America: The Promised Land

America was long known to the world’s initiates. They determined when it might be ‘discovered’. They chose the discoverer. They knew the plan for the New World and its purpose: to become the leading nation in the promised Golden Age.

Christopher Columbus in the New World.

Christopher Columbus in the New World. Fresco by Corleone. No-one really knows who this deeply pious mystic was, nor what he looked like.

America was discovered by an Italian called Christopher Columbus in 1492. It was named after a later navigator called Amerigo Vespucci. That’s the story we learn at school. If we have critical teachers, they might add that the Vikings under Erik the Red were actually the first to reach America—and we believe that this story gives us a true understanding of the matter. And yet, this does not correspond to the truth.

“History is something that never happened, written by someone who was not present at the time”, noted Voltaire shrewdly. Sir Francis Bacon remarked that “... history is a lie agreed upon”. And the reason is to be sought in that “... historians do not tell us what really happened, but what they would like to believe” (Benjamin Franklin). Or again, what the prevailing political doctrine enjoins. Whoever believes that historical lies are an invention of the mass media in the 20th century is sorely mistaken. The world theater has always opened its curtains onto a stage where pretty marionettes presented the audience with a history designed to entertain and to conceal what really happened. At the time of Francis Bacon there was a well-known saying that a wise man was like a double-bottomed trunk: even if itappeared empty when opened, it actually had a secret compartment which contained the source of his wisdom.

In earlier ages too, history was made only to a limited extent by monarchs and churchmen. Behind them were the gray eminences, the truly powerful masters of knowledge, some of them initiates. They were familiar with the mysteries and with occult teachings which were not meant for the eyes of the profane, and met in secret societies and lodges.

In the early middle ages, the existence of America was already known to these guardians of the mysteries. How might we otherwise explain that a Venetian merchant map of the world shows and names the continents of North and South America? Naturally not completely correct geographically—that was beyond contemporary skills for more familiar territories too—but this map had been drawn 78 years before the ‘discovery’ of America, namely in 1414.

How did early 15th century Venetians come to know about Florida and Caparu (Peru)? Gunnar Thompson conjectures in his book The Friar’s Map of Ancient America that it could have some connection with an English Franciscan friar known as Nicholas of Lynn. Inspired by the dream of the medieval monk and scientist Roger Bacon, who had suggested making a scientific map of the world, Lynn, between 1330 and 1360, undertook several voyages of discovery in the North Atlantic with the support of King Edward III of England. The Franciscans, who took great care to produce accurate maps, drew up that legendary and long lost ‘Friar’s map’. Even Christopher Columbus was said to have been fascinated by Franciscan cosmography at a later period.

It was also Roger Bacon who, around the year 1270, showed his friend Brunetto Latini a magnetic compass that he had made. Latini later wrote to a friend: “This discovery, which appears so eminently useful to the seafarer, must remain hidden until other times dawn, for no master mariner would dare use it today, as he would be accused of sorcery; neither would mariners dare put out to sea under the command of a man who used an instrument which appeared to have been invented under the guidance of a diabolic spirit. May the time come when such prejudices, which represent such a great impediment to the discovery of the true mysteries of nature, will have been overcome; then will humanity harvest the fruits of the work of such learned men as Brother Bacon, and do justice to the industry and intelligence behind efforts for which they today reap only mockery and shame.” For this and other ‘crimes’ of unorthodox thoughts, Bacon was imprisoned for 14 years—mild punishment compared with those usual in the medieval world. At the end of the thirteenth century, Bacon was dead—but the compass was in general use. So mariners could venture to leave their safe coastal waters and set out into the unknown—in search of new land. However, knowledge of the existence of the great continent to the west goes much further back in time.

Hellenic traces in Canada

The ancient Greeks were already using the Gulf Stream thirteen centuries before Columbus to sail safely to America, where they possessed several colonies. Plutarch describes their ancient voyages and gives the location of the Greek colonies as ‘directly opposite the Caspian Sea as the crow flies’. They called the land to the west ‘the colonies of Hercules’, and the Caribbean was the ‘Sea of Saturn’, where Homer’s Ogygia (Calypso’s isle) was also found.

As knowledge was sacred to the ancient Greeks and thus had to be protected from the eyes of the hoi polloi (the common people), they took care not to record it in writing for posterity. Oaths of secrecy prevented the initiates of the mysteries from letting an unguarded word pass their lips. And yet they were not the only ones who knew about
America. The continent was also known to the ancient Egyptians and Chinese. These ancient peoples were also able to build huge ships to voyage across the oceans. One of the Egyptian Ptolemies built a ship large enough to accommodate an orchard with fruit trees on deck—in addition to swimming pools and fountains with live fish.

