and received scientific and occult teaching and came into contact with a mysterious book, referred to simply as “the Book M”, which he translated into Latin.

After three years at Damcar he was directed to go, via Egypt, to Fez in Morocco, which was, and still is, one of the holy cities of Islam and the site of one of the oldest universities in the world. So at the time Rosenkreutz is said to have gone there it would already have been a great centre of learning for many centuries. This is how the Fama describes his experience at Fez:

“At Fez he did get acquaintance with those which are commonly called the Elementary Inhabitants, who revealed to him many of their secrets…” (Possibly what is meant by Elementary Inhabitants are the “Elemental Spirits” of magic).

After two years at Fez he went to Spain hoping to impart his new-found knowledge but met only with hostility and mockery. And this experience was evidently repeated in other countries. So he returned to Germany and eventually gathered about him a small group of men who shared his ideals, and this was the beginning of the Fraternity of the Rosy Cross. The Fraternity had, as its headquarters, a building called the House of the Holy Spirit. The brothers dedicated themselves to studying and spreading the ancient wisdom and also travelled around doing good work such as healing the sick. One of them, it is said, went to England where he cured the young Earl of Norfolk of leprosy. Christian Rosenkreutz himself lived for 106 years, dying in 1484.

After his death the brotherhood was continued by his successors. Then in 1604 the brethren were carrying out some rebuilding in their headquarters when they came across a hidden door on which was written in Latin: “after 120 years I shall open.” Behind the door they found a seven-sided vault illuminated by an artificial Sun placed in the middle of the ceiling. The floor, walls and ceiling of the vault were covered in symbolic figures, and there were also chests containing books and ritual objects. In the middle of the vault was an altar, and beneath the altar was a coffin containing the perfectly preserved body of Christian Rosenkreutz.

This description of the vault was to capture many people’s imaginations. Two and a half centuries later the English occult society, the Golden Dawn, actually made a vault corresponding to the description in the Fama. One of the key rituals of the order, the Adeptus Minor initiation ritual, was a re-enactment of the discovery of Rosenkreutz’ body.

The discovery of the vault was taken by the brethren as a sign that the time was ripe for the society to declare its existence publicly and to invite people of learning and goodwill to participate in the society’s aims and ideals. What were those aims and ideals? We don’t get a very clear idea from the manifestos, but it appears that the brethren believed in a system of universal knowledge incorporating theology, philosophy, mathematics, astrology, and so on. They were firm believers in Christ and the Scriptures. Furthermore, they claimed to have access to an ancient and secret body of wisdom which enabled them to interpret the scriptures correctly. What they appear to be referring to here is Cabala, which is, among other things, a means of decoding the Bible. They talk about being able to understand certain characters and letters which form the basis of all creation. Again, this seems to refer to the cabalistic notion that the universe is actually made up of the letters of the Hebrew alphabet in different combinations.

Their beliefs can perhaps best be summed up in the word Gnosticism. By Gnosticism I mean the ancient belief that man’s spirit is imprisoned in matter by a mischievous creator. Man is, as it were, living underwater, not realising that up above is light and air and that if only he could swim to the surface he could get back to his true element. In the Gnostic view this predicament is not entirely hopeless because there are some people who possess Gnosis, that is, knowledge or wisdom which enables them to swim up and to teach this to others. (This Gnosis, this lifebelt of wisdom, is very often represented by a female figure. The Greeks called her Sophia.) This is the essence of Gnosticism, and this is, I believe, what lies behind Rosicrucianism.

The Rosicrucians also knew about alchemy, in the sense of a dual process, physical and spiritual, in which the spiritual part was the more important. The early Rosicrucians clearly belonged to the Protestant rather than the Catholic camp. (There are some very contemptuous references to the Pope in the manifestos.) But, they felt that all of Christendom was in need of a new impulse. They believed that Europe was on the threshold of a new age in which spiritual, intellectual and political enlightenment and brotherly love would flourish, and they saw their role as being able to help usher in this new age.

