The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.
In a rural corner of Oregon — a microcosm of what once was the Wild West — local authorities decided they wouldn’t wait for “the feds” to put the snare on a gang of white supremacists that had been shooting up the town, causing mayhem.
Umatilla County Sheriff Stuart Roberts and District Attorney Daniel Primus took their case against members of the United Aryan Empire to a county grand jury last week and returned with three state racketeering indictments.
The grand jury, composed of local citizens, heard evidence against the white supremacist gang in a secret session in Pendleton, a western-theme community of 16,000 best known for an annual rodeo called the “Pendleton Roundup.”
The racketeering indictment is a “roundup” of its own sort — one that encompasses multiple alleged criminal acts in one charging document.
Named in separate indictments were Jeremiah Jerome Mauer, 30, the alleged founder of the United Aryan Empire, and members Warren Gerald Browning, 35, and Gregory Charles Tinnell, 43, all of Pendleton. Because of their prior records, they each face lengthy prison terms if convicted.
The racketeering indictments were returned less than three weeks after Pendleton police arrested the three felons on charges of shooting into occupied homes, detonating an explosive device and involvement in a large gang fight. At least five firearms, including an illegally sawed-off shotgun, were recovered during the investigation. Two other affiliates of the gang, Steven Ray Grangood, 22, and Sarah Frankfort, 30, also were arrested and face related criminal charges.
Federal authorities were made aware of the investigation and, at a minimum, easily could have brought federal firearms charges against the three defendants. But the federal investigative timeline, involving assistant U.S. attorneys in Portland and a federal grand jury, is a much longer one.
Pendleton Police Chief Stuart Roberts made it clear in an interview with Hatewatch earlier this month that his department was aggressively pursuing the gang of white supremacists and was uncovering new crimes that had gone unreported for fear of reprisals.
The United Aryan Empire was a start-up white supremacist gang founded by Mauer, who failed in his attempt to join European Kindred, a neo-Nazi skinhead gang with multiple members in Portland and the state’s prison system, the chief said.
Mauer was charged with racketeering and 16 other counts, including conspiracy to commit murder, assault, riot, unlawful use of a weapon and being a felon in possession of a firearm. The racketeering count against him lists 15 separate crimes – “predicate acts” – he allegedly carried out as part of the gang’s enterprise.
Tinnell was charged with racketeering and 20 other counts, including two counts of conspiracy to commit murder, assault, riot, six counts of recklessly endangering another person and being a felon in possession of a firearm. The racketeering count against Tinnell lists 18 separate crimes.
Browning is charged with 12 counts, including racketeering, listing nine separate criminal acts. The counts against him include conspiracy to commit murder, assault, riot and being a felon in possession of a firearm.
The state “riot” charge brought against each of the defendants alleges they engaged in “tumultuous and violent conduct recklessly creating a grave risk of causing public alarm.”
The recent scandal that erupted over Rep. Steve Scalise’s speaking appearance before David Duke’s white-supremacist organization, the European-American Union and Rights Organization (EURO), inevitably meant that mainstream media would be turning to Duke himself for answers to their questions. And indeed, Duke was interviewed on several media outlets early this month, on CNN and on Fox News.
And as usually occurs when Duke gets airtime, he parlayed the interview into an opportunity to propagandize and sell both his twisted worldview and his books. Most of all, Duke performed his specialty, which is to sell outright falsehoods and self-serving distortions.
Duke appeared first on CNN with Michael Smerconish for his weekly news-interview program on Jan. 3, then on Jan. 5 for an appearance on Fox News’ “The O’Reilly Factor” with Bill O’Reilly. On both programs, Duke attempted to make the familiar claim that he isn’t a white supremacist or a racist.
“I have never supported white supremacism,” Duke told Smerconish.
“I was never a white supremacist,” he told O’Reilly. “I’m not a white supremacist at all. In fact the European American Unity and Rights Group was in fact a chartered civil rights organization and I in fact in Louisiana legislature sponsored a bill that forbid racial discrimination and these programs called Affirmative Action which are racial discriminations.” ( continue to full post… )
Think Progress: GOP leaders circle the wagons for House whip Steve Scalise over speech to white supremacists.
Huffington Post: David Duke warns politicians from both parties he might expose their ties to his organization.
Louisiana Voice: As Steve Scalise scandal grows, sordid details emerge about the dark underside of the white supremacist movement.
Right Wing Watch: The five craziest right-wing conspiracy theories of 2014.
