NOSTRADAMUS, ASTROLOGY AND THE BIBLE
SUBSTUDY "WORLD WAR II"
Oorlogsvoorspellingen - een onderzoek m.b.t. proscopie in verband met het wereldgebeuren
(dr. W.H.C. Tenhaeff, The Hague, 1948 [1947])
- T.W.M. van Berkel -

Nederlandse versie
 

Tenhaeff 1948
Tenhaeff 1948

Oorlogsvoorspellingen (UK: War predictions) by dr. W.H.C. Tenhaeff, The Hague, 1948 (1947)
Shorty after the invasion of the Netherlands by the Germans in May 1940, dr. Willem Heinrich Carl Tenhaeff (Rotterdam [NL], 1894 - Utrecht [NL], 1981, private teacher in parapsychology at the Utrecht university, planned to investigate as accurate as possible what ESP-gifted persons in the Netherlands had seen regarding the oubreak of the war and its course. It was only after the liberation of the Netherlands in 1945 that he could begin. Together with George Avetoom Marterus Zorab (Soerabaja [Dutch East Indies], 1898 - Zoetermeer [NL], 1990), parapsychologist and secretary of the Studievereniging voor Psychical Research, he mailed questionaries. More than one hundred people responded. Tenhaeff ran two times through these lists and compiled
Oorlogsvoorspellingen - een onderzoek m.b.t. proscopie in verband met het wereldgebeuren from the material he finally selected. 
Oorlogsvoorspellingen... is divided in chapters about general predictions about the war; done in times of peace and in times of war, proscopies which were reason to expect a war; proscopies during the war, dealing with military acts; predictions by psychoscopists to clients in which the war was announced of from which the war could be derived; unconscious telepathic influences and a variety of non-reliable predictions; faked predictions and the "predictions" by Nostradamus; predictions, based upon astrology and chiromanthy, and finally spontaneous telepathy. 
Tenhaeff concluded that the results of his investigation of precognition, related to world events, confirmed the results, published by the French parapsychologist Eugène Osty in 1922-1925 in La connaissance supra-normale, that many general predictions can be traced back to personal predictions and that in the majority of cases, one can only know the fate of communities by the future life circumstances and the course of life of psychoscopists which belong to these communities. According to Tenhaeff, these psychoscopists have the ability to predict, although mostly sketchy. Tenhaeff could not answer the question if there are general predictions which have no connection to an individual human being.[1]

 

The contents of chapter XI in Oorlogsvoorspellingen...
In Oorlogsvoorspellingen..., the Prophecies of Nostradamus (the Centuries) are discussed in chapter XI, entitled "Voorspellingen" en propaganda (UK: "Predictions" and propaganda).[2] Chapter XI is divided in two paragraphs and a bibliography.
In paragraph 1, Tenhaeff describes the phenomenon of faked prophecies, compiled after the occurence of the event which is mentioned in such prophecies.
Paragraph 2 deals with Nostradamus and the Centuries. In this paragraph, two national-socialist comments on the Centuries are discussed:  Hoe zal deze oorlog eindigen?... ("Pasteur", The Hague, NL, 1940) and Voorspellingen die uitgekomen zijn... (De Tombre, Arnhem, 1941).
In the paragraph Litteratuur (UK: Literature), Tenhaeff gave a list of publications he consulted:

  • De Fontbrune: Les prophéties de Nostradamus dévoilées. Paris, 1937.

  • Kemmerich, M.: Prophezeiungen. Munich, 1925.

  • Kiesewetter, K.: Nostradamus und seine Prophezeiungen. In: Sphinx, 1887-I.

  • Kniepf: Echte und gefälschte Prophezeiungen des Nostradamus. In: Psychische Studien, 1909.

  • Pelletier, A. le: Les Oracles de M. de Nostradamus. Paris, 1867.

  • Pierson, J.: The Prophecies of Nostradamus. In: Journal of the Am.S.P.R., vol. XXXIII.

