The Unknown Worlds

The theory and rise of “breakaway civilizations”


Jonathan Kelley, Writer

The Breakaway Civilization

Some know it as the “Deep State,” the “Shadow Government,” or “the New World Order.” The concept of a breakaway civilization, puppeting the play of geopolitical and socio-economic affairs from beyond the stage, has haunted the American psyche since time immemorial. This invisible marionette, hoarding the future and its impossible technologies, bubbles up into culture in many many forms, such as the “Spectre” of Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels, the Black Lodge of David Lynch’s Twin Peaks, and the Plasma Plex of JMK’s famous and virtuosic Riggley. And what better way to begin a discussion of the breakaway civilization than with an equally fascinating rabbit-hole: the UFO?

“Unidentified Flying Objects,” those mythical and mercurial aircraft–extraterrestrial tech to some, projection of the collective unconscious to Jung, and delusion still to many–this modern mythos of “things seen in the skies” may in fact reflect a development disturbingly close to home. In his books UFOs and the National Security State and The Secret Space Program and Breakaway Civilization, Ufologist  Richard Dolan attempts to outline the enduring existence of a rogue underground global order, which he calls the “breakaway civilization,” in light of the UFO phenomenon. Kevlar, night vision, lasers: all clearly human inventions; and yet, as reported by Col. Philip Corso (former head of the Pentagon’s Foreign Technology Division), all of these “merely human” inventions were found littering the site of the Roswell UFO crash in 1947. What would a space-faring alien want with these petty toys? –could it be that merely human technoscience managed to summon something from beyond the stars? –or instead, does the public conception of the “alien” simply serve to dilute a terrifying encounter with some lingering shadow, a renegade–perhaps even breakaway–evil? Dolan makes the case that the call of “aliens,” though perhaps warranted in some instances, serves primarily as a cover-up itself–a cover-up of something all too human hiding in the shadows of its aborted plans. 

Rewinding the clock to the 19th century, one already finds an embedded correlation between the “power of the air” and the seed of a rogue breakaway civilization. The 19th century marked a shift in humanity’s collective aesthetic aspirations with the birth of science fiction; and one obscure outgrowth of this fervor reportedly sailed the skies of the southern United States. Dubbed NYMZA by Charles Dellschau (1830-1923), something foreign, unidentified, made its shadowy debut in America. This transliteration of the German acronym “NJMZa” roughly translates to “Nationalist Hunting-Flying Machines Project Office,” and Charles Dellschau–whose bizarre drawings of the “Aeros” and other Vernian airships were discovered posthumously–serves as one of the only umbilicals to this obscure shard of history. The serendipitous story of Dellschau’s 12 scrapbooks, containing his own renderings of alien and often insectile craft supposedly piloted by NYMZA, recovered from a house fire decades after his death and nearly forgotten forever in a gutter, stands as the primitive archetype for modern-day UFO documents, whether leaked or declassified. These serve grimoire or codex hinting esoterically at the existence of a veiled, highly advanced cabal roaming and hunting on the global landscape of the 19th century.

Dellschau claimed that NYMZA had its genesis and headquarters in Germany, with secret “investors” from the East and from New York. The first letter in NYMZA, N for Nationalistiche/Nationalist, indicates that this covert group, headquartered in Germany, had a distinct relationship with Prussian Nationalism and the plight for a unified Germany’s world dominance. Some suspects of this breakaway organization include Carl Riechenbach, a philosopher member of the Academy of Prussian Sciences and Carl Kellner, founder of the Ordo Templi Orientis (The O.T.O., an occult initiatory/secret society of which Aleister Crowley was a member). The Promethean West, intoxicated by the ecstasies of its industrial technology, science, and world horizon, had given birth to a mercurial, elfin, dangerous offspring: the Faustian North. While the Hellenic heritage bore fiery fruit, something fiendish festered in Northern Europe, concocting alchemical poisons, carving runes and crafting ever-stranger chimeras–settlement of the pagan Norse, now the laboratory of a Mephistophelian Faust, and echo-chamber to the Pied Piper of feverish progress. What else might one expect from the cradle of the historical Illuminati?

Adam Weishaupt’s Bavarian Illuminati stands as the turning point from the mystery schools and esoterica of antiquity (manifesting across the globe as societies such as the Eleusinian Mysteries in Greece, the Osirian Mysteries in Egypt, and the Mithraic Mysteries in Persia) into a modern, “enlightened” conception of the secret society. This Prussian organization, recognizing mankind’s Promethean trajectory, made it their goal to achieve world-dominance through sedation and stupefaction of the masses. “The only secret is that there is no secret,” Weishaupt declared to his young initiates, signaling the tectonic shift from the mystically-oriented and philosophically-inclined mystery schools of the ancients, to an underground power bent on puppeteering. This yearning forever blackened the reputation of secret societies. It took death by a lightning strike to reveal Weishaupt’s hidden plans, found as a collection of papers on the body of Jacob Lanz, long after the Illuminati had infiltrated the Freemasons and thereby spread their tendrils throughout European politics. The fraudulent spirituality and supposed “ancient knowledge” of the Bavarian Illuminati dissolved before these discoveries, unearthing Weishaupt’s cynical intention of “world mastery.” The “all-seeing eye” of a material Yaldabaoth rose to eclipse the sun, to steal the stars, and to hermetically seal mankind’s fate–something, psychically, had its birth in this organization.  

