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FTR #843 Interview (#6) with Peter Levenda about “The Hitler Legacy”

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This program was recorded in one, 60-minute segment.

Dalai Lama and his associate, SS war criminal Bruno Beger

Introduction: The sixth of several interviews with Peter Levenda, this program sets forth the historical and ideological foundation for the postwar perpetuation and operation of Nazism–“The Hitler Legacy.” Mr. Emory views this book as one of the most important political volumes ever written.

The thesis of this remarkable book might be summed up in an excerpt from page 307:

. . . . After World War II, the American people thought that Nazi Germany had been defeated and the “war” was over; this book demonstrates that it never was. Instead, we were told that Communism was the new threat and we had to pull out all the stops to prevent a Communist takeover of the country. And so our military and our intelligence agencies collaborated with surviving Nazis to go after Communists. We refused to pursue worldwide right wing terror groups and assassins. After all, they were killing Communists and leftists; they were doing us a service. Like Hoover and the Mafia, the CIA refused to believe a Nazi Underground existed even as they collaborated with it (via the Gehlen Organization and the like).

The whole thrust of this book has been that American leaders in business, finance, media, and politics collaborated with Nazis before, during, and after the war. The West’s share in the ‘blame” for Al-Qaeda, et al, goes back a long way–before Eisenhower–to a cabal of extremist US Army generals and emigre Eastern Europeans who didn’t have much of a problem with Nazism since they feared Communism more. The Church, the Tibetans, the Japanese, the Germans, the Croatians–and the Americans–all felt that Communism was the greater danger, long before WWII. We enlisted war criminals to fight on our side. We appropriated the idea of global jihad from the Nazis and their WW I predecessors. We amped up their plan to weaponize religion and convinced Muslims, who hated each other, to band together to fight Communism. And when Afghanistan was liberated and the Soviet Union was defeated?

September 11, 2001. . . .

Resuming a point of discussion from FTR #842, we further develop the nature of Tibetan Buddhism, certain similarities with Nazi philosophy and occult beliefs, and how this played into the development of the Dalai Lama’s operational links to some truly “interesting” elements.

Advancing analysis of the “weaponization of religion” and elements of Buddhism, in particular, Peter highlights the little-known but profound fascist influence on, and support from, the Zen Buddhist community.

 Pursuant to the discussion of “weaponized religion,” Peter sets forth his thesis that Nazism was a form of cult or spiritual belief. As we have seen, Nazi philosophy resonated effectively with some aspects of “global jihadism,” Tibetan Buddhism and wartime practicioners of Zen Buddhism. Listeners should remember that elements of U.S. intelligence co-opted “weaponized religion” during the Cold war, including global jihadism and Tibetan Buddhism.Embodying the concept of Nazism as a cult is a remarkable individual named Miguel Serrano, whose involvement stretches from Pinochet’s Chile and the world of Colonia Dignidad to the milieu of the Dalai Lama and Nazi occult personages such as Savitri Devi.Program Highlights Include:

  • Zen luminary D.T. Suzuki’s enormous postwar influence on the Zen practitioner community.
  • Karlfried Durckhiem’s influence on the same community–both, f0r example, influenced Alan Watts. (One should NOT make the mistake of inferring that Watts was a fascist or Nazi in any way.)
  • Suzuki’s belief that the Japanese philosophy/discipline of Bushido (“the way of the warrior”) dovetailed effectively with Zen Buddhist practice and outlook.
  • The “weaponization of religion” as a form of mass mind control.
  • The apparent influence of D.T. Suzuki’s anti-Semitic views on the Third Reich’s “martial spirit.”

1. Resuming a point of discussion from FTR #842, we further develop the nature of Tibetan Buddhism, certain similarities with Nazi philosophy and occult beliefs, and how this played into the development of the Dalai Lama’s operational links to some truly “interesting” elements.

The Hitler Legacy by Peter Levenda; IBIS Press [HC]; Copyright 2014 by Peter Levenda; ISBN 978-0-89254-210-9; pp. 244-245.

