In The Devil’s Notebook, Dr. LaVey asked the question: “Who knows a good case of ‘character armor’ when he sees it?” With that question, Dr. LaVey referred to the late Dr. Wilhelm Reich, a psychologist and student of Freud’s, who had gained an astonishing insight into the dark doctrines during his study of the human psyche.
Wilhelm Reich described human neuroses as a process of “character armoring” in his book, Character-Analysis, which was first published in Germany in 1933. The book was aimed at students of psychology, and although the implications of Wilhelm Reich’s study are immense, the fundamental principle of character armoring is quite simple: the single, important keyword is defense.
A character armor is basically a series of layers of a person’s personality that are each a defense against an inner urge. The defensive armor is not directly caused by the urge itself, but rather by a contradiction between the inner feelings and the outer world.
For example, when a male child masturbates in his cradle or shows interest in his mother’s genitals, he does so because he is discovering his own genital feelings. This is natural. If the child is rebutted, he is confronted with a contradiction between his inner feelings and the rebuttal from the outer world.
Unable to resolve the contradiction, the child instead encapsulates the contradiction by developing an armor that wards off his inner feelings. The contradiction remains, but will not be perceived by the child’s consciousness as long as the child’s subconsciousness maintains the armor.
The highly esteemed standards of the Western part of the world mandate that all inner feelings be suppressed. The means of suppression is the human brain. Neurology has long since proven that when some event occurs, it takes approximately half a second before one becomes consciously aware of them. (The human consciousness compensates for the half-second delay by “subtracting” the time difference between the time a feeling emerges and the time it becomes consciously known so that the experience is perceived as synchronized with other internal or external events.
The truth is, however, that to the human consciousness there is no such thing as instant experience.) It follows that a feeling cannot be warded off consciously since it would then be too late, but it is nowhere implied that a feeling cannot be warded off subconsciously.
In fact, by repeatedly being told to ward off a feeling (or by being told just once, if one is sufficiently impressed), the warding off of the feelings is entirely worked out by the subconsciousness. However, warding off a feeling that originates in the body must necessarily be performed by the body, too.
As neurology has shown, body and brain form an inseparable entity. Thus, all feelings warded off will be reflected by a particular behavior in terms of both thinking and acting of the person warding off his feelings. In The Satanic Witch, Anton LaVey sketches a colorful, albeit mostly appropriate for US citizens, array of these behavioral patterns.
What, then, is a randomly selected male with, e.g., a stereotypical two-o’clock behavior to say if asked why he is displaying sexual abstinence? One would hardly expect him to explain that he is afraid of the sexual act, nor that his fear of the sexual act originates in a fear of being deprived of his penis.
Rather, he would explain that he just “happens not to need that thing that badly,” that “man’s soul is endangered by promiscuity,” that he is “still looking for miss perfect,” or a fourth, similar lie. One may argue that it is an excuse he gives as a consequence of not having any sex. That would be incorrect, however, because it is rather a precaution he takes to avoid having sex.
The difference is where the contradiction lies. With the explanation that it is an excuse for not getting sex, it is implied that he wants to have sex but for some reason does not have it. Thus, according to that theory, the contradiction lies between his desire for sex and the fact that he is not getting any; the contradiction is external of him in that he is one of the two opposing poles in the contradiction.
However, if this was the case, he would attempt to resolve the contradiction by innocently asking a girl. An initial (or even persistent) no would not affect him significantly, except that until he had gotten a yes from some girl, the contradiction would remain unresolved and as a result he would continue his courting act.
With the above explanation, the contradiction exists between his urge to have sex and his subconsciousness warding off the urge; the contradiction lies inside of himself, not between him and whatever girl he might catch interest in.
Unfortunately, while his internal contradiction has not ceased to exist, his subconsciousness has quelled his ability to recognize it, let alone resolve it. He observes that something is wrong (i.e., that he is not getting sex) but the reason lies in a blind spot of his consciousness.
Instead, failing to consciously recognize his internal contradiction, he unconsciously avoids it in a fashion that, admittedly, can seem to be an externalization of the contradiction.
This is why he sets the unreachable standards for a girl that she should be, e.g., a chubby, red-haired, “Scully”-like (of X-Files) friend and sex-partner all at the same time so that he will not get sex as opposed to because he did not get sex.
That is a significant difference. If the problem was as simple as that he was not getting sex, he would just lower his standards.
A contradiction in itself is not unfortunate; in fact, life itself is a contradiction. We consist of matter that we consider dead, yet we consider ourselves alive. The act of living is a constant resolving of the contradiction between life and death, yet as long as contradictions are resolved, new contradictions arise.
One’s entire life can be viewed as a trajectory through a chaos of contradictions. When a contradiction ceases to exist, there is no motivation to resolve it-and is the contradiction in question the contradiction of life, death sets in. A contradiction that is encapsulated and disregarded has no motivating factor.
