Forty years ago, on the eve of Pesach, 1979 (April 12th), a young Jewish man named Steven Finkelstein was found horrifically mutilated and dead, at the base of Haystack Rock, off the Oregon coast.
Haystack Rock measures around 300 foot tall, and is located a little out to sea off the coast at Cannon Beach. At high tide, it’s surrounded by water. On the evening of April 12th, 1979 when the police were called to the scene, they were told by a man named Mills – the only witness to what had occurred – that Steve Finkelstein had decided to climb up the rock, and had slipped and fallen to his death.
There were a few things that made this story unlikely:
- That day, the weather had been awful – it was sleeting, hailing and the winds had reached 50 mph. Not the sort of weather you go climbing up rocks.
- According to his father, Herschel (who you will hear more about in a moment) Steve was not a rock-climber. But if he’d chosen to climb a rock as dangerous as Haystack Rock, he certainly would have prepared himself better to do it, than by wearing his trademark slippery-soled cowboy boots.
- Steve’s throat had been slit, and his body was so badly mangled that the acting coroner found it difficult to believe that even a fall off a rock in bad weather could account for the injuries, and suspected foul play.
- Mills was an obvious anti-semite.
- The year before, a notorious white supremacist located in Oregon called William Pierce had published a dystopian novel novel called The Turner Diaries, which advocated the mass ritual killing of Jews in America.
Strangely, the Oregon police force didn’t press for an autopsy, the case was never properly investigated, and they accepted Mills’ account of a ‘bad accident’ without any further investigation.
Steve’s father, Herschel, spent a lot of time and money investigating what had actually happened, and much of what he discovered he wrote up in a book he recently self-published, called The Adventures and Travels of a Poor Chemist. Today, Herschel lives in a nursing home in Jerusalem, and that’s where I went to visit him, to interview him about his book a couple of weeks before Pesach.
Herschel believes that neo-Nazis killed his son, and that this was covered up by the authorities at the time, not least because the two main suspects were soldiers in the US army.
(You can see an excellent article that covers a lot of the details of Steve Finkelstein’s death HERE.)
THE TURNER DIARIES
A few days ago, after the shooting at the Poway synagogue in Chabad, I finally sat down to start putting Herschel’s story together, and to do a little more research into one “William Pierce”, a former Physics Professor from Portland, Oregon, who had written something called “The Turner Diaries.”
The Turner Diaries were first released by Pierce in 1978 – the year before Steve died – writing under the pseudonym ‘Andrew MacDonald’. Here’s a very brief overview of the plot:
THE BASIC PLOT
In 2099, the diaries of one ‘Earl Turner’ are discovered, which describes how white supremacists in the US band together to overthrow the Federal government, and then undertake a ‘race war’ which spreads to the rest of the world. Here’s a chunk of what the Wiki entry says:
“The story starts soon after the federal government has confiscated all civilian firearms in the country under the fictional Cohen Act. Turner and his cohorts take their organization underground to engage in a guerrilla war against the System [the US Federal Government], depicted as dominated by Jewish control. The “System” begins by implementing numerous repressive laws on various forms of hate, by making it a “hate crime” for white people to defend themselves from crime by non-whites even after all weapons are confiscated, and by pushing for new surveillance measures in order to monitor its citizens, such as a special passport required at all times and in all places to permanently monitor where individuals are. The “Organization” starts its campaigns by committing acts such as the bombing of FBI headquarters, then executing an ongoing, low-level campaign of terrorism, assassination, and economic sabotage throughout the United States.”
Long story short, the fictional Turner and his neo-Nazi, White supremacist buddies (many of whom formerly joined the US military in order to get properly trained up for the coming ‘Race War’), decide to start a violent uprising aimed at “fomenting racial conflict” in the US, which eventually leads to a full-scale civil war.
They do this by shooting up all different houses of worship, executing thousands of black people, making non-white people “Public Enemy Number 1”, and of course, by beating, lynching and shooting any Jews they can find. All these acts of violence are filmed “for propaganda purposes”.
The white supremacists then get their hands on nuclear weapons, and use them to nuke NYC and Tel Aviv. Then a bunch of other countries start to collapse, including France, Netherlands and the former USSR, as anti-semitism soars. The US becomes a military dictatorship ultimately run by White Supremacists, and 75% of the world – i.e. everyone brown, black or Jewish – is totally destroyed.
ANY CONNECTION WITH THE RECENT SHOOTINGS AGAINST THE JEWISH COMMUNITY?
So, as I’m reading this, I can’t help thinking about the recent shooting that happened in the Poway Chabad Synagogue in San Diego, and the shooting that happened at the ‘Tree of Life’ synagogue in Pittsburgh back in October 2018. And I started to wonder to myself: Did the shooters at those events have any knowledge of these ‘Turner Diaries’?
