Nuremberg: the Last Battle (Focal Point, 1996) by David Irving is a very thought provoking book. It is well researched and written and gives a good larger context and view on what happened before, during and also after the trial.
While the book is throughoutly fascinating from cover to cover I would suggest one to read at least its pages 35-39 (60-66 in the free pdf-book) where Irving summarises how there were few crimes listed in the indictment of the German war criminals, as finally drawn up in October 1945, of which one or other of the four prosecuting powers was not itself guilty.
See Wikipedia’s summary of criticism against the Nuremberg trial from here.
In the closing remarks of the book Irving writes:
The world saw Nurenberg as the old-fashioned practise of the victors putting the vanquished to the sword, behind a facade of retroactive law and elegant speeches. As the years passed this view was entrenched by the absence of similar trials where aggressive war was clearly established. The Soviet Union planned an aggressive campaign against South Korea, but as the New York Times was to comment in 1951: ‘A powerful aggressor, if undefeated in war, cannot and will not be punished.’ (page 312, pdf-book’s page 452).
When the armed forces of Britain, France and Israel conspired together and lauched their attack on Egypt in 1956, Rudolf Hess’ lawyer Alfred Seidl inquired of the British Foreign Office whether the British prime minister Eden was to be brought before any tribunal to account for himself. The tragic truth was that Nuremberg had set no real precedent in international law. A resolution presented in 1946 to the United Nations Organisation relating to the codification of the principles established at Nuremberg was referred to the organisation’s International Law Committee, and buried without ceremony” (page 312, pdf-book’s page 452).
Well, maybe Nuremberg effected the international law more than Irving gives it credit, but… can you think of some countries and their war criminals (in addition to those mentioned above) after the second world war being guilty (and still not put on trial anywhere) of the same or similar crimes of which the nazis were indicted for and sentenced of at Nuremberg? (as a reminder, those nazis were indicted for: 1) participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of a crime against peace, 2) planning, initiating and waging wars of aggression and other crimes against peace, 3) war crimes, 4) crimes against humanity). I can easily think of a country or two like that…
As a brief introduction to those who don’t know you – who are you and what do you do?
I’m a controversial, renegade Canadian artist, poet and mystic. As a young man, I had mysterious mystical experiences which awakened me to a much deeper vision of life and art. Now I’m being honoured around the world, chiefly for my efforts to reclaim the sacred swastika and repackage the spiritual.
You are from Canada – What is life like there?
Canada is full of nice people but not much culture (indigenous culture suffers from annihilation) because we have all come from elsewhere and it takes centuries to build an identity. We play hockey and hang animal corpses on our living room walls.
What is your favorite color and why?
In my dreams I was always wearing yellow, driving yellow cars, finding yellow things. For me yellow is the colour of the lover, the source of life, illumination, when the soul is filled with inspiration and creativity and blessing.
What inspires you as an artist?
Spiritual experiences and dreams, beauty and truth.
What do you aim to achieve with your art?
I express a deep part of myself, so deep that it is no longer about the small “me” but about the inner self that belongs to all beings 卐
Swastika and things related
Your relationship to Swastika is a spiritual one. Tell us about the spiritual experience that got you started in this – what happened, where and when? What is the “Secret doctrine of the Holy Fuck” involved? How this experience changed your life?
At the age of 27, in Rocky Mountain House, Alberta, 5 Feb 1965, in the Mountain View Motel, I went into a trance that night and my spirit soared up into what I call the Womb of the Sacred, where I was surrounded by fiery beauty and exciting power like rolling thunder. I thought I was dying and was extremely frightened until I surrendered to it and was drawn up into a radiant light that is the absolute formless being, the Self. I call it Secret Doctrine of the Holy Fuck so it doesn’t get confused with religion which our world suffers from. It was a state of love, ecstasy and oneness with the Nameless One.
I tried to tell my wife, my friends, my relatives, about this wonderful awaken in my soul. They edged away as if I had caught some terrible disease. A local priest told me I was insane and needed to turn myself in. I had walked away from church during my art school days and his words made me realize religion will never bring about such a creative experience. I decided I would be who I truly was even if the whole world shunned me as my friends were now doing. By the way, no drugs were involved in any of my experiences, which continued almost daily for a year.
