Satanist entryism into the UK folk scene
November 28, 2018 9:20 AM   Subscribe

Usually photographed in unassuming knitwear and spectacles, Moult is an accomplished, well-regarded musician; he was a regular member of Irish avant-folk band United Bible Studies and his own music has appeared on labels including A Year in The Country and Fort Evil Fruit. For at least two decades, however, Moult, under pseudonyms including Christos Beest, Beesty Boy and Audun, was a core member of The Order of Nine Angles...
[CW: rape, sexual assault, racism, fascism, Nazi imagery, human sacrifice, grave desecration (graphic images). Everything really.]

Further links and context:

This is the first article in a series by The Quietus on extreme politics in underground music. Introduction to the series here.

The Order of Nine Angles may be familiar from coverage of the neo-Nazi Atomwaffen Division in the US, recently the subject of a Frontline and ProPublica investigation [megathread link]. Jake Hanrahan has been covering the group for a long time: his mammoth twitter thread on Atomwaffen Division and the Order of Nine Angles (or here as a medium link). A split in the group caused by Atomwaffen’s infiltration by Satanists was discussed on the Blue back in March, with more details on the Order of Nine Angles and how they fit into the broader class of “Satanists”.

Richard Moult’s tarot deck, featured in the first image of the article. [archive.org link]

[There’s an enormous amount of online resources by and about the Order of Nine Angles, including Richard Moult’s own site and his bandcamp, but I won’t be linking them here.]
posted by chappell, ambrose (20 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
 
I wish these fuckers would get their fascism out of my paganism *shakes fist*
posted by supermedusa at 9:42 AM on November 28, 2018 [21 favorites]


I read this the other day and found fascinating, and major props to The Quietus for doing the investigative work to uncover not just Order of Nine Angles fuckwads but reactionary far-right movements in music scenes generally with this series.

As someone with quite an (amateur) interest in occult movements, particularly Satanism, from an academic perspective, and as a Romantic Satanism myself, I knew about O9A and their particular brand of asshattery. There is a strong (ugh) thread of fascism running through all of modern Satanism, starting with Anton LaVey lifting wholesale from Ragnar Redbeard's Might is Right in The Satanic Bible because he couldn't be bothered to make up enough original material to constitute a book long enough for his publisher. Ever since then there's been a whole subset of Satanists spanning the arc from ultralibertarian Randian to outright neoNazi. 09A is the worst of the worst.

The last time I'd checked in on their doings, O9A leadership was making noise about it being time to underground, to stop trying to recruit members by actually espousing their philosophy and to start infiltrating other groups and gaining momentum that way. I think that directive came out... uh.... 2010 maybe? I literally remarked to a friend about six months ago, "I wonder how much of the darkest stuff we see from the alt-right is fueled by drawing on O9A and other neo-Nazi Satanic stuff." (Actually, I think I said it to fellow Mefite Twain Device.) And now here we are.

I had no idea they had started... what would be the best way to put it? Stochastically recruiting, maybe. It still sounds like their membership is primarily online edgelords, but if the past few years have taught us much of anything, it's that online edgelords can do a lot of damage. The connection to Atomwaffen is some scary, scary shit. Creating a mystic worldview can be a powerful tool to increase identity bonds and social cohesion.

If you do some serious reading about Satanism, one of the things that sticks out is how circular the history of Satanism as a social philosophy is-- the Satanic Panic in the 1980s was partially drawing on (long discredited) texts from a similar Satanic Panic in the 1800s, for instance. And much of what we think of as modern Satanism is from French decadent novels like Huysmans' La-Bas rather than any established Satanic religious tradition (or even any established inversion of Christian worship.) Sometimes Satanism has even adopted practices or beliefs that anti-Satanists accused them of doing after the accusations, because, "Hey, that's a great idea and way cooler than anything we do now!" More than maybe any other modern semi-religious movement that I can think of, Satanism is amorphous, porous, and transmutable. Unfortunately those same properties make it seem almost tiresomely inevitable the fucking Nazis are back.