Looking back at Dellschau’s rendition of the “Aeros,” one sees no shred of the aerial conventions of his time. These Vernian beasts are often saucer-shaped–a crude rudiment of the modern-day UFO–tentacled, and striped. The hot air balloons sailing the skies then served as no inspiration for Dellschau’s designs, architecture seemingly powered by an occulted alchemical process, anti-gravitic or electrogravitic, a power still publicly unheard-of in the modern day. The mysterious “investors” in NYMZA happen to include J.P. Morgan, famous American financier and banker as well as the founder of General Electric and U.S. Steel. Morgan also acted as a chief financier of Nikola Tesla’s World Wireless, a “free energy” system bent on tapping the entelechy of the dynamic “aether” or vril, an alternative scientific concept long disputed by modern physics. Morgan bought Tesla’s patents, patents intended to deliver a matrix of free energy across the globe, but to what end? –might he have had narrower plans for Tesla’s system? Here, one can glimpse the American appendage of Prussian Nationalism, an appendage destined to metastasize invisibly with Germany’s next infamous will to power.

Edward Bulwer-Lytton published Vril, the Power of the Coming Race or simply The Coming Race anonymously in 1871. This early science fiction epic centers around aetheric energy/entelechy–the same aetheric energy Tesla attempted to harness with World Wireless, the mythical “fifth element,” said to house the elementals (gnomes, undynes, salamanders, sylphs) in pagan traditions–dubbed “vril” in Bulwer-Lytton’s novel. Vril, alongside Francis Bacon’s The New Atlantis, mythologizes the concept of a breakaway civilization for one of the first times in fiction, long before H.G. Wells penned The Time Machine, The Shape of Things to Come, or The New World Order. Bulwer-Lytton’s fictional breakaway civilization had its heyday in antiquity as a matriarchal, subterranean society of ubermenschen harnessing the powers of the mysterious vril for fantastic technological and spiritual purposes. This “aetheric energy” echoes Dellschau’s description of the Sonora Aero Club’s fuel–known as “NB Gas”–the secret of which Charles Mennis, leader of the club, supposedly took to the grave after his untimely, bizarre death. Some believe Dellschau acted as a spy for the German NYMZA, relaying the goings-on and potential breakthroughs of the American Sonora Aero Club, and that Charles Mennis, sole guardian of the club’s aerial secret, refused NYMZA’s attempt to militarize his technology. NYMZA, once again, acted as the Faustian degeneration of Prometheus’ plight, with the distinctly German vril being the perfect substance, the perfect symbol, for the formation of a misguided mythology.

Precisely this occurred with Baron Rudolf von Sebottendorf’s Thule Society, which, organized around the reality of vril, acted as a cradle for Germany’s next great “will to power.” Bulwer-Lytton’s master race, ruling his ancient breakaway civilization as the sole inheritors and arbiters of vril, consisted of “Aryans”–tall, blonde, and blue-eyed folk that, according to a certain Adolf Hitler and associates, were fated to inherit the world. Already, a pseudo-mythos had infiltrated the German psyche, possessing intellectuals and mystics alike with a promise from beyond the stars. National Socialism, nursed by Sebottendorf’s Thule Society and its vril, took to the air, propelled by an infrastructure both psychological and material long in place. Wotan was reborn; and what better money to fuel the German war machine than that supposedly placed in the hands of the clandestine NYMZA only decades before?

The second letter in NYMZA, jagdflugzeug, translates to “hunting-flying,”–and the swastika blazed as the chosen symbol for this newfangled hunt. Sightings of supposedly NYMZA aircraft dotted the 2nd Reich (1862-1888), places like Chile, Venezuela, and even Texas; but Hitler’s Luftwaffe stole the show for the third Reich’s war effort. Advanced and highly feared, this power of the air stood as the pinnacle of so-called “German engineering”–at least, publicly known and acknowledged German engineering. After all, thanks to both the eugenics programs and corporate powers of America, Hitler’s philosophy and arsenal managed to seduce or otherwise trample most of Europe into submission. Only long after the “fall” of the third Reich did the Allies uncover the true scope of German engineering. In fact, it was perhaps only after the winning countries divvied up and harvested former Nazis for technoscientific ends did it dawn on the Promethean West just what the Faustian North had been up to. Then and there, the West glimpsed a new taste for devilish fruits, shiny knick-knacks, and impossible toys.

