The racist “alt-right” is killing people.
It’s fact, not fantasy. In the last four years, at least 13 young men have inflicted tragedies after steeping their psyches in hate forums, websites and across social networking apps.
Some have scythed into cultural consciousness. Millions know the name Dylann Storm Roof. But many millions more have never heard of neo-Nazi hate group Atomwaffen Division (AWD) and the Iron March forum — the online race-hate incubator where AWD met, recruited and congregated.
Nevertheless, that forum and this group exemplify recent trends in the more youthful strains of online extremism and radicalization. Many eventual recruits appear to be joining online social networks before becoming members of an established hate group.
And as organized hate groups recruit and centralize in relative obscurity online before ever manifesting “irl” (“in real life”), the void of domestic efforts to counter radicalization grows as fast as young potential recruits move across the web and transition between apps.
In less than a year, AWD has proven how young men, some in their teens and early 20s, can steepen the arc of their own radicalization when they gather together. The group has also attracted peers via slick, sophisticated digital propaganda, much of which directed traffic to Iron March (IM) before that forum was taken offline in the fall of 2017.
Though it has been in existence since at least October 2015, AWD is only now grabbing headlines, as five murders have been linked to either members, like Devon Arthurs, 18; alleged members, like Samuel Woodward, 20; or individuals, like Nicholas Giampa, 17, who associated closely with the group online.
Giampa stands accused of executing his girlfriend’s parents, Buckley Kuhn-Fricker, 43, and Scott Fricker, 48. The pair intervened to remove Giampa from their daughter’s life when the depths of his support of violent race-hate became apparent. According to Huffington Post, his Twitter feed shows, “a 17-year-old who’d drifted beyond the trolling of his teenage peers on the internet far-right and was fully in thrall to the racist, apocalyptic fantasia of white nationalism ... [who] tweeted about his hatred of transgender people and his admiration for Adolf Hitler. He tweeted about using Jews as target practice.”
But what nurtured these young men’s propensity for violence? In the case of AWD, much has been made of the group’s fetishizing of Charles Manson and their cherishing of an obscure neo-Nazi polemic called SIEGE, a work that stridently promotes terrorism.
Behind such references stands James Mason, who produced SIEGE as a newsletter from 1980 until the summer of 1986. Mason’s presence in the organized neo-Nazi movement in this country stretches back to the mid-1960s, when he was just 14 years old.
For AWD members, it’s not about “Helter Skelter” or the gory details of the Manson Family murders alone. It’s about racial terrorism, The Family and its murders – and their broader cultural impact. Here Mason serves as a philosophical totem and provides a template for action.
To miss the significance of Mason’s influence in the dark, sensational luster of Manson is to lose a vital recognition; SIEGE and AWD are obsessed with a racial revolution, not a cultural one like Manson’s.
AWD has only recently begun associating itself so synonymously with Mason and SIEGE, and that’s a dangerous development. Mason and his writings preach the praxis of leaderless, cell-structured terrorism and white revolution. Furthermore, there is a plethora of terrorists and fringe texts beyond Mason’s that motivate and inspire the group. Many of these texts are valued in other sectors of the far-right. Importantly, Mason “achieved” much within neo-Nazism before he was out of his 20s: This is important for young men who, sometimes literally, are gathering around Mason and steeping themselves in his revolutionary philosophy and polemics.
They, too, hope to “achieve,” but understanding what that means is equally challenging and vital.
“GTK! RWN!”: Iron March begins
The Daily Stormer’s creator, Andrew Anglin, recently claimed that his target demographic includes children as young as 11.
Certainly, without the aesthetic, slang and meme-laden milieu of the Daily Stormer, the IM forum would not have developed the way it did. The forum is an extension of, and reaction to, how neo-Nazi influencers built a contemporary movement online over the last several years. Launched in September 2011 and July 2013 respectively, IM and Daily Stormer did not develop as counterpoints, but as complements to one another.
IM’s slogan, “Gas the Kikes! Race War Now! 1488! Boots on the Ground!” was designed to inflame.
IM became home base for those who were personally invested in neo-Nazism, fascism and organized white extremism on a global scale. There, they debated, debased and denigrated, sometimes even each other, and plotted securing a future for whites and their children –—violently if necessary. There, the canonical works of global fascism evolved into active discussion threads: “For My Legionaries/ Corneliu Z. Codreanu,” “The Doctrine Of Fascism/ Benito Mussolini,” “Excerpts From Speeches/ José Antonio Primo De Rivera.” One early thread was titled, “Fascist Bookstores, Blogs, Resources.”
