How to Understand the New Brazilian Foreign Minister Ernesto Araujo, His Guenonian Faith and His Misinterpretation about Spiritual Influences on Trump
“To try to understand Trump, you should read the traditionalist master René Guénon, a major influence on Steve Bannon, former chief strategist of the White House and still central in the movement that brought Trump to the presidency.” — Ernesto Araujo, new Brazilian foreign minister.
After years of socialism in the Brazilian foreign policy, at last a Brazilian diplomat has come to fulfill right-wingers’ expectations of reshaping it. He is Ernesto Henrique Fraga Araujo, 51, who according to Bloomberg is a “staunch anti-communist and pro-Christian diplomat.”
At the first glance, his appointment could be interpreted as a result of prayers and of the massive conservative wave sweeping Brazil that eventually gave the Brazilian presidency to Jair Bolsonaro. This wave is predominantly evangelical, according to U.S. and Israeli reports.
Yet, a closer look reveals that his appointment was not an answer to prayers, and he is not connected to the evangelical conservative wave. The fact is that he is connected to an occultist movement that, by using a traditionalist and anticommunist speech, has been penetrating and parasitizing the Catholic Church.
If it was not the massive conservative evangelical wave that brought Araujo to the Brazilian foreign ministry, who did it?
The important question now is what are the spiritual influences in the man who will influence and change the Brazilian foreign policy.
A November 14, 2018 headline in the Brazilian newspaper Folha de S. Paulo says, “Novo chanceler, Ernesto Araújo foi indicado por Olavo de Carvalho” (New foreign minister, Ernesto Araújo was recommended by Olavo de Carvalho).
On his Facebook page, Eduardo Bolsonaro, son of the Brazilian president, confirmed that “the name of Ambassador Ernesto Araújo was suggested by Olavo de Carvalho.” In fact, Araujo was a student of Carvalho.
Three months ago, Eduardo Bolsonaro met Steve Bannon in New York, saying on his Twitter account that Bannon is “an enthusiast of Bolsonaro’s campaign and we are certainly in touch to join forces,” adding that “we share the same worldview.”
Bannon is an adherent of the Islamic occultist René Guénon. Carvalho has been, for decades in Brazil, a promoter of Guénon. Not surprisingly, Araujo, writing in a Brazilian diplomatic magazine, “praised” Trump praising what he calls “master” René Guénon. In his article titled “Trump e o Ocidente” (Trump and the West), published in the magazine Cadernos de Política Exterior by the International Affairs Research Institute, Araujo said,
To try to understand Trump… you should read… the traditionalist master René Guénon (a major influence on Steve Bannon, former chief strategist of the White House and still central in the movement that brought Trump to the presidency). Guénon, writing in the 1920s, believed that the modern West had completely distanced itself from “tradition” (the spiritual core of all civilizations and which manifests itself differently, but consistently in each of them), becoming a well of materialism and ignorance, whose only principle is the denial of any spirituality.
A Frenchman converted to Islam and living in Egypt, Guénon believed that only Christianity, and specifically Catholicism, could perhaps regain a minimum of spirituality in the West and save it from complete annihilation in a deep dark age, because only the Catholic Church, according to him, preserved — although latent and incomprehensible by itself — the elements of the great tradition.
It’s impossible not to hear Guenonian echoes in Trump.
I only know Guénon because of the propaganda that Carvalho has been doing for him for years in Brazil. Without such propaganda, Araujo and I would never have heard about the unknown Islamic occultist. Even so, I heard no “Guenonian echoes” in Trump. How could Araujo hear them?
If Liberation Theology Catholics can hear Marxist echoes even in Jesus Christ and His Gospel, effectively hijacking His message, how could not other opportunists do the same with Jesus Christ, Trump and others? It is impossible not to see the same opportunism in Guenonians.
The first question is: what is a diplomat doing by introducing an Islamic occultist in a diplomatic magazine published by Itamaraty, the Brazilian Foreign Ministry?
Other issues also appear. Araujo said that Guénon is “a major influence on Steve Bannon, former chief strategist of the White House and still central in the movement that brought Trump to the presidency.”
