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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!

– – –

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.

– – –

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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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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A little poll for the blog’s readers: What kind of religions you find most negative? What most positive?

– – –

In answering these questions let’s use this Western classification and add two more categories in it:

1. Abrahamic religions (Christianity, Islam, Judaism and Bahá’i faith).

2. Indian religions (Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism and Sikhism).

3. East Asian religions (Taoism and Confucianism).

4. African diasporic religions (practiced in the Americas, imported as a result of the Atlantic slave trade of the 16th to 18th centuries, building on traditional religions of Central and West Africa).

5. Indigenous ethnic religions (Includes among others African traditional religions, Asian shamanism, Native American religions, Austronesian and Australian Aboriginal traditions, Chinese folk religion, and postwar Shinto).

6. Iranian religions (This category includes Zoroastrianism, Yazdanism, Ahl-e Haqq and historical traditions of Gnosticism).

7. New religious movement (This is the term applied to any religious faith which has emerged since the 19th century, often syncretizing, re-interpreting or reviving aspects of older traditions: Hindu reform movements, Eckankar, Ayyavazhi, Pentecostalism, polytheistic reconstructionism, and so forth.

8. New Age/Western esotericism (This is not included in the classicification I referred to above, but I see this category important enough to include it in here. This category includes religions/movements that loosely fall into categories of “new age” and/or “western esotericism“. This includes theosophy, neo paganism, satanism, Thelema, and other such religions/movements that has emerged since the late 19th century).

9. Atheism (This is not included in the classification I referred to above and atheism at its best form -as I see it- is of course no religion at all. Many atheists seem to have “a religious zeal” in their views though and it is because of this that I decided to include this category as a “black horse” in this poll).

– – –

The classifications are a bit rough and the used terms/religions/movements does not always fit perfectly under them, but I guess you get the picture.

In considering the questions think of the best and the worst examples of all religions/movements, as well as the “fruits of the trees”: How different religions/movements are effecting the world where we live in and how they effect lives of practitioners of these religions/movements.

You are most welcome to elaborate your answers in comments section below.

[Note: You should see polls for most negative and most positive religions below. If you don’t see both of them the poll service is most likely having some technical problems. That happens from time to time. If you want to vote and don’t see both polls below, check the page later again].

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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.

References

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Chazan, Robert, 2005, “Anti-Semitism, Revision of Alan Davies’ original article from 1987,” in Encyclopedia of Religion, 2nd edition. Edited by Lindsay Jones. Detroit, Macmillan, 397-403
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Grant, Kenneth, 1994b (1977), Nightside of Eden. London, Skoob Books
Giller, Pinchas, 2001, Reading the Zohar. The Sacred Text of the Kabbalah. Oxford, Oxford University Press
Goodrick-Clarke, Nicholas, 2001, Black Sun. Aryan Cults, Esoteric Nazism and the Politics of Identity. New York, New York University Press
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Idel, Moshe, 2002, Absorbing Perfections. Kabbalah and Interpretation. New Haven, Yale University Press
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Kaplan, Jeffrey, 1999, “The Finnish New Radical Right in Comparative Perspective,”in The New Radical Right in Finland, edited by Kyösti Pekonen, 205-224. Jyväskylä, The Finnish Political Science Association
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Ravenscroft, Trevor, 2000, Pyhä keihäs. Jyväskylä, Gummerus
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Vil, Ike, 2003, ”Suomentajan jälkisanat. Ex boreus lux,” in Tajunnan alkemistit. Kuusikymmentäluvun mystiikka ja vesimiehen ajan pimeä puoli. (Gary Valentine Lachman). Helsinki, Like kustannus

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Boyd Rice: An Embodiment of the Wolf’s Hook

As many of you know, I wrote an article “Church of Satan is dead” some time ago. That article got me in touch with a documentary movie maker Larry Wessel, who’s interview “Larry Wessel speaks!” I then made. Wessel’s latest movie, Iconoclast, was six years in making. The result is a four hour long ride that goes through Boyd Rice’s life in three parts. This includes a good deal of history of pop culture and art too. After watching the movie I knew I wanted to write a review of it. However, after reading Carl Abrahamsson’s excellent review I thought I would have nothing to add to what he had said, because he put it all so well. You can find Abrahamsson’s review from here. Well, I thougth I could still write something about the documentary. If nothing else, I could write down my notes of the contents of the film and some of my rambling notes in between. What follows might be boring reading as it pretty much just lists the contents of the film. For those who are interested in Boyd’s art, life, and persona and have not seen the film yet, my notes and ramblings might still be interesting. So, with this note, or warning, let me begin.

