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“Worshiping the Devil in the Name of God”
Anti-Semitism, Theosophy and Christianity in the Occult Doctrines of Pekka Siitoin
Dr. Kennet Granholm
Assistant Professor in History of Religions, Stockholm University
This article explores the occult doctrines of Finnish Satanist and neo-Nazi politician Pekka Siitoin (1944-2003). Siitoin was a national celebrity in Finland, but previous studies of him have almost exclusively focused on his political activities. The aim with this article is to contextualize Siitoin’s curious mix of racist politics and Theosophicaly inspired Satanism to the political climate of post-World War II Finland. The unorthodox appropriation of Jewish mysticism in an anti-Semitic context, and the specifics of Siitoin’s pro-Christ Devil Worship, will also be treated.
The history of Western esotericism is full of colourful and eccentric characters. The Finnish occultist and neo-Nazi politician Pekka Siitoin is one of them. In Finland, Pekka Siitoin became (in)famous throughout the country for his curious mix of radical racists political activism and satanic magic practice, both of which he championed since the early 1970s. In the few studies of the man, the focus has been on his political activism, whereas the occult dimension has not been deemed worthy of serious attention in itself (see Kalliala, 1999a; 1999b; 1999c; Kaplan 1999; 2001). The short discussion of Siitoin in the postscript of the Finnish translation of Gary Valentine Lachman’s Turn of Your Mind (Vil, 2003) is one of the few texts where the occult aspect is given primary attention. This article is an attempt to remedy the situation, and provide an insight into the very interesting, and indeed highly disturbing, occult teachings of Pekka Siitoin.
In this article I will provide a discussion of the occult worldview of Pekka Siitoin, and contextualize it to his racist political philosophies. I seek to understand his highly unorthodox politics and occultism through the lens of the political and social history of post-World War II Finland. As my aim is to first and foremost focus on the occult dimensions of Pekka Siitoin’s life, certain artificial divisions need to be made. As the radical political philosophies of Siitoin easily out-shadow his occult practices, my discussion of Siitoin’s life history will make a division of these two aspects. In practice, these two fields of Siitoin’s life were intrinsically linked, which will be apparent in my more detailed discussion of Siitoin’s theories regarding magic.
Pekka Siitoin: Biography and Legend
Pekka Siitoin was born in Varkaus, Finland, on May 29th, 1944, and lived his early years with his parents in Loimaa, in south-eastern Finland. Later on, however, Siitoin came to claim that he was adopted. His real parents were supposed to be the German officer, or obersturmbannführer, Peter von Weltheim, and his mother a Russian-Finnish whorei and/or nurse. Consequently Siitoin sometimes referred to himself as Baron von Weltheim, and would actually publish some of his book under the pseudonym Peter von Weltheim. Siitoin’s childhood was generally happy and normal, although there are some indications that his father may have had an inclination towards alcoholism. At age 15 or 16 Siitoin and his mother moved to Turku, Finland, following some monetary arguments between his parents, according to Siitoin. (Kalliala, 1999a, 258; Nordling & Koskela, 2006, 37-38).
In the early 1960s Siitoin took up photography and video filming as hobbies, something which he later came to make a profession of (Kalliala, 1999a, 258; Nordling & Koskela, 2006, 45). In the mid 1960s he founded the photography firm Siitoin-filmi oy in Turku. At age 22, he married and eventually had four children with his wife. Two of these children later died, and Siitoin conceived two more children with other women after his wife’s passing away. (Nordling & Koskela, 2006, 182-183).
In 1973 Siitoin and his family moved to Naantali, a neighbouring town to Turku, and it was here that most of Siitoin’s political and metaphysical activities would be centred. In 1997 Siitoin moved to Vehmaa, also near the city of Turku. (Nordling & Koskela, 2006, 52-53). On December 8, 2003, Siitoin died of cancer (Nordling & Koskela, 2006, 161).
It is his controversial extreme right-wing politics that Siitoin is most (in)famous for, and he claimed to have become interested in Nazism at the age of four (Nordling & Koskela, 1999, 35, 40). Siitoin’s political activism and career can be divided into three main eras; political awakening and direct action in the 1970s, stagnation in the 1980s, and a re-awakening and in the 1990s.
Siitoin’s political activities started in the late 1960s, with sympathies for the bourgeois party Kokoomus. Quite soon, however, Siitoin’s political interests started to take on a more radical flavour. In the early 1970s Siitoin started to publish populist writings in local newspapers, and he was even a candidate for Suomen maaseudun puolue (SMP, The Finnish Rural Party) in the 1972 municipality and church elections in Turku, albeit without much success. He was also a member of the Suomen kansan yhtenäisyyden puolue (SKYP, The Party for The Unification of the Finnish People), an offshoot of SMP. As the 1970s progressed Siitoin’s political ambitions started taking an increasingly right-wing turn. In the mid 1970s he started to use his metaphysical society, Turun hengentieteen seura (THS, Turku Occult Society), as a forum for his right-wing, nationalistic politics. The small journal, Nationalisti-pasuuna (The Nationalist-Bassoon), published on a weekly basis, served this interest, as did several books published by the society. At the end of 1975 Siitoin started to wear black shirts and blue ties in his public appearances, a style of clothing borrowed from the 1930s Finnish fascist organization Isänmaallinen kansallisliitto (IKL, Patriotic People’s Alliance). He also sported an Adolf Hitler-styled moustache, which he claimed to have grown per request of the members of his political party (Nordling & Koskela, 2006, 182). The Isänmaa ja vapaus (Fatherland and Freedom) group was founded in early 1976, and the more organized Isänmaallinen kansallisrintama (IKR, Patriotic People’s Front) in late 1976. For IKR the main enemy consisted of the Soviet Union and communism, and rhetorical devices used where derived from German Nazism. The Soviet Union was argued to be the “product of a Jewish communist conspiracy”. (Kalliala, 1999a, 259-265).
