ORDER OF NINE ANGLES TIMELINE
1950: David Myatt, the person reportedly behind the pen-name Anton Long, was born in Tanzania.
1968: Myatt as Anton Long made the first contact with the esoteric groups that would become the Order of Nine Angles.
1972: The Order of Nine Angles was formally founded.
1973: Anton Long was initiated into the Order.
1974: The earliest example of written material available from the Order.
1998: Long announced his conversion to Islam.
2010: Long announced his rejection of political and religious extremism and a return to his “Numinous Way.”
2011: Anton Long publicly announced his retirement.
It is difficult for “outsiders” to ascertain and verify the information provided by the Order of Nine Angles (ONA) with regards to its early history. As with many such esoteric groups, the founding narrative is just as much a mythical account. According to the Order, it stems from the unification of three Pagan/Wiccan groups (Camlad, the Temple of the Sun, and the Noctulians) orchestrated by an unnamed “Grand Mistress” in the late 1960s. Anton Long was supposedly one of the first to be initiated into the Order by the Grand Mistress in 1973. [Image at right] The mistress migrated to Australia and Anton Long became the new Grand Master. From the mid-1970s up until the present, a steady stream of texts totaling several thousand pages have been produced that outlines and codifies the Sinister Tradition that the ONA claims to follow. Several lodges or temples have been referenced throughout the years, initially primarily in Britain, but more recently also in Australia, the United States and several other countries. Their exact size, location and existence are difficult to ascertain. In 1988, the Order began the publication of its own journal, Fenrir, which has been produced sporadically but continuously, with the most recent issue being published in 2013. Several websites regularly publish new articles by the Order, but since the ONA has never been a membership-organization and most followers work in solitude and secret, it is difficult to assess its size and current organization and operation (Senholt 2012).
The Order of Nine Angles follows what it refers to as the Sinister Tradition and the Seven Fold Way. [Image at right] The way of the ONA is first and foremost an individual path of personal “sinister” undertakings that are conducted over a prolonged, and often lifelong, period. It is a system of self-assessment, self-insight and Nietzschean self-overcoming. The Order in many ways is antinomian in the classical sense (often advocated by self-declared adherents of Satanism and the Left Hand Path) but seeks to transcend any kind of labeling or dogmatism.
The ONA distinguishes between what it calls the causal (the physical, this-worldly cosmos), and the acausal (the super- and supra-natural realm and the place of existence for immortals who have transcended death). A key element in the system of the ONA is the belief in cosmic evolution; that is the evolvement of history through various “aeons” that have dominated different human civilizations, and that can be advanced through what it calls “sinister dialectics.” According to the ONA we are currently living in the fifth, Western Aeon, which will culminate with imperial governance and the emergence of a galactic Imperium, if the civilization is able to disentangle itself from what the Order calls the “Magian” influence of the Judeo-Christian tradition (ONA 2017). The idea of aeons civilizational cycles most likely originates from authors such as Oswald Spengler and Arnold J. Toynbee but is infused with an additional layer of esotericism (Senholt 2008).
The Order advocates an elitist type of spirituality, and the conduction of “aeonic magick,” which has the explicit purpose of opening gates (nexions) to the acausal world in order to propel forth a shift in aeons and the coming of a new man. The sorcery or ‘dark arts’ of the ONA is according to the Order a processing of discovering and knowing the esoteric nature of living beings, as well as the ability to access and presence (make present) certain acausal energies. The ONA rejects classic good-evil dichotomies and instead talks of the ‘sinister-numinous’ as a way of living and manifesting a new kind of being in balance with the cosmos (Order of Nine Angles website).
The ONA advocates a practice that combines both esoteric (occult) and exoteric, real world actions. This element of “direct action” is often conducted during so-called “insight roles,” which are meant to be roles that both teach the initiates to transcend and expand their own personal ethics and behavioral boundaries, while at the same time effecting real world and “aeonic” change in the world. Examples of insight roles include various forms of anti-societal actions, such as those of National Socialists, radical Islamists and direct-action environmentalists and anarchists. For those with a strong antinomian nature, insight roles could also include joining the police or the armed forces, or traditional religious orders. Another aspect of the physical element is the emphasis on physical training and outdoor living, with extended outdoor rituals of solitude; these make ONA unique by comparison with similar initiatory organizations.