Your artist name is ManWoman. In your videos Art talk and The real me was never born you talk about feminine aspect of Swastika and its importance. Does your artist name represent your spiritual work – effort to bring feminine and masculine energies together in a harmonious way?
During my visions all opposites melted into each other. In the dreams that followed, I was always both male and female and the dream people called me ManWoman. I was told this was my real name and I don’t need to tell you how I struggled with the idea of going through life with this name. It ruined my art career.
Swastika is evidently the most important symbol, spiritual symbol, to you. Are there some other symbols that are special to you? Why Swastika is the most important symbol to you?
My art is full of symbols, archetypes that point to an inner world which cannot be communicated but only hinted at. In dreams, the swastika became the symbol for that vortex of love and truth that embraced my soul in the Womb of the Sacred.
"God cannot be represented by any image. This was my best effort (1965)."
How would you describe your spirituality? What do you believe in? I’ve got an impression that you do not much appreciate formal religions, seeing that genuine spirituality should not (or could not) be put in strict boxes that formal religions are. I’ve got an impression that you have quite shamanistic basic touch in your spirituality with some buddhist influences – Am I correct?
I would say you could see many religions in my spirituality because I’m talking about the primal experience that all founders of all religions must have experienced. I’m very open ended and experimental. My initiation into it was through a shamanistic trance, although I had no teachers and this all came at me like a bolt from the blue. – pure without the baggage of tradition or scripture or doctrine.
Buddhism has no deity but the inner Buddha which is in us all – I like that. Hinduism has so many deities that everything is holy – I like that. My experiences can be compared to what Hindus call Kundalini Shakti – the release of the sacred feminine snake up the spine to levels or chakras of illumination. I like the Sufi way of honouring the sacred wherever it is found.
I detest all religions which use their god like a club to bully all others into submission to a set of stupid mindless beliefs and are willing to die for world domination of same stupid beliefs. So many perpetrators have “god” in their back pocket to justify their actions.
If you would meet the pope, Richard Dawkins, and Dalai Llama, what would you tell them?
Gentle Swastika (1984)
I had to Google Richard Dawkins – what person of intelligence seeing all the horrors and perpetration done by religion in our world wouldn’t choose to be atheist? I would tell the pope to kiss my ass. If he’s Christ’s representative on earth then I’m the Virgin Mary. I detest what has been imposed on the innocent and the gullible by the Catholic church. I like the Dalai Lama because he promotes loving kindness. It is cute that you spelled his name Llama like the animal from South America – soft and furry.
Ah, yes, I spelled that wrong, heh! In addition to your paintings and poetry you have also written three books. What are they about?
Gentle Swastika: Reclaiming the Innocence, a history of the worldwide uses of the swastika and my vision to restore it to its sacred purpose.
Homesick For Eternity, the autobiography of my awakening years, the trials, the bliss, the astonishment, illustrated by paintings of my visions.
Midnite Freak Show: Art, Poetry and Dangerous Mysticism, my poetry plus another series of paintings.
You have been called the father of Swastika reclaimationists. How do you feel about this? Did you get the call to start to work for reclaimation of Swastika immediately during the “Swastika experience” you had, or did that call develop gradually after the experience?
I believe I earned the title “father” of the Reclaim the Swastika movement the hard way with over 40 years of being tattooed with swastikas, teaching, networking, holding the hard place of opposing all the enormous prejudice against the swastika. And sometimes angry confrontations. It takes courage.
A wise old man with white hair, white beard, and white clothes, marked my throat in a dream and asked me to restore the swastika to its holy meanings. I nearly choked because I had Polish relatives taken to Auschwitz during the war. My mother said, when she sees a swastika, it cuts right through her. Still, I won her with the evidence I accumulated for a sacred swastika.
The Waitress From Swastika Café
Has the reclaimationist work become easier as we have got more distance from WW II – or has it stayed the same or even become more difficult as the West has become more “politically correct”?
Holocaust survivors and veterans of the war are dying off. The younger generation is looking for a cause and seeking a new world view, so yes, it is spreading beyond my expectations. Political correctness will never stifle this vision. Even young Jews are joining the cause.
As reclaimationists in general, you are not happy about what Nazis did with Swastika. This is evident for example from your videos To hell with Hitler and Sacred Swastika. How often people get upset from your Swastikas? Do people “get it” easily when you start to explain to them what Swastika is really all about?