He is right in saying that Guénon is a major influence on Bannon — as he is a major influence on Araujo and his master Carvalho. But he is obviously ill-informed when he says that Bannon is central in the movement that brought Trump to the U.S. presidency. In fact, Bannon was fired exactly because he tried to make appear that he was central to Trump’s victory! In his public message about Bannon, Trump said,
Steve Bannon has nothing to do with me or my Presidency. When he was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind. Steve was a staffer who worked for me after I had already won the nomination by defeating seventeen candidates…
Now that he is on his own, Steve is learning that winning isn’t as easy as I make it look. Steve had very little to do with our historic victory… Steve doesn’t represent my base—he’s only in it for himself.
Steve pretends to be at war with the media, which he calls the opposition party, yet he spent his time at the White House leaking false information to the media to make himself seem far more important than he was. It is the only thing he does well. Steve was rarely in a one-on-one meeting with me and only pretends to have had influence to fool a few people with no access and no clue, whom he helped write phony books.
Contrary to Araujo’s imaginary conclusion, Trump made it very clear that Bannon was not central to his victory. There was a massive movement that brought Trump to the U.S. presidency, but it was not occultist. It was evangelical. Evangelicals were Trump’s main base. Evangelicals, not Bannon or Guénon, were central for Trump’s victory. Araujo left out this important information. And, by the way, evangelicals were also central to Bolsonaro’s victory in Brazil, but adherents of Guénon — from Carvalho to Araujo — deny this reality, and just as Bannon did, they portray themselves as central to Bolsonaro’s victory.
Araujo sees Guénon guiding Trump and his ideas, even though Trump is an evangelical and has never praised Guénon. How not see Guénon guiding Araujo and his ideas, when he very clearly exalts Guénon as a “master” and talks about traditionalism just as adherents of Guénon do?
The bibliography of “Trump and the West” has Guénon and Julius Evola as the main foundation for Araujo’s defense of “traditionalism” and the West. He mentions ostensibly “The Crisis of the Modern World” (New York: Sophia Perennis, 2001.), by René Guénon, and “Metaphysics of War” (London: Arktos, 2001), by Julius Evola.
Joshua Green, author of “Devil’s Bargain: Steve Bannon, Donald Trump, and the Storming of the Presidency” (Penguin Publishing Group, 2017), said that “The antimodernist tenor of Guénon’s philosophy drew several notable followers” and “The most notorious of these was Julius Evola,” who “had struck an alliance with Benito Mussolini, and his ideas became the basis of Fascist racial theory; later… Evola’s ideas gained currency in Nazi Germany.”
According to Green:
“The common themes of the collapse of Western civilization and the loss of the transcendent in books such as Guénon’s The Crisis of the Modern World (1927) and Evola’s Revolt Against the Modern World (1934) are what drew Bannon’s interest to Traditionalism (although he was also very much taken with its spiritual aspects, citing Guénon’s 1925 book, Man and His Becoming According to the Vedanta, as ‘a life-changing discovery’). Bannon… brought to Guénon’s Traditionalism a strong dose of Catholic social thought.”
If Araujo wanted to talk about Trump and spirituality, he was irresponsible by mentioning what has nothing to do with Trump — Guénon and his crazy occult ideas — and by not mentioning what has everything to do with Trump — evangelicalism.
There are excellent books on Trump’s conservatism (which Araujo treats as “traditionalism”), including “God and Donald Trump,” by Stephen Strang, and “The Faith of Donald J. Trump: A Spiritual Biography,” by David Brody. Both books show Trump’s evangelical connections and that Trump’s alleged “traditionalism” is essentially evangelical — a fact overlooked by Araujo, who chose to use two fascist occultists as his main bibliographic sources.
Following Guénon, Araujo believes that “only Christianity, and specifically Catholicism, could perhaps regain a minimum of spirituality in the West and save it from complete annihilation.” Araujo learned it from Guénon through Carvalho, who always mention it.
