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Literature / The Turner Diaries

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"Then, of course, came the mopping-up period, when the last of the non-White bands were hunted down and exterminated, followed by the final purge of undesirable racial elements among the remaining White population ... But it was in the year 1999, according to the chronology of the Old Era — just 110 years after the birth of The Great Onenote  — that the dream of a White world finally became a certainty."
—A terrifying vision of the future....shame this is supposed to be the Happy Ending. Yeah.

One of the most important books of the white supremacist movement, and one of the most controversial books of its kind since Mein Kampf, The Turner Diaries is about a group of white supremacists who are fighting a guerrilla war against the US government in a dystopian era where, controlled by the Israeli Zionists and using the blacks as shock troops, the government terrorizes the public into supporting the "mongrelization" of the white race.

It was written by William Luther Pierce, founder of the white nationalist and Neo-Nazi group National Alliance, under the Pen Name Andrew Macdonald. He also wrote Hunter under the same pen name and scripted The Saga of White Will under his real name.

The story was first released in serial form in the National Alliance's monthly publication Attack! between 1975 and 1978, before being collected into a book in 1978, and has since been mostly sold across the US through mail-orders in gun magazines, gunshow circuits, under the counter in various gunstores, and at far-right political meetings and conventions. It has since become infamous for inspiring numerous hate crimes and acts of terrorism by white supremacists and other members of the militant far-right — not just in the US, but also internationally — including several murders, robberies, and bombings.


Arguably influenced the Northwest Front series of books, which is also a white nationalist revolution book.

Compare with its Tabletop RPG equivalent, Racial Holy War.

Provides examples of:

  • Apocalypse How: A Class 1 takes place at the end of the novel, with most of humanity dead and huge swathes of the world rendered uninhabitable. This is the work of the protagonists, and is presented as an unambiguously good thing, since the Organization's pure white civilization is all that remains.
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  • Apocalyptic Log: Averted. The final chapter switches to third person narration to describe the protagonist's suicide mission.
  • Artistic License – Law:
    • The Cohen Act that bans all private ownership of guns blatantly violates the Second Amendment and apparently makes no attempt to skirt around it.
    • The Supreme Court has decriminalized rape due to Political Correctness Gone Mad, the idea being that only men are prosecuted for this crime, which is complete nonsense.
  • Artistic License – Military:
    • Apparently, we are supposed to believe that the US Army would allow military discipline to sink below Vietnam War levels at their worst and be utterly incompetent at stopping a right wing terrorist group from getting their hands on nuclear launch control codes and working nukes.
    • Similarly, there's a throwaway line about the "Chinese problem" being "solved" with nukes, seemingly with no ill-effects anywhere else in the world or Chinese retaliation.
      • Although there are a few lines explaining that the primitive Chinese ICBMs were intercepted and pre-emptively struck. An unlikely, but possible situation. It is also explicitly stated that Asia is a horrific wasteland. So the author DID at least try to explain what happened between the Final War and New Society.
  • Artistic License – Religion: Judaism is grossly misrepresented. Of course, since self-described Aryans see Judaism as a race, and a foreign one at that, their religious beliefs just aren't that important.
  • Asshole Victim: How the book portrays any white person that doesn't share the protagonist's insane political views.
  • Author Tract: No attempts are made to hide the fact that the book is ultranationalist, white supremacist propaganda.
  • Bondage Is Bad: Sadomasochists are considered sexual deviants by the protagonists.
  • Bread and Circuses: How the Jews control the masses.
  • Category Traitor: The base premise is that being white without being a racist is a form of extreme betrayal.
  • China Takes Over the World: Or at least attempts to near the end. When they try to take European Russia, having apparently swallowed Siberia and most of Asia beforehand, the Organization bombs into oblivion.
  • Conspicuously Public Assassination: The Organization assassinates the head of Chicago's Jewish community like this.
  • The Conspiracy: The Jews control everything. Everything. And somehow lose.
