Linking alternative spiritualities and rightist politics was a hot topic in the UK press back in 1995. Why do sociologists always follow in the footsteps of journalists? See Kalman, Matthew & John Murray, 1995, ‘New-Age Nazism’, New Statesman & Society, 23 June, 8.358 18f, attached below. I also seem to remember articles in the Evening Standard (London).
Copyright 1995 Information Access Company, a Thomson Corporation Company
Copyright 1995 Statesman and Nation Publishing Company Ltd. (UK)
New Statesman & Society
June 23, 1995
SECTION: Vol. 8 ; No. 358 ; Pg. 18; ISSN: 0954-2361
LENGTH: 3605 words
HEADLINE: New-age nazism.
BYLINE: Kalman, Matthew ; Murray, John
On 19 April, if the allegations are correct, Timothy McVeigh planted a bomb in Oklahoma City that killed 167 people, including children at a nursery. McVeigh had been influenced by a video called Waco - the Big Lie. As we all know now, he is associated with the right-wing militias in the US. He hates the federal government and is fearful that an oppressive "New World Order" is being secretly planned. He calls himself a prisoner of war and won't answer police questions.
What has this got to do with the "New Age" and green movement? More than one might expect. Visit many New Age and other shops in Britain and you can pick up the magazine Nexus. A hit on the New Age circuit, it is a new arrival here but already has a claimed worldwide readership of 130,000-plus. It offers a beguiling, and often interesting, mixture of "prophecies, UFOs, Big Brother, health, the unexplained, suppressed technology, hidden history and more".
But Nexus is also a propaganda journal for the ideas and conspiracy theories of the US militias. Recent issues have included the call by Linda Thompson, self-proclaimed "adjutant-general" of the US militias, for a march on Washington to arrest and try Congressmen for treason. Her declaration includes the advice that "militia members must wear identifying insignia and be armed", in order to be treated like "a prisoner of war, not as a criminal arrestee". It was Linda Thompson who produced the Waco video that influenced McVeigh; Nexus distributes it, and even produced a special version for Europe. The June 1994 issue reviewed the video thus: "There is a very big underground movement building up in the US at the moment. Every night, someone is showing this video to a bunch of friends. Nobody remains unaffected after seeing it. It is contagious, so beware!"
Another notorious militia member, Mark Koernke, of the now infamous Michigan Militia, also appears in Nexus attacking the "New World Order of America's secret police forces". He warns that the government plans to take away the people's guns, build detention camps and suchlike. The "processing centre for detainees in the western half of the US is Oklahoma City," he claims. He was shown on Panorama holding up some nylon rope: "You can get about four politicians for about 120 feet of rope. Remember, when using it, always try and find a willow tree. The entertainment will last longer." Koernke was sought by the FBI after the Oklahoma bombing and went on the run; he was later questioned and freed. The Guardian's Washington correspondent calls him "a guru to the shadowy legions of conspiracy theorists, anti-government activists and gun freaks whose ranks appear to have produced the Oklahoma bombers".
A few pages on from the Koernke article is part four of a "history" of banks. It is clear who the author feels might save the world from "usurious bankers": "Hitler knew he was earmarked for a 'showcase trial' and so he killed himself . . . There is no one left alive who can rock the usury boat. Mussolini was executed for the same reason." In case the reader still hasn't got the message, notes refer to racist, far-right books like Teutonic Unity ("a clarion call by one of America's great racial historians," says the Ku Klux Klan) and White America. An address is given for the far-right Liberty Lobby's holocaust-denying book distributor, Noontide Press, which sells the whole disgusting panoply of Nazi favourites, from The hoax of the 20th century to Mein Kampf.
In Britain, the former TV sports presenter and ex-Green Party speaker, David Icke, is the best-known promoter of Nexus. He calls it "incomparable" and "excellent" in his book The robots' rebellion: the story of the spiritual renaissance. The book is both an anti-elite, green and new-age rallying cry and a fantastical tapestry of far-right conspiracy theories and militia concerns: banking, the "New World Order", Freemasons, microchip mind control, extra-terrestrials, gun control; and it resurrects one of the oldest conspiracy theories of them all - The protocols of the elders of Zion, a fraudulent "proof" that the Jews are out to control the world that forms the basis for his historical analysis. Icke seems oblivious to the fact that it helped the Nazis justify the Holocaust: "Just because Hitler used knowledge for negative reasons doesn't reflect on the knowledge," he says. He dismisses the overwhelming evidence that the Protocols are a concocted forgery.
Elsewhere, he repeats the outpourings of leading militia spokespeople, sometimes almost word for word. The American Federal Reserve is controlled by freemasons. Lincoln was assassinated because he wanted to introduce interest-free money "independent of the banking elite". JFK was eliminated for the same reason. "The American Gun Control Act of 1968 is word for word the Nazi gun control law of 1938 . . . If you are planning a takeover . . . then it is much easier if the population is unarmed."
