After a year of reverses, the future of the radical right may lie in those profiled here, who are still peopling the fringe.
It's been a miserable year for the American radical right.
Since the death in July 2002 of William Pierce, founder of the neo-Nazi National Alliance, leading activists have been arrested, sent to prison, deported and even killed. The Alliance, which just a year ago was thriving, has lost hundreds of members, seen key players on its board resign in protest against its new leader, and suffered a precipitous drop in both income and prestige.
The second most important neo-Nazi group, the World Church of the Creator, has no active leader and has practically ceased to exist as its long-time chieftain awaits trial for alleged solicitation of murder. At the same time, other activists and groups have risen as part of a general realignment of the radical right.
What follows are snapshots of some of these ideologues and activists from various sectors of the movement — some of them longstanding and well-known leaders, but also a significant number whose importance and roles have clearly changed in recent months.
While this list is far from comprehensive, it offers a window onto the shape that the radical right is likely to take as new groups form and others disappear.
Organizations listed by the Southern Poverty Law Center as hate groups that were active during 2002 are indicated by an asterisk.
Michelle Bramblett and Nia Hightower contributed to this story.
Gordon Lee Baum, 62
White supremacist // BRIDGETON, Mo.
Rev. Michael D. Bray, 51
Violent anti-abortion extremist // BOWIE, Md.
Bruce Alan Breeding, 35
Neo-Nazi // MANDEVILLE, La.
Boyd D. Cathey, 54
Neo-Confederate // WENDELL, N.C.
Bryant Calvert Cecchini, 32
Neo-Nazi Skinhead // ST. PAUL, Minn.
John Thomas Cripps, 46
Neo-Confederate // LUMBERTON, Miss.
Ronald G. Doggett, 41
Klansman, neo-Nazi and white supremacist // RICHMOND, Va.
Clayton R. Douglas, 57
"Patriot" and anti-Semite // BINGHAM, N.M.
Ronald W. Edwards, 43
Klansman // DAWSON SPRINGS, Ky.
Samuel T. Francis, 56
White supremacist // LANHAM, Md.
Victor J. Gerhard, 39
Neo-Nazi // WILMINGTON, N.C.
Erich J. Gliebe, 40
Neo-Nazi // CLEVELAND, Ohio
Morris L. Gulett, 48
Neo-Nazi // DAYTON, Ohio
Paul Hall Jr.
White supremacist // MARIPOSA, Calif.
J. Michael Hill, 51
Neo-Confederate // KILLEN, Ala.
Charles J. Juba, 31
Neo-Nazi // OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla.
David Lane, 65
Racist Odinist, Klansman, neo-Nazi and white supremacist icon // FLORENCE, Colo.
Melody Mackey LaRue, 28
Neo-Nazi // LYNNWOOD, Wash.
Alex R. Linder, 37
Neo-Nazi // KIRKSVILLE, Mo.
Wayne C. Lutton, 54
Anti-immigrant homophobe and white nationalist // PETOSKEY, Mich.
Thomas J. Martin, 20
Neo-Nazi Skinhead // CHARLESTON, W.Va.
Thomas L. Metzger, 65
White supremacist // FALLBROOK, Calif.
Anthony A. Pierpont, 36
Racist Skinhead // SOUTH ST. PAUL, Minn.
David Martin Pringle, 34
Neo-Nazi // ANCHORAGE, Alaska
Harold Ray Redfeairn, 51
Neo-Nazi // NEW VIENNA, Ohio
Billy Joe Roper II, 31
Neo-Nazi // RUSSELLVILLE, Ark.
Jean-Philippe Rushton, 50
White supremacist and race scientist // LONDON, ONTARIO, Canada
Kenneth J. Schmidt, 43
White nationalist // UPPER MONTCLAIR, N.J.
Jeffrey S. Schoep, 29
Neo-Nazi // LITCHFIELD, Minn.
Malik Zulu Shabazz, 36
Black supremacist and anti-Semite // WASHINGTON, D.C.
Yusuf Shabazz, 41
Black supremacist and anti-Semite // SAVANNAH, Ga.
Edgar J. Steele, 58
Anti-Semite // SAGLE, Idaho
Elisha H. Strom, 28
Neo-Nazi // EARLYSVILLE, Va.
Samuel Jared Taylor, 51
White supremacist // OAKTON, Va.
Harold C. Turner, 41
White supremacist // NORTH BERGEN, N.J.
Mark E. Weber, 51
Neo-Nazi // COSTA MESA, Calif.
William A. White, 26
White nationalist // SILVER SPRING, Md.
James P. Wickstrom, 60
Neo-Nazi // MADISONVILLE, Tenn.
Steven J. Wiegand, 30
Racist Skinhead // MAPLE SHADE, N.J.
Ron G. Wilson, 56
Neo-Confederate // EASELY, S.C.
Gordon Lee Baum, 62 | BRIDGETON, Mo.
After the underlying white supremacy of Gordon Baum's Council of Conservative Citizens was exposed in late 1998 and early 1999, the group that had once boasted 34 members in the Mississippi legislature essentially abandoned its longstanding attempts to portray itself as a mainstream conservative organization.
Baum, who as late as 2001 was telling reporters that the council was "not anti-black" or "anti-anything," now presides over an organization that does not hesitate to call blacks "a retrograde species of humanity" or to post pictures on its Web site of alleged black terrorists over a headline reading, "Is the face of DEATH black after all?"
Initially, after the Intelligence Report detailed the racism of the council in late 1998, Baum seemed to react calmly, defending himself and the council as best he could. But as politicians and the press turned against him, he showed an angry and petulant side, and did not help his cause when he went on national media outlets and talked about black men raping white women and similar racially charged matters.
He also became visibly angry when then-Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.), who had long been close to the group, first claimed virtually no knowledge of it and then, albeit in weak terms, distanced himself from it. While he did not attack Lott directly, Baum made snide remarks suggesting that he thought the senator had developed a memory problem.
A personal injury lawyer specializing in auto accidents and workmen's compensation claims in St. Louis, Baum formed the organization in 1985 based on the mailing lists of the segregationist White Citizens Councils for whom he had been the Midwest field organizer. It grew to include some 15,000 members, mostly in the deep South, and to have genuine political power — power that could be glimpsed when the group's links to Lott and then-U.S. Rep. Bob Barr (R-Ga.) were exposed.
That power was strongest in the South, especially Mississippi, where then-Gov. Kirk Fordice defended the council even as the Republican National Committee asked all Republicans associated with the racist group to resign their memberships.
Today, the council has taken on new life as it turns its attention from traditional issues like busing and affirmative action to strident attacks on non-white immigration — a shift that is reflected clearly in its tabloid newspaper, Citizens Informer. The Informer is now edited by former Washington Times columnist Sam Francis (see 'The Stupid Party,') and, despite its racism, has drawn to its editorial advisory board such people as Virginia Abernethy, a professor emeritus at Vanderbilt University.
Rev. Michael D. Bray, 51 | BOWIE, Md.
When alleged abortion clinic bomber and cop-killer Eric Rudolph was arrested this summer after five years on the lam, many Americans were pleased.
Not Michael Bray, the handsome but humorless Reformation Lutheran Church pastor who long has been America's leading advocate of murdering physicians and others associated with abortion. An early signer of an infamous public letter endorsing such violence, Bray spoke of his "sadness" for Rudolph, a hard-line anti-Semite also accused of the fatal 1996 Atlanta Olympics bombing.
Raised partly in Germany and reportedly a one-time Naval Academy cadet, Bray was a housepainter and laborer until the early 1980s, when he plunged into the extreme anti-abortion movement.
By 1984, Bray and two friends had formed a three-man cell that bombed seven abortion clinics and the Capitol Hill offices of the American Civil Liberties Union (where a secretary was working at the time), frequently signing their attacks "Army of God." Upon his arrest, Bray claimed he had been framed, but it wasn't long before he was boasting about the attacks for which he ultimately served 46 months.
During that time, Bray's wife Jayne was active in Operation Rescue, a tie that would ultimately result in the couple's 2001 bankruptcy because of a civil suit aimed at clearing clinic entrances of protesters.
In 1994, Bray wrote A Time to Kill, an influential book that uses the Bible to justify the murder of abortionists, who Bray believes should be stoned to death in Old Testament fashion. The same year, he told The Village Voice that he'd acquired an Army sniper manual because "the very presence of sniper-minded people serves to instill fear" in abortionists. An advocate of militias and militia-like ideas, Bray also has recently advocated death for homosexuals.
