Saturday, March 19, 2016

Who was George Wood?

The recent death of Justice Anton Scalia raised a lot of eyebrows when it came to light that he'd spent his final hours in the company of high-ranking members of the Order of St. Hubertus (IOSH).  An elite hunting club with aristocratic origins and a 200-year gap in it's online timeline?  Nothing worth pursuing there!  Not even when the sparse details they do provide offer the fact that the American branch was founded at the Bohemian Club in 1968?  Pretty nifty: Bohemian Grove/Wood!  What an anonymous name.  Almost like a pseudonym calculated to be the most bland and innocuous moniker possible.  It's also kind of an occupational name, for what are hunters but woodsmen?  We've already seen that the original military "jäger" units were made up of hunters, trappers and other assorted woodsmen, exactly the kind of fellows that administered the lands of the aristocrats that made up the IOSH.

Scalia's host on the fateful weekend he died was a fellow named John Poindexter.  In an email to the WaPo, P-dex wrote: “I am aware of no connection between that organization [IOSH] and Justice Scalia.”

Well, he should know, he's kind of a Grand Wazoo in the Order.  So surely Austrian magazine Kurier is wrong when they outed Scalia as a member.  Terry Melanson, who recommended our earlier articles on Conspiracy Archive, is the only person, at least when I first accessed his article a few days ago, to have relayed this news to the English-speaking world.  Melanson links to the Kurier article, but I'd have you go to it via his article, because it has a lot of details you won't find anywhere else, above and beyond every article I've read on the subject.  Melanson actually does research, not simply re-hash what other people have written

At the end of my last post I asked the world "Who da fug is George Wood?  Answer:  I still don't know.

We know a George Wood founded the American branch of the Order in 1968 at the Bohemian Club.  When the order was "restituted" in 1950, non-Germans invited to join included Halvor O. Ekern, chief political adviser of the US Armed Forces in Austria; Llewellyn E. Thompson, the American Ambassador, General Mark W. Clark, Commanding General of the Allied Forces in Austria; British Ambassador Baron Harold Caccia and "others".  And also, named but with no title given, George Wood.

George Wood became the Order's Grand Master in 1975.

That word restituted went in quotes in my earlier article because it sounded so strange.  But I discovered that 
'Restitution', or 'rehabilitation' is the process where Germany today seeks to recognise the efforts of individuals as patriotic to Germany, though who had not been seen as such previously.
That quote comes from a page for a movie about a man restituted in 2004, a German diplomat/spy for America named Fritz Kolbe.  Or, as his OSS handler Allen Dulles (later head of the CIA and member of the Warren Commission) had dubbed him in WW2, George Wood!

Let's take a quick look at Wood's fellow inductees:  IOSH Class of '50.  

"Col. [Halvor] Ekern worked as a trapper, logger and dam-construction foreman before graduating from the University of Montana in 1941 with a degree in forestry."  There's those woods again.

....He then was transferred to the 87th Mountain Infantry Regiment, where he served for the duration of World War II and assisted in organizing the ski troops of the 10th Mountain Division [like French chasseurs or German jägers]....After the war, he transferred from the mountain division to the headquarters of the U.S. Forces in Austria, where he was assigned as the quadripartite adviser to the commanding general and U.S. high commissioner....In 1947, Col. Ekern served on the delegation of Secretary of State George Marshall to the Council of Foreign Ministers....He joined the U.S. Foreign Service in 1950, remaining at the U.S. Embassy in Austria as a quadripartite director. He was a member of the U.S. delegation to the Austrian Treaty negotiations in 1955....From 1956 to 1959, Col. Ekern served in the Office of the Special Assistant to the Secretary of State for Atomic Energy Affairs in the State Department....He graduated from the State Department’s Senior Seminar on Foreign Policy in 1964 and served in the State Department Bureau of Intelligence and Research from 1964 to 1967....Ekern served as a political adviser to the commander in chief of U.S. Army Europe from 1969 to 1973 and was a member of the U.S. delegation to the NATO/Warsaw Pact negotiations on mutual and balanced force reductions in Vienna, Austria, from 1973 to 1974....After retiring from government work, Col. Ekern worked as an editor, writer and publisher, as well as in the security field. He also was president of the Arlington County Taxpayers Association and was chairman of the Arlington County Republican Committee....(snip snip

Llewellyn E. Thompson
You can see why he was an attractive candidate for the IOSH, given his background as an outdoorsman and a liaison to the kind of military units in which the ancestors of today's IOSH members would have served.