A key practice is rituals meant to “presensce” (manifest) a nexion, which is a connection between the acausal and causal world. This connection often is linked to a specific geographical location that over time is being infused with the energy to manifest a permanent “portal,” and likewise to make the initiate a permanent living nexion.
The Order distinguishes between classical ceremonial magic (described primarily in its Black Book of Satan and Naos) and hermetic magic. The latter is less fixed to a certain text or setting, but is more “emotional” and intuitive in nature, usually done either in solitude or with a single other person (Order of Nine Angles website n.d.d).
There are no named leaders of the ONA, but certain websites release new authoritative texts signed by the ONA, often in conjunction with a handful of select names, the most prominent being Anton Long. [Image at right]
The grade system of the Order is septenary and corresponds to the seven spheres of the Graeco-Roman tradition: (1) Neophyte, (2) Initiate, (3) External Adept, (4) Internal Adept, (5) Master of Temple/Mistress of Earth [or “Lady Master”], (6) Grand Master/Grand Mistress [or Magus and “Grand Lady Master”], and (7) Immortal.
The Neophyte conducts a ritual of self-initiation, the initiate takes on an insight role as described earlier, trains to undertake various physical challenges and conducts a grade ritual. The external adept needs to organize and recruit a group of members along with another insight role and a three to six month long grade ritual. The internal adept includes further development of personal character and tasks related his nexion, insight role and talents over a five to eleven year period before undertaking a grade ritual of the Abyss, which involves living in a cavern for a lunar cycle to become Master.
The last step is only attainable at death. The other degrees are obtained over several years by conducting certain specific tasks and rituals, which are openly presented by the Order. Advancement is mostly a question of self-initiation and self-assessment unless definite contact with senior Order members has been established (Order of Nine Angles n.d.c).
There are several issues and challenges concerning the ONA.
The first is the lack of external verifiable sources, which makes it difficult to assess the claims made by the Order in terms of size, history and actions.
The second issue relates to the identity of Anton Long, which is widely believed to be the pen-name used by David Myatt. There are several historical, textual and linguistic coincidences that would lead scholars as well as ONA adherents to believe that Long and Myatt are one and the same, but this connection has consistently been denied by Myatt himself. Scholars such as Goodrick-Clarke assumes that Myatt and Long are the same in his book Black Sun, and quotes an article from the far-left anti-racist magazine Searchlight, but does not provide any definite proof. In addition the numerous linguistic, thematic and timeline overlaps, which for example can be seen in Anton Longs autobiography Diablerie – The Secret Life of a Satanist, which is remarkably similar to Myatt’s own life, and used by Goodrick-Clarke to establish biographical dates of Myatt’s life, there exists ONA manuscripts from 1978 with David Myatt’s name on them, later anonymized to be authored by the ONA and an R. Venn. The earliest writings by the ONA and David Myatt where both published by Myatt’s own Thormynd Press, which is another direct link between the two (Senholt 2008; Goodrick-Clarke 2002; Venn 1978).
Related to the identity of Anton Long is the shift in the ideology associated with the ONA and specifically its insight roles. During the late 1990s Myatt was active in the British neo-Nazi group the National Socialist Movement (NSM) and wrote tracts on “Aryan Revolution,” the most prominent being “A Practical Guide to the Strategy and Tactics of Revolution,” which included advice on various forms of direct and covert revolutionary action including assassinations and terror bombings (Goodrick-Clarke 2002; Myatt 2017). A former member of the NSM, David Copeland became known as the “London Nail Bomber” after conducting three bomb attacks in April 1999, and a BBC news special speculated that Myatt served as an inspiration for the attack although this has never been demonstrated in court (BBC 2000). During the same period the ONA released a newsletter called Temple 88, with 88 referring to the letter HH, short for Heil Hitler. In later years, coinciding with Myatt’s conversion to Islam in 1998, the Nazi symbolism and ideological references have become less frequent, but becoming a National Socialist is still listed as a suggested insight-roles. According to the ONA however, the ultimate aim of the Order is to transcend current ideological labels.