After the mid 1970s Siitoin’s political interests led him to organize coups against communist media personalities. He admits to having staged several instances of threat-calls to what he perceived to be communist journalists, as well as a smoke-bomb attack on the offices of communist newspaper Kansan uutiset (The People’s News) (Nordling & Koskela, 2006, 13, 61, 175-176; The incident is also mentioned in the diaries of Urho Kekkonen, president of Finland from 1956 to 1981. Kekkonen, 2004, 225). However, it was the arson of the communist-owned printing house Kursiivi which led Siitoin to be incarcerated. In late 1977 the ministry of internal affairs made the decision to disband all of Siitoin’s unregistered organizations as contrary to the 1944 (Paris) and 1947 (Moscow) peace treaties, which outlawed fascist organizations (Pekonen et al, 1999, 37). Less than a week later an attempt to arson Kursiivi occurred. An individual close to Siitoin was arrested for the deed, and Siitoin was found guilty of incitement. He received a jail sentence of five years on November 13th, 1978. (Kalliala, 1999a, 274-275). Siitoin himself consistently argued his innocence, and regarded himself to have been the victim of political conspiracy on the part of Finnish president Urho Kekkonen (Nordling & Koskela, 2006, 13).
When Siitoin was released from jail in 1981 the political atmosphere of Finland had changed, and so had the public and media views on Pekka Siitoin. The era of political activism was over, and Siitoin appeared hopelessly outdated. As a convicted felon, he was now deemed dangerous and the media portrayals of him reflected this. His background as a felon also attracted the criminal element to his politics, something which he disliked. Increasingly he started to figure in porn magazine articles to further his causeii, although he did appear in other media as well. (Nordling & Koskela, 2006, 31, 182-183). Siitoin’s new political party, Kansallis-Demokraattinen Puolue (KDP, the National-Democratic Party), was mentioned for the first time in 1978, and was officially announced in after Siitoin’s release from jail in 1981. The party published the newsletter/magazine Rautaristi (Iron Cross). The death of Siitoin’s oldest son in 1985 led him to greatly decrease his public appearances, and he spent the rest of the 1980s mostly in correspondence with his foreign contacts in the neo-Nazi and -Fascist milieus. (Kalliala, 1999a, 277-279).
The rise of neo-Nazism and the White Power movement in the 1990s brought Siitoin to the front anew. The circulation of the KDP newsletter Rautaristi increased, and it now included translated texts from the global right-wing radical scene. Instead of the anti-communist politics, which had been at the absolute centre during the 1970s, a shift towards White Power ideologies occurred. In 1993 Siitoin appeared with other leading neo-Nazis in the documentary Sieg Heil Suomi, which depicted the foundation of Kansallinen rintama [National Front]iii (Stenros, 1994). Amidst all of this, Siitoin expressed rather negative sentiments of the Skinhead movement, which he saw as being more focused on mindless violence than on political ideology (Nordling & Koskela, 2006, 180, 185-186). However, Siitoin was now regarded a drunkard and a “Nazi-clown”, not as a serious political or religious figure (see e.g. Kaplan, 2001, for this view of Siitoin). He was a candidate in both the 1992 and the 1996 city council elections in Naantali, and actually received the sixth most votes, 141 in total, in the 1996 elections. He was not elected, however, as he was nominated as an individual, and the D’Hondt system used in Finland favours political parties and coalitions. (Kalliala, 1999a, 280-282; Nordling & Koskela, 2006, 171-172).
In later retellings, Pekka Siitoin’s metaphysical journey appears to have started early. He claimed to have met a friend of his father who was clairvoyant at a young age (Nordling & Koskela, 2006, 39). He also claimed that a gypsy woman foretold that the young lad would grow up to be a famous man (Nordling & Koskela, 2006, 40, 188-189). However, Siitoin’s actual career in magic and metaphysics can be regarded to have started in 1971, when he contacted the famed Finnish fortune-teller Aino Kassinen due to some financial troubles (Nordling & Koskela, 2006, 50-51, 172).
Aino Kassinen (1900-1977) was something of an “official fortune-teller” of Finland from the 1930s onwards. Kassinen claims to have been consulted by, among others, Risto Ryti, president of Finland 1940-1944, and Marshall in the army, Marshall Mannerheim (Kassinen, 1972, 49-52, 57). Kassinen seems to have been largely self-taught in fortune-telling and esoteric philosophy, but she did come into contact with at least the Theosophical Society and some of its Finnish offshoots, as well as the writings of Rudolf Steiner (Kassinen, 1972, 47). It is highly likely that she would have been influenced by these contacts. In her autobiography Kassinen mentions Siitoin as one of her two most promising students in the occult (Kassinen, 1972, 64-65). Siitoin would throughout his life stress his initial contacts with Kassinen (e.g. Siitoin, 1973, 21; 1985, 88), and claim that he was baptized into Satanism by her (Nordling & Koskela, 2006, 192).
