Disclaimer: While the following discusses the book SIEGE by Neo-Nazi author James Mason, I have made the deliberate decision NOT to include any of the Nazi imagery contained within Mason’s writings, nor any of the Nazi symbols Mason often surrounded himself with, since sharing them at large would be complicit in supporting their presence if only by engaging in their distribution.
Once banished to a largely irrelevant corner of the world’s neo-fascist underground and regarded as so inflammatory and violent that it isolated even otherwise unabashed and open neo-Nazis, a fascist manifesto has found a new life with the Internet’s burgeoning Nazi communities.
Freshly reintroduced to the Internet generation through the now defunct Iron March forum and subsequently adopted in some part by active and violent neo-Nazi groups such as America’s Atomwaffen Division, the UK’s Sonnenkrieg Division and Australia’s Antipodean Resistance, among others, the formerly little known tome by long time American neo-Nazi James Mason has roared to an insidious level of significance in various corners of the Internet.
Itself a collection of a series of fascist newsletters published by Mason throughout the latter decades of the 20th Century, SIEGE was republished as a collection in 2003 and subsequently distributed among some of the internet’s more nefarious communities and individuals.
The Atomwaffen Division, particularly, are considered to idolise SIEGE’s content to such an extent that it serves as a kind of instruction manual, or theological text. The neo-nazi group, formed in 2015 on the far-right internet forum Iron March, has been linked to various acts of violence, terroristic threats and/or murder since its founding. This includes the 2017 arrest of Division members Brandon Russell and William Tschantre where the two men were found in the possession of two rifles and ammunition, and Russell was subsequently found to be in the possession of various bomb-making ingredients in his home, in addition to a frame photograph of Oklahoma City Bombing perpetrator Timothy McVeigh and various items Nazi paraphernalia.
Later, in February 2019, 20-year old Benjamin Bogard — a self-proclaimed member of Atomwaffen Division — was arrested on suspicion of plans to commit a terrorist attack and possession of child pornography.
Chat logs of Atomwaffen Division members uncovered and subsequently published by ProPublica have demonstrated the Division as ardent admirers of the aforementioned McVeigh, Charleston mass-shooter Dylann Roof and Norwegian terrorist Anders Breivik, the latter two names also emerging in the rambling manifesto of Brenton Tarrant — the man allegedly responsible for the mass-murder of 50 Muslims in Christchurch, New Zealand on March 15.
In summarising their insidious worldview, Atomwaffen Division’s alleged leader John Cameron Denton reportedly writes, “Politics are useless. Revolution is necessary.”
But in wondering from where this terrifying idea of revolution could have emerged, one word repeatedly comes up — SIEGE.
Indeed, contemporarily it is with exceeding regularity that individuals believed to have been converted to Nazist ideals are referred to as having been ‘siegepilled’, a cultural meme reference also adopted by alt-right movements in the form of being ‘redpilled’ and Incel (Involuntary Celibate) movements in the form of being ‘blackpilled’.
All of which are references themselves to the 1999 film The Matrix, wherein the film’s protagonist is offered either a blue pill or a red pill, which are intended to symbolise the offer of a choice between being exposed to reality and ‘condemned’ to ignorance.
In this way, the ‘pilled’ meme is an attempt to suggest that individuals being ‘pilled’ have been exposed to some considered truth outside of the accepted norm and adopted by the particular movement giving reference to the ‘pilled’ action. In the case of the alt-right with ‘redpilling’, this carries with it a suggestion from that community that an individual has been exposed to a supposed truth wherein they are believed to now recognise that they have long been lied to by the mainstream media and a ‘liberal globalist empire’.
Meanwhile, for Incels and the process of being ‘blackpilled’, the ‘pilled’ individual is considered to have embraced a defining sense of nihilism wherein they are supposed to have accepted that they will never be successful with the opposite sex (with a level of almost exclusivity this is in the form of men referring to women) by a means of the odds having been stacked against them from birth due to some degree of perceived injustice.
Again, this is considered by the Incel community to be the act of one individual being exposed to a considered truth championed by the movement.
In the form of being ‘siegepilled’, the neo-Nazi community, and their potential new recruits lingering in various corners of the Internet, the act of ‘pilling’ carries with it something arguably far more sinister.
But this may first beg the question of just where this siege now radicalising white fragility first began?