Since 1996, he has sponsored annual "White Rose Banquets" to honor those who carry out anti-abortion violence, although he canceled the 2003 event to rally instead for doctor-killer James Kopp.
Bruce Alan Breeding, 35 | MANDEVILLE, La.
Like many on the racist right, Bruce Breeding — who more commonly goes by his alias, Vincent Breeding, and sometimes calls himself Vincent Edwards — emerged from the hard-edged fringes of the "black metal" music scene.
From 1992 to 1995, Breeding was a studio guitarist for the black metal band Acheron, which, according to a review on deathmetal.com, embodied "the very essence of Satanism." For part of this period, Breeding worked at a Tampa-area strip club and, in 1994, he joined the neo-Nazi National Alliance and helped to build its Tampa unit into one of most active in the country.
As an official of the Tampa unit, Breeding put on events featuring Holocaust denier David Irving and, in May 1997, former Klansman David Duke, with whom Breeding developed a close relationship. At the same time, Breeding was sharing an apartment with Todd Vanbiber, another musician and Alliance member.
On April 23 of that year, Vanbiber was badly injured when the pipe bombs he was building in a storage unit — allegedly for use in a bank robbery plot — blew up in his face. (Vanbiber was sentenced to six years in prison on weapons charges.) Breeding also set up a "cyber-cell" specializing in pushing Alliance ideas on the Internet.
In 1999, after a falling-out with Alliance leader William Pierce, Breeding moved to Louisiana to run Duke's office. In 2000, using many of Breeding's ideas, Duke inaugurated the National Organization for European American Rights, later renamed the European-American Unity and Rights Organization (EURO).
Breeding was clearly subservient to Duke — even carrying his miniature pet poodle around for him during one 2000 event — and Duke named him to head up EURO.
Since 1998, Breeding has used his computer skills to run the White Nationalist News Agency, and also is behind martinlutherking.org, a Web site which pillories the civil rights leader, and NoWarforIsrael.com. Remarkably, he now also uses those skills to run a porn site and magazine (see Monkey Business).
Boyd D. Cathey, 54 | WENDELL, N.C.
For close to three decades, Boyd Cathey has been a superficially presentable but radical political activist — a man with tight connections to Holocaust denial, far-right Catholicism and racially tinged neo-Confederate causes who nevertheless has helped lead major political campaigns.
In the 1970s, while still in his 20s, Cathey studied in Spain, Switzerland and Argentina at institutions run by the Society of Pius X, a far-right "traditionalist" Catholic sect that rejects modern theological reforms, and Opus Dei, a Catholic organization that long supported Spanish dictator Francisco Franco.
In 1979, according to the society's newsletter, Cathey was ordained and went on to teach at the society's seminary in Ridgefield, Conn. Two years later, he landed a job at the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources, where he still works today as an archivist in the Special Collections Branch.
Cathey also worked as an assistant to the late Russell Kirk, a leading neo-Confederate thinker, and Andrew Lytle, one of a group that defended the South in the 1930 compilation I'll Take My Stand.
By 1984, Cathey had taken a public plunge into far-right, neo-Confederate politics, joining Southern Partisan magazine as a contributor, editor and senior adviser until 1999. In 1988, Cathey was named North Carolina co-chair for gay-bashing televangelist Pat Robertson's presidential run.
Four years later, he became state campaign manager for far-right commentator Pat Buchanan's presidential campaign — and was exposed during that campaign as an editorial adviser, since 1989, to the journal of the Holocaust-denying Institute for Historical Review (IHR). (The IHR puts on conferences featuring people like neo-Nazi David Duke and the son of Hitler's deputy, Rudolf Hess.) Cathey claimed in 1996 that he had quit his IHR position, but its leader, Mark Weber, said last year that Cathey was still in the post. Cathey is still listed on the group's Web page today.
Cathey recently also has become a key player in the attempted extremist takeover of the Sons of Confederate Veterans led by Ron Wilson (see Hijacking Heritage) the heritage group's commander in chief since August 2002.
Following his election, Wilson ejected the SCV's North Carolina public information officer as part of a major purge of those who criticized racism within the group, and replaced him with Cathey, whom he had already named to the SCV's executive council.
This June, Cathey wrote an E-mail to SCV members calling for increased activism and bemoaning how, over the last 20 years, "immense numbers of 'Yankees' and 'Latinos'" had moved to the South and "change[d] our society." The SCV's recent formation of a political action committee (see Unfinished Business) shows that Cathey's influence is likely being felt.
Bryant Calvert Cecchini, 32 | ST. PAUL, Minn.
Bryant Cecchini, far better known by his alias of Byron Calvert, is one of the most respected racist Skinheads on the neo-Nazi music scene — and one of several key players who recently left powerhouse Resistance Records for a competing racist label.
With roots in the Minnesota Skinhead world, the fit and muscular Cecchini (pictured above right with David Duke) accumulated a lengthy criminal record, including a 1989 felony conviction (at age 18) for stabbing two people, which put him in a state prison for 43 months.
While there, Cecchini also was cited for participating in an apparently racially motivated prison disturbance, disobeying an order, unlawful assembly, and assaulting and harming a prison staffer with a weapon.
Emerging in 1992, Cecchini reportedly was a mercenary in Bosnia and traveled to South Africa during the early 1990s; he also says he briefly joined the French Foreign Legion in 1995. Later that year, Cecchini took a new Nissan 200sx for a test drive in Virginia and didn't stop until he reached Texas, serving six months as a result.
In 1999, Cecchini traveled to the Muldrow, Okla., compound of Elohim City, a radical right-wing community founded by the late Robert Millar. He spent a year there, working for an Arkansas construction company and marrying Emily Lorraine Millar, one of Millar's teenage daughters.
At the same time, he met Billy Roper (see Revolting in Arkansas), an Arkansas teacher who in May 2000 was hired by neo-Nazi leader William Pierce as a key staffer in Pierce's National Alliance. Cecchini and his wife moved to the Alliance's West Virginia compound shortly afterward, with Cecchini assigned to manage the warehouse of Resistance Records, the Alliance's lucrative white power music operation.
Cecchini was a talented manager, starting an effective E-list for customers and streamlining operations, but clashed with Pierce and Erich Gliebe (see Führer of the Titanic), Resistance's manager. Within months, Cecchini, his wife and two children were thrown off the compound and returned to his parents' home town of Fort Lee, Va., where he set up his own Web site, tightrope.cc.
The site sold music and racist paraphernalia and frequently carried articles critical of Resistance and the National Alliance. It also carried racist cartoons by Leo Felton, who in 2002 would be convicted in a plot to blow up Jewish and black targets.
In January 2003, not long after Cecchini testified for Felton, federal agents raided Cecchini's home — seizing large amounts of materials, including his computer — based on the allegation that he had infringed on Nike's copyright by printing T-shirts with a Nike "swoosh" symbol and the word "Nazi."
After the raid, which resulted in no charges, Cecchini returned to Minnesota to manage customer relations for Panzerfaust Records, a racist label run by Anthony Pierpont (see The Well-Tanned Skinhead) that competes directly with Resistance.
John Thomas Cripps, 46 | LUMBERTON, Miss.
A native Mississippian, ordained minister and accountant, John Cripps has become a major neo-Confederate activist, starting or working in an array of organizations with racist tinges. Even before he became a public figure, Cripps was pastor of the so-called Confederate Presbyterian Church in Lumberton. The church is not part of any recognized denomination and teaches antebellum Presbyterian doctrine, relying in part on racist sources like 19th-century theologian Robert Louis Dabney.
By 2000, Cripps had become the Mississippi state leader of the League of the South, a relatively intellectual neo-Confederate group. Later that year, he dropped his group's formal affiliation with the league, renaming it Free Mississippi. Also in 2000, he opened and operated the Confederate States Research Center, a bookstore operating out of a run-down storefront in Wiggins, Miss.
As head of Free Mississippi (and architect of its Web page), Cripps fought hard to retain the Mississippi state flag — which incorporates a small reproduction of the Confederate battle flag — that was then being considered for replacement by a less divisive symbol. Cripps collected signatures for a proposed amendment to the state constitution that would have made the flag permanent
The amendment never came to a vote, but Cripps also helped rally whites to vote in the 2001 referendum that finally decided the matter. (The voting broke down along racial lines, with whites overwhelmingly opting to keep the old flag.)
In a 2000 Web posting, Cripps referred to thousands of black spring breakers in Mississippi — a tiny minority of whom had committed some crimes — as "a group of animals." In an E-mail, he also called NAACP members "animal[s] of the weasel kind." Cripp's Free Mississippi disappeared in 2002, but was replaced this year by Free South, run out of Cripps' Wiggins research center.
