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Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Lost Lands of Mu and Lemuria: Was Australia Once Part of a Sunken Continent?

The Lost Lands of Mu and Lemuria: Was Australia Once Part of a Sunken Continent?

Churchward Mu mapBy BRIAN HAUGHTON

Lemuria and Mu are interchangeable names given to a lost land believed to have been located somewhere in either the southern Pacific or Indian Oceans. This ancient continent was apparently the home of an advanced and highly spiritual culture, perhaps the mother race of all mankind, but it sank beneath the waves many thousands of years ago as the result of a geological cataclysm of some kind.
The thousands of rocky islands scattered throughout the Pacific, including Easter Island, Tahiti, Hawaii and Samoa, have been claimed by some to be the only surviving remains of this once great continent. The theory of a lost continent in this area has been put forward by many different people, most notably in the mid 19th century by scientists in order to explain the unusual distribution of various animals and plants around the Indian and Pacific Oceans.In the late 19th century occultist Madame Blavatsky reincarnated the idea of Lemuria as a lost continent / spiritual homeland and influenced a host of subsequent occultists and mystics including well known American psychic healer and Prophet Edgar Cayce. The popularisation of Lemuria / Mu as a purely physical place began in the 20th century with ex-British army officer Colonel James Churchward, and the idea still has many adherents today.
But is there any physical evidence to back up these claims of an ancient continent beneath the Pacific or Indian Ocean? Or should these ‘lost homeland’ stories be interpreted in another way entirely, perhaps as the symbol of a mythical vanished ‘Golden Age’ of man?

The Land of Mu

The idea of a lost continent known as ‘Mu’ in the Pacific Ocean does not actually have a particularly long history, neither is it mentioned specifically in any ancient mythologies as some writers have suggested. The title ‘Mu’ originated with eccentric amateur archaeologist Augustus le Plongeon (1826-1908), who was the first to make photographical records of the ruins of the archaeological site of Chichen Itza in Yucatán, Mexico. Plongeon’s credibility was badly damaged by his attempted translation of a Mayan book known as the ‘Troana Codex’ (also known as the ‘Madrid Codex’).
In his books Sacred Mysteries Among the Mayans and Quiches (1886) and Queen Moo and the Egyptian Sphinx (1896) Plongeon interpreted part of the text of the Troana Codex as revealing that the Maya of Yucatán were the ancestors of the Egyptians and many other civilisations. He also believed that an ancient continent, which he called Mu, had been destroyed by a volcanic eruption, the survivors of this cataclysm founding the Mayan civilisation. Plongeon equates Mu with Atlantis and states that a ‘Queen Moo’ originally from Atlantis, travelled to Egypt where she became known as Isis, and founded the Egyptian civilisation. However, Plongeon’s interpretation of the Mayan book is considered by experts in Mayan archaeology and history as completely erroneous, indeed much of what he interpreted as hieroglyphics turned out to be ornamental design.


‘Lemuria’, the alternative name for the lost continent, also originated in the nineteenth century. Ernst Heinrich Haeckel (1834-1919), a German naturalist and supporter of Darwin, proposed that a land bridge spanning the Indian Ocean separating Madagascar from India could explain the widespread distribution of lemurs, small, primitive tree-dwelling mammals found in Africa, Madagascar, India and the East Indian archipelago. More bizarrely, Haeckel also suggested that lemurs were the ancestors of the human race and that this land bridge was the “probable cradle of the human race.”
Other well-known scientists, such as the evolutionist T.H. Huxley and the naturalist Alfred Russell Wallace, had no doubt about the existence of a huge continent in the Pacific millions of years previously, which had been destroyed in a disastrous earthquake that submerged it beneath the waves, much as Atlantis was thought to have been drowned.
Before the discovery of continental drift it was not unusual in the mid to late 19th century for scientists to propose submerged land masses and land bridges to explain the distribution of the world’s flora and fauna. In 1864, the English zoologist Philip Lutley Sclater (1829-1913) gave the hypothetical continent the name ‘Lemuria’ in an article ‘The Mammals of Madagascar’ in The Quarterly Journal of Science, and since then it has stuck.

The Geologists’ View

Zoologists and geologists now explain the distribution of lemurs and other plants and animals in the area of the Pacific and Indian Oceans to be the result of plate tectonics and continental drift. The theory of plate tectonics, and it is still a theory, affirms that moving plates of the Earth’s crust supported on less rigid mantle rocks causes continental drift, volcanic and seismic activity, and the formation of mountain chains. The concept of continental drift was first proposed by German scientist Alfred Wegener in 1912, but the theory did not gain general acceptance in the scientific community for another 50 years.
With this understanding of plate tectonics geologists now regard the theory of a sunken continent beneath the Pacific as an impossibility. They also point out that theories of lost lands in the Pacific mostly originate in the 19th century, when knowledge of the area was limited and well before the Pacific sea floor had been mapped.

Blavatsky’s Lemuria

The idea of Lemuria as something more than a physical place, or at least somewhere which had been inhabited by non-human entities before the appearance of man, derives from the writings of colourful Russian occultist Helena Petrovna Blavatsky (1831-1891). Blavatsky was the co-founder, together with lawyer Henry Steel Olcott, of the Theosophical Society, in New York in 1875. The Society was an esoteric order designed to study the mystical teachings of both Christianity and Eastern religions.
In her massive tome The Secret Doctrine (1888) Blavatsky describes a history originating millions of years ago with the ‘Lords of Flame’ and goes on to discusses five ‘Root Races’ which have existed on earth, each one dying out in an earth-shattering cataclysm. The third of these Root Races she called the ‘Lemurian’, which lived a million years ago, and who were bizarre telepathic giants who kept dinosaurs as pets.
The Lemurians eventually drowned when their continent was submerged beneath the Pacific Ocean. The progeny of the Lemurians was the fourth Root Race, the human Atlanteans, who were brought down by their use of black magic, their continent of Atlantis sinking beneath the waves 850,000 years ago. Present humanity represents the Fifth Root Race.
Blavatsky envisioned her Lemuria as covering a vast area. In her own words it stretched from
…the foot of the Himalayas, which separated it from the inland sea rolling its waves over what is now Tibet, Mongolia, and the great desert of Schamo (Gobi); from Chittagong, westward to Hardwar, and eastward to Assam. From thence, it stretched South across what is known to us as Southern India, Ceylon, and Sumatra; then embracing on its way, as we go South, Madagascar on its right hand and Australia and Tasmania on its left, it ran down to within a few degrees of the Antarctic Circle; when, from Australia, an inland region on the Mother Continent in those ages, it extended far into the Pacific Ocean…
Blavatsky also describes survivors of the catastrophic destruction of Lemuria escaping to become the ancestors of some of the Aboriginal tribes of Australia. She maintained that she took all of her information regarding Lemuria from ‘The Book of Dzyan’, supposed to have been written in Atlantis and shown to her by the Indian adepts known as ‘Mahatmas’.
Madame Blavatsky never claimed to have discovered Lemuria; in fact she refers to Philip Schlater coining the name Lemuria, in her writings. It has to be said that The Secret Doctrine is an extremely difficult book, a complex mixture of Eastern and Western cosmologies, mystical ramblings and esoteric wisdom, much of it not meant to be taken literally.
Blavatsky’s is the first ‘occult’ interpretation of Lemuria, but on one level it should not be equated with the physical continent later proposed by Churchward. What Blavatsky and other occultists since have suggested concerning Lemuria could be partly interpreted as an ideal spiritual condition of the soul, a kind of spiritual-historical vision.
Nevertheless, there are some psychics and prophets who even today regard the existence of ancient Lemuria / Mu as a physical reality. Indeed, there are a few who when ‘hypnotically regressed’ have recalled former lives as citizens on the doomed continent.

Lemuria and Australia

The writings of Blavatsky and other Theosophists about Lemuria, and the idea of Australia as part of this ancient lost continent and the scene of a lost golden age, had a significant influence on mystics and occultists in the country at the end of the 19th century.
Queensland-born novelist Rosa Campbell Praed represented Australia as the last remnant of ancient Lemuria and believed the myth of the lost continent to be based on fact. In Praed’s case, she used the theosophical idea of Lemuria to present an idealised primeval history of Australia, a land very different to the Queensland frontier country wracked by racial violence she had witnessed first-hand as a child.
Other evidence for this fascination with ancient Lemuria comes in the series of Australian adventure of the 1890s known as “the Lemurian novels.” In The Last Lemurian, written in 1898 by historian of Australian exploration and adventure-romance novelist George Firth Scott, the narrator Dick Halwood discovers the remains of legendary Lemuria out in the Australian desert, in a plot involving reincarnation, pygmies, a bunyip-monster, and an occult Yellow Queen.
John David Hennessey’s An Australian Bush Track (1896) calls Lemuria ‘Zoo-Zoo land’, and locates it somewhere in northern Queensland. Its inhabitants, the Zoo-Zooans, are a “remnant of a great nation which came there from some part of the mainland of Asia,” but had lost all the arts of high civilisation they once possessed. The Lost Explorer (1890) by James Francis Hogan has Lemuria as ‘Malua’, located in the centre of Australia, and ruled by the cannibalistic Queen Mocata, the last survivor of a superior race that once lived in “the interior of the great southern continent.”
The idea that Australia was once part of this lost Eden has also influenced those of a more practical bent, and attempts have been made to locate traces of Lemurian civilisation on both the west and east coasts of Australia.
Aboriginal art, artefacts and mythology have also been used to identify the Aborigines as prehistoric remnants of the Lemurians (following Blavatsky again), who somehow escaped the devastation of 20,000 or so years ago. Indeed, in some Theosophical publications of the first quarter of the 20th century Aborigines were described as the last of the Lemurians. However, the Aborigines of Australia had already been established on the continent for at least 30,000 years at the time of the supposed destruction of Lemuria, in fact they have perhaps the longest continuous cultural history of any people on Earth, so the theory of them having a Lemurian origin does not hold water.

