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Das Cathars Kommen: "Dabbling", Satanism, New Age Religions, and Teen Suicide




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HITLER AND THE OCCULT: NAZISM, REINCARNATION AND ROCK CULTURE

by Suzanne M. Rini

In a headshop-boutique window downtown, a t-shirt dangles on a wire hanger. None other than Adolf Hitler, looking disconcertingly urbane, is silkscreened in the center, a mocking, euphemistic phrase underneath: "Hitler's European Tour: 1939-1945." On-a garage wall in the university section of town, a crude, misspelled, "Sieg Hail!" is scrawled, replete with swastika. Three blocks away, a record store window puffs a heavy metal band's abrasive song titles: "Never on Your Knees," "Witchdoctor," and "Scream Bloody Murder."

If we have eyes to see them, the signs of the rise in Satanism and its conflation with neo-Nazism are fairly commonplace and even rife. Unfortunately, in the U.S. information culture, nothing exists until it can't be ignored any longer, until the causes and proportions are irremediable. Undoubtedly, I myself only noticed the props of what Cynthia Kisser, Director of the Cult Awareness Network, calls a "growing social movement" because I'd received a copy of Satanism and Occult-Related Violence: What You Should Know by Michael Langone, Ph.D. and Linda O. Blood, of the American Family Institute, a consortium of professionals who have been tracking cults and logging cult information since the 1970s.

The above book's startling documentation piqued my awareness from an intellectual and journalistic viewpoint. But soon after I'd read it, I visited an old high school friend of mine, now a pastor at a suburban Pittsburgh parish. One of his teenage parishioners had recently committed suicide; Nazi and Satanist paraphernalia were found at the scene. In this context, however, the word "suicide" has to be a matter of caution, for those paying homage to the Devil kill themselves as "sacrifices" to their nether god, believing that with promised reincarnation, Satan will reward them with another, more powerful existence.

The young Catholic boy's suicide may reflect a point reported by Langone and Blood. According to the Gallup Youth Survey Release of May 10, 1988, "Approximately one- third of teens who are regular attendees at Protestant or Catholic churches believe in reincarnation, a belief rejected by Christianity but upheld by most Eastern and New Age religious philosophies." "A large minority of teens," the authors continue,

a) are not very well grounded In their religions b) believe In witchcraft and...the Devil, and c) are attracted to heavy metal music. 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 wanting power 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 are particularly prey. Reincarnation can, in turn, become the aperture to belief in the Devil. This brand of belief in the Devil is not the usual Catholic one in which Satan is an ontological, personal force who preys upon and tempts even the best persons, who must practice virtue and pray for grace in order to resist. This traditional Christian approach to the devil was, according to some professionals working in the fields of Satanist cases, effective yesterday, but today is a largely vanishing artifact of a receding Christian culture. For instance, Louise M. Edwards, a Canadian social worker with much experience treating ritual abuse cases, terms the Catholic catechesis on Satan as dearly a bygone, "European" one. The awareness of ritual or Satanic assaults," she writes in "Differentiating Between Ritual Assault and Sexual Abuse" (Journal of Child and Youth Care, Special Issue, 1990),
is fairly new to North America, but to those of us with roots in Europe it Is something taught at the earliest ages.... The Catholic Church taught that the Satanic cults do the reverse of the 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, reincarnation initiates the psychologically vulnerable and theologically ignorant into homage to the devil in exchange for the goods of this world and power beyond the grave. For the more "sophisticated" neopagan, there is the paying of homage to a god who has both a light and dark side, but who shares enough conventionally Christian-defined satanic properties to pass for Satan. One popular neo-pagan deity such as this is Baphomet, who, via the "theology" accompanying the belief, demands blood or symbolic sacrifice, or burnt offering. These sacrifices are "Dionysian" at base, in other words, geared to ensuring "renewal."