The group also owns the Rebel Yell store in Florence, selling Confederate paraphernalia.
Ronald G. Doggett, 41 | RICHMOND, Va.
Ron Doggett joined the Klan at 17 and has been a key racist organizer in Virginia — even testifying to the state Senate and badly embarrassing one governor — ever since.
The lifelong Richmond resident signed up with the Klan after reading a newspaper published by former Klan leader David Duke, moving on to the White Patriot Party (a kind of paramilitary Klan group) in the 1980s and, in the early 1990s, the neo-Nazi National Alliance. For most of the latter decade, Doggett also hosted a public access cable television show called "Race and Reality," making himself infamous in the Richmond area.
In 1999, he invited Duke, who had by then left the Klan, to visit Richmond to support the return of a portrait of Confederate hero Robert E. Lee to a local history exhibit. More than 200 people attended a meeting hosted by Duke and Doggett.
The following year, Doggett signed on as Virginia chapter leader with a group, newly formed by Duke, which would ultimately come to be called the European-American Unity and Rights Organization (EURO). Though EURO today seems to exist largely on paper, Doggett claimed in 2001 to have 150 members in Virginia — not inconceivable, given his organizing skills.
In February of 2001, Doggett testified to the Virginia Senate Rules Committee in favor of maintaining the state's unconstitutional law against interracial marriage. He pulled off an even more remarkable coup a month later, when he convinced then-Gov. Jim Gilmore, who was also then heading up the Republican National Committee, to declare May "European American Heritage and History Month" — an astounding feat given Doggett's local notoriety. Two months later, a red-faced Gilmore rescinded his proclamation.
Today, Ron Doggett remains an Alliance member and the Virginia state EURO leader. He insists that Duke is innocent of the mail fraud charges he recently pleaded guilty to.
Clayton R. Douglas, 57 | BINGHAM, N.M.
For nine years, Clay Douglas has been editing and publishing a militia-friendly magazine called Free American — a compendium of conspiracy theories about hot topics from the "New World Order" to the Oklahoma City bombing, weird notions about health and sickness, survivalist paranoia and, especially in recent years, wildly anti-Semitic rants and ideology.
Douglas, who is now also the mayor of the tiny hamlet of Bingham, N.M., didn't start out on the radical right. He was a biker with a pen, writing bad poetry and getting articles published in almost a dozen magazines with titles like Easyriders and Motorcycle News. He also published at least one biker magazine, ran a marine repair shop and a floating restaurant in South Florida in the late 1980s, and even wrote self-published "adventure novels" with titles like One Bloody Alabaster Eye.
Douglas, who today suggests that drugs are part of a government plot, also was sentenced in 1972 to seven years in a Texas prison after being arrested for possession of marijuana by a female undercover agent (the topic of a particularly awful poem).
In August 1994, Douglas began publishing the Free American and, the same year, became information officer for the New Mexico Militia. In the following years, he traveled the country, going to antigovernment militia and "Patriot" events and selling magazines and books; broadcast a daily shortwave radio program; put on survivalist expos, and made and sold videos about "top-secret phenomena" like those revealed in "Chemtrails: the Video."
Typical of many in the militias, Douglas worried that the United Nations was involved in a world takeover — and, as mayor, got an ordinance passed that made Bingham a "U.N.-free zone."
Although Douglas says that he first endorsed the anti-Semitic forgery The Protocols of the Elders of Zion in the early 1990s, it is in recent years that he, like many in the Patriot movement, has adopted wholesale hatred of Jews.
Since helping in 2001 to set up the radical-right American Media Association, which includes several anti-Semitic publications, Douglas' Free American has run stories like "Are the Jews Behind the Destruction of America?" (his answer, needless to say, is yes) and he has reproduced the Protocols on his Web page.
He sold tracts of the anti-Semitic Christian Identity theology at his November 2002 expo in Georgia and, this May, blamed Jews for the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks while attending a conference put on by Media Bypass, another anti-Semitic magazine.
In addition, Douglas spends a great deal of energy attacking former allies in the Patriot movement like James "Bo" Gritz, and selling the always lucrative Miracle II soap.
Ronald W. Edwards, 43 | DAWSON SPRINGS, Ky.
Ron Edwards, who today improbably claims to lead the largest Klan faction in the United States, got his start in the Klan in the early 1990s, when he was the head of a Kentucky klavern (or local unit) in the Arkansas-based Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.
That group, originally started by David Duke but since led by Thom Robb, tried to portray itself as a kinder, gentler Klan, seeking to adopt highways and follow other strategies meant to improve its image. But the group split in July 1994, when nine chapters departed to form the Federation of Klans over an accusation that Robb had absconded with funds raised through a telephone hotline and also a $20,000 gift that was allegedly meant for the group.
Edwards was briefly with the federation, led by former Robb follower Ed Novak, but the group collapsed around 1995.
By 1998, Edwards had created his own group, the Imperial Klans of America, which he says is the largest of some 30 competing Klan groups — a claim weakened when Edwards told a reporter in 1999 that he had only 50 followers.
In April of that year, federal agents raided Edwards' home as part of an investigation into an alleged plot to blow up a federal building. Investigators eventually dropped Edwards as a target, but an adherent of the anti-Semitic Christian Identity theology, Kale Kelly, was sent to prison on weapons charges.
Edwards' Imperial Klans avoids public rallies, instead holding private "cross-lightings" and other events at Edwards' former compound in Powderly, Ky.
Starting in 2000, Edwards used his land to host NordicFest, an annual Memorial Day two-day concert featuring racist "hatecore" bands — a strategy that helped connect Edwards to younger, more vital parts of the American revolutionary right. In 2001, more than 300 people attended the event. But the next year, Edwards had a falling out with the two major backers of the concert, racist music distributors Panzerfaust and Resistance Records.
Resistance manager Erich Gliebe (see Führer of the Titanic) spoke for both distributors when he attacked Edwards' "personal conduct," the "treatment of our bands," and "threats" and violence at the previous year's event.
The pullout hit Edwards hard, and by 2003, with NordicFest now held at Edwards' new and smaller property in Dawson Springs, just 60 people came. (Many complaints about the cost of the event and charges for setting up sales tables were heard from those who went.) Today, it is unclear if Edwards will be able to resuscitate the annual event.
Samuel T. Francis, 56 | LANHAM, Md.
An intellectual and key white nationalist thinker, Sam Francis has been referred to by analyst Leonard Zeskind as the "philosopher king" of the radical right — a title that seems well justified by the ubiquitous presence of his columns in racist forums and his influence over the general direction of right-wing extremism.
A prize-winning writer, Francis served in the late 1980s and early 1990s as an editor and columnist at the right-wing Washington Times, where he was well known as a leading paleoconservative (the term refers to an anti-federal, isolationist sector of the American right that typically opposes non-white immigration vigorously)
The 1990s saw Francis radicalized to the point where he is today the chief editor for a leading white supremacist hate group, the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC). That tie was initiated in 1993, when Francis published his first column in the CCC's tabloid, Citizens Informer, complaining that the media ignored whites murdered by blacks while police brutality victim Rodney King, characterized as a black criminal, was celebrated.
The next year, Francis made his first appearance at a conference of American Renaissance, a magazine devoted to eugenics (the "science" of breeding better human beings) and allegedly race-based characteristics (such as IQ levels, sexual aggressiveness and propensity to criminality). In June 1994, Francis praised the CCC in a Times column for "planting seeds that may eventually bear greater fruit" than the Republican Party (the "Stupid Party," in Francis' phrase).
Ultimately, Francis was fired from the Times in 1995 after conservative author Dinesh D'Souza quoted Francis' 1994 speech at the American Renaissance conference and described him as embodying the "new spirit of white bigotry." Since then, Francis has appeared at every biannual American Renaissance conference and written for the magazine.
In 1999, Francis joined the CCC's Citizens Informer as co-editor with Chris Temple, an adherent of the anti-Semitic Christian Identity theology who has since left the job. In that post, he has stacked the publication with immigrant-bashers and refocused the increasingly strident CCC on opposition to non-white immigration.
In 2000, Francis helped his good friend Patrick Buchanan, the nation's best-known paleoconservative and white nationalist, run for president on the Reform Party ticket and also helped to edit his recent book, Death of the West.
Today, Francis, who markets his columns through the Creators Syndicate, also helps edit The Occidental Quarterly, a journal similar to American Renaissance that is bankrolled by William H. Regnery II, the reclusive far-right Chicago millionaire who is an heir to a publishing fortune.