In this sense, people who quell their inner contradictions are already partly dead since in some respects of their physical life they have no motivating factors. It is interesting to note that the Klippoth is indeed described as a living dead.
According to Wilhelm Reich, the purpose of character analysis is to peel off a patient’s character armor, layer by layer. If the analyst shortcuts by aiming directly at the core or just skipping a layer or two, the patient might find himself intellectually agreeing that, say, he had problems at the anal stage.
Similarly, he might understand how Christianity is secularized into society on all levels and understand that it is unfortunate. However, while the patient may intellectually understand it, he does not carnally realize it, because the armoring against his carnal feelings still remains in him.
The discrepancy between the patient’s intellectual and carnal understanding constitutes a split between body and mind. Thus, while he agrees that Christianity has a deteriorating effect on life, he will still maintain its principles, knowingly or unknowingly. We thus often see self-proclaimed atheists or Satanists effectively doing more work on Christianity’s behalf than many Christians do.
In this example, the patient will be inclined to conclude that his personal problems are fundamentally caused by Christianity. The conclusion would be correct (partly-I will get deeper into it later, because Christianity is not only to blame), but this knowledge alone does not help the patient.
To the patient, Christianity simply becomes a convenient devil that can be blamed for the patient’s problems. As we know, blaming the devil means pushing blame and redemption away from oneself onto others. The patient may start a crusade against Christianity, believing that this will solve his problems. However, in doing so, the patient moves his focus away from his own problem and towards Christianity (or Satanism, he thinks) and hence separates himself from his personal, real problem.
The patient’s reaction is not accidental: moving his focus away from his own internal problem towards anything external of the patient is a defensive way of escaping the problem that is internal to the patient. At the same time, the patient believes he is in the process of solving his problem. Therefore, instead of being mostly unaffected, the abrupt confrontation with one’s inner contradictions may aggravate the armoring if the armor has not first been carefully peeled off.
In the process of penetrating a patient’s layers of armor, the patient is repeatedly forced to face his inner contradictions. Easy as it may sound, the inner contradictions were originally so terrifying to the patient that they seemed to threaten his very existence. Thus, the patient will defend himself with fang and claw against the analyst’s penetrating the patient’s armor, even if he is consciously aware that the analyst has not set for the patient’s destruction.
In general, to relieve a person of his armor, it is necessary that the person obtain a carnal understanding of what causes his inner contradictions, not just that he intellectually accepts the analyst’s statements as plausible explanations.
Unfortunately, if a person suffers from a split between carnal and intellectual knowledge, the person cannot interpret his body’s signals correctly if at all he is aware of them. (If he could interpret them, the contradictions could be recognized and resolved.)
A famous neurological experiment is that of a test person with a brain damage that had separated his frontal lobes. This kind of brain damage is the same as the one of the patients that Antonio Damasio described in Descartes’ Error. In this particular experiment, the test person is shown two pictures. A shield has been inserted between his eyes so that his left eye sees one picture, depicting a snowy landscape, and the right eye sees the other, a picture of a hen’s foot.
The test person has been equipped with a board with series of pictures, some of which correspond to the two pictures that are presented to the test person’s eyes. The test person is instructed to select the two pictures on the board that correspond to the scenarios in front of his eyes. In the experiment, the test person pointed at a shovel (corresponding to shoveling snow) and a hen’s head (corresponding to the hen’s foot).
This was not surprising. His eyes saw two pictures, and his two hands obeyed the two brain halves by pointing at the corresponding images. However, the test person’s explanation was surprising: he explained that the hen’s foot corresponded to the hen’s head, and that the shovel was used to shovel hens’ dung.
The interesting parts of the experiment are that 1) he was consciously unaware of the snowy landscape, 2) his subconsciousness did perceive the snowy landscape and directed his hand to the picture with the shovel, 3) that he made up a plausible explanation for his action, and 4) the plausible explanation, which seemed obviously correct to the test person, was completely wrong.
The test person had observed his hands moving to the two pictures and, based on that observation, drawn his conclusion. The experiment is explained in more detail in Mærk Verden by Tor Nørretranders. The example serves to explain that not only are those belonging to this class of patients unaware of their handicap, but some even make rational explanations that are not always straight-forward to see through.
The test person’s consciousness was unaware of some of his body’s signals. It is not difficult to extrapolate the result of the experiment to other bodily signals that some people, like the test person, are consciously unaware that they sense and which the same people are incapable of interpreting correctly.
They would be capable of making up plausible explanations of their actions, but to an observant third party, the explanations would clearly be incorrect, providing that the third party knows what to look for.
Personality disturbances based on psychological effects are generally considered less severe than those resulting from brain damages, although the symptoms in some cases are alarmingly similar or even identical. With our current technology, psychological damages are usually curable compared to brain damages, although sometimes psychologists, too, must give up. With perhaps a hint of malice, Wilhelm Reich noted in The Function of the Orgasm that priests were beyond his ability to cure and that he consequently refused to accept priests as patients.
