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Gerhard Hallstatt with a rock painting discovered in 1911 by Jean Sibelius. Photo (c) Sebastian Devamitra Porceddu 2012

Gerhard Hallstatt with a rock painting discovered in 1911 by Jean Sibelius.
Photo (c) Sebastian Devamitra Porceddu 2012

Like the music which he composes and records under the name of ”Allerseelen”, Gerhard’s writing does not easily fit any ready-made label or category. While the majority of people are content to travel the iron tracks laid down by their religion, politics, peer pressure, or brand-name culture (no matter that they are always crashing into each other), he follows a mercurial path: quick, elusive, and a little mischievous. When I first met him at a conference in Vienna, I was immediately attracted by his friendly persona and lack of posturing. As I got to know him and his writings better, I admired the way he was following his own star wherever it lead, with no possible financial or professional gain.

– Joscelyn Godwin in his foreword to Gerhard Hallstatt’s Blutleuchte.

It was a December evening in Turku the last year. We sat down at restaurant Koulu, talked and enjoyed some beer and salmiakki shots. Like Joscelyn Godwin, I got an impression that Gerhard was very friendly, not posturing, and he was clearly following his own star. His music, writings, photography and travels had formed a multifaceted living piece of art from well over two decades of pursuing his unique path. I had for some time thought about making an interview with Gerhard and meeting him made me think that it was the right time for it. Gerhard liked the idea and I started to write an interview for him.

In the following interview Gerhard tells about his writings, music, travels, inspirations, panteism, Christianity, mountains, and many other things, such as sauna, Koskenkorva, salmiakki, Pippuriset pääkallot, Santa Lucia and Jean Sibelius.

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For those readers who don’t know you yet, would you give an introduction of yourself – who are you, what have you done and what are you doing nowadays?

I started in my youth recording on old cassette recorders strange music that consisted of loops of kettledrums, violins, metals. I wrote surrealistic poems and texts on loud type-writers and also started at an early age taking photographs. I still have today hundreds of diapositives that I should digitalize one day.

I was very much interested in alchemy, and this fascination inspired all my artistic activities. Still today, twenty years later, I am in some way working very similar although nowadays computers are of course involved. But still today I am recording in a very old-fashioned way, without using a computer programme. The cassettes became CDs, the little photocopied booklets that I did in my youth became printed magazines or books, and the camera I am working now with is a digital one.

I was very much interested in alchemy, and this fascination inspired all my artistic activities.

I myself did not change that much, I do not feel that much different from the time when I was 17. Still today I am full of enthusiasm, full of chaos, and hopefully this will remain like this for the next decades. ”You must have chaos within you to give birth to a dancing star”, like wonderful Friedrich Nietzsche wrote. I see myself nowadays like a kind of troubadour in a telectronic age, spending a lot of time on music, poetry, travelling to present these songs to a smaller or larger audience in various countries – and sometimes I am performing these songs in old castles too. But apart from travelling I also enjoy living in Wien which is definitely one of the most beautiful cities of the world. I did not grow up in Wien. I was born on the country-side, the first large city that I got to know was Berlin, I was staying there some weeks when I was 16. Wien I only got to know when I was 17.

You played live in Finland again, at Tampere, on 7th of December 2012. How was it? It was your second time here, right? How did it differ from your previous gig in Turku in 2007?

Allerseelen live in Moscow 2012. Photo (c) Miss Goodwrong

Allerseelen live in Moscow 2012.
Photo (c) Miss Goodwrong

The live performance in Tampere was our second concert in Finland. The first had taken place in Turku in October 2007. Then the line-up was very different, in Turku there were on stage Marcel P. on bass, Dimo Dimov on drums and I. But as both have been very busy with studies and working, since 2012 the current line-up of Allerseelen is consisting of Christien H. on drums and Noreia on bass. Both concerts were thus quite different.

Some new songs we were performing in December in Tampere for the very first time on stage – and two of these new songs were inspired by my Finland preparations: The song Grünes Licht / Green Light was inspired by magnificent aurora borealis photos. Unfortunately I did not see these wonderful lights when I was in Finland. Hopefully another time. Another song, Neunmondmesser / Nine Moon Knife was partly inspired by the Finnish knife puukko and the Kalevala moment where Kullervo finds a stone in his bread that destroys his only knife. Both songs will be on the next Allerseelen CD Terra Incognita.

On our Tampere guestlist was even Kiira Korpi. Unfortunately she did not show up – it would be great to see her dancing to some of our songs.

You traveled after the concerts in Tampere and Rakvere, Estonia, for some time in Southern Finland – what kind of impressions you got from these places? Where did you go, what were your favorite places, experiences? What was your impression of Finland?

Unfortunately I did not have time to see the paintings of Hugo Simberg in the Tampere cathedral. I like very much some of his works. After our Tampere concert we had to leave really early to travel by bus and ferry-boat and another bus to Rakvere in Estonia. We were performing there the next evening.

After some beautiful days in Rakvere and Tallinn, I returned for two weeks to Finland. It was a wonderful experience. When we performed in Turku in October 2007, I really enjoyed the traditional sauna combined with short baths in the cold sea. Already then I had been looking forward to another visit in Finland, hoping that this would happen again in the cold months of the year. And I had good luck. This December I spent again some time at saunas in various places – and it was wonderful to roll naked in the snow after the sauna.

Santa Lucia procession.Photo (c) Gerhard Hallstatt 2012

Santa Lucia procession.
Photo (c) Gerhard Hallstatt 2012

I also saw two beautiful Santa Lucia processions in Turku and Inkoo. I even filmed the Santa Lucia procession in Turku but still have to work on this video. In Turku there were many people watching the procession of Santa Lucia with the burning candles on her head. But in the small church of Inkoo there were not many people.

I was with a friend because I had seen photos of the danse macabre paintings inside this church. We did not know about the Santa Lucia procession there. I was glad to take some beautiful photographs combining lovely young girls with their candles and the kuolemantanssi frescoes.

