Sunday, April 28, 2019

From Catholic to Pagan

Black metal and churches burnings are headlines once again, making for one of the more unsettling aspects of 2019 thus far. February of this year witnessed the release of Lords of Chaos, a fictionalized account of the rise of the pioneering black metal band Mayhem. By April, a budding black metal musician by the name of Holden Matthews was arrested for setting fire to three historic black churches in the state of Louisiana. Of course, Louisiana has its own dark history of black churches being burned. But churches burnings have very much became one of the founding myths of the black metal community.

This too traces back to Mayhem. The group had been founded in 1984. Throughout its initial run (until 1993), the driving force had been Øystein Aarseth, who went by the name of Euronymous. By the early 1990s, the band had generated much hype around itself despite having only issued a handful of demos, bootlegs, and one EP. Their proper debut album wouldn't even be issued until 1994, after the first incarnation of the band was defunct.

Despite this, band members were largely able to focus on the group full time without being burdened with holding down a job. Euronymous was even able to procure his own record store in 1991, Helvete (which means "hell" in Norwegian), which generated little to no income, but which served as a rallying point for the emerging Norwegian black metal scene. How exactly Mayhem was able to establish a reputation within the metal community and financially support themselves with so little output from the band (which rarely played live either) is one of the more curious aspects of their saga that has been little explored.

Helvete, which since become something of a shrine for black metallers
According to Dayal Patterson's Black Metal: Evolution of the Cult, at least some of the funding for Helvete came from Euronymous' parents, of whom few details are available on. Presumably, they also helped financially support Euronymous during his time with Mayhem in addition to the record label he launched around the time of opening Helvete. Another future Mayhem member, Varg Vikernes (of which much more will be said below), also appears to have come from a well-to-do family. Lena Bore, Vikernes' mother, reportedly gave $20,000 to a neo-Nazi clique in 1997 to break Varg out of prison after he was convicted of murdering Euronymous.

But what of the other band members and hanger-ons? In Patterson's work, it is hinted that some supported themselves through various illicit acts, most notably selling drugs and firearms. But this may not have been the case in the early days. Many of the participants in the early scene are described as coming from solid middle class background, but even the middle class of the 1990s would have struggled to come up with $20, 000. On the whole, one is left with the impression that there was some real money backing up the early scene, though naturally few researchers have explored this angle.

The band's reputation is a bit harder to pin down. Certainly, the shock factor was a big part of it. In 1991, Per "Dead" Ohlin, one of the band's early singers, committed suicide in 1991 at Euronymous' house. Euronymous did not immediately report the suicide to the police, but rather took pictures of Dead's corpse and collected pieces of his skull, which were later used to fashion necklaces with. One of these pictures was later used on the cover of the infamous bootleg live album Dawn of the Black Hearts.

Dead (left) and Euronymous (right)
Needless to say, this was the type of thing that draws attention. Still, Black Hearts was not released until 1995, well after the band had become legends in the metal community. Sure, rumors of these types of activities were making the rounds in said community years before, but would this have been enough to establish Mayhem as a pivotal act with so little actual output?

The Inner Circle

Regardless, things took a truly radical turn in the aftermath of Dead's death. When Mayhem had first been founded in the 1980s, Euronymous and his cohorts approached their pioneering brand of black metal with tongue firmly in cheek. There was a sense of humor to the whole thing, in other words. But by the early 1990s, Euronymous appears to have firmly bought into what he was preaching. His philosophy has been described as "nihilistic hatred, colored by the brooding, depressive morbidity often associated with the negative side of the Scandinavian psyche" (Black Sun, Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke, pg. 204). Satanism had long played a role in this scene as well, but solely for the shock value during the 1980s. But by 1992, Euronymous became very serious about creating a Satanic underground. Fortunately, several of the more extreme denzies of Helvete found a certain appeal in this vision.
"Well he was perhaps exaggerating his own importance for dramatic effect, there's no doubt that Euronymous played a major role in setting the scene for the culture of destruction taking place across Norway. The 'militant people' he spoke of – along with some aware but uninvolved in their activities – would become known as the Inner Circle, Black Circle, or Black Metal Mafia, though more recent statements from those involved highlight that this was not as formal or organized a group as such phrases might suggest. Nonetheless, black metal's anti-Christian/Satanic ethos had, for the first time, been turned into significant direct action, and activities such as grave desecrations and church arson became relatively common.
"Pinning down exactly what inspired the situation isn't easy, and it's important to note that the majority of those involved came from untroubled middle-class backgrounds and weren't involved in other illegal activity. With a few exceptions, drugs were only notable in the scene by their absence, and though drinking with some, it was not widespread at that time. Some members of the circle, such as Mortiis and Vikernes, didn't drink or use drugs, and the use of intoxicants was criticized by several bands in interviews. Though certainly not true today, the Norwegian scene of that period could actually be quite militant and even puritanical, especially compared to most other youth music cultures, not least within metal itself."
(Black Metal: Evolution of the Cult, Dayal Patterson. pg. 161)

Patterson goes on to note that quite a cultish atmosphere grew out of this scene:
"Undoubtedly, there was more at work behind the arsons than simply an ideological opposition to the church. There was, for a start, a somewhat cultish atmosphere, wherein young participants (mostly those carrying out these activities were in their late teens) wished to be accepted within the scene by older members, such as Euronymous. And a culture had been created by charismatic individual such as Dead, Euronymous, and Vikernes, that celebrated evil, hate, misanthropy, and Satanism.
"Interviews of the time saw bands attempting to break every taboo still standing, glorify murder, torture, suicide, arson, and more, often tying this to an overtly spiritual, even supernatural, theme, with frequent references to the devil, spirits, hell, and the like. At the same time, music and art were being created that far surpassed what had come before – recordings whose timelessness has been proved by their enduring popularity. For those swept up in all this, the lines between everyday reality, art, ideology, and the glorious melodrama of black metal were blurred in what must have been an intoxicating mix."
(ibid, pg. 164)
Perhaps "psychodrama" would be a more apt description of what the Norwegian scene had unleashed. Curiously, this militant approach to black metal began to spread throughout Norway, creating local scenes that had no initial links to the Oslo-based scene of Mayhem. One especially notorious scene was the one that developed around the city of Kristiansand. This scene spawned musicians such as Terje Vik Schei (who performed under the pseudonym Tchort, a Slavic word for devil), who would go onto to work with such acts as Emperor, Satyricon, and Carpathian Forest.
"As Terje confirms, the Kristiansand scene was notably extreme even by the standards of the time, with members attacking Christians in the street with knives in the middle of the day. Going some way beyond mere anti-Christian ideology or even straightforward antisocial behavior, these activities were entrenched in the destructive Satanic culture similar to the one that had grown up in Oslo. Like Mortiis (whom he would replace in Emperor), Terje admits a certain 'saturation' of extreme ideas. Even for Terje himself – no longer a Satanist and now married with children – this period is quite surreal to look back upon.
" 'I have to force myself in order to recall these events,' he admits. 'The actions were extreme, but so were we all at that time. Living off human blood, decorating your flat with tombstones, animal carcasses, digging up graves and shit, does something to you, and what is considered extreme didn't seem so extreme back then. Again, it was more about the atmosphere, the emotions and feelings and pushing our limits that led to stuff like animal sacrifice, drinking blood, etc. We didn't see this as part of the music scene we now "belonged" to, but as part of the life situation we were experimenting with. We had some books and ideas on how rituals were performed, but we followed our own instincts – or lack of them – more than anything else. I remember that I passed out on the street on one occasion as I had been living off animal blood solely for quite some time.' "
(Black Metal: Evolution of the Cult, Dayal Patterson, pg. 166)
Charming. Later, these Kristiansand lads would make the pilgrimage to Oslo where they encountered Euronymous in all his glory.  Reportedly, he tried to recruit them as the "muscle" for some of the projects then being discussed among the Inner Circle.

