Extremism Spotlight: The Turner Diaries’ Online Reach Could Inspire New Generation of White Supremacists

Four Decades After its Release, White Supremacist Novel Finds New Home Online

(New York, NY) - Previously, the Counter Extremism Project (CEP) spotlighted radical Islamist preacher Ahmad Musa Jibril and continuing its series chronicling the most egregious online extremists, CEP is now turning to The Turner Diaries, a novel considered to be the “bible” of the American white power movement. First published in 1978, it is a work of fiction written by William Luther Pierce under the pseudonym Andrew MacDonald. It describes a revolution by white supremacists in the U.S. who perpetrate acts of terrorism against the U.S. government, culminating in a race war, and the global genocide of Jews and non-whites. 

The Turner Diaries’ continued online presence serves as a prime example of what happens when extremism is allowed to proliferate unchecked,” said CEP Executive Director David Ibsen. “The book, which has been around for more than 40 years now, has been responsible for the murders of more than 200 individuals. The Turner Diaries remain easily accessible online, with a search on YouTube returning hundreds of results. Its global reach will undoubtedly influence the next generation of white supremacists and inspire even more deaths.”

The Turner Diaries encourages terrorism and violence against the U.S. government, Jews, people of color, the LGBTQ community and those who oppose a white supremacist agenda. The book is notable for its tactical and strategic advice, and for inspiring numerous acts of violence from shootings to bombings, resulting in the deaths of more than 200 people. It has inspired several terrorists and violent criminals, most notably Timothy McVeigh, Anders Behring Breivik and Robert Matthews.

The Turner Diaries is widely available online, both as a PDF file on various websites and as an audio mp3 file on streaming and download sites such as YouTube, Google Docs, Google Drive and the Internet Archive. Despite its many calls to violence and exposition of hate speech – clear violations of the terms of service for numerous online platforms – many websites have not taken it down. Print versions of The Turner Diaries have sold over 500,000 copies.

The Turner Diaries and Violence

The Turner Diaries is significant in the number of acts of violence and terrorism it has helped inspire. The Order, an American white power group named after a similar organization in the book, carried out several bank and armored car robberies, bombings and an assassination in the early 1980s. The group used the proceeds of their crimes to finance individuals and organizations in the white power movement. 

Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh was a fan of the book and was known to have sold it at gun shows. In fact, he was in possession of several of its pages at the time of his arrest. McVeigh’s bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building with an ammonium nitrate fertilizer truck bomb echoed the bombing of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) headquarters depicted in The Turner Diaries. Anders Behring Breivik, who murdered 77 people in Norway on July 22, 2011, was influenced by the book and admitted as much in his own manifesto.

The Turner Diaries on The Internet

The Turner Diaries can be easily found online. Online text copies of the book are available on Scribd, Google Docs, Google Drive, the Internet Archive, E-Reading Club, PDF Drive, DocDroid and a WordPress website. Additional free text versions can be found on a variety of neo-Nazi and extreme right-wing websites. Torrent links (not direct downloads) for the book are available in German, Portuguese and French on the Internet Archive, which makes removing the content more difficult. Further, The Turner Diaries was banned in Germany in 2006, making a torrent link of the German version even more valuable. Additional German language text copies of the book are available on DocPlayer and Yumpu.

Audio versions of the book, narrated by William Luther Pierce, are available on YouTube and the Internet Archive. A search for “The Turner Diaries” on YouTube led to 532 results on February 8, 2019, including audio versions of the book (both full length and serialized), news stories about the book and analyses of its legacy. There are at least four full-length uploads of The Turner Diaries on YouTube, and the only version that does not have the view count deactivated had over 16,600 views within two years.

Physical copies of the book are available from third party sellers on Amazon Marketplace and Barnes & Noble Marketplace. Copies can also be purchased from the Cosmotheist Church, which is affiliated with the National Alliance, the organization that William Luther Pierce started and led.

Selected Quotes From The Turner Diaries

  • “Most of the victims of our bomb were only pawns who were no more committed to the sick philosophy or the racially destructive goals of the System than we are. But there is no way we can destroy the System without hurting many thousands of innocent people-no way.  It is a cancer too deeply rooted in our flesh. And if we don't destroy the System before it destroys us-if we don’t cut this cancer out of our living flesh-our whole race will die.”
  • “The hanging of a few of the worst race criminals in every neighborhood in America will help enormously in straightening out the majority of the population and reorienting their thinking. In fact, it will not only help, but it is absolutely necessary. The people require a strong psychological shock to break old habits of thought.”
  • “It is a terrible thing to kill women of our own race, but we are engaged in a war in which all the old rules have been scrapped. We are in a war to the death with the Jew, who now feels himself so close to his final victory that he can safely drop his mask and treat his enemies as the ‘cattle’ his religion tells him they are.”
  • “One day we will have a truly American press in this country, but a lot of editors’ throats will have to be cut first.”

The Turner Diaries’ Terms of Service Violations

  • YouTube: YouTube’s Community Guidelines prohibit hate speech which “refers to content that promotes violence against or has the primary purpose of inciting hatred against individuals or groups based on certain attributes, such as: race or ethnic origin, religion, disability, gender, age, veteran status, sexual orientation/gender identity.”
  • WordPress: Automattic (which owns WordPress) reserves the right to “refuse or remove any content that, in Automattic’s reasonable opinion, violates any Automattic policy or is in any way harmful or objectionable.”
  • Scribd: Scribd forbids “content that is unlawful or that a reasonable person could deem to be objectionable, offensive, indecent, pornographic, invasive of another’s privacy, harassing, threatening, embarrassing, distressing, vulgar, hateful, racially or ethnically offensive, or otherwise inappropriate.”
  • PDFdrive.com: PDF Drive forbids users to “upload, download, transmit or otherwise make available any Content that is unlawful, harmful, threatening, abusive, harassing, tortious, defamatory, vulgar, obscene, libelous, invasive of another's privacy, hateful, or racially, ethnically or otherwise objectionable.”

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