The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.

NPI ‘Think Tank’ is Latest Racist Outfit to Move to NW Montana

By Bill Morlin on May 16, 2013 - 9:42 am, Posted in White Nationalism

Yet another organization with a white supremacist agenda — this one packaged as a “white nationalist think tank” — has moved its operations to northwestern Montana, leaving Georgia to join a rag-tag collection of some of the country’s leading racists and extremists.

The National Policy Institute (NPI), which enjoys tax-exempt status, now lists a post office box in Whitefish, Mont., where, public records show, its new director Richard Bertroud Spencer lives in a $3 million home. Spencer moved NPI to Montana after the late 2011 death of chairman Louis R. Andrews, documents filed with the Internal Revenue Service reveal.

On those documents filed annually with the IRS, the white nationalist institute lists thousands of dollars in expenses for a conference, a book, an educational video and a website — all devoted to “subjects of the U.S. and international social and scientific issues.”

A franker description of NPI’s program can be found on its website, which talks openly about its aims and bears the motto, “Our People, Our Culture, Our Future.” “As long as whites continue to avoid and deny their own racial identity, at a time when almost every other racial and ethnic category is rediscovering and asserting its own, whites will have no chance to resist their dispossession,” Spencer says on his online recruiting video. “This is our challenge,” he says. “This is our calling. Won’t you join us?”

Spencer’s vision of whites being dispossessed has become a central idea of the white nationalist movement, first cogently expressed in a 1972 book by Wilmot Robertson, The Dispossessed Majority. The reality, of course, is that whites have long enjoyed privileges not afforded to minorities, but Robertson and his white nationalist followers, including Spencer, have instead constructed a narrative in which whites are disingenuously pictured as the latest victims of social discrimination in America.

Spencer hasn’t said why he moved NPI to Montana, where his white nationalist organization joins an array of other extremist and antigovernment groups and individuals who have moved to Flathead County, especially Kalispell and Whitefish, in recent years. That trend was detailed in the Winter 2011 issue of SPLC’s Intelligence Report (“A Gathering of Eagles: Extremists Look to Montana”).

Earlier this month, the NPI drew national attention when it was discussed on MSNBC’s “Rachel Maddow Show.” “If you poke around on the website of the white supremacist — white nationalist — think tank, you can kind of see how they’re trying to update the whole racist image,” Maddow said. “So, yes, some of them are still kind of skinhead-looking guys. But they wear suits, you know, and some of them have hair.”

Spencer also operates Washington Summit Publishing, a com­pany that sells books by racist intellectuals, including Jared Taylor, editor of the Amer­i­can Renais­sance journal, and Sam Francis, who edited the journal of the Council of Conservative citizens until his death in 2005. Both publications dwell obsessively on the alleged failings of non-white people, while lauding a vision of a white-dominated America.

That’s not all Spencer does. The National Policy Institute has used the same post office box as Alternative Right, a racist blog started by Spencer in March 2010. Spencer says he stepped down as its editor in March 2012, but he’s still a frequent contributor there. Its current editors are listed as Colin Liddell and Andy Nowicki.

In a posting last week on Alternative Right, Spencer accused Maddow of broadcasting a “hit piece,” unfairly linking him to Heritage Foundation senior fellow Jason Richwine. Richwine, who co-authored a recent Heritage Foundation study making outlandish claims about the cost of immigration, resigned from the foundation last week after earlier material he’d written denigrating the intelligence of Latinos came to light.

Spencer also took exception to the suggestion that he had once expressed “bigoted rage at the idea of a Black woman being nominated for Vice President and that the GOP is becoming the party of ‘piñatas, burritos, and ‘Forget the Alamo’.” “[T]his is actually close to being the opposite of what I argue,” Spencer said. “My argument is that the GOP is not a multicultural party; it remains the White People’s Party, and its ‘outreach’ is based on assuaging White guilt, not actually becoming racially diverse.”

Spencer’s move to the northwestern United States has caught the attention of civil rights advocates there who say he won’t find the warm welcome he may expect.

“For decades, white supremacists have targeted Montana and the Pacific Northwest as a place to create their Aryan homeland,” Rachel Carroll Rivas, co-director of the Montana Human Rights Network, told Hatewatch. But like other white supremacist activists who have come before him, including April Gaede,  Craig Cobb, Karl Gharst and many others, “Spencer is unlikely to find broad support,” Rivas added. “Many of these vocal activists spouting hate move to Montana, as Spencer has, and then find that the local population stands up against their message and instead supports a welcoming and loving vision for their community.”