The creator of the thread “What is this Forum for?,” put forth the following:
This forum exists for discussing human psychology and two specific issues that are very relevant to our political interests:
1. Propaganda, manipulation and influence. Giving speeches, making allies and turning enemy against enemy. The art of psychological warfare.
2. Miscommunication, Confirmation Bias and other afflictions that stand in the way of progressing our interests and how to overcome them. Knowing your enemy in order to destroy him and knowing your ally in order not to offend him because you understand the same word as different things.
Other topics that still relate to both psychology and politics will also be welcome.
Another thread, “American Futurism Workshop,” was dedicated to the exploration of how best to inject the tenets of Italian Futurism — an important social and artistic movement that helped inspire the rise of fascism in Italy — into contemporary American society. The fact that much of the “Futurism” thread has been reproduced on the SIEGE-Culture web site, one of AWDs new online hubs, evidences how the forum’s influence endures.
IM was the incubator for U.S.-based hate groups like American Vanguard, formed in 2015, which eventually birthed Vanguard America in 2017. James Fields, before he allegedly killed Heather Heyer and injured many others, held one of Vanguard America’s shields in Charlottesville, Virginia.
The United Kingdom-based neo-Nazi National Action (NA), whose youth-oriented aspirations and aesthetic helped inspire the founding of other groups internationally, including AWD and arguably Vanguard America, was also connected to IM. In December 2016, around three years after NA’s formation, it became the first-ever neo-Nazi group outlawed as a terrorist organization by the U.K. government. That was five months before the first Atomwaffen-linked murders occurred.
Beyond Anglin and Andrew “Weev” Auernheimer — the hacker and dedicated neo-Nazi involved with Daily Stormer who encourages the mass-downloading of White Supremacy 2.0 into the minds of the young recruits — there are individuals like “Charles Zeiger.”
“Zeiger” is the alias of a prolific writer at Daily Stormer and head editor of IM’s webzine, NOOSE, formerly hosted at ropeculture.org. Zeiger’s work was also featured on NA’s Wordpress blog.
Amongst the aforementioned influencers and dozens of texts presented on IM, James Mason and his SIEGE found a new, young, niche audience, particularly among AWD members and sympathizers.
After languishing in obscurity for decades, Mason has been rediscovered.
By the time it was taken offline on September 24, 2017, 1,653 unique usernames had been registered on IM. The forum’s legacy demonstrates that for those who have moved on from the forum and are putting boots on the ground, memes are no longer their preferred ammunition — now, it’s bullets.
“Powered by Hate”: Building the SIEGE-Pill Mill
On May 19, 2017, Devon Arthurs allegedly murdered two other members of Atomwaffen Division, Andrew Oneschuk, 18, and Jeremy Himmelman, 22, in the suburban Tampa, Florida, apartment they shared with the group’s leader, Brandon Russell, 21. Russell was recently convicted of charges related to explosive materials found on the premises, and Arthurs awaits trial.
Since Russell’s imprisonment, AWD and James Mason have become nearly synonymous. The result is an even more terrorist-minded version of the group than what existed under Russell, a cadre that fetishizes violence as its core doctrine.
In late June, barely a month after the Tampa murders, AWD launched a new website and YouTube page. In December much of the same content was uploaded to a Bitchute account — a peer-to-peer video service favored by individuals and organizations banned from conventional video hosting services.
Under Russell, AWD had announced itself primarily via flyering and stickering college and university campuses at night, mostly between December 2015 and April 2017.
However, a new phase of AWD is now underway. Only one flyering incident has occurred since May 19. That’s when their YouTube page shifted away from campus exploits to footage of tactical training with assault rifles and other weapons, urging viewers to step out from behind their computer screens and take action.
On October 24, 2017, another new website was registered and hosted via Cloudflare: SIEGE-Culture (S-C).
With Russell in prison, AWD’s most influential member goes by the handle “Rape” in online forums, and calls himself “Vincent Snyder on the S-C site, Rape publishes under the pen name “Vincent Snyder.” On its “Staff” page, five of the eight individuals pictured evidence allegiance to, or membership in, AWD. Snyder’s photo appears next to Mason’s.
Mason’s influence is evident on that site’s “Worldview” page:
“What we are creating here is something that James Mason attempted to put into form but because of circumstance it never was implimented [sic] until the year of 2017 when Atomwaffen Division discovered and met James Mason. Ryan and Vincent Snyder both agreed to help him publish his works, but through the development of the website we have decided to take the proper course of action with SIEGE. Too long has the movement trapped people into a mindset of chasing their own tail. Those of you who are in here, perhaps, will create history. That is our intention.”