Llewellyn E. Thompson was the U.S. Ambassador to Austria from 1955–1957 and to Soviet Union from 1957 to 1962 and again between 1967 and 1969. He held a number of other positions throughout his U.S. foreign service career, including being the pivotal participant in the formulation of Johnson administration nuclear weapon non-proliferation policy. He also testified before the Warren Commission, which was investigating the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

Hmmm.  Nuclear energy again.  And what did he testify about before the Warren Commission?  Well, he was ambassador to Russia at the time Oswald presented himself at the embassy to renounce his citizenship.  Thompson had been out of town at that time.  Part of his testimony was to explain how cases like that are usually treated, partially to clarify the events around Oswald's renunciation.

Gen. Mark W. Clark was a controversial general who on more than one occasion during WW2 was accused of bad planning and bad decisions.  But he kept getting promoted. 

Gen. Clark
In 1945, as Commander in Chief of US Forces of Occupation in Austria, Clark gained experience negotiating with Communists, which he would put to good use a few years later....Clark served as deputy to the U.S. Secretary of State in 1947, and attended the negotiations for an Austrian treaty with the Council of Foreign Ministers in London and Moscow. In June 1947, Clark returned home and assumed command of the Sixth Army, headquartered at the Presidio in San Francisco, and two years later was named chief of Army Field Forces.

So, like our previous fellows, this was more than a soldier, but a diplomat with a little intelligence work under his belt (secretly negotiating with pro-Allied Vichy officers in North Africa, for example).  Like Eckert he was at the Council of Foreign Ministers negotiations in 1947.  Though he later withdrew after protests, Truman nominated him to be the United States emissary to the Holy See.  Hmmm.  Ambassador the the Vatican, eh?  Interesting he ended his days in San Francisco.  Could he have encountered the Bohemian Club while there?

Baron Caccia
Baron Harold Caccia, being an aristocrat, was be a perfect candidate for the IOSH.  He was an Oxford man and an athlete of many stripes.  He was Ambassador to Austria from 1951 to 1954, and from 1956 to 1961 he was Ambassador to the USA.  He is also accused of being a part of the Committee of 300, a group said to have been founded by members of the British aristocracy, a "hidden hand" behind international commerce and banking.  Jewish bankers, naturally.  He is considered to have bplayed a critical role in creating the "special relationship" between the USA and the UK.

Caccia was knighted in 1950, the same year he was asked to join the IOSH.  He was created a life peer in 1965. His other knightly titles include being a Bailiff Grand Cross of the Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem, a Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order and a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St. Michael and St. George.

So, these guys all were well-connected with ties to the diplomatic and intelligence communities.  All of this is pretty logical actually; the aristocracy, the Church and the Anglo-American alliance.  What strikes me, as I said in a previous post, is the following:
At the end of the World War surviving members of the Order, were authorized by Halvor O. Ekern, chief political adviser of the US Armed Forces in Austria to use their sporting guns to provide winter food to the rural population, avoiding not only famine but helping to save the country from falling behind the Iron Curtain.
I would posit that this is a not so indirect reference to being armed by the US in order fight the Communists, if necessary.  I can imagine the IOSH being part of a network of clubs and groups both secular and religious that could have been used to further the goals of the Western Occupation forces, to keep the Soviets in check.

So how does spy Fritz Kolbe, aka George Wood, fit into all this?  Kolbe was no small fry; he is basically recognized as the US's most important intelligence asset of the war.  He was more than likely connected to the others in the diplomatic/intelligence community.

That said, this George Wood is not the droid we're looking for.  Kolbe/Wood died in 1971.  But according to the IOSH, when the first Grand Master Albert Messany of the American branch retired in 1975, he was replaced by....George Wood.

Messany was described as a "big game hunter" in the Spartanburg Herald-Journal in 1936 in an admiring article (24 Nov. 1936) about an innovative camera-gun with which he intended to "hunt" in Canada.  This humane approach to tacking game gives credence to the Order's stated ideals of honoring God's creatures etc.  The Montreal Gazette (24 Jun. 1936) tells us that Messany is from Vienna and that this was his 10th visit to Canada.  The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader (20 Nov. 1936) has a little blurb about Messany's trip and the camera gun, but little detail.  The Indianapolis Star also mentions the photo gun in pretty much the same blurb as in Wilkes-Barre -- turns out it was an AP story.  Messany was apparently a doctor, but most sources about him are in German, so I'm not sure what to make of him.  He published several books about hunting, Canada and the great outdoors.  There is a reference to an Albert Messany issuing a
German wireless press message, to the effect that 2,000 soldiers, who were not invalids, had been carried by the hospital ship Britannia.
If it's the same Messany, it's hard to say.  It's definitely possible, depending on how old he was when he retired.  Wood was followed by Karl Weber as GM.  Whereas info on Messany (in English, anyway) is sparse, info on Karl Weber and George Wood is almost non-existent.

