| by CTEC
Order of Nine Angles (O9A) predominantly serves as an accelerationist radicalization to violence pathway premised on occult practices, sometimes referred to by O9A adherents as the “Sinister Tradition.” This pathway operates bidirectionally, both to get non-radicalized individuals (e.g., non-O9A Satanists) into occultic Traditionalism, and to expose O9A adherents to others who reinforce both their disdain for present society and belief that violence is the optimal catalyst for change. As a radicalization vector, the O9A model—especially those associated with the strain (a.k.a., currents or nexions) known as Tempel ov Blood (ToB)—further radicalizes adherents towards a willingness to commit violence, especially lone actor terrorism. Individuals associated with O9A aim to mobilize pre-existing extremist groups and already radicalized individuals to carry out violent attacks, either as part of occult rituals or in furtherance of the accelerationist theory of change according to which they operate. The latter is achieved through various tactics, including the introduction of O9A beliefs and literature through the overt and covert infiltration (known as insight roles) of O9A adherents into extremist groups and spaces.
There are two main ideological strains within O9A. The first is the “original” O9A that is centered around texts such as Hostia, which promotes so-called “Sinister” conduct that includes subversive, illegal, and immoral actions (online and offline) alongside extensive introspective and generally nonviolent rituals. Influenced greatly by David Myatt, the original ideological outlook of O9A is rooted in Julius Evola’s militant Traditionalism. According to H.E. Upchurch,
“O9A shares with other pagan neo-fascists a belief in a primordial spirituality that has been supplanted by the Abrahamic faiths. Its doctrines are apocalyptic, predicting a final confrontation between monotheistic ‘Magian’ civilization and primordial ‘Faustian’ European spirituality.”
This original O9A strain has various manifestations, but can generally be conceptualized as split between a focus on individual esoteric and occult practices and a more fascistic manifestation which lends itself towards hate-based violence and terrorism. The individual sub-manifestation, while taboo and niche, generally avoids externalized violence—though it can at times blur into ritualistic and sexual violence against others.
The overlap with fascism leads significant portions of O9A adherents to embrace Myatt’s ideological views that the enemy of eugenic human evolution is ultimately the Jewish people—though direct references are rare as coded language is used, such as “Magian” and “Nazarene.” Evola’s influence via Myatt into the texts of O9A are apparent in this antisemitic component, as Myatt’s “Magian” focus is a clear replication of Evola’s Traditionalist worldviews laid out in his literature Revolt Against the Modern World, as well as a byproduct of Myatt’s time in neo-Nazi networks in the U.K. and his coinciding introduction to Savitri Devi’s writings. Savitri Devi is a considerable influence on some strains’ and nexions’ embrace of Esoteric Hitlerism (Hitler deification and worship). One leading influencer within the movement, Jillian Hoy (the co-founder of Tempel ov Blood), used Devi’s name as a Facebook profile moniker for years.
The second significant strain within O9A is organized around the nexion known as Tempel ov Blood. ToB is most heavily associated with infiltrating neofascist accelerationist groups and inciting individuals to violence. ToB’s books, produced by its in-house publishing arm Martinet Press, contain graphic scenes depicting child sexual abuse, physical and sexual violence, and more, with the goal of desensitizing its audience against extreme abuses of others. Towards this goal of dehumanization for the purpose of generating terrorist violence, ToB’s training manual dismisses original O9A’s introspective actions for a totalizing focus on violence. This perspective has had a considerable lingering effect on much of the heinous Telegram space known as the “Terrorgram” community due to its heavy influence on the early development of Saints Culture, Beast Barracks, and other radicalization and incitement mechanisms.
O9A is a loosely structured network of cells (a.k.a., nexions) which are typically composed of only a few individuals per cell. O9A nexions have been linked to acts of ritualistic, sexual, and terroristic violence around the world. Based on shared features and characteristics in some nexions, defined strains of O9A adherence can be identified (e.g., 218 nexions and digital presences are focused on digital propaganda, while 764 nexions and presences are heavily associated with spreading child sexual abuse materials (CSAM). Unlike other networks of actors in the broader militant accelerationism networks like Atomwaffen Division and The Base, which are best understood as “one node in a distributed transnational neo-fascist accelerationist network,” O9A is best understood as an erratically occurring presence of individuals and nexions that are encouraged to operate clandestinely, employing a variety of tactics to confuse, obfuscate, and divert attention. Despite this, some adherents, such as ToB, have pursued an open, public profile across social media and Terrorgram.