Meanwhile, a Flathead County community group, Love Lives Here, has gained good public visibility recently and affiliated itself with the statewide Montana Human Rights Network. “The National Policy Institute’s hateful philosophy runs counter to [what] this community is, and I think the majority of our community continues to stand against this kind of hatred,” said Will Randall, a founder of the group.

  • Aliceann Carlton

    If you want to learn about the clusters of Aryan, White Supremacist, Neo-Nazi groups in Montana, take a look at the Hate Map on the SPLC website. Add to them a significant number of Freemen, Militia groups, and Sovereign Citizens followers and you will have a pretty clear but underestimated picture of what’s happened in Western Montana. Like-minded paranoid, conspiracy believers cling in loose woven relationships and tightly warped minds.

  • aadila

    Sam, the principles of permaculture will apply no matter what ecological disaster wrought by the Koch Brothers and their ilk, and the mindless consumers who enrich their hoard of the public surplus without realizing they are selling the future wellbeing of humanity cheaply. Or worse; realizing it and not taking steps to bring about the social changes required to restore balance to the global ecosystems. Even merely thinking about it is better than doing absolutely nothing.

    Thus by learning and practicing permaculture today, some representatives of humanity might indeed survive our beeline trajectory toward global catastrophe. And perhaps it will be only the Amish, but I think as well the most destitute throughout the world might survive, since they are used to misery, and quite frankly have nothing to lose through global crisis. They are surviving armageddon already.

  • Sam Molloy

    I am not sure what these people expect to accomplish. If everything collapses the only people I know of that will be remotely prepared are the Amish. They may wonder why nobody stops by to buy eggs anymore.

  • Reynardine

    Montana (montaña) is, if I am not mistaken, part of the Rocky Mountain West. And yes, movements of this kind prefer setting up someplace inaccessible.

  • aadila

    Well said, Erika. Nice rebuttal to leftover’s cynical distortions. I would add only the obvious: it is not charity to give in order to extract higher profits. Nor is cynicism to be confused with having something to say.

  • DDB9000

    David Bloch asks…

    “I’m not sure that I understand why this group is attracted to Montana…”

    I think the answer is fairly simple. When they first started coming to Montana and Idaho and nearby states, they were coming to very rural areas where there might be miles and miles between houses, and no worry about having to live near a “non-white”.

    But also, the very rural aspect makes it easier for them to set up their indoctrination camps. What better places than heavily wooded areas often accessible by only one road (if any). While there certainly are still wooded areas in Georgia, they are often much closer to big cities.

    Oh, and it’s very simple to see that Montana is in no way part of the PACIFIC Northwest. Would you call Ohio part of the Atlantic Midwest? Ohio is much closer to the Atlantic than Montana is to the Pacific.

  • Erika

    oh and Insurance is most definitely Republican and Banking (which is not the same thing as Wall Street) is Republican by nature but Bipartisan in practice :)

  • Erika

    leftover, i’d be equally suspicious of any “charity” director who lives in a $3,000,000 house regardless of ideology. Religious groups definitely have had some very bad abuses – and religion is often a huge business. If you want to take a look at what a big business religion is and if you ever happen to find yourself in Virginia Beach, go and visit Pat Robertson’s complex there comprising of Regent University and CBN.

    and of course, it can be shocking when you realize how much money a group like the American Red Cross pays its leadership – and charities of all stripes have seen corrupt employees and leaders loot them.

    But there is a problem with your “both sides” do it in political terms – that is that overwhelmingly the bulk of the money is on the right. You also ignore that there is no major “left wing” party in this country – the Democrats are just as corporate controlled as the Republicans and primarily cater to the rich – they at most masquerade as “liberals” – but the fact is that most of the “left wing” groups are really moderate and are just as much backing a corporate agenda – its just a different corporate agenda.

    The easiest way to look at it is that Republicans are the party of Extraction, Chemicals, Transportation, Manufacturing, Healthcare, Sports, and the Media – the Democrats are the party of Wall Street, Biglaw, Computers, Technology, and Entertainment (which is not the same thing as the media).

