Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Spiritual Fascism of Rene Guenon and His Followers

The Spiritual Fascism of Rene Guenon and His Followers:
Definitions and Comparative History)

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This essay is divided up into the following segments:

1.Why I’m Writing this Essay

2.The Question about Spiritual Fascism
3.Rene Guenon in Relation to Action Francaise, Blavatsky, Lanz von Liebenfels and the
Knights Templar

4.Traditionalist Executioners: De Maistre, Krishna, Guenon, Schuon and Khidir

5.Rene Guenon and Alexander Dugin: Destroying Human Rights and Creating a

6.Defining Spiritual Fascism in Rene Guenon, Julius Evola and Frithjof Schuon

7.Spiritual Fascism Today

1. Why I am Writing this Essay:

In what follows I assume the reader has prior knowledge of who the Traditionalists are, especially Guenon, Schuon, Evola and Dugin. If not they should read Mark Sedgwick’s Against the Modern World, a very flawed book, but a good general over view, and so far the only book that tries to asses the traditionalists from a somewhat objective, academic perspective. Virtually all other books written on this subject are written by cult members or followers. (I offer a brief review of Sedgwick's book below).

Furthermore, I should state that though I belonged to the Schuon cult for a few years, when I left it, I left religion too, shortly after. I am not an advocate for religion or for orthodoxy. Most critics of Schuon, Guenon and Evola are far right fanatics of one orthodox stripe or another, fanatic Muslims, fanatic Catholics, far right nationalists etc. I'm not sure I want to call myself an atheist, if only because I'm not sure that defining myself by a negative is a good idea. But I am not a theist. Theism seems untenable to me as a historian, first because there is no evidence whatever that there is a god, and second I know how horrible have been the atrocities caused by the god idea. I see Guenon, Schuon Evola etc. as examples of the delusional ideology which tend to accompany the worship of fictional gods. But for further on this subject of why atheism is botha moral and a reasonable way to look at the world, I would recommend the reader to Richard Dawkins very fine and well argued book, the God Delusion, which is an excellent refutation of theism. I do not believe in gods of other mystic fictions. I do believe in science and the earth. In short I am not even remotely Guenonian, Schuonian or traditionalist. I have learned about these men first hand and have rejected them because of what I experienced watching the the lies and hypocrisy of their followers. This series of essays is not written for the true believers or cult followers of Guenon or his followers, but for those who wish to understand how religion misrepresents reality and leads to ignorance, lies and superstition.

In this essay, or rather series of related essays, I intend to supply a critical assessment of Guenonian traditionalism, or rather to at least begin such an assessment, outlining basic arguments against traditionalism and suggesting avenues of research others could follow. Guenonism is a reactionary, anti-intellectual system of conspiratorial thought that seeks to return to the Dark Ages, before the Enlightenment brought Church and monarchy into question.
Guenonism creates a Manichean worldview in which those who side with Guenon are good and everyone else is profane or evil. But Guenonian Manichaeism is the not the sole cause of the attraction of Guenon; rather religious motivations are interwoven with economic and political factors. Guenon appeals to the "three R's" in the fascist mentality : revenge, renown, and reaction.

He appeals to those who want revenge against science and the modern world, to go back to former systems of superstition and the power it gave to ignorant priests and panderers of tall tales and fictions. Guenon appeals to the desire of his followers for renown by fostering a notion of elitism. Guenon himself has delusional notions of his own importance and passed this on to most of his followers. Guenon's hateful and elitist systems employs reactionary political views hide which are hidden behind ritual and religion. As I will show, various traditionalists have partnered with right-wing political systems, belong to various cults or employ reactionary ideologies. The messianic and apocalyptic paranoia of Guenon and his followers echoes that of the worst tyrants such as Hitler, Stalin, Japanese fascists. Guenon's rhetoric is quite commonly lofty and messianic. He actually believed the nonsense he put out and Schuon, Evola and Dugin do too. The political dimensions of Traditionalism are hidden closely, even indistinguishably, behind religious esoteric symbols and secretive rituals. This allows Traditionalism to seduce many into the far right without followers even being aware of it. The Guenonian strategy is to claim to represent the invisible truth, but never to reveal that this Truth---- capital "T"--- is a fabricated lie made up of a pastiche of religious mythologies. The "Truth" in Guenon is a lie, a delusion, or to use Richard Dawkins phrase, a "god delusion".. Guenonian Traditionalism it is a secretive or esoteric ideology which hides political interests. Because of this secrecy and claim to esoteric centrality there are very few critical assessments of the work of Rene Guenon or of traditionalism in general.

The reason there are few critical assements of these writers is not hard to find. Traditionalists writers are enclosed in a small world of their own making. They have a very small following among those who, for various reasons have decided the 'modern' world is to be hated. The inbred or hermetic insularity of the cults and groups follow Guenon results in a Manichean world view. The traditionalists by and large are lacking in real education, though many of them have read books, they tend to read only within a narrow range of like minded religious writers, and none of them have much real scientific knowledge. Because they have so little understanding of modern science, they have no concrete understanding that real progress has been made in many areas of human knowledge, from biology to medicine.

The traditionalists, reviving medieval forms of inquisitorial blacklisting, tend to accuse all those who question Traditionalism as "profane", "diabolic","satanic", or from the subversive "counter initiation". This way of speaking of others as subhuman or evil 'others' is a kind of hate speech, akin to racism. Rene Guenon's world is a world of Them Versus Us where hate dominates, though this hate is not necessarily obvious on the surface. It sublimated though cold, intellectual rationalization. Most of what has been written about Guenon is from the point of view of a supercilious certainty in Guenon's superiority,----a superiority that is adopted by those who belong to the various secretive cults, groups or loose knit right-wing associations of individuals who rather slavishly follow his work and treat it as if it were holy writ. There is little historiography of traditionalism outside these self-congratulatory or cultish sources. I begin a historiography here.

Traditionalism is a right wing, reactionary, upper-middle class and pseudo-aristocratic religion composed mostly of arm-chair, suburbanite and academic ‘metaphysicians’ (as they pretentiously call themselves) who long for a return to archaic eternal worlds of their own imaginations. Guenon’s claim to present the eternal “pure truth”, a 'super-religion', turns out to be increasingly time bound, past tense, retroactive.
He pretended to desire only to express simple "traditional truths", when in fact traditions are far form uniform and where they overlap the cause is a similar devotion of aristocratic monism or polytheist monism. His false humility hides an enormous and vicious pride that wants the return of autocratic caste elitism. Guenon was a last gasp of the European aristocratic values, just as his Islamism was a last gasp of impotent rebellion against the inevitability to Enlightenment values coming to Islamic countries.[1] The whole notion of a the "transcendent unity of religions" is a romantic fabrication, an invention based on superficial correspondences between different religions. Guenon, Schuon and Evola claimed to be expositors and Prophets of the Great Tradition, when in fact they were merely inventors and manufacturers of a new mythos, a new cult, a new way to sell old fictions.

The first point that should be made is that the very notion of a "tradition" as used by the traditionalists is questionable. Traditionalism, is a "
Manufactured Mythology", an invention. As Eric Hobsbawm and Terence Ranger have shown in their book The Invention of Tradition, traditions are not born like Athena from the head of Zeus or impregnated though the ear of a Virgin Mary but rather are political entities dressed up as metaphysic truth. Traditions are based on various habits and misunderstandings of the historical record, sometimes going back only a few generations, sometimes longer. Hobsbawm and Ranger's book attempts to show how many traditions have been deliberately invented often to highlight or enhance the importance of a certain institution. For instance, they try to show how Welsh and Scottish 'national culture', for instance, was a recent creation and how the elaboration of British royal rituals in Africa and India were created to justify political regimes and empire. In a similar way the Catholic Church was erected on the forged Donation of Constantine in the 8th century. The invention of the Eucharist was an ongoing event in Christian history. The Traditionalists sought to invent a new mythic history based on a pastiche of other "traditions" largely in reaction to the rise of industrialism and the enlightenment, which they not just opposed but hated with passion.Guenon and his followers wanted to advnace what has been called the "endarkenment". They hate the enlightenment and seek to return to the
dark ages: they want to restore superstition, restrain or eliminate science, return our schools to Church control and deny the facts evolution has amply demonstrated. The traditionalists like to deny the importance of history as part of their effort to manufacture the myth of their own perennial and eternal wisdom, a wisdom whose high, peerless eminence they never doubt.

The traditionalists have no real historical sense: they are prone to revisionist, orientalist fantasies of worlds that never really existed.
Many of the traditionalists ,
like Hossein Nasr, Ananda and Rama Coomaraswamy and Guenon were alienated and displaced individuals who were forced out of their parent countries or left it in the hopes of finding a romanticized and idealized culture elsewhere. They idealized the nostalgia they felt for cultures they romanticized as lost or on the brink of being lost. These idealizations are what the call " traditions". Their dreams of returning to the glory days of dying religious worlds are composed of fragments of Hindu caste systems, Taoist dreams of immortal emperors, Christian apologies for the Inquisition and other figments of their reactionary imaginations. They divide the world into specious categories, such as claiming that “modernity” is profanity and tradition is “sacred”. The historical truth is quite otherwise. They hate science and claim a pseudo-objectivity based on whether or not something “leads to god” when god, it turns out, is merely the subjective invention of the intellects of the Traditionalists themselves. Traditionalism is a tiny and closed fraternity of privileged, narrow minded and self serving men, a criticism that extends to the women in the cults as well, who by and large support the patriarchy and are willing to keep the secrets, lie, justify their submission and surrender, do whatever it takes to protect the Traditionalist fantasy.[2] What they call “metaphysics” is merely a faltering dream of fading glory stolen from dead or failing societies. In the end the Traditionalist fantasy is a self mirroring world of narcissistic symbolists who serve a far right political agenda, and in most cases, don’t even realize it. I wouldn’t know this, unless I had been such a person myself, that is to say, I was always left leaning and humanistic in my politics, but was one of those who did not know traditionalism was a reactionary political movement hiding behind a spirituality. The appeal of Guenon arose in me because I was questioning science and the destructive tendencies of the modern world. I did not realize at first how deluded and paranoid Guenon's ideas were. But I did wake up finally and escape the trap of self-delusions, and have been free of it for many years now. Thank goodness.

Within the circles of the traditionalists themselves there are only insignificant criticisms of Guenon. For instance, Frithjof Schuon (1907-98), a long time follower or Guenon, whose career as self-appointed “shaykh’ was largely a Guenonian creation
[3], criticizes Guenon on the subject of Guenon’s neglect of Buddhism.[4] But Frithjof Schuon criticizes Guenon only to try to show that he is more Guenonian then Guenon, as it were. Schuon felt that Guenon was leaving out a possible avenue of exploitable data, by leaving Buddhism out of the “transcendent unity of the religions”. The whole notion of the “transcendent unity” was a Guenonian fabrication, though others had thought of it before him. The various religions are social constructions, reflecting different social conditions. Any comparison between them is accidental and merely reflects the fact that humans make similar social arrangements in different cultures. There is no “essential” or esoteric religion: the whole artifice of the so called “perennial” religion involves convincing people of the illusion of each religion being a subset of a larger imaginary entity they call “esoterism” or the “religio perennis”—the perennial religion[5]. Guenon wrote that hew as intrinsically independent and thus superior to the religions because “whoever understands the unity of traditions... is necessarily...‘unconvertible’ to anything” The fiction of such an esoterism or "super-religion" has been a potent fiction, as I will show in this essay.

In any case, my point here is that Schuon was Guenonian, through and through. Guenon made Schuon what he became, though in later years Schuon added his own unique obsessions to Guenon’s paranoid metaphysical theatre. Guenon's statement in a letter quoted in
Louis Charbonneau-Lassay's Le Lièvre qui Rumine states that "I have been surrounded, all unsuspecting, with a veritable network of spying and betrayal." (p. 53). This is typical of Guenon's paranoia, so much in evidence in his work as a whole. This is paranoia I also saw in evidence around Schuon, who seems to have patterned his whole mindset obsessively on Guenon's and then later denied doing it. In any case, my point is that Schuon is not really an effective critic of Guenon, but rather a follower.
[6] There are various critics of Schuon, besides myself, though most of them are unpublished.[7] But critics of Guenon are harder to find than critics of Schuon.

. Thus, within the Traditionalist school there are no effective critical assessments of Guenon, at least that I have been able to find. One reason for this is that the Traditionalist authors themselves promoted the vicious idea that any critic of theirs was necessarily evil or in conspiracy against them. They have a paranoid, cultish ‘Them versus Us’ attitude” rather like Christ or George Bush, both of whom said, “either you are with me or against me”... The following passage from a letter by Guenon illustrates how deep Guenon’s paranoia was and casts some light on the psychology behind the Reign of Quantity. Evola had written Guenon about an illness he had. Guenon replies that he was sick in 1939. “I was confined to bed for six months, unable to make the slightest move. Everybody thought this was a case of rheumatism, but the truth is we all knew who acted as the unconscious vehicle of a maleficent influence”. Supposedly the man was sent away and Guenon recovered.
[8] But the story shows that Guenon was sick in a way similar to schizophrenics I have met who imagine elaborate universal plots against their persons. Anyone who spoke out against Guenon or Schuon was branded as evil or mentally ill. Guenon’s Reign of Quantity and the Signs of the Times is a classic of schizophrenic or Paranoid literature. Guenon's mentality and those of his followers is based on the premise that the entire world is in conspiracy against traditionalism, which itself is a tiny shrinking cult of elite persons, constantly threatened by outsiders. [9]
There are a few critics of Guenon, most of whose criticisms present complications. These critics present views that may or may not be cogent enough to be a real part of a historiography, however. This is not to say that they are false. I am not sure that they are true and finding out the truth is not easy in the case of some of these criticisms. One of these critics is Marie France James, a Canadian catholic who was connected to the University of Paris. James states in her book Esotérisme et Christianisme: Autour de René Guénon(1981)
[10] that Guenon’s personal character was terrible. She states that he was an “exasperating person” prone to nervousness and instability. He was impulsive and irritable, and had an “exaggerated susceptibility” and is “strongly sexual” and that he was a drug addict ( hashish and opium) . But I’m not sure where this sort of description gets us. Like Frithjof Schuon, Guenon thought of himself, conveniently, as beyond morality, so whatever he did was beyond judgment. Neither of them were beyond basic ethical or legal norms, as much as they might have tried to exempt themselves.
But James goes too far when she says that Guenon had a “diabolical” sort of pride. Certainly Guenon was ridiculously elitist and prone to despise just about everything except his own very narrow interests; this is evident in all he wrote. But it does not help to call him diabolical. James claims that Guenon was guilty of “apostasy” from the Catholic Church and that he was an evil man--- or to more exact---- she says that for Guénon “the Spiritual Authority is the authority of Satan”. I see no point in calling Guenon evil, Satanic, diabolic or calling him an apostate. Such medievalisms are absurd in a world where humans have rights. As I will explain later I do not believe in the concept of evil and certainly do not think there is anything real about “satan” or the “Anti-Christ” or other mythic fictions promoted by fanatical Traditionalists and fundamentalists. We are beyond this sort of archaic childishness now. M.J James indulges in the same sort of cultish demonization of the other that Guenon himself so often employs. Guenon was not an evil man; he was a sick man, who probably suffered from a persecution mania, who was locked into a cultural setting that made him favor a fascist form of spirituality. He is hardly alone in this.
[11] James dislikes Guenon’s affection for the Masonic organizations[12] of Europe because some of them were anti-Catholic. That is a political determination. The Traditionalists hate James for her politics too. Indeed, both groups call each other evil devils because of political determinations. Of course the standard reply of the Traditionalists to attacks such as James’ is that she criticizes “esoterism” from an “exoteric” perspective, that is, in her case, a catholic perspective. From the Traditionalist’s point of view, that invalidates her claims, because in all cases only esoterism has the superior viewpoint, they believe. This self-serving argument is regularly used by Guenon, Schuon and others. In actual fact, Guenon and Schuon were not special, chosen people and are not superior to anyone. James is trying to protect her belief system against a group of people she rightly sees are trying to raid her religion. She is correct in that assessment. The Traditionalists are raiders of other religions,, cultural vampires, to put it dramatically, perennial parasites, who sink their esoteric proboscis into the body of worn and ailing faiths and try to suck life out of them so as to increase the power of traditionalism. [13] But the parasitical dependence of traditionalism on other relgions does not mean that the religions that Guenon raided were themselves innocent victims of upstanding virtue.[14] James is herself a fanatic of the ultra right. Criticisms of the esoterism of the traditionalists from any of the 'confessional' religions' generally do not go far enough. Traditionalism fails because it is not true on a basic level. It does not fail merely because it is not Catholic or Islamic.
Another dubious critic of Guenon is an anonymous writer on a Martinist website. (Later, I will discuss the Martinist group that Guenon belonged to and which was started by Gerard Encausse) The essay in question raises similar objections to those of Marie France James, accusing Guenon of inordinate pride. The anonymous author also states that Guenon spied for the Nazis as well as the English during the 1940’s in
Cairo and that he started “to accept increasingly considerable sums for the services which he rendered to the Third Reich.”
[15] I have no idea if this is true or not. The anonymous author also claims various things about Guenon of a sexual nature, without real proof. In such cases, proof is very important, because otherwise the motive might be to less than honorable. [16] If Guenon had certain homosexual tendencies or smoked excessively, or had a drug problem----and all these accusations have been made--- one would have to demonstrate it and show how it had an effect on his work. It is true that Guenon worked hard all his life to obsessively hide the facts of his life behind veils of secrecy, pseudonyms and pretenses. Certainly Guenon’s need to be duplicitous and secretive is a disturbing fact and does have a bearing on his work. But more research would have to be done to determine the truth of these allegations. I won’t pursue this subject further. The main question for me in this essay is what influence Guenon has: how does he represent the world: what ideas did he push in his work. Why do people fall for his delusional conspiracy theories? What role do his followers play in the world? That is what matters.

In any case, I don’t find either James or the anonymous author of the Martinist assessment of Guenon very informative or satisfying. Yes, Guenon was a right wing fanatic, further right than the Nazis were. Yes, many Catholics were Nazis. 22% of the SS were Nazi. Yes, the Catholic Church tacitly supported the Jewish Holocaust. But that is not the whole story. Guenon was not a Nazi, as many have rightly pointed out.
Guenon was even more to the far right and more of an extremist fanatic than the Nazis of Fascists. He hoped for the destruction of everyone on earth but a small chosen few, just as the fascists did. Both the writer of this anonymous article and M.J. James are right about Guenon’s excessive pride. His writings drip with a sneering superiority and elitist pride. Guenon created an excessive ideology of gnostic intellectuality which raised the subjective “intellect” up above all else. This became for both Guenon and Schuon a sort of paranoid mania of magnified and absurd self elevation. Guenon’s ideology is really a new religion, (a “NRM”)
[17] and as such is another 'orthodoxy", which is why it is silly to criticize it from a orthodox perspective. People from the Islamic religion have contacted me saying how horrible it is that Guenon or Schuon thought this or that. True, but Islam is itself no standard of virtue. Islam supports horrible violations of human rights.The only just way to look at Guenonism as well as orthodox religions is from a non-religious perspective. I spent enough time in my life looking at religion from the inside. So, comparing my approach to other critics of Guenon, my point of view is neither orthodox, religious, nor based on a personal hatred of the man himself.
A more serious critic of Guenonian traditionalism is David Fideler
of Phanes Press, for instance, who wrote a few essays about Guenon, one called "Rene Guenon and the Signs of our Times” and the other “Why Esoterism can lead to Fascism”. Fideler states that:

Esoterism can become dangerous if it makes a cult out of the ‘supra human Intellect’. I believe that Guenon and the Traditionalists are generally guilty of this, in addition to possessing a general tendency toward spiritual elitism. ……Based as it is on the Revealed Truth of Eternal Metaphysical Doctrine and a healthy dose of good old Extremism, it is easy to see why the Guenonian position inherently appeals to the authoritarian personality.

This is quite accurate. Another critic of the Traditionalists is Ziauddin Sardar who has written about Schuon the following, though much the same things can be said about Guenon:

Much of what Schuon has to say about tradition, metaphysics, authority, caste, race and

primordial man is taken from nineteenth century German philosophy and the Symbolist

movement of the twenties and thirties in which he grew up. The Symbolist movement which influenced his father, had a romantic attachment to the esoteric and

primordial...[and was] an eclectic philosophy which was a mish mash of all cultures and religions. In its most extreme form, this philosophy produced the volkish ideology and the rise of Hitler. Like Schuon’s thought, the volkish ideology was based on Gnosticism, Occultism, the Hermetic Corpus, Pythogoreanism, [and] neo-Platonism...[18]

This is accurate. Though most of Schuon’s far-right or spiritual fascist tendencies come from Guenon, more than from his father. Another critic of the Traditionalists, who criticizes traditionalism as a Moslem is Hajj Muhammad Legenhausen, who writes in his “Why I am not a Traditionalist” [19] that

“traditionalism seems to be too reactionary and too nostalgic to offer a workable way to move through and beyond modernity. Its positive theses about perennial philosophy romanticize the occult aspects of the world’s religious traditions and are backed by unsupported assumptions, tenuous comparisons based on a prejudiced selection of materials, and rather wild speculations. “

Legenhausen makes a valid point here. The categories of 'modern' and 'traditional' seem specious inventions. Something is not necessarily better if it is older, or if it is newer. History is not a spiritual progression but a fact of existence. The Traditionalists pretend to embody “timeless truth” and metaphysical certainty. But in actuality they are apologists for far right institutions and policies in the modern world itself.

Mark Sedgwick is another critic who as written about Guenon in a book called Against the Modern World. Sedgwick is a Englishman turned Moslem, who lives in Cairo, Egypt. He tries to do as the Romans do, as it were. His book is weak and badly distorted in its criticism of Schuon, better in relation to Julius Evola and Alexander Dugin, but doesn’t go very far in his understanding of Guenon. The book does nevertheless provide perhaps the only relatively disinterested view of the traditionalists. It attempts to be factual and is useful in that regard. Other overviews of traditionalism are written by cult members, acolytes or propagandists. However, I was interviewed for this book and got to know Sedgwick over several years and find Sedgwick’s reporting of my witness to be so completely distorted and falsified that I feel the book should not have been published in its current form. ( see footnote 32 below for more on this).

Sedgwick’s book purports to be primarily about Guenon, which is odd, since it says little that cannot be found in any of the venues that promote Guenon. It mistakenly assumes that only Evola is a “political traditionalist”, without understanding that Guenon’s political extremism was what influenced Evola and other spiritual fascists. Like a new age gossip columnist, Sedgwick even tries to explain away Guenon’s paranoid fits as examples of attacks by magicians! It might have been a good book if Sedgwick had trusted the evidence and followed the facts rather than caving in to political pressures. But as I said, it does have the merit of at least opening up more academic inquiry into investigating the Traditionalists and their relation to fascism. He shows that traditionalism is a world wide movement, connected to fascism and not merely a religious cult in Bloomington Indiana. Moreover, Sedgwick did have to show some courage to publish this book, since the Schuon cult tried to squash it and threatened Sedgwick for bringing it to print. They even tried to force him to lose his job. Thus I can’t but admire him for his courage. It is not easy to stand up against a dangerous cult.
There are a few critics of Evola, such as Roger Griffin and Thomas Sheehan, among others. But most of Evola’s and Schuon’s main ideas come from Guenon. So, in order to really understand what went wrong with Evola and Schuon, Dugin and others, critical insight must be applied to Guenon. Sedgwick failed to do this. Someone needs to assess this thinker in order to assess his followers more effectively.
The Traditionalists in general followed Guenon’s mania for secrecy partly in an effort to hide morally repugnant actions. It is essential to remove the veils of secrecy as much as possible and render the Traditionalist movement as transparent as possible.

Since I had been insider involved with the Schuon cult for a few years, between 1989 and 1991, and met various Guenonians, both then and since then, and had observed Guenonians as an outsider since 1991, I thought it might be a good idea if I reflected critically on what I have learned, aware that I would not be able to say everything that needs to be said. I learned the hard way how the machinery of myth and fabrication in the Schuon cult works. I saw with my own eyes how Schuon was willing to lie, pose, create phony visions or have others lie for him, to protect his mythical delusions of grandeur. There is a similar machinery at work in Guenon inspired schools, though it is not exactly the same. My knowledge of Guenon is considerable but not encyclopedic, and some research materials, available only in Europe or unpublished, I have not seen. But I have learned enough over the years to have a well informed opinion of what he did and why.

Writing this essay is not a task I have wanted to accomplish but more one that I feel a certain duty to finish. Someone has to do it. I feel there needs to be a voice that questions the rather toxic heritage left by Guenon. So I wrote the first version of this long essay in 1996. It was then called “A Pathology of Power”. I rewrote this 1998 and 99. I then dropped it, partly because Sedgwick had claimed to want to write a critical assessment of traditionalism. I was quite happy that he wanted the job. But his book did not do what I hoped it would. Recently I looked at the 120 or more pages I had already written again. I decided this should be put in some better state so as to be available to others. So I did a lot editing, cutting out about half of what I originally wrote. A Belgian friend, Denis Constales, helped me with some of the text and translations of some quotes. What I present here, in I hope a somewhat readable form, is a version of what I wrote in 1996 and 99. I have added a few things, but the basic thesis is there.

As to my own relation to Guenon. My current view of him is that he is not worth reading by anyone who cares about the reality of our world. But since there are those who continue to be seduced by the salesmanship, proselytizing and public relations tactics of Traditionalist authors, there needs to be a rejoinder to their propaganda. Guenon and the Traditionalists are the last decadent gasp of old time religions and it is well and good that their influence die off. With the Catholic Church slowly dying, the Jewish state in question and Islam having to adapt to human rights and democracy, religion is on its way out as a major power in the world. That is to the good. NO doubt religon will continue to play a role, propped up by reactionary politics. But traditionalism, which tries to hold up archaic forms of religion, is a dying ideology, sad as this might be for those who cling to dying rituals and spiritual methods. For me, Guenon is of interest only as a negative example of the dogmatic elitism and mystagogy that Spiritual Fascism ends up becoming. With a spiritual fascist named George Bush in the White House and another spiritual fascist who bombed the world trade centers in 2001 it is worth studying Spiritual Fascism more closely.

But my view of Guenon in the past was very different. I was troubled by him from the beginning. I came across Guenon’s book, the Reign of Quantity and the Signs of the Times in 1982 or 83 and was shocked and fascinated by its bleak air of authority and seemingly vast knowledge of other cultures. It was beyond me as far as assessing its truth or falsity. I did not want to believe it was true. But I found it profoundly depressing without being able to answer why. I was accustomed to reading material by writers such as Antonin Artaud, Rimbaud, Lautreamont and others who were thought “insane” or outsiders from the mainstream. The Reign of Quantity is a great classic in the growing genre of what could be called Paranoid literature. Guenon’s books can be seen as being as much part of the literature of outsiders and the insane as they are a part of the history of 20th century mysticism. Guenon’s book differs from the paranoid novels of Tom Pynchon, Franz Kafka, Artaud, and William Burroughs in that Guenon appears to have believed absolutely in his paranoid theory about the end of the modern world. At least Antonin Artaud understood he was sick. Guenon doesn’t have a clue. Like Guenon, Artaud adopts a radically gnostic hatred of the world as a central component of his world-view. But in Artaud this gnostic hatred of the world and existence is pictured as an element in a struggle for sanity. In Guenon all question of psychological analysis, Freudian or otherwise, is condemned as “satanic”. Rather than admit his illness, Guenon blames the entire discipline of psychology itself.

The books of Guenon differ from those of Pynchon or Kafka in that the latter are ironic satires written in order to bring the oppressive, Orwellian powers of our time into question. In contrast, Guenon wants to resurrect and support the oppressive, Orwellian powers with an apocalyptic vengeance. Kafka was a great writer who wanted to stigmatize and offer protest against the arbitrary power of Church and Monarchist states. Kafka is the bad conscience of De Miastre, as it were, who loved “throne and god”. Kafka’s anti-heroes suffer under the blind injustice of “throne and god”. Indeed. Kafka’s books and stories offer metaphors that help us question unjust powers. In contrast, Guenon wants to bring back unjust powers such as the Inquisition, the caste system and the horrific injustices of the divine rights of kings.

However, on the other hand, Franz Kafka and William Burroughs are very like Guenon in that Guenon was basically writing a Science Fiction novel or rather and Anti-Science fiction novel. When Guenon was a young man he outlined a novel in which the hero would use the occult to gain superhuman powers. This was a 19th century equivalent of a modern-day science fiction story. In his Reign of Quantity, Guenon has written a paranoid, apocalyptic novel outlining a spiritually fascist message of hate against the modern world. He is no Kafka. But he is fulfilling in fiction his boyhood dream of having world power, at least in a sort of comic book fashion. Guenon wants to reinstate the monarchical and mythological powers of the far distant past. He can’t do it in reality so he does it in a book. He wants to return to the Pantocrator-Christ as judge throwing lightning bolts at poor sinners. . Like Schuon, Guenon cannot accept that the age of Monarchs, Pharaoh’s, Popes, Caliphs, Shaykhs, Avataras, Prophets, Priests, Philosopher-Kings and Emperors with divine rights is gone. Like the stereotypical paranoid, Guenon and Schuon long to erect again the inflated puppets of power, the Caesars and Napoleons. The fact is that humanity has barely survived these “great men” of the past, yet Guenon wants to return to the age of mythological deceit, where Kings lord over subjects and swat them down like flies and the Church controls the thoughts of the populations. Guenon wrongly imagines that modern forms of exploitation and injustice are different than the old religious means of mind control. The ancient forms of power were far worse than what we have today. The nostalgic and romantic attempt of the Traditionalists is to extol the past as a place of greater justice and peace. This is a falsification of history.

What appealed to me about Guenon when I first read his book in 1983? He seemed to address my fear of nuclear and environmental annihilation. In fact he did not address my concerns at all, but I thought for a time that he did. I had been questioning the role of science in our culture for some time particularly atomic weapons and corporate abuses of science... I appreciated his asking the question of what good modern industry is if it destroys the earth. But I finally figured out after some years that Guenon’s understanding of what science actually is was non-existent. Nor did he have any feeling for the earth, which he saw a “lesser reality", compared to his imaginary eternal ideas and principles. I will be making some critical comments about Guenon’s absurd misunderstanding of science in this essay. But a much more thorough critical treatment of the atrocious ignorance of science by traditionalism is needed.

Guenon had some training in Mathematics.
[22] But he had no real understanding of science at all. His whole notion of science leading to a to debasement, “dissolution” and “solidification” and a “Great Parody” finally arising to try to destroy tradition is utter nonsense, mere propagandistic fiction. He has it all backwards. The truth is that science renders the weight of life lighter. It has not led to ‘solidification”, “subversion” or “dissolution”. as Guenon claims. Indeed, it was religions that made life difficult and heavy and people died young without decent health care and were denied basic rights. Religious societies promoted---and still promote--- ignorance and irrational superstitions and myths. Science is clear and light by comparison. Through real science---- and I don’t mean corporate science[23] or what is sometimes called “big science”--- the earth is studied out of praise and love and there is real chance of survival for all species, not just humans.[24] Science is corrupted by power and wealth. But science is essential to understand what corporations are doing to our world. We need to be able to do science ourselves to study and defend our earth from global warming, pollution, destruction of habitats and environmental degradations of all kinds. There is no world beyond this world. All we have are these rivers, animals, plants and our own bodies.
The notion that "tradition" can do anything whatever to address the environmental crisis, the ravages of inequality and over population . Noam Chomsky point that

.....about the serious problems of "ecocrisis." They are not the result of "technology," but of the institutional structures in which technology is used. A hammer can be used to smash someone's skull in, or to build a house. The hammer doesn't care. Technology is typically neutral; social institutions are not. To the (very limited) extent that I understand what is written about these matters in the literature you are referring to, it seems to attribute to technology what should be attributed to institutions of power and privilege, and thus serves to protect these institutions, by shifting attention away from them. I've often suspected that this service to power and privilege may help account for the warm reception given to these doctrines in the ideological institutions, universities, etc. (See )

Chomsky points out that postmodernists, and the traditionalists are an extremist wing of the post-modernist movement, are apologists for unjust forms of power. Chomsky points out that:

"there is no alternative to the common sense procedures that we come to call "science" as they are pursued with greater care and reach deeper insight: try to construct explanatory principles that yield insight and understanding, test them against relevant evidence, keep an open mind about alternatives, work cooperatively with others"

It is not possible to understand the world we live in by quoting archaic Hindu texts, creating secretive elites and perpetuating myth and superstition as the patriarchal ideologies of past cultures. Guenon’s service to power and privilege is obvious. His ideas support retrogressive religious and political views that would plunge us back into the dark ages of superstition and ignorance. His rabid fantasies of world destruction merely demonstrate how much he hates our world and how little he understood nature.