According to the tome’s author himself, SIEGE’s story truly began with the 1964 book Extremism USA by author John L Carpenter, wherein Carpenter explored “the facts behind America’s radical political movements”. Far from absorbing the gravity and full extent of the book’s content, however, the then-14 year old James Mason focused in on a photo within the book of prominent Californian Nazi Allen Vincent, in which Mason describes that Vincent “had a pick-up truck — across the gate of the truck was his local address”.
From this, Mason began his journey with America’s Nazi movement, unknowingly on a collision course with an insidious chapter of the Internet’s future history, commencing with the teenaged Mason’s acts of defiance against “combative and problematic teachers” and a school system Mason deemed as oppressive. Soon enough these acts of defiance would threaten to boil over, stopped only by the introduction of one of post-World War II’s most prominent Nazi figures in to Mason’s then-young life.
“I just wanted out. For the previous year I would intentionally get myself expelled from school just to be out of there. But in the ensuing period of time they got wise to me, and they weren’t going to let me out anymore. No matter what I did, smoke in the hallway, stage fights, etc., they weren’t going to throw me out. So it was headed for confrontation. I was headed for boys industrial school, and was told this was a prison for boys,” Mason tells publisher Ryan Schuster for the introduction to the 2003 re-publication of SIEGE, “I wasn’t going to let that happen of course, so I made up my mind in 1968– my father had all kinds of weapons at home– and I was going to take a 44 magnum, which was a five shot revolver, go into the staff office and take out the principal, assistant principal, and two of the guidance councilors [sic], then finally myself.”
These plans of school violence and eventual suicide were soon derailed, though, with the intervention of prominent neo-Nazi William Luther Pierce, a man most famous for having authored The Turner Diaries under an assumed pseudonym. The Turner Diaries itself has been linked to various acts of violence perpetrated by members of far-right communities since its initial publication in 1978, the most prominent of which being the Oklahoma City Bombing which claimed 168 lives in 1995.
The perpetrator of that attack, Timothy McVeigh, was later found with pages of The Turner Diaries on his person, with the attack itself resembling details of a similar terroristic event from within the novel’s narrative.
Indeed, such was and has been the influence of The Turner Diaries that the Southern Poverty Law Center has publicly regarded it as the “bible of the far-right” for some time.
Yet Mason’s encounter with Pierce would not be the only one that he would have with a prominent figure of post-World War II Nazism, with the Ohio-born Mason also having crossed paths with and drawn inspiration from other names such as George Lincoln Rockwell and Charles Manson during his time traversing the circles of the American Nazi movement.
Also significant is Mason having diverted somewhat from the white nationalist movement’s long time ties to Christianity and Catholicism by his acquaintance with and admiration of prominent Satanist, and author of The Satanic Bible, Anton LaVey. Indeed, such was the extent of Mason’s admiration for LaVey that he compared him to Rockwell, a man long thought to have been a kind of ‘messiah’ to America’s Nazi movement even long after his death in 1967.
“LaVey had many great similarities to George Lincoln Rockwell. They were both showmen. Rockwell’s father was a Vaudevillian. LaVey had been a carnival man. LaVey had concluded that if God as portrayed by the Christian church [the way it exists] represents weakness and even suicide, then it stands to reason that his opposite adversary [Satan] has got to be worth a second reappraisal. Satan must represent strength and vitality in a Promethean sense. So on the basis of that LaVey formed his Church of Satan,” Mason again tells Schuster for the Introduction to SIEGE’s 2003 re-publication, “I thought that was absolutely brilliant.”
Yet Mason’s meteoric rise through the ranks of the neo-Nazi communities in the United States would soon come to a temporary halt, as the year 1994 saw Mason arrested and subsequently charged with counts of sexual exploitation with a minor and further convicted of weapons-related charges.
Even still, this would not stop Mason’s call to arms from ultimately infiltrating the minds and social circles of a future generation’s Nazi-sympathisers.
“The enemy today is the U.S. Government itself and it is, by every standard of measure, the most evil thing that has ever existed on earth,” Mason writes in one portion of his anthology.
In others, he calls for a ‘white revolution’, to which Mason suggests “We must view and realise that ALL OF WHITE AMERICA is our army.”
All in all, Mason’s ranting anthology of anti-semitic, hate tainted rhetoric aimed at an audience of Nazis and Nazi sympathisers should be totally unremarkable in its influence by its very nature of being morally despicable, yet still it lives on with an increasing degree of prominence. Indeed, even as Mason’s content flaunts its focus centred primarily upon the United States, its impact continues to permeate through the global neo-Nazi, white nationalist communities operating on the world wide web in all corners of the world.
