Here is a sample letter graciously provided to us by New York Anti-Racist Action for sending out to the venues scheduled to host Death in June.
We recommend you adapt this as needed for your particular locale and have as many people as possible email the information below to the hosting venues:
To the [VENUE]-
We are writing you with concerns about your choice to allow Death in June, an openly fascist band, to perform at your venue on ________.
The groups tour poster is the SS design of the Totenkopf (Death’s Head) emblazoned on the American Flag. The group also uses the esoteric, exclusively neo-Nazi symbol the Black Sun as an image on their recent record.
The project of former Left-wing musician Douglas Pearce, the fascist motifs of the band are often thought to be merely an act of provocation. Unfortunately, Pearce is also a fascist activist, and he will likely bring this message with him on their 30th anniversary tour.
Here are some key instances, copied from this
well-researched http://www.whomakesthenazis.com/2012/11/james-cavanagh-death-in-june-coming-to.html blog post:
In May 1999, a few days after BNP member David Copeland nail-bombed Brixton and Brick Lane markets and The Admiral Duncan pub in Soho, Death In June played The Garage in Islington (with fellow Nazi-admirers NON and Der Blutharsch). Copeland killed 3 people and injured 129. It has been widely corroborated that Pearce dedicated a song from the stage to the ‘White Wolves’ – a neo-Nazi grouping who had initially claimed responsibility for these atrocities. In much the same spirit, a valedictory message was posted to the Di6 Yahoo group forum immediately following Anders Breivik’s Utoya massacre, and mainland bombing.
“the Something Is Coming album, the proceeds of which were donated to the Bolnichi Clinic in Zagreb, Croatia during the Balkan conflict, Pearce has said “This was not purely a humanitarian gesture. It was a cultural one. A socio-Euro political one.”
The inference here is clear, despite the characteristic coyness; a diffidence which extends to the endlessly recycled back catalogue items listed for sale on the official Death In June website. “We STRONGLY recommend that all those living in Germany wishing to order ‘BROWN BOOK’ (Achtung!) UeBER DO NOT(!!) order direct from NER as random Customs checks do exist between the U.K. and the mainland of Europa… Talk to any of the million zillion illegal immigrants that now wander lonely as a black cloud through Europa’s streets forlorn….. Those not living in little red angel’s po-faced, goody 2 shoes Germany are also free to take advantage of these internet mail order firms….” he advises. The album in question, 1987′s Brown Book contains a version of the SA anthem ‘Horst-Wessel-Lied’, and has therefore been totally banned for sale or distribution by the German authorities”
“In 1992, DIJ backed out and refused to play the Dark X-Mas festival in Hamburg after the organizers issued a statement condemning a spate of fascist attacks on immigrant asylums in Germany. Likewise, DIJ also refused to play a 1994 Festival of Darkness because the show was promoted as being against racism and neo-nazism.”
Their name comes from the “Night of the Long Knives,” June 6th, in which the Hitlerian wing of the Nazi party assassinated the Strasserian wing, considered the Nazi’s “left-wing” for their more socialist ideas about fascism. This slain group has remained a focal point for National Socialists to this day, who believe the Third Reich could have succeeded were some other Nazi besides Hitler to come to power.
Those who defend the band point to the fact that Douglas Pierce is openly homosexual, has worked with Jewish artists, and has played in Israel. Many modern fascists have skewed their positions a bit to be more popular, and many homosexuals and Jews have been involved the rising “New Right” constellations of recent decades.
Needless to say, their new found inclusiveness does not justify their politics. The dream of Pearce and New Rightist is still a European-centered (Occidentalist) Nationalist resurgence. Of his show in Israel, for instance, Pearce claims to appreciate the Zionist state for it’s assertion of superior Western ideals, which is a disgustingly anti-Arabic/Sephardic Jewish stance. Pearce and his cohorts are anti-Immigrant, anti-Left, and anti-integration. He continuously reiterates these positions in almost every interview.
Death in June shows have been protested, sabotaged, and even banned in certain regions for decades. Especially in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, where they have particularly strong neo-Nazi followings.
We’ve included some links to recent communiques and events below.
We have no reason to believe that anyone involved at ______ condones these types of politics, and we understand that the show will almost certainly sell-out. Our hope, however, is that ______ takes a stance against fascist imagery, slogans, and the neo-Nazis who will undoubtedly come from around the regiont to attend he show.