Guenon was a paranoid and paranoid people often project their worst fears on to what they hate. The fact is that religion is what “solidifies” ignorance, it is religion that is trying to unsuccessfully “subvert” the good of science, human rights and democracy. Guenonism is anti-intellectualism gone rampant. Traditionalism is an irrationalism. Most of the killing going on in our world today is related to religion and the ignorance it fosters. Guenon was wrong, the great ‘dissolution’ is not an approaching apocalypse, but rather the slow dying of religious superstitions. Guenon’s fevered mind imagined that a mythical "counter-initiation"—a mysterious hidden force whose sole purpose was to oppose the superior forces of true spiritual initiation in the world. Of course, there are no “true initiations”—all that is mythology too. Like Evola, Guenon also viewed these counter-initiatory or "Satanic" forces as real, when, in fact, one man’s Satanism is another man’s god, as Blake showed. Guenon saw these imaginary forces as existing on many levels; in other words, maintaining an immaterial form and intelligence as well as acting through individual human beings----- but all this is paranoid nonsense. There is no satanic force acting though anyone. Guenon himself is one of the last of the charlatan promoters of Big Myths of the religions. Guenon’s attempt to blacken science in his book Reign of Quantity and elsewhere does not stand up to the truth. Religious traditions are undermined by the fact that they are not true and this untruth has been demonstrated time and time again. Guenon thought that Hinduism was incontestably true. But the idea of karma--- that castes are formed because the moral actions of one’s ancestors determined their low or high social standing---- has no evidence to back it up whatever. These and many other myths promoted by religions are slowly unraveling as people become educated and see through the charade.

Guenon’s opposition to science as "luciferian" is extremely foolish, bigoted and misguided. The theory of evolution has enormous geological and physical evidence, both from fossils and the DNA record. Everyday more facts are discovered back up the theory of evolution. Creationism has been proven to be manifestly false with more evidence pouring in every year against it. One of Frithjof Schuon's former disciples, Wolfgang Smith devoted a book to trying to disprove Darwinian evolutionism. He does not succeed in doing so and the book is embarrassing given that the man in question purports to be a scientist. The so called "missing links" in the theory of evolution are increasingly not missing. Traditionalism shows its ignorance no place as much as in their rejection of evolution. The facts of evolution are so pervasive and extensive as to be undeniable. Few theories in science are less controversial. None of the Traditionalists know much about nature or evolution. I know from having spoken with many of them that they merely assert they do not believe in it, but none of them know anything about the actual science. This makes their writings about evolution laughable at best and tragic for those who believe the nonsense they write. Besides Wolfgang Smith’s, Cosmos and Transcendence as well as his Teilhardism and the New Religions, Titus Burckhardt , Schuon Guenon, Whitall Perry and Hossien Nasr have all written absurd, silly and empty denials of evolutionism. Their arguments are basically the same as the creationists which have been refuted thoroughly by many people, from Ernst Mayr to Stephen Jay Gould and many others. None of the Traditionalists know much about the actual facts of the evolutionary record, which are vast and extensive and become more complete every day.

It might be useful to look at a few characteristic errors of the Traditionalists on the subject of evolution. Schuon imagines, for instance, that man did not evolve from the wonderful bodies of Chimps and Apes but rather came from some undisclosed gaseous invertebrate from outer-space. Schuon writes that ” Original man was not a simian being barely capable of speaking and standing upright; he was a quasi-immaterial being enclosed in an aura still celestial, but deposited on earth; an aura similar to the "chariot of fire" of Elijah or the "cloud" that enveloped Christ's ascension.”
[25] These very silly fictional fantasies are asserted without the slightest proof. Moreover they show Schuon to be human centered and demeaning towards animals. Schuon writes that “this inconceivable absurdity, evolutionism,… has the miracle of consciousness springing from a heap of earth or pebbles,” [26]. Of course, it certainly did not come from a fictional Zeus, Poseidon or Allah. In fact, precisely what is amazing about evolution is that it shows that consciousness did indeed come from pebbles and earth. That is why the earth is so lovable. Schuon, misses the whole point of the wonder of being alive on earth and the wonder of being related to Chimps and Sea-stars.

Guenon’s idea, which is the basis of most of the absurdities written by the Traditionalists about evolution, is that the "the greater cannot come from the less" , meaning that the human notion of god cannot have come form earth and cells. This is false, since in fact the monotheistic idea of a god is merely a few thousand years old and is only held by certain kinds of cultures that have certain kinds of hierarchical, patriarchal and unjust social arrangements. The god idea is not “greater” than the facts of evolution. On the contrary, the god idea is a created fiction, serviceable to certain sorts of social arrangements. Their absurd writings on evolution ultimately underscore the shallow anti-intellectuality of the Traditionalists and their inability to understand or be open to direct evidence.

I gave Guenon a healthy chance to sell me on his ideas. He tried to sell me religion the way a used car salesman sells cars. I fell for it for awhile. Guenon’s answer to the problem of modernism was to point the way to traditional religion. The problems presented by modernism cannot be solved by merely going to a church or mosque and reciting empty formulas or taking initiations.
[27] However, I did not know this then. In order to explore Guenon’s answer to modernism I had to explore the religions. I did that. I went to visit boring local churches, zendos, temples and mosques, and stood above them, with my esoteric Guenonian cultural imperialistic ideology in tow I looked down on the exoteric plebeians below me. That is no way to treat others. Over the course of 5 or 6 years between 1985 and 1991 I explored the landscape outlined by Guenon, Schuon, Coomaraswamy and others. I traveled. I lived in England and studied philosophy, trying to find a way out of the desperate impasse that seemed to me to have overtaken the times I lived in. I met Huston Smith in California who got me into the Schuon cult that Smith was also a member of, though I later watched as he lied about this and covered it up. I lost my respect for him. I met many Traditionalists of many kinds and lost my respect for them too. I was amazed to so much pretense and pride but little virtue or honesty among all these people. I was amazed when I spoke with Martin Lings how willing---even eager---he was to deny direct evidence put before him and live in a cocoon of self delusions of his own making. I was even further amazed when others praised Lings for "sanctity" when I knew him personally and saw how he lied to himself, fled form the truth and hid behind Schuon's delusions of grandeur. But in the end I saw though the façade. The Emperor had no clothes; the Wizard of OZ was a fraud. In other writings I have outlined the corruptions of the Schuon cult. I won’t go into all that here.

When I left the Schuon cult in disgust, I also left Guenon, who I already doubted. I also soon left Islam
[28] and eventually religion in general. I went deeply into study for many years, trying to figure out what was wrong with Plato, Christianity and Hinduism. Between 1991 and 1997 I studied at great length. It was clear to me that religion was not true is any real sense, but rather was a system of falsehoods designed to serve social needs of certain classes or institutions. Religions exploited human needs and the needs were true but the religions that used them were not true.[29] I found Guenon’s answers to the question of modernism to be all wrong. I had visited monasteries, practiced various religions and studied deeply and without ceasing. I wrote a book about my findings and eventually realized that all I had written was mistaken, since the evidence did not support Traditionalist claims. I slowly came to see that the sadness I felt about Guenon’s Reign of Quantity masked a sense of horror about just how mistaken Guenon was, and that his book was really the book of man that was mentally ill. His answers did not satisfy. Indeed, Guenon’s solution was far worse than the problem he set out to solve. There are ways to solve the problems of in industrialization and environmental destruction, but the answer was not in Guenon. The answer to the rape of the earth is not to return to the caste system or the medieval system of politics. So, since it is obvious that Guenon is wrong, why is he wrong and where did he go wrong and what appeal does he have and why are so many interested in following his ideas?. I will try to answer some of these questions here, though I doubt I will be able to cover all of this. In any case, I hope others might continue this work and expand on what I have only been able to suggest.

So, in what follows I will try to show the complex relation of traditionalism to fascism in the work of Rene Guenon and his main followers, Frithjof Schuon, Julius Evola, Alex Dugin and others. I will show that Traditionalism has some relation to the fascism or Hitler and Mussolini, which I will call ordinary fascism but is different than ordinary fascism is important ways. What Guenon created is a form of meta-fascism, as it were, or spiritual fascism.

The Question about Spiritual Fascism

Why is the name of René Guenon (1886-1951) claimed by various neo-fascist groups and far-right individuals as a major influence or forebear? For instance Alain de Benoist, the French neo-fascist, claims him as a primary influence as does Troy Southgate, England’s resident racist and right wing hatemonger. Various far right Catholics with fascist leanings as well as some Islamists, Islamo-fascists, orientalist Sufis and far right cult leaders, such as Frithjof Schuon, also claim him. Massimo Introvigne, the Italian apologist for dangerous religious cults and far right organizer of the center for the study of new religions” (“Cesnur”) also claims him.[30] Julius Evola, a fascist connected to both the Italian and the German fascist groups claims him, as does Andreas Serrano, the Chilean writer of the Hitler, the Final Avatara. [31] The internet is full of references of the importance of Guenon to neo-fascist, New Right or far right “conservative revolution” movements. So what is the relationship of Guenon and his followers in the Traditionalist movement to fascism?
Before answering the question, let me pause on the claim of many Traditionalists to have nothing to do with politics.
[32] It is very interesting, and even Orwellian, how many Traditionalist promoters and ideologues so strenuously deny the fascism of their masters or try to say that it was only Evola who was a fascist. They “protest too much” of course and use double-speak to try to deny the obvious. Some of them have even tried to say that the Traditionalists are “apolitical”, which is rather like saying the pope is not a Catholic. But then some Traditionalists, even assert the pope is not a real catholic! That is the wonderful thing about being a Traditionalist. They are subjective idealists. They can make up their own reality based on Platonic categories and live in a delusional world where evidence and science are cast to the winds. It has amazed me over the years to watch how the various Traditionalists I have known persist in believing the most ridiculous superstitions. They are “true believers” in Eric Hoffer’s telling phrase. But then Guenon wrote in a style that makes him sound reasonable even when he promotes the most absurd rubbish. People fall for the big lie.
But whatever superstitious lies they believe it is a historical fact that Rene Guenon got involved with fascism long before Evola and in some ways his involvement was much deeper. As I will show here, Guenon is the origin of fascist tendencies in traditionalism, Evola was merely his follower. Guenon created a form of what I will call ‘spiritual fascism’ that has outlasted the ordinary fascism of Hitler and Mussolini.
To use a concrete example of this double speak of which Traditionalists are capable, and the way some of them try to hide and obscure their repressive, right wing political agenda, consider the website Integral Tradition.
[33] This is a fairly typical neo-fascist website, one of dozens. It also calls itself “Conservative Revolution” a term coined by Hoffmansthal and later used in Arthur Moeller’s book The Third Reich form which the Nazi’s got their concept the “Third Reich”. This webpage features a motley crew of biographies and some texts by an amazingly consistent group of extremists, right wingers, neo-Nazis, spiritual fascists, racists and hater mongers. Among them are such people as the British fascist Oswald Mosley, Ernst Junger, and Arthur Moeller. The later was a German Fascist and influence on Hitler as well as current Russian fascism. Moeller was also advocate of “Conservative Revolution”, which is one of many terms used for a Fascist, nationalist apocalyptic or revolutionary attempt to seize power. Alexander Dugin has a “Conservative Revolution” party in Russia built up on ideas derived form Guenon and others. Others listed are people like Francis Parker Yockey, an American right wing fanatic who supported the KKK, and took inspiration for the 1930’s right wing radio demagogue Charles Coughlin, a Catholic Fascist, precursor to todays' Bill O Reilly or Rush LImbaugh. There are many others, from Corneliu Codreanu to Oswald Spengler, and from Rene Guenon to Julius Evola, Charles Maurras and Frithjof Schuon.
The texts used as propaganda on this website all support various aspects of the spiritual fascist message. I select one text, a quote from Charles Upton, a follower of Guenon, Schuon and Coomaraswamy, that claims, falsely, that traditionalism is apolitical. Upton evokes Guenon’s Manichean paranoia, and writes that the “the evil of the world….the coming regime of the Antichrist” has established itself everywhere. For Upton as for Guenon, the evil of the world is the “reign of quantity” and this is science and the ‘liberal/communist/ materialist’ era, as Upton has called it. The only way to fight this, Upton says, is to express the “ principal Truth”. But the “Truth” that Upton and Guenon claim as their own is a ‘Truth’ (capital “T”) that opposes democracy, human rights, science and the enlightenment, all of which are basically good things. This is a political ideology masked as metaphysics. But Upton denies the obvious. Expressing this reactionary “ principal Truth”, Upton says, “is not and never can be a case of propaganda; it is not a social-political act, but liturgical one “. A liturgical act, for Upton is one where reason, human rights, democracy and science, all good things, are called evil. Upton is claiming that such “Truth” as is expressed in Guenon’s and Schuon’s writings are beyond politics because they are based on the “liturgical” truth of the religions. But this is based on the erroneous idea that liturgy is not propaganda and that religion is not political.
[34] Liturgies are propaganda--- that is to say, a form of social control or manipulation--- imposed by institutions deep into the body and the mind—they are the politics of the ‘inner life’ as it were. The purpose of repetition of prayers is to stop thought and force conformity of outlook and belief. Eating the Eucharist is a meaningless act which only takes on meaning by being accorded meaning by an institution. Likewise, a mantra or repetition of a divine name is given as a way of ritualizing social control. Those who take the Eucharist are allegedly saved and those who do not are allegedly damned. This is pure politics as well as superstition. No one is damned or saved, but the whole propagandistic sleight of hand of religion is convincing people that this nonsense is true, that Christians are better than non-Christians, or Moslems are better than “kafirs” (unbelievers) or that the religious are better than those who love science and freedom of thought. Religion is this propagandistic sleight of hand, this system of prejudice and mental manipulations and does not have the credibility or truth of something like physics or evolution, which are proven beyond a reasonable doubt. Such books as the Koran or Bible are propaganda at their core. Metaphysics is a systematic imposition of superstition. As Noam Chomsky has said “The Bible is one of the most genocidal books in history” and the irrepressible Mark Twain would agree. Twain said that “[The Bible is] a mass of fables and traditions, mere mythology.” Exactly right. Traditionalism gives its addicts a sense of their own exclusive and supreme worth, over and above all the “profane people”, as Traditionalist disdainfully call everyone who is not in the various Traditionalist cults or cliques. The Traditionalists I have known, all of them ordinary folks who went to high schools or British or French or other schools, read a few books by Guenon or Schuon and think no one but themselves will ever be so eminent or full of grandiose esoteric truth. These books are like a heroin shot of pride and arrogance. Schuon claimed in my hearing that most of the world’s people, ‘profane people’ deserve to be killed. But his disciples deserved a special heaven all to themselves. That pride, that arrogant willingness to destroy others, is what Spiritual Fascism is all about. Guenon created this form of using religion as a means of escalating and inflaming political and spiritual discriminations and prejudices while putting oneself on top of the imaginary celestial heap.
Upton’s own books, which are slavish and derivative of Guenon, Schuon and others, are assumed, in the above quote, to be superior to all politics. He suffers from the same apocalyptic arrogance and proneness to narcissistic inflation that characterizes other spiritual fascists, from George Bush to Rene Guenon. Politics is nominally a lesser realm in the Guenonian ideology -- politics is merely the affairs of the temporal realm, he says. But in fact, Guenon’s metaphysical infinites, his eternal thoughts, his “beyond being” are all very ‘temporal’ creations used to ultimately fuel a politics of hate and prejudice, superiority and disdain, caste and delusions of grandeur. Guenon’s system of spirituality involves the use of traditional religions as a vehicle, and methods of invocatory prayer and metaphysical dreams of other worlds as means of realization. Guenon’s rhetorical claim to metaphysical unity and oneness in the midst of his “Intellect” is a self-magnifying mythic fantasy. On the basis of this fantasy he and his followers are assumed to be superior to all that is “worldly”. Of course this is pure hypocrisy. Guenon’s claim to be beyond all politics is a claim to define all politics— this is the ultimate political claim.
One need only read a few of Guenon’s or Upton’s paragraphs to see that these men believe themselves to be the ultimate deciders of worth and truth. I happen to have met Charles Upton once and know he is an unassuming man on the outside,-- a humble, honorable man-- but his books show him as a right wing, neo-fascist Moslem, fixated on “evil” with an ego many miles high. He was a New Age hippie for some years before moving to the extreme right. Now is is a New Age fascist who denies he is new age. He is obsessed with apocalyptic ideologies as was Guenon.
[35] Guenon was a man drunk in his own self importance, hiding behind a pose of a humble man leading a simple life.[36] Upton read a few books and now thinks himself the supreme authority on truth and righteousness. Guenon and Upton claim to speak from the height of “Truth” and their words are supposed to rain down on readers head like biblical manna form heaven. Upton is claiming in his writings that Guenon, Schuon and perhaps himself are speaking by “divine right”, or because the holy spirit tells him or, like a Baptist preacher seething over the existence of evil Guenon claimed to have been initiated into the divine mysteries by secret masters. He claimed that god speaks out of him directly and that all politics must derive form this “truth”. This claim to speak out of or in the interests of the “absolute” is a spiritual form of fascism.
In fact, Guenon was obsessed with the idea of evil form an early age. One of his first pieces of writing was a poem about Satan, and notes for a novel in which he would gain tremendous spiritual powers. Guenon and Upton are writing fantasy novels presented as if they were true, rather like today’s far-right Christian novelists. Like The Christian apocalyptic novelists, Upton and Guenon and obsessed with branding all they do not like with the term “evil”, which is basically a political term in their usage.
[37] The Traditionalists play on the borderline between religion, fiction and politics and they do so as part of an effort to claim global authority on the basis of all religions and not just local authority based on one religion. The claim, is absurd, of course, and can only be sustained within a small and well policed, cultish world, where disciples, cult members and true believers alone are allowed to penetrate.[38] The claim to possess the ultimate truth to which all others must submit is a claim to political and social power, however ridiculous it may be. This is the claim that Guenon made, and it is what makes Guenon sympathetic to neo-fascists. Like Guenon, Upton reduces the world into a Manichaean dualism. For Upton, as for Guenon, there is the myth of the “Antichrist” set against the esoteric Truth represented by Guenon and his followers, in an absurd battle of modernism against tradition; “Them versus Us”. [39] All the Traditionalists, Guenon, Schuon and others create their systems of thought based on a radical extension of the “Them versus Us”, idea. Christ’s statement, quoted earlier, “he that is not with me is against me”, is a paranoid statement meant to declare a war against critics. Traditionalism, like many religions or cults is systems of moral blackmail. Similar threats throughout the Koran become the bedrock of the Traditionalist movement, fueling their certainty in their superiority---- a superiority that doesn’t exist except in the minds of brainwashed followers. In their minds, the entire world is reduced to a paranoid and poisonous war between good and evil, spirit and matter, quality and quantity. For the Guenonians, metal objects ooze evil influences, coins are full of harmful Satanist forces and archeological sites are centers of harmful effluents coming from evil worlds. For Guenon the entire world is a “great wall” and evil is seeping through the cracks or “fissures” in the wall like bad thoughts infecting the mind of a schizophrenic serial killer. Only the spiritual fascist, the ‘avatara’ will triumph in the end, armed like Nazi Warriors, like Siegfried, like Saint George and the dragon, like the Templars, like Mussolini, or like Schuon claiming to be the final prophet at the end of time, will survive the cataclysm. For Traditionalists, these delusional figures of myth and fantasy are real.
I use this example of Charles Upton’s fake claim to be apolitical on the neo-fascist website Integral Tradition to illustrate how the Traditionalists can be extraordinarily pretentious. But putting the penchant of many Traditionalists for self-delusion aside, the fact is that from its inception among figures such as Joseph De Maistre or Rene Guenon, the entire Traditionalist movement was fundamentally political. Their metaphysical claim to represent and promulgate the “fundamental”, “quintessential”, “magisterial” essence of “the real”, to use their own inflated language, was itself a grandiose political claim. They wanted to turn back the good done by the Enlightenment and the Renaissance and go back to the good old days of the Caste system and the Inquisition. Even peripheral figures to the Traditionalist movement like Mircea Eliade
[40] had a fascination with the Romanian Iron-Guard, a fascist organization. Michel Valsan, one of Guenon’s main followers, also had a fascination with this organization, according to Marcel Clavelle, who wrote a chronicle about Guenon’s life. Carl Jung[41] , Martin Heidegger[42] and Joseph Campbell had associations with or shared similar ideas to the fascists and like them are prone to grandiose claims. Each of these thinkers and their relation to fascism have been studied in detail. What they all share in common with Guenon and Schuon is that they are all romantic, reactionary and nostalgic for past myths and religions, prone to creating systematic theories based on essentializations, prone to patriarchy, skeptical of hateful of science or technology, and long for a system of totalist order. Like Guenon, all these thinkers are anti-rational and prone to belief in superstitious deities of whatever origin. Heidegger belonged to the Nazi Party: Jung endorsed it; Campbell was enthusiastic about Nazism in his early years, and had an anti-Semitic disdain for Judaism. Eliade was a practicing fascist in Romania. They all hated, in varying degrees individualism, modernism, rationalism, and quantification. They all wanted to smear science, in varying degrees and revive dying systems of dogmatic and irrational belief systems. Obscurantist and occultist romantics, all these men, along with Schuon and Guenon, endorse a retroactive spiritualism that has fascist tendencies without actually being fully fascist.

Martin Heidegger and the Nazis.
( Heidegger is 4th from the right, with the X in front of him)

So, back to my initial question. “Are Rene Guenon and his followers fascists?” or put more broadly, “were or are the Traditionalists fascists?” The simple answer is a definite, yes, but with with many qualifications. I could equally well say, no, but in some ways they are... The Traditionalists are not fascists of the ordinary kind, such as one refers to when one speaks of the followers of Mussolini, Franco and Hitler. They are intellectual or spiritual fascists. But to explain this will take some time. I will begin with Guenon himself and then move on to some of his followers, trying to explain the process the difference and similarities between the Spiritual Fascism that Guenon invented and the ordinary fascism of Hitler and Mussolini.

3.Guenon in Relation to Action Francaise, Blavatsky, Liebenfels and the Knights Templar

Guenon in relation to Action Francaise :
Rene Guenon created Spiritual Fascism between the years 1924-30 when he associated with ultra-right Catholics, royalists and proto-fascists in France. At this point in time fascism is still somewhat vague as a politics and includes elements of monarchism, Catholicism and other mixtures. Also during this period, from 1925-27, Rene Guenon wrote for the ultra-right, Monarchist and Royalist Catholic periodical known as Regnabit. This was a very political periodical, despite its apparent devotion to the subject of “Symbolism”.
[43] The discussion of symbolism in Regnabit by Charbonneau-Lassay and others, was, in a veiled manner, primarily directed toward an overthrow of the current French government and the return of rule to the Church and the aristocracy. They longed to return to France before the French revolution, when the aristocracy and the Church were the unjust, caste ridden, self-serving guarantors of an unfair social order. The point of view of the Regnabit magazine thus reflected extreme right-wing Catholic concerns of the time, concerns that Guenon, who tended towards ultra-right Monarchist and Royalist Catholicism in many of his views, sympathized with. Guenon was eventually forced to leave the magazine by some of its editors, notably a certain Fr. Felix Anizan, because the Orthodox Catholics, such as Anizan, did not like Guenon’s pretensions to an even more totalistic, Masonic and “universalistic’ symbolism. Guenon is already leading toward a global politics in the 1920’s.

Also during this period in the 1920s Guenon also got involved with “ Action Francaise “, a group which some consider to be the first fascist group to ever exist. Action Francaise was headed by Charles Maurras (1868-1952) and Leon Daudet (1967-1942). Another partisan of Action Francaise that Guenon was closely associated with was Ferdinand Gombault. [44] Action Francaise was a Catholic Fascist/monarchist group which originated to try to turn back the tide of the 20th century and return to older forms of power. Action Francaise put out a newspaper of the same name, had a large following and was widely supported by Roman Catholics, small businessmen, and professional men.[45] The movement was based on a return to the past as well as being a conservative and pro-fascist revolutionary group which advocated the violent overthrow of the parliamentary Third Republic (1870-1940).

Maurras, according to Simone Weil, was a” virulent Jew-hater”, and Maurras, “along with Leon Daudet founded l’Action Francaise, a movement and a magazine of unspeakable virulence, which prepared the ground for what was to come” when the Nazis took power in France. Weil writes:

“Charles Maurras was an anti-democratic atheist Catholic...Action Francaise occupied a position of extraordinary influence in the French hierarchy and among Catholic intellectuals—Jacques Maritain began his career with Maurras. Maurras supported Roman Catholicism as an instrument of social control, although personally he felt only contempt for Christian faith and morals…. [Maurras wrote] “Catholicism is an attenuated Christianity filtered through the happy genius of France,” ..... Maurras hated the Reformation because it released the Christian gospel from the imperial organization, and had set it free over Europe. As an atheist Catholic, he took the imperial organization without the gospel and cultivated that large group of Frenchmen who, in the tradition of de Maistre and Veuillot, had praised the Church for the same reason. ...” [46]

Maurras and Daudet were largely in agreement with Joseph De Miastre, whom Guenon had also been deeply influenced by.[47] As Isaiah Berlin points out in his excellent study of De Miastre, De Miastre is not only a throw back to the fanatic Traditionalists of the Inquisition, but he looks forward and is a precursor of Hitler and the fascist movement. He thought of the state as a divine institution, and the executioner as a divine office. He was an advocate of slavery or serfdom. Like De Miastre, Guenon despised democracy and basic human rights and wanted to return society to the “Throne and God” of Imperial religious dictators. De Miastre longs for the world of lost aristocratic privileges that were gone, and is willing to kill hundreds of thousands to get this power back. De Maistre wrote somewhere that the banner ideas of the French Revolution, namely, “Liberty, Equality and Fraternity”, must be replaced with the call for “Throne and God”. De Miastre wrote that the “two anchors of society” are “religion and slavery”[48]. The “infallibility” of religion, in De Maistre’s view is bolstered by the state and both depend upon slavery or serfdom. [49] Much of this ideological position was adopted wholesale by Guenon and Schuon. De Miastre would have hated Thoreau, Lincoln or Frederick Douglas, who helped free the slaves or advocated for abolition.
De Miastre also was perhaps one of the most vocal of all supporters of the Spanish Inquisition and believed that nearly any brutality could be used to enforce aristocratic inequality and secure the power of the state. He claims that “The Inquisition is, by its very nature, benevolent, soft and conservative”.
[50] Besides justifying the Inquisition, De Maistre also advocated the infallibility of the Pope and absolute power for the King, exactly as Guenon did.[51] he writes:

I have never said that absolute power... does not involve great inconveniences.

On the contrary, I expressly acknowledge the fact, and I have no thought of attenuating the inconveniences[52]

This attitude of excusing torture and violations of human rights is monstrous and is a central element in why the Traditionalists are rightly called spiritual fascists.
[53] The members of Action Francaise, following De Miastre, were militant royalists. They were convinced that the salvation of France depended on the overthrow of the Republic and its replacement by a monarchy, if necessary, by violence. Guenon sympathized with many of these views and they with his. Action Francaise was French fascism in a nutshell and Guenon was a supporter and partisan in this fascism long before Evola connected Traditionalism to fascism.
It is true that eventually Guenon seems to have had some reservations about Maurras, since Maurras was an atheist, whereas Daudet had ideas that were closer to Guenon’s and De Maistre’s ideal of a totalistic theocracy. As one of Guenon’s publishers, Chacornac , writes in his biography of Guenon

“There seems to be no doubt that there existed then, to varying degrees, a certain sympathy between Guenon and some of the leaders of the Action Francaise . We say: to varying degrees, for it seems obvious to us that Daudet was, of all the leaders of the Action Francaise, the one most capable of understanding Guenon.”

Indeed, Guenon seems to have still held Daudet in very high esteem indeed. Guenon hated all expression of personal or individual taste and proclivity. He was a man of strict ideas, cold and some say, of a cadaverous impersonalism.[54] He never mentions people he knew personally in his books, but Daudet is one of the few contemporaries that Guenon would deign to speak of with approval in his books.[55]
Daudet’s Catholic sympathies and hatred of the French Revolution and modern industry made him sympathize with the views of Guenon expressed in Guenon’s book Orient and Occident. Guenon agreed with the necessity of overthrowing the modern style governments, since he hated democracy and the effects of the French Revolution. But he eventfully broke with Daudet, to whom he had been close, after Maurras was condemned by the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church placed some of Maurras books and L’Action Francaise on the Index and condemned him on
Dec. 29, 1926. “The index” is of course the list of blacklisted or prohibited books which the church disliked or forbade reading. The Index was one of the many products of the Inquisition, which sought to control not just social behavior but mental activities of all kinds.[56]

Since Guenon had been close to Action Francaise and its leaders the condemnation forced him to choose sides. His inclination to Fascist thinking had to be tempered by his love of a Monarchist Church. Guenon took sides with the Church against Action Francaise, thus bringing to a head his differences with Maurras. But this should not be seen as a rejection of fascism by Guenon, but rather it was a rejection of Maurras as an atheist fascist. Guenon wanted a Traditionalist or universal fascism. From this point on Guenon sublimates his leanings toward a fascistic politics into his spiritual metaphysic. His Catholic Fascism becomes a larger more totalistic and metaphysical fascism. Chacornac continues:

“the condemnation of Action Francaise” was an occasion for him to define the traditional doctrine on this point, by widening the perspective and writing Spiritual Authority and Temporal Power, _ which was published in 1929 by Vrin publishers”.

In other words, according to Chacornac, Guenon wrote his book Spiritual Authority and Temporal Power , partly in response to his disagreement with Maurras and the Catholic Church. Guenon had disagreed with the Catholics of Regnabit as well. The two disagreements appear to be linked to this new effort to define a politics of spiritual fascism, a system that could be both totalistic and nationalist, a combination of monarchism, metaphysics and fascism at the same time, to be both esoteric and universal as well as being open to exoteric religions within individual nations. Guenon’s active and sympathetic association with Action Francaise seems to have come to an end by 1927 or 28. He does not then cease to be a fascist; rather, he expands fascism into new realms.

Guenon’s book on Spiritual Authority and Temporal Power is thus to some degree an answer to Maurras and Daudet. It is probably also an answer to the Catholics as well, who had rejected him from Ultra-right catholic periodical Regnabit in 1927. In both cases Guenon had put himself further in the direction of totalistic control than either the Catholics or the fascists. He answered them by providing an elaborate justification of caste elitism and the necessity of Brahmanical control of society by ‘principled’ intellectuals. The fact that the book was probably written in response to the fascists Maurras as well as the Catholics of Regnabit is interesting, since the book goes much farther than Maurras and the later Fascists and Nazis were willing to go in justifying social repression, caste elitism and spiritual totalism. Guenon felt that social control should not merely be “temporal”, or in the hands of “warriors”, (or kshatriyas), or the military, but spiritual, or in the hands of priests, in short, a theocracy. Maurras was willing to put power in the hands of priests but only as long as they were controlled by a military. Guenon wanted “spiritual” authority to subsume “temporal” power. This is basically a Platonic and Catholic Monarchist position, but stretched farther than even the most Inquisition prone Catholics would go. Guenon wanted to include Hindu caste tyranny and other forms of theocratic repression in connection with militaristic government and Catholic domination of every area of life. Guenon’s dedication to this vision of a religious and aristocratic stranglehold on all of humanity is relentless. Guenon’s interest in Vedanta is an interest in social inequality, where Guenon’s metaphysical ‘principles’ are propped up to serve an unjust social hierarchy. Indeed, Guenon’s whole notion of “principles” is really a fancy form of intellectual and political prejudice dressed up as mystical metaphysics.
Guenon hated everything democratic and was interested in Hinduism’s unitary metaphysics because it provided a means to orchestrate society along the lines of a cold, cruel and impersonal political will. In Guenon, impersonal ideas always must trample actual people or beings. Individuals do not matter and are expendable. This is usually the attitude of tyrants and those who commit atrocities. Guenon’s interest in Hinduism deserves comparison with that of Heinrich Himmler, who was also interested in using Hinduism to justify social hierarchy and “authority”. Hinduism also denigrates the personal and the individual.
[57] Himmler’s biographer, Peter Padfield, records that Himmler visited Auschwitz in July 1942. There he watched an extermination of Jewish women. He also notes that Himmler was devoted to the Hindu text, the Bhagavad Gita, and “he never went anywhere without it”. Padfield notes that this fact is “important for any attempt to understand what Himmler believed he was doing”.[58] In other words, Himmler watched women die in the gas chambers Auschwitz as he carried the Bhagavad Gita in his pocket. This shows how fascism and spirituality went together during World War II in the case of Himmler. Guenon’s similar concern with an impersonal view of human suffering was encouraged by Vedanta and the Bhagavad Gita. For Himmler as for Guenon, the world seemed a place where impersonal duty, such as Hinduism preaches in the Vedanta and the Gita, justifies apocalyptic cruelty. [59] The world is to be riven, ploughed, plundered and destroyed in the interest of ideology. Himmler, according to his biographer, claimed to be “doing his caste duty in a disinterested, passionless way, dedicating it only to god”. Guenon’ book the Reign of Quantity and the Signs of the Times likewise gloats over the destruction of the world with disinterest and impersonal detachment. In Guenon’s book, ‘profane people” , ‘modernists’ and people who value democracy, human rights and ‘ordinary life’ are wiped out like Jews burned up in crematoriums.

