“The Culling Texts”: Mythology, Authority, and Human Sacrifice in the Order of the Nine Angles

Della E. Campion

Abstract


“The Culling Texts" is a small corpus of essays written by members of the Sinister Tradition Satanic group The Order of the Nine Angles (ONA) on the philosophical and practical aspects of human sacrifice, which they allegedly practice. It is an artifact that professes the claim to a radical and polemic position: of possessing the right via their moral authority as “noble” persons, and “genuine Satanists” to “cull” (or murder) humans whose point of view or social and moral behavior offends that of the ONA’s own group sensibility and standards. National Socialism, Fascism, Social Darwinism and a romantic hearkening back to an imagined time of aristocratic and noble humans all combine in these writings to provide a larger story of why culling is justified. This paper will give a brief history of both modern Satanism, and the appearance and development of the ONA, before examining and evaluating rhetoric in “The Culling Texts”. The writings will be analyzed primarily for how the rhetors create and substantiate claims to ONA superiority. This investigation will also illustrate how the group deliberately identifies with actions not accepted in the mainstream in order to distance themselves not only from conventional culture, but also from other satanic groups, in order to acquire status. The author refers to this strategy as “self-marginalization”, and offers a working definition and context for this term. Polemic, othering, myth-construction, and self-marginalization are all carefully employed in the rhetoric of “The Culling Texts” to create a desired distinction for the ONA, and ultimately contribute to the construction of a mythology of this small, secretive group. 


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