How did mediums help the war effort?

There have been instances in which governments have researched the potential for psychics as military weapons throughout history. Most notable of these began in the 1950’s; the MK Ultra project was undertaken to see whether phenomena such as remote viewing, clairvoyancy and even mind control techniques could be employed to gain an advantage in warfare and espionage situations. However, this may have been in response to certain projects that were implemented by Adolf Hitler, during the Second World War. Hitler’s use of psychics and mediums is well known, but few people are aware of the extent to which he was prepared to invest in the use of these gifted people, in order to try and ensure his success at global domination.

 Himmler and Hitler

Heinrich Himmler seems to have been the driving force behind the Nazi Party’s fascination with the occult. He consulted an astrologer who warned him of a bomb, which he believed saved his life. As a result, it is thought that, as Germany entered the Second World War, it was he who suggested using less-traditional means to secure their success. However, Hitler, too, is alleged to have had some supernatural experience, before his rise to power. In 1918, he was temporarily blinded in a gas attack. During his stay in hospital, Hitler claimed to have had visions from another world, which revealed to him that he would “lead Germany back to glory.” While many of the high-ranking officers in Hitler’s cabinet doubted Himmler’s ideas, the Fuhrer gave them his full backing.

The Institute for Occult Warfare

In the September of 1939, Himmler went about gathering the best psychics and mediums he could find. These individuals were assembled as the Institute for Occult Warfare, under the watchful eye of the dreaded SS. The first task given to the Institute was to try and decipher the cryptic quatrains laid down by the French psychic, Nostradamus. Possibly out of fear for their own lives, the Institute managed to translate the predictions as absolute proof that Germany was destined to win each and every battle that came its way. The ‘evidence’ that the Institute uncovered was thought to be so concrete, that it was used in propaganda radio broadcasts and even to the point where leaflets were printed and dropped behind enemy lines. Many historians believe that these words alone were enough to entirely demoralize the French army and leave them open to defeat.

 Psychics were even consulted during military campaigns; Ludwig Straniak, an architect before being press-ganged into the Institute, was reported to have some skill as a dowser. He would dangle a pendant over a map and report on the location of soldiers and battalions. His most celebrated success came when working for the German navy. Using his dowsing skills, he was able to perceive the location of the battleship, Prinz Eugen, giving credence to the abilities of the Institute as a whole; the Prinz Eugen was on secret maneuvers and its whereabouts was known only to the chosen few.

 Rescuing Mussolini

However, the Institute’s biggest reported success was discovering the hideaway of one of Germany’s most dangerous allies: Benito Mussolini. With Italy growing tired of the war, Mussolini was deposed and imprisoned in a secret location, the new government fearing a rescue attempt from the Germans.

 With more conventional methods and intelligence agents failing to secure his release or reveal his location, the task was passed on to the Institute. The primary tools used in this effort were crystal gazing and map dowsing, eventually leading the psychics to put their cards on the table and state that they believed Mussolini was being held on the island of Ponza. Spies confirmed the psychics’ accuracy and a rescue operation was undertaken, leading Mussolini to be reinstated as the dictator of Northern Italy, which was still under Nazi control. Hitler appeared to be justified in assembling the Institute, as Germany’s war efforts went from strength to strength.

 However, the tides of war changed against Germany and the Institute for Occult Warfare was hard pressed upon to find other information that would help it regain strategic positions and assassinate key figures in the enemy ranks. One psychic had a vision that the Nazi Party would fall and made the mistake of reporting his findings to Himmler and, ultimately, the Fuhrer himself. His reward was a one-way trip to a concentration camp. Within months, however, the signs were written on the wall: Germany was losing the war and, along with the Nazi movement, the Institute for Occult Warfare was dissolved and collapsed.

Nordic influences

Himmler seems to have been the biggest figure in the introduction of occult ideas and methodology in the Nazi Party. It was he who made them aware of the concept of the dualist cycle of the universe; an ancient belief that the cosmos is full of energies that are diametrically opposed. These energies are thought to be based in a continual battle which follows certain stages: the Norse believed that each of these metaphysical battles would lead to a period of peace or harmony, before achieving a higher level of being, polarizing once more, before resuming the battle. Each new world order was perceived to be better than the one before, giving rise to the idea that war and destruction were somehow justifiable. Ideas such as these only served to fuel the Nazis’ belief that their actions were right and just.

Hitler the vegetarian

 Even Hitler himself wasn’t immune to the absorption of certain doctrines; his strict vegetarianism was the result of Hindu and Buddhist beliefs that ingesting the flesh of animals also meant that you ingested part of their soul, creating impurities and a dilution within your own. The Nazis’ interest in the occult and mysticism was such that even their uniforms harbored symbols of their beliefs: the logo of the SS was styled after twin lightning bolts; an ancient rune of power from the Nordic religions.

Psychics and occultists have been used by governments and the military for thousands of years. Despite the protestations of modern governments, there are many who believe that these investigations are not over; they are merely hidden from public knowledge.


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