Stepping Back from the Brink: How my Affiliation with NORSKK De-Radicalized Me

Part 1 – When Anti-Racism Became Anti-White

Be me. An otherwise agreeable, if not opinionated, white man. A libertarian, a veteran, a scholar. Well-versed in social justice terminology and causes (e.g., white privilege, systemic racism, etc), agreeing with the intentions of social justice advocates, while maintaining a healthy dose of skepticism and questioning. I was aware of my privilege and worked to eliminate racial bias. I had friends of all races, faiths, and sexual orientations. I was, for the most part, your average, educated, center-left American. 

I might have gone on being like that for the rest of my life, but everything changed when George Zimmerman was acquitted of second-degree murder in the shooting of Trayvon Martin. A vigorous debate was raging on Facebook. People were either of the opinion that Zimmerman was a cold-blooded killer, stalking a young, innocent Trayvon Martin; or that Zimmerman acted in self-defense when Martin attacked him. I was somewhere in between, believing both Zimmerman and Martin made mistakes that they never would have committed, had they known what the outcome would be. One of my friends at the time was a very intelligent African-American of Haitian extraction. During the Facebook debate this friend – an otherwise mild-mannered, good-humored, inclusive atheist liberal – said, “Your opinion means nothing as a white man! You’ll never know what it’s like to be a black man in America!” 

Apart from his problematic reasoning (i.e., if a white man can’t understand what it’s like to be a black man, then how can a black man know that a white man can’t understand unless he knows what it’s like being a white man), what struck me most about that conversation was that my opinion meant nothing to him, not because it was demonstrably false, but simply because it was the opinion of a White person.  

Few things are sacred to me, but one of those few is free speech. It’s non-negotiable. Everyone has a right to an opinion, a right to share it, and a right to allow it to compete in the free market of ideas. Good ideas don’t fear being tested and bad ideas whither when confronted by open, honest, evidence-based examination. Fear of examination is a charlatan’s game. Only a fraud or a coward demands the silencing of people and ideas he disagrees with. When you cut out a man’s tongue, you are not proving him a liar; only that you fear what he might say. Yet here was someone I respected, someone I thought respected me, telling me to shut up, simply because I was White. 

I’ve come to realize the Trayvon Martin shooting as the turning point in America; where the hope of inclusion and empowerment of minorities – brought about by the election of a Black man as POTUS and consecutive Black US Attorneys General – evaporated, replaced with rage and racial animosity, specifically against Whites. Anti-racism became synonymous with being anti-White. White privilege was no longer just a nuisance, but an intolerable injustice. White supremacy wasn’t confined to Klan gatherings and cross burnings; it permeated every institution in our country. Racism no longer required acts or beliefs; now every White person was racist by default, by their mere existence. “Whiteness” transformed from a characteristic to, as Jim Goad called it, an original sin. Whites were suddenly cast by the Left as the root of all evil, with many openly advocating their eradication. Protesting such genocidal rhetoric was interpreted as proof of White fragility, the inability of Whites to cope with their own racism without throwing a tantrum. Practically overnight, being anti-White went from fringe to front page.

Part 2 – Reluctant Nazis 

A funny thing happens when you throw around labels like ‘racist’ and ‘Nazi’ often enough. Eventually, it becomes normalized. People become desensitized to the label. People who otherwise wouldn’t have given much thought to racist ideologies become gradually more inclined to them. They have no other choice. There’s no incentive to being anti-racist if you’re treated as a racist, regardless of your beliefs and actions. No matter how hard you might try to convince the Left otherwise, you’re a racist simply because you’re White. Under those circumstances, what do you have to lose by becoming an actual racist? Eventually the accused will own the label. They have to. They have no one else to turn to. 

When ostracized and labeled against your will, you have only one realistic choice: align with the people who aren’t against you, even if you don’t entirely support them. As it happens, the people most visibly pro-White and pro-free speech are actual Nazis. If the only people not condemning you for being White are Nazis, suddenly being a Nazi becomes much more appealing, especially when your only alternative is to become a tool of a Left that would enslave you for the sins of your fathers, regardless of whether your fathers owned slaves, lynched Blacks, colonized foreign lands, etc. 

It wasn’t overnight, but eventually I warmed up to far-right ideology. There was still plenty I was skeptical of – for instance, I didn’t buy into anti-Semitism or that idea that the Holocaust never happened, nor was I entirely convinced I’d want to live in a White ethnostate – but by virtue of the fact that actors on the far-right were the people fighting for me, I was certainly more receptive to their message. Eventually, I felt compelled to throw my support in with them or someone like them, in an effort to counter the rising, and otherwise unchallenged, anti-White tide. If I was to be branded a Nazi, regardless of my actual opinions, I was inclined to be the Nazi they made me out to be, albeit reluctantly.

Part 3 – From Reluctant Nazi to Proudly Alt-Right  

Ostracized from social media like Facebook and Twitter, I turned to alt-media outlets like Gab. Gab was never intended to be a Nazi haven, but it quickly swelled with the ranks of refugees from mainstream social media, who may or may not have been Nazis, but all of whom shared the common experience of being expelled from the mainstream for having opinions deemed unacceptable by the Leftist media establishment. Personally, I was expelled from Facebook for opposing mass Muslim immigration into Europe and from Twitter for questioning Leftist narratives.  