The good news is there's also a school of thought that Satanic organizations of any kind are inherently unstable due to membership self-selection drawing almost entirely people who are combative, ornery, and idealize independence. So hopefully the 09A will dissolve in a crisis of leadership, hoist by its own petard. Until then, I will continue to have contingency plans, i.e., punching anyone I see in a Burzum shirt.
posted by WidgetAlley at 10:13 AM on November 28, 2018 [27 favorites]


These are horrible people who should not be underestimated and whose influence should be extirpated as far as possible. And yet, my reaction to passages such as these:

The Dreccian Way advises initiates on the culling of carefully selected 'opfers' (human sacrifices, named after the rune for self-sacrifice, used by the Nazis), discussing in detail the code to which O9A members and affiliated "dreccs" must adhere. In another text, initiates are commanded to "Find, and test… a suitable mundane, and then cull that mundane. If you cannot do this – you failed."


-- is: what babies. What absolute teenagers. There is something white and squirming and squalling at the inmost heart of fascism. That knowledge doesn't help anyone defend themselves against doxxing or shootings or bombings. But we need more pop culture showing fascists as giant, pathetic manchildren,* because it could indirectly help discourage desperate young people from taking up friendships they shouldn't. Teens like the dark and mysterious and dangerous, but no one likes a dork who's trying them on.

-----
* No doubt this is one of the reasons that certain young men just loathed The Last Jedi.
posted by Countess Elena at 10:13 AM on November 28, 2018 [33 favorites]


Came to see if Death In June or Current 93 were mentioned, was not disappointed.

I wonder how former Satanist/ current Bible scholar David Tibet feels about this?
posted by SystematicAbuse at 12:35 PM on November 28, 2018 [2 favorites]


distressing but I'm very much looking forward to future installments in this series
posted by vibratory manner of working at 12:44 PM on November 28, 2018


Motherfucker. Moult is/has been on Second Language, who've put out Piano Magic and Michael Tanner's Plinth. (Tanner's been in United Bible Studies, too.) I've never listened to Moult but as I like Plinth and Piano Magic, I imagined I might get around to it one day.
"This social media sharing builds pathways between the blossoming Folk Horror movement which, like the wider folkloric and pagan scenes, implicitly contains the potential for retrogressive, traditionalist and nationalistic readings, and the O9A's own fascistic, sinister mythos."
I've always dug much of the British weird/psych/horror folk scene, but it's never been hard to see how it's trappings and mythologies can be viciously misused.
In my limited correspondence with Richard Moult for this article, he presents himself as a left-leaning libertarian who champions "individual freedoms" above all – "as long as those freedoms do not cause harm or suffering to others". When questioned over the overt Nazi imagery in his Tarot paintings, Moult claims; "There is no political content in my painting, music or poetry," instead arguing that the subjects of his paintings are "broad, mystical ones based upon Jungian archetypes."
A Jungian "classical liberal." Imagine that.
Under his A.A. Morain pseudonym, Fleming has written several books of vampiric/satanic fiction and non-fiction published by Martinet Press, run by Jillian Hoy in South Carolina, USA.
Oh boy. Jillian Hoy. You can read more about Jillian Hoy and her friends in this piece by Nate Thayer from 2016.
posted by octobersurprise at 1:54 PM on November 28, 2018 [5 favorites]


I've always enjoyed weird, occult, Satanic music. Usually the sinister elements of it seem like they're for entertainment value, symbolism, or just too schlocky to really take them seriously.

I wonder if this guy is friends with that Burzum asshole.

Hmm ... all the same, this article makes me tempted to go check out his music. Does that make me a bad person?
posted by cliche_guevara at 2:01 PM on November 28, 2018


cliche_guevara: Varg is indeed mentioned in the article
posted by SystematicAbuse at 2:17 PM on November 28, 2018


If you check out their music in such a way that they do not receive money, views, hits, or otherwise benefit them because of it, you aren't a bad person (well, you might be a bad person for a billion other reasons, depending on what your threshhold for not-bad person is ). Find a way to illegally download the music is what I'm suggesting as the moral way to hear their music.
posted by GoblinHoney at 2:22 PM on November 28, 2018


Yes, I do promise not to give Moult money or listen to his stuff on streaming platforms these types might benefit from. I'm not really claiming I'm NOT a bad person, but I try, and I'm not like a Nazi or anything. Sometimes I find stuff like the Order of Nine Angles fascinating though, in much the same way that I find Pennywise a compelling character.
posted by cliche_guevara at 2:32 PM on November 28, 2018


Actually, speaking of Nazis and music, here seems like a great place to ask a question that's been bothering me for a while: is there a Rotten Apples-type website that will tell me if a metal band or their members are affiliated with white supremacists, National Socialist, or other racist groups?