In The Return of the Goddess (Crossroads, 1982) Edward C. Whitmont, a New Ager, advocates worship of the goddess, who was the consort of Baphomet. He also believes that the Grail legend is the belief for our time, which he calls "the post-Christian era." Feminism is duly accommodated in Whitmont's system, for the "restoration of the Grail (will occur) by honoring the Feminine aspect of existence." "The Grail 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 dares to 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 with Satanism. Whitmont, however, indicates that this "benign" witchcraft has a darker side, noting:
that the horned god, the consort of the Great Goddess, is an integral aspect of the Grail dynamic .... In medieval witches' cults this figure appears as the horned attendant of the goddess. 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 Grail were intrinsic to Nazi religlo/ philosophy. However, Whitmont takes pains to separate his New Age cleavage to these myths from Hitler's attraction to them by castigating the latter's overlaying both with racial hatred. However, any resurgence of Grail/ Goddess belief must be seen as direct opposition to Christianity, which was the first principle underlying Nazi philosophy and policy. Certainly, the Jews were hated on a racial basis; but much more, they were despised, in the 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, the charge often leveled against the Jews, that of materialism, traces back to the gnostic antipathy to matter. This deeper reason for hating the Jews, from whose law and morality Christ emerged, is neglected by contemporary historians. As Whitmont demonstrates, denunciation of Judeo-Christian hierarchic principles and doctrine, and thereby of its believers, is de rigueur for gnostics, whose heresy must be seen yesterday and today as a form of protest against established religion. Whitmont, who believes we should be able to live totally by trial and error, by experiencing both sides of our nature, and especially the Shadow side, regrets then the loss of the Dionysian offering. For Dionysius is the "god of wildness and spontaneity," and the blood offering to him is "to be presented before the Lord and atoned for, but sent away alive."

So, in combination, we see that in the U.S. today we have the frontal aspect of Satanism as represented by teenagers' increasing attraction to it, and we see the more subtle form emerging from out of the goddess regions of neo-pagan New Age. For both, the bottom line, whether one dresses it up in Jungian terminology, or scrawls a pentagram on an underpass in the suburbs, is the Satanic commandment to do whatever one wants, and to experience everything, extolling personal power and its final agent, the Devil, aver submission to moral law. Refusing to consider oneself a sinner is the common ground of both. And both varieties, as witnessed by the suicide related above and Whitmont's colloquial and knowledgeable references to nazism, are no more or less than the current blossoming of the Nazi legacy, come home to roost in the good old U.S.A. not quite 50 years after its defeat in Germany. One could run about warning that the Cathars are coming, but even this is not exact. For what were the Cathars and the Albigensians but the reiteration and transmogrification of the old, pagan Teutonic religion, never quite eradicated with the coming of Christianity, and ever at hand in any anxious or defiant age.

After the suicide/sacrifice event, my priest friend decided to hold a workshop for religious educators in the area, especially as he-d unfortunately learned from the police that his bucolic suburb is prime territory for Satanist activity in the county. (As per my friend's police information, Satanists will sometimes put a pentagram over a local or national map, choosing spots for rituals where the points of the pentagram fall.) Invited to this workshop were specialty task force police and a local psychiatrist, Dr. Earl Hill, the Director of the Adolescent Drug and Alcohol Unit at St. Francis General Hospital here in Pittsburgh. He told the group that an increasing number of teenagers admitted there for alcohol and/or drug dependency were reporting involvement in Satanism. At first, Dr. Hill was skeptical, "blowing it off" as peripheral or perhaps a delusional effect of the alcohol or drug abuse. But at last he could no longer ignore it as merely incidental. The kids were talking as much about belief in the Devil as they were reporting partaking in Satanist activity. Out of his realization, Dr. Hill has become an expert, and not, as with many other professionals-including journalists--skeptic who categorizes the adolescent "dabbling" in Satanism as merely a new evocation 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 Scout knife, attempted to kill his father and brother, torched the family home and fled, finally committing suicide by slashing his wrists and throat. "An investigation revealed that Tommy's interest in Satanism had escalated after he began reading about witchcraft for a religion report to the eighth- grade class at the parochial school he attended. His friends reported that he told them that the devil appeared to him in a vision and ordered him to kill his family and preach Satanism." "Dabbling" implies that there exists some type of consecutively empirical stages in Satanic belief and resulting action. This hypothesis, which can be neither verified nor quantified, should be dismissed as overloading hyper-rationalism and skepticism onto the real supernatural forces at work in Satanism and in the individuals it ensnares. In fact, this hypothesis boldly demonstrates a kind of opposition to grounding the discussion of burgeoning U.S. Satanism in matters religious. And pushed further. it encourages seeing such a view as an enabling factor of Satanism because the seriousness of the phenomenon is undercut by using Satanism for a certain kind of secularist propaganda.

