Dr. William Pierce liked to say that a man’s immortality is dependent upon the fame of his deeds. Accordingly, that became the title of the biography of DrP by Dr. Robert Griffin in 2001. This is certainly true in his case as the memory of his many accomplishments will surely far outlive him.
My first awareness of Dr. William Pierce was his dramatic break from the National Socialist White Peoples Party in 1970. He had joined it under its precursor name, the American Nazi Party, then under the leadership of Lincoln Rockwell. While there, he had edited the six issues of the excellent and influential National Socialist World. I had recently become a member of the NSWPP’s youth wing, the NSYM — National Socialist Youth Movement, and I received his 8-page “Prospectus For a National Front” accompanied by his 12-page explanation as to the whys and wherefores of leaving the NSWPP. I was all of 16, and it was something wholly new to me — a dramatic party split. Pierce was showing his personal integrity and independence of spirit in forming a new organization with a different strategy. He meant no harm to the NSWPP but felt there might be a better way to do things.
A year or two later I was on the NSWPP’s staff in Arlington, Virginia. I learned that even to mention Pierce’s name could create problems, as he was regarded as a “traitor,” and anyone who associated with him could also fall under suspicion. But there was no escaping the very positive work he did with National Socialist World, and it was still being distributed. I see this as his first major “deed.” And then of course there was his Ph.D. in physics — at that time few Ph.D.s of any kind went anywhere near organizations like this, and losing one was a serious loss of prestige.
I left the NSWPP myself a few years later and went to visit Dr. Pierce in his nearby offices in Alexandria, Virginia. They were in a working-class neighborhood, up a flight of stairs in a nondescript office building. We talked for a while and he asked me to work for him by putting out his tabloid newspaper Attack! at newsstands in the Washington D.C. area. At the time, Attack! was publishing his serialized and illustrated first version of The Turner Diaries, under his nom-de-guerre Andrew Macdonald, which later became an underground bestseller and a sort of must read for “movement” people everywhere. This was one of the first times that racial and political ideas were being dispensed through the medium of fiction.
I worked for DrP for maybe six months or so, but I learned to respect the man and what he was doing. For one thing, he wasn’t arrogant and was not interested in profits or power, nor did he have a noticeable ego. He was serious about racial and political issues, he was honest, he kept his commitments, and he had a sense of humor. A level personality, hard-working and dedicated to doing what he saw as the right thing. Most importantly, he was open to new ideas and listened to others. I didn’t know him well on a personal level — I don’t think anyone ever did, as he was retiring, modest, and kept his personal life rigorously apart from his work.
Aside from publishing Attack! — which was the newsprint precursor to the later magazine National Vanguard, Dr. Pierce ran a small bookselling business in which he did most of the nuts and bolts work himself. The selection was mostly that of European historical classics, the sagas, and books related to Hitler and National Socialism. The books I read avidly, and his selections of them influenced my own reading habits and still do to this day. A fine eclectic mix of racial history, white culture, and political ideas pulling it all together. This is another “deed” to remember about him, i.e., the educational direction that he provided to so many others.
While there, I observed that Dr. Pierce had his priorities right as he seemed to live quite modestly, didn’t dine out much, and was able to get by on the very small salary he allowed himself, as most of the income went into the organization and its growth. He drove a little white Volkswagen. He was anti-materialistic and lived that way. Or put another way, he was setting an example to others in these respects.
After my months working with him, I went overseas but returned stateside in the late 1980s. I got involved with revisionism and became aware that Dr. Pierce’s National Youth Alliance had become the National Alliance, had moved from Alexandria to a rural property near Hillsboro, West Virginia, and that Attack! had greatly improved into the quality magazine National Vanguard. I learned about The Order and the allegation that some of the funds it generated went towards DrP acquiring the property and developing it into a national headquarters for his organization. That never bothered me — if true, it went to the best possible cause.