That essentially was the message of the first two manifestos, but, of course, what is not clear is whether the brotherhood existed at all or whether it was a deliberately created myth.

In 1616 appeared a third Rosicrucian document published at Strassbourg, in German, under the title of Die Chymische Hochzeit Christiani Rosenkreutz (The Chemical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz). The title is slightly misleading because it is not about the wedding of Rosenkreutz himself but purports to be an account by him of his experiences as a guest at the wedding of a King and Queen. The wedding takes place in a castle which Rosenkreutz reaches after an arduous journey.

The story is full of occult imagery. For example, on the fifth day of the celebrations, the guests are taken to an island in seven ships flying flags bearing the symbols of the planets. On the island an alchemical operation is conducted in a seven-storied tower, in which two homunculi are created from the bodies of six people who have been killed. In the roof of the Tower is a hole through which two souls descend and enter the homunculi. Finally, the company returns to the castle, this time in twelve ships flying flags of the zodiacal signs.

The author of this document was a 19-year old man, Johann Valentin Andreae. Andreae was in fact a very important figure. He was a Protestant pastor and theologian, immensely influential in the German Protestant movement – in fact almost a kind of Luther of his day. And the strange thing about him is that in some of his later writings he referred very contemptuously to the Rosicrucian movement. In his autobiography, for example, he called it a “jest” – and this had led some people to say that the Chemical Wedding was in fact an attempt to debunk Rosicrucianism. I don’t believe this myself. I believe Andreae was – at least when he wrote the Chemical Wedding – very deeply involved with the whole Rosicrucian movement. So these three manifestos are the basis of the Rosicrucian movement as we know it.

The effect of the three manifestos was astonishing. They stirred up a tremendous controversy in Europe. Many people wrote to the brotherhood hoping to be admitted. If any received replies they remain unrecorded. Other people attacked the brotherhood. Others claimed to be members of it. And in due course many societies were set up imitating the one that is described in the original manifestos – which, as I say, may or may not have existed. So what you ended up with was a core of mystery with huge ramifications, emanating out from these publications.

Part of the appeal of the Rosicrucian movement lies in the richness of the Rose Cross symbol. It is possible to interpret this in all sorts of different ways. Both the cross and the rose are very ancient motifs. The cross appears in many religions and mythologies and seems to indicate a universal tendency for man’s inner consciousness to seek fourfold patterns: you have four points of the compass, four seasons, four elements, four worlds in the Cabala, and so on. The cross also suggests masculinity, and – in the Christian tradition – suffering, sacrifice and death.

As for the rose, this can also be seen in many different ways. One of the things that the rose stands for is secrecy. The sign over Roman taverns signified that anything said in drunkenness would not be repeated – hence the expression sub rosa, meaning confidential. On another level the rose can be seen as the Western form of the lotus. Now the lotus, in Hindu mythology, represents the female life principle and is the symbol of the yoni or female sexual organs. So we have lotus/rose as female, cross as male.

And if we look at ancient Egyptian mythology we find that Osiris, the god of the underworld who died and came to life again, is often shown wearing a crown of lotus flowers. So here we have another possible interpretation: lotus/rose = resurrection, cross = death. In other words, the Rose Cross represents the balance between a series of polarities: death and resurrection, male and female, sacrifice and the reward of sacrifice.

It is an elusive symbol, but a very suggestive and powerful one. And it is typical of the great inner wisdom tradition of which Rosicrucianism is part, to use these shorthand emblems which carry deep layers of meaning. Many examples can be found in the emblem books of the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries – for example the famous image of the dolphin curled around an anchor, with the motto festina lente (“hasten slowly”). These emblems serve as a secret code through which those in touch with the inner traditions can communicate their ideas, but they also work at a deeper level than a message which is framed in straightforward words.

