Hate Group Recruitment On The Internet Introduction Neo-Nazis and other anti-Semites and racists are using the Internet to recruit new members, get their message out, and open new channels of communication among sympathizers. One young neo-Nazi supporter in Minnesota, in fact, has recently become a self-appointed, virtual one-man recruiting engine for several hate groups. The Internet, a worldwide collection of computers linked by high-speed phone lines, is a central feature of the information revolution of our time. Driven by the growth of the World Wide Web (a method of linking information on computers anywhere in the world) and the development of easy- to-use "Web-browser" programs, (that simplify access to information on these computers) Internet use is expanding rapidly. In the United States and Canada, approximately 37 million people, or 17 per-cent of the population 16 years or older, have access to the Net. About 24 million of this group have used the Net in the past three months. And this is just the beginning; usage continues to expand and the number of Web sites (the computer locations where information providers store their material) is currently doubling every three months. Clearly, the Internet is the "in" place for communicating personal, political and profit- making messages. Businesses frantically look for opportunities on the Net, while magazine covers proclaim the rush to "cybergold"; the stock market is bullish on Internet- related companies. Not surprisingly the opportunity to reach so many people, so easily, so inexpensively, is attracting neo-Nazis and other bigots, in addition to ordinary people. Many extremist groups are on the Web; the neo Nazi National Alliance and a covey of supporters, racist Skinhead purveyors of "Aryan" music, some rabidly anti-Semitic "Identity" churches, groups sympathetic to the KKK and several Holocaust deniers have sites. These efforts represent a well-thought-out campaign to reach more people than these groups could ever have previously contacted though traditional mailings, handouts and demonstrations. The World Wide Web, the newest Internet technology, is an ideal merchandising tool. An Attractive Medium The typical Web site is colorful; black, red and white are very popular on the neo-Nazi sites. Filled with pictures or symbols, handsome typography and, occasionally, sound, these sites are perfect for presenting a propaganda message. The interactive features of the Web permit immediate responses and so on-line membership forms are found at several "hate" sites, making it even easier to order material or join. Ease of use is a major selling point for the Web. Once a user gets to a Web site, moving around in "cyberspace" becomes relatively uncomplicated, but finding a particular site isn't always simple. The National Alliance is aware of this. Its July 1995 Bulletin, mailed, the old-fashioned way, to members, encouraged "the Alliance's seasoned cybernauts" to "spread our new [Web] site address around as widely as possible.... Imaginative and energetic members should be able to think of many novel ways to provoke other Internet users to go to our new site and examine our materials." Several devoted followers, taking this to heart, have hit upon a device that they hope will spread the group's propaganda but also lead sympathizers to the Web sites of the National Alliance and similar groups. They have decided to exploit the USENET. The USENET, or newsgroups, refers to the collection of thousands of computerized "chat" sites where users express ideas, argue and, often exchange insults. Anyone with a computer and Internet access can "join" one or more of these. A newsgroup is usually devoted to a single topic, some serious, such as talk.politics.mideast and others, less serious, such as rec.art.comics. The neo-Nazis have several newsgroups where they, and their opponents, go at each other. Some of these haters have argued that they will never recruit new members on the traditional on-line racist haunts such as alt.politics.white-power where the participants have already chosen sides. It is time, they say, to search for new members. To do this, they are developing a new tactic designed to direct people to sites such as the National Alliance. An Innovative Propagandist Milton John Kleim Jr., self-described "Net Nazi Number One," thinks he has a method that might work. Kleim, a recent graduate of St. Cloud State University in Minnesota who likes to write earnest sounding tomes that read like class papers, tries to project an image of a rational, scrubbed and shined, eager young activist. Precisely where, if anyplace, he fits in the organization of the National Alliance is hard to tell; he admits that his only contacts have been via computer. Kleim likes to flaunt his ubiquitous presence on the