Satanism and the Far Right - Part 1
Introduction:Satanism is in many senses the pursuit of the self, self-power, confidence and individualism (within certain accepted parameters of what it deems to constitute free will), and embraces more the darker, animalistic nature of humanity, and as such can fit in (slightly syncretically and arguably uncomfortably) with a variety of political philosophies including capitalism, libertarianism, non-political individualism, nihilism, various types of anarchism including egoism, collectivist anarchism or even national anarchism, animal rights activism, and even various forms of far right political philosophy and totalitarianism. Whilst LaVey Satanists often favour capitalism as the political philosophy that fits them best, hypercapitalism as we have today does not fit completely. Arguably no political philosophy will ever be a perfect fit on account of the compromises necessary.
As the title of this article suggests, we shall examine the relationship between Satanism and Far Right philosophies. Whilst Satanic philosophy in general is not racist per se, it is inspired by the philosophers of Neo-Darwinism and the concept of survival of the fittest. These are also the founding philosophies of White Supremacism and the Far Right. Indeed the word Satan literally means Adversary and is symbolic of Strength of the lower forms of wisdom. This is why LaVey Satanism and Theistic Satanism attract Neo-Nazis, and why some Satanists become Neo-Nazis. Whilst the Far Right and Satanist philosophies have differences, there is sufficient common ground to allow movement between the two respective groups/philosophies to varying degrees. Like anything, one does not have to accept the entirety of a philosophy, and can modify certain parts to apply it to another area; or adopt compartmentalised thinking consciously or unconsciously.
Satanists may well embrace a complex mix of philosophies, that focus on the self, and not be strictly political in nature at all. Perhaps because of Satanism's focus on the Self, individual political views are tolerated in some organisations, as long as they are not forced onto others. Racists, a sub-set of the far right, however in general can rarely keep their mouths closed on the subject for too long. Racist philosophy is not universally accepted amongst Satanists and some are disgusted by Neo-Nazis and other racists and do not want to associate with them. The gratuitous use of Teutonic and indeed Nazi imagery in Satanism, whether far right or not, is arguably highly unimaginative (one could try to create something new perhaps).
Clearly when it comes to racism, there is plenty of racism evident amongst 'practitioners' of Christianity, Judaism and Islam, who conveniently forget the basic tenets of their own religions when it comes to their own personal prejudices and excesses of their egos. It would be quite easy to search the internet for far right Satanist groups and use them as 'evidence' that Satanism as a whole is actually promoting Neo-Nazism. This would not be exactly very scientific and one could similarly do this for Christianity or any other belief system.
I am not seeking to promote or condone the far right in this article, but to merely examine this aspect or trend within Satanism and what significance, if any, it plays, literally or symbolically. I am not seeking to discredit any one individual or organisation.
Anton LaVeyAnton LaVey was frequently pictured wearing an inverted pentagram pendant featuring the lightning bolt in the centre. This version of the inverted pentagram is not featured on the COS web site. It was regarded as his personal sigil. The lightning bolt represents the lightning from Thor's Hammer, and is a symbol of war, strength and power, and was used by Nordic pagans as well as famously in recent history by the SS, i.e. two parallel lightning bolts.
According to the Death in June (DIJ) web site (a National Bolshevik industrial band):
...the Church of Satan...founded in 1966...harbors people of various lifestyles under the premise that the denial of man's animal nature inherent in traditional religions should be rejected and replaced with a celebration. The religion's doctrines, most notably The Satanic Bible, contain ideas of social Darwinism which are taken more seriously by some practitioners than others. Modern Satanism is not comparable to traditional Satan worship; instead, it is based in a more or less atheistic viewpoint, using the archetype of Satan to represent characteristics such as a questioning spirit, man's animal tendencies, and strength...The presence of members and leaders of the organization who understand and exploit the power of Nazi symbols is probably part of the reason for constant rumors that the Church of Satan is a haven for neo-nazis, despite writings to the contrary and a membership composed of diverse nationalities and races. LaVey did at times touch on the subject of Nazism, sometimes citing its success with aesthetics and control of the masses, while making clear that its atrocities outweighed its successes. His most thorough treatment of the Nazi aesthetic can be found in an essay called "A Plan", in which he states that Satanism is the only forum in which people can mix Jewish ancestry with a Nazi aesthetic, truly playing the role of the other. Such a combination would be the perfect "tough identity" for a new generation with mixed backgrounds. Essays such as these, as well as a rejection of racism in the Satanic Bible, cause many with a true neo-Nazi agenda to snub the organization.