Studying its publications and literature, I saw that DrP told the truth on all issues and didn’t fall into the common fallacy of a “clever strategy” of adopting single issues only or using dishonesty as a tactic to gain influence. He held to the ancient Aryan principle of doing the right thing and leaving the consequences to God. He spoke and published the truth about racial differentiation, Jewish activity, and all the evils besetting our culture. He was one of the few white leaders willing to openly critique the racially corrosive effects of feminism and homosexuality — two issues most other racialist leaders tactically avoid. He had made The Turner Diaries into a bestselling book, and his second book, Hunter, although less well known, was even better. His educational arm was much widened in all fields. More importantly, he saw the Internet as a major racialist outreach tool before most others and had set up his polished website. More deeds to be remembered.
Impressed, I renewed our acquaintanceship and rejoined his National Alliance and helped where I could. We talked on the phone a few times, and we agreed that I would help organize recruitment on the Net. I worked with other NA members in Net activism, and we did in fact bring in many new members; DrP told me that the majority of new interest queries, membership applications, and sales derived directly from our activism. I also started buying and distributing his books The Turner Diaries and Hunter and he sent me an inscribed first edition copy of the former, which I still have.
DrP was proud of what he’d built up in Hillsboro and said I would be impressed. He invited me to visit and wanted me to attend a couple of the NA’s leadership conferences, but for one reason or another I never did get down there, which I still regret today. In view of our many shared interests, I would have dearly loved to tour his personal library. I viewed him giving Mike Wallace the tour on a typical mainstream media documentary that came out about that time; I can only admire DrP’s personal discipline in keeping his own feelings in check and being a gentleman throughout.
However, as time went on, I came to see or sense changes in the organization and in its direction and goals which I disagreed with. I personally was concerned that it was admitting a large number of skinheads as members, and it switched from its priority in promoting educational materials to selling skinhead music CDs. I know there are many exceptions in that subculture, but in general I viewed skinheads as a negative force in the sense that they were so often drunk, violent, and ignorantly hateful. I had met a number of them, and I saw them as a potential for undoing all the good that DrP had accomplished.
I talked to DrP about this, but he was committed to entering the skinhead music business. He pointed out that there was money to be made here and that this income could go towards worthy projects. Of course that was true, but with too many dysfunctionals . . . ? He conceded that the “movement” was top-heavy with freaks and nuts but we had to work with whatever was available. If these people could be made functional and the skinheads could become a vanguard of action, things would look up. I remained skeptical. I was also concerned with my perception that the NA was moving towards quasi-“satanic” black metal and a wholly different — although still profitable — atmosphere and sub-subculture. This for me was sufficient reason to separate from the organization, as I didn’t want to be a part of where it seemed to be going.
I left the organization in consequence of these changes. A short while later Dr. Pierce passed away. Those who succeeded him have followed the business model, and as far as I can ascertain, the many defections or expulsions from the organization in their hands has resulted in an implosion into a purely profit-oriented venture. Maybe they are right. I don’t know. But I have to follow my own sense of what is right.
One thing that continues to intrigue me is the fate of Dr Pierce’s third book Who We Are. He had announced that he was completing it and that publication was imminent. Those who succeeded him have confirmed that it was done and that they would publish it. But to date, nothing. Being a bit cynical, I fear that he was frank and honest about many issues in his book that they perhaps would like to avoid, hence it remains buried. I am guessing here, and I still hope that it does in fact appear at some point.
In spite of our disagreements on some matters of direction and focus, I still have a tremendous respect for Dr. Pierce and his life accomplishments. He kept at it consistently for some forty years or so, doing his best to promote racial awareness and a turning away from the dark forces destroying us. He authored two great political novels which have had a huge impact on thinking and activism everywhere. He built up an organization out of nothing into one in which thousands of racial idealists came together to do good work. He fundamentally influenced countless lives — including my own — in positive, race-affirming ways. He wasn’t perfect. No man is. But he must surely be regarded as one of the great and most productive personalities on our side, one who made a real and important difference. His deeds will always preserve his memory.