Hitler and the Occult: Nazism Reincarnation
and Rock Culture
In a headshop-boutique window downtown, a t-shirt dangles on a wirehanger. None other than Adolf Hitler, looking
disconcertingly urbane,is silkscreened in the center, a mocking, euphemistic phraseunderneath: "Hitler's European Tour: 1939-1945." On-a garage wall inthe university section of town, a crude, misspelled, "Sieg Hail!" isscrawled, replete with swastika. Three blocks away, a record storewindow puffs a heavy metal band's abrasive song titles: "Never onYour Knees," "Witchdoctor," and "Scream Bloody Murder."
If we have eyes to see them, the signs of the rise in Satanism andits conflation with neo-Nazism are fairly commonplace and even rife.Unfortunately, in the U.S. information culture, nothing exists
untilit can't be ignored any longer, until the causes
and proportions areirremediable. Undoubtedly, I
myself only noticed the props of whatCynthia Kisser,
Director of the Cult Awareness Network, calls a
"growing social movement" because I'd received a copy of Satanismand Occult-Related Violence: What You Should Know by MichaelLangone, Ph.D. and Linda O. Blood, of the American Family Institute,
a consortium of professionals who have been tracking cults andlogging cult information since the 1970s.
The above book's startling documentation piqued my awareness from anintellectual and journalistic viewpoint. But soon after I'd read it,I visited an old high school friend of mine, now a pastor at asuburban Pittsburgh parish. One of his teenage parishioners hadrecently committed suicide; Nazi and Satanist paraphernalia werefound at the scene. In this context, however, the word "suicide" hasto be a matter of caution, for those paying homage to the Devil kill
themselves as "sacrifices" to their nether god, believing that withpromised reincarnation, Satan will reward them with another, morepowerful existence.
The young Catholic boy's suicide may reflect a point reported byLangone and Blood. According to the Gallup Youth Survey Release ofMay 10, 1988, "Approximately one- third of teens who are regularattendees at Protestant or Catholic churches believe inreincarnation, a belief rejected by Christianity but upheld by mostEastern and New Age religious philosophies." "A large minority ofteens," the authors continue,
a) are not very well grounded In their religions b)
believe Inwitchcraft and...the Devil, and c) are
attracted to heavy metalmusic. If even one or two
percent of these teens were seriously Influenced by Satanism. the total number
would be in the tens of thousands.
Reincarnation, in a materialistic culture, feeds the fires of wantingpower both in the here and now and in an second, more powerful one.It is a belief to which teens in the present social context areparticularly prey. Reincarnation can, in turn, become the aperture tobelief in the Devil. This brand of belief in the Devil is not theusual Catholic one in which Satan is an ontological, personal forcewho preys upon and tempts even the best persons, who must practicevirtue and pray for grace in order to resist. This traditionalChristian approach to the devil was, according to some professionalsworking in the fields of Satanist cases, effective yesterday, buttoday is a largely vanishing artifact of a receding Christianculture. For instance, Louise M. Edwards, a Canadian social workerwith much experience treating ritual abuse cases, terms the Catholiccatechesis on Satan as dearly a bygone, "European" one. The awarenessof ritual or Satanic assaults," she writes in "DifferentiatingBetween Ritual Assault and Sexual Abuse" (Journal of Child and YouthCare, Special Issue, 1990),
is fairly new to North America, but to those of us with
roots inEurope it Is something taught at the earliest
ages.... The Catholic Church taught that the Satanic cults do the reverse ofthe church .... It was presented as the battle of good versus evil. [A]
catechism book used by the Catholic church In 1955...clearly spells out the
obstacles to happiness and Indicates that there Is such a person as the devil
who tempts people to do wrong.
In a post- 1955 world bereft of Catholic catechesis, reincarnationinitiates the psychologically vulnerable and theologically ignorantinto homage to the devil in exchange for the goods of this world andpower beyond the grave. For the more "sophisticated" neopagan, thereis the paying of homage to a god who has both a light and dark side,but who shares enough conventionally Christian-defined satanicproperties to pass for Satan. One popular neo-pagan deity such asthis is Baphomet, who, via the "theology" accompanying the belief,demands blood or symbolic sacrifice, or burnt offering. Thesesacrifices are "Dionysian" at base, in other words, geared toensuring "renewal."
In The Return of the Goddess (Crossroads, 1982) Edward C. Whitmont,a New Ager, advocates worship of the goddess, who was the consort ofBaphomet. He also believes that the Grail legend is the belief forour time, which he calls "the post-Christian era." Feminism is dulyaccommodated in Whitmont's system, for the "restoration of the Grail(will occur) by honoring the Feminine aspect of existence." "TheGrail myth," according to Whitmont,
has replaced the original form of Christian messianism
in terms of psychological effectiveness. From the late
Middle Ages on through our present post-Christian days, It has had a most
powerful effect. It is also an integrative myth. It unifies preChristian with
Christian and modern post-Christian elements. The ancient cauldron of the Great
Goddess is filled now with the blood of Christ and awaits redemption of the
redeemer through human search, through the conscious effect of a seeker who
daresto ask the socially forbidden question "Where or
what does It serve?" and "What is the meaning?"
