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"Fight dem back!" (FDB)
Religious bigotry in the name of opposing "Nazi scum"


by Diane Vera



Copyright © 2006 Diane Vera. All rights reserved.



Among activists against racism and other forms of bigotry, it is generally considered irresponsible for a newspaper to publish a lot of news stories about "Muslim terrorists" without also mentioning, at least once in a while, that there also exist plenty of Muslims who don't approve of the terrorists' activities. If the latter are never or only rarely mentioned, the public can easily get the impression that all or most Muslims are terrorists, leading possibly to mob violence and other mistreatment of law-abiding Muslims.

However, some anti-Nazi watchdog groups and writers fail to apply similar principles to other minority religions that aren't as popular as Islam.

One particularly bad example is a group called "Fight Dem Back!" (FDB), whose stated purpose is "Fighting Race-Hate in Australia and New Zealand." FDB has a blog entry titled Kerry Bolton a nut, or just a misunderstood Mormon/Satanist/Nazi? containing the following:

1980 Founded the Church of Odin. This was based on worship of the ancient viking pantheon and stressed "Loyalty to race and Culture". Jews were explicitly banned from membership and material referred to "...a scummy tribe of Hebrews". Left it after it wasn't doing what he had hoped. He has also been a Mormon in the past and claims to be a Christian as of 2004.

and:

2004 Satanist.net still listed information about Bolton's Satanic organisations Ordo Sinistra Vivendi, The Black Order and The Order of the Left Hand Path.

There is absolutely no mention of the fact that most Satanists, Norse Pagans/Heathens, and Mormons do not approve of neo-Nazism:

  1. LaVeyan Satanism, which K. Bolton embraced when he first became a Satanist public figure around 1990, does have some aspects which have made it attractive (temporarily) to a number of extreme right wingers. However, LaVeyan Satanism also has aspects which are very contrary to the goals of those same right wingers. For example, LaVey's Satanic Bible was one of the very first religious writings to take a stand in favor of acceptance of gays. For that and other reasons, extreme right wingers who (temporarily) embrace LaVeyan Satanism don't usually stick around for very long.
  2. K. Bolton himself abandoned LaVeyan Satanism within a few years and then embraced, in turn, at least two other forms of Satanism, one of which was a really wacky fringe form that endorsed violent criminal activity (e.g. lynching) under some circumstances, unlike the vast majority of Satanist leaders who do not advocate or condone criminal activity. Bolton then left the Satanist scene altogether at some point in the mid-to-late 1990's if I'm not mistaken, although a few Satanist websites continued to display writings of his from that period.

  3. The Mormons do have quite a history of being racist, but they seem to be trying to move away from it, admittedly not the easiest thing for them to do, given the racist baggage in the Book of Mormon. (See Mormons May Disavow Old View on Blacks by Larry S. Stammer, Los Angeles Times, May 18, 1998; Some blacks say Mormon Church must address racism by Debbie Hummel, Associated Press, June 6, 2003; and New Mormon Aim: Reach Out to Blacks by William Lobdell, Los Angeles Times, September 21, 2003.) Then again, Mormonism is by no means the only religion to have some embarrassing legacies in its scriptures. The Bible, for example, contains plenty of passages in which God commands out-and-out genocide. I should also say that there's plenty of current Mormon doctrine I find appalling, e.g. regarding women and gay people. But, alas, Mormons are far from the only religion with such appalling attitudes. It is unfair to suggest that Mormons are Nazis.
  4. As for Norse Paganism/Heathenism, there will probably always be some neo-Nazis who are drawn to it, for obvious reasons. But there are many Heathens who oppose Nazism and racism too. (Some relevant Heathen links can be found near the bottom of my page on Neo-Nazism and unpopular minority religions - a request to anti-Nazi watchdog groups.) At least Heathens aren't saddled with a racist scripture.

Back to the "Fight dem back!" blog. Of all of K. Bolton's many religious affiliations over the years, the only one that the FDB blogger questions his sincerity on is the most recent Christian one. To me it seems likely that Bolton sees religion in general as a tool to be used for political ends, and that this applies more-or-less equally to all the the many different kinds of religious organizations which he has either joined or founded. Then again, for all I know, he might have had a series of sincere religious conversions. Who are any of us to judge? Of course it might be interesting to ask what exact form of Christianity K. Bolton now embraces and how his political views fit into it.

Another FDB blog entry, Kerry Bolton versus Mrs I B of Fielding, mentions the catalog of Renaissance Press, apparently run by Kerry Bolton, and says, "It looks like all the Nazi, fascist, satanist and corporatist books are all still there."

Looking at the list of titles in the Renaissance Press catalog, I didn't find any Satanist books. I found a few books which talked about various occultists who held some right wing political views, including Aleister Crowley. (Alas, back in the 1920's and early 1930's, some occult groups did support Hitler -- a very stupid move, because, once Hitler finally came to power, he turned around and outlawed most of those occult groups.) However, these books certainly aren't written from a Satanist point of view, and it is at best debatable whether any of the mentioned occultists should be considered Satanists. I also found Ragnar Redbeard's Might Is Right, a portion of which was plagiarized (minus anti-Semitic remarks) by Anton LaVey. But I'm not aware of any reason to believe that Redbeard himself was a Satanist of any kind. Anti-Christian, yes, Satanist, no.

