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The Turner Diaries by "Andrew MacDonald" (William L. Pierce) The National Alliance, 1978 Approx. 80,000 words

WARNING TO THE READER: This is the most repulsive book I have ever reviewed. Persons offended by descriptions of virulent racism and of the advocacy of genocide may not wish to continue reading.

Bibliographical Note

According to Michael Barkun in Religion and the Racist Right (p. 225 et seq.), the author of "The Turner Diaries" is one William L. Pierce, writing under the pseudonym "Andrew MacDonald." Pierce received a doctorate in physics from the University of Colorado and worked in industry and as a university instructor before becoming involved with Nazi groups in the 1960s. "The Turner Diaries" appeared from 1975 to 1978 as a serial in "Attack!," a publication of the National Alliance, an American Nazi faction led by Pierce. ("Attack" [Der Angriff] was also the name of the paper Josef Goebbels founded in Berlin in the 1920s.) The book was first published as a paperback in 1978, and Barkun cites a second edition, also published by the National Alliance (Washington, DC 1980). The text for this review was found online, without copyright, at in December 1997.

"The Turner Diaries" has been around for about 20 years at this writing. This work has long been of some interest to students of religious and political cults. What made it famous, however, was the destruction of the Federal Building in Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995. (The date was apparently chosen to commemorate the destruction of the compound of the Branch Davidian sect at Waco, Texas, precisely two years earlier.) The crime was committed with a truck bomb using ammonium nitrate fertilizer as an explosive, a weapon system described in some detail in this book. While there is no reason to believe that the perpetrators of the Oklahoma City bombing were working directly from the historical script set out in "The Turner Diaries," nevertheless the book is well-known in the circles with which they associated. Echoes of names and incidents in the story, such as the racist insurgent group known as the "Order" that appeared in the 1980s, continue to turn up from time to time. The book purports to have been published in the year 100 of the New Era, which is apparently about AD 2100. In form, the book is a commemorative edition of the diaries of one Earl Turner, a 35 year-old electrical engineer who became a hero of the Great Revolution that preceded the New Era. The diaries cover Turner's activities as an insurgent from 1991 to his death in 1993. The revolution was orchestrated by a guerrilla army known simply as "the Organization." (Its opponents are normally referred to collectively as "the System.") The heart of the Organization was a quasi-religious group known as "the Order," into which Turner is inducted. We learn almost nothing about the governance or history of these bodies, though the Order seems to be inspired by the Templar-model of the SS sometimes favored by Heinrich Himmler, under the apparent influence of the apostate Austrian monk J”rg Lanz von Liebenfels. (See "The Occult Roots of Nazism" by Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke, New York University Press, 1992) For that matter, there is no systematic exposition of the beliefs of either the Organization or the Order. The diaries are supposed to provide a ground level view of a great event, interspersed with occasional reflections. Before proceeding to an analysis, it would be helpful to look at a full chronology of the dates and events named in the text. The story is built around a system of commemorative dates. The major events of the

Great Revolution are almost all timed to coincide with such anniversaries as Hitler's ascension to the Chancellorship of Germany (January 30), Hitler's birthday (April 20) and, especially, the Beer Hall Putsch and Kristallnacht (November 9). Some of these dates, as well as the sophisticated weapons the author describes, may unfortunately have relevance in the future.

November 9, 1989. Turner's guns seized under the Cohen Act, enacted 18 months before the Revolution begins. Nearly a million citizens detained by the government for weapons possession.

