On Monday, the Justice Department announced that 22-year-old Army Private Ethan Melzer of Louisville, Kentucky, had been arrested two weeks earlier for giving classified information on his unit's "location, movements, and security" to a bunch of Satanic Nazis, for the purpose of helping them carry out a terrorist attack on said unit — which only makes makes sense given how things have been going so far this year.

Melzer's Satanic Nazi friends are a UK-based Left-Hand Path occultist movement called the Order of the Nine Angles (ONA, O9A) that has been around since the 1970s; in recent years, O9A's made headlines for its associations with other white supremacist groups like Atomwaffen in the US, as well as for the number of Nazi terrorists who have been associated with it.

According to a Justice Department press release, Melzer joined the Army in 2018, and, just a year later initiated himself into O9A (associates, as they are called, are not "initiated" by other associates, but rather are expected to do this themselves, at which point they attain the status of "neophyte"). Melzer then contacted other associates of O9A with a plan to attack his own unit.


In approximately April 2020, the Army informed Melzer of plans for a further foreign deployment by his unit. Melzer thereafter sought to facilitate a deadly attack on his fellow service members. After he was notified of the assignment, Melzer used an encrypted application to send messages to members and associates of O9A and a related group known as the "RapeWaffen Division," including communications regarding Melzer's commitment to O9A and sensitive information related to his unit's anticipated deployment such as locations, movements, and security, for purposes of facilitating an attack on Melzer's unit. Melzer and his co-conspirators planned what they referred to as a "jihadi attack" during the deployment, with the objective of causing a "mass casualty" event victimizing his fellow service members. Melzer acknowledged in electronic communications that he could be killed during the attack, and, describing his willingness to die, wrote "who gives a [expletive] [. . .] it would be another war . . . I would've died successfully . . . cause another 10 year war in the Middle East would definitely leave a mark."

On or about May 17, 2020, Melzer exchanged electronic communications regarding passing information about the anticipated deployment to a purported member of al Qaeda. Between approximately May 24 and May 25, 2020, Melzer sent additional electronic messages with specific information about his unit's anticipated deployment, including, among other things, the number of soldiers who would be traveling, the location of the facility to which Melzer expected the unit would be deployed, and information about the facility's surveillance and defensive capabilities. Melzer promised to leak more information once he arrived at the location of the new deployment in order to try to maximize the likelihood of a successful attack on his unit.

The thing with the Order of Nine Angles is that there's really so much bullshit — self-perpetuated — that it's hard to get a handle on what their actual deal is, and what is just crap they've made up because it sounded good at the time. Sometimes they claim to be Traditional Satanists following the Left-Hand Path, other times they're hermetic pagans, or they're "a mystical sinisterly-numinous tradition," whatever the hell that means. Rather than being one big organization, there are "cells" all over the world (though mostly in the UK), termed "nexions." It is not clear yet if Melzer was actually in a "nexion" or if he was doing this on his own.

However, according to its published documents, one of the core tenets of the O9A is "The Way of The Culling," aka human sacrifice, which they supposedly often achieve by joining the police or the military in order to be able to kill someone with impunity.

I know. I know. Human sacrifice. I sound like a Pizzagate idiot. But that is what they claim themselves — and the fact that four of the Nazis convicted on terrorism charges in the UK in the last year had ties to the O9A does add some credence to their claim.

In the 2013 book Mysticism in the 21st Century, Dr. Connell Monette wrote:

The most controversial of the ONA's principles, this tenet has two sides. One the one hand, it refers to the ONA's conviction that some human 'scum' have no place in society, and that they deserve to be removed. Thus a member of the ONA may decide to join a police force to obtain combat training, and then use their position of authority to kill criminals, rather than arrest them. On the other hand, this tenet also refers to blood sacrifice to the dark gods, in a manner similar to that described in pre-Christian Europe.

An off-shoot of O9A, the US-based Tempel ov Blood, notably had a high proportion of military and ex-military members, or associates, as they call themselves.

However, another reason an O9A associate may join something like the military is because of the practice of taking "insight roles." Basically, in order to "graduate" to a one of the higher rankings, one of the things an initiate has to do is to spend time doing something relatively extreme.

For instance:

Undertake the role of extreme political activist and so champion heretical views (by e.g. becoming involved in extreme Right-Wing activism). The aim is to express fanaticism in action and be seen by all 'right-thinking people' as an extremist, and a dangerous one.

or

Join the Police Force (assuming you meet the requirements) and so experience life at the 'sharp end' and being a servant to a higher authority.

To be clear, this "taking an insight role" thing absolutely does not mean that the Nazis who get involved with ONA are not actual Nazis but are simply playing at being actual Nazis. Many of them, probably all of them at this point, are actual Nazis before they join up. Their Black Mass or, as it is sometimes called, their Mass of Heresy is all about praising Hitler.

Adolf Hitler was sent by our gods
To guide us to greatness
We believe in the inequality of races
And in the right of the Aryan to live
According to the laws of the folk.
We acknowledge that the story of the Jewish "holocaust"
Is a lie to keep our race in chains
And express our desire to see the truth revealed.
We believe in justice for our oppressed comrades
And seek an end to the world-wide
Persecution of National-Socialists.

Except in Australia, where the Black Mass recitation is about Osama bin Laden.

O9A's connection to Nazism, though possibly more explicit now, has been there since the beginning, though not exactly for the most traditional reasons. One of their core beliefs is that the history of human beings on earth is separated into Aeons, which are focused on one particular group/religious tradition, each of which lasts about 2000 years, culminating in a "Time of Troubles" lasting around 400 years. According to their beliefs, were are currently in the Time of Troubles for the "Magian/Nazarene" Aeon (Magian/Nazarene is their code for "Jewish, because of course it is), which will end around 2390, at which point there will come the Aeon of Fire ... during which Aryans will colonize the whole darn Milky Way. So, like, the Aeon of Satanic Nazis in Space.

So while it may seem counter-intuitive that these people are equally into Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda, they think that supporting any form of criminal behavior, terrorism, destruction of societal norms is a good thing because it will be accelerating the end of the Magian/Nazarene Aeon.

I wish I were making this up. I am not.

Melzer has been indicted on multiple charges and, likely, will spend the rest of his life in prison. He is being charged with:

(1) conspiring to murder U.S. nationals, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2332(b)(2), which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison; (2) attempting to murder U.S. nationals, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2332(b)(1), which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison; (3) conspiring to murder U.S. military service members, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1117, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison; (4) attempting to murder U.S. military service members, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1114, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison; (5) attempting to provide and providing material support to terrorists, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2339A, which carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison; and (6) conspiring to murder and maim in a foreign country, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 956, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.

This kid likely got radicalized online, and very likely in a very short period of time, and now he's going to spend more of his life in prison than he spent out of it. It would be sad if he were not so very obviously very dangerous.

[Justice Department]

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Robyn Pennacchia

Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. In addition to her work at Wonkette, she also has a biweekly column at Dame. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse

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