Thursday, 30 April 2015

The strange case of S.A. Swaffington and Ryan West

S.A. Swaffington, aka Ryan West.

In an earlier post I spoke about The Rise of the Saxons and the Legend of Hengest and Horsa, a 2008 novel by Ryan West which has been widely condemned on Amazon as a work of thinly-veiled neo-Nazi propaganda. I also mentioned that the author is now writing under the name S.A. Swaffington; I am unsure which is a pen name and which (if either) is his real name, although it is worth noting that he still goes by Ryan West on Facebook (notice that one of his friends is Ron McVan, an American white nationalist):

Unsurprisingly, Swaffington is a poster at the racist Anglo-Saxon Foundation forum:

What I did not mention is that he has since disowned Rise of the Saxons, passing it off as a mistake of his youth:

I decided to pick up a copy of the book myself; it currently sits right alongside The Turner Diaries in my collection of novels by crazy people.

Here is a typical scene in which our young hero, Hengest, meets the twenty-five-year-old Saxon warrior Hrothgar - a man best described as the illegitimate offspring of Conan the Barbarian and Herbert the Pervert:

Hrothgar's kiddy-fiddling ways are no big deal, however, and after this altercation he and Hengest become fast friends. Together, they join in the manly sport of tormenting a mutilated slave:

Eventually, as per legend, Hengest grows up to lead the Anglo-Saxon conquest of Britain. Here is his rousing speech to his soldiers:

Well, it's hardly Churchillian, but I suppose it does the job.

Much burning and pillaging ensues, with this scene being fairly typical:

In case you're wondering, "Dances with Corpses" is the name of Hengest's sword; he also has a spiked flail which he calls Gertrude.

So, what does our dashing hero Hengest do upon finding out that the only occupant of the hut is a nine-year-old boy? Surely he wouldn't harm a defenceless child?


It goes on like this:

And if you're wondering what Hengest's pervy pal Hrothgar has been up to during all this, well...

All of this is rounded off with a night's festivities:

At this point, you may be doubting whether Hengest and Hrothgar are really meant to be the heroes of the book. But they are. Just look at the author's afterword:

So, by writing this atrocious novel, Ryan West/S.A. Swaffington was attempting to honour the achievements of his ancestors and strike a blow against "the people that wish to oppress English identity." In short, he expects English people to feel proud of the behaviour portrayed in his book.

In my earlier post I spotlighted a review on Amazon which accused the novel of sexualising children in addition to being very racist. Since then, an argument broke out in the review's comments section: Amazon user "Angelcynn" concurred that the "this book is appaling, violent and does not do the historical characters any justice" but objected to the charge that it sexualises children:

This is not the only time in which Angelcynn has objected to a negative review of the book, although it does appear to be the first time that he has criticised the novel himself while doing so. In this discussion from 2008 Angelcynn describes Rise of the Saxons as "a great book", "amazing", "a good laugh to read" and "a good history lesson":

So, what he once considered "a great book" is now "appalling" in his eyes. Like the author, Angelcynn's opinion of the novel appears to have soured over time.

Notice, also, how the other people in the above thread refer to Angelcynn as "Mr England", which was evidently the name of his account at the time. This is significant when we take a look at one of the other negative reviews...

I should mention that Angelcynn/Mr England doesn't have a review of the book posted, although it could easily be that he deleted it after being outed. "Popeye" makes the same claim elsewhere:

Most of Angelcynn's posts in the above discussion have been deleted, with one exception:

Angelcynn faces off against both Popeye and Obelix - poor guy doesn't stand a chance!

Could Popeye's claim be true? Is Angelcynn/Mr England actually Ryan West/S.A. Swaffington, pulling a leaf out of Anne Rice's book and slagging off his detractors on Amazon?

If you would like further evidence, look at this exchange:

Angelcynn is referred to as "Ryan" by one of his fellow nationalists. He does not correct this, so it would appear that Ryan is his real name.

It should also be noted that Angelcynn appears to be fixated with the writing of S.A. Swaffington, and has spent multiple posts promoting it. See here, for instance:

Or here (incidentally, I did some digging and it turns out that Fenris Wulf is Offa: Rise of the Englisc Warrior under another name):

Or on this list:

He's also promoted the books in forum discussions about recommended historical novels. Not to mention spamming up people's reviews with praise for Offa.