Fritz Kolbe
This George Wood of IOSH fame is still the biggest mystery to me.  I find it to be a really strange "coincidence" that a spy and the GM of an Austrian Order with links to the American intelligence community bear the same name.  Obviously, Kolbe/Wood can't be the same George Wood who became GM of the IOSH, but it's weird to begin with and I'm beginning to imagine increasingly weirder possibilities.  I'm still trying to link Kolbe with known Bohemians and/or members of the Order, as well as find more info on the George Wood who founded the American branch.  So far, I haven't found any references to any of the Class of 1950 being members of the Bohemian Club.

To paraphrase Wikipedia, Kolbe tried to settle in the US in 1949 but "could not find suitable work."  He later applied to work for the German diplomatic services again (unsuccessfully) and finally found work representing of an American power-saw manufacturer. After the war, Kolbe was despised in Germany and seen as a traitor until restituted in 2004.  Kolbe died of cancer in 1971.  Not exactly given a cushy job for life and flying high with the aristocratic hunting set.

We'll see if anything  more turns up; so far the record is silent.  The IOSH-USA does have an email address.  Maybe I should write them and ask.  I did paste the addy into an email, but pulled back.  Kind of want to stay out of their sights! (Update:  I wrote and asked for info about Wood on Terry's advice.  Update 29 Dec:  I eventually wrote to two addresses.  Never got a response.)

So again, who's George Wood?  Why was he asked the join the Order, along with ambassadors and generals?  I've actually managed to find quite a few George Woods, but there's always some detail to disqualify them.  Hmph.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Aucamville Project 14: Qu'es aquò?

Aucamville/Aucamvila, Tarn-et-Garonne.  Photo by Daurade
For the 0% of the French population that only speaks Occitan, the Tarn-et-Garonne has conveniently placed a new sign at the entrance to our village, just at the end of the Fondemenge cul-de-sac.  I see this sign at 1 o'clock (biplane tail gunner-wise) every time I leave the confines of our cozy little hamlet/a.k.a. nest of vipers.  This is a good thing for those non-existent Occitan monolinguals, it'd be hard to know you were in "Aucamvila" if you only had a sign for "Aucamville."  Una soleta lenga basta pas jamai!

Occitan is a Romance language spoken in southern France, some valleys in northeast Italy, Monaco, and the Val d'Aran in Spain.  In the Val d'Aran  it is an official language and the only place I have seen it used on street signs and stores in a widespread way.  The region where this language is spoken is unofficially called Occitania.

Many scholars don't see Occitan as one unified language, and others include Catalan in the same family; indeed, some dialects of Occitan are closer to Catalan than they are to other Occitan dialects.  In fact, until the end of the 19th century, Catalan was often considered an Occitan dialect.  Don't tell a Catalan that, though.  Anyway, this could have been a politically-driven interpretation pushed to dampen Catalonia's nationalist aspirations.

There is a kind of friendly rivalry among both peoples where Occitania meets Catalonia in the southwest of France, but there is more deeply a kind of solidarity between them as threatened minority languages, though Catalan has flourished in the last 50 years and seems here to stay.  Things get really interesting in the natural border between the two, the Pyrénées.  Every valley seems to have its own distinct dialect more or less influenced by Spanish, Catalan or French.  The people here will all have a smattering of French and Spanish and Catalan.  This is especially true of Andorra, where all three languages are spoken widely though Catalan remains the language with which Andorrans identify the most.  Andorran, however, are a minority in their own land, and a proper tally of ts linguistic groups might reveal that Portuguese is also widely-spoken among the Principality's guest workers.  Occitan and Catalan quite naturally blend elements from both Spanish and French, and they blend with one another as well.  It wouldn't be surprising to see Portuguese enter the mix; thanks to the Troubadours, legends from northern Portugal also flourish in the southwest of France, especially in Gascony, and in Asturiano, a.k.a. "Bable" (Babel?), they pronounce "o's" like "u's" ("quesu" and "vasu" for "queso" and "vaso")  -- much like in Occitan.