I believe one method to cure neurotic patients is to make the patients relive the experiences that led to their inner contradictions, but, frankly, I do not know the procedure-after all, I am an electrical engineer, not a psychoanalyst.
One way that should prove effective is to realize that the patient is not only his mouth speaking; the patient is his entire body and thus speaks with his entire body, not only his mouth. Obviously, since the body does not speak “human language” in the sense that it does not use words to convey its message, the message must be translated into words for the patient to intellectually understand what his body should really be telling him.
The problem is, however, that the patient does not believe it. If one told the test patient in the above example that he saw a picture of a snowy landscape, he would deny it because he was not consciously aware that he did indeed see it. In this case, it might not be difficult to convince the patient of the fact because the patient has no incentive to deny it-except, of course, that skepticism can be expected on the patient’s side in the form of a derisive reply like “sure, I guess the picture is attached to the unicorn you’re also seeing?” to the analyst. (As an aside, judging form the results that Antonio Damasio presented, patients with said brain damage do in fact seem to have an incentive to deny facts.)
As with the brain damaged patient, the patient with psychological problems is not consciously aware of some bodily reaction that he exhibits as a result of his problem. However, if the patient is made aware of his reaction by having it pointed out, the patient may become aware of it if accompanied by an explanation why he is reacting that way.
The reactions of the body can be quite peculiar: consider, for example, a woman that is 25 years old, but still maintains a strong bond to her mother. She may explain that she is not at all dependent on her mother, and, for example, explain that she spends her week-ends rock climbing instead of being with her mother. But, it does not take an expert in psychology to realize that the rock represents her mother.
Another interesting example is an observation I made among skydivers. It was clear immediately at the arrival at the drop zone that the skydivers regarded their sport as a sexual activity, and they even appeared to be almost aware of it. One skydiver told me that he would trade this sport for sex, and the skydiving company had T-shirts for sale had labels saying “get an airgasm.”
It is in plummeting towards the ground that the skydivers get a “falling” sensation in the lower abdominal and pelvic regions that is similar to what one experiences when one has sex and is approaching the orgasm (but before one loses one’s mind in the act). It is this sensation that skydiving enthusiasts apparently pursue. If this is the closest the skydivers have ever been to an orgasm, then they are suppressing a significant force, considering that the orgasm has an intensity that feels orders of magnitude stronger.
The two examples shown may suggest that the body can display signs that are very difficult to interpret. This may be true, but it depends on the model one uses. Per my views, living matter is not all that complex; I enjoy comparing human beings with two system models that I have worked extensively with during my study at university. I will not get into the details of the models but suffice to say that both models attempt to model the same real, dynamic system.
One model can be compared to a human body with a brain that, completely separated from the body proper, controls the body. The latter model is similar to the former but includes a feedback path from the body into the brain. In the latter model, if the brain controls the body, the body reacts to it, and modifies the brain accordingly. Also, if the body receives other stimuli, the body and hence also the brain are modified accordingly.
(If the feedback path in the feedback system model is broken, the system model is essentially a simple feedforward model.) One will recognize that the first model resembles the traditional view that the human body is unruly, evil matter that must be controlled. The second model assumes that the body (excluding the brain) has the role as both the object that performs the work specified by the brain (as in the first model) and as an informative substance that ultimately is the determining factor for the brain’s decisions. In this case, the most significant factor is that brain and body proper must remain a unity, or the consequences for the real system can be quite severe.
The structure of the second model is the same as the one that Antonio Damasio describes in Descartes’ Error, where he proves with clinical evidence that if this particular structure is destroyed in a person (through brain damage or otherwise), insanity looms.
Essentially, any feedback model states that one’s actions will return to oneself. Unfortunately, this line of thought, as many other truths, has been warped beyond recognition by Christian teaching. Christianity did once include the concept that one would eventually pay for one’s (moral) sins; this is vaguely familiar. However, their mythology now conveniently states that Jesus died for all of their alleged errors and thus redeemed them. Consequently, relieved of the task of being their own redeemers, they need no longer take responsibility for their actions, since redemption is ensured.
That the two models describe the Christianized perception and the correct structure of the human body, respectively, is not particularly relevant, however. What is interesting to note is that from an engineering point of perspective, the first model is often extremely computationally demanding, since it requires a vast array of parameters that the brain must know in order to accurately control the body. In contrast, in the second model often only few parameters must be known, since the body will stabilize itself if only it is allowed to pass information to the brain.
(For example, the first model might be required to compute the temperature of a system using non-trivial formulas, while the second model would simply sample the value of a thermometer in the system. The first model could not use a thermometer as a part of a feedback loop, because, since the thermometer cannot be isolated from the system, that would mean that the body was accepted as a valid, non-unruly substance that was capable of passing meaningful information.)
