One of the most common justifications which The Satanic Temple’s spokespersons give for their Satanism is that what their sect is all about is not what Christians (mis)understand by the terms “Satan” and “Satanism.” Rather, it is claimed that “[t]he word Satan has no inherent value [i.e., meaning]” (Bugbee, “Unmasking”). Accordingly, the pretense is fostered that TST’s Satanism is a literary construct, that for them “Satan” is a mere metaphor, resembling a character from a novel (ibid.).

In the attempt by The Satanic Temple’s leadership to construct a new, coherent idea of “Satan” which they calculate will be an acceptable exoteric ideological façade to present to the world, the sect has a program of two “Primary Readings” for new members. These readings are The Revolt of the Angels (1914, originally La Révolte des anges) by Anatole France (1844–1924, born Jacques Anatole François Thibault) and The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined (2011) by Steven Pinker (1954–present) (thesatanictemple.com, “The Satanic Temple Library”; freethinker). In attempting to add a “literary” sophistication and legitimacy to their Satanism, TST leaders also often describe their Satan as “Miltonic,” in reference to the character named Satan in Paradise Lost (1667) by John Milton, a militant Puritan, although this work is not described by the group as a “Primary Reading.” A web page titled “The Satanic Temple Library” on the sect’s website also recommends a number of other texts, many from the 19th and late 18th century. Among these we find William Blake’s The Marriage of Heaven and Hell (1790), a work in which Blake “recounts the origin of the belief in the Jews as chosen people,” arguing that the Jews (who he refers to as “long spindle nosed rascal[s]”) are “liars” and that Christ was an “Unbeliever” who aimed to “abolish the Jewish Imposture” (Shabetai 148–149). This argument bears striking resemblance to the thesis of Anatole France in The Revolt of the Angels.

Before addressing the first of the two “Primary Readings” of The Satanic Temple (i.e., The Revolt of the Angels), some comments on Steven Pinker, an “Alt-Right”-sympathizing pop intellectual hack along the lines of Jordan Peterson and Malcolm Gladwell, are in order (Saeen). The “Satanic Panic” narrative-propagating and Holocaust denialist online news rag Vox sums up his thesis in The Better Angels of our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined as the claim that “capitalism is killing war” (Buntovnik, 9 Oct 2018, 5:55, 10:50; Beck; 6.2; Beauchamp). His arguments, including those drawing on the racist myth of the “bloodthirsty savage” presented in The Better Angels of Our Nature, have been pretty thoroughly rebutted elsewhere (Gray; Lynch; Douthat; Corry), but it is revealing of the vacuous ruling-class outlook of The Satanic Temple that the group would choose to base itself on a work of distilled bourgeois ideology written by a professor at Harvard, the wealthiest university in the world, whose work has won glowing endorsements from Bill Gates, the man with the highest net worth in the world for much of the past quarter of a century. Pinker, an adherent of the laughably antiquated “Great Man Theory” of history, defends his thesis of “declining violence” by dismissing major events that clearly contradict his narrative, like the Holocaust, as “bad luck,” arguing that if another man—maybe Heinrich Himmler, Ernst Röhm, or Otto Strasser—had taken over as the Führer of Nazi Germany “at almost any time before September 1939,” such violence would have been avoided (“Frequently Asked Questions about The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined”). This is of course sheer absurdity.

How many supporters of The Satanic Temple have actually read The Revolt of the Angels? It’s hard to say, but I suspect that the answer is, not many. What is clear, however, is that basing an actual religion on the text in the manner in which TST claims to have done can only be attributed to a massive misreading and failure to understand the text. Or perhaps TST leaders simply believe that by basing their “literary construct” of Satan on a pre-Nazi era “socialist” like Anatole France—who is, by all accounts, a rather obscure author to a 21st century American audience—they can add a false sense of “depth” to their ridiculous pretensions, not expecting any real exegesis to occur beyond Twitter-friendly (i.e., superficial) blurbs describing the book as being about an “enlightened Satan” rebelling against “authoritarian, tyrannical God.”

In The Revolt of the Angels, Anatole France tells a story which seems to draw on Gnostic themes as much as it does Satanist ones. In the novel, “Iahveh” (YHWH/Yahweh/Jehovah) is presented as “the Demiurge” or “Ialdabaoth,” a lying, stupid, and violent false god or “imposture” who is opposed by “the Seraph” or “Lucifer,” who recognizes that “the world is its own author and spirit is its own God” (191). The story also evokes a number of antisemitic themes.

Although it has sometimes been implied that Anatole France must have rejected antisemitism by virtue of having siding with the Dreyfusards during the Dreyfus Affair (a pivotal event in the history of modern antisemitism, occurring between 1894 and 1906, which saw the Jewish-Alsatian French military officer Alfred Dreyfus [1859–1935] falsely accused of treason and imprisoned, thereby generating public outcry and politically polarizing French society according to views on antisemitism, Republicanism, monarchism, patriotism, and anticlericalism), several sources note that Anatole France nevertheless worked antisemitic themes into a number of his works.