Enter Varg

Easily the most notorious member of the Inner Circle, and a pivot figure in launching the church burning spree that made the scene infamous, was Varg Vikernes. After playing in several death metal outfits, Varg founded Burzum in 1991, a black metal band in which he was the only member. Euronymous signed Burzum to his fledgling record label, Deathlike Silence Productions. Vikernes later joined Mayhem as their bassist in 1992. Vikernes' arrival at the Oslo scene is generally credited with unleashing the wave criminality that followed.
"... Having introduced a devil-worshiping called in the Norwegian black metal, Euronymous and Vikernes began to proclaim their readiness to commit outrages. On 6 June 1992 the beautiful old wooden stave church of Fantoft, one of Norway's architectural treasures dating from the twelfth century, was burned to the ground by arson. By January 1993, fire attacks occurred on at least seven other major Norwegian stave churches. Vikernes was subsequently convicted of the murder of Euronymous in August 1993 and of three of the church arson; he was sentenced to twenty-one years in jail. Sensational publicity during the trial period guaranteed Vikernes the media role of an arch-satanist."
(Black Sun, Nicholas Goodrick-Clark, pg. 204)
Euronymous more accurately deserves the credit for the Satanic cult, as he had been working towards such a thing well before Vikernes enjoyed the scene. What Vikernes really deserves credit for, in addition to turning Euronymous' fantasies into action, was the introduction of far right politics into the scene. Reportedly a former skinhead, Vikernes would become deeply infatuated with Nazism and other extreme right ideologies during his incarceration.
"While in jail, Vikernes began to formulate his nationalist heathen ideology using materials from Norse mythology combined with racism and occult National Socialism. These essays were published in various underground publications and in Filosofem, a neo-Nazi magazine published by Vidar von Herske, another member of Burzum, who migrated to France. Vikernes' articles typically revolved around esoteric interpretations of myths in the Edda, with discussions of Odin, his magical ring, ravens and wolves. Vikernes identified himself with Wotan or Odin: 'I am his flesh and blood, his soul and spirit; for I am his posterity and the archetypes in our race are his.' Other articles focused on Norse cosmology and magical practices. With his increasing racial nationalism, Vikernes sees himself as a successor to Vidkun Quisling, the Norwegian political leader who headed the collaborationist government during the Nazi occupation of the Second World War. In particular, Vikernes is interested in Quisling's mystical doctrine of 'Universalism,' which combines pantheism with a Nietzschean will to power. He has also written a book Vargsmal, underlining his role as chieftain of his Norwegian Heathen Front."
(ibid, pgs. 204-205)
Curiously, one of the leading figures in creating the mythos surrounding the Norwegian black metal scene also has extensive links to far right politics. This would be none other than Michael Moynihan, the co-author of Lords of Chaos. As Lords was for years the chief source of information Americans had on black metal (its biggest market being the US), Moynihan has played an enormous role in how the genre is perceived here. As such, Moynihan has been accused of exaggerating the fascist tendencies within the movement. And generally speaking, it does not appear that extreme right politics had a significant influence on black metal in the early days. Euronymous had in fact long identified with Communism, for instance.

Still, there's no question that a far right variety has became firmly entrenched within the genre --consider, for instance, the rise of National Socialist black metal (NSBM). In recent years, scholars have attributed these developments to Moynihan himself and how he framed black metal in Lords.

The Curious Associates of Mr. Moynihan

This would hardly be the first time Moynihan has attempted to launch a far right movement. In 1989, he joined a curious entity known as the Abraxas Foundation. Founded in 1984 by industrial musician (and fascist sympathizer) Boyd Rice, Abraxas has been described as a "social Darwinist think tank." Other figures linked to Abraxas have included Adam Parfrey, the legendary founder of Feral House, and Zeena LaVey, the daughter of Church of Satan (CoS) founder Anton. It probably goes without saying, but Abraxas maintained links with the CoS.

It also forged ties with cult leader Charles Manson at some point during the 1980s as well. It was through Manson that Moynihan was introduced to James Mason, the head of the Universal Order (which Manson had provided the name for). Mason was a longtime far right activist who had joined George Lincoln Rockwell's American Nazi Party in 1966 while still a minor. A decade later, Mason joined the more militant National Socialist Liberation Front  (NSLF) and began editing a publication known as Siege. There, he advocated urban warfare and cultish murders as to destabilize the system. Eventually, Moynihan collected these writings into a book he published, which was also titled Siege. Moynihan's publication of Siege would become a cult classic among neo-Nazis and ultimately spawn more militant groups such as the Atomwaffen Division, which has recently be linked to several murders across three states.

James Mason
Mason is not Moynihan's only link to the old American Nazi Party either. Another organization Moynihan has been affiliated with is the Asatru Alliance (AA), an "Old Norse and Germanic religion" movement that grew out of 1960s Norse revival. The Norse revival, in turn, has long been linked to the far right in these United States.
"... Odinism began its modern career with the establishment of the Odinist Fellowship in 1969 by Else Christensen. Born at Esbjerg on the Danish West Coast in 1913, Else Oscher was involved in revolutionary unionism and politics in Copenhagen during the 1930s. She was eventually attracted to the left-wing Strasserite wing of the emerging Danish National Socialist Worker's Party, and in 1937 married Alex Christensen, who had served as a senior aide to the party leader later ousted in 1933. Following the Nazi occupation of Denmark in 1940, Alex was briefly imprisoned as a dissident. In 1951 the Christensens emigrated to Canada, where they settled in Toronto. Else Christensen's interest in racial radicalism brought her into contact with Willis Carto, a leading figure of the American far right, and James K. Warner, New York organizer of Rockwell's American Nazi Party. Carto introduced her to the writings of Francis Parker Yockey, Oswald Spengler's American eulogist and author of Imperium. Abandoning the idea of using Odinism as the religious counterpart of National Socialism in America, Warner gave Christensen his Norse material, which included the writings of Alexander Rud Mills."
(Black Sun, Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke, pg. 259)
Else Christensen
According to the great William Turner in Power on the Right, the above-mentioned Rockwell lieutenant James K. Warner had relocated to Los Angeles in 1966 to establish what was described as the "Odinist Religion and Nordic Faith Movement," of which he was the high priest of. Warner would continue promoting Odinism in LA until the late 1960s, at which point he turned his material over to Christensen and embraced Christian Identity theology.