Proponents of witchcraft, especially among "Catholic" feminists,usually insist that belief in "The Goddess" has nothing to do withSatanism. Whitmont, however, indicates that this "benign" witchcrafthas a darker side, noting:
that the horned god, the consort of the Great Goddess,
is anintegral aspect of the Grail dynamic .... In
medieval witches'cults this figure appears as the
horned attendant of thegoddess. Called the Devil by
the church, he was known as the Lord of Reincarnation by the witches. As with
Dionysius's death and renewal, blood rites were undoubtedly associated with this
figure in pre-Christian pagan cults.
Whitmont recognizes, as we shall see, that both Goddess and Grailwere intrinsic to Nazi religlo/philosophy. However, Whitmont takespains to separate his New Age cleavage to these myths from Hitler'sattraction to them by castigating the latter's overlaying both withracial hatred. However, any resurgence of Grail/ Goddess belief mustbe seen as direct opposition to Christianity, which was the firstprinciple underlying Nazi philosophy and policy. Certainly, the Jewswere hated on a racial basis; but much more, they were despised, inthe gnostic sense, for the 'bad conscience" they brought to
Christianity and to the person of Christ, through Judaic foundations.Jehovah,
the God of the Jews, is responsible for Genesis, for
material creation, and for establishing the concept of sin. Thus, thecharge often leveled against the Jews, that of materialism, tracesback to the gnostic antipathy to matter. This deeper reason forhating the Jews, from whose law and morality Christ emerged, isneglected by contemporary historians. As Whitmont demonstrates,denunciation of Judeo-Christian hierarchic principles and doctrine,and thereby of its believers, is <de rigueur> for gnostics, whoseheresy must be seen yesterday and today as a form of protest againstestablished religion. Whitmont, who believes we should be able tolive totally by trial and error, by experiencing both sides of ournature, and especially the Shadow side, regrets then the loss of theDionysian offering. For Dionysius is the "god of wildness andspontaneity," and the blood offering to him is "to be presentedbefore the Lord and atoned for, but sent away alive."
So, in combination, we see that in the U.S. today we have the frontalaspect of Satanism as represented by teenagers' increasing attractionto it, and we see the more subtle form emerging from out of thegoddess regions of neo-pagan New Age. For both, the bottom line,whether one dresses it up in Jungian terminology, or scrawls apentagram on an underpass in the suburbs, is the Satanic commandmentto do whatever one wants, and to experience everything, extollingpersonal power and its final agent, the Devil, aver submission tomoral law. Refusing to consider oneself a sinner is the common groundof both. And both varieties, as witnessed by the suicide relatedabove and Whitmont's colloquial and knowledgeable references tonazism, are no more or less than the current blossoming of the Nazilegacy, come home to roost in the good old U.S.A. not quite 50 yearsafter its defeat in Germany. One could run about warning that theCathars are coming, but even this is not exact. For what were theCathars and the Albigensians but the reiteration andtransmogrification of the old, pagan Teutonic religion, never quiteeradicated with the coming of Christianity, and ever at hand in anyanxious or defiant age.
After the suicide/sacrifice event, my priest friend decided to hold aworkshop for religious educators in the area, especially as he-dunfortunately learned from the police that his bucolic suburb isprime territory for Satanist activity in the county. (As per myfriend's police information, Satanists will sometimes put a pentagramover a local or national map, choosing spots for rituals where thepoints of the pentagram fall.) Invited to this workshop werespecialty task force police and a local psychiatrist, Dr. Earl Hill,the Director of the Adolescent Drug and Alcohol Unit at St. FrancisGeneral Hospital here in Pittsburgh. He told the group that anincreasing number of teenagers admitted there for alcohol and/or drugdependency were reporting involvement in Satanism. At first, Dr. Hillwas skeptical, "blowing it off" as peripheral or perhaps a delusionaleffect of the alcohol or drug abuse. But at last he could no longerignore it as merely incidental. The kids were talking as much aboutbelief in the Devil as they were reporting partaking in Satanistactivity. Out of his realization, Dr. Hill has become an expert, andnot, as with many other professionals-including journalists--skepticwho categorizes the adolescent "dabbling" in Satanism as merely a newevocation of teenage rebellion.
