Arguably the only true intellectual remaining in the American neo-Nazi movement following the 2002 death of National Alliance founder William Pierce, Kevin Alfred Strom, who served for years as Pierce's right-hand man, is a bookish yet dogmatic neo-Nazi whose predilection for child pornography ultimately ruined his efforts to claim his former master's legacy. Since serving a federal prison term for possessing such material, Strom has largely avoided activism in the white supremacist movement, most of whose enthusiasts have repudiated him as an embarrassment, sexual criminal, and liability to the cause.
In His Own Words
"Both psychologically and materially Whites in modern times are called upon to bear the burdens of guilt and monetary reparation for Black slavery. This position is based entirely on enforced ignorance and the deliberate suppression of the record of White slavery in North America."
— From a 1993 broadcast, "The Truth About Slavery"
"America is today an occupied nation, a victim of the ruthless aliens whose activities we detailed today. As a result of the control of our institutions and our media by these aliens, Americans have been conditioned to accept a moral code in which anything that tends to the extinction of our race is considered good and anything which tends to our survival is evil."
— From a 1994 broadcast, "The Hidden Tyranny Revealed"
"The Aryan race, by dint of its intelligence and creativity and character has managed to drag itself up to a state of civilization and some degree of scientific understanding of the universe about us. But what Dr. Pierce could clearly see, and what the more jingoistic racialists cannot see, is that that state of civilization is but a few inches above the slime of universal savagery. […] The Journey has just begun and the danger of falling back is very great."
— Eulogy of National Alliance leader William Pierce, 2002
"There is nothing as wonderful as pretty girls, and I suspect that the entire purpose of human existence, or perhaps even of the universe itself is so that they might live."
— 2000 posting on personal website
In 2008, Kevin Strom was convicted of federal possession of child pornography charges and sentenced to 23 months in prison. In 1987, Strom was arrested outside the South African Embassy in Washington, D.C., for allegedly assaulting a police officer during a pro-apartheid rally. Police said they found him in possession of detailed sketches of a downtown office building where Nelson Mandela was scheduled to speak. All charges were eventually dropped.
In a 1993 radio broadcast, Kevin Alfred Strom poetically described what he considers a major influence on his political awakening: "Growing up in Alaska, I came to love its wild beauty, its endless twilights and its titanic scale. I developed an appreciation for wild animals which expresses itself today in my abhorrence for any mistreatment or unnecessary killing of my fellow Earth creatures." Indeed, Strom remains a devout vegetarian and frequently preaches about the majestic beauty of the United States.
But this same Strom also describes a more sinister influence on his political development. In a time of widespread fears of communist takeover, Strom's high school history teacher fueled his budding hatred of communism and introduced a young Strom to the far-right John Birch Society, where he allegedly encountered members of William Pierce's neo-Nazi National Alliance (NA). Having attending numerous lectures by what he called the "illustrious" NA founder, Strom claims that he abandoned the John Birch Society entirely because, despite their good intentions, "members of the group were forbidden to discuss a certain topic, a topic that is crucial for a full understanding of our nation's dilemma. This topic was race."
William Pierce rapidly inculcated in Strom the most virulent racist and anti-Semitic sensibilities. Through Pierce, Strom learned about the machinations of ZOG (the Zionist Occupied Government, the name given by the radical right to the federal government), the degeneracy of the civil rights movement, and the all-round superiority of the white race.
Strom's closeness to Pierce was enduring. Immediately following his graduation from high school, he began working for the NA leader, putting both his intellectual and his technical skills at the service of the growing organization. From installing the telephone and alarm systems in the new West Virginia mountaintop compound that Pierce inaugurated in 1985, to creating and hosting the NA's radio show ("American Dissident Voices") and editing its publication (National Vanguard), Strom rose to become Pierce's favorite aide. It was Pierce, in fact, who introduced Strom to Kirsten Kaiser, whom he married in 1990. The couple moved to their mentor's West Virginia compound in 1991.
Throughout the 1990s, despite moving away from Pierce's compound for five years and eventually divorcing Kaiser, Strom continued to produce anti-Semitic and racist material for the NA and was widely considered to be one of the few National Alliance members to rival Pierce intellectually. He also demonstrated an unwavering dedication to Alliance principals, to the point of losing custody of his three children after allegedly having attempted to abandon one whom he considered an autistic "weakling."
Upon returning to live at the West Virginia headquarters in 2000, Strom married his second wife, Elisha, known as one of the few feminists in the white-power movement. Strom immediately persuaded Pierce to dip into a new business venture: white-power music. The purchase of Resistance Records soon after Strom's return was a great boon to the organization, providing new sources of revenue and boosting Strom's prestige. The dream was abruptly cut short, however, with Pierce's unexpected death in 2002, an event which sent the National Alliance into a leadership dispute which was to be its undoing. Strom, who considered himself a favorite for the succession, was passed over for former boxer Erich Gliebe.
Following several rocky years and the defection of many members, Strom was evicted from the group in 2005 after attempting to stage a coup. Having anticipated the split, however, Strom had secretly transferred the NA's National Vanguard website to his wife's name, and he founded his own group (also called National Vanguard) not long thereafter. Many members followed Strom to the new group and for a while it seemed poised to take over where William Pierce had left off.
Unfortunately for Strom, his long-time fascination with young girls, whom he glorified by posting enticing photographs of them on his personal website, finally caught up with him. On Jan. 4, 2007, federal agents arrested him near his home in Stanardsville, Va. 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 National Vanguard.
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 2007, 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.
Strom was freed from prison in Sept. 2008 and has not returned to the movement.