Against the Wall: National Alliance Beset with Problems
Now it was all out in the open. Two of the Alliance's four board members had quit — foolishly, from their point of view, because they had the power as a board to fire Gliebe from his post as Alliance chairman. Only Gliebe and Kitti Molz, a Streed sympathizer, were left. But there were no longer enough votes to remove Gliebe.
Gliebe's counterattack wasn't long in coming. On Aug. 5, Strom attacked Streed in a public posting. On Aug. 6, it was the turn of David Pringle, membership coordinator, who described Streed's resignation as "basically a coup attempt," said that all was well with the Alliance, and claimed membership was rising. By Aug. 12, when Pringle posted another denunciation, his tone had grown almost desperate.
"Jews aren't our greatest enemy," he said. "Traitors inside the gates are."
Then he launched into a bitter attack on Molz, who three days earlier had told nine senior unit coordinators in a teleconference of her dissatisfaction with Gliebe, and even repeated an allegation that Gliebe had secretly bootlegged some 700 CDs of a band with the Resistance label. Molz also had tried to stop Gliebe and his faction from drawing checks from Alliance bank accounts, but ultimately failed.
Molz, Pringle wrote, was "waging a campaign of backstabbing and betrayal," a "Brutus style assassination attempt on our Chairman." He demanded that she resign, and asked others to write her, too. But Molz declined to quit.
Reaction to the loyalists was not good. One Alliance member, identifying himself as Jack Newport in an E-mail to Linder's VNN, said he was planning to leave if Gliebe did not soon make changes.
"I'm a middle-class, proud Aryan with a wife and kid who lives in a neighborhood that is chock full of the type of people the NA says it's trying to recruit," he wrote in remarks that had to be troubling. "Problem is, I have serious reservations about the very foundation and future of the organization. It definitely isn't the program or ideology, it's the people running the show."
Then, on Aug. 16, Gliebe issued what purported to be a legal document firing the directors of the National Alliance and National Vanguard Books (they included Streed, Molz, DeMarais and Sims). The trouble was, Gliebe had no such power — it is the board that can fire him — and so his document was simply ignored.
Late in the month, Shaun Walker, a prominent Alliance member from Salt Lake City, wrote another defense of Gliebe. But it was filled with lies and half-truths about the power of the board (he said Gliebe had power over the board, not vice versa) and a large number of other matters. As a result, the letter's main effect was to galvanize still more anger and opposition to the Gliebe cabal.
On Aug. 29, it was announced that Walker — one of a rapidly diminishing number of well-known members supporting Gliebe — had been named the Alliance's "chief operating officer." "We are stronger than ever," Pringle wrote in making the announcement. But then he said Walker would need to devise a new business plan.
Finally, on Sept. 3, Gliebe issued a conciliatory letter defending his firings, wishing members of other hate groups "the best of luck," conceding that "mistakes have been made," and insisting that his administration was open to "constructive criticism." On the same day, Pringle posted an ad for "dependable people" with a minimum of one year as Alliance members to join the headquarters staff.
Whither the National Alliance?
A remarkable series of events seems to have coalesced that may ultimately wreck what has for years been the most important hate group in America. The unexpected death of William Pierce; the naming of a man to replace him who had none of Pierce's intellectual qualities and few people skills; financial woes almost certainly due to poor management; the appearance of several Internet sites that aired all kinds of movement criticism of the Alliance; and the failure of Gliebe to raise money for a member in trouble — have all contributed to the present situation.
Hundreds of members have left the Alliance and key units are coming close to collapse. Although Gliebe claims to have added new chapters since Pierce's death, the reality is that these units are generally far smaller than the six-member minimum that Pierce insisted on, and they often consist of people who are brand new.
At press time, Gliebe had actually managed to fire or alienate everyone on staff who understood how to access the Alliance's membership database, which is protected by a sophisticated system of passwords at various levels. Presumably, he will regain access to the database, but even the temporary loss is telling.
Many former and present Alliance members think that various units of the organization will spin off and become independent groups. There has even been talk of "growing a new head" — that is, spinning off a new national group from units of the present Alliance and then choosing an entirely new leadership to head it.
Gliebe may yet pull the Alliance back from the brink. But with the huge amount of animosity he has created, with many of his former key activists now in leading roles of other groups, and with his own finances flagging, it seems almost impossible that the Alliance can regain the influence it once wielded.
Today, what seems more likely is that the struggle over the Alliance will eventually devolve into a simple battle over the substantial commercial assets the group still controls.