He was involved with a variety of right-wing political parties and movements during his lifetime and attributed as key influences in the development of his thinking the works of Friedrich Nietzsche and Bill Hopkins.
Early life and formal education
Bowden was born in Kent, England, and received his early formal education at the Presentation College in Reading in Berkshire. In 1984, he completed one year of a Bachelor of Arts history degree course at Birkbeck College, London University, as a mature student, but then departed without graduating. He subsequently enrolled at Wolfson College, Cambridge University, in autumn 1988, but again left in mysterious circumstances after a few months without completing any required course of study.
He began his political career in London as a member of the Conservative Party in Tower Hamlets, as a member of the Bethnal Green and Stepney Constituency Association. In October 1990 he joined the Conservative Monday Club, and the following year made an unsuccessful bid to stand for its Executive Council. In May 1991, he was appointed co-chairman with Stuart Millson of the club's media committee. During the early 1990s, he stated that he had been the deputy chair of the Western Goals Institute although this cannot be verified. In 1992, Bowden was expelled from the Monday Club.
Revolutionary Conservative Caucus
Bowden and Stuart Millson co-founded the Revolutionary Conservative Caucus in November 1992 with the aim of introducing "abstract thought into the nether reaches of the Conservative and Unionist party". The group agreed to publish a quarterly journal entitled The Revolutionary Conservative Review. Bowden stating its aims thus: "The Caucus has been established by Right-wing activists within the Conservative Party in order to disseminate information, ideology, and intellectual opinion within and beyond the party." The house journal's name was soon changed to The Revolutionary Conservative, and in issue #1 it stated that the Caucus was "dedicated to national sovereignty, European culture, masculinity, ruthless elitism, and racial purity". Their presence within the Conservative fold, even though on the periphery as they were, was soon openly attacked from several directions. The Tory Member of Parliament Norman Fowler in the Sunday Express stated, "These people are not remotely typical of mainstream Conservatives" and Glyn Ford, a Labour Party Member of the European Parliament, when speaking at the Labour Party's 1993 annual conference stated publicly, "The Tories have a Far-Right tendency....I have passed details of the Revolutionary Conservative Caucus to the Special Branch." However, there was support for them within the mainstream of the Conservative Party, another Member of Parliament, Rupert Allason, being quoted in Searchlight magazine, "If they are against Maastricht, they can't be all bad." Issue #3 of the journal detailed the then ongoing power-struggle for the soul of the dying Monday Club following the departure of Gregory Lauder-Frost in May 1992. By the end of 1994, Millson and Bowden had parted company with one another and issue #4 of the journal was the last issue to be published, and the RCC ceased to be.
In 1993, Bowden published the book Right through the European Books Society. He was also reported to be a prominent figure in the creative milieu responsible for the emergence of Right Now! magazine.
Bowden the joined the Freedom Party, for which he was treasurer for a short time, and subsequently in company with Adrian Davies was a member of the Bloomsbury Forum. Bowden contributed an essay (Bill) "Hopkins - An Angry Young Man" to the book of 20 essays, Standardbearers - British Roots of the New Right, which he, with Adrian Davies and Eddy Butler, also edited. The book carried a foreword by a former Vice-President of the Monday Club, Professor Antony Flew.
British National Party
In 2003, Bowden broke with attempts to influence Conservatism and moved into openly fascist political activity by joining the British National Party (BNP), becoming an enthusiastic activist as well as a member. He was appointed to the party's Advisory Council, and the newly created post of the party's 'Cultural Officer', a position its leader Nick Griffin had specially created to give Bowden officer status within the organisation. Bowden then began to heavily tour the British nationalist speaking circuit addressing many meetings, and swiftly gained notice and acclaim as a dynamic, powerful orator who was able to express complex and politically innovative ideas and themes in an engagingly accessible style without the need for a script or notes, and by this means he became increasingly recognised as a rising star in England's nationalist political scene. However, in July 2007, Bowden tendered his resignation and left the BNP after a power struggle against Griffin's leadership failed and became personally vicious in nature, with black propaganda being circulated in the party against Bowden's continued presence within it. His resignation letter to Griffin stated:-
..."I am sick and tired of the human scum and vermin that proliferate in such shallow waters. ... I do not wish to associate with such low grade lycanthropes and psychotic criminals."