This is likely because, as George Orwell alludes in his 1945 essay Notes on Nationalism regarding White Nationalist thought — itself now almost entirely synonymous with some levels Nazism or Nazi sympathising, “the emotion I am speaking about does not always attach itself to what is called a nation — that is, a single race or a geographical area. It can attach itself to a church or a class, or it may work in a merely negative sense, against something or other and without the need for any positive object of loyalty.”
In this sense, we can begin to understand much of White Nationalistic and Nazi thought patterns as calling to mind a rumination on Orwell’s own novel 1984, wherein a conglomerate of underground revolutionaries radicalise and organise to fight against a totalitarian surveillance state and a regime of oppressive ‘Thought Police’. Sure enough, the ‘siegepilled’ internet communities of neo-Nazis see themselves in an alarmingly similar light, enraptured by mutual delusions wherein a ‘White Revolution’ is regarded as a necessary next step and no other ideals hold any value in comparison.
Or as Orwell again suggests of White Nationalism in Notes on Nationalism, “I mean the habit of identifying oneself with a single nation or other unit, placing it beyond good and evil and recognising no other duty than that of advancing its interest.”
“Nationalism is power hunger tempered by self-deception. Every nationalist is capable of the most flagrant dishonesty, but he is also — since he is conscious of serving something bigger than himself — unshakeably certain of being in the right.”
From here, this pattern of thinking almost seems a natural evolving point as an increasingly isolated community of embittered young men are drawn in by what transpires on their screen and grows disillusioned with any object truths which might occur off of it.
“Although endlessly brooding on power, victory, defeat, revenge, the nationalist is often somewhat uninterested in what happens in the real world,” Orwell again states in his 1945 essay, “If one harbours anywhere in one’s mind a nationalistic loyalty or hatred, certain facts, although in a sense known to be true, are inadmissible.”
In this sense, is it any wonder why white fragility might be so radicalised and inspired by Mason’s SIEGE publication?
Its appeal to the White Nationalist community is clear in how it supposes a revolution built upon the back of restoring the embittered, self-deceptive and insecure young men to the position of power which they falsely believe is their birth right to hold and which they now perceive themselves as no longer having. Likewise, the concepts of SIEGE are combative to ‘The Great Replacement’, a theory wherein white populations are considered to be experiencing a process of being replaced by migrants, primarily Muslims, who are allegedly attempting to subvert western societies.
The theory has been espoused by far-right mouthpieces such as Stefan Molyneux and Lauren Southern, in addition to being championed by the Christchurch terrorist Brenton Tarrant in the form of his own rambling manifesto released online — a manifesto which supported the theory to such a extent where Tarrant went so far as to title it in the theory’s honour.
SIEGE was published in full on the Iron March forum before its demise in 2017, shared by the community’s fascist members — including founders and members of groups such as Atomwaffen Division and Antipodean Resistance, among many others. This text was not out of place in and on an internet message-board where the site’s own tagline stated, “Gas the kikes, race war now, 1488 boots on the ground.”
SIEGE has since reemerged, at least in part, on 4Chan’s /pol/ community and referenced in Reddit communities, Facebook groups, tweets and on fascist message-boards popping up all across the web in the wake of Iron March’s departure. This in addition to its being adopted as a form of militant gospel by some of the world’s most violent neo-fascist organisations and subsequently disseminated at large to its members and recruits alike. Members of these organisations continue to try and ‘siegepill’ new recruits and grow their insidious movements, even in the wake of one of their own drawing further attention and scrutiny to their nefarious beliefs and activities following the shooting deaths of 50 Muslims in Christchurch on March 15.
While The Turner Diaries may have once held the distinction given to it by the Southern Poverty Law Center as being the “Bible of the far-right”, it is now SIEGE which appears to have replaced it.
It is SIEGE which has become the fundamental doctrine behind the new rise of radicalised white fragility and neo-Nazism festering behind the online pseudonyms and self-proclaimed activists who comprise the world’s functioning White Nationalist communities — and, perhaps even worse still, those lone wolves who exist on the fringes of them.
Which, given SIEGE’s overarching message suggesting the necessity of violent means to conduct a ‘White Revolution’ in addition to a spiteful defiance to anything not same as, or perceived as less than, this ought to terrify us all.