Part One: Lemon Grove

Part one of the movie starts with Boyd reading his poem Secrets:

That is most powerful which remains unknown

Except unto you, and to you alone

There are secrets that slumber behind these eyes

And I stand by my secrets, my truths and my lies

There are secrets that soar where the eagle flies

Above man’s truths and beyond his lies

There are secrets that slither like snakes in the night

Coiled in shadows, far distant from light

There are secrets that confront you in the midday sun

Yet remain unknown to everyone

A secret burns bright when its law is obeyed

But is doomed to fade when that law is betrayed

For that is most powerful which remains unknown

Except unto you, and to you alone.

It seems to me that in some poetical way the ethos of this poem carries through the whole documentary. I don’t know Boyd but it seems to me that the poem carries the spirit that is present in all that Boyd has done and what he is like. He is difficult to label, he is multidimensional. He is often labeled this and that, often as something sinister and suspicious. But the truth probably lies somewhere between the lines, one could say between the opposites. I was reminded already at this point of the film of the wolf’s hook rune and how it really well seems to symbolize the essence of Boyd and his work.

After that Bob Larson does exorcism, Boyd goes to a tobacco store and buys a whole box of Samuel Gawith snuff. Wait! Is that that nasal tobacco? Yes it is, you can see Boyd taking it later in the film, in part three of the documentary, at the Absinthe studios. I have never tried nasal snuff, but I enjoy a lot the kind of snuss (especially portioned General) that you can buy in Sweden (I am having one portion under my lip right now while writing this).

A family history follows. A whole bunch of old pics. A story of a neighbohour average man’s everyday routine and how Boyd decided he will never be like that. We hear of a tv prank and a good deal of a tiki-culture. Already at this point my idea of Boyd starts to get new dimensions. I did not know that much of his interest in tiki and of things related. My idea of Boyd had previously been formed pretty much through some of his NON-recordings and his association with the Church of Satan. I think I am not the only one  like that. Much more interesting new dimensions to Boyd and his works is about to follow. This is getting really interesting.

We hear what happened in 1969. We hear of a Dark Shadows character who said: “Two natures have always existed in man, one good the other evil, perhaps with this we can bridge the gap in man’s divided nature”. Boyd comments on this: “And like a portal opened in my soul”. I am again reminded of the wolf’s hook rune and its essence. It is becoming apparent that the symbol has found a resonance within Boyd very early and that he has ever since worked to unfold the symbol’s mystery.

“Two natures have always existed in man, one good the other evil, perhaps with this we can bridge the gap in man’s divided nature”.

We hear of Strange paradise. We hear of Anton LaVey, Charles Manson, and Tiny Tim – how they were totally different and still much alike. We hear a story about Martin Denny. We hear a story about a man who lost his keys in Italy and found them from Florida. We hear about decadent Hollywood and its coolness. Rodney Bingenheimer. Glamrock. Principal in a nazi uniform poster prank. We hear a story about Boyd making a life size cross in high school and his work at Taco Bell – and of eating a moth there every now and then. Bean-qhr-qwr-qhr. We hear about how to make photos of things that does not exist, St. Jean Cocteau and Captain Beefheart’s nightly calls. Then Boyd tells about dada, surrealism, alchemy. I like it all, I can totally relate to what I hear. An image of Boyd as an artist starts to surface, an image that is new to me. The guy starts to get more and more interesting, minute by minute.