Nor is Warner the only connection the American Odinist movement has to the American Nazi Party. During the 1970s, two Arizona-based ANP members, "Valgard" (Michael) Murray and Elton Hall, would join Christensen's Odinist Fellowship. Murray would eventually become the vice-president of the group and go on to found the AA in 1987. Hence, the ANP has longstanding ties to the American Odinist movement.

Another crucial figure in the AA was Robert Nicholas Taylor. Prior to hooking up with the AA, Taylor had been deeply involved with the Minutemen, one of the earliest post-WWII far right militias. The Minutemen had many interesting connections, including the US intelligence community, noted before here. Taylor was allegedly the "director of national intelligence" for the Minutemen and boasted of setting up "the first guerrilla training schools ever to exist in the United States."

Minutemen "promotion" material
On the whole, Moynihan appears to have had extensive links with especially militant sections of the far right. As such, his fixation on Varg Vikernes and the fascist aspects of black metal are most unsettling. While working on Lords, did Moynihan see Varg and black metal as being capable of establishing the type of revolutionary movement that he appears to have been working towards for decades?

Bouchet and the Sith Lord

Moynihan was not the only far right activist to become smitten with Varg either. In France, he found a staunch supporter in the highly controversial figure of Christian Bouchet. In recent years, Bouchet has gained something resembling respectability in French politics. In 2008, he became a member of the Front National (FN), the party of Marine Le Pen. Since then, he has stood for election as an FN candidate in several contests, most recently in Nantes, France's sixth largest city. 

This is quite curious in light of Bouchet's longstanding interests in far right ideology and the occult. As to the former, Bouchet had been the head of the Radical Unity party. In 2002 one of its members, Maxime Brunerie, attempted to assassinate then-president Jacques Chirac. The group was disbanded by the French government soon thereafter. Apparently this type of militancy did not dissuade the FN from embracing Bouchet. 

Bouchet's occult interests are equally extreme. He is credited with being at the forefront of the rediscovery of Francis Parker Yockey, an American far right philosopher recently embraced by the alt-right. Yockey was hardly Bouchet's only point of reference, however.
"The link between the current Yockey revival and the occult is equally clear in the case of the French 'third-positionist' Christian Bouchet, who helped found a new European Liberation Front in homage to Yockey. Bouchet has been associated with the French branch of the Ordo Templi Orientis (OTO), and his occult journal is named Thelema in homage to Aleister Crowley. He is a leading figure in Nouvelle Resistance, whose journal Lutte du Peuple he also edits.
"... Bouchet... tried to turn the 'Satanic' or 'black metal' music scene in a fascist direction... Bouchet's group, Nouvelle Resistance, meanwhile, is behind the music fanzine called Napalm Rock. Napalm Rock has embraced a leading Norwegian black metal musician named Varg Vikernes..."
(Dreamer of the Day, Kevin Coogan, pg. 620) 
Bouchet has continued to defend Vikernes, who relocated to France after his incarceration, as recently as 2013. Between Varg, Crowley, and Yockey, Bouchet certainly has some curious occult influences. But for our purposes here, it is the origins of Bouchet's occult beliefs that are of greatest concern.
"... The national-revolutionary Bouchet was previously influenced by both Evola and Thiriart, and despite being very far from Marine Le Pen's alleged 'normalizing' line, he was still a FN candidates in the 2012 general elections and maintains a significant party role at the local level. A former member of Organisation Lutte du Peuple and Troisieme Voie (Third Way), and founder in 1991 of the (now disappeared) pan-European and national-revolutionary Nouvelle Resistance (New Resistance), this French activist has been constantly spreading the works of Evola, Mutti, Adinolfi, and many others..."
(Transnational Neofascism in France and Italy, Andrea Mammone, pgs. 223-224)
That would be Julius Evola, the infamous Italian philosopher and occultist. In the twenty-first century, Evola is more influential than he has ever been. Most recently aspects of his ideology have been embraced by the American alt-right, the Greek Golden Dawn, Russia's Alexander Dugin, and so many more. Indeed, it would seem that Evola has even managed to influence the architects of neo-fascist black metal. While Varg Vikernes apparently finds Evola's work at times to be too "oriental oriented," he has none the less recommended Evola's books to his fans. And then there's Moynihan, who has been at the forefront of the Evola revival. Moynihan founded the journal Tyr to promote a brand of Traditionalism inspired by Evola and has even edited and published one of Evola's most influential works.

Notre Dame

Of course, it would be impossible to write about church burnings in 2019 without addressing the fire that engulfed the Notre Dame de Paris. While many individuals looking for occult significance in the fire have focused on its connection to the Knights Templar, there is a much more recent connection.

On May 21, 2013, the 78-year old Dominique Venner strolled into the ancient cathedral. After laying a sealed envelope on the altar, he pulled a Belgian-made pistol from his pocket, placed the firearm in his mouth and pulled the trigger. When the contents of the note were read, in addition to a blog post the journalist and historian had written shortly before his death, it was revealed that his suicide was  in protest of the recent legalization of gay marriage.

To many Americans, this may have seemed quite a curious event. After all, France has quite the reputation for sexual liberation. And to further muddy the waters, Venner was an openly acknowledged pagan and had been for some time.

How then did this state of affairs come about?

To be sure, Venner's journey to Notre Dame was a curious one. He had served as a paratrooper during the Algerian conflict, which likely introduced him o far right politics. As Andrea Mammone notes in Transnational Neofascism in France and Italy, something of a cult surrounded the elite paratroopers in France during the 1950s and these elite units would be at the forefront of the attempted coup against de Gaule in 1961. Later, they would serve as the backbone of the Organisation Armee Secrete (OAS), a paramilitary organization links to numerous terrorist, including multiple on de Gaulle's life.

Venner would sign up with the OAS shortly after the organization was founded and would end up serving 18 months in prison after he was captured. Upon his release in 1962, he would take a more intellectual approach to far right activism. He wrote a book, Pour une critique positive (Towards a positive change), which some have described as the Right's What Is to be Done?. Then, in 1963, he founded a movement known as European Action (EA), which also featured a journal of the same name. EA would feature many of the guiding lights of what became known as Nouvelle Droite (ND ---New Right) in France. Among them was journalist and writer Alain de Benoist, who would become one of the leading intellectuals of the French right in the post-war years. De Benoist founded the highly influential think tank known as Groupement de recherche et d'études pour la civilisation européenne (GRECE), of which Venner was also a member. EA and GRECE would do much to provide academic respectability to far right activism from the 1970s on wards.

