Siege is an anthology of violent pro-Nazi and pro-Charles Manson essays written by American neo-Nazi James Mason in the 1980s and first published as a single volume in 1992.*“Guide to the James N. Mason Collection – Papers of James N. Mason,” Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas Libraries, accessed December 19, 2018, http://etext.ku.edu/view?docId=ksrlead/ksrl.kc.masonjames.xml. x The book has since inspired a generation of neo-Nazis who have formed a violent online subculture called Siege Culture devoted to Mason’s calls for independent terror cells to carry out a race war.* Greg Myre, “Deadly Connection: Neo-Nazi Group Linked To 3 Accused Killers,” NPR, March 6, 2018, https://www.npr.org/2018/03/06/590292705/5-killings-3-states-and-1-common-neo-nazi-link; A.C. Thompson, Ali Winston, and Jake Hanrahan, “California Murder Suspect Said to Have Trained With Extremist Hate Group,” ProPublica, January 26, 2018, https://www.propublica.org/article/california-murder-suspect-atomwaffen-division-extremist-hate-group; Kelly Weill, “Satanism Drama Is Tearing Apart the Murderous Neo-Nazi Group Atomwaffen,” Daily Beast, March 21, 2018, https://www.thedailybeast.com/satanism-drama-is-tearing-apart-the-murderous-neo-nazi-group-atomwaffen; Sonneinkreig Division, Gab account, accessed August 16, 2018, https://gab.ai/skd; "Worldview," Universal Order, accessed August 16, 2018, http://siegeculture.biz/worldview/.x
Mason originally published Siege in 1992 as a compilation of essays he wrote in the 1980s for the eponymous newsletter of the National Socialist Liberation Front, a now-defunct splinter group of the American Nazi Party.*“Guide to the James N. Mason Collection – Papers of James N. Mason,” Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas Libraries, accessed December 19, 2018, http://etext.ku.edu/view?docId=ksrlead/ksrl.kc.masonjames.xml. x Throughout the book, Mason calls for so-called leaderless resistance and deliberate terrorist acts to bring about a race war and the downfall of the global political system. In one passage, Mason wrote, “White men will never rule their own lives and destinies again without a successful revolt, and no revolt can materialize without the intensive period of resistance….”*James Mason, Siege (IronMarch.org, 2015), 64.x Another passage describes a “healthy state” as one that will “expel – or kill – the Jew; a decadent one will take him to its bosom. The Jew corrupts the nation.”*James Mason, Siege (IronMarch.org, 2015), 55.x Other passages praise cult leader and murder Charles Manson, with whom Mason maintained a close relationship and formed the Universal Order movement in the late 1970s.*James Mason, Siege (IronMarch.org, 2015).x Ryan Schuster, who published the second edition of Siege in 2003, wrote in the introduction that the book “is to be used as a cookbook and guide. It is sincerely hoped this edition will prevail the vigilant(e) intelligence to heed a clarion call, wage battles of attrition, and act in a manner commensurate to Timothy McVeigh of Oklahoma City fame.”*James Mason, Siege, accessed February 11, 2019, https://www.resist.com/Onlinebooks/Siege.pdf. x
In 2015, members of the far-right IronMarch online forum formed the neo-Nazi group Atomwaffen Division (AWD). AWD has since been linked to multiple murders around the United States as well as racist, homophobic, and anti-Semitic protests. On January 2, 2018, AWD member Sam Woodward allegedly murdered gay, Jewish college student Blaze Bernstein, an act AWD celebrated.*A.C. Thompson, Ali Winston, and Jake Hanrahan, “Inside Atomwaffen As It Celebrates a Member for Allegedly Killing a Gay Jewish College Student,” ProPublica, last updated August 3, 2018, https://www.propublica.org/article/atomwaffen-division-inside-white-hate-group. x AWD co-founder Brandon Russell is serving a five-year prison sentence for stockpiling explosives to carry out attacks on U.S. infrastructure.* “Neo-Nazi Leader Sentenced to Five Years in Federal Prison for Explosives Charges,” U.S. Department of Justice, January 9, 2018, https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/neo-nazi-leader-sentenced-five-years-federal-prison-explosives-charges; Janet Reitman, “How Did a Convicted Neo-Nazi Release Propaganda From Prison?” Rolling Stone, May 25, 2018, https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-news/how-did-a-convicted-neo-nazi-release-propaganda-from-prison-628437/. x In 2015, AWD members republished Siege and began to popularize it online through the creation of an online subculture called Siege Culture, an umbrella brand publicized across social media, podcasts, and chatrooms dedicated to Mason’s book. At the center of Siege Culture is the website Siegekultur.info, which also bears the branding of Mason’s Universal Order movement. Throughout Siege, Mason describes the Universal Order as an American descendent of Nazism.*James Mason, Siege (IronMarch.org, 2015), 398, 437. x
