National Vanguard

National Vanguard
Founded: 
2005
Location: 
Charlottesville, Va.

Formed in 2005 by longtime activist Kevin Strom, National Vanguard was a breakaway group from the neo-Nazi National Alliance, the most dominant neo-Nazi group from the 1970s until 2002, when its founder died. National Vanguard was increasing its membership and its prestige in white supremacist circles before the arrest and imprisonment of its leader, Kevin Strom, in 2007 for child pornography and witness tampering, after which the group fell apart.

In Its Own Words
"Despite the scientific fact of race, powerful forces are eager to downplay or even deny that fact while at the same time attempting to obliterate all racial, ethnic and cultural differences worldwide, with the goal of ‘uniting humanity' into one global, anonymous mass. Open borders, ‘outsourcing,' and the growth of corporate and governmental globalism are all elements in the systematic destruction of human, biological and cultural diversity."
— National Vanguard website

"Jewish interests hold a massive amount of power, far beyond what one would expect based on their population numbers. Jews dominate the mass media, which shapes opinion and cultural values, and have a strong hand in the political scene at all levels. … [Jews] have pushed for ‘pluralist' and ultimately mixed-race societies. Jews in such societies feel safer in asserting themselves, since instead of standing out in stark contrast to their host populations, they become merely one of many racial minorities. This is the primary reason that Jewish interest groups have been at the forefront of nearly all the negative changes which have taken place in the White world during the last 100 years."
— National Vanguard website

"[National Vanguard] is simply recognizing facts when we point out that no civilization has ever survived racial mixing let alone on the scale which has engulfed the U.S. since the 1960s. Considering economic factors, the chaos being created by Zionist-inspired U.S. meddling in the affairs of other nations, and the certainty that multiracialism is a death sentence for any society that attempts it, it is inevitable that at some point the distribution of power and authority in America — and the rest of the White world — will change dramatically. We want to lay the groundwork for a healthy White nation to emerge from the chaos ahead."
— National Vanguard website

Background
National Vanguard (NV) was the creation of Kevin Alfred Strom, a 20-year veteran of the white supremacist movement. Strom had long played a key but subservient role to William Pierce, founder of the National Alliance — until recently the most important neo-Nazi group in the country — and then to Erich Gliebe, who was anointed over Strom as Pierce's successor. The elevation of Gliebe came even though it was Strom, not Gliebe, who had created and hosted the Alliance's well-known weekly radio show, "American Dissident Voices"; Strom who convinced Pierce to venture into the white power music business; and Strom who edited the Alliance's flagship publication, National Vanguard, in his role as the group's second in-house "intellectual," after Pierce. 

In the spring of 2005, Strom and other disgruntled Alliance principals were summarily expelled from that group after they tried but failed to overthrow or curtail the power of the Alliance's current leaders. Almost immediately after he was ejected, Strom formed National Vanguard, lifting the name from the Alliance magazine he had edited for years and taking hundreds of other Alliance members with him. The Alliance's old Tampa, Fla., unit, which converted en masse into an NV chapter loyal to Strom, organized a Summer Solstice Festival that same year. 

In its first three months, NV set up 15 chapters, even as the Alliance's membership rolls continued to decline. Strom received clear support from other movement leaders, including leading white supremacists David Duke and Don Black, operator of the infamous Stormfront.org hate site. NV units from Boston to Denver rented billboards and bombarded Internet message boards with propaganda, winning both attention and publicity. Disillusioned and angry over Gliebe's perceived failures as a chairman, several Alliance unit coordinators defected to NV with their entire chapters. High-profile former Alliance member April Gaede, whose young twin daughters were then a popular act in white power music, also signed on with Strom. Performing white supremacist folk songs under the name Prussian Blue, Gaede's daughters Lynx and Lamb shared a stage with Strom at the Tampa gathering. 

Though his critics lampooned his supposedly feminine mannerisms by nicknaming him "Weenie," Strom's intellectual persona gave him a veneer of respectability that stood in sharp contrast to the thuggish image of most of the white supremacist world. But then something unexpected — and, for a time, unexplained — happened. In July 2006, Strom abruptly announced he was taking a leave of absence as chief of National Vanguard because of "family and health matters." He acknowledged having "made mistakes, some of them serious ones," but didn't elaborate. 

Strom's public woes began on Jan. 4, 2007, when federal agents arrested him near his home in Stanardsville, Va (where he had moved from Charlottesville after separating from his wife, Elisha). He was charged with possessing and receiving child pornography, enticing a minor to perform sex acts and intimidating a witness, sending shock waves through the white supremacist world. In March 2007, facing ubiquitous movement criticism, Strom officially disbanded NV.

Strom ended up facing two separate trials. Charges against Strom for possession of child pornography were separated out for a later trial. In the first trial, held in October, Strom prevailed. U.S. District Judge Norman Moon ruled Strom's numerous legal complaints against his wife did not amount to intimidation. And the judge found that while Strom had followed and anonymously sent many gifts to a 10-year-old girl, he had not actually tried to have sex with her. The judge did note that there was "overwhelming evidence he was sexually drawn to this child."

In January 2008, Strom faced a second federal trial on possession of child pornography. Strom struck a deal at a plea hearing with prosecutors in which he pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography. In exchange, multiple counts of receiving child porn were dismissed. During his sentencing on April 21, 2008, Strom claimed the child porn came from an online forum he'd visited and that he had not intentionally downloaded it onto his computer. Strom, who had already served more than one year in prison, asked Judge Moon not to give him further time. "Mr. Strom, you pled guilty to charges that now you're saying you're innocent [of]," Moon responded. "I prefer people plead not guilty than put it on me." Moon, who called Strom's guilty plea "extremely serious," then sentenced him to 23 months in jail. 

National Vanguard fell apart in late March of 2007, apparently unable to survive the imprisonment and public humiliation of Strom. But as early as September of 2006, four months before Strom's arrest, rebellious elements within NV already had attempted to move the headquarters to Sacramento, Calif. Early in 2007, the state of Virginia liquidated the group's legal parent, making it impossible, according to the Sacramento insurrectionists, to access the group's bank accounts. 

A March 2007 posting on the NV website proposed that readers "interested in pro-European-American activism" sign on with NV's replacement, European Americans United (EAU), which supports white separatism and is against "Third World immigration," and that they keep abreast of the news at the group's Western Voices World News site. To avoid the kind of collapse that happened to NV, a board of directors, instead of one person, runs EAU, and all directors must prove they have no criminal background. Paeans to neo-Nazi leaders like the late National Alliance founder William Pierce are to be replaced with calls to white nationalism in hopes of building a broader movement. 

Strom was freed from prison in Sept. 2008 and has not returned to the movement.