Google Earth
The Catalans, who have fiercely protected their language since the depredations of Franco, have officially recognized a form of Occitan called Aranès in the Val d'Aran.  Here you'll see signs in Spanish and Catalan, as well as some French.  But you also see signs in Aranès.  In Toulouse, street signs are in French and Occitan, and neighboring municipalities often have a second sign at the edge of town with its name in Occitan:  Toulouse - Tolosa (pronounced Toulousa -- remember to "o" sound like a "u").  But these French examples are more a tip of the hat to history; it's not really a part of the quotidian linguistic reality:  the Town Hall is the "Mairie" not the "Ajuntament".  Even in the Val d'Aran, I'm not sure how widely it's spoken.  Dominic Smith concludes that Aranès probably has "the brightest future" for all the Occitan dialects, but that it seems to be losing ground to Castilian Spanish or other more "practical" languages.  Some schools in the southwest of France have offered Occitan as an elective beginning in middle school, and there are bilingual programs and even Occitan primary schools known as Calandretas (which though private, are free).  But elective and bilingual programs are being cut as belts tighten and parents increasingly favor focusing on languages such as English.  Toulouse has become less provincial and isolated, attracting foreigners such as myself and French people from other regions who are not as connected to the language as people with deep roots here.  Very few people speak it, especially outside the home, although a few phrases are commonly heard at the café.

From Wikipedia: "Occitania" with its major dialects
Occitan has at various times been known as Limousin, Languedocien, Gascon, and Provençal, but nowadays these appellations refer to dialects.  Other dialects include Auvernat, Gascon, which include Aranès and Béarnese; there is also an Alpine dialect.  The Toulousain dialect is called Moundi.  A clear-cut taxonomy of these dialects is difficult and there are differing classifications of them, just as there are disagreements over the wider question of their relationship to Catalan.

There are two principal written standards:  a classical norm and one created by Frédéric Mistral in the early 20th century.  The Mistral standard is based on Provençal and similar to French -- both of which have led to criticism from later Occitanists.  Mistral is largely unknown outside of -- and within -- France, but he won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1904, for his poems in Occitan. 

Attempts to standardise the spoken language have been a 20th century phenomenon and to me, doesn't reflect the historical and even current reality of the language.  Some speakers reject this process altogether because they take pride in their way of speaking it, which may differ from even a neighboring village (or may have differed -- it would be hard to hear this in action).  The French are very attached to and strongly identify with their "terroir" -- a connection often more profound than they have to the Revolutionary-era departments.

Proposed flag for an idependent Occitania.

Some Occitanists are cultural flag-bearers, but for others there is a political element to their "Occitanism".  This tends to be very regionalist and while some call themselves nationalists, they bear little in common with the far right the word usually describes.  On the contrary, they tend to celebrate multiculturalism within their own borders and feel like a distinct cultural element of France's melting pot (France doesn't seem to have taken to the "salad bowl" theory -- Occitanists usually self-identify as French as readily as Occitan; in fact very few see themselves Occitan at all, but Languedocien, Gascon, or Provençal, etc.)  They tend to be strongly in favor of decentralization; conscious of the fact that Paris has suppressed their language and their culture, they favor local autonomy.  Standardization of the language is philosophically incompatible with this viewpoint.

Proposed flag for an independent Catalonia; the Estelada or "Lone Star" (1918)
In Catalonia, the people have struggled to maintain their separate identity from Madrid, and language is a critical part of that effort; that is why they have allowed the Val d'Aran to make Aranès their official language and to recognize its autonomous government, called the Conselh Generau (General Council).  It's status is actually unique in Catalonia; it's basically a comarca, or county, but with a few additional powers.  This is both a nod to its unique cultural identity and also its isolation; until not so many years ago the valley was cut off from the rest of the world during the winter months.  A tunnel finally connected it to the rest of Spain year-round.  I have already mentioned there is a measure of Catalan / Occitan solidarity based on cultural similarities and their shared struggle as minority languages, but there are deep political roots dating back to the Middle Ages.  Toulouse had far more dealings and affinity with Barcelona than Paris for centuries; it's only been a relatively short time that Toulouse or even the south has been part of France.

Occitan was once the language of a culture which, compared to the north, was arguably more artistically refined; a culture in which Jews, heretics and soothsayers were generally more tolerated; and where women had the right to inherit and manage property.  It was once the language of poetry and songs the troubadours spread its throughout Iberia, traveling the St. James Way.  Because the southerners did not adhere to the custom of primogeniture, where the eldest son inherited all the domains of the father, but a system in which property was divided among all the children, the Midi was a patchwork of tiny fiefs, dwarfed by the vast holdings of the King of France and his vassals.  The abundance of little holdings meant an abundance of small armies; to go to war wasn't  matter of calling up a couple of powerful vassals but trying to wrangle up and hold together far more plentiful forces with varying allegiances, rivalries, petty squabbles and power games.  More refined or not, they proved no match for the French. 