It is already monstrous that Guenon felt some sympathy with the anti-democratic elitism of the fascist writers at Action Francaise. But it is far worse he felt they did not go far enough. Guenon was not a secular fascist as was Maurras, who advocated religion only as a means of social control. Guenon wanted religion to control everything. In other words, men like Guenon should dominate society and direct and advise its course. Guenon held that the esoteric elite are alone capable of understanding and dictating the ultimate needs of man. The reason for rejecting Maurras and Action Francaise was that it was not the esoteric elite. Guenon clearly felt some identity with the pro-Nazi group and its periodical and according to Clavelle continued to read the periodical for years. But it did not go far enough. He wanted to universalize fascism. His reason for rejecting it was not moral scruples. He favored social caste and other unjust system of social control. Guenon wanted not merely the elimination of democratic freedoms, and human rights, as Maurras and the Nazis desired, but he also wanted the return of medieval theocratic tyranny and if this could not be had then the world deserved utter destruction. After initially being very accepting of Action Francaise, Guenon rejected it because it was not fascist on a grand enough scale for him. Action Francaise was not a sufficiently universal form of fascism.

Militant and apocalyptic themes increase in his Guenon’s work after he moved to Cairo in 1930. His final answer to Fascism is not to condemn its violations of human rights and blind worship of power, but rather to desire total destruction of the world and its people and their rights by the very “principles’ that he claimed the Fascists lacked. In other words, Guenon is even more reactionary and totalistic in his thinking than the Fascists were, and he rejected them not because of their human rights violations but because they were too “modern” and did not apply repressive principles with sufficient rigor.

Thus Guenon disagreed with Maurras and L’Action Francaise over the issue of social control. Guenon wanted a greater social control modeled after theocratic totalitarianism. Maurras and Daudet sought something less total in Hitler’s Fascism. Maurras and Daudet would go on to advocate for and eventually join Hitler’s domination of France in the form of the Vichy Regime which took over and ruled France from 1940-45... Guenon, whose position was more reactionary and who had a more total and ambitious purpose than the writers at Action Francaise, would leave Europe entirely shortly after his book on Spiritual Authority and Temporal Power appeared. In this book Guenon goes even further than the Nazis in advocating for a spiritual form of fascism. I would submit that this book is the most important one that Guenon wrote. In it he advocates for a dictatorship and a caste system more rigid than anything Hitler dreamed of. Guenon retreated from a Europe he found intolerable into a world even more repressive than the one he left. He would take refuge in Islam and move to Cairo, Egypt in 1930, and from there try to build Traditionalism into a world wide movement that would propagate his doctrines around the globe.

In 1945, Maurras was expelled from the Academie Française and sentenced to life imprisonment for collaboration with the Nazis. But Guenon was still developing some of the ideas that he had held in common with Maurras. He would go on to create a Traditionalist Spiritual Fascism that was universal and total.

This history of Guenon’s involvement with Action Francaise reveals a lot about the basic sympathy between traditionalism and fascism. But it also indicates that the two are ultimately incompatible, since the Traditionalists advocate a much more total control of society. They see the fascists as too shortsighted in their ambitions and too modern and too liberal for their taste. But whatever the incompatibility of traditionalism and fascism it is clear that the creation of Spiritual Fascism was an essential activity of Guenon’s life, one in which the resolution of the problem of this incompatibility was resolved.
In Guenon, Fascism becomes meta-fascism. What the history of Guenon’s work in the 1920’s reveals is that his tendency to fascist thought is sublimated into his spiritual and metaphysical thinking. The result is a spiritual theory that dictates a politics. The Fascism of Action Francaise becomes Guenon’s vision of tradition. Fascism is spiritualized and becomes traditionalism through Guenon. This would later happen to Julius Evola after World War II. Evola’s fascism becomes sublimated into Traditionalism; he becomes a spiritual fascist and not merely a Nazi. Guenon sets the pattern: Spiritual Fascism continues after Guenon’s death in 1951 and becomes a global vision of “Tradition”, capital “T”.

But now to recapitulate some of this history. Guenon first participated in the growth of fascism of the 1920’s in France. In the late 1920’s Guenon defined his political position as one to the right of the fascists in his argument with Maurras and Action Francaise. He sided with Catholic ultra-right Monarchists against Maurras, but he was close to Daudet, even though he later rejected him too. Yet Guenon was rejected by the ultra-right monarchists of Regnabit in 1927 because he was too totalistic in his drive for a “universalistic” religion that dictated all political realities, not merely Catholic realities. During the same period Guenon envisioned a “Lord of the World” and wrote a book with this title. The Lord of the World would be a Master of Totalistic and Universal significance and not merely a master race of Europe.[60] In other words Guenon saw himself as the expositor of the Truth that would smash the modern profane world in an apocalypse and restore traditional Guenonian “truths” to world power in a new golden age. These ‘new age’ fantasies of apocalyptic destruction dreamed of by Guenon were much grander and more total than anything achieved by Hitler and Mussolini. Hitler merely provoked a world war: Guenon along with his followers Evola and Schuon, hoped to be the last expositors of the total truth before the entire world was destroyed and the new golden age vindicated them. Guenon’s book The Reign of Quantity and the Signs of the Times is a demented attempt to justify this grandiose project of universal revenge followed by a restoration of a Golden age to be peopled by people whose views are like Guenon’s.

So what is to be concluded from this? Clearly, there were real relations between aspects of Guenon’s work and Fascism even though the relation of Guenon to fascism and ultra-right Catholicism was a troubled one. In the 1920’s he not only actively participated in the fascism of Action Francaise but all but got into bed with it. But he later split off from it, but not without retaining much of the Mauritian ideology. He did more than flirt with Catholic extremists and Monarchists as well. He was one himself and tended to ally himself with the radical and ultra right royalists and their nostalgic desire to reverse the French Revolution and bring back the Middle Age tyranny of the militaristic popes. But in the end, neither fascism nor the Catholic Church could content Guenon. They were too limiting. But Guenon was seeking along similar lines to the fascists and the Nazis, though in a more totalistic way. Guenon did not want merely to imitate the outward forms of the Catholic Church, as Hitler did. To Guenon this imitation of religion was a ”parody” or the “counter-initiation”. Nor did he want to be limited by the Catholic Church itself. He wanted a total revolution of the ultra-right that would unify all the religions in order to regain total control of world, destroy modernism, liberalism and socialism and bring back arbitrary dictatorship by the chosen few, the elite, a bunch of ‘good old boys’ who would control initiatic chains of patriarchal, spiritual power.

If not this return of total power than nothing short of the destruction of the entire world would be enough. Once the world was destroyed then Guenon could rest content that finally his principles had triumphed over everyone and everything. Guenon’s Spiritual Fascism ultimately wants the destruction of the world as its goal. Guenon’s god is a killer of life on earth; Guenon’s Spiritual Fascism finally goes far beyond anything envisioned by Hitler, Mussolini, Action Francaise or the Catholic ultra right. Guenon is more than a fascist and more than a reactionary Catholic. He is a spiritual fascist and a totalist with megalithic and hugely destructive ambitions at the basis of his ideology.

Guenon liked to pretend that his ideas sprung form a source beyond time and that the ‘accidents’ of his life and biography were irrelevant. This preference for symbols and ideas over people is part of is partly why the Traditionalists tend toward denigrating science, the human and the natural. Guenon thought the Divine Truth and revelations spoke out of him and his books. But in fact, the notion of “pure ideas” in Guenon is a fiction. There are no pure ideas, the image of Christ is like a corporate Logo—it is an advertisement for an institution. The Greek Gods are easily seen to be images of the Greek aristocracy. The Islamic god Allah is also a created fiction meant o justify economic and social powers. Guenon, in his books, scapegoated people and earth for ideas. Ideas are not pure: they are created by people and serve their purposes. Ideas are events in the world like anything else. People and human rights come before ideas. But Guenon did not understand this. He labored his whole life serving a false abstract ideology. But it was his delusions of grandeur which lead him to this. In fact, Guenon’s books are historically determined and relics of a man obsessed with trying to gain control of the entire cosmos through symbol manipulation, mythic fantasy and religion. It’s an absurd attempt, of course. But his followers cannot see how ridiculous it is. His stint with Action Francaise did not work out so he longs for greater power in a fantasy of revenge against the world that he sees as rejecting his backward and anachronistic ideology.
So the first relatively complete declaration of Spiritual Fascism is Guenon’s book Spiritual Authority and Temporal Power. I would argue it is the most important and pivotal book of his career. Guenon hides his personal will to power behind the façade of ideas, “principles”. But in fact what he is doing is creating Spiritual Fascism out of a pastiche of monarchism, fascism, the Hindu caste system combined with a Sufi metaphysics and the apocalyptic and moral blackmailing tendency of the Koran. It is a kitsch metaphysical politics that Guenon created. But because it is informed by a consistent and rather backward, repressive and malignant will, it is a vision that would prove very adaptable to many countries and many religions and political systems. This is not to say that Guenon’s influence is large. It is quite small in fact. But those who believe in him do so with fanatical zeal.
The main point of this excursion into Guenon’s personal history is to show that in the 1920’s Guenon moves from being very close to ordinary fascism but then moves away from it into helping to create what would become spiritual fascism. But this is not all. Certainly Guenon’s relation to Catholic fascism and Action Francaise in the 1920’s is the most telling of his relations to fascism.

Guenon in Relation to Blavatsky, Liebenfels etc:

Early in his career Guenon was closely associated with other aspects of various proto-fascist movements.
Guenon joined the occult groups headed by Papus (Dr. Gerard Encausse) in 1906. Papus was a Martinist, who endeavored to enlist members of the Russian aristocracy, particularly Czar Nicholas, to his mystical and anti-Semitic views. Papus tried to support the Russian, Czarist theocratic state against the rise of modernism.[61] In 1888, Papus, Saint-Yves and de Guaita joined with Joséphin Péladan and Oswald Wirth to found the Kabbalistic Order of the Rose-Croix. Papus also claimed to have restored rituals and the heritage of Catharism, as Guenon would later claim a spiritual relation with the Templars. Papus got most of his ideas form Helen Blavatsky of the Theosophical Society. Guenon in turn got most of his idea form Papus. The man Papus most admired, Louis Claude de Saint-Martin(1743-1803) was a reactionary Catholic, Mason and Neo-Platonist who hated the French Revolution and saw Modernism as a conspiracy against god and the aristocratic regimes of ‘Absolutist’ Europe. Papus was also a conspiracy theorist who believed that science loving democrats and the thinkers of the Enlightenment created the “modern evil”. Papus, following Blavatsky and others, created the basic ideas behind ‘the transcendent unity of the religions’ that would later inspire Guenon, Evola and Schuon. Papus idealized Christian mystical orders and saw them as means to influence what he saw as the 20th century political fight against the forces of modernism and the Enlightenment. This and many other themes would be taken up in Guenon’s books. Thus Guenon was early on influenced by Papus to see religion as a political tool to fight the modern world with. He wanted to win back what he bitterly thought had been lost to the French Revolution. If possible exact revenge or at least hope for a divine revenge against the perpetrators of what he considered the modernist crime. These are cramped and desperate men who dearly want to get back the power that was once unjustly held by aristocratic dictators and unjust hereditary despots.
Like his earlier Master Papus, who claimed initiations where he obtained secret, forbidden esoteric knowledge, Guenon was prone to a certain esoteric bravado and charlatanism. He believed in “oracles”, automatic writing, secret messages from the “beyond” and other nonsense of this kind. Like Blavatsky, Guenon also claimed to have had various invisible “Masters” and secret initiations. He supposedly had mysterious Hindu contacts early in life and always pretended to an authority that derived from high initiations into esoteric teachings from many religions. Schuon would also have this tendency to bragging and charlatanism of this kind, claiming to be visited by the “mysterious Green Man” Al Khidir, of Islam. Guenon claimed this too. ( I discuss this at more length below) Schuon surpassed Blavatsky’s and Guenon’s outrageous claims by asserting he had been visited and has sexual-spiritual relations with the nude Virgin Mary echoing some ideas that had hung around since Novalis and Eliphas Levi.
[62] There is a tendency to snake oil salesmanship and bragging charlatanism in Papus, Guenon, Blavatsky and Schuon, just as there would be in Hitler. One can see the same snake oil in Charles Upton’s inflated writings about Guenon and his ideas. Charismatic leaders, like the Shamans of old, tend to be prone to exaggerated claims of their power and their contacts, since they desire, like the Wizard of Oz, to make themselves look as big as possible. They try to claim high and secret meetings with celestial beings or hidden masters to exalt themselves in power and knowledge.

In 1908 Guenon created the Ordre du Temple Renove, or the New Order of the Temple apparently as a break away group from the Papus and Blavatsky groups. [63] This was a tiny spiritualistic circle of young paranormal seeking occultists which never counted more than five members. A similar order had been created by Jorg Lanz Von Liebenfels (1874-1954) a year earlier [64] Liebenfel’s group, founded in 1907, was called the Ordo Novi Templi, which also means the New Order of the Temple. It seems possible given that they both created “Orders of the Temple”, and their ideas and concerns are similar. But there is no evidence that they met. Rather it seems that Lanz and Guenon were not in contact but rather both of them, independently, were influenced by the symbolist, Templar, hermetic and racist ideology that was “in the air” at the time. Both were influenced, particularly, by Helen Blavatsky whose ideas were ‘in the air’ at the early part of the 20th century. In his book the Occult Roots of Nazism Nicholas Goodrick Clark records that Lanz Von Liebenfels was interviewed by Wilfred Daim in 1951. Goodrick Clark comments:

On may 11 1951 Lanz told Daim that Hitler had visited him at the Ostara [magazine] office in Rodaun during 1909. Lanz recalled that Hitler mentioned his living in the Felberstrasse, where he had been able to obtain Ostara at a nearby tobacco Kiosk. He said that he was interested in the racial theories of Lanz and wished to buy some back numbers to complete his collection. Lanz noticed that Hitler looked poor and gave him the requested numbers free, as well as two crowns for his return fare to the city center..[65]

Goodrick-Clark goes on to note that Lanz Von Liebenfels’ statement was confirmed by other pieces of evidence. Goodrick-Clark concludes that many of the basic ideas which formed the early foundation of Hitler’s political beliefs, the Manicheanism, the Aryanism, the beliefs in caste and race, were formed by his contact with the ideas of Lanz in Ostara magazine. But it is clear that Hitler was attracted to the philosophy of Liebenfels. Guenon’s ideas resemble Liebenfels’ ideas in many respects. It does not follow that Guenon and Hitler have anything in common, other than an attraction to similar mystical concepts that promise power. Nor am I suggesting here, as others have done, that Guenon and Schuon are or were Nazis. Rather it is clear that Nazism and Spiritual Fascism share fundamental ideological underpinnings. But they take a different direction. One obvious difference is that Hitler wanted power over all Europe, whereas Guenon and Schuon hated modern Europe and Guenon fled from it permanently. Guenon seems to have wanted to create an internationalist and transcendent philosophy that went far beyond what Liebenfels and Hitler created. Guenon envisioned a “Lord of the World” and not merely a master race of Europe.
H.P. Blavatsky was a formative influence on Liebenfels, Guenon and Ananda Coomaraswamy. Guenon, during his early years was thoroughly imbued with the ideas of the Theosophists. William Quinn observes that during his apprenticeship into the occult as the “protégé” of Papus, Guenon was “thoroughly imbued with the theosophical legacy of Blavatsky”.[66] Papus was a co founder of the Theosophical society in France, and though he had left Blavatsky by the time Guenon became one of his protégés, Guenon became involved in many groups centered around Papus and many of these groups were imbued with Blavatskian ideology. Guenon’s own Order claimed to have received form “Spirits” knowledge of Templars given to Guenon by Jacques de Molay. He is supposed to have given Guenon the subtle mysteries of Osiris, pythagorism, Kabbala, of Gnosticism and other spiritualist mumbo-jumbo of this kind. Guenon had learned the craft of spiritual charlatanism from Papus, He made outrageous claims and tried to outdo his master Papus at being a spiritual impresario. Indeed, Guenon apparently tried to take over from Papus as the major occultist of Paris, but failed to do so, at least initially. Papus and Guenon were in competition with each other and evidently Guenon was a very nasty player who did all he could to outdo his many enemies.
Borella writes that “Guenon was admitted into all the [occultist] organizations directed by Papus, including the Ordre Martiniste” . Guenon belonged to other occult and secret groups such as the Thebah Lodge, which was a Masonic group under the Authority of the Grand Lodge of France and the Eglise Gnostique or Gnostic Church which claimed to be a reestablishment of Catharism and the Templars. He became ‘holy bishop’ of this order and took the name “Palingenius”. Liebenfels was creating similar orders along similar lines at the same time. Most of the groups that Guenon frequented were influenced by Blavatsky to varying degrees and all of them were rather silly clubs of occultists and symbolists, pseudo-initiates and pretenders to mystical exaltations. In any case, in all these organization Guenon appears to have been duplicitous in his allegiances, turning on one group after another, using journals such as Gnose, Le Voile d’Isis and others to attack former allies.
Guenon allied himself with and then attacked various occult groups just as he would later exploit religions colonialistically, creating a duplicitous “esoterism” while at the same time entertaining himself as esoteric priest of all of them.
Besides being a “table tapper” or a fraud who created phony séances early in her life, Helen Blavatsky had some indirect influence on the Nazis through men like Liebenfels. But having said this I hasten to add that I do not mean that there is a direct line of influence between Blavatsky, Guenon and the Nazis. Rather, there is an affinity of themes and basic concerns. Is clear that the occult and Templar ideology influenced Guenon to such a degree that Jean Borella, a devoted follower of Guenon and Schuon for many years, could write that the minutes of the meetings of the New Order of the Temple “contain as untitled drafts, virtually all of the topics of Guenon’s future work”.
[67] It appears that many of Guenon’s basic ideas are derived from the various Blavatskian, hermetic, Templar, Martinist, Masonic, and occult groups that were thriving at this time, and which eventually had some indirect influence on both Nazism and Traditionalism. Blavatsky is the common root that influenced many of these groups in various ways, directly or indirectly. Guenon comes from the milieu that produced Action Francaise and Lanz von Liebenfels and the Teutonic Knights as well as the Nazis.

Guenon was the head of the New Order of the Temple in Paris until 1911 or 1912 and dissolved it “at the command of the Masters”, says Marcel Clavelle, Guenon’s chief agent in France after his move to Cairo. In other words, Guenon invented a fiction make the failure of the New Order of the Templar sound “providential”. This is another trick he learned from Papus. The “Masters” commanded Guenon to dissolve the order in a secret séance where some spirits spoke to Guenon, apparently through “automatic writing”. All his life Guenon would play this game of using grand and inflated flourishes to advertise himself. Even more amazingly, Guenon’s followers believe or politely ignore this nonsense and still think him some paragon of amazing intellectual acumen. Guenon, spiritual salesman extraordinaire, thought of himself as the priest of a “super religion” of Perennialism— which itself is supposed to be the esoteric core of all the religions. This is hardly a modest proposal. Guenon began under the charlatanism of Papus and continued to be a charlatan after he had put Papus and Blavatsky behind him. The game of Guenon was to appear to be the Magus, the ‘Man who Knows’, the Wise Prophet and Sage, he who had left all the other charlatans behind him. These roles are theatrical and played with a persistently paranoid purpose of being found out as a fraud. For those who believe in him, he is not a fraud, but the soul of truth. But in fact, Papus, Guenon and Schuon all claim a vision or a secret initiation to give the appearance of qualification. I watched how Schuon did this up close. In fact, Guenon is a fraud, though one who fooled more than most, and for that, I suppose, he deserves credit, if not fanfare, balloons, or ticker tape parades .

Guenon sees the Theosophists as inferior competitors who are not as “strong” as he is, and who are part of a satanic plot and “unconscious tools of a higher power”. It couldn’t be that the Theosophists were just people trying to exalt themselves higher than the competition, which, in fact, is what was going on. Guenon has to mythologize the business so they become “unconscious tools” of a satanic power. Like a magician –con man who hates another magician con-man the Theosophists and Guenonians are much alike but hate each other. Guenon learned most of what he knew from the circles around Blavatsky and Papus. But to Guenon everyone except those who think as he does are part of the “unconscious plot” to destroy Guenon and his “truth”. Guenon demonizes the entire world except the esoteric “elite”, who alone know what Guenon knows. Blavatsky and Guenon are a lot alike and have many of the same formative influences and express similar ideas. But the followers of Guenon hate the theosophists, just as they hate “New Age” thinkers, whom they also closely resemble, because they are politically different. [68] The Traditionalists are basically right-wing or neo-fascist New Agers.

After having been a theosophist directly or indirectly for more than a decade, Guenon later attacked the Theosophists in a book, but despite this, his basic ideas closely resemble Blavatsky. As Jocelyn Godwin has justly observed, Guenon “held in disdain Madame Blavatsky, all of her followers and all she stood for, while teaching in many instances, exactly the same things”.[69] William Quinn agrees with this opinion and writes an entire chapter in his book in an effort to prove that Blavatsky, Guenon and Coomaraswamy are basically teaching the same things, despite the variations in their systems . The fact is that Guenonians, anxious to make their Master seem the ultimate thinker of all time, find it outrageous that Guenon was deeply influenced by the bizarre and superstitious nonsense of Blavatsky as he was. Not only that but Guenon’s system is more bizarre and full of plots and conspiracies that Blavatsky. Both Blavatsky and Guenon have tangential relations to fascism and both belong to the development of reactionary spiritualism and Traditionalist fascism that has been developing since at least the French Revolution.

Ananda Coomaraswamy officially joined the Theosophists as a member in 1907 and perhaps even more than Guenon, his basic mind set was largely formed by his involvement. It is this theosophical background that attracted Ananda and Guenon to one another. Both Coomaraswamy and Guenon were first nationalists who then internationalized Blavatsky’s ideology. Coomaraswamy had been a Ceylonese nationalist and Guenon had been a French nationalist. Both had grounding in spiritualized nationalist movements which failed them and turned them both into exiles, and indeed, their friendship seems to grow out of these common backgrounds. They are both bitter men, hateful of the worlds they came from, spinning tales of a world that never was, trying to get revenge against a modern world that they felt stole their romance with the repressive order of bygone kings. Coomaraswamy in particular had longed to be like his father, who he never met, who he imagined to be a sort of Ceylonese Raja.[70] Caste theories, elitism and the concern with hierarchy would also be central to the Guenon, Coomaraswamy, Evola and Schuon’s ideology of traditionalism, in different degrees, and these concerns can be traced back to Blavatsky, to some degree, as well as to medieval ideologies from Europe to India. [71] Nicholas Goodrich Clark notes that “besides its racial emphasis, theosophy also stressed the principle of elitism and the value of hierarchy”.[72] One should not overplay this too much, since there were many other kinds of influence on these men, but there is no denying that Blavatsky played a strong role in originating the overall outlook of Guenon and Coomaraswamy. Goodrich-Clark explains that Blavatsky’s ideas, especially her ideas on race and her rejection of the “modern world” would also influence Guido von List and Lanz von Liebenfels, who were important influences on the Nazis.[73]
There are important differences in these various cults, groups and schools of thought, which I do not wish to blur. But at the same time, it must be observed that the Guenonian and Schuonian ideology grows out of the same roots and environment that created Nazism, however traditionalism and Nazism may have eventually diverged. What Blavatsky’s ideas offered to Liebenfels and List and others who influenced the Nazis, according to Goodrich-Clark, was “a fantasy world, in respect of which the present could be lamented and the possessors of true gnosis could comfort themselves in their assumed superior wisdom”.
[74] This is precisely what the Guenonian and Schuonian systems offer to their followers: a fantasy world in which they cultivated an arrogant presumption of their superiority. Guenonians today are right-wing New Agers living in a rarefied fantasy world of symbols and rituals radiant in a glowing light of illusions set them at odds against the actual world. Sadly, and falsely, Schuon’s and Guenon’s followers believe themselves superior to the entire “modern” world, which they hold in contempt and consider “profane”. If Fascism and Nazism have a common root with the Traditionalist spiritual fascism, that root is the dreamy gnosticism of Blavatsky.

There are also definite similarities in the ideologies of Lanz von Liebenfels and Rene Guenon. In the main book of Liebenfels, the Theozoologie, he expresses a belief in the “Aryan Hero” who is “ on this planet the most complete incarnation of God and spirit”.[75] Guenon calls this person the “Lord of the World”, in his book of this title. He does not specify if this Lord of the world” is an individual or a group, but it is clear from Guenon’s writings as a whole that he believed that he himself was a pure witness to the truth at the end of the world, and one who would chart the esoteric way for a small “elite” or group of the “elect”, who would preserve the hidden truth until apocalypse and the ‘restoration” that would come in the soon to occur golden age. In other words, he thought he was an esoteric precursor of the golden age. Schuon would imagine that he is also a member of this elite, even its sole leader. He told me to my face that he is the “pole of the world” the “manifestation of the logos at the end of time”. This was an idea he deduced from Guenon, who thought much the same thing of himself. Guenon’s notion of the “elect”, whom he also calls “guardians” are those who understand Guenon, who himself embodies the esoteric understanding of the world’s religions. This inflated notion of himself is born from Plato as well as patriarchal Masonic symbolism. He wrote his book “the Reign of Quantity” , not for ‘profane people’ in order to demonstrate to the Elect what will happen in the near future, he says, “so that at least the elect will not be seduced” by the ghastly horror and deceits which Guenon, in his paranoia, was sure were swarming over the entire globe, like St Anthony’s demons in a painting by Bosch.

The Aryan hero of Liebenfels has much in common with Guenon’s elect “Lord of the World”. Guenon opposes the Lord of the World to the depravity of the low caste, profane moderns. Likewise for Liebenfels, the enemy of the Aryan is the Chandala, which is a term lifted out of Hindu caste terminology and refers to the ‘untouchables’. The chandalas are those who believe in democracy, according to Guenon, or those who are secular. Guenon writes with characteristic hyperbole that “the modernistic spirit is truly diabolical in every sense of the word”. The essential problem with modernism according to Guenon is democracy and its “repudiation of the elite” .[76] To be evil, apparently, is to question Guenon. He also writes that “the elite can only be they few ...and its power, or rather, its authority, derives from intellectual superiority alone”. In other words, Guenon denies any value to democracy and the existence of human rights for everyone. He wants hierarchy and a ruling elite to direct the ignorant lower caste masses who need to be controlled for their own good. Guenon’s own fantastic and false ideology is alone righteous enough to reign over mankind.

This is more or less Liebenfels’ vision too, and Hitler’s to a degree. The basic structure of these beliefs of Liebenfels, the belief in the Aryan, Indo European Hero; in the theocratic states of the European and Asian past; and in the subversion of the theocratic ‘tradition’ by what they perceived as the evil of modernism and democracy, would also be present , with some variation, in Guenon’s work until his death in the early 1950’s. Schuon would develop similar themes in the context of his cult. Schuon himself would claim to be the culture hero, for instance, and the chandala of Liebenfels would become those whom Schuon, following Guenon, called the “profane”. For Schuon “humanists” and those who trust science and reason are also negative lower caste people, who are well deserving of apocalyptic destruction. Of course, it never occurs to these theatrical magicians of delusion that perhaps their outrageous claims might one day have to be tested against reason and science and found out to be smoke in mirrors, foggy superstition.

I do not know of any evidence that Guenon was influenced by Liebenfels, but they do share many of the same beliefs. Liebenfels also believed that a secret gnosis or knowledge had been passed down through the ages, passing through the medieval mystics, Meister Eckhart, the Templars and Bernard of Clairvaux, through nineteen century mystics to himself. Guenon would develop this tendency of finding historical and metaphysical antecedents to his theories to a fine art. He believed that he had plummeted the gnostic doctrines of the major religions. These ideas would also form the basis of Schuon’s writings on caste, history and culture, leading eventually to the idea of a secret society that possessed the secret of the world’s great religions.

But there are also differences between the philosophy of Liebenfels and Guenon. The former is much more indulgent toward science, whereas the later sees it as a satanic deviation, for instance. Liebenfels is a German nationalist, as were Guido Von List and some of the other Proto-Nazis. Guenon was initially a French nationalist, but later sought a transcendentalist, perennial and internationalist philosophy based on the religious traditions. Guenon and Schuon believed in the caste system and that in this system they were above politics, as Brahmins and “manifestations of the Logos”, and as such, they believed they represented the principle behind and beyond all politics and history. They believed their ultimate knowledge dictated a transcendent politics, an Ur-fascism, as it were.

Guenon in Relation to the Knights Templar
The myth of the knights templar is a minor subject in traditionalism, as it is in the history of Nazism. But it might be useful to look at how the Nazis and Traditionalists treated this myth and compare it with the actual history to show how mangled and falsifying Traditionalist ideas of history are.
As silly as it seems now, and it seems quite absurd, both Guenon and various Nazi authors were fascinated with the New Order of the Templars and subscribed to variations of the idea of the ‘Age of the Holy Spirit’, recalling Joachim of Flore’s prediction of an age of the Holy Spirit. Nicholas Goodrick-Clark speaks of Liebenfels’ belief that the Templars of the 12th century, known for their allegedly valiant conduct in the Crusades, and for their eventual removal as heretics, in fact were those who sought after the Holy Grail, which is a mythological symbol of the Holy Spirit. There are many conspiracy theories regarding the Templars some of them involving their supposed concern with Grail legends and ot
her deriving form the fact that some of the Templars were early bankers, among the first modern bankers, reportedly.
In the Nazi or the
Guenonian versions of the Templar myth conspiracy theories are not separated from fact
. Indeed, neither Guenon nor the Nazis have much grasp of the actual history of the Templars. The Nazis imagined themselves to be the Knights who brought back the golden age or the thousand year Reich, just as the Templars are supposed to have gained possession of the Hoy Grail, a symbol that sometimes is equated with the ‘holy spirit’. Guenon was also fascinated with these questionable mythologies as was Schuon, who would claim to embody the Holy Spirit himself. [77] The Nazi attempt to picture themselves as the “Teutonic Knights” shares the same symbolism. There were many paintings of Hitler done in the 1930’s showing him as great liberator and culture hero, dressed in shinning armor. The idealization of the Templars and Teutonic Knights had been developed by List, Liebenfels, Wagner and others and then picked up by Himmler, head of the infamous SS, who modeled his exterminating police upon the myth of the Templar Knights as Holy Warriors.
Unraveling the symbolism of these myths takes some work. The symbolism here is part of the imperial myth of the Crusades and the war against Islam. In the Templars fight, the evil ones were the Moslems, who threatened the Crusaders, the ‘good guys’. For Hitler the evil ones were the Jews, liberals, socialists homosexuals and others. For Guenon and Schuon the evil ones are everyone in the modern world. Some of the Nazis believed this to some degree, though the Nazis also praised modernity. But the Nazi’s did accept the aspect of the Templar myth of supposedly lost knowledge, or gnosis, as it is sometimes pretentiously called. If only this knowledge could be regained, the world could be made whole again and the evil ones would be eliminated forever. Blavatsky’s idea that there was an omnipotent subterranean or hidden theocracy somewhere in the East where all true knowledge was held, and access to this knowledge would give ultimate power and this power would enable the Nazis to wipe out all those who did not think like them.
Guenon believed these myths as well and wrote about them in his book The Lord of the World and elsewhere. Guenon, especially in this earlier career, was deeply wrapped up in the Templar myths and other ideologies that would alter influence the fascists and Nazis.

