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Politics and the Occult: The Left, the Right, and the Radically Unseen Paperback – November 1, 2008


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Politics and the Occult: The Left, the Right, and the Radically Unseen + A Dark Muse: A History of the Occult + The Quest for Hermes Trismegistus: From Ancient Egypt to the Modern World
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Quest Books; 1st Quest Ed edition (November 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0835608573
  • ISBN-13: 978-0835608572
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #140,708 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Gary Lachman (1955- ) was born in Bayonne, New Jersey, but has lived in London, England since 1996. A founding member of the rock group Blondie, he is now a full time writer with more than a dozen books to his name, on topics ranging from the evolution of consciousness and the western esoteric tradition, to literature and suicide, and the history of popular culture. Lachman writes frequently for many journals in the US and UK, and lectures on his work in the US, UK, and Europe.His work has been translated into several languages. His website is http://garylachman.co.uk/

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Mark Newbold on October 24, 2008
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Gary Lachman has provided what will stand as a definitive guide to the Occult's real and imagined political agendas and alleged mechanizations. From the attempted geopolitical Rosicrucian inspired government of Frederick V of the Palatinate, an event first documented in depth by Dame Frances Yates in her "The Rosicrucian Enlightenment", to the various esoteric agendas borne out by parties in the French Revolution, to a brief bias free history of Freemasonry and dispelling much of the nonsense and rubbish that has been written about Adam Weishaupt & the Illuminati. All against a historical background of how these various esoteric agendas influenced not only politics but its impact on societies as well. This is social history at its most thought provoking.

Like all of Lachman's works, this is both scholarly and approachable with a style and pace equal to any political thriller on the market today. Rich in detail with a calvacade of portraits of individuals who made their mark in the western esoteric tradition. Lachman clearly pays homage to researchers that have gone before in exploring similar terrain, including Christopher McIntosh and the late James Webb.

I must also recognize Quest Books, the publishing wing of the Theosophical Society in America. For too long they published the staid and rather tame canon of Theosophical literature and its stable of writers. With this work and Mr. Lachman's previous Quest book, "In Search of P.D. Ouspensky", as well as other recent titles, Quest has rescued itself from the oblivion of mundane metaphysical comfortability.

This work concludes with a concise and brilliant overview of Geunonian inspired Traditionalism, leading one to conclude with Sinclair Lewis, "When Fascism comes...
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By New Age of Barbarism on March 20, 2009
Format: Paperback
_Politics and the Occult: The Left, the Right, and the Radically Unseen_, published in 2008 by Quest Books, by occult researcher and former performer with the rock group Blondie, Gary Lachman, is a fascinating account of the role of the occult in political movements from the reformation till the modern day. Lachman who is heavily indebted to the work of James Webb (who coined the term "illuminated politics") argues that occult politics need not be fundamentally "fascist", a charge frequently leveled against it, but has actually been involved in various movements of both the left and the right. Lachman considers the primary role of Tradition in occult politics and the opposition of much of it to the modern world. Relying heavily on Webb's book _The Occult Establishment_, Lachman traces out the role of various occultists and their political interests through history as well as their involvement in various revolutions including the American, French, and Russian, and their involvement in Fascism and Nazism. This book offers a fascinating examination of the role that occultists have played in politics and uncovers much hidden material relating to the darker sides of the human condition in the modern world.

This book begins with an Introduction entitled "Hidden Superiors and the Retreat from the Modern World". Here, Lachman considers the role of "illuminated politics" as it relates to the modern world. Lachman considers the arguments of Umberto Eco, author of _Foucault's Pendulum_, concerning occultism and fascism, as well as the occultist opposition to modernity and the longing for Tradition. Lachman explains the "cosmic state" as well as the movement of occult politics from progressive to reactionary.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Justin Ritchie on November 3, 2009
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"The larger the mass in movement, the stronger the effect of irrational impulses, the more powerfully the soul's innermost currents begin to roar... the instinctive forces are reinforced under the influence of comrades striving for the the same good." - Rudolf Bode

The occult and its societies have dropped away from accepted scientific method and society starting with the advent of Cartesian dualism and its influx throughout modern history signified by the Enlightenment, separating superstition and the spiritual from the material. Yet, while this occlusion of the spiritual grew there have been many behind the scenes of political movements that either secretly or openly engaged with the spirit world. Esoteric historian Gary Lachman has pieced together a comprehensive survey of the modern intertwining of the occult and the political in his latest book, Politics and the Occult.

Lachman begins his recounting of occult political influence by recounting the mysteries of the Rosicrucians and the many with influence over kings, queens and monarchical society that identified with Rosicrucian ideas. When the pamphlets from the Fraternity of the Rosy Cross hit Germany in 1614, it began the modern concept of the secret society, a group that may be in or outside of the nation's government aiming to have political influence and espousing illuminated politics. Illuminated politics being a political approach that has a religious complexion and obeys a transcendental scale of values.

Perhaps the most historically notorious connections between the occult and politics are through the legacy of the Masons.
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