Michael Jenkins Moynihan

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Michael Jenkins Moynihan
Blood Axis 2016 4.jpg
Performing with Blood Axis in 2016
Born (1969-01-17) 17 January 1969 (age 52)
Other namesMichael M. Jenkins[1]
EducationUniversity of Colorado
studied language and history
Portland State University
B.A. in German language
Occupationwriter, publisher, journalist, musician
Years active1984-present
Known forBlood Axis
Notable work
Lords of Chaos

Michael Jenkins Moynihan (born 17 January 1969) is an American musician and journalist. He is best known for co-writing Lords of Chaos, a book about black metal. Moynihan is founder of the music group Blood Axis, the music label Storm Records and publishing company Dominion Press.[2] Moynihan has interviewed numerous musical figures and has published several books, translations, and essays.

In the 1990s, Moynihan was sometimes characterized as a fascist or neo-fascist by some critics and fans. Moynihan accepted these descriptions with reservations, but in the 2000s dismissed them as inapplicable buzzwords used by "anti-this and anti-that activist types" and denounced the far-right.[3][4]


Moynihan was born in Boston, Massachusetts, to a lawyer father. He became active in experimental music from 1984, forming Blood Axis in 1989 and releasing his first album under that name in 1995.

Moynihan collaborated with Boyd Rice from 1989, and in 1990 the two moved into an apartment in Denver.[5] Like Rice and Thomas Thorn, Moynihan was a member of the Church of Satan at this time.[6] Moynihan appeared as a guest with Rice and the neo-Nazi activist James Mason on a special episode of Bob Larson's Christian radio talk show titled "Manson Maniacs".[7]

During the summer of 1991, Moynihan states that he was visited at his apartment by agents of the United States Secret Service about an alleged plot to assassinate then-President of the United States George H. W. Bush.[8] Moynihan agreed to a polygraph test, and no charges were filed. Moynihan stated that it was a simple case of intimidation stemming from his correspondence with Charles Manson and visits to Sandra Good. Moynihan stated that he felt that he had been monitored by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) since 1984, that they had taken his luggage on an occasion, and that they had once called his father, admitting to him that they had taken a parcel from his mail. Moynihan cited his then-friendship with Peter Sotos as a potential cause.[8]

Differences between Boyd Rice and Michael Moynihan led to an acrimonious split between the two in the mid-1990s,[8] though Rice would later remember their time together fondly and refer positively to Moynihan.[5] After the split, Moynihan disassociated himself with Rice and was no longer involved with the Abraxas Foundation.[8]

In 1995, Moynihan released the first full-length album by Blood Axis, The Gospel of Inhumanity, and moved from Denver to Portland, Oregon, where he became an editor at Feral House, a publishing company owned by Adam Parfrey.[6] After studying language and history at the University of Colorado and Portland State University, Moynihan received his B.A. in German language in 2001.[9]

Books and articles[edit]

Moynihan is one of the editors of TYR: Myth – Culture – Tradition and the North American editor of Rûna.[9]

Moynihan edited a collection of writings by the neo-Nazi, James Mason, into a book entitled Siege: The Collected Writings of James Mason (1992).[4]

During this period, Moynihan contributed to magazines and journals, including Seconds. Among the artists and figures he has interviewed are power electronics founder Whitehouse;[10] Unleashed;[11] Bathory;[12] In the Nursery;[12] Church of Satan founder Anton LaVey;[13] convicted murderer Charles Manson;[14] Peter Steele of Type O Negative, discussing Social Darwinism;[15] Burzum;[16] George Eric Hawthorne of RAHOWA;[17] Misfits founder Glenn Danzig;[18] Throbbing Gristle and Psychic TV founder Genesis P-Orridge;[19] and Swans founder Michael Gira.[20]

Moynihan co-authored The Secret King (2001) with Stephen Flowers. In 2001, Moynihan edited a reprint of Julius Evola's book Introduction to Magic, originally published in 1929, and in 2002, he edited the first English language translation of Evola's 1953 book Men Among the Ruins (both published by Inner Traditions).[citation needed] In 2005, Moynihan edited and published a collection of essays by British writer John Michell (selected from Michell's contributions to The Oldie) entitled Confessions of a Radical Traditionalist.[21]

Lords of Chaos[edit]

Moynihan co-authored with Norwegian journalist Didrik Søderlind the book Lords of Chaos: The Bloody Rise of the Satanic Metal Underground (Feral House, 1998), an account of the early Norwegian black metal scene. It won the 1998 Firecracker Alternative Press Award.[4]

Reviews of Lords of Chaos were mixed. The publication was sometimes criticized for a perceived lack of distance towards its subject matter. This was considered especially alarming to groups and figures that had accused Moynihan of right-wing sympathies,[22] charges which Moynihan has dismissed as inapplicable due to the "intricacies of such subjects".[3] However, several critics praised the book for offering an informative or at least interesting view on a relatively obscure subculture.[4]


Tyr: Myth—Culture—Tradition is a journal edited by Moynihan together with Joshua Buckley.[23] The publication is named after Tyr, the Germanic god. The editors state that it "celebrates the traditional myths, culture, and social institutions of pre-Christian, pre-modern Europe." The first issue was published in 2002 under the ULTRA imprint in Atlanta, Georgia.

