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.

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