Did you know that J.F.C.Fuller, friend and student of Aleister Crowley, made a Major General in 1930 E.V., resigned in 1933 E.V. devoting the rest of his life to the writing of history, was the only foreigner at Adolph Hitler's first manoeuvres in 1935 E.V., and one of the two Englishmen invited to the Fuhrer's fiftieth birthday celebrations in 1939 E.V.?
Did you know that after Rudolf Hess flew to Scotland in 1941 E.V., surrendering to the Allies, that Ian Fleming, the future author of the James Bond novels, advocated that the Nazi occultist be interrogated by Aleister Crowley?
These are but two of many fascinating facts that one can find in Hitler: The Occult Messiah by Gerald Suster [St. Martin's Press, 1981 E.V.].
Mr. Suster's book makes for fascinating reading, even if one is not terribly interested in exoteric history and World War II. One reason for this is simple: there is no clear dividing line between the exoteric, the "ordinary" and "mundane", and the esoteric or "occult". By now, for instance, it should be well known to most that our founding fathers, the men who created these United States of America, were Freemasons with a deep interest in things esoteric. Masonic and occult symbolism is abundant even in the design of our currency which backs up the idea that money is a kind of talisman. Well, it is Mr. Suster's claim that W.W.II was more of a magical conflict than most people realize. He is not the first researcher and author to point out that Hitler's S.S. was more of an occult fraternity than a military organization, that Hitler, Hess, Himmler and others in the Nazi party were deeply interested and involved in the occult, twisting and perverting sacred esoteric symbols and ideas to suit their own purpose, and that the Thule Gesellschaft was an important motivating group behind and within the party. However, Mr. Suster, accumulating and organizing various facts, looks more to the esoteric aspects of Hitler and Nazism than most researchers and he points out that it was a natural aspect of the Age of Horus, or Æon of Horus, as we Thelemites would call it.
Gerald Suster looks deeply into the motivations of the individuals who created Nazism and brought about the second world war, concentrating primarily upon Hitler of course, showing how this new, dawning age was being felt all over the world, how new occult fraternities and groups were coming into being, and how certain occultists and their orders in Germany influenced, trained and guided Hitler and the Nazi party. The book is extremely convincing, although certainly many of the ideas Mr. Suster puts forth in his book are bound to be scoffed at by "orthodox" historians. However, for those of us who have studied the esoteric influences easily found in exoteric history, Mr. Suster's ideas do not seem so very absurd.
For too many reasons to list here I would suggest that everyone read Hitler: The Occult Messiah. Yet, while I highly recommend the book it should be pointed out that it is not without fault.
First of all, every chapter is begun with a quotation from Liber AL vel Legis sub figura CCXX [The Book of the Law], and while we can ignore the slight errors in quotation that occur, such as a lack of capitalization that originally appeared in The Book and the word "and" used when the symbol called an ampersand [&] should have been employed, the major fault of using these quotations is that they are followed by quotations from Hitler or one of his men that seem to be saying something very similar. The fact of the matter is, very often The Book of the Law is talking about something very different, something abstract and esoteric, when the quote from Hitler [or whomever] speaks of something much more concrete and exoteric. The author does not try to explain the quotations from The Book that he uses - he merely tosses them in at the beginning of every chapter and one seriously wonders if he understands these quotations at all, if he has bothered to study Crowley's Commentaries, or if he knew better but had decided that to explain the quotations from The Book would undermine his thesis and that it might be better to leave them unexplained so that the reader could make for him- or herself the obvious and yet incorrect conclusions.
Another fault of this book, perhaps again intentional so that the thesis is not muddied up, is that the author does not bother to point out the difference in concepts. For instance, he loves to point out the importance of "will" in the words and teachings of Nietzsche, Hitler and Crowley, apparently implying that they were all talking about the same thing, all tuned in to the same occult wavelength, so to speak. The idea is not at all absurd, but in trying to cut corners and simplify Mr. Suster has actually weakened his thesis. "Will" to one man primarily meant "to cause something to happen", whereas to another it referred to the personal will or desire of the ego, or false self, whereas Crowley referred to it as the purpose for existing, the purpose of the True Self which very often conflicts with the petty personal desires of ego.
Mr. Suster points out that the "Daemonic" influences were strong in such men as Adolf Hitler and Aleister Crowley, and while he often speaks highly of Crowley the implication seems to be that both men were demonically possessed - or so many readers will understand it.. The author fails to point out that the word "daemon" is Greek and most often means "a god; one's Genius or guiding spirit", while it can in some instances also mean "an evil spirit or devil", what we would normally refer to as a demon. Generally speaking, both Hitler and Crowley were "daemonically" guided. However, there is a difference in that Crowley was guided by the True Self, often erroneously termed the "Higher Self", whereas Hitler had given himself up to the Black Brotherhood and the qliphothic forces, cutting himself off from the True Self or Holy Guardian Angel, and giving himself up to the guidance of the false self, what ancient qabalists called the Evil Genius.
The ideal of the "Superman" is brought forth and again the difference between Hitler's and Crowley's views and ideas is not pointed out. It was Hitler's idea that the Aryan Supermen would lead the world, ruling it with strength, and that all others would be slaves. To ensure the Aryan rule, so-called "inferior" races would be destroyed or subjugated. Crowley and Thelema, on the other hand, point out that every man and every woman is a potential "Superman" and a system of individual government, for the most part, should be realized along with one's fullest potential. The "slaves" referred to in The Book of the Law ["the slaves shall serve" II.58] are not people who serve the "Master Race" - they are those people who make of themselves slaves to any master that will save them the trouble of thinking for themselves, whether these be slaves to a religion that demands they follow blindly and without thinking, or slaves to a drug that they have allowed to master them instead of mastering it.
There are many faults in Hitler: The Occult Messiah, but the basic thesis is quite good and well pesented, although it seems to imply that the Æon of Horus is a period of constant and bloody conflict. This is not precisely the case. It is a time of constant change, sometimes drastic change, of upheaval of all kinds, but it is not going to be 2,000 years of Nazi atrocities. Hitler and Nazism, you might say, was a negative aspect of the Æon of Horus, but there are positive aspects that are just as powerful and as beautiful as Nazism is ugly. Furthermore, the world wars and those before and directly after them, were as birth pangs - the æon is born now and although there will be problems due to growth, adolescent upheavals and rebellions, we seriously doubt they will be as drastic. You have the negative, Hitler and Nazism, and the positive, Crowley and Thelema, and such is natural for any age. One must, as the old saying goes, take the bad with the good.
We would like to thank Frater Fidelegis for donating a copy of Hitler: The Occult Messiah to the Newaeon library for our study and this review.