Association with O9A as a whole is not based on a strictly vetted membership, but is instead designed to be an individualized pathway of radicalization within a framework(s) provided by leadership figures across the broader movement. To begin their evolution, individuals can seek out the guidance of another O9A affiliate, or guide themselves through the teachings found online. Individuals and their small, loosely organized networks may consider themselves cells of, affiliated with, inspired by, kindred to, or calling upon O9A. This makes measuring the size of a nexion difficult, though there are not generally more than about 12 individuals in the larger networks.
To be a part of this community, a person must commit themselves to the O9A pathway and undergo a personal and esoteric metamorphosis. This pathway is referred to as The Seven Fold Way or “Hebdomadry,” which lists stages of progression. The stages are: (1) Neophyte, (2) Initiate, (3) External Adept, (4) Internal Adept, (5) Master/Mistress, (6) Grand Master/Mousa and (7) Immortal. Individuals can progress through the pathway by undertaking a series of insight roles lasting between 12 and 24 months, running a nexion of their own, and spending various periods in isolated wilderness without modern technology; taken together, these rituals serve to unmoor individuals from typical human social relations and make them more susceptible to violent and antisocial messaging. Others may have an entirely different pathway to violence by virtue of reading O9A materials and consuming other forms of media propaganda, becoming highly radicalized while eschewing other initiating rites (e.g., insight roles) and progressing directly to an act of violence or terrorism. The various ways affiliates can identify with and progress through the O9A pathways presents a persistent challenge with researching O9A, which is the variable nature by which an individual can be meaningfully affiliated. Because O9A is an individualized and multi-optioned esoteric pathway for the initiate to progress along, it is difficult to ascertain the extent of one’s radicalization to violence within such a system.
The O9A pathway structure is designed to move sympathetic and interested individuals towards a radicalized state that ultimately ends in violence meant to undermine or collapse Western democracy. Thus, individuals associated with the group are regularly found embedded within or infiltrating digital and offline spaces of pre-existing violent extremist groups such as Atomwaffen Division, Sonnenkrieg Division, Feuerkrieg Division, and more. Tactically, O9A adherents engage in practices called “entryism” and “insight roles” wherein they obscure their true nature and seek to infiltrate other extremist groups (e.g., anarchist, Boogaloo, neo-fascist, militia groups, etc.) and non-extremist institutions (e.g., military, police, and intelligence agencies). For individuals associated with O9A, insight roles are a necessary prerequisite to achieve the “adept” level of The Seven Fold Way. This is not a vetted process, but is instead undertaken individually with limited-to-no oversight.
Through these covert engagements, O9A adherents gain valuable insights (thus the name of the role) on tactical prowess and organizational dynamics that they can pass along to others. It also allows adherents to influence activities within organizations and movements, such as inciting violence and further radicalizing others. Moreover, insight roles are also promoted by O9A for their ability to prime followers towards violence and acceptance of O9A asserted worldviews. Often, one intent of these roles is to isolate individuals from their friends and families by displacing them in an uncertain or dangerous setting, such as a war zone or high crime environment. By placing individuals in these unsettling surroundings, believers are led to conclude that the world is a violent place saturated by unworthy individuals, thus ushering those who undertake insight roles further down the radicalization pathway.
Today, most insight roles are obtained and facilitated online through the infiltration of radicalized groups and spaces, particularly on Telegram. In these spaces, O9A adherents either engage in overt or covert influence activities. Overt influence typically includes infusing the space with O9A literature, iconography, or beliefs. Covert activities, on the other hand, entail learning of the pre-radicalized communities’ worldviews, then using the obtained knowledge to manipulate non-O9A followers into inadvertently serving O9A’s goals of sowing chaos, violence, or instigating societal collapse. With both of these strains of influence, however, the goal is online radicalization to offline mobilization.
National Action, founded in 2013, was the first skullmask group that emerged from the Iron March forum. National Action’s Ryan Fleming served as a clear conduit by which O9A and ToB materials made their way into the forum’s zeitgeist. Leaked messages from Fleming show that he was the first to mention O9A on the forum and claimed to hold ties with ToB and could put people in contact with the network. Fleming was later charged and jailed for pedophilia-related activities, a known component of ToB and O9A dehumanization tactics (See Arrests/Plots/Attacks section below).
Founded in 2015 out of Iron March, AWD was heavily infiltrated by ToB, and strongly influenced by its founder and leader, Joshua Caleb Sutter, when it infiltrated AWD in 2017. Upon the arrest of AWD founder Brandon Russell and Devon Arthurs, John Cameron Denton assumed leadership over the network, decidedly turning it towards both a Siege footing (Denton was close with James Mason) and an O9A and ToB approach to accelerationism. Following Denton’s takeover of AWD, Joshua Caleb Sutter and other ToB members were invited to join the extremist group. With that foothold, ToB’s publishing house Martinet Press gained significant purchase from which to disseminate its hyper violent content across the burgeoning Telegram accelerationist ecosystem. In part this was due to Sutter’s close relationship with Denton and the institution of Martinet Press books as required readings for recruits.
