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Robert S. Griffin
The Fame of a Dead Man’s Deeds
An Up-Close Portrait of White Nationalist William Pierce
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Quotation and Dedication

Cattle die, and kinsmen die,
And so one dies oneself;
One thing I know that never dies:
The fame of a dead man’s deeds.

—Old Norse poem.

Dedication

To my parents, Walter and Helen Griffin

Preface • 800 Words
ORDER IT NOW

It was a little after 7:00 p.m. on one of the pleasant summer evenings I had come to expect in the mountains of West Virginia. I was waiting for William Pierce in his cluttered, book-lined office in the National Alliance headquarters building. I had been living in this remote area on Pierce’s property for over two weeks at that point. When I had come to his office a couple of minutes before, I was surprised to find that Pierce wasn’t there. We were well into a series of interviews I was conducting with him in the evenings, and he’d always been there when I arrived. I assumed that something had held him up and that he would be along in a minute or two. I set up my tape recorder and went over the notes I had put together about the areas I wanted to explore during that night’s session.

I had just finished going through my notes when out of the corner of my eye I saw someone come in through the door to the left of where I was seated. It wasn’t Pierce but rather his new wife, with Pierce right behind her. That surprised me; always before, Pierce had been alone.

“Bob, could you and I talk after you talk with Bill?” Pierce’s wife said in her halting, heavily accented English and her polite and gentle way. She had come from Eastern Europe to West Virginia less than a year before. She and Pierce had not met before she came, and after she was here only a month they married. Pierce’s wife is an attractive woman of about fifty I would guess, with auburn hair and very fair skin. She had taught art to children in her native country. I was taken by her calling him “Bill.” She was the only one who lived or worked on the property who did. To everyone else, including me, he was Dr. Pierce. She seemed on edge about something. She was usually smiling and upbeat, but not now.

“Oh, why don’t you two talk now,” Pierce interjected gruffly. “You don’t have to wait until later.”

With that, Pierce’s wife sat down on the nearest of a row of chairs that face Pierce’s desk. I was seated a couple of chairs away from the one she sat on. Pierce went around his desk and took a seat behind it. There we were, the three of us. It was silent for a moment. There was tension in the air, but I had no idea what it was about.

Pierce’s wife turned and faced me. “I have something to ask of you,” she said. She seemed shaken.

“Is there something wrong?” I asked.

“I’m afraid,” she replied.

“Afraid?”

“Bill gets letters from people who say they are going to kill him. I was here for four months before I knew that. I didn’t know that!”

“You do look frightened,” I said.

“I’ve asked Bob [Bob DeMarais, an aide to Pierce] if something happens to Bill to help me return to my country.”

I didn’t know what to say, and up to that point Pierce hadn’t said anything.

“In your book,” she continued, “please don’t use my name or say where I am from. And please don’t show my picture. I am afraid something will happen to me if people know who I am.”

I said I didn’t want to see her afraid like this, and that I would use some other name for her, and that I wouldn’t say what country she was from or use her picture.

“Thank you,” she said. “That is very nice of you.”

At this point, still seated, she dipped her hand into her pants pocket and pulled out a pistol. I jumped. “I carry this everywhere I go,” she said as she held the gun neck high in her right hand to display it to me.

I was speechless and stared at the gun.

“Don’t be waving that gun around, it’s loaded!” Pierce barked.

“You maybe think it is silly I have a gun,” she said to me, the pistol now in her lap. “But Bill has a gun all the time. He has it right next to him when he goes to sleep.”

As a matter of fact, Pierce had a holstered weapon strapped to his waist at that very moment—I’d gotten used to that.

I reiterated that I would protect her identity.

So I will call Pierce’s wife Irena in the book. It is the only name I have changed.

1 • Introduction • 7,300 Words

At 9:02 on the morning of April 19th, 1995, the front half of the AlfredP.MurrahFederalBuilding in Oklahoma City was demolished by an earth-shaking blast. The building’s imposing columns crumpled and its massive windows shattered. The first floor exploded up into the second, and the top seven floors of concrete and steel came crashing down one onto the other until the roof rested on the level of what had been the third floor. Cables and shorn girders spewed into the street. Gas, smoke, and dust clouded the sky. Scores of people, covered in blood, dust, and plaster and crying and confused, stumbled out of the building with shards of glass embedded in their skin and their bones broken. One man lay dead in a huge crater next to the building, his body in flames. Another man wandered around missing his left arm. A young woman ran back and forth screaming, “My baby is in there!”[1]Mark Hamm, Apocalypse in Oklahoma: Waco and Ruby Ridge Revenged (Boston: Northwestern University Press, 1997), pp. 47-48.

The Oklahoma City bombing killed one hundred sixty-eight people, including nineteen children.[2]For the number of deaths, see: Facts on File, May 18, 1995; and Cynthia Magriel Wetzler, “With Love, Oklahoma City,” New York Times, Section 13WC, June 18, 1995, p. 8. Oklahoma City Police Sergeant Lynn McCumber helped pull forty-nine bodies from the wreckage. But there was the face of a boy he had to leave behind that he says haunts him in his dreams to this day. Using an infrared camera, McCumber detected the shape of a small head and four fingers. He shined his flashlight into a crawl space and saw the open eyes of a child. “I crawled under the rubble and put the child’s head in my hand,” McCumber said later. “And I knew he was dead. And there was nothing I could do.”[3]“The Blast’s Fallout,” USA Today, August 4, 1998, pp. 1A-2A.

 

At 10:22 that same morning, April 19th, Oklahoma State Highway Patrol Trooper Charlie Hanger, a twenty-year veteran of the force, was driving along his stretch of Interstate 35 when he passed a bright yellow Mercury Marquis without a license plate. The old car, a 1970s model, wasn’t speeding and it wasn’t being driven recklessly; it just had no license plate.[4]The material on McVeigh’s arrest has been drawn from Richard Serrano, One of Ours: Timothy McVeigh and the Oklahoma City Bombing (New York: W.W. Norton, 1998), pp. 175-179.

Hanger slowed down and slipped in behind the Mercury and pulled it over. As he stepped out of his patrol car and into the cool spring air, he felt a bit chilly in his short-sleeved brown uniform. The driver’s door of the yellow car parked up ahead swung open, and underneath the open door Hanger saw two lace-up black combat boots drop to the pavement. Hanger froze for a moment behind his door, using it as a shield. Fifteen miles up the road two weeks before, a motorist had fired a 9 mm at a fellow trooper during a routine traffic stop like this one, and that was fresh in his mind. But then the driver of the Mercury up ahead stood up and started walking toward him and Hanger could see both his hands.

Hanger left his car, and the two men approached each other and met halfway between Hanger’s patrol car and the yellow Mercury. The driver was pale-complexioned and young, in his twenties, and he was dressed in a black windbreaker and faded black jeans. As they stood close together alongside the highway, Hanger had to look up to meet the eyes of the much taller man. A light wind blew.

“I stopped you because you weren’t displaying a tag,” Hanger said.

The driver looked back at where the license plate should have been and said that he hadn’t had the car long, and that is why there was no tag.

Hanger asked to see the bill of sale.

“I don’t have it with me,” the driver replied.

Hanger asked to see his driver’s license.

The man reached his arm around into his back pocket and pulled out a camouflage-colored billfold and slid out his driver’s license and held it out to Hanger. Hanger took it, but his eyes weren’t on the license. They were riveted on something else: a bulge under the man’s left arm beneath the partly-zipped windbreaker.

Hanger told the man to use both hands and slowly open his jacket, and the man started to pull down the zipper the rest of the way. “I have a gun,” he said.

“Get your hands up and turn around,” Hanger ordered.

When the man turned around, Hanger took out his revolver and held it to the back of the man’s head. “Walk to the back of your car.”

“My weapon is loaded,” the man said as they walked toward the car.

“So is mine,” said Hanger.

When they reached the Mercury, Hanger ordered the man to place his hands on the trunk and spread his legs, and the man complied. Hanger reached around inside the man’s jacket and pulled out a black .45-caliber Glock military assault pistol. In the chamber was a Black Talon “cop killer” bullet which mushrooms when it gets inside someone’s body. In the clip were thirteen rounds of hard-ball, high-velocity ammunition.

“I also have a knife,” the man said calmly. He didn’t seem nervous or angry at all, unlike so many in a situation like this.

Hanger removed the knife from its brown leather sheath, handcuffed the man, walked him back to the patrol car, and put him in the passenger seat. The man’s license in hand, Hanger called back to the dispatcher to check on whether the man, a Timothy James McVeigh, was wanted on any outstanding charges or had a criminal history. The dispatcher called back and said no. Hanger then asked the dispatcher to check on the Mercury. When the dispatcher called back it was on a cell phone because there was so much radio traffic about an explosion down in Oklahoma City. He reported that the previous owners of the car were a couple from Arkansas.

Hanger told McVeigh he was taking him in on charges of carrying and transporting a loaded firearm and driving without a license plate and read him his Miranda rights. He asked McVeigh if he could search the car, and McVeigh said yes. Hanger left McVeigh in the patrol car and went over to the Mercury and nosed around a bit inside. After that, he came back to McVeigh and told him he had the choice of having the car towed at his expense or leaving it along the side of the road where it was. Either way, he could retrieve the car when he posted bond. McVeigh said he didn’t want the car towed.

“What about the envelope that’s sealed up on the front seat?” Hanger asked.

“Leave it there,” McVeigh answered.

 

Of course, Timothy McVeigh was the one. He was sentenced to death for planning and committing the biggest domestic terrorist attack in this nation’s history. The huge crater next to the building where the dead man lay burning was where a Ryder rental truck McVeigh had loaded with thousands of pounds of explosives had been before it was blown to pieces. His friend from the army, Terry Nichols, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and conspiring with McVeigh.

It all makes sense now, but in the immediate aftermath of the bombing very few people thought that someone like McVeigh, an American, one of us, could be responsible for such a horrible act. Almost everyone assumed that what had happened in Oklahoma City was the work of foreigners, and in particular Islamic terrorists. It had to be that. A truck bomb was their trademark method of attack. Undoubtedly they were angry about United States intervention in Middle East disputes, or perhaps they were bitter about the Gulf War. And they had done this kind of thing before, right here in this country. In February of 1993, just two years before, Islamic militants had bombed the WorldTradeCenter in Manhattan, killing six people and injuring hundreds of others.

Typical of the early responses to the bombing was a CBS interview with former Oklahoma congressman Dave McCarty. McCarty said there was very clear indication that the MurrahBuilding bombing was the act of a fundamentalist Islamic group. He pointed out that there had been a PBS documentary called Jihad in America that had talked about the strong presence of Islamic militants in Oklahoma City. And then there were the reports coming out of several news organizations that witnesses had seen three men who looked to be of Middle East origin driving away from the MurrahBuilding just before the explosion. Secretary of State Warren Christopher announced that he was sending Arab language experts to Oklahoma City to assist in the investigation of the crime.[5]Hamm, pp. 54-55.

Among the few who looked in other directions than abroad for who was responsible for the bombing were those who speculated that it could be the work of the Nation of Islam and its leader, the Reverend Louis Farrakhan. Then too, several reporters noted that the bombing came on the second anniversary of the fiery and deadly conclusion of a standoff between the FBI and the Branch Davidian religious sect in Waco, Texas. Perhaps some of the surviving Branch Davidians were involved in Oklahoma City.

What had happened in Waco began on February 28th, 1993 when, with three helicopters hovering above, heavily armed agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms launched what they call a “dynamic entrance” into the Mount Carmel center, a cluster of connected two-story wood buildings standing out in otherwise undeveloped land outside of Waco. The purpose of the BATF action was to serve a search-and-arrest warrant based on allegations that residents of the center, Branch Davidian members, possessed illegal firearms and were converting semi-automatic rifles into machine guns. Right away, a gun battle ensued. Most people have seen the television footage of BATF agents climbing a ladder to the roof next to second-floor windows of one of the buildings and an agent breaking in a window and entering the room. Then bullets can be seen coming through the walls from inside the room, and one of the agents outside is hit and scrambles back down the ladder. The firefight between the BATF and the Davidians ended with the retreat of the BATF force. Four BATF agents had been killed and twenty injured. Six sect members had been killed, including a child, and five had been injured.

The FBI was brought in and called upon the Davidians to come out of there. The Davidians refused, and a standoff began. The showdown between the FBI and the Davidians became a media event: the American public—the whole world—watched the drama unfold on television as days and then weeks went by with still no resolution. The Davidians’ leader, David Koresh, a man in his early thirties with the longish hair and unshaven appearance of a lead guitarist in a bar band, became an instant celebrity.

In the early morning of April 19th, after fifty-one days, the siege suddenly ended. Two specially-equipped Abrams tanks and four Bradley armored vehicles began punching holes in the flimsy structure and firing tear gas into the center in an effort to force the Davidians out. Around noon, smoke could be seen coming out of the structure, and then it started pouring out, and then there were flames and more flames, and then the entire center was engulfed in flames like a pile of twigs lit with a match.[6]Ibid., p.104.
(Hamm, pp. 54-55.)

I remember where I was on that April morning in 1993. I was sitting alone in an airport waiting for my connecting flight. I looked up from what I had been reading and my eyes fell on a television set near where I was, and there taking up the whole screen was the image of the center ablaze. The sound wasn’t on, or at least I couldn’t hear it, and it seemed that no one around me was paying any attention. It was otherworldly and ominous somehow: I was by myself and people were reading their newspapers and magazines and talking and walking about, and there was this incredible picture on television, and I knew what it was and everything was silent. I remember then flashing back to a movie I had seen years before, Apocalypse Now, its last scene, where everything was burning.

The fire in Waco gutted the Mount Carmel center, reducing it to ashes. There were no efforts to battle the blaze. Seventy-six Davidians died in the inferno, including Koresh and twenty-five children.[7]For the deaths at Waco, see Kathy Fair, et al., “Fire Engulfs Cult Compound,” The Houston Chronicle, April 19, 1993, p.1A.

 

Kenneth Stern was the American Jewish Committee’s expert on hate and hate groups. When the details of the bombing started coming out, an eerie feeling came over him. It struck him that what had happened in Oklahoma City was remarkably similar to an incident in a book he knew about. It was an underground novel called The Turner Diaries. The book had been written back in the 1970s by an anti-Semite and racist who is still active by the name of William Pierce using the pen name Andrew Macdonald. Although few people among the general public had ever heard of the book, it was widely read by white supremacists and militia types. The Turner Diaries describes the racially motivated terrorist acts of a band of white American revolutionaries calling themselves the Organization against a corrupt federal government and its supporters referred to in the book as the System. The novel is made up of diary entries by Earl Turner, a member of the Organization and, eventually, its elite cadre, the Order. The incident in the Pierce book that drew Stern’s attention is one in which the Organization does immense damage to a federal building—in this case, FBI headquarters in Washington—with a truck full of explosives. The explosive used in the book was a mix of heating oil and ammonium nitrate fertilizer, just like what the government officials said was used to destroy the MurrahBuilding. This is just too much of a coincidence, thought Stern.[8]Kenneth Stern, A Force on the Plain: The American Militia Movement and the Politics of Hate (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1996), p. 16.

 

Still locked, Timothy McVeigh’s yellow Mercury was put on a flatbed truck and hauled to an FBI warehouse near downtown Oklahoma City. Agents used a Slim Jam to pop the door locks. Wearing a Tyvek suit, protective footwear, and a double pair of gloves, Supervisory Special Agent Steven Burmeister picked the sealed envelope off the passenger seat and handed it to Agent William Eppright of the FBI’s Evidence Response Team. Eppright carried it over to a table that he had cleared away and covered with white sheets of paper. Wearing white gloves, Eppright opened the envelope by tearing along one end. He then removed the two stacks of paper, each folded neatly in thirds, inside. A note written in McVeigh’s distinctive backlash style lay on top of the stacks. It said, “Obey the Constitution of the United States and we won’t shoot you.”[9]The account of the search of the envelope is drawn from Richard Serrano, One of Ours: Timothy McVeigh and the Oklahoma City Bombing (New York: W.W. Norton, 1998), pp. 217-220.

Eppright began looking through the contents of the envelope, which turned out to be typewritten sheets of paper and pages from books and magazines with sections highlighted with a yellow marker.

There was a copy of the Declaration of Independence.

There was a clipping that described the Battle of Lexington in the American Revolutionary War and told of the tremendous risks people back then took in defying the British. A section had been highlighted that described a coiled rattlesnake “which when left to exist peaceably threatens no one, but when trodden upon strikes as viciously and with as deadly an effort as any creature on earth.”

There was a quotation from American revolutionary figure Samuel Adams that said, “When the Government Fears The People, THERE IS LIBERTY. When the People Fear The Government, THERE IS TYRANNY.” Underneath the quotation McVeigh had written, “Maybe now there will be liberty.”

There was a warning against the present “mania” in this country to outlaw handguns.

There was an article on the siege at Waco from Soldier of Fortune magazine. The title of the article posed the question, “Executions or Mercy Killings?” McVeigh had highlighted the word “Executions.” He had also highlighted material from the body of the article: “Army spokesmen confirmed involvement of Green Berets in training some eighty ATF agents as part of final preparations for the bloody raid on the Branch Davidians’ religious compound.” “They deployed in a military manner against American citizens. They slaughtered eighty-plus people, committed acts of treason, murder and conspiracy.” “If the heat gets a little high they’ll throw us some yellow-living piece of shit bureaucrat to quiet us down, but all in all, they’ll get away with it.” “This country’s in trouble guys, bad trouble, and it isn’t coming from any street criminal.” McVeigh had slashed streaks of yellow through some phrases: “the foul ashes of Waco,” “power gone mad,” “they backed Lady Liberty into a corner and shot her in the head,” and “the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the Gestapo of G-Men.”

Among the government agencies housed in the MurrahFederalBuilding was the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

And then there was something else in the material Agent Eppright had pulled from the envelope: photocopies of pages sixty-one and sixty-two from the novel Kenneth Stern had remembered, The Turner Diaries. These pages contained the fictional revolutionary Earl Turner’s diary entry of November 9th, 1991. In the entry, Turner discusses a mortar attack on the CapitolBuilding in Washington by his comrades in the Organization which had killed sixty-one, including two congressmen, one sub-cabinet official, and four or five senior congressional staffers. McVeigh had highlighted these sentences from Turner’s diary entry: “The real value of our attacks today lies in the psychological impact, not in the immediate casualties.” “More important, though, is what we taught the politicians and the bureaucrats. They learned this afternoon that not one of them is beyond our reach. They can huddle behind barbed wire and tanks in the city, or they can hide behind concrete walls and alarm systems at their country estate, but we can still find them and kill them.”

 

In William Pierce’s novel, The Turner Diaries, the events that set off the anti-government terrorist acts of Earl Turner were a series of brutish government raids on gun owners following the passage of federal legislation outlawing the private ownership of firearms. Turner reacted to the raids by blowing up a federal building with a fuel-oil and fertilizer bomb concealed in a truck. Not only was the composition of the fictional bomb almost exactly the same as the one McVeigh constructed and detonated, it was also almost exactly the same weight. It seems very probable that McVeigh saw parallels between the government raid on the Branch Davidians in Waco to enforce anti-gun laws and the gun raids portrayed in The Turner Diaries, and that McVeigh responded to what he saw as the unwarranted and violent assaults on gun owners in Waco the same way that the protagonist in Pierce’s book, Earl Turner, had responded to the heavy-handed crackdowns on gun owners by agents of the fictional federal government.[10]For a discussion of the phenomenon of modeling one’s life from fiction, see Jay Martin, Who Am I This Time? (New York: Norton, 1988).

Anti-Defamation League sources have reported that just days before the bombing, McVeigh mailed an envelope to his sister in Florida containing copies of the cover and selected pages from The Turner Diaries. He included a note that said she should be sure to read the back cover. On the back cover of The Turner Diaries at the top in bold black letters is the question, “What will you do when they come to take your guns?” And then the answer: “The patriots fight back with a campaign of sabotage and terror.” When McVeigh’s sister learned of her brother’s arrest in connection with the bombing, she burned the contents of the envelope.[11]11. See Stern, p. 118. Also, Anti-Defamation League, Explosion of Hate: The Growing Danger of the National Alliance, 1998 report, available online at the ADL web-site.

Incidentally, McVeigh’s accomplice in the bombing, Terry Nichols, also may have been influenced by the writings of William Pierce. Federal agents found a copy of another of Pierce’s novels, Hunter, in Nichols’ home. They saw few other books in the house. Hunter, written in the late 1980s, is Pierce’s follow-up to The Turner Diaries. It recounts the exploits of Oscar Yeager, who tries to “cleanse” America by killing interracial couples and Jews.[12]Anti-Defamation League.

In the weeks immediately preceding the bombing, McVeigh stayed at the Imperial Hotel off Route 66 near Kingman, Arizona. Several sources have reported that between April 5th and April 11th McVeigh made seven calls to a message center operated by a radical right-wing organization called the National Alliance. The chairman of the National Alliance is William Pierce. Two of the seven calls allegedly were patched through to Pierce’s unlisted number in West Virginia where he is headquartered.[13]Hamm, p. 198.

The Turner Diaries was the first piece of evidence introduced by the prosecution at McVeigh’s trial in Denver. During the trial, several of McVeigh’s friends told the court that he had mailed them copies of the book along with a note encouraging them to read it. One of them, Kyle Kraus, a buddy from McVeigh’s army days, testified that when he learned of the Oklahoma City bombing he was immediately reminded of scenes from the book and grabbed the copy McVeigh had sent him and took it to the local FBI office.[14]Anti-Defamation League.

McVeigh’s first contact with The Turner Diaries came when he was in the army and ran across an advertisement for the book in the mail order section of the survivalist magazine, Soldier of Fortune. McVeigh ordered the book and according to those around him at the time awaited its arrival with eager anticipation. When the book finally arrived, McVeigh became obsessed with it, reports his roommate William Dilly. “He took it into the field and read it for three weeks straight,” Dilly said. “He said it was really wild and tried to get me to read it.”[15]Hamm, p. 144. Another friend of McVeigh’s, Brandon Sticky, said that McVeigh read and re-read the book and was known for constantly carrying his well-thumbed copy of the small paperback around with him in his pocket.[16]Ibid., p.153.
(Hamm, p. 144.)

After leaving the service, McVeigh sold The Turner Diaries at weekend gun shows, often for less than his own cost. Fellow gun-show merchants said it was as if the contents of the book were his religion and he were looking for converts. “Mostly, McVeigh’s fervor came from The Turner Diaries,” a gun collector who crossed paths with him said later. “He was its greatest publicist. He carried the book all the time. He sold it at the shows. He’d have a few copies in the cargo pocket of his cammies. They were supposed to be $10, but he’d sell them for $5.”[17]17. Stern, p. 51, 192.

Apparently The Turner Diaries altered the course of Tim McVeigh’s life, as well as the lives of thousands of people in Oklahoma City. And to the extent that the Oklahoma City bombing is a memorable event—and even, in ways that are not clear to us now, a significant event—William Pierce’s self-published novel has become part of the history of America.

 

On September 24th, 1998, the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith released a report entitled Explosion of Hate: The Growing Danger of the National Alliance.[18]Anti-Defamation League. The ADL’s stated purpose is to combat anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice, and bigotry. The Explosion of Hate report began:

A new ADL investigation reveals that the neo-Nazi National Alliance (NA) is the single most dangerous organized hate group in the United States today. The NA sprang to national attention several years ago, when it was discovered that a fictitious incident in The Turner Diaries, a violent and racist novel written by the NA’s leader, might have been used as a model for the Oklahoma City bombing. Convicted bomber Timothy McVeigh was a devoted reader of The Turner Diaries, which features a bombing scenario that is eerily reminiscent of the April 19, 1995 blast. The book was also the blueprint for The Order, a revolutionary terrorist group that robbed and murdered its way to fame in the early 1980s. The ringleader of The Order [Robert Jay Mathews] was an organizer for the NA.

Now, the National Alliance has leaped to prominence again. In the last several years, dozens of violent crimes, including murders, bombings and robberies, have been traced to NA members or appear to have been inspired by the group’s propaganda. At the same time, the National Alliance’s membership base has experienced dramatic growth, with its numbers more than doubling since 1992. The group, headquartered near Hillsboro, West Virginia, is led by former University of Oregon physics professor and veteran anti-Semite William L. Pierce.

With 16 active cells from coast to coast, an estimated membership of 1,000 and several thousand additional Americans listening to its radio broadcasts and browsing its Internet site, the National Alliance is the largest and most active neo-Nazi organization in the nation. The group has also developed significant political connections abroad. In the past three years there has been evidence of NA activity in no fewer than 26 states across the country. The organization has been most active in Ohio, Florida, Michigan, New York, Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia, and New Mexico.

Explosion of Hate goes on to say that while other extremist groups appeal to a narrow range of followers, National Alliance members vary widely in social class and age, from young skinheads to middle-aged professionals. Alliance members are organized into local units headed by coordinators named by Pierce, and in most cases meet regularly. Twice each year, Pierce invites fifty Alliance members to the West Virginia headquarters for a weekend conference.

The ADL report says that the National Alliance owes much of its strength to Pierce—whom it describes as well-educated, focused, and organized—and to his autocratic leadership style. Among Pierce’s activities is American Dissident Voices, a half-hour weekly radio program. The report notes that Pierce uses topics in the news as a springboard into hate-filled anti-Jewish, anti-black, and anti-government diatribes. American Dissident Voices broadcasts can be picked up in most of North America and Europe on short-wave as well as on local AM radio stations in parts of Arkansas, Texas, Alabama, New England, Florida and California. They can also be downloaded in written and audio form from the National Alliance’s Web site, and they are sent by e-mail to selected individuals, reprinted in a monthly subscription publication called Free Speech, and sold in audio cassette form through the Alliance’s publishing arm, National Vanguard Books. Audiocassettes of Pierce’s ADV programs are among an array of radical right-wing books and audio- and videotapes National Vanguard Books sells through a catalog it distributes widely.

In addition to the weekly broadcasts and book-selling activities, Pierce writes the copy for a members-only monthly National Alliance newsletter. There is also the irregularly published glossy magazine , National Vanguard, which the ADL report says attempts to intellectualize the Alliance’s racist and anti-Semitic agenda. The highbrow tone of National Vanguard contrasts sharply with the cruder, poorly-edited propaganda materials of other extremist groups and heightens the appeal the National Alliance has among those whom the report refers to as “better-educated bigots.”

Explosion of Hate notes that other murderers and terrorists besides Timothy McVeigh appear to have been inspired by Pierce’s violence-filled writings and pronouncements. In the 1980s a gang calling itself the Order, after the elite paramilitary unit in The Turner Diaries, went on a crime spree which included bombing a synagogue, murdering a Jewish talk show host, counterfeiting, and robbing over four million dollars in an armored car heist. The Order’s leader, Robert Mathews, was a member of the National Alliance and a recruiter for the Alliance who once spoke at one of the organization’s national conventions. Reportedly, Mathews told people that he was intent on being the catalyst for an uprising against the System like the one described in Pierce’s book.

Mathews, who was killed by FBI agents in a shoot-out, has become a martyr and cult hero among right-wing fringe elements and a model for others who would follow his lead. The ADL report cites the statement of then-publisher George Burdi in his skinhead-oriented magazine Resistance invoking Mathews’ memory in the course of singing the praises of the National Alliance. Said Burdi: “The National Alliance is clearly the most forward-looking and progressive racialist organization in the world today, and it is no wonder that Robert Mathews endorsed them so whole-heartedly.” Another example, authorities say a white supremacist group calling itself the Aryan Republican Army and led by a man named Peter Langan committed twenty-two bank robberies and bombings across the Midwest between 1992 and 1996. Langan praised Robert Mathews and instructed his viewers to “learn from Bob.” Not surprisingly The Turner Diaries was required reading in the Aryan Republican Army.

The ADL report lists a number of recent crimes that can be linked in some way to Pierce and the National Alliance. Among them:

  • In March of 1998, Dennis McGiffin and two others were charged with conspiracy to possess and make machine guns. FBI agents testified that McGiffin and the others were influenced by The Turner Diaries. They planned to form a “New Order’’ and talked of, among other things, bombing state capitols and post offices and poisoning public water supplies with cyanide.
  • In 1997, Todd Vanbiber, a National Alliance adherent in Winter Park, Florida, pleaded guilty to illegally constructing and possessing explosives and was sentenced to six-and-one-half years in prison. At a sentencing hearing in October 1997, a cellmate testified that Vanbiber admitted he planned to use the bombs against African Americans attending Fourth of July celebrations. A Federal complaint against Vanbiber alleged that he had met with William Pierce at his West Virginia compound for two hours and while there donated one thousand dollars to the National Alliance and purchased seven hundred dollars worth of its literature.
  • In December 1995, a black couple was gunned down near FortBragg in North Carolina in what prosecutors called a racially motivated killing. James Burmeister and Malcolm Wright, members of the 82nd Airborne Division, were convicted of the murders and sentenced to life in prison. Burmeister and Wright reportedly read National Alliance propaganda. Prior to these events, the National Alliance had been attempting to attract members among U.S. Army personnel at FortBragg. One of its activitists, Robert Hunt, a soldier and recruiter for the Alliance, rented a billboard and used it to post an advertisement and local phone number for the organization.
  • In April of 1996, Larry Wayne Shoemaker killed one African American and injured seven others in Jackson, Mississippi. According to his ex-wife, Shoemaker first encountered National Alliance propaganda in the mid-1980s, when he borrowed The Turner Diaries from a friend. She said her husband wasn’t the same after he read Pierce’s novel. “It was like an eye-opener for him,” she said. “There was a distinct difference in him.” Shoemaker soon began subscribing to Pierce’s monthly publications.

 

The Winter 1999 issue of Intelligence Report, published by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), included an article entitled “The Alliance and Its Allies.”[19]Southern Poverty Law Center, “The Alliance and Its Allies,” Intelligence Report, Winter 1999. Available online at SPLCENTER.ORG The SLPC article centered on the connections William Pierce is establishing with political extremists in Europe. The Southern Poverty Law Center monitors extremist groups and has been successful in pursuing civil lawsuits against them. The SPLC’s most prominent member is co-founder and chief legal counsel, Morris Dees.

The SPLC article refers to Pierce as the best-known American far-right-wing figure in Europe. It points out that Pierce is in the unique position of standing above the fray of rivalries that have divided the European radical right for years. “The former physics professor has come to be seen in Europe as a man whom all factions can look up to, the legendary author whose two novels [The Turner Diaries and Hunter] helped spark the most violent U.S. domestic terrorist attacks of the last 15 years.”[20]Ibid.
(Southern Poverty Law Center, “The Alliance and Its Allies,” Intelligence Report, Winter 1999. Available online at SPLCENTER.ORG)
The article quotes Pierce as writing, “Cooperation across national borders will become increasingly important for progress—and perhaps even for survival—in the future.”[21]Ibid.
(Southern Poverty Law Center, “The Alliance and Its Allies,” Intelligence Report, Winter 1999. Available online at SPLCENTER.ORG)

 

In late 1997 I wrote Pierce a letter broaching the idea of writing a book about him and his ideas. In the letter, I said:

I’m not talking about anything authorized, that is to say, where explicitly or implicitly I have the job of fronting for you, making you look good, selling you. But at the same time, I wouldn’t be aiming to demonize you or set you up as a straw man to serve some agenda of my own. I also don’t want to play a game academics often play [I am a university professor], which is to stand above their subjects, as it were, and patronizingly critique them and make themselves look good in the process. What I do want to do is focus on the issues you raise and the ideas you affirm and your current activities within the context of the events and circumstances of your life, and to present it as objectively as I can. Whatever else comes through, I want who you are and what you are and where you have come from put out there for readers straight and true. I am not interested in exposés or inside journalism. I am interested in where this culture and society is heading and how we live our individual lives, and what you and what you represent have to do with that.[22]Personal correspondence, Robert Griffin to William Pierce, July 26, 1997.

Pierce wrote back:

Your idea is an intriguing one. I am not convinced that the things I have accomplished to date merit a biography—although I always am trying to acquire more merit. From a practical point of view, if you succeed in getting a biography of me published and it is not a hatchet job, it should be helpful. Although you might be subject to pressure from your publisher to produce a book fitting a certain stereotype of me and my message. Anyway, it is a project that I am willing to discuss with you.[23]Personal correspondence, William Pierce to Robert Griffin, August 4, 1997.

I wrote back to Pierce that I wasn’t planning on writing a full-scale, detailed biography, bringing in multiple sources and perspectives and all. Rather, I was thinking of something akin to what goes on between a subject posing for a portrait and an artist. That is to say, the book would essentially be about him and me: the way he presents himself to me and the way I make sense of and render that presentation. I said I wanted to hear him talk about his life growing up and what he has done as an adult. I wanted to learn about the circumstances in society and the people and experiences and ideas that have had an impact on him. I wanted to become familiar with the books that have made a difference to him—I’d read them if I haven’t—and see if I can learn why they affected him as they did. I wanted to look at how his public life and private life have affected one another. I wanted to do those things in order to paint a picture of him, so to speak. So a portrait would be a more accurate way of referring to what I had in mind than a biography.

And, really, I said in the letter, I am not setting out to do a hatchet job on you. I am not intending to write a judgmental book; rather, I want to be a vehicle that will allow readers the chance to get a good look at you and to decide for themselves what they see. I told Pierce I would stay away from slanting or channeling people’s impression of him by tacking negative labels on him—neo-Nazi, anti-Semite, bigot, hater. However, he had to understand that after hearing what he has to say and reviewing what he has done with his life, readers may well decide that, indeed, those labels suit him. And as for publishers pushing me to fit him into a certain stereotype—he had mentioned that possibility—I told him that I was not going to bend reality for anybody.

I told Pierce that I wanted to meet him in person and talk more about this project and see if it seemed as if the two of us could work together. I said I thought a couple of hours with one another should give us a good sense of whether we ought to keep exploring this idea. Pierce said that was all right with him, and I went to see him in West Virginia. This was in the fall of 1997. We talked for two hours in the afternoon at his office in the National Alliance headquarters building on his three hundred forty-six acre plot of land. Basically, we got acquainted. He asked me about what things were like at the university where I am on the faculty, and we talked about university politics for a time. I thought the session went well. Pierce seemed open and unthreatened—I had expected more wariness, which would have been understandable—and he was congenial and expansive. At the end of that first meeting, we decided that I should come back and spend a full workday at the property.

A couple of months later—this was early 1998—I came back and Pierce and I ended up talking for seven hours straight. Rapport was building between the two of us and, I believe, his trust in me and belief that I brought an adequate amount of competence and commitment to this book-writing endeavor. I took notes during our lengthy conversation and wrote down my recollections and impressions afterward, but I found that I missed much of what Pierce had said. I made a vow that from then on I would have a tape recorder with me. At the end of the day, Pierce invited me to stay for dinner with him and his wife Irena, so I got to meet her and see the trailer they share about five hundred yards up the mountain from the headquarters building.

About a month later, I came back for a weekend. At that point, I proposed that I spend a month during the summer at the property working on the book. I told Pierce that I wanted to conduct a series of taped interviews with him during that time. I said that three two-hour sessions per week should suffice. Plus, I wanted to go over materials—books, tapes, letters, papers, and so on. And I wanted to just generally absorb what was happening on the property and get a feel for the place and the people who lived there. Pierce said that was fine, and I spent from mid-June to mid-July of 1998 there living with one of Pierce’s assistants, a former business professor by the name of Bob DeMarais. Since that time, I have stayed in contact with Pierce. In November of 1999, I spent four days with him in Munich, Germany, where he had traveled to give a speech at a rally of the National Democratic Party. I think through all of this I have come to know him very well.

I have asked myself why Pierce agreed to go forward with the book project, and indeed he has been most cooperative. I have decided that the main reason Pierce has gone along with this book is that he thinks this is a chance to become known by a mainstream audience. He is convinced that to the extent he hasn’t been ignored he and his ideas have been twisted to serve the purposes of those who oppose him. Also, I think the fact that I am a university professor appeals to him. He has expressed frustration to me that the academic community pays no attention to him. I believe he hopes that something I will write will reach university people, both faculty and students, and contribute to him and his message being considered more seriously by that segment of society. And too, I believe the fact that I am an academic helps in another regard. Pierce was once a physics professor, and he and I have compatible personal styles. I am bookish and get caught up with ideas, and he is the same way. Simply, we relate well, and I think there is a personal payoff for him in a relationship with someone like me. And last, I believe I serve the need he has for someone to talk to about his life. It is a rewarding experience for just about all of us to have a listener who is truly interested in what it was like for us as a child, what happened when we were just starting out in our career, how we look at things today, and so on. It is rewarding to have someone who truly wants to hear more from us and doesn’t make judgments or bring the subject around to themselves. As the days and weeks went along, I noticed that Pierce seemed to look forward to our sessions, which were from 7:00 to 9:00 in the evenings after his long workday. It was at his suggestion that we talk consecutive evenings rather than the three times a week I originally had in mind.

As for what I wanted to get out of my contact with Pierce, I was looking for a way to deal with American culture and society in an overall, integrated way, and in an accessible and interesting way, and Pierce seemed to me to be a good vehicle for doing that. Pierce is concerned with it all and how everything fits together—history, philosophy, politics, economics, the media, education, men-women identities and relationships, childraising practices, and approaches to leisure—and that offered me the broad canvas, the inclusive frame of reference, I wanted. I didn’t think the fact that Pierce approaches these concerns from a position on the extreme end of the ideological spectrum was a drawback, because one of the ways to make better sense of what is going on at the core of American life, which is what I really want to do, is to contrast it with what is happening on its outermost edge.

A second reason I had for investing time and energy in this project is I thought I could be helpful to others if I were to report what had come out of my experience with Pierce. It is imperative, I believe, that we know the enemy, to put it that way, and I think the consensus view is that no one is a more threatening domestic enemy than is William Pierce. I had been given an opportunity to get close and learn how Pierce thinks and behaves and what accounts for him—how does someone like Pierce come to be? This is a opportunity, I thought, for people to hear from this man in his own words and to look at the world through his eyes. If we are going to deal with people like Pierce, it helps greatly if we understand them.

And a third motivation for me, one that developed as time went along: I find Pierce to be an absolutely fascinating character and his story to be a whale of a tale. And besides Pierce, in the course of putting this book together I came across a number of other fascinating characters, among them, George Lincoln Rockwell, Robert Lloyd, Revilo P. Oliver, Francis Parker Yockey, Savitri Devi, Elizabeth Dilling, Bob Mathews, and William Gayley Simpson. This cast of characters and their world was all new to me, and I have had the treat of a terrific, real-life movie for the year and a half I have been working on this book. I found that that alone has been enough to keep me going.

2 • First Contact • 4,300 Words

Pocahontas County, West Virginia, where William Pierce has lived since 1985, is a mountainous area in the southeast part of the state. There are trees everywhere in PocahontasCounty: black walnut, hickory, oak, eastern poplar, apple, pear, red maple, sugar maple, and buckeye. PocahontasCounty is shaped like a bowling pin tipped to the right and is about fifty miles from top to bottom and thirty miles across at its widest. Nine thousand people live in the county’s nine hundred square miles. The county seat and largest town is Marlinton, with a population of eleven hundred. Pierce’s land is at Mill Point (population fifty) in the center of the base of the “bowling pin.” His three hundred forty-six acres go up the side of Big Spruce Knob, which is between BlackMountain and StonyCenterMountain.

In a letter to me before I came to visit him the first time, Pierce had this to say about where he lived:

This area is off “the beaten path” in that it has no industry other than small farms, no transportation hubs, no transient population, and very little traffic, pollution, or crime. Although it is mountainous and very beautiful, the lack of tourist facilities other than a ski lodge in the northern part of the county leads to a blessedly small number of tourists and vacationers. With the exception of four or five non-Whites imported by criminally insane Christian groups, the population is entirely White and sparse. The early settlers were Scotch-Irish, German, Dutch, and English, and a handful of family names—McNeill, Sharp, Pritt—dominate the telephone directory. It is extremely conservative in resisting outside influences, although television and the churches (which, unfortunately, have great influence here) are doing their worst to bring the New World Order to PocahontasCounty.[24]Personal correspondence, William Pierce to Robert Griffin, July 7, 1997.

In the fall of 1997, I went to meet Pierce and see where he lives. I flew into Roanoke, Virginia, rented a car, and set out on the two-and-one-half hour drive to Mill Point—a long way to drive, but Roanoke was the closest major airport. I got to Hillsboro, West Virginia (population one hundred eighty-eight) at about 1:00 p.m. Hillsboro is where Pierce picks up his mail and is about three miles from Mill Point. I was early—I had told Pierce I would be there at two—and hungry, so I stopped at the Country Roads Café in Hillsboro. Next to where I parked my car at the café was a weathered white metal sign with black lettering that said:

HILLSBORO

Here Gen. W. W. Averell camped before the Battle of Droop Mountain and after his raid to Salem, Virginia, in 1863. Settlements were made in the vicinity in the 1760s by John McNeel and the Kinnisons. Birthplace of Pearl Buck.

Pearl Buck is a Nobel Prize-winning author best known for her book set in China, The Good Earth.

The top price for an evening meal at the Country Roads Cafe was $5.45; I had a chicken salad sandwich for $2.85. After I finished eating, I drove the three miles up the road to Mill Point. I had the directions Pierce sent me, and I took the right turn off the state highway at the red brick house onto the dirt road as he had instructed me to do. I stopped the car for a moment and looked down the single-lane dirt road that Pierce said I would take for about eight-tenths of a mile before I reached his property. On the sides of the road were unpainted wooden posts about four feet high and fifteen feet apart with barbed wire strung between them. On the right was tall grass for a hundred yards and then trees. On the left after about three hundred yards of grass the land rose into tree-covered knolls. About five hundred yards ahead, the dirt road turned to the right and I couldn’t see where it went from there. There were no people or animals in sight.

“Well, here goes,” I said to myself, and set off down the road.

The dirt road was filled with bumps and ruts, and I probably wasn’t going over three miles an hour as I navigated my rental car through what very quickly came to seem like an obstacle course. I tried to be careful, but I still scraped the bottom of the car a couple of times. Very soon, there wasn’t any grass on my right; trees came up to the side of the road. To my relief, after about a quarter mile the road smoothed out. On my left I saw an old red barn, and next to it a silo, its white paint peeling. Around the barn and silo were twenty or so light brown miniature horses grazing. I thought back to when I was a kid and used to ride those kinds of ponies as I called them—I’m not sure what they are supposed to be called—at the carnivals that used to set up in a big vacant lot a block from where I lived in Saint Paul, Minnesota. I didn’t see any people around, just the little horses.

As I drove along the dirt road, the trees began to close in on the left to match the trees on the right. Up ahead they were so close to the road on both sides that they joined together over the road and blocked out the sun. I felt as if I were driving into a dark tunnel. The canopy of trees lasted with a break now and then for about a quarter mile, and then the overhead trees receded and the sun shone again, and up ahead was the red gate Pierce told me would be there. The gate was about five feet tall and blocked the road. It had six pipes across and four up and down. Top-center was a small black metal sign with white lettering that said NO TRESPASSING.

The gate was closed, but Pierce said it would be unlocked and that I should open it and drive onto the property. I stopped the car, got out, and opened the gate by swinging it back toward me. I wasn’t familiar with the rental car I was driving, so after I got back into the car I looked down to see where the ignition key was and then turned on the engine. As I looked back up to see the road and go forward, a smiling, bearded, mountain-man face filled the open driver’s side window. I was startled; I hadn’t seen or heard anyone approach the car.

The mountain man, still smiling, asked me my name.

“Robert Griff—, Bob Griffin,” I answered. I have had this long-standing dilemma when introducing myself. Am I Robert or am I Bob?

“Dr. Pierce is expecting you. Go right up to the top of the hill and you’ll see a place to park on the right.” I learned later that that had been Fred Streed.

I drove up a fairly steep incline on the dirt road for a couple hundred feet. As I neared the top, I saw a large building to my right. Straight ahead above me was a tall, slim figure standing alone in the parking area in front of the building. He waved his arm indicating that I should turn to the right and park facing the building. I did and got out of the car and stood next to the open driver’s side door. The man, with a broad smile on his face, stepped forward and held out his hand and said, “I’m William Pierce. I’ve been waiting for you.”

Pierce looked to me to be around sixty years old. He is a couple inches taller than I am, which would make him about 6’3’’ or so. He has a large head and graying and thinning conventionally cut hair parted on the left side. His hair was long enough so that it curled up in the back. He is a bit hunched, and his head nestles down into his shoulders and thrusts forward. What stood out to me about his face were his large forehead and mouth. His face is unlined, his nose is straight and unremarkable, and his small ears protrude some. His eyes were blue behind the thick lenses of the conservative plastic-framed glasses he had on.

That day, Pierce had on a jeans jacket over a dark blue T-shirt with a pocket in which he had a white index card. His faded blue jeans hung straight down in the back the way they do with older men. He had on brown workboots. Around his waist was a pistol belt. A holstered weapon was on his right and more to the back than to the side. The weapon wasn’t visible because he had pulled his T-shirt over it.

Pierce’s basic appearance is long and lean, but when I shook hands with him I was taken by the size and strength of his hands and forearms that showed beneath his rolled-up jacket sleeves. His handshake was firm and confident. I had read that Pierce, as it was phrased, “doesn’t have a very dynamic presence.” That certainly wasn’t the impression I was getting. He had the air of somebody important and as being the kind of person who very much fills up the space they are in.

“Come on in,” Pierce said, motioning with his left hand toward the building to my right. I turned and for the first time got a good look at the National Alliance headquarters building. It is two stories tall and perhaps sixty feet wide. It is covered by a beige-colored shell of steel with vertical grooves. In the center of the building are double doors of dark brown decorated with small yellow squares. There is a window on each side of the doors on the first floor which is matched by a similar window on the second floor. The first and second floor windows on each side are tied together by a window-wide darker brown band that runs from the top of the building to the ground. The roof is edged in dark brown and slightly sloped to handle precipitation.

The most prominent feature of the building is a ten-foot-high dark brown symbol attached to the building above the door. I couldn’t tell whether it was made of metal or wood. It looks something like a Christian cross except that the crossbar is longer and instead of going straight across from nine o’clock to three o’clock, it is as if it were cut at the mid-point and the two pieces, still attached to the vertical bar, are pointed upward toward ten-thirty and one-thirty. I later learned that this is called a Life Rune and that it is the symbol for the National Alliance. I remember having an emotional charge that first time I took in this Life Rune image, so large and dominating. Especially in this setting, so removed from everywhere, it seemed alien, something out of Brave New World or 1984.

From where Pierce and I were standing, the headquarters building was about forty-five feet away at the end of a six-foot-wide pathway made of what appeared to be very carefully smoothed-down rocks set in cement. On either side of the walkway was neatly cut lawn. Trees encircled the sides and back of the building. The building and the greenery presented an attractive postcard-like picture on this cloudless fall day.

Pierce and I walked the pathway side-by-side and went through the double doors and entered a small vestibule. Just ahead to the left and right were offices, their doors open. Pierce pointed to the one on the left and said, “That’s where Bob DeMarais works.” (He pronounced it De-Mars.) A middle-aged man with a mustache looked up from his computer and waved hello. “Bob handles all the business affairs for the Alliance,” Pierce said. “I’ll introduce him to you later.” I noticed that Pierce has a slight southern accent.

There was no one in the office on the right, and Pierce didn’t say anything about it or its occupant. I learned later it was Ron McCosky’s office. Ron works in the book distribution side of Pierce’s operation, National Vanguard Books. Ron is from California and has worked in the past as a professional magician. He still performs magic at kids’ birthday parties.

Straight ahead of us was a meeting room that looked as if it could accommodate seventy-five to one hundred people. It was quite dark in the room, as there were rooms on either side of it—Pierce’s large library to the left and restrooms and storage rooms to the right—and thus no sunlight comes in. Scattered about the meeting room were six or eight folding chairs. About midway into the room next to the wall on the left was a piano. At the far end of the room was an eight- or ten-inch-high wood riser about eight feet square, and on it was a lectern. The Life Rune symbol is affixed to the lectern.

As Pierce and I left the meeting room and continued toward the back of the building, we passed stairs on the left that went to the second floor. I learned later that the second floor is the storage area for the books Pierce sells by mail order. Also on the second floor is a recording studio where he tapes his weekly radio program. As well, there is a small room where he has electronic gadgetry—his toys, as he calls them. Pierce has a Ph.D in physics, and this room is where he goes to get away from it all. One other thing on the second floor: a television set next to the back wall amid boxes of books. I believe it is the only one on the property. It turns out that Pierce and those around him are down on television, seeing it as a reality-distorting and mind-warping force in the hands of their adversaries. Pierce isn’t about to get the cable, and the only station that reaches this remote area is an NBC affiliate—barely reaches, the picture is snowy and doesn’t qualify as being in color. Pierce is a faithful watcher of the NBC evening news. As far as I know, that is the extent of his television viewing other than tapes friends and followers send him, and I don’t believe anyone around him watches television at all.

After Pierce and I passed by the stairs leading to the second floor, we reached the back of the building. To the right was an office occupied by a woman seated at a desk in front of a computer. I didn’t get a good look at her, and Pierce didn’t introduce me. She wore glasses and appeared to be around forty, somewhere in that not young and not old middle part of life. I caught a glimpse of a large overhanging plant before I turned away.

To the left is Pierce’s office. I went in first, and he went by me on the left on his way to taking a seat at his wooden desk which faces to the right. The first thing I noticed in the office was a cat sitting on the upright case of a computer on Pierce’s desk. I assume the cat was there because it was warm. This arrangement propped the cat up high, so for me it was suddenly being eye-to-eye with an exotic-looking, smallish, short haired cat—a bluepoint Siamese, a breed I had never seen before. I had just met Hadley, Pierce’s constant companion. Hadley rides on Pierce’s shoulder when Pierce comes to the headquarters in the morning, usually around 8:30, stays with him all day, and rides on Pierce’s shoulder when Pierce returns to his trailer at 9:00 or 9:30 at night.

Pierce’s small office is packed to overflowing. Besides the computer, there is a copier and fax machine. Behind his desk is a bookcase stuffed with books. A row of chairs facing the desk stand against the wall, leaving a very narrow path to navigate between the chairs and the desk. Since Pierce was taking a seat behind his desk, I decided I should sit on one of the chairs, but they were piled high with boxes, books, magazines, papers, and videotapes. The same sort of pile was on a table on the wall opposite the door, shelves to Pierce’s right as he sits at the desk, the desk itself, and the floor. Pierce may have sensed that I was somewhat taken aback by the disarray in his office, because right after he sat down and I pushed things aside on one of the chairs so I could sit down, he said, “I’ve got to do something about this office, clean it up. This has gotten out of hand.”

I didn’t feel it was my place to say anything, so I didn’t reply.

Pierce was settled in his desk, and I was in a chair in the corner to his left. We looked at each other and smiled.

“Can I get you a cup of tea?” he asked.

“That would be fine,” I replied.

Pierce rummaged around for a second and then said, “I have to go into the other room and get a tea bag,” and got up. As he walked around the desk to go out, the woman whom I had seen working in the office across the hall came in and told him an e-mail message had just come in. She talked about it briefly—I didn’t pick up what she said—and handed it to him. At this point Pierce looked back at me and said, “This is Lynn Hill.” Then he said, “Lynn, this is Bob Griffin. He’s a professor from Vermont.”

Lynn shot the quickest of glances in my direction—I don’t think she actually saw me—and offered a curt hello and went back to her business, which was standing beside Pierce, overseeing him it seemed, while he read the message she’d just given him.

Evelyn Hill—I never got to know her well enough to call her Lynn—is about 5’7’’, has brown hair pulled back in a bun, wears business-like, dark-framed glasses, and may be about twenty pounds heavier than she would like to be. In contrast to Pierce in his T-shirt and jeans, Evelyn was dressed up that day in earrings, a white buttoned cotton blouse, and a blue skirt, which, I learned, is typical attire for her. Evelyn speaks loudly and has a forceful, no-nonsense, get-it-done manner. She reminds me of a strict, “old maid”—that was the term we used back then, it meant unmarried—teacher I had in elementary school who intimidated the heck out of me but whom I remember fondly because she taught me something. Evelyn has a doctorate in pharmacy and worked as a pharmacist—I believe in Washington state—before coming to work with Pierce in 1996.

In order to read the message Evelyn had given him, Pierce brought the paper up to about five inches from his eyes. He tipped his head back so that he was looking down at the paper, and his mouth dropped open as he read. It turns out that Pierce has very bad eyes.

Pierce finished reading the message and talked to Evelyn as he left the office on his way to getting the tea bag. I had the sense that it was a communication among equals, and that Pierce takes Evelyn seriously. My first impression of Evelyn, and it didn’t change during the time I spent with Pierce, is that she will not lead the league in sociability, nor will she bother to try, but that she is highly capable and productive.

While Pierce was gone, it was just Hadley and me in Pierce’s office. Hadley was lying stock still on his side with his head up and paying absolutely no attention to me. I glanced around the office. On the chair next to me was a copy of the magazine Criminal Politics. In the bookcase behind Pierce’s desk were a lot of old books. There was one on the ancient Spartans, and I saw a couple by the nineteenth century German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, and there was Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations and Black’s Law Dictionary. On the wall was a traditional-style print, “The Old Mill” by nineteenth century British painter John Constable. There was also a framed surveyor’s map of the property. I noticed the land is in the name of the CosmotheistChurch, not Pierce’s or the National Alliance’s. I made a mental note to ask Pierce about this CosmotheistChurch. One other thing on the wall was a limited edition print of a drawing of a man and woman intertwined in a neo-classical pose. It was signed by the artist, Arno Breker. Breker was primarily known as a sculptor and was one of Adolf Hitler’s favorites during the years of the Third Reich. Breker received a number of commissions during that time to sculpt human figures, some of them of massive size, to decorate German buildings and public places. Breker lived on into the early 1990s.

Pierce came back with the tea bag and brewed the tea, and we chatted for a couple of hours. Pierce is not given to small talk (“How was your flight down?” etc.). He gets right to it. He knew I am in the field of education and on a university faculty, and he wanted to talk about those areas. During the course of our conversation he made the point that it seemed to him that education at both the university level and at the elementary and secondary levels has been pretty much taken over by the multiculturalists and the feminists. He said that it was his impression that some of the most timid people anywhere were on university faculties. They might not like what is happening, Pierce said, but they don’t have the courage to stand up to the gang that has gotten control of the place. They are cowed by the atmosphere of intimidation that exists in universities, he asserted.

As Pierce shared his views with me, his superior intelligence revealed itself. Working in a university, I have been around some very bright people. I think I know a good mind when I come into contact with one. It struck me that first day that they don’t come any sharper mentally than Pierce is. But whether Pierce has a top-of-the-line intellect is not open to question, at least as far as I am concerned.

Beyond Pierce’s intelligence, three, in some ways contrasting, personal characteristics began to come through to me.

First, there is Pierce the Southern patrician. There is gentility about Pierce. He is gracious, polite, formal, and reserved. He radiates a distinct hint of understated superiority. Pierce is not pushy about it—patricians aren’t pushy—but he is a bit better than you are. As part of this patrician bearing, there is a 1940s quality to Pierce. I can imagine university professors in those years being as he is. In appearance and manner he reminds me a bit of newsreel footage I have seen of General George Marshall, the Chief of Staff of the United States Army during World War II and later Secretary of State. Pierce grew up in Virginia, and Marshall, although born in Pennsylvania, went to college in Virginia and lived there as an adult.

But then again, in some ways he doesn’t fit the patrician category. When I think of a patrician type, I imagine someone who is detached and rather grand, and someone who is overly considered and careful about everything. That isn’t Pierce. Pierce tends to be down-to-earth and animated and very invested in what he is saying and doing. Also, he is often self-effacing, and I don’t associate that with the Southern patrician persona. Plus there is a beer-commercial, one-of-the-guys quality about Pierce that co-exists with his reserved and somewhat removed manner. Pierce loves to tell stories, and he is light and humorous and whimsical as well as serious. And too, there is the tough, rough-edged side to Pierce that exists concurrently with the polite gentleman-farmer side of him. There is the Pierce whose family hit hard times after his father died and moved in with relatives in another state. There is the Pierce who had to fend for himself in a Lord of the Flies military school environment. There is the Pierce who had to learn from early on to take care of himself in an indifferent and hostile world. There is the Pierce who once told me about being in the midst of a confrontation and just about to push someone through a fifth-floor window when the other person backed down. (This was in Washington, D.C.. Pierce was distributing some of his political material, and a black man took objection and threatened him physically.)

And then there’s the third thing about Pierce that I pick up when I am around him: a menacing quality. There is something unsettling about Pierce for me. There seems to be a pressure inside him, something brewing just beneath the surface, an anger perhaps. There is hardness, coldness, a potential for violence that I feel in him. I can’t be sure how much of this I am projecting onto him based on what I know of his writings and have come to learn about his life and how much of it is really there. But wherever it comes from, I experienced it from that first day on, and it is strong enough to prompt me to think when I am around him, “I wouldn’t put anything past this man.”

3 • Early Life • 8,200 Words

William Luther Pierce III was born on September 11, 1933, in Atlanta, Georgia. That makes him older than I thought he was. He looks good for his age. His father, William L. Pierce II, was born in Christianburg, Virginia in 1892, so he was forty-one at his son’s birth. Baby William’s mother, Marguerite Pierce—born Marguerite Ferrell in Richland, Georgia—was twenty-three. Pierce describes his mother as “a homemaker who dabbled in poetry and art.” She is still alive, living in a nursing home and suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. William senior owned and operated an insurance agency, which kept him on the road much of the time. He was hit by a car and killed in 1942 when young William was eight-and-a-half years old.

The Pierce family was completed when a son, Sanders, was born three years after William in 1936. Sanders works as a consulting engineer in the Midwest. Sanders and his wife attended a conference Pierce held for members of his organization, the National Alliance, at the property while I was there. I had the impression that the conference was an occasion for Sanders to pay a visit to his brother and that he wasn’t there for the conference business. Politics didn’t come up in the conversation, at least when I was around him, and I didn’t see him interact with the conference participants. Sanders is tall, 6’2” or so, blue-eyed, wears military-style glasses, and has short, well-kept gray hair. He is quite striking in appearance, a handsome older man. In manner, Sanders struck me as quiet, reserved, and formal; perhaps the word distant applies. He has the same halting speech pattern his brother has. I was surprised to learn that Sanders is Pierce’s younger brother by three years. In appearance and bearing I would have guessed that he was three to five years older. I couldn’t hear what the two brothers, both tall and big-boned, said as they huddled together for five minutes or so when Sanders was about to depart the conference, but my impression was that they are cordial but not terribly close. In all the time Pierce and I talked, Sanders’ name never came up. When we discussed his childhood, and his later years as well, it was as if Pierce were an only child.

Pierce’s father moved his insurance business from Atlanta to Virginia when Pierce was four. Pierce was sick with “childhood diseases”—he didn’t elaborate—and missed school the first year. He attended the Norfolk, Virginia public schools until his father was killed, and then his mother moved the family to Montgomery, Alabama, where she had grown up. From that point on, money was tight Pierce told me, although his father, as might be expected being in the insurance business, did leave them some insurance money.

While in Montgomery the Pierces lived with a relative, a man named Gaston Scott, who was the State Highway Commissioner in Alabama. Pierce describes Scott as “a tough son of a bitch to live with.” Pierce remembers Scott having a black convict who in effect was his slave, serving as a valet and cook for him. Pierce, his mother, and brother moved to Dallas, Texas a year later, where his mother, who had been able to find work as a secretary, was able to purchase a modest home for the family.

Pierce told me that he was raised “in a normal way for those years.” He was expected to earn his own spending money as soon as he was old enough and he had a newspaper route and took on odd jobs. He was taught self-discipline and to take responsibility for himself. He learned to accept the consequences of what he did or failed to do, and not to expect mom and dad or the government to bail him out if things weren’t right or if he made a mistake.

He said as a kid he learned to do things that he didn’t want to do but that nevertheless needed to be done. “I remember after my father died, this was during the war and my mother was making about twenty-five dollars a week working as a secretary, and things were a little tough. My mother expected me to do my part, and so I got that newspaper route. Now, I really didn’t like that route. I had to get up at three o’clock in the morning, in the winter, in freezing rain, and when the wind was blowing. I really wanted to stay in bed. But I had to get up, get on my bicycle, and ride through a lot of times bitter weather to the corner where I would pick up my bundles of newspapers. I’d fold up the newspapers and stick them in my bag and walk my route and then come back to the house. I did that for three, maybe four years right after my father died. In the summers I did odd jobs—cutting grass, painting fences, and so on—to earn money for my own expenses. At that time I was interested in buying chemicals and test tubes and flasks and electronic stuff, but I didn’t want to be a burden on the family.

“I also had chores to do. Every Saturday, I washed clothes. We didn’t have a washing machine. We had one of those washing boards—it was a wooden contraption—and I washed the clothes with it in the bathtub. I wasn’t a willing worker. I wasn’t interested in any of it. I wanted to read my books and do my hobbies. But I did the work, and as I think back on it, it was a good experience for me. I think this external discipline, this external control—being forced over a long period of time to do things I didn’t want to do but that were necessary to do—helped me develop self-discipline. A lot of children these days never learn that. It’s amazing how many adults can’t do that. They can’t stick at a job they don’t want to do.”

Pierce said he always did extremely well in school academically. He skipped a grade in elementary school and achieved top grades in high school. He went to public schools until his last two years of high school, when he attended an all-boys military school in Texas. He describes himself as a smart-alecky student. He did things like correcting the football coach who was teaching his science class on some of the concepts.

A story Pierce read as a boy that made an impression on him may give an indication of Pierce’s conception of himself when he was young, and now as well. It is “The Emperor’s New Clothes” by Hans Christian Andersen. The emperor in the Andersen tale marches in a public procession stark naked, but nobody along the street acknowledges what should be an obvious and startling fact. Rather, they say, “How incomparable are the Emperor’s new clothes!” and go on about how well they fit and so on. Finally things are brought to a screeching halt when a little child cries out, “But he has nothing on!”[25]Hans Christian Andersen, “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” in Wonder Stories Told to Children (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1976), p. 238.

During the time I was in West Virginia, Pierce brought this Andersen story into our conversations several times with reference to whatever it was we were talking about, some political or social issue. I asked him what the story meant to him. He said it represented a kind of childish innocence. The child saw this amazing thing, and he didn’t realize that he wasn’t supposed to say anything about it. Pierce speculated that this child had a weaker social instinct than others. He didn’t have the same pull to do and say what he was supposed to or that was acceptable. He was more independent, more prone to make up his own mind about reality, more likely to question things. This child was less bound by the idea of “when in Rome” and less hesitant to be dissident. When Pierce was describing the child I believe he was describing himself. I think he sees himself now as an adult crying out: “Look at what is happening! Don’t you see?”

Pierce said that when he was an adolescent he wasn’t a very social person and lacked social graces. He didn’t socialize much. He had a few friends who shared his science interests and that was about it. He never ran for class officer or anything like that. As for girls, he was interested in them but felt very awkward around them. He said he wasn’t philosophical or political at all then. He didn’t think about social problems in those years.

As a teenager, Pierce was mainly interested in science: building model rockets and radios and reading science fiction. He immersed himself in magazines such as Popular Science and Popular Mechanics. “Those science-type hobbyist magazines,” he told me, “were full of mechanical and electronic gadgetry of every sort you can imagine. They had how-to-do-it stuff: how to get by if you don’t have the recommended ingredients, here’s a substitute that will work just as well, and so on. They had instructions on how to build snares for survival trapping—every sort of thing you can imagine. I notice that the magazines kids read these days are more verbal and less action-oriented than the kinds of things I read when I was a kid. Now kids read more science fiction and fantasy writing, and that is OK, I did a lot of that myself, but in general it seems the things they read now push them to be more vicarious and passive than the kinds of things I read back then. There’s a guy in Arkansas by the name of Kurt Saxon—that’s a pseudonym—who used to publish a magazine called Survivor, and I noticed that virtually all his material was facsimiles of those old Popular Mechanics and Popular Science magazines from back in the ‘40s. Sometimes he would write a brief introduction. I do think there has been a change in the way kids approach the world, or at least a lot of them. They are playing video games and watching television instead of building things and getting outside and dealing with nature.”

 

Pierce says his mother had a bigger influence on him than his father had; his father was away on business so much and died when he was so young. Pierce describes his mother’s ancestors as members of the aristocracy of the old South. Her great-grandfather was governor of Alabama and Attorney General of the Confederacy during the Civil War. After the war, the family lost their genteel status and lived a working-class existence. Her mother—Pierce’s grandmother—MarionWatts, was a schoolteacher who married an “Irish rake” who left her when Pierce’s mother was quite young. She then married a boarder at their home, whom Pierce describes as a Jew who had moved to Montgomery from New York City. Pierce’s mother found her stepfather obnoxious and detested him, and felt betrayed when her mother married him. Pierce’s mother saw him as pushing the family even further outside the pale of upper-tier white society.

I asked Pierce whether he thought that his mother’s disdain and resentment toward her Jewish stepfather to any degree accounts for his own animosity toward Jews. He said he didn’t think so because his mother hadn’t told him how much she detested this man until eight years ago from her nursing home bed.

Pierce’s mother was driven to improve her circumstances once she got out on her own. She was interested in graphic arts and wanted to go to art school. But there wasn’t the money for it, so she was clerking in a store when she met Pierce’s father. She always regretted not becoming an artist, poet, or novelist, Pierce said. Pierce remembers her painting the tops of card tables when he was a child. Pierce describes his mother as “competent” in the arts and writing, only that. He showed me some of her drawings. I considered them to be more than competent. In fact, I found them to be really quite good. As I looked at the drawings seated in a chair as Pierce stood above me, I pictured this very old woman in a nursing home and I became sad at the thought that she wasn’t able to pursue her passion when she was young and able.

 

In contrast to his more intense and hard-driving mother, Pierce’s father was more easy-going. Pierce said that although he never had a close relationship with his father, he didn’t consider it a bad relationship and he didn’t feel any resentment or sense of abandonment about his father being gone so much with his work or dying so soon.

Although Pierce’s father was more casual about things than his mother, he did have an adventurous streak. Before Pierce was born, he served on an ocean-going cargo ship and survived a mutiny by a gang of mestizos and Hispanics. He wrote a chapter in a book about the incident, and Pierce read it as a teenager.

The book, entitled Ocean Tramps, is made up of the first-person accounts of the adventures of supercargoes, as they were called.[26]W. L. Pierce, “Incommunicado,” in Edgar Williams, ed., Ocean Tramps: By Themselves (Baltimore: Norman, Remington, 1926), pp. 103-113. Supercargoes were government representatives who advised and assisted the masters of steamships and sent reports of ships’ operations back to the Shipping Board in Washington. Pierce’s father’s contribution to the Ocean Tramps collection is called “Incommunicado.” It recounts the tale of an uprising by the ship’s engine crew—”a gang of Chileans and Mexicans”—while the boat was docked in Uruguay. Pierce senior describes them as “dark mulattos with long scars across their faces.” Eventually, Uruguayan marines rush on board the ship and arrest the engine crew, but not before Pierce’s father had killed two of them in a gun battle.

I asked Pierce what reading the story had meant to him. He replied, rather tersely I thought, that he had identified with the kind of life described in his father’s account, and that like his father he is drawn to adventure. He didn’t seem to want to say anything about his father beyond that, so I dropped it there.

 

Pierce’s military school experience his last two years of high school had a big impact on him. “AllenMilitaryAcademy in Bryan, Texas was not a really first-class school, the kind with chandeliers and fine furniture and traditions that go back a hundred years and all that. I’m sure the boys who went to the elite boarding schools in New England had a different experience from the one I had. But then again maybe the interpersonal dynamics were pretty much the same. Did you see the film Scent of a Woman with Al Pacino? It was centered in a high class boarding school for rich boys in New England, and I recognized the same interpersonal dynamics I remember from AllenAcademy.”

Pierce’s reference to Scent of a Woman reminded me of a film I had seen, White Squall with Jeff Bridges, which was about some boys from advantaged backgrounds who had gone out on a boat on the ocean to learn sailing and had had a life-altering experience. I mentioned the film to Pierce, and he immediately took out some catalogs he uses to rent or buy films, I’m not sure which, and looked in them to see whether White Squall was listed. I was struck by his immediate interest and response to my brief description of the film. This kind of thing happened later on with books I had read, people that I had come across, and so on. Pierce is extremely curious about the world.

After Pierce found that indeed the film was listed in the second catalog he consulted and indicated to me that he would order it, he continued to tell me about his military school experience. “I was a sort of nerdy kid without social skills,” he said. “I really hadn’t had much experience with people. I was interested mostly in ideas, my chemistry experiments, radios and electronics, reading science fiction, and becoming an astronaut someday. I was very naive about people. And suddenly there I am in military school crammed in with a whole bunch of guys. It was like Lord of the Flies: the old social rules and restrictions were gone. I lived in a dormitory, and it was sort of like the warden of a prison takes the key and goes home for the night and it is up to you to survive.

“I was in there with pretty much a cross-section of people. Some of the guys I went to school with were very fine, intelligent, and sensitive people whom I kept in touch with after I graduated. And there were a lot of ordinary guys, and there were some real losers and nasty s.o.b.’s in that place. Some of the boys’ parents couldn’t deal with them, so the parents sent them to this school. There were kids in there because they had gotten into trouble with the law and their parents had convinced a judge to send them to this military school instead of locking them up.

“I like privacy and quiet and just a few friendly people around me, and military school for sure wasn’t that. But looking back on it, I can see that it was a valuable educational experience for me. It was a crash course in human nature. I learned about the various types of people, what they are really like, and how to size them up. I saw that there are vast innate differences in people, that basic distinctions in human quality are simply a fact of life. I improved my ability to understand and judge people while I was in military school. I got so that I could recognize certain signs in people, certain traits, and evaluate them on the basis of those signs. And I learned something about survival. I learned to take care of myself emotionally and psychologically. I became generally stronger and more independent.

“I traveled around selling books the summer after my first year at AllenAcademy, and that got me out with new people and situations. One of the guys I went to military school with sold books for an outfit in Nashville, and he persuaded me that it was a good way to make money. So I did it with him and another guy from school. We went door-to-door selling bibles, cookbooks, children’s bible readers, one-volume encyclopedias, that kind of thing. In fact, the first place we were sent was just north of here, Elkins, West Virginia.”

“It sounds as if being on your own in military school was a maturing experience for you.”

“Yes, I think it was, and I think the maturity level of young people is a particular issue these days. One of the most debilitating aspects of our society in recent times is the fact that kids wait too long to get out on their own—to take on any responsibilities, to take any real chances. You read old stories, and a young person fourteen years old or so leaves his family and village and sets out in the world to earn his fortune. He’s on his own. That kind of thing doesn’t happen anymore. In the past, a boy in his teens was expected to make adult decisions about things and be responsible for his actions and pull his own weight. I’m particularly taken by the number of soft, whiny, ineffectual young men around these days, especially in universities, and by how many people are in their thirties and still living at home with their parents. That’s destructive.”

“Did your time in the military school shape your ideological or political outlook?”

“No, it was more a lesson in human nature. I didn’t start to form my ideological or political views until I was in graduate school, and then things escalated in that direction after I got my Ph.D. and during my time on the faculty in physics at OregonStateUniversity. I did change my religious perspective while I was in military school, however. At least in a negative sense I did—I stopped being a Christian. I had had a Presbyterian background growing up. Especially from fourteen to sixteen, those years, I saw myself as a Christian. Christianity had provided me with answers, it had been my frame of reference.

“In military school they made us go to church. You could go to whatever denomination you wanted to, but you had to go. I tried out a few of them. I found the Baptist service to be dry and unconvincing, but I liked the Catholics because they put on a colorful show. They have practiced it for a thousand years and more and they have it down pat. It really impressed me, which I guess is what it was designed to do, impress the clientele. I found the Catholic priest to be inaccessible, though.

“On the other hand, I could relate well with the Episcopal priest, a roly-poly German fellow named Father Schwerdtfager. Every Sunday after the service I would go to his office and put him through the wringer. I’d ask him all sorts of questions about religious doctrine and so forth—how do we know this is so? do we have any evidence that this is so besides what this person wrote down? those kinds of questions. I wasn’t trying to be a smart-ass, give him a hard time or anything. I really wanted to know. Father Schwerdtfager tried very hard to keep me in the fold: he talked about faith and so on. But it didn’t work. I came to realize during our talks that Christianity wasn’t for me. I completely dropped out by the time I was seventeen or so. Unintentionally, Father Schwerdtfager helped me gain an early emancipation from Christianity.”

 

Pierce talked about the first summer after graduating from military school. “My feeling toward the world, my outlook, changed after I graduated from military school and was getting set to go off to the university. I worked in the oil field that summer as a roustabout. I dropped a four-inch pipe on my hand, injuring it. That knocked me out of that job, and I spent the rest of the summer working at a shoe store as a salesman. As I look back on it, I can see that that summer was a big transition for me. I don’t know how many other kids experience this, but you’ve been to school for twelve years, you have been a minor, subject to other people, and then you graduate and you feel like you are in a different world. You are your own person and you are going out in the world now, and you’ve got much more responsibility for yourself than you had in the past when you were in school. You’ve got to make more decisions. I remember I had this feeling, ‘Boy, I’m becoming an adult.’ It must be the way it is in Indian tribes after they go through the rites of passage.”

 

After graduation from military school in 1951, Pierce entered RiceUniversity in Houston, Texas on a full academic scholarship. He majored in physics at Rice and graduated with a bachelors degree in that field in 1955. He was helped along financially by the insurance his father had taken out before he died in the traffic accident. From that policy Pierce received a check of $117 every month until his twenty-first birthday. In those years, that was enough to pay for his lodging and expenses.

Pierce told me that college students of his day were different from the way they are today. Back then, he said, college students were expected to act like adults. Now they are more childish and immature. There is a softness about today’s university students. Pierce pointed out to me that in the nineteenth century Harvard students mastered Latin and Greek so that they could write verse in those languages. You don’t find that level of study and discipline these days, he said. There has been a “degenerative change,” as he puts it, in both the students and the schools they attend.

While at Rice, Pierce became very interested in outer space. He studied the 1920s and ‘30s work of the German pioneer of rocket flight, Herman Oberth. Oberth solved many of the theoretical problems involved in using rocket propulsion for interplanetary travel. Oberth’s best-known book is Die Rakete zu den Planetenräumen (The Rocket into Interplanetary Space), which Pierce read in German. Pierce has corresponded with Oberth’s son in California and did some editing of a book Oberth wrote after World War II.

Pierce realized that an American space program was coming, and he wanted to be part of it. He thought that becoming an Air Force pilot would be a good background to have to get into the space program when it got started. He knew that you had to be a university graduate to become a pilot, so he thought he would finish his degree at Rice and then go into the Air Force. Perhaps there was some way he could get involved with the Air Force while he was still attending Rice. He went to the Air Force recruiting office to check into the possibilities. The news wasn’t good. He was told that he couldn’t become a pilot with his poor vision, and besides that he was too tall at 6’4”. So he dropped that idea. He did eventually pilot his own plane, but his dream of soaring into outer space was never to be realized.

Pierce regrets that he didn’t give more time to studying the humanities while he was at Rice. One day I was with him when he was trying to come up with a quote from literature—a line from a poem perhaps—to use in making a point in one of his weekly radio broadcasts. “Let’s see, there’s Sir Walter Scott,” he said both to himself and me. “‘Breathes there a man with soul so dead that he has no place he can call his native home’—or something like that. No, that isn’t really what I’m trying to evoke exactly. It’s close, but it isn’t really it. You know, when I had the chance to become educated”—now he was looking directly at me—“to become a cultured person, I blew it. When I was an undergraduate I took only the mandatory courses in English and history. It is not that I totally wasted my time, I’m not saying that. I mean, I had mathematics and physics courses to take. But I could have learned so much more if I had realized then the importance of these other things. If I had only paid more attention instead of going out with the boys and seeing how much beer I could drink. If I had only stayed home and read more.”

 

“When I was growing up,” Pierce told me, “I lived in a white America. When I went downtown to the big department stores and office buildings and so on, the faces were white. And that wasn’t just true in the places I grew up. It was the same thing in New York City or Los Angeles. For instance, in Los Angeles today, the infrastructure was been taken over by mestizos. The people who do the manual labor and much of the clerical work, and all of the waitresses and waiters and taxi drivers and bus drivers and garbage collectors and street repair crews—they are all Mexicans. How can you convey what it was like then to someone who was born in the mid-’60s and would be now in his mid-thirties. It would have been around 1975 before he would have noticed very much about what was happening around him, and by that time things had already begun to change greatly. I’ve even suggested to younger people that they go to the library and look at an issue of Life magazine from the ’40s. I tell them to look at the group scenes—on the streets, or at sports events, or at political rallies, and so on. You don’t see minorities.

“When I was at Rice as an undergraduate, there were a few Jews who stuck to themselves, but everybody else was white. There was a sense of fraternity among us. I’m not talking about the football, rah-rah, our-team-win sort of thing. I mean, if you were a Rice man, that was something special. It made a difference while you were in school and later on in life. That kind of feeling is virtually gone today, even in the best universities. Now it is every man for himself. Society—white society anyway—has been atomized. Not completely, but the trend is clear to someone like me who is old enough to have lived through the change.

“We have a substantially different type of society now compared to before, and people’s attitudes toward society, their connections to it, their relationship to it, have changed. I’ve tried in what I have been saying and writing these last few years to get that point across. I have tried to convey to people what you lose when you lose the racial basis—the blood basis—for a society. I’m trying to do that without looking like just some kind of a nostalgia freak. I realize you can’t go back to the past. But we certainly can study the past to see what was good and bad and then be guided by what we learn when we design the future—that is, to the extent we are willing and able to design it.”

