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Close Encounters of the Racist Kind: A Guide to Modern Far Right

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On Dec 6, 1830, Andrew Jackson used his second State of the Union residence to urge the Indian Removal Act, the administration’s solitary legislative victory. He described the law promulgating the exclusion and resettlement of southeastern Native American tribes as the “happy consummation” of U.S. Indian policy. To his critics who “wept over the predestine of the aborigines” — and who, it incited out, accurately likely the horrors of the forced migrations famous collectively to story as the Trail of Tears — Jackson offering an archeology lesson. Any “melancholy reflections” were ahistorical, he said, since the Indians were conjunction trusting victims nor first peoples, but perpetrators of what Jackson’s complicated admirers competence call “white genocide.”

Jackson knew this since the justification was everywhere in plain sight.

“In the monuments and fortifications of an different people, we spy the memorials of a once-powerful race,” pronounced Jackson, “exterminated to make room for the existent monster tribes.”


This anxiety to a “once-powerful race” was not lost on the American open of 1830. Every schoolboy and girl knew it to be the Lost Race of the Mound Builders, believed to be the continent’s strange Caucasian inhabitants. From the colonial epoch into the twentieth century, it was widely supposed that certain gritty structures and funeral grounds valid the existence of “white” or Indo-European peoples who staid North America only to be wiped out by the attainment of Jackson’s “savage (Asiatic) tribes.”

As the country stretched west, the “Moundbuilders” parable had apparent utility: If the Indians broken progressing waves of (white) settlers, their own murder was just another spin of history’s wheel.

In the early 1890s, the U.S. ethnologist Cyrus Vance discredited the speculation in a series published by the Smithsonian Institution. But the thought of a pre-Colombian “white genocide” never disappeared. It survived in subcultures, shabby by the mystic and Atlantis legends, which clung to theories of lost ancient super-civilizations that, curiously, always seemed to be racially “white.”

In new decades, as justification of a richer paleoamerican record than formerly satisfied has come to light, Jackson’s “once-powerful race” has found a new era of boosters on the distant right, where fantasies of “white genocide” distantly past and now maturation are an animating obsession.

In the fractured and constantly cross-fertilizing universe of nonconformist swindling culture, the white Moundbuilders — now famous on the distant right as “the Solutreans” — share a theatre with other characters from an ancient and racially stately but “suppressed” past: ancient Nordic-looking astronauts, biblical Aryan giants, Nazi scientists under the South Pole, and the occasional inter-dimensional visitor in joining with the Jews.

Alt-History Goes Prime Time

Over the last decade, the History Channel has exploited and fueled the popularization of choice archeology, or alt-history. Numerous programs on the network showcase ideas that, while not categorically nonconformist or anti-Semitic, have origins in colonial projects and have been championed (for a reason) by complicated extremists.

Take “America Unearthed,” which aired between 2012 and 2015 on H2, a gone History Channel network. That show’s host, a geologist named Scott Wolter, promoted theories that ancient Celts and Scots staid North America and hybridized Native Americans centuries before Columbus. The sum can be found in Wolter’s contributions to Lost Worlds of Ancient America, a 2012 anthology edited by Frank Joseph, innate Frank Collin, founder of the National Socialist Party of America. (In 1993, following his exclusion from the party for “impure blood”, Collin became editor of Ancient American magazine and has authored dozens of books traffic with ancient “suppressed” history.) In another episode, when a guest professes indebtedness for the Knights of the Golden Circle, a organisation of rich Southerners who sought to create a hemispheric worker empire, Wolter just nods. (Wolter has denied that he or his ideas are racist, and claims to be politically liberal.)

Whatever the personal politics of the host, these shows offer as vectors for nonconformist ideas and scholarship, argues the eccentric academician Jason Colavito, who has been tracking this cultural crossover and loudness of border story for years. In books like Foundations of Atlantis, Ancient Astronauts, and Other Alternative Pasts, Colavito explores and debunks many of the ideas promoted on the History Channel and distant right websites alike.

