Satanism and the Far Right - Part 3
Hitler, The Thule Society & Freemasonry
Hitler's Nazi party passed anti-masonic legislation in 1935. The total number of freemasons who died under the Nazi regime is estimated to number between 80,000 and 200,000 persons, but whether this was coincidental or targetted, is a matter of debate. Known freemasons in concentration camps were made to wear the inverted red triangle, designating them as political prisoners.
However, this is not to say that Hitler had no connection to freemasonry and the occult. After 1918, his German Workers' Party (DAP) was an official sponsor of The Thule Society. The Thule Society was a cover-name adopted by Rudolf von Sebottendorff, a German occultist, for his Munich lodge of the Germanenorden Walvater of the Holy Grail, at its formal dedication on August 18, 1918. The Germanenorden Walvater was a schismatic offshoot of the Germanenorden, a secret society (a.k.a. the "Order of Teutons") founded in 1911 and named Germanenorden in 1912. The Thule Society and its pagan and occult ideas and practices is said to be the spiritual precursor to the Nazi party and influenced many of its policies. The Thule Society had an aryan concept of a past utopian homeland and considered the Jews their cosmic enemy. It is alleged that The Thule Society was also known as the German Brotherhood of Death Society, part of the international Brotherhood of Death societies. The emblem of the Thule Society is shown below.
Hitler severed the DAP's links with the Thule Society in 1920, and in 1925 it was officially dissolved. Attempts to revive the society in the 1930s failed. In the period 1933-35, Hitler began to persecute freemasonry and close down lodges. Perhaps Hitler saw freemasonry as a threat in terms of being an alternative source of power and influence, but also as it as a whole promoted the idea of universal brotherhood. It has been argued that some Thule members and their ideas were incorporated into the Third Reich. Some of the Thule Society's teachings were expressed in the books of Alfred Rosenberg. Many occult ideas found favour with Heinrich Himmler who had a great interest in mysticism, but the SS under Himmler emulated the ethos and structure of Ignatius Loyola's Jesuit order rather than the Thule Society.
The book 'Unholy Alliance: A History of Nazi Involvement with the Occult' by Peter Levenda can be read on line by clicking here.
Hitler himself (and indeed the Thule Society) was influenced in general by the anti-Judaic, Gnostic and root race teachings of H.P. Blavatsky, the founder of Theosophy; and also Ariosophy, the Germanic version of Theosophy that extrapolated on the Aryan paradise suggested by Theosophy.
Theosophy is the name of a philosophy created initially by Helena Blavatsky in the 19th Century, based on the writings of Plato and incorporating a variety of religious and occult movements. Theosophy was a philosophical movement that arose out of/developed within Freemasonry, and is said to have inspired the modern new age movement as well as (being taken out of context and distorted/misunderstood by) Nazi mysticism.
None of the above were explicitly Satanic, indeed Satanism as we know it did not exist at the time, but no article about Satanism and the Far Right could be complete without some brief look at Nazi Occultism and Hitler's own esoteric interests, and Theosophy is one of many early influences on the modern LHP.
Anarchism vs FascismIt is an interesting distinction as to how some people view Satanism and the self, and interpret it according to their own personal philosophies. Satanism is intended to be about the self, but as to how one relates to others depends on one's own personal philosophy and values. People will always disagree on the fine print. According to LaVeyan Satanism, one is not supposed to meddle in the affairs of others, and only mess with someone else if they are bothering you. Some Satanists regard the imposition of their values on the rest of the world, in order to 'free them', and to ensure their Satanic paradise and playground is secured so that they themselves can be free within it, according to its own internal logic and definition of freedom. In many instances, this takes the approach of 'spiritual warfare' on Christianity and the mainstream. This is discussed above, and is ironically and exact mirror image of the intolerance, prejudice and imposition from certain areas of society and Christianity. One might argue this is no form of progress but just a childish knee jerk reaction. For some, to truly be an individual means being a leader, and to be a leader, there must be followers and people who do your bidding for you and act out your Will; and you use the world as your canvas to express yourself, perhaps at the expense of others. For other Satanists, being an individual means being a leader for yourself and no one else, and does not mean being a leader of anything, apart from your own destiny. Being Neo-Darwinian in philosophy does not necessarily equate to enforced or unnatural selection, according to the personal prejudices or concepts of what it mean to be weak (rather than an objective one). Some take this latter stance, imposing their Will on others, as it is believed to be for the good of society, by their definitions, but of course at the expense of others. They would not adopt this view if they were on the receiving end of this 'over-enthusiastic' Eugenics or social interfering. This is arguably not in keeping with the philosophy of Satanism, and actually much worse than the society we have today that they claim to hate for a variety of reasons. The French Revolution started with good intentions, enforcing 'happiness' and 'brotherhood' on people, and turned into a blood bath, and the more it tried, the less it achieved its goal. In the end it was a never-ending reign of terror, a process rather than a goal. The goal which would never actually be achieved.