Victor J. Gerhard, 39 | WILMINGTON, N.C.
A corporate attorney from Albany, N.Y., Victor Gerhard plunged into the radical right in early 1999, when he joined the neo-Nazi National Alliance after a period of studying the group's literature.
Intelligent, tough and sometimes very amusing, Gerhard left what he calls "a high-paying job" and bought an A-frame cabin just outside the group's rural West Virginia compound in early 2000. He was named general counsel and chief of staff, and in fact did help some members and supporters with legal problems.
(He also wrote a sarcastic song at the time, "On the cover of the Intelligence Report," sung to the tune of Dr. Hook's "On the Cover of the Rolling Stone," asking what he needed to do to get his picture featured in this magazine.)
But when he tried to sort out a number of the National Alliance's internal problems, he clashed with the late Alliance boss William Pierce and his soon-to-be successor, Erich Gliebe (see Führer of the Titanic), and was fired in May 2001 for insubordination.
Remaining in the area, Gerhard contained his anger until the day after Pierce's death on July 23, 2002, when he got into a fistfight with Alliance member Dr. Charles Ellis, resulting in his arrest for battery. (He later pleaded no contest and was fined $100.)
During this period, Gliebe was orchestrating a whisper campaign against Gerhard, accusing him of being mentally unstable. Days after Pierce's death, Gerhard sent an E-mail to friends viciously attacking Pierce and the Alliance, which he described as "two badly run businesses [the Alliance's Resistance Records and National Vanguard Books operations] and a membership con-game."
He accused Pierce of lies, "siphoning off all the cash into his pocket," surrounding himself with "toadies, lickspittles and ass-kissers," covering up for rapists, and being "a sexual pervert" who relentlessly pursued female staffers and Internet porn despite being married.
Not long after these events, Gerhard moved to Wilmington, N.C., where he incorporated Condor Legion Ordnance, Inc., "a new, growing, pro-White corporation" that has several Web sites (most notably, whitepowerrecords.com) and started selling racist T-shirts, music and pins from a warehouse in Wilmington.
Later in 2002, Gerhard joined forces with the neo-Nazi White Revolution, a group formed by key former Alliance staffer Billy Roper (see Revolting in Arkansas) after Roper was ejected by Gliebe. Today, all Condor Legion stock is held by White Revolution members.
Early this year, Gerhard added two E-Bay "stores" and 14 Words Press* to the Condor Legion family of firms. (14 Words Press is a publisher of racist neo-Pagan materials that was founded by the legendary David Lane (see Preaching from Prison), now serving a 190-year sentence in connection with a 1984 murder by the terrorist group The Order.) In July, Gerhard began producing a nightly Web-based "news" program.
Erich J. Gliebe, 40 | CLEVELAND, Ohio
Six days after the July 2002 death of National Alliance founder and leader William Pierce, the Alliance board named Erich Gliebe to head what up to that point had been the best organized and most effective neo-Nazi group in America — a title the Alliance can hardly lay claim to a year later, as it struggles to survive a series of splits and other problems under Gliebe (see Against the Wall).
That Gliebe was selected was not much of a surprise. Pierce had regarded the long-time Cleveland unit leader as a son, and Gliebe had earned great respect by making the Alliance's racist music operation, Resistance Records, profitable and by pioneering the use of "European American cultural festivals" to recruit ethnic whites. Gliebe was also close to racist bands, and was a good enough organizer to be able to bring as many as 500 people to their concerts.
In the event, however, Gliebe, a former tool-and-die maker and boxer who fought as "The Aryan Barbarian," was no Pierce, a man who once taught physics at an Oregon university. He almost immediately ran into trouble when the Intelligence Report published details of a secret speech he made three months before Pierce's death, attacking members of other hate groups as "morons" and "hobbyists" who belonged to "the make-believe world otherwise known as 'the movement.'"
Angry white supremacists responded by attacking the Alliance and, in many cases, refusing to purchase its Resistance Record products. Gliebe reacted poorly, attempting to shut down criticism by censoring Internet postings both on Alliance sites and others that he could influence.
The main result was that the criticism heated up, but was posted anonymously on sites the Alliance could not control. Gliebe even shut down the Alliance's main private E-group, but was forced to revive it in July when it became clear that members were drifting away due to a loss of contact.
Today, the Alliance has lost members and staffers, including several key players who have joined competing racist music operations. Twisting the words of praise offered by one admirer, many Alliance members and others on the radical right now mock "the highly intelligent Erich Gliebe" as a matter of course.
Morris L. Gulett, 48 | DAYTON, Ohio
Vietnam veteran Mo Gulett has been associated with the neo-Nazi Aryan Nations for many years, almost all of them as a lieutenant of Ray Redfeairn (see The Cop-Shooter), the long-time Ohio state leader who became famous in the movement for shooting a police officer repeatedly but failing to kill him (see At Death's Door). Gulett had his own violent run-in with police on March 2, 1997, when officers spotted him heading his van the wrong way down a one-way street.
In a 12-mile chase that finally ended in the Dayton suburb of Beavercreek, Gulett crashed his vehicle into a police cruiser, tried to run one officer off the road and attempted to run down another officer. In the end, he crashed and his van landed in a creek. Later, Gulett would say he fled because he didn't have a driver's license and, anyway, he "was just in one of those moods." He pleaded guilty to aggravated assault on a police officer.
Once imprisoned, Gulett found himself on the receiving end of a severe beating by black prisoners that left him with a broken nose, ruptured eardrum and busted lip. After threatening a lawsuit against Montgomery County officials, he settled out of court for $30,000.
Gulett was out of prison by 2000, when the Aryan Nations was forced to sell off its compound after a successful lawsuit brought by the Southern Poverty Law Center. In 2001, the aging Aryan leader Richard Butler named Gulett's patron Redfeairn as his designated successor, with August Kreis of Pennsylvania as minister of information.
But he rescinded the offer when Redfeairn and Kreis attempted a coup, kicking Butler out of the group he had founded a quarter-century earlier. Butler responded by saying it was Redfeairn and Kreis who had been ejected. In turn, Kreis named himself Aryan Nations national director and created a ruling council composed of Gulett, Joshua Sutter and Charles Juba (see Of Aryans and Area Codes). In May 2002, Redfeairn backed away from Kreis, saying Butler was the real Aryan leader, and took Gulett with him.
The two men then founded the Church of the Sons of Yhvh, which explicitly supports "white racial supremacy" and the creation of a class of violent "warriors for God." Not long after, Redfeairn and Gulett returned to Butler's fold, but it is unclear if Gulett has remained. He missed a key Aryan event in June, and his name has disappeared from Butler's Web site.
Paul Hall Jr. | MARIPOSA, Calif.
Throughout the 1990s and right up to the present, Paul Hall Jr., has been a key editor on the radical right, bringing together some of the hardest-line anti-Semites and white supremacists in America and providing a forum for their ideas. And it has been a family affair.
In 1988, Hall's father, Paul Hall Sr., founded The Jubilee, a tabloid based in Midpines, Calif., because, as his son wrote recently, he wanted to create "a fast-paced publication that would not only inform readers of blacked out news but go that 'step farther' in educating folks as to 'how' and 'why' we are in the mess we're in."
The Halls' answer, it turns out, lay in Christian Identity, a violently anti-Semitic theology that describes whites as the real Hebrews of the Bible and Jews as cursed, race-mixing imposters.
With the younger Hall as managing editor, the newspaper has defended Nazi Germany, denied the Holocaust, glorified the Klan, and attacked Jews at every turn. Its reporters have included:
Louis Beam, a leading Klansman and neo-Nazi who once topped the FBI's Ten Most Wanted List;
Chris Temple, author of a stream of anti-Semitic articles;
Ronald David Cole, who later went to federal prison on weapons charges; and
Roger Roots, who also served time on weapons charges.
The Jubilee has published articles by militia leaders, racist killers and even, in 1995, sympathetically republished letters sent by Tim McVeigh and his sister Jennifer to other newspapers. It runs a prison ministry for "incarcerated saints in tribulation."
For years, it hosted a radio show, "News Light," hosted by Hall and featuring men like Identity minister Pete Peters (whose remarks, attacking "spear-chucking, big, sun-worshipping heathen," among others, Hall endorsed). It operated "Politically Incorrect Cruises" that attracted the usual racists and anti-Semites along with politicians like then-U.S. Rep. Linda Smith (R-Wash.).
And, through much of the 1990s, The Jubilee hosted annual "Jubilation" events that drew together some of the most frightening extremists in America. (Hall responded to bad publicity about the yearly event by vowing he would not "bow to homosexual or Zionist pressure.")