Tommy Sullivan's fatal opening to Satanism was, amazingly, a school report on witchcraft assigned at a Catholic school. But a larger number of teenagers are initiated into Satanist beliefs through the skinhead and heavy metal music movements, often one and the same thing. According to Langone and Blood, "Some satanist cults are suspected of recruiting at heavy metal concerts .... They may employ teenage members as recruiters or to lure other teens to rituals where they are seized, forced to participate, and threatened with death if they leave the cult or tell anyone about it." Of course, not all skinheads or heavy metal music fans are satanists. But both are at high risk. The skinhead thrives on violent motifs that are highly likely to spill over into actual violence. The lyrics to heavy metal music abound with vivid images of rape, murder, suicide, Satan, blood and mayhem, and even necrophilia. If some writers are willing to mitigate the possible effects of heavy and dead metal bands' influence on the spiritual state of fans. the police are not. The above-mentioned police documents on ritualistic crime mentioned above contain pages of the abominable lyrics.

Detective Richard Mihalic, part of an intra-professional task force based in Pittsburgh, told this reporter that Michael Aquino, a nationally known, avowed Satanist and Nazi devotee, recently said on a BBC broadcast that he is actively recruiting skinheads. This means that the skinhead cum heavy metal music "movement" may be the hiring hall for a new phase of formal organization by "professional" Satanists like Aquino. Carl A. Raschke, in the 1989 book, Painted Black, alleges that Aquino also reports having visited Wewelsburg Castle, SS Chief Heinrich Himmler's luxurious and gothic Third Reich outpost where Himmler initiated and educated his vicious corps in the "lost knowledge" of many offbrand occult traditions, as well as in absurd historical. cultural, and even geographical theories put forward by a host of revolting quacks who were actual professors at the time. Although Aquino recruits skinheads, who are walking time bombs of violence, he demurs on the issue of his agreement with Nazi racial hatred and anti-Semitism. (Of course, who can trust him to tell the truth?) Rather, writes Raschke, Aquino says he went to Wewelsburg to exploit the "working" there that is, its evil. As a devoted, believing pilgrim, Aquino expects the evil that was wrought at Wewelsburg to surge into himself, broadening his own "powers." Obviously, the most paradigmatic evil wrought by Himmler and the SS involved the extermination of millions of people. Thus Aquino begs the question when he publicly plays down any personal, Satanist antipathy toward Jews, Catholics, and Blacks; for Satanism's first law is preying upon the "weak," and using others ritualistically to gain power for themselves.

From the evidence, then, of the convergence of contemporary Satanism with neo- Nazism, it can be said that Nazism, and within that, the person of Hitler, and the dramatis personae surrounding him, provide a demonology for today's devil- worshippers. They can look into the totally accessible film of history in their own century and see a living hell led by Hitler as Satan and his totally subservient legion, who were, above all, "obedient" to his dark. predatory will. Hitler, however, was only making use of symbols that were already familiar in occult circles. The SS characters were resurrected from Germanic tribal runes. The swastika was originally a Sanskrit sun symbol, denoting a heliocentric cosmos ordered by an Aryan nature god who became the reinterpreted "God" of the Nazis. Before Hitler's rise, many German racists had adopted the swastika as the emblem of their several quasi-political movements, and the occult societies which often lay behind the public, political constructs. The most relevant of these was the Thule Society, whose meetings Hitler attended while in the' German Army during World War I and after., It was there that he met Rudolf Hess, as well as his future "philosopher/intellectual," Alfred Rosenberg. The Thule Society was the quasi-secret gnostic society behind Munich's tiny German Workers Party which, in turn, provided the philosophical basis and early membership for Hitler's German National Socialist Party. Dusty Sklar, in the very well-researched Nazis and the Occult, establishes that Hitler took many ideas and props from the Thule Society: the fuhrerprinzip, the swastika (which a dentist who was a Thule member ultimately designed into the Nazi flag), the idea for the stormtroopers, and the very salute, "Sieg Heil!" But at the bottom of alt of these lay a barbarian's antipathy to none other than Christianity, as well as to Judaism, and especially to the Catholic Church. Had the war been won by Germany, the Church would have probably been pandemically persecuted. Thus, the swastika and the SS runes are historically the symbols of satanism and beneath them lay visceral hatred of Judeo-Christian civilization.