So what purpose does the Templar myth serve for Guenon and Liebenfels? It arose out of an effort to confer legitimacy on new forms of power. But in Europe in the early 20th century the Templars were shadowy figures whose myth was used to promise righteous revenge. The actual history of the Templars was irrelevant. Guenon and others projected all sorts of nonsense on them.
But to show this I have to go back into the history--- this history that Guenon and the Nazis ignore. The Templars were wiped out in 1314 by the Inquisition in brutal killings following tortures. The real question is why? The King of France who allowed this was Phillip IV. But Phillip is merely the first of various kings who set the stage for the killing of the Templars. The ultimate blame for these killings as well as similar killings of the Cathars in the Albigensian crusade, goes back to Innocent the III. So, who was Innocent III? Innocent III held the Fourth Lateran Council which inaugurated the Confession rite as obligatory on all Christians, partly so he could spy on his enemies. Innocent also set in motion the process that would lead to the declaration of the rite of Transubstantiation. Innocent III was perhaps the most powerful Pope since Justinian, and perhaps the most powerful pope in medieval Christianity. If there is a Father of the Inquisition, it would be Innocent III, whose name quite belies his activities. He wrote that Christ “left to Peter not only the governance of the Church but also of the whole world”. Innocent was sure that Christian knowledge of heavenly mysteries justified ruthless Christian supremacy. Pope Innocent III was absolutist monarchist pope---the very sort of monarch that Guenon claimed to desire.--- Indeed, Innocent embodies the conjunction of spiritual and temporal power that Guenon longed for in his book Spiritual Authority and Temporal Power. The conjunction of political power and justifying ideology expressed by Innocent III can be traced back as far as Plato, for instance, who called for a “conjunction of political power and philosophical intelligence”. Plato advocates a caste system, which follows quite naturally from his view that only men of superior intelligence can rule the state, and that eugenic breeding is necessary to rule the ‘rabble’. Innocent III held similar views about the supremacy of knowledge as reflected in a theocratic state, and these beliefs justified his resort to violence to suppress those who did not conform to the Christian system of knowledge. Innocent oversaw and largely directed the murder of some 20,000 supposed heretics, according to contemporary reports, in the town of Beziers, France. Known as the Albigensian Crusade, Innocent writes proudly about this atrocity, complementing the picture of Himmler looking with detached, Hindu indifference on the murder of Jewish women in the showers. Indeed, Innocent the III is the harbinger, perhaps even the template, of many atrocities later to come.

The logic by which Innocent justifies his atrocities could have been written by Columbus, Philip II, ( who promoted the Inquisition and the killing of Indians in the Americas) or if put in slightly more spare and Protestant language, by the British or Dutch Imperial colonialists and slave traders, or if translated into a nationalist idiom such as was used by the Nazis, could have been written by Himmler. In other words, Guenon’s admiration for the Templars is ridiculous. Guenon’s ignorance of history was such that the regime of spiritual authority that he admires in his book Spiritual Authority and Temporal Power is the same system of terror which destroyed the Templars, whom he claims to see as admirable martyrs. In other words Guenon and Schuon were basically hypocrites, like the Nazis were, who also used the image of the atrocities against the Templars as a propagandistic tool. Like the Nazis and like Innocent the III, the metaphysical system of Guenon and Schuon is a system of knowledge which is meant to justify unjust and hierarchical systems of power whose application can only lead to terror .
But the history gets even worse and so does the Traditionalist’s misunderstanding of it. The Templars were already being persecuted by Innocent the III, as I’ve shown. In 1307, Phillip IV of
France claimed that the grand Inquisitor, had determined that the two-hundred year old order of Templar knights was corrupt. The Templars were devoted to slaying any one, especially Moslems, who threatened either the “Holy Land” or the pilgrims that were going there. The Inquisition claimed the Templars were infested by Satanists and ritualized homosexuality. The fact is that the Templars were also one of the great banks of the Middle Ages and possessed large tracts of land in Europe and were, furthermore, owed a great deal of money by King Phillip. It appears that this fact may have been the primary reason that the Church and king decided to murder them, mostly by extreme torture. Phillip killed the Templars to save himself a lot of money. The Templars were not martyrs, since they were killing a lot of people to make a lot of money to begin with. Hard to say who is worse, Innocent the III, who started it all, King Phillip or the Templars themselves. In any case, these facts got lost sight of by the Nazis and Traditionalists who really were only interested in exploiting the Templars as a myth justifying revenge. But the Templars are in some ways the historical antecedents of today’s mercenary corporations.

So then, to unravel all this. In the case of the Nazis it is clear that they admired the Templars because the Catholics murdered them and thus they became for the Nazis and Protestants anti-catholic symbols of resistance. The Nazis inflated idealization of the Templars is the result of Protestant hatred of Catholicism,
since the Catholics, under Innocent III and other Popes, murdered most of the Templars and Cathars as heretics. Indeed the destruction of the Templars by the successors of Innocent the III is partly what the early Catholic Inquisition is all about, which is already informally set up before Innocent III died.
Guenon and Schuon, like the Nazis, wanted to see Templars as martyrs. This attitude is exampled in Schuon’s first book, for instance where he claims that the “Templar elite” understood esoterism and understood Islam, even though Catholics, like St Bernard, did not.
[78] Schuon is trying to say that the crusading and colonialist Templars were superior to Catholics like St Bernard, because they allegedly accepted Islam: he is trying to say that The Templars—like himself--- had a Crusading will to power for universal power or tendency a universalistic religious ideology. So the Nazis, Liebenfels and Schuon see the Templars as embodiments of a suppressed truth. They are martyrs who go to holy war against the modern world, or ambiguously, against the Catholic world. But Guenon and Schuon are not thereby involving themselves directly in the Protestant hatred of Catholicism, which sought to enlist the myth of the martyred Templars as a rally cry against the Catholics. Rather, Schuon and Guenon wanted to relativize or compromise Catholic hegemony. If Catholicism is merely one form of orthodoxy among other ‘legitimate’ forms of orthodoxy, and only ‘esoterism” or “Guenonism” grasps the metaphysical truth of all the religions, then Guenon and Schuon are beyond orthodoxy, even while they affirm it as the only way to the total truth. The Templars are thus a convenient springboard for Schuon and Guenon to go beyond Christianity and into a ‘universal’ position that has the relativization of all religions as its ultimate aim. The Traditionalists falsify history to justify their claim to power, just as the Nazis did.
Traditionalism has a parasitical relation to myth and religion, which are used by the Traditionalists as a prop for other agendas.
[79] This is a fairly complicated maneuver, intellectually, since it involves re-reading religions to be something they never were. Guenon and Schuon resemble the Nazis in that they idealize the Templars as martyrs, but they go farther than the Nazis in using the Templar myth as a springboard , not just to nationalistic power but to creating a claim to grab universal knowledge, though which they hope to gain power. Thus the Templars served a very useful purpose for the Traditionalists, just as they did for the Nazis. It allowed Schuon and Guenon to declare a holy war against the modern world at the same time as it put them beyond the religious institutions of the major religions. Guenon and Schuon claim to be the universal arbiters of truth. They are the ultimate “elect”, and thus, at least in their own imaginations, the nearly infallible guides to ultimate power and status. Guenon’s and Schuon’s follower fall prey to this inflated notion of self worth. They believe that Guenon and Schuon are authorities beyond question. Anyone who questions their authority must be deluded, insane, inspired by evil forces or devoted to some modern parody of the truth, such as the New Age philosophy, relativism, modern psychology, democratic Jeffersonianism, or some other ‘illusions’ such as humanism, happiness or ‘sincerism’, all of which Guenon and Schuon have branded as the evil spawn of the modern age. Most of these things that they hate are mostly good things. But part of Guenon’s intellectual perversity was to make things that are basically good seem to be evil.

Guenon was deeply if ambiguously Catholic early in his career. His Catholicism sometimes conflicts with his interest in Masonry and in comparative religion. But Guenon certainly was influenced by Pope Pius X, who began a series of “anti-modernist” crusades about 1905 which continued until 1910, when he instituted his “oath against modernism”, which required that all priests pronounce an oath against modern ideas and their influence on the Church. The Pope commanded the Bishops to “purge their clergy of modernistic infections”[80] Schuon accepted this also, and together with his principle Catholic disciple, Rama Coomaraswamy, recommended the reinstitution of the “oath against modernism” even recently. Echoing exactly the ideology the Inquisition, Coomaraswamy writes that “heresy, for the Church, is sedition”, thus criminalizing criticism of religion and linking mind control with the political punishment of those who think incorrectly.[81] The infection must be “purged”, the Inquisition, like the Nazis, demanded. For Hitler the ultimate evil was not to be German or Teutonic, whereas with Guenon and Schuon the greatest evil is to be modern, democratic, and relativist, to think for oneself, to be sincere, to be a humanist, to care about human rights. In both cases one is dealing with strategies and anathemas whose intention is to create a climate of ‘Them versus Us’ and thereby magnify a will to power.

It must be observed here that the myth of the Templars did not only serve an ambiguously anti-Catholic movement. There was also a strong element of anti-Semitism in the philosophy of Liebenfels. This also appears in Guenon, for instance, who says that Jews, such as Freud, Einstein and Bergson, who are “detached from their tradition” carry a “maleficent and dissolving aspect”.[82] This is vile racism, of course. Freud is particularly hated by Guenon, who sees Freud as an agent of the devil. He implies that modern psychology and psychologists are openings to a hidden satanic conspiracy against Traditional religions. [83] Freud was no doubt wrong about some things, but there is nothing satanic about him. He opened psychology to scientific study and that was very important. Einstein was perhaps the most important scientist of the 20th century. Bergson has always seemed a rather harmless and gentle philosopher to me. But I haven’t studied him enough to say much about him. Noam Chomsky is Jew “detached from his tradition“. Thank goodness. Chomksy is perhaps the most insightful political thinker and linguist of our age. Guenon’s racist diatribe against Jews is reprehensible. Guenons followers continue this racism. For instance, one of them, Denis Constales, contributed to a paper trying to justify scientific racism, Constales ideas resemble the famous Bell Curve thesis-- a book which tried to prove poor blacks are inferior to white. (see

There are anti-Semitic elements in Schuon too. Schuon writes that the “incomprehension of the Jews [cannot] excuse the iniquity of their proceedings against Christ” and he connects this idea of Jewish blood-guilt to the persecution of the Templars by the Catholics.[84] In other words, just as the Jews killed Christ, the Catholics killed the Templars: and thus Schuon connects anti-Semitism to anti-Catholic sentiments, using both anathemas to justify his own ‘higher’ perspective of universalism. Schuon paints, himself, falsely, as a martyr to the Traditionalist cult of the esoteric mysteries. He is like Christ and like the Templars and the Blood Guilt belongs to the modern world. The modernists, democrats and relativists are the Jews, as it were, who must be destroyed for their incomprehension or Schuon’s transcendent message. God will destroy the modern world, Guenon and Schuon tirelessly repeat, and they will triumph in the end. God will revenge them. The new age will dawn and they will be the prophets of a new heaven and a new earth. “Vincit Omnia Veritas”, Guenon and Schuon like to quote this sentence—‘truth will prevail’, by which they mean, not your truth or my truth but the truth of their esoteric religions, this will prevail and destroy the profane and those ignorant and uncomprehending of their transcendent status.

The destruction of the Templars “had grave consequences for Western Christianity”, Schuon writes, again without any real understanding of the history. It scarcely matters that the actual history of the Templars nowhere appears in the thought of Guenon and Schuon. Historical truth does not concern them. The myth serves their need to sound like they are on the righteous side of truth. With Guenon and Schuon the sound of truth must always be maintained, the actualities do not matter. The important thing is to refer all matters to the unproved mystery of "esoterism" -- a mystery with no content at all and thus a mystery which cannot be questioned, only mystified. On the basis of this false mystification of an unseen, unverified unverifiable tradtiional "Truth" Guenon and Schuon erect the fantasy that the world has fallen away form this fabricated mystery. Schuon claims that the destruction of the Templars led to the split between Catholic and Protestant and thus to Guenonian fantasy that the modern world is the result of “deviation” and “subversion” and of a “luciferian” origin.[85] The Traditionalists believe, wrongly of course, that a terrible downward spiral in history begins with the rise of secularism in the 15th century. Actually an upward spiral begins. The world is much better without the ignorance of religion ruling it.
Schuon writes elsewhere that the “Renaissance was not a time following another time but an act of murder”.
[86] This ridiculous sentence is uttered with a straight face. The Renaissance was a wonderful time. One need only read Leonardo Da Vinci’s incredible notebooks to see why. Leonardo is full of life and insight into actual studies of the real world. He has not murdered anyone, he is a man of science and peace, a vegetarian who wants to fly like a birds and understand seashells and the movement of water. Schuon had nothing of this freshness and curiosity about him. He was a posed and pretentious man who rarely ever smiled. He was stuck in religious ideas as a bigot and ideologue. Schuon writes of the Renaissance as if he or his pet theocratic ideology is being martyred. He falsely imagines that the world before the Renaissance was some blissful kingdom of god where the Templars were dutiful men of holiness and generosity. In fact, the Templars, such as Jacques de Molay, whom Guenon admired,[87] were hardly innocent martyrs: they were mercenary killers, banker capitalists who killed for god and profited from blood. This does not mean that the vicious killing off of the Templars by means of forced confessions and torture was a good thing. On the contrary. Both the Church and the Templars were “spiritual fascists” according to the definitions I will supply below. But the history of the Templars is very different than the mythic nonsense promoted by Guenon and the Nazis. The tyrannical devotion to hierarchy that characterizes the Middle Ages was horrendously unjust and killed innocent people and kept them in abject poverty. The Traditionalists express an absurd desire to return to this misery. Or rather the truth is they want to return to the days when priests like Innocent the III could kill whoever they wanted and misery was something that only touched the lower castes. Guenon and Schuon twist history into a parody. Guenon and Schuon see modernism arising as a result of an anti-traditional conspiracy because they want to paint themselves as victims and try to gain sympathy for a return to tyranny and unjust caste inequality. But the fact is that is Guenon and Schuon who are—or rather – wish to be—tyrants of this kind, just as the Nazis became tyrants following a similar ideological path.
The beauty of myths, for those who exploit them, is that they are adaptable to contradictory purposes. It seems likely the Templar myth was used by the Nazis because they needed a myth that would justify their campaign of revenge and conquest against the rest of Europe. It made them feel righteous and justified in killing people. The Teutonic Knights or Templar myth was a myth of ‘jihad’ or ‘holy war’. Guenon used it as an excuse to declare holy war too. But not merely just to conquer Europe and get revenge for the hardship Germany suffered under the treaty of Versailles. Guenon created Spiritual Fascism and identified with the Templar myth because he wanted to get revenge against the entire modern world for creating the renaissance and the Enlightenment, both of which he hated.
Thus Guenon tried to universalize the Templar myth for a more grandiose and ultimately insane purpose, whereas the Nazis used it much more specifically as a political tool. Guenon’s use of the Templar mythology ends in his creating the truly demented system of conspiratorial thought used in Reign of Quantity and the Signs of the Times, where Guenon declares holy war against the entire world. When I read this book over 20 years ago for the first time, I went into a deep depression. The reason was not clear to me at the time. But now I see why. It is a truly insane book, where Guenon’s mathematical use of reason is completely occluded, or rather saturated, by a mad thesis that the author never escaped from. Had this book been fiction it would have been brilliant, but it is not fiction. It is the work of a man gone logically and mathematically mad with paranoid delusions so deep he thinks they are real. It is ultimately a sad book because only a century of such horrors as created Auschwitz could have created such a dementedly rational text, which falls into the flames of its own unreason. It shows Guenon to be a sort of mythic serial killer, an assassin of human rights and care for nature. Reign of Quantity is the bible of Spiritual Fascism in the same way Hitler’s Mein Kampf was the bible of fascism.
The use of the mythology of the Templars drops out of Traditionalists discourse after Guenon dies. I suspect it also dies out because it was a fascist mythology and after World War II such mythology no longer had the charm it once had. The Traditionalists no longer wanted to be identified with a myth that so closely allied to the Nazis. In any case, the whole reason for the Templar myth was to declare holy war against Modernism. After 1950 or so the Templar rhetoric drops off, but the militant hatred of the modern world continues.
I showed in this section here how Guenon and not Evola was the origin of Traditionalism’s rather close, if ambiguous, relation to fascism. I also showed how Blavatsky and Liebenfels, who were both influences on the Nazis, developed systems of mystical thought not too different from Guenon. Lastly I showed how the Templar myth, which was important to the Nazis also was

Traditionalist Executioners: De Maistre, Krishna, Schuon, Guenon and Khidir

So I have traced the ideas of Guenon though Action Francaise, Blavatsky, Liebenfels and the Templars and all of these in relation the rise of fascism. The drive to have an elite vision, higher than anyone else’s, of utmost transcendent knowledge, results in a need for mythic images which Guenon can use to exalt himself and his mission. This need of science fiction like dreams of a world where he is in total control of all the elements seems to have followed Guenon throughout his life. His earliest literary attempt, I was told by one of his followers, was a novel about Satan, if I recall correctly. Guenon’s later work is really a science fiction novel half based on fascism and half based in religious fantasies. In the 1920’s he rejected Theosophy, which he had been deeply involved in, and then tried to embrace Vedanta. He became enamored of Catholic Fascism and Masonry but that was not enough, just as his theatrical and mythic identification with Jacques de Molay and the Templars, as well as his interest in Action Francaise were not enough. Guenon’s life is a progression towards greater and greater delusions of mythic magnitude and totalism of vision. When Guenon joined Islam about 1930, a whole new series of inflated myths and metaphoric identifications opened up for him. Guenon claimed to have a special relationship with Khidir, he writes to Ananda Coomaraswamy that:

“Your study on “Khwaja Khadir” (here, we say “Seyidna El-Khidr”) is very

interesting, and the assimilations you have suggested are completely correct from the symbolic viewpoint, but what I can assure you of is that in these there are quite other things than mere “legends”. I would have much to say on these matters, but it is doubtful that I will ever write it down, for, in fact, this subject is one of those which touch me a little too directly... - Allow me a small rectification El Khidr is not precisely “identified” to the Prophets Idris, Ilyas, Girgis (saint Georges) - (though naturally, in some sense, all Prophets are “one”): they are only considered as belonging to the same Heaven (that of the Sun).”[88]

To understand this very inflated piece of mythic identification and paranoid self-dilation, recall that Moses is viewed by the Muslims as the legislator of his time and, in a symbolic sense, its “pole”. Now El Khidr is beyond Moses, since in the Koranic story [89]Moses wants to learn from El Khidr. According to Sufi teachings, El Khidr is among or even the head of the afrads, who guarantee the transmission of the tradition in exceptional circumstances. Apparently, this suggests that Guenon viewed himself and his conversion to Islam as something of an exceptional event which involved the transmission of the required spiritual influence through El Khidr or through one of the afrad... In other worlds Guenon is claiming to be a sort of prophet. There are no “afrad” of course. The idea of a chosen mouthpiece for a hidden god is absurd, a fairy tale. But claiming to be the voice of a mythic figure cannot be disproved, which is why it is such a useful claim.

Schuon also thought that he had a special affinity with Khidir, no doubt an idea that he derived from Guenon’s example. In his Memoirs Schuon claims to have met Khadir who said to him that “with me there is no scandal” implying that Schuon was ‘beyond the law’ had the right to do things that others could not do because he was a prophet and lived by a higher “intrinsic morality” that others could not claim. In any case both men claimed a special election on the basis of their affiliation with the Khidir principle or spiritual status. So the question arises just who is Khidir. The popular image of him is that he is the “green man”. Khidir of course is the divine murderer, he who feels that god has created him to kill those that oppose god’s designs.

Al Khidir is the divine executioner, who, in the Koranic story about him, advises Moses, to whom he is superior. Khidir goes around killing people whom god finds displeasing. He kills a boy who is supposedly going to oppress his parents for instance. In any case, the Koranic Al Khidir is virtually identical to De Maistre’s divine executioner. Both act to enforce a hidden agenda, a system of unjust power, a morality that serves a given elite who want to preserve their power.

Joseph De Maistre writes of the divine executioner that:

“all greatness, all power, all subordination rest in on the executioner. He is the terror and bond of human association. Remove this mysterious agent from the world, and in an instant order yields to chaos, thrones fall, society disappears. God, who has created sovereignty, has also made punishment: he has fixed on the earth upon these two poles...”[90]

De Maistre’s executioner is a spiritual fascist, a man who kills impersonally for principle, who has no humane concern for human rights. The myth of Khidir, De Maistre’s executioner and the Krishna myth in the Bhagavad Gita all say basically the same thing. Krishna advises Arjuna to kill as part of his duty to god. Himmler’s use of this Krishna myth to justify the atrocities of the concentration camps is in keeping with the ideology involved. Moslem terrorists and Christian presidents have justified killing their enemies for similar reasons. Spiritual Fascism is about killing or oppressing others in accord with superstitious principles derived form supposedly ‘sacred’ texts. The idea behind Khidir and
Krishna or similar justifications for murder by Christians, warriors, crusaders or the Inquisition is that god is the supreme exemplar of legitimate knowledge and deviants, dissenters or those who oppose the system and its representatives may be killed with impunity. Obviously none of these legitimizations of murder and atrocity are justified, since there is no Khidir, Krishna, metaphysical principle or god that justifies brutality and murder in the name of the priesthood, the cult leader or the president of a country. Khidir and Krishna are merely symbolic images that Guenon and Schuon used in an effort to accord themselves the right to be tyrants or to be “Lords of the World”. Therefore what is involved here are mythical legitimizations of what could be called the fascist impulse to aggression, that is, the will to seek higher power and knowledge through the destruction of another people, religious groups or group of individuals with whom one disagrees. Guenon and Schuon are fascists in this sense, hence the term “spiritual fascists”…..
Neither of Guenon or Schuon actually gained much power, obviously, but the potential is there in their work for others to imitate, and the Traditionalists do indeed function in a kind of “grandfathering” way to many right-wing and extremist neo-fascist groups, as one can see by fairly superficial search on the internet. The ideas of these men percolate into the universities. From there they enter the culture of upper and upper middle class places in various countries around the world. That is what needs to be drawn attention to and brought into question.

5.Rene Guenon and Alexander Dugin: Destroying Human Rights and Creating a “Super-Auschwitz”

It might be useful to define the anti-humanism of the Traditionalists a little further, since their willingness to advocate cruelty and injustice has bearing on what Spiritual Fascism is. The Traditionalists spend a lot of time denigrating humanism, which they hate. They locate the origin of humanism and thus the notion of rights, in the Renaissance and the Enlightenment, which they believe to have been organized as part of a satanic, modernist plot. In actual fact, the few gains that have been made to restrict and regulate unjust power and thereby liberate billions of people from many kinds of suffering is due to enlightenment humanism. One needs to ask why they hate humanism so much, and the notion of rights, when these have done so much good for us all. Their usual answer is a simple one: “there is no right superior to that of truth”, they claim. But what “truth” is it that is superior? It turns out that the truth that is superior, for them, is religio-political ‘truth’ of aristocratic hierarchies and the religious ideologies that support them. So what they really mean is there is no right superior to elite rights, exclusive rights, unjust rights, the rights of tyrants and the few.

What would return us to a society were ‘everything is in its place’, Guenon asks in his book Crisis of the Modern World”. He answers that “everything would fall into place again, provided the intellectual elite were effectively constituted and its supremacy fully recognized” (pg30}. Slaves and women could again be exploited at will. Witches could be burned. The poor could be turned into serfs and driven with whips. The sin of the Renaissance and the Enlightenment, Guenon claims, was to create democracy and rights and thus deprive priests and the “elite” of their power. They could no longer sell phony “indulgences” for profit,[91] or claim that Constantine “donated” the right of the Catholic Church to exist falsely. The existence of the Catholic Church rides on the forged and false document called the Donation of Constantine. The sin of democracy Guenon says is that the “superior cannot emanate from the inferior for the simple reason that the greater cannot be derived from the less”. (pg.70). This is nonsense. Guenon’s inflated thoughts of what is “greater” are merely megalomaniacal illusions and not a standard for anything or anyone. He says that “the reversal of the hierarchical order occurs when the temporal authority tries to render itself independent of the spiritual authority”. What is the spiritual authority? He answers: “A genuine elite…is an intellectual one”. The true intellectuals are people like Guenon, Schuon and Dugin and their disciples. Other people are “lesser” and should not have equal rights. So everything must be ‘subordinated’ to the intellectual elite. Those who object to this are obviously “diabolical”, Guenon concludes in a display of insane reasoning. Guenonian claims that the very ideas of democracy and human rights were suggested by the devil as part of the conspiracy of evil that started with the Enlightenment and before.[92]

In short, the main problem that the Traditionalists have with the modern world is it has deprived them of power and “authority”. They whine like babies for the power that religions once had. They have a tantrum and accuse all those who deprive them of their greed for power of being ‘evil’ and satanic or “diabolical”. They want to destroy the modern world, deprive its members of rights and return us to the glory days of Jihad and Holy War, Hindu castes, Divine Emperors, and Inquisitorial Popes---those where the good old days when spiritual people could murder their critics, kill of those who thought differently, and torture anyone into agreement.

The Traditionalist’s hatred of human rights and democracy explains Schuon’s comment that three quarters of the people in the world deserve to be killed because they are “profane”. Profane means, not like Schuon, Guenon or Dugin.

Alexander Dugin, a Russian follower of Guenonian and Evolian ideology, develops the ideology of the hatred of human rights into new heights. “What is the metaphysical legitimization for aggression in traditional civilizations?” Dugin asks. The purpose of traditional aggression, Dugin writes, is the “demonization of an adversary, examples of which are so abundant in the traditional legends, epics, and religious teachings. What serves as an obstacle on the way of expansion of a nation, country, religion, more narrow people’s community and, finally, a human; what limits the will of the latter to the totalization, to the expansion of existence, all this automatically falls under the sign of “Satan”, obtains the quality of the theological evil, and consequently, the aggression becomes legitimized on the most elevated levels.” In short, Dugin, like Schuon and Guenon want power and conquest at any expense, regardless of who or what they harm. This is the will to power, the poison will of ‘manifest destiny’, the Machiavellian desire for power by any means necessary. Moreover, they want to demonize anyone who thinks differently than they.

In other words, demonizing others or destroying their rights to personhood, is legitimized by the will to power and “totalization”. To achieve totality, one can create Auschwitz or the Inquisition. Dugin says.

It gets worse, if that is possible. Dugin quotes approvingly Jean Parvulesco, a Romanian occult novelist and poet as well as a fascist writer who hated human rights. Parvulesco writes of democracy that it is “black disintegration” of “convulsing corpses” and that human rights is the “fecal vomitory discharge of hell”. This is rather surprising given that human rights means such things as the right to not be tortured: the right not to be a slave: the right to fair justice: the right to not be arbitrarily arrested: the right to freedom of speech, freedom of movement and to marry who one wishes. These rights, enunciated with others in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, do not sound like something uttered by “convulsing corpses” or “fecal vomitory” discharges as Parvulesco and Dugin claim. Dugin quotes Parvulesco with approval in his book the Knights Templars of the Proletariat, from which these quotes are taken (this can be found on the Arctogaia web page referenced above).

Dugin and Parvulesco, invoking Guenon, imagine that a Eurasian empire would arise and destroy the entire western world. Parvulesco asks for a “super Auschwitz” in which those who love democracy and human rights, especially Americans and Western Europeans, could be murdered. Alexander Dugin speaks about the necessity to start a guerilla war against “new Carthage”—the USA—and sees nuclear missiles as the only way to “stop the victory of the mondialist dictatorship in the world”. Presumably those not killed in the “super Auschwitz” Dugin would create would be killed by the nuclear weapons he would use on the innocent. [93]

Guenon’s apocalypse is no less graphic if less directly pointed at individual peoples. Indeed, Guenon and Schuon have found their greatest exponent in Dugin. Dugin wants to kill all those who would disagree with him, and ultimately this is what Guenon and Schuon hoped for: They wanted return of their authority and the elimination of the opposition, kill off the infidels. The end of human rights is the capstone of Traditionalist thought. This is a major reason why I have opposed it. I cannot support a system that justifies murder in the name of transcendence. Those who would have us help them destroy human rights would have us destroy ourselves, and such men are not to be trusted.

In any case, Dugin continues the work of Guenon. Guenon was a mean and spiteful reactionary: a man with delusions of grandeur who thought he was an incarnated Al Khidir, god’s scourge and punisher of mankind. Of course this was just the delusion of a little Frenchman with no heart, whose intellect betrayed him with grandiose and paranoid plans of ultimate power. He is a conspiracy theorist, as is Dugin. Dugin also thinks he is god’s messenger. But in fact he is merely the spoiled son of a Russia gone decadent since the end of the cold war. He thinks he is a dadaist and “conservative revolutionary”. But actually most of Dada was opposed to power and did not glorify power as Dugin and Guenon did. In the end Dugin and Guenon and their followers are merely paranoid charlatans, haters of human rights, New Age Fascists, who despise the world and life. Follow them and you follow not only the Wizard of OZ, but the Grand Inquisitor.

