Munich 1919

‘The runes are a means of communication. They’re instruments, like a telegraph. Tools. To the Ancients, the runes were technical instruments for practical use ... ’
Forty of us were seated in five rows, eight chairs across. I was among members of the upper middle class: professors, government officials, factory owners and aristocrats. Some were Thule members; others, like myself, were guests.
The lecturer turned to the side, his patrician profile framed by a round black insignia of garland-entwined dagger and swastika that adorned the wall. ‘Science is a belief system. It is based on the assumption that there is nothing more real than the physical, material stuff of the universe. And so also our laws of physics are merely part of that belief system. But there are other, alternative belief systems... ’
The Thule Society, I had quickly learned, had been founded by Rudolf von Sebottendorf who had studied occultism in Turkey, where he had met Sufis, Islamic alchemists and dervishes. In Constantinople, he had founded another mystical lodge.
‘There is another way to look at the universe,’ the speaker continued. ‘A way that is more advanced: the way of the Ancients. They created the runes. And the runes have not lost their power!’
I had asked Edgar if he could arrange for me to go to a Thule lecture. He had been reluctant, asking me why I was interested. I had lied, telling him of my long-standing interest in German prehistory. Edgar made the proper arrangements and I was invited as a guest. The Holy Grail and the Runes was the title of the lecture.
‘The runes are a means of advancing your spiritual development. The runes lead us back to our historic past, but also show us the way to tomorrow. They are our past and our future!’ The speaker bowed his head. ‘Thank you,’ he finished.
There was a moment of silence as we were all transported back from the mythic world of the runes to the reality of a five-star hotel in an impoverished, castrated Germany. There was a spattering of applause, which quickly increased as more of us were awakened by the sound, and eventually we were all clapping. Some lined up to thank the lecturer as others gravitated towards the side table where some simple pastries and coffee substitute were being served. Small groups of people were discussing the lecture. References were made to occult systems. Gnostic sources were quoted, along with Pythagoras and Hindu wisdoms. Amongst all of the spiritual chatter, I overheard snippets of other conversations.
‘When will the rifles from Berne arrive?’ I overheard a younger man asking.
‘They’ll strike in two groups,’ said another.
‘The swastika is the key that unlocks infinite power,’ a woman whispered into another’s ear.
I knew her. Leonie was a countess, married to a prosperous member of the Thule Society. He was part of the ‘inner circle’, the power base of the group.
More Thules started to arrive. They greeted one another with ‘Heil!’ and answered with ‘Sieg!’ raising their right arm and nodding ever so slightly. 1
Countess Leonie winked at me. She was a flirt and was drawn to me, no doubt, because I was one of the younger men in the group. She was near Francisca’s age so there was a curious pattern to all this. I was intrigued by her closely cropped black hair and jade green eyes, and liked her smoky, sexy laugh. I was curious, even though I was perfectly happy with Francisca. But it irked me that Francisca was the only woman I had ever known. Although I had wanted to marry her for a long time, the fact that it was finally happening made me apprehensive, so I played these harmless little games with myself. And the countess seemed to be playing along with me.
‘Let’s have our own little tête-à-tête,’ Leonie suggested, ‘while they have their secret little meeting.’
She was referring to the members’ meeting after the lecture. It was a ‘men only’ council, as usual. I smiled: I was game.
As all non-members and all of the women were being politely asked to leave, Countess Leonie came up to me again. ‘Let’s go get a real drink,’ she said, with feigned exhaustion.
We went to the bar opposite the hotel. It was the first bar in town that had reopened after the downfall of the Soviet government.
We took a seat. The countess smiled and said, ‘They shouldn’t do that.’
‘What?’ I asked.
‘Exclude the women from their meetings,’ she shook her head. ‘They’re only hindering themselves.’ Her fingers massaged her pearl necklace. ‘Female energy is so valuable.’ She raised her glass of vermouth and we toasted. ‘If they’d let the women take part,’ Countess Leonie continued, ‘they’d have made contact a long time ago.’
‘Made contact?’ I asked. ‘With whom?’