“These shows offer as entrance points for discredited nineteenth-century ideas and indicate viewers toward the sources of nonconformist pseudo-scholarship and politics,” says Colavito. “The thought that aliens built the pyramids isn’t so humorous when it draws immature people to websites that fast switch out aliens for Jews and start articulate about gas chambers.”

Shows like “America Unearthed” are heavily discussed on white jingoist alt-history forums, as good as ubiquitous distant right domestic sites like Stormfront. They are customarily praised for introducing viewers to variations on the Solutrean Hypothesis (see below) and lifting the form of nonconformist pseudo-scholarship.

Consider the H2 series “In Search of Aliens,” which, before its demise, promoted the work of Jan Udo Holey, a German author whose antisemitic books have been banned opposite Europe. (Holey’s pen name, Jan Van Helsig, is a blunt Dracula reference, i.e. Jews are bloodsuckers.) The History Channel’s long-running series “Ancient Aliens,” meanwhile, facilities David Childress, whose books cite and build on the work of James Churchward, who promoted an ancient sovereignty called the “lost continent of Mu,” whose “dominant race” was an “exceedingly large people, with transparent white or olive skin.”

While the interest of these theories has roots in Jacksonian justification for Manifest Destiny, their stream manifestations are closely intertwined with the vicious harm complexes that motivate the complicated distant right .

“Pseudo-histories feed the vanity and aggrievement of neo-Nazis and alt-right folk,” says Benjamin Radford, a associate with the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry who has created widely on pseudo-history and claims of paranormal activity. “They feel their legitimate place in the universe has been denied them — by ‘Big Archeology’, by Jews, by an rough government.” 

There is another source of the distant right’s far-out ideas about ancient history, one that requires no psychologizing.

The Nazi Connection  

The simple beliefs of alt-archeology and alt-history were foundational to the beliefs and program of National Socialism, but the Nazis did not invent them. The Nazi faith in a pristine Aryan race with a stately ancient past and graphic genetic story was executive to a transatlantic nineteenth-century mystic stage (that featured a complicated German influence.) After Hitler insincere power, this faith was institutionalized in the form of the Ancestral Heritage and Teaching Society, or the Ahnenerbe, an alt-archeology investigate outfit founded by Heinrich Himmler and the Atlantis idealist Herman Wirth.

Under the ensign of the Ahnerbe, Nazi explorers fanned out opposite Europe and the creation in hunt of corpse holding (possibly supernatural) hints of ancient Aryan glory. In 1938, a organisation was dispatched to Iceland in hunt of the lost Aryan civilization of Thule, which Nazi leaders detected in an Icelandic epic poem. Among the Nazis’ interests in Thule was the fable of a race of ancient Aryan giants. (Versions of this parable sojourn common among biblically focused alt-historians like Steve Quayle and L.A. Marzulli.)

Belief in these legends was probable since of the Nazis’ pointy rejecting of the Enlightenment. Dismissing the scholarship of secular diversification and the archeological record, they reveled in symbology, misconceptions and legends of “pure” ancient kingdoms that cowed the universe under its symbol, the swastika. (This, the Nazis believed, explained the symbol’s participation in both Native American and Indian art.)

The Solutreans and the Original “White Genocide”

In the U.S., the normal member of the distant right is likely some-more informed with the complicated chronicle of Jackson’s Race of the Moundbuilders, famous as the Solutreans.

The name is taken from a supposition first promoted in the 1930s by the American archeologist Frank Hibben, who detected arrowheads in North America that pre-dated the beginning Native American enlightenment famous at the time, the Clovis. The arrowheads, argued Hibben, resembled those of the Solutreans, a Stone Age people who inhabited southwestern Europe. Most of the margin fast discharged the likeness as meaningless, but Hibben found adherents among those emotional for a new and some-more scientifically critical chronicle of Jackson’s “once-powerful race.” For them, the arrowheads (and other contested findings) infer that “European” Solutreans migrated to America opposite the northern ice-shelf millennia before “the Mongoloids” (as Solutrean adherents are good to report Native Americans.)