September 16, 1991. Revolution begins. September 18, 1991. Turner's guerrilla unit (based at first in the Washington DC area) robs a Jewish liquor store (identified by surname). September 19, 1991. Turner meditates on the revolutionary value of official corruption. September 21, 1991. Turner's unit retrieves weapons stored in buried oil drums. Move to a new unit base. How-to information on stealing electricity and water. Assassinations directed against public officials, Jews and "responsible conservatives." September 30, 1991. Notes on a radio pager system used by the Organization. Government develops an internal passport system. Organization begins developing a bomb to destroy the FBI computer center. October 3, 1991. Description of a perimeter alarm system, including photocell and sensitive ground-pads. Escape route prepared through a storm drain. October 6, 1991. Detonator for the truck bomb described. Merits of various explosives considered. TNT preferred, fertilizer bomb a more doubtful possibility. October 11, 1991. Bombing to proceed with ammonium nitrate to preempt the passport system as quickly as possible. October 12, 1991. FBI Headquarters in Washington DC largely destroyed at 9:45 a.m. by a bomb in a hijacked delivery truck, parked in a sub-basement loading area. 700 people killed. October 16, 1991. Accounts of successful weapons thefts, often with the help of Army sympathizers. October 23, 1991. Hundreds of raids and assassinations since the FBI bombing. Presses of the Washington Post wrecked. Editorial Page editor assassinated. Radio station in the DC area briefly seized. October 27, 1991. Section leader tried and executed for refusing an order to assassinate a priest and rabbi. November 4, 1991. Complaints about slow pay. November 8, 1991. Account of modifications to a stolen mortar. How to cannibalize a large bomb for explosives. November 9, 1991. Capitol building severely damaged during a joint session of Congress by a mortar barrage. Simultaneous attack with automatic weapons on the Los Angeles City Council. Jet bound for Tel Aviv from New York destroyed by a bazooka. November 14, 1991. Copycat bombings spread. Turner meets hippies and considers recruiting them. November 16, 1991. Roadblocks proliferate. November 27, 1991. Turner given The Book to read (apparently a quasi-sacred ideological text). Inducted into the Order (involves probationary period and a "terrible oath"). November 28, 1991. Trouble with black junkies. All killed, along with their white prostitutes. November 30, 1991. Huge anti-racist rally-riot held in Chicago. December 4, 1991. Visits with hippies. Accounts of a Jewish white-slaver. Hippies inform police about location of Turner's unit. House raided. All escape but Turner, who fails to kill himself as per instruction. Turner taken prisoner and tortured by an Israeli intelligence officer. September 11 and 12, 1992. Fourteen major bombings destroy much of the shipping and industrial

capacity of Houston, Texas. Explosions begin with the destruction of a munitions ship bound for Israel. March 21, 1993. Turner and other insurgents released in a raid on a federal prison. March 24, 1993. Turner tried and convicted for Oathbreaking. Remains in the Order but sentenced to perform unspecified suicide mission. March 25, 1993. Strategy of destroying economic targets explained. March 28, 1993. Turner's unit now based in a printing shop in Washington, DC. Notes on the difficulty of counterfeiting. Identification taken from assassinated Jews used by Organization members. Mafia used by government to assassinate aboveground Organization members. April 2. Currency ink stolen. April 10. Visit to Chicago. April 14. Notes on a tour of a nuclear power plant at Evanston, Illinois (Chicago area) and plans to disable it with a mortar using a radiological shell. April 20, 1993. Israeli embassy attacked with a mortar during important reception. April 25, 1993. Dissension between blacks and Jews grows. May 6, 1993. Account of a visit to an arms warehouse in New York City. Description of the infiltration of the armed forces. May 23, 1993. Account of the bombing of the Dallas telephone exchange. June 8, 1993. Account of the killing of a sheriff in the Denver area who had arrested an Organization member. June 21, 1993. Concern expressed that not enough is happening. June 27, 1993. Orders to go to California for an unspecified action. July 1, 1993. Arrival in Canoga Park, northwest of Los Angeles. Plans revealed for coordinated attacks on 600 targets nationwide. Organization has only about 5000 members, only 1,500 fighters. July 4, 1993 (Approx.: events related July 7). Attacks launched nationally, the most successful and concentrated in Los Angeles. Police stations seized, water and power utilities destroyed or damaged. Some high-ranking military officers declare for the revolution. Racial fighting engineered in units remaining loyal to the government. Vandenberg Air Force Base seized, along with a considerable nuclear stockpile. July 11, 1993. Review of results of the July 4 offensive. Southern California under the control of the Organization, Northern California under a rebellious military faction. Rebel areas in a strategic nuclear standoff with the federal government. Successful attack on the Evanston power plant mentioned. July 14, 1993. Disaster relief organized for Los Angeles. Black population separated out into holding areas. July 19, 1993. Blacks and Chicanos driven east out of the southern California enclave into government controlled areas. July 24, 1993. Jews and mixed-race persons marched to canyons around Los Angeles and shot. Bucolic interlude with teenage volunteer farm-workers. July 25, 1993. Recruiting. August 1, 1993. The Day of the Rope. Summary executions of white persons who cooperated with the System or had sexual intercourse with nonwhites. Special attention given to actors, journalists and academics. Killings of Jews in the canyons accelerated. Harboring of Jews a capital crime. August 8, 1993. Turner made temporary director of utilities and public services. Remaining population organized into work units. Denunciation of Lt. Gen. Arnold Harding, commander of Travis Air Force Base and dictator of northern California, for attempting to implement conventional conservative policies. September 16, 1993. Lt. Gen. Harding assassinated by the Organization. August 23, 1993. Turner prepares to leave for Washington with four 60 kiloton nuclear warheads. 200 such warheads are distributed around the country. August 26, 1993. Bomb detonated in Miami Beach, Florida. Organization issues ultimatum to stop government plans to retake California.