The term "dabbling is belied by some of the recorded cases. In 1988,Tommy Sullivan, of New Jersey, killed his mother with a Boy Scoutknife, attempted to kill his father and brother, torched the familyhome and fled, finally committing suicide by slashing his wrists andthroat. "An investigation revealed that Tommy's interest in Satanismhad escalated after he began reading about witchcraft for a religionreport to the eighth- grade class at the parochial school heattended. His friends reported that he told them that the devilappeared to him in a vision and ordered him to kill his family andpreach Satanism." "Dabbling" implies that there exists some type ofconsecutively empirical stages in Satanic belief and resultingaction. This hypothesis, which can be neither verified norquantified, should be dismissed as overloading hyper-rationalism andskepticism onto the real supernatural forces at work in Satanism andin the individuals it ensnares. In fact, this hypothesis boldlydemonstrates a kind of opposition to grounding the discussion ofburgeoning U.S. Satanism in matters religious. And pushed further. itencourages seeing such a view as an enabling factor of Satanismbecause the seriousness of the phenomenon is undercut by usingSatanism for a certain kind of secularist propaganda.
Tommy Sullivan's fatal opening to Satanism was, amazingly, a schoolreport on witchcraft assigned at a Catholic school. But a largernumber of teenagers are initiated into Satanist beliefs through theskinhead and heavy metal music movements, often one and the samething. According to Langone and Blood, "Some satanist cults aresuspected of recruiting at heavy metal concerts .... They may employteenage members as recruiters or to lure other teens to rituals wherethey are seized, forced to participate, and threatened with death if
they leave the cult or tell anyone about it." Of course, not allskinheads or heavy metal music fans are satanists. But both are athigh risk. The skinhead thrives on violent motifs that are highlylikely to spill over into actual violence. The lyrics to heavy metalmusic abound with vivid images of rape, murder, suicide, Satan, bloodand mayhem, and even necrophilia. If some writers are willing tomitigate the possible effects of heavy and dead metal bands'influence on the spiritual state of fans. the police are not. Theabove-mentioned police documents on ritualistic crime mentioned abovecontain pages of the abominable lyrics.
Detective Richard Mihalic, part of an intra-professional task forcebased in Pittsburgh, told this reporter that Michael Aquino, anationally known, avowed Satanist and Nazi devotee, recently said ona BBC broadcast that he is actively recruiting skinheads. This meansthat the skinhead cum heavy metal music "movement" may be the hiringhall for a new phase of formal organization by "professional"Satanists like Aquino. Carl A. Raschke, in the 1989 book,
PaintedBlack, alleges that Aquino also reports
having visited WewelsburgCastle, SS Chief Heinrich
Himmler's luxurious and gothic Third Reichoutpost
where Himmler initiated and educated his vicious corps in the"lost knowledge" of many offbrand occult traditions, as well as inabsurd historical. cultural, and even geographical theories putforward by a host of revolting quacks who were actual professors atthe time. Although Aquino recruits skinheads, who are walking timebombs of violence, he demurs on the issue of his agreement with Naziracial hatred and anti-Semitism. (Of course, who can trust him totell the truth?) Rather, writes Raschke, Aquino says he went toWewelsburg to exploit the "working" there that is, its evil. As adevoted, believing pilgrim, Aquino expects the evil that was wroughtat Wewelsburg to surge into himself, broadening his own "powers."Obviously, the most paradigmatic evil wrought by Himmler and the SSinvolved the extermination of millions of people. Thus Aquino begsthe question when he publicly plays down any personal, Satanistantipathy toward Jews, Catholics, and Blacks; for Satanism's firstlaw is preying upon the "weak," and using others ritualistically togain power for themselves.
evidence, then, of the convergence of contemporary Satanismwith neo- Nazism, it can be said that Nazism, and within that, theperson of Hitler, and the <dramatis personae> surrounding him,provide a demonology for today's devil- worshippers. They can lookinto the totally accessible film of history in their own century andsee a living hell led by Hitler as Satan and his totally subservientlegion, who were, above all, "obedient" to his dark. predatory will.Hitler, however, was only making use of symbols that were alreadyfamiliar in occult circles. The SS characters were resurrected fromGermanic tribal runes. The swastika was originally a Sanskrit sunsymbol, denoting a heliocentric cosmos ordered by an Aryan nature godwho became the reinterpreted "God" of the Nazis. Before Hitler'srise, many German racists had adopted the swastika as the emblem oftheir several quasi-political movements, and the occult societieswhich often lay behind the public, political constructs. The mostrelevant of these was the Thule Society, whose meetings Hitlerattended while in the' German Army during World War I and after., Itwas there that he met Rudolf Hess, as well as his future"philosopher/intellectual," Alfred Rosenberg. The Thule Society wasthe quasi-secret gnostic society behind Munich's tiny German WorkersParty which, in turn, provided the philosophical basis and earlymembership for Hitler's German National Socialist Party. Dusty Sklar,in the very well-researched Nazis and the Occult, establishes thatHitler took many ideas and props from the Thule Society: thefuhrerprinzip, the swastika (which a dentist who was a Thule
memberultimately designed into the Nazi flag), the
idea for thestormtroopers, and the very salute, "Sieg
Heil!" But at the bottom ofalt of these lay a
barbarian's antipathy to none other thanChristianity,
as well as to Judaism, and especially to the Catholic
Church. Had the war been won by Germany, the Church would haveprobably been pandemically persecuted. Thus, the swastika and the SSrunes are historically the symbols of satanism and beneath them layvisceral hatred of Judeo-Christian civilization.