Most forms of extreme Satanism, or offshoots, make various claims to be chaotic or anarchic, in some respect, and being anti-mainstream society, whether this is an expression of anarchist philosophy or chaotic fascism comes down to personal interpretation. Perhaps some adopt this as a form of over-machoism, to be more extreme than regular Satanism, to show the greatest 'strength' and to take it further in some way, distorting many of its principles in the process. For some it may be a little bit of 'fun' or simply an exercise in psychological exploration, to be taken with a pinch of salt, a phase they go through, to come out the other end more laid back or maybe even a Christian!
Anton LaVey defined that Satanism was pro-capitalist, as capitalism was the philosophy of material gain and hedonism. However, as argued above, this is far from problem-free, and many aspects of capitalism are in conflict with the Nietzsche and Neo-Darwinian models of existence, consumerism breeding weakness and laziness in many individuals, and distortion of the truth for personal financial gain (i.e. advertising and selling). Capitalism can mean many things, and need not be associated with the welfare state etc, nor democracy (e.g. China), but can be many things. One could argue that too harsh a totalitarian regime does nothing but breed fear in people, and too much fear turns people into spineless jellies with no sense of self; who are not allowed to express themselves; and such a state of affairs is hardly conducive to individualism and indeed Satanic philosophy and self-empowerment.
Some segments of Satanism, whilst claiming to embrace capitalism and science, are in some senses reactionary or 'dangerous' in moral terms, as they wish to dispense with mainstream morality and traditions. Anarchy is not incompatible with capitalism or free market trading, and indeed, this is the way many anarchic societies or small communities have evolved. Anarchy can be many different things to different people. There will always be some anarchic element to Satanism, but whether it is fully fledged 'anarchy' is another matter entirely. However, such societies may well evolve into tyrranical run organisms or indeed corrupt or hypocritical capitalist societies that we see today. Some view anarchism as being a form of socialism. Many punks who claim to be anarchists are really socialists or communists, but whose methods and approach are anarchic (e.g. Jello Biafra). Whether these actions would be tolerated in these idealised socialist societies if they were ever to exist is another matter. Other anarchists see anarchy as a vegetarian or vegan hippie paradise - where everyone is expected to behave in a certain way - like an unspoken conformity that they don't want to have to enforce, as they want to be 'free'. Others see it as a chaotic, dangerous and wild society where anything goes, with no safety blanket for the weak.
Some people are of the view that anarchy should be some kind of egalitarian ideal, without the hypocrisies and gratuitous exploitation of hyperconsumerism, capitalism and indeed totalitarianism, where people have the right to do and be whatever they wish to be. The problem with most anarchist models is that they ironically adopt a communist style social structure, within small, independent communities, and are subject to the 'law of the lynch mob', and thus not quite as forgiving and nurturing as the 'hypocritical democratic societies'. Indeed, such communities would rely on the good nature of the inhabitants to look after and protect the weak, and invariably would not provide such a safety net as more industrialised societies with free healthcare systems etc.