August 27, 1993. Charleston, South Carolina nuked. September 4, 1993. Account of cross-country trip with a team disguised as soldiers. September 8, 1993. Organization fires a barrage of missiles at New York City, Israel and the Soviet Union. Federal government forced to launch a first strike against the Soviet Union to diminish consequent counterstrike. 60 million Americans killed, but retaliation ragged. Both Organization and Washington survive. September 18, 1993. Account of nuclear exchange and its aftermath. October 28, 1993. Organization creates an enclave in the ruins of Baltimore. Government forces act only defensively. Pogroms reported in Russia, Western Europe, South Africa and Australia. Arabs overrun Israel. November 2, 1993. Further review of the situation. US under military junta. Discussion of how to bomb the Pentagon by air. November 9, 1993. Turner pilots a small plane with nuclear weapon into the Pentagon and destroys the building. [November 9 is Day of the Martyrs.] [Further entries provided in an Epilogue] The Dark Years begin. Mid-December 1993. Major enclave established in Detroit area. January to April 1994. General race war. More enclaves established. June 1994. Pittsburgh Massacre: enclave retaken by government forces, white population slaughtered. Surviving local Organization staff officers shot for incompetence. August 1994. White population of US falls to 50 million. November 9 [?], 1994 Toronto nuked to destroy Jewish refugees. January 30, 1999. Truce of Omaha. Government junta surrenders to the Organization. Summer/Fall 1999. Local Organization cells take power in Europe. December 1999. Asia east of the Urals sterilized with weapons of mass destruction. 2000 New Era Begins [?]

What kind of a book is this? Readers familiar with the literature of Alternative History may be reminded of Norman Spinrad's famous 1972 novel, "The Iron Dream." The premise of that book was that Hitler had emigrated to the United States after the First World War and established himself as a writer and illustrator for pulp science-fiction magazines. "The Iron Dream" is supposed to be Hitler's masterpiece, the account of an imaginary world war in which a fascist-type political movement conquers the world. Since Spinrad's novel antedates "The Turner Diaries" by a few years (and was, frankly, the kind of thing that an imaginative Nazi physicist might be inclined to read anyway), the possibility of influence cannot be excluded. The difference is that Spinrad was kidding. Among the many things that can truthfully be said about "The Turner Diaries," perhaps the oddest is that it often reads like a home-improvement manual. While its descriptions of bombs and other deadly devices are not detailed enough to allow readers to make their own, still it is clear that the author likes nuts-and- bolts. He rarely misses an opportunity to explain how something works. The pager-system he describes is either his own invention or represented cutting-edge technology at the time the book was written. More generally, one may note that the book is not your average political rant. The writing is literate if wooden, and the ideological digressions are usually kept to moderate proportions. In this it greatly differs from, say, "Mein Kampf," which it occasionally quotes without attribution. (On the other hand, Pierce cannot characterize people any better than Hitler could draw them. Turner's love interest is occasioned by a