In “Mechanisms of Antisemitic and Anti-Masonic Hate in Drumont and his Heirs,” Thierry Rouault places Anatole France among the writers’ whose work can be classed as evincing the influence of Édouard Drumont, founder of the Antisemitic League of France and author of the best-selling work of antisemitism, La France juive (1886). Rouault suggests that Anatole was impressed not so much by “the antisemitism [of Drumont] but by his hate of the bourgeoisie” (301). Rouault notes that “[l]ike many writers of the 1880s, Anatole France is very ambiguous. He violently attacks La France Juive [sic] but takes inspiration from its author to compose [his own book] L’Histoire contemporaine,” (302). Rouault also observes that, even after making some statements critical of the antisemitic extremists, Anatole France “nevertheless continued to give free rein to antisemitic […] rhetoric by the intermediary of his characters,” (304). Rouault’s analysis of Anatole’s work appears to cut off at 1899, but we will see that the latter’s bigoted writing tendencies did not end then. Incorporating a “hooked nose” Jewish banker-demon as the villain in The Revolt of the Angels (his “revolutionary” novel of 1914), Anatole France demonstrates an affinity for a retrograde form of “Utopian” or “Romantic Socialism,” open to antisemitism, which would eventually give rise to so-called “National Socialism” (i.e., Nazism).

The kind of antisemitism promoted in the work of Anatole France is that found in some strains of the primitive, pre-Marxian “utopian” or unscientific socialist movement. French historian Laurent Joly describes the origins of the antisemitic “Jewish banker” trope which can be found in Anatole France’s The Revolt of the Angels in a review of fellow historian Michel Dreyfus’ book L’antisémitisme à gauche. Histoire d’un paradoxe, de 1830 à nos jours (or Antisemitism on the Left: History of a Paradox from 1830 until Today):

“In the 1840s, socialist thinkers shaped the myth of the Jewish banker, ‘king of finance’ and exploiter. From the utopian socialists (Fourier, Toussenel, Leroux, etc.) to the Blanquists, passing by the Proudhonian school, all the tendencies of the French left of that period were marked, to varying extents, by a Judeophobic imagination that drew on Catholic culture and signaled total ignorance of the real living conditions of Jews (the Jewish proletariat was ignored, and the idea that all Jews are financiers and capitalists constituted a strongly rooted belief,” (184–185).

Joly further explains that this kind of antisemitic “anti-capitalism” was tolerated by some on the political left, who viewed it not as “the enemy” but rather “the socialism of imbeciles.” The 19th century socialists who were willing to tolerate antisemitism, even if they were mildly critical of it, saw it as an acceptable “stage” in the development of a person’s political thought. It was noted that Drumont’s 1886 antisemitic book La France juive (or “Jewish France,” which, as noted above, was a significant source of inspiration for Anatole France) “attacks the Jews, certainly, but he also goes after plutocrats, defends the humble, the exploited,” (185). Thus those who saw antisemitic hate for “Jewish finance” as a “step” towards becoming a real anti-capitalist calculated (wrongly) that “antisemites would do ‘revolutionary work’,” (ibid.).

In a clear example of “giv[ing] free rein to antisemitic […] rhetoric by the intermediary of his characters” (Rouault 304), Anatole France incorporates this “socialism of imbeciles” trope into his 1901 novel Monsieur Bergeret à Paris (or Mister Bergeret in Paris), where a character named Fléchier (described as “an old [Paris] Communard, a good revolutionary” who, in contrast to the protagonist [a surrogate for the voice of the author] is said to “have studied in the books of Marx”) argues: “Cross your arms and watch the antisemites come. For now, they practice with a straw rifle and a wooden saber. But when it will be a question of proceeding to the expropriation of capitalists, I don’t see any inconvenience in starting with the Jews,” (91–93).

Joly also identifies the Dreyfus Affair as a turning point: from then on (i.e., around the beginning of the 20th century), “antisemitism is clearly identified with the extreme right,” and “left antisemitism is the prerogative of marginal and anticonformist groupings,” (ibid.). In other words, the general thinking of leftists in France after the Dreyfus Affair has been that the so-called “socialism of imbeciles” was from then on “the enemy” of the authentic Left. Based on the 1914 publication date of The Revolt of the Angels and the antisemitic bent of the book’s “anti-capitalist” content, it is clear that the retrograde Anatole France had a soft spot for both “marginal anticonformism” and the so-called “socialism of imbeciles.”

“Anticonformist marginality” is in fact a great way to sum up the message of The Revolt of the Angels. In the end of the story, Satan effectively declares that the whole “revolt of the angels” was utterly pointless, coming to the conclusion that, “God defeated will become Satan, victorious Satan will become God,” (410). Satan thus comes to the realization that he prefers marginality and “anticonformism” for their own sake. This is illustrative of the petit-bourgeois mentality of Anatole France, whose “radicalism” was allergic to the notion of working class people taking control of society. If we take the premise of Judeo-Christian mythology as a metaphor for class struggle, wherein God represents the bourgeoisie and humanity the proletariat, then we must admit that the “fallen angel” of Anatole France (and therefore The Satanic Temple’s Satan) is not a proletarian, but a downwardly mobile petit bourgeois whose “revolt” consists neither in the conquest of power nor in the desire to unite humanity under a democratic dictatorship of the proletariat, but rather in reactionary horror at the erosion of his privileged existence in atomistic “anticonformist” separation from “the masses” within a decaying capitalist system, exacerbated by the rage characteristic of the small-time capitalist forced out of business by big-time monopoly capital, which traditionally forms the backbone of all fascist movements.

The historian Phyllis M. Senese points out in “Antisemitic Dreyfusards: The Confused Western-Canadian Press” that defending Alfred Dreyfus did not necessarily an opponent of fin-de-siècle antisemitism make:

“[English-speaking Canadian journalists regularly] denounced vehemently the outrages in France, not because they really wished to defend Jews, but because the persecution of Dreyfus supplied them with an easy means of condemning a Catholic and French society. Defending Dreyfus the man, instead of Dreyfus the Jew, allowed them to denounce an alien religious and social system that they disliked […] As they embraced Dreyfus as the innocent victim of French-Catholic hatred, the western editors repeated routinely the antisemitic canards that were circulating widely in Europe and America. Thus they demonstrated an inability to recognize in their own attitudes the same prejudice that they condemned in the anti-Dreyfusard French,” (94).