So did the Rosicrucian plan misfire? I think not, because this is an interesting example of what happens when you plant a mystery in the collective mind of society. It’s like dropping a stone into a pond: the ripples go on and on. And, in this case, the initial impact was so strong that the ripples are still going today.

And this, I believe, is exactly what the authors of the manifestos intended. They took the view that if you wanted to bring about a new age, the way to do it was to frame your ideals in the form of a legend, to cloak the legend in mystery and then to launch it in such a way that it was bound to create endless debate and controversy.

How successful was this ploy? Did those men who launched the manifestos succeed in bringing about any of the reforms that they desired? You may well say – looking at the state of Western civilisation – that they failed. But before we judge, let’s look a bit more closely at some of the repercussions of the manifestos.

Although the Rosicrucian philosophy was presented as a total package of religion, science, etc., it tended to divide into three different streams: first, there was the scientific, philosophical stream; secondly, the social and political stream; thirdly, the Hermetic-Cabalistic-Alchemical stream.

There is evidence the first of these two streams gave rise to a number of learned institutions in various parts of Europe, including the Royal Society in England, which of course was, and still is, one of the most important scientific bodies in the world. Many of the inventions and discoveries that have shaped our environment have come out of the Royal Society. I shall not go in detail into the connection between the Rosicrucian movement and the Royal Society, but one link, for example, is through an interesting man called Comenius: a Bohemian refugee, a member of the Andreae circle, interested in Utopian ideas, who envisaged an ideal state in which science and religion would flourish side by side and in which men of all creeds and races would be respected. Comenius came to England in about the 1640’s and he knew the leading scientists of the time. And furthermore, it is clear that scientists such as Robert Boyle and John Wilkins knew all about the Rosicrucian movement. When the Royal Society was founded in 1660 it is very likely that it was in some sense an attempt to realise the scientific and philosophical side of the Rosicrucian ideal.

It is also possible that Rosicrucian influences were behind the creation of speculative masonry. For example, there is a Scottish poem of the year 1638, which contains the lines:

“For we be brethren of the Rosie Cross

We have the Mason’s word and second sight”1

So clearly there is at least some connection between Rosicrucianism and the early history of masonry. And in masonry we see really a combination of all three of the streams that I mentioned: the philosophical, the social and the esoteric. Here again there may be a link with Comenius, as he also knew many of the men who were behind the formation of the Grand Lodge of London.

Think for a moment of the multifarious ways in which Masonry has influenced the world: its role in promoting the ideas of the Enlightenment, its influence on the French Revolution, the fact that a large proportion of the signatories of the American Declaration of Independence were Masons, the way in which it has impacted on literature, art, architecture and music, the famous figures who have been Freemasons, from Voltaire to Goethe and from Mozart to Churchill. It can be argued that all of this is indirectly part of the Rosicrucian heritage.

Let me give you another example of the influence of Rosicrucianism in history. I mentioned earlier that many societies and fraternities have adopted the Rosicrucian label. One of the most important was a German fringe masonic group called the Order of the Golden and Rosy Cross. This Golden and Rosy Cross was a remarkable phenomenon. It was a kind of Golden Dawn of its day, bringing together many different elements and fusing them together in the same sort of way that the Golden Dawn did. In fact the Golden Dawn adopted the grade system used by the Golden and Rosy Cross.

The aim of the order was described as follows: “to make effective the hidden forces of nature, to release nature’s light which has become deeply buried beneath the dross resulting from the curse, and thereby to light within every brother a torch by whose light he will be able better to recognise the hidden God… and thereby become more closely united with the original source of light.”2

That passage is pure Gnosticism, and it confirms what I was saying earlier about the Gnostic character of the whole Rosicrucian movement.

The Golden and Rosy Cross was founded in about 1757, and it soon had lodges all over the German-speaking world. There was, for example, a very active lodge in the duchy of Sulzbach. And it is no coincidence that Sulzbach at the time was a tremendous centre of Hermetic and Cabalistic studies. There was even a Hebrew press there.