Zeena Schreck (LaVey), Nikolas Schreck and the Werewolf OrderNikolas Schreck (Schreck is the German word for terror) formed a goth/rock/industrial group called 'Radio Werewolf' in 1984. The original line up lasted from 1984 to 1988. The name was derived from 'Radio Werwolf', the post-World War II Nazi propaganda radio station. Live on stage, they would use Nazi Swastika flags. The band even campaigned for the release of Charles Manson. The original band split up in 1988, with one member citing political differences and the rest of the band tiring of all the Neo-Nazi skinheads who would heavily populate their concerts. Not everyone in the band minded however. The band split up in 1988.
In a series of 3 interviews with Nikolas Schreck and Tom Metzger, a leading US Neo-Nazi and KKK member, from the late 1980s, Scheck stated, perhaps for shock value:
...we are going to see a new social movement in the 90s that will make Nazism and Fascism seem like Kindergarten.Schreck claims that Radio Werewolf was music for white Aryans, and that the most 'authentic' form of Western or European culture was the Germanic. Anthropologists would likely take issue with such a subjective statement. As discussed on the Difference page, this concept is inherently racist, i.e. drawing racial distinctions and reinforcing them, but is no more racist than say many rap artists. However, Schreck's repeated references to strong Germanic tribes, Aryans and 'whites', and his past Neo-Nazi inspired aesthetic would be evidence enough that he was some sort of Nazi sympathiser, for all the slightly evasive world play; a white supremacist at the very least.
Nikolas Schreck also wrote the revisionist book The Manson File and the film 'documentary' entitled Charles Manson Superstar. They believed him to be an Aryan folk hero, trying to create a white colony, when in fact he was arguably a very sloppy criminal and drug addict, whom had been frequently arrested, and who decided later to have some gullible, drugged up hippies do his racially motivated killing for him, perhaps so it could not be pinned on him, or perhaps just for fun. TenHornedBeast has argued that this was an attempt to elevate Manson to a messiah-like figure for Satanic White Supremacism. However, they could have picked any number of folk heroes but presumably chose Manson because of the shock value.
In the same year of inception of the group, Radio Werewolf (in 1984), Nikolas Schreck founded the organisation The Werewolf Order. The order was to specialise in predatory magic, 'shape-shifting' and transformation, in line with the archetype of the Lycanthrope or Werewolf.
The remit of this was to be a more aggressive organisation from either the TOS or COS, promoting the pursuit of predatory magic and for nurturing leadership and domination, and to create a new dark order in the world. Their logo features the German Cross, yet the order has nothing to do with Germany other than flirtation with Teutonic symoblism and imagery. Some writers suggest that it was mainly focussed on animal rights.
The band Radio Werewolf was continued under the same name in 1988, after the break up, with Nikolas Schreck and new recruit Zeena LaVey. Zeena LaVey married Nikolas Schreck in the same year, and also joined the Werewolf Order as co-director.
The term 'Werewolf' is presumably inspired by the name Hitler coined for the last-ditch effort to create a German commando force that would operate behind Allied lines, called Werwolf or Wherwolf. The term Werewolf has been used by some Neo-Nazi groups in more recent years. An example of a Werwolf pendant is shown above.
The manifesto of the Werewolf Order, which is basically an philosophical insert sheet in an old limited edition vinyl record (rather than the manifesto of a real magical order as far as I am aware), can be seen at the link below.