 

After graduation from Rice, Pierce spent a few months working at the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory, in New Mexico, where he was a member of a team attempting to develop controlled nuclear fusion. He then continued on to graduate studies at the California Institute of Technology, in Pasadena. After a year at Caltech, Pierce accepted a position at the nearby Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where much of America’s interplanetary exploration program was developed, and worked in the area of rocket instrumentation. After fifteen months at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory he resumed his graduate studies at the University of Colorado, in Boulder, where he received first a master’s degree and then, in 1962, a doctorate in physics. All the way through his Colorado years he was awarded teaching and research assistantships, which covered his tuition and living expenses.

I asked Pierce to write out the topic of his doctoral study: “My doctoral research was on nuclear magnetic dipole and electric quadrupole interactions in a GaAs crystal. What that means is that I studied certain types of magnetic and electrical interactions between the nuclei of the various isotopes of gallium and arsenic in a gallium arsenide crystal with externally applied magnetic and electrical fields. With the extremely sensitive equipment I designed and built, I could ‘shock’ the atomic nuclei in a crystal into an ‘excited’ state and then watch them ‘decay’ to their ‘ground state’ by looking at the very weak radio-frequency signal the nuclei emitted while decaying. With this technique, one can learn many things about crystal structure and about the electrical and magnetic properties of the atomic nuclei in a crystal. Gallium arsenide is a material much used in modern semiconductor devices.”

 

In 1962, it was on to OregonStateUniversity to become an assistant professor of physics. Things must have gone well for Pierce at OSU, because he was promoted to associate professor and granted tenure in the space of only three years. In the university system’s professorial hierarchy, there is just one more step up from associate professor, and that is full professor. Tenure is permanent status as a faculty member. For all practical purposes, tenure means job security for life. Things were happening fast for Pierce, for it is typical for a new faculty member to take six years to achieve associate professor and tenured status. That is, if the individual achieves it at all; the initial years of an academic career are a probationary period during which a new faculty member’s capability and productivity are assessed by other faculty and administrators. Many people don’t ever make that step up to associate professor or become tenured faculty members. They are denied promotion and tenure and replaced by new people who embark on the same climb. Pierce had made it to the peak, so to speak, and he did it by the age of thirty-two. If he had chosen to do so, he could have remained a university professor—a highly sought-after position—and lived the comfortable life of a tenured senior faculty member for the rest of his life. Of course, he didn’t choose to do that.

 

While at Caltech, Pierce met an undergraduate student by the name of Patricia Jones and fell in love. He and Patricia were married in California in 1957 when Pierce was at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Patricia’s field was mathematics. She received a master’s degree in mathematics at OregonState after she and Pierce moved to Oregon when he joined the OSU faculty. When the Pierces moved to Connecticut in 1965, Patricia taught math to General Dynamics employees. Pierce had decided to leave the faculty at OregonState to take a job as a senior research scientist at Pratt & Whitney Advanced Materials Research and Development Laboratory in North Haven, Connecticut. He told me that the money was better at Pratt & Whitney and that he wanted to finance the writing he planned to do—at this point he had a book in mind—in the areas of culture and politics, which had come to take a central place in his life. He said he realized that the direction his thinking was taking him would in all likelihood rule out conventional publishing outlets and that he needed to get himself into a position to be able to finance the publication and distribution of his writings himself. For that he would need more money than he was making at OregonState. People with his science background could make two or three times more in private industry than what universities were paying at that time.

The Pierces spent a year in Connecticut and then moved to the Washington, D.C. area when Pierce left the field of science to take up the race-centered work that he has pursued ever since. Patricia joined the math faculty at MaryWashingtonUniversity in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Pierce’s marriage ended in divorce in 1982 after twenty-five years.

Pierce’s twin sons, Kelvin and Erik, his only children, were born in 1962. Kelvin is an aerospace engineer and building contractor. Kelvin’s wife is an architect. Erik earned a degree in music but then switched over to the field of computer science. He now heads a team of computer programmers. Kelvin is an avid hang-glider. Pierce has very little contact with his sons. He mentioned seeing Kelvin a couple of years ago when Kelvin came to visit in West Virginia. He never talked about his children when I was with him. Pierce wasn’t expansive when discussing that first family and obviously wants to keep this part of his life private, so I didn’t press him on it. I know that he has one grandchild and that Patricia has remarried, but that is all I know.

There have been four marriages for Pierce since his divorce from Patricia. Pierce is very self-conscious about his five marriages. When I asked him to tell me the dates of his marriages and to say a bit about each of the women he married, he looked distressed and said, “You aren’t going to go into all my marriages are you?” I said that the book I had in mind was primarily about his ideas and public life but that it was also about him and the interplay of the public and the personal, and that his marriages were a part of that. He was silent a second or two and then went down the list.

First, there was his marriage to Elizabeth Prostel in 1982, the same year of his divorce from Patricia. Pierce describes Elizabeth as a woman who worked in the National Alliance office he had set up in Arlington, Virginia just outside Washington. This marriage lasted for three years, breaking up when Pierce moved his operations to West Virginia. Pierce told me that Elizabeth balked at moving to “such a wild area, with no running water and so on.”

After his divorce from Elizabeth, Pierce started “playing the personals columns.” He said he put ads in Washington, D.C.-area publications and would travel the two hundred miles from West Virginia to meet the women he would contact in this way. One of the women he met in this fashion was newly-arrived to this country from Hungary. Her name was Olga Skerlecz. Olga lived in Connecticut, and Pierce drove there to meet her. Olga was a musician is related to Baron Ivan Skerlecz, a prominent Hungarian political figure in the early part of this century who at one point was Banus (governor) of Croatia.[27]There is information about Baron Skerlecz in Gabor Vermes, Istvan Tisza: The Liberal Vision and Conservative Statecraft of a Magyar Nationalist (New York: Columbia University Press, 1985). See pp. 103, 196, and 315. Pierce and Olga hit it off, and they were married in 1986. This marriage—number three—lasted until 1990. Olga left Pierce and West Virginia for “greener pastures in California.” Pierce says he doesn’t know where Olga is now.

Since Olga departed, there have been two more Eastern European wives. Pierce is attracted to Eastern European women. They are more feminine than American women, he says. They don’t see it as demeaning to assume what he calls the woman’s role in marriage, which is homemaker. They don’t look down at the idea of trying to please a man. He says he finds them warmer and less neurotic than the women he dated after the breakup of his first marriage. Pierce says American women by and large are too spoiled, too soft. They have inflated material expectations and they don’t take to frugality, and they can’t deal with sacrifice and hardship well enough.

Wife number four was, like Olga, Hungarian. Her first name was Zsuzsannah—Sue for short. Pierce says he can’t remember her last name. He and Sue were married in early 1991, less than a year after his marriage with Olga ended. Pierce wastes no time between marriages. A video of Sue and Pierce together from early 1996 shows her to be a stunningly attractive, slim, dark-haired woman in her early- to mid-thirties.

Pierce told me he met Sue through an ad he placed in a Hungarian women’s magazine. He was very impressed with both the number and the caliber of people who answered his ad. There were university professors and medical doctors and engineers, Pierce noted. And these were attractive women too, he said. Sue had been a teacher in a technical high school before she came to this country to be with Pierce.

Sue left for Florida in mid-1996 and has remarried. Pierce said that she finally got fed up with living in a broken-down mobile home and with the seventeen-year-old car he was driving. (It has since been replaced by a late-model white Chevrolet Blazer donated by a National Alliance member.)

And now there is Irena, who is also Eastern European, although not Hungarian like Olga and Sue. I assume Pierce met her in the same way he met Sue, through an ad in a European publication. Irena came to West Virginia in mid-1997, and a month later she and Pierce were married. Pierce told me that Irena had been married for seventeen years to an actor in her native country who primarily did stage work. Irena had worked as an art teacher for twenty-five years before she came to this country. Her unframed watercolors are tacked up around the Pierces’ mobile home, and she has painted designs on its windows. She mentioned to me that “Bill” (I was always taken by Irena’s reference to Pierce as “Bill”; it was the only times I have ever heard him referred to as anything but “Dr. Pierce”) doesn’t want her to teach art in this country or attempt to sell her pictures here. He wants her to concentrate on her domestic responsibilities.

Irena spends her days alone at the trailer with three of Pierce’s cats. They are relatives of Hadley, I guess; Pierce explained the lineage, but it got by me. I don’t think Pierce relates much if at all to the three cats—Hadley is the one for him. I had the sense that Irena is not enamored of the cats and grudgingly endures them. Irena says she would like a television set in the trailer to watch the shows and to help her with her English. Pierce said he doesn’t want to have a set there because Irena would just sit around all day watching it.

Pierce comes back for dinner at 5:30 every evening and then goes back to the office at 6:30 to watch the NBC news and work. The times I ate with the two of them, Irena prepared elaborate and hearty meals complete with desserts. She said people in her country take time with meals. They don’t throw things together as she imagines most Americans do. I was taken by the fact that a glass of sugary Coke accompanied every meal at the Pierces’. It seemed incongruous somehow. I never asked about it. I suppose Pierce wants it. As I think back on it, I can’t remember whether Irena drank the Coke or not. The dinner table in the Pierce’s low-ceilinged trailer has a lace tablecloth. Irena expressed concern that the cats had torn it.

Irena showed me pictures of her art students back in her native country, who looked to me to be between the ages of seven and twelve. She said that she misses them very much and that they have sent her letters, a gesture that meant so much to her. She also showed me photos of her family and spoke of how close she is to a grown niece, an aspiring actress who looked to me to be in her mid-twenties. Irena has no children of her own. She showed me a picture of where she lived before she came to this country. It was in the second floor of her parents’ home. She occupied half and her brother had the other half. From the outside, her former home looked to be a large-enough and well-kept-up place. It was quite nice, actually.

Irena played me some recorded traditional music from her country. I was taken by the fact that one of the songs was the melody of a hit song called “Hernando’s Hideaway” from a Broadway musical of years ago. Evidently the composers of the Broadway score had, shall we say, adopted the traditional melody of this Eastern European country and used it for their own purposes. I noted that fact to Irena, but with her limited English she had difficulty understanding me and Pierce, in English—I assume he doesn’t speak her native language—attempted to explain to her what I was trying to say. I’m not sure she ever quite got my point.

Irena had not been back to her home country since she had come to the United States to marry Pierce, a little over a year at the time I was there in the summer. I asked her whether she planned any visits to see her family, but, if I understood her reply accurately, her status in the United States—she didn’t as yet have a green card—did not permit it. Several times, I heard her express concern to Pierce about whether she was “legal” and would be able to stay in this country. While I was in West Virginia, Pierce drove her to the town of Elkins, about ninety miles away, to complete some paperwork around her status in this country. I had always assumed that if someone married an American citizen they automatically became a citizen, but that evidently isn’t the case.

Just about the only time Irena gets out is for trips to Hillsboro with Pierce in the Blazer to get the mail. He calls her on an intercom to let her know that it is time to leave and she walks down the mountain to meet him. She is very concerned about security and always takes her pistol along on the ride. As far as I know, Irena doesn’t drive. The only other times she was off the property that I knew about the month I was there was for the resident status paperwork and when Pierce drove her to Elkins for new glasses. Pierce told me that on Sundays Irena wants to go to the town of Lewisburg, about forty miles away, to shop and see a film, and that he sees it as an imposition on his work but that sometimes he takes the time to go. However, I didn’t notice them do that while I was there.

After my first dinner at the Pierces’, Irena said to me as I was leaving, “Thank you so much for coming. I am so lonely.” Pierce was standing close and heard that, and I assume it made him uncomfortable. He is a very formal and private man, and my impression is that it is important to him to maintain appearances.

As for the relationship between the two of them, Pierce is somewhat sharp and condescending to Irena at times and removed at other times. But then again there is affection between the two of them and playfulness. He’s sort of mock gruff, and she’s light and teasing, and they have fun. Pierce is very protective of Irena. From Pierce’s side I imagine that he feels cut off at times. Irena doesn’t strike me as a political person, and she really can’t respond or contribute to his ideas or projects. In fact Irena’s limited English makes it difficult as a practical matter to have an in-depth conversation with her about anything.

Pierce told me that he can’t live alone. He needs a woman’s warmth, sympathy, and softness, he told me. He said he will do combat in the world but he needs to come home to a woman. He told me how lonely he was in West Virginia before Olga came and then again when she left and before Sue came, and then again when Sue left.

 

There is one other very important being in Pierce’s life: Hadley the cat. Pierce dotes on Hadley. Pierce told me the story of getting Hadley seven years ago.

“Since the National Alliance started,” Pierce told me, “I’ve always had a bluepoint male Siamese. When I met Hadley he was six-and-a-half weeks old. I went to a Siamese kitten-breeding facility in Richmond [Virginia]. It is not a nice thing that the breeders are kept in cages and that they spend their lives there. That’s not a normal life for them at all. I told the woman who ran the facility that I wanted a bluepoint male. She went to the back room and came back with Hadley. Here, let me show you a picture.”

Pierce handed me a snapshot of a hand—I guess it was his—holding a tiny kitten. I looked at the picture for a moment and handed it back to him.

“Hadley and I hit it off right away. He climbed all over me, sniffed everything and checked me out and decided I was OK and went to sleep in my lap while I was talking to the woman. So I paid two hundred dollars for Hadley, and he went to sleep on my knee driving home from Richmond. Since then we’ve been together all the time. There’s this process of imprinting. To Hadley, I am his family. Cats are social animals, and Siamese in particular bond very strongly to people. And it works both ways. I appreciate Hadley. I like to watch him. To me, he’s a beautiful, graceful work of art. He’s a perfect piece of nature. Hadley appreciates me, not only because I feed him and take care of him, but because he needs the social contact I provide for him. And I think I need that contact too.

“Here are some more pictures. This is Hadley as a big boy. Hadley was neutered at the age of two because that’s the only way that one can live with a male cat unless you let him outdoors, and I didn’t want Hadley going out.”

4 • George Bernard Shaw, et al. • 8,600 Words

“As an undergraduate in college,” Pierce told me, “I had a nagging worry about whether I was doing the right thing with my life. Did I really want to be a physicist, the route I was taking at that time? The question I asked myself was, how does a person decide what is the most important thing for him to do with his life? Should he be a teacher? A warrior? A doctor? A poet? A painter? Obviously, becoming some of these things is beyond your control. There is no point in trying to be a painter if you can’t draw a straight line, or a poet if you can’t express yourself in that medium. But this question did keep recurring, along with some corollary questions like: What set of standards do you use for judging what the right course is? What is important for a person to accomplish in his life? I knew I wanted to do something that was important. I had an awareness of my mortality from a very early age, and so it seemed to me that I shouldn’t waste my life doing things that weren’t truly important. I didn’t want to be on my deathbed thinking, ‘I’ve blown it; I had one life to live and I didn’t do what I should have done.’

“While I didn’t yet have a clear frame of reference, by the time I got to Oregon State as a professor of physics [in 1962] I had it in my head that I wanted to answer these questions and to direct my life based on the answers I came to. I started to do more general reading—before I had not had the time, with all my science courses and activities—and gradually things started to take shape in my head about what was important in life. It was a process of crystallizing the teachings I was taking from what I was reading and refining them and learning how to express them more coherently and finding ways to exemplify them.

“One of the things that helped me find direction was a play that I first came upon at Caltech back in 1955 or so—Man and Superman. Act three of the play was the one that really struck me. It expressed the idea that a man shouldn’t hold himself back. He should completely use himself up in service to the Life Force. I bought a set of phonograph records that just had that act in it. As I remember, it had Charles Laughton, Charles Boyer, Agnes Morehead, and Cedric Hardwicke—it was well done. Don Juan’s expositions were what resonated with me. I listened to that set of records over and over and let it really sink in. The idea of an evolutionary universe hit me as being true, with an evolution toward higher and higher states of self-consciousness, and the philosopher’s brain being the most highly developed tool for the cosmos coming to know itself. I felt I understood what Shaw meant. Over time, I have elaborated upon this idea—I came to call it Cosmotheism—and discussed it in a series of talks I gave in the 1970s.”

 

I obtained a copy of Man and Superman, the play Pierce referred to, and read it.[28]George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman: A Comedy and a Philosophy (New York: Penguin, 1981, orig. pub. 1903). It was first performed in 1905 in London and has been a theater staple ever since. Coincidentally, a successful run of the play was about to end in Washington at the time I talked to Pierce about it, and I was able to drive over from West Virginia to catch a performance before the play closed.

Man and Superman was written by the renowned conversationalist, critic, satirist, pundit, and playwright George Bernard Shaw. Shaw was born in 1856 in Dublin and died in 1950. Man and Superman is a long play, about three-and-a-half hours. Often act three is performed as a separate piece and called Don Juan in Hell, and this is what Pierce listened to on the record.

After reading and seeing the play, it became clear what it was about this particular play that so captured Pierce’s imagination at that time in his life. The central question the play explores is the very one that Pierce himself was confronting: what is the most important thing to do with one’s life? And not only was the question relevant to Pierce’s life at that point, the answer Shaw gives to that question through this play had great appeal to Pierce, and that was to give your all to being a “force of nature.” In prefatory remarks to the published version of the play, Shaw wrote:

This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; the being a force of Nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy. And also the only real tragedy in life is being used by personally minded men for purposes you recognize to be base.[29]George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman: A Comedy and a Philosophy

(New York, Penguin, 1957, orig. pub. 1903), p.32.

The idea of being worn out in the service of a mighty purpose was exactly what this bright young graduate student in California had been looking for.

In act three of Man and Superman, its central characters have traveled from their homes in London to vacation in an untamed mountainous area of Spain. Among them is Jack Tanner (modeled after a young Shaw?), his potential love interest, Ann Whitefield, and Ann’s guardian Roebuck Ramsden. Immediately upon arriving in Spain, the party is pounced upon by a group of bandits whose chief is a man named Mendoza. Mendoza, it so happens, is a Jew. As Mendoza puts it, the role of the gang he leads is to “hold up motor cars and secure a more equitable distribution of wealth.” Mendoza informs Jack and the others that the band of brigands aims to extract a tidy ransom before allowing them to go on their way. Jack tells Mendoza that he is amenable to that idea, but it is mutually decided that since it is late in the evening the transmission of funds would best wait until the morning. So they all bed down for the night. They fall off to sleep, and Jack has a dream. Almost all of the rest of the act—or play when it is performed separately—is Jack’s dream.

The setting of Jack’s dream is Hell, and everybody in the dream is a character we have met before in the play but transformed into someone else. Jack is the fifteenth-century nobleman Don Juan. Ann becomes Doña Ana de Ulloa—Ana for short. Roebuck is a talking statue. And Mendoza is the Devil. This dream-state setting and cast of characters sets up what is essentially a debate between Don Juan and the Devil about what life ought to be about and which is a better place to be, Don Juan’s version of Heaven or the Devil’s version of Hell. When the antagonists talk about Heaven and Hell it is clear that they aren’t referring to places or states “up there” or “down there” in an afterlife. They are both using Heaven and Hell as metaphors for ways of being in this life.

Don Juan sets out his case early in the act: Hell is the situation here on earth right now. It is the way most people live, and he wants out. “In Heaven, as I picture it,” he declares, “you live and work instead of playing and pretending. You face things as they are; you escape nothing but glamour; and your steadfastness and your peril are your glory.”[30]Shaw, 1981, p.140.

What will Don Juan do once he gets to Heaven? He will think: “I hope to escape at last from the lies and from the tedious, vulgar pursuit of happiness, to spend my eons in contemplation.” And it is not just any kind of contemplation that will occupy Don Juan’s time in Heaven; it is contemplation of Life (with a capital L), or as it comes to be called as the act proceeds, the Life Force. Don Juan declares to Mendoza: “Even as you enjoy the contemplation of such romantic mirages as beauty and pleasure, so would I enjoy the contemplation of that which interests me above all things: namely, Life: the force that ever strives to attain greater power of contemplating itself.”[31]Ibid., p. 141.
(Shaw, 1981, p.140.)

And just what is this Life that is being referred to? As Don Juan speaks of it, Life is an entity unto itself, a separate being of sorts. According to Don Juan, Life, or the Life Force, this entity, this being, has monumentally important purposes: to become aware of itself and understand itself, and to realize itself, that is to say, become the finest version of what it truly is. He refers to Life’s “continual effort not only to maintain itself, but to achieve higher and higher organization and completer self-consciousness.”[32]Ibid., p. 148.
(Shaw, 1981, p.140.)
Don Juan refers to the full achievement of these ends as the attainment of “godhead.”[33]Ibid., p. 151.
(Shaw, 1981, p.140.)
As Don Juan sees it, in all likelihood godhead won’t come without a mighty struggle. Life faces extremely formidable enemies: “the forces of Death and Degeneration.”[34]Ibid., p. 148.
(Shaw, 1981, p.140.)

Life’s central impulse is to move toward the creation of a superior kind of human being, Don Juan asserts. That is what Life, at its core, is about. Here Don Juan is expressing an evolutionary, Darwinian idea, the concept of man evolving into something higher, more advanced than he is now. Life as Don Juan perceives it is the force that seeks to bring about “higher and higher individuals, the ideal individual being, omnipotent, omniscient, infallible, and withal completely, unilludedly self-conscious: in short, a god.”[35]Ibid., p. 149.
(Shaw, 1981, p.140.)
Don Juan brings race into it as he affirms the “great central purpose of breeding the race; ay, breeding it to heights now deemed superhuman; that purpose which is now hidden in a mephistic cloud of love and romance and prudery and fastidiousness, will break through into clear sunlight.”[36]Ibid., p. 160.
(Shaw, 1981, p.140.)

But if the Life Force is going to accomplish its great mission, prevail in its epic struggle, it is going to need some help, says Don Juan. Namely, it needs brains to give it direction. “It needs a brain, this irresistible force, lest in its ignorance it should resist itself.”[37]Ibid., p. 140.
(Shaw, 1981, p.140.)
And later on in the act he states: “To Life, the force behind the Man, intellect is a necessity, because without it he [the Life Force? man? both?] blunders into death.”[38]Ibid., p. 151.
(Shaw, 1981, p.140.)

And where is the Life Force going to get the brains it needs? From contemplative, philosophical people like Don Juan. That is why he is leaving Hell and going to Heaven in the first place, to establish better contact with the Life Force and figure out exactly what it needs in order to become self-conscious and self-realized. And more than just provide the needed philosopher’s brain, Don Juan also aims to provide the Life Force with some brawn to help it stay on course and move forward. Don Juan intends to take action to help the Life Force along in its journey.

Thus Don Juan lauds a certain kind of philosopher, one who “seeks in contemplation to discover the inner will of the world, in invention to discover the means of fulfilling that will, and in action to do that will by the so-discovered means.”[39]Ibid.
(Shaw, 1981, p.140.)
He holds up the ideal of an individual who can see beyond the physical world to the true purpose of Life so that he can work for that purpose rather than “thwarting it and baffling it by setting up shortsighted personal aims as at present.”[40]Ibid.
(Shaw, 1981, p.140.)

And what is going to keep us from pursuing this ideal? According to Don Juan it is our own lack of courageand preoccupation with respectability. “Man gives every reason for his conduct save one, and that is his cowardice,” he asserts. “All civilization is founded on his cowardice, on his abject tameness, which he calls his respectability.”[41]Ibid., p. 145.
(Shaw, 1981, p.140.)
There is a way to overcome these personal limitations, however, and that is to find an ideaworth giving one’s life to: “Men never really overcome fear until they imagine they are fighting to further a universal purpose—fighting for an idea,” Don Juan declares. That is why the idea of serving the Life Force is such a powerful one in his eyes. It enables people to live the life they would lead if they weren’t so afraid and caught up in what others might think of them.

The Devil responds to Don Juan’s assertions by declaring that Nature (his term for the Life Force) in fact has no purpose. You’re wrong, counters Don Juan, and the philosopher’s brain is Nature’s pilot helping it get to its destination.[42]Ibid., p. 169.
(Shaw, 1981, p.140.)
“It is the success with which you have directed the attention of men from their real purpose,” Don Juan accuses the Devil, “which is in one degree or another the same as mine, to yours, that has earned you the name of The Tempter. It is the fact that they are doing your will, or rather drifting with your want of a will, instead of doing their own, that makes them the uncomfortable, false, restless, artificial, petulant, and wretched creatures they are.”[43]Ibid., p. 165.
(Shaw, 1981, p.140.)

In place of that negative circumstance, Don Juan is offering what he says is a positive alternative: an individual with a purpose in life that goes beyond his own individual needs and wants. Don Juan is holding up the image of someone who devotes his life to serving the Life Force. This is a person who supports the Life Force in knowing itself and reaching its destination. Don Juan is saying this is how one should live.

Don Juan’s ideal existence sounds a bit staid and drab to Ana, who has been listening to the exchange between the two men. She asks, “Is there nothing in heaven but contemplation, Juan?” To which Don Juan replies: “In Heaven I seek no other joy! There is the work of helping Life in its struggle upward. Think of how it wastes and scatters itself, how it raises up obstacles to itself and destroys itself in its ignorance and blindness. As long as I can conceive of something better than myself I cannot be easy until I am striving to bring it into existence or clearing the way for it. That is the law of my life. That is the working within me of Life’s incessant aspiration to higher organization, wider, deeper, intenser self-consciousness, and clearer self-understanding. It was the supremacy of this purpose that reduced love for me to the mere pleasure of a moment, art for me to the mere schooling of my faculties, religion for me to the mere excuse for laziness, since it had set up a god who looked at the world and said it was good, against the instinct in me that looked through my eyes at the world and saw it could be improved. I tell you that in pursuit of my own pleasure, my own health, my own fortune, I have never known happiness. It was not love for Woman that delivered me into her hands; it was fatigue, exhaustion.”[44]Ibid.
(Shaw, 1981, p.140.)

This last sentence in Don Juan’s speech reveals a hint of the notion that women tend to get in the way of what a man has to do in life. It is an example of the coolness toward women that shows up several places in this act of Shaw’s play. Other examples: At one point Don Juan says, “I turned my back on the romantic man with the artist nature….I told him that his beauty worshipping and happiness hunting and woman idealizing was not worth a dump as a philosophy of life.”[45]Ibid., p. 154.
(Shaw, 1981, p.140.)
Another example, Don Juan talks about how romantic men had led him “into the worship of Woman.”[46]Ibid., p. 152.
(Shaw, 1981, p.140.)
In another context he goes on about how we, presumably referring to men, are “deluded and mind bended towards honorable love as the highest good, and to understand by honorable love romance and beauty and happiness in the possessions of beautiful, refined, delicate, affectionate women.”[47]Ibid., p. 154.
(Shaw, 1981, p.140.)
At one point Ana says to Don Juan, “I’m going with you.” To which Don Juan replies, “I can find my own way to Heaven, Ana; not yours.”[48]Ibid., p. 171.
(Shaw, 1981, p.140.)

“I prefer to be my own master, and not the tool of any blundering universal force,” the Devil informs Don Juan. “I know that beauty is good to look at; that music is good to hear; that love is good to feel; and that they are all good to think about and talk about….As for your Life force, in the end [serving it will lead you to] despair and decrepitude, broken nerve and shattered hopes, vain regrets for the worst and silliest of wastes and sacrifices, the waste and sacrifice of the power of enjoyment: in a word, the punishment of the fool who pursues the better before he has secured the good.”[49]Ibid., p. 170.
(Shaw, 1981, p.140.)

“But at least I won’t be bored,” Don Juan replies. “So fare you well, Señor Satan.”[50]Ibid.
(Shaw, 1981, p.140.)

Don Juan then asks the Statue to direct him to Heaven. The Statue replies that the frontier between Heaven and Hell is only the difference between two ways of looking at things. “Any road will take you across if you really want to get there.”[51]Ibid., p. 171.
(Shaw, 1981, p.140.)

And off goes Don Juan.

As he fades from view, the Devil warns Ana, “Beware of the pursuit of the Superhuman: it leads to an indiscriminate contempt for the Human.”[52]Ibid., p. 173.
(Shaw, 1981, p.140.)

“Tell me,” Ana asks the Devil, “where can I find the Superman?”

“He is not yet created,” the Devil answers.

“Not yet created!” Ana cries. “Then my work is not yet done. I believe in the Life to Come. A father! a father for the Superman!”[53]Ibid.
(Shaw, 1981, p.140.)

Ana looks at where Don Juan had been standing, but by then he was gone.

 

It is remarkable how this play by Shaw that Pierce first read over forty years ago has so many of the elements that have become parts of Pierce’s own life. Among them: The disdain for the shallowness and misguidedness of contemporary life. The idea of seeking a grand purpose to direct one’s life. The value in facing reality head-on rather than living a life of “playing and pretending.” The vital importance of the intellect and of acquiring a comprehensive perspective on things. The idea of serving the Life Force as the organizing principle and purpose of one’s life. The focus on improving the race. The view of life as a struggle against powerful opposing forces. The anti-Jewish theme (again, in the Shaw play the Devil is a Jew). The importance of courage and the willingness to transcend one’s desire for respectability. The virtue in steadfastness, of holding firm and staying the course. The perception of a contradiction between love, family, and women on the one hand and men achieving their purpose in life on the other. It is too simple to say that there is a direct and exclusive causal line between this play and what Pierce has done with his life. Indeed, many factors account for what he has become. But Pierce does single out listening to the Shaw play as a major turning point in his life, and after looking into the play, I believe him.

 

“The Shaw idea,” Pierce told me, “and the elaborations I had made on it had answered this fundamental question of what was the most important thing that one can do with one’s life, the proper purpose in life. In a general sense, anyway, I’d answered it. And that is to serve the Life Force: do whatever you can to make a more conscious, beautiful, highly evolved universe. But that still left the specific question of how does somebody go about doing that? Of course, that question has different answers for different people. You can go about it in different ways. You could be a physicist and learn more about how the universe works. That’s one way, and that is the course I had been on.

“When I was in graduate school I decided I wanted an academic career in physics even though the salaries in industry at that time were about twice what they were in the university. But buying a lot of goodies didn’t appeal to me as much as having the freedom to set my own schedule and work at my own pace and do what I wanted to do and not some project somebody gave me. Back then [it is still true], in universities of the first and second rank, physics faculty had responsibility for three classes, nine hours a week. That would give me time to study and think. Plus the university environment appealed to me, the ivy covered buildings and all. So I wanted to be an academic physicist, and that stayed true my first two years at OregonStateUniversity.”

“But you didn’t stay in physics. Why not?”

“Up to that point in my life I never gave any time to thinking about race or political concerns. I had been just into physics and, until I was married, chasing girls, and my hobbies. I had bought an airplane and went scuba diving and sailing. But this was during the 1960s, remember, and I became increasingly aware of what I saw as very serious social problems. There was the civil rights revolution and the protests against the war in Vietnam. All this hell raising. Society was beginning to unravel, and so I had to think about how that fit in with the fundamental issue I was confronting.

“I think it was just a matter of timing. If I had gone to OregonState in 1955 when things were much more normal and stable rather than in 1962 when I did, I probably would have stayed and become a full professor. If I had come earlier I would have had graduate students working for me and I would have had more connections on campus and been older and less adventurous. Maybe I would have deplored what was going on and would have talked it over with other people, but I would probably have stayed on the faculty.

“There were two major social developments that were beginning to be very noticeable in this country and to me as the ‘60s wore on. One of them was the campaign against the war in Vietnam, and the other was the civil rights revolution. What really got my attention about the anti-war activity was the particular way in which it was being carried out. People were actually demonstrating in favor of the communists. They were very open about their sympathy for the Viet Cong. I couldn’t help but contrast that kind of thing with the situation in the Second World War. If anybody had begun waving swastika flags and shouting ‘Ho, ho, Hitler’s going to win!’ or something like that, a ton of bricks would have fallen on them. Ways would have been found to lock them up, you can be sure of that. Dissent was a big no-no back then.

“I thought about why during the Second World War, in contrast to what was going on in the ‘60s, the government and media were so much more resolute about having everybody in sync, marching in lockstep. I’m old enough to remember all the little things that were done during World War II to get people in a war frame of mind. For example, they had all sorts of drives and collections for things, as if we had great shortages of these materials, and that made a big difference. They’d collect aluminum pots and pans and say they were going to make bombers out of them. I’m not sure they actually did that, but that wasn’t what it was all about anyway. It was to get the civilians involved and stifle dissent.

“I was a kid, eight or nine years old, during the war, and I used to take my wagon and go from house to house and collect kitchen grease. I’d tell people I was collecting it for the war effort. I suppose they did convert the grease into high explosives, but again, these drives were to get people involved and in the mood for the war. The government didn’t want to give people the chance to think any other way. By the way, what I’d actually do with the stuff I collected was sell it at the grocery store for eight or ten cents a pound. I made good money doing that.

“Another example of what I’m talking about is they had people in Norfolk [Virginia], where I lived, digging air raid shelters. There was a big naval base there, so it was a strategic center. But really, there was no chance there was going to be an air raid in Norfolk. Where was it going to be launched from? The enemy had no bases anywhere close enough to get that done. But they had people digging shelters and acting as air raid wardens. They even had people paint the top half of their car headlights black so the lights wouldn’t shine so much. Just busywork to get people in the right mood and keep them from dissenting regardless of what their private thoughts were.

“But in the Vietnam war, where we were fighting against little yellow people instead of our own kindred as we were in World War II against the Germans, we had none of this boost-the-war sort of activity. And we had people demonstrating on behalf of the enemy, waving Viet Cong flags and burning American flags. It took me a while to start putting the pieces together and see, for example, how prominent Jews were in these anti-war activities, and how they were using the war as a tool for social change, social upheaval. Fairly quickly I saw that something serious was going on, and it got me thinking and reading about other wars we had fought and what our motivation was then and the significance of what was going on now, why this big sympathy for communism and so on.

“As for the civil rights revolution, of course there had been people working on that for a long time, but in the ‘60s it really made the headlines and got on television with the kind of theater and speechifying that was going on, the sit-ins at lunch counters and marches and all. There were a lot of things happening on the campus in connection with this, and it caused me to stop and think. As I said before, if things had been more or less normal during these years and the problems had been the usual social vices like alcoholism, smoking, and so on, I probably would have thought and talked about it some, but I wouldn’t have seen any need to get involved in a crusade or change my life over it. But I saw the anti-war and civil rights movements as being fundamentally more important than these other things, and that they were taking us somewhere. The events themselves may have been transitory, but they were part of an accelerating change in our society. I was interested in where we were headed and whether we really wanted to go there, and whether I wanted society to go there.

“Other faculty on my campus were getting involved in these issues, but at that point I hadn’t taken sides. I was still mainly interested in physics, playing with my electronic toys, and teaching my courses. I was just trying to figure out what it all meant. But as I got a clearer picture of what it did all mean, I found it more and more disturbing. I came to see the anti-war movement and the failure of the government to fully support the military effort in Vietnam as literally killing our people. Young Americans were dying in Southeast Asia at a substantial rate. War is a serious matter, and if it is going to be the government’s policy they ought to go at it full bore and make sure the mission is accomplished as soon as possible so as to minimize casualties. The crap that was going on during those years, the pro-Viet Cong demonstrations and so on—and it was mostly Jews who were organizing these things—ought not to be tolerated.

“It was clear to me that the government wasn’t going at this war in Vietnam full bore. The people in Washington setting the war policy were more concerned about what the Washington Post was going to say about it than whether it was good military strategy. And, really, that was understandable, because back in World War II the government didn’t have to worry about public opinion because all the major propaganda instruments—the motion picture industry, the big newspapers, and so on, controlled by Jews it so happened—liked that war a lot and were one hundred percent cooperative. Things were different now because the big media outlets weren’t enamored of the Vietnam war, and the government had to take that into account so as not to run up against them.

“And I could see where the civil rights movement was headed. They were aiming at the complete social integration of blacks into white society. There had been the Brown versus the Topeka Board of Education decision by the Supreme Court in 1954 integrating the schools, and Eisenhower had sent the troops to Little Rock in ’58 to enforce integration at CentralHigh School there. I was a graduate student then and didn’t pay all that much attention to what was going on, but now at OregonState I did. This was going to result in black culture having a much bigger effect on white culture than it had had, and it was going to lead to greater numbers of interracial marriages and racially mixed children. I saw that coming.

“We already had jazz. I know a lot of whites are fanatics about it, but personally I never could see what the hell the attraction was. But it wouldn’t just be the defensible things like jazz that we were going to get. We were also going to get black attitudes toward work and sex and education and authority and personal restraint, and we were going to get the rest of their music, and all that was going to degrade white culture, not enrich it. That was coming along if the civil rights revolution had its way.

“And at about this time I took my first hard look at interracial marriage,” Pierce said. Pierce then told me about another physics professor with whom he socialized. This professor had married a “mulatto woman,” as Pierce described her, and they had had several children. Pierce said their situation raised questions for him and evoked what he called an instinctive response. Why did his friend choose to marry this woman? Pierce asked himself. How could he feel a kinship with her? Pierce was repelled by the “awful looking” appearance of the children, whom he described as “flat-faced and dusky-colored.” Pierce said he knew this father loved these children, but he just couldn’t understand how his colleague could identify with them. This must have been a very powerful formative experience for Pierce because he brought it up several times during my talks with him. I think his reaction to this interracial couple and their children, whom he knew quite well, and the jumble of thoughts and feelings it evoked in him was a major turning point in his life. He respected his fellow scientist, was friends with him, saw the love in this family, and at the same time found himself churning over it and thinking that something was off about it, unnatural. It prompted him to raise questions the answers to which would shape the course of his life.

“I knew enough about history,” Pierce continued, “to realize that you really have to keep your finger in the dike or it is going to get out of control. The average white guy who only thinks about what is going to happen thirty minutes from now doesn’t see that. He sees blacks demonstrating for civil rights and he doesn’t look at it as any real threat to him—and besides, he probably buys into the idea being sold him that what is going on is all about freedom and social justice and not about culture and racial survival. He doesn’t worry about what this is going to mean for his children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren. But if he were to look at this from an historical and racial perspective, he’d see that if he allows this to happen, in a few generations up the road it is going to mean the end of white America. We are going to end up another Brazil [a mixed-raced nation].

“I realize that I have a turn of mind that leads me to exaggerate and oversimplify things for the sake of better understanding, and I know there are dangers in that. But I think that tendency in me helps me get to the essence of things. I do believe it helped me get at the core of what was going on with these two social movements—civil rights and anti-Vietnam war—when for the first time in my life I had the opportunity and the desire to pay close attention to what was going on around me. What came out of it for me was the realization that I had to do something about the conclusions I was coming to. And that posed some real challenges to me. I liked physics and didn’t want to give it up. Being in a university is a relatively easy life. There’s status and long vacations, and the money is pretty good, actually. I had a young family to support—two sons—and my wife wasn’t working and she was completely dependent on me. But I couldn’t stay quiet about this.”

 

“All through this time I was doing a lot of reading,” Pierce told me, “and that helped me form my interpretation of the world around me. I thought that only after I interpreted the world around me could I answer the question of specifically what I should do with my life. I have always been an eclectic reader, so I would wander through the shelves of a library and spot a book that struck my fancy and take it home and read it.”

Among the books Pierce read, he told me, were those by the German philosopher of history, Oswald Spengler, including Decline of the West, Hour of Decision, and Men and Technics.[54]27. Oswald Spengler, Hour of Decision (New York: A. A. Knopf, 1934). Oswald Spengler, Men and Technics (London: European Books Society, 1992). Pierce said he also had read some of Spengler’s aphorisms. Spengler was born in 1880 and died in 1936. He is best known for Decline of the West, published in two volumes in 1918 and 1922.[55]Oswald Spengler, Decline of the West (New York: A. A. Knopf, 1926). Decline of the West contains a pessimistic thesis, that Western civilization is in a period of decline and that its rejuvenation is impossible. Pierce came away from reading Spengler with the idea that Western civilization is under threat and that its continuance is problematic, that there are no guarantees that our way of life will persist and that we had better be vigilant to what is happening to it.

“I also read Brooks Adams at OregonState,” Pierce told me. “He wasn’t as much of an influence in an ethical and epistemological sense as Shaw was, but in terms of understanding history and different types of people, I thought he had a lot of insight.”

Brooks Adams was a late-nineteenth century economist and historian. He was a member of the distinguished Adams family: his great-grandfather was John Adams, one of the Founders and the second President; his grandfather was the sixth President, John Quincy Adams; and his brother was the famed Harvard historian, Henry Adams. The Brooks Adams book that influenced Pierce was his 1903 tome, The Law of Civilization and Decay.[56]Brooks Adams, The Law of Civilization and Decay: An Essay on History (New York: Macmillan, 1903). In particular, there was one point from the book that struck home with Pierce: the distinction Adams draws between two basic types of individuals. Adams referred to one type as spiritual men and to the other as economic men.

Adams describes spiritual men as adventurous and idealistic. They are men of vision and daring. They have a strong connection to their roots, to their heritage. Spiritual men are builders of civilization, says Adams. As examples of spiritual men, he lists farmers, warriors, and poets. Adams sees the English yeomanry—farmer/warriors in olden days—as epitomizing spiritual men. Adams says that economic men come to the fore after a civilization is built. While the spirit of adventure and the current of idealism run strong in spiritual men, economic men are materialists. They are typified by the merchant and the bureaucrat. Pierce draws on Adams’s categorizations to characterize economic men as the ones who know how to calculate the odds and evaluate an opportunity. They have cut themselves loose from their spiritual roots and become cosmopolitans to the extent that that offers them a personal and economic advantage. Pierce cites contemporary lawyers, businessmen, and politicians as examples of economic men. Since those early days at Oregon State Pierce has been concerned by what he sees as the loss among European men of their spiritual and esthetic sense, their warrior spirit, and their feeling for what is divine.

As he did with reference to Adams’ concept economic men, Pierce often uses the word “cosmopolitan” and “cosmopolitanism” to describe what has become of European Americans, and obviously he doesn’t like it. In one of our talks I asked him to define the term cosmopolitan. “Basically, cosmopolitan, at least as I use it,” he replied, “is a synonym for multicultural. I date the word cosmopolitan back to the 1930s when the magazine by that name was launched—or at least I think it was in the ’30s. Anyway, in that context cosmopolitan was used to refer to someone who was urbane, sophisticated, familiar with many things, not narrow and parochial at all. In that day it didn’t have the connotation I and others bring to it now, which is someone who is deracinated—devoid of race—and rootless. When I use it I think of whites in someplace like New York City or Washington, D.C..”

“So when you talk about cosmopolitan, you’re not so much getting at the idea of someone who is ‘with it,’ which is the way I think of it.”

“No, for me cosmopolitan has a different meaning from that. To me, it means no longer really white, no longer really Western. It is a blended sort of person, I guess that is how to put it.”

 

“Also around this time,” Pierce told me, “I read Thus Spoke Zarathustra by Friedrich Nietzsche, and that had a big impact on me.”[57]I am not certain what version of the book Pierce read from. The pages cited are from my copy: Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Book for Everyone and No One (New York: Penguin, 1961, originally published in 1892). Nietzsche—born in 1844, died in 1900—was a German philosopher and classical scholar. He was a professor of classics at the University of Basel in Switzerland from 1868 to 1878, when he retired due to poor health. Nietzsche devoted himself to writing from that point until 1889 when he suffered a mental breakdown from which he never recovered. He wrote a number of books, among them, The Birth of Tragedy, Beyond Good and Evil, and The Genealogy of Morals. The book Pierce read, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, was written from 1883 to 1885 and published in four parts, the last being in 1892. It alternates between poetry, parodies, epigrams, and pronouncements by the prophet Zarathustra to his admirers. Thus Spoke Zarathustra is widely considered to be Nietzsche’s greatest work. Nietzsche is ranked among the most influential and widely studied and debated philosophers in the history of that field. He has had a great influence on many philosophers, artists, psychologists, and social analysts, and remains widely discussed to this day.

Three ideas that Nietzsche formulated bear mention in this context: the will to power; the concept of the overman, or superman; and the contrast between what Nietzsche called a “slave morality” and a “master morality.”

By will to power Nietzsche meant the urge to dominate or master. He saw this urge as being a primary force in all life, including in man. The will to power, according to Nietzsche, explains the human tendency to press forward—often in the face of great strain, tension, and pain, and even the prospect of death—to accomplish tasks that allow one to feel powerful, capable, and strong. Some have misinterpreted Nietzsche as equating the will to power with domination and mastery over other people. Much more, Nietzsche was talking about power over one’s self. He wasn’t really interested in political or economic power. What he most cared about was self-mastery and self-overcoming—becoming better than one is now.

Nietzsche saw the will to power as the force that gives a unique value to human life. He thought that mankind could use this force consciously to become the embodiment of the vision of a higher form of man that he articulated. He imagined human beings mastering their own energies and channeling them so as to serve the process of transforming themselves into beings of boundless passion, fierce joy, and creative might. These creatures would be the overmen, or supermen. They would embody our glorious destiny.

There is one major obstacle in the way of achieving the superman that Nietzsche perceived, and it takes the form of a set of moral values—that is to say, concepts of right and wrong. Nietzsche called that set of moral values that stood in the way of the development of the superman the “slave morality.” He contended that the slave morality is the product of the fear and resentment of the strong and accomplished among the weak and less able. He accused the Christian church of articulating and legitimizing the resentment of the common people against the masterful people in order to gain power for itself. The church encourages lesser people to define their own weakness as good and the aggressive strength and mastery of their betters as bad, said Nietzsche. According to the slave morality, pride and ferocity are bad and meekness and humility are good, and tough-mindedness is bad and sentimentality is good. The slave morality condemns self-assertion as arrogance, perverts the body and sexuality with shame, and undercuts earthly life by extolling an illusionary afterlife. Nietzsche saw the slave morality as essentially a denial of life.

Nietzsche called for a master morality which will affirm life pursued with zeal, promote self-transcendence, and eliminate a preoccupation with guilt. Nietzsche implored man to remain faithful to this earth. Instead of constructing an ideal above the clouds that only underscores human inferiority, he wanted us to conceive of a higher type of humanity and exert ourselves to realize it. In order to embark on this adventure, he contended, we have to expunge the morality that keeps us enslaved. The superman and the means of creating this being must become the standard of value, said Nietzsche.

“What was it about Nietzsche that hit home with you?” I asked Pierce.

“In the prologue of Zarathustra there are some lines that stuck in my mind. Let me see if I can find them.” Pierce reached behind him, immediately found his paperback copy of Thus Spoke Zarathustra, flipped pages for about three seconds, and began reading passages: “‘Behold, I teach you the Superman. The Superman is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: The Superman shall be the meaning of the earth!’[58]Ibid., p. 42.
(I am not certain what version of the book Pierce read from. The pages cited are from my copy: Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Book for Everyone and No One (New York: Penguin, 1961, originally published in 1892).)
…’Man is a rope, fastened between animal and Superman—a rope over an abyss. A dangerous going-across, a dangerous wayfaring, a dangerous looking-back, a dangerous shuddering and staying-still. What is great in man is that he is a bridge and not a goal; what can be loved in man is that he is a going-across.’[59]Ibid., pp. 43-44.
(I am not certain what version of the book Pierce read from. The pages cited are from my copy: Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Book for Everyone and No One (New York: Penguin, 1961, originally published in 1892).)
…’I love all those who are like heavy drops falling singly from the dark cloud that hangs over mankind: they prophesy the coming of the lightning and as prophets they perish. Behold, I am a prophet of the lightning and a heavy drop from the cloud: but this lightning is called Superman.'”[60]Ibid., p. 45.
(I am not certain what version of the book Pierce read from. The pages cited are from my copy: Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Book for Everyone and No One (New York: Penguin, 1961, originally published in 1892).)

“The Superman—what does that concept mean to you?” I asked Pierce.

“Nietzsche spent a lot of time in his writings, and especially in Zarathustra, lamenting human frailties and foolishness and looking forward to the time when we will overcome these things. To Nietzsche, the Superman embodies the ideal outcome of this process of overcoming. The Superman represents what man can become at his best. The Superman does not exist as yet. He is not yet born. But he will be born out of mankind. He isn’t some kind of separate or transcendent being. So it comes down to an evolutionary job, a breeding job, which is to be completed over, probably, a great period of time. The task of those alive now is to prepare the earth for the Superman, pave the way, serve this process. Do you see what I am saying?”

“I think so. I have read a fair amount of Nietzsche’s writings. Do you have a picture of the Superman in your mind?”

“To some extent. I think we can get some hints or partial ideas of what the Superman is like by looking at the range of qualities we see in ourselves and other people today and in people in the past, and then putting those qualities on a scale of low to high based on Nietzschean values, and then extrapolating to the very highest ideal. I think that gets us heading in the right direction.”

“What kinds of qualities are at the top of the scale as you see it?”

“Wisdom is one—wisdom grounded in objectivity, the ability to see the world as it really is. And there’s courage, not being fearful or cowardly. Self-mastery is one—in fact, this is probably the most valuable trait a person can have. And willpower, the ability to use fully all of the talents and strengths that you have and not succumbing to weaknesses, and being able to stick to a task once you’ve made the decision to do something, putting everything else aside and focusing your ability and energy on accomplishing that task. Those are some that I put at the top of the list.

“I have a cartoon somewhere I clipped out of a New Yorker magazine that every writer ought to have hanging on the wall. It is a guy sitting at his typewriter trying to write, and there is this little demon on his shoulder, and the demon is saying, ‘Hey, let’s go down to O’Malley’s and have a brew!’ The guy is obviously tormented because that is exactly what he wants to do, but at the same time he is trying to force himself to stay at his typewriter and write.

“A great weakness of mine I have tried to overcome is procrastination—goofing off and doing easy things rather than addressing the really hard things. Willpower, the ability to use oneself fully, is so important. And I think it is a quality that can be maximized with proper childraising and educational approaches. We can greatly improve in this area over what ends up being the case with people today. That is why I think permissiveness is such a destructive way of raising kids. The only way a child learns self-control that he can exercise as an adult is if external discipline is applied to him when he is young. It is only when a child is given a task to do and he knows that he must do it or there will be hell to pay can he develop the strengths that will support him in overcoming hardship and adversity and getting really big jobs done in later life.

“The philosophy today so often is that children shouldn’t be pushed to do things they don’t want to do, and that they should never have to experience failure or the consequences of failure, and that there should always be a way out. I think it is disastrous to teach kids that there are no real consequences, that nothing bad is really going to happen to you if you goof off when you have been told to do something. It just trains people to behave that way.

“My parents were probably a little better than average in their attitudes toward childraising. I look and I see some areas where I am strong because of how they brought me up, but I can also see some of my weaknesses, and I think of how much better it would be for me today, how much more I would be able to accomplish, if I had had a much more rigorous upbringing than I had. And this of course was a long time ago, fifty-sixty years. Things have gotten worse since then with the influence of television and the permissive Dr. Spock philosophy and what’s going on in schools and everything else. [Dr. Benjamin Spock was a pediatrician whose views on childraising were especially influential in the 1950s and ‘60s.]

“But going on with Nietzsche, what I see in him is a striving for a higher type of humanity. To me, that means a more beautiful, more noble human being and human existence. You see that throughout Nietzsche, and to me that is the core of his teaching.”

 

“And there was this Tennyson poem I really liked in those years,” said Pierce. “Tennyson was the poet laureate of England. The poem is called ‘Ulysses.’[61]Alfred Lord Tennyson, “Ulysses,” in G. B. Harrison, collector, A Book of English Poetry: Chaucer to Rossetti ( Middlesex, England: Penguin, 1937), p. 361. Let me see if I can find it.”

Pierce stood up, turned around and briefly scanned his bookcase and extracted a small book. He turned back toward me and, still standing and without any introduction, began reading from the beginning—”It little profits an idle king…”—and read all the way to the end of the seventy-line poem. An aged Ulysses declares that he will press on with a heroic, adventurous quest to the end of his life: “I cannot rest from travel; I will drink Life to the lees.” “How dull it is to pause, to make an end, to rust unburnished, not to shine in use.” The poem ends with a call to others to join him:

Come, my friends,
‘Tis not too late to seek a newer world.
Push off, and sitting well in order smite
The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die.

 

It may be that the gulfs will wash us down;
It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,
And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.
Though much is taken, much abides; and though
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are:
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

When Pierce finished reciting the Tennyson poem, he carefully returned the book to its place on the bookshelf and sat down again, and we looked at each other silently for a time.

5 • Adolf Hitler • 8,200 Words

A number of the books Pierce read during his OregonState years were about a man whose life and ideas were to give him both inspiration and direction: Adolf Hitler. How Pierce could have found anything at all to like in the most universally despised figure of our time, and probably of all time, begs explanation. This chapter will attempt to explain how it happened.

 

“One of the books I came across when I was at OregonStateUniversity was called Hitler: A Study of Tyranny by Alan Bullock,” Pierce told me.[62]Alan Bullock, Hitler: A Study of Tyranny (London: Odhams Press, 1959). “Bullock was one of those court historian types. He’d write the kind of interpretations of history that would get him patted on the head and promoted and so on. So this was a hostile biography of Hitler. But nevertheless, what Hitler had done in a very few years and how remarkable it was came through to me. In 1918 Hitler was in a military hospital blinded from a British poison gas attack. He was just a corporal, he had no family, a limited education, no friends, no connections, no political status, nothing. He decides that he will lead Germany in redressing the grievous wrongs that had been done to it after the First World War and straightening out some of the mistakes that were being made in German society. Fifteen years later he is Chancellor of Germany and he did what he said he was going to do. A wounded war veteran with nobody to help him, and he pulled it up just through his own willpower. That is an amazing story.

“I’m sure that Bullock would have been surprised to hear the effect his book was having. It certainly had a major influence on me. Not that I could manage to do anything of the magnitude of what Hitler did, but what a person can accomplish if he has a purpose and gives everything of himself to accomplishing it, that was what came through to me. I’m sure that if Hitler weren’t so antithetically opposed to the Jewish spirit which governs the world today he would not be so demonized as he is. If he were not such a deadly threat, they wouldn’t bother.

“Another book that made a big impression on me was a little book called The Young Hitler I Knew by August Kubizek.[63]August Kubizek, The Young Hitler I Knew (New York: Tower Publications, 1954). Kubizek was a close friend of Hitler’s when they were both teenagers. They went to school together in Linz, Austria. Kubizek was a mild, mousey sort of guy. He and Hitler went to the opera all the time. They would get special student admission, which didn’t entitle them to a seat but rather to a standing position in front of the columns that supported the balcony. On a very cold night in 1906, I think it was—Hitler would have been seventeen years old—the two of them went to see a performance of Rienzi by Wagner. [The opera is about a Roman tribune, Cola Rienzi, who is portrayed as a patriotic hero who wrests power from a corrupt oligarchy.] Apparently the experience had a profound impact on Hitler. Kubizek describes in his book how after the performance Hitler seemed very intense. It was late at night, and they walked together to the outskirts of town to a hill and stood under the stars. And then there was this outburst of emotion from Hitler. Words suddenly started pouring out of him in a straining, hoarse voice about this feeling he had that his destiny was to lead the German people. Kubizek thought to himself, ‘What the hell has gotten into this guy, has he lost his mind?’

“Kubizek and Hitler later went to Vienna together, Kubizek to study music at the conservatory there and Hitler to go to art school, although it turned out they wouldn’t admit him. Kubizek and Hitler drifted apart, and Kubizek went on to have a fairly respectable career as a concert musician, and of course Hitler became the Chancellor of Germany. In 1941 or thereabouts, Kubizek received an invitation to attend an annual performance of The Ring by Wagner. In the presence of Winnifred Wagner in her home he met Hitler again after not seeing him for thirty years or so. Kubizek said to Hitler, ‘Do you remember that night in Linz when we climbed the Freienberg [the hill] after seeing Rienzi?’ Hitler replied, ‘Yes, indeed I do. In that hour it began.'”

“Why did that story stick with you?” I asked.

“It really inspired me. Seeing someone take his life so seriously and aspire to great things for his people—that stayed with me. And also, reading about this episode was one of the things that pushed Hitler to the center of my universe.”

I found the section of the book by Kubizek about the time he and Hitler saw Rienzi together that Pierce had referred to. Kubizek tells of standing with the eighteen-year-old Hitler after the opera late at night beneath brilliant stars:

Adolf stood in front of me; and now he gripped both of my hands and held them tight. He had never made such a gesture before. I felt from the grasp of his hands how deeply moved he was. His eyes were feverish with excitement. The words did not come smoothly from his mouth as they usually did, but rather erupted, hoarse and raucous. From his voice I could tell even more how much this experience had shaken him….I cannot repeat every word that my friend uttered. I was struck by something strange, which I had never noticed before, even when he had talked to me in moments of the greatest excitement. It was as if another being spoke out of his body, and moved him as much as it did me. It wasn’t at all a case of a speaker being carried away by his own words. On the contrary; I felt as though he himself listened with astonishment and emotion to what burst forth from him with elementary force. I will not attempt to interpret this phenomenon, but it was a state of complete ecstasy and rapture, in which he transferred the character of Rienzi, without even mentioning him as a model or example, with visionary power to the plane of his own ambitions. But it was more than a cheap adaptation. Indeed, the impact of the opera was rather a sheer external impulse which compelled him to speak. Like flood waters breaking their dykes, his words burst forth from him. He conjured up in grandiose, inspiring pictures his own future and that of his people.[64]Kubizek, p. 97.

Kubizek then goes on to say, as Pierce remembers accurately, that thirty years later Hitler told him “In that hour it began.” What came through to Pierce was the tremendous sense of mission that Hitler exemplified. One’s life could be rooted in a grand purpose. One’s own life could be taken that seriously. One could attribute that level of importance to his existence. I think that Pierce took all that to heart, and that it has strongly affected how he sees himself and his own possibilities and what he has done with his life. By the way, the Wagner opera not only depicts Rienzi’s rise. It also records his downfall, as at the close of the opera he is overthrown by a mob.

“Another book I read,” Pierce told me, “was by Dietrich Eckart, and it was called Bolshevism From Moses to Lenin.” Although it was later when I read it, in 1965, it did have a big effect on me. It was a short work, actually a booklet or a pamphlet. It was only available in German, but it was written in clear, simple prose, so I got out my German dictionary and I translated it. The booklet is an imagined, or reconstructed, dialogue between Eckart and Hitler. The two were close friends, and Hitler considered Eckart a mentor—Eckart was twenty-one years older than Hitler. They undoubtedly had many conversations on the subject matter covered by the booklet.

“Eckart’s booklet helped me get an understanding of the Jews. In particular, it opened my eyes to the message in the Old Testament. Biblical material tends to be misleading because of the high-flown poetic language in which it is written. I hadn’t really absorbed the message in the Old Testament until I went back to it after reading the Eckart book. It gave me a lot of insight into the Old Testament and the ways the Jews work. I had read the Bible through rose-colored glasses when I was a kid. I still quote some of the things I learned from the Eckart book.

“Eckart wrote Bolshevism From Moses to Lenin in 1923 just before he was imprisoned by the German government for his involvement with Hitler. He died as a consequence of his imprisonment. I published my translation of it in a magazine I had started called National Socialist World.”

I found the issue of National Socialist World that contained Pierce’s translation of Bolshevism From Moses to Lenin.[65]Dietrich Eckart, “Bolshevism From Moses to Lenin,” translated from German by William Pierce, National Socialist World, no. 2, Fall 1966, pp. 13-33. In the foreword to his translation, Pierce writes that Eckart was born in 1868 in Bavaria. Pierce describes him as a “a poet, a playwright, a journalist, a scholar, and a philosopher, as well as a dedicated fighter for the National Socialist cause.”[66]Ibid., p. 13.
(Dietrich Eckart, “Bolshevism From Moses to Lenin,” translated from German by William Pierce, National Socialist World, no. 2, Fall 1966, pp. 13-33.)
Pierce writes that Eckart was an “intimate companion” of Hitler. That may be true, but after reading this material I came away with the impression that while Eckart may have compiled this volume based on his talks with Hitler and he may have been trying to express Hitler’s basic ideas, the way things are expressed in this work is more Eckart than Hitler. The pamphlet was laden with footnotes and read like a scholarly article. In his foreword, Pierce said Eckart aimed the pamphlet at the equivalent of a high school graduate. If that was Eckart’s intention, I think he missed the mark. I can’t imagine the typical high-school graduate—or college graduate, for that matter—engaging the turgid prose of this volume.

Bolshevism From Moses to Lenin amounts to the harshest of condemnations of the historical role of the Jews. Some examples:

Bolshevism From Moses to Lenin was unfinished at the time of Eckart’s death in 1923 and was published posthumously drawing upon Eckart’s notes. Pierce reports in his journal article that Eckart’s last lines before his notes broke off were the following: “The realization of the unconditional dependence on his [the Jew’s] victims appears to me to be the main cause for his hatred. To be obliged to try to annihilate us with all his might, but at the same time to suspect that that must lead inevitably to his own ruin, therein it lies. If you will: the tragedy of Lucifer.”[70]Ibid., p. 33.
(Dietrich Eckart, “Bolshevism From Moses to Lenin,” translated from German by William Pierce, National Socialist World, no. 2, Fall 1966, pp. 13-33.)

 

“I also read a book called The Lightning and the Sun by Savitri Devi, who had a very worshipful view of Hitler,” Pierce recounted. After Pierce mentioned that he had read The Lightning and the Sun, I made it a point to look into the book and its author. I found Devi to be a most interesting character. The Lighting and the Sun was published in Calcutta, India in 1958. Devi was born Maximiani Portas in 1905 in Lyons, France. Her mother was English, and her father was of Greek and Italian background and a citizen of France. She took the Hindu name Savitri Devi when in 1932 she emigrated to India, which she considered the cradle of the Aryan race. Devi’s many writings, published with the help of her Brahman husband, synthesized Hindu thought and Nordic racial ideology. She idolized Adolf Hitler and gave both him and the ideology of National Socialism a mystique that elevated them beyond the narrow realities of German history to a kind of cult status. After World War II, Devi was arrested in Cologne, Germany and imprisoned by the British occupational forces for Nazi propaganda activities. From the 1960s until her death in 1982, she was a leading figure in the internationalist neo-Nazi underground.[71]See the excellent recent biography on Devi: Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke, Hitler’s Priestess: Savitri Devi, The Hindu-Aryan Myth, and Neo-Nazism (New York: New York University Press, 1998).

Devi began The Lightning and the Sun in 1948 and finished it in 1956 while in prison. It is a long volume—it could have used some blue penciling—and in places dense and esoteric, with lengthy discourses on the elements of Hinduism she considered to be the legacy of the Aryan tradition. The book deals with a number of Devi’s convictions, including vegetarianism and the protection of the natural environment, but it was her enthusiasm for National Socialism and adoration for Hitler which most came through to Pierce.

Devi used a “man against time” doctrine she formulated to portray Hitler as a mythic, god-like being.[72]Goodrick-Clarke, pp. 117-120. In Devi’s thinking, men against time are earthly embodiments of the Hindu deity Vishnu. Vishnu is not conceived as a knowing, separate being in the way that the Judeo-Christian religions conceive of God. Rather, it is a force or aspect of all existence. Vishnu is the world sustainer, the tendency of every being to maintain itself and to procreate in its own likeness. It is the power that opposes disintegration and death. Men against time, says Devi, are “saviors of the world: forces of life, directed against the downward current of [seemingly] irresistible change; [they are] forces of life tending to bring the world back to original, timeless perfection.”[73]Ibid., p. 115.
(Goodrick-Clarke, pp. 117-120.)
These men against time combine the highest enlightenment and ideals (“sun”) with the often destructive power of a force of nature (“lightning”)—thus the title of the book, The Lightning and the Sun. In Devi’s conceptualization, men against time tend to be martial heroes who, in the words of her biographer, Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke, “work to redeem the world from the thrall of the dark age.”[74]Ibid.
(Goodrick-Clarke, pp. 117-120.)
They combine wisdom with practicality—including ruthlessness and violence—to save and regenerate the world. They are the real heroes of history.

Devi revered Hitler as the greatest man against time in all of recorded history. She viewed him as the champion of the old European tribal principles against degenerate cosmopolitanism, capitalism, and democracy. She admired in Hitler the very things others find abhorrent—his racist ideas and his anti-Semitism. She applauded the laws he propagated forbidding Aryans and Jews to marry, considering these laws instrumental in reviving the Aryan separatism she saw manifested in the Indian caste system. Goodrick-Clarke writes:

His [Hitler’s] domestic modesty, vegetarianism, and abstention from alcohol she saw as the typical traits of the kindly ascetic. His ruthless use of military violence against his enemies in a resistant fallen world, no less his uncompromising plan to exterminate the Jews, an age-old adversary and counterimage of the heroic Aryans, identified him as the essential “Man Against Time.”[75]Ibid., p. 118.
(Goodrick-Clarke, pp. 117-120.)

Devi describes Hitler as “the true friend of his people,” and “inspired by the inner vision of a healthy, beautiful, and peaceful world, a real earthly paradise reflecting cosmic perfection.”[76]Quoted in Goodrick-Clarke, p.119.

 

And then there was Hitler’s own book, Mein Kampf. “When I was at OregonState,” Pierce told me, “I read Mein Kampf for a second time. I had read it the first time as an undergraduate, but it didn’t really turn on a light at that time. It did when I read it again at OregonState, though. This man, Hitler, understood things pretty much the same way I did, and he was a gifted man in the way he went about things in politics. Although I knew I couldn’t do what he did: I don’t relate well to other people, and I’m not a speaker. I was still left with the question of exactly what it was that I could do with my life.”

Adolf Hitler was born on April 20th, 1889 in a town in upper Austria by the name of Braunau am Inn. He was arrested for an unsuccessful putsch (political insurrection) in November of 1923. Hitler dictated Mein Kampf (My Struggle) while he was in prison. He was in his mid-thirties at that time. Mein Kampf was published in two volumes, in 1925 and 1926. The book gives Hitler’s own account of his life, outlines the ideology of National Socialism, and relates the history of the Nazi party and its plans for the future. A couple of years before Hitler became Chancellor of Germany in 1933, Mein Kampf became a bestseller—which is not to say that all that many Germans actually read the book.

I found a copy of Mein Kampf—I had not read it previously—and went through it.[77]Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1981, originally published in 1925). It is a formidable tome—two volumes totaling 688 pages. I’m not going to review the merits of the book’s ideas here; many others have done that. What I will try to do in these pages is point out what Pierce saw in it; I’ll look at Mein Kampf from his perspective. I hope doing this will help explain what Pierce and others find appealing in Hitler’s pronouncements.

To begin, Pierce undoubtedly saw parallels between Hitler’s description of German society during the 1920s and American society at the time he read the book. Hitler wrote of the “pitifully poor human beings” in Germany. He considered the Germans of his day too often cowardly in the face of responsibility, half-hearted toward the things that truly mattered, and lacking in spirit.[78]Ibid., pp. 41, 240.
(Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1981, originally published in 1925).)
Hitler believed that economic values and preoccupations were eroding his people: “In proportion as economic life grew to be the dominant mistress of the state, money became the god whom all had to serve and to whom each man had to bow down…A truly malignant degeneration set in: what made it most malignant was that it began at a time when the nation, in a presumably menacing and critical hour, needed the highest heroic attitude.”[79]Ibid, p. 234.
(Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1981, originally published in 1925).)

In Mein Kampf, Hitler decried “big city civilization,” as he called it.[80]Ibid., p. 254.
(Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1981, originally published in 1925).)
Rather than enriching and enhancing centers of culture, cities had descended to the level of mere human settlements, masses of apartments and tenements in which people lived cut off from one another. Cities had become little more than places to shop and do business. People were moving from here and there, and this was diminishing the bonds among them.[81]Ibid., p. 263.
(Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1981, originally published in 1925).)

Hitler mourned what he considered to be the cultural decay in Germany. He wrote of ”the morass of present-day environment.”[82]Ibid., p. 255.
(Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1981, originally published in 1925).)
He pointed out artistic degeneration: Schiller, Goethe, and Shakespeare had given way to the base products of the time.[83]Ibid., pp. 259-260.
(Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1981, originally published in 1925).)
Cultural forms of the past were being wiped away. “Every new institution,” Hitler declared, “the more wretched and miserable it is, will try all the harder to extinguish the last traces of the past time….Only those who can give nothing valuable to the world, but try to act as if they were going to give it God-knows-what, will hate everything that was previously given and would best like to negate or even to destroy it.”[84]Ibid., p. 260.
(Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1981, originally published in 1925).)
What was being pushed on the German people—so-called modern art being a prime example—was alien to their spirit and beneath their greatness. He called for a cultural cleansing. The challenge, he argued, was to affirm cultural forms that reflect the truest and finest characteristics of the people.

I’m sure that Pierce related to the negative picture of society Hitler painted in Mein Kampf. Hitler had put words to what Pierce was seeing in America in the 1950s and ‘60s. Thus there was an essential agreement Pierce had with Hitler’s perception of society, and he resonated with Hitler’s feeling of repulsion in light of what was going on.

And beyond this general concordance with Hitler’s overall point of view, what are the specific topics and ideas in Mein Kampf that hit home with Pierce? I believe they are the ones that I outline below.

First, there is Hitler’s biocentric worldview. Hitler’s perspective on life was referenced in Nature. Hitler contended in Mein Kampf that before anything else we must attend to Nature, the world of living things and their environments. Man, Hitler is not separate from or above Nature but rather a part of Nature. We need to come to grips with how Nature actually operates. We must align our lives with Nature . We must obey Nature’s laws. That is how we will best prosper and fulfill our destiny as beings. We should not be so presumptuous as to imagine that we can ignore or overcome Nature’s realities and Nature’s imperatives. We need to learn to live Nature’s way. Hitler’s basic message was “get out of your head.” Get out of the realm of fanciful intellectualization. Get out of what you think is true or ought to be true. Instead, quite literally come down to earth.

Within this biocentric frame of reference, Hitler focused on what he considered the fundamental human reality: the life-and-death struggle for survival and a higher quality of existence among the races of man. As Aggression and violence are inherent in this struggle; they are an integral part of Nature’s way. At the most fundamental level human thought and action have an impact on the outcome of this racial struggle. What is responsible and right in human affairs is that which contributes to the continued existence and upward development of one’s race. According to Hitler, this is what it means to live by Nature’s rules and by Nature’s morality.

Hitler held to a biological/cultural concept of race. As he viewed it, race has to do with biology, physiology, blood—there is that. But that is only part of it. Race also has to do with culture: values and morals, philosophies, traditions, modes of artistic expression, religious orientations, ways of working, forms of government, national and ethnic identifications, family arrangements, conceptions of masculinity and femininity, approaches to raising children, and connections to the earth. Race is about more than genetics. Hitler used the term “folk” (volk in German) to get at the idea that he was referring to a people who share a biological inheritance and a way of being. They have an approach to life in common as well as a gene pool.

Hitler’s concept of race was a dynamic one in that he emphasized the interplay between the two aspects of biology and culture. Each of the two affects the other: biological realities or impulses shape the culture of a people and, concurrently, the culture of a people has a impact on their biological or physical nature. Biological urgings—call them instincts—predispose people to conduct their lives in a particular manner. This is not to say that individuals and races can’t choose to act in a fashion contrary to these urgings, or that they can’t be distracted from them by external forces in their world—ideas, people, and situations. It is rather to assert the existence of a more fundamental, more powerful force than choice and social conditioning. There is a calling from deep within human beings, a genetically rooted predilection to be a certain way, to proceed in a certain direction, and that calling wins out in the end. In terms of race, what this comes down to is Hitler’s belief that the differences among the races go beyond skin color and his conviction that you have to go beyond an analysis of circumstance and culture to explain the conduct and accomplishments of the various races. You have to take into account the most powerful influence of all on what human beings are like: biological inheritance.

When Hitler dealt with the ways culture affects biology, he focused on culture’s impact on breeding patterns. Ideas, values, associational patterns, and so forth, have an impact on who has children with whom within a particular race and thereby affect the physical make-up of the race. Most importantly, cultural factors influence how frequently members of a race mate with members of other races. Hitler held that racial interbreeding profoundly affects the biological composition of a race.

Related to all of this is the aristocratic principle. The aristocratic principle can be contrasted with its opposite, the egalitarian principle. Simply put, the aristocratic principle says that some people are inherently better than other people; there are qualitative differences among human beings. To view man as simply a man is to be ignorant of racial laws.[85]Hitler, p. 397. Hitler posited that rather than races and individuals being equal they are hierarchically ordered. He wrote of the “basic aristocratic idea of Nature…[which] sees not only the different value of races, but also the different value of individuals.”[86]Ibid., p. 383.
(Hitler, p. 397.)
These differing values must realistically be taken into account when ordering the affairs of collective life, whether it be political or economic arrangements, education, individual and group relationships, or anything else. Hitler said that while some may be attracted to the idea that individuals and races are, or could be, equal to one another, the fact of the matter is they are not equal now and won’t be equal in the future unless the superior ones are hobbled in some way so as to bring them back to the level of their inferiors.

Hitler’s assumptions about race lead him to warn of the danger of miscegenation. His big concern was interracial procreation or, another word for it, race-mixing. Race mixing compromises the superior of two races being intermingled: it lowers the better race physically, intellectually, and spiritually. Nature has no love for bastards is the way Hitler inelegantly put it. Those of mixed racial background are reduced in cultural and spiritual strength, he claimed. They have less power and determination than those of “pure stock.” Hitler saw racial crossing as running counter to a grand plan for mankind to elevate its quality. “Nature doesn’t want the blending of higher and lower races since the work of higher breeding will be ruined,” he wrote.[87]Ibid., p. 286.
(Hitler, p. 397.)
“Any crossing of two beings not at the same level,” Hitler contended, “produces a medium between the level of the two parents….Such mating is contrary to the will of Nature for a higher breeding of all life.”[88]Ibid., p. 285.
(Hitler, p. 397.)
Later on in Mein Kampf he noted that a “racial porridge” will prevent the achievement of the highest goal of mankind, a goal inherent in Nature: the evolution of man into a higher form of being.[89]Ibid., p. 397.
(Hitler, p. 397.)

One hears much talk about the notion of Aryans as the master race. A consideration of this notion hinges on what is meant by the term “master.” Master can refer to mastery over other people, that is to say, the domination and control of others. The master of a merchant ship is one who is in control of the people and cargo on board that ship. However, the term master can have another meaning as well: it can refer to the best, to the ones who have attained mastery at what they do. For instance, master carpenters or electricians don’t rule over other tradesmen. Rather, they are the best, the finest in their field, the most knowledgeable and skillful. So there is the question of whether master race in this instance refers to the domination of one race over other races or to those who are the best by some standard (intelligence, character, creative output, having attained the greatest mastery over themselves, whatever the criteria).

I couldn’t find an instance in Mein Kampf where Hitler uses the term master race, but it did seem to me that he employs the idea of master with regard to race in both of the meanings I listed, i.e., with reference to those who are the best by some standard and with reference to dominance over others. In fact, he blends these two ideas: Aryans are best and therefore should assert dominance over others. By best he means that Aryans have the strongest genetic and cultural features. In Nature—and Nature’s rules should prevail according to his way of thinking—the strongest should dominate. He wrote: “[National Socialism] by no means believes in an equality of the races…and feels itself obligated…to promote the victory of the better and stronger and demand the subordination of the inferior and weaker.…”[90]This was taken from quotes from Mein Kampf Pierce included in an editorial he wrote for his journal: William Pierce, “Editorial,” National Socialist World, no. 2, Fall 1966, p.9.

That still leaves the question of what form the dominance is to take. Does dominance mean telling the dominated race or races what to do in every aspect of life? Or does it mean dominance in the narrower sense of the dominant, or master, race being able to take everything necessary, every resource, from the subjugated race(s) in order that the master race can move ahead on its evolutionary path as fast and as far as possible? My reading of Mein Kampf is that Hitler’s focus is on domination in this latter sense: that is, having access to everything anybody else has that you need in order to forge ahead. Said Hitler: “We all sense that in the distant future humanity must be faced by problems which only a highest race, become master people and supported by the means and possibilities of an entire globe, will be equipped to overcome.”[91]Ibid.
(This was taken from quotes from Mein Kampf Pierce included in an editorial he wrote for his journal: William Pierce, “Editorial,” National Socialist World, no. 2, Fall 1966, p.9.)
And then elsewhere: “And so the folkish philosophy of life corresponds to the innermost will of Nature, since it restores that free play of forces…until at last the best of humanity, having achieved possession of this earth, will have a free path of activity….”[92]Hitler, pp. 383-384. That sounds to me like an “access to anything you need” form of domination.

Hitler believed everything to be at stake in Aryans assuming their rightful place in the scheme of things. He wrote hyperbolically: “The man who misjudges and disregards the racial laws…thwarts the triumphal march of the best race and hence also the precondition for all human progress, and remains, in consequence, burdened with all the sensibility of man, in the animal realm of helpless misery.”[93]Ibid., p. 289.
(Hitler, pp. 383-384.)
And later on in Mein Kampf he melodramatically added: “Human culture and civilization on this continent are inseparably bound up with the presence of the Aryan. If he dies out or declines, the dark veils of an age without culture will again descend on this globe.”[94]Ibid., p. 383.
(Hitler, pp. 383-384.)

In Mein Kampf Hitler expresses worries about the fate of the Aryan race. It is particularly important that the Aryan race not intermix with other races, said Hitler, because it embodies mankind’s highest possibility. The danger the Aryan race faces, wrote Hitler, is that it will be replaced by a “new nationality,” one “seriously reduced in spiritual and cultural stature.”[95]Ibid., p. 400.
(Hitler, pp. 383-384.)
“The stronger must dominate not blend with the weaker, thus sacrificing his own greatness,” Hitler insisted.[96]Ibid., p. 285.
(Hitler, pp. 383-384.)
And elsewhere in Mein Kampf: “In a bastardized and niggerized world, all the concepts of the humanly beautiful and sublime, as well as all ideas of an idealized future of our humanity, would be lost forever.”[97]Ibid., p. 383.
(Hitler, pp. 383-384.)