We hope to hear back from you, and start a dialogue!
Death in June, the notorious neo-fascist folk group, is going on tour this fall! Death in June shows, along with utilizing blatant fascist imagery, are frequently recruiting grounds for neo-Nazi and neo-fascist organizations. We need to do whatever we can to non-violently disrupt, harass, and shut down the tour.
Death in June will be playing at eight locations across the United States. Please contact the venues, tell your community, and organize non-violent direct action if necessary.
THURS. 12TH SEPT. THE VEX LOS ANGELES CA.
FRI. 13TH SEPT. MEZZANINE SAN FRANCISCO CA.
SAT. 14TH SEPT. INFEST AUSTIN TX.
MON. 16TH SEPT. REGGIES CHICAGO IL.
TUES. 17TH SEPT. RESPECTABLE STREET COCONUT CREEK/WEST PALM BEACH FL.
FRI. 20TH SEPT. THE BELL HOUSE BROOKLYN NY.
SUN. 22ND SEPT. THE OTTOBAR BALTIMORE MD.
NO COMPROMISE, NO SURRENDER!
Over the course of our recent investigation into Stephen McNallen a number of sources have provided with invaluable leads, tips, and other pieces of evidence which have guided our research from day one.
We would like to thank all of our allies and our anonymous and confidential sources, some of whom have come to us at at great personal risk, for the help they’ve given us. Without you this investigation would not have been possible.
If you, or anyone you know, has any information on racialist activity, sympathies, or affiliations by Stephen McNallen or any other Heathen leaders in any Heathen organization anywhere in the world please contact us at email@example.com and share anything you know. Even the smallest of tips or the most mundane and unremarkable clues can lead to surprising discoveries.
Table of Contents
McNallen’s words and actions in the years following the founding of the new AFA show these early associations were not aberrations but the first symptoms of a much larger pattern. McNallen has used his position and organization as a platform for advancing thinly-veiled white nationalist talking points. His actual views on a number of popular topics among the New Right like immigration and the environment show his efforts in advancing a racialist agenda under the cover of spirituality.
An excellent example of this is an article on the topic of immigration he wrote and published in 2010 titled, “A down and dirty breakdown of the ‘browning of America’” in Western Voices World News, the news site for the white separatist group European Americans United. In the article he makes this astonishing claim:
4. Illegal immigration on the present scale is a form of conquest.
There are many ways to seize power in a country. Mao Zedung, Che Guevara, and Nguyen Vo Giap favored rural-based revolution involving guerrilla warfare. Leninist theory revolves around taking over existing institutions – “the organizational weapon.” In societies with just the right kind of bureaucracy, eager colonels can force a coup d’etat.
Today we are witnessing a new method of takeover. The formula is simple: Infiltrate an area with large numbers of illegals with strong ties to their home country. Encourage each new immigrant, legal or otherwise, to bring in his or her extended family. Obtain the diplomatic and political support of the sending country – in this case, Mexico. Build a network of nonprofit organizations with money from liberal foundations and government grants. Interlock the nonprofits and local political entities to form a comprehensive alternative governmental structure. Maintain racial and cultural solidarity while driving out competing races and cultures – one neighborhood, one town, one county at a time. If anyone objects, accuse them of “racism.”
It is working. Or rather, it has already worked over vast regions of what is still technically the American Southwest.
His solutions are equally reactionary in their intent. McNallen calls for a border wall to be built by imprisoned immigrants, the deportation of all illegal immigrants to Mexico, and an immediate overhaul of immigration law to put a halt to all non-European immigration into the United States.
This is not the only word he’s had on the subject. On the AFA site is posted another essay titled, “Wotan v. Tezcatlipoca: The Spiritual War for California and the Southwest.” In this essay McNallen argues Mexican immigration into the United States is driven, not by the fallout of neoliberal trade policies, fleeing the violence of drug cartel wars, or the simple desire for a better life which drove many immigrants — including McNallen’s Irish ancestors — to the United States, but by a crusade commanded by the Aztec God Tezcatlipoca:
The great majority of Mexican-descended people are solidly Christian, at least on the surface. You’ll find them in church most Sundays, and there is no reason to doubt their sincerity. But what lies beneath this ordinary exterior? Can a whole group of people manifest religious forces of which they’re not even consciously aware?