Colonel James Churchward

The lost civilisation of Lemuria / Mu was brought dramatically back to public attention in 1931 with the publication of Colonel James Churchward’s bizarre The Lost Continent of Mu, the first in a series of five books by Churchward about the lost continent.
In the book he claimed that the lost continent of Mu had once extended from an area north of Hawaii southwards as far as Fiji and Easter Island. According to Churchward, Mu was the original Garden of Eden and a technologically advanced civilisation which boasted 64,000,000 inhabitants. Around 12,000 years ago Mu was wiped out by an earthquake and submerged beneath the Pacific. Apparently Atlantis, a colony of Mu, was destroyed in the same way a thousand years later. All the world’s major ancient civilisations, from the Babylonians and the Persians, to the Maya and the Egyptians, were the remains of the colonies of Mu.
Churchward claimed he received this sensational information when, as a young officer in India during a famine in the 1880s, he became friendly with an Indian priest. This priest told Churchward that he and two cousins were the only survivors of a 70,000 year old esoteric order which originated on Mu itself. This order was known as the ‘Naacal Brotherhood’.
The priest showed Churchward a number of ancient tablets written by the Naacal Order in a forgotten ancient language, supposed to be the original language of mankind, which he taught the officer to read. Churchward later asserted that certain stone artefacts recovered in Mexico contained parts of the ‘Sacred Inspired Writings of Mu’, perhaps taking ideas from Augustus le Plongeon and his use of the Troana Codex to provide evidence for the existence of Mu.
Unfortunately, Churchward never produced any evidence to back up his exotic claims, he never published translations of the enigmatic Naacal tablets, and his books, though they still have many followers today, are perhaps better read as entertainment than factual studies of Lemuria / Mu.

Nan Madol

It was James Churchward who first posited the theory that the site of Nan Modal, on Pohnpei Island in the North Pacific Ocean, was one of the seven cities of ancient Mu / Lemuria.
The cyclopean ruins of Nan Modal, at one time a ceremonial centre covering 11 square miles, consist of around 90 small artificial islands built up out of a lagoon, and interlinked by a network of tidal canals. These islands, situated on the tidal flats southeast of Temwen Island, Micronesia, contain house foundations, sea walls – thirty feet tall in places, tunnels and burial vaults, all constructed entirely from prismatic basalt columns stacked crisscross like log cabins. These rocks weigh several tons on average, with the largest weighing 25 tons.
What makes the construction all the more remarkable is that the stone had to be transported some distance to the site, as no quarries have been found nearby, though they do exist elsewhere on the island. A clue to how this feat was achieved are crystal basalt columns discovered at the bottom of the lagoon near Temwen Island and on the shores of other islets in the area, which would suggest that the stones were transported by raft.
Modern Pohnpeians, on the other hand, believe the stones were flown over the island using black magic. Radio carbon dates and analysis of pottery from Nan Madol reveal that construction of the site began around 1200 CE, though the area may have been occupied from as early as 200 BCE. Such dates would certainly preclude any connection with Churchward’s Lemurians or their descendents.
At the beginning of the 13th century CE the island of Pohnpei is thought to have been conquered and unified by the mysterious ‘saudeleur’ dynasty, and it was then that the spectacular complex was constructed as a ceremonial and political seat for the new royal line. The saudeleur line was brought to an end in the 1500s by exiled Pohnpeian warrior, Isokelekel. The new chiefs, known as Nahnmwarki, occupied Nan Madol for a couple of hundred years, but by the 1800’s when the first Europeans arrived, the site was deserted. Why this happened remains one of the many mysteries of this incredible site.

The Kerguelen Continent

In the last twenty or so years submerged civilisations have once again been in the news due in particular to a number of intriguing underwater discoveries. In 1999 the Joint Oceanographic Institutions for Deep Earth Sampling (JOIDES) Resolution research vessel made an amazing discovery drilling in an area of the southern Indian Ocean about 3,000 km to the southwest of Australia.
The researchers discovered that an underwater plateau about a third the size of Australia, known as the Kerguelen Plateau, was actually the remains of a lost continent, which sank beneath the waves around 20 million years ago. The team found fragments of wood, a seed, spores and pollen, in 90 million year old sediment, as well as types of rocks associated with explosive volcanism.
One of the many fascinating points about the Kerguelen Plateau is that it contains sedimentary rocks similar to those found in India and Australia, which indicates that they were at one time connected. Scientists believe that around 50 million years ago, the continent may have had tropical flora and fauna, including small dinosaurs. With further research planned, the fascinating puzzle of the Kerguelen Plateau may yet resurrect the Lemuria debate.

Yonaguni Island and the Gulf of Cambay

In 1985 off the southern coast of Yonaguni Island, the westernmost island of Japan, a Japanese dive tour operator discovered a previously unknown stepped pyramidal edifice. Shortly afterwards, Professor Masaki Kimura, a marine geologist at Ryukyu University in Okinawa, confirmed the existence of the 183m wide, 27m high structure.
This rectangular stone ziggurat, part of a complex of underwater stone structures in the area which resemble ramps, steps and terraces, is thought to date from somewhere between 3,000 to 8,000 years ago. Some researchers have suggested these ruins are the remains of a submerged civilisation – and that the structures represent perhaps the oldest architecture in the world. Connections with Lemuria and Atlantis have also been mentioned.
However, some geologists, such as Robert Schoch of Boston University, and others with knowledge of the area, insist that the underwater ‘buildings’ are natural, mainly the result of ocean erosion and coral reef settlements and similar to other known geological formations in the region. Furthermore, archaeologists also point out that no man-made tools or weapons have been recovered from the site, which would indicate human settlement.
In December 2000 a team from the National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT) claimed to have discovered the remains of a huge lost city 36 metres underwater in the Gulf of Cambay, off the western coast of India. A year later further acoustic imaging surveys were undertaken and evidence recorded for apparent human settlement at the site, which included the foundations of huge structures, pottery, sections of walls, beads, pieces of sculpture and human bone. One of the wooden finds supposedly from the city has given a radiocarbon date of 7500 BCE, which would make the site 4,000 years earlier than the oldest known civilisation in India.
Research is ongoing at this fascinating site, now known as the Gulf of Khambat Cultural Complex (GKCC), which if the dates are proved correct, may one day radically alter our understanding of the world’s first civilisations. However, it must be added that a number of marine geologists believe that the NIOT scientists have made serious errors in their interpretations of the sonar images obtained from the area. The opinion of these researchers is that the supposedly ancient ‘ruins’, shown as geometric patterns on the images, are natural rock formations and there is no evidence that the artefacts discovered in the area of the site, including the radio-carbon dated block of wood, are associated with it. The debate is still continuing among geologists, archaeologists and historians on this controversial discovery.
Whether any of these underwater finds in the Pacific and Indian Oceans prove to be the remains of forgotten civilisations or not, one thing is certain  man will always be searching for a lost homeland or a more spiritually satisfying ancient past. In this sense Lemuria or Mu will always be more than just a physical place.

Sources and Further Reading

The Lost Continent of Mu by J. Churchward, C.W. Daniel Co. Ltd, 1994 (1931).
The Lost Land of Lemuria: Fabulous Geographies, Catastrophic Histories by Sumathi Ramaswamy, University of California Press, 2005.
The Secret Doctrine II – Anthropogenesis by H.P. Blavatsky,  Theosophical University Press, Pasadena, California, 1970 (1888).
Other Temples, Other Gods: The Occult in Australia by N. Drury & G. Tillett, Sydney, Hodder & Stoughton, 1982.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/353277.stm – ‘Lost Continent Discovered’. The Kerguelen discovery.
www.hinduonnet.com/fline/fl1905/19050670.htm – ‘Questionable Claims’. The finds in the Gulf of Khambat.
www.morien-institute.org/yonaguni.html  Morien Institue page about Yonaguni.
www.pohnpeiheaven.com/nanmadol.htm  ‘Pohnpei  Between Time and Tide’.
www.uoregon.edu/~wsayres/NanMadol.html  Dr. William S. Ayres’s site about his work in Nan Madol.


BRIAN HAUGHTON is a qualified archaeologist and researcher with an interest in the strange and unusual. He is author of Hidden History: Lost Civilizations, Secret Knowledge, and Ancient Mysteries and Webmaster ofwww.mysteriouspeople.com, a site devoted to the lives of enigmatic people. He has written on the subjects of ancient mysteries and unusual people in history for various print and Internet publications including the B.B.C.’s Legacies Website, New Dawn Magazine, Awareness, and Paranormal Magazine in the U.K. His website iswww.brian-haughton.com.
The above article appeared in New Dawn No. 103 (July-August 2007).

Forces of the Unconscious Mind: Exploring the Work of Stan Gooch

Forces of the Unconscious Mind: Exploring the Work of Stan Gooch

stan_goochsBy LOUIS PROUD

In the first chapter of his fascinating book The Origins of Psychic Phenomena (1984), the British psychologist Stan Gooch explains that he used to smile when he heard, “for instance, stories of invisible ‘thought forms’ allegedly produced by Tibetan mystics and others.” He then adds: “I no longer smile at such stories. My own feeling, now, is that there may literally be no limit to what can be achieved by the human subjective mind manipulating and actualising itself in the external, objective universe around it.”
According to Gooch, the workings of the unconscious mind – or subjective mind – can shed light on a whole host of paranormal phenomena, including poltergeist disturbances, mediumship, automatic writing, multiple-personality-disorder, succubi and incubi attacks, and even UFO sightings. The list goes on.

