Men in Black
and their Magical Origins
Sub-Figura vel Liber Caeruleus
Secret Cipher of the UFOnauts
1994 by Allen H. Greenfield
Illuminet Press, P.O.B. 2808, Lilburn, GA 30226
"...we are dealing with a
full-size world-mystery and a real fight between the Black and
- Frater Achad, 1948
Throughout medieval times, a major current of thought distinct
from official religion existed, culminating in the works of the
alchemists and hermetics. Among such groups were to be found
some of the early modern scientists and men remarkable for the
strength of their independent thinking and their adventurous
life, such as Paracelsus. The nature of the beings who
mysteriously appeared, dressed in shiny garments or covered with
dark hair, and with whom communication was so hard to establish
intrigued these men intensely."
- Jacques Vallee, Passport to Magonia
In 1947 the CIA was organized and the
first UFO cases burst upon the American media landscape as "flying
saucers." In that year, also, the first modern visitation by the
infamous Men in Black took place in which a witness, one Harold
Dahl, was silenced. From that point on, a pattern began to emerge.
The Men In Black legend is perennial; that it shows up in connection
with the UFO lore should come as no surprise. UFOlogy bizarro
chronicler John Keel ("Disneyland of the Gods", "Jadoo", etc.)
observed in his "UFOs: Operation Trojan Horse":
" The records of demonology are
filled with striking parallels ... the general descriptions of
the vampires themselves are identical to the ’men in black.’ The
dark skin and angular, Oriental-like faces were commonly
"The Autobiography of Malcolm X"
described Malcolm’s encounter with an MIB in prison:
"He had on a dark suit I remember. I
could see him as plainly as I see anyone I look at. He wasn’t
black, and he wasn’t white. He was light-brown skinned, an
Asiatic cast of countenance, and he had oily black hair..."
It is interesting that the celebrated
film "Malcolm X" chooses to imply that this figure was Nation of
Islam leader Elijah Mohammed. While Elijah Mohammed and his
mysterious teacher Wallace Fard (who vanished without a trace) had
come out of High Degree Prince Hall Freemasonry, and certainly knew
some of the esoteric secrets, the being Malcolm X described is more
in accord with Aleister Crowley’s description of the praterhuman
intelligence Aiwass than of Elijah Mohammed.
"In the shadows, the Men in Black
had long lurked, biding their time, waiting. Here and there, now
and then, some people thought they had seen them, but they
weren’t quite certain; perhaps they more sense than actually
"Fourteen years earlier, the shadowy visitors had shown
themselves openly. Then they had descended upon flying saucer
buffs, threatening and terrorizing them, hushing them up...
"Al K. Bender, a UFO researcher, had been the first known victim
...he performed a certain experiment and the lurking horror
came. It began with glowing blue lights. Then came the stranger
with the luminous eyes in the darkened theatre, and later on a
dusky street. It culminated when the Men in Black, three of
them, paid him a visit ...."
- Gray Barker,
"The Silver Bridge"
UFOlogist Gray Barker got his one and
only best-selling book in detailing the Albert K. Bender story and
the world-wide wave of silencings. "They Knew Too Much about the
Flying Saucers" was an international success. It was widely assumed
that the Men in Black were either government agents or
extraterrestrials, but as researchers Wilgus and Keel have shown,
the eye in the triangle was sometimes their only insignia, while my
own research showed startling parallels to certain black magick
rituals in medieval times which provoked visitations by what was
often called "the Man in Black" -- widely understood to be the Devil
himself. Even Barker noted that Albert K. Bender’s experiments were
more like a magical conjuration than an attempt at extraterrestrial
communication. Any initiated magician reading Bender’s accounts
would recognize the elements of magical conjuration immediately.
Maybe, I mused, we were dealing more with magick than with Martians.
"Mathers, of course, carried on; but
he had fallen. The Secret Chiefs cast him off; he fell into
deplorable abjection, even his scholarship deserted him. He
published nothing new and lived in sodden intoxication till
death put an end to his long misery. He was a great man in his
- Aleister Crowley
"What I am out to complain of is what I seriously believe to be
an organized conspiracy of the Black Lodges to prevent people
- Aleister Crowley,
"Magick Without Tears"
Often when a person or institution
allied with the historical Great White Brotherhood approaches
success (variously defined) or comes into possession of certain
aspects of transcendent wisdom, Something Intervenes. That something
has been defined as the Man in Black, the Men In Black, the
lodges, or The Black Lodge. The latter term most nearly accommodates
my own view. That they need to do this, and that they often fail in
their efforts, is itself an indication that (A) the Black Lodge is
opposed by Something Else, equally as strong, and (B) they are
afraid of something we might find out -- about them, about their
opposition, about ourselves or all three.
