Stories of time-traveling folk are always a hoot, aren’t they? One of the most famous is that of John Titor, a poster on message boards from 2000-2001 who claimed to have been an American military time traveller from 2036. But lesser-known is the case of Paul Amadeus Dienach, a German teacher who supposedly (and you’re gonna see why I say “supposedly” in a sec) left behind a diary recounting his visit to the year 3906.
The story goes like this: Dienach, who was always a bit of a sickly, nervous, but somewhat intellectual sort of fellow, had fell into a “coma” in 1921. During that time, he claimed to have “time shifted” into a completely new body—that of an “Andrew Northam”—in a Utopian society in 3906.
Dienach allegedly (allegedly) left his journals to Greek student George Papahatzis to translate at his leisure, suggesting it might help improve Papahatzis’ German. Then, the story continues, Dienach died two years later of tuberculosis.
Papahatzis attempted to translate the journals in bits and pieces for the next few decades. Realizing that what he had was a “chronicle” of human history for the next 2000 years, he decided to get the Freemasons and other assorted secret-society types involved (because that’s what one would normally do in a situation like this), who allegedly wanted to keep the text a secret.
However, in 1972 and 1979 Papahatzis managed to publish Dienach’s journals in Greece; but outside of “fringe” circles, it never really took off. Then in 2016, a Achilleas Sirigos put out the first volume of his own version/translation of the journals, complete with comic book-type illustrations.
And here we are.
When initially contemplating the topic of Paul Amadeus Dienach, I think of the 1972 book The Spear of Destiny by Trevor Ravenscroft (read my review of that book here), which purported to transcribe the memories of a man who supposedly was friends with a young Adolf Hitler. If one does a little “digging” regarding the actual historical underpinnings of that book—which asserted that the rise of Hitler was intimately connected to the Holy Grail myth—you find out that Ravenscroft didn’t actually transcribe the verbatim “memories” of this man, but rather sort of very broadly “approximated” it.
Which is to say: it is very unclear how much of The Spear of Destiny is historical fact, and how much is more of a sort of metaphysical “text.”
Which is to say: The Spear of Destiny might not be complete garbage—indeed, it’s a bit of an entertaining read filled with a heavy dose of the esoteric—but it’s not backed up with a lot of historical fact.
Now, in the case of Paul Amadeus Dienach, Papahatzis claimed that after World War II he tried to track down relatives of Dienach. And not only could he not find any of Dienach’s relatives—he couldn’t even find solid data that Dienach even existed outside of their supposed meeting! (Papahatzis would conclude that perhaps Dienach changed his name when traveling to Greece)
But let’s turn to the text itself, christened Chronicles Of The Future in the 2016 version. Having read the first volume of this series (though I believe you can acquire the complete collection in one book), I should warn you that 75% of it is taken up by Dienach’s pining for the woman he loved and lost, and various commentary related to his apparent ongoing nervous breakdown and suicidal tendencies.
But finally we get to Dienach falling into a “sleeping sickness” and waking up in 3096 in the body of Andrew Northam. And where he finds himself is in a idealized society full of crystallized architecture and beautiful people dressed in pastels. He is also suffering from a type of sickness in this world too, and spends a good deal of time in a hospital-type setting.
He eventually learns the history of the human race that had transpired in the 2000 years, which includes struggles such as overpopulation, a failed colonization of Mars, thermonuclear war, and “an extinction of mostly the yellow and black races.”
Once that extinction of mostly the yellow and black races happens, things sort of settle down and gradually morph into the strangely Aryan gentle society Dienach found himself within.
And that’s when I had to stop and consider several factors about this story: the time-period (1920s, though also could have been through the Forties depending on the actual provenance of the journals), the nationality attributed to the supposed original author (Germany/Austria), and the exact “character” of this Utopian society (populated by a mix of what seemed like “Scandinavians” and “English” people; the other races having “died out”).
So you then begin to wonder…
Was this book—like a number of other such psuedo-historical, psuedo-metaphysical narratives dating all the way back to the late 19th Century, of visiting strange wondrous Utopias—sorta like “propaganda”?
OR: was there a “kernel” of an original journal there, but it had gotten obscured and “added to” via various translations…
AND/OR: did Dienach really exist, and honestly remembered having this “time travel” experience—but that his own interpretations and preferences “colored” what he reported. That indeed he did, in some way where his brain might have temporarily “bi-located,” make “contact” with some other world or group of entities, but could only comprehend what he was taking in as in looking through “a glass darkly.”
Because if we consider Dienach’s description of initially waking up in this world, being on a hospital bed with people looking down at him, the “crystal buildings” and etc.—you get similar reports in everything from reports of “alien abductions” to recall via hypnosis (I’m particularly thinking of Delores Cannon’s work).
And what is my “gut” (for all that’s worth) telling me about this entire story?
a) There probably was a person—maybe Paul Amadeus Dienach, or somebody else—who wrote the “kernel” of this narrative.
b) Whatever this person experienced was probably in the same ballpark as similar reported experiences via “alien abduction,” out-of-body phenomena, recall under hypnosis, etc..
c) This person probably added a “layer” or “screen memory” of things he was familiar with to what he “saw” and “heard.”
d) The text probably was used, to an extent, for some degree of “propaganda” purposes between the 1920s and the 1970s among various secret societies and fringe groups, in which this idea of the (strangely Aryan) “new human” was furthered (as well as concepts like “over-population” and the “need” to “thin the herd” just a little bit).
This is to say that the illustrated 2016 edition compiled by Achilleas Sirigos is “propaganda” of any particular stripe…at this point, the Dienach story simply becomes a historical document (regardless of the actual history of the document) and curiosity.
And we can only apply our critical thinking to it and choose to believe it, not believe it, laugh at it, praise it, scorn it, base a religion upon it, use it as a springboard for further intellectual inquiry, and etc.. One thing is for sure: there are a whole bunch of such narratives like this out there.