In 1971 Siitoin founded Turun Hengentieeteen Seura, mentioned above (Kalliala, 1991a, 261). Aino Kassinen was in contact with this group, which she claims had about thirty members in the early 1970s (Kassinen, 1972, 64). Siitoin’s association held meetings and lectures in Turku, offered spiritual healing over distance, and published and sold books (Ultra, 1974b, 36; Kalliala, 1999a, 261). Later the two sister-organizations Föreningen Veronica (The Veronica Organization) and Pegasos-seura (the Pegasus-Society) formed in order to market and sell occult material outside the borders of Finland (Kalliala, 1999a, 261). According to Mari Kalliala, Siitoin was fairly popular in the occult milieu of Finland in the early 1970s, and did receive plenty of contacts from people seeking spiritual guidance. In the mid 1970s, however, this changed as his political sentiments and activism caused resentment. Aino Kassinen, who had earlier praised Siitoin, warned people to stay away from him (Kalliala, 1999c, 92; Nordling & Koskela, 2006, 50-51), and the only alternative spiritual magazine in Finland, Ultra, refused to print Siitoin’s articles and advertisements from the summer of 1974 onwardsiv (Kalliala, 1999a, 260-261). In November 1977, when the Finnish ministry of internal affairs discontinued all of Siitoin’s societies and political parties, THS was discontinued as well (Kalliala, 1999a, 274-275).
The new organization Kansallis-mytologinen seura (National-Mythological Society) was formed in 1981 after Siitoin’s release from jail (Kalliala, 1999a, 277), and it was under this organization that Siitoin published his remaining books.
Although Siitoin wrote books under his given name, most of his books on metaphysical subjects were published using pseudonyms. They were also mostly published before his imprisonment. Books dealing with magic written by Siitoin and published by his societies include:
Yhteys ufoihin ja henkimaailmaan [Contacts with UFOs and the Spirit World], originally published in 1973 under the pseudonym Hesiodos Foinix. Also published in Swedish as Kontakt med ufos och andevärlden, parts one and two.
Musta magia, osa 1 [Black Magic, part 1], originally published in 1974 under the pseudonym Peter Siitoin. Also published in Swedish as Svart magi, del 1.
Uuden ajan unikirja [Dream-Book for the New Age], originally published in 1974 under the pseudonym Cassius Maximanus. Also published in Swedish as Nya tidens drömbok.
Ufot, uskonto ja paholainen [UFOs, Religion, and the Devil], originally published in 1974 under the pseudonym Jonathan Shedd.
Musta magia, osa 2 [Black Magic, part 2], originally published in 1975 under the pseudonym Peter Siitoin. Also published in Swedish as Svart magi, del 2.
Paholaisen katekismus [The Catechism of the Devil], originally published in 1977.
Kohti uutta uskoa [Towards a New Faith], originally published in 1989 under the pseudonym Peter von Weltheim.
Besides the books written by Siitoin himself, his societies also published and sold books such as a translation of the grimoire The Sixth and Seventh Books of Moses (Siitoin, 1986), a book on witchcraft by Ray Isaksson (Isaksson, 1985), and various works by persons connected to the Theosophical/Anthroposohical-milieu, such as H. P. Blavatsky, Rudolf Steiner and Pekka Ervast.
Aino Kassinen had instructed Siitoin to read works by the founder of the Anthroposophical Society, Rudolf Steiner (Kalliala, 1999a, 260), and it is indeed apparent that Siitoin was indebted to this writer for much of his occult philosophies. As Siitoin began to increasingly combine his unorthodox political views with his occultism, while continuing to recommend Anthroposophical literature to his correspondents, the Finnish members of the Anthropological Society started to become concerned. In 1972, the president of the Anthropological Society in Finland and Siitoin discussed the issue publicly on the pages of Ufoaika, the precursor to the earlier mentioned alternative spiritual magazine Ultra (Kalliala, 1999a, 260).
Metaphysical Worldview and Magical Practice
The Heavenly Hierarchy
In Siitoin’s view of the cosmos, the world was created by an impersonal and all-powerful being, or electro-magnetic force-field (Siitoin, 1974, 14). Although this being is regarded impersonal, it is often referred to in the masculine as Father. This creator-being does not in any way participate in worldly events, as it has created several subordinate beings who have taken this role. In the book Ufot, uskonto ja paholainen these subordinate beings are identified as Kether, Chokmah, Binah, Chesed, Geburah, Tiphereth, Netzach, Hod, Yesod, and Malkuth (Siitoin, 1974, 15). These divine beings, or “gods”, have their negative counterparts in another ten beings; Saatan-Moloch, Beelzebub, Lucifer, Ashtaroth, Asmodeus, Belphegor, Baal, Adrammalech, Lilith, and Nahema (Siitoin, 1974, 15).
In the book Svart Magi del I the divinities, now called arch-angels and Zefirothsvi, get slightly different names; Eheje-Eleie-Ether Elion (Metatron), Jrhowah (whose “class is Chochma”), Tetragrammaton Elohim (whose “class is Bizah”), El (whose “class-number is Aesed”), Elohim (whose “class-number is Geburah”), Eloha (whose “class-number is Tipheret”), Tetragrammaton Zebaoth (whose “class-number is Nezaed”), Elohim Sabaoth (whose “class-number is Hod”), Sadai (whose “class-number is Jesod”), and Adonay Melech (whose “class-number is Malchat”) (Siitoin, 1985, 46-51). Although the existence of “shadows” to these Zefiroths is mentioned, they are not named. Siitoin does, however, write that the “angels of light” are led by Mikael and the “angels of darkness” are led by Lucifer, and that the Creator-Father does not interfere in their operations (Siitoin, 1985, 51-52).
