What is real and what is not?

The discussion of Martin Doutré’s Celtic New Zealand thesis saw the not infrequent mentioning of one Kerry Bolton. Now, I’m not writing a thesis on Mr. Bolton, but someone did, that someone being Roel van Leeuwen. As many of you will know, van Leeuwen’s Master thesis has been pulled from the shelves at the University of Waikato whilst it undergoes an enquiry, an enquiry that began when Bolton complained that the thesis made him out to be a bit of a Nazi whackjob.

Now, whether or not the thesis does make him out to be a bit of a Nazi whackjob or whether he actually a bit of a Nazi whackjob is neither here nor there. I think I’ve made my position clear enough in previous correspondence. However, what is interesting is this. It’s a blog devoted to, according to its author, exploring the existence of Satanism and Black Magick in Aotearoa. What is especially interesting about it is that it appears to be a blog trying to do a hatchet job on van Leeuwen.

I’m not one for vapid Conspiracy Theorising and I’m not going to add a `but’ to the end of this sentence. I can’t say for sure that the `Satanism in New Zealand’ blog is seeking to discredit van Leeuwen (and if it is, who really reads blogs anyway? I know we do but we’re hardly important, are we?) but it is interesting (for the third time) to note that there are no posts not devoted to the van Leeuwen thesis on Kerry Bolton.

Which might just be because there isn’t much Satanism and very little Black Magick going on here. If I were the Fundy Post I’d like to, say, Cliff Richard’s `Devil Woman’ right now, but I won’t. Instead, I leave you with the best of `Jazz Club.’


About Matthew Dentith

Author of "The Philosophy of Conspiracy Theories" (Palgrave Macmillan), Matthew Dentith wrote his PhD on epistemic issues surrounding belief in conspiracy theories. He is a frequent media commentator on the weird and the wonderful, both locally and internationally. On occasion he can be caught dreaming about wax lions but, mostly, it is rumoured he works for elements of the New World Order.

8 comments:

  1. Hi, SatanismNZ blog never started as a hatchet job on Roel van Leeuwen. I was simply intrigued by the topic of the thesis and decided to do some of my own research. What evolved was the discovery that Van Leeuwen apparently lied and fabricated, which seems needless in light of the general consensus that Bolton’s own writings confirm points. Instead, Roel van Leeuwen has claimed things which are blatantly false. Perhaps this was to paint a blacker picture than already existed. The reasons why he did this may never be known.

    Regarding your statement that “it is interesting … to note that there are no posts not devoted to the van Leeuwen thesis on Kerry Bolton”. This is simply not correct. While my research has currently been inspired by and focused on Roel van Leeuwen’s thesis there are a small number of other articles. It is interesting to note that the thesis proposal and introduction seem to make out that Kerry Bolton’s involvement in Satanism is current, however as you note, there is virtually no public Satanic or Black Magick activities in New Zealand at present – aside from Heavy Metal music buffs and some percentage of the population that chooses for some reason to state their religion as Satanist.

    An example of a non-thesis relate post is the recent one at: http://satanismnz.wordpress.com/2008/12/04/the-devil-down-under/

    Some of the earliest posts pre-date the thesis being publicly posted on the internet after its withdrawal by the University of Waikato.

    For the record, I am not Kerry Bolton, nor am I a Kerry Bolton fanboy (nor, unlike Roel van Leeuwen’s claims, am I a holocaust denier, revisionist, or neo-Nazi). I am however appalled at the low standards of New Zealand tertiary education to pass the thesis and award it merits when it took me a matter of months to discover the flaws and fabrications.

    My research seems to be backed-up by the mail I received outlining many of the flaws and problems in the thesis. I posted it here: http://satanismnz.wordpress.com/2008/11/24/who-watches-the-watchers/

    There are draft chapters now available, and these are really the proof of fabrication. Sources correctly identified in the draft chapters have been changed to claim they were written by Bolton. This is blatant dishonesty. If the University of Waikato is to salvage their reputation they will have little choice but to break a few eggs.

