by Martin Kerr [from English racial nationalist journal, Heritage & Destiny circ. 2004]
When he first learnt of the formation of an “American Nazi Party” in Arlington, Virginia by former US Navy Commander George Lincoln Rockwell, NRP leader James Madole was unhappy. Even more so than today, in 1959 support for American National Socialism (or anything close to it) was miniscule. Simply put, Madole did not want any competition for the slender resources available to the most radical wing of the Racial Nationalist movement. Although the National Renaissance Party had been largely dormant since a wave of media attacks and governmental intimidation in 1955, Madole felt that it was only a matter of time until more favourable circumstances would emerge.
As it turned out however there was no real competition between the NRP and the ANP. The operational range of the NRP was limited to New York City and the surrounding area. Although he made occasional propaganda forays into New York City, Rockwell’s party never had a substantial presence in the Greater New York area.
Rather than damaging the NRP, Rockwell’s success in building American National Socialism actually helped to launch Madole’s Party into its greatest period of street activism and resulting publicity. Rockwell’s aggressive high profile, media savvy tactics were a big boost to the flagging morale of White Nationalists everywhere. Many of those who admired Rockwell but who did not join the ANP, felt that they could do as good a job (or better) as Rockwell was doing himself by imitating him. Madole was one of those who was not above adopting Rockwell’s style once it had proved to bring a measure of success.
In addition to strengthening morale and providing a working model for radical Racial Nationalist activity, Rockwell also brought many new activists into the movement. These new activists included former military personnel, tough working class youth, and a smattering of college students. Over time, some of these would quarrel with Rockwell and lose interest in the movement completely. Others, however would gravitate to organisations other than the ANP. Throughout the 1960’s the NRP benefited greatly from an influx of former ANP members into it’s ranks.
In 1963 Madole launched a major propaganda offensive which he hoped would propel the NRP past Rockwell and into the forefront of radical White Nationalism. A new NRP self-defense formation was organised, the Security Echelon. The SE uniform included grey shirts (copied from the German American Bund) and thunderbolt armbands. Overall it was reminiscent of the traditional National Socialist brown shirt uniform, and yet was clearly distinct from it.
The first public appearance of the SE was on 25 May 1963, when it provided security for Madole at a street rally in the Yorkville section of Manhattan. The meeting was widely advertised by the media, with the result that some 4000 people showed up. Most of these were merely curious onlookers, but among the crowd were 1000 members of the Jewish War Veterans, who had vowed to stop Madole from speaking. In between SE and the JWV were the New York City Police, who had the unenviable task of preserving the peace. Flanked by SO Major Edward Cassidy, Madole stepped up to the podium and began to speak. During the course of the ensuing riot, some JWV members managed to break through the police lines and clashed briefly but violently with the SE before being driven off. That was the end of the rally.
In the course of the confused fighting, SE Sergeant Louis Mostaccio struck a plainclothes detective whom he had mistaken for a JWV member. He was arrested on charges of assaulting a police officer. Mostaccio was then taken to the police station where he was beaten while handcuffed and then thrown down a flight of stairs. Henceforth, SE troopers knew that if they were arrested during the course of a demonstration in which there was violence they could expect to be beaten by the police, regardless of the actual circumstances of their arrest.
The result of the Yorkville rally and riot was worldwide publicity for the NRP, which led to an influx of recruits and donations. It also led to almost immediate retaliatory measures from the government. Quickly a resolution was introduced in the New York state legislature banning the public wearing of any National Socialist uniform or any uniform “resembling” an NS uniform. It took over a decade for Madole to get this unconstitutional law repealed. During that period the main effect of the New York anti-uniform law was to increase the popularity of the out of state activities among SE members.
A more serious attack on the NRP was the arrest of Madole and key SE leaders following a demonstration in Brooklyn. NRP members and supporters were arrested following the counter-picket of a Congress of Racial Equality protest at a White Castle hamburger restaurant. After the picket, the NRP team returned to the van they were using for transportation. In the cargo area of the van the police found some camping equipment, including a crossbow and a hunting knife. The picketers were then arrested on various weapons and riot charges. Although he was not present at the protest, Madole was also arrested on the theory that he had “incited” his members to break the law. After two years of court battles, the obviously trumped up charges were dropped – but in the meantime precious NRP resources had been consumed in the legal struggle and several SE men had done time in prison, although they had broken no law.
Undeterred the NRP continued their programme of street rallies, pickets and leaflet distributions. From 1968, the JWV was replaced by the Jewish Defense League as the main street opposition to the NRP. The JDL normally avoided clashing with SE troopers at public demonstrations, and instead preferred nighttime ambushes of NRP members outside of party headquarters. (Madole’s third floor walk up flat at 10 West 90th Street doubled as party headquarters and Madole’s apartment). One such attack in October 1969 left two SE men hospitalized. In April 1970 SE commander Bob Woodcock had his head split open by an axe in an even more brutal assault. JDL member Steven Lang was subsequently arrested. In December of the same year a major assault on the NRP Headquarters was thwarted when a skirmish line of SE troopers armed with baseball bats and clubs held off a JDL mob until the police arrived.
