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The Turner Diaries & Hunter

[1]4,472 words

William Pierce, the founder and head of the National Alliance, was a singularly important ideologist, organizer, and leader in the white nationalist movement.

His energy, commitment, drive, intelligence, and—given the sinister forces arrayed against us—accomplishments, are truly remarkable. Like George Lincoln Rockwell, David Duke, and a few others, he was a Superman. It is difficult to comprehend the powerful life force and capabilities such men incarnate.

Pierce was a prolific author. A collected edition of his writings, including personal correspondence and speeches, would run to many, many volumes.

Most of his enormous output was not in the form of books, however, but rather essays, articles, organizational guides, membership bulletins, speeches, correspondence, and weekly American Dissident Voices radio/Internet broadcasts.

His written work is thus highly fragmented, scattered, and not easily accessible in one or a few books. His enormous contribution to the cause of white survival will suffer greatly as a result, disappearing down the memory hole in relatively short order.

It is crucial that we build upon the past accomplishments of our best thinkers rather than continuously striving to reinvent the wheel every generation as people die, are murdered, jailed, or otherwise silenced.

There are five extended works by Pierce, two (or perhaps three) of which are effectively unavailable.

His two novels, The Turner Diaries (1978) and Hunter (1989).

A historical overview of the white race called Who We Are, originally published as a series of articles in National Vanguard tabloid (May 1978-May 1982) before it switched to magazine format.

This series has never been published in book form. Several years ago the National Alliance announced plans to issue such a volume, but it did not materialize. The series can be found in electronic format on a handful of websites. (See, e.g., the 225-page PDF version here [2] and an HTML version here [3].)

As a consequence, Who We Are has probably been read by only a handful of people who followed every installment in the tabloid thirty years ago, and a few enterprising contemporaries inclined to read online books in an inconvenient electronic format. Of course, potential readers also need to know the book exists, and possess a desire to read it.

To these volumes must be added the underappreciated anthology The Best of Attack! and National Vanguard Tabloid, 1970-1982 [4] (1984) compiled by former National Alliance member Kevin Alfred Strom. It is a fascinating, indispensable book that is historically significant and substantively engaging. Virtually the entire contents were written by Pierce, with the exception of a few major articles by Ted O’Keefe and others.

Unfortunately, the volume is out of print. A new copy currently sells for $258 on Amazon. Four used copies are more reasonably priced, ranging from $66-$133. A PDF copy of the book is available online, but the file is very large and difficult to read.

Finally, there is the National Alliance Membership Handbook, which is not publicly available.

Other than these works, Pierce’s vast output, which, though multifaceted, is nevertheless highly coherent, exists only in fragmented form. It is impossible to grasp holistically unless the reader is already thoroughly familiar with the man and his work—which, of course, most people are not.

These facts, coupled with Jewish and government obsession with the two novels, particularly The Turner Diaries, tend to give Pierce’s fiction a larger place in his oeuvre than it objectively warrants.

The Novels

Had I discovered his novels first, I doubt that I would ever have explored the main body of his work.

Still, the novels are instructive.

First, they constitute an important element of Pierce’s overall production and are perhaps more widely known, possibly even more widely read, than the bulk of his work.

I do believe that the most important people who have been intellectually influenced by Pierce were primarily drawn to his other writings. The novels, however, were especially influential among radical activists.

Second, I was greatly surprised to discover soon after I read them how popular the books were. I would never have guessed that. Whites are psychologically very heterogeneous compared to Jews, who have been likened to a hive or, more flatteringly, a “herd of independent minds”—emphasis on herd.

Third, and most importantly, the novels provide a window into Pierce’s true psychology and values that cannot be obtained from his nonfiction, no matter how angry or violent the rhetoric sometimes is.

My initial reaction to the novels was puzzlement as to why the Jews and government wanted to censor them, or even close normal channels of marketing and distribution to them.

To me, the books were self-refuting. I naively assumed other readers would feel the same way. I thought the author had shot himself, and his cause, in the foot, so to speak.

I was certainly wrong about that. So that was a valuable lesson to learn as well.

Not everyone thinks alike.

The Turner Diaries

Pierce published both novels under the pseudonym “Andrew Macdonald.”

Somewhat like the pseudonymous 1940s mystery novelist “Ellery Queen” (the joint pseudonym of two Jewish cousins) whose books starred a detective also named Ellery Queen, a pseudonymous character in The Turner Diaries named Andrew Macdonald writes the Foreword and Epilog to the diaries in the year 2099. The diaries themselves were written by protagonist Earl Turner in the 1990s.

Thus, the book’s overall chronological framework is somewhat complex.