Boyd tells us how “women like it weird”. He tells us of his open-ended paintings, and again the wolf’s hook rune comes to my mind. The principle is there again. Skinned sheep’s head gift to the first lady is pure gold. A priceless prank, instant art performance. Next we hear how Boyd was living dada real. Steve Hitchcock illuminates us about how magic and alchemy is part of what Boyd does: “Boyd was someone who introduced me to the idea of alchemy of thought, where by you take negative or valueless proposition and turn it to your own advantage, by sort of inverted perception of it, which can be done, it takes a disciplined mind, a disciplined mentality if you want to make use of that, but it certainly is a valid principle”. Do you see the wolf’s hook and its principle at work again here? I do.

We hear of Boyd meeting Genesis P-Orridge. We hear of 1977 and the famous The Black Album, Boyd’s deal with Mute records, the birth of NON, and why punk was just glam rock with harder edge. Next we hear of something in which Boyd was again ahead of the time: Pagan muzak record that can be played with different speeds. This happened years, years ago. The first time I heard of such a record was when Butthole Surfers’ Hairway to Steven came out in 1988. Before of that I had for my own amusement listened to lots of records with different speeds – pretty much with the perspective of “open-ended paintings” of which Boyd spoke about earlier in the documentary. You can find the same thing interesting with different angles, perspectives. Things are most of the time not black and white, but composed of many colors and shades.

Who invented tape-loops? It was Boyd. He tells us how nothing in the world is fixed. We hear of “the world’s weirdest record”. We hear of the first NON show, which was “louder than Led Zeppelin”. There is a note of music as sounds, not so much as songs. Iitywimwybmad. Roto-guitar. Stuff ahead of the time. Live sounds from that part of the documentary remind me of some amazing underground noise gigs that I attended at Some Place Else in Turku, South-West of Finland around 2004 and 2005. Boyd did that kind of stuff about 30 years earlier. I find that rather impressive.

Part two: San Francisco

Part two of the movie deals with Boyd’s years in San Francisco area. We hear of Incredible strange films and research involved. Director Ray Dennis Steckler is revealed to be also actor Cash Flagg. The amazing scopitone machines are introduced. Boyd tells us of “close-ups of tits shaking a few seconds too long” and girls doing dances in bright colors. Sounds and looks good to me.

Then comes something I knew there was going to be covered, Boyd’s association with Anton LaVey. “Living in San Francisco it was inevitable that our paths would cross”. Blanche Barton tells about getting to know Boyd and why Boyd and Anton got so well along. “Role of the Devil has to be… one that challenges”. Barton also tells that Boyd also understood the trickster, prankster side of satanism… which is something that not everyone understands. Coop, the artist, tells about “making it hot for them”… and that “of course that applies to Boyd, perfectly”. We hear of Blinky the friendly hen’s funeral and resurrection. Vampire aesthetics. There is a note about romance and cultured gentleman in a vampire – and how below that side is a beast. A perfect wolf’s hook principle at work again.

Stanton LaVey, Anton LaVey’s more known daughter’s son, appears briefly in the film too. His first sentence in the film is “Boyd did fuck my mother!” which is followed with a warm laugh. He clearly has positive thoughts of Boyd. It seems that Boyd has had much warmer relationship with Zeena than I had. Back in the late 90’s and early 2000 I met Zeena few times, corresponded with her and it was an ongoing argument. Zeena and her husband Nikolas thought that I was trying to put too much love into the left hand path. They even called me “Jesus of darkness”. But that is another story.

Beth Moore-Love is an artist who I was not familiar with earlier. We see some of her amazing paintings. She says of Boyd: “He’s very intelligent. I like people who not only think outside of the box, but outside of the entire packeting industry… Boyd is one of them”. Boyd tells a chilling story of San Francisco’s Chinatown and its rats. It is very easy to believe. I lived in the city for some time in 2004 and Chinatown was one of my favorite places there. I visited it quite often and wondered about the smell of the place. Rats fit in the picture well.

“He’s very intelligent. I like people who not only think outside of the box, but outside of the entire packeting industry… Boyd is one of them”.

