Monday, April 9, 2012

Rebutting the Nazi Room

The history guide
The latest controversy involving figures involved in the Highgate Vampire case are the Nazi Room allegations made by Sean Manchester's former friend, Kevin Chesham

Chesham alleges Manchester secretly admires Nazis and collects associated paraphernalia. There have been two primary rebuttals to Chesham's claims. The first comes from spider-blogger, Steatoda Nobilis. His blog, Kevin Chesham - Triathlete - Fascist, features doctored pictures, Nazi-related images and a letter reportedly from Chesham to an unnamed 'Brother', extolling the virtues of British fascist, Oswald Mosley (1896–1980). Interestingly, Manchester refers to 'Br. Kevin Chesham' in his 1995 book documenting the founding of his church1; despite Chesham's Buddhist beliefs.

The second rebuttal comes from Manchester, himself. It's titled, well—as of this writing, it doesn't actually have a title. Instead, it features a quote from Chesham: "The struggle can take many turns and directions", balanced off with a quote from William Shakespeare's Henry VI, part III: 'The smallest worm will turn, being trodden on.'

Manchester dismisses the contents of the 'Nazi room' with militaria from other periods. There are two allusions to the Nazi stuff, firstly: 'German militaria is by far the most popular and most expensive. There are, however, certain items from World War Two that were given me by folk I knew when I was very young (who brought them back from Europe) on the proviso that I did not sell them on. I shall honour that request.' Secondly, 'I have in the past displayed my twentieth century militaria, largely but not exclusively Second World War, in a place where they could be viewed by visitors for inspection.' Militaria is defined as 'collected or collectible military  objects, as uniforms and firearms, having historical interest.'

One must question the 'militaria' claim on closer inspection of the room's contents. For instance, a silver-framed picture of Adolf Hitler adorns the wall. Second, a newspaper article—also silver-framed—sits on the desk. It's titled, 'One in four Germans admires the Nazis'. The article does not date from World War 2: it was published in The Daily Mail's 18 October 2007 issue. Indeed, the Nazi room pictures were taken that same year. Manchester's bookshelf, also pictured, is lined with books on Nazism.

Yet Manchester alleges that Chesham—and his wife, Beverley Mason—are fascists. Not him. Manchester believes Chesham 'became drawn to me because I had met Sir Oswald and Lady Diana Mosley in the early 1960s and, like Kevin, found their incarceration without trial during the Second World War to be unjust.' Manchester also mentions his association with people of far-right—and far-left—views, but omits John Pope, who was embroiled in Manchester's 'phoney Nazis' debacle. 'Raggety Ricketts' notes Manchester has retained associated items from this period. For all this, it is Chesham's friendship with David Farrant, that has rendered him a 'Judas'.

Speaking of which, Manchester's 'archenemy', Farrant, also cops a serve, with his preferences allegedly given to the National Front during the 1978 general election. This, in turn, has been refuted elsewhere.

I am also lumped with Manchester's 'detractors'. My posts on The supernatural world forums have been reproduced, sans citation, i.e. this thread and this one. I commented on Manchester's anti-'just war' policy—which is derived from The Grail Church (1995)—and juxtaposed this stance against his pro-self-defence advocacy, 'the implication being that the Brits should've let the Nazis goose-step all over them and Europe during WW2.' Manchester said, 'I fail to follow that logic'. After defending the right to personal defence, he provided a strange amendment to Britain's involvement in World War 2:
Had Great Britain not declared war on Germany in the wake of a conveniently manufactured agreement with Poland that was designed to be violated, perhaps the sixty million people killed, which was over 2.5% of the world population, might for the most part have survived? Hitler certainly did not want a war with Great Britain on whose Empire he modelled his Third Reich. My country's action resulted in the worst and deadliest military conflict in history. It should have been avoided by every measure available.
At best, this is an incredibly naive stance; Nazi apologia, at worst. Despite Manchester's sizable collection of World War 2 books, he fails to conceive—or deliberately overlooks—that with or without Britain's involvement, Hitler's 'plans' for Europe were quite clear from the get-go. Indeed, Britain was seen as a major obstacle to their aim, despite attempts to avoid war with Germany. This, of course, culminated with Operation: Sea Lion. Rather than model his Third Reich on Britain's empire, he was inspired by the ancient Roman template. Thus the criticism Manchester levels at Britain, is stretching the bounds of credulity.

All up, it doesn't paint a pretty picture for Manchester's rebuttals. If Chesham was, indeed, pro-fascist as Manchester alleges, a similar charge could be levelled at Manchester, consistent with Chesham's own allegations. Add Manchester's pro-BNP sympathies and nationalist leanings to the mix, and you've got a heady cocktail.

What makes these tendencies especially unusual, is Manchester's support for the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and criticism of the National Front. You'd think he'd know better. It just goes to show that when it comes to Highgate matters and its associates, things aren't always so clear-cut.

1. S Manchester, The Grail Church: its ancient tradition and renewed flowering, Penmachno, UK, 1995, p. 128.


Demonflyonthewall said...

Why dont you just Fuck off and Die?

Demonflyonthewall said...

Why dont you just Fuck off and Die?

Anthony Hogg said...

Hi Demonflyonthewall,

Thanks for the comments. Both of them. Do you have anything to say that actually relate to the blog entry's contents?


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