Carl Jung, one of the most famous psychologists of modern times, would say so. In an essay titled “Wotan,” he wrote how the God of fury and frenzy – as an archetype in the collective unconscious – had gripped the German people during the early part of the Twentieth Century. This was manifested in a great many religious and social movements, the most notorious and tragic of which was Nazism. The result was a great spiritual revival on one hand, and war and destruction on the other.
Would Carl Jung’s comments on Wotan as an archetype in the Germanic soul also have its parallel in the psychic functioning of the Mexican people? Are Tonatzin and Tezcatlipoca (the God, not just Leo Guerra) moving among their folk, stirring them to conquest?
What is even more curious is his claims follow the exact same line of reasoning as is presented by David Lane and Ron McVan on page eleven of the infamous white supremacist tract Creed of Iron:
Wotanism came back in force among the Germanic peoples and became manifest during the first and second World Wars. A new but ancient mythos was developing, a mythos of the blood, and it began reviving the light, order, spirit, and folkishness again within the Aryan race. The great Swiss psychologist and renowned founder of analytical psychology Professor Carl Gustav Jung stated that, “The power of Wotan (the principal deity of our pre-Christian forefathers) was possessing or incarnating in the entire German folk.” Professor Jung further stated in a letter to his friend, Miguel Serrano, in 1960 that “Wotan in reality never died, but has retained his original vitality and autonomy. Our consciousness only imagines that it has lost its gods; in reality they are still there and it only needs a certain general condition in order to bring them back in full force.”
Yet when these highly visible connections come to light McNallen is quick to muddy the waters. In 2011 the white nationalist National Policy Institute held their 2011 conference which Media Matters reporter Brian Powell covered. Amidst the discussion of carving out white ethnostates, post-apocalyptic doom and gloom, and serious discussions of re-instituting apartheid Powell encountered a group of Heathens affiliated with the AFA attending the conference. When word of this hit the Pagan press McNallen was quick to release a statement disavowing all responsibility putting the spin machine into overdrive with, “A Response to Recent Defamation”:
I have investigated the current controversy and have discussed it with the AFA Board of Directors. Here is my statement:
Four (not “seven to fourteen”) members of the Asatru Folk Assembly did attend a conference hosted by the National Policy Institute. They did this as private individuals, not as representatives for the Asatru Folk Assembly. The only way the original blogger, Brian Powell of the left-wing blog Media Matters, knew that they were AFA members is because, by his own admission, he craned his neck to see what one of them was writing on a piece of paper. At no time was there any attempt to speak for the AFA or to identify the ideals of the AFA with the subject matter of the conference.
The AFA will not dictate to its members which meetings they are permitted to attend as private individuals. There are suggestions that we discipline them for the crime of being present in a room where extreme statements seem to have been made. We will not do this. There will be no exposure, no witch-hunt, no apologies, and no reprimands.
A careful reading of the original post on the Media Matters blog makes it clear that Mr. Powell “cherry picked” the most extreme comments possible while ignoring the rest. He admitting that he expected “a little more anger, a little more foaming-at-the-mouth hatred of non-whites.” He further notes that “foremost on the minds of the attendees was not white dominance, it was white extinction.” His main objection, in short, was that people of European descent dared to meet to quietly discuss issues of concern to them as a group.
Let me very clearly state these two points: 1. The AFA will never advocate, condone, or excuse illegal or dishonorable acts directed at any person because of their race. 2. That said, men and women of European descent have exactly the same right to meet and to promote their collective interests as do any other group. To demonize them for doing this, when every other group is encouraged to do so, is to indulge in a vicious double standard.
Playing to the standard tactics of imaginary double-standards, shooting the messenger, apple pie words, and accusing everyone else of racist intent McNallen is quick to appeal to the narrative of victimization. Rather than address the content or issues he argues the AFA has no right to dictate to individuals what they do in their own time while simultaneously distancing the organization from any illegal or dishonorable acts they might do. For all his vocal support for individual freedom he is quick to dismiss any possibility of holding them accountable by providing the “private activity” loophole.