The Root: Vandals hit Alabama grandmother’s home with broken windows, racist graffiti: “Move nigger now..”
Helena Independent-Record: Militia-promoting pastor Matthew Trewhella to deliver election sermon at Montana state capitol.
Idaho Statesman: Idaho appeals court overturns conviction of black man after prosecutor recited Confederate anthem.
Athens (GA) Banner-Herald: Georgia Ku Klux Klan group fighting to be able to join highway-cleanup program.
Mediaite: Fox’s Jesse Watters says that if police were really racist, they would just let blacks kill each other.
The Ku Klux Klan, which in recent years has been a shadow of its once monolithic self, has been trying to make a comeback. From handing out candy to children, appearing in robes on the U.S.-Mexican border to protest President Obama’s executive action on immigration—even raising money for Darren Wilson, the police officer who killed Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo.—it seems Klansman are everywhere.
Is the Klan growing?
This week, Vice published a video report on the Klan experiencing a rise in members, in part fueled by a strategy that targets veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. In it, host Rocco Castoro talks with the SPLC’s Mark Potok about hate group recruitment often being tied to military conflict.
“There is a very high degree of interest on the part of Klan groups in returning military veterans with high end military skills that they think will be useful to them one day,” Potok said. “A lot of these men are coming back traumatized with serious PTSD and other problems. The economy is not good. They’re not getting jobs, so they come home to find a situation that is not very good for them. … What some veterans find in these groups is family.”
Watch the videos.
Police have arrested a 31-year-old white supremacist in connection with an ax murder last April of a fellow racist.
Christopher Paul Mason, of Phoenix, was arrested last Thursday. He is being held in lieu of $1 million bond on murder charges related to the death of Joshua Calkins, 35, also of Phoenix, The Arizona Republic reported.
The newspaper, citing court records, reported that both men were affiliated with an unidentified white supremacist prison gang.
Calkins’ body, wrapped in plastic, was dumped in an alley in northwest Phoenix and found later on April 16. His hands were tied behind his back, and bloody towels and bleach were discarded nearby, police said.
Calkins had extensive trauma and was nearly decapitated, leading a medical examiner to conclude he had been killed with an ax. “Interviews conducted in the coming months with more than 20 people would lead investigators to believe that the medical examiner’s guess was exactly right,” the Arizona newspaper reported.
Mason admitted to witnesses later interviewed by police that he had killed Calkins, saying, “I got him 13 times with an ax,” according to court records. Mason allegedly told some of the witnesses that he killed Calkins because he had robbed Mason’s former girlfriend at gunpoint.
In 2006, Mason pleaded guilty to forgery after attempting to cash a $700 stolen check to support his methamphetamine addiction.
A man who went on a shooting spree last week in Austin, Tex., firing at government buildings and a police headquarters, was a “homegrown American extremist” with “hate in his heart,” the city’s police chief said.
Larry Steve McQuilliams, 49, also appeared to have been a devotee of a doctrine known as the Phineas Priesthood, an ideology that believes violence to be divinely justified if used against race-mixers, gay people, abortion proponents and others.
“He is a homegrown American extremist,” Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo said Monday at a news briefing in the Texas capital city. “Hate in his heart was part of his problem. … What keeps me up at night is these guys—the lone wolf.”
With ailing health and scant finances, Alex Linder couldn’t keep his racist forum alive.
After weeks of begging for money and fretting that without financial support he would be forced to shutter the Vanguard News Network (VNN) Forum, the time finally came to pay all debts two days ago. Then, in the dead of the night this week, Linder shut the forum down. Only a stilted message appeared on the homepage to welcome visitors.
“Management is closing VNNForum as promised if we did not meet the requested donations total, which is $2,500 a quarter,” the message read. “The Forum will reopen at unspecified date or as soon as funding target is hit.”
The disappearance was not without warning, though.
Throughout most of November, as the due date to pay the site’s bills neared, Linder was posting increasingly shrill requests for donations. As of Monday, Linder was $700 short of the $2,500 he needed to pay the website’s bill.
The shortage wasn’t for any lack of effort on Linder’s part, who runs his racist enterprises out of a small row apartment in a nearly vacant building in Kirksville, Mo. I visited Linder to speak with him about the state of VNN several weeks ago. He declined to comment, short of an angry rant afterward on his own forum.
“We have people fucking with our race. People showing up on my doorstep asking questions. Harassing my relatives. I don’t have anything to fight them with,” Linder wrote in early November. “You want to fight jews [sic]? I have the will and ability to do so, as proved over two decades. These fucks are making 150K a year to harass me. I need 10k to fight back. I am begging.”