The editorial preface of Tyr, vol. 1 defines an anti-modern, anti-capitalist ideal of "Radical Traditionalism" encompassing:

  1. Resacralization of the world versus materialism.
  2. Natural social hierarchy versus an artificial hierarchy based on wealth.
  3. The tribal community versus the nation-state.
  4. Stewardship of the earth versus the "maximization of resources."
  5. A harmonious relationship between men and women versus the "war between the sexes."
  6. Handicraft and artisanship versus industrial mass-production.


Influenced by first-wave industrial music artists such as SPK and Throbbing Gristle,[24] Moynihan started his first musical project in 1984, a power electronics project named Coup de Grace, for which he produced cassettes, image booklets, essays and performed live. In 1988, at the age of 18, Moynihan published an edition of Friedrich Nietzsche's The Antichrist featuring artwork by Trevor Brown.[25]

According to Moynihan, a cassette from his project Coupe de Grace was received by a group called Club Moral in Belgium, resulting in a positive review in an art and music magazine called Force Mental. This resulted in an invitation for Moynihan to come to Europe, which he accepted, and resulted in a small European tour of Germany and the Netherlands, while he was based in Antwerp, Belgium.[26] Here, he came in contact with Cthulhu Records. Upon returning to Boston in the United States, he was invited to join the experimental music group Sleep Chamber.[24]

While a member of Sleep Chamber, Moynihan met Thomas Thorn. According to Moynihan, a falling out occurred between Thorn and John Zewizz, founder of Sleep Chamber,[24] resulting in Moynihan leaving Sleep Chamber and moving to Belgium, where he lived in a warehouse on invitation by Club Moral. During this time, Moynihan described himself as living without electricity, a low monthly fee and illegally in Belgium, Moynihan stated it was "worth the risk" but had to install many of his own utilities.[24]

Thorn, who had formed a new, techno group called Slave State,[26] visited Moynihan in Belgium and the two played in a room beneath the warehouse where Moynihan was staying at this time. After the show, Moynihan became displeased with his illegal status and visited the founders of Cthulhu Records in Germany for a few days.[24] After returning to the US in 1989, Moynihan formed the musical group Blood Axis and no longer produced music under the name Coup de Grace.

Experimental musician Boyd Rice invited Moynihan to go to Japan and collaborate with him on some NON performances there in 1989. Moynihan performed in concert with the various musical groups rotating around Tony Wakeford, Douglas P., and Rose McDowall who were also performing. His performance in Japan with NON was later released as the "Live in Osaka" DVD. That year, an album entitled Music, Martinis, and Misanthropy grew out of these collaborations.

In 1995, Moynihan also released the first full-length album by Blood Axis, The Gospel of Inhumanity, and has seen several subsequent re-issues on various labels. It was followed by a second Blood Axis album in 1997 entitled Blot: Sacrifice in Sweden for the Swedish post-industrial music label Cold Meat Industry.

In 2001, Moynihan released a musical collaboration with French artist Les Joyaux de la Princesse entitled Absinthe: La Folie Verte themed around absinthe, a beverage Moynihan has expressed fondness for,[4] and collaborated with Portland natives B'eirth of In Gowan Ring, his partner Annabel Lee and Markus Wolff of Waldteufel for a project dubbed Witch-Hunt. Largely playing traditional acoustic Irish folk music, the group played various local shows in Portland and also, in 2001, performed in Portugal, where the album Witch-Hunt: The Rites of Samhain was released. In 2008, Moynihan appeared on the album "Hoodwinked" by The Lindbergh Baby[27] and an Italian language book entitled Day of Blood was published focusing on the musical group.[28]


Matthias Gardell writes in his 2003 book Gods of the Blood: "Featured in different contexts, Moynihan projects many different faces and has been classified as an 'extreme rightist',[22] an 'extreme leftist',[29] a Nazi, a fascist, and an anarchist".[30]