The page’s banner features Mason and Charles Manson’s faces flanking either side of the Universal Order’s (UO) logo. UO is the terroristic neo-Nazi philosophy Mason launched in 1982 under the tutelage of Manson. As Mason describes in SIEGE and elsewhere, the ideas behind the Universal Order would not have been possible without his years of correspondence with Manson, who suggested the UO name and logo.
Mason’s association with Manson, and his interpretation of Manson’s ideas, developed after Mason spent years in the organized neo-Nazi movement. During that time, he gravitated toward increasingly radical, terroristic-minded figureheads and efforts.
Mason wrote in SIEGE that his correspondence with the imprisoned Manson could be construed as cheap, mere shock value. But as the 560-pages of Mason’s text suggest, Manson is not the skeleton key for understanding AtomWaffen. Mason’s own neo-Nazi influences and beliefs in chorus with the Universal Order philosophy offer a more accurate portrait.
Mason began reconfiguring his own sustained belief in the need for neo-Nazi terror cells willing to strike at American culture under the control of Jewish influences, which he dubs “the System.” Mason had already been moving toward that conclusion on his own for the better part of 15 years.
During that time, Mason began networking. As an adolescent he idolized George Lincoln Rockwell, the leader of the American Nazi Party (ANP), which he first tried to join at just 14. Through Rockwell, Mason also met William Pierce — the eventual founder of the National Alliance, author of The Turner Diaries and this country’s most influential neo-Nazi to date. Pierce also helped shepherd young Mason into the ANP. After Rockwell was murdered by a former Nazi Party member in August 1967, Pierce and Mason joined its successor, the National Socialist White People’s Party (NSWPP). There, Mason came into contact with another Pierce protégé, Joseph Tommasi.
Tommasi was still in his teens when Pierce convinced him to pilot a youth effort within the NSWPP, one that would flyer college campuses, fight with leftists and liberals and mount a foreboding challenge to the radical left on campus. Although Pierce soon left the NSWPP, disgusted by leader Matt Koehl’s propensity for costume-oriented activism and pageantry, Tommasi and Mason stayed on. Despite Tommasi’s youth, his profile and influence grew and Koehl began to view him as a potential rival for party leadership.
Tommasi’s speeches and writing, ideas about propaganda and desire for street-level confrontation further influenced Mason. In SIEGE, he calls Tommasi’s 1974 leaflet, “POLITICAL TERROR,” a “work of the most incredible genius.”
In 1973, Tommasi was ejected from the NSWPP. Convinced that mass movement-oriented neo-Nazism was useless, he founded the National Socialist Liberation Front (NSLF) in March 1974. The Front modeled its name (taken from the Vietnamese Liberation Front), aesthetics, personality and doctrine on radical leftist groups, like the terrorist Weather Underground.
The NSLF sought to announce itself above ground through its actions only, while existing otherwise as an underground, revolutionary terrorist cell, the first of its kind in American neo-Nazism. Mason eventually followed Tommasi out of the NSWPP, but Tommasi was murdered in August 1975 by an NSWPP party member standing guard at its headquarters in El Monte, California.
After Mason started the SIEGE newsletter in 1980, he was increasingly adopting Manson’s ideas and perfecting the ideas Tommasi first catalyzed. “In the manner prescribed by Tommasi,” he writes, “‘Our most eloquent statements will not be made in courtrooms, but in the streets of Jew-Capitalist America.’” He continues elsewhere in the text, underscoring that “Tommasi's secret was that he essentially stopped talking and started doing. He said that all talk, all discussion, was counter-revolutionary. The situation has been talked to death and still they go on talking! Tommasi also knew the real difference between useless effort and effective action practically applied.”
After making his first Manson-centered propaganda poster while piloting a one-man effort, the National Socialist Movement, Mason decided to reach out to the Manson Family. He first wrote to Family members Sandra Good and Lynette, after learning they were imprisoned in Alderson, West Virginia. With their endorsement, Mason eventually made contact with Manson himself. Through this correspondence, Mason was convinced he had discovered a supreme template for a white supremacist revolution. He described the Manson Family and their captivating exploits as a model for the white race’s survival.
By 1982, Mason fully embraces such ideas, introducing the Universal Order philosophy via the pages of SIEGE.