Occultists praise the Catholic Church as a “savior” because they know they can parasitize it and use it. Adherents of Guénon parasitize individuals and institutions. Trump is not an adherent of Guénon, but adherents of Guénon are using him as a symbol of Guenonian traditionalism. The Catholic Church is not Guenonian, but his adherents use it as a cover of their operations.
It seems left-wing tactic. In fact, in his article titled “Hijack and Pervert” in his personal blog Metapolítica, Araujo said,
“The tactic of the Left essentially consists in the following: to hijack legitimate causes and noble concepts and pervert them to serve their political scheme of total domination.”
Guenonians hijack everything and everyone for their occultist revolution. In the U.S., they under Bannon tried to hijack Trump. “Devil’s Bargain” said, “In the summer of 2016, Bannon described Trump as a ‘blunt instrument for us.’”
But Trump eventually woke up to reality. Bannon, who has for Guénon the same sympathy that Araujo has, was expelled from the White House with all his baggage of occult traditionalism.
In Brazil, guenonians are trying to hijack the conservative wave, which is predominantly evangelical, by saying that its creator is Guenonian Olavo de Carvalho.
Araujo said, “Trump’s West is the deepest symbolic heritage of the nations that make it up. In this picture, God himself does not cease from being a symbol, the supersymbol.” He mentioned symbols several times in his article. He is just following his old teacher, Carvalho, who has written several occult books, including:
* Questões de Simbolismo Astrológico [Issues of Astrologic Symbolism]. São Paulo: Speculum. (1983)
* Astros e Símbolos [Stars and Symbols]. São Paulo: Nova Stella. (1985)
Araujo said, “He who does not have symbols does not think and feel.” His immersion in Carvalho’s course gave him a fixation on symbols.
In his mindset of occult symbols, Araujo said, “Only Trump can still save the West.”
But it is not any Trump. He means the Trump that Bannon, Carvalho and he chose as “symbol” of the Guenonian revolution. Of course, Trump has nothing to do with Guénon, Carvalho, Araujo and their infatuation with Guénon. Nevertheless, they have hijacked him to be used as a Guenonian symbol.
Araujo created a Trump according to Guénon’s image and likeness and now he uses this imaginary Trump as a traditionalist model, when the real model, in his mind and life, is Guénon and Carvalho. In fact, Araujo is the author of three fiction novels. By using his experience with fiction and occultism, what is he going to do with the Brazilian diplomacy?
Actually, what he sees is not a Trump shaped by Trump himself. He sees a Trump who was profoundly shaped by Bannon, a Trump who without Bannon would not be what he is today. He sees Bannon and Guénon in Trump. How would Trump react to it?
He projects all his Guenonian idealism on Trump. He has no choice. There is no good example of Guenonian influences on a president, and the most powerful Guenonian influence in the past was Julius Evola on Benito Mussolini. But this is fascism with occultism. Even though right-wingers would be ashamed to associate themselves with anything fascist, Araujo was not ashamed to present the concept of traditionalism based on Evola himself.
Araujo did not think helpful to use directly Mussolini as an example of a national leader influenced by a Guenonian adviser, but he used Trump, who eventually expelled his own Guenonian adviser. So the only good example involving Trump and Guenonian traditionalism is that Trump expelled his Guenonian adviser. This is a good example that Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil should imitate.
But Araujo sees Trump as eternally dependent on Bannon’s Guenonian influence. His “Trump and West” uses Trump as a blunt instrument at the service of the Guenonian ideology.
Araujo could have used Carvalho himself as an example of the alleged “success” of Guenonian traditionalism and anti-Marxism, especially because Carvalho was a major influence on his thinking. But Carvalho’s troubled and complicated background would not make him a good example.
Even so, it is very troubling that he used as his bibliographical base Evola, whose traditionalist ideas influenced Mussolini and Nazi Germany.
Just as socialists use a speech of assistance to the poor to advance their occult agenda, Guenonians use a traditionalist and anti-Marxist speech to advance their occult agenda.
Araujo defends a Catholicism parasitized by occultists as the predominant force in the Western politics.
