Cult or Movement?
by Gerhard Lauck
Adolf Hitler makes it very clear in MEIN KAMPF that National Socialism is a political movement. NOT a religious movement. It must refrain from interference in religious matters. It must respect the religious beliefs of its citizenry and uphold freedom of religion. The political reformer should not play the role of religious reformer as well.
The fact that National Socialism is a WORLDVIEW that extends far beyond mere “politics” in the conventional sense of the terms does NOT change this.
Ironically, it is precisely the “American” National Socialists, who – despite their own national tradition of religious freedom and separation of church and state – all too often have a very noticeable tendency to blatantly VIOLATE this basic tenant of National Socialism.
When the American NS political movement largely collapsed in the early 1980’s, the head of what was once the largest American NS organization formed a philosophical/religious group more reminiscent of a cult than a political group. [IF a noteworthy political organization still existed and IF the distinction between political group/doctrine and SEPARATE religious group/doctrine was VERY clear, then this MIGHT have been tolerable.]
When another American National Socialist thinker – likewise a former member of Rockwell’s ANP – decided a “non-open NS approach” was best in order to get around the effects of virulent, long-term “anti-Nazi” propaganda, he nonetheless likewise created a new religion as a major component of his approach.
Considering the fact that Americans are largely at leastwise nominally “Christian” – more so than most Central Europeans – this is highly ironic.
I remember Rockwell’s old illustration in THE STORMTOOPER depicting the American flag as “the symbol of our nation”, the Christian cross as “the symbol of our faith” and the swastika as “the symbol of our race”. This illustration may or may not be appropriate today. At any rate, it is vastly superior to an open challenge against the nation’s dominant religion!
Apparently, it is now considered expedient by many American National Socialists to either a) abandon the swastika in order to be more “acceptable”, but nonetheless REPLACE Christianity (!), or b) keep the swastika, but REPLACE Jesus Christ with Adolf Hitler (!)…despite the fact that Hitler himself would have TOTALLY REJECTED this!
Note: I have nothing against any of these religious views. I respect both religious beliefs and the individual National Socialist’s right to his own religious view. This includes the right to express his views.
However, I am VERY concerned when this is done in manner – or under circumstances – which may give the impression that ANY one of these (or any other) religious view is SYNONYMOUS with National Socialism, that it is an essential element of National Socialism, that anybody who does NOT embrace it is NOT a TRUE National Socialist!!!
This is exactly what DOES happen both in the public and among new recruits. (I know! They write ME and I have to expend time and effort to undo the damage done by other people who should have known better! Or they waste time and effort – and undermine NS unity – in endless, futile “discussions” in forums and such.)
This is especially true, when people perceived to be spokesmen – even organizational “leaders” (past or present) or “authorities” on National Socialism – make PUBLIC statements espousing their PERSONAL religious preference.
Another danger is the tendency to confuse philosophy and religion with POLITICAL ACTIVISM. I ask myself: Is the present weakness of the NS movement in America – especially when compared to Europe - perhaps due, leastwise in part, to the REPLACEMENT of POLITICAL ACTIVISM with philosophical/religious “pursuits” aka cultism?
I have no problem with SUPPLEMENT. I DO have a problem with REPLACEMENT. Especially when the movement is so weak!
It is time to get back to basics!
This means practical and effective political activism aimed at the mobilization of racially conscious Whites.
Different countries face different legal and cultural factors and hence take different approaches. Even within the same country, different National Socialists often disagree on the best approach.
However, when even the “leaders” make the ideological and strategic blunder of mixing religion and politics, it is time to look elsewhere for answers!