If we look to the punk rock scene of the late 1970s, we might ponder about the type of anarchy that was being promoted. What is punk really? It is generally regarded as a philosophy rather than a style, a grass roots movement for people to express themselves, in particular their dissatisfaction, and to do or say what they want, often to deliberately wind up the establishment. It is in a sense anti-establishment or old order, but not necessarily 'anarchist'. As discussed above, Satanism is considered by some to be 'spiritual punk rock', but it aligns itself more to the meaner side of punk and anarchism. For example, if we take the example of the Los Angeles punk scene of the late 70s, many of the punks there were ex-surfers, who were far from peaceful drug taking middle class kids as were found in the New York scene, but were more crazy and violent. West Coast surfers were far from a mellow bunch of hippies, but were very competitive and often quite violent. When fused with punk rock, this became an explosive mix. There was often violence at the male dominated concerts, much to the dissatisfaction of the actual bands, who were often quite reasonable, mellow people. Just because you are an anarchist does not mean you are necessarily a nice person. You do what you want and it may well be at someone else's face's expense. In a sense it is a selfish philosophical standpoint. It is not the friendly, politically correct, middle classed version of anarchism and punk rock of the late 70s.
One can take the standpoint that personal strength and mental strength is what punk or anarchism was about, and this can often translate into gratuitous macho or testosterone-fuelled behaviour or Darwinian type thinking. The vast majority of punk bands had an aggressive or confrontational attitude on stage, however mellow or not they actually were in person, so to some extent there was an element of Neo-Darwinism there. Being independent and not dependent on others to tell you what to do etc. Have the strength or courage to do what you want. Freedom for those with strong enough Will. Of course not all punk bands were 'anarchist', socialist or apolitical. The Oi scene of the 1980s was about working class values. There were many right wing or Neo-Nazi punk or RAC bands who were equally angry about society, but who were perhaps angry about slightly different things or who expressed their anger in different ways. However they were all angry and aggressive in stance. Apolitical or violent stances can sometimes appear to be unsympathic or mean, and be interpreted as 'Fascist' or 'Neo-Nazi' when in fact they are not; especially if there is some flirtation with Neo-Nazi imagery.
So it is one thing being a little mean, and it is another being a hateful bully, projecting your Jungian shadow and insecurities onto others, justified with philosophical rhetoric, as it the case with many far right Satanist groups. Is the far right a genuine route to freedom? Some believe so, but it is yet to actually be proven to be the case in reality.
So how much anarchy do we actually want in anarchy? It is ironic but true. Do anarchists really want anarchy? Or just anarchy when it suits them and on their terms, and according to their values? Or do they just mean it as a metaphor to behave anarchically when they want? Without the pressure of those particular social conventions that might inhibit such activity (but not disposing of other social conventions that would result in them being annoyed or inconvenienced by others)? For most, it is an excuse to 'selfishly' do what they want, and as much as the rhetoric means, they probably wouldn't want a primordial type society where they could not enjoy all the junk food, consumer goods, luxuries and so on, and where anything goes - where Warlords jockey for power and lynch mobs kill anyone they don't like the look of or heard an idle rumour about. Some anarchists are like teenagers who talk about sex but are too scared to actually do it.
Many Satanists talk about not being afraid of violence, as it is part of the natural order, whether this be to defend oneself, to 'destroy' those who are bothering us, or to beat up or kill people who are behaving in ways at odd with their Satanic ideal in society, to actively pouring out malevolence, hatred and death onto society as some kind of knee jerk expression of anger at society and to represent some kind of 'dark order' or 'new age' - which is meant to represent freedom in a perverse Neo-Darwinistic manner. Perhaps this is why so many extreme Satanists idolise the mentally unstable Adolf Hitler. The exact balance of protecting one's freedoms from those imposing their values on us, and to what extent one wants to tolerate violence on others is a fine balance. How free and how messy are we prepared to get to keep society 'honest', transparent and 'truly accountable'.
