Beyond the Dial

All about paranormal internet radio

Mitch Horowitz and “Occult America” pt.1

In podcast episode 70, our good friend Mitch Horowitz joins us again to discuss his excellent new book, “Occult America: The Secret History of How Mysticism Shaped Our Nation” published by Bantam Books. Mitch is the editor-in-chief of Tarcher / Peguin in New York and has been our guest previously in podcast 21, Podcast 42 – The Life and Work of Paul Foster Case, and Podcast 48 – The Life and Work of Col. Henry Steel Olcott.

Mitch begins our conversation by describing his observations of the esoteric history of the United States of America. American occultists evangelized esoteric ideas and planted the seeds for alternative New Age spirituality and self-help concepts, like positive thinking, that have spread around the world today. The intertwining of this occult history and the social development of the country is very often overlooked, glossed-over, or written out of mainstream history. Then Mitch tells us the intriguing story of the Publick Universal Friend, a spirit channeler that was the first public female religious figure in the country.

Next, Mitch talks about the speculation about America’s role as a laboratory for religious exploration. He describes the integral role that Freemasonry and its philosophy played in the formation of the United States of America and its influence towards greater religious tolerance and liberalism cannot be overstated. He discusses the origins of the Craft and the real requirement for secrecy in the past and employment of ancient symbolism.

Mitch tells us about the Hoodoo experience of abolitionist, editor, orator, author, statesman and reformer, Frederick Douglass, at a crucial moment in his life. He talks about writer and spiritual teacher Ernest Holmes and his philosophies of mind power and positive thinking.

Then Mitch discusses Henry A. Wallace, a progressive public servant who served as President Franklin Roosevelt’s secretary of agriculture and the 33rd vice-president. Wallace was an avid esoteric student and is responsible for suggesting the placement of the reverse of The Great Seal of the United States on the one dollar note. The controversy surrounding the public disclosure of Wallace’s letters to mystic Nicholas Roerich was the undoing of his public career.

Finally, we talk about the modern acceptance of the ideas of people, schools, and movements that are considered New Age.

Mitch Horowitz and “Occult America” pt.1

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Saturday, September 19, 2009 - Posted by | conspiracy, occult, Occult of Personality | ,

2 Comments »

  1. sry this post does not make me want to read pt 2

    Comment by ahrcanum | Saturday, September 19, 2009 | Reply

  2. That makes things pretty simple — don’t read it, not like you are being forced to.

    Comment by Lesley | Saturday, September 19, 2009 | Reply


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