“In every mingling of Aryan blood with that of the lower peoples the result was the end to the cultured peoples,” Hitler claimed.[98]Ibid., p. 286.
(Hitler, pp. 383-384.)
He used the experience of North America to illustrate his point. “North America,” he declared, “whose population consists in by far the largest part of Germanic elements who mixed but little with the lower colored peoples, shows a different humanity and culture from Central and South America, where the predominately Latin immigrants often mixed with the aborigines on a large scale. By this one example, we can clearly and distinctly recognize the effect of racial mixture.”[99]Ibid.
(Hitler, pp. 383-384.)

When assessing the states of mind and motivations of individuals, Hitler employed the basic distinction between idealism and egoism. Idealism is being oriented toward serving one’s people, one’s race. Egoism looks at things from the perspective of narrowly conceived self-interest and without a sense of connection to one’s community of kindred people and a commitment to their welfare. Idealism is clearly favored over egoism in Hitler’s mind. Someone who is an idealist is more laudable than one who is an egotist or, another term, individualist. Hitler wrote:

This state of mind, which subordinates the interests of the ego to the conservation of the community, is really the first premise for every truly human culture. From it alone can arise all the great works of mankind, which bring the founder little reward, but the richest blessings to posterity. Yes, from it alone can we understand how so many are able to bear up faithfully under a scanty life which imposes on them nothing but poverty and frugality, but gives the community the foundations of its existence. Every worker, every peasant, every inventor, official, etc., who works without ever being able to achieve any happiness or prosperity for himself, is a representative of this lofty idea….[100]Ibid., p. 298.
(Hitler, pp. 383-384.)

Hitler asserted that race needs to be at the center of individual and collective concerns, and that first priority must be given to keeping the race pure. “There is only one holiest human right,” he declared, “and this right is at the same time the holiest obligation…to see to it that the blood is preserved pure and, by preserving the best humanity, to create the possibility of a nobler development of these beings.”[101]Ibid., p. 402.
(Hitler, pp. 383-384.)
Hitler warned: “All great cultures of the past perished only because the originally creative race died out from blood poisoning. The ultimate cause of such a decline was their forgetting that all culture depends on men and not conversely; hence that to preserve a certain culture the man who creates it must be preserved.”[102]Ibid., p. 289.
(Hitler, pp. 383-384.)

Since Hitler saw life as a struggle, supporting the race will involve doing battle.

What we must fight for is to safeguard the existence and reproduction of our race and our people [here he seems to distinguish race and people when at other times he equates them], the sustenance of our children and the purity of our blood….This preservation is bound up with the rigid law of necessity and the right to victory of the best and stronger in this world. Those who want to live, let them fight and those who do not want to fight in this world of eternal struggle do not deserve to live. Even if that were hard—that is how it is!”[103]Pierce, p. 9.

Like every other social institution, the state is in service to the race. That is to say, the state is a means to the end of preserving and improving the race. The state supports the aristocratic idea of nature by promoting the victory of the noblest and strongest elements of the race and demanding the subordination of the inferior and weaker. The following excerpts from Mein Kampf give an indication of Hitler’s view of the role of the state:

The state is a means to an end. Its end lies in the preservation and advancement of a community of physically and psychologically homogeneous creatures. The state is the vessel and race is its content.[104]Ibid., p. 393.
(Pierce, p. 9.)

 

The highest purpose of a folkish state is concern for the preservation of those original racial elements which bestow culture and create the beauty and dignity of a higher mankind. We, as Aryans, can conceive of the state only as the living organism of a nationality which not only assures the preservation of this nationality, but by the development of its spiritual and ideal abilities leads it to the highest freedom.[105]Ibid., p. 394.
(Pierce, p. 9.)

 

A bad state is assuredly able to kill originally existing abilities by permitting or even promoting the destruction of the racial culture-bearer.[106]Ibid., p. 395.
(Pierce, p. 9.)

Hitler argued that the reins of the state must be in the hands of the finest individuals, those who are the wisest and the most efficacious. The political process must be designed so as to identify the very best people given the aim of racial survival and progress, and then to bring them to “office and dignity.”[107]Ibid., p. 431.
(Pierce, p. 9.)
Hitler is adamant that mass democracy is not the best way for this to occur. The finest should be in charge, not the masses. Rather than the rule of the democratic majority, Hitler affirmed the rule of personality, that is, the great man who takes control through what amounts to a process of natural selection.[108]Ibid., pp. 446-447.
(Pierce, p. 9.)

In world history the man who really rises above the norm of the broad average usually announces himself personally.[109]Ibid., p. 88.
(Pierce, p. 9.)

 

A philosophy of life which endeavors to reject the democratic mass idea and give this earth to the best people—that is, the highest humanity—must logically obey the aristocratic principle within this people and make sure that the leadership and the highest influence in this people fall into the best minds. Thus, it builds, not upon the idea of the majority, but upon the idea of personality.[110]Ibid., p. 443.
(Pierce, p. 9.)

Hitler asserted that in all areas of life other than politics—business, the military, and the rest—it is generally accepted that the best need to be in charge, and that it is not left to a vote to decide who that is.[111]Ibid., p. 447.
(Pierce, p. 9.)
Hitler said many have a misplaced faith in the results of democratic elections: “Sooner will a camel pass through a needle’s eye than a great man be ‘discovered’ by an election.”[112]Ibid., p. 88.
(Pierce, p. 9.)

Another idea in Mein Kampf is that the family, with childraising at its core, is the central element of society. Everything else works around the family and serves to enhance its functioning. In the folkish state—the state which centers itself around a shared biological and cultural heritage and destiny—marriage needs to be a “consecrated institution,” and children are “the most precious treasure of the people.”[113]Ibid., p. 403.
(Pierce, p. 9.)
Marriage is not, in the first instance, a means of enhancing the happiness and well-being of those involved but rather, as with the other institutions of society, a means of preserving and improving the race.[114]Ibid., p. 252.
(Pierce, p. 9.)

Hitler called for control of breeding as a way to improve the quality of the race. The word for this process: eugenics.

It [the National Socialist state] must see to it that only the healthy beget children; that there is only one disgrace: despite one’s own sickness and deficiencies, to bring children into the world; and one highest honor: to renounce doing so. And conversely it must be considered reprehensible to withhold healthy children from the nation. Here the state must act as the guardian of a millennial future in the face of which the wishes and selfishness of the individual must appear as nothing and submit….Those who are not physically and mentally healthy and worthy must not perpetuate their defects in the bodies of their children. In this the National Socialist state must perform the most gigantic educational task. And someday this will seem to be a greater deed than the most victorious wars of our present mediocre era….In the National Socialist state, finally, the National Socialist philosophy of life must succeed in bringing about that nobler age in which men no longer are concerned with breeding dogs, horses, and cats, but in elevating man himself, an age in which one knowingly and silently renounces, the other joyfully sacrifices and gives….[115]Ibid., p. 403-405.
(Pierce, p. 9.)

Hitler called for an education for nobility. He criticized German schools for focusing too much on “pure knowledge” and neglecting the development of personal character. He decried “half-education,” as he called it, which pumps a certain amount of knowledge in young people but at the same time removes them from nature and their instincts and their connection to anything beyond themselves. He claimed that students were emerging from the schools of that time knowing little or nothing of the joy of responsibility. He referred to students “crammed full of knowledge and intellect, but bereft of any healthy instinct and devoid of all energy and boldness.”[116]Ibid., p. 432.
(Pierce, p. 9.)
He said the German educational system was turning out weak-willed people who lack forcefulness and decisiveness. Rather than strong and courageous men and women, the schools were producing “clever weaklings” and “cowardly physical degenerates.”[117]Ibid., pp. 237, 244-245, 407-408.
(Pierce, p. 9.)

Hitler held up the Greek ideal of an education that promotes a noble soul, physical beauty, and a brilliant mind. He called for an emphasis on the development of firm character, especially self-confidence, willpower and determination, and a sense of responsibility.

Don’t heap on material, Hitler implored. Help students gain the store of material that they actually need as individuals and that will benefit the community. This will necessarily include specialized training suited to the particular student.[118]Ibid., pp. 414, 419, 421-423.
(Pierce, p. 9.)

Hitler emphasized the study of Nature in order that students learn to understand and respect Nature and live by its laws: “A man must never fall into the lunacy of believing that he has really risen to be the lord and master of Nature—which is so easily induced by the conceit of half-education; he must understand the fundamental necessity of Nature’s rule, and realize how much his existence is subjected to these laws of eternal fight and upward struggle.”[119]Ibid., p. 245.
(Pierce, p. 9.)

Hitler advocated a focus on the history of the Roman and Greek heritage in order that students find the motivation to contribute to its continued existence: “Especially in historical instruction we must not be deterred from the study of antiquity. Roman history correctly conceived in extremely broad outlines is and remains the best mentor, not only for today, but probably for all time. The Hellenic ideal of culture should also remain preserved for us in its exemplary beauty.”[120]Ibid., p. 423.
(Pierce, p. 9.)

Hitler called for the development of racial consciousness. Education must, he said,

burn the racial sense and racial feeling into the instinct and intellect, the heart and brain of the youth entrusted to it. No boy and no girl must leave school without having been led to an ultimate realization of the necessity and essence of blood purity. Thus the groundwork is created by preserving the racial foundations of our nation and through them in turn securing the basis for its future cultural development. For all physical and all intellectual training would in the last analysis remain worthless if it did not benefit a being which is ready and determined on principle to preserve himself and his special nature.[121]Pierce, p. 10.

Hitler affirmed the value of a strong program of physical training to “steel and harden” young men’s bodies.[122]Hitler, p. 254. He argued for the inclusion of one sport in particular, one he acknowledged many people considered vulgar and undignified: boxing:

There is no sport that so much as this one promotes the spirit of attack, demands lightning decisions, and trains the body in steel dexterity. It is no more vulgar for two men to fight out a difference of opinion with their fists than with a piece of whetted iron [he is referring to the sport of fencing]. It is not less noble if a man who has been attacked defends himself against his assailant with his fists instead of running away and yelling for a policeman.[123]Ibid., p. 410.
(Hitler, p. 254.)

Hitler saw boxing as teaching a young man to suffer blows and continue forward.

Hitler’s desire to avoid educating a “colony of aesthetes” applied to girls as well as boys.[124]Ibid., p. 414
(Hitler, p. 254.)
He valued vibrant health and a kind of steel-springed physicality for both boys and girls. He wanted both boys and girls to be strong, agile, bold, courageous, and able to endure and triumph amid hardship. Therefore, he advocated a strong emphasis on physical training for girls as well as boys. At the same time, however, Hitler held that there were inherent and complementary differences between the sexes, and thus the ultimate purposes of boys’ and girls’ physical training were different. He distinguished between the manly strength to live powerfully in the world and to be a good father and the womanly strength to bear and raise healthy and vital children and to be a good wife and create and maintain a good home. Hitler considered future motherhood—which he saw as equally important to education for careers or political life—to be the major goal of female education.[125]Ibid.
(Hitler, p. 254.)

Hitler believed Jews stood in the way of all that he wanted to achieve. Jews were his enemy. What were his objections to the Jewish presence and influence in Germany at that time?

  • Jews are alienated from Nature. They seek to conquer Nature rather than live in accordance with it. Hitler contended that the modern, pacifist, humane Jewish outlook is “nonsense” given the true reality of the natural order.[126]Ibid., p. 287.
    (Hitler, p. 254.)
  • Jews undermine the political system. Jews promote democracy, which excludes the personality and replaces it with the “blind worship of numbers” (rule by the majority).

The Jewish doctrine…rejects the aristocratic principle of Nature and replaces the eternal privilege of power and strength by the mass numbers and their dead weight. This denies the value of the personality in man, contests the significance of nationality and race, and thereby withdraws from humanity the premise of its existence and culture. As a foundation of the universe, this doctrine would bring about the end of any order intellectually conceivable to man. And as, in this greatest of all recognizable organisms, the result of an application of such a law could only be chaos, on earth it could only be destruction for the inhabitants of this planet.[127]Ibid. p. 65.
(Hitler, p. 254.)

Hitler cited the Bolshevik revolution in Russia in 1917 as a Jewish takeover of that country and the triumph of Jewish doctrine.[128]Ibid., p. 326.
(Hitler, p. 254.)

  • Jews have gained a stranglehold on finance and commerce and control of key professions in Germany, and have used this position to serve their interests at the expense of the general welfare of the people.[129]Ibid, pp. 309, 639, 193.
    (Hitler, p. 254.)
  • Jews have used their economic power to gain undue influence in the government in order to serve their own ambitions.[130]Ibid.
    (Hitler, p. 254.)
  • Jews are working to destroy the racial foundations of the European white race through the promotion of miscegenation. They are doing this because of their basic resentful attitude and because it is in their interest not to have to deal with a sturdy white race but rather a “rickety herd.” It is the Jews, Hitler wrote, who most wanted to bring the Negroes to the Rhineland, with the secret aim of the racial mixing which was certain to occur. If they get their way, said Hitler, Jews will turn the European people into raceless bastards.[131]Ibid., pp. 315, 322, 325, 625.
    (Hitler, p. 254.)
  • Jews contribute to cultural decay. They are the spokesmen of a “modern era” that debases the society. They ridicule Christianity and represent traditional ethics and morality as outmoded, and this leaves Gentiles (non-Jews) adrift. In the political realm, Jews “refuse the state the means for its self-preservation, destroy faith in the leadership, scoff at history and the past, and drop every thing that is great into the gutter.”[132]Ibid., p. 326.
    (Hitler, p. 254.)
    The Jew, Hitler contended, “contaminates art, literature, the theater, makes a mockery of national feeling, and overthrows all concepts of beauty and sublimity, of the noble and good.”[133]Ibid.
    (Hitler, p. 254.)
    Said Hitler: “In everything base and profligate in mass entertainment and artistic trash, vice, or pornography there will most certainly be a Jew.”[134]Ibid., p. 57.
    (Hitler, p. 254.)

 

Hitler’s example and pronouncements appear to have had five major influences on Pierce. First, they encouraged the development of an ideological identity—as a National Socialist. Second, they pushed him toward a focus: race. Third, they helped establish who his adversary is: the Jews. Fourth, they legitimized his antagonism toward this adversary. This fourth one—legitimizing his antagonism toward Jews—is especially significant, because in the post-World War II period the idea of public, or even private, criticism of and opposition to Jews and Jewish interests has been considered by virtually everyone to be beyond the realm of acceptability. In our time, respectable individuals don’t even think of assuming such a posture. And yet here was someone, Adolf Hitler, whom Pierce found to be extremely admirable, who had come to do just that, and do it openly and proudly. In Mein Kampf, Hitler wrote about himself: “I had ceased to be a weak-kneed cosmopolitan and became an anti-Semite.”[135]Ibid., p. 64.
(Hitler, p. 254.)
If so truly remarkable a man as Hitler could be an anti-Semite, so too could William L. Pierce. And the fifth major influence on Pierce, Hitler’s personal example showed him that you can take your life seriously and root it in a grand purpose related to the well-being of the race and give everything that is in you to accomplishing it. That is what Pierce has done.

6 • The John Birch Society • 1,600 Words

Pierce’s first move into politics was to join an organization called the John Birch Society in 1962. “I had read some John Birch Society literature while I was at OregonState,” Pierce told me, “and I knew that at least they were anti-communist. They saw their job as opposing the influences of communists in the American government and society. I agreed with them that communism was a very bad thing, and that it posed a real threat to American life. So I joined the Birch Society. A conservative colleague on campus steered me to a chapter in Corvallis [Oregon].”

The John Birch Society Pierce referred to was—and still is, the organization still exists—a grass-roots organization dedicated to fighting communism and promoting various right-wing causes.[136]For background on the Birch Society, see Gerald Schomp, Birchism Was My Business (New York: Macmillan, 1970). At the time of Pierce’s involvement in the early ‘60s, the Birch Society had about twenty-five thousand members nationwide and was at the height of its prominence. Society members were grouped into chapters of from seven to twenty-five members whose leader functioned under the supervision of a section leader, who in turn reported to a national coordinator. It was one of these chapters that Pierce joined.

The Birch Society was founded in 1958 by a retired Boston candy manufacturer and one-time vice president of the National Association of Manufacturers, Robert Welch, Jr. Welch was a graduate of the University of North Carolina (at seventeen years of age supposedly), had gone to HarvardLawSchool, and then joined his brother’s candy business and made a fortune. At the founding meeting of the Birch Society, Welch gave a speech to eleven friends he had called to an Indianapolis motel outlining the nature and purposes of the new organization—essentially to save America from communism. The speech was printed up and called the Blue Book and became the organization’s bible.

Welch named his organization after Captain John Birch, a Baptist missionary who was shot and bayoneted to death by the Chinese communists in 1945, ten days after the end of World War II. Welch thought that that made Birch the first casualty of the Cold War against the communists.

Basically, the Birch Society was an educational organization dedicated to changing the pattern of American thinking. At one point, it had a staff of two hundred fifty employees. The Society published two magazines, had a book publishing operation which sold posters, bumper stickers, tapes, and pamphlets, published newspaper ads and ran radio and television spots, had a radio show called Are You Listening Uncle Sam?, and operated the largest speakers bureau in the world. Some of the specific causes the Society took on during its heyday were achieving a quick and decisive victory in Vietnam; combating the civil rights movement, which it saw as communist-controlled; getting this country out of the United Nations; abolishing the federal income tax and the Federal Reserve system; impeaching the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Earl Warren; setting up “support your local police” committees; and opposing sex education in the schools.

The Society developed the reputation for tolerating, and probably encouraging, anti-Semitic and racist members as long as they weren’t vocal about their views and thereby embarrassing to the organization. While the Society professed to being a friend of the Jewish people, when Welch talked about an “insiders conspiracy” many people came away with the impression that he was referring to Zionists as well as Communists. And when Birchers spoke of “big money interests,” the general consensus was that this was a code name for Jews. It wasn’t long before the Birch Society came to be the most vilified organization in America this side of the Ku Klux Klan. The Anti-Defamation League called them a group of “fascists,” “character assassins,” and a “danger on the right.”

Welch seemed to go off the deep end when he published a book calling Dwight Eisenhower a “dedicated, conscious agent of the Communist conspiracy,” and made similar allegations against such respected Americans as General George Marshall, Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, and Supreme Court Justice William Brennan.[137]John George and Laird Wilcox, Nazis, Communists, Klansmen, and Others on the Fringe (Buffalo, NY: Prometheus, 1992), p. 217. Barry Goldwater, a hero to the political right, called Welch “intemperate and unwise” and criticized him for making “damaging, ridiculous, and very stupid statements.” As time went on, the Society lost more and more credibility. Welch died in 1985, and the Society today plugs on in virtual anonymity.

 

“Your Birch Society membership was your first real political activity. How long did you stay with them?” I asked Pierce.

“Not long at all—just a few meetings,” Pierce replied. “I found they weren’t really willing to deal with some of the issues I saw as important. They were against the civil rights revolution, but they wouldn’t deal with it on a racial basis. They approached it from the angle of communist agitators stirring up the Negroes, as they were called in those years. It’s true that communism was an important part of the civil rights movement; the communists did latch onto it. But the fundamental significance of the civil rights activity was racial not political. But when I brought that up to the Birch Society people, they wouldn’t go near it.

“If the Birchers were going to stress the communist aspect of the civil rights movement, why were they unwilling to look at exactly who these communists were? I said to them, ‘Why don’t we deal with the fact that so often these people are Jews? How can you make sense of communism without understanding the Jewish role in it from Karl Marx on through? The Bolshevik revolution in Russia would never have gotten off the ground if it hadn’t been for the Jews. And if you look at the communists and their supporters in this country, they are primarily Jews. Why, I asked them, are the columnists in the newspapers who are sympathetic to the civil rights agenda so often Jewish? The head of the NAACP had always been a Jew. It is obvious that if the Jews withdrew their support the civil-rights movement would collapse.’

“They immediately jumped on me. ‘Oh no,’ they said, ‘Gus Hall [the head of the Communist Party in the United States at the time] is not a Jew.’ [Hall was born in Minnesota the son of Finnish immigrants—real name, Arvo Kusta Halberg.] They wouldn’t touch it. They were scared to death of being labeled anti-Semitic. Or maybe Welch figured that from a strategic point of view it was best to avoid the very emotional issues of blacks and Jews and just focus on communism. Whatever was going on, I went to three or four meetings and said to myself ‘These guys are going nowhere,’ and I quit after three months.

“If the Birch Society had been willing to deal with the race and Jewish questions, the two most important issues as far as I was concerned, I might have been willing to stay with them. But the fact that they wouldn’t pushed me in the direction of thinking that somebody has to hit these issues head on. Somebody has to go public about them. I guess I have an obstinate personality. I became even more convinced that the anti-war and civil rights movements were too well financed and were having too big an impact on people’s thinking and that I had to deal with this issue as I saw it in some way.

“I started to write letters to anybody who came to my attention. I probably wrote to a dozen people. It was a hit-or-miss activity; I wrote to an eclectic group of people. I’d ask them what they thought was the best way to deal with the anti-war and civil rights movements. I asked them what they thought a concerned person ought to do and if they could steer me to somebody else I could contact, which, in some cases, I did. I remember one of the people I wrote was a conservative named Dan Smoot. He was a former FBI agent who had a radio program. Somebody had said ‘You ought to listen to Dan Smoot, he sounds a lot like you.’ So I listened to his show and wrote him a letter.

“One day, it must have been in about 1963,” Pierce told me, “I was watching the news on television and I saw a clip of George Lincoln Rockwell. It was brief, twenty or thirty seconds or so. Rockwell was trying to give a speech to a bunch of university students in San Diego and they were shouting him down and throwing bottles at him. [Rockwell gave a speech at San DiegoStateUniversity in March of 1962, so it was probably in that year that Pierce saw the news footage.[138]William Schmaltz, Hate: George Lincoln Rockwell and the American Nazi Party (Herndon, VA: Batsford Brassey, 1998), p. 136.] ‘Go back to Germany, you Nazi bastard!’ and that kind of stuff. Despite all that was going on, Rockwell did get two or three sentences out before members of the audience rushed on the stage and tore out his microphone, and I said to myself, ‘You know, he’s basically right.’ So I went to the library and looked up Rockwell’s address and wrote him a letter. About two weeks later I got a long handwritten answer from him, about a dozen pages. Rockwell billed himself as a National Socialist, and even before I had gotten in touch with him I had decided that’s what I was; although I thought that maybe Rockwell was just a clown. He operated out of Washington, D.C., and there was a physics meeting scheduled for there, so I used that opportunity to go talk to him.”

7 • George Lincoln Rockwell • 13,300 Words

William Pierce’s meeting with George Lincoln Rockwell in Washington in 1964 began an association that was to profoundly affect the course of Pierce’s life. Rockwell was a tall, slim, dark-haired, good-looking fellow in his mid-forties when Pierce contacted him. He was the self-proclaimed Commander of the American Nazi Party he founded and headquartered at Arlington, Virginia, just outside of Washington, D.C.. It has been estimated that Rockwell had around one hundred active members in his organization, with a few hundred more subscribing to his publications, Stormtrooper and The Rockwell Report. Rockwell had an assertive and brash public persona, affected a dashing, rakish image with his corncob pipe, and tended to approach things with a showbiz touch. His public rallies, with him decked out like Hitler in a brown uniform and boots, and a swastika arm band, greeting his followers with the Roman salute, and surrounded by “stormtroopers” and American and Nazi flags had a theatrical as well as—to many—a frightening quality. In his speeches Rockwell would rail against Jews for being behind communism and scheming to mongrelize the American racial stock by promoting racial integration and interbreeding with blacks. He called for resettling American blacks in Africa in a new African state at American expense.[139]For biographical information on Rockwell, see Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke, Hitler’s Priestess: Savitri Devi, the Hindu-Aryan Myth, and Neo-Nazism (New York: New York University Press, 1998), pp. 197-199, 205-206.

To give a sense of Rockwell’s style—serious, but still a bit tongue-in-cheek—in response to the freedom rides, as they were called, in 1961 where civil rights activists rode buses in the South to integrate interstate bus travel, Rockwell had his own “hate bus” which he and some of his members drove through the South.[140]William Schmaltz, Hate: George Lincoln Rockwell and the American Nazi Party (Herndon, VA: Batsford Brassey, 1998), p.115. Another example, evidently with reference to the strong Jewish presence among psychoanalysts and therapists, Rockwell put out a pamphlet which he said gave instructions on how to combat “the Jew mental health attack.”[141]John George and Laird Wilcox, Nazis, Comunists, Klansmen, and Others on the Fringe (Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Books, 1992), p. 356. And then there was his booklet, “The Diary of Ann Fink.”[142]Schmaltz, p. 180.

George Lincoln Rockwell was born in 1918 in Bloomington, Illinois.[143]See the biographical sketch of Rockwell in “Playboy Interview: George Lincoln Rockwell,” Playboy, vol. 13, April 1966, pp. 71-72. He was the oldest of the two sons of “Doc” Rockwell, a vaudeville comic. Rockwell’s parents divorced when he was young, and he spent his childhood years shuttling back and forth between his mother in rural Illinois and his father in Maine, New Jersey, and Rhode Island. He enrolled in BrownUniversity in 1938 and focused his efforts on the study of philosophy, social science, and, according to some accounts, practical-joking. At Brown, he began moving to the right politically, rebelling against the liberal, egalitarian slant of both the social sciences he was studying and his professors. He came to see liberalism as the “pimping little sister of communism.”[144]Goodrick-Clarke, pp. 197. He dropped out of Brown after his sophomore year and enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served as a naval aviator during World War II. Rockwell commanded the naval air support at the invasion of Guam in the South Pacific in August of 1944.

In 1943, Rockwell married a woman he had met at Brown. It was the first of two marriages, producing a total of seven children. Both marriages ended in divorce. After he was mustered out of the service in 1945, Rockwell and his first wife took up residence in Maine where he eked out a living as a sign painter and free-lance photographer. He then pursued a career in commercial art and moved the family to New York City, where he studied at the Pratt Institute of Design. Rockwell proved to have considerable gifts at this new line of endeavor and was awarded a major prize for an ad he had designed for the American Cancer Society. However, he turned his back on art and returned to Maine to start an ad agency, which quickly went bankrupt.

When the Korean War broke out in 1950, Rockwell was recalled to active duty and trained fighter pilots at a naval base in San Diego. While in San Diego, he befriended a married couple who shared his conviction that General Douglas MacArthur should run for President. The wife provided him with some right-wing pamphlets that included anti-Semitic material. Rockwell found the material fascinating—the seed had been planted. When he was transferred to Iceland in 1952, he left his wife and three daughters in San Diego. Within a year he was divorced and remarried to the niece of Iceland’s ambassador to the United States.[145]George and Wilcox, p. 355.

The 1950s were the McCarthy years, as they were called after Wisconsin Senator Joseph McCarthy, who alleged there were large numbers of communists in high positions in the United States government. During this time, there was a general anti-communist hysteria in this country. The fear was that communists were infiltrating all facets of American life, from the government to the universities to the labor unions to the motion-picture industry. Rockwell himself was certain that something was off-kilter in society and that there was some funny-business going on, but what really put it all into focus for him, he later recalled, was when he bought a copy of Hitler’s book Mein Kampf at a secondhand book store and found himself “transfixed” and “hypnotized”:

[In Mein Kampf] I found abundant “mental sunshine,” which bathed all the gray world suddenly in the clear light of reason and understanding. Word after word, sentence after sentence stabbed into the darkness like thunderclaps and lightning bolts of revelation, tearing and ripping away the cobwebs of more than thirty years of darkness, brilliantly illuminating the mysteries of the heretofore impenetrable murk in a world gone mad. I was transfixed, hypnotized….I wondered at the utter, indescribable genius of it….[146]Goodrick-Clarke, pp. 197-198.

From that point on, Rockwell knew what he believed in: National Socialism.

When his second tour of duty in the Navy was completed in 1954, Rockwell took up residence in Washington, D.C., where he started a magazine for service wives called U.S. Lady. He was forced to sell the magazine enterprise after a few issues because of financial pressures. He then hit the road with his wife as a traveling salesman. He had no great success in this endeavor either and wound up broke back in Washington, where his wife’s income managed to keep food on the table.[147]Playboy Interview, pp. 71-72.

For a time, Rockwell was active in conservative political groups. Then he and a wealthy patron, Harold N. Arrowsmith, formed the National Committee to Free America from Jewish Domination and set up its headquarters in Arlington, Virginia. The first official act of this new organization was to picket the White House carrying such signs as SAVE IKE FROM THE KIKES.[148]Schmaltz, p. 33. (President Eisenhower’s nickname was Ike.) After a short time, Rockwell broke with Arrowsmith and founded the American Nazi Party. He issued uniforms and swastika arms bands to eleven or twelve recruits whom he housed in barracks he called “hatemonger hill.”[149]Goodrick-Clarke, pp. 198-199. Rockwell and his troops swaggered around their headquarters in brown shirts and boots brandishing Lugers and “heiling” one another. From that point on, Rockwell carried on the activity that would occupy the rest of his life until his assassination in August of 1967—engaging in brash exploits to awaken what he perceived to be a sleeping and passive American public to the intertwined issues of the Jews and the blacks.

When a synagogue was blown up in Atlanta, several newspaper articles implicated Rockwell, and his headquarters became the target of bricks, Molotov cocktails, police raids, and death threats. At this point, his wife, with the strong encouragement of her family, decided it was best that she leave, and she took the children and went back to Iceland.[150]Schmaltz, p. 38.

Rockwell traveled to Iceland to attempt to get his family back together. When he got off the plane in the city of Reykjavik, no one was waiting for him. He hitched a ride to where his wife and the children lived. When he got to the door, he heard his children scurrying around inside. He set down the toy steam shovel and doll he was carrying and knocked on the door. His wife, whose name was Thora, opened the door and exclaimed, “You! What are you doing here?” After a couple of days, Rockwell realized that things weren’t going to work out as he’d hoped, and he returned to the United States alone. He was never to see Thora or the children again.[151]Ibid., p. 56.
(Schmaltz, p. 38.)

From then on, Rockwell’s life was devoted to a continuing campaign of organizing, publishing, demonstrating, and speaking. His activities resulted in his becoming probably the most disdained and mocked man in America, as well as a fair amount of time in jails and hospital beds following his public demonstrations. A year before his death, a reporter asked Rockwell, “Do you believe all of this you preach?” Rockwell slowly and in a low voice replied, “This has cost me the most beautiful wife in the world. Seven kids. All my relatives. I was a commander in the Navy and a half year away from a pension [before being discharged by the Navy for his political views and activities]. Certainly, I believe all of this.”[152]Ibid., p. 301.
(Schmaltz, p. 38.)

Rockwell authored a self-published book called White Power. In the book, he set out his National Socialist beliefs in the form of principles of group living he called “the laws of the tribe.”[153]George Lincoln Rockwell, White Power (Los Angeles: World Services, 1972), pp. 444-448. There are five of these laws according to Rockwell: biological integrity, territory, leadership, status, and motherhood.

Biological integrity, said Rockwell, is the “absolute, total, and uncompromising loyalty to one’s own racial group and absolute, uncompromising hatred for outsiders who intrude and threaten to mix their genes with those of the females of the group.” According to this idea, nature creates breeds of animals, including various species of human beings, and protects the biological purity of these breeds as a means of maintaining and improving them. Nature accomplishes these ends in humans through two powerful instincts: love of one’s own breed and hatred for outsiders. These two instincts are equally necessary. Love of one’s own is incredibly powerful and good, but it can’t and shouldn’t stand alone; it needs to be complemented by a deadly hate of that which threatens what is loved. Indeed, hate has its place. The notion that love is good and hate is evil is just the party line of “Jews, liberals, queers, half-wits, and cowards,” wrote Rockwell.

Rockwell asserted that the essence of National Socialism is grounded in this law of biological integrity: namely, the affirmation of racism. To Rockwell, racism is not about morality; it is not about right and wrong. Rather, it is about fact, whether something accords with the reality of Nature or it doesn’t. National Socialism at its core, he declared, is the belief “that humans differ in excellence of breed exactly the same as all other living things, and that the White Man is so far the finest breed to appear, while the Blacks are the Lowest.”[154]Ibid., p. 453.
(George Lincoln Rockwell, White Power (Los Angeles: World Services, 1972), pp. 444-448.)
Thus National Socialism turns racism upside down, from something reprehensible to something that is in alignment with Nature and in service to it.

And then there is the law of territory. To illustrate this concept, Rockwell used the example of tiny tropical fish called swordtails, who will stake out a section of a tank and ferociously attack anything that intrudes into their space. Rockwell claimed that human beings are like these swordtails: it is in our nature to stake out territory for ourselves and our people. He said that in human affairs this law takes the form of adherence to the concept of private property and to national identification and loyalty.

The law of leadership, according to Rockwell, is leadership of the group being in the hands of the very best. In the animal kingdom, he asserted, even if it were possible, leaders would not be selected by democratic vote. Nature’s method is combat, not the ballot, said Rockwell. Nature wouldn’t employ a democratic vote because that is a chancy way of bringing the very best of the group to positions of leadership. Human affairs has demonstrated that, in the long run if not immediately, voting will inevitably result in something other than the best in leadership positions. Leaders chosen in democratic fashion are very likely be the glibbest and the slickest, but they are very unlikely to be the wisest and most capable.

The law of status is similar to the law of leadership, except that it applies to all positions in the group and not just the leadership positions. The law of status says that for every individual there is a natural slot in a hierarchical ordering of members of a group. All of the group members compete for their slot or niche in this hierarchy and then settle into it and are reasonably content with it. The result of this process, said Rockwell, is that things run peacefully for the group and in an orderly and efficient way.

And then, lastly, there is the law of motherhood. Rockwell asserted that it is Nature’s way that females stay out of the affairs of males, and that they specialize in producing and rearing the young and creating healthy families.

To Rockwell’s way of thinking, we violate these five laws at our extreme peril, and that there is one group in particular that is doing its best to persuade us to do just that: the Jews. To give a sense of his rhetorical style, an extended quote from Rockwell’s book on how Jews, divorced from Nature as they are, according to him, promote the violation of the laws of the tribe:

The Jews have spread the unspeakably destructive idea of “universalism,” “one-worldism”—one mob of raceless, stateless, and atomized individuals—as the supreme idea of mankind. Even the conservatives have been suckered into paying lip service to this same unnatural, fragmented, super-individualistic, JEWISH disease of society.

We are told by the Jews that the Law of BIOLOGICAL INTEGRITY (love inside, hate outside) is “racism”—the “ultimate evil” of all time! We are told that if we do not love Yellow men, Black men—and especially Jews—as much as our own people, then we are vicious, perverted, and doomed—we are “racists.” Millions of pitiful white suckers believe that Jewish lie!

We are told that the Law of TERRITORY (private property) is an UN-natural greed, and that decent men must wish to share everything and have no desire for their own private property. They call this “Marxist socialism,” “Communism,” and various other names indicating a concern for “society” and “community”—but all of them strike at the heart of the most powerful and only motivation in living creatures: to build, create, and produce. Millions believe these Jew liars.

We are told by the Jews that the Law of LEADERSHIP (rule of the best) is “dictatorship,” and that we must strive for “democracy” (rule by mobs). Millions of White Aryans have been suckered into believing this siren song of “democracy,” until mobs of human garbage are now terrorizing our whole nation.

We are told by the Jews that the Law of STATUS (the establishment of the natural order of ability of each person in his right place) is “class exploitation” and that the natural leaders of a society—those who have been successful—must be smashed and murdered by those who have not. Whole nations full of good White Aryans have been suckered with this vile Jewish method of dividing and conquering our people through class warfare.

Finally, we are told by these ever-loving Jews that the specialization of women in child-rearing is a beastly enslavement of our females, that women are intended to be judges, locomotive engineers, army officers, and business executives. The result, of course, is the growing destruction of that sacred and beautiful institution of all healthy civilizations, motherhood, and with it the home and the family. Our entire Western world has fallen for this “democratic” Jewish swindle, which has made women the most pitiful victims of the Jewish disease. Millions of “modern” women are hopelessly lost, frustrated, and utterly miserable, even while they are squawking about more “rights” through loudspeakers and marching around in hell-raising, militant, political organizations. Meanwhile, millions of families are without warm, wonderful mothers, and homes are becoming more like luxurious jails than the miracles of love and warmth that were the homes of a century before.[155]Ibid., pp. 449-450.
(George Lincoln Rockwell, White Power (Los Angeles: World Services, 1972), pp. 444-448.)

Rockwell argued that the Jews themselves adhere to the laws of the tribe at the same time that they push its violation on others:

The group loyalty of Jews is perhaps the most fantastic in the history of the world. It has propelled them into near mastery of the entire world—not because they are braver, work harder, are more intelligent or more worthy than the rest of us—but because they observe the basic laws of Nature and maintain group loyalty. While all the rest of us have fallen for their rotten “one world,” “we-are-all-brothers” garbage, which disintegrates our society, the Jews maintain their society with a group loyalty such as history has never before seen, and thus they go from one triumph to another.[156]Ibid., p. 452.
(George Lincoln Rockwell, White Power (Los Angeles: World Services, 1972), pp. 444-448.)

To Rockwell, National Socialism comes down to living in alignment with the natural order of things:

National Socialism is the only movement which has gained sufficient self-knowledge and insight to be able to understand this movement away from liberal artificiality and short-sightedness and toward the eternal wisdom of Nature. Our all-out belief in race, our insistence on the natural laws in society, economics, and every other field of human activity are, in every case, the conscious, scientific application of these laws, instead of conceited and short-sighted perversions of these laws…[157]Ibid., p. 457.
(George Lincoln Rockwell, White Power (Los Angeles: World Services, 1972), pp. 444-448.)

The National Socialist movement that Rockwell is trying to foster, he says in his book, isn’t about gaining political or economic power, at least not at this point. Rather, fundamentally it is an educational effort, an attempt to bring about a radical change in the way whites think and feel about themselves. It involves

the elimination of selfish atomism and greedy narrow “individualism,” or “democracy,” and the restoration in the hearts of Western White men of the deeply satisfying feelings of love of our own kind. This love of one’s group manifests itself in the willingness to sacrifice and give for one’s family—and the larger family of one’s race.[158]Ibid., p. 461.
(George Lincoln Rockwell, White Power (Los Angeles: World Services, 1972), pp. 444-448.)

For Rockwell, it comes down to bringing about a sense of racial identity and loyalty among European whites.

 

I obtained from Pierce a copy of an audiotape of a Rockwell speech to a college audience in November of 1966 which must have been similar to the one Pierce saw on television that inspired him to write a letter to Rockwell.[159]“Rockwell at BrownUniversity,” American Dissident Voices, audio tape no. 448 (Hillsboro, WV: National Vanguard Books, 1992). The speech was given at BrownUniversity in Providence, Rhode Island, where Rockwell himself had been a student before the outbreak of World War II. I presume the audience was made up primarily of Brown students and faculty.

Rockwell’s speech took about an hour. He had an upbeat manner and a rapid-fire speaking style reminiscent of a standup comic (“Let me tell you, ladies and gentleman…”). There was a lightness and likeability about him; he wasn’t dark or harsh—except during one exchange, recounted below, with audience members who told him to stop speaking. Thus, with this one exception there was a contrast between this really quite charming presenter and the Jews-are-the-Devil-incarnate substance of his message. Throughout Rockwell’s speech, members of the audience were shouting out derisive comments. The shouting served as backdrop to Rockwell’s microphone-amplified voice and became part of the speech and to a great extent gave definition to the event. There was a stagy quality to the occasion, and it was hard for me to tell how completely real the event seemed to the people who were in the audience—real as opposed to participation in a kind of improvisational theater performance, or just a goof, the way people attending the Jerry Springer show in recent years might view the occasion.

Rockwell’s speech was not what could be called a straight-line presentation—it went from here to there and back again. He would frequently interrupt his prepared remarks to spar with hecklers and go off into what appeared to be spontaneous digressions. But despite the zigging and zagging it seemed that Rockwell never lost his audience, and I had the distinct impression that when he finished those in attendance would have preferred that he continue. I suspect it wasn’t so much that they wanted to hear more of what he was trying to get across; undoubtedly the vast majority of them were certain that he was spouting nonsense. Rather, they were having a good time and didn’t want it to end.

Rockwell began his talk by telling the audience why he was a National Socialist. He said he was going to present a sample of the “shocking facts” that had turned him around. He then remarked that the last time he was in this hall, he was “half stewed, hanging on to a girl at a dance”—which got a sarcastic laugh. He said that he had read an article about Jewish organizations working all week to nullify what he would say in his speech that evening. But the last time a communist spoke here on campus, Rockwell offered, this communist was “invited to tea with the Pembroke girls [Brown’s sister school], and the Jews didn’t say a word! When is the last time you heard of Jews protesting a communist?”

His thesis tonight, Rockwell said, returning to his talk, is that you can’t have an educated opinion or manage a democracy unless you are given all the facts about things. Most liberals are sincere and dedicated people, he acknowledged, and, he asserted, most of the people in the academic community are liberals. But the reason they are liberals, he insisted, is that the facts that they are provided leave them no room to make any other choice but to be a liberal.

Rockwell then started to read an excerpt from a London newspaper clipping from 1920 by Winston Churchill. At this point, someone in the audience hooted, and Rockwell remarked that is the first time he had heard Winston Churchill get that kind of reaction. Rockwell said he would send copies of any of the printed material he referred to in his speech to anyone who wanted them, and that if any of it proved to be phony he would “go to work for Harry Golden and the NAACP.” He then finished reading the excerpt from the Churchill article that said in effect that the Russian revolution in 1917 was a take-over of that country by Jews. Of the three hundred eighty-three commissars after the revolution, over three hundred were Jews, Rockwell claimed. “Why haven’t you been told this?” he asked his audience.

In Russia, Rockwell went on, you have freedom of speech. You can criticize anybody you want—except the communists, that is. And the same thing holds true in China, Rockwell declared. You can criticize anybody but the communists. In Cuba, same thing—anybody but Castro. And in the United States, you can criticize anybody. “You can criticize Irishmen,” he said, “and Italians, the French, people from Brown and Pembroke, anybody you want. That is to say, anybody but the Jews. You can’t criticize them. And if you think you can, try it tomorrow. You’ll be called an anti-Semite. Nobody dares say anything critical against Jews.”

“Jews don’t burn books to keep you from reading them,” asserted Rockwell. “They are more sophisticated than that. They don’t burn them because then you’d know about it. They just quietly use their business genius. They simply say to booksellers, ‘If you sell any book that we don’t like, you won’t get any more books,’ and since they control the publishing industry they can make good on their threat. The result is that you can’t buy books they don’t like.”

Rockwell then took out another document. This one, he said, was a memorandum from the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith, a Jewish organization, addressed to booksellers. According to Rockwell, it said “Scribners and Sons has just published a book by Madison Grant entitled The Conquest of a Continent.[160]Madison Grant, The Conquest of a Continent (New York: Scribner, 1934). It is extremely antagonistic to Jewish interests. Emphasized throughout is the Nordic superiority theory and the utter negation of any melting pot philosophy with regard to America. We are interested in stifling the sale of this book.” The book at no time criticizes Jews, Rockwell contended. “It simply says that the white man is the master race and created America. And you can’t read it, you can’t buy it, it isn’t available.”

“Now, I’ve written a book,” Rockwell went on. “It may be the worst book in the world, but don’t you think you should be able to decide that for yourself? Do you think the ADL and the Jewish War Veterans should be able to get together and say you will not read Rockwell’s book? And that you won’t hear him speak? And that if he does somehow manage to speak, he’ll speak in a small hall? And that he won’t be on television speaking for himself either?”

Rockwell then produced another document; this one, he said, was from the American Jewish Committee. He said that it told people how to deal with him if he does manage to get heard: “Don’t respond to the points Rockwell’s making. Don’t argue with him. Just point out what a rat he is. Call him names.”

“You are not only being denied information,” Rockwell declared. “You are being told what you will like and not like, and in case you rebel and say ‘Oh no I won’t go along with that,’ they use plain old-fashioned terrorism. Anybody thinks they don’t, get up and try to give a so-called anti-Semitic speech. Try distributing Churchill’s article I read to you, and unless you are very well organized you’ll wind up with a bloody nose. They don’t argue with you, they don’t deny what you say, they just shut you up.”

“This is supposed to be a free college [at Brown]. There are a lot of colleges around the country where people say ‘I’m a communist’ all the time. But try saying something against the equality of the races or against the Jews—that they might be involved in communism or are behind race-mixing—and you will be silenced and shut up.”

It is this suppression of the facts that accounts for liberalism, argued Rockwell. “You have been told that the Negro is a white man with a dark skin. If that is the truth, then we have no business discriminating one bit. We should marry them, we should mix [have children] with them. But if there is a difference other than the color of skin, then we ought to discuss it. But that you can’t do. The minute you try to point out the fact that there are differences other than color of skin, then you are in trouble. You are a racist, a Nazi, a fascist, a hater, a bigot. All of these are names. Nobody discusses the facts. There are plenty of facts to prove just exactly what the Negroes are.”

“If the facts are as they say they are,” Rockwell went on, “that the Negroes are wonderful and the Jews are even better, then we ought to mix and Jews ought to run the country, and we might as well fold up, us white Christians. We’ve got no business trying to run our country. We’re too stupid. But those aren’t the facts.”

“The Roman Empire perished from senility—old age,” said Rockwell. “It decayed. It went rotten. America isn’t an old country, but it is decaying. The reason this is happening isn’t because we are old, senile, or feeble. It is because we are being purposefully rotted; the soul of America is being rotted out by germs. I have a Viet Cong flag I tore down with my own hands and went to jail for doing it. The communist who was parading around the White House went on parading, and I went to jail. Treason is going on in our country, and nobody even gets indignant, nobody even cares any more. America will sit around and watch anything happen. Anything goes, and nobody will do anything about it. I’m trying to create a movement to stop the rot and decay in America.”

Rockwell then gave what he said were examples of the rot and decay he was talking about. First he offered up modern art. He said he knew something about art. He had won first prize in 1948 in a commercial art contest for a full-page ad he’d done for the American Cancer Society that ran in the New York Times. “Where did this screwy art come from?” he asked. “Paintings that look like an automobile accident. And how about the screwy poetry, and the sculpture that looks like cow dung piled up?” His point was that it came from Jews, and he then proceeded to give what he claimed were examples. He said that at first he thought that Picasso was just a Spaniard, but then he learned that he was “one of the boys.” [Picasso wasn’t Jewish.] Another example of the Jews he is talking about, he said, was this Ralph Ginsburg [a magazine publisher]; or no, he corrected himself, this other one, the poet, whose first name he couldn’t recall [Allen].

This kind of art is destroying order, he said, and when that happens you are defenseless. “Why, in Washington, D.C., right where I live, a woman can’t walk on the streets alone because they are dropping out of trees.” [Laughter] Reacting to the laughter, Rockwell added, “No, it’s true! They [undoubtedly meaning blacks] actually did drop out of a tree onto the daughter of one of the big State Department officials. I’m not making that up.”

He then went on to talk about a “big convention of queers at one of the major hotels in Washington—the Sheraton or the Shoreham.”

“There comes a time when you draw a line and say this is wrong and immoral and we are going to put a stop to it,” he declared.

Rockwell then turned back to the Jews: “You hear about the six million [killed in the Holocaust], but do any Jews ever show you what they did in Russia to the Christians, killing twenty million of them? [He was referring to the extermination of political opponents and independent farmers, called kulaks, during the Stalin era.] No movies, no tears.”

Then to communism and the civil rights movement: “Now, blacks are truly oppressed people,” Rockwell acknowledged. “They have a tough life. The commies move in and say ‘We are going to help you poor people.’ And then they have march-ins and crawl-ins and squirm-ins and wet-ins [building laughter] and they get all you people to go down to Selma [Alabama, the site of a major civil rights demonstration] and help them. The guy leading it all is Martin Luther King. I look at all the red organizations he belongs to, and he’s got communist assistance. I say he’s a red!”

Rockwell then goes on to assert that the Jews are behind the civil rights movement because they are communists and want to promote miscegenation and the disintegration of the white race.

Rockwell told his audience that when he saw all this going on in this country, he first joined with the conservatives as a way to do something about it. But he quickly became disenchanted with conservatives, who he said turned out to be “the most cowardly bunch of finks I ever had to deal with.” He said he gave up on them and told himself that he was going to “fight, tell the truth, every bit I know.”

“So I have been telling the whole truth since then, and even though it has been tough, I have been winning some of the most wonderful people I have ever met, people who are no hypocrites and cowards. This country is drowning in hypocrisy and cowardice. Conservatives say ‘I love Jews and Negroes are my best friends.’ How is that going to save the country? So I became a Nazi because I found out what a Nazi is. A Nazi is a man who believes in the white race above all things. That doesn’t mean we have to persecute anybody, but it does mean that we have to keep our country white. If Israel is a Jewish country and has a right to be Jewish, if Ghana is a black country and has a right to be black, why don’t we have the right to keep a white country white and Christian? How long do you people think you’d last if you went to Israel and campaigned in the Jewish schools against singing Jewish songs? And yet they are over here campaigning against us singing Christmas carols in ours. They won’t tolerate it, but we must.

“They are destroying our culture, our civilization, and they have millions of good Americans like many of you helping them to do it because you really believe you are helping to build a better world. They tell you about what happened to the poor Jews in Germany, but they don’t tell you what the Jews did to Germany, and what they are trying to do here. And anybody who tries to tell you, they use terrorism to shut him up. Every time I speak, I get letters saying ‘I agreed with what you said but I was afraid to say it.’ This has to stop. No man in America should be afraid to say what is in his heart, and we are. And that is why I am a Nazi, because I am no longer going to be a slave to fear. I’m no longer going to be afraid to say what I believe to be the truth. If I’m wrong, show me and I’ll quit, but stop calling me sick and calling me names and trying to punch me in the face. It will never stop me. It never stopped our forefathers. No American worthy of the name in the history of this country has ever backed down because somebody beat on him or called him sick or threw something at him, and I’m not about to either.”

At this point several people in the audience shouted. I couldn’t pick up what they were saying.

“I’m going either to run this orderly or I’m not going to speak,” Rockwell responded.

“Don’t speak!” yells a male voice. Cheers follow.

“Would you like me to quit? I’ll be glad to quit.”

Much yelling, blending into a roar.

Rockwell takes that to indicate that he ought to go on. “Then tell these Jews to shut up and I’ll go ahead!. I’m not going to speak in the middle of disorder!”

“You aren’t saying anything anyway!” Cheers.

“When the Jews are quiet, I’m going to continue.”

“Leave now!”

“Now’s your chance, Jews. Let the Christians see how you operate.”

“The Negroes in my opinion are biologically inferior,” Rockwell continued. “Not all of them—you may have some in this room who are smarter than I am. I’m talking about the average ghetto Negro. The great mass of Negroes just can’t make it in a modern urban society. That is not their fault and it is not mine, but the way to remedy it is not to take your rights away and give it to the Negroes, because it won’t help either one of you. It just pulls everybody down. I think we [the races] ought to separate. I don’t think segregation will work, and I know integration won’t work. If we can’t get them [blacks] to Africa, I’m willing to give them part of the U.S.—namely Miami Beach and Brooklyn!” [Laughter]

Rockwell then went into how “Jews’ business genius” has gotten them in control of television, “an industry that controls the minds of America.” “Television is the most powerful medium in the world,” Rockwell asserted. “There are only [at this time] three television networks. At NBC, the Chairman is Robert Sarnoff, a Russian Jew. At ABC, the Chairman is Leonard Goldenson, a Russian Jew. At CBS, there’s William Paley—Palinsky—another Russian Jew. They control everything you see on television, and as a result, even though eighty-five percent of the serious crime in this country is committed by Negroes, have you ever seen a Negro criminal? Every time you see a Negro he’s a judge or a lawyer or a very great man. On the opposite hand, whenever you see a whodunit and you are trying to figure out who the dirty rat is that did it, and a guy comes along and says ‘Hi y’all, I’m from Alabama,’ he done it, that’s the guy! He’s usually unshaven and dirty and filthy—Southern white Christian Protestant, no good. That is what has happened to your television. What I am getting at is Jewish businessmen have gotten to the top, which is their privilege, but then they use and abuse their position to brainwash our country so that you don’t any more know what is going on.

“I believe communism is rapidly disappearing as an issue in this country. I think the issue is rapidly going to become race. And I’m going to fight. I did it in World War II and I did it in Korea and I’m going to do it again, right here. Thank you very much.” [Silence and then scattered applause.]

 

“Did Rockwell have a major influence on your thinking?” I asked Pierce.

“Rockwell didn’t have any philosophical influence on me, but I did learn many practical things from him, how you get a publication printed and so on. When I was living in Connecticut I used to drive down to Washington every weekend—for a period of several months. [By that time, Rockwell had moved his headquarters to a white, sixteen-room house loaned him by an elderly woman.] I just sat in Rockwell’s office and watched and listened and absorbed as much as I could of how he was going about things. Telephone calls would come in, members of his organization would come in and talk to him. I would talk to him just like you and I are to try to orient myself more to exactly what it was that I could do. He was an unthreatened person—you could ask him anything. We got to know each other, and even though we were very different—he was gregarious and I’m not, and so on—I really liked the guy. I was there in his office in 1965 during the interview he did with Alex Haley for Playboy magazine.”

Later, I found the Playboy article to which Pierce referred.[161]Playboy Interview, pp. 71-72, 74, 76-82, 154, 156. The interview was published in the April, 1966 issue of Playboy and received a lot of attention at the time. Haley, who has since died, was an African American writer best known for helping Malcolm X with his autobiography and for the book that was the inspiration for the phenomenally successful late-1970s television mini-series, “Roots.” In the preface to the interview, Haley described his introduction to Rockwell:

About a dozen Nazis stared icily as the guards walked me past them and up the stairs to Rockwell’s door, where a side-armed trooper frisked me expertly from head to toe. Within arm’s reach, I noticed, was a wooden rack holding short combat lengths of sawed-off iron pipe. Finding me “clean,” the guard ceremoniously opened the door, stepped inside, saluted, said “Sieg Heil”—echoed brusquely from within—then stood aside and nodded permission for me to come in. I did.[162]Ibid., p. 72.
(Playboy Interview, pp. 71-72, 74, 76-82, 154, 156.)

Haley began the interview by asking Rockwell why he kept a pistol at his elbow and an armed bodyguard (Pierce says that he wasn’t a bodyguard or armed) in the room. Rockwell answered:

Just a precaution. You may not be aware of the fact that I have received literally thousands of threats against my life. Most of them have been from cranks, but some of them haven’t been. There are bullet holes all over the outside of this building. Just last week, two gallon jugs of flaming gasoline were flung against the house, right under my window. I keep this gun within reach and a guard beside me during interviews because I’ve been attacked too many times to take any chances.[163]Ibid.
(Playboy Interview, pp. 71-72, 74, 76-82, 154, 156.)

In the interview, Rockwell went over his “four phase” plan, as he called it:

The first phase is to reach the masses: you can do nothing until you’ve reached the masses. In order to reach them—without money, without status, without a public platform—you have to become a dramatic figure. Now, in order to achieve that, I’ve had to take a lot of garbage: being called a nut and a monster and everything else. But by hanging up the swastika, I reach the masses. The second phase is to disabuse them of the false picture they have gotten of me, to educate them about what my real program is. The third phase will be to organize the people I’ve educated into a political entity. And the fourth phase will be to use that political entity as a machine to win political power.[164]Ibid., p. 80.
(Playboy Interview, pp. 71-72, 74, 76-82, 154, 156.)

In the interview, Rockwell talked about “raising hell to keep people aware.” His latest ideas included staging a “back to Africa” rally at the corner of Lenox Avenue and 125th Street, the heart of New York’s Harlem, and skywriting a swastika over Manhattan on Hitler’s birthday.[165]Ibid., pp. 72, 80.
(Playboy Interview, pp. 71-72, 74, 76-82, 154, 156.)

Rockwell talked about two of his times in jail:

…the Jew-dominated officials of New Orleans had us all thrown in jail on phony charges that were later dropped. We finally got out by staging a hunger strike: eleven of us went eight days without a bite….Another time in Virginia, they put me in jail, and I was facing ten years’ possible imprisonment for “starting a war against the niggers.” You’ve never seen a man act as guilty as the sheriff who arrested me….He felt he was doing the wrong thing. Here I was, a white man fighting for the same things he believed in, and he was throwing me in jail.[166]Ibid., p. 56.
(Playboy Interview, pp. 71-72, 74, 76-82, 154, 156.)

He even discussed his plans to be President in 1972:

By 1972, with the economy coming apart at the seams, with the niggers pushing, with the Communists agitating, with all this spiritual emptiness, with all this cowardice and betrayal by our government, the masses of common, ordinary white people will have had it up to here. They will want a real leader in the White House—no more spineless jellyfish, no more oily, two-faced demagogues…[167]Ibid., p. 82.
(Playboy Interview, pp. 71-72, 74, 76-82, 154, 156.)

 

“Was it your idea,” I inquired of Pierce, “to start up The National Socialist World and be its editor?”

“It was a confluence there—it came out of both Rockwell and me. When I was working up in Connecticut I used to go to the Yale University library, and I found all these wonderful books about race and demographics and so on that had been written in the 1920s and ’30s warning about where the policies we were putting in place would lead, and they hadn’t been checked out in thirty years. So I thought, what is the point of my writing a book as I had been thinking of doing? These authors are learned men—one of them, I remember, was the head of the New York Zoological Society—and they can write better than I can, and nobody reads their books. I thought, I’ve got to do something besides just write a book and have it sink without making a ripple. I decided that I wanted to do something that was more interactive and that was going to build on itself. I decided I would start a journal, and I had a title in mind, National Socialist Thought. But I had never put out a publication of any sort. I didn’t know how to proceed. How do I get it into print? It turned out that my connection with Rockwell taught me a lot about that.

“After I had known Rockwell for a while, I approached him with the journal idea, and he said that that was exactly what he had been thinking about too, and that we ought to call it National Socialist World. I thought his title was better than mine, and I said OK. Rockwell had already done sketches for a cover layout, design, and everything—art was his thing—but he didn’t have anybody to put out the magazine. We talked about it some more, and I told Rockwell that I couldn’t work with the kinds of people he had around there—he had a lot of really defective people around him—and so it has to be completely separate from his operation. What I am going to need from you, I told him, is half the money to get this journal launched, the use of your printing plant, your mailing list, and your expertise. I’ll put it together. Rockwell went with that, although when it came time to pay the printer he didn’t have the money, so I had to pay for the whole thing. It turned out to be successful, though—at least it paid for itself.

“I condensed the book by Savitri Devi that I had read at OregonState, The Lightning and the Sun, to about a quarter of its original length and reprinted it in that first issue.[168]Sevitri Devi, “The Lightning and the Sun,” in National Socialist World, no. 1, Spring 1966, pp. 13-90. I wrote her and sent her my condensation and asked her whether it was OK with her that I do it, and she said it was all right with her. Almost no one had seen her book—nobody was selling it anywhere. She had printed it herself and if someone would write her, which I did back in Oregon, she would send him a copy of the book. Rockwell was a little taken aback when he found out I was going to use that in the first issue—it may have been a little dry for his taste—but he went along with it. The reprint took up most of the space, and then I had a couple of articles, one of them by Rockwell, and some book reviews and that was it.”

 

Pierce’s publication of Savitri Devi’s book in his new journal brought it to the attention of a much larger audience than her own self-published effort had and contributed significantly to sparking the increased interest that was to develop in her writings. Devi is an example of the intriguing characters one encounters on the far-right political fringe. Although a French national by birth, Devi—then Maximiani Portas—as a young woman identified with Greece, the country of her father’s birth. Her biographer, Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke, describes her experience when she went to Greece to study:

The beauty of Athens conjured a vision of its ancient society before her mind’s eye: the physical perfection of the slim and athletic Grecian youths, the order and simplicity of daily life, and the martial bearing and courage of the soldiers. She saw the merchants and townspeople in loose-fitting white garments going about their business on the concourses of the Agora, where philosophers sat conversing on its low stone walls. Everywhere she perceived beauty, order, and light, an image of classical man in harmony with nature, creating admirable buildings and great public spaces. In her opinion, this noble culture of “Hellenism,” “an out and out beautiful world of warriors and artists,” could only be the product of a pure race.[169]Goodrick-Clarke, pp. 14-15.

In time, Devi came to connect Hitler and National Socialism with the dream she had of a new racial order based on classical Greek antiquity.

Devi acquired Greek citizenship and did graduate work there in science, mathematics, and philosophy, and was awarded a doctorate in 1931. She then went to India hoping to find in Hindu India a living equivalent to ancient Greece and the Teutonic tribes of northern Europe before Christianity took hold there. From 1932 to 1935, she lived at Rabindrath Tagore’s ashram and adopted the Indian name she would carry for the rest of her life.

Devi soon rejected Christianity as being solely interested in man and embraced Hinduism, which she viewed as concerned with the entire universe of existence, with man but a part of this larger, all-encompassing reality. Goodrick-Clarke:

Savitri Devi did not accept a demarcation line between man and the rest of the living world. She criticized monotheistic creeds from Judaism on for positing a god who gave special rights to man to use other creatures for his own benefit. In her opinion, the concern of Jehovah with his chosen people, the Jews, typified the limitations of a tribal or local deity. Christianity, she maintained, was nothing more than a globalized tribal religion; the Christians had raised Jesus Christ to the deity of an extended tribe, namely, mankind, which was no more than one species among many others in the endless variety of nature. She detested Christianity and other creedal religions for making man, not life, the center of their creative myths and the basis of their scale of values.[170]Ibid., p. 99.
(Goodrick-Clarke, pp. 14-15.)

During her first five years in India, Devi traveled extensively throughout the country, taught English and Indian history at two colleges, and lectured at a Hindu mission, which was set up by independence-minded Hindu political organizations to counteract declining Hindu influence in the country. She was impressed with Indian nationalist political elements who sought closer ties with Hitler’s Germany as part of their effort to achieve independence from British rule and made the acquaintance of independence leader Subhas Chandra Bose. The Hindu mission where she lectured had a distinct pro-Hitler slant, its president describing Hitler as the “saviour of the world.”

In 1938 Devi met and married Asit Krishna Mukherji, the editor of a pro-German, National Socialist magazine. It appears that to a large extent it was a marriage of convenience, as she was worried that with her reputation as a Hindu mission lecturer and Nazi sympathizer she would be deported by British authorities as a suspected alien or forbidden to travel abroad and return. Marriage to Mukherji would make her the wife of a British subject and able to travel freely. Devi describes their marriage as based on shared ideals and a cordial friendship rather than a romantic attachment. There were no children. After work at the Hindu mission, evenings were spent at home with her husband discussing Hinduism, racial ideology, and Mein Kampf. Devi also studied yoga and Indian cuisine, and worked on a book about a “religion for a New Order” based on the solar cult of the Egyptian pharaoh Akhnaton called the religion of the Disk.[171]Ibid., pp. 70-74.
(Goodrick-Clarke, pp. 14-15.)
Goodrick-Clarke:

The injunction to live in accordance with nature was the single commandment of the religion of the Disk. Man should understand nature as a rational, beautiful, and loving order and not seek to superimpose upon it his own needs or ideas of right. Any philosophical or moral notions reflecting a “supernatural” world view lead to error. The religion of the Disk is quite simply a romantic religion of nature.[172]Ibid., pp. 103-104.
(Goodrick-Clarke, pp. 14-15.)

Devi considered Nazism to be consistent with the religion of the Disk, as it too was based on an integral truth grounded in an understanding and love of nature. The book she wrote on this topic entitled Son of God was published in 1946. All of her books were self-published with the help of her husband.

Devi’s writings after the war, Impeachment of Man being one example, argued passionately for animal rights and care for the environment. She demanded that mankind end what she saw as its exploitation of animals and called for the end of meat eating, the wearing of furs and feathers, hunting, bullfighting, circus performances, employing animals as beasts of burden, and the use of animals in medical and scientific experiments. She deplored what she saw as the brutalization of nature that had taken place in the United States, a country she said was “a land of forests as late as the middle of the nineteenth century.” About America Devi wrote:

And there in the place of murdered trees are roads and railways, towns with endless suburbs, villages rapidly growing into towns, and vast expanses of cultivated land; more and more cultivated land to feed more and more people who might as well never have ever been born.[173]Ibid., p. 106.
(Goodrick-Clarke, pp. 14-15.)

As for human beings, in Devi’s eyes, there is simply too little quality and far too much quantity. Goodrick-Clarke:

She is in revolt against the whole utilitarian ethos of the West, which seeks the greatest good for the greatest number. In her view, people are simply not equal. She is convinced that this emphasis upon universal welfare at the expense of nature will ultimately degrade the planet into a crowded polluted slum. She seeks a qualitative improvement of the world by which she understands the creation of a hardy, physical breed of superior Aryans inhabiting an aesthetic world of natural beauty. For her, racism is an ecological imperative to conserve the good in nature.[174]Ibid.
(Goodrick-Clarke, pp. 14-15.)

As Devi saw it, Nazism accorded with her reverence for nature. Goodrick-Clarke:

The Nazi philosophy set at naught man’s intellectual conceit, his naive pride in “progress,” and his futile attempts to enslave nature, and instead made the mysterious and unfailing impersonal wisdom of forests, oceans, and outer space the basis of a global regeneration policy for an overcrowded, overcivilized, and technologically overdeveloped world.[175]Ibid., p. 120.
(Goodrick-Clarke, pp. 14-15.)

While Devi saw the Nazis as allies, she viewed Jews as her antagonists. She believed Jews were on the side of everything she didn’t want: racial mixing, cosmopolitanism, Marxism, liberalism, skepticism, and the idea of an international raceless brotherhood. She believed that the Jews pushed these things on others all the while adhering closely to their own tribal identity and thus protecting themselves from their negative consequences.[176]Ibid., p. 122.
(Goodrick-Clarke, pp. 14-15.)

After World War II, Devi left India leaving her husband behind. It appears she and her husband parted on amiable terms and they never divorced. For a time she worked in Iceland as a tutor in French. She then went to Germany where she made contact with Nazi loyalists and engaged in such activities as passing out leaflets saying “Hold fast to our glorious National Socialist faith, and resist!!” This got her arrested for promoting militarist and National Socialist ideas on German territory in violation of occupation law, a crime which carried a maximum sentence of death. She responded to her arrest with defiance and scorn and was sentenced to three years in prison, although she only served a few months. While imprisoned, she finished The Lightning and the Sun. When the book was published in 1958, she was working in Edinburgh, Scotland as a wardrobe manager for a traveling dance company.

Devi became active in international neo-Nazi activities in the 1960s, which included becoming a founding member of the World Union of National Socialists. She worked closely with British neo-Nazis, including Colin Jordan and John Tyndall. One of the rallies of the National Socialist Movement party in Britain that she attended in 1962 was marked by the well-publicized appearance of American Nazi Party leader George Lincoln Rockwell.

In the last years of her life, Devi traveled here and there staying with friends and sympathizers. Pierce told me Devi would just show up with a backpack and stay for a time. Following her death in 1982, her ashes were placed in a shrine at the headquarters of the National Socialist White People’s Party (Rockwell had changed the name from the American Nazi Party in early 1967). In 1983, there was a memorial service for her at this site. The urn containing her ashes sat on a pedestal in front of a Nazi flag. To each side were candles and bouquets of flowers. To the right was a somewhat idealized picture of a younger Savitri Devi in profile surrounded by a wreath over which was draped a sash once worn by Adolf Hitler.

Although she has received little or no attention in the media, Savitri Devi has attained, since her death, cult status in certain circles outside the mainstream of society. Her uncompromising approach to life, her disdain for the masses and vision of a pristine new Aryan order, her love of animals, her nature-centered view of existence, her criticism of an increasingly congested and automated world, and her search for a more fitting religion than Christianity have struck a chord in our time. She is talked about and read—more now than when she was alive—by neo-Nazis, radical environmentalists, paganists, those pessimistic about the effects of increasing human population and technological change, and animal rights advocates around the world.[177]Ibid., p. 225.
(Goodrick-Clarke, pp. 14-15.)

 

“You say Rockwell had a lot of limited people around him?” I asked Pierce. “‘Defective’ is the term I think you used to describe them.”

“Rockwell was courageous and honest and he didn’t have an ego problem,” Pierce answered. “So many people are terrified of taking an unpopular public stand, but not Rockwell. He wasn’t afraid to stick his neck out and get vilified and beaten up. I admired that. But he was this flamboyant showman, that was his style, and I had problems with that. The sensationalist approach, the publicity stunts and so on, it just wasn’t dignified, it looked foolish; and, really, what we are about is no laughing matter. If you put on a show as he was doing, calling yourself the American Nazi Party and waving swastika banners around in front of the White House, if you come on with an incendiary approach, most level-headed people, even if they think of themselves as National Socialists, are going to be hesitant to get involved with that kind of circus. Rockwell had gathered around himself a group of people who for the most part were quite defective in one way or another. They were cripples. Things were in constant chaos. One damn thing after another. People were fighting with each other and organizing mutinies. People had to be gotten out of jail. I thought to myself, ‘I couldn’t put up with this. I’m never going to do anything that is dependent on defective people like this. I’ve got to have normal, moral, capable people around me if I am ever going to get anything done.’ That was the most important lesson I learned from Rockwell: do things in a way that will attract the kind of people you can work with.”

“Your major project at that time with Rockwell was getting out the first edition of National Socialist World, is that right?”

“Yes. During the magazine’s production I was still living in Connecticut. I pasted up the pages of the magazine up there after it had been set in type by an outfit in Dallas. Then I used my annual vacation from work to go to Virginia where Rockwell had a print shop to oversee the actual printing. It was on a piece of land in the country about fifty miles south of Washington given to him by a sympathizer. It had a chicken house made out of cement blocks about one hundred feet long and maybe twelve feet wide. It had been fixed up with running water and electricity, and they had used it as a combination barracks and print shop. They had a printing press in there and racks on the wall for ink and rollers, a darkroom, a lithographic camera—everything you needed for lithographic printing.

“The guy in charge of the print shop—and remember this name—was John Patler. While I was around there, I had a chance to observe Patler. His real name was Yanacki Patsalos. He was this dark, greasy-looking little guy from New York, and he felt bad he was Greek instead of Swedish or German. It really bugged him. He tried to disguise his origin by changing his name. He had this feeling of inferiority, and he had an envy and hatred for people with light eyes, hair, and complexion. I don’t know exactly where this came from. Maybe it was because he had grown up in New York and he was from a poor immigrant family and was at the bottom of the pecking order, and at the top around where he was from were the English, Irish, and Germans. Anyway, he was organizing the darker members of the party against what he called the blue-eyed devils. He was a very aggressive little turd. It was wild, surreal. Patler was sort of talented, though. Besides the printing, he was an artist. He did cartoons for Rockwell. He was smart and had a lot of willpower and drive. The other people in the print shop were real losers of one sort or another, and they did the grunt work for him.

“When it came time to print the magazine, I stayed down by the print shop. I ate my meals in a little kitchen in one end of the chicken coop and slept in a station wagon I had at the time. Rockwell had told me that I had better stay down there all the time because he suspected that Patler was going to sabotage the whole damn thing. Patler hates you, Rockwell said. Rockwell said Patler doesn’t want this magazine produced because he looks upon it as a competitor to his own magazine, the one he edited, called Stormtrooper. And it did turn out that Patler and I were in constant warfare during that time.

“But I had to get the magazine done, and through sheer will I did get it done. I just sort of pushed Patler. It was a nightmare. He came to hate me intensely, and I’m sure he would have gladly killed me if he had thought he could get away with it. I didn’t know how to do this lithographic work when I got there, but I watched Patler do it and I learned pretty quickly. So when Patler tried to stall me, I said ‘OK, I’ll do it,’ and I operated the camera and made the negatives. You’ll notice on that first issue of the magazine [of the six in total] there is uneven print density. That was because of my inexperience in doing that sort of thing.

“When we got to the final stages of stapling and gluing all the covers and so on, we recruited all the little kids from the neighboring farms. Free labor. They didn’t know what it was all about, but they seemed to be having a good time. I remember one of the little kids, about five years old, was nicknamed ‘Turd.’

“On June 6th, 1966, I hauled all those magazines off in my station wagon to the post office. I said to myself, iacta alea est—the die is cast. I have to make it work now. For me it was like jumping into unknown waters; would I sink or swim? I just assumed that I wouldn’t be able to continue working at Pratt & Whitney once the magazine was published. So I quit my job there. I also had all these fantasies about what might happen to me when I made that first public commitment, publishing the first issue of the magazine. I thought that maybe I would become the target of black militant organizations or Jewish gangsters, that I’d get attacked or shot or something, I didn’t know. But I was inspired by the example of Rockwell’s courage. And I wanted to use my own name. I didn’t want to be anonymous because I wanted to be in contact with people. As it turned out, nothing really happened. My theory is that the printed word doesn’t mean all that much to blacks. They will only react when you actually get right in their face and confront them. As for Jews, if they sense a threat they’ll use one of their organizations, or they’ll form a new one and jump on you that way.

“My wife had been anticipating this change—I had told her I was going to have to quit my job in Connecticut when the magazine came out—so she had been looking around for employment. She was able to find work as an assistant professor of mathematics at MaryWashingtonCollege in Fredericksburg, Virginia. We lived in Fredericksburg, and I had an office at home. I commuted up to Arlington where I had a P.O. box for the magazine and a small space in the place Rockwell was living in where I kept my records. It was an old mansion on a hill with about forty acres of land. It was worth millions of dollars. The owner of the land was an old woman who let Rockwell stay there. I guess she liked Rockwell, but also partly, I think, having him there served her purposes by keeping other people off the land.”

“I do happen to know that John Patler, your adversary at the print shop, was the one who shot and killed Rockwell. What do you know about that?”

“We used to call Patler the ‘animal trainer’ because he would gather the most defective people around him, the ones nobody else could put up with, and convert them into essentially his slaves by stroking them. He was a guy who was very much centered on his own immediate personal situation and not the goal of changing America. How can John Patler climb up the next rung of the ladder, that was his concern. He very much resented anybody he saw as a threat to him. That would cause problems because every once in a while somebody would come along with a bit more talent than he had and he would try to sabotage the guy the way he tried to sabotage me. Rockwell told me when I was down there putting the magazine together that he had thrown Patler out of the organization once before and that it looked as if he was going to have to do it again. Rockwell said Patler had always been a real problem, that he was wound too tight and that there had been more incidents at the print shop and Patler had been doing his organizing. A few months after my magazine came out, Rockwell did throw Patler out—this must have been in the fall of 1966.

“About June of the next year, 1967, Rockwell drove out of the headquarters to run an errand. As usual he was accompanied by somebody when he went out. That wasn’t always the case, though—he could be very careless about his personal safety. There was a long drive, maybe one hundred yards, from the house down to the street, with forest on both sides. When Rockwell got back from his errands there was some brush piled in the driveway. Rockwell was driving and had to stop, and the other guy got out of the car to clear the brush off the driveway so they could continue.

“It turned out that Patler had put the brush there and was hiding in bushes alongside the driveway. While the other guy was out of the car clearing the brush, Patler took a shot at Rockwell sitting in the car. It missed and ricocheted off the car just above the door where Rockwell was sitting. Rockwell, who was unarmed, jumped out of the car and began running toward where Patler was. Patler panicked and took off running through the woods with Rockwell at his heels. Patler was armed, Rockwell wasn’t, and Rockwell was chasing him. Patler was about twenty years younger and a faster runner and got away. Later I asked Rockwell who did it, and he said, ‘I couldn’t get a clear look at the guy, all I could see was his back—but I would swear it was John Patler.’ I said, ‘You’d better be careful from now on. That son of a bitch Patler is crazy.’

“Well, he wasn’t careful enough. Because about two-and-a-half months later—August 25, 1967—Patler killed him. It was a Saturday morning, and Rockwell drove out of that same driveway to do his laundry at a laundromat at a shopping center just across the street. Patler was at the same place waiting in the bushes and saw Rockwell go into the laundromat. Patler went over there and climbed up on the roof of the place and waited for Rockwell to come out. Rockwell came out and started to get into his car and Patler shot him through the windshield of the car from the top of the laundromat. Rockwell hadn’t yet closed the door and fell out of the car dead, shot in the chest. Patler was caught within an hour and got twenty years in prison, and I think he served something like seven. [Patler was paroled in 1975 but violated his parole and served an additional six years.[178]Schmaltz, p. 333.]

“I had never had an official position in Rockwell’s organization. In fact, I had never even been a member. The previous January Rockwell had changed the name of the party to the National Socialist White People’s Party. I may have influenced him there. I had told him that this American Nazi Party thing was a circus, not a political party; it doesn’t sound real. But even with the name change, I still didn’t join. But then after Rockwell was shot I did join. Rockwell had responded to me and been a kind of anchor, and I had launched a magazine with his help, and I didn’t feel I should walk out. When Rockwell was killed I had been publishing a little over a year. I could have left easily enough, as I had the mailing list I had gotten from Rockwell for my initial mailing of the magazine and the subscriptions were coming in and I had my office down in Fredericksburg, but I didn’t want to see everything fall apart. I felt very much indebted to Rockwell for allowing me to say the things I really wanted to say and for providing me with the infrastructure I needed, a printing plant and the know-how and an initial mailing list to get subscriptions. Plus I was picking his brain. I was learning a lot about people and how things worked, interactions with the government, things like that, so I felt an obligation to him.