The story of our interaction with the UFOnauts begins with the
Qabalistic Tree of Life, and the Chakra system of the body.
According to the primal occult and frequently secret and subversive
view, the manifest universe emerges from an Ultimate NOT-Thing, a
Consciousness or Beingness beyond words or expressions sometimes
referred to as the Unmanifest or The Limitless Light. This
Unmanifest cannot be understood in the external sense, but can be
Known in the Gnostic sense by the initiate or perfected sentient
being, the Ubermensch. It can be plugged into.
For reasons equally inexpressible, this uniqueness unfolds itself in
manifestation. Thus, the limitless light becomes a series of
emanations or expressions or Intelligences that devolve increasingly
toward our material form of existence and thus towards accessibility
in the conventional sense. But the manifestations also increasingly
become subject to subdivision into arbitrary concepts such as "good"
and "evil" as these are commonly understood. And they also become
closer and closer in form and content to our own mundane reality,
though in the relativity of things, these Higher Intelligences may
seem unspeakably powerful, mythic and divine.
The Gnostic view has tended to be that what the external world of
the conventional person understands as god, devil demon, angel or,
more recently, extraterrestrial beings are, in fact, such emanations
of the unspeakable ultimate. Indeed, the ancient Gnostics saw the
’god’ and ’devil’ of conventional theology as an ego-maddened entity
under the delusion that it, indeed, IS the Ultimate Being! The late
Phil Dick, in his last Gnostic allegorical fiction, eventually
settled on the name "V.A.L.I.S." or "Vast Active Living intelligence
System" for this being or Demiurge. He wrestled through his literary
career and secret life as a Christian Gnostic philosopher with
whether VALIS was a benevolent, if machine-like deity of a sort, or
an insane extraterrestrial supercomputer.
Throughout recorded history, and, from the evidence of primitive
objects and works of art, for aeons before, certain humans have had
the capacity to tune into or channel various of these Higher
Intelligences with varying degrees of accuracy. These humans have
been our Seers, Oracles and Prophets. It appears, in fact, that much
of the source-material of all religions comes from such channelings,
including, arguably, "The Book of Revelation", "The Book of Mormon",
and "The Book of the Law".
Concurrently, and not coincidentally, the two great initiatory
bodies, or orders have been generated and regenerated throughout
history. The so-called Great White Brotherhood, when undistorted,
appears (according to legend) guided by Intelligences associated
with the dual star system Sirius or Sothis in some manner [see
Sirius Mystery" by Robert Temple for a discussion of the Sirius
connection -- also Kenneth Grant’s "Outside the Circles of Time"
discusses the matter from a magical perspective]. This brotherhood
also seems to have the purpose of uplifting human character and
initiating biological and social evolution designed to move towards
identification with Ultimate Being. What is sometimes called "the
Black Lodge," which we may associate with the Gnostic Demiurge or
Phil Dick’s VALIS, is generated to keep humanity in a state of
materialist trance and evolutionary stagnation.
Mystics generally consider that understanding the motivations of
either of these Sources may be beyond our knowledge or even our
capabilities. Existentially, however, it may be stated with
confidence that one is dedicated to keep us in subjugation, misery
and stagnation; the other to our betterment and enrichment though
both at times have made claims to being our saviors.
There are keys for decoding which is which -- for example, rituals
that have been generated or handed down to the magical lodges of
modern times which refer to a star or the stars directly or
indirectly tend to be transformative and thus of the Great White
Brotherhood. Ciphers for decoding messages between the black lodges
and their alien sponsors have always existed. But confusions of a
deliberate nature exist; the ancient Gnostics uncovered a cipher
which clearly indicates that the story of the Garden of Eden in its
conventional form is turned on its head.
The Serpent is clearly the symbol of
Knowledge, Wisdom, the Kundalini Yogic force, the Will-current --
that is, it is the symbol of Liberation and Self-Mastery. The
jealous "gods," as read in the original manuscripts, are clearly
forces of blockage, self-denial and repression -- which is to say,
the Intelligences governing the Black Lodge. This Knowledge of Good
and Evil and Life and Death has been the Terrible Secret of
Initiates throughout history, recorded in ciphers and myths, and
passed on through ritual.