In 1994, Hall and Beam, the former chief Klan leader in Texas, bought (under their wives' names) property near Sandpoint, Idaho, that they still own. In January 2002, Hall teamed up with Chris Temple to buy Media Bypass, a magazine formerly devoted to militia-like ideas but now expounding anti-Semitic and Identity themes and publishing stories by the likes of neo-Nazi leader Kevin Alfred Strom.
Hall's father, who had written a religious column about Identity for years, died last Sept. 6, but it is now clear that his son will continue the older Hall's extremist mission.
J. Michael Hill, 51 | KILLEN, Ala.
The man who has done more than any other to create a new, racially tinged Southern secession movement wears a white beard that gives him the unmistakable look of a Confederate Army officer — and taught during an academic career lasting decades at historically black Stillman College in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Michael Hill was always on oddity at the school, roaming the campus wearing a Confederate flag pin and waxing nostalgic to his mostly black students about the so-called "War Between the States." He began to develop his ideas in the 1970s, while studying under neo-Confederate ideologue Grady McWhiney at the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa.
Expanding on his old professor's controversial view that the South was different from the North because its population was "Celtic," Hill published two books on Celtic history in the early 1990s. Finally, in 1994, he went public, creating the Southern League (the name was a takeoff on the separatist Northern League of Italy, but had to be changed after a baseball league of the same name threatened to sue).
Started with 40 people, what would be renamed the League of the South* included four men with Ph.D.s on its board, along with Jack Kershaw, who was once active in the segregationist White Citizens Council in Nashville and who remains on the board today.
Hill's league started out complaining about the media treatment of white Southerners, but quickly developed into a racist group calling for secession, attacking egalitarianism, calling antebellum slavery "God-ordained," opposing racial intermarriage, and defending segregation as a policy designed to protect the integrity of both races.
An early sign of the league's racism came in 1995, when Hill set up a student chapter at his alma mater. Within months, its members began to verbally attack gays and its president, Thomas Stedman, wrote to the student newspaper to say "blacks did not invent ... anything of note anywhere in the world" — a sentiment often offered up by the Klan.
In 1998, Hill finally left Stillman, which had been badly embarrassed by his efforts. Still, the league grew quickly, as racist white Southerners sought the respectability of a group led by a professor, and today claims 15,000 members.
Hill has praised anti-Semitic extremists like the immigrant-bashing Jean Marie Le Pen of France, calling for "others like Le Pen to arise." The "ravages of multiculturalism and so-called diversity" are anathema to him. Last year, Hill described the Pledge of Allegiance as "nationalist propaganda [meant] to indoctrinate" children with socialist ideas about government.
In 2003, he led an attempt to resuscitate the Southern Party, another neo-Confederate organization. And he attacked the Supreme Court after its ruling this July striking down anti-gay sodomy laws, saying the court was helping to advance what he called the "sodomite and civil rights agendas."
Charles J. Juba | OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla.
Charles Juba started out his white supremacist career as a teenager in the Invisible Empire Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, where he had the attention-getting title of "Great Titan of the 717 Area Code of Pennsylvania." The Lancaster factory worker abandoned that unusual appellation in order to run an entire Pennsylvania group at the tender age of 21, becoming the grand dragon of the International Keystone Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.
Juba always had a way with vicious invective, running a racist telephone hotline as early as 1992 that threatened blacks with "a swinging necktie party" and urged them to "swim back to Africa with a Jew under each arm."
He also had a penchant for shifting allegiances, moving in 1994 to head up a small group called the Revolutionary Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. Later in the decade, he jumped ship again, joining the Idaho-based, neo-Nazi Aryan Nations as a local chapter leader.
In early 2002, after Aryan Nations had lost its compound as the result of a 2000 suit brought by the Southern Poverty Law Center, Juba signed on with the group's heir apparent, August Kreis of Ulysses, Pa., who had been named along with Ray Redfeairn (see The Cop-Shooter) of Ohio to replace the aging Richard Butler.
Ultimately, Kreis quarreled with Butler, declaring that his Pennsylvania faction was the real Aryan Nations and naming Juba, Joshua Sutter and Mo Gulett (see The Moody Aryan) to a ruling council under him. After Redfeairn quit, Kreis named Juba to head the Pennsylvania Aryan Nations faction, which he does to this day. (Juba's introductory essay on this faction's Web site is entitled "Fire Up the Ovens!")
Considered attractive by many in the racist movement, Juba had a number of girlfriends but was embarrassed when one of them posted information on the Web about her interest in "caning" and other sadomasochistic practices.
Juba is also known for his own personal Web site, called gasajewforjesus.com and meant to provide "our Aryan Youth with as many helpful hints as possible in artistic ways of gassing Jews."
During the summer of 2002, Juba moved to Oklahoma City to move in with a new girlfriend attending college there, and apparently lives there still.
David Lane, 65 | FLORENCE, Colo.
On the night of June 18, 1984, David Lane, driving a getaway car for the terrorist group The Order, secured his place in the pantheon of Aryan heroes when his three-man cell murdered Alan Berg with a MAC 10 pistol as the acerbic Jewish talk show host emerged from his car at home in Denver. Lane was captured the next year and sentenced to 190 years, which he is serving out in the federal "Supermax" prison in Colorado, the securest facility in America.
Remarkably, Lane has only added to his fame on the radical right since then, both by penning the famous "14 Words" — "We must secure the existence of our people and a future for White children" — and by his continued production of propaganda from his prison cell.
In his younger years, Lane went from the relatively tame John Birch Society to the Klan and, by the late 1970s, the Idaho-based Aryan Nations*, which practices Christian Identity, a theology that describes Jews as the biological descendants of Satan. (His sister, Jane, worked at the Aryan Nations compound in the early 1980s, marrying the Pennsylvania state leader in 1982.)
Eventually, Lane found racist Odinism, a bastardized form of a pre-Christian Nordic religion, and joined the secret Order group, which robbed $4.1 million in armored car heists, murdered two people, set off bombs, and carried out a number of other crimes. In prison, Lane studied history, philosophy and religion, and also picked up quirky numerological ideas. ("America was formed," he writes, "with a 222 year Jewish Cabalistic timetable to destroy every Race, Nation and Culture on earth in support of the Jew World Order.")
In 1994, he married Katja Lane, a tough-minded and multilingual racist who helped him launch 14 Word Press, a publishing operation that produced a monthly newsletter called Focus Fourteen and other Lane screeds. Lane envisions a kind of pre-modern tribal society ruled by wise philosophers, but only after a period of "leaderless resistance" and then full-scale revolutionary war.
In 1995, the Lanes and Ron McVan, a fellow Odinist, formed Wotansvolk, a racist pagan group and Web site run out of St. Maries, Idaho, complete with a headquarters that scholar Mattias Gardell describes in fawning terms as replete with "magnificent sculptured wolves, dragons and ravens." In 2000, Gardell writes, the group was legally recognized as a church, The Temple of Wotan.
Katja Lane, busy as a church board member, in September 2001 transferred 14 Word Press to Steve Weigand (see Fade to White) in Maple Shade, N.J. From there, it was taken over by John Post, a Napa, Calif., Odinist who later decided to abandon racist Odinism and transfer it again, this time to Victor Gerhard (see The Tattle-Tale) in December 2002.
Today, it is unclear what's become of the tightly knit trio of the Lanes and McVan. McVan has left, Katja Lane is in St. Maries, and David Lane has 172 years left to serve.
Melody Mackey LaRue, 28 | LYNNWOOD, Wash.
In the male-dominated world of neo-Nazism, Melody LaRue is one of the few women to make a name for herself outside the traditional roles of mother, wife or girlfriend. Not that she is a feminist. Although she was long an ordained minister in the pseudo-religion of the neo-Nazi World Church of the Creator (WCOTC, now known as The Creativity Movement), she never aspired to be top leader, a position she agrees only a man is capable of holding down.
LaRue and her 30-year-old husband Jason, who served time for a 1995 assault on a black man and an Asian man in Bellingham, Wash., worked effectively together for years, promoting the creed of Creativity through public access cable television, talk radio, flyers and propaganda they inserted into white power music tapes.
When WCOTC leader Matt Hale's favorite follower, Ben Smith, went on a 1999 rampage that left two non-white people dead and nine others wounded, Melody LaRue could scarcely contain herself. "White Men like him are hard to come by," she gushed. "Now we all need to work together to pick up where he left off, and win this Racial Holy War!"
