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Oskar Ernst Bernhardt

(1875-04-18)18 April 1875
Died6 December 1941(1941-12-06) (aged 66)
Other namesAbd-ru-shin, Abdruschin
Known forIn the Light of Truth: The Grail Message

Oskar Ernst Bernhardt, also known as Abd-ru-shin or Abdruschin (18 April 1875, Bischofswerda, Kingdom of Saxony, German Empire – 6 December 1941, Kipsdorf, Ore Mountains, Germany), is best known as the author of the Grail Message.[1]

After a brief commercial training Oskar Ernst Bernhardt began his literary activity while still a young man. This often led him to foreign countries. In 1915 he was interned in England. Released in 1919, he first went to Dresden, later to Bavaria and in 1923 began to write the first lectures of the Grail Message.[2]

In 1928 he settled in Vomperberg, Tyrol. There he wrote "In the Light of Truth: The Grail Message". He was labeled a "dangerous" element by the Nazi authorities and exiled from Austria in 1938.

The Messiah[edit]

He claimed to be the Messiah or Son of Man.[3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10] By his own admission, he was described in leading newspapers as the Messiah of the Tyrol and the Prophet of Vomperberg.[11]

The Grail Movement maintains discretion in respect to his role as Messiah/Son of Man.[12]

Life, publishing, legacy[edit]

Bernhardt was born in Bischofswerda, Germany, trained in business, and successfully established himself in Dresden. He traveled and wrote travel books, stories, and plays. He resided in New York and London. He was in London when World War I broke out and in 1914 he was interned on the Isle of Man.

This seclusion gave him time to reflect, question, and deepen his understanding. He was released in the Spring of 1919 and returned to Germany. He began to write In the Light of Truth: The Grail Message in 1923 and completed it in 1931 under the pen name Abd-ru-shin.

In 1928 he settled in Austria, Tyrol on a mountain plateau called Vomperberg. Here he continued writing The Grail Message. The Nazis came to power in 1938, ending his work there. He was arrested and exiled to Kipsdorf in the Erzgebirge. He was forbidden any further writing. He died while in Gestapo custody.


After the war, his family returned to Vomperberg and carried on his work. Other writings by Abd-ru-shin published by Grail Foundation Press include The Ten Commandments of God and The Lord's Prayer, Questions and Answers, and Prayers.[citation needed]


  • Kurt Hutten: Seher - Grübler - Enthusiasten. 1997, ISBN 3-7918-2130-X, S. 531–549
  • Helmut Obst: Apostel und Propheten der Neuzeit – Gründer christlicher Religionsgemeinschaften des 19. und 20. Jahrhunderts. 4., stark erweiterte und aktualisierte Auflage. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2000, ISBN 3-525-55438-9
  • Andreas Plagge: "Oskar Ernst Bernhardt". In: Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon (BBKL). Band 22, Bautz, Nordhausen 2003, ISBN 3-88309-133-2, Sp. 120–122, [1].
  • Georg Schmid: Kirchen, Sekten, Religionen. 2003, ISBN 3-290-17215-5, S. 219–221
  • Lothar Gassmann: Zukunft, Zeit, Zeichen. Aufruf zur Wachsamkaeit, Verlag für Reformatorische Erneurung, Kaiserstr.78, D-42329 Wuppertal, 103 Seiten, [2].
  • Patrick Diemling: Neuoffenbarungen Religionswissenschaftliche Perspektiven auf Texte und Medien des 19. und 20. Jahrhunderts, Universitätsverlag Potsdam, 2012, [3].