These two Fight Dem Back blog entries both come across to me as trying to use the popular prejudice against Satanists in order to vilify Kerry Bolton in the eyes of the general public by suggesting  -  dishonestly  -  that he's still "really" a Satanist. (Other blog entries that seem to be doing the same thing, though only in passing, include The new-look National FrontKyle Chapman asks for a defamation suitNew Right - What A Joke!, and An introduction to the NZ National Front.) Likewise the very title of the blog entry Kerry Bolton a nut, or just a misunderstood Mormon/Satanist/Nazi? comes across to me as an attempt to use popular prejudices against Mormons in much the same inflammatory way. Otherwise, why feature his past religious affliations so prominently? There's nothing wrong with mentioning his past religious affiliations, or even with discussing them in some detail as part of a larger biographical profile. But why use them in such a blatantly inflammatory manner? And, in the case of Satanism, why call Bolton a "Satanist" almost every single time FDB has occasion to mention his name?

FDB's attitude toward their enemies seems to be that any stick is good enough to beat them with  -  any stick, that is, except actually bothering to refute their racist views. On the "Fight dem back!" message board, I found lots of statements to the effect that "racists are not to be debated with, they are to be smashed!" In other words, vilify them, insult them, and try to get them censored and run out of town, but don't bother to explain what's wrong with their ideologies, and don't bother to debunk racist claims. Fling as much mud as possible, except at the bull's eye. Admittedly I haven't read the entire FDB website, but so far, the nearest things to a critique of racism I've seen there have been (1) stories about the violent acts committed by some members of various groups and (2) an observation that some white racist activists aren't themselves pure "Aryans" (e.g. in bhe blog entry Embrace your heritage!).

It seems to me that giving so much free publicity (albeit hostile publicity) to racist extremists, without any serious attempt to refute their ideologies or their racist claims, is a gravely mistaken strategy in the long run, though it may seem to be the most efficient approach in the short run.

Insofar as FDB focusses on the more violent extremists, FDB does provide a useful service. They can thereby pressure police to prosecute hate crimes and give the police some useful information. These are laudable aims. But they are all the more reason why, to avoid injustce, the FDB folks really ought to be a lot more careful about getting their facts straight.

In November 2006, I decided to voice some of my concerns in the FDB forum. I decided to focus my complaints on the FDB blog's treatment of Satanism and other minority religions, rather than on my misgivings about FDB's overall strategy.

But first, before posting my complaints, I figured (perhaps wrongly) that it might be best for me to post a few friendly messages in other threads first and try to establish some common ground. My first posts were on page 2 of the thread When the fash say 'Zionist' they mean 'Jew'. I then posted an introduction on page 4 of the New Members: Say G'day and Kiaora thread, where I mentioned that I'd been writing a bunch of online articles to oppose neo-Nazism among Satanists. I then posted in the thread Anti-Racism Resources and got a very friendly reply from one person.

Since I didn't get any unfriendly replies within the first 24 hours, I figured it was now safe for me to voice my complaints. First, I responded to the blog entry Kerry Bolton versus Mrs I B of Fielding in the thread New FDB Post - Kerry Bolton versus Mrs I B of Fielding which had been set up for the very purpose of soliciting feedback on that particular blog entry. One of the moderators, duck monster, replied with the totally irrelevant comment "Nah. Bolton was openly into the whole lavey satanism thing. He seems to hide it now, but yeah. He wrote books and shit on it." Evidently, duck monster hadn't bothered to read my post, which had affirmed and not denied that Bolton had been (openly) very active in the Satanist scehe for a while. He missed my point completely, so I repeated it. My point was that the blog entry had claimed that there were Satanist books in K. Bolton's current catalog, but I didn't find any.

Before posting further complaints about the FDB blog, I posted some more friendly messages, clearly sympathetic to their overall cause, on page 8 of the thread Petition against execution of gay people!!! (Posting in that particular thread may have been a mistake, though, as I discovered later  -  see Censorship on "Fight dem back" on lastsuperpower.net, which I discovered later when I Googled "Fight dem back" to see what other people had to say about FDB. Apparently the "Lastsuperpower" folks are the ones whom the FDB folks were referring to as "right wing scum." Their beliefs are actually a blend of ideas from all over the political spectrum.) I also made further replies in a few other threads in the FDB forum.

Then, in reply to the blog entry Kerry Bolton a nut, or just a misunderstood Mormon/Satanist/Nazi?, I began a new thread Neo-Nazism & unpopular minority religions, because I didn't find a thread already devoted to that blog entry.

And then all hell broke loose  -  although, at first, not directly in reply to any of my complaints. The first nasty reply I got was not in either of the threads in which I complained about posts on the FDB blog. Rather it was a belated reply to my intro post on page 4 of the New Members: Say G'day and Kiaora thread, where someone named Marcus took offense at the links in my sig. Since the intro thread was specifically intended not for debate but for new member introductions, I replied not there but in the thread Neo-Nazism & unpopular minority religions.

I won't even try to recount what happened after that. The Neo-Nazism & unpopular minority religions thread speaks for itself.

One longtime FDB member sent me a private message saying he thought Marcus was wrong to object to the religious link in my sig. This person told me he remembered seeing other posters with religious links in their sig, to which no one objected. However, he was afraid to speak up publicly in my defense in the forum.

What an irony! FDB is supposedly fighting against intolerance, but its very own members are afraid to speak up against intolerance within the group itself!

Needless to say, at this point I am thoroughly and utterly disgusted with FDB. As someone pointed out in the thread on Censorship on "Fight dem back" on lastsuperpower.net, the FDB forum has a juvenile gang mentality, which isn't exactly conducive to the kind of deep thought that is necessary in order to overcome prejudice.



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