  • Price, J.: Nostradamus. In: Journal of the Am.S.P.R., vol. XXXI.

  • Tombre, A. de: Staat onze toekomst vast? Voorspellingen van Nostradamus uit het jaar 1558 over het verloop van den huidigen oorlog. Arnhem. 
    On this website, this book is not mentioned by its cover title, but by the title, printed on the title page: Voorspellingen die uitgekomen zijn...

  • Torné-Chavigny: Histoire prédite et jugée par Nostradamus. Bordeaux, 1860-62.

  • Vignois, E. du: Notre histoire raconté a l'avance par Nostradame. Paris, 1910.

  • Vreede, W.L.: De profetieën van Nostradamus. The Hague.

  • Hoe zal deze oorlog eindigen? Een belangwekkende en actueele beschouwing op grond der voorspellingen van Michel Nostradamus gegeven in "Les vrayes Centuries et Prophéties. Samengesteld uit de nagelaten geschriften van J.F. Pasteur. The Hague, 1940.

Chapter XI in Oorlogsvoorspellingen... also contains references to or quotations from: 

  • Dessoir, M.: Vom Jenseits der Seele - die Geheimwissenschaften in kritischer Betrachtung. Stuttgart, 1917.

  • Dietz, P.A..: an article (not specified), published in Tijdschrift voor parapsychologie IX, p.157.

  • Flaubert, E.: Eclaircissement des Véritables Quatrains de Maistre Michel Nostradamus. 1656.

  • Garencières, T. de: The true Prophecies or Prognostications of Michael Nostradamus. 1672.

  • Huizinga, prof.: Homo Ludens. Haarlem, 1938.

  • Kiesewetter, K.: Geschichtliche Prophezeiungen. In: Sphinx, September 1890.

  • Tenhaeff, dr. W.H.C.: Parapsychologie en ontwikkelingspsychologie. In: Tijdschrift voor Parapsychologie, XIV, p.14 f.f.

  • Zorab, G: De zogenaamde voorspellingen van Djojobojo, den Javaanschen Nostradamus. In: Tijdschrift voor Parapsychologie, XIV, p.146.

 