Whitmont claims that the lore of the swastika traces
directlyback to the Knights Templars, who were routed
by the Church for allegedly satanic-like practices. The Templars were also
affiliated with the Grail myth, a major element of which was worship of an
ancient, Celtic/Teutonic god involving prescribed rituals and prayers: "All this
purportedly constituted a Grail liturgy dedicated to reviving the ancient
forgotten mysteries of the old sacred tradition (ascribed to a legendary
Aryan Thule) from which the whole Indo-Germanic culture was supposed to haveoriginated."
The central symbol of the Thule Grail mysteries was
representedby a swastika, &e ancient symbol of
renewal, flanked by two horns of the moon (the horns of the old Celtic shamanic
god Cerunnus). It is held within and over a moon sickle, as in a cup.
Of the Nazis, those "new Templars," Whitmont says, "This emblem wasnow said to be the most secret symbol of the Armanentum Armandom, thename given to the order by its high priests and spiritual directors.These new Templars claimed to guard and serve the Grail of theracially pure blood and the Thule mysteries of the ancient Aryan rootrace." Thus, the old god Cerannus would have had to be propitiatedwith blood rites, upon which pagan renewal was always based. Hitler,when he came to power, often had himself pictured in Grail regalia,and set up some of his forces as "orders" of knights. It then becomespossible to hypothesize that perhaps the ritual murders which tookplace in the German concentration camps were seen, not figurativelyas they are by some historians, but literally as blood sacrifice.Hitler as Fuhrer was but the reflection of Hitler, the down and
outstudent in Vienna, the occult aficionado. In those
years, he was thereader of spoiled monk turned
occultist and racist Lanz vonLebenfels' Ostara,
the anti-Jewish, prurient publication whose nameis a
pagan forerunner, it is said, of the Christian "Easter."Although Hitler went far beyond the Thule society, some of his oldassociates from it joined him when he acceded to power. Just as theThule Society was the gnostic secret society behind the early GermanWorkers Party, so too its beliefs and rituals may have continued tobe practiced behind the political/philosophical facade of Nazism, andthe god Cerannus may have come to be bloodily propitiated in the nameof renewing Germany.
But were the Nazis practicing Satanists? Here again, the answerdepends on the definition of Satanism. If one means organizingovens-or "ghettos" as Church of Satan founder, Anton LaVey callscovens nowadays-the answer from history is a probable no. But ifSatanism is defined as an occultist, pagan legacy of something likethe Knights Templars, the answer would be yes. Some writers havedrawn on the rich historical evidence of Nazi occult belief,extending these to imply Satanist activity of the traditional 'covenkind. But unconvincingly so, although there are some incidents whichdo seem to reek of that type of Satanism, such as Hitler'sritualistic suicide on Walpurgis Night, the eve of the Satanic high"holyday" of Beltane.
Other historians leave the question open, or treat it in a left-handedway. They exhaustively chronicle Hitler's excesses, his politics, andhis character, but finally they admit that they cannot explain him.That is, they concur that his evil was too great to be defined inmerely human terms. But what is ignored by nearly all of the writersis that Hitler clearly defined himself as a messiah, and his mostimportant henchmen and major ideologues were self-proclaimedheretics, both of which distinguishing marks wind better into theTemplar/Thule skein.
The Nazis do seem to qualify as Satanists in spite of the seeminglyparadoxical fact that they professed belief in God, but much, muchmitigated. In other words, unlike today's Satanists and otherhistorical ones, they did not denounce God out of hand. But they didtotally reject His teachings, especially as taught by the CatholicChurch. For instance, Himmler's SS men, at their initiation rite,were asked a first question: "Do you believe in God?" The correct
answer was "yes." However, SS officers in carrying out Himmler'sdepraved family policy of Lebensborn, replaced priests at baptismsand marriages of fellow SS men, and were charged by Himmler to coupleanonymously with German "maidens" as much to insult the Church as toproduce children for the <Fuhrer>. Like today's rock-addictedyoungsters, Himmler's men were instructed in the facts ofreincarnation and in return for taking leave from their consciencespromised greater power in a life to come.
The German people were ripe for the Anti-Christ figure of Hitler. "Bythe turn of the century," writes James Webb in his book The OccultUnderground,
most of the Occult underground which were known outside
Germanyhad secured some sort of foothold inside the
country. Masters of all sorts found a ready following. In the period
between the two World Wars... the choice of cults was large. Eastern and
dubiously Eastern religions rubbed shoulders with movements for Christian
revival. Prophets illuminated by God Himself contended with creeds
constructed from every religious dogma known at any period in history.
