Under the Gothic Mask:
The Pseudo-Sanctimony of the New Witch-Hunters
It was published over sixty years ago and I have kept my copy of it since I was in Year Ten at school. In May 1954 the British edition of Astounding Science Fiction carried a lead story by Mark Clifton and Alex Apostolides entitled ‘Hide! Hide! Witch!’ On the cover was a brilliant picture by Van Dongen. It showed a scientist, with fear and horror in his face, looking back as he clutches to his chest (evidently he is a fugitive) a collection of scientific instruments. Behind him is a flickering or windblown background of bright red that connotes both the fire of burning (in history persons designated as witches and their books have been periodically burned) and the color of blood spilt in the murder of such outcasts.
Inside, the editor (the famous John W. Campbell Junior) has printed two sentences as preface to the tale: ‘He knew he wasn’t a witch – but he neglected one important factor in his computations. It’s the citizens around who act against the witch, and they act on what they believe.’ The authors then begin their tale with a poignant epigraph:
Hide! Hide! Witch!
The good folk come to burn thee!
Their keen enjoyment hid beneath
The gothic mask of duty.
Plainly irony is present. They are not really ‘good folk’ at all; they are would-be murderers of innocents enjoying some kind of atavistic pleasure in persecuting victims. They are also deceivers; they portray themselves to the outside world as persons doing their duty, doing what is right, doing what is religiously and politically correct. The word ‘gothic’ is the most potent word in the quatrain. It carries a number of mutually reinforcing associations: the barbaric, the archaic, the stern, the implacable, and so on.
The story itself deals with the persecution scientists of the future bring down upon themselves when they try to build a machine that has, in effect, precognitive ability to deal with military threats. The witch-hunters in the tale engage in ‘angry outpourings of revolt against this manufacture of a soulless machine to replace man.’ A fanatic mentality couches its language ‘in the lyrical language so often used by the psychotic.’
This context enables the authors to reflect on some of the darker sides of human nature. They comment on ‘the terrible stupidity’ of mankind: ‘But human beings, generally, are not noted for their ability to weigh judiciously, discount exaggerations, and allow for possible misunderstanding. People like sensationalism, and in the telling add their bit to it.’
One of the main characters is a telepath who comments: ‘Outside of man’s own isolated field of knowledge, he’s as superstitious as all the rest. They’ve got all kinds of the wildest ideas about how dangerous and evil a telepath might be. They mustn’t know. You’ve got to remember that sanity in a person or a civilization is like a small boat on the surface of an ocean. If the subterranean depths get roiled up enough, the boat capsizes and there’s nothing but the storming chaos of madness.’
The tale itself takes place in a near future somewhat like the nightmare world of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four. University teachers are subject to the scrutiny of government-appointed Resident Investigators, one of whom says to Billings, the protagonist and an academic scientist: ‘I trust you have not been questioning indisputable facts! I trust you have not been planting disturbing doubts in the minds of our future citizens! I trust you know Congress approved these facts for school textbooks long ago! It would be most subversive, not to mention a waste of time and money, to question them now!’ Billings mentally reflects on his past encounters with Resident Investigators and their ‘montage of accusations and sly traps.’ He recalls the ‘incredible twist of semantics’ of one who claimed only to be protecting freedom of speech. In this society one can be charged with ‘Contempt of an Investigator’ and ‘Unwillingness to co-operate.’
Universities are run as businesses; ‘Citizen Neurosis’ and ‘Citizen Fatigue’ are scourges of the times. Nothing new is coming out of universities. Government statements are full of jargon and always threatening in tone, if not in fact.
Our authors especially focus on a context in which scientists become the victims of mass persecution. ‘Human beings are capable of terrible things when they are terrified.’ In a society in which ‘dependency on higher authority’ is inculcated from childhood, ordinary folk are easily susceptible to propaganda. Gobbledegook mentioned in the story includes ‘articles stating that witchcraft suppression was simply man’s way, an instinctive inherent rightness, to keep from being led into the wrong ways of thinking.’ Under the influence of ‘a rabble-rouser’ who is shouting out: ‘Let us wipe out this evil from our midst!’, and with ‘minds pre-set against all explanations’, they salve their own guilt feelings by increasing their will-to-suppress. The very act of knowing, in this nightmare world, means punishment: ‘What could be done when the very act of knowing brought penalty?’
Voices of sanity crying ‘Beware, wolf!’ are seen as being easily ignored until it is too late, for ‘there always comes a time when the wolf really does come.’
Well, a wolf is coming indeed, and I was reminded of this fact and of Hide! Hide! Witch! when I read online an article published on 19th April in The Mail on Sunday (an outreach of the UK mass circulation newspaper The Daily Mail) by Nick Craven, Paul Cahalan and Simon Murphy entitled: ‘Nazi invasion of London exposed: World’s top Holocaust deniers . . . filmed at secret race hate rally where Jews are referred to as the “enemy”.’