dr. W.H.C. Tenhaeff
dr. W.H.C. Tenhaeff

Tenhaeff about Nostradamus and the Centuries
Tenhaeff is very sceptical about the Centuries. This is shown in the title he gave to chapter XI: "Predictions" and propaganda. Underneath the title is a quotation from Vom Jenseits der Seele - die Geheimwissenschaften in kritischer Betrachtung (Max Dessoir, Stuttgart, 1917): Das Wunder bei Nostradamus ist nicht sein Text, sondern die Auslegekunst seiner Erklärer. It is also shown in the title of paragraph 2 of chapter XI, in which the Centuries are discussed: De "voorspellingen" van Nostradamus (UK: The "predictions" of Nostradamus).
Tenhaeff opens paragraph 2 with a brief biography of Nostradamus. About the meaning of Nostradamus, he writes that Nostradamus became a legendary figure, about who stories are told which cannot stand a thorough historic investigation, to who predictions are attributed which he never did and who (rightly or not) got a huge reputation as a seer and astrologer. Tenhaeff characterizes the Centuries as predictions, written in an almost incomprehensible oracle language. As the centuries went by, it became more and more difficult to understand the meaning of these predictions.
Tenhaeff gives examples of anagrams which occur in the Centuries such as Chyren Selim, which might point to the French king Henry III, and gloomy phrasings like Les Razes, which would point to the Turkish people. According to Tenhaeff, anagrams and gloomy phrasings were used in connection with the habit in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance to present poetical riddles to the readers. Only Nostradamus' contemporaries might understand their meaning. On the other hand, it was Nostradamus' intention that only a few adepts would understand the meaning of his predictions instead of the great community.
In paragraph 2, Tenhaeff opens his discussion of the Centuries with the question if there are predictions of Nostradamus which can pass a parapsychological critic. Regarding this question, he discusses the quatrains 01-35 and 10-100. 
Commentators like Theophilus de Garencières linked quatrain 01-35 to the decease of the French king Henry II in 1559. According to De Garencières, this quatrain contains many details about this decease and the events which preceded it. Tenhaeff asks if this link is the convincing proof that Nostradamus published this prediction in 1555. The claim that there is an edition of the Centuries in which 1555 is given as the year of issue, does not prove to Tenhaeff that this (first) edition indeed was published in that year. He considers it possible that such an edition is in fact a forgery.[3] 
Next, Tenhaeff discusses the comments of De Garencières, J. Pierson (The Prophecies of Nostradamus, in: Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, nr. XXXIII) and Dietz (in: Tijdschrift voor Parapsychologie IX, p.157) on quatrain 10-100, in which is predicted that England will be a super power for more than 300 years. All of them say that this is a genuine prediction, since during Nostradamus' lifetime there were no perspectives for England to become a super power.[4] Then, Tenhaeff quotes the comment, given by De Tombre in Voorspellingen die uitgekomen zijn... According to De Tombre, the downfall of England's  supremacy begins in 1939. According to De Tombre, the reference in the fourth line of quatrain 10-100 to the Lusitains is a reference to the Portuguese, who in the early 40's enforced their garrisons on the Azorean islands in order to prevent an American invasion.[5] Tenhaeff recognizes the propagandistic nature of Voorspellingen die uitgekomen zijn... but points to his idea that a prediction, which can be explained in a way which is entirely different from another explanation, does not meet parapsychologists.
As a second example of diverging comments, Tenhaeff discusses the comments of De Garèncieres and Pierson on quatrain 01-47. The first line of this quatrain contains an allusion to "the speeches at the Lake of Geneva". According to De Garencières, this quatrain deals with Calvin, who started his Reformation campaign in Geneva. According to Pierson, this quatrain contains a clear prediction of the League of Nations and its final failure. Tenhaeff, who also mentions De Tombre's linking of quatrain 01-47 to the League of Nations,[6] concludes that, like many other quatrains, quatrain 01-47 can be explained in many ways. For parapsychologists, such material is worthless.
Next, Tenhaeff discusses De Fontbrune's Les Prophéties de Nostradamus Dévoilées (Parijs, 1937) and Hoe zal deze oorlog eindigen? ("Pasteur", The Hague, 1940), which, according to the subtitle, contains an actual declaration, based upon a.o. a study of the French Nostradamus-expert Dr. de Fontbrune. Tenhaeff characterizes Hoe zal deze oorlog eindigen? as a veiled national-socialist propaganda writing. According to him, De Fontbrune announced in this booklet that the British Empire will be completely destroyed by the more and more powerful Great-German Empire, ruled by Adolf Hitler. The worth of this prediction became clear when Germany capitulated in 1945.
Tenhaeff concludes that a seer, whose predictions can be explained in the many ways as the predictions by Nostradamus, might be esteemed in circles of those who are interested in crossword puzzles and cards. In circles of those who strive for a scientific investigation of PSI, the study of the writings of Nostradamus can only be qualified as an irresponsible waste of time.

 