There is no definitive agreement on the meaning and origin of the term “nine angles,” but various explanations have been offered. Both the satanic organizations the Church of Satan and the Temple of Set have references to the Nine Angles, as Church of Satan’s founder LaVey published a complete ritual, the “Ceremony of the Nine Angles” in his Satanic Rituals which was originally devised by Temple of Set founder, Michael Aquino, on LaVey’s request (Aquino 2002; LaVey 1972). The Temple of Set still refers to the Nine Angles, for example, with Aquino issuing a commentary on the Seal of the Nine Angles (Aquino 1998). The ONA rejects this connection and claims that the nine angles are connected to the septenary “Tree of Wyrd,” representing seven sphere, the system as a whole representing an eight, and mystery and the abyss representing a ninth. The Order thus connects the nine to the practice of black magic, with the nine representing various physical sound or energy vibrations, and on a metaphysical level representing the Aeons. According to the ONA the nine angles are here connected with both alchemical processes, and also with the “Star Game,” a magic game to be constructed and played as part of the initiatory process, and “Aeonic Magick,” which are essential parts of the magic practiced in the ONA (Order of Nine Angles n.d.a).
The final challenge is related to the first, namely that the ONA condones and encourages human sacrifice, referring to its victims as opfers and its process as “culling.” These practices are described in various Order texts, including “A Gift for the Prince – A Guide to Human Sacrifice.” According to the Order the victims will be test, unknowingly, and have thus in a sense chosen themselves as potential targets. The sacrifice can be carried out either by physical or magical means, but no ONA group has publicly admitted to conducting such practice, and there have been no confirmed examples of actual sacrifices. Several rites of destruction are more symbolic than physical in nature, and the Order describe that the rites described are portrayed ‘for historical interest only’ (Order of Nine Anagles n.d.d).
Image #1: Photograph of David Myatt/Anton Long.
Image #2: Photograph of the front cover of The Sinister Tradition.
Image #3: Reproduction of the ONA logo.
Aquino, Michael. 2002. The Church of Satan. Accessed from http://www.xeper.org/maquino/nm/COS.pdf August 2008.
Aquino, Michael. 1998. Commentary on the Seal of the Nine Angles. Accessed from http://www.trapezoid.org/thought/commentary.html on 3 April 2017.
BBC. 2000. “Panorama Special: The Nailbomber,” June 30. Accessed from http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/events/panorama/811720.stm on 3 April 2017.
Goodrick-Clarke, Nicholas. 2002. Black Sun: Aryan Cults, Esoteric Nazism, and the Politics of Identity. New York: New York University Press.
LaVey, Anton Szandor. 1972. The Satanic Rituals. New York: Avon Books.
Myatt, David. n.d. “A Practical Guide to The Strategy and Tactics of Revolution.” Accessed from https://ironyouthparty.wordpress.com/a-practical-guide-to-the-strategy-and-tactics-of-revolution/ on 3 April 2017
Order of Nine Angles website. n.d.a “Concerning The Meaning of The Nine Angles: A Collection of Texts.” Accessed from http://www.o9a.org/wp-content/uploads/texts/nine-angles-texts-part1.pdf on 13 April 2017
Order of Nine Angles website. n.d.b “Overview of the O9A.” Accessed from http://www.o9a.org/2017/02/overview-of-the-o9a/ on 3 April 2017.
Order of Nine Angles website. n.d. c“The Definitive Guide To The Order of Nine Angles: Theory and Praxises,” Seventh Edition. Accessed from http://www.o9a.org/2014/04/guide-to-the-order-of-nine-angles/ on 13 April 2017
Order of Nine Angles website. n.d.d “The Requisite ONA: A Practical Guide to The Sinister Sorcery of The Order of Nine Angles.” Accessed from https://lapisphilosophicus.wordpress.com/the-requisite-ona/ on 13 April 2017
Senholt, Jacob. 2012. “Secret Identities in The Sinister Tradition: Political Esotericism and the Convergence of Radical Islam, Satanism and National Socialism in the Order of Nine Angles.” Pp. 250-74 in The Devil’s Party: Satanism in Modernity, edited by Per Faxneld and Jesper Petersen. New York: Oxford University Press.
Senholt, Jacob. 2008. The Sinister Tradition: Political Esotericism and the Convergence of Radical Islam, Satanism and National Socialism in the Order of Nine Angles. Master Thesis in Mysticism and Western Esotericism. University of Amsterdam.
Venn, R. 1978. Copula cum Daemone or A Summers Tale.
Order of Nine Angles. n.d. Order of Nine Angles website. Accessed from http://www.o9a.org/ on 3 April 2017.
Order of Nine Angles. n.d. “Overview of the O9A. Accessed from http://www.o9a.org/2017/02/overview-of-the-o9a/ on 3 April 2017.
25 April 2017