There is a balance between views of the individual and individual freedom and expression, to carry out one's affairs in the manner one chooses, even if it is in a manner that society may frown upon on occasion, and in wanting to eliminate those elements of society or indeed the world that one finds distasteful. To achieve independence and freedom, it may only be necessary to adapt to one's environment and know how to get the best from it, or perhaps to carry out part of one's activities unseen. The concept that one necessarily needs to change the whole world or 'attack' it is not quite true. Those who want to exact their will onto society as a whole may claim to be doing so to promote the idea of the strong doing what they want, but the goals are sometimes somewhat confused. By focussing on the elimination of the weak, that are seen to be holding everyone down or back, one may in fact be reinforcing the constraints over one's liberty even more than actually reducing them. For example, by moving to a more Neo-Darwinian model, the powers that be may prefer to be more brutal and oppressive and not pay any lip service to political correctness or being reasonable or democractic. Everyone likes to blame an 'enemy' for their problems, but a Neo-Darwinian approach may not always produce the desired result. Far Right Satanists often want a mixture of Libertarianism, Anarchy and Totalitarianism, which is a syncretic mix and most probably virtually impossible to attain. If it was attained, what one would likely end up with is a variety of rival groups bickering and fighting with each other. If Neo-Darwinism is a chosen path for its own sake, because by being 'Sinister' or culling the weak, and imposing one's will onto the weak, then this is often done so for spiritual reasons, with the hope of some Sinister 'Abrahamic' type reward at the end of it, but in an inverted sense.
One theme common to both Anarchist, apolitical or far right Satanists is that they believe in the concept of personal responsibility, which is often missing in our modern societies, i.e. that you have to take responsibility for your own actions. This may manifest itself on a personal level in some individuals, who would do their own 'policing' themselves, or expect a harsh treatment from others if they overstepped the mark from them (regardless of the political system they found themselves in); and on an institutional level in totalitarian Neo-Darwinian nation states, where one would expect the state to mete out justice in such cases, to maintain the 'ideal' social order. But the core values could be remarkably similar. However, some might adopt the view that it is up to the individual alone and no business of the state to get involved or interfere, at least with certain types of matters.
Damios, a polytheist Satanist friend of mine, clarified the complex fusion of liberalism and brutality, elements which are normally found on opposite ends of the political spectrum. Some Satanists fight against infringements of their personal liberty from government or pressure groups, wishing to remove moral judgement from society in most respects. This might include the right to gay marriage or to consume drugs or otherwise. Or express one's beliefs etc. However, few understand how this sense of 'liberalism' ties in with their claimed lack of morality as this seems to be in contradiction to such 'political correctness'. Such Satanists may also demand other freedoms such as the right to kill or to injure if the situation is justified. The exact extent of this may come down to the individual, and to what extent they consider retribution, self-defence or retaliation acceptable. Some may only entertain violence if one is first attacked. Others may seek or claim to entertain violence if an individual is treating him or her disrespectfully or being a big nuisance. This however may be regarded by some as a form of morality which many Satanists find distasteful. Everyone has their own moral code, and the line has to be drawn somewhere. There is much disagreement as one would expect, and the degree to which one embraces capitalism, free market enterprise, law and order and so on. This eclectic mixture of liberalism and primal self-determinism and brutality is hard to understand from a left-wing/liberal perspective and also from a far right perspective. The difference between this strange brand of anarchist and the far right favouring Satanists, is that the latter wish to legislate strength or encourage it, and to intervene with individuals or trends that encourage a perceived weakness. Similarly, others should have the right to kill the Satanist too, or try to, if that situation arose. Such individuals may show distaste as the moral fabric of society, trends towards certain types of degenerate behviour, potentially, which is a form of non-liberalism in some sense, and how they frame this in their minds may come down to the individual (as prejudice and judgement or proactive 'extermination' when it merely apes the extreme far right). Either position is easy to confuse with the far right, as both may appear to be rather unsympathetic and Neo-Darwinian. However, the far right school of Satanism is often divided in such issues as homosexuality, where some are strongly opposed to it in a moralistic, far right type stance, and others regard it as irrelevant and as an amoral issue. Race may be a similar issue again. As there is no scientific basis for race, many argue that racist Satanists are in fact not really proper Satanists as they are not following logic and science, but acting and thinking emotionally.
So is individualism about personal philosophy and individual freedom? Or does it have an intrinsic political component? If we are talking anarchy, does it have to include a political manifesto? For many punks, it just meant self-expression, and to be obsessed with politics would have been stupid. For others, it was interpreted as a cause or set of political and moral beliefs, more dogmatic than those they were opposing for being dogmatic in the first place.
