Seele (German: soul) is a shadowy and mysterious organization which maintains a global power cabal, and is the secret backer of Gehirn and Nerv. The Seele council members are the true puppet masters pulling the strings of the United Nations.
The origins of Seele are shrouded in mystery. According to themselves, they have maintained an Illuminati-like power cabal over Earth's governments since ancient times. While this can not be independently confirmed, it is certain that Seele has been active since at least the end of World War II, when they acquired the Dead Sea Scrolls.
The Seele council is composed of 12 members, headed by Chairman Keel Lorenz. Seele meetings consist of "video conferences" in which instead of projecting actual images of each member, images of large stone monoliths with the words "SEELE (member number) SOUND ONLY" displayed on them (i.e. Chairman Keel is "SEELE 01 SOUND ONLY").
Apparently the inner circle of Seele is the Human Instrumentality Committee, which directly oversees the progress of Nerv, officially in the name of the United Nations (which it actually controls). The committee is composed of five members, and is also headed by Chairman Keel.
- "Seele" is consistently spelled using all-capital letters in the series, however it is apparently not an acronym. As with "Nerv", spelling it in all characters was just a quirk of translation by the Japanese production team.
- The use of monoliths as representatives of Seele is regarded as an homage to the evolution inducing monoliths from 2001: A Space Odyssey.
- In almost all appearances of the full Seele council, there are 12 council members. However, in the "Director's Cut" scene added to Episode 24 of Kaworu conversing with the monoliths at the lake, 15 Seele council monoliths are are shown (a monolith displaying "Seele 15" is even clearly visible). The reason for this discrepancy is not clear, and the scene itself seems surreal. See Episode 24' Analysis for analysis of this scene.