French Visions for a New EuropeStephan Chalandon and Philip Coppens
Raymond Abellio claimed that the Flemish occultist S. U. Zanne (pseudonym of Auguste Van de Kerckhove) was amongst the greatest initiates of our time. But hardly anyone knows who he is. Some have placed Abellio in the same category — though he too is a great unknown for most. And those that have looked at Abellio, have largely concluded that he was a fascist politician, who was also interested in esoteric beliefs.
Is he? Part of the problem is that his writings — like that of so many alchemists — need a key. So much of their material is largely coded text, and Abellio himself used to laugh that most people’s keys “only opened their own doors” — not his. So who was he really, and what were his real political aims?
Raymond Abellio was the pseudonym of Georges Soulès (1907 – 1986), who rose to fame during the Second World War, when he became the leader of the MSR (Mouvement Social Révolutionnaire) in 1942, after the peculiar assassination of its leader, Eugène Deloncle. The invitation to join the organisation had come from none other than Eugène Schueller, owner of the cosmetics giant L’Oréal. As Guy Patton, author of Masters of Deception, has pointed out: “This group had evolved out of the sinister Comité Secret d’Action Revolutionaire (CSAR), also known as the Cagoule. Soules was now to become acquainted with Eugène Deloncle, head of the political wing, dedicated to secret, direct, and violent action.” Later, Patton adds: “So here we have a Socialist turned Fascist, deeply involved in political movements, who actively collaborated with the Vichy government. In the course of his political activities, he was to work closely with Eugène Deloncle, who . . . was closely acquainted with a fellow engineer, François Plantard, and whose niece married [French President Francois] Mitterrand’s brother, Robert.”
Though never confirmed, it is claimed that Abellio was involved with Bélisane publishing, founded in 1973. Bélisane published several books on Rennes-le-Château, the village so intimately connected with the Priory of Sion. In his book, Arktos, Joscelyn Godwin refers to Raymond Abellio as another ‘Bélisane’ pseudonym. For Guy Patton, Abellio is part of a network that tried to create a New Europe, ruled by a priest-king, whereby various modern myths, like the Priory of Sion, are meant to provide the modern Westerner with a longing of sacred traditions and rule, very much like the myths of King Arthur that gave a surreal dimension to European politics in medieval times.
Abellio’s views of politics have therefore been described as very utopian, and he has been suspected of synarchist leanings -– the belief that the real leaders of the world were hidden from view, politicians being largely their puppets. But in truth, Abellio had a well-defined vision for social change. When the battle lines of the Cold War were drawn after the Second World War, he tried to find the best of both camps, and hoped he could reunite them. Why? To create a type of Eurasian Empire, stretching from the Atlantic to Japan, an idea that was taken up by the novelist, theoreticist and his friend Jean Parvulesco. “Parvu” has been identified as the man largely responsible for acquainting at least some with the visions of Abellio — though whether it was the real Abellio or a character created by Parvulesco, remains for some open to debate.
Guy Patton thus sums up Abellio’s view as being “typical of an extreme right-wing esotericism, the aim of which is to ‘renew the tradition of the West’. He wanted to replace the famous Republican slogan, ‘Liberty, Equality, Fraternity,’ with ‘Prayer, War, Work,’ to represent a new society built on an absolute hierarchy led by a king-priest.”
The implication, however, is that several of the people involved, were not truly devoted to such spiritualism and merely used it as a mask for making money, acquiring more power, and pushing an extreme right wing agenda. Though that is the case for many of those involved, within the mix of powerful and/or money-hungry people, most are agreed that Abellio was truly a “spiritual” man. And it was professor Pierre de Combas who is credited with Abellio’s transformation from politician Georges Soulès into the visionary Abellio (the Pyrenean Apollo), making him not merely a “man of power,” but also a “man of knowledge” — an initiate?
To understand his vision, we need to acknowledge that Abellio’s system, as mentioned, needs a key, and without a key, there is no understanding — hence, no doubt, why he is often misunderstood. Secondly, his system is complex and difficult to summarize in a few words and is perhaps best described by listing some examples.
He wanted to “de-occultise” the occult (e.g. his book The End of Esotericism, 1973), whereby he hoped this would help science. His knowledge of science — acquired as a polytechnic student — meant that he could build bridges between the two subjects, for example between the 64 hexagrams of the Yi-King and 64 codons of DNA, or the correspondences between the numbers of the Hebrew alphabet and the polygons that could be inscribed in a circle.
The most famous of his works is The Absolute Structure (1965), which made him be regarded as an heir to phenomenological philosopher Husserl. Such topics, of course, hardly make for bestsellers, but are the type of study one would expect from a genuine alchemist.
