A pdf version of this text is available here – some-questions-for-dwmyatt-2014.pdf
Some Questions For DWM
Q. In the year 2000 you were accused by a reporter from the BBC Panorama television programme of being “the intellectual who shaped the ideas propelling Copeland on his road to terrorism” and of inspiring him to do what he did. When the reporter then asked whether you had any guilt regarding the loss of life and the horrific injuries caused by Copeland’s nail bombs you replied that you had no comment to make and that what you felt was a private matter. So my question is, would you now be prepared to make a public statement and is there, or was there ever, any guilt regarding that or other things from your past?
If by guilt you mean responsibility for some event or act, then yes I accept I was responsible – both directly and indirectly – for causing suffering, during my extremist decades, by what I said, by what I wrote, by what I did, and by what and whom I incited and inspired. There is also regret for having so caused such suffering.
As I wrote a few years ago in the essay Pathei-Mathos – Genesis of My Unknowing,
“There are no excuses for my extremist past, for the suffering I caused to loved ones, to family, to friends, to those many more, those far more, ‘unknown others’ who were or who became the ‘enemies’ posited by some extremist ideology. No excuses because the extremism, the intolerance, the hatred, the violence, the inhumanity, the prejudice were mine; my responsibility, born from and expressive of my character; and because the discovery of, the learning of, the need to live, to regain, my humanity arose because of and from others and not because of me.”
In a very personal sense, my philosophy of pathei-mathos is expiative, as are my writings concerning extremism, such as my Understanding and Rejecting Extremism: A Very Strange Peregrination published last year. Also expiative is my reclusiveness. But such things – as is only just and fitting – do little to offset the deep sadness felt, except in fleeting moments; fleeting moments such as the one so inadequately expressed in my poem Dark Clouds Of Thunder:
The moment of sublime knowing
As clouds part above the Bay
And the heat of Summer dries the spots of rain
I am, here, now, where dark clouds of thunder
Have given way to blue
Such that the tide, turning,
Begins to break my vow of distance
Down. A women, there, whose dog, disobeying,
Splashes sea with sand until new interest
Takes him where
This bearded man of greying hair
No longer reeks
The smile of joy when Sun of Summer
Presents again this Paradise of Earth
For I am only tears, falling
Q. Will your answers tomorrow be different from your answers today, given how – when you were a neo-nazi – your answers were those of a neo-nazi, and when you were a Muslim your answers were those of a radical Muslim? I’m thinking of some previous, old, Q&A sessions with you in past – like the ‘Cosmic Reich’ one with Renaissance Press in the mid-1990s, the Combat 18 one with Steve Sargent in his White Dragon magazine, and the ‘live dialog’ you did with Muslims from around the world on 13 Safar 1427 (13 March 2006) for the IslamOnline site run by radical Muslim cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi.
An excellent question. Around two years ago I re-read, for the first time in many years, some of the answers I gave to questions asked of me during such ‘question and answer sessions’, and one thing in particular was apparent: just how tediously hubristical I was. Who was that arrant arrogant pontificating ideologue?
In many ways, my answers then chronicle the first parts of my peregrination, some three decades as a fanatical neo-nazi, followed by around a decade as a zelotical Muslim; while my answers now may well chronicle the latter and last part of my peregrination, as someone who, possibly learning from the diverse experiences of those decades and from recent pathei-mathos, may have at last realized his hubris and become aware of his multitudinous mistakes. Someone who finally seems to have chanced upon such a wordless deep-felt apprehension of the numinous that he has been fundamentally and interiorly changed.
As to whether I really have reached my final mortal destination, I do not know; but I hope I have. For there is now such a non-terran, non-causal, perspective, and such a melding of much sadness with occasional joy, such a desire for a numinous non-religious expiation, as have engendered a strange tranquillity within. No desire, thus, to interfere in the lives of others or with the ways of the world, and no desire to pontificate about anything other than personal and scholarly matters, such as – and for example – the errors of judgement, the mistakes, that mark my past; my own personal feelings and apprehensions of-the-moment; the results of my retrospection; ancient Greek literature; and my own, new-found, weltanschauung. For there is a certain vanity even now, albeit tempered by an appreciation of an ancient paganus wisdom:
οὐκ ἐκ θεῶν τὰ μῶρα καὶ γέλοια χρὴ
χανόντα κλαίειν ὕστερ᾽ 
Q. How would you summarize what you have learnt from your forty years as an activist?
One of the conclusions of such retrospection as I have undertaken in the past few years is of understanding the deeds and the intolerant striving of my extremist decades as reprehensible. Another conclusion concerns my own reprehensible character. Yet another concerns my hubris, or perhaps more correctly my stupidity born of arrogance and fanaticism resulting in a failure, a refusal, to learn from our thousands of years old human culture of pathei-mathos. For such a learning would have placed me and my extremism – me as a masculous talking-mammal – in a supra-personal context, providing a knowledge of those deeds and that striving as having the opposite effect of what I intended or arrogantly believed they would achieve, and of only inflicting, causing, more and more unnecessary suffering.
