PARIS, May 24, 2013 ( – All of France, especially French Catholics, were deeply shocked to hear on Tuesday afternoon that French historian and essayist Dominique Venner had shot himself in the mouth on the steps of the main altar in the transept of Notre-Dame Cathedral, in the heart of Paris.

Only minutes after the event, mainstream media described him as an “anti-gay marriage activist” who had prepared his gesture as a protest against the “Taubira law” legalizing same-sex “marriage,” which was signed into law last Saturday.

While Dominique Venner certainly had voiced his sincere opposition to this social revolution, his writing reveal that it is completely inaccurate to present him as a Catholic, and his purpose was clearly not a call to action against homosexual “marriage.”

He was, instead, protesting the massive influx of Muslim immigrants to France, which he considered a form of population replacement, and he hailed paganism and Nietzsche's will to power.


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In a message posted to his blog on the morning of May 21, Venner wrote that demonstrators participating in next Sunday's march against the law “are perfectly right to cry out their impatience and their anger” over redefining marriage – but this was less of a concern to him. “An infamous law, once adopted, can always be repealed,” he wrote.

He went on to say that he had just heard an Algerian blogger saying that “in any case, Islamists will have taken over command in France and they will suppress this law” as contrary to Shari'a (Islamic religious law).

“We must acknowledge that France falling into the hands of the Islamists is an existing probability,” he continued. “[For] 40 years, politicians and governments of all parties (except the National Front), as well as the employers and the Church, worked actively towards this, using every possible means to accelerate North African and African immigration.”

When Dominique Venner says “Church” he means the Catholic Church, and in calling attention to what many right-wing writers over the years have denounced as a population replacement policy, he clearly intended to prompt the many hundreds of thousands of people who have been demonstrating against same-sex “marriage” to take what he saw as the next necessary step against the “great replacement” of France and Europe’s population, which is an “incomparably greater and more perilous catastrophe for the future.”

“Organizing nice and friendly street demonstrations will not be enough to stop it from taking place,” he wrote. “It would be more urgent to begin with a genuine ‘intellectual and moral reform.’”

These statements contain a double condemnation: of the Catholic Church on the one hand, and of the peaceable spirit of the demonstrations against same-sex “marriage” that have taken place to date. 

“New gestures, both spectacular and symbolic will be needed to awaken those who are still half-asleep, to shake those whose consciences are numbed and to reawaken the memory of our beginnings,” wrote Venner on the morning of his suicide.

All these statements become clear in the light of his personal choices and beliefs – or rather, unbelief.

Dominique Venner was born in 1935 in a Catholic family and baptized, as most French children were at that time. He lost his mother when he was 10, and this may have precipitated his break from the Church. He became a militant atheist who was to develop a fascination for the pagan history of Europe. He was a firm partisan of ethno-differentialism, which – in contrast to globalism – advocates recognition for the cultural heritage of each people, deeply linked to their historical lands, and condemns the mixing of cultures.

This led him to criticize those who see Christianity as the root of European civilization. Dominique Venner’s Nietzschean outlook stemmed from this intellectual standpoint and led him to oppose Christianity, which he saw as weak-minded and contrary to his ideal of force, in its exaltation of the weak, the small and the humble, its virtues of pardon and “turning the other cheek.”

The decision to stage his suicide on the altar steps of Notre-Dame had been minutely planned for weeks, if not months.

A brilliant historian and eager but courteous debater, Dominique Venner prepared his “sortie,” arranging for the historic magazine he directed to be taken over by a close friend, who was also an historian. He wrote several articles these last months about samurais, heroic sacrifices and gestures such as that of Mishima, the (homosexual) Japanese writer who staged his own death in 1970 as a “sacrifice” for the traditional values of Japan. (A posthumous book on the theme is to be published before the summer.)

On the day of his death, Venner lunched with three friends with whom he was to present an historic broadcast on the right-wing station “Radio Courtoisie” at 6 p.m. They noticed nothing unusual.

Venner left them to go to Notre-Dame, where he killed himself with a one-shot Belgian pistol after having deposited a letter on the altar.

Three more suicide notes were found on his body, and another was found in the studio of Radio Courtoisie where his friends then held a commemorative broadcast to pay homage to him.

Many personal and political friends and historians were to receive handwritten letters from Venner in the hours and days following his death.

An eyewitness told that the priest who was hearaing confessions in the Cathedral at the time quickly came up to his body in the hope of giving him last sacraments, but Venner was already dead.

His choice of one of the central altars of French Catholicism cannot be seen as a Christian gesture, not the least because suicide is a grave sin against God. In his suicide note, Venner called himself “sane of body and mind.”

“I love life and expect nothing after it, only the perpetuation of my race and my spirit,” he wrote. He presented his gesture as a “sacrifice,” as a “founding” gesture of “protest” with which he hoped to waken the French and European people from their “lethargy.”

“I chose a highly symbolic place, the Notre-Dame Cathedral of Paris, which I respect and admire, this edifice due to the genius of my forebears on the very place of worship of older cults, reminding us of our immemorial origins,” he wrote, thus making clear his attachment to the pagan ancestry of Europe.

He also called his suicide the “incarnation of an ethic of the will.”

It is hard not to see his suicide as a deliberate counterfeit or mockery of the supreme Sacrifice of Christ that Catholics venerate and adore in the Mass.

It was also a desecration and a sacrilege. Hours after the blood crime committed in the most sacred part of the cathedral Mgr Beau, one of the Episcopal vicars, celebrated a Mass in reparation in order for the church to reopen for the annual vigil for life with the bishops of the Paris region that was scheduled for 8 p.m.

At this vigil, a Hail Mary was said by the many hundreds of faithful for the soul of Dominique Venner, trusting him to the Divine Mercy which in his life, he had not understood.

Several political leaders have nonetheless saluted Venner’s gesture, calling it a “heroic sacrifice” and talking of his “sense of the sacred.”

But Venner's suicide was in fact not at all intended to be in support of the defense of natural law and traditional morality.

His suicide is not the first time the actions of pagans had been wrongly labeled as socially conservative Christians.

In June 2009, many people described James Von Brunn as a conservative after he opened fire at the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C., killing a guard. Von Brunn was, in fact, an anti-Christian socialist and racialist.

Two years later, the media described Anders Behring Breivik as a “Christian fundamentalist” and “neo-Nazi” after he killed 77 people, mostly children, during a rampage in Norway. But in his manifesto, 2083 — A European Declaration of Independence, Breivik wrote that he is an agnostic pro-gay, pro-abortion, anti-racist, breakdancing “Zionist” with an appreciation for Odinism.