More Academic Inaccuracies

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David Myatt

David Myatt

More Academic Inaccuracies

Given the lamentable state of modern academic research into esotericism, as highlighted in several previous articles such as the one titled The Occult And Academia {1}, it was no surprise to read the many mistakes about the Order of Nine Angles and about Mr David Myatt in a recently published book by a major and well-respected academic publisher.

The book in question is Satanism: A Social History written by Massimo Introvigne (professor of Sociology of Religions at Pontifical Salesian University, Torino) and published in 2016 by Brill, Leiden, as volume 21 in the series Texts and Studies in Western Esotericism. The book consists of 651 pages and retails in the UK for around £156.

A section of the book – under the heading Satan The Prophet – is devoted to the Order of Nine Angles (pp. 357-364) with Introvigne writing, among other things,

1. That Myatt was Anton Long was “confirmed” by Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke in his 2003 book Black Sun.
2. That Myatt’s middle name is “William”.
3. That Senholt “offered a number of elements confirming that Long was indeed Myatt”.
4. That the ONA “acknowledged that Anton Long was a nom de plume of Myatt”.
5. That Myatt joined Jordan’s British Movement in 1969.
6. That the ONA Black Mass “derived from Huysmans and the rituals of the Church of Satan.
7. That the Temple of Set “perceived the competition [the ONA] as dangerous, particularly when in the late 1980s some members of the Temple of Set started considering themselves members of the ONA at the same time. In 1992, Aquino and his British representative David Austen launched an internal purge, expelling from the Temple of Set those members who also wanted to remain in the ONA.”

In respect of his claims:

§ Introvigne not only, due to a lack of detailed research, gets several facts wrong – for instance, Myatt’s middle name is Wulstan, not William; he joined British Movement in 1968 not 1969 – but also does not provide any evidence from primary sources (or indeed from any sources) in support of several of his claims, such as the claim regarding the ONA Black Mass, and the claim regarding the Temple of Set. His claims are just stated as if they were fact. In the matter of the claim about Aquino, for example, it seems that Introvigne did not bother to contact Aquino himself to ask for his side of the story.

§ In addition, Goodrick-Clarke did not confirm anything regarding Myatt being Long, he merely stated that Myatt was Long and accepted without question that the MS titled Diablerie – a notorious forgery {2} – was written by Myatt and that it recounted details of Myatt’s early life. Goodrick-Clarke did not provide any evidence from primary sources that Myatt was Anton Long nor regarding Myatt having written that MS.

§ Likewise in respect of Senholt, for Senholt also provided no evidence from primary sources that Myatt was Anton Long. Instead, he claimed – without providing any evidence from forensic linguistics – that there was a similarity of writing style between works by Myatt and Long, a claim disputed by several other academics (Monette, Sieg, Kaplan), and also claimed that Myatt’s extremist adventures (neo-nazi followed by radical Muslim) were ONA Insight Roles and thus linked Myatt to the ONA even though such Insight Roles only last around a year while Myatt’s neo-nazi adventures lasted thirty years (1968-1998) with his time as a radical Muslim lasting over ten years (1998-2009). Furthermore, Senholt made no mention of the many things about Myatt’s life which contradict his thesis, such as Myatt’s marriage in a Christian church and his writings praising Christianity and especially Catholicism. {3}

§ As a source for his claim that the ONA “acknowledged that Anton Long was a nom de plume of Myatt” Introvigne cites the text A Modern Mage: Anton Long and the Order of Nine Angles, neglecting to mention four important facts.

(1) “That since Anton Long retired in 2011 no one publicly speaks ‘on behalf of the O9A’. Nor can anyone now or in the future speak ‘on behalf of the O9A’. As befits the O9A principle of ‘the authority of individual judgement’. For even if the person is O9A, as the author of that book is, they are just presenting their own opinion, their own interpretation, just as these answers – and the earlier ones – are someone’s opinion, their interpretation, of matters O9A.” {4}

(2) That the authors of that text are presenting their personal opinions about Myatt and Long and provide no evidence from primary sources in support of such opinions.

(3) That others associated with the ONA have lambasted that text, writing that “the authors seem to have committed the fallacy of post hoc ergo propter hoc; concluding that Anton Long is (or must be) Myatt because his publicly documented life apparently fits the paradigm of what someone ONA should be like and should do in the real world.” {5}

(4) That the nature of the ONA – with its independent nexions and its principle of the authority of individual judgement – means that those associating with the ONA have diverse and often different opinions about various matters, including about whether Myatt=Long and including about the ONA itself. {6}

Conclusion

As noted in a recent ONA polemic,

“Correctly understood, a scholarly approach means undertaking a meticulous, unbiased, research into a specific subject over a period of some years using, wherever possible, primary sources; formulating an opinion based on such learning, such knowledge, as results from such research, and in respect of writing academic papers and books about the subject providing copious, accurate, references to the source material.

Primary sources include direct evidence such as original documents dating from the period under study, and accounts and works (written, verbal, published or unpublished) by such individuals whose life or whose writings or whose works form part of the research. In addition, if such sources – documents or accounts or writings – are in another language, then it is incumbent upon the scholar to have knowledge of that language and thus be able to translate such documents themselves, for a reliance upon the translations of others relegates such sources from the position of primary ones to secondary ones.

Hence, if the author of an academic book or academic paper writes about a person and/or about their works, or about an event, using only secondary sources – sources containing the opinions, the interpretations, or the conclusions of others – then the opinion, the interpretation, the conclusions of that author about such a person and/or about their works, or about an event, are unauthoritative because unscholarly.” {7}

The last paragraph sums up what Introvigne writes about the ONA and about Mr Myatt, for since Introvigne only offers the opinions, the interpretations, or the conclusions of others, providing no evidence from primary sources, his own opinion is unauthoritative because unscholarly. That he also makes some basic factual errors and obviously has not done detailed research into the ONA (as evident in not knowing about the authority of individual judgement and other matters) highlight once again the shoddy nature of quite a lot of academic research into Western esotericism in general and modern Satanism in particular.

K.S.
2017

{1} https://regardingdavidmyatt.wordpress.com/more-unscholarly-research/
{2} https://regardingdavidmyatt.wordpress.com/about/a-sceptics-review-of-diablerie/
{3} The facts which contradict Senholt’s thesis are enumerated by Myatt is his essay A Matter of Honour available at https://regardingdavidmyatt.wordpress.com/myatt-a-matter-of-honour/
{4} Some Questions About The Order of Nine Angles (2016), Part One. Available (April 2017) at https://omega9alpha.wordpress.com/o9a-q-a/
{5} https://wyrdsister.wordpress.com/2017/02/09/review-of-the-radical-philosophy-of-anton-long/
{6} A classic example of differing ONA views is given in the text at https://omega9alpha.wordpress.com/2017/02/15/aristocracy-anarchy-or-nihilism/
{7} https://wyrdsister.wordpress.com/2017/04/02/another-typical-anti-o9a-example/


Related:

Academia, David Myatt, And The Order of Nine Angles
(pdf)

David Myatt And Satanism
(pdf)


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