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Blind Boy Apollo
and the All-White Astronauts

New Age "Asiatic" thought ... is establishing itself as the
hegemonic ideology of global capitalism. (Zizek)

Friday, February 17

the yoga tradition

The Yoga Tradition, Unabridged New Format Edition, by Georg Feuerstein, Ph.D. (oooh!) is unreservedly plugged by a usual-suspects stable of New Age luminaries, including: Ken Wilber (who also wrote the foreword), Jacob Needleman (simply called out as "Needleman" on the book's back cover thanks to typical New Age attention to detail), and Larry "I Can Quack Like a Duck" Dossey.

"Feuerstein is a renowned yoga scholar and a tireless communicator," enthuses Booklist, "sharing his knowledge in more than two dozen books on the subject as well as translations of key yoga scriptures." Guy really knows his shit, in other words. But Booklist would never say something like that. Instead, reviewer Donna Seaman tops it off: "No more adept or comprehensive study of yoga aimed at a Western audience is to be found."

Well, I never would have found it at all had I not been searching for dirt on one Jakob Wilhelm Hauer. And you ask: who??? I don't blame you. I'd never heard of the guy either, until I started reading New Religions and the Nazis, in which he figures quite prominently. However, Georg Feuerstein's erudite and definitive, New Age Approved, adept and comprehensive study of yoga speaks of the man only thus:

  • "the German Sanskritist J. W. Hauer" (p. 30)
  • "the German Yoga researcher Jakob Wilhelm Hauer" (p. 119)
  • "The German Indologist Jakob Wilhelm Hauer" (p. 133)
  • "The German Sanskritist and pioneering Yoga researcher J. W. Hauer" (p. 188)

No hint that Herr Doktor Hauer was also a highly enthusiastic Nazi. No clue, for instance, that...

Hauer collected his Nordic Faith Movement together under a pledge of having no Jewish or colored blood... In the Sportpalast [to a rally attended by 10,000] he was heard praising the virtues of Blood and Soil, and acclaiming the heroic SS-man. In 1935 he could see Adolf Hitler as "the genius of our people."

The Occult Establishment
James Webb, Open Court, 1976

But I'm probably not being fair. It's probably just a coincidence that so many of these deep spiritual types keep turning out to be racists or fascists -- or, in the case of German Sanskritist, Indologist, and pioneering Yoga researcher Jakob Wilhelm Hauer, both. And it's probably just a coincidence that their various cheerleading sections keep being blissfully unaware of these facts.

Yeah, that's probably it. I guess I just need to work on developing a better attitude.

book description...

"Karla Poewe illuminates an important but neglected part of Nazi history: the contribution of new religions to the emergence of Nazi ideology in 1930s Germany. Looking at traditional German occultism as well as the established Church, this book takes new religions founded in the pre-Nazi and Nazi years, especially Jakob Hauer's German Faith Movement, as indicators of how German fascism distilled aspects of religious doctrine into political extremism. It is researched from original documents, including the SS personnel files held in Berlin's Bundesarchiv."