I recently got an email from a listener of the show regarding a recent episode of the podcast featuring Bernhard Guenther. The emails directed me to a couple of essays off his website from 2013/14 that the listener claimed had anti-Semitic views and propagated holocaust denial and wondered if I knew about it and what I would do about it.
Well, I did not know about these essays. Bernhard is a prolific writer, and I have not read all of his work on that site. I did, however, read these two essays in question as it seemed relevant for me to know what I was dealing with so I could make a public response and determine if Bernhard is propagating racist views and, if so, whether or not I should remove the podcast from my site.
After reading those essays I honestly believe that Bernhard is not anti-semitic, nor a so-called “holocaust denier”. It is clear that the essays have a strong anti-zionist slant and understandably so, the political activities of Isreal since its inception indeed contains some serious questions ethics.
The core of these essays, however, seemed to be based primarily in the importance of questioning what you are told and conditioning yourself towards seeking-truth, so as to decondition yourself from the manipulative lies placed in our minds by the propaganda of imperialist history and social conditioning of the military-industrial complex, with a ‘spiritual awakening’ slant to it. And fair enough. I, in many ways, encourage the same thing.
The content of the essays that led to the initial concern of my listener was his questioning about the official story of world war 2 (although you can read that listener’s email to me below to make your own assessment) specifically around the role of Jewish people in the war. Now, I want to be clear that I actually support the critical deconstruction of history in the quest for truth, world war 2 included, as any great atrocity has lies to be profited from. Here in North America for example, I was taught in schools that WW2 was won after the Americans came in and defeated the Nazis when the reality is that Stalin’s army had been significantly pushing them back on the eastern front, which was the primary contributing factor to the Nazi defeat. (“America’s the greatest country in the world. We saved the world from the Nazis!”)
So it isn’t a far stretch for me to hear that some other elements of the WW2 story the official story taught me is not the truth. However, I do find myself very, very suspect of some of the people Berhanrd references in these essays and some of the logic held there. Not by Bernhard, but by some of his references. In the current dissolution of objective reality — due to the vast access of information, fake news, society waking up to the various lies they have been told, and internet echo chambers — I believe it can be very easy to get dialled into some of the logic presented by the people Bernhard references and quickly find yourself caught up in the racist delusions held by anti-Semitic, neo-nazis, and white-supremacists in general.
Again, I am not convinced that Bernhard holds these problematic views or that as a consequence his episode should be taken down from my website. I do not believe, based on what I read in those articles, that Bernard Guenther is an anti-semite or representing any anti-semitic views. It seems to me his concern is the truth and not being afraid to step outside the official story to determine it. In fact, the very concept he is wrinting about–critcal thinking–is the means by which you prevent yourself from falling into the possible traps following the rabbit hole of some of his refernces might lead.
Furthermore, even though I came to this conclusion, I believe it is essential to bring this discussion to the public sphere as a psychedelic culture must also grapple with difficult political issues, and this was an opportunity to do so.
So ultimately, I will leave it to you to determine for yourself. Below you will find the full transcripts of my email exchange with the guest who initially contact me with their concerns, my exchange with Bernhard, and the essays in question.
Regardless of the outcome of this particular investigation on your behalf, I will leave this episode up because Bernhard’s work and perspective around psychedelics is a valuable one and I trust you, the ATTMind listener, to discern good knowledge from bullshit. Taking down this episode to appeal to one person’s (understandable) offence to one area of Bernhard’s views, in favour of censorship is not I support (except for some swearing censorship I do for protecting my youtube ratings and keep my things mostly SFW). Censorship assumes you are too ignorant to make decisions for yourself about what is worth believing. You are not my children, and I am not your parent. I trust you to adult without me telling you what to think in the form of censorship
Again, I leave it to you to decide.
Watch/Listen to my public address on this issue
The Essays In Question
- Israel and Gaza – Lessons in History and an Opportunity for Humanity
- History, Lies, and the Importance of Self-Work and Critical Thinking
The Email Transcripts
I have copy/pasted and organized these emails with some added emphasis for easy reading.
[anonymous listener – Nov 13, 2018 2:35pm est]
I’m a fan of your podcast, and I’ve really enjoyed the last episode with Bernhard. It was so fascinating that I went to read his website, and was deeply disappointed to find out that besides his deep insights into the plant medicine risks, he also promotes Holocaust denial and “Hitler did nothing wrong” type conspiracy theories.
The episode listeners are encouraged to get on his website, where eventually they will run into him promoting antisemitic conspiracy theories). I don’t know what you can do with this information, but I think it’s important at the moment.