Gardell lists Charles Manson, Muammar al-Gaddafi, Mikhail Bakunin, Julius Evola, James Mason and Miguel Serrano as Moynihan's influences.[31]

Investigative journalist Kevin Coogan has linked Moynihan more explicitly with the extreme right but states that Moynihan does not fit into a "conventional definitions of fascism". Coogan has classified Moynihan as an "extreme rightist".[22] Coogan states that Lords of Chaos "itself, however, is not a "fascist" tract in the strict sense" and that "Moynihan [does not] himself fit easily into the more conventional definitions of fascism".[22]

Schobert (1998) considers Moynihan a musical lightweight who profited from association with Rice and successfully managed to style himself as a provocative "cult figure". Examples for such provocative behaviour include a 1994 interview with No Longer a Fanzine (no. 5, p. 8) which led to activist allegations that he was "a major purveyor of Neo-Nazism, occult fascism and international industrial black metal music."[32]

Moynihan was identified by anti-fascist activists in the late 1990s as a consequence of favorable reviews of his album The Gospel of Inhumanity (1995) by far-right and neo-Nazi publications: the US Nazi skin journal Resistance (no. 6, 38) praised it as a "fascist symphony", and a favorable review appeared in Einheit und Kampf. Das revolutionäre Magazin für Nationalisten (no. 18, p. 29, Aufruhr-Verlag, Bremen). Because of this attention, Blood Axis performances attracted protesters, on one occasion in 1998, "about 75" San Francisco protesters mobilized by a flyer denouncing Moynihan as "a fascist and a hatemonger" succeeded in preventing his appearance.[33] Moynihan dismissed activists labeling him a Nazi or a Fascist as misinformed hysterical alarmism.[34]

In 1999, Moynihan was one of several musicians listed by Southern Poverty Law Center's Intelligence Report magazine as examples of black metal music being used to recruit white supremacists. The magazine also excerpted an interview with No Longer a Fanzine, where Moynihan denied the Holocaust but said that he would "prefer it if it were true".[35] The SPLC article was criticized by Decibel Magazine in 2006 which described it as being misleading and being poorly researched.[36] In the Decibel article, Moynihan responded to the SPLC report, saying it was "packed with misinformation and outright errors" and focused "on a few provocative statements selectively culled from interviews done nearly 15 years ago".[36]

German social scientist Christian Dornbusch remarks that Moynihan's work "evokes a mindset which wants to design a future based on völkisch and fascist respectively national socialist thinkers. It's the same goal that the British fascist leader Sir Oswald Mosley rants about for minutes in the sample at the beginning of the live album Blot – Sacrifice in Sweden: »... we are fighting for nothing less than the revolution of the spirit of our people ...«".[37]

Moynihan has repeatedly denied political ties.[4][38] In response to the various political accusations leveled against him, Moynihan calls the far-right "a bunch of isolated losers" who are "all deluded".[4]

Personal life and political views[edit]

In response to accusations concerning the influence of his political views on the writing of Lords of Chaos, Moynihan made statements denouncing the far-right and white supremacism.[4]


Co-authored by Moynihan
  • Lords of Chaos: The Bloody Rise of the Satanic Metal Underground co-authored with Didrik Søderlind, Feral House, ISBN 0-922915-48-2; revised and enlarged edition ISBN 0-922915-94-6
  • Apocalypse Culture II edited by Adam Parfrey, with several contributions by Moynihan, Feral House, 2000, ISBN 0-922915-57-1
  • Book of Lies: The Disinformation Guide to Magick and the Occult, edited by Richard Metzger, with contributions by Moynihan, Disinformation Books, 2003, ISBN 0-9713942-7-X
  • The Command to Look: A Master Photographer's Method for Controlling the Human Gaze, with a contribution from Moynihan, Feral House, 2014, ISBN 978-1627310017
  • The Secret King: The Myth and Reality of Nazi Occultism, co-authored with Stephen E. Flowers, Feral House, 2007, ISBN 978-1932595253
Edited by Moynihan