Beneath the article’s headline are printed in bold four major talking points, as follow.
- Shocking rally seen by undercover team at Grosvenor Hotel saw several speakers unleash sick anti-Semitic rants
- Comes as UK marks largest ever Holocaust remembrance event tomorrow, 70 years after Bergen-Belsen liberation
- Nazi sympathisers at meeting laughed at Charlie Hebdo massacre and cheered at the mention of Spanish Fascists
- Star speaker at rally was self-confessed Nazi Pedro Varela, 57, whose adoration for Adolf Hitler is unrivalled
The self-righteous and hysterical tone of this reporting should be at once apparent. Equally so is the complete opposition of the reporters to the meeting and those who attended it, which leads to the immediate suspicion that objective narrative will not follow, but, rather, the propagandistic ranting of the politically correct, of obsessed ideologues. Their voices are likely to be ethically and morally equivalent to those of the persons in Hide! Hide! Witch! who were hiding their enjoyment beneath masks of Gothic duty. Let’s see if an analysis of the whole article supports this contention.
What are the actual facts that the report is based on? It is not easy to determine these with full accuracy, since reporting and commentary are intermixed throughout. However, here is my attempted summary.
A meeting attended by 113 people has recently been held in London, under the head of ‘the London Forum’ (or, possibly, ‘the New Forum’). Its major themes were apparently ‘Holocaust revisionism’ and critiques of the alleged excessive influence of Jews and Jewish groups on politics within the contemporary world.
Those attending included the following: Jeremy Bedford-Turner, former soldier and master of ceremonies; Pedro Varela, the main speaker, a Spanish historical revisionist and alleged ‘self-confessed Nazi’ who has expressed ‘unbridled devotion for Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich’; Mark Weber, US-based director of the Institute for Historical Review, who spoke on ‘The Challenge of Jewish-Zionist Power’; Richard Edmonds, former leading official in the British National Party, who was jailed for three months for a 1993 savage attack on a black man scarred for life with a beer glass; Lady Michele Renouf, a supporter of David Irving; Martin Webster, an ex-National Front national organizer who has been jailed for violence and public order offences; John Morse, an ex-newspaper editor for the British National Party, who was jailed for publishing material relating to racial hatred in 1986; Michael Woodbridge, a retired teacher, who guided attenders to the venue (kept secret for security reasons) by means of a badge and a book connected to Sir Oswald Mosley and the British Union of Fascists; and Derek Beackon, the British National Party’s first local government councilor in 1993 when he won a ward in London’s Isle of Dogs.
The event was watched, photographed and infiltrated by a Mail on Sunday team who worked with Gerry Gable, editor and publisher of the anti-Fascist magazine Searchlight, a man said to be ‘a leading expert on the extreme Right.’ Gable has claimed that the meeting was ‘the most significant gathering of Holocaust deniers Britain has ever seen’ and that it is ‘a very worrying development.’ The Mail on Sunday has passed its evidence to the Metropolitan Police. Barrister Jonathan Arkush, the vice-president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, stated that the proceedings ‘should be investigated to ascertain whether criminal offences have been committed, including incitement to racial hatred.’
The meeting was held in ‘the plush Orient Suite’ of the Grosvenor Hotel, booked for six hours under the name of the ‘Carlyle Club’ and draped in Union Jacks. It was booked online and the hotel was unaware of the nature of the meeting.
Weber is said to have told the audience: ‘The Jewish connection covers all areas and reaches every level. Most Americans may not even sense this gigantic effort, but there is scarcely a Jew who is not touched by its tentacles. In reality, the Jewish hold on American life is far more dangerous. Why? Jews in America have a strong loyalty to a foreign country – Israel. Secondly, because of the distrustful and sometimes adversarial way in which Jews view the rest of us. This ‘chosen people’ mindset, this ‘Us vs Them’ attitude, is anchored in centuries of Jewish history and heritage.
‘As long as the power of the very powerful Jewish lobby remains entrenched, there will be no end to the systematic Jewish distortion of history and current affairs. . . . No task is more important or pressing than to identify, counter and break this power. Today, we are engaged in a great global struggle which pits a self-assured and diabolical power which feels ordained to rule over others on the one side, and all other nations, indeed humanity itself, on the other.’
Varela is said to have said: ‘They say Jews have the gold in the world and the power in the press and they are going to rule the world.’ He appeared to call for a boycott of Jewish shops and businesses and said: ‘The wax sword is going to melt.’ Asked later whether he denies the Holocaust, he replied: ‘There’s a law in Spain comes into force in June which prevents me from answering that question.’ Asked if he is a Nazi, he replied: ‘It depends what you mean by “Nazi”. . . . National Socialism offered a lot of solutions that were beneficial then and could be beneficial to modern-day society.’