  • leftover

    Erika
    I didn’t say being connected made one less suspicious. I just pointed out a fact.
    If you extended your paranoia about right-wing groups and corporations to other political and religious groups, you might achieve a modicum of credibility.
    Big money does, indeed, fund these types of groups, (read John Stauber’s “The Progressive Movement is a PR FRont for Rich Democrats” at Counterpunch—
    http://www.counterpunch.org/20.....democrats/
    —for starters). Money talks. It also votes. Everything else walks. It’s called Capitalism.

  • Erika

    majii, the only time i ever pay attention to Georgia politics is when i start thinking that i might want to move back there – and then i realize that as bad as Virginia politics are, they aren’t nearly as bad as Georgia’s.

  • Erika

    leftover, and how exactly does merely being connected with rich people equal less suspicious??? There are many of these right wing groups which function solely as a way to get the agenda of the largest corporations in the world out through a “neutral” voice. Most of them do not qualify as “charities” through any rational definition (being primarily lobbyists for their donors objectives). Plus they allow the greedy corporation to claim a tax deduction for essentially conducting political activity.

    No matter what, someone with a whole lot of money is funneling money into this racist group to further its objectives.

  • Reynardine

    Dan, that makes it all the more important that they be sued for their assets, which can then be turned to a big fresh-air camp.

  • Nunya

    First question: What is a “white”. Polish, Jew, European,etc. What is their culture? And if they are Christians, which I doubt, why don’t they love their neighbors as themselves? And wasn’t Jesus a Jew to begin with. Seems to me, they only things they have in common is a messed up attitude and hate agenda.

    Is this part of the group Palin was from when she lived in Idaho?

  • http://yahoo Dan Grinde

    I have lived in many places in the US and NW Montana for over 30 years. I came for the mountains, trees, fantastic rivers and lakes….hiking and summer swimming, skiing. And lots of construction work in beautiful places. What shocked me was how soon the state flipped from Democrat and high industrial wages to hard-core wealthy white right-wingers. They hate the carpenters and others who work for them, black people especially. If you work super-hard and kiss their crooked butts, they may give you a pass if you are Mexican or Asian and serve them their meals the way they like. Now this is also a gun manufacturing center. My kids grew up here and come back….I am too old and crippled to leave, but everything feels really creepy around here now. Religious haters….wow just like the Old South. The nice folks who used to dominate here have been run over.

  • leftover

    Erika
    Rightfully so this week. But running a non-profit, (in the case of NPI a 501(c)(3), according to ProPublica’s Nonprofit Explorer—http://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/521259838—which has stricter requirements than the 501(c)(4) status currently in the news), doesn’t mean that is one’s sole source of income. (ProPublica doesn’t list any executive compensation or other wage & salary info at all for NPI, so Spencer’s income has to come from another source.)
    Also…living in a $3 million dollar home doesn’t mean the resident owns it. It just means the resident is connected.

  • concernedcitizen

    @majii

    I’ve lived in GA for 60 years and can tell you that many here sympathize with these racists.

    Well let’s see what’s the average lifespan? Shouldn’t the old racists be croaking off soon?

  • concernedcitizen

    Robin, it’s not like that everywhere and we all should be concerned about groups that are extremist and trying to divide this country.

    However, they appear to really thrive in very poor neighborhoods and communities that are suffering economically for commerce and jobs.

    We will always have idiots like these amongst us. I am just hoping that communities will make them feel so un-welcomed that they have a difficult time recruiting because being a bigot is not the thing to do.

  • M. Bright

    My God, what a sleazy way to make money.

  • Reynardine

    Gregory, with my blessings.

  • Gregory

    Rey,
    Good one, I will use that with your permission.

  • Sam Molloy

    Any high school teachers out there? Why doncha have graduating students that are expecting to work fast food or fill out welfare papers write an essay: “I cannot go make a fortune in the Bakken oil shale field because…”

  • Sam Molloy

    Sam Maloney, thanks for a local view of the area. I picture a place where you can leave your car unlocked, if you can find it under the snow.

  • Steve

    Wow another biased story written by a propagandist to forward a CIA agenda to demonize regular people who resist the New World Order.

  • Reynardine

    Gregory, a think tank that comes up with putrid ideas is a stink tank.

  • Erika

    leftover, some might find the facts that he runs a “non-profit” and lives in a $3,000,000 home a tad bit suspicious in combination.

  • leftover

    George
    Creatures? Really? And YOU criticize the NAZIS? Just where in Montana do you live?

  • leftover

    David Bloch
    The article states Spencer lives in a $3 million dollar home. That should tell you why he moved to Montana…and especially Whitefish. He has found kindred spirits among the other wealthy white folks in the area.