The Black Lodge may be defined as the organized institution guided
by VALIS for the purpose of holding back human evolution and keeping
a slave mentality in place. Its human leaders are the "black
brothers" who are not to be mistaken for mere black magicians.
Indeed, Aleister Crowley observed that,
"the ’Black Magician’ or Sorcerer is
hardly even a distant cousin of the ’Black Brother.’ The
difference between a sneak-thief and a Hitler is not too bad an
analogy..." The Black Brothers are highly advanced adepts of the
Art who have simply, as the popular phrase goes, "been seduced
by the dark side of the Force."
At certain times and places in history
-- for example, medieval Tibet or, in more modern times, Nazi
Germany -- the Black Lodge as operated more or less openly with
characteristic occult symbols of human skulls, lightning bolts, etc.
out in the open. But like the Great White Brotherhood that it
actively seeks to subvert and overthrow (as it did in the time of
the Knights Templar), the Black Lodge has generally communicated by
cipher and myth, in silence and secrecy, often within religious,
fraternal and political institutions dedicated to the status quo.
In the West since at least the early 18th century, the Black Lodge
has tended to operate along crypto-Masonic lines, and its
development has tended to coincide with and mirror that of the Great
White Brotherhood. This development may, in fact, be attributed to a
cosmic principle of "equal generation of forces." Thus, the birth of
the modern form, as the fraternity of the knights militant of the
New Aeon in the cultural and political turbulence of Germany in the
1890s, may fairly (along with the coincident peak in the development
of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and the Universal Gnostic
Church) be characterized as the resurgence of the Great White
Brotherhood and its rejuvenation out of the degeneration of
classical speculative freemasonry. This coincides closely with the
"Great Airship Scare" of 1897.
At almost the same moment, and in the same unhappy land, the Black
Lodge reasserted itself in the form of such fraternities as the
Society and the Thule Group. The full story of the Vril Society, the
Thule Group, the Ahnenerbe, the Schwartze Orden (The Black Order)
and other manifestations of the Black Lodge in the pre-Nazi and Nazi
era has yet to be told, though Pauwels and Bergier take an informal
stab at it in "The Morning of the Magicians". Rudolph Hess, the last
known member of the Thule Group, told Jack Fishman ("The Seven Men
of Spandau") that Thule leader and occult initiate General Karl Haushofer (1869-1946) "was the magician, the secret Master..." of
Hess believed in the cause to the end of
his life. The last prisoner at Spandau, Hess died at the significant
age of 93, proclaiming his loyalty to the Thule ideal to the very
end. The period, in the middle 1930s, in which these groups attained
their greatest, ruinous power over the German state coincides
closely with the reports of "ghost rockets" over Northern Europe.
The British Raj in India, and the European Christian colonization of
the East in general, had all but destroyed the classical Tantrism
and Illuminism of the Great White Brotherhood in the East, finding
such institutions as Temple Prostitution, chakra-puji, Shiva
devotion, etc. to be sexual obscenity. On the other hand, fearing
the power of the Black Lodge as a political entity and eroding its
hold on esoteric Eastern Religion as a practical necessity had
provoked the British to effectively dismantle the classical Eastern
manifestation of the Black Lodge, and Western occultists visiting
the East in the 19th and early 20th century already could only find
watered-down remnants and secret adepts carrying on the hidden
wisdom in either form. The Great White Brotherhood survived in
along with the Dark Lodges, and, since the Chinese occupation, many
of its chiefs have found their way to India and around the world.
As far as is known, the last classical chakra-puj to be observed by
a Westerner was in the 1930s, while the last ancient intact body of
adepts of the Eastern Black Lodge, ironically dedicated to foisting
upon sleeping humanity a rank and demoralizing materialism, was
discovered and destroyed in accordance with the insipid Marxism
which guided the Chinese "People’s" Liberation Army into
the late 1950s. Among various Tantric Buddhist and Bon religious
institutions, the P.L.A. liquidated the cavern retreats of Schamballah and Agarthi, the former being possibly the oldest
surviving branch of the Black Lodge on the planet. (See
Ossendovski’s _Men, Beasts and Gods_, circa 1925, for an account of
Schamballah and Agarthi.)
