National Alliance Leader William Pierce Hopes to Acquire Hate Label, Resistance Records
Aided by a GOP strategist, America's leading neo-Nazi has put out nearly $250,000 to acquire the nation's powerhouse distributor of racist rock
The Washington notables lunching at D.C.'s exclusive University Club one day last summer were doubtless unaware that America's leading neo-Nazi and a couple of gussied-up Skinheads were dining in their company.
But there they were, National Alliance leader Dr. William Pierce at a table along with two Skinheads and his host Todd Blodgett, a former Reagan White House staffer, GOP strategist and associate of national socialists, finalizing Pierce's takeover of the most lucrative white supremacist enterprise in North America: Resistance Records.
By October, Pierce had paid out nearly $250,000 to acquire the "white power" music label's compact disc catalogue, inventory, mailing list and publishing arm -- an enterprise that, all told, could inject hundreds of thousands of dollars into Pierce's wide-ranging neo-Nazi operations.
Although Resistance has been dormant for close to two years now, at its height it was selling an estimated 50,000 racist CDs a year and grossing, according to one of its original founders, $10,000 a month.
The purchase positions Pierce extremely well.
Not only could Resistance put serious money into the Alliance's coffers, but it is very likely to help America's preeminent neo-Nazi organization bring in many new followers, both in the United States and in Europe, where racist rock 'n' roll is booming.
"As Resistance Records regains strength, that acquisition should add an increasing number of younger members in the 18 to 25 age range, to our ranks," Pierce wrote recently.
Or, as Pierce's new Resistance Web site puts it: "Resistance emerges from the ashes of almost total destruction to once again shine brightly with its former glory."
Depending on its success in the coming months, in fact, the acquisition of Resistance could turn out to be one of the most significant moves by Pierce in many years. Racist music has proved to be an unusually effective recruiting tool for white supremacists seeking youthful followers.
From Comic Books to Music
Pierce had been an ardent supporter of Resistance since its inception in October 1993, writing articles and advertising in the pages of its publication, Resistance magazine, and allowing Resistance founder George Eric Hawthorne, who is now 29, air time on Pierce's weekly radio broadcast, "American Dissident Voices."
Although Pierce, a former assistant physics professor who is universally addressed as "Dr. Pierce," had long shown contempt for the uneducated, he also has seen great potential in the neo-Nazi Skinheads and other white supremacist youths who listen to white power rock 'n' roll.
An earlier Alliance effort to reach young people, an amateurish comic called The Adventures of White Will, was met with derision among its intended audience when it was released in the early 1990s. But now, the acquisition of Resistance puts Pierce in a position to reach out successfully to this youthful audience.
Pierce outlined his views on the importance of Skinheads and the necessity of an outreach to them in March 1995 on his "American Dissident Voices" radio show.
"What we have to do is encourage in every way we can the growth of the racially conscious portion of the Skinhead community," the West Virginia-based neo-Nazi told his listeners. "We have to give young people back their sense of identity.
We have to give them purpose and direction again. We have to help them value self-discipline and clean living again. This is one of the tasks the National Alliance has set for itself."
In Detroit, An Enterprise is Born
Pierce and Blodgett's high-dollar dealing in the exclusive environs of Washington's University Club was the culmination of what began more than six years earlier in a suburban Ontario bedroom with a young Skinhead's dream of an Aryan rock 'n' roll empire.
A pudgy, upper-middle-class Canadian, young George Burdi initially joined white nationalist ranks during the 1980s as a member of Ben Klassen's neo-Nazi Church of the Creator. He soon became the major youth leader in a Canadian racist organization, the Heritage Front.
In the early '90s, under the alias of "George Eric Hawthorne," Burdi remade himself into a beefcake white power rocker, racist media entrepreneur and theoretician for the worldwide Aryan revolution.
Although Resistance was launched in 1993, Burdi officially incorporated it in January 1994 with Jason Snow and Joseph Talic, who are both now 28. Burdi ran the enterprise out of Michigan to avoid Canada's strict hate propaganda laws.
It is rumored that Pierce gave the young Skinhead entrepreneurs of Resistance $10,000 as start-up money. In any case, it is clear that Pierce looked favorably, if not covetously, on Hawthorne's neo-Nazi media venture from its inception.
With Burdi's band RaHoWa as the foundation for its distribution catalogue, Resistance, headquartered in the Detroit area, soon signed up most major white power bands -- not only in North America, but in England and the rest of Europe as well.
Burdi's egocentric style and self-promotion eventually antagonized a sizable portion of the Skinhead movement.
Yet he created the most professionally produced magazine yet seen on the white nationalist scene, a full-color publication printed on slick paper stock with an impressive layout and writing far more elevated and innovative than most other supremacist literature of the time. It was a benchmark for future publishing efforts.