6. Defining Spiritual Fascism in Guenon, Evola and Schuon

So then, Guenon pushed fascism into realms where it had never been before. Schuon, Evola and Dugin and the Coomaraswamys, as well as lesser known followers like Nasr and Lings, Huston Smith and Charles Upton, continue to expand Guenon’s ideology in new directions, applying Traditionalist poisons to new fields. I have outlined their political religion sufficiently that it is time to venture some definitions. There are various existing definitions of fascism and spiritual fascism. I will speak of a number of them here not just in relation to Guenon but in relation to some of his followers as well.
Guenon’s Spiritual Fascism goes beyond Roger Griffin’s definition of fascism, or rather it only fits part of Griffin’s definition. Griffin, a writer who has written extensively on fascism, its history and nature, states that
“Fascism is a genus of political ideology whose mythic core in its various permutations is a palingenetic form of populist ultra-nationalism. (p. 26)”.
[94] Griffin is using the term palingenetic to mean that fascism seeks rebirth, revolution or even apocalyptic change. Guenon was always a ‘palingenetic’ writer. Moreover, Guenon does fit the entirety of this definition of fascism in the 1920’s when he was a French Catholic nationalist. But by the 1930 ‘s Guenon has become a Moslem, at least superficially, while in fact, he has created a transnational form of fascism, a sort of meta-fascism, a spiritual fascism. Guenon in Cairo is a universalistic zealot and his fascism is not so much like the Nazis or Italian fascism as it is like the corporate global fascism of the Post World War II era. With the publication of Spiritual Authority and Temporal Power, he has defined himself as an authority who is supra-religious, standing over all the religions like a warlord. He becomes a spiritual fascist who is internationalist rather than nationalist.
The transition in Guenon from nationalistic zealot to bitter internationalist and apocalyptic guru of the super-religion
[95] called traditionalism is beyond Griffin’s definition of Fascism, which is too narrow. This is not to say that Griffin’s definition is mistaken. It is accurate as far as it goes, but the fascism of the Traditionalists goes beyond Griffin’s imagination. Guenon’s international or universal fascism is a political form of spiritualism that can inspire or support multiple fascisms in many places. That is why Guenon’s name crops up among French, Chilean, Romanian, Russian, French, English, Italian or American neo-fascists, conservative revolutionists or Traditionalists. His fascism becomes universalized: Guenon subsumes religion as part of a political will to power. Those who claim that Guenon is apolitical have not understood how megalomaniacal Guenon’s political program really is. Guenon’s transcendental fascism is a utopian revolutionary and apocalyptic ideology which attempts to revive a spiritual, global apocalypse and rebirth. To put this somewhat differently, Guenon’s fascism is a gnostic fascism, a form of political religion, a revival of the gnostic Platonism with its roots in the apocalyptic tradition.[96]
To express this less abstractly, Guenon wants to destroy the world that does not fit his ideology of a return to former political religions. Those who refuse this backward politics and still embrace democracy, science and enlightenment should burn in hell fire. He appeals to those who are disillusioned with ‘modernism’ and want power at any cost. He is particularly attractive to far right ideologues in many countries.
Griffin’s definition of fascism is too narrow since it only applies to nationalists and among the Traditionalists only Alexander Dugin , Evola at various points in his life or the younger Guenon could be called a nationalist. A better definition of fascism that includes the Guenonian effort of make a trans-national or universal fascism was created by the novelist and culture critic Umberto Eco.
Umberto Eco came up with a way of looking at what he calls “Ur-fascism” that is deeper and examines the facts more completely. In Umberto Eco’s definition Guenon, Schuon Evola and Dugin should be called an “Ur-fascist”. I prefer the term spiritual fascist, since the German prefix “Ur” is obscure in English.[97]

What the apologists for Traditionalism or “spiritual fascism” fail to understand is that Traditionalism is more, not less totalistic that ordinary fascism. Unlike the Nazis, the Traditionalists do not want merely temporal power. They want to be able to dictate the entire structure of reality and how reality is constituted spiritually, intellectually, socially and politically. It might help explain this by turning to Umberto Eco’s attempts to define spiritual fascism. The Traditionalists are “Ur-Fascists” in the phrase Umberto Eco. In an essay titled “Ur-Fascism” (or ‘Primordial Fascism’) in his book, “Five Moral Pieces” (Harcourt, 2002), Umberto Eco lists 14 characteristics of Ur-Fascism. Guenon, Schuon and Evola are guilty of most of them.
Eco states that any single characteristic is “enough that one of them be present to allow fascism to coagulate around it”. The first one, the “the cult of tradition” is essential to the Traditionalist project.. For the Traditionalists, as Eco suggests “the truth has already been announced once and for all”, there can be no advancement of learning: “all we can do is continue interpreting its obscure message”. Eco notes that “Nazi gnosis” “fed on Traditionalist, syncretic, and occult elements”, and he explicitly cites the example of the influence of Julius Evola and Rene Guenon on the new Italian right as examples of Ur-Fascism. Umberto Eco also notes that a feature of fascism is its “rejection of the modern world”, its disapproval of Renaissance and Enlightenment thought. “Traditionalism implies the rejection of modernism …The Enlightenment, the Age of Reason, is seen as the beginning of modern depravity. In this sense [Eternal fascism] can be defined as irrationalism.” The Traditionalists deny science and want to return to revelations and sacred texts administered by priests or to their own internal intuitions, their “intellect”. Eco specifies that for an Ur-Fascist ”anyone who disagrees with them is guilty of treason. In modern culture the scientific community praises disagreement as a way to improve knowledge. For Ur-Fascism, disagreement is treason.” This is exactly right. The Traditionalists brand, slander and anathematize anyone who criticizes them.
Eco also notes that at the “root of the Ur-Fascist psychology there is the obsession with a plot, possibly an international one. The followers must feel besieged.” This is certainly true of the Traditionalists. Guenon’s book Reign of Quantity is perhaps most plot and conspiracy obsessed books I have ever read. Guenon sees plots everywhere. This is indeed, true. Guenon thought that even his close associates were in a plot against him, and Schuon anathematized everyone who did not think exactly as he did. Schuon’s cult was rife with imaginary enemies. I’m sure it still is: anyone who disagrees with them is “evil”. Guenon’s followers see plots everywhere too. Recent Traditionalist writers such as Charles Upton continue this tendency to see plots and conspiracies everywhere.
Among the various other characteristics that Umberto Eco cites as typical of fascism, Eco singles out its hierarchic elitism: “[it] is a typical aspect of all reactionary ideologies, insofar as it is basically aristocratic, and aristocratic and militaristic elitism cruelly implies contempt for the weak.” The Traditionalists are full of disdain for everyone except their own members, and even they are regularly subject to constant rebuke and critique. Eco also notes that the elitism of the spiritual fascists results in their promoting a “cult of heroism”, where everyone is “impatient to die”. Eco’s criticism regarding the “cult of heroism” and the elitism of the Ur-Fascists is exactly right. The Traditionalists are obsessed with apocalypse and ‘joining the next world”. They have a Manichean notion of earthly existence as radically steeped in evil. The
attempts of writers like Guenon and Schuon to lay claim to an imaginary “divine intellect” from which they want to derive all earthly authority involves them in truly dangerous delusions of grandeur, very much along the same lines as the worship of Hitler or Ill Duce or the self worship of Napoleon. But they go even further than these men. They divinize the anti-modernist, aristocratic and theocratic “Self” and claim supernatural authority for what is really just a right wing platform of repression and arrogant ignorance. They are radical conservatives, as were the Nazis, but they are not Nazis; despite the close sympathies and similarities: there are differences. But the differences do not negate the fact that the Traditionalists are fascists: rather they underscore that traditionalism is species of fascism, and nothing else.
Umberto Eco’s definition of Spiritual Fascism can be widely applied. My concern here is only to outline some aspects of the relation of the Traditionalists to Fascism, totalism and colonial Imperialism. I do this as an application of my larger concern, which is to outline the relationship of systems of knowledge to the form and practices of power, which I perused more completely in my book the Empire of the Intellect. Moreover, since the Traditionalists claim to represent the essence of all the major religions, I wish to assess religion as a form of power. I believe that some of the conclusions of the study of this particular movement and the various cults it has spawned can be applied historically to the major religions of the world. The use of doctrines and ideas to legitimize oppressive power structures and hierarchies which I have outlined in these chapters, can likewise be found operating in the major religions on a much larger scale.

Guenon and Schuon may be considered spiritual fascists or religious totalists. That is, they claim to have enunciated a doctrine that encompasses the entire structure of the world, which resembles the backward looking aspect of fascism, if not its futuristic cult of modernity. Robert J. Lifton wrote one of the first studies on what he called “ideological totalism” as a result of his involvement with victims of Chinese mind control and torture techniques. But as Lifton himself points out, ideological totalism is not restricted to political and religious entities, but can be found in corporations, cults and in science or the institutions that science serves. Lifton writes:

Behind ideological totalism lies the ever-present quest for the omnipotent guide- for the supernatural force, political party, philosophical ideas, great leader or precise science that will bring ultimate solidarity to all men... [and] the potential for totalism is a continuum from which no one entirely escapes

Guenon and Schuon in slightly different ways would claim to be or to have access to the ‘omnipotent guide’. Spiritual Fascism is thus a system of totalistic thinking and practice. Madeleine Tobias, following R. J. Lifton and other thinkers who have studied destructive organizations, defines a cult leader and his cult as existing to promote or “meet the unmet, emotional, financial, sexual and/or power needs of its leader”. “The dynamic around which cults are formed is similar to that of other power relationships and is essentially authoritarian”. Tobias defines 15 characteristics of cult or psychopathic leaders. These include: charisma, manipulative conning, grandiose sense of self; pathological lying; lack of shame and remorse; callousness, lack of empathy, and various other criminal and sociopathic qualities. Schuon fit nearly all of these characteristics, as do many of the Nazi leaders, as well as other leaders of cults and dangerous states and organizations, from Stalin to David Koresh, Robespierre to Constantine, J.P. Morgan to Torquemada, or from Hong Xioquin[100] to the leaders who promoted and executed the Vietnam war. [101] All these men served a “Higher Truth” be it called god, the free market or the party, and thus faithful to a higher truth they abused, exploited or killed those who did not serve their truth. Totalism seeks to destroy anyone who is in the way. Many of these qualities resonate with Umberto’s Eco’s analysis of spiritual fascism.

Let me define the relation of knowledge and power to atrocity more carefully. The desire to overcome or transcend the world through knowledge, is to participate in what R.J. Lifton calls the “immortalizing” principle. The speculative philosophical, spiritual or scientific system comes to seem to the Hegel’s, Marx’s or Guenons of the world as an act of Salvation. This is fine in some cases. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with the paintings of Rembrandt or the writings of Thoreau, both of whom created something that made them relatively “immortal”. But once the desire to be immortal begins to put ideology before people: fascism or ideological injustice raises its head. Spiritual Fascism is a form of totalism where ideology is put before human rights, as I have shown. One can trace the operations of ideological totalism in many historical epochs. For instance, Robert Oppenheimer, hated Hitler so much he became like Hitler. He really believed that the Bomb might save the world, just as the 3rd Reich was supposed to save the world. Both Hitler and Oppenheimer indulged in totalistic thinking to excuse horrible atrocities. Both of them also employed spiritually fascist ideologies to justify their actions. The totalistic thinker wants to create an absolute truth to give to mankind---- a saving strategy that will insure his fame and immortality in the memories of other men and women. Hegel thought that his intellectual system was of such immortal profundity that he believed he had become the Logos, the principle of universal truth. Schuon thought this too . Marx thought this to, working from Hegel, but changing his apocalyptic beliefs in a different direction. All these men create an abstract idea and then treat it as if it were concrete. They identify personally with an impersonal deity of principle. This is Whitehead’s fallacy of misplaced concreteness again. The Inquisition killed in the name of an impersonal god it falsely claimed to represent. Marxism led to the Stalinist millennium of the Gulag Archipelago, with its labor and death camps. The German idealism of Herder, Schlegel and Schelling would lead to Lanz and Hitler and their chiliastic movement to save the world by destroying it. There is also the famous story of the American army officer who destroyed a village in Vietnam to “save it for freedom”. Guenon and Schuon are involved in the same tendency to create a salvational system of knowledge/power, a kind of spiritual fascism, which yet threatens the very world it would save. Actually what we need to be saved from is the Saviors: those who claim to a system of total knowledge and power; those who fantasize the world’s destruction because it does not fit their formulas: those who commit the fallacy of misplaced concreteness; the apocalyptic gnostics who love intellectual truth more than concrete realities, and would sacrifice the entire world for a religious or scientific formula by which they hope to obtain immortality. We need to be saved from the Schuons, Dugins, Hitlers, Stalins, Guenons and Evolas of the world. They are dangerous and hungry for the sort of power than depends on harming others.

To summarize: R. J. Lifton created the idea of totalism to explain dangerous systems of thought and practice. Spiritual fascism, which Guenon created, is one form of totalism and Spiritual Fascism needs to be distinguished form the ordinary fascism of Mussolini or Hitler, though there are areas in common. The term ‘spiritual fascism’ was not invented by me or by Umberto Eco, rather it is a phrase that is used by one of Guenon’s main Italian followers: Guido De Giorgio. Piero Di Vona writes that

“Under the pen of De Giorgio expressions are often encountered concerning the fasces, fascism, and fascification. He also talks about the catholicity of fascism, spiritual fascism, and fascist catholicity[…]. expressions, and similar ones [...] relate to the sacral and symbolic meaning of the fasces [the axe in a bundle of sticks]. For De Giorgio, fascism was necessarily sacred….”[102]

De Giorgio lived in Italy during Mussolini’s reign and sought to idealize or “spiritualize” the Roman Tradition to the point of divine worship and transcendence. Of course the dictatorship of Mussolini was a Catholic dictatorship. The pontificate of the Catholic Church assented to the power of Benito Mussolini, and signed (Feb. 11, 1929) with him the Lateran Treaty that allowed the existence of the independent Vatican City state, over which the pope ruled. A concordat was created that declared Roman Catholicism to be Italy’s exclusive religion. Under Mussolini Fascism and Catholicism were nearly synonymous. . This was seen as a good thing by such fascists as De Giorgio and Ezra Pound, who had fallen for his own Confucian brand of ‘spiritual fascism” [103]. De Giorgio’s Catholic "sacred fascism." or Spiritual Fascism was a natural outgrowth of Guenon’s ideas and is a forerunner in of later Traditionalist Catholic fascists, such as Rama Coomaraswamy; Jean Borella and some of their followers.

Julius Evola during World War I

De Giorgio was not the only follower of Guenon’s but was also a great admirer of Mussolini. De Giorgio insisted that what Guenon created was spiritual form of fascism. This is also what Evola thought Guenon had done. Fascism was a reactionary movement that sought to reverse modernism and return to an elite past when the few ruled without question and the many served the few and lived in a 'barbaric slough" of poverty and hardship.

Another follower of Guenon’s who admired Mussolini was Julius Evola (1898-1974) shown in the rather self conscious photo above, suggesting some hidden 'triumph of will'. But here I wish to show how Evola and Schuon express Spiritual Fascism after the pattern of Guenon. But this will take some take some time. Guenon’s followers explored the meanings and extent of what Guenon had created. There were some very close ties between Guenon and Julius Evola. Many of Guenon’s and Schuon’s followers would like to deny that Evola ever existed. Usually the traditionalists claim that Evola is different than Schuon and Guenon because he was more interested in the "psychic" rather than the "spiritual" realm. But the distinction between the spiritual and psychic is a distinction without a difference. Since neither the spiritual or psychic actually exist except in the human imagination the difference between spiritual and psychic is merely a political difference. The Schuonians hate New Agers because they are "psychic" by which they really mean, they hate the tendency of New Agers to "pick and choose" for themselves ----- and if you analyze this further, picking and choosing means they don't want individual initiative, they want conformity to totalistic, autocratic institutions, top-down authoritarian Churches, dogma, castes and social hierarchy. The other reason some Guenonians hate Evola is because they say he is a Khshatriya rather than a Brahman caste. This is again a political distinction that masquerades as something spiritual. There is nothing objective in caste. It is merely one way of typecasting people though erroneous caricature and generalized stereotypes. Evola is a traditionalist, as much as Schuon's followers may hate the fact. But even their hatred of the fact is indicative of the prejudices that make Evola one of them. Esssentializations, stereotypes, caricature, elitist superstitions, hierarchy: these are the stock and trade of traditionalist discourse.
That said, I repeat what I said earlier: Guenon’s version of Spiritual Fascism is not at all the same thing as ordinary fascism, though the two political agendas have similarities. I will show here how Evola participated in and ultimately rejected some aspects of ordinary fascism, just as Guenon had earlier. Indeed, Evola was merely following the pattern already set out by Guenon when he created spiritual fascism. This will show just how alike Guenon, Evola and Schuon really are.

It is true that Evola was a Nazi sympathizer and participated in ordinary fascism more directly than any other of the Traditionalists. But Evola was first and foremost a Guenonian, and a spiritual fascist. When he left ordinary fascism, after World War II, he remained a devotee of Guenon’s transcendental fascism. His writings differ very little from Guenonian orthodoxy. There are some differences, of course, but not more differences than exist between Schuon and Guenon or Guenon and Coomaraswamy or Guenon and Eliade, for that matter. Evola was a collaborator with Guenon, as well as a regular correspondent with him. In his role as supporter of ordinary fascism, Evola wrote the preface for the Italian edition of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a fraudulent anti-Semitic tract used by many who hated Jews to demonize them. Evola supported Mussolini’s racial legislation of 1938, and he explicitly praised Codreanu’s politics against the Jews as well as the
bloodthirsty activities of the Rumanian Iron Guard, which Eliade had also supported. Evola’s dubious claim to fame within the history of Mussolini’s regime is to have written a Synthesis of Racial Doctrine (1941)[104]

After being rejected by the Italian Fascists, Evola sought the approval of the Nazis but the Nazis too rejected him, though he continued to seek and obtain some approval of the Nazis. He was allowed to lecture inside Nazi Germany, for instance, and seems to have thought he could covert the Nazis to the elitism and Spiritual Fascism of Guenon. Himmler had Evola’s books and lectures reviewed and it was determined by Himmler’s staff that Evola worked from a “basic Aryan concept but was quite ignorant of prehistoric German institutions and their meaning”.[105] Nevertheless, Evola was an avid seeker of power and wanted desperately to convince the German’s of Guenon’s ideas. Evola “met with Hitler in September, 1943, to discuss the formation of the Fascist Republic of Salo, after the fall of Italy to the allies”.[106]

The distinction between ordinary fascism and “spiritual fascism” is a distinction between a populist fascism and an esoteric, elitist and ideological fascism that would be able to cross national and orthodox boundaries . The ordinary fascists did not go quite so far in the creation of fantasies of ultimate truth and power. In Guenon’s fantasy, shared by Schuon and Evola, the ultimate, super Guenonian “elite”, modeled on Plato’s guardians, would infiltrate and take back some of the world’s power before the world would be destroyed in a final apocalypse. Yet Plato’s Republic resembles nothing so much as Hitler’s Third Reich. The Hindu, Guenonian and Platonic systems are usefully compared to Hitler’s regime. In Plato’s Republic he recommends, like the Hindus, selective breeding, eugenics, social control and a doctrine of mind control that would oversee the intimate behavior and thoughts of all citizens in his ‘utopia’. Like Hitler and the Hindus, Plato devalues or demeans both men, nature and the world to make them conform with a vision of intellectual supremacy imposed through caste. Metaphysical systems are politics in disguise, projections on the universe of claims to unjust power. The Guenonion effort to render all existence ‘metaphysical’ demeans existence, demeans life and makes all of nature merely a symbol to be exploited for possession. The “metaphysical transparency of nature” in Schuon’s phrase, demeans nature into being merely a symbolic advertisement for a system of totalist thought. The Schuonian concept of “Virgin nature” is merely a misogynist dream of abducted beauty, stolen as a maneuver of conquest and violation.
The religious concept of “purity” is associated in Hindu, Platonic, Guenonian and Nazi systems with the very ‘highest” conceptions of knowledge. All that is considered “impure” becomes anathematized, outcaste, subservient, and degraded in the eyes of those who claim to be righteous in these systems of thought. Platonism is a kind of spiritual fascism, as is the Hindu caste system. Spiritual Fascism is a prescription for violence to against the poor, the outsiders, nature and women. Religion and caste systems use religious symbols to convince populations to submit to power so as to make life easier for the elites.
Guenon was following Plato and Hinduism and theocratic elitists like De Maistre in pursuit of a fantasy of
ultimate power through ultimate knowledge. Evola is merely following Guenon’s lead. In his writings Evola distinguishes between ‘spiritualist’ racism and the biological racism of the Fascists.[107] The effort to create a race or rather a caste of elitists is the main thing that the Traditionalists want. Schuon takes up this same theme in his Castes and Races, a book that uses racist terms like "the yellow man" or "the red man" to describe Native Americans or Chinese. Schuon he distinguishes between the spiritual castes and the biological castes. There are no such castes, of course, the whole idea of either biological or spiritual castes is a fictional invention meant to serve a self-appointed elite. But these specious categories are important to the Traditionalist perspective. By making the caste idea emphasize intellectual rather than merely biological power and survival it transfers the tyranny of the blood, as it were, to a tyranny of the mind exercised over time. Guenon and his followers were creating a system of mind control, mental conformity, and intellectual tyranny. [108] Unlike ordinary fascism, genetics is not the sine qua non for the Traditionalists; intellectual conformity is.[109]
Schuon derives from the idea of god a whole complex of caste theories whereby people are judged not only by the usual four Hindu castes but also by the designations of “pneumatic, bhaktic and hylic” which mean intellectual types, devotional types and physical types, respectively.
[110] By elaborating these complex typologies Schuon seeks to create an intellectual system of categories that determine ultimate levels of significance with himself and his ideology as supreme. The ideology of the “self” or the “intellect” which creates a Guenonian “super-religion” is the lynchpin of spiritual fascism, both in Guenon and Evola as in Schuon. Ultimately the ‘primacy of the intellect’, in Schuon’s phrase, becomes the ultimate power, higher than humanity, life, blood, race, or caste yet still possessing ultimate power over life and death. Of course, the primacy of the intellect is nothing more than the self-regarding subjective and irrational ideology of traditionalism itself. The arbitrary "heart intellect"--- a euphemism for arbitrary self-delusional intuition---- claims power on the basis of the idea of “transcendence” which is nothing more than a self magnifying mirror. One can see this cruelty inherent in the impersonal claim to embody the ‘divine’ in this quote form one of Schuon’s books

We only have one concern- to express the impersonal and uncolored Truth- so that it will be useless to look for anything ‘profoundly human’ in this book, any more than in those of Rene Guenon, for the simple reason that nothing human is profound; nor will there be found any ‘living wisdom’, for wisdom is independent of such contingencies as life and death.

This cold, Arctic, arrogant and anti-human view of human life is the epitome of the danger inherent in the relationship of total knowledge to total power; human beings become extraneous to the abstract idea and the impersonal, disinterested ‘truth’ of those who claim objectivity. There is no ‘truth’ in Guenon or Schuon, there is only the outrageous claim to it. Perhaps this Arctic, spiritually fascist, view of knowledge and power is what led Guenon and Schuon to seek to imitate the part mythical, part real Aryans. Like the Nazis, they believed in a mythical “hyperborean tradition” located somewhere in the frozen north, from which the major religions all descend, but which has since been fragmented by a Satanic design. Guenon and Schuon, Evola and Coomaraswamy believed they had rediscovered the “primordial tradition”--- the very idea of which is a 19th century fiction---and thought themselves to be leading an intellectual elite, which grows up out of the corrupted “mixed caste” impurity of the modern age. They thought they would supply humanity with a witness to the total Truth, before the world goes up in deserved flames.[112]

The idea of the Self----which Guenon, Schuon and Evola claimed in some sense to embody or reflect--- is merely a magnified abstraction, a concept, a self mirroring conceit. This is another important difference between the Traditionalists and the German or Italian fascists. The Traditionalists claim to have the ultimate answer to the universe and to embody the ultimate truth. The German or Italian fascists do not go nearly so far in claiming total knowledge. Of course, thankfully, the Traditionalists have only had power within a small orbit of various cults and political groups. Evola’s groups in Italy did manage to kills some people, Schuon’s cult hurt a lot of people, but has not yet killed anyone, though there was one suicide that might be connected to the activity of the cult.

Evola followed Guenon in allying himself for a time with ordinary fascism. Evola saw enough of a similarity between the Traditionalist position and Nazism that he sought to serve the Nazis despite the ideological differences. The two most important followers of Guenon, Julius Evola and Frithjof Schuon, exalted Guenon with a bizarre sort of Hero worship. At one point Guenon called Schuon “my eminent collaborator” and although Guenon and Schuon split in the early 1950’s. Guenon accused Schuon and his followers of ‘ignorance” and plotting against him. Despite this Schuon continued to see Guenon as a precursor to himself, and he saw himself as “a man not like other men”, born under the “divine axis” as he says in his Memoirs. In other words Schuon thought he was prophet or avatar of sorts. This delusion makes Schuon a sociopath with a narcissistic personality disorder. Guenon suffered from something different, some form of paranoia. In any case, a common paranoid intellectuality and hatred of the modern world infuses both Guenon and Schuon.
Evola was also infected with this need of hero worship and elect status. He wanted to assimilate his hero-worship of his spiritual master to his hero-worship of his political idol, Mussolini. Evola, recalling De Giorgio’s admiration for the Spiritual Fascism of Rene Guenon, writes of the close relation of the philosophy of Guenon to that of Mussolini:

[One] finds in Guenon’s works, which are far removed from particularism and personalism...wide horizons, powerful, pure and unconditional ideas, and new ways to recover that greatness which does not belong to the past but to what is superior to time and of a perennial actuality. I feel this to be the case, since Guenon’s “radical traditionalism” is the same as Mussolini’s ideal of the attainment of a “permanent and universal reality”, which is the necessary requirement for anyone who wishes to act spiritually in the world with a “dominating human will”.[113]

In other words, Evola seems to have been looking to Mussolini and Hitler as potential fulfillments of the Traditionalist and Guenonian dream of the Avataric Lord of the World. He envisions a road to past greatness through the ideas of Guenon. The same sort of ridiculous adulation would latter be exampled in the Schuon cult for their ‘master”.[114]

Evola, while still in his earlier Nietzschean phase, called out for the creation of “a new human type...a being more the subject than the object, one who accepts those aspects of destruction which lead to a surmounting of individualism in favor of a new active impersonalism, towards a “heroic realism”.[115]

For Guenon and Schuon to claim affiliation with Khidir, the divine executioner is little different that Evola’s claim that Guenon and Mussolini are alike. They are all ridiculous claims, but they have a sense. What these claims really amount to is claims to power, or claims over life and death. This hatred of individuals in favor of principles and the willingness to destroy those who stand in the way, is common to all the Traditionalists. It is this that makes their beliefs poisonous. Evola hopes to achieve this trans-individual greatness, like Mussolini, who tried to imitate the Roman Caesars.
Guenon and Evola came to realize that Spiritual Fascism and fascism were not quite the same thing at different times. Later in his career, after he has already invented spiritual fascism, Guenon thought that Nazism lacked the same principles which Evola praises it for. On March 28, 1937, Guenon writes to Ananda Coomaraswamy that “ I agree with you [Coomaraswamy] on the subject of Fascism and similar regimes today, which seem to be in opposition to “democracy” but are, ultimately, just as devoid of real principles”. Guenon was pleased that fascism was opposed to democracy, which he hated, but seems disappointed that it lacks true ‘esoteric’ and ‘aristocratic principles’. This difference between Guenon and Evola is a slight difference. Both men were devoted to “principles” at the expense of other humans if necessary. They are both ideological totalists, that is, they would be willing to sacrifice anybody or anything to achieve the glory of their narrow beliefs. But they differ slightly on their interpretations of fascism. They both prefer it to democracy, but Guenon seems to have held out for an even more total philosophy of political control than Evola was able to imagine in the 1930’s..

The answer to the question: are the Traditionalists Fascists?- is thus a complex matter because the Traditionalists are clearly related to the Fascists in some respects, but not in others. The Traditionalists are ‘spiritual fascists’ and not National Socialists is one way to put it. The Traditionalists are more concerned with creating doctrinal and symbolic forms of power which they hope will be actualized in the political domain, whereas the Nazis and Italian Fascists, using some of the ideas that also appealed to the Traditionalists, seized the social power that the Traditionalists only dreamed of. Therefore, despite the persistent tendency for the Traditionalists to link themselves up with or be associated by others with Fascism they are not Fascists in the ordinary sense, meaning they are not Italian or Germanic Fascists. Guenon claims that fascism is “just as devoid of principles” as democracy, and he thinks democracy is part of a diabolical plot. He wants a type of fascism based on a supra-religious, “transcendent unity” of all the religions., a universal fascism, a spiritual or sacred fascism as it were.

Evola, later in his life, rejected the ordinary Fascist point of view and even condemned it along the same lines as Guenon. He writes: “If one considers the results, the catastrophic consequences to which National Socialism led, even indirectly, those goals must have been obscure and destructive. One would have to identify the “occult side” of this movement with what Guénon called the “Counter-Initiation.”[116] In the Guenonian lexicon the “Counter-Initiation” is a satanically inspired conspiracy against the spiritual forces of good. Virtually the entire modern world is loosely connected in this vast conspiracy to subvert the occult spirituality of traditional ideologies. So, clearly, despite affinities, the Traditionalists did not become Nazis or Italian Fascists in the ordinary sense, even if some of them were allied with it at various points. “Spiritual fascism” is a fascism that goes far beyond the very limited and “profane” fascism of Hitler. Those who try to say that traditionalism is not fascism are correct but mistaken. Traditionalism is more that fascism, it is meta-fascism, it is the fascism of fascism, as it were.

However, despite this caveat that all fascists are not the same, it must be noted again that the drive for power among the Traditionalists is, if possible, more and not less total than that of the Italian or Spanish Fascists or the Nazis. Guenon left his fascist friends at Action Francaise and became even more universal in his drive for repressive government and denial of basic Enlightenment values like human rights and democracy. It might be useful here for comparative purposes to discuss Schuon’s reactionary political-mysticism in a little more detail so that we can compare Evola Guenon and Schuon all at once.
Schuon’s system of thought is highly derivative of Guenon’s, indeed, there would be no Schuon without Guenon. Schuon invented very little in terms of ideas. He is Guenon's epigone. What he did do is apply some of Guenon’s ideas and develop them in bizarre directions, using them to colonize native American religions, for instance, as well as adapting Guenon and Coomaraswamy to creating an aesthetic that ended in being a sort of universal narcissism and a cult of “sacred nudity”. Schuon did not have direct relations with the fascists as Guenon and Evola did. In fact, Schuon appears to have rather inadvertently fallen into a position where he had to fight against the Nazi’s in World War II. But his thought at that time was almost entirely Guenonian. When Schuon starts defining himself later as a cult leader and writer, he sets up his cult along Guenonian lines. He moves to the extreme right as Guenon did, bypassing the Nazis following Guenon’s model. This gives his followers the erroneous notion that Guenon and Schuon have no relation to fascism, but that is incorrect. Schuon’s ideas are derivative of Guenon and Guenon created spiritual fascism. Schuon applied Guenon’s ideas while adding some of his own and created a cult where he claimed to be an infallible and unquestionable authority. While it is true that Schuon did not support Nazism, the whole system of thought and the structure of Schuon’s cult was based entirely on spiritual fascism.
However, Schuon does discuss the Nazis. For Schuon, the Nazis are too nationalistic; he wants more power than merely the nation. Schuon claims to speak for the entire world, insofar as the world is “traditional”. “All that is traditional is ours”, he writes. Schuon’s book Transfiguration of Man contains an edited older essay called “Usurpations of Religious Feeling” in which he accuses nationalist patriotism, and thus Nazism, for not being religion, and complains that “people fail to see that religion alone, would be qualified, in principle, not to do impossible things, but to do what could and ought to be done”.
[117] Thus he wants more not less control than the Nazi's had. Schuon is a theocratic Imperialist and complains in this essay that Nazism, because it is secular, has usurped the right to total power that belongs to religion alone. Schuon would like to return to the medieval tyranny of religion, and he mentions Caesar, Shintoist Japan, the “Middle Empire of China, the Holy Roman Empire and the Kingdom of France” as models of Traditionalist integrity. [118] He despises the Renaissance and the French Revolution. Of course Schuon is assuming that his own totalistic universal religion is the most “qualified” to do “what could and ought to be done”, which would be to restore traditional tyrannies to their “divine right”.[119]

Following Guenon exactly, Schuon’s politics is not a nationalistic totalism like Nazism, but a transcendentalist totalism, which is just another way of saying it is a “spiritual fascism”. In the above essay, Schuon disapproves of Nazism because it is “profane”, “civilizationist” and “humanistic” and therefore not totalistic enough, which essentially mirrors Guenon’s and Evola’s criticism as well. Schuon has written elsewhere that “a religion [or a civilization] is integrated and healthy to the extent that it is founded on the invisible and underlying religion, the religio perennis”.[1] The “religio perennis”, of course, is Schuon himself, since he calls himself the “human instrument for the manifestation of the religio perennis at the end of time”. In other words he is spelling out, rather obliquely, a grotesque drive for a totalistic world religion based on his principles. ‘The world is healthy to the extent it is like me’, is what Schuon is actually saying. He not only thinks he is the summation of all the prophets, as I have shown elsewhere, but he also thinks he is the combination of Alexander the Great, who had himself proclaimed a god; Caesar, Napoleon and other “great” characters in history. Schuon claims “divine right”, on the model of so called theocratic civilizations. This is a natural outgrowth of many of Guenon’s ideas. Neither man questioned if founding a society on such grandiose and inflated ideas would be a good thing. A sociopath who is this deluded about himself does not question himself.

In various photographs I have seen Schuon self-consciously poses as the ‘great man’. In some of these he appears as a kind of Aryan Caesar, in others as a Chinese Emperor, Great Indian Chief, Islamic Caliph or Saint or Indian Raja. In nude photos of Schuon, of which there are many, he is the embodiment of the pure esoteric truth. He claims that Caesar, like the Chinese Emperors, or other manifestations of theocratic statehood reflect the “theocratic essence of the imperial idea”[120] This might be satirically humorous, like the puffed-up buffoons in Jean Genet’s great play The Balcony if it were not true that Schuon, like Goebbels, the Roman or Chinese Emperors or today’s politicians and advertisers know, as Goebbels said, that ‘people more easily accept a big lie than a little one’. There are people, committed to a cult routine of ignorance, prayer and self-delusion, which actually read Schuon’s writings and “themes of meditation” [121]and believe that Schuon is the puffed up “last prophet at the end of time”. I met many such people. Goebbels said that his project was to get all Germany “to think homogeneously”, and Schuon wants to do the same thing. His cult is designed as a system of thought control. For Schuon diversity among the religions is fine, as long as they keep well in the confines of his philosophy of orthodox esoterism. This really amounts to a negation of diversity of course. Religions must conform to Guenon’s and Schuon’s criteria or they are “heresy” and “diabolic” and need to be denounced by those who claim to be arbiters and judges, namely, the Traditionalists themselves. A great deal of Traditionalist writings involves slashing and beating up on those they feel are remiss, mistaken, threatening or profane. Many of the Traditionalists function as a sort of thought police, branding those who think outside the Schuonian or Guenonian box as satanic modernists, diabolic or profane. Schuon’s and Guenon’s followers live in a system of mind control, unable to think their own thoughts.
Schuon, like Guenon and Evola, despises democracy. Guenon, always the paranoid, had seen democracy as a diabolical plot designed by an imaginary Luciferian intelligence to “level” and destroy the spiritual “elite” whose existence maintains the world. For Guenon and Schuon democracy is a slide toward the apocalyptic abyss. Schuon writes in his first book that the great truths of “purely intellectual Knowledge” that comprises the esoteric essence of the religions east and west “ have been formulated-for the first time, we believe, in the writings and books of Rene Guenon”
[122] There is no such things as “esoteric essences”. Guenon and Schuon have invented a way of seizing all the religions for themselves “for the first time”. To Schuon, following Guenon, democracy is a “rising tide of profaneness”; a tendency to “anarchy”; a downhill slide towards “dissolution”; a descent into the evils of “relativism”, and “relativism engenders the spirit of rebellion and is at the same time its fruit”.[123] Relativism in fact is our actual lives, our children, our lives, the trees in our yard, the forest and skies of our planet--- relativism is everything worth living for. But for Schuon all this is nothing. Relativism “destroys the notion of truth; relativism of[124] whatever kind kills intelligence”[125], and like “psychologism”, to which democracy and relativism are akin in Schuon’s estimation, relativism rebels against admitting “that which exceeds us... and this is the very definition of Lucifer”. In other words, someone who does not recognize and fall abjectly before religious ideology is “Lucifer”. No science is allowable on the “level” of ordinary reality. All must be subservient to an imaginary hierarchy. For Schuon subordination is the essence of the social order, because the social order must be built on principle which only the “objective intelligence” – that is---only the self appointed “spiritual elite”, can supply. Schuon believed himself “objective” and infallible. In Schuon’s lexicon, “objective” does not mean concretely observed. For Schuon, objectivity is god, and the “intellect” is what reads what is “real or unreal”. Reality is an ultimate subjectivism and objectivity in Schuon’s ideology is a fiction, a sort of pseudo-science. Schuon is guilty of the fallacy of misplaced concreteness, as Whitehead called it. He makes concrete what in fact is merely abstractly speculative and fictional. When Schuon says that the social order must be built up on ‘objectivity” he means dictated by religion, not scientific fact, which he despises. Schuon's whole system fo thought---and this is crucial and also true of Guenon--- is based on the ideology of the subjective "Intellect" and in their system the intellect is nothing other than their own private subjectivity elected into a fictional embodiment fo all the religions reduced to a few simple caricatured ideas. In other words the whole basis of the Guenonian/Schuonian system is not just cracked in its foundations, it is based on the subjective delusions of Guenon, Schuon Evola and the rest. It is an elaborate farce, a masquerade, an elitist pastiche of bits and pieces of broken religious symbolisms and ideas.