This supra-personal context is the Cosmic Perspective: of the reality of our individual selves as but one fragile mortal short-lived biological life-form on one planet orbiting one star in one galaxy in a Cosmos of billions of galaxies; of our nations, our national cultures – and everything we manufacture or bring-into-being or presence, from ideas to ideologies to religions to cities to industries to products to archetypes – being not only by their φύσις subject to change and transmutation but also having a certain limited life span, be such in terms of years, decades, centuries, or millennia; of how our pride in our achievements or in our presencings, individual or collective – and such achievements/presencings themselves – should be considered in the context of the possibility of sentient life, some probably more advanced than us, on other planets in our own galaxy and in the billions of galaxies in the Cosmos; of how all life on our own planet, just like ourselves, is fragile, changing, and subject to extinction; and of how what we, as individuals, do or do not do affects or can affect other living beings.
For the Cosmic Perspective is an empathic awareness of not only our place in the Cosmos but also of the affective and acausal connexions that bind all life, on this planet and elsewhere in the Cosmos, and be such life sentient or otherwise. And it is this empathic awareness which, according to my mutable understanding, can provide us with a personal appreciation of the numinous sans the abstractions, the theology, the cosmogony, the dogma, and sans the God/gods, of an organized religion.
My hubriatic error in those extremist decades was essentially two-fold: (i) to aspire to bring-into-being some-thing that would not and could not, in centennial terms (let alone in millennial or cosmic terms) endure; and (ii) to use violence and incite hatred, intolerance, and killing, in order to try and presence that causal some-thing. My perspective, for example, during my neo-nazi decades was very limited, sometimes egoistical. Egoistical in that I enjoyed the striving, the conflict, the incitement, the excitement, and even the violence. Limited, in that my foreseeing was of the next meeting, the next fight, the next demonstration, the next piece of propaganda to produce, my next speech, and of the victory I and others dreamed of or believed in; a victory that would be at most a decade or two ahead. Of course, I believed that what we or others after us might bring-into-being would endure, most probably at the cost of further conflict; and endure for decades, possibly a century or more. But the reality always was of me and my kind striving to stop or somehow try to control, to shape, the natural flux of change; to preserve, whatever the cost, what we or others after us might bring-into-being. For we believed we would or could do what no one in human history had been able to do: make our presencings immortal, or at least immune to the natural cycle of birth-life-decay-death. A natural cycle so evident in the rise, the flourishing, the decline, the decay, the death, of empire after empire; national culture after national culture; city after city; language after language; and of a people of a particular size and in a particular area naturally changing, moving, emigrating, immigrating, and thus naturally melding with others. In brief, we (with our simple causal-only perception) hubristically believed or felt that we could, and would, not only master and control Nature and the very forces of the Cosmos but also that our interventions would endure far beyond our own lives. In retrospection, this was fantasy, with the rise and fall and destruction of The Third Reich being just one of the many examples from reality that should have informed us about that fantasy.
In contrast, my understanding now is that the Cosmic Perspective reveals a particular truth not only about the Anthropocene (and thus about our φύσις as human beings) but also about how sustainable millennial change has occurred and can occur. Which change is via the progression, the evolution – the development of the faculties and the consciousness – of individuals individually. This is the interior, the a-causal, change of individuals wrought by a scholarly learning of and from our thousands of years old human culture of pathei-mathos, by our own pathei-mathos, and by that personal appreciation of the numinous that both the Cosmic Perspective and the muliebral virtues incline us toward. This aeonic change voids what we now describe by the terms politics and religion and direct social activism of the violent type. There is thus a shift from identifying with the communal, the collective – from identifying with a particular contemporary or a past society or some particular national culture or some particular causal form such as a State or nation or empire or some -ism or some -ology – toward that-which has endured over centuries and millennia: our human culture of pathei-mathos. For the human culture of pathei-mathos records and transmits, in various ways, the pathei-mathos of individuals over thousands of years, manifest as this sustainable millennial culture is in literature, poetry, memoirs, aural stories, in non-verbal mediums such as music and Art, and in the experiences – written, recorded, and aural – of those who over the centuries have appreciated the numinous, and those who endured suffering, conflict, disaster, tragedy, and war, and who were fundamentally, interiorly, changed by their experiences. And it is this shared human culture of pathei-mathos that extremists of what kind, and those who advocate -isms and -ologies, scorn and so often try to suppress when, for however short a time, they have political or social or religious power and control over the lives of others.