chance encounter with a woman in a cold communal shower he had just installed.) For that matter, the book is surprisingly sparing even in its use of ordinary racial epithets. Violent political writers usually express themselves in harshly-worded opinions that are really screams. In "The Turner Diaries," the screams are expressed in what the characters do. "The Turner Diaries" is clearly an apocalyptic text. It has many of the mechanics of ordinary premillennialism; Michael Barkun notes its apparent links to the Christian Identity Movement. We have a seven year Tribulation in the form of the Dark Years from 1993 to 2000. The latter year as the point of the great transition from one age to another is too familiar to require comment. We may have a weak analogue to the Pre-Tribulation Rapture of the Saints, in the form of the establishment of the Organization enclave in southern California a few months before the nuclear exchange. The haven, like the Rapture, allows a respite before the final process of transformation begins. In any case, the rejection of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture itself is typical of Identity thinking. Readers may find some analogies in the more popular (and explicitly antiracist) eschatology of Pat Robertson as expressed in his novel, The End of the Age. This apocalypse, on the other hand, is unusually participatory. Some apocalyptic texts call on their readers simply to have patience, since the old order of things will be overthrown without their help. Others call on the reader to rise up to carry out a transformation that is nevertheless mandated by higher powers. The Turner apocalypse is clearly of this nature. We get a hint, in Turner's brief remarks about the contents of the Book, of the larger historical scheme that gives the Great Revolution its importance. The imperative to overthrow the System is in some sense both biological and theological, an inevitable necessity imposed by evolution itself. In fact, it is only this ontological imperative that justifies it. Considered simply in themselves, the people of the United States had shown they deserved to be slaves. The Great Revolution would free them incidentally, but only for a higher purpose. This is not the Nazism of Goering's circle of plutocrats, or even of Goebbel's "national bolshevism." What it most closely resembles is the Nazism of Hitler's inner thoughts, as described by Hermann Rauschning in "The Voice of Destruction" (1940) (a book, by the way, of which it is fashionable among historians to be suspicious). While described as "right-wing" for lack of a better term, there is nothing at all conservative about this ideology. In Turner's book, the dictator General Harding is derided for wanting to restore the constitutional republic of the Founding Fathers. From what few glimpses we get of the economic system established by the Organization, the new order seems to be quite as communist as that of Pol Pot's Cambodia. (In fact, considering the period in which the book was written, one wonders whether there may not have been some influence.) This is the sort of radical vision in which no institutions from the former regime survive, and in which minimizing civilian casualties is simply not a consideration. One of the goals of the revolution is precisely to reduce the people to a pure remnant, what the Yellow Turban millenarians of Latter Han China called "seed people." The true participants in the cosmic drama are the members of the Order and the (presumably Jewish) masters of the System. The mass of the people, even of the racially favored, is simply the medium in which these two elites fight. There is a strong anarchist streak in the strategy of the Organization. While the Organization is of course closely disciplined itself, for society as a whole the principle is "the worse the better." The assumption is that very few people really have political opinions, but simply support the powers-that-be because that is the easiest way to remain comfortable. Revolutionaries should therefore attack people's livelihoods, because then the people will have no reason to support the system. It should also seek to kill prominent establishment figures of all descriptions, simply to demoralize the rest. When there is sufficient chaos, the next step is not persuasion but fear. That is why the Organization begins its administration in southern California with public mass executions. Turner sees the value of the Stalinist principle that the law should be so phrased that anyone can be arrested at any time. The fact that almost everyone is a "race-traitor" for having cooperated with the System is necessary to help establish the new regime. The Organization and the Order do, of course, need to recruit. However, even when the

regime is in power, it is no part of statecraft to seek popularity in the electoral sense. Despite the many connections between "The Turner Diaries" and familiar books and ideas, even the best- informed readers are likely to find that their horror is tinged with puzzlement. The ability to compile an implied bibliography for a book is not the same as understanding it. Where does this story come from? The killing of the Jews is nowhere argued for: it is just assumed to be obviously the proper thing to do. One can only assume that this is the case among the audience for which it was written. As to the book as an apocalyptic document, we are faced again, on a smaller scale, with the mystery that surrounds the Third Reich itself. What is the great historical imperative that made all this misery necessary? What were they really trying to do? There is a type of nightmare in which fear after fear is realized and then finally the monster catches you. "The Turner Diaries" has this quality. It starts with a liquor store robbery and ends with the incineration of most of Eurasia. The book is not hard to read, but the experience will please few people. The problem is that it is not safe to simply turn the book over to the psychologists. The nightmare has repeatedly proven its capacity to leak into daylight.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

A blurb on the back of The Turner Diaries by William Luther Pierce (under the pseudonym Andrew MacDonald), states that if books were banned in America, this novel would surely be banned. It's good that The Turner Diaries is not banned. The novel should actually be more widely circulated. Its underground reputation and its scarcity in bookstores have boosted its legend far beyond what the book delivers. Were this book stacked against other novels that profess ideologies, this infamous novel would finally be seen for what it is: a dull adventure novel that takes itself very seriously and as a consequence, is rife with much unintended comedy.

