William H. Regnery II

William H. Regnery II is the most reclusive member of the Regnery family, a right-wing publishing dynasty that wields tremendous influence among both mainstream conservatives and far-right extremists. Despite his aversion to the public eye, Regnery has become major figure in the white nationalist movement, having founded the National Policy Institute, a white supremacist “think tank,” and the Charles Martel Society, which publishes The Occidental Quarterly, a racist, anti-Semitic and pseudo-scholarly “journal.”

About William H. Regnery II

In his own words:

“The Charles Martel Society is the intellectual home of Western Nationalism. Our purpose is to assure a future that will provide a cultural home for our children's children. In furtherance of that objective, we promote the study, discussion, and understanding of the concept of the nation-state, both in general and of the American nation-state in particular, especially in relation to the historical, geographical, biological, and cultural forces that have created it.”
—Statement of Purpose, The Charles Martel Society, 2001

“The National Policy Institute is a Washington, D.C.–based research foundation that educates the public on trends and policies which affect the interests of the United States’ historic majority population. NPI seeks to elevate the consciousness of whites, ensure our biological and cultural continuity, and protect our civil rights. The institute will investigate issues of interest to the white community. It will study the consequences of the ongoing influx that non-Western populations pose to our national identity. NPI is guided in its work by the wisdom and vision of the Founders, whose purpose was to establish ‘a more perfect Union’ for the benefit of ‘ourselves and our posterity.’”
—Original mission statement of the National Policy Institute

“In 1940 whites constituted 30% of the world’s population. This number now stands at 15%. If this trend continues our fraction will plummet to 8% at mid-century… Consider that within the first and second hand memories of people in this room the white race may go from master of the universe to an anthropological curiosity. This remarkable prospect cries out for a diagnosis in the hope of cure or at the very least finding a means of remission. … The English-speaking countries were the first to throw open their immigration doors in the sixties and seventies. Europe followed suit. … So it appears that whites are unique in welcoming racial aliens into their midst. Why? I suggest that to a greater or lesser extent whites been hard-wired to be more concerned about others and more accepting of notions of universal equality. Such instincts fathered the philosophical arguments and social arrangements that have been codified into an increasingly tyrannical agenda that goes by the innocent sounding name of ‘political correctness.’ We forged our own chains and willingly shuffle about in shackles.”
—“We Can Kill With Kindness—Ourselves, That Is,” American Renaissance conference talk, 2005

“Our science and technology have swept the world and, like the Greeks before us, the pupils deem the teacher redundant and a embarrassing reminder of their debtor status. And, in apparent sympathy with this universal opprobrium, Europeans—who make up only 10 percent of the world’s population—ratchet down their numbers by contributing only 5 percent to the birth rate. Finally, as if to hasten our demise, national borders are thrown open and aliens are encouraged to colonize ancient kingdoms.”
—“For Our Children’s Children,” The Occidental Quarterly, 2001

Background:

For three generations, William H. Regnery II’s family has been a force in right-wing politics. His grandfather, William H. Regnery, was a founding member of the America First Committee, dedicated to maintaining American neutrality towards Nazi Germany. His uncle, Henry, was the founder of Regnery Publishing, a right-wing press that has published conservative luminaries ranging from William F. Buckley and Jack Welch to Ann Coulter and Michelle Malkin.

And his cousin, Al, is a former president of Regnery Publishing, as well as a former official in the Department of Justice under Ronald Reagan. There, as reported at the time by The New Republic, “[h]e was criticized by Republicans and Democrats alike for awarding a $186,710 grant to a dean at Jerry Falwell's Liberty College for the purpose of designing a high-school course on the Constitution. He drew even more bipartisan criticism when he awarded $789,000 to Judith Reisman, a former songwriter for the ‘Captain Kangaroo’ show, to do a study of the cartoons in Penthouse, Playboy, and Hustler.” Al Regnery currently chairs the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, an organization that promotes “traditionalist” conservatism on college campuses.

William II’s political activism differs from that of the rest of his family in two respects. First, Regnery abhors the limelight. Where his relatives have headed corporations, held public office, and run high-profile civic groups, the younger William works hard to keep his activities out of the public eye. And second, while the other Regnerys worked to cultivate an air of mainstream respectability, William ran headlong into the fever swamps of white nationalism, where his familial and financial clout allowed him to set himself up as a major force shaping the entire movement.