“During the time I had been in Rockwell’s circle, I had met only two or three people I had much respect for—people who I thought were sincere and of reasonably good character—and one of them was a man named Matt Koehl. [Koehl rhymes with mail. From the pictures of Koehl I have seen taken in those years, he was in his early thirties, dark-haired, and nondescript in appearance.] Koehl was Rockwell’s number two man, so there was Koehl left with the responsibility with Rockwell gone. I tried to help Koehl keep things going. I decided if I was going to try to help salvage things at least I should become a member of the party. So I said, ‘Give me a membership card. I’m going to put my name on the dotted line. I’m going to be a member of the National Socialist White People’s Party, and I’ll try to help you in any way I can.’

“In retrospect, that was a mistake. I should have quit and gone my own course. But it did give me a context in which to work and continue to develop ideas. I did three more issues of the magazine. I had done three before Rockwell got shot, so there were six in all. The last issue was in 1968. One of them had a short biography of Rockwell I wrote in it. I also wrote articles for a little newspaper they had and generally problem-solved. One of my functions, I would go to demonstrations they would have in Washington and take pictures, and I’d carry a wad of cash to bail out whoever got arrested.

“There was one other fellow involved trying to salvage things after Rockwell got killed—Robert Lloyd. Lloyd had been with Rockwell from the time he was seventeen years old. I liked Lloyd and worked well with him. He was a bright and very gutsy young guy. [Lloyd was in his late twenties, fair-haired, and approaching soap-opera handsome.]

“To show you what Lloyd was like, it must have been in ’64, there was a big debate in Mississippi between the official Democratic party faction and the civil rights faction [the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party] made up of a lot of Jews and blacks who considered the traditional faction to be too traditional, too old-boy-network, too white. The civil rights faction was claiming that they were the true representatives of Mississippi. So Rockwell decided to do some political theater. He sent Lloyd over to the Capitol. [In January of 1965, the House of Representatives was prepared to take a roll call for its opening session of the new term. Three black women elected in an unofficial ballot among Mississippi African Americans were planning to demand to be seated as the true representatives from that state.[179]Ibid., p. 232.
(Schmaltz, p. 333.)
]

“Lloyd went into the Capitol wearing ordinary street clothes, but he was carrying a briefcase and got into one of the washrooms and changed clothes. He put on black face, a bone arrangement that looked like it went through his nose, a lion skin, and a stovepipe hat, one of those tall hats, like a top hat. Then he ran out of the washroom and dodged the cops and got onto the floor of Congress and yelled ‘I’s the Mississippi delegation and I demands to be seated!’ That put the place into an uproar, with Lloyd yelling and the guards trying to catch him. He ran across rows of seats and dodged the guards for about five minutes before they finally got him out of there. It was on television and made the headlines. Lloyd got a hundred dollar fine. They decided not to lock him up because they didn’t want to generate any sympathy for him. They didn’t want any kind of political trial. They did tell Lloyd, though, that if he ever did anything like that again they’d shoot him. [Three of Lloyd’s other stunts: jumping up on stage at a banquet of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and throwing “back to Africa boat tickets” at the audience; going to civil rights demonstrations dressed in an ape costume; and attempting to deliver to the featured speaker at a convention of homosexuals a box labeled as containing an emergency shipment of twenty-four quarts of vaseline.[180]Ibid., pp. 215, 235, 275.
(Schmaltz, p. 333.)
]

“I always admired Lloyd because he was an intelligent guy who was fearless. He looked on an assignment like that one Rockwell gave him as a challenge to make it come off successfully. We need a lot more people like that. Lloyd had sort of dropped out of things. He had a family to support, and he had his father’s rest-home business to help run. I brought him back in to help out with National Socialist World. I made him circulation manager.

“So it was Koehl, Lloyd, and I trying to keep the organization going. I had made up my mind during this time that if I was going to stay with this thing it was going to have to evolve into something more effective than it was. Nothing could really be done in the long run with the losers the organization was attracting: motorcycle gang dropouts, ex-convicts, and so forth. So very soon I was suggesting to Koehl that this business of “sieg heil” and swastika armbands and all that didn’t cut it. We weren’t making a movie, and we might as well dispense with the Hollywood stuff and make a better impression on the type of people we really needed to attract. I never participated in that sort of business, and that is why the Jews have never been able to come up with a photograph of me dressed up in a uniform or wearing an armband. I thought it was foolish, and I wasn’t going to participate in it, and I told Koehl that.

“Lloyd agreed with me that we were going nowhere with this circus-type approach, but Koehl thought what Lloyd and I were doing was heresy of the worst sort. To Koehl it was like having a Lutheran on the College of Cardinals. Koehl was an admirable guy in some ways. For one thing, he was very reliable—but he wasn’t very imaginative. To figure out what to do he would take out Mein Kampf or see how Hitler did it in 1928. I said, ‘Jesus, Matt, we’ve got a different situation now. For one thing, wearing uniforms was normal back in Germany. Everybody did it—even the Catholic party had uniforms and flags and so forth. But doing it in America now makes us seem weird. If you try to run an organization with the kind of weirdos and unstable people who are pulled in by what we are doing, we are just going to have constant problems.’

“As time went along, Koehl and I had more and more strenuous disagreements. Finally, in June of 1970 we had a violent argument, and I quit the party. Koehl had gotten it into his head that Lloyd and I were plotting a coup to take over the organization and run it our way. We weren’t. I had no interest in running the organization. My only interest was in writing. I just thought it would make more sense if Matt operated along different lines. But Koehl didn’t see it that way. So I quit and Lloyd quit, and Koehl kept doing it the way he wanted to. Eventually Koehl dropped all the Nazi rigmarole himself and went to plain clothes and started an organization called the New Order and tried to present a more American image to the general public. He bought some land near New Berlin, Wisconsin—an appropriate enough place for the new party headquarters—where he was going to establish a sort of a colony, but it never really got off the ground, and Koehl faded from sight.

“I was sort of adrift for a few months. I decided I needed to change my approach. I discontinued National Socialist World. It didn’t make sense to keep on with it. There was just too small an audience; there wasn’t even a National Socialist organization. I needed to deal with a bigger audience and with more normal people—there were too many crackpots where I had been. Then I met Lou Byers and learned about his enterprise, the National Youth Alliance. Byers told me he was going to fold the organization, and I told him I was interested in picking it up.”

8 • The National Alliance • 7,600 Words

Pierce told me he was somewhat adrift for a few months after breaking from Koehl and the National Socialist White People’s Party in 1970. During this respite, he cemented in a conclusion that had been formulating for some time: that he needed to change his overall approach to things. He discontinued the journal he had been publishing, National Socialist World, after six issues, deciding that there was too small an audience for a theoretical journal of this kind. There was no National Socialist movement in this country, no organization to which people belonged, and a very limited number of people identified themselves with the National Socialist ideology. Plus, Pierce wanted to establish contact with a wider range of people: “I was certain there were many people around who didn’t think of themselves as National Socialists who were concerned about the same degenerative trends in politics and demographics as I was, and I wanted to find them.” And beyond all that, he simply wanted to deal with people closer to the normal end of the stability and reliability spectrum than he had been for the past few years. “There were too many crackpots where I had been.”

One day, Pierce was watching television and saw an interview with the chairman of an organization called the National Youth Alliance, a man by the name of Lou Byers. Pierce hadn’t been familiar with either Byers or the National Youth Alliance prior to that time. Pierce learned from the television interview that the NYA was aimed at college students and oriented toward opposing the 1960s counterculture on campus. The NYA defined the counterculture as being characterized by anti-Vietnam war sentiment, sympathy toward recreational drug use, alignment with black militants, and a general anti-authority, anti-establishment posture. Basically, the NYA was a radically conservative version of another organization, the Young Americans for Freedom, which had the endorsement of mainstream conservatives such as 1964 Republican Presidential candidate, Barry Goldwater.

“I want to talk to this Byers,” Pierce said to himself. Even though Pierce wasn’t at heart an organization type, and he certainly didn’t like administrative work, nevertheless he had decided he needed to link up with an organization of some kind, and this National Youth Alliance sounded as if it might be a good possibility. The Nazis weren’t a good fit, but he really couldn’t operate on his own without an organizational tie-in. He believed he could write well and get to the core of a matter, and that is the sort of thing people do on their own; but the problem was that he couldn’t express what he wanted to express operating alone. You can’t be a writer in a total vacuum, and what publisher would touch the kind of thing he wanted to write? Indeed, he needed an organizational context and support to get what he wanted to say out to the people he wanted to reach. Plus, even though he wasn’t a “people person,” he did want to establish a dialogue with others, and being part of an organization—or running one, yes, having one of his own—would be a good way to proceed.

Pierce arranged to meet with Byers and get the low-down on the National Youth Alliance. It turned out that the person who set up the organization was a man by the name of Willis Carto.[181]John George and Laird Wilcox, Nazis, Comunists, Klansmen, and Others on the Fringe (Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Books, 1992), pp. 252-255. One of Carto’s many activities—he is still going strong in his 70s—was the formation of a publishing house, Noontide Press. A Noontide Press book which has gotten a good amount of attention in radical right circles, although it is unclear just how many have actually read this dense 680-page treatise—Pierce says he hasn’t—is Imperium, written in Ireland in 1947 by an American by the name Francis Parker Yockey.[182]Francis Parker Yockey, Imperium: The Philosophy of History and Politics (Costa Mesa, CA: Noontide Press, 1991, first published in 1947). Imperium is an Oswald Spengler-influenced call for the fight for the survival of the “organic foundations of the Western soul” against the “alien forces” that have diseased it.[183]Ibid., p. xvi.
(Francis Parker Yockey, Imperium: The Philosophy of History and Politics (Costa Mesa, CA: Noontide Press, 1991, first published in 1947).)
Carto wrote a lengthy introduction for the American publication of the book.

Yockey’s appearance, lifestyle, and persona have greatly heightened the interest in his largely derivative book. A slim, handsome, Ralph Fiennes look-alike, he was this mysterious character who spent the 1950s traveling Europe and America engaged in unspecified right-wing political activities and making a living in some way or another (he was a lawyer by training). One undertaking of Yockey’s that is known: he helped form a short-lived organization in London called the European Liberation Front. Reportedly, the FBI kept its eye on him. Carto, who spent some time with Yockey, described him in the introduction to Imperium as “pensive, sensitive, and magnetic,” and as possessing a “quick, knowing intelligence.” Wrote Carto of Yockey: “His eyes bespoke great secrets and knowledge and terrible sadness.”[184]Ibid., p. xiv.
(Francis Parker Yockey, Imperium: The Philosophy of History and Politics (Costa Mesa, CA: Noontide Press, 1991, first published in 1947).)
Yockey’s suitcase, which he had inadvertently left in a Fort Worth, Texas airport, was discovered to contain seven birth certificates, German press credentials, and American, Canadian, and British passports with the same photo but different names.[185]George and Wilcox, p. 255. His 1960 death at forty-three in a San Francisco jail where he was being held on passport fraud is still the subject of speculation—suicide by cyanide as they say, or murdered by the CIA?

Yockey was in the news in 1999 when he was invoked by John William King upon King’s conviction and death sentence for a savage crime in Texas which received extensive front-page national coverage. A black man, James Byrd, was picked up in the early morning hours while walking home from a party, driven to a country road, beaten, and then chained by his ankles to a pickup truck and dragged three miles to an agonizing death as his body was ripped to pieces. (Pierce’s name came into the case when it was alleged that during the crime King said something to the effect, “We are starting The Turner Diaries!”) After the verdict, King released a statement: “Though I remain adamant about my innocence, it’s been obvious from the beginning that this community would get what they desire; so I’ll close with the words of Francis Yockey. ‘The promise of success is with the man who is determined to die proudly when it is no longer possible to live proudly.’”[186]Michael Graczyk, “Jury Sends Texas Killer to Death Row,” The Burlington Free Press, February 26, 1999, p. 1A.

In 1968, Alabama governor George Wallace ran as a third party candidate for president on a populist platform. Carto, Pierce formed an organization called Youth for Wallace, and under that banner sent out letters asking for financial contributions. When the Wallace campaign ended, Carto established a new organization, the National Youth Alliance, with a different maildrop in Washington and gave it over to his employee Lou Byers. Using the mailing list Carto had built up through the Youth for Wallace efforts, Byers sent out fund-raising letters in the hundreds of thousands. During his meeting with Byers, Pierce learned that things weren’t going well for the NYA. Byers told him that it was going to fold up because the mailings were not bringing in enough money to cover their costs and consequently the organization was going into the hole financially.

Byers told Pierce that the NYA was a half-million dollars in debt and was within a couple of months of running out of credit. Pierce told Byers that he thought the National Youth Alliance was a good youth culture that was then being pushed so hard on campus and in the mainstream media. The idea was around that it was cool to show disrespect for authority, ridicule tradition and the government, live without personal discipline, and do drugs. Large numbers of college students were being induced into taking the side of the enemy in the war that was then being waged in Vietnam. But, Pierce asserted to Byers, you have to have a real organization and not just a fund-raising vehicle of the kind you’ve got now. You have to give something back to people who contribute their money. Pierce was thinking of demonstrations, activities on campus, that sort of thing, and particularly he had in mind a tabloid geared to young radicals.

Pierce told Byers that he was interested in picking up the NYA and operating it as his own organization, and with Byers’ advice and support that is what he did. No formal transfer of ownership took place between Byers and Pierce. Byers had incorporated the NYA in the District of Columbia, but by the time he and Pierce met he was working elsewhere, and, in Pierce’s words, the NYA in D.C. was “stone dead.” Pierce formed a corporation under that name in Virginia. He rented office space in Arlington and “went into business” as he puts it. He had Byers’ name on his NYA letterhead as chairman of an advisory council. Byers had told him that an advisory council with familiar names would be helpful in bringing credibility to the organization. The other members of the advisory council were two retired military men, Navy admiral John Crommelin and Marine Corps Lieutenant General Pedro del Valle, and a classics professor from the University of Illinois by the name of Revilo P. Oliver. Pierce put together the first issue of a new tabloid he wrote and edited called Attack!. He borrowed two thousand dollars from Byers to print it up and sent it to fifteen thousand people on a mailing list Byers provided him. Pierce describes the mailing as an “instant success,” as it brought in a six thousand dollar return. This set Pierce on his way in his new venture. In 1974 he discontinued the National Youth Alliance and started the National Alliance, which involved forming a new corporation in Virginia. Dropping the youth designation in the title reflected a movement toward a broader, more inclusive orientation. Ever since, the National Alliance and William Pierce have for all practical purposes been synonymous.

Pierce gave it his all to make the National Youth Alliance, his first independent organizational activity, a success. He worked from dawn to late at night and slept on a couch in his office Monday through Friday. He saw his wife and two boys only on the weekends. He had decided that in order to make it work, the NYA would have to be his top—and, really, only—priority, and that everything else, including his family and relationships and his own personal well-being, would have be subordinated to it. This outlook and approach was consistent with the message he had internalized from the George Bernard Shaw play Man and Superman that had had such a big impact on him. This was his first real chance to live out Shaw’s concept. The National Youth Alliance would be his vehicle for serving the Life Force. As Pierce saw it, what he achieved through the organization he would build was the only thing that truly mattered in the larger scheme of things. Everything else paled in significance compared to this part of his life.

Beyond the philosophical justification for giving himself totally to this endeavor, Pierce decided that it was realistic to do so given the facts of the situation he was in. His read of the circumstance was that if this venture, the NYA, was going to succeed—and he was by-and-large alone with it, building it up by himself, this organization that had failed in others’ hands—it was going to take everything he had in him, all of his time and attention. He couldn’t afford to expend any of his energies elsewhere.

This work-comes-first-and-requires-every-ounce-of-me outlook, stemming from a servant-of-the-Life-Force conception of the meaning of his life and reinforced by the perception that the facts of the immediate situation require it, took firm hold with Pierce in these early years of the National Youth Alliance. It is an outlook that has stayed with him to this day. Now, at an age when others are retired and tending to their gardens, Pierce works day and night. Several times I broached the possibility of his cutting back some on the hours he spends on the job, and he didn’t entertain that idea at all. “No, I can’t afford to do that,” he would quickly insist. “There’s too much that needs to be done to cut back.” It was clear to me that he really believes that. And I must say, he seems to bear up well physically and mentally to the incredibly long hours he puts in, and he appears to be happy in what he is doing. I never once heard him complain about the time he devotes to his work.

Pierce’s wife Patricia was virtually the sole breadwinner for the family throughout the 1970s. He said he spent those years “dodging bill collectors and hanging on by my fingertips.” He finally got to the point, he told me, where he could afford to pay himself fifty dollars a month. He moved his location several times during the decade, eventually occupying a small building that had formerly been a watchmaker’s establishment. As time went along, he was able to hire a secretary and buy the equipment tht would enable him to do all of his printing in-house and save him the time and cost of farming it out.

Producing and distributing the tabloid Attack! and its successor, another tabloid, this one called National Vanguard, which Pierce began publishing in 1978, was the central activity of the NYA/NA in those years. About the switch from Attack! to National Vanguard, Pierce said that Attack! seemed to him to be suited for a publication directed primarily at young people and that National Vanguard seemed more appropriate for a wider audience. He said that he tried to upgrade the quality of the Alliance’spublications and give the organization a more serious image as time went along. In particular, he tried to lower the level of bombast and sensationalism as the organization, and he, matured. Reflective of this change in approach , National Vanguard changed over from a tabloid to a slick-paper magazine in 1982. The frequency of the publication of Attack!/National Vanguard has been around eight issues per year. At the present time, National Vanguard issues are not forthcoming. Pierce describes the magazine as being in “suspended animation” until he can find a new editor. He says he simply doesn’t have the time to devote to it.

Preparing and distributing the tabloid wasn’t the NYA/NA’s only activity during the early years. They held some small demonstrations of their own and at other times would tag onto others’ demonstrations as a way of promoting their ideas. An example of one of their own demonstrations, in 1975, Edward Levi, whom Pierce describes as a Jew with a far-left background which included involvement with the National Lawyers Guild, had been named Attorney General by President Gerald Ford. Pierce said the Alliance had about twenty pickets marching around the Justice Department with signs pointing out Levi’s ethnicity and past affiliations, but that the media completely ignored them. More successful efforts, he said, were when twenty-five or so of his people carried a huge banner during Vietnam war demonstrations in Washington. The banner said something to the effect that the United States, as Pierce put it to me, “ought to either ‘nuke’ Hanoi or get the hell out of Vietnam.” Pierce sees war as deadly serious business. Young lives are being lost every day. If something so big is at stake and the circumstances are such that you must get into a war, then you ought to go all out to achieve a decisive victory as rapidly as you can. Otherwise don’t get into it in the first place. No tiptoeing around. If you are going to fight, fight, with every resource at your disposal.

Another National Alliance activity was the Sunday night meetings which began in 1975 when Pierce had offices large enough to accommodate the number of people who were attracted to them, in the twenty-to-thirty range. Pierce would show films and give talks to set out the framework of beliefs behind the Alliance and its—that is to say, his—vision of a good life and a good society. The Alliance also produced a series of comic books aimed at young people. The art work was amateurish and the dialogue wordy and stiff. But then again, a great deal of time and effort must have gone into the preparation of these comic books, and they reflect the lengths Pierce has been willing to go to get his message across. In 1987, he formed a separate corporation, National Vanguard Books, to handle all of his publishing and sales operations.

Then there is the weekly radio program that dispenses his message which began in 1991, American Dissident Voices. The program is carried on short wave and on several AM stations around the country—the stations change, and the number varies as stations add and drop the controversial program. In 2000, there were seven AM stations that reach areas of Arizona, Texas, Alabama, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Maine, and Florida. ADV broadcasts reach an estimated one hundred thousand people worldwide.

At present, Pierce handles the radio show completely on his own. He writes the script in his office on his computer. A show runs ten double-spaced pages, which is about three thousand words. He then records it in the studio on the second floor of the headquarters building and mails the tapes of the program to the radio stations that carry it. Evelyn Hill posts it on the National Alliance Web site (www.natvan.com), sends it to people on an e-mail list, and uses the scripts as the basis of a monthly subscription (forty dollars per year) desk-top publication called Free Speech. Evelyn finds pictures to accompany each of the four articles included in each Free Speech issue.

“When I am writing for a radio program,” Pierce told me, “I am not as demanding as when I am writing for a magazine like National Vanguard. When I am writing for print I’m thinking people are going to be looking at this and that every word has to be right. I can’t have sloppy phrasing. But when I’m writing for the radio program, it is much more conversational. I repeat things for emphasis and I’m not so careful how I develop an idea. You have to be a little simpler in oral things because people can’t go back and study the text and let the idea get into their heads. You’ve got to pound in what you say, so it has to be short and pungent.”

I was with Pierce when he recorded an American Dissident Voices program. He sat at his desk in his office and read the completed script out loud off his computer screen to proof it and to hear how it would sound when broadcast. He said typically it takes him about two days to prepare a script. When he is satisfied with what he had put together, he printed a copy and takes it upstairs to the recording studio, the only carpeted room in the headquarters building. He turns the dials on a large console which sits on a wooden table, clipped a microphone to his T-shirt, and sits down at what he calls his “soundproof” plastic chair, which I took to mean the one that doesn’t creak. The day I was there, he said “bup, bup, bup” to test the sound level, and he was set to go.

Pierce sat on the plastic chair in his T-shirt, jeans, and work boots with a gun strapped to his waist and recorded the script he had written. He held the script in his left hand a few inches from his face. With the first beat of the show, his persona changed. He went from being mature, sober, and rather kindly to loud, strident, and marginal sounding. I have always thought Pierce’s radio shows read better than they sound.

Not long into the taping, Pierce stumbled over a word and reached forward and pushed a button and stopped the process. “Oh, I don’t know why I do this!” he exclaimed. “How does Brokaw do this?” Then he started again at that point. Another mistake. “Oh hell!” Stop and begin again. Mistake. “Oh God!” This went on until he finally got it recorded.

The program Pierce recorded that day had to do with a crisis then going on (this was late 1997) over Iraq’s refusal to permit a United Nations inspection team to check for biological and chemical weapons within its borders.[187]The broadcast was published as William Pierce, “Exposing the Warmongers,” Free Speech, vol. 3, no. 12, December 1997, pp. 12-15.

In 1991 we bombed Baghdad and slaughtered more than 100,000 Iraqis because they had invaded Kuwait—which in fact used to belong to them before it was taken away during the colonial period. And then we imposed a crippling economic embargo on the defeated Iraqis—an embargo which has caused the deaths of an estimated half-million Iraqi infants and children during the past six years and which is maintained because of Israeli insistence. So the Iraqis have plenty of reason to hate us now, but no reason to try to hurt us if we would leave them alone. Iraqi interests lie in the Middle East and only in the Middle East.

The reason we are headed toward another war with Iraq is solely because of the influence of the Jews on the government of the United States. It certainly isn’t because we are concerned about Iraq’s development of weapons of mass destruction. If we were serious about that sort of thing we would have stopped Israel from developing its chemical, biological, and nuclear arsenal. The reason it’s all right with our government for the Jews to have weapons of mass destruction but not all right for the Iraqis to have them is that the Jews control the news and entertainment media in the United States—and thus wield effective control over the political process—and the Iraqis don’t. And that’s the only reason.

After Pierce records a program he adds a pre-recorded, standard introduction that tells about the National Alliance and an “outro,” an ending that tells listeners how to contact the organization. Then he mails tapes to the stations that carry the program. Pierce recorded the program on Iraq, the one I observed, in the mid-afternoon. That evening at 7:30 he was listening to a playback of the tape in his office. From the expression on his face he seemed pleased with how the program had turned out and was immersed in what he was doing. The intercom that he has set up with Irena at the trailer rang. He didn’t answer it.

 

Primarily through Evelyn Hill’s efforts, a National Alliance Web site was established in the mid-1990s. Pierce reports that it now gets between twelve and twenty thousand “hits” a day—which means that many times a day computers make contact with his site. The Alliance Web site includes information about the organization and its publications, copies of Pierce’s radio broadcasts, and ways to get in touch with the twenty or so local National Alliance units and make overseas connections (among them, the National Democratic Party in Germany and the British National Party). The site also has a Letters from Browsers section which includes letters and e-mail messages praising Pierce and his message as well as some scathingly critical of them both. The criticisms he included in the Letters from Browsers section when I checked it were all crude and vulgar condemnations (“Hey, you white trailer trash…”). I mentioned to Pierce that I had read similar letters except they were from the opposite perspective in a book I had just finished by Alan Dershowitz called Chutzpah (“You are a commie assed pinko…Shyster.”)[188]Alan Dershowitz, Chutzpah (Boston: Little, Brown, 1991), p. 94.

“Look,” Pierce responded, “that is a time-honored way to discredit people who oppose you. What you do is associate them all with the lowest among them. Dershowitz in publishing those letters makes it seem that anybody who opposes the Jews in any way is an ignorant bigot, and that stops the discussion in its tracks. This kind of thing was done particularly effectively during the civil rights revolution in the 1950s and ‘60s. There were many thoughtful, upstanding people who opposed what was being done to America back then. For example, there was Carleton Putnam, the head of a major airline.[189]See Carleton Putnam, Race and Reason: A Yankee View (Washington: Public Affairs Press, 1961). But the media ignored him and instead focused on the slobs and the white trash and their reaction to what was going on. People would watch some low-life guy with his face contorted with hatred yelling ungrammatical curses at blacks and think ‘I don’t want to be associated with that guy.’ The guy doing the yelling saw his life threatened and did the only thing he knew how to do, but people watching the tube couldn’t get beyond his style to what he was reacting against. We use the same technique when we publish letters on our web site. There are a lot of very intelligent and literate people who oppose us, but the letters we publish are the ones that reveal hatred, warped minds and so on.”

At present, the National Alliance is a dues-paying membership organization, with members paying ten dollars a month. Some members voluntarily contribute more than that. There are in the neighborhood of twenty local units with leaders whom Pierce selects. Many of the Alliance’s members are not part of local units, however. The Alliance’s local units operate quite autonomously. Pierce really doesn’t have the resources to oversee them. The vitality of a particular local unit is to a great extent a function of the capabilities of the unit leader. The units in Cleveland and Orlando are especially active units, with regular, well-attended meetings and organized functions, speakers and celebrations, and so on. Pierce doesn’t reveal the number of members in the National Alliance. My guess is that membership in the Alliance is in the two thousand range with its rate of growth picking up in recent years.

 

The two key people working alongside Pierce in the National Alliance central office are Bob DeMarais and Evelyn Hill. Both are invaluable to Pierce, and both work long hours. And they can’t be doing it for the money. I believe they draw salaries in the range of a thousand dollars a month with no benefits. They may be getting some help from Pierce with housing. Bob had just built a house on the property when I arrived, and I don’t know whether he has to pay any real estate taxes. Evelyn lives in the original farmhouse on the property, and it could be that she doesn’t pay anything for that. I really don’t know; I didn’t talk with any of the principals about it. Whatever the case, Bob and Evelyn aren’t getting rich working in far-right politics.

Bob is a former marketing professor at ArkansasTechUniversity. He handles the business and marketing end of Pierce’s operation. He has a doctorate from the University of Oklahoma. Bob had been with Pierce in West Virginia for a couple of years when I arrived. I stayed with Bob when I was on the property. His house is prefabricated. He told me that once a foundation was laid, a big crane set the house onto the foundation in sections. Bob’s house is a very modest one, one floor of four small rooms. It has a walk-in basement, and Bob plans on putting a couple of rooms down there, which will make the house in effect two stories. A deck was partly completed when I was there. The features in Bob’s house—woodwork, plumbing fixtures, and the rest—didn’t strike me as exactly top of the line. Even though everything was new, during my stay the toilet ran constantly and water leaked onto the floor.

Bob was just settling into his new house when I was there, and the room which would have served as a living room was completely full of boxes and the door was shut. So that left just the kitchen and Bob’s bedroom and my bedroom. Two Siamese cats shared the house with us. They pretty much had the run of the place and spent a good bit of their time on the kitchen table and countertops. One of them would vomit in front of Bob’s bedroom door to show his displeasure, Bob assumes, at Bob for having closed it and blocking his entry. Bob had to put a piece of extra carpeting in front of his door to protect the regular carpeting in that area from vomit stains.

Bob told me that Pierce had designated where he should put his house, which turned out to be about a hundred yards to the left front of the headquarters building. Bob’s house is on the edge of Pierce’s property, and Bob had to buy some land from the owner of the adjacent property to get a place to put in a water pump.

Bob had a late model white Chevy Blazer like Pierce’s that I would see parked in front of the house. I associate the house with Bob’s Blazer. On the front of the SUV where a license plate would go (evidently you don’t have to have a front license plate in West Virginia) was a National Alliance plate. On it was a Life Rune around which were the words “National Alliance.” At the bottom of the plate was “Toward a New Consciousness, a New Order, a New People.”

Bob is tall, 6’2” or so, with short, neatly trimmed graying hair that is receding in the front a bit and thinning. I think he said he was fifty-one. He has a mustache and wears large wire-rim glasses. He has soft features and reminds me of Johnny Carson when Carson was his age. When I was there, Bob was almost always “dressed down” in a T-shirt, jeans, and worn athletic shoes. He had on a gray suit at a conference held on the property while I was there, and he looked very distinguished in it. Bob has the build and movements of an ex-athlete. I can imagine him playing forward on his high school basketball team back in South Dakota where he grew up, although I don’t know whether or not he actually did.

In manner Bob is soft-spoken, polite, modest, respectful, self-effacing, and sincere. I was very touched by the consideration and kindness he showed to me while I stayed with him. I didn’t have to ask for things. Bob would be vigilant to what I needed and would go out of his way to provide it.

Bob said he grew up in a “My Three Sons” world of “two hardworking parents and nice kids.” People stayed married where he was from when he was a kid, he said, and there weren’t drugs or gangs, and there was very little illegitimacy. Adults around where he lived, Bob said, were oriented toward their children and the community, not narcissistically toward themselves. A large group of boys in his neighborhood would get together on their own and play baseball. His sister was in a Brownie and Girl Scout troop. Bob truly believes that the way he grew up is natural to white people, and that they have been pushed away from their natural inclinations by alien (read Jewish) influences in the media and schools and elsewhere.

Bob heard one of Pierce’s radio programs “by accident,” and that what he heard struck home with him. He listened to a couple more programs and then ordered some books through the National Vanguard Book catalog and read for two weeks straight. After that, he was “in.” He feels that his life matters now that he has come to work with Pierce in West Virginia. Before, in his university teaching, he was training people to live in, as he put it, “a screwed-up world.” He thinks that when it came down to it, the research that he had been doing had been pointless; and as for the conferences he would go to “where everybody praised each other’s work”—an empty exercise.

Bob spends hours upon hours each day in front of a computer screen as part of his job, but otherwise he largely rejects technology and modern culture. He hasn’t seen television since 1992, as he considers it representative of values and ways—multicultural, liberal, Jewish, cosmopolitan—that are contrary to his beliefs. He asked me about the show Seinfeld, which he had heard about but never seen. “Seinfeld is a Jew and plays a Jew, right?” he asked me. Before I could answer, he added, “And everybody on the show is a Jew, right?” And then quickly, “Do they argue a lot?” Evidently he assumes that Jews argue a lot. Bob went on to say that he thought The Three Stooges acted like Jews.

It’s Bob’s belief that we live in a pseudosophisticated time. He prefers the world of the Zane Grey western novels he reads. The old western novels and films have straight-ahead good guys/bad guys plots, and that they reflect a kind of elegant simplicity he wants in his own life. He has a collection of old western films, although I don’t know when he gets to see them without a VCR.

Bob reads a great deal, and I asked him what books he would recommend to me. He thought a second and then said, “Have you read Growth of the Soil by Knut Hamsun?” I later checked on the book and Hamsun. Hamsun was a Norwegian writer who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. He wrote Growth of the Soil in 1921.[190]Knut Hamsun, Growth of the Soil (New York: Knopf, 1921). It is one of the books that Pierce sells through National Vanguard Books. Bob wrote the blurb for the book in the catalog.

Isak, the central figure of the novel, at first appears to be a simple man. He searches the moors for good farmland and a good woman. Her name is Inger, and together they build and protect their farm and their family. There are a thousand problems to solve, but Isak’s and Inger’s strength, will, and intelligence solve most to them….Land and family: it’s what we live for. It’s part of the Aryan soul, our link to past and future.[191]National Vanguard Books Catalog, No. 17, issued November 1997, p. 47.

Hamsun was prosecuted after World War II for encouraging his countrymen to cooperate with the Germans during the German occupation of Norway. A fine film, Hamsun, with Max von Sydow in the title role, was released a few years ago and centered on this part of Hamsun’s life.

Bob selects many of the books that are sold through the National Vanguard Books catalog. A book for both children and adults he likes very much is Tarka the Otter by the English writer Henry Williamson.[192]Henry Williamson, Tarka the Otter (New York: E.P. Dutton, 1936). Tarka the Otter was written in 1917, and, as with Growth of the Soil, its author had problems on account of his sympathy for the Nazis. Williamson was arrested in 1940 for his opposition to the war with Germany.

Bob is a lifelong bachelor, and I think he has some regrets about that. He showed me a letter he had written to a woman in Florida responding to one she had written to the Alliance asking what the organization was about and how it might make a difference to her life. Pierce had given Bob the letter and asked him to reply to her. Bob wrote a draft of a letter to her and showed it to me. In it, he talked about his life. “Over the last 30 years,” he wrote, “several of the women I met would have made wonderful wives and mothers. But I could feel the jaws of responsibility tightening around me. I knew I would be ‘happier’ single. But I realize now that the only purpose of life is life. It isn’t to go to heaven as Christians believe, but to continue the chain of life. Babies are more precious than going to heaven. I want children to bring me pictures they have colored, and for their children to bring them pictures they have colored. I want this cycle to go on and on.”

I think Bob would very much like a wife and family to share his new home and new life in West Virginia. However, I don’t know how good his chances are of meeting someone in the sparsely populated area in which he lives now. When Pierce gave Bob the woman’s letter and asked him to write her, I wondered whether to any extent Pierce was playing matchmaker. Pierce had done that one time I know about for someone else who worked with him, a man named Kevin Strom. In that instance, Strom eventually married the letter writer.

Bob has great admiration for Pierce. For one thing, he sees Pierce as a man’s man. Bob told me it was too bad that I hadn’t been at the property a few weeks earlier when they were building a structure at the top of the hill. He said that Pierce had shown great courage on that occasion, climbing around twelve feet above the ground. He also has high respect for Pierce’s intellect and toughness and will. The only concern he has about Pierce I picked up is that he worries that Pierce’s heated rhetoric, all the references to violence and revolution, might be scaring off some people who might otherwise agree with the Alliance’s perspective.

I’ve lost touch with Bob since I left West Virginia. I have an image in my mind of this quiet man sitting alone at his kitchen table early in the morning, an open book and his yellow marking pen next to him, eating Sugar Frosted Flakes. And then very late at night, after a long day at the headquarters building, again alone, the same book, the same marking pen, eating a TV dinner. I hope Bob is OK.

 

Evelyn Hill’s office is just across the hall from Pierce’s, and from what I could see she provides yeoman service to him. Evelyn manages the Internet site for the National Alliance, handles all of its (which means Pierce’s) correspondence, seeks out material from the Web that she thinks might be useful to Pierce in putting together his radio program, and edits the monthly Alliance publication Free Speech. It appeared to me that Evelyn doesn’t quite match Pierce and Bob’s twelve- and thirteen-hour work days, but I saw her in the headquarters building many a late evening when I was around.

I had almost no personal contact with Evelyn. Whenever I have had any business with Pierce when I was not in West Virginia and have gone through Evelyn to get to him, she has proven to be very responsive and efficient. But when I was around the property, she never as much as looked at me. As I think about it now, I never saw her speak to anyone there about anything other than task-related matters. Evelyn seemed to be there to get things done, period. And she did get things done.

I had exactly one face-to-face exchange with Evelyn. One afternoon a couple of days before I was scheduled to leave the property, I stood in the doorway of her office and asked if I could snap a picture of her. I held up my small camera and said, “Could I take your picture, Evelyn?”

She looked up from her desk and for the first time that I know of she laid eyes on me. She replied politely but very firmly, “No, I don’t photograph well.”

And that was that.

Evelyn lives alone in the original farm home on the property. I don’t know much about her background. I believe she has a doctorate in pharmacology and that she worked as a pharmacist in Washington state before she came to West Virginia in 1996. I think she made contact with Pierce through one of the bi-annual leadership conferences he hosts on the West Virginia property.

One experience involving Evelyn I’ll always remember brought home to me that even radical politics is a job like any other. Evelyn has rheumatoid arthritis. One day I was in Pierce’s office and Evelyn brought up her lack of health insurance and her concerns about what will happen to her if her arthritis gets worse. In her loud, somewhat coarse voice she said to Pierce, “I suppose if I get really bad you’ll just throw my stuff on the lawn out front and get rid of me.”

Pierce replied matter-of-factly, “I’ll do whatever is best for the Alliance.”

 

Pierce considers the National Alliance to be the only serious, mature, radical right-wing organization in America, and views it as being equivalent to the National Democratic Party (NPD) in Germany and the British National Party (BNP). Pierce maintains contacts with the NPD, whose Chairman is Udo Voigt, and the British National Party led by John Tyndall. He has no contact with the National Front in France, whose most prominent figure is Jean-Marie Le Pen. He says he considers Le Pen to be more of a populist than a racial nationalist.

During one of my visits to the property in the spring of 1998, Pierce showed me a snapshot of a rally of the NPD in the town of Passau, Germany he had attended earlier that year. It was on February 7th, the NPD’s “Day of National Resistance.” There were sixty-six hundred people present. The people in the photo looked young, in their twenties, working-class, and about two-thirds of them were male. Pierce told me that one of the issues facing people of his political stripe in Germany, as well as here in this country, is to find ways to get through to the educated middle classes, who he believes are armored against any social or political ideas they are told are unacceptable.

German meeting halls have rows of tables and benches rather than seats. Pierce was scheduled to speak at the Passau rally. The tables were full, and people were standing along the walls. It was the biggest meeting of the NPD since 1970, and the largest nationalist meeting of any kind in Germany in the last decade. Writing about the day in an Alliance membership bulletin, Pierce reported that as he approached the hall, “There was an extremely heavy police presence, with literally hundreds of green vans bearing the word ‘Polizei’ in large letters patrolling the streets of the town and the vicinity of the hall.”[193]National Alliance Bulletin, Febrary 1998, p. 3. They expected and got anti-fascist demonstrations.

Pierce took his place at the speakers table. Shortly before he was scheduled to speak, a plainclothes police officer informed Pierce that if he rose to speak he would be arrested and the meeting would be shut down. So Pierce didn’t deliver the speech he had prepared. He was the only speaker banned from addressing those who had assembled that day.

Pierce says the nationalist sentiment is growing in Germany, and that it is really upsetting “the couch potatoes, the establishment, and the Jews.” Besides the NPD there is the DVU, the German People’s Union, which has recently won some local elections. Pierce said that the growing nationalist feeling is partly due to the economic difficulties some people are experiencing, but more than anything it is coming from the sense that people have that Germany is losing its soul. “Did you ever see the film Cabaret?” he asked me. “It is a perfect example of what is happening now. This was back in the Weimar period and there was all this decadence—the idea that enjoyment is the only thing that counts, and there was this slick, oversophisticated, smart-ass café society that was taking over Germany then, just as it is taking over Germany now. There is a basic gut reaction people are having over there that this isn’t the way we are supposed to behave. This isn’t what really counts. Where are our basic values? Where are our traditions? That is what this nationalist impulse is about.”

The Home Secretary in Britain has informed Pierce that he will not be admitted into that country. However, the rumor when I was in West Virginia was that Pierce somehow sneaked into Britain after he left Germany and conferred with Tyndall and other BNP leaders.

When I was with him, Pierce was contacted a couple of times by European journalists seeking out his views. On one occasion, he gave a phone interview to a French reporter who wanted his thoughts on Le Pen and the National Front. Another time, he received a call from a reporter from the large-circulation German magazine Der Spiegel who wanted to come to West Virginia to interview Pierce for the magazine and German television. She said she wanted to get his take on what was going on in Germany and to learn about the status of white nationalist sentiment in the United States. The reporter filmed the interview with an American film crew after I left. While I was still around, Pierce was looking forward to her visit but expressed concern about how objectively his ideas would be relayed by the German media. He told me later that unfortunately his concern was warranted.

9 • Revilo P. Oliver • 6,800 Words

One of the members of the board of advisors of the National Youth Alliance who was carried over from the Byers years turned out to have a major impact on Pierce’s life. It was a classics professor from the University of Illinois with a most interesting name: Revilo P. Oliver. It is not often one encounters someone with a palindromic name—spelled the same forward and backward. Although I must say it seems that I am the only one who is struck by the peculiarity of Oliver’s name. Everybody I have spoken to on the far right, when I would say something like, “Isn’t his name interesting, the same forward and backward?” has replied with a matter-of-fact, “Oh yes, that’s right” and moved right on to something else. My guess as to why the unusual name isn’t more salient to those in the movement is that Oliver’s stature in their eyes vastly overshadows something as trivial as a funny name. Reportedly one of his colleagues at the university called Oliver a “filthy fascist swine,” but everyone on this end of the political spectrum I have spoken to about him obviously thinks the world of him. They speak of him with both respect and fondness.

The second thing (after the name) that struck me about Oliver is his imposing physical presence. From photos, he appears to have been about 6’5” and to have weighed in the neighborhood of two hundred forty pounds. He dominated all of the group photos that I have seen, particularly in his younger and more vital years.

In 1969 Oliver made a promotional film for Lou Byers’ National Youth Alliance in which he spoke straight into the camera. His appearance on the film gives a sense of the man, or at least the image he chose to project.[194]Revilo P. Oliver, After Fifty Years, video tape of original film (Hillsboro, WV: National Vanguard Books, 1995). He sat at a desk in a book-lined study that looked like something out of the nineteenth century with its quaint lamps and the old pictures on the wall. At the time he made the film for the National Youth Alliance, Oliver was sixty-one years old. (He died in 1994 at eighty-six.). He had the appearance and bearing of an old-time professor. He wore a dark blue suit with a conservative tie and had a white handkerchief neatly folded in his left breast suit coat pocket. His thinning dark hair was watered down and combed severely back, and he had a dark mustache. He wore no glasses. His voice was clear and strong and his manner assured and serious, although he gave a hint of a sarcastic smile from time to time when referring to the antics of his political enemies. There was a formidable quality about Oliver that came through. He looked to be someone you wouldn’t want to have on the wrong side of you. For those readers who know of the satirist writer from the 1930s and ’40s, Robert Benchley, Oliver reminds me of a darker, slightly malevolent version of Benchley. People who knew Oliver personally have told me that what I hadn’t picked up from his film persona is his gentility, warmth, and kindness.

If a history of white nationalism is ever written, Oliver will certainly be prominent in it, but what is significant in this context is the important role he played in Pierce’s life. A lunch meeting with Oliver in Washington changed the course of Pierce’s life. (More on that in a bit.) How much happenstance has influenced Pierce’s life. How would his life have been different if he hadn’t been watching television the day he saw Rockwell try to give that speech in San Diego? Or if Rockwell hadn’t answered his letter, or if someone else to whom he had written had? Or if he hadn’t seen Byers on television? And now with Oliver: what if Oliver hadn’t been on the board of directors of the organization Pierce took over from Byers?

 

Revilo Oliver was one of the founding members of the John Birch Society and wrote a number of pieces for William Buckley’s magazine National Review in its early years. Oliver and the Birch Society parted company when Oliver’s publicly stated racial views made its leadership uncomfortable. Oliver was said to have made an observation in a speech he gave to the conservative Daughters of the American Revolution to the effect that the pre-Castro Cuban government under General Batista was probably as good as one could reasonably expect in an island largely populated by mongrels.[195]John George and Laird Wilcox, Nazis, Communists, Klansmen, and Others on the Fringe (Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Books, 1992), p. 220. Oliver’s overt anti-Semitism made him similarly persona non grata at the National Review. At one public meeting, Oliver reportedly referred to the thought of the “vaporizing” of the Jews as a “beatific vision.”[196]Martin Lee, The Beast Reawakens (Boston: Little, Brown, 1997), p. 435.

Oliver’s writings have been collected and published in a book called America’s Decline: The Education of a Conservative.[197]Revilo P. Oliver, America’s Decline: The Education of a Conservative (London: Londinium, 1981). The book was published in London. It is doubtful that what Oliver has to say in the book would be acceptable to the publishing and distribution industries in this country. In the introduction to the collection, Sam Dickson, an American lawyer and revisionist historian (on the far right, the term “revisionist” refers to someone who is bucking what they see as the official Jewish-liberal party line on World War II in general and the Holocaust in particular) refers to Oliver as a “leader of the racial nationalist movement.”[198]Ibid., p. v.
(Revilo P. Oliver, America’s Decline: The Education of a Conservative (London: Londinium, 1981).)
Dickson makes the point in his introduction that Oliver focuses on racial self-love among whites rather than animosity toward blacks or Jews. Dickson says that Oliver believes that whites would do well to emulate the loyalties that Jews demonstrate toward their own people and traditions.[199]Ibid., p. x.
(Revilo P. Oliver, America’s Decline: The Education of a Conservative (London: Londinium, 1981).)

In order to understand racialists such as Oliver and Pierce, one must keep in mind that they look upon the human being as an animal like any other animal in nature. To them, the human being is a species of animal, with the races being sub-species or breeds. That is to say, they don’t see simply one human race. They see one human being, or human animal, and a number of human races. Oliver writes: “Liberals are forever chatting about ‘all mankind,’ a term that does not have a specific meaning, as do parallel terms in biology, such as ‘all marsupials’ or ‘all species of the genus Canis,’ but the fanatics give to the term a mystic and special meaning…[that imposes a] transcendental unity on the manifest diversity of the various human species.”[200]Ibid., p. 80.
(Revilo P. Oliver, America’s Decline: The Education of a Conservative (London: Londinium, 1981).)
Liberals, Oliver argues, engage in “frantic and often hysterical efforts to suppress scientific knowledge about genetics and the obviously innate differences between the different human sub-species and between the individuals of a given sub-species.”[201]Ibid.
(Revilo P. Oliver, America’s Decline: The Education of a Conservative (London: Londinium, 1981).)

“I reached the conclusion,” Oliver reported in one of his writings included in America’s Decline, “that our race [those of northern European background], including specifically the Americans, was a viable species, and that therefore, like all viable species of animal life, it had an innate instinct to survive and perpetuate itself.”[202]Ibid., p. 58.
(Revilo P. Oliver, America’s Decline: The Education of a Conservative (London: Londinium, 1981).)
He believed that those of his race do not realize their precarious status on this planet: “Aryans [Indo-European, Nordic, non-Jewish] are a small and endangered minority on this planet, but how many members of our race seem to have even an inkling of that fact?”[203]Ibid., p. 96.
(Revilo P. Oliver, America’s Decline: The Education of a Conservative (London: Londinium, 1981).)

Are Aryans superior to other races of men? It depends on what values you bring to answering the question, said Oliver. “We must understand,” he argued, “that all races naturally regard themselves as superior to all others….We are a race as are all the others. If we attribute to ourselves a superiority—intellectual, moral, or other—in terms of our standards, we are simply indulging in a tautology. The only objective criterion of superiority among human races, as among all other species, is biological: the strong survive, the weak perish. The superior race of mankind today is the one that will emerge victorious whether by its technology or its fecundity—from the proximate struggle for life on an overcrowded planet.”[204]Ibid., p. 94-95.
(Revilo P. Oliver, America’s Decline: The Education of a Conservative (London: Londinium, 1981).)
Oliver contended that the quality of human beings cannot be judged by the intelligence, academic record, or proficiency in a profession alone. He pointed to “mattoids,” as he called them, to make his case. These are individuals who are geniuses in some areas and imbeciles in others. Examples of mattoids Oliver listed were Shelley, Einstein, Lenin, Trotsky, and Mao.[205]Ibid., pp. 233-234.
(Revilo P. Oliver, America’s Decline: The Education of a Conservative (London: Londinium, 1981).)

Oliver attempted to make the connection between race and the quality of collective life. According to him, if you want to understand the nature of a society you have to look beyond political and economic arrangements and geographic factors. You need to take into account the society’s racial make-up and such sensitive matters as who has children with whom and the races of those who enter and leave the society. “The decline in a civilization,” he contended, “is always accompanied by a change in the [racial] composition and deterioration in the quality of the population.”[206]Ibid., p. 231.
(Revilo P. Oliver, America’s Decline: The Education of a Conservative (London: Londinium, 1981).)

Oliver tied race to his conservative politics as he made the case that American Aryan whites are being threatened by the liberal-dominated government.[207]Ibid., p. 231-232.
(Revilo P. Oliver, America’s Decline: The Education of a Conservative (London: Londinium, 1981).)
“The power of government over us,” he asserted, “is being used…to accelerate our deterioration and hasten our disappearance as a people by every means short of mass massacre….To mention one small example, many states now pick the pockets of their taxpayers to subsidize and promote the breeding of bastards, who, with negligible exceptions, are the products of the lowest dregs of our population, the morally irresponsible and mentally feeble.” But despite the attack on us, he argued, “Our ‘Big Brains’ [leftist intellectuals]…assure us that it is unthinkable to be so wicked as to fight to survive.”[208]Ibid., p. 238.
(Revilo P. Oliver, America’s Decline: The Education of a Conservative (London: Londinium, 1981).)

Oliver harangued liberals: “Liberals rant about ‘human rights,’ but a moment’s thought suffices to show that…the only rights are those which the citizens of a stable society, by agreement or by a long usage that has acquired the force of law, bestow on themselves.”[209]Ibid., p. 81.
(Revilo P. Oliver, America’s Decline: The Education of a Conservative (London: Londinium, 1981).)
He contended that American society “has been so artfully manipulated that our citizens no longer have constitutional rights that are not subject to revocation in the name of Social Welfare. In effect, there are no citizens here, only masses existing in a state of indiscriminate equality, a state of de facto slavery.”[210]Ibid.
(Revilo P. Oliver, America’s Decline: The Education of a Conservative (London: Londinium, 1981).)

Oliver also came down hard on (the unspoken adjective is Jewish) psychology, which he claimed justifies “the grotesque belief rapidly becoming universal in this country, that man is an imbecile creature whom government and the therapy industry must protect from society and even from himself.” He quoted a writer as noting “The psychoanalyst…strives to relieve the patient of all responsibility for his difficulties, and to shift it to society.”[211]Ibid., p. 166.
(Revilo P. Oliver, America’s Decline: The Education of a Conservative (London: Londinium, 1981).)

Oliver said that the welfare state currently being foisted on our country “takes away each year some part of our power to make decisions for ourselves over our own lives. It is perfectly obvious that if this process continues for a few more decades (as our masters’ power to take our money to bribe and bamboozle the masses may make inevitable), we shall…become mere human livestock managed by a ruthless and inhuman bureacracy at the orders of an even more inhuman master.”[212]Ibid., p. 237.
(Revilo P. Oliver, America’s Decline: The Education of a Conservative (London: Londinium, 1981).)

 

The script for the promotional video film Oliver did for the National Youth Alliance (again, this was done before Pierce picked it up) was published that same year in Willis Carto’s American Mercury magazine (yet another of Carto’s many enterprises) with a very few minor changes.[213]Revilo P. Oliver, “After Fifty Years,” American Mercury, no. 494, Fall 1969, pp. 15-19, 59, 60. The talk/article was essentially Oliver’s cut on what was going on in colleges and with college students. The last few sentences in the filmed talk—or in the American Mercury article, the last paragraph—was a pitch for the NYA. Oliver probably originally put together this material as a paper or an aricle and then tacked on the material on the NYA for the film, and then left the NYA reference in when it was published by American Mercury. In any case, the film had the distinct appearance of someone reading a magazine article. The language and syntax were of a sort that is written, not spoken, and this gave the film a stilted quality.

The director of the film, whoever it was, attempted to inject some production values. For example, Oliver got up from his desk and walked over to the bookcase and struck a pose before going on with his presentation. Also, there were cuts in the film which moved viewers closer and farther away from Oliver and altered their angle of sight. Overall, however, the film was a rather drab affair. Although then again, Oliver did have a kind of grandeur and air of authority—his talk was sprinkled with impressive references to the classics, Oliver’s academic specialty—and I suppose that lent some measure of credibility to Lou Byers’ operation. I did wonder while watching the film, however, how much Oliver knew about the actual operations of the organization he was praising.

In his presentation, Oliver’s anti-Semitism came through. He didn’t refer to Jews explicitly, but when he talked about “alien slime” and “scabrous aliens,” we get the message.[214]Ibid., p. 16.
(Revilo P. Oliver, “After Fifty Years,” American Mercury, no. 494, Fall 1969, pp. 15-19, 59, 60.)
We also get the message that the National Youth Alliance was not seeking to attract what these years we would call a multicultural membership. Oliver tells us that the college students the NYA seeks to attract are the young men and women who have “inherited the quality peculiar to our race that finds expression in our great sagas of Beowulf, King Arthur, Roland, Parsifal, and Siegfried.”[215]Ibid., p. 19.
(Revilo P. Oliver, “After Fifty Years,” American Mercury, no. 494, Fall 1969, pp. 15-19, 59, 60.)

In many a required course, they [the students the NYA seeks to attract] must hear and recite once more, as they have had to do every year since kindergarten, the dreary drivel about “democracy,” “social good,” “underdeveloped nations,” “one world,” and all the other myths of liberal make-believe, and they see that the purpose is to excite in them the feeling of guilt because they belong to the only race that could attain power over the forces of nature—guilt because their ancestors’ intelligence and courage raised them above the squalor of universal “equality.” They parrot, as they must, the professor’s gabble, but what they feel is not guilt, but anger. And they are sick of equality.[216]Ibid., p. 18.
(Revilo P. Oliver, “After Fifty Years,” American Mercury, no. 494, Fall 1969, pp. 15-19, 59, 60.)

Oliver says he hopes that that the National Youth Alliance, will

tell the elite of young Americans what they have so long and doubtlessly waited to hear: not the economic advantages of “free enterprise,” to be reaped by helping some corporation sell more Coca-Cola or hair oil or paint remover, or the blessings of freedom to buy a mortgage in the suburbs, or run faster in the rat-race and raise children to be taught that Paradise is a place where hominoids with full bellies live in perpetual rut, but rather, about honor, loyalty, race, and Western man’s will to conquer or die. Young men and women should not be summoned to meetings of a Ladies’ Missionary Society, but to a struggle against great odds. They need to be warned not that lady-like conservatives must be careful to Love Everybody, but that treason of the slimy Ganelon can be defeated only if the men of the west are still willing to die in the pass at Roncesvalles.[217]Ibid., p. 59-60.
(Revilo P. Oliver, “After Fifty Years,” American Mercury, no. 494, Fall 1969, pp. 15-19, 59, 60.)

The reference to “slimy Ganelon” in this last quote is a reference to the medieval epic, La Chanson de Roland, in which Ganelon betrays his stepson, Roland, by arranging an ambush of Charlemagne’s army as it returns home from battling the Saracens in Spain. Roland, commander of the rearguard in the army, survives the attack, but then dies of exhaustion. So a “slimy Ganelon” refers to the connivers and traitors among us—that is to say, the Jews.

 

 

Four months after Oliver’s death in July of 1994, a memorial symposium was held in his honor at Jumer’s Lodge in Urbana, Illinois, the home of the University of Illinois, where Oliver had been a professor for thirty-two years. The organizer and master of ceremony of the event was Sam Dickson, the same Sam Dickson who wrote the introduction to Oliver’s collection of writings, America’s Decline. Among the speakers paying tribute to Oliver on that occasion were Kevin Strom and his wife Kirsten. Kevin Strom had been a very important part of Pierce’s life since the Arlington days, Strom’s first contact with Pierce coming when he attended one of the Sunday night meetings of the Alliance. Strom was Pierce’s number one right-hand man, as it were.

After high school, Strom worked as a broadcast engineer before, in Pierce’s words, “breaking away from the Great Satan,” by which Pierce means the life of materialism and credit card debt. Strom moved to West Virginia and helped Pierce set up the telephone and alarm systems on the West Virginia property. Most importantly, it was Strom’s idea in 1991 to launch a half-hour weekly short-wave radio program to spread the message of the National Alliance. He called the program American Dissident Voices, and it went on the air on WWCR out of Nashville, Tennessee. The program soon expanded to AM stations around the country and is still a major vehicle for the dissemination of the philosophy of the National Alliance.

American Dissident Voices was Strom’s operation. He negotiated with stations, produced the tapes of the shows in a studio he set up on the second floor of the Alliance’s headquarters building, and mailed the tapes to the radio stations for later broadcast. He also hosted most of the programs—Pierce handled about one a month. Each show was a talk by Strom or Pierce, preceded by a standard pre-recorded introduction and followed by information about the National Alliance. Some of Strom’s programs were interviews with Pierce. Neither man trusted spontaneity—every show, including the interviews, were scripted word for word. Strom published the scripts of the broadcasts in a monthly Alliance newsletter called Free Speech, and sold audio tapes of programs as well as tapes of some of Pierce’s Sunday night talks back in Arlington through National Vanguard Books catalogs.

Strom also compiled articles from the 1970-1981 Attack! and National Vanguard tabloids into a large paperbound volume called The Best of Attack! and National Vanguard Tabloid and published and distributed it through National Vanguard Books. In the book’s introduction. Strom describes the articles as a “chronicle of an awakening.” He writes that they mark

the awakening of White men and women to their past greatness, to the reality of their race’s degradation, and to their responsibility for their future. It is the chronicle of the very beginning of a movement, the success or failure of which will determine the future course of life on this planet.[218]Kevin Alfred Strom, selector and arranger, The Best of Attack! and National Vanguard Tabloid (Hillsboro, WV: National Vanguard Books, 1992).

Pierce describes Strom as a vegetarian and teetotaler (non-drinker). Pierce said that the way Kevin and Kirsten met was that a young woman named Kirsten Kaiser had sent some letters to the National Alliance headquarters and that she had sounded interesting and that he had suggested to Strom that this Kirsten was someone he, Strom, might like to meet. Strom took Pierce up on the suggestion, things worked out for the two of them as a couple, and he and Kirsten were married and she moved to West Virginia.

I watched a video tape Strom produced of the memorial service for Oliver.[219]Oliver Memorial Symposium, video tape 624 (Hillsboro, WV: National Vanguard Books, 1995). Strom was the third speaker, following Dr. Charles Weber, the Chairman of a group called the Committee for the Reexamination of the Second World War, and Dr. Richard Swartzbaugh, an anthropologist and author of a book entitled The Mediator. Sam Dickson introduced Strom. The Kevin Strom standing at the microphone that day was a youngish, clean-cut man who appeared to be in his mid- to late-thirties. He was of medium height and build, and was dressed conservatively in a coat and tie. His straight features and aviator glasses give him a John Denver-like appearance. Unlike Denver, however, Strom’s hair was dark and cut to medium length. It was parted neatly and combed to the side, and the ends fell toward his right eyebrow. He reminded me of the well-scrubbed men I see working behind the counter at airline ticketing stations. He spoke in a soft-spoken and formal way to the audience that had assembled on that November day in Illinois:

On August 10, 1994, for the first time in my life, I suddenly found myself living in a universe that did not contain Revilo Pendleton Oliver….My wife and I visited Dr. and Mrs. Oliver in July 1994, about one month before his death. At that time, my wife was pregnant with our second child, Edgar Alfred Strom. My first-born son, Oskar Oliver Strom, was named to honor Revilo Oliver. I hope that our growing family and our family’s dedication to the cause for which Revilo Oliver sacrificed so much gave him some small satisfaction….If our race’s future lies, as I believe it does, in the stars rather than in the nothingness of extinction, then Revilo Oliver’s consciousness was a consciousness of the future, an example of the intellectual and spiritual greatness of which European man is capable. Dr. Oliver shunned sentimental illusions, and was often pessimistic about the future of our race. But his existence on this planet is, to me, evidence that our future path is upward to understanding and mastery of the universe, and not downward through a mongrelized squalor to the primordial slime….Dr. Oliver was not afraid, and we of European descent should not be afraid, to use the term Aryan….It should not be applied indiscriminately to every White person, however. In my opinion, its use should be limited to describe those of our race who truly deserve to be called nobles—those who by their appearance, their actions, their character, their intellect, and their consciousness of their mission to bring forth a higher type of human-kind on this planet, deserve to be the progenitors of future generations of our race. By such a standard, Revilo Oliver was an Aryan among Aryans. [Before he died] I was able to tell him how much I loved him, how much he had affected my life, how much he had inspired me and thousands like me, and how, as long as I drew breath, the Cause for which he lived would continue.

A number of speakers later, it was Kirsten Strom’s turn to pay tribute to Revilo Oliver. She was the only woman to speak that day. The microphone had been chest high to most of male speakers, and some had to lean down to speak into it. Kirsten, on the other hand, could barely be seen over the podium and the microphone was right in front of her face. She was probably in her early thirties, but she could have passed for someone in her mid-twenties. She had on large clear plastic-framed glasses and dark lipstick. She wore a dark round hat of the sort women wore in the ‘40s—the kind that had often had a veil, although hers didn’t—and it was pitched toward the back of her head. Her hair was dark and wavy and outlined her round face and soft features. She wore a dark woman’s suit over a white blouse open at the collar. A loosely tied scarf was around her neck. I remember my mother dressing this way when I was very young.

Kirsten Strom spoke in a girlish, unsophisticated (she mentioned having a “picher” taken with Oliver), gentle, and sincere way. “My name is Kirsten,” she began.

One of the things my husband Kevin and I used to do on a date—I know it was kind of a strange thing to do on a date—was listen to Dr. Oliver’s speeches. The first time I heard him speak I knew he was extraordinary….[When I came to know him personally] he was incredibly gracious to me. He always referred to me as Kevin’s bride—even after we had been married several years. I thought that was extremely courteous of him….Doctor Oliver was so nice to Kevin and me. We enjoyed talking to him so much. Everything he said is just seared into my memory, as I am sure it is to anybody’s who ever spoke to him. You could never forget him, never ever….The last time I saw him was in July—we wanted to see him for his birthday. We were distressed to find out that he was very sick. As Kevin said in his speech, we were lucky to have been able to tell him how much we loved him and how he had changed our lives forever….I just had a baby about two weeks ago, and I was really afraid I wouldn’t be able to come today. After a great deal of thought I decided to come, and I am very glad that I did, because this is something else I will never forget. I’m very glad that we are all here together. I hope we will forever remember Dr. Oliver, and that we will have the same kind of courage to just keep on going, day in and day out, saying what we know is true. At home I have this saying on my refrigerator: “The truth is not only outraged by falsehood, it is outraged by silence.” I am not going to be silent, and certainly my husband is not going to be silent. Kevin is on [the radio] every week. You can hear him every week. That is all I have to say. I am very honored to be here. Thank you. Good-bye.

As it turned out, Kevin isn’t on the radio every week, and Kevin and Kirsten are not together anymore. Their marriage failed and they divorced. Distracted by the trauma of the divorce and wanting to be in Minnesota, his home state, with his three children, Kevin stopped his work with Pierce. Kevin has been granted custody of their three children, and according to Pierce centers his life around homeschooling them. It is particularly difficult for Kevin, Pierce told me, because one of his children is mildly autistic. Strom no longer does the radio show—now Pierce handles all of the programs. Since 1997 Kevin Strom has been silent.

 

There has been much speculation about what inspired Pierce to write The Turner Diaries. He had never written any fiction before. Some have guessed that the inspiration was a book by Jack London called The Iron Heel.[220]Jack London, The Iron Heel (New York: Hill and Wang, 1957). Pierce clarified that in our discussions. He said that Revilo Oliver was the inspiration. Pierce recalls meeting Oliver through his contacts with Lou Byers in 1970 or 1971, and corresponding with Oliver after that. Oliver had written a review of a book by William Gayley Simpson called Which Way Western Man? for Pierce’s tabloid Attack!. (The Simpson book and Pierce’s response to it will be discussed in a later chapter.) Pierce had significantly cut Oliver’s review. Pierce thought it was too long and that Oliver, who Pierce said detested Christianity, had given over an inordinate amount of space in his review to broadsides against Christianity. At that point—and it is still true today, although to a lesser extent—Pierce didn’t want “a war with the Christians,” as he put it to me. Oliver hadn’t taken well to Pierce’s cuts in his review, but they were on cordial enough terms for the two of them to have gotten together for lunch in 1974 when Oliver was in Washington.

Pierce told Oliver at the lunch meeting that he was finding it hard getting a response out of people to the message he was trying to get across. Oliver asked him whether he had ever thought of writing fiction. Oliver told Pierce that many of the sorts of people who would respond to his ideas—those toward the bottom or on the margins of society with less stake in the existing arrangements and less to lose—simply don’t read the kind of non-fiction material he was generating. If they read anything at all, Oliver said, it is fiction, and particularly light, action-filled recreational fiction.

“No, I hadn’t thought about writing fiction,” Pierce told Oliver. “It does sound like a good idea, though. But I really wouldn’t know where to start doing something like that—I’ve never done any of it.” Oliver told Pierce that when he got back home in Illinois he would mail him a book that the John Birch Society had published. It was the kind of fiction that he had in mind for Pierce to think about writing.

A couple of weeks later, Pierce received a photocopy of the book Oliver had talked about in the mail. It was called The John Franklin Letters, and had been published back in 1959.[221], The John Franklin Letters (New York: Bookmailer, Inc., 1959). Pierce told me he didn’t read the book carefully but that he looked through it enough to get an idea of how he could do something like that. The “something like that” turned out to be The Turner Diaries, a book that has sold over three hundred thousand copies without the aid of a commercial publisher and bookstore distribution and has become arguably the most infamous book of our time.

Pierce still has the photocopy of the book Oliver gave him, and I went through it. The John Franklin Letters is made up of chronologically arranged fictional letters from one John Semmes Franklin to his ninety-three-year-old uncle. They span a two-year period, from 1972 to 1974. (Recall that the book was written in 1959 and thus its events transpire in the future.) Pierce told me that the letters format on The John Franklin Letters inspired the idea of a fictional diary, which Pierce decided would be a good format for writing a first novel. With diary entries, he would just have to look at the world through the eyes of one person, Earl Turner. He wouldn’t have to put himself in the place of a number of characters or assume the position of an omniscient observer.

No author is listed for The John Franklin Letters. The preface is written by a fictional Harley Ogdon, who identifies himself as a professor of American history at the University of Illinois. He informs us that Franklin’s letters to his uncle record the ousting of the “Buros” (Bureaucrats) by the Rangers, an underground patriotic military force Franklin helped form. The Rangers, Ogdon writes, represented the resistance to the excesses of state control of every facet of American life. They were combatting the government paternalism that was destroying this country. As I read along in the book, I became certain I knew who the author of The John Franklin Letters was—Revilo Oliver himself. I had read enough of Oliver’s writings by that time to recognize his thinking and his writing style.

“Did Oliver ever tell you who wrote The John Franklin Letters ?” I asked Pierce.

“I don’t know who wrote it,” Pierce answered. “It doesn’t give an author because the premise is that this is a collection of letters.”

“I believe Oliver himself wrote this book, and that for whatever reason he didn’t want his identity known,” I said. “It could be that at that time, in the 1950s, he wasn’t excited about the idea of the people at National Review or the University of Illinois knowing he was writing this kind of thing.”

“That could be,” Pierce responded. “All I know is that he didn’t tell me that he had written the book. He just said did you ever see The John Franklin Letters? and I said, no, I never had, and he said I’ll send you a copy, it might give you an idea of how you can use a fictional medium to get your message out. And he sent me the book.”

Even though The John Franklin Letters was written fifty years ago, it reflects many of the concerns of those on the far right in contemporary times. For one thing, there is the worry about “big brother,” liberal, paternalistic government, particularly at the federal level. In an early letter of this unpaginated volume, Franklin tells his uncle that it all began with Roosevelt and the New Deal back in the 1930s: “By government, the great orator [Roosevelt] did not mean the people of the United States, acting with courage and common sense in their own communities. He meant a parcel of professional experts minding other people’s business, who were even then descending on Washington…a flock of theorists bent on confiscating the nation’s money through taxation.” Later on, Franklin gets more specific, as the tells his uncle: “[The ‘experts’ have] planned us into economic serfdom; now they’ll manage us into organized captivity with an orgy of deficit spending, pump-priming controls, and population shifts.”

And then there is the disastrous welfare system: “Here’s what has happened,” writes Franklin. “Anyone can get on the relief roles. All you have to do is convinceureaucrat, himself living on other people’s money, that you are in need.” Elsewhere he tells his uncle, “Charity to those in need has turned into a vast system of ‘projects’ in the hands of ‘social engineers.’ Something for nothing—that is now the battle cry.”

An anti-black bias shows through as Franklin writes: “One third of the nation’s crime is committed by Negroes, mostly in Northern cities—home of enlightenment and integration, you’ll notice. The Liberals cry, scarlet with rage, ‘Well what do you expect? They live in substandard conditions.’ And I add, those rapists, killers, and thieves are behaving in a substandard manner.” In another letter, Franklin refers to blacks as a “tax-supported proletariat.”

There is the worry about what have come to be called “hate laws.” “As bad as blacks are, you can’t criticize them,” writes Franklin, “because of the Javitts hate literature law, [Jacob Javitts was a Jewish senator from New York at that time] which prevents what is considered to be unfair propaganda against minority groups.” Later on, Franklin writes to his uncle about a “Mr. White” (white man?) who is serving a ten-year “administrative penalty” for being discourteous to a black. “This had been regarded as a form of genocide,” explains Franklin, “since it could do psychological harm to an entire minority element.” The New York Commission on Intergroup Relations had previously been after this Mr. White, Franklin reports to his uncle, because he was the president of a country club who failed to include a black among its members. “White’s remark to the Commission that he thought he and his friends had the right to choose their own associates,” writes Franklin, “was most unwise under the circumstances.”

The book also foretells fears about what in these years is called the New World Order. Franklin’s letters assert that America’s sovereignty is being given over to “world governments,” as he calls them, such as the United Nations. According to Franklin, this is part of a movement toward a “world-wide people’s democratic government.” He tells his uncle that the United States is now being governed by the United Nations Organization and the “Peoples’ Democratic Anti-Fascist Government of North America.”

And there are the gun-control worries. Writes Franklin: “No dictatorship has ever been imposed on a nation of free men who have not been first required to register their privately owned weapons…[However,] we are not, as were the Hungarians [referring to the 1956 uprising against the Soviet-dominated government in that country] reduced to fighting with our bare hands and Molotov cocktails [explosive devices made out of soda pop bottles and gasoline]. Millions of Americans still have a deadly and trusted weapon which the Buros tried too late to seize.”

In the end, the Rangers win the day. Franklin’s last letter, dated July 4th, 1974 (again, the book was written in the 1950s), tells of victory and the re-establishment of “the legal government of the United States of America.” Franklin tells his uncle: “Rangers appeared in Washington just before dawn. Within an hour we had control of the metropolitan police headquarters, the broadcasting stations, and the Buro guard posts throughout the city. Shortly after sunrise, two battalions of Ranger paratroopers jumped from the old military and commercial aircraft about which you know. A command post was set up in RockCreekPark. We had almost no trouble with the UN and Buro guards around the city. They are, as we found out early in the game, more on the order of custodians and doorkeepers than fighting infantry. The professional military forces which had plagued us for a while—Soviet, Chinese, and Indian troops—had been withdrawn for some months to deal with unrest on their home grounds.”

The book ends on an ominous note as Franklin refers to retribution: “Certain high-minded Liberals will be among the first to be executed and they will go to their deaths not understanding why.”

 

Guided by the example of The John Franklin Letters, Pierce began writing what came to be called The Turner Diaries as installments for his tabloid Attack!. The early installments received an enthusiastic response from readers, so he kept them going. As with The John Franklin Letters, the basic situation is a revolt against those in control of America in a future time. Instead of the Rangers, in Pierce’s book it is the Organization. Within the Organization there was an elite group to which the protagonist Earl Turner belongs called the Order. In Nazi Germany, the cadre of the best young National Socialist party members was called the Order. When I read Pierce’s book I presumed that that is where he got the name, but he tells me that wasn’t the case. Instead of fighting the Buros as in the Oliver book, Earl Turner and his compatriots were taking on the System. And of course, instead of writing letters, Earl Turner keeps a diary.

Pierce told me he wrote twenty-six chapters of The Turner Diaries —one for each issue of his tabloid Attack!—over a period of three-and-a-half years. He said that the one thing he made sure to do was get one piece of violence or heightened action into each episode in order to keep his readers interested. He said he knocked out the episodes quickly as deadlines were short and that he had no idea that they would ever comprise a book. If he had known that they were going to receive as much attention as they eventually did receive, he told me, he would have tried to do better job with the writing. A number of times Pierce expressed to me that he didn’t think The Turner Diaries is very well written. He seems somewhat embarrassed about the book’s literary merits. He thinks Hunter, the novel he wrote in the mid-1980s and which has received much less attention than The Turner Diaries, is a far better written book.

When Pierce completed The Turner Diaries installments in 1978, he thought he had something worth publishing as a separate volume. He sent the manuscript to eleven or twelve publishers, he told me, and they all turned it down. He then published the manuscript himself.[222]Andrew Macdonald (William Pierce), The Turner Diaries, second edition (Hillsboro, WV: 1980). It has been sold in what Pierce calls the underground market: though ads in survivalist magazines, at gun shows, by individuals selling the book to their friends, and through the catalog of his own National Vanguard books. The book has been remarkably successful, with over three hundred thousand copies sold and perhaps a half-million readers.

There was a departure from the underground-sales pattern for a short period after all the attention the Oklahoma bombing brought to the book. A commercial publisher, Barricade Press, picked it up. Bob DeMarais had put together a promotional package and sent it to twenty-nine publishers and Barricade had “bought in,” says Pierce. Barricade is the operation of Lyle Stuart, who ironically is Jewish. Pierce told me that Barricade thrives on controversy, and that The Turner Diaries is the sort of book it publishes. In the preface to the Barricade edition of The Turner Diaries, Stuart writes that he personally finds the book reprehensible but that he believes as a matter of free speech it warrants being made available to the public. Soon after Barricade picked up The Turner Diaries, it went bankrupt and the rights to the book reverted to Pierce. One of the other of Barricade’s books alleged that a Las Vegas figure, Steve Wynn, was a front for organized crime. Wynn sued the publishing house for libel and was awarded a three-million-dollar judgment. That broke Barricade. So Pierce is back selling his own book.

 

What exactly did Pierce write in The Turner Diaries? What did Timothy McVeigh and thousands of others who have been affected by the book read in its pages? That’s next.

10 • The Turner Diaries • 5,000 Words

Pierce wrote The Turner Diaries, as well as his later novel Hunter, under the pen name Andrew Macdonald.[223]Andrew Macdonald (William Pierce), The Turner Diaries, second edition (Hillsboro, WV: 1980). His approach paralleled that taken by Revilo Oliver (I am certain it was Oliver) in The John Franklin Letters. The preface of The John Franklin Letters is written by the fictitious Professor Harley Ogdon, and the forward in Pierce’s is written by Macdonald. Where Pierce differs from Oliver is that he makes Macdonald the author of the book, while Oliver left his book without an identified author.

The premise of The Turner Diaries is that Macdonald is writing the preface of the book in the year 100 of the New Era, which is 2099 by our numbering. Macdonald tells us that there was an insurrectionary group in this country called the Organization (in Oliver’s book it was the Rangers) which successfully waged the Great Revolution against the System (it was the Buros in The Franklin Letters) during the period from 1991 to 1999. Recall that Pierce wrote the tabloid episodes that became The Turner Diaries in the mid-1970s, so it would be like setting events in a book written these years in 2015 or 2020; it lends a prophetic quality to the writing. The outcome of this Great Revolution, we learn in the preface, was a “cataclysmic upheaval,” not only in America but all over the world, which resulted in the New Era. This was such a monumental turn of events that years are numbered from that time forward (1NE, 2NE, 3NE, and so on).

What has happened, writes Macdonald, is that excavations of the “Washington ruins” have just turned up (this is 100NE, remember) a historically significant diary that had been kept by one of the martyrs of the Great Revolution—I find it interesting that Pierce uses the word “martyr” and not hero—a man named Earl Turner. This was a significant discovery because Turner is a major historical figure. School children memorize his name along with the others on the Record of Martyrs, and he is recognized every year on the Day of the Martyrs. This book marks the Turner diaries’ first availability to the general public.

Earl Turner, we are told, was a rank-and-file member of the Organization as well as its elite cadre, the Order. Macdonald informs us that Turner kept a diary from the beginning of the revolution in September of 1991 to the day of his death, November 9th, 1993, when he flew an old cropduster plane on what amounted to a suicide mission to drop a nuclear bomb on the PentagonBuilding in Washington, D.C.. The bomb hit its target, and Turner achieved a kind of immortality as one of the Great Martyrs. He will be honored by all of the generations to come for his enormous dedication, courage, and sacrifice, and for the gift of a grand new way of being that he and others like him made possible.

Macdonald tells us that Turner was thirty-five years old when he began writing the diaries. Turner grew up in Los Angeles, was trained as an electrical engineer, and after college settled in the Washington, D.C. area (the center of things for Pierce since the Rockwell connection), where he worked for an electronics research firm. Turner’s diary entries recount his exploits in the Great Revolution, along with those of his compatriots in the Organization, George, Henry, and the woman who becomes Turner’s mate (the word Pierce used), Katherine. Macdonald doesn’t give the reader any indication in the preface—nor do we get it later on in the book—of what any of these individuals looks like, with the exception that he gets across the idea that Katherine is a physically attractive woman.

