White Supremacist, Antisemitic, and Race Hate Groups in the U.S.: A Geneology
by Chip Berlet
What is the White Order of Thule? What is the Creativity movement (WCOTC)? What is the National Alliance? What is Hammerskin Nation? What is Aryan Nations?
All of these are White supremacist, antisemitic, race hate groups.
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Where did these groups get their ideas?
This chart below provides a historic genealogy of where these groups
get their ideas.
Note that Christianity, paganism, pantheism, Odinism, and the Nordic heroic warrior myths do not automatically intersect with either White supremacy or antisemitism. This chart only shows specific lines of intellectual influence.
While members of the White Order of Thule practice a form of Odinism or Asatru, only a few followers of these pagan beliefs are White supremacist neonazis. Many pagan websites post disclaimers denouncing hate to make the distinction clear. See for example: ÁSATRÚ: An ancient, but ever new religion, with the disclaimer: "We promote equality, harmony and tolerance between all people of ethnic diversity, gender orientation, educational background, and religious/spiritual preference."
While "Wotan" is one of the many names for the Norse god Odin, in White supremacist circles the name WOTAN is also used as an acronym for "Will Of The Aryan Nations." Find out more about the original myths of Odin at Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia of pagan information. Visit our collection of Nordic myth sites.
How is music used to recruit young people into these race hate groups?
(Formerly World Church of the Creator)
Note: A prexisting group using the name Church of the Creator sued for control of that name and won. However much of the literature for the Creativity movement and most early reports on the group use the name World Church of the Creator (WCOTC) to refer to the race hate group. We apologize for this confusion and to the group currently claiming the name, and hope people are clear that there is no connection between the two groups.
The Creativity movement was founded by Ben Klassen who wrote a series of books about his idiosyncratic philosophy. The current leader is Matt Hale. According to Klassen, his religion--Creativity--is the recognition that the natural destiny of the White Race is to rule the world and thus fulfill the purpose of the universe. To attain this destiny, it is necessary to destroy the enemies and race traitors who prevent this from happening. The primary enemies are Jews, Blacks and other "mud people," and White race traitors, including most Christians. Klassen credits the influence of Hitler's Mein Kampf in the development of his views. Creativity may be a despicable religion, but it can claim to be a religion because it aspires to an understanding of the purpose of life, seeks transcendence, and has an articulated set of beliefs and rituals.
What Klassen did was to pick up ideas from the theories of Nietzsche, pantheisim, Odinism, and Celtic paganism as filtered through German Nazi retelling of the Norse heroic warrior myths, to create a religion of Aryanist White supremacy. Discarding the details, he created a form of cosmotheism in which the supreme power is the collective will of the Aryan race. The duty of every member of the Aryan race is to reflect the ideals of the heroic warrior and do battle with the enemies of the race. The group's battle cry is RAHOWA, which stands for RAcial HOly WAr. Like other forms of fascism, the idea of action is central to the philosophy, as is the celebration of violence and the spilling of blood as part of a rite of passage to full adulthood. While this ideas was originally a concept of men and manhood, it has been extended to include women and womanhood. Some do not see this as progress for feminist ideas.
When some people examine Klassen's book The White Man's Bible,
they accurately point out that it does not seem to clearly articulate
a religious viewpoint. This is true, however, the earlier book, Nature's
Eternal Religion is the foundation document of the religion. The
White Man's Bible is more of a handbook for clean living. Another
Klassen book is On the Brink of a Bloody Racial War: With the White
Race Targeted for Extermination.
In Nature's Eternal Religion, Klassen writes:
"It was then I decided to compile my creed into a book. I decided to formulate a new religion for the White Race that would lead it out of the quagmire of Jewish entrapment, out of despair and degradation, and into the bright light of greatness, to the heights of the wonderful destiny that Nature herself, in her great wisdom, has destined for this magnificent race." p. 444.In White Man's Bible, Klassen writes:
"The niggers is (sic) the vital means of bastardizing the White Race…The Jews are therefore madly pushing a program of upgrading the niggers and pulling down the White." The suggested solution is to ship Blacks back to Africa, "drive the Jews from power and render them harmless," and "hang the traitors of our own race." p. 184See cite to Mein Kampf as influence, Nature's Eternal Religion, p. 440.
Benjamin Nathaniel Smith went on a shooting rampage in 1999 in Illinois and Indiana, targeting Jews, Blacks and Asians. He then killed himself. Smith was influenced by the World Church of the Creator.