Next Boyd tells us how all the women who he brought to LaVey’s house had the next night a dream of having sex with LaVey. Boyd tells of LaVey’s different alter egos, the crime boss, the china man, and how LaVey could keep with a role for hours. The stories are hilarious and Boyd cracks up telling them. To readers of LaVey’s works it comes as no surprise that LaVey was living in a sort of alternative reality or realities he chose to live in. We hear very interesting angles on the subject. The famous Johnson & Smith’s catalogue is covered, and how “consternation” is the word related to it. Whoopee cushion. Remote controlled fart machine. How Anton programmed his keyboard with different fart sounds. The movie has been very fun already from the beginning, not just at this point. Barton tells how she and Boyd got Anton to record his music. It is very much likely that without them there would be no recorded music of LaVey.

Then comes the part dealing with Charles Manson. “Two minutes after meeting him he is giving me this you-are-me-and-I-am-you -routine”. Boyd tells us how Manson has one feet in the world of a fantasy, another in reality. We hear a story of Charlie telling to Boyd about taking a helicopter and visiting Ajatollah Khomeini. We hear that there are secrets Manson has told to Boyd – and which Boyd has promised to not tell to anyone while Manson is still alive (this reminds me of Boyd’s poem Secrets, with which the movie begins). Why Boyd got in touch with Manson in the first place? Why he seems to have interest in individuals who have been labeled very “sinister”? Some of Boyd’s associates gives a perspective on this: “Boyd has always been sort of attracted to those people who disrupt society in some way, that cause, that show the limitations of what we pretend to be civilized, I don’t want to put words into Boyd’s mouth but I know that’s part of what attracts him to this stuff”. I think this is a good angle to the question. The documentary gives a broad context where one can reflect on that. I think the documentary also gives an idea of the wolf’s hook rune, its essence and principle in artistic action – pursued by a questioning mind that does not see things in black and white but as “an open ended paintings”. Things are not fixed. In his pursuit Boyd is not afraid of putting himself in positions where he can easily get misunderstood. He is not so much afraid of social pressure as most of the people are.  Such a courage in looking at the human equation is hardly a bad thing. I would rather argue that seeing things in black and white is a bad thing. Finally, we hear of how Manson got into a solitary confinement for two weeks because of a bullet that happened to be in Boyd’s pocket – and how that ruined their relationship.

“Boyd has always been sort of attracted to those people who disrupt society in some way, that cause, that show the limitations of what we pretend to be civilized, I don’t want to put words into Boyd’s mouth but I know that’s part of what attracts him to this stuff”.

Then the documentary comes to the symbol that I’ve already mentioned few times, the wolf’s hook rune. We hear of the balance point between creation and destruction, “exactly the meaning that has been the guiding force in my life”. Adam Parfrey enters the picture – the guy is “on the same wavelenght “with Boyd. We are informed about the Apocalypse culture, 8-8-88 at Strand Theatre, San Francisco. We hear of the nazi accusations Boyd has been thrown with. “Boyd was not, is not, and will never be a nazi… you could take it as seriously as the Producers movie”. Anyone who has watched the documentary thus far must agree with that.  To say that Boyd is a nazi is absurd. We hear about the victim culture that likes to whine about everything. We learn of a mexican poster and ABBA-book that was stolen from Boyd (whoa – I did not know that Boyd likes ABBA. I have always liked them too. In my article “Church of Satan is dead” I pondered how much common ground I might have with Boyd. It seems there is much more than I thought). The San Francisco part of the movie ends with a story of Boyd moving to Denver. We hear why the place is cool. We hear that the building Boyd lives in was built in 1890. We hear how Boyd had a Carnival of souls welcome to Denver.

“Boyd was not, is not, and will never be a nazi… You could take it as seriously as the Producers movie”.

Part three: Denver

Part three deals with Boyd’s time in Denver and the stuff he has done since moving there. There is a recording session at Absinthe studios. Fredrik Nilsen gives another perspective on Boyd that tells of his wolf’s hook nature and approach to things: “He is a scholar of evil. He’s not evil. In fact, he’s a very sweet, loving, guy. But he seems to have an incredible knowledge of the nature of evil and he seems to be willing to chronicle and look at it in a sort of… empirical way, I’m not sure it is empirical… aesthetic way. And I think he is pretty great”. We see a footage of Boyd’s guest lecture “Regarding evil” at Massachusetts institute of technology. We hear of Oswald Mosley and his ralleys – and how his symbolism influenced Throbbing Gristle and David Bowie. We hear how Marilyn Manson (who has called Boyd his mentor) also used the Mosley symbolism after Boyd noted to him about it and about “a cross between glam rock and Nürenberg rally”. We hear about how to manipulate archetypes – how to step into a role you want to be in and how it then flows into you. There is a funny anti-fascism demonstrators talk with Boyd. After that there starts a really interesting part where Bob Larson talks with Boyd. He says with a big smile: “Bob has been working with me for the past 14 years… he doesn’t give up”. Boyd’s sense of humor is great and a watcher of the documentary is blessed with tons of it.

