In one of the entries in his diary, Earl Turner writes, “How fragile a thing is man’s civilization! How superficial it is to his basic nature! And upon how few of the teeming multitudes whose lives it gives a pattern does it depend for its sustenance!” (86) This is just one of his many diatribes on how civilization in Americais decaying, destroyed from within by the cancer of liberalism and multiculturalism. His worldview fuels his belief that the Organization’s acts of terrorism and violence are justified; they are “forging the nucleus of a new society, a whole new civilization, which will rise from the ashes of the old” (111). It reminds me of the epigraph at the beginning of Mel Gibson’s Apocalypto. In fact, oddly enough, while reading The Turner Diaries, I often found myself recalling scenes from that movie. Continue reading
In this class thus far, we have read and viewed some troubling things, but none on par with The Turner Diaries. After reading some of it a few days back, I thought of that, and of course the reason, for myself at least, is the original-source nature of such a text (not sure if this is the correct terminology): this is not a text about anything, but rather was meant, to some people at least, to be a sort of manifesto. In some cases, the Oklahoma City bombing notably, the manifesto was carried out. Reading such a text as this can be quite disturbing, but ultimately, it teaches in a way a review, or other scholarly or journalistic work on a text cannot: it forces direct confrontation with such disturbing ideas, with no distance allowed, just the raw message, not distilled by a third party for easier consumption. Continue reading
In the second half of The Turner Diaries, Earl is reborn. After his initiation into the Order and subsequent capture by the System, he changes into a less sympathetic, more militant, even more dedicated member of the Organization. As his apprehensions about death and killing disappear, the dualism between supposed good and evil becomes even more defined in his mind. He becomes willing to do just about anything to help the Order and the Organization prevail. Continue reading
There is clearly a shift that takes place after the first half of the Turner Diaries. The first ten chapters highlights the struggle of the Organization while also showing us the building momentum of its members. After Turner is initiated into the Order, however, his conscious is completely shifted and membership in the Organization explodes. Continue reading
Last week, I posted about the ways I noticed Earl Turner falling into the identity of a dissociated, paranoid fundamentalist. I can’t say I was shocked by the fact that throughout the last half of The Turner Diaries Earl only became more dissociated, remorseless, and absolute in his dualistic mindset, but it is so hard for me to imagine thinking or feeling the ways he expresses feeling that I had a difficult time processing everything I was reading. Furthermore, I was constantly reminded that this book is the creative work from the imagination of Andrew Macdonald. I still cannot believe that this imagining represents what he believed would be the means by which an ideal world would come into being. Continue reading
The Turner Diaries presents very interesting insight into the networks of apocalyptic groups. Its details and progression allows us to juxtapose the policies of the two opposing sides, and provides an opportunity for more thorough evaluation of the two extremities of this apocalypse-ridden storyline.
It seems that our stopping point for the first week of reading the Turner Diaries was the perfect break point – right before the trauma (being arrested, beaten and tortured for a year) that cements Earl’s disassociation. The issues of sexuality that so struck me while reading the first part of the Turner Diaries seemed to fall away given the massive, gruesome scale of the violence perpetrated by the Organization and Earl himself (though it was certainly still evident in statements such as “womanly handwringing” (77)). Continue reading