James Nolan Mason (born 25 July 1952), when he was 14 years old, began communicating with George Lincoln Rockwell's American Nazi Party and became a youth member until his 18th birthday, when he joined the renamed National Socialist White People's Party. In the 1970s, he was involved with the National Socialist Liberation Front.
Mason edited, wrote, and published a newsletter titled Siege throughout the early to mid-1980s. Its contents were edited and published by Michael Moynihan in book form as Siege: The Collected Writings of James Mason. Mason advocated leaderless resistance.
In the early 1980s, following the advice of Charles Manson, Mason founded the Universal Order, which grew out of the National Socialist Liberation Front. Not only did Manson suggest the name, but he also designed the logo used by the group, a swastika superimposed over the scales of justice. As its leaders, Universal Order recognized a lineage of Adolf Hitler, George Lincoln Rockwell, Joseph Tommasi, and Charles Manson. It later focused on presenting a neo-National Socialist perspective on the paranormal. Mason had previously been affiliated with the Church of Satan, a satanist organization founded by the Jewish Anton LaVey.
"Unlike other National Socialist groups, Mason intended for Universal Order to be a self-sustaining ideological philosophy rather than a physical organization with members and buildings. Unlike more traditional Nazi groups that advocate political or armed struggle to achieve their objectives, Mason's preference through Universal Order was merely to wait for 'the system' to consume and destroy itself from within. Although Mason ceased communicating with Manson by the late 1980s, he continues to hold the convict and his world view in high esteem. More conservative elements of the white power movement were displeased with Mason's idolatry of the killer, which has resulted in a sometimes acrimonious relationship between Mason and his fellow National Socialists."
Mason was arrested in the spring of 1994 and charged with two counts of sexual exploitation of a minor and two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Mason struck a plea bargain, and was convicted of weapons charges.
Mason arranged for his papers and political materials to go to the University of Kansas Library.
The Atomwaffen Division has been stated to have been influenced by Mason, Siege, and leaderless resistance.
- Guide to the James N. Mason Collection http://etext.ku.edu/view?docId=ksrlead/ksrl.kc.masonjames.xml