'The first edition of Adam Parfrey's "Apocalypse Culture" book had a manifesto from the Werewolf Order that was removed from later editions, laying out their agenda as transmitters of an end-time message.'
Whether the Werewolf Order really existed or was merely the name for Nikolas Schreck's spiritual artistic output and expression, and for the misanthropic (i.e. predatory) and lycanthropic (transformation) magic rituals they created (later published by Michael W. Ford - see below) during his time with Radio Werewolf (i.e. another brand), rather than a formal 'Order' with dozens or hundreds of members in different countries is a matter of debate, but I have not yet seen any evidence to suggest that it any more than the former, hyped/talked up a little by Nikolas and Zeena during televised interviews.
Zeena Schreck (born LaVey), daughter of Anton LaVey, is pictured (very sexily!) below, a picture probably from the early 1980s. She was High Priestess of the Church of Satan from 1985 to 1990.
Zeena LaVey (later Schreck after her marriage with Nikolas Schreck) left the CoS in 1990 in disgust at her father's lies, corruption and charlatanism, and formally and ritually exorcised herself of all affiliation with him and the CoS. Some time in the early 1990s, Zeena and Nikolas ceased their involvement with the Werewolf Order.
In 1995, they both joined the Temple of Set, a Theistic Satanic organisation (i.e. the pair definitely having moved away from atheism to theism), but owing to spiritual differences, they left in 2002. Zeena had been a Priestess in the Temple of Set from 1995 to 2001.
The Temple of Set is a more spiritual equivalent of the Church of Satan and has never promoted Neo-Nazism or extreme political philosophies - one reason why there was a rift between the ToS and the Order of Nine Angles in the 1970s, discussed below. So I would assume that the Schrecks probably were a little less extreme in their Satanic philosophy (or rhetoric) at this point. I would personally argue that Zeena and Nikolas were never actually Neo-Nazi or racist, but were merely using fascist and totalitarian type archetypes, as was the fashion at the CoS at the time, to embody brutality, domination and Satanic philosophy. Whether Nikolas was in fact flirting a little 'excessively' with Nazi symbolism in his Radio Werewolf goth rock group days is another matter and some of the band members left because of the increasingly Neo-Nazi following, so it is perhaps rather borderline in his case.
Zeena founded the International Vanguard of the Sethian Movement in 2002, a.k.a. Sethian Liberation Movement (SLM) wherein she was the High Priestess. Both Nikolas and Zeena aligned themselves to the Tantric Buddhist Karma Kagyu lineage in around 2002-2003, in parallel to the Sethian Liberation Movement. From the description on their respective web sites, it would seem that they are comfortable with their LHP pasts and their Buddhist practice is somewhat LHP influenced. The SLM still seems to be active as a tuition organisation. Zeena Schreck (formerly LaVey) is at the time of writing living in Europe as a photographer.
Zeena Schreck's son, Stanton LaVey, chose to stick with the LaVey family's LaVey Satanism legacy rather than his mother's Theistic Satanist or Buddhist direction. Stanton LaVey co-founded the 'extreme' retail outlet 'Odium' - which means 'widespread hatred'. Books on various forms of national socialism, including fascism and 'black' power are sold, including a variety of other types of books. It is noted that no books on anthropology or cultural studies are included in the list. Is this for shock value or a deliberate glamorisation of the far right and racialism? The gratuitous focus on Charles Manson at Odium hints at the false use of his legacy as a 'white folk hero' or a sexed up version of the myth around Manson rather than any reality. Odium seems like the exploitation of shock value for its own end, or to promote philosophies of hatred, and to make a buck, rather than providing an intelligent contribution to learning. It is not however a Neo-Nazi bookstore.