Net. In a letter he wrote to George Hawthorn's<1> Skinhead magazine, Resistance, he signed himself as the "Internet's infamous 'HERMANN."' Kleim floods the newsgroups with messages attacking Jews, "Jewsmedia" and non- whites, openly calling for authoritarian government and expressing admiration for William Pierce,<2> leader of the neo-Hitlerian National Alliance. Kleim details his proposal for extremist use of the Internet in an article "On Tactics and Strategy for USENET" that can be found on several neo-Nazi Web sites. The strategy is appropriate for someone with his views; it is one of guileful misrepresentation. He urges "cyber guerillas" to leave the safety of racist newsgroups and pick a likely mainstream newsgroup and post there. Once established, the recruiter should tailor messages to the interest of the group. If the group is concerned with foods he suggests the writer push the "kosher tax" message charging that kosher food supervision costs consumers money<3>. Groups focused on political or social issues would be suitable for the "Jewish-controlled media" message. Above all, he writes: Continually advertise our World Wide Web . . . resources and all suitable newsgroups. Systematically post the address for the [National] Alliance Website and [other extremist] Website[s].... Except on "our" groups avoid the Race Issue. Side-step it as much as possible. We don't have time to defend our stance on this issue against the comments of hundreds of fools, liars, and degenerates who, spouting the Jewish line, will slaughter our message with half-truths, slander, and the ever-used sophistry. If a newbie [new user] or a lurker who [reads, and does not usually write] seems sincere inquires about racial science, deal with them ONLY via e-mail.... Avoid non- productive debates with enemy activists. Remember; our overall USENET strategy must be to repeat powerful themes OVER AND OVER AND OVER. Wyatt Kaldenberg, who uses the Net to promote Tom Metzger's White Aryan Resistance (WAR) group and who broke Geraldo Rivera's nose on national TV, has a similar approach. He typically expresses these ideas with pugnacious, "in your face" hostility. His barely contained rage is clear as he calls for extremists to descend on newsgroups en-masse: This ought to be our new tactic. Instead of hanging around the four racist newsgroups we can hit newsgroups as a mob. We cannot win when we are outnumbers [sic] by Jews but if we go in as a group we can win with the average Joe SIX [sic] Pack.... Post facts about black crime. Give them your update numbers. Web site addresses. Push books. Newspaper. [sic] Exploiting Another Racial Issue Ordinary Internet users might not suspect that the alt.fan.oj-simpson newsgroup would be a place to find neo- Nazis but, sensing the racial tensions generated by the Simpson case, the extremists flocked there, making this newsgroup a case study in the use of this technique. An examination of the postings to the alt.fan.oj-simpson group shows that some familiar neo-Nazis were indeed trolling the Internet for new recruits: Kleim, Kaldenberg, George Hawthorne of Resistance Records, which spreads the neo-Nazi Skinhead message through music, and some others took the offensive. In a variety of voices, ranging from relatively moderate to provocatively obscene and scatological, each declared that white people are now victims and should not take it anymore. Many closed their messages with an advertisement for the World Wide Web addresses of the National Alliance and various other white supremacist sites. (Hawthorne also pushed the site on which he peddles his records.) One self-identified Christian Identity "minister," Ronald C. Schoedel III, typed an elaborate "sig" (or signature message) complete with neo-Nazi slogans and a large, painstakingly typed graphic of a cross with the words "Hail Victory" or "Sieg Heil" superimposed on the cross. Obviously, these activists believe that there is an enormous potential audience for their virulent anti-black and anti-Semitic messages. Kaldenberg is certain of it. In one posting he crowed, "I have gotten over 100 email [sic] in 36 hours because of my posting. I posted the Aryan Update number there and it has been ringing off the hook." Kleim also believes that Net is the way to recruit. "There are millions of people who agree with us," he told .net, a mainstream, Internet-oriented magazine printed in England which did a piece on Internet extremists. "[They] feel isolated and helpless because they don't know who to contact to network with others who feel similarly.... USENET, in combination with the Web, offers an unparalleled opportunity for our Movement to get our views and, more importantly, our facts across to the general public.