Ugly Connections Part 2

This is a follow-up post to one from January this year: https://camestrosfelapton.wordpress.com/2022/01/06/ugly-connections/

Late in December 2021 a gunman went on a killing spree in Denver. The murders appear to be reprisals for imagined slights. The added twist to the killings was that the murderer had also been a (sort of) science fiction author with a series of books one of which presaged the mass killings. For example, the protagonist of the books “Lyndon” kills two tattoo artists in the books whereas the real killer (Lyndon James McLeod) attacked two tattoo shops.

The killer wrote as “Roman McClay” and earlier in the year I was asked by some people whether he had any connection with the far-right sci-fi authors I’ve covered here. My answer at the time was that the connections were indirect. Media reports drew connections between McClay/McLeod and far-right self-help gurus Mike Cernovich and Ivan Throne as well a far-right pundit Jack Posobiec (see https://twitter.com/COSAntiFascists/status/1475992196847390725?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1475992196847390725%7Ctwgr%5E186526d59787c0067264287f49ca6dd9172c9c6e%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fnewsone.com%2F4267885%2Fdenver-mass-shooter-lyndon-mcleod-white-supremacist-report%2F ). Although Vox Day’s Castalia House has published works by Cernovich, Throne and Posobiec, there did not appear to be any direct connection between McClay/McLeod and Day/Castalia.

Yesterday, in the post on extreme-Catholic/misogynist Brian Niemeier’s paranoia about demons, Doris Sutherland pointed out multiple connections between McClay/McLeod and the circle of authors around Niemeier. In particular, Niemeier has been promoting for some time the life/relationship/self-help advice of author Adam Lane Smith aka The Brometheus. Niemeier is Lane Smith’s editor.

https://brianniemeier.com/2022/04/welcome-elon/

Meanwhile, Adam Lane Smith was an online friend and promoter of McClay/McLeod. Doris put extensive documentation in her comment which you can read here https://camestrosfelapton.wordpress.com/2022/07/28/demons/#comment-75552

Lane Smith’s Twitter account surprisingly still has old tweets with him promoting McClay/McLeod’s novels:

https://twitter.com/TheBrometheus/status/1178328666821910534

Note that this book specifically is the one in which McClay/McLeod mentally rehearsed the actual murders he would later commit, INCLUDING the names of the actual victims. Now, obviously, Adam Lane Smith did not know at the time that the ostensible work of fiction was literal murder fantasy. However, he does promote himself as an exceptional judge of character and (surprise, surprise) an advocate of Brian Niemeier’s witch test (e.g. https://twitter.com/TheBrometheus/status/1451238295367716866 ).

The connection between these far-right fantasies and actual violence is usually hard to establish. There are famous examples such as the Oklahoma City Bomber Timothy McVeigh being inspired by the notorious racist alt-history fantasy The Turner Diaries. The use of fiction creates a curtain of deniability. After all, there are lots of novels in which terrible people do terrible things but don’t inspire actual violence. With McClay/McLeod there is zero gap between the far-right murder fantasy and real-life killings. The murderer was using fiction as a way of rehearsing his revenge murder spree while tieing it to a worldview in which his masculinity and traditional values were threatened by demonic forces.

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19 responses to “Ugly Connections Part 2”

  1. 😐

    That’s my “surprised” face when any or all of the RWNJ connect up on anything, be it online trolling, trying to destroy the Hugos, or committing murders.

    Doris does great work — glad she does it and I don’t have to.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. His books are on Archive.org, if anyone feels the need to dig deeper. I searched for references to demons and found this in the second book:

    ‘“Yeah, and look, I killed Alicia Cardenas as well. And I did technically fuck her, but dude, that bitch was demonic. Wow, I guess I did not consider those three to be women, not in the normal sense. They were just dudes with tits I guess. Which, now that I think about it, I guess I should have killed Sarah. I guess my reasons are not as clear as I thought,” he was pensive now; his own contradictions laid bare.’

    Alicia Cardenas was one of McLeod’s real-life victims:
    https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-features/denver-shooting-tattoo-alicia-cardenas-lyndon-mcleod-1360771/

    She’s also mentioned in the second book:

    ‘“They hated what he represented. The whore who fucked 66 guys by 24 -Alicia- she was a Mexican, a Mexica , brown-pride type; who called him conquistador , her friends called him Hernan for Hernan Cortez the colonial murderer. Melannie, the artist bohemian chick, was postmodernist Marxist who read Derrida and Foucault and Lacan. She hated, they all hated his tall, handsome, muscular, brilliant alpha male ass. He was the patriarchy!”‘

    (Needless to say, the “tall, handsome, muscular, brilliant alpha male” character discussed here is the author’s self-insert.)

