by Kevin Alfred Strom
HIS FOOTPATH TO THE HEIGHTS is almost invisible now, overgrown with timothy grass and mountain laurel, tenanted by bees heavy with nectar and pollen instead of by a man heavy with the future.
Morning after morning, for almost two decades, William Luther Pierce would take this path and ascend to the highest point on what he simply called “The Land.” At the summit, he would look out, all the way to the horizon, upon a creamy, ever-shifting ocean of fog from which the higher mountain peaks, especially his, jutted upward abruptly like widely-separated cliff-islands in some Hyperborea of dreams.
Clarity was possible here in the West Virginia mountains; so different from Washington, DC, whence he had come. Here he was far from the posturing, prostituted politicians; from the buying and selling; from the filthy streets; from the getting and hoarding; from the stinking, unbreathable air; from the lying and pretense; from corrupted, demanding, materialistic women; from the sham authority of hollow men; from the staring, waiting, growing non-White mobs; from the crazed pursuit of popularity, status, shekels, junk, and Jesus. Here the doe could be found lying down with her fawn in the dappled sunshine; here the eagle soared a thousand feet above titanic, dramatically slanted forest canopies; here even the hottest Summer days had a cool evening breeze and a night of ten million stars. Here, one could easily imagine, the lawyer and the huckster would just naturally shrivel and blow away, never to be seen again. A place where authentic men and women might thrive and live noble lives. A place to find The Way again. And teach that Way to others.
The move from the old National Alliance headquarters in Arlington (where the door was still lettered “National Youth Alliance” when we moved out) was a tremendous effort. Dr. Pierce made many trips on his own, shuttling his library, office, and possessions to the barns and barely-inhabitable farmhouse that were then the only structures on The Land, and I made at least a dozen trips to help, driving my old Dodge van or Dr. Pierce’s deathtrap high-cube truck we dubbed “The Truck from Hell” for its rattles readable on nearby seismometers, exposed seat springs, rust on a continental scale, and its tendencies to come dangerously close to boiling over on every hill and emit smoke instead of heat from its vents. There were a few other volunteers who helped with the move, but very few.
And moving was just the bare beginning. Next there were the farmhouse repairs and the installation of two old trailers as “temporary” living quarters. (They were to become permanent. Dr. Pierce never did build the home he had planned for so long; something else was always more urgent.) Then the huge job of building and finishing the office, warehouse, garage, and other outbuildings, and the complex electric, security, and communications lines between them. The latter involved digging six-foot trenches over many hundreds of feet through soil that was 50 per cent. stones. In all of this, no one did more labor than Dr. Pierce himself.
After the first few years, though, the move to The Land began to look like a huge mistake.
Without the energizing presence of Dr. Pierce in Arlington, and the convenience of his always-open 23d Street office (for years he slept on a cot there), many of the people who had attended his meetings and helped out with his mailings and other projects in the Washington area found other things to do, and travelling 200 miles into the remotest of West Virginia mountains wasn’t one of them.
The handful of families who had promised to come and make his community a reality dropped out one by one. Some took a look, saw the challenges of separating themselves from any hope of financial prosperity and from the conveniences the Great Satan has to offer, and quickly made their excuses. Even Dr. Pierce’s wife, Liz, refused to come — and divorced him.
Some never even bothered to take a look. A tiny few made a real attempt at life on The Land, lasting weeks or months or years. Don Trainor came — and went through two marriages and ready-made families — in a gargantuan effort to make it work, and in the process radically modernized the Alliance’s computer system.
Women found the isolation especially difficult. The nicer locals didn’t understand you and thought you were vaguely “odd” or “foreign” in some way, and a few opportunists (like county sheriff Jerry Dale, a brilliant intellect who once publicly accused Dr. Pierce of being an associate of “George Norman Rockwell”) were openly hostile.
Among those who stayed and really helped, and I salute them all, there was often a bond between Dr. Pierce and themselves, but not, with a few exceptions, between one another.
There was at least as much jealousy, and I am sure it looks very petty now even to those who then felt it, as there was a sense of community. They were the jealousies of those who have sacrificed very much, fueled by the frustrations of giving their all in a cause that sometimes seemed hopeless: the feeling that the others weren’t sacrificing as much — the wondering why they have an apartment in town, while we must live in a broken-down trailer; or the wondering of the other party why they get a free trailer while we must pay for this apartment on the same minuscule salary.
Petty, yes — but such thoughts can loom large in a small, isolated group when things are difficult and forward progress undetectable, especially for the least idealistic and philosophically motivated partner in a marriage.
William Pierce was immensely deep and worthy, and I think we all loved him. But he was very much the lone philosopher on the hill, who bonds with his adepts one by one as they enter his mountain fastness, but whose urgent work and solitary contemplations leave little time for the laughter, feasting, and ceremony that might prevent rifts.