In connection to these divine beings a nine-levelled hierarchy of spiritual attainment is described (Siitoin, 1985, 41-45). Jesus Christ is mentioned as the only being to have attained the sufficient degree of spiritual evolution to attain the highest level, and thus as the highest personified divine being in cosmos. Lucifer is described as having attained the next highest spiritual evolutionary level, and Satan as having attained a stage under this (Siitoin, 1974, 104). Jesus Christ is also described as the reincarnation of Zoroaster, who on the request of the Creator-Father left his material body and manifested as the Christ (Siitoin, 1974, 29). However, it is not Jesus Christ who is the most important divinity for Pekka Siitoin, this is reserved for Satan and Lucifer.
As mentioned earlier, Lucifer is in Siitoin’s writings identified as the ruler of the “angels of darkness”. This does, however, not mean that Lucifer is deemed an evil being. In Ufot, uskonto ja paholainen Lucifer is described as one of the highest beings on the spiritual planes, and the one who created the material world. He is also said to have severed his ties to the heavenly host by refusing to leave earth when human beings had been created. (Siitoin, 1974, 11-13). Lucifer is also said to support the development of physical beings into “great personalities” through the use of technology and material luxuries, and that love and emotive behaviour stands in the way of this (Siitoin, 1985, 55). According to Siitoin, it is important to accept both “Christ-consciousness” and “Lucifer-consciousness” in our existence, as they are both necessary forces that balance each other (Siitoin, 1973, 145).
Satan, then, is regarded as a being separate from Lucifer, and as the divinity of material and physical indulgence. This being is said to value material lusts and animalistic orgies, the amassment of monetary wealth, heavy drinking and all other kinds of over-indulgence (Siitoin, 1985, 55-56). Satan-Moloch is also identified as the current ruler of the material world, as Lucifer has chosen to dwell on the spiritual planes (Siitoin, 1974, 24).
The last central divinity in Siitoin’s metaphysical system is Jehovah. This being is not identified as the Creator-Father, but rather as a divine being comparable to Satan and Lucifer, and the creator of the Jewish people. In Siitoin’s mythology Jehovah is the spiritual being most closely identified as “evil”. He is described as having a competitive relationship with Lucifer and Satan, and as striving for dominion over the world.
Cosmogony, Anthropogony and Misogyny
Pekka Siitoin displays a very unorthodox view on the creation of the world and of man. The “electromagnetic force-field”, the Creator-Father in Siitoin’s metaphysical system, is the original source of everything. However, the process of creation was performed by the subordinate divine beings mentioned above. One of these beings, Lucifer, was responsible for the creation of our solar system (Siitoin, 1974, 12-13). The creation of our world was a seven-staged process, where each stage was assigned a responsible creator out of Lucifer’s servants. When reaching the fourth stage, earth was ready for population. However, human beings were created on other planets through selective breeding, and were transported to earth using spacecrafts (Siitoin, 1974, 17). The technologically advanced society of Atlantis was founded about 90.000 years ago, and Lucifer severed his ties to the Heavenly Host in order to become the overlord and god of the Atlanteans. The Atlanteans were more spiritual in nature than modern humans, and they eventually divided into seven sub-races (Siitoin, 1974, 17-21). When the Atlanteans started to abuse their spiritual powers, their gods destroyed their island in a flood (Siitoin, 1973, 21). The fifth sub-race of Atlanteans, the Semites, had come to develop the capacities of morality and individual thought, but this development of independent thought diminished man’s occult powers. It is from the Semitic race that modern humans, the Aryans, descend (Siitoin, 1973, 20).
Although Siitoin’s focus is on the Atlanteans, he does not consider them to be the first root-race of human beings. Instead, the Atlanteans were preceeded by the Lemurians, whom where in turn preceded by two other root-races (Siitoin, 1974, 17). Here Siitoin’s account takes an overtly racist turn. The Lemurians procreated with animals and thus “cave-men” were created. According to Siitoin, the Africans, and the gorillas, are the result of cross-species procreation of these “cave-men”, animals and Atlanteans (Siitoin, 1974, 23). Thus, the African people are, in Siitoin’s view, comparable to primates, and are less human than “the Aryans”.
When Lucifer created the world, the divine being Jehovah was part of his “team” (Siitoin, 1974, 26). However, Jehovah was a jealous and power-hungry being, and secretly plotted against Lucifer and his people. He created Adam and Eve in his own image, and thus the Jewish people was born. At the same time he created the notion of sin, in order to gain control over the people he had created. Siitoin describes Jehovah as a being that constantly seeks to dominate others, and these characteristics are transferred to the Jewish people as well. (Siitoin, 1974, 26-27).
