Nazi Germany, the Holy Grail and how the occult still shapes our world

Stop underestimating the powers that shouldn't be...

This article is an edited version of something I wrote for a 2005 anthology called Underground: The Disinformation Guide to Ancient Civilizations, Astonishing Archaeology, and Hidden History)

With rare exceptions, humans are not driven to commit atrocities. With rare exceptions, humans can be driven to commit atrocities.

“People often are conscripted into armies, but sometimes they enlist with gusto,” explains cognitive psychologist, Steven Pinker.  “Jingoism,” Pinker adds, “is alarmingly easy to evoke.”

“I have come to believe that men kill in war because they do not know their real enemy and because they are pushed into a position where they must kill,” proposed peace activist, Thich Nhat Hanh. “We are taught to think that we need a foreign enemy. Governments work hard to get us to be afraid and to hate so we will rally behind them. If we do not have an enemy, they will invent one in order to mobilize us.”

In the case of Nazi Germany, it appears the propagandists themselves began their march toward genocide by inventing a past so mythical it could sway an entire nation. Even the leaders themselves would fall under their own spell.

Back to Thule

“More than a political party, the Nazi party was very much a cult,” says author Jonathan Vankin. “Like most demagogic religious sects, its rank and file were spellbound with the courage of demented convictions, and its leadership was financed and supported by powerful people whose main interest was accumulating more power. The finely tuned machine of brainwashing, fanaticism, and secrecy is perfect for that purpose.”

The “demagogic religious” sect that reached prominence in pre-war Germany was the Thule Society which, according to journalist Peter Reydt, “believed in the greatness of German history, reaching back to the year 9AD, when the Teutonic tribes defeated the Roman army. It promoted the superiority of the Aryan race, an ancient northern European people.”

Friedrich Nietzsche’s notion of the Ubermensch (superman) endured many interpretations… one of which involved a racially superior people — called “Aryans” — who once inhabited northern Europe. This idea would eventually find a murderous home in the architects of the Nazi regime.

It began in 1900 when German occultists formed a society called the Order of New Templars (ONT). “Eight years later,” says Vankin, “another occultist formed a group called Armanen. They took the swastika as the Armanen emblem.”

“An ancient Indian symbol of good luck, the swastika was also the traditional symbol of Thor, the Norse god of thunder,” writes Robin Cross of In 1920, a Thule Society member suggested to Hitler that he adopt the swastika as the Nazi Party symbol. “Hitler placed it on a white circle against a red background, to compete with the hammer and sickle of the Communist Party,” Cross explains.

The ONT and Armanen merged in 1912 and became known as the Germanen Orden and six years after that, some members of the Orden created Thulegesellschaft, the Thule Society.

“The legend of ‘Thule’ was a variation on the Atlantis myth,” Vankin explains. “Thule was supposed to be a nation of superbeings with a utopian civilization. It flourished until 850,000 years ago when it was wiped away by a cataclysmic flood.” The Thulians, so the legend went, brought destruction upon themselves by mating with a lower race.

The holy grail for the modern Thulians was, well, the Holy Grail.

The legend of the Holy Grail — written in 1185 — told of a vessel alleged to contain the wine of the Last Supper along with the blood of the crucified Christ. “Supposedly Joseph of Arimathea confiscated it and then used it to collect blood from Christ’s wound as he hung on the cross,” writes Katherine Ramsland.  “Joseph then took the cup to England to hide it in a secret place — Avalon — and it became the ambition of King Arthur’s knights to find it and make it the center of their enterprise.”

The quest for the grail is history’s definitive treasure hunt — and it would seduce both Adolf Hitler and Heinrich Himmler.

Himmler’s Roundtable

Hitler’s involvement with the Thule Society is believed to date back to his World War I years in the German Army. This association intensified in 1919 when he met Dietrich Eckart, a wealthy and persuasive member of the Thule Society’s innermost circle. Hitler biographer Wulf Schwarzwaller calls this meeting “more decisive than any other” in the future dictator’s life. “Eckart molded Hitler, completely changing his public persona,” Schwarzwaller writes.

