Mass Shootings

Esoteric Fringe Group or Esoteric Joke?

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The strangest news to emerge from the school massacre in Minnesota is that Jeffrey Weise, the shooter, was allegedly affiliated with the Libertarian National Socialist Green Party.

Yes, that's the group's real name. I first discovered it back in 1998 and, after poking through its website a bit, I concluded that it was a deadpan joke. Some of the more transparently goofy material is now missing from the site, but I did find these possibly serious, possibly satiric passages:

Abe Foxman of the ADL…hopes to sum up all of what Adolf Hitler stood for as "hatred," although Hitler did many things which were not hateful. Did you know that he established the first comprehensive environmental policy in a modern government? Or that he pulled all of Germany out of hopelessness and poverty? Or that he fought against cigarettes, which he saw as the cause of cancer, years before the medical establishment proclaimed the same?…

At the LNSG, our view is that Zionism is a form of National Socialism, and, as such, we accept Jews as our brothers and support the establishment of an Israeli state, so long as it can work peacefully with our Arab Nationalist brothers as well.

Ron Gunzburger's Guide to American Political Parties notes that, "In the past -- and as an indicator that the LNSGP is probably a practical joke -- the LNSGP's site had sections dedicated to claims of participation in a public service project named the 'Jewish Community Brothership' (to 'Communicate the modern interpretations of Nazism and its implications for Jews in today's multicultural Reich') and some links to very bizarre 'news' articles (example: 'Nazi Moon Bases Established in 1942')." That description produced a bizarre thread in the party's online forums. One writer, "VierZwanzig," "Europe Endless," wrote this:

The old site was about as PC as is conceivably possible for a self-proclaimed Nazi organization. Since it was anti-racist and didn't really promote even ethnic nationalism it was inconsistent with National Socialism aside from being postmoral and biocentric ("nature before humanity"). This pissed off a lot of the neonazi morons and confused just about everyone else. At that time the "party" and website probably was for the most part a sort of esoteric joke of [Craig] Smith's. Not that it was unserious but more that it was taking the piss out of modern politics. That element remains in the party name and symbol but the ironic posing of the old site seems to have taken a back seat.

So it's a joke that turned serious? Maybe, maybe not. Scrolling down, we find this comment from "Theophanis":

The fuck? So the dude who originally made the site doesn't even visit the site anymore? So who runs these forums?

And I agree, this political party does not sound realistic at all.

At any rate, the forums do include several posts by "Jeff Weise, a Native American from the Red Lake 'Indian' reservation in Minnesota" -- and Google archived those last year, so I doubt they were faked in the wake of the school shooting. For now it looks like Weise honestly believed in the ideals of the Libertarian National Socialist Green Party, even if the party's actual founder did not. Think of it as the Thomas Theorem in action.

The party itself is basking in the publicity, in a manner that reminds me of something that happened after the school shooting in Columbine. The "Utopian Anarchist Party," a one-man band run by the Maryland crank Bill White, put out a press release on the day of the shootings:

Two or more men wielding assault weapons and dressed in black militia uniforms and body armor stormed Columbine High School in Littleton Colorado today, shooting at least two dozen preppies and taking a large portion of the school hostage.

The showdown is still ongoing, as anarchists today say the two men involved may be local Utopian Anarchist Party organizers. Confirmation of the men's identities has not been made.

White subsequently claimed that "police are quietly and privately confirming that the school shooters in Littleton Colorado were part of a UAP cell." Such statements attracted a wave of press attention, including an interview in which, by my recollection -- I can't find it online, alas -- a breathless TV host declared that, while you might not have heard of Bill White, "your kids" have.

These days White's a Nazi. I wondered how he was reacting to the latest school massacre, so I visited his site -- and read this: "I have been asked by the Libertarian National Socialist Green Party to represent them in some of their interviews, as they are overwhelmed with requests, and have accepted."

Either this is a really esoteric joke, or White has finally found a soulmate.