George Burdi

George Burdi
Also known as George Eric Hawthorne

1970 (age 4546)


Genres Goth metal
Occupation(s) Singer
Years active 1988–2007
Associated acts RaHoWa

George Burdi, also known as George Eric Hawthorne (born 1970), is a retired Canadian musician who became known for his role in white nationalist organizations. He led the Canadian branch of the World Church of the Creator, which formed an allegiance with the now-defunct White nationalist organization Heritage Front. In addition, Burdi was involved in the white power music scene, performing with the band RaHoWa.

Burdi was convicted of assault causing bodily harm, and was sentenced to one year in prison. Upon his release from prison, Burdi renounced racism, but he has maintained contacts with the movement. He has re-released versions of songs recorded as an activist with the Creativity religion.[1]

He works with Life After Hate, a U.S.-based organization founded by reformed white power skinheads, "dealing with the triumph of love, peace, compassion and openness". The organization works to educate and inspire others to avoid the mistakes. "The mission of Life After Hate is to demonstrate and reinforce the primal, basic goodness of humanity."


Born in 1970 to Armenian immigrants, Burdi came into contact with the White nationalist movement through the father of his then-girlfriend. He became an active White nationalist at the age of 18, and by the age of 21, was the leader of the Canadian branch of the World Church of the Creator, which at its peak had fewer than 20 members.[2] During this period, he wrote a number of articles for the Church of the Creator newspaper, Racial Loyalty, using the name "Rev. Eric Hawthorne" (including the January 1992 cover story, "Enter the Racial Holy War"). He has been credited with helping to secure the survival of Creativity after the death, in 1993, of its founder Ben Klassen.[3]


Using the pseudonym "Reverend George Eric Hawthorne", Burdi formed the racist skinhead band RaHoWa in 1989. The band's name was derived from the phrase Racial Holy War. RaHoWa was one of the largest hate-rock band throughout the 1990s.

Burdi was the founding president of Resistance Records, which was the distributor for his band, and other White nationalist bands. The company also operated a web site, and published a magazine, Resistance, which covered the white nationalist music scene. In 1997, much of Resistance Record's inventory and business paraphernalia were seized in an April raid by the Oakland County (Michigan) Sheriff's Department, the Michigan Department of the Treasury, and the Ontario Provincial Police. The same day this raid was carried out in Michigan, Burdi was arrested in Windsor, Ontario, for contravening the Criminal Code provisions against promoting hatred.

Convicted in Windsor, Burdi was able to avoid a jail sentence with the condition that he not be involved with the band or Resistance Records. He sold the company to Willis Carto who soon sold it to National Alliance head William Luther Pierce.[4][5]

Reckzin incident

In Ottawa, on May 29, 1993, after a RaHoWa concert which was picketed by Anti-Racist Action protesters, Burdi and the leader of the White nationalist Heritage Front, Wolfgang Droege, led their supporters on a march to Parliament Hill. As the White nationalists marched, they chanted sieg heil, made racist remarks, and gave Roman Salutes. Burdi directed the group, and gave media interviews.

At Parliament Hill, Burdi and Droege addressed their followers to raise the emotional pitch of the evening. Burdi then led the White nationalists to the Chateau Laurier. Once there, Burdi charged across the street to confront protesters.

One of the victims of that charge was Alicia Reckzin, who was struck on the head while running from Burdi's supporters. When she fell, she was kicked several times on her right side; Reckzin later reported having seen Burdi kick her in the face.

In 1995, as a result of the violent confrontation, Burdi was convicted of assault causing bodily harm, and sentenced to 12 months imprisonment. Burdi appealed both his conviction and the sentence, but on February 14, 1997, the Court of Appeal for Ontario upheld the lower court's 1995 decision (O.J. No. 554 No. C21788/C21820), and Burdi began his sentence.

Upon completion of his sentence, Burdi – who maintains to this day that he did not assault Reckzin – announced that he had seen the "error" of his ways, and then renounced racism, yet has made attempts as of late to get closer to the movement again, in an appeal to get people out of the Skinhead lifestyle.[6]

Renunciation of racism

Burdi has stated that he has renounced White nationalism, and that he used to be a member of the multi-racial band Novacosm.[7] In 2007, Novacosm recorded a new version of "Ode to a Dying People", which Burdi had recorded with RaHoWa and released on the band's 1995 album, Cult of the Holy War. In his blog, Burdi explains the reason for his release of the 2007 acoustic version of "Ode to a Dying People", with lyrics intact. In addition to the song having autobiographical meaning for him, explaining his reasons for leaving the movement, he also now sees universality in the lyrics. "This version is meant to be enjoyed by everyone, just think about how the collective modern rush off the cliff makes this song as relevant and universally applicable as ever." The song was only posted for sharing on MySpace, and not made commercially available.

Burdi works with U.S.-based organization Life After Hate. "Founded by reformed white power skinheads, and the dear friends who helped inspire their turnaround, the mission of Life After Hate is to demonstrate and reinforce the primal, basic goodness of humanity. The first issue of LAH, released on the 2010 birthday of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., features reflective essays by those who have returned from the depths of the white racist movement to share their stories with the world in hope of helping others to avoid making the same tragic and misguided mistakes."


  1. Rahowa (George Burdi) - Ode To A Dying People (acoustic version) 2010
  2. Present at the Creation
  3. Michael, George (2010). "The Church of the Creator Part I: Ben Klassen and the Critique of Christianity". Religion Compass. 4: 518. doi:10.1111/j.1749-8171.2010.00234.x.
  4. Atkins, Stephen (2011). Encyclopedia of Right-Wing Extremism in Modern American History. ABC-CLIO. p. 62. ISBN 978-1598843507.
  5. Deafening Hate: The Revival of Resistance Records
  6. I, George Burdi, respectfully request the right to post on the Stormfront forum again
  7. Tony Norman (19 February 2002). "'Hatecore' uses music to lure angry white youth". Post-Gazette. Retrieved 27 January 2011.

External links

This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 2/8/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.