“He is a scholar of evil. He’s not evil. In fact, he’s a very sweet, loving, guy. But he seems to have an incredible knowledge of the nature of evil and he seems to be willing to chronicle and look at it in a sort of… empirical way, I’m not sure it is empirical… aesthetic way. And I think he is pretty great”.

We hear of the Partridge family & Partridge family temple: “Our religion is based on fun”. We hear of archetypes on TV. Giddle Partridge speaks. A story of Boyd as a catholic priest “blessing” kids rosery beads is pure prankster Boyd. Gidget Gein speaks how his idea of Boyd went up and down. The subject of social darwinism is touched upon. Another angle to wolf’s hook is given: Abraxas – an entity that is good and evil at the same time. We learn that Boyd has Charles Manson’s copy of the Bible. Bob Larson tells Boyd that “maybe you need an exorcism”. Boyd and Bob talk about paradigms of reality, good and evil. All in a very good spirit, pretty different from what it was like in Bob Larson’s radio show in the early 90’s. Boyd tells about Might is Right by Ragnar Redbeard and about Lions Lair and women who got spontaneously naked for him there. We hear of Tiny Tim and his phonecalls, talk about women. Nutcase letters LaVey got. LaVey’s guns. We hear a hilarious prank that Boyd did with “Got milk?”-campaign’s billboard that featured David Copperfield. The billboard had  a picture of Copperfield’s face with some milk on his upper lip and a text saying “What’s the magic word? Calsium”. Boyd changed “Calsium” with some paint into ”Cum”. I once made a similar prank with Canal plus billboard… maybe you guess what I painted it to be? Margaret Radnick tells about Boyd’s love letters to her. Boyd’s friendship with Rozz Williams is covered. Douglas P. tells an amazing story about nazi-monkeys attacking old German men with bananas. Boyd’s bar Tiki-Boyd as an alternative reality is covered.

The talk between Boyd and Bob Larson continues. If there has been lots of interesting, even surprising turns in the film thus far, it gets even more such at this point. Boyd and Bob talk about some kind of possibility to survive death, and Boyd even tells that he nowadays thinks that some kind of reincarnation of consciousness might be possilbe. Bob comments: “You may have to turn back your Church of Satan card!” Boyd: “I tried and they wouldn’t take it!” Bob: “What happened to your old misanthropic idea of things? Obviously you must have mellowed in your hatred for humanity”. Boyd: “I’m still fairly misanthropic, I just don’t think I’m not actively misanthropic. Because I’m a very happy individual and I just find it if I treat everybody with a certain degree of civility they usually treat me with civility so generally they’ve used to people treating rotly and when somebody comes along who is nice to them it is big change for them and I gotta see the best sides of everybody if I treat everybody decently and they in turn are nice to me”. Bob says back in amazement: “Do you realize what you just said? You have just recited a part of Sermon of the Mount. You have just articulated one of the most important ethics that Jesus taught! Do unto others as you would have them to do unto you”. Bob continues: “At least you’re not at this point trying to bring back Thor and declare total war!” Boyd says smilingly: “Yea, I need to change the lyrics…” We hear “People” with improvised lyrics. The movie ends with Boyd’s poem, just like it started. The ending poem is Boyd’s Gift:

On my own

Hour after hour

Sipping cocktails

And reading Schopenhauer

Living in a world

Without imagination

I see that hope

Is a lack of information

I turn my back

I shut the door

I lock the key

A prisoner in my home

But it’s lovely to be free.

After that we hear Boyd singing Terry Jacks’ Seasons in the Sun. The film ends.