In Klassen's book, On the Brink of a Bloody Racial War, the inevitability of genocide carried out by White racial warriors is obvious throughout, however, while the WCOTC is struggling to gain total control over the political system in a country, Klassen urges followers to stay within the boundaries of what is "legal, constitutional, and non-violent. This is a tactical, not a strategic, command. Klassen, On the Brink of a Bloody Racial War, p. 375.
Klassen's words are reprinted by Hale as part of a public statement in the WCOTC newsletter The Struggle, that includes the claim: "Our Church does not condone or advocate violence or illegality in any way." The Struggle, Issue XC, Dec. XXIXAC, p. 12
In his article "Creativity's Strategy for White Victory," Hale makes it clear that the call for nonviolence is merely a temporary tactic. Hale cites Klassen's admonition to use legal means to win the struggle. "We must spread the message of Creativity legally so that we can continue to spread it, rather than wind up in jail." Matt Hale, "Creativity's Strategy for White Victory."
Yet the WCOTC philosophy makes it clear that once in power, the Church will create the conditions whereby people of color, Jews, and White "race traitors" will wither away and eventually disappear off the face of the Earth. This fits the UN definition of genocide.
Hale writes: "It cannot be denied that Ben Klassen envisioned that one day, there would probably be an all-out war with the mud races. After all, he did not speak the words 'RAHOWA! This Planet is Ours!" for nothing. In Nature's Eternal Religion, he describes how once we get the White Race's thinking straight, the White Race will cease to subsidize the mud races, and they shall wither on the vine. Then, the White Race under the banner of Creativity shall expand its territory until all the good lands of this planet earth are ours. The mud races may very well offer some resistance and that resistance will have to be destroyed."
While this call for future genocide is clear, Hale repeats his call for nonviolence at the present time. The intrinsic heroic warrior theme of Creativity, however, rebuts that claim because it makes it clear that "real" masculine men take action against their enemies and advance their race. This creates a dynamic whereby followers of Creativity could easily decide to increase their status through aggression or even violence against their enemies.
Like many devotees of racial Aryanism, Hitlerism, and Nordicism, activists in the World Church of the Creator are fans of imperial Rome. This started with founder Klassen, who called himself Pontifex Maximus, the title in Latin used by all subsequent leaders. The Church newsletter, The Struggle, in recent years has sported Roman numeral years and issue numbers. One issue included a notice on how to obtain a language course for learning Latin. "Interested in Learning Latin?" The Struggle, Issue LXXXVII, Sept. XXIXAC, p. 5
The back page of Issue XC (90) held a hand drawn Roman Legionnaire with a WCOTC shield and a sword battling a snake with a Star of David on its tail and a caricature of a "Jew's" face complete with stereotypic (antisemitic) features. The Struggle, Issue XC, Dec. XXIXAC, p. 12
In another issue there is an article by Brother Donald Hansard, "Greatness," which proclaims, "When most of us look to the past and see those who have achieved greatness, we think about the likes of the Romans, the Third Reich, and the Babylonians…. With the Romans, it was Augustus and Hadrian along with a few other emperors who showed the people of Rome the truth about the Jews. With the Third Reich, it was Adolf Hitler, Joseph Goebels, and Rudolf Hess along with a few others who would take Germany back from the Jews and restore the German pride the Jews had stolen." Donald Hansard, "Greatness." The Struggle, Issue LXXXIX, Nov. XXIXAC, p. 5.
The Imperial Romans and the Nordic Aryan Nazis are seen as the racial ancestors of White men in the U.S. in this formulation.
According to WCOTC teachings, Christianity is just another form of Judaism.
Building Democracy Initiative of the Center for New Community
Southern Poverty Law Center
Links to Creativity websites
The White Order of Thule is a group influenced by Odinism, paganism, pantheism, Greek mythology, and Celtic lore, and is mirrored on German Nazi celebration of Nordic myths of the heroic warrior. These myths were the basis of Wagner's Ring opera cycle, and influenced Hitler who merged them with his distorted understanding of Nietzsche's philosophy of the centrality of will and the concept of the Ubermensch which Hitler turned into the idea of an Aryan "Master Race."