When the spotlight is turned away McNallen, using the AFA blog and Facebook as his podium, advances an agenda which is clearly inspired by and feeds the appetites of white nationalists. On the AFA’s own blog McNallen publishes multiple pieces where he insinuates and in some cases openly claims whites around the world are facing a campaign of genocide. In Asatru and the Most Heroic Age of All McNallen says, “We European-descended folk are cut off from our spiritual heritage and flounder, lost, in a swamp of alienation and apathy. Everywhere, our numbers are dropping.” In What Makes the Asatru Folk Assembly Different: Purpose! he points to the AFA’s Declaration of Purpose, enshrining the first two above all others:
What does matter to us is purpose! This, in the form of the Declaration of
Purpose, is the guiding star of the Asatru Folk Assembly. The first two points
of the DOP deal with the practice of Asatru and with the existence of our Folk,
respectively. The remaining points are elaborations on these.
The two points in question are, “The preservation of the Peoples of the North (typified by the Scandinavian/Germanic and Celtic peoples), and the furtherance of their continued evolution” and “The issuance of a call to all our brothers and sisters of the People of the North to return to this, their native religion and way of life“. What makes these claims even more questionable is their striking similarly to the latest line of propaganda from the white nationalist movement: global white genocide. He makes his feelings on the issue even more clear in the 142nd issue of the AFA newsletter:
OUR CULTURE, OUR PEOPLE
Most Whites believe “the American dream” is dead
According to an ABC News/Yahoo poll, only about half of all Americans feel “the American dream” – the belief that if you work hard you’ll get ahead, and so forth – is alive.
Generally, respondents with more education and greater income said the dream was alive and well. We might expect, then, that most European-Americans (roughly synonymous with “whites”) might be in the optimistic camp. However, this is not the case: Only 48% of whites said the dream was alive for them. Of non-whites, 57% said the dream was alive.
What does this tell us about the mood of Eurofolk? We’ve known for years that the group with the highest rate of suicide in this country has been European-American teenage males, and the “prize” for the lowest self-esteem has gone to teen European-American females. Despite all the politically-correct assumptions about “white privilege,” more and more of us are sensing that the current system is stacked against us and that something is very, very wrong.
Our sickness, of course, is ultimately spiritual. We must find our ancient soul. We must realize we are a people. Each of us is the latest expression of a continuity stretching back to the earliest inhabitants of Europe, a continuity that transcends space and time and mortality.
“Only when we realize we are a river will we stop drowning in puddles.”(1)
When not advancing an overtly white nationalist line of reasoning McNallen dabbles a bit in environmental advocacy through the Facebook page. Through this page McNallen gave his qualified endorsement of Deep Green Resistance, a radical environmentalist movement which advocates an end to modern civilization and the use of guerrilla warfare to achieve it and damn the consequences:
In the first of the two posts: “Why I Like Deep Green Resistance” McNallen lays out the positives:
SOME THINGS I LIKE ABOUT THE BOOK “DEEP GREEN RESISTANCE”
Deep Green Resistance, by Aric McBay, Lierre Keith, and Derrick Jensen,is controversial for an understandable reason: It advocates the dismantling of civilization to save life on Earth. Personally, I don’t think the human race needs to go back to the hunter-gatherer level – which is basically what they advocate but I agree that some radical changes are in order. Another problem is their overall radical-left worldview. That said, there are some very good things about this book.
Things I like about this book: First, the authors understand the seriousness of our situation. They understand that not only humans, but many or most animal and plant species on Earth, are in danger of extinction. With just a little effort, we could actually kill everything down to and including bacteria (the “Venus syndrome.”) That’s pretty serious.
Second, the DGR crowd gets a really important fact: Corporations and government are not going to stop what they are doing just because we ask them nicely.
Third, they know we don’t have a lot of time. If we had a hundred years, or even fifty, we might change enough “hearts and minds” to keep us from going over the cliff. But time is something we don’t have: Earth’s climate for the next few thousand years will be determined by what we do in the coming decades.
Fourth, I like their passion, which they often express with great eloquence.
In tomorrow’s post, I’ll cover what I DON’T like about DGR.
Asatru serves Life! We stand with the Aesir, the Vanir, and our mother Earth.
And what he doesn’t like:
SOME THINGS I DON’T LIKE ABOUT THE BOOK “DEEP GREEN RESISTANCE”
Yesterday I told you four things I really liked about DGR. Today, you get to read about the downside.
First, like radical leftists everywhere, they analyze things in terms of class struggle. I reject this out of hand. An Asatru approach would stress the spiritual values of our tribes, our nations, and our ethnic heritage. The ideology of class struggle only disrupts and obscures the primary importance of organic religious and ethnic ties. My loyalty is not to the “workers of the world,” but to my extended kin – all men, women, and children of European descent.