The fortified island Suomenlinna was very impressive too. This might inspire another Allerseelen song. Some places that I had intended to visit were closed, for example Ainola, the house of Jean Sibelius in Järvenpää, and the wonderful castle Olavinlinna. So there are many reasons to return. Also I really enjoy lakritsi, salmiakki – as sweets as well as alcoholic drinks. Only some days ago I saw a photo of the absinthe spoons that are on display in Jean Sibelius´ house in Järvenpää – I did not know that he was drinking absinthe too. So I have at least a little bit in common with Jean Sibelius.

What have been and are your biggest influences in music, literature, and art in general?

Berlin was maybe the place that changed my life most as there, living for some time in a squat, I got to know the music of Einstürzende Neubauten, Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft, Abwärts. I was there when I was 16. I was again in Berlin when I was 18 – and then I saw there SPK live which had been a big influence on me together with the industrial music of Throbbing Gristle.

Gerhard Hallstatt, Schwedenhöhlen, Niederösterreich. Photo (c) Zeke Maziur.

Gerhard Hallstatt, Schwedenhöhlen, Niederösterreich. Photo (c) Zeke Maziur.

One of my favourite writer was and is Arthur Rimbaud – his magical symbolism, his travels, the mysteries in his biography, also his sudden and surprising decision to stop writing. When I was 17, I spent some weeks in France, visiting the village where he lived, visiting his tomb and travelling to many other places in France. When I was 19, I was again in Northern France, I saw there Psychic TV live in Rouen.

I am inspired a lot by writers like Antonin Artaud, Hermann Hesse, Ernst Jünger, Friedrich Nietzsche, Rainer Maria Rilke. The Industrial Culture Handbook published by Re/Search many years ago was a real book of revelation for me: Suddenly I came across a counter-culture that combined controversial musicians, heretic writers, revolutionary artists, cultural outlaws. I liked and still like very much the art of Man Ray, Edvard Munch, the Pre-Raphaelites, I love films by Jean Cocteau, Alejandro Jodorowsky and Pier Paolo Pasolini. In fact, my artistic pantheon contains of dozens of artists that I might consider as inspirations, masters, muses, and a list would be really long.

How you came up with the names Aorta, Ahnstern and Allerseelen? How they manifest the substance of their vessel and aim – and what are their aims?

I am inspired a lot by the writings of Friedrich Nietzsche, and I also like very much his words “Of all that is written, I love only what a person hath written with his blood. Write with blood, and thou wilt find that blood is spirit.“ So there were many reasons to chose the name Aorta for my record label and also the magazine. Whereas the word heart had been used too often in too kitschy contexts and the concept of blood was too often too strongly connected with destruction and war, the word Aorta still contained some innocence beyond kitschy or romantic visions of love and war.

Drums of Calanda, Spain.Photo (c) Gerhard Hallstatt

Drums of Calanda, Spain.
Photo (c) Gerhard Hallstatt

The name of my book Blutleuchte – which is also the name of a Finnish music project – means Blood Lantern. This title was inspired by the cult of the Blutleuchte that had been founded by Alfred Schuler and some other poets and philosophers around Stefan George in Munich around 1900. They believed in the pagan blood of prechristian antiquity and wanted a pagan renaissance. Alfred Schuler was also a big inspiration for Rainer Maria Rilke.

Ahnstern was an old German word for the planet Saturn, I had discovered this word in a book on runes. I used this name for magazine after I had published twenty issues of Aorta. The record label Steinklang also uses this name as sub-label.

There are many reasons why I chose the name Allerseelen. This name was partly inspired by Georges Bataille, by Pier Paolo Pasolini and especially by the concept of the Dia de los Muertos in Mexico the rites uniting life and death in early November. Only some years ago I found out that very similar traditions also existed in Austria and still exist in Bulgaria.

What it means to be an artist in your case?

Without art, life would really be boring, a waste of time. I have been accustomed for all these years to either working on something in music or poetry or photography. I am lucky that I may combine all these arts in the Allerseelen releases.

Without art, life would really be boring, a waste of time.

Human bones and leaves in a small lake. Photo (c) Gerhard Hallstatt 2007.

Human bones and leaves in a small lake.
Photo (c) Gerhard Hallstatt 2007.

I could not even imagine a life without art, without being surrounded by books, paintings, records. If I had to choose between a life without art, without aesthetic addictions, artistic obsessions and a death with art, I definitely would choose this adventurous terra incognita named death. It seems that I have the romantic impression that the realm of death is filled with art, beauty, poetry. In my youth I was also obsessed with death, I was collecting human bones and skulls, and I was fascinated by the stigmata of Catholic visionaries. I wrote about this in my magazine Aorta, these texts were then also published in the book Blutleuchte. This was definitely inspired by blood-stained Catholicism in my childhood, the theatre of cruelty that I got to know in churches and at school.

You have been doing your projects for quite long time already. How your approaches and interests have changed during the years? What subjects you don’t find anymore so important or interesting, what subjects have lately emerged? What subjects have continued to interest you?

If I am in love with something, I may be really stubborn. I still have the same interests that I had in my teenage years: art, occultism, surrealism, symbolism, travelling. In the past some people saw Allerseelen in a political context – but I was never really interested in politics. Politics were only of interest for me when they were connected to art or occultism. Thus I was and am still very interested in the biographies of magical monarchs like Ludwig II from Bavaria or Rudolf II in Prague or Frederick II in Italy.

Les Agudes, Catalunya.Photo (c)Sabinita 2002.

Les Agudes, Catalunya.
Photo (c) Sabinita 2002.

There is a still a lot of fever inside my head and heart, an ardent enthusiasm for utopies and visions. I do not feel adult at all. I am still living in a quite archaic way, surrounded by books, heating with wood. I do not download music, I am not accustomed to read electronic books. I always knew that time is more important than money. An archaic life without many responsibilities, in some way similar maybe to the way of life of E.M. Cioran in Paris, had been my dream when I was 17 – and it became reality. Hopefully this dream still will be reality when I am 71.

