Traditionalist Worker Party
The Traditionalist Worker Party (TWP) was a neo-Nazi group that advocated for racially pure nations and communities and blamed Jews for many of the world’s problems. The group was intimately allied with other prominent neo-Nazi and other hard-line racist organizations espousing unvarnished white supremacist views. For a time after 2015, the group and one of its leaders, Matthew Heimbach, became synonymous with the so-called “alt-right.” TWP helped organize the August 2017 protest in Charlottesville, Virginia, that erupted into a deadly riot. In October 2017, TWP was named as a defendant in a lawsuit filed on behalf of Charlottesville victims.
The Traditionalist Worker Party (TWP) was a neo-Nazi group that advocated for racially pure nations and communities and blamed Jews for many of the world’s problems. The group was intimately allied with other prominent neo-Nazi and other hard-line racist organizations espousing unvarnished white supremacist views. For a time after 2015, the group and one of its leaders, Matthew Heimbach, became synonymous with the so-called “alt-right.” TWP helped organize the August 2017 protest in Charlottesville, Virginia, that erupted into a deadly riot. In October 2017, TWP was named as a defendant in a lawsuit filed on behalf of Charlottesville victims. On Nov. 23, 2021, a jury found TWP, along with its co-founders Matthew Heimbach and Matthew Parrott, guilty on charges of civil conspiracy.
In Its Own Words
“As we all learned in Charlottesville, when you’ve got pepper spray in your eyes, the acrid taste of your own blood and snot in your mouth, and a nightmare swarm of trannies coming at you with rocks and bats, the serious and revolutionary nature of this struggle comes into full relief.” – Matthew Parrott, Traditionalist Worker Party, March 2018
“I was asked by a reporter one time like, ‘What would you do if a black person was coming into your country?’ I was like, ‘Make sure he would get a visa, just like every country does when foreign peoples come into your nation.’” – Matthew Heimbach, “National Socialist or Death!” speech at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Feb. 17, 2018
“[Atomwaffen Division] are good friends of ours.”– Matthew Heimbach, on Discord, Nov. 22, 2017
“A racist is any Englishman who opposes the extinction of his race. An anti-Semite is a man who the Jews hate. Homosexuality is a dangerous, degenerate, diseased, and dysfunctional lifestyle that’s viscerally disgusting. Who in their right mind wouldn’t be homophobic? Who in their right mind wasn’t homophobic a generation or so ago?”
– Matthew Parrott, Traditionalist Worker Party, Sept. 5, 2017
“Iron March was a big net positive for me, drove me to read [national socialist] books, SIEGE, and evolve ideologically.” – Matthew Heimbach, on Discord, April 4, 2017
“When critical thinkers are shown what to look for, they become anti-Semites in due time despite themselves, as Jewish subversion of the West is too pervasive and consistently hostile and destructive to remain objective about for long.” – Matthew Parrott, Traditionalist Youth Network, 2016
“I’m opposed to usurious Jewish bankers, just like Hitler. I’m fed up with negro criminality, just like the first Klan. I’m proud of my racial identity, just like Dr. William Pierce [the late leader of the neo-Nazi National Alliance]. I share Anders Breivik’s commitment to push the Muslim invaders out of our Western homelands.” – Matthew Parrott, April 22, 2013, Counter-Currents
In 2013, Matthew Heimbach – a young rising star in the white supremacist world who had led the White Student Union at Towson University in Maryland – joined with Matthew Parrott to found a white nationalist group they dubbed the Traditionalist Youth Network (TYN). Its site featured a blog and a podcast. The group’s mission was “to provide resources and support to independent groups of high school and college students throughout North America who are learning about the Traditionalist School of thought.” The group’s central claim was that nations should be racially and culturally homogenous. Heimbach and Parrot went on, in 2015, to create the Traditionalist Worker Party (TWP) as the political wing of the TYN.
The TWP’s goal, according to a platform statement on its now-deleted website, was an unabashedly political one. “While we have candidates for political office and will run campaigns, that work is secondary to our first priority, which is local organizing and advocacy for real-life working families who share our identitarian and traditionalist vision,” a passage on its site read. The group used the slogan “Local solutions to the globalist problem.” The phrase was a reference to the idea that globalization destroys racially homogenous communities and nations.