A seeming offshoot from National Action, the group was short-lived but explicit in its occultist influence. Founded in 2018 by Andrew Dymock, the group was intended to serve as an “esoteric National Socialist” entity and content associated with the group’s social media held clear O9A aesthetic indicators.
Founded in 2018, multiple members of FKD that plotted violent extremist activity or terrorist activity have held indicators of O9A association. According to the ADL, U.S. Army Specialist Jarrett William Smith held association with Current 218. In 2020, Smith pleaded guilty to unlawfully distributing instruction documents related to making explosive devices over social media. Also in 2020, AWD member Taylor Parker-Dipeppe, who had ties to ToB-affiliated individuals, became the leader of FKD. Parker-Dipeppe was later arrested alongside O9A adherent Kaleb Cole for their roles in a targeted harassment campaign against journalists, and was cited in Cole’s brief alleging Sutter’s status as a government informant.
Texts associated with O9A play a role similar to texts that mobilize and comprise jihadist literature (e.g., Join the Caravan by Abdullah Azzam). For example, O9A is heavily fixated on blogs and books that are philosophical in nature and seek to incite their readers to individual acts of violence. Texts by David Myatt, such as A Practical Guide to The Strategy and Tactics of Revolution, especially act as critical influences on would-be violent attackers. Unlike their peers in more explicitly neofascist groups like Atomwaffen Division, or like individual mass shooters such as Buffalo shooter Payton Gendron, O9A does not explicitly encourage the creation and promotion of manifestos as a function of O9A activity. However, individuals may leave behind personal writings that are published by news media that are easily available for download online.
O9A texts also encourage individuals to partake in extreme political activities and push themselves beyond societal norms and laws. This manifests as infiltrations of pre-existing extremist groups and government agencies. For example, “The O9A work Hostia directs initiates to: ‘Undertake the role of extreme political activist and so champion heretical views (by e.g. becoming involved in extreme Right- Wing activism)’, or alternatively to join the police.” It is this behavioral tactic within the O9A repertoire that best explains its covert or obscured involvement in other extremist groups in Terrorgram.
Lastly, ToB, with its in-house publishing arm Martinet Press, is perhaps the most prolific in its capacity to create, disseminate, and archive violent extremist content, publishing numerous texts containing highly graphic radicalizing content. Martinet Press represents the most violently radical and pernicious evolution of O9A texts., its literature is notable for being particularly violent and grotesque, celebrating torture, the weaponization of sexual violence, and the exploitation of children. Publications from Martinet Press, such as Iron Gates, Bluebird, and Libre 333 are easily found on e-commerce websites such as Barnes & Noble and Amazon.
Explicit O9A social media content often portrays items used in occult rituals (e.g., crystal tetrahedrons, animal skulls, and bones) alongside specific books (e.g., Libre 333) and weapons. These are called “shrines” or “altars” in O9A rhetoric.
Often accompanying altars or shrines is content of gore, such as images of headless corpses or severe self-mutilation (typically flogging or cutting). These grisly images are spread not only to desensitize users as a preconditioning or preparation for violence, but as an action of self-enlightenment for adherents. Self-harm specifically is considered an action of liberation, detaching the individual from their care for self and thus unburdening themself of care for others. Accordingly, those who share indicators of O9A alongside images of self-mutilation should be considered highly dangerous and more prone to violence.
Indicators are shared externally and on social media for various purposes: sign of progression within the ideology; a form of in-group signaling; and as a ritual aid. These items are considered indicators of advanced O9A ideology and/or an advanced state of radicalization or mobilization to violence.
In the time of O9A’s infiltration of AWD, especially during Denton’s takeover in 2017 until 2020, AWD propaganda and literature was heavily influenced by O9A aesthetics. An essential part of this was the emergence of another Iron March denizen, Dark Foreigner. Dark Foreigner was a prolific and talented graphic designer who successfully blended AWD and ToB aesthetics, giving a new life to Siege Culture visually.
With the infusion of Dark Foreigner’s aesthetic, O9A and ToB iconography and branding became ubiquitous across all of Terrorgram and the militant accelerationism movement. On the back side of being introduced to these aesthetics-based content items, individuals would be provided with files to Martinet Press and the large number of texts associated with O9A.
CTEC has identified thirteen incidents of violence and criminality associated with O9A-affiliated individuals, with another seven suspected events. There are undoubtedly more incidents attributed to the group. However, verifying such activity is difficult due to the lack of understanding around the role that O9A plays by local authorities and the geographic spread of the group. For example, a significant volume of O9A activity occurs in Brazil and Latin America which remains unreported on.