Schuon says that the rebellion against the Kings and Priests after the Renaissance and Enlightenment was a “luciferian” revolt against the spiritual castes. Actually it was a revolt against superstition and arbitrary dictatorship. But, Schuon believes that the overthrown of priests and kings led to the rule of what the Hindus call the Vaisya and Shudra castes, that is, the merchants and workers.
[126] These “low caste” people had no right to the power of the Brahmin and Khasatriya, or Priest and Warrior castes, Schuon complains. He fantasized that an evil conspiracy took away the unjust power of the Kings of yesteryear. The ‘low’ democratic people have victimized the holy priests and warriors and “celestial values” are replaced by “infra-human” values, that is by the devil’s spawn of open-mindedness, fairness, abolition of slavery, better medical care, worker’s rights, equality, women’s rights, human rights, nature’s rights and democracy. Schuon explains:

It is not the people who are the victims of theocracy, it is on the contrary theocracy that is the victim...The European monarchs of the nineteenth century made almost desperate efforts to dam the tide of mounting democracy...But these efforts were doomed to be vain in default of the one counterweight that could have reestablished stability, and that could only be religion, sole source of the legitimacy and power of princes.[127]

Schuon writes this grotesque nonsense without even being aware of the suffering of millions of peasants and lower class people who died so that “theocracy” could persist in exploiting them. He says that “he who says democracy says demagogy” and has recommended that a “monarch or... a military dictator-could have seen to interracial justice” in the U.S..[128] This historically ignorant statement shows no understanding of the long fight against patrician aristocrats and Jim Crow plantation owners who had military dictators on their side, enforcing slavery. Schuon is a demagogue. Schuon complains that in the modern world, control is not in the hands of religious-military dictators, who he falsely supposes would see to “interracial justice” between whites, Native Americans and African Americans, as if such religious and military men didn’t create race and class ideology and atrocity to begin with. The slave trade and the murder of some 30 million Indians, either outright, or by overwork and resulting diseases, were enacted by 16th and 17th century European aristocratic and theocratic merchant states and monarchs and are contemporary with the worst period of the Inquisition. But Schuon does not usually trouble himself with history, science or facts, such as the fact that Columbus was just such a military dictator, who sailed for “gold and God” and who, according to Las Casas, killed 3 million Indians. Nor does he bother recalling that it was Napoleon, whom he admires, who destroyed the first African American state in Haiti in the early 1800’s.[129] Schuon subsumes all history, all religions and all social order under the banner of his absolutist belief in monism or the “One” to which only his august intellect, as well as a few other “elite” intellects have access. Schuon’s followers listen to and read such rubbish and sigh with admiration at Schuon’s genius. But he is not a genius. He was a spiritual fascist who was ignorant of history. Thus he writes that “the theocratic essence of the imperial idea is clearly apparent; without theocracy there would be no civilization worthy of the name”[130] In fact, theocracy was a system of state terrorism and mind control which established a pattern of atrocity producing systems of government. It did not produce civilization. It produced empires and millions of deaths. Its gradual disappearance over the last few centuries is a good thing and ‘civilization’ survives very well without theocracy. We must be careful to insure that arbitrary dictators , be they kings, corporations or cult leaders like Schuon, do not triumph over ordinary people or nature.

So then, in the last few paragraphs I have shown how Schuon rejected ordinary fascism and endorsed a form of Spiritual Fascism that is more or less identical to Guenon’s spiritual fascism. Let me return to the discussion about Evola and compare him further to Guenon and Schuon, so as to show that Spiritual Fascism does indeed come from Guenon and that Evola and Schuon are merely followers of the pattern that originally was set down by Guenon.
It is interesting that Schuon rejects Nazism for the same reason that Evola was rejected by the Nazis. Evola had wanted very badly to serve the Fascist regimes in both Italy and Germany. In a dossier kept on Evola by Himmler’s personal staff, Evola is criticized for being a “reactionary Roman”, that is, that Evola’s theories would most likely lead to an “insurrection of the old aristocracy against the modern world...His overall character is marked by the feudal aristocracy of old...His learnedness tends to the dilettante and pseudo-scientific”
[131] In other words, Evola was too reactionary even for the Nazis. Schuon rejects Nazism because it is not theocratic and aristocratic enough- it is too modern. The Nazis reject Evola, whose philosophy is roughly equivalent to Schuon, because he is not modern enough and too enamored of the old order of the aristocracy. In other words, Schuon and Evola are more to the right than the Nazis and want to return to backward, pre-scientific, theocratic and imperial forms of knowledge and power. It is probably this fact that makes it easy to equate Traditionalism with Nazism, since it is hard to imagine anything more reactionary that Nazism. One can conclude from this that the Nazis saw enough of themselves in Evola to consider him for service to the Reich, but they rejected him ultimately as being more reactionary than themselves.

Evola eventually realizes, like Guenon realized after his rejection of Action Francaise, that ordinary fascism was not totalistic enough. Evola’s later rejection of Nazism mirrors exactly Guenon’s and Schuon’s rejection it. Evola writes of Hitler that

In respect to National Socialist theosophy , i.e., to its supposed mystical and metaphysical dimension, one must realize the unique juxtaposition in this movement and in the Third Reich of mythical, Enlightenment, and even scientific aspects. In Hitler, one can find many symptoms of a typically “modern” world-view that was fundamentally profane, naturalistic, and materialistic; while on the other hand he believed in Providence, whose tool he believed himself to be, especially in regard to the destiny of the German nation...He railed against the “Dark men of our time,” while attributing to Aryan man the merit of having created modern science. National Socialism’s concern with runes, the ancient Nordic-Germanic letter-signs, must be regarded as purely symbolic, rather like the Fascist use of certain Roman symbols, and without any esoteric significance. The program of National Socialism to create a higher man has something of “biological mysticism” about it, but this again was a scientific project. At best, it might have been a question of the “superman” in Nietzsche’s sense, but never of a higher man in the initiatic sense.[132]

One can see here that Evola likes aspects of the Nazi interest in mystical politics, but his complaint is that they are not “initiatic”, and do not have a firm grounding in “rites and sacraments”. In other words he is reproaching Hitler for not being Guenonian. In his old age he sees Fascism as a counterfeit, whereas his own formula of Traditional truth is the real article, the authentic fascism and therefore the measure of all power and knowledge. Evola, like Schuon and Guenon, was sure he is in touch with the “real” tradition, and that this “tradition” gives him and those who think like him the right to the world power the Nazis wanted but never attained. Spiritual Fascism grows out of ordinary fascism.
This is made clearer in some later writings of Evola, written after World War II, where he concedes that Fascism was partially in error, but that now that this is recognized it must be understood that after World War II fascism becomes Traditionalism. Evola writes that those that

“have lived through Fascism and have thus had a direct experience of the system and its men, know and acknowledge that not everything about it was in order. As long as Fascism existed and could be considered a movement of reconstruction in the making, one of yet unrealized and uncrystalized possibilities, it was still permissible not to criticize it beyond a certain limit. And those who, like ourselves, while defending a set of ideas which only partially coincided with Fascism (and with German National Socialism), did not condemn these movements, even though fully aware of their questionable or aberrant aspects, did so precisely because we counted on future possible developments

In other words Evola is stating that ordinary fascism had the possibility of becoming like Guenon’s Spiritual Fascism but it failed to do so. So he says

Today, when that Fascism lies behind us as a historical reality, our attitude cannot be the same. Instead of idealizing it in a way consistent with the ‘myth’ of Fascism, what is necessary now is to separate the positive from the negative, not just for theoretical reasons, but for practical guidance with an eventual political struggle in mind. Thus we should not accept the adjective ‘fascist’ or ‘neo-fascist’ tout court; we should call ourselves fascist (if we feel we must) in respect of what was positive about Fascism, not fascist in respect of what Fascism was not.[…]
In other words, it is a question of making linkages as far as it is possible between the great European political Tradition and discarding what at bottom can be seen as compromises, divergent or even deviant possibilities, or phenomena which were products of the very evils which people set out to take a stand against and fight.

In other words, according to Evola, after World War II and the defeat of political Fascism a new kind of “fascism” is necessary, which Evola identifies with “the ideas and principles based in that Earlier Tradition”. Or in other words fascism must be ‘spiritualized’ along Guenonian lines. In other words, to repeat myself, Evola was not the originator of Traditionalism’s relation to fascism, he was merely following the pattern already set forth by Guenon. Evola rejected ordinary fascism just as had Guenon and later, Schuon. Guenon’s biography and written works outline a conservative apocalyptic politics that allies Traditionalism to fascism indirectly, as a sort of moralistic and far right correctant. Spiritual Fascism has a mirroring or complementary relationship to fascism.

What then is the relation of Traditionalism to Fascism and how is Spiritual Fascism defined?. Clearly traditionalism resembles Fascism in various ways. But also, clearly, it rejects many aspects of the Fascism of Hitler and Mussolini. The words of Guenon and Evola would imply, however, that they were concerned with the fascist movements to varying degrees and put some hope in it, even if they ultimately rejected it in favor of a system of thought even more fascistic, or more totalitarian that the Nazis. Indeed, traditionalism is in many ways the extreme religious side of fascism. They approved of its wish to go “back to the old way”, to Tradition, but they disliked the modernist tendencies in it. It might be appropriate then to call Traditionalism “Higher Fascism” or Metaphysical Fascism, Meta-fascism or Transcendental fascism. But perhaps Guido De Giorgio’s name for it is the most accurate, since he was a participant in developing the basic ideology of Traditionalism. Guido de Giorgio, as I said earlier, was an ally of Guenon and friend of Evola. He developed an idealistic vision of the Roman ideology of the Fasces, or Fascism, which he called “spiritual fascism”. [134] This bore an idealized relation to Mussolini’s effort to resurrect Roman imperialism. Be this as it may, Giorgio’s notion of “spiritual fascism” seen in conjunction with Umberto Eco’s definitions of fascism as well as with R.J. Lifton’s notion of ‘ideological totalism’ is quite accurate and complete as a description of the Traditionalist political/metaphysical project. The Traditionalists reject the Fascism of Mussolini and Hitler, but yet seek to return to the Empires of the past, as Hitler and Mussolini did, but in a much more totalistic and conservative manner, without the modernist additions that Mussolini added to the Traditionalist project. They want to return to the ages of Caesar, the Pharaoh, Rome and the Church, Muhammad and the Chinese Emperors, all of them mixed up in a kitsch salad of grotesque reactionary politics and bad history . The Traditionalists are not like the Italian and German fascists, they are kitsch Spiritual Fascists, who yearn for a new age of theocratic dictatorship and anti-technology where priests modeled after Plato’s guardians can commit injustices against the poor for their own good. This phrase, “Spiritual Fascism” expresses very well the rather complex relation of fascism to Traditionalism.

So, Umberto Eco and R. J. Lifton have given me a reasonable definition of Spiritual Fascism which I have expanded on, elaborating the historical and psychological sides of Spiritual Fascism and not merely the political elements. I have applied that definition to the consideration of Guenon as well as his followers Schuon and Evola and to a lesser extent, Dugin and the Coomaraswamys, among others. All of these men followed the Guenonian pattern of supporting far right politics of various kinds but then sought an “Ur- Politics” or a spiritual version of fascism that would be more universal. Guenon was the creator and inspirational for whatever his followers did. To him must go the credit of creating a toxic system of spiritual fascist thought.

7.Spiritual Fascism Today
The relationship of Spiritual Fascism to right wing or far right politics is both direct and oblique. The development of Traditionalism with neo-fascist overtones after World War II is a complex matter. To conclude I will indicate some of this complexity without going into all the details and explanations that would be necessary. I merely wish to indicate what developed after Guenon passed away. So what we see in all these complexities of historical evidence is that there is a tension in traditionalism between accepting and rejecting aspects of fascism that they don’t like. Guenon and Evola both ally themselves with fascism and then separate form it, keeping much of what they learned of it but rejecting other parts. Guenon created spiritual fascism, which resembles ordinary fascism in many ways but is not tied necessarily to nationalism, or to one religion. Guenon, Evola and Schuon created a roving spiritual fascism, a sort of ‘transcendent unity of fascism’ that could alight about anywhere.
After World War II fascism becomes much more complex and includes Traditionalism as one of its modalities. Fascism becomes a sort of war against science and democratic socialism and an effort to resurrect dead ideologies and religions in view of sustaining class and caste differences, repressive moralities, “law and order” and the status quo of injustices. Spiritual Fascism thus becomes of sort handmaiden to right wing, globalist, corporate and repressive movements of all kinds, in many different nations.
For instance, there is a larger pattern of support, by some of the Traditionalists, of right wing regimes
. Seyyed Hossein Nasr, one of Schuon’s main disciples, was actively involved with promoting as well as working for and supporting the unjust regime of the Shah of Iran. The Shah embodied a puppet dictatorship in Iran, a client state set up by the U.S that was both fascist and monarchist. The Shah had a secret police organization which tortured, maimed and killed thousands from 1953-1979.
Nasr was closely allied with this government even up to its final days. Nasr seems to have transferred this political zeal to Schuon, after the fall of the Shah in 1979. But besides serving the Shah, Nasr also had some influence on helping the Iranian revolution come about, since Nasr ran the Iranian academy and promoted Traditionalist ideas. The Khomeini revolution of 1979 was a Traditionalist revolution of sorts. Nasr would end in disliking its populism. It was not aristocratic enough for him. But he had an influence on it. Both the Shah’s regime and the Iranian revolution resulted in violating the human rights of the Iranian people. Nasr contributed to both systems. The free floating nature of Spiritual Fascism allows these kinds of multiple reactionary influences. Nasr’s Spiritual Fascism allowed his ideas to be acceptable to various far right dictatorships. Over a million people were killed in the aftermath of the Iranian revolution. Nasr is not personally responsible for all these deaths, but his ideology made him an easy pawn in the game of far right dictators, and to some degree he is ethically at fault for complicity. Furthermore Nasr, who now lives in the U.S., calls himself a “shaykh” and promotes all sort of creationist , anti-science and anti-technological nonsense in his books. It should be added, in addition, that Nasr's son, Vali Nasr, is part of a military think-tank in the U.S., and has acted as a propagandist for right-wing political advice about the middle east, often appearing on T.V. pushing a reactionary line of thought. He has acted to some degree as an advisor to the Bush administration, sometiems advising George Bush personally. Nasr has supported the Iraq war, a war that has killed somewhere between 1/2 million and a million people as well as caused 3 or four million of flee as refugees. This is the most lethal and harmful war of our time and to have advised and supported it is to have bloody hands. However, The fact that a Guenonian and Schuonite ideology would end up supporting huge death and displacement tolls should not surprise anyone. Spritual fascism is aobut the unjust few trying to seize power and mystify this power with esoteric religious mythology. Hossien Nasr trained his son to suck up to power and seek to advise tyrants.

Spiritual Fascist ideology developed in many complex ways after the deaths of Guenon and Evola. There are many different designations. Some “spiritual fascists” are “neo-fascists” or “new right” or “conservative revolutionaries” or any of the other many designations for the complex development of conservative and totalistic groups, religions and political parties. Pierre-Andre Taguieff has simplified some of this complexity in terms of what has occurred in France as follows

. “Nevertheless, the New Right may also refer to one of the ideological and political currents which appeared on the French scene in the 1970s—one of the “new” ideologies of the Right or, more precisely, one of the new doctrinal syntheses whose objective is to reorient political life. Irrespective of later political associations, three ideological traditions can be distinguished [in the New Right or Neo-Fascism], each of which can in turn be divided into “schools of thought” or intellectual orientations: first, traditional counter-revolutionaries (legitimism and/or “integralism”), integral nationalism in the tradition of Charles Maurras and Gnostic inclinations allied to [Rene] Guenon or [Julius] Evola; second, Europeanist conservative revolutionaries who are partisans of a “third way” (revolutionary nationalists, neo-fascists, and neo-pagans associated with GRECE); and third, neo-conservatives of a “liberal” stripe (the national liberalism of the Club de l’Horloge [right wing think tank] such as the “new republican, liberal national populism,” the “popular capitalism” of the National Front, the anti-state libertarians, and the “new economists”). Clearly all of them can be distinguished in terms of their relation to economic liberalism. Counter-revolutionary Traditionalists and conservative revolutionaries include all of the Right’s anti-liberal schools and confront the many liberal neo-conservative schools.”[135]

In other words the ultra-right wing of the New Right, at least in Europe, has close associations with the philosophy developed by Guenon, Evola and Schuon, but they also straddle the spiritual/temporal divide and help support far right economic agendas, most of which generally support wealthy classes, bankers, far right capitalists, anti-abortion fanatics, homophobes and monarchists. Spiritual Fascism and traditionalism are the same thing, but different modalities appear in different places. A Guenonian in Italy for instance, by the name of Massimo Introvigne supports far right ideology and practice in various ways. He supports right wing Catholicism and far right political agendas in Italy. He tries to sanitize dangerous religions cults through his directorship of Censor.
The are many Traditionalists in the universities. The self enclosed and escapist bubble that some academics are able to live in insulates them from seeing the destructive effects of the study they pursue. Schuon, Guenon, Evola and Coomaraswamy intended to appeal to the tendency of academics to consider themselves an “elite”. This elitism in built into the European system of education and harks back to the discredited medieval conceptions of the “great chain of being”, which Guenon and Schuon admired. The concept of the great chain of being embodied a European conception of caste elitism and it was this latent tendency that Guenon and Schuon hoped to appeal to in “modern academics”. The academics themselves seem to have fallen for this appeal out of career ambitions, largely because the Guenonian, Schuonian and Evolian philosophy made them “conservative revolutionaries”, that is ”revolutionaries” of the extreme right, who stood out against their liberal counterparts in the university because of their espousal of anti-modern ideology that denied human rights, equality and democracy. Many modern academics fell for this; among them were Huston Smith, Alan Godlas
[136], James Cutzinger, Patrick Laude, and Jean-Baptiste Aymard, Hossein Nasr, among those who were part of the Schuon cult as well as Piero di Vona, , H.T. Hansen, Harry Oldmeadow, Federico Gonzales as well as many others in Canada, France and elsewhere. Such men are an advance guard for the Guenonian variety of “spiritual fascism”, though they do not call it that. Like all the Traditionalists, they tend, in varying degrees, to espouse belief in a notion of “objectivity” in the field of religious cultural ( “sui generis”) studies, where in fact no such objectivity is possible. [137] “Objectivity” for them meant that any criticism of the basic Traditionalist stance was anathema, and only apology, neutrality or advocacy for Traditionalist ideologies was considered appropriate. The academic Traditionalists write abstruse articles about aspects of Traditionalist symbolisms, Sufi drunkenness and symbolist ideology without much understanding of the negative role they play in forging reactionary political consciousness. Some academic Traditionalists, were quite willing to be “neutral” or out right deny the influence of fascism and Nazism on Guenon or Evola for instance, and some rigorously oppose those who rightly decry Guenon’s or Evola’s participation in Nazi and fascist ideologies as ethically culpable and bankrupt. They help sustain anti-intellectualism and post-modern spiritual fascism.[138]

In America the situation is rather different than in Nasr’s Iran or Dugin’s Russia. The Traditionalists in America are a far right extension of corporate elitism. They are either academics or upper middle class corporate workers. Schuon insisted his disciples vote republican in America and he liked Nixon and Reagan as well as supported the Vietnam War. Some of his disciples were or are landlords, real estate developers, lawyers and doctors. They were told to support the apartheid system in South Africa. In other words, in America the Spiritual Fascism of Schuon and Guenon developed into a rather pro-capitalist support of right wing extremes. Schuon’s disciple Huston Smith promoted a religious ideology that seeks ultimately to subvert democracy. In practice, what that means is the Traditionalists in America support a far right, republican corporate agenda, creationism, prayer in schools, anti-abortion and subversion of the 1st amendment. In the followers of Rama Coomaraswamy one can see another sort of Spiritual Fascism at work. Rama has promoted a form of Catholic fascism that despises homosexuals and expresses a patriarchal misogyny toward women. The Schuon cult in America also exploited women and children for Schuon’s power needs. In any case, in America most Traditionalists support virtually the same ideology as Guenon and Evola but usually try to distance themselves form Evola as much as possible. They do not want to be known as fascists, even though their views are actually more repressive and more dictatorial that those of Hitler and Mussolini. After WWII Spiritual Fascism becomes more adroit at disguising itself and its motives, hiding behind an interest in symbolism. Various American Traditionalists pretend to be mere anthropologists or professors. But deceit and secrecy is a typical Guenonian and Schuonian procedure. Guenon was a deeply paranoid man who suffered form delusions. He spent much of his life covering up who he was and what his contacts really were. Schuon also was a pretender and a con-man, acting one way in private and another in public, hiding his four wives and his nudist gatherings where he was worshipped as a king or prophet.

Spiritual Fascism takes many forms today. Guenon and Schuon were European, and sought to colonize other cultures and their religions intellectually, in an analogous fashion to the colonization of other people’s by economic, political and military means in the 18th and 19th centuries. The result of this is that Guenon’s and Schuon’s ideas often appeal most to upper middle class professionals in colonized countries: Russia (after 1991), Latin America, South Africa and elsewhere. Guenon and Schuon tend to appeal to reactionaries in these countries; those who blame the west and think that Guenon and Schuon supply an alternative. They tend to support puppet capitalist regimes, “client states”. What these people do not usually realize is that the Guenon and Schuonian ideology is tailor made to help forge an obedient and colonized mentality of submission, and that far from being in anyway “revolutionary”, in Alex Dugin’s phrase, the Traditionalist ideology is an aide to the very forces of cultural and economic colonization that undermine the self determination of these countries and peoples. In each country traditionalism supports forces of repression, militarism, and social injustice and class differences.

An example of this is the recent figure is Miguel Serrano, who was also influenced by Guenon and Evola, a Chilean diplomat who has written a 600 page book called Hitler, the Last Avatara, (1984).[139] Chile, under Pinochet, was a client state of the U.S., which means that it is largely a U.S. colony, exploited for its labor and resources. Serrano helps the process of military government in Chile by writing nonsense of the kind that appears in this book. Most Traditionalists would look down on Serrano, but the fact is that his ideas are not very different than Schuon or Guenon. Other books have appeared from Latin America on Guenon, Evola and the Traditionalists.[140] A faction of the Schuon cult used to exist in Brazil, but seems to have become more Guenonian of late and has a web page there. I met a number of Latin American disciples of Schuon from Columbia and there has appeared a compilation of Traditionalist writings out of Peru, where right wing dictatorships have prospered in the past.

To assess why traditionalism appeals in Latin American and other countries with a history of colonization one would need to know who is reading these books and why. Most of the readers of the Traditionalists are from the upper educated classes, tend to be religious, and tend to dislike democracy and prefer military or hierarchical organizations. There is an appeal for Guenon’s books in Guatemala, for instance. The Guatemalan Government is reported to have killed 250,000 of its own people between 1978 and 1988, with the help of the U.S. Government. The writings of Guenon and Evola are well adapted to the upper classes that would bring about atrocities such as this. I am not suggesting that the Traditionalists are guilty of this crime, but I am saying that systems of knowledge have consequences. Class interests reflect ideological sympathies, or conversely ideological sympathies sometimes create class interests. Guenon and Schuon are tailor made for regressive, caste-ridden, ideologically militaristic and totalistic societies such as one finds in Latin America. The effort to make South America a client sate of the USA is a common factor in much of the repression that is supported by Traditionalists in South America.
The appeal of traditionalism in Russia seems to fueled by other factors, such as the “fall” of the Soviet Union, hatred of western capitalism, and a sense of defeat and alienation. Guenon supplies a thinker like Dugin with the desire that ultimate power may yet be his or Russia. In Russia Alexander Dugin repeats the importance of Guenon and Evola to the formation of his Spiritual Fascist group in Russia. Dugin writes that traditionalism became known in Russia…

“in 1960 by a very restricted group of dissenting intellectuals and anti-communists, known as “the dissidents of right-hand side”. It was the small circle of people who have conscientiously refused participation in soviet cultural life and chose an underground existence…. This refusal of Communism depended on the uncovering of certain works by the anti-modernist authors and Traditionalists: especially books of Rene Guenon and Julius Evola. Two central characters animated this group—the Moslem philosopher Geidar Djemal and the poet nonconformist Eugene Golovine. Thanks to them the “ dissidents of right-hand side “ knew the names and the ideas of those great Traditionalists of our century. “

In other words, the works of Guenon and Evola and the political concerns and ideologies that they developed still continue to inspire radical right wing and neo-fascist groups of various kinds. One can go around the world and find Spiritual Fascism inspired by one or another of the Traditionalists in different guises in different countries. In Mexico it appears in universities and in nationalist circles. In Russia it appears with Dugin and Djemal, in Chile it appears among those who followed the poison politics of Pinochet. In Islamic countries Spiritual Fascism supports conservative and repressive measures. The Traditionalists are not Nazi or Fascists, but they are “Spiritual Fascists”, “new age fascists” and “conservative Revolutionaries or “apocalyptic gnostics” with connections to the New Right and conservative movements of many kinds. In all cases that I have learned about they invariably support wealth against the poor or corporations and institutions against individuals. They dream of an unjust kingdom of Heaven and Imperial dictatorship such as ruled in the ancient world. They want not the Third Reich but the Primordial Reich, and if they cannot have it, they would like to see the world burned to the ground.
Umberto Eco ends his essay with some wise words about being vigilant about all forms of fascism, not only the Spiritual Fascism of Republican Presidents who want to destroy the Bill of Rights, or the Islamic fascism of terrorists who like to blow up big buildings, but also the Spiritual Fascism of the Traditionalists. He writes that Spiritual Fascism or

“Ur-Fascism can come back under the most innocent of disguises. Our duty is to uncover it and to point our finger at any of its new instances — every day, in every part of the world. Franklin Roosevelt’s words of November 4, 1938, are worth recalling: “If American democracy ceases to move forward as a living force, seeking day and night by peaceful means to better the lot of our citizens, fascism will grow in strength in our land.” Freedom and liberation are an unending task.


[1] It might be worth noting here that the Christian resurgence in America is likewise a nostalgic movement for a power that in fact is leaving America. The real power in today’s world is global corporatism, which does have resonance with Perennialism in that both the corporate and the Traditionalist view of the world is based on false abstract entities. Corporations are fictional persons, just as religions are fictions based on imaged gods and fictional principles.

[2] There should be some critical studies done about the treatment of women in Traditionalist ideology and social practice. Feminism is a good thing and has freed women from much suffering and oppression. Guenon’ of course was a Moslem and there have been many studies on the atrocious treatment of women in Islam, justified in many cases by the Koran or Hadith. Schuon said that “feminism is satanic”. and he writes against it in various places. I catalogued many of the abuses against women I saw in the Schuon cult and how Schuon justified his ill treatment of women in primordial gatherings and otherwise. For instance, in an obvious allusion to his own wives and use of nude women in primordial gatherings Schuon writes that “ the throne made of human substance - the harem, that is - indicates in an eminently more direct and concrete manner the real of borrowed divinity of the monarch.” This very grotesque image of a “prophet” drunk with power, sitting on a throne made of “human substance” reminds me of Nazi lamp-shades made of human skin. It shows Schuon’s sexist attitudes toward women and his delusions about himself. (Esoterism as Principle and Way pg. 133) See also Rama Coomaraswamy’s website for more example of Traditionalist sexism.

[3] Guenon largely created and installed Schuon in the 1930’s as his hope of a Sufi “tariqa” in Europe. By 1950 Schuon had disappointed Guenon. By 1990 Schuon was insanely claiming to be “the last manifestation of the Logos at the end of time” and enjoying nude women dancing around him.

[4] They argued over the role of Buddhism, which Guenon slighted in Schuon’s estimation, and over various points in Christian dogma. But Schuon was thoroughly a Guenonian, and their points of commonality far outweigh their differences. Schuon read Guenon’s books at age 17 and did not split form Guenon till he was over 40. He was utterly immersed in Guenon’s ideology for over 20 years. According to Clavelle, the Guenonians even corrected and edited Schuon’s writings, which they thought poor, through the 1930’s. Since the child molestation case of 1991 which involved Schuon ( enough evidence now exists to indicate Schuon’s guilt) many Guenonians and followers of Evola have tried to exaggerate the differences between Guenon and Schuon. But this is inaccurate. The differences between the various Traditionalists are slight and are often exaggerated by the Traditionalists themselves, each of whom belongs to the tradition of romantic individualism, despite their hatred of this same individualism. Each of them considers their contribution unique, hence their similarity and hence their inability to tolerate each other’s points of view.

[5] The Traditionalists like to use Latin, Hindu or other old terms for what really are modern constructions. The so called perennial religion is an invention, a confection, a 20th century suburban wedding cake of forced analogies and fanciful associations of ideas. But when you call it the “Religio Perennis” it sounds less like a phony Disney wedding cake and more like and ancient manuscript written on parchment by Plato and Aquinas themselves. With the Traditionalists pose and perception is everything. It is all a theatre made up of supposed sacred props stolen from expensive art books and antique shops.


[6] Guenon’s criticisms of Schuon are much more pointed. He accuses him of being unorthodox in the following letter “in Lausanne, the ritual observances have been reduced to the strict minimum, and that most even don't fast anymore during Ramadân; ….I see now that I was only too right when I said that soon it would not be a tarîqah at all anymore, but a vaguely "universalist" organization, more or less like that of the disciples of Vîvêkânanda!”--- and then he states, in another letter that “I am not surprised, for, from a technical viewpoint, the ignorance off all these people, to start with F.S. [Frithjof Schuon] himself, is truly frightening...” Of course, the fact that Schuon was not only unorthodox but claimed to be a Shadhiliya shaykh descended from Sheikh Al-Alawi on false pretenses would only matter to those who think that orthodoxy is a true standard. Guenon was hardly orthodox himself. His use of Islam was parasitical to his “super-religion” of Traditionalism. The Traditionalists are not orthodox they merely exploit orthodoxy as a means to greater power. Orthodoxy is merely the persistence of habit. It is assumed that because some ritual religious practice is passed form generation to generation that it “works” or is efficacious. In fact there is no evidence that this belief is anything other than bogus magical thinking, usually promoted by a patriarchal priesthood concerned with passing down a pedigree and an institutional power structure and the economic benefits that go along with this. This is not to say that I excuse Schuon’s pretending to be something that he wasn’t. Schuon was a fraud. Rather, I learned form all of the Traditionalists, including Schuon, Guenon and Rama Coomaraswamy, that the claim to be orthodox amounted to nothing. It was merely a strategy --- a dogmatic claim to exclude or condemn others. Orthodoxy is merely superstition organized over a number of generations, passed down mostly by males, who want to exclude other males from joining the club. Orthodoxy is a sort of cultural natural selection.