The evolution of TWP’s racist platform
TWP became part and parcel of the so-called “alternative right” during the run-up to President Trump’s election in 2016. Also known as the “alt-right,” the term is an umbrella for a racist ideology that scorns mainstream conservatism and argues that white people and white culture in America are under threat from the forces of political correctness and multiculturalism. Antisemitism has also been pervasive across the movement. Matthew Parrott, co-founder of TWP and TYN, wrote in a blog post published in August 2016: “The altright is, at its core, the equal and opposite reaction to years of anti-White rhetoric, resentment, and redistribution.” He attributed its rise to the suppression of “White identity politics” – politics that TWP sought to uphold.
Three words summarized TWP’s platform on its website and in propaganda: “Faith, Family, and Folk.” By 2017, TWP’s mission statement had been updated to include the “14 words” – a slogan popular within the white power movement that was concocted by David Lane, a member of the white supremacist terrorist group The Order.
Earlier versions of TWP’s political platform, at least as expressed through an archive from June 2016 of its website, divided its political platform along the themes of “Faith, Family, Folk.” In the section of the platform titled “Faith,” TWP condemned the “state religion of degenerate secularism” and called for a “crack down [sic] on usury.” (The term refers to the practice of lending money with interest, often at exorbitant rates. It is often associated with both medieval and modern antisemitic discourse.)
In the next section, “Family,” the organization promoted a definition of marriage that is molded by “clergy and local tradition,” took a strict anti-abortion stance and advocated for “traditional” gender roles, with women staying home to care for children if possible.
Finally, the “Folk” section of the former TWP website made its white nationalist views clear. The group argued explicitly in its 2016 platform that communities should be able to determine their own “religious and ethnic character” without government interference, that Fourteenth Amendment birthright citizenship in the U.S. should be revoked and that the borders should be secured with National Guard troops. One platform plank, “Stop Discrimination Against Whites,” claims that “our government is stacking the deck against White families.” Another declared TWP’s opposition to trade deals, saying they benefit giant corporations instead of families.
The party’s economic policy was, in large part, a product of Heimbach’s own endorsement of “third positionism.” The political philosophy refers to a rejection of both capitalism and communism, a position espoused by Nazi leader Gregor Strasser – who was later assassinated by fellow Nazis who didn’t agree. In a December 2015 blog post titled “Learning from Europe: How Our Nationalist Movement Can Enter the 21st Century,” Heimbach quoted Strasser as saying: “We must take from the right nationalism without capitalism and from the left socialism without internationalism.”
Later versions of TWP’s platform, however, took on a much more explicitly national socialist tone. The group added Lane’s “14 words” in mid-to-late 2017. TWP also replaced its tripartite platform with a new statement of beliefs titled “25 Points.”
In the first of these points, TWP announced that its purpose was to “establish an independent White ethno-state in North America.” It also declared “war” on “international Jewry.” In the second, TWP issued a “demand [for] a National Socialist government, economy and society for our people.” In a subsequent section, TWP’s wrote, “When we advocate for National Socialism […] we advocate a state whose existence is founded on the preservation of our people.”
TWP also embraced its own notions of “traditionalism” and “identitarianism.” While both found their own expressions in the European far right, they took on a different flavor within the United States.
TWP’s version of “traditionalism” had its roots in the form of “radical traditionalism” espoused by mid-20th-century Italian philosopher and fascist thinker Julius Evola. Evola sought to bridge the “traditionalism” of French thinker René Guénon with Italian and German fascism. Evola enjoyed varying levels of audience during his lifetime, but his influence has been long lasting in certain far-right circles, as scholar Mark Sedgwick pointed out in his 2009 book “Against the Modern World.”
Though “traditionalism” cannot be reduced to a single political movement, Heimbach and Parrott’s group embraced a version that held racism as its perennial truth. TWP’s website defined traditionalism as a school of thought that “makes us as autonomous and self-governing as possible in relation to the modernist societies that we live in.” It defines the traditions the group sought to protect as ones that had “formed European-American mores.” TWP’s version of traditionalism argued that adherence to those “mores” was the best way to organize society. It also stated that a traditionalist lifestyle can successfully supplant the state, since “the family is the natural enemy of the state.”