The February 2023 arrest of Atomwaffen Division founder Brandon Russell and his accomplice Sarah Beth Clendaniel illustrates the effect of Terrorgram publications on radicalized individuals. Russell and Clendaniel were arrested for their involvement in a plot to destroy electrical substations—a preferred tactic of accelerationist destruction discussed in Terrorgram’s Do It For The Gram, Make It Count, and The Hard Reset— in Maryland. Clendaniel displayed the more explicit affiliation with O9A, particularly through her usernames: @Nythra88 on Telegram, @Kali895 on Twitter, and @Kali1889li on Wire. “Nythra” refers to one of 21 Black Gods discussed in O9A mythos, while “Kali” is a likely reference to Kali Ma, the Hindu goddess of death, (alternatively known as the Black One or Dark Goddess of Destruction), and a prominent figure of Esoteric Hitlerism and O9A ideology. A profile picture of Clendaniel’s Telegram account was at one time an image of Kali. Additionally, Clendaniel’s Twitter banner picture featured a profile image of Savitri Devi in front of the O9A logo.
An example of O9A texts mixing esoteric philosophy and incitement to violence is the concept of human culling (ritualistic murders), which is a common theme across O9A literature. According to Hope Not Hate, “In The Dreccian Way, leading O9A figure Richard Moult (AKA Christos Beest) writes: ‘To cull humans is to be the ONA.’” This was the case for Danyal Hussein, who murdered Bibaa Henry, 46, and Nicole Smallman, 27, in 2020, and Guilherme “William” Von Neutegem, who killed Mohamed-Aslim Zafis, 58, that same year. It is important to note that Von Neutegem was recently found not criminally responsible for his attack due to a mental disorder (schizophrenia). The recruitment of individuals that display mental illness or unstable personalities is an intentional tactic of O9A, divergent from other terrorist groups such as al Qaeda and ISIS who seek to weed out these individuals. The O9A mythos presents psychologic instability as operationally useful; these individuals are brought into a sphere of influence and groomed into resources and pawns who can conduct chaotic violence on their behalf.
Another common theme is sexual violence, especially against minors. O9A ideology promotes the idea of challenging norms and societal taboos, something that is said to shackle humans to their current degenerative state of being and keeps them from transcending. The sexual assault of a minor is generally something that is abhorred by most societies, and is as such a strategic tactic for O9A adherents to further disengage from traditional society. This is demonstrated by the cases of Angel Almeida in the United States and Ryan Fleming in the United Kingdom.
Other O9A-related criminal actions are connected to individuals’ undertaking of insight roles. Ethan Melzer, for example, used his role as a military officer to pass vital intelligence to other O9A affiliates, and even attempted to murder his fellow U.S. service members by sharing intel with jihadi terrorists. Another individual of interest is Nicholas Welker, also known online as King ov Wrath, who joined the militant accelerationist group Feuerkrieg Division for his insight role, and was recently arrested for making death threats against a journalist.
Additional individuals display indicators of potential O9A association, however law enforcement cataloging of evidence often overlooks O9A iconography and significance due to lack of understanding. For example, Thomas Mair, the murderer of British MP Jo Cox, is reported to have literature associated with white supremacy, ancient runes, and Ariosophy. Due to their age, some O9A associated arrests in the U.K. are downplayed. In 2019, a Durham teenager associated with O9A was arrested on terrorism charges for plotting antisemitic attacks against the “Jewish system.” Lastly, Brenton Tarrant, the perpetrator of the Christchurch massacre, displayed multiple behaviors consistent with the “adept” pathway in O9A (e.g., global travel, insight roles, extreme physical fitness, and esoteric philosophy).
As a radicalization vector and movement, the Order of Nine Angles prioritizes the infiltration of pre-radicalized spaces to spread their accelerationist belief system with the aim of mobilizing individuals into conducting what is often sexual and terroristic violence. The overlap of O9A’s esoteric and occult practices with spiritual fascism frameworks—especially that deriving from Julius Evola’s militant interpretation of the perennialist religious movement Traditionalism—has allowed O9A ideology, concepts, practices, and content to find fertile ground in the white supremacist and neofascist community that dominates Terrorgram. As with Julius Evola, O9A uses this ideal of extreme violence as an act of spiritual transcendence from mundane and sentimental humanity. Likewise, they share in Evola’s belief in a concept of cyclical time that corresponds to an element of human civilization, with the current aeon representing a malign Jewish influence that must be violently combatted to reach a new age of human existence. As militant accelerationist milieus continue to network and share ideas, the influence of O9A has likewise grown and manifested itself on an explicit level within the ideologies, propaganda, and praxis of terrorist organizations and implicitly through infiltration of accelerationist groups and occult communities.