Applying similar models to human beings (or other living matter) is doubtless possible-Antonio Damasio’s schematics of the interaction between the human brain and the body proper are virtually identical to those that I used at university to describe electronic systems.
Damasio’s model still needs refinement; for example, it lacks a quantification of the interaction in terms of the amount of hormones, etc. The feedback model is considered difficult to investigate; aside from the requirement that all values be described statistically in order to obtain a general model, mathematical algorithms with an inherent memory (caused by the feedback path) can be quite tricky. On the upside, as I mentioned, the feedback model can model a real system using far less parameters than the “feedforward” model. Damasio suggests that a set of parameters be named “somatic markers.” Some parameters are known but remain to be quantified: for example, hunger and pain; among other important realizations that have not yet been widely accepted are facts such as Freud’s discovery that we develop genital feelings at early infancy (which may or may not be quantifiable with somatic markers). With our current knowledge, we may conclude that a person has developed an aggressive stance due to a sexual disturbance he suffered as a child, and we may be able to isolate the incident. But, presently, we are only in the process of determining the focal points that determine a person’s character.
Thus, while we are almost at ground zero in modeling human beings as feedback systems such as Damasio does, the feedforward system that Christian dogma teaches involves a huge number of variables that are interdependent on multiple levels. The complexity of the model of human beings as feedforward systems would be incalculable and beyond human(!) apprehension. To a simple mind, such immense complexity lends itself well to mysticism and theories that a deity tampered with monkey genes in order to create a being bestowed with such “divine intelligence.” It may also be interesting to consider that often when a simple feedback system is modeled using a feedforward model and the feedforward model exhibits a high degree of complexity, it can be a sign that the feedback system is at the edge of instability!
It is worth noting that in some cases it is necessary to seemingly force control over a body. Since the body possesses an amount of inertia, stress must be applied in order to enable a rapid change. For example, if a danger is imminent and the body senses it, the brain asserts a higher level of adrenaline in the blood stream in order to stress the body. On a larger scale, e.g., in terms of production, most new products will have an initial transient phase during which it is not possible to determine if a product is a success or a failure. Under a communistic management, the problem is usually solved by the application of five-year plans. Personally, I would enjoy the implication that, e.g., a personal computer’s life span is more than two years.
Another view of human beings as fundamentally simple structures has been suggested by students of fractal geometry. An interesting example is a fractal figure that resembles a particular natural fern leaf. (I do not remember the name of the fern.) To generate the fern leaf figure, dots are printed on paper based on a limited set of simple rules out of which repeatedly one is chosen and applied (e.g., a rule may state that you rotate your aim of where to place the dot 45 degrees clockwise), based on a random decision. Several similar algorithms exist; for example, algorithms describe tree-like figures, lint, etc. The fern algorithm produces a figure that, when originally presented to a botanist, made the botanist exclaim that this was of course a picture of said fern. It has been suggested that genetic structures may be rule sets for similar fractal structures; i.e., human beings and other animals or plants. There are other interesting aspects of fractal geometry, the most important of which is perhaps that fractals exhibit self-similarity: no matter how closely you zoom into or away from a fractal shape, it maintains the same structure. In this sense, a fractal is a mathematical expression of the infinite in the finite, and vice versa.
The morale of the above is that the human animal has likely chosen a model to describe itself that requires a far more complex description than necessary, had a different model been chosen. Where one model may lead us to conclude that we are the most intelligent being (per our own definition of intelligence, of course) on Earth, another model may explain that what we consider “divine intelligence” is simply another word for being particularly prone to instability at a biological level.
No matter the model, it is with our bodies that we ultimately carry out the acts that are necessary for our self-preservation-i.e., acts of vital existence. One Danish comedian and now politician, Jakob Haugaard, demanded eight hours of spare time, eight hours of sleep, and eight hours of leisure per day as a part of his political program. However, as society has formed, this is not a stable solution. In the current societies of both the West and the East, perhaps the most time-consuming activity is work. While sex is important, sex is not comparable to work in that, unlike work, one will notice that one’s body carries out the sex act by itself and without one’s consciously willing it. Work, on the other hand, is often a chore that one would rather be without. It may be noted that in trivial work the body sometimes tends to “work by itself” but unlike sex, it does not come without practise and certainly not with the same amount of joy. Moreover, sex also accounts for a significantly shorter amount of time than work. Whether work is a natural activity to the human animal or not is irrelevant for this discussion-the fact remains that work is the single activity that accounts for the largest fraction of our conscious life. Therefore, attention should be paid to how work shapes our lives. Some of the following is addressed by Wilhelm Reich in The Mass Psychology of Fascism.