The following year, both LaRues were named Creators of the Year, the same honor Hale had bestowed upon Smith shortly before his murder spree.
Around that time, Melody LaRue opted to start her own project. The so-called Women's Frontier was already the WCOTC's women's branch, so the former Seattle office manager created the Sisterhood of the WCOTC, publishing a monthly newsletter of the same name that explored the role of neo-Nazi women — home-making, home-schooling, supporting (male) "political prisoners" and so on.
In mid-2000, LaRue started Hypatia Publishing to put out her Sisterhood magazine. The name came from the first woman to make a significant contribution to mathematics — ironically, an Egyptian who any good Creator would consider a member of the "mud races."
Although the LaRues were loyal soldiers, at one point even considering moving to East Peoria, Ill., to be near Hale, both the couple and the coordinator of the Women's Frontier quit WCOTC in 2001 under fairly mysterious circumstances. LaRue still considers herself a Creator but publishes Sisterhood on her own.
Alex R. Linder, 37 | KIRKSVILLE, Mo.
Alex Linder, a foul-mouthed but nattily dressed neo-Nazi, is the operator of a gutturally racist Web site that is close to breaking into the big time by becoming one of the 10,000 most-visited pages on the Net. And he wants more.
Earlier this year, Linder told National Vanguard, a magazine published by the neo-Nazi National Alliance, that he hoped to turn his site, Vanguard News Network (VNN), into a "White Viacom" composed of "an integrated global media and services company getting out the White message and serving the White market in a thousand forms."
VNN was created in 2000 by Linder and an associate identified as Regina Belser (who apparently is no longer with the operation), and today claims 22 writers. The site is remarkably vulgar, offending even many of the most extreme racists and anti-Semites with Linder's potty humor, untrammeled misogyny (Linder says women should "make everything happy and smooth running by providing offspring and sex and cookies and iced tea") and swaggering self-importance.
Its motto is "No Jews. Just Right," and it includes an archive of more than 250 juvenile racist and anti-Semitic cartoons, along with a forum, personals section and still-developing "ShopWhite" marketing service.
In his National Vanguard interview, Linder says he grew up in a middle-class suburb, earned a bachelor's degree from Pomona College in Claremont, Calif., and then worked for two leading conservative media outlets in Washington, D.C., where he despaired because "racist satire of Jews and minorities" could not be published.
He ran a trade publication in Germantown, Md., from 1993 until 1997, when he moved to Missouri to fulfill his "true interest, writing satire to hasten White revolution."
Linder joined the National Alliance in the late 1990s, once even considering a move to its West Virginia compound to edit National Vanguard, and has remained a member, at least up to late August.
But after federal agents arrested Georgia Alliance leader Chester Doles on weapons charges this March, Linder grew disgusted with the Alliance's reluctance to fund Doles' legal defense. To the embarrassment of Alliance leaders, and using an anonymous donor's offer to match up to $25,000, Linder managed to raise $79,464 that Doles' wife used this July to hire former U.S. Rep. Bob Barr (R-Ga.) as a defense attorney.
(The same month, it emerged that the anonymous donor was Marc Moran, a man who was briefly appointed to the Hopewell, N.J., borough council until his Alliance membership became public. A Linder friend, Web site operator and raging anti-Semite Bill White (see The Gossip), said that Moran had also been a silent business partner in VNN. White added that when Moran resigned his council seat, he turned over his part of VNN to White.)
As a result of his fundraising campaign and his open criticism of the Alliance, Linder (who coincidentally finalized a personal bankruptcy proceeding on July 12) is now deeply disliked by some of his colleagues and most leaders of the National Alliance.
Wayne C. Lutton, 54 | PETOSKEY, Mich.
Wayne Lutton doesn't like immigrants. Since earning a Ph.D. in modern history at Southern Illinois University in 1983, he has written countless articles, monographs and books about the evils of immigration, specifically non-white immigration.
In the early 1980s, Lutton worked at far-right Summit Ministries in Manitou, Colo., which produces a vast array of materials attacking homosexuality, secular humanism and any number of other things seen to be destroying American society.
While there, Lutton authored AIDS, a gay-bashing book, with Summit president David Noebel and Paul Cameron. The book proposes to "suppress" homosexuality by making gay sex illegal; prohibiting gays from having custody of children, including their own; "quarantining" HIV-positive gays who engage in sex; and denying all AIDS patients admittance to regular hospitals. It also suggests that it may be necessary to "exile" all active homosexuals from America.
In 1985, Lutton co-authored another book, this one denouncing immigrants, The Immigration Time Bomb. Featuring lurid chapter headings like "The Alien Crime Wave," "The Alien Health Threat" and "Aliens Raid the Welfare System," the book was published by the American Immigration Control Foundation, which distributes racist videotapes attacking Hispanic immigrants in sensational terms. The book also offers up special thanks to Sam Francis (see 'The Stupid Party'), a key white nationalist ideologue.
In the early 1990s, Lutton went to work for John Tanton, a Michigan opthalmologist who built much of the modern anti-immigration movement and with whom he shares an office to this day. Lutton edits The Social Contract, a journal that is published by U.S. Inc., the anti-immigration umbrella group created and chaired by Tanton, and has published a number of prominent white supremacists. In 1994, Lutton and Tanton co-authored The Immigration Invasion, another lurid attack on immigrants.
By 1996, Lutton was addressing the annual conference of the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC), a group that today regularly attacks black people and gays in the crudest terms. Third Worlders, Lutton told his audience, "have declared demographic war against us. ... Why are their populations exploding? Because ... our people have exported medical technology and we feed them. Had we left them alone, many of them would be going extinct today."
The next year, Lutton joined the board of the New Century Foundation, which publishes the racist American Renaissance magazine and hosts biannual conferences. In 2000, Lutton expanded his influence further, joining the editorial advisory board of the CCC's racist tabloid, Citizens Informer.
And last year he signed up as an editorial adviser to The Occidental Quarterly, a pseudo-academic journal similar to American Renaissance.
In a recent book review in the quarterly, Lutton sounded his familiar, shrill theme: "Far from being a virtue, 'tolerance' of the wrong variety can lead to cultural suicide and risks the very extinction of peoples," he wrote. "Men and women of character will not let this occur without a fight."
Thomas J. Martin, 20 | CHARLESTON, W.Va.
Tom Martin was just 14 when he joined the racist Skinhead movement while living in Orlando, Fla., where he worked for the next four years in a family-owned moving company. At age 18, after having joined a far more sophisticated organization, the neo-Nazi National Alliance, Martin was hired as an Alliance staffer. He moved to the group's West Virginia compound in October 2001 and was assigned to work in its shipping department, where he filled orders from buyers of racist literature, music and other items.
The next spring, while still at the compound, Martin was arrested for attempted burglary and in May accepted a deal where he pleaded guilty to trespassing, paid a $100 fine and was given a suspended six-month jail sentence. He left the Alliance, which has made its disdain for Skinheads and petty criminals plain, soon after that. Moving to Charleston, W.Va., he organized a crew called the West Virginia Skinheads and put up a Web site for them.
During this same period in 2002, the Alliance suffered the death of its founder William Pierce and the revelation that both Pierce and his successor had viciously attacked Skinheads in secret speeches. That caused a split in the group, and key officer Billy Roper (see Revolting in Arkansas) was booted out last fall as a result.
Roper quickly formed another group, far more sympathetic to racist Skinheads, and last December, like more than 30 former Alliance members, Martin joined it. His job at Roper's White Revolution was youth coordinator, responsible for giving those under 18 years old "educational guidance and ideological training."
Introducing himself on the group's Web site, Martin acknowledged that he'd had "a bit of legal trouble" but said things had improved since he met his new fiancée, Amanda.
Martin's organizing skills are reflected on his old Skinhead Web site, where new ties with the Potomac Highland Skins and the Keystone State Skinheads were noted in March, and also in his self-described work with a local Klan group. In July, Martin, who is now Roper's Webmaster, added an online catalog for White Revolution, and he is planning a new Web-based forum, streaming radio and a closed E-group for members only.
One thing Martin is not, however, is literate. In a bizarre review of the movie "White Oleander," Martin can hardly be understood as he writes about women. "Love humiliates you," he somehow concludes. "Hate cradles you."
Thomas L. Metzger, 65 | FALLBOOK, Calif.
Tom Metzger is one of the grand old men of organized hate. In a career spanning four decades, the Southern California television repairman has become famous for the crudity of his propaganda and the violence he has embraced — but also for his innovative political ideology that rejects traditional distinctions of right and left in favor of the "third position."
