How the New Age fell for the oldest lie in the book

Last week, we looked at how Trump strategists — particularly Roger Stone and General Michael Flynn — mobilised the world of conspiracy culture to attack the Clinton campaign and win the 2016 US presidential election. In this article, we look at how the far-right tapped into the world of New Age conspirituality.

I’m going to focus, in this story, on one well-known New Age influencer, called Sacha Stone.

He’s a former rock musician who now lives in a luxurious mini-palace in Ubud, Bali, called Villa Akasha. It looks very nice.

The Villa is part of a complex called the New Earth Haven, where guests can stay and also attend the annual New Earth festival, and do things like cacao ceremonies or ecstatic dance. Here’s Sacha holding forth:

He’s set up multiple organisations. One is called Humanitad, which apparently is focused on unity, the arts and sustainable technologies. Another is the International Tribunal of Natural Justice — more on that shortly. He’s also, according to his Linked-in page, Director-General: Europe of the Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Organisation. And he’s the founder of the New Earth Project, which includes New Earth Media and New Earth University, and ultimately aims to be nothing less than a federation of ‘sovereign nations’ dedicated to the liberation of spiritual consciousness.

Sacha has a big online following. He and New Earth Project have over 300,000 followers on Facebook, and another 100,000 followers on YouTube. He is popular among my hippy British friends — 17 of them follow New Earth on Facebook, and he’s appeared on spiritual-leftist friends’ podcasts, and at spiritual-leftist places like Dartington Hall in Devon.

Beat the living shit out of the Sabbateans

You would think, with his talk of natural justice, sustainable technology, self-actualization and infinite compassion that Sacha is smack bang in the middle of the progressive New Age. But he is not.

His main message is a version of the blood-libel conspiracy theory, a 2000-year-old lie which has been used by far-right groups for over a century, and which he promotes working in concord with figures (active or de-activated) from various intelligence agencies. He uses this conspiracy theory to undermine belief in liberal democracy, while championing authoritarian strong-men like Trump and Putin as messiah-figures who will liberate humanity from its enslavement by demon-infested ‘Sabbateans’.

Sacha has told me he will sue me for defamation if I ‘overstep the line’, and I have no desire to be sued. Nor do I have any desire to attack someone’s beliefs, particularly a friend of friends, or to spend two weeks immersed in the world of online conspiracy culture. But this is important. I believe conspiracy culture is a serious threat to western democracy, and also a blight on my religion — western spirituality. They are worth fighting for.

If you listen to the hours and hours and hours of interviews that Sacha gives from his luxurious living rooms in Bali and London, as I have this last fortnight, his message is very clear.

Humanity is ruled by a hidden elite of ‘invisible masters’. They’re members of a cult which he variously calls the Illuminati, the Babylonian blood-cult, the Luciferians, and especially the Sabbateans. These are all the same secret organisation. It is thousands of years old, and it is a demon-worshipping, demon-infested cult of ‘subhumans’. This secret elite enslaves, exploits, abuses and harvests the energy of the rest of humanity, including kidnapping and ritually murdering around 8 million children a year (this last figure comes from the International Tribunal of Natural Justice, an organisation founded by Stone).

Sacha writes:

our holonomic reality can realistically be defined as a culture underpinned by generational satanism, ritual sacrifice, blood-economics and arch deception perpetrated by approximately 1 out of 10 people against an unwitting 9 out of 10. That is if any reasonable statistical analysis of contemporary satanism holds true.

His views are thus a combination of two old and dangerous beliefs. Firstly, that demonic invisible masters run the world and enslave humanity. This belief goes all the way back to a version of Christianity called Gnosticism, which flourished in the first century AD, and which claimed that humans are enslaved by the ‘rulers of the world’, called archons, but we can become liberated through divine gnosis.

The belief in demonic hidden rulers evolved into ‘conspiracy theories’ in the late 18th century, when books circulated about the terrifying influence and diabolic rituals of the Freemasons, Illuminati and Rosicrucian secret societies. Conspiracy theories tended to be circulated by far-right authoritarian groups, including hard-line figures in the Catholic Church, as a way of undermining liberal reformist movements.

Such theories rapidly focused on one particular nefarious group: the Jews. The idea that a hidden ‘cabal’ of all-powerful Jews run the world was popularised by a late-19th-century forgery called The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. The origins of this most successful of conspiracy-memes are obscure, but historian Norman Cohn suggests it was circulated by the Okhrana — the pre-revolutionary Russian intelligence services — as a way to attack liberal reformist elements in the Tsar’s government, who were less anti-Semitic. Conspiracy theories often circulated in the New Age ‘occulture’ of Russian society — according to one theory, the Protocols were introduced into elite society by a Theosophist called Yuliana Glinka.