 

Earl Turner’s first diary entry is dated September 16th, 1991. “Today it finally began! After all those years of talking—and nothing but talking— we have finally taken our first action. We are at war with the System, and it is no longer a war of words.”[224]Ibid., p. 1.
(Andrew Macdonald (William Pierce), The Turner Diaries, second edition (Hillsboro, WV: 1980).)
Turner refers to having been arrested in the Gun Raids two years before. The Cohen Act (in The John Franklin Letters it was the Javitts Act, another Jewish name) had outlawed private ownership of guns. Four Negroes had burst through Turner’s door with a baseball bat and knives and ransacked his apartment looking for a gun. Their white superior found it (in Pierce’s writing don’t expect minorities to get anything done), and Turner was arrested.[225]Ibid., p. 3.
(Andrew Macdonald (William Pierce), The Turner Diaries, second edition (Hillsboro, WV: 1980).)
So many people were arrested in the Gun Raids—eight hundred thousand nationwide—that the authorities didn’t have the means to process them all. So after three days of detention in a high school gym, Turner was released. He lost his position at the laboratory when he was arrested, however, and did consulting work and special jobs for a couple of electronic firms to make a living. Pierce may have been drawing on his own situation here. His job at Pratt & Whitney ended—albeit at his initiative, but in his mind he jumped before he was pushed—with his transgression, publishing National Socialist World.

When the Gun Raids had taken place two years before, some militant members of the Organization, Turner records in his diary, were in favor of “digging up our weapons caches and unleashing a program of terror against the system immediately, carrying out executions of Federal judges, newspaper editors, legislators, and other System figures. The time was ripe for such action, they felt, because in the wake of the Gun Raids they could win public sympathy for such a campaign against tyranny.”[226]Ibid., p. 5.
(Andrew Macdonald (William Pierce), The Turner Diaries, second edition (Hillsboro, WV: 1980).)
But they were wrong, Turner concludes. The Organization wasn’t ready to act effectively. At that time, Turner writes, the Organization contained too many cowards, blabbermouths, informers, fools, weaklings, irresponsible jerks, fainthearts, and hobbyists. But now they are ready. What will come to be called the Great Revolution has begun.

Turner’s unit (Pierce’s National Alliance is divided into units, as was the John Birch Society, Pierce’s first organizational link) needs to raise some cash, so they rob Berman’s liquor store and make off with eight hundred dollars. In the process Earl bops a black employee over the head with an “Ivory special”—a bar of soap in a sock. (This “socially conscious” crime—robbing a liquor store—may have inspired Bob Mathews, who will be discussed later on, to devise his own similarly-inspired money-raising enterprises.) They then go down the street to Berman’s Deli. Earl gives old man Berman a bop. Henry then slits Berman’s throat from ear to ear. When Mrs. Berman enters the scene, Henry lets fly with a jar of kosher pickles and she goes down “in a spray of pickles and broken glass.”[227]Ibid., p. 11.
(Andrew Macdonald (William Pierce), The Turner Diaries, second edition (Hillsboro, WV: 1980).)
That robbery netted another $4,426. Earl reports that he isn’t up for robbing any more liquor stores because “I don’t have the nerves for it.”[228]Ibid.
(Andrew Macdonald (William Pierce), The Turner Diaries, second edition (Hillsboro, WV: 1980).)
Note that nerves were Earl’s problem; he had no moral qualms about an old man having his throat cut and his wife getting a rock-hard jar rifled into her face.

In The Turner Diaries, Pierce makes explicit what was tacit in Oliver’s book: the Organization is waging a struggle on behalf of the white race; this is a race war. “If the Organization fails at its task now,” Turner writes, “everything will be lost—our [white] history, our heritage, all the blood and sacrifices and upward striving of countless thousands of years. The Enemy we are fighting fully intends to destroy the basis of our existence.”[229]Ibid., p. 34.
(Andrew Macdonald (William Pierce), The Turner Diaries, second edition (Hillsboro, WV: 1980).)

The Turner Diaries is replete with violence from beginning to end, particularly when revenge is being wreaked against Jews and blacks and traitorous whites—men and woman, young and old. An early entry tells of an Organization member dying in a Chicago jail, probably, Turner surmises, at the hands of black inmates while the white authorities looked the other way. In retaliation, a member of the Organization blows off the head of the CookCounty sheriff with a shotgun.[230]Ibid., p. 16.
(Andrew Macdonald (William Pierce), The Turner Diaries, second edition (Hillsboro, WV: 1980).)
When a spokesman for the Chicago Jewish community responds by describing the Organization as “a gang of racist bigots,” his head is chopped off with a hatchet.[231]Ibid., p. 17.
(Andrew Macdonald (William Pierce), The Turner Diaries, second edition (Hillsboro, WV: 1980).)
My guess is that beyond whatever service violent incidents like these provide to the book’s narrative line, writing them gave Pierce a measure of cathartic relief.

With this kind of thing going on in Chicago and elsewhere, the Attorney General of the United States announces that the FBI is going to root out the Organization, which he describes as “depraved racist criminals” who want to “undo all the progress toward true equality” that has been attained by the System in recent years.[232]Ibid., p. 18.
(Andrew Macdonald (William Pierce), The Turner Diaries, second edition (Hillsboro, WV: 1980).)

Earl reports that he and Katherine, who up to this point had been aligned with George even though she wasn’t George’s mate, accidentally meet unclothed in the shower and nature takes its course.[233]Ibid., p. 28.
(Andrew Macdonald (William Pierce), The Turner Diaries, second edition (Hillsboro, WV: 1980).)
From then on, they are together. Turner describes Katherine as having herself been arrested in the Gun Raids. She had purchased a pistol after her roommate had been raped by a black. She met George in the detention center, and he had radicalized her. Before she met George, Katherine had been a liberal “in the mindless, automatic way that most people are.”[234]Ibid., p. 29.
(Andrew Macdonald (William Pierce), The Turner Diaries, second edition (Hillsboro, WV: 1980).)
George gave her books to read and helped her develop a racial identity. This theme of being educated into racial consciousness by someone who, among other things, provides books for them to read is a recurrent theme in Pierce’s writing. No doubt it grows out of his sense of the central importance of this kind of education and his view of himself as a teacher. In a way, Professor Pierce has never left the classroom.

Katherine had worked in the past as a congressman’s secretary and a copy-editor and writer. In the Organization she specializes in make-up and disguises. Another theme in Pierce: when women are doing what they should be doing, it is not going to be writing or editing articles; women serve their men.

Now we come to the incident in the book that received so much attention in the Timothy McVeigh case. Many believe it is what inspired McVeigh to blow up the MurrahFederalBuilding in Oklahoma City in the way that he did. Turner’s unit is assigned to blow up the FBI headquarters in Washington. The objective is to strike before the FBI arrests more Organization members. In particular, the revolutionaries want to knock out a computer complex in the sub-basement of the building that supports a new internal passport system that will expose to arrest Organization “legals,” those who have not gone underground.[235]Ibid., p. 30.
(Andrew Macdonald (William Pierce), The Turner Diaries, second edition (Hillsboro, WV: 1980).)
Secondary objectives of the bombing are to raise morale in the Organization by demonstrating its ability to act and to embarrass the System.[236]Ibid., p. 36.
(Andrew Macdonald (William Pierce), The Turner Diaries, second edition (Hillsboro, WV: 1980).)

Another unit in the Organization has been assigned to get the explosives. Turner’s unit will hijack a truck making a delivery to the FBI headquarters, load the truck with explosives, drive to a freight receiving area, set a fuse, and leave the truck before the bomb goes off. Turner’s unit is to work out the details of the assignment, which includes determining the FBI’s freight-delivery schedules and procedures. Turner’s specific job is to design and construct the mechanism that detonates the bomb. Here we see another theme, and ideal, in Pierce’s writing: people unquestioningly doing what they are told in the service of a grand race-enhancing mission.

Turner writes that he first put together a trigger mechanism, which he said was “quite easy” to construct, although he doesn’t go into details about how he went about it. He says he held up on the booster—the trigger mechanism needs a booster to set off the main charge, five or ten tons of some explosive like TNT—until he knew what sort of explosives he would be using. The unit assigned to acquire the explosives steal two cases, around one hundred pounds of blasting gelatin, which is the booster he needs. The blasting gelatin is sensitive enough to be initiated by one of his homemade lead azide detonators, and that the hundred pounds he has is enough to set off the main charge, which turns out to be around forty-four hundred pounds of ammonium nitrate fertilizer along with four hundred pounds of dynamite. Writes Turner:

I packed about four pounds of the blasting gelatin into an empty applesauce can, primed it, placed the batteries and timing mechanism in the top of the can, and wired them to a small toggle switch on the end of the 20-foot extension cord. When we load the truck with explosives, the can will go in back, on top of the two cases of blasting gelatin. We’ll have to poke small holes in the walls of the trailer and the cab to run the extension cord and the switch into the cab.[237]Ibid., p. 32-33.
(Andrew Macdonald (William Pierce), The Turner Diaries, second edition (Hillsboro, WV: 1980).)

Someone, probably Henry, will drive the truck into the freight-receiving area inside the FBI building, flip a switch which starts a timer, and ten minutes later the explosives will go off. Since the amount of explosives is relatively small, it is decided that it would be best to try to get the truck into the first-level basement, which has a freight entrance.

If we detonate our bomb in the basement underneath the courtyard the confinement will make it substantially more effective. It will almost certainly collapse the basement floor into the sub-basement, burying the computers. Furthermore, it will destroy most, if not all, the communications and power equipment for the building, since those are on the basement levels. The big unknown is whether it will do enough structural damage to the building to make it uninhabitable for an extended period. Without a detailed blueprint of the building and a team of architects and civil engineers we simply can’t answer that question.[238]Ibid. p. 37.
(Andrew Macdonald (William Pierce), The Turner Diaries, second edition (Hillsboro, WV: 1980).)

“If we are lucky,” Turner writes in his diary, “that will be the end of the FBI building—and the government’s new three-billion-dollar computer complex for their internal-passport system.”[239]Ibid., p. 33.
(Andrew Macdonald (William Pierce), The Turner Diaries, second edition (Hillsboro, WV: 1980).)
Note there is no consideration of the lives that might be lost in the blast.

Turner and the ordinance expert of the other unit involved in the operation, Ed Sanders, calculate that they would need at least ten thousand pounds of TNT or an equivalent explosive to destroy a substantial portion of the FBI building and wreck the new computer center. To be on the safe side, they ask for twenty thousand pounds. Turner finally has to make do with a little under five thousand pounds, however, and most of that is not TNT but rather ammonium nitrate fertilizer. He says that when it is sensitized with oil and tightly confined, ammonium nitrate makes an effective blasting agent, although he considers it less effective for their purposes than TNT would have been.[240]Ibid., p. 35.
(Andrew Macdonald (William Pierce), The Turner Diaries, second edition (Hillsboro, WV: 1980).)

The day of the bombing, Turner and Sanders mix heating oil with the one-hundred-pound bags of ammonium nitrate fertilizer in the other unit’s garage.

We stood the 100-pound bags on end one by one and poked a small hole in the top with a screwdriver, just big enough to insert the end of a funnel. While I held the bag and the funnel, Ed poured in a gallon of oil. Then we slapped a big square of adhesive tape over the hole, and I turned the bag end over end to mix the contents while Ed refilled his oil can from the feeder line to the oil furnace. It took us nearly three hours to do all 44 sacks, and the work really wore me out.[241]Ibid., p. 38.
(Andrew Macdonald (William Pierce), The Turner Diaries, second edition (Hillsboro, WV: 1980).)

While this is going on, George and Henry are out stealing a truck. They find one, a delivery truck of an office-supply firm, and Henry kills its black driver with a knife. Henry drives the truck back to where Turner and Sanders are, with George following in a car. They unload what was in the delivery truck and then load the now-empty truck with the cases of dynamite and bags of ammonium nitrate fertilizer sensitized by adding heating oil. Turner runs the cable and switch for the detonator from the cargo area into the cab of the truck through a crack. They decide to leave the driver’s body in the back of the truck.

Henry drives the truck toward the FBI building.[242]Ibid., pp. 38-39.
(Andrew Macdonald (William Pierce), The Turner Diaries, second edition (Hillsboro, WV: 1980).)
At 9:15 a.m. the bomb goes off. Turner writes in his diary:

…the pavement shuddered violently under our feet. An instant later the blast wave hit us—a deafening “ka-whoomp,” followed by an enormous roaring, crashing sound, accentuated by the higher-pitched noise of shattering glass all around us. The plate glass windows in the store beside us and dozens of others that we could see along the street were blown to splinters. A glittering and deadly rain of glass shards continued to fall into the street from the upper stories of nearby buildings for a few seconds, as a jet-black column of smoke shot straight up into the sky ahead of us.[243]Ibid., p. 39.
(Andrew Macdonald (William Pierce), The Turner Diaries, second edition (Hillsboro, WV: 1980).)

Turner and George run to the building:

The scene in the courtyard was one of utter devastation. The whole Pennsylvania Avenue wing of the building…had collapsed, partly into the courtyard in the center of the building and partly into Pennsylvania Avenue. A huge hole yawned in the courtyard pavement just beyond the rubble of collapsed masonry, and it was from this hole that most of the column of black smoke was ascending. Overturned trucks and automobiles, smashed office furniture, and building rubble were strewn wildly about—and so were the bodies of a shockingly large number of victims. Over everything hung a pall of black smoke, burning our eyes and lungs and reducing the bright morning to semi-darkness.[244]Ibid., pp. 39-40.
(Andrew Macdonald (William Pierce), The Turner Diaries, second edition (Hillsboro, WV: 1980).)

Turner reports that he “gaped with a mixture of horror and elation at the devastation.”[245]Ibid. p. 40.
(Andrew Macdonald (William Pierce), The Turner Diaries, second edition (Hillsboro, WV: 1980).)

Turner hears a moan and sees a girl about twenty years of age trapped in the rubble, half-conscious, her face smudged and cut, her leg broken, and with a deep gash in her thigh. He puts a tourniquet on her thigh wound and carries her out to the street. He then becomes aware of the moans and screams of dozens of other victims. He looks upon a woman, her face covered in blood and with a gaping wound in her head, lying motionless—”a horrible sight,” he writes.

Turner later learns that approximately seven hundred people died from the blast. For the first time in the book, Turner confronts the issue of the justification of causing the deaths of so many innocent people.

…there is no way we can destroy the System without hurting many thousands of innocent people—no way. It is a cancer too deeply rooted in our flesh. And if we don’t destroy the System before it destroys us—if we don’t cut this cancer out of our living flesh—our whole race will die….[W]e are all completely convinced that what we did was justified, but it is still very hard to see our own people suffering so intensely because of our acts. It is because Americans have for so many years been unwilling to make unpleasant decisions that we are forced to make decisions now which are stern indeed.[246]Ibid., p. 42.
(Andrew Macdonald (William Pierce), The Turner Diaries, second edition (Hillsboro, WV: 1980).)

The “unpleasant decisions” he refers to are with reference to the Jewish and race issues that threaten the preservation of a white America.

Not long after the FBI bombing, Turner is informed that he had been deemed worthy of being brought into a select inner circle of the Organization, the Order. Turner is given what looks like a monk’s robe to wear and stands in a circle with five similarly robed Organization members for the initiation ceremony. As members of the Order, they are to be bearers of the Cause—the survival and progress of their race. Turner and the others swear the Oath to the Cause and allegiance to one another. The experience, Turner reports, “shook me to my bones and raised the hair on the back of my neck.”[247]Ibid., p. 73.
(Andrew Macdonald (William Pierce), The Turner Diaries, second edition (Hillsboro, WV: 1980).)
Now his life belongs only to the Order. “Today I was, in a sense, born again,” he writes. “I know now that I will never again be able to look at the world or the people around me or my own life in quite the same way I did before.”[248]Ibid., p. 74.
(Andrew Macdonald (William Pierce), The Turner Diaries, second edition (Hillsboro, WV: 1980).)

As I read this section of the book, I imagined that it must have been gratifying for Pierce, who I believe has always felt quite alone, to write about Turner—who is Pierce, really; the book is Pierce writing out his own fantasies, his own wishes—having his life become intertwined with others in service to something larger than their individual interests and pursuits. It must have been satisfying for Pierce to write about the others being as committed as Turner is to achieving this grand purpose, and to write about the others giving Turner their loyalty and support and Turner giving his loyalty and support to them in return.

I think being part of an Order-like group is what Pierce—or better, a part of him—would like in his life. He heads an organization, the National Alliance, and supervises its employees, but I think he dreams of being a valued follower, a rank-and-file member, as Turner is in this book. I said “part of him” in the first sentence of this paragraph because as much as Pierce wants to be embedded in something bigger than he is, when it comes down to it, he is a loner and wants to call the shots in his life. Since Pierce broke with Matt Koehl and the NSWPP in 1970, even though he has worked in the context of an organization, the National Youth Alliance which became the National Alliance, in a very real sense he has worked alone. This was true even when Kevin Strom was with him. Strom worked more under Pierce than alongside him, and never really with Pierce in a truly bonded way. From what I have picked up from Pierce, his relationship with Strom was more akin to that of like-minded colleagues than fused brothers as in the Order. At present, Pierce has subordinates and followers, and people do things around him—I’m thinking of the activities of the local units in the National Alliance—but he really doesn’t have comrades-in-arms. My read on Pierce is that he goes back and forth: he wants to be intertwined with others and at the same time he doesn’t, and that the latter of the two impulses wins out. However, the other impulse—the desire to be a “good soldier”—is still there in Pierce, and it manifests itself in this section of The Turner Diaries.

The rest of the book goes back and forth between what amount to mini-lectures by Turner/Pierce on the state of the world and increasingly horrific acts of violence on the part of the Organization.

Briefly, some of the lectures:

And some examples of the violence:

 

August 1, 1993. Today was the Day of the Rope… [T]he night is filled with silent horrors; from tens of thousands of lampposts, power poles, and trees throughout this vast metropolitan area the grisly forms hang…At practically every street corner I passed this evening on my way to HQ there was a dangling corpse, four at every intersection. Hanging from a single overpass only about a mile from here is a group of about 30, each with an identical placard around its neck bearing the printed legend, “I betrayed my race.”….In the middle of one of the unlighted blocks I saw what appeared to be a person standing on the sidewalk directly in front of me. As I approached the silent figure, whose features were hidden in the shadow of a large tree overhanging the sidewalk, it remained motionless, blocking my way….Then, when I was within a dozen feet of the figure, which had been facing away from me, it began turning slowly toward me. [I saw] the horribly bloated purplish face of a young woman, her eyes wide open and bulging, her mouth agape. Finally, I could make out the thin vertical line of a rope disappearing into the branches above.[266]Ibid., pp. 160-161.
(Andrew Macdonald (William Pierce), The Turner Diaries, second edition (Hillsboro, WV: 1980).)

 

The last of Turner’s diary entries is dated November 9th, 1993. He writes, “It’s still three hours until first light, and all systems are ‘go’.”[267]Ibid., p. 202.
(Andrew Macdonald (William Pierce), The Turner Diaries, second edition (Hillsboro, WV: 1980).)
This is the day Turner will fly off in his old cropduster plane and, staying very low to the ground, destroy the Pentagon with a nuclear bomb. He will lose his life in the process and achieve the recognition and gratitude of his race forever. Katherine had been killed a couple of months before in a shoot-out with blacks that had begun when one of the blacks had made a sexual advance on her. Turner had been separated from the Order because while a captive he had broken his Oath. He had revealed information about the Order after being tortured at the direction of a member of Israeli military intelligence instead of taking the cyanide he had been given to use in such a circumstance. Turner escaped his captors and was put on trial and convicted by an Order tribunal. He was told that his probationary status in the Order would be extended (he had not yet gone through the rite of Union that would make him a full member) if he took on the mission on which he was to embark, a mission “whose successful completion can reasonably be expected to result in your death.” Just before the mission, he would be allowed to participate in the rite of Union and become a full member of the Order.[268]Ibid., p. 99.
(Andrew Macdonald (William Pierce), The Turner Diaries, second edition (Hillsboro, WV: 1980).)

Two days before this last day of his life, Turner had undergone the Order’s rite of Union. In his last diary entry he describes the others who participated in the ceremony as “real men, White men, men who are now one with me in spirit and consciousness as well as in blood.”[269]Ibid. p. 203.
(Andrew Macdonald (William Pierce), The Turner Diaries, second edition (Hillsboro, WV: 1980).)

He notes that the plane’s engine has been warming up for about ten minutes, and that he was being signaled that it was time to go.[270]Ibid., p. 204.
(Andrew Macdonald (William Pierce), The Turner Diaries, second edition (Hillsboro, WV: 1980).)
The diary ends at this point.

 

In the epilogue, Macdonald tells us that Turner’s mission was successful but that he lost his life in the undertaking. The war raged on, with tens of millions perishing. Macdonald notes that in the process “millions of soft, city-bred, brainwashed Whites gradually began regaining their manhood.”[271]Ibid., p. 207.
(Andrew Macdonald (William Pierce), The Turner Diaries, second edition (Hillsboro, WV: 1980).)
On January 30th, 1999, the Organization achieved total victory and the Truce of Omaha was signed.

Then came the mopping up exercise: “The last of the non-White bands were hunted down and exterminated, followed by the final purge of undesirable racial elements among the remaining White population.”[272]Ibid., p. 209.
(Andrew Macdonald (William Pierce), The Turner Diaries, second edition (Hillsboro, WV: 1980).)

The conflict then spread worldwide and a white government came to control the world on the “Great One’s” (Hitler’s) one-hundred-and-tenth birthday, April 20, 1999.[273]Ibid., p. 210.
(Andrew Macdonald (William Pierce), The Turner Diaries, second edition (Hillsboro, WV: 1980).)
Hitler’s dream is realized.

As for Earl Turner, he has been a gallant warrior for his race, and he will live on in the minds of his people as long as they exist.

11 • Pierce on The Turner Diaries • 2,700 Words

“You know what the first line of your obituary is going to be, don’t you?” I said to Pierce.

“Well, it depends on when I die, before or after the revolution,” he answered.

“Let’s say before the revolution.”

“And you’re talking about in the New York Times.”

“Yes. It is sure to say something like, ‘William Pierce, author of the white supremacist novel, The Turner Diaries, died today.’ I would assume that just about everybody links you up with that book—especially with all the notoriety around the Timothy McVeigh connection. Probably to a lot of people you and the book are synonymous.”

“Yes, I realize that, at this point anyway, I’m pretty much identified with The Turner Diaries in people’s minds.”

“When you talked to Revilo Oliver, he said you had to get to the people who only do recreational reading. Was that your audience for this book?”

“I did think that this kind of book would get to people who wouldn’t be likely to read my other material. Initially at least, the people who got into the book were predominantly those who don’t read much besides adventure fiction. But then the book began getting publicity and other people wanted to see what the fuss was about, so eventually the book got read by many different types of people. Although I must say that many of the lower-class white people who are affected by the book are not the kinds of people I am trying to recruit, because they are not particularly useful people. They don’t have good character, and they aren’t really strong and capable people. But I did reach some very fine people through the book who I’m sure I wouldn’t have otherwise.

“I think the main thing, though, is that the book made a big impact on the public consciousness—it’s become a household word. There was a story I read in the Village Voice [newspaper in New York City] about six months ago. There was a fellow named Turner—Harry Turner, I think it was—who was a highway commissioner or something like that, some political job. He was caught up in some kind of scandal or controversy. Anyway, the headline in the article had ‘Turner Diaries’ in it—I guess they thought that would be a cute headline. But really the book had nothing to do with the story. It was just that this guy’s name was Turner and the headline writer figured that everybody would get the reference. I read that and I thought to myself, ‘We’ve arrived!'”

(Another example of how The Turner Diaries and Pierce seemingly have entered the mainstream culture: In the 1999 Jeff Bridges film, Arlington Road, as in Pierce’s book, the FBI headquarters building in Washington is blown up and a delivery truck is involved. Also, the Bridges character’s wife is killed tracking down an extreme right-wing figure in West Virginia by the name of Parsons.)

“I think you’re right,” I concurred, “The Turner Diaries has had an impact on the public consciousness. But I do think that the associations most people have are very negative ones. At least the people I tend to be around—I’m talking about middle-class professional types, people who see themselves as informed, enlightened, reasonable, and moral—say to me ‘I’ve got no time to read that ignorant, racist garbage, nor do I have any time for anybody who produces that sort of material. How could somebody have written such a hateful, violent book? What in the world did he think he was doing?’ How do you respond to people like that? What do you say to them?”

The Turner Diaries and Hunter [274]Andrew Macdonald (William Pierce), Hunter (Hillsboro, WV: National Vanguard Books, 1989). and everything else I write are not pieces of propaganda designed by marketing experts. They’d say ‘Here are the elements you need to have in it, and here’s what you have to avoid. Punch these buttons to appeal to the housewives and these over here to get the small businessmen,’ and so forth. I didn’t do that. I suppose I might have tried to write in that sort of calculated way, and I’m not sure how it would have come out. As far as I went in that direction was to buy into Oliver’s idea that I ought to try fiction as a medium to get my message across.

“What I did with The Turner Diaries was imagine myself a member of a revolutionary organization, Earl Turner. I put myself inside his skin and looked at the fictional situation I had created through his eyes. Or maybe it is through my eyes; it is kind of me as Earl and Earl as me. Anyway, I tried to imagine how I would react to the various situations he was in, what I would do, and how other people in the Organization would react and behave, and proceeded from there. What came out of that is going to get a more sympathetic reading from people with a similar mentality to mine, I understand that.

“This book is not going to get a big response from somebody who has a basically mercantile outlook or a feminist-conditioned turn of mind. It isn’t going to get a receptive response from, say, an intelligent person who is concerned about all the problems he sees around him—racial conflict, the effects of economic globalization, the de-industrialization of this country, the breakdown of morality in America, the negative influence of television and the other media—but who just wants those problems to go away without it putting him out or having things get messy. He’s worried about crime because it keeps him from enjoying his life in the way he would like. His business has been held up or burglarized a couple of times. Now, that is a hell of a big nuisance to him—it costs a lot for insurance for one thing. He’d like somebody to do something about all these problems, that’s for sure, but, really, he doesn’t give a damn about the fundamental things I was concerned with in The Turner Diaries. He just wants the problems fixed so he can enjoy his life without interference.

“People like that aren’t going to take to the book. They’re going to say, ‘My God, a revolution! Oh, that would be bad for business, terrible for profits.’ Or they’d turn pale at the idea of all the bloodshed and suffering and violence that goes along with cleaning up the mess we are in and that is in the book. But I wasn’t putting that in because I’m bloodthirsty or an anarchist or just trying to shock anybody. It’s there because I think that is the way history works, that when the old order gives way to the new order usually there is widespread bloodshed, suffering, and chaos. So I just wrote it the way I imagine things like this happen.

“Now if I had wanted to appeal to your average middle-class consumer, then I would have described the problems The Turner Diaries deals with in a muted, euphemistic way, and then I would have had a knight-on-white-horse politician appear on the scene—we can both think of some possibilities to use as a prototype for this character—and he’d win the election and fight the bad guys, and lo and behold! America would be restored to its pristine state of 1925 or so: blacks would be back in their place, crime under control, children not smart-assing their parents, and so on—all with no big upset to the lifestyle of ‘Mr. Sunday New York Times.’ Yes, he would have related to that because that resonates with his mentality.

“But even if I had tried to write a book like that it wouldn’t have had much vitality. I just couldn’t put my spirit into something like that. I wrote it the way I did and some people read it—not the ones we’ve been talking about, but other people, and a lot of them—and it knocks them off their chair. They really relate to the book. ‘Damn, this makes sense!’ they think—and the ideas stick in their minds, and it’s not just a momentary thing. They join the National Alliance and go from there, different from the way they’d done things before.

“So while some people read The Turner Diaries and are horrified, there are many others who are deeply affected by the book. And contrary to what the ‘horrifieds’ believe, these others and I are not their inferiors. If these horrified people are really going to understand the ideas and incidents in the book, they are going to have to come to grips with the fact that their reaction to these incidents has to do with the limits in their mentality as much or more than the limits they attribute to my mentality or that of the people who like the book.

“Of course many people who don’t like it haven’t even read the book. They’ve only heard about it from talking to other people, or they have read about in the newspaper or seen references to it on television. But they still think they know about it and therefore have an opinion about it. Most of them are sheep. They go wherever the rest of the herd is going. They believe whatever the New York Times or the networks or the NewRepublic tells them they should believe. Whatever the accepted, proper response to the book is, that is where they are—you can bet on it.

“I have a stack of reviews this thick telling people what the proper response to the book is. Nobody who writes for the mainstream press approves of the book. They all say either that this is a terrible book and obviously the work of a madman or—and actually this is more flattering—that this is a very dangerous book. So for the people who make sure they are on the side of those in the know, they are getting some clear direction on what to think about the book and me.

“Although nobody around here is likely to ever see it, one reviewer from the Johannesburg Star in South Africa wrote what I thought was a decent review of The Turner Diaries. He didn’t really approve of the book, but he acknowledged that the book hits the nail on the head about the problems we’re facing and that everybody ought to read the book. He said it is a radical book, an extreme book, but it has a lot of very thought-provoking things in it. I like that.”

“At one point in The Turner Diaries,” I said to Pierce, “you have Jews and ‘near-whites,’ as you call them, out in California being marched off to extermination. People ask me, ‘What is he getting at here? Is this what he wants? Is he advocating this kind of thing?’ What are you trying to say with that?”

“You’ve got to remember that The Turner Diaries is a novel. It is fiction, and therefore by definition it is not a book of advocacy. What I did try to do, however, is make it realistic. What do these sheltered middle-class consumers think went on over in the Balkans among the Serbs and Bosnians and Muslims? They have tortured and slaughtered each other wholesale over there. What do they think ethnic cleansing is? This is the kind of thing that has been going on since the beginning of time. It is real, it’s the way people behave, and just because this crowd has been insulated from these realities doesn’t mean they don’t exist. Certainly it went on all through World War II, a period of history I personally care a lot about. It is true that everybody has heard about how the Germans cleansed their nation of Jews—in fact, it seems that is all we have heard about, over and over. But what we don’t hear about is what happened to the Germans who were expelled from countries like Poland and Czechoslovakia. Two million Germans died in that process. My point is that this sort of thing has been commonplace in the world. I’m simply reflecting reality.”

“But weren’t you afraid that writing a book like this would exile you to the fringe of American life, marginalize you, make you look like an extremist, outside the boundaries of acceptability?”

“I know that if I tell the truth as I see it I will become a social outcast from the part of society that takes its cues from the authorities and the news media and [movie director] Steven Spielberg and the rest. I will be cast into the outer darkness, I realize that. But then again, if you yourself write a book that gets outside of today’s acceptable discourse and somehow it manages to get published, you’ll never get invited to another faculty party, and you’d better already be tenured and tough as leather.”

“The book ends with Turner’s suicide mission, destroying the Pentagon with a nuclear bomb. Why did you end the book that way?”

“When I began the tabloid installments that turned out to be The Turner Diaries, I had a situation, that’s pretty much it. There was the Organization and it was trying to get rid of the government and the government was trying to get rid of it. They were fighting each other. How would it go? I imagined some things, but I didn’t have the whole thing plotted out. I went chapter by chapter, one chapter per installment. I tried to get one explosive or charged-up incident in each episode to keep the readers interested, and I tried to get my lessons in.

“One of the lessons I tried to get across had to do with responsibility. A person is responsible for his actions, including the failure to act. Earl Turner was a good guy, but he did act irresponsibly [when he broke under torture and revealed information about the Order instead of taking cyanide as he had been instructed to do]. He broke the rules, and as a consequence the Organization suffered substantial damage. He was sentenced to death for that and then given a reprieve and given a chance to make up for what he had done—that’s the Pentagon mission [the last episode in the book where Turner dies dropping a nuclear bomb on the Pentagon]. Turner saw it as fair and proper that it went that way.

“The Organization was in a precarious situation. The government was getting its act together and eventually would have attacked its enclave in California. The Organization had to prevent that, and they did it by destroying the System’s command and control center at the Pentagon in Washington. It was really hard to do because the government had cleaned out the whole area around the Pentagon to keep anybody from getting a bomb in there on the ground. They had put up blast shutters and beams around the Pentagon and wouldn’t let anyone get within two miles of the place. They knew the Organization had nuclear weapons it had gotten from the air force base. So the only way the Organization could get a bomb in was through an aerial attack. If they had had high-tech and more time they might have made a remote-control bomb, stolen a Tomahawk missile or something, but they didn’t, so they went the low-tech approach, put the bomb in the back seat of a cropduster, and Turner got in and flew the damn thing into the Pentagon and succeeded in his mission. It was the responsible thing for him to do, and it saved the day and it made a hero out of him, and I thought it was a good ending for the book.”

12 • Timothy McVeigh • 2,600 Words

“Of course you always will be linked with Timothy McVeigh,” I said to Pierce.

“Unfortunately I have never met Tim McVeigh,” he replied, “although I must say it seems that he and Bob Mathews have a lot in common.” (Bob Mathews, a National Alliance member who was inspired by The Turner Diaries, formed an Order of his own in the 1980s with bloody consequences. More on Mathews later.)

“When you first heard about it, what was your reaction to the bombing at Oklahoma City?” I asked Pierce.

“It took a while for enough facts to become public so I could start to figure out what happened. I was watching the news one evening and there was this story about a huge bomb having destroyed a federal building in Oklahoma City. I figured that probably it was a terrorist bomb, so I was very excited. ‘What does it mean?’ I asked myself. ‘Will there be more bombings?’ That’s what went through my mind, but I really didn’t know what was going on. It took a couple of hours for the date to sink in—April 19th, the second anniversity of the Waco massacre. I thought this was maybe something one of the Christian Identity groups had done, because some of those outfits are quite militant. But it turned out to be McVeigh. [The Christian Identity doctrine holds that God’s Chosen People were actually ancestors of today’s Anglo-Saxons and Scandinavians. Christian Identity beliefs are foundational to an extremist group based in Hayden Lake, Idaho called Aryan Nations.[275]John George and Laird Wilcox, Nazis, Communists, Klansmen, and Others on the Fringe (Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Books, 1992), pp. 368-370.]

“Although I have never spoken to McVeigh,” Pierce continued, “I have had contact with his lawyer, Steve Jones. That was prior to McVeigh’s trial. Jones needed some expert advice, and I hope I helped him. He was concerned that the government would attempt to show that The Turner Diaries gave McVeigh the plan for the bombing. The prosecuters would say ‘Here’s the blueprint, in this book, and here’s a man who is identified with the book—he sold the book at gun shows and told his army buddies to read it—so you can see how it all fits together.’

“I told Jones I knew he didn’t have a lot of time to study The Turner Diaries, so I would point out the connections that the government was making that made no sense, and things in the book and the actual case that were clearly different. For one thing, the government is making a lot out of the fact that the bomb in Oklahoma City went off at something like 9:03 a.m. and the FBI headquarters in The Turner Diaries was bombed at 9:15. It’s silly to see any connection there. You mean this guy is sitting in front of the federal building in Oklahoma City saying to himself, ‘Better not light the fuse yet, got to wait until 9:15, because it’s right here in the book’? Absurd.

“I also pointed out to Jones that the bomb used at the FBI headquarters in The Turner Diaries was described in detail in the book, and it was entirely different from the one used in Oklahoma City. The bomb in the book couldn’t have been used as a recipe for the Oklahoma City bomb. The one in the book was an ammonium nitrate fertilizer and fuel oil bomb. The one in Oklahoma city consisted of ammonium nitrate fertilizer and nitromethane. Nitromethane is a very powerful liquid explosive. It’s used as a rocket fuel and a racing fuel. It’s a liquid explosive all by itself, like nitroglycerine, although it is not as sensitive. You can detonate it with a blasting cap or, as McVeigh did, with detonating cord. Nitromethane is nowhere mentioned in The Turner Diaries. Whoever made that bomb for Oklahoma City didn’t get the recipe for it from my book.

“Another thing, the media—and deliberately I believe—misinterpreted my book, and then the government went along with it and linked McVeigh’s actions to that misinterpretation, saying he was doing the same thing as the media incorrectly said was in The Turner Diaries. Here’s how it worked: The media portrayed the bombing of the FBI building in The Turner Diaries as an attempt to create a lot of casualties, make a big impact, and send a message to the government. Anybody who has read the book with any care at all knows that is not what went on in the book. The motive of the Organization in the book was to destroy some computers in the sub-basement of the FBI building that were to be used for an internal passport system the Organization was very anxious to avoid. The people who did that bombing in the book lament the fact that so many innocent people were killed in the operation. They agonize over the innocent victims. They weren’t trying to kill people or send messages.

“I told Jones that in all probability the government was going to go with the media’s false account of the book and say that McVeigh took his cues from the book and had the same motives. In other words, they would argue that McVeigh was inspired by something that was never actually in the book in the first place. I figured this would happen because I honestly don’t believe the government people are capable of thinking in any other way than the way they see things spelled out in the media. They are so socialized, so politicized, that they can be counted on to parrot whatever is put out for public consumption by the media. So I told Jones to watch for that and gave him references in the book to support his points. And sure enough, the government tried to bulldoze through with the ‘inspired by The Turner Diaries’ scenario in their opening arguments, and Jones was ready for them in rebuttal.”

“Are you saying you seriously have doubts that McVeigh was inspired by your book?”

“I believe he was inspired by the Waco massacre. That really pissed him off. He even traveled down there. What went on in The Turner Diaries had nothing to do with what was apparently his intention, and that was to send the government the message, ‘You can’t do the kind of crap you did in Waco, because you are going to get hit back.'”

“But doesn’t it seem very likely that your book gave McVeigh the idea for how to send that message?”

“No. As I said before, he obvously had to know more about making bombs than I wrote about in The Turner Diaries, because he had a far more sophisticated bomb.”

“Yes, but just the idea of a bomb in a truck.”

“That’s an obvious thing. You don’t have to get that from my book. If you want to destroy a large target, you need a large bomb, and the way you get it there is in a truck—you don’t carry it on your back. That’s the way they blew up the Marine barracks in Lebanon, and that’s how the U.S. Embassy in Beirut was blown up. When the Jews blew up the KingDavidHotel in Jerusalem [in 1946] they had their explosives in milkcans. So probably what they did was drive up in a truck and carry the milkcans in on a pushcart or something. Tim was much into military matters, and I would imagine he had access to military manuals on how to make a bomb.”

“I understand that they found an envelope with photocopied pages from your book.”

“They found a xeroxed piece of paper that had quotations from several people, and one of them was from The Turner Diaries. But there were also quotations from—”

“Samuel Adams was one of them, I think.”

“Could be. Anyway, some well-known figures who made statements about tyranny and the responsibility of a free man to fight it and so forth. It was just a passage from The Turner Diaries along with other writings. Actually, I felt I was in good company.”

“I think the passage was—I wrote it down—from pages sixty-one and sixty-two about how the bureaucrats and politicians are not beyond the reach of retribution for what they do.”

“That could be,” Pierce replied. “I really don’t know the details of it.”

“There were reports that McVeigh was in touch with your organization, the National Alliance, in the weeks before the bombing,” I offered.

“There were five or six telephone calls over a two-day period from McVeigh, or somebody using his telephone credit card, to an answering machine we had in Fort Mohave, Arizona. The calls were made from the motel in Kingman, Arizona where apparently McVeigh was staying. What you get when you call that number is a four-minute recorded message and then an opportunity to leave your name and address so we can send you information and a book catalog. You are also given an address where you can write. I don’t know whether an address was actually left after the message or whether the member administering the machine for us did anything.

“What I can’t figure out is why anybody would call that number more than once. Why would anybody call our answering service five or six times? I suppose somebody might call the answering service a second time if he wasn’t sure he got the address right the first time, but why call five or six times? What comes to me is that maybe there were three people in the motel, or four or five over a two day period, and McVeigh said ‘Hey, you’ve got to listen to this message—call this number.’ So one man would call and say ‘That’s really good’ and have another person call it.”

“You have no record that McVeigh called here in West Virginia.”

“No. There was a story going around—and it is my suspicion that Morris Dees [of the Southern Poverty Law Center] planted it—that Tim McVeigh called my unlisted number and had a forty-five minute conversation with me two weeks before the bombing. That isn’t true. The FBI has a record of the calls placed from every place they could tie McVeigh to, and none were made to this number.”

“So you never talked to him, and there was no written correspondence—nothing?”

“We had no prior contact with Tim McVeigh,” Pierce answered.

“Given what you know about McVeigh, what do you think of him?”

“I’ve never had contact with him, but I have spoken to several people who have, and they think highly of him. They say he is a young man who behaves like a soldier. He didn’t try to wiggle out of this thing. I thought his statement at the end where he quoted Supreme Court Justice Brandeis fit the character of this whole affair very well. Essentially Brandeis said that the government is the teacher of the people, and that it teaches by example. If you have a government that is lawless, then you cannot blame the people if they commit lawless acts. If the government wants its people to obey the law, the government has to obey the law.

“Tim probably has a lot in common with Bob Mathews in that he is a very serious man and he took what happened in Waco very seriously. It really worried him. He probably thought, ‘My government is out of control. How could they have done what they did? These people in that compound weren’t bothering the government, and the government just came in and slaughtered them.’

“If they had wanted to arrest this David Koresh they could have done it easily, when he went to town to do his laundry, which he did regularly. They could have gotten his schedule from the local sheriff. But the BATF wanted a media opportunity and said to itself, ‘Here’s a bunch of crazy cultists who have guns they shouldn’t have, and we’ll make a big deal of this and get all the TV cameras in there, and this will get us all promotions and a bigger appropriation from Congress next year.’ That is what is going through their minds. They think, ‘If a bunch of people get hurt, who cares. They are not like us. They are somebody else. They have a crazy religion. So screw them. We’ll use them to get publicity.’

“But the whole thing backfired. Many people saw that after the fact. Certainly Tim could see it, and he figured that a government that would do a thing like that was really beyond the pale, and that something had to be done to express public outrage, and, like Bob Mathews, when Tim decided that something ought to be done he didn’t leave it to someone else to do it.”

“In your eyes, was McVeigh morally justified in doing what he did?”

“That is a bit complicated. If one is waging a war against the government, civilians are going to be killed. But you have to look at the bigger picture. Let’s say you are trying to save our whole race, as Earl Turner was in The Turner Diaries. You know that there are necessarily going to be casualties in the process of doing that, including a lot of innocent people who didn’t want to get involved on either side of the conflict. Under a circumstance like that, if it were part of a war, then a bombing of the Oklahoma City sort is morally justified.

“But if you are going to engage in a war you have to meet certain requirements. One of them is you have to have a plausible strategy, a plan that can be reasonably argued will get you what you want to achieve. If McVeigh was throwing a single punch to send a message, then its moral justification is debatable. You might well say that this was an overly expensive message in that case.”

“And if McVeigh was in fact inspired by what you wrote, and it seems to me there is a very good chance that he was, would that trouble you?”

“If that was the case, the only thing that would concern me would be the legal aspects of it. I would want to be very careful in the future to have a disclaimer on what I wrote saying this is fiction and not advocacy. I’d have a lawyer craft something and print it in very small type on the back of the title page. But the fact of the matter is that we are engaged in a war for the survival of our people. In a war, people jump the gun, it’s not unusual. Often a war is preceded by border incidents, and something like Oklahoma City could be a border incident. I feel as sorry as anyone else if a little white kid gets killed in one of these things. For that matter, I feel bad if a white kid gets killed in an automobile accident. But I don’t advocate that we ban automobiles because people get killed in them, including innocent people who might have grown up to be great scientists or poets. In the same way, I am not in favor of calling off a war because some border incidents or battles take innocent lives. Actually, the sooner the war to save our people takes place the better, because even more innocent lives will be lost if we wait. The sooner such a war, the cleaner it will be. It’s going to be a mess later on.”

13 • Our Cause • 5,200 Words

In late 1976, at one of the Sunday night meetings of the National Alliance, Pierce gave a talk called “Our Cause” in which he outlined the Alliance’s (and therefore his) fundamental orientation. A tape exists of the talk, and I was able to listen to it.[276]William Pierce, “Our Cause,” audio tape no. 414 (Hillsboro, WV: National Vanguard Books, 1991). The voice on the tape is of a younger man, less coarse and breathy than now, and the words poured out faster than they do now. The talk was a long one, and there isn’t the space here to quote it verbatim. What follows is my paraphrase of what Pierce told his audience on that Sunday evening a quarter of a century ago.

 

I want to begin this evening by telling you what the National Alliance is not. It is not a better version of a conservative or right wing group, at least as people usually think of them. What the Alliance is all about cannot be understood by simply plugging it into one of those categories. For example, the Alliance is not interested in restoring the Constitution as it was originally formulated two hundred years ago. As the Alliance sees it, our Constitution served a certain purpose well for a time, but that time is now past; and in any case, the Constitution’s purpose is not in alignment with the Alliance’s fundamental purpose. Also, the Alliance is not interested in furthering the cause of states’ rights, that is to say, restoring the degree of sovereignty the individual states once had. The Alliance doesn’t believe, as many conservatives do, that strong and centralized governmental power is an evil in itself. In fact, we are of the view that an empowered government will be a necessary vehicle for overcoming many of the obstacles we face as a people. Restoring prayer and bible reading in the schools? Hardly. Income taxes, abortion, pornography? While the Alliance sympathizes more with the right than the left on these issues, they are peripheral to our reason for existence. On some matters, the Alliance is closer to the left’s position than the right’s. For example, the Alliance sides more with those on the left on ecology issues: protection of the natural environment and wildlife and the elimination of pollution.

To understand what the Alliance is, what this organization is really all about and how it differs from what conservatives and liberals are about, it is important to go beyond labels and the Alliance’s position on this or that immediate issue. It is the Alliance’s fundamental view of the world that gives meaning and direction to the organization and those who belong to it. Another way to say it, it is the Alliance’s frame of reference that distinguishes it as an organization. Only if people fully understand this frame of reference can they move beyond the pigeonholes the Alliance is likely to get placed in—radical right-wing, racist, neo-Nazi, and so on—to a sound comprehension of what the Alliance is and who its members really are. Easy categorizations of the sort that get applied to the Alliance lead people to think they know more about us than they do. Plus it gives them the unwarranted assumption there really is no need for them to look into things any further. This is particularly the case when the labels that are used are as negatively loaded as the ones that get tacked onto a group such as ours.

It is particularly important for members of the Alliance to understand and ground themselves in—still another term for it—the philosophy behind the Alliance, or, perhaps the most accurate term of all, the spiritual basis of this organization. Why is this so crucial? Because unlike other organizations, the National Alliance is not directed at achieving short-term solutions to immediate problems—throwing the bums out of Washington or some such thing. Rather, the Alliance represents nothing less than an attempt to preserve and elevate our race for the countless generations which will follow ours. Our sights are not on this year and next year and the next election but rather on eternity. And because of that, the Alliance is geared to a very long and hard struggle. We must be firmly rooted in the Alliance’s fundamental outlook if we are to have the strength to sustain ourselves in such an arduous undertaking.

A prime purpose of the National Alliance is to help white Americans regain the sense of what is right and wrong for them which had guided them in the past and which they have lost. Along with that, the Alliance seeks to help white Americans better articulate—put into words that have meaning for them—this sense of right and wrong, which up to now has been largely intuitive, inarticulate, tacit.

In past generations, white Americans acquired a deserved reputation for being a practical, hard-headed, no-nonsense people. Perhaps we weren’t great thinkers, but we were good problem-solvers. And we didn’t agonize over things; we just went ahead and did whatever it was because it needed to be done for our immediate survival and well-being. For example, we didn’t get bent out of shape over whether we were being fair to the Indians when we settled this country. We simply walked over them and kept moving west. We followed our instincts and used our heads and our resources and pushed the Indians out. And even as our own generation laments all the “bad” things that our ancestors did to the Native Americans, we profit from the fact that our ancestors looked at things as they did and didn’t sit around and moralize and stew over what they were doing but instead just got about carving out space for themselves and their children and their children’s children to live.

We made some mistakes in the process of building this country, however, and we have to recognize that fact. These mistakes came out of our tendency not to look at the long-range consequences of what we do, and our susceptibility to being swayed by arguments grounded in sentimentality which pulls us away from being guided by our own instincts and interests. We haven’t been as good as we ought to have been at answering back when confronted by challenges to the way we thought about things and conducted ourselves. The major reason for this is that we really haven’t had an articulate, all-encompassing worldview—convictions rooted in eternity—to ground and direct us. We more felt our way forward. We couldn’t really formulate what we were about as a people to ourselves and others. That left us vulnerable to being pulled off our upward path as a race. That is still a failing we have, a failing the National Alliance seeks to do something about.

One of the mistakes American whites made was that for economic reasons—we needed hand labor—we brought the Negro into this country. Now, that was a short-sighted move, one that future generations, including our own, have paid for dearly. We were short-sighted there because we really didn’t have the philosophical, or spiritual, basis for being long-sighted, for giving weight to anything beyond handling the immediate labor-shortage problem.

Another problem that came from having no basis for evaluating the long-run effects of things is that we were vulnerable to here-and-now sentimentality. I am referring to the fuzzy sentimentality of the Uncle Tom’s Cabin sort—”Oh, how unfair, immoral, and cruel slavery is!” “Slavery isn’t a nice thing to do!”—which contributed to a bloody fratricidal war between whites, as well as to dumping three million freed blacks into white society. Our vulnerability to sentimentality also led to our failure to properly control the flood of immigrants, especially Jews, into this country. It isn’t fair to keep anybody out, said the sentimentalists, it isn’t right—and they prevailed. Those who deep-down knew the sort of immigration that was going on would be harmful in the long run to the white people who settled this country didn’t have a solid rationale to back up their feelings, and thus they had no basis for effectively responding to what was going on.

Certainly the churches were of no help to us. The ministers were preaching to us that we are all God’s children, black and white, Gentile and Jew, to “do unto others,” and that we shouldn’t challenge anything the sentimentalists wanted to see happen. All the way along, as a matter of fact, the Christian church has been at the forefront of the Jewish assault on our values and institutions. The church is so in hock to the Jews that it is now busily trying to re-write the New Testament in order to excise the parts of it that the Jews find offensive, such as the Jewish responsibility for the crucifixion of Christ.

A major reason that whites lost contact with their basic instincts as a people over the past decades is because we were asked questions that we couldn’t answer well, even to our own ears. The Jews have taken over the media and the educational system, and through these vehicles they have asked whites some very tough questions. Why is race-mixing so bad? Why—really—is homosexuality such a bad thing? Why shouldn’t people of the different races, or of the same sex, live together and have sex with one another if that makes them happy? Well, why shouldn’t they? The Jews kept hammering away at white America—probing, prying. [I have noticed that in past years—this is a paraphrase of a 1976 talk, remember—the villain in Pierce’s expressions was the Jews alone. These years, he often broadens it and talks about Jews, liberals, and feminists as being the problem—which is not to say he still isn’t prone to singling out and railing against Jews.] The Jews asked questions. They raised doubts. What you people believe isn’t justified, they told us. It isn’t true. It isn’t right. What supports what you believe? When we were asked those questions, we really didn’t have good answers to them. Before, we hadn’t needed answers. We just intuitively knew what worked for us. It was in our bones, in our souls, that interracial sex and homosexuality weren’t good for our people. We hadn’t really needed to spell out the answer as to exactly why they weren’t. We just knew it.

But that kind of subjective truth wasn’t good enough any longer. We began to be pressed to express exactly why things are so for us, and we really couldn’t. And when we couldn’t provide answers, the Jews provided their answers. Over and over and over they did. Their answers were in the newspapers, on television, in the movies, in books and magazines, and in the school textbooks. And as time went on, their answers came to be our answers. We lost contact with the deep inner source of answers that had served our people so well in prior times.

The objections of whites who opposed the Jews’ answers were weak and easily dismissed. Whites would say things like, “Interracial couples and their children won’t be happy because children of mixed race won’t be accepted by either whites or blacks.” The problem with that kind of objection is that it grows out of the very premise that the Jews are trying to sell to us: that personal happiness and not the continuity of our race should be the criterion for choosing a marriage partner. We didn’t have a counterargument to that premise grounded in an alternative premise that could stand up to scrutiny.

So eventually whites caved in. We lost. What they pounded at us raised so many doubts in us that we lost all faith—all connection, really—to what previously we had known in our gut was right for our kind. Our ethics, our code of behavior, our feelings, our morality—all of it went down the drain. What replaced it was a new morality that comes down to this: if something makes people happy and contented, then it is right. In a nutshell, what our children are taught in school is that progress can be equated with more happiness for more people, and that happiness is feeling good. And it’s that kind of morality that is bringing us down as a race, and will continue to bring us down unless we do something about it.

You probably have seen that Coca Cola commercial that plays all the time on television. [This is 1976, remember.] It shows a ring of twenty people or so, of all races and both sexes, and they are obviously as happy and carefree as they can possibly be. They are holding hands and singing “I’d like to give the world a Coke”—that is to say, I’d like to give everybody the kind of bliss we have. There are some very compelling premises about life that are imbedded in that commercial and the thousands like it, and average white kids are going to pick them up. It is an image of life that has a great deal of surface appeal: life is about feeling good, and you feel good by consuming things.

After literally thousands of such messages in commercials and in popular music and elsewhere, young people take on this attitude toward life. And it follows naturally from this basic attitude that since all races are equal and essentially the same—another “answer” drummed into whites hard, that all races are equal in intelligence, creativity, civilization-building capacity, and so on—and since they can all be happy doing the same things, and happiness, remember, is what really counts, then why should anybody worry about race? If pleasure is the basis for judgment, then race doesn’t matter. Just as Coke is pleasurable when shared with people of other races, so too is sex, another pleasurable activity. Sex is just as pleasurable whether it is with a black or a white.

Really, if life is about feeling good in this lifetime, why concern yourself at all about your own race? Why worry about whether your children or grandchildren are mulattos? What does that have to do with anything? A Coke will taste just as good to them whatever their race. Sex will feel just as good to them. Cars and TVs will be just as gratifying for them to own. Who cares about race, and particularly who cares about the white race, whose oppressive and violent conduct throughout history doesn’t warrant anybody caring about it—another “answer” we’ve taken in.

I remember one time I was invited to talk to a secondary school class. The topic of my presentation that day was white Americans’ need to develop a sense of racial identity and pride. After my talk, I opened it up for questions and a white student asked me why it was so important for the white race to survive. I was at a loss for words for a moment, and before I could respond another student in the class who looked Jewish to me began to answer the first student’s question.

There is no good reason for whites to survive, this second student said. All white people have done throughout history is oppress and exploit other people, and they’ve given nothing to the world except the knowledge of how to kill people effectively. Other races, this student said, have contributed to making people happier and more comfortable. The student then listed names of individuals who had made positive contributions, all of them Jews, I noticed: Freud, Salk [the developer of the polio vaccine], Einstein, and some others. I asked this second student whether he was a Jew. The student answered that yes, he was, and that he was proud of that fact.

The whole class applauded this student. I could see that the whites in that class had been the subject of so much moral intimidation, had been so pumped full of racial guilt and self-disdain, that they had virtually no positive racial identity and no racial commitment. Their minds had been twisted, and no one among them had really noticed it happening. That is how bad things have gotten for our race.

I could have told the students that while the Jews are clever, they haven’t done everything worthwhile in the world. I could have made the point that racial differences are more than skin deep. I could have gotten into IQ scores and historical examples of how civilizations have crumbled when the race that built them began intermarrying with the subjugated peoples. But the students would not have heard me. They had no basis for hearing me. They had no connection to the deep inner source from which our profound intuitive truths about race spring. All they had was the slick plastic worldview of the Coca Cola commercial, the feel-good consumer world of owning and enjoying. There was nothing I could have said to these students against sleeping with blacks or taking dope or experimenting with homosexuality that they would have been able to relate to. All these things feel good, don’t they? And feeling good is what life is about, isn’t it? So what’s the big deal? That would have been their response.

These liberal students were not really different from the businessmen back in the 1950s who were segregationists and then turned around and became integrationists. Their answers hadn’t been good enough, and over time they caved in and bought into egoism and materialism. Riots and social unrest were upsetting for them and bad for business, so they got on board. And why not? The purpose of life is to achieve happiness and make money and have a new house and cars and lots of diversions and entertainments, isn’t it? If that is what life is about to these people, if they have accepted that idea, if that is all they understand, if eternity means nothing to them, if their lives have no meaning beyond what they can experience in this life, if race is beside the point, then, indeed, why not become an integrationist?

The philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer said that the most any man can hope for is a heroic passage through life. To Schopenhauer, and to the National Alliance, greatness, not happiness or status or material success, is the mark of a good life. We can’t all realistically aspire to being heroic in battle. But we can adopt a heroic attitude toward life and live with eternity in mind. We can choose to live with the attitude that the individual is not an end in himself but rather is one who lives for and through something greater—his racial community—which is eternal. This conception of life is diametrically opposed to the view of life that is so pervasive among white Americans in our time. Too many of us have chosen happiness and this moment instead of greatness and eternity. We have become a race of self-seekers concerned with one thing: self-gratification.

It was not that white people in prior times weren’t concerned about their own welfare. Of course they were. It’s that this happiness-seeking, materialistic outlook has a stronger grip on the average person than before. And what is really important, and distressing, is that this outlook has a grip on those who set the tone, set the direction, for our people: our political leaders, educators, poets, philosophers, and priests and ministers.

This way of holding the meaning of our lives has permeated our souls as a race to the point that we have become spiritually ill. And when I say that I don’t mean that I think we are ill because we have sinned and some anthropomorphic deity, some heavenly Father sitting on his throne in the sky, is punishing us. I’m not saying that “somebody up there” is keeping us from overcoming our enemies because we are not fulfilling His commandments. That is nonsense. We are not being punished by some supernatural being. We are in trouble as a race for the same reason that an explorer at sea is in trouble when he has been distracted from his true destination and loses his compass and can’t see the sky through the dense fog.

Our race is like a ship without a compass. Various factions in the crew are arguing about which way to steer, but no one really knows which way the ship is headed. We’ve lost our sense of direction. We no longer have a distant fixed star to guide on. Actually, it is even worse than that. We’ve lost our ability to follow a distant star even if we could see one. We are like a race without a soul, and that is a fatal condition. No purely political program can have any real value for us in the long run unless we get our souls back, unless we learn once again how to be true to our inner nature. White Americans are in a mess, and we are in grave danger of being in a worse mess as time goes on. We have reached the point where we will never overcome the problems we face unless we cure ourselves. But as bad as things are, there is hope that we will cure ourselves. The hope comes from the fact that while our basic nature as a people and our path as a race have been submerged and trampled, they have not been totally destroyed. They are still there if we look hard enough. Deep down, we know that the course we are taking in this society is wrong, unnatural, evil. We know that it is wrong to accept the “I’m all right, Jack” attitude which prevails today. Deep within us, we know that it is wrong to live only for the present and to forget the past and ignore the future. We know it is wrong to have instant self-gratification as the only goal in life.

We know these things for the same reason that despite the artificial fashions of the day we are attracted to beauty and nobility and repelled by the ugly and the base. We know these things because deep within all of us, deep within our race souls, there is a source of divine wisdom, an ages-old wisdom, a wisdom as old as the universe. This wisdom is a truth that most of us have been largely unconscious of all our lives. We have not been given the opportunity and invited to contact and understand that wisdom, but it is still there even if it is obscured.

The National Alliance wants to make this truth, our truth, available and known. It is the truth that tells us that no man, no race—not even the planet—exists as an end in itself. Only the totality exists for itself. The universe is the physical manifestation of the whole. It is a whole that is continually changing. It is evolving toward ever more complex, higher states of existence. The development of life on earth from non-living matter was one step in this process. The evolution of man-like creatures from more primitive beings was another step. The diversification of these creatures into the various races and sub-races and their evolution in different parts of the world and at different rates is a continuation of that process.

This evolution yields more and more highly developed physical forms. There is an urge, a divine spark, to achieve complete self-realization. For our race, it is the impulse to move toward our highest state of being in every aspect—physical, mental, cultural, and spiritual. It is also the impulse toward higher and higher self-consciousness, that is to say, a more highly developed consciousness of the whole of which each being and type of being is an element. This process has brought us to the verge of a full understanding that we are in fact a part of the Creator. We are the manifestation and the substance by which the Creator—the whole of which we are an aspect—can continue its evolution toward self-realization. When we understand this, and when we heed the divine spark within us, then once again can we resume ascending the upward path that has led us from sub-man to man and that can now lead us from man to Superman and beyond.

No other race can take our path. We will only regain our way along our path when we understand fully that it is our responsibility to do it ourselves. We are not the playthings of God. We must will ourselves to do what is necessary to fulfill our ordained destiny as a race. We must recognize and accept our responsibility for the future of our people; it rests in our hands. That is an awesome responsibility, but it is a bearable one when we recognize that we embody the divine spark which is the upward driving urge of the universe. This recognition bestows upon us the moral authority to do whatever is necessary to carry out our responsibility.

We in the National Alliance accept responsibility for realizing our glorious destiny. We accept responsibility for abiding by the demands of our convictions. If we fail in our responsibility, we and our kind will pass away forever. All of the dreams and sacrifices of our ancestors will have been in vain. There will not be even a memory of us or our kind left. Living our lives rooted in an understanding of that fact sets us apart and marks us as adults in a world of children. Being an adult has its challenges, but it also has its rewards. While other men live lives that are essentially without meaning and leave no trace behind them after their lives have ended, we are living and working for the sake of eternity and in so doing are becoming a part of that eternity.

Thus the National Alliance helps our people to find their way once again to their right and natural path. It helps them find harmony with the whole. Our purpose is the purpose for which the earth was born out of the gas and the dust of the cosmos; the purpose for which the first amphibian crawled out of the sea three hundred million years ago and learned how to live on the land; the purpose for which the first race of men held themselves apart from the races of submen and bred only with their own kind. It is the purpose for which men first captured lightning from the sky and tamed it and called it fire; the purpose for which our ancestors built the world’s first astronomical observatory on a British plain more than four thousand years ago. It is the purpose for which Jesus the Galilean fought the Jews and died two thousand years ago; the purpose for which Rembrandt painted and Shakespeare wrote and Newton pondered. Our purpose, the purpose with which we must become obsessed, is the purpose for which the best, the noblest men and women of our race down through the ages, have struggled and died, whether they were fully conscious of it or not; the purpose for which they sought beauty and created beauty; the purpose for which they studied the heavens and taught themselves nature’s mysteries; the purpose for which they fought the degenerative, the regressive, and the evil forces all around them; the purpose for which instead of taking the easy path in life, the downward path, they chose the upward path, regardless of the pain and the suffering this choice entailed.

We in the National Alliance are safeguarding the future of our race. We are building a new order of beauty, sanity, strength, and health on earth—an order where our people can progress and mature to where they are capable of fulfilling the role allotted them by the Creator. If we are fit, if we once again heed the inner knowledge in our souls which has been endowed us by the Creator, if we regain what we once knew was true without fully understanding why, if we teach ourselves why, then once again will we be on the upward path ordained to us toward our destiny—godhood.

We in the National Alliance believe our first and most important task is to help our people make the spiritual advances, achieve the moral victories, and bring about the gains in consciousness and understanding that will allow us to head in the direction we are meant to travel. That is why we are not so focused, not now anyway, on the current political, economic, and social issues of the day, as pressing as they are. We take the long-run and not the short-run approach. Tax rebellion or getting out of the UN won’t solve the real problem, and that is the loss of our souls. We believe that without first establishing the spiritual basis we will never achieve the material or tactical victories we seek. That is why the National Alliance represents an effort to build a spiritual foundation for a cultural and social movement.

This is not to say we don’t take stands on the various issues of the day—we do. But to join us you don’t have to agree with us on every one of those positions on those particular issues. What you do need to accept is that you are a part of the whole that is the Creator, and that your purpose is the Creator’s purpose, and that is the ever-ascending path of life symbolized by the Life Rune that we have adopted as our emblem. It is the path that leads ever upward toward self-realization. It is the destiny of those who follow this path to achieve godhood. That is what you must believe in your heart to join us. And you must agree not to let the enticements of a comfortable, cozy life get in the way of living in accordance with that belief. That is the choice you must make to join us.

 

One of the things I find notable about this 1976 Sunday evening talk is its spiritual overtone. There were the references to “the Creator,” “divine spark,” and “godhead.” There were statements such as, “We in the National Alliance believe our first and most important task is to help our people make the spiritual advances….” And elsewhere: “The National Alliance represents an effort to build a spiritual foundation for a cultural and social movement.” What is this spiritual—I think the word religious applies—talk about? It turns out that during the early 1970s Pierce formulated a religious orientation to guide his life and work he called Cosmotheism. To understand Pierce, how he saw things then and sees them now, the direction his life has taken, what he has attempted to accomplish, it is crucial to understand what Cosmotheism is about. We move to that next.

14 • Cosmotheism • 9,500 Words

During the early 1970s, Pierce formulated a race-based religious orientation to provide the spiritual basis for the direction he was taking with the National Alliance. He needed a name for what he had put together, he said, and he came up with Cosmotheism. He’s not sure whether he ran across the term in an encyclopedia or made it up. One day when I was in his office with him in West Virginia, I asked him to help me understand what Cosmotheism was about. He rose from his desk and went to a file drawer and pulled out some pamphlets, sorted through them a bit, and then handed three of them to me. “You can look these over. I wrote them on Cosmotheism back in the late 1970s. They are going to sound a little naive, but here they are.”

I spent a minute or two looking them over. The three pamphlets were each about twenty pages in length and had the Life Rune prominently displayed on their covers. The pamphlets inform the reader that the Life Rune, or Rune of Life, is the insignia worn by the members of the Cosmotheist Community on their jacket lapels or blouses. Of course, it is also the symbol of the National Alliance. The Life Rune is one of the characters in an ancient alphabet of northern Europe and represents the processes of birth and renewal. The Cosmotheist literature says that it signifies “the upward Path of Life which we strive to follow.”[277]____, The Path (Arlington, VA: The Cosmotheist Community, 1977).

As I was paging through the pamphlets, I noted that they were written in stilted, bible-like prose. One of the them, entitled The Path, was printed in 1977. The second, On Living Things, was printed in 1979. The third, On Society, was printed in 1984. They were produced by the Cosmotheist Organization, not the National Alliance. I asked Pierce about this Cosmotheist Organization.

“The National Alliance came first.” Pierce replied. “We had meetings every Sunday evening at our offices in Washington. Members of the Alliance were invited to bring other people, and a variety of people showed up. In fact, too big a variety—but I’ll get into that. One of the more interesting people who came, I remember, was John Gant. Gant had degrees in both medicine and physics, and he was a professor at GeorgeWashingtonUniversity. He did medical research and was a consultant to the Air Force. He was also an amateur astronomer—as matter of fact, there is a crater on the moon named after him. He died about fifteen years ago, and I inherited some astronomical instruments from him. So I had people like that coming to the Sunday night meetings.

“On those Sunday nights, I’d show movies that I got from the local library. They were from a series called Civilization hosted by an Englishman named Kenneth Clark. I think the series may have played on PBS. [It did.] Clark was a fairly subtle man. While he never spoke out directly about racial matters, there were a lot of implicit messages in his series. For example, in one of the episodes he compared an African tribal mask from the Guggenheim collection in New York with the Apollo of the Belvedere sculpture which reflects the epitome of Greek art. Clark said that while the carved mask is indeed art, it is fair to say that the Apollo sculpture is an expression of a higher artistic sensibility. He did this kind of thing a number of times, and to me it was an indication that he was sensitive, intelligent, and insightful, and hadn’t been subverted by political correctness. At the same time, he didn’t want to stick his neck out and buck the forces around him. So he would come out with these little hints and just leave it as a ‘word to the wise,’ as they say.

“After the Clark movies, I would give talks, some of which we have on tape. [“Our Cause,” paraphrased in the last chapter, was one of them.] Some of the talks got into racial differences, comparisons between whites and blacks, that kind of thing. I know Stephen Jay Gould [the HarvardUniversity evolution theorist] and others disagree with me, but I believe that the groups that remained in the tropics simply did not evolve as rapidly as those that migrated to the northern hemisphere. The northern peoples had to deal with severe seasonal changes in climate, and the sorts of attitudes and behaviors that sufficed in the tropics simply wouldn’t keep you alive in northern Europe eons ago. There was a much more rigorous selection process in this kind of challenging environment. The result was that whites evolved further. We developed certain faculties to a greater extent than blacks did. Evolutionary development, and particularly racial differences, is a basic idea behind Cosmotheism. Although if you look over those pamphlets on Cosmotheism I put together, race isn’t mentioned very much at all.

“When I would speak about race on Sundays, I noticed that it appealed to a certain type in the audience. Other times, the lesson I drew from one of Clark’s episodes was more subtle and related to certain aspects of our own nature as a people and as a civilization. I noticed that some people were interested in that, but I could see the eyes glaze over in the first group, the ones that liked the race material. What was going on was that some people wanted me to tell them what we were going to do about the problem we have right here in Washington, D. C. with blacks and Jews. They didn’t want to hear about anything else. The way they looked at it, we had these very immediate and urgent problems to deal with, so cut the philosophical stuff, who wants to hear about that?

“My attitude about their way of thinking was, yes, we have immediate problems, but if we want to arrive at a good, lasting solution to them we need to think about these other things that I was bringing up. Some people who came to the meetings agreed with me on that, and others didn’t. So what I did was split the group up. I would invite everybody to the National Alliance meetings on one Sunday, and then, on alternate Sundays, I’d invite just the people who I thought were receptive to the more fundamental things I wanted to talk about. That second group became the Cosmotheist Community.

“The Cosmotheist group didn’t just get into abstract things. Sometimes we discussed very practical things, like how to raise children. Suppose you are a parent: how can you possibly keep your child from being taken over by the people who are wrecking our civilization? Is there any way you can compete with television and the school system and the corrupted kids your kid comes into contact with? We got into questions like that.

“After a time, we—I’m talking about the Cosmotheist group—decided that it would be worthwhile to try an experiment. We’d try to create an environment more under our control than it is now and live with people who share our values and raise our kids in that sort of setting. We talked about buying some land on which we could build a community. I said to the group, ‘Look, I have so many thousand dollars in savings I can put toward it, but it isn’t enough. Some other people are going to have to cough up some money, too.’ I wanted to open up a bank account. I also told them, ‘We are going to have to do this in a business-like way. What we really are is a church—we’re like one anyway. So why don’t we call ourselves a church, because there are some advantages to that. For one thing, we won’t have to pay taxes.’

“When I said all that, I really didn’t have the foggiest idea what I was talking about. For example, you don’t have to pay taxes on a fund like the one we were setting up in any case. We could have called ourselves the Ajax Land Requisition Society, anything, and all the gifts to that entity would have been tax deductible. It didn’t have to be a church. Although then again, there were some advantages to being a church, because if you are the Ajax corporation rather than a church and put money into an interest-bearing account, you have to pay taxes on the interest the fund accrues. But I didn’t know all those details then.

“I also talked to the Cosmotheist group about how anything that has ever made an impact and shaped people’s lives has been more than just an idea. It has been an idea with a concrete embodiment. It not only had a doctrine, it had rituals and songs and priestly vestments, things like that. For example, if you walk into a Methodist ceremony you can immediately distinguish it from an Episcopal ceremony or Roman Catholic ceremony.

“As it turned out, we did organize ourselves as a church. So first we were the Cosmotheist Community and then we became the CosmotheistCommunityChurch. I had assumed that if we became a church we would incorporate and have a board of directors and so on, but then I found out that Virginia [Pierce’s operations were in Arlington, Virginia, just outside of Washington] doesn’t incorporate churches. The attitude of the state is that it and the churches shouldn’t have anything to do with one another. The churches should regulate their own affairs and not ask the state to do it for them.”

“How many people were involved in the church?” I asked.

“Around twenty,” Pierce replied.

“Did you have a title in the church, minister or something like that?”

“I never had a formal title. ‘Teacher’ was one I often used. When I had to deal with the government taxing agencies and so forth in order to qualify for something, I would call myself a minister. But I always felt a little funny and awkward with that because the idea of a minister reminds me of these potbellied hypocrites in fancy collars preaching pap to the congregation of sheep on Sunday morning. I didn’t want to have anything to do with that.”

 

I read through the three pamphlets on Cosmotheism that Pierce gave me and listened to a tape of a talk he gave back in 1976 at one of the Sunday evening meetings called “Cosmotheism: Wave of the Future.” I concluded from that that what Pierce calls Cosmotheism is a version of a religious orientation called pantheism. It helps to understand Cosmotheism if it is put in its pantheistic context.

Pantheism as a religious perspective and tradition differs from three others which are more familiar to us in this culture: theism (Judaism and Christianity are examples), atheism, and humanism.[278]See Alasdair MacIntyre, “Pantheism,” in Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Vol. 5 (New York: Macmillan and Free Press, 1967), p. 34. Even though pantheism doesn’t have a strong foothold in Western society, it is far from a rare phenomenon in the world.[279]Much of the following discussion of pantheism draws from Michael Levine, Pantheism: A Non-Theistic Concept of Deity (London: Routledge, 1994). Taoism, some forms of Buddhism, Confucianism, the religions of American Indian tribes, and the pagan religions of northern Europe before the Christian influence all embody a pantheistic outlook. Many Greek philosophers reflect a pantheistic frame of reference, including Plato and Aristotle and the Stoics, as did philosophers of more recent times such as Spinoza, Fichte, and Hegel. (Spinoza, by the way, to whom many attribute the term pantheism, was Jewish.) Among the prominent literary figures whose work reveals a pantheistic perspective on the world are William Wordsworth, Ralph Waldo Emerson, D.H. Lawrence, Robinson Jeffers, and Gary Snyder.

And what is this perspective on the world? The words used to express the pantheistic orientation vary greatly, but what they all share is a picture of how everything fits together. Pantheists get beyond the particulars, this discrete entity and that one, to a perception of an all-encompassing and unified order to things. Pantheism is the view that everything that exists—nature, animals, human beings, everything—forms an integrated whole. To the pantheist, everything is interrelated. Thus, pantheists see human life not as independent and self-contained but rather as an integral part of the world. This stress on wholeness should not be taken to mean that pantheists are contending that “all is one,” that there aren’t separate entities in the world, that the perception of distinctions is an illusion. Rather, pantheists—or most of them, anyway—are saying that the various elements that comprise the world are not merely distinct; and that most fundamentally, most importantly, they are not distinct. When pantheists look at the world, they see connectedness, they see unity. What makes pantheism a religion and not simply an insight or a philosophy is that this unity that pantheists see is divine—it is sacred. To pantheists, the world isn’t simply a set of interrelated concrete phenomena. There is more—call it God—and this “something more” infuses, permeates, the world. It is part of everything, and everything is part of It. It divinizes the world and makes it holy. When pantheists look at the world, they see God.

Pantheism can be better understood if it is contrasted with theism—again, Christianity and Judaism fall in this category. The theistic tradition is characterized by the belief in a personal God—that is to say, a God with the characteristics of a human being. This theistic God has a personality and bearing—like that of a commanding father perhaps. This is a God who can hear and see and pass moral judgment and make decisions and take purposeful action. He is focal: all power and holiness flow from Him. He was so powerful that he had the power to create the universe, a universe which he now in a parent-like or monarch-like way oversees. He is separate, distinct from nature and mankind. He is not of this world. He is apart, above, transcendent, looking down on us all.

The appropriate relationship to the theistic God is deferential and devotional. He is prayed to. He is an object of worship—the sole object of worship. The worshipper does not identify himself with God or seek to merge with God or become God; that would be blasphemous. Rather, the fundamental objective of religious practice in the theistic tradition is to establish a proper relationship with God. Cultivating this proper relationship brings the worshipper peace and happiness and perhaps an ecstatic joy, and it gives him direction in living in accordance with God’s will and in escaping God’s displeasure or wrath. The worshipper gains strength and guidance from God—perhaps with assistance from a messiah—in the lifelong task of achieving salvation in this life and bliss and serenity in the next life.

In theistic traditions, there is the belief in personal immortality. The faithful will survive death in some form. Death is regrettable to be sure, but that regret is softened by the conviction that the next world will be a better place than this one is. In fact, in theistic traditions existence on earth is in large measure perceived as a time of preparation for the afterlife.

Like theists, pantheists believe in God; pantheism is not a disguised form of atheism or a substitution of naturalism for religious faith. Where the difference lies is that pantheists do not perceive of God as a person or anything like a person. The pantheistic god doesn’t have a personality. It doesn’t have a mind. It doesn’t perceive as does a human being. It doesn’t formulate intentions and carry out actions in response to circumstances in the manner of a person. Pantheistic religions tend not to play up the creator-of-the-universe conception of God as do theistic religions. There is more of a tendency in pantheism to attend to God and world—however they/it came to be—simply as realities to be encountered and taken into account at this time and in this life.

Pantheism denies the beyondness, the otherness, of God. God isn’t up there, over there, someplace else, transcendent. God is here, a part of all this, immanent. God penetrates everything in the universe. God is in nature. God is in human beings. God and man and nature are not distinct—or at least not totally distinct, or only distinct. What makes things a bit complicated is that while pantheism emphasizes God’s immanence, there is also a tendency within this tradition to view the being of God as if it were not completely exhausted by the universe. That is to say, God has a transcendent dimension as well as an immanent one. Some scholars have used the term panentheism (note the “en” in the middle) to distinguish the strand of pantheism that stresses both the immanent and transcendent quality of God.[280]Ibid., pp. 74-75.
(Much of the following discussion of pantheism draws from Michael Levine, Pantheism: A Non-Theistic Concept of Deity (London: Routledge, 1994).)
So we need to be careful not to set up rigid dichotomies. Still, however, the most useful distinction to keep in mind for our purposes is the basic one between a transcendent God (theism) and an immanent God (pantheism).