  • Cool Old Guy: What Henry is meant to be. He's an elderly racist who drops in and out of the narrative to share his "wisdom" with the younger activists.
  • Corrupt Bureaucrat: The Organization manages to get around a number of regulations through bribery and under-the-table deals.
  • Cop Killer: A few members of the Organization kill the sheriff of Cook County in retaliation of the deaths of one of their members. Later, these members get into a shoot out with the police and target exclusively black officers.
  • Cosy Catastrophe: The climax of the book involves a literal nuclear war where hundreds of nukes are launched and dozens of cities are completely destroyed by megaton nuclear weapons and yet there's absolutely no mention of the nuclear winter that surely must have occurred. In the epilogue it's revealed the Organization again uses a large amount of nukes and biological weapons against the Chinese army and causes massive swaths of land in Asia to be uninhabitable but none of the fallout or biological weapons seem to blow back onto the Organization.
  • Crapsaccharine World: The US at the start of the book; Guns have just been outlawed, second amendment be damned, the government has begun behaving like a second Gestapo, and whites are finding their dominion threatened by Jews and minorities. This changes to straight up Crapsack World after the "heroes" begin their genocide, and goes downhill from there until all non-whites and "race traitors" in the entire world have been murdered leaving the handful of psychotic neo-nazi survivors in control of the planet in what amounts to a "Reich 3.5" if you will.
  • Deadly Gas: The Organization uses it as a weapon.
  • Deep South: The Organization spreads here later in the book. However, they ironically have little respect for rednecks.
  • Dehumanization: The intent of the book is to depict all non-whites and Jews (as well as any white who don't agree with the goal) as less than human.
  • Dirty Communists: The Soviet Union is a major antagonist. However, Turner notes that "the Organization's white brothers" in the Soviet Union made sacrifices for the cause.
  • Easy Logistics: The entire logistics of the Organization make it clear the author didn't even bother making anything believable or even make any lick of sense. At the beginning of the book the Organization is quoted as having under 2,000 members and yet somehow has undercover operatives and spies in almost every level of local, state, and federal government in addition to actual armed militia groups. The group somehow devises a scheme that can root out government infiltrators, traitors or saboteurs that is 100% effective and yet the government itself is infiltrated constantly. The biggest problem comes at a turning point in the book during the Battle of Los Angeles when the racist Organization somehow takes over all of Southern California using only 500 lightly armed Organization members. Let me repeat that, an organization made up of 500 people somehow takes over an area with roughly 15 million people. In opposition to them are over 10,000 members of the LAPD who are pointed out as haven't been infiltrated at all by the organization, and over 50,000 National Guard troops stationed all over Los Angeles in a preventive measure against terrorism, and that's just forces that are confirmed to be 100% loyal to the United States. It's stated in the book that the LAPD is able to launch 300 police officer raids of Organization compounds with relative impunity for most of the battle in addition to whatever tanks, helicopters and other military vehicles the National Guard are confirmed to have at their disposal. All of these numbers are directly stated in the books and despite the sheer advantage in numbers and equipment the police and guard have the Organization inconceivably rolls right over them.
  • Equal-Opportunity Evil: Literally; the concept of "equal opportunity" is taken as evil in and of itself.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: The Organization is an unashamedly genocidal, hypocritical, and virulently xenophobic neo-nazi organization, but even they think rape is wrong... Until it suits them, that is.
  • Feeling Oppressed by Their Existence: At the end of the book, the Aryan race is finally "liberated" as the protagonists let atomic, biological and chemical bombs rain over the entire planet, exterminating about 90% of mankind.
  • Final Solution: The Organization plans to wipe out all Jews and non-whites (except maybe Arabs).
  • Forbidden Zone: Asia becomes this after all the nuclear, chemical, and biological bombings by the Organization, creating a 16 million square mile wasteland called the Great Eastern Waste, now mostly devoid of life aside from roaming gangs of mutants. It's expected to remain unsuitable for white colonization for at least another century.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: The "hero", Earl Turner, was once just an electrical engineer. However, he became one of the Organization's most active members.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: For a given value of "heroic", Earl gives his life to destroy the Pentagon and save the Order.
