Harold Covington

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Harold Covington
Born(1953-09-14)September 14, 1953
DiedJuly 14, 2018(2018-07-14) (aged 64)
Known forNeo-Nazi political advocacy
Military career
Allegiance United States of America
Years of service1971–1973

Harold Armstead Covington (September 14, 1953 – July 14, 2018)[1] was an American neo-Nazi activist[2] and writer. Covington advocated the creation of an "Aryan homeland" in the Pacific Northwest (known as the Northwest Territorial Imperative),[3] and was the founder of the Northwest Front (NF), a political movement which promoted white separatism.[4]

Early life (1953–1971)[edit]

Covington was born in Burlington, North Carolina in 1953 as the eldest of three children. In 1968, at age 15, he was sent to Chapel Hill High School.[5]

In 1971, he graduated from high school and joined the United States Army.[1]

Political activities, Rhodesia and South Africa (1971–1976)[edit]

In 1971, Covington joined the National Socialist White People's Party (NSWPP), the political successor to the American Nazi Party.[1] He moved to South Africa in December 1973,[6] after his discharge from the U.S. Army, and later to Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe).[7] Covington was a founding member of the Rhodesian White People's Party, and later claimed to have served in the Rhodesian Army. He was deported from Rhodesia due to his racist beliefs.[7]

Political activities after returning from Rhodesia[edit]

In 1980, while leader of the National Socialist Party of America, he lost a primary election for the Republican nomination for candidates for attorney general of North Carolina.[8] Covington resigned as president of the NSPA in 1981.[9] That same year, Covington alleged that would-be presidential assassin John Hinckley Jr. had formerly been a member of the Nazi Party. Law enforcement authorities were never able to corroborate this claim, and suggested the alleged connection "may have been fabricated for publicity purposes".[10]

Covington later settled in the United Kingdom for several years, where he made contact with British far-right groups and was involved in setting up the neo-Nazi terrorist organisation Combat 18 (C18) in 1992. C18 openly promotes violence and antisemitism, and has adopted some of the features of the American far right.[11]

In 1994, Covington started an organization called the National Socialist White People's Party, using the same name of the successor to the American Nazi Party under Matt Koehl in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. He launched a website in 1996; using the pseudonym "Winston Smith" (taken from the novel Nineteen Eighty-Four), Covington became one of the first neo-Nazi presences on the Internet.[12][13] Covington used the website and the Winston Smith pseudonym to disseminate Holocaust-denial material.[14]

Beginning in 2005, Covington maintained a political blog titled "Thoughtcrime".[15] As a fiction writer, Covington authored several occult-themed novels.[16][17] As an author, he is best known for his series of five Northwest Independence novels: A Distant Thunder, A Mighty Fortress, The Hill Of The Ravens, The Brigade, and Freedom's Sons.[citation needed]

Covington was mentioned in the media in connection with the Charleston church shooting, whose perpetrator Dylann Roof discussed the Northwest Front in his manifesto, and was critical of its means and objectives.[18] According to Covington, the shooting was "a preview of coming attractions", but he also believed it was a bad idea for his followers to engage in random acts of violence, supporting organized revolution instead.[19]

Covington died in Bremerton, Washington, on July 14, 2018.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d Lenz, Ryan (July 25, 2018). "Harold Covington, founder of white separatist group, dies at 64". Southern Poverty Law Center. Retrieved July 26, 2018.
  2. ^ Murhpy, Dan (June 18, 2015). "Why would an American white supremacist be fond of Rhodesia?". Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved March 27, 2016.
  3. ^ Brennan Clarke (July 25, 2011). "Neo-Nazi sympathizer fatally shot by Nanaimo police didn’t fire flare gun, probe told" Archived July 27, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. Toronto Globe and Mail. Retrieved November 7, 2013.
  4. ^ NorthwestFront.org. Retrieved June 6, 2012.
  5. ^ Johnson, Greg (July 15, 2010). "Interview with Harold Covington". Counter-Currents Publishing. Retrieved July 26, 2018.
  6. ^ Guillory, Ferrel (May 14, 1980). "Nazi's Showing in N.C. Race Embarrasses GOP". The Washington Post.
  7. ^ a b Wheaton, Elizabeth (April 1, 2009). Codename Greenkil: The 1979 Greensboro Killings. University of Georgia Press. p. 45. ISBN 9780820331485.
  8. ^ "Nazi Loses in Republican Primary". Reading Eagle via Google News. May 7, 1980. Retrieved February 18, 2013.
  9. ^ "N.C.Nazi Chief Quits". March 27, 1981. Retrieved July 23, 2011.
  10. ^ "Doubts grow over Hinkley's nazi ties". April 2, 1981. Retrieved July 23, 2011.
  11. ^ "antisem/archive". Institute for Jewish Policy Research. September 1998. Archived from the original on July 13, 2015. Retrieved July 23, 2011.
  12. ^ "Hate on the Internet: The Anti-Defamation League Perspective – Statement of Anti-Defamation League before the Senate Judiciary Committee". Hatemonitor.csusb.edu via Waybackmachine. September 14, 1999. Archived from the original on January 3, 2008. Retrieved July 23, 2011.
  13. ^ Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke (2001). Black Sun: Aryan Cults, Esoteric Nazism and the Politics of Identity. New York University Press. p.28. ISBN 0-8147-3124-4.
  14. ^ Gardell, Mattias (2003). Gods of the blood : the pagan revival and white separatism. Durham: Duke university press. p. 106. ISBN 9780822330714. Retrieved July 26, 2018.
  15. ^ Tsai, Robert (2014). America's Forgotten Constitutions: Defiant Visions of Power and Community. Harvard University Press. p. 338. ISBN 978-0674059955.
  16. ^ "Internet Archive Search: Harold Covington". Retrieved February 18, 2013.
  17. ^ "Neo-Nazi Harold Covington Authors Cheesy Occult Novels". Southern Poverty Law Center. Summer 2003. Retrieved July 23, 2011.
  18. ^ Berger, Knute (July 8, 2015). "Hate-Filled Zone: The racist roots of a Northwest secession movement". Crosscut. Retrieved November 25, 2020.
  19. ^ "White supremacist calls Charleston 'a preview of coming attractions'". June 28, 2015.

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