The Japanese and Chinese are a curious anomaly in Siitoin’s mythology. Siitoin explains the advanced and alien culture of the Asian peoples by placing their origin on an alien planet (Siitoin, 1974, 23-24). According to Siitoin, the Japanese and Chinese destroyed their home planet in an atomic war and a handful of them escaped using spacecrafts. The answer to why these peoples have an advanced, but not extraordinarily advanced, culture is that all the scientist and scientific knowledge were destroyed in the war. Siitoin does not seem to dislike Asians, and values them much higher than he does people of Jewish and African origin.
UFOs are central to Siitoin’s philosophy. This can probably be attributed at least partly to the alternative spiritual milieu of Finland in the 1970s, which was strongly focused on UFO beliefs. For example, the only real alternative spiritual magazine of the time was the 1972 launched Ufoaika (UFO Age), which focused heavily on UFOs (Ultra, 1974a; 1974b). Many of Siitoin’s publications from the 1970s feature the word UFO in the title (i.e. Siitoin, 1973; 1974). In Siitoin’s mythology UFOs are the vehicles of higher spiritual beings.
In addition to being racist in his accounts of non-European cultures and people, Siitoin is also explicitly misogynistic. In his mythology and philosophy women have no real substance. In esoteric contexts highly evolved spiritual beings are commonly described as androgynous, but in Siitoin’s account they are strictly male. Women can only evolve on a high spiritual level once they are reborn as men (Siitoin, 1976, 63). In several of Siitoin’s books the ideal roles and natures of women are described. A woman should ideally get married at an age between fourteen and sixteen, to a man twenty to thirty years her senior. The reason for this is that she can then easily be “taught” by her man, and become subordinate and eager to please her man, and thus the marriage would be a “happy” one (Siitoin, 1976, 59-61; 1985, 102-103). Siitoin regards it “a pity that women fast become spoilt after the age of sixteen”, presumably because adult women are more independent. (Siitoin, 1985, 102-103). Furthermore, a woman should be monogamous, while a man can have several wives (Siitoin, 1976, 59-61). Interestingly, but hardly surprisingly, Siitoin seems to regard all women as having loose sexual morals (e.g. Siitoin, 2000, 22), and this also applies to his imagined birth mother (Nordling & Koskela, 2006, 37-38).
The Practice of Magic
Magical practice for Pekka Siitoin entails “speaking with God in his own language”. The use of this “mystery-language”, which entails the use of symbols, incantations and ritualistic practices, grants the magician power over the natural world. (Siitoin, 1985, 10-11). Even though two of Siitoin’s books are named Black Magic, he seems unsure of how to define this “black” magic. In some regard he adheres to the classic distinction of white magic being benevolent in nature, and black magic being malevolent. However, only violence is regarded as truly evil, and is as such something which Siitoin does not condone in his books (Siitoin, 1985, 10-12). Generally he is very strict in pointing out that the goal of metaphysical studies should first and foremost be the evolution of mankind and the world (Siitoin, 1974, 95). It needs to be pointed out that what is most likely meant by mankind is “the Aryan race” and men only, and that Siitoin’s views of what is beneficial for the world probably differ greatly from common sentiments.
Of Siitoin’s books, Svart magi del I (Siitoin, 1985) and del II (Siitoin, 1976) contain the most detailed instructions for magical practice, largely consisting of an amalgam of Theosophical notions and folklore material. The classic grimoire The Sixth and Seventh Books of Moses, in Finland often named “The Black Bible”, was a central piece of magical literature in Siitoin’s system. Siitoin’s translation of the book (Siitoin, 1986) was published in several printings from the 1970s, and is often referred to in his other books (e.g. Siitoin, 1976, 5-6; 1985, 14-18).
In Svart Magi del I two ways of making a pact with Satan are described, both involving ceremonial sacrifice. The first involves the ceremonial sacrifice of a black cat. The cat should be boiled alive during a midnight with a full moon (Siitoin, 1985, 60-63). During the cooking the would-be magician is to read the following phrases aloud, eight times at the different cardinal points: “I call to You Oh Prince of Darkness Lucifer, In Your name I ask Satan to take me as his servant” (Siitoin, 1985, 62). When the cat is cooked, it flesh is burnt and the bones are collected for keeping under one’s mattress. Three months after doing this ceremony the magician is to contact Satan through the use of an Ouija-board, and hope for a positive answer from the Prince of Darkness. However, in a TV-interview Siitoin says that he is very fond of cats and has never performed a sacrifice comparable to the one described in his book (Youtube, 2007vii).
The second way of gaining the favour of Satan is reserved for men only, and is an indication of Siitoin’s misogynistic tendencies. The would-be magician is to find a young woman who has not yet lost her virginity. He should then seduce her, and when he sleeps with her for the first time he should mentally focus on the following incantation: “Here, oh Prince of Darkness, You have a humble gift so that Satan in your name may take me as his pupil” (Siitoin, 1985, 63).
Most of the practical magic described in Svart Magi del I and del II are based on folkloristic sources, and deal with mundane things. For example, spells and rituals for causing haunting in an enemy’s home, the humiliation of and victory over antagonists, the cessation of bleeding, the calming down of an angry dog, and curing warts, ear infections, and sleeplessness are described (Siitoin, 1985, 70-73, 89-93, 121-129). However, Siitoin also includes a quit elaborate ceremony for waking the dead (Siitoin, 1985, 78-86).
