Weh denen, die dem Ewig-Blinden
Des Lichtes Hinmelsfackel leihn!
Sie strahlt ihm nicht,
Sie kann nur zuenden,
Und aeschert Staedt' und Laender ein.
(Friedrich von Schiller: Die Glocke)
Like Sir Arthur Trebitsch-Lincoln, the greatest adventurer of the twentieth century, Joerg Lanz von Liebenfels was an enigmatic but determined figure behind the scenes of power in the years before the end of World War II; both men claimed to be in possession of arcane knowledge obtained from Hermetic societies, and they pursued their lifes' objectives under the cover of pseudonyms.
But unlike Trebitsch-Lincoln, who faded into oblivion, has the impact which von Liebenfels' eccentric writings have made on the world view of the German and Austrian people and which had led to the holocaust of the Second World War, been clearly established in history.
Lanz von Liebenfels was born at Vienna, Austria as one Adolf Joseph Lanz on July 19, 1874. At the age of 19, he became a novice at the Cistercian monastery of Heiligenkreuz in Vienna on July 31, 1893. It was here at the monastery, that he made contact with a group of monks who carried on the Ancient Tradition there under the umbrella of the Catholic Church.
Lanz was not unprepared for his encounter with destiny. As a youth already had he keenly been aware of the changing Zeitgeist, and that something there was seriously amiss in the age of reason which had spawned the advent of science and the industrial revolution.
And he knew of the Kulturkampf (and not just the Kulturkampf which Bismarck was waging in Germany against the Catholic Zentrum party) between the Protestant modernists, who grafted their faith onto the findings of science that challenged the traditional beliefs, and the Catholic anti-modernists whom the First Vatican Council had enjoined to ignore the modern world, and to seek careers as administrators and as lawyers and bankers, but not to become scientists or engineers.