I’m not comfortable with being called a reclamationist, which suggests a particular single group. There are many people who want to see the swastika restored – Native peoples in Canada and USA, Mayans, Western Buddhists, Western Hindus, various Pagan groups, the Tattoo community and worldwide youth and rock ‘n’ roll culture – it’s hard to put us all in one pot.
What have been the best things that have happened for Swastika reclaimationists during the last decades? The worst?
Photo by Bobby Neal Adams for Re/Search #12, Modern Primitives, 1989.
My interview in RE/Search Modern Primitives reach a vast audience among the tattoo community, which helped the idea spread to many countries. Ongoing ignorance of the true meaning is the worst contributor. The release of the My Swastika documentary that started at the Tattoo Festival in Cobh, Ireland in 2010 will be another huge boost to public education. Since the Irish Festival, interviews with me have been published in magazines from UK, Ireland, France, Germany.
What does it tell about that Swastika is in the West still associated with Nazis? In addition to the obvious historical associations, are there some deeper level spiritual or other currents that are connected with this? Does this kind Western mentality involved with Swastika’s association with Nazis manifest some deep spiritual, cultural and other problems that we in the West are dealing with today? Or is this kind of question not meaningful, are those things not really connected?
What happened in WWII cannot be erased but brave people who choose to use the symbol for new or restored old meanings are what will really make a shift in the overall consciousness around the swastika. No one will remember WWII forever.
Think of the most sacred thing in your life
think of the most precious thing
and put the swastika into that place
Put the swastika into your heart.
Put the swastika on your altar.
Put the swastika on the image you use
to represent God, love, peace, or the cosmos.
Put the swastika on the thing that makes you happy.
You will begin to see what the swastika has meant to humans
over this entire planet for all of our human history.
For these places are exactly the places it occupied
for thousands of years until the Second World War,
when it fell victim to a chronic infection.
I say to hell with Hitler –
me and my friends are taking it back!
When the day comes that Swastika is reclaimed, what will that world be like? How it differs from today’s world?
The swastika exists in so many cultures, it is part of the collective unconscious as Carl Jung realized. We will be inwardly richer not having our most sacred sign stolen by an evil war. In the orient, the swastika has never been lost so this issue is mostly a problem for those nations touched by the Nazi regime.
You have a massive collection of Swastika related items in your Swastika Museum. What kind of items you have and how many items you have all in all? Is your Swastika Museum open to the public? Are there some special Swastika items you would like to get into your museum?
Lucky Swastika cigar box blankets in ManWoman's Swastika Museum.
My museum is just in my front room. People do drop in for a visit. It is not a formal museum. I have many drawers full, walls covered, filing cabinets and trunks – Victorian jewelry, turn of the century postcards, Navaho rugs, baseball caps, thousands of items. I have never counted them all. I have most of the important items. I’m not collecting more. In fact, I have been giving some away to my supporters. People can see some of the items on my YouTube videos.
Do you have any Nazi-Germany Hakenkreuzes in your collection or have you decided to not include them? Why yes or no?
When I first started in 1967 several people offered me Nazi stuff. I refused.
Later in 1985, three of my first swastika penpals and I met at the home of Carolyn O’Neil, the town historian of Swastika, Ontario, Canada. There was Douglas Youngblood from Chicago, a researcher, and Alfred Harbich, who called himself Guru Svastika, a German artist. We had many heated arguments about not including Nazi items. Carolyn and I did not want any Nazi items. The others argued for showing the complete history. We left with no agreement. I have none in my collection. My purpose was to create The Friends Of The Swastika and any tainted items would sabotage all my efforts.
You are part of the forthcoming documentary My Swastika. What kind of part you have in the documentary? What kind of hopes and expectations you have for the documentary?
I’m featured and interviewed about the visions and the long journey I have been on with the Swastika. I was guest speaker at two tattoo festivals in Ireland and also an underground music festival in Denmark where I showed slides and talked about the symbol. I believe this documentary will ignite an even bigger expansion to the save the swastika movement.
ManWoman gives a talk about Swastika. 2nd Traditional Tattoo And World Culture Festival, Cobh, Co Cork, Ireland. June 3rd-6th 2011.