I still have the same interests that I had in my teenage years: art, occultism, surrealism, symbolism, travelling. In the past some people saw Allerseelen in a political context – but I was never really interested in politics.

Basically I am interested in things that combine culture and nature, paganism and christianity. I visited cromlechs, dolmens, menhirs in many countries. I have always been fascinated by magical and tragical biographies. This is why I wrote in my magazines and in my book Blutleuchte about visionaries and artists like Kenneth Anger, Bobby Beausoleil, Leonora Carrington, Corneliu Codreanu, Otto Rahn, Leni Riefenstahl, Viktor Schauberger, Rudolf Schwarzkogler, Karl Maria Wiligut and many others – all their lifes had magical and tragical qualities. All these fascinating and more or less controversial personalities still today are interesting me very much. If I wrote today about these artists and occult or political or ecological visionaries, my texts would definitely be different. But I am not certain to which extent they would be different.

What is or are your own favorite Allerseelen records and why?

I prefer the last two CDs named Hallstatt and Rauhe Schale. Both contain for me very intense memories. My recordings are always very individual and personal, even today when I am working on stage and in studio with various other musicians.

Allerseelen: Hallstatt. Ahnstern/Aorta (2007).

Allerseelen: Hallstatt.
Ahnstern/Aorta (2007).

Allerseelen sometimes have been compared to a group like Laibach – but this only makes sense in a superficial way. Maybe because of some musical elements, maybe because of the use of sometimes dangerous symbols. But Allerseelen never has been a collective, and the Allerseelen lyrics and visions are very subjective. In many ways, the Allerseelen CDs are acoustic diaries. For me they represent microcosms that are manifestations of a certain period of my life with specific experiences and impressions, beautiful ones, powerful ones, sad ones. Each song has a special story that quite often is only known to me.

In many ways, the Allerseelen CDs are acoustic diaries.

I also like the very early Allerseelen recordings that I released on cassettes with dozens of loops that I recorded with a bought violin and kettle-drums that I had stolen from a church. Although usually I am not listening to my own recordings. I love my songs when they are slowly coming into existence, when I feel a certain sacred marriage between rhythms and melodies and lyrics. When a song is finished, I usually stop listening to it. Probably because I already know it too much by heart. The process, the path has always been more important for me than the result, the peak, this is for me as valid in music as in travelling, as in the mountains. If life is the path and death is the peak, I am also definitely more interested into the path.

Blutleuchte is a book of yours that came out the last year. What the book contains? How you got Joscelyn Godwin to write the introduction to it? I remember you mentioned to me in Turku (while having beer and salmiakki shots at Koulu) that he is a friend of yours, do I remember this correctly?

Gerhard Hallstatt: Blutleuchte. Photo (c) Gerhard Hallstatt.

Gerhard Hallstatt: Blutleuchte.
Photo (c) Gerhard Hallstatt.

I liked our evening at Koulu in Turku – and I hope to return there soon. Joscelyn Godwin is a real renaissance scholar. He wrote several fascinating books about alchemy, magic, music and various other topics. We know each other for several years. We met various times in Wien, and I also visited him when he lived for some months in Venice. He had been a subscriber of my magazines Aorta and Ahnstern, so he already knew all the texts of the Blutleuchte book before I asked him if he might like to write a foreword. These now completely sold out magazines Aorta and Ahnstern had been bi-lingual magazines in German and English about my experiences, impressions, studies.

Some texts were like travel diaries – I wrote about my travels to little villages in Italy and Spain, about my visits at castles like Montsegur in South France and Castel del Monte in Apulia. Other texts, like small biographies, were the result of patient researches at libraries. I always wrote about artists and visionaries that were fascinating me. And I wrote always also about my own fascination.

So far there are already American and French editions of my book Blutleuchte containing all these texts and I think that in 2014 also German and Spanish editions finally will be available too. I am looking forward to these editions. All of these will be available via my Aorta Mailorder.

You have a strong interest in occult, pagan and folk related subjects. Which one of these describe you the best: an atheist, an agnostic, a pagan? If pagan, what kind of a pagan?

I would call myself a pantheist, and my pantheon is nature, this is why I spend as much time as possible outdoors.

I would call myself a pantheist, and my pantheon is nature, this is why I spend as much time as possible outdoors. I have been interested in a lot of different traditions, alchemy, kabbala, magic, shamanism, tarot. As an artist I always have been considering everything from an aesthetic point of view, and this is valid also for the world of occulture. This is why I may be fascinated as much by a Tibetan painting as by a Catholic fresco, by a rock painting in Finland as much as by a petroglyph in a temple on Malta. I am fascinated by Mithraism and visited various Mithras temples in Austria, Italy, Slovenia. Some weeks ago I visited a very small Mithras grotto close to Dubrovnik in Croatia. But I do not consider myself as follower of Mithras.

What do you think of Christianity and catholicism?

In my pantheism there is also a lot of place for Christian traditions and myths that very often have their roots in pre-christian, pagan traditions – like for example the beautiful Santa Lucia processions in Scandinavia. All Christian plants seem to have pagan roots.

I am a pantheist who is also fascinated by Christian mysticism, I like the writings of Meister Eckehart, of Saint Hildegard. Christianity is fascinating as a strong syncreticism with so many aspects borrowed or stolen from the mysteries of Isis, Cybele, Mithras. Catholicism is a bloody myth – but I still have to meet a Catholic who really believes in the most important dogma that bread is turned into sacred meat, that wine becomes sacred blood. I never met anyone who believed this. I suppose that all over the world there is thus only existing a hard core of maybe only some hundred or thousand real Catholics.

Cocullo, Abruzzi, Italia. Photo (c) Gerhard Hallstatt.