This same rhetorical notion of “I don’t see Dreyfus as a Jew, I only see him as a man” (reminiscent of the “color-blindness” ideology which many have critiqued as an inadequate, superficial approach to anti-racism which is complicit in racism, if not actually a subtle form of racism in itself [Mueller; Bostick; Dolezal; Williams]) is found in the work of Anatole France that represents probably his most explicit literary intervention into the Dreyfus Affair. In his 1901 novel Monsieur Bergeret à Paris, Anatole France’s surrogate argues:

“To my mind, all that is equitable is a beginning of socialism […] I know neither Jews nor Christians. I know only men and the only distinction I make between them is whether they are just or unjust. Be they Jews or Christians, it is difficult for the rich to be equitable,” (93).

Thus for Anatole France, the defense of Dreyfus had nothing to do with addressing or combatting racism and antisemitism as such, but rather it was merely a question of defending “a man” who was innocent, not a Jew who was being singled out specifically as a Jew. Or at least that was the pretext. In reality, Anatole France’s “Dreyfusard” stance was more akin to the anti-Catholic Anglo-Canadian Dreyfusards than to that of actual opponents of antisemitism in that he had another overriding reason to oppose the Roman Catholic-associated anti-Dreyfusards: his anticlericalism, which, as we shall see, was full of anti-“Judeo-Christian” baggage and romanticization of Eurocentric pagan imperium (which, for proponents of modern Satanism, is identical to Satanism).

That Anatole France’s motivations for siding with the Dreyfusards were rooted not in opposition to antisemitism, but rather in his proto-fascist “national socialistic” anticlericalism is evinced by the fact that his discourse had in the years prior drawn explicitly on antisemitic rhetoric. In a review of Drumont’s antisemitic magnum opus La France juive that he had had published in a newspaper called Temps, Anatole France “declared that the solution to the Jewish question was that the ‘real’ Frenchmen oust the Jews from their strongholds by being better merchants and bankers” (Byrnes 178). Also telling is the fact that Anatole France kept close company with the antisemitic “socialist” Francis Delaisi (1873–1947), a friend of his who would later become a leading French collaborationist during the Nazi occupation of France (Cousin; Irvine 206).

Anatole’s racism emerges in full force in Chapters 17, 18, and 19 of La Révolte des anges, where we see that the metaphorical celestial war between Lucifer and the “Demiurge” Yahweh takes on geopolitical and racial connotations of an earthly war between the materialistic, capitalist Jewish plutocrats and “Christian Europe,” undergoing a spiritual awakening in which the old “Satanic” pagan gods of “Wisdom,” “Science” and “Beauty” retake their “rightful place.” In effect, the author marshalls the esoteric principle of “as above, so below” to show how the angels’ celestial revolt against “the Demiurge” or evil, false god Yahweh in Heaven corresponds to their efforts to do the same (i.e., foment revolution) in France, on Earth. “Our plan,” says Arcade, one of the angels, “is vast. It encompasses heaven and earth,” (185). The angels desire to conduct an “assault on heavenly Jerusalem” corresponds to their desire to organize a revolution in France, which through “finance” and “by Deposit and Credit […] has become the new Jerusalem.”

We see here that Anatole is building on the trope of the “Jewish banker,” commonplace among French antisemites during the Belle Époque (1871–1914). In Chapter 17, the angels come to a “baron Max Everdingen,” a Jewish demon and director of “the largest credit establishment in France and in the world” asking for a loan of money to finance their “revolutionary” schemes (181–182). The antisemitism of Anatole France is thunderous in the description of the greedy capitalist Everdingen, a demonic “hooked nose” Jew whose physiognomy is said to be of the “pure Semitic type” (301, 182). Beginning Chapter 17 with the Jewish demon-banker’s backstory, Anatole explains that before he became a “fallen angel” (i.e., a demon), “he was named Sophar in heaven” (his angelic/demonic name is perhaps a reference to the shofar, a kind of horn used in Judaism) and he “guarded the treasures of Ialdabaoth [Yahweh], great lover of gold and precious stones,” (181). Because Sophar/Everdingen had this duty, he “developed a love for riches that cannot be satisfied in a society without stock exchange and banking” (182). Anatole France proceeds to lump on the antisemitism in heavy doses, combining Jew-hatred in racial, pseudo-anticapitalist, and religious forms by adding:

“[The demon Jew’s] heart burned with an ardent love for the god of the Hebrews [i.e., Yahweh], to which he remained loyal for a long time. But at the beginning of the 20th century of the Christian era, seeing France from the high heavens, he saw, under the name of republic, this country which had been made into a plutocracy and which, under the guise of democracy, unchecked and unregulated high finance exercised sovereign power. From then on, staying in Heaven became unbearable to him. He yearned for France, his country of choice, and one day, taking all of the fine jewels he could carry, he descended to Earth and established himself in Paris [and] did business there. Since taking physical form, his face offered nothing heavenly; it was an exact copy of the pure Semitic type[.] […] He married an ugly woman and they could see themselves in their two children like in a mirror. The hotel of baron Max Everdingen […] overflows with the plunders of Christian Europe,” (182–183).

