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The BNP: Political party or quasi-religious cult?

This is a cross post by Edmund Standing

Commenting on the time he had spent with Mark Collett and the BNP while filming for the Dispatches programme ‘Young, Nazi, and Proud‘, film maker David Modell stated:

To me, this organisation is no army, or even really a political party, more a fundamentalist movement – a cult.

This analysis of the BNP is as accurate as it was when Modell made his remarks in 2002. In many ways, the recent rise of the BNP as a political force has served to obscure the cult-like nature of the organisation, especially as it has now picked up single issue voters who are only really concerned about immigration and would have no interest in bizarre ideas about ‘the Ethno-State‘, conspiracy theories about ‘Zionists’, or the whacky pseudo-scholarship set out in Arthur Kemp’s ‘history of the white race‘, not to mention the occultism of the BNP Legal Director, or the Holocaust denial that founder member Richard Edmonds has spent decades promoting.

While many of these voters are quite possibly unaware of the extent of the BNP’s ideology and are basically only voting BNP as a protest vote, party members and activists have no such excuse, and their pathetic whitewashing of the party’s true extremism (which time and again have been shown to be shallow and dishonest) are nothing more than attempts to make the BNP cult appear as though it is a real, respectable political party.

Just as religious cults often draw in followers by preying on the desperate and the lonely by promising them a place where they will find love and purpose, so the modern BNP tries to draw in new supporters by claiming that it alone ‘cares’ about them, that it alone offers the ‘truth’, and that it is going to ’save’ Britain.

The underlying cult-like nature of the BNP is most clearly illustrated by looking at the words of its dedicated supporters. BNP supporters generally buy into a narrative that shares much in common with apocalyptic religious beliefs. According to this narrative, Britain is currently in the grip of an evil conspiratorial power that is working for its destruction, a conspiracy led by a ‘liberal elite’ made up of ‘Marxists’ (all three major parties are held to be Marxist fronts). These ‘Marxists’ (and ‘Zionists’, in the outlook of people like Lee Barnes) are seen to have a ‘plan’ for world domination, which revolves around committing ‘genocide’ against ‘indigenous’ Britons. Every aspect of society is seen to be under the control of this conspiracy, and it is claimed that we are now living in the ‘last days’ of Britain, with only a few decades left in which to ’save’ it. This worldview replaces Satan and his minions with the ‘liberal elite’, the apocalypse with the decay and destruction of Britain, and the Messiah and salvation with Nick Griffin and the BNP.

The extent to which this basic pseudo-religious salvation narrative is embraced by BNP supporters will be clear to anyone who monitors BNP supporting blogs or the comments left on the official BNP website.

The fact that BNP supporters have no understanding of politics and inhabit a fantasy universe is clearly illustrated in their response to Nothing British About The BNP, an anti-BNP campaign led by members of the Conservative Party. Despite its clear links to Conservative members and supporters, BNP members still insist that Nothing British is actually a front not for the Tories, but for ‘Marxists’. For example, back in November 2009 I reported on the absurd statements of Swindon BNP member Elizabeth ‘Red Squirrel’ Walton, who wrote:

I hear that it is a conservative blog as well.. Which just goes to show that there are as many dick head communists throughout the Lib-Lab-Con-Green spectrum as there are among the plebs of the revolting slimy UAF!

Now a Birmingham BNP member is claiming that ‘The website “Nothing British” is one of many the left have set up to attack the BNP and it’s supporters’.

For BNP supporters, there is only a ‘left’ and a ‘right’: the left is everything and everyone who isn’t part of the BNP, and the right is the BNP. This Manichean version of politics is not really politics at all – it is, rather, part of a belief system about the world that has more in common with religious fundamentalism in its presentation of a world caught between the forces of light and the forces of darkness. Unsurprisingly, then, BNP members are found to espouse other notions which parallel those of religious fundamentalism.

The writings found at the popular ‘Green Arrow’ blog (a group effort by BNP members and suporters which also includes a forum, a chat room, and a podcast) offer clear examples of the cultic nature of the BNP. Paul Morris writes:

And I laugh when I hear their pathetic excuses as to why the True British People are joining us and becoming not just a member of a political party but a member of a family.

A family with real family values. A family that cares not just for themselves but for their Country and their children’s future…

The avalanche of political faith in the BNP by the people is starting to move.

The BNP, then, is a ‘family’ based on ‘faith’, and for Morris this faith will ultimately lead to the BNP’s version of the Kingdom of God on earth:

But what of the older members of The Party who have died in harness? They knew that because of their advancing years they would never live to see our final victory but still they fought.

They fought because they believed in the same dream as you and I. That we, through Nick Griffin and the British National Party can turn Our Island Nations into the only real paradise on earth for it’s [sic] true people.