Also thrown in is another favourite of the far right: the alleged Bolshevik-Jewish conspiracy. Of the 388 members of the Russian revolutionary government of 1917, only 16 were Russians by birth and "95 per cent of the rest were Jews from elsewhere, mostly from New York". Bankers, usually Jewish, funded the Bolsheviks and the Nazis, Icke tells us.
Icke is over-hastily dismissed by people who find what he says laughable. This does nothing to dim his burgeoning popularity. His seemingly endless speaking tour takes him from London, to Bristol, to Cardiff, Glasgow, Dublin and so on. The robots' rebellion, not even a year old, is already entering its third reprint, and he recently launched a newsletter to network his disparate supporters: "Once we get this off the ground, no one need feel alone . . . A fusion of the spiritual and, through knowledge, the streetwise is both necessary and, ultimately, unstoppable". Nexus, too, has reader groups setting up across the UK. Icke appeared at an October 1994 Nexus conference in Amsterdam at which militia leader Linda Thompson was billed as a star speaker.
Icke's audience has included members of the violent neo-Nazi group, Combat 18, which wrote up his views in its newsletter Putsch, praising Icke for "always being clever enough not to mention what all these people had in common (salt-beef sandwich anyone?). Icke spoke of 'the sheep' and how the ZOG Zionist Occupation Government , sorry 'Illuminati', uses them for its own ends."
Other takers of Nexus' pro-militia line were the leaders of the Solar Temple cult, who incinerated themselves in a mass suicide of 53 adults and children in Switzerland on 5 October 1994. In statements sent to the press just prior to their deaths, but unpublished except for brief quotations, the Solar Temple referred to articles in Nexus. One of them, included in photocopy form, was about the August 1992 FBl/Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms siege of white supremacist Randy Weaver's home, in which his wife, son and dog were killed. The Solar Temple drew parallels between their treatment at the hands of the authorities in Quebec (it originated in Canada) and that of Weaver and far-right groups in the US.
Both Icke and Nexus have influence over an alarmingly large swathe of the growing New Age and green movement - and this is not just for Icke's "spiritual" message; hatred of banks and Jews has many takers too. It matters little that many of those taken in by such ideas have little notion of their antecedents. (The organiser of one upcoming Icke workshop, from a New Age "Positive Living" group, for example, had not even heard of the Oklahoma bombing and was very hesitant when asked about the Holocaust. "That's neither here nor there . . . I can't be bothered to think about it at this moment," she told us, explaining that she didn't read newspapers. "You are aware who owns them, aren't you?")
Another major influence on Icke is William Cooper, author of Behold a Pale Horse. Whole chunks of The Robots' Rebellion are taken from Cooper, who saves his readers the trouble of getting in touch with outright Nazis by reprinting the full, unexpurgated text of the Protocols in his book. An ex-naval intelligence officer, Cooper is a leading figure in the militia movement; his local militia believe he will be the next US president. In February, he predicted in the Arizona Republic that: "Blood will be spilled in the streets of America. It's inevitable."
"I have spoken to many people involved in New World Order investigations, some clearly anti-Jewish, and most very obviously not," Icke says. Again following Cooper, he mentions a 1979 "Illuminati" document, Silent weapons for a quiet war, allegedly a "technical manual" adopted in 1954 by the Bilderberg Group, and supposedly found in an IBM copier at a second-hand sale in 1986. ("Illuminati" is Icke's preferred term for the supposed New World Order conspiracists.) The document purportedly describes how the minds of the people are to be controlled, and is, Cooper tell us, "the Illuminati's declaration of war upon the people of America". It seems something of an oversight for the all-powerful Illuminati to leave the plans for the third world war lying around in a copier, but no matter.
Icke's book makes clear the extent to which he is a recipient of the information he pushes, rather than an originator: "I am being guided to an area of knowledge that needs to be made public," he explains. In the chapter, "The New World Order", he admits, "I had only vaguely heard of the term until, over a period of three weeks, all the information about it in this book was put into my hands by various different people."
Some of these "various people" are to be found around the London-based New Age magazine Rainbow Ark. Recent issues have targeted the same Jewish bankers, "Illuminati" and suchlike, and it has printed a fair amount of Icke material. It helped organise a lecture he gave at the Glastonbury festival and other meetings.
Rainbow Ark, despite operating in the New Age milieu, was launched from the flat of a well known right-wing racist propagandist, Mary Stanton. It was used by the National Front during one election as its press office. Stanton was also questioned by MI.sub.5 , who were investigating the appearance of her address on a list of international contacts for the anti-Semitic far right. In the launch issue of Rainbow Ark, the three largest donors are gratefully thanked for gifts of pounds 250 and over: Mary Stanton, Anthony Chevasse and a Mr Bloom. Above is an advertisement seeking volunteers for Stanton's "Free Society to Save the Planet".
