By definition, ideology is a system (often quite complex and extensive) of values, principles, beliefs, etc. held and practiced (ideology is inherently practical) by an individual, a social group (i.e. nation) or an organization (i.e. the Nazi Party or the SS). Or of the whole country (state).
Thus ideology becomes the driving and guiding force (the “guidance system” if you will) that determines objectives of individuals, social groups and organizations; methods and tools that they use to achieve their objectives and their decisions and actions.
The country, state or an organization driven and guided by an ideology (in other words, where a political ideology explicitly becomes a dominant component of a political, government and social system, is called ideocracy).
More precisely, of course, an explicit ideocracy as all countries, states and organizations are at least implicitly driven and guided by at least implicit ideology (which is an important part of a corporate or organizational identity).
Consequently, the Nazi Party, the SS and the Nazi Germany were explicit ideocracies – but so were all other authoritarian and totalitarian regimes (in the Soviet Union, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Japan, etc.) and (albeit possibly a bit less explicitly) the so-called “democracies” (Britain, France, the USA, etc.)
Again by definition, ideology is fundamentally secular; in other words, it does not include spiritual, mystical or religious beliefs – these two are the foundation of a faith, not ideology.
Not surprisingly, the ideology of the SS was based on Nazism (the ideology of the Nazi Party and Adolf Hitler personally) – but not identical to the latter. For a very obvious reason – Adolf Hitler was an individual and the NSDAP was a political party while the SS was an entity very different from the latter (it was a quasi-religious military order).
The core of any ideology is the so-called “declaration of identity” – “who I am” or “who we are”. Probably the best “declaration of the SS identity” (what the SS really is) was made (not surprisingly) by its Reichsfuhrer Heinrich Himmler in his speech delivered on stated on 8 November 1937 at a Gruppenführer (two-star generals) meeting in Munich in the officers’ quarters:
“The SS is a National Socialist order of soldiers of Nordic race and a community of their clans bound together by oath … what we want for Germany is a ruling class destined to last for centuries and the product of repeated selection, a new aristocracy continuously renewed from the best of the sons and daughters of our nation, a nobility that never ages, stretching back into distant epochs in its traditions, where these are valuable, and representing eternal youth for our nation.
Hitler (also not surprisingly) approved this definition and once even remarked that the elite of the Nazi state would, indeed, come from the SS.
This definition confirms that the SS was, indeed, a reincarnation of the Teutonic military order (only as a key part of the Nazi State, not the Holy Roman Catholic Church with membership based on race, not religion).
And that it was much, much more than just the military order – not just the “order of soldiers” but the actual “racial elite” of the Nazi State born, raised, educated and trained to run all components of the Nazi System – government, politics, economy, police, academics – and even military (after the “hostile takeover” of Wehrmacht by the Waffen-SS).
This definition proves beyond the reasonable doubt that the allegations that Heinrich Himmler used the Jesuit Order (Society of Jesus) as the model for his SS is, well, a popular misconception.
In reality his model, his starting point was a very different order – the military order (Jesuits were mostly educators who built hundreds of first-class schools, colleges and universities).
However, he did adopt for his SS the “Fourth Vow” of the Jesuits – unquestionable obedience to The Leader. Only in this case to Adolf Hitler – Der Führer of Germany (not to the Pope – Der Führer of the Catholic Church).
It is also possible that Heinrich Himmler was impressed with (mostly unfounded and at best grossly exaggerated) rumors about the achievements of the Jesuits during the Counter-Reformation – a genuinely existential religious war for the Holy Roman Catholic Church (i.e. for the very survival of the Catholic Church).
According to these (mostly legends) Jesuits were a very successful (and very secret) political police of the Holy See (the “Catholic Gestapo” of sorts).