Saturday, December 31, 2005

John Sharpe's Ties to Holland and Fiore

Our last post looked at the anti-Semitic propaganda of John Sharpe, whose IHS Press has published two anti-war books: Neo-Conned and Neo-Conned Again!, which are being heavily promoted in paleo-conservative and paleo-liberterian circles by the uninformed.

Starting in the 1980s the British National Front (NF) was the premier "revolutionary nationalist" and racialist movement, before its implosion in 1989. Out of that collapse emerged an even more radical outfit called the International Third Position (ITP) headed by Derek Holland and Roberto Fiore.Both Holland and Fiore have received considerable treatment in works on European extremist nationalism, including Fascism: A History by Roger Eatwell (1997) and Black Sun: Aryan Cults, Esoteric Nazism and the Politics of Identity by Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke (2002).

As Chairman of the NF, and later the ITP's chief ideologue, Holland exerted a decisive influence. He authored The Political Soldier, which is the Koran of militant nationalists throughout Europe. In many places it invokes the imagery of Muslism fanatics as nationalist "martyrs." He has been a supporter of radical Arab regimes, visiting Libya in 1988 and Iraq in 1990 (photo and information on the Libyan trip is available online).

Given these credentials it is hardly surprising that Holland should back the Neo-Conned anti-war series as a director of IHS Press. Some people may be misled by the fact that Holland now operates under his Irish Gaelic name, Deric O'Huallachain (having relocated to Ireland from the UK a few years ago). However, earlier copies of the Virginia SCC certificate for IHS Press shows it as Derek Holland.

From the moment that IHS Press was established in 2001, people expressed concern, but were reassured (as was this writer) that Holland had put his extremism "behind him." Apparently that didn't stop him from being guest speaker at the February 2002 racial nationalist Nationaldemokratisk Ungdom (NDU) in Sweden. In March of that year the German neo-nazi Deutsche Stimme (German Voice) featured his essay, "Theory and Strategy: The Path of the Political Soldier." An overnight transition from political radicalism to religious orthodoxy seems improbable. And his activities in Ireland have covered as recently as 2005 in the Brandsma Review.

Roberto Fiore, Holland's close collaborator, was a member of the political wing of the Armed Revolutionary Nuclei which claimed responsibility for the 1980 Bologna bomb attack which claimed 85 lives. In 1997 Fiore came out of hiding in the UK to head the openly fascist Forza Nuova party in Italy.

What is the link to Neo-Conned? Fiore, as part of the ITP, helped set up the St. George Educational Trust (more here) which is the UK counterpart to, and collaborator with, Sharpe's pseudo-Catholic Legion of St. Louis.

Friday, December 30, 2005

John Sharpe's Legion of St. Louis

In our last entry we revealed the disturbing extremist connections of John Sharpe's IHS Press, publisher of two anti-war books: Neo-Conned and Neo-Conned Again!. If it is argued that we "can't shoot the messenger" it is also true that we needn't believe the messenger when he cites dubious authorities.

This is not about Mr. Sharpe's political past. It is about his political present. And while otherwise respectable individuals (deceived by Mr. Sharpe) have contributed to IHS Press volumes, the fact remains that neo-fascist propagandists, with whom Sharpe collaborates, have adopted an "entryist" Marxist-style means of infiltrating conservative circles to their own advantage – and the obvious disadvantage of their unwitting allies. For now, we'll concentrate on the hard evidence of John Sharpe as a far-right mole.

Sharpe heads up the Legion of St. Louis (LSL), though his name no longer appears on the site. But it can be verified from other sources, such as this article published in 2002. On the LSL booklist page we find the following for sale:
  1. Henry Ford's International Jew, a pseudo-historical study in anti-Semitism used by Hitler and other extremists to justify their conspiratorial view of Jews and, ergo, their desire to eliminate them.
  2. The New Unhappy Lords, the "Mein Kampf" of British neo-fascism by A. K. Chesterton. Chesterton founded the racialist National Front, which was the direct predecessor of groups involved in the establishment of the Legion of St. Louis and IHS Press.
  3. Judaism's Strange Gods by the conspiracy-obsessed Michael A. Hoffman II. Mr. Hoffman is a promoter of Holocaust revisionism. For a sampling of Hoffman's rhetoric, see "The White Separatist FAQ."

While John Sharpe's proclivities have yet to receive widespread coverage, they are documented by Searchlight magazine ("Faith-based fascists bridging the waters") – a UK liberal source, as well as the conservative Irish Catholic journal The Brandsma Review.

If that's not enough, consider the absurdities posted by Mr. Sharpe in the wake of the 9/11 terror attacks (the LSL news page). He sounds more like Michael Moore than an advocate of traditional conservatism. There is the assertion that "America wasn't attacked. America isn't the World Trade Center, nor is it the Pentagon. At least those things don't represent our America, nor should they for our readers." Sharpe made the presumptuous claims early on that Bin Ladin had nothing to do with the attacks – a point that not even al Qaeda debates now. If you're Mr. Sharpe, it seems anything's better than the mainstream media.... Unfortunately, as with his Neo-Conned series, it's a false alternative – an ideological equivalent of "out of the frying pan and into the fire."