Second, they oppose hierarchy. The peoples of Europe, however, have long been hierarchical: Our tribes had a distinct leader who was often chosen from specific distinguished families, advised by a council of often influential or wealthy leaders, and who was held in check by the votes of the freemen.
Third, they are anti-masculine. Men are basically accepted only to the extent that they are psychologically neutered. Put-downs on men are scattered throughout the book. The proposed DGR society would be driven by female values, not by a balance of male and female as we have in Asatru.
Fourth, I cannot accept the idea of rejecting our hard-won scientific and technological discoveries. As Eurofolk, we have an innate drive to frontiers whether they be geographical or theoretical. We have been to the moon, and our descendants will explore the Galaxy. Our task is to make a technologically-advanced civilization compatible with a living Earth. This can be done.
Despite my criticisms, there is much in “Deep Green Resistance” that is of value and it is a real thought-provoker.
Hail the Gods!
Hail the AFA!
There are a few things about this pair of posts that are very unusual. The first is, in spite of his opposition to their goals of ending civilization, McNallen ultimately recommends reading it. The second is the total lack of any mention of the use of violent terrorist tactics to achieve their ends. The only thing he says on the matter is he agrees with their sense of urgency while saying nothing about the means behind that urgency. Third is DGR itself. Far from being the norm in radical environmentalism Deep Green Resistance is seen by many other environmental radicals, anarchists, and other fellow travelers as fringe extremists. As a result of this firestorm of controversy several DGR members resigned from the organization in protest, citing these criticisms and others as their main grievances. Fourth and finally his reasoning depends, like all his other works, heavily on his ideas on metagenetics, heritage, and the centrality of race in culture and spirituality.
His relatively recent promotion of environmental issues fits with an alarming and growing trend in the global neo-fascist movement: a serious push to co-opt the green movement. This element of neo-fascist ideology traces its roots back to the concept of Blut und Boden (blood and soil). This theory is one of many central justifications for their pathological anti-semitism and their demands for “living space“. In 1953 Julius Evola would take some of these ideas to the next step in his book Men Among the Ruins. In it he calls for a retreat from modernity as part of the necessary personal transformation to build reactionary consciousness.
In practice this leads to fascist movements attempting to co-opt the ideas and imagery of the green movement. As was observed at the blog Climate and Capitalism the main avenue for their co-optation is the overpopulation argument. This argument has a surprising level of support among some segments of the environmental movement. Fascist organizations turn this into a call for banning immigration to reduce the number of undesirable poor degrading the environment. One excellent example is Golden Dawn’s “Green Wing“, an organization set up to advance an eco-friendly image for the openly neo-Nazi political party. Central to Golden Dawn’s party platform is the call to build a “Greece for Greeks” where immigration would be banned, all immigrants would be expelled, and entrance into the country would be sharply limited.
Golden Dawn and Stephen McNallen aren’t alone in holding such extreme views on immigration and the environment. In the words of Derrick Jensen, one of the founders of Deep Green Resistance:
And you’ve heard the arguments. The United States needs to close its borders to immigration from poor countries. Having finally gotten our own birthrate down sufficiently to more or less stabilize our population, the last thing we need is a bunch of poor (brown) people moving in to crowd us out (we know, also, that once they’re here they’ll breed faster than we do, and soon enough will outnumber us).
I often respond to this argument by saying I’m all for closing the border to Mexico (and everywhere else, for that matter, all the way down to closing bioregional borders), so long as we close it not only to people but to resources as well.
McNallen’s speech and advocacy are not limited to the online world. Coming up on September 20th in the High Sierras is the latest and most blatant of Stephen McNallen’s promotion of fascist ideology: Stella Natura.
Continued in Part Four: Stella Natura and What Can be Done on Monday, September 9th
1. AFA Update, Issue #142, January 5th, 2011
Table of Contents
From the beginning McNallen would employ a concept, well understood to anyone with an education in political science, infamously described by BNP leader Nick Griffin years later as, “apple pie words” in crafting his organization’s messaging. While overtly denouncing racism McNallen argues for many key elements of racialist, white nationalist and separatist ideology. This is clearly stated in the second point of the Asatru Folk Assembly’s Declaration of Purpose:
The preservation of the Peoples of the North (typified by the Scandinavian/Germanic and Celtic peoples), and the furtherance of their continued evolution:
Ours is an ancestral religion, one passed down to us from our forebears from ancient times and thus tailored to our unique makeup. Its spirit is inherent in us as a people. If the People of the North ceased to exist, Asatru would likewise no longer exist. It is our will that we not only survive, but thrive, and continue our upward evolution in the direction of the Infinite.