Cocullo, Abruzzi, Italia.
Photo (c) Gerhard Hallstatt.

I am fascinated by several Catholic phenomena like stigmata. Years ago I did a lot of research on the stigmatized Therese von Konnersreuth in Bavaria and wrote about this in my book Blutleuchte after a visit in the small village Konnersreuth. In Blutleuchte I also wrote about the bloody Semana Santa drums of Calanda in Spain that Luis Bunuel used as soundtrack for some of his movies. I was two times in Calanda. And also in the small village Cocullo in Italy I was impressed by a nowadays Christian procession with living snakes on San Domenico– this tradition definitely has a pagan, pre-christian root. Maybe soon I will travel there again…

Actually especially Catholicism is a real pantheon and pandemonium with all its Saints, with its colourful hell and more or less pale heaven. In the Kansallismuseo in Helsinki I was incredibly fascinated by a very realistic sculpture of the pagan Lalli who had killed bishop Henrik. The dead bishop was standing on the bloody body of Lalli who had very beautiful eyes and held a book in his hands. I identified immediately with this pagan and his book. Only later I was told details about the life of Lalli.

You have traveled a lot. Where you have been, what traveling means to you – pilgrimages? I recall you have described your travels as ”magical mystery tours”. What places have made the deepest impression on you and why? What are the most special experiences you have had during these travels?

Luckily we have been invited with Allerseelen to perform in a lot of countries in Europe. We also performed in North America and Russia – and I always try to combine these concerts with some explorations of culture and nature in these countries. It would make me sad to visit for example Helsinki just for one night.

Basically I am very curious. So very often I am returning from countries with dozens of wonderful experiences and impressions that may inspire new songs. From Finland and Estonia for example I came back with great Kalevala and Kalevipoeg impressions. I am learning a lot in these concert travels. I got to know new artists, musicians, writers – and I came back also with a lot of lakritsi, salmiakki, strange sweets like Pippuriset Pääkallot and delicious drinks like Leijona Pastilli Shot, Koskenkorva Lakritsi.

Cocullo, Abruzzi, Italia.Photo (c) Gerhard Hallstatt

Cocullo, Abruzzi, Italia.
Photo (c) Gerhard Hallstatt

I had very strange experiences when I travelled in my youth alone to the Italian volcanoes Vesuvio, Etna and Stromboli. I have not yet written about these experiences but will do so one day. I still have my diaries, some photographs and even some super-8 filmings that I took on Etna. I had not been well equipped at all, no good shoes, not enough water, not enough realism. A lot of dangerous things might have happened. Nowadays I would go there again much better prepared – with good maps, with more water – and I would not go there in hot August like I did when I was 18. I did not have enough water when I was on Etna and had already some hallucinations before I finally knew that I had to return to survive. I wounded my foot when I wanted to climb inside the crater of Vesuvio. And on Stromboli strange things happened too.

In these days in Southern Italy and Sicily I had with me Also sprach Zarathustra. In some way I was as crazy as the volcanic philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. While I am talking about this, I feel again a very strong desire to leave again for these volcanoes – there are only paths as volcanoes do not have peaks. “For staying is nowhere.” (Rainer Maria Rilke: Duineser Elegien)

You mentioned the castles Montsegur and Castel del Monte. Can you tell us something about them?

Montsegur, Ariege, France. Photo (c) Gerhard Hallstatt.

Montsegur, Ariege, France.
Photo (c) Gerhard Hallstatt.

Usually the most impressive places are those where I am travelling alone. In this I am very close to the Steppenwolf described by Hermann Hesse in his famous novel. I visited the Cathars´ castle Montsegur in South France two times. The first time it was magical and intense, I had slept outdoors in my sleeping bag for several days, I had walked for hours. It was a real tour de force.

When I arrived in the late afternoon at Montsegur, I was the only visitor. It was raining a bit, and I knew that I would stay there over night. I also spent nights in other castles of the Cathars, these nights at Queribus and Peyrepertuse were intense too. During my second visit on Montsegur I felt like an average tourist as I was not alone. It was the same castle yet it was not the magical Montsegur that I had witnessed in my first visit. I really believe in the well-known saying: The path is more important than the peak.

Usually the most impressive places are those where I am travelling alone.

The next time I will again travel alone to Montsegur to spend there another night. I was visiting the octogonal Castel del Monte in La Puglia, Italy, in a very similar manner, walking for several hours on small roads towards a magical castle that looked from the distance like a white crystal on a hill. When I was going there I did not know where I would stay over night. I did not care as I also had my sleeping bag with me. My travelling then was in some way close to the travels of Arthur Rimbaud. While I am telling this, I feel a strong desire to visit both places again in the same Steppenwolf manner – alone, walking a lot with a backbag filled with a sleeping bag, with maps and books and water and a knife.

Lastly, what about mountains? You often mention mountains in your songs.

Vihren, Pirin, Bulgaria. Photo (c) Gerhard Hallstatt 2007.

Vihren, Pirin, Bulgaria.
Photo (c) Gerhard Hallstatt 2007.

Mountains have been very important for me in the last ten years. And usually I like the paths up to the peaks more than the peaks themselves. On the peaks I usually feel a certain emptiness. I felt this emptiness also in the castle Montsegur. ”Six thousand feet beyond man and time” is a good description of Friedrich Nietzsche who wrote about his years close to the wild mountains of Engadin in Switzerland, high above manhood, high above average life.

Julius Evola wrote several essays about this in his Meditations on the Peaks, inspired by his tours on difficult mountains in Austria, Italy, Switzerland. I hope to visit one day the glacier where his ashes are buried.

Some days ago I was sleeping alone in a mountain hut on the mountain Schneeberg in Lower Austria that has a room for emergencies that is always open. On a height of over 2.000 metres, I was drinking Koskenkorva Lakritsi and thinking of my beautiful days in Finland.

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Vielen Dank für das Interview, Gerhard!

