09/18/2002

Key Leader in Nation's Leading Neo-Nazi Group is Ousted

A key leader of the neo-Nazi National Alliance, which has been struggling to regain its footing after the July 23 death of founder William Pierce, has been ejected from the group, as announced September 17. The firing of Billy Roper, the group's deputy membership coordinator, raises the possibility of a major split.
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David Pringle, until recently the Alliance's Alaska unit coordinator, made the announcement on a private Alliance e-list. He said that he had been chosen to replace Roper and given the title of membership coordinator.

Pringle warned of a possible split. "Billy may go the road of division and ask some of you to leave the Alliance," Pringle said in his e-mail. "If he does that, those of you who are asked have a decision to make. Your loyalty cannot be divided."

Pringle did not say specifically what caused Roper's ouster, although he alluded to the fact that Roper had sought the chairmanship that Pierce long held and was given instead to Cleveland unit coordinator Erich Gliebe after Pierce's death. Pringle did say that Roper "couldn't park his ego long enough to let Erich Gliebe unite us" and had "made some very unfortunate, very wrong decisions."

These developments were foreshadowed in an article in the forthcoming issue of Southern Poverty Law Center's Intelligence Report, to be released in late September. Because of Pringle's announcement, the article is being posted early on the Center's website. The article details the conflict between Roper and Gliebe and offers a detailed portrait of the state of America's leading hate group today.