Stan Gooch the Medium

Gooch’s involvement with the paranormal began at age 26, when he was working as a school teacher in Coventry, England. Because he was new to the area and had few acquaintances, Gooch decided to enrol in three sets of evening classes, one of which was gymnastics. One evening at gymnastics class, while he was in the changing room, a member of the advanced class, named Peter, struck up a conversation with him. “He eventually told me that his ‘spirit guide’ had instructed him to do so,” explains Gooch. Peter, a spiritualist and medium, invited Gooch to a séance at his parent’s house.
The séance comprised eight to ten people, seated on hardback chairs, facing the medium. Soon after it commenced, Gooch had an experience that was to change the direction of his life. At first he felt light-headed. “And then,” he explains in his book The Paranormal, “it seemed to me that a great wind was rushing through the room. In my ears was the deafening sound of roaring waters. Together these elements seized me and carried me irresistibly forward. As I felt myself swept away I became unconscious.”
When he regained consciousness, Gooch was told that several entities had spoken through him while he was in a trance state. One of the entities identified himself as a cousin of Gooch’s who had been killed in the Second World War. Told by the presiding medium that he was a “strong natural medium” and that he ought to develop his “gift,” Gooch began attending her weekly circle, which consisted entirely of mediumistic individuals.
Sometimes Gooch and the other mediums would channel “higher guides.” Other times they would hold what’s called a “rescue circle,” whereby they would channel the spirits of those who did not realise they were dead, their aim being to help them “move on.” In The Paranormal, Gooch explains what it’s like to be “possessed by one of these lost souls.” It feels, he says, “as if another being ‘materialises’ or arises within one’s body and pervades it… There is a very clear and definite sense of another person within you.”
During one particularly memorable séance, a cave-man materialised in the corner of the room. “It stood half in shadow, watching us, breathing heavily as if nervous,” says Gooch. He later came to suspect that this figure “which so very much impressed and haunted me both then and afterwards” was a Neanderthal. Years later, in 1971, Gooch formulated the hybrid-origin theory, which basically posits that we – Homo sapiens – are a hybrid cross between the two early species of man, Neanderthal and Cro-Magnon. His Total Man trilogy is an exploration of this hypothesis.
On another occasion, soon after the presiding medium said they would experience “a wondrous radiance,” Gooch and the others were illuminated by what appeared to be a bright light shining down from above. Gooch eventually reached the conclusion that this occurrence was a type of collective hallucination, in addition to all the other paranormal manifestation that took place in the séance room. They were, in other words, psychological in nature, not physical. “That is, I do not think that any of the happenings would have registered on a photograph of the scene,” he explains.
In due course, Peter allowed Gooch to have a session with his spirit guide, an alleged American Indian named Grey Hawk. While Peter was channelling Grey Hawk, says Gooch, his face and profile took on the features of a “story-book Indian.” Grey Hawk gave Gooch a long lecture on “the nature of spirit,” which Gooch found moving and poetic, though also empty and unsatisfying. Gooch says he finds many talks by spirit guides, as well as books that have been dictated by them, “a kind of intellectual candy-floss… When you try to chew on these utterances, there is nothing there. The mouth is empty.”
It is because of this reason, as well as numerous others, says Gooch, that “personalities” like Grey Hawk are nothing more than a product of the unconscious minds of the mediums who claim to channel them. “One is that the alleged spirits never tell us anything that is not already known to living persons on this planet – and, almost invariably, known to the bereaved person ‘sitting’ with the medium,” he explains.

More on Mediumship

In The Origins of Psychic Phenomena, Gooch mentions how the author and former Air Force officer Sir Victor Goddard once asked the British medium Ena Twigg to contact one of his friends who had died. Remarkably, Twigg managed to give an accurate description of this individual – his appearance and personality, etc – even though she hadn’t been told anything about him. In a later session, she went into a trance, apparently channelling Goddard’s friend. In a description of this event, Goddard mentions that Twigg adopted his friend’s mannerisms and personal figures of speech, and that he was thoroughly taken aback by what he had witnessed. “It wasn’t so much the information which was conveyed as the manner of its conveying in speech, in action, and in gesture that carried conviction…,” writes Goddard.
Gooch uses this case to support his theory that mediumship has nothing to do with spirits. What is occurring instead, he says, is that the medium is unconsciously “tapping into” the mind of the sitter. “…There is nothing in what the ‘spirits’ narrate that persuades us that anything but a memory of that person is operating…,” he explains.
In his book Afterlife (1985), the British author and paranormal expert Colin Wilson explores, among other things, the subject of mediumship, eventually reaching the conclusion that there are indeed such things as spirits. The “unconscious mind theory,” he says, falls short of explaining a great many number of mediumistic communications, as well as a large number of poltergeist disturbances. Most paranormal investigators, he says, “are finally driven to the conclusion that spirits almost certainly exist. They do this with the utmost reluctance. It would be far more convenient, and far more logically satisfying, if we could explain all the phenomena in terms of the unrecognised powers of the human mind.”
Not surprisingly, Gooch gives the “spirit hypothesis” very little consideration. He does state, however, that it would be arrogant to rule out the possibility that some “spirits” have an independent existence, and are therefore not a product of one’s own mind.
The unconscious mind, says Gooch, for which a better name would be “alternative consciousness,” is far more dynamic and powerful than we assume. It is, in a sense, an entity of its own, possessing its own logic and autonomy, and, when repressed, is capable of expressing itself in very odd and alien ways – mediumship being a perfect example.
In Gooch’s opinion, as mentioned previously, ‘channelled’ information, as a general rule, leaves much to be desired. As an example – and a good one at that – Gooch mentions the numerous ‘Seth’ books that have been written through Jane Roberts. All of these books, says Gooch, “mean absolutely nothing.” Jane Roberts, by the way, who died in 1984, was a successful and prolific author before she became a ‘mouthpiece’ for Seth.
In late-1963, as part of her research for a book on ESP, Roberts, who was then thirty-five, started experimenting with an Ouija board. Her husband, Robert Butts, took part in these activities. Before long, they began to receive coherent messages from a male personality who later identified himself as Seth. Before long, Roberts began to hear Seth’s voice inside her head. She then developed into a medium, regularly going into a trance state in which Seth would allegedly speak through her. Over the years, with Butts acting as stenographer, Seth’s deranged philosophical and spiritual ramblings were written down and compiled in book, after book, after book…
However, some of this material was written automatically, whereby Roberts would enter a trance state and let her hand “take over.” Seth described himself as an “energy personality essence no longer in physical form.” He claimed, moreover, that he existed independently of Robert’s subconscious (or ‘unconscious’, as the two words basically have the same definition).

Hypnosis and the Theories of Thomas Jay Hudson

In the early-1880s, the subject of hypnosis attained a certain degree of scientific acceptance, and was being employed by leading psychologists to investigate the realm of the unconscious. After witnessing a remarkable display of hypnosis, conducted by the famous Professor Carpenter, a Detroit newspaper editor named Thomas Jay Hudson decided to formulate his own theories about such matters, later writing an influential book on the subject called The Law of Psychic Phenomena (1893). (By ‘psychic’ he means psychological.)
The hypnosis presentation conducted by Carpenter, which so impressed Hudson, took place in Washington DC. One of the participants, a college graduate identified only as ‘C’, was placed under hypnosis and made to believe that he was in the presence of Socrate’s spirit, which he, but nobody else, was able to see. He was also told that Socrates would answer any question he desired. C and the imaginary Socrates then began to have a conversation, with C repeating everything ‘Socrates’ said, so that Carpenter and the audience could hear it. Apparently their conversation went on for two hours, and the answers ‘Socrates’ gave were so plausible and impressive that some members of the audience were firmly convinced of his being there in spirit form.
C was then introduced to the ‘spirits’ of far more modern philosophers, and again, the conversations that took place left the audience spellbound. Each ‘philosopher’ he talked to had their own distinct style of speaking. The language they used, moreover, was also distinct, as were the comments they made. It should also be mentioned that the ideas and opinions they expressed were far different to those which C possessed. Had the entire discourse been printed word for word, says Hudson, it would have “former one of the grandest and most coherent systems of spiritual philosophy ever conceived by the brain of man.”
There were, it turns out, a small number of spiritualists in the audience, some of whom believed that the presence of spirits could explain what they had witnessed. It’s fair to assume, however, that some of them began to question this notion when Carpenter managed to invoke the ‘spirit’ of a talking philosophical pig, which proved to be something of an expert on the Hindu doctrine of reincarnation.
In an attempt to explain hypnosis and other phenomena of this nature – including genius, insanity and even the miracles of Jesus – Hudson formulated the theory that man has two minds, the subjective and the objective. The objective mind, which is practical in nature, allows us to function effectively in the real world. It operates, moreover, through the medium of the five senses.
The subjective mind, on the other hand, is non-practical in nature, and allows us to deal with our inner problems. It prefers to use intuition, and is highly suggestible. “It is the seat of the emotions, and the storehouse of memory,” explains Hudson. “It preforms its highest functions when the objective senses are in abeyance. In a word, it is that intelligence which makes itself manifest in a hypnotic subject when he is in a state of somnambulism.”
During hypnosis, says Hudson, the objective mind – the ‘you’ – is put to rest, allowing the subjective mind, which is a “separate and distinct entity,” to take charge of the brain and body. According to Hudson, when in control, the highly intuitive – in fact, psychic – subjective mind is able to perform all sorts of remarkable, almost supernatural, feats. Hudson knew of cases where hypnotised subjects, who had their eyes closed, were able to read a newspaper held by someone on the opposite side of the room. He had also heard stories of people, who, under hypnosis, were able to speak foreign languages they had never consciously learnt, later discovering that they had been exposed to the languages in early childhood, and had therefore managed to ‘absorb’ them unconsciously.
If one were to compare Gooch’s theories with Hudson’s, they would obviously say that the objective mind is the same as the conscious, and the subjective mind is the same as the unconscious.

