|William Dudley Pelley|
The League of the Silver Shirts was an avowedly fascist together with antisemitic paramilitary scheme active inwards the States of America inwards the menses betwixt the 2 basis wars. Created inwards 1933 yesteryear William Dudley Pelley (1890–1965), a Vermont novelist, paper editor, together with onetime Hollywood scriptwriter, its activities peaked earlier Pelley’s presidential bid of 1936, together with had largely imploded yesteryear 1942 when Pelley was imprisoned for sedition.
Most of its membership was concentrated on the West Coast together with inwards the Great Lakes portion together with numbered at close an estimated 15,000 members. The Silver Shirts stood for a corporatist together with communitarian computer program that was modeled on Italian fascism.
They also sympathized amongst German linguistic communication National-Socialism together with envisioned the systematic eradication of Jewish ability inwards finance, politics, together with culture, together with the eventual reorganization of the States of America equally a “Christian Commonwealth.”
To explicate together with legitimate their radical program, the Silver Shirts proffered diverse conspiracy theories together with tried to create an overarching, eclectic conspiracist synthesis. This conspiracist synthesis combined elements from diverse occult philosophies, from to a greater extent than traditional Christian millennialism, together with from modern political, economic, together with racist antisemitism.
For close of its members, the Silver Shirts’ conspiracism was cohered yesteryear the radically dualist worldview of Christian millennialism. This invention of historical fourth dimension postulated a cosmic conspiracy yesteryear satanic forces of evil, a continual conflict betwixt these forces together with the Christian forces of good, together with an ultimate millennial victory yesteryear the Christian side.
Both of the 2 psyche types of Christian millennialism—pre- together with postmillennialism—were interchangeably espoused yesteryear Pelley, who preached both an imminent victory over the cosmic anti-Christian conspiracy, presumably through the Silver Shirts’ militant agency, together with a to a greater extent than distant, straight divine intervention to works life a millennial theocracy.
Apparently rooted inwards Pelley’s ain background equally the boy of an itinerant Methodist minister, the millennialist subject provided the Silver Shirts’ world doctrine its to the lowest degree controversial together with close widely appealing dimension. It would also look to bring been the source of close of the Silver Shirts’ conspiracism, for the bulk of the movement’s members came from traditional Christian Protestant backgrounds.
After an epiphanic out-of-body religious sense inwards 1928, however, Pelley radically decentered traditional Christian millennialism together with refocused his ain conspiracism through the influence of diverse occult speculations. These were gathered peculiarly from Great Pyramidism together with spiritualism merely also from Theosophism, Rosicrucianism, sexology, together with telepathy.
Pelley professed to bring received straight “master messages” from Jesus, from diverse angelic beings, together with later on also from the founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, together with he claimed that these messages had identified Jews together with Communists equally the primary actors of the millennial cosmic conspiracy together with exposed them equally reincarnated “demon” spirits.
Spiritualist together with Great Pyramidist influences provided Pelley’s speculations farther fixity, of a type unavailable to traditional Christian millennialists. By their way Pelley came to calculate the precise time to come trajectories together with timelines of the conspiracy’s unfolding together with coming destruction. He settled eventually on 17 September 2001, equally the 2d of millennial victory together with Jewish defeat.
The fairly uniform world political doctrine that was constructed out of these theoretical beliefs together with proffered yesteryear the Silver Shirts during the 1930s obscured Pelley’s personal occult beliefs together with emphasized his to a greater extent than consensually held forms of antisemitic conspiracism.
Thus the Silver Shirts claimed that inwards the twentieth century the cosmic basis conspiracy was embodied inwards the Illuminati, a clandestine monastic state founded inwards 1776 yesteryear Adam Weishaupt together with allegedly dominated yesteryear an inner nitty-gritty of Jewish conspirators.
The Illuminati was portrayed equally using socialist, Communist, together with liberal movements—as good equally finance capitalism, modernist religion, together with the “lower” races—as its tools inwards the undermining “Christian” civilization that was to pave the way for its ain global domination.
Consequently, close of the Silver Shirts’ political travail was predicated on an essay to defuse together with destroy the close important, overt manifestations of the alleged conspiracy—the New Deal, the Federal Reserve, international communism, the League of Nations, and, inwards a higher house all, the purported financial, political, together with cultural ability of Jews of which all of these were alleged aspects.
One of a publish of religious together with political bulk movements that inwards the 1930s assailed a putative Jewish basis conspiracy, the League of the Silver Shirts was exceptionally driven yesteryear an eclectic, all-inclusive conspiracism. Despite its relatively minor numbers it played a pregnant purpose inwards molding extremist sentiment inwards the 1930s, equally was attested to yesteryear its suppression yesteryear the federal government.
The comport on of their leader Pelley on the ideology of such subsequent conspiracist together with antisemitic movements equally British-Israelism together with Christian Identity was also considerable, together with provided a posthumous influence that other like movements of the interwar menses could non equal.