Theistic Satanism: Home > Politics > Nazi > Anti-Jew racism (a.k.a. anti-Semitism)
A brief critique of anti-Jew racist ideology
(especially among some Satanists)
by Diane Vera
Copyright © 2006 Diane Vera. All rights reserved.
- What is anti-Jew racism (a.k.a. anti-Semitism)?
- Comspiracy theories and the parallels between anti-Jew racism and anti-Satanism
- Alleged Jewish control of the U.S. government
- Jews, liberal political activism, and tolerance, both racial and religious
- What is anti-Jew racism (a.k.a. anti-Semitism)?
Most Satanists have very strong disagreements with Judaism the religion - as well as with its offspring, Christianity and Islam - and I see nothing wrong with that. But that's an entirely different matter from being prejudiced against all Jews as people, even against nonreligious Jews. For that matter, having strong disagreements with a particular religion doesn't require one to hate all individual members of that religion, either. It is better - and more consistent with the individualism of most forms of Satanism - to judge individual people as individuals. For other reasons too, as I'll explain further down on this page, it is both absurd and against our interests for Satanists to be anti-Jew racists.
In this article I'll use the terms "anti-Jew bigotry" and "anti-Jew racism" to refer to what has long been called "anti-Semitism": prejudice against all Jews as people, as distinct from whatever criticisms one might have of Judaism as a religion. Technically the term "anti-Semitism" isn't accurate, because Arabs are Semites too, whereas "anti-Semitism" usually refers only to prejudice against Jews and not Arabs. Technically the term "anti-Jew racism" isn't quite accurate either, because Jews aren't really a "race." However, most of the proponents of what I will call "anti-Jew racist ideology" do think of Jews as a "race," so, in terms of their own point of view, it is indeed racist. I will use the term "anti-Jew racism" to refer specifically to Nazi-style hatred of Jews as a "race," whereas I will use the term "anti-Jew bigotry" to refer more generally to prejudice against Jews.
This article was originally titled "A brief critique of anti-Semitic ideology," but I decided to change the title for two reasons: (1) This article's purpose isn't to slight Arabs by implying that they aren't Semites. (2) This article is an attempt to reason with neo-Nazi Satanists, so it behooves me to avoid terminological quibbles with neo-Nazis. Although Hitler freely called himself an anti-Semite in Mein Kampf, today's neo-Nazis are fond of pointing out the inaccuracy of the term, perhaps in an attempt to win sympathy from Arabs. In any case, the blanket hatred which has traditionally been called "anti-Semitism" is still real, even if I call it by a different name; and that blanket hatred is what this article aims to oppose.
By "anti-Jew racism" and "anti-Jew bigotry," I do not mean anti-Zionism. Too many Zionists, both Jewish and evangelical Christian, have accused anti-Zionists of being "anti-Semitic" (or, if Jewish, "self-hating"). Conversely, neo-Nazis have used relatively mainstream criticisms of the state of Israel as an excuse to justify anti-Jew racism. However, criticism of the state of Israel is not the same thing as - and certainly does not justify - a hatred of Jews. My point here is not to take a stand regarding the state of Israel, which I see as a complex issue, beyond the scope of this essay. I'm just clarifying what I do and do not mean by "anti-Jew racism" and "anti-Jew bigotry" for purposes of this article.
On this page I'll talk mainly about secular anti-Jew racist ideologies, with only occasional references to religious ones such as Christian Identity and the Joy of Satan.
- Comspiracy theories and the parallels between anti-Jew racism and anti-Satanism
Anti-Jew racism is central to the neo-Nazi belief system. Jews definitely play a starring role in neo-Nazi demonology. Of all the many categories of people whom the neo-Nazis want either to kill or to expel from the White Nation, only Jews are seen as the evil masterminds behind all the world's problems. Other races are despised but not fixated upon. In Christian Identity parlance, Jews are "the children of Satan," whereas other races are just "mud people."
If you're a Satanist, the idea of a bunch of evil masterminds behind all the world's problems should sound very familiar. It's pretty much the same thing that the wackier Christian religious right wingers have said about the "generational Satanists" of "the Illuminati" and "the New World Order." The Satanic Ritual Abuse (SRA) scare of the 1980's and early 1990's can be seen as a more politically correct substitute both for modern-style anti-Jew racism and for medieval-style Christian anti-Judaism, in which Jews were accused of atrocities such as baking bread using the blood of Christian babies. I would strongly suspect that anti-Jew and anti-Satanist ideologies have both influenced each other's development. In any case, the similarities between anti-Jew and anti-Satanist ideologies are indeed striking. In the 1980's, there was even a widely circulated document called The Seven W.I.C.C.A. Letters, similar in many ways to The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
Some Satanists enjoy pretending that the anti-Satanist propaganda is true. Yep it can be fun to imagine being one of the world's evil masterminds. It might not be quite so amusing if a lot of us had relatives who had been killed over such nonsense. So far, we Satanists haven't been hurt too badly, at least not here in the U.S.A. In the 1980-1995 SRA scare, the vast majority of the falsely accused were ordinary mainstream folks, not Satanists, and not even adherents of other nonmainstream religions which have been popularly confused with Satanism, such as Wicca.