Pierce wrote the book in the 1970s. The setting for most of it, related by Earl Turner, are the years 1991-1993.

The book’s Preface and Epilog are set 100 years after the end of the Great Revolution, which began in September 1991. But the diary ends with Turner dying a martyr’s death in 1993.

The result of the Revolution is not the creation of a tiny white ethnostate, nor even reconquest of the United States and Europe, but total global victory. (Recall the title of George Lincoln Rockwell’s 1963 autobiography This Time the World.) A white government seizes control of the entire planet on the 110th anniversary of the “Great One’s” birthday—April 20, 1999.

Following the Revolution, the calendar is renumbered, beginning with 1 NE (New Era). Macdonald’s Foreword and Epilog were written in “New Baltimore” in 100 NE (our year 2099). Turner’s historically significant diaries have just been discovered in excavations of the “Washington ruins.”

Prior to its publication in book form by Pierce’s National Vanguard Books (the publisher of both novels), The Turner Diaries was serialized between 1975 and 1978 in successive issues of the National Alliance tabloid Attack!, the forerunner of National Vanguard.

I read The Turner Diaries, which I checked out of a university library, in book form in the 1980s, when Pierce was nowhere near as well-known as he later became. The book was not catalogued under his real name, nor had it been pencilled in on the title page by a librarian. They probably didn’t even know it at the time.

Shortly after Hunter appeared in 1989, I read it. Hunter was not serialized.

The books, especially The Turner Diaries—which I believe has significantly outsold Hunter—were highly popular. The sales figure I have usually seen for The Turner Diaries is 300,000 sold by 2001, which makes it a bestseller by conventional publishing standards. But this figure was achieved in the face of complete blockage from normal sales and distribution channels.

So much for “free speech.”

For a brief period the late maverick Jewish publisher Lyle Stuart’s Barricade Books published it, albeit with a preface by Stuart stating that he found the book reprehensible. Even so, the SPLC effectively ordered the three largest bookstore chains in America not to carry it.

Stuart had not had similar scruples concerning the many pornographic, and even Left-wing terrorist, books he’d previously published, like William Powell’s The Anarchist Cookbook (1971). The latter book “tells you how to make Molotov cocktails and blow up police stations,” Stuart nonchalantly told the Washington Post in 1978.

That was OK with the Jewish/Left-wing Establishment.

After his side won the culture war, gung-ho Cookbook terrorism advocate William Powell converted to Left-wing Anglicanism and disowned the book, even trying to suppress it. He has no desire to see the contemporary totalitarian state toppled!

Lyle Stuart issued The Turner Diaries in 1996. The year before he’d been sued by (mob-connected?) Jewish casino tycoon Steve Wynn over allegations in another Stuart-published book that Wynn had connections to organized crime. The publisher was forced into bankruptcy after being ordered to pay Wynn a $3.1 million judgment. At that time the rights to The Turner Diaries reverted to Pierce. After 9 more years of litigation, the judgment against Stuart was overturned and the case settled out of court.

The Turner Diaries influenced several activists. The two most important were former National Alliance member Robert Mathews, and non-racialist Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh.

Mathews and his group The Order, named after an elite cadre within the novel, in 1984 conducted a robbery spree in the Pacific Northwest netting roughly $4 million. It also murdered two people: a white man, Walter West [5], whose name is almost never mentioned in accounts of the group, and a Jewish radio talk show host whose name is always mentioned. The Feds burned Mathews to death during a fiery shootout in Washington state.

Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh was also apparently a big fan of the novel, which he’d formerly sold at gun shows and given to friends.

According to Pierce, McVeigh’s bomb was not modeled after the bomb in the novel. McVeigh’s was far more sophisticated and operated by a different trigger mechanism.

The bomb in the novel was an ammonium nitrate fertilizer and fuel oil bomb, while McVeigh’s was an ammonium nitrate fertilizer and nitromethane bomb. Nitromethane is a powerful liquid explosive used as a rocket and racing fuel. It is unstable like nitroglycerine, but less sensitive.

Of the Oklahoma City bombing, Pierce said:

I feel as sorry as anyone else if a little white kid gets killed in one of these things. For that matter, I feel bad if a white kid gets killed in an automobile accident. But I don’t advocate that we ban automobiles because people get killed in them, including innocent people who might have grown up to be great scientists or poets. In the same way, I am not in favor of calling off a war because some border incidents or battles take innocent lives. Actually, the sooner the war to save our people takes place the better, because even more innocent lives will be lost if we wait. The sooner such a war, the cleaner it will be. It’s going to be a mess later on. (Robert S. Griffin, The Fame of a Dead Man’s Deeds: An Up-Close Portrait of White Nationalist William Pierce, 2001, p. 172)

Pierce modeled The Turner Diaries after an obscure anti-Communist epistolary novel, The John Franklin Letters (New York: The Bookmailer, 1959). The book was given to him in 1974 by Revilo Oliver, who suggested fiction to Pierce as a medium for conveying whites’ message, since most people don’t read the kind of nonfiction published by the NA.