  • leftover

    concernedcitizen
    You can’t “kick people out” of a state just because they don’t think like you. If we could do that in Montana, Max Baucus would be living with YOU.

  • leftover

    Mary
    Montana is usually referred to as part of the Mountain, Mountain West, or Rocky Mountain Region. Don’t worry, Oregon is safe. Everybody knows there’s no Nazis in Oregon.

  • leftover

    Sam Malloy
    The Bakken oil works in Montana are over 500 miles from Whitefish. The rest of your comment sounds about as accurate as your knowledge of Montana geography.

  • Bob Moyer

    Isn’t “racist intellectual” a contradiction in terms? Or an oxymoron?

  • Sam Maloney

    Mr. Malloy: the Bakken is on the far side of Montana from where he’s moving, roughly 600 miles away… by air. The part of the state he’s moving to is near Glacier National park and America’s largest fresh water lake west of the Mississippi. It is gorgeous, but oddly schizophrenic, having a large Native American population but almost no African Americans, many wealthy summer residents but a tough job market thanks to the collapse of the timber industry, and a thriving Gay community right along side Ten Commandment signs nailed to churches, barns and fences every hundred yards or so.

  • Mary

    Actually, isn’t Montana like the mountain or central zone?

  • Mary

    I would never call Montana the Pacific Northwest. It isn’t anywhere near the Pacific. I live in Oregon which is the Pacific Northwest. I would prefer not to suggest this guy or similar racists in Montana are considered a part of our section of the country. That is really shameful. Isn’t Montana like the “north” or “midwest” or something?

  • Robin Page

    I live in Rapid City, South Dakota. Having been a state legislative candidate in 2012, I had the opportunity to meet many people. I have become increasingly concerned about these kinds of groups. Many people here are arming for “the fight against tyranny”. Our state is increasingly becoming more segregated by the day. Some of our elected officials openly make racist comments. Has all of this already gone to far? Are we headed for another civil war? What can a citizen do?

  • concernedcitizen

    “Many of these vocal activists spouting hate move to Montana, as Spencer has, and then find that the local population stands up against their message and instead supports a welcoming and loving vision for their community.”

    Well I hope this is true and that they kick them out.

  • concernedcitizen

    Please export them elsewhere other than in the United States.

  • George

    Sam, the Bakken is far from Kalispell. Many from here go there but it is 6-700 miles. Nevertheless you do see these creatures moving through the lines at grocery stores and such.

  • David Bloch

    I’m not sure that I understand why this group is attracted to Montana, or to this particular location in Montana. I wonder why they didn’t stay in Georgia.
    How many members does this group have? Are they well received in Montana? Anyone know?

  • Gregory

    Perhaps we need a new term, because “thnk tank” really implies a cognitive group effort, setting the intellectual bar a bit high for these imbeciles.

  • majii

    Erika,
    I’ve lived in GA for 60 years and can tell you that many here sympathize with these racists. Our governor’s non-response response to separate proms in one of our rural communities here confirms this. There was no way Deal was going to take the right stand on the issue and say that separate proms in the 21st Century are not a good idea, so he stuck to the party line and said that it was a “local issue.” It’s likely that he wants to run for reelection in 2014 and didn’t want to alienate those whose votes he will need to in order to be reelected. It’s shameful when the head of any government, state or federal, is so cowardly that he/she won’t stand up for what is right. His mouthpiece and spokesman claimed it was a “liberal” attempt to embroil the governor in this affair. It wasn’t. The governor was asked to respond to an attempt by a group of four teenagers who were trying to end the practice of separate proms, and our governor couldn’t even summon the courage to salute them for their efforts. This is why these extremist groups feel so comfortable about moving to GA to spread their hatred–they know that even the governor won’t say anything against them.

  • Reynardine

    I’d like to revive the idea of suing them for enough of their land to open a Fresh Air camp.

  • Erika

    this is most welcome news since its about time that Georgia started exporting embarassing racists rather than importing them (generally from those Yankee Carpetbagger states) ;)

  • Sam Molloy

    Unfortunately, this area is near to the Bakken Shale Oil Field, which has a booming economy. It is not well publicized, but if you go, take an RV and warm clothes. These backward thinking separatists should be relegated to some less wealthy area. The Oklahoma Panhandle comes to mind, although I don’t want to criticize the folks currently ekeing out a hardscrabble life in that area.