FROM: MYRNA SHINBAUM
RE: Q & A ON THE TURNER DIARIES
DATE: MAY 16, 1996
The Turner Diaries recently drew national attention when it was
disclosed that Timothy McVeigh, the accused Oklahoma City bomber, actively
promoted the book before the April 1995 bombing. Originally published in
1978 by the author -- one of America's most notorious neo-Nazis -- the novel
was available only through limited distribution channels, primarily from
far-right hate groups. With its announced publication by Lyle Stuart's Barricade
Books, it could become accessible through mainstream booksellers.
This Q&A may be reproduced in its entirety or as excerpts with proper
credit to the Anti-Defamation League.
What is The Turner Diaries?
The Turner Diaries, first published in 1978, is a novel popular among far-right
extremists. Written by William Pierce (under the pseudonym of Andrew Macdonald),
it portrays the violent overthrow of the Federal Government, and the systematic
killing of Jews and non-whites in order to establish an "Aryan"
What influence has The Turner Diaries had on violent, far right extremists?
It is known that accused Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh was an avid
reader and enthusiastic promoter of The Turner Diaries. There are remarkable
similarities between the bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma
city and a scene in The Turner Diaries which graphically describes the preparation
of a bomb which is used to destroy the national headquarters of the FBI.
Similarly, The Turner Diaries is seen as the likely inspiration for the
violent extremist group known as "The Order," which in the early
1980's committed a series of crimes including murders, robberies, counterfeiting,
and the bombing of a synagogue. Robert Mathews, the leader of this terrorist
gang, told an acquaintance that the bank robberies committed by The Order
were the beginning of the American Nazi revolution depicted in The Turner
Diaries. Mathews was killed in a fire resulting from a shootout with FBI
agents in 1984, and most of the other leaders of The Order are serving long
What are some representative quotes from The Turner Diaries?
* "My day's work started a little before five o'clock yesterday, when
I began helping Ed Sanders mix heating oil with the ammonium nitrate fertilizer
in Unit 8's garage. We stood the 100 pound bags on end one by one and poked
a small hole in the top with a screwdriver, just big enough to insert the
end of a funnel. While I held the bag and funnel, Ed poured in a gallon
of oil. . . It took us nearly three hours to do all 44 sacks, and the work
really wore me out.
Meanwhile, George and Henry were out stealing a truck. With only two-and-a-half
tons of explosives we didn't need a big tractor trailer rig, so we decided
to grab a delivery truck. . ."
* ". . .If the White nations of the world had not allowed themselves
to become subject to the Jew, to Jewish ideas, to Jewish spirit, this war
would not be necessary. We can hardly consider ourselves blameless. We can
hardly say we had no choice, no chance to avoid the Jew's snare. We can
hardly say we were not warned."
* ". . .the people had their share of the Jews and their tricks. .
. If the Organization survives this contest, no Jew will - anywhere. We'll
go to the utmost ends of the Earth to hunt down the last of Satan's spawn.
Who is William Pierce?
William Pierce is the leader of the West Virginia based National Alliance,
a neo-Nazi group. Under the pseudonym of Andrew Macdonald, he is the author
of the racist and anti-Semitic fantasy novel The Turner Diaries. Pierce
holds a Ph.D. in physics, and formerly held a teaching position Oregon State
University. He has, at various times, been affiliated with George Lincoln
Rockwell's American Nazi Party, and Willis Carto's National Youth Alliance
(Carto now heads the Washington, D.C. based Liberty Lobby, the largest and
most well funded Anti-Semitic organization in America today), though Carto
and Pierce are currently rivals.
Pierce is also a founder and trustee of the "Cosmotheist Church,"
a "Christian Identity" group which shares membership and organizational
space with the National Alliance. (The pseudo-religious Identity Church
movement holds that whites are the "chosen people" of the Bible,
and that Jews and blacks are "mud people" and the children of
What is the National Alliance?
Since the 1970's Pierce has run The National Alliance, a neo-Nazi organization
based in West Virginia, which actively promulgates racist and anti-Semitic
propaganda. Its subsidiary, National Vanguard Books, pushes such notorious
titles as Mein Kampf, The International Jew, and of course, Pierce's own
The Turner Diaries. In 1983, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit,
agreeing with an amicus brief submitted by ADL, the American Jewish Congress,
and the NAACP, found that National Alliance was not an educational organization
and upheld an I.R.S ruling stripping it of its tax exempt status.
What else has Pierce written?
In addition to The Turner Diaries, Pierce (again under the pen name Andrew
Macdonald) has written a similar racist fantasy novel entitled Hunter. Hunter
depicts the story of a drive-by killer who begins murdering inter-racial
couples and eventually begins assassinating Jews in order to "cleanse"
America and save the future of white civilization. The book is dedicated
to Joseph Paul Franklin, a fire bomber of synagogues who is serving multiple
life sentences for the sniper murders of at least two black men.
Pierce is also the editor of National Vanguard, and the National Alliance
Bulletin, both published by the National Alliance, and appears regularly
on his own short-wave radio program called "American Dissident Voices."
How does Pierce try to recruit or attract new supporters?
New World Order Comix is a comic book published by National Vanguard Books.
Aimed at white teenagers, the goal of the comic is to recruit young people
to the National Alliance neo-Nazi cause. The book is replete with racist
and anti-Semitic sentiments. For example, "New World Order Comix #1"
is subtitled "The Saga of. . . White Will," the name of the young
"hero" of the story, who has conflicts with the blacks and Jews
in his class and is eventually turned on to the National Alliance by the
father of a friend.
The National Alliance also maintains a site on the World Wide Web of the
Internet, where computer users can download written materials, and request
information about the organization.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.