In part one, we demonstrated that many of the ideas found in the Grail message were shaped by the social, political, cultural and spiritual contexts of late 19th-early 20th century Germany and Austria.
We also documented that there was nothing really unique about the life history, style, and religious philosophies which moulded Oskar Bernhardt into his spiritual path.
One of Guido List’s student also had some influence on Ab-dru-shin’s train of thoughts. His name was Lanz von Liebenfels (1874 – 1954).
Lanz was an Austrian politician, racial theorist, occultist, and a pioneer of Ariosophy – a system which subscribed to the tenets of a prehistoric golden age, gnostic priesthood and a secret heritage in cultural relics.
Lanz was born in Vienna-Penzin and was brought up by middle-class parents. During his childhood he acquired a romantic interest in the medieval past and its religious orders, which he envisioned as the spiritual elites of a remote age.
By his own account, he began developing an enthusiasm for the military order of the Templar Knights during his growing up years and steeped himself in nostalgic lore about their castles and legends. Although evidence suggests he didn’t esteem the Templars until after 1905 (J. Lanz von Liebenfels, Arithmosophikon, 1949, p. 725).
He later entered the Cistercian novitiate and was inducted into the monastic order despite opposition from his family. It was during this time that his writings began to bear the marks of knowledge gleaned from the Bible, gnostic texts and Near Eastern religious traditions (Wilfried Daim, Der Mann, der Hitler die Ideen gab [The Man who gave Hitler the Ideas], Munich, 1958, pp. 250, 252)
Lanz soon began to espouse the racist ideas prevalent in Austria – of the superiority of blue-eyed, blond-haired Aryan race – representing the good principle working for order, over other races (blacks, mongoloids etc.) who are cosmic entities working for chaos in the universe. Eventually he renounced his vows and left the Abbey.
Lanz justified his esoteric racial ideology by attempting to give it a Biblical foundation. According to him, Eve, whom he described as initially being divine, involved herself with a demon and gave birth to the “lower races” in the process.
Eventually, he embraced theosophical beliefs and merged them with his zoological and racist theories about humanity. His occult wisdom regarding the Aryans later became known as Ariosophy or Theozoology.
In 1907, Lanz founded the Ordo Novi Templi (Order of the New Templars). Four years after this, Guido List, his spiritual teacher, also established a neopagan esoteric society of initiates known as Hoher Armanen-Orden (High Armanen Order) inspired by Freemasonry.
Now, when we turn to the Grail message, purportedly received from above, one can see proofs of how the prevalent ideas in Austria and Germany served as influences on its author.
These are other examples:
Racial nationalism was the emerent view in Oskar’s time. German nationalists had much grievances against non-Germans whom they deemed to be inferior.
The major reason for mystical societies that were formed at the time was to exalt the German race, its spirituality and culture above all others. So it comes as no surprise that Ab-dru-shin wrote:
Among the white races, it is the true genuine German spirit in all its purity and strength which stands the highest. It has often made the essay to attain to this leading position but with the exception of single individuals, the efforts have not been successful. Single individuals must always be pioneers, they represent the qualities of their race. (In the light of Truth, “Vocation” 1931 editon)
The German spirit is to be the pattern or model for the other races and shall be their guide during the last stage of mankind’s progress on earth. Not the German spirit as it is now, but as it is to become and can become in virtue of its abilities and certainly will be in the course of coming events (Ibid)
It is the vocation of the German Psyche to be the future leader and guider in spiritual as well as in mundane affairs (“Called” 1931 edition).
Ab-dru-shin justified his German spiritual elitism by claiming that nations were often exposed to similar gross material radiations by the stars, hence they possessed collective spiritual maturity and temperaments. Therefore:
The Germans and all Germanic people belong to this group. They stand at their awakening, prepared for action! (Vol. 3. Ch. 15 “Temperaments”)
That was a convenient rationalization, but it totally shatters the illusion of the Grail message as a divine revelation. A divine revelation would certainly not be limited to the bigoted racial, cultural or political ideas held by a specific people at a certain time in history.
In his study of the introduction of volkisch ideology (which was the fountain-head of Ariosophy) George L. Mosse pointed out that the spiritual connotations of the word “Volk” denoted the national collectivity inspired by a common creative energy, feelings and sense of individuality. These metaphysical qualities were supposed to define the unique cultural essence of the German people.