The original Siege Culture/Universal Order (www.siegeculture.biz) website went offline in early 2019, but returned that June at a new address, www.siegekultur.info. The administrators of the Siege Culture/Universal Order website claim to be “working with James Mason to utilize and encourage the Universal Order worldview in people’s consciousness and physical daily life.”*“A new SIEGE Culture,” Universal Order, accessed February 5, 2019, http://siegeculture.biz/a-new-siege-culture/. x The original site included links to the third edition of Siege on the Internet Archive and hosted essays by Mason, his Siegecast podcast, and links to various other neo-Nazi content. Its library included neo-Nazi and white supremacist literature such as Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf and The Turner Diaries by William Luther Pierce, as well as books on Satanism, the occult, and fantasy like The Lord of the Rings.*Universal Order, accessed February 5, 2019, http://siegeculture.biz/. x The new iteration of Siege Culture has uploaded much of the same content.*Universal Order, accessed July 25, 2019, http://siegekultur.info/. x The Worldview section of the site declares that the page is “something that James Mason attempted to put into form himself, but due to circumstance, he never implemented it. This changed in the year of 2017, when the Atomwaffen Division discovered and met James Mason,” which led to “a new course of action for SIEGE.”*“Worldview,” Universal Order, July 25, 2019, https://siegekultur.info/worldview/. x The page administrators deny that Mason runs Universal Order, though he is cited as the author of blog posts and podcasts on the website.*“Contact,” Universal Order, accessed July 25, 2019, https://siegekultur.info/contact/. x Reported AWD leader John Cameron Denton, a.k.a. “Rape,” claims to own the rights to Siege and Mason’s other writings.*Alexander Epp and Roman Höfner, “The Hate Network,” Der Spiegel, August 25, 2018, http://www.spiegel.de/spiegel/print/index-2018-35.html. x On March 9, 2020, an alleged audio recording of Mason declared AWD would immediately disband due to increased pressure from legal authorities.*Ben Makuch, “Audio Recording Claims Neo-Nazi Terror Group Is Disbanding,” Vice, March 14, 2020, https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/qjdnam/audio-recording-claims-neo-nazi-terror-group-is-disbanding. x
Since Mason announced AWD’s shuttering in March 2020, however, two successor organizations have emerged. In July 2020, a group of former AWD leaders announced the reorganization of AWD into the National Socialist Order (NSO). NSO leaders claimed they learned from the mistakes of AWD, pointing to a lack of ideological cohesion. The NSO leaders further claimed they had built the NSO with a new leadership dedicated to creating an “Aryan, National Socialist world by any means necessary.”*“National Socialist Order Announcement!,” American Futurist, July 25, 2020.x In November 2021, a second self-proclaimed group of former AWD members announced AWD was reorganizing to provide guidance to the broader fascist movement. The announcement called Mason’s March 2020 statement disbanding AWD “now officially defunct” and “nothing more than a bad memory.”*“Atomwaffen Division Reactivation,” Das Paradies, November 8, 2021.x The posting also emphasized AWD and NSO are separate organizations.*“Atomwaffen Division Reactivation,” Das Paradies, November 8, 2021.x Mason denounced the new AWD as a “stupid action on the part of one lone nut” that threatened to put other former AWD members in legal jeopardy from “the enemy government.”*“James Mason Denouncement Video,” 12:02, Odysee video, posted by “The American Futurist Official,” November 12, 2021.x He reiterated that AWD had retired “with all honor” in 2020 and it would continue to live in legend like the American Nazi Party and the National Socialist Liberation Front.*“James Mason Denouncement Video,” 12:02, Odysee video, posted by “The American Futurist Official,” November 12, 2021.x
In addition to the website, Mason’s followers have created Twitter, YouTube, and other social media accounts dedicated to Siege.* SIEGE Culture Gab account, accessed February 5, 2019, https://gab.ai/SIEGECulture; SIEGE Culture Twitter account, accessed February 5, 2019, https://twitter.com/siegeculture_?lang%3Den; SIEGEWAVE YouTube account, accessed February 5, 2019, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3oRnYKTvOHg5hyFuC-RCWA; Read SIEGE YouTube account, accessed February 5, 2019, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdh4N2bPSIWn5Bbfyc8bIVQ. x Siege-related social media accounts directly call for violence against minorities and promote Nazi ideology. As of February 12, 2019, the Read Siege YouTube channel hosted 48 videos and had received more than 30,000 views since its creation in 2017.*Read SIEGE YouTube account, accessed February 12, 2019, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdh4N2bPSIWn5Bbfyc8bIVQ. x The SIEGE Culture Twitter account had 625 followers as of the same date.*SIEGE Culture Twitter account, accessed February 12, 2019, https://twitter.com/siegeculture_?lang%3Den. x A Read Siege group on the free-speech platform Gab had 380 members as of that date.*Read Siege Gab account, accessed February 12, 2019, https://gab.ai/groups/7195f7dc-599e-43ca-b5ff-776947b7bc09. x Siege Culture-related Twitter, Gab, and YouTube accounts have been offline since spring 2019.
CEP has counted 26 global extremist individuals with ties to the book Siege by neo-Nazi James Mason.
Siege’s publishers have praised the book as a guide for direct, violent action on par with Timothy McVeigh’s 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.
Members of the U.S.-based neo-Nazi group Atomwaffen Division (AWD) have created an online subculture around the book and Mason called Siege Culture. AWD has been linked to at least five murders and has branches in Canada and Europe.
Neo-Nazis online herald Siege as a must-read and use it as a recruitment tool to their ideology. Siege Culture activists promote the book and Mason through podcasts, websites, and social media accounts on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Gab.