The story comes in the form of a diary written by an educated conservative gun-lover named Earl Turner in the futuristic world of America, circa 1991 (the novel was originally published in 1978). From the outset, the author shamelessly sets up this future world so that he and his gun-loving brethren appear as oppressed martyrs for freedom. The "Cohen Act" has outlawed firearms and anyone caught with one is subject to arrest and imprisonment. A police state not dissimilar to that which exists in America in 2008 lays siege to the America in this novel. The part of the police state that most troubles Earl Turner is having his beloved guns outlawed.

regime is in power, it is no part of statecraft to seek popularity in the electoralThe Turner Diaries -- a review A blurb on the back of The Turner Diaries by William Luther Pierce (under the pseudonym Andrew MacDonald), states that if books were banned in America, this novel would surely be banned. It's good that The Turner Diaries is not banned. The novel should actually be more widely circulated. Its underground reputation and its scarcity in bookstores have boosted its legend far beyond what the book delivers. Were this book stacked against other novels that profess ideologies, this infamous novel would finally be seen for what it is: a dull adventure novel that takes itself very seriously and as a consequence, is rife with much unintended comedy. The story comes in the form of a diary written by an educated conservative gun-lover named Earl Turner in the futuristic world of America, circa 1991 (the novel was originally published in 1978). From the outset, the author shamelessly sets up this future world so that he and his gun-loving brethren appear as oppressed martyrs for freedom. The "Cohen Act" has outlawed firearms and anyone caught with one is subject to arrest and imprisonment. A police state not dissimilar to that which exists in America in 2008 lays siege to the America in this novel. The part of the police state that most troubles Earl Turner is having his beloved guns outlawed. The unintended humor of this novel comes to light within the first 50 pages. The unabashed hypocrisy of the author and his movement is stunning. The "patriots" in The Turner Diaries live in small Communistic "units" -- think "terror cells" -- that resemble urban communes: Turner and his commune reside in an " id="pdf-obj-5-16" src="pdf-obj-5-16.jpg">

The unintended humor of this novel comes to light within the first 50 pages. The unabashed hypocrisy of the author and his movement is stunning. The "patriots" in The Turner Diaries live in small Communistic "units" -- think "terror cells" -- that resemble urban communes: Turner and his commune reside in an

abandoned auto garage that has no hot water, but does have makeshift, pirated electricity and heat. Everything among the "patriots" is shared, they each contribute to the commune according to their talents: Katherine, the only female in Earl Turner's commune is an expert with make-up, so she specializes in creating disguises for the others; Earl Turner is an electrical engineer, so he wires the bombs and sets up the cold water shower for the group. Henry and George, the other two guys in the unit, are just a couple of hairy-forearmed, true-believing grunts.

What Turner and his commune -- and the other communes that comprise their gun-loving Woodstock Nation, known as "The Organization" -- are that these people, regardless of age, education, walk-of-life, or gender are all addicts. Instead of being addicted to narcotics, they are addicted to guns: a knee-jerk "I- want-this-and-you-can't-tell-me-I-can't" ideology. Like a dope fiend -- such as Rush Limbaugh, for instance -- they are addicted to the phony sense of empowerment, god-like-ness their weapons give them, and ultimately to the violence the guns make possible. In the same way a drug user will reason, "It's my body and I should have control over whatever I choose put into it," so too do Turner and his commune believe in their right to possess guns.

That is paramount to understanding The Turner Diaries -- the main character and his commune are addicts. To support their habit, these addicts plot to destroy everyone who stands between them and their satisfying their habit, robbing and murdering in order to feed their addiction. Although Earl Turner continually sneers about other, "lesser" races lacking moral fiber, being filled with uncouth blood and living as prisoners to their basic instincts, he and his commune are guilty of each of these sins; often to a greater extent than those he criticizes and despises. For instance, Turner and his people are among that minute fraction of the population who murder other human beings. Moreover, Turner and his commune are part of the fraction within that fraction who believe killing innocents -- even of their own precious race -- is justified because it suits The Organization's needs. What are these profound needs that are so important as to make Turner and his ilk feel justified in murdering literally hundreds and hundreds of people? The need to own a gun -- to feed his addiction. There may be numerous addicts in the world, but how many have devolved to these deranged depths?

The author of the novel rightly predicted that the news media of the future would be completely compromised and utterly subverted for propagandist purposes. How do the commune-living "patriots" of The Turner Diaries wish to deal with those reporters with whom they disagree? They wish to cut their throats and pile their bodies in city streets. In Earl Turner's "free" America, no one would have the freedom to disagree with him. Guns in this futuristic world were taken away from the populace because of the violence perpetrated with these weapons. How does Turner and his commune prove they are worthy of owning firearms? By killing people -- many, many people (nearly 1,000 by the end of the first 100 pages), most of them unarmed and no direct threat to Earl Turner.