Whitmont claims that the lore of the swastika traces directly back 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 have originated."

The central symbol of the Thule Grail mysteries was represented by 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 was now said to be the most secret symbol of the Armanentum Armandom, the name given to the order by its high priests and spiritual directors. These new Templars claimed to guard and serve the Grail of the racially pure blood and the Thule mysteries of the ancient Aryan root race." Thus, the old god Cerannus would have had to be propitiated with 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 becomes possible to hypothesize that perhaps the ritual murders which took place in the German concentration camps were seen, not figuratively as they are by some historians, but literally as blood sacrifice. Hitler as Fuhrer was but the reflection of Hitler, the down and out student in Vienna, the occult aficionado. In those years, he was the reader of spoiled monk turned occultist and racist Lanz von Lebenfels' Ostara, the anti-Jewish, prurient publication whose name is a pagan forerunner, it is said, of the Christian "Easter." Although Hitler went far beyond the Thule society, some of his old associates from it joined him when he acceded to power. Just as the Thule Society was the gnostic secret society behind the early German Workers Party, so too its beliefs and rituals may have continued to be practiced behind the political/philosophical facade of Nazism, and the god Cerannus may have come to be bloodily propitiated in the name of renewing Germany.

But were the Nazis practicing Satanists? Here again, the answer depends on the definition of Satanism. If one means organizing covens-or "ghettos" as Church of Satan founder, Anton LaVey calls covens nowadays-the answer from history is a probable no. But if Satanism is defined as an occultist, pagan legacy of something like the Knights Templars, the answer would be yes. Some writers have drawn on the rich historical evidence of Nazi occult belief, extending these to imply Satanist activity of the traditional 'coven kind. But unconvincingly so, although there are some incidents which do seem to reek of that type of Satanism, such as Hitler's ritualistic suicide on Walpurgis Night, the eve of the Satanic high "holyday" of Beltane.

Other historians leave the question open, or treat it in a lefthanded way. They exhaustively chronicle Hitler's excesses, his politics, and his character, but finally they admit that they cannot explain him. That is, they concur that his evil was too great to be defined in merely human terms. But what is ignored by nearly all of the writers is that Hitler clearly defined himself as a messiah, and his most important henchmen and major ideologues were self-proclaimed heretics, both of which distinguishing marks wind better into the Templar/Thule skein.

The Nazis do seem to qualify as Satanists in spite of the seemingly paradoxical fact that they professed belief in God, but much, much mitigated. In other words, unlike today's Satanists and other historical ones, they did not denounce God out of hand. But they did totally reject His teachings, especially as taught by the Catholic Church. 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's depraved family policy of Lebensborn, replaced priests at baptisms and marriages of fellow SS men, and were charged by Himmler to couple anonymously with German "maidens" as much to insult the Church as to produce children for the . Like today's rock-addicted youngsters, Himmler's men were instructed in the facts of reincarnation and in return for taking leave from their consciences promised greater power in a life to come.

The German people were ripe for the Anti-Christ figure of Hitler. "By the turn of the century," writes James Webb in his book The Occult Underground,

most of the Occult underground which were known outside Germany had 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 replacing Christianity as Germany's established religion. Dorothy Thompson remembers someone telling her at the Oberammergau Passion Play that
It's a revival. They think Hitler is God. Believe it or not, a German woman sat next to me at the... play, and when they hoisted Jesus on the cross, she said, "There he is. That is our Fuhrer, our Hitler!" [A]nd when they paid out the 30 pieces of silver to Judas, she said, "That is Roehm, who betrayed the leader."
The heresies most applicable to the Nazis are also those most pervasive in the West today: Gnosticism and its extension, Catharism. Interestingly, today's trackers of contemporary Satanism who end up penning 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" heresies and today's culture. As there is no dearth of examples, so it must be judged that these analysts are too entrenched in the gnostic mindset themselves 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 sophist and author of The Myth of the 20th Century, who explains in his Memoirs 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, from Houston Stewart Chamberlain's Foundations of the 19th Century.
Rosenberg then describes a trip to France where he made a special trip south to the seat of the Albigensian heresy. "The struggles and fate of this huge sect of Cathari," he continues, "had always interested me. . .moved me deeply." He goes on to describe them as a "queer movement, combining the religious desire for freedom of will and character which was essentially West Goth, with late-Iranic mysticism." The Cathari, he continues, "rejected the Old Testament, avoided the use of any and all Jewish names ... and shunned even the name of Mary. The crucifix to them appeared an unworthy symbol since, they claimed, nobody could venerate the rope with which a human being, even though he be a martyr, had been hanged."