There is going to be a review of Gerhard’s book Blutleuchte and Allerseelen’s CD Rauhe Schale in the blog in a near future.

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Related links:

Allerseelen

Gerhard Hallstatt: Blutleuchte

Aorta Mailorder

Gerhard Hallstatt: Blutleuchte + Allerseelen: Dein Herz schlägt aufwärts

Allerseelen: Das Feuer fragt

Allerseelen: Wo ist das Leben

Allerseelen remixed two songs of Agalloch for the Agalloch DoCD / DoLP Whitedivisiongrey:

Allerseelen / Agalloch: Dunkelgraue Stille

Allerseelen / Agalloch: Nur noch Asche
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Boyd Rice 2012. Photo: Mute Records.

I had my first contact with Boyd Rice in the early 90’s after hearing his appearance in Bob Larson’s radio show. I wrote a letter to Boyd (there were no emails or internet in general use back then) who replied and kindly sent me a copy of Abraxas newsletter.

Years passed. The last year Boyd declared that the Church of Satan was dead. Soon after that I made an interview with Larry Wessel who had made a documentary film called Iconoclast about Boyd. At this point I was already thinking that an interview with Boyd would be great and the idea was cooking up.

Finally, after some 20 years since my first contact with Boyd, I contacted him again. He was fine about an interview to the blog and I started to make questions. The interview was made one question at a time over some two months. When the interview began I had no idea about Boyd’s upcoming gig in Helsinki, Finland – that created a whole new dimension to the interview!

In the interview Boyd talks about his current projects, the Church of Satan, Anton LaVey, Bob Larson, Iconoclast, pranks, reincarnation, Scandinavia, ABBA, Finland, architect Eero Saarinen and many other things.

Without further ado, ladies and gentlemen, Boyd Rice speaks!

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Present

Hi Boyd, how are you doing?

I couldn’t be better. Just redecorated my apartment and painted my black walls metallic silver. It took weeks, but it’s amazing! Life is good. My girlfriend is moving in with me and we’re making room for her shoes.

If this interview could take place anywhere, anytime, where would you take us to talk?

I used to know a french scholar who had the keys to Jean Cocteaus apartment in Paris, and it hadn’t been touched since Cocteau died and this guy really wanted me to see it. That would be the fetishistic fantasy place. Unfortunately this guy got some deadly disease and ended up killing himself. So I guess my modern answer would be my own apartment here in Denver. Or perhaps The Madonna Inn.

There is a new book out from you, Twilight Man. Tell us about the book, what is it about, where to get a copy?

It is about my life in 80’s San Francisco and how I came to develop a sense of “cultural pessimism”, I guess. It hasn’t gotten a bad review insofar as I know. People find it a fun read, even though it is ugly and brutal.

You can get it on the internet or just ask God for a copy…

There is also a biography under work about you. Who is the author, when can we expect to get the book into our hands?

Nina Antonia. Her Johnny Thunders bio is being made into a movie in Hollywood, so maybe someday when I’m dead there will be a movie too. We can hope…

Talking a bit more about books, you are one of the authors who have been ripped off by Creation Books. What do you think, will there be any chance of getting “James Williamson” to court to face justice for the fraud he has committed?

I seriously doubt it.

What is the most interesting book you have read lately? Why it was interesting?

The last book I read was the Nina Antonia bio of Johnny Thunders. It was interesting because his life was interesting and because Nina’s a great writer and brings a lot of insight to her subject-matter.

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Boyd with Anton LaVey. Photo: Carl Abrahamsson.

Church of Satan

How your first meeting with past Anton LaVey went? Where did you meet, any special jokes, wisdoms, or other notes about the meeting to share with us?

Anton met me at a film festival I was associated with and invited me to his house. I went over the following week and went back every week until I left the city. The stories he told me are all in his bio, which was essentially dictated to Blanche as he told them to me.

You wrote the last year a text where you declared yourself a High Priest of the Church of Satan and in the same text you also declared that the Church of Satan doesn’t exist anymore. This naturally caused some talk. I haven’t seen any reply from the Church to you regarding the text anywhere but I guess you have been receiving some feedback privately. What kind of feedback you have received? Has Peter H. Gilmore said anything about your text?

Of course not. Gilmore is a pussy. Everyone in the C.o.S. loves me and are bored to death of him and he knows it. Anton had a very dark heart and it sickens me to see people whitewash him and present his creed as pure rationalism. He was larger than that.

Rationalism and mysticism cannot co-exist. The latter speaks to soul oriented values and to the unknown (which man is trying to fathom). The former is a conceit that lets man think he has a handle on everything (he doesn’t). I would go so far as to say rationalism is the ultimate lack of logic. It certainly has no place in “occult” doctrine.

I think it’s easy for Gilmore to misrepresent LaVey because he didn’t really know him too well. I was at the Blackhouse all the time.

I think it’s easy for Gilmore to misrepresent LaVey because he didn’t really know him too well. I was at the Blackhouse all the time. That’s why I will defend Anton till the day I die, and that’s why I take the stance I do on the modern C.o.S…

I heard from a scholar of comparative religions the last year that Gilmore works or has been working in a Walmart, in a not so high position, while holding the status of the High Priest of the Church of Satan. I think there is nothing that special in someone working in a Walmart per se, but if someone is a High Priest of a church that is, or gives an impression of being, all about “might is right” and power in this world, this seems a bit amusing. Do you know if the claim is true? What kind of thoughts this brings to your mind in general?

I seriously doubt that is true, but a lot of people with a power philosophy have to punch a time-clock, that’s just the nature of the world. At least they have the notion of rising above that and in time perhaps they will. But anyone wishing to criticise Gilmore needn’t tell lies about his job… but rather point out how he’s bastardizing ASLV’s thought.

What do you think Anton would think of Gilmore and others who run the Church of Satan nowadays? What would he say to them?

