A persistent myth of modern occultism concerns the existence of societies residing underground. The myth takes many forms, including stories of underground caverns inhabited by malevolent deros (dwarfs) and subterranean cities inhabited by the survivors of Atlantis or Lemuria, or flying saucer pilots.
Much of this new mythology stems from the publications of the enterprising Raymond A. Palmer in Amazing Stories, Flying Saucers, and Search magazines. In 1945 Palmer introduced the readers of Amazing Stories to the fantasies of Richard S. Shaver, with whom Palmer collaborated in producing what were stoutly claimed to be factual "racial memories" of survivors from Atlantis and Lemuria, originally giants but now degenerated into malevolent dwarfs, influencing mankind by secret rays.
Palmer, who helped focus the first excitement about flying saucers in his magazine Fate in the spring 1948 issue, later went on to publish articles suggesting that saucers came from an underground world entered through the polar ice caps.
Other sources for subterranean mythology include the writings of Robert Ernest Dickhoff and Milinko S. Stevic. In Dickhoff's book Agharta, he describes a vast network of underground tunnels radiating from Antarctica with openings in the United States, Brazil, Tibet, and Pacific islands. These underground strongholds are inhabited by descendants of Martians, who colonized the Earth in prehistory.
Stevic, a Yugoslav-born engineer, lectures about the extensive subterranean cities beneath New York, Tokyo, Leningrad, São Paulo, and large areas of the Atlantic Ocean. Survivors of Atlantis reside in this subterranean world, where they have built huge domes of fiberglass. There are millions of inhabitants, who also contribute illegal immigrants to the United States. There are, apparently, secret entrances to the underground world through a number of churches, including, specifically, St. John the Divine at 103rd Street and Amsterdam in New York. Stevic also claims that Adolf Hitler did not die but reached the United States through a secret tunnel and now lives quietly in New Jersey.
In Livingston, Montana, W. C. and Gladys Hefferlin also publicized a Rainbow City in the Antarctic, founded two million years ago as the focal point of a network of underground tunnels. Heading the large population in Rainbow City are the Ancient Three, descendants of Martians who exercise a favorable influence on world affairs, in contrast to Shaver's malevolent deros. These powerful mystics of Rainbow City won World War II for the Allies by stopping Rommel in Egypt and halting the Japanese in the Pacific.
Early in this century, Frederick Spencer Oliver (writing as the channel for "Phylos the Tibetan") began to speak of people living inside a hollow Mt. Shasta, in northern California. His initial revelations were later strengthened by the revelations of Guy W. Ballard, founder of the I Am Movement. In 1934, writing as Godfré Ray King, Ballard published Unveiled Mysteries, in which he detailed his encounters with a godlike figure named Master Saint-Germain.
Although based somewhat on traditional fairy lore, notions of demonic realms beneath the Earth, and Asian folklore, accounts of underground worlds have emerged as an integral part of modern occult lore.
(See also Subterranean Crypts and Temples )
Chaney, Earlyne. Revelations of Things to Come. Upland, Calif.: Astara, 1982.
Dickhoff, Robert Ernest. Agharta. Boston: Bruce Humphries, 1951.
Hefferlin, W. C., and Gladys Hefferlin. A Description of the Rainbow City from the Hefferlin Manuscript. Vista, Calif.: Borderland Sciences Research Foundation, n.d.
Ramana Maharshi. Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi. Vol. 1. Tiruvannamalai, India: Sri Ramanasramam, 1957.