Rosenberg must have also known that the Cathars are credited, even by the most Inquisition-hating historians as having been the first heretics to propitiate Satan as the god of matter. They are credited too, with being the first to celebrate the Black Mass and to offer human sacrifice, both of which were drawn upon by 19th Century Satanists. It was the 17th century Cathars who introduced to devil-worship the ritualistic elements today passed off as ancient but which were unknown in both the early Christian centuries and in the Renaissance, when black magic became influential through the work of Pico de Mirandola, who believed that white magic was not efficient enough for the matters at hand. It was the ritualistic, propitiatory Cathar "tradition" which was adapted by the surge of Satanism that took place in the 19th century, well-described by Huysmanns in La Bas.

Raschke nails down the Cathar-Nazi convergence and its connection to contemporary Satanism. Donald Nugent in "Satan is a Fascist" (The Month, April 1972) analyzes the "unholy Trinity of Adolf Hitler, Charles Manson ... and Anton LaVey;" For all three the "satanist and the 'superman are one," Nugent writes. He also points out that mysticism and humanism are "the two routes to satanism." Catharism mixed with the secular ideology of state control became Hitlerism. German mysticism mingled with LaVey's libertarian philosophy of laissez aller, or "let anything pass," becomes the nine satanic statements [of LaVey]."

Nugent also discusses Manson's fanatical racism; his sporting of Nazi swastikas, which he wears on his forehead to this day and his 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 nothingness.
Raschke errs, however, in pinning the blame for describing the world as a hospital and a brothel where the weak are "winnowed away" only on people like LaVey and Manson. For already in America, the law itself has legitimized expunging the weak via legalized abortion and euthanasia. The extremist reaches of the environmental, peace, and animal rights movements look upon the world-and man- as hopelessly "polluted." Brothel needs no discussion. And mental hospital could describe the proceedings of many auspicious, recent commissions of physicians, lawyers, ethicists, and clergyman who have legitimized such things as fetal and embryo experimentation. euthanasia of incurables, etc. The image is also a glove-fit, to use author and activist Jeremy Rifkin's phrase, for today's "algynists," who seek, as present-day alchemists, through the revealed secrets and power of recombinant DNA, the key to matter and the Philosopher's Stone; who dream the megalomaniacal, Faustian dreams of cloning, hybridizing, and "creating" life.

All of these cultural signs point to the gnostic/ Cathar hatred of the world of matter, which leads inexorably and logically to blood sacrifice to the god of matter, that is, to Satan, whether he is propitiated by that name or another. Sexual perversion, an intrinsic feature of the war between body and spirit, was as rife among' the Nazis as it is in the U.S. today. Norbert Bromberg, M.D. and Verna Valz Small in Hitler's Psychopathology claim that no less than eight women who underwent sexual perversions with Hitler, during affairs with him, committed suicide. Hitler cryptically described the "suicide" of his niece/lover, Geli Raubel as a "sacrifice to Germany," 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 Christian civilization. They rowed energetically backwards to traditions like Atlantis, to legends of a superrace in ancient India whose deposit of lost 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, Anton LaVey makes the same claim. "The Church of Satan," writes Langone,

