Kristen Kaiser Speaks Out About Her Time as a Member of the National Alliance
A former National Alliance insider speaks
For four years, Kirsten Kaiser, 36, lived with her husband on or near the West Virginia compound of William Pierce, the leader of the neo-Nazi National Alliance and author of the racist fantasy novel The Turner Diaries.
Kaiser was married to Kevin Alfred Strom, who co-hosts Pierce's racist and anti-Semitic radio show and is one of Pierce's closest associates. In that role, she got to know Pierce's inner circle and some of its members' thinking.
Over the nine years of her marriage, Kaiser came to question the violently racist views of the Alliance — especially after the deaths of 19 children in the Oklahoma City bombing, which was patterned on an attack portrayed in The Turner Diaries.
Today, she is living in Minnesota and going through a divorce from Strom. The Intelligence Report interviewed Kaiser about her life and acquaintances inside the Alliance, and how she came to leave.
INTELLIGENCE REPORT: How did you first hear of the National Alliance?
KAISER: I first heard about it in 1986 through reading magazines which my second husband, Joseph McLaughlin, had. I remember initially I was really shocked. I had noticed that Joseph didn't seem to like Democrats or Republicans, and I asked him, 'What are you anyway?'
He said he was a [white] nationalist, that when he was 17 years old he had run away from home and gone to Iceland so he could be around other nationalists.
IR: What was your first contact with William Pierce?
KAISER: Joseph had me call Dr. Pierce one day in the summer of 1987. It was the day that [former Nazi leader] Rudolph Hess died. Joseph was all excited about this and they were all saying that it was a plot, a murder conspiracy.
IR: What did you say to Pierce?
KAISER: I said that I'd been reading his magazines. And he said, 'You know, I'm really going to have to have you meet Kevin Strom. I know you'll just love him.'
I didn't meet Kevin until about four months later, on Nov. 7, 1987, when he came to our house in Arlington [Va.], but I really did like him a lot. I fell in love with him, but I didn't see him again until January 1988.
I was still married to Joseph at that time, but Kevin was starting to introduce me to people. I really wanted to meet people. I was very alone, very isolated.
They were all in this radical movement and they talked about radical things and it was very mysterious and fun and interesting. I had never met anybody like this. In the meantime, the situation with Joseph was getting worse.
On March 15, 1988, I left. Kevin helped me move, and he moved into the apartment that I got.
IR: How had Kevin gotten into the movement?
KAISER: It turns out that Kevin's high school government teacher in Fairfax, Va., was a fascist who kind of recruited him into all this. He pointed him to the John Birch Society. Kevin was never involved in the Klan.
He is the big intellectual — we continuously made fun of the Klan. But he did read literature like Instauration [a relatively highbrow racist publication] and corresponded with people like Jared Taylor [who runs a magazine called American Renaissance and has argued that blacks are less intelligent than whites] (see Sharks In The Mainstream and Race And 'Reason').
IR: When did you first meet Pierce in person?
KAISER: A little before that, at the very end of 1987. Joseph and Kevin and I all met Dr. Pierce at a restaurant in Arlington. I had just finished reading The Turner Diaries, which I thought was very poorly written, and I think I told him so, which may be part of the reason why he dislikes me so much.
He said that he had written it very fast and that he was very surprised at how popular it had become. He said that he had always intended to rewrite it and make it better, but that he liked it real well.
IR: Do you think Pierce was serious about the message of the book [which depicts a race war set off by the protagonist's bombing of the FBI headquarters building]?
KAISER: Yes. That first night we met, I remember that he said that if they didn't blow up the FBI soon, it would become impossible because technology was getting better and better.
I used to drive past the Pentagon and other government buildings every day, and I never gave them a second thought until he started pointing out that there was this big sinister thing going on, that they were ultimately out to get me and Joseph personally, particularly because now we knew the truth that no one was supposed to know.
IR: How was Pierce treated that night?
KAISER: Everybody has always treated Dr. Pierce with tremendous reverence. Nobody calls Dr. Pierce "Bill." Even his wife calls him Dr. Pierce.
IR: And how did Pierce act toward you?
KAISER: Dr. Pierce said, "You're just a housewife," and I was so shocked and hurt. I had just got done reading his whole magazine, the National Vanguard magazine, which had a picture of Venus de Milo on the cover and went on and on about how women should be at home having children.
I thought, "If that's what they think, why did he just say that to me?" It really hurt and confused me. It never made any sense.
Dr. Pierce doesn't like women. He told me later that he likes them in a James Bond sense. Those were his favorite movies, James Bond movies. In those movies, women are just sort of fun toys, and that is really how he sees them.
Once, Dr. Pierce showed me some mail-order bride catalogs after his third wife, Olga, left him for three or four months. They were just unbelievable. You pick up a catalog that's full of these women and almost every last one of them is named Eva. It was always eastern European women, from Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Russia.
IR: After this initial meeting, I understand you stayed in touch with Pierce while you lived in Virginia and, later, in Maryland. When did you and Kevin finally move to Pierce's compound [on 346 acres outside Hillsboro, W. Va.]?
KAISER: We moved on to his land on Oct. 1, 1991, and stayed there in a little trailer until Sept. 3 of 1992. After that, we moved to an apartment above a truck garage in Hillsboro, and Kevin continued working for Dr. Pierce until 1995.
IR: What was it like living on Pierce's land?
KAISER: By the time we moved off the land, I had pretty much had it with the whole bunch of them. I listened to all these speeches about how this was a community and we were going to work together, and it wasn't that way at all.
These people never even bothered to say hello and good-bye. They didn't have dinner together, hardly ever, and they didn't have any celebrations together.
There was no discussion between people about what they were doing and how it connected to what other people were doing. The only one who really knew what was going on was Dr. Pierce, and he wasn't telling anybody anything they didn't need to know.
Nobody drinks there. Drinking is absolutely forbidden. And watching television was not allowed — even though Dr. Pierce watched the news every night, which I remember ended up getting some people angry.
It was a station you could hardly see. It was more like listening to the news. You know, Dr. Pierce has extremely poor eyesight because he once kept his contact lenses in for two solid weeks and that damaged his eyes. He is supposed to be such a smart man, but he doesn't have any common sense at all.
They never did really like me there, and I think another one of the reasons was because I said, "If I'm going to work, you're going to have to pay me something because my time is valuable." They just thought that was unheard of.
Everyone works for Dr. Pierce, if not for nothing, then virtually nothing. The people who were paid basically got about $300 a month. Dr. Pierce is very, very stingy in many ways.