Far-right provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos posted a photo to Telegram Tuesday of what he called his “hotel room altar,” consisting of an “America First” hat, a large hunting knife, and Bible. Included among the items: “The Turner Diaries,” a dystopian neo-Nazi novel that encourages white supremacist terrorism.
Flagged by DFR Lab’s Jared Holt on Twitter, the post had been removed by Wednesday afternoon. The book, and its inclusion among Yiannopoulos’ belongings, is notable because “The Turner Diaries” “helped fuel decades of white supremacist terrorism,” Vox reported. Among those obsessed with the novel was Timothy McVeigh, who bombed an Oklahoma City federal building in 1995, killing 168—an attack some saw as drawing from the terrorist template laid out in the book.
The inclusion of “The Turner Diaries” in Yiannopoulos’ items may not come as much of a surprise to those tracking his neo-Nazi trolling and white nationalist activism. During the 2016 election, Yiannopoulos worked with Steve Bannon, former White House chief strategist for ex-president Donald Trump, to court the alt-right at Breitbart, where Yiannopoulos was once an editor.
More recently, Yiannopoulos has been co-hosting “TruNews” with Lauren Witzke, a failed 2020 Senate candidate in Delaware who had employed a self-described “monarchist” and antisemite on her campaign team. Yiannopoulos, who now claims he is “ex-gay” (and that dogs stopped barking at him), had recently gotten chummy with antisemitic and anti-vax conspiracy theorist Rick Wiles—so much so, that he filled in for Wiles on “TruNews” after Wiles was hospitalized for COVID-19 last month.
With “TruNews” as his pulpit, Yiannopoulos decided to promote Tim Gionet, aka Baked Alaska, an alt-right white nationalist who held a speaking slot at the “Unite the Right” white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, and stormed the U.S. Capitol with other extremists on Jan. 6. Never one to stop seeking attention despite his bans from major social media platforms, Yiannopoulos has been “desperately trying to troll liberals, but he’s been relegated to doing so Gab, a platform that only right-wing activists use,” Right Wing Watch reported yesterday.
Of course, owning a book doesn’t necessarily mean one will subscribe to everything in it, but the history of “The Turner Diaries” is troubling. Since its publication in 1978, it has been used by white supremacist groups throughout the United States. As Vox reported, “The Turner Diaries ends with a violent terrorist coup against the US government, not unlike the January 6 Capitol insurrection. But while The Turner Diaries is foundational to modern white supremacy’s terrorist tactics, it may have shaped the ideology even more.” Here’s more from Vox:
The book contains lurid, graphic violence carried out against liberals, government officials, members of the media, and Black and Jewish citizens. It gleefully urges white militias to rise up and engage in guerrilla warfare against the oppressive government — think the ’80s action movie Red Dawn, in which Russia invades the US and small-town civilians fight back with renegade tactics, but with more racism and bloodlust. Among other things, the book features car bombings, suicide missions, and one scene in which white supremacist terrorists hang politicians en masse — a scene that some experts felt had echoes in the Capitol insurrection, during which a gallows was erected amid calls to hang certain elected officials.