This ideological preoccupation with the Volk arose for two reasons: one, this cultural orientation was the result of the delayed political unification of Germany; two, it was closely related to a widespread romantic reaction to modernity (The Crisis of German Ideology, New York, 1964, pp. 1-10).
So it was just a step ahead for the collective energy and metaphysical qualities that völkisch ideology attributed to Germans to find its way into Oskar Bernhardt’s pen for the world to read.
Although there are some places where the Grail message attributes intuitive perception to women, there are some statements in it that reflect poorly on women – placing them in a spiritually and morally inferior position:
And again womanhood will have to feel the ignominy first, because her downfall now compels her to expose herself to these things. Frivolously she has put herself into a position where she will now be forced down at the feet of brutalised manhood (Vol. 3. Ch. 48 “The Destroyed Bridge” 1995 edition)
You let yourselves be duped too easily! You succumbed to the temptations without a fight! As a willing slave of Lucifer woman now directs her beautiful Divine gifts to serve a contrary purpose, and thereby brings the entire Subsequent Creation under the domination of the Darkness. (Vol. 2. Ch. 16 “Watch and Pray” 1995 edition).
Although man of Subsequent Creation has made himself the slave of his own intellect, woman has transgressed to a far greater extent. (Vol. 1. Ch. 22, “The Woman of Subsequent Creation”)
In the early 20th century, women in the West were clamouring for equal rights to vote, suffrage and child custody as men. The women of Finland were the first in the entire world to be granted the ballot. Germany and Austria conceded in 1918.
However, due to the social tensions that early feminist protests caused in the European system, anti-feminism resonated more with the taste of the elites. Dr. Goodrick-Clarke informs us that:
Women in particular were regarded as a special problem, since they were supposedly more prone to bestial lust than men. Only their strict subjection to Aryan husbands could guarantee the success of racial purification and the deification of the Aryan race (p. 97)
From July 1908 until the end of the First World War, Lanz managed to write no less than seventy-one issues himself. Their stock themes were racial somatology, anti-feminism, anti-parliamentarianism and the spiritual differences between the blond and dark races in the fields of sexual behaviour, art, philosophy, commerce, politics, and warfare, and caste law derived from the Hindu codes of Manu (p. 100).
Socialism, democracy and feminism were the most important targets for this merciless mission on account of their emancipatory force. (p. 97)
Once again, the social and political outlook of the cultural millieu inhabited by Ab-dru-shin dictated the tides of his revelation, and in this case, fossilizing gender inequality for our time.
If Germany and Austria had been a feminist clime in his time as Scandinavian countries are today, those sexist statements against women wouldn’t have appeared in his teachings at all.
As have been pointed out in a post about the Grail Castle, the mythology surrounding the Grail serves as the central theme of Ab-dru-shin’s philosophies. This was a concept that evolved from the cauldron symbolism of pagan goddess worship.
A Pagan/Occult researcher explains:
“The cauldron, or dark churning belly, womb, was a widely acknowledged symbol of the Crone aspect of the Goddess. The Hindus knew it as the pot of blood in Kali’s hand; the Norse called it the pot of inspirational mead from which Odin stole his powers.
“In Babylon, Siris, the goddess of fate, stirred the blue cauldron of heaven. The Chaldeans and Hittites both believed in seven heavenly cauldrons and the seven chthonic cauldrons of Mother Death…
“In Wales, Branwen owned the Cauldron of Regeneration that revived men overnight. The Irish goddess Badb had a “boiling” pot of life, wisdom, inspiration, and enlightenment. This cauldron later became a chalice or cup, and eventually the Christian Holy Grail (Deanna Conway, Maiden, Mother and Crone, Llewellyn: MN, 1997, p. 84).
However, the ideological framework with which Ab-dru-shin fashioned his spirituality comes from European pagan folklore and occultism – especially Norse mysticism.
To this Divine Sphere, which because of its close proximity to the Living Power is subjected to a pressure incomprehensible to the human spirit, belongs the actual Castle of the Grail as the most extreme outpost and anchorage, as a terminating counter-pole, so to speak! (Vol. 2, Ch. 71, “Life”)
It is the same with these descriptions as with everything earthmen do, nor was it any different with the description of the happening about Parsifal and the Grail Castle: People who become deeply absorbed spiritually are presented with inspirations which they are unable to recognise clearly. (Vol. 3, ch. 33 “The Cycle of Radiations”).