But the real heyday of the order came when one of its members became King of Prussia in 1786. This was King Frederick William II, successor to Frederick the Great. During his reign the court and government were dominated by a Rosicrucian clique led by the King’s two Rosicrucian mentors, Wöllner and Bischoffswerder. Wöllner was something of a fanatic, and there is a story that on one occasion he wrote to a fellow member of the order telling him to stop doubting that adepts of the 8th degree had the ability to hatch chickens out of hard-boiled eggs.

Under Frederick William II Prussia became for a time virtually a Rosicrucian state. Unfortunately it all collapsed because Wöllner and Bischoffswerder pursued thoroughly reactionary policies, made themselves very unpopular, and were eventually turfed out when the King died and his son came to the throne. So the Rosicrucians – like any other body of men – sometimes failed.

There are many other examples I could give you of the practical influence of Rosicrucianism. I could point to the mystical community of German settlers in Pennsylvania that was influenced by Rosicrucian ideas. I could point to the Golden Dawn and the enormous ramifications which that has had. I could point to the vast amount of literature, art, even music, inspired by Rosicrucianism.

So it begins to look as though those early Rosicrucians did achieve something after all.

When we look at something like Rosicrucianism, or at the Templars or at Freemasonry or at the legends of the Holy Grail, we are looking at the tip of an iceberg. I believe that behind these phenomena lies a very ancient current. What precise form it takes I know not, but I believe that every so often in human history this current comes to the surface. It can emerge in the obvious form of an esoteric movement. It can also come out in more subtle ways. It can come out in the arts or in science; in architecture, in garden design, in craftwork, in typography. But one usually recognises it when one sees it because it has a certain stamp of yearning for eternal beauty and truth.

And at this point I should like to mention a piece of fiction that struck me as being a remarkable allegory of the Rosicrucian movement. It comes in a short story by Jorge Luis Borges called Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius. The essence of the story is this: you are asked to imagine a group of people who come together and decide that they will invent a fictitious country. They then decide that they cannot invent a country in isolation so they must invent an entire planet. And this is what they do. Furthermore they produce an encyclopedia of 40 volumes all about this planet, which they call Tlön. The encyclopedia contains minutely detailed descriptions of every aspect of this imaginary world: its geography, history, folklore, its religions, its languages and their grammar, its literature, and so on. Then they surreptitiously leak out clues about the imaginary world – at first just little things such as religious objects. Then they plant a copy of the encyclopedia in a library, and gradually this mysterious world starts to capture people’s imaginations to such an extent that the real world starts to imitate it. And towards the end of the story Borges writes: “A scattered dynasty of solitary men has changed the face of the world. Their task continues.” That could equally well describe the men who launched the Rosicrucian movement.

In conclusion let me address the question: what is the relevance of all this to us today? In the first place, it is possible to draw certain parallels between the age of the Rosicrucian manifestos and the present day. There was the same feeling then, as there is today, that the world was in chaos and needed a change of direction. And there was the same expectation of a coming New Age. The Rosicrucians linked it with certain astrological indications. Likewise we link it with the Age of Aquarius.

The Rosicrucian vision of the New Age is one that makes a lot of sense today. I mentioned the Rosicrucian emphasis on universality. One aspect of this is the need to draw together religion and science, so that the scientist always works in a spirit of service to God, as the alchemists did. Today we are seeing a renewed striving to reconcile science and spirituality. Furthermore this holistic vision has begun to embrace not just religion and science but many other areas of our culture including art, architecture, technology, politics and ecology.

I think perhaps the most important thing about the relevance of the Rosicrucian path for us today is that it involves not only personal enlightenment but also service in the widest sense. We are talking about a complete vision, a dream of what humankind and the world could be like. If you want to have a dream, the Rosicrucian one is still alive.

The above article is reprinted with permission from The Inner West: An Introduction to the Hidden Wisdom of the West, edited by Jay Kinney (published by Jeremy Tarcher/Penguin USA). It originally appeared in Gnosis 6 (winter 1987-88) under the title “The Rosicrucian Dream”.

