El Cordón Dorado: Hitlerismo Esoterico
Bogota, Colombia: Editorial Solar, 2001
As far as I am aware, this is the first published review in English of The Golden Thread: Esoteric Hitlerism, the first volume in Miguel Serrano’s Esoteric Hitlerist trilogy. Having woven a shadowy conspiracy of Esoteric Hitlerists into my dystopian novel Mister, and having recently reviewed Savitri Devi’s Defiance, [Gold in the Furnace is also reviewed here] it seems pertinent to examine the work of the other main proponent of Esoteric Hitlerism.
The esoteric syntheses of Serrano and Savitri Devi were developed independently of one another. Any parallels we encounter in our exoteric plane of existence are due to common sources of inspiration. The two writers corresponded briefly when they encountered each other’s work in the late 1970s; by then, however, their respective worldviews were already well-formed.
Miguel Joaquín Diego del Carmen Serrano Fernández was a Chilean diplomat, explorer, and poet, and, in Spanish letters, a celebrated author of the Generation of 1938. Born in Santiago, Chile, he was first attracted to Marxism, but quickly grew disillusioned with Communism and became associated with the Movimiento Nacional Socialista de Chile (later known as Vanguardia Popular Socialista), headed by Jorge González von Mareés.
In 1941 – the year he discovered the Protocols of the Elders of Zion – he was introduced to an occult order by ‘F. K.’ a German immigrant to Chile; the order, to which he was initiated in 1942, claimed allegiance of a Brahmin elite based on the Himalayas, and blended kundalini and tantric yoga with the Nietzschean will to power, emphasizing the subtle or astral body and regarding Adolf Hitler as an initiate and the saviour of the Aryan race, who had incarnated in the Kali Yuga.
The order’s master, who claimed to maintain astral contact with Hitler during and after the war, claimed that the Führer was alive and had survived the Berlin bunker. In the midst of popular speculation about Hitler’s survival in secret Nazi bases in Antarctica (see below), in 1947 Serrano traveled to the continent as journalist; the experience left a lasting impression.
Serrano subsequently traveled to Europe, where he made friends with Hermann Hesse and Carl Gustav Jung, about whom he eventually wrote El círculo hermético, de Hesse a Jung (in English, C. G. Jung and Hermann Hesse: A Record of Two Friendships (1965)). Jung’s pre-war characterization of Hitler as a semi-divine embodiment of the collective consciousness of the race also made a lasting impression.
From 1953 to 1970 Serrano held a series of ambassadorial posts, heading the Chilean diplomatic mission in India, Yugoslavia, Romania, Bulgaria, and Austria. Dismissed from his post in 1970 by the Allende government, Serrano established himself in Switzerland, where he cultivated friendships with National Socialists, such as Léon Degrelle, Otto Skorzeny, Hans-Ulrich Rudel, Marc Augier (Saint-Loup), and Hanna Reitsch, as well as writers such as Julius Evola, Hermann Wirth, Wilhelm Landig, and Ezra Pound.
He subsequently returned to Chile, and from 1978 onwards wrote a series of books with occult and National Socialist themes, including El Cordón Dorado: Hitlerismo Esotérico (1978), NOS: El Libro de la Resurrección (1980), Adolf Hitler, el Último Avatãra (1984), Nacionalsocialismo, Unica Solución para los Países de América del Sur (1986), La Resurrección del Héroe: Año 97 de la era Hitleriana (1986), Manú: “Por el hombre que vendra”(1991), No Celebraremos la Muerte de los Dioses Blancos (1992), and Nuestro Honor se Llama Lealtad (1994), plus a book on cyberpolitics, a four-volume autobiography (1996–1999), and his final monograph, Se Acabó Chile (2001).
El Cordón Dorado is a singularly dense and arcane work that will challenge all but the most erudite of scholars. To appreciate it fully requires several careful readings, as well as being steeped in Ancient and Mediaeval history, Western and Eastern mythologies, Ariosophy, Jewish conspiratology, Jungian archetypes, Nietzschean philosophy, and National Socialism, including its existence after the war.
Although the book is not very long (227 pages), although it is divided into five themed parts, and although these are broken into short chapters (totaling 143), each chapter contains a relatively desultory discussion weaving many disparate strands, comprised of numerous obscure facts, incidents, anecdotes, speculations, myths, and occult insights, and taking the narrative through tortuous, labyrinthine paths that seldom end at the destinations suggested by the chapter headings.
Serrano, moreover, only very loosely stays within the ostensible themes governing each of the four parts: he discusses the Cathars, the Druids, the Knights Templar, and the Rosicrucians, but infuses into each part a dizzying constellation of historical and metaphysical references, legends, imaginations, and recollections.
Among these we find his discussion of Hitler’s mythical survival. Obviously, Serrano interpreted this in mystical, metaphysical terms: Hitler, having lost the exoteric war, was supposed to continue the war esoterically from Antarctica, in whose polar regions lay hidden the entrance to the Earth’s interior, which Serrano believed to be inhabited by a highly advanced civilization of extraterrestrial origin.
Serrano also subscribed to the Nazi UFO conspiracy theory: towards the end of the war, the Nazis were said to have been working on highly advanced aircraft, including the famous flying discs (Haunebu I, II, and III); according to the theory, the Nazis continued their development from their underground base (Base 211) in New Berlin, New Swabia, the German Antarctic claim that lies in Queen Maud Land. Some ufologists claim this is what people saw during the UFO sightings of the 1950s. Serrano shared the ufologists’ belief that U.S. Navy’s Operation Highjump (1946-47) was not launched for the purposes of mapping and training, as was officially claimed, but to destroy the Nazi base. (I allude to some of this in my novel.)
The various themes, however, are held together by a common thread – the golden thread – which is a worldview that is hierarchical, elitist, neo-pagan, Gnostic, ariosophical, neo-Romantic, Nietzschean, and, of course, National Socialist.
Serrano’s narrative is like a firmament of stars: slowly, as our knowledge accretes, we begin to glimpse galaxies, galactic clusters, and, finally, the cosmos. His method of argumentation does not follow the Anglo-Saxon linear model, where one thing leads to the next; nor the German model, which goes from general to specific; nor the East Asian, which goes from peripheral to central; but, rather, anti-entropic, whereby through his agency chaos resolves into organization. From this perspective, we can see that in the downward rush of history, in Kali-Yuga, in a cyclical universe governed by the laws of progressive degeneration, Serrano was perhaps also a man against time.
What do we learn in El Cordon Dorado?
It would be wrong to think of Serrano as a political ideologue: he had a well-defined Weltanschauung, and, yes, he had clearly-defined and radically anti-establishment political views; but he was not a writer of political tracts. Rather, his prose inhabits an indefinable literary space, somewhere between poetry, metahistory, metapolitics, religion, and philosophy; it is neither entirely factual nor entirely fictional: Serrano mediates between the outer world of matter and the inner world of spirituality, questioning rather than answering, searching rather than finding, and suggesting rather than asserting, but always affirming a core set of anti-materialistic, inegalitarian, traditionalist doctrines.
A materialist would read this as an extended prose poem, as an elaborate work of fiction that draws from many antiquarian, pagan, and occult traditions to create a sense of the mystic and the fantastic; a non-materialist would read this as a profound work of revelation and a life-affirming profession of faith. I can well imagine this, under the right circumstances, becoming a religious text in a distant, post-apocalyptic future; read, interpreted, and re-interpreted by mystics and monastic scholars.
Of what there can be no doubt, is that Serrano is a highly accomplished literary artist and a man of vast erudition, able to produce sublime prose, rich with lyrical beauty and spiritual and cultural profundity.