Project Kronos, perhaps the most famous and derided of Nazi “black projects,” centers around a peculiar device known as “The Bell” or Die Glocke. True to the Schutzstaffel’s runic-occultic preoccupations, this lead-colored craft purportedly harnessed, once again, “aetheric energy” for the purpose of antigravity. Glowing, contorting space and time around its ovular shape, Hans Kammler intended the Bell to rend spacetime in such a way as to produce an unlimited source of energy. Here, one can catch an echo of the early, starry-eyed days of the airship mythos, of NYMZA–that halcyon breakaway civilization–and the Sonora Aero Club, now assuming a more overtly sinister form. In fact, Dellschau’s cursory sketches of the Aeros’ inexplicable power supply depict a bell-shaped device, the generative core of a flying saucer, perhaps a primitive rudiment of what would coalesce into Die Glocke and thereby the modern-day UFO. 

But this esoteric and fantastical tale need not exist as the only evidence of the third Reich’s mind-boggling technology, rather simply its zenith as contextualized within the breakaway civilization. Boasting the first jet-powered planes, the first rocket-powered ballistic missiles, flying saucer airframes as designed by Rupert Schauberger, the Nazis seemingly thought of everything fit for the skies, all with a little help from their friends, their enemies: America. Alongside America’s fixation with eugenics, manifesting among the Rockefellers, the Carlyles, the Asters, and Margaret Sanger, American corporations (even if only in name) contributed generously to the German war effort. The German of Ford built tanks for the Nazi blitzkrieg even after America entered the war, while IBM developed the punchcard technology that made managing the concentration camps possible. All this, demonstrating that something renegade and distinctly un-American had embedded itself in both the democratic structure and psyche of the United States–a demonic and breakaway force destined to spin its web even after the public defeat of Nazi Germany.

When former president Dwight D. Eisenhower, in his farewell address of 1961, warned of an unwarranted seizure of power by the “military-industrial complex,” he spoke in the shadow of WWII and its tumultuous aftermath. This complex, barely after the smoke of the war had cleared, began importing thousands of former Nazis into American intelligence and research. Wernher von Braun, an SS Major responsible for building rockets inside mountains to drop on civilian populations, and having staffed the Apollo Program with his “former” SS colleagues, took America to the Moon. The CIA formed out of a merger between the OSS (Office of Strategic Services, instrumental during the war) and the Gehlen Organization: a German spy network in Eastern Europe headed by General-Lieutenant Reinhard Gehlen. All this, as if pre-planned–a harvest of ripe fruit yielded off of a pre-sewn experiment. And all this is precisely how a man such as George H.W. Bush, whose father, Prescott Bush, acted as a chief American financier of Hitler through the German-American Bund, might rise to the highest position of authority in the “free” world. With the National Security Act of 1947, American democracy stood fundamentally compromised: something foreign, Faustian, had embedded itself within and possessed American operations, after it had long festered in a dying Europe, fermenting, striving to challenge the stars. Dellschau’s vril-drunken NYMZA had found a new home.

The Organization of Former SS (Schutzstaffel) Officers, Odessa or Die Spinne (German for “The Spider”), flung its demiurgic tentacles across both the Islamic world and South America (particularly Argentina), relocating former Nazis undesired by Operation Paperclip to foreign safe-havens–the same vistas of Prussian colonization, and the same skies NYMZA reportedly sailed during the 2nd Reich. Reinhard Gehlen, the same Gehlen whose organization co-founded the CIA, led Die Spinne with a certain Otto Skorzeny. Skorzeny, head of psychological warfare for the Nazis and sent by Hitler to extract Mussolini from Allied captivity, found himself assimilated by the last bastion of fascism in Europe, that of Francisco Franco in Spain. There, the mercurial Skorzeny put on one of his final performances, launching “saucer-shaped rockets” at the United States. This act, with its genesis in the last remaining fascist power in Europe, serves as a psychological microcosm of the post-war anxieties and paranoias haunting the West to this day. The past, crawling back to make a rhyming poem out of history, paradoxically addressing the public consciousness as if from out of the future or from another world.

Echoing Carl Jung’s concept of the “rising Antichrist spirit,” the second fish of Pisces, Illuminati/breakaway civilization conspiracy stands as one of the last bastions of mythological thinking. Attempting to constellate some underground trajectory across history, these modern myths enfold a greater psychological scheme. Living in this postmodern desert of the hyperreal, in the disintegration of traditional modes of meaning (religion, mythology, philosophy, etc.), surely there’s something striving to break away and, perhaps, take the past with it. Ian Fleming’s Spectre, of James Bond fame, emulates the shadowy force of Skorzeny and Gehlen’s Die Spinne: the Spider, weaving the dream of public consciousness, the web of Maya, illusion.