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Ariosophy, occult wisdom concerning Aryans, was coined by Jorg Lanz von Liebenfels (1874-1954) in 1915. This occultism took root in central Europe at the start of the 20th century. It mainly sprung from Theosophical movement, but rejected the Theosophy's commitment to human brotherhood in favor of a system of belief claiming that only people of northern Indo-European, "Aryan," descent were actually human and capable of spiritual development. Ariosophy stemmed from the ideologies shared by most Western countries in the 19th century, but was chiefly formed in the writings of Guido von List (1848-1919) and Liebenfels, two Austrian occultists who contributed important.
As with most occult movements, Ariosophy was not a coherent system as there were various versions of its basic set of beliefs. Apparently there was a general consensus that modern humanity was descendents from two different species: Aryans, who were the true human beings, and non-Aryans, who were soulless animals who happened to look like humans. Modern Europeans were descendents of interbreeding between the species, while people of other races were simply animals lacking human, Aryan, blood. The interbreeding with other races was said to be the cause for the Aryan race to lose some supernatural powers that were originally its birthright which the study of occultism sought to restore.
Ariosophy greatly influenced the spread of the mysticism of Nazism. Much of the Nazi program during the 1920s and 1930s was simply a restatement of Ariosophical ideas. It is known that Adolf Hitler subscribed to an Ariosophical magazine when living in Vienna, and many of the higher officials of the Third Reich had Ariosophical connections. Although it appears that Ariosophy was influential on the formation of Nazism, many scholars were quick to point out they did not think it should be held responsible for terrible incidents such as Auschwitz.
Similar ideas, although from different historical roots, were embodied
in the Christian Identity movement, an occult-influence religious and political
movement, which emerged in America during the mid-twentieth century. A.G.H.
Greer, John Michael. The New Encyclopedia of the Occult.
St. Paul, MN, Llewellyn Worldwide. pp. 32-33.