Skip to content

Essays in Radicalization & Deradicalization

In our extensive history of outing fascists, we realize most are everyday people, radicalized online. Most have children, family members, co-workers, employees, lovers, or friends who are disgusted and disappointed that this person in their life is actively organizing for genocide against people who don’t look like them. Our tagline at the bottom of each article remains the same:

“If you have any information about xxx, other fascists on Iron March or other white nationalists in general, including additional tips, please send them to panicinthediscord (at) riseup (dot) net or DM them to @discord__panic on Twitter”

Landing on our twitter, the sentiment in our pinned tweet has held for months:

As anarchists, we don’t believe people are disposable. We want to help create a pathway for folks to get out of white nationalism as cleanly and quickly as possible. Sometimes that happens on the heels of a dossier, while other times it happens beforehand, when a person realizes the internal communications of a hate group of which they previously or currently belonged has leaked or when they have long since left an official movement. In recent months alone, there has been quite a few ex-Iron March and  Identity Evropa/American Identity Movement members who have reached out to us, looking to publicly renounce their involvement in order to move forward with their lives in a healthy, productive way.
To that end, we’re pleased to compile and re-publish statements former white nationalists have written for us as a part of their healing and coming to terms with their past.

These statements were previously published on our Twitter but we wanted a permanent home for them so everyone can see how far these folks have come. Click on the blue title to read the whole, archived account of the former member’s involvement, process of leaving, and lessons learned. Our intention is that these essays will be an inspiration for others to begin the process of leaving.

 

Urizen on his lessons learned about how negative self-image & a need to belong brought him to Iron March

 

“As another recent author reflecting on their radicalization on Iron March has noted, the forum started off with a theoretical orientation but quickly moved to IRL activism. I logged on intermittently for about a year. By the time of my last log on, the forum had grown into a giant repository of hate. There were no longer any theoretical or historical discussions. I never went back and per the SQL dump my profile was deleted for inactivity years later. I forgot all about the place until I heard about some of the actions of Atomwaffen in 2017. When I learned that they started on Iron March, my stomach turned.
With the benefit of hindsight, I can see things about myself now that I may not have been able to admit before. I’ll spare readers the sob story, but I didn’t like myself very much. I think fascist politics and perennialism connected for me at this juncture – i.e. I was a nobody, a piece of shit, a loser, but both of these systems of belief constructed a theoretical hierarchy in which I might occupy a superior position. Although this striving for superiority was mostly unconscious for me at the time, it’s still a shameful and embarrassing thing to admit about oneself.”

A former Iron March user, under the pseudonym John Patrick

 

“I was indoctrinated early due to the Internet, YouTube was a bastion of white nationalist propaganda videos that tried to pull you in by claiming to be scientific and rational (you still see this now with popular Alt-Right channels still getting tens of thousands of views). IronMarch was a weird conglomeration of different eccentric racists, fascists and run-of-the-mill nationalists. The rise of the far-right within Europe in nations such as Greece, Poland, and Hungary were seen as signs that the views espoused on the forum were gaining traction.

“Although I wasn’t one of the more influential members, it became a tradition of mine to check out the forum everyday for updates and drama. However, my enthusiasm would change when I realized that the views I held online were being used to actually committing violence on behalf of those views.”

Iron March user Vanguard’s account of his involvement & exit

 

“When I first joined, I would never have considered myself even marginally fascist. I’d seen some of the founding user, Slavros’, art on DeviantArt, thought the flashy and militant aesthetic was “edgy” and interesting, and this led down a rabbit hole of ultranationalism. I made an account on Iron March, and within a few days of posting, found myself starting to adopt more and more of the fascist worldview. Thankfully, I didn’t exchange private messages with other users (with the exception of being contacted once about my account avatar) and was never enmeshed with any organizers of real-life fascist groups. I realize it sounds ridiculous that I didn’t see how horrific and extreme the content was, but as a middle schooler, I suppose I chose to “put on blinders.” Regardless, after being active for the summer, I began to realize the extent of the site’s radicalization, and quickly left.
“Since those months, I can count myself lucky to say that I’ve never been in any form of contact with fascism or the extreme right,” excerpt from Vanguard, who was 13 or 14 years old when he joined IM, per his own admission.