One should consider that totalitarianism is not the chosen world order for the majority of industrialised Western societies. Over-regulation and high security against 'terrorism' is one thing, but blatant Fascism is a step too far. Most consumers would never stand for something so obviously oppressive. It would have to be a politically correct, sanitised, capitalist version. Satanism and Neo-Nazism are never likely to be philosophies of the average Joe, nor are they likely to ever represent the status quo or indeed the Elite (officially). Satanism is too much about personal freedom and individualism, Power to Will and breaking down of Judeo-Christian morality and social conventions, which is not what many hyperconsumerist societies are all about. Satanism will always be reactionary, whether the personal philosophies of the adherents are anarchism, apolitical or far right. Either way, they will always be somewhat 'against' something, and slightly socially unacceptable. Whether you agree with any of the sub-groups and their beliefs, that is the bottom line. Some Satanists try to come up with the most extreme political philosophy they can, to take Satanism to its logical conclusion, and often in the process, taking it to a twisted destination which is at odds with the spirit of what it was supposed to be about. How messy do you want to get? Are you prepared to get your hands dirty? Is it all talk to make yourself feel better or is it what you really want?
As discussed above, some anarchists are politically motivated and politically obsessed, often to the point of not being able to see the world as it is right now and appreciate it and move freely within it. They have become slaves to their moral values and sense of duty, often at their own expense, leading to limiting their actions and behaviour to be 'right on'. They may feel the need to convince all others of their views and not tolerate anyone with different views from themselves; or listen to the views of others; or not tolerate any other views. There is only one truth to such individuals. They are right. Others are wrong. They are addicted and obsessive. This is not to say that political conviction is always a mental illness! As we clearly have examples of success through perseverence.
However, the converse view of anarchy, that of nihilism, not caring about anything but your own personal and mental liberty in this moment; not caring about the world whether it goes down the toilet (from whatever biased viewpoint you use and what methods of measurement you prescribe). In this stance, you may or may not care about the thoughts of others. It is clearly not an absolute choice and there is plenty of grey area in the middle. However, the trend amongst LHP practitioners is to believe in personal psychological liberty, in that they often don't care what others think. This is in a sense an inverted form of political correctness or 'democratisation' of anarchy. In a sense, it is the view that vastly different political views can co-exist in harmony, and that no one will try to impose their beliefs on others. Unfortunately the world does not always work like that, and if you tolerate someone with Neo-Nazi or otherwise extreme right wing views, as you can empathise with a few of their issues but not the majority, sooner or later, they will try to get into a position where they can impose their views on you and impinge on your personal freedom. At that point, this inverse politically correct nihilistic paradise is suddenly shattered and you have an 'enemy' to fight. However, if one considers that one should fight them from the very beginning, maybe this would be seen by some as 'uncool'. So there are clearly problems with both types of standpoint. When do you challenge the views of others and when do you live and let live?
Some tend to pick on 'uncool' targets, such as Christianity, in a radical and hardline manner, becoming just as intolerant if not more intolerant than the people they are trying to fight, or rather destroy their belief systems that they are perfectly entitled to have if they so wish. Marilyn Manson is a good example of this. Conversely, such individuals do not make any significant fuss over Neo-Nazi Satanist groups, which although they conflict with their own values much more than the 'uncool' targets like the Christians, and are arguably a minor threat, but a much more dangerous threat potentially. It is as though they are 'ok' because they are eccentric Satanists, and are expressing their anger in a different way. Clearly there is a large amount of hypocrisy.
Above we have examined some of the high profile groups and individuals who are associated with the far right in varying capacities. Some of the organisations are not explicitly Neo-Nazi, although it could be argued that they are certainly Fascistic, for example, the Werewolf Order, who wish to promote values such as Domination as well as Leadership. The context in which Domination is expressed can vary according to the individual, but clearly on a larger scale, this would be equated to Fascism. However, it could be interpreted in a more anarchic sense, albeit a 'slightly uncool' one. In some respects, Satanism is under attack by Christian organisations and speakers, in the same way that Satanism wishes to attack Christianity. Christianity is gradually losing its hold on the moral fabric of modern, western, industrialised societies. Satanism is gaining in popularity especially with the music industry and the goth, industrial, Black Metal and National Socialist Black Metal (NSBM) scenes, especially in its more vocal and reactionary forms. Some believe that Theistic Satanism is on the rise at the expense of LaVey Satanism.