In perhaps the greatest modern example of unintended consequences, Leftist oppression – in the form of anti-White propaganda and deplatforming – converted otherwise moderate individuals with diverse opinions and friends of multiple ethnicities into disciples of the AltRight. Ironically, the Left’s efforts to destroy White identity culminated in the rebirth of White identity politics. By ostracizing people for having center-right opinions, people like me were channeled into alternative social media platforms where far-right opinions prevailed. The effect was that, for those of us who had been relatively moderate before, the Overton Window swung far to the right, to a place where questioning the Holocaust and advocating race war was commonplace. I was exposed to AltRight entertainment in the form of Murdoch Murdoch, pro-Nazi talking points in the form of The Greatest Story Never Told, and the extremist music of Mr. Bond.  Watch an Oscar Turner video sometime and it’s easy to see the appeal of the AltRight to disillusioned young Whites who have been told their race is despicable their whole lives. 

Ironically, in their attempt to quash far-right extremism, the Leftist media inadvertently exposed a bunch of “Normies” to thoughts and ideas they otherwise never would have encountered. Suddenly extremism didn’t seem like something foreign or taboo; to us, this was the new mainstream and we were the vanguard of a new resistance.

My only question now was which organization fighting for the cause I would throw my support behind. I still wasn’t comfortable with the idea of actual Nazism, but identitarian organizations like Generation Identity and Identity Evropa (now the American Identity Movement) seemed appealing. Perhaps the Proud Boys if I didn’t want to go too obviously in favor of White Nationalism. Anti-Communist Action seemed like a solid choice, but they folded in the aftermath of the Unite the Right rally. These were the moderate choices, from my perspective. They were all decent choices, but something remained missing. That’s when I decided to affiliate with NORSKK.   

Part 4 – De-Radicalization via NORSKK

NORSKK wasn’t an obvious choice to me. I’d been familiar with them from Facebook, but the idea of becoming a Viking didn’t resonate with me, since I have no known Scandinavian heritage. What compelled me to throw my hat into the ring with them was more a matter of a desire to do something, as doing anything was better than doing nothing. The selling point was perhaps my personal opinion that western civilization can’t be saved unless we – as individuals – improve ourselves. Even if all the Jews, Blacks, and whomever the Nazis on Gab bitch about were to disappear, western civilization would still be degenerate, infected with Leftist ideology. Therefore, NORSKK being the org most obviously geared towards self-improvement, seemed like the best choice. 

One doesn’t necessarily join NORSKK; they’re much more selective than that. Potential members must prove themselves. They begin by enrolling in the Hirðmaðr course: an extensive, self-paced, online program to develop the trainee’s knowledge of Norse culture, survival skills, and warrior skills, culminating in a final assessment. The process can take years. In the meantime, subject to approval, trainees can join NORSKK’s social media forum – the Víkingahöll – on a probationary basis, where they can interact with other members, from fellow trainees all the way up to the highest echelons of the organization.    

To say I got off to a rough start with NORSKK is a gross understatement. I posted a meme sympathetic to the Third Reich in response to a topic and immediately learned the hard way that NORSKK is vehemently anti-Nazi! I received a zero-tolerance response from all who cared to chime in and rebuke what I had posted. I was all but certain I had fucked the dog and ruined any chance I had with this organization. Likewise, I wondered whether my ideals were truly congruent with those of NORSKK. Regardless, it was certain I’d have to lose any starry-eyed infatuation I had developed for the Third Reich during my radicalization period if I was to continue with NORSKK.

As months passed, I got to know the members of NORSKK and they got to know me. In all honesty, I’m surprised they put up with me at all, with my dumb questions and frequent challenges. I put my foot in my mouth more times than I can count. Likewise, there were numerous times I was convinced my opinions were incompatible with NORSKK’s and was certain it was best that I end my affiliation. However, every time I brought up my concerns with the org, they were addressed to my satisfaction. After nearly a year with NORSKK, I’m finally at a point where I’m confident in the intelligence and expertise of its leadership, and feel that our respective values are closely aligned. 

Although I was never in imminent danger of engaging in right-wing violence, I can see how the radicalizing influences of the far-right might compel some vulnerable individuals to take that course. Belittled by anti-White academics and castigated by the Leftist media, desperate individuals without a coherent cause or a group of like-minded individuals to help them stay grounded are at risk of being driven to extremism. They feel as if all is lost, that they have nothing left to lose, so they gravitate toward the most radical elements of the far-right.

Whereas previously my attitudes were becoming increasingly aligned with far-right ideology, my affiliation and interaction with NORSKK stopped that swing to the right in its tracks, as if to say, “You’ve found what you need here. You don’t need to move any closer to the extreme.” I was surprised to find I was not the only one who NORSKK steered away from extremist affiliation. It’s impossible to say where my swing to the far-right would have stopped in the absence of NORSKK. What is certain is that I’m studying Nordic history instead of Nazi ideology; I’m developing myself as a man instead of sitting behind a computer incessantly ranting about hair-brained conspiracy theories; I’m developing a community instead of being a menace to society; I’m lighting a path forward for others to follow instead of leaving scorched Earth in my wake.

For all intents and purposes, NORSKK de-radicalized me. In this organization, I’ve found a community I can rely on, experience I can trust, and a path that keeps me focused on personal and community development, thereby steering me clear of the pitfalls of blind anger and hopeless rage in the face of a world that strays further from the light with each passing day.