Gábor Vona, the president of Jobbik, which is generally described as a radical-right political power, said after his party’s recent by-election win in Tapolca that he wants to win the parliamentary election in 2018. Opinion polls show Jobbik is already breathing down Fidesz’s neck, now that the ruling party is in crisis. It may not be as unrealistic as it seems that Jobbik could really assume power and Vona would become the next prime minister.
To measure the realistic chances of this scenario, we have investigated who is the person advising Vona and influencing his decisions. It is recognised that advisors have a fundamental role in politics, and just as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán`s chief advisor, Árpád Habony, is said to be an influential voice, so Vona also has a “grey eminence” behind him with whom he confers on all important issues, and his name is Tibor Imre Baranyi.
Baranyi is the official consultant of Jobbik-leader Vona
Baranyi, who is Vona’s official advisor, meaning that he is contracted (and as such earns a monthly gross salary of HUF 189.878, according to the Jobbik president), is one of the founders and the present leader of Jobbik’s elite school, the King Attila Academy of Humanities and National Strategy. He is also a member of the editorial board of the periodical Magyar Hüperión, which is financed by “For a flourishing Hungary”, a foundation of the Jobbik party.
Finally, Baranyi owns the Kvintesszencia publishing house in Debrecen, which in 2012 published a compilation of works from the Italian cultural philosopher, esoteric, occultist and metaphysical race theoretician Julius Evola (1898-1974). Evola was in close contact with the SS during World War II and worked for the Study Society for Primordial Intellectual History, German Ancestral Heritage founded by Heinrich Himmler.
By the way, Vona wrote a passionate introduction for the Evola compilation published by Kvintesszencia. Another influential traditionalist, Róbert Horváth, also significantly contributed to the book’s production. Horváth is the editor-in-chief of Magyar Hüperión and deputy dean at the King Attila Academy.
Baranyi sticks to occult traditionalism
Baranyi is a representative of a spiritual movement (or even a whole doctrine) called traditionalism, which is not that important in Hungary but in the Western world is a marginal phenomenon. This school criticises the valueless modern consumer world from the perspective of – not specifically outlined – tradition.
The doctrine likes to take examples from Buddhism, Hinduism, Islamic tradition and other directions of religion in order to compare the dilapidation of the Western world against something. The person who combined many different spiritual movements in such a way and is considered as the icon of traditionalists today is the Frenchman René Guénon (1886-1951). Guénon spent his late years as a Muslim Sufi mystic under the name Abdel Wahid Yahia in Cairo, the Egyptian capital becoming the final destination of his spiritual movement.
Vona does not seem to really mind that the traditional school based on the global synthesis of different religious directions and spiritual-cultural tradition contradicts the official Jobbik image of being “Christian and Hungarian”. He himself follows the “metaphysical tradition”. A couple of months ago this is what he told weekly newspaper Heti Válasz: “Every larger global religion has a core truth which is the same as in the other ones and in most cases it’s called God. Everyone has the task to get as close to God as possible in his own cultural circle and within his own faith. As a Hungarian, European and Roman Catholic person I have the same task. However, at the same time I pay attention to, study and understand other cultures and religions too.”
What would Vona say about the following passage from an essay written by his advisor, Tibor Imre Baranyi? “The main accusation against Hitler’s Germany is the Holocaust myth. We can say it without beating around the bush that the Holocaust myth is the most mendacious and meanest propaganda in the history of the 20th century, or even ever in the history of the world. The truth is that the Holocaust myth was invented by Jewish-Judeocratic journalists in America years after World War II.”
Vona told Heti Válasz: “I don’t know this essay, but supposing that I interpret this passage the right way, the author is not denying the Holocaust, he is rather critically questioning the consensus over the number of victims and the political instrumentation of the Holocaust.”
When Heti Válasz asked when Vona and Baranyi got to know each other, the Jobbik leader answered: “I was familiar with his essays since a long time. We were brought together by our common respect towards Béla Hamvas [important Hungarian representative of the Holismus theory and thinker, 1897-1968]. Tibor spotted some works from Hamvas on a shelf in the background as he was watching a video of me, and after that he contacted me through a mutual acquaintance. This happened in 2012.
“Since then our relationship deepened into friendship. This also means that we are having honest discussions over tactical, strategic and also ethical questions. In practice Tibor is not really my advisor, much rather my merciless critic. For me it’s important to surround myself with advisors who are not yes-men.”
Vona: “The ultimate goal is establishing a theocracy”
Observers and insiders fear that Vona could fall prey to confused ideas and utopian scenarios under the influence of his occult-traditional mentor, Baranyi, that would result in losing his clear sight in politics. Vona says: “In my opinion the ultimate goal of human life is establishing a theocracy. This is the goal that I’m trying to realise with all my powers in politics as well.”