conducts its business publicly, and LaVey does not promote acts of physical violence .... However, The Satanic Bible ... has been enormously influential with satanists of various persuasions, and is frequently reported to have been found by police investigators among the paraphernalia of teenage dabblers as 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 store clerk.
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 are implicated in crimes or logically accused, as was Rosenberg, of inciting crimes by the very violence of their ideas, like to cry foul against the intolerance of society and religion. "A vocal fraternity of 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 faith that Christianity is seen as the aggressor against "human nature." The rhetoric is usually monomaniacal and grandiose. Hugh- Trevor Roper, in his prologue to Hitler's Secret Conversations, notes that Hitler "casually informed Mussolini (that) the last fifteen hundred years-the years between Attila and himself, the whole span of Christian 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 written by Cardinal Faulhaber against the Aryan Paragraph of the Reich's Constitution, which outlawed as criminal all civil, intellectual and commercial activity of Jews, as well as their right to marry German, indeed, any Gentile women. This, despite the fact that the earlier Nuremberg Laws, which rescinded most anti-Semitic reaction in Germany, had brought an influx of Jews from eastern Europe. Cardinal Faulhaber's document is a paen not only to Catholic courage but to the Church's unconditional support for protection of the disenfranchised members of society. It finds its approximation today in Catholicism's defense of all those whose personhood is is attacked. The Cardinal, like the Pope 1500 years before, stared unafraid into the eyes of the new Attila, a dramatic confrontation described by Mario Bendiscioli, in Nazism versus Christianity:

The Cardinal Archbishop of Munich... emphasized the unquestionable 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 the latter, 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, but it 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 German nature through the medium of truth and grace of the Church.
Like Hitler and his coterie, today's neo-Nazi Satanists find themselves burdened with the same task of legitimizing barbarism as a method of repudiating, intimidating, and despising Christianity. In fact, Christianity is forever in the forefront of their minds. This makes them strong in the face of "Sunday Catholics," who labor under the illusion that the enemies of God are as lukewarm as are they, and leads them to minimize Satanism as a merely media hype and chimera. But it is opposition to Christianity that is the sole engine behind the Satanists' symbols. This is particularly the case with the swastika. If today it is construed as purely a symbol of a generalized will to mayhem, to Hitler it was the emblem of his hatred for Christianity and his burning desire to eventually expunge it; this he thought he would do by exploiting Christianity's own internal weaknesses. "With these Confessions," Hitler said in one of his speeches,
whether this one or that one, it's all the same. There's no future in them. Certainly not for Germans. Fascism may make peace 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 all the 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, they nevertheless seem to be less subtly demonic than he. They go for the stage props of the rituals, so far acted out in secret. But Hitler, early and late, was guided constantly by explicit, and completely codified "theological" ideas, whose consequences he played out, on the grand scale, under the guise of politics and war. This does not mean, of course, that today's Satanists are not authentically evil. Obviously, the devil has something for ever one from the evil genius to the mediocre sycophant. He will take anyone who will "not kneel down."

Despite his belief that the destruction of Christianity would be but a mere matter of time, Hitler, evil and determined as he was, ended up vanquished. The spiritual struggle between good and evil was, paradoxically, a clear reminder of God's primacy. Once defeat was imminent and inevitable, Hitler ordered Albert Speer to destroy the infrastructure of Germany. This Speer would not do, as so much of the physical Reich was his own work as Reich architect. Perhaps God chose to remind Hitler and the world of His greatness by making it necessary for the Fuhrer to destroy his own work. Hitler ordered the destruction, he said, because his defeat proved that the German people were too weak to prevail. They had not measured up to his Nietzschean, Luciferian requirement. Or perhaps Hitler knew he had failed as black magician and Anti-Christ. He wanted to burn Germany itself 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 in Antoine Gay," Fidelity, April 1987), Hitler was forced to say, "The greatest suffering that God can inflict on me is to be obliged to destroy my own work." This is not to say that Hitler was merely possessed, as Gay surely was. Hitler became a function of the total degradation and depravity of his own will to power, that "thing upon which he so often violently expatiated, which he frighteningly and effectively exhibited in so many public and private paroxysms. So demonic did that will seem, so "perfectly" conformed to the highest standards of evil, that arch-Satanist Aleister Crowley felt sure that Hitler had followed his own prescriptions as laid out in his own Book of Law. Crowley had also written Thelema, the Greek word for "will," recognizing its disordering as the first principle of opposition to God. James Webb reports that "Crowley marked for attention all the passages in Herman Rauschning's Hitler Speaks that referred to a new world order or to the collapse of the old system of values."