There is a second punchline to white nationalists stability to hold up the Solutreans as victims of a antiquated white harm drama: Most scholars trust the Solutreans preceded secular diversification, and their arrowheads are artifacts of a coloured people not prolonged out of North Africa.

Atlantis, Aliens Ancient Astronauts

In 1882, a decade before the Smithsonian debunked the Race of the Moundbuilders, a Minnesota Congressman and author named Ignatius Loyola Donnelly published Atlantis: The Antediluvian World. The book supposing another and some-more elaborate speculation of an Aryan-looking super civilization that diffused record to the rest of the world. Donnell’s book, formed on mentions of Atlantis by Plato, cut the template for the sci-fi-tinged lost white civilization theories now experiencing a reconstruction on wire radio and beyond. 

But just as Atlantis speculation gained traction following the debunking of the Moundbuilders, so have theories of ancient Aryan astronauts superseded Atlantis with the mapping of the oceans and their floors.

“When there was nowhere left to explore, a organisation of thinkers started to plan these ideas into the sky,” says Colavito, the historian. “Today, ancient astronauts are one of the some-more elaborate theories in pseudo-history with a nonconformist component.”

In the 1960s and 70s, Erich von Daniken and Zecharia Sitchin put a turn on misconceptions about Aryan visitors from a lost civilization predating the last Ice Age. These visitors to Mesoamerica didn’t come from Atlantis but from the sky. Bestsellers like von Daniken’s Chariots of the Gods (seven million sole and counting) popularized the thought that Aryan-looking aliens brought scholarship and record to obsolete peoples around the world. In new years, Graham Hancock has repackaged Ancient Astronaut Theory for a new era in his bestselling Fingerprints of the Gods, and by solid work as a History Channel articulate head.

Today’s distant right is divided on Ancient Astronaut theory. On the one hand, it denies group to redskin peoples, and facilities Aryan-looking heroes, which they consider good things; but it also deprives ancient (human) Aryans of the accomplishments credited to them so expensively in Atlantis and other theories.

Consider the case of Patrick Chouinard, a inclusive author who operates the alt-history sites RenegadeTribune.com and ancientaryans.com. (The latter site’s symbol, the Norse rune, was also the trademark of the Nazi Ahnenerbe.) Like the Nazis, the sites are dedicated to recapturing a lost, pristine Aryan civilization — one deferential of, but not contingent on visitor life. In September, Chouinard expel a vicious eye on the arriving tenth deteriorate of the History Channel’s Ancient Aliens, in an article titled “Are Ancient Aliens Theorists Selling Our People Short?”

Chouinard believes they are. He cites an old part of the H2’s In Search of Aliens in which the hosts, Giorgio Tsoukalos and David Childress (see above), try the purported poser of some “elongated skulls” detected in Peru. Chouinard scoffs at the hosts’ finish that the skulls belonged to aliens. Rather, he argued, reconstructions “show a very Nordic facial structure with [a] outrageous cranium.” This could be proof, furthermore, of “a apart bend of the White race the went along its own evolutionary trail over 5,000 years ago.”

And who, you competence wonder, does Chouinard trust is behind the Ancient Alien Theory that is “selling his people short”?

“The Jews,” writes Chouinard, “are using … the ancient visitor stay to obscure the race to the indicate that we repudiate the own accomplishments. The White race did not need ancient aliens to build the ancient civilizations, or to found other civilizations in remote corners of the Earth. Our race is able of so much more.”

In 2018, it is dangerous in alt-ancient story circles to totally bonus Ancient Aliens. Chouinard knows this. Rather than risk alienating his readers, he concedes, “It is very probable that visitations from extraterrestrials did occur in ancient times, [but] we will not interpretation that the infancy of the accomplishments as a race can be attributed to extraterrestrials.”

UFOs “Refracted” Anti-Semitism

Massive and hopelessly perplexing cover-ups. Nefarious visitor races with gnomish earthy features. Tales of secret Nazi super-technologies. It was always unavoidable that the UFO and distant right scenes would finish up in bed together. UFO enlightenment expel a shade over all in the postwar years, and as remarkable above, the distant right has never been a foreigner to the supernatural.