Read the following for an excellent overview of the White Order of Thule
Damned, Defiant and Dangerous Continuing White Supremacist Violence in the U.S. Devin Burghart and Justin Massa Searchlight, July 2001According to Devin Burghart and Justin Massa:
"The group’s educational programme teaches its few members everything from "Practical Occultism", "Jungian psychology" and "Archetypal Pathworking", to "Folkish Hygiene" and "Hermetic Philosophy". White Order of Thule study books include, Imperium, Mein Kampf, The Decline of the West, Might is Right, Revolt Against the Modern World, and Twilight of the Idols." Read More Here.The original Thule Society was an esoteric group formed in the early 1900s that helped recruit the original German Nazi movement, the NSDAP--National Socialist German Workers Party. Ostara was a viciously antisemitic magazine that influenced some of the ideas in the Thule Society and the NSDAP.
A newsletter circulated in the White Order of Thule, Fenris Wolf, carries a graphic of a farmer with a scyth, and the headline: "To give death and to receive it.....that is the power of the Ubermensch!!! Hail Queen Hela! Hail Death!" Cite: Fenris Wolf # 7.
This same issue discusses the importance of reading books such as Madison Grant's The Passing of the Great Race, and contains a number of music reviews of neonazi black metal music. (See: Soundtracks to White Revolution).
Books from 14 Words Press are popular in White Order of Thule networks.
More about Leo V. Felton and Erica Chase in Boston:
Anti-Defamation League - White Order of Thule - Two with Ties to White Supremacy Suspected in Plot to Bomb Boston SitesNazi black metal leader arrested in the US - Searchlight By Devin Burghart and Justin Massa - Center for New Comunity
Read a list of materials for sale at a website influenced by Nordicist Aryan supremacy: Micetrap Forum.
Intellectual Roots of White SupremacyThe Extreme Right in the United States is comprised of groups overtly promoting White supremacy and antisemitism along with forms of heteropatriarchy. The White supremacy of the Extreme Right is rooted in pseudo-scientific theories of the biological superiority of the White "race." Key texts that these theories draw on include:
"Democratic theories of government in their modern form are based on dogmas of equality formulated some hundred and fifty years ago and rest upon the assumption that environment and not heredity is the controlling factor in human development" (Grant, 1923: xx).The pseudo science of racialism was taught in major universites such as Harvard and MIT as science for many years. Its application spawned the eugenics movement. According to Margaret Quigley:
'The history of the eugenics movement begins with the publication of Charles Darwin's study of human evolution, The Origin of Species in 1859. The idea of evolution, of the development of species over time was transformative but it was the more general idea of the inheritability of human traits that captured the imagination of the earliest writers of what came to be called eugenics. In 1865, as the Civil War in the United States was drawing to an end, independently wealthy Francis Galton published two articles in Macmillan's Magazine that would form the basis of the English eugenics movement; they were jointly called "Hereditary Talent and Character." The essays were expanded into a book published four years later in 1869 and called Hereditary Genius. The central thesis of both the articles and the book was that human traits, and particularly great ability, can be inherited from previous generations. Charles Darwin wrote of his cousin's book, "I do not think I ever in all my life read anything more interesting and original." 'Read more from this article about the history of "scientific racism" and Eugenics.
Read about AHNENERBE - Simon Wiesenthal Center A society founded by Heinrich Himmler in 1935, for the purpose of proving the superiority of Germans through "scientific" experiments.
Spengler/Yockey/CartoOswald Spengler developed the idea of of a "cyclical theory of cultures," in Decline of the West.
This idea was carried further into racialism in Imperium, by Francis Parker Yockey, a "World War II era Nazi sympathizer," whose book Sara Diamond describes as "a classic piece of anti-Jewish propaganda, linking Jews to banking, national indebtedness, and conspiracies behind racial conflict in American society."
Yockey, and his devotee Willis Carto, synthesized Spengler’s theories and arrived at a culturally-based racial nationalist interpretation. Carto founded the Liberty Lobby and the Spotlight newspaper, but both are now defunct.
Spotlight & Liberty Lobby (now defunct) - PRA
Willis Carto - ADL
The most important source of antisemitic conspiracist thinking worldwide is the forged propaganda tract, The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion.
In the United States, the most important source for spreading the Protocols was the newspaper The Dearborn Independent, published by Henry Ford, the automaker. Hitler considered Ford a great hero. Ford later claimed he regreted this aspect of his work.
Where Nordic Myths and the Aryan "Race" Intersect with AntisemitismThere is a large amount of literature about Norse, Viking and other Nordic heroic warrior myths. None of this is necessarily linked to White supremacist racism or antisemitism.