This was accomplished not through taking leadership roles, but rather working behind the scenes to set up and fund a network of racist and anti-Semitic groups, websites, publishers, and conferences. This network revolves around two key organizations built by Regnery: the Charles Martel Society, and the National Policy Institute.

Regnery founded the Charles Martel Society in 2001, setting it up as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that he described as the “home of Western Nationalism.” He named the Society for the 8th-century Frankish ruler famous for defending Gaul, in western Europe, against an invading army of Andalusian Muslims. Martel has taken on great symbolic importance in some white supremacist circles; the Martel Society describes his victory as “perhaps the most important in European history, [it] meant that the future of Europe would lie in European traditions and culture, not those of the alien Middle East.”

The Martel Society’s primary activity is publication of The Occidental Quarterly (TOQ), a racist, pseudo-scholarly journal dedicated to “Western perspectives on man, culture, and politics.” In the years since its inception, TOQ has assembled an editorial staff and stable of contributors whose racist and anti-Semitic bona fides are truly impressive. As the founding editor, Regnery tapped Kevin Lamb, an outspoken white supremacist and homophobe whose association with TOQ subsequently led to his firing from his position as managing editor of the right-wing newsletter Human Events. The founding associate editor was Sam Francis, who was known prior to his death in 2005 as one of the leading intellectual figures in the racist far right.

Other members of the editorial board assembled by Regnery—most of whom still occupy that position—were no less extreme. Virginia Abernethy, for example, is a retired anthropologist who ran in 2012 as the vice-presidential candidate for the white supremacist American Freedom Party (at the time called American Third Position), though she personally prefers to be called a white “separatist” rather than a “supremacist.” Richard Lynn, a retired British psychologist, has called for the U.S. states with the largest white majorities to secede, and has suggested that non-white populations around the world should be “phas[ed] out.” Jared Taylor is the founder of the white nationalist New Century Foundation and editor of its American Renaissance magazine and a website of the same name. Taylor’s foundation also hosts annual conferences that bring racist academics and intellectuals together with neo-Nazis, Klansmen, and other white supremacists.

Wayne Lutton (who was not a founding editorial board member, but was brought on board only a few months later) has written extensively on the evils of homosexuality and (non-white) immigration. Lutton also wrote for, and served on the advisory board of, the Institute for Historical Review, a pseudo-scholarly group dedicated to denying the Holocaust. And Kevin MacDonald, an original member of the editorial board who has since replaced Kevin Lamb as TOQ’s editor in chief, is a former professor of psychology who wrote a trilogy of books describing how Jews supposedly bred into themselves the ability to surpass non-Jews in the realms of politics and finance, and thus that anti-Semitism is a rational evolutionary response to this “threat.” MacDonald is also a director of the American Freedom Party.

While issues of TOQ can be read online, it primarily exists as a print magazine. To maintain its Internet presence, the Charles Martel Society also operates an online-only “webzine,” The Occidental Observer (TOO). Like TOQ, TOO is edited by MacDonald, and is dedicated to covering “white identity, interests, and culture.” It also manages to be even more openly anti-Semetic than its print-based counterpart, with posts sorted into categories that include: “Holocaust Industry,” “Jewish Aggressiveness,” “Jewish Opposition to Free Speech,” “Jewish Wealth,” “Jews as a Hostile Elite,” and “Jews in Economy/Finance.” The Martel Society also operates a small publishing house, The Occidental Press, that sells books by affiliated writers like MacDonald and Francis, as well as reprints of older racist books.

The Martel Society has been a success for Regnery, providing safe spaces and a like-minded audience for academic racists whose ideas and arguments would not stand up to scrutiny elsewhere. That said, the impact of one fringe magazine—no matter how polished it looks—is limited by the size and clout of its core audience of extremists. To broaden the scope of his influence, Regnery needed another kind of organization, one whose reach extended beyond the readership of one quarterly magazine.

To that end, in 2005 Regnery founded the National Policy Institute (NPI), a think tank dedicated to “promot[ing] the American majority’s unique historical, cultural, and biological inheritance.” The institute, another 501(c)(3) non-profit, was initially headed by Regnery himself. It was staffed largely by people brought on board from the Charles Martel Society, including Kevin MacDonald, Jared Taylor, Wayne Lutton, and Sam Francis. Funding for the fledgling group was solicited from supporters, with the assistance of a grant from the Pioneer Fund, which since its founding in 1937 has been the largest source of funds for research and propaganda promoting scientific racism and eugenics.