Is "Angelcynn" actually a sock puppet used by S.A. Swaffington/Ryan West in shameless self-promotion? I do not know for sure. But as a final note, here are some more of Angelcynn's reviews which shed a good deal of light on his political sympathies:

UPDATE 17/5/2015: At some point in the half-month since I posted this, "Angelcynn" has changed his account name to "Free-thinker" and deleted the above two reviews (although I was able to archive a cache of the second) [EDIT: I've also managed to get an archive of the Mein Kampf review here]. Make of that what you will...

UPDATE 21/5/2015: I can now confirm that, yes, Angelcynn/Free-thinker/Mr. England is, in fact, S.A. Swaffington/Ryan West.

I took a look at Free-thinker's profile and, out of idle curiosity, clicked through to his wishlist. Here is what I found:

Inevitably, it consists of a Swaffington book. But just look at the name above.

Ryan West.

Bit of a giveaway, don't you think...?

Given that Swaffington has already demonstrated a tendency towards deleting embarrassing information, I decided to save both Free-thinker's profile and wishlist at If you go to the former and click the "public wishlist" link on the left, you will be taken to the latter. The evidence is there to see.

So, I can safely say that it was S.A. Swaffington who wrote a glowing review of Mein Kampf. It is also S.A. Swaffington who, rather pitifully, praised one of his own books as "the greatest historical novel ever written."

Just another Nazi sympathiser in the English nationalist movement.

UPDATE 15/7/2015: See Swaffington's response to this post here.

Saturday, 25 April 2015

English Heritage and all that

Tim Hawke: Humourless killjoy.

I started this post a couple of months back, but then along came the Exposure: Charities Behaving Badly documentary and I got sidetracked. Just as well I waited, really, as the documentary shone a little bit of light on this particular incident from the Steadfast Trust's history...

Back in 2013, Tim Hawke (at the time a trustee of the Steadfast Trust, and - last I heard - chairman of the Ipswich English Community Group) spluttered with indignation after a trip to Battle Abbey:

The quotation - apparently one of several which decorate the Battle Abbey cafe - comes from 1066 and All That by W. C. Sellar and R. J. Yeatman, a spoof textbook originally published in 1930 and something of a national institution ever since.

The book is filled with deliberately absurd statements to give the impression that it was written by a confused schoolchild ("John was so bad that the Pope decided to put the whole country under an Interdict, i.e. he gave orders that no one was to be born or die or marry"). The quotation about the Norman Conquest is another obvious joke: it was good that we were invaded, because afterwards we weren't invaded again. Anybody with a sense of humour can see this.

So, does Tim Hawke lack a sense of humour, or is he only pretending to be offended? After all, the Steadfast Trust is dedicated to pretending that English people are the most persecuted group in the country; it is easy to imagine Hawke and his peers rubbing their hands with glee at the prospect of having something to have a good moan about.

The Steadfast Trust condemned the sign in a newsletter:

'English Heritage Offensive Wallboard 
Supporters of the Steadfast Trust brought to the attention of their charity a very offensive wallboard display on the grounds of the English Heritage site of Battle Abbey in their Café.
The Steadfast Trust has made a complaint to English Heritage after this was further confirmed by a Trustee of the charity. The contents of the complaint is provided below and we shall keep you informed of how this issue progresses. 
Dear English Heritage 
The Steadfast Trust has been made aware by a number of its supporters of a large wallboard which is publicly displayed at the onsite café at Battle Abbey. 
On it there is offensive wording concerning the after-effects of the Norman Conquest .
The wallboard proclaims "The Norman Conquest Was A Good Thing as from this time onwards England stopped being conquered and thus was able to become top nation".
It is clear that an English Heritage researcher has lifted a quote from the satirical history1066 and all that by W.C Sellar and R.J Yeatman which was written in 1930. However sensibilities change and English Heritage should be aware that this rather dated, superficial satire sits uncomfortably with todays visitors. Modern interpretations of the aftermath of the Norman invasion show us that rather than being good the wholesale destruction of English culture, loss of its king, ancient aristocracy and elite fighting force was an unimaginable catastrophe on an unprecedented scale for the surviving English population. The Steadfast Trust and its supporters would therefore request that you consider the offence and upset this wallboard has caused to those of our cultural charity (which actively promotes English Heritage and its aims), as well as to those of the general public. 
Please remove this insensitive paragraph from the wallboard. 
Yours sincerely 
Trustee Mark Taylor 
Steadfast Trust 
P.S. The Steadfast Trust would be prepared to consider offering a grant towards the funding of such re-wording . 
Its important that we as a community do not tolerate such insulting information being imposed upon our younger generation.'