However, a future wave of anti-Satanist paranoia could bite us a lot worse than the last one did. In the meantime, it's in our best interests to do what we can to discourage paranoid grand-conspiracy thinking of any kind, regardless of whether the targets are Satanists, Jews, Freemasons, or alleged space aliens. Many grand-conspiracy theories involve two or more of these targets, whose roles are more-or-less interchangeable and are sometimes blended, e.g. in the idea that either Jews or "generational Satanists" are alien/human hybrids. The sheer ridiculousness of some of these theories may make it difficult to take them seriously as a real threat. Nevertheless, as the ongoing worldwide popularity of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion shows, the threat is still real.
There are good reasons to be skeptical of all grand-conspiracy theories. Real-life secret conspiracies do exist, of course, but in general they are relatively small. They do not have thousands, let alone millions, of members. The more members, the harder it is to coordinate and the harder it is to keep the group's secrets for very long. Furthermore, many grand-conspiracy theories have had their origin in proven frauds and hoaxes.
For more about conspiracy theories, see the following articles:
- What is a Conspiracy Theory? in the sci.skeptic FAQ
- On the Skeptic's Dictionary site: (1) Illuminati, The New World Order & Paranoid Conspiracy Theorists (PCTs) and (2) Protocols of the Elders of Zion
- The Gothic Milieu: Black Metal, Satanism, and Vampires by Massimo Introvigne - includes a brief history of anti-Satanist conspiracy theories since the 1600's. (But his history of the goth music genre is way off base, according to Lillee Allee.)
- Conspiracy Theories and Paranoia: Notes from a Mind-Control Conference by Evan Harrington, Skeptical Inquirer magazine : September/October 1996
- Paranoia paradise by Chris Horrie, BBC News Online, Thursday, 4 April, 2002
Not surprisingly, some Jew-haters have recently claimed that Jews in general are Satanists or somehow linked with Satanism, according to the following reports on the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) website: (1) Muslims of the Americas: In Their Own Words and (2) Gordon Winrod: In His Own Words.
Alleged Jewish control of the U.S. government
Not all neo-Nazis frame their anti-Jew racism in terms of a full-blown grand conspiracy theory.
Others just exaggerate and draw all manner of sinister conclusions from the reality that Jews, as a political constituency, are indeed influential out of proportion to their numbers. It is indeed true that a lot of the major mass media are owned by Jews. It's also true that Jews have been disproportionately active in many different political causes. And no doubt these are among the reasons why we keep hearing about the Holocaust every year at mid-spring (given the new annual Jewish holy day of Yom Hashoah - Holocaust Remembrance Day), whereas we don't keep hearing about the Armenian genocides. But neo-Nazis and other anti-Jew racist ideologues greatly exaggerate and distort the significance of these facts.
For example, "Jewish influence" is alleged to amount to a full-fledged occupation of the U.S.A. by a foreign power, namely Israel. American neo-Nazis commonly speak of the U.S. government as "ZOG" - the "Zionist Occupational Government." Supposedly the U.S. government's pro-Israel policies constitute proof that "the Jews" are in total control of the U.S. government. This is ridiculous for three reasons:
- Jews are far from a majority among the very richest people in this country. Jews do not own most of the banks, oil, etc. To this day, the U.S.A.'s elite is predominantly WASP.
- The vast majority of American Zionists aren't Jews but evangelical Christians who believe in pre-millenial Dispensationalist eschatology - which isn't exactly pro-Jewish in other ways. Dispensationalists are pro-Israel because the state of Israel happens to fit nicely into their end-times prophecies. But these same Christians also believe in the divinely ordained inevitability of all sorts of misfortunes that will befall "the Jews" and Israel. And, if someone were to come along who was widely seen by Jews as the Messiah, these same Christians would see that person as the Antichrist. Many Dispensationalists also make a big point of encouraging Christians to try to convert Jews to Christianity. For more about the relationship between American evangelical Christianity and the state of Israel, see:
- Christian Zionism on Theocracy Watch
- Evangelical theology drives American attitudes toward Israel & Middle East by Mark Wingfield, Baptist Standard, April 15, 2002.