You took part to the 2nd Traditional Tattoo And World Culture Festival in Ireland this year. How was it? What kind of Swastika reclaimationist program and activities there were?
I have never used the term Reclamationist which is now being dubbed on us. This is a grassroots movement with no preconceived agenda. There were many playful swastikas, a swastika prayer ritual, swastika medicine wheel, swastika prayer flags and banners, swastika tattoos, swastika clothing, swastika cakes and cookies, swastika chocolate-covered marzipan handed out like communion wafers. My wife Astarté built a swastika-shaped garden in a small sacred grove where we did the prayer tie ceremony. All create by various individual with no organized plan. It was a Swastika Happening.
What is Swastika, that ancient sacred symbol, all about, in its core?
It speaks of the source of our being, our cycles of incarnation, transformation, celebration and enormous blessings 卐
What kind of plans you have for the future as an artist, as a Swastika reclaimationist?
I don’t really have plans. I’m networking with swastika people all over the globe. Sometimes the person who plants the seeds isn’t the one who reaps the harvest. I follow my vision and now it’s up to the Great Mystery to unfold it’s plans. I do not take credit for something that is inspired by the Spirit.
What makes you happy?
Being who I truly am without compromise or fear or common sense 卐
There has been a very interesting documentary called My Swastika in the making for some time now. The documentary deals with the swastika debate, investigating the psychological, sociological, anthropological and human aspects of this controversial and spiritual symbol.
I met the documentary team and spent some time with them when they were in Finland earlier this year. I had in my mind already back then that it would be interesting to interview Dominick Crowley (writer/director/presenter/executive producer) about the film. I had fascinating long talks with him and the team about the symbol and tons of things involved.
Some months passed and we stayed in touch. At some point I remembered my idea of an interview and I finally sent a bunch of questions to Dominick. The following interview is the result of those questions and Dominick’s answers 卐
Nice to speak to you again, Dominick! How are you?
I am very well since our last meeting. At the moment we are very productive in the new company that will be producing the My Swastikadocumentary. It is being produced by 3rd Prophecy, a film company, just formed, that will be specializing in new, thought provoking films and documentaries. We are very excited.
If this interview could take place anywhere, anytime in the universe, where and when and why there and then?
Well, without trying to predict where we will be in 23 years but I would ideally like to have this interview when I am 60, in the conservatory of my beautiful self-sufficient, country home. Why 60? Well even at the age of 37 I do not consider myself to know all the facts about this subject. If this interview had be done just last year I would have a completely different set of answers to your questions. With each year we gather new knowledge and develop ourselves intellectually, morally and spiritually. So to give better, more informed answers, in a beautiful relaxing environment, then how about my place at 1pm on the 30th of June in 2034?
For those who don’t know you, please introduce yourself. Who are you, what you’ve done and what you do currently?
I was born in central Dublin in 1974. The son of a Butcher and Hygienist (but back then they were know as Cleaners). From an early age I was attracted to Spirituality, the Arts and Orientalism. I was very much the Irish Catholic and felt a strong relationship with God. In my search to expand my spiritual education I explored everything from Witchcraft to Judaism. At 16 I had the good fortune to meet the Hare Krishna movement (ISKCON) where I was introduced to the Hindu Gods and Eastern philosophy and meditation. I was active in this faith for about 9 years until I decided to explore the more “mundane” aspects of live. I became a health fanatic and, instead of rejecting my human body, I fed it. I had an ambition to become a body builder. I trained with a very outgoing character who saw my theatrical energy and insisted I should become an actor, to which I followed his advice and ended up threading the boards, which then led to film, which then led to directing and producing. Now at the helm of my own film company, and with the culmination of my past experiences, I am producing a ground breaking documentary called My Swastika 卐
What My Swastika is all about? Who will be interviewed in the film, where you have been making it? What kind of crew you’ve been making the film with? What you aim to achieve with the documentary? Is the film first of its kind?
My Swastika is a documentary that explores the Swastika symbol, the people who would like to see it used worldwide, the people who would like it banned worldwide and the mentality and psychology of both. We explore the true history, which is very absent from school books, of the symbol which debatably dates back nearly 18,000 years. We look at the Swastika Reclamation movement to see if the Swastika can be used again in the West and by what means they are using to spreading their vision. We talk to Academics who are asked to examine this movement and the goals that they wish to achieve to see if it is actually possible. We also talk to people who see this reclamation movement as something dangerous and not to be taken lightly.