Siitoin attributes great importance to sexuality as an avenue of magical practice (Siitoin, 1976, 58-60). The earlier example of a pact with Satan includes the ritual use of sex, and sexual magic is also described as a part of other ceremonies as well. A peculiar ritual, again in order to seek the approval of Satan, is described in Svart magi del I. Here the practitioners are divided into groups of four women and four men. These individuals should undress and stand so that the men and the women are opposite each other, staring at each others’ genitalia. The participants who are sexually aroused, indicated with an erect penis for men and vaginal secretion for women, are suitable to be servants of Satan (Siitoin, 1985, 108-110). Another sexually explicit ritual described involves the sacrifice of semen. In this ritual the oldest women of the group, attributed the role of priestess, has her genitalia smeared in olive oil by the youngest man in the group, and her behind smeared in olive oil by the oldest man in the group. At the same time the participants proclaim: “Demon est deus Inversus, hallow and blessed be You oh holy snake” (Siitoin, 1985, 112). Hereafter the rest of the women in the group are to sexually stimulate the men and collect their semen in coffee cups. While this occurs, the Priestess circles the group and repeatedly incants “Legich, Legich, Legich, come and witness our loyalty to Satan” (Siitoin, 1985, 112). Finally the priestess blesses the semen, which has been poured into a big jar, and it is then burnt and the smoke inhaled (Siitoin, 1985, 111-113). No descriptions as to what specific effects these sexual rituals are thought to have are given, other than that they are enjoyable to Satan, and that the participants may ask Satan for general favours after having performed a ritual of sexual nature (Siitoin, 1985, 113).
Sources of Inspiration
Pekka Siitoin self-identified as a Satanist, but his particular brand of Satanism is very different to most common forms of contemporary satanic philosophy. The advent of modern Satanism can be attributed to Anton Szandor LaVey (1930-1997). In 1966, LaVey founded the Church of Satan in San Francisco, USA, and in 1969 his Satanic Bible (LaVey, 1969), which was to become the holy book of a great number of contemporary Satanists (see Lewis, 2002), was published for the first time. Pekka Siitoin, however, does not seem to have been particularly influenced by LaVey. The former was aware of the existence of the latter, and expressed a willingness to translate his works into Finnish (Nordling & Koskela, 2006, 103). However, he did not regard LaVey as the instigator of Satanism (Nordling & Koskela, 2006, 191).
Pekka Siitoin’s brand of Satanism and Devil Worship is also unorthodox in its interesting take on traditional Christian concepts and figures. In Siitoin’s system, it is fully acceptable to worship any of one the higher divine beings. However, this worship must be performed in the name of God! Also as discussed above, Siitoin’s view of Christ is very positive, and his Satanism can therefore not be regarded as anti-Christian per se. When taking Siitoin’s extensive use of Christian mythology and his positive view of Jesus the Christ into account, his philosophy could in a loose sense be termed “Christian Devil Worship”. It goes without saying that Siitoin’s doctrines are very far removed from any forms of traditional Christianity. My use of the term Christian in the description of Siitoin’s philosophy should be understood in a comparison to organizations such as Church of Satan. Most forms of contemporary Satanism are very far removed from any Christian context, and rarely make use of Biblical figures other than Satan (the use of whom is heavily detraditionalized). It should be noted that Siitoin did express sentiments that the true teachings of Christ had been distorted by the Church (e.g. Siitoin, 1973, 156; 1974, 105-107; 2000, 24-27), and his doctrines can therefore be seen as anti-Church.
There are significant differences between the satanic philosophies and doctrines of Siitoin and the main strands of contemporary Satanism. When comparing LaVey’s “Nine Satanic Statements” (LaVey, 1969), with Siitoin’s “Ten Satanic Commandments”, as found in Siitoin’s Paholaisen Katekismus (Siitoin, 2000), the differences are apparent. Pekka Siitoin’s Ten Satanic Commandments are the direct reversals of the ten biblical commandments. In contrast, LaVey’s Nine Satanic Statements are presented in a manner which implicitly refer to the biblical Ten Commandments, but cannot be regarded as simple reversals. Also, whereas the Church of Satan was essentially an atheist organization, the Satanism of Pekka Siitoin is metaphysically grounded.
Siitoin actually has a peculiarly inclusive view of who is to be regarded a Satanist, as he mentions H.P. Blavatsky, Merlin the Magician, Christian Rosencreutz and emperor Caligula as such (Nordling & Koskela, 2006, 191). In the same context, Siitoin also mentions Manly Palmer Hall’s book “The Secret Teachings of All Ages” (Hall, 2001) as a work in which famous Satanists are named. This book has indeed influenced him a great deal.
The Theosophical Society – mainly through the books of H.P. Blavatsky, and the Anthroposophical Society – through the texts of Rudolf Steiner, have been extremely influential on Siitoin’s esoteric speculations. Siitoin’s doctrines on cosmogony and anthropogony are to a large extent derived from Theosophical sources. The notions of seven root-races, the seven souls of man, and the seven stages of creation are found both in Blavatsky’s and Siitoin’s books, as are the mythological continents of Lemuria and Atlantis. Blavatsky similarly assumed a rather positive view of Lucifer, even naming the magazine of her London-based Esoteric Section of the Theosophical Society after this character. Lucifer was here not equated with the Biblical Satan, but instead as a being who could illuminate the spiritual path of the occultist. Rudolf Steiner, in turn, based much of his speculations on the nature of reality on his notion of The Akashic Chronicles – the past, present and future history of creation as recorded in astral realms. The notion of the Akashic Chronicles is frequently mentioned in Siitoin’s books as well, and is featured as one of the main legitimising factors of his speculations. Siitoin probably first came across these sources in the early 1970s, when his mentor, the fortune-teller Aino Kassinen, suggested that he should read works by Rudolf Steiner (Kalliala, 1999a, 259).
