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67 internautes sur 74 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
A sober account of a mired topic.9 mars 2008
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The basis of this book revolves around obscure texts of the little-known and enigmatic figure of Karl Maria Wiligut, a name that I had first encountered back in the early 90s from an interview with co-author Michael Moynihan. He expressed plans to publish Wiligut's writings and in 2001, Dominion press finally released The Secret King. I acquired the limited hardbound edition upon the book's release and treated it as little more than a `curio', tucking it away as a soon-to-be rarity in my book collection. At the time, I acknowledged The Secret King as the first and only of its kind to examine the source of occult writings specifically related to the Third Reich, and left it at that.
This revised edition of The Secret King, released jointly by Feral House and Dominion, demands reappraisal as it contains an entirely expanded introduction to Wiligut's life and work. In addition, the new material is much broader in scope and examines the "bigger picture" of the post-war phenomenon of interest surrounding Nazi occultism. This aspect of the book alone makes the material more intriguing and noteworthy.
So, who would want to read about nearly century-old German mystical texts that were not widely distributed even during the historical era in which they were penned? Evidently, thousands of readers, as the authors assert judging from the sales of The Secret King's first edition that sold largely on word-of-mouth alone. More importantly, why would anyone want to peruse such material in the first place? Authors Moynihan and Flowers thoroughly address this monumental question in the book's first section, which examines the myths surrounding Nazi occultism. First, the vast majority of books on this nebulous subject trump sensationalism over scholarship in their often unscrupulous and unsubstantiated claims. One notable exception would be Nicholas Goodricke Clarke's The Occult Roots of Nazism but even its main premise that the early 20th century Ariosophists were a major influence on National Socialism is highly debatable. Secondly, the modern myth of Nazi occultism simply makes for compelling reading in the 21st century. Several factors for the promulgation of this myth initially took form when American and British citizenry alike where still taking a strong isolationist stance on the possibility of yet another war with Germany. Winston Churchill and his advisor Walter Johannes Stein played no small role in demonizing the German people, Stein espousing the creation of a World Economy - thus effectively driving a wedge between Britain and the National Socialists, who were in favor of abolishing usury. Essentially, the Allied crusade against the National Socialists was initially, largely due to this economically unacceptable idea!
Adolf Hitler is mentioned in this section of the book, and for one to assume that he was using or being used by occult forces to account for his rise to power is the same dubious logic used to propagate the notion that the Egyptians must have been in contact with extra-terrestrial forces in constructing the pyramids. Furthermore, Mein Kampf is loaded with biblical references and the major spiritual current underlying the Third Reich was Christianity. Not surprisingly, the postwar phenomenon of Christian and Roman Catholic exoneration of Nazi atrocities has only further bolstered the perceived aura of demonic or occult forces underlying the Third Reich. As for the Pagan and non-Christian spiritual currents that did exist (albeit to a small degree overall) within the Third Reich, The Secret King gives a fascinating overview of a number of individuals, many of whom were at one time or another well-received in Nationalist Socialist circles. Herman Wirth and Italian esotericist Julius Evola are mentioned (among several other prominent figures), all of whom eventually fell out of favor with the regime. In addition, postwar sympathizers Savitri Devi and Miguel Serrano are discussed at length as well, whose lives and work prove to be as interesting as they were controversial.
The reality of Nazi occultism, although far less sensational than the mythic aspect, is no less intriguing. Wiligut had an obscure and checkered past before being inducted into the SS under the nom de guerre Karl Maria Weisthor by none other than Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler - himself an enthusiast of pre-historic German nationalism. It is interesting that such a high-ranking official in National Socialist Germany would have an interest in esoteric matters and consequently, an affinity for Wiligut's meta-historical teachings. One can safely assume that had it not been for Himmler, Wiligut would have never held an official rank in the SS.
As for Wiligut's texts, they were either composed in poetic verse (often accompanied by runes or runic formulas) or appeared in the form of articles, many of which were published during the 30s under the pseudonym Jarl Widar for Hagal, the journal of the Edda Society. Other entries merely served as "memos" to be presided over by Heinrich Himmler. It is beyond the scope of this review to provide an analysis of Wiligut's work, and his non-linear continuum of ideas and concepts cannot be fully digested with a cold reading. Collin Cleary's critical appraisal of Wiligut's philosophy and in-depth coverage of the first text, "The Nine Commandments of Gôt", (listed in the newly expanded bibliography) is highly recommended.
A crucial pre-cursor to gleaning insight into Wiligut's runology can be accessed in a visual schematic of two intersecting poles (forming a cross), the horizontal pole representing matter and the vertical pole representing spirit. Consciousness, form and life thus arise at the poles' intersection. The dynamic or circulatory function along the vertical pole allows for the interaction of spirit, matter and energy in regenerative cycles. This `Runic-key' concept is the backbone of Wiligut's "Whispering of Gotos - Rune-Knowledge" and is introduced by the authors in the first section of the book. Further treatment of this essential concept to Wiligut's verbiage is provided in Gabriele Dechend's article for Hagal, "The Cosmos in the Conception of Our Ancestors". It is included in the Appendices and contains numerous diagrams elaborating upon Wiligut's circulatory runology.