I love metal but I'm not well-versed enough in the scene to just automatically know (except for some big names like Varg) but hoo boy I do not want to give those assclowns even the $.0002 they would make from my play on Spotify.
posted by WidgetAlley at 2:33 PM on November 28, 2018 [9 favorites]


I've always enjoyed weird, occult, Satanic music. Usually the sinister elements of it seem like they're for entertainment value, symbolism, or just too schlocky to really take them seriously.

I think this is indeed the case for some of them. Slayer, for instance. Tom Araya seems like a total edgelord. Sing songs about Mengele and shit, but be a practicing Catholic sharing annoying memes on Instagram. Then there's these guys, who seem to have a healthy sense of humor.

Burzum, though... I wonder, sometimes, if the problem (in part) is finding ways to be transgressive that don't seem trite from overuse. When all of your peer group embraces Satanism as a look, how do you push that? I guess you have to embrace it as a lifestyle. Once your peer group embraces it as a lifestyle? How does one cross the line now? Burn down a church? If your goal is simply to be transgressive at any cost, to be the baddest motherfucker in a scene defined by breaking norms, murder is definitely one way to get ahead. If you're not prepared to literally murder people, embracing Naziism probably looks like an option.

I suppose being a psychopath probably helps, too.
posted by curiousgene at 3:05 PM on November 28, 2018


octobersurprise I read that article you linked and am SO CONFUSED as to how those white nationalists/Satanists are also all about North Korean juche ideology. It's like they are running through the supermarket of power-hungry and incoherent belligerence, just tossing everything into the shopping cart.
posted by spamandkimchi at 4:53 PM on November 28, 2018 [4 favorites]


Then there's these guys, who seem to have a healthy sense of humor.

Happening across a black metal band out in the woods while you're getting your engagement pictures done is just the sort of thing that happens when your name is John Awesome!
posted by Naberius at 5:27 PM on November 28, 2018


Yes, I do promise not to give Moult money or listen to his stuff on streaming platforms these types might benefit from. I'm not really claiming I'm NOT a bad person, but I try, and I'm not like a Nazi or anything. Sometimes I find stuff like the Order of Nine Angles fascinating though, in much the same way that I find Pennywise a compelling character.

I think the responsible thing to do is put some effort into inoculating scenes that could be fertile ground for their infiltration, to limit their ability to spread. Cut them off at the memes if you will. Think of it as payment for your sins.
posted by scalefree at 8:41 PM on November 28, 2018


...what babies. What absolute teenagers.

No shit. I mean, "Christos Beest". Really?
posted by Trinity-Gehenna at 8:54 PM on November 28, 2018 [1 favorite]


I read that article you linked and am SO CONFUSED as to how those white nationalists/Satanists are also all about North Korean juche ideology. It's like they are running through the supermarket of power-hungry and incoherent belligerence, just tossing everything into the shopping cart.

That's probably as good an explanation as any. (Maybe worth noting that the Hoy/Sutter home is in the same county as the house where Dylann Roof lived, not many miles away.)
posted by octobersurprise at 6:52 AM on November 29, 2018 [1 favorite]


I'm acquainted with Paul of Fort Evil Fruit (and UBS); he posted a statement on this earlier this week.
posted by macdara at 7:40 AM on November 29, 2018


It's like they are running through the supermarket of power-hungry and incoherent belligerence, just tossing everything into the shopping cart.

You can probably put money on some of them being paedophiles as well; probably not because of any innate sexual attraction to young children, but out of sadism/a fetish for brutal domination and/or because that's how you win at being evil.
posted by acb at 7:43 AM on November 29, 2018


i am glad the Quietus is doing this but am a little unhappy at how late to the game Quietus is here, and irritated that they still seem to be willing to continue to think that shocking the bourgeois or being "extreme" is worth it at all.

Who Makes the Nazis was doing this years ago as was anton skehkostov and t b p h the difference between toleration of nazis in punk scene vs toleration of nazis/edgelords in metal or industrial scene has always led me to enjoy those scenes from afar.

shocking the bourgeois sucks. being edgy sucks. i am now in my thirties and make difficult, harsh music and it just hammers home how much a lot of these scene granddads fucking suck and are creepy and pathetic. why do we tolerate the creepy and pathetic?
posted by nixon's meatloaf at 8:55 PM on November 29, 2018 [1 favorite]


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