All native religions spring from the unique collective soul of a particular people. Religions are not arbitrary or accidental; body, mind and spirit are all shaped by the evolutionary history of the group and are thus interrelated. Asatru is not just what we believe, it is what we are. Therefore, the survival and welfare of the Northern European peoples as a cultural and biological group is a religious imperative for the AFA.
The belief that spirituality and ancestral heritage are related has nothing to do with notions of superiority. Asatru is not an excuse to look down on, much less to hate, members of any other race. On the contrary, we recognize the uniqueness and the value of all the different pieces that make up the human mosaic.
This is followed by the exhortation to:
The issuance of a call to all our brothers and sisters of the People of the North to return to this, their native religion and way of life:
We would impose Asatru on no one. But we earnestly invite those whose heritage it is, to return to the belief that is a part of them as surely as blood and bone.
Asafolk have traditionally been restrained when it comes to seeking converts. However, we do feel that our brothers and sisters will be healthier and happier once they have returned to the religion that expresses their heritage. Also, we need them! The restoration of our ancient ways, and the building of a secure future for our religion and our people, is a huge undertaking that can use all the willing hands we can find. For these reasons, we call our kin to rejoin the great family of men and women who honor the sacred ways of the Northland.
Which bears considerable resemblance to the central tenets of Dutch ultranationalist theoretician Dr. Abraham Kuyper, one of the key figures in the development of Afrikaner nationalism in South Africa. Kuyper argued for, “a nationalism of separate, unique national identities as created by God”. According to Kuyper’s theories it was necessary for these divinely-mandated nations to maintain their cultural and linguistic purity. These beliefs very rapidly saw racialist elements easily grafted on by the late 19th century Afrikaners who were already inculcated in similar ideas via Afrikaner Calvinism justifying their treatment and enslavement of the native Africans.
Afrikaner Calvinism, similar to Kuyper’s theories, argued an unusual variant of Calvinist predestination. In mainstream Calvinism this doctrine was seen as a matter of individual salvation but to the Afrikaners entire groups were pre-destined by God for paradise or damnation. If any of the group stray all suffer, making it the responsibility of the whole of the community to work for salvation by shunning, expelling, or even enslaving and killing those who threaten their prospect of heavenly reward. It was this obsession with communal salvation, coupled with Boer opposition to the British abolition of slavery in 1833, which led to the migration away from the British-dominated coast known as the “Great Trek.”
These values of racial superiority, communal salvation, and ethnonationalism formed the basis of the South African apartheid regime, one of many examples used by modern white separatists to validate their arguments. In many ways Boer separatism is founded on similar ideals as the call as demanding everyone, “drink from their own well.” It also fits quite well with the admirable, glowing words McNallen uses to describe Afrikaner Resistance Movement’s paramilitary training:
They were good people [Afrikaners], and they were the bastion of European culture on the African continent. Their insistent Christianity cannot conceal the truth that they are a wandering Germanic tribe; the fact that they confuse the God of the Bible with Wotan does not keep them from being a part of that great Northern family whose way we follow.(1)
The AFA’s Law of the Hall further reinforces the organization’s authoritarian, racialist foundation saying:
We can think of the AFA as a vast chieftain’s hall from the heroic age, and our fellow AFA supporters as our benchmates within that hall. To preserve peace in the hall and to protect the reputation of those who inhabit it, we have certain rules. These rules constitute the “Law of the Hall.”
Rule number five says quite clearly, “Strive that our Folk shall live forever, though all the forces of Muspel march against us. Work for the good of the Folk Within (Asatruar) and the Folk Without (the Greater Family of our people who have not yet come to the Gods) in all ways that are honorable and noble.”
While these central principles demonstrate a strong tie with white nationalist themes of victimization further evidence shows the connection between the AFA and American neo-fascism runs far deeper. In 1998 the Southern Poverty Law Center reported one of McNallen’s key organizers had proven ties to the national socialist movement: Ronald Schuett, the guildmaster of the Teaching Guild. Schuett, prior to his affiliation with the AFA, was the Colorado state organizer for the neo-Nazi SS Action Group and once told a reporter while wearing a Nazi uniform,”I’m a white racist and proud of it”. He was also believed to have connections with the Hammerskins, a notoriously violent white supremacist skinhead gang.