The angel Arcade, come to ask for a loan, walks around the Jewish banker’s office and, noticing decorative statues depicting Greek mythological motifs, asks Sophar/Everdingen, “How is it, my brother Sophar, that you, who still have the Israelite [i.e., Jewish] heart, keep so poorly the commandment of your God who said, ‘You shall not have any graven images’[?]” (184). The angels (Arcade and prince Istar) then proceed to threaten to obliterate the banker’s building with a bomb, and he then acquiesces to their demands, though imploring them to only make revolution in Heaven and not to upend the capitalist system on Earth.

Although Anatole France’s demonic capitalist Jew is a “fallen angel,” he is nevertheless not on the side of the Satanic or Luciferian “angels.” It’s worth noting here that in The Revolt of the Angels, there is little distinction at all between demons and angels, and not all “fallen angels” are necessarily on the side of Satan. From Sophar/Everdingen’s utter disinterest in the heavenly revolution (i.e., his unwillingness to help finance the “assault on Jerusalem”) and his keen interest in keeping his vast earthly riches intact, we see that Anatole France employs the trope of the “hooked nose,” demonic capitalist Jew as the epitome of both spiritual and material treachery, one thing leading to the other. The former (his spiritual corruption) is evinced by his disloyalty to Yahweh, his willingness to steal from the heavenly coffers of the Lord (whose depiction as a gold-hoarding entity is telling) and in his cowardly unwillingness to defend the Lord (Yahweh) from Satan, while the latter (his materialistic corruption) is demonstrated by his parasitic hoarding of vast sums of wealth at the expense of “the people” (using capitalism to subvert democracy and republicanism). In his construction of Sophar/Everdingen, Anatole offers an exact reproduction of Blavatsky’s antisemitic construct of the archetypal “Semite,” framed as “degenerate in spirituality and perfected in materiality” (Blavatsky 178). Sophar’s descent from Heaven (i.e., materialization or spiritual degeneration)—by means of which he becomes baron Max Everdingen—is inseparable from his physiognomic transformation into a “pure” (read: perfect) “Semitic type” because in antisemitic thinking the “physical anthropological” datum of the Jew’s perfectly “hooked nose” is synonymous with spiritual degeneracy. The denigrated racial aesthetic, spiritual degeneracy, and material enrichment are all entangled in mutually signifying one another.

Anatole France continues to develop virulent antisemitic themes in the following chapter of The Revolt of the Angels, while additionally introducing clear pan-European imperialist or “white nationalist” motifs as well. Here, in Chapter 18, we can begin to understand that Anatole is arguing for the superiority of a pagan pantheon spanning from the Greco-Roman world to India (i.e., the “Indo-European” or “Aryan” pantheon) over the “evil” Yahweh of the Jews, depicted as a false god imposed on Europe by means of deceitful Semites with the help of the peoples of “Asia and monstrous Africa” (217). This corresponds closely to what we have seen as regular themes of modern Satanism, as expounded by Satanic cults such as “Thee Temple ov Psychick Youth” and the “Order of Nine Angles” and their myriad spin-offs, which freely appropriate aspects of Hinduism, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, and any other religion deemed sufficiently tied to the “Aryan root-race,” attempting to mix them with a concocted Germanic neo-paganism. The fascist nature of this theme of a “good” unified pagan pantheon stretching from Rome to Greece to Persia to India is further corroborated by the fact that top Nazi ideologues, such as Alfred Rosenberg, also expounded it, regarding these places as having all originally been “Aryan nations” which fell one by one, according to them, to so-called “miscegenation,” a trend which could only be negated, so they said, by the remnant of this primitive “race” in Germanic Europe.

A character named “Nectaire” describes the building of the Satanic army in the North, preparing for the “assault on heavenly Jerusalem” (185):

“War having become inevitable, he [Lucifer] prepared with untirable vigilance and with all the resources of a calculating spirit. Making Chalybes [‘Steel Objects’, a Caucasian tribe of Antiquity who are said to have invented steel] and Cyclopses from Thrones and Dominions [angels of the third and fourth rank in the celestial hierarchy of Christian angelology (dbu.edu)], he [Lucifer] extracted iron, which he prefered over gold, from the mountains that marked the boundaries of his [Yahweh’s] empire and forged weaponry in the caves of Heaven. Then he [Lucifer] assembled myriads of Spirits in the deserted plains of the septentrion [i.e., the North], and armed, exercised, and trained them. Although prepared in secret, this undertaking was too big for the adversary [Yahweh] to not soon be alerted. It could be said that he [Yahweh] always anticipated and feared this [revolt], because he had made his home into a fortress and his angels into a militia, and gave himself the name ‘God of Hosts’ [Sabaoth, ‘Armies’]. He prepared his lightning bolts. More than half the children of the heavens remained loyal to him,” (193).

The original French text uses the archaic term “septentrion” to mean “north.” This term carries significance in the discourse of a number of “occultists” and Satanists, being associated with the “Septenary” of the Theosophical Society (which was a profound influence on Ariosophy and, therefore by extension, Nazism). The same term employed in Theosophical Society discourse has also been adopted by the neo-Nazi “Order of Nine Angles” Satanic cult, which refers in its teachings to the “septenary system, or tradition” (or “Seven Fold Way”). Incidentally, it may be recalled that The Satanic Temple also basis its ideology on what it calls the “Seven Fundamental Tenets” (3.2.2). Although the crypto-fascist sect’s leaders and, no doubt, their followers will vehemently insist that any similarity between the “Seven Fold Way” and the “Seven Fundamental Tenets” comes down to pure coincidence (just like “Grey Force” and “Grey Faction”), we would do well to keep in mind Misicko’s long-term involvement with The Process (whose “variation of the swastika” [5.2] he bears indelibly on his flesh), its obsessions with the idea of complementarity and the unification of opposites (namely, Satan-Christ and Jehovah-Lucifer, but also Jew and Nazi, Positive Christianity and Negative Christianity, causal and acausal, anarchist and fascist, Magian and Faustian).   