But TWP’s expression of this “traditionalism,” at least among many within its leadership, took on a much different flavor than Evola’s “traditionalism.” Heimbach and Parrott identified as an Eastern Orthodox Christians, although both were excommunicated in 2014. But they were far from the only ones. Another prominent TWP member, white nationalist podcaster and former Barnes Review contributor Matthew Raphael Johnson, was an ordained priest in an Orthodox Old Calendarist Church until he was deposed in 2016.
How TWP sought to align itself with others in the movement
In fall 2015, TWP had high hopes of seizing local electoral power. As Hatewatch reported in October 2015, the group named its first candidates to represent the party. TYN’s “Traditionalist Youth Hour” podcast co-host Tony Hovater ran for city council in New Carlisle, Ohio. Council of Conservative Citizens leader Tom Pierce ran for county commissioner in Knox County, Tennessee. Hovater never filed, and by 2016, Pierce was calling himself an independent. He lost in the general election.
Heimbach had been associating with neo-Nazis and Klansmen years before the formation of the TWP and its foray into politics. In 2013, he praised neo-Nazi David Duke and joined a cross and swastika lighting hosted by the Aryan Terror Brigade, the Imperial Klans of America and the National Socialist Movement. That led to his brief expulsion from the League of the South, a neo-Confederate white supremacist group.
The fraternization with neo-Nazis and their ilk continued under the banner of the TWP. In June 2016, The Barnes Review, a journal specializing in Holocaust denial, announced a partnership with TWP and TYN, giving their members a discounted subscription rate and several free books, including “Russia and the Jews and A Straight Look at the Second World War.” In a website posting, the TYN praised The Barnes Review as an “esteemed revisionist publication which has been cutting through the bias and distortions to get to the historical truth for decades.” (Revisionism, also known as Holocaust revisionism, refers to a pseudo-intellectualized field of Holocaust denial that arose in the decades after World War II.)
In July 2016, the neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement (NSM) announced that the TWP had joined its Aryan Nationalist Alliance (ANA), a coalition of white power organizations. NSM leader Jeff Schoep unveiled the ANA in April 2016, and its list of member organizations includes neo-Nazi, Klan and racist skinhead groups. The mission statement of the ANA uses many of the same talking points as the TWP. As Vegas Tenold documented in his 2018 book, “Everything You Love Will Burn: Inside the Rebirth of White Nationalism in America,” one of Heimbach’s conditions for joining the ANA was that the group engage in rebranding to veil its white supremacism. In addition to a name change, Tenold noted, Heimbach pushed for ANA members to abandon their “most outlandish nods to Adolf Hitler” and other neo-Nazi imagery. He also encouraged the group to rename itself, settling on the Nationalist Front.
That same summer in 2016, the TWP announced its first endorsement, for Rick Tyler, a non-TWP candidate for the U.S. House from Tennessee. As Heimbach told Tenold in “Everything You Love Will Burn,” the endorsement was an effort, in part, to earn the soon-to-be-formally-renamed ANA attention in mainstream political circles. Tyler was known for putting up billboards bearing the slogan “Make America White Again,” which prompted outcry among locals and calls for a boycott of Tyler’s restaurant.
As the group’s website noted, however, support for candidates was only part of what TWP did. By the summer of 2016, the group had almost double-digit chapters stretching from the mid-Atlantic through the Midwest and into the Southwest.
Much of TWP’s momentum during this era was born out of an atmosphere of optimism around the Trump campaign. Heimbach and other members of TWP praised Trump early on.
“Donald Trump is blowing the dog whistle for White racial interests harder than any other candidate, and louder than the Republic elites would ever dream a candidate would do in our politically correct age,” Heimbach wrote in a 2015 blog post. He said he would be campaigning for Trump because “while Donald Trump is neither a Traditionalist nor a White nationalist, he is a threat to the economic and social powers of the international Jew.”
In a March 2016 speech to members of the white nationalist Council of Conservative Citizens, Heimbach called Trump a “gateway drug” for white nationalism.
“We can then move [Trump supporters] from civic nationalism and populism to nationalism for us,” he said.