The first demonstration of action by McNallen to prove his fidelity to racialist ideology was his involvement in the Kennewick Man controversy. The issue erupted when unidentified remains were discovered in Washington State on July 28th, 1996. The Umatilla tribe demanded the remains be handed over as part of the terms of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act. A group of anthropologists sued the US government for the right to perform DNA testing leading to a court battle between the anthropologists and the Umtailla. McNallen waded into the controversy arguing, “While we share the belief that the government has no right to keep anthropologists from studying the Kennewick Man, we continue to seek mitochondrial DNA testing to determine his genetic links to our European ancestors.” Stephen McNallen’s legal efforts were spearheaded by attorney Michael Clinton, a known supporter of Holocaust denier David Irving with ties to skinheads and the American Front who was the editor for McNallen’s(2) short-lived Wolf Age magazine. On August 20th, 1999 the AFA had their day in court arguing Kennewick Man was one of their own to justify their claim to DNA testing. The court ruled otherwise and their request for DNA testing was denied. Scientists later concluded the sample was so old it had no viable DNA samples for testing.
In 1997 McNallen further affirmed his connections to the white nationalist movement when he married Sheila Edlund. Valgard Murray, co-founder of the Asatru Alliance, performed the ceremony blessing the new couple while Blood Axis frontman Michael Moynihan performed for the guests. While on the surface the wedding doesn’t seem like much out of the ordinary as far as Pagan and Heathen ceremonies go, much more than meets the eye was going on there.
Valgard Murray has a long and proven past with the racialist movement. He first became involved in the racialist scene in the late 1960s when he first came into contact with Odinism. In the 1970s Murray would co-found the Arizona Kindred with Elton Hall, the man who first introduced him to Odinism and the American Nazi Party’s state organizer(3). In 1976 the Arizona Kindred would become the first kindred to be certified by Else Christensen’s Odinist Fellowship with Murray later serving as organization’s vice president(4). Following the collapse of the old AFA Murray partnered with Tribe of the Wulflings founder Robert Taylor to found the Asatru Alliance in 1988(5). The structure of the Asatru Alliance was based on the system used by outlaw biker gangs of hangaround kindreds, probationary kindreds, and full members; not surprising considering Murray’s past history as a spokesperson for the national socialist Iron Cross outlaw motorcycle club(6).
Moynihan, is a well-known member of the modern neo-fascist movement. As the face of the neo-fascist group Blood Axis Moynihan is a long-time member of the American New Right. Contrary to the usual stereotype Moynihan is not a blood-hungry bruiser but a slick intellectual operator. Aside from his role as the frontman for Blood Axis and work on other neo-fascist musical acts Moynihan works to help disseminate neo-fascist thought. In 1992 he edited and provided the introduction for the book Siege, a collection of the writings of neo-Nazi James Mason. He followed up in 1995 with the publication of Lords of Chaos, a book about the black metal subculture. In it he argues the entire sub-culture was an expression of the suppressed atavistic archetypes of the Nordic psyche(7).
Moynihan has continued to focus on the more mystical elements, working with Edred Thorsson on his translation of of the works of Karl Wiligut, Heinrich Himmler’s personal occultist, as the editor of The Secret King: Karl Maria Wiligut, Himmler’s Lord of the Runes which was first published in 2001. He also edited a translation of Julius Evola’s Men Among Ruins, a book that calls for a violent counter-revolution to overthrow democracy and replace it with a fascist warrior society. Evola, an Italian fascist philosopher whose works are the foundation of modern radical traditionalism, is a particular favorite who shows up much more frequently in Moynihan’s later projects. In his later work with Joshua Buckley at the radical traditionalist journal Tyr, who published their first issue in 2002, Julius Evola’s writings are a popular subject along with the works of famed French New Right thinker Alain de Benoist. All three volumes of Tyr‘s issue collections are available, among other places, at the AFA’s online store in the books section which is not too surprising since McNallen contributed to Volume 2.