It is unsurprising that James Madole himself was often caught up in violence that swirled around him. By the early 1970’s he was overweight, out of shape and badly asthmatic and as such hardly made a daunting phyiscal impression. Yet, because of his iron will and absolute fearlessness he was a formidable street fighter. In January 1971 this author saw him trade punches toe to toe with a JDL member twice his size and half his age during a brawl between seven NRP members and thirty JDLers in New York’s Port Authority Bus Terminal. Later that year, this author saw Madole calmly draw a knife on a communist protester who menaced him following yet another Yorkville street rally. (“What are you going to do with that?” the Red asked him. “That depends on you”, was Madole’s reply. The Red quickly scooted away.
Madole survived two assassination attempts, both by Jews. On 28 February 1958 one Al Richman gained access to Madole’s apartment on false pretence. He produced a handgun, timed up Madole and Madole’s mother Grace, and then announced his intention to kill them. A battle of will and wits between Madole and Richman then ensued which ended when Richman fled leaving James and Grace Madole both unharmed. Although he had come to the NRP headquarters with the goal of killing Madole “he lacked the fortitude to commit the act of murder” as Madole dryly commented. Richman was later wounded in a shoot out with the police who came to arrest him and was committed to an insane asylum.
The second assassination attempt nearly killed the NRP leader. Edward Tournier described in the National Renaissance Bulletin as someone “whose father is Jewish and whose mother is human” was a native of Louisiana. He had applied for membership in the SE but was turned down because of his Jewish ancestry. Tournier developed a pathological hatred of Madole and began stalking him. On 2 April 1971 Tournier attacked Madole from behind as the two were entering an office building in Lower Manhattan. After exchanging punches with Madole, Tournier pulled a jagged chunk of brick from his jacket and crashed it into Madole’s head. By standers rushed forward to help Madole; Tournier escaped in the confusion and was never caught. Madole underwent emergency surgery and several square inches of his skull were removed. Photographs taken of Madole following the attack invariably show him wearing a hat or a helmet: this is because he never got around to having a second surgery to implant an iron plate to replace the missing bone. For the last eight years of his life, there was nothing between Madole’s brain and the outside world but a thin flap of skin – but still he went on demonstrations.
Although he recovered well enough physically from his assault, the attack had a lasting impact on his personality that was detrimental to the NRP for the rest of its history. Madole had had a lifelong interest in the occult. He was well versed both in occult theory and in the practice of ritual magic. Prior to the attack his tendency was to keep his occult beliefs more or less separate from the NRP.
This article is not the place to to into Madole’s belief in the occult in detail. Briefly he believed that science and the occult were just different ways of approaching the same reality, and that there was no essential difference between the scientist in his lab coat and the sorcerer in his cape. Madole was very taken by the writings of Madame Helena Blavatsky and the incorporated large amounts of Theosophy, similar to but different from the Austrian and German Aniosophists.
For the most part, the SE troopers and other NRP activists were not themselves occultists and Madole’s decision to merge occult beliefs with White Nationlism was unpopular throughout the party. Prevously what had distinguished the NRP from other Racial Nationalist or National Socialist groups was Madole’s political ideology. The proposals in the NRP programme for a new America went far beyond the superficial racialism that chacterised many American White Nationalist organisations. The NRP programme restructuring of American society. It included far reaching proposals for scientific advancement including space exploration and colonisation. Following the April 1971 assassination attempt, Madole largely replaced this political radicalism with an open advocacy of the occult. The result was an exodus from the party of many key leaders and activists.
In its final phase, NRP energies were focused on forging links with other occult organisations. Madole unsuccessfully tried to engineer a formal alliance between the Church of Satan and the NRP apparently unaware that the Church’s leader Anton Szandor Lavey was partially of Jewish ancestry. The National renaissance bulletin was largely given over to a continuing series of articles entitled “The New Atlantis” A Blueprint for an Aryan “Garden of Eden” in North America. The “blueprint” was almost entirely based on occult knowledge and magical theory with only a passing nod to previous NRP political radicalism. Most serious activists long having left, the ranks of the NRP were increasingly filled with more and more marginal types of individuals.
In the latter half of 1978 James Madole was diagnosed with cancer. He finally succumbed on 6 May 1979. He was only 51 years old. A few party stalwarts made a half-hearted attempt to keep the NRP going after his death, but their efforts quickly faltered.
The National Renaissance Party lasted thirty years. Its weaknesses were obvious : New York City is absolutely the wrong place for the headquarters of a Racial Nationalist movement. Madole was never able to generate enough income for the party to pay him a regular salary. Instead he had to work a regular nine to five job and then handle party business after work and on weekends. If the leader cannot lead full time his movement is not going to be successful. Lastly, the decision to make the occult the focus of NRP organizing and propaganda was spectacularly unsuccessful even by the modest standards of fringe movements.
Although ultimately it was not the vehicle to bring White Nationalism to power in the US the NRP can be credited with having advanced the movement on many fronts. Organizationally the party provided a sort of “basic training” in street activism for many people who later went on to be leaders in their own right. It also provided a focal point for White resistance in the Greater New York area. Its private weekly meetings were a venue in which any White Nationalist passing through the New York area could meet other comrades. Through the National Renaissance Bulletin, it provided a forum for both James Madole’s own ideas and those of other Movement thinkers, such as Francis Parker Yockey. Towards then end of his life, Madole was searching for new ways to reach the public: in 1976 the NRP was the first White Nationalist organisation to produce its own cable access television show.
Although largely forgotten today the dedication, hardwork and sacrifices of James Madole and his followers over the course of three decades provided an important platform on which subsequent White Nationalist efforts could be built.