Aleister versus Adolf. Dark Horse capture

Nazis, Secret Agent ‘666’ and the Birth of Brand Awareness

Podcast — the only occult Nazi story you’ll ever need


Every weekend the History Channel runs hours of programming about the occult history of World War II. According to wild rumors and speculative historians, Adolf Hitler invaded Austria not to unite ethnic Germans into a single state but to claim the Spear of Destiny. The Holy Lance is a real artifact purported to be the spear the Romans used to pierce the side of Jesus Christ.

According to legend, whoever held the spear could conquer the world. Of course, Hitler did capture the mythic spear in Austria, but it didn’t do him much good — he lost it to U.S. Gen. George S. Patton years later.

Deputy Führer Rudolf Hess obsessed over the occult. He attempted to read minds and used astrological star charts to inform his plans. Reichsführer of the SS Heinrich Himmler studied the occult his entire life and believed in Germanic myths of pagan knights who ruled ancient Germany with an iron fist. He modeled the Schutzstaffel on this ancient order of Teutonic Knights.

Across the pond and even weirder, infamous English magician Aleister Crowley stayed in London and worked for the British war effort during the Blitz. According to some scholars, Crowley kept in contact with German occultists, fed them false information, wrote poetry for the English newspapers and even created the V for Victory.

It’s not as far fetched as it sounds. Crowley worked as a British intelligence asset during World War I. And in America, he worked as a double agent writing ridiculous pro-Kaiser diatribes in a German newspaper. His goal was to make the enemy seem ridiculous.

We know this is true because Crowley faced a treason trial when he returned to England after the war — a trial in which the jury decided to acquit when faced with the evidence.

Today on War College, we sit down with media theorist, documentarian and author Douglas Rushkoff to discuss the weird occult history of World War II. Rushkoff isn’t a History Channel hack. He’s created documentaries for PBS, appeared on CNN and written for Time magazine. The author of dozens of books, Rushkoff is an expert on the media, technology and human nature.

His latest book — Aleister & Adolf is a comic book that tells the story of a strange magickal battle between the Allies and Axis powers during World War II. It spans the globe, and connects Crowley, Hitler, Patton, Himmler and even Ian Fleming — the creator of super spy James Bond.

Stick around and listen to the only occult history of World War II you’ll ever need.