The Literature of Apocalypse

  • March 26, 2015

Read ADL's comprehensive report, The Literature of Apocalypse: Far-Right Voices of Violence. (PDF)

In commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing, the ADL is making available select reports from 1994-1997, the era when the Oklahoma City bombing occurred.

This report describes circumstances in the mid-1990s, not the present day.

The Literature of Apocalypse, an ADL report originally published in 1996, examined the various books and manuals published, promoted, and read by right-wing militia groups and other extremist groups active in the mid-1990s.  

Such literature took many forms, including militia handbooks, survival manuals, novels, newsletters, and magazines.

One of the most common themes found in such materials were paranoid anti-government conspiracy theories, along with warnings to readers to fight to protect their families and property.

The perceived enemies targeted in such extremist material included federal law enforcement agencies like the FBI and the ATF, as well as non-governmental organizations such as the Anti-Defamation League and American Civil Liberties Union.

The report stressed the danger that such material posed, in that it had the potential to transform volatile personal fantasies of extremists into aggressive or violent acts that could threaten public order and take the lives of innocent citizens.