Is it really necessary to 'attack' and bring down society in order to ensure one's personal freedom, rather than educate or put one's views across intelligently? As part of a gradual evolution of consciousness of society? Of course, the whole Biblical stereotype of Satan does not help, and if Anton LaVey had no called it Satanism but Neo-Darwinian Jungian Atheistic Occultism or something else, then it surely would not have created so much resistance in society as a whole. So a problem of their own making to a large extent. However, despite all that, and because of teenagers desire for rebellion, it has established itself although it is still far from socially acceptable. Will Satanists be able to practice their lifestyle and beliefs without persecution or suppression from society as a whole? Most probably. However, with regards to lawless retribution and brutality (perhaps a tendency for those of a more misanthropic vs philanthropic nature), for those that favour this anarchic side of Satanism, then it is still illegal, and will not be tolerated any time soon. This is perhaps why some Satanists wish to either destroy society, restoring the 'natural order' after a disaster, war or other chaos resulting in a harsh reduction in the world's population (much like the goal Eugenics movement but which operates in terms of industialised societies and through careful management and non-democratic action); or to take over society with such arguably criminally optimistic (wannabe?) Satanic organisations and possibly create brutal like regimes or a Satanic state - which would likely be labelled as the most dangerous state in the world (even if it was minding its own business, but knowing the macho Neo-Darwinian bias, probably not) and probalby be invaded by the United States (ironically the most Satanic state in the world already in many respects). Whilst chaos, depopulation and other processes are deemed necessary by some to move towards a sustainable world population that is not a burden on the environment and that can adopt a less 'herd' like and more decentralised and independent/self-supporting format, it is likely that this idealised is never likely to occur, even with such harsh processes involved. It is likely that the main characteristic of mass destruction and killing takes over as the ongoing reality, where the idealised goal is never actually reached. The French Revolution and indeed Russian Revolutions are a case in point, where all that occurred was terrorisation of the population and very little actual freedom, where process and fear of losing power and insecurity took over from the actual original objective or goal. Or if it is reached, people are so used to mass killing that they lose the whole spirit of the enterprise and are thus not ready for it when it is actually possible. So to want to see global disaster or totalitarian regimes that conduct genocide in order to achieve this anarchic goal is really a rather flawed strategy or concept. It is perhaps better to take the approach that the world will always be flawed and if we stoop to a level where we just butcher people for no good reason, then we have lost our way even more than we have at present. If we accept that society is inherently flawed but will likely never actually be perfect, then if we make do with what we've got and focus on ourselves and self-actualising and being the best we can be; being individualistic and never a follower. Always doing one's own thing, following one's dream or being a leader, then one is as free as one is ever going to be. Whilst many people have moments of feeling misanthropic, the 'herd' being rather uncharismatic, self-centred, ignorant, being a demand on the environment yet not really contributing anything of much value to society besides wanting to make money, the alternative is hardly an improvement. I believe the only realistic and reasonable option is a gradual education and enlightenment of the populace, albeit whilst still destroying the environment to some extent. If we put the environment over human life (in the literal sense of killing people for the 'crime' of being alive'), then our values have reached rock bottom. It is ironic that some use ant-environmental misanthropic movements as an excuses for environmentalism, taking them completely out of their original context.
Is Fascism the new Anarchy? No, Fascism is Fascism. The confusion arises over the belief and taking on the qualities of the belief. To be an anarchist, does one have to be 'dangerous' and chaotic towards society itself? Anarchy as a chaotic commodity was embodied in the punk rock group the Sex Pistols, and many of their forebearers, such as Iggy Pop and the New York Dolls etc. Rock and roll has always tried to shock or be rebellious. Is the adoption of Fascist imagery and stances merely an attempt to be 'anarchic' or to offend or is it really sincere? The Dead Kennedys wrote a very amusing song entitled 'Anarchy for Sale'. The Alt Light and Alt Right may seem an antidote to the previous two decades of increasing political correctness, safety-orientation and increasing legislation, however these are not the only political ideologies that stand against such a political climate.[Continue to Part 4]