As survivors of the Marxist massacre
from the Tibetan Great White Brotherhood are known to have come to
the West in subsequent years, it may be assumed that survivors of
the Black Lodge have set up operations in our own society as well.
We can see the marks of their presence in so-called right-handed
Eastern circles that have gained a certain currency among
Westerners, and which peddle a useless baggage of New Age
The traditions do survive here and there in the East; a friend of
mine -- for 10 years a high official of the International Society
for Krishna Consciousness in India -- was seduced by a Black Tantric
Magician, and wound up leaving a life of celibacy as a Hari Krishna
for the lurid existence of a Madame in an upscale American house of
prostitution. I leave it to my readers to decide whether she was
seduced from the Great Brotherhood to the Black Lodge, or vice
Certainly, prior to the destruction of the Tibetan black lodges, the
German SS -- under Thule and Vril influence and directed by the
infamous Ahnenerbe Group -- imported a number of Black Brothers and
Adepts from Tibet during and prior to the Second World War. The
Tibetan colony in Berlin in fact predates the Nazi rise to power,
having been established in 1926. One Tibetan Monk, termed "the man
with the green gloves" and a reputed psychic, was frequently visited
by Hitler and was rumored to hold the keys to the Kingdom of Agarthi.
Such keys are best understood in terms of ciphers.
Western mystics including Karl Kellner, P.B. Randolph and
Gurdjieff received instruction from surviving institutions of the
Great White Brotherhood and carried their influence back with them
to Europe, just as the Templars had done centuries before, and
incorporated their teachings into the Western Esoteric System.
It is known that the Black Lodge -- which, as it opposes evolution,
inherently fights a rear-guard action -- has made unceasing war on
the Great White Brotherhood in the West from the beginnings of the
magical revival. Indeed, fallen and failed adepts of the Great White
Brotherhood have become the tools and pawns of the Black Lodge, from
Mathers to Hubbard and beyond.
It would seem that the
of the Black Brothers is to delay the Manifestation of the New Aeon,
the birth of the magical child and the realization of the ubermensch
through diversion of the Will-current into less than useless power
plays, demoralizing materialist and superstitious delusions, New Age
jargon, etc. The classic example in the Twentieth Century was the
Nazi appropriation, under Black Lodge influence, of the very concept
of the ubermensch, and sidetracking it into a pathetic racialist
caricature of Nietzsche’s super being.
"We should found society upon a
caste of ’men of earth,’ sons of the soil ..." said Crowley,
"The worst thing they can do is what is done in America, to
disenchant the man of earth with his destiny; to fill him with
the facts and fancies that enthrall etiolated and degenerated
idealists and unfit him for his evident purpose, that of
supplying society with supermen."
The Black Lodge in the Nazi era totally
discredited the concept of the evolved human supermen by grafting it
onto German nationalist and racialist conceits, while suppressing
the Gnostic Church, the OTO, the Anthroposophical Society and even
lost-word freemasonry -- in short, anyone who might have an actual
understanding of the coming Being. The leading figure of the OTO in
Germany, the future Grand Master Karl Germer, was placed in a
concentration camp. His official crime was that he knew and
maintained relations with Aleister Crowley. The Chief Bishop of the
Universal Gnostic Church in France was executed by the Nazis.
Crowley, for his part,
"on the outbreak of the War ...was
invited to see the Director of British Naval Intelligence."
According to Gerald Suster,
"Crowley claimed that he advocated
the use of two magical signs which were to boost British morale
and frequently used by Winston Churchill: the ’V’ sign,
in magical terms, is the counter of the Swastika; and the
’ Thumbs Up,’ the Sign of the Phallus and Victory, which was
published in a pamphlet of Crowley poetry during the most
desperate days of 1940 and whose use spread throughout the
War of the magicians, indeed!
I believe the New Age distortion of the New Aeon concept is a direct
attempt by the Black Lodge and its Inner Planes Rulers (which we
call, for convenience VALIS) to delay manifestation of the Aeon by
creating confusion among the receptive. Much of the "White Light
Channeling" clearly bears the stamp of the Black Lodge and VALIS, an
empty metaphysical blind of insipid psychic trivia. Many
self-improvement groups have their origins in the ideas of failed
magicians like L. Ron Hubbard. We have new age centers that teach
nothing useful, UFO message-oriented cults waving flashlights on
mountains, and, as I have shown end-of-the-world doomsayers touting
this or that grand cosmic alignment, harmonic convergence or polar
The UFO cults have clearly influenced even Kenneth Grant’s so-called
"Typhonian OTO," which appears to use valid magical currents to
pursue the hideous old ones of H.P. Lovecraft’s fictional Cthulhu
Mythos. Phil Dick’s last efforts were marred by insipid trivial UFO
cult channelings -- the kind of stuff that was old hat to hardened
UFOlogists by the late 1950s. Compare Phil Dick’s musings in "The
Last Testament" with, for example, the Mark Prophet or Dick Miller
or Gloria Lee Bird materials of UFO contacteé lore.
