From Pat Deveney's database:
Contributions by Hanish and others, notes on the doings of Mazdaznan and its branches, exercise and diet advice, letters from satisfied students, and extensive advertisements for Hanish's works and the services of his students, and for publications like The Living Fire, Higher Thought, the Breath of Life, all of which focused under one guise or another on sex as the energy underlying spiritual and psychic development. The journal was a product of "Otoman Zar-Adusht Ha'nish" (Otto Hanisch -or Hanish as he called himself when he was a typesetter and itinerant slight-of-hand conjurer) (1866-1936), "Prince of Adusht Ha'nish, prophet of the Sun God, Prince of Peace, Manthra Magi of Temple El Katman, Kalantar of Zoroastrian Breathing and Envoy of Mazdaznan living, Viceroy-Elect and International Head of Master-Thot," etc. Upton Sinclair in his The Profits of Religion (1918) lays out the tale of the path of this Illinois immigrant grocer-boy (who claimed he had been born in Tehran, the son of a Russian diplomat and his German wife, and educated in Tibet) through prestidigitation, Mesmerism and Mormonism, to his apotheosis:
"Finally he sets himself up in Chicago as a Persian Magus, teaching Yogi breathing exercises and occult sex-lore to the elegant society ladies of the pork- packing metropolis. The Sun God, worshiped for two score centuries in India, Egypt, Greece and Rome, has a new shrine on Lake Park Avenue, and the prophet gives tea-parties at which his disciples are fed on lilac-blossoms-'the white and pinkish for males, the blue-tinted for females.' He wears a long flowing robe of pale grey cashmere, faced with white, and flexible white kid shoes, and he sells his lady adorers a book called 'Inner Studies,' price $5 per volume, with information on such subjects as:
The Immaculate Conception and its Repetition; The Secrets of Lovers Unveiled; Our Ideals and Soul Mates; Magnetic Attraction and Electric Mating.
A Grand Jury intervenes, and the Prophet goes to jail for six months; but that does not harm his cult, which now has a temple in Chicago, presided over by a lady called Kalantress and Evangelist; also a'Northern Stronghold' in Montreal, an 'Embassy' In London, an 'International Aryana' in Switzerland, and 'Centers' all over the America. At the moment of going to press, the prophet himself is in flight, pursued by a warrant charging him with improper conduct with a number of young boys in a Los Angeles hotel."
Hanish was a darling of the newspapers and of lawyers, whom he kept employed defending him in innumerable cases, purveying immoral literature ("Inner Studies"), kidnapping to gain control of an heir, alienation of affections, molesting children, rape, etc., etc. Witnesses very frequently failed to come forward, or Hanish fled the jurisdiction, and he seems to have avoided jail except for one six-months term at hard labor in Illinois. Hanish's organization (the Master Thot Movement, or simply Mazdaznan), was based on diet, fasting, vegetarianism, Aryan racial theories, ancient Zoroastrianism, and refined breathing, and had an international success (primarily in Europe and notably among students of the Bauhaus and devotees of Volkisch ideas) that continues today. Hanich sold lessons for his advanced students for $5.00 to $50.00 ("Inner Studies": "All the world important subjects, heretofore considered unobtainable Secrets, sacred to Temple communities, Monasteries and Orders, are given . . . .") that taught "whereby Sex relations are made a source of perpetuity of Youth and Life, overcoming Matrimonial Discord." Hanisch's disciple David Ammann was expelled from Germany in 1914 for printing these and moved the organization to Switzerland. See Mazdaznan (Leipzig, 1907). Ha'nish vertically integrated his empire by selling (as The Mazdaznan Supply Company of Chicago, the Aryana Company of Switzerland, etc.) all the foods, oils, "colon syringes," etc. needed for his regimes, and also touted the virtues of "Dr. Hanish Beauty Cream." Journals of the movement are myriad, but note the curious of Mazdaznan on Gale's Magazine. Marymount University; University of North Carolina.
|Issues:||Sun-Worshiper V1 1902 Complete|
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