William Luther Pierce

William Luther Pierce
William Luther Pierce
Born September 11, 1933(1933-09-11)
Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.
Died July 23, 2002(2002-07-23) (aged 68)
Mill Point, Pocahontas County, West Virginia, U.S.

William Luther Pierce III (September 11, 1933 – July 23, 2002) was the leader of the white separatist National Alliance organization, and one of the most important ideologists of the white nationalist movement. Pierce originally worked as an assistant professor of physics at Oregon State University, before he became involved in politics. He achieved notoriety as the author of the novels The Turner Diaries and Hunter, which were written under the pseudonym Andrew Macdonald and published under National Vanguard Books. He is also the founder of "Cosmotheism", a religion based on white racialism, panentheism, eugenics, and National Socialism.


Early life

William Pierce was born in Atlanta, Georgia to Marguerite Farrell and William Luther Pierce, Jr. His father was born in Christiansburg, Virginia in 1892. His mother was born in Richland, Georgia in 1910, with her family being part of the aristocracy of the Old South, descendants of Thomas H. Watts, the Governor of Alabama and Attorney General of the Confederate States of America.[1] Pierce's father once served as a government representative on ocean-going cargo ships and sent reports back to Washington, D.C.;[2] he later became manager of an insurance agency but was killed in a car accident in 1942.[3] After the elder Pierce’s death, the family, which included a younger brother, Sanders, moved to Montgomery, Alabama and then to Dallas, Texas.[4]

Pierce performed well academically in school, skipping one grade. His last two years in high school were spent in a military academy.[5] As a teenager his hobbies and interests were model rockets, chemistry, radios, electronics, and reading science fiction.[2] His first aspiration was to become an astronaut.[6]

After finishing military school in 1951, Pierce worked briefly in an oil field as a roustabout. He was injured when a four-inch (10 cm) pipe fell on his hand, and he spent the rest of that summer working as a shoe salesman.[7] Pierce earned a scholarship to attend Rice University in Houston, Texas. He was graduated from Rice in 1955 with a baccalaureate in physics.[8] He worked at the Los Alamos National Laboratory before attending graduate school, first at Caltech and then the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he earned his doctorate in 1962.[8] He taught physics as an assistant professor at Oregon State University from 1962 to 1965.[9]


Pierce married five times. His first marriage was to Patricia Jones, whom he met while attending California Institute of Technology. They were married in 1957, and had twin sons, Kelvin and Erik, born in 1962. The marriage ended in divorce in 1982.[10] Pierce remarried that same year to Elizabeth Prostel, whom he met in the National Alliance office in Arlington, Virginia. The marriage ended in 1985, at which time Pierce moved his headquarters to Southern West Virginia.[8] Pierce married Hungarian Olga Skerlecz in 1986, a marriage that lasted until 1990. Olga left Pierce "for greener pastures in California",[10] as Pierce refused to leave West Virginia. Pierce then married a Hungarian woman named Zsuzsannah in early 1991. They met through an advertisement that Pierce placed in a Hungarian women's magazine aimed at arranging international marriages. Zsuzsannah left him and moved to Florida in the summer of 1996. His final marriage, which lasted until his death, was with another Hungarian woman, whom he married in 1997.[11]


His time spent at Oregon State University (1962–1965) coincided with the rise of two social movements, the civil rights movement and the Vietnam anti-war movement. Pierce saw the civil rights movement, with its emphasis on racial equality, as a threat to the white race. He also saw the anti-war movement as communist-inspired and led primarily by Jews. He was briefly a member of the John Birch Society in 1962,[12] but eventually resigned.

He stated that he decided to join the neo-Nazi movement while teaching at Oregon State University when he saw a mulatto on campus and he came to believe that miscegenation was a threat to the racial integrity of the white race. In 1966, he became an associate of George Lincoln Rockwell, founder of the American Nazi Party. During this time he was the editor of the party's ideological journal, National Socialist World. When Rockwell was assassinated in 1967, Pierce continued to work with the group and became an official member. The American Nazi Party had been renamed the National Socialist White People's Party (NSWPP) around this time. Pierce left the NSWPP and took control of the National Youth Alliance in 1970, which was renamed the National Alliance in 1974.[8]

National Alliance

The National Alliance adopted the life rune as its symbol. Pierce intended this organization to be a political vanguard that would ultimately bring about a "white racial redemption". His Cosmotheist Community Church, which was to be the second step in this plan, was organized in 1976, alongside Pierce's political projects: the National Alliance, National Vanguard Books, and the weekly broadcast American Dissident Voices. In 1978 Pierce applied for, and was denied, tax exemption, at which point he claimed that the Internal Revenue Service was controlled by Jews. Pierce appealed, but an appellate court upheld the I.R.S. decision.[8] In 1985, Pierce moved his operations from Arlington, Virginia, to a 346-acre (1.40 km2) location in Mill Point, West Virginia that he paid for with $95,000 in cash.[8] He called his new church the Cosmotheist Community Church.[8]

When Pierce bought the West Virginia property, he named it the "Cosmotheist Community Church" and applied for federal, state, and local tax exemptions. However, in 1986, the church lost its state tax exemption for all but 60 (out of nearly 400 acres) acres, which had to be exclusively used for religious purposes.[13] The other 340 acres (1.4 km2) were used for both the National Alliance headquarters and the National Vanguard Books business and warehouse, and were denied tax exemption.