By the 1930s, the Nazi Occult was well on its way to replacingChristianity as Germany's established religion. Dorothy Thompsonremembers someone telling her at the Oberammergau Passion Play that
It's a revival. They think Hitler is God. Believe it or
not, aGerman woman sat next to me at the... play, and
when theyhoisted Jesus on the cross, she said, "There
he is. That is ourFuhrer, our Hitler!" [A]nd when
they paid out the 30 pieces ofsilver to Judas, she
said, "That is Roehm, who betrayed the leader."
The heresies most applicable to the Nazis are also those mostpervasive in the West today: Gnosticism and its extension, Catharism.Interestingly, today's trackers of contemporary Satanism who end uppenning books invariably carry a chapter or section on both of these,but fail to trace the Nazis' involvement in the "theologies" of both;nor do they draw logical analogies between these "ancient" heresiesand today's culture. As there is no dearth of examples, so it must bejudged that these analysts are too entrenched in the gnostic mindsetthemselves to be able to critique Satanism other than superficially.Yet, heresy is writ large upon the pages of Nazi memoirs and records.Consider, for example, the words of Alfred Rosenberg, Reich sophistand author of The Myth of the 20th Century, who explains in hisMemoirs that
a certain heretical attitude grew up in me quite early,
particularly during the 6 lessons. But it received its strongest impetus,
as was the case with so many others, fromHouston
Stewart Chamberlain's Foundations of the 19th Century.
Rosenberg then describes a trip to France where he made a specialtrip south to the seat of the Albigensian heresy. "The struggles andfate of this huge sect of Cathari," he continues, "had alwaysinterested me. . .moved me deeply." He goes on to describe them as a"queer movement, combining the religious desire for freedom of willand character which was essentially West Goth, with late-Iranicmysticism." The Cathari, he continues, "rejected the Old Testament,avoided the use of any and all Jewish names ... and shunned even
thename of Mary. The crucifix to them appeared an
unworthy symbol since,they claimed, nobody could
venerate the rope with which a humanbeing, even
though he be a martyr, had been hanged."
Rosenberg must have also known that the Cathars are credited, even bythe most Inquisition-hating historians as having been the firstheretics to propitiate Satan as the god of matter. They are creditedtoo, with being the first to celebrate the Black Mass and to offerhuman sacrifice, both of which were drawn upon by 19th CenturySatanists. It was the 17th century Cathars who introduced todevil-worship the ritualistic elements today passed off as ancientbut which were unknown in both the early Christian centuries and inthe Renaissance, when black magic became influential through the workof Pico de Mirandola, who believed that white magic was not efficientenough for the matters at hand. It was the ritualistic, propitiatoryCathar "tradition" which was adapted by the surge of Satanism thattook place in the 19th century, well-described by Huysmanns in LaBas.
Raschke nails down the Cathar-Nazi convergence and its connection tocontemporary Satanism. Donald Nugent in "Satan is a Fascist" (TheMonth, April 1972) analyzes the "unholy Trinity of Adolf Hitler,Charles Manson ... and Anton LaVey;" For all three the "satanist andthe 'superman are one," Nugent writes. He also points out thatmysticism and humanism are "the two routes to satanism." Catharismmixed with the secular ideology of state control became Hitlerism.German mysticism mingled with LaVey's libertarian philosophy oflaissez aller, or "let anything pass," becomes the nine satanic
statements [of LaVey]."
Nugent also discusses Manson's fanatical racism; his
sporting ofNazi swastikas, which he wears on his
forehead to this day andhis own cryptic allusions to
"superman." He cites the congruity with LaVey's political objectives of a
"benign police state" in which the weak are winnowed away. In the satanist
mentality, according to Nugent, "[T]he world is a hospital--and a mental
hospital. The world is the lustful will to power, wanton destructive violence,
man's inhumanity to man. The world is the paradise that has been polluted.
The world is the exploitative society, the place where nothing is holy and
everything has its price. The world is a brothel." That has been LaVey's
sentiment to the letter. If the world is a brothel, then destruction and
violence are the most justifiable course. All of one's corrupt surroundings must
be unmasked, dismembered, and dispersed into
Raschke errs, however, in pinning the blame for describing the worldas a hospital and a brothel where the weak are "winnowed away" onlyon people like LaVey and Manson. For already in America, the lawitself has legitimized expunging the weak via legalized abortion andeuthanasia. The extremist reaches of the environmental, peace, andanimal rights movements look upon the world-and man- as hopelessly"polluted." Brothel needs no discussion. And mental hospital coulddescribe the proceedings of many auspicious, recent commissions ofphysicians, lawyers, ethicists, and clergyman who have legitimizedsuch things as fetal and embryo experimentation. euthanasia ofincurables, etc. The image is also a glove-fit, to use author andactivist Jeremy Rifkin's phrase, for today's "algynists," who seek,as present-day alchemists, through the revealed secrets and power ofrecombinant DNA, the key to matter and the Philosopher's Stone; whodream the megalomaniacal, Faustian dreams of cloning, hybridizing,and "creating" life.
