Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Dennis Wheatley's novels

Much of the pop cultural image of Satanism is drawn from the novels of Dennis Wheatley that were published back in the 1950's and 1960's. Those novels are now being reissued, according to the news story A new lease of life for the Devil by Vanessa Thorpe, The Observer, on the website of The Guardian (U.K.), Sunday May 4, 2008.

I have copies of two Dennis Wheatley novels. I never read all the way through them, but I remember noticing one interesting (to me) thing: Whereas Anton LaVey and a lot of subsequent Satanists associate Satanism with extreme pro-capitalist views, the Satanists in Dennis Wheatley's novels were associated with Communists.

1 comment:

Julian Karswell said...

Hi Diane,
Nice blog.

The reason why Wheatley's novels show Satanists linked with Communists is that Wheatley saw Communism as the embodiment of evil - see one of his adventure novels such as The Forbidden Territory.

Wheatley himself always maintained that he had never taken part in any black magic rituals - a denial that was treated with some skepticism at the time when his novels were popular, after all how else could he have known so much about the occult?
Anyone with even a brief acquaintance with the occult and occult literature knows that Wheatley had read Montague Summers and a few other hysterical texts, and largely re-typed what he found there.
I still have a soft spot for Wheatley though - he knew how to keep the reader turning the page.

Julian Karswell