That same month, Heimbach attended a Trump rally in Louisville, Kentucky, where he was caught on camera donning a red “Make America Great Again” hat while repeatedly shoving a Black woman, 21-year-old Kashiya Nwanguma. On March 31, 2016, Nwanguma joined two others in suing Trump for inciting violence at his rallies. Heimbach was also named as a defendant. In July 2016, the authorities charged Heimbach with misdemeanor harassment in the incident. Following his guilty plea in summer 2017, Heimbach decried the charges against him as “a politically motivated prosecution that is totally out of touch with [the] reality of what happened that day,” The Guardian noted at the time.
In June 2016, the TWP held a rally for “Faith, Family, and Folk” in Sacramento, California, with the Golden State Skinheads and Blood & Honour America Division, both racist hate groups. Violence erupted between the racists and counterprotesters almost immediately, leaving nine people hospitalized, only one of them a white nationalist. Parrott and Heimbach weren’t at the rally, but soon after the event Heimbach told white nationalist radio show Red Ice Radio: “They got one of ours, but we got six of them. Six Antifa [anti-fascists] on the way to the hospital.”
Despite the chaos in Sacramento, Heimbach traveled to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, to formally announce ANA’ s rebranding as the Nationalist Front (NF) on Nov. 5, 2016. NF’s first, and seemingly last, attempt at holding an annual conference took place on April 28-29, 2017, in Pikeville, Kentucky. The rally, which was held the day after a conference featuring a number of NF member organizations, attracted members of the NSM, TWP, League of the South (LOS) and Vanguard America, among others.
In 2017 and 2018, TWP and NF members became staples at such events as Richard Spencer’s campus speaking tour. Shortly before TWP and other members of the NF traveled to Pikeville, Heimbach appeared alongside a number of current LOS members at Spencer’s April 18, 2017, Auburn University speech.
TWP’s internal chatlogs shed light on how TWP perceived its role within the movement more broadly. These chatlogs were part of a large trove of data from Discord – an application that allows users to create their own private, customizable servers for chatting. TWP’s servers were leaked to and published by the independent media outlet Unicorn Riot in spring 2018.
These same chatlogs demonstrated that TWP and NF members had come to take pride in their status as muscle for these events. As one member of TWP’s Discord server named “Fevs” wrote on Nov. 1, 2017, other white nationalist groups such as Identity Evropa (IE) that had sought to distance themselves from the group would come to regret it.
IE, “Fevs” wrote, is “going to change their mind the first rally they get their asses kicked [at] because NF isn’t there to protect them.”
TWP joins the deadly ‘Unite the Right’ rally: ‘We did an incredibly impressive job’
TWP and the NF joined forces with other white nationalist, neo-Confederate and neo-Nazi figureheads in mid-2017 as co-sponsors of “Unite the Right,” a rally held in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Aug. 12, 2017. Elsewhere Parrott described the event as “a broad unity event for every signal faction of the right with the balls to stand and fight for our heritage against a nightmare swarm of Marxist degenerates.” Heimbach, meanwhile, in a promotional video described efforts to take down Confederate monuments, including those in Charlottesville, as a control tactic utilized by “the Jewish Power Structure.”
Though TWP would deny its role in fomenting the violence resulting in the death of Heather Heyer and the injury of dozens of others, its leadership was quick to pronounce the event a success.
“We achieved all our objectives,” Heimbach told The New York Times on Aug. 13, 2017. “We had zero vehicles damaged, all our people accounted for. . . . I think we did an incredibly impressive job.”
They also had no problem bragging about their own violent and aggressive tactics that day. Parrott, in a self-published account called “Catcher in the Reich: My Account of My Experience at Charlottesville,” described TWP, LOS, NSM and other NF groups as perpetrators of violence. The groups, Parrott wrote, at one point “joined together ‘to help create two shield walls’ for ‘the fight.’” He also referred to one brawl that extended for possibly over an hour.
“I have no idea how long we were fighting. Time slows down. I’m guessing we were there for about an hour before the antifa had become so discouraged and frightened that they were crying out for the police to help them. Our men remained on our permitted premises, so help only meant one thing: helping them break our defensive line.”
