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Dr. William Pierce

AP 7/25/02

Hillsboro, W.Va. - White supremacist William Pierce came to this isolated town nearly 20 years ago for the cheap land and its live-and-let-live attitude. He left behind an international organization based on hate.

Pierce, the author of "The Turner Diaries" and founder of the right-wing National Alliance, died Tuesday of cancer at his 400-acre compound. He was 68.

Pierce's death is a "tremendous blow to the white supremacy movement, " said Brian Levin, the director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University at San Bernardino. "He was one of the brightest stars intellectually in the hate world but also the most reprehensible," Levin said. "He encouraged acts of violence and terrorism without facing legal liabilities by actually orchestrating them."

Pierce's novel, written under the pen name Andrew Macdonald and published in 1978, depicts a violent overthrow of the government by a small band of white supremacists who finance themselves through counterfeiting and bank robbery. It has long been standard reading among supremacist groups and gained notoriety as a book favored by Oklahoma City bombing suspect Timothy McVeigh. Set at the end of the 20th century, it describes a fictional truck bombing of FBI headquarters in Washington - a scene that roughly prefigures the Oklahoma City bombing.

Pierce, who has a doctorate in physics, told The Associated Press in 1996 that he became interested in politics while he was a professor at Oregon State University and saw the government tolerating Vietnam War protesters. "They were clearly aiding and abetting the enemy and undermining the morale of this country," Pierce said. He also disliked the civil rights movement, saying it and subsequent increased racial integration are responsible for growing alienation in the country. "People have withdrawn into sort of extreme individualism, where all they care about are themselves, maybe their immediate families," Pierce said.

From the Anti Defamation League (ADL.org):

A new ADL investigation reveals that the neo-Nazi National Alliance (NA) is the single most dangerous organized hate group in the United States today. In the past several years, dozens of violent crimes, including murders, bombings and robberies have been traced to NA members or appear to have been inspired by the group's propaganda. At the same time, the National Alliance's membership base has experienced major growth, with its numbers more than doubling since 1992.

The National Alliance is the largest and most active neo-Nazi organization in the nation, with 16 active cells from coast to coast, and a reported membership of 1,000. In the last three years, there has been evidence of NA activity in no fewer than 26 states nationwide. The organization has been most active in Ohio, Florida, Michigan, New York, Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia and New Mexico.

The NA's current strength can be attributed to several factors: its skillful embrace of technology, its willingness to cooperate with other extremists, its energetic recruitment and other promotional activities, and its vicious, but deceptively intellectualized propaganda.

The NA is led by former Oregon State University physics professor and veteran anti-Semite William L. Pierce, 66. Using the pseudonym Andrew Macdonald, Pierce wrote the novel The Turner Diaries, which details a successful world revolution by an all-white army, and the systematic extermination of Blacks, Jews, and other minorities. Many extremists regard The Turner Diaries as an explicit terrorism manual, and the novel is thought to have inspired several major acts of violence, including the April 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.

Despite these crimes, Pierce continues to glorify violence, offering it as the ultimate solution to what he terms "the Jewish problem." Pierce's weekly radio program, American Dissident Voices, is rife with incendiary speech. Together, William Pierce's broadcasts and novels provide haters with both an ideological and practical framework for committing acts of mass destruction.

Members of the Klan and other hate groups have long considered Pierce an elder statesman. As noted previously, his novels are wildly popular and highly regarded by other white supremacists. Pierce and other members of his organization have addressed Klan rallies and other hate fests -- further evidence of their stature in the extremist world.

A 1998 flyer from the Minnesota-based National Socialist Movement, an organization that advocates armed struggle to defend the white race against "the common enemy" (including the Federal Government, Blacks, Jews, liberals, and gay people) used a quote by William Pierce as a call to action for the coming "revolution" they want to stage: "While it is the time to be 'legal' we must stolidly endure whatever the State sees fit to inflict upon us. And when it comes time to revolt, we must be prepared to unleash all the furies of hell on the state until it yields."

The NSV Report, published by the National Socialist Vanguard, a virulently anti-Semitic, racist, anti-government, neo-Nazi group, reported that Will Williams, formerly the NA's regional coordinator in North Carolina, spoke at an annual gathering of Aryan Christian Knights of the Ku Klux Klan in Virginia in September 1995. In 1996, members of the National Alliance showed up to support a rally held by the Greensboro, North Carolina, chapter of the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC), a "grass-roots" organization that is against "big government" and increased immigration and whose agenda includes "restoring moral values and the traditional family according to [the country's] Christian heritage." NA members from Florida also reportedly appeared at the second annual "White Christmas" in Fort Pierce, Florida, in 1997. The event, sponsored by the Florida-based Knights of the White Kamelia and attended by various Klan and neo-Nazi groups, is a rally celebrating "white pride."

Pierce's propaganda also appears to have inspired members of other extremist groups to join the National Alliance, and to convince their former associates to sign up as well. Several former members of the North Carolina Confederate Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, which later evolved into the now-defunct violent paramilitary group the White Patriot Party, are currently members of the National Alliance. At least two of these former Klansmen currently act as NA leaders or "coordinators" in their respective states, in charge of recruitment and other activities.