A recent post by a Green Arrow contributor called ‘rugfish’ illustrates the paranoia embraced by BNP supporters. He sees a huge conspiracy in the media, a conspiracy run by ‘Marxists’ which is seeking to corrupt his mind with ‘lies’ and ‘filth’. Writing under the headline ‘Green Arrows Attack British Media’, ‘rugfish’ states:

I say “attack”, because I’m convinced we are being waged war on by the media and I believe that attack is the best form of defence. I can name a few issues here but you’ll have your own. However one reason I will mention here is that I believe the media are attacking Nick Griffin and that it is in league with Marxists who all know the election date but have not bothered telling us. This is clearly the case since despite Gordon Brown has not announced a date, they all refer to us being in an election campaign period. If that is the truth, then I want to hear Nick Griffin and I don’t want to hear some slimy Marxist prat keep calling him racist, banging on about what he might have said 20 years ago or asking him stupid questions about the names of his dogs!

Just ask yourself why Nick Griffin is not televised and just ask yourself why the media won’t discuss British National Party policies but would rather attempt to malign him? – EVERYTHING HAS A REASON.

Just ask yourself if you really believe the media in this country works to bring you the truth, or whether it intentionally brings you lies and political persuasion.

Are they really stupid? I think not. I think they are really clever but we are cleverer still and there are more of us really clever people than there are of THEM.

Just ask yourself, if a box in your living room was pumping crap out across your carpet all day, what you would do? I know what I’d do, I’d stick it in the bin with the dog poop I scooped up today from my garden. But in this case, I’m not dumping my telly, I’m dumping THEM.

THEM THEM THEM who ‘in-filth-trate’ my head with lies.

This kind of thinking, with the idea of a Marxist controlled media, ‘everything having a reason’, and attempted brainwashing carried out by an evil ‘THEM’ is, again, far more cult-like than it is political or social analysis.

‘Rugfish’ is far from a lone and unrepresentative crank, either. A Facebook group accompanying the article has already attracted 122 members, and Green Arrow blog posts are regularly reproduced approvingly on a number of BNP supporting blogs (some examples here).

For BNP supporters such as Morris and his team, this mix of paranoid, conspiracy-based thinking, mixed with apocalyptic politics, is what attracts them to the BNP:

I believe that your average British National Party members are probably some of the most politically well informed people ever. Especially if they have served their Country as an Activist for more than six months.

They learn fast. This kind of knowledge sets them apart from the rest of their fellow slaves on this open prison Island that has been created by those building the New World Order.

But just some people knowing “the truth” is not enough to reclaim and save Our Country. We need to let the rest of the True British Population know that they are just slaves. Milk Cows only allowed to live providing they can feed the new “elite” with their blood and sweat. Then they can die, in fact be encouraged to die. Easily replaced by the colonisers imported to replace them.

The New World Order will NOT STOP untill [sic] they have EVERYTHING and control EVERYONE. Only the British National Party stands between them and success.

Morris may sound like an utter lunatic, but he is really only parroting the kind of material that can be found on the official BNP website, such as this article, which claims:

Political Correctness is being used by the Bilderberg Group and the Transnational Progressives, to promote Globalisation and create a New World Order.

This quasi-religious belief in impending doom at the hands of an evil conspiracy that can only be stopped via the salvific power of the BNP is even leading some supporters to want to shut themselves off from anything that does not acknowledge the message of the BNP as ‘the Truth’. BNP supporters on the Green Arrow blog are advocating throwing out their televisions (for them, all they need is ‘BNP TV‘) and boycotting newspapers. The Swindon BNP blog promotes the idea that people should refuse to pay their TV licenses. In one post, Elizabeth Walton states:

I have only just this moment had a visit from BBC Licensing, trying to gain access to my home.

I told him quite literally to bugger off !

I have not actually watched a TV for about 4 years- but I carried on paying for a licence by direct debit , thinking that because I had a computer that I was still liable for costs.

WRONG.

There is no legal requirement to pay a TV licence. Just DONT sign anything and DONT let them onto your property!

As I told the snivelling little git at my door “I don’t watch TV because they tell lies!”

BIG COMMUNIST LIES FOR THE GOVERNMENT AND THE NEW WORLD ORDER!

BNP members also see a grand conspiracy in the British education system. We’re not talking about the criticism that there is a leftish bias in education, but the deluded belief that British schools teach an ‘anti-British’ curriculum, which is patently false. Commenting on a youth project which seeks to break down social and cultural barriers among British children, BNP Legal Director Lee Barnes claims that ‘liberals’ ‘want to brainwash our kids and pollute their minds with their liberal filth’ and that ‘middle class liberal traitors are brainwashing our kids with their diversity crap’.

This is typical of the way BNP supporters present the UK education system. Unsurprisingly, some hardcore BNP members are now talking about home schooling their children, on the grounds that:

You cannot be INDOCTRINATED being schooled at home.

And your Children might get some sort of Education.

ZaNuLabour do not like that.

Of course, the reality is that the kind of ‘education’ home schooled children of BNP members would receive would leave them totally unprepared for the real world, with their heads full of paranoid fantasies, racial bigotry, and ignorance of history, politics, and the wider world.

In his seminal book on the bizarre ‘mystical’ ideas that fed into the ideology of Nazi Germany, Professor Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke notes that in the Third Reich, we see an example of ‘apocalyptic hysteria in the leadership of a modern state’. In many respects, the same kind of apocalyptic hysteria is found in the worldview of committed supporters of the BNP. The BNP does indeed resemble a fundamentalist movement and a political cult, and perhaps this is the best way to view the organisation.