Anti-Jewish conspiracy theories spread in the 20th century, and were taken up by extremist groups and authoritarian regimes including the Nazis and the Syrian governments, where they often blended with an ancient meme called the ‘blood-libel’, which is the paranoid belief that Jews are secretly kidnapping children and ritually abusing and murdering them.

So, to summarize: (1) there’s a secret Judaic cabal running the world. (2) They are demon-worshipping baby-killers.

Sacha insists his views are not anti-Semitic. Rather, he is anti-’Sabbatean’ — an obscure Kabbalist cult of the 17th century. He rails against the Sabbateans — his entire life-aim, he says, is to ‘beat the living shit out of these Sabbateans’. He also, by the by, rails against Zionists, and against the Rothschilds, and against ‘usury’, and he suggests the Holocaust was exaggerated. He wrote on his website in 2018:

how is it that in Prime-Minister Winston Churchill’s, President Dwight Eisenhower’s and General Charles de Gaulle’s autobiographies published between 1948–1959, three irrefutable books with over 7000 pages of first-hand historical record, we learn nothing……not a single thing……of ‘gas chambers’, ‘genocide’ or reference to a purported ‘six million’ Jewish victims of the war?…Sealed and guarded since the end of WWII at Arolsen, Germany, original International Red Cross documentation recently surfaced revealing the actual Concentration Camp total death toll was 271,301.

This claim has been debunked.

In this talk, at Dartington Hall — spiritual home of the hippy left — he suggests (4.44 minutes in) that the idea that Adolf Hitler was ‘a big bad scary guy’ is a ‘very compelling spell-binding’. And 90% of the facts that we ‘spout’ about World War II (including the Holocaust) were ‘introduced’ in 1952. He even shows this slide of a motivational quote (fake) from Adolf Hitler. At Dartington! Home of the hippy left!

A year ago I would have thought such views would be totally eccentric and marginal. Now I realize how widespread they are, including in New Age spirituality. David Icke (who Sacha recently did an online event with , and who he refers to as ‘the maestro’) also riffs on the Elders of Zion theme (except in Icke’s world-view, the all-powerful cabal are lizard-aliens, not ‘Sabbateans’).

What’s different about Sacha is how his New Age conspirituality has in the last few years become mobilized in support of authoritarian illiberal politics, particularly in support of Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin. In that, he’s typical of a shift in some aspects of the New Age towards far-right politics.

Spooks and hippies on the far-right

Let’s focus on one of Sacha’s many organisations — the International Tribunal of Natural Justice (ITNJ). Its mission is

To apprehend the abuses and tyranny of systems and institutions; restore truth and reason to the delivery of justice in the world; and uphold natural justice as the foundational tenet of human expression beyond the artifice of borders and boundaries.

The ITNJ organized a three-day hearing on child trafficking in 2018, which sounds a noble and worthwhile endeavour. The ‘chief counsel’ of the ITNJ in its child trafficking inquiry was Robert David Steele, not a lawyer but an ex-CIA agent and former intelligence officer in the Marines who has apparently gone rogue. He uses his opening speech at the Tribunal to support the Pizzagate myth, which suggested Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign team were actually Satanic paedophiles.

As part of the ITNJ’s work, Steele published a 44-volume book called Pedophila and Empire: Satan, Sodomy and the Deep State, which among its many accusations includes a book focusing on Pizzagate and the ‘satanic pedophilia operating inside the White House [by] the Bush-Clinton-Obama-Biden crime family dynasty’.

Steele is also an anti-Zionist — he believes Mossad controls the world by entrapping politicians through paedophile sting-operations. He writes in the Tehran Times that Israel will be ‘gone by 2022’. He thinks all western democracies are actually controlled by the Deep State, which is in turn apparently controlled by demonic Zionists. He tells another Iranian website that ‘Merkel and Macron specifically are Satanic pedophiles obedient to the Rothschilds’. He thinks elections are a sham: ‘Elections in America are decided before a single vote is cast’, he declares in his opening statement at the ITNJ tribunal.