[anonymous listener – Nov 13, 2018 2:45pm est]
He also posts the following (at https://veilofreality.com/2014
“n 1948 Israel was created. The Zionists and Jews in general played a central role in WW II. Many were victims and many Europeans were their victims. Jews also played an important role in starting, or at least widening, and then winning the war. Jews were no less powerful after the war than before it and Israel was created in 1948. Palestinians were pushed off their land and the fighting goes on until today. For most of the last seventy years since the end of the war we were told that Jews were the main victims of WW II with a countless number of books, movies and documentaries made about the “holocaust.” Hardly any other country or ethnic group’s suffering was ever mentioned. Today Israel is a superpower with one of the largest nuclear arsenals in the world and with Zionism’s enormous influence over virtually every western country, Israel threatens its neighbors regularly and western countries (in particular the USA) make war on their behalf…
In truth Hitler was an aspiring art student that was competent, but not good enough to get into the art school in Vienna. He was not a coward as we are often told, but a war hero winning the Iron Cross first and second class, he was gassed at the end of the war and suffered the terrible pain that went with that. He was a heterosexual that had sexual relations and married the love of his life before they both committed suicide to avoid being tortured and murdered by the victorious allies. He presided over the most remarkable economic recovery of the 1930’s and he was a remarkable military leader. For putting millions of Germans back to work, ending the misery imposed on Germany by its enemies and restoring Germany’s pride his people supported him to the bitter end.”
I believe that a website that posts this kind of stuff shouldn’t be linked to.
[James Jesso – Nov 13, 2018 2:53pm est]
Ugh…. Yikes. That’s unfortunate and a bit alarming. Thanks for letting me know. I’ll read this essay later today and figure out how I am going to address this.
[anonymous listener – Nov 13, 2018 3:15pm est]
Thanks for taking care of the issue.
[James Jesso – Nov 13, 2018 4:57pm est]
Ugh, it’s a real pain in my ass TBH. The article posted here is so slippery, he doesn’t seem to be coming off as anti-Semitic at all, but anti-zionist and pro-truth. Neither of which are an issue for me in principle (I have actually met several Jewish people who feel the same way about the violent military conquest of Israel over Palestine). The challenge is that the ‘truth’ he alludes to has an extremely problematic connection with the logic behind antisemitism, holocaust denial and neo-Nazism, which is an issue for me. I am going to think about this and email Bernhard these concerns. What I will do exactly, I don’t know, but I’ll address it publicly in the next few days. Thanks again.
[anonymous listener – Nov 13, 2018 3:15pm est]
Hi James. Of course, resistance to Israel’s policies is a legitimate opinion. This is not the topic I found objectionable. Here are the issues that I have:
1. Promoting a documentary called “The Greatest Story Never Told”. According to the Rational Wiki , “the film acts as nothing more than just glorifying Hitler and the Nazis while demonizing the Allies.” Guenther himself quotes a summary of that movie on the linked post. One part of the summary is
The Zionists and Jews in general played a central role in WW II. Many were victims and many Europeans were their victims. Jews also played an important role in starting, or at least widening, and then winning the war. “.
I find the claim that Europeans were victims of “The Zionist and Jews” in WW II objectionable and antisemitic, as well as the claim that “Jews also played an important role in starting… and then winning the war”. This is the standard “Daily Stormer” version of history in which World War II was started by the Jews declaring war on Germany.
Another piece of content from the linked post is :
In truth Hitler was an aspiring art student that was competent, but not good enough to get into the art school in Vienna. He was not a coward as we are often told, but a war hero winning the Iron Cross first and second class, he was gassed at the end of the war and suffered the terrible pain that went with that. He was a heterosexual that had sexual relations and married the love of his life before they both committed suicide to avoid being tortured and murdered by the victorious allies. He presided over the most remarkable economic recovery of the 1930’s and he was a remarkable military leader. For putting millions of Germans back to work, ending the misery imposed on Germany by its enemies and restoring Germany’s pride his people supported him to the bitter end. [italics added]
Now, you’re right and Guenther hides behind quoting another person making these claims, and not making these claims himself. However, he does promote the Hitler-glorifiying “The greatest story never told” documentary in multiple place on his website. He also states in the linked post: “By no means would I imply that Hitler was just a “misunderstood good guy”. Obviously he has blood on his hand and was a power-driven nationalist, like many others, however his story and the story of the German people during that period and much about WW II has been grossly distorted.”