This is not to say The Turner Diaries is a one-note white supremacist rant. It's not. Early on, Earl Turner turns on the musk-oil charm and seduces Katherine. One morning, while the other two men are out on a "mission", Earl Turner walks into the little shower closet just as she finishes showering. You can almost hear the wah-guitar come in as this fish-white Terry-Nichols-like main character stands naked before Katherine. His big move to get the carnal action rolling? He holds out his arms to her, like a guy in community theater porn. Earl Turner has all the suavity of John Madden. So, Turner begins the sort of godless, hedonistic sexual relationship with the woman behind the backs of his comrades -- just the sort of extravagance he would deride the hippies of the 1960s for carrying on, or worse, modern day liberals. Yeah, the society of the heroes in The Turner Diaries is bleak and reeking of hypocrisy. They commit all the same sins of the people they profess to hate. None of this is surprising, though it just gives an interesting insight into the frighteningly narrow, shallow world of white supremacists.

After blowing up an FBI building and bombing The Washington Post, destroying a printing press, Earl Turner and his merry band of sociopaths lament the negative media attention their "heroic" acts receive:

What's happening now is reminiscent of the media campaign against Hitler and the German's back in the 1940's: stories about Hitler flying into rages and chewing carpets, phony German plans for the invasion of America, babies being skinned alive to make lampshades and then boiled down into soap, girls kidnapped and sent to Nazi "stud farms." The Jews convinced the American people that those stories were true, and the result was World War II, with millions of the best of our race butchered -- by us -- and all of eastern and central Europe turned into a huge, communist prison camp.

If Earl Turner had even a rudimentary knowledge of American history, he would know that it was the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor that brought America into World War II. And the "stories" of Nazis atrocities are corroborated by tens of thousands of photographs and libraries of documentation created and kept by the Nazis, themselves, along with tens of thousands of eye witnesses. In short, this single passage illustrates that Earl Turner and his commune -- and the novel's author -- were utterly divorced from reality. I once saw an interview with Ted Bundy, which occurred shortly before he was executed. He claimed that hardcore pornography led him to commit his awful crimes. In fact, authorities never found any pornography among his possessions. What they did find were a number of "majorette" magazines that featured articles on and pictures of female high school majorettes in marching bands. The parallel I'm drawing here is the ability of a psychotic mind to absolutely fabricate stories that can be checked and verified.

As any band of lunatics would do, the Organization refers to its harsh methods of dealing with dissension as "discipline." At one point in the story, Harry Powell, leader of "Unit 5", is ordered by the Organization to assassinate "two of the most obnoxious and outspoken advocates of race mixing". Powell refuses. He wrote back to his superiors "that he was opposed to the further use of violence". He was arrested by members of other units, shot and buried for his trouble.

The Turner Diaries was Tim McVeigh's bible. I read the book in the spirit of Lenny Bruce's comment, "Knowledge of syphilis is not instruction to go out an get syphillis." I've always heard of The Turner Diaries in the context of right wing lunatics. So, I thought I'd see what it was all about. What I found was a trove of unintended satire. The characters' reasoning for their admitted terrorism sounds pretty much like what we'd imagine Osama bin Laden would think rationalizing his acts of terrorism: "Our cause is so righteous, it justifies the killing of innocents."

The world envisioned by white supremacists as conveyed in The Turner Diaries is stark and grim, devoid of the human qualities that make human life worth living: love, art, beauty, dialogue among people, the freedom of people to have their own beliefs. Earl Turner and the author of the novel grope toward a world where "civilization" is whittled down to a band of wary-eyed, sullen white people who punish every infraction among themselves -- no matter how small or insignificant -- with death. It's Communism with a rabid, racist brand label on it. I can just see a person in the group beautifying his home in some way that makes the rest of the stunted commune accuse him of having "Jew blood" somewhere back in his family. Who proceed to stone the guy to death just because he painted his front door a color deemed "unpatriotic" by the rest of the clan. The people in and who embrace The Turner Diaries think very highly of themselves as they strive to undo every advance that has made civilization as we know it. They refer to people of races they hate as "mud people," but it's The Turner Diaries crowd who seek the primordial mud of incest and cannibalism and arbitrary murder. Actually, I believe a world such as this does already

exist. We know it as Hell.