So far we have interviewed people from Hinduism, Falun Dafa, Pagans and others who use the symbol daily. We spoke also to military archivists, Jewish Rabbi, a psychologist, cult buster and not to forget, the everyday guy on the street.
Earlier this year our crew and I went through Europe in search of the answers to our questions. A small crew of four people who, without being paid for their work, gave their valuable time and energy to help make this documentary happen. I think people are happy to help out so much because of what we are actually trying to achieve with this project.
With the documentary our real goal is to open peoples eyes and reveal the things which you are not supposed to know.
It is a one of a kind documentary which goes out of its way to save a burning witch from the pyre. What joy it is for a filmmaker to be able to attempt a project that will change the way we see something that we were exposed to at school and was told was the truth. To bring the real truth to the audience is something worth giving your time to. With the documentary our real goal is to open peoples eyes and reveal the things which you are not supposed to know.
Do you remember the first moment of getting the idea for the documentary? How it all got started? Was it like a moment of “Yes! This is a must thing to do!” or more like “Hmm, this is somewhat crazy idea, but it would be an interesting thing to do…”?
The moment I got the idea for the documentary was when I was sitting on the steps of Original Skin Tattoo studio with my good friend Phil Cummins. We were relaxing after filming Phil’s son tattooed him. His son was 8 at the time and the tattoo was a Swastika. Don’t worry, he was supervised at all times by the hygiene conscious Phil and his assistant Dave. Over a coffee Phil explained his passion for Swastika and his mission to reclaim the symbol. This was all very very interesting and I thought immediately that it was a worthy story to tell. Now, at that time I envisioned only a 10 minute documentary. As I researched I understood that all this info would not fit into that time duration, so I thought best 20 minutes. 2 years later and looking at all the information gathered and a documentary that is 90 mins long I still think its is not enough time.
Although there has been much enthusiasm for the film, you’ve also faced lots of challenges with the documentary, which tells that the subject is hot, if not outright tabu. Tell us about the challenges regarding funding the film, prejudices involved, getting people to the documentary, etc. You must have expected challenges in making the documentary but has it been tougher than what you thought?
Straight off the bat, one of the first challenges I had, personally, was say the word Swastika in public. When first talking to friends about the project when I first started, I would tell them what subject it was, rather the same was as you would tell a racist joke while in a public place. Very quietly. After overcoming that hurdle the next was how to present the documentary. Knowing how to word and visualize the documentary was no easy task. I knew the subject I wanted to sing about but was finding it hard to find the right notes.
Funding was, and still is, the biggest hurdle of all. We are too taboo to be associated with mainstream funders and have been put through a loop the loop with funding sites. Even just setting up an email account for the documentary was difficult. The word Swastika was seen as an unacceptable word to be used as a mail address. We first tried myswastika, rejected, the my-swastika, rejected, my.swastika, my/swastika and my:)swastika. All rejected. In the end we found myswastik@ slipped through. As a side story I even tried to create a mail address name that could be more unacceptable than Swastika. So I tried to create a mail address as c$£tf^&k%£firstname.lastname@example.org.(censored version). It was accepted.
So far there has been no help from the industry itself and all work and funding has come through donated items to auction, Gentle Swastika Collective t-shirt sales and our own personal pleas to Swastika supporters. I have to say that one of the first people who gave a Geronimo cheer and helped us from the beginning was Dr Kevin Sisk from Canada. It is people and donations like that which helps us continue.
As for the documentary being tougher than what I thought? Yes. It has been a near Herculean task for us but has educated us on so many levels.
Talking about swastika today the discussion turns sooner or later to Nazi-Germany. How much this Nazi-angle to the symbol dominate the discussion and feelings about the symbol here in the Western world still? What does that tell about what Nazis did to the symbol and what it tells about the symbol itself?
