It’s not just about leaving the Far-Right
Today, a lot of emphasis is often placed upon helping individuals to leave Far-Right Extremist Organisations, but there must also be an awareness to consider the need for belonging and structure afterwards. So often we find Far-Right Extremist organisations provide for the Social, Physical and Mental needs of those who have joined. Now we see examples of groups like Patriotic Alternative who offer a whole broadside of activities for individuals radicalised through their programme to take part in.
This important aspect of rehabilitation after involvement with Far-Right Extremism must be addressed in a structured way, otherwise there is a very realistic chance that somebody who is on the road to recovery may have concerns regarding the positive decision to leave the far-right and potentially seek to stay in the far-right, where they feel at home and have a support network.
So, how do we address this?
To reduce this possibility EXIT has established several extra-curricular activities for those who are going through our programme to engage with. We offer a Book Club, A Gaming Meet-Up and activities that are situated outdoors—to offer the continual need for physical stimulation that so often Far-Right Extremists are involved with during their time in the Movement.
To tackle extremism, head on like we must, we need to be able to show the individuals who are passing through these processes that actually life on the other side is full of many more positives, thank those they think they have, being involved in the far-right.
So often people involved in extremism will still want to continue to do similar things they enjoyed within the Far-Right, but what we need to do is provide safe routes for people to do this and this time, so it is for the right reason. Here examples maybe people who worship the old Norse Gods such as Odin, Thor, Sif and may others have done so from a racial aspect initially, here what we need to do is get them to move away from the racist interpretation of the religion, to an inclusive one, replacing identification labels like Odinist/Wotanist with inclusive labels like Heathen or Norse Pagan and educate people how they can still follow the same Gods, but in an inclusive way. Likewise, this might be getting an eco-fascist to reject the racial aspect of their concern for the environment, to embrace a love of planet and their local community, including all those who live in it.
This is not easy, it takes time, effort, and patience, to get people to move away from an extremist ideology and then to embrace positive alternatives, but if we don’t do this, then there is always a danger that through boredom or loneliness, individuals who have walked away, may return. It is not enough to simply get an individual to understand the ideology they are following is wrong and damaging, we also need to get that individual to embrace an alternative and fill that void left from walking away from their previous lifestyle.
This pastoral support, care and development is a true necessity and without a well actioned and concise plan to rehabilitate the individual, the EXIT Path becomes far narrower, and people on it may stray close to danger again.
Sadly, when we look at the Far-Right, they have become incredibly successful at making individuals feel fulfilled—albeit a false sense of fulfilment through activities which are encouraged to ‘bond’ candidates with each-other. The individuals who fall foul of this kind of coercion and brainwashing tactic, often forget that they do not need to be part of a Far-Right Extremist organisation to win friends and have a successful social life and what we need to do is show people that and have alternatives in place to help people not only walk away, but to have fulfilling worthwhile lives.
Any plan to address and indeed tackle this problem must be a proactive and well-thought-out schedule, to keep the sense of regimented lifestyle which we so often see within the Far-Right.
Supporting people to embrace this positive change, individuals need to be kept busy, and their thoughts healthy, focused on positive activities they can now engage in after Exiting the Far-Right movement.
But to do this properly needs support and Exit needs you help. From volunteering time and sharing your expertise to donations to pay for core staff costing to make sure we have people in place and available to help people when they need it.
If you can help, please do. You can contact us direct at – E: firstname.lastname@example.org or you can contribute with a one of donation or become a regular supporter here – https://donorbox.org/exit-support
EVERY penny counts and all money raised will go to paying core staff costs to support people in real need.