BOOK REVIEW The Secret King: Karl Maria Wiligut, Himmler's Lord of the Runes translated by Stephen E.

Flowers, Ph.D., edited by Michael Moynihan. A joint effort of Dominion Press and Runa-Raven Press Reviewed by Stephen A. McNallen Any follower of Germanic religion eventually hears the accusation that Hitler, or the SS, or the Nazis generally, were Wotan-worshipping pagans. The AFA has tried to rebut those accusations in our Law Enforcement Packet, but let's face it - the fantasy always spreads farther than the truth; The image of Wotanist Nazis conducting demonic rituals by flickering torchlight is such an enticingly spooky one! Dr. Flowers and Mr. Moynihan have done us a great favor, then, by making the original documents of "Nazi occultism" available to the general public for the first time. When the mask is pulled off, the truth is obvious: The Nazis, whatever else they may have been, were not followers of Wotan or the other Nordic deities. The Mystery of Karl Wiligut To understand what really happened during those tragic years, we must understand Karl Maria Wiligut. Born in Vienna in 1866, Wiligut entered the Austrian Army and rose to the rank of colonel. He served in the 99th Infantry Regiment, saw a great deal of combat, and retired from the military after the end of the First World War. Even as a young captain, Wiligut's interest in Germania expressed itself in his first book. Seyfried's Runen was a novel in which he expounded the core of the philosophy which dominated the rest of his life. Unfortunately, disputes with his wife led her to have Wiligut committed to an asylum as a mental incompetent. His unorthodox beliefs - and his claim to be the heir of an ancient "holy clan" called the Ueiskuning - made it easy for her to have him sent away. He remained institutionalized from 1924 to 1927. During this time, his fame in the German occult scene grew and he became a well-known figure in those circles. After his release, a friend introduced the old colonel to Heinrich Himmler, the head of the SS. The Reichsfuhrer was quite impressed with Wiligut and soon gave him a position on his personal staff, and made him an honorary Brigadier General. Wiligut's main job was to create personal reports for Himmler on esoteric philosophy. Wiligut is also credited with designing the ring worn by SS men, and he composed rituals for use within the SS fraternity. The Secret King reprints the complete text of a ceremony at which Wiligut, along with Himmler and others, participated in a name-giving for the newly-born son of SS Brigadier General Karl Wolff. Wiligut, then, was influential at the highest levels of the Third Reich. He was indeed "Himmler's lord of the runes," the trusted and authoritative occultist of Nazi Germany. This man was the creator of the "pagan" trappings of the SS. But he was not a Wotanist. Far from it. Irmin-Kristianity

Wiligut taught that the Germans, from the earliest times, had been monotheists. The idea that the ancients recognized a family of Gods, we are told, is a mistake. The key to understanding human destiny, according to Wiligut, lies in the "Kristur-plan" - a scheme of cosmic interbreeding in which the "Children of Light" mix with the "Children of Stone" and lift them to a higher level. The proponents of this plan believed in "Irmin-Kristianity." They were opposed by…the Wotanists! The Kristur-plan, like Christianity, is redemptive rather than evolutionary. All depends on grace - on help from an outside source, whether it be called God or the "Children of Light." We Asatruar, on the other hand, believe that we are in charge of our personal evolution and that the attainment of higher levels of wisdom, strength and honor depend on our own actions. Some of Wiligut's advocates take the connection with Christianity farther than the Kristur-plan, and assert that the Bible refers to events in Europe, not the Middle East. These several features - redemptive philosophy, monotheism, and the explicit rejection of Wotan - place Wiligut in direct opposition to actual native European religion. The state-approved "Nazi occultism" is not only different from Asatru, it is actively hostile to our ancestral religion. The Secret King Wiligut's work is a very mixed bag. I have painted an unflattering picture of his work here, and in truth I find the madness in Wiligut outweighs the genius by a wide margin. To be fair, there was more to the man than his eccentricity and his misunderstanding of our heritage. Much of his work is original and thoughtprovoking in the best sense, but the tainted meat is hard to separate from the good. Few will make the attempt. The Secret King itself contains many articles of value. Wiligut's writings on cosmology and philosophy are of course included, as are the mantra-like "Hagalrita-Sayings." Adolf Schleipfer of the Armanen Order points out the differences between Wiligut's beliefs and our own in an excellent critique titled "The Wiligut Saga." The volume as a whole has much to recommend it from a historical standpoint. But the compelling reason for you to own The Secret King is to use it to defend Asatru from the lie that "Hitler was a pagan" or that "Asatruar trace their roots to Nazi Germany." The Secret King proves conclusively that this is not the case. It is a powerful weapon for the truth.