Today, to the common Western person there is no difference between the two images. The peaceful Swastika and the Nazi Hakenkreuz. But you will be shocked to know that this is not entirely the fault of the Nazi’s. This is also the fault of Westerners! It is the continuation of a witch-hunt that happened in the 1930s and still exists today. Every day you can see movies, books, graffiti, etc. that associates the Swastika with the Nazis, and not all of it depicts the Hakenkreuz in its strict red, white and black coloring. Some depictions just show Hindu Swastika’s, Jain Swastika or even Buddhist Swastikas without understanding what they are depicting. By the West consistently associating the Swastika with the Nazis and not having knowledge of the difference between the Swastika and Hakenkreuz then, we as Westerners, reinforce their ownership of that image.
I always make the point that it is like jailing Charles Manson twin brother up for looking like his brother. We have to now start making a difference between the two. We have to identify that Charles and John Manson are not the same and should not be held for the others crime.
In Germany they didn’t, and don’t call the Nazi image Swastika. They call it Hakenkreuz. Most German people I spoke to didn’t know what a Swastika was. But they knew what Hakenkreuz was.
Swastika is innocent and is untarnished by Nazis. It is our view that is tarnished. As long as we in the West repeatedly remind ourselves of that connection then reclaimationists will have a hard road ahead.
To answer your other point quickly, the Nazis did not do anything to the symbol. Same as you don’t do anything to a lock when you put a key in it, other that open it. I don’t think the symbol has, is, or will be tainted. Rather I think our perceptions, understanding and knowledge of the symbol is tainted. I don’t see Swastika as the Godhead or a goal in itself. I see it as a gateway, a tool, a desire stone. Swastika gives you what you most desire or opens a door to your desires, but like all intentions what you get back may not be what you want and may come out in a negative rebound or expression. Nazis put impure ideals in their desire, what they got back was destruction. So Swastika is innocent and is untarnished by Nazis. It is our view that is tarnished. As long as we in the West repeatedly remind ourselves of that connection then reclaimationists will have a hard road ahead.
How much there has been change in Western peoples view and experience of the symbol since the end of the WW II? Are we as Western people still profoundly stuck with the Nazi-association or are we getting over it sooner or later? Will swastika be reclaimed back to its former glory or is it a hopeless idea?
Very little. Apart from very small pockets of post war Swastika Reclamation supporters. It was very isolated and could only gain expression amongst the ranks of artists and academics. And even then it was a taboo subject. Canadian artist Manwoman‘s appearance in the book Modern Primitives, a book that focused on the growing tribal sub culture of tattooists, body modifications and artists at that time. His bold statement of tattooing Swastikas all over his body and views on the “sacred” Swastika gave the modern reclamation movement its foundations. It is only over the last 10 years that there has been an explosion in Swastika Reclamation movement. The Internet is one main factor for this. There is change, slow but progressive. Word is definitely spreading.
I think to truly reclaim Swastika you must first reclaim its meaning. To display the symbol is easy but to display its meaning is a completely different story.
As for will it be reclaimed? As long as Westerners can’t tell the difference between what a Swastika is and what a Hakenkreuz is, and as long as reclaimationists can’t tell the difference between the symbol and the meaning, then I think it will experiences a few stumbles on its way. I see many people collecting the symbol as way of half rebellion and half hobby but only see a few core sections extolling swa-asti-ka. I try not to use the term “the fight to reclaim the Swastika” for how can you reclaim all well being through fighting? I think to truly reclaim Swastika you must first reclaim its meaning. To display the symbol is easy but to display its meaning is a completely different story.
Who are the most important persons and groups who seek to reclaim swastika? How are they doing in their cause? What people who would like to reclaim swastika can do about it?
Everyone is as equally important as each other in reclaiming the symbol. Each group is trying to reclaim their Swastika in their way and at their own time. The majority or these groups reclaim the symbol simply by using it as their faith’s, group’s or individual thinking draws them to.
Reclaiming anything takes three things. Hard data, an understanding of the information and that information in action.
I think also if people want to reclaim the symbol the best thing they can do is what I would call a 3 step program. Step 1: Read and read and read. Not just the information on the internet, but books on the subject. If your national library, college or museum has a reading room, make use of it. Find out as much information on the subject as you possibly can. Step 2: Put all the collected information into the back of your head and meditate on what you have learned. Step 3: Understand and put into practice what you have learned about Swastika. Reclaiming anything takes three things. Hard data, an understanding of the information and that information in action.