A non-racist overview of Norse mythology can be found at Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia of pagan information. Sometimes Celtic myths are blended into Norse myths.
Here are two books that tell the Nordic heroic warrior myths in an accessible manner:
Coolidge, Olivia E. (1951). Legends of the North. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
Riis, Jacob A. (1910). Hero-Tales of the Far-North. New York: MacMillan.
Some authors have racialized these myths. One example is Richard Kelly Hoskins, an influential White supremacist ideologue. In 1958 Hoskins wrote Our Nordic Race where he claimed, "The history of our [Nordic] race is an epic story which should thrill the hearts of our youth..." (5).
According to Hoskins:
"Today the entire world is seething with unrest. The line of conflict is found wherever the protective ring of outposts of our western civilization comes in contact with the now belligerent and aggressive nations of the colored world" (Foreword).Hoskins identifies the villains:
"[A] group of 'agitation Jews,' in close co-operation with a group of Nordic Race Traitors, are almost wholly responsible for the destructive 'one race, one creed, one color' Marxist campaign that has brought strife and disunity to our country and to the rest of Western Civilization" (27).He also proposes some solutions, a tactical reform agenda and a strategic plan that implies a more aggressive methodology:
"...we must add to the large number of states who already have laws prohibiting racial interbreeding and insure that these laws are made ironclad. It would be an irony indeed to protect ourselves against a second Pearl Harbor only to be destroyed by Marxist mongrelism from within" (38).
"Crucial it is that we have solidarity on the subject of Nordic preservation in spite of our enemies within who are doing their utmost to destroy us. If we do not unite our thinking and our actions we shall rest with the ashes of the ages in less than a century. But if we rise to the crisis--if we ally ourselves with our neighbors next door, with our kinsmen more distant, to crush beneath the heel the traitors within, and stalwartly meet the tidal wave of colored fanaticism that is rapidly approaching our shores--we shall win through to a great new era that will follow us to the stars" (39).For Hoskins, the primary focus is on White supremacy, but secondarily the issues of race traitors, Marxists, and "agitation Jews." He also is critical of the role of government in aiding "mongrelism from within." Since contemporary White supremacy is based on pseudo-scientific racialism, Jews are considered to be part of the Semitic race, even though not all Jews are Semitic, and many people who consider themselves Semites are Arab. To add further confusion, some Extreme Right hucksters claim they are not really "antisemitic" because they hold no grudge against Arabs, who they classify as Semites.
Nietzsche, the Ubermensch, National Socialism, Hitler, and the Master Race Theory
Nietzsche did not inherently spawn the Nazi movement. It was German Nazi biased interpretations of Nietzsche that matter in the chart on this page. Nietzsche's philosophy is a hotly debated matter with substantial arguments made by credible scholars that Nietzsche would have disowned Hitler's interpretation.
Hitler relied on the racialized anthropology of the day to develop the racial theory of Aryanism, which did not come from Nietzsche.
From Alan Taylor, "Nietzsche the Nazi?"
"For some time it has been popular to disparage the works of the infamous German thinker, Friedrich Nietzsche, on the grounds that his thought is dangerous, that it lends itself to totalitarianism and, more specifically, to fascism. The history of Nietzsche's adoption by the forces of National Socialism in Germany has been well documented. Adolf Hitler personally approved of Nietzsche's writings, and upon coming to power he promoted one of Nietzsche's first Nazi disciples, Alfred Baumler, to professor of philosophy in Berlin. During the Nazi period Nietzsche was both widely read and celebrated in Germany. He was considered to be one of the master-thinkers of the Aryan race. After Germany lost the war, Nietzsche's thought fell into disrepute. Martin Heidegger even blamed his involvement in Nazi politics on the influence of Nietzsche. Since that time, however, Nietzsche's work has enjoyed a modest revival. Nevertheless, Nietzsche is still viewed with suspicion in many circles! because of a circumstance of history that was beyond his control. Many critics continue to argue that Nietzsche's thinking is at best dangerous or, at worst, downright evil because it leads directly to fascism."[Thanks to Alan Taylor and Michael Pollak for help on this section]
Violence and Fascist IdeologyFascism as a political ideology values action over thought, and glorifies violence as a ritual rite of passage into true manhood. In recent years (in an ironic twist to the demands of the feminist movement) some women in organized racist groups have extolled violence as a way to achieve true womanhood. Some women in organized race hate groups have sought and attained ledership positions and participated in violence, while others remain marginalized in an overwhlemingly macho subculture, or accept submissive and secondary roles. Kathleen Blee has conducted the most in-depth research into this.