The report is openly and implacably hostile to the meeting and those who attended it. The meeting is described as ‘a sickening secret rally’ which ‘unleashed anti-Semitic rants’. It is said to have been ‘a vile event’ staged by ‘a shadowy organisation’ or a ‘white supremacist group’ with ‘extremist credentials’. Those attending are described variously as ‘Nazi sympathizers’, ‘Holocaust deniers’, ‘Neo-Nazis’, the ‘far right faithful’, the ‘extreme Right’. Readers are told that ‘the sinister anti-Semitic conspiracy theories which led to the extermination of six million Jews are still fostered by a poisonous few.’ The meeting ‘will fuel fears of a growing resurgence of hatred towards Jews across Europe.’ Michael Woodbridge is described as ‘parading hateful blackshirt insignia’. What he wore was ‘a chilling reminder of the BUF – its emblem clearly modeled on the infamous lightning bolts insignia of Hitler’s SS storm-troopers.’ An unflattering photo of Mosley is shown, together with an explanation that Woodbridge’s book, Tomorrow We Live by Mosley, advocated ‘repatriation and “alienation” of Jews.’ Richard Edmonds is described as a ‘former BNP thug’. Varela is a ‘Nazi star’ and Weber a ‘US fanatic’. David Irving is referred to in passing as a ‘UK Holocaust denier’. A security official for the meeting is described as ‘a well-built man wearing a black shirt.’
It is said that the audience ‘sniggered’ at the mention of ‘ashes rising from the death camps’ crematoria’ (when Weber was quoting from a rabbi’s book about European anti-Semitism). Members are also said to have ‘laughed at the Charlie Hebdo massacre and as an African leader at the Paris memorial ceremony was described as “some negro”.’ They are said to have ‘cheered at the mention of a brigade of Spanish fascists who fought for the Nazis.’ Varela is said to have branded gay parents as ‘monster families’ and to have described mixed race children as ‘blackos.’It is said that in the past he spoke to ‘a baying crowd in Madrid.’ As a symbol of the Holocaust, a photo of ‘emaciated’ prisoners at the liberation of Buchenwald is shown. Actually, they do not look as badly off as that word suggests.
Summing up, it is quite plain that the report is intermixed from start to finish with unremitting hostility to the meeting and those who attended. No attempt is made at any stage to suggest that there may have been some good in the meeting, some virtue in the attenders or that information and arguments were produced which at least ought to be carefully and impartially considered. The picture given was remorselessly black.
Further research might lead to closer accuracy as regards facts and might disclose that important omissions have been made in the report. However, what is indisputable is the attitude of the report itself. It seeks to stigmatise the group it attacks and the views it condemns and does so with unmitigated ferocity. If the 113 persons are so out of touch with reality as is alleged, one wonders why such venom is needed and such intense publicity.
The two intellectual positions which appear to have aroused the main storm of wrath are dissident analysis of the ‘Holocaust’ and assertions that Jews wield too much power, use it to the detriment of others and need to be restrained. Other controversies touched upon will not be examined here; and it must be added that some of the alleged remarks made and behavior exhibited by some of the attenders, if indeed these have been reported correctly, were ethically unacceptable and most regrettable.
As to the ‘Holocaust’, there is now an extensive revisionist literature of such obviously high academic calibre that ‘Holocaust revisionism’ can no longer honestly be treated as equivalent to flat earth science or psychopathic hatred. The oeuvre of Robert Faurisson, the vast range of material published by Inconvenient History and the Institute for Historical Review, the research and publications of men such as Germar Rudolf, Arthur Butz, Jürgen Graf, Wilhelm Stäglich, and Carlo Mattogno – these alone call for intellectual respect and honorable argument by any who seek to dispute their findings.
As for the power and influence of Jews and Jewish groups on national and international politics, it can hardly be any longer even described as an open secret. It is a known and major fact of the contemporary life of humanity. Important accounts of it have been provided by William Gayley Simpson in Which Way Western Man?, Wilmot Robertson in The Dispossessed Majority, John Tyndall in The Eleventh Hour and David Duke in Jewish Supremacism. Even prominent Jews have discussed it openly, such as Paul Eisen, Israel Shamir and Gilad Atzmon.
In short, the basic perspective that the London Forum (or New Forum) discussed on April 11th clearly possesses considerable truth, even if, as is always the case with human projects of all kinds, it is tainted by error. There is thus not a shred of justification for the onslaught conducted by three reporters for The Mail on Sunday; and we are entitled to ask what really is the significance of their report.