Interestingly, the anonymous author of The John Franklin Letters, though not a racialist, presciently anticipated Jewish hate speech laws as early as 1959.

According to Hamilton Barrett, creator of the Pioneer Little Europe [6] concept [85-page prospectus by the author], another inspiration for The Turner Diaries was the Establishment’s own Minimanual of the Urban Guerrilla (1969) written by part-Negro, part-Italian Brazilian Communist Carlos Marighella.

Pierce wrote The Turner Diaries, one chapter per issue of Attack!, over a three-and-a-half year period. He was careful to include at least one scene of violence or heightened action per installment to keep readers hooked. He wrote the episodes quickly because deadlines were short.

In my mind I wasn’t writing a book. It was a series of installments of a story for Attack!. It was just an experiment. I thought, let’s see how this goes. I didn’t have a detailed theory about the impact of fiction or the plot planned out. I just thought I’d put some messages in fictional form and see if that would make it more accessible to some types of people, and off I went, one episode per issue. I never imagined it would become a book. (Griffin, p. 246)

Had he known the book would receive as much attention as it did, he said, he would have attempted to do a better job in the writing. He didn’t think The Turner Diaries was well written or possessed literary merit. In Pierce’s view, Hunter was much the better book.

I’m no blind adherent of the “show-don’t-tell,” anti-narrative dogma of fiction writing, but in my estimation Hunter is nevertheless marred by excessive ideological didacticism.

Of course, both novels are written like that. Biographer Robert Griffin characterized The Turner Diaries as composed of alternating sets of “mini-lectures” and “increasingly horrifying [scenes] of violence.” And Pierce himself admitted, though evidently not perceiving it as a fault, “You have a lot of long [ideological] monologues both in The Turner Diaries and Hunter.”

Despite my liberality when it comes to use of narrative, Pierce was too heavy-handed on that score. Subtlety would have been better: more showing, less preaching.

The Turner Diaries tells the story of a future white revolutionary group called the Organization. It is written in the form of diary entries by the protagonist, Earl Turner. The Organization ultimately wages a full-scale war against the Jewish-dominated US government, defeating the anti-white forces in the end.

A scene in the novel made famous by the media is the bombing of the FBI building in Washington, DC, an action in which Earl Turner participates.

Shortly after the incident, Turner becomes a probationary initiate to a select inner circle of the Organization called the Order. Dressed in a monk’s robe and standing in a circle with five other Organization members, Turner swears an oath to the Cause and allegiance to his fellows. Thereafter his life belongs wholly to the Order.

The initiation ceremony “shook me to my bones and raised the hair on the back of my neck,” Turner wrote in his diary. “Today, I was, in a sense, born again. I know now that I will never again be able to look at the world or the people around me or my own life in quite the same way.”

Another famous scene in the novel is the “Day of the Rope,” [7] in which thousands of white traitors, including those who have engaged in interracial sex with non-whites, are hung from trees and lampposts.

Nuclear blasts staged by the Organization kill 14 million people in New York City, with another 5 million expected to die from aftereffects.

The view is expressed that the “millions of White people who died, and who have yet to die before we are finished” are not really “innocents” because they allowed themselves to be subjugated by Jews in the first place. “In the Creator’s account book,” that is the way things are reckoned.

During the course of the action Earl Turner is captured by government forces. Tortured by a member of Israeli military intelligence, he reveals crucial information about the Order rather than killing himself with a cyanide capsule he’d been issued to prevent such an eventuality. His information causes substantial damage to the Organization.

After escaping his captors, Turner is placed on trial by an Order tribunal and convicted.

But he is offered a reprieve. He can remain on probationary status with the Order if he agrees to carry out an important mission “whose successful completion can reasonably be expected to result in your death.”

Turner accepts the proposal, and two days before his mission receives the rite of Union making him a full member of the Order. He describes his fellow participants in the ceremony as “real men, White men, who are now one with me in spirit and consciousness as well as in blood.”

Alone, he flies an old cropduster carrying a nuclear bomb into the Pentagon in a suicide mission that destroys the System’s military command center. Ultimately, this enables the rebels to triumph. After the Revolution, Turner’s name is inscribed in the “Record of Martyrs.”