Much what he said to me when he was still alive – that they were what Stalin called “useful idiots”. He’d hate people trying to cast him in a “good light”. He often said to me that he wondered why Satanists wanted to present him as a Good Guy. “I’m not a good guy” he would yell, “I’m a miserable sonofabitch!” That’s the LaVey I knew.

And he was much darker, very much darker than anyone is willing to admit these days. He was brutal to the max. That’s why I still love him so much… he was maybe the last unapologetic figure of the 20th century.

Whether LaVey agreed or not Satanism was a cult of personality. C.o.S. sans LaVey is like fascism without Mussolini… and a cult of personality requires someone who has a personality. It currently lacks that.

Whether LaVey agreed or not Satanism was a cult of personality. C.o.S. sans LaVey is like fascism without Mussolini… and a cult of personality requires someone who has a personality. It currently lacks that.

I think LaVey’s big mistake was to violate one of his primary directives… to assume others are like unto you and capable of the same things as you are. And they’re not. Elitism is not something you should mass-market. You can of course and it will be very successful. But it will never work out. That to me, with certain notable exceptions, is The Church of Satan today. I hope this will be my last commentary on all this. And I’d be willing to bet they wish the same!

What do you think of satanism nowadays? Has it lost its potential it once had? Do you still consider yourself a satanist – or is there nowadays a better, more updated term to describe the same individual spirit?

I rarely ever “think of satanism” unless asked about it in interviews. But since you asked, I think it is fundamentally flawed in certain of it’s basic premises. I don’t agree with the primacy of individualism any more than I believe that all men were created equal. If individualism existed (which I seriously doubt) I’m not sure what function it would serve. This was an idea which had great appeal in the post-50’s decade of conformity, but has since then not produced much of value in real world terms — more especially in the C.o.S. where it is a fundamental principle. And within that group everyone dresses alike, speaks alike and thinks alike… all based on a mass-market paperback from, what, 40-some years ago?! Am I missing something?

I rarely ever “think of satanism” unless asked about it in interviews. But since you asked, I think it is fundamentally flawed in certain of it’s basic premises.

By the way, I said much the same thing to LaVey when he was still alive, and he had to concur with me. He found it rather depressing. His exact words were “I’ve created a monster”.

– – –

Iconoclast and things involved

Larry Wessel made a lenghty documentary Iconoclast about you that came out the last year. What do you think of the film?

Four hours of me me me has got to be great by anyones standards. But again, it was an attempt to whitewash me and present me as Mr. Fun. That is part of the story, but not the whole story. But most people seemed to like it.

I noticed that you bought and used in the film some nasal snuss. What is your favorite brand? How about the regular “under-your-lip”-type of snuss that you can get f.e. in Sweden and Norway?

I like Gawith Apricot Snuff, Dr. Rumneys, & McCrystals Violet Snuff. Don’t care for chewing tobacco or dental snuff.

I also like Al Capones Vanilla Snuff, which I’ve only ever found in the Leipzig train station.

One of the things that comes to mind from the film is the great spectrum of things where you have been involved with artistically and otherwise over the years. Is there something that you still would have liked been included in the film or excluded from it?

I’m not particularly bothered either way. That film is from two years ago at least and not me or anyone remembers what was or wasn’t in it. At least it wasn’t boring.

One of the more surprising things in the film were your thougths about reincarnation – you said in your talk with Bob Larson that you consider nowadays that a reincarnation might be possible. Do you still think that way? What has made you to consider that reincarnation might be possible?

I’ve always known things that I’ve never been taught. At a very young age my son said to me “when you were a child I was a man, now I’m a child and you’re my father”. This seemed quite odd to me at the time. When I visited my fathers sister a week later I told her of this conversation, and showed her a picture of my son. She said that the strange red marks my son was born with on his nose were identical to the scars on my grandfathers nose that he got when his model T truck was driven over a cliff. This sort of thing is very common in tales of reincarnation. As a child I had very specific memories of things and places I had never experienced. When I asked my parents why I had these memories they told me they were probably only dreams, but I knew they weren’t.

I’ve always known things that I’ve never been taught.

I still think ideas like genetic memory or ancestral recall are valid, at least in some cases, but my actual theories about reincarnation are too complex to explain in a format like this.

Bob Larson is featured in the film among many other persons. Your encounter with him in the film is pretty different from the early 90’s radio shows where he interviewed you. Has your view of Bob changed during this time? Do you think Bob really believes in the stuff he talks about or is he really like P.T. Barnum, as you once stated in his radio show?

Bob has been extremely consistent ever since he published his first book, in around 1970 or something. I don’t think you can fake something like that for over 40 years. I met his father one time and he was a True Believer. Of course Bob is a showman and understands how to play his audience. So was Anton LaVey… and P. T. Barnum. Nothing wrong with that!

What do you think of teenage girl exorcists Bob has apparently trained into the job? Is Bob a little bit dirty old man or is this just about the showman part you mentioned?

I think it’s pure showmanship. But it would make a good premise for a TV show — a sort or christian Charlies Angels.

In the film you tell about some of the pranks you have done, for example the famous goat head prank. What do you consider as your best pranks ever? Who are your favorite pranksters alive nowdays?

We snuck into a good friends house and left a bottle of maple syrup in his refrigeratator. It came in a bottle shaped like an old woman, and the incident totally freaked him out. He began carrying a gun with him everywhere the very next day. But the best pranks are when you draw someone into an absurd world of your own making and your fantasy becomes their reality, even if just for a short time. Therefore, the best pranksters now are mainstream politicians because that is their full time job. They are the best, because they’re the best conmen, but not necessarily my favorites.

– – –

Scandinavia, ABBA, Finland and the future

NON gave a live show in Norway the last year. How was it? 

It was great. A lot of people from Finland traveled there to see it and a lot came to my show at The Roundhouse in London. I am looking forward to my visit there. See you soon.

You are an ABBA fan. What’s cool about ABBA? Do you have a big ABBA collection?