The magick of the Black Lodge can be defined and thus identified in
only one way and by one set standard: the subversion of the True
Will. This is the essence of Black Magick, and is its only true
definition. Aleister Crowley explained it this way:
"The Magical Will is in its essence
twofold, for it presupposes a beginning and an end, to will to
be a thing is to admit you are not that thing.
"Hence to will anything but the supreme thing is to wander still
further from it -- any will but that to give up the self to the
beloved is black magick -- yet the surrender is so simple an act
that to our complex minds it is the most difficult of all acts;
and hence training is necessary ...
"The majority of the people in this world are ataxic; they
cannot coordinate their mental muscles to make a purposed
movement. They have no real will, only a set of wishes, many of
which contradict others ...and at the end of life the movements
cancel out each other..."
Crowley’s references to his wars with
the Black Lodge are scattered throughout his writings and bear
further study. From these writings, one can come to understand that
the form of the attack upon the magician can range from political
repression to seduction.
The great magicians, Theosophists and other Western sources have
devoted even more testimony to the other side of the coin -- the
"Great White Brotherhood" or "The Secret Chiefs" or "The Masters."
In the early days of the magical revival, the existence of an inner
order was taken for granted. This was followed by a long epoch of
expose, disillusionment and world weariness. But now, revisionist
historians are finding evidence that these groups, usually described
in mythic terms, are as material as they are archetypal. They are,
in very Truth, the "Inner Order" -- in communication with and
overlapping with Ultraterrestrial Sources.
Reality of the Secret Chiefs
The mythology of the secret masters or chiefs and the myth of the
black lodge form an archetypal substratum of modern magical lore
which is almost a necessity if magick is not to drift into a kind of
bland parapsychological secular humanism or offbeat psychology on
the one hand, or a religious fundamentalism grounded in a new faith
substituted for Christianity.
But one should at least allow that the
legend of secret chiefs may have some rather literal basis in fact;
that there are high masters of the art scattered around the world,
that they are in communication with one another, and that how they
use their illumination depends upon their character and
predisposition. This is all that one must grant to consider the
great brotherhood, or secret chiefs, as well as their opposition
In medieval Tibet, this was known as the "whispered succession." It
is an open part of the literature of Tantric Yoga, and the
often-invoked Tibetan connection of adepts and publicists comes
quickly to mind. It was the Hidden Church of Karl von Eckartshausen
that brought Aleister Crowley to the path, and small wonder;
von Eckartshausen wrote in the 18th century of,
"...the society of the Elect, which
has continued from the first day of creation to the present
time; its members, it is true, are scattered all over the world,
but they have always been united in the spirit and in one truth
"It is from her that all truths
penetrate into the world, she is the School of the Prophets, and
of all who search for wisdom, and it is in this community alone
that truth and the explanation of all mystery is to be found. It
is the most hidden of communities yet possesses members from
many circles; of such is this School ...From all time,
therefore, there has been a hidden assembly, a society of the
Elect, of those who sought for and had capacity for light, and
this interior society was called the interior Sanctuary or
In medieval European graal mythology, we
find a strain of accomplished Graal Templars going out in secret to
govern and protect far-flung populations, but (as in von Eschenbach’s
"...writing was seen on the Gral to
the effect that any Templar whom God should bestow on a distant
people for their lord must forbid them to ask his name or
lineage, but must help them gain their rights ...members of the Gral Company are now forever averse to questioning, they do not
wish to be asked about themselves..."
As magical mythologist Aleister Crowley
has a wonderful time with both friend and foe in the fictional
"Moonchild", but his nonfictional recounting of the same period
comes uncomfortably close to the metaphor of the war between the
Great White Brotherhood and the Black Lodge.
Then we find the matter
of fact (if remarkable) essay on sexual magick, "Energized
Enthusiasm," interrupted, as it were, in midcourse by an anecdotal
accounting worthy of "Moonchild".