The Turner Diaries: Bible of the Right Wing

Author: William Pierce (as Andrew Macdonald), leader of the neo-Nazi National Alliance Published: 1978

Publisher: Previously, the book was only available through the National Alliance's National Vanguard Press, but Barricade Books, a small independent publisher, began publishing it in 1996.

Premise: The diaries of Earl Turner, member of an underground white supremacist army, provide an inside account of an Aryan revolution that overturns the United States government in the near future.

Tone: Lurid, violent, apocalyptic, misogynistic, racist and anti-Semitic

Notable sequence: Turner's guerrilla unit detonates a homemade bomb at FBI headquarters, killing hundreds - a passage that came to be seen as foreshadowing, and as an inspiration to, Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh.

Influence: One of the most widely read and cited books on the far-right; it has explicitly influenced, among others, The Order, the Aryan Republican Army, The New Order, Timothy McVeigh.

Timeline: 1991 - Turner's diaries begin; 1993 - Turner's last entry, his successful suicide bombing of the Pentagon; 1999 - Aryan forces triumph, the New Era begins; 2099 - the narrator "publishes" Turner's diaries.


The scene is chillingly familiar: a rented truck filled with cases of dynamite and sacks containing a mixture of ammonium nitrate fertilizer and heating oil blows up in front of a federal government building shortly after 9 a.m., killing hundreds of people.

Most people would recognize this as the deadliest domestic terrorist act in American history: the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. But before this bombing ever took place, it was first depicted in The Turner Diaries (1978), an apocalyptic, violently anti-Semitic and racist novel that has achieved cult status among far-right extremists.

Written by National Alliance leader William L. Pierce under the pseudonym Andrew Macdonald, The Turner Diaries tells the story of a white supremacist guerrilla army, the "Organization," that seeks to overthrow the American government as well as leading social institutions like the media and Hollywood -- known collectively as the "System." In the book's fictional foreword, an unknown narrator, speaking in a future Aryan republic that was formerly the United States, introduces the diaries of Earl Turner; Turner, the reader learns, was a soldier and martyr, a national folk hero, in the "Great Revolution" that overturned the System and began the "New Era." We are informed that his daily observations provide an inside account of the first two years of the Revolution, which began more than 100 years earlier, in the year 1991, and lasted eight years. (The foreword is dated "April 100," meaning 100 years into the New Era of Aryan rule, or 2099.)

Birth of the New World Order

It is 1991, or 8 BNE (Before the New Era). American society is in upheaval. Crime rates skyrocket as roving gangs of blacks and other nonwhites rape and pillage nearly at will. Inflation soars and the standard of living drops dramatically. Gasoline is rationed. Two years before, the Cohen Act outlawed private ownership of firearms in the United States; to enforce the ban, Jewish-run human rights groups

employed gangs of black men to invade the homes of whites, confiscate their firearms and brutally arrest and imprison the guilty parties -- 800,000 people are arrested -- in what are known as the Gun Raids. After being arrested and subsequently fired from his job in a laboratory, the 35-year-old Turner devotes all of his time to the work of his four-person "unit," which operates in coordination with, but independently of, other cells in the Organization (the cells are directed at a distance by an unseen Revolutionary Command). The diaries begin with the Organization's decision to move beyond its campaign of recruitment and planning to action. The target is clear:

If the White nations of the world had not allowed themselves to become subject to the Jew, to Jewish ideas, to the Jewish spirit, this war would not be necessary. We can hardly consider ourselves blameless. We can hardly say we had no choice, no chance to avoid the Jew's snare. We can hardly say we were not


.... The people had finally had their fill of the Jews and their tricks


the Organization survives this

Satan's spawn.

On September 16, 1991, Organization units undertake acts of guerilla warfare and terrorism that set in motion the events that eventually lead to the overthrow of the System. Turner describes in lurid prose how, during ensuing weeks, he and his colleagues rob a liquor store for money (slitting the throat of the Jewish owner and knocking out his "fat, grotesque-looking" wife with a jar of kosher pickles), retrieve weapons stored in buried oil drums, plan assassinations and develop a scheme to bomb the F.B.I.'s headquarters. He goes into extensive detail about the merits of various explosives and his unit's laborious construction of a bomb.