  • Heteronormative Crusader: The book uses public acceptance of fetishism, sadomasochism and homosexuality as an example of why society is decadent and has to be destroyed.
  • Hide Your Children: Children, especially those of minorities, are largely absent.
  • Hit So Hard, the Calendar Felt It: During the epilogue, it is explained that in 2000, they reset the years to coincide with the annihilation of all minority races in the country after the Organization took control and the white nationalist revolution worldwide.
  • Hypocrite: In universe, the anti-racists use many of the exact same tactics as the racists, which is lampshaded. That said, the racists who do the lampshading do so through the lens of Protagonist-Centered Morality, since when they do it, they consider it justified and moral.
    • Also, some politicians and journalists who supported the Cohen Act failed to turn in their guns.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: At about the midpoint of the book, food scarcity has gotten so bad the protagonist notes black people have resorted to cannibalism. Only the blacks, however...
  • Insane Troll Logic: There's a lot of it in the book, both intentional and otherwise.
    • The entire ending reaches an absolute wall-banging levels of insane troll logic that had to be read to be believed. The Organization has heard info that the United States is about to nuke the Organization's enclave in Southern California in response to their own nukings of Miami and Charleston using suitcase nukes. In order to prevent this from happening the Organization decide to fire off their own ballistic nukes from their only missile silos at Vandenberg at targets at both New York City for revenge but also at the Soviet Union to force a counter response. The first thing wrong with this is that in order to prevent their own imminent nuking they decide to launch nukes at the United States which is obviously just going to bring an earlier retaliatory strike and doesn't do anything to prevent the launches anyway. They decide that if they were to nuke the Soviet Union too they would force a Soviet response in kind and damage the United States itself via the Soviet retaliatory strike. Now where it goes off the wall is that the Organization phones the Pentagon after the launches and tells them that the only way they can get out of this is by themselves joining the nuclear strike on the Soviets to destroy the Soviet missiles before they're able to launch in response. The massive problem with this is that the Organization has already nuked two American cities and released a proclamation stating their end goal is to kill off all non-whites on the planet Earth. The United States could easily have contacted the Soviets and told them that the missiles were launched by the Organization and not themselves and the Soviets could have seen that the missile launches were coming from Organization territory and might prevent a Soviet retaliatory attack on the United States itself. Even if the Soviets still nuke in response at least the United States has a clear and justifiable reason to nuke the Organization to glass later and get world sympathy. Instead the United States somehow decide that going along with the Organization is the perfect plan and start launching nukes at the Soviets. Despite the surprise enough Soviet nukes get through to destroy twenty major American cities and kill sixty million Americans instantly. Now at least you can reason that since it's the end of the world and all that at least the Organization is now a flaming wreck too since they started the nuclear exchange in the first place right? Nah, the United states only launches one nuke at California, which destroys the now empty missile silos. Somehow the Organization is able to prevent their California Enclave from getting nuked by launching nukes preemptively at the two countries with the largest nuclear stockpiles in the world and escape from it largely unscathed.
  • In the Future, Humans Will Be One Race: The Organization invokes this trope via nuking all nonwhite peoples into oblivion by the end of the book.
  • Irony: The concept of civil rights is brought up in relation to the ban on the private ownership of guns which, as the protagonist brings up, is at odds with the Constitution. Much of The Organization's actions could also be contested in exactly the same way.
    • By the end of the book, the Arabs are silently cheered on as they kill off the people of Israel, and are even regarded rather positively... by a team of white nationalist terrorists. In the real world, the book's author would later come rather close to praising al-Qaeda for the 9/11 attacks, which the "Jew-loving" U.S. "deserved", according to him.
      • There is some slight and disturbing Truth in Television to this. The mutual hatred for Jews in the white and Middle Eastern far right has led to some Enemy Mine situations. The Nazis invoking this seem to come in two flavors. The first are the Islamophiles that think the white race would be better off exterminating all other races as Muslim jihadists (Too Dumb to Live never mind the fact that the prophets were all various types of Semites) as opposed to "Jewish" Christians. The second are Arab nationalist lovers that respect people like Saddam for standing against Jews and Islamists (who the Nazis and Arab Nationalists see as Jewish pawns).