- Christian Zionism: An Egregious Threat to Middle East Understanding, Council for the National Interest, 26 October 2006 (another copy here)
- Christianity Today's preview of How Evangelicals Became Israel's Best Friend by By Timothy P. Weber, October 5, 1998
- The end of the world by Jane Lampman, Christian Science Monitor February 18, 2004.
- US Christian Right's Grip on Middle East Policy by Stephen Zunes, Asia Times, Jul 8, 2004 (another copy on ZNet)
Many Zionist Jews have mixed feelings about Zionist Christians; they're glad for all the support they can get, but at the same time are worried about these same Christians' efforts to convert Jews to Christianity. (See Plans for Holy Land theme park on Galilee shore where Jesus fed the 5,000 by Conal Urquhart, The Guardian (UK), Tel Aviv, Wednesday, January 4, 2006.) Dispensationalism, which first became popular in the mid-1880's, differs sharply from traditional Christian eschatology, which did not believe in any special future role for Jews or for Israel. But it should also be noted that Dispensationalism predates, rather than being derived from, Jewish Zionism, so it's very unlikely to have been a result of Jewish manipulation of Christians. (See the five-part series of articles on Christian Zionism by Donald Wagner.) Jewish Zionists do have a very powerful alliance with but do not control the evangelical Christian religious right wing. If the Jewish Zionists were truly in control to the degree that neo-Nazis claim, then surely, by now, they would have managed to popularize some theological argument to convince evangelical Christians that Jews are still adequately covered under the "old Covenant" and don't need to convert to Christianity.
There are quite a few anti-Zionist Jews, both among political leftists and liberals (whom the neo-Nazis hate even more than they hate the Zionists) and among some Orthodox Jewish groups who believe that the state of Israel is illegitimate because it was founded by someone other than the Messiah. (See Jewish Criticism of Zionism by Edward C. Corrigan, Middle East Policy Council Journal, Winter 1990-91, Number 35.)
So, the U.S. government's pro-Israel policies do not imply that the U.S. governemt is controlled by "the Jews" - not even by Zionist Jews, and especially not by those Jews whom the neo-Nazis hate most of all, the ones who consistently oppose the idea of a state that is defined either by religion or by race/ethnicity.
Also, "Jewish influence" is far from monolithic. Jews have a saying, "Two Jews, three opinions." On most political matters, Jews hold a variety of opinions. A believer in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion would say that Jews don't really disagree with each other; they just pretend to in order to confuse the rest of us. But that's just silly. Anyone who could say such a thing obviously doesn't know very many Jews.
Jews, liberal political activism, and tolerance, both racial and religious
Thoughout much of the 1800's and 1900's, Jews tended to be disproportionately liberal or left wing in their political views, compared to most white people here in the U.S.A. That's still true to a limited extent, although, ever since the foundation of the State of Israel, and especially since the 1970's, more and more Jews have moved to the right. It still does seem to be true that Jews, of whatever political persuasion, tend to be disproportionately interested in and active in politics, although even that certainly isn't true of all Jews.
Anyhow, what is the main thing Jews have done that makes Jews so utterly evil in the eyes of most neo-Nazis?
The main thing is Jewish involvement in anti-racist activism. Many white people, predominantly Jews, were active in the civil rights movement for black Americans back in the early 1960's. More generally, and for a much longer period of time, many Jewish political activists have used the strategy of an alliance of out-groups to defend the rights of people in all the out-groups including Jews themselves. The alliance of out-groups was and is a very wise strategy, in my opinion. But it has been twisted by neo-Nazis into an evil Jewish plot to take over the world and "destroy the white race," supposedly using all the "mud races" and the "perverts" as a battering ram.
Exactly why neo-Nazis think Jews would want to "destroy the white race" is a bit of a mystery, given that most Jews themselves are white. Do the neo-Nazis really believe that white Jews want to be the only white people left in the entire world? What would Jews gain from that?
The political strategy of an alliance of out-groups is certainly not a good reason for Satanists to hate Jews. In fact, I personally think it would be a very good idea for Satanists to adopt a variant of this same strategy, although all too many Satanists today are prejudiced against it, due to what I call Satanist superman syndrome.
In any case, the average Jew is more likely than the average Christian to have an open-minded attitude toward unpopular religious minorities including Satanists. Furthermore, liberal Jewish political activists have been among the staunchest defenders of religious freedom and separation of church and state, at least here in the U.S.A. And, for these reasons alone, it's just plain stupid for Satanists to be anti-Jew racists.