Automatic Writing

As explained in his book The Paranormal, Gooch not only developed mediumistic powers, he also developed the ability to write automatically. “After only one or two attempts my hand began to write vigorously and fluently,” he explains. To be successful in this endeavour, he says, one must be totally relaxed and in an environment free of distractions, paying as little attention to one’s “writing hand” as possible. “After a few sessions, perhaps even in the first, the hand will begin to twitch occasionally of itself. Marks and scribbles may be made. In time many people can progress to a hand that writes coherently by itself.”
After much experimentation with automatic writing, Gooch reached the conclusion that his unconscious mind was producing the results. The types of ‘personalities’ that expressed themselves on paper, he says, were many and varied. He describes some of their comments as solemn and soulful. Others, he says, were “naughty remarks of the ‘impish spirit’. And occasionally the cursing and filth of the true demon or devil.”
Gooch soon discovered that, simply by using mental commands, he was able to alter the tone and style of the material he wrote automatically. This process, he insists, was purely mental, in that no amount of deliberate, physical force was used. “I could also lead the conversation in any direction I chose,” he explains. “I could easily catch out the communicant by causing him or her to contradict something said earlier.”
In The Origins of Psychic Phenomena, Gooch provides further evidence to suggest that one’s own unconscious mind is able to produce automatic writing. He mentions the work of a physician named Dr. Anita Mühl of the St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Washington, who used automatic writing as a tool to treat hospitalised neurotics and psychotics. Mühl discovered that the material her patients wrote automatically – which consisted mainly of short poems, short stories, drawings and musical compositions – often contained elements that illuminated the problems they suffered from. She found, moreover, that discussing and exploring this material with her patients was of considerable therapeutic value.
Mühl’s patients wrote in a variety of different ways, some of which were very odd indeed; as she explains in her own words: “The subject may display a sudden facility for using the opposite hand or for using both together and may even produce two personalities at once, each making use of a different hand and each representing a different sex. He may write mirrorwise with either or both hands and he may write backwards correctly and speedily…”
One of Mühl’s patients, a woman “of such refinement and charming manner,” who suffered from various sexual difficulties, produced automatic writing that contained “the most obscene and filthy language.” Analysis of this material revealed that the patient had been repeatedly sexually assaulted as a child, and that this was the cause of her problems. Although she had only the vaguest recollections of these humiliating and distressing incidents, her unconscious mind had recorded it all in great detail.

A Brief Note on the Poltergeist

No article on the paranormal abilities of the unconscious mind would be complete without mentioning the poltergeist. Most experts on the poltergeist agree that these dramatic, frightening and often violent manifestations are created by the unconscious mind of a particular person around whom the disturbances take place. This individual – sometimes called the agent or focus – is often psychologically disturbed in some way. Many well-documented cases exist where the focus was a pubescent child.
According to the parapsychologist Scott Rogo in his book The Poltergeist Experience, poltergeist disturbances occur when an individual creates a “PK-being from his inner guilt, hate and repression, which takes on a life of its own…” This “PK-being,” he says, “grows in force until it completely severs itself from the will or personality that gave it birth.” The disturbances cease, he says, once the PK-being has expended all its energy.

The Cerebellum as the Unconscious

So where in our brains is the unconscious located? After all, the cerebral cortex, the outer layers of the two hemispheres of the cerebrum, is widely considered to be the general, physical location of the conscious mind, as many of the functions it performs are those which take place in a fully awake state of consciousness.
Gooch proposes that the cerebellum – or “little brain” – is the physical seat of the unconscious mind. He points out, for instance, that strong evidence exists to suggest that the cerebellum is directly responsible for the function of dreaming. He also points out that it is the headquarters of the autonomic nervous system, while the cerebrum – the conscious mind – is the headquarters of the central nervous system (CNS). Women, he says, who are generally more psychic than men, have larger cerebella than men, as confirmed by brain imaging techniques.

Exploring the Realm of the Unconscious

The fact that we dream, says Gooch, proves that we inhabit not one universe, but two – the world of the conscious, and the world of the unconscious. The latter of which – the “inner alternative world of the mind” – is open to extensive exploration, he says. Some people, including Gooch, reach it by sustaining a hypnopompic state, remaining in a semi-conscious condition – the one that precedes complete wakefulness (as opposed to the one that precedes sleep, knows as a hypnagogic state).
Gooch says the “inner universe” can take on a variety of different forms, such as that of a town – with streets shops, cafes and people – or that of a beautiful countryside. In this universe, he says, one is able to talk to people, and even have sex. “The sex is not just as good as, but better than that obtained in the real world, because one’s own personal archetypal wishes and fantasies may be, and often are, lived out,” he explains.
Gooch believes that the unconscious mind manifests paranormal phenomena in response to being repressed. In a “balanced” individual, he says, the two minds exist in harmony. But when an imbalance occurs, when the unconscious mind is not given its due, there is an externalisation of latent energies. It is then that we are haunted by creatures and forces from the mysterious universe of our other mind.


Richard S. Broughton, Parapsychology – The Controversial Science (Ballantine Books, US, 1991)
Stan Gooch, The Paranormal (Wildwood House Ltd., UK, London, 1978)
Stan Gooch, The Origins of Psychic Phenomena (Rider & Co, UK, 1984)
Brian Inglis, Trance – A Natural History of Altered States of Mind (Grafton Books, UK, 1989)
D. Scott Rogo, The Poltergeist Experience – Investigations Into Ghostly Phenomena (Penguin Books Ltd., Middlesex, England, 1979)
Colin Wilson, Afterlife (The Leisure Circle Ltd., UK, 1985)
Colin Wilson, Beyond the Occult (Caxton Editions, London, UK, 1988)


LOUIS PROUD, an aspiring writer, whose interests include Western occultism, parapsychology and ufology, has written numerous articles on these and other unconventional topics. He can be contacted atlouisproud2000@yahoo.com.au. His website is http://paranormal-sleep-paralysis.tripod.com.
The above article appeared in New Dawn No. 105 (Nov-Dec 2007).