It is this human culture of pathei-mathos which – at least according to my experience, my musings, and my retrospection – reveals to us the genesis of wisdom: which is that it is the muliebral virtues which evolve us as conscious beings, which presence sustainable millennial change. Virtues such as empathy, compassion, humility, and that loyal shared personal love which humanizes those masculous talking-mammals of the Anthropocene, and which masculous talking-mammals have – thousand year following thousand year – caused so much suffering to, and killed, so many other living beings, human and otherwise.
Q. Someone last month republished a 2005 interview, allegedly with you, in which you apparently made the following statement – “In my own life, I have tried to create some things which can disrupt our societies and which can lead to the creation of strong, really dangerous, ruthless individuals – some things which are so subversive that no laws could ever outlaw them, and that attempts to restrain them, to outlaw them, would only make them more attractive to some individuals.” Did you say that, and if so, does it refer to the occult group or groups you admitted – in your 2012 article Ethos of Extremism, Some Reflexions on Politics and A Fanatical Life – to founding in the 1970s?
As I mentioned in an essay dated 20 Rajab 1427 and signed Abdul-Aziz ibn Myatt:
“I have written an enormous amount of articles, essays, dialogues and pamphlets. Even [in 1998], when I was arrested and questioned by Detectives from SO12 Scotland Yard, these writings were voluminous – for they showed me the thick lever-arch files containing some of my published writings which they had collected during the course of their investigation, wanting me to comment on some items which they had singled out, which I refused to do, politely pointing out that my articles were not copyright and that many of the items available, for instance, on the Internet might have been altered in some way, by a person or persons unknown, for a reason or reasons unknown. Since then, I have written an equal amount again, if not twice the amount available then […] Suffice it to say that I cannot remember everything I have ever written, or which has been printed or distributed via mediums such as the Internet.”
Thus, while I do not now – almost ten years later – remember doing the particular e-mail interview you refer to, I might have done, for some (although not all) of the comments therein do seem rather reminiscent of the pontifications of the arrant arrogant ideologue I was for so many decades. Certainly the passage you quote is so reminiscent, and it also rather well expresses the sentiments I remember from my subversive 1970’s Column 88 days; sentiments of a fanatic motivated enough, and of a convicted criminal with underworld contacts enough, to found an underground group as a neo-nazi honeytrap “to attract non-political people who might be or who had the potential to be useful to the cause even if, or especially if, they had to be ‘blackmailed’ or persuaded into doing so at some future time […] A secret Occult group with the ‘offer’, the temptation, of sexual favours from female members in a ritualized Occult setting, with some of these female members being ‘on the game’ and associated with someone who was associated with my small gang of thieves.”
Q. Given that you have as you wrote last year  disowned all your “pre-2011 writings and effusions, with the exception of my Greek translations, the poetry included in the published collection One Exquisite Silence, some private letters written between 2002 and 2011, and those few items about my since revised ‘numinous way’ which are included in post-2012 publications such as The Numinous Way of Pathei-Mathos,” does it annoy or bother you that some people keep republishing or referring to or quoting from some of those older writings, particularly your National Socialist ones? If you could, would you want to remove them from the internet?
No, such republishing and use does not annoy me. For such old writings are useful reminders – for me and for others – of my past stupidities, errors, and hubris. However, it would be good to expunge my extremist writings from that medium were it feasible to do so (which to my knowledge it is not) given their extremist nature and thus given what they incite, propagate, and encourage.
Q. Why should anyone take seriously what you now write when you have changed your views so often and so frequently in the past? Why then do you bother?
My writings, post-2011, were and are really dialogues: interiorly with myself and externally with a few friends or the occasional person who has contacted me and expressed an interest. They are just my attempts to answer particular philosophical and metaphysical questions which interest or perplex me; attempts to understand myself and my extremist past (and thus understand extremism itself), and attempts to express what I believe I have, via pathei-mathos, come to understand and appreciate. Thus, I make no claims regarding the worth or the importance of these personal and philosophical musings, with such dialogues, musings, and correspondence published mostly because expiatory but also because (being honest) of vanity in the hope that some of them may possibly, just possibly, be of some interest to a few individuals interested in such philosophical and metaphysical questions or interested in understanding extremism and its causes. But if no one takes them seriously, it does not matter, for they have assisted me in understanding myself, in recognizing and acknowledging my past mistakes and the suffering I have caused, and aided my move from extremism toward developing a mystical and personal weltanschauung imbued with a muliebral ethos.