'Odium is a store specializing in the darkest nature of humanity. It is a candy store for researchers and collectors alike. Carrying difficult or impossible to find books, magazines, CD"s, LP"s, videos, DVD"s, original art and artifacts pertaining to the most controversial subjects in history, it offers something to interest and/or repulse virtually anyone. Categories include Celebrity Scandals, True Crime, Witchcraft, Deviant Sex & Filth, Crazy Christians, Death, Philosophy, Black Power, Fascist Studies, Conspiracy, Satanism, UFOs, and the most complete Charles Manson & Manson Family collection to date.'
At the time of writing, Shadow Reichenstein is a US metal band on Fiendforce Records. They released an album 'Werewolf Order' in 2005. SR's promotional arm or fan club (official or otherwise) on Myspace appears to have also appropriated the name 'Werewolf Order'. The two 'divisions' are Werewolf Order Europe and Werewolf Order Women's Division. From a cursory glance, it would appear that both the band and these myspace-based fan clubs (or otherwise promotional bodies) have no direct affiliation with the Schreck family nor the Setian Liberation Movement. Perhaps the band named their album after the Schreck's concept, in homage or as a rip off, and perhaps the fan club named their myspace pages after the album. Evidently those who don't know any better, like my former self, might well assume there was some direct link to the Schreck's former organisation/concept. Cynics might suggest that it was an intention to mislead and gain kudos from the past through association. Either way it is not original. The band are only mentioned here because of the appropriation of the name. Shadow Reichenstein like many other bands in this genre have a fetish for the historical German military aesthetic, and SR specifically includes World War Two German SA and SS style uniforms, German Crosses and having SS style Armbands but with the WO logo on it. The use of such symbolism by rock bands does not necessarily denote Neo-Nazi affiliation but is probably more of an archetype and is discussed elsewhere in this article.
Boyd RiceIn 1984, Boyd Rice, along with a Holocaust denier, Keith Stimely, started the Abraxas Foundation. The Abraxas Foundation had many dealings with the American Nazi Party. The Abraxas Foundation, now defunct, promoted authoritarianism, totalitarianism, fascism, misanthropism and elitism, and is anti-democratic. It espoused the philosophy that the strong rule the weak, and the clever rule the strong. One of the key aims is human depopulation, as numbers are considered a burden on the Environment, human beings being a type of parasite or virus on the face of the planet, a parallel to the Eugenics of the elite. However, in reality, the world is unlikely to be run by a subculture elite, consisting of ex-punks, but rather a wealthy and powerful elite. Racism is/was not promoted necessarily in the Abraxas Foundation, but genocide and murderous racist policies are considered acceptable and worthwhile as a means to an end of human depopulation, as well as non-racist mass murderous policies. In some respects he is actually worse than a Nazi or Neo-Nazi. Boyd Rice is however a self-confessed trouble maker and wind up merchant. How much is rhetoric or done to cause offence and how much is really sincere political desires is a good question. Boyd Rice likes to get away with as much as possible at the end of the day!
Boyd Rice is a well known figure in the US Neo-Nazi scene (not necessarily actually a Neo-Nazi, but well known in these circles) and a senior member of the CoS. He was Marilyn Manson's mentor for many years, and to what extent Mariyln Manson subscribes to his ideas about fascism it is not certain, but he does share his love of the 1940s German Aesthetic. One could argue that MM was using the names of two iconic white supremacist/Aryan folk heros, Marilyn Monroe and Charles Manson, or perhaps he idolised and hero worshipped them as a youth. Perhaps also the name is meant to combine beauty and the beast in some form, for shock value and as an anti-cultural statement. A little like the Post-Hardcore band Elvis Hitler did over a decade earlier, arguably more amusingly, but were never pretentious enough for the singer to call himself 'Elvis Hitler'. Perhaps he likes the genderless implication of the female/male name, which flirts with homosexuality. Either way it is a high derivative, uninspired and unoriginal name that makes him look rather ridiculous. Referencing Charles Manson is so old hat. Clearly calling himself Charles Monroe would not have been as 'cool'! Without his makeup, posturing, fancy lighting and backgrounds, black leather and semi-Nazi outfits, he looks like a rather effeminate, baby-faced, pale faced and meek looking/sounding long haired person.hippie. Art and self-expression are one thing, when on stage and in music videos, but appearing in all this make up and wearing shades in interviews and when out in public is a sign of being a poser.