. . . . Both Hitler and the Dalai Lama were secular rulers of their respective countries. Both had been the spiritual rulers of their respective countries. Both had been the spiritual rulers of their peoples, as well. Both revered the swastika as a symbol of their identity. And both were fighting Communism: Hitler against Russia, and the Dalai Lama against China. And just as Nazi officers were incorporated into the US and British intelligence operations against Russia, so were Tibetan political and military leaders incorporated into American intelligence and paramilitary operations against China. The followers of both Hitler and the Dalai Lama were (and are) moved by ecstatic worship of their leaders and dreams of a paradisiacal future. . . .

. . . . This might have been consonant with an esoteric tradition in Tibet, enshrined in the seminal work of Tibetan Buddhism, the Kalachakra Tantra. In this work, mention is made of the Kalki: a kind of God-King that will storm out of Shambhala (the secret, hidden kingdom in the Himalayas made famous in the film Shangri-La) and put to waste all non-Buddhists, in a jihad worthy the most insane fantasies of frustrated terrorists everywhere. The Dalai Lama is known to be fascinated with the machinery of war, as he himself mentioned during the New York Times interview above-referenced.

It would be a stretch to accuse the Tibetans of the same type of war crimes of which the Nazis have been charged. There is no indication of genocide or “ethnic cleansing” as a result of Tibetan policies, for instance. However, if we subtract genocide from the political inclinations of both the Nazis and Tibetans as represented by the Dalai Lama, we are left with the uneasy feeling that there was much they had in common.Both the Nazis and the Tibetan Buddhists represent religions that are non-Abrahamic in nature. The Nazis embraced a kind of neo-paganism as their spiritual resource, and with it a rejection of the ethical and moral ideals of Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

It should be noted, however, that the Kalachakra Tantra–which forms the backbone of the type of Buddhism promulgated by the Dalai Lama–includes similar ideas. there is a patent rejection of non-Buddhist religions and the promise of the appearance of the Kalki: an avatar of Vishnu and the last ruler of the Kali Yuga (the dark age in which we presently live). Kalki was associated with Hitler by Miguel Serrano, and by the Indian nationalist leader Subhas Chandra Bose, among others. The Kalki would come out of his mythical kingdom of Shambhala at some point in the future and cleanse the world of non-Buddhists in a major, apocalyptic-style conflagration. This seems a trifle inconsistent with the concept of “mercy.” The Dalai Lama is considered to be an incarnation of Akalovitesvara, the Indian God of Mercy and Compassion; perhaps something is lost in the translation.

We do not see the Dalai Lama sitting down and smiling benignly with Communists. We do see him embracing Nazis. One can imagine that the Sea of Compassion that is the Dalai Lama has managed to bestow mercy on even these unrepentant war criminals and fear-mongers, and perhaps that is the lesson he wishes to teach us; but that is not a lesson he has the moral right to teach. . . .

2. Advancing analysis of the “weaponization of religion” and elements of Buddhism, in particular, Peter highlights the little-known but profound fascist influence on, and support from, the Zen Buddhist community.

We note:

  • Zen luminary D.T. Suzuki’s enormous postwar influence on the Zen practitioner community.
  • Karlfried Durckhiem’s influence on the same community–both, f0r example, influenced Alan Watts. (One should NOT make the mistake of inferring that Watts was a fascist or Nazi in any way.)
  • Suzuki’s belief that the Japanese philosophy/discipline of Bushido (“the way of the warrior”) dovetailed effectively with Zen Buddhist practice and outlook.
  • The “weaponization of religion” as a form of mass mind control.

The Hitler Legacy by Peter Levenda; IBIS Press [HC]; Copyright 2014 by Peter Levenda; ISBN 978-0-89254-210-9; pp. 250-252.

. . . . This is a relatively new branch of religious studies, one that is controversial. It is  sure to be upsetting to many people as they realize that one of the most revered authors on Zen Buddhism–D.T. Suzuki (1870-1966)–was, in fact, a devoted fascist who glorified  the role of the Japanese warrior in the conquest of China.