Thursday, December 29, 2005

The Real Con Job: John Sharpe's "Anti-War" Series

On November 9, 2005, posted " The Case Against This Monstrous War," a glowing endorsement of two anti-war books: Neo-Conned and Neo-Conned Again!. They are put out by the IHS Press, under its Light in the Darkness imprint. As the review opines, IHS "has assembled one of the most impressive lineups of scholars and commentators. . . ever seen on any subject." The bi-partisan authorship spans the entire political range from paleo-conservative Pat Buchanan to Marxist Noam Chomsky. Some contributors are entirely reputable. However, beneath the superficial respectability of IHS Press there lies a web of connections that conservatives should find disturbing.

The problem with the Neo-Conned series is more than impassioned rhetoric, it's a matter of caveat emptor. Unsavory politics lurk beneath the surface. Consider that the founder, CEO, and editor of IHS Press is John Sharpe. The following points should send off alarm bells among his target conservative audience:
  1. John Sharpe has a long record of sympathy with anti-American Arab regimes and tries to downplay the horror of 9/11 by blaming it on Israel and the US itself.
  2. He promotes socialist/leftist economic theories, through the works of IHS Press' Sheffield Hallam University Press series and the works of the eccentric British "guild socialist" Arthur Penty.
  3. He disseminates anti-Semitic publications through a subsidiary called the Legion of St. Louis (LSL).
If it is thought that this last charge is an exaggeration, consider Mr. Sharpe's argument for "sane" anti-Semitism:
Finally, let us not fear the epithet "anti-Semite" as it is used by the enemies of the Faith and of the West. . . . [W]e all then have the courage to respond with the words of Fr. Fahey: "In that sense, every sane thinker must be an anti-Semite" ("Judaism and the Vatican," The Angelus, June 2003).
The LSL is an ostensibly Catholic organization which pitches to traditionalists. But a perusal of the Legion's eclectic offering of books turns up such titles as The International Jew (admired by Adolf Hitler), the writings of British fascist A.K. Chesterton and an anti-Jewish screed by self-proclaimed "white separatist" Michael Hoffman.

To sum up, this exposé is not meant to discuss the merits of the Iraq War. Whatever one's views, it is possible to be concerned about ideological radicals exploiting sensitive issues for their own benefit. What is the upshot? First, political radicals (tied to neo-Nazis) gain the credibility they have long coveted by collaboration with well-known and respected individuals. Second, dissenting conservatives, understandably scandalized by the insanity of mainstream culture, are sidetracked from their real work and are ethically compromised.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Brandsma Review on "Catholic" Extremist Infiltration

In 2005 the Irish journal The Brandsma Review published an insightful analysis of the new hybrid extremism which, among other things, is attempting to link up religious tradition with its own agenda. In particular, the UK neo-fascist International Third Position (ITP) and its affiliates have tried to subvert Catholic groups in Europe on many social issues. The article (offline), "Strange Bedfellows on the Ultra Right" is by Peadar Laighléis, a veteran Catholic journalist.

...[G]roups on the far right have always looked toward the East for inspiration rather than to Judaeo-Christianity and they distorted Indo-European studies to create a neo-paganism based on Hinduism, also drawing on Buddhism and other oriental belief-systems. This, among other aspects of Nazism, was condemned by Pius XI in Mit Brennender Sorge. However, this encyclical and other ecclesiastical critiques of Nazism and Fascism have not deterred some traditional Catholics from taking that road. Indeed the ultra-right has its own ecumenicism – traditional Catholics mix with neo-pagans, neo-gnostics, atheist/agnostics, some strains of Protestant fundamentalist and converts to Islam and other eastern religions....
Laighléis mentions the major British racial nationalist party, the National Front, out of which the ITP emerged. He also discusses their ideological roots in the New Age fascist thinking of Julius Evola.

The National Front might well have been a talking shop for a few proverbial dinosaurs had they not sold their message to skinheads. In 1989, the movement went two ways – Derek Holland and Nick Griffin founding the International Third Position (Griffin later left to join the British National Party) and Pat Harrington founding the Third Way....

At this time, Holland and [Italian ITP leader] Fiore rediscovered their Catholicism, though keeping faith with Evola’s ideas. The International Third Position differs remarkably from its predecessor in that it has a lot of issues on its platform which are distinctly Catholic, for example in regard to abortion, the family and homosexuality. It also uses a lot of Catholic symbolism and language. However, the movement goes much further and embraces a very racist form of nationalism that goes beyond what Catholics can accept. The International Third Position targeted a lot of pro-life and traditional Catholic movements in Ireland (including the Brandsma Review) from 1992.......

Fiore and Holland made a number of attempts to set up Catholic villages in France and Spain which would implement the Third Positionist vision. Third Positionists have particularly insinuated itself into traditionalist Catholic company.... The St. George Educational Trust has reprinted much of the Catholic material referred to above and disseminates it with new prefaces – British charity officials have denied this group charitable status because of its links with the International Third Position. In the United States, the Legion of St. Louis works in the same way. In 2002, the IHS Press, of which Holland is a board member, was set up to reprint Catholic books relating to social teaching and Catholic action.