Shutting down the VNN Forum had to have been humbling for Linder, who has been active on the racist right since the 1990s, when he moved to Missouri to fulfill his “true interest, writing satire to hasten White revolution.” Later that decade he joined the now defunct National Alliance (NA) and dove headlong into a racist life.
In fact, while his health has suffered in recent years and he no longer makes public appearances, there was a time when his star shined bright.
In 2000, Linder created VNN with the lofty vision of building a conglomeration of media sites he hoped would become a “White Viacom”—“an integrated global media and services company getting out the White message and serving the White market in a thousand forms.” The site quickly became popular in neo-Nazi circles and turned out to be a home for remarkably vulgar content: vile anti-Semitism, untrammeled misogyny and swaggering self-importance.
Under the motto “No Jews. Just Right,” Linder also built an archive of racist and anti-Semitic articles, links to his Aryan Alternative newspaper, podcasts from VNN Broadcasting, and a popular online message board, known as VNN Forum.
Like its older and larger counterpart Stormfront, the forum, which openly advocated for the extermination of Jews, proved to be an enticing space for both new anti-Semites eager to make a name, and the old, violent guard who had spent their lives training for a race war. Lifelong anti-Semite Frazier Glenn Miller, who sits in jail on murder charges after a shooting spree at Jewish sites last May in Kansas left three people dead, was a frequent poster to the forum under the name Rounder.
In fact, after the attack, senior VNN members applauded the killings.
“Thank God people are finally fighting back against these vicious demonic parasites,” wrote “H.B.,” a senior member on VNN just days after the shootings. “The jews [sic] are so evil. It is shocking that most people still don’t have a clue despite the fact that the Internet has given total transparency to their incredible and innumerable crimes.”
Even Linder, after being silent for days after the shootings, couldn’t resist saying something.
“I’m afraid jews [sic] must take responsibility for Rounder’s completely logical and completely justified hatred of them, too, for they murdered tens of millions of our folk last century, and are now embarked on a global campaign to bring about white genocide,” Linder wrote. “When you do that, well, you have to expect a little blowback.”
Perhaps because of such commentary, VNN had seen considerably smaller audiences in recent years, as racists congregated elsewhere online. Numbers gathered by Alexa, which tracks website traffic, show that the forum’s audience had plateaued in the last six months.
But then, it was never a surprise that VNN lived in the shadow of Stormfront, the largest racist portal on the Internet, and its founder, Don Black.
Black, for his part, has certainly taken pleasure in seeing VNN’s demise.
“Has Linder accomplished anything positive for our people?” Black wrote in a post earlier this week recounting Linder’s many gaffs, including questions regarding Miller’s association with VNN. “On the surface, he just reinforces the stereotype, providing particularly nasty quotes for our enemies to cherry pick.”
Ironically, these apparent final days of VNN seem lost on Linder. Even as he failed to raise enough money, he proclaimed, “I believe VNN has made a difference so far, and will continue to do that in the future. I see more and more stuff taking a VNNlike [sic] line, and that is very heartening. It shows that we are right, and if we just keep going, we are ginning up more and more people…Things are going our way.”
Sadly for Linder, his delusions got the better of him.
And while it remains to be seen what will become of the forum, Linder has promised to bring it back if he can pay his bills. Not that he has to. He has continued to publish on other sites, including alexlinder.com, with the same fury and unabashed hate.
One of his most recent headlines? “Every Nigger a Rapist.”
Tempers flared and growing ideological differences came to a head at Stormfront’s Smoky Mountain Summit this year, as generational tensions took center stage.
The lightning rod was a presentation by Matthew Heimbach, co-founder of the Traditionalist Youth Network, who addressed attendees with calls for “#DeathToAmerica.” But his presentation, his second in recent years, caused a stir, particularly among the old guard.
Rehashing many familiar white nationalist talking points including a Jewish controlled U.S. federal government and a strident critique of affirmative action, Heimbach’s speech also visited less familiar ground, depicting an America that was born out of a secret partnership between the Free Masons and the Jews—one that has come to be a collection of individuals bound together only by money-worship and meaningless, government documentation.
“You are the wrong color, ladies and gentlemen. You are the wrong color to be an American and enjoy the American Dream. I’m sorry,” Heimbach told the crowd. “The meritocracy of America is skin color.”