The northern crusades against the south were essentially land grabs propagandized as fights against heresy (Catharism above all) and were bound up with the French version of manifest destiny, not to expand west beyond the horizon, but turn up all the corners of a map of Gaul so that they curled back and touched each other at the tips just above Paris.  This might help explain the modern-day Occitanist's sympathy for political devolution.  People have longer memories in Europe, but this centralizing tendency was an obsession during the Revolution.  Louis the XIV said "I am the state".  It was highly centralized, around his person.  This was true of the Medieval kings, but they were more itinerant, the court and thus the center of the Kingdom was wherever the king happened to be.  Louis XIV might have agreed, but by this time he had become almost synonymous with Versailles; the Revolution re-centered it on Paris, not a man, and they ran roughshod over regional variation to make this vision a reality:  the metric system replaced older and local systems, the new departments replaced traditional regions which had been named for the aristocrats who controlled them, or vice versa:  Armagnac, Foix, Corbières, etc.  The elderly and even some middle-aged folks will still tell tales of getting hit with a stick for speaking "patois".  There's a famous photo of a school, a roofed-over area, a wall painted with the words "Speak French, Be Clean" which is actually quite sad.  This is in Catalan France, but the same attitude was held in Occitan France as well.

Aiguatébia-Talaus school

The campaign has worked.  It is a dying language.  Native speakers are mostly elderly; three of my neighbors who spoke it are either dead or have succumbed to Alzheimer's.  There was an Occitanist wave of Basque or Breton-style nationalism in the 70's, and there are still some people of that generation who speak and teach Occitan -- many of them in the aforementioned threatened bilingual programs.  Some younger people, determined to preserve their heritage, are also learning Occitan and at least one bar in Toulouse encourages the use of Occitan within its walls.  Local radio and TV have programs in Occitan and local signage is often bilingual.  There is an Occitan community -- several Occitanist political parties and institutes of Occitan studies -- but they don't represent a living language of daily life.  It's not even the predominant language in the Val d'Aran and many French people -- its speakers among them -- don't consider it a "real" language at all.

Only 1.5 to 2 million people speak the language, but it can be found in some fairly far-flung places.  Forty Occitan-speaking, poverty-stricken families from Aveyron established Pigüé, Argentina in 1884.  Protestant Waldenses from Italy fleeing persecution established communities in the U.S., Uruguay, Argentina, and Germany.  One Occitan-speaking group left in 1893 and established what would be become Valdese, N.C.  Both groups brought their Occitan with them.  That means in the Americas, there are traces of both the Alpine and Languedocien dialects of Occitan.  The language is still spoken in Pigüé, but I'm not sure about Valdese.  Cathy Pons' thesis dissertation in 1990 might be an indication:  Language death among Waldensians of Valdese, North Carolina.   

It may well be that soon all we'll have of this language are some field recordings, street signs, and a few die-hards by which to remember what was once the leading cultural language in Europe.

Some phrases in Occitan (w/audio files) 

Looking for more information on the leader of the Aveyron colonists, I came across something  interesting.  According to Les aveyronnais dans la Pampa: fondation, développement et vie de la colonies, Pigüé was a hotbet of occultism, Freemasonry and political radicalism starting in the 1890's -- just after the Aveyronaises arrived.  The book mentions the "virulent" protests of the Masonic Logia Emilio Zola against the installation of the Catholic Frères des Ecoles-Chrétiens  in 1905.  

This leads me to wonder what role, if any, Freemasonry has played in the Catalan and Occitan independence movements.  The Catalan independence flag is called the Estelada, or Lone Star, and was inspired by Cuba's flag.  We know that the Cuban flag was designed by a Freemason and incorporated Masonic symbolism, and that the Catalan movement looked carefully to the Cuban independence fight as a bellwether of their own chances if they chose to take on Madrid.  The Estelada has inspired other Spanish separatist movements to adopt the same lone star as a symbol, just as it was inspired by Cuba's flag, itself just one in a long-line of "lone star" flags used by independence movements led by Freemasons in the Caribbean, South and Central America, Florida, and above all, Texas. I know that all sounds rather wingnut, so please see Lone Star Republics for details.  I should also mention that there are a couple of "lone star" flags in Africa.  Need I say that in both theory and practice, Freemasons were all over these African movements as well?  Really, the number of flags is quite significant, so much so that it's increasingly hard for me to say that one flag was inspired by another, but it's more like one guiding ideology led the revolutionaries who waved them to put them on their flags.  So, piqued by that anecdote and that flag, I'm gonna dig around a bit and see if Freemasonry is involved, or not.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

