Against the Wall: National Alliance Beset with Problems
Money, Loyalty and Criticism
Shortly after firing Roper, Erich Gliebe traveled to Georgia to solidify the shaky support of Chester Doles, the state unit leader. He stuck a gold pin of a "life rune" — the symbol of the Alliance — into Doles' lapel, and a few days later named Doles as one of a handful of designated Alliance spokesmen. But the flattery failed. By January 2003, Doles was publicly saying that he would no longer host meetings of the Alliance, which he characterized as replete with informants and enemies.
Two months later, on March 7, Doles was arrested after some 70 members of the Joint Terrorism Task Force raided his Dahlonega home, finding 13 firearms and charging Doles with being a felon in possession of guns. (After beating a black man driving with a white woman, Doles, a former Klansman with a swastika tattooed on one hand, had been sentenced to seven years. He served almost four.)
Gliebe showed little interest in helping the man who had apparently already decided to desert him. But many others in the group felt strongly about Doles, who was a very popular leader and had built a large and tightly knit Georgia unit.
The fact that Doles was jailed and left 11 children with no income behind him — as well as questions about the validity of the charges — brought Doles great sympathy.
By summer, a maverick Alliance member, Alex Linder (see profile Potty Humor and the Revolution), was writing about Doles on his personal Web site, Vanguard News Network (VNN), which had acquired great popularity on the white supremacist scene. It wasn't long before Linder announced that an anonymous donor had offered to match $25,000 in donations to a Doles defense fund.
Linder dubbed this anonymous donor "Jimmy Teuton, Goy Genius" — after the cartoon character "Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius" — and plugged his offer repeatedly. Soon, donations were flowing into VNN.
Meanwhile, financial trouble was becoming obvious inside the Alliance's compound near Mill Point, W. Va. Increasingly, members of the board that oversees the Alliance — made up of Gliebe, Fred Streed, Kitti Molz and Bob DeMarais — were aware of serious problems.
Gliebe was spending more than the Alliance was taking in, and DeMarais, a former college business professor, was making little headway in convincing Gliebe that changes had to be made. In early June, a frustrated DeMarais resigned from the board, although that fact was kept secret for another two months.
On July 4, Linder made a startling announcement. Donors had sent him $48,726, which meant that with the $25,000 matching offer, the Doles family could hire Bob Barr, a former Republican congressman, as its high-powered attorney. The same day, Linder launched his VNN Forum, an uncensored Internet chat group that would become a key venue for internal and external criticism of Gliebe and his regime. Not long after, Linder gave Doles' wife nearly $80,000, and she did hire Barr.
Linder had pulled it off. And Gliebe was not looking good.
Another Web site, overthrow.com, also played an important role in airing criticism of Gliebe. Operated by a former anarchist named Bill White (see profile The Gossip), Overthrow published reams of negative information about Gliebe and those around him — some true, some false, but all of it well read. White published letters from anonymous Alliance members, leaders and former members that added up to a chorus of attacks on Gliebe for failing to help Doles. By the time that Linder made his announcement, large numbers of Alliance members already despised Gliebe.
Gliebe loyalists went to bat. In particular, Kevin Alfred Strom — host of the Alliance's radio program "American Dissident Voices" and a particular target of Bill White's vitriolic scorn — cut a deal with Don Black, the proprietor of another popular white supremacist Web site called Stormfront. Black agreed to censor any negative comments about Gliebe and the Alliance from his site's very popular forum.
The battle lines were drawn. The war had begun in earnest.
In New Jersey, a Sideshow
On July 10, six days after Linder's announcement, a story appeared in the local paper in Hopewell Borough, N.J. A reporter, writing a profile of Marc Moran, named a week earlier to replace a departing city council member, ran a Net search and discovered that Moran was a member of the National Alliance and had written for VNN and other venues. Within two days, Moran had quit the council.
Although the Moran story provoked a flurry of local media coverage and Moran's promise to quit the Alliance, it was only later that some key facts came out. It turned out that Moran was the anonymous "Jimmy Teuton" and had provided key funding for Linder's VNN and VNN Forum. He also had reportedly paid Bill White, who is a computer consultant, to run the technical side of Linder's Web operation.
These revelations added to the storm. Now, Gliebe and his faction began to portray Linder, his internal critic, as in the thrall of White, who was pictured as a former Communist with extremely suspect motives. Questions were raised about White, whose rabid attacks on the Alliance did often seem difficult to explain, given that White described himself as a born-again white nationalist and anti-Semite.
At the same time, the financial situation at Alliance headquarters seemed to be worsening. Resistance Records, which had grossed almost $50,000 in its peak month of March 2002 (four months before Pierce's death), brought in less than $7,000 this July.
Almost all Alliance periodicals were far behind schedule and Alliance customers were growing furious at the poor service, if any, that they received after sending money in for music, publications and other merchandise. Gliebe had begun a round of staff firings that would continue through August as he sought to get rid of anyone who had criticized his stewardship of the organization.
Privately, many were deeply worried about these problems. Then, suddenly, it all went public.
On Aug. 3, Fred Streed — a board member who was widely seen as steady, hard-working and deeply loyal to the Pierce legacy — publicly resigned. Principally, he was angered that Gliebe refused to act on repeated warnings about the financial situation. But he also flogged Gliebe for refusing to listen to any criticism and for attacking Linder and White rather than making use of their forums to reply. He described some of the group's financial problems, and he revealed that DeMarais had quit.
"Erich seems to be almost constitutionally incapable of making hard decisions," he wrote. "His reaction to repeated warnings that the NA is overextending financially is just to ignore it and keep spending money as if no problem exists."
"Erich Gliebe," Streed concluded, "must resign."