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46 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating exploration of racial identity cults & beliefs, 12 May 2002
If you are as fascinated as I am by political gurus, obscure religious cults and dangerous sounding revolutionary movements, then you will probably enjoy this book.
Few people are probably aware of more than a handful of the many groups, ancient and modern, investigated. Yet these esoteric, often underground, philosophies have contributed to today's waves of pagan revivalism and far right political movements in a way that touches upon current news almost weekly. The research and careful references are far ranging.
A weakness was a lack of personal interviews with those mentioned, or those who might have known them. Consequently each chapter wetted my appetite but left me hungry for more background on the many and various issues and personalities discussed. The Black Sun is therefore useful more as an overview of the many quasi-religious strands which have become woven into the tapestry of Aryan identity. For example, someone interested by the chapter on the development of flying discs (UFOs) by the Nazis would find this scated around the subject, needing perhaps the greater depth of Nick Cook's The Hunt for Zero Point, a book which avoids the heresay of secondary sources.
Many of the leadership of obscure sects are by definition highly individualistic and free thinking and so would not take kindly to being 'lumped together' with some fairly kooky types who, for example, talk about 'light godmen of the planet Sumi-Er'. In a book which brings together such diverse elements as Christian Identity groups with Satanists, and David Icke with Marilyn Manson, the wonder is the way the controversial themes of ethnic and cultural spirituality are somehow constant.
If you are curious as to the inspiration behind SS rites, wish to know what the legend of Agartha is, or perhaps sense a long lost wisdom is indigenous to every race and wish to have your spiritual assumptions challenged, then this book is probably for you.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wide ranging but flawed, 11 Feb. 2010
This review is from: Black Sun: Aryan Cults, Esoteric Nazism, and the Politics of Identity (Paperback)
This is a well written and scholarly but which covers a wide area but I do find its persistant attempts at forcing Asatru and Heathenism into the NS framework as simplistic, deeply flawed and unhelpful. While there were undoubtably some pagan influences to NS ideology I believe that it was more a case that Nazism exploited a growing interest in people returning to their pre-Christian heritage than that the pagan revival was a deeply motivating factor towards the development of German National Socialism. The German Nazi Party latched onto the popularity of the Wandervogel movement in the same way that the British Communists latched onto the Mass Trepasses of around the same period. Political parties tie themselves onto popular movements for selfish reasons to further their own political interests and make capital out of. German National Socialism was undoubtably a Christian movement- the "Twenty Five Points of the German National Socialist Workers Party" dictated that Germany was a Christian nation and that Christianity was the offical religion regardless of denomination. Hitler himself was committed to Christianity and Mein Kampf reveals hundreds of quotes from the Bible and references to Christianity with almost no mention of Germanic Mythology. The often repeated mantra that the Third Reich was a pagan movement that abandoned civilising Christianity to revert to the German's old heathen gods of war is simply scapegoating as a consequence of Christian guilt for appeasing Nazism and even welcoming it.

The problem with a scholarly book such as Goodrick-Clarke's ascribing the pagan revival to NS roots rather than a groundswell of people's interest in their pre-Christian heritage (regarding Asatru there is no mention of Icelander Sveinbjörn Beinteinsson who originally coined the term and we are simply given a Neo-Nazi origin for it which is quite simply offensive) is that it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. In the same way that Satanists became attracted to NS imagery because of fantasies written by Dennis Wheatley or Ravenscroft and simplistic concepts of "evil" then focussing on the small minority of NS sympathisers in paganism presents a dangerous skewed picture. Primarily because it attracts these kinds of idiots to it and thus propagates these kinds of dangerous fantasists. Any paganism inherent in Nazism owes far more to the Roman paradigm anyway given it's focus on state and Empire and leader than the more self-reliant, independent, Northern European variant.