One Winter when my wife and I came to visit him, a couple of years before I made the move to The Land, Dr. Pierce was utterly alone with the ravens in his snowy hills. There was no one else there. There was no community. All who had come had left. And his membership list, he said, was at an all-time low. He was gaunt, and I don’t think he was eating much.
Yet, he smiled a beguiling smile of real gladness when we arrived, cooked a very good vegetarian meal for us on a broken-down stove he’d rescued from a junkyard and was in the middle of repairing — he was always doing things like that — and spoke only of hope. He told us about a few men and women who might be joining him if all went well, and what they could add to his efforts. He spoke of the ignorant complacency induced by the sitting Republican administration, and how recruiting would improve when it finally came to an end.
He spoke of the 1960s, when he had just begun his political work, sending a copy of his intellectual journal to every member of Congress and to hundreds of officials and opinion leaders in Washington — with exactly zero response. And, after an initial shock and readjustment to reality, exactly zero discouragement too. It had been then that he had thrown down his coat, put on his gloves, and begun those 18-hour days that continued until Infinity reclaimed him.
One reason Dr. Pierce was glad we were there was his wish that we would constitute an audience for a discussion of Cosmotheism he had scheduled for the benefit of the editor of the local paper, the Pocahontas Times. The editor, a man named William McNeel, had heard the media claims that Cosmotheism was nothing but a “tax dodge” and wanted to see for himself. Dr. Pierce, McNeel, a guest brought by McNeel, my wife, and I sat in the gathering twilight on folding chairs in the dusty, unfinished upper floor of the new office building and listened to recorded excerpts from Bernard Shaw’s Man and Superman, after which Dr. Pierce told the story of how the play, along with Nietzsche’s philosophy, had influenced the development of his religion. I think McNeel was expecting a somewhat slicker than average bigoted bumpkin with overtones of con man and Imperial Lizard. What he got was closer to a living Pythagoras.
Dr. Pierce’s optimism, like that of many energetic and dedicated men, proved justified. Things did improve on The Land not too long after my Winter visit. Fred and Marta Streed, Will Williams, Ron McCoskey, Herbert Horton, Hadding Scott, Robert Pate, Joe Pryce, Evelyn Hill, Jerry Abbott, Bob DeMarais, and many others made a real impact with their help. American Dissident Voices was begun, then the Free Speech newsletter. Books, audio tapes, and videos multiplied. New buildings were going up, new projects begun, and the subscriber and membership lists began growing again.
William Pierce had a never-give-up spirit that was almost beyond understanding. It served him well. Its source, I think, was his deep belief that he was one of a very few men who fully understood the cosmic stakes of the fight for White survival, and that he had an absolute responsibility to strive without ending, no matter what the odds, to do his considerable part — a task that no one else could do for him — to win that fight.
Those stakes went far beyond the concerns to which he often appealed in his writings and broadcasts. Far more important than safe neighborhoods and lower VD rates and decent schools was the evolving consciousness of the Universe, of which a small but inseparable subset of our race was the vanguard, and which might be snuffed out in an instant of cosmic time if organized Jewry had its way.
True, he made his appeals on the basis of the issues of the moment in his radio broadcasts — because he was dealing with a mass audience which he wanted to move in his direction. But behind it all, behind everything he did, and overshadowing every other consideration, was the necessity for our race to begin ascending what he called the Upward Path once again.
Just three years before his death, Dr. Pierce made the fateful decision to purchase Resistance Records, a label and distributor which specialized in skinhead music. Dr. Pierce told me privately that he found most of the music unlistenable, even repellent, and that it for the most part embodied every exaggerated “hater” stereotype that the Jews had gleefully tried to fasten on anyone who wanted his children to marry someone of the same race and the opposite sex.
National-Socialism-as-cult (something that Dr. Pierce strongly disliked) was everywhere at Resistance — lurid scenes of SS-men in battle, repurposed WWII posters and uniforms (or absurd parodies of uniforms), references to “throwing people into ovens,” and more Maltese crosses than the Hell’s Angels ever dreamed of. And where the cornball aesthetic tapered off, the skinhead aesthetic — an aesthetic of ugliness, utterly alien to men and women who appreciate Breker and Canova, Parrish and Waterhouse, St. Gaudens and Phidias — took over. The graphic artists who designed the CD covers also apparently thought that the purpose of white space was to allow a higher density of swastikas.