Just as Hitler's monomania led him to believe that Christianity's weaknesses and accommodation would lead to his final victory over it, so today, Anton LaVey clings to the same proud hope. "The events that LaVey predicted," writes Burton H. Wulfe in his prologue to The Satanic 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 media people (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 his heathen volk to move him to liberate Germany from Christianity, today LaVey clings to the arrivistes and wannabees as his clay. The "innate" Germanic spirituality which Hitler longed to "free" from Christianity today has been replaced with LaVey's pose as the liberator of the grossly aberrant materialistic and sexual individuals who believe that totally loosening the bonds of Christian conscience and worshipping the Devil will put them in a Maserati. It is certainly unhinging to think of people like this carrying out human sacrifice to attain such ends. It was no doubt inevitable that as Hitler dropped names like Goethe and Darwin, LaVey drops those of Marilyn Monroe and Jayne Mansfield. The former he claims was his lover, the latter his witch. He also says he leveled a curse on Mansfield's manager, whom he despised, and that it was this curse that caused both to die in a car accident, Mansfield literally losing her head.

Deriding the neo-Nazi Satanists will not make them go away or delete the burgeoning crimes committed or encouraged by them from the police blotters. Not all of today's devil worshippers are imbued with LaVey's preening, which makes him seem a kind of netherworld Liberace, making it temptingly naive to deride if not dismiss him, which is probably his game. Some other current Satanists inspire a more sobering response; they are the rough types who stand to create widespread, large scale havoc. This is the contingent which feels empowered by dark mandates from beyond the grave. Alfred Rosenberg, during his imprisonment after the War, while awaiting the finality of judgment at Nuremberg, wrote, "In the future everything depends upon the need for the coming generations to recognize the inevitability of this battle of our times, so that they may not become weary and weak like those who came before us." U.S. culture as anti-culture sinking steadily 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. As reported by Langone and Raschke, Schreck counts himself as an avowed neo-Nazi. He has pledged himself to Rosenberg's plea for dark historical continuity and his "apostolate" is the resurrection of Joseph Goebbels' "resistance organization," Radio Werewolf. Schreck has cast this Nazi program in the guise of a heavy metal band. Goebbels founded the resistance/propaganda movement once the Nazi defeat was inevitable. He wanted a music and radio terrorist underground which would take the Nazi doctrine and mission forward into the future, where it has deftly landed. In Schreck's manifesto titled "Radio Werewolf Indoctrination," he writes that his band "is the current incarnation of a demonic manifestation," and its music's purpose is-now quoting Hitler- "'to instill the gleam of pride and independence of the beast of prey into the eyes of pitiless youth.'" Considering that heavy metal and dead metal bands are one of the main recruiting forums for professional Satanists, the Nazi promise that their doctrine would not die with them is made good by creatures like Schreck. Rosenberg and Goebbels, who ended their abominable lives in nooses, symbolically find their reincarnation in men like Schreck.

At Chicago's Hartgrave Hospital, psychiatrists created the Center for Treatment of Ritualistic Deviance. The psychiatrist in charge avers that "No one will be hospitalized for strange beliefs or unusual values that we would disagree with." One can't help quip that the Devil probably is very entertained by the pretensions of psychiatrists. Perhaps the Devil is also a little angry that, these days, the shrinks are reluctant to give him his due. Of course, the Devil must be grateful at least that his presence in a case "hampers conventional treatment." For author Langone, however, the context of satanism is not religious. After reporting pages of mayhem ascribed to Satanism, he ends his book by saying: "I don't believe the problems associated with Satanism have to be construed as a religious issue, although they can be, and I am sure intelligent arguments could be made that they should be. The analysis of evil I have advanced rests comfortably (italics added) in psychological paradigms. It represents a challenge to mental health, and I encourage my colleagues to explore its ramifications for theory and treatment."

So should parents of youngsters who "dabble" in Satanism be alarmed if Johnny has a Satanist altar in his bedroom? How will they determine 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 all fairness point out to Dr. Langone that Charles Manson, a true life Cathar who propitiates both Gad and the Devil, is not doing life in a nuthouse, but in a prison, and that his "delusions" were firm enough to inspire him to commit mayhem. What Langone and his colleagues are advocating is the whittling away of Christianity by its own internal weakness, one of which is that of allowing various secular forces, like psychiatry, to usurp its functions and ape its wisdom, and its effectiveness 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 is exploited and aided by the real force of evil. The rapidity with which Tommy Sullivan and others progressed from curiosity to murder and suicide clearly demonstrates the presence of a supernatural force. Although belief may be out of style, it remains a potent cause.

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