[7] Cyril Glasse, a member of the Schuon cult who led a reasonable effort to question Schuon in 1987, put together an impressive book of criticism of Schuon in the early 1990’s. It records the criticism of Victor Danner, David Lake, Paul Yachnes, Catherine Perry and many others. Rather than admit he might be wrong, Schuon claimed that all these critics were in conspiracy against him and that anyone who listened to them was listening to a diabolical plot against a great prophet. Those who criticized him were quite reasonable to question him, but rather than listen to reason he declared himself infallible. He wrote that even his claim to infallibility was infallible. All those who criticized him were forced out of the cult. This is spiritual fascism in a nutshell. Irrationality is set up as an unimpeachable authority and evidence is suppressed and those who criticize the injustice are declared satanic or evil. It is standard policy of the Schuon cult to accuse their accusers to cover up their own faults—the typical strategy of hypocrites. Other critics of Schuon who were similarly demonized were myself and Aldo Vidali. Aldo wrote a book about Schuon called the Feathered Snake, a rather humorous satire, which the Schuonian so hated that they spent over 250,000 dollars trying to suppress. Maude Murray wrote some interesting pieces about corruption in the Schuon cult. She also made some videos about them and was viciously attacked, sued and forced to sign confidentiality agreements. Rama Coomaraswamy was also attacked for his effort to tell the truth about Schuon. Mark Sedgwick too was attacked by the cult. They have systematically tried to destroy any free press or critical review of Schuon. Ziaudhin Sardar wrote and essay in the magazine Impact International – called “Man for all Seasons”. Peter Wilson writes against Schuon in his book Sacred Drift. These two examples were not attacked, so far as I know.

[8] Schuon had a similar tendency to demonize his critics. He also was prone to blaming his personal illnesses on the moral faults of others claiming that he was sick because they did this or that. It is odd that both Guenon and Schuon used illness as a form of moral blackmail. I suspect that Schuon learned this from Guenon and kept up the practice. It is unclear to me where Guenon derived this tendency from--- did he acquire it as a result of his paranoid tendencies or did he acquire it as a strategy to manipulate others from Papus or another of his teachers?

[9] I met a few people who knew Guenon. Martin Lings was Guenon’s secretary of sorts, In Cairo in the late 1940’s. Guenon accused him of secretly reading his mail. Lings was very negative about Guenon when I asked him about him and said that Guenon suffered form paranoia. Whitall Perry also knew Guenon a little and thought him paranoid. What is interesting in these private views of Guenon is who these to men speak about him in public. Both Lings and Perry wrote glowing reports about Guenon, but reports that imply Guenon was some sort of prophet or prefiguration Schuon and a divine second coming. Lings understood well that his own fame depended on the myth of Guenon’s and Schuon’s pretense of sanctity. The last time I spoke with Lings and told him about Schuon’s nudist “primordial gatherings”, he denied to my face that they existed. He had been systematically lied to by the cult. There is plenty of proof of these gatherings now. I tried to explain to him that he was being systematically lied to by the cult. I had witnessed the systematic exclusion of Lings form primordial gathering myself and had been told to hide knowledge of these gathering from him when I spoke to him. Lings was so afraid of losing belief in the myth of Schuon’s ‘prophet’ status that he preferred to insult me and live in denial rather than see the truth that was patiently explained to him. I lost respect for him after that. Sadly, he continued lying to himself in this way until his death in 2005.

[10] The Introduction of James’s book is written by Jacques Albert Cuttat, who was a follower of the Traditionalists. I heard about him in the Schuon cult. If I recall he was in the Schuon cult early on in the 1940’s or early 1950’s perhaps. It appears that Cuttat worked at the Swiss Legation in Argentina from 1938 to 1946. Cuttat has been accused of conducting unauthorized private business and maintaining questionable wartime contacts with known Nazis. In spite of those allegations, the Swiss government promoted Cuttat to chief of protocol of the Swiss Foreign Service. Cuttat got mixed up in helping in the relocation of various Nazi’s to Argentina. He met with Evita Peron, the wife of the Argentinian fascist dictator, Juan Peron. The exact facts are not very clear. In any case, Cuttat relation to the Traditionalists is deep if ambiguous. It might be worth someone looking into this further. It world appear that Cuttat later renounced aspects of Guenon and Schuon’s ideology.

[11] James, Marie France, Esotérisme et christianisme: Autour de René Guénon (1981)
M.F. James discusses the relation of some of the Occultism of Guenon’s milieu to the rise of fascism.. I have not yet been able to obtain a copy of this work and have only seen various reviews and excerpts and summaries of it. So I cannot yet assess all of her claims.

[12] Guenon’s interest in Masons should be further studied. My grandfather was a Mason, and for him it was basically and club to promote and facilitate business deals, feel important and stand above other men. The Masons were a sort of early corporate boys club, for men of course, and still function as such, especially in Europe. The spiritual pretensions of the Masons are similar to boys club theatrics, ---rather like boys in a tree house who make up rituals to exclude kids they don’t like or create hierarchy among themselves. The difference is that the boys clubs are inhabited by businessmen and adults who have less innocent motives than boys. One could argue that much of religion is really boys clubbing. Guenon was a sort of boys club leader, as it were. It helps to get anywhere in business if you are a Mason, I was told when I lived in the UK. Guenon’s Masonic pretensions are part of his spiritual fascism and his obsession with hierarchy and symbolism.

[13] I make this observation in support of James only because I admire her strength in standing up to traditionalism in 1981, long before anyone else had the nerve. . But I make this observation without at all meaning to support James’ rather bigoted Catholicism. I am not a Christian. Denis Constales tells me there were evidently earlier critics of Guenon, a certain Therion, and a Mr. Jouin who was head of the R.I.S.S.,and-Masonic organization. But these names are hard to research in the U.S so I leave it to others.

[14] Another critic of Guenon who resembles James and uses her work is Orlando Fedeli, a far right Brazilian Catholic. He also uses Eric Voegelin’s rather bizarre theory of “gnostic” history to attack Guenon. It is true that Guenon has many ‘gnostic” features, but the terminology misses the point. Fedeli, like James, is mad at Guenon for being a Mason and not being Catholic enough. He runs a place called the Montfort Association. Fedeli and Olavo de Carvalho have a rather vicious exchange or mutual attacks on the internet. Carvalho, who defends Guenon, is evidently a far right ‘philosopher’ and Fedeli is a Catholic and they appear to hate each other. Such vituperation reminds me of Leonardo Da Vinci, who said that one of the reasons he prefers science to religion is that science depends on facts where as religion results in endless contention and arguments with no resolution. No wonder there are so many religious wars. In any case, it is hard to know what is the truth in such arguments. Carvalho writes me and says he dislikes Guenon’s notion of “Non- Being”, and that Guenon’s metaphysics is a complex structure that is shattered and fallen to the ground. I agree with Da Vinci, arguments about ‘metaphysics’ are arguments about smoke in mirrors.

[15] These accusations are made on this website:

Guenon is claimed to have had a sexual relationship with John Gustaf Agelii (alias Ivan Aguéli ou Abdul-Hâdi ) I tried to track down the sources of this organization but could not contact either the Agelii museum ( he was an orientalist and artist) or the author of the website.

[16] On the subject of homosexuality, for instance, see Jeffery Kripal’s excellent study of Ramakrishna and his homosexuality, Kali’s Child. See also his autobiographical Roads of Excess: Palaces of Wisdom, which has a very interesting discussion of how homosexuality in fostered in the Catholic Church. In my experience the Traditionalists are both misogynistic and homophobic. Many followers of Schuon hated homosexuals. Rama Coomaraswamy said to me, for instance, that he thinks homosexuals should not only suffer as much as possible in this world, but he wants to them to suffer forever in hell too. This sort of homophobic hate speech can be found on Rama’s website too. Such homophobic hatred of homosexuals is fascism. The Nazis also hated homosexuals, many of whom suffered horrible deaths in Auschwitz and Treblinka and other camps. I am not opposed to consenting adults having whatever legal, harmless, sexual preference they desire. .

[17] An “NRM” is a ‘new religious movement’, which is a politically correct euphemism for a religious cult and possibly a dangerous religious cult. This euphemism is promoted by such right wing cult apologists as Massimo Introvigne.

[18] Sardar, Ziauddin. Impact International February 1994

[19] Hajj makes the point that the Traditionalist, such as Hossein Nasr are more reactionary the fundamentalists . Hajj says “Indeed, the only rejection of television and other aspects of Western technology at the level of government that seems to approach what is advocated by Dr. Nasr was to be found in the recently overthrown Taliban government in Afghanistan, a paradigm of Islamic fundamentalism if ever there was one.” ….”The main differences Dr. Nasr elaborates between fundamentalism and traditionalism is that traditionalism is more absolute in its rejection of everything modern and Western. On this account, fundamentalism seems to be downright moderate!” Yes, Nasr has written a great deal of nonsense about western science. He has no real understanding of science. Traditionalists in general have bigoted notions science and culture

[20] Schuon also attacks psychology as discipline. If ever two men needed gentle care by professional psychologists it was Guenon and Schuon. Guenon attacks psychology in the Reign of Quantity. Schuon’s essay the “Psychological Imposture” is also an attack of all of psychology. Psychology as a science has certainly not been up to par with chemistry. But it is improving with time as more is learned about the brain and how it works. The hatred of psychology evidenced by the Traditionalists is unfortunately based on ignorance and prejudice, with little understanding of the science involved.

[21] Guenon resembles Michel Foucault in some ways, in that the Foucault of the Book Discipline and Punish has a certain longing to return to systems of unjust cruelty. This tendency of Foucault is a throw back to Nietzsche’s cult of cruelty. Of course Nietzsche derived this form a nostalgia for Prussian aristocratic values, -- and a similar nostalgia would entrance the Nazis. Foucault is a richer and more complicated thinker than Guenon and there are other parts of his thought that are less sadistic and more concerned with human rights. Foucault endorsed the Iranian revolution briefly, but then lived to regret doing so.

[22] Guenon’s view of Mathematics should be studied more critically than it has been. He subscribed to a basically medieval notion of math which is Platonic and metaphysical and discredited. Such a view of math is held by very few nowadays, for many good reasons. The belief that math is in some measure a human construction born of an attempt to understand the actual, physical world is a more prevalent probably more accurate view. Guenon’s background in math and his weakness in science led him to many false conclusions. Guenon wrote a book on Calculus and his writings are full of medieval notions of mathematical symbolisms. Various Guenonian and Schuonians I have met have speculated that post- modern mathematical systems, such as Laws of Form, by G. Spencer Brown, might reflect Guenonian values. Wolfgang Smith has tried to adapt some of Guenon’s ideas to physics, with questionable results.

[23] Corporations abuse science by distorting it to serve the wealthy classes. Guenon hates science and tries to use his hatred of it to exalt elite classes. There is thus certain friendliness between traditionalism and corporatism for this and other reasons. The corporate claim to be a person is basically a religious or mythical claim—an abstract claim. A corporation is not a person in exactly the same way that Christ is not a person but a myth. Corporations often support a culture of nostalgic monarchism or borderline fascist governments. But corporations have affinities. Guenon would probably say that corporations are too “modern” and “anti-traditional”, but actually they are upholders of conservative values in many cases. Both Guenonism and corporate globalism adopt a method of operation that is both transcendentalist and colonialist.. Guenon ideology allies itself easily with post modern irrationalism, which is a sort of escapism. Corporations benefit from such escapism since it helps keep people blissfully ignorant of how the world is being raped for profits.

[24] Science is a good thing: wishing to know why plants flower or how to grow food better, or how to alleviate the suffering of the sick are all honest motives. When science has become harmful is because it became institutionalized and reflected the interests of corporate or nationalist powers, or it was turned itself to the service of making guns, money and bombs. In these cases it is not science that is at fault, it is systems of power. Science and reason are the main tools that we have to deflate power.

[25] Schuon To have a Center, , p. 50-51

[26] Schuon, Divine to the Human, p. 5-6.

[27] I took initiations of various kinds. I was initiated into Buddhism and Islam (on Schuon’s insistence), and then I was initiated into the Schuon cult. Initiations were the primary obsession of Guenon for most of his life. The reason for this is because initiations are all about hierarchy and power. They are mere bureaucratic forms. In the Schuon initiation Schuon held his hand on my head and supposedly passed some invisible something into me. “The hand of god is above his hands “was said. It is all about myth and hierarchy and in fact there was nothing there. It is all smoke and mirrors, with the Wizard of Oz behind the curtain waiting for the dog Toto to expose the fraud.

[28] A good critical work on Islam is Ibn Warraq’s Why I am not a Muslim, which echoes Bertrand Russell’s excellent, Why I am Not A Christian. There used to be a very good website called Human Rights Abuses in Islamic countries, (HRAIC) which, like Amnesty International kept good records of the abuses Islamic inspired states committed against their own people. It seems to be gone now, unfortunately. The human rights record of Islam is atrocious. See also Muhammad Legenhausen’s “Why I am not a Traditionalist.” as well as Islamic Mysticism: A Secular Perspective by Ibn Al-Rawandi

[29] I practiced religions very seriously for the years I was involved with it. Prayer and contemplation were particularly interesting to me because they exploit real human desires and needs. What I found out in the Schuon cult is that in the act of prayer the method and object were illusory, but the activity itself was real—so for instance, I witnessed one of Schuon’s followers, formerly his “wife”, Maude Murray, pray to a nude portrait Icon of Schuon for months on end. The real Schuon treated her very badly, blamed her for things she didn’t do and eventually forced her out of the cult unjustly. He set attack dogs after her when she asked him for help, according to her own testimony. The Schuon she prayed to in the Icon was a lie. The god she asked for help was a lie. The only reality was that this man despised an ill used her. What she needed to do was to wake up to the illusion that Icons hide. Wake up to the fact that the man and god she prayed to were frauds. She didn’t need prayer, she needed to look at the reality around her. The object of all prayer does not exist. But the petition and the petitioner are real. Prayer does not “fashion man” as Schuon claimed. Prayer creates and magnifies illusions. In the end I had to realize that spiritual longing is a false longing. What is real is us and our need to help each other on the earth. There is no god beyond. There is only this earth and on the wonderful being on it which we must care for and sustain.

[30] to study Massimo Introvigne’s and his associate Pier Lugi Zoccatelli far right connections see Miquel Martinez’s interesting website .According to Martinez ”Introvigne is also a member of the militant Catholic splinter movement h which he joined 18 years ago. The Aleanza Catholica (AC) is a daughter organization of the international Tradition, Family and Property [T.F.P.] an ultra-conservative club of rich, influential Catholics who are admittedly "ready to fight tooth and nail" against "perverted elements of society such as abortion, socialism, unions, drug use and homosexuality." Like Introvigne, Guenon was a catholic fascist, with some ties to Masonic organizations. I will discuss aspects of Catholic fascism throughout this essay.

[31] Serrano derived his idea of Hitler as the Last Avatara from Guenon, whose apocalyptic notion of the Lord of the World, or some final manifestation of the Logos, would precede the “second coming”. Schuon also claimed to be a “manifestation of the Logos at the end of time” or to be a kind of ‘avatara’, also following Guenon. These fictional delusions are interesting as they show a similar mythic imagination arising from Guenon’s influence in different places. The delusions of grandeur involved invoke the similar cult of personality that surrounded Hitler, “the Fuhrer”, who, for a time, most of Germany worshipped as a kind of god. Hitler created a religion of politics and Schuon and Serrano created a politics out of religion.

[32] Mark Sedgwick, in his history of the Traditionalists, Against the Modern World, encourages a somewhat “apolitical” view of some of the Traditionalists by arbitrarily dividing them up into “soft traditionalism” and opposing this to “political Traditionalists”, Mircea Eliade being “Soft” and Evola “political”. Actually Eliade was a very “hard” political Traditionalist associated with the fascist Iron Guard movement in Romania. He later hid his politics more than Evola did. All the Traditionalists, beginning with Guenon are intensely political. To claim they are apolitical means one has either not read them, ones knows nothing of their history and influence, or one is locked in the bubble of one or another of the various mind-control religious cults operating on the basis of some of Guenon’s or Schuon ideas. Guenon created a politics fundamentally based on and exploiting religion, as this essay will show. In any case, Sedgwick’s book, which I advised initially, was deeply marred by the lawyers at Oxford University Press, who cut out important evidence and suppressed significant facts due to threats and intimidation from the Schuon cult. The result is a compromised book written partly by lawyers and partly by the Schuon cult. In other words, Sedgwick’s writes me that Michael Fitzgerald of the Schuon cult launched “threats of legal action against me, my publisher (OUP), my editor and anyone else involved.” These political intimidations by some of the more fanatical of the Traditionalists are not new. They have intimidated other by threats of legal action in order to cover up for Schuon’s excesses and criminal actions. For instance Maude Murray was forced to sign a confidentiality agreement abrogating her freedom of speech to mention people who are in the Schuon cult. Rama Coomaraswamy was also forced to a similar agreement being imposed on him. Sedgwick’s somewhat apolitical reading of the Traditionalists is thus falsified by the fact that he himself caved into political pressure from the Traditionalists, forced to suppress facts they found inconvenient. Sedgwick said in an interview ”No, I’m not a Traditionalist, though I have a certain amount of sympathy for some Traditionalist views and positions.” and that is the problem with his book, he pretends to an objectivity about the movement when actually he is caught in the politics of it and in denial about that.

[33] (

[34] One of the best writers on the way in which religion sublimates, hides and obscures its political agendas is Russell McCutcheon. See his Manufacturing Religion, for instance, or his more recent books. McCutcheon contends that the study of religion as an historical category participates in a larger system of political domination and economic and cultural imperialism. He shows how the claims to make systems that supposedly reflect an imagined metaphysical basis of the “real” are shot through and through with political assumptions, class interests and prejudices. For McCutcheon such categories as "religion" or "faith" as well as such opposing assumptions as spirit/politics, private/public, essence/manifestation are rhetorical tools that involve specific types of social engineering, helping to create a very specific sort of world. I agree with this view of religion, having seen myself how Traditionalists claim power on the basis of their ideology and hide their political repressiveness behind metaphysical rhetoric. McCutcheon points out that there really is no ‘esoteric” core to the many religions and that such essentializations are a form of colonizing tendencies. I have been saying this for years, but it was good to read McCutcheon and hear him concur in such an exact and well researched body of work. He states for instance that “The fact that essentialist and generally de­historicizing strategies operate so widely as to be virtually transparent to the mass of scholars of religion is the key to understanding the way the field as a whole has avoided confronting the charges of extreme politics.” There is no denying anymore that traditionalism is based on extremist politics.

[35] Apocalyptic fantasies are fictions designed to threaten and thus control minds and behaviors. They are based on impossible standards of correct behavior or arise out of political and economic inequalities as in cold war apocalyptic scenarios. In the Apocalypse of St. John for instance John is poisoned by his own lust for perfection. His otherworldly sanctity (as represented in the Gospel of John) erupts in a diseased and self righteous hatred of the world. This malicious literary Apocalypse ends with the cultish threat that any man who questions these prophecies "God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book." This form of spiritual blackmail is common in many religions and cults. This is the way of a mafia or an Inquisition. Indeed, threats of the end of the world are all about the abuse of power. Anyone promoting apocalyptic ideology is involved one way or another in a con game, a manner of blackmailing others, a creating fear through threats to get what they want. I cannot submit myself to anyone who needs to resort to blackmail to convince me. Indeed, both the Koran and the Bible are full of such threats and this is one reason to deny them as “holy books”. They employ psychological strategies that are offensive and should be opposed by anyone with any sense. St John and Muhammad wrote books that desire to destroy the world in the name of love, and then to seek to blackmail anyone who objects to this tyranny of thought. Such an approach makes St John and Muhammad beyond reason, indeed, what they try to do is it is reprehensible. I find Guenon and Upton to be underhanded and scurrilous writers for the same reason.

[36] The French biography of Guenon is titled the Simple Life of Rene Guenon, trying to pose him as a St Francis like figure, whose life had nothing simple about it. The Traditionalists often pose themselves in this sort of way; hoping followers will buy the pretense.

[37] Evil per se, does not exist. I discussed the ideology of evil in The Empire of the Intellect, as follows
”The concept of evil, like the god concept which it compliments, is an essentialization, an abstraction, a fiction extrapolated from experiences and reactions to real or imagined events. The concept of evil, like that of god, has a history and the history of the use of the concept of evil indicates that the concept is a psycho-social and mythological generalization whose purpose is to legitimize one form of knowledge/power while stigmatizing another. Evil is not a concrete existing event or force, as is power, murderousness, war or hate: evil is a mythological or political construct, whereas murder or the effort to exterminate is a fact. The concept of evil is an orchestrating mechanism which justifies actions. It is an element in a system of knowledge and power. The Nazis called the Jews 'evil' and the holocaust resulted in the deaths of 6 million Jews: 30-80 million Native Americans died in the Conquest yet the Native Americans were considered 'evil' savages lacking in civilization by the Europeans; or 4 million Vietnamese were killed in the American invasion of Vietnam to stop the 'evil' of "communism". The term evil is meaningless, or rather it hides an agenda of power and knowledge or politics. Continuing to refer to a metaphysical existence of evil merely serves to help perpetuate the illusions of beneficence and supremacy that have accompanied atrocities. Moreover, the concept of evil is a hindrance to talking about the history of atrocities. As Chomsky has pointed out, the US propaganda system “consistently portrays people abused in enemy states as worthy victims, whereas those treated with equal or greater severity by its own government will be unworthy. The evidence of worth may be read from the extent and character of attention and indignation".

[38] I’ve written about the whole issue of secrecy and lying and its relation to cover up and corruption inside the Schuon cult elsewhere. See also Hugh Urban’s writing on the role of secrecy inside Tantric Buddhists cults and sects in India, where he shows how secrecy in Tantric cults served a political agenda as well as to hide unethical or illegal behavior. See his Tantra: Sex, Secrecy, Politics and Power. He also wrote an interesting study of how the apocalyptic ideas of George Bush influence his power plays. The essay is called “America, "Left Behind"” Bush, the Neocons and Evangelical Christian Fiction and Urban chronicles the relation of evangelical preacher Tim LaHaye and novelist Jerry Jenkins whose books advocate a very “spiritually fascist” message.

[39] This paranoid “Them versus Us” mentality can be seen in Charles Upton’s rather ridiculous book the System of the Anti-Christ, when he says , for instance, that Traditionalist

“ groups and individuals who hold to this doctrine have been subjected to the immense degree of psychic pressure which observers on the outskirts of the Traditionalist School, such as myself, cannot fail to note. It is reasonable to conjecture that Antichrist would like nothing better than to subvert and discredit the Traditionalists….” ( pg 490)

Upton is here claiming that his little formula of truth, the Schuonic ideology of the “transcendent unity of the religions” is under huge pressure because they are more or less alone in keeping the world safe against the mythical “anti-Christ”. This video-game view of history, or rather this history as a sort of Star Wars movie, is childish, bombastic and paranoid. Such paranoid nonsense has the purpose of making those in such groups feel important and elite. The truth is otherwise. The fate of the world has nothing to do with what the Traditionalists do or do not think. They are an utterly trivial school of thinkers who have little influence in the wider world. The Traditionalists that I have known are hardly suffering---Schuon’s followers were and probably still are spiritual materialists, upper middle class, live in expensive houses, go to nudist gatherings, swap wives, overdress in expensive Hindu and Moslem clothes and suffer little pressure at all about anything. Upton too is indulging a kind of shopping mall spirituality, using multiple and stereotyped religions to inflate his imagination to a maximum degree of narcissist expansion.

[40]Mircea Eliade’s relation to Romanian fascism, the Iron Guard and anti-Semitism are well researched and undeniable. Eliade was important to the academic study of religion for years and the academy that he influenced still continues to try and ignore or minimize his relation to fascism. Eliade’s extreme politics perhaps discredit his foundational methodologies and theories as a scholar of religion. See the writings of Ivan Strenski , Daniel Dubuisson and Russell McCutcheon, who are critics of Eliade and explain his relation to fascism. The writings of Bryan Rennie seek to apologize for Eliade’s fascism in a similar way that many scholars try to deny Heidegger’s direct connections to the Nazis. See also Stephen Wasserstrom’s Religion after Religion for a discussion of the quasi-fascism of Henry Corbin, Eliade and others.

[41] Carl Jung’s relation to fascism is curious. But in the 1930s he did see National Socialism as manifestation of one of his “archetypes” and wrote about fascism in glowing terms.

[42] Heidegger’s relation to fascism is also undeniable. On November 3, 1933, in his role as Führer –rector at Freiberg University, Heidegger issued a decree applying the Nazi laws on racial cleansing to the student body of the university. He turned in Jewish students and teachers to authorities. Heidegger’s spiritual volkish ideology of “Being” deserves comparison with Schuon’s metaphysical system. Heidegger told Herbert Marcuse that “I expected from National Socialism a spiritual renewal of life in its entirety, a reconciliation of social antagonisms and deliverance of Western existence from the dangers of communism” Heidegger calls Hitler, a “new dispensation of Being”,a phrase that evokes religious association with Christ. Similar language would be used to exalt Schuon. Heidegger said somewhere that he was attracted to the “essence of the Nazis” an interesting phrase. It is an essentialization, like the ‘being of being”, and refers to what I am calling “spiritual fascism”, which is not fascism exactly but is much greater, deeper and more total that ordinary fascism. Spiritual fascism is fascism as myth and religion.
See “A Normal Nazi” Thomas Sheehan, NY Review of books, Jan. 14 1993. which discusses Heidegger’s relation to the Nazis. There is a huge and developing area of scholarship on Heidegger’s Nazism.

[43] Symbolist systems of thought or practice are generally hierarchical and patriarchal--- for instance in the symbol ridden middle ages of Europe, where each lord had his symbol laden coat of arms, or in China, where symbolism was used to support tht emperor as well as to hide criticism of the emperor behind. Open criticism of the emperor would have got one killed. Democracy is non-symbolic and science abandons symbolism as much as possible. This is because nature is not Platonic or symbolic. There are no “archetypes”. Beings are what they are and are not metaphors for something else. They sky is not the father god. Stars are not angels, etc. The sky is our solar system and galaxy the Milky Way. The earth is our home, this literal planet floating in a universe that has no creator/creation dualism imposed on it.

[44] According to Marie France James who states that René Guénon, knew “Ferdinand
Gombault, doctor in scholastic philosophy, during more than 30 years, until his departure for Cairo, these two intellectuals maintained regular contact and both were partisans of the Action Francaise”

[45] Besides supporting Action Francaise, Fedeli claims Guénon wrote for the magazine that supported Mussolini called "Il Regimen Fascist". See Orlando Fedeli’s essay “A Gnose “Tradicionalista” de René Guénon e Olavo de Carvalho” --- If I understand him correctly he says Guenon published “ in this Mussolinian magazine 25 articles since 1934 up to 1940”. I don’t know if this is true or not. As far as I can make out Fedeli is a Traditionalist Catholic or close to it, with a similar sort of bigoted narrow-mindedness that one often encounters in that school of thought.

[46] - note, the Simone Weil Reader, edited by George A. Panichas (David

McKay Co. NY 1977) p 506-7

[47] Schuon also admires Joseph De Miastre (1753-1821), "whose intelligence has great merits" Schuon claims. De Maistre was a racist, Jew hating, Inquisition supporting, advocate of slavery and other injustices. If De Miastre is “intelligent” than Schuon’s notion of intelligence must be questioned. My impression of Schuon having known him, is that he accepted Guenon’s adulation of De Maistre whole cloth because it served himself to do so. De Maistre repressive inquisitorial anti-modernism is based on a despising of human rights. These ideas were attractive to a cult leader like Schuon.

[48] Berlin Isaiah The Cooked Timber of Humanity New York Knopf. 1991 pg. 134

[49] De Maistre’s concern with infallibility would also influence Schuon and Guenon in their belief that the “Intellect” was intrinsically infallible. The idea of the intellect in Guenon and Schuon is central and is basically a sort of divine subjectivity. They claimed to have interior knowledge of the divine through a sort of inner revelation. Having seen what this actually meant in Schuon, who I questioned about this at length, I became convinced that the Intellect was nothing other than an inner delusion of grandeur, which made both Guenon and Schuon able to project all sorts of nonsense on the ‘god’ idea, which really was a mirror image of their own vanity And delusions of grandeur. Their claim of divine insight and infallibility was self serving nonsense, mere self-magnification. Having seen how the infallibility idea was based on Schuon’s need of power, I began to see how other religions, the Catholic Church, for instance, or Tibetan Buddhism and its “termas”, were able to convince their followers of the utter nonsense that the dogmatic utterances of powerful institutions are infallible.

[50] The number killed during the Inquisition is probably never going to be known, since the records were all destroyed. But historian Cecil Roth, who cites the figures of an ex-Secretary of the Holy Office, Llorente, who claimed on the basis of Church records now lost that the Spanish Inquisition alone burned 31,912 people at the stake, and reconciled, that is, forced reconciliation to the will of the church, usually by torture, on 291,450 people. Roth concludes these numbers might be a little high, and quotes a conservative Catholic historian who claimed that 28,540 were burned at the stake and 303,847 were tortured into submission. But accurate records seem to have disappeared and this makes any estimate questionable. But these numbers are arbitrary in any case, because they separate those killed by the Inquisition from those killed in colonial wars and peasant uprisings, witch burnings and Imperialist massacres all of which have a relation the ideology of Christian-European supremacy which was the essence of the Inquisition. The Inquisition was not merely an “office” but a mentality and its destructiveness and racist tendencies contributed to the killing of millions of Indians in the Americas, the killing and deportation of Jews and Moors in Spain, the burning of witches in England Germany and other Protestant countries. There was a protestant Inquisition as well as a Catholic one. Indeed the colonization of America has many ties to the Inquisition, not just in Spanish speaking countries but in the U.S. as well, where De Maistre’s writings justifying the Inquisition were published in the 19th century.

[51] De Maistre’s attempt to justify the Inquisition is not unique of course. Rama Coomaraswamy tried to excuse and justify the Inquisition to me in a conversation. One of Schuon’s disciples, Whitall Perry wrote a book over 17 years, while under Schuon’s direction, called a Treasury of Traditional Wisdom. In this book Perry spends some time trying to justify the Inquisition by quoting a few of those who have approved of in the past. One of these quotes states that “there can be no doubt that had this most excellent tribunal continued to enjoy its full prerogative and the full exercise of its salutary powers, the world at large would be in a far happier and more orderly position today”. Perry, Whitall Treasury of Traditional Wisdom Great Britain: Harper and Row. 1971 pg 439 This book is organized around Schuon’s spiritual method, which he calls the Six Themes of Meditation. Perry has adapted or superimposed these six themes upon the structure of the book.

[52] Copleston, Frederick. A History of Philosophy vol IX. New York: Newman Press 1975 pg.9

[53] Its not inappropriate her to mention George Bush, spiritual fascist and a president who has overseen the reinstatement of torture as a means of treating prisoners, in violation of the Geneva Convention, in places such as Abu Graib prison in Iraq. This alone should have led to Bush’s impeachment.

[54] The poet Hakim Bey, aka Robert Lamborn Wilson writes humorously in a poem about Guenon that “We have seen the ghost of Rene Guenon, cadaverous & topped with a fez (like Boris Karloff as Ardis Bey in The Mummy) leading a funereal No Wave Industrial-Noise rock band in loud buzzing blackfly-chants for the death of Culture & Cosmos:” Guenon does indeed look cadaverous in many photos and imagining him as a punk rocker is very humorous and not inappropriate. There is something adolescent and excessive in Guenon, blackened, wanting to destroy the world that let him down, obsessed with fire, blood and doom, as well as a kind of mathematical psychosis that reads meanings into symbols that are meaningless. No wonder he loved Dante so much, that priest of sadism and an imaginary heaven even more repressed, sadistic than regimented than his hell. Dante is the last gasp of the middle ages, just as Guenon is the last gasp of religion as aristocratic Tradition.