I have enough obscure ABBA songs that I could put together an entire album… songs that the band didn’t really release because they considered them imperfect or too weird. But of course the worst ABBA song is better than the best songs from a lot of bands. I wanted to cover them and put out an album called ABBA LEAD (as opposed to ABBA GOLD). I pitched the idea to Rose McDowall, but she didn’t seem interested. Shame… because that could have been huge.

The worst ABBA song is better than the best songs from a lot of bands.

That is a shame, indeed! Maybe she will change her mind about the project one day… I think you would make a fabulous cover of “Waterloo” and “Does your mother know” with maybe a bit changed lyrics. What do you think of this in addition of making covers of ABBA’s more obscure songs?

Don’t ask. None of this will ever happen anyway.

You are going to have a concert in Helsinki on 6th of November this year. This is the first time you’ll have a concert in Finland. What are you expecting and hoping from your visit here? How long you’ll stay here, any places you plan to visit, etc.? What kind of associations Finland brings to your mind?

I met people in London who flew all the way from Finland to see my show at the Roundhouse, and more people in Norway who did the same. So I’m looking forward to my trip there and have wanted to see it for a long time.

I recently met the daughter of Saarinen, and found out there is some sort of Saarinen museum just outside Helsinki… I’d love to see that and anything connected with the man or his family. He’s my favorite architect.

What kind of projects you are working with nowadays? What can we expect from you in some near future?

Most of this year I’ve been working on a book of my art for a British publisher — paintings, photos, montages & graphic design. It’s nearly done. Later this year a number of my essays are coming out in Outre Journal out of Australia. I also just filmed some scenes for Richard Wolstencroft’s new film The Second Coming, which is based on the poem by William Butler Yeats. I just returned from NYC where I spent time in the studio recording some new stuff. So I keep busy…

What makes you happy?

Animals make me happy… prairie dogs, foxes, squirrels and cats… coatis, bunnies, capybaras and kiwis.

But I still love consternation. I still love pissing people off. I love knowing that my very existence causes certain people great discomfort. And they deserve it… in spades!

– – –

Thank you for the interview, Boyd!

Boyd Rice will perform at Kuudes Linja in Helsinki on 6th of November. You can buy tickets to the concert from Tiketti. Facebook page for the event can be found from here.

– – –

Related links:

Boyd Rice/NON official webpage.

Boyd Rice/NON official Facebook page.

– – –

Related previous posts:

Boyd Rice live at Kuudes linja, Helsinki, 6th November.

Church of Satan is dead.

Boyd Rice: An Embodiment of the Wolf’s Hook.

Larry Wessel speaks!

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Every now and then I’ve thought if Aleister Crowley ever visited Finland. He did, after all, visit Russia. It’s not too far fetched to consider him stepping on the ground of Finland on his way to Russia. Nevertheless, mentions of Finland in books of or about Crowley I’ve read of are almost zero – and I’ve read quite a few of them over the years.

I finally came across a book that mentions Crowley and Finland. Richard B. Spence writes in his Secret Agent 666: Aleister Crowley, British Intelligence and the Occult (Feral House, 2008):

By the time Crowley left Cambridge in summer 1898, he had steered far away from a diplomatic career, the orderly life of an English gentleman, and most other conventional paths. He had become a seeker of spiritual enlightenment, and to that end a student of occult wisdom and practises. A critical early experience occurred at the end of 1896, a spiritual crisis or mysterious “calling” he experienced while visiting Stockholm. What he was doing in the Swedish capital is a mystery. British records show that Crowley received a passport on 28 December 1896, just in time for the boat to Stockholm. Curiously, British subjects did not require a passport to visit Sweden or much anywhere else. One place that did require the document was Russia, and Stockholm was a main transit point to Russian-ruled Finland and thence to St. Petersburg. Could Crowley’s “crisis” have been a tyro spy’s jitters over a pending mission?

Again, there is no solid proof about the Beast in Finland. No photos, no records of any kind to support the possibility.

Spence’s book is, by the way, a very interesting piece. When I first heard of it I thought it was some sensationalistic nonsense about “Crowley the spy” without credibility, but I have needed to correct my views on that later. I mentioned Spence’s work previously in my review of Tobias Churton’s biography of Crowley.

Some years ago there was some talk in the internet in a Finnish forum about Crowley having an illegitimate child in Finland. I’ve not heard, seen nor find anything credible to support that claim. As wild as the claim is it is not impossible either, but there is absolutely no proof for it. I regard the claim currently just a baseless claim, a wild but certainly an entertaining idea. Any thelemite in Finland would love that claim to be true, I think, but most likely the claim is just a wild idea someone got into his head and just put it out in the net.

To strech the subject a bit – It’s not unheard of that a big esoteric name would have had an extramarital child with a Finn. G.I. Gurdjieff, a contemporary of Crowley, had a child with one of his most loyal follower’s (Dr. Leonid Störnval) wife. A very interesting book by the late child is available: Nikolas de Val (Nikolas Stjörnval): Daddy Gurdjieff: Quelques souvenirs inédits. The subject is also touched upon in an academic paper that is part of the publication called Western esotericism (based on papers read at the Symposium on Western esotericism held at Åbo, Finland, on the August 15-17, 2007. Ed. by Tore Ahlbäck. Pargas: Tibo-Trading Ab. Scripta Instituti Donneriani Aboensis 20).

Well, at least some more or less thelemic stuff is coming from the UK to Finland that can be proved. Current 93 will perfom at Savoy Theatre, Finland, on 18th of March this year.

P.S. Check out also the recently published The Drug and Other Stories by Aleister Crowley. It has foreword by David Tibet, the frontman of Current 93.

A song for the day: Current 93: Earth covers earth (Mesikämmen used to have this on vinyl back in the 90’s).

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Das Fest II! 100 postia Pekka Siitoimesta!

