The Thule Society owes its existence to two fundamental feelings – acute emotional and spiritual hunger and xenophobia (i.e. fear of West European national elites of losing some of their power to “alien nations” – especially Slavs and Jews).
By the beginning of XX century, the Christian Church transformed itself into an insular bureaucracy no longer capable to provide emotional and spiritual nourishment to the citizens of Europe.
Nourishment that they badly needed in the emotionally and spiritually empty (and even hostile) increasingly industrial and secular society. And the egalitarian Christian message of universal equality was definitely not something that the nationalist and racist elites of Germany, Austria and other nations wanted to hear.
Consequently, they started to look elsewhere for the sources of emotional and spiritual nourishment and for an alternative religion that they can use as a powerful tool to radically change the increasingly hostile world and to secure their dominant position in their societies – for thousands of years.
They looked both East – at India, China and other nations that produced spiritually and emotionally powerful pagan religions and into their own past – at pre-Christian pagan religions of Europe (first and foremost, at German religions – by far the most powerful and successful). And created secret (or not-so-secret) societies to study, promote and use these religions for the abovementioned purposes.
There were many such societies in Europe in 1917, when the Thule Society was created as the Munich branch of the Berlin-based Germanenorden (the secret völkisch and occult society founded seven years earlier).
However, only the Thule Society became determined, daring and powerful enough to actually do something to change the status quo and to create what essentially amounted to an alternative civilization, radically different from the existing political, economic and social order.
And it ultimately succeeded, although by that time the Thule Society was long gone. “The Moor did his job – now the Moor can go”.
Venture capitalists often say that there are three key success factors for a business venture – management, management and management. Exactly the same can be rightfully said about a political venture as well.
Thule Society owes its outstanding success to its founder and leader – a charismatic, enigmatic and energetic Adam Alfred Rudolf Glauer, better known as Rudolf Freiherr von Sebottendorff (and sometimes as Erwin Torre).
A writer, occultist, political activist and even (later in life) an intelligent agent, this colorful character was pursued a wide and eclectic (to put it mildly) system of spiritual practices. He was a Freemason (and possibly a convert to Islam) and a practitioner of Sufism, meditation, astrology, numerology, and alchemy – among “other things”.
In 1916 he joined the schismatic offspring of the Germanenorden – the Germanenorden Walvater of the Holy Grail – and a few months later became the Master of its Bavarian chapter. Which was later renamed the Thule Society after the mythical land located by Greco-Roman geographers in the farthest north (“the edge of the known world”).
In that position he demonstrated impressive management, leadership and recruiting capabilities, increased membership from about a hundred in 1917 to 1,500 (250 of them in Munich) by the fall of the following year.
But it was the quality, not the quantity of recruits that made the Thule Society a highly successful political organization and the force to be reckoned with. During the Bavarian revolution of April 1919, it was just about the only organization in Munich that fought from day one against the Communist government of Bavarian Soviet Republic.
Historian Heinrich Hillmayr wrote:
“Only one organization, the Thule Society, had enough will to try to do away with the new government by force. They were seriously preoccupied with the question of how to create political and military conditions in which the Left and Soviet governments could be deposed, and did not hesitate to leave the cover of legality”
Communists obviously were not happy about it at all and on April 26th, 1919, BSR stormtroopers raided the society’s premises and took seven of its members as hostages. In response, the Thule Society organized a citizens’ uprising (no small feat) and brought in a Freikorps division (no small feat either) that together with Reichswehr and Freikorps units other liberated the city from Communism on May 1st.