What may come as a surprise to many others is the fact–amply supported by documentation–that one of the Western world’s most respected interpreters of Zen Buddhism, Karlfried Graf Durckheim, was a Nazi party member, SA man since 1933, and the head of Nazi propaganda in Japan, reporting directly to Reich Foreign Minister Ribbentrop. A committed Nazi, Durckheim was eventually arrested by Allied forces after the fall of Japan and sentenced to sixteen months in prison.

These two men–Suzuki and Durckheim–became fast friends for the duration of the war. they had a great deal in common, and Zen was the glue that found them together. Bushido–the “way of the warrior”–had resonance for both the Nazis and the Japanese nationalists. The latter were slaughtering their way across the length and breadth of Asia. Zen Buddhism, like Islam, had become weaponized.

The critical point to take away from this discussion is the fact that religion–religious organizations, influential clergy, even religious sentiments could become the servant of the state. Spirituality, often considered the highest form of human experience, becomes relegated to being another tool in a government arsenal designed for  causing the violent end of another human being and the victory of the state over another nation, ethnic group, or religious entity. This is, after all, what a “holy war” is: men and women united under one religion, sect, or denomination slaughtering men and women united under another. It becomes difficult to differentiate whether religion is the cause or the medium for violent conflict; from the point of view of both the victims and the perpetrators, it probably doesn’t matter.

In the case of Buddhism, it seems counter-intuitive that a philosophy whose most exalted practitioners refuse to ear meat or to harm any living thing could be recruited to convince a lay population to take up arms and invade another country, murdering its inhabitants, and claiming that this is to consistent with what the Buddha taught. Yet this weaponization of religion is precisely what took place in the twentieth century under the influence of extreme nationalism in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. Japanese nationalism was seen as analogous to–if not identical with–the nationalist movement in Germany, and observers and commentators noted this similarity favorably.

Brian Daizen Victoria has been writing about this phenomenon in a number of peer-reviewed journals–notably The Asia-Pacific Journal–and has published a number of books on the subject. Speaking Japanese and having access to the previously–unknown war writings of D.T. Suzuki and many other Zen masters, he has recorded–not without controversy–the understanding of Zen initiates that Bushido (the “way of the warrior”) and Zen Buddhism are inextricably linked. Further, that mindless devotion to the state and follow its orders–no matter what they are–constitute the highest form of Buddhist selflessness. The writings of these Japanese monks and scholars on the subject of suicide of suicide, and the willingness to face death and lose one’s life in the service of the Empire can be compared to those of Islamist suicide bombers and terrorists, with little distortion between the two. What difference, after all, is there between a Palestinian in a suicide vest and the Kamikaze pilots of Japan?. . . . They are both losing their lives for a higher cause, and causing as much human-devastation as possible in the process.

. . . . The manipulation of spiritual beliefs and sentiments by state and non-state actors alike is nothing less than what they used to call “mind control” back in the 1950’s and 1960’s. The weaponization of religion is a means of controlling (and weaponizing) the human psyche on a massive scale, using terminology and symbolism that are widely recognized by the masses and not specific  to any individual. Religious feelings are strong, but they are also ambiguous and largely resistant to logic and verbalization, and thus subject to re-interpretation and redirection by a competent leader. It is the religious passion itself that is the food of the political and military commander; it matters whether the outward manifestation of that passion is devotion to Jesus or Marx, Buddha or the Emperor. . . .

3. Suzuki may have influenced the “martial spirit” of Nazi Germany. Suzuki’s views on Jews dovetailed with those of the Third Reich.

The Hitler Legacy by Peter Levenda; IBIS Press [HC]; Copyright 2014 by Peter Levenda; ISBN 978-0-89254-210-9; p. 256.

‘. . . . The fact that they have no country is karmic retribution on the Jews. Because they have no attachment to the land and are wanderers, it is their fate to intrude into state structures created by others. . . .  In the case of today’s German people, they find it extremely difficult to accept their country  being disturbed by a foreign race. . . .’

This is essentially the Nazi Party line. In fact, as Brian Daizen Victoria notes in the same article from which the above quotation was extracted, the editor who wrote the forward to Suzuki’s book on Bushido, published in 1941, claimed : “Dr. Suzuki’s writings are said to have strongly influenced the military spirit of Nazi Germany.” It would be astonishing indeed, and not a little demoralizing, to discover that Zen Buddhism had made the Waffen-SS even more courageous, more brutal, more dedicated than they already were. Perhaps it was the relationship between Suzuki and Durckheim that gave greater impetus to the pollenization of these ideas in both cultures. . . .