The great hope that humanity has, to escape its enslavement to demonic Zionist paedophiles, is Donald J. Trump — Steele has self-published a multi-volume book on the ‘Trump revolution’. Trump can overthrow the Zionist Satanic paedophiles and bring in a ‘thousand-year reign of peace and love’ — acting in concord with president Putin of Russia, and president Xi of China. This is the cover of one of his many self-published books:

On one cartoon on his own website he’s portrayed, not inaccurately, as Don Quixote, chasing fantasies.

Stone and Steele are, judging by their many YouTube conversations, good friends — Steele says he’s known Sacha for years and stayed at his house. They seem an unlikely pairing — the ex-CIA pro-Trump far-right activist and the New Age guru. But they share the idea that a shadowy paedophile elite — Zionist / Sabbatean — runs the world. And they share a deep distrust and contempt for what Sacha calls the ‘sock puppetry’ of liberal democracy.

But while Steele describes himself as a patriot and nationalist, Sacha thinks all nation-states are corrupt corporations, all taxes are a ‘vile…theft of the life-force’. All politicians are treasonous and should be eviscerated, according to Sacha:

Rather than pushing back against legislators, why not get rid of them altogether? I mean, for the love of god; when we’re dealing with treason, it doesn’t get more serious than that. When we deal with agendas which are leading to genocide by any other name, surely it’s about evisceration, it’s about eradication, it’s about wholesale take down of the godless goddamn toxin in our civilizational midst. We should not be negotiating with any ambiguity. This is a leviathan. This is a Medusa and we need to take it out altogether.

Or, again, he writes:

Beyond a certain threshold, any living man or woman who continues to conduct fraud and treason by upholding the office or seal of fraudulent ‘government’ or rotten multilateral institutions and their policing and military agencies, will hurt — badly. That is a given, as much as it is a promise.

In his politics of ‘sovereignty’, we are sovereign individuals who have become enslaved by the demonic corporation of the nation-state. Every time we sign a government document, he says, we are signing away our soul. We should dissolve all contracts except to our higher Self. He says: ‘actualization of self is my religion. If there’s any objective it should simply be perfecting relations with Self’. He sits, he says, on the ‘throne of Self’.

This is an extreme form of spiritual libertarianism. There’s a funny New Age twist to it — he supports the rights of indigenous people (‘men and women of the soil’) to claim their ancient lands. But he also supports the rights of New Age hippies to pick a sovereign tribe and join it: pick your Volk like it’s a cryptocurrency. This is from the New Earth website:

And yet Sacha the spiritual libertarian also somehow comes out in support of Donald Trump, Putin, Xi Jin-Ping, Duterte and their strong-man authoritarian politics. He says (25 mins into this video with British Qanon promoter John Mappin)

The president [Trump] in my view is possessed with the Christ of Light, the grace of God incarnate. The Christ of Light moves through archetypes… The minute I saw what was coming out of the executive pen in January, I knew immediately the source code was being attacked of the global enterprise. Trump was almost certainly approached by the ‘white hats’ early in the day.

In this video, he says, 25 minutes in:

I’m a huge fan of Donald Trump. As much of a fan as I am of Vladimir Putin. They’re the greatest double act that I could have wished for. The chess that’s being played is exquisite. What I’m seeing is majestic in the extreme. We’re seeing a whole lot of beautiful stuff emerging. And the death rattle of the demonic voice of idiocy — the Democratic Party perfectly represents that. This is the death rattle of the liberal intellectual echelon and about bloody time. The East coast and the West coast are not America. Mid-west America, that’s the creature I love. That’s the only voice worth listening to.

Trump and Putin are part of a global uprising against the Luciferian elite, he suggests, an uprising which includes ‘white hats’ — ie figures from the deep state who have turned against it, such as ex-CIA agent Robert David Steele. He says there’s ‘a new movement of people around the world connected into the shadow government, but good humans, who realize that after 75 years of control, all of which is criminal and treasonous, that this culture of invisible mastery really has to change’.

He suggested (in this video, 26 mins in) that Donald Trump’s second term would see ‘a global Nuremburg Trial’, a ‘global detox’, in which the evil elite would be put on trial, and humanity would finally be liberated from the Sabbatean death-cult. This, by the way, is similar to a key belief of the Qanon conspiracy — the ‘Storm’ is coming, when Trump would suspend democracy, round up the demonic enemies of humanity, and put them on military trial. The anonymous poster called Qanon first told his fellow ‘patriots’ to expect martial law in November 2017:

My fellow Americans, over the course of the next several days you will undoubtedly realize that we are taking back our great country (the land of the free) from the evil tyrants that wish to do us harm and destroy the last remaining refuge of shining light. On POTUS’ order, we have initiated certain fail-safes that shall safeguard the public from the primary fallout which is slated to occur 11.3 upon the arrest announcement of Mr. Podesta (actionable 11.4),,,On POTUS’ order, a state of temporary military control will be actioned and special ops carried out….Organizations and/or people that wish to do us harm during this time will be met with swift fury — certain laws have been pre-lifted to provide our great military the necessary authority to handle and conduct these operations (at home and abroad).