All of these cultural signs point to the gnostic/ Cathar hatred ofthe world of matter, which leads inexorably and logically to bloodsacrifice to the god of matter, that is, to Satan, whether he ispropitiated by that name or another. Sexual perversion, an intrinsicfeature of the war between body and spirit, was as rife among' theNazis as it is in the U.S. today. Norbert Bromberg, M.D. and VernaValz Small in Hitler's Psychopathology claim that no less thaneight women who underwent sexual perversions with Hitler, duringaffairs with him, committed suicide. Hitler cryptically described the"suicide" of his niece/lover, Geli Raubel as a "sacrifice toGermany," a fact which historians glide over as merely figurative.
In the Nazis' case, the image of the mental hospital is no less apt.Their Gnosticism mandated a frontal assault on western Christiancivilization. They rowed energetically backwards to traditions likeAtlantis, to legends of a super-race in ancient
India whose deposit oflost knowledge they thought
they could resurrect through mere desire.This caused
the Nazis to wallow in any occult mania.
In his unrepentant <Memoirs,> penned in a prison cell at Nuremberg,Alfred Rosenberg denied that his ideas led to violence. Today, AntonLaVey makes the same claim. "The Church of Satan," writes Langone,
conducts its business publicly, and LaVey does not
promote actsof physical violence .... However,
The Satanic Bible ... has been enormously
influential with satanists of various persuasions, and is frequently reported to
have been found bypolice investigators among the
paraphernalia of teenage dabblersas well as by
individuals suspected of occult-related crimes.... Sean Sellers claims to have
used The Satanic Bible as a guide for his "sacrifice" of a convenience
LaVey, ever aware of his belief's protection by the First Amendment,disavows human sacrifice at the same time he outlines times when it's
warranted; once condoning it, he quickly retreats, calling it"symbolic." In another vein, today's Satanists, when they areimplicated in crimes or logically accused, as was Rosenberg, ofinciting crimes by the very violence of their ideas, like to cry foulagainst the intolerance of society and religion. "A vocal fraternityof publicly professed 'orthodox satanists"' Roeschke writes in Painted Black,
have begun to counterpunch against all the media
coverage of ritual abuse .... Like a scene from The Untouchables> where
Capone denounces Eliot Ness for dishonesty and treachery, the normal perception
of fair is made to seem foul, and the foul fair. It is the Christians who are
out to besmirch sand spread the blood libel against the upstanding, decent "good
people." The Christians are consolidating their regiments for the massive
assault on satanist virtue.
This kind of mind game has a Satanic logic. The neo-pagan,card-carrying Satanist has so severed his will from reason and faiththat Christianity is seen as the aggressor against "human nature."The rhetoric is usually monomaniacal and grandiose. Hugh- TrevorRoper, in his prologue to Hitler's Secret Conversations, notes
thatHitler "casually informed Mussolini (that) the
last fifteen hundredyears-the years between Attila
and himself, the whole span ofChristian
civilization-had been a mere interruption of human
development, which 'is now about to resume its former character.'"
In 1935, Hitler Youth was deployed to confiscate the pamphlet writtenby Cardinal Faulhaber against the Aryan Paragraph of the Reich'sConstitution, which outlawed as criminal all civil, intellectual andcommercial activity of Jews, as well as their right to marry German,indeed, any Gentile women. This, despite the fact that the earlierNuremberg Laws, which rescinded most anti-Semitic reaction inGermany, had brought an influx of Jews from eastern Europe. CardinalFaulhaber's document is a paen not only to Catholic courage but tothe Church's unconditional support for protection of thedisenfranchised members of society. It finds its approximation todayin Catholicism's defense of all those whose personhood is isattacked. The Cardinal, like the Pope 1500 years before, staredunafraid into the eyes of the new Attila, a dramatic confrontationdescribed by Mario Bendiscioli, in Nazism versus Christianity:
The Cardinal Archbishop of Munich... emphasized theunquestionable contributions for which Germany was indebted to
Christianity. He... quoted the description, which was not by any means
deprecatory, given by Tacitus of the ways and customs of the ancient Germans,
Instituting a comparison between them and Christian morality, which showed the
superiority of thelatter, and the consequent
inconsistency of the National Socialist contention that the German should revert
to those ancient usages. This was all the more so as it was actually in the
Christian atmosphere that the German nation had been formed from the individual,
obscure tribes which were in perpetual fruitless strife among themselves. The
first historical records and literary monuments of the German nation were
Christian compositions. It was through the medium of a Christian institution,
the Holy Roman Empire, that Germany attained a mission and a universal meaning.
"Christianity," he went on,
did not come as a foreign imposition thrust on the
Germans, butit was welcomed on account of its
religious and social value through the medium of German missionaries, as a
religious elevation of their national life and of their ancestral customs.
Consequently, there is no internal antithesis between the German nation or race
on the one hand and the Christian religion on the
other, but there is a purification and perfection of the Germannature through the medium of truth and grace of the Church.