Our thoughts are a gestalt of the chemical reactions in our body and our physical structure. When some event triggers the thought of, say, a chair, the image of a chair literally forms in our brains-not out of wood or plastic, but as a structure of interconnected, firing neurons. At first, the image appears murky, but due to the feedback structure, or interconnectedness, of the human body and brain, the image reinforces itself due to associations of the sight, sound, and feeling of a chair that the body knows at carnal level. In short, while thinking of some subject, the body as a whole reacts upon itself as a result of the thoughts. As I pointed out, our vital existence is effected by our body, but since our thoughts affect the entire body, they affect our work and acts. Everything we are, do, and think will influence our work; therefore, an ideology will also influence our vital existence. Thoughts, philosophies, and ideologies can thus be regarded as a material force, since thoughts ultimately become materialistically manifest. Per this view, workers’ ideologies determine both quality and quantity of the work they perform. The opposite is also true; our work influences our thoughts and hence work creates ideology. The materialistic reality modifies the worker and consequently (and in that order, unless one likes to claim that people are born with ideologies) his ideology is changed according to his work. With this interaction between work and ideology, the worker will implement his ideology through his work and affect his co-workers. In short, through our work, we create ideologies; based on our ideology, we modify ourselves; and by modifying ourselves, we change our work. This is a circular dependency, but not necessarily in the form of a vicious circle. However, if one of the links in the circle is damaged, if affects the entire system.
Thus, it is vital for a person to have an occupation that gives him or her a stance of importance, notably one of real importance, not a mere pipe-dream such as what a title in some religious or social organization might give him. The occupation need not be one held in high esteem by bourgeois standards. For example, consider the often-seen picture of the Soviet coal miner who broke God knows how many tons of coal in a single day. In the West, the example is used as a horror picture of what the Soviet system required of the workers; it thus has a soothing comfort on the Western workers, who, in their current situation, are fooled to believe that in the society they might otherwise be dreaming of, they would be exploited even more. In reality, and without the Western propaganda, the picture of the proudly smiling coal miner conveys the fact to other coal miners that he had accomplished a feat so marvelous that it would take a coal miner to repeat it. The coal miners realize that they are capable of deeds that no-one else can execute. It follows that the coal miners take pride in their work and realize their true importance for the foundation of society. Yet, the workers work for society only on a secondary level-they primarily work for themselves to earn their living.
Workers who identify with their work; workers who recognize the fact that the work they perform is vital, not only for their own existence but for the existence the society that they are a part of; workers who are conscious of their skills; workers who identify with their work; and workers who identify with workers internationally: each of these workers is their own master of their importance and need no authority above them as defense or justification for their existence. Each of these workers is his or her own Führer. Fascism, which requires the leadership of a supposed élite whose actions cannot be questioned, is impossible when each person is his own élite.
Conversely, workers who do not feel any importance will explain their existence as the mercy of some person whose existence is justified by the fact that, e.g., he (always male) owns the factory where the workers are employed. Thus, the workers are not working for themselves but for someone else. They have become literal slaves, owned by a higher being, and they feel it. Thus, the workers feel their lives have no justification; but this causes frustration, since they are nonetheless alive. They seek a way to give their lives justification. However, the only justification for life that they know of is the one that they have attached to their employer and his class-the bourgeoisie, who are self-employed and do not appear to be slaves. Therefore, the workers have but one choice: to provide themselves the same justification as they give the bourgeoisie. The workers attempt to become like the bourgeoisie, who, to the workers, exists as an external élite (almost as pagan gods), and with that there is a soil for fascism.
It should be obvious that a state that does not offer (or allow) work for everyone will have devastating results on those individuals that are not allowed to work, since these individuals would be living on others’ mercy. Also, if a person is incapable of working, letting him stay in his job will have quite the opposite on his co-workers as that of the skilled coal miner. The advantages of a communistic society should be clear.
One of the key points in another of Wilhelm Reich’s books, Listen, Little Man!, is that outside of the ordinary, little man’s tendency to create “Gods of Assholes” (as Anton LaVey outlined in issue 129 of The Cloven Hoof), every great man has a little man inside of himself. The prerequisite to becoming a great man lies in the ability to recognize the little man in oneself. It is all too tempting for the ordinary person who reads Listen, Little Man! to dismiss the little man as a subhuman; by doing so, the reader avoids facing the fact that he himself is a little, non-bourgeois man.
While the workers are not bourgeoises, they can give themselves the feeling of being so by adopting the same life-style as the bourgeoisie. They begin to furnish their homes by bourgeois patterns and they dress nicely when they go out. I noticed a remarkable example many years ago when I was still a school pupil: the class was taken to Rømø, an island in the southwestern Danish marshland. The mission was to look at the old houses that had been turned into a museum. Someone noticed the very short beds and asked our teacher if people really were that small back then. Our teacher explained that the fashion of the high bourgeoisie at that time included the baroque hairdos that took hours or days to configure and thus required that people slept sitting up in bed to protect their hairdos. The peasants were not significantly smaller than today but had adopted the use of short beds as a fashion trend. (They could not afford the hairdos.) Whereas everything else in the home was suited for practical purposes, the beds-where you have sex-were copies of bourgeois standard furniture! In general, bourgeois life-style has now extended throughout people’s entire homes and everyday activities as attempts to identify with the bourgeoisie. (For the current trend in bourgeois life-style, consult any fashion magazine you come by.) It is therefore difficult to distill the reason why the workers feel inferior, but the observation that the bedroom is one of the first places they attempt to model per bourgeois life-style indicates that the master/slave relationship they feel has a sexual importance to them.