There is a difference between Steve Bannon and Olavo de Carvalho. While Bannon spent years reading Guénon and other occultists, Carvalho did much more: He spent years reading and practicing Guénon. For years he gave astrology classes in Brazil. He acquired national prominence in Brazil by having founded the first organization of astrology and Escola Júpiter (Jupiter School), the first school of astrologers in Brazil in the late 1970s.
In his capacity as chief astrologer, he was interviewed by the Brazilian counterpart of Time, Veja magazine, in 9 April 1980, and by the TV channel Manchete in the early 1980s, to address astrology issues. Both interviews catapulted him to national fame in Brazil.
In 1981 he translated into Portuguese “A Metafísica Oriental” [Eastern Metaphysics], by René Guénon, published by his Escola Júpiter. Carvalho inherited his “anti-Marxism” from Guénon, who was anti-Marxist.
In 1989, he founded Sociedade Brasileira de Astrocaracterologia (Brazilian Society of Astrocharacterology) to advance astrology ideas. You can find more information on Carvalho in this Conservapedia article.
Araujo said, “Americans are the last traditionalist people in the West.” This is obviously a contradiction in his hijacking, because if the Guenonian thinking is that the Catholic Church is the only savior for the West, then an honest conclusion would be that Brazil, the largest Catholic nation in the world, would be last traditionalist nation in the West.
If “Americans are the last traditionalist people in the West,” then an intelligent mind would question: What is their most important tradition? During the birth of their Republic, Americans were not Guenonian. They were 98 percent Protestant. They were overwhelmingly and passionately Protestant.
But Protestant and evangelical are words not valued in Araujo’s article allegedly praising American traditions. He just hijacked Trump, America and her Protestant-based traditions to be a platform for Guenonian ideas, even though the U.S. evangelical tradition has never valued Guénon. When talking about America and Trump, Araujo mentions many times more the spiritualist Guénon than Biblical Protestantism. How could he be in touch with the American spiritual reality?
So Brazil now has a proselytizer of Guénon or Carvalho serving as foreign affairs minister. In this capacity, he will teach the world, even though not directly, that the spiritual answer is not the real Gospel and Jesus Christ, but a Catholic Church parasitized by Guénon adherents.
Araujo’s speeches may deceive gullible Christians. GospelPrime, the largest evangelical website in Brazil, said, “In several articles signed by the new chancellor on his personal website, Metapolitics, he shows himself to be a practicing Christian.”
Religiously, this is a contradiction, because in his article “Em 1717, três pescadores” (In 1717, three fishermen) in Metapolítica Araujo praises “Aparecida,” the most prominent idol worshipped by Catholics in Brazil. Brazilian evangelicals usually see worshipers of this idol as “practicing idolaters.” But strangely, GospelPrime identifies him as a “practicing Christian.” If this is true, why have many Brazilian evangelicals originally left the Catholic Church, Aparecida and other idols? Did they stop from being “practicing Christians” when they left their past idols?
Perhaps GospelPrime thought that because Araujo is a “staunch anti-communist,” it makes him a “practicing Christian.” So because Guénon and his occult and esoteric adherents are “staunch anti-communist,” are all them “practicing Christian”?
Has the definition of being a “practicing Christian” changed from an individual who lives a Biblical faith on Jesus to an individual who lives a “staunch anti-communist” life? It would radically change Christianity from a Biblical faith to a spiritualistic ideological faith. Because of Guenonianism, even Brazilian evangelicals seem to be suffering a change in their attitudes.
This is not the first time GospelPrime gives way before adherents of Guénon. GospelPrime has been promoting Bernardo Kuster, who has produced “staunch anti-communist” videos. He was an evangelical and worked in an evangelical church, but after he began to study “philosophy” under Carvalho, he became a Guenonian Catholic, and now, strangely, GospelPrime has more articles on him than on Luther himself!
So the case of Araujo is similar to many other cases of Catholics who have fallen under the spell of the Guenonian traditionalism, and become enthusiastic proselytizers of this political esoteric faith.