In Culture of Conspiracy, the historian Michael Barkun locates the early 1990s as the decade this joining accelerated. Books like William Cooper’s Behold a Pale Horseand journals published by Gyeorgos Ceres Hatonn described UFO conspiracies that fit snugly into the New World Order swindling template, heavily conversion that decade’s company movement. (Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh was reportedly a fan of Cooper’s radio show.)  

But the seeds of this kinship are much deeper in the postwar record. One of the many critical early UFO writers in the early 1950s, William Dudley Pelly, was an American occultist and fascist; his many critical disciple, George Hunt Williamson, constructed Byzantine UFO theories that incorporated anti-Semitic themes. Williamson’s 1958 book, UFOs Confidential, claimed every supervision on earth was under the control of a handful of (mostly Jewish) “international bankers,” which for some reason the author believed enclosed U.S. Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter.   

Pelley and Williamson’s successors are not always or even mostly so blatantly anti-Semitic. But the fingerprints of anti-Semites are manifest in the works of successful complicated UFO writers like Jim Marrs and Jim Keith. These fingerprints seem in what Barkun calls “refracted injustice and anti-Semitism,” in which old tropes are repackaged as an part of the X-Files. This repackaging mostly includes not very pointed distinctions between “benevolent” aliens (tall, Aryan-looking) and “malevolent” aliens (short, grotesque, mostly in joining with “international bankers”).

More than anyone else, the British conspiracist David Icke has popularized the Alien chronicle of New World Order conspiracy. The former sportscaster’s elaborate speculation is the Sgt. Peppers album-cover of the genre, featuring the Masons, the Vatican, the Illuminati, the House of Windsor — everyone is there. At the core of the speculation is an visitor race of lizard people from the fifth-dimension. Though Icke has always denied trafficking in anti-Semitism, he has permitted the Protocols of the Elders of Zion — the famous forgery and foundational content of complicated anti-Semitism — choosing to call it “The Illuminati Protocols.”  

This is Barkun’s “refraction,” in action, and Icke’s shade is prolonged indeed, manifest opposite the distant right media spectrum.

Hollow Earth, Secret Nazi Labs the South Pole

Another unavoidable growth in postwar swindling subculture was the arise of a faith in secret Nazi bases underneath Antarctica. The thought of a “hollow” or “inner” earth was a pivotal principle of nineteenth-century occultism, and in the postwar years it reemerged as a environment for transient Nazi scientists operative in secret record and weapons labs.

The fable took bottom during the mid-1970s, nurtured by the Canadian neo-Nazi Ernst Zundel, who argued that Nazis invented drifting saucers and had taken their breakthrough record to bases low under the South Pole.

The Third Reich was meddlesome in a probable bottom at the South Pole, and a few high-level Nazis did shun to Argentina, whose inhabitant domain includes a cut of Antarctica fluctuating to the South Pole. Zundel and his successors have infused these contribution with Victorian inner-earth legends, and then cooking them over mixed viewings of the 1968 B-flick, They Saved Hitler’s Brain. Versions of the speculation sojourn renouned on neo-Nazi alt-history sites, and in new years British tabloids like the Mirrorand Daily Star have found click-bait bullion in swelling them.

The story’s diligence led Colin Summerhayes of Cambridge University’s Polar Research Institute to demeanour into the matter. In a 2006 book of The Polar Record, Summerhayes presented his heavily footnoted and researched finish that secret Nazi bases do not exist, and have never existed, on or next Antarctica.

As downright as it was, it is doubtful Summerhayes’ study had much impact among the theory’s adherents. It was, after all, competing with an ever expanding bolt of “hidden history” books, podcasts and websites. One of many such titles to seem that year was SS Brotherhood of the Bell: The Nazi’s Incredible Secret Technology, penned by Joseph P. Farrell, a inclusive alt-historian and unchanging on Red Ice Radio.

Alexander Zaitchik is a publisher vital in New Orleans.

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