Lucifer’s Servants. But a few years later, in February 1939, Rahn resigned from the S.S. for reasons unknown, and died a mysterious death one month later while hiking in the mountains. You intimate that he may have been assassinated because of something he may have discovered during his Grail researches, something he’d “confessed” to another Nazi occultist named Karl Wiligut, with whom he was good friends. Is it possible that he discovered evidence that the Grail was actually the Bloodline of Christ, the Judaic bloodline of David? This would of course have been thoroughly unacceptable to Himmler and devastating to his whole cosmology if such facts had gotten out.

PL: I don’t know why Otto Rahn was killed, although I am reasonably certain he was and that his death was not the accident it was made out to be. He may be only another one in a series of individuals involved with Montsegur and Rennes-le-Chateau who died violent deaths. Was he murdered by the Nazis … or were other elements at play here? He was Himmler’s pet for awhile, and a friend of Wiligut (who designed the Death’s Head Ring worn by the S.S.). Wiligut was a total psycho, so it is hard for me to imagine a less likely friendship since Rahn seems somewhat sane in his writings, if a bit overboard at times. There is no evidence at hand that Himmler ordered an investigation into Rahn’s death, so either it was ordered by Himmler himself or he was satisfied that it was an accident. Had he been cut down by a cult defending the Cathar/Templar secret, it is possible that more would have been made of his death and that there would be a paper trail to follows. (Possibly there was, but it has been lost with time and with the destruction of many Nazi documents during the final days of the War.) Yes, if Rahn had discovered the Holy Blood, Holy Grail secret then possibly Himmler would have ordered Rahn killed to keep the secret safe … or he would have had him killed for having the temerity to suggest it. But I think that Himmler would have been fascinated by this discovery and would have had Pierre Plantard23 and his relatives rounded up and brought to Wewelsburg for some heavy interrogation. The Rahn mystery is one that concerns me to this day, for none of the reports, stories, theories I have heard so far have seemed conclusive enough. Perhaps, as the French say, cherchez la femme?

TT: In the epilogue to your book, when you discuss the cooperation the Nazis received from the Catholic church, despite the openly pro-pagan, anti- Christian stance of Nazi doctrine, you say the following:

“Were the Nazis somehow blackmailing the Church with evidence of some monstrous crime that has never come to light (did the Nazis find the Templar treasure? were they in possession of the Grail?), or was the Church’s notorious lack of conviction during World War II somehow evidence that the Church itself had lost its own faith?”

If you’ll recall, the Priory of Sion and members of the Grail families have been suspected of blackmailing the Vatican with their knowledge of the continuing bloodline of Christ, knowledge that would have disastrous implications for the Church, since their empire is based on the idea that Christ was celibate and died on the Cross with no heirs. Is it possible that Nazis were implementing a similar form of blackmail, if they had, as you suggest, found the “Templar treasure,” or the “Holy Grail,” terms which could be interpreted to mean the bloodline of Christ?

PL: Yes, it’s possible; but why kill Rahn, then? Rahn would have been invaluable for the blackmail operation as he would have an intimate knowledge of the history, the documents, etc. The blackmail theory does have its merit, though. It would explain a great deal, especially the rat-lines after the War. But it’s something that would have been kept from Hitler, I think. Hitler would have blurted it out, and had Goebbels write up a particularly scathing oration on the subject for Nazi sweeps week. If this secret had been unearthed, Himmler would have held onto it and used it in his own way. But… there the theory falls apart. Himmler had no friends at the end, no help from any quarter, and committed suicide after he was captured. If he had been in possession of this secret, he could have blackmailed his way straight into Bel Air if he so desired. Something doesn’t ring true, then. Rahn would have been the one to discover the secret, and he would have told it to either Himmler or Wiligut. Both turn up empty-handed at war’s end. Was the secret—whatever it was—an object that was subsequently lost (again) by either Rahn or Himmler? Recovered by the Church? Or hidden by some third party somewhere? There is a retired Army veteran who writes books on the subject, and who claims that a German submarine buried something in Antarctica after the War…

TT: How is it that Freemasonry—the tenets of which proclaim “liberty, equality, fraternity,” encouraging men to regard one another with brotherly love, and the members of which have fought for freedom of thought and conscience for hundreds of years—could be so corrupted into the fascist

Italian Propaganda Due (P2) Masonic lodge, involved in a number of fascist coup attempts both in Italy and throughout South America? How is it that Albert Pike—author of Morals and Dogma, that essential Masonic tome— could at the same time have drafted the charter for the Order of the Ku Klux Klan? This is also odd since the Nazis considered Freemasonry to be the machinery with which the Jewish conspiracy operated.