The supposed coup never happened, of course, but that didn’t stop Q believers from living in a constant state of orgasmic expectation as to the coming of the Storm and the final round-up of the Satanic paedos. In that sense, the International Tribunal on Natural Justice could be seen as a sort of trial run for the global trial that Stone says Trump would order.

This could all be written off as fringe extremist conspiracy politics, not to be taken seriously. But let’s not forget how close we came to an actual attempted coup in January, when Trump sent a mob to the Capitol and six people died. Both Roger Stone and General Michael Flynn — the two leading champions of conspiracy culture in the Trump team — recommended Trump should introduce martial law. Roger Stone appeared on Infowars in September and said Trump should invoke the Insurrection Act and jail the Clintons, Mark Zuckerberg, Tim Cook of Apple and ‘anybody else who can be proven to be involved in illegal activity’. And here’s General Flynn:

Was this the ‘plan’ of Qanon and Pizzagate — to stoke up so much fear, paranoia, hatred and millenarian hope in Americans that you either (a) win the election or, if you lose the election, then (b) dissolve democracy and force a military coup? If so, who’s plan was it? Were ex-intelligence and ex-military figures like Michael Flynn, Robert David Steele or William Binney (an ex-NSA official also working on the ITNJ) actively organizing a coup? Were they acting with the support of the Kremlin? And was Sacha Stone and other New Age influencers a part of this ‘plan’ — spreading far-right politics into the world of New Age spirituality?

I asked Sacha this. He insists he never promoted the Qanon conspiracy — no, perhaps not directly, though he did promote the idea that there’s a Satanic paedophile elite, that Hillary Clinton is a ‘Baphomet’s bride… with a fully evidenced pathology of sexual deviance, torture, gun-running, drug-running, racketeering, coercion, murder, genocide, fraud and treason’, that Trump is a divine vessel who will help liberate humanity, and so on. He may not quote or support the ‘Qanon’ account, but he sings from a similar hymn sheet.

He adds:

I have never promoted Q myself and that is because I am determinedly not convinced of its genesis or its remit. Having said that, I do find the meme fascinating and wonder where it issues from and where it takes itself: time will doubtless tell. To answer your question more directly — yes — I do think that agents have variously tried to influence me — and certainly have managed to do so to others in the vanguard ’truther’ community. I think it is a real concern and it worries the hell out of me.

My own take on this sorry mind-fuck mess is if you think there is too clear a ‘plan’ behind Qanon, you are falling to the same false logic as conspiracy theorists, who try to connect everything together into one cosmic meaning-map, like this:

What I think we find instead is a dynamic, ever-changing flux of personal agendas, business interests, grudges, geo-political goals, utopian fantasies, narcissism, and common garden kookiness. The messy occulture is made up of free-wheeling individuals — some of them perhaps paid by governments and intelligence agencies — who are looking for opportunities to win influence, power, money and likes. There’s no grand plan, just shifting agendas and alliances. As Sacha says of his spirituality, ‘If there’s any objective it should simply be perfecting relations with Self’. Well put.

Conspiracy culture is a constant hustle for attention and money, whether from investors, political parties and governments, or the general public. This is true even of people supposedly high up ‘the plan’, like Roger Stone and General Michael Flynn. When Roger Stone appeared on Infowars to promote treason, in September 2018, it was also to raise money for his defense fund. General Michael Flynn sells Qanon merchandise to raise money for his defense fund. Alex Jones of Infowars makes his fortune selling health supplements. Steve Bannon stokes xenophobia and then takes people’s money to build a fictional wall. Donald Trump calls the election a fraud and then takes $250 million in campaign donations after the election has finished. It is conspiracy-entrepreneurialism.