      • It was also true domestically. George Lincoln Rockwell, founder of the American Nazi Party, spoke at several Nation of Islam rallies. He called Elijah Muhammad "the black Adolf Hitler" and even shared a stage with Malcolm X on several occasions. Keep in mind that at that stage in his life Malcolm X opposed race-mixing and was rabidly anti-Semitic.
    • The Nazis hated Slavs but liked East Asians (Hitler even called the Japanese "honorary Aryans" and begrudgingly admitted that Chinese and Japanese history was full of amazing feats, content to have the Orient controlled by East Asians so as long as the Occident was Aryan dominant). For the Organization and the Order (the Real Life organization inspired from this book), it's the opposite, which makes their deification of Adolf Hitler as "the great one" and their claim of being a direct heir to the SS all the more idiotic.
    • Slavs are starting to become more accepted in white nationalist environs, partly because of Russian conduct in Chechnya and Syria, and partly because of rising Far-Right sentiment in that country. Some Neo-Nazis, especially in America given that white Americans tend to be a mix of various ethnic groups (sometimes even Non-European ones), tend to favor white supremacy over ethnic supremacy like Nordic or Slavic supremacism or even ethno-national supremacy like what was demonstrated when various Yugoslav groups exterminated each other in the 90's. Even back in World War II it was not uncommon for the European far right to decry America as a mongrel nation whose whites were too mixed.
    • Turner is furious that normal Americans could accept violations of their civil liberties as long as the economy is okay and the media manipulates them, a lot like real life Nazi Germany. (Many American Neo-Nazis are interesting in holding onto somewhat Libertarian imagery compared to their European counterparts based on the fact that America's founding principles are closer to individualist enlightenment guidelines as opposed to some mythicized ancient civilization, and thus ignore or can't realize that the society they want requires a totalitarian government with the ability for unprecedented overreach.)
    • One character who shows up later in the novel is a Right-Wing Militia Fanatic general who serves as a villain...because while he is basically a John Bircher, he is opposed to racism and anti-Semitism and is thus viewed as a Category Traitor to the protagonists.
  • It Is Beyond Saving: How the Organization feels about the current society.
  • The Klan: The Order, the inner circle of the Organization, is essentially this. They even wear robes at their meetings.
  • La Résistance: The Organization, who carry out a murderous campaign of terror to undermine the US government up to and including setting off nuclear weapons to destroy Baltimore, New York City, start a nuclear war against the Soviet Union and annihilate Israel, flying a plane loaded with a nuclear weapon on a suicide mission to destroy the Pentagon and then wiping out Toronto and covering all of Eurasia east of the Urals with biological and chemical weapons to wipe out the Chinese.
  • The Mafia: They get into fights with the Organization, because they are supposedly controlled by the Jews. After a time, all members of the Mafia are executed.
  • Malcolm Xerox: If a black character isn't portrayed as a Gangbanger, they are portrayed as this.
  • Moral Dissonance: Lots of it. For example, at one point an Israeli higher-up starts shooting up and massacring a random passing white family in a fit of rage — we're supposed to see it as a depraved crime, though at this point the Organization doesn't really care about deaths of random white people — who knows if they weren't another bunch fit only for extermination?
    • Turner also watches a teenager he knew getting lynched by the Organisation. Though he admits to feel sympathetic towards her for getting summarily executed in such a brutal manner, he ultimately reasons that it was necessary, because it sends the signal that no one can from the punishment of breaking the Organisation's rules, no matter their excuse. This is despite the fact that Turner was earlier explicitly ordered by the Organisation to commit suicide rather than letting himself getting taken alive, but when he was actually cornered by law enforcement, he ultimately chickened out and allowed himself to be captured. But he is very easily let off the hook for this once he makes his escape and regroups with the Organisation, simply because he was able to come up with a convincing enough excuse.
