TERROR IN OKLAHOMA CITY : Book Called ‘Blueprint for Revolution’ : Publications: ‘The Turner Diaries’ circulates among right-wing groups. It depicts a bombing strikingly similar to the Oklahoma City atrocity.
A virulently racist book that fosters hatred of the federal government and depicts a car bombing of FBI headquarters using ammonium nitrate fertilizer--the type of explosive used in the Oklahoma City attack--has circulated among some of the nation’s most extreme right-wing groups for almost two decades.
The bombing portrayed in “The Turner Diaries” bears a striking resemblance to what happened in Oklahoma City, according to some experts who study hate groups. For example, in the book--which the FBI has called “a blueprint for revolution"--the bombing takes place at 9:15 a.m., almost precisely the time of day of the Oklahoma City explosion.
In at least one other case, an armed robbery staged by a white supremacist in Seattle a decade ago, FBI officials said they believed the perpetrator had copied some aspects of his crime from the “Turner Diaries” plot.
In that case, Robert J. Mathews was charged in a $500,000 armed robbery and counterfeiting scheme that officials said was aimed at financing efforts to overthrow the government. In a formal complaint in the Seattle case, FBI agent Norman D. Stephenson said that Mathews had founded the hate group White American Bastion and had closely followed the plot of “The Turner Diaries.”
After wounding an FBI agent while escaping from a hotel in Portland, Ore., Mathews burned to death after a 34-hour standoff with FBI agents. The agents accidentally ignited the house Mathews was in with illumination flares.
A specialist in studying hate groups, who declined to be identified, said that a member of one of the groups gave him a copy of the book about two months ago “as something I should read if I wanted to understand the far-right extremists.”
“I read it last February; it left me depressed,” the specialist said. “It’s written as a novel, but it isn’t a novel.”
The book is intended to create “paranoia and fear” in America, says another expert, Danny Welch, an investigator for Klanwatch of Montgomery, Ala., which monitors hate groups. “The Turner Diaries” has circulated among groups connected with heavily armed separatists who have fought gun battles in recent years with federal agents in several states, including Washington in 1984 and Idaho in 1992.
Many of the organizations have tried to recruit members from the military.
The book’s author and publisher, William L. Pierce, is the leader of the neo-Nazi National Alliance, an extremist group that government officials allege advocates violence and crime. It carries the imprint of National Vanguard Books of Hillsboro, W.V.
Pierce, 61, who moved to Hillsboro about 10 years ago after spending 18 years with the National Alliance in Washington, has produced hundreds of racist, anti-Semitic books, audiocassettes and videos. He uses the pen name “Andrew Macdonald.”
A former assistant professor of physics at Oregon State University, Pierce was a graduate student at Cal Tech and once worked at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena.
Contacted by phone at his home in Hillsboro, Pierce said that “The Turner Diaries” is in its seventh printing and has sold 200,000 copies. But, he added, “I’ve not got the faintest idea whether people arrested or others who might have been involved in the Oklahoma City bombing have even heard of the book.”
He contended that the book’s plot is “irrelevant” to the bombing but added that “the general philosophy that motivated the protagonist” in the book is “my philosophy.”
“The Turner Diaries” targets for hate and violence not only government officials but blacks, Jews, journalists, immigrants, liberals, gun-control advocates and anyone who supports the federal government. On its back cover, under the heading “What Will You Do When They Come for Your Guns,” the book declares that the FBI has labeled it “the bible of the racist right . . . if the government had the power to ban books, this one would be at the top of its list.”
The plot of the book describes how well-armed “patriots” of the “Organization” use sabotage and assassination in a winning fight against the “System” (government).
At one point, the book’s narrator, a rank-and-file member of the “Organization,” warns of settling a score with the Washington Post and declares, “One day we will have a truly free American press in this country, but a lot of editors’ throats will have to be cut first.”
Much of the more virulent passages are aimed at Jews, with echoes of Nazi Germany. “Patriots” were ordered to execute anyone who harbored Jews. And Jews “were shoved into hastily formed columns and started on their no-return march to the canyon in the foothills north of the city.”