Water Fluoridation: Facts & Fallacies

Water Fluoridation: Facts & Fallacies


Water fluoridation has been around for just over 60 years and whilst the practice has become widespread, particularly in Western nations, it’s always been a controversial and often passionately argued one.
My formative moment in the fluoride ‘debate’, one that cathartically shunted me into the anti-fluoride lobby’s arms, came many years ago when I was sitting in a dentist’s chair in Cambridge, UK.
I knew very little about fluoride at the time, so it was with an open mind and calm disposition that I opened my mouth in order for my dentist to pour in some fluoride solution which he said would give my teeth a strong protective coating. The problems started immediately after having dispensed the liquid into my mouth when he stammered, “…but don’t whatever you do swallow it!” “Why?” I gurgled, “Because it’s poisonous and could kill you,” came his reply.
The swill, which was supposed to have lasted about one minute actually lasted about 10 seconds and ended up all over my lap and the surgery floor. The incident was funny. We laughed about it at the time, but I had learned something new and very disturbing about fluoride that has remained with me. It matured into an understanding and appreciation of matters concerning fluoride that, whether you have any concerns about ingesting this chemical or not, I feel compelled to share with you.
The pro-fluoridation lobby, notably the dental and medical associations in several countries, together with armies of practitioners tethered to them, will tell you that fluoride is a naturally occurring substance,1 that it is safe and effective at preventing tooth decay when used in designated dosages, and that its use is strongly supported by credible scientific evidence. It has, they say, improved the quality of life and well being of millions of people around the world for decades.
They will also say that because it is generally added to water supplies at less than 1 part per million, that it is extremely safe, but that ‘if’ young children get too much fluoride they may develop a condition called dental fluorosis which is mostly detectable by dentists and involves a mild discolouration of teeth enamel. All sounds pretty harmless and reassuring don’t you think?
However, if you were to take a quick peek at even a small amount of the arguments that are levied against the use of fluoride by the anti-fluoride lobbyists, you might be in for a nasty, albeit rather compelling, surprise.
Let me just pick off a few of them and in no particular order.
On the history of fluoridation, despite what is written on the Australian Dental Association’s website2 – which states that interest began in the US more than 100 years ago when a Colorado dentist noticed that some of his patients were displaying mottled yet decay free teeth which he deducted was due to their drinking of local spring water that was naturally high in fluoride – the real and well documented origins of water fluoridation actually sprang from a pre-emptive public relations campaign commissioned by US military interests.3 They were attempting to stave off litigation arising out of the Manhattan Project, the one that was set up to produce the world’s first atomic bomb.
Apparently atomic bomb production required enormous amounts of fluoride, which inevitably resulted in large amounts of fluoridated (not radioactive) effluent spewing out over the US countryside. People, animals and crops that were downwind began to get diseased causing the US government to become concerned (for its precious bomb project, not the people who were sick).
For the US, with plans to use the A-Bomb as a defensive deterrent after WWII, it was a strategic imperative that bomb production be allowed to continue without the threat of massive class actions hanging over it, and that therefore the exposure of humans to ‘low’ levels of atmospheric fluoride be demonstrated to be biologically safe.
Human studies developed and administered by institutions associated with the A-Bomb project were mainly focused on the town of Newburgh,4 New York from 1946-56 where the effects on health were observed following the addition of fluoride to the town’s drinking water supplies.
Whilst the results of the research were heavily censored, the intended purpose of the findings had been to serve as evidence in favour of the safety of continued low, long term exposure of humans to fluoride.5
The litigants, mainly farmers, were bought off and the results of the research will therefore probably never be dragged into the public spotlight. However, following incidental observations made during the water fluoridation research program, it was floated by one of the team leaders that it “might help to counteract a local fear of fluoride… through lectures on… fluoride toxicology and perhaps the usefulness of fluoride in tooth health.”6
The rest is history! That the development of water fluoridation was motivated by a benevolent move to prevent dental caries was almost a total myth and it gets a lot worse than that.
Fluoride production increased significantly since the immediate post-war years and is now a toxic by-product of the chemical industry that is produced in massive quantities. Most of the early research presented to support the notion that fluoride is both safe and effective for use in the prevention of tooth decay was conducted or funded by the very same interests7 that stood to benefit most from its use in the public domain. It was also done when there was a lot less environmental fluoride around too.
That fluoride is toxic and dangerously so is not in doubt or contention, but the fact that it is poured into the water supply of any local council that so wishes to do so is nothing short of criminal, given the facts that are now available.
Most European countries including Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Holland and the whole of Scandinavia, have (in many cases after having embraced it) now rejected water fluoridation outright.8 As of today Europe is reportedly 90%+ free9 of fluoridated water. Indeed there have never been any transparently conducted scientific studies anywhere in the world,10 including Australia, that unequivocally demonstrated the safety of water fluoridation on human health, most of the research having been focused on the chemical’s dubious impact on oral health.
Fluoride is a cumulative toxin, it gets stored mostly in bone tissue and has now found its way into dental products, food, soft drinks, polluted air and in fact it’s just about in anything manufactured using treated mains water.
Although it varies from place to place, it is added to water in concentrations of around 1 part per million, a level deemed safe,11 yet is added to toothpaste products in concentrations as high as 1,500 p.p.m., easily enough to kill a small child if it swallowed a whole tube.
Fluoride does indeed occur in nature in trace amounts, but the fluoride that we have in our water supplies is not the same thing at all. What we put into our mains water is, without exception, an industrial toxic waste product. Neither is fluoride in any of its forms essential for good nutrition.12 Tooth decay (contrary to what is implied by the likes of the Australian Dental Association and the Australian Medical Association) is not a symptom of fluoride deficiency. There is no such thing.
The forms of fluoride placed into our water systems and then into our bodies are usually calcium fluoride, sodium fluoride or hydrofluorosilicic acid. They are all either industrial or pharmaceutical grades of fluoride compounds which, in the instance of the latter, is scraped from the inside of smokestack scrubbers during the production of phosphate fertilisers. If it were not dumped into our drinking water it would be considered a highly dangerous and toxic chemical to be disposed of at considerable expense and with significant health and safety precautions. Yet we happily consume it when we’re told to.
Another way of looking at water fluoridation is as a form of forced mass medication not by doctors, but, effectively by dentists. We should remember that these are the same body of professionals who are still lodging tons of mercury in our mouths each year in the form of amalgam fillings. If I lived in an area where 25% of people suffered from headaches I’d be unhappy, to put it mildly, if my local council put paracetamol in my water supply as a preventive measure and on the advice of some doctor. I fail to see the difference with what they are doing with fluoride (except that fluoride is a toxic waste and not an approved medicine).
If you absolutely do not want to take fluoride when it’s forced on you the only way to resist is to purchase a water filter that is good enough to filter the stuff out. Even if you did this, what about the water you bath and shower in, or those who live in places too small to accommodate an extra tank, or in institutions where you just don’t get the choice. It’s sometimes simply impossible to take evasive action.
With mass medication there is no such thing as a safe nominated dose. Even if we did need extra fluoride, just like everything else in this world everyone’s needs are totally individual, as are indeed our levels of exposure to fluoride natural and otherwise. We’d do well to remember that early research into fluoride was done before it was widely dispersed into the atmosphere, our food, drinks and personal care products.
Further, there are those amongst us who tend to drink more than others, sportspeople, the sick or the very young. What level of choice do they get if they don’t want to overdose on fluoride? Water fluoridation will give you the same dose per litre whether you drink a lot of water or not.
I don’t trust any authority when, as the Australian Dental Association (ADA) does, it continues to claim that the side effects of fluoridation are limited to fluorosis13 and little else. Fluorosis is, in itself, evidence of excessive ingestion of fluoride and shouldn’t be tolerated at all – period. In order for the ADA to say this with any integrity and honesty it has to be ignoring, at the public’s expense, a large body of accumulating evidence that strongly indicates fluoride is neither as effective, nor as safe as it was once cracked up to be.
New research indicates that the benefits of fluoride are equivalent to an average difference of less than one filling in baby teeth of younger children and “no significant difference” in the permanent teeth of older children,14 yet the pro-lobbyists are still claiming the outdated figure of between a 15-25% reduction in tooth caries in fluoridated areas! They’re having us on!
Perhaps more to the point, the reduction in dental caries that we have seen (credit for which has been claimed by the pro-lobby) were in line with similar reductions in areas that were not fluoridated. In fact in fluoridated areas that were monitored after they had ceased fluoridation caries reduction was seen to peak immediately after cessation.15
Other research tells us that for fluoride to be effective as a preventive measure against tooth decay it has to be used topically.16 This means that forced ingestion via the water supply is ineffective. The same research also indicates that fluoride works least well down among the crevasses and fissures of the teeth, where most decay occurs anyway.
Coming closer to home and Australian research has recently debunked the myth that Australians living in fluoridated areas have healthier teeth and significantly lower levels of tooth decay than the rest of the nation. They don’t.
Recent claims17 by the Queensland government that Townsville (fluoridated for 50 years or more) has 65% less decay is based on data from 1991 (!) and relates to a tiny 0.2% of a single tooth surface (there are 128 tooth surfaces in the average fully grown adult mouth). Therefore the claims and many others that it is using to support fluoridation, and the same goes for every other state, are misleading and unjustified.
More recent surveys done between 2000-2002 clearly show that Townsville children have more decay in their permanent teeth than children in North Brisbane, the Gold Coast and several other Queensland Health Districts that do not have water fluoridation. Townsville, for all its decades of fluoridation, is smack in the middle, no better and no worse than any other area of Queensland. Do these sorts of results justify the continued dumping of a toxic waste into our drinking water?
As the award-winning investigative reporter Christopher Bryson says in his book The Fluoride Conspiracy, “Fluoride science is corporate science, fluoride science is DDT science, it’s asbestos science, its tobacco science.”
It’s happened in Europe, but when are our politicians going to stop this fluoride nonsense here in Australia?
2006 was a good year for anti-fluoride lobbies. The National Research Council in the US, a highly reputable scientific organisation, issued a report called ‘Fluoride in Drinking Water: A Scientific Review of EPA’s Standards’.18 It is a lengthy report that was not commissioned to judge the safety or benefits of water fluoridation per se, but rather to assess the safety of the “maximum contaminant level goal,” which incidentally the report recommended should be lowered.
But the report, despite keeping rigidly to the initial brief, gave strong support to the notion that US citizens are being constantly over-dosed with harmful levels of fluoride and that whilst bones and teeth were most affected, these were not the sole targets of the report’s concern.
The report threw up a growing body of research linking fluoride exposure to crippling skeletal fluorosis (similar in effect to arthritis), bone fracture, joint pain and damaged teeth. It also pointed to fluoride’s disruption of the nervous and endocrine (hormone) systems with specific focus on the brain, the thyroid and the pineal glands. There is also evidence linking fluoride to behavioural disorders, clinical depression, dementia, lowered levels of I.Q. and migraines, and finally to osteosarcoma (a type of bone cancer that particularly affects young males).
So, bad news is good news, but does it make you feel like taking a glass of tap water with added fluoride, or what? Small wonder then that there is this world wide phenomenon whereby whenever there is a publicised public debate on the merits or otherwise of the fluoridation of water, no one from the pro-lobby ever shows up.
By way of reinforcing the reasons why this is so, it’s worth remembering that back in 1965 when fluoridation was well underway in the US, it was Joseph Flanagan of the American Medical Association which openly endorsed the use of fluoride for dental caries prevention. He wrote:
“The AMA is not prepared to state that ‘no harm will be done to any person by water fluoridation’. The AMA has not carried out any research work, either long-term or short-term, regarding the possibility of any side-effects.”19
Which brings me to the extraordinary turn of events that appears to be taking place in Queensland at the time of writing.
Given all the evidence currently available which throws such extreme doubt and serious concerns on the practice of water fluoridation, the State government in Queensland has chosen 2008 to go open slather on water fluoridation.20
Up until now Queenslanders had been given a choice on whether or not to fluoridate its local water supplies. Only 5% of Queensland has elected to do so, although some previously had done so and subsequently discontinued the practice. Yet according to the latest National Children’s Dental Survey (published in Dec. 2007),21 75.1% of Queensland children aged 5-12 years have no decayed teeth. This compares with figures of 76.9% for the national average and 72.9% and 79.7% in the ACT and South Australia respectively (both fluoridated and the ACT 100%). So why the sudden and urgent need to fluoridate Queensland’s water supply?
This provides clear and irrefutable proof that fluoridation neither creates good dental health, nor performs any better at doing so than areas that do not have water fluoridation.
No one is saying there is no problem with standards of dental health and that something really ought to be done about it. The key issue is that overwhelmingly water fluoridation is not the answer, and when it is mistakenly introduced as the answer it presents a plethora of serious new risks to the health of the people who drink it. The ADA doesn’t believe these risks exist and if you don’t believe me go and have a look at the FAQ section of its website.22
Take any region of Australia whether it is fluoridated or not and compare the figures. The statistics,23 when carefully and thoroughly studied, strongly suggest that fluoridation makes only insignificant improvements to dental health in the early years (in all likelihood only because one of the effects of fluoride is to delay the eruption of first teeth) and none at all once kids reach 12 years or so. After drinking fluoridated water for 12 years, Townsville children have the same or more decay as children who never consumed fluoridated water!
It isn’t all about the likes of Townsville either. Some of the other problems that water fluoridation hasn’t solved are: a) nursing bottle tooth decay, a problem affecting all areas in Australia, b) lower income groups which tend to have higher levels of tooth decay, yet still drink the same water as higher income groups, c) rural and remote areas where tooth decay is reportedly consistently worse, and finally d) Aboriginal and Islander communities where oral health has declined to levels well below the national average and have been headed in that direction ever since they stopped eating traditional, healthy diets.
So where is all this going? Well, if Queensland is anything to go by, back to the dark ages. Will someone please tell the Queensland government this is not a good time to take the highly questionable step of forcing water fluoridation onto the rest of the State. It flies directly in the face of common sense, current wisdom, people’s rights and is not in the best interests of everyone’s long term health.
As a spokesperson for Queenslanders Against Water Fluoridation recently articulated in an open letter to State Premier Anna Bligh,24 “If fluoride ingested water made a real difference to decay, the longer it was consumed, the more difference there would be.”
So here, for what it is worth, are a few humble suggestions for the way forward from here. My first and number one priority would be to stop water fluoridation now. The evidence is very much against it and has already convinced most of Western Europe.
My second would be that if you don’t accept the first point, then before anyone with sufficient power and totally lacking an enquiring mind makes a decision that could make us all ill, would someone please fund some good, objective and independent research so that the matter can once and for all be decided.
Thirdly, whilst I’m not sure where everybody else stands on this issue, if you are quietly and rock solidly convinced that you as an individual need fluoride, especially if you have any affiliation with the ADA, then be my guest and go buy yourself a tube of fluoride toothpaste, but remember to spit it out when you’ve done brushing your teeth as it’s not too good for you if you swallow it.
Finally, and just in case the whole nasty issue of poor dental health could even remotely have anything to do with poor diet, nutrition and generally poor standards of personal oral hygiene, perhaps we might be better off investing some money on trying to improve these things.
The ADA can rubbish the anti-fluoridation lobby as unscientific all it likes, but for me I think that the US National Research Council in its 2006 report; theLancet,25 one of the medical world’s most pre-eminent journals, which published an article on fluoride as an emerging neurotoxin; Chinese studies linking fluoride to lowered I.Q.26Cancer, Causes & Control journal which linked osteosarcoma to water fluoridation27; the American Dental Association & Centre for Disease Control 2006 advising that infants under 12 months old not consume fluoridated water28; should all be given bravery awards for finally providing us with good evidence that links adverse health impacts to the practice of water fluoridation.
Don’t expect the chemical industry to stop producing fluoride any time soon either. It’s a big industry and would probably come to a grinding halt if they found they couldn’t produce it any more. But please, can we make them take it away and store it somewhere safe at their own expense and not at ours?
Ah well, these are just some thoughts and only mine at that!