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1. Henry Adamson, Muse’s Threnodia, quoted in Knoop, Jones and Hamer, Early Masonic Pamphlets (Manchester, 1945); p.30; cited in Frances A. Yates, The Rosicrucian Enlightenment (Boulder, Co: Shambhala, 1978), p. 211

2. J.J. Bode, Starke Erweise (Leipzig: Goschen, 1788), p. 25.



CHRISTOPHER MCINTOSH is author of several books on the history of Western esotericism, including The Rosicrucians (1980) and The Rose Cross and the Age of Reason (1992). He is now an independent writer and lecturer and lives in Bremen, Germany.

The above article appeared in New Dawn No. 90 (May-June 2005).

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 The Rosicrucian Vision

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 The Rosicrucian Vision

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New Dawn 144 (May-June 2014)

Cover144 New Dawn 144 (May June 2014)INSIDE THIS MAGAZINE:

Manipulations & Mind Games

The Secret Battle to Control How We Think. Kingsley L. Dennis examines the array of new technologies and techniques designed to influence our thoughts and behaviour.

Celebrities & the Art of Distraction

Mainstream media has become incredibly adept at reporting the mindless, and the worthless, says Patrick Henningsen, while completely ignoring the real news.

Creating a New Paradigm

To discover our deeper purpose in life and help create a better world, writes Fred Burks, we first need to stop being an easily manipulated victim of the global elite.


Controlling the Lens

The Media War Being Fought Over Ukraine Between the Western Bloc & Russia. Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya looks at the emerging new front of the global Information War.

How Free are You? As Free as You Choose to Be

Reclaiming Human Freedom from Modern Science & Philosophy. Steve Taylor overturns common myths to show we do have the power to control and reshape our own lives.

Global Warming or Global Cooling?

Are We Headed for a Mini Ice Age? Incredible as it sounds, explains Ben Davidson, the evidence for much colder conditions in the near future has widely been ignored.

The Power of the Mind to Heal

What ultimately is behind the process of healing? According to Albert Amao, Ph.D., who has extensively researched the topic, the answer may surprise you.

The Code of the Andes

Ancient Technologies, Sacred Medicine & the Teachings of the Q’ero. J.E. Williams takes us into the sacred world of an indigenous community still connected to the ancient past.

Revisiting Joseph Campbell: The Power of Myth

Richard Smoley explores the work of a man who sought answers to the deepest questions of life, and had a huge impact on late 20th century culture, spirituality & ideas.

Embraced by the Light: Journeys to the ‘Other Side’

Rev. Gary W. Duncan ‘escorts’ people into the Light and brings them back, helping them overcome fear of death, and understand what to expect on their journey beyond this life.


The Sweetest Poison of All
By Helen Cannington

Are Lies Always What We Think They Are?
By P.M.H. Atwater

Joy Stimulates the Currents of Life!
By Walter Mason

I Am Number 27
By Bruce Duensing

Eradicating Skin Cancer Naturally
By Dr. Bill E. Cham

Health Briefs




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 New Dawn 144 (May June 2014)

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Madame Blavatsky & the Spirit World

olcott blavatsky Madame Blavatsky & the Spirit World

Helena Petrovna Blavatsky & Henry Steel Olcott


Séances. Mediums. Apparitions. And fraud. These are a few of the things that come to mind when the subject of Spiritualism comes up. Like so many things in the world of the occult, Spiritualism presents a dual face of mystery and deception. The minute one begins to believe, one comes across evidence suggesting that the whole thing may be a hoax. The minute one starts to think it’s a hoax, evidence appears to suggest there might be something to it after all.

So also it must have seemed during Spiritualism’s heyday during the mid-nineteenth century. The craze began in the US, when in March 1848 two sisters, Margaret and Kate Fox, began to experience strange rappings in their house that, they claimed, had been generated by spirits. Soon they were able to work out a kind of Morse code with the raps so they could exchange questions and answers with the visitors from the other world.