It is not possible to know exactly what went on in the minds of the three reporters and their editorial superiors who allowed it to be published. However, a strong presumption exists that the report itself is a deliberate hatchet job designed to blacken as much as possible the meeting and those who attended it and, what is worse, to arouse as much public hatred towards them as is possible. (It should be noted, by the way, that the circumstances leading to the jail sentences mentioned may have been such as to constitute extenuating factors inadequately taken account of by the judges. And it should also be noted that a poisoned social situation exists in Britain when people who wish to hold meetings on unpopular topics are forced to book rooms under assumed names in order to get any public meeting space at all.) Indeed, the article appears to reek with hypocrisy, for those condemning the fomenting of hatred against other human beings seem to be engaged in just that very activity themselves. It will now be clear why this essay began with an analysis of the story Hide! Hide! Witch!
Something is rotten in the state of the world. It appears that the accusers, having perhaps donned their gothic masks, are the guilty ones and not the accused. It appears that reporters complaining about allegations of Jewish tyranny may perhaps have been serving that very tyranny themselves, whether or not knowingly. In Ian Dallas’s novel The Ten Symphonies of Gorka Konig the protagonist’s wife, Dr Frieda Ludendorff, a psychiatrist, is asked by a radio interviewer: ‘Then he [Gorka] condones all the unspeakable horrors committed in Hitler’s name during the Nazi regime?’ She replies: ‘Why must we use this inquisitorial language of hysteria? . . . If it is unspeakable it is – usually – a fantasy.’
While most of the women killed in the European witch hunts were almost certainly innocent, a few, at least, may have dabbled in black magic and sorcery with malevolent intentions. And there is no doubt at all that the Nazi government of 1933 to 1945 was fundamentally flawed and did enormous harm. Despite that, great care should be taken by anyone before publicly denouncing someone else as a witch or a Nazi. After all, there were good sides to National Socialism as well as bad; and many of the witches were good women who gave wise counsel and were mistresses of herbal healing.
The article by The Mail on Sunday deserves to be outed as a wicked performance in an atrocious human tradition. That is why this essay has been written. And to warn that a very large wolf may indeed have come and need to be checked.
No sooner had the above text been completed than a friend drew to my attention a report of the meeting by one of the attenders, American writer Greg Johnson of Counter-Currents Publishing Company, which he had posted on April 22 in North American New Right. Johnson’s account further discredits the Mail on Sunday’s reporting.
He revealed that this was not the first meeting of the London Forum, which, he added, is ‘one of the most important institutions in the British nationalist scene.’ He stated that the Mail on Sunday’s implication that it had had a ‘mole’ in the meeting who filmed its procedures was not based on reality. ‘The Mail only learned what was said inside the meeting when the rest of the world did, that is, when five videos and the audio of my speech went up on YouTube. The event was filmed by the London Forum itself.’ Johnson did note that there had been one minor ‘security leak’, in that a photographer took pictures of people entering and leaving Victoria Station and the Grosvenor Hotel.
A most striking detail of Johnson’s account is his statement that the Holocaust, despite the Mail on Sunday’s emphasis, was not the topic of any of the seven speeches and was hardly, if at all, mentioned.
Thanks to Johnson, we now have more information about the attenders and the speeches given. Also present were Canadian free speech activist Paul Fromm, scientist Nicholas Kollerstrom, Hugh MacDonald (a Canadian film-maker), academic Kevin MacDonald, and Javier Nichols (a Spanish expert on Wagner).
Topics addressed included the failure of multicultural education to stifle nationalism, the battle for free speech in Canada, Wagner’s relations with England, revolutionary ethics in relation to art and religion, Lessing’s ‘Ideal Conservative Freemasonry’ and the psychological mechanisms of white dispossession by Jewish elites. Plainly the whole event was on a much higher intellectual plane than the Mail on Sunday report suggested.
Another British newspaper, however, chose to follow the Mail on Sunday line. On 20th April (updated on the 22nd) The Daily Express published a story online headed ‘Outrage at Holocaust deniers’ secret rally that Scotland Yard REFUSED to investigate’ by Anil Dawar.
We learned that the Metropolitan Police had announced that it would not investigate the London Forum meeting of April 11th. ‘We’ve assessed the information . . . and it does not reach the threshold for a criminal investigation,’ the Force stated.
This aroused the indignation of Jonathan Sacerdoti of the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism – hardly an objective observer, one would have thought. The Express reported his statement of his concern thus: ‘Celebration of Nazism in 2015 is an affront to Britain and its proud history of standing against Nazism. These speakers from abroad should have been banned from entering the UK. If the threshold has not been crossed by those reported to be advocating Nazism and reportedly describing Jews as “children of darkness” with “tentacles” of control, then the legal threshold must be changed.’
And there it rests for me as of today. Whether Wolf or Big Brother, a malevolent spectre indubitably haunts Britain. It should be laid to rest.