Parrott, likewise, expressed sympathy for James Fields Jr., who was convicted of first-degree murder after he drove his car through a crowd of counterprotesters in Charlottesville, killing Heather Heyer and injuring dozens of others. As Parrott noted in the same “Catcher in the Reich” account, “I fully sympathize with and support [Fields] who, after finally making it alive to his vehicle, was fully blockaded, swarmed, threatened, and explicitly denied any police protection.”
Similarly, Sines v. Kessler, filed by Integrity First for America (IFA) on Oct. 21, 2017, identified TWP members and leadership as some of the central figures coordinating and engaging in violence at Charlottesville.
After TWP and several other groups associated with the NF present at Charlottesville were named IFA’s Sines v. Kessler lawsuit, Parrott released a series of communiques detailing what he claimed were TWP’s “private event dispatches.” In the post, Parrott framed TWP’s behavior at the event, both of its leadership and lower-level members, as indicative that they expected the rally to be a peaceful one.
However, chatlogs and IFA’s own findings indicate otherwise.
In addition to Parrott’s own account, which referred to numerous fights being carried out by TWP and other NF members at Charlottesville, TWP members bragged in Discord chatlogs about engaging in acts of violence. Among those were former U.S. Marine Vasillios Pistolis, an initiate of the neo-Nazi group Atomwaffen Division who frequented TWP’s Discord. Pistolis – as Ali Winston, A.C. Thompson and Jake Hanrahan reported for ProPublica – had bragged to fellow AWD members that he had “cracked 3 skulls open” on Aug. 12, 2017, while at Charlottesville. As ProPublica documented, Pistolis recalled “a blood-soaked flag he’d kept as a memento” from the occasion, telling his fellow neo-Nazis that the blood was not his own.
As testimony from the Sines v. Kessler trial, which took place from late October to late November of 2021, made clear, other “Unite the Right” organizers saw Heimbach and TWP as a bridge between more suit-and-tie white nationalism and its violent fringe. On Nov. 2, 2021, Heimbach testified that Jason Kessler, the lead organizer of the rally, had encouraged him to reach out to racist skinhead groups, namely Blood & Honour Social Club and the Hammerskins.
“I believed he wanted to invite organizations that would have a deterrent effect,” Heimbach told prosecutor Karen Dunn, according to a rush transcript from the journalism collective Unicorn Riot.
Racist skinhead groups like the Hammerskins and Blood & Honour Social Club have often been referred to as the “shock troops” of the modern white supremacist movement, whose raison d’etre is to promote hate violence and enact it. In 2012, Wade Michael Page, a member of the Northern Hammerskins, murdered six worshippers and wounded four others in a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. More recently, in December 2018, police arrested nine people – including Travis David Condor, the head of the hate music label American Defense Records who rallied alongside Hammerskins at “Unite the Right” – at a bar in Washington after law enforcement said they attacked a Black DJ. Members of Blood & Honour Social Club, for their part, have held connections in the past to Blood & Honour/Combat 18, a network that has been outlawed in as a terrorist organization in multiple countries.
TWP’s post-Charlottesville pivot
TWP returned to the fray on Oct. 28, 2017, with a “White Lives Matter” rally in Shelbyville, Tennessee. Parrott, in a blog post titled “Shelbyville Isn’t Optional,” implored white nationalists to join and “expose the double-standard” surrounding the “hyper-politicized” media coverage of Dylann Roof’s 2015 mass murder in Charleston, South Carolina.
“This double-standard demands attention, because it’s central to how the media work non-stop to exploit the monopoly on focus and framing. They exploit their monopoly to make it appear like minorities are under constant threat of violent attack by Whites when the statistical reality is exactly the opposite,” Parrott wrote in that same post.
In addition to League of the South, TWP was joined by a large contingent of NSM members.
Later ProPublica reporting from Thompson and Winston identified members of Atomwaffen Division, including Pistolis, at Shelbyville. Leaked Discord chatlogs from TWP also demonstrated AWD’s presence at Shelbyville. “The few AtomWaffen at Shelby [sic] were cool, ate a restaurant with one of them the night before the rally,” wrote TWP member Justin Burger on Nov. 22, 2017.