1. www.health.qld.gov.au/fluoride/default.asp
2. Ibid.
3. Australian Fluoridation News, ‘The Authentic Original History of Fluoridation’ by Glen S.R. Walker, Sept/Oct 2007, p.2.
4. Ibid., p.6.
5. Ibid., p.7.
6. ‘Declassified documents, studies showing lower IQ bolster voter rejection of fluoridation’,Business Wire, 29 November 1996, www.mind-trek.com/arti-int/961202d.txt
7. Australian Fluoridation News, ‘The Authentic Original History of Fluoridation’ by Glen S.R. Walker, Sept/Oct 2007, p.7.
8. www.whocollab.od.mah.se/euro.html
9. Ibid.
10. ‘Scientists and Professionals Lash Out Against Water Fluoridation’ by Adam Miller, www.naturalnews.com/022008.html
11. www.health.qld.gov.au/fluoride/q_and_a.asp
12. ‘50 Reasons to Oppose Fluoridation’ by Paul Connett, Ph.D Prof. of Chemistry, St. Lawrence University, NY, USA, www.fluoridealert.org/50-reasons.htm
13. www.health.qld.gov.au/fluoride/q_and_a.asp
14. ‘Caries Experience Among Children in Fluoridated Townsville and Unfluoridated Brisbane’, by Gary D. Slale; John Spencer; Michael J Davies; Judy F. Stewart, Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health 1996 Dec; 20(6): 623-9.
15. Olsson ’79; Retief ’79; Mann ’87 & ’90; Steelink ’92; Diesendorf ’86 and Colquhoun ’97, www.fluorideawareballarat.com/what_the_experts_say.htm
16. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC ’99, 2001); http://bmj.bmjjournals.com/cgi/content/full/321/7265/904/a
17. Water Fluoridation & Children’s Dental Health. The Child Dental Health Survey. Aust. 2002.
18. National Research Council ‘Fluoride in Drinking Water: A Scientific Review of EPA’s Standards’, 2006, www.fluoridealert.org/health/epa/nrc/
19. Letter dated 13.5.1965, J.E. Flanagan Jnr. (Assist.Dir. Dept. of Environmental Health, USA).
20. www.health.qld.gov.au/fluoride/whats_new.asp
21. National Children’s Dental Survey, Australia, published 17 December 2007.
22. www.fluoridationqld.com
23. National Children’s Dental Survey, Australia, published 17 December 2007 & Public Water Fluoridation & Dental Health in NSW (Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health 2005. Vol. 9 No.5).
24. www.gawf.org
25. ‘Developmental Neurotoxicity in Industrial Chemicals’, Lancet 368.
26. Wang ’97; Guan ’98; Varner ’98; Zhang’99; Lu 2000; Shao 2000; Sun 2000; Bhatnagar 2002; Chen 2002
27. Bassin B; Wypi D; David RB; ‘Age Specific Fluoride Exposure in Drinking Water and Osteosarcoma (US), 2006.
28. www.ada.org/prof/resources/pubs/adanews/adanewsarticle.asp?articleid=2212
HUW GRIFFITHS is a British-born naturopath who came to Australia in the early ‘90’s. His interest and passion for natural and traditional health therapies was developed and nurtured alongside an international career in marketing and communications.
The above article appeared in New Dawn No. 107 (Mar-Apr 2008).

The “Bloody” Baron von Ungern-Sternberg: Madman or Mystic?

The “Bloody” Baron von Ungern-Sternberg: Madman or Mystic?

Ungern-von-sternbergBy DR. RICHARD SPENCE

My name is surrounded with such hate and fear that no one can judge what is true and what is false, what is history, and what is myth.1 Baron Roman Fedorovich von Ungern-Sternberg, 1921
In Mongolia, there was a legend of the warrior prince, Beltis-Van. Noted for his ferocity and cruelty, he spilled “floods of human blood before he found his death in the mountains of Uliasutay.”2 His slayers interred the corpses of the Prince and his followers deep in earth, covered the graves with heavy stones, and added “incantations and exorcism lest their spirits again break out, carrying death and destruction.” These measures, it was prophesied, would bind the terrible spirits until human blood once more fell upon the site.
In early 1921, so the story goes, “Russians came and committed murders nearby the dreadful tombs, staining them with blood.”3 To some, this explained what followed.
At almost the same instant, a new warlord appeared on the scene, and for the next six months he spread death and terror across the steppes and mountains of Mongolia and even into adjoining regions of Siberia. Among the Mongols he became known as theTsagan Burkhan, the incarnate “God of War.”4
Later, the Dalai Lama XIII proclaimed him a manifestation of the “wrathful deity” Mahakala, defender of the Buddhist faith.5 Historically, the same individual is best known as the “Mad Baron” or the “Bloody Baron.” His detractors are not shy about calling him a murderous bandit or an outright psychopath.
The man in question is the Baron Roman Fedorovich von Ungern-Sternberg. His exploits can be only briefly sketched here. In the wake of the Russian Revolution, Baron Ungern found himself in eastern Siberia where he aligned himself with the anti-Bolshevik “White” movement. However, his extreme monarchist sentiments and independent ways made him a loose cannon in that camp.
In 1920, he led his “Asiatic Mounted Division,” a rag-tag collection of Russian, Mongol, Tatar and other troops, into the wilds of Mongolia, a land seething with unrest against Chinese occupation. Rallying Mongols to his banner, in early February 1921 Ungern scored a seemingly miraculous victory by wresting control of the Mongol capital, Urga (today Ulan Bator), from a large Chinese garrison. He then restored the Mongols’ spiritual and temporal leader, the “Living Buddha” Jebtsundamba Khutukhtu Bogdo Gegen, or, more simply, Bodgo Khan and established himself as warlord over Outer Mongolia and the scattered White Russian detachments that had taken refuge there.
Surrounding himself with an inner circle of murderous sycophants and fortune-tellers, he instituted a reign of terror that claimed as victims Jews, real or suspected Reds, and hundreds of others who somehow aroused the Baron’s wrath or suspicion.6 In June of the same year, he launched an ill-fated invasion of Soviet Siberia which ended with his capture by the Red Army and his subsequent trial and execution on 17 September.
This article focuses on Baron Ungern’s real and alleged mysticism and its influence on his actions. A key question is whether his perceived “madness,” in whole or in part, was a misreading of his devotion to esoteric Buddhist, and other, beliefs.

Background and Early Years

While the Baron spent most of his life in the service of the Romanovs, he was almost entirely German by blood. He entered the world as Robert Nicholaus Maximilian von Ungern-Sternberg on 10 January 1886 (new style) in Graz, Austria. In Russian-ruled Estonia, his father, Teodor Leonard Rudolf von Ungern-Sternberg, enrolled his son in the Tsar’s nobility as Roman Fedorovich. The Ungern-Sternbergs were an old and illustrious family. The Baron dated his line back at least a thousand years and boasted to his Bolshevik captors that seventy-two of his ancestors had given their lives in Russia’s many wars.7
There is a suggestion of mental instability, even madness, in his immediate line. For instance, one late 18th century ancestor, Freiherr Otto Reinhold Ludwig von Ungern-Sternberg, earned infamy as a ship-wrecker and murderer who died in Siberian exile.8 Roman’s own father had a reputation as a “bad man” whose violence and cruelty led to divorce and a ban on him having any “influence” on his children.9
As regards Roman von Ungern-Sternberg’s mental state, obviously a diagnosis of insanity can be made only after examination by a psychiatrist, something impossible in this case.10 However, Dmitry Pershin, an eye-witness who took a somewhat positive view of the Baron, still felt that Ungern suffered from a “psychotic abnormality” which made him lose his temper at the “least provocation,” often with terrifying result.11
Later stories claimed that Roman’s aberrant behaviour was the result of a sabre cut to his head, but he manifested rebellious, violent tendencies much earlier. His school days were marked by constant problems; at the elite Naval Cadet Corps, he racked-up no less than twenty-five disciplinary charges before withdrawing in the face of certain expulsion.12 His education left him with a life-long aversion to “thinking” which he equated with “cowardice.”13
As a junior officer before and during World War I, he established a reputation as a violent troublemaker with a penchant for hard-drinking. However, he also earned medals for wounds and reckless bravery. In the words of one superior, the young Baron was a “warrior by temperament,” who “lived for war” and adhered to his own set of “elemental laws.”14 The latter were influenced by an interest in mysticism and the occult, especially of the Eastern variety.