I may be exaggerating the visual sins of Resistance — a little. But not only do I not have to exaggerate the depravity of much of the music, I believe it would actually be impossible to do so. Some of the “music” promoted by Resistance was so disgusting that it can hardly be believed. It is only with difficulty that I can write about the worst of it. From songs that gleefully describe chainsaw decapitations (and the storage of the severed body parts of supposed enemies in a freezer), to bands with names like “Anal Cunt” and “Vaginal Jesus,” the list goes on and on. Only the sociopathic could be attracted to such garbage.
Now, to be sure, some worthwhile music was sold by Resistance. And there were and are very noble men and women who have come up through the skinhead subculture. I have met some. And that subculture was impressive in that it had developed an ethos of resistance to White genocide quite independently. But, on the whole, it was loaded with a substantial percentage of appallingly ignorant people who had joined it for all the wrong reasons: those who couldn’t possibly be accepted, or find a mate, anywhere else; those whose anger at society was expressed by purposely violating every standard and every moral value in order to punish and outrage the hated “normals”; and those who were actually drawn to the controlled media’s “Nazi” image of sadistic brutes who delighted in crushing innocents’ skulls, putting out cigarettes in babies’ eyes, and similar manly and heroic acts.
To be fair to Dr. Pierce, the very worst CDs weren’t issued under his watch (I helped to form the National Alliance Executive Committee that tried to excise the garbage later, before I and all its members were expelled by the successor leadership of the Alliance, whose understanding of Dr. Pierce’s vision could be folded up in a clover leaf and still leave room for Micheal Chertoff’s heart) — but there was still plenty of dross that was.
If I had to speculate about the percentage of the Alliance’s membership, before the merger with Resistance, who truly understood the cosmic implications of our struggle, I would say that it might have been as high as 30 per cent. But of the new recruits who came to us through Resistance, I would say it was only a tenth of that — at best.
It’s important to remember that after Dr. Pierce’s death, a large fraction of the Alliance’s new leadership had its roots in Resistance or the “scene” that surrounded Resistance. And, after those who objected to the worst elements of that new leadership were expelled, the membership itself consisted almost entirely of those who were willing to accept such leaders — or who, hoping for better times to come, were as crazily optimistic as those who’ve actually seen Los Angeles, yet still believe we can “restore America.” I apologize for my role in encouraging such optimism.
Dr. Pierce acknowledged most of these concerns at the time. But he wanted results, he said, and embracing the skinhead music scene brought thousands of new people into our circle. (Many men, perhaps especially great men who are engaged in causes that most would regard as lost, abandon some of their usual prudence as they approach the end, wanting to see dramatic progress before they die.) The Alliance could, he thought, selectively recruit the best of these people into our ranks, and effectively and powerfully influence all of them. Instead, they influenced the Alliance — right into the ground.
Need I count the ways? — the nearly-illiterate post-2005 broadcasts; the public meetings where spitting and shirtlessness (especially among people who ought never go shirtless) became common; the young men with dilated pupils who most urgently wanted to discuss with you the finer points of the Day of the Rope and how they related to an especially beloved curbside scene in American History X; the official Alliance publication that referred to a certain famous structure in Italy as, I kid you not, the “Leaning Tower of Pizza.” It’s too depressing to go on.
His microphone is silent now, though a faithful and talented few make sure his voice is heard by a new generation on YouTube and elsewhere. His greatest works remain relatively obscure, whereas his off-the-cuff entertainment for beginners is still famous. An effort is, however, now being made to make his writings available in a coherent, reliable form.
The Land, and the many hundreds of thousands of dollars in investments and infrastructure that William Pierce gave his lifetime to bring into being — and bring to bear in the battle for our race’s survival — has been inherited by the unworthy, the befuddled, the merely ambitious, and the incompetent. Much more worthwhile writing and publishing is done by former staffer Jerry Abbott in his nearby mountain homestead in one week than has been produced on The Land in the last seven years.
Though his organization — for which he inexplicably failed to choose a successor when he knew he was dying — has effectively expired, William Pierce opened the minds of thousands of men and women to what is truly real in this unfolding Universe. Most of us are still alive. And, thanks to him, we do not have the excuse of ignorance for inaction. Our people’s fate, and the advancement of the only cause that really matters, is entirely up to us.
The Sun has burned away the sea of fog this morning, and, looking at the fields and woods below me, I think that maybe what seemed like the hidden paradise beyond Ultima Thule to me is really just plain old West Virginia after all. Perhaps the locals are right: Maybe what Dr. Pierce called The Land should revert to its old name, Turkey Buzzard Flats. Maybe I should get out of here, too — the current occupants would surely have never given me permission, so I didn’t bother to ask. Maybe I should head down the hill, skirting south into the woods near the trailers, even though I doubt they rise before ten.
I should go down now — but no. There’s another path, with the footprint of a tall man still visible there. It leads up.
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