Rice was a close, personal friend of the late Anton LaVey. Boyd Rice was asked by Anton LaVey before his death whether he wanted to take over as High Priest of the Church of Satan and run it after Anton's death, being much younger. Rice declined. Rice was later awarded an honorary Priesthood by the CoS, presumably by Gilmore, then later a Magister in the Council of Nine of the CoS.
Rice's music group was known as 'NON'. Boyd Rice is often pictured wearing the Cross of Lorraine.
The NON symbol is virtually identical to the post-war Nazi propaganda radio station Radio Werwolf, as shown in the previous section, with the addition of an Ouroboros.
'Like Pearce and DIJ, Boyd Rice has consistently embraced fascism throughout his career as an experimental noise artist. In addition to wearing fascist uniforms and imagery and giving nazi salutes on stage, there is wide range of evidence indicating that Rice is a nazi at heart. Rice set up an explicitly fascist show on August 8th, 1988 in San Francisco called 8-8-88 [also attended by leading Satanists such as the group Radio Werewolf]."88" is a code phrase commonly used in fascist circles for "Heil Hitler" (H is the 8th letter of the alphabet). Rice is also infamous for a photograph in which he is wearing the uniform of the neo-nazi American Front and sitting next to his friend Bob Heick, the leader of the American Front at that time. In 1986, Rice was a friendly guest on the television show hosted by Tom Metzger of WAR (White Aryan Resistance). When Metzger asked Rice: "So whereas modern music propaganda is an instrument of Jewish interest and Black and so forth, you see emerging a new propaganda form for white Aryans?" Rice replied:"Yeah, yeah." Rice founded a group called the Abraxas Foundation along with Holocaust-denier Keith Stimley. The Abraxas Foundation published a newsletter called WAKE, which told its readers that "nature adheres to an Immutable Order" in short, humanity is democratic, nature is fascist. Rice has been known to sell at his shows and read as part of his performance from a racist, anti-Semitic book called "Might is Right", by Ragnar Redbeard. "Might is Right" includes an afterword from George Eric Hawthorne, the former singer of the neo-nazi band RAHOWA (RAcial HOly WAr) and founder of the white power music label Resistance Records. The book was edited by Katja Lane, wife of the imprisoned David Lane, a neo-nazi member of the Order that committed several armored car heists and murdered Jewish talk-show host Alan Berg in the 1980s. Proceeds from the book go to support David Lane and similar white supremacist political prisoners. Though Rice claims not to be racist or neo-nazi, he does not deny that he is a fascist and social Darwinist. According to an interview by Misanthrope, he said: "I feel that I'm a fascist, but Nazi is a real specific term. I'm a fascist in the sense of the modern bastardised meaning of the word. I'm completely against democratic values and liberalism. ''
Tom Metzger, leading US White Supremacist, interviewed Body Rice in around 1986-88, and whilst there was some common ground between the two, there were evident differences.
Boyd Rice denies allegations of racism, claiming that he hates everyone equally (perhaps inspired by Full Metal Jacket?) - and that he happens to favour Nazi uniforms and symbolism as they are elegant and attractive looking. However, the above interview might suggest that there is a little more to it than this, and that he is not being 100% honest with others or himself. Click here for an article on the DIJ web site.
Indeed, his condoning of Nazi atrocities and being a Nazi sympathiser on many levels, as well as wearing Neo-Nazi inspired clothing, and effectively promoting Nazism in his music videos, for many is fairly concrete evidence that he really is a Neo-Nazi, disguising his true ideas with fancy misanthropic rhetoric, to say that because he is also many other things, he cannot therefore be a Neo-Nazi. His TV discussion with the white supremecist would also suggest he has more loyalty to 'whites' than non-whites.