Although the sisters’ evidence was eventually called into question – Margaret Fox later admitted the whole thing was a hoax, only to retract her confession afterward – Spiritualism became one of the great fads of the era, to the point where even Abraham Lincoln attended a séance at the White House in April 1863.

Another figure associated with Spiritualism had a rather ambiguous connection with the movement. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, a Russian noblewoman turned spiritual adventurer, initially associated herself with Spiritualism, only to decry it later.

Blavatsky’s own story is surrounded by its own amount of shadows and haze. By her own account, in 1849, at the age of eighteen, she left her elderly husband (to whom she had been married for a mere three weeks) and began a worldwide search for spiritual truth that took her as far afield as England, Italy, Egypt, India, and possibly Tibet. Around 1851, she claimed, she met a master from India who agreed to give her training in occultism if she would take part in a larger mission to disseminate the teachings of universal brotherhood throughout the world.

Much of the next twenty years of Blavatsky’s life is hard to document. Both in her own account and in those of her followers, fact and legend are inextricably mixed. But one of the earliest places for which there is proof of her appearance is Cairo in 1871, where she found herself stranded after a shipwreck. Here she started a “Société Spirite [“Spiritualist Society”] “for the investigation of mediums and phenomena.” The ill-fated organisation foundered within two weeks, as the mediums drank and cheated; once a madman broke in to interrupt the proceedings. While there is evidence that the society did regroup and continue at least into the following year, Blavatsky was not part of it: she had gone further afield, first to Odessa in her native Russia, then to Paris, finally sailing to New York, where she arrived in July 1873 and where she made her first impact on a spiritually hungry public.

Indeed one of the most significant encounters of Blavatsky’s life took place through Spiritualism. In the improbable setting of a remote farmhouse in Vermont, a spirit medium named William Eddy allegedly materialised a range of ghostly beings, who appeared in period costume. Eddy would sit in a narrow closet in his farmhouse, and a blanket would be hung across the doorway. Shortly after Eddy entered the closet, the blanket would be pulled aside, and the ephemeral image of a dead person would appear, only to disappear soon afterward, sometimes in the full gaze of the spectators.

At Eddy’s farmhouse in the autumn of 1874, the visiting Blavatsky met Henry Steel Olcott, a correspondent from a New York newspaper who had come to report on the phenomenon. Olcott later recounted that on the night of Blavatsky’s arrival, the Eddys’ closet produced the shades of “a Georgian servant boy from the Caucasus; a Mussulman merchant from Tiflis; a Russian peasant girl; and others… The advent of such figures in the séance room of those poor, almost illiterate Vermont farmers, who had neither the money to buy theatrical properties, the experience to employ such if they had had them, nor the room where they could have availed of them, was to every eye-witness a convincing proof that the apparitions were genuine.”

What did Blavatsky believe about these phenomena? Her equivocal attitude toward Spiritualism is best illustrated by a clipping in her scrapbook. It is a copy of an article she wrote in 1875 entitled “The Science of Magic.” In the printed version of the article she states, “I am a Spiritualist,” but on the clipping she corrects the statement to “I am not a Spiritualist.”

These contradictions are not necessarily the result of either schizophrenia or dishonesty. Blavatsky believed that the Eddy apparitions were real occult phenomena – but they were not the spirits of the dead. According to Olcott, she told him that if the Eddy phenomena were genuine, “they must be the [etheric] double of the medium escaping from his body and clothing itself with other appearances.”

In an 1872 letter, Blavatsky explains her views: “[The Spiritualists’] spirits are no spirits but spooks – rags, the cast off second skins of their personalities that the dead shed in the astral light as serpents shed theirs on earth, leaving no connection between the reptile and his previous garment.” In the case of William Eddy, these astral shells would presumably have been using Eddy’s etheric body as a kind of subtle matter in order to manifest. In the Theosophical view, the astral body is discarded at a certain point after death. Usually it simply disintegrates as the physical body does, but under certain conditions, it can be inhabited by vortices of subtle energy that can make it appear to physical sight in the guise of the deceased.