Likewise, there is a monetizable aspect to Sacha’s conspiracies. The International Tribunal of Natural Justice is a people’s court, funded by the people — there are prominent buttons all over the website to donate to the court. The court is presided over by ‘chief justice’ Sir John Walsh of Branagh, who is so enamoured of his legal finery, he even wore it to the New Earth Festival in Bali (that’s him 40 seconds in to this video. He must have been hot.) Sir John has perhaps the most impressive CV of any lawyer I’ve seen. Among his titles are the Marquis de Segre and the Count of Bague. The Tribunal also has a prominent ‘international advocate’ in the former foreign minister of Australia, Julie Bishop. Any donation, we are told, helps fund the inquiry, its official report, and the establishment of an online database to help track the Satanic paedos. What could be more worthwhile?

And yet all is not what it seems. Chief Justice Sir John Branagh is actually a notary on Norfolk Island, a tiny island belonging to Australia, who was struck off the registry in 2017 for ‘professional misconduct’ and ‘unlawful representations’ to various people (you can read the court’s judgement here). Julie Bishop’s office tells me: ‘Ms Bishop is not an ‘international advocate’ of the organization and has no recollection of authorising any endorsement of its activities.’ The chief counsel of the Tribunal is Steele, who once said NASA was keeping trafficked children on the moon. And where is the promised final report and online database? Sacha tells me:

The fact of the matter is the Commission of Inquiry is still open, and that is because the flood of information release which occurred after the launch of the inquiry was unprecedented and given the continued disclosures will remain thus for a while.

Sacha himself has other irons in the fire. In 2019, he made a documentary called 5G Apocalypse, which warned that 5G is a weapons system that causes dementia, diabetes, mental illness, and the extinction of bees. This was at the same time as Russia Today, the Kremlin’s English language TV channel, made several programmes warning the West of a coming 5G Apocalypse. Sacha was also involved with a product called Bioshield, a device resembling a USB stick, that costs £350, and which apparently creates a plasma force-field to protect you from 5G, even when it’s not plugged in. He said at the time of the launch (in this video, 20 minutes in): ‘This technology is being released by the Russians. It’s backed by the former director of the KGB, by good people in Russia.’

I am not a scientist so don’t understand the holographic nano-layer quantum oscillator but this video is a funny review of the product by the UK’s leading tech YouTuber:

Sacha’s also promoting a free energy device called QT-Pi, which he launched at his New Earth Festival in 2017. Again, this taps into another popular internet belief — that free energy devices have existed for a century or so, but the powers that be are keeping them from us. When they finally become available, they will transform the Earth into a paradise. QT-Pi is currently seeking investors and hasn’t launched yet. This video expresses some scepticism that it really does provide free energy:

He’s also promoting a life-extension supplement called Immortalis, which costs $825 for a bottle of 60 capsules — that’s $13 a capsule. The supplement hasn’t undergone clinical trials (supplements don’t have to), but the product website says:

Not to get too technical, this point is connected to the breakthrough phenomena described as ‘quantum entanglement & time-dilation’ which is being triggered via the microbial complex as it engages the human microbiome. In the most rudimentary terms, this is a unique process which allows the cell ‘time’ to repair itself fully.

In the last 12 months, Sacha’s been focusing much of his considerable energy on the COVID pandemic which, unsurprisingly, he claims is a global lie imposed on us by the ‘invisible masters’, i.e ‘blood-drinking Satanists’. He organized an online conference called the ‘Line in the Sand’, which gathered together the leading anti-vaxxers and COVID-deniers. He says (in this video, 9 minutes in):

All of you morons and idiots who are choosing to wear masks…Shame on you! Wearing a mask on your face is one degree away from accepting the mask of the Beast. And the mark of the Beast is coming. Trust me.

To-date, 2.5 million people have died of COVID.

The New Age has always had a tendency to authoritarian illiberal politics, especially before World War II (see my piece on ‘Nazi hippies’), but it’s disheartening to see it come back, and to see young hippy interviewers nodding and grinning while Sacha dismisses liberal democracy as a Satanic charade.

He gives us a glimpse of a New Age future, without states, without welfare support, where the democratic rule of law has been replaced by ‘natural law’ tribunals, where there is no public health, just untrialled supplements, and where, at the centre of it all, sits the shaman-bard on his throne of Self, weaving a ‘dream-spell’ from his living room, while the people watch, eyes glazed, and click.

How did New Age hippies ever fall for this? How did we become so narcissistic, so self-worshipping, such an easy mark? How did we fall for the oldest lie in the book? How did we become toy soldiers for illiberal authoritarians, telling ourselves all the time we were bodhisattvas?

Author of Philosophy for Life and other books. Honorary fellow, Centre for the History of the Emotions. www.philosophyforlife.org.

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