The Order of St. Hubertus (and other assorted Bavarians and Bohemians)

Screen shot of IOSH homepage
Back in 2011 I made a facetious post about "evil Masonic braumeisters".  A little jest to be sure, but strangely prophetic.  Five years on and we're in a bit of a constitutional tizzy over how to best go about replacing our recently-deceased Supreme Court Justice.  Doesn't look like the congressional Republicans are going to budge and will block any Obama nominee until he's out of office and can no longer press the issue.

We'll get to the fraternities and alcohol in a minute.

Scalia died at what appears to have been a meeting (perhaps merely informal), of the Order of St. Hubert, an aristocratic order of hunters founded by one Count Anton von Sporck in 1695, a man who is also said to have dabbled in Freemasonry.  The order promotes hunting and sportsmanlike conduct, in addition to respecting animals and minimizing their suffering; responsible hunters, in other words.  These are teachings handed down by their namesake.

Reading about St. Hubert (656-727 CE), I came across a passage about the vision he had one Good Friday; he'd skipped Church to go hunting, a pursuit in which he'd become immersed after the death of his wife.  He had retired from the world to hunt.

Chasing a stag (or hart) on that day, he was astounded to see it stop and turn towards him; a glowing crucifix appeared between its antlers and a voice said to him:  "Hubert, unless thou turnest to the Lord, and leadest an holy life, thou shalt quickly go down into hell". Hubert dismounted, prostrated himself and said, "Lord, what wouldst Thou have me do?" He received the answer, "Go and seek Lambert, and he will instruct you."

Hubert then sought out Lambert, Bishop of Maastricht, becoming his protege and successor.  Hubert embarked upon a life of piety and evangelism, becoming Bishop of Liège in 708 CE.  He laid down several principles for ethical hunting and wildlife management that are still highly-regarded among German-speaking hunters to this day.  He generally seems to have been a decent fellow and died peacefully in 727.

Drive Dull Care away with some Jäger shots
Hubert's vision of the hart made me think of the Jägermeister label; which I've been meaning to use in a post for years.  Finally the opportunity has arisen.  The Jäger label is indeed a reference to St. Hubert's vision.

But it does not only honor St. Hubert.  The label also represents the vision of St. Eustace, another patron of hunters.  Even the church says that Eustace is probably a spurious figure, as no evidence proves he ever existed, but his legend has become mixed with that of Hubert. 

This legend has it that Eustace was a Roman general.  Once, out hunting, he had a vision of a crucifix between a stag's antlers under pretty much the same circumstances as Hubert.  It seems Eustace's cult pre-existed that of Hubert, but it's possible they both have pre-Christian antecedents.  The stag (or hart, or hind) makes many appearances in various pagan mythologies.

According to the legend, after his vision Eustace converted to Christianity and baptized his family.  Eustace then went through a series of Job-like misfortunes, yet he always remained steadfast in his faith.  His patience served him well, for a time.  He was eventually restored to his position and reunited with his family.  But like many early Christians, the occasion arose where he refused to sacrifice to a pagan altar and thus he set the chain of events into motion that would lead to his martyrdom.  In this case he and his family were roasted to death inside a giant bronze bull (or ox) in 118 CE.

The refusal to sacrifice before a pagan altar is a common theme in the hagiographies of these early Christian martyrs.  St. Sernin of Toulouse (Hubert's birthplace) refused a pagan sacrifice and was killed by being tied to a bull (or ox) and dragged down the street until his head cracked open.  This road is now called the Rue du Taur and the site of his original tomb is a small church called Notre Dame du Taur.  The Matabiau quarter of Toulouse also takes it's name from this event and the big bell in a Toulouse-style carillon is known as the "big bull".

Anyway, Curt Mast, original distiller of Jägermeister, was an avid hunter and so named his drink appropriately; Jägermeister translates to "Hunting Master", a title familiar to Germans for centuries.