Michael MoynihanMichael Moynihan, journalist (Seconds and The Scorpion), musical collaborator with Boyd Rice, and member of the Abraxas Foundation, was also a member of the CoS. His interviews included Whitehouse, Unleashed, Bathory, In the Nursery, Anton LaVey, Charles Manson, Peter Steele of Type O Negative, discussing Social Darwinism, Misfits founder Glenn Danzig (self-confessed Satanist), Throbbing Gristle and Psychic TV founder Genesis P-Orridge (pagan, magician, and more recently associated with the modern version of The Process Church of The Final Judgement), and Swans founder Michael Gira.
Moynihan is quoted below:
He openly scorns the right and racist elements that people usually associate him with, saying I don't see white people doing anything particularly noble these days, so why on earth would I be a white supremacist? What does fascism have to do with anything that's going on? The far right is a bunch of isolated losers. I probably have far more in common with anarchists than I would with any right-wing person, and they would probably agree.
The Temple of Set and the Order of the TrapezoidThe Temple of Set (TOS), a Theistic Satanic organisation, was formed as a break-away group from the CoS, created in 1975 by High Priest Michael Aquino, 'after Anton LaVey had offended many of its [CoS] members by turning The Church of Satan into a tool for his personal expression and financial income.' Aquino's sub group, The Order of the Trapezoid, is dedicated Germanic and Nordic traditions in general, including Nazi occultism, which does not necessarily mean that it supports or sympathises with Nazism as a political ideology, nor indeed Viking politics and social justice.
In the 1950s Anton LaVey formed a group called the Order of the Trapezoid, which later evolved into the governing body of the Church of Satan. From 1975 (?) onwards, this Order became a sub group of The Temple of Set. The Order of the Trapezoid describes itself as 'A Chivalric Order of Knighthood Dedicated to the Prince of Darkness and the Black Flame.'
On November 11, 1990, Tim Maroney posted a message on The Northern Lights BBS under the title, "The Nazi Trapezoid" about Aquino's organization:
'It harbors a subgroup, the Order of the Trapezoid, which is dedicated to Nazi occultism. Aquino is known to have participated in black magical rituals at Wewelsburg Castle, set up as a place of occult working for the SS by Heinrich Himmler. Aquino counts Nazi occultism as one of his chief interests, and the heraldry and symbolism of the SS is one of his favorite topics of discussion. These facts would seem to indicate, at least on the face of them, that Aquino is sympathetic to Nazism.'
Whilst some statements of Maroney's are factual, his conclusion seems to be highly subjective and inaccurate.
The TOS have a 2 year screening/initiation period, after which successive prospective members are granted full membership - a vastly different approach to the CoS who accept memberships like a commodity. An associate of mine, who was applying for membership of the TOS, has stated that he ultimately did not join as he felt that for all the rhetoric about Ancient Egypt, it was too steeped with LaVeyan paradigms, and had less focus on genuine Ancient Egyptian deity Set and Eyptian mystical reconstructionism (i.e. Kemetism). Many self-proclaimed Setians often do not actually know very much about the actual ancient deity Set, but a demonised, modern and corrupt version that has little to do with Set at all, much like most modern Luciferianism has nothing to do with the ancient deity Lucifer bar name (although clearly the concept around Luciferianism is rather different - virtually no one actually believing in a deity 'Lucifer' but using it as an archetype for the self). Most of the senior members of the TOS are well educated in Ancient Egyptian religion, and very intelligent individuals, but many of the lower members are not at all and have little interest in this, it has been said. It is less literally Theistic in its lower orders than its name might suggest, being more open to personal interpretation, and populated by many ex-CoS Satanists who are still in the LaVeyan mindset.
Eric Kauschen is the current Grandmaster of the Order of the Trapezoid.
The history of the symbolism with the O.Tr. is discussed on the order's web site below, including references to Wewelsburg Castle.
[Continue to Part 2]