As Vankin documents, Dietrich Eckart issued this command from his deathbed in December 1928: “Follow Hitler! He will dance but it is I who have called the tune.”

Hitler’s dance partner was Heinrich Himmler whom he appointed Reichsführer of the SS (an abbreviation of Schutzstaffel, “protection squadrons”) in 1929. Until that point, the SS was little more than Hitler’s personal bodyguards. Himmler, says Christopher Hale, author of Himmler’s Crusade: The Nazi Expedition to Find the Origins of the Aryan Race, “set about transforming an insignificant cadre into a new Aryan aristocracy.”

Already a member of the Thule Society, Himmler joined the Nazi Party in 1925. His fascination with Thulian theories is often overshadowed by his heinous deeds and thus played down by historians — but nonetheless, they influenced the shape and scope of the Final Solution.

“The truth is that Himmler’s enthusiasms about lost civilizations, prehistoric archaeology, the Holy Grail, and especially, the origins of the ‘Indo-Germanic’ races were intricately interwoven with racial ‘theories’ that demanded the elimination of the unfit,” says Hale.

Himmler built the SS to 300,000 strong by 1939 and presented its members as examples of racial purity. “To a remarkable degree, Himmler’s ideas had been formed not only by politicians but by anthropologists and biologists,” adds Hale.

“In World War II, the SS was the principal enforcer of Nazi racial doctrine,” says Cross. “They staffed the Reich’s concentration and extermination camps, where they conducted cruel experiments to demonstrate ‘Aryan’ racial superiority and formed the core of the Einsatzgruppen (special formations) that were responsible for cleansing eastern Europe of Jews.”

To Himmler, the men in the SS were acting in the tradition of his beloved Teutonic knights and kings and Wewelsburg Castle was designed to be their Camelot. “Rooms were dedicated to figures of Nordic history and mythology like King Arthur,” says Reydt. “Himmler’s room was dedicated to King Heinrich I, founder of the first German Reich. Himmler believed himself to be the reincarnation of Heinrich. Another room was set aside to house the Holy Grail, which was to be searched for all over the world.”

Yes, it all comes back to the Grail. For what would a reincarnation of past Aryan glory be without the restoration of its most sacred symbol?

“Himmler saw the potential of archaeology as a political tool,” explains Dr. Henning Hassmann of the Archaeological Institute in Dresden. “He needed archaeology to provide an identity for his SS. But Himmler also believed that archaeology had a certain pseudo-religious content. There were excavations; there were myths and legends, a feeling of superiority. They believed by drawing on the power of prehistory they would achieve success in the present day.”

The year 1935 saw Himmler take his obsessions to another level, establishing Das Ahnenerbe (the Ancestral Heritage Society), a new branch of the SS designed to be staffed by academics thus raising Nazi propaganda to the status of objective truth… or so he hoped.

“The Ahnenerbe organized expeditions into many parts of the world — to Iceland in search of the Grail, to Iran to find evidence of ancient kings of pure Aryan blood, to the Canary Islands to seek proof of Atlantis,” Reydt says.

Their most ambitious destination was Tibet.

Bruno Beger conducting anthropometric studies in Sikkim

It’s the Vril Thing

The 1938 Nazi expedition to Tibet had roots that went all the way back to 1923 when Hitler was doing time in Landsberg Prison. “Hitler immersed himself in the writings of Professor Karl Haushofer,” says Cross. Haushofer was the founder of the Vril Society, which sought “contacts with subterranean super-beings to learn from them the ancient secrets of Thule.” The word “vril,” coined by an English novelist named Edward Bulwer-Lytton, in his 1871 science fiction novel The Coming Race, referred to a psychokinetic power possessed by those in a master race.