Leonie looked at me. She had just told me something that was supposed to remain secret; something clandestine, something possibly overheard from her husband. She crossed and then uncrossed her legs. ‘Oh, what you don’t know,’ she said, teasingly.
‘What do you mean?’
‘There are so many ways to do it.’ She winked.
‘Ways?’ I asked, wondering if Francisca had taught me everything I needed to know.
‘Techniques . . . ’ She winked again, and tilted her head: coquette. ‘Spiritual techniques that the group uses,’ she elaborated.
I was disappointed. Conniving trollop.
‘Sebottendorff has taught them some very powerful skills: spiritual techniques you can only learn in practice.’ The countess smiled: you actually thought you were going to bed me? She laughed.
Spiritual techniques, I mused, abandoning any other prospects involving the countess. My thoughts turned instead to the weapons in Room 33.
‘Do these “techniques” include the use of weapons?’
‘You mean the Thule fighting alliance?’ Leonie laughed. ‘That’s part of the work. A necessity these days. But that’s not what Thule is really about.’
‘What is it about, then?’
‘Knowledge.’
‘Of?’
‘The Armanen.’
‘Excuse me?’
‘You don’t know Guido von List?’
‘No.’
‘But ... aren’t you Austrian?’
‘Sure.’
‘Guido von List is from Austria too. And you’ve never heard of him? Really?’
I said I hadn’t, but I might have; had Dolferl mentioned him? I couldn’t remember.
‘I can’t believe you’ve never heard of Guido von List,’ she repeated.
‘Should I have?’
‘He’s a prophet. Wondrous. Profound. Nothing less than life-changing. He sees things . . . ’ 2
‘What does he see?’
‘An ancient prophecy whose time has come,’ she said. ‘Soon He will come and all will be revealed.’
‘Who will come?’
‘He who has ultimate knowledge. Von List predicts that He will reveal the secret knowledge that the swastika represents.’ ‘And what does Thule have to do with this?’ Leoni looked to her right, then to her left. There was no one close enough to hear what she had to say, but even so she lowered her voice. ‘This is strictly confidential. You must promise not to reveal it to anyone.’ ‘Of course.’ ‘Swear it.’ ‘I swear!’
She leaned towards me and whispered: ‘Thule will bring about the emergence of the man with the ultimate knowledge. Just as von List has prophesied.’
‘You really believe that?’
‘Oh, yes!’ Leonie said, and gazed into the distance. ‘Now that Germany so painfully needs him. He is the essence of invincibility.’
‘I don’t doubt that that’s their goal,’ I responded, ‘but how can they possibly succeed?’
Leonie’s stare cut through me. My heart accelerated.
‘Do you believe in a higher dimension?’ she asked.
‘Well, I used to believe in God ... ’
‘I’m not asking about God. I’m asking if you believe there’s something beyond the understanding of us humans.’
‘Well, certainly,’ I conceded.
‘That’s what I mean: the dimension beyond. It can be accessed by these ancient and powerful techniques.’ Leonie cleared her throat to make her point. ‘But those men’ – she paused and looked at me. She spat ‘men’ as if she were saying ‘bastards’ – ‘those men across the street refuse to acknowledge the female energy. Otherwise they would have made contact already!’
‘With what?’
‘With that . . . spark. They’ve used ancient techniques and have caused a rupture in the space-time continuum. Through that rupture, a spark from the higher dimension has come into being. Knowledge ... ultimate knowledge ... dormant for hundreds and thousands of years. But now it has been reborn.’
‘Reborn? How?’
‘It’s alive. Alive in a man. He is the Chosen One.’ Her eyes shone as she looked at me. ‘I know you don’t believe me,’ she said. ‘ But mark my words: it will happen here. In Munich. Not just according to Sebottendorff. Astrology has predicted it too. And Nostradamus.’
‘So where is this…”Chosen One”... now?’
‘No one knows where He is. But we know He’s coming. Soon.’ 3

1 See: Appendix 33, The Thule Society
2 See: Appendix 34, Guido von List
3 See: Appendix 35, The Expected Saviour