Additions and critical notes
Tenhaeff takes the view that Voorspellingen die uitgekomen zijn... and Hoe zal deze oorlog eindigen?... were written by Dutchmen and published in 1940, shortly after the capitulation of the Netherlands on May 15. The literature study upon which the articles are based, which are published in the substudy "World War II", shows different things. By Goebbels' order, Hoe zal deze oorlog eindigen? was compiled in November - December 1939 by employees of his Ministry of Propaganda and published in several languages, such as Dutch. The Dutch version was published around April 12, 1940, together with the Swiss version, which was written in French.[7] In Voorspellingen die uitgekomen zijn..., the comment on quatrain XI-XCIX contains a discussion of the pact between Germany, Italy and Japan as "a counter-reaction against Bolshevism. This pact was signed on September 27, 1940. The comment on quatrain VIII-LXXII contains a reference to the German invasion in Russia, which took place on June 22, 1941. This means that Voorspellingen die uitgekomen zijn... was completed after June 22, 1941 and probably before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.[8] Ulrich Maichle, a German Century-scholar, has strong indications that Voorspellingen die uitgekomen zijn... originally was written by the German dr. phil. Alexander Max Centgraf, also known as dr. N. Alexander Centurio.[9] Because of this, Tenhaeff's remark that the Germans and the Dutch Ministry for People's Enlightenment and Arts permitted the publication of Voorspellingen die uitgekomen zijn... and Hoe zal deze oorlog eindigen? becomes obsolete.
Tenhaeff writes that in Voorspellingen die uitgekomen zijn..., the Jewish ascendancy of Nostradamus was deliberately ignored. Tenhaeff did not mention that "Pasteur" also wrote nothing about this. Regarding the biographies of Nostradamus, published by De Tombre and "Pasteur", it must be noted that they copied quite a lot from the Brief Discovrs sur la vie de m. Michel Nostradamus, originally published in Ianus François (De Chavigny, 1594), later included in e.g. the 1668-Amsterdam-edition of the Centuries, which edition, in the form of the 1938-Piobb-copy, was one of the sources of the German source text of Hoe zal deze oorlog eindigen?. In the 1941-Vreede-translation, mentioned in Tenhaeff's bibliography, nothing is written about the Jewish ascendancy of Nostradamus. Also in Wöllner-1926 and Winkler-1937, nothing is written about this. The fact that De Tombre and "Pasteur" did not write anything about Nostradamus' Jewish ancestors, might be caused by the fact that in the texts they copied, nothing was mentioned regarding this.
According to Tenhaeff, De Tombre, in his discussion of quatrain 10-100 on p. 25 of Voorspellingen die uitgekomen zijn... points to quatrain 03-13, which is discussed by Tenhaeff in another part of chapter XI, because of the fact that according to De Tombre, in this quatrain a severe famine in England is predicted, caused by the activities of the German submarines, whereas according to "Pasteur", in this quatrain the outbreak of World War I is predicted and the sinking of the English cruiser New Hampshire, during which the English Supreme Navy Commander drowned.[10] Tenhaeff rightly notices that these two national-socialist comments are contradictive. However, De Tombre's reference to "another couplet of Nostradamus" which shows that, starting in 1939, England's supremacy would come to an end, is not a reference to quatrain 03-13, but to quatrain 03-57, with the mentioning of the "Cromwell revolution" and "the present war".
Tenhaeff discusses some aspects of De Fontbrune's Les Prophéties de Nostradamus Dévoilées (1937). Next, he discusses some of De Fontbrune's remarks, copied in Hoe zal deze oorlog eindigen?... Originally, these remarks were published in chapter XXII of De Fontbrune's Les Prophéties de Maistre Michel Nostradamus. Expliquées et commentées (Sarlat, 1939, 5th edition). Here, De Fontbrune actually writes that, according to the Centuries, England will lose both his fleet and his empire. Basing himself upon quatrain 03-57 (seven changes in England in a time span of 290 years), De Fontbrune expects that the seventh change in England will be a war, in which England will choose the side of the enemies of France. He assumes that the period of 290 years, given in quatrain 03-57, has started in 1657 and he expects the war around 1947.[11] In the chapters XIV-XVII however, De Fontbrune did not only discribe the rise of fascism and national-socialism, but also their fall. For the Vichy-government, this was a reason to forbid Les Prophéties de Maistre Michel Nostradamus. Expliquées et commentées in November 1940 and to confiscate all printing materials of this book.[12] In Hoe zal deze oorlog eindigen?..., the comment of De Fontbrune is taken out of its context, as was the case with Loogs comment on quatrain 03-57 (1921) and the comment of Swedish Century-scholars, discussed in Walsing's Ein Zukunftsroman der europäischen Menschheit (1925).[13]