The phenomena of people returning to their pre-Christian heritage is however a global movement and a simple focus on the Northern Europeans does not really do it justice. Do we see Hellenism, Shinto, Houdon or the Aztec revival receiving the same kind of critical appraisal? By pushing all of Northern European paganism under the domain of National Socialism is
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Midnight in the century, 19 Dec. 2010
This review is from: Black Sun: Aryan Cults, Esoteric Nazism, and the Politics of Identity (Paperback)
"Black Sun" by Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke feels like the unofficial sequel to "The occult roots of Nazism", another book by the same author.

"Black Sun" gives a broad overview of the post-war Nazi underground. American and British Nazism are covered, including Lincoln Rockwell and Colin Jordan. So are Julius Evola, Savitri Devi and Miguel Serrano. There are also chapters on black metal music, Nazi Satanism and neo-paganism, and the bizarre Christian Identity and Creativity groups.

What's particularly striking are the cultic, occultist and pseudoreligious traits of post-war Nazism. In many ways, neo-Nazism looks like a strange blend of original Nazism and interwar Ariosophy (which was scorned by Hitler). Even Nazi leaders I assumed were purely secular, such as Lincoln Rockwell, had a pseudoreligious, Satanistic streak. Sometimes, the "spiritual" aspect is downright bizarre, as when Savitri Devi proclaimed Hitler to be an avatar of the Hindu god Vishnu, or when other neo-Nazi groups expressed a belief in UFOs. Yet, Devi was a leading member of the neo-Nazi international network WUNS. Another example of the religious connection is the neo-pagan group Wotansvolk, whose leader David Lane was involved in the Nazi terrorist group The Order.

While this is nauseating, even scary, it's also strangely comforting. After all, the reason why Nazism became a network of political and religious cults after the war, was that secular Nazism had failed, and that a secular (or "Christian") Nazi mass movement was no longer possible. In post-war Europe, fascist groups must mimic right-wing populism or conservatism to gain a mass following - witness the Front National in France, the Alleanza Nazionale in Italy, or Jörg Haider's "Freedom Party" in Austria. Groups which openly proclaim their Nazi or fascist affinities remain small. And, almost by natural law, weird people are drawn to such groups. During my childhood, the most notorious Nazi group in Sweden, the NRP, was very small and consisted of people who dressed in Nazi garb even in private, attempted to mimic "Mein Kampf" in their own writings, and so on. In Denmark, a similar group insisted on vegetarianism, etc. Today, Swedish Nazi groups are terroristic and hence more dangerous, but they remain minuscule, and many members are behind bars (one of them a Black African!).

It seems that Nazism is experiencing its midnight in the century.

Let's all hope this situation is here to stay...
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11 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Modern White Survival Extremists Groups!!!!!!!!!!!, 10 May 2008
This review is from: Black Sun: Aryan Cults, Esoteric Nazism, and the Politics of Identity (Paperback)
This book talks about high abortion rates, and low birth rates in the traditional white countries as well as high race mixing. And how this has contributed to the white races only making up 10% of the worlds population. And so a number of white survival groups (some rascist, some not!!!) have appeared over the decades. This book talks about Anti-Semitism, white supremacy, rascism, and hate groups as well as some groups only concerned with the survival of the white races, but of course they are branded as Rascists. In this book you will also read about how many people still believe in the Jewish world conspiracy to force all races together and turn the world into a giant supermarket for the corporate giants ran by Jews. You will also read about Pagan revival groups (that worship the Gods of their ancestors) which have also been branded as Rascists as they only welcome the race who originally worshippped those Gods. Here's a list of the exellent well written, informative, unbiased, well researched, well explained chapters that you will find in this exellent book. There are 14 chapters in total,The Best chapters are:

American Neo-Nazism
The British Nazi Underground (and the BNP)
The Nazi Mysteries
Wilhelm Landig and the Esoteric SS
Nazi UFO's and Antartica
White Noise and Black metal
Nazi Satanism
Christian identity
Nordic racial paganism
Conspiracy beliefs and the new world order
The politics of identity
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Black Sun: Aryan Cults, Esoteric Nazism, and the Politics of Identity
Black Sun: Aryan Cults, Esoteric Nazism, and the Politics of Identity by Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke (Paperback - 31 July 2003)
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