In the diplomatic magazine, Araujo appeals to Catholicism, saying about the definition of Brazil,
“We live on the Island of Vera Cruz, in the land of the Holy Cross, but we are not interested in knowing what that original name means, in knowing the destiny that this name calls… Why did destiny give Brazilians first that name, island of the true cross, land of the sacred cross?… Why did Brazil so soon hide it and change it into the name of a tree?… tree of life of the Hebrew Kabbalah, which in the Christian Kabbalah also becomes the cross of Christ.”
He appeals at the same time to Catholicism and the Jewish Kabbalah, which means “tradition,” but which is defined by The Popular Encyclopedia of Apologetics as “a highly developed form of Jewish mysticism… at the level of the superstitious practitioner who dabbles in the occult, Kabbalah receives the strongest condemnation from the very Torah it purports to honor: ‘Do not practice divination or sorcery’ (Leviticus 19:26).”
So in Araujo’s mind the Catholic essence of Brazil is similar to Kabbalah, which is not accepted by the Bible and the Christian Church, but it is accepted by the adherents of Guénon.
Marxism politically dominated Brazil, the largest Catholic nation in the world, because the Catholic Church was already dominated by Liberation Theology. Now a minority of Guenonian Catholics, who have hijacked the massive conservative evangelical wave, seek to have the Brazilian government dominated by right-wing occultism.
Araujo said, “the West is not based on values, it is not based on tolerance nor democracy, it is based on Plato and Aristotle.”
So he thinks that the West, especially America, is not based on Jewish-Christian values, but on Plato and Aristotle. Incidentally or not, Carvalho, who was Araujo’s teacher, said that with the Bible, Plato and Aristotle were the most fundamental literature in the early American Republic, even though the U.S. historian Bill Federer has said that the three most fundamental books in the early America were the Bible, The Pilgrim’s Progress and Fox’s Book of Martyrs (which exposes the Inquisition, defended by Carvalho). According to the conservative writer Nancy Pearcey, adherents of Guénon have a fixation on Plato.
Conclusion: Araujo’s article “Trump and West” is spiritual, more specifically spiritualistic. It is a highly religious article for a diplomatic magazine. Trump is just an expedient for Araujo to address comfortably Guénon and his traditionalism and occult anti-Marxism. An article actually addressing Trump and spirituality would have mentioned evangelicalism as many times as Araujo mentioned Guénon and traditionalism. Unknowingly, Trump was used by a Guenonian.
This is not the first time Trump is used by Guenonian Catholics. Last year one of them wrote that just as Trump is maligned and attacked for his conservative stances, so the Inquisition and its alleged good role for justice is maligned and attacked. They totally reject the historic versions portraying the Inquisition as a machine of torture and death against Jews and Protestants. And Carvalho is the most prominent Brazilian rejecter.
It is impossible to understand Trump without recognizing the massive evangelical influence on his victory. In the same way, it is impossible to understand Araujo without recognizing the massive influence of Carvalho and Guénon on his life.
As a Brazilian Guenonian Catholic — Catholic syncretism is very common in Brazil —, Ernesto Araujo can accept Guénon and his occult traditionalism and reject Marxism. As usual among Guenonians, he does not recognize the massive role of the conservative evangelical wave that put Trump in the U.S. presidency and Bolsonaro in the Brazilian presidency.
Contrary to Araujo, who said that to understand Trump you should read his traditionalist master René Guénon, I would recommend that to understand Trump you should read the books of the evangelical leaders who advise Trump.
Yet, to understand Araujo and his diplomatic sophistry, you should actually read Guénon.
The big problem in the U.S. is neoconservatives and other warmongers hijacking conservative causes and drawing conservative Christians to support wars. The big problem in Brazil is Guenonians and other occultists and syncretic Catholics hijacking conservative causes and drawing conservative Christians to support their phony conservatism. Neoconservatives, Guenonians and other occultists are so dangerous as Marxists are.
As a conservative evangelical, I reject neoconservatism and the Guenonian traditionalist utopia and sophistry. And as a member of the same conservative evangelical wave that put Trump in the U.S. presidency and Bolsonaro in the Brazilian presidency, I recognize the massive role of this wave and I reject both Marxism and occultism. For me, they are both different sides of the same coin.
Portuguese version of this article: Política externa brasileira: do marxismo ao ocultismo
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.