One thing I am asked more times in my life than “How are you?” is “what caused such radical change?” This is understandable and honestly, I don’t mind talking about it at all. I mean I went from violent Nazi and occultist who was a household name, to a pacifist, a Jew, and someone who embraced Judaism in every way imaginable. Truthfully, the process began before I left the movement and I asked myself that very question for a few years after I left the movement. It wasn’t an overnight decision to leave, it took a lot of work for me to leave, but the real work began once I was out.
I will not pull any punches here, I won’t omit anything as to not offend, because this information may help others leave as I did, or help to combat extremism, so buckle up!
I first started questioning things when I realized members within the movement were always looking for perceived “traitors,” this could be someone who has a friend that’s not white or who is gay, literally, it is borderline petty, but can become very serious, very fast. What this meant, was via the ideology, we had invisible enemies all around us at all times, and those who called us “friend,” “brother,” etcetera were also out to get us in some way. I would receive ten calls a day easily with people claiming so and so was a traitor because of something minor and petty. This destroyed the illusion of brotherhood, of accepting one another based on skin color, which in turn left me once again feeling as though I lacked an identity. This was just the beginning…
When my daughter was born, there was a black man sitting outside of the hospital, a patient with cancer, and we sat there smoking cigarettes (I quit smoking 4 years ago) and talking. This went on throughout a few days culminating in two guys saying to give them my wallet and him standing up saying I was his brother and he was dying to get the hell away from me. This ill black man helped me and before we parted ways back up into the hospital we shook hands and I hugged him. The day after, I got a phone call from a member of the organization I was a part of asking if I was a traitor for working with Anonymous to fight pedophilia on the dark web… that was the final straw!
I ghosted everyone, I stopped answering their calls, I stopped answering their emails, and I altogether vanished on them. I left the movement, I left all of my “Friends,” in it, I left all of the media I was fond of attached to it, and I started life over (this was 8 years ago as of 2021). That was not the end of it, only the intermission…
I was out, I had a new daughter, and I began thinking more about my kids (at the time I had 3, now I have 4). What kind of person did I want them to think I am, what kind of world did I want to leave for them, and finally, if the things I’d questioned already were fallacies, what about the ideology I lived and the historical revisions I had learned. All of this took deep introspection, hard work that led me down dark paths of myself that I never looked at before. The truth is, at that point, I didn’t trust myself to do or believe anything, as the deeper I looked the more I realized I was previously living a lie, all of it, from the false history, to the ideology, all of it and I soon saw it for what it was, an extremist cult.
I decided to go onto social media, befriend people of every race, religion, gender, sexuality, age bracket etcetera, and to have open and honest talks with them all. One friend I’d mentioned a few times Bee (a black man), really became my best friend and just about daily we’d talk about everything, with the agreement that we wouldn’t get mad, argue or fight and instead would try to see things from the other’s perspective. This went on for a few years until he’d committed suicide due to a custody case several years back, but he truly is owed EVERYTHING by me for helping break every stereotype and to see all people as beautiful and unique.
Through all of this, I was still a well know practicing occultist, I’d given lectures in front of millions, ran an organization of 10k people, and wrote three books that were well received. While my past as a Nazi was behind me, I had no hate in my heart and even made a concerted effort to talk out against hatred and to promote acceptance, but I was still involved in the occult. The occult was not a bad thing honestly, no one I knew hurt people or animals, it was very open and promoted inclusivity and individuality, and it is because of my decades in the occult that I found Judaism (more on that in a minute).
In January of 2021, thanks to an AncestryDNA test, I finally had an identity, and one that came as quite a surprise, I am Ashkenazi Jewish. The shock came because I spent so much of my life demonizing and dehumanizing the Jewish people…my people and here I came to find out I am ethnically Jewish myself. I decided to set about to study the culture and peoplehood of the Jews and to find my identity therein, and with no knowledge of where to start, I reached out to the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia. The Director was so kind and we set up a zoom meeting to talk about my past and what I’d learned about myself.
She was so nice and asked if she could send me a package, a few days later I received the nicest gifts I could have ever imagined. My first menorah, a Shabbat candleholder from Israel, my first Kippah, and several books (books are gold to me). The director was a secular Jew and I told her I wasn’t as interested in the religion, as I was in knowing my people, but in reading the books to know the people, my interest in Judaism peeked. So I purchased some books and read, then purchased more and read and I quickly saw myself fall in love with G-D and Judaism. If it were not for my decades in the occult teaching open-mindedness and spiritual exploration, I would have never thought of converting to Judaism honestly. My wife and I started attending Shabbat services, joined a Synagogue, and are now in the process of conversion to Reform Judaism, leaving the occult in my past as well.
My life began in 2013, then changed again in 2021; but I’m a fan of change, it has had an amazing impact on my life and the lives of those I love. My changes were radical, yes, but I am living proof that change is possible in anyone!