How does an affluent, middle-class, private-school-attending son of a doctor end up at the Aryan Nations compound in Idaho, falling in with and then recruiting for some of the most notorious neo-Nazi groups in Canada and the United States?
The Cure for Hate paints a very human picture of a young man who craved attention, acceptance, and approval and the dark place he would go to get it. Tony McAleer found an outlet for his teenage rage in the street violence of the skinhead scene. He then grew deeply involved in the White Aryan Resistance (WAR), rising through the ranks to become a leader, and embraced technology and the budding internet to bring white nationalist propaganda into the digital age. After fifteen years in the movement, it was the outpouring of love he felt at the birth of his children that inspired him to start questioning his hateful beliefs. Thus began the spiritual journey of personal transformation that enabled him to disengage from the highest levels of the white power movement.
This incisive book breaks commonly held stereotypes and delivers valuable insights into how regular people are drawn to violent extremism, how the ideology takes hold, and the best ways to help someone leave hate behind. In his candid and introspective memoir, Tony shares his perspective gleaned from over a thousand hours of therapy, group work, and facilitating change in others that reveals the deeper psychological causes behind racism. At a period in history when instances of racial violence are on the upswing, The Cure for Hate demonstrates that in a society frighteningly divided by hate and in need of healing, perhaps atonement, forgiveness, and most importantly, radical compassion is the cure.
Tony McAleer is an international speaker, change maker, and father of two. As co-founder and board chair for the nonprofit organization Life After Hate, he has made it his mission to help people leave hate groups. The Cure for Hate is his first book. He lives in Vancouver.
Tony McAleer is a very brave man. In this book, he shares his journey of healing from hate, and offers the rest of us a radical vision of compassion for both self and others. -Michael Kimmel, author of Healing from Hate: How Young Men Get into - and Out of - Violent Extremism
What makes this book so important in the efforts to combat hatred is the insightful personal reflections and the deep soul searching that Tony has done to understand the corrosive nature of this particular form of hatred. These powerful lessons and his tireless work to guide current white supremacists into a life after hate is what makes this book a beacon of light against humanity's darkest impulses. -Rabbi Dan Moskovitz, Temple Sholom, Vancouver
The Cure for Hate is a profound examination of how an affluent and privileged young person can become a leader in a movement completely contrary to his upbringing. More importantly, Tony McAleer's story provides the pathway back from hatred and a road map for saving those who are still mired in the white supremacist movement. Given that more and more young white men find themselves pulled into the world of hate, this book is a must-read for those of us concerned with tackling rising white supremacy in the Western world. -Heidi Beirich, director, Intelligence Project, Southern Poverty Law Center
In an age when it's become easier than ever to fear, loathe, and dismiss the 'other,' Tony's story is a much-needed ray of hope. Tony graciously, honestly teaches us that although hatred buries empathy, it does not kill it - and that even people who seem totally lost are human beings underneath, capable of redemption and compassion. -Jamil Zaki, author of The War for Kindness: Building Empathy in a Fractured World
This powerful and persuasive memoir should be required reading for anyone wanting to break from a violent extremist ideology, for anyone anxious that a loved one is being conditioned by such belief systems, and for all of us who simply want to understand why hurt people hurt people. This is pure restorative narrative - a true story of transforming hate and bigotry into one of hope and meaning. -Marina Cantacuzino, founder, the Forgiveness Project
Tony's transformational journey traces an inspiring arc. With personal narrative and gut-punching stories, Tony shares how deradicalization is possible in this fight against domestic terrorism. -Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO and national director, Anti-Defamation League
Tony McAleer guides us through his upbringing and his lived-through experiences; the role of shame, punishment, and violence; and how a ravaged and wounded soul got to heal and become whole again, even leading the way for others to leave violence and hate behind. A well-written and highly needed read. -Robert Orell, director of Exit USA
This book is a must-read for anyone trying to understand how people enter and exit hate and extremist movements. It is inspiring to know that there is hope, while daunting to realize the magnitude of the strength, commitment, and support needed to leave white supremacy without relapsing. -Humera Khan, president of Muflehun and member of the US Muslim-Jewish Advisory Council
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