Francis Bacon reports in his partially utopian, partially real fable The New Atlantis
that “... about 3,000 years ago, or somewhat more, the navigation of the world (especially for remote voyages) was greater than at this day. Do not think with yourselves, that I know not how much it is increased with you, within these threescore years; I know it well, and yet I say, greater then than now; whether it was, that the example of the ark, that saved the remnant of men from the universal deluge, gave men confidence to venture upon the waters, or what it was; but such is the truth. The Phoenicians, and especially the Tyrians, had great fleets; so had the Carthaginians their colony, which is yet farther west. Toward the east the shipping of Egypt, and of Palestine, was likewise great. China also, and the great Atlantis (that you call America), which have now but junks and canoes, abounded then in tall ships.”

A historian called Spyros Cateras wrote in the 1930s that the ancient Greeks had penetrated as far as the region of the Great Lakes via Canada’s St. Laurence River. Hercules, Odysseus, Colaeus, Pytheus and Eratosthenes had apparently been among those bold seafarers of antiquity. Cateras also showed that the language of the ancient Maya on the American continent contains many words of pure Homeric Greek, and notes: “Years ago, traces of Alexander the Great’s army were found in the South American Republic of Uruguay—namely swords and shields with the inscription ‘PTOLEMEOS ALEXANDROY’!”

Atlantis, mother of Europe and America

Venetian map by Albertin de Virga

The top left part of this Venetian map by Albertin de Virga shows the continent of North America in fragmentary form and distorted by perspective—almost 70 years before Columbus 'discovered' America, namely in 1414.

But Greece was already a major power at the time of the legendary (and yet real) island continent of Atlantis. Its last remains disappeared beneath the surging waters of the Atlantic Ocean some 11,500 years ago. The American continent had emerged from the waters at a time when Atlantis was still a flourishing civilization. Somewhat later than America, Europe arose from the seas—and gave rise to a historical epoch during which Atlantis (in the region of today’s North Atlantic) formed a kind of land bridge between the younger continents of America and Europe. It is also thanks to this land bridge, writes Helena Petrovna Blavatsky in her Secret Doctrine, that the animals and plants of both continents are so similar “...all, nearly all belong to the same genera, while many, even of the species, are common to both continents ... indicating that they radiated from a common centre” (Atlantis). “The horse” continues Blavatsky, “according to Science, originated in America. At least, a large proportion of the once “missing links” connecting it with inferior forms have been exhumed from American strata. How did the horse penetrate into Europe and Asia, if no land communication bridged the oceanic interspaces? Or if it is asserted that the horse originated in the New World, how did such forms as the hipparion, etc., get into America in the first instance on the migration hypothesis?” The extremely mysterious language of the Basques, whose homeland lies in the Pyrenees, also indicates a link between Europe and America: it bears no relationship to any European language—but to all the native, i.e. Indian languages of America! And it should be noted that the aboriginal peoples of America are themselves of Atlantean origin – so it comes as no surprise that at the time of its discovery by the Europeans, America was called Atlanta by some native tribes.

As the primeval Hellenes carried on a vigorous trade both with Atlantis and the great continent to the west, it is hardly surprising that the great philosopher Plato in his treatise on Atlantis notes that after the destruction of that great continent all attempts at seafaring to the west became impossible for a long period. The waters of the Atlantic Ocean were so stormy and so permeated by the detritus and silt of the submerged continent that travel by sea in that region became unthinkable.

So the ancient peoples knew more than early Christendom in some respects, and for them there lay beyond the western sea the land over which the gods watched so that it might one day become the earthly paradise. When the times will have been fulfilled, human beings seeking the Golden Fleece would enter upon that land. And the first avaricious conquerors really did seek physical gold, and plundered the treasures of the Incas and Aztecs. But for the Greeks the Golden Fleece was a document on which the secret of human immortality was written. “We now have a Golden Fleece in America, kept in the Library of Congress”, writes the ‘initiated’ author Manly P. Hall, “namely the American Declaration of Independence, which was written on an animal hide and bears the magic formula of human hope. Those who understand it and make wise use of its ideas dispose of the secret of immortality of human society.”

A destiny guarded by initiate

Why, one might ask, did western conquerors not set off westwards much earlier, if the initiates of the secret lodges already knew about America?