<4> Conclusion The USENET is gigantic: there are thousands of newsgroups with an enormous total readership. Its size and easy access almost inevitably would attract Kleim, Kaldenberg, White Aryan Resistance leader Tom Metzger and a cadre of others determined to spread their message of hate, anger and resentment. It is clear they are eager to proselytize and the Net is an attractive platform. How successful they will be is less clear. The Web sites can record the number of people who access the home page but outsiders cannot. Even counting the number of "hits," or contacts, made with the site would not provide the number of new members that each site generates. The relatively low cost of maintaining a Web page makes it possible to "show the flag" even if the harvest of new members is low. There is no doubt that the neo-Nazis have used the Internet to stir racial antagonism. Yet, these white- nationalist postings have also generated a vociferous backlash. Anti-racists, anti-fascists and "ordinary" people posted many replies, some equally strident, on the alt.fan.oj-simpson group. So even if they did not recruit many new followers, the National Alliance and its supporters managed to stir up racially polarizing rhetoric. Again, it is too soon to tell if this recruitment strategy will work. What we do know is that the neo-Nazis and their fellow-travelers have decided that the action is on the Internet. The haters realize they can leave their traditional hangouts and set up temporary recruiting posts anywhere on the Net, try to pick up new recruits and stir up even more hatred and distrust. The message is clear: The Internet is an important new communications tool used equally by the good and the ugly. It must be continuously monitored as another means of countering messages of u hate with information that exposes bigotry and promotes tolerance and decency. APPENDIX Selected Examples of Extremist Recruitment and Hate Messages on the Internet 1. Milton John Kleim Jr. A. From "On Tactics and Strategy for USENET" by Milton John Kleim Jr.: "USENET offers enormous opportunity for the Aryan Resistance to disseminate our message to the unaware and the ignorant. It is the only relatively uncensored (so far) free-forum mass medium which we have available. The State cannot yet stop us from "advertising" our ideas and organizations on USENET... NOW is the time to grasp the WEAPON which is the Net, and wield it skillfully and wisely while you may still do so freely." Crucial to our USENET campaign is that our message is disseminated beyond "our" group... We MUST move out beyond our present domain, and take up positions on "mainstream" groups... Find groups that require "tailored" messages: ... groups concerning politics and society would be suitable for our message about the Jewish-controlled media. Tailor your messages for each group. Our ideology has myriad facets, and the well-informed activist can extract something to fit onto just about every group. WARNING: Be aware that EVERYTHING you post will be seen by the Enemy. All of your posts may be catalogued and archived for future use by the Enemy, either by self-appointed "Net police"... or by lurkers from the so-called "Anti-Defamation League" and the "Simon Wiesenthal Center." DO NOT EVER post a message that advocates or supports an illegal act or activity. Be assured that any message you post that even hints of direct action will be archived! If you explicitly advocate illegality, such an expression will surely be used against you, possibly immediately, by the Secret Police. The First Amendment still guarantees a wide variety of political expression, and explicit advocacy of unlawful behavior is NOT necessary. If your understandable anger builds to a point where you must say SOMETHING, express your feelings by quoting the fourth clause of the Declaration of Independence and the ninth article of the Bill of Rights. Except on "our" groups, avoid the Race Issue. Side-step it as much as possible. We don't have the time to defend our stance on this issue against the comments of hundreds of fools, liars, and degenerates who, spouting the Jewish line, will slaughter our message with half-truths, slander, and the ever-used sophistry. Avoid engaging in non-productive debates with enemy activists. It is often difficult to distinguish between the Enemy's dedicated lackeys, and the misguided who are merely parroting what the Jewsmedia has taught them. Remember: our overall USENET strategy must be to repeat powerful themes OVER AND OVER AND OVER. We cannot compete with the Jewsmedia, of course, as our propaganda dissemination is but a very small fraction of the everywhere pervasive Zionist propaganda. However, our ideas possess an energy that truth alone contains. Our ideas, when matched one to one with the chimera of the Jews, overwhelm theirs with ease, because OURS ARE IN SYNC WITH REALITY. One well- written message containing our ideas has much greater "bang for the buck." Remember: SUSTAINED, electronic "guerilla warfare," "hit and run" style, using short, "self- contained" posts is a major component of our struggle. Put your Net access to good use, today and EVERY day! B. Yesterday, the world witnessed a great act of courage, an act of courage by a brave young man with a bright future. Twenty-seven-year-old Yigal Amir, an Israeli law student, recognized the dilemma facing his People, accepted his racial duty, and blew away a traitor to the Jewish People and the Jewish State. Amir put aside his "happiness" his egotism, his love of self, and PUT HIS PEOPLE FIRST... Are Jews more brave than Aryans? 