 

Discussion
Shortly after World War II, the Dutch parapsychologist dr. W.H.C. Tenhaeff did an investigation on proscopy, in order to determine if, and if yes, to what extent, precognition of world events is possible by means of ESP. According to Tenhaeff, a number of psycoscopists are able to predict, be it mostly sketchy.
Tenhaeff also took a look at the Centuries, with a more than sceptical attitude. He examined comments, given by a.o. Dietz, De Garencières and Pierson and concluded that they were not unanimous. According to Tenhaeff, this means that the Centuries can be explained in many ways, which make them not suited for parapsychological research. In fact, he considers a parapsychological investigation of the Centuries as an irresponsible waste of time. Next, in the process of evaluating the value of the Centuries, the comments of De Tombre and "Pasteur" also played a part.
As far as I can see, there are three reasons to contest Tenhaeff's conclusions. 
Primo, he studied comments on the Centuries instead of the Centuries. He did not discuss if, and if yes to what extent, the Centuries contain elements which point to proscopy. 
Secundo, while discussing the fact that certain comments on some quatrains are not unanimous, Tenhaeff did not restrict himself to the discussion of non-propagandistic comments, but also included the comments by De Tombre and "Pasteur", as if these comments belonged to the same category as the ones by e.g. De Garencières. At the end of paragraph 1, he writes that paragraph 2 will show that the Germans used the "predictions" as a means of propaganda. However, paragraph 2 rather shows the way Tenhaeff evaluates the Centuries in general than that it shows in what way the Germans used the Centuries for psychological warfare. 
Tertio, Tenhaeff did not deepen himself enough in the publications by De Tombre and "Pasteur" and the publications to which was referred in these booklets. This can be seen in the dates Tenhaeff supposed regarding the issue of these booklets, the false reference to quatrain 03-13, the false discussion of De Fontbrune's comment and the fact that Tenhaeff, who writes that the phrasing Les Razes seems to deal with the Turkish people, did not discuss that De Tombre, in his comment on quatrain 07-13, translated the words La teste raze in het leidende ras (UK: the leading race), i.e. the Germans.[14]

 

Conclusion
Tenhaeffs investigation of the Centuries is not in line with the aim of his research regarding proscopy. He did not examine if, and if yes, to what extent the Centuries contain proscopive elements. Instead, he drew the conclusion, based upon comments (non-propagandistic and propagandistic) that the Centuries are worthless from a parapsychological point of view. He did not discuss the question in what way the Germans used the Centuries for propaganda purposes and how. He made the methodical mistake to let propagandistic comments play a part in the process of determining if the Centuries are yes/no suited for parapsychological research.

 

De Meern, the Netherlands, October 4, 2005
T.W.M. van Berkel

 

Notes
The titles, places and year of issue of the mentioned authors are listed in the bibliography.