Like the Martel Society, many of NPI’s efforts revolve around its publishing operations. The institute publishes semi-regular “research” reports rehashing perennially popular racist tropes, including Jewish influence in society, the dangers of affirmative action, the failures of school desegregation, and the academic conspiracy to suppress the truth about race. NPI also has its own publishing house, Washington Summit Publishers, which publishes and sells titles from the leading lights of academic racism, and its own semiannual journal, Radix. Both the press and the journal are currently run by Richard Spencer, the president and director of NPI itself since 2011.

Given that Spencer acts as the public face of every facet of NPI, Regnery’s own current role can be hard to determine. He was listed as the chairman of the institute from its inception in 2005 through the beginning of 2009, when prominent white nationalist Louis R. Andrews took over. Once Andrews became chairman, Regnery’s name was scrubbed from the site. On NPI’s site as of late 2016, he garnered one single mention of his role as NPI’s founder. At NPI conferences, he goes largely unmentioned and unrecorded, even when he is a speaker.

But despite his near-invisibility, Regnery is still an active part of NPI. Jared Taylor, one of NPI’s founding directors, has referred to Regnery as the think tank’s current chairman as recently as 2014, five years after he supposedly stepped down from that position and his name vanished from its roster. Taylor’s comment was in the context of NPI’s failed effort to branch out internationally with a “European Identitarian Congress” in Budapest, Hungary. Days before the start of the conference, which was to bring together American, Russian, and European white nationalists to discuss common aims and “perhaps prepare the ground for collective action,” the Hungarian government announced that the meeting would not be welcome.

As the BBC reported afterwards, “Despite his nationalist reputation, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban ordered Saturday evening's event to be banned as ‘an attempt to breathe new life into Nazi and … fascist ideology.’” The conference organizers decided to ignore the ban, and Regnery was arrested at Budapest’s Ferenc Liszt International Airport as he tried to enter the country, and was deported the next day. (Richard Spencer made it across the border successfully, but was also arrested when police raided the meeting.)

More recently, NPI has enjoyed increased attention as the institutional home—to the extent that such a thing exists—of the “Alt-Right,” the Internet-based amalgam of Nazis, Klansmen, trolls, and “shit posters” that has been the most toxic source of support for Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. The Alt Right is a synthesis—or perhaps more accurately, an alliance—of numerous far-right ideologies and movements that stand united in opposition to all forms of egalitarianism. It also casts white people as both naturally dominant and at the same time uniquely threatened with dispossession and even “white genocide” at the hands of minorities, immigrants, and the (usually, but not always, Jewish) conspiracy of elites who somehow stand to profit from the end of white supremacy.

NPI provided a natural rallying point for the emerging Alt-Right movement, not least because prior to joining NPI, current director Richard Spencer was the founder and editor of Alternative Right, a blog in which Spencer first articulated the ecumenical approach to white identity politics that he called the Alternative Right. But no less significant is Regnery’s own paranoid vision of the white race under siege, a vision that informed and guided both the Martel Society and NPI. Regnery often expressed this vision in apocalyptic descriptions of demographic trends, writing in 2005, for instance, that “the white race may go from master of the universe to an anthropological curiosity.” He co-authored a “study” in 2008 warning that by 2060, the population of “blacks or sub-Saharan Africans” would grow 133%, and concluding that “[i]n 1950 whites and blacks were respectively 27.98% and 8.97% of world population. By 2060 these figures will almost reverse as blacks surge to 25.38% and whites shrink to 9.76%.”

Using the Martel Society and NPI, Regnery has worked hard to raise awareness of this “problem,” but he has also made efforts to tackle it head on. In 2004, Regnery produced a pitch for potential investors entitled “Population is Destiny.” In it, he put forward his idea for a whites-only (or, to be more specific, “heterosexual whites of Christian cultural heritage”) dating service. The purpose of the matchmaking service would be greater than just making money from lonely white nationalists—at stake was “the survival of our race.” Moreover, it would be the "first arrow in a business quiver" providing "services and products to whites." It does not appear that Regnery was successful in establishing the dating service, or any of the other “services and products.” Fortunately for racist singles, a used car salesman from Utah and his wife succeeded where Regnery failed, creating wherewhitepeoplemeet.com in August 2015.