Mason believed the Universal Order could encourage others to enact a Tommasi-esque program of terror with the level of notoriety that the Manson family achieved and enjoyed for decades. Only through such infamy could neo-Nazi terror cells accelerate the collapse of “the System.” After that, Mason and his acolytes could institute a balance and order by instituting a version of National Socialism that eschews left/right political binaries. This would solidify the existence of the white race over its enemies.
“We don’t want to ‘hurt’ the System, we want to KILL IT [sic]!,” he writes.
Thus, Mason installed Manson and the Manson Family into his canon of idols, alongside Rockwell, Tommasi and, to a lesser-but-important extent, William Pierce. Following after those “Crazy Men of Destiny,” Mason regarded Manson as “the more current and up-to-date” version of Tommasi’s terrorist doctrine.
“Manson represents the great divide between those persons who imagine there are still are choices to be made casually on the basis of Establishment mores and those who have a profound, individual sense of ‘no going back.’ I believe it is this - and not the abstract idea of ‘realism’ - that is the great sustainer and inner-flame of all true revolutionaries.”
Like Mason’s other idols, Manson represents equal parts philosopher and revolutionary, with an irrepressible desire for violent action.
Mason recognized the Manson Family as a “racial-socialist colony” — a collective of like-minded individuals from the same race who coalesced for survival within and against a nation riddled with disorder. In Manson, Mason cultivates a totem for the revolutionary potential of the individual and the collective, where both disappear into one another.
Throughout SIEGE, Mason is driven by an urgency rooted in one hope — if only National Socialists could come together like The Family and captivate the nation through action, which in practice means lone wolf racial terrorism.
This is the danger that Atomwaffen Division poses, whether members act as individuals or as cells; forget the shock value of Manson. Behind Mason is an entire canon of terrorist doctrine.
“Timothy McVeigh of Oklahoma City fame”: Distributing the SIEGE-Pill
The SIEGE-Culture website presents a future for neo-Nazism through the lens of James Mason, in the hope that others will see the future the way he does.
As Ryan Schuster, publisher of SIEGE’s second edition, writes in his introduction:
SIEGE is to be used as a cookbook and guide. It is sincerely hoped this edition will prevail the vigilant(e) [sic] intelligence to heed a clarion call, wage battles of attrition, and act in a manner commensurate to Timothy McVeigh of Oklahoma City fame.
With its “Library” page, S-C extends that guide through a trove of texts on racial terror. Many present ludicrous visions of the white race fighting epic battles against immense opposition. Texts from Völkisch and Nazi esotericists, like Guido von List and Savitri Devi, sit alongside the Bhagavad Gita, valued for its predictions of the Kali Yuga, or the “Age of Vice.”
In online neo-Nazi circles, satanic texts are providing the most fodder for debate. Many are unsure and others angry about what Atomwaffen now represents.
Two of the three texts in question are The Devil’s Notebook by Anton LaVey, founder of the Church of Satan, and Hostia: Secret Teachings of the Order of Nine Angles (O9A), a three-volume collection of manuscripts penned by O9A members. They comprise codices of O9A’s beliefs and practices.
Decades ago, the O9A allegedly came under the control of infamous British neo-Nazi David Myatt, who converted to radical Islam, but renounced his conversion eight years later and returned to esoteric spirituality. The group holds an important position in the niche, international nexus of occult, esoteric, and/or satanic neo-Nazi groups.
The third book is Iron Gates, written by a member of the U.S.-based Tempel ov Blood, a sub-sect of O9A describing itself as “a hybrid between a traditional satanic coven and a (religious) militant order.” The novel’s description on Amazon reads as follows:
“IRON GATES is a sci-fi horror / post-apocalyptic novel, detailing a bleak view of the spiritual horrors of the world-to-come. Set seventy years after a worldwide nuclear conflagration, IRON GATES allows the reader a sight into a nightmarish landscape populated by even more nightmarish characters in a hideous future which leaves little to the imagination. Brutal and unsparing, it is not suitable for readers under 18. Readers should be advised of extreme graphic content.”
One Amazon reviewer writes, “This is a great book. I'm glad my good comrade Ryan wrote this book. Give it a read if you're into Rape [sic] stories and post-apocalyptic child stabing [sic].”
AWD’s turn to the occult and promotion of the hyper-sadistic is disturbing. Why would AWD push its members toward brutal, dehumanizing violence?
Though many in organized neo-Nazism are not convinced their turn toward the occult is sincere, others are reaching for their long knives. Some are accused of being “Noctulains,” O9A-devotees who claim to infiltrate fringe political groups, neo-Nazis among them, to reorient them toward satanism.