  1. ^ In the Light of Truth: The Grail Message- Edition in three volumes
  2. ^ "The Author | Grail Administration Nigeria". grailadministrationnigeria.org. Retrieved 2017-06-08.
  3. ^ Wilson, Bryan R. (1975). The Noble Savages: The Primitive Origins of Charisma and Its Contemporary Survival. University of California Press. p. 114. ISBN 978-0-520-02815-9. ... but their prominence and relative success when compared with such figures as Louwrens van Voorthuizen (Lou) in Holland, Georges Roux in France, and Oskar Ernst Bernhardt in Germany and Austria, all of whom claimed to be the messiah—is striking.
  4. ^ Introvigne, Massimo (1 March 2004). "Grail Movement". In Clarke, Peter (ed.). Encyclopedia of New Religious Movements. Routledge. p. 244. ISBN 978-1-134-49970-0. A complicated esoteric work, which includes a history of the universe partially derived from the Theosophical Society (see Theosophy), and hinting at Berhnardt’s own messianic role, it found interested readers within the esoteric milieu (see Esoteric Movements).
  5. ^ Vojtisek, Zdenek (February 2006). "Millennial Expectations in the Grail Movement" (PDF). Nova Religio: The Journal of Alternative and Emergent Religions. 9 (3): 61–79. doi:10.1525/nr.2006.9.3.061. ISSN 1541-8480. In order to calm the public and hide his messianic claims, in 1937 Bernhardt ordered that the “Conclusion” be cut out of all unsold In the Light of Truth books. ... Four lectures and the “Conclusion” published in 1931 are omitted in the authorized postwar version. The reason for dropping three of the lectures is probably the same as the reason for omitting the “Conclusion” in 1937: they were too explicit in pointing to Bernhardt (Abd-ru-shin) as the Messiah. Of the omitted lectures, the fourth was probably unacceptable after the war due to ideas that might be considered racist.28
  6. ^ Kürti, László (April 2001). "Psychic Phenomena, Neoshamanism, and the Cultic Milieu in Hungary". Nova Religio: The Journal of Alternative and Emergent Religions. 4 (1): 322–350. doi:10.1525/nr.2001.4.2.322. Cultic milieu books, long familiar to Westerners, are being translated into Hungarian and sold in legitimate bookstores. The latest examples are Akashic Records by Victor Charon and The Message of the Grail by Abd-Ru-Shin [Oskar Ernst Bernhardt (1875-1941)]. Both are fashionable books involving esoteric worldviews with messianic claims, and both are widely distributed on the Hungarian publishing market.
  7. ^ « Etwa seit 1923 spürte O. E. Bernhardt seinen besonderen religiösen Auftrag. Er betrachtete sich selbst als Gottesgesandten und als den verheißenen "Menschensohn", der das unvollkommene Werk des "Gottessohnes" Jesus Christus vollenden sollte. 1924 ließ er sich scheiden und begann wenig später mit der Veröffentlichung von Abhandlungen in der von ihm herausgegebenen Zeitschrift "Gralsblätter". Dabei nannte er sich "Abd-ru-shin". » (Plagge 2003: 120-122).
  8. ^ « Abd-ru-shin (= Oskar Ernst Bernhardt; 1875-1941), ein Deutscher, sah das Werk Jesu Christi als gescheitert an und verkündigte sich selbst als den „wahren Christus“, welcher der Menschheit die rettende „Gralsbotschaft“ übermittelt. » (Gassmann 1999).
  9. ^ « Das dreibändige 1926 erschiene Werk Im Lichte der Wahrheit – Gralsbotschaft von Abd-ru-shin ist eine Sammlung von 168 Vorträgen und enthält die Hauptgedanken des Mannes, der sich als „Menschensohn“82 verstand und in einer Pyramide auf dem Tiroler Vomperberg begraben ließ. » Diemling (2012: 153).
  10. ^


    Abdruschin has now completed His Message to mankind. In him has arisen


    the Envoy of God, the Son of Man, whose coming to judge and to save those who have not cut themselves adrift from salvation, was foretold by Jesus the Son of God in corroboration of the prophecies of the prophets of old. He carries the insignias of His high Office: the living Cross of the Truth radiating from Him and the Divine Dove above Him, the same in-signias as were borne by the Son of God.

    Awaken, oh man! For your spirit is asleep!

    — Abdruschin, In the Light of Truth. GRAIL MESSAGE. GREAT EDITION 1931
  11. ^ Abd-ru-shin (1 June 1995). "Chapter 7: The Distorted Tool". In the Light of Truth: The Grail Message. III. Grail Foundation Press. p. 754. ISBN 978-1-57461-006-2.
  12. ^ Cardini, Franco; Introvigne, Massimo; Montesano, Marina (1 January 1998). Il Santo Graal (in Italian). Giunti Editore. p. 142. ISBN 978-88-09-21274-9. Lo stesso Abd-Ru-Shin ha un ruolo messianico, su cui il movimento preferisce mantenere oggi una certa discrezione pubblica (anche se per i fedeli Abd-Ru-Shin altri non è che l’incarnazione di Parsifal).

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