William Pierce, America's leading neo-Nazi, has put out nearly $250,000 to acquire the nation's powerhouse distributor of racist rock. This enterprise could inject hundreds of thousands of dollars into Pierce's wide ranging neo-Nazi operations.
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.
Enter the Heavyweights
But Burdi's world began crumbling in 1997, when a Canadian appeals court upheld his earlier conviction for kicking in the ribs of a female anti-racist during a 1993 rally in Toronto and ordered him to spend a year in jail.
Then the Canadian authorities went after Burdi for violating the country's hate speech statute through Resistance. While all this was coming down on Burdi, the Michigan tax authorities raided Resistance's office on April 19, 1997, and confiscated the company's assets and records for non-payment of state sales taxes. Eventually, the tax charges resulted in a fine.
(In September of this year, Burdi pleaded guilty to the Canadian hate speech charges and was handed a one-year conditional sentence and two years of probation. Part of the plea bargain involved dropping charges against Resistance co-founders Snow and Talic.)
In 1998, the shadowy hand of Willis Carto (see One Generation Fades ...) — the man who almost single-handedly built Liberty Lobby, America's leading anti-Semitic propaganda machine — extended itself to the beleaguered Burdi. Carto, through his underling Blodgett, paid off the Michigan tax bill and secured controlling interest in Resistance. The remainder stayed in the hands of Burdi associate Jason Snow.
With Burdi out of the picture, Snow moved the company's inventory and fulfillment center to California and left its operation in the care of Skinhead Ashley Brown and his wife Judy. Carto paid their bills through a shell company, Imperium, Inc., that was managed by Blodgett and controlled Resistance.
Meanwhile, Carto was engaged in a monumental struggle for control of his Holocaust denial propaganda machine, the Institute for Historical Review (IHR). When court rulings turned against him in his legal battle with IHR leaders Mark Weber and Greg Raven — his former associates — Carto was forced to declare bankruptcy.
Blodgett saw his opportunity and began shopping Resistance Records around the movement, apparently believing that Carto would not want to acknowledge his part ownership of the company. Pierce leapt at the opportunity and negotiations with Blodgett and Snow began in March 1999.
Soon the deal was struck. Pierce paid out over $100,000 to Blodgett and Snow, with more funding pledged to re-launch Resistance magazine and set up the CD inventory and order fulfillment operations in Washington, D.C., under Blodgett's management.
A GOP Strategist Hobnobs with Nazis
Padded by a wealthy Republican father, Todd Alan Blodgett has been a free-range hustler inside and out of the Washington Beltway since he served as a staffer in the Reagan White House.
The 39-year-old son of Republican State Rep. Gary Blodgett of Iowa, Todd Blodgett was a protégé of the late Lee Atwater, a key GOP campaign strategist of the time. Fresh from Drake University journalism school in 1983, Todd Blodgett went to work for since-retired Republican Sen. Roger Jepsen of Iowa.
Within a year, he was enjoying the run of the Reagan White House as a staff editorial assistant. Then it was on to the Bush/Quayle election committee as a domestic policy adviser.
But by 1995, Blodgett also had slipped into the anti-Semitic arms of Willis Carto. Splitting his time between GOP strategy and marketing Carto's anti-Semitic tabloid The Spotlight, Blodgett was soon operating a number of Carto's financial shells, including one that later held Resistance Records.
Late in 1998, Blodgett was a glad-handing fixture at the functions of various racist groups, including American Renaissance, a magazine run by white separatist Jared Taylor that focuses on alleged biological differences between races; the Council of Conservative Citizens, a white supremacist group with ties to many politicians that long has tried to portray itself as a mainstream conservative organization; and the neofascist British National Party.
By early spring 1999, having already reached out to Pierce, Blodgett was knocking back drinks with National Alliance middle managers, white supremacist Hammerskins and assorted Klansmen.
Resistance Records Reborn
Resistance Records LLC was incorporated in the District of Columbia on April 26, 1999. The names on the incorporation papers read William Luther Pierce and Todd A. Blodgett. The magazine initially was supposed to appear in June. The Resistance catalogue and inventory was supposed to be relocated from California to Washington that same month.
Word spread on the Internet among the young white nationalists that Pierce had rescued Resistance from the clutches of the widely disliked Carto and would soon have its magazine back on the streets. The rumors were confirmed by Pierce's longtime office manager Evelyn Hill in an e-mail message posted worldwide.
But June came and went. Nothing.
The new Resistance web page promised an August publication date. August passed into September. Still nothing from Blodgett.
Pierce was furious and quickly took control of the situation. The Resistance inventory, mailing list and computers were trucked from Blodgett's TAB Agency in the Washington, D.C., area to National Alliance headquarters outside Hillsboro, W. Va. The magazine was then rammed through the editorial process, and the first new edition of Resistance magazine hit the streets in late October.
Blodgett Comes Under Fire
During Pierce's annual Labor Day weekend "leadership conference," Blodgett delivered a brief report on the Resistance project. He was not well received. Pierce announced that National Alliance accountants would be auditing the Resistance books kept by Blodgett.
To cap off his weekend humiliation at the hands of Dr. Pierce, Blodgett managed to get himself punched out in a bar near Hillsboro by an irate West Virginian who took offense at his attentions toward a local young lady.
Mistrusted by veteran Skinheads, especially those in the militant Hammerskin Nation, Blodgett was flogged by white nationalists via the Internet and faxes. In a "Movement Warning" flyer from one of Todd's former Skinhead gofers, Blodgett is described as "a parasite" and "a class 'A' horse's ass." The screed lambastes Blodgett and Jason Snow for allegedly bleeding the assets of Resistance for their personal gain.
But Blodgett appears oblivious to such attacks. He is now moving into the fresh green pastures of the Council of Conservative Citizens, where he and Aryan Nations crony Chris Temple expect to pull a few hundred thousand dollars out of CCC bosses Gordon Baum and Tom Dover in return for upgrading the Council's publication and fundraising efforts.
Mozart to the 'Music of Rage'
Pierce — a man culturally out of sync with 1990s youth, a former professor who vastly prefers Mozart to the Midtown Boot Boys — now controls the premier white power company in North America. His magazine is finally out, featuring a transnational perspective.
It is heavy on white nationalist infiltration of the military, with Steven Barry, founder of the Special Forces Underground, filing "Planning A Skinhead Infantry" under the nom de guerre "Joaquim Peiper"; Steven Cartwright of the British National Party writing about Skinheads in Her Majesty's armed forces; and Martin Kerr, writing under the pseudonym of David Walker, expounding his views of "The Political Soldier."
There are also white power music reviews and news, along with interviews with Texas Hammerskin Scottie Lessig and Aryan International Movement singer/songwriter Eric Owens.
Barring any further internal debacles, Resistance Records and its magazine will exert high-impact force on the white nationalist scene. With William Pierce at its helm, Resistance commands the trust, respect and attention — not to mention the money — of young white nationalists from Australia to North America to Eastern Europe.
In his initial letter from the publisher, Pierce promises that his revitalized Resistance Records will produce "music of defiance and rage against the enemies of our people: against the bureaucrats and the greasy ones." And the ultimate purpose of this soundtrack? "It will be the music of the great, cleansing revolution which is coming."