Extremism Spotlight: The Turner Diaries’ Ties to Extremists

White Supremacist “Handbook” Directly Influenced Terror Attacks & Radicalized Others

For more than 40 years, William Luther Pierce’s The Turner Diaries has served as a “Handbook for White Victory” for white nationalists around the world. The book has directly inspired at least three terror attacks, including the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing that killed 168 people, and has incited white supremacists into committing other acts of violence. As part of its continuing series spotlighting the worst of the worst online extremists and content, the Counter Extremism Project (CEP) is highlighting the real-world ramifications of the continued online availability of The Turner Diaries.

“This week, YouTube announced its intention to begin removing neo-Nazi, white supremacist, and hateful videos from its website. YouTube, and all other sites and platforms, should begin with The Turner Diaries,” said CEP Executive Director David Ibsen. “A search for the book’s name on YouTube shows that multiple audiobooks can easily be found — despite the book’s clear and present call to ethnic violence and its link to terror. Any tech company that allows The Turner Diaries to be shared on its platform helps to facilitate the radicalization of white nationalists.” 

Among the events portrayed in the book is the “Day of the Rope,” during which members of a white nationalist group carry out a mass lynching of thousands who enabled a multicultural society. White supremacists in real life have adopted the phrase against perceived race traitors. In 2018, several journalists received emails declaring “all journalists will be hanged on the day of the rope.” On Twitter, users have used variations of the #Dayoftherope hashtag to call for violence against black people, journalists, and so-called race traitors.

In The Turner Diaries’ Ties To ExtremistsCEP has documented the book’s role in the deaths of 248 individuals. The most deadly of these attacks was the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, which killed 168. Police found a copy of the book in the car of bomber Timothy McVeigh. He also reportedly sold the book at gun shows. Another white supremacist, James Mason, stated that The Turner Diaries influenced the writing of his neo-Nazi manifesto Siege, an anthology of violent pro-Nazi and pro-Charles Manson essays. Mason was imprisoned in 1994 for three years for sexual exploitation of a minor.

Previously, CEP documented The Turner Diarieswidely available online reach on streaming and download sites such as YouTube, Google Docs, Google Drive, and the Internet Archive. Additional free text versions were also found on a variety of neo-Nazi and extreme right-wing websites. Ibsen warned that the book’s “continued online presence serves as a prime example of what happens when extremism is allowed to proliferate unchecked … Its global reach will undoubtedly influence the next generation of white supremacists and inspire even more deaths.”

To read CEP’s resource, The Turner Diaries’ Ties To Extremists, please click here.

To read CEP’s previous Extremism Spotlight on The Turner Diaries, please click here.

Daily Dose

Extremists: Their Words. Their Actions.


On May 8, 2019, Taliban insurgents detonated an explosive-laden vehicle and then broke into American NGO Counterpart International’s offices in Kabul. At least seven people were killed and 24 were injured.

View Archive