Alain de Benoist
Both the EA and GRECE, in addition to the broader ND, were heavily influenced by the Traditionalism of Evola.
"Like the Italian theorist Gramsci, Evola was especially read among the followers of the ND. Setting aside some differences in the meaning of concepts such as traditionalism, Alain de Benoist, remarkably, pointed out the importance of the Evolian thinking for the Nouvelle Droite:
We think that some of Evola's criticisms in particular seem likely to inspire a reflection which pays attention to the evolution of modern world.... The Evolian critique of the nation state, for example, maintains a strong relevance in an era where the political entity, which is emblematic of modernity, appears every day a little more struck by impotence and obsolescence... Evola also had the great merit... to denounce any general conception of life or society based solely on economic terms strongly.... But ultimately, and as always with Evola, it is probably in the area of ethics which one can find his most inspiring considerations for our everyday thinking... In these pages, both men and women can take some lessons.
Some important and cross-national connective links may be observed between Evola's and de Benoist's intellectual and doctrinal productions along with the parallel apolitia and the criticism of the modern world, contemporary ideologies, and the Americanization of European societies. Similarities can, in fact, be found in a number of different domains. An example of this is the common Europeanism and the embracing of a post-national stance. Bar-On to find this as the 'dream of a pan-European empire': a kind of transnational place where the objective was to preserve a homogeneous European identity. As we know from the previous chapters, this 'Nation Europe' had fascinated part of the extreme right since 1945. However, this was also a spiritually defined and hierarchical Europe, and it represented another commonality between these ideologues. The state (and the community) itself had, in sum, to be possibly organized on sovereignty and a caste system (probably not on theories of mass democracies)...
"Also strong was the common attack on the West and the Judeo-Christian paradigm, which was also made through the promotion of pagan thinking. It is well-known that Evola was one of the precursors of this paganism, and that the ND borrowed a considerable amount from this doctrine, even if there were differences in tone and understanding of it. Unsurprisingly, the new rightist Editions Pardes had many contributions on the subject and on traditionalism, as well as some of Evola's manuscripts (such as Imperialisme paien). For Evola and de Benoist, paganism went along with a concept of humankind based on pre-Christian hierarchy, although also with an importance given to 'magic,' symbols, and the 'myth' perceived as moving forces."
(Transnational Fascism in France and Italy, Andrea Mammone, pgs. 169-170)
As such, it is all but certain the paganism of Venner was influenced to some degree by Evola. This would, in turn, explain Venner's objection to gay marriage. Needless to say, Evola was not especially impressed with homosexuality.
"Thus overall, when homosexuality is not 'natural' or else cannot be explained in terms of incomplete inborn forms of sexual development, it must have the character of a deviation, a vice, or a perversion. And if some instances of extreme erotic intensity in relations between homosexuals should be adduced, the explanation is to be sought in the possibility of the displacement of eros. Indeed, it is enough to go through any treatise on sexual psychopathology to see in how many unthinkable situations the erotic potential of a human being can be aroused, sometimes to the level of orgiastic frenzy (from fetishism even to animal sodomy and necrophilia). The same anomalous background could include the case of homosexuality, although the latter is much more frequent: a displaced eros for which a being of the same sex can service a simple, occasional cause or support, as in so many cases of psychopathy, although it must wholly lack every profound dimension and every meeting higher than experience because of the absence of the necessary ontological and metaphysical premises. As we shall see in certain aspects of sadism and masochism, it is possible to find elements that can be included in the deep structures of heterosexual erotics and that become perversions only when freed from limitations. No similar recognition can be given in respect to homosexuality."
(Eros and the Mysteries of Love, Julius Evola, pgs. 65-66)
Earlier in the same work, Evola linked the increase in homosexuality and what would now be considered transgenderism to the egalitarian nature of the West.
"... It may be that the governing power on which the sexual nature of a given individual depends (a nature that is truly male or truly female) may grow weak through neutralization, atrophy, or reduction of the latent state of the characteristics of the other sex, and this may lead to the activation and emergence of these recessive characteristics. And here the surroundings and the general atmosphere of society can play a not unimportant part. In a civilization where equality is the standard, were differences are not linked, where promiscuity is in favor, where the ancient idea of 'being true to oneself' means nothing anymore – in such a splintered and materialistic society, it is clear that the phenomenon of regression and homosexuality should be particularly welcome, and therefore it is in no way a surprise to see the alarming increase in homosexuality and the 'third sex' in the latest 'democratic' period, or an increase in sex changes to an extent unparalleled in other eras."
(ibid, pg. 64)
In this context, the increase in homosexuality and transgenderism could only be seen as further evidence of the West's decline as it moved further and further from "traditional" society. Specifically, as the distinction between the genders has declined, it is theoretically inevitable homosexuality and gender fluidity would become the norm. Surely, this is the context that fueled Venner's suicide.


There is no question that Venner's suicide was a highly symbolic act, committed at an equally symbolic location. And in this context, I can not help but be reminded of the occult concept of egregores. Egregores are defined as psychic entities composed of and influencing the thoughts of groups. They are collective entities, sometimes referred to as "thought forms," that can formed around nations, states, religions and sects, and draw power from the beliefs of the individuals who occupy these things. As such, egregores can be likened in a sense to the collective unconscious as they are the product a collective group mind. Egregores are sustained by belief, ritual, and sacrifice and are dependent upon the devotion of the group that gave it life.

As with humans, egregores can also die and be destroyed. An especially potent means of destruction can be achieved by fire.
"To remove oneself from the influence of an egregore, particularly a religious, esoteric, or even political one (especially when a ritualistic formula is actively present, such as in National Socialism, Communism, and any form of idolization of the leader or the particular creed or code), the objects connected with the organization or movement must be destroyed. Fire is the principal means of separating the energetic link and destroying it. This separation and destruction is on a personal level but can also be extended to the larger group as well. 
"This is why occupying armies often destroyed the symbols of their defeated enemy. For example the revolutionaries in France in 1789, the Soviet Union to Nazi Germany in 1945, the Chinese Communists in Tibet in 1959, the period of the Cultural Revolution 1966 to 1976, and the destruction of monuments, texts, and places of worship by various Islamic fundamentalist paramilitary forces are among the most obvious examples in modern history. While the spiritual or intelligence aspects of the egregore will continue to live for a very long time period of time without a physical anchor, devotees, or rituals to feed it, its emotional or astral counterpart will not be able to sustain a presence in the physical world as a result of such acts of destruction."
(Egregores: The Occult Entities That Watch Over Humanity, Mark Stavish, pgs. 103-104)
In this context, the return of black metal-inspired church burnings to pop culture, the fire at Notre Dame and the numerous arsons committed at Christian sites that have characterized 2019 thus far can be seen as a full blown assault on Christianity by attacking this particular egregore where it is most vulnerable: its places of worship.

This may be driving the push by the neo-liberal elite to rebuild Notre Dame as "secular shrine" that more accurately reflects modern France. While the idea of making Notre Dame more inclusive may be quite appealing to academics and capitalists, the fresh wave of Yellow Vest protests that broke out days after the fire does not indicate that the public is getting a warm, fuzzy feeling about it.

This researcher would suggest that, regardless of whether there was a plot or not behind the sudden fire (chalked up to a "computer glitch"), powerful forces had already been set in motion years before the cathedral went up in flames. Egregores are born out of emotion energy. This energy can in turn be focused upon highly symbolic acts --such as a suicide in a symbolically loaded location.