If God exists but isn’t a person, then what is It? (To have used He at the end of this last sentence would have personalized God and been at variance with pantheistic thinking.) One finds a variety of words used to describe God within pantheism. God is described variously as the Force, the Divine Spark, the Principle of the World, and the Plan for the Universe. Alternatively, God may be referred to as the Spirit of the World or the Soul of the World. Still other possibilities, God may be spoken of as the Divine Unity or the Process—or Unfolding—of the Divine Unity. Yet another way of referring to God within the pantheistic tradition, the world is called the Self-Expression of God. These aren’t the clearest of terms imaginable, but then again cloudiness of meaning is not unheard of in matters of religion, and they do communicate a basic sense of how pantheism conceives of God.

What is the proper relationship of human beings to the pantheistic God? Since God is not a person or separate from everything, it isn’t a personal relationship in the way two people would relate to one another. There isn’t a deferential posture toward this God. Rather than a worshipful response to the presence of God as one finds in theism, in pantheism there is respect, awe, wonderment. And rather than devotional practice, in pantheistic religions there is an emphasis on the search for knowledge of the Unity and the development of personal resources of a certain kind: namely, the understanding and wisdom and personal strength that will contribute to one’s living a life in accordance with the Unity or, another way to say it, that will allow one to integrate with the cosmos. Thus meditative and contemplative activities are more consistent with pantheism than prayer. Really, any activity—whether intellectual or non-intellectual—which brings people into closer contact with things as they actually are and to a better understanding of how it all goes together and where they fit in the larger scheme of things—including a walk in the woods—is an appropriate religious practice within the pantheistic tradition.

Within pantheism, there is more of a focus on integrating into this world than winning forgiveness of sin or a place in the next world. Also, in contrast to theism, this integration may well include a merging with God, a realization of one’s identity with, or sameness with, God. The result may be happiness and joy, but more likely it will be more along the lines of a thoroughgoing peace of mind or sense of being truly home. Most pantheists deny the possibility that they will survive death in some conscious form, so they aren’t seeking personal immortality through their religion. They tend to believe that whatever happens must happen in this lifetime and with no help from God or a messiah. For them, death is regrettable because it deprives us of experience and the possibility of doing further good on this earth.

Other characteristics of pantheism that shed light on Pierce’s Cosmotheist beliefs include:

  • It needs to be underscored that most pantheists are not monists. They aren’t saying All is One. They aren’t contending that there is only one Being and that all reality is either identical with it or modes of it. They are pluralists. That is to say, they believe that there are many kinds of things. They don’t regard the existence of real, finite entities as inimical to unity. As pluralists, these pantheists don’t see just one human nature but various human natures. Pierce carries this idea over to race. Where some would see one human race, he sees a number of human races.
  • In line with this pluralist mentality, pantheists don’t believe that there is just one way to live in accordance with the Unity. They don’t insist on one lifestyle or set of activities for everyone. They believe that personal well-being and the welfare of the whole will be best attained by people living within parameters dictated by their own essential natures. The idea is to do what is natural to you given the reality of the whole of which you are a part. Pierce, for instance, doesn’t contend that the rural, dig-your-own-well-and-cut-your-own-wood way of life he has chosen to live is right for everybody. In his view, his way is not the only way to be happy, and it is not the only way to serve the Life Force or the Creator, his terms for God.
  • Along this same line, pantheists don’t hold up any one human attribute above the others as automatically being on a higher plane than the others. A good mind, for example, can be positive and it can be negative depending on the use to which it is put. In fact, one picks up a coolness toward intellectual prowess in pantheism; or anyway, that it is not essential to a good life, and may actually interfere with it.
  • Pantheists are critical of humanism. They reject the secularized, human-centered worldview. In their eyes, humanism sets man up as the sole concern, as being all-important. Humanists, the pantheists contend, have substituted worship of man for the worship of God. This contradicts the pantheistic view of man as a part of nature, and pantheism’s contention that the meaning and purpose of life cannot, should not, be made with reference to human beings alone.
  • Pantheists disagree with an existentialist posture that would have man simply choose the meaning of his life. There are dictates inherent in man’s being and in his context, pantheists hold, that place obligations on him and limit the scope of his freedom to choose his path in life. Man is what he is and is a part of everything, and these realities direct how one should live. Man should not, say the pantheists, be viewed as an end in himself.
  • Pantheists are critical of a reliance on science as the source of answers to the questions of existence. There is more to the world than can be accounted for by the natural sciences and their ways of coming to know things, contend the pantheists. Pantheists don’t claim to know all there is to know about the Divine Unity. They admit that they still have questions about creation, immortality, and the meaning and purpose of life, but they don’t believe that science has the answers to them either.
  • Pantheists usually believe in free will. Most often, they aren’t determinists. They don’t believe man’s actions and fate are determined by either God’s will or earthly circumstances. They believe in the power of choice and moral responsibility. They derive their concept of morality from the nature of the Divine Unity, not from the nature of a personalized God and His word. A person’s conduct cannot be assessed apart from his overall context, pantheists believe. Pantheists judge the goodness of an individual act, and a total life, with reference to the individual’s relationship to the Unity. Pantheists believe living in harmony with the Unity is morally good, and living in discordance with It is morally bad.
  • As might be expected, pantheists tend to love nature and seek to establish a relationship to things natural. They tend to believe that if one doesn’t contact nature, one is less likely to come to the pantheistic worldview. If one never hikes in the wilderness or gazes at the sunset or sails on the water, if one never gets out of his own little orbit, he is less likely to see the pantheistic truths. Pantheists live more in an ethical than mystical relation to nature. They perceive that living in proper relation to nature presupposes its preservation and protection. They tend to be environmentalists. They tend to be of a mind that technology despoils the environment and separates people from It. They tend to see urban life as adverse to both personal well-being and the well-being of the Unity. At the same time, however, they tend to think of pantheism as an approach to life that can be lived out in any locale, including urban settings.
  • Pantheists regard organized churches and religious leaders with suspicion. They doubt whether the life that pantheism seeks to attain can be facilitated by hierarchically organized, clergy-centered, empire-building religions.

 

Pierce can’t remember where he got the term Cosmotheism. I did some investigating and found that the English Romantic poet, critic, and philosopher Samuel Taylor Coleridge used the term in the early nineteenth century. In Coleridge’s writings, cosmotheism referred, in one instance I came across, to an identification of God with the universe and, in another, to the worship of the world as God.[281]Henry Nelson Coleridge, editor, The Literary Remains of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, vol. 2 (London: W. Pickering, 1836), pp. 326, 350. So Pierce may have picked it up from his reading of Coleridge. Another possible source of the term can be found in Pierce’s Sunday evening talk of July 24th, 1977 called “Cosmotheism: Wave of the Future.”[282]William Pierce, “Cosmotheism: Wave of the Future,” audiotape no. 412 (Hillsboro, WV: National Vanguard Books, 1991). Early in that talk, Pierce quotes the writer D.H. Lawrence as saying, “We and the cosmos are one. The cosmos is a vast living body of which we are all parts. The sun is a great heart whose tremors run through our smallest veins. The moon is a great gleaming nerve center from which we quiver forever. All this is literally true, as men knew in the great past, and as they will know again.” So it could be that reading Lawrence was Pierce’s inspiration. But it was a long time ago, and Pierce doesn’t remember, so this will have to remain speculation.

In the “Cosmotheism: Wave of the Future” talk, Pierce puts Cosmotheism in its historical and philosophical perspective. He describes Cosmotheists as people who are bearers of the Creator’s purpose or, another way to state it, bearers of the Universal Will. He says that many people over the course of history have understood parts of Cosmotheism, and he lists a number of examples, among them ancient Greek and Roman philosophers, northern European pagan philosophers, Romantic writers such as Wordsworth and Pope, and the European philosophers Fichte and Hegel. Pierce says in his talk that the pantheistic tradition is central to the history of the white race in Europe. Before Christianity was exported to Europe by the expanding Roman Empire, he asserts, European religions stressed the oneness of God and man. He says that this emphasis contrasted with the Christian church’s dichotomous conception that emphasizes God and man’s distinction and separation from each other.

Pierce argues that the twentieth century is congenial to the pantheistic perspective. Modern science, he tells his audience, has moved us from a static to a dynamic view of the universe, and pantheism is more in alignment with that paradigm than is the church’s conception of the world as a finished creation. Since Darwin, Pierce points out, the world has come to be viewed as undergoing a continuous and not-yet-finished change or evolution. Pantheism is more congenial to this perspective, he asserts, than are theistic religions such as Christianity. To be sure, Pierce acknowledges, Christian doctrine with its static view of the universe is still accepted by many people. However, he notes, very few of the leading thinkers of our time buy into the Christian conception of the world.

Cosmotheism, Pierce tells his audience, differs from most other religions with their dependence on truth as revealed through revelation or as passed down by authority. It also departs from pure rationalism. Cosmotheism is grounded in a synthesis of objective and subjective knowledge. Cosmotheism is the union of the Creator’s immanent consciousness, what our reason and senses tell us about ourselves and the world, and the findings of science. In addition, Cosmotheism is in accord with the truth that comes from deep within us if we are willing to attend to it, from our genes, from our collective race-soul.

The problems Cosmotheism faces in being accepted in this culture do not stem from its validity, Pierce contends. A major problem Cosmotheism confronts is that the mass of people will never have the chance to accept or reject it on the basis of its merits, because they will never learn about it in the first place. Those who control the public discourse in America—the news and entertainment and publishing industries and the schools—do their best to censor and malign anything like Cosmotheism. Plus, if people do manage to learn about the tenets of Cosmotheism and accept them as valid, they still face the tough challenge of manifesting them in their lives. Given the religious and ideological orthodoxies of the moment it requires a good measure of personal independence and strength of character to stand up to the rejections, pressures, and sanctions that result when people think the “wrong” things or act in the “wrong” ways. The best way around that state of affairs, says Pierce, is to break our isolation from one another and to form a community of “consciousness and blood.”

 

It appears to me that Cosmotheism is basically an elaboration of the pantheistic perspective George Bernard Shaw articulated in Man and Superman, the play that made such a strong impression on Pierce when he was a graduate student at Caltech.[283]George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman: A Comedy and a Philosophy (New York: Penguin, 1981, originally published in 1903). Pierce modified what Shaw put forth, changed nomenclature in places, punched up certain ideas in Shaw and played others down, extrapolated from what Shaw offered, and added some new things of his own, especially around how people can organize themselves to realize the Cosmotheist ideal. A shorthand way of describing the end result of Pierce’s formulations is that Cosmotheism is essentially what Shaw had to say in Man and Superman with a National Socialist twist to it.

While Shaw wrote of Life, or the Life Force, Pierce’s Cosmotheism talks about the Creator. By and large, the Life Force and the Creator are synonymous concepts, with Pierce’s idea of the Creator perhaps carrying a bit more of a divine or sacred connotation than Shaw’s idea of the Life Force. And while the Creator, like the Life Force, is essentially immanent, I pick up more of a transcendent, “other,” dimension in Pierce’s concept than the Shavian one has. If one can draw the distinction between a philosophy and a religion, it seems to me the Creator in Cosmotheism has more of a religious feel to it than Shaw’s Life Force. Of course, we are talking about Pierce of twenty years ago here. In my dealings with him I have never heard him refer to the Creator—it has always been the Life Force, serving the Life Force. My guess is that twenty years ago and up to his move to West Virginia in the mid-1980s Pierce had more of a religious orientation than he has today. His current use of “Life Force” language and the absence of “Creator” talk may reflect a reversion back toward the Shaw influences that began it all over forty years ago.

As with Shaw’s Life Force, there is a dynamic quality to the concept of the Creator in Cosmotheism. The Creator more than just is, more than just exists, more than just began it all and now watches and judges or selectively intervenes in earthly affairs; the Creator is a force and is definitely going someplace. Pierce uses the term Urge to get at that dimension of the Creator. The direction the Urge is seeking to travel in Cosmotheist doctrine is the same as Shaw’s Life Force: toward self-consciousness, self-understanding, and self-completion. And as in Shaw’s formulation, there is a dynamic quality in Cosmotheism to man’s relationship with the Creator. It isn’t simply a matter of being with the Creator or integrating with It; it is a matter of doing with the Creator. And again as in Shaw, that doing takes the form of serving the Creator by being Its brain and taking action to further Its process.

There is the idea in Cosmotheism that man can make the choice of whether or not to serve the Creator. However, I pick up more of a sense in Cosmotheism than in Shaw that this kind of service is not only a good thing to do, you really ought to do it.

Cosmotheism agrees with Shaw that there isn’t just one way to serve the Life Force or Creator. What is important, both orientations hold, is to get a grasp of the big picture, how it all works, and then to find the way to support the Life Force/Creator’s process that is natural to you and most effective.

Cosmotheism makes salient the pluralistic outlook of pantheism and uses it to serve a racial agenda. Cosmotheist doctrine stresses that the parts of the whole are as fundamental a reality as the unity of all things, and that we can’t ignore the differences among the parts, including their qualitative differences. All to say, from the Cosmotheist perspective individuals are different in nature from one another and some are better than others, and the same thing holds true for races. According to Cosmotheism, individuals can be measured against what they were and did in the past and what they can become and create in the future, and so too can races.

Shaw in Man and Superman alluded to breeding the race into a higher form of being as a goal of the Life Force, but he muted that point to a large extent. Cosmotheism, on the other hand, puts that process center stage and in bold print, as it were. And Cosmotheism makes it clear even though it is not stated explicitly (as it wasn’t in Shaw either) that race does not refer to the whole human race, all of mankind, but rather to the white race. Cosmotheism is at its core a white racialist worldview. The pantheist concept of world-soul becomes in Cosmotheism the race-soul.

Therefore, when Cosmotheists talk about serving the Creator, they are referring to improving the white race, their race. There is the tacit assumption in Cosmotheism, as there well may have been in Shaw, that this is a religion, philosophy, whatever to call it, that applies to the white race only. It is about the white race and for the white race. As it was in Shaw, improvement of the race in Cosmotheism is conceived in Nietzschean terms, that is to say, as the movement toward the ideal of the Superman. And grounded in the evolutionary perspective it shares with Shaw, Cosmotheism assumes that that improvement will most likely involve struggle and peril.

Both Shaw and Cosmotheism see modern life in general as working against the improvement of the race. (Shaw equated modern life with Hell.) And while it is obliquely hinted at in Shaw (the Devil in his play is a Jew), it is very clearly written between the lines that Cosmotheism considers Jews to be an impediment to the fulfillment of the fundamental impulse and destiny of the race.

One difference between Shaw and Cosmotheism lies in what is expected of the servant of the Life Force/Creator. With Shaw, there is a mix of “ivory tower” and “social work” expectations. That is, what the individual—Don Juan, say—would best do is go up in the ivory tower, i.e., back off enough, get enough distance from day-to-day existence, to be able to reflect and become informed and wise enough to be the philosopher’s brain the Life Force needs. As well, Don Juan or someone else who would go this route, informed by the knowledge and wisdom he has acquired, would take on the role of the Life Force’s social worker, that is, help It move in the proper direction. In all of this, however, there is a “backed off,” personally-removed quality inherent in this approach to life: I got the sense from the play that Don Juan was talking about them, other people, and it, Life, and what they were like and what they were becoming. But he wasn’t talking about himself and what he was becoming.

When I read the Cosmotheist material Pierce put together, there are, to be sure, the ivory-tower and social-work aspects, as I am calling them, but there is more. There is the idea in Cosmotheism that the Creator includes you and me. We are a part of the world and not just looking on and critiquing and stepping in to help things along. We—you and I—do more than merely point the way and pave the way, as important, as crucial, as those things are. We have the responsibility to become the way, to create in our own beings and in our own lives the exemplification of the upward unfolding of the race.

A last difference between Shaw’s and Pierce’s formulations: In Shaw you get the impression that Don Juan’s search for Heaven is an individual quest. He was going to get there by himself. With Cosmotheism, in contrast, this search is to be a shared, communal endeavor. The message comes through in Cosmotheism that it is not likely that you or I will ever get there on our own. It is going to take the support of other people, and a supportive social context, for us to travel upward toward greatness.

 

Now to the three pamphlets, or booklets, on Cosmotheism that Pierce put together in the 1970s and early 1980s. The Path, the first one, printed, in 1977, sets out the basic tenets of Cosmotheism.[284]The Path. It describes the Creator, the Urge, the Path of Life and the way that individuals embark on the Path successfully, and the Cosmotheist Community.

Man and the world and the Creator are not separate things, but man is a part of the world, which is part of the Whole, which is the Creator. The tangible Universe is the material manifestation of the Creator. All the blazing suns of the firmament; the formless gas between the stars; the silent, frozen mountain peaks of the moon; the rustling trees of the earthly forests; the teeming creatures of the dark ocean depths; and man are parts of the Creator’s material manifestation.[285]Ibid., p. 3.
(The Path.)

 

The Urge lies at the root of all things and is manifested in the relations among all things….The Urge is in the tenuous gases of the void, for they have a purpose, which is the flaming suns and all the planets which form from them. The Urge is in the earth, for it has a purpose, which is the realm of plants and animals which flourish on it. And the Urge is in man, for he has a purpose, which is higher man. And the purposes of all these things are steps on the Path of Life, which leads to the One Purpose, which is the Self-Realization of the Creator: the Self-Completion of the Self-Created.[286]Ibid., p. 4.
(The Path.)

 

Those who attain Divine Consciousness will ascend the Path of Life toward their Destiny, which is Godhood; which is to say, the Path of Life leads upward through a never-ending succession of states, the next of which is that of higher man, and the ultimate that of the Self-Realized Creator.[287]Ibid., p. 6.
(The Path.)

 

True reason will illuminate the Path for them and give them insight; it will be a mighty aid to the Creator’s Urge within them…True reason seeks to guide man’s actions in accord with the immanent consciousness of the Whole, while false reason does not….The man or woman of true reason seeks order in all things, and he shuns chaos. He is pleased by a harmonious relationship between all the elements of his life and the world. He rejects that which clashes and does not fit, that which is alien. He is happy in the knowledge that what was true and good yesterday will be true and good tomorrow. Through order and harmony he seeks true progress, which is the ascent of the Path of Life; but he shuns frivolous change, which destroys the harmony between the past and the future. He loves truth, and he hates falsehood. He loves beauty, and he hates ugliness. He loves nobility in all things, and he hates baseness. And all these predispositions of the man or woman of true reason are like rays thrown out by the Divine Spark which burns in his soul. And this Divine Spark is the immanent consciousness of the Whole. It is the presence of the Creator’s Urge in him.[288]Ibid.
(The Path.)

 

The gathering of those who would become members of the Community of Divine Consciousness is called the Cosmotheist Community; it is the Community of those who would become People of the Rune. And the People of the Rune are known for these four things: knowledge, consciousness, discipline, and service….By knowledge is meant understanding of the Truth….By consciousness is meant the awakened state of those who have gone beyond knowledge and have partaken of the immanent consciousness of the Whole which resides in their innermost souls….Discipline comes from within and without. From without it is imposed on the members of the Cosmotheist Community. By being so imposed it brings forth the growth of discipline from within. Without discipline there is no mastery, and he who has not mastered the chaos of conflicting forces within himself cannot render full service. But discipline imposed and discipline which grows from within together give those who have attained knowledge and consciousness mastery over their own forces, so that those forces may serve the Creator’s Purpose….The members of the community of Divine Consciousness, the Awakened Ones, the People of the Rune, serve in a new way, which is the way of higher man, the way of true reason. They are conscious agents of the Creator’s Purpose….Through their service they resume the ascent toward their destiny, which is Godhood.[289]Ibid., pp. 9-10.
(The Path.)

The second pamphlet, On Living Things, describes the measure of a man, the dangers that must be overcome in creating the higher man, and the responsibilities that the Community as a whole and each individual member within the Community must accept.[290], On Living Things (Arlington, VA: The Cosmotheist Community, 1979).

[The qualities one uses to judge the value of a man] are the trueness of his inner sense of direction, the soundness of his constitution, and the purity of his blood.[291]Ibid., p. 14.
(, On Living Things (Arlington, VA: The Cosmotheist Community, 1979).)

 

[The two greatest dangers that must be overcome in creating the higher man] are the corruption of the spirit and the corruption of the blood. First comes the corruption of the spirit, through the presence of alien race soul. Alien values and attitudes become intermixed with the values and attitudes of higher man’s stock who are not yet conscious of their identity and mission. And then follows the corruption of the blood of those whose values are confused; they can no longer follow their inner sense of direction, and in their confusion they mix their blood with that of alien stocks; and they and their offspring become abominations, spreading further corruption among the stock from which higher man arises.[292]Ibid., p. 15.
(, On Living Things (Arlington, VA: The Cosmotheist Community, 1979).)

 

They must become conscious of their identity and their mission; they must seek and discover the values of their own race-soul, putting aside all values which have come from alien race-souls; and they must remove from their midst all who have become abominations and all who are of alien blood….[293]Ibid., p. 16.
(, On Living Things (Arlington, VA: The Cosmotheist Community, 1979).)

 

He must take into his own hands those forces which change the seed of all living things from generation to generation, and must use those forces under the guidance of an awakening consciousness to lift his stock over the threshold which separates man from higher man, the realm of immanent consciousness from that of Divine Consciousness.[294]Ibid.
(, On Living Things (Arlington, VA: The Cosmotheist Community, 1979).)

The third, and last, booklet Pierce produced on Cosmotheism was On Society.[295]_, On Society (Arlington, VA: The Cosmotheist Community, 1984). Actually, the booklet wasn’t about society as a whole but rather about the Cosmotheist Community itself—although there may be a tacit hope embedded in the title of this document that someday all of society will operate in the way the Cosmotheist Community does. On Society describes the integration of the religious and secular in Community life (Community is capitalized because Pierce is referring to the Cosmotheist Community) and discusses four main social institutions: the family, the school, the military, and the government. Pierce is an admirer of the social and political arrangements put forth by Plato in his treatise The Republic [296]Plato, The Republic (New York: Oxford University Press, 1993). and, ironically, the way the Catholic church organizes itself, and this is revealed in what he writes in this pamphlet.

The Community is both church and state, and it does not separate these two aspects of its being. It does not separate guidance in striving for knowledge from guidance in raising consciousness or building character. It does not separate religious and moral training from other training. It guides each member toward knowledge, consciousness, and discipline through the same institutions.[297]On Society, p. 15.

 

[The four essential institutions of the Community] are the family, by which the Community breeds and builds itself; the academy, by which it trains itself and grows in knowledge; the corps of guardians, by which it defends itself; and the hierarchy, by which it governs and guides itself.[298]Ibid., p. 16.
(On Society, p. 15.)

 

The community honors each man who is a father and each woman who is a mother, and the family in which the two are united, in a measure corresponding to the value of the children they engender; and this value is measured both by the qualities inherent in the children at their birth and the development and strengthening of their qualities through proper nurture.[299]Ibid., p. 9.
(On Society, p. 15.)

 

In the Academy, the children receive a uniform grounding in language, history, music, and the other elements of their cultural heritage; they are made conscious of the spiritual basis of their existence and of the Cosmotheist truth; and they begin the lifelong process of building will and character through discipline.[300]Ibid., p. 10.
(On Society, p. 15.)

 

The corps of guardians is the institution by which the Community defends itself against its enemies, both within and without: against those who would harm any of the things upon which the life of the Community depends, both its physical life and its spiritual life. The men of the community who are chosen to become guardians shall…come only from those ordained to a life of service to the One Purpose, and they shall be only the best of those.[301]Ibid., pp. 10-11.
(On Society, p. 15.)

 

The hierarchy is the institution by which the Community orders itself. It is a community of priests….In structure it is a series of steps leading upward….As he advances in knowledge, in consciousness, in discipline, and in service, he is judged by those above him; and according to their judgment, he may progress upward, from step to step, throughout his life.[302]Ibid., p. 11.
(On Society, p. 15.)

 

The hierarchy guides and judges. It shapes, structures, and makes or changes rules, when those things are needed; otherwise it preserves what it has made. It looks to the future, foresees the needs of the Community, and strives to fulfill those needs. Above all else, the hierarchy keeps the community moving ever upward: toward new knowledge, higher levels of consciousness, greater strength and discipline, more effective service of the Creator’s Purpose.[303]Ibid.
(On Society, p. 15.)

 

“I wasn’t always clear about what you meant by some of the things you said on the tape and in the pamphlets you gave me,” I said to Pierce. “When you talk about ‘bearers of the Creator’s purpose’ and ‘the perfect union of the Creator’s immanent consciousness and our race soul’—”

“Back then I was trying to get things sorted out in my head,” Pierce interrupted, “and I may have expressed myself in airy ways. I think I could do it more precisely and clearly now. It was just that when I first read Shaw I could feel the hairs rising on the back of my neck. I felt it was true and an insight into reality that few people have, and even fewer people can express things as well as he did. It was about this process—this purpose, this primeval urge toward higher consciousness—that was trying to continue. Shaw put things in a different light for me. I now could examine things in this light. Did this square with what I know about history, human nature, and so forth? And when I did that, things did make sense. If they hadn’t, I would have rejected it.”

“Is this right, that what you are trying to get at in using terms like ‘divine spark’ is something more than what we think of as the biological unfolding of evolution?”

“Yes, what I’m talking about is more than that, or at least it is a different way of looking at evolution. It is the development of a certain kind of self-consciousness. It seems to me that there is a Life Force reaching out in the darkness, trying to develop a more sensitive and refined tool for understanding itself. There is this feeling we have—or, I should say, the best of us have—in the presence of beauty, truly fine art let’s say. It’s the basis for the respect we have for the great philosopher. This is more than just a recognition of ethical or moral principles; it’s being drawn to what is finest; it’s being drawn to genius, to what is really best. It is that part of us that knows that accomplishment in the sense of money-grabbing, getting to be a CEO, or becoming a celebrity by telling jokes isn’t really worthy of respect. This sensibility, if you want to call it that, doesn’t have survival value as far as I can see, but nevertheless, even though it is submerged in so many people given the world as it is, it has evolved as a part of our nature along with all the other things. I’m trying to get at this impulse in people, which isn’t part of evolution as we usually think about it.”

“When you talk about self-consciousness here, you mean—”

“I mean by that more than an understanding of who I am in its popular psychological meaning, or some kind of political or social self-understanding. What I am talking about transcends that kind of thing. It is, in the most fundamental sense, who I am relative to everything around me and where things have come from and where they are going—the really big picture, I guess you’d say. It is a higher consciousness.”

“And when you say things like, ‘My destiny is godhood’…”

“That is where Nietzsche fits in. If this process of which I am a part continues as we would hope, the result will be the emergence of what Nietzsche calls the Superman. It is a type of being that very few of us can get our minds around. And the Superman may be a step toward an even higher being. If one extrapolates indefinitely, the very end result—and we can only begin to imagine it—I call godhood. We need to be the agents of this process. We need to serve it.”

“And I hear you saying in the material I have reviewed that each of us has a choice of whether to serve—or retard, or be indifferent to—the Life Force, that fundamental process.”

“Historically, only a small number have made the choice to serve the Life Force. But fortunately for us, in Europe there was an influential minority who saw this larger reality and moved our civilization in a positive direction. The mass of people followed along. Now the choice is with us: are we going to accept responsibility for being the conscious and willing agents of the Life Force or are we not? The future of the new millennium depends on our answer.”

“When you came out here to West Virginia in 1985, it was at least to some extent to move the CosmotheistChurch here and form the kind of community you’d been talking about in Arlington, is that right?”

“Yes. I took the money I had accumulated and bought this land in the name of the CosmotheistCommunityChurch. After I got here, I found out that there is a law that limits how much property a church can hold. If there wasn’t a limit, churches would accumulate larger and larger amounts of property and not pay taxes on any of it, and the government wouldn’t get any revenue. This kind of law came out of the experience in England, where the church had acquired a substantial percentage of the landscape. Henry the Eighth solved it by simply confiscating the church’s land, but that was a short-term solution, and they came up with these laws. In West Virginia the limit is sixty acres, so I put that amount in the name of the CosmotheistCommunityChurch and the rest in my name.

“It turned out that the church never really went anywhere here in West Virginia. The other people didn’t move out here, and I really didn’t have the time to build up a church here—I had to keep the Alliance alive. If you are a one-man band as I have pretty much been, you are limited in what you can accomplish. And then there was a big fight with the IRS which I lost. They said that we weren’t a church. They were obviously under pressure to take away the tax exemption we had. The IRS sent some agents out here to check us out. I still have the report they wrote. It had things like the road out here was very rough and not conducive to people getting to the services, and that we didn’t have enough chairs and where were people going to sit, and there was no central heating system and so there couldn’t be services in the winter—a bunch of baloney.”

(The IRS revoked Pierce’s church status and the revocation was upheld in court. Pierce thinks the IRS was responding to pressure applied on it by the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith. While the vast majority of people view the ADL in a positive light, as an opponent of bigotry and intolerance, Pierce sees it as a Jewish instrument of thought control and the abridgment of freedoms. He contends that the ADL seeks to harm or even destroy anyone or anything that gets in the way of the Jewish agenda for this country, which includes him and his organization.)

“You think your racial views were the real reason the IRS got on your case?”

“If I had been preaching a doctrine that didn’t irritate the Jews they would have left us alone. There are all kinds of snake-handling cults and everything else up here in these hills, and the IRS lets them call themselves a church and doesn’t bother them. It is no big drain on the federal budget, and the IRS stays in good graces generally by not bothering people more than it has to. But in our case they were determined to get us, and it was strictly because of what I was teaching on racial and Jewish matters.”

“Did they ever say that was why they were coming after you?”

“They are never going to say you can’t be a church because you don’t have the right doctrine, so they measure potholes and count chairs. But the truth of the matter is that they were out here because we didn’t preach the right things.”

15 • Alexander Solzhenitsyn • 1,700 Words

“I understand you have read a lot that Alexander Solzhenitsyn has written,” I said to Pierce. [Bob DeMarais had mentioned it to me.] Has Solzhenitsyn had a major influence on your thinking?”

“I have read some of what Solzhenitsyn has written, although he is not really in a direct line of my development. I didn’t read him until after my own views were pretty well formulated. I did find him interesting, however, and mined some facts from what he had written. For example, I read the commencement address he gave at Harvard in 1978. It had been published and distributed widely. I said to myself, ‘This guy is one of the very few people who has had the courage to come right out and say these things in public as opposed to the milquetoast blather that you get in virtually all commencement addresses. I really appreciated that he said things that needed to be said—fundamental and true things that probably no one else with access to that forum would have told these Harvard seniors and their parents. In my own way, I am trying to get a message to this society about the radical changes we need to make, and even though I don’t agree with Solzhenitsyn about everything, I respected what he did at Harvard.”

 

Alexander Solzhenitsyn is a Russian writer born in 1918 who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1970. His books include One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, August 1914, The First Circle, and The Gulag Archipelago.[304]Alexander Solzhenitsyn, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich (New York: Noonday Press, 1991). Alexander Solzhenitsyn, August 1914 (New York: Bantam Books, 1974). Alexander Solzhenitsyn, The First Circle (New York: Harper and Row, 1968). Alexander Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago (New York: Harper and Row, 1974). Solzhenitsyn was arrested in 1945 for anti-Stalinist remarks and eventually ended up in a hard-labor camp in Kazakhstan. His writings, some of which were written on scraps of paper while he was interned, depict the harsh conditions of the labor camps and blamed Stalin for their existence.[305]For biographical information on Solzhenitsyn, see Barbara Cady, Icons of the 20th Century: 200 Men and Women Who Have Made a Difference (New York: The Overlook Press, 1998), p. 334.

Solzhenitsyn attacked the Soviet Communist Party, and in 1973 he was expelled from the Soviet Union and came to the United States, where he lived in Vermont. Solzhenitsyn’s champions in this country were appalled to learn that his vision wasn’t of a democracy but rather a theocracy based on the precepts of the Russian Orthodox Church. While in America, Solzhenitsyn decried the growing decadence of Western society. In 1994, with the collapse of the Soviet Union and the changed political conditions in Russia, he returned to his home country.

Solzhenitsyn gave the Harvard commencement address that Pierce referred to on June 8th, 1978. Between ten and fifteen thousand people gathered in the drizzling rain to hear the words of this celebrated author. Solzhenitsyn entitled his talk “A World Split Apart.” He didn’t say anything on that occasion that he hadn’t been saying for years, but nevertheless many were surprised, as well as put off, by what they heard.

The West is in a fight for its spiritual survival, Solzhenitsyn told his audience, and its adversary is modernity itself. The modern world had brought with it “moral poverty,” Solzhenitsyn declared, and “the calamity of an autonomous, irreligious humanistic consciousness.” “Two hundred or even fifty years ago,” he proclaimed, “it would have seemed quite impossible, in America, that an individual be granted boundless freedom with no purpose, simply for the satisfaction of his whims.…” And then later: “Is it true that man is above everything? Is there no Superior Spirit above him? Is it right that man’s life and society’s activities should be ruled by material expansion above all? Is it permissible to promote such expansion to the detriment of our integral spiritual life?”[306]Quoted in D.M. Thomas, Alexander Solzhenitsyn: A Century in His Life (New York: St. Martin’s, 1998), p. 462.

Solzhenitsyn’s Harvard commencement address was met with strong criticism from liberal quarters. The New York Times editorialized, “Mr. Solzhenitsyn’s world view seems to us far more dangerous that the easy-going spirit which he finds so exasperating….Life in a society run by zealots like Mr. Solzhenitsyn is bound to be uncomfortable for those who do not share his vision or ascribe to his beliefs.” The Washington Post accused him of a “gross misunderstanding of western society, which has chosen to organize its political and social and cultural affairs on the basis of the differences among men.”[307]Ibid.
(Quoted in D.M. Thomas, Alexander Solzhenitsyn: A Century in His Life (New York: St. Martin’s, 1998), p. 462.)

 

I told Pierce that I had recently read a biography of Solzhenitsyn, and that I was struck by some of the similarities between his outlook and Pierce’s.[308]Thomas. I was thinking of Solzhenitsyn’s opposition to materialism, rationalism, and individualism, and his authoritarianism, spirituality, and what appears to be his anti-Semitism. And then there is his affinity for nature and the non-urban life: he said he chose to live in Cavendish, Vermont because of “the simple way of life of the people, the countryside, and the long winters with the snow.”[309]Ibid., p. 458.
(Thomas.)
There is even Solzhenitsyn’s total immersion in his work (“All my life consists of only one thing—work.”) that reminds me of Pierce’s complete investment of himself in his work.[310]Ibid.
(Thomas.)

“I can see how you could say that,” Pierce responded. “But there are a lot of differences between Solzhenitsyn and me, too. Hell, I don’t even know the man, so I can’t be sure, but I think that Solzhenitsyn is a lot more Christian than I am. In fact, I’m not a Christian at all; I don’t put any stock in that. And I imagine he is much more of a sober character that I am. For example, when I relax with a video it is likely to be something like a James Bond movie. Sex and violence, that’s what I like. I get kind of strung out at work, a lot of frustrations and so forth, and watching a really violent film has a cathartic effect on me—’Damn it, give it to the son-of-a-bitch!’ I don’t picture Solzhenitsyn doing that. And I always try to do, within limits anyway, what is natural. I’m sort of a nudist by nature. Of course I don’t run around naked in the office, but at home I do. I don’t see Solzhenitsyn doing anything like that.”

“One of the things I was thinking about is the way Solzhenitsyn portrays Jews negatively in his books.”

“I noticed that in First Circle,” Pierce replied. (In that book, three major Jewish characters—Rubin, Kagan, and Roitman—are depicted as defenders of evil.)

“It’s in August 1914 too,” I said. (The anarchist and assassin Bogrov, Jewish, is weak and cowardly, a spineless intellectual, attached to luxury, self-pitying, and described with serpentine imagery.[311]See Thomas, p. 489.)

“I should read that book. I got started on it, but then something happened and I didn’t finish it.”

“I have noticed,” I said to Pierce, “that when Solzhenitsyn has been questioned about his anti-Semitism, he denies it. He says, ‘Oh no, I have nothing against the Jews. These are isolated characters who just happen to be Jews. I am simply describing history.’ I don’t know what Solzhenitsyn’s views about Jews really are, but he may think along the same lines as you do and made a tactical decision as to how to most effectively express what he thinks given the situation he is in. Have you ever thought that it might be better for you if you muted your criticism of Jews some, been more diplomatic about it, that maybe you would be able to reach more people if you approached it that way instead of head-on?”

“Maybe it would be easier for me if I came at it that way. But see, I’ve been doing this for thirty-two years, and while I suppose for all that time I could have taken on a role that was unnatural to me, I just didn’t want to do it. The only way for me is to do what is natural to me, and that is to say what I really believe and really feel. I’m not being critical of Solzhenitsyn; I’m just talking about my way. Besides, I think it is necessary for somebody to be an extremist, for somebody to say it all, even the things that frighten people or that they don’t want to hear. I think that is my natural role. Others who are a lot more people-oriented than I am, who are more accustomed to adjusting what they say and do because of their interactions with other people, they can give a more moderate message that is a lot easier for the average person to accept. But that is not my way. Perhaps I could have done it that way for a while, but I don’t think I could have done it for as long as I have been doing this work.

“In a certain way, what I am doing is self-indulgent. Very few people are able, as I am, to indulge themselves by saying exactly what they want to say. Most people have to interact with a lot of different types of individuals every day. They have to be diplomatic and careful in what they say. And that makes sense. You can’t go around offending your neighbors and co-workers. Tact and politeness and those kinds of things are important in keeping a society running smoothly. I try to be polite. I try not to offend people unnecessarily. But at the same time, I’ll be the guy who goes ahead and says it when other people don’t. If I figure out something and think it is true and important and ought to be said, I say it. I don’t hold back. I don’t moderate it. I don’t round off the rough edges to avoid offending people. Oh, that isn’t entirely true—there are some times when there is no point in getting into a lot of hairy and off-putting details on something if they can be described in terms that are a bit obtuse. A word to the wise is sufficient. The right people will understand the message without having to stampede the sheep. But mostly, let’s put it that way, I indulge myself in the luxury of telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing besides the truth as I see it. That’s one of the payoffs of doing this work.”

16 • Bob Mathews • 7,000 Words

The 1983 National Alliance’s annual convention was held in September in Washington, D.C., and Pierce invited a young mine worker from the Pacific Northwest by the name of Bob Mathews to give a talk. Mathews had been an Alliance member for three years and actively recruiting new members for Pierce’s organization among the farmers and ranchers and working people around where he lived in Washington state. Pierce asked him to tell the people at the convention about how that effort was going, as well as about the situation generally in his part of the country. Bob agreed to do that and wrote out his speech on his dining table at home and flew out to Washington for the conference.

Pierce looked forward to Bob’s talk and publicized it in the monthly bulletin sent out to Alliance members. He included Bob’s picture and a short write-up on Bob’s recruiting activities. What Pierce didn’t know was what Bob had in mind to do. Bob had really taken to The Turner Diaries. He pored over every word in the book and gave it to his friends to read along with his highest recommendation. But the thing about Bob was that he wasn’t content to just read the book and agree with what it said. Bob was a man of action. He had a fire burning inside him; that is what people said about him. He was going to create an Order of his own, like the one in the book, and start a revolution like the one he had read about. Bob meant business.

Bob’s talk was awaited with a measure of anticipation by the one hundred or so in attendance at the convention because of the picture and write-up that had appeared in the Alliance bulletin. The Bob Mathews they saw at the podium that day was a boyish-looking man thirty years of age. He was about 5’7” and had a trim muscular build. He was good-looking with even facial features. His dark brown hair was short and parted to the side and it tended to fall forward onto his forehead. Those who knew Bob said he had hazel eyes that shined with intensity and purpose—that was what you noticed about him when you looked at him, they said. Most people who came to know Bob saw him as a serious and forceful person, and they liked him. Even those who detested his politics liked Bob the man.[312]See Stephen Singular, Talked to Death, New York: Beech Tree Books, 1987), p. 126. In pictures I have seen of him, he reminds me of an enlisted man home on leave or, another association that comes to mind, the young working-class fathers I see walking past the stores in a shopping mall with their wives, their young children in a stroller.

An audio tape exists of Mathews’ talk. His voice is youthful. There is a tension and fervor in his delivery that gives a sense of immediacy and electricity to the occasion. Bob talked about ten minutes or so, not long. Excerpts from what he had to say that day in the late summer of 1983 give a sense of his message:

My brothers and sisters, from the mist-shrouded forested valleys and mountains of the Pacific Northwest I bring you a message of solidarity, a call to action, and a demand for adherence to duty as members of a vanguard of an Aryan resurgence and, ultimately, total Aryan victory. The signs of awakening are sprouting up across the Northwest, and no more than among the two-fisted farmers and ranchers.…The task is not going to be easy. TV satellite dishes are springing up like poisonous mushrooms across the domain of the tillers of the soil. The electronic Jew is slithering into the living rooms of even the most remote farms and ranches. The race-destroying dogs are everywhere. In MetalineFalls, we have broken the chains of Jewish thought. We know not the meaning of the word “mine”; it is “ours”: our race, the totality of our people. Ten hearts, one beat! One hundred hearts, one beat! Ten thousand hearts, one beat! We were born to fight and die and to continue the flow of our people. The future is now! So stand up like men and drive the enemy to the sea! Stand up like men and swear a sacred oath upon the green graves of our sires that you will reclaim what our forefathers discovered, explored, conquered, settled, built, and died for! Stand up like men and reclaim our soil! Look toward the stars and proclaim our destiny! In MetalineFalls we have a saying: Defeat, never! Victory forever![313]Robert Mathews, “A Call to Arms,” audio tape (Hillsboro, WV: National Vanguard Books, 1991.

Bob’s talk received a standing ovation. He would be dead in a little over a year.

 

Robert Jay Mathews was born in Marfa, Texas in 1953 and grew up in Arizona, around Phoenix. From the time he was a teenager, Bob had a fierce racial pride in being a Caucasian. It wasn’t merely a matter of his being prejudiced against minorities, harboring antagonistic feelings toward them, resenting them, as is usually attributed to whites who hold strong racial views. Bob wasn’t so much against anything as he was for something: white people. He held the conviction that it was white men who had created the greatness that is Western civilization. He was also convinced that America was in a decline and that whites were being brought down to far less than they once were, and that they had to do something about that. When still a teenager, he joined the John Birch Society, and he tried to start a survivalist-type group called the Sons of Liberty, but that didn’t get very far. Bob also got involved with a tax-protest movement in Arizona. He wound up getting arrested and put on probation for not paying his taxes.[314]James Ridgeway, Blood in the Face: The Ku Klux Klan, Aryan Nations, Nazi Skinheads, and the Rise of a New White Culture, second edition, (New York: Thunder Mouth Press, 1995), p. 109.

After high school, Bob didn’t go on to college, much to the disappointment of his parents. Bob told them that he didn’t want to go through all the liberal propaganda they shove down your throat in college, and anyway he wanted to get on with his life. He wanted to get out of Phoenix, that was for sure. There were too many laws, too many urban problems, too many minorities, and just too many people in general. So when he was in his early twenties Bob got out a map of North America and started running his finger over it. His finger came to rest on an isolated village in Washington state, MetalineFalls, the last town before the Canadian border. Bob loaded up his pickup and drove to MetalineFalls to begin a new life. Right away, he found a laboring job in a lead and zinc mine.[315]Singular, p. 125.

One writer describes the place Bob went to in these terms:

Minorities were virtually absent from the Metaline Falls area, and a white man living there could imagine that he was existing in a country that wasn’t ethnically diverse or full of crowded, complicated cities. A man could dream of starting over here, of rebuilding his life from scratch. Mathews also loved the landscape the town was set in. Canada’s Selkirk Mountains rose in the distance. At dawn full-grown deer walked across the main street of MetalineFalls. Heavy snow only made the hills and evergreens more beautiful. God’s country. It was the kind of climate one would find in northern Europe, where the Aryan and Scandinavian people had flourished before their heirs came to America. In centuries past those ethnic groups had given rise to Norse and Viking sagas, grand tales of the courage and strength of northern warriors in battle. They had no fear of death: If they perished heroically, the Valkyries (the handmaidens of Odin, the Supreme Being of Norse mythology) would whisk their souls away to Valhalla, where they’d be enshrined in the great hall of immortality. A modern-day religion, Odinism, has sprung from these sagas. Bob Mathews was familiar with it; he liked it. He regarded it the same way he regarded the northwestern passage—both could inspire a man to become a hero.[316]Ibid., p. 127.
(Singular, p. 125.)

It wasn’t long before Bob could afford to buy fifty acres of land in the area and put a mobile home on it. Bob tried a lot of ways to make the land profitable over the years, crops and such, but nothing ever really panned out.

Bob wanted to start a family, and he met his wife in an unconventional way, through an ad in the nationally circulated Mother Earth News. His ad read, “Looking for a mature, intelligent woman, 18-25, to share my life and land in Washington.” Eventually one hundred thirty women replied. The letter that most caught Bob’s attention was from a Kansan who had moved to Wyoming after college by the name of Debbie McGarrity. Debbie wrote Bob that she thought that the most important job a woman could do was to raise children. “You can’t have a good society unless the home is a decent place,” Debbie wrote.[317]Kevin Flynn and Gary Gerhardt, The Silent Brotherhood (New York: Signet, 1990), p. 74.

Bob drove to Wyoming to meet Debbie. She moved to MetalineFalls and they were married in 1976. As it turned out, Debbie and Bob didn’t have children of their own, but they did adopt a son. Later, a couple of months before his death, Bob was to have a child of his own, a daughter, with a woman he met through the movement, Zillah Craig.

 

Right after Bob returned home from his speech at the National Alliance convention, he gathered together eight men in a barracks-like structure he had erected near his mobile home. He said, “I’ve asked you to come here because I think we share a common goal.” Earlier he had talked to them about forming an Order like the one in The Turner Diaries, a group of kinsman who would let their deeds do their talking for them. The goal was to carve out a part of Eastern Washington as a homeland for the white race, purged of Jews and minorities. They would use The Turner Diaries as a blueprint for getting that done.[318]Singular, p. 131; Ridgeway, p. 109.

Bob told the group he had set up a plan. He said it involved robbing pornography stores and pimps and counterfeiting money as a way to raise funds. It also involved assassinating both Jews and Gentiles who were contributing to the destruction of the white race. “I’m telling you now,” Bob said, “if any of you don’t want to get involved in this, you are free to leave.”[319]Singular, p. 135.

No one left.

“I’m going to ask each of you to take an oath that you will remain true to this cause,” Bob continued. “I would like to remind all of you what is at stake here. It is our children, kinsmen, and their very economic and racial survival. Because of that, I would like to place a white child before us as we take this oath.”[320]Flynn and Gerhardt, p. 74. A six-week-old daughter of one of those present was placed in the center of the circle as a symbol of a Caucasian future they were about to pledge to create. She stared up at the figures looming above her in the glow of the candles. The men clasped hands and recited an oath of loyalty and commitment to their race and cause that Bob had written: .

I, as an Aryan warrior, swear myself to complete secrecy to the Order and total loyalty to my comrades.

Let me bear witness to you, my brothers, that should one of you fall in battle, I will see to the welfare and well-being of your family.

Let me bear witness to you, my brothers, that should one of you be taken prisoner, I will do whatever is necessary to regain your freedom.

Let me bear witness to you, my brothers, that should an enemy agent hurt you, I will chase him to the ends of the earth and remove his head from his body.

And furthermore, let me bear witness to you, my brothers, that if I break this oath, let me be forever cursed upon the lips of our people as a coward and an oath breaker.

My brothers, let us go forth by ones and twos, by scores and by legions, and as true Aryan men with pure hearts and strong minds face the enemies of our faith and our race with courage and determination.

We hereby invoke the blood covenant and declare that we are in a full state of war and will not lay down our weapons until we have driven the enemy into the sea and reclaimed the land which was promised to our fathers of old, and through our blood and His will, becomes the land of our children to be.[321]Ibid., p. 98.
(Flynn and Gerhardt, p. 74.)

Actually, the group did try, at least at the beginning, to raise money through legitimate means: they obtained a trail-clearing contract with the U.S. Forest Service. But that didn’t bring in enough money fast enough. So Bob and two others in the group robbed a porn shop in Spokane, with one of Bob’s partners in this undertaking slugging one of the clerks in the process. Their take was thirty-six dollars. Not much, but things escalated from there. Later on, Bob walked into a Seattle branch of Citibank, handed the teller a note and walked off with almost twenty-six thousand dollars.[322]Ridgeway, p. 111. A snapshot exists of a smiling Bob Mathews in a long-sleeve flannel shirt holding a Halloween trick-or-treat bag containing the money. Then there were the armored car holdups: The group captured the courier of an armored car while it was parked in front of a Fred Meyers department store and made off with forty-three thousand dollars. And they hit another armored car, this one parked in front of a Bon Marché outlet, and the take on that one was a half-million dollars.[323]Ibid.
(Ridgeway, p. 111.)

As for terrorism, the Order bombed an adult movie theater in downtown Seattle and a Boise, Idaho synagogue. Neither bomb did much damage.[324]Singular, p. 206; Ridgeway, p. 111. They began talking about whom to assassinate. People threw out names ranging from Henry Kissinger to David Rockefeller to Morris Dees of the Southern Poverty Law Center. The one they wound up “taking out,” however, was a controversial Jewish radio call-in host from Denver by the name of Alan Berg. The killing later became the basis for the film Talk Radio directed by Oliver Stone. It seems that one of the Order had lived in the Denver area and was very put off by Berg, who went off on monologues on the joys of oral sex, the flaws in Christianity, why whites were afraid of blacks, and how white women fantasize about sleeping with black men.[325]Singular, p. 15. Berg particularly liked to egg on right-wing callers (“Everything you said is a lie, OK? You have made up and inferred a thought, like all fanatics, like John Birchers, like Klansmen, like all those folks.”)[326]Ibid., p. 181.
(Singular, p. 15.)

Bob masterminded the hit on Berg. He and several others of the Order drove to Denver. They ambushed Berg getting out of his car in front of his apartment. One of the members of the Order, not Bob, started firing from close up. Bullets hit Berg in the face, neck, and torso. The garage door behind Berg splintered from the spray of bullets. When Berg was found lying face up in a pool of blood, the cigarette he had been holding was still lit. Autopsy reports couldn’t be sure how many shots there were because Berg was twisting at the time he was shot, although it was probably around twelve. Two slugs struck near Berg’s left eye and exited on the right side of his neck. Others hit the left side of Berg’s head and exited from his neck and the back of his skull.[327]Singular, pp. 19, 227.

The armored-car stick-ups continued. The biggest one took place on the side of a highway near Ukiah, California, in the northern part of the state. Bob and eleven others in two pickup trucks forced a Brinks truck to stop and jumped out of their trucks wearing bandannas over their faces. One of them held up a sign that read “Get Out or Die.” Bob jumped onto the front bumper of the truck and shouted for the two guards to get out, but they seemed frozen and didn’t move. One of the robbers, a man named Pierce (no relation), then proceeded to blow dime-sized holes in the windshield with an automatic weapon. That did the trick—the guards opened the door and scrambled out.

All this was going on with traffic going by on the highway. People gawked as they went by, and some stopped up the road. It must have seemed unreal to the passers-by, like a movie. The group started a chain to unload the bags of money out of the money compartment in back of the armored truck. Time was passing—they had given themselves five minutes to complete the job, and it already was approaching seven minutes. Somebody could have called the highway patrol. A traffic jam—they hadn’t thought of that until now—could block their way out. Bob was inside the truck frantically scooping up money bags and passing them on. They had to get out of there! In all the excitement, Bob didn’t notice that the 9 mm pistol he was carrying had fallen out of his pocket. It later turned out to be a fateful error, because the gun was eventually traced to him and the FBI knew whom it was looking for. Finally the men jumped in their pickups and sped away, tossing nails out of the back to slow down anyone chasing them.[328]Flynn and Gerhardt, pp. 232-236; Singular, p. 238.

The Order made a clean getaway (except for the gun left behind), and when they counted up the money they found that the take was a whopping 3.6 million dollars.[329]Singular, p. 238. They used some of the money for salaries, and most of them quit their regular jobs. Money went into things like mobile homes and a ski condo. They also purchased one hundred ten acres in Idaho and one hundred sixty acres in Missouri to use as paramilitary camps. Money went for all-terrain vehicles and guns and ammunition. Two members of the group formed a company called Mountain Man Supply Company with the intention of using it to provide supplies to the Order.[330]Ridgeway, p. 113. But the use—or at least the alleged use—of the haul from the Ukiah Brinks robbery that is of most interest in this context came about during Bob’s trip east with Zillah Craig, who was the woman in his life by this point and pregnant with his child. As far as I know, Bob never divorced Debbie.

In September of 1984, Bob and Zillah went to Arlington, Virginia and met with Bob’s idol, William Pierce. Zillah said that Bob treated Pierce with reverence approaching worship. She reported that a baby grand piano took up much of one of the rooms in the small apartment that Pierce shared with his wife (his second—he had remarried in 1982). Zillah says that Pierce told them of his plans to move his operation to a tiny town in West Virginia called Mill Point. It was near the birthplace of the writer Pearl Buck, Pierce told them. Bob and Pierce then went into a bedroom and Zillah didn’t hear what they talked about. She said she spent the time while Bob and Pierce were together with Pierce’s wife, whose talk about her interest in parapsychology and the supernatural Zillah said gave her the creeps.[331]Singular, p. 271.

Zillah says that the next day she saw Bob put a large sum of money, she isn’t sure how much it was, in a paper bag. Pierce, she says, came to the hotel, and he and Bob went outside and sat on a bench nearby. Through the window, Zillah says, she saw Bob give Pierce the paper bag.[332]Flynn and Gerhardt, pp. 271-272. Jerry Dale, former county sheriff in Pocahontas County, West Virginia, reports that shortly after this meeting with Mathews was said to have taken place, Pierce paid ninety-five thousand dollars cash for the three hundred forty-six acre plot of land on which he now lives.[333]Kathy Marks, Faces of Right Wing Extremism (Boston: Branden, 1996), p. 56.

I remember getting the impression from my discussions with Pierce that the money for the West Virginia property came from donations from the people who attended his Sunday night meetings in Arlington and his own savings. Although as I think about it, he hadn’t really said specifically where the money had come from, only that he bought the land with the money he had “accumulated.” I decided not to ask Pierce straight out where he obtained the money to buy the West Virginia property. If he had gotten it from Mathews, I wouldn’t have expected him to say, “Sure, I bought this place with Brinks robbery loot,” so I didn’t see any point in bringing it up. I did talk to an individual who was close to the scene in those years, however, and when I asked him whether Pierce could have come up with that much money from the people who went to his Sunday night talks, he replied with a laugh, “Those people? They didn’t have anything.” I told Pierce about the comment of the individual I spoke to and he replied, “What that person told you was very misleading. The people who attended my Cosmotheist meetings were mostly professionals. They did have money, and many of them gave it.” I’ll leave it there.

 

Just like Pierce’s fictional Order in The Turner Diaries, Bob Mathews’ Order got into counterfeiting money. Along with the dropped pistol, the counterfeiting activity turned out to be Bob’s downfall. What happened is that one of the people who had agreed to help pass the money was a man named Thomas Martinez. Bob had met Martinez through the National Alliance. Martinez got caught trying to pass one of the fake bills and cut a deal with authorities. In return for the FBI going easy on him, Martinez would tell them where to find Mathews. Martinez told the FBI that he was scheduled to meet Bob shortly at a Sheraton Motel in Portland, Oregon, and they could follow him out there.[334]Martinez has written an as-told-to book: Thomas Martinez, with John Guinther, Brotherhood of Murder (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1988).

On the day of the meeting, FBI agents and Portland city SWAT team members converged on the motel. Bob was in room 42. The other guests were herded into the motel’s small lounge and told to keep their heads down. Bob went outside his room to stretch and spotted a man hiding in the bushes and realized what was up and bolted down the stairs past a female agent who fired a shot at him. The shot missed Bob, and the slug smashed through the window of the lounge where the other guests were crouched down and ricocheted off a stone fireplace.

Somehow Bob got out of there and ran about two blocks down the street and got behind a concrete pillar next to an apartment complex. Bob later reported it was at this point he decided to stop being the hunted and become the hunter. A couple of officers chasing him ran up to the pillar and Bob fired, wounding one of them in the shin and foot. Bob later claimed that he had at first aimed at the officer’s head, but when he saw that he was a handsome white man he lowered his aim. The other officer blasted a shotgun and the pellets smashed into Bob’s exposed gun hand and searing pain shot up his arm and blood shot from the wound. Bob managed to escape, but the hand injury would throb for the remaining weeks that he had left to live.[335]Ridgeway, p. 115; Flynn and Gerhardt, pp. 340-345.

Bob managed to make it to a house on Whidbey Island off the coast of Seattle. There he wrote up a “declaration of war.” The excerpts below give an indication of his mindset at that time:

It is now a dark and dismal time in the history of our race. All about us lie the green graves of our sires, yet, in a land once ours, we have become a people dispossessed.

By the millions, those not of our blood violate our borders and mock our claim to sovereignty. Yet our people only react with lethargy.

A great sickness has overcome us. Why do our people do nothing? What madness is this? Has the cancer of racial masochism consumed our very will to exist?

Our heroes and our culture have been insulted and degraded. The mongrel hordes clamor to sever us from our inheritance. Yet our people do not care.

Throughout this land our children are being coerced into accepting non-whites for their idols, their companions, and, worst of all, their mates. A course which is taking us straight into oblivion. Yet our people do not see.

Not by accident but by design these terrible things have come to pass. It is self-evident to all who have eyes to see that an evil shadow has fallen across our once fair land. Evidence abounds that a certain vile, alien people have taken control over our country.

All about us the land is dying. Our cities swarm with dusky hordes. The water is rancid and the air is rank. Our farms are being seized by usurious leeches and our people are being forced off the land.

They close the factories, the mills, the mines, and ship our jobs overseas. Yet our people do not awaken.

The Aryan yeomanry [small landholders] is awakening. A long forgotten wind is starting to blow. Do you hear the approaching thunder? It is that of the awakened Saxon. War is upon the land. The tyrant’s blood will flow.

We will resign ourselves no more to be ruled by a government based on mobocracy. We, from this day forward, declare we no longer consider the regime in Washington to be valid and lawful representative of all Aryans who refuse to submit to the coercion and subtle tyranny placed upon us by Tel Aviv and their lackeys in Washington. We recognize that the mass of our people have been put into a lobotomized, lethargic state of blind obedience and we will not take part anymore in collective racial suicide!

This is war![336]Singular, pp. 251-253.

The “declaration of war” was followed by an “open letter to Congress.” Excerpts:

All of you together are not solely responsible for what has happened to America, but each of you, without exception, is partly responsible. And the day will come when each of you will be called to account for that responsibility.

 

The day will come when your complicity in the betrayal of the 55,000 Americans who were sacrificed in Vietnam will be called to account.

 

The day will come when your subservience to the anti-American “Israel Lobby” will be called into account. Your votes to strip American arsenals so that Zionists can hold on to stolen land [and] your acquiescence in a policy which has turned our Arab friends into enemies—those things are inexcusable.

 

The day will come when, above all else, you will pay for betraying your race. Most of you will say that you are against the forced racial busing of school children, that you are against the “reverse discrimination” which takes jobs away from Whites and gives them to Blacks, that you are against the flooding of America with illegal immigrants, because you know these things are unpopular. But you brought every one of these plagues down on our heads. You passed the “civil rights” laws which gave us busing in the first place, and then you refused repeatedly to specifically outlaw this monstrous crime against our children. It was your scramble for Black votes and your cowardice in the face of the controlled news media which allowed our cities to become crime-infested jungles. You set up the requirements that employers had to meet racial quotas. And you passed the immigration laws which started the flood of non-White immigrants into America—a flood that is out of control.

 

We hold you responsible for all these things: for every White child terrorized in a racially-mixed school, for every White person murdered in one of our urban jungles, for every White woman raped by one of the arrogant “equals” roaming our streets, for every White family hungry and desperate because a White worker’s job was given to a Black. Each day the list grows longer, but the day will come when the whole score will be settled and you will pay for every one of these debts in full.[337]Ibid., pp. 253-255.
(Singular, pp. 251-253.)

On November 25th, 1984 Bob wrote a letter to a small weekly newspaper in Newport, Washington that said, “It is logical to assume that my days on this planet are rapidly drawing to a close. Even so, I have no fear. For the reality of life is death. I have made the ultimate sacrifice to secure the future for my children….As always, for blood, honor, for faith and for race.”[338]Ibid., p. 258.
(Singular, pp. 251-253.)

 

On December 7th, the FBI had the Whidbey Island house surrounded. They’d caught up with Bob again. He was alone in the house. This time they were going to be sure that he didn’t get away. One hundred agents surrounded the house. They cut off his electricity. They attempted to negotiate through a bullhorn—”Come out and we won’t harm you.” Bob was having none of that. He wasn’t coming out of there. His hand mangled and throbbing, he opened fire with an automatic weapon.[339]Ibid., p. 260.
(Singular, pp. 251-253.)

The standoff went on through the night and into the next day. By this time, the press had converged on the site. The FBI lofted in tear gas. Bob must have had a gas mask. He continued to fire—da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da.

They issued an ultimatum—“Give up or we’re coming in to get you.”

More automatic weapon fire from Bob.

At 3:00 p.m. on that day, December 8th, a SWAT team went into the house. When they got inside, bullets rained down on them through the ceiling from the floor above. The SWAT team returned fire as they retreated.

Later that evening, after it had gotten dark, a helicopter flew over the house and dropped white phosphorous illumination flares onto the roof. The house ignited, and flames shot one hundred feet into the air. Bullets came ripping through the walls from inside the burning house—Bob was still firing away! The agents kept down as the slugs whistled through the night air and split the trees above them.

Then everything was still.

The next morning, in the charred ruins of the house they found a body burned beyond recognition. Dental records determined it to be that of Bob Mathews.[340]Ibid., pp. 260-261.
(Singular, pp. 251-253.)

 

“Bob was a very intense young man,” Pierce told me, “and quite different from the weaklings I see so many of in America today. If Bob saw a situation that called for intervention, or action, he would jump up and do something, while other people would just talk about it. The typical male these days might talk with his buddies about what ought to be done, say, to the government. He might even express his outrage. But he wouldn’t do anything. He wouldn’t do what any respectable white male one hundred, two hundred, a thousand years ago would have done. But Bob Mathews was different in that regard. He was a serious man who took things seriously. It was what impressed me about him and made me respect him and remember him more than anything else. It wasn’t that he was a great thinker—he was more of an activist. He distributed leaflets and organized, things like that.

“He was a National Alliance member and came to our national meeting in Washington in 1983. Bob had been passing out leaflets and books and organizing up in his part of the country for a couple of years. The economic situation with a lot of the people he had been working with—truckers, forest workers, farmers—was pretty grim. There were a lot of repossessions of farms and a lot of people were out of work, and Bob had decided the time for tougher action had come. He didn’t see that what he had been doing up to then was making a big difference. Bob was a very frustrated and impatient young man. He gave a talk at our meeting. I wouldn’t call it a skillful oration exactly, but it came from the heart.

“After Bob’s talk at the convention, I got together with him and said, ‘Bob, you gave a very good talk. But don’t be misled by the fact that people up in the Pacific Northwest that you are around seem in a bit more revolutionary mood than the rest of the country and jump the gun.’ See, he had the idea that if he started something he could provide an example others would follow. This Aryan Nations outfit is nearby in Hayden Lake, Idaho, and he visited there and recruited some of those people, and he got some people from around where he lived in Washington state. I suppose he had around twenty people involved with him at the peak, although there were maybe eight or nine of them that were core members of his operation. They started robbing banks and heisting armored cars and so forth. God, the things they were doing were really breathtaking!

“Not only was Bob knocking over banks and so forth, but he and his group were going around the country recruiting people for their revolutionary army. He thought that this effort of his could snowball. The technique went something like this: They’d come into some city, Atlanta say, and they would rent a house and fill up a couple of tables in the house with stacks of money from their latest bank robbery, and some copies of The Turner Diaries, and hand grenades and machine guns and whatever else they had. They had this list of supposed patriots in the area—sometimes in a previous town they would ask, ‘We’re going to Atlanta next, do you know anybody who would be a good prospect for us?” And so they would get a list of names and addresses. Bob thought that when people saw all the money they had heisted and the military weapons and so on they would say, ‘Sign me up! And I have three friends; let me get them on the telephone and get them over here!’

“So Bob and his group would bring the people on the list over to their safe house, as they called it—CIA terminology they had adopted—and they would say, ‘OK, the revolution has started, and you’ve been chosen to participate!’ The guy’s eyes would bug out and he would see the table full of money and machine guns, and typically what would happen is he’d say, ‘Oh great, that’s wonderful, the revolution has started, yeah. You know, I’ve got to think about this for a little while, guys. Let me go home and talk to my wife and I’ll get right back to you.’ And zoom! this guy’s ass doesn’t touch his shirt until he had put a lot of distance between himself and Mathews and the rest of them. He’d get home and call up all the people he knew and he’d say, ‘God damn, you know what I just saw?’ He’d be all excited and he’d talk about it and it would end right there. He’d be sympathetic and everything, he wasn’t trying to mess those guys up, but he wasn’t going to stick his neck out.

“How Bob managed to last as long as he did, I’ll never know. He survived one shoot-out with the FBI in a motel up in Portland—his hand was hit with buckshot. What led to his downfall was he got into counterfeiting money [an activity the Turner Diaries‘ Order did as well] and one of the members of his group was caught passing and then turned.”

“Tom Martinez.”

“That’s the one. Martinez had been in the National Alliance. That’s where Bob first got together with him. Bob had a few good soldiers who were willing to follow him and do what he told them to do to the best of their ability, but he also had some defective people like Martinez. I’d had to throw him out of the Alliance. What happened was that Martinez had a pal in Philadelphia where he was from by the name of Howard Brown. The Alliance unit leader up there was Alan Balogh, basically a good sturdy fellow. Balogh would do things like staple Alliance placards to telephone poles, and he would punch out anybody who gave him a bad time while he was doing it. Sometimes this would result in legal difficulties, and one time when Balogh got fined five hundred dollars I took up a collection at one of our national conventions to pay his fine.

“Well, the next year Martinez and Brown wanted me to take up a collection for them because they had been fined for disorderly conduct. They had been talking loudly in a restaurant about niggers, and some liberal white woman took exception to it and made some politically correct remark to them, and Martinez, Brown, and the woman got into an argument. The manager told Martinez and Brown to get out, and they left with a lot of words and threats. The manager called the police, and the police picked them up and arrested them for disorderly conduct.

“I thought the two of them had used poor judgment and had behaved in a manner I did not want from Alliance members. Plus I had had problems of this sort before with Martinez. At the next annual convention, Martinez got up and said that since I had taken up a collection last year for this same kind of thing that I ought to do it again.

“I explained the difference between last year’s situation and this one. In this case, the two of them hadn’t accomplished anything useful, they were on enemy territory, etc. It was just poor judgment and bad behavior on their part. Whereas last year, Balogh was doing a reasonable thing, putting up our posters where others could see them, a good activity that I encourage, and he punched out a heckler only as a last resort.

“Martinez stayed up drinking until 4:00 in the morning and was going on about how I didn’t have any sympathy for the ordinary working guys out in the street, and he went around and took up a collection on his own in the face of what I had said about not wanting it. So I threw him out.

“Anyway, Martinez took a bunch of counterfeit money and bought some beer with it in Philadelphia. The money wasn’t especially good and the clerk at the store called the police and they grabbed him when he—dumb, dumb, DUMB—came back to the very same place the next night to buy more beer. Martinez sees he’s in trouble and throws Mathews to them to save himself.

“I talked to Bob’s widow, Debbie, afterwards and I told her I felt somewhat responsible. Bob was obviously very much taken with The Turner Diaries, and it was clear he drew a lot of the elements from the book in the way he did things and the terminology he used and so on. I told her I had told Bob that I didn’t think the country was in a revolutionary mood and had urged him not to do this, but maybe I could have said it better. She said it wouldn’t have made any difference what I had told Bob. He had made up his mind that this is what he was going to do, and he figured he wasn’t going to survive it.”

“Bob obviously being inspired by my book made for a big problem for me after it happened. The secret police were on my neck for years. They were all over this county and they really wanted to haul me in. I thought I was going to get indicted and put on trial with those others down in Fort Smith.”

(In 1987, the Justice Department brought sedition charges against thirteen individuals identified with white racialist groups and activities. The indictment accused them of conspiring to overthrow the United States government. After a lengthy trial with over a hundred witnesses and thousands of pages of documents, all the defendants were acquitted. Undoubtedly Pierce’s concerns had to do not only with the possibility of a conviction and jail time but also the time and energy that a trial would require and the likelihood that no matter what its outcome it would drain if not break him financially.[341]John George and Laird Wilcox, Nazis, Communists, Klansmen, and Others on the Fringe (Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Books, 1992), p. 410.)

“What impressions of Bob Mathews stick with you?”

“Well, there’s his charisma and his leadership ability. But the main thing for me is that Bob was just a very honest and sincere sort of person. He was the sort of person you need very badly if you’re going to have a revolution. A person who is totally dedicated, who will put his life on the line without even thinking about it, who will do whatever it takes, whether it means machine-gunning a crowd of people or walking into the jaws of death. Bob was ready to it, and not because he was a thrill-seeker or wanted attention or praise. He was ready to do it because it needed to be done.”

17 • To West Virginia • 2,800 Words

“You moved from the Washington, D.C. area in 1985 to this remote area in West Virginia,” I said to Pierce. “What precipitated the move?”

“I’d lived in Washington for eighteen years and it was getting to me,” Pierce replied. “I finally decided that I am just not an urbanite. For one thing, I don’t like crowds. They make me nervous. Now, I don’t even like going to shop in Lewisburg [a town forty miles from where he lives in West Virginia]. I prefer having just a few people around me whom I know and trust. I suppose psychologists have a name for it, label it a neurosis of some kind, but I don’t think it is all that uncommon or unnatural, really. During the development of this country, many people if they had neighbors within a mile of them started to feel cramped and they moved further west. I just wanted some space around me, some privacy. Plus I don’t like noise and I don’t like pollution. And I don’t want to get up to an alarm clock and put on a suit and tie and drive someplace. And the truth is I had just sort of OD’d on blacks in Washington. I was reacting in a very negative way to the sight of all of them around everywhere. I was doing some things back in Washington that if I’d been caught it would have gotten me put in jail for the rest of my life. So I figured that I had better get out of this town, and I did.”

“When you say you were doing some things in Washington that would have put you in jail for the rest of your life, is that just a figure of speech?”

“No, I was doing some crazy things. I wrote Hunter [his novel, begun in 1983 and published in 1989] about what Oscar Yeager was doing and why he was doing it.[342]Andrew Macdonald (William Pierce), Hunter (Hillsboro, WV: National Vanguard Books, 1989). [Yeager was killing interracial couples and Jews.] Yeager was engaged in what could be called terrorist activity, but he was doing it primarily for therapeutic reasons. When he started blowing away racially mixed couples he didn’t expect to make a big change in society. It was just that he couldn’t live with himself if he didn’t do something to oppose what he saw happening around him. I didn’t do what he did, but I was doing things that were ill-advised. Washington is very cosmopolitan and imbued with government spirit. I was drowning in that goddamn environment. I hated it. I was feeling a sense of desperation, and I reacted. If I had stayed I probably would have gotten caught. But fortunately I was able to get away from there.”

I never found out what Pierce was doing in Washington, if anything, that would have gotten him into trouble. One other time, he briefly mentioned a “blackness” he had felt in Washington toward the end of his time there and said that if he had stayed they would have caught him blowing something up and put him in prison. For obvious reasons he wasn’t about to go into details of what he had been doing in Washington, and for the sake of our relationship and my overall goals for the book I didn’t think it wise to get into an inquisitorial and adversarial exchange with him over something that wasn’t going to bear fruit in any case. So I went with him when he changed the focus of the discussion.

“Let me get back to my personal motivations for coming out here to West Virginia,” Pierce said. “There’s also something beyond wanting to have some room and having had enough of Washington. It is the Cosmotheist community idea. I wanted to see whether we could create a new and better environment for families and kids, and people in general. I thought people would come out here with me, or if not that, that they would come along later. I thought such a nice place as this is would attract people to the Alliance who wanted to be a part of this. But it turned out that the rest of the world was not as ready for the move as I was, so the population has remained small out here. To me, this is an ideal environment. I’ve never liked anyplace as much, and I’ve lived all over the country—Virginia, Georgia, Texas, California, Colorado, Oregon, and Connecticut. But apparently mine is a minority view. Apparently city life has an attraction for a lot of people it doesn’t have for me.”

“Apart from wanting to live in a racially and culturally homogeneous environment and your own preferences around living with fewer people and closer to the land, are you generally against urban life?”

“I do think that cities have developed in some unhealthy ways. They have gotten too congested and polluted, and they have become inefficient in many ways. When I had my office in Washington and my wife and I were living in Fredericksburg where she was teaching, I tried commuting every day. But I was spending an hour-and-a-half in the morning and the evening in the bloody traffic, and my personality is not well adapted to that. I get road rage, I guess it is called—really irritated. I know some people are better adapted to that kind of situation than I am, but still, I don’t think it is healthy for people to waste three hours a day in traffic jams.

“Cities have changed since I was a kid, and I’ve changed too, and I suppose the things that are different about cities now get to me more than they would have if I hadn’t changed in the ways I have. For instance, when I was an undergraduate at RiceUniversity from 1951 to 1955, forty-five years ago, Houston was primarily a white city. There were blacks and Mexicans, but they were separate. Interactions between the white and non-white communities were regulated. So you had a white society. The white community could essentially function by itself. Black music and black crime and all the rest of it didn’t intrude on white society. All the things we did that were bad, wrong, degenerate, were our own, not somebody else’s. Although, as I think about it that isn’t strictly true—the Jews were just getting going with television and the music industry. But basically, at least as I remember it, city life wasn’t too bad back then.

“I lived in an apartment near the Rice campus, and the neighborhoods around there were white and decent, with normal healthy people. There weren’t drugs, and the kids didn’t sulk and rebel. In the future, post-revolution, we will need to create cities that are healthier, where people can work together and interact with one another without all the congestion, pollution, and other crap that comes with urban life.”

I was reminded at this point of a novel by Jack London that I knew Pierce had read, Valley of the Moon [343]Jack London, The Valley of the Moon (Santa Barbara: Peregrine, 1975, originally published in 1913).. It depicts a young couple who make a break from the squalor of city life. They embark on foot to find their place on earth, their land. The book presents a positive picture of a lifestyle based on closeness to the soil and a rejection of urban values and problems. The story is set in northern California and depicts a place less crowded than today where the natural environment still made the predominant impact on one’s sensibilities. When I read it I thought of Pierce’s own journey to West Virginia. “Is your message, say, to a young couple just starting out,” I asked Pierce, “that they should take the kind of walk that Billy and Saxon [the central characters in the book, a young married couple] took in Valley of the Moon—to quit trying to cope or insulate yourself from the alienating and distressing aspects of modern urban existence and just go somewhere and leave it all behind?”

“I’m not like some Old Testament prophet telling people to get out of the city or face the wrath of God,” Pierce replied. “I understand people are tied to their work there. And there can be a very healthy exchange among people in the city. I remember the stimulation I had living near the university in Houston and Pasadena. Plus many people are dependent on the support structure of the city and really don’t know how to do things for themselves and really aren’t interested in learning. And besides that, there are people who simply prefer city life. There is no point in me telling a city-bred person who agrees with our philosophy but who loves city life to get off his ass and get out of the city. He’s not going to do it for one thing, and he would be miserable if he did.

“I think it is more a matter of making cities liveable again, as they once were. We forget that cities weren’t always the dangerous, alienating places they are today. Oh, I wish the average Alliance member weren’t quite so soft and dependent. I’d like to see a few more of the rugged, self-reliant sort of people. For one thing, I think having people of that kind around will be important to our future. We need to be able to meet the challenge of surviving a sudden and traumatic upheaval. But I’m not one to tell people to go find their ‘valley of the moon.’

“It does gall me, though, the way people have developed into economic serfs since the Industrial Revolution. I have the feeling that the economic endeavors five hundred years ago were better in terms of raising families, and they were just saner and more compatible with what human beings need all the way around. Some people were farmers, some lived in villages and towns and were burghers and craftsman, and there was a healthy interdependence among them. If, for example, someone made shoes, he had his workshop and his showroom where customers came in and looked at the types of boots they could get and where they could be measured and fitted for boots that he would make for them. The shoemaker lived over his shop and his whole family participated in the work, even the three-year-old who picked up scraps of leather off the floor and swept out every evening.

“Sometimes the skills needed in these enterprises were of the sort that a kid wouldn’t learn naturally from his father, so he’d be apprenticed to a master to learn violin-making or whatever it was. It was a reasonable system: the various trades and levels—apprentice, journeyman, and master—and the guilds were set up to regulate things. The guilds upheld standards in their trade or craft. If a person were caught cheating or producing shoddy goods he was tossed out of the guild, and in that case he might as well have cut his own throat.

“But then with the Industrial Revolution, you had the types of enterprises that needed in effect human machines to dig the coal out of the ground or tend to the spinning machines or whatever it was. Some people gained the opportunity for luxury from that system, the chance to consume various goods and all. But for most people the quality of life went down. And the general quality of society went down too as I see it.”

 

As it turned out, Pierce went to rural West Virginia alone. Pierce told me that his second wife, Elizabeth, didn’t want to move to this wild part of the country with no running water and live her life in a used trailer. Pierce’s first marriage to Patricia had ended in 1982 after twenty-five years and he had married Elizabeth that same year. As for his first marriage, Pierce said that Patricia had wanted “a normal life, with furniture and everything,” and she wasn’t going to have that with him. They only saw each other on the weekends in Fredericksburg, Virginia where they lived. Pierce stayed in his National Alliance office in Arlington during the week.

