138. Deliverance (IV)
The amiable stoner Graham Hancock has made a career with his stories of ancient, undiscovered civilisations; he drops by the Joe Rogan Experience from time to time to extol cannabis, Ayahuasca, and explain that many ancient sites across the world seem to have been constructed under the tutelage of the survivors of a lost civilisation. Hancock, though not explicitly political, often raises the ire of progressives, despite his seemingly liberal demeanour and views on cannabis legalisation; why?
Hancock disturbs progressive sensibilities because his whimsical ideas represent a form of European Gnosticism; specifically, a type of Gnosticism previously associated with National Socialist Germany. Insofar as our contemporary regime defines itself by its opposition to that regime, even more so than opposition to the Soviet Union, Hancock is suspect for popularising these views. Gnosticism is, in itself, a sort of religious populism, so inclining to the right by its nature; as Hancock often notes, we can, particularly using psychedelics, such as DMT and LSD, by-pass the established priesthood who monopolise spiritual wisdom.
Hancock’s religious story matches populist critiques of “the experts” who delude the masses; why not just do it yourself? Indeed, in modernity, after Kant’s demolition job on the conventional arguments for God, mystical experience is about the only way to demonstrate the numinous. So it is often the case that people who experiment with LSD or DMT return from the experience no longer secular liberals, tourists in the exotic, but genuine believers in a force behind the mundane—possibly a geometric force, the domain of the “machine-elves” noted by Terence McKenna. Some are even drawn to the radical right or traditional religions for this reason, having glimpsed sight of the Great Architect.
Hancock’s political views, though not fully developed, also incline to the right in an explicit way because he has said that it would be better if the indirect and hidden dictatorship that we live under were to be replaced by an open and explicit dictatorship. What he means by this, really, is that he would like us to return to the rule of kings and aristocrats, rather than the indirect and manipulative control of priestly bureaucrats that currently prevails. Further, the ideas of Atlantis and lost civilisations generally serve the same function for the right as the post-revolutionary utopia does for the left; these are the lands of the harmonious Golden Age, with the implication being, in the lore, that this age was mediated by a global Aryan civilisation; hence, when the left hears of Atlantis and its bloodlines, it becomes immediately nervous.
As regards his Gnosticism, rather like Himmler, Hancock extols feminine spiritual virtues. Himmler had an interest in the persecution of the European witches for this reason; despite being ultra-masculine movement, esoterically, the National Socialists were quite feminine; they wanted to restore the persecuted feminine to its supposedly rightful place, since it was banished by, in their view, Judeo-Christian persecution. Himmler was fascinated by the burning of Europeans witches, establishing a special department to study this question, and putting the numbers burned in the millions; his esoteric project was to recover Lucficerian Gnostic knowledge, along with knowledge of the lost sacred feminine.
All this matches Hancock’s Gnostic concern with “Mother Ayahuasca” and the return of the sacred feminine; it fits with a stream of European esotericism, followed by D.H. Lawrence and Klages, that saw the patriarchal Judeo-Christian religions as a corruption of Europe’s ancient matriarchal tradition. This view influenced Fascist and National Socialist esoteric circles; as many old-style Christians point out, the National Socialists were quite feminist. Although this idea of a primal matriarchy is not true, it is an approach that has resurfaced with Hancock and also, in a reinterpreted form, with certain contemporary feminists; hence there has been a resurgence of so-called witchcraft among feminists in recent years.
In summary, the left fears Hancock—despite his basically apolitical stance—because his work explores elements of European Gnosticism that are primordial and racial, and, further, point to a populist spiritual awakening.