As a long-time astronomy enthusiast, Wiligut's article "Zodiacal Signs and Constellations" (from Hagal 12) was particularly interesting for me personally. Wiligut, writing as Jarl Widar, speaks with much zeal and fervor regarding the astronomical phenomenon of the precession of the equinoxes, a 25,920-year cycle where twelve constellations pass through and invisible arc that stretches across the night sky. This enormous time-period, referred to by Wiligut as the "great solar year", has a significant role in Mithraic iconography and is a referential staple of John Major Jenkins's popular books on Mayan cosmology and the 2012 phenomenon.
A new addition to this book that did not appear in the first edition of The Secret King is the Gotos-Kalanda, a poem based on the yearly course of twelve months and their relationship to natural cycles that occur within them. Even in English translation, the poem reads beautifully and integrates Wiligut's unique vision of Got-mythology.
Overall, it would appear to be that The Secret King is the last word on Nazi occultism but a growing interest in Wiligut and subsequent books that have appeared since the first edition have proved otherwise. More importantly, The Secret King certainly raises the bar for any future works on the subject - and is a benchmark that will continue to separate the wheat from the chaff in this largely misunderstood topic.
34 internautes sur 36 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
Some unique insights into Himmler and the SS3 février 2008
Future Watch Writer
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This is an expanded and updated version of the earlier edition of this work. A major change is the addition of an essay called "Myth of Nazi Occultism". This makes up the first part of the book. This is well worth reading and a healthy correction to some of the more ridiculous fantasies about Hitler and the occult.
Both authors are well-informed about these subjects. However, a weakness of their analysis is the failure to place the real aspects of the connection between the SS and the world of pre-Christian Germany in the context of over 100 years of study and fascination with the subject inside Germany. This is discussed in the beginning of The Jung Cult : Origins of a Charismatic Movement. For example, it is very hard to conceive of Adolf Hitler without Richard Wagner and his spectacular operas devoted to Germany's ancient pagan past. See Wagner's Hitler: The Prophet and His Disciple. In our time there is a growing interest in the pre-Christian world not only in the west but throughout Latin America. It is important to note however that those who don't like Christianity don't always agree on an alternative. An interesting question is whether these various movements might come together in a common cause such as the protection of the environment.
A mystery in the study of Nazi Germany which remains unresolved is the level of interest in German paganism of Hitler, himself. Hitler's views on this are ambiguous. There are quotes where he ridiculed some of Himmler's views here. However, this must be taken with caution. Himmler's views were very controversial in Germany. If Hitler really did not share Himmler's views, why did he allow them to become such an integral part of the SS?
The authors have a lot of experience in studying the subject as well as modern popular culture. Michael Moynihan has not only written on paganism and political philosophy but has also written the most popular book on the world of black metal music, Lords of Chaos: The Bloody Rise of the Satanic Metal Underground. Dr. Flowers runs an institute on ancient Germanic studies called the Woodharrow Institute. You can find it by searching on Google. He has also written a book about Guido von List called The Secret of the Runes. For further reading on this subject you might want to read my Listmania lists on the SS and mythology on my Amazon profile.
16 internautes sur 16 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
Well put together work, solid insight7 mai 2009
Christopher R. Travers
- Publié sur Amazon.com
I found this book to be quite interesting. Contrary to the previous (1-star) reviewer who evidently had not read the book, the authors do not downplay the Christian character of the Third Reich, and discuss this in a fair bit of detail in the section on the development of the propaganda regarding the Third Reich as an attempt to return to pre-Christian Germanic roots.
This book is not a book about how Hitler was an occultist/pagan/etc. as this is fairly well rebutted by the historical record. Rather it is a book about one occultist with Germanic pagan leanings and how he had some modest influence on the Third Reich.
For those who are interested in studying the development of Germanic nationalism, the Volkische and Pan-Germanic movements, and their development up through the second world war, this is an important addition. I would highly recommend this work.
5 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
Primary source material10 février 2009
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Most works on this subject are highly sensational and lack actual, or real, source material or don't quote sources accurately when available. This is one of the first that presents the reader with the actual source material. This combined with the appendices and bibliography make for a good resource. Similiar to Goodrick-Clarke's "The Occult Roots of Nazism", it left me with more questions than answers... An interesting read.
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
Secret King or Mad Man3 mai 2013
- Publié sur Amazon.com
Nazi secrets are weird enough. It is therefore unnecessary to add wishful fantasies to the genuine historical facts in the field of Nazi occultism, especially when it comes to their expeditions, and their "scientific" researches. The true amateur of sensational and strange stories can still be fully satisfied with Himmler's Witch Project, or the Hollow Earth Theory. In many aspects, the Nazi era was like a breach in space and time. What happened during these almost 12 years of dictatorship, at the heart of Europe, in one of the most civilized and industrially advanced country, does not match the moral, philosophical and religious values that existed everywhere else at the same time in the world. There is therefore a need to revisit all historical proven facts linked to Nazi oddities that one rarely finds in mainstream historians' books. The Secret King (like another good one "Nazi Secrets" Nazi Secrets and The Occult Roots of Nazism: Secret Aryan Cults and Their Influence on Nazi Ideologyon Amazon.com) aims at separating these facts, but too often it words differently old stories found on the Internet alongside with Hitler's brain in Antarctica or Nazi UFO's....