The Turner Diaries, Other Racist Novels, Inspire Extremist Violence
The Turner Diaries didn't just inspire a lot of extremist violence — it also inspired a lot of extremely violent novels
By Camille Jackson
More than half a century later, French novelist Jean Raspail tapped into a similar set of stereotypes and fears with his anti-immigration novel, The Camp of the Saints. Written in the early 1970s during a wave of Algerian immigration into France, The Camp of the Saints also took a while to catch on in the U.S. But when it did, two decades later, it had a major influence on the American anti-immigration movement.
Far more fluidly written than most extremist novels, The Camp of the Saints is infused with apocalyptic foreboding. The plot concerns a famine-induced pilgrimage to the shores of the French Riviera by Hindu refugees described as "kinky-haired, swarthy-skinned, long-despised phantoms."
As the flotilla makes its way around Africa to France, Raspail writes about the ineffectual reactions of government officials, church leaders, liberals and soldiers — the cultured and civilized who belong to the "camp of the saints." He rails against the "monstrous cancer" of multiculturalism and lingers over descriptions of the brown and black hordes with their "fleshless, Gandhi arms" — all heading ominously, disastrously, toward France.
When The Social Contract Press, an anti-immigration hate group, reprinted The Camp of the Saints in 1995, the book caught fire with extremists. Reviewing the novel in the white-supremacist American Renaissance magazine, editor Jared Taylor proclaimed, "this may be the first significant racialist novel since the days of Thomas Dixon."
The Camp of the Saints was "astonishingly current," Taylor said, given the influx of Hispanic immigrants into the U.S. Its "central tragedy" was the "suicidal white weakness" demonstrated by Westerners reluctant to turn away the immigrants.
Taylor and other anti-immigration activists also picked up on Raspail's notion that the Algerian immigration amounted to a "peaceful invasion" of France; many U.S. activists are convinced that a "Mexican invasion" of America is currently underway.
The anti-immigration activists at The Social Contract Press recognized how influential a book like Raspail's could be. "The poet, the playwright, the novelist, the filmmaker can present truths and open our eyes in ways that demographic analyses, comparative income studies, or social welfare statistics never can," reads a publisher's note to the 1995 edition. "The storytellers can advance notions prohibited to others."
Feeding the Hogs
The main "prohibited notion" in recent extremist novels is the oppression, unseen but insidious, of white people.
In Ellen Williams' Bedford, a World Vision, a small Southern village — loosely based on Williams' own hometown of Leroy, Ala. — has been overtaken by liberals. The story revolves around 14-year-old Horace Adam Pruitt Jr., a Southern Baptist kid who's fallen under the influence of a left-wing teacher. Young Pruitt sues his parents for making him go to church — but that's only the tip of the iceberg.
Bedford is in upheaval as public schools are "dumbed down," abortion is legalized, secularists advocate euthanasia of the elderly to conserve resources, and speaking out against homosexuality is outlawed. To make matters even worse, the U.S. flag is banned in favor of a United World flag. States have been dissolved, and the country divided into regions.
"Most people have liked it," Williams told the Intelligence Report. "People say the book is coming true." Williams (see Honoring the Confederacy) belongs to both the Council of Conservative Citizens and the League of the South, predominantly Southern hate groups that often work on "heritage issues." At League of the South gatherings, she often provides entertainment, singing such tunes as "Dixie" and "God Save the South."
Another neo-Confederate, author Lloyd Lenard, sings a similar tune about the oppression of Southern whites in The Last Confederate Flag (see C-4 and the Confederacy). Lenard's protagonist, Stonewall Bedford, is persecuted by militant blacks because of his loyalty to the rebel flag.
"The carpetbaggers aren't all white," Bedford tells his wife. "Hundreds of them are black. They spring up right in our midst, spurred on daily by the goading of their own political leaders. Protected by the U.S. Justice Department, these militants push for the necessity of remolding Southerners into more pliant people."
But they won't remold Bedford. As angry blacks threaten to remove the Confederate battle flag from city hall — and open fire on Bedford's family — he tries valiantly to preserve the flag. Nothing can keep him from being true to his Southern heritage.
In John Ross' Unintended Consequences, a white Southern man faces another form of oppression — an "obscure federal gun law written to promote massive noncompliance and give idled [gun] prohibition agents something to do." Ross paints Henry Bowman as a Fourth-Amendment underdog who ultimately has no choice but to fight back against the federal government.
"You fools have been using blank search warrants, planting evidence, and perjuring yourselves in court," Bowman tells federal agents after he's turned the tables and apprehended them during a failed raid. "You've reinterpreted your own rulings and used entrapment to put people in prison over paperwork disputes."
Bowman, an expert gunman, makes sure that the agents he captures don't abuse citizens' rights any more: He dismembers them and feeds their bodies to hogs.
Bowman's violent revenge has drawn comparisons — both positive and negative — to Earl Turner's adventures. A review from Publisher's Weekly notes that Ross's novel "seethes with a grudge against a government that is portrayed as having persecuted praiseworthy citizens who merely want to exercise their civil rights. Like the notorious and paranoid Turner Diaries, this novel may speak to readers on the fringes of American society — but it misses the middle, both artistic and political, by a long shot."