“I was alienated from my wife [Patricia] during the latter part of the 1970s and those first couple of years of the ‘80s until our divorce,” Pierce told me. “I was staying up in Washington all the time. I was feeling such pressure from the work [related to the National Alliance] that I didn’t want to take the time to commute, so I slept on a couch in the office and fixed my own meals there and tried to keep it going. I was really hanging on by my fingernails. I couldn’t pay the bills. I just had to keep things going. I felt that not only was what I was doing important, but that my whole life was tied up with this and that I would be a personal failure if I didn’t make the Alliance succeed. I was really working hard.”

Pierce said that his wife’s colleagues at the college where she taught would see his name in the paper for something or another and say to her, “Is that your husband? Is he crazy?” and that this had been difficult for her. Pierce said that in order to do justice to the work he was doing he would have to give interviews and do things that would cause a ruckus and his name was going to surface in the media, and he didn’t want to feel that he should hold back on any of that in order to spare his wife discomfort. So they went their separate ways. Pierce didn’t say whether a relationship with Elizabeth (Elizabeth worked in his Arlington office) prior to his divorce was a precipitating factor in the breakup of his marriage with Patricia.

Pierce told me that he was quite lonely after he moved to West Virginia. His loneliness was compounded when he lost his cat soon after he arrived. But he kept busy setting up the place, having the mobile home moved onto the property, drilling a well, and putting in a septic system. In a search for companionship, he started playing the personals ads to meet a woman.

“I put an advertisement in the Washingtonian, a slick, yuppie magazine,” Pierce said, “in which I described myself, a fifty-two-year-old former university professor and now writer living in the mountains of West Virginia, needs a woman, etc., and I talked some about my personal likes. I got a flood of responses from professional women—businesswomen, lawyers, and so on. One of them was from a woman named Kathy. She was of Anglo-Saxon stock from Arkansas. She had gotten a doctorate at Princeton and became a professor of French literature at Yale. While she was at Yale, she married a math professor at Columbia. The marriage didn’t work out, and she was left alone in New York City without a job. She got a law degree and went to work as a lawyer for the Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington.

“Kathy was an attractive woman and a little bit randy, so we hit it off just fine as far as the physical side of it went. But she was drinking way too much and smoking two to three packs of cigarettes a day. And she was going to see a psychotherapist once a week, and also a hypnotist because she had migraine headaches. I told her the reason you are having these migraine headaches and seeing this therapist and drinking and smoking too much is because you are living in a god-awful, unnatural situation. No woman ought to be a lawyer, I told her. That’s a cop-out. It’s a man’s occupation. And besides that, you are living by yourself in this dog-eat-dog city, Washington, D.C., which is no place for a woman. You need to get out of there. Spend a few weeks with me in West Virginia, I said, and you’ll see the difference.

“Well, that just made her mad. She was infected with all this feminist crap. As soon as I started talking ideas with her our relationship was soiled.”

 

Although things didn’t work out with Kathy, they did with Olga Skerlecz, a musician and recent immigrant from Hungary who lived in Connecticut. Pierce traveled to Connecticut to meet Olga. They got along, and the next year, 1986, Olga came to live with Pierce in West Virginia as his wife. The marriage was to last four years.

18 • Hunter • 6,500 Words

Published in 1989, Hunter was Pierce’s second novel, the first, of course, being The Turner Diaries.[344]Andrew Macdonald (William Pierce), Hunter (Hillsboro, WV: National Vanguard Books, 1989). To this point, Hunter is also Pierce’s last novel—he has only written non-fiction since. As with The Turner Diaries, Pierce wrote Hunter under the same pen name of Andrew Macdonald, and as with his first novel it has never been any secret that Pierce wrote the book.

Pierce published Hunter through his own outlet, National Vanguard Books. Whatever he would have preferred to do, taking what amounts to a self-publishing route with Hunter was realistically his only way of getting this book into print. The content of Hunter, which most would find racist, anti-Semitic, and unacceptably violent, renders it an extremely unlikely prospect for getting picked up by one of the mainstream commercial publishing houses that distribute their books through the major bookstore chains. And since Hunter is written as a popular and not a scholarly treatment of the issues Pierce takes on in the book, academic publishers—New York University Press, Harvard University Press, and so forth—would reject it on that basis alone. The Turner Diaries was published by a commercial publisher for a time, but that was due to a special circumstance: the connection the book had to the Oklahoma City bombing. As for distribution, Delta Press, which specializes in books that appeal to military enthusiasts and survivalists, has been selling Hunter at gun shows and through catalogs and magazine ads in Soldier of Fortune and the like. The development of the Internet in recent years has greatly increased the distribution possibilities for books of the sort Pierce writes. Through listservs and chat lines, individuals inform each other of the existence of books that are not otherwise publicized, and there are the online book-ordering services: both amazon.com and bn.com (Barnes & Noble) make Hunter as well as The Turner Diaries available.

 

Hunter begins with Oscar Yeager sitting in his tan Ford sedan which is parked in a shopping mall parking lot in Washington, D.C.. Yeager is listening to his favorite Schubert sonata on the car radio. Despite the cold night air, his palms are sweaty and perspiration rolls down his cheeks. We are told he is waiting for something, but what it is we don’t know.[345]Ibid., p. 1.
(Andrew Macdonald (William Pierce), Hunter (Hillsboro, WV: National Vanguard Books, 1989).)

Oscar Yeager is a tall man of forty years of age. He has golden-blond hair, deep-set gray eyes, craggy features, a high, smooth forehead, and a thin scar running diagonally across his left cheek the result of a skiing accident.[346]Ibid., p. 8.
(Andrew Macdonald (William Pierce), Hunter (Hillsboro, WV: National Vanguard Books, 1989).)
He is a consulting engineer by profession and a tinkerer and inventor by inclination. He flew F4 fighters in Vietnam. After leaving the Air Force in 1976, he went back to school at the University of Colorado (where Pierce himself went) and obtained graduate degrees in electrical engineering and computer science. A series of design contracts with the Pentagon brought him to Washington four years ago.[347]Ibid., p. 4.
(Andrew Macdonald (William Pierce), Hunter (Hillsboro, WV: National Vanguard Books, 1989).)

After twenty minutes, a brown van pulls into the parking lot. The driver is a black male. A white female occupies the passenger’s seat. They get out of the car and stand near one another, arguing it appears to Yeager. His wait is over. He drives toward the couple until they are about eight feet from his open window. They stop what they are doing and look at him. Their eyes meet his. With a smooth motion, Yeager reaches under the blanket on the seat next to him and brings the rifle to his shoulder. He braces his left elbow against the door and squeezes off two shots. He sees the couple’s skulls—first one and then the other—explode into showers of bone fragments, brain tissue, and blood.

Yeager feels calm. He drives away. He stops the car and glances back toward the van. The man’s body is sprawled into the roadway. The woman’s body is obscured by the van. Yeager experiences the icy calm all the way home. It is only after he parks his car in the garage and enters the house and puts away his coat that the same mixture of euphoria and contentment comes over him as with each of his five other executions of interracial couples over the past three weeks.[348]Ibid., p. 2-3.
(Andrew Macdonald (William Pierce), Hunter (Hillsboro, WV: National Vanguard Books, 1989).)

Why is Yeager doing this? How did it come to this—killing interracial couples in parking lots? It is about race, we are told, Yeager’s race, the white race. Yeager’s experience in Vietnam had given him a deeper appreciation for his own people. All the fliers in his unit were white and a highly select group, an elite. Yeager had contrasted them with the blacks in the heavily integrated U.S. ground forces. One of the differences he had noted was the meaning of pride to the two races. For the white pilots he had known, pride essentially meant self-respect based on one’s accomplishments, especially the achievement of mastery of oneself. It showed itself as an aura of personal dignity and honor. In contrast, with the blacks he had been around pride primarily meant affecting a certain style, a certain way of carrying oneself and relating to others. For them, pride manifested itself as a swaggering quality, an insolence, and determination to get one up on other people, especially “Whitey.” With blacks, pride was primarily a social thing. It had to do with relationships, whereas with whites it was more of a private, inner thing.

Yeager hadn’t personally liked all of his fellow white flyers. There were some for whom he had little respect. But nevertheless he felt a kinship with them, a sense of natural community. At a very basic level, he had understood them and they had understood him. Despite their individual differences, they were people with whom he could work and play and feel right about it. Despite the weaknesses, stupidity, and meanness he saw in some of them, his white comrades were “us” to him. They were his people.

Spurred by his observations and experiences in the military, Yeager looked deeper into the phenomenon of race after his discharge and entry into graduate school. He read a great deal on the subject—not in courses but just on his own, trying to understand his growing racial consciousness and to put it into historical perspective. His study and reflection led him to the conclusion that the xenophobia he experienced with regard to blacks was more than simply a response to surface differences in appearance between them and himself or to the differences in their lifestyles. The differences between the races ran deeper than that, Yeager decided. Despite what he knew he ought to believe, the fact of the matter is that there are innate differences between blacks and whites. The vibrations or spirits of the two races are fundamentally different. They have different race souls. Simply, they are rooted differently as beings, and that is revealed in significant physical, mental, and behavioral distinctions.

Yeager began to see history from a racial perspective. History is more than an account of a succession of events and dates and names, he concluded. It is a record of the development and interactions of types of people—of races and ethnic groups. That is what history is in the most fundamental, most meaningful sense. One’s understanding of history is enriched if the physical and psychical characteristics of types of people are taken into account, he decided. The significance of the Vietnam era and what has happened since is better understood if a racial perspective is brought to an inquiry into that war and its aftermath.

Looking at things from a racial perspective raised the question for Yeager of what effect the war in Vietnam and the events since then has had on his people, white people. Coming at it from that angle, it became clear to him that what has happened during the last few decades has had a negative, destructive impact on whites. Whites are losing their way. They are becoming more decadent, less admirable, less themselves, less honorable, less conscious of themselves as a people, weaker and less able to survive and advance themselves as a race. The factors contributing to that circumstance are clear: the hypocrisy, concealed motives, and irresponsibility and immorality of the leadership of the government; the effects of the civil rights and feminist revolutions; the multicultural preachings of the media and the schools; the appearance of more and more interracial couples; and the increased abuse of drugs among white young people. All of these things have undermined white heritage, white integrity and dignity, white racial commitment, and the level of solidarity among whites.

It seemed to Yeager that things are always looked at from the point of view of how they affect one group or another—a certain country, political party, economic class, or minority group, or it might be women. The one group that is never singled out for attention, he now noticed, was the white race. And that was precisely what he was doing, and he was repulsed by what he was seeing.

The question then became what was he going to do about what was happening to his race. He wasn’t a politician, or the type to become a pamphleteer. He was a man of few words, a man of action; and the action that he wanted to take, he realized, was very direct, immediate, and much of it was violent. That was what was inside him that wanted to get out. That was the pressure that sought release.

Yeager thought about several possibilities along these lines. He thought about using his electronic expertise to break into commercial broadcasts with a pirate transmitter and deliver his own message about what was happening to white people. He thought about renting a plane and bombing the Congress when it was in session. But he settled on the killings of interracial couples for three reasons. First, they were symbolic of what was most threatening his race—the tainting of white blood. Second, they had therapeutic value for him personally. They had a cathartic effect. They relieved the pressure he felt. They calmed him and lifted his mood. It felt good to defy those in authority—the politicians, the media bosses, all those who were promoting, or allowing or profiting from, the destruction of his race. And last, the kind of thing he was doing could be easily replicated by others. Anyone could get a gun and shoot down a miscegenating couple on the street.[349]Ibid., pp. 8-12.
(Andrew Macdonald (William Pierce), Hunter (Hillsboro, WV: National Vanguard Books, 1989).)

 

As might be expected after reading Pierce’s first novel The Turner Diaries, Oscar is just getting warmed up with these assassinations of interracial couples. There is much death and destruction on the horizon. First there is Washington Post columnist, David Jacobs, who writes that the killings of the racially mixed couples was the work of a sexually frustrated white male. White males, says Jacobs, resent the greater sexual prowess of black men and the attraction that white women have for black men. White lynchings of blacks in the South in years gone by were largely motivated by sexual envy, he points out to his readers. White racism will continue as a great evil as long as there is a white race, says Jacobs, and the best thing the government could do is hasten this day by encouraging even more racial intermarriage. A tax break for interracial couples would be a good step in that direction, Jacobs writes.

Jacobs started to get into his car in the unattended underground parking area of his condominium complex. He never knew what hit him.[350]Ibid., p. 24-25.
(Andrew Macdonald (William Pierce), Hunter (Hillsboro, WV: National Vanguard Books, 1989).)

And then there is Congressman Horowitz, who vows to start up a Congressional investigation of the killings. Oscar came up behind Horowitz when he was standing in front of a urinal and looped a garrote over his head and strangled him to death.

At this point, Oscar meets Harry Keller, an ex-college teacher who works for a group called the National League (read National Alliance). Harry tells Oscar about the National League:

Our cause is a secure and progressive future for our race. We want a White world someday—a White world that is conscious of itself and its mission; a world governed by eugenic principles; a world in which the goal of families as well as governments is the upward breeding of our race; a cleaner, greener world, with fewer but better people, living closer to Nature; a world in which quality once again rules over quantity, in which people’s lives have purpose, in which beauty and excellence and honor once again have meaning and hope.

Our race is in danger of perishing, partly because we’re being outbred by other races in the same ecological niche and partly because we’re miscegenating ourselves to death….Progress comes when all the competitors in the game struggle for survival and the most fit wins. Our race isn’t struggling. It’s lying down and dying. Our job is to wake it up. When it is trying to survive, it’ll whip all the other races with its hands tied behind its back….We want first to assure the survival of our race by waking it up and igniting its natural fighting spirit, and then we want to reorient its values and its way of looking at things so that it strives to continue bettering itself…[351]Ibid., p. 40.
(Andrew Macdonald (William Pierce), Hunter (Hillsboro, WV: National Vanguard Books, 1989).)

Harry tells Oscar that at the moment the National League’s efforts are educational rather than political. “We’re trying to raise people’s consciousness on racial issues,” he tells Oscar, “and then motivate and direct those whose consciousness we have some effect on.” He tells Oscar about the materials the National League publishes and about the video studio he has constructed. Most of the members of the League are professionals, he informs Oscar.

Harry goes on to tell Oscar that the League’s principal adversaries are the Jews:

Some of them may look White, but no racially conscious Jew thinks of himself as White, and the Jews are the most racially conscious people on the face of the earth, by a big margin. They call their enemies—and that includes anyone they can’t control—”neo-Nazis” because they’ve invested a lot of effort into making that a label of opprobrium; they’ve invested it with a heavy load of emotion, of feeling, so that most people react negatively to the word without having a clear understanding of what it means.[352]Ibid., p. 41.
(Andrew Macdonald (William Pierce), Hunter (Hillsboro, WV: National Vanguard Books, 1989).)

Harry’s anti-Semitism was making Oscar uncomfortable. His fight is against race mixing, and he doesn’t see what Jews have to do with that. Of course he will learn the error of his thinking as time goes along.

With Oscar and Harry during this exchange is Adelaide, who becomes Oscar’s love interest. Adelaide is twenty-three, which makes her seventeen years younger than Oscar. Oscar had met her just a few months before in the Pentagon office of an army buddy where she was working as a civilian analyst.[353]Ibid., p. 14.
(Andrew Macdonald (William Pierce), Hunter (Hillsboro, WV: National Vanguard Books, 1989).)
Adelaide had grown up in a tiny town in Iowa and has been in Washington for a little over a year. Oscar marvels at her nude form lying asleep in his bed:

She was a beautiful woman, one of the most beautiful he [Oscar] had ever seen, long and lean and lithe, with silky-smooth skin, perfect thighs surmounted by a luxuriant bush of reddish hue, a flat belly, magnificent breasts, a graceful neck of extraordinary length, and a face so lovely, so pure, so childishly peaceful and innocent, that looking at it nestled gently there in the pillow, half obscured in the tangle of her long, golden-red hair, made his heart ache with desire, the way it ached when he watched an unusually spectacular sunset in the desert or came upon an especially glorious vista while hiking in the mountains.[354]Ibid., p. 15.
(Andrew Macdonald (William Pierce), Hunter (Hillsboro, WV: National Vanguard Books, 1989).)

Adelaide pairs her physical attractiveness with an equally appealing personal manner: she is “bright, generous, and helpful, and always cheerful.”[355]Ibid., p. 14.
(Andrew Macdonald (William Pierce), Hunter (Hillsboro, WV: National Vanguard Books, 1989).)

In the book, Adelaide basically is support for Oscar. The men in the book deal with the big questions and make things happen. Oscar says that there are both physical and psychic difference between men and women which grow out of the evolutionary condition, and that the feminists and their supporters don’t take these realities into account. Back in Vietnam, Oscar recalls, there was the idea that the only reason women weren’t flying military aircraft in combat was because of the repressive effects of society’s ideas and practices. But he was convinced that no matter how fast her reflexes, or fine her coordination, or keen her vision, a woman wouldn’t be as good a combat pilot as a man. What she lacked was the instinct to fight. Fighting wasn’t her natural role. The fighting hormones are missing, Oscar decided, the innate fighting micro-skills finely tuned over the millions of years of the evolution of the species during which men were the hunters and fighters and the women were the nurturers.[356]Ibid., p. 50.
(Andrew Macdonald (William Pierce), Hunter (Hillsboro, WV: National Vanguard Books, 1989).)

Oscar concluded that while Adelaide was bright and witty and well read and her intelligence made her an especially good companion, her mind simply didn’t work the same way his did. For one thing, her mental world was smaller, her horizon closer. What was real to her was the here-and-now. The past and the future, like distant landscapes, were of much less interest to her. Adelaide was a good, practical worker on limited projects, but mapping world-historical vistas and making plans to transform them would seem unreal to her.

Adelaide was not a generalizer. Her focus was on the trees, not the forest. She saw people as individuals. Oscar did too, of course—but he also saw people as members of larger categories. He saw them as representatives of their races, their social classes, their religions, their interest groups. To understand a man, Yeager believed, one had to consider where his roots were and with whom he identified, and not just take into account his individual idiosyncracies.[357]Ibid., p. 51.
(Andrew Macdonald (William Pierce), Hunter (Hillsboro, WV: National Vanguard Books, 1989).)

Adelaide’s way of approaching things as a woman explains why when an interracial couple is murdered she sees two people murdered and not a blow against miscegenation. Her reaction is natural to her, it is feminine. Oscar decided that Adelaide could be brought around to an acceptance of his ideological beliefs, and even approval of what he is doing, but that her fundamental nature is to be private and adaptive and peaceful while his is to be public and transformative and violent, and that had to be taken into account when dealing with her.

Oscar tells Adelaide that he wants to fight what is wrong with the country: “the growth in racial mixing, the flood of non-White immigrants pouring into the cities, the increasingly obvious crookedness and lack of responsibility of the politicians, the destructive bias of the news and entertainment media, the breakdown of the country’s morale, the decay of discipline and standards everywhere, and the loss of any sense of racial or cultural identity on the part of the dwindling White majority.”[358]Ibid., p. 54.
(Andrew Macdonald (William Pierce), Hunter (Hillsboro, WV: National Vanguard Books, 1989).)
She responds: “There’s a lot of dirt out there, and we can’t change that. But we can keep our own lives clean and make clean lives for our children. That’s all we can do.”[359]Ibid., p. 55.
(Andrew Macdonald (William Pierce), Hunter (Hillsboro, WV: National Vanguard Books, 1989).)
Oscar understands what she is saying and why she feels as she does, but he knows her way of dealing with the situation isn’t his way, isn’t a man’s way if he is truly a man.

For her part, Adelaide is sympathetic to Oscar’s attitude even if she is not as disposed to getting into all the investigations, analyses, and pondering as he is. She had been put off by all the randy Blacks who had come on to her in college, and by how the campus environment was more interested in helping her overcome her purported racist tendencies than equipping her to live the life she wanted to live, which was with people of her own choosing. She says that the feminists on campus weren’t of much help. Most of them, she thinks, whether they knew it or not, were angry that they were women and not men. They campaigned against rape—much of it black males forcing themselves on white women—date rape, they usually call it—but what they were really protesting, she suspects, is that they were on the bottom and not on top. “And since I’ve always been happy to be on the bottom as long as there was a good man on top, I couldn’t really empathize with them.”[360]Ibid., p. 53.
(Andrew Macdonald (William Pierce), Hunter (Hillsboro, WV: National Vanguard Books, 1989).)

Oscar’s (and Pierce’s) ambivalence toward women comes through in Oscar’s perception of what he is getting out of his relationship with Adelaide. On the one hand, living with Adelaide has definitely mellowed out the jumpiness and uneasiness he had felt before. He has a more positive outlook now as a result of experiencing her laughter and grace at every meal. It is comforting to feel her warm body snuggled next to him when he goes to bed. On the other hand, he worries that she is taking away his edge, pulling him away from what he needs to do, dampening his sense of purpose and urgency, making what he has been doing seem less important, distracting him from what really matters in his life. Was he becoming more cautious, softer, more passive, more tolerant of the intolerable?[361]Ibid., p. 193.
(Andrew Macdonald (William Pierce), Hunter (Hillsboro, WV: National Vanguard Books, 1989).)
Reading this passage in the book reminded me of the section in Shaw’s play, Man and Superman, the play that had such a powerful impact on Pierce in his younger years, when Ana says to Don Juan that she wants to go to Heaven with him and his reply that he would find his own way there and that he wouldn’t be taking her route.

As it turns out, Adelaide doesn’t take away Oscar’s edge, because he was able to pull off what came to be called the “hate crime of the century”: Oscar bombed a church that was hosting a meeting of the People’s Committee Against Hate. Among those on the platform that night killed by the blast were two governors, three congressman, a senator, a cardinal, two bishops, a prominent rabbi, a TV talk show host, two leading Hollywood actors, an acclaimed feminist writer, the head of a homosexual rights organization, the president of the NAACP, and the leader of the Jewish organization B’nai B’rith. Forty-one members of the audience and the media also perished in the bombing. As I was reading Pierce’s account of this slaughter, I was imagining the smile on his face and gleam in his eyes as he wrote these pages. As in The Turner Diaries, the components of the bomb and the method of constructing it were presented in detail in the book.[362]Ibid., pp. 59-60.
(Andrew Macdonald (William Pierce), Hunter (Hillsboro, WV: National Vanguard Books, 1989).)

 

“Freeze, Yeager! FBI!”[363]Ibid., p. 62.
(Andrew Macdonald (William Pierce), Hunter (Hillsboro, WV: National Vanguard Books, 1989).)
Oscar is caught. It’s all over for him, or so it appears. The agent holding the Smith and Wesson Airweight .38 Special on him is William Ryan. Ryan is in his mid-fifties, sturdy-looking, about four inches shorter than Yeager, and is gray-haired and has steely-blue eyes. But surprise—Ryan is sympathetic to what Oscar has been up to and isn’t going to arrest him. Instead, he wants Oscar to be his hitman as he, Ryan, maneuvers to become the head of a new agency called the Committee for Public Safety, a kind of American KGB, and then, from that base, proceed to clean up the problems confronting America. Ryan needs Oscar to do his dirtywork for him because with Ryan’s position and visibility inside the system and his personal situation (he has a wife and children), he is not in a position to do it himself. This arrangement between Oscar and Ryan sets up the narrative strand for the remainder of the book: Oscar knocks off people and blows things up at Ryan’s behest, while at the same time Ryan cracks some heads and worse in his official capacity as the head of an FBI anti-terrorist unit.

Amid all the fireworks, Ryan still has the time to fill Oscar in on what is going on with the Jews. He informs Oscar that while the Jews in Europe exercised their control through money and banking, here they do it by manipulating public opinion through their control of the media—television, Hollywood, the music and publishing industries, and news dissemination outlets. By these means, Ryan tells Oscar, Jews further their own interests and “promote racial mixing and other forms of degeneracy” among whites.[364]Ibid., pp. 70-71, 190.
(Andrew Macdonald (William Pierce), Hunter (Hillsboro, WV: National Vanguard Books, 1989).)

Ryan stays busy eliminating rivals and taking care of people who are causing trouble. On a couple of occasions in particular, I thought the way Ryan and his unit handled black rioters seemed to be good examples of Pierce playing out his fantasies and getting the satisfaction and cathartic relief that comes from that. In the first instance, six hundred men of Ryan’s agency equipped with helmets, flak jackets, and M16s and under his direct supervision sweep through the riot area blasting locks off doors and shooting anyone who do not respond instantly to their orders. They arrest four hundred blacks, kill one hundred three and wound another two hundred, and quell the disorder post-haste. In the second instance, in response to black looting and arson, Ryan and his men go in with helicopters. There is live television coverage of Ryan’s assault. Pierce describes the scene: “One moment the television showed hundreds of Blacks in the street below, shaking their fists defiantly at the helicopter above and shouting obscenities. Then there were a hundred practically instantaneous flashes scattered among the crowd and a deafening, staccato explosion. All that could be seen after that were horizontal Black bodies strewn grotesquely on the pavement.”[365]Ibid., p. 203.
(Andrew Macdonald (William Pierce), Hunter (Hillsboro, WV: National Vanguard Books, 1989).)

One other episode that may have been Pierce playing out his fantasies: when a group of AIDS protesters throw AIDS-infected blood on a secretary as she leaves her office, her husband blows them away with a twelve-gauge shotgun while the cops look the other way. When a homosexual spokesman protests the failure of the police to respond, his office is firebombed. And then when a group of homosexuals appear at City Hall with placards to protest the firebombing, street workers beat them senseless.[366]Ibid., p. 205.
(Andrew Macdonald (William Pierce), Hunter (Hillsboro, WV: National Vanguard Books, 1989).)

While this is going on, the National League’s Harry Keller keeps up his lessons to Oscar on the Jewish menace and continues to augment Oscar’s already-existing views on race; Oscar does some speechifying on the book’s designated topics; and a new character comes on the scene, Saul Rogers, a former high school teacher and current member of the League. By this time Oscar has joined the League, and he and Harry build up Saul into a powerful television preacher of the League’s doctrine under the guise of a Christian evangelist ministry along the lines of a Jerry Falwell or Billy Graham. Saul, as might be expected, gets in a few speeches of his own when the occasion arises. “You young people, think about what your parents and grandparents are like. Think about the way they look and act, and then pick yourself a mate that looks and acts that way too.” “Who would have thought that we’d have [people] actually beginning to feel proud that they’re White and developing a real interest in their racial roots in Europe.[367]Ibid., pp. 208, 210.
(Andrew Macdonald (William Pierce), Hunter (Hillsboro, WV: National Vanguard Books, 1989).)

TThis is a “teaching and speeching” cast of characters. Or at least the men are—Adelaide and Colleen, Harry’s wife, offer an observation here and there, but they aren’t given to mounting the podium as the men are.

Among Harry’s lessons:

  • There is a competition going on in this society to see which group’s interests are going to come out on top, but many white people haven’t figured that out. “Among them,” says Harry, “are the Christians who believe it is better to be shat on than to shit on and the lunatic-fringe pluralists who are opposed to any group prevailing, especially their own.”[368]Ibid., p. 96.
    (Andrew Macdonald (William Pierce), Hunter (Hillsboro, WV: National Vanguard Books, 1989).)
  • Mr. Everyman knows that people who don’t like Jews are frowned upon, so he is absolutely determined not to believe anything bad about Jews. “But it is unbecoming of a man not to think like a man should think, which means to believe the evidence before his eyes instead of what he’s supposed to believe. We’re living in an age of rigid ideological conformity, in which men submissively accept ‘approved’ ideas instead of having the courage to think for themselves. Submissiveness doesn’t become a man.”[369]Ibid., p. 82.
    (Andrew Macdonald (William Pierce), Hunter (Hillsboro, WV: National Vanguard Books, 1989).)
  • Jesus Christ, Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud, and Albert Einstein are four Jews who have one thing in common: they have been illusion builders. Christianity: “If our race survives the next century it will only be because we have gotten the monkey of Christianity off our backs and have found a way to a genuinely Western spirituality.” Marx: “Marx’s doctrine is as anti-Western as Jesus’. It too was designed to appeal to the dregs of Western society, the worst elements among us, and to pull down the best and strongest to their level….It simply isn’t workable, and it shows up its designer as a windy fraud.” Freud: “Some of the most bizarre notions of human motivation he foisted on the world are still being promoted by his [Jewish] disciples. Imagine how many millions of dollars neurotic women have paid out to Freudian quacks posing as physicians or therapists!” Einstein: “Einstein took the work of three other men as his base, and he added to it. He provided new explanations. For this he deserved credit. It is understandable that his fellow Jews would want to brag a bit about him, but they went way beyond that. The Jewish hucksters saw their opportunity to build another cult figure they could market to the Gentiles, and they did.”[370]Ibid., pp. 105-106.
    (Andrew Macdonald (William Pierce), Hunter (Hillsboro, WV: National Vanguard Books, 1989).)
  • The modernist movement in literature, music, painting, and the other arts is largely a creation of the media—and since the media are dominated by the Jews, that means modernism is largely a creation of the Jews.

As for modernism, what is it but the repudiation of our culture, the culture we have shared with all other White people throughout our history? What the Greeks wrote and what the Greeks sculpted 2,500 years ago appeals to us today for the same reasons it appealed to the Greeks then. We respond to beauty and order the same way. The feelings expressed by Homer and Sophocles are our feelings. What Dostoevsky wrote spoke to Englishman and Germans as well as to the Russians, just as Dickens spoke to Russians and Germans, and Goethe spoke to Germans and Englishmen. A painting by Rembrandt or Turner or Friedrich said the same thing to all Europeans, just as did a symphony by Beethoven….Our culture tied us together, made us aware of our common heritage. And the Jew, the eternal outsider trying to work his way in, could not tolerate that. He had to break us up, destroy our solidarity, make us believe that we had no more in common with one another than with the Negro or the Chinaman—or the Jew. Modernism is the essential strategy of the parasite.”[371]Ibid., pp. 113-114.
(Andrew Macdonald (William Pierce), Hunter (Hillsboro, WV: National Vanguard Books, 1989).)

  • On the goals of the National League:

We perceive the threat to everything which is beautiful and good in the world. Some of us might state it a little differently, perhaps a little more personally, and say that we perceive in the mindless push toward an ever more inclusive egalitarianism, an ever more debased democracy, and all the consequences those things entail—more and more ugliness, more and more disorder, more and more racial degradation—a threat to the meaning of our existence. We’re not threatened personally and physically, but the thing we identify with, the thing that gives meaning to our lives, is threatened. We identify with our race, with an idealization of our race—more than that, with the process of which our race is the principal agent, the process of higher organization, the process which is the active principle of God.”[372]Ibid., p. 196.
(Andrew Macdonald (William Pierce), Hunter (Hillsboro, WV: National Vanguard Books, 1989).)

  • On the League’s goal of promoting racial consciousness among whites:

Consciousness is knowledge plus awareness plus motivation….To become racially conscious one must elevate one’s racial knowledge to such a degree that it actually governs one’s thoughts and behavior; one must have a constant awareness of it; one must feel it. One can gain knowledge from reading books or listening to sermons, but achieving and maintaining consciousness generally involves changing the way one lives.[373]Ibid., pp. 194-195.
(Andrew Macdonald (William Pierce), Hunter (Hillsboro, WV: National Vanguard Books, 1989).)

 

The climax of the book involves a showdown between Oscar and Ryan. Ryan wants Oscar to “pop”—that is to say, kill—Saul. He tells Oscar that Saul’s television programs are stirring people up and he worries that there could be a tax revolt, and that this would get in the way of what he, Ryan, is trying to do. Oscar balks at the idea of killing Saul, his fellow League member, and that leads to a debate between Oscar and Ryan on the best means for accomplishing the ends they both want to achieve.

Ryan explains his thinking: what we need most of all now, and for the next couple of decades at least, is order and stability. It isn’t the time for disruption and revolt; whites aren’t ready for it. “The White people are too far gone,” he explains to Oscar. “They don’t understand discipline, sacrifice, pulling together for a common goal. They’re too weak, too timid, too spoiled, too selfish, too undisciplined.”[374]Ibid., p. 248.
(Andrew Macdonald (William Pierce), Hunter (Hillsboro, WV: National Vanguard Books, 1989).)
Ryan wants to work within the current system to accomplish his purposes, within its democratic processes, and to ally with others, including Jews. He sees himself as realistically aligning with the forces of history instead of ignoring them or idealistically trying to combat them as he perceives Oscar and the League to be doing:

If you [Oscar] had made a serious study of history like I have you might have recognized certain general facts of historical development. History has inertia. Any historical development such as the one we’ve been going through in this country as it has changed in this century from an essentially homogeneous, White, Christian nation quite conscious of its European heritage to a heterogeneous, multi-racial, polyglot, heterodox rabble ruled by Jews and crooked lawyer-politicians in league with the Jews, has an enormous inertia. It moves tectonically, like a crustal plate in the earth. It has built up its motion over a long period of time. That motion is driven by historical forces. There is simply no turning such a development around. The most one can hope to do is understand its dynamics and learn how best to adapt to it. That’s what I intend to do. You, on the other hand, want to ignore the laws of history and charge head-on into all the forces that are carrying America in the direction she’s going. In particular, you want to tackle the Jews head-on. You can’t win that way.[375]Ibid., pp. 246-247.
(Andrew Macdonald (William Pierce), Hunter (Hillsboro, WV: National Vanguard Books, 1989).)

Oscar counters Ryan’s argument with what amounts to the program of Harry Keller and the National League, which is to raise the racial consciousness of whites, and then, in an as yet unspecified way, “send the Jews to hell.” In Oscar’s eyes, the argument comes down to whether it is better to promote stasis as Ryan wants or flux as he and the League favor.

No doubt there is much truth in what you say. No doubt we would be facing a desperate and risky struggle. But we must chance it, Ryan. We must interrupt the current trends. We must at least give our people a chance to save themselves and make a fresh start. We can’t permit ourselves to be locked into a new stasis, with the Jews continuing to control the media. That would be inevitably lethal. Order and stability are good things, when the situation is progressive, when a people is imbued with a constructive spirit and is building a better future for its progeny. But when the situation is regressive, then order and stability become the enemies of life, the enemies of true progress.[376]Ibid., p. 248.
(Andrew Macdonald (William Pierce), Hunter (Hillsboro, WV: National Vanguard Books, 1989).)

To punch up his point, Oscar sends a spray of tear gas into Ryan’s face by squeezing on the pocket clip of a pen he had been toying with as the two men have been talking. He then closes off the debate—and, for all practical purposes, the book—by firing two quick rounds from a pistol into Ryan’s midsection and then one more to the back of Ryan’s head.

 

I came to the conclusion that Harry Keller was Pierce and that—it seemed obvious—the National League was the National Alliance. I chuckled to myself about Pierce’s choice of the National League, the name of one of the major leagues in professional baseball, as the name for the fictional counterpart to his own organization, because I know how much he disdains mass, commercialized spectator sports. He thinks people ought to engage in physical activity themselves and not watch others play games. He also thinks that the spectator sports are a way the system distracts people from the important things they ought to be attending to and doing. Lastly, as with practically everything in his life he assesses sports in light of race—namely, the fact that blacks are very prominent in the major spectator sports of baseball, football, and basketball. He thinks that makes those enterprises about them and not us, and wonders why so many whites get caught up in them. I remember one weekend day—I don’t recall whether it was a Saturday or a Sunday—I went to watch the evening news with Pierce on the second floor of the headquarters building. But he wasn’t there and the set was dark. I went looking for him and found him sitting kind of shrunken at his desk in his office, looking as despondent as I have ever seen him. I said I had just come from the television area and had expected to see him there. He muttered dejectedly, “They pre-empted the news for the ballgames, goddammit.”

Back to Hunter, reading the book I decided that Oscar Yeager represents the kind of recruit that Pierce would like to attract to his organization, the National Alliance—bright, action-oriented, receptive to what he, Pierce, could teach him. As for the ending of the book, where Oscar dispatches Ryan, I saw that as the triumph of Pierce’s and the Alliance’s way of doing business over a more conservative approach. And then there was a lot of cathartic fantasizing and speechifying that Pierce was doing in the book. Put all that together and that was what the book was about, I thought. My conversation with Pierce about Hunter, which is coming up next, prompted me to rethink my conclusions.

19 • Pierce on Hunter • 2,900 Words

“When I wrote what became The Turner Diaries,” Pierce told me, “in my mind I wasn’t writing a book. It was a series of installments of a story for the tabloid I was publishing at the time, Attack!. It was just an experiment. I thought, let’s see how this goes. When I started out, I didn’t have a detailed theory about the impact of fiction or the plot of what I was writing planned out. I just thought I’ll put some messages in fictional form and see if that would make it more accessible to some types of people, and off I went, one episode per issue of the magazine. I never imagined that it would become a book. Frankly, if I had realized that it was going to be a book I would have been a lot more careful in my writing

“When The Turner Diaries began to make an impact, I did start to think more about this phenomenon, however, and I came to the conclusion that fiction really can be a powerful medium for getting ideas across. I thought about how other people, including those who see things in the opposite way from how I see them, have used this medium so effectively. I formulated an explanation, which I am sure isn’t original, as to why fiction if it is done right has such a powerful impact on people. Simply, the reader—or television watcher or movie viewer or playgoer—comes to identify with the protagonist. And once that happens, you’ve got this person where you want him. He vicariously experiences the action and comes to care about the protagonist. The protagonist gets into a jam and the reader feels what that is like for him and worries about him: ‘My God, this is rough, how will he get out of this?’ The protagonist falls in love or gets excited or mad or anticipates or fears something, and the reader does too. The reader develops a kind of rooting interest in how things turn out for the protagonist. And not only that, but if something is well-written the reader starts to think as the protagonist does and—the most powerful thing of all—if the protagonist learns something or comes to believe in something, if he changes his ideas, the reader tends to do the same thing, he changes too. So what you have is a powerful teaching tool, a persuasive tool.

“So what you do—and this is what I did with Hunter—is have your protagonist, Oscar Yeager in this case, start out with what you imagine to be the common mindset of the readers who are likely to pick up the book. The protagonist enunciates this mindset in his conversations with other characters and approaches things, solves problems and so on, that way. And then—wham!—something comes into his life that shakes that way of coming at things. Through his experiences, the protagonist changes his ideas, and the reader, who has gone through things with the protagonist, changes his ideas, or learns, too. You’ve got to make it convincing, of course. Maybe you have the protagonist resist changing—’I was never taught this’ ‘This can’t be’—but eventually reality or logic, whatever, forces him to change the way he sees things and acts, and the reader changes in the same way.

“From the beginning with Hunter, I had this idea in mind of how fiction can work as a teaching tool, and I saw it as a book from the beginning. I wrote the first chapter in 1984, and then for a long time I didn’t have time to work on it. I finished the whole thing up in one year, 1989. I do think I was a much better writer of fiction with this book compared to The Turner Diaries. I see it as ironic that The Turner Diaries has had such a big impact and, at least so far, Hunter hasn’t. But I think that is not related to the quality of the two books. It has been due to circumstances beyond my control. If somebody imitates Oscar Yeager and it is found out that that is what he did, then maybe Hunter would take off like a skyrocket.”

“There has been the claim that Yeager was based on an actual person named Joseph Paul Franklin. Is that true?” (Franklin killed interracial couples in the 1970s and is in prison in Missouri.)

“No, it wasn’t based on Franklin,” Pierce answered curtly. “But to go on, the idea was to have Yeager and the reader go through things together, and to change in the same way. I put myself in Yeager’s position and tried to have Yeager develop in the same way I did, have his ideas change as mine did. I had Yeager start off with reasonably conventional views and then become radicalized: by his experiences in the Vietnam war, his study afterward in graduate school, his relationship with Harry Keller, and, the biggest influence of all, the effect William Ryan had on him.”

“It’s interesting to hear you say you put yourself in Yeager’s position. When I read the book I thought you would see yourself as Harry Keller of the National League, which I took to be the National Alliance, and that from your—Keller’s—perspective Yeager was the kind of raw material you would like to attract to your organization—bright, tough, action-oriented, ruthless—and the kind of person you could educate and mold.”

“I especially identified with Yeager because he is the kind of person I would like to be. But actually I put myself in the place of every character in the book when I am dealing with him. I asked myself what I would say and how I would respond to something that was happening to him. Like in the case of the exchanges between Yeager and Ryan, I would switch personas from one to the other as they debated.”

“At the end of the book, where Yeager kills Ryan, you wrote about Yeager choosing flux over stasis—and that Ryan represented stasis. Is that a fundamental message you are trying to get across, that flux is preferable to stasis?”

“Yes. Ryan, was a conservative—a very strong and free-thinking, independent sort of conservative, but a conservative nevertheless. He wasn’t fundamentally a racist. And he was basically pro-government. Ryan was in favor of first getting control of the system and then short-circuiting some of its most destructive tendencies. Yeager on the other hand saw the system as so corrupt that it just had to be done away with and completely rebuilt from the ground up.”

“It seemed to me you left things hanging a bit at the end of the book.” (On the last page, Oscar starts thinking it is about time to go back to “hunting.”)

“I thought, hey, I’ll see how this one does and then maybe I’ll write a sequel. But really there is a conclusion to the book: the dialogue between Yeager and Ryan, and then Yeager kills Ryan and liberates himself to do as he pleases.”

Hunter is not a book that the bookstores are going to carry, but notice you can get it through Amazon.”

“And we have a few other people distributing it for us. Probably the biggest seller is Delta Press down in Arkansas. They primarily cater to the military market—vets and people interested in the military culture, and they sell a line of military manuals that were originally produced by the government printing office for training military personnel on how to use various weapons, how to make booby-traps, how to conduct a reconnaissance patrol, how to build a fortified structure, how to build a latrine, and so on. They sell both The Turner Diaries and Hunter.”

“Do you have any plans to write more fiction?”

“I really would like to do more of that. It’s hard work, but it is creative, fun, and very rewarding. At the end of the day, I can look and say, ‘It’s finished and it’s good.’ But I just don’t have the time to do it now. I’ve got a radio script to get out every week, and I want to stay with the radio program because it gives me a voice. I get to talk to the world every week about something I think is important. I would like to have somebody who could take over at least part of the radio load whom I could count on to do a top-quality job, and get somebody to help out with the administrative work around here. Then I could slide out from under the workload and do other things like write fiction.

“Although if I had the time to write a book it wouldn’t be fiction right now. There are a couple of serious non-fiction books that need to be written while I still can write them. Then I can sort of retire and write fiction. One book I’d like to write is one that deals with what is in the Cosmotheist Community pamphlets that I put together, except in plain prose and with lots of examples. It would provide a rationale for this whole thing. It would tell people where it is all going, what it all means, and why they should do what I think they should.”

During another conversation, Pierce told me about a book that he wanted to write which probably is this same book he talked about during our discussion of Hunter. On that occasion, he said that he wanted to write a book that would spell out the way he looks at things. It would try to tie everything together philosophically. It would go very slowly and spell everything out, he said. It would deal with fundamental values and purposes. The book he had in mind would get into the considerations a person should keep in mind when setting life goals. It would be about how to find purpose and meaning in life. It would be about natural ethics, absolute ethics—those were the terms he used—and their implications, where they lead. It would lay out why he is concerned about saving his race and why he thought others should be as well. He has written about fifty pages toward this book, but that he wasn’t working on it at the moment.

“Another book I’d like to write,” Pierce continued, “about fifteen years ago I wrote installments over about a three-year period called Who We Are. I did a lot of research for it. It was a race history that starts with the origins of life and deals with paleoanthropology—before the dawn of recorded history. It looks at the Greeks, Romans, Germanic people, the Celts, and on down, all from a racial standpoint. I think those writings that I did back then could be shaped into a very good book, because unfortunately most people don’t get race history in school. When I was in school, while I didn’t get it explicitly, there was enough of a healthy, traditional curriculum that I came away with a feeling for some of these things. When I was at Rice in the early 1950s I took a course called Foundations of Western Civilization. I don’t think the instructor was especially inspired, although I must say I had a big crush on her. Her name was Katherine Fisher. She married someone named Drew later on, and went on to great things, including a high position in the American Historical Association. Actually, the material was good in that course and I got interested, but unfortunately I was immature and had a lot of other things to do. But that experience left me with enough of a feeling that these are my people I’m studying. This is how my people developed. I did a lot of reading and thinking later on my own. Needless to say, now the people who have gotten control of the universities cringe at the thought of white kids paying more attention to the development of European civilization than the different styles of mud huts in equatorial Africa.

“If I were to write a race history like this, I’d have to reformat it and do a lot of studying and make a lot of corrections. Some of our people who know anthropology and history have pointed out places where I made mistakes or was incomplete. I’d have to hole up and put my mind to this. I think it would provide people with a useful and convincing source, something they are kept from getting now.

“I would be perfectly happy if a big New York publishing house would publish this book if I wrote it, so I could spend all of my time trying to do the best job of writing I could. But I have had to build an organization and publishing vehicle so that if publishers and bookstore chains block my books—as has been the case with the exception of Lyle Stuart picking up The Turner Diaries for a brief time—I can make them available anyway. I’m very much a loner and would have preferred not to get into all this organizational and administrative business, but I have had to reach people with what I have to say and give them the chance to have access to ideas and material they would not otherwise be allowed to experience.”

 

After my talk with Pierce about Hunter, I rethought the way I had perceived the characters in the book. I was taken by Pierce saying that he had identified with Yeager and all the other characters. Or at least all the other male characters—I don’t get the sense that he identified with Adelaide or Colleen. So for Pierce it wasn’t a matter of Harry Keller being me and every other (male) character being them. More, it was every character was me, every character was Pierce himself—either as he is or as he would like to be or could be. Yeager was the Air Force pilot Pierce would have liked to have been if he could have met the requirements. All that reading about race and history Oscar did in Colorado—Pierce had done that, or at least he started it in Colorado and continued it in California and Oregon. Oscar’s reflections on the impact of the Vietnam era on young people in particular—the drugs, the disrespect for legitimate authority, the lessening consciousness of their race, and all—Pierce had done that too. Of course what was different was that Oscar was a man of action and extremely violent. You couldn’t call Pierce a man of action in that sense, but as he said in our talk about the book, Oscar was the kind of individual that he would like to be. And while presumably Pierce hasn’t been violent as Oscar was, undoubtedly he has at least thought about being violent. And then there was that talk I had with him about his move to West Virginia when he said he had done things in Washington that could have gotten him locked up for life.

Keller, of course, is Pierce as he is. And Saul is Pierce as he would like to be—remember this was written in the late 1980s, before the radio show—a communicator of the message to a mass audience through the media. I thought about the character’s name, Saul—an unusual name for a character in a book by Pierce. It might be a reference to the biblical Paul—in discussions with me, Pierce referred to him as “Saul of Tarsus” in order to underscore his Jewishness and the Jewish underpinnings of Christianity. Perhaps Pierce sees himself as the Paul of George Bernard Shaw’s ideas and National Socialism, the spreader of the word.

As for Ryan, here is the insider, the person with his hands on the reins of power, who Pierce might have been instead of the peripheral figure he is. Ryan is the part of Pierce that wishes he were on the inside instead of always being on the outside looking in. Ryan is the part of Pierce that longs for contact with the best and the brightest of the mainstream society, where he once functioned. Ryan is the conservative impulse in Pierce which has been obscured by the radical, confrontational side of him that has been dominant since the OregonState years, over thirty-five years now. Ryan is the realistic, and somewhat pessimistic, part of Pierce, the part of Pierce that knows that the foundations for drastic, revolutionary change are not in place now and won’t be anytime soon. When Oscar killed Ryan, Pierce was killing that part of himself that Ryan represents—those beliefs, those longings, those misgivings. Ryan’s death affirms what Pierce has done with his life these last three decades, and it takes away some of the weight of regret and some of the ambivalence that he doesn’t want to carry. Ryan’s death clears the way for getting to work writing the next hard-hitting radio broadcast and setting up the next National Alliance meeting instead of thinking about how it might have all been different.

20 • William Gayley Simpson • 6,600 Words

“Someone else you might want to include in this project,” Pierce called out to me as I was leaving his office at the end of one of our evening talks, “is William Gayley Simpson. Do you know about him?”

Simpson’s name did call up some associations for me. I knew he had written a book called Which Way Western Man? and that Pierce had published it under his own imprint, National Vanguard Books.[377]William Gayley Simpson, Which Way Western Man? (Washington, D.C.: National Vanguard Books, 1978). I had taken notice of the Simpson book because it was one of only four books Pierce has chosen to sponsor in this way—the others being his own two novels, The Turner Diaries and Hunter, and another novel, Serpent’s Walk, by Randolph Calverhill, which works off the premise that survivors of Hitler’s elite SS corps continued their struggle after the war.[378]Randolph Calverhill, Serpent’s Walk (Hillsboro, WV: National Vanguard Books, 1991. That Pierce has stood behind the Simpson book as he has was enough to prompt me to make a mental note to read it and see what had drawn Pierce to publish it. And then my interest in the book was heightened by something that came up in my investigations into the Bob Mathews story. Mathews was really taken with Which Way Western Man?. Shortly after joining the National Alliance, Mathews is reported to have spent night after night poring over the book and marking sections with a red pen.[379]Kevin Flynn and Gary Gerhardt, The Silent Brotherhood (New York: Signet, 1990), pp. 105-106. So Which Way Western Man? was on my to-do list. But at the point that Pierce brought Simpson into our discussions, I hadn’t seen the book and didn’t know anything about Simpson.

“Simpson was born in 1892, the same year as my father,” Pierce continued, “so he was a generation ahead of me. In the ’30s he was interacting with the public in a big way, speaking at a lot of universities, mostly about peace issues, how we must never get into another world war and that sort of thing, and at one time he taught Latin, mathematics, and history at a boarding school around where he lived up in New York state. Somehow he had gotten hold of something I had written—this must have been around 1975—and he wrote me about it. At that time he was already eighty-three years old.

“Anyway, we started corresponding—about fundamental things; it wasn’t superficial at all. I found Simpson to be a deep, sensitive, and serious man. [That last one, being serious, is especially important to Pierce. He draws a basic distinction between serious people and “hobbyists,” as he calls them.] So I made a resolution to go see him. He invited me and I went up to visit him up at his farm. He had built a farmhouse with his own hands—a really nice house—and he had a shop and outbuildings. He did some planting, but mostly he just lived there and thought and wrote and stayed in contact with people from all over the world. I stayed with him that first time a couple of days, and then I visited him a couple more times after that.

“During this period, Simpson sent me an autobiographical book he had published back in 1934. I read it and was very impressed. He told me about a book he was finishing up that he thought would be very significant, which turned out to be Which Way Western Man?. I read a copy from its first printing that he had managed to get done up in New York and was very impressed. We [National Vanguard Books] sold most of that printing for him, and then we did two more printings ourselves, about seven thousand copies, and sold out on that. The book’s been out of print for around five or six years now. I promised Simpson before he died, which was in 1990 I think—he didn’t quite make it to one hundred as I remember—that I’d reprint the book again after we sold all of the second edition. But he gave me a whole list of changes he wanted in the next edition, and that made it a really big job, and I just haven’t had the resources to get it done.

“I’m sorry I didn’t get to know Simpson better before he died. I found him to be a very interesting fellow, and I admired him as someone who was truly selfless. He was a true servant of the Life Force. He didn’t put his own welfare, bank account, carnal pleasure, or anything else ahead of what he thought was the right thing to do. Here, let me get you a copy of Which Way Western Man?.

Pierce stood up from his desk, turned to his left, took a couple of steps, and turned left through the open door into his library. I followed. It was dark in there—I could barely make out the titles of the books. It was a good-sized room; I’d estimate it to be about twenty-by-twenty-five feet. It reminded me of the stacks in a university library, the same kind of metal shelves and arrangement. The walls were covered with books, and two rows of shelves tightly packed from floor to ceiling with books spanned the room’s interior. Pierce had labels taped onto the shelves categorizing his collection, so he knew right where to find the Simpson book. He went directly to the wall opposite the door, and after a brief search he found what he was looking for. I stood behind him and took in this tall grey-haired man standing in this gloomy library as he silently peered at titles and turned a few pages of the Simpson book once he found it.

Pierce turned back to me and said “This is it,” and handed over the bulky, dark-blue paperback. My hand gave way a bit from the weight of what I later learned was a 758-page volume.

I thanked Pierce for the book and told him that I would spend the rest of that evening and the next day reading it, and that if I could get it finished and my thoughts organized I would talk to him the next evening about what Simpson had written. Pierce said that was fine with him, and I bid him goodnight.

I spent the rest of the evening paging through Which Way Western Man?, stopping here and there to read a page or two or three to get myself oriented. It became quickly clear that this tome covered far more topics than I had the time to explore at this point. So I looked for a focus, some theme or emphasis in the book that would serve the book I was putting together about Pierce, something I could sound out Pierce about when we spoke again the next evening.

Within an hour, I found one that intrigued me. A central strand in Simpson’s book is his perspective on Christianity. It turns out that Christianity was at the core of Simpson’s being. He had studied for the ministry at the renowned Union Theological Seminary. Christian teachings guided his thoughts and actions until his mid- to late thirties, and the church’s place in Western culture provided a context for his reflections throughout his life. I had the angle I would bring to my engagement with the Simpson reading, which took up my time until well past midnight that night and all of the next day until my 7:00 p.m. meeting with Pierce.

 

In Which Way Western Man? Simpson tells the reader that in his twenties he read of the life of Francis of Assisi and found it an inspiration and personal challenge. In Simpson’s eyes, St. Francis exemplified what Jesus meant for his most dedicated followers to do in the world. At twenty-eight years of age, during a month alone on an island in the St. Lawrence River, Simpson made the decision to incorporate this ideal into his own life:

In 1920, after five years of relentless questing for the place in our world where I might make my life count for the most, I committed myself without any reserve and without compromise to a course of action dictated to me by the farthest reaches of my religious insight and devotion, my highest idealism, and my most thoroughly thought-out convictions. With whole-souled abandon, I gave myself over to an effort to put the teaching of Jesus into practice. I took him at his word—with absolute literalness—in the same sense that Francis of Assisi did.[380]Simpson, p. ix.

Simpson lived a Franciscan life for nine years. Focusing his efforts in large cities, he made his way across the American continent trying to better the circumstance of people who were having a tough go of it in life. He toiled as a common laborer, giving his work as a gift and living on whatever others chose to give him in return. It proved to be an experience that was not only a test of what Simpson was made of as a person but also of the very foundations that had heretofore directed his life: liberalism, idealism, and Christianity.

Simpson ended this phase of his life when he reached the conclusion that the way he had been conducting himself for nearly a decade was neither the best way for him to serve others nor consistent with his own personal make-up. As laudable as it seemed on the face of it, he finally decided, what he had been doing hadn’t gotten at the heart of what was wrong with mankind. It hadn’t because it isn’t so much the conditions of human beings that need improvement but rather their caliber, and the way he had gone about things hadn’t gotten at that. As for himself, looking back on it, Simpson saw that he had tried to become equal to the lowest and the least of individuals, and that just wasn’t him, that wasn’t his road in life, it wasn’t his way forward. It was now clear to him that what he really wanted to do was reassert the life of the mind that called out to him and to reconnect with the aristocratic instinct and taste that he felt strongly to be natural to him. Plus, he was simply tired of the urban life he had been living: “I came to be filled with a growing sense of the madness of cities, and indeed our whole civilization, and had a deepening hunger for mountains and the sea, and a desire to live close to the earth and to grow my own food.”[381]Ibid., p. 3.
(Simpson, p. ix.)

In 1932, Simpson left his wife and child, who had accompanied him on his Franciscan venture. A friend helped him make a down payment on a farm in the Catskill Mountains of New York state, where he spent the rest of his long life. His primary vocation from that point forward was to study mankind—its nature, its limitations, its possibilities. From then on, instead of being preoccupied with here-and-now destitution and despair as he had been, he would be guided by a positive vision of the future that he would create: “It was to the future I wished to address myself [in order to] prepare for the new dawn which I believed must at last succeed the storm of the night.”[382]Ibid., p. 7.
(Simpson, p. ix.)
Simpson gave over the rest of his life to attempting to point the way to a finer human existence with particular reference to those he increasingly came to see as his people, those of European background. For them especially, he sought to describe a life of health, robustness, beauty, nobility, and meaning far beyond what they were currently seeking and attaining and far more in keeping with what he considered to be their true nature and possibilities. Simpson began writing a series of papers that spelled out his thoughts and sending them to friends. These papers became the basis for Which Way Western Man?. I will focus on Simpson’s religious views, which were a central part of that writing.

 

In Which Way Western Man? Simpson analyzes the religious ideals that were the foundation of his thinking and conduct in his younger years and offers what he considers to be a more life-affirming and life-enhancing perspective to use as a grounding for one’s life. Simpson points out that “would you be a good Christian, then do good for others”—with special emphasis on caring for and giving to the underprivileged, the oppressed, the unfortunate, the sick, the sorrowful, the suffering—has always been a central message in Christianity. This Christian ideal of service to others in need, says Simpson, originally grew out of the conception of Jesus as the Good Shepherd. In more recent times, this ideal has often carried with it a social gospel connotation: reform the world has been the call, the charge, heard by many of the faithful. It was this service/reform message of Christianity that came through so powerfully to Simpson during his younger years. It gave his life meaning and direction, and it enabled him to feel righteous and in the light, a member of the spiritual vanguard.

The commitment and diligence he demonstrated in his Franciscan period was indeed praiseworthy, Simpson believes now, and as he thinks back on it he did ease the pain of many people. Nevertheless, Simpson is convinced that he was misguided during this phase of his life. He was misguided because his Christian orientation had focused him on issues of human equality and had distracted him from what his experience over those nine years had taught him was the most fundamental issue confronting mankind: human quality. His Franciscan perspective, he eventually concluded, had worked against the only kind of life he ultimately considered worth seeking for himself and for others—and that is a life of quality. Human beings, Simpson decided, are in fact not equal. And moreover, qualitatively they are not as good as they once were, and the prime reason is that the better elements of mankind are being outbred by the worst. We need to attend to that problem and do something about it, asserts Simpson in his book. Virtually every one of Simpson’s critiques of the church in Which Way Western Man? is grounded in this concern for the quality of human beings and individual and collective life and the related issue of, if you will, human breeding patterns.

In Which Way Western Man? Simpson defines an approach to life that he is certain is better than the ideal of Christian service he formerly followed. Instead of attempting to save someone or ameliorate some social condition, Simpson stresses letting one’s own life shine: that is to say, living honestly in accordance with one’s own highest vision of oneself. Conducting one’s life on this basis, contends Simpson, aligns with basic human nature. “No unspoiled and untamed life wants to ‘be good,'” Simpson argues. “It wants to be itself.”[383]Ibid., p. 24.
(Simpson, p. ix.)
The great drive in all unbroken life, writes Simpson, is to fulfill the demands in the innermost quick of its being. So determine to live as who you really are, advises Simpson. Make your outside match your inside. Obey your deepest impulses. Satisfy your most inalienable and unappeasable desires. Rather than follow Jesus, suggests Simpson, follow the god within you.

Christianity, asserts Simpson, cuts us off from others of our kind. Christianity’s stress on spiritual commonality and unity among its adherents, he argues, obscures a much-needed sense of biological and cultural connectedness and identification. While Christianity calls for deference to the idea of the brotherhood of all mankind, Simpson calls for a heightened awareness of what differentiates us, those of northern European heritage, from other peoples and the preservation of an “indissolvable bond” among us.[384]Ibid., p. 59.
(Simpson, p. ix.)
The existence of this bond is crucially important, Simpson holds, because it encourages feelings of indebtedness and obligation to our ancestors and a commitment to serve the future well-being of our culture and our race.

Those who attend to the well-being of the race will be drawn, Simpson believes, to see what he sees: that a people will not maintain or go beyond themselves if they don’t give serious attention to replenishing themselves with, as he puts it, “a steady stream of vigorous and gifted new life.”[385]Ibid.
(Simpson, p. ix.)
To be sure, the church is very interested in new life, since it wants as many in its flock as possible; but its basic concern, contends Simpson, is with the quantity and not the quality of that new life. Thus Simpson ends up talking about service to others of a kind, but it is service to the survival and qualitative advancement of one’s people, and in significant ways that is different from seeking to heal the sick or serve the poor.

Simpson argues that Christianity’s preoccupation with devotional practices and inner states of being has the effect of separating us from the physical side of existence—and that alienation, Simpson argues, contributes to our stagnation and deterioration both as individuals and as a people. By physical side of life, Simpson is referring to the earth itself and to such things as diet and sex and—here it is again—breeding. Simpson warns us against looking away from matters related to “man’s relationship to the earth from which he has been formed; the state of the soil that supports the plant and animal life which supplies his food; and man’s physical health and bodily beauty, and the vigorous will to beget children as indications of it.”[386]Ibid., p. 57.
(Simpson, p. ix.)
We are a physical organism, a part of nature, at a particular point in the evolutionary process, says Simpson. Church dogma and practice obscure those realities, and that does us a disservice.

Simpson makes the case in Which Way Western Man? that Christianity does not concern itself enough with strength, vitality, distinctions based on blood and breeding, and aristocratic excellence—those things that are supportive of the qualitative advancement of the race. To the contrary, claims Simpson, Christianity has had a sickening, a weakening, an emasculating effect on Western civilization, as it has enslaved us to ideals and ways that vitiate our vigor as a people. Christianity, offers Simpson, is characterized by “soft” values: unselfishness, charitableness, forgiveness, patience, humility, and pity. The church has focused too much, Simpson holds, on “the poor, the sick, the defeated, the lowly, and sinners and outcasts” and not enough on “the well-constituted, and healthy, and beautiful, and capable, and strong, and proud.”[387]Ibid., p. 25.
(Simpson, p. ix.)
Simpson believes that people will become what they most value and what they most attend to, and therefore, at least by Simpson’s standard, Christianity points us in precisely the wrong direction.

Christianity places too great an emphasis on one’s subordination to an external deity and the transference of responsibility and power to this higher authority, writes Simpson. In contrast to this focus, Simpson points out that prior to the dominance of Christianity, Europeans stretching back for three thousand years of their history believed most in the individuals who were noble and excellent. They expected people to stand on their own two feet and make something of themselves, and looked for leadership from those who proved themselves to be truly superior. Christianity’s sentimentality and otherworldliness has

taken away man’s belief in his innermost self, which is his belief in Life. It has taken away his struggle, without which there is no growth, no fulfillment. It has not told man to get his roots deep down in the soil, to food and drink, and to force his tender shoots up to the sky, to sun and air. On the contrary, it has told man that all this costly and painful labor has been done for him by another, and to accept this fact and rest in it, and eventually he will be transplanted to another garden [heaven] and be miraculously transformed into a full-grown and perfect flower.[388]Ibid., p. 20.
(Simpson, p. ix.)

There simply isn’t any other garden, says Simpson, and to live as if there were will result in this garden on earth, our garden, the only one there is, remaining—or becoming—barren.

Simpson looks upon Christianity as a Semitic religion and foreign to the European spirit. While some assert that Christ was a Gentile, be that as it may, by religion he was a Jew. And in any case, Christ’s teachings have been filtered through Saul of Tarsus—known as the Apostle Paul—to the extent that that Christianity is arguably Paul’s religion more than Jesus’, and certainly Paul was a Jew. Thomas Cahill has written a recent bestseller entitled The Gift of the Jews: How a Desert Tribe of Nomads Changed the Way Everyone Thinks and Feels.[389]13. Thomas Cahill, The Gifts of the Jews: How a Tribe of Desert Nomads Changed the Way Everyone Thinks and Feels (New York: Doubleday, 1998). While Simpson would agree with Cahill that Jewish religious influences on the Western world have indeed been strong, he surely wouldn’t use the word gift to describe them. In the long run, contends Simpson, no people can flourish, or even long maintain themselves, unless they live with and by a religion that accords with their own nature and ways: “A people’s religion should come out of their own blood. It should be their own innermost soul made manifest, the elevation before their eyes of their own hopes and dreams, and of the lessons they have learned through their own immemorial experience.”[390]Simpson, p. 61. With that criterion as its measure, Christianity is indeed not a gift to the Western world.

Those of European heritage need a religion of their own, Simpson argues, one that is consonant with what is best in their past and the exigencies of their present. He calls for a religion “really our own,” one that will “burst forth a new comprehension of life, a new vision, a new faith, a new discipline for every side of our life, personal and social, for man and woman and child, from top to bottom, for the lowest to the highest.”[391]Ibid., p. 65.
(Simpson, p. 61.)
He envisions a bible that

holds up our own ideals and traditions, the record of our supreme achievements and triumphs, the story of our saints and heroes, the admonitions of our great wise men and guides, the vision of our own hopes and dreams and purposes pushed deep into a distant future. It will be the Book of Life not of the poor and the weak or the meek, a book of the strong and the masterful, who by their mastery over themselves will shape their life into something more beautiful in soul and in body….It will be their book of gratitude to Life, their book of rejoicing, their cradle-song and their battle song, the mirror of their soul soaring over vast abysses and the eagle eye studying far horizons. It will be the supremely yea-saying book of a people resolved at all costs to live on the heights, to be itself; and that will rather perish than give way to any other, to serve his will.[392]Ibid.
(Simpson, p. 61.)

Why, Simpson asks, cannot Aristotle be our Moses, Homer or some of the Icelandic sagas our Exodus and Judges? Why cannot Dante or Goethe take the place of Job? Why cannot Blake supplant the Revelation of St. John and Shakespeare replace Ecclesiastes? And why cannot the Psalms be superseded by the record of some ones of us, in the past or now or yet to come, whose lives and teachings are most inspiring to our collective soul?[393]Ibid.
(Simpson, p. 61.)

 

When I met with Pierce the next evening I asked him for his reaction to the way Simpson treated Christianity in Which Way Western Man?.

“I was very favorably taken by what Simpson had to say,” Pierce replied. “By the time I read his book in the mid- to late-‘70s I had pretty well concluded that Christianity was one of the major spiritual illnesses of our people and that we really had to come to grips with that. We couldn’t pretend it was just a minor problem: we had to figure out how to deal with it. I thought Simpson’s conclusions on that subject carried a lot of weight. When he was so immersed in it, Simpson had more claim to being a true Christian than just about anybody else on the planet. He wasn’t someone who rejected Christianity at a very early stage as I had. And he was a very honest, demanding, and thoughtful person. Plus, he was a man of the world, being in contact with some of the intellectual leaders of his day. Therefore his conclusions were especially significant I thought.”

“You used the term ‘major spiritual illness’ to describe Christianity,” I interjected. “That’s pretty strong.”

“Yes, it is,” Pierce replied. “But as I see it, Christianity has a number of elements that are very destructive to our people. One of them is its egalitarianism. You know: ‘the meek shall inherit the earth,’ ‘the last shall be first, and the first shall be last,’ and so on. It’s this whole Sermon-on-the-Mount idea of leveling and putting people down and pulling down those who are on the top of the heap regardless of how they got there. It is a fundamental part of Christian doctrine, and I think it is destructive of any kind of ordered society. When you look at Christianity you have to get beyond the requirements and rituals—you shall be baptized, you shall observe the marriage sacrament, and so forth—and look at underlying things, like the egalitarian, bolshevik message in this religion, which is really dangerous and has helped move us to this democratic age.

“And there is the universalistic message in Christianity. That we are all alike, that fundamentally there is no difference among people, that the only thing that counts is whether you are in or out of Jesus’ flock. It’s the ‘we are all one in Christ Jesus’ idea—man and woman, white and black, Greek and Jew. We are all equal in the eyes of the Lord, that business. All of that is fundamentally opposed to the evolutionary view that I have and which I think is necessary to progress. The truth of the matter is that we aren’t all one, and we are different from one another, and some individuals and cultures are better than others. Anything that obscures that reality and its implications holds things back.

“Another idea inherent in Christianity is that what we do here on earth doesn’t really matter. This life is just a testing ground; the real action will go on someplace else, after our death—that line of thought. And there is the notion that we don’t have to really stay on the case because God has everything under control. He is watching us all the time and looking out for us, and He can push this button or that one and make anything happen He wants. We aren’t in control, and in any case we don’t need to be because it’s not really our responsibility, it’s God’s. I have talked to many Christians of good intelligence who accept this idea. To me, that comes down to an abdication of responsibility.

“And then there is all the superstition and craziness in Christianity. When they had their chance, the Christians burned free thinkers, stifled intellectual development for centuries, and led people off to those suicidal Crusades. So I see Christianity as more than a humorous aberration; it’s a really dangerous one. At the same time I say that I acknowledge that many if not most Christians are basically reasonable and decent people. It’s just that they haven’t thought things all the way through. They aren’t the problem—it’s the doctrine.”

“I assume you agree with Simpson that Christianity is an alien religion.”

“I do. The European spirit is much more expressed in the pagan tradition of northern Europe. In that tradition, there was much more of the idea that man is responsible for the world around him. He is responsible for his own actions. And he’s answerable to nobody but himself. To live up to the European concept of honor and responsibility is to me far more in accord with our nature than to try to follow Christianity. I realize it is a complex subject because for a thousand years Christianity has been modified by European feeling, tradition, and religious ideas. That is how Christianity succeeded in gaining such a grip on Europe, by adapting itself to the conditions there.”

I had looked into pagan religions a bit after learning that Bob Mathews saw himself as an Odinist. Odinism is a pagan religion which holds that truths are inherent in nature and revealed by it and not an overseeing God. Mathews was attracted to this pre-Christian religion as a reflection of Aryan spirit and will. Odin is the father deity of Norse mythology. He rules over a pantheon of gods and goddesses, including Thor, the god of thunder. He is depicted as a fearless fighter who carries a spear and inspires fearless human warriors called berserkers. Along with being a fierce warrior, Odin is also the wisest god, having given an eye to drink from the spring of wisdom.[394]Jakob Grimm, Germanic Mythology (Washington, D.C.: Scott-Townsend, 1997), pp. 15-18. Mathews was attracted to what he saw as a strong, and white, God, in contrast to the martyred and Jewish Jesus. He didn’t want to be associated with a religion—Christianity—known for meekness and gentleness.[395]See, Howard Bushart, John Craig, and Myra Barnes, Soldiers of God: White Supremacists and Their Holy War for America (New York: Pinnacle, 1999), p. 211. I mentioned to Pierce that I could understand how the image of a big, burly, bearded Viking-type wielding a spear or a battle-ax would have appeal to some people.

“Well, I can understand how the idea of a Viking with his battle-ax charging into a monastery and splitting some monk’s skull and grabbing a silver crucifix off the altar and melting it down to make bracelets would be appealing,” Pierce replied. “But, really, that is a very one-sided picture. Raiding was one activity of the Vikings among many, and of course the Vikings were only one part of European culture and civilization. Although I will say that I can relate to that Viking image much more than the whole idea of the Crucifix, which seems so alien as a symbol of a religion. A man hanging from a cross, crucified. That just seems weird to me. It is hard for me to have a good feeling about that. It just doesn’t seem European to me. It would take somebody with a really alien mindset to choose something like that as a symbol for a religion. It is an execution scene. It’s like if I were to start a new religion and chose as a symbol a man hanging from a gallows, or in an iron cage with crows pecking at his skeleton. One of the principal symbols of pagan religion is the tree of life, it’s called the World Tree, which represents their particular cosmology. Have you ever heard of it? [I hadn’t.] To me, the World Tree is a much more fitting symbol for a religion for our people.”

The World Tree, I later learned, is a symbol for the continual creation of new life on earth amid the forces and creatures that tear at its roots—roots that remain, through it all, ever green. The World Tree also represents nature as the source of nourishment and healing to mankind.[396]H. R. Ellis Davidson, Myths and Symbols in Pagan Europe: Early Scandinavian and Celtic Religions (Syracuse, NY: Syracuse Universty Press, 1988), pp. 70-71. I could understand why Pierce brought this image up, as it reflects his own frame of reference. In the World Tree symbol there is the focus on this earthly world and man’s embeddedness in nature and dependence on it. And then too, there is the theme of renewal and growth amid struggle and adversity. Very much a Pierce representation, I decided.

“Frankly,” Pierce continued, “I fail to see anything that is good or useful in Christianity. There are a lot of people who say, ‘Where would we be without Christianity. Without Christianity we’d all be raping and killing each other.’ Well, we are raping and killing each other as it is. The fact of the matter is that before the dominance of Christianity, Europeans kept that sort of thing pretty much under control through the ways communities were set up. They had rules that made sense in terms of their survival and way of life, and the rules were enforced, and more or less people respected the rules. There doesn’t have to be some kind of supernatural sanction to keep people in line.

“One of the things I quote often because I think it is significant comes from northern European non-Christian writings and it goes something like this: ‘Cattle die and kinsman die, and so too must one die oneself. But there is one thing I know that never dies, and that is the fame of a dead man’s deeds.’ [It is from the Hávamál, a group of disconnected, fragmentary poems composed by unknown Norse poets between 800 and 1100 A.D.[397]See, Henry Adams Bellows, translator, The Poetic Edda (New York: Biblo and Tannen, 1969), p. 44.] ‘Fame’ here doesn’t mean fame in the way we think of it today—notoriety, having people know who you are, being a celebrity. In this case, fame means your reputation, the impression you make on the world and your fellow men while you are alive. If you live in a way that warrants it, your people will remember you for generations as a person who did great things or was exceptionally wise or just or courageous, whatever it was. That is the only immortality that is real, and that is a kind of immortality that can matter to people and really affect how they live. You don’t need the promise of a life-after-death kind of immortality to get people to be good people.

“Something you might find useful is a translation of a booklet I published in my magazine written in the 1930s or early ‘40s called The Voice of Our Ancestors which gets at an aspect of the European spirit. Let me see if I can find it and you can look it over when you get the time.”

Pierce rummaged through a pile of assorted papers, letters, reports, and magazines and quickly pulled out the copy of National Vanguard magazine he was looking for. It always surprised me how fast he could locate what he wanted amid what seemed to be the disarray in his office.

“Here it is. Go ahead and take it with you.”

 

Later that night I read the Voice of Our Ancestors issue of the National Vanguard Pierce gave me.[398]Wulf Soerenson, “The Voices of Our Ancestors,” National Vanguard, no. 107, Oct.-Nov. 1986, pp. 18-27. It was written by a Wulf Soerensen—nobody I had ever heard of—and describes the thoughts of a man, I assume Soerensen himself, while gazing at miniature portraits of his ancestors from many generations back. He remarks to himself how little he knows about them and how little real connection he feels with them. He speculates that likely he is not an exception in that regard. “People today don’t even know the birth dates and death dates of their own parents,” he writes. “Of course they’re written down somewhere….Earlier—much earlier [he means before the predominance of Christianity in Europe]—things were different…That was a time when the living flow of blood from father to grandfather and great-grandfather and great-great-grandfather still had not been cut off. It had not yet sunk, as it has today, so deep beneath alien spiritual baggage that most of us can no longer hear its rustle…”[399]Ibid., p. 18.
(Wulf Soerenson, “The Voices of Our Ancestors,” National Vanguard, no. 107, Oct.-Nov. 1986, pp. 18-27.)

The man then refers to the time when “Rome” (the Christian church) “cracked its whip over our land” and “overwhelmed the manifestation of our true nature.” “Thus it happened that our people no longer could understand the voice of our ancestors, that we went astray for many centuries, becoming more and more alienated from our own ways….Only he who bears his own soul, living and burning in his breast, is an individual, is a master. And he who abandons his own kind is a slave.”[400]Ibid., p. 19.
(Wulf Soerenson, “The Voices of Our Ancestors,” National Vanguard, no. 107, Oct.-Nov. 1986, pp. 18-27.)

As I read this writer’s obvious anger and resentment, I was reminded of the similar expressions by Native Americans and those from the Third World about Christian missionaries I had heard and read. I was taken by the fact that this time it came from a European.

To such men [as his distant forebears], the commandments from Sinai were offered as guiding lights for their lives! Isn’t it understandable that they raised their swords in anger when the monks told them they were “born in sin”—these best of the Goths, whose very name means “the good ones”? Can’t one understand the unspeakable contempt with which these noble men regarded those who promised them a reward in heaven for abstaining from doing things which were beneath the dignity even of animals? To such men the commandments were brought: men who infinitely surpassed in human dignity and morality the monks who brought them. For countless generations they had been sky-high above the moral flatlands on which the commandments from Sinai operated. Thousands of years before the time of the “savior” the monks claimed to represent, our ancestors had sown the seeds of culture and civilization throughout the world on long, seminal voyages and wanderings.[401]Ibid.
(Wulf Soerenson, “The Voices of Our Ancestors,” National Vanguard, no. 107, Oct.-Nov. 1986, pp. 18-27.)

The writer imagines his pre-Christian ancestors as not knowing how to “beg” (pray):

They were too strong and proud—and too healthy—for supplication….They wanted nothing given to them; either they already had everything they wanted, or, if they lacked something, they got it for themselves. Their religion was a saying as brief as a wink and as clear and deep as a mountain steam: “Do right and fear no one.” As for the rest of it, it wasn’t really necessary to put into words, which suited a people who were naturally stingy with their words anyway. They carried that part of their religion inside them, and it served them like a compass needle which always steers a boat on its proper course. Wasn’t that a better religion than one which must be written down in a book, lest it be forgotten—and which one cannot properly understand until a priest comes and interprets what is written there? And even then an act of faith is required to believe that this intricate interpretation is correct.…It is something we are supposed to believe is true, but of which no one can be certain and which most of us silently renounce, because it is contrary to Nature and to reason. We want once again to be free of sin—from birth onward—like our ancestors were. We are tired of being humble and small and weak and all the other things demanded of us by a god who despises his own creations and looks on the world as a sink of corruption. We want to be proud again, and great and strong, and to do things for ourselves![402]Ibid., pp. 19-20.
(Wulf Soerenson, “The Voices of Our Ancestors,” National Vanguard, no. 107, Oct.-Nov. 1986, pp. 18-27.)