While his presentation earned praise from the likes of Don Black, the founder of Stormfront, who personally invited Heimbach to the conference, others were not as pleased and voiced such displeasure that Black had to cancel a scheduled question-and-answer session at the conclusion of Heimbach’s presentation. Others took to the Internet with their gripes.
Pastor Thom Robb, former leader of the Knights Party and a well-known Christian Identity preacher and founder of the Soldiers of the Cross Training Institute, a summer camp for children to foster the tools for them to “fight for our racial redemption,” was insulted by Heimbach’s presentation.
“He was fundamentally wrong on several things and his presentation was unschooled,” Robb wrote on a Stormfront thread a week later. “Speakers should be experienced, grounded, mature and employ wisdom, otherwise they will never inspire others or be able to give a vision for others to grasp.”
He added, “Perhaps Matt will someday, becomes [sic] those things, but until then he needs to humble himself and seek wisdom both of which he, at this time, lacks.”
Robb had additional reason to be upset with Heimbach. As Robb led a prayer at dinner immediately following the presentation, Orthodox attendees, including Heimbach, reportedly interrupted his grace with a prayer of their own.
The issues with Heimbach’s ever-evolving extremism go far beyond his presentation, and, in fact, have garnered him support with other groups on the radical right, namely the League of the South (LOS), the neo-Confederate group where Heimbach began his racist journey.
Heimbach was recently promoted to Assistant Head of the Training Department within the LOS, a new branch of the LOS focused on creating materials to give to new members to help them understand “Southern Nationalism” and the objectives of the neo-confederate hate group. Those objectives, according to LOS President Dr. Michael Hill in the essay “Our Survival As A People,” include fighting “the ultimate compromise of racial extinction through miscegenation.”
A little over 22 years ago, shooting broke out on a lonely Idaho mountaintop known as Ruby Ridge. The violence left a U.S. marshal and a 14-year-old boy dead, led to the death of the boy’s mother in the 11-day standoff that followed, and became, in the end, a seminal lesson in how law enforcement should not act in such situations.
Earlier this week, Retro Report, a critically acclaimed video documentary series that is distributed by The New York Times, released a thoughtful piece re-examining the 1992 FBI siege of a cabin inhabited by white supremacist Randy Weaver and his family. In the aftermath of that siege, which helped spark the militia movement of the 1990s, Weaver and another man who was in the cabin were acquitted of the murder of Marshal William Degan, and the federal government ultimately paid the surviving Weavers $3.1 million to settle their countervailing legal claims.
The film features Mark Potok, senior fellow at the Southern Poverty Law Center and editor of its investigative magazine, Intelligence Report. “The Ruby Ridge standoff became a kind of founding myth of the radical right,” Potok says in the film. “It not only made the government look bad, it was bad. People, whatever views they had, whatever illegal activities they had [engaged in], should not be shot down by government snipers when they are not actively threatening the life of somebody.”
Over the past couple of weeks, the so-called “academic” racists of the white nationalist movement have set academics aside and instead devolved into an online battle in the style of the Hatfields and McCoys.
In the wake of several recent events, including the arrest and deportation of Richard Spencer from Hungary and the state senatorial campaign of Kentucky neo-Nazi Robert Ransdell, some of the biggest names in white nationalist circles are taking sides and taking turns publicly skewering each other on their respective websites.
White nationalist and neo-Confederate Brad Griffin (aka Hunter Wallace) compiled a list of “beefs” among white nationalists and posted them recently to his Occidental Dissent site. One commenter noted, “The easier list to compile would have been who isn’t fighting whom.” And indeed, from the length of the list Griffin posted, the commenter may be right.
The long list includes familiar and ongoing feuds, such as those between longtime white supremacist Harold Covington, and well, everyone, as well as those involving Vanguard News Network (VNN) site founder Alex Linder (also with pretty much everyone). However, there are many new and unexpected conflicts within the movement that, ironically, calls for the need for solidarity in its mission.
In particular, unexpected spats have surfaced between several well-known white nationalists including Greg Johnson of Counter-Currents and Richard Spencer of the National Policy Institute (NPI). Both are hailed as “academics” by their peers.
Andrew Anglin of the increasingly popular neo-Nazi site Daily Stormer, meanwhile, has been engaged in a war of words with Colin Liddell of the white nationalist Alternative Right, a site that was originally founded by Richard Spencer. The site was abruptly shut down by Spencer in 2013 until Liddell, who is based in the UK, took its reins.