  1. ^ "Charles Manson – Commemoration". Discogs. Retrieved 30 April 2015.
  2. ^ mrgreg23 (24 May 2005). "Michael Moynihan Interview; Between Birds of Prey". Heathen Harvest. Archived from the original on 12 October 2012. Retrieved 27 April 2015.
  3. ^ a b Dundas, Zach. "The Notorious Michael Moynihan". Mumblage International. Archived from the original on 1 March 2006. Retrieved 27 April 2015.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h Dundas, Zach (26 March 2009). "Lord of Chaos: Activists Accuse Portland Writer and Musician Michael Moynihan of Spreading Extremist Propaganda, But They're Not Telling the Whole Story". Willamette Week. Archived from the original on 1 March 2001. Retrieved 27 April 2015. They (both Nazis and Communists) [a]re all deluded. People should worry about what happens on their block. They should get along with their neighbors before they worry about the great ills of society and about telling someone who lives 200 miles away what to do.
  5. ^ a b Pingelton, Kathleen (2006). "Boyd Rice Interview". Filth Forge. Retrieved 27 April 2015.
  6. ^ a b Paradise, Matt G. (1996). "Blood Axis – An Interview With Michael Moynihan". Not Like Most. Purging Talon Publishing (4). Archived from the original on 6 February 2004. Retrieved 27 April 2015.
  7. ^ "Audio mp3 of Moynihan's appearance on Bob Larson's Talk Back". boydrice.com. Retrieved 27 April 2015.
  8. ^ a b c d Bruun, Jan R. (1995). "MICHAEL MOYNIHAN / BLOOD AXIS Interview". Helter Skealter. Archived from the original on 30 October 2015. Retrieved 27 April 2015.
  9. ^ a b "About the author" in The Secret King: Karl Maria Wiligut, Himmler's Lord of the Runes ISBN 0-9712044-0-3
  10. ^ Seconds no. 28, 60–62
  11. ^ Seconds no. 30, 9–11
  12. ^ a b The Fifth Path magazine, issue 5. Reprinted in Vor trú issue 53
  13. ^ Seconds no. 25, pages 56–60
  14. ^ Seconds no. 32, 64–74)
  15. ^ Junge Freiheit 47/94, p. 20
  16. ^ Seconds magazine, issue 41. (1996)
  17. ^ Moynihan, Michael (1997). "RAHOWA". The Black Flame. 6 (1–2): 40–42.
  18. ^ Seconds magazine, issue 44. (1997)
  19. ^ Metzger, Richard. Book of Lies: The Disinformation Guide to Magick and the Occult (2003), ISBN 0-9713942-7-X
  20. ^ Moynihan, Michael (1996). "Michael Gira Interview". Seconds. Archived from the original on 2 June 2015. Retrieved 27 April 2015.
  21. ^ Michell, John. Confessions of a Radical Traditionalist (2005) ISBN 0-9712044-4-6
  22. ^ a b c d Coogan, Kevin. (1999) How Black Is Black Metal?
  23. ^ Tyr official website, "About the Editors". Online
  24. ^ a b c d e Wulfing One (1995). "The Storm Before the Calm An Interview with Blood Axis". Esoterra (5).
  25. ^ The Heretic No.10, Oct 1994
  26. ^ a b Gardell, Mattias (2003). Gods of the Blood: The Pagan Revival and White Separatism. Duke University Press. p. 299. ISBN 978-0-8223-3071-4.
  27. ^ "The Lindbergh Baby (feat. Blood Axis) launches 'Hoodwinked' debut", Sideline webzine. Online: [1]
  28. ^ "Day of Blood", Occidental Congress webzine. Online
  29. ^ Wulfing Robert N. Taylor in the 1995 Esoterra interview.
  30. ^ Gardell, Mattias. Gods of the Blood: The Pagan Revival and White Separatism (2003) Duke publishing press ISBN 0-8223-3071-7 Portion of section regarding Moynihan available online:[2]
  31. ^ Gardell 2003:303.
  32. ^ "Responding to a direct question, Moynihan stated that he would have 'more lenient entry requirements' than the Nazis had had if he were given the opportunity to start up the next Holocaust" (Gardell, p. 301f.)
  33. ^ SF weekly.com[permanent dead link] 14 October 1998
  34. ^ Moynihan's reply to Schobert (1997)
  35. ^ Ward, Erik K.; Lunsford, John; Massa, Justin (15 December 1999). "Black Metal Spreads Neo-Nazi Hate Message". Intelligence Report. Southern Poverty Law Center. Retrieved 6 September 2017.
  36. ^ a b Bennet, J. Decibel Magazine NSBM Special Report (2006)
  37. ^ Christian Dornbusch (2002): Von Landsertrommeln und Lärmorgien – Death In June und Kollaborateure. In: Andreas Speit (ed.): Ästhetische Mobilmachung. Dark Wave, Neofolk und Industrial im Spannungsfeld rechter Ideologien. Münster: Unrast, ISBN 3-89771-804-9, p. 145
  38. ^ Schobert, Alfred. Heidentum, Musik und Terror (Junge Welt 1997, Duisburger Institut für Sprach- und Sozialforschung 2000, with Moynihan's reply: "No member of Blood Axis has ever been a member of a political party or group, left or right."

External links[edit]