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FTR #172 Fascism and the New Age: The Life and Times of Savitri Devi

Lis­ten: Side 1 [1] | Side 2 [2]

One of the tac­tics of con­tem­po­rary fas­cist and Nazi groups is the seduc­tion, infil­tra­tion and co-option of groups and philoso­phies that are not, in and of them­selves, fas­cist. The New Age and Green move­ments are among the tar­gets of con­tem­po­rary Nazi infil­tra­tion and ele­ments of each have been suc­cess­ful­ly seduced. A Nazi mys­tic and ide­o­logue named Sav­it­ri Devi (nee Max­imi­ani Por­tas) is an icon to con­tem­po­rary Nazi ele­ments and her phi­los­o­phy over­laps, and has been accept­ed by, cer­tain ele­ments of both Green and New Age phi­los­o­phy. This broad­cast sets forth both the his­to­ry and the phi­los­o­phy of Sav­it­ri Devi.

Strong­ly influ­enced by Hin­du (and specif­i­cal­ly Brah­min) cul­ture, Sav­it­ri Devi saw the caste sys­tem of India and the mythol­o­gy of the Bha­gavad Gita as con­firm­ing the Nazi occult phi­los­o­phy of the so-called “Aryan” ori­gins of the Ger­man peo­ple. (The pro­gram does not detail her actu­al phi­los­o­phy which is, past a point, mys­ti­cal and fun­da­men­tal­ly irra­tional­ist in nature. The point of the broad­cast is to illus­trate the poten­tial appeal of Nazi occultism to New Agers and eco-activists.)

Begin­ning with analy­sis of the appeal of Hitler and Nazism for the upper castes of Hin­du soci­ety, the pro­gram under­scores the man­ner in which the Third Reich exploit­ed the anti-colo­nial sen­ti­ment of peo­ple in the Third World in an attempt to con­vert them to the Nazi cause. This anti-colo­nial sen­ti­ment, the racism of the caste sys­tem and the Nazis’ use of the swasti­ka (a holy Hin­du sym­bol) led many Hin­dus to view Hitler as an Avatar (a divine spir­it). This Hin­du sym­pa­thy for Hitler ulti­mate­ly led to the for­ma­tion of an Indi­an Legion that fought along­side the Wehrma­cht, as well as the RSS (an Indi­an fas­cist orga­ni­za­tion). (The Indi­an Legion was the brain­child of a mil­i­tant Indi­an nation­al­ist turned Axis spy and fas­cist named Sub­has Chan­dra Bose, nick­named “The Duce of Ben­gal”.)

The pro­gram high­lights the Third Reich’s use of anti-colo­nial sen­ti­ment and anti-Semi­tism to win Arabs over to the Nazi cause. (It should be not­ed that Hitler’s racism has engen­dered con­tempt on the part of his fol­low­ers toward both Indi­ans and Arabs, a fact often over­looked by Indi­an and Arab Nazi apol­o­gists, to their own detri­ment.) Devi’s pro­found con­nec­tions to post-war Nazi lumi­nar­ies Hans Ulrich Rudel and Otto Sko­rzeny led to her enshrine­ment as a major philo­soph­i­cal pil­lar of con­tem­po­rary Nazism. (Both Rudel and Sko­rzeny became lead­ers of what Mr. Emory calls “the Under­ground Reich”.)

Devi was con­nect­ed to both Amer­i­can Nazi Par­ty founder George Lin­coln Rock­well and William Pierce, the leader of the Nation­al Alliance and author of The Turn­er Diaries.

Most of the sec­ond half of the pro­gram con­sists of analy­sis of the con­flu­ence between Devi’s Nazi occultism and ele­ments of New Age and “Deep Ecol­o­gy” philoso­phies. Shar­ing a mis­an­throp­ic, anti-Semit­ic, anti-Chris­t­ian, atavis­tic, irra­tional­ist ori­en­ta­tion that views ani­mals as equal or supe­ri­or to homo sapi­ens, Devi’s fas­cism has led to her accep­tance in cer­tain New Age and Green cir­cles. The Rosi­cru­cians, for exam­ple, have pub­lished one of her titles. (Record­ed on 10/3/99.)