Chevasse is intimately involved with Rainbow Ark. Little is clear about him except his interest in the right-wing economic theories of C H Douglas, who was attracted to the Nazis. The key organisation pushing Douglas' ideas is the British League of Rights, headed by Don Martin. Martin is an important figure in the far-right. His writing has appeared in the British National Party's paper, Spearhead. One lecture he gave, organised by Rainbow Ark, was picketed by anti-fascists. The magazine's editors clearly have close ties to Martin - one says they meet him periodically for briefings.
An idea of Martin's beliefs can be derived from his mail-order firm, Bloomfield Books. This services the far right with more than 700 of their favourite books and magazines - including the 100,000-plus circulation anti-Semitic Spotlight, another source used continuously by Nexus, as well as Icke. The books include the usual Nazi favourites: Did Six Million Really Die? and so on.
BNP leader John Tyndall calls Martin and the organisations he runs "allies". The British League of Rights, for example, seeks among its aims: "To oppose large-scale immigration of alien peoples, and to work for the maintenance of a homogenous community." Martin is also a friend of Lady Jane Birdwood, who has a criminal record for promoting racially inflammatory material.
His organisations are known for their avoidance of publicity in their own right and an often high-level involvement in campaigns by other organisations. Martin is known also for taking over groups. One, the British Federation for European Freedom, was turned into the British arm of the ultra-rightwing World Anti-Communist League, a franchise later taken over by the pro-apartheid Western Goals.
Another organisation he is involved with is the British Israelites, part of an international right-wing church. According to KlanWatch, its US outgrowth, Christian Identity, of which Randy Weaver is a member, is powerful and well-financed, with 30,000 members, though British Israelism's sympathisers run into millions. Members in Britain are said to include such establishment and ex-military types as the Duke of Montrose and Sir Walter Walker, the mid-1970s anti-Labour Party plotter. His book, The Next Domino, was published by the British Israelites. Their creed, that Anglo-Saxon Aryans are the "chosen people" - the ten lost tribes of Israel - is expressed by the Christian Identity movement in the US, which provides a focus for both the old Nazi right and newer, semi-anarchistic right-wing militia groups.
Manipulation of the information flowing to David Icke is clear from the actions of Rainbow Ark's editor. In one instance, the authors of this article were given a comical document of Further Protocols, which included laughable details of the plans "secret Zionism" has for "the Goyim". "Icke's not ready for this yet," Rainbow Ark's editor said. This same editor took a right-wing US "patriot", who claimed to represent armed networks of "patriots", to meet Icke at a packed London lecture in January. They spoke for 20 minutes, on the usual "patriot" themes. "We're ready for war," he told Icke, three months before Oklahoma.
Public meetings organised by Rainbow Ark in May gave an Australian ex-stockbroker, called (pseudonymously) Peter Celine, an opportunity to expound a typical Icke/Nexus narrative of bankers, freemasons, Illuminati et al, along with his call for rebellion and the formation of five-person cells. When asked where to find such "suppressed information", he explained that he had been pointed to Donald Martin's Bloomfield Books by Rainbow Ark's editor.
Anna Hall, editor of Rainbow Ark for its first 11 issues, insists: "During the time I was editor, nothing which could be labelled fascist, racist, anti-Semitic or Nazi in content was published." In common with many committed green activists, she seems to have been unaware of the wider beliefs of some of the people she was dealing with - such as her British Israelite landlady, Mary Stanton.
In Australia, its country of origin, the far-right links of Nexus are quite well-known following media exposure. Editor Duncan Roads has been forced onto the defensive over his printing of militia articles. Roads is himself very interesting. He stepped into the advertising department of Nexus from the Rotting Stone-funded alternative magazine Simply Living. On Australian radio recently, he was asked if the holocaust took place: he said he remained "open-minded".
In 1989, Roads visited Gadaffi in Libya. According to Australian journalist David Greason, he is a close friend of the right-wing Libyaphile, Robert Pash. Pash was the Australian contact for the "Aryan Nations" network in the late 1970s. In the late 1980s, he was the Australian distributor for Gadaffi's Green Book, and was in contact with the National Front, acting as a conduit for their attempts to make political common cause with the Libyan regime. Alan Myers, of Australia's Green Left Weekly, says that Pash is also part of the Australian League of Rights, the ultra-right anti-Semitic organisation, of which Donald Martin is the British arm.
Initially, Nexus was a green alternative magazine with a multicultural and liberal orientation, containing a smaller amount of New Age and health material along with third-world issues. After hitting the financial rocks, Roads took over the editorship and it metamorphosed into the far-right magazine it is today.