A rarity on the radical right, Metzger has celebrated labor, attacked the U.S. role in Central America and praised the Soviet Union as a white workers' state, among other things.
Metzger started his odyssey on the extreme right by joining the John Birch Society in the early 1960s, but left because it rejected anti-Semitism. In 1975, he was recruited by David Duke to join Duke's Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, rising to California state leader — and becoming involved in several violent episodes — at the same time that neo-Nazi James Warner was teaching him to be a minister of the anti-Semitic Christian Identity theology.
In 1980, Metzger broke with Duke, who he saw as a womanizing egotist, and turned his chapter into an independent Klan group. That fall, he won a Democratic primary for Congress, losing in the general election but winning some 35,000 votes. He then left the Klan, forming the White American Political Association and making an unsuccessful Democratic primary run for the Senate in 1982 (he received more than 75,000 votes statewide).
In 1983, he changed his group's name to White Aryan Resistance (WAR), and the following year he pioneered the radical right's move into local access cable television with a show titled "Race and Reason." (By 1992, the show was airing in 62 cities in 21 states, although it then fell off as the Internet became a far more popular venue.)
At around the same time, Metzger and his son John reached out early to racist Skinheads who were just appearing, organizing them as the "shock troops" of the coming revolution. In 1985, Metzger became one of the first white supremacists to initiate contacts with the black supremacist Nation of Islam and, later, other black groups.
On Nov. 12, 1988, Skinheads in Portland, Ore., who had been influenced by a war operative, beat an Ethiopian student to death. The murderers, Metzger said later, had done their "civic duty." In addition to criminal convictions, the killing brought a civil lawsuit by the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League that resulted in a $12.5 million verdict against the Metzgers, their organization and two of the killers.
Metzger lost his house, truck and tools, and still pays about $800 a month to the estate of the victim. A furious Metzger promised to put "blood on the streets like you've never seen."
Since the suit, war has never returned to being a true membership organization, and Metzger now advocates "lone wolf" attacks on the system. He speaks occasionally, traveling as far away as Japan, and still puts out his WAR tabloid, which is unrivalled in its crude racism. If no longer a genuine leader, Metzger is still a real movement hero — even inspiring a character in the movie "American History X" — and recently started up a new radio show.
Anthony A. Pierpont, 36 | SOUTH ST. PAUL, Minn.
It's not often that a racist Skinhead turns out to be a highly capable businessman, but Anthony Pierpont is a case in point.
Pierpont (pictured with his sister) is the prime mover behind Panzerfaust Records, a white power music distributor known for having signed the better "hatecore" bands and a major competitor of one-time powerhouse label Resistance Records. Pierpont founded Panzerfaust in September 1998 with Eric Davidson, who had earlier worked at Resistance, which is operated by the neo-Nazi National Alliance.
The name of the label comes from a hand-held anti-tank weapon developed by Nazi Germany, translating literally as "armored fist," which fits in with Pierpont's idea of white power music as "the audio ordnance [for] today's struggle." Today, Davidson has left and Pierpont runs the company with another former Alliance staffer, Bryant Cecchini (alias Byron Calvert, see Music, Mercenaries and Minnesota).
Anthony Pierpont is probably the most competent promoter in the white power music business, and he has earned the respect of most members of the extremely violent Hammerskins, in part by supporting Skinhead "prisoners of war" in the nation's prisons. In fact, his reports on the hatecore scene were the main feature of the now defunct Hammerskin Press.
But he has a serious problem — his relatively dark skin and vaguely Hispanic looks. As early as 1995, when he attended the neo-Nazi Aryan Nations Youth Fest, he was accused behind his back of being Mexican, and the same kinds of attacks were being repeated just this July.
His sister, until recently an employee of the Porn Star Clothing firm, has also raised eyebrows because the clothing is supposedly targeted to young white girls. Pierpont was reportedly approached in 1998 about purchasing Resistance and refused, leaving it to the National Alliance to pay the $250,000 price.
Today, he and Cecchini are running what may be the primary competitor of Resistance, and they have grown close to the neo-Nazi White Revolution group. White Revolution is run and largely peopled by those who have recently left the troubled Alliance (see Against the Wall).
David Martin Pringle, 34 | ANCHORAGE, Alaska
An unemployed diesel mechanic who stays at home and brews beer while his wife works, David Pringle is hardly the person you'd expect to be the membership coordinator and chief spokesman for the neo-Nazi National Alliance, which for decades has sought to project a professional image. Yet Pringle for a year now has held the second most important post in the Alliance, after chairman Erich Gliebe (see Führer of the Titanic), and in fact is a more visible activist than the reclusive former boxer.
Pringle, the long-time Alaska unit leader for the Alliance, was elevated to his current job on Sept. 17, 2002, a day after Gliebe fired Billy Roper (see Revolting in Arkansas) as deputy membership coordinator during an internal power struggle. Roper had assiduously courted both mainstream and movement media, and during his two years acting as an Alliance spokesman was quoted in more than 600 newspaper stories.
Pringle, who also has been an authorized spokesman for about two years, has tallied fewer than 20. That, and Pringle's failure to communicate effectively within the group, has hurt his standing among Alliance members and others on the radical right, one of whom recently described Pringle in a Web posting as "one of the most pretentious and least substantial characters currently active in Nationalist politics."
Although Pringle's father holds a Stanford Ph.D. and reportedly worked in weapons research for the Department of Defense, Pringle never went to college and instead joined the Army in 1988, at the age of 19. He says his visceral hatred of Jews developed when, on a mission in the Middle East, his unit brought a severely burned Bedouin boy to an Israeli hospital that refused to treat him.
In the years since then, Pringle has disowned his "race traitor" sister, who has a mixed-race child, but does occasionally see his parents, Mormons who live in New Mexico and do not agree with his views.
And his views are remarkable. In one E-mail, Pringle said that mass murderer Tim McVeigh "should have a monument erected in his honor." He went on: "I don't feel any sympathy for the families of the 168, not the children, not the secretaries and definitely not the federal pigs."
Pringle, who favors untucked flannel shirts and rumpled blue jeans, has committed several gaffes that have drawn notice in the movement. In May, he gave an interview to a New York television station on the subject of "White Law," a video game where players take the role of police officers and kill minorities to gain points. "We're basically prying the door open, getting in little Johnny and little Janie's minds," he said. As long-time Alliance member Joseph Bishop (alias Keith Fulton) wrote later, that statement "makes the NA look like a bunch of conspiratorial child molesters."
The same month, Pringle posted a public warning to other hate groups to avoid contact with producers of "The John Walsh Show," who were depicted as out to do in white nationalists. A week later, it emerged that Alliance staffer Shaun Walker would be a guest, despite Pringle's pronouncement. Members of other hate groups saw Pringle's maneuver as a cheap trick to keep publicity away from them.
Today, Pringle, who brags of being an expert gunfighter who carries a concealed weapon, continues to run the revolution from a spare bedroom covered with Nazi World War II posters.
Harold Ray Redfeairn, 51 | NEW VIENNA, Ohio
If any proof were needed that a history of rampant criminal violence and madness is no disqualification for leadership in America's neo-Nazi movement, Ray Redfeairn would be Exhibit No. 1.
Long before he was a movement heavy with high posts in the Idaho-based Aryan Nations, Redfeairn was a scary character who racked up an extensive criminal record. In 1979, after holding up a car dealership and a motel, Redfeairn shot 22-year-old Dayton, Ohio, police officer Dave Koenig (see At Death's Door) three times after Koenig stopped him.
According to Koenig, Redfeairn then kneeled over Koenig and held the gun to his head, saying at one point, "You fucking pig, you think you're so bad now, eh?" Koenig was hit in the neck, shoulder and liver, surviving thanks to the bulletproof vest he was wearing.
In court, Redfeairn was described as a paranoid schizophrenic and sent to a mental institution for more than a year before being deemed fit to stand trial. In 1981, Redfeairn was convicted of attempted aggravated murder and three counts of aggravated robbery. Sentenced to four consecutive seven-to-25-year sentences, Redfeairn was nonetheless paroled in 1991. Just one month later, he pleaded guilty to a disorderly conduct charge.
Redfeairn became the Ohio state leader for the neo-Nazi Aryan Nations in 1992, serving until 1998, but that did not blunt his criminal propensities. During those years, he served more time for separate convictions for aggravated menacing, carrying a concealed weapon and drunken driving, and he even showed up at the house of the man who'd reported his erratic driving and threatened to kill him. In 1996, Redfeairn's mother accused her son of threatening to kill her, too, but later withdrew the charge. (Testimony in his 1985 trial revealed that he also had once held a butcher knife to her throat.)