When the Nazis reformed the hunting laws in 1934 it was applied to senior foresters, game wardens, and gamekeepers.  Hermann Göring, who was a particularly active hunter, was appointed Reichsjägermeister at that time, so when the drink was introduced in 1935, some people called it "Göring-Schnaps."  In addition to being an avid hunter, Mast was a local politician and joined the NSDAP on May Day, 1933.  He claimed it was political opportunism and a way to help his fragile business (he was never prosecuted after the war), but Mast did become pals with Göring, probably bonding over hunting. (source)

Now here's something I've just read and had already suspected:
Some historians have noted that Hitler and Göring’s hunting regulations actually had little to do with concerns for animal welfare and were merely part of a concerted attack upon the German aristocracy. Hitler and Göring had a dream of giving each of the Jägermeisters their own private hunting grounds as a symbol of their position of privilege within the Reich. Curt Mast became a Jägermeister and organised hunting parties for leading Nazi dignitaries at the Reichsjägerhof, Göring’s hunting lodge. Sensing an opportunity to rebuild his business interests on the back of his association with the new hunting fraternity, Mast re-branded the herbal liqueur that his company produced as the official drink of the hunt. (boldface added)

Göring's relationship to the Order of St. Hubert bears this speculation out:
In 1938, after Austria was absorbed by the German Reich, Herman Göring demanded membership on the Order [sic] and executed the Grand Prior when he was denied. At the end of the World War surviving members of the Order, were authorized by Halvor O. Ekern, chief political adviser of the US Armed Forces in Austria to use their sporting guns to provide winter food to the rural population, avoiding not only famine but helping to save the country from falling behind the Iron Curtain. (source)

The Order was Restituted on May 1st 1950 by Albert Franz Messany at the request of Chancellor Figi of Austria. In order to better reflect its new multi-national character it was redesignated as International Order of St. Hubertus.
Reichsjägermeister Hermann Göring --
1937 Hunting Exposition in Berlin
I wonder if  "helping to save the country" meant using their sporting rifles for more than hunting.  Could they have been re-armed in order to fight the Communists?  The aristocracy had a lot to lose to both the Communists as with the Nazis before them....

Despite the Nazi's attacks on the aristocracy and the apparent sympathy of Curt Mast, the hunting ethics espoused by Jägermeister, the Order of St. Hubert, and the Nazi reforms all kind of match.  There is an un-credited verse from a poem by outdoorsman Oskar von Riesenthal (1830–1898) on each bottle which the company translates as:
It is the hunter’s honour that he
Protects and preserves his game,
Hunts sportsmanlike, honours the
Creator in His creatures.
This is very much the same creed as the Order of St. Hubertus: "Honoring God by Honoring His Creatures". Jägermeister, as the story goes, was intended to go with "a toast with which every hunt would begin and end."

The symbolism of Hubert, patron of hunters is reproduced in the crests of various German hunting clubs to this day.  Thus it is so with the Deutsches Jägerverein, the Nazi-era German hunting organization.  Interesting how the swastika has replaced the cross.
Göring apparently took his role as Jägermeister seriously and sincerely threw himself into the reforms of German hunting laws.  This page shows a collector's one-of-a-kind Deutsches Jägerverein collar pin, custom-made for Göring himself, a collar pin with the antler/swastika motif we see on the flag above.  Göring posed for a painting wearing this collar pin and in his Jägermeister uniform, and this painting of him appeared on the covers of both Time and Life, in 1940 and 1939, respectively.

If Göring took his role this seriously, imagine his fury when he was refused membership in the Order of St. Hubert.  Furious enough to execute the prior, apparently.  This really is a medieval saga.  Whatever else you want to say about the Order, that their leader would die rather than admit Göring speaks volumes about their attitude towards the Nazis.  This was a microcosm of the tensions and conflicts in Nazi Germany, the uneasy relationship between the old aristocrats, the Church, and the Party.  Although anti-Bolshevism united them, the old guard must have resented this new Nazi power structure and the Church certainly couldn't have been happy with seeing a swastika replace the cross; this wasn't just a question of the hunting clubs.  It also reminds me that assassination attempts on Hitler were organized by aristocrats within the Army; Clause von Stauffenberg was one of the last conspirators, but a quick glance at the list of assassination attempts on Hitler between 1940 and 1944 -- and there are quite a few -- show that most were organized by members of the aristocracy, after the war began.  Before the war, there were also a few attempts on Hitler's life, but these did not seem to implicate the aristocracy.

I'm betting that when it was "restituted" in 1950, those Americans invited to join the Order of St. Hubert were neck deep in de-Nazification and anti-Communist activities.  Just a hunch.  Ambassadors, Generals, and "others", including the George Wood who established the American branch at the Bohemian Club in 1968.  It would be interesting to see what other groups the Order has links to, either within the arcane labyrinth of Catholic lay orders (Knights of Malta, Knights of Columbus, Opus Dei, the Jesuits....) or factions or within the intelligence community.