The father of fascism, Italy's Benito Mussolini, worked with Giovanni Gentile to write an entry on the philosophy of fascism for the 1932 Enciclopedia Italiana.
"Fascism, the more it considers and observes the future and the development of humanity quite apart from political considerations of the moment, believes neither in the possibility nor the utility of perpetual peace. It thus repudiates the doctrine of Pacifism -- born of a renunciation of the struggle and an act of cowardice in the face of sacrifice. War alone brings up to its highest tension all human energy and puts the stamp of nobility upon the peoples who have courage to meet it. All other trials are substitutes, which never really put men into the position where they have to make the great decision -- the alternative of life or death.... "
14 Words Press14 Words Press publishes material from David Lane, a jailed White supremacist leader.
The 14 words refer to a slogan coined by Lane:
"We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children."According to ADL:
"The [14 Words Press] press has promoted a racist version of the ancient Norse religion Asatru that Lane refers to as Wotansvolk. Asatru, often referred to as Odinism, incorporates the worship of Odin, Thor and other gods and goddesses and is not innately racist. Lane was initially drawn to Christian Identity but became involved with Asatru because he believed, like other white supremacists, that his ancient Northern European ancestors practiced the pagan religion. He describes Wotansvolk, his racialized and Nazified version, as a faith that incarnates WOTAN, or Will Of The Aryan Nation."View book covers from 14 Word Press:
Racist Skinheads[Note that not all skinheads are racist, and in the U.S. many skinheads are anti-racist.]
Hammerskin Nation - ADLMark Hamm has written a detailed book on racists skinheads and criminality.
Christian IdentityNot a group but a loose knit network and ideology. Christian Identity is a white supremacist philosophy that mirrors resugent neonazi activism world-wide. "Identity is based on the premise that the Jews are literally Children of Satan - the seed of Cain, that people of color are 'pre-Adamic' mud people - God's failures before perfecting Adam, and that white Christian Aryans are the 'Lost Sheep of the House of Israel' - God's chosen people, and therefore America is the biblical promised land," explains Lenny Zeskind. Identity is based in part on an earlier religious concept called "British Israelism." Some advisors to Henry Ford helped transform British Israelism into Christian Identity.
Minges, Patrick. (1994). Apocalypse Now! The Realized Eschatology of the "Christian Identity" Movement. Paper, Mid-Atlantic Conference, American Academy of Religion.
Michael Barkun has writen the most extensive book on Christian Identity
Transitional books taking British Israelism into Christian Identity:
Allen, J. H. (1917 ). Judah’s Sceptre and Joseph’s Birthright. 15th ed. Haverhill, MA: Destiny Publishers.
The National Alliance is a neonazi group whose leader, William Pierce, wrote the novel Turner Diaries under the pseudonym Andrew McDonald. Pierce recently died, but the National Alliance, for the moment, continues on.
Read an article from the National Alliance magazine on Celtic Lore Celtic Folkways and the Clash with Romans and Germans
Other racial nationalist groups
On this website
General background on Organized Racism
Ridgeway, James. (1991). Blood in the Face: The Ku Klux Klan, Aryan Nations, Nazi Skinheads, and the Rise of a New White Culture. New York: Thunder’s Mouth Press.
Blee, Kathleen M. (1991). Women of the Klan: Racism and Gender in the 1920s. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Dobratz, Betty A., and Stephanie L. Shanks-Meile. (1997). "White Power, White Pride!" The White Separatist Movement in the United States. New York, Twayne Publishers.
Ezekiel, Raphael S. (1995). The Racist Mind: Portraits of American Neo-Nazis and Klansmen. New York: Viking.
Aho, James A. (1990). The Politics of Righteousness: Idaho Christian Patriotism. Seattle: University of Washington Press.
Aho, James A. (1994). This Thing of Darkness: A Sociology of the Enemy. Seattle: University of Washington Press.
Pagans and Prison Imprisoned racists are working with others outside the walls to spread a noxious version of ancient Norse religion - Southern Poverty Law Center
'Germanic', 'Celtic' 'pagan' religion, and the far Right SIMPOS: Netherlands foundation for information on social problems and occult tendencies
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