Anatole France hints at the esoteric significance of these terms relating to the number seven in Chapter 18 of The Revolt of the Angels, describing Satanic cosmology thusly:

“In those times, which preceded time, in the boreal [northern] sky where the seven magnetic stars shined, he [Lucifer] lived in a palace made of diamonds and gold, trembling at all hours with the sounds of wings and triumphant chants. Yahweh, on his mountain, was jealous of Lucifer,” (190).

These “seven magnetic stars” may be taken to refer to the constellation known as the Big Dipper, whose Latin name is “Septentriones,” meaning the “Seven Oxen.” The choice of the slightly more esoteric term “boreal” rather than “northern” (as in aurora borealis, northern lights) is also telling. According to H. P. Blavatsky’s teachings in the Theosophical Society, one of the so-called “root-races” before the “Aryan root-race” were the “Hyperboreans” or inhabitants of the far north (“Hyperborea”). The Big Dipper or Septentriones, pointing to Polaris or the North Star, may be taken thus as an indicator of the way to Hyperborea; i.e., “Hyper-North.” To follow the “Seven Fold Way” is thus to follow the extreme Nordic way. A Processor-like fixation with complementarity can be observed here in that, while the “Seven Fold Way” evokes the stars, the “Seven Fundamental[s]” of The Satanic Temple evokes the notion of foundation (from the Latin fundus, meaning bottom). TST, with its “liberal,” “left-leaning,” “progressive,” “rational” Satanism, provides a basis for the passing of Satanism further into the mainstream of society, widening the pool of initiates who may then rise up from this basic Satanism to an irrational, “celestial,” explicitly neo-Nazi form of Satanism. In this way, the neo-fascist, esoteric “Seven Fold Way” and the crypto-fascist, exoteric “Seven Fundamental Tenets” form one and the same “septenary system.”

In addition to the “Hyperboreans” and “Aryans”, another “root-race” according to the Theosophical Society were the Atlanteans, from Atlantis. These three “root-races” were combined in Ariosophy, wherein “Thule” came to be posited as an Atlantis in the far north where the so-called “Aryan race” developed. This mythical land of Thule was then taken as the name of the “Thule Society,” the Ariosophical sect which had a hand in the development of Nazism and the foundation of the Nazi Party. The top ideologue of the Nazi Party, Alfred Rosenberg (who held a position between 1934 and 1945 with an official title meaning something like “Intellectual and Philosophical Educator and Instructor of the Nazi Party”), wrote openly about this theory of a Hyperborean Aryan Atlantis, thereby adding an “occult” mystique (which he called “the religion of the blood”) to the pseudo-scientific “Nordicist” racial doctrines of American eugenicists, in his book The Myth of the Twentieth Century: An Evaluation of the Spiritual-Intellectual Confrontations of Our Age (1930). Historian James Webb highlights the significance of this work of the Nazi Party’s “Intellectual and Philosophical Instructor” in terms of its relation to the overall ideological project of Nazism in the following terms:

“Rosenberg’s Myth of the 20th Century had sold over a million copies by 1944. It has been the fashion to discount its representative qualities and to point out that Hitler privately described Rosenberg as quite unintelligible. Yet Hitler elsewhere defended Rosenberg as ‘the most acute thinker in questions of Weltanschauung [worldview].’ Rosenberg’s organization could declare without contradiction that the Myth was the most important Nazi text after Mein Kampf. Hitler’s self-distancing from Rosenberg’s production may well have been a tactical maneuver. According to Rosenberg, he gave Hitler the Myth on its completion in 1929. Five months later he received it back from his leader with the comment that it was most ingenious, but that he wondered how many of the party comrades would be able to understand it. Understand it or not, they naturally bought the book. It is not generally realized that The Myth of the 20th Century is merely the most ‘official’ expression of a body of irrationalist opinion quite widely diffused through Germany between the wars. Rosenberg had written one section of what became his book before leaving Moscow in 1917; in 1919 he finished a section on German idealist philosophy; but he seems to have written the bulk of the Myth in the 1920s,” (314).

Continuing to follow the narrative in The Revolt of the Angels, we find that Anatole France relates that after this first Satanic revolt, the angels led by the Seraph (i.e., Lucifer or the “Angel of Light”) are defeated in battle by the angelic forces loyal to Yahweh. At this point, plant and animal life is described as beginning to appear on Earth. The defeated angels, having fallen to Earth, are now demons. Casually glorifying sexual assault and pedophilia, Anatole France informs the reader through the voice of a demon called “Nectaire” that:

“Some of us [demons], being a little unruly, liked to [sexually] grope their [Mankind’s] women and children,” (204).

Anatole France’s “angel” goes on to describe the religious practices of early human societies, identifying the pre-Christian paganism of a quasi-mythologized Proto-Indo-European people or “root-race” (usually identified as “Aryans”) as synonymous with Satanism, as do many, if not most, modern Satanists:

“The wisest among them [early humans, alluding to the ‘Aryan root-race’] observed us in a holy horror and meditated our teachings. In their recognition, the peoples of Greece and Asia [read: ‘Indo-Europeans’ or ‘Aryans’] consecrated to us stones, trees, shadowy woods, offered us victims, sang us hymns; at long last, we were gods for them and they named us Horus, Isis, Astarté, Zeus, Pallas, Cybèle, Déméter and Triptolème. Satan was adored by the names Dionysos, Evan, Iacchos, and Lénée,” (207).