His drive for an “absolute structure” is a vital ingredient for his visions of the “Assumption of Europe,” i.e. what he sees as the destiny of Europe: “the Occident appears to us not to be only as an interval separating the opposing masses of the East and the West, but is the most advanced carrier of the dialectical of the present time.” In short, he did not believe in the subject-object duality that continues to drive most politicians into fear-mongering and the other usual tactics employed by their ilk, but instead preferred a more complex model, centered on Conscience (the zero point), which evolved along the base towards Quantity (science) and upwards to Quality (knowledge), which gave him a six-armed cross, or the “hypercubic” cross, to use Salvador Dali’s words — a man who equally spoke of the “Assumption of Europe” in some of his paintings. In short, the “hypercubic cross” allowed Abellio to express all ontological and spiritual problems in dynamic terms — and it is clear that he used complex wording, making his thinking difficult to understand, which is no doubt why he is easily misunderstood, was thought to be writing mumbo-jumbo, or simply neglected.
First of all, to get our heads around his terminology, we need to know that the Bible was one of Abellio’s most often consulted books and he described the stages of the evolution of a civilization in Christian terminology: birth, baptism, communion, etc. Hence why he said that the next stage in Europe’s development mimicked assumption, which is specifically linked with the Virgin Mary — the Saint who was deemed to play a pivotal part in Europe’s future. She is, of course, also a supernatural being, which was said to have appeared on numerous occasions, to advice Christian Europe what to do and what not, such as in the politically charged “secrets” of Fatima in 1917.
In 1947, in his book Towards a New Form of Prophecy, an Essay on the Political Notion of the Sacred and the Situation of Lucifer in the Modern World, he notes: “not more than any other being, man is but an addition, a juxtaposition of Spirit and Matter, but an accumulator and an energy transformator, of variable power according to the individual, and capable of passing his energetic quantity of one qualitative level to another, higher, or lower.” Thus, we see a mixture of Christian eschatology, prophecy, as well as quite Gnostic doctrines on what it is to be truly human.
Abellio was therefore a modern visionary, but he was also an astrologer. He predicted the fall of the Soviet Union for 1989, as well as the ascent of China. He qualified its Marxism as “Luciferian,” which he did not suggest should be interpreted in a moral sense, but that the Chinese materialism had to be integrated in terms of the Absolute Structure, in opposition to the individual and “Satanic” materialism of the United States.
In the West, it was the task of terrorists — freedom fighters — to bring about this change. These “heroic” terrorists’ battles were brought to life in his novels. In retrospect, he said that his first three novels were indeed “apprenticeships”, where his heroes evolved, whereas his final novel — published 24 years after The Pit of Babel (1962) — Motionless Faces (1986) was for him “that of the companion who is trying to become master.”
However, many consider The Pit of Babel to be his best work and it is here that he plots intellectuals that are disengaged from all forms of ideology and scruples engaging in wide-spread terrorism. It is a theme he revisited in Motionless Faces, where the primary character attempts to poison the population of New York, not through any straightforward means, but by using the creation of an illuminated architect who had built a type of “counter-structure” underneath Manhattan, which was reserved for an elite — a type of urban Aggartha.
The heroine of his last novel is named Helen, also — not coincidentally — the name of the companion of Simon Magus. In the end, she perishes, taken to the center of the earth by a subterranean stream, underneath Manhattan. In the case of Simon Magus, Helen was the personification of Light, held prisoner by matter. Abellio specifically chose his name because he identified himself with Apollo, another deity connected with light and the initials of Raymond Abellio — RA — were of course those of the Egyptian sun god.
Abellio himself never met his “ultimate woman,” even though he searched for her. She may have been Sunsiaré de Larcone, herself a writer of fantasies as well as a model, who died at the age of 27 in a car crash in 1962. She had labeled herself his disciple. Other — equally beautiful — women had gone before, and would go after, but no-one was apparently worthy of being “his” woman. Hence, his tomb contains an empty space for his “Lady.”
It is in Motionless Faces that Parvulesco studied in detail in his essay, “The Red Sun of Raymond Abellio,” published in 1987. Parvu was a novelist who is both close and far removed from Abellio. Close, because they shared a similar vision of the “Great Eurasian Empire of the End.” He too had his initiators, and he saw himself heir to the “Traditional School,” which had previously had authors such as René Guénon and Julius Evola, whom he met in the 1960s. He was preoccupied with the “non-being,” the forces of chaos, which make him into something of a dualist, i.e. a Gnostic. With Evola, he shared the idea that there was a need for a final battle against the counter-initiatory and subversive forces (the non-being), as well as having a certain desire for Tantrism.
