BLACK SUN: Aryan Cults, Esoteric Fascism, and the Politics of Identity

Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke, Author . New York Univ. $29.95 (378p) ISBN 978-0-8147-3124-6

This comprehensive inquiry examines the disturbing historical and contemporary connections between certain religious cults and Nazi ideology. Goodrick-Clarke (Hitler's Priestess; The Occult Roots of Nazism) begins with a consideration of the origins of American neo-Nazism and ends with a thorough discussion of well-known, current far-right groups: the European skinheads, the Aryan Nations and the World Church of the Creator movement, which inspired the 1999 shooting spree in the Midwest. In between, the author focuses on the intersection between Nazi ideology and religious and cultural oddities, showing, for example, how some Nazi leaders, particularly Heinrich Himmler, were obsessed with esoterica and strange historical justifications for pro-Aryan racial theory. Over the past 75 years, Nazi ideology has been mixed with Hinduism, magic, alchemy and the occult as a rebellion against the status quo. In Nazi Satanism, "the swastika and Third Reich imagery join black candles, skulls and magical pentagrams in a tableau of ritualized transgression." And during the post-WWII era, many fascists saw UFO sightings as an indication that Nazis would come back to rule the world. Throughout, Goodrick-Clarke catalogues the ideologies, histories, personalities and appeals of the groups, most of which have always found young white men to be their most receptive audience. There's little evaluation of the potential that the small, splinter groups now active might have to commit future atrocities, but the author adds to our knowledge of the broad, frightening tentacles of Nazi ideology. Illus. (Feb.)

Reviewed on: 12/10/2001
Release date: 08/01/2001
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 371 pages - 978-0-8147-3155-0
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