Ironically, a number of the ancient world’s respected historians and theologians, including Tacitus, Lydus, and Cornelius Labeo, identified Yahweh as having been the Jewish equivalent of Dionysus (McDonough 88). We should not, of course, read The Revolt of the Angels with the expectation of coherence; being that Anatole France’s chief concern is Aryanist myth-making, the vilification of the “Semitic” God of the Jews is required at the expense of logic. Thus the mention of Astarte, a Greek goddess of Semitic origin, does not by any stretch unravel our interpretation. Indeed, “[t]he grandfather of all Aryan race theorists, French aristocrat Count Arthur de Gobineau” (1816–1882) posited that the “the Assyrians, with whom may be classed the Jews” were originally of “Aryan stock” (Glazov).

In Chapter 19, the (Indo-European) Greeks are identified as being “regarded by all Demons as a pleasant people,” (211). Here, for “people,” we may read “race.” Anatole goes on to describe this Satanic “Aryan” paradise:

“[T]he Greeks never knew a jealous god. Greece made its gods from its own genius and beauty […] and sometimes, in Athens and Delphes, beautiful young girls, smiling and robust, were seen wearing the entablature of treasures and sanctuaries [likely referring to so-called ‘sacred prostitution’]. Oh, splendor, harmony, wisdom!” (211–212).

A couple of pages later, the rapist god Priapus and the menacing phallic statues which were built to both honor him and signify threat of rape (see: 7.1) are invoked:

“At the door of the garden, where pears and pumpkins ripened and the lily flowered and the acanthus was always green, a Priapus carved from a fig tree trunk, threaten[ed] thieves with his formidable member,” (213–214).

Anatole France, having moved on to praise the Roman Empire, describes Satanic imperialism and slavery as “the most beautiful things”:

“All the countries that the great Dionysus [also known as Bacchus or Satan, according to Anatole (207)] crossed, changing savage beasts into men […] now breathed in the Roman peace. The suckler of the She-Wolf, soldier and road worker, friend of conquered peoples, built roads from the edge of the misty Ocean to the steep slopes of Caucasia; in all cities temples to Augustus and Rome were built and, such was the faith of the universe in Latin justice, that the throats of […] slave[s], close to succumbing under the weight of injustice, cried out, ‘Caesar!’ But why is it that, on this unfortunate world of earth and water, everything withers and dies and the most beautiful things are the most ephemeral? Oh, adorable girls of Greece; oh Science, oh Wisdom, oh Beauty, favorable divinities, you fell into a lethargic sleep,” (215–216).

We can note here that the notion of Satan having “chang[ed] savage beasts into men” clearly implies the attribution of a “subhuman” or Untermensch status to the “non-Aryan” “peoples [outside] of Greece and Asia” (read: Africans), given that Anatole France specifies that it was not the whole of humanity, but rather “[t]he wisest among” early Homo sapiens, “the peoples of Greece and Asia” (indicating Indo-Europeans or what Blavatsky identified as the “Aryan root-race”) who “adored” Satan (215–216; 207). This is confirmed by the fact that Anatole later refers to Africa as “monstrous,” clearly implying a psychotic racial division of the world along Manichean lines, with “Aryans,” “Indo-Europeans,” “Eurasians,” “whites,” or “men” juxtaposed against “Semites,” “Dravidians,” “Afroasiatics,” “blacks,” or “savage beasts” (see below). Considering Anatole’s use of Gnostic concepts such as the “Demiurge” or “Ialdabaoth,” it is not surprising that this theme of racial duality emerges in The Revolt of the Angels, since the “serpent seed” or “two-seedline” doctrine (often espoused by white supremacist sects), which states that Eve was impregnated by Satan in the Garden of Eden, is believed to have originated with Gnosticism.

Close parallels with Nazi ideology are found in the next passage from The Revolt of the Angels, where The Satanic Temple’s favorite author slips back into blatant racism again, explaining how Yahweh, the imposturous “evil god” of the Jews, was able to conquer Rome due to the invasion of “women and priests from Asia and monstrous Africa” and through the invention of the myth of Jesus Christ:

“[W]hile the patient [Roman] legionary camped on the banks of the Rioni and the Don [Caucasian rivers marking the boundary area between Europe and Asia], women and priests from Asia and monstrous Africa were invading the Eternal City [Rome] and disturbing the prestige of the sons of Remus. Until then, the persecutor of industrious demons, Yahweh, wasn’t known in the world that he claims to have created, except by a few miserable Syrian tribes [i.e., Jews; note that the Romans changed the name of Judaea/Judea to Syria Palaestina in 135 AD (Lehmann)], long savage [ferocious] like him, and dragged from servitude [in one place] to servitude [in another, referring to Egypt and Babylon]. Profiting from the Roman Peace [Pax Romana (27 BC–180 AD)], which assured everywhere the freedom of movement and favored the exchange of products and of ideas, this old god [Yahweh] prepared the insolent conquest of the Universe. Incidentally, he wasn’t the only one to try such a thing. In the same time as him, a mob of gods, demiurges, [and] demons […] meditated on grabbing hold of the pacified world. Of all these spirits, Yahweh seemed the least prepared to achieve victory. His ignorance, his cruelty, his pompousness, his superfluous Asiatic extravagance, his contempt for laws, his fondness of making himself invisible, should have offended these Greeks, these Latins, who had received the lessons of Dionysos [Satan] […] He himself sensed that he wasn’t capable of winning the hearts of free men […] [so] he used trickery. To seduce souls, he dreamed up a fable that, without being as ingenuous as the myths […] could touch those with weak minds, who, everywhere, are found in vulgar mobs. He proclaimed that men, having committed a crime against him, a hereditary crime, carried the penalty for it in their present life and in their future life (because mortals imagine wildly that their existence will be prolonged in Hell) and the astute Yahweh made it known that he had sent his own son to Earth to redeem with his blood the debt of Mankind. It’s not believable that punishment redeems sin, and it’s even less believable that the innocent can pay for the guilty. The suffering of an innocent person doesn’t compensate for anything and only adds evil to evil. Nevertheless, miserable beings came forward to adore Yahweh and his expiating son and they announced their mysteries as good news [gospel]. We should have expected this madness. Haven’t we seen countless times these humans, when they were poor and naked, prostrate before all the phantoms of fear, and, instead of following the lessons of favorable demons, obey the commandments of cruel demiurges? Yahweh, through his ruse, netted in the souls. But he didn’t get out of it, for his glory, the result that he expected. It wasn’t him, but his son [Jesus Christ] who received the praise of Mankind and who gave his name to the new religion [Christianity]. He himself [Yahweh] remained more or less ignored on Earth,” (217–218).