Parvulesco often uses the term “Polar,” which he used to refer to the “polar fraternities” — of which Guénon had once been a member — and which he saw as important instruments in the creation of modern Europe. He also used the term to refer to the Hyperborean origins of the present cycle of humanity, which he argued would soon end with a polar reversal. Here, he is close to Guénon, but far from Abellio’s thinking, who had an altogether more optimistic vision of the future. So despite their kinship and a common goal, how that New Europe would be accomplished, was not identical — or compatible.
Parvulesco has often been cited by the European extreme right-wing. It has meant that several authors have seen him as one of them, but it is clear that no single writer is in charge of who and where his name is used.
In the early 1960s, “Parvu” was close to the OAS, the “Organisation Armée Secrète,” a terrorist group that was opposed to allowing Algeria to become independent. This meant that he was opposed to De Gaulle, yet he is largely known to have claimed everywhere he could that he was a strong supporter of De Gaulle. Incidents such as these have therefore made him another person that is difficult to place on the political landscape, and it would be best simply to not try and put him into one category. Indeed, what sets him and Abellio apart, is largely that they had an independent vision of the future — and the role of politics. They realized that the world was radically changing, and though their models might in the end prove not to work or be unrealizable, it does not negate the fact that they were innovative thinkers.
It is Parvulesco who brings further detail as to what this New Europe would be and why, specifically, a priest-king is needed as its ruler. In ancient times, these rulers were primarily seen as a denizen of both worlds, a mediator between this reality and the divine realm and Parvulesco makes it clear that “the beyond” is guiding us towards Europe’s destiny, whereby the role of European leaders is first and foremost to correctly interpret the signs, rather than invent new goals and targets.
Parvu has a few constant themes running through his writings, one of them being that of gateways to other dimensions. Whenever historical people (most often politicians) make appearances in his novels, they are not the politicians we know, but their doubles, who evolve in our and another dimension. The novels of Parvulesco are hence often seen as those of the “eternal present” or the “ninth day.”
In Rendez-vous au manoir du Lac, the setting is a strange site where there is a gateway to heaven — Venus in particular — from where, according to Parvulesco, some chosen ones have to transit. In En attendant la junction de Vénus, he repeats this claim, but links it with Mitterrand and specifically the Axe Majeur of Cergy-Pontoise, near Paris. This axis is the creation of artist Dani Karavan and is the “soul” of this new town. It stretches for three kilometres and, if ever archaeologists were to stumble upon its remains in future centuries, it would be classified as a leyline. Though the project commenced before Mitterrand’s presidency, it was during his term in office that the line became properly defined and executed. Today, it is seen — in France — as an enigmatic work, far superior to the Louvre Pyramid or Arche de la Défense, which has set the likes of Dan Brown and Robert Bauval questioning the reasons behind these projects. The Axe, however, is a far more ambitious, greater and more enigmatic project. When we note that Abellio was closely associated with the Mitterrand family, we can merely ponder whether he had a hand in the project.
With the Axe Majeure, it is clear that we are in a strange world where politics and esoterica mingle, partly in this dimension and partly in a divine realm. Well, Abellio hoped that from this mixture, a new form of politics, and a New Europe, would arise. And it is here where we need to see the role of the Priory of Sion, not so much — as Dan Brown and others would like it — as the preservers of a sacred, old bloodline, but a new priesthood — a mixture of politician and esotericist, i.e. like Abellio himself — that can rule a New Europe.
So even though Abellio and Parvulesco have been described as synarchists, they repeatedly referred to themselves as terrorists — freedom fighters, laying the foundation for this New World. The new powerbrokers would not always remain hidden puppet masters, but would clearly one day step to the forefront, to take up the role of priest-king. And for such thinkers, it was a given that France had come closest to attaining this ideal under De Gaulle, whereby the “Great Work” of Mitterrand was seen along the same lines, though clearly not to the same extent, or drive.
Abellio and Parvulesco were therefore new agers, building “An Age of Aquarius”: however, they did not focus on personal transformation, but on social transformation. As an author, one might argue that Parvulesco operates within the domain of the “esoteric thriller,” which in Hollywood is visualized like Roman Polanski’s The Ninth Gate or Umberto Eco’s Foucault’s Pendulum. But both works have great difficulty in convincingly integrating the “passage to another world” within their storyline, often leaving the reader/viewer unsatisfied, or — alternatively — unconvinced of the end goal. Lovecraft has a better reputation and others argue that Parvulesco, thanks to the influence of both Abellio and Dominique de Roux, has gone further, and done better. But the main point is that his esoteric thrillers were to make this step through this “interdimensional passage” not as an individual, but as a society — as Europe.