Blogin Pekka-posteista sanottua

Mesikämmen-blogi – kirjoittaja on julkaissut parhaan Pekkaa käsittelevän artikkelisarjan, mitä blogistanissa on nähtyNarian

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 miehistäJokunen

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

100 Postia

100. Kursiivin isku, osa 4
99. Kursiivin isku, osa 3
98. Kursiivin isku, osa 2
97. Täällä vartioin minä!
96. Kursiivin isku, osa 1
95. Huolestuneisuus ennen Kursiivin iskua, osa 3
94. Alfauros laittoi asioita kuntoon.
93. Huolestuneisuus ennen Kursiivin iskua, osa 2
92. Huolestuneisuus ennen Kursiivin iskua, osa 1
91. IKR:n plörinäksi mennyt Belgian matka 1977
90. “Worshiping the Devil in the name of God”
89. Siitoin-filmi oy, osa 5
88. Siitoin-filmi oy, osa 4
87. Kai M. Aalto puhuu! (osa 2/3)
86. Siitoin-filmi oy, osa 3
85. Turun Hengentieteen Seura, osa 11
84. Turun Hengentieteen Seura, osa 10
83. Turun Hengentieteen Seura, osa 9
82. Pekka ja SMP/SKYP
81. IKR:n plörinäksi mennyt Kotkan marssi 1977
80. Lisähuomioita Pekan mielenosoitustoiminnasta, yms.
79. Pekka ja vappu, osa 4/4
78. Pekka ja vappu, osa 3/4
77. Pekka ja vappu, osa 2/4
76. Pekka ja vappu, osa 1/4
75. Pekan perheonnea
74. Arjalanpaisti ja arjalanpiirakat
73. Kai M. Aalto puhuu! (osa 1/3)
72. Mitä Pekka Siitoin ajattelisi perussuomalaisista?
71. Pekka Siitoin: Jag ska befria Norden!
70. Pekan mietteitä ennen eduskuntavaaleja 1983
69. Pekka Siitoin palauttaa Karjalan Suomelle, osa 3
68. Pekka Siitoin palauttaa Karjalan Suomelle, osa 2
67. Pekka Siitoin palauttaa Karjalan Suomelle, osa 1
66. Pekkagrammi, osa 2
65. Pekka Siitoin ja rock ‘n’ roll
64. Näen ja kuulen… mutta puhe sammaltaa
63. Pekka Siitoin Fingerporissa
62. Tulella leikkimisestä
61. Talo, jossa Pekka Siitoin asui (osa 2)
60. Pekka presidentiksi?
59. Kommunismin ja kokoomuksen uhka
58. Valtakunnanjohtaja ja Italia
57. Valtakunnanjohtaja ja Varkaus
56. Kiljukeisari
55. Valtakunnanjohtajan kiljuepisodi
54. Pekka Siitoin -anagrammit ja postyymi Finlandia-palkinto
53. Hyvää uutta vuotta!
52.Turun Hengentieteen Seura, osa 8
51. Das Fest! 50 postia Pekka Siitoimesta!
50. Arkistojen aarteita ja Pekka Siitoin soundboard.
49. Luvassa hypnoottis-magneettista menoa.
48. Turun Hengentieteen Seura, osa 7.
47. Rivologin rodunjalostusta.
46. Turun Hengentieteen Seura, osa 6.
45. Pekkagrammi.
44. Ääretön rakkaus.
43. Siitoin-filmi oy, osa 2.
42. Pekan lähtö.
41. Pekka Siitoimen transformaatio poliittisesta uhkasta uusnatsismin ja okkultismin von Münchauseniksi.
40. Pekka Siitoimen shortsit.
39. Hyvät naiset, olette kaikki kauniita!
38. Kassisen perintöprinssi.
37. Mikä erottaa fasistin kommunistista?
36. Mesikämmenen jengi.
35. Pekka Siitoin built my Panzerwagen.
34. Turun Hengentieteen Seura, osa 5.
33. Turun Hengentieteen Seura, osa 4.
32. Seurakuntavaalit.
31. Turun Hengentieteen Seura, osa 3.
30. Turun Hengentieteen Seura, osa 2.
29. Turun Hengentieteen Seura, osa 1.
28. Pentagrammon, clavis, cranium, sciurus, circumferentia, logos, gravis admodum, et diaboli.
27. Siitoin-filmi oy.
26. Mitä Leo Meller sanoi Pekka Siitoimen kuolemasta?
25. Toinen todellisuus.
24. Mitä Pekka Siitoin sanoi Anton LaVeystä ja satanismin historiasta?
23. Pekka Siitoimen iltarukous.
22. Isän valtakunta kuvina.
21. Isän valtakunnan jälkipyykkiä.
20. Pekan parhaat, osa 7.
19. Pekan parhaat, osa 6.
18. Pekan parhaat, osa 5.
17. Pekan parhaat, osa 4.
16. Pekan parhaat, osa 3.
15. Pekan parhaat, osa 2.
14. Pekan parhaat, osa 1.
13. Isän valtakunta.
12. Arkistojen kätköistä.
11. Päivän lainaus ja kysymys.
10. Pekka Siitoin on nykyään vampyyri!
9. Hypnoottis-magneettinen katse ja sen alkuperä.
8. Mitä Pekka Siitoin sanoi äidilleni.
7. Luciferin arkkipiispan nauru.
6. Talo, jossa Pekka Siitoin asui.
5. Achtung! Valtakunnanjohtaja puhuu! (osa 4/4).
4. Achtung! Valtakunnanjohtaja puhuu! (osa 3/4).
3. Achtung! Valtakunnanjohtaja puhuu! (osa 2/4).
2. Achtung! Valtakunnanjohtaja puhuu! (osa 1/4).
1. Should I laugh or cry?

Ja jatkoa seuraa…

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.

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“Worshipping the Devil in the name of God”

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.
– – –

“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

Abstract

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.

Introduction

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).

Political Activities

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).

Metaphysical Career

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).

Conclusion

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
tating.

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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