The Baron as Mystic Warrior

Just when and where this interest began is uncertain. Ungern’s personal brand of faith, if it was Buddhism at all, adhered to the mystical Tibetan Vajrayana or Tantric sect. Young Roman got his first taste of the East as an infantryman during the Russo-Japanese War, and he spent 1908 to 1914 as a Cossack officer in Siberia and Mongolia. It was then, he later claimed, that he formed an “Order of Military Buddhists” to serve the Tsar and fight against the evils of revolution. The rules of his Order included celibacy and the “limitless use of alcohol, hashish and opium.”15 The latter was to help initiates overcome their “physical nature” through excess, but as the Baron confessed, it did not work quite as he had planned. Later, in Mongolia, he enforced a strict ban on drink. Still, he asserted, he gathered “three hundred men, bold and ferocious,” and some who did not perish in the fighting against Germany and the Bolsheviks were still with him in 1921.
Ungern resigned his regular commission at the end of 1913. Alone, he headed into the vastness of Outer Mongolia which had proclaimed independence from China. By one account, he rose to command the cavalry forces of the fledgling Mongolian Army, while another holds that he joined the marauding band of the bloodthirsty anti-Chinese rebel, Ja Lama. At some point, Ungern ended up in the western Mongolian town of Kobdo (Khovd) as a member of the guard of the local Russian consulate.
One of his comrades recollected that “when one observed Ungern, one felt himself carried back to the Middle Ages…; [he was] a throwback to his crusader ancestors, with the same thirst for war and the same belief in the supernatural.”16 Another recalled that he displayed “a great interest in Buddhism,” learned Mongolian and took to frequenting lama fortune-tellers.17 According to Dmitri Aloishin, a later, unwilling member of the Baron’s army, Ungern’s “Buddhist teachers taught him about reincarnation, and he firmly believed that in killing feeble people he only did them good, as they would be stronger beings in the next life.”18
The parallels between aforementioned Ja Lama and the Baron seem too close to be mere coincidence. Also known as the “Lama with a Mauser,” Ja Lama briefly made himself master of western Mongolia. Another “militant Buddhist,” he earned a fearsome reputation for ripping out the hearts of unfortunate captives and offering them up in skull-shaped bowls as bali (sacrifice) to the “Tibetan terror gods.”19 One such “Tantric” ritual slaughter occurred in Kobdo in the summer of 1912, just before Ungern arrived on the scene. In February 1914, the Russian consul in Kobdo arrested Ja Lama and Cossack troops, possibly including Ungern, and escorted the captive to exile in Russia. Did Ja Lama become a role model for the Baron, or even a religious inspiration?
A Tibetan angle figures prominently in Ungern’s subsequent Mongolian escapade. The Living Buddha was himself a son of the Land of Eternal Snows, and a small Tibetan community dwelled in Urga. A hundred or so of these men formed a specialsotnia (squadron) in the Baron’s forces and played a critical part in the assault on Urga by snatching the Bogdo from under the noses of his Chinese guards. The Chinese and Mongols were convinced that the feat had been accomplished through sorcery. These Tibetans maintained a distance from the rest of the Baron’s army; apparently others were put off by their habit of dining out of bowls made from gilded human skulls, perhaps the same sort of vessels used in Ja Lama’s sacrificial rites.
The Tibetan nexus also provided the Baron with a link to Lhasa and the Dalai Lama, to whom he addressed personal letters. After his power in Mongolia collapsed, Ungern dreamed of leading the remnants of his division to far-off Tibet and putting himself at the service of the Buddhist holy man.20 The prospect of this gruelling, and potentially suicidal, trek was the final straw in provoking mutiny against the Baron.
Also serving under Ungern in his Mongolian adventure were fifty or so Japanese soldiers. This has fuelled accusations that he was a cat’s paw of Japanese imperialism. While it is clear that the Japanese military monitored the Baron’s activities and thought he might be useful, it is equally evident that they had no real control over him. Still, his tiny Japanese contingent received better rations and the unique privilege of consuming alcohol.21 Japanese military records suggest that the men were “mostly petty adventurers” acting on their own accord, but that is far from clear.22 Their commander, a Major or Captain Suzuki, had met the Baron in 1919 at a “Pan-Mongol Congress” and the pair maintained a special and secretive friendship.
An intriguing possibility is that Suzuki was not an emissary of the Mikado’s Army but of one of the secret societies that permeated it, such as the Black Dragon Society or the even more secretive Green Dragon Society. The latter was based in a sect of esoteric Buddhism, and its Pan-Asiatic, Pan-Buddhist agenda meshed with Ungern’s own beliefs.23 The Baron felt that the West had lost its spiritual moorings and had entered a stage of moral and cultural disintegration. The Russian Revolution was but a manifestation of this advanced corruption. Only in the East, specifically in Buddhism, did he see a force capable of resisting this decay and restoring spiritual order in the West.

The Baron’s Lamas and Fortune-Tellers

Ungern was fascinated by all forms of divination. He allegedly carried a deck of Tarot cards with him, even in the heat of battle. As noted, in Kobdo he consorted with lama soothsayers and in Urga he surrounded himself with a small army of fortune-tellers (tsurukhaichi), sorcerers and shamans.24 Aloishin recalls that the Baron’s diviners were forever consulting the roasted shoulder blades of sheep, pouring over the cracks “to determine where the troops must be stationed, and how to advance against the enemy.”25 On other occasions, Ungern ordered his troops to stop “at various places in accordance with old Mongolian prophecies.”26
The Baron’s staff physician, Dr. N. M. Riabukhin, damned the fortune-tellers as “brazen, filthy, ignorant and bow-legged” and decried the fact that Ungern “never took any important step” without consulting them. The soothsayers convinced him that he was the incarnation of Tsagan Burkhan, the God of War. To White officer Boris Volkov, the Baron’s dependency on these types seemed proof of the “moronic mentality of the degenerate who imagined himself the saviour of Russia.”27
Prior to his advance in Red Siberia, Ungern spent 20,000 precious Mexican dollars to hire thousands of lamas to “perform for him elaborate services in the temples and to call to his assistance all their mystic powers.”28 One drugged shamaness’s prediction of the Baron’s approaching doom proved eerily accurate, and helped convince him to undertake the disastrous invasion.29 The fortune-telling lamas failed him when they counselled a two day delay in the attack on Troitskosavsk, a key border town.30 This gave the Reds opportunity to bring up reinforcements and repel the assault. Later, officers bribed a Buriat fortune-teller to change his predictions, which led Ungern to call-off further advance and order retreat to Mongolia.31
But if Ungern was influenced – and mislead – by the supernatural, he also knew how to use it to his advantage. Prior to his final attack on Urga, he dispatched fortune-tellers into the city where they “filled the Chinese soldiery with superstitious fear” by predicting his imminent arrival and spreading rumours that the White Baron was immune to bullets and could appear and disappear at will.32 He also ordered nightly bonfires set on the surrounding hills. His Mongol agents told the credulous Chinese that the fires were Ungern offering sacrifices to the spirits who would take their vengeance on the sons of China.33
One person struck early by the Baron’s peculiar nature was mystical philosopher Count Hermann Keyserling who knew Roman and his brother Constantin from childhood. Keyserling later regarded the Baron as “the most remarkable person I have ever had the good fortune to meet,” but also a mass of contradictions.34 He saw Ungern as one whose “nature was suspended… in the void between heaven and hell,” someone “capable of highest intuition and loving kindness” alongside “the most profound aptitude for the metaphysics of cruelty.”35 The Baron’s metaphysical ideas, Keyserling believed, were “closely related to those of the Tibetans and Hindus.”36 Keyserling was convinced that Roman possessed the occult power of “second sight” and “the faculty of prophecy.”
Keyserling was not the only one to come to such conclusions. Years later, fascist and occult philosopher Julius Evola opined that Baron Ungern possessed “supernormal faculties” including clairvoyance and the ability to “look into the souls” of others.37 Ferdynand Ossendowski claimed that he did exactly that at their initial meeting. “I have been in your soul and know all,” the Baron proclaimed, and Ossendowski’s life was secure.38
Much the same is repeated in the testimony of others who knew Ungern. Aloishin thought the Baron patently insane but also felt that he “possessed a dangerous power of reading people’s thoughts.”39 He recounts how Ungern would inspect recruits by staring into each man’s face, “hold that gaze for a few moments, and then bark: ‘To the army’; ‘Back to the cattle’; ‘Liquidate’.”40 Riabukhin mentions that on their first meeting “it was as though the Baron wanted to leap into my soul.”41 Another anonymous officer recounts that “Ungern looked at everyone with the eyes of a beast of prey,” and this instilled fear in all who met him.42 A Polish soldier in Mongol service, Alexander Alexandrowicz, accepted the Baron’s “second sight,” but believed that it was his “superior” intellect that helped him “size up any man in a few minutes.”43