  • Mutually Assured Destruction: The author doesn't seem to understand the concept very well. Several times the Organization uses nuclear weapons on civilian targets and yet nobody thinks to use nuclear weapons to strike back at them despite the fact it's made abundantly clear that the organization is going to keep using them regardless. At the climax of the book the Organization forces both the United States and the Soviet Union to start launching nukes at each other and at no point does the United States think to just nuke the Organization's headquarters in Los Angeles since nukes are already flying anyway and MAD is already in progress. Gets rather ridiculous when 60 million Americans have perished and New York City and Baltimore have been wiped off the map due to Organization and Soviet nukes and yet the Organization still threatens to use nukes on the United States to get them to not nuke their headquarters despite the fact they already did so multiple times and have been actively using them.
  • Nazi Protagonist: Although it's more like Neo-Nazi protagonist given that as one can see throughout the page, the Organization (generally unwittingly) can't even mirror Nazi Germany's principles word for word.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: Or in this case a Paladin Press blurb; those readers who mail-ordered this book in The '80s in the belief that it was just another pulp thriller got a nasty shock.
  • No Kill Like Overkill: New York City is completely flattened by no less than 18 nukes launched by the Organization, killing 14 million people.
    • After the collapse of the System, thousands of Jewish refugees from the United States flee into Toronto. The Organization's solution is to nuke the city as well.
  • No Historical Figures Were Harmed: The book makes allusions to "The Great One", a historical figure Earl Turner's group considers one of the biggest luminaries of history. But even from the few facts told about him, especially that he was born in 1889, it is pretty transparent, even bordering on outright blatant, that they are actually talking about Adolf Hitler.
  • Not Helping Your Case: A meta example. The book is a white supremacist Author Tract, and yet its existence ends up providing one of the best arguments against white supremacy, as it presents the causing of a Class 1 Apocalypse How as a happy ending, thus delivering the Accidental Aesop that white supremacy will literally end the world if allowed to flourish, and that even the surviving white supremacists would live extremely difficult lives for centuries to come. It proves that fighting white supremacy is in the best interest of everyone, even the white supremacists themselves.
  • Nuke 'em: Towards the end of the book, nukes are used with alarming frequency.
  • Plot Hole: Major Plot Hole - The author uses the passage of the Cohen act and subsequent seizure of arms from Americans as the reason why nobody gives the Organization any resistance when they begin to actually take and hold territory and persecute the people within. However the author makes it very clear early on that the arms seizures were aiming primarily at whites and minorities were largely exempt from the seizures due to political reasons. This makes the entire idea that the Organization is able to round up millions of people for execution when they only have a few dozen Organization members at most in each huge area performing the executions without any resistance extremely improbable if not downright impossible.
  • Pride Parade: The novel features a Pride Parade and make a note of how they are getting more inclusive over time, now extending to include fetishists and such. It serves as an example of how the Jews control the world and weaken the Pure Aryan Race through the power of perversion.
  • Protagonist-Centered Morality: The Organization uses many of the same tactics as their enemies. Of course, it's justified when they do it, but when their foes use those techniques, it shows how evil and depraved they are.
  • The Purge: The Day of the Rope. To cut a long story short, the protagonists conquer Los Angeles and proceed to massacre every non-white person, every white person who has ever befriended a non-white (with special focus on those who slept with them), then any whites who opposed them.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: One of the few things the the book is relatively consistent on, and the text makes it clear that the crime itself, regardless of who it's inflicted on, is an especially depraved act.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Earl Turner is assigned a suicide mission by The Order to punish him for giving out info while being tortured.
  • Retcon: During its original release on a mothly basis between 1975 and 1978, the story took place in the 1980s. Upon collecting the installments into a book, Pierce changed the time period to the 1990s.
  • Right-Wing Militia Fanatic: The protagonists are this, specifically of the neo-Nazi variety. Despite their protagonist status, they are exceptionally murderous and violent even by the standards of this trope. Notably, the Organization inspired a number of real right-wing terrorist groups and actions.