Personally, I would not describe my peregrination as ‘changing my views often and frequently’, given only three permutations in forty years, two of which – being different varieties of extremism – could be considered, in some ways, as somewhat similar. For thirty of those years (1968-1998) I was a dedicated often fanatical National Socialist activist and ideologue, someone who placed ‘the cause’ before his own personal life and who was twice jailed for his political activism in the service of that cause, but who eventually – after those thirty years – became disillusioned (again) with the people involved; the first disillusionment having occurred in 1976 following my release from yet another prison sentence and which (temporary) disillusionment led to a few years as a Christian monk. In the Autumn of 1998 – as a result of travels and experiences in Egypt, the Middle East and elsewhere, undertaken between 1988 and 1998 – I became and remained for almost a decade a Muslim; someone who strove to honour his Shahadah even after a personal trauma but who finally – and only after some three years of interior conflict – placed the insights painfully wrought from that pathei-mathos before a stubborn adherence to something he no longer believed in because he had begun to develope his own weltanschauung.
Thus my own description of my peregrination would be something such as: ‘a strange journey leading to a rather humiliating personal learning after some forty years of diverse experiences and hubris’.
Q. In your book Understanding and Rejecting Extremism: A Very Strange Peregrination you wrote that extremists “have or they develope an inflexible masculous character, often excessively so; and a character which expresses the masculous nature, the masculous ethos, of extremism. A character, a nature, unbalanced by muliebral virtues. For it is in the nature of extremists that they disdain, and often despise, the muliebral virtues of empathy, sensitivity, humility, gentleness, forgiveness, compassion.” Since what you call the muliebral runs through your philosophy of pathei mathos, would it be correct to say that you support feminism and reject the patriarchal ethos that feminists assert dominates the world now as in the past?
Given the masculous nature and the masculous ethos of extremism, it is no surprise that the majority of extremists are men; and given that, in my own opinion, the predominant ethos of the last three millennia – especially within the societies of the West – has been a masculous, patriarchal, one it is no surprise that women were expected to be, and often had no option but to be, subservient, and no surprise therefore that a modern movement has arisen to try and correct the imbalance between the masculous and the muliebral.
The masculous, patriarchal, ethos is manifest – at least according to my limited knowledge and my mutable understanding – in the following.
In the monotheistic religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, as well as in the mythoi of the classical Greek gods . In the institutions, the governance, and in the economic and business structures, of the modern State. In the propensity for leaders, potentates, and States, and men in general, to resort to the use of force and to often use words spoken and written in justification of such force. In the principle of ‘might is right’ which is the raison d’être of the bully and the rapist. In the use of words to persuade, to rouse, to enthuse, to deceive, others and as propaganda in the service of one’s egoism or in the service of some cause, ideology, or some political or religious -ism or dogma. In the acceptance of the necessity of competition in all or most spheres of life. In an arrogant personal pride and a certitude-of-knowing. In the favouring of abstractions and the notion of an idealized duty over empathy and compassion and the muliebral virtues in general. In the propensity that many men have, now as in the past, for manipulating, mistreating, and being violent toward, women; and in the tendency of so many men to instinctively place their own ambitions and physical desires – and/or the perceived obligations of some ideology or some faith or some cause – before the feelings, the needs, the happiness, of the woman they have declared that they loved.
Thus, given the dominance of this patriarchal ethos, our human history is replete with speeches, exhortations, manifestoes, deceptions, and with the rhetoric, the activity, the propaganda (truthful, informative, or otherwise), and the often well-intentioned idealism, that almost invariably accompanies the formation and the existence of some organization, group, faction, or movement whose raison d’être is either to implement some principle or principles or some abstraction or some ideation, or to violently reform or change what-is. Furthermore, there also has been and still is a tendency to ignore what our human culture of pathei-mathos teaches us about the impermanence of whatever reform or change or implementation (of the new) that occurs; for it is in the very nature of whatever form which embodies or which is manufactured to embody some abstraction or some ideation or some principle or principles, that that form – over decades, centuries, or millennia – declines, decays, ceases to exist, or is itself replaced or overthrown.