Well, at least Mark Taylor acknowledges that the sign is meant as a joke, something that Hawke appears not to have noticed. But his filibustering about how offensive he finds the sign becomes laughably hypocritical when we consider the kinds of comments that Taylor appears to have posted on YouTube under the name "Seaxwielder":

Hmmm... trying to get in on that growth industry yourself, Mark?

On 19 October 2013, the Rye and Battle Observer published a report about the sign being vandalised to read "The Norman Conquest was a Holocaust which still effects [sic] the English today":

'A PRO-SAXON movement could be behind a graffiti attack at Battle Abbey, police have said.

Two men walked into the Battle Abbey cafe on Monday afternoon with a homemade stencil. One man placed the stencil over text on the wall while the other man proceeded to spray red paint over it. The graffiti read ‘Holocaust which still affects the English today’ - referring to the Battle of Hastings. The two men then fled, heading in opposite directions.

Battle Police were called to the scene just after 4.45pm. A short time later, officers arrested a man in Mountjoy, whose hands were found to be covered in red paint. The man was questioned by police and admitted the offence.

The man, who hails from Poole in Dorset, had no previous convictions. He received a caution from Sussex Police. The second vandal has yet to be caught. English Heritage says work is underway to remove the graffiti from the history display. A spokesperson for English Heritage said:

“Unfortunately, a group of people came to Battle Abbey and sprayed the walls of the cafe with graffiti at around 4pm on Monday October 14. “English Heritage staff called the police who arrested one of them.

“We have covered the graffiti and are urgently investigating the best way to remove it from the wall which is part of our display about the history of the site. “We are helping the police with their investigations.'

Exposure revealed that Darren Clarke was one of the men responsible for this vandalism. The documentary also revealed that Clarke was involved in a later bout of vandalism at Norwich Castle Museum, and that Tim Hawke knew of his activities there.

The graffiti was celebrated by the English Shieldwall campaign group:

Atrociter, a member of Stormfront, also endorsed the vandalism, referring to the sign as "Pro Norman bollocks":

Julia "Angelcynn" Howman chimed in as well, deriding English Heritage as "Marxist":

Ah, isn't political philosophy so much simpler when you can use "Marxist" as a catch-all term for anyone you disagree with?

Tim Hawke was amongst those lending their support to the act of vandalism, sending an angry letter to an English Heritage representative:

'Back in August I informed you that Battle Abbey was displaying a terribly ignorant and offensive statement. It has come to my attention that the board displaying the following statement…‘The Norman Conquest Was A Good Thing’ has been defaced with the words ‘Holocaust which still effects the English today’ (I have attached a picture of this to the email). Sadly I must confess to having total sympathy with those who committed this act.  I do hope English Heritage has the sense to recognise the awful outrage that has been caused here by English Heritage. 
Unless you take steps to correct your errors I do know that the kind of behaviour that took place on Monday October 14 will continue and sadly escalate to alarming levels. 
You have a large number of venerable structures throughout the nation which logically could be vandalised in protest of your actions at Battle. Windmills such as Saxtead Green Post Mill or Berney Arms Windmill could be totally destroyed through simple acts of arson and imagine the harm this would cause to our organisation were it made known that this stemmed from an Anglophobic act at Battle Abbey by English Heritage. 
You are the custodians of the English peoples heritage and by deliberately insulting our proud/tragic past with your childish controversy you risk so much, particularly when the many aggrieved can strike at any time at any place. 
I do hope you have the intellect to take my advice seriously, if not then it will be clear that you hold nothing but contempt for the English and there will be those who understand that further corruption of our historic sites by English Heritage may only be stopped through aggressive displays. This would sadden me greatly.'

[Emphasis mine.]

It sounds like something out of an old gangster film, doesn't it? Gee, ma'am, look at all those purdy windmills. Sure would be a shame if someone set fire to them...