Redfeairn left Aryan Nations in 1998, but testified for Aryan leader Richard Butler in 2000, when the Southern Poverty Law Center was suing the group and several members in connection with an attack on a woman and her son.
Redfeairn told the court he had quit the group because Butler advocated non-violence — testimony that was undermined when the plaintiffs played a video showing Redfeairn in Butler's pulpit, with Butler standing nearby, saying that "to grab an AK-47 or an M16 and run and plug some nigger in the head" was an act of "conscience" that he "won't condemn."
The next year, an undercover tape recording caught Redfeairn, in the home of Aryan Nations member David William Kinkaid (now in prison on weapons charges), speaking about recent racial disturbances in Cincinnati. "You can legally kill this nigger," he said, apparently referring to blacks in general. "I said, 'Shoot it in the head.'"
In late 2001, Butler named Redfeairn as his successor. Although Redfeairn attempted a coup against Butler (for details, see profiles of Morris Gulett and Charles Juba) and was kicked out, he returned in 2002. Butler, who is seriously ill with heart trouble, has since reinstated Redfeairn as his chosen successor, and now lists him as an Aryan "reverend" on his Web site.
Billy Joe Roper II, 31 | RUSSELLVILLE, Ark.
Gregarious and hard-working, Billy Roper was for almost two years the most visible member of the neo-Nazi National Alliance*, giving interviews, building coalitions with other hate groups and, as deputy membership coordinator, interacting closely with the Alliance's far-flung units.
But after he was ejected from the group in late 2002, he formed another neo-Nazi group, White Revolution, and has since given the Alliance a run for its money.
Roper grew up in Arkansas, by his account as the son of a Klan member, and became a high school history teacher after college. Roper says that he was active in college Republican groups and "local Republican politics up to the state level," but dropped out when he "realized" that Jews were the primary evil in the world.
Roper joined the racist Council of Conservative Citizens in the late 1990s, at a time when he was already acting as a spokesman and organizer for the Alliance. (He became Arkansas unit leader in 1999.) In 2000, he spoke to the council's central Arkansas chapter about the Kennewick man, an ancient skeleton that has some Caucasoid features and has been taken by white supremacists to prove that whites were in prehistoric America far earlier than once believed.
That same year, he moved to the Alliance's West Virginia compound to take up work as deputy membership coordinator, a job he excelled in. Roper worked 14-hour days and was successful in drumming up publicity for the Alliance.
But he also worked to build bridges with other sectors of the revolutionary right, especially racist Skinheads, a move that was evident in the anti-Israel rallies he organized in Washington. This set him on a collision course with Alliance founder William Pierce, who had long derided members of other hate groups, and when Pierce died in July 2002, his successor Erich Gliebe fired Roper.
Roper returned to Arkansas late last year and set to work building up White Revolution, which has now attracted about 30 Alliance members and seems to be on the upswing while the Alliance flounders (see Against the Wall). On Jan. 25 of this year, Roper brought more than 65 people from around the country to rally in front of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an accomplishment of some note.
Although membership costs $10 a month, White Revolution acts as an umbrella group, allowing members to also be members of other groups (something that is not true of a large number of hate groups).
The group was recently beefed up with the addition of former Alliance attorney Victor Gerhard (see The Tattle-Tale), who brought along his new business, Condor Legion Ordnance. The firm sells racist paraphernalia in direct competition with the Alliance's Resistance Records.
Jean-Philippe Rushton, 50 | LONDON, ONTARIO, Canada
Jean-Philippe Rushton is a long-time university professor, the author of five books and 200 articles, a fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American, British and Canadian psychological associations — and probably the most important race scientist at work today.
Since last year, he has also been the president of the infamous Pioneer Fund*, which has for decades funded dubious studies linking race to characteristics like criminality, sexuality and intelligence and promoting eugenics, the "science" of creating better humans through selective breeding.
Born in Bournemouth, England, Rushton received a Ph.D. in social psychology from the London School of Economics and Political Science and has taught psychology at the University of Western Ontario in Canada since 1977.
Although his training is unrelated to biology or genetics, Rushton has not hesitated to spread his opinions far and wide, especially through his major published work, Race, Evolution and Behavior. The book makes such claims as an inverse relationship between penis and brain size (blacks are supposedly more promiscuous and less intelligent than whites).
Rushton began his university career investigating the basis of altruism — why one person sometimes aids another even at personal risk — and concluded "birds of a feather flock together" and that "genes incline people to marry, befriend, associate with, and help others like themselves."
Although the University of Western Ontario has always been careful to defend Rushton's academic freedom, officials did reprimand him twice for carrying out research on human subjects in 1988 without required prior approval. In the first incident, Rushton surveyed first-year psychology students, asking questions about penis length, distance of ejaculation, and number of sex partners. In the second, he surveyed customers at a Toronto shopping mall, paying 50 whites, 50 blacks and 50 Asians $5 apiece to answer questions about their sexual habits.
Rushton crossed the political Rubicon in 1989, when he set up the Charles Darwin Research Institute in Port Huron, Mich. (apparently to avoid breaking Canadian laws on hate speech), and also presented his views on race publicly to an outraged meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Association officials called a press conference the same day to attack what the association's president called Rushton's "highly suspect" research.
In recent years, Rushton has spoken on eugenics several times at conferences of the racist American Renaissance magazine, in which he has also published a number of articles. In 2002, after renting several academic mailing lists, Rushton mailed an abridged version of Race, Evolution and Behavior to 40,000 people — a mailing paid for by the Pioneer Fund.
Reacting to scientists' complaints, the book's original publisher, Transaction, disavowed the smaller booklet and said that this abridged version had been "purged" of any "evidentiary basis." Rushton was named the fourth president of the Pioneer Fund in 2002, after long-time president Harry Weyher died.
Today, Rushton presides over a 66-year-old fund that still has some $3 million to disburse.
Kenneth J. Schmidt, 43 | UPPER MONTCLAIR, N.J.
Ken Schmidt may be the principal American proponent of the so-called "Third Position" — an ideology, systematized by British neofascists in the 1980s, that rejects both communism and capitalism, strongly supports environmentalism and animal rights, sides with labor against capital, and proposes to separate the races into their own ethnically pure countries, where they will live close to the land and govern themselves at the most local level possible.
Schmidt has run a tiny hate group, the American Third Position (ATP), out of his New Jersey condominium since 2001, when an Arvada, Colo., associate left. (The group was then called the American Coalition of Third Positionists, but Schmidt shortened the name.)
Recently retired from an 18-year career as a senior probation officer for Passaic County, Schmidt distributes the British third position magazine, Final Conflict, and his own Nationalist Dawn, and runs a Web site. The ATP is a formal affiliate of the International Third Position (ITP), a Britain-based neofascist group with several European chapters that has run paramilitary training camps in France, Poland and Spain.
The ITP was founded in 1989 by a breakaway faction of the English party National Front and Italian fascists including Roberto Fiore (who fled to England and was convicted in absentia of terrorist association in connection with the 1980 bombing of a Bologna, Italy, train station that left some 80 people dead). The ITP has long been associated with clerical fascism, with many members also belonging to the schismatic Catholic sect, the Society of Pius X. This religious aspect caused many Europeans to leave ITP in the early 1990s.
For his part, Schmidt, despite the frankly revolutionary nature of his ideology, is an officer of the New York chapter of the Council of Conservative Citizens — a remarkable fact, given the council's longstanding efforts to portray itself as mainstream.
In February 2000, Schmidt told a council meeting in Washington, D.C., that members "must serve, to use a Marxist phrase, as a revolutionary vanguard for the white masses. ... Our aim must be to establish the preconditions for National Revolution on behalf of European-Americans. We must take our country back and if sometime in the distant future we have to bloody a few noses to do so, then so be it."
Schmidt, who until 2000 was also an officer of the Mississippi-based Nationalist Movement, travels abroad frequently for third position events — a talk to the neofascist England First last February being the latest example.
In recent years, Schmidt has also spoken at conferences of the Holocaust-denying Barnes Review, the now defunct American Friends of the British National Party, and the American Nationalist Union. Typical of third position ideologues, Schmidt frequently attacks both "Zionists" and major corporations.
Jeffrey S. Schoep, 29 | LITCHFIELD, Minn.
Jeffrey Schoep's National Socialist Movement, composed in large part of youths who look like they're barely out of middle school, is one of the fastest growing neo-Nazi groups in America — and the one that more than any other displays a fetishistic love of Nazi uniforms and