What are the most “swastika friendly” and “swastika banning” areas in the Western world currently and how that manifests?
I was recently asked if there was any Swastika Reclamation movement in the East. Not to my knowledge in any case. In the East the Swastika is as common as the Cross in the West, it is part of the everyday culture and ambiance in its Hindu or Buddhist orientated cities. You could say that these would be Swastika Friendly areas.
In the East the Swastika is as common as the Cross in the West, it is part of the everyday culture and ambiance in its Hindu or Buddhist orientated cities.
There are also some areas in Europe that are inwardly Swastika Friendly but due to its sensitive neighbours it holds the symbol and its history to them in archive only. Finland is a fine example. Stemming from the formation of the history of the Finnish air force and the artist Gallen-Kallela’s use in design and decorations for the former, the symbol holds a place in Finnish history but sadly, like the Hopi Indian tribe, dropped its prominent use in favour for discretion. Still today I have spoken to many Finns who see this symbol as part of their proud and daring history and acknowledge its relevance to their historical national identity. Germany and Poland on the other hand have pretty much zero tolerance for the symbol. In the belly of the beast, as I call the two, the image is too strong. There are so many reclaimationists in these countries though. Some come under fire and some are simply seen as anarchists.
The strangest story I have heard is that of a young boy in Beer Sheba, Israel. The police were called to his home when a neighbour saw that on his jacket was a Swastika. The boy liked a certain heavy metal band that happened to have the symbol on the album and like all kids of that age had drawn it on his rocker jacket. Now due to the fact that Israel actually does not have an exact law on this they could not figure out what to do.
How swastika is viewed outside the Western world today? How Nazi use of the symbol and associations involved have effected non-westerners experience of the symbol? Or has the symbol been more or less immune to the Nazi taint for example among hindus and buddhists in the East?
Outside the Western world Swastika is seen in a relevant context to the country it is seen in. Even by Westerners abroad. I lived in Israel and have many Jewish friends who travel to the Far East. They see Swastika everywhere and understand the context in which it is seen in those countries; still holding that fear and distrust of the symbol which has been educated to them. The youth in the West and in most English speaking are continuously brainwashed as to the Nazi connection with the symbol. The word Swastika is continuously tied to the Nazi party through literature, cinema, and political security. Swastika, in all its form, has become the Nazi party and their history in their absence. I re-illiterate that the Nazis never officially referred to their banner as a Swastika. It is the Westerners who gave it that title and it is the Westerners who tarnish the symbol and its true meaning.
I re-illiterate that the Nazis never officially referred to their banner as a Swastika. It is the Westerners who gave it that title and it is the Westerners who tarnish the symbol and its true meaning.
As for the symbol being immune to Nazi connotations amongst the Hindus and Buddhist. Has the Crucifix been tarnished amongst Christians even after its use by the K.K.K?
What have been the best experiences in making the documentary? The worst? The most surprising? The most odd? Any special stories you’d like to share?
Meeting new friends. Mr “Sponge”. What was told to me in the Hindu Temple in Warsaw. The Jewish synagogue in Dublin. You will have to watch the dvd to understand. Spoilers!
If you could go back in time, would you still start making the documentary? Has it been too much trouble, worth it all?
All I can do is what the Universe wants me to do. Even if I travelled back in time I would probably do it all over again, simply because that is what the Universe wanted me to do. As for trouble. Getting out of bed in the morning can cause trouble. Trouble is trouble, no matter where it comes from or what you are doing. So at least all the troubles I have experienced has been while doing my work with my given skills as a human being.
How has your personal relationship to Swastika changed during making the documentary? Have you started to see swastikas here and there, everywhere? Has swastika “started to speak to you”? I guess your relationship to symbol has got deeper and more personal, right? What are the angles to swastika that you personally find most interesting?
If I was to answer any of these questions I would end up giving away my conclusion in the documentary. But I will answer one question. There is not a single angle of Swastika I don’t find interesting. It really is the most interesting subject. It covers everything. Totally fascinating.
Now that you’ve been exploring the symbol, studying it, interviewing people about it, what do you think swastika is really about at its core? What is a swastika? What is at the core of this ancient and universal symbol?