These same chatlogs indicate that discussion of the organization’s relationship with AWD ramped up during this period. Several members of TWP’s Discord referenced having connections to both groups, evidencing that there was some overlap between users. As early as May 2017, a user who was in both AWD and TWP’s chatrooms offered to help set up a member of TWP’s Discord server with AWD organizers.
“We are pals with AWD,” wrote “Dr.Cocopuff,” a TWP Discord member allegedly from Kentucky. Partially as a result of the connections between the two groups’ chatrooms, AWD was a frequent topic of conversation in TWP’s Discord in late 2017. While users debated the merits of AWD’s tactics, Heimbach referred to the group in positive terms. “AWD are good friends of ours,” he wrote on Nov. 23, 2017, in TWP’s Discord channel.
“Lots of tools in the Natsoc [national socialist] toolbox; with each one focusing on a specific thing to be built,” Heimbach said a few minutes later. “AWD does something different than us, but different does not mean bad.”
Parrott echoed a similar sentiment on Nov. 11, 2017, when he referred to AWD as “high energy.”
TWP’s “ecumenical” approach to organizing, as Parrott called it in a Nov. 28, 2017, Discord message, took other forms, too. In a blog post published on Jan. 7, 2018, TWP encouraged members to reach out to “Charlottesville POWs,” referring to those, such as Fields, who were imprisoned because of the riot. Heimbach compared these “martyrs” to those of decades past, including Adolf Hitler and members of Greece’s neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party.
“The Jews will use their guns to try to stop us, but also their pigs and courts to try to break our spirits,” he wrote. Later in the same post, he referred to these men as victims of the “Zionist Occupation Government” – a nod to a common white nationalist antisemitic conspiracy that envisions the U.S. government as under the control of a Jewish cabal.
The increasing legal pressure and rising internal tensions among those in the movement who were present at Charlottesville led to a growing number of fissures and feuds in early 2018. After Heimbach was disinvited in February from sharing the stage at Spencer’s forthcoming Michigan State University (MSU) speech, he groaned on Discord that his fellow alt-right leader refused to stand side by side with him.
“We’re good enough to protect him at rallies, but I’m not highbrow enough for his reputation,” Heimbach wrote. Not long thereafter, he was given the permission to attend Spencer’s event as a participant.
These debates came to a head after Spencer’s MSU speech, held on March 5, 2018. The event resulted over two dozen arrests. Plenty of footage emerged of TWP members, including Heimbach himself, getting in fistfights with counterprotesters.
TWP framed the violent outbursts as further evidence of their crucial role in the movement. Parrott, in a blog post published shortly after Spencer’s MSU appearance, proclaimed that TWP had demonstrated they were able to “[throw] the radical leftists around like rag dolls.” He also called out those in the movement who he perceived had not taken enough of a stand after Charlottesville. “The majority of our movement aren’t ready to actually struggle and sacrifice for the coming nation, which is why they ghosted after Charlottesville. Not everybody is in a situation where they can be on the front lines, but the evaporation of support for the men on the front lines is damning,” Parrott wrote in a blog post titled “Style and Substance,” published in early March 2018.
Days later, a series of events would cause Parrott, Heimbach and others to call it quits, too.
TWP crumbles under the weight of a domestic dispute
In the early hours of Mar. 13, 2018, the police in Paoli, Indiana, responded to a call regarding a domestic dispute. According to a police report, police arrived on the scene sometime after 1 a.m., when Parrott called them from a nearby Walmart, following a violent confrontation with Heimbach.
The event served as a reminder of the deep, patriarchal roots of the white nationalist and neo-Nazi movement. Here, as Alex DiBranco noted in The Public Eye in Winter 2017, for the white nationalist and neo-Nazi movement, “misogyny thrives alongside, and intertwined with, racism.”
Heimbach himself has engaged in gender-based violence on numerous occasions throughout his career in the white nationalist movement. The act of violence that prompted his excommunication from the Orthodox Church in April 2014 took place at a rally focused on reasserting women’s bodily autonomy. A few years later, in July 2017, Heimbach pleaded guilty to assaulting a young black woman at a Trump rally.