As I said, the movie is multidimensional. It covers a lot. It is funny as hell. It is thought provoking. It is surprising. It gives a picture of Boyd that one might not expect. Anton LaVey said once that “Boyd is a true iconoclast” and one cannot but agree. As it has most likely become clear, I would like to add that Boyd is an embodiment of the wolf’s hook rune, the symbol he has carried with him since his childhood.

Larry Wessel has made one hell of a film and I highly recommend it to everyone who is even cursorily interested in Boyd and his art. This documentary is a classic.

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I was going through my archives some time ago and found a handwritten letter from Boyd Rice to me. It’s from the early 90’s when I still considered myself a satanist. I was in my late teens. In the letter he replied to some of my questions regarding his appearance in Bob Larson’s radio show, made some notes about Music, martinis and misanthrophy CD, the Abraxas Foundation (he kindly sent me its newsletter WAKE! ), etc. Ahead of the time, years before the internet became a commonplace, Boyd also used a smiley in the letter, much like it is used commonly nowadays. I remember it amused me. Days after digging this letter from my archives I learned that a lenghty documentary about Boyd had finally came out. Iconoclast looks like something definitely worth seeing if you are even cursorily interested in all the stuff that Boyd has done over the years. Few days after learning of the documentary, I learned that Boyd had declared himself a high priest of the Church of Satan recently and interestingly enough, he also declared that the Church of Satan didn’t exist as an organization anymore.

I moved away from satanism to other ways to contextualise and experience myself and the universe few years after receiving that letter from Boyd. Around the time I made this paradigm shift I thought that not only I was not a satanist, but I also came to the conclusion that the Church of Satan was dead. It seemed to me that the Church of Satan had lost the certain genuinely fresh and dynamic substance it once had. I thought that even if one was a satanist, not just one playing one, one should have seen that as an organization the Church of Satan was gone. Even if you were a satanist you should have come up with something new carrying the genuine spark that made the Church of Satan what it once was. The organization was attracting all too much certain kind of pompous airheads and (post) teen-angst filled guys who made it look like that the whole LaVeyan satanism had become more a certain kind of aesthetic and attitude promoting subculture and lifestyle than a practical philosophy that could be taken seriously. Just looking how these guys were repeating LaVey’s words year after year word by word instead of developing the basic philosophy and its implications and making individually something really out of it in the world all spoke (and still speak) for itself to me. It didn’t (and still doesn’t) look very much like satanic individualism at its best to me. It all looks like Anton LaVey fan club with its members, and as such not essentially very different from other kinds of fan clubs.

There are of course exceptions, not all who associate themselves in one way or another with LaVeyan satanism are such airheads. But such persons seem to be rather rare. Boyd Rice has always appeared to me as one of those exceptions. He is smart, creative, complex, and in his own way he has seemed to truly practise satanism in his own individual way. No matter that my worldview is quite different from his, his works have continued to interest me because he has not been parroting LaVey but he has being doing his own thing.  It has been thought provoking and fun to see what he has been doing. The declaration that Boyd made recently affirmed that again.

I haven’t seen or heard an official comment from the Church of Satan to Boyd’s declaration yet. It might be that they have a difficult time thinking how to formulate a good answer to it. Among other things Boyd’s declaration includes this note: “True LaVeyan Satanism only exists insofar as it is manifested in deeds – in life and living. Never in mere words”. If the current “high priest” of the Church of Satan, Peter H. Gilmore, works or has been working in a not very high position at Wal-Mart while being a high priest of an organization that likes to give an impression that its higher degree members are in positions of power in the world, it might be difficult for him to reply to that note from Boyd. One academic scholar has indeed made that claim about Gilmore and Wal-Mart, I’ve heard, but I am not sure if it is true or not. Interestingly enough, there is not much information around how Gilmore makes his living.  I think there is nothing wrong or laughable about working at Wal-Mart per se, except if you happen to be a high priest of an organization that is all about might is right and exemplifying that  in the world. But well, maybe Gilmore is indeed in some position of power that matches with the nature of being a high priest of Satan, an entity emphatically of power in this material world. In any case, Gilmore gives an impression of having common sense and sense of humor in his interviews. He doesn’t seem like an airhead. It will be interesting to see what he will eventually reply to Boyd’s declaration.