Such a potent act would no doubt be seen as a sign of things to come. And it just so happens, a magical circle Evola would become affiliated with during the 1920s bore witness to such signs during the prior decade.
"Hence, some egregores may be reinvigorated even after centuries or millennia of disuse, which is a closely kept secret of operational magic. According to an article published in 1929 in an esoteric journal edited by Julius Evola... it was efforts to revive the egregore of the Roman Empire that led to the political ascendancy of Benito Mussolini. The initial signs were seen in 1913 and were fully realized in 1919...."
(Egregores: The Occult Entities That Watch Over Humanity, Mark Stavish, pg. 104)
Six years separated the early signs from the realization of the objective. Six years also separate Venner's suicide and the fire at Notre Dame. Naturally, the fire broke out of April 16, which also happens to Venner's birthday.

Powerful signs and portents, indeed. And further evidence that the neo-liberal elite are losing the plot.

Friday, April 19, 2019

More Le Cercle With William Ramsey

William Ramsey graciously had me on today to discuss Le Cercle. My luck with podcasts continued. Despite being healthy and well prepared for this one, my Internet was knocked out in the midst of our chat by a rather nasty thunderstorm. Curiously, the topic I was about to delve into concerned the differences between the magickal systems of Aleister Crowley and Julius Evola. That's a fascinating topic that will unfortunately have to wait until another time. At least I didn't lose my power

Topics we did manage to discuss before Mother Nature interrupted included the origins: of the Cercle complex; its links to Bilderberg; the prominence of Knights of Malta and Opusians among the founders, the bizarre sniffer airplane scandal; the role the British contingent played in creating modern private military companies; Le Cercle ties to Brexit; the links the British members had to the Round Table group; the extensive links between the Cercle complex and elite pedophile rings in the US, UK and Belgium; and briefly, its links to Evola's acolytes. 

For those of you looking for more information, it is strongly recommended that you check out my series of Le Cercle:

Le Cercle: Clerical Fascism and the Pedophocracy

The interview with Mr. Ramsey can be found here. A big thank you to him for having me on and others who worked to bring together this meeting of the minds. As always dear readers, I hope that you enjoy and do stay tuned until next time. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

The Return of the Dark Knight

A few weeks ago I recorded another interview with Ryan of Occulture that has recently been posted. It can be found here and here. This is a follow up to a previous chat we had done in June of 2018 concerning the origins of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, more commonly known as the Knights of Malta. With this chat we continue with the Maltese knights, but with an emphasis on the intrigues they embarked upon during the Cold War era. As such, this conversation focuses heavily on Propaganda Due and especially Le Cercle. As such, a lot of the material for this chat was drawn from two separate series I wrote on these two entities. For those of you looking for additional information on topics discussed in this chat, I suggest checking them out:

Propaganda Due: A Strange and Terrible Journey Into the Heart of the Deep State

Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four
Part Five
Part Six
Part Seven
Part Eight
Part Nine
Part Ten
Part Eleven
Part Twelve

Le Cercle: Clerical Fascism and the Pedophocracy

Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four
Part Five
Part Six
Part Seven


This chat was long in the making. It was postponed on several occasions initially due to a project I was working on, later because my landline quit working (I can only really do interviews with my landline for reasons that are explained in the chat) and finally, due to me losing power at my cabin for nearly a week in the midst of winter. When we got around to finally doing it, I was quite sick at the time to boot. As such, I wasn't nearly as prepared for this chat as I would have liked to be, hence the reason its just a little over an hour. Nevertheless, there is some interesting information contained in it, most notably Trump's links to the Knights of Malta.

Finally, I also offer an explanation as to why the blog has only been updated sparingly for the past few months: Because I've been working on another project, namely writing a book with Frank Zero. For those of you interested, much more information on this project is revealed during the chat with Ryan.

As always, I hope everyone enjoys. Regular updates on this blog should be much more frequent now that the book project is mostly done, aside from a little final editing. Thank you regular readers for your patience and continuing to frequent this site during the long drought. Hopefully, that will help as we try to find a publisher.

Until next time, stay tuned.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

As Above, Revolt Below

After posting some initial thoughts about Russiagate last week, especially in relation to Trump's ambiguous relationship with the FBI, I wanted to follow up this week with a more in-depth analysis. Here I would like to explore the potential reasons for this disastrous hoax, while also considering the motives behind those involved. So grab the popcorn, as this particular exploration is quite the comedy of errors.

One of the most interesting developments in the wake of the Mueller report are revived allegations that various Western intelligence agencies, including those in these United States, attempted to entrap various officials working for the Trump campaign. While these allegations have been floating around for well over a year now, the disastrous fallout from the Mueller report has added additional credence to such charges. Several days after the report was delivered to US Attorney General William Barr, Senator Rand Paul(R-Ky) charged: "So they sent spies into the Trump campaign, they tried to entrap Trump officials to admit they were working with Russia."

Paul alleged to have insider sources feeding him this information, but having direct access to the US intelligence community isn't necessary to gauge the validity of these claims. Indeed, after a precursory examination, it is not difficult to see how sketchy several of the "smoking gun" meetings linked to Russian collusion truly are.

A Few Lowlights

Take, for instance, the much-hyped June 2016 Trump Tower meeting between Don Jr. and Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya. Also present were Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner and lobbyist Paul Manafort, a long time associate of the Orange One. Initially, this meeting was portrayed as a bid by the Trump campaign to receive damaging information on Hillary Clinton from a Russian national who, presumably, had acquired it from Russian intelligence. Veselnitskaya has long insisted, however, that all that was discussed at the meeting were sanctions.

At the time, Veselnitskaya was working for a Russian company known as Prevezon. As part of her efforts on behalf this client, Veselnitskaya had hired Fusion GPS to conduct investigations. That would be the same Fusion GPS, a private intelligence company, that produced the infamous Steele dossier. Indeed, Fusion had just been retained at the time to conduct opposition research into the Trump campaign and Veselnitskaya had even met with Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson on the same morning as the Trump Tower meeting. Both parties have insisted this meeting was unrelated to the later Trump Tower meeting, which would make the meeting highly coincidental and fortuitous at best. At worst, it has a strong whiff of skulduggery about it.

And what of the ominous Trump Tower Moscow project that was initiated in 2015 and continued throughout the 2016 presidential elections? Trump's former attorney, Michael Cohen, worked closely on this project and later lied to Congress about how long Trump was involved in it. Financing for the project was to be provided by the VTB Bank, an institution owned by the Russia government and under sanctions at the time. What's more, the loan had been procured by a former GRU (Russian military intelligence) officer.

Sounds pretty serious, right? But here's the catch: the former Russian military intelligence officer has also worked with US intelligence, including passing on information related to Russian military technology, the satellite phone numbers of Osama bin Laden, and photographs of a North Korean official purchasing nuclear materials. Further, the long time backer of a Trump Tower in Moscow is a mysterious figure known as Felix Sater, the former managing director of Bayrock Group LLC who is reputed to have extensive ties to organized crime. Sater had been a senior adviser to Trump and The Trump Organization since the early '00s and had been working on developing a Trump Tower in Moscow since at least 2005.

It was Sater who brought the former GRU officer into the project. And like this former GRU officer, Sater has worked with US intelligence community for years, beginning as an FBI informant during the late '90s. In other words, the alleged links to the sanctioned VTB Bank were facilitated by a GRU officer and a gangster with links to the US intelligence community, the latter having maintained ties for nearly two decades.