Nexus's British agent, who, like the Rainbow Ark group, was at the launch of Icke's book, unselfconsciously provided further shocking details of this growing anti-Semitic propaganda network. Sitting in Nexus's UK office, he eagerly displayed his copy of the Protocols, and spoke admiringly of the revisionist historian David Irving. There were no gas chambers at Auschwitz, he said.
As he began to describe the "global conspiracy", he said he'd helped David Icke with a chapter in his forthcoming book, calling into question the facts of the holocaust. The Jewish Chronicle got confirmation that the chapter existed from Icke's Bath-based publisher Gateway Books. Gateway has now dropped the book - its money-spinning star author apparently unwilling to make significant excisions. The book is now to be published in Cambridge by Bridge of Love, with the title changed from The Robot's Guide To Freedom to . . . And The Truth Shall Set You Free. "I am struggling to find a publisher for my next, now completed book, because they are all in the toilet after reading the contents without the need of a laxative," veteran Icke-watcher David Black was told in May. On an advertising flyer for the book, the name Sam Masters is given and a Cambridge address. "Bridge of Love" is, of course, simply David Icke and Masters, his assistant. The 500-page book is due out in mid-August.
The response to Icke by anti-fascists has been slow, with initially only a few anti-fascists in the Green Party and from Green Anarchist magazine appearing to take seriously his success in promoting a potentially racist and Nazi doctrine. He was banned from speaking at the Green Party conference in 1994.
However, as far back as 1991, Icke-watcher David Black had warned where Icke's logic could lead. Noting the roots of his New Age thinking in the mystical teachings of Theosophy developed by Madame Helena Blavatsky, he warned: "Blavatsky's fantasies were readily taken on board by the disillusioned nationalist romantics who pioneered Nazism in Germany." Indeed, the Nazis took the group's symbol, the swastika, and made it the emblem of the Nazi party. Later Theosophists like Alice Bailey promoted an intense anti-Semitism. In 1947, she called the Jews "a very cruel and aggressive people". She even identified the Jews as the world's worst problem, stating - in the immediate aftermath of the holocaust - that "there is no other problem like it in the world today". The holocaust was simply Jewish karma for their "depths of human evil".
Rainbow Ark has a similarly frightening theory: "When a person has strong hatred of another race, their higher self often (karmically) makes sure they incarnate in that race to balance them out, thus many of the worst kind of Nazis have already incarnated in Jewish bodies, explaining therefore some of the fireworks which are going on and will go on in Israel." In other words, many Jews are Nazis reincarnated.
There are important lessons to be learnt from all of this: most importantly the continuing attraction of the sort of millenarian, apocalyptic and mystical thinking that helped spawn the Nazis. A possible lesson for the left is the extent to which it has dropped populist anti-elitism, leaving the right, with its nasty hidden agendas, as the only place to look for information. Bookslike Trilaterelism, about the international foreign policy elite, written by left-winger Holly Sklar, are largely forgotten by the left, but eagerly taken up by the right. The deaths of the multi-racial occupants at Waco, ignored on the left as a political issue, became a burning issue of civil liberty on the right.
As far-right watcher, Larry O'Hara, says: "This is a worrying phenomenon. A demoralised left seems to have forgotten many of the lessons it should have learnt from history. The fact is, many of the ideas articulated in magazines like Nexus are hostile to the US-dominated New World Order, and murderous political police, the FBI and others, for good reason. We need to differentiate very carefully between what is valid and what isn't." But above all, we must make the green and New Age movement aware of the racist and neo-Nazi thinking that is trying to masquerade under its banner.
RELATED ARTICLE: GLOBAL DECEPTION
The "Global Deception" conference in 1993, brought together conspiracy theorists internationally. Organised by one Mary seal, with help from Nexus and Rainbow Ark, the audience of "1,000 people over two days", among them NSS's Vicky Hutchings (see "if they ruled the world", NSS, 15 January 1993), listened to right-wing conspiracy theorists, including Eustace Mullins, the protege of Mussolini supporter Ezra Pound, denounce the usual array of dark forces. The Rothschild, Bilderberg Group, Federal Reserve Bank, UN, UFOs, ozone hole hoax, JFK - all figured, as one speaker or another, laid into the "New World Order". Even the Aids virus (triggered by a WHO vaccination campaign!) is a conspiracy to bankruptcy nations and force them into a totalitarian cashless society. Militia hero Bill Cooper acted as stand-in compere when Antony J Hilder, a far-right radio DJ, failed to appear. Seal initially booked the 12,000-seat Wembley Arena, and complains that every one of the small-press magazines she advertised in suffered a breakdown of their printers. One month before the conference, she had sold only 15 tickets.
Matthew Kalman and John Murray are editors of "Open Eye", available from BM Open Eye, London WC1N3XX. Tel 0956250654
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