Another book which Siitoin himself names as influential on him is Trevor Ravenscroft’s The Spear of Destiny, a book which Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke identifies as essentially derived from Anthroposophic doctrine (Goodrick-Clarke, 2001, 120-121). In the book, Hitler’s military and political success is attributed to him having had the mythical Spear of Longinus in his possession (Ravenscroft, 2000). The legend of the spear is that it was the one used to pierce Jesus’ abdomen during his crucifixion, and that a person in possession of it will hold the destiny of mankind in his hands. The book was first published in 1972, and it is very likely that Siitoin got hold of it early on.
Clearly then, Siitoin’s use of Blavatsky’s, Steiner’s, Hall’s and Ravenscroft’s works consists of rather radical reinterpretations, in which the latent seed of racism is utilized to its fullest possible extent.
Anti-Semitism and Magic
Anti-Semitism has a long and profound, although not uniform, history in West. During the Alexandrian and Roman occupations of Israel the Jewish religion was regarded as a potential source of rebellious uprising, in the early Christian writings of Paul the Jewish people were seen as overwhelmingly sinful, and in the latter parts of the Middle Ages official Christian sentiments towards Jewry were explicitly negative (Chazan, 2005, 398-399). It was, however, with the rise of nationalism in the 19th and 20th centuries that anti-Semitism as we know it today emerged. Jews were now perceived as foreign elements in otherwise homogenous national cultures (Chazan, 2005, 402).
The Protocols of the Elders of Zion (see Marsden, 2006), from the turn of the 19th century, expressed the anti-Jewish sentiments of the time, and have continued to exert influence to this day. The text was produced in 1897 by Philip Petrovich Stepanov as the manuscript Subjugation of the World for Jews, and was first published in 1905 as an appendix to the second edition of Sergei Nilus’ book The Great in the Small (Ben-Itto, 2005, 21-25) The Protocols were presented as the authentic proceedings of a meeting arranged by King Solomon in 929 BCE (Ben-Itto, 2005, 21). The protocols of the meeting, which was arranged in order to devise of a way of conquering the world for the Jews without bloodshed (Ben-Itto, 2005, 21), contained numerous examples of the perceived sinister nature of the Jewish people. Divided into twenty-four protocols, the text deals with subjects such as economic and military control, brainwashing and re-education of the gentile, and control of the press, all in order to keep the world under Jewish control (Marsden, 2006). Phrases of the following nature are plentiful in the protocols:
The ruler who is governed by the moral is not a skilled politician (Marsden, 2006, 19).
Whether a State exhausts itself in its own convulsions, whether its internal discord brings it under the power of external foes – in any case it can be accounted irretrievably lost: IT IS IN OUR POWER (Marsden, 2006, 18).
Without an absolute despotism there can be no existence for a civilization which is carried on not by the masses but by their guide (Marsden, 2006, 22).
In order to incite seekers after power to a misuse of power we have set all forces in opposition one to another (Marsden, 2006, 32).
The Protocols were conclusively proven to be falsifications as early as 1921 (Ben-Itto, 2005, 67), but they have nevertheless been used for anti-Semitic purposes throughout the 20th century. Famous examples are Adolf Hitler’s and Henry Ford’s propagandist use of it (Ben-Itto, 2005, 58-73). Marc Levin’s documentary film The Protocols of Zion (2005) provides a number of examples of the anti-Semitic use of the Protocols in the contemporary world.
For Pekka Siitoin the Protocols of the Elders of Zion were the truth. He published the text, and refers to them in several of his books. It is, however, interesting to note that his view of Jews was somewhat ambivalent. Moses is identified as the person who rebelled against the will of the evil god Jehovah, and strived to convey the secrets of magic to non-Jews (Siitoin, 1985, 14-16). Siitoin’s sentiment seems to be that Jews have the chance to reform, just as long as they abandon Jehovah and aspirations of world domination. However, at other times Siitoin seems to regard Jews as utterly irredeemable and flawed on a racial level.
It is fascinating that a man who holds extreme anti-Semitic views, and actively pursues an anti-Semitic agenda, would base his magical philosophy on Jewish mysticism. For anyone even faintly familiar with Jewish Kabbalah the god-names of Siitoin’s Heavenly Hierarchy, as mentioned earlier, should be familiar. They are of course the names of the different Sefirot on the Kabbalistic Tree of Life (see Idel, 2005). The counterparts are in turn named after the arch-demons of Kelipoth, the shadow-side of the Sefirot (see Pick, 1974, 77-78; Scholem, 1991, 73-77, 232-244; Giller, 2001, 49-148-149; Idel, 2002, 465-467; Granholm, 2005, 22-23). It is very unlikely that Siitoin would have borrowed these names directly from Kabbalistic sources. Instead the likely source is Manly Palmer Hall’s The Secret Teachings of All Ages, which Siitoin himself names as a book which has inspired him (Nordling & Koskela, 2006, 192). In Hall’s book both the Sefirot and the Kelipothic arch-demons are named, albeit slightly differently than in Siitoin’s books (Hall, 2001, 120-122). Another author that treated the Kelipoth in the 1970s is the British magician Kenneth Grant (see Evans, 2007, 284-344), whose “Typhonian Trilogies” contain ample reference to the night-side of Kabbalah (See Grant, 1994a; 1994b). It is, however, unlikely that Siitoin would have been familiar with these works, and it needs to be noted that Grant’s works do not contain the blatant racism which is infused in Siitoin’s books.