Mr. Sater, whom we shall encounter again before this piece is finished
Easily the most pathetic effort are the allegations that Roger Stone met with a purported Russian agent to acquire dirt on Hillary during May of 2016. The individual in question, who used the alias "Henry Greenberg," is a Russian national with a criminal history in the these United States. Stone alleges that Greenberg asked for two million dollars in exchange for the information he possessed on Hillary. Stone promptly dismissed Greenberg as a crackpot and that was the end of that.

Later, Stone would allege that Greenberg had in actuality been an FBI informant, a claim of some merit. "Greenberg" did in fact make regular trips between Russia and the United States on behest of the FBI between 2008-2012 and would continue working with the Bureau officially until 2013. The three year gap between Greenberg's work with Bureau and his meeting with Stone has been used as evidence that Greenberg had gone back to work with the Russians. The Atlantic even dredged up a former FBI special agent, one Frank Montoya Jr., to proclaim: "My read on Greenberg is that he was either working at the behest of the Russians or he was freelancing (which means it was at the behest of the Russians)."

Ah yes, because the famed Russian intelligence services would task a man who had just worked with the American FBI three year prior with contacting the Trump campaign in a bid to steal the 2016 election. Its not like this would have been a sensitive operation or anything, so why not enlist a man with a criminal background who had recently collaborated with the US intelligence community?

The International Man of Mystery

But as sketchy as the Trump Tower meeting and Stone's May 2016 face-to-face with Greenberg are, nothing can quite surpass the curious fortunes of George Papadopoulos, the man who allegedly spurred the FBI's investigation after drunkenly boasting to an Australian diplomat that the Russians were in possession of material that could be damaging to Hillary Clinton (emails were never discussed in this meeting, as is often claimed). As with Stone's curious meeting with Mr. Greenberg, this occurred in May of 2016. The diplomat in question later reported this conversation to the FBI, setting in motion the Trump-Russia collusion narrative.

Papadopoulos had officially joined Trump's campaign as a foreign policy adviser on March 21, 2016. Earlier that month, Papadopoulos had visited Link Campus University in Rome, a university that has been used to train Western intelligence agents, including those from the FBI and CIA. It was during this time that he first met a highly mysterious figure known as Joseph Mifsud, a Maltese national who allegedly helped set up the Link Campus. Mifsud is an absolutely crucial figure to the Russiagate narrative --arguably the linchpin. Mifsud has been widely described as a Russian intelligence agent by the Western media.

During their time together in Rome, Mifsud alleged to Papadopoulos that he had high level contacts within the Russian government. Three days after officially joining Trump's campaign, Papadopoulos met again with Mifsud, this time in London. Mifsud was accompanied by a woman whom he allegedly introduced as a relative of Vladimir Putin (Mifsud himself later denied this claim). Papadopoulos would again meet with Mifsud in London a little over a month later (April 26, 2016, to be exact). This time, Mifsud allegedly boasted to Papadopoulos that the Russians had dirt on Hillary in the form of thousands of emails. Apparently, it was this particular claim that spurred Papadopoulos' ill conceived boasts to the Australian ambassador.

The question then becomes, how plausible is it that Mifsud was an agent of the Russian government?

 The answer: Not very likely.

While there is no question that Mifsud had dealings with Russian officials at times, and was a regular participant in the Valdai Discussion Club and the Russian International Affairs Council, Russia-based think tanks with ties to the government there, the bulk of his contacts were with fellow academics (Mifsud himself is a professor). Mifsud's highest level contact in the Russian government appears to have been academic Ivan Timofeev, who is involved with both of the above-mentioned think tanks. While Timofeev is highly respected in academic circles in Russia and linked to the nation's Foreign Affairs Ministry, he appears to be a minor official at best.

Conversely, Mifsud appears to have longstanding ties to Western intelligence services. One of his principal patrons at the Link Campus was Vincenzo Scotti, a former Italian Interior Minister and intelligence asset. He also had a longstanding relationship with British diplomat Claire Smith, a former member of the UK's Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC). The JIC oversees the UK's entire intelligence community, including GCHQ (the UK's NSA), MI5, and MI6. It is the senior intelligence assessment body in the UK and a part of the Cabinet Office. As such, Smith would have access to much of the intelligence being generated by the UK's secret services.

Another curious link of Mifsud's is to an Riyadh-based think tank, likely the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies. The think tank was run by Prince Turki al Faisal, who headed Saudi intelligence for nearly a quarter of a century before becoming an ambassador to the UK and US in the wake of 9/11. Prince Turki has long maintained close ties to the Bush family and especially the US intelligence community.
"Prince Turki had been a subject of CIA interest ever since his father had sent him to prep school at The Lawrenceville School in New Jersey. Agency talent spotters on the faculty at Georgetown University kept close track of Turki until he dropped out of Georgetown to return home at the outbreak of the 1967 war with Israel. After later completing his education in England, Turki again returned home to prepare himself to eventually succeed his uncle Kamal Adham as director of Saudi Intelligence...
"Both Prince Turki and Sheikh Kamal Adham would play enormous roles in servicing a spy network designed to replace the official CIA while it was under congressional scrutiny between the time of Watergate and the end of the Carter administration. The idea of using the Saudi royal family to bypass the American Constitution did not originate in the Kingdom. Adham was initially approached by one of the most respected and powerful men in Washington, Clark Clifford, who rose to power under Harry Truman and had enjoyed a relationship with the intelligence community for years...
"Prince Turki himself acknowledge the private network for the first time in an uncharacteristically candid speech given to Georgetown University alumni in February 2002: 'And now I will go back to the secret that I promised to tell you. In 1976, after the Watergate matters took place here, your intelligence community was literally tied up by Congress. It could not do anything. It could not send spies, it could not write reports, and it could not pay money. In order to compensate for that, a group of countries got together in the hope of fighting Communism and established what was called the Safari Club. The Safari Club included France, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, and Iran. The principal aim of this club was that we would share information with each other and help each other in countering Soviet influence worldwide, and especially in Africa. In the 1970s, there were still some countries in Africa that were coming out of colonialism, among them Mozambique, Angola, and I think Djibouti. The main concern of everybody was that the spread of Communism was taking place while the main country that would oppose Communism was tied up. Congress had literally paralyzed the work not only of the US intelligence community but of its foreign service as well. And so the Kingdom, with these countries, helped in some way, I believe, to keep the world safe at the time when the United States was not able to do that. That, I think, is a secret that many of you don't know. I'm not saying it because I look to tell secrets, but because the time has gone and many of the actors are gone as well. 
"Turki's 'secret' was that the Saudi royal family had taken over intelligence financing for the United States. It was during this time period that the Saudis opened up a series of covert accounts at Riggs Bank in Washington. Starting in the mid-1970s, bank investigators say, these accounts show that tens of millions of dollars were being transferred between CIA operational accounts and accounts controlled by Saudi companies and the Saudi embassy itself. Turki worked directly with agency operatives like Sarkis Soghanalian and Ed Wilson..."
(Prelude to Terror, Joseph J. Trento, pgs. 100-102)
Prince Turki
Turki had then effectively helped set up a "private CIA" to circumvent Congress during the mid-1970s. The CIA director at the time? George H.W. Bush. For more information on the infamous Safari Club, one of the chief fronts for this private CIA, check here.