I am afraid this answer must wait until people see the documentary. I will say one thing though. When I found out what Swastika is, I ended up in a intellectual daze for 3 days. Spoilers 卐
Most of the film has been filmed, right? When can we expect the film to come out? Do you plan the film to be seen at some film festivals, will it be in theaters, etc.?
90% of the documentary has been filmed. We are still waiting on certain academics to have free time, but their interviews will be slotted in when they are ready. We were actually due to release this summer, but due to financial problems we were delayed in getting to footage we needed.
We are now in post production stage and hope to be ready by January 2011. After the film is ready we will be touring Europe and hopefully further. Attending film festivals on all scales to promote the documentary. As for theaters, well this all hangs on a distributor deal. I have constantly been asked when the film is ready, when it will be released etc. Most think that the filmmaking process is, point, shoot, print and abracadabra. In reality there is a lot of politics and deals to deal with before the public ever get to see a finished film. A very tricky road. We are presently looking at distributors in China and Japan.
Will the DVD have bonus materials? Where it can be ordered?
Yes there will be bonus material. Again we can’t possibly add all material to the actual documentary but with the option of bonus material we can add a few extra treats. As for ordering. We will be taking orders by late December 2011 and will release by mid January 2012
Why should everybody see My Swastika documentary?
I wish I could give that answer. Why should anybody see anything, because they want to. I cannot push Swastika or the views of the interviewees onto anyone. All I can answer, really, is that people should see this documentary because there is no one who will stop you. And if they do stop you then all the more reason to see it.
What you will do once My Swastika is completed? Do you have an idea for the next film already in your mind?
I shall take very long break. It has and is an exhausting process and I will look forward to some time to concentrate on writing. Our next project idea is a documentary that concentrates on the subject of animal shelters and animal welfare in so called advanced first world countries.
What makes you happy?
Having two of the most amazing women in my life. My Fiance, Kasia and my daughter Kai 卐
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Thank you for the interview, Dominick! Swastika blessings! 卐
Mesikämmen-blogi – kirjoittaja on julkaissut parhaan Pekkaa käsittelevän artikkelisarjan, mitä blogistanissa on nähty – Narian
Kertakaikkiaan sellainen folkloristinen pikkujättiläinen, ettei moista voisi kuvitella olevan olemassakaan (…) Ötöpesän jengi on lukenut nämä kaikki, eikä ennen sitä olisi voinut kuunaan kuvitellakaan, että Pekka Siitoimesta olisi missään näin paljon materiaalia. Ja mikä parasta, vapaasti saatavillakin! (…) Ehdottomasti rautaristin, suojaviitan, kumimanttelin ja kaasunaamarin arvoinen teko! – Ötöpesän jengi
Vuoden blogistipalkinto ja kiljukanisteripalkinto! Tämä on yleensä vaiettua kulttuurihistoriaa yhdestä Suomen kummallisimmista ja viihdyttävimmistä miehistä – Jokunen
Blogihan on ollut varsinainen kylttyyriteko. Näiden Pekka-artikkelien taso vaatisi suorastaan niiden sitomista kansien väliin! “Helvetin hyvä”, sanoisi Peksi. Go on! – A
Ylivoimaisesti parhain sivusto hengentieteen Mestari Pekka Siitoimesta – B.S. Müller, uudelleen perustetun Turun Hengentieteen Seuran sisäpiirin jäsen
Mesikämmenen postit valtakunnanjohtajasta eivät tähän lopu. Postit jatkuvat Kursiivin tapauksen tonkimisella, minkä jälkeen pääsemme Pekan saaman vankeustuomion käsittelyyn, ja sen jälkeen Pekan vankilanjälkeiseen elämään. Materiaalia löytyy vielä hyväksi toviksi eteenpäin. Näiden sadan ensimmäisen postin jälkeiset Pekka-postit löytyvät helposti blogin oikeasta alapalkista “tags”-osiosta sanalla “Pekka Siitoin”. Siitä klikkaamalla löytyy lista kaikista blogin Pekka-aiheisista posteista, mitä tämän 100. postin jälkeen on julkaistu.
May 20th 2011 marked 67 years since Pekka Siitoin’s birth. It is a good time to take an academic perspective on the man’s (1944-2003) odd, outrageous, unorthodox and rather inconsistent spiritual and magical views.
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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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