2. Wyatt Kaldenberg A. Join the White Working Class revolution! Write the White Aryan Resistance... or call the Aryan Update... for a radical pro-White phone message. American Capitalism is falling apart. National Socialism is our only hope! B. Subject: Re: WHITE POWER WEB SITES GREAT MUSIC, GRAPHICS, AND ARTICLES ! George Hawthorne wrote: CHECK OUT STORMFRONT, a fantastic White Nationalist site with amazing graphics, articles, and up-to-date news... CHECK OUT RESISTANCE RECORDS, the world's only Pro-White Web Site, complete with music clips, graphics, and pictures... CALL THE WHITE ARYAN RESISTANCE, toll free, for a message on the OJ verdict: WAKE UP, WHITE AMERICA ! ! ! ! ! ! C. Kaldenberg also features a page with a computerized likeness of Hitler, superimposed on a swastika. D. Subject: Cells of Three The new way of posting on the newsgroups is to stay away from the four racist newsgroups. The only people who post there are racist and anti-racists, No new blood. It is a waste of our time to sing to the choir. The Jews are watching this list. So what we say is put in FTP sites. People should E-mail one another and talk privately about newsgroup you wish to hit. Get only three people. And hit a newsgroup. With three people you lessen the chance up [sic] posting with a Jew. I have created titles in some newsgroups that have lived for months and months. It [sic] funny. Liberals post attacks on my titles that will say something like Niggers, Niggers and I have not been there in months, but because of the liberal reply to my titles, not my posts for they are long gone, the Nigger titles are still there. Then Niggers see the titles and say something like fuck all you White motherfuckers, then a liberal will say "But all Whites don't hate blacks, etc." And the nigger title keeps go and go and go like that pink rabbit. It is a hoot!... My carrier has over 15,000 newsgroups. Let's try to hit everyone at least once. This is how we will build the movement. And make your titles radical as hell. Your posts will be gone in a few weeks, but a good radical titles [sic] could stay on for months, if not years. E. Following a colloquy about the relative merits of several hate groups and extremist publications: I have been involved with the movement since 1988. Over the past 7 years I have surveyed EVERY group and organization which I could contact . . . I avoided associating too close with any organization until this year. That is the National Alliance. If we have any chance of securing the biological and cultural heritage of our kind, then the Alliance is the BEST chance we have. It is time for people to cease their despicable hobbyism of joining a variety of "white nationalist organizations," and decide to support the undeniable leader in North America, it not the world. We will get nowhere by spreading our VERY, VERY limited resources to organizations that are of little or no use to our people. 3. From a posting citing the National Alliance website... For a catalog of over 300 patriotic books, tapes, and videos- many of them available nowhere else, because of government and media censorship, send $2 to National Vanguard Books. R. Logsdon then replies and comments: National Vanguard pays a moderate sum of money to maintain a web site with two and a half megs of data, for free, because they believe in what they are doing. They are not in it for the money. Do our money-grubbing pals in the ADL have a web site? No, of course not. How could they fly to Israel every month if they wasted their filthy money to combat racism on the net. Footnotes: 1. See ADL Report. "The Skinhead International: A Worldwide Survey of Neo-Nazi Skinheads -- (1995). p 21. Hawthorne's real name is George Burdi. 2. See ADL Research Report. "William L. Pierce: Novelist of Hate" (1995). 3. See ADL Special Edition. "The 'Kosher Tax' Hoax" (January 1991 ) 4. Crawford Kilian. "The Virtual Reich '.=. (October 1995). p. 47. Kleim himself posted this version of the article on the alt.revisionism USENET newsgroup on Sunday. October 22. 1995.
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