Curiously, Mifsud was also director for a time of an entity known as the Centre for War and Peace Studies, a research center based out of the Link Campus University. Link was one of the two principal sponsors behind the Centre, the other being a Saudi charity known as Essam & Dalal Obaid Foundation (EDOF). EDOF is headed by an individual with longstanding links to Prince Turki and Saudi intelligence.

Mifsud's links to the Saudis, besides strongly suggesting connections to the Western security services, also places him firmly within the camp of the neo-liberal/globalist elite. This connection is further bolstered by his friendship with Link Campus colleague Gianni Pittella, a member of the European Parliament who headed the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats group in the parliament from 2014-2018. Pittella attended the 2016 Democratic National Convention where he made a big splash by taking a very vocal position against Republican candidate Donald Trump while also endorsing Hillary. Pittella has had a longstanding friendship with Mifsud.

Needless to say, all of this should raise serious doubts about the notion that Mifsud was officially connected to the Russia government, or some type of spy for said government. These notions are further discredited by the actions of US officials after Papadopoulos had first mentioned Mifsud to the FBI on January 27, 2017. The FBI would then interview Mifsud between February 8-12 of that year, with no arrest occurring. Mifsud would continue to meet with senior UK officials during 2017, with the US seemingly taking no actions to warn their European counterparts about Mifsud's potential links to Russian intelligence.

If Mifsud was in fact a Russian spy playing a central role in establishing a channel to the Trump campaign, these actions are completely inexplicable. Further exasperating the credibility of Mifsud-as-a-Russian-spy are the inaction against his former colleagues in the wake of his 2018 disappearance. If in fact Mifsud was a spy for the Russians, he arguably was one of the most well placed in history. Through Link, he had established ample contacts throughout Western intelligence and diplomatic services, meaning that any number of his former colleagues could also be Russian agents. Surely this would have been of great concern to various Western intelligence services, and yet little effort has been made to find Mifsud since his disappearance so as to determine who he had compromised and/or recruited.

In other words, the lack of action on the part of Western security services strongly indicates that they do not take seriously the allegations that Mifsud is a Russian spy. If they did, he surely would have been arrested by the FBI in February of 2017 as he was allegedly the chief point of contact between Trump and the Russians. That he was let go speaks volumes. That no serious effort has been made to find him, despite colleagues insisting that he is hiding out in the Italian countryside with the aid of Italian intelligence (which was worked closely with the CIA since the end of WWII) should close the door on the notion that he is a Russian spy.

A Theater of the Absurd

Of course, the Steele dossier and what appears to have been numerous efforts to entrap Trump officials were not all that was on display. Who can forget the bizarre role of Stefan Halper, an acknowledged FBI informant placed in the Trump campaign. As was noted before here, Halper is a lifelong Republican with strong ties to the Bush family --to the point that he appears to have been running a spy ring within the Carter White House leading up to the 1980 Presidential Election on behalf of former CIA director and vice-presidential candidate George H.W. Bush. Halper had been working with Jeb Bush's campaign (it is widely believed supporters of Jeb are who initially hired Fusion GPS to investigate Trump) for the 2016 elections, and then appears to have latched onto Trump's team in the spring of that year with the intention of spying.

Special Agent Walrus
Halper targeted the hapless Papadopoulos, among others. Halper met Papadopoulos several times in London with a Turkish woman described as his assistant. During at least one of these meetings, Halper brought up the the DNC email hack allegedly leaked by the Russians. He reportedly pressed Papadopoulos on this issue, leading the Trump official to believe that Halper was recording him with the intention of entrapping him. Halper's assistant, a woman named Azra Turk, also brought up the emails with Papadopoulos over drinks. She also allegedly flirted with him aggressively and invited him to meet her in Chicago (Papadopoulos lived there at the time). As such, the possibility exists that in addition to being targeted by two separate informants, a honey trap was also being laid for Papadopoulos. How big of a dupe did they think this guy is?

Using Halper was certainly a bizarre choice. After all, Roger Stone had recently written a book (with the son of E. Howard Hunt no less) attacking Jeb Bush and noting Halper's role in 1980 election intrigues on the part of Bush I. Surely, a few red flags were raised when Halper began cozying up to Trump officials. After all, even George Papadopoulos appears to have figured out that something was amiss with the man. But the coup de grace had to have been Halper openly endorsing Hillary right before the election.


Then question then becomes --why did the anti-Trumpers go to such great lengths to fabricate Russian collusion within the Trump campaign? After all, its not like there weren't any number of actual crimes that could have been used to stop Trump. If you want collusion with a foreign government, why not address the numerous improprieties between Trump officials and Israel? And what of Trump's numerous links to organized crime, which this blog has chronicled herehere, and here

Well, the problem with going after actual collusion with a foreign government is that both parties are thoroughly compromised in this sense, as I noted before here. And as for going after Trump's ample ties to organized crime, well, that might turn up somethings that would be very damaging to Democratic royalty as well. Consider, for instance, Trump's potential ties to a Kentucky-based crime syndicate known as the Company, noted before here and here. The Company. whose heyday was during the late 1970s and early 1980s, was comprised largely of former military and law enforcement personnel, was deeply involved in illegal drug and arms trafficking, and appears to have close ties to the administration of Kentucky governor John Y. Brown. During the early 1980s, Trump appears to have become close with John Y. and his wife, Phyllis George.

And so too did the Clintons during this era. As such, a thorough investigation into the Company would potential cause as many issues for the Clintons as Trump. The same could be set for Trump's mafia ties in NYC, where the mob had worked closely with the Democratic Party for decades. Do TPTB really want to dig too deeply into these murky waters?

John Y. Brown, Phyllis George, and Trump are standing for this picture taken during early 1980s in the midst of the Kentucky Derby season. Hillary Clinton looks on at the far left

There are no easy explanations for why anti-Trump forces felt the need to fabricate largely wholesale this Russian collusion narrative. As indicated above, it may have simply been because they needed something that wouldn't blow back on the forces behind the anti-Trumpers. Of course, fabricating this narrative is not without risks, as I'm sure John O. Brennan and James Clapper are just now starting to realize. Was it hubris, a mistaken belief that they could unseat Trump before light was shed on this bogus narrative, that drove them to embrace Russiagate? Or were both factions working together for a more sinister agenda?

Brennan and The Clap
Given the close ties Brennan and Clapper have to the private intelligence racket, and the close links various Trump officials have to the private military industry, such a possibility can not be discounted. Keep in mind, Erik Prince has been vigorously pushing to outsource the war in Afghanistan, potentially the first of further moves to privatize the national security state. If Russiagate proves to be as disastrous to the US intelligence community as the Iraqi WMDs debacle, Prince's proposal could gain real traction. 