PL: By way of illustration, a little story: Pope John Paul I was leader of the Catholic Church for about a month before he was assassinated. One of his missions was to fire all members of Masonic lodges—such as P2—who were clergymen. He never got the chance. Membership in Masonic lodges was at that time (and until only recently) forbidden to Catholics; much more so to monsignors, bishops and cardinals. John Paul I felt that the widespread Masonic cult within Vatican City itself constituted a real enemy. P2 was— and remains—pitted against the power of certain elements within the Church, as were the generations of Templars and Freemasons and Illuminati down the centuries. That is not to say that these groups would have been anti-fascist or supportive of liberation movements in South America. If you’d spent any time in Italy, you would eventually realize that what constitutes a Masonic lodge there is not necessarily what you would recognize elsewhere. Specific lodges often have specific political agendas. Italy has a long history of secret societies and we probably shouldn’t judge Freemasonry on the basis of P2. But you get a like-minded group of males together for whatever purpose and soon you will find that water seeks its level and what began as a Masonic lodge becomes a center for political favoritism, secret deals, a few points off a mortgage arrangement or a real estate sale … you get the picture. Remember that one must be asked to join a lodge: this precludes signing up people who are “not like us.” The corollary is that the brotherhood of that particular lodge takes on a certain complexion, a certain homogeneity. There is a authoritarian aspect to Freemasonry in that there is a hierarchical structure, a graded system of degrees, secrets that are not revealed all at once but only over a time, etc. In other words, a system of control over people. Is that a bad thing, necessarily? Should we ask the question? Today, we have very specific attitudes towards what we perceive to be fascism, totalitarianism, etc. In the 17th and 18th centuries, there was no such thing as an identifiable form of fascism. There was nationalism, and colonialism, and imperialism. And racism. And sexism. Much of this was institutionalized, of course. Did Freemasonry and Rosicrucianism arise as revolts against specific political

and/or spiritual leaders? Probably. Would these movements have replaced existing power structures with ones of their own? Possibly. That is probably what happened in America in 1776. The problem for me personally with all of this is that the fashionable morality of one age becomes concretized— petrified—in the system. The high-sounding ideals of a Scottish Masonic lodge of the 18th century would not be inconsistent with the views of someone like Albert Pike, for instance. Once again, we have an underdog— this time a member of the failed Confederacy—creating a secret cult to oppose the totalitarian state of America. P2 had a specific anti-Communist agenda; it viewed the Church as soft on Communism. And what was the reverse of Communism to the post-WWII mentality? Nazism. We made the same mistake, hiring Reinhard Gehlen to run European operations for the CIA and Werner von Braun to head up our space program, etc. P2 was a continuation of politics by other means. I should point out that when Albert Pike created the Klan, all the votes were not in on the heinous nature of what the Klan supported. For many years the Klan was seen as a romantic symbol of the Old South and as a resistance movement to the greedy carpetbaggers and other scurrilous Yankees coming down from the North. For much the same reason as Nazis are emulated by certain elements of society today—the nicer uniforms, the aura of gentility and sophistication—the vanquished Southern gentlemen officers of the Confederacy were idolized. Birth of a Nation told us that, if Major Moseby and stories of the Grey Ghost did not. As for the Jewish elements of Freemasonry, as with the Germans and Templarism whatever was Jewish was conveniently ignored or explained away as elements that were appropriated by the Jews from older, more authentic, sources. The Nazis that I met during the course of the last 20 odd years have never agreed that the Jews were the repository of any special knowledge or ability, only that they had stolen the family jewels, so to speak

—which was the core of the Jewish conspiracy—and that the jewels had to be reclaimed and the Jews destroyed once and for all.

How is it that Albert Pike-author of Morals and Dogma, that essential Masonic tome—could at the same time have drafted the charter for the Order of the Ku Klux Klan?

TT: Do you think that there was organized participation by Freemasons in the allied resistance in order to stamp out enemies of the craft?

PL: I don’t think the resistance was organized. Probably more of a case of

individual lodge members assisting each other to flee the Nazis, etc. The Masons had never organized along military lines, as did the Thule and other groups. They were not armed, or hiding guns in their temples. I think if the Nazis had had any proof of that, it would have been highly publicized. But I am sure there were Masons involved with the Marquis in France and may have formed a kind of subset within the resistance group. But that is about as far as I am willing to speculate without documentation.

TT: What do you think about the idea put forth in Holy Blood, Holy Grail hypothesizing that The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, were originally a Masonic document, which was doctored by Sergei Nilus in order to foster anti-Semitism?