De Roux (1935 – 1977) was a great inspiration for novelists that evoked what is known as “novels of the End” – however they visualized that transformation of Europe. Parvulesco actually began his literary career in the magazine Exil, published by de Roux. De Roux traveled widely, and in 1974 wrote The Fifth Empire, about the struggle for independence in Portugal’s colonies, which brings up the same struggle for a new future of a country. The title The Fifth Empire is an allusion to a popular Portuguese myth, namely that of the lost king. Like King Arthur, the Portuguese king Dom Sebastian was said to one day return, to lead his people to a fabulous destiny — which, as can be expected in light of Abellio and Parvulesco’s ideology, was not necessarily of this plane. To quote the Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa (a friend of Aleister Crowley): “We have already conquered the sea, there only remains for us to conquer the sky and leave the earth for others.”
What Algeria and De Gaulle had been for Abellio, what Portugal was for De Roux, Putin’s Russia was for Parvulesco. But it is in Abellio’s preface to The Fifth Empire that we find an interesting note that explains the true context and “key” that will unlock their works: “those who attach a profound meaning to coincidences cannot be but stricken by the fact that the last message of Fatima was delivered in October 1917, at the moment when the Bolshevik Revolution begun. What subtle link of the invisible history was thus established between the two extremities of Europe?”
For esotericists who saw our dimension as being infiltrated by the other plane of existence, the coincidences of the apparitions of the Virgin Mary at Fatima and her clearly political messages, to do with the future of Russia and how it should embrace the Virgin Mary, are part and parcel of how this Great Europe was not merely a political ambition, but part of their vision as to how “real politicians” worked together in league with the “denizens of the otherworld,” so as to accomplish the Assumption. Hence why Parvulesco held Putin’s Russia to be so important. Hence why, no doubt, Abellio tried to make contact with the Soviets to enable this New Europe, which indeed has come about largely under Putin’s presidency.
As mentioned, for Guy Patton, Abellio and Parvulesco were largely Fascists, who abused newly created myths like that of the Priory of Sion, to exert their influence, make money and group power. But that, of course, is merely one interpretation. Take the literature of the Priory and its creator Pierre Plantard and we find that he was close to De Gaulle’s regime. Plantard was in fact responsible for running part of De Gaulle’s “terrorist cells” in Paris when De Gaulle was trying to get to power. Then, Plantard used the Priory to create an ideology that saw a unified Europe, from the East to the West, and it is clear that those involved in the promotion of the Priory later spoke of the importance of Francois Mitterrand.
The Priory is indeed a fabricated myth, a non-existent secret society. But it is equally clear that those involved (Plantard) and those that could be linked with it (Abellio, and to some extent Parvulesco), had genuine convictions of what a future Europe should be. It is equally clear that their interest in Marian apparitions was genuine, and that they saw them as divine guides along the path that Europe had to walk to its future and its next stage, its assumption. And as Parvulesco pointed out: it depends whether you believe in coincidences or not. If not, then you will argue that the major political events of the past century are but tangentially related to the messages received from these apparitions and which are subsequently shuttled to the Vatican (to some extent, together with the British queen, the only priest-king ruling in Europe at the moment). If you do believe that coincidences have meaning, then it is clear that this New Europe is slowly emerging.
In the 1980s, Parvulesco reviewed a strange novel, La boucane contre l’Ordre Noir, ou le renversement, by one “Father Martin,” who had already published “livre des Compagnons secrets. L’enseignement secret du Général de Gaulle.” For an avowed Gaullist, Parvu was obviously in his element. The novel itself has certain common points with one volume of the tetralogy of Robert Chotard, Le grand test secret de Jules Verne. Both books speak of a “reserved region” in Canada, from where there is a conspiracy directed to change the world’s climate. The base is controlled by the sinister “Black Order” and aims to create a pole reversal — a theme also explored by Jules Verne. We can only wonder whether the stories of HAARP — set in nearby Alaska — might be inspired, or reflective, of this. But it is here that we see the final framework of their political ambition: they saw their quest not so much as a desire, a longing, but as a genuine struggle of good versus evil: if a New Europe did not come, the “Black Order” would have won. And in the end, perhaps Abellio and Parvulesco should thus be seen as modern knights, fighting for Europe — a new Europe.
This article appeared in New Dawn, vol. 10, no. 11 (November–December 2008).
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