Many correspondences can be found between the above passage and the narrative of Christianity’s rise within the Roman Empire presented by Nazi Party “Intellectual and Philosophical Instructor” Alfred Rosenberg in The Myth of the Twentieth Century, published just sixteen years after Anatole France’s The Revolt of the Angels. What Anatole alludes to as “women and priests from Asia and monstrous Africa […] invading the Eternal City and disturbing the prestige of the sons of Remus” (217), Rosenberg identifies as “the […] spread of racial chaos in the ancient world,” and the “distort[ion] and confus[ion] immediately after [Christ’s] death with all the rubbish of Jewish and African life” (30). And Rosenberg clearly echoes Anatole’s talk of “Yahweh [being] known in the world [prior to Christianity, only] by a few miserable Syrian tribes, long savage [ferocious] like him” (217), when he speaks of the spread of Christianity in terms of a Jewish plot to make “the suppressed Jewish national rebellion internationally effective” (30). According to Rosenberg, “[t]he Christian movement, disrupting old forms [cf. Anatole’s ‘lessons of Dionysos’], seemed to the Pharisee Saul [i.e., Paul the Apostle] to hold great promise of practical usefulness [and so he decided to join] its ranks and, possessed by an unrestrained fanaticism, […] preached international revolution against the Roman empire,” (30). The contempt for those who Anatole describes as the “poor and naked” of the Greco-Roman world, “miserable beings [who] came forward to adore Yahweh and his expiating son” and help spread the gospel (218) is palpable when Rosenberg speaks of “[t]he Jews in Rome [knowing] very well what they were about when they placed their synagogues at [Paul the Apostle’s] disposal as places wherein he could make his proselytising [Christian] speeches” so that “[t]he parasitic Jew [could mingle] with the scum of all peoples,” (30, 226). Finally, much in the same way that the proto-fascist antisemite Anatole France posits Christianity as not having worked out exactly as the “Jewish god” Yahweh (God the Father) had expected, with Christ (God the Son) upstaging the former, official Nazi Party ideologue Rosenberg laments that “[i]n spite of all subsequent attempts at reform [i.e., ‘to defend Christianity against this collective bastardisation, orientalisation, and Judaisation’, or to make Christianity ‘an extension of ancient Aryan moral precepts’ by attributing these to Christ], [Paul the Apostle’s] teachings still remain the Jewish spiritual basis, the Talmudic oriental aspect of both the [C]atholic and the Lutheran churches,” (30–31).

From this comparative analysis, it is quite clear that, in effect, “the myth of twentieth century” is “the revolt of the angels”! Anyone who has studied and understood one of these works will, upon studying the other, instantly recognize and understand it as a parallel, as saying in prose what the other says in poetry. By reading and comprehending The Revolt of the Angels by Anatole France, one has already understood The Myth of the Twentieth Century by “Intellectual and Philosophical Educator and Instructor of the Nazi Party” Alfred Rosenberg, and vice versa. The Satanic Temple’s masterminds no doubt understand this.

The Myth of the Twentieth Century (1930) is not the only major Nazi work in which echoes of the Satanic Revolt of the Angels (1914) are to be heard. Let us compare a previously quoted passage from this last work with one from Adolf Hitler in Mein Kampf (1925). Where in The Revolt of the Angels, Anatole France asks why “temples to Augustus and Rome […] fell into a lethargic sleep” (215–216), Hitler in Mein Kampf supplies the answer, noting that “Christianity was not content with erecting an altar of its own [but rather] had first to destroy the pagan altars,” (352). Where Anatole questions in lamentation, “[W]hy is it that, on this unfortunate world of earth and water, everything withers and dies and the most beautiful things are the most ephemeral?,” Hitler responds in Mein Kampf, “Each one of us to-day may regret […] the advent of Christianity […], but the fact cannot be denied that ever since [‘the advent of Christianity’,] the world is pervaded and dominated by this kind of coercion and that violence is broken only by violence and terror by terror [and ‘only then’ (after) ‘(a) philosophy of life which is inspired by an infernal spirit of intolerance (of ‘pagan altars’; i.e., «Christianity»)’ has ‘be(en) set aside by a doctrine that is advanced in an equally ardent spirit’ (i.e., ‘{a} philosophy of life’ that is of ‘an equally {«infernal»} spirit’, such as Nazism, Eurocentric neo-paganism, or Satanism)] can a new [Nazi or Satanic] regime be created by means of constructive work,” (352, my words in italics). Where Anatole speaks of “[Yahweh’s] sens[ing] that he wasn’t capable of winning the hearts of free men [leading him to resort to] trickery” and of “[the ‘hooked nose’ demonic Jew’s business] overflow[ing] with the plunders of Christian Europe,” Hitler claims that “we find throughout the history of the world […] a specifically Jewish mode of thought” involving the “substitut[ion]” of individual “personality” with “the domination of the masses” by means of “certain tricks” derived from ancient “ruses and stratagems which man employed to assist him in the struggle with other creatures for his existence” (344–346)