Workers are not transformed from workers to bourgeoises by simply adopting a bourgeois life-style. I do not remember if Wilhelm Reich also discusses in Listen, Little Man! the fact that in becoming a great man, one cannot entirely relinquish one’s former being. Often people joining the Church of Satan state that they want to escape the Christian influence that has been enforced upon them (and thus has become part of them). However, our thoughts, although they have been more or less warped, are a physical part of ourselves. Wanting to escape from one’s thoughts is thus a desire to escape one’s own being and is indicative of a split between body and mind. Moreover, it is not possible to escape from oneself: what once was is no more and can never be again (you can never be a child again once you have become an adult), yet what was cannot ever be completely destroyed (you still carry your childhood in you, and if you could destroy your childhood now, you would destroy yourself). Needless to say, you cannot destroy a part of what once was, either. Running away from Christianity is not only not possible, but the desire to do so carries with it that there is a physical part of oneself that one do not accept. By reading Listen, Little Man! and dismissing the “little man” as a Klippoth, one conveniently avoids facing the possible fact that one oneself may be a little man. (That is, unless one also considers oneself a Klippoth.) It is therefore not surprising to see the same people explaining that their reason for joining the Church of Satan is that their membership allows them to identify with the “strong and smart.” (It is not coincidental that many people feel safe in the company of a person who is imperfect in their view. An example is the secretary with the soiled underwear that Anton LaVey describes in The Satanic Witch. Also, for manipulative purposes, it often pays off to play stupid. Daring to be imperfect or stupid can be difficult unless one has self-confidence, however.)
Similarly, when wannabe-bourgeois people see others that do not live as bourgeoises, they have the illusion that they themselves (morally) belong to the bourgeois class strengthened. It is especially when they can tell other, “lower” people about their own, “finer” acts they feel grandiose. For example, they may explain to other Satanists how common neo-Satanists may become elevated to a higher position as real Satanists providing that they realize the good taste of fine wines, such as expert wine connoisseurs do.
Over time, more bourgeois standards find their way into workers’ homes. However, the workers, not being bourgeoises, do not resolve the contradiction between their inferiority feeling in their work and their newly-gained glamour this way. While the workers adopt more of the bourgeois life-style, the contradiction between their actual social worth and their desired worth remains unresolved unless the workers simultaneously with their increased material possessions feel a corresponding importance as workers.
The Danish social democratic party was originally founded to give the workers political power through labor unions. At the time the party was founded, Danish workers’ situation was miserable, and labor unions were indeed necessary. But, as Ragnar Redbeard (Jack London?) proclaimed in Might Is Right: “Theories and ideals and constitutions, that may have meant life and hope and freedom for our ancestors, may now mean destruction, slavery, and dishonor to us.” Truly, the Danish social democrats did the next to impossible feat of elevating workers from a down-trodden position to a social standard of life comparable to that of the petit bourgeoisie, but it backfired: the Danish social democrats made it possible for every worker to afford more bourgeois glamour, but without a similar increase in a feeling of identity as workers. Thus, the contradiction between the workers’ identity and the bourgeois ideal was effectively enlarged, and the poor, mistreated puppy rose to Fenris.
I am essentially stating the obvious: that fascism sentiment among workers is increased by the workers’ opting for fascism. Fascism does not rise with Hitlers and similar fascist dictators; they would almost be too easy targets as scapegoats. What is perhaps not obvious is that the opting for fascism is visible in the workers’ adopting the life-style of the bourgeoisie with king(!)-size beds and fine wines. Yet, the fulfilling of these material “needs” is but lesser magic.
In The Function of the Orgasm, Wilhelm Reich noticed that cured patients, who realized their own importance for their own lives, tended to develop a moral that was neither “good” per society’s standards, nor “bad.” Apparently Wilhelm Reich was unable to explain why this (carnal) moral was developed, but found it identical to the moral present in well-balanced, peaceful, matriarchal societies. Reich concluded that if the patients’ new ways of life were caused by eliminating their sexual frustrations, the solution to society’s problems would be a sexual revolution.
In the light of the above, I do not think the answer is that difficult. In the explanation of the workers who become their own Führers, substitute the word “Führer” with “God.” Being one’s own god, one is the master of one’s own success, but one is also the master of one’s own failure. Contributing what these opposing concepts are to the opposing God and Devil, in becoming one’s own god, one automatically becomes one’s own devil, too. These opposing self-deities are of course one and the same, so in resolving the contradiction between them one finds a solution that is not the unity of the contradictions; otherwise, the contradiction would not have been resolved. Similarly, the patients’ new moral would necessarily be incompatible with the old moral. (It should go without saying that the Church of Satan’s increasing fascination with Nazism does not accomplish the goal of being one’s own master.)