Whether AWD is morphing or being infiltrated is unclear. AWD’s turn, though, resembles occult neo-Nazi groups before them, like the O9A, that meld religious and political extremism — two powerful conduits for violence. With such a turn, AWD is moving beyond the quotient of the culturally forbidden, of flyers broadcasting hate and offensive memes, and down a path toward tragedy.
“The future awaits…”: The Torch is Passed
Charles Manson holds a certain appeal to those who are attracted to such forbidden ideas. That’s particularly true for young people who revel in transgressing against society’s restrictions. It’s not surprising that Atomwaffen Division — under the stewardship of Mason — courts those who embrace cultural taboos beyond neo-Nazism to pinpoint new recruits.
In a 1987 videotaped interview with AMOK Press, Mason characterized his fascination with “the forbidden” as crucial to his own recruitment into neo-Nazism and acceptance of Manson’s influence:
“I won’t try to deny, especially in connection with the current Manson connection, that there was the element of the forbidden, or the rebellious, involved there, and to me at that time [during his teen years] Commander Rockwell and certainly the image of Adolf Hitler embodied the furthest extreme of that. And so that just pulled me in like a magnet.”
In SIEGE, Mason makes clear his intention to recruit youth, and acknowledges Manson’s magnetic power in such a capacity:
“And YOUTH is the name to be applied to the group of people among whom you will find a majority of those who DEMAND RESULTS, not Right Wing bullshit. Manson explains that the older a person becomes, the more frozen they are in the programmed ways the System has inculcated them with. [....] The most adept social and political movers of all times have known that, in order to have a successful movement, you must get 'em [sic] while they are YOUNG! [....] It is Youth that has the most to lose, that has traditionally been the most idealistic and action-minded. Charles Manson exerts a fascination over Youth today, in the en- tire West, more so by far than anyone else even remotely attuned to what we're trying to do.”
He also noted that “Young, wild, American, anti-Establishment” individuals might be more easily attracted to Manson than Hitler. “Manson scares people,” he writes, “but he does so in the way they LIKE [sic] to be scared. There is no huge, vague, ugly ‘thing’ attached to Manson as there is to Hitler.” He writes similarly about Tommasi as an emblem, whose revolutionary praxis he describes as “the very same thing as Adolf Hitler.”
“In Joseph Tommasi I see represented a number of things. All of the martyred comrades I can see in Tommasi. The young, especially, from the rank-and-file. In him I can still see the hope for the future arising out of the ashes and the dust of the former Movement for which he served as a soldier. He represents the clearness of mind and hardness of spirit to not only abandon the past for lost but to attack the present as the only means for achieving a future. And that future is entirely in the hands of those National Socialists serious enough to be called revolution.”
AWD members are getting SIEGE-pilled through total immersion in Mason’s teleology. Now, they are challenging the established far-right and far-left with their eagerness to perpetrate violence.
Accused killer Nicholas Giampa submerged himself in this dark pool. Whatever his other troubles, his exposure to AWD’s fetishizing of mass murder and promotion of racial terrorism should provoke grave concern.
Since his journey in organized white supremacy began, Mason is, perhaps more than ever, seeing his ideas realized “irl.” He has witnessed SIEGE-pilled young men push themselves to action through his designs. This new generation of men might remind Mason of his younger self. And they, in turn, are idolizing him, his writings and his actions with uncanny devotion — just as Mason himself idolizes Charles Manson.
Late in SIEGE, Mason expressed that, perhaps, he could push his philosophy of terroristic neo-Nazism no further:
“I have done what I could to inject - subtlely [sic] and overtly - as many of Manson's ideas into Movement thought as possible. I have had limited success. But having accomplished this much, I can only hope that the seeds have been planted and the torch passed….”
Among those who seeded Mason’s extremism, Rockwell and Tommasi were both killed by fellow white supremacists, years before Mason assumed lone control of the SIEGE newsletter. In the years since he ceased its publication and its first book edition was published, both William Pierce and Charles Manson have died.
But Mason is alive. And with the inception of SIEGE-Culture and his collaboration with the young cell members that comprise Atomwaffen Division, his hands are on the torch along with theirs.
An ouroboros wreaths the Universal Order’s logo (above), which Manson helped Mason conceive and design. With AWD and Mason’s discovery of one another, the snake is no longer eating its tail. Its tail and head have virtually disappeared into one another.