Iron March User Nova Prospekt on Fascism & child recruitment

 

“I don’t remember how exactly I ended up in the so-called “anti-SJW” camp, but once that door was open I was exposed to a variety of increasingly right-wing beliefs. There was an endless stream of posts decrying social justice concepts in between pictures of jack-booted Nazis and European sculptures. All of it was doused in a heavy layer of sarcasm, irony and the age old desire to be edgy online.
“Somewhere in that milieu were other people like me, as well as already true believing fascists and Nazis. Once these worlds collided, I had created an Iron March account.
“Looking back at the posts I made then, I don’t see a true believing Nazi. I see a naive idiot who viewed hot takes about social justice as a grave concern. I see a man-child caught up in something he didn’t truly understand. I see someone who could have kept going down a dark path if I hadn’t pulled myself out of that world.”

Former Iron March User on youth conditioning and eventual exit

 

“I found Iron March when I was 14. Fourteen. Fourteen fucking years of age. And I was immediately attracted to it. The romanticism of fascism as not an ideology, but a ‘worldview’ drew me to it. The philosophical interpretations of it are designed to bring in newbies. How difficult is it to ignore an idea that says it is the basis of absolute, universal truth? I of course, being 14, didn’t consider that this is the ‘absolute truth’ according to fuckwits on the internet, but my previous conditioning as a member of the alt-right made it convincing enough.

“I joined, made my introduction thread, lied and said I was 15, said some awful things about queer folk, and then never really went back (it was shut down before i was ‘educated’ [i.e., conditioned] enough to do the test). Instead of lurking on Iron March, between the time I first posted and the time it shut down, and a short while afterwards, I just lurked on fascist discord servers. I rarely talked, just watched and learned.

I considered joining a group (organising was considered the best thing a fascist could do), but somehow miraculously my 14 year old self decided I was too young. That group is defunct now anyway, so fuck you, Antipodean Resistance, you guys’ hiking trips looked fucking dumb.”

 

A former Identity Evropa/American Identity Movement member’s exit and discussion of mental health

 

“I got involved in their Discord group. Some of the perspectives of some of the members were shameful and embarrassing. There was a strange obsession with Jewish people and POC. I indulged due to curiosity. I found myself being influenced to think of Jews and POC as “others.”

“Early in 2019 Unicorn Riot released a data dump of the entirety of the IE discord group. I was shocked to see that I was involved with some people that held such disgusting beliefs. I was shocked that I had begun to share some of those beliefs in a few short months. I left the group shortly thereafter.
“After leaving I had a nagging suspicion that there was something seriously wrong with me. I sought the help of mental health professionals. I was diagnosed with bi polar disorder. My association with IE was, in part, directly related to untreated mental illness. Today I don’t suffer as I used to.”
And finally, a message to the white nationalist movement from one former about how important it is to come clean, reject fascism and move on with one’s life:

written by Nova Prospekt

In the cases when former white nationalists are seeking help and support, we are always quick to offer resources and connections to people who help others leave the hate movement and de-radicalize. We aren’t the monsters that the fascists have made us out to be, all we really want is for fascism to stop being a threat to the existence of our loved ones whether they are black, brown, Jewish, Muslim, queer, trans, women, or another oppressed people.
The longer white nationalists remain active, the more likely it is that their beliefs harden and that they one day will appear on our blog, in naked vulnerability of the shameful acts that they have committed. If you or someone you know are thinking of leaving the white nationalist/white separatist/identitarian/white supremacist/fascist/far-right nationalist/confederate movement(s), please don’t hesitate to reach out.

If you have any information about members from Iron March, Proud Boys, American Identity Movement, The Atomwaffen Division, Patriot Front, The Base or other white nationalists in general, including additional tips, please send them to panicinthediscord (at) riseup (dot) net or DM them to @discord__panic on Twitter