As Freud showed us despite his many errors, a person’s psyche is mainly determined during his or her infancy with a strong bias on the child’s naturally or unnaturally evolving sexuality. What, then, is to be expected from a child that is raised in an authoritarian family? As my parents have repeatedly observed (with only a few exceptions) in their positions as teachers, children become exactly like their parents when the children become parents themselves-even if the children can clearly see their parents behaving wrongly.
We note that a fascist society thrives only on the masses’ respect for authorities. The ideal family structure for breeding fascists is therefore a strictly authoritarian family, in which children are brought up with a “natural” respect for the father and, as they grow older, unquestioningly extend their respect and obedience to other authorities in society as well as pass the ideology on to their children. Some exhibit the opposite reaction, but do not escape the original problem: Often we see left-wing organizations being largely the fascists’ right hand by living completely up to the image that fascists have conjured of “unruly bullies.” Whenever these left wing members are confronted with police, priests, politicians, or other authoritarian figures, they take on the role as unruly kids and thus force their opponents into the roles of an authorities. Eventually, the persons they regard as authorities will become real authorities who in turn force the “unruly kids” into their role. A symbiosis has formed, and notably a symbiosis that allows for fascism.
Even if a family had the mental power to realize its fascist structure and completely reorganize itself, the damage might be done even before the conception of their children: mental disorders such as schizophrenia and manic-depressive illness are hereditary. (See, e.g., E. S. Gershon and R. O. Rieder, Major Disorders of Mind and Brain, Scientific American, Sept. 1992.)
A fascist society needs a strong family, where fascism can grow unhindered. Thus, much emphasis is laid on the so-called family values, especially family values that dictate that the father, head of the family, is always right (refer to Hans Christian Andersen’s popular story, What Father Does Is Always Right, or Hvad fatter gør, det er altid det rigtige as the Danish title goes); that his female slave (i.e., his wife) should remain chaste and succumb to her master’s will. In Karl McKinnon’s essay on pornography and romanticism, he noted on (the sadomasochistic) culture that: “This is an old but updated message for women: ‘it is your destiny, your nature, to submit and enjoy submission. You are the slave of love and your master has the right to do anything to you that he wishes. You have him that right, because your experience of joy and self-fulfillment resides in relinquishing your power, your identity and your will. If he wishes to give you pain, you will enjoy that pain, for your will is his will.'” The woman in the fascist family must be kept unsexual, however. If the female obtained sexual liberation, she would not accept an authoritarian male who (as Tani Jantsang would say) “cannot fuck,” and would simply seek her indulgences elsewhere. The latter will be recognized as the first of the Nine Satanic Statements: Satan represents indulgence instead of abstinence. By pursuing one’s personal indulgences, fascism becomes impossible.
As an aside, I am guessing that in the authoritarian family also lies the reason for males’ interest in child porn, but it is rather a recoil of females have gained more liberty and is thus connected to the authoritarian family on second order. Males, raised to be petit fascists, find it increasingly difficult to live up to the authoritarian stance that they are required to take in the patriarchal family. Karl McKinnon’s essay, which also outlines the trend in pornography during this century, shows how female liberty causes a contrary male reaction that makes pornographic female submission more violent. If males cannot force women into submission, children can more easily be forced to look at the molesting male as an authority. A quick browsing through the USENET newsgroups that offer child porn supports the assumption: recurring patterns are the “school girl and principal” role and the young girls being referred to as “daddy’s naughty little girls.”
It is in realizing that family values play an important role-if not the important role-for maintaining a fascist society that we understand why the right wing political parties are so keen on including family values in their political programs. We repeatedly hear right wing politicians declare that the sanctity of the family is of foremost importance and that family values must be kept intact. If the family was neglected, fascist sentiment of the masses would decrease, since the soil of fascist ideology would become infertile.
When my own parents observed how children become like their parents, they also made another interesting observation: children’s tendency to mimic their parents is especially true in families where the children felt unsafe (e.g., because the father beat the mother, molested the children, etc.). In contrast, in families where children felt especially safe, the children generally turned out to give up traditional family values, leaving their parents complaining that the children never wrote or never came “home.” Children that are raised in a family with a strict, authoritarian father are used to the father taking on all tasks. As the children become adults, they feel helpless without the father and will extrapolate the image of their father to any authoritarian figure that he may provide protection. How often do we not hear someone reassure himself that his political leader, his priest, or his employer should make a decision since, “after all, he knows best?” It is not surprising that people who are used to authorities making the decisions do not carry much responsibility for their own actions. Indeed, as soon as their authorities disappear, they tend to be left bewildered and stupefied.