Something about that period between the Order's dissolution by the Nazis and their Postwar rebirth intrigues me.  A group of powerful men which spread out to include Americans at the highest levels of the Postwar occupation.  It seems a bit strange that five years after the war's end, ambassadors and generals were joining the clubs of their recent enemies, and 16 years later creating an American chapter at the site of the most elite group of men in America, the Bohemian Club.

What intrigues me in this context about the Bohemian Club (despite the name -- remember the Order is of Bohemian origin) is its tangential connection to another German organization called the Schlaraffia.  It would appear that a number of American elite groups have their roots in German culture.

The Schlaraffia is a fraternal society founded in Prague (Bohemia) in 1859.  It is a German-speaking club founded by people much like the founders of the Bohemian Club, people involved in the arts and theater.  Like the Bohemian Club, their symbol is an owl and their philosophy is one of fun; once stepping into their "castle", they remind themselves to leave dull care outside.  The Bohemian Club was founded in 1879 and we know the Schlaraffia existed in San Francisco in 1884.  Is it possible that they are connected, that the Bohemian Club was inspired by the Schlaraffia?  The latter conduct their meetings in German, so perhaps the B.C. was created to make a more accessible organization?  (I'd be remiss not to point out that Terry Melanson first made me aware of these connections).

I almost feel apologetic bringing it up, but I'd also like to mention the Skull and Bones, founded at Yale in 1832 by William Huntington Russell and Alphonso Taft (father of the future president and no small shakes himself).

Skull and Bones doings are largely unknown, but there is talk of a rebirth initiation ritual which involves the candidate lying in a coffin and recounting their sexual history.  There are photos of Bohemian Grove encampments where a similar ritual is enacted, a man lying in a coffin-shaped array of candles prayed over by robed figures.  This rebirth ritual is a fairly well-known element in various Masonic Rites.  The Schlaraffia has three grades, which also brings to mind Masonic organization.  What interests me here though, is that like the Order of St. Hubert, the Schlaraffia, and the Bohemian Club, the Skull and Bones has a connection to the German-speaking world.  Founder Wm. Russell allegedly got his idea for the Skull and Bones after returning from a trip to Germany, where quasi-Masonic secret societies were quite popular, some of which are said to have modeled themselves on the Illuminati (a group I have purposefully avoided in my writings on this topic thus far).  The Bavarian Illuminati was founded in 1776 at Ingolstadt, about 360 KM from Prague, basically a stone's throw from Bohemia.

Interestingly, there is another order, The Bavarian Order of Saint Hubert, a Roman Catholic dynastic order of knighthood founded in 1444 or 1445 to commemorate a victory on Saint Hubert's day.  There doesn't appear to be a connection to this order and the International Order of St. Hubertus, despite the name, but if we're looking to complete a Bavarian/Bohemia axis, I suppose there's value in following up on this.  St. Hubert was in fact the patron saint not only of hunters, but soldiers as well, which is logical.  At least one historical military unit used the horns and cross imagery:  the Royal Bavarian Jäger Regiment Nr. 1 (again with the Bavarians!). Jäger units were elite light infantry and the word in this sense can translate to "Ranger", which has the sense of both the US Army's elite units and forest rangers.  Think Aragorn in Lord of the Rings: aristocrat, woodsman, badass soldier, Ranger.  The first Jäger units were indeed recruited from gamekeepers hunstmen and foresters, people with both a knowledge of the woods and firearms, and who were also closely linked to the aristocracy who appointed them.  The first units of this type were formed in 1632 in Hesse-Kassel and in the modern German army the term is still used for elite Special Forces.

Crest of the 1st and 2nd Battalions and the 2nd  Reserve Battalion - Royal Bavarian Jäger Regt. 1

So, a lot of elements to ponder.  My German history is piss-poor, so I have probably missed some interesting connections someone else might have easily picked up on.  I did, however, think of one other thing, which is almost embarrassing to include; but what the Hell....

The Church of Satan has a rebirth ritual involving sexual rites and a coffin, called the Ceremony of the Stifling Air. Anton LaVey obviously cribbed his work from pre-existing Masonic Rites (like he cribbed everything in the Satanic Bible, from John Dee to Ayn Rand and Ragnar Redbeard).  Interesting time the 60's, especially 1966 (666 get it?); the same year George Wood was appointed Grand Prior, Anton LaVey launched the Church of Satan, on April 30th, which in the occult world goes by the German name of Walpurgisnacht....

Which brings me back to the question....who the f--k is George Wood?