This was the end of Bowden's career in electoral politics. In 2008, he resumed public speech-making at BNP organised meetings in the localities away from the party's national events but did not rejoin the party, and his association with it ended in 2010.
In 2004, Bowden began working with Troy Southgate and became the chairman of the New Right. In an October 2010 interview alongside Southgate, Bowden stated that their work within various intellectual groups on the right of England's political counter-culture had succeeded to a degree in "the mixing together of ultra-Conservative and neo-fascist ideas".
Published political pamphlets
In The Revolutionary Conservative, issue No.1, London, 1993.
- "John Major - Alone in Toytown without Big Ears"
- "Madonna and Sex; the Erotic Cavortings of a Deranged Bimbo"
- Book Review of Oswald Spengler's "Man & Technics"
- "Culture of the New Right" an article on Wyndham Lewis
In The Revolutionary Conservative, issue No.2.
- "Why are we in Bosnia?"
- "Whither The Royals - an Institution in Terminal Decline"
In The Revolutionary Conservative, issue No.4, London, Summer/Autumn 1994.
- "Animal Liberation" - an investigation of the fanatics
- "Spotlight on Tina Turner"
- "Militant - an analysis" (with Stuart Millson)
- "A Revolutionary Social & Economic Policy for Conservatives in the 21st century" (with John MacLaughlin)
- Mad, Avant-Garde Publishing (1989)
- Aryan, Egotist (1990)
- Sade, Egotist (1992)
- Brute, Egotist (1992)
- Skin, Egotist (1992)
- Axe, Egotist (1993); annotated edition, The Palingenesis Project (2014)
- Craze, Egotist (1993)
- Right, European Books Society (1994)
- Collected Works, Avant-guarde (1995)
- Standardbearers - British Roots of the New Right, edited by Adrian Davies, Eddy Butler & Jonathan Bowden; Beckenham, Kent, 180pps, (April 1999)
- Apocalypse TV (2007)
- The Art of Jonathan Bowden (1974 - 2007) (2007)
- The Fanatical Pursuit of Purity (2008)
- Al-Qa’eda Moth (2008)
- Kratos (2008)
- A Ballet of Wasps (2008)
- Goodbye Homunculus! (2009)
- The Art of Jonathan Bowden, Vol. 2 (1968 - 1974) (2009)
- Lilith Before Eve (2009)
- Louisiana Half-Face (2010)
- The Art of Jonathan Bowden, Vol. 3 (1967 - 1974) (2010)
- Our Name is Legion (2011)
- Colonel Sodom Goes to Gomorrah (2011)
- Locusts Devour a Carcass (2012)
- Spiders are Not Insects (2012)
- Pulp Fascism (2013)
- Western Civilization Bites Back (2014)
- Blood (2016)
Bowden was an outsider art and produced hundreds of stark personalized images, some of which appeared as cover-art for his published novels. These are collected in three book volumes, which also include his early graphic novels and comic strips as well as his later work.
He appeared in two avant-garde films, Venus Flytrap (2005) and Grand Guignol (2009), both directed by the Italian film-maker Andrea Lioy.
- Monday Club News, July 1991 edition, p.2.
- Monday Club Executive Council Minutes, 13 May 1991. This position did not, however, afford Bowden a seat on the Council
- Interview with Bowden
- Sonia Gable and Adam Carter, "New Right chairman dies", Searchlight, 26 April 2012
- The Revolutionary Conservative, issue no.2, 1993, p.16.
- The Revolutionary Conservative, issue #4, Summer/Autumn 1994, p.12.
- Freedom Party website
- Standardbearers - British Roots of the New Right, edited by Adrian Davies, Eddy Butler & Jonathan Bowden, Beckenham, Kent, April 1999, 180pps.
- Lancaster Unity Blog
- Troy Southgate "Revolutionary Conservative", Wermod & Wermod Publishing, 27 October 2010