According to THIS article:
““The Turner Diaries” …. has been cited by numerous white supremacists since the late 1970s, including the Oklahoma City bomber. The mass shooter in Christchurch, New Zealand, paid homage to the book by writing a reference to it on his gun.
“The Turner Diaries” — known as the “Bible of the extremist right” — depicts the birth of a new world order through the actions of a few paramilitary warriors who manage to overthrow powerful governments by motivating regular people to their own violence acts. That sentiment is littered throughout the Poway shooter’s letter, as he praises other men accused of murdering Jews and Muslims.”
FICTION OR REALITY?
Back in March 2019, a white supremacist opened fire on two mosques in Christchurch, killing 50 worshippers and wounding hundreds more. Exactly as per the ‘instructions’ in The Turner Diaries, this act of violence was filmed “for propaganda purposes”.
The Poway shooter also wanted to film his shooting spree, too, but apparently couldn’t figure out the logistics in the heat of the moment. And Robert Bowers, the Tree of Life shooter, posted before the attack that he’d been inspired to kill Jews because Jews were “bringing in invaders that kill our people.”
Again, this plot line is straight out of The Turner Diaries. More digging turned up the disturbing nugget that researcher JM Berger estimates that at least 200 people have been murdered off the back of Turner Diary devotees, since it’s publication in 1978 – and that’s not even including unsolved murders like Steve Finkelstein.
IT’S EASY TO DISMISS THIS AS A PROBLEM OF THE LUNATIC FRINGE
But that would be a grave mistake. In February 2019, the Southern Poverty Law Centre published a report showing that the number of White Supremacist hate groups in the US had jumped from 100 in 2017 to 148 in 2018.
There are millions of people in the US who believe that ‘White Genocide’ – a term white supremacists use to describe a conspiracy where white people are being ‘deliberately’ outnumbered and outbred by non-white people – is happening right in front of their eyes. They read projections from the Census Bureau in the US that ‘Caucasians will lose their majority by 2044’ – and we’re straight back to the plot in The Turner Diaries.
According to THIS article on the Missouri State website, there are an estimated 25,000 ‘hard core’ white supremacists in the US, with a further 200,000 people attending marches and rallies, or donating money to White Supremacist organisations.
Personally, I believe that figure is a gross understatement. According to the Factchecker website:
“In an ABC News/Washington Post poll taken just after the Charlottesville rally in August 2017, 9 percent of the respondents said they thought it was strongly or somewhat acceptable to hold neo–Nazi or white supremacist views. As ABC News reported at the time, that’s equivalent to about 22 million Americans.”
John Earnest, the shooter at Poway Chabad wouldn’t have shown up as an official ‘white supremacist’ before the attack. And Herschel Finkelstein’s story shows that the true level of white supremacist violence and attacks on minorities may well be under-investigated and under-reported in the US.
No-one really knows how many people are reading The Turner Diaries in the darkest corners of the net, and being ‘inspired’ to plan their own killing sprees against Jews and other communities, God forbid.
But just think about 22 million people holding ‘white supremacist’ views in a country where anyone can legally buy a semi-automatic rifle, and understand what that portends for the Jews in America.
The more I researched, the more convinced I’ve become that the Tree of Life and Poway are not just unfortunate ‘blips’ on the social radar of a country that’s known for its mass shootings. They are the sign of things to come, as more and more ‘white supremacists’ start trying to make the fictional plot of the Turner Diaries into an awful reality.
If this sounds incredible, remember that there is much darker side to American history, that is routinely ignored, romanticized or whitewashed.
Most people simply aren’t aware that the US passed laws to encourage the mass-murder of hundreds of thousands (and some say, millions) of native Indians; or how no less a personage than Hitler, yimach shemam, was ‘inspired’ by the US’s restrictive and discriminatory racial laws in the 1920s when he was formulating the Nuremburg laws in the 1930s; nor how 20,000 American Nazis crowded into Madison Square Garden on the eve of WWII, in February 1939.
These are just a few examples of things that few people know about, and fewer people discuss. But the uncomfortable fact of the matter is that so much of the “American Dream” has been built against the backdrop of rapacious greed, exploitation and ‘justifiable’ murder and persecution of anyone who stood in the way of American economic interest and expansion.
The time when the Jewish people could stick our head in the sand and pretend all this is someone else’s problem is long gone. American Jews are in the greatest danger they’ve ever been, and it might be time to take a long, hard look at what America really stands for, and why God seems to be sending ever-clearer messages to the Jewish community there that really may not be a safe future for Jews in America.