That family values are thriving in Denmark should be obvious, despite the “sexual liberation” label that has traditionally been attributed to Denmark since the 1960’s. A foreigner traveling in Denmark would notice how virtually all homes in residential neighborhoods have shrubbery barricades around them, traditionally a hedge of privets. My father, with a hint of self-irony, referred to this suburban mentality as “privet fascism.” (Our family had one of the most impressive privet hedges in the village.) It is in these homes, behind the privet hedges, that family values are maintained zealously. Christian witch-hunters’ most elaborate (sex-)fantasies of breeding farms are like nothing compared to these de facto fascist breeding farms!
In Denmark, farmers were originally to be found on the right wing, as were the petit bourgeoises such as the local grocer and other self-employed families. It is precisely in these trades that it is vital that the family stands together, and historically it is in these families that the mother has been essential for the farm or shop in the form of a literal slave for the owner. Thus, in these cases fascist family values are inherent in the family’s very trade. Combine this observation with the historical fact that wars and religions began with agriculture. It is not unlikely that fascism began with agriculture this way; and due to the self-maintaining effect of family values, agriculture would provide rich soil for fascism. If the farmers worked for state farms and the grocer working for a state-owned grocery store, however, fascism would not be inherent in these trades. It may be that the original nutritional problems that came as a side effect of agriculture are in fact of lesser importance than the agricultural culture itself. On the other hand, the nutritional problems could have caused people in the society to have become unstable at cellular level. After all, it is worth remembering that the dark doctrines state that the Klippoth is made of “strange flesh.”
This document was originally written in December, when the Christmas tradition is being celebrated. It is interesting to note that in Denmark, Christmas generally is an event where the families get together and each have the Danish hygge-a word that Danes are very proud has no translation in any other language. In my translation, it implies candle light coziness in a room that is slightly overheated and short of oxygen. Christmas in Denmark is a tradition in which family traditions are strongly felt. It would not surprise me if one investigates political opinion polls over a couple of years and finds right wing sentiment rising in December. Also, one will likely notice that the frequency of political scandals among the right wing parties intensifies in December, when fascists feel most euphoric.
My inclusion of Christmas brings me back to Satanists’ favorite aversion: Christianity. As a hard-core realist, one may at first feel inclined to reject such mysticism just like the political left wing persistently has insisted on doing. This would be a fallacy, however: although gods and devils do not exists as living entities, they certainly exist in many people’s minds; and, as I stated above, people’s minds ultimately produce material results. From this point of view, the Christian God and Devil do exist, as did their predecessors. After all, although the church at the end of the street has been founded on mysticism, it has a physical existence. As explained above, ideology follows from work, and if the work does not give the worker a feeling of importance, the worker will identify with someone external to him with metaphysics and mysticism as a result. In other words, even by focusing exclusively on materialism, one is forced to also include mysticism, since mysticism manifests itself materially as well as rises from materialism.
Christianity is a perfect tools for fascism, since it involves both mysticism, sexual suppression, fascist family values, and larger-scale fascism-even on a larger scale than can be attained by any mortal being, namely the authority of the Christian God, who, in Christian mythology, will always stand above anything. Maybe that is why few new religions hold a human as their god, but rather hold their leaders as representatives of the higher authorities. The highest amount of authority that a dictator has yet pleaded is to have been appointed by God. (In Denmark, the king was traditionally assumed to possess that quality; a remnant of this is still to be found in that the head of the royal family is required to be Christian.) For some reason, claiming to be appointed by a god apparently seems less ridiculous than claiming to be a god.
I have already explained how ideologies and vital existence largely become each other’s cause and effect. With the Christian faith, it was possible for fascist (or feudal) leaders to enthrall entire peoples by promising that by accepting misery on Earth, they would be greeted with rivers floating with milk and honey on their death. These peoples, seeking to escape the oppression, therefore built churches for their God that they might be relieved of the oppression on their death, not knowing that by building their altars, they offered themselves as sacrifice for the fascists; their faith and their churches only had a self-aggravating effect on their misery.
Christianity, in a sense, is one of the most successful implementations of greater magic that we have seen thus far. Today, Christianity has lost much of is power; Anton LaVey noted in The Satanic Bible that time works for us (Satanists). Anton LaVey was right in terms of Christianity, but Christianity is merely a tool of fascism. With all of the above in mind, applying, e.g., Ayn Rand’s libertarian, “objectivistic” principles would not alter fascistic sentiment in the masses-rather, one would be even more prone to feeling insignificant and thus attempt to become like the bourgeoisie in a Randian society than in the current, semi-fascist societies. It would seem that communism is in fact the best solution. However, fascism does not cease to exist the second someone declares world- or nationwide communism, nor does it fade into nothingness over the span of two or three generations. People raised under fascist oppression will still feel a need for mysticism, and that is a problem that needs to be dealt with. Wilhelm Reich proposed a sexual revolution in which personal indulgences have priority over duties towards authorities. Indulgence instead abstinence, in strong opposition to fascism, is also a prime tenet of Satanism.