A similar, but not identical, phenomenon was displayed by Blavatsky herself. In November 1874 Olcott visited her in New York, “where,” he reported, “she gave me some séances of table-tipping and rapping, spelling out messages of sorts, principally from an intelligence called ‘John King’.” Supposedly the shade of the celebrated buccaneer Henry Morgan, “it had a quaint handwriting, and used queer old English expressions.”

But Olcott eventually became convinced that “John King” was not the ghost of the long-dead Morgan. He later wrote, “After seeing what H.P.B. could do in the way of producing mayavic (i.e., hypnotic) illusions and in the control of elementals, I am persuaded that ‘John King’ was a humbugging elemental, worked by her like a marionette and used as a help toward my education. Understand me, the phenomena were real, but they were done by no disincarnate human spirit” (emphasis in the original).

Elementals are, in the Theosophical view, nature spirits who live on the astral and mental planes. These entities are centres of force; they do not have any form in their own right. Hence they can be shaped and controlled by human thought, responding to the preconceptions of the perceivers, individual or collective. The so-called spirit of “John King” would have been an elemental that Blavatsky shaped with the force of her own will and concentration – as perhaps she had done in the Eddy farmhouse.

The subtleties of these ideas are considerable, and it would be hard to disentangle them all in an article of this length. But the theory seems to go something like this: sometimes, as in Eddy’s case, a wandering astral shell can temporarily inhabit the etheric body of a medium and so make its presence known to the physical senses. In other instances, such as with Blavatsky’s phenomena, the will of an occultist can mould the subtle matter of the “astral light” into the shape desired.

To dismiss these ideas out of hand would, in my view, be foolish. On the other hand, to verify them would require an intense training in esoteric practices that is difficult to come by. For our purposes, though, the essential point is clear. There is a middle ground between the allegations of the skeptics – that all spiritualistic phenomena are simply fraudulent – and the beliefs of the credulous, who take everything at face value. While there have been fraudulent mediums, it would be overhasty to dismiss every spiritualistic experience as a fraud. At least some of the phenomena associated with Spiritualism seem to be the play of forces in the astral realm, that domain of thoughts and images that is as plastic as the figments of our imaginations – and indeed contains them.

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H.P. Blavatsky, Collected Writings, vol. 1: 1874-78, Edited by Boris de Zirkoff, Adyar, India: Theosophical Publishing House, 1966.

H.P. Blavatsky, The Letters of H.P. Blavatsky, vol. 1: 1861–79, John Algeo, ed, Wheaton, Ill.: Quest, 2003.

Vicente Hao Chin, Jr., Theosophical Encyclopedia, Manila: Theosophical Publishing House, 2006.

Joscelyn Godwin, The Theosophical Enlightenment, Albany, N.Y.: State University of New York Press, 1994.

Mitch Horowitz, Occult America: The Secret History of How Mysticism Shaped Our Nation, New York: Bantam, 2009.

Henry Steel Olcott, Old Diary Leaves, vol. 1, Adyar, India: Theosophical Publishing House, 1974.

RICHARD SMOLEY has over thirty years of experience of studying and practicing esoteric spirituality. His latest book is The Dice Game of Shiva: How Consciousness Creates the Universe. He is also the author of Inner Christianity: A Guide to the Esoteric Tradition; Conscious Love: Insights from Mystical Christianity; The Essential Nostradamus; and Forbidden Faith: The Secret History of Gnosticism. Smoley is the former editor of Gnosis: A Journal of the Western Inner Traditions. Currently he is editor of Quest: Journal of the Theosophical Society in America and of Quest Books.

The above article appeared in New Dawn Special Issue Vol 6 No 2.

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 Madame Blavatsky & the Spirit World

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