4. Pursuant to the discussion of “weaponized religion,” Peter sets forth his thesis that Nazism was a form of cult or spiritual belief. As we have seen, Nazi philosophy resonated effectively with some aspects of “global jihadism,” Tibetan Buddhism and wartime practicioners of Zen Buddhism.

Listeners should remember that elements of U.S. intelligence co-opted “weaponized religion” during the Cold war, including global jihadism and Tibetan Buddhism.

5. Embodying the concept of Nazism as a cult is a remarkable individual named Miguel Serrano, whose involvement stretches from Pinochet’s Chile and the world of Colonia Dignidad to the milieu of the Dalai Lama and Nazi occult personages such as Savitri Devi.

The Hitler Legacy by Peter Levenda; IBIS Press [HC]; Copyright 2014 by Peter Levenda; ISBN 978-0-89254-210-9; pp. 240-243.

. . . . And then there was Miguel Serrano.

Readers of my Unholy Alliance will be familiar with the name of Serrano. A former Chilean ambassador to Austria and India, among other postings, Serrano was one of the earliest members of the Nazi Party in Chile. In the 1930’s and 1940’s, he edited a magazine called La Nueva Edad or “The New Age,” which was filled with articles on spiritual and political subjects–a kind of South American version of Order of the New Templars founder Lanz von Liebenfels’s Ostara magazine that so captivated a young Adolf Hitler in Vienna.

Serrano developed close friendships with such leading lights as Carl G. Jung, the famous Swiss psychiatrist who has been characterized as pro-Nazi by some of his critics, and the German author Hermann Hesse (Siddharta, Steppenwolf, Journey to the East), and wrote a book about these relationships. What many admirers in the United States and Europe did not realize, however, was that Serrano ws an unrepentant Nazi to the end of his days. His other works–many of which are so far untranslated from Spanish into English, and thus unavailable to the wider audience that would be horrified to learn of his allegiances–inlude Hitler: el ultimo avatar and El Cordon Dorado: works that combine Indian spiritual concepts and occultism with emphatically Nazi race science–Rassenkunde–and Nazi political ideology. To Serrano and to many of his followers Hitler was el ultimo avatar or “the last avatar”: a demigod appearing on earth to pave the way for Serrano’s “New Age.” This combination of Asian spiritual and esoteric concepts with patent Nazism was not unique to Serrano, as authors such as Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke have ponted out. Indeed, early copies of the Asian–inspired works of Mme. Helena Blavatsky–founder of the The Theosophical Society–bore the swastika on their covers, not as a nod to Nazism (which did not exist when her books were written) but to the ancient Asian use of the symbol which neverthelss was adopted by the Nazis as emblematic of the Aryan race Blavatsky describes. . . .

. . . . Photographs of Serrano with the Dalai Lama are as numerous as those of Bruno Beger or Heirich Harrer with the Dalai Lama are as numerous as those of Bruno Beger or Heinrich Harrer with the Dalai Lama. Serrano had met the Tibetan leader during his tenure as ambassador to India, and later adopted many Tibetan concepts in his own works. . . .

Discussion

One comment for “FTR #843 Interview (#6) with Peter Levenda about “The Hitler Legacy””

  1. In May 2013 “His Holiness” the Dali Lama was the commencement speaker for Tulane University and partook of the festivities at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome receiving an honorary doctorate.

    “Dalai Lama talks globally, boogies locally at Tulane commencement”

    http://www.nola.com/education/index.ssf/2013/05/dalai_lama_talks_globally_part.html

    I am thinking about writing to Tulane to congratulate the institution for being so progressive and to suggest accomplished researcher Dave Emory, and respected authors Ed Haslam and Peter Levenda as future honorary doctorate recipients and commencement speakers.

    The Hitler Legacy is an excellent book.

    http://www.thehitlerlegacy.com/

    Posted by GK | April 14, 2015, 4:26 pm

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