After Pierce's death, the National Alliance entered a period of internal conflict and decline.

The Turner Diaries

Pierce gained international public attention following the Oklahoma City bombing, as Timothy McVeigh was alleged to have been influenced by The Turner Diaries (1978), the novel written by Pierce under the pseudonym Andrew Macdonald.[8] The book is a graphically violent depiction of a future race war in the United States, which includes a detailed description of the mass hangings of many "race traitors" in the public streets of Los Angeles, followed by the systematic ethnic cleansing of the entire city. The story is told through the perspective of Earl Turner, an active member of the white revolutionary underground The Organization.

The part most relevant to the McVeigh case is in an early chapter, when the book's main character is placed in charge of bombing the FBI headquarters.[8] Some have pointed out similarities between the bombing in the book and the actual bombing in Oklahoma City that damaged the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building and killed 168 people on April 19, 1995. McVeigh personally stated that his attack was in response to the Waco massacre.

The Turner Diaries also inspired a group of white revolutionary nationalists in the early 1980s who called themselves the Silent Brotherhood, or sometimes simply The Order.[8] The Order was connected to numerous crimes, including counterfeiting and bank robbery, and supposedly gave money to the Alliance.[8] The Order's leader, Robert Jay Mathews, died in a stand-off with police and federal agents on Whidbey Island, Washington, when police fired flares into his hideout, igniting a fire. Other Order members, most notably the late David Lane, were all captured and sent to federal prisons, where they still continue to voice their support for white nationalism and racial separatist ideals.


In 1984, again under the Andrew Macdonald pen name, William Pierce published another novel, Hunter, which tells the story of a man named Oscar Yeager, a veteran of the Vietnam War and F-4 Phantom pilot who assassinates mixed-raced couples.

In interviews, Pierce called Hunter "more realistic" and described his rationale for writing it as taking the reader through "...an educational process".

This book was dedicated to serial killer Joseph Paul Franklin, a longtime member of various racist groups who, like Hunter's protagonist, preyed on interracial couples. Joseph Paul Franklin is currently incarcerated at Potosi Correctional Center in Potosi, Missouri.


Pierce adopted Cosmotheism as his religion in 1978. In effect it is a form of panentheism, or it is an impersonal panentheism, or it is a belief that an impersonal "creative spiritual force," i.e. "God," is the animating force within the whole universe.[vague]

Cosmotheism asserts that "all is within God and God is within all." It considers the nature of reality and of existence to be mutable and destined to co-evolve towards a complete "universal consciousness," or godhood. Cosmos means an orderly and harmonious universe and thus the divine is tantamount to reality and consciousness, an inseparable part of an orderly, harmonious, and whole universal system.

In his speech "Our Cause", Pierce said:

All we require is that you share with us a commitment to the simple, but great, truth which I have explained to you here, that you understand that you are a part of the whole, which is the creator, that you understand that your purpose, the purpose of mankind and the purpose of every other part of creation, is the creator's purpose, that this purpose is the never-ending ascent of the path of creation, the path of life symbolized by our life rune, that you understand that this path leads ever upward toward the creator's self-realization, and that the destiny of those who follow this path is godhood.

Pierce described his form of panentheism as being based on "[t]he idea of an evolutionary universe ... with an evolution toward ever higher and higher states of self-consciousness," and his political ideas were centered on racial purity and eugenics as the means of advancing the white race first towards a superhuman super race, and then towards a personal godhood. In his view, the white race represented the pinnacle of human evolution thus far and therefore it should be kept genetically separate from all other races in order to achieve its destined perfection in a collective personal godhood.

Pierce believed in a hierarchical society governed by what he saw as the essential principles of nature, including the survival of the fittest. In his social schema, the best-adapted genetic stock, which he believed to be the white race, should remain separated from other races; and within an all-white society, the most fit individuals should lead the rest. He thought that extensive programs of "racial cleansing" (mass expulsion) and of eugenics, both in Europe and in the U.S., would be necessary to achieve this socio-political program.

Final years

Pierce spent his final years living in West Virginia, where he hosted a weekly radio show, American Dissident Voices, and oversaw his publications, National Vanguard, Free Speech and Resistance, as well as books published by his publishing firm National Vanguard Books, Inc. and his record company, Resistance Records. He stated that although he himself preferred classical music, he realized that Aryan youth needed White power music to bind themselves to the cause.

On May 19, 1996, Pierce made a rare personal appearance in the mainstream media, on 60 Minutes,[14] during which Pierce was asked if he approved of the Oklahoma City bombing, and he replied "No. No, I don't. I've said that over and over again, that I do not approve of the Oklahoma City bombing because the United States is not yet in a revolutionary situation".

Before Pierce died, he allowed Robert S. Griffin to live with him for a month, with the result being the self-published work The Fame of a Dead Man's Deeds (2001). Pierce died of cancer on July 23, 2002, in the home in West Virginia he had lived in for the last 20 years.[15]

After his death, the British National Party contributed an article in remembrance of him.[16]



The following works were published under the pseudonym "Andrew MacDonald".

Written as William Pierce

  • New World Order Comix #1 The Saga of... White Will!!! (comic book). National Vanguard Books. 1993. [17]


  • Who We Are. 1978-82. [18]



Further reading

  • Swain, Carol M.; Russ Nieli (2003-03-24). Contemporary Voices of White Nationalism in America. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0521816734. 

External links

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