Category Archives: Terrorism

Osama bin Laden's bookshelf contained a New Age spiritual book.

Osama bin Laden’s Masonic Book

The content of Osama bin Laden’s personal library was declassified a few days ago by the Director of the Office of National Intelligence. Surprising to many, bin Laden, al-Qaeda’s mastermind, had a copy of The Secret Teachings of All Ages by Manly Hall (1928), a classic of New Age, or alternative spiritual thought that would seem in every way to contradict Jihadism and fundamentalist religion.

So, why did bin Laden have a copy of this book? I document the historical connections between radical Muslim activists and alternative spirituality of the 19th and early 20th centuries in my book The Crescent and The Compass, as well as contemporary Islamist anti-Freemasonry (the fraternal movement that influenced much underground Western spirituality). So, it didn’t come as a shock to me.

Eurasia Review has published a short article by me explaining what bin Laden’s interest in the book would have been, and why this connection is important.

To read the whole article visit Eurasia Review here.

Islamic Gnosis Versus Terrorism and Political Correctness

Over the last decade or so, in the West, we’ve heard that “all religions” teach the same truths, or that “all religions teach peace”, and so on. So convinced have we become that a Google search for the phrase returns nearly five million results.

Yet, when Western pundits, politicians, and political activists talk of a religious unity, they do not base this assumption on the idea of a gnosis at the heart of faith (at least not one that could contradict modern, “progressive” Western assumptions). In the debate in the West, neither the individual nor society as a whole is re-orientated toward the sacred in such defenses of religion, but, instead toward contemporary Western notions of rights (which are sometimes used to defend Islam — e.g., to convince us that the religion espouses modern notions of feminism, and so on — and sometimes invoked as an explanation as to why the West must intervene in the Middle East, etc).

The modern, political, conviction about the unity of religion is agnostic.

In contrast, the conviction that the religions are, in a sense, unified, by a gnosis at the heart of each is not new. It is a fundamental tenet of the Traditionalist school of esoteric thought, founded by René Guénon during the early 20th century. And it can be found, before that, in the more mystical and ecumenical beliefs of Freemasonry (a fraternity founded in London in 1717, that initiates members through rituals designed to reorient them toward the spiritual and ethical). And it can also be found in Western esotericism more broadly. Continue reading

Islam and Eurasianism

Traditionalism, Eurasianism, And a Hezbollah for Russia

Aleksandr Dugin (sometimes the first name is Anglicized to “Alexander”), a geopolitical thinker with influence in the Kremlin,[i] has drawn from a wide variety of Russian and non-Russian sources for his political ideas.

At one time he was loosely associated with the Nouvelle Droite (“New Right”) movement and its pioneer Alain de Benoist. Like theNouvelle Droite, Dugin draws from esoteric spiritual theories and schools, including the works of Julius Evola and René Guénon (1886-1951), the founder of the mystical and philosophical school of “Traditionalism.”

Eurasianism, the Fourth Political Theory:

However, Dugin is best known for his “neo-Eurasianism” (usually referred to as, simply “Eurasianism”), a theory that proposes the creation of various “great spaces,” each comprised of several contemporary nations states. Continue reading