TWP also pushed rigid gender roles as part of its party platform. In the party’s “25 Points,” TWP pronounced their support for a “traditional definition of marriage,” referring in part to an opposition to same-sex marriage but also support for a patriarchal system. The same document stated that unwed women would be “conscripted for 2 years into the healthcare and childcare services” if they remained unwed at age 18. This, the party claimed, would allow “for women to learn feminine skills for the sake of the family and the nation.”
“This plan makes men be men, and women be women,” Heimbach said on Discord on May 23, 2017.
Parrott also argued for the exclusion of women from movement work entirely. Indeed, as Parrott observed in a blog post from April 2015: “Our work is implicitly male at this stage and we can’t afford to waste time trying to make it more comfortable for or inclusive of women.”
Heimbach’s actions that night, in other words, were tied to a long history of misogynistic statements and violence.
As Hatewatch reported at the time, Parrott and his stepdaughter, Heimbach’s wife, had attempted to catch Heimbach and Parrott’s wife, with whom Heimbach had been having an affair for a couple of months, in the act. Parrott approached Heimbach about the affair. The police report indicated that Heimbach grabbed Parrott and “choked [him] out” twice. Heimbach then moved on to attack his wife, whom the SPLC is declining to name due to privacy concerns. While she was attempting to put her two young children to bed, Heimbach’s then-wife told the police that he “had grabbed her by the cheeks” and pushed her in front of the kids. The officer noted that she “was visibly upset and crying while holding one of her children,” and “her cheeks were red around the mouth area.”
Heimbach was arrested and placed in a nearby jail.
Though Heimbach posted bond and was released shortly after the incident, the blowback for TWP was swift. Parrott, in a statement to Hatewatch, announced that he was “done” and “out of the game.” (His departure, however, was only temporary, as Parrott has since reentered the movement.)
On May 15, 2018, Heimbach was ordered to serve 38 days in jail for a parole violation. Heimbach had previously evaded a 90-day jail sentence for shoving a protester at a Trump rally in Kentucky in 2016 on the conditions that, according to an AP report from May 15, 2018, “he stayed out of trouble.”
Though both Parrott and Heimbach drifted briefly into the ether, other now-former TWP members sought to pick up their mantel. Tony Hovater, who had been one of TWP’s first candidates for local office, and Derrick Davis launched their own effort to rebrand the group as the Nationalist Initiative. This effort never got off the ground, but Hovater and Parrott continued TWP’s work in a new podcast, the Foundry. The podcast provided white nationalists and neo-Nazis with advice on how to take up careers that were more “dox proof” – meaning they wouldn’t lose a paycheck if they were outed as extremists. In addition, the podcast included several calls to provide material support for those negatively affected by IFA’s Charlottesville lawsuit while also fundraising for a countersuit against the city government.
Heimbach, for his part, joined forces with the National Socialist Movement in August 2019, not long after carrying out his brief stint in jail as a result of the domestic violence case that shattered TWP. As the director of community outreach for NSM, Heimbach sought to continue the rebranding efforts he claimed to have inspired through the ANA/NF. But he was booted shortly after, in December 2019, with Kynan Dutton, Tennessee’s state leader for NSM, calling him a “betrayer, traitor, and a Communist.”
Heimbach and Parrott briefly reemerged in late 2019 with a new venture meant to provide material aid to “political prisoners.” The group was first dubbed the National Socialist Charitable Coalition (NSCC) but has since changed its name to the Global Minority Initiative (GMI). The group lists a number of violent offenders in its registry of prisoners, including Dylann Roof, Tree of Life shooter Robert Bowers, Blaze Bernstein’s convicted murderer and former Atomwaffen Division member Samuel Lincoln Woodward and many others. It also lists several active prisoner support campaigns focused on aiding former members of The Order (Brüder Schweigen), The Base, the World Church of the Creator and Atomwaffen Division.
On March 3, 2020, NSCC announced on Gab that Heimbach had departed from the group. Less than a month later, on April 1, Heimbach announced he had left white nationalist organizing.
Heimbach, Parrott and the now-defunct TWP were some of over a dozen defendants who were found guilty on Nov. 23, 2021, on charges of a civil conspiracy in the Sines v. Kessler civil trial against the organizers of “Unite the Right.” The jury allotted $500,000 in punitive damages to both Heimbach and Parrott, and another $1,000,000 to the Traditionalist Worker Party.