"Thus far had I written when the
distinguished poet, whose conversation with me upon the
Mysteries had incited me to jot down these few rough notes,
knocked at my door ...’If you come with me now, we will finish
your essay.’ Glad enough of any excuse to stop working, the more
plausible the better, I hastened to take down my coat and hat.
’By the way,’ he remarked in the automobile, ’I take it that you
do not mind giving me the Word of Rose Croix.’ I exchanged the
secrets of I.N.R.I. with him..."
What followed was an account of a close
encounter of a Most Peculiar Kind, best read in the original.
Crowley, ever both rationalist and mystic, was aware of the
superficial difficulties in the idea of secret chiefs. Yet he tended
to be rather unambiguous on this matter.
"Yes; this involves a theory of the
powers of the Secret Chiefs so romantic and unreasonable that it
seems hardly worth a smile of contempt...I propose to quote it
here in order to show that the most ordinary events, apparently
disconnected, are in fact only intelligible by postulating some
such people as the Secret Chiefs..."
He remarks in this manner in his
autobiography, but is still quite convinced 20 or so years later
when he notes, in "Magick Without Tears":
"They can induce a girl to embroider
a tapestry, or initiate a political movement to culminate in a
world-war; all in pursuit of some plan wholly beyond the purview
or the comprehension of the deepest and subtlest thinkers...But
are They men, in the usual sense of the word? They may be
incarnate or discarnate: it is a matter of Their convenience..."
We should take note of Paul Johnson’s
recent trailblazing study of the theosophical masters. The essence
may be boiled down to this: secret chiefs or hidden masters may have
good reason to mythologize themselves, and encourage those in direct
contact with them to follow suit on the border where magical
philosophy meets with its political implications, the need for
secrecy assumes a more practical rationale. The Secret Chiefs may be
secret not because they are myths or immortals, but because they are
Gods Leave Footprints?
The recent revisionist histories, especially Paul Johnson’s "The
Masters", Joscelyn Godwin’s "hidden hand" articles, and our own work
with the "ciphers of the Secret Chiefs" (identical with that of the
UFOnauts) have begun to restore the political component to
historical understandings of the magical revival of the late 19th
For Westerners, especially in America, the separation of Church and
State has been sufficient to make it difficult even to think in
terms of spirituality and political philosophy as a continuous
sphere. Even hardcore Bible-belters are unable to truly imagine an
established religion in the European sense, let alone in the
I believe most of us have virtually no idea of what makes
Islamic Republicanism tick, and we stand appalled not only at the
atrocities of Islamic Government, but at its sheer zeal. The idea of
Pat Robertson driving a truck filled with explosives into an enemy
military compound shouting "Jesus is Lord!" is ludicrous in our
imaginations. Put Billy Graham behind the wheel ... but you get the
Yet, it has been shown that the founders of speculative freemasonry
in the 18th century, especially in its continental version, were
upholders of a radical spiritual, sometimes republican political
vision that captured the imagination of many, including early
socialists on the one hand and occultists on the other. These
tendencies meet and overlap, and explain much about the nature of
Masonic and occult secrecy, the cell structure common to political
radicals and occultists, and the hostility of the established State
and Church to both.
The Secret Chiefs of Theosophy, the Golden Dawn and the OTO may be
able to, as Crowley said, "initiate a political movement to
culminate in a world-war" (or prevent one), but if Paul Johnson’s
thesis is correct, one should not conclude from this that they are
immune to arrest, torture and execution. Alessandro di Cagliostro,
almost certainly a (rather more public than would seem judicious)
Secret Chief, was arrested and condemned by the Inquisition, dying
in a Roman prison.
Johnson observes of some of his successors:
"They were all committed to an
international effort to combat religious dogmatism, extend the
range of democratic government, and direct public attention to
the values of liberty, equality and fraternity ...Sotheran’s
acquaintance with HPB began in Europe among the disciples of
Mazzini. Sotheran’s account of Cagliostro makes it clear that he
regarded the work of Mazzini and the Carbonari to be direct
continuation of Cagliostro’s mission..."
Johnson’s cast of characters in
Theosophical history overlaps with occultist-magical history
considerably. The great Magi Papus, P.B. Randolph and
all come under consideration by Johnson.