So Hitler in his opinion was an unfairly maligned nationalist politician, just like many others.
2. Holocaust revisionism
In the linked post Guenther embeds multiple Holocaust denial videos by notorious denialists David Irving and David Cole.
3. Other Antisemitic conspiracy theories
Here is another quote from the linked post: The eastern European Jews, who form 92 per cent of the world’s population of those people who call themselves “Jews”, were originally Khazars. They were a warlike tribe who lived deep in the heart of Asia. And they were so warlike that even the Asiatics drove them out of Asia into eastern Europe. They set up a large Khazar kingdom of 800,000 square miles. At the time, Russia did not exist, nor did many other European countries. The Khazar kingdom was the biggest country in all Europe — so big and so powerful that when the other monarchs wanted to go to war, the Khazars would lend them 40,000 soldiers. That’s how big and powerful they were.They were phallic worshippers, which is filthy and I do not want to go into the details of that now. But that was their religion, as it was also the religion of many other pagans and barbarians elsewhere in the world.
This “Modern Jews are not the real Jews, they are converted Khazars” is another standard conspiracy theory straight from the “Protocols From the Elders Of Zion”.
To summarize, the issues I found with Guenther are glorifying Hitler, promoting Holocaust denial and other antisemitic conspiracy theory. He might respond and say that he is merely “anti-Zionist” and is against Israel’s occupation policies, but I believe that the quoted material presents enough proof for the contrary. He is a Holocaust denier and believer in the dirtiest conspiracy theories. Worse, he doesn’t just believe these, he promotes these theories to spiritual seekers – people with High Openness personality trait.
Personally, I found his material about dark entities entering the luminous bodies of Aya drinkers fascinating, as this is something that resonated with my personal experience. That’s why I was deeply troubled to find out about his views (this wouldn’t bother me if it was some random troll on the Internet). If I hadn’t have family members perish in the holocaust and hadn’t known better, I might have found his “historical revisionism” material believable as well – that’s why I believe that sending people to his website is problematic.
Anyway, I appreciate that you took the time to give thought to this matter, and will not contact you again on this topic (unless requested). I’d appreciate if you could remove the links to his website, but obviously it’s your choice to make. I will follow your public reaction.
[James Jesso – Nov 15, 2018 11:44am est]
[name removed] I have messaged him. I hope you don’t mind but I included your emails as the case against his essays and why it is an issue I need to address. I did not include your name or any reference to you whatsoever. You will hear from me again once I sort something out after hearing form him.
[UPDATE — anonymous listener – Nov 16, 2018 3:20pm est – after seeing this blog]
I don’t agree with your conclusion obviously, but appreciate that you took the time to investigate and post all this in a transparent manner.
One factual correction is that I haven’t asked to remove the episode (still think it’s exceptionally good), only the links to his website where the material is presented
So something has come up that I need to publicly address. I got a message form someone who loved out interview and then upon looking deeper into your work found a few essays that contain what they saw as potential anti-Semitic, pro-hitler sentiments and holocaust denial. Below is the transcript between me and that person.
This is something I need to publicly address and I wanted you to know that and give you a chance to add your comments. Ultimately I will not be taking down our interview as I feel it is deeply valuable. I also saw a lot of great advice and perspectives in the essays in question, and having read them I don’t see you are a bigot or a racist or anything like that. However, as expressed in the transcripts below, I see a problematic connection between the content you referenced and the logical support of anti-semitism and holocaust denial that I need to public express is something I do not support.
Again, I would love to get your comments on this matter and will share them (and this dialogue between us) publicly and unedited, if I have you sanction to do so.
thanks for addressing this as soon as you can.
[Below this email I pasted the anonymous email thread between me and the listener, as is pasted above]
[Bernhard Guenther – Nov 15, 2018 12:57pm est]
“[…] looking at what happened in 1914 – or for that matter at all that is and has been happening in human history – the eye of the Yogin sees not only the outward events and persons and causes, but the enormous forces which precipitate them into action. If the men who fought were instruments in the hands of rulers and financiers, these in turn were mere puppets in the clutch of those [hidden/hyperdimensional] forces. When one is habituated to see the things behind, one is no longer prone to be touched by the outward aspects – or to expect any remedy from political, institutional or social changes; the only way out is through the descent of an [embodied] consciousness which is not the puppet of these forces but is greater than they are.”
Thanks for the in depth response. I will post it for people to read so they can make an informed decision based on various sides of the conflict in question as well as the source material.
I will let you know when I release my public address.
Again, I leave it to you the reader to decern your own position on this issue.