Erik Olson writes:
The world’s two largest National Socialist publishing houses are engaged in an acrimonious dispute, Searchlight can reveal.
Earlier this year we were able to supply the international media with details of yet another international Nazi gathering in Sweden, a regular feature since the creation of Generation Identity early in this decade. Exposure of this event, which took place in February, exacerbated a row that was already brewing between Counter-Currents Publishing and Arktos Media.
Arktos was set up in India by John Morgan, an American, and Daniel Friberg, a Swedish Nazi and businessman, and is now based in Hungary.
Recently a small “volkisch” far-right group called Scandza Forum started making its presence felt publicly with calls for more international activity. Some minor events took place and then we learned from our inside sources that a major event was to take place in Oslo on 1 July 2017 under the Scandza banner heavily supported by Greg Johnson’s Counter-Currents. We also discovered that Morgan had left Arktos to take up a senior role in Johnson’s outfit, accusing parts of Arktos’s management of embezzling money. Friberg and the Arktos team were barred from attending the conference.
Searchlight obtained some internal documents which included a list of speakers and delegates with 190 names. We made this list available to the mainstream media and anti-fascist groups in Norway and Sweden and have received a good level of co-operation, especially from the Norwegian mainstream newspaper Dagbladet. Several people from the UK were expected to attend, and, as on previous occasions, Johnson and some other overseas visitors stopped in London on their way.
One of the scheduled speakers was Colin Robertson, who was exposed by The Daily Record as the man behind a hate-filled extremist video blog called Millennial Woes, on which he airs his white supremacist and antisemitic views to his 20,000 followers. Robertson, 34, is an unemployed former student who lives with his father in Linlithgow in Scotland. He has posted around 600 videos on YouTube which have received 2.1 million views.
Last year Robertson spoke at a conference of Richard Spencer’s alt-right US National Policy Institute at which supporters gave Nazi salutes and shouted “Hail Trump”.
The Oslo conference was titled “Globalism v the Ethnostate”. The programme states, among other things, that white people are about to become a minority in several countries and that politicians are leaving Europe and the United States open to immigrants without consulting the people.
As well as Robertson the speakers include Johnson of Counter-Currents, a leading white nationalist ideologue. In an article on Counter-Currents, Johnson refers to the Jews as “powerful and malicious enemies who bear a great deal of blame for the white race’s decline,” and says that they should move to their own “ethnostate”, ie Israel.
Another is Mike Peinovic, alias Mike Enoch. Enoch is known from the website “The Daily Shoah” and The Right Stuff”. Both have been described as racist and antisemitic. Johnson and Peinovic promote a message that the white race is threatened by demographic trends, as well as being the victim of a modern popular culture that portrays white men as villains in movies and television.
According to the conference’s Facebook page, it was to be be covered by the Swedish internet radio station Red Ice Creations. This radio station gives airtime to a large number of Nazis all over the world. It broadcasts in English, which has helped establish it internationally.
Publicity for the conference did not give the venue – participants had to register by email. According to Scandza Forum’s Facebook page, participants had to pay 500 krone (£45).
Scandza Forum, which organised the conference, is registered in Bergen according to the Brønnøysund Register. Scandza is led by Olav Torheim, gate-keeper of the Identity website and a doctor of physics who has edited the online magazine Målmannen for several years. The magazine used to be devoted to promoting “Høgnorsk”, an antiquarian and formal form of Nynorsk (one of the two written languages in Norway). There is no connection between Høgnorsk/Nynorsk and racism. However, over the years the website has devoted more and more space to identitarianism and far-right material, including more or less glowing reviews of marches and white power concerts. Torheim was also listed as a speaker at the Oslo conference.
Journalist and author Øyvind Strømmen told Dagbladet that Målmannen profiles himself as a advocate of “high Norwegian”, a very conservative form of Nynorsk, but conveys opinions that often go far into right wing-extremism.
Målmannen has for years visited a wide range of events around Europe under the direction of neo-fascist and neo-Nazi groups. Some of this is presented as purely journalistic coverage, Torheim has however also appeared as a politically active participant. For example, he participated in a panel during Festival Boreal in Hungary in 2012. The site also hailed the French Order Nouveau, a Neo-fascist movement, a few decades ago. All these are expressions of a clear editorial profile, although at times it has also attempted to produce itself as a journalistic medium, Strømmen told Dagbladet.
Another of the Oslo conferences organisers is the Icelandic Frodi Midjord, who has previously written for the newspaper of the Nynorsk Swede Party.
Strømmen says that Målmannen and the present conference are both representatives of a right-wing movement called identitarianism. Identitarianism started in France around 2003, but has spread to a number of European countries. One of its best known representatives today is the Austrian Martin Sellner, who visited Oslo in May where he attended a seminar entitled “The New Political Reality” at the Eldorado bookshop.
Identitarianism sets itself against “multiculturalism” which it wants to replace with an “ethnopluralism” whereby cultures should be kept separate and cultivate their own distinctive character. Identitarianism attempts to cultivate an intellectual image, but identitarians have attempted to mount actions against ships that were on their way to pick up refugees in the Mediterranean. In recent years there has been an increasing overlap with the American alt-right.
Searchlight told Dagbladet that the purpose of the identititarian movement is to wash away what they consider to be the biggest disasters for the white race. The first was the defeat of Hitler in World War II. The second, they say, was the 1968 generation and the emergence of the modern left and multiculturalism. Their goal is to create a new youth generation in opposition to this. They do not want to recruit skinheads, but middle class youths, students and, if possible, their teachers.
Strømmen thinks it is natural to see the conference in connection with the event at Eldorado Kino in May. To his knowledge there is no direct connection between the two events, but it is clear that Donald Trump’s election in the United States and the attention the alt-right movement gained in the wake of this has acted as inspiration for those who want to create an alternative on the right in Norway. The arrangement with Sellner was an attempt at this. The Oslo conference was another, although by elements that are far further to the right than Sellner and the organisers of the Eldorado bookshop event. This in many ways represents the outer edges of the alt-right movement. For example, Johnson is an outspoken antisemite, and argues against mixing of races, which is quite extreme, says Strømmen.
The Oslo conference was a sequel to a previous conference that took place in Stockholm on 25 May. Searchlight told Dagbladet that several such meetings have taken place in recent years between members of the alt-right and European right-wing extremists.
In 2014 both Richard Spencer and the Russian ideologue Aleksandr Dugin were set to attend a meeting in Budapest. However, Dugin was denied a visa while Spencer was banned from the Schengen area for three years. What was left of the conference was stopped by the police who considered it a security risk.
Arktos, which publishes racist and identitarian literature, has organised several conferences. Arktos is funded by a Swedish mining company, and has extensive alt-right and neo-Nazi connections, but because of the rift with Counter-Currents, Arktos was not involved in the Oslo conference.
Mike Enoch was also planning a visit to a racist organisation in Australia to visit a local racist organisation. An Australian MP was attempting to prevent the trip.
Oslo Police told Dagbladet that they were aware of the conference, but did not want to make any further statement.
Many of the people involved in the Oslo gathering on 1 July were expected to attend a second get-together in Oslo later in month.