Since founding the AFA on such principles in 1994 and solidifying his ties to the movement in the later part of the decade McNallen has continued to advocate for veiled, family-friendly white nationalism. Posing as defenders of a genuinely multicultural world McNallen, using the AFA as a support base and megaphone, has worked to blur the line between fascist, radical traditionalist politics and Heathen spirituality. If anything as time has gone by he’s grown bolder and more outspoken.
Continued in Part Three: In His Own Words on Monday, September 2nd
1. Wolf Age, Winter 1995 issue from The Dignity Report, Volume 5, Issue 1, Winter 1998
3. Mattias Gardell, Gods of the Blood, the Pagan Revival and White Separatism, (Durham and London: Duke University, 2003), 261.
5. Gardell 262
7. Gardell 300
Table of Contents
Stephen McNallen is, without a doubt, one of the most famous names in American Heathenry. A long-time participant, organizer, and writer in American Asatru McNallen has been active since the early 70s when he helped found the Asatru Free Assembly. Following the organization’s collapse over the issue of racism he traveled the world, writing for Soldier of Fortune magazine, before founding the Asatru Folk Assembly in 1994. Since then he has led the AFA to becoming a large, well-known, and established element in the American Heathen community. So great is his influence and fame that many say he is the most important man in American Heathenry. His proponents claim, quite loudly, that without McNallen Heathenry would not exist in the United States.
The story is very powerful, compelling, and is a carefully crafted myth. Stephen McNallen, far from being the messianic figure he is held up as, has for some time been an active participant in the American neo-fascist radical traditionalist movement. It is not certain how long he has been involved in the neo-fascist movement but what is certain is since at least 1985 he has been an unapologetic advocate for white nationalism. Far worse, he has actively worked to advance his brand of Heathenry by concealing it behind an appealing mask of twisted heritage and falsified traditions. The damage he has done to American Heathenry is incalculable.
It is not clear when McNallen first subscribed to racialist practice but the first proof we have of him articulating such a position is from 1985 and the time of the Asatru Free Assembly. During the 70s and 80s the old AFA, as it is known, was kicked off by a dispute over what to do about a kindred in Arizona who included open neo-Nazis. The debate steadily split the AFA into two camps: those who supported excluding those from the community who were not of proven Germanic descent and those who welcomed all interested seekers. The tensions of the debate would lead to the AFA dissolving sometime between 1986 and 1987. As the schism in the Asatru Free Assembly was gaining momentum McNallen would write and publish the document that would be the foundation of his form of Heathen practice: Metagenetics.
In “Metagenetics” McNallen lays out his case for racialized, ethnocentric spirituality. He begins by saying:
One of the most controversial tenets of Asatru is our insistence that ancestry matters- that there are spiritual and metaphysical implications to heredity, and that we are thus a religion not for all of humanity, but rather one that calls only its own. This belief of ours has led to much misunderstanding, and as aresult some have attempted to label us as “racist”, or have accused us of fronting for totalitarian political forms.
No doubt, on an earlier and deeper level of psychic development, where it is still impossible to distinguish between an Aryan, Semitic,Hamitic, or Mongolian mentality, all human races have a common collective psyche. But with the beginning of racial differentiation, essential differences are developed in the collective psyche as well. For this reason, we cannot transplant the spirit of a foreign religion ‘in globo’ into our own mentality without sensible injury to the latter.”
In the years following the dissolution of the old AFA and the founding of the Ring of the Troth Stephen McNallen traveled the world, particularly in South Africa, Namibia, and Botswana, as a writer for Soldier of Fortune magazine.
The byline for the article McNallen introduces them with, “If you are willing to occasionally fire up a few friends from a long-time, pro-Western, anti-communist guerrilla group, Executive Outcomes is looking for a few good mercs.” The true story behind Executive Outcomes is much less glamorous than this implies. Founded in 1989 by former Lt. Colonel Eeben Barlow of the South Africa Defense Force’s infamous Civil Cooperation Bureau, an apartheid-era government hit squad, Barlow took advantage of the downsizing of the SADF to recruit now unemployed veterans & special forces operators to form the backbone of his new business venture. EO would do the dirty work for corporate interests all over Africa until their dissolution in 1999.
McNallen’s time in South Africa would have a profound impact on his form of racialized Heathenry. When he returned to the United States in 1994 from his travels abroad and founded the Asatru Folk Assembly, he began promoting many concepts central to Afrikaner nationalism as if they are inseparable from Asatru itself.
Continued in Part Two: The Roots of Racialized Religion on Monday, August 26th