What, exactly, was going through Hawke's mind when he wrote this? Does he seriously believe that there are "many aggrieved" who are prepared to launch an arson campaign against historical monuments because of a joke about the Battle of Hastings?

If he does believe this, then he must surely be aware that such people could only come from the Englisc nationalist movement. Hawke is a prominent figure within this subculture, so if he is truly concerned, then he would be better off trying to discourage his flock from acts of terrorism, rather than blaming English Heritage.

Finally, I will leave you with this posting from Lee Ingram's Steadfast Trust-approved English Advocates Facebook page:

...Which round about sums up my thoughts on 1066 and All That.

Friday, 17 April 2015

The last Exposure post: More on the Global Aid Trust

This is the final post in my series following up on the ITV documentary Exposure: Charities Behaving Badly. Previously, I covered the Steadfast Trust (and its response), Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (adding my own findings) and the Global Aid Trust. Now, it's time to take a closer look at that last charity...

First off, Rizwan Hussein, the charity's acting chief, cut his losses by resigning shortly before the documentary was broadcast, admitting that his departure was "in connection with the documentary."

I was not previously familiar with Global Aid Trust, and indeed, I have not found a great deal of material covering it online - it does not even have a Wikipedia article yet (although there is one for Rizwan Hussein).

I dug for controversies from before the documentary aired, and found that Global Aid Trust previously came under fire in February 2014 when it held an event at the fundamentalist-laden East London Mosque. Amongst the speakers were Muhammad ibn Adam Al-Kawthari and Suliman Gani, both extremists.

Stand for Peace has a good run-down of their noxious views:

Suliman Gani, a Muslim chaplain, believes women are subservient to men. He is a vocal supporter of Aafia Siddiqui, a convicted terrorist described by FBI Director Robert S. Mueller as “an al-Qaeda operative and facilitator.” When arrested in 2008, Siddiqui was found in possession of bomb-making instructions and a list of New York landmarks. During her trial, Siddiqui demanded the court ensure none of the lawyers or jurors involved was Jewish.

Moreover, Gani claims homosexuality is “unnatural”, claiming: “Sometimes I always, maybe joking, say, God Almighty created Adam and Eve, and not Adam and Steve. … If somebody does come to me and say that they have this inclination [homosexuality], then I will say think about the consequence of your action, how harmful it is for yourself and the society at large. … Abstain from that unnatural act, and you make that firm resolution that you will never return to that action again.”
Muhammad ibn Adam Al-Kawthari, meanwhile, supports the killing of adulterers [...]

Al-Kawthari has also advised that, “Women should not come out of their homes unnecessarily.”
He frequently expresses hatred against non-Muslims, advising: “Do not commence by greeting the Christians and Jews with Salam. If you meet one of them on a pathway, force them to walk on the side … The reason for this impermissibility of saying Salam to non-Muslims is to not show them respect.” On another occasions, Al-Kawthari has claimed, “We live in an age where evils such as incest among the non-Muslims is becoming common.”

He advocates that thieves should have their hands and feet amputated...
The Global Aid Trust was revealed once again to have dirty hands the following May. The Gatestone Institute has the sordid details:

The UK Charity Commission has repeatedly issued warnings that charity "aid convoys" are being exploited by British Muslim jihadists who want passage to Syria. But are these charities really such innocent actors?


Radical preachers frequently appear at aid convoy fundraisers. On May 30, the Global Aid Trust will be hosting a fundraising event for its aid convoys to Syria. The main speaker featured at the event is Jalal ibn Saeed, an American Islamist preacher who has lived in Britain since the 1990s. Saeed has claimed, "We selfishly live like the Jews, who only care about themselves." Additionally, Saeed glorifies death and has expressed praise for the Taliban.

The other announced speaker is Musa Adnan, a "volunteer coordinator" for the Convivencia Trust, an Islamist charity. Convivencia's officials have voiced praise for Hitler and described Shia Muslims as "donkeys of Jews."
There is not a great amount more to say about Global Aid Trust. What we have here is yet another case of an Islamic organisation that puts on a moderate face, but is actually in bed with extremists.

I was intrigued by "Dawah Man", one of the controversial speakers showcased on the documentary. It turns out that the real name of this rapping superhero is Imran ibn Mansur, whose homophobic attitudes got him banned from the University of East London last year. I'll definitely be keeping an eye on him in the future...