When it comes to Boyd’s view of the world it is quite a bit more nihilistic and misanthropic than mine. I don’t share too much with Boyd’s view of the world, except that most of the people are idiots. The difference between me and Boyd seems to lie mostly in that I have more empathy towards people, idiots, but it might be that’s because I find an idiot pretty much from everybody. Myself included. I also do write a blog which is something Boyd would apparently never do. Nevertheless, I am not a mere blogger, I have done and do stuff out there in the world in my own small way, as some of you know. Anyway, words on screen are out of total living context. It might be that talking about all and everything with Boyd over a pint there could surface more common ground between me and Boyd than mere words on screen would indicate. I’d like to see if this is so. So, Boyd, if you happen to be around Finland sometime, I invite you to have  few beers with me. I’d offer. I agree with you about the main message of your declaration and would like to interview you about it.

Below is the declaration I’ve talked about. It’s worth reading thoughtfully if LaVeyan satanism interests you (be sure to have proper background music while reading it).

– – –

To whom it may concern,

As it is widely known, Anton Szandor LaVey repeatedly expressed his sincere desire to me that his mantle as leader of the Church of Satan pass to me upon his death. In his estimation, I was the sole person qualified to carry his tradition into a new era. At the time I demurred, explaining that I was a loner and not a team player or a people person.

Now I have changed my mind. After thirteen years of introspection, I have decided to step up to the plate and humbly accept the role bestowed upon me by my close friend and mentor. Why? Because remaining loyal to LaVey’s spirit and memory has come at the cost of distancing myself from the organization perpetuating itself in his name.

At one time, the sycophants and functionaries at the forefront of the CoS may have been called apparatchiks or pencil pushers. Today they are bloggers, whose sole arena of combat is the internet. When they employ “satanic” ideals, it’s in endless squabbles in cyberspace – rarely in real life or the real world. The LaVey I knew abhorred such types, and frequently told me as much.

I am told that many in the Church of Satan were offended by my book NO, and particularly by my essay on individuality; which they perceived as a potshot taken at them. How very perceptive – it was exactly that! If Anton were alive to read the text, he’d agree wholeheartedly; and laugh his ass off. He often lamented to me that his ideas vis-à-vis individualism were misguided and that he’d in effect “given birth to a monster”; or that such ideas applied to a few rare souls and not to everyone with the price of admission.

Consequently, my first official act as new leader and only truly ordained High Priest of the Church of Satan is to declare that the organization no longer exists. True LaVeyan Satanism only exists insofar as it is manifested in deeds – in life and living. Never in mere words. Elitism is self-defining, it is not a commodity that can be bought or sold for a few hundred dollars, or whatever the going rate is for a little, red membership card.

In the future, LaVey’s ideas can only survive in so much as they constitute a living reality, and never as mere platitudes on the printed page or computer screen; and in the future, such ideas must be taken to the next level. They must be recognized as purely foundational. Not an end point, but a starting point. LaVey expressed as much to me when he appointed me Grand Master of The Order of the Trapezoid. Satanism is an initiation into the wisdom of materiality, and the trapezoid represents the mastering of materiality – the pyramid sans its keystone. It is a foundation and a beginning.

In closing, I know my words will find resonance only amongst a rare few. That’s as it should be. I am not trying to “take over” the internet orthodoxy currently known as the Church of Satan, nor would I want to. I wouldn’t touch it with a bargepole.

I am simply telling you I am Anton LaVey’s handpicked replacement as High Priest. Do with that what you will. I will not ask you for money. I will not send you newsletters or post blogs. But I will never steer you wrong, nor ever disgrace the memory of my dear friend and mentor, Anton Szandor LaVey. He lives within each soul that manifests his ideas and worldview. He will remain forever dead to those who are content to pay mere lip service to them. For the former, a new era awaits; for the latter, an old error remains in play. Let the dead bury the dead – life is for the living.

Boyd Rice

High Priest, Church of Satan

Grand Master, Order of the Trapezoid

H.S.d.

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