The Johnson-Spencer conflict emerged in the wake of the near-collapse of NPI’s conference in Budapest. Johnson cancelled his plans to attend and requested a refund of registration fees from NPI when the Hungarian government threatened arrests and deportations for attendees.
Despite the fact that several of the event’s most noteworthy names, among them representatives from Jobbik, the hard-right, Hungarian nationalist party, and Aleksandr Dugin, a pro-Russian favorite of traditionalists and the European new right, had withdrawn, Spencer and others journeyed into Hungary to be met by police at the event. Spencer was rewarded with several nights in prison before being deported and banned from returning for several years.
None of this sat well with Johnson. “The final straw for me,” he commented at Occidental Dissent, “was Richard’s disastrous mishandling of the Budapest conference. When a foreign government tells you that your conference is banned and that the police will take the necessary steps to make sure it does not take place, you do not vow defiance.” He got personal in another comment when he said, “Richard is basically being dominated by Nina Nogoodnik, his Russian-Georgian wife.”
Johnson also penned a post and multiple comments at his own website, Counter-Currents, and attacked Spencer for his handling of the controversy – particularly his failure to adequately warn attendees of the risks involved with entering Hungary.
Another feud erupted about the same time over Robert Ransdell’s campaign for state Senate in Kentucky. Ransdell, a neo-Nazi, has been posting signs that state, “With Jews, We Lose.” White nationalist “comedian” RamZPaul took exception to Ransdell and openly condemned his campaign.
RamZPaul (Paul Ramsey) has other supporters in his opposition to Ransdell. One writer at white nationalist Robert Whitaker’s BUGS site snarked that Ransdell’s “borderline comatose ‘With Juice you lose’ is the latest drooling from COMIC Book Pro-Whites.”
In the same article, Whitaker attacked Stormfront, the world’s largest online white supremacist forum, calling it a vacuum for pro-white energy that is spent arguing on the internet, and said that he and his followers (known as “BUGSERS” who bombard various websites with variations of “the mantra,” a white supremacist statement that claims “anti-racism is anti-white”) are the only ones who work for the cause and have “VISIBLY destroyed anti-white memes that would be there forever if it had been left to tens of thousands of Stormfronters.”
And then neo-Nazi Andrew Anglin entered the fray of “beefs” with a massive round-up post at his Daily Stormer site, titled “Infinite DramaQuest” in which he adds extra snark by representing each feuding party as a different anime character from the series Dragon Ball Z.
To Anglin, all the battling about what’s best for the movement is ridiculous, because his approach is the best: “You cannot preserve the White race without addressing the Jews. You cannot address the Jews without addressing their hoax. You cannot address their hoax without addressing Adolf Hitler.” That statement opened yet another “beef” with Colin Liddell at Alternative Right.
“What Anglin is unequivocally saying here,” writes Lidell, “is that before you can do anything at all about preserving and protecting the White race – stopping mass immigration, say, or encouraging White women to have at least 2.1 babies – you must first get everyone to love Hitler and hate the Jews, and if you can’t accomplish these supposed preconditions then you had best forget the whole shebang, So what he is really saying is simply: ‘You cannot preserve the White race.’”
Like a tennis match, Anglin hit back, calling Lidell “Mr. Supersmartintellectualguy,” and claiming that he could turn Lidell’s arguments around on him, but “wouldn’t ever do that, because [he has] this thing in [his] back called a ‘vertebral column’ which physically prevents me from being capable of engaging in such base intellectual dishonesty.”
And not one to avoid controversy (or attention), white nationalist Matt Parrott of the Traditionalist Youth Network was willing to throw some more gas on the fire. According to Parrott, who normally shies away from comparisons to Nazism, “The flaw in Anglin’s model is that Nazism isn’t radical enough.”
Meanwhile, over in the vortex that is VNN Forum, Alex Linder is so worked up that he’s posting 1,000-word screeds at a rate that is almost unprecedented for him, even though he’s known for long diatribes. Among these are attacks on almost every major figure, including Johnson and Spencer, involved in a “beef” listed on Occidental Dissent.
“Everybody fails Greggy,” writes Linder in the #1 Infighting, Beefs, Etc. Thread” on VNN Forum. “Then piously he lifts his eyes heavenward, shakes his head nobly and sadly, and earnestly swears to soldier on and do better next time. So sodo-jesusy.”
“Spencer is simply a nebbish. I think of him as a Strom lite. Less brains, less character, even.”
Like some kind of surreal white supremacist version of a telenovela, the drama continues to unfurl. As Brad Griffin suggested at Occidental Dissent, some popcorn might be in order.