But there is also a stark divide between the pro and anti Trump forces in the national security state. Brennan and Clapper, the two officials believed to have been at the forefront of launching Russiagate, are career intelligence officers with backgrounds in intelligence analysis and signals intelligence (SIGNIT), respectively. Neither man appears to have had a lot of expertise in covert operations, and appear to have been groomed for top posts in CIA and military intelligence, respectively. By contrast, the bulk of Trump backers drawn from the ranks of the national security state --which include Prince, General Michael T. Flynn, General Keith Kellogg, and General William G. Boykin (more information on this rogue's gallery can be found here) --are all special operations forces veterans with ample experience running covert operations. As such, while men like Brennan and Clapper may have set policy, it often fell to men like Prince, Flynn, Kellogg and Boykin to implement it in the field. 

What's more, there appears to be a lot of bad blood between Team Trump and the Obama administration. Of course, we can start with Trump himself. There has been much speculation that one of the catalysts for Trump's presidential run was the 2011 White House Correspondents' Association dinner where Trump was publicly humiliated by Obama himself. Assuming that this blog is correct, and Trump himself has been running black operations involving the mob and other unsavory elements since at least the late 1970s, its easy to see why being called out by a former community organizer might have got in the Orange One's craw.

Trump at the 2011 White House Correspondents dinner
And then there's Erik Prince. While still CEO of Blackwater, the company's CIA contracts were canceled once Obama assumed office. To add insult to injury, Prince's CIA work was allegedly "outed" by Leon Panetta (another anti-Trumper), Obama's original CIA director and later Secretary of Defense. Prince left Blackwater in 2010 and did not work for the US government again during the Obama years. Having lost his company and millions of dollars of government contracts surely stung Prince a bit.

Erik Prince during better days
Elsewhere, General Michael T. Flynn was forced to retire before his tenure as director of the DIA was complete due to pressure from Obama officials. One of those, incidentally, was James Clapper. Flynn was not the only Trump backer Clapper has ruffled the feathers of, either. General William G. Boykin had left government service in 2007, after Rumsfeld had been outed as Secretary of Defense and replaced by Robert Gates, a long time Bush family alley. At the time Boykin was serving a the Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence, his boss being controversial neo-con Stephen Cambone. Gates quickly took steps to change this state of affairs by making Clapper the Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence after Cambone resigned.
"... After taking Cambone's job, Clapper moved quickly to dismantle some of Cambone's prized programs. In April 2007, after ordering a review of the Counterintelligence Field Activity Office, he terminated CIFA's massive Talon database, which over a period of six years a compiled dossiers on thousands of U.S. citizens...
"Gates showed his cards again in May 2007, when he accepted the retirement of General William Boykin, who had overseen the Pentagon's counterterrorism operations and command of the Joint Intelligence Operations Centers. Gates replaced him with Major General Richard Zahner, the NSA's director of signals intelligence. This, too, sent a strong message: Boykin have been one of the biggest proponents of dispatching Pentagon intelligence collectors abroad to gather information for future military operations, a practice that Gates and Clapper quickly ended in 2007. Now the military's covert operations would be run by a technocrat skilled in the classified arts of electronic eavesdropping and information sharing. Putting an NSA man loyal to the DNI in Boykin's place meant, first, no more ranting about Muslims following 'the devil'; and, second, someone whose loyalties were to the national agencies – the NSA, the NGA, and the NRO – rather than to the Pentagon."
(Spies for Hire, Tim Shorrock, pgs. 181-182)
During his time as Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence, Boykin had gone to great lengths to increase the Pentagon's HUMINT (human intelligence) capabilities. As Jeremy Scahill reports in Dirty Wars, a staunch opponent of this process had been John O. Brennan. Indeed, Brennan and Clapper appear to have been at the forefront to reverse Bush II era intelligence reforms that Boykin had played a key role in launching. And here Brennan and Clapper are in an all out war with the Trump regime while Boykin remains close to Keith Kellogg, whom he has known for 35 years. It is also highly likely that Prince and Flynn have had dealings with Boykin during his tenure as Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence as well.

These connections stretch coincidence and strongly imply that there is bad blood between the pro and anti Trump factions stretching back to at least the Bush II years. As such, I do believe the civil war is quite real, and both ideological and personal in nature. In the case of Trump's national security backers, the whole thing has the air of a revolt against the bureaucratic classes within the CIA and Pentagon from their former subordinates tasked with directly waging the empire's wars. Unfortunately for Brennan and the Clap, despite the numerous high level post they've held over the years, they do not seem to be as well versed in the dark arts as the empire's field operators. And this is hardly a surprise.

Epilogue: The FBI Revolt

In the theme of a revolt from below against the bureaucracy, something similar appears to be happening in the FBI. In the companion piece to this one, I noted the longtime associate both Trump and his political mentor, Roy Cohn, had with the Bureau. There I speculated that this relationship may have influenced the actions of Robert Mueller and James Comey in reversing Trump's political fortunes in 2019 and 2016, respectively.

But upon further research, I have found compelling evidence that Mueller and Comey were being pressured from below. Specifically, from the Bureau's New York field office. Within the FBI, there appears to be a similar divide between field agents and the Washington bureaucracy that I have outlined above within the CIA and Pentagon. Reportedly, the New York office is especially resentful of their superiors in Washington and this came to a head over the Hillary Clinton email scandal. Comey allegedly committed his October Surprise weeks before the 2016 election out of fear that the New York office would soon leak the recent discovery of emails on Anthony Weiner's laptop that were considered relevant into the ongoing Clinton email investigation.

Reportedly, factions within the New York FBI office were fanatically anti-Hillary and pro-Trump. This is interesting in light of Trump's longstanding relationship with mobster and longtime FBI informant Felix Sater. Sater has had dealings with The Trump Organization since the early 2000s, eventually becoming a crucial adviser around 2006 and would continue to work with the organization up until 2016. Sater also worked as an FBI informant for much of this time as well. When Sater was first "turned" during the late 1990s, his original handler was an FBI agent known as Leo Taddeo. At the time, Taddeo was working with the New York office, which he would continue to work (after doing some work overseas) with until 2015, at which point he was the Special Agent in Charge of New York's Cyber/Special Operations Division. Given that Sater has been based out of New York for decades now, it is likely he enjoyed an ongoing relationship with the New York office.

the FBI's New York field office
Isn't it interesting that a longtime business partner of Trump's happened to be an FBI informant with links to the New York office, the same New York office that played a crucial role in forcing Comey's October Surprise? And even more interesting is the fact that several crucial members of Special Council Robert Mueller's staff also had ample dealings with Sater over the years. And what if Sater was aware of damaging information from his time as an FBI informant working with these investigators? Certainly that would have effected Mueller's investigation, to put it mildly.

Final Thoughts

The more I look at these threads, the more convinced I become that Trump's  election was driven by a revolt from the lower levels of the national security state against their DC overlords. Despite the tremendous resources these overlords have at their disposal via the neoliberal elite --including control of the media (both old school and social), academia, NGOs, most of the major cities in these United States, and so on --they're proven largely ineffectual at stemming this revolt. While this may seem surprising on the surface, the opposition largely consists of the men (and even a few women) tasked with enforcing the post-9/11 national security state. They have overseen repressive measures at home and toppled numerous countries at home throughout the twenty-first century. As such, Brennan, Clapper, Mueller, Comey, and their ilk are likely in for a very rude awakening.

As is the American public at large if this covert civil war spills out into the open.