Update: On the day this blog was posted, the organization’s founders dissolved the Center for the Advancement of Occidental Culture as a limited liability corporation.
Two white supremacists, Dan Poole and Kyle Bristow, have founded a new group, the Center for the Advancement of Occidental Culture (CAOC) in Michigan. Poole, a recent college graduate, and Bristow, an attorney, have both previously been active in racist circles. Poole is the executive director of CAOC and Bristow will be the organization’s chief legal officer.
The two are part of a growing trend of younger, educated white supremacists forming groups that promote racism but use terms like “Occidental culture,” “Western civilization,” or “traditionalism” in place of more explicitly racist terminology. This sanitized language can be more palatable to people who would be turned off by overt racism.
In a statement released at the end of December 2013, Poole wrote that the organization’s mission is “to advance and defend Western civilization” by promoting European-themed art, culture and events. The group also wants to fight alleged “discrimination and harassment directed at European-Americans.” CAOC asserts that it will be different from other organizations by “being on the front lines as the vanguard of the Occident in the culture war.”
Poole, a recent graduate of Oakland University in Michigan, has been active with the American Freedom Party (AFP), a white supremacist political party. AFP, formerly known as American Third Position, has run white supremacist candidates for various offices.
While attending Michigan State University (MSU), Bristow was the controversial head of the MSU Young Americans for Freedom. In 2007, the group invited British white nationalist Nick Griffin to speak at the school. Bristow went on to write articles for Citizens Informer, the publication of the white supremacist Council of Conservative Citizens and authored a novel White Apocalypse and a collection of essays, The Conscience of a Right-Winger.
White Apocalypse promotes the idea Europeans were the first to inhabit North America and were the victims of non-whites who later slaughtered them. The newest version of the book, published in October 2013, contains an introduction by Matthew Heimbach, the co-founder of the Traditionalist Youth Network (TYN), a small white supremacist group.
Heimbach is another example of a young, white, educated racist who has embraced hardcore extremism. Heimbach was first active in Youth for Western Civilization (YWC), a now defunct student group, with goals similar to CAOC. Heimbach claims that he sought Bristow’s advice when he ran the YWC chapter at Towson University in 2011.
CAOC joins other organizations such as TYN and the National Policy Institute, a white supremacist think tank, which are hoping to reach disaffected younger whites.