  1. Tenhaeff, p.11-14. Dr. Wilhelm Heinrich Carl Tenhaeff (Rotterdam, January 18, 1894 - Utrecht, July 9, 1981) got interested in the paranormal at his 17th year of life. During his study of psychology at the Utrecht University (NL), prof. F.M.J.A. Roels, an experimental psychologist, encouraged him to pursue research in the paranormal field. In 1933, Tenhaeff promoted in psychology and was appointed as a private teacher on parapsychology. In 1928, together with dr. P.A. Dietz, who was appointed as a private teacher in Leiden (NL), he founded the Tijdschrift voor Parapsychologie (UK: Journal for parapsychology) and resuscitated the Studievereeniging voor Psychical Research (UK: Society for Psychical Research), which was founded in 1920. During World War II, the Germans ordered that both the journal and the society had to terminate their activities. Tenhaeff had to go underground, because he was suspected of illegal activities.
    In 1953, Tenhaeff was appointed to extraordinary professor in parapsychology at the Utrecht University. Very frequently, he published articles etc. about parapsychology, held many lectures and made many efforts to apply parapsychology in daily life, e.g. in the assistance of police inspectors. According to him, supernatural phenomena had to be studied by means of general psychology. In his publications about e.g. ghost appearances, divining rods and telepathie, he managed to rise interest in these phenomena and at the same time evaluated them.
    From the very moment of his appointment in 1953 as extraordinary professor in parapsychology, Tenhaeff's scientific integrity was discussed frequently. One of the results was that in 1960, a number of members left the Society for Psychical Research. In 1964, the succeeding of Tenhaeff turned into a dragging problem because of the doubt which existed, regarding the scientific value of his work. Until 1978, Tenhaeff remained extraordinary professor, but the parapsychology developed in a way which was not according to his ideas. In the last years of his professorhood, Tenhaeff had a special interest in the religious aspects of parapsychology, e.g. reincarnation (these facts are borrowed from: H. van der Hoeven: Tenhaeff, Wilhelm Heinrich Carl (1894-1981), Internet: www.inghist.nl). [text]

  2. Tenhaeff, p.216. [text]

  3. With this statement, Tenhaeff leans upon paragraph 1 of chapter XI, in which he refers to Geschichtliche Prophezeiungen, written by Karl Kiesewetter and published in September 1890 in the journal Sphinx. In this article, Kiesewetter pointed towards the fact that a number of political predictions are not authentic, but compiled after the occurrence of the events, described in these predictions. [text]

  4. Tenhaeff notes that the word copies in the third line is derived from the German word copiae, which can be translated in both "goods" and "assistance troops". In most of the translations of quatrain 10-100, this word is translated according to its military sense. [text]

  5. De Tombre, p.24-26. [text]

  6. De Tombre, p.42-44. [text]

  7. Richter, p.72. See also: Van Berkel: Was bringt das Jahr 1940?. In the post-war Dutch administration of justice, it became clear that after the capitulation of The Netherlands on May 15, 1940, the Ausland section of the German Propaganda Ministry ordered the production and spread of a second edition, its circulation number 3.000 copies. This edition was most notably spread in July and August 1940, which might explain Tenhaeff's dating of Hoe zal deze oorlog eindigen?.(Van Berkel: Hoe zal deze oorlog eindigen?).[text]

  8. De Tombre, p.84-86. Actually, the quatrain in Voorspellingen die uitgekomen zijn... which carries the number XI-XCIX, is quatrain 01-99; the quatrain which carries the number VIII-LXXII should carry the number 08-77. [text]

  9. Maichle to Van Berkel, July 9, 2005. [text]

  10. In Voorspellingen die uitgekomen zijn..., quatrain 03-13 is discussed on p.78-79. In Hoe zal deze oorlog eindigen?..., it is discussed on p.21-22. [text]

  11. "Pasteur", p.42 (note 15). In Hoe zal deze oorlog eindigen?..., the texts, selected from De Fontbrune-1939, are copied literally in French and are literally translated in Dutch. In Les Prophéties..., the predictions regarding England are on p.258. [text]

  12. Van Dis: Nostradamus, een profeet voor duistere tijden, in: NRC Handelsblad, February 19, 1982. See also: Benazra, p.486.  [text]

  13. See: 
    - Van Berkel: Quatrain 03-57 and Die Weissagungen des Nostradamus (C. Loog, Pfullingen in Württenberg, 1921 [1920]);
    - Van Berkel: Die Prophezeiungen des Nostradamus (dr. E. Noelle, Deutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, Berlin, June 16, 1940 [1998 and 2003]). [text]

  14. De Tombre, p.75. [text]

 
 

 
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