Walter Isidor Siegmeister (October 5 or 6, 1903 – September 10, 1965), later known as Raymond W. Bernard, was an early 20th-century American alternative health, esoteric writer and mystic, who formed part of the alternative reality subculture.
Siegmeister was born into a family of Russian Jews in Manhattan, New York City. His parents were William Siegmeister (May 1877 - September 1, 1932) and Rebecca "Bessie" Gitler (Gittler) (February 25, 1880 - October 27, 1968), who were both born in Russia. Walter's father William emigrated to the United States in July 1893, and he became a naturalized citizen in the Superior Court, New York County (Manhattan) on October 29, 1902. Walter's parents William and Bessie are both buried in the Mount Lebanon Cemetery in Glendale, Queens County, New York. Walter's father was a surgeon who started out as a student of biochemistry in Germany. Walter had a brother named Elie Siegmeister (1909-1991) who was a famous American composer. Walter graduated from Columbia University in 1924, and received his Masters (1930) and Ph.D (1932) degrees in education from New York University. His Ph.D thesis was titled Theory and Practice of Dr. Rudolf Steiner's Pedagogy (New York University, School of Education, 1932) (typed manuscript, v + 320 pages). Under the name Bernard, Walter later settled in Florida. Siegmeister died of pneumonia in 1965.
Siegmeister was a natural hygiene and raw food advocate. He authored many books on dieting and nutrition such as Meat-Eating: A Cause of Disease (1956), Super Health Thru Organic Super Food (1958) and Health Through Scientific Nutrition (1960). He was alleged to have practiced breatharianism and a fruitarian diet. However, it was noted by H. Jay Dinshah that he was actually living as a vegan.
Siegmeister wrote of his search for the safest place on Earth from radioactive fallout in order to build a paradise. The idea was later developed in the writings of Johnny Lovewisdom and then Viktoras Kulvinskas. He went to Ecuador in 1941 where he met John Wierlo (pen-name: Johnny Lovewisdom, aka "the Hermit Saint of the Andes") (July 23, 1919 - October 12, 2000) who had arrived in 1940, where they spoke of plans for a paradisian utopia and a super-race in the Ecuadorean jungle. However Wierlo later claimed he was not planning on creating a super-race, only a Camp of Saints.
On returning to the USA, Siegmeister, now called Robert Raymond, continued to sell his books, before returning to South America. Walter moved to Brazil in 1955 or 1956, in order to buy land and create a super-race. In Brazil, he renewed his interest in aliens, Atlantis, UFOs, tunnels and the hollow earth concept. Siegmeister believed Brazil contained the entrances to the tunnels leading to the hollow earth. In 1964, he found a New York publisher for The Hollow Earth which was based on his book Flying Saucers from the Earth's Interior. The book describes a purported conspiracy to conceal the existence of the hollow earth and its access points at the poles. Siegmeister's hollow earth ideas are mentioned in detail in Alan Baker's Invisible Eagle, 2000.
Many of his book have been republished by Health Research Books.
- Apollonius the Nazarene: The Life and Teachings of the Unknown World Teacher of the First Century. Lorida, Fla.: New Age Publications, 1945.
- Escape from Destruction: How to Survive in an Atomic Age. Mokelumne Hill, CA: Health Research, 1956.
- The Serpent Fire: The Awakening of Kundalini (Mokelumne Hill, CA: Health Research, 1959)
- Flying Saucers from the Earth's Interior. Mokelumne Hill, CA: Health Research, 1960.
- The Hollow Earth. New York: Carol Publishing, 1969 .
- Creation of the Superman. Mokelumne Hill, CA: Health Research, 1970.
- Ph.D., R. W. Bernard. "The Hollow Earth". www.ourhollowearth.com.
- Brad Whitsel (2001). Walter Siegmeister's Inner-Earth Utopia. Utopian Studies 12 (2): 82-102. (subscription required)
- http://sortedbyname.com/mobile/pages/s155875.html (scroll down the page until you arrive at "Siegmeister, Bessie")
- https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QV5Y-YHNV (Passport Application of Rebecca Siegmeister - click on "View the original document")
- "Find A Grave Search Results". www.findagrave.com.
- Noteworthy 1970s-era exposé of numerous alleged fruitarians found no successes, and widespread misrepresentation of diets actually eaten. Retrieved 8 April 2018.
- Regal, Brian. (2009). Pseudoscience: A Critical Encyclopedia. Greenwood. p. 84. ISBN 978-0-313-35507-3
- J. M. Sheppard, "Disaster in Paradise", The American Weekly in The Milwaukee Sentinel, December 24, 1944, p. 17.
- James R. Lewis, The Encyclopedia of Cults, Sects, and New Religions, (Prometheus Books, 2002), ISBN 9781615927388, p. 399. Excerpts available at Google Books.
- Baker, Alan. (2000). Invisible Eagle: The History of Nazi Occultism. Virgin Books. ISBN 978-1852278632
- Search results for 'au:"Walter Siegmeister"' Worldcat. Accessed August 2013.