    – James

    1. Thanks for the reply. Like many others I am interested in the result of the enquiry into van Leeuwen’s thesis.

      In re the letter you received, some of the issues the authors take seem to be based upon distortions themselves (especially the materials about Crowley and LaVey). Aside from the cryptic initials do you know anything about these people? Parts of the letter read very much as apologetics.

  2. From the thesis: “Page 31: (Part of footnote 108) “Thorsten Moar” is not so easy to unravel, but it can be speculatively suggested that it is based on the etymology of Thorsten as a traditional Scandinavian name meaning ‘Hammer of Thor’ and Moar being a contraction of ‘more’ and ‘roar’ and used on the internet as an expression of frenzy and passion108 ”

    Thurston Moore is a member of Sonic Youth.

    ROFLMAO

  3. Hi admin,

    Sorry, I do not know anything about the authors of the document I was sent. I am assuming it is by former members of the ODF. It seems to have ‘inside information’ and aside from myself, I wouldn’t have thought many others would have made the effort to explore the thesis. For me, I was intrigued by the topic – and even more curious that the thesis was withdrawn, which according to the news reports was the first time in the history of the University of Waikato. Following my research into the thesis, I am surprised that the thesis was accepted by the supervisors, let alone awarded merit by external assessors. I know that anyone I have asked to read the thesis has had comments about the general poor standards. Then again, one prominent person “in the know”, regarding tertiary education in NZ, made the comment that he already held Waikato in very low regard, although he didn’t elaborate.

    I am curious about the distortions you mention in the document (particularly regarding LaVey and Crowley). I am very interested in finding academic quality references that *support* Roel van Leeuwen’s claims. I know there is a general consensus among certain groups (e.g. most Thelemites) that Crowley was most definitely *not* a Satanist, however when his biographer claimed he was would seem 1 point for an academic (published source) that he was and 0 points for an academic source that he wasn’t. Opinions can be stated for sure, but van Leeuwen states it as a fact, that the readers must accept it as a given. I have seen enough opinion amongst certain groups of Satanists that Crowley was indeed a Satanist (which the OLHP/OSV seemed to accept), whereas the Order of Nine Angles claim Crowley was certainly not a Satanist. This shows great diversity of thought amongst occultists in general and Satanists in particular.

    I have been told (but found few references) that in the 1960’s Anton LaVey claimed to be a Communist and flew a USSR flag outside his house. If true, this shows his penchant for shock and heresy. It doesn’t prove he was a Communist any more than the claims he was Libertarian.

    Thanks for your comments though. Also, thanks to Paul Litterick for the comment re. Thurston Moore being a member of Sonic Youth. This actually fits with the evidence that the later GM of the ODF was interested in groups such as Skinny Puppy and other non-mainstream music.

  4. It is noteworthy, perhaps, that Sonic Youth have a left-wing political stance and one of their best-known songs is “Youth against Fascism.” They would not be the expected listening choice of nazi-satanists.

  5. Paul – the fact is, the so called “nazi-satanist” group was actually not a “nazi” group at all. Former members have approached me an confirmed the leader after Bolton was a dyed in the wool Anarchist. Riddle me that one! Of course, van Leeuwen claims he only conducted a literature review, and never bothered to interview former members (who are easy to track down). I assume that by not including anything by former members he didn’t require any ethics approval. And it left him free to construct a fabulous story (for what reason I don’t know). He may have been wanting to make a name and reputation for himself – either way he will achieve this. Either his degree will stay and the University of Waikato will place his thesis back into the public domain or he will become famous for being the first(?) person in NZ history to have his degree revoked for dishonesty. If those draft chapters are genuine, and the thesis online is genuine (and Roel hasn’t denied either of these things publicly or in private forums I have seen) then I think dishonesty can be clearly shown. I think his thesis will become a Grinch that steals his Christmas. I don’t know about other readers of this forum, but I was always taught that honesty is the best policy.

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