    Liked by 3 people

  3. A dear person I’ve known since kindergarten is addicted to meth and periodically pops in and out of text and phone contact with me and a couple of other elementary school friends. He called last week, in distress, and suffering from paranoid delusions that his house is bugged and the cops and others are stalking him. He’s dismantled all his light switches and light fixtures and thinks the smart bulbs etc are spyware. It’s impossible to persuade him otherwise when he’s in this state.

    Anyway, the business with BN and the demons reminds me of this dynamic and it’s just sad and hard to imagine any change. it must be so exhausting to live in that heightened state of fear and hyper-vigilance — and probably some bad faith and meanness mixed in too.

    Liked by 4 people

    • I’m not impressed with those tests. Sometimes I’m Slytherin and sometimes I’m Hufflepuff.

      I guess BN would think I’m occasionally possessed, depending on the website?

      (or permanently, since I know the difference between the two and therefore must have exposed myself to Magick.)

      Liked by 1 person

      • This reminds me of a cycle I’ve noticed in pop culture, which I’ll express as a prediction of the next iteration:

        A: “Turning Red” is Disney propaganda to corrupt our youth.

        … Five years pass…

        B: Remember “Turning Red”? Pretty cool movie but a bit heteronormative, am I right?

        A (the same A): The Woke mob is now attacking the beloved classic “Turning Red.”

        Liked by 5 people

  4. There are two aspects here I keep coming back to when I think about this:

    – There’s no sense of Adam Lane Smith or others seeing anything problematic in how McLeod behaved before the murders, or in how the protagonist of the book “solved” his issues with people around him. The overall tone in Smith’s praise of McLeod’s book leans towards praising both author and the protagonist as heroic figures, as someone to take after. It’s not “my friend struggles with some inner demons, but is a good guy nonetheless” or “this is a great book about what happens when a guy goes crazy”, it’s “my friend is such a badass” and “this is a great book about a honorable man who does what all men should do”.

    – The underlying cause for McLeod’s hatred against his victims seems completely trivial. When I started reading the Rolling Stone article I sort of expected some seedy backstory – something involving a lot of money, or a long-running grudge, or a messy breakup, or something, well, substantial. But it’s nothing like that. McLeod wanted to get into the tattoo business, but failed – so he starts hating successful tattoo artists. That’s basically all there is to it.

    Liked by 4 people

    • I mean, my understanding is that the tattoo industry operates on very much an old-school guild/apprenticeship structure; you apprentice at somebody else’s shop until they think you’re good enough to operate on your own. Needless to say, personality clashes between apprentice and master can be the main cause of some people deciding that the field isn’t for them. Of course, in a case like this, it seems unlikely that the personality clash is all the master’s fault.

      (See https://notalwaysright.com/watching-career-just-flutter/102907/ for one such example with what seems like a similar mindset.)

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Found more context. In my comment on the Demons post, I mentioned that McLeod had allegedly threatened author Travis Corcoran and/or his family. Well, the now-deleted tweet can be seen at the bottom of this archive:

    https://web.archive.org/web/20211230045434/https://twitter.com/roman_mcclay

    “Don’t hide in your house when I get there, motherfucker. Come out like a man (you may need to google that you Yankee fuck).”

    It’s a response to this tweet:

    Here’s a thread by Corcoran chronicling the argument that lead up to the threat, including McLeod demanding Corcoran’s street address:

    https://web.archive.org/web/20220407190009/https://twitter.com/MorlockP/status/1256699095466627074

    Apparently the dispute started with Corcoran criticising “a tremendously bad author who not only writes very very bad books that sell almost no copies, but also sells on book on how to write great and fast like him” — I’m guessing this is Adam Lane Smith?

    Like

    • Whenever I run into a proud NeoConfederate with a thing about Southern Honor, I like to educate them with a little story that demonstrates true Southern Honor:

      When offended by a criticism of slavery, Preston Brooks didn’t impulsively attack Charles Sumner or challenge him to a duel (that would be dangerous).

      Instead, the Southern coward Brooks arranged to confront Sumner when Sumner was unarmed, alone, and unprepared, while Brooks was armed with a cane, and protected by another Southerner with a pistol (two to one odds is very honorable!). Brooks then honorably beat the helpless Sumner so badly that Sumner never fully recovered.

      Of course, decent people were repulsed by Brooks’ cowardly attacked, but Southern Honor culture considered Brooks to be a great hero – and a fine example of a Southern man. And they were right of course – Brooks demonstrates the filthy, unmanly nature of Southern honor better than every flag of surrender the Confederacy would later use.

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    • It would be odd for it to be Adam Lane Smith – weren’t they pals? It’s all very alarming given MCleod’s actual behaviour

      My mistake, MorlockP was the one referring to Adam Lane Smith not McLeod. That makes sense

      Like

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