The above-cited comments of Hitler in Mein Kampf are enough to demonstrate the plausible authenticity of Hitler’s recorded private statements in Hitler’s Table Talk (a work which crypto-fascist historians such as Holocaust denier-sympathizing “New Atheist” Richard C. Carrier have attempted to discredit due to its clear exposure of Hitler’s anti-Christian worldview), where Hitler explicitly links Christianity and Marxism, calling the former “a prototype of Bolshevism” and asserting that both were “inventions of the Jew” designed to “mobili[ze] masses of slaves” and “undermin[e] society,” in addition to attributing the decline of the Roman Empire to “[t]he Bolsheviks of their day,” by which he means Christians (Trevor-Roper 7, 75–76, 79; see also “Preface”).

The attentive reader, recollecting the Preface to Anatomy of a Crypto-Fascist Sect, may also have already noticed that the narrative found in The Revolt of the Angels is virtually identical to that presented by Madison Grant in The Passing of the Great Race, a book published in 1916, just two years after The Revolt of the Angels. Adolf Hitler is known to have “quoted liberally from Grant in his speeches,” and even wrote the latter a letter in which he declared The Passing of the Great Race to be his “bible” (Ryback). Attesting to the fact that Anatole France was part of an international wave of eugenicist, social darwinist, anti-Christian (read: Satanic) thought that set the stage for the rise of Nazism and the Holocaust, Madison Grant argues:

“Early ascetic Christianity played a large part in [the] decline of the Roman Empire, as it was at the outset the religion of the slave, the meek, and the lowly [i.e., those ‘predominantly of Mediterranean and Oriental blood’; cf. Anatole France’s talk of the ‘poor and naked’ of the Greco-Roman world, ‘miserable beings (who) came forward to adore Yahweh and his expiating son’], while Stoicism was the religion of the strong men of the time [i.e., the ‘Nordic’ ‘master race’; cf. Anatole’s ‘pleasant people’ (211), the ‘wisest’, ‘the peoples of Greece and Asia’ (207)]. This bias in favor of the weaker elements greatly interfered with their elimination by natural processes, and the fighting force of the empire was gradually undermined. Christianity was in sharp contrast to the worship of tribal deities which preceded it, and tended then, as it does now, to break down class and race distinctions [cf. Anatole’s idealization of slavery under the Roman Empire and lamentation of the latter’s disappearance: ‘the throats of (…) slave(s) (…) cried out, ‘Caesar!’ But why is it that, on this unfortunate world (…) everything withers and dies and the most beautiful things are the most ephemeral? (215–216)]. Such distinctions are absolutely essential to the maintenance of race purity in any community when two or more races live side by side,” (97–98).

It is clear that, for Anatole France, as for the Nazis and their American counterparts in the eugenics movement, such as Madison Grant, the “problem” with Christianity is its Jewish origin. In The Revolt of the Angels, it is the fact that Yahweh, god of “savage beasts” and “miserable Syrian tribes,” has become, via Christianity, God the Father, which renders God the Son contemptible. In the worldview which emerges from this work, in combination with other Satanic Temple favorites, we are necessarily confronted with the idea that it is the Satanist’s task to—in the words of William Blake—“abolish the Jewish Imposture” at the core of Christianity and, in wake of this, revitalize the religion of “the peoples of Greece and Asia” (Indo-Europeans or “Aryans,” who owe their humanity and spiritual superiority to Satan). In this way, “literary” Satanism is synonymous with Eurocentric neo-paganism. For these “literary” Satanists, the concern with Christianity’s Jewish genetics plays not only on notions of non-Aryan spiritual inferiority, but inferiority in a material, biologically “dysgenic” sense as well. Indeed, we saw that both William Blake and Anatole France evoke the “racial” Jew, the “long spindle nosed rascal,” the “hooked nose” of the “pure Semitic type,” who naturally marries “an ugly woman” and produces ugly offspring. Just as biological “miscegenation” is blamed for the destruction of “Aryan” physiognomy, so is the figure of Jesus Christ—as the Son of a “miserable,” “savage,” “tribal” god (and therefore a product of spiritual “miscegenation”)—blamed for the destruction of “Aryan” religion.

At the same time, the apparent ease with which white supremacists alternate between Satanist and Christofascist iterations of antisemitism is explained by the fact that, in Christofascism, the “problem” with Christianity is reframed as the Jewish origin of a mere half of it (e.g., the “Semitic” Old Testament, in contrast to the “Aryanized” New Testament, as in “Positive Christianity”). Incidentally, it is for this reason that it can be said that Christofascism is a halfway stop on the way from Christianity to Satanism. Sects like “Christian Identity” are crypto-Satanist insofar as they represent an attempt by Satanists to draw those who would reject the idea of openly Satanic and pagan Nazism towards this point of view. In this sense, Christofascism could also be called a kind of half-hearted Satanism.

 

 


CONTINUE READING9. Conclusion

OR RETURN TO TABLE OF CONTENTS (Anatomy of a Crypto-Fascist Sect: The Unauthorized Guide to “The Satanic Temple”)


 

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One thought on “A “Literary” Satanism? Decrypting Proto-Fascist and Antisemitic Themes in The Revolt of the Angels by Anatole France

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