Like Hitler and his coterie, today's neo-Nazi Satanists findthemselves burdened with the same task of legitimizing barbarism as amethod of repudiating, intimidating, and despising Christianity. Infact, Christianity is forever in the forefront of their minds. Thismakes them strong in the face of "Sunday Catholics," who labor underthe illusion that the enemies of God are as lukewarm as are they, andleads them to minimize Satanism as a merely media hype and chimera.But it is opposition to Christianity that is the sole engine behindthe Satanists' symbols. This is particularly the case with theswastika. If today it is construed as purely a symbol of ageneralized will to mayhem, to Hitler it was the emblem of his hatredfor Christianity and his burning desire to eventually expunge it;this he thought he would do by exploiting Christianity's own internalweaknesses. "With these Confessions," Hitler said in one of hisspeeches,
whether this one or that one, it's all the same.
There's no future in them. Certainly not for Germans. Fascism may makepeace with the church in God's name. [He alludes here to Mussolini--SMR]
I'll do that too. Why not? But that won't prevent me from tearing out
Christianity in Germany, root and branch . . . Italians, and Frenchmen, when you
see them in the country, are heathens. Their Christianity isn't even skin deep.
But the German is different. He wants to be sincere. He is either a Christian or
a heathen.... But for our people it is important to choose between the Jewish
belief in Christ with its wishy-washy whining about pity, and a strong heroic
belief in a God in nature, a God in their own people, a God In their own fate,
in their own blood ....
No matter whether it's the Old or the New Testament...
It's allthe same Jewish swindle. It's all the
same and doesn't make us free. A German church, German Christianity is nonsense.
You are either a Christian or a German.
If Hitler's provides a demonology for today's Satanists, theynevertheless seem to be less subtly demonic than he. They go for thestage props of the rituals, so far acted out in secret. But Hitler,early and late, was guided constantly by explicit, and completelycodified "theological" ideas, whose consequences he played out, onthe grand scale, under the guise of politics and war. This does notmean, of course, that today's Satanists are not authentically evil.Obviously, the devil has something for ever one from the evil geniusto the mediocre sycophant. He will take anyone who will "not kneeldown."
Despite his belief that the destruction of Christianity would be buta mere matter of time, Hitler, evil and determined as he was, endedup vanquished. The spiritual struggle between good and evil was,paradoxically, a clear reminder of God's primacy. Once defeat wasimminent and inevitable, Hitler ordered Albert Speer to destroy theinfrastructure of Germany. This Speer would not do, as so much of thephysical Reich was his own work as Reich architect. Perhaps God choseto remind Hitler and the world of His greatness by making itnecessary for the Fuhrer to destroy his own work. Hitler orderedthe destruction, he said, because his defeat proved that the Germanpeople were too weak to prevail. They had not measured up to hisNietzschean, Luciferian requirement. Or perhaps Hitler knew he hadfailed as black magician and Anti-Christ. He wanted to burn Germanyitself because he had come to believe that the German people were too"weak" to win the war.
He could have just as easily said they had not proven evil enough.Like the devil Isacaron, who possessed Antoine Gay (See "The Devil inAntoine Gay," Fidelity, April 1987), Hitler was forced to say,
"Thegreatest suffering that God can inflict on me is
to be obliged todestroy my own work." This is not to
say that Hitler was merelypossessed, as Gay surely
was. Hitler became a function of the totaldegradation
and depravity of his own will to power, that "thing uponwhich he so often violently expatiated, which he frighteningly andeffectively exhibited in so many public and private paroxysms. Sodemonic did that will seem, so "perfectly" conformed to the higheststandards of evil, that arch-Satanist Aleister Crowley felt sure thatHitler had followed his own prescriptions as laid out in his ownBook of Law. Crowley had also written <Thelema>, the Greek word
for"will," recognizing its disordering as the
first principle ofopposition to God. James Webb
reports that "Crowley marked for
attention all the passages in Herman Rauschning's Hitler Speaksthat referred to a new world order or to the collapse of the oldsystem of values."
Just as Hitler's monomania led him to believe that Christianity'sweaknesses and accommodation would lead to his final victory over it,so today, Anton LaVey clings to the same proud hope. "The events thatLaVey predicted," writes Burton H. Wulfe in his prologue to TheSatanic Bible,
in the first edition of The Satanic Bible have come to
pass. Repressed people have burst their bonds. Sex has exploded, the collective
libido has been released, in movies and literature, on the streets and in the
home. People are dancing topless and bottomless. Nuns have thrown off
their traditional habits, exposed their legs, and danced the "Missa Solemnis
Rock" that LaVey thought he was conjuring up as a prank.... There is a mood of
neopaganism and hedonism, and from It there have emerged a wide variety of
brilliant individuals... doctors, lawyers, engineers, teachers, writers,
stockbrokers, real estate developers, actors and actresses, mass communications
mediapeople (to cite a few catagories of Satanists)
who are interested in formalizing and perpetuating this all- pervading religion
and way of life.