The Mysterious Ferdynand Ossendowski

Arguably, no one did more to create the prevailing image of Baron Ungern than the above noted Polish writer Ferdynand Ossendowski. However, he is a far from an impeccable source. Prior to his encounter with the Baron, Ossendowski had a long history as spy, intriguer and purveyor of fraudulent documents. He almost certainly was an agent of the Tsarist secret police, theOkhrana. In 1917-18 he was mixed-up with the infamous Sisson Documents, a fake (if fundamentally accurate) dossier on German-Bolshevik intrigues.44 Later, in Siberia, Ossendowski served White “Supreme Ruler” Admiral Kolchak as an economic adviser and, probably, a spy. Ossendowski arrived in Mongolia as a refugee from the Red tide. In his widely-read 1922 bookBeasts, Men and Gods, the Pole describes his meeting with the “Bloody Baron” in vivid detail, and not without some sympathy for the subject. Nevertheless, Ossendowski knew that “standing before me was a dangerous man,” and that “I felt some tragedy, some horror in every movement of Baron Ungern.”45 Nor did Ossendowski mince words about the climate of fear that gripped Urga under the Baron. He describes Ungern’s brace of murderous underlings such as the psychotic “strangler” Leonid Sipailov, the equally repellent Evgeny Burdukovsky and the sadistic Dr. Klingenberg. What Ossendowski conveniently side-steps is the mystery of his own survival in that precarious environment.
In the views of others who witnessed the Baron’s rule, Ossendowski was not just lucky and no innocent observer. Konstantin Noskov notes that from the moment of his arrival in Mongolia, “Professor” Ossendowski played “a strange role understood by no one.”46 “He interfered in everything,” adds Noskov, “quarrelled very skilfully [and] wove complicated political intrigue….” Pershin charges that Ossendowski was another who exploited Ungern’s obsession with the supernatural, a view echoed by one of the Baron’s officers, K.I. Lavrent’ev.47 By encouraging “the Baron’s faith in occultism and other things of the beyond,” Ossendowski became an “adviser” to the Baron, which may explain a later claim that the Pole became Ungern’s “chief of intelligence.”48
Ossendowski, according to Pershin, “wormed his way into a position close to the Baron” and so “extracted all the advantages he wanted.”49 Those included money and safe passage to Manchuria “in comfort and, perhaps, with something more than that.” Dr. Riabukhin and Noskov both recall that Ossendowski was inexplicably the sole survivor among a group of refugees whose other members were murdered on Ungern’s orders.50 Boris Volkov adds that Ossendowski played a key role in formulating the Baron’s infamous and “mystical” Order #15, and so secured his life and a large sum of money.51 Noskov flatly declares that Ossendowski was the author of the Order.52
“Order #15,” the closest Ungern ever came to outlining a philosophy or mission, deserves closer examination. Since the Baron was not in the habit of issuing numbered orders, the #15 is meaningless in that context. According to Aloishin, that number and the date of its issue were more work of the “learned lamas” who picked them as lucky numerals.53 Basically, the Order outlines a grandiose scheme to initiate an ever-expanding wave of counter-revolution that would cleanse Russia of its radical contagion and restore the Romanov throne under the late Tsar Nicholas’s brother, Mikhail Alexandrovich. The Baron, as many others, was not aware that Mikhail had been dead since June 1918. The Order proclaimed that “the evil which has come to Earth in order to destroy the divine principle of the human soul must be destroyed at the root,” and that “the punishment may be only one: the death penalty, in various degrees.”54
The most notorious article, though, was #9 which declared that “Commissars, Communists and Jews, together with their families, shall be destroyed.” The Baron had a pathological hatred of Jews, and wherever his power held sway there was a ruthless extermination of that community. Even Pershin, who felt that “stories concerning [Ungern’s] mercilessness have been much exaggerated,” admitted that the mass killing of Jews was regrettably true and that the Baron was implacable on the matter.55 Volkov felt that Ungern used pogroms as a tool to exploit anti-Semitism among the émigrés and troops, but there was an almost religious zeal to his hatred. In a letter to a White Russian associate in Peking, the Baron warned against “international Judaism” and even the insidious influence of “Jewish capitalists” who were an “omnipresent, though very often undetected, enemy.”56 At his trial, the Baron assured his Jewish, Bolshevik prosecutor, Emelian Yaroslavsky, that “the Communist International was organised 3,000 years ago at Babylon.”57 In his feelings towards Jews, Ungern certainly prefigures the Nazi mentality, and much the same could be said for his whole weird mixture of mystical anti-modernism.
In August 1921, the Baron’s despotic reign came to an end when desperate officers of the Asiatic Mounted Division staged a coup against him and his dwindling cadre of loyalists. Almost miraculously, Ungern escaped the general slaughter and found a brief, final refuge among his Mongol soldiers. They too soon abandoned him to the approaching Reds, but without harming a hair on his head; they were still convinced that he was the Tsagan Burkhan and could not be killed.58
The Soviets suffered from no such delusions. At his trial in Novo-Nikolaevsk, he was a calm, even dignified, prisoner. He had foreseen his fate and accepted it. The prosecution was most interested in portraying him as an agent of the Japanese, which he denied. However, the Baron readily admitted to mass killings and other atrocities. So far as his brutal discipline was concerned, he proclaimed himself a believer in a system that had existed “since Frederick the Great.”59 He went before the firing squad quite convinced that someday he would be back.
A final point brings us back to Ossendowski, who claimed that the Baron sought contact with the mythical subterranean kingdom of Agarthi and its mysterious ruler, the “King of the World.”60 Agarthi, of course, is identical with Agarttha or Shambhala, a mystical land enshrined in Hindu and Buddhist mythology. In the early twentieth century, the story was picked-up and elaborated by Western esoteric writers such as Alexandre Saint-Yves d’Alveydre and Nikolai Roerich who believed that it described an actual realm hidden somewhere in northern Tibet or a nearby Central Asia. By an interesting coincidence, another officer in Ungern’s Division was Vladimir Konstantinovich Roerich, Nikolai’s younger brother. Then again, perhaps it was no coincidence at all. But that brings us to a story that is best saved for a following article: “Red Star over Shambhala: Soviet, British and American Intelligence and the Search for Lost Civilisation in Asia.”


1. Ferdinand Ossendowski, Beasts, Men and Gods [BMG] (New York: Dutton, 1922), 238.
2. Konstantin Noskov, The Black Year: The White Russians in Mongolia in the Year 1921 (Harbin, 1930), 75.
3. Ibid.
4. Tsagan Burkhan roughly translates as “White God” but can also be used to mean “White Buddha.” The use of the term for Ungern seems to have started among his Buriat troops and spread to other Mongols.
5. Markus Osterrieder, “From Synarchy to Shambhala: The Role of Political Occultism and Social Messianism in the Activities of Nicholas Roerich,” presented at “The Occult in 20th Century Russia: Metaphysical Roots of Soviet Civilization,” Munich, March 2007, 10, n. 51.
6. Boris Volkov, About Ungern (trans. Elena Varneck), 6 , Hoover Institution Archives [HIA], Stanford, CA,.
7. Izvestiya (23 Sept. 1921). Standard genealogy puts the beginning of the line in the mid-13th century with one Hanss von Ungern or Johannes de Ungaria who took service under the Bishop of Riga: Genealogisches Handbuch des Adels (Glueksburg: C.A. Starke, 1952), 467.
8. Marquis de Custine, Empire of the Czar: A Journey through Eternal Russia (New York: Anchor, 1989), 61-65.
9. Vladimir Pozner, The Bloody Baron: the Story of Ungern-Sternberg (New York: Random House, 1938), 50-51.
10. I. V. Ladygin, “Chetyre mifa o barone Ungerne,” http//army.armor.kiev.ua/hist/ungern.shtml.
11. D. Pershin, “Baron Ungern, Urga, i Altan Bulak,” 113, HIA, Stanford.
12. Paul du Quenoy, “Warlordism a la russe: Baron von Ungern-Sternberg’s Anti-Bolshevik Crusade, 1917-21,” Revolutionary Russia, Vol. 16, #2 (December 2003), 4. This article provides an excellent overview of Ungern’s career.
13. Pozner, 81-82.
14. Baron Petr N. Vrangel’ (Wrangel), “Yuzhnyi front,” Beloe delo, Vol. V (1927), 12-13.
15. Ossendowski, “With Baron Ungern in Mongolia,” Asia, Vol. 22, #8 (1922), 618.
16. Pershin, 53c.
17. Boris Volkov, “On Ungern,” 45, trans. by Elena Varneck, HIA, Stanford.
18. Dmitri Aloishin, Asian Odyssey (New York: Henry Holt, 1940), 230.
19. Charles R Bawden, The Modern History of Mongolia (New York; Praeger, 1969), 198.
20. N. M. Riabukhin, “The Story of Baron Ungern Sternberg As Told by His Staff Physician,” 30, trans. by Elena Varneck, HIA, Stanford.
21. Volkov, 47.
22. Fujiko Isono, “The Mongolian Revolution of 1921,” Modern Asia Studies, Vol. 10, #3 (1976), 388.
23. My thanks to the late Charles Rice for this information.
24. Pershin, 53c.
25. Aloishin, 228. See also Ossendowski, BMG, 218.
26. Aloishin, 231.
27. Volkov, 5.
28. Aloishin, 258.
29. Osssendowski, “Baron,” 661-662.
30. Riabukhin, 23, and Volkov, 42.
31. Riabukhin., 28.
32. Pershin, 45.
33. Ibid., 49.
34. Pozner, 81.
35. Hermann Keyseling, Creative Understanding (New York: Harper, 1929), 276 and Pozner, 81-82.
36. Ibid.
37. Julius Evola, “Ungern-Sternberg, el Baron Sanguinario,” trans. from Roma (9 Feb. 1973).
38. Ossendowski, “Baron,” 615.
39. Aloishin, 229.
40. Ibid.
41. Riabukhin, 2.
42. Ungernovets, “Memories of Ungern-Sternberg: Memories of a Participant” (c. 1933), 11, trans. by Elena Varneck, Varneck Collection, HIA.
43. Rene Guenon. Theosophy: History of a Pseudo-Religion (Hillsdale, NY: Sophia Perennis, 2001), 311.
44. George Kennan, “The Sisson Documents,” The Journal of Modern History, Vol. 28, #2 (June 1956), 130-154.
45. Ossendowsky, BMG, 226.
46. Noskov, 14.
47. Pershin, 53c.
48. Osterrieder, 11, n. 70.
49. Pershin, 53c.
50. Noskov, 16.
51. Volkov, 6.
52. Noskov, 26
53. Aloishin, 258.
54. “Order No. 15 issued by Baron Ungern Sternberg,” trans. by Elena Varneck, Varneck Papers, Hoover Institution Archives, 5.
55. Pershin, 59, 59c, 66, 75. See also Volkov, 15, 20, 26, 50.
56. Ungern to “Grigorii,” (20 May 1921), 7-8, “Letters Captured from Baron Ungern in Mongolia,” HIA, Stanford.
57. “Trial of Ungern,” from Izvestiya (23 Sept. 1921), trans. by Elena Varneck, Varneck Collection, HIA, Stanford.
58. Aloishin, 267-268.
59. “Trial,” Ibid.
60. Ossendowski, BMG, 301-312.


Dr. RICHARD SPENCE is a professor of History at the University of Idaho. Among other works, he is the author of Trust No One: The Secret World of Sidney Reilly (Feral House, 2002). His latest book is Secret Agent 666: Aleister Crowley, British Intelligence and the Occult, published by Feral House.
The above article appeared in New Dawn No. 108 (May-June 2008).