    • A few non-Order groups show up, with one general who is a John Bircher serving as a minor antagonist later in the novel. Many non-Order examples of this are treated as villainous for the heinous crime of not being racist enough.
  • The Social Darwinist: The Organization belives that the strong will thrive and therefore it will be the supposedly strongest whites who will win out in the end, even if the whites have to thin out their own numbers of undesirables for the sake of purity.
  • Sophisticated as Hell: The protagonist whenever he gets philosophical. On occasion, he will stop to make a reflective comment about the situation, using extremely polished dialogue as if he were a college professor dictating a doctoral thesis. Once that's done, his professionality drops noticeably.
    • Somewhat justified, since the book is presented as a collection of journal entries, most of which deal with his day-to-day experiences. But when he starts writing about his cause, he's VERY long-winded.
  • Stay in the Kitchen: The New Era is implied to have this, as the narrator speaks disparagingly of the women's lib movement note , calling it a "mass psychosis" where women "denied their femininity and insisted that they were 'people', not 'women'" that was encouraged by the System to turn the white race against itself.
  • Straw Character: The book is not very consistent in its portrayals of this. Minorities are often subject to this by default, but an Israeli major who tortures the protagonist is depicted as well educated and extremely competent in his field.
    • Jews in general are portrayed as a grand conspiracy of greedy megalomaniacs who secretly control the entire world and are the puppet masters behind absolutely all non-whites. No regard or accuracy is made for their religion and they're considered a degenerate, sneaky race whose only apparent goal is the subjugation and suppression of the Pure Aryan Race. And they still somehow lose.
    • Liberals are portrayed as being dupes or willing agents of the Jews, while conservatives and libertarians are portrayed as misguided and foolish.
    • Blacks are without exception portrayed as nothing more than mindless, savage, degenerate buffoons, who only want to get high, rape white women, and do whatever Jewish people tell them to do. None are given any characterization at all, and there wasn't even a single named black character in the book. Even on the rare occasions where a black is mentioned to be in any kind of position of authority they will only take advantage of said authority to rape white women. Oh, and they willingly engage in cannibalism once food becomes scarce.
      • The one exception is a high-ranking black civil rights leader who denounces the Jews when they pettily cancel an important equality demonstration. However he's still described insultingly, is unnamed, and the Jews quickly replace him.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: The Organization commonly uses bombs in their terrorist actions. They initially use conventional IE Ds, including a bombing of the FBI building, but eventually escalate to nuclear weapons.
  • Suicide Attack: Earl Turner flies a plane into the Pentagon armed with a nuclear missile at the end of the book. This is supposed to be a heroic act.
  • Those Wacky Nazis: The "heroes" look up to them and idolize them.
  • Throw-Away Country: The only remorse the Organization has about turning much of Asia into an uninhabitable wasteland is that it will take a long time to colonize.
  • Took a Level in Dumbass: After a certain point, everyone not on the side of the racists takes multiple levels in this.
  • Unscrupulous Hero: Discussed, Turner is encouraged to abandon his morals and he's instilled with the belief that victory must be achieved no matter what. However, Turner is irredeemable, The Organisation irradiates the planet and commits mass genocide so that the white race is the only race left.
  • A Villain Named "Z__rg": ZOG, the "Zionist Occupation Government," a moniker no doubt chosen to sound more "evil" and foreign than just saying "the Jews did it."
  • Villain Protagonist: Turner and his allies are terrorists and mass-murderers.
  • With Us or Against Us: Absolutely every single white person who doesn't subscribe to their extremely xenophobic ideology, has one drop of non-white blood, has ever sided against them, has slept with or even been kind to non-whites is considered a Category Traitor to the Organization.
  • Yellow Peril: Towards the end of the book, the Chinese attempt to conquer Eurasia.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: When the Arab states commit genocide against Israel, the protagonists express admiration. Yet when the Organization unleashes their final wave of extermination of non-whites, the Arabs are implied to have been killed along with all other non-white races.


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