Social historians will note that, as Hitler leaned heavily on hisheathen volk to move him to liberate Germany from Christianity,today LaVey clings to the arrivistesand
wannabees as his clay. The"innate" Germanic
spirituality which Hitler longed to "free" from
Christianity today has been replaced with LaVey's pose as theliberator of the grossly aberrant materialistic and sexualindividuals who believe that totally loosening the bonds of Christianconscience and worshipping the Devil will put them in a Maserati. Itis certainly unhinging to think of people like this carrying outhuman sacrifice to attain such ends. It was no doubt inevitable thatas Hitler dropped names like Goethe and Darwin, LaVey drops those ofMarilyn Monroe and Jayne Mansfield. The former he claims was hislover, the latter his witch. He also says he leveled a curse onMansfield's manager, whom he despised, and that it was this cursethat caused both to die in a car accident, Mansfield literally losingher head.
Deriding the neo-Nazi Satanists will not make them go away or deletethe burgeoning crimes committed or encouraged by them from the policeblotters. Not all of today's devil worshippers are imbued withLaVey's preening, which makes him seem a kind of netherworldLiberace, making it temptingly naive to deride if not dismiss him,which is probably his game. Some other current Satanists inspire amore sobering response; they are the rough types who stand to createwidespread, large scale havoc. This is the contingent which feelsempowered by dark mandates from beyond the grave. Alfred Rosenberg,during his imprisonment after the War, while awaiting the finality ofjudgment at Nuremberg, wrote, "In the future everything depends uponthe need for the coming generations to recognize the inevitability ofthis battle of our times, so that they may not become weary and weaklike those who came before us." U.S. culture as anti-culture sinkingsteadily into nihilism is already finding new expressions and forms.It is ready to receive the inheritors of Rosenberg's legacy.
For instance, there is our fellow citizen, Mr. Nicholas Schreck. Asreported by Langone and Raschke, Schreck counts himself as an avowedneo-Nazi. He has pledged himself to Rosenberg's plea for darkhistorical continuity and his "apostolate" is the resurrection ofJoseph Goebbels' "resistance organization," Radio Werewolf. Schreckhas cast this Nazi program in the guise of a heavy metal band.Goebbels founded the resistance/propaganda movement once the Nazidefeat was inevitable. He wanted a music and radio terroristunderground which would take the Nazi doctrine and mission forwardinto the future, where it has deftly landed. In Schreck's manifestotitled "Radio Werewolf Indoctrination," he writes that his band "isthe current incarnation of a demonic manifestation," and its music'spurpose is-now quoting Hitler- "'to instill the gleam of pride andindependence of the beast of prey into the eyes of pitiless youth.'"Considering that heavy metal and dead metal bands are one of the mainrecruiting forums for professional Satanists, the Nazi promise thattheir doctrine would not die with them is made good by creatures likeSchreck. Rosenberg and Goebbels, who ended their abominable lives innooses, symbolically find their reincarnation in men like Schreck.
At Chicago's Hartgrave Hospital, psychiatrists created the Center forTreatment of Ritualistic Deviance. The psychiatrist in charge aversthat "No one will be hospitalized for strange beliefs or unusualvalues that we would disagree with." One can't help quip that theDevil probably is very entertained by the pretensions ofpsychiatrists. Perhaps the Devil is also a little angry that, thesedays, the shrinks are reluctant to give him his due. Of course, theDevil must be grateful at least that his presence in a case "hampersconventional treatment." For author Langone, however, the context ofsatanism is not religious. After reporting pages of mayhem ascribedto Satanism, he ends his book by saying: "I don't believe theproblems associated with Satanism have to be construed as a religiousissue, although they can be, and I am sure intelligent argumentscould be made that they should be. The analysis of evil I haveadvanced <rests comfortably> (italics added) in psychologicalparadigms. It represents a challenge to mental health, and Iencourage my colleagues to explore its ramifications for theory andtreatment."
So should parents of youngsters who "dabble" in Satanism be alarmedif Johnny has a Satanist altar in his bedroom? How will theydetermine just how evil Johnny is at the moment or might be tomorrow?Should they dwell at all on the fate of Tommy Sullivan's dead mother?And as for the difference between psychosis and evil, we must in allfairness point out to Dr. Langone that Charles Manson, a true lifeCathar who propitiates both Gad and the Devil, is not doing life in anuthouse, but in a prison, and that his "delusions" were firm enoughto inspire him to commit mayhem. What Langone and his colleagues areadvocating is the whittling away of Christianity by its own internalweakness, one of which is that of allowing various secular forces,like psychiatry, to usurp its functions and ape its wisdom, and itseffectiveness against evil.
Hitler would have been edified.
Only something as serious as belief can be at the bottom of all this,whether you want to be comfortable with it or not. And that belief isexploited and aided by the real force of evil. The rapidity withwhich Tommy Sullivan and others progressed from curiosity to murderand suicide clearly demonstrates the presence of a supernaturalforce. Although belief may be out of style, it remains a potentcause.