“The French author Louis Jacolliot furthered the myth in Les Fils de Dieu (The Sons of God) (1873) and Les Traditions indo-européeenes (The Indo-European Traditions) (1876),” writes Alexander Berzin in his article, “The Nazi Connection with Shambhala and Tibet.” “In these books, he linked vril with the subterranean people of Thule. The Thuleans will harness the power of vril to become supermen and rule the world.”

Haushofer viewed central Asia as the origin of the Aryan race and therefore the key to the harnessing of the power of vril. Since Tibetans, long dominated by both the British and the Chinese, were not averse to making nice with the Germans (and their Japanese allies), the Ahnenerbe set out on an expedition led by German hunter and biologist, Ernst Schäfer.

“One of the members of the Nazi expedition was the anthropologist Bruno Beger, a supporter of the theory that Tibet was home to the descendants of a ‘northern race’,” says Cross.

FYI: Bruno Beger later worked to provide Nazi doctors with victims to experiment on and he also kept and exhibited a “Jewish skeleton collection.”

Beger’s “scientific investigation” of the Tibetan people led him to conclude that they represented “a staging post between the Mongol and European races,” and could play “an important role in the region, serving as an allied race in a world dominated by Germany and Japan.” The following year, the Second World War officially commenced. Even so, the Ahnenerbe remained active amidst the global conflict.

“Entire contents of museums, scientific collections, libraries, and archaeological finds were looted and shipped to Berlin or the Wewelsburg. Himmler and Sievers created a special unit — the “Sonderkommando Jankuhn” — to supervise the plunder,” Reydt reports. “Professors, doctors, and scholars were now directly integrated into the Nazi murder machine.”

Never Again?

“Searching for lost Aryans or the Holy Grail or Atlantis may seem harmless enough, but German occultism was founded on a racial vision of history,” concludes Christopher Hale. “It validated German national identity by conjuring up a bogus yet seductive ancestral past. By taking this chimerical past literally, men like Heinrich Himmler were able to infuse policies of racial purification with an irresistible potency. As a result, occultism facilitated murder. The ground loam of pseudo-Darwinian civilization led the ‘scientists’ of the SS to the killing fields of the concentration camps.”

“With the idea that blessings from Christ himself enveloped them, the Nazis felt justified to go on a massive killing spree against those who ‘contaminated’ them,” says’s Ramsland. “Theirs was a holy mission and nothing they could do in its service was wrong.”

With all brands of fundamentalism — religious, economic, scientific, transhumanist, etc. — currently running roughshod over the planet and dictating global policy, how many of us will see past the comforting myths and soothing justifications to recognize the psychopathic thirst for power lurking below?

It’s easy to chalk all of the above as madness from the past with little or no bearing on today’s world. But please allow me to remind you that the U.S. willfully rescued Nazi scientists and spies (read: heinous war criminals) to start two rather influential agencies: the CIA and NASA.

To learn more about the CIA’s embracing of the occult, click here.

To get up to speed on NASA’s resident occultist, Jack Parsons, click here and here.


In 1951, Guatemalan president Juan José Arévalo (who gave that country a ten-year respite from military rule during which he provoked U.S. ire by modeling his government “in many ways after the Roosevelt New Deal”) stepped down to be replaced by his ill-fated successor and kindred spirit, Jacobo Arbenz.

A mere three years later, a CIA-sponsored coup — to prevent the threat of a Soviet invasion, of course — stole Guatemala from its people and set the Central American nation spiraling downward into a cycle of repression, poverty, and political mass murder. This is what Arévalo had to say about the aftermath of the war known as “good”:

“The arms of the Third Reich were broken and conquered but in the ideological dialogue, Roosevelt lost the war. The real winner was Hitler.”

Mickey Z. is the creator of a podcast called Post-Woke. You can subscribe here. He is also the founder of Helping Homeless Women - NYC, offering direct relief to women on New York City streets. Spread the word. Read other articles by Mickey.