Political Climate in Finland
When treating Pekka Siitoin’s anti-Semitism the political climate of Finland in the 1970s needs to be taken into consideration. The political atmosphere of Finland after World War II deeply was affected by the country’s close proximity to the Soviet Union (see Allison, 1985). Finland had waged war against the Soviet Union in 1939-1940 and 1941-1944, and had received aid by Nazi Germany. Finland, of course, lost the war, and, while maintaining its independence, fears for a Soviet retaliation were imbedded in the collective consciousness of the people. During the 1930s fascist political parties and groups had a presence in Finland, as elsewhere in Europe. The peace treaties of 1944 (Moscow) and 1947 (Paris) outlawed fascist organizations, and these laws were quite strictly enforced in Finland (Pekonen et al, 1999, 33). Furthermore, the Soviet Union exercised pressure to silence anti-communist and anti-Soviet sentiments (Singleton, 1998, 134), which were indeed strong in Finland (Kalliala, 1999b, 73). In short, the major concern of Finnish post-World War II foreign policy, and of Finnish politics in general, was to maintain peaceful relations with its eastern neighbour (Pekonen et al, 1999, 33-34). The major political parties of the era were in general agreement of this condition, and thus no real room for radical right wing parties to grow and prosper existed (Pekonen et al, 1999, 34). Indeed, radical right-wing and racists political parties have never been particularly successful in Finland (Kestilä, 2007, 33-34).
It was in this political climate that Pekka Siitoin was born and raised. Anti-communist and anti-Soviet sentiments were widely spread, but they could not find expression. The sentiments towards Nazi Germany were mainly positive for quite a long time. Hitler’s regime had been regarded as the only force powerful enough to withstand the “evil” Soviet empire, and while the terrors of the holocaust were known in Finland as elsewhere, it took a long time before the subject received any substantial discussion in the country. Thus, it was not before the 1970s that the mostly positive view of Nazi Germany started to change.
It is within this context that Siitoin’s anti-Semitic sentiments must be examined. Siitoin had strong anti-communist and anti-Soviet sentiments, and came to see communism as part of a Jewish conspiracy. As detailed above, Siitoin was well familiar with the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and in these a section entitled “We support communism” can be found (Marsden, 2006, 33-37). Basing his anthropogony on the writings of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, which are infused with the racism of the late 19th century, an anti-Semitic worldview was easy to formulate.
Before the 1990s there is an apparent lack of articulated racist sentiments towards non-Jews in Siitoin’s written production. While the genealogy of African people provided in Ufot, uskonto ja paholainen, as discussed above, is obviously racists, it is not an articulation of reflected racism per se. It should be interpreted more as an expression of utter unfamiliarity and orientalism. Before the 1990s the number of people of foreign origin in Finland was almost non-existent (see Pekonen, 1999, 52), and it is really with the increasing number of asylum seekers in the 1990s that the neo-Nazi movements and racism directed towards non-Caucasian people took hold (Pekonen, 1999, 37-39). As Siitoin wrote most of his books before the 1990s, not much of an expressed racism towards coloured people is to be found in them. He did, however, express radical racist sentiments in, for example, TV-interviews (see Youtube, 2007).
During my youth, in the 1980s and 1990s, Pekka Siitoin was most commonly regarded a joke. A rather representative example of this is a TV-show from the 1990s, where Siitoin is called a “Nazi-clown” to his face by the interviewer (Youtube, 2007), a comment which he dismissed but did not seem all too bothered with. Having familiarized myself with the occult productions of Siitoin, I believe that the outrageous comments made by him are better understood when put into the context of his magical worldview and life-philosophy. In short, Siitoin was not simply a “Nazi-clown”, and his quite elaborate metaphysical worldview, a synthesis of both occult and political sources, demonstrates that he was not simply a moron. Rather, he led his life in accordance to the “will of Satan” in his magical system. This is also what makes his political sentiments more disturbing. Pekka Siitoin was a true nihilist, and had he ever attracted any significant following the results could have been devas
Although the search for Philosophia Perennis, the eternal and infallible teaching which is beyond time, is a common trait of esoteric philosophies (see Faivre 1998: 114-115), esoteric teachings are as firmly grounded in their history as are all other human endeavours. The books by H.P. Blavatsky were imbued by popularized understandings of one of the most influential scientific theories of the 19th century; evolution. Thus, the notion of a succession of more and more advanced human races, as expressed in her The Secret Doctrine (Blavatsky, 2007a; 2007b), is a consequence of late nineteenth century preferences. Pekka Siitoin’s unorthodox appropriation of Theosophically grounded material also needs to be understood in the historical and societal context of his time. The racist ideologies inherent in early Theosophist material were easily fitted together with the anti-Semitism of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the fear of the communist Soviet Union, the admiration of Nazi Germany as the antagonist of this “Evil Empire”, and the view of Adolf Hitler as a master occultist as expressed in Trevor Ravenscroft’s The Spear of Destiny.
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