A personal review of Karl Milton Hartveit's book
"Djevelen Danser" (The Devil Is Dancing)

Djevelen Danser

What I am about to do now is kind of silly, because I will write a short review of a book that I read eleven years ago and haven't seen since. The book made a lot of fuzz in Norway when it was published and the biggest newspaper in Western Norway even printed parts of it, as a part of their campaign to demonize me. This review is a poor review in the sense that I will only talk about the interview with me. That is all I remember anything about anyhow... It might seem a but egocentric of me, to only focus on the interview with me, but I don't care. I am writing this review to defend myself anyhow, against the lies of my enemies, and not to write about this book.

First of all I can tell that the writer, Karl Milton Hartveit, is a teacher in the special Steiner school system, built on the principles of Rudolf Steiner. Hartveit has written several books. One about the occult and another one about freemasonry. I never read his first book, and the book about freemasonry was harmless and more than anything just boring. "Djevelen Danser" was supposed to be about Satanism. It is a topic related to the topic of his other two books, and one could expect him to be an expert on these kinds of things.

When I was released on lack of evidence in March 1993 I received a letter from him asking for an interview, in context with a book he was writing, to my knowledge because he had read about me in the local press. I on the other hand, didn't even know who he was at the time and gave him a call. This was around 17:00 and he was eating dinner with his family. Obviously I had called at a bad time, but he insisted on doing the interview anyway. He asked me some questions regarding Satanism or the occult and I answered them as best I could. After a short while I could hear his wife nagging in the background, asking him to return to finish his meal. After repeated attempts by his wife to make him hang up the phone he told me that he had to end the interview, as he had to finish his dinner. Sure, I said, and that was it.

You might ask why on earth he wanted to talk to me when writing a book about Satanism, but I guess he believed what he read in the newspapers, that I was a Satanist, and saw no reason to question the information he had. He never bothered to ask me about it, to get it confirmed or anything, that's for sure.

The book was published later the same year and the interview with me was a big joke. When he had asked me about different occult subjects he presented it as if I was talking about my religion or world view. Of course I never told him that this was my personal views, but he just took it for granted that it was. He then ended the interview with a question about my childhood. At that point the claimed that I had been so emotional that I had just hung up the phone on him, refusing to talk to him anymore. I don't really care about the contents of the interview, as it was harmless and pretty uninteresting anyhow, but that part really annoyed me. What was he talking about? The reason we ended the interview was because his wife was nagging and wanted him to return to the table to finish his meal. His lie puzzled me. Why on earth did he write this crap? Of course I still don't know why, but I guess he wanted to support some theory that all occultists and Satanists have a terrible childhood, or something like that.

Another thing that puzzled me was his claim that I was so very knowledgeable when it came to the occult, and as if that wasn't "scary" enough I even spoke in a very correct and polite manner. "Oh dear! How very sinister!" Sure, I come from the "right" side of town, where people know how to speak properly, but I certainly wasn't knowledgeable when it came to the occult (or much else, for that matter...). All in all, at the time of the interview, I had read one single book about the occult! This is not a joke: one single book. So how on earth could he describe me as so bloody knowledgeable when it came to the occult? That is just a load of crap!

In the aftermath I realize that he didn't care. All he needed was to talk to me, and the rest was all up to him. He decided what I had said, what my answers should be like, how he should present me and so forth. I was used in his campaign to create a myth about a Satanic presence in our midst. To fit into his picture of a Satanic threat I had to be knowledgeable, articulate and have a terrible childhood too, and for that reason he made up all the bullshit, including the ending of the interview.

At the time when I read this book I was a suspect in the killing of Aarseth and in prison on isolation (and had received the book as a gift from my lawyer), so there was nothing I could do about it. In the meanwhile Hartveit was touring Norway, appearing on TV and in different newspapers, propagating for his book and his views. Nobody defended me and in effect I was forced to sit quietly in my cell and witness what was happening. Well, I couldn't even witness it as I was on isolation. The police didn't allow me to correspond with anybody, I was not allowed to listen to radio or watch TV, I was not allowed to take visits and I was not allowed to make phone calls or even read magazines. So what could I do about it? When I finally came out of isolation, the next year his campaign was long over and nobody wanted to talk about his book anymore. It was yesterday's news. In fact it was last year's news!

While I was "gagged" in prison, the image of me as a Satanist was burned into the mind of the people, and of course after this everybody believed I had a terrible childhood too, which is not true, by the way. People like Hartveit and other "experts" toured the country, spreading their foul lies and deceit. They wanted there to be a Satanic threat, and when they found none they just made it up, and misused me and others to do this.

Sure, I should never have spoken to that guy, but I was too naive to know what was happening, and I had no reason to believe something sinister was going on. I was just 20 years old and I knew very little about the media or how these things work. Even today I never know what is going to happen if I talk to a journalist or some "expert" writing a book. Some times they write more or less what I tell them, but mostly they don't. You never know beforehand. That's the problem. No matter what you say, do or even look like, the journalist or writer and photographer present you exactly how they want to.

In 1993 and 1994 all the photos of me in the newspaper showed a guy with black hair. Now I dyed my hair one time in 1992, but that was the first and the last time, and in 1993 and 1994 my hair turned to reddish-brown (and blonde, my natural hair colour, in the roots), so why did I have black hair on all the photos? Well, they wanted me to be a Satanist, and according to them Satanists had black hair, so they simply manipulated the photos, making it look as if my hair was black. Again, there was nothing I could do about it.

Being subjected to this type of campaigns is kind of frustrating, because there is nothing you can do about it. Whether it is fanatics like Hartveit or the journalists who just want to get their story in the papers, there is simply nothing you can do to defend yourself against such massive, lasting and intense propaganda. In my case it lasted for several years, and it never really stopped. It must lost intensity, but it still goes on. At least in Norway.

In Europe the stereotype Norwegian is known to be kind of slow, always taking his time to think things over before he answers the question or reacts, and in a sense this article adds fuel to that theory. It is after all ten years since the book was published, and finally I say something about it, but it is not that simple. I might be slow all right, but I have been busy, and it's not like I didn't try to defend myself in 1993 and 1994. Besides, I am only one individual with nobody to defend me. When people have tried to defend me in the past, like the people in www.burzum.com, they just worked as a loudspeaker to all the people who told lies about me. I am sorry to tell that my "friends" have done even more damage that many of my enemies, in their attempts to defend me. I have to defend myself, but the attacks against me are so numerous that after ten years, I still haven't had the time to defend myself against all the accusations. I have written letters to the publishers who have published school books furthering the media lies, I have corresponded with loads of people, I have written books and articles, I have given interviews and so forth. Today I face the absurd situation that my own daughter will soon be learning about "me" (the media version) in school, while she hasn't even been allowed to get to know me yet! Pardon me if I am slow, but I just don't have the ability to be any quicker. Every time I roll one rock up the hill, somebody rolls two new rocks down the hill.

Now, I am not asking for pity of any sort. I am responsible for my own situation and don't have a problem dealing with it in the long run, but I do wish people to understand. I have stepped on the toes of the Mother-Pig and will pay for that the rest of my life, but that is fine with me. The truth will prevail. It may take some time, but it will prevail.

"Djevelen Danser" is a joke. A bad joke, that is, and not least a boring one too. So, in the end I will say that nobody should even bother to read this book, and luckily it is only in Norwegian, so not many can.

Varg Vikernes
Trondheim Fengsel, Norway
9th November 2004

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