But before we inaugurate Karl Marx or Anarchist Emma Goldman as
"Secret Chiefs," we do need to avoid losing sight of the fact that
those who professedly encountered these hidden beings were apt to
describe them in terms of, at the least, superbeings in human form.
Consider Henry Steel Olcott’s account of an encounter at Lahore with
the legendary "K.H.":
"I was sleeping in my tent, the
night of the 19th, when I rushed back towards external
consciousness on feeling a hand laid on me. The camp being on
the open plain, and beyond the protection of the Lahore police,
my first animal instinct was to protect myself ...’Do you not
know me? Do you not remember me?’ It was the voice of the Master K.H. A swift revulsion of feeling came over me, I relaxed my
hold on his arms, joined my palms in reverential salutation, and
wanted to jump out of bed to show him respect.
But his hand and voice stayed me,
and after a few sentences had been exchanged, he took my left
hand in his, gathered the fingers of his right into the palm,
and stood quiet beside my cot, from which I could see his
divinely benignant face by the light of the lamp ...Presently, I
could feel some soft substance forming in my hand, and the next
minute the Master laid his kind hand on my forehead, uttered a
blessing, and left ...I found myself holding in my left hand a
folded paper enwrapped in a silken cloth..."
The letter, as it turned out, predicted
the death of two enemies of the Theosophical Society, which swiftly
came to pass. The actual identity of "Master K.H." seems to be one
Thakar Singh, an enlightened radical Sikh leader, in contact with
the worldwide network of radicals of the 19th century.
Contrast Olcott’s encounter with S.L. MacGregor Mathers’ account of
his relations with the Secret Chiefs:
"It was found absolutely and
imperatively necessary that there should be some eminent Member
especially chosen to act as the link between the Secret Chiefs
and the more external forms of the Order. It was requisite that
such a member should be me who, while having the necessary and
peculiar educational basis of critical and profound Occult
Archaeological Knowledge, should at the same time not only be
ready and willing to devote himself in every sense to a blind
and unreasoning obedience to those Secret Chiefs..."
Israel Regardie described Mathers’
fateful encounter in this way:
"While walking in the Bois de
Bologne one day, meditating ... Mathers claimed triumphantly
that he was approached by three men. He asserted that these were
Adepts belonging to the hidden or Secret Third Order, and
therefore belonged to that category of men described in The
Cloud Upon the Sanctuary. Apparently, so he claims, they had
materialized themselves, and in that tense emotional and
spiritual atmosphere of Psychical phenomena, confirmed him in
the sole rulership of the Order."
Mathers observed that, for his part,
believe they are human beings living on this Earth, but possessed of
terrible and super-human powers."
As outré as these tales are, they coincide remarkably with close
encounter accounts from as early as St. Paul’s fateful experience on
the road to Damascus, to Albert K. Bender’s three Men in Black.
The most intelligent discussion of what is delusion, dishonesty and
deception in all this, and what is not, is in Crowley’s "Magick
Without Tears". That it is scattered through the work and written
under an implicit assumption that the proofs of a residue of
concrete reality, however bizarre, are readily obvious to the reader
is unfortunate, in today’s (properly) more wary magical and
All that we attempt to demonstrate here is that
a plausible case can be made for historical revision at this time.
Johnson’s tentative identification of Theosophical Masters both
demythologizes them and adds to the credibility of their existence.
If Johnson is correct, the Secret Chiefs are not only real but they
probably have phone numbers -- doubtless unlisted.
Crowley observed dryly in a postscript:
"A visitor’s story has just reminded
me of the possibility that I am a Secret Chief myself without
knowing it: for I have sometimes been recognized by other people
as having acted as such, though I was not aware of the fact at
Brad Steiger observed in 1988, that,
"...Space Beings have placed
themselves in the role of messengers of God, or that we, in our
desperation for cosmic messiahs who can remove us from the foul
situation we have made on this planet, hope that there are such
messengers who can extricate us from the plight we have brought
Only with the coming of cipher knowledge
can we decode the Pretended Saviors from Authentic Benefactors or,
better Allies. Taking into consideration that UFO contacteé
King and his Aetherius Society are earnestly engaged in the war
being waged by the (Great White) Brotherhood against the Black
Magicians, "a group they feel seeks to enslave the human race," as
Steiger puts it, the UFOlogy mythos and the magical mythos are shown
clearly to be cut from the same cloth. The nature of that cloth, in
the hands of Crowley or King, is now no longer obscure.
P:.P:. on the M:.I:.B:.
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