PL: It is possible that the Protocols are a corruption of another document; but once we go down that path how do we know what was original and what was Nilus? At one point, Nilus himself says that the Protocols were stolen by a woman from an influential leader of Freemasonry. (That was only one of his many stories of the background and origin of the Protocols; most are mutually exclusive.) It was originally entitled Minutes of the Meeting of the World Union of Freemasons and Elders of Zion according to Norman Cohn in his definitive Warrant for Genocide, which is probably the best source for anyone interested in the history of the Protocols. I should also mention Cohn’s point that in “the 18th century the Freemasons were on the whole hostile to the Jews (and so, incidentally, were the Bavarian Illuminati).” The irony is that the Nazis (and the Russian anti-Semites responsible for the Protocols) assumed a Jewish-Masonic conspiracy. Both groups were considered secretive, clannish, self-supporting and outside the mainstream of culture; ergo, they were united in a single conspiracy. Paranoia has its own internal logic, I guess.

TT: In the book, you hint about your own involvement with the occult. What can you tell me about that? Why are you mentioned in the “Special thanks” section of The Necronomicon? And what’s up with The Necronomicon, anyway? I always thought it was something that Lovecraft had made up, but the preface to the one edited by L. K. Barnes states that it was brought to him by some guy named Simon in a briefcase containing “additional material on The Necronomicon which provided his bona fides.” He also says that the briefcase contained “correspondence from various Balkan embassies.” This I at first took with a grain of salt but after seeing your name in the special

thanks section I grew curious.

I kind of like the fact that William Burroughs was into it, and wrote Simon and L. K. Barnes a letter praising it as an important spiritual breakthrough.

PL: My involvement was on the translation side. I’ve been around occult groups in New York since the late ‘60s. I was a friend of Herman Slater of the old Warlock Shop in Brooklyn Heights before it moved to Manhattan and became Magickal Childe. I was around during the famous Witch Wars of the ’70s, when it seemed that everyone was casting spells on everyone else. I was there when Gardnerians and Welsh Trads and Alexandrians and Sicilian Trads sat down around a table in the back of Herman’s shop to settle the War and make peace once and for all. Herman had once interviewed neo-Nazis in New York in the 1960s and we had a lot of interests in common. I never joined any of the groups, that wasn’t my intention or inclination—but I was a familiar face around the campfire, so to speak. My fascination has always been on the degree to which religion and occultism influence mainstream politics; Unholy Alliance began as an academic study of this before it turned into a Nazi history. As for The Necronomicon, it was part of stash of stolen books. The story is told, I think, in other places and I have been asked this before—also on the internet—so to summarize: in the 1970s a couple of Eastern Orthodox monks pulled off the biggest rare book heist in the history of the United States. It was a continuing crime, the books being taken from libraries and private collections all over the country (and, it was said, Canada and Mexico). They were finally busted, and did federal time, but most of the books were never recovered. The Necronomicon was part of this swag as were a lot of occult books. It was in Greek, handwritten, but the problem was that much of the Greek was unintelligible. My modest contribution to this was recognizing that some of the Greek was an attempt to phoneticize Babylonian and Sumerian worlds. I am not one of the people arguing that this Necronomicon is THE Necronomicon, or that Lovecraft was even aware that it existed. I think Lovecraft heard the name through one of his friends in the Golden Dawn, and used it creatively. If the Simon Necronomicon is a hoax, I think it would have been better done and more closely followed the Cthulhu Mythos. I kind of like the fact that William Burroughs was into it, and wrote Simon and L. K. Barnes a letter praising it as an important spiritual breakthrough.

Endnotes

  1. Parsons later killed himself in an accident involving fulminate of mercury. He had been driven crazy and proclaimed himself the Anti-Christ after becoming involved with one “Frater H,” who was actually a spy sent by Naval Intelligence to infiltrate the O.T.O. That spy’s name was L.Ron Hubbard!
  2. There have been no more successful, more dramatically impressive spies than a group of Englishmen who all met at Trinity College, Cambridge University in the 1930s. To one degree or another, they were active for the Soviet Union for over thirty years. They were the most efficient espionage agents against American and British interests of any collection of spies in the 20th century. One of them, Kim Philby, served the KGB for almost 50 years. (Crimelibrary.com)
  3. Pierre Plantard was the Priory of Sion’s Grand Master from 1981 until his resignation in 1984. His interviews with the authors of Holy Blood, Holy Grail provided much of the source material for that book and its sequel, The Messianic Legacy.