[55] He mentions him in a footnote in Man and His Becoming according to Vedanta, chapter 2

[56] When I was in the Schuon cult there were recommended and not recommended movies of books. Lately the Traditionalists have been attacking the book and movie the Da Vinci code, a harmless mystery thriller that misuses Da Vinci for fictional purposes

[57] Boris Pasternak’s wonderful novel Dr. Zhivago explores the danger of denying the personal. The context of the novel applies to the Stalinist era, who, like Guenon also held that the personal did not matter. It is not known how many people Stalin killed but it appears to be millions

[58] Padfield, Peter. Himmler London, Macmillian. 1990 pg.402

[59] It is also interesting to note that Robert Oppenheimer also used the Gita to justify himself when the atom bomb exploded. The Bhagavad Gita not only justified the class and caste system of classifications that was important to the Aryan supremacy that the Nazis sought, but the idea of Karma in this book also generates of notion of "disinterestedness", and thus of objective, impersonal service to duty and obligation. This is what appealed to Himmler in the book. The notion of "caste purity" is evidently related to the notion of intellectual hygiene, thought control, 'pure knowledge', or ideological imposition. Hinduism appears to have attracted both Himmler and Oppenheimer because it enunciates the close relation of pure knowledge to impersonal service and the renunciation of moral scruple in the pursuit of power, knowledge and the commission of acts of violence. The case of Oppenheimer is far more complicated than that of Himmler, however. But I have written about this at some length in my book The Empire of the Intellect.

[60] The lynchpin of this of the Traditionalist resistance to the modern world is the idea of a universal Savior, who unites all the religions and ancient imperialisms in a unified assault against the moderns. The "restorer" or "prophet" of this perennial religion is supposed to appear "at the end of time". Guenon expressed this hope rather fantastically in his The Lord of the World,- a book which he ends by quoting De Maistre's hope for an apocalyptic restoration of the "divine order".

[61]Webb, James. The Occult Establishment, Lasalle Illinois. Open Court 1976

[62] Adi Da, aka, Da Free John, also known by other names, also claimed, like Schuon, to have mystico-sexual relations with the Virgin Mary.

[63] According to Clavelle who was Guenon’s main contact with Europe after he moved to Egypt in 1930, Clavelle wrote a memoir of his work with Guenon and claims that the Order of the Temple that Guenon founded in 1907 was founded by order of a “spirit” who ordered Guenon to become its head, partly to get revenge for those who destroyed the order of the Temple in the 13th century. This rather bizarre story indicates a number of things, First that Guenon was quite deeply immersed in the Templar myth, which was also a myth that appealed to protestant and proto-Nazi groups because of its anti-catholic appeal. But it also indicates how much Guenon changed, over the years, since he later repudiated his early involvement in séances, occult practices and magic. But the occult mentality of seeing “psychic residues”, satanic influences and subservient invisible entities seems to have stayed with Guenon all his life.

[64] Godwin, Joscelyn. Arktos; The Polar Myth in Science, Symbolism and Nazi Survival. Grand Rapids. Mich. Phanes press see also Goodrick-Clark, pgs. 106-122

[65] Goodrick-Clarke, Nicholas. The Occult Roots of Nazism. New York University Press. 1985 pg.195

[66] Quinn maintains that despite Guenon’s eventual diatribes and polemics against the Theosophists, the basic “perennial” ideology of Guenon and Blavatsky are quite similar. Quinn is probably right about this, though the partisans of Guenon have reacted violently to try to reject this thesis. Huston Smith and Upton attack Quinn rather unfairly. To them the Traditionalists are practically an infallible gods and their knowledge miraculous and divinely acquired. But the truth is that Guenon was heavily influenced by theosophy and later sought to hide it just as Rama Coomaraswamy sought to hide his father’s deep involvement with Theosophy and Schuon tried to cover up for his sexual indiscretions. Secrecy and unfair attacks are two common strategies used by the Traditionalists

[67] Faivre, Antoine. Esoteric Spirituality New York Crossroads 1992. In "Rene Guenon and the Traditionalist School". This article was written by Jean Borella, a Christian disciple of Schuon and Professor at the University in Nancy, France. He left Schuon's cult in 1991, after Schuon was exposed. This article was written before he learned of Schuon's excesses. He was a member of the Schuon cult for twenty five years, approximately. He remains a Guenonian and an ultra-rightist or 'integralist' Catholic, like two other Catholic disciples of Schuon, Rama Coomaraswamy and Wolfgang Smith.

[68] Most New Age thinkers have an alternative, democratic bias. The Traditionalists are repressive right wingers, in general and live in the suburbs. Indeed, Traditionalism is upper middle class, suburban right-wing spirituality.

[69] Godwin,Arktos, pg. 21

[70] Odd that Rama Coomaraswamy was also neglected by his father. Rama told me he didn’t get to know his father at all until the last year or two of his life after Rama was 17. Ananda severely neglected his son as far as personal affection was concerned. Through his control of his father’s estate and though various books and biographies Rama has carefully cultivated an image of his father that is very likely not real or accurate.

[71] A recent example of a Blavatsky inspired cult is the New Acropolis, (see writings of Miquel Martinez)--a cult started by Jorge Agel Livraga, an Argentina born Italian. According to sources he taught his disciples in the use of weapons, put them in paramilitary units and used the Nazi salute. His ultimate goal was the violent overthrow of democracy. He said in one document that he wanted to weed out “everything weak and stupid” and to put “homosexuals in concentration camps”. He derived many of his ideas on race from Blavatsky.

[72] Clark, pg. 21

[73] On this subject see Nicholas Goodrich Clark's The Occult History of Nazism, and Joscelyn Godwin's Arktos, as well as the Theosphical Englightenment.

[74] Goodrich Clark pg .55


[76] Guenon, Rene. The Crisis of the Modern World. London:luzac 1975 pg. 117

[77] Schuon. Memoirs unpublished
The purpose of all this myth making about the holy sprit and the Templars in fascism and traditionalism is to create symbols and stories that confer legitimacy on a new practice and form of politics and power. The concept of the holy spirit is an intellectual or emotional fiction---a symbol---a mythological construction that channels emotions, thoughts and social behavior. When Schuon says in his Memoirs, "The day will come when the divine will call me the Holy Spirit", he is saying that he will be the standard of all truth and social practice; the paradigm of society, legitimacy and all knowledge and power. He will be the culture hero. It is inflated nonsense of course, in fact it is evidence of a narcissistic personality disorder--- but the trick is to convince others that the lie of the Wizard of OZ is true and the Emperor’s nudity is really a new form of clothes.

[78]. Schuon, Transcendent Unity pg.51

[79] Guenon was nominally a Moslem. He is said to have become one under the Swedish artist Ivan Agelii in 1912. But that appears to be rather an overstatement. He really didn’t practice Islam until after 1930. Even then, Islam is a stepping off point, not a basis. He really created his own religion, a kitsch pastiche of various religions. Schuon insisted that his followers become Moslem too. But Schuon became bored with Islam and ended up producing a pastiche of Islamic, Hindu, Native American--- a sort of multicolored ice cream cone of multiple religions, with Schuon himself as the Top Ice Cream Man or rather, the Pied Piper, leading children into the never-never land of his personal delusions. Schuon’s final image of the truth is his Icons of himself. These are kitsch nudes of himself with penis prominent, showing his body surrounded with an aura, and as the “last prophet at the end of time” he is supposed to be a “healing for the wombs” according to one of the cult songs written about Schuon. These Icons were designed by Schuon but painted by Sharlyn Romaine, one of Schuon’s various wives. This ridiculous and grotesque fantasy of Schuon as a sort of Don Juan Krishna, whose penis will heal womankind implies a strange misogyny, not to mention grotesque delusion of grandeur. But then this is the real image of what traditionalism is. It is a grotesque pastiche.

[80] Latourette, Kenneth Scott. A History of Christianity New York. Harper. 1953 pg.1104

[81]Coomaraswamy, Rama. The Destruction of the Christian Tradition London, Perennial Books. 1981 pg.77 Coomaraswamy quotes approvingly William Morris' comment that "civilization…. is doomed to destruction--- what a joy it is to think of it.". This is a very repulsive and ignorant comment if one thinks about what it actually means. He is expressing joy at the billions of deaths that would occur, not just of humans but of nature and animals too. This apocalyptic exaltation in mass destruction is also shared by Schuon as in his comment that three quarters of the world's people deserve to be destroyed. Coomaraswamy, whom I got to know 4 years ago, said to me that the Inquisition was overall a good institution; that Hitler is misunderstood and that the Holocaust is largely a lie disseminated by Freemasons. These are very ignorant comments, to say the least. He was a member of the Schuon cult for 30 years but has hidden this fact. When I asked him to condemn Schuon publicly and be honest about his involvement, he refused. The above book was edited and approved by Schuon.

[82] Guenon, Rene. The Reign of Quantity Lahore Pakistan. Lord Northbourne. 1953 pg. 355. footnote 34

[83] It has been suggested that earlier editions of Guenon’s writings were edited after World war 2 to remove racist comments. I have not checked this, but someone ought to.

[84] Schuon said once that only Jews who accept the ‘avataric’ nature of Christ would be allowed in his cult.

[85] Schuon, Transcendent Unity. pg.27

[86] Schuon, Frithjof. "Usurpations of Religious Feeling" cited above.

[87] “admired” is probably not the right word. Guenon claimed to have a series of psychic communications through the "automatic writing" with the "shadows" of: Jacques de Molay (the last ‘Grand Master’ of the Templars, (burned in 1314), Cagliostro, Frederick II and the founder of the Illuminati of Bavaria Weishaupt, According to Zoccatelli “all these “shadows” ordered the (re)foundation of an Order of the Temple that started to work with a program of 45 lessons already characterized by some typical themes of later "Guénonism", together with more curious ideas about the origin of the yellow race from men "coming from the air (planet Venus)". All this is lunacy and charlatanism, of course. Guenon would continue to ‘channel’ similar nonsense in other ways for the rest of his life, claiming ultimately to be a sort of prophet. In fact he was merely an adept charlatan.

[88] Provided for me by D. Constales
Guenon: p. 271 "Initiation and Spiritual Realization".

[89] See the Koran: sura of the Cavern)

[90] From Berlin Isaiah The Crooked Timber of Humanity New York Knopf. 1991 pg.117

[91] One of the primary ways of the Church making money before the 15th century was to sell indulgences which were basically rights to sin. One could buy off one’s sins from the church for a certain sum. It is in some ways the origin of the modern insurance company, since insurance companies began as ways to insure slave ships. Insurance companies protect the wealthy form risks.

[92] If human rights was suggested by the devil, (an obvious absurdity, since the devil is a fiction and fictions don’t suggest anything--- but let’s humor Guenon), then all praise to the devil. William Blake was right, the devil is a good thing, it’s god that is the problem. I’m kidding of course. I don’t believe in devils or other superstitions. Evil doesn’t exist. There are murderous people and dark thoughts and viscous hatred, yes, but there is no supernatural agent of evil. The Traditionalists are in love with “Satan” and the devil even more than fundamentalist Christians. An interesting thesis should be written showing how the Koran, the Bible, fundamentalists and Traditionalists construct a politics based on their idea of evil and use this idea to try to control the followers and demean their critics and those who they hate.

[93] (Dugin, "On Behalf of Euroasia," Moskovskie Novosti, February 25, 1998; Dugin, Konservativnaia Revolutsia, Moscow: 1993). See also Alexander Yanov, "Krovavaya i Oslepitelnaia Sudba," Moskovskie Novosti, February 1, 1998.

[94] See Griffin, Roger, the Nature of Fascism, Routledge, 1993

[95] Charbonneau-Lassay, a Catholic correspondent of Guenon, used this term “super-religion” in a letter about Guenon, he complained that Guenon is not a Catholic and has adopted a sort of a sort of "super-religion", outside the boundaries of the Catholic Church and Islamic rites.

[96] I am using the term gnosticism here literally, in its meaning as a ‘knowledge’ system. I do not mean ‘gnosticism’ in the sense that Augustine meant it, as a term of hatred for a heresy, though Guenon and Schuon did claim some allegiance to a gnosticism of this kind. I certainly do not mean gnosticism in Eric Voegelin’s sense, who used the term quite bizarrely, in a similar way as Augustine, but applied to modern thinkers, implying heresy among them. Voegelin is a strange historian who writes as if still mired in medievalism and Christian superstition. Heresy is not a concept that has any meaning anymore. Schuon claimed infallibility and used the word against those who disagreed with him.

[97] The prefix Ur was used by Goethe in the phrase Ur-plant, meaning primordial of original plant from which he thought other plants come. In this sense Ur means archetypal, and since I don’t believe in archetypes, much less archetypal plants, I’m not sure I want to use the word. Plants evolved from earth, water and sunlight, they did not come form imaginary Platonic, Islamic, Schuonian or Jungian “archetypes”. Some people translate the word Ur as “eternal” which is not too far off since Guenon seems to have tried to create an eternal fascism. In any case, spiritual fascism seems fine, especially since one of Guenon’s followers already had coined the term.

[98] Some Traditionalists imagine that the recent revelations of homosexual catholic priests abusing young boys is due to “Satanists” infiltrating the church. The real reason of course is that the church, despite its homophobia, had always encouraged homosexuality by its patriarchal misogyny and advocacy of unrealistic celibacy. But the real causes cannot be addressed, so the author in question, finds a scapegoat to try to cover up for the Church itself, who is the real guilty party here.

[99]Lifton, R.J. Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism New York: W.W. Norton 1969 pg.436

[100] Hong killed millions of people in China. Like Schuon claimed to be a son of the Virgin Mary.

[101] Tobias, Captive Hearts, Captive Minds. pg.77 see also Stephen Hassan's Combating Cult

[102] Piero Di Vona, Guenon, Evola and Di Giorgio p. 234) this is a rough translation

[103] Pound’s fascism is strange and idiosyncratic. He resembles Guenon and Schuon in that he idealized a traditional culture, the China of Kung fu Tzu—or Confucius and wrote various canto’s about this. His economic theories involve an effort to recall the medieval idea of usury. Some of these ideas are interesting, particularly as he is critical of American corporatism. But he slips into medievalism, and his writing sometimes takes on a Dantean flavor, and in this respect he resembles Guenon’s and Coomaraswamy’s idealization of the middle ages. Guenon’s idealization of Dante’s politics has many fascist overtones, as indeed, Mussolini idealized both Dante and Caesar. Pound became a political prisoner, accused of treason, held by the U.S in a mental hospital, St Elizabeth’s, in Washington D.C. for 13 years. He left the U.S. after his release and declared “all America is an asylum”. He moved back to his beloved Italy and his little town of Rappalo. Scholars debate if he is a fascist poet or not. I would say yes he is, he is an American expatriate who tried to use cultures not his own to promote a right wing conservative and patriarchal message. But unlike Guenon or Schuon, who were incapable of remorse, there is something sad and misguided bout Pound that I feel for: he at least began to know he was mistaken as he approached very old age.

[104] Roger Griffin writes of this book in a succinct and exact way that is worth quoting at length as it shows how thoroughly Guenonian Evola was. Griffin writes that that for a time Evola’s Synthesis of Racial Doctrine satisfied Mussolini’s “ need for a version of racism which was distinct from Nazi genetic theories. It also argued that Italians were even more perfect Aryan specimens than the Germans because of their judicious blend of physical with intellectual and spiritual qualities. However, the theory which informs Evola's book is anything but orthodox even within Fascism, for it draws on his alternative philosophy of history which was given its most exhaustive exposition in the 1934 work Revolt against the Modern World. A tour de force of radical right eclecticism on a par with The Decline of the West (of which it is the Italian counterpart), the book blends Spenglerian, Guenonian and Hindu themes into a vision of contemporary history as the nadir of a protracted process of decline from the hierarchical, metaphysically based imperial order of `the Tradition', a decline embodied in the rise of the undifferentiated masses, or the `fifth estate' in modern times. The last pale reflection of this golden age had been the Holy Roman Empire under the Ghibellines when the Continent was still ruled by an aristocratic caste of `warrior-priests'. After this `European spring cut off in its first bloom, the process of decadence took over once more' (Evola, 1934, p. 367) leading to the Kali-yuga, the `black age' of modern civilization. However, the emergence of fascism in Italy and Germany heralds the long-awaited sea- change in history: the rebirth of the true organic, hierarchical state being pioneered by the Third Reich and the Third Rome is ushering in the dawn of a new golden age.” EUROPE FOR THE EUROPEANS Fascist Myths of The European New Order 1922-1992 Roger Griffin Professor in History, Oxford Brookes University Department of History, Oxford

[105] Ibid. pg 190

[106] Fideler, David. Gnosis Magazine #7, Spring 1988 see also Thomas Sheehan, "Myth and Violence: the Fascism of Julius Evola and Alain de Benoist" Social research vol.48, pp.45-73

[107] What follows are some relevant comments from Martin Schwartz, himself a neo-fascist, found on his Kshatriya web page

“In National Socialism, Evola certainly welcomed the racial ideas in one respect, but openly criticized its formulation in the terms of biological materialism. For Evola, the racial soul was of greater significance than the material basis of heredity. This view was clearly connected with his refusal of the so-called "theory of evolution," that materialistic invention of Darwin's, which, together with Marx and Freud, Evola considered as the lowest drivel of the materialistic period….Evola was in quest of a national movement that would help the spiritual principle to break through. He and a few friends had tried to influence Fascism accordingly. He thought that he had discovered in National Socialism, with the SS, the attempt to found a new ascetic Order…… Here Evola saw a chance of introducing his doctrine of Tradition, but this met with mistrust and incomprehension. As the records of the NS authorities show (see "Julius Evola nei documenti segretei del Terzo Reich," Edizioni Europa, 1986), it was this concept of soul-race that upset them. They could issue certificates of Aryanism, but in no way could they meet Evola's hopes for the Aryan warrior in the spiritual sense.” . [Koslow notes: all of the Traditionalist despise the theory of evolution, since it divests priests of power and divests nature of god, and Evola was no exception. Evola’s fascism, like Guenon’s and Schuon’s consists in trying to impose on the social order their dream of totalistic spiritual authority. It was this that the Nazis rejected when they rejected Evola]

[108] Nothing so much characterizes a true Traditionalist as narrow minded bigotry, fanaticism and the inability to see anything in any way unless it is approved by Guenon, Schuon or various other self important, falsely humble, ideologues such as Martin Lings of Hossein Nasr.

[109] Blavatsky’s race theories were partially influenced by the Social Darwinism of the late 19th century, as were the Nazi theories of race. The elitist racism of Guenon and Schuon was almost certainly influenced by Blavatsky’s ideas as well except that her ideas have been sublimated. The Traditionalists despised Darwin with a rare passion for denial of factual reality. This is partly why they hated Blavatsky so much, who they resemble in so many other ways. Wolfgang Smith’s embarrassing book tries to disprove Darwinian evolutionism. Traditionalism shows its ignorance no place as much as in their rejection of evolution. The facts of evolution are so pervasive and extensive as to be undeniable.

[110] It should be noted that Schuon was influenced by the anthropology of Carleton Coon. In his 1962 book "The Origin of Races" Coon got specific about which regions and thus which races progressed toward modern human intelligence. "If Africa was the cradle of mankind, it was only an indifferent kindergarten," he wrote. "Europe and Asia were our principal schools." Coon believed Africans and Semitic peoples, among others possessed more ‘primitive’ cultural, physical and intellectual traits, a view that is reflected subtly in some of Schuon’s writings. Coon also had some anti-Semitic views apparently. I learned Coons influence on Schuon from John Murray, a disciple of Schuon who formerly was allied with Coomaraswamy and Guenon. He joined the Schuon cult in the late 1940's with Joseph Epes Brown, who he spent time with in prison during WWII as a conscientious objector. I got to know John Murray rather well, and he explained to me on a number of occasions Schuon's fascination with the racist theories of Coon.

[111] Schuon Transcendent Unity of religion pg. 15

[112] See Schuon's Transcendent Unity 1st ed. ( later editions were altered) for a description of the downfall of the caste system in the modern age (pg.108-109). The implication being that Schuon as head of the "intellectual elite" will lead a few souls beyond the apocalypse.

[113] Evola, Julius. Rene Guenon: A Teacher for Modern Times Trans., by Guido Stucco Edmonds. WA. Sure Fire Press; Holmes Pub. Group 1994 pg.22

[114] Examples of this absurd adulation can be found in Martin Lings’ Eleventh Hour and Charles Upton’s, The System of the Anti-Christ.

[115] Evola, Julius Il cammino del cinabro, Arche, Milan 1983 pp. 99 191-192).

[116] From Il Conciliatore, no. 10, 1971; translated from the German edition in Deutsche Stimme, no. 8, 1998

[117] Schuon, Frithjof. The Transfiguration of Man Bloomington Indiana. World Wisdom books. 1995. pg. 35 World Wisdom is the cult's publishing house, usually run at a loss and largely supported by Stanley Jones and Michael Fitzgerald. Jones inherited a lot of money, as did the Perry's, both of whom supported Schuon, and the cult, in high style The above essay is an edited version of an essay published in Studies in Comparative Religion, which was the primary journal of the Schuon cult. This longer version of the essay is much more telling of Schuon's deeper beliefs. The essay was edited , apparently, after Schuon had been accused of ties to Nazism.

[118] Schuon sympathized with and supported Japanese fascism as well as the Japanese adulation of the Emperor. See his In the Tracks of Buddhism. He also opposed the idea of the Jewish state in the holy land

[119] The psychology of the 'divine right' idea is interesting. Schuon's rationale is probably typical. The rather loony logic of power in Schuon’s case goes something like this: He quotes Plato that "there is no right superior to that of the truth": Schuon possesses the truth, therefore, all rights belong to him: he is beyond the law. He can do whatever he wants and it is divinely inspired: Truth, whatever it may be, becomes the reason for rights and the power it confers. Richelieu would agree. He said, "what is done for the state is done for God"...and "God absolves actions which, if privately committed, would be a crime". ( McCay, History of World Societies, Boston, Houghton Mifflin, 1992 pg.611) Schuon calls this doctrine "intrinsic morality". Since Schuon feels inwardly that he knows the truth, he must be infallible, and therefore he cannot do wrong, whatever he does. One finds similar formulas for tyranny in most powerful regimes, states, corporations, and cults. George W. Bush made a classic statement of spiritual fascism when he said when he decided to run for president in the 2000 election. As he confided to James Robinson, he believed that he in fact been called by God himself to he lead the United States: "I feel like God wants me to run for President. I can't explain it, but I sense my country is going to need me. God wants to me to do it." A similar mentality of self justification can be found among sociopaths and serial killers

[120] Schuon, Frithjof Light on the Ancient Worlds Bloomington, World Wisdom ? pg. 89 ?

[121] Schuon's six “themes” are part of his method. The six themes are: purity, spiritual combat, contentment,

fervor, discernment, identity. Schuon supposedly realized the six themes as six stars in a vision of the inner nature of the Prophet. The six stars were a spiritual portrait of the Prophet and the Prophet was Schuon himself--- of course (who else?). As a result of this vision Schuon wrote the essay the” Mystery of the Prophetic Substance”. The vision is probably a fabrication, as are most of Schuon’s visions, if not all. The six themes were basically stolen from the six Buddhist Paramitas. My observation was that Schuon’s spiritual method had no good effect at all upon the behavior of those who practiced it. Indeed, if anything it made them more insular and cultish, prone to excessive opinion about their importance. I practiced the method for two years and it was easy to leave it behind. Such methods are techniques of mind control.

[122] Schuon, Frithjof. The Transcendent Unity of Religions New York, Pantheon Books. 1953. pg. 12-13

[123] Schuon, Frithjof. Logic and Transcendence London: Perennial Books. 1975 pg. 16

[124] Schuon, Logic and Transcendence pg.17

[125] Schuon, Frithjof. Castes and Races London; Perennial Books, 1959 pg. 83

[126] Schuon writes: "instead of throwing overboard the theocratic and monarchical principles, these should have been given their full sense, which was a religious one; this is just what the nobility had neglected to do since the Renaissance". (In the Tracks of Buddhism. London: Allen and Unwin. 1968. pg. 69) This implies a total theocracy.

[127] Schuon, Light on the Ancient Worlds pg.31 This effort to paint the theocratic aristocracies as victims is perhaps unique, but not exceptional. De Maistre also tried to paint aristocrats and religious authorities as victims. I note that many tyrants have seen themselves as victims. Stalin and Hitler seem to have had this tendency. Late in his life Stalin did a drawing of himself as a sheep surrounded by wolves. Nixon seems to have seen himself as a victim also. The most conspicuous example of this tendency is the use of the image of the victimized Christ by the Churches, even while the Church was victimizing others, holding Inquisitions, Crusades and becoming deeply involved in the slave trade in the ‘new world’.

[128] Schuon, Frithjof. To Have a Center Bloomington. World Wisdom Books.1990 pg 169

[129] Schuon also supported the system of Apartheid in South Africa, on the grounds that it was preferable to communism. He also approved of Nixon, Reagan and the Vietnam War, which killed 4 million Vietnamese.

[130] Schuon, Frithjof. Light on the Ancient Worlds Bloomington: World Wisdom Books. 1984 pg.8

[131] Evola, Julius. Revolt against the Modern World Rochester, Vermont. Inner Traditions. 1995 pg.xviii quoted in introduction by H.T. Hansen

[132] from Il Conciliatore, no. 10, 1971; translated from the German edition in Deutsche Stimme, no. 8, 1998

[133] Evola Julius: Il fascismo (Giovanni Volpe: Rome, 1979; 1st edn. 1964), 13-17.]

[134] Guido de Giorgio (1890-1957) collaborated with Evola in the journals Ur and La
Torre. See Piero Di Vona.
Guenon, Evola and De Giorgio

[135] From race to culture: The new right's view of European
identity. Telos, Winter93/Spring94 Issue 98-99, p99, 28p
Author: Taguieff, Pierre-Andre

[136] Alan Godlas was in the Schuon cult around the same time I was and visited Bloomington when I was there. He was quite concerned to hide his involvement for reasons I never figured out. He also tried to stop the truth becoming known about Schuon’s primordial Gatherings, which I thought very odd. He seemed concerned to use religion to project a certain sort of power and did not want that power questioned, so he was willing to hide things that made his religion look bad. That was my impression anyway.

[137] See Russell MCcutcheon’s writings on the subject of those who write about religion as “insiders” and how that distorts their view of it.

[138] An interesting exception to the tendency of academic Traditionalists to excuse or deny spiritual fascism is Joscelyn Godwin. He admits that their politics is reprehensible whiles till trying to teach them in a neutral manner. He said tome for instance that “natural” spirituality has been bound to “of the tyranny of religions” by the Traditionalists. This is accurate, though it is not clear exactly what “natural spirituality” might be. The Traditionalists hate Prometheus and use his name as a slurr on humanity. Actually, I admire Prometheus’ willingness to steal fire from imaginary gods. In the myth Prometheus is punished by an eagle who tears his liver out over and over. Nonsense. The gods that need to punish Prometheus are fictions. The judicious use of fire by reasonable women and men is a fine thing. The earth is its own meaning.

[139] See Godwin, pg.70

[140] There are Guenonian Web pages in Argentina, Brazil Spain and Russia. They appear to serve reactionary and conservative interests in those countries. The conservative interests in Brazil and Argentina are largely militaristic or religious organs that serve colonial powers.

[141] This was taken form Alexander Dugin’s Arctogaia website,


Unknown said...

The Schuon Case File see :

استاذ القلم بيك said...

I read a small part. This deserves a thorough read. Im surprised there arent any more comments. Guenon's pride should be noticed in his introductory notes as well as evolas where they claim that they write for a very special type of man. An egoistic trap that should raise some flags up. Will finish the read soon. Thank you.

Unknown said...

Isn´t that a bit too simple?

Δαλακούρας said...

Very superficial Analysis, helpless case to discuss with. I guess you include Plato in Spiritual Fascists as well.

Anonymous said...

A superficial analysis indeed. The author is clearly suffering from the seething hatred of truth common to liberals and other zio scum. I'm not much of a fan of Guenon and agree with only one thing in this article--Guenon did teach many theosophical ideas, particularly his insane devotion to the dissolution of the individual self as the highest ideal (henosis) But what do I know? I am just an anti-semite, sociopath and a narcissist for simply agreeing with some of what Geunon wrote. The author doesn't realize his own hypocrisy as a man who worships science and allies himself with this modern orthodoxy which has become a cult in its own right. Very amusing.

Thomas James Foster said...

I am not sure you understand the concept of, 'the transcendent unity of religions.' It is not at all that each is fundamentally identical to every other. In their exoteric developments they obviously have significant differences in terms of their adaption to different times and conditions. They employ different symbols and rites and emphasize different aspects of human existence. At their esoteric centers, however, particularly associated with their greatest texts and teachers, they all more or less impart the same basic metaphysical concepts, and these being universally true, of course it is possible for them to be transposed into various forms and branching traditions. Guenon compares it somewhere to a mountain that has many paths to the summit, the mountain in fact being a genuine geographical symbol of the spiritual journey. When you truly reach the summit, you can look around and down and see that every possible route leads ultimately to the same place.

It is true that Guenon had a fanatical, even irrational hatred for everything to do with the modern world, but one has to remember he was active in a period that included the imperialist World Wars, numerous European civil wars, the vast expansion of corporate and pirate Capitalism alongside the Great Depression, the Russian Revolution and the Great Terror inspiring the rise of reactionary Fascism, etc, etc. That is, a period in which modern Europe was haplessly flailing in a moral, political and social malaise, all owed to modern, anti-traditional, materialist developments and attitudes, and one cannot ignore the unparalleled destruction scientists had wrought through modern weaponry and the industrialization of warfare. When he published The Reign of Quantity in 1945, Europe was largely a pile of smoking rubble, what survived of its civilization being tremendously fortunate to have done so. In that sense his rage was understandable, if a little overwrought upon reflection.

Nonetheless his tracing of a common traditional spirit through fundamental symbols and principles was an unprecedented achievement, and whatever you think of that spirit, he undoubtedly employed it with devastating effect in his all out attack on modernity. Of course, if he were to consistently to maintain his avowed traditional and metaphysical principles then modernity could be nothing else to him other than a late stage of the human cycle and therefore of the Kali Yuga.

Unknown said...

@Ishmael Forester I found your comment of this catastrophe of a text to be rather good, except for the middle paragraphe: Guénon barely mentions the era he lived in, which is something quite remarkable at first, but not very much once we understand Guénon's work, and also he never really cared about sentimentalism, something the paragraphe is all about... So I really do not know how you achieved the feat of being so right and so wrong about Guénon at the same time!

Unknown said...

René Guénon is a nightmare for certain modern ideologies and groups;

Islamists hates him.
Zionists hates him.
Transhumanists hates him.
Modernists hates him.
Socialists hates him.

What a great man!

Fr Christopher Moody said...

When one has died to self and encountered the divine, which you attempt to dismiss, then see exactly what he was saying. Abstract the universal out of the particulars of the faiths and there exists that common communion with the divine. It cannot be investigated merely logically but we must be ourselves changed and able to receive it. Thus Jesus said we must have eyes to see. Or as plato intimated , we must come out of the cave. But it is painful for the eyes.

Fr Christopher Moody said...

When one has died to self and encountered the divine, which you attempt to dismiss, then see exactly what he was saying. Abstract the universal out of the particulars of the faiths and there exists that common communion with the divine. It cannot be investigated merely logically but we must be ourselves changed and able to receive it. Thus Jesus said we must have eyes to see. Or as plato intimated , we must come out of the cave. But it is painful for the eyes.

Unknown said...

You are stupid and arrogant. You don't know or you don't understand Rene Guenon and Julius Evola at all that's why you reject them. This article is full of lies and propaganda to discredit, to compromise them. Rene Guenon was a defender of Tradition including the Jewish one. A. James Gregor wrote that "Evola opposed literally every feature of Fascism". For your information see, Rene Guenon, Symbolism of the Cross, Chapter X Svastika, see Julius Evola, The Fascism Viewed From The Right and Julius Evola, The Notes On The Third Reich.

Unknown said...

I forgot to mention Julius Evola, Three Aspects of Jewish Problem.

Whateva said...

This comment is aimed at the author of this essay. This was a very interesting read. From a psychological perspective, one can understand where you're coming from. Self-ascribed elite status should be met with scepticism. However, all of this gossip about the personal life of Guenon and Schuon should also be met with scepticism. How can we know that this is not merely an attack sparked by some form of animosity? I still believe that the criticism of the modern world coming from these authors is valid, even if these ad hominems turned out to be correct. I do agree that their view of traditional societies is idealized to a large extent. But your view of them is also far from objective, as you fail to take into account the numerous problems with the modern world. Trad societies weren't just a constant mix of suffering and oppression, and compared to the absolute mayhem that occured in the 20th century, and the environmental problems that are becoming increasingly worse, the criticism of Guenonians has stood the test of time. We could add to that the awful degeneration of art and culture in general, which you do not seem to have a problem with, as well as the psychological alienation that people feel as a result of spiritual relativism. If you were more objective, instead of just attacking these writers without giving their ideas credit where it's due, I believe people would be more willing to listen to what you have to say. I still enjoyed reading through all of this! Cheers.