When I finished reading the National Vanguard issue containing the Soerensen writing, I tossed it onto a dresser and it fell open to the letters-to-the-editor page. One of the letters caught my eye, and I stood there and read it. The anonymous writer referring to Christianity expressed the desire to “throw the whole thing out and start over from scratch with the sun, the moon, Odin, Thor, and all the other wild and beautiful forces in the majestic world of Nature.”[403]Ibid., p. 2.
(Wulf Soerenson, “The Voices of Our Ancestors,” National Vanguard, no. 107, Oct.-Nov. 1986, pp. 18-27.)
As I thought about it, that got at the heart of the issue.

21 • World War II • 11,300 Words

I had decided that one section of the Pierce book would be presentations of topics or themes Pierce has been emphasizing in recent years. I would go through these areas one by one after I had established a context that would put them in perspective—after I had gone over Pierce’s personal history and basic view of things. I wrote down a list of topics that seemed to capture what Pierce has been focusing on in his radio broadcasts and writings: the Jewish control of the news and entertainment outlets, white racial identity and commitment, immigration and the “browning of America,” the globalization of the economy, the failures of white leadership and the limits of mass democracy, public school inadequacies, and how contemporary gender roles were off-base.

I decided the next step was to go through my list with Pierce to see if he saw the categories in the same way I did. When I had finished reading through what I had on the sheet of paper, Pierce quickly offered, “Don’t forget the historical theme. I have been very concerned about World War II and its impact on things since.”

Yes, of course. Not only should it have been on the list, it should have been first on the list. Pierce is engrossed in the World War II period. It is all grounded there for him. Undoubtedly that is due in large part to the connection he feels with Hitler and National Socialism. But the most powerful stimulus behind Pierce’s consuming interest in the World War II era, I believe, is his fervent conviction that this was a monumentally important turning point in the course of Western history. As he sees it, the direction cultural and political events of Europe and America have taken over the past half-century were set in motion by that war. Pierce thinks that if we—and by “we” he means white people—are to understand our time we are going to have to get beyond the official version of what World War II was about and take a hard look at what really happened back then, and he is encouraging people to do just that. He sees himself in a tough battle in getting them to do it, however, because he is convinced that there are powerful forces in our society that make any questioning of the prevailing interpretation of those years, and any suggestion of an alternative account a highly unwelcome and even condemned and punished, undertaking.

During the time I was in West Virginia, Pierce was savoring a book entitled The Wolf of the Kremlin by Stuart Kahan.[404]Stuart Kahan, The Wolf of the Kremlin (London: Hale, 1989). I assume Bob DeMarais steered him to the book. Bob takes on the role of recommending titles to Pierce. Pierce had mentioned The Wolf of the Kremlin to me several times, and it was readily apparent to me that he was having a great time with the book. It was about a right-hand man of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin by the name of Lazar Kaganovich. Kaganovich, Pierce told me, was the most powerful Jew in the Soviet Union from the late 1920s through the ’30s. In 1929 Stalin put him in charge of supervising the collectivization of Soviet agriculture. According to Pierce, Kaganovich came to be known as the “Butcher of the Ukraine.”

After I left the property, I read an article by Pierce, published in his Free Speech magazine, which deals with Kaganovich. Like everything in Free Speech, the Kaganovich piece was based on a transcript of one of Pierce’s radio programs. I also read three other of Pierce’s Free Speech articles that have to do with World War II. All of the articles, including the one on Kaganovich, begin with an account of an atrocity—the first three by the Soviets and the last by Moroccans who were fighting on the side of the Allies—and then go from there to an explication of Pierce’s conception of that period in history. After going through these writings, I have a better understanding of what Pierce was getting at in his references to Kaganovich during his conversations with me, as well as Pierce’s overall perspective on World War II. In these next pages, I will weave these four writings together to try to capture Pierce’s view of this time in history and its current significance.

 

Pierce’s Kaganovich article in Free Speech is called “The Genocide at Vinnitsa.”[405]William Pierce, “The Genocide at Vinnitsa,” Free Speech, vol. 4, no. 7, July 1998. pp.12-15. Vinnitsa is a city of one hundred thousand people in the Ukraine, which at that time, of course, was a part of the Soviet Union. According to Pierce’s account, Germany had invaded the Soviet Union with the aim of destroying communism. Note Pierce’s conception of the struggle—Germany was fighting communism. The German army had pushed far into the Soviet Union and had, in Pierce’s words, “liberated all of the Ukraine from the communists.” Pierce tells us that Ukrainian officials in Vinnitsa told the Germans when they arrived that five years earlier the NKVD (which Pierce describes as the Soviet secret police and a counterpart to our FBI) had executed a number of Ukrainian civilians—farmers and workers and a few civil servants and priests.

The Germans investigated these allegations and proceeded to dig up 9, 439 corpses in mass graves in a nearby park and orchard. The bodies of the men had their hands tied behind their back. All of the victims had been shot in the back of the neck with a .22-caliber pistol. Pierce tells us that this was a trademark method and weapon of the NKVD. While the men were clothed, many of the young women were unclothed. The Germans estimated that in addition to the over nine thousand bodies they were able to find, there were another three thousand buried in that vicinity that they didn’t find. The relatives of the dead said that the individuals who had been arrested in those years weren’t criminals in any conventional sense but rather were charged with being “enemies of the people” by the NKVD and imprisoned.

As I read Pierce’s account of the killings, I had questions about the method of killing. Would they shoot prisoners in the neck? Wouldn’t they shoot them in the skull? I asked Pierce about that. “The NKVD executioners,” he replied, “shot prisoners in the base of the skull, right at the top of the spine, so that the bullet would destroy the medulla oblongata, which is the most primitive part of the brain, controlling respiration and heartbeat. This caused certain and immediate death, whereas a shot higher into the head would damage the cerebrum, which controls higher functions, but might not kill the victim. Some writers describe the shot into the base of the skull as a ‘neck shot,’ but it was really a shot into the lower part of the skull, where the head is attached to the neck.”

Ukrainians, Pierce writes, possessed an independent and nationalistic spirit and wanted no part of the Soviet Union from the earliest days after the Bolsheviks came to power following the Russian revolution in 1917. The Ukraine was the stronghold of kulaks—independent farmers and small landowners. The kulaks didn’t take to collectivization of agriculture, and it was Kaganovich’s job to break their spirit or eliminate them. One tactic in this overall strategy was a state-induced famine. The NKVD and Red Army troops would go from farm to farm and confiscate crops and livestock. Pierce reports that the head of the NKVD during this period was a Jew by the name of Genrikh Yagoda. Pierce claims that there was a preponderance of Jews in the NKVD. Pierce puts the number of kulaks who died of starvation in 1934 and 1935 at seven million.

There was an NKVD prison in Vinnitsa, Pierce writes. Its normal capacity was two thousand inmates, but by 1937 and 1938 it was packed with eighteen thousand prisoners. Pierce describes a nightly activity at the prison:

Throughout much of 1938 a few dozen prisoners were taken from the prison each night and driven to a nearby motor pool area. There their hands were tied behind their backs and they were led, one at a time, a few hundred feet to a concrete slab in front of a garage. The slab was used for washing vehicles, and it had a drain at one side with an iron grating over it. Just as the prisoners reached the edge of the slab they were shot in the back of the neck, so that when they fell onto the concrete their blood would run into the drain. This was what the NKVD men jokingly call mokrii robota—”wet work”—and they had had plenty of experience at “wet work.” A truck parked next to the slab kept its engine racing so that the noise of the engine would cover the sound of the shots. While the next prisoner was being led up, a couple of NKVD men would throw the corpse of the previous prisoner into the truck. When the night’s quota of victims had been murdered the truck would drive off with its load of corpses to the fenced-in park or to the nearby orchard, where new graves already were waiting. And this “wet work” went on night after night, month after month.[406]Ibid., p. 14.
(William Pierce, “The Genocide at Vinnitsa,” Free Speech, vol. 4, no. 7, July 1998. pp.12-15.)

Pierce then goes into why he thinks what happened so long ago in the Ukraine generally and in Vinnitsa specifically matters to us in our time. For one thing, these Ukrainians who were murdered were our people, our kinfolk, part of our race. That is importance enough, but beyond that there is the fact that very few people know anything about these events, and the question becomes, why don’t they? We hear about what happened in Auschwitz all the time, Pierce notes, but we never hear about what happened in Vinnitsa. Our attention is drawn to the Holocaust constantly, but rarely if ever is it drawn to what happened in the Ukraine. Why is that?

Pierce answers his own question. It is because the people who control the flow of information in our society are Jews, and they disseminate what they care about and what serves their interests. To Jews, the Holocaust is important because Jews died there, and the genocide in the Ukraine is not important because Gentiles died there. It is to the Jews’ advantage to keep “rubbing our noses” in the Holocaust because it makes us feel guilty. They want us to feel that we owe them something for letting this terrible thing happen to them. They are innocent and everybody else is in the wrong in one way or another. That is the image they want to project. The Jews don’t want Vinnitsa to come up because they were the guilty ones there.

The Jews have been able to paint themselves as the only victims in the war, says Pierce. It isn’t going to help their cause to divide the attention and sympathy of the American public between Auschwitz and Vinnitsa or between those who died in the Holocaust and the millions who perished in the genocide in the Ukraine. It isn’t going to help them get billions of dollars every year for Israel from the United States, military strikes against Iraq, Israel’s number one antagonist in the Middle East, whenever they want them, or to expropriate money out of the Germans, the Swiss, and others for claimed wrongs done to Jews of past generations.

If the Ukrainians controlled the news and entertainment networks in America, says Pierce, you can bet that we would have all heard about what happened in Vinnitsa and what happened to the kulaks. But the Ukrainians aren’t in control of the media, that is the point. The Ukrainians don’t control television and they don’t dominate the publishing industry. They don’t own the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, Time, Newsweek, or US News and World Report. And the Ukrainians don’t control the motion picture industry. Steven Spielberg is not Ukrainian.

We have been getting a falsified version of this time in our history, insists Pierce. It is critically important, he says, that we come to realize this and that we learn the truth about what happened back then, because what occurred during the Second World War set the direction for what has happened since, including what is going on now in the Middle East. The fundamental reality is that our government allied with the Soviet government for the purpose of destroying Germany. The Soviet communists were presented to the American public as the good guys and the Germans as the bad guys. We never heard about things like what happened in the Ukraine, or in the Katyn Forest, another outrage committed by the Soviets, or any of the other atrocities against our people by the communists because that would have gotten in the way of the program of building up the Soviet communists as worthy allies and setting us up to support and participate in the destruction of Germany.

 

Pierce’s mention of the KatynForest in his list of atrocities is a reference of what has become known as the Katyn Forest Massacre. The KatynForest is in western Russia. Pierce’s version of what happened there sheds more light on his conception of the Second World War and its significance.[407]William Pierce, “The Katyn Massacre,” Free Speech, vol. 4, no. 5, May 1998, pp. 6-9.

In September of 1939 Poland was attacked from the west by Germany and from the east by the Soviet Union. Pierce’s view of it is that the Germans wanted the part of western Poland that had been taken away from them after the First World War, much of which had historically been German territory. As for the Soviets, it wasn’t clear from Pierce’s writing what he considered to be their motivation, so I e-mailed him asking him to clarify his thinking about that. He replied immediately:

Soviet communism was expansionist and imperialist. Furthermore, Russia had historic claims to eastern Poland going back for centuries. In fact, between the so-called Third Partition of Poland in 1795 and the First World War, Poland didn’t even exist as an independent state. Russian nationalists never really accepted the separation of Poland from Russia after World War I and were eager to “correct” this separation.[408]5. Personal correspondence, William Pierce to Robert Griffin, February 2, 1999.

Under strong Jewish pressure, says Pierce, Britain and France declared war against Germany, ostensibly because of Germany’s invasion of Poland. What Pierce wants noted is that Britain and France chose not to declare war on the Soviet Union, who had invaded Poland just as Germany had.

The Jews in those two countries, and in the United States, says Pierce, hated Germany and wanted to destroy her, and were highly enamored of the Soviet Union. Why? Because Hitler was freeing Germany from Jewish influence. The Jews had a virtual monopoly on certain professions in Germany and on the mass media and had been distorting German culture. Hitler’s government was weeding them out of the economic and academic life of the nation and out of the arts. By 1939, two-thirds of Germany’s Jews had emigrated. In the Soviet Union, in contrast, the Jews were “riding high” as commissars and party bosses. In the U.S. and western Europe at this time, the Jews held a “deathgrip” on the mass media and were very influential behind the scenes politically, and they did everything they could to promote a pro-Soviet and anti-German posture in these countries.

In Pierce’s version of the history of this time, Hitler very much wanted to avoid a war with Britain, France, and America, for whom he felt an affinity. However, he thought that his country had been treated unconscionably by the victors in World War I, and he was dedicated to doing something about it. Hitler also hated communism and looked upon the Soviet communists as a threat to all of Europe, and he recognized their hostility to everything he represented and was trying to achieve. In the spring of 1941, massive troop buildups in the Soviet Union, as well as other internal developments there, convinced him that the USSR was going to invade Germany from the east. This circumstance coupled with Hitler’s general hostility to the Bolshevik regime in the Soviet Union prompted him to make a pre-emptive strike. German troops smashed through Poland and continued on into the Ukraine and Russia. These events set the stage for the KatynForest episode.

According to Pierce’s version of what occurred, in 1943 when the Germans entered an area near Smolensk in western Russia they heard reports from Russian civilians that a large number of prisoners had been murdered in that vicinity by the Soviet NKVD three years before. The Germans were led to a series of mounds in a wooded area known as the KatynForest about ten miles west of the city. As they did in Vinnitsa, the Germans dug into the mounds and began discovering bodies. They then called in the International Red Cross and representatives of various neutral countries. Four thousand corpses were uncovered in mass graves, and based on the information they received, the Germans estimated that eleven thousand bodies were still missing. The dead turned out to be Polish. They tended to be influential Poles—military officers, cultural and business leaders, intellectuals, and artists. Fifteen thousand of them had been rounded up by the NKVD and shot in the back of the neck.

Was the Soviet Union condemned for that atrocity? Pierce asks rhetorically. No, they weren’t. They were the “good guys,” our ally against the “awful” Germans. Unlike Vinnitsa, the American media did treat the KatynForest story some, but the spin put on it was that the Germans themselves were the ones who had perpetrated the massacre. The media and our government certainly didn’t want the public to think that our friends the Soviets were butchering civilian populations. Better that our people thought that the Germans had perpetrated the terrible deed. That would support the official line that the war must go on to free the Poles from the wicked Germans, who must be made to pay for their actions. And the war did go on, at the cost of many millions of lives and the physical devastation of Europe, and indeed the Germans were punished, and the Poles and the entire rest of Eastern Europe were turned over to Soviet domination for almost half a century.

Pierce says that now historians accept that it was the Soviets who murdered fifteen thousand of Poland’s leaders, and that it took place between March and May of 1940, fourteen months before the German invasion of the Soviet Union. You can read about it in libraries. An example is the book Death in the Forest: The Story of the Katyn Forest Massacre by J.K. Zowodny.[409]Janusz Kazimierz Zawodny, Death in the Forest: The Story of the KatynForest Massacre (New York: Hippocrene Books, 1988). But don’t hold your breath waiting for any Hollywood movies about this atrocity, Pierce cautions.

 

And then there was what happened to German civilians at the hands of Soviet military units in East Prussia after the war. Pierce writes:

Often the men…were simply murdered on the spot. The women were, almost without exception, gang-raped. This was the fate of girls as young as eight years old and old women in their eighties, as well as women in the advanced stages of pregnancy. Women who resisted rape had their throats cut or were shot. Very often women were murdered after being gang-raped. Many women and girls were raped so often and so brutally that they died from this abuse alone.[410]William Pierce, “Sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff.” Free Speech, vol. 4, no. 3, March 1998, p. 2.

Pierce quotes a directive to Soviet troops from a Jewish Soviet commissar by the name of Ilya Ehrenburg:

Kill! Kill! In the German race there is nothing but evil; not one among the living, not one among the yet unborn but is evil! Stamp out the fascist beast once and for all in its lair! Use force and break the racial pride of these German women. Take them as your lawful booty. Kill! As you storm onward, kill, you gallant soldiers of the Red Army.[411]Ibid.
(William Pierce, “Sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff.” Free Speech, vol. 4, no. 3, March 1998, p. 2.)

By no means were all Soviet soldiers butchers and rapists, notes Pierce. For instance, there was a captain in the Red Army by the name of Alexander Solzhenitsyn, who was in Germany in 1945. Captain Solzhenitsyn wrote about a scene he witnessed in the town of Neidenberg:

Twenty-two Hoeringstrasse. It’s not been burned, just looted, rifled. A moaning by the walls, half muffled: the mother’s wounded, still alive. The little daughter’s on the mattress, dead. How many have been in on it? A platoon, a company perhaps? A girl’s been turned into a woman, a woman turned into a corpse….[412]Ibid.
(William Pierce, “Sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff.” Free Speech, vol. 4, no. 3, March 1998, p. 2.)

Pierce claims that the Jews don’t want us to know what happened to the Germans after World War II. Or, for that matter, during it—he gives as an example the fire-bombing by the Allies of the civilian German population in the city of Dresden.[413]William Pierce, “Democracy,” Free Speech, vol. 4, no. 7, July 1998, p. 1. The Jews don’t want us to see that the Germans were victims too. The Jews suffered and the Germans didn’t—that is what they want us to think. Similarly, the Jews don’t want us to think about the millions of others of our people who died at the hands of the communists in the Ukraine and in the Siberian gulags.[414]It is estimated that 2.7 million people perished in the Soviet penal system under Stalin. Source: Otto Pohl, The Stalinist Penal System: A Statistical History of Soviet Repression and Terror, 1930-1953 (Jefferson, NC: 1997), p. 131. See also: Robert Conquest’s books on the Soviet penal system. We are told that children in school have to learn about the Holocaust because it was the greatest crime against mankind in history. But the genocidal atrocities against our people matter too, Pierce writes. The truth of it is that many persons besides the Jews suffered enormously in that catastrophe known as World War II.

But for the lies we were told, says Pierce, we would have never allowed ourselves to become involved in the war in Europe, even with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. If the information we received had not been so controlled and so slanted, so biased, perhaps Eastern Europe wouldn’t have wound up in the hands of the Soviets to be plundered for so long. If we had known something other than the story we had been fed, perhaps communism would have been crushed in Europe decades before it was. And perhaps Korea and Vietnam wouldn’t have happened, and the one hundred thousand of our best men who perished in those conflicts would never have died. And perhaps we wouldn’t be pouring billions of dollars every year into propping up Israel and doing its bidding in the Middle East and alienating the Arab nations in the process. But we didn’t hear the truth then, just as we aren’t hearing the truth now.

White people ought to be concerned when any part of our history is suppressed from us, says Pierce. We ought to find out why it happened and how it happened. If we understand things like Vinnitsa and Katyn, it might help us ensure that this kind of thing doesn’t happen in the future. Understanding these obscure events that took place so long ago might contribute to a realization among us that we can’t trust the mass media, or the government in Washington that dances to the tune of the Jews.

Pierce says he knows that his message is not a welcome one to many Americans, but nevertheless he believes Americans need to hear it:

There were a lot of decent Americans who fought in the war in Europe, anti-Communist Americans, and many of them don’t want to think about the fact that they fought on the wrong side….I believe that knowing the truth…is far more important than protecting our carefully nurtured belief that we were on the side of righteousness. I believe that understanding how we were deceived in the past is necessary if we are to avoid being deceived in the future.[415]Pierce, “Sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff,” p. 4.

But while Americans need to hear this alternative perspective on the war, there are many, according to Pierce, who would keep them from hearing it. If he had written or said any of this in Canada or Britain it would have been labeled hate speech and he would have been shut up immediately. This could happen in this country, says Pierce, if those who don’t want what he says to be allowed expression have their way. Pierce acknowledges that those who want to make sure that people like him are silenced are articulate and highly persuasive in their arguments, and many well-intended people support them in their efforts. But see through what they are up to, implores Pierce, and don’t let them get away with it.

 

I mentioned to Bob DeMarais that World War II had come up in my conversations with Pierce. He reached over to a table next to his desk and picked up a book and handed it to me. “Have you read this?” he asked. “It is about some women who opposed America’s involvement in World War II. Why don’t you take it with you?”

I thanked Bob and went on my way.

The book Bob gave me was entitled Women of the Far Right by Glen Jeansonne.[416]Glen Jeansonne, Women of the Far Right: The Mothers’ Movement and World War II (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996). The book tells the story of an organized women’s movement in the 1930s and ‘40s that centered its efforts around opposing America’s involvement in World War II. Jeansonne provides sketches of the women who led this movement and the organizations they created. It quickly came home to me that this was no minor phenomenon I was reading about: at its peak, the confederation of woman’s groups that conducted this campaign against the Roosevelt administration and its supporters had a membership of six million members.[417]Ibid., p. 1.
(Glen Jeansonne, Women of the Far Right: The Mothers’ Movement and World War II (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996).)
I was staggered to read those numbers. I had always associated large-scale anti-war activity with Vietnam. My image of World War II, in contrast, was that of the Good War that everybody, or just about everybody, supported. What I was learning in the Jeansonne book cut some holes in that picture I was carrying around in my head.

Also, as I read along in the book I was increasingly taken by the fact that I had never heard of any of these women. After I left West Virginia I found out that I wasn’t alone. I mentioned some of these women’s names to several generally informed people, and they hadn’t heard of them either. It appears that even though these women were well known in their day they have been blotted out of mainstream history. They are not part of the story of this country that we have been told and that we share as a people. Reading the Jeansonne book raised the question for me of how that happened, and it got me thinking about what difference it makes now that for all practical purposes these women never existed.

Although the women depicted in the book saw themselves as champions of woman, they stood out in stark contrast to today’s feminists. One obvious difference is that their reactionary politics is on the opposite side of the political spectrum from the vast majority of modern feminists, who tend to be on the left in varying degrees. These earlier women were highly nationalistic and patriotic. They were ardently anti-Communist and pro-capitalist, and their political antipathies and allegiances were at the forefront of their personal and organizational agendas; that is to say, they were more than advocates for women. As they saw it, gender issues were embedded in larger socio-political concerns and needed to be confronted within this broader context. As well, their orientation was in the first instance maternal. They saw themselves as mothers, they approached things from that perspective. Only mothers, they believed, could save their sons from the slaughter in the war that was impending. Also, these women supported sexual abstinence before marriage, and they upheld the traditional nuclear family, which in their eyes included a strong and vital patriarchal presence. These women didn’t set themselves off against men. Men, their husbands and sons and other men, weren’t “them” to these women, they were part of “us.” These women didn’t paint men as oppressors or competitors or adversaries, or see them as needing to be held in check or re-conditioned. Another difference, in contrast to feminism’s coolness toward organized religion, these women tended to be avowed Christians. A last contrast: while Jewish women have been disproportionately represented in today’s women’s movement,[418]F. Caroline Graglia, Domestic Tranquility: A Brief Against Feminism (Dallas: Spence Publishing Company, 1998), pp. 40-43. these earlier women were markedly anti-Jewish in their attitudes.

The first mothers’ organization was formed in 1939 just after Germany invaded Poland and Britain entered the war. Three mothers of draft-age sons—Frances Sherrill, Mary Sheldon, and Mary Ireland—started a group called the National Legion of Mothers of America. The purpose of this new organization was to oppose the use of United States troops except for defending this country from attack. By the end the first week, ten thousand women had joined up. One of the new recruits was quoted as saying, “I have a 21-year-old son and I am going to fight for him. It was too much trouble to bring him into the world and bring him up all these years to have him fight the battles of foreign nations.”[419]Jeansonne, p. 5. By 1941, the NLMA claimed four million members.[420]Ibid., p. 46.
(Jeansonne, p. 5.)

The most prominent woman to emerge on the far right during these years was Elizabeth Dilling. Dilling described herself as a “super patriot,” and said that the real threat in Europe to us wasn’t fascism but communism. Dilling’s anti-communism took on racial overtones, as she claimed that the “interracial idea,” as she referred to it, was one of the strongest dogmas of socialism-communism. She said that the left promotes interracial sex, and that if they get their way the races will be molded into “one big mass.”[421]Ibid., p. 27.
(Jeansonne, p. 5.)
Dilling contended that the left had duped everybody into seeing fascism as the big enemy when in fact it defended property, supported religion, promoted class harmony, battled communism, and presented no threat to us. As far as Dilling was concerned, getting into the European war on the side of the communists in the Soviet Union was joining forces with precisely the wrong side in the conflict, and that in any case sending our boys across the ocean to fight in a European war would result in young lives being lost, disruption to family life, and a strain to the social fabric of this country.

Dilling was very hostile to the woman’s movement on the left, which, she argued, had “tried to get women enthusiastically to prefer bricklaying to feminine pursuits.” She also became increasingly hostile to Jews. She claimed that that “no one with open eyes can observe a Red parade, a communist, anarchist, socialist, or radical meeting anywhere in the world without noting the prominence of Jewry.”[422]Ibid., p. 26.
(Jeansonne, p. 5.)
Referring to Emma Goldman, the leftist Jewish atheist, Dilling asked, “Have women like me who believe in beautiful Christian ideals the right to sit in their rose-shaded living rooms while the Emma Goldmans fill the platforms with their dirt and anti-American ideas?”[423]Ibid., p. 16.
(Jeansonne, p. 5.)

Dilling toiled from early morning to midnight every day of the week at the cause she had taken to heart. She wrote and toured the country tirelessly, and by 1939 audiences for her lectures and speeches had grown from hundreds to electrified thousands.[424]Ibid.
(Jeansonne, p. 5.)
In opposition to the Lend Lease Act (legislation which provided American arms to the British and, in her eyes, paved the way to sending our boys to die in Europe), Dilling led a parade down Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington. Women marched in twos and carried banners that said “Kill Bill 1776 [the Lend Lease Act] Not Our Boys.” A mass rally followed the march. Among Dilling’s other activities in opposition to the war that she was sure was coming, she organized a demonstration of twenty-five women outside of the office of a senator who was reputed to want the war. When the women sat down and refused to leave, Dilling and one other woman were arrested and the others ejected from the corridor. Dilling was later convicted of disorderly conduct for the incident.[425]Ibid., p. 78.
(Jeansonne, p. 5.)

While World War II was in process, Dilling was given to say things like, “Any professed servant of Christ who could aid the church-burning, clergy-murdering, God-hating Soviet regime belongs either in the ranks of the blind leaders of the blind or in the ancient and dishonorable order of Judas.”[426]Ibid., p. 155.
(Jeansonne, p. 5.)
This sort of thing got her arrested and brought to trial for violating the Sedition and Smith acts, namely undermining the morale of the armed forces in wartime. The case was eventually dismissed, but it did serve the purpose of putting a crimp in Dilling’s activities by tying up her time and draining her financial resources as she had to come up with legal fees and the other costs of a trial far from home.[427]Ibid.
(Jeansonne, p. 5.)
After the war, Dilling kept on going, crusading against communism, racial integration, the income tax, and the growing power of the federal government until her death in 1969.[428]Ibid., p. 166.
(Jeansonne, p. 5.)

Catherine Curtis was another prominent woman on the extreme right during these years. Curtis was considered to be the most effective organizer among women of her ideological stripe, and she became the leader of the coalition that included the National Legion of Mothers of America.[429]Ibid., p. 4.
(Jeansonne, p. 5.)
Curtis argued that getting into a war would involve mothers turning their sons over to the government and would negate their work of nurturing their boys from cradle to the grave.[430]Ibid., p. 63.
(Jeansonne, p. 5.)
She shared with the others in this movement an antipathy toward Jews, whom she saw as dominating banking, politics, and the entertainment industry to the detriment of the rest of the country.[431]Ibid., p. 70.
(Jeansonne, p. 5.)

In 1935 Curtis founded the Women Investors of America. This organization tied rightist ideology to the achievement of women’s rights and sponsored talks by Curtis and others on financial matters. Curtis looked upon the development of woman’s financial capabilities not as a way for women to achieve independence of men or family but rather as a means of guarding and augmenting the family pocketbook. She also thought that woman’s financial expertise could guard the nation’s pocketbook as well, and thus serve as a buffer against communism.

And there was Lyrl Clark Van Hyning. By the early 1940s, Van Hyning’s organization, We the Mothers of America, had one hundred and fifty thousand members nationwide. Its male auxiliary was called We the Fathers of America.[432]Ibid., p. 87.
(Jeansonne, p. 5.)
Van Hyning reflected the anti-Semitism characteristic of this group of women, as she blamed Jewish international bankers for getting the United States into the war and circulated a recall petition against members of Congress she said were responsible for doing their bidding. Van Hyning strongly opposed the Normandy invasion in 1944, an event that has been brought back to the nation’s attention in recent years by Steven Spielberg’s film, Saving Private Ryan. A few weeks before the invasion Van Hyning said, “Those boys who will be forced to throw their young flesh against that impregnable wall of steel are the same babies mothers cherished and comforted and brought to manhood. Mother’s kiss healed all hurts of childhood. But on invasion day no kiss can heal the terrible hurts and mother won’t be there. Mothers have betrayed their sons to the butchers.”[433]Ibid., p. 94.
(Jeansonne, p. 5.)
Reading this passage, a contrasting image to Van Hyning’s stridency and defiance came to my mind: the Iowa mother in the Spielberg film who lay crumpled on the floor at the feet of military personnel who had just informed her that three of her sons had been killed in the war.

Modern feminists have nothing good to say about women like Dilling, Curtis, and Van Hyning. To them, it is virtually inconceivable that women would presume to link right-wing ideology and political activity with the promotion of women’s rights. When they speak of these kinds of women at all, they paint them as dupes of males and betrayers of the true interests of women. Gerda Lerner has stated that these sorts of women have internalized the idea of their inferiority, and that this has led them to participate in their own subordination. Hester Eisenstein says that they have been brainwashed to believe they need men to protect them. A third contemporary feminist, Andrea Dworkin, calls them reprehensible.[434]Ibid., p. 184.
(Jeansonne, p. 5.)

 

 

But there is still the overwhelming reality of the Holocaust. Apart from anything else, didn’t that horror make any view other than the war as a victory of good over evil beside the point? I needed to hear what Pierce would say about this. “Most people who hear your criticism of our involvement in World War II or your condemnation to the Jews will very quickly dismiss you with a reference to the Holocaust. Of course that is why we were in Europe, to put an end to the Holocaust. I just read Alan Dershowitz’ book Chutzpah,[435]Alan Dershowitz, Chutzpah (Boston: Little, Brown, 1991). and he labels a bigot anyone who denies the accepted version of six million Jews being killed and the use of gas chambers as means of extermination. What is your perception of the Holocaust?”

“Before I began reading a lot of history when I was on the faculty at OregonStateUniversity,” Pierce answered me, “I had a generally sympathetic attitude toward Jews. I had accepted the Hollywood propaganda line that the Nazis were terrible creatures who took all these sensitive, violin-playing, philosophizing, poetizing, harmless people and brutalized and killed them—six million of them. But then I started reading some books that weren’t on the approved reading list. One of the books as I remember was put out by a Catholic social agency in Germany or Austria and it was about the atrocities committed against German civilians after the war—I think it was called The Tragedy of Silesia. [I later found the book, edited by Johannes Kaps and published in Munich in 1952.[436]Johannes Kaps, ed., The Tragedy of Silesia, 1945-46 (Munich: Christ Unterwegs, 1952).] The book was written by priests and has first-person, eyewitness accounts of what happened to Germans after the war, horrible stuff—whole families being raped and their throats cut, children tortured to death by drunken Red Army soldiers, that kind of thing, on a massive scale. It hit me that I hadn’t been exposed to that kind of information before, and it led me to read other things. I came away from this with a much broader perspective on atrocity and genocide during this period of the 1940s than I had had before.

“I remember a photograph in Life magazine of a fifteen-year-old girl who had just been gang-raped by a group of Poles on a train bearing German expellees from the eastern territories. I have that photograph in my files to this day because it so struck me when I saw it and read the caption under it. It turns out that hundreds of thousands of German girls were raped. Why, I wondered, when all these terrible things happened do we only hear about what happened to the Jews? I had never heard of what happened to the Germans until I dug material out of the back shelves of libraries. It certainly wasn’t on television. Schools weren’t talking about it in history classes. The answer I came to in response to my own question is that we don’t hear about what happened to the Germans because the Jews don’t want us to, and with the power they have over the media and the power they have politically they are able to publicize and capitalize on what happened to them and suppress information about what happened to anybody else. The result is they have a monopoly on victim status, and that is a good card to have in your hand.

“The next question I asked myself was, if the Jews have the power to control what people learn about who got raped or killed during that time, they don’t absolutely have to be telling the truth; who is going to challenge them? So I began looking into the details of the Holocaust. Of course, it is a lifetime job to try to get at the bottom of that situation and figure out exactly what happened, but I did find what I took to be credible evidence that some of the Holocaust stories were simple lies. I came to the conclusion that the Holocaust story isn’t wholly true. So then the big question is: what parts are true and what parts aren’t? And the only way to get at that is to deal with it piece by piece. You have to take a particular claim—‘I saw them gas ten thousand Jews on March 19th,’ or whatever—and look at the evidence: could this have happened? did it happen? And if it didn’t happen as the story had it, what did happen? Each one of these is a full-fledged project for some historian or graduate student.

“I learned about enough things that had been falsified, exaggerated, or distorted that I became what Mr. Dershowitz would call a Holocaust denier. Actually, I think that is a deliberate misnomer. Because I don’t deny that Jews were killed. The Germans wanted to get rid of the Jews. They started by forcing them to emigrate as soon as Hitler became Chancellor by passing various exclusionary laws that cut Jews out of one sector of German life after another. Jews couldn’t publish newspapers except ones for their fellow Jews. They couldn’t teach in regular schools, only in Jewish schools. Jewish attorneys could only have practices serving their fellow Jews. The result was that before the war started two-thirds of German Jews had left the country. And that was really Hitler’s aim. He may have had a secret desire to cut a few Jewish throats, but his main goal was to get them out of Germany and off the Germans’ backs so that Germans could do things their own way.

“And then of course the war came along and a lot of Jews did end up in concentration camps. And some Jews were executed—particularly in the east—and many Jews died of typhus and malnutrition. I have personally talked to Germans who participated in shootings of Jews in the east. And these included mass shootings, often done in reprisal for something that had occurred. Germans would put Jews into ghettos in Polish, Russian, and Ukrainian areas. Jewish partisans would kill a German soldier or something, and a hundred Jews would be rounded up and shot. But never once did I talk to a German who knew anything about gas chambers as execution devices. And these were people that I am certain trusted me and talked frankly with me.

“So I am not a denier in the way I would define a Holocaust denier, but I do not believe the Holocaust in its official version. And it is clear to me that this official version is very important to the Jews, and it is not because of justice. It is because they can exploit the victim status it grants them because of the guilt it generates in the rest of us: ‘Oh, we let this happen to these poor people. How can we compensate them? It would be unfair to criticize them for anything they do because they have suffered so much. We have to give the Jews anything they want.’ This has been drilled into our people and Jews take advantage of it. I can understand why they get frantic if anybody dares to say, ‘Hey, did this really happen the way you describe?’ They shout, ‘He’s a denier. He must be punished! He must apologize!'”

“Is there anything that leads you to believe that there was a policy of extermination? There was a conference in 1942, I think it was, attended by Eichmann and others, where it is said it was decided.”

“I presume that most of what took place on the German side during the war except for perhaps the very last days was based on policy. The Germans had the best disciplined army, and they were not inclined to do things unless they had a policy—let’s say that in the event of German soldiers being killed by partisans you may or must or should take so many Jews from the ghetto and have them dig a trench outside of town and then shoot them. The British historian David Irving has said that there is no evidence that there was any policy for the general extermination of the Jews. That makes sense to me because, while we don’t hear about it, there were a lot of Jews who lived in Germany throughout the war, and everybody knew they were Jews and yet nobody bothered them. If there were a policy of general extermination, those would be the ones who would have been rounded up first, and they weren’t at all.

“I haven’t seen any credible evidence to support the Auschwitz picture Steven Spielberg has painted. The gas chambers we know about were de-lousing chambers; they were used for sanitation purposes. The crematoria of the sort that were at Auschwitz were also found at every other prison or work camp, and nobody is contending that gassings were going on in all these other places. People died in these places, and corpses were cremated. But certainly the crematoria that existed at Auschwitz could not have processed the incredible number of bodies the Jews claim were handled in this way. They have said that four-and-a-half million were killed in Auschwitz—simple arithmetic shows that it couldn’t have happened that way. Confronted with that, the Jews say, ‘Oh, well, OK, so they didn’t dispose of all the bodies in the crematoria. They threw the bodies into big pits they had dug and set fire to them.’ Perhaps, but I haven’t seen credible evidence of that. I have seen photographs of Germans shooting Jewish and non-Jewish partisans. Why are there no credible photographs of Jews being gassed? All we have is a collection of stories.

“The Germans had two types of camps: concentration camps like the ones we had in this country for the Japanese where elements of the population they considered hostile or dangerous were concentrated so they could be dealt with without posing a general threat to the rest, and work camps. Auschwitz was primarily a work camp where they produced synthetic rubber. To me, the concept of a death camp doesn’t make sense. If extermination were in fact the policy and I were in charge of implementing it, I don’t think I would go to all the effort to send people by rail from one part of Poland all the way to another part and put them in a camp to gas them. I wouldn’t bother to build barracks and other facilities. I would do what the communists did, shoot them in small batches near where they were arrested.

“My belief is that the Jews not only greatly exaggerated their losses but they embellished the details to make them more dramatic, memorable, and shocking. For example, the Jews have told about German soldiers grabbing Jewish babies by the legs and swinging their heads against brick walls. I don’t believe it. The German soldiers simply didn’t act that way to any extent at all—that is just not the kind of people they were—and certainly nothing like this happened as a matter of policy. I can imagine a rare instance where a drunken German soldier, separated from his unit and angry about the bombing of German cities, might commit an individual atrocity; but beyond that, it doesn’t fit. It is an invention to horrify Gentiles and make them think, ‘Oh, those poor Jews and those terrible Germans! How can we ever compensate for this awful thing that has happened!’

“There are these stories about Jews getting off the train at Auschwitz and a German officer walks up and down the line and says you, you, and you, go over there, to be gassed, and in some cases knocks them down on the platform and pours gasoline on them and sets them on fire. And then there are the stories of Germans throwing children off of roofs to the cobblestones below for sport, and shooting people like target practice. Doesn’t fit. An invention. But the way the Jews have it cooked up, if you question any of these stories, say, ‘Hey wait a minute, did you really see that occur? What was the date? What were the units of the German army involved?’ Try to pin it down at all, and the Jews will say ‘I can’t remember things like that,’ or ‘We weren’t allowed to look at their shoulder patches,’ or whatever. If you start to getting into the facts, the Jews get hysterical, weeping and wailing, or accusatory and try to shame you: ‘Isn’t six million enough? Are you trying to crucify us all over again?’ They want to keep it like a religion where you dare not question. It is like what went on during the Crusades. They come back in 1056 or whenever and say, ‘This is a piece from the true cross.’ Someone comes forward and says, ‘I’m not sure I believe it. Let me check it to see how old the wood is.’ He’d be stoned to death!”

“Didn’t some Germans testify after the war that they operated the gas chambers?”

“There were some notorious confessions after the war, but I think torture was involved. The commandant of Bergen-Belsen, named Hoess, signed whatever they told him to sign after they worked him over, and there were a few others. But if this really happened the way the Jews said it did, there would have been statements of all sorts—including ordinary German soldiers—and much more documentary evidence, and there isn’t. ”

“You obviously don’t accept the number of six million Jewish deaths during the war.”

“They have shuffled the numbers around a lot. At Auschwitz, the first number was four-and-a-half million, and then it was two million, and then it was one million and not all of those were Jews. Then they said that the ones they thought were killed at Auschwitz were actually killed at Treblinka or somewhere else. But six million has become the official sacred number. That is the one you hear from the media. It is rather like the doctrine of the virgin birth—believe it or else. It is very important to know what the real number is because it is part of our history, children learn about it in school, and it has influenced so many things in this country, including our support for Israel. The Jews use the six million number to get the idea across, ‘You can’t deal with us like you would anybody else because we have suffered so much, and you let it happen. So give us what we want, and don’t ask any questions!’ They don’t say it that blatantly, but that is the tacit message. We really do need to check it out and get at the facts.”

“I thought I read somewhere that you estimated that three-quarters of a million Jews died during the war.”

“I can make estimates, but the estimates are not based on sound, hard evidence. I have discovered that a lot of lies have been told about this. So then I have to ask myself by how much did they inflate their losses. Was it by a factor of ten? five? two? It is very difficult at this point to say.

“My point is that we ought to look at the others besides the Jews who were killed in the war too. We all know about the six million Jews who were supposedly killed in the war, but how many of us know how many American soldiers were killed, and German soldiers and civilians? And why don’t we know those figures? Are the Jewish deaths the only ones that matter? At the end of the war, ethnic Germans were expelled from Poland and Czechoslovakia, and millions of them died in the process. Millions of German POWs died in the years right after the war. Who knows about any of that?

“There are some books on our list you ought to read. One is a book by a Canadian named James Bacque that describes what happened to the German POWs after the war. Another one is called Flight in the Winter by an author by the name of Thorwald. It describes how the communists would rape and torture and kill German refugees. The deaths during that war have to be put in perspective, that’s what I am saying. We have gotten the idea that the only ones who suffered during the war were the Jews. That just isn’t the case.”[437]A book on how the events of the Holocaust have been portrayed at various times over the years which I have found useful is Peter Novick, The Holocaust in American Life (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1999).

 

After talking to Pierce, it came to me that I really had no idea of the magnitude of the loss of life in Europe during the World War II period, so I looked into it. For Germany, there were 4.2 million military and civilian deaths during the war, plus another 3.6 million deaths in the immediate post-war period resulting from reprisals against German military personnel, civilians, and ethnic Germans as they were being forced to vacate areas, primarily in Poland and Czechoslovakia, where they had been living. Thus there were a total of 7.8 million German deaths due to the war. Another five million Germans were wounded or permanently disabled, bringing total German casualties to 12.8 million. As for the Soviet Union, the estimate is that eighteen million people died in the war. I was unable to find the total of Soviet wounded and disabled. The United States suffered approximately one million casualties, including around three hundred thousand deaths.[438]Source of those numbers: The New Encyclopedia Britannica, 15th edition, vol. 29 (Chicago: Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc., 1998), p. 1022.

 

I was able to locate and read the Bacque book about the abuse of German POWs that Pierce mentioned. Actually, Bacque, a Canadian novelist and amateur historian, has published two books on this general topic. The first, Other Losses, was published in Toronto back in 1989, and the second, Crimes and Mercies, was published in London in 1997.[439]James Bacque, Other Losses: An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of the French and Americans After World War II (Toronto: Stottard, 1989). James Bacque, Crimes and Mercies: The Fate of German Civilians Under Allied Occupation 1944-1950 (London: Little, Brown, 1997). Bacque’s books recount the mistreatment of two groups of Germans after World War II: the ethnic Germans who were dispossessed from areas where they had been living outside of Germany, and the German POWs in Allied prison camps.

Bacque has been unable to find a U.S. publisher for either of his books. In 1990, he told an interviewer from the Toronto Star newspaper that Other Losses had been turned down by a total of thirty American publishers.[440]Toronto Star, May 3, 1990, E1+. Crimes and Mercies, the 1997 book, was published by Boston-based Little, Brown, but it chose to release the book through its London branch and not in this country. In the introduction of Crimes and Mercies, Bacque thanks his London editor who, in his words, “took the courageous decision to publish this book despite the harsh opposition it is bound to arouse.”[441]Crimes and Mercies, p.xxv. Pierce says if Bacque’s book had been about the mistreatment of Jews rather than Germans he wonders how much trouble Bacque would have had getting his book published in the United States and how much harsh opposition he would have expected.

In Crimes and Mercies, Bacque tells of the fate of 16.6 million ethnic Germans who were expelled from Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Hungary after the war, many of whom, he points out, had lived in these areas for many generations. Bacque calls it the largest ethnic cleansing the world has ever known.[442]Ibid., p. xx.
(Crimes and Mercies, p.xxv.)
He says the ethnic Germans were told to leave their homes in good order and to take only one large piece of luggage and one piece of hand luggage per person with them.[443]Ibid., p. 99.
(Crimes and Mercies, p.xxv.)
After I left West Virginia I spoke to an elderly woman now living in Canada who with her family had been among those forced to leave an area of Poland called Silesia. She confirmed what Bacque reports and added that her family was also told to leave most of their money behind—although, she told me, they did manage to get money out by hiding it on their persons.

Bacque alleges that these Germans were brutalized as they made the trek back to what was left of Germany or to concentration camps in Poland and elsewhere. He reports that 2.1 million of the ethnic Germans perished before they reached their destination.[444]Ibid., p. 109.
(Crimes and Mercies, p.xxv.)
Bacque offers up tales of horror:[445]Ibid., pp. 102, 103, and 106.
(Crimes and Mercies, p.xxv.)

  • Of Czech guards shooting people at random.
  • Of Russians raping German mothers while their small children were present.
  • Of nuns being repeatedly raped.
  • Of German women having their achilles tendons cut and being raped by Czech men as they lay on the ground screaming.
  • Of dead children being put in coffins, five to seven children to each coffin, and buried together. The children had died with their eyes open. The certificates said the cause of death had been starvation.

As for the German POWs, Bacque reports that in American and French zones more than five million German soldiers were crowded into barbed-wire cages. One Allied POW camp was described as huts made out of chicken wire covered with tar paper. Water was supplied by a single tap inside each hut. The water was usually frozen in the winter. The prisoners slept on the muddy ground, one hundred eighty prisoners to a hut. In some camps, German prisoners were simply herded into fields and lived in the open, in holes they dug out themselves. These camps lacked even primitive sanitary facilities, and the prisoners were vastly underfed. The ground beneath them quickly became a quagmire of filth. They soon began dying of starvation and disease. “Sometimes at the roll calls in the morning,” Bacque quotes a prisoner as saying, “men fell over dead.”[446]Ibid., p. 49.
(Crimes and Mercies, p.xxv.)
About one million of these German prisoners died in captivity, along with another half-million in Soviet camps.[447]Other Losses, p. xix; Crimes and Mercies, p. 88.

Bacque’s book contained pictures of these German POWs. Looking at them, I was struck by how different they looked from the image of them I had taken away from the Academy Award-nominated Steven Spielberg film, Saving Private Ryan. As I remember, the German soldiers in the film were older, in their thirties it seemed, and rather dark in appearance, and they had short burr haircuts. The soldiers in the Bacque pictures, however, were much younger, teenagers and in their early twenties, and they had fair complexions, and they had light hair and it was long; I didn’t notice any clippered-top hair styles. They looked like kids to me. I pondered how it might have changed the Spielberg film if the German soldiers had looked like the POWs I was gazing upon in the Bacque book.

One of the German prisoners, a man by the name of Charles von Luttichau, testified about the conditions of one of the American camps:

The latrines were just logs flung over ditches next to the barbed were fences. To sleep, all we could do was to dig out a hole with our hands, then cling together in the hole. We were crowded very close together. Because of illness, the men had to defecate on the ground. Soon, many of us were too weak to take off our trousers first. So our clothing was infected, and so was the mud where we had to walk and sit and lie down. There was no water at all at first, except the rain, then after a couple of weeks we could get a little water from a standpipe. But most of us had nothing to carry it in, so we could get only a few mouthfuls after hours of lining up, sometimes even through the night. We had to walk between the holes on the soft earth thrown up by digging, so it was easy to fall into a hole but hard to climb out. The rain was almost constant along that part of the Rhine that spring. More than half the days we had rain. More than half the days we had no food at all. On the rest, we got a little K [food] ration. I could see from the package that they [the Americans] were giving us one tenth of the rations they issued to their own men. So in the end we got perhaps five percent of a normal US army ration. I complained to the American camp commander that he was breaking the Geneva Convention, but he said, “Forget the Convention. You haven’t any rights.” Within a few days, some of the men who had gone healthy into the camp were dead. I saw our men dragging many dead bodies to the gate of the camp, where they were thrown loose on top of each other onto trucks, which took them away.[448]Other Losses, p, 38.

Among other illustrations Bacque offers of American abuse of German POWs are these:[449]The following incidents were reported in Crimes and Mercies on pp. 28, 29, 44, 45, 47, 52, 53, 60, and 63.

  • On General Eisenhower’s initiative, the American prisoner of war camps were kept far below the standards set by the Geneva Convention. A Japanese general was shot for maintaining camps in these conditions.
  • At a place called Andermach, German prisoners were trying to nourish themselves on grass. An American college professor reports he saw bodies being taken out of there “by the truckload.”
  • Prisoner Hanns Scharf testified that a German woman and her two children came to an American guard in one of the camps carrying a wine bottle. She asked the guard to give the bottle to her husband who was just inside the wire. The guard took the wine, upended the bottle in his own mouth, threw it to the ground, and killed the woman’s husband with five shots.
  • William Kreuznock, a Canadian, reported guards at night would shoot machine guns at random into the camp, apparently for sport. One guard at this camp wrote in his diary: “Wild shooting in the night, absolute fireworks. It must be the supposed peace. Next morning forty dead as ‘victims of the fireworks,’ in our cage alone, many wounded.”
  • In one of the American camps, there were eighteen thousand one hundred deaths in a ten-week period. That was a rate of forty-three percent of the prisoners a year. In March of 1946, in a French camp, deaths peaked at twenty-five percent in one month.
  • Prisoner Johannes Heising in a US camp reported that one night the Americans bulldozed living men into the earth. He is uncertain as to how many of the crowd of men were killed in the blackness of the night.
  • In 1996 a mass grave was discovered near an American POW camp. An expert concluded that the bodies were dead prisoners from the American camps, ages nineteen to twenty-three. A US Army ration book smuggled out by an ex-prisoner shows that these captives were given six hundred to eight hundred fifty calories per day. The prisoners had starved.
  • In Dobbs Ferry, New York, Martin Beech, a retired Unitarian minister, says, “I still experience flashbacks—starving prisoners eating grass, and thirsty men bursting through barbed wire and dashing amid gunfire toward a nearby river.”[450]Toronto Star.

Bacque concludes: “The struggle has been presented to us as ‘their’ evil against ‘our’ good, but as Solzhenitsyn wrote: ‘The line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being.’”[451]Crimes and Mercies, p. xxiii.

 

I was also able to find the other book Pierce had mentioned, Flight in the Winter.[452]Juergen Thorwald, Flight in the Winter (London: Hutchinson, 1953). It took some doing to get hold of it, since this book, as was also true of the Bacque books, was never published in this country and not readily available. As with the Bacque books, I had to go through an inter-library loan process to obtain Flight in the Winter, and that took some time and effort . Flight in the Winter was written by Juergen Thorwald and was published in London back in 1953. It tells of the events on the eastern front in Europe during the last days of World War II. I could see why Pierce referred me to the book. Some of the depictions of the suffering of civilians were graphic and jarring. For example, included in the book is an account of the effect of the British and American air raid on the German city of Dresden on February 13th, 1945:

The first wave of heavy British bombers approached between nine and ten o’clock at night from the direction of Holland. Between 10:09 and 10:35 p.m. they dropped approximately three thousand high-explosive bombs and four hundred thousand incendiaries on the totally unprepared city. The bombing was well planned. The countless incendiary bombs set large sectors of the city on fire, particularly the old quarters. A fierce reddish-yellow glow shone on the departing planes….At 1:22 a.m. the next wave of planes arrived over the city and dropped approximately five thousand incendiaries. This second wave, guided by the blaze of the burning areas, had only to drop its load into the dark spots to complete the destruction. Their bombs fell into the crowds that had escaped from the already flaming parts of the town. Collapsing buildings, particularly along the east-west axis that once ran though the entire city, barred the streets and cut off their escape. Tens of thousands burned to death or suffocated. A fire-storm arose with a suction so powerful that it dragged grown people irresistibly into the flames. A third raid about noon rounded out the results of the preceding attacks. It released two thousand high explosives and fifty thousand incendiaries on a city that was already in ruins….

Most of the corpses in the city were naked. The fire-storm had ripped their clothes off. They were red, puffed up by the heat. The railway station was a scene of havoc. In its basement, two thousand dead could still be counted. They had suffocated, and now floated in the water that had burst from broken mains and flooded the station. In the cemeteries around the town, excavating machinery was put to work to dig graves into which eighteen thousand dead were laid. Six thousand others, some of them parts only, were cremated on a grate that had been constructed in a roped-off section of the centre of the town. Soon the count was kept only by the number of heads found. Sixty-five per cent of those who were found could not be identified. By April 1 another twenty-nine thousand victims had been removed. But ten to fifteen thousand more were estimated to be still buried under the rubble.[453]Ibid. pp. 50-53.
(Juergen Thorwald, Flight in the Winter (London: Hutchinson, 1953).)

Thorwald also tells of what happened to German soldiers and civilians in the streets of Prague one day at the end of the war at the hands of a crowd. He calls it “a day as evil as any known in history.” The Germans had been herded into a courtyard. The crowd

drenched them with petrol, strung them up with their feet uppermost, set them on fire, and watched their agony, prolonged by the fact that in their position the rising heat and smoke did not suffocate them. They tied German men and women together with barbed wire, shot into the bundles, and rolled them down into the Moldau river. They drowned German children in the water troughs in the streets, and threw women and children from windows. They beat every German until he lay still on the ground, forced naked women to remove the barricades, cut the tendons in their heels, and laughed at their writhing. Others they kicked to death.[454]Ibid., pp. 240-241.
(Juergen Thorwald, Flight in the Winter (London: Hutchinson, 1953).)

That evening, Thorwald writes, a pastor and some elderly peasants stood on the banks of the river downstream from where these events took place. The river brought bundles tied with barbed wire and corpses that had lost their tongues, their eyes, and their breasts. It also brought a wooden bed, floating like a raft, to which a family, parents and children, had been nailed with long spikes. Those on the shore were able to bring the bed to them and began pulling the spikes out of the children’s hands.[455]Ibid., p. 241
(Juergen Thorwald, Flight in the Winter (London: Hutchinson, 1953).)

22 • Pierce and Jews • 14,300 Words

Why is Pierce so antagonistic toward Jews? Why does he have such a preoccupation with them? This chapter attempts to shed light on those questions. Surely, to the vast majority of readers the perspective expressed in the material that follows will seem way off-base. But as wrong-headed as this perspective might appear certain to be, and as uncomfortable as it may be to encounter it, understanding and responding to William Pierce and others like him involves coming to grips with this view of Jewish people and the fact that there are those who adhere to it.

 

Pierce notes that there are around fourteen million Jews in the world today.[456]William Pierce, “How It All Fits Together,” American Dissident Voices broadcast, December 12, 1998. Most of them live in Israel and the United States—about five million in Israel and between five and six million in this country. Jews comprise approximately two-and-a-half percent of the American population.

In Pierce’s eyes, Jews are a race apart; they are not white people. As a National Socialist, Pierce’s concept of race includes biological inheritance, blood, but goes beyond that to incorporate the history, culture, spirit or soul, and destiny of a people. At various times, rather than speak of Jews as a race, Pierce refers to them as a tribe, an ethnic group, or a people. Whatever Pierce calls them, however, the idea behind it is that Jews are not white. Jews are “them,” and whites—and here Pierce is referring especially to whites of northern European background—are “us.”

Pierce believes that it is important to keep in mind that historically Jews have lived as a small minority among other peoples. Until the creation of Israel a half-century ago, there was only one period when the Jews had a national existence in the usual sense of the term. That was from the time of King David to the Babylonian conquest, a little over four hundred years. After the Babylonians dispersed the Jews throughout the Middle East in the middle of the sixth-century B.C., Pierce points out, the Jews lived as a minority everywhere and a majority nowhere. But wherever they lived, they maintained their sense of separate identity: “The Jews in Rome did not think of themselves as Romans who happened to believe in Judaism,” Pierce contends, “but as Jews who happened to live in Rome—and the same for every other country where they lived.”[457]Ibid.
(William Pierce, “How It All Fits Together,” American Dissident Voices broadcast, December 12, 1998.)

As Pierce describes it, the Jews adapted “amazingly well” to their peculiar status in the world. They were able to—note his choice of words—”infiltrate areas and accumulate substantial portions of wealth.” They did this by collaborating with one another and “preying on the host.” It should be noted that parasites have hosts. Pierce’s use of terms like preying and host gives an indication of how he perceives Jews. Pierce quotes the first-century B.C. Greek writer Strabo as remarking that the Jews “have penetrated every country, so that it is difficult to find anyplace in the world where their tribe is not dominant.”[458]Ibid.
(William Pierce, “How It All Fits Together,” American Dissident Voices broadcast, December 12, 1998.)

The history of the Jews, notes Pierce, is a “chronicle of one persecution after another, right down to modern times.”[459]Ibid.
(William Pierce, “How It All Fits Together,” American Dissident Voices broadcast, December 12, 1998.)
Jews have been universally despised by the people upon whom they preyed, he says, and they have been expelled from one county in Europe after another—it didn’t start with the Germans. Jews are familiar with the tales of their persecution from the time of the pharaohs on through to Hitler, Pierce says, and this has helped cement in their sense of identity and their loyalty to one another. It brings people together if they share the idea that things have been rough for them, that other people have been out to get them, and that they are all in it together and need to stick by one another if they are going to survive, and Jews see things that way, Pierce believes.

Pierce argues that while the Jews have defined their treatment by their hosts as religious bigotry, their so-called mistreatment really has been a case of others’ self-defense against persistent deception and exploitation. The many European countries that have kicked Jews out of their lands since the Middle Ages have had the same aversive reaction to them that the Egyptians, Greeks, and everyone else in pre-Christian times had. This enmity that other peoples throughout history have felt toward the Jews has served to heighten the Jews’ animosity toward them and contributed to Jews’ feeling that they are justified in avenging themselves against non-Jews whenever they have the opportunity. Pierce recommends the book, A History of the Jews by Abram Sacher. Pierce says that Sachar, the former president of BrandeisUniversity, looks at things from “a very Jewish point of view,” but that nevertheless the book is very revealing.[460]Abram Sacher, The History of the Jews (New York: Random House, 1970).

Pierce says the Jews’ mode of existence changed to a certain extent after the Second World War with the “theft of Palestine and the establishment of the new state of Israel on Palestinian territory.” Israel still exists, Pierce claims, only because two-thirds of the Jews live elsewhere and look out for its interests.

Without a constant supply of money extorted from Germany, the United States, and other countries, Israel could not continue to exist. Israel would have gone under half-a-dozen times in its warfare with its neighbors during the past fifty years if the United States had not provided massive military and diplomatic support. If all the Jews in America and Europe sold their television networks and newspapers and film studios and moved to Israel, Israel would soon cease to exist.[461]Pierce.

For a scholarly treatment of Jews, Pierce recommends the books of CaliforniaStateUniversity professor Kevin MacDonald. The MacDonald books are entitled A People That Shall Dwell Alone, Separation and Its Discontents, and The Culture of Critique.[462]Kevin MacDonald, A People That Shall Dwell Alone: Judaism as a Group Evolutionary Strategy (Westport, CT: Praeger, 1994). Kevin MacDonald, Separation and Its Discontents: Toward an Evolutionary Theory of Anti-Semitism (Westport, CT: Praeger, 1998). Kevin MacDonald, The Culture of Critique: An Evolutionary Analysis of Jewish Involvement in Twentieth Century Intellectual and Political Movements (Westport, CT: Praeger, 1998). “Pretty heavy reading,” Pierce says of the MacDonald books, “but very convincing, very thorough.”

Pierce sees the fourteen million Jews in the world as comprising a cohesive, committed, and loyal racial interest group. Jews identify with one another and look out for their common interests more than any other group. They think and act as one big family:

Like most families, they do a lot of arguing and squabbling among themselves. They go to different synagogues—Orthodox and Conservative and Reform—or to no synagogue at all. There are atheist Jews, and there are Jews who have converted to Christianity. There are capitalist Jews and communist Jews, homosexual Jews and heterosexual Jews. There are rich Jews and middle-class Jews, and even a few poor Jews. But despite this apparent diversity they do a better job of cooperating with each other and looking out for their common interests than any other ethnic group in the world.[463]Pierce.

This tendency of Jews to stick together, to favor Jews over non-Jews and to work for the interests of their tribe, Pierce insists, is a prime reason for their extraordinary wealth and power through the ages. Pierce says he wishes whites in our time had the same degree of racial consciousness that Jews possess, but they don’t. “This is largely the reason why we are in the mess we’re in today.” Pierce acknowledges that there are “clubby little groups” of whites who cooperate with one another to advance their interests. Pierce lists as examples the Council on Foreign Relations and organizations made up of rich and powerful men, corporate heads and bankers and others of that sort. Indeed these groups are powerful, but they don’t have a racial or tribal underpinning and focus the way the Jewish group does. These white groups are primarily motivated by their own personal economic or political interests. Virtually all of them are “heavily larded” with Jews, Pierce says, so even if they don’t have any blacks or Asians among their membership, they aren’t white racial groups as such.

Why are the Jews so unified according to Pierce? One reason, he says, is their religious heritage. Judaism is an ethnocentric religion—a racist religion, really. Whereas Christianity and Islam are universalistic religions, open to anyone who chooses to believe in them, Judaism is not.

Judaism is a religion only for the Chosen People, only for the circumcised sons of Abraham. Jews are defined in terms of their bloodlines, not in terms of their faith, which is why non-religious Jews like Freud or Trotsky or even Marx, the father of atheistic communism, are considered Jews as much as the most pious synagogue-goer, with sidelocks and yarmulke. The non-religious Jews don’t believe in the hocus pocus in the Torah, but they nevertheless are steeped in the folklore and traditions of Judaism. They are as familiar as their religious cousins are with the claims that Jews are a Chosen People, destined to own all of the world’s wealth and be waited on hand-and-foot by non-Jews.[464]Ibid.
(Pierce.)

Jews view themselves as a distinct people and superior to the people among whom they live and deserving of whatever advantages they can reap at the expense of non-Jews.[A10]Ibid.
(Pierce.)

Pierce recommends that those who wish to explore the religious basis for Jewish ethnocentrism read the Old Testament, especially the five books of Moses and the book of Isaiah. The five books of Moses are the first five books in the Old Testament—Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. Pierce says that chapters sixty and sixty-one in the book of Isaiah contains examples of what he holds to be a fundamental theme in Judaism, that the Jews have been chosen by their tribal god, Yahweh (or Jehovah), to own and rule the earth. He notes that in these chapters the Jewish prophet Isaiah “raves” that eventually the Jews shall “suck the milk of the Gentiles” and “eat the riches of the Gentiles,” and that the Gentiles will “stand and feed your flocks” and “be your plowmen and your vinedressers.”[A11]William Pierce, “Joe Lieberman and Judaism,” American Dissident Voices broadcast, August 19, 2000. (In the King James version of the Bible I consulted, it was “strangers” and “the sons of the alien” rather than Gentiles in the last two examples Pierce cites.)

“If you really want to rub your nose in the subject,” Pierce says, “do some browsing in the Talmud.” The Talmud is a compilation of the teachings of Jewish rabbis who lived in the first five centuries of the Christian era. The rabbis erected a distinctively Jewish design for living which has served to maintain the cohesiveness and uniqueness of the Jews as a “people apart” for the succeeding centuries.[A12]Rabbi Alexander Feinsilver, The Talmud for Today (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1980), p. 1. Pierce read the Lazarus Goldschmidt edition of the Talmud in German at the Yale University library back in 1965 and found it enlightening. “There is some really breathtaking [anti-Gentile] stuff in the Talmud,” he says.[A13]Lazarus Goldschmidt, Babylonische Talmud (Berlin: Jüdischer Verlag, 1934).

In Pierce’s eyes, Jews are whites’ chief adversaries in their quest to live their way as a people and to realize their destiny as a race. Jews’ ways and whites’ ways contradict one another. When whites and Jews share the same geographical space, Pierce holds, Jews pull whites down and deflect them from who they are and where they ought to be going as a race. Jews are waging an undeclared war of a sort on whites, a war that involves cultural and political attacks rather than military strikes, and Pierce is plainly convinced that if whites don’t wake up to the fact that they are being besieged and begin to take up the battle, in a few generations they are very likely to be greatly diminished as a people. He thinks that the stakes couldn’t be higher in this war. Whites’ upward course as a race—and perhaps ultimately, its very survival—is on the line.

Pierce contends that despite their small number, Jews wield more power in this country than any other group regardless of its size. Jews’ power far beyond what their numbers would predict comes in part from their abundant economic resources and their strong political clout, the latter primarily wielded behind the scenes. But what really gives Jews power is their control of the news and entertainment media in this country. In particular it is the ability to manage the flow of images and ideas through the popular media that gives Jews the capability to have things their way. Jews in the American media—it is a theme that Pierce returns to time and again.

Maintaining their status as the dominant minority in America at the present time by controlling the news and entertainment media is different from the way Jews used to look out for their interests, says Pierce. In prior times, Jews used their wealth to buy influence and privileges by giving or lending money to kings, popes, and emperors. What is very important to take into account is that back then except for this economic and political connection with those at the top, Jews by and large maintained a separate existence from non-Jews. Jews usually lived among their own and did not engage in the same occupations as the peoples among whom they lived. Prior to the last couple of centuries, Jews had almost no cultural influence on our people, says Pierce: “They didn’t write books or plays, they didn’t paint or compose music, they didn’t run for public office, and, of course, they didn’t have television studios or newspapers or advertising agencies. To a large extent they lived their lives and we lived ours.”[A14]Pierce.

The great advantage of this arrangement, Pierce says, was that the—again, note the language—damage done by the Jews was mostly economic, along with some political mischief when it suited their purposes. But Jews didn’t damage the spirit of our people. This all changed, he says, with the advent of the mass media and mass democracy. The Jews quickly understood the potential the media gave them for extending their influence from the rulers to the population as a whole. The Jews also quickly caught on to how democracy provided them with the vehicle to translate the power to control the thoughts and attitudes of the public into political power.

It used to be moneylending and bribes, and the pressure was exerted only at the top, on the political leaders of the society. Today, it is control of the mass media of news and entertainment, and the pressure is exerted at every level of society. Some people still talk darkly about international Jewish bankers. Of course there are such animals today, just as there are also international bankers who are not Jews. But the control of the media is the key to Jewish power, not control of banking. The most important Jews today no longer are the Rothschilds, Warburgs, Hambros, and Sassoons, but instead the Eisners, Levins, Newhouses, Redstones, Bronfmans, and Sulzburgers: the Jewish media bosses.[A15]Ibid.
(Pierce.)

 

Whether or not the Jews control the mass media is of great concern to Pierce because he is certain that whoever controls the flow of images and ideas in a society wields enormous power. Media power is not power that is distant and impersonal. The media reach into every home at every waking hour. They shape every individual, young and old, rich and poor, simple and sophisticated. Pierce goes so far as to say that the power the individuals who command the media wield is unprecedented. No king or pope of old, no conquering hero, ever had such power.

Pierce reminds us that everything we know about circumstances and events outside our neighborhood and workplace and circle of acquaintances—or think we know, anyway—comes from the media.

Most people have a very limited range of real life experiences. Television and films and glossy magazines provide an enormous expansion of experience for the average person by substituting artificial experiences for real experiences. On the television screen viewers experience artificial social relationships, artificial romances, artificial conflicts, artificial life. In advertisements they are given artificial ideals of beauty and fashion, artificial life-styles….And in their newspapers and newsmagazines they are given a…view of what is happening in the world.[A16]Ibid.
(Pierce.)

Exposure to the media results in many people having difficulty distinguishing the artificial world of the media from reality. “Unfortunately, most people do not have sufficient powers of discrimination to distinguish the artificial world of the media from the real world of everyday experience,” Pierce observes. “The two worlds merge in their minds, and they can’t tell them apart.”[A17]Ibid.
(Pierce.)
Pierce showed me a cartoon which he said illustrates this point. A man is bent over fixing a tire on his car which is parked along side of a road in a drenching rain. A little child has his head poked out the window. The father is looking back at him and saying, “No, we can’t change channels. Don’t you understand? This is real; this is what is happening.”

Most people, Pierce points out, don’t quite realize that they have never actually seen or interacted with the president or their favorite movie star or television personality. They have been shown these people, and told about them. Not too long ago, many people experienced profound loss at the deaths of Princess Diana and John F. Kennedy, Jr., whom they had only known on the basis of what the media had shown them. How many of the mourners were fully conscious of that fact? People responded to their deaths in the same way they would have to the deaths of individuals they had actually been with in a flesh-and-blood way. We sometimes fail to realize that we haven’t been in the Oval Office meeting. We haven’t been in the Middle East. We weren’t at Normandy. We didn’t know Roosevelt. We didn’t know Hitler. We never saw Castro or Mao or Martin Luther King. We have never spoken to Saddam Hussein. They are all words on a page and images and sounds on a television or movie screen. As Pierce sees it, whoever shows us the world beyond our front door—whoever mediates the reality beyond our reach—is incredibly powerful.

Several times in our discussions, Pierce decried the fact that so many people have very little basic real-world experience. A lot of people these days, he said on one occasion, have never seen the birth or the death of an animal. He pointed out how in earlier times dead relatives would die in our house and we would see their cold, dead bodies in the bedroom. So many fundamental things are experienced vicariously when they once were experienced directly. We are left with an unrealistic view of life, says Pierce. A lot of people—and here he is talking about city-dwellers—almost never touch the earth. They live in a concrete world, a manufactured world. They exist in an invented world. They relate to a virtual reality. The distinction between what is natural and what is contrived is likely to mean little or nothing to people who live in this way.

The media, says Pierce, create a picture of the world and tell people what to think and feel and do about that picture. Advertisements, for example, don’t just show potential customers what is available and provide them with the information they need to choose what they want. Cleverly designed advertising creates wants that didn’t exist before. It manipulates people’s desires and motivations. In a similar way, entertainment and news programs and print media manipulate viewers’ ideas, values, and behavior. Here he isn’t just talking about heavy-handed suppression of news stories or what he calls the blatant propagandizing of history-distorting television docudramas. It is subtler than that, he says. There is the decision of which stories to cover and which to play down or ignore. There is the reporters’ choice of words, their tone of voice, and their facial expressions. There is the wording of headlines. These kinds of things guide our thoughts and opinions too, says Pierce.

The media inform us about how to think and how to conduct ourselves in order to be in tune with the in-crowd, the beautiful people, the smart money, notes Pierce. Pierce believes that people have a strong impulse to conform to a currently accepted or fashionable way to think and be. This desire to be in tune with those “in-the-know” gives people in the media the power to shape opinion. Thus when a television producer expresses approval of certain ideas and behaviors and disapproves of others through the characters and situations he presents, he exerts strong pressure on viewers to align themselves with these ideas and behaviors.

For example, a racially-mixed couple will be respected, liked, and socially sought after by other characters, as will a “take charge” Black scholar or businessman, or a sensitive and talented homosexual, or a poor but honest and hardworking illegal alien from Mexico. On the other hand, a White racist—that is, any racially-conscious White person who looks askance at miscegenation or at the rapidly darkening racial composition of America—is portrayed, at best, as a despicable bigot who is reviled by the other characters, or at worst, as a dangerous psychopath who is fascinated by firearms and is a menace to all law-abiding citizens. The racist “gun nut,” in fact, has become a familiar stereotype….[A18]Research Staff, National Vanguard Books, Who Rules America, available on the National Alliance Web site, natall.com.

Pierce says that news that reaches mass audiences establishes ground rules and boundaries of acceptable opinion.

Consider the media coverage of the Middle East news. Some editors and commentators are slavishly pro-Israel in their every utterance, while others seem nearly neutral. No one, however, dares to suggest that the U.S. government is backing the wrong side in the Arab-Jewish conflict and that it served Jewish interests rather than American interests to send U.S. forces to cripple Iraq, Israel’s principal rival in the Middle East. Thus a spectrum of permissible opinion from pro-Israel to nearly neutral, is established.

Another example is the media treatment of racial issues in the United States. Some commentators seem almost dispassionate in reporting racial strife, while others are emotionally partisan—with the partisanship always on the non-White side. All of the media spokesmen without exception, take the position that “multiculturalism” and racial mixing are here to stay, and that they are good things.[A19]Ibid.
(Research Staff, National Vanguard Books, Who Rules America, available on the National Alliance Web site, natall.com.)

According to Pierce, once the spectrum of permissible public opinion is established, every point of view, concept, or proposal within this spectrum is allowed expression, and anything outside this frame is either allowed no expression or is twisted and distorted to reinforce the notion that the ideas and people outside the established boundaries are unacceptably misguided, irrational, evil, or kooky, and aren’t deserving of tolerance. That is how it works, says Pierce, and the fact that it works that way has an enormous impact on our lives.

 

What does Pierce offer to support his contentions that Jews play a dominant part in the news and entertainment media? A good source for answering that question is a pamphlet Pierce periodically updates entitled Who Rules America in which he documents the “striking prominence” of Jews in the media. The pamphlet’s authors are listed as the “research staff of National Vanguard Books.” The research staff taking on the job of updating the article when I was in West Virginia turned out to be one person, Bob DeMarais, armed with his computer and a few reference books. In putting together the material in the next few pages, I will draw upon the version of Who Rules America published on Pierce’s Web site in June of 2000.[A20]Research Staff, National Vanguard Books. I will refer to Pierce as the author because while he farms out the research, he puts together the material and writes the copy.

In Who Rules America Pierce notes that government deregulation has resulted in a series of corporate mergers and acquisitions which have produced a handful of multi-billion dollar media giants. “Whenever you watch television,” he writes, “whether from a local broadcasting station or via cable or satellite dish; whenever you see a feature film in a theater or at home; whenever you listen to the radio or recorded music; whenever you read a newspaper, book, or magazine—it is very likely that the information or entertainment you receive was produced and/or distributed by one of these megamedia companies.”[A21]All of the assertions and quotes until note 22 are taken from the unpaginated version of Who Rules America? on Pierce’s web site, natall.com. He also sells it separately as a pamphlet, and includes it in his National Vanguard book catalogs. He then lists a number of companies and the people who head them up. What follows is the information Pierce provides in Who Rules America. Unless otherwise indicated, the names listed below are individuals Pierce identifies as Jewish.

The largest media conglomerate in the world is AOL Time Warner. The company is the result of a merger announced in January of 2000 between America Online, this country’s largest Internet service provider, and media content provider Time Warner. AOL chief Steve Case became the chairman of the new company, and Bob Pittman, the former president of AOL, became its co-chief operating officer. (Both Case and Pittman are Gentiles.) Gerald Levin, the former head of Time Warner, became AOL Time Warner’s chief executive officer. Pierce characterizes Case and Pittman as capitalists and technology types focused on profits and process and predicts that they will defer to Levin and those he brings on board to deal with the substance of what is transmitted to audiences. Pierce asserts that AOL will be used by Time Warner as a platform for “Jewish content.”

Prior to its merger with AOL, Time Warner, with thirteen billion dollars in 1997 revenues, was the second largest media conglomerate in the world behind the Walt Disney Company. Time Warner produces films through Warner Brothers Studio, Castle Rock Entertainment, and New Line Cinema. Time Warner’s television subsidiary, HBO, is the country’s largest pay-TV cable network. In 1996, Time Warner acquired Turner Broadcasting (CNN, TNT, and TBS). Warner Music, with fifty labels, is America’s second largest producer of recorded music. Warner Music was an early promoter of “gangsta’ rap,” a genre whose graphic lyrics explicitly encourage blacks to commit acts of violence against whites. Time Warner’s publishing division, whose editor-in-chief is Norman Pearlstine, is the largest magazine publisher in the country. Its publications include Time, Sports Illustrated, People, and Fortune.

Pierce asserts that in 1995 Time Warner, which had twenty percent ownership of the CBS television network at the time, was active in blocking Gentile Ted Turner’s effort to buy CBS. CBS’s chairman and CEO at that time was Lawrence Tisch, who prior to taking over CBS in 1985 had made billions in theater, hotels, insurance, and cigarettes but had never been in the telecommunications industry. Pierce contends that Tisch was brought on board at CBS back in 1985 to block Turner’s first attempt to buy that network. The Jews wanted to be certain that the “Tiffany Network” (premier network) stayed in their hands.

The Walt Disney Company, with 1997 revenues of twenty-three billion dollars, is the second largest media conglomerate according to Pierce in Who Rules America. Disney’s chairman and CEO is Michael Eisner. Disney includes three television production companies, Walt Disney Television, Touchstone Television, and Buena Vista Television. Its feature films division, the Walt Disney Motion Pictures Group, is headed by Joseph Roth and includes Touchstone, Hollywood, and Caravan pictures. (Roth has since launched an independent entertainment venture, Revolution Studio.) Disney also owns Miramax Films run by Bob and Harvey Weinstein. Pierce asserts that prior to the Eisner-led takeover of the Disney Company in 1984, Disney epitomized “wholesome family entertainment” such as Snow White. Now, however, the company has expanded into “adult” movies like The Crying Game, Priest, and Kids.

In 1995, Disney through its purchase of Capital Cities/ABC acquired ABC television, which has two hundred twenty five affiliated stations in the United States. ABC owns ten local stations in large markets including New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Houston. ABC’s cable subsidiary, ESPN, is headed by Steven Bornstein. Disney also has the controlling share of the Arts and Entertainment Network (A&E) and Lifetime Television. Disney’s cable networks, which include the Disney Channel, have more than one hundred million subscribers. The ABC