One month after the start of the Revolution, Turner and his associates plant their device in a hijacked delivery truck, which they park in a subbasement loading area at F.B.I. headquarters in Washington, D.C. Their precisely calibrated efforts prove successful -- 700 people are killed and the building is badly damaged:

At 9:15 yesterday morning our bomb went off in the F.B.I.'s national headquarters building



is immense. We have certainly dis-rupted a major portion of the F.B.I.'s headquarters operations for at

least the next several weeks



gaped with a mixture of horror and elation at the devastation


It is a heavy burden of responsibility for us to bear, since most of the victims of our bomb were only pawns who were no more committed to the sick philosophy or the racially destructive goals of the System than we are.

But there is no way we can destroy the System without hurting many thousands of innocent people



if we don't destroy the System before it destroys us



whole race will die.

Because of his loyalty and effectiveness, the Organization eventually selects Turner to join its elite inner circle of racial warriors known as "The Order." Meanwhile, the Revolution grows increasingly violent and widespread. Turner's unit is raided, he is arrested and tortured by Israeli military intelligence, escapes from jail and, in part because he failed to kill himself rather than be arrested, is told by the Order that he will have to attempt a suicide mission to become a full-fledged member of the quasi-religious cadre. In the period before he receives this final command, the insurgent Organization, rapidly gaining adherents across the nation, lynches tens of thousands of "race traitors," including liberal actors and politicians and white women who slept with black men, hanging them from utility poles with placards around their neck reading, "I defiled my race." From this moment -- "The Day of the Rope" -- the Revolution lurches into genocide.

Finally, Turner receives his suicide order. His last entry describes the mission with heroic self-disregard:

It's a one way trip to the Pentagon for me. The warhead is strapped into the front seat of the old Stearman [fighter plane] and rigged to detonate either on impact or when I flip a switch in the back seat. Hopefully, I'll be able to manage a low-level air burst directly over the center of the Pentagon. Failing that, I'll at least try to fly as close as I can before I'm shot down.

In an epilogue, the narrator explains that Turner's suicide bomb crippled the Pentagon and became a turning point in the Revolution. With the System's "principal military nerve center" destroyed, the Organization is able to begin destroying urban areas across the nation that were controlled by the enemy. As the Revolution's momentum grows, its mandate begins to extend to white populations and the nonwhite peril across the globe; we learn that white domination over the planet is ultimately achieved with nuclear bombs.

The Bible of the Right Wing

The Turner Diaries is probably the most widely read book among far-right extremists; many have cited it as the inspiration behind their terrorist organizing and activity. Hoping to bring about the Aryan uprising depicted in Pierce's novel, Robert Mathews, formerly a Pacific Northwest representative of Pierce's organization, helped found the 1980s white supremacist gang The Order. Mathews' efforts ended in a fatal shootout with F.B.I. agents in 1984, while other Order members, mostly past associates of the National Alliance and Aryan Nations, were convicted and sentenced to long prison terms for their crimes, which included murders, robberies, counterfeiting and the bombing of a synagogue.

More recently, the Aryan Republican Army, which committed 22 bank robberies and bombings across the Midwest between 1992 and 1996, cited The Turner Diaries as inspiration, as did The New Order, whose members were charged with conspiracy to possess and make machine guns. At the time of their indictment, an F.B.I. agent testified that the group planned to bomb the Anti-Defamation League's New York headquarters, the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Alabama, and the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles. It had also talked of bombing state capitols and post offices, and poisoning public water supplies with cyanide.

But The Turner Diaries exerted its most tragic influence on the mind of Timothy McVeigh. Days before he bombed the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City, killing 168 people and wounding 500 others, McVeigh mailed a letter to his sister warning that "something big is going to happen," followed by a second envelope with clippings from The Turner Diaries. When she learned of her brother's arrest in connection with the bombing, McVeigh's sister burned the clippings.

F.B.I. agents also found a copy of a passage from The Turner Diaries in the car McVeigh drove on the day of the bombing. It read:

The real value of our attacks today lies in the psychological impact, not in the immediate casualties. For one thing, our efforts against the System gained immeasurably in credibility. More important, though, is what we taught the politicians and the bureaucrats. They learned today 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 the concrete walls and alarm systems of their country estates, but we can still find them and kill them.

During the bombing trial, several of McVeigh's friends testified that he had sent them copies of Pierce's novel with notes encouraging them to read it. Testimony also showed that McVeigh sold The Turner Diaries and Hunter, Pierce's follow-up to The Turner Diaries, at weekend gun shows.

Pierce, who gained national prominence following the Oklahoma City bombing, repudiated McVeigh's attack, stating, "it's really shameful to kill a lot of people when there's no hope for accomplishing anything."