That is, there has been, as there still is, at least in my view, a failure to appreciate two things. Firstly, the causal (the mortal) nature of all forms: from institutions, governments, laws, States, nations, movements, societies, organizations, empires, to leaders and those embodying in some manner the authority, the volksgeist, the ideations, the principles, the aspirations, of their time. Secondly, and possibly most important of all, that what is muliebral cannot be embodied in some organization or movement, or in some -ism, or in any causal form – and certainly cannot be expressed via the medium of words, whether spoken or written – without changing it, distorting it, from what it is into some-thing else. For the muliebral by its very φύσις is personal, individual, in nature and only presenced in the immediacy-of-the-moment, and thus cannot be the object of a supra-personal aspiration and thus should not be ‘idealized’ or even be the subject of an endeavour to express it in some principles or principles (political or otherwise), or by some axiom or axioms, or by some dogma. For all such things – forms and words included – are manifestations, a presencing, of what is, in φύσις, masculous and temporal. Or, expressed more simply, the muliebral presences and manifests what is a-causal – what, in the past, has often inclined us to appreciate the numinous – while the masculous presences and manifests what is causal, temporal, and what in the past has often inclined us toward hubris and being egoistic.
Therefore, were I to ‘support’ some-thing – which, given my now reclusive nature and my awareness of my past mistakes, I am uninclined to do – it would be the personal, the individual, and the muliebral virtues in general. For my questional intuition inclines me to suggest that it is only by using and developing our faculty of empathy, on an individual basis, that we can apprehend and thence understand the muliebral; and that the muliebral can only be manifested, presenced, individually in our own lives according to that personal, individual, apprehension. Presenced, for example, in our compassion, in our honour, by a personal loyal love, and in that appreciation of innocence and of the numinous that inclines us, as individuals, to reject all prejudice and to distance ourselves from that pride, that certainty-of-knowing about ourselves and those presumptions we make about others, which are so redolent of, and which so presence and have so presenced, the patriarchal ethos.
Personally, I feel that while there is much beauty presenced here on Earth, nothing can equal the beauty a woman can and does presence when we through love share a life with her.
 Sophocles, Ichneutae, 369-370. “If what is of the gods amuses you, be assured that lamentation will follow your mirth.”
 Even the Homeric hymn to the goddess Demeter is no paean to the muliebral virtues, to the freedom, to the equality, and to the importance of women. Instead, a certain masculine view of women pervades; for the primary role of women is to marry and bear children –
ἀλλ᾽ ὑμῖν μὲν πάντες Ὀλύμπια δώματ᾽ ἔχοντες
δοῖεν κουριδίους ἄνδρας, καὶ τέκνα τεκέσθαι,
ὡς ἐθέλουσι τοκῆες: ἐμὲ δ᾽ αὖτ᾽ οἰκτείρατε, κοῦραι –
with Demeter herself – ∆ηµήτηρ’ ΰκοµον σεµν ν θεάν, as described in a fragment of another hymn – expected to be subservient to the male Zeus: ὣς ἔφατ᾽ οὐδ᾽ ἀπίθησε θεὰ Διὸς ἀγγελιάων.
Some Terms Explained
Extremism and Extremist
By extreme I mean to be harsh, so that my understanding of an extremist is a person who tends toward harshness, or who is harsh, or who supports/incites harshness, in pursuit of some objective, usually of a political or a religious nature. Here, harsh is: rough, severe, a tendency to be unfeeling, unempathic.
Hence extremism is considered to be: (a) the result of such harshness, and (b) the principles, the causes, the characteristics, that promote, incite, or describe the harsh action of extremists. In addition, a fanatic is considered to be someone with a surfeit of zeal or whose enthusiasm for some objective, or for some cause, is intemperate.
In the philosophical terms of the way of pathei-mathos, an extremist is someone who commits the error of hubris; and error which enantiodromia – following from πάθει μάθος – can sometimes correct or forestall.
Innocence is regarded as an attribute of those who, being personally unknown to us, are therefore unjudged us by and who thus are given the benefit of the doubt. For this presumption of innocence of others – until direct personal experience, and individual and empathic knowing of them, prove otherwise – is the fair, the reasoned, the numinous, the human, thing to do.
Empathy and πάθει μάθος incline us toward treating other human beings as we ourselves would wish to be treated; that is they incline us toward fairness, toward self-restraint, toward being well-mannered, and toward an appreciation and understanding of innocence.
Masculous and Muliebral
Masculous is from the Latin masculus and is a term used to refer to certain traits, abilities, and qualities that are conventionally and historically associated with men, such as competitiveness, aggression, a certain tendency toward harshness.
The term muliebral derives from the classical Latin word muliebris, and in the context my philosophy of Pathei-Mathos refers to those positive traits, abilities, and qualities – such as empathy, sensitivity, gentleness, compassion – that are conventionally and historically associated with women.
Physis is a revealing, a manifestation, of not only the true nature of beings but also of the relationship between beings, and between beings and Being. Physis is often apprehended (and thus understood) by we humans as the nature, the character, of some-thing; as, for example, in our apprehension of the character of a person.
cc David Myatt 2014
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