1st Edition

Neo-Nazi Terrorism and Countercultural Fascism The Origins and Afterlife of James Mason’s Siege

By Spencer Sunshine Copyright 2024
    484 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    484 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    A new wave of aspiring neo-Nazi terrorists has arisen—including the infamous Atomwaffen Division. And they have a bible: James Mason’s Siege, which praises terrorism, serial killers, and Charles Manson. Neo-Nazi Terrorism and Countercultural Fascism, based on years of archival work and interviews, documents for the first time the origins of Siege.

    First, it shows how Mason’s vision arose from debates by 1970s neo-Nazis who splintered off the American Nazi Party/National Socialist White People's Party and spun off a terrorist faction. Second, it unveils how four 1980s countercultural figures—musicians Boyd Rice and Michael Moynihan, Feral House publisher Adam Parfrey, and Satanist Nikolas Schreck—discovered, promoted, and published Mason. Neo-Nazi Terrorism and Countercultural Fascism explores a previously overlooked period and unearths the hidden connections between a countercultural clique and violent neo-Nazis—which together have set the template for today’s Neo-nazi terrorist underground.

    It is obligatory reading for those interested in contemporary terrorism, postwar countercultures, and the history of the U.S. Far Right and neo-Nazism.

    Introduction  Part I: #ReadSiege  1. A Twenty-First Century Siege: How the Rediscovery of an Obscure Neo-Nazi Book Helped Inspire A New Generation of White Supremacist Terrorism  Part II: Life Among the Sects (1959–1986)  2. The Party of Rockwell: The American Nazi Party and NSWPP  3. Joseph Tommasi’s NSLF  4. A Tangled Web of Neo-Nazis: David Rust’s NSLF, the NSM, the White Confederacy, and the National Socialist Congress  5. Allen Vincent’s NSWWP and John Duffy’s Shadow NSLF  6. Karl Hand’s NSLF  Part III: SIEGE the Newsletter (1980–1986)  7. The SIEGE Itself: Cult of the Extreme  8. Charles Manson as Neo-Nazi “Holy Man”  9. Universal Order as Idea and Organization  10. Life After SIEGE  Part IV: Countercultural Fascism (1986–1995)  11. The Abraxas Clique and Countercultural Fascism  12. Boyd Rice: Neo-Nazi Collaborator  13. Adam Parfrey: A Neo-Nazi’s Best Friend  14. Michael Moynihan: From Mason-Manson-National Socialism to Decentralized Ethno-separatism  15. Nazi-Satanism: Nikolas Schreck and the Church of Satan  Part V: Siege the Book (1989–1995)  16. The Book and the Reception  Part VI: Coda (1995­–­2017)  17. From Prison to Revival  18. The Lessons of Siege  Part VII: Appendices  Appendix 1. The NSM After Mason: Brannen, Herrington, Schoep, and Beyond  Appendix 2. The Original NSLF and David Duke: Big Nazi on Campus  Appendix 3. Gary/John Jewell and Perry “Red” Warthan: From Anarchism to National Socialism  Appendix 4. In Praise of Murder Men: Serial Killers, Mass Murderers, and Lone Wolves  Appendix 5. Christianity: Jesus, Hitler, Rockwell, Manson, and UFOs  Appendix 6. Women, Gay Men, and Extreme Pornography  Appendix 7. Against Capitalism and the Liberal State: The Left, Third Positionism, Islamists, and Racial Separatism  Appendix 8. Robert N. Taylor and Thomas Thorn  Appendix 9. Michael Merritt and Keith Stimely  Appendix 10. Varg Vikernes and the Heathen Front  Appendix 11. The Satanic Temple: The Lasting Influence of the Abraxas Circle


    Spencer Sunshine holds a PhD in Sociology and has written extensively on the U.S. Far Right. He is the co-editor—with Pam Chamberlain, Matthew N. Lyons, and Abby Scher—of the Chip Berlet festschrift Exposing the Right and Fighting for Democracy (Routledge, 2022). Sunshine has also written for the Southern Poverty Law Center, Daily Beast, The Forward, and Truthout and has been translated into numerous languages.

    “Spellbinding in a revolting yet masterful way.”

    Chip Berlet, co-author of Right-Wing Populism in America: Too Close for Comfort

    “Spencer Sunshine’s new book Neo-Nazi Terrorism and Countercultural Fascism is a tour de force for understanding America’s contemporary white supremacist and neo-Nazi movements. It teases out the largely unexplored history of this movement’s last 50 years, and provides the definitive account of how James Mason’s Siege became the leading tome for today’s far right extremists. The book is filled with details from the movement’s major and minor players, much of which has never been documented. This is a must read for those who want to understand our country’s history of white supremacy and the nature of the movement today.”

    Heidi Beirich, co-founder, Global Project Against Hate and Extremism

    “Sunshine has written the definitive book that exposes and links the old guard of American neo-Nazism to the modern day (and beyond) wave of white-power terrorism. A fascinating read!”

    Christian Picciolini, author of White American Youth: My Descent Into America's Most Violent Hate Movement—and How I Got Out

    “It is rare to find a study that combines grassroots anti-fascist research with the tools of scholarly analysis. Spencer Sunshine’s detailed and discerning book examines neo-Nazism as a social movement and takes seemingly obscure ideas seriously, bringing critical attention to the history of countercultural crossover with the radical right. Anybody concerned with the incongruous resurgence of supposedly fringe political phenomena will learn sobering lessons from this book.”

    Peter Staudenmaier, Marquette University, USA

    “The deepest dive yet into the godfather of modern neo-Nazi terrorism, told through the rare lens of James Mason's own writings. This book is essential reading to those hoping to understand the origins and nuances of violent right-wing extremism today.”

    Jared Holt, Senior Research Analyst, Institute for Strategic Dialogue