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
Of course, the middle is not what these novelists are aiming for. Extremist novelists see radical problems that mainstream Americans don't — and they dream up equally radical solutions. In Gerald James McManus' Dark Millennium, the problem is "multicultural democracy." The solution is unwavering racial violence.
McManus' novel follows racist tyrant Alexander McGrail as he rises "with phenomenal quickness from relative obscurity to the top rung of American politics" — and then usurps the U.S. presidency to become "President of Earth for Life." McGrail directs a worldwide extermination of all people of color, except for a few particularly intelligent Asians.
McManus describes the victims being herded into pits and shot, massacred in the streets, and sterilized through tainted drinking water. Whites who fail an IQ test are sterilized, too. Pregnant black women are killed on sight.
"I think the ultimate message in the book is that the world is heading for terrible problems," McManus told the Intelligence Report. He's flattered when readers tell him that his book is "like a sequel to The Turner Diaries," even if he's never actually read Pierce's work.
Like Pierce, McManus is not about to apologize for the mass killings of people of color. His concern, he says, is ultimately the preservation of humanity.
"The only way for humanity to prosper and expand into outer space is through some type of worldwide benevolent government," says McManus. "We have to quell the population and produce the homogenous society that's needed to survive."
Outer space is often the ultimate destination for white characters who survive the violent plots of these books. In Hold Back This Day, Ward Kendall describes a racist dystopia — a super-globalized world of "Unification" where all major religions are distilled into one, Chrislamhindbuddhism, and where brown skin is preferred over white.
The story revolves around one of the Earth's remaining fair-skinned men, Jeff Huxton. After having a white son in his first marriage, Huxton joins the multicultural majority, taking an Asian woman as his second wife and fathering a biracial daughter. When his white son, Adam, has trouble fitting in at school, Huxton recalls his own days of being a misfit: "Like Adam, he too had been the class 'freak,' having had the misfortune of being born to one of the last sets of parents who were 'unblended.' "
Young Adam finds a white mentor, Karl Ramstrom, who teaches him about white history, back in the good old days before Unification. Adam falls in love with Ramstrom's daughter. The plot thickens when Huxton discovers Adam's plan to leave for Mars with his new white friends and join Avalon, the only white colony left in the universe. Huxton comes around to a new way of thinking, rejecting his multicultural beliefs and blended family in favor of Avalon.
Kendall says his novel has been embraced by "white nationalists" not because it ends with a utopian fantasy, but because it's based on reality. "It shows our struggle from the viewpoint of a single man, facing a world determined to see our kind made extinct," says Kendall.
Against the Odds
The idea of a lone hero doing battle with the world's evils is nothing new. But William Pierce was apparently on to something when he gave that old storyline a new, white-supremacist twist. Most extremist novels published since The Turner Diaries focus on a white protagonist who wakes up to what's wrong with the world, and then acts against the odds to make things right.
There's a good reason for that, says Harvard University lecturer Rebecca Wingfield. Social protest novels — whether it's Uncle Tom's Cabin or Hold Back This Day — work on readers by drawing them into the experiences of a protagonist they can relate to.
"As the character undergoes a shift in his or her political position," Wingfield says, "we, as readers, undergo this shift with him or her. Since the appeal here is to our emotions and sympathies, and not just our intellects, fiction offers a much more subtle way of bringing us around to a particular point of view than abstract political argument."
Pat Shannan certainly hopes so. A writer for the antigovernment Media Bypass magazine, Shannan centers his novel, One In a Million, around the character of Brock Freeman, an easy-going, wholesome attorney from the Midwest. Freeman begins to question the federal tax system, revisiting laws like the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 and determining that gold and silver are the only valid forms of tender.
"Lawful money is defined in 12 USC 152 as '... gold and silver coin of the United States,'" Freeman explains to his wife, Sarah. "So you see Honey, these were bona fide receipts good for redemption in the real wealth at any time."
Freeman goes on to discover what antigovernment "Patriots" have been saying all along: filing taxes is downright un-American. In the shower one morning, he ruminates: "The Fourth Amendment protection of people to be secure in their 'persons, homes, papers, and effects' is violated by any law that would require one to voluntarily declare all that information on a government form. ...
"Even if there is a law that requires people to file," Freeman decides, "the law is inapplicable to anyone who doesn't volunteer to fall under it."
As Freeman shifts his thinking, Shannan hopes readers will shift theirs along with him — and feel his fury when the IRS cracks down on the tax-protesting hero, killing his wife in the process.
Shannan told the Intelligence Report that One In a Million is "a historical novel because most of it's true." Not the part about the IRS killing his wife, but the amendments and laws and tax-protesting plot. "Most of it actually happened to me because I've done battle with the IRS," he says.
After years of writing nonfiction stories for Media Bypass and other outlets, Shannan says he turned to fiction because it works. "The way to get people to listen to your message," he says, "is to give them some blood and guts."
A century after Thomas Dixon brought out The Clansman, Shannan hopes to take a page out of Dixon's book — by taking his "blood and guts" approach to the big screen. He's convinced that One In a Million could work as a movie. To that end, he's mailed a copy of the novel to Hutton Gibson, Mel's anti-Semitic father.
"I can see Mel Gibson playing Brock Freeman," Shannan says. No word yet on whether the star is interested.