Everything was guarded and watched over by the “Elders”, i.e., the Eternal Unchangeable Ones who, at the outermost boundary in the Divine Sphere of Radiation, are able to live conscious of their existence. (Vol. 3, ch. 38 “Let there be Light”).
These descriptions of the Grail and its castle was a modified version of Norse/Germanic mythology about the great hall of Valhalla, ruled by the god Odin/Wotan. Just as a host of female deities – Valkyries – accompanied Odin, Ab-dru-shin also taught that two female vessels, among others, accompany his Grail.
The old writings of Snorri Sturluson known as the Edda contains some information about the Norse gods and mythological characters.
Snorri tells us that Gylfi, a Swedish king, made a journey to Valhalla. There, he sees three men seated on thrones placed one above the other; these men are called High One, Just-as-High, and Third. Gylfi questions the three enthroned men concerning the gods; and the information imparted to him includes a number of things that recall the Fisher King and the Grail Castle.
Among these is a lengthy list of Odin’s titles and nicknames, many of which appear to relate to the Fisher King or to closely-linked Grail themes. Of these, “Spear-thruster” and “Spear-Shaker” suggest the spear or lance that accompanies the Grail.
It may be significant that Odin owned a magic spear, Gungnir, whose thrust was said to be unstoppable. (Alby Stone, Bran, Odin, and the Fisher King: Norse Tradition and the Grail Legends Folklore, Vol. 100, No. 1, 1989, pp. 31-32).
The occult societies founded by List and Lanz were modelled according to this pattern and their rituals also revolved around Grail mysticism:
In front of these sat the Treasurer and Secretary wearing white masonic sashes, while the Herald took up his position in the centre of the room. At the back of the room in the grove of the Grail stood the Bard in a white gown, before him the Master of Ceremonies … At this point [in the ritual], the Master seized Wotan’s spear and held it before him, while the two knights crossed their swords upon it … With the ritual personifying lodge officers as archetypal figures in Germanic mythology, this ceremonial must have exercised a potential influence on the candidates (p. 130)
List was known to take his followers on several pilgrimages to the pagan sanctuaries dedicated to Wotan/Odin including the cathedral catacombs where he had first sensed his presence.
List most probably derived his occult conception of the Templars from a masonic source, but his notion was also coloured by the poetic grail-mythology of Parsival which inspired Lanz. (p. 112)
Lanz taught that the Grail was an electrical symbol of panpsychic powers of the pure-blooded Aryan race. In his Templar-like cult, the Grail was a metaphor for strict eugenic practices of the Templar Knights to breed god-men. This was his “Grail message.” (Ostara I, 69, 1913, pp. 12-16 cited in The Occult Roots of Nazism).
Ab-dru-shin merely put some incing on the esoteric cakes of these occult societies in his own works, there was nothing original about his ideas. This is what some religious scholars have termed as the “evolution” of religion and its rituals from their ancient forms to their surviving stage.
“In our modern time many will find it unreasonable to believe that worship as we know it evolved from such naive beginnings,” says a scholar, “on the contrary, the origins were quite profound they have in fact left their influence upon worship all through the ages. The meaning behind the sacrifices the chants and litanies the rituals and rites the ceremonies and ceremonials together with the sexual symbolism have persisted until our present day.” (Marcus Bach, Strange Sects and Curious Cults, Dodds, Mead & Co., 1961, pp. 9-10).
Every researcher will realize that almost every branch of the occult ties into one of the old mystery religions one way or the other. They don’t just emerge out of nowhere. There is often a spiritual force involved in their evolution and it’s not from the God of the Bible.
Man himself is not capable of continuing the traditions of these old mystery schools or keeping them together all these years. It requires a degree of spiritual influence perpetuating this continuity or evolution of occult worldviews all through the centuries.
There is ultimately a spiritual component where an older knowledge is being perpetuated spiritually. The secret societies that we know today are being sustained and propagated by controlled communication with spirits, channeling, appropriation of pre-existing ideas and fantasy.
Did Ab-dru-shin receive his messages from God? From the weight of historical, logical and biblical evidence, the answer is, no.