Everything has its appointed time, one may reply, and, banal though this may
sound, it is surely closer to the truth than many other explanations. For America is the country of the New Age now dawning, and the leading role which it plays in the world is consequently no accident, but dispensation, providence or destiny—what-
ever one may wish to call it. (The fact that it is currently abusing this leading role is a different story!)

Manly P. Hall, who was undoubtedly among the most enlightened spirits of the twentieth century, and to whose talents one may also add the ability to read the Akashic record (that cosmic memory in which all past events are recorded), notes on this point: “If the Christian nations had dared to act against the commands of the mystery schools, such sacrilege would have been revenged either by the power of Islam with its seat in Cairo, or by the edict of Lhasa with its Mongolian warriors in the background. The east had agreed to respect the borders of Europe as long as the European states jointly undertook not to exploit the western hemisphere. The fear of a terrible revenge from beyond the walls of Gog and Magog also held the popes back from breaking this agreement. And without the leadership of the Church, the great families of Europe dared not throw themselves privately into such an adventure. But when the agreed hour came, the secret societies sought among their ranks for suitable agents to begin their program of discovery.”

The esoteric orders of Europe, Asia and the Middle East had been allied with the priesthoods of the more advanced Amerindian nations for centuries. One has to be aware that truly high initiates need no physical vehicle to meet in secret places, shielded from the outer world, and to forge plans for future developments. “Plans for the development of the western hemisphere”, writes Manly Hall, “were laid in Alexandria, Mecca, Delhi and Lhasa—long before European statesmen had any inkling of this great utopian program.”

This leads us to the question as to whether Christopher Columbus wanted to find the western sea route to India out of his own volition—or whether, as Grace Fendler suggests in her book New Truths about Columbus, he worked “... as a chosen representative of secret societies in order to realize the old utopian ideals and to carry them across the sea?” This would also provide reason enough to explain “... his accusation as a ‘traitor’; the destruction of all his books and papers, of all portraits and sculptural representations of him, and the complete disappearance of some of his literary works, including the diary of his first voyage and the logbook of his second voyage. All this”, writes Fendler, “... would be mere inquisitional routine, including the new version of his biography—more or less due to political necessity and arising from a sacred mission.”

The secret of Columbus

Is it not in fact extremely strange that we know almost nothing about the greatest explorer of all times? No-one knows when he was born, and no fewer than twenty cities claim him as their son. Manly P. Hall has a particular surprise in store for us: he quotes the author Spyros Cateras who claims that Columbus was really Greek. Allegedly, his original name was Prince Nikolaos Ypsilantis and his home the Greek island of Chios. Hall writes: “This statement is confirmed by numerous early historians and official documents.” He put out to sea from the harbor of Mahon—which was then Greek—on the island of Minorca—and not as history tries to convince us, from an Italian or Spanish port. Like most Greeks of his time, he admired the writings of Plato and the other classical philosophers; and his mind was eminently well equipped to interpret the classical traditions. “Much points to the fact that Columbus was inspired to undertake his voyages by Plato’s story of the submerged Atlantis and the early sea voyages to the west”, writes Hall in his book The Secret Destiny of America.

The true circumstances of the life of the ‘discoverer’ of America are so enigmatic that “... it seems as if history had taken refuge in a conspiracy in order to conceal the truth”, supposes Hall, for the confusion had apparently already begun before Columbus’ death. “His own son calls his father a Greek. It was assumed that Columbus changed his name in response to religious or political pressure, but that belongs to the realm of speculation.” The numerous biographies of Columbus are unanimous in telling us that Colon (the name which he himself used) was a deeply religious man with mystical tendencies. “He was said to have sometimes worn a habit and cord similar to that of the Franciscans”, notes Hall, although nothing is known of a direct connection with that order. “Some religious groups”, continues Hall, “including brotherhoods familiar with the esoteric tradition, favored this garb.”

It is beyond doubt that Columbus regarded himself as having been chosen for his ‘mission’ by heaven, and that he continuously gained strength from the certainty that he was guided and protected by divine providence. The author John Bartlet Brebner speaks of the “... colossal, mystical selfconfidence of Columbus.” It had been so much a part of the seafarer that “... he remarked on one occasion on a voyage that God had led him to the New Heaven and New Earth of Revelation, and in his darkest hour he was convinced that God spoke to him to encourage him.” On his third voyage, the seafarer believed that he heard the voice of God speaking to him with words of encouragement and comfort. On his fourth voyage, when great misfortune threatened to destroy the whole enterprise, the Admiral fell into a trance, and a voice spoke to him: “Oh fool and fainthearted servant of God, the God of all things! Did He ever do more for Moses, or for David, His Servant, than He did for thee?”