In the book’s Epilog it is explained that the triumphant Organization resorted to a combination of chemical, biological, and radiological means over a period of four years to effectively sterilize “16 million miles of the earth’s surface, from the Ural Mountains to the Pacific and from the Arctic Ocean to the Indian Ocean,” thereby creating the “Great Eastern Waste.”

The Waste remained a threat for a century thereafter as the poisons slowly dissipated, and would remain dangerous for perhaps another hundred years due to “bands of mutants” roaming the wastelands. They would have to die before “White colonization” could again establish a human presence throughout the vast area.


Pierce wrote the first chapter of Hunter in 1984, and finished the rest of the book in a single year, 1989. Both Tim McVeigh and his associate Terry Nichols owned copies of Hunter.

After the success of The Turner Diaries, Pierce became convinced that he could do a much better job with a second novel.

With Hunter, Pierce felt he had accomplished his objective: “I do think I was a much better writer of fiction with [Hunter] than with The Turner Diaries. I see it as ironic that The Turner Diaries has had such a big impact and, at least so far, Hunter hasn’t. But I think that is not related to the quality of the two books.” (Griffin, p. 247)

In particular, The Turner Diaries had had no character development. “Earl Turner,” Pierce said, “sprang full-blown into the world in the beginning of the story and he didn’t change throughout the whole novel.” (George Michael, “The Revolutionary Model of Dr. William L. Pierce,” Terrorism and Political Violence, 15 [Autumn 2003]: 62-80.)

Therefore, in the second book protagonist Oscar Yeager (the German word for “hunter” is “Jäger”) starts off, according to Pierce, “as a typical idiot conservtive who can see the niggers but cannot see the Jews, because the Jews are much less visible. So he learns as he goes. And the idea is that maybe the reader of the book will learn as he goes too by identifying with Oscar Yeager” (Michael, 71).

Fiction really can be a powerful medium for getting ideas across. I thought about how other people, including those who see things in the opposite way from how I see them, have used this medium so effectively. I formulated an explanation, which I am sure is not original, as to why fiction if it is done right has such a powerful impact on people. Simply, the reader—or television watcher or movie viewer or playgoer—comes to identify with the protagonist. And once that happens, you’ve got the person where you want him. He vicariously experiences the action and comes to care about the protagonist. The reader develops a kind of rooting interest in how things turn out for the protagonist. If something is well-written, the reader starts to think as the protagonist does and—the most powerful thing of all—if the protagonist learns something or comes to believe in something, if he changes his ideas, the reader tends to do the same thing, he changes too. You have a powerful teaching tool, a persuasive tool. (Griffin, p. 246)

Biographer Griffin refers to the bloody violence in Pierce’s novels as “cathartic” or “therapeutic” (Pierce’s own word) for the author. Many readers of both novels must have felt the same way.

After all, in real life it’s wrenching to see decent people always losing and evil people always winning: imprisonments, tortures, assassinations, totalitarianism, wars, mass slaughters, genocide. The perpetrators, the criminals, always win.

In Pierce’s world, in stark contrast, the sanctimonious, star-studded “People’s Committee Against Hate,” pressing an over-eager Congress and media to pass the Horowitz Bill outlawing all organizations that restrict membership on the basis of race, banning all books and printed matter that might “promote racial hatred,” and imprisoning for 10 years anyone who verbally denigrates members of other races or criticizes an anti-racist member of his own race, are blown to bits while meeting in a church.

Hunter tells the story of Oscar Yeager, a former combat pilot in Vietnam who is now a yuppie Defense Department consultant living in the Virginia suburbs of Washington, DC. Disturbed by the race mixing, homosexuality, drugs, non-white immigration, and declining white population, he feels compelled to fight the evils afflicting America in the 1990s. He declares personal war on the media, liberals, and the corrupt and irresponsible politicians presiding over the destruction of his race and country.

In a totalitarian system where freedom of speech and association and genuine democracy no longer function, there is a potential revolutionary spectrum: lone wolf (one person)—leaderless resistance (small, isolated cells)—organization/s. Yeager begins as a lone wolf but evolves to more of an organizational perspective after joining a National Alliance-type group called the National League.

Pierce explained that Hunter was not an endorsement of the lone wolf/leaderless resistance approaches. And while he was clearly committed, philosophically, to the organizational approach, subconsciously or otherwise he did not dismiss out of hand the other methods.

For example, he honored Robert Mathews, spoke respectfully of Timothy McVeigh, dedicated Hunter to Joseph Paul Franklin, a murderer of interracial couples, and in the last sentence of the book has Yeager contemplating returning to “hunting.”

The climax of Hunter occurs when Yeager has a showdown with William Ryan, a ruthless FBI anti-terrorism official he secretly works for.

Pierce described Ryan as a conservative: “a very strong and free-thinking, independent sort of conservative,” “basically pro-government,” “not fundamentally a racist” (Griffin, p. 248).

Although Ryan is unquestionably anti-Semitic according to ADL/SPLC/government/media standards, in the book he is willing to ally with Jews.

In contrast to Yeager, Ryan rejects thoroughgoing anti-Semitism and racism, desiring instead to manipulate the System, undemocratically and unlawfully to be sure, to achieve his objective of creating social order.

Ryan perceives himself as aligning with the forces of history rather than combating them. He speaks of “the forces of history” and “historical inertia”:

If you had made a serious study of history like I have you might have recognized certain general facts of historical development. History has enormous historical inertia. It moves tectonically, like a crustal plate in the earth. It has built up its motion over a long period of time. That motion is driven by historical forces. There is simply no turning such a development around. The most one can hope to do is understand its dynamics and learn how best to adapt to it. That’s what I intend to do. You, on the other hand, want to ignore the laws of history and charge head-on into the forces that are carrying America in the direction she’s going. In particular, you want to tackle the Jews head-on. You can’t win that way.

Yeager ultimately ends the impasse by putting a bullet in Ryan’s head.


Some readers will understand my surprise, decades ago, when I learned there was a large and enthusiastic audience for the way of thinking expressed in these novels.

In my view, it confirms my hypothesis about why the Jews are worshiped [8]—or one reason they’re worshiped. That is, their incredible brutality, criminality, and utter contempt for non-Jewish life. Many people admire brutality no matter who’s dishing it out, or to what ends.

Pierce’s novels provided insight into a mindset I had not suspected when I read his nonfiction. I immediately understood that I was peering directly into his mind, his true soul, and that both were far different from my own.

I knew this also from reading his clearly written and very interesting Cosmotheism essays, his seminal lecture “Our Cause,” and so forth. But nowhere near as forcefully as from the novels.

Pierce told Robert Griffin that he was both Earl Turner and Oscar Yeager. “Actually I put myself in the place of every character in the book when I am dealing with him. I asked myself what I would say and how I would respond to something that was happening to him” (Griffin, 248).

From the standpoint of fiction technique this resulted in excessive flatness or one-dimensionality in his characters.

Pierce was especially inept, in my view, at portraying romantic and sexual relationships.

At any rate, it is clear that a certain mindset and spirit pervaded the novels, a mindset and spirit I found quite alien.

The novels, he acknowledged, are “going to get a more sympathetic reading from people with a similar mentality to mine, I understand that.” All the “bloodshed and suffering and violence” aren’t there because “I’m bloodthirsty [he clearly was] or an anarchist or just trying to shock. It’s there because that’s the way I think history works.”

Some people read The Turner Diaries, Pierce continued,

and it knocks them off their chair. They really relate to the book. [This is clearly true—in spades.] “Damn, this makes sense!” they think—and the ideas stick in their minds, and it’s not just a momentary thing.

So while some people read The Turner Diaries and are horrified, there are many others who are deeply affected by the book. And contrary to what the “horrifieds” believe, these others and I are not their inferiors. If these horrified people are really going to understand the ideas and incidents in the book, they are going to have to come to grips with the fact that their reaction to these incidents has to do with the limits in their mentality as much or more than the limits they attribute to my mentality or that of the people who like the book. (Griffin, pp. 163-64)

None of this, however, vitiates the importance of Pierce’s writings. One can study his nonfiction without embracing the man’s peculiar values and psychology as exposed in the novels.

Indeed, so much intelligence, insight, and guidance is contained in the nonfiction (even in the fiction, for that matter) that it would be foolhardy for whites unsympathetic to the novels to ignore his work or fail to examine it because of their opinions of Pierce the man. (For I am afraid that Pierce’s fiction really does provide an open window into his soul.)

My own mind works independently. I don’t swallow anyone’s ideas whole. I am not even particularly ideological, because facts, circumstances, and context are always determinative. I accept things or reject them based upon morality and my understanding of the facts.

By “morality” I do not mean an excuse for doing nothing, or failing to take a stand. On the contrary, morality imposes obligations.

For example, if facts demonstrate that a certain gang of evil haters are bent upon the destruction of freedom in order to commit genocide and establish a global dictatorship, morality does not permit one to bow down to them, serve them, worship them—or even do nothing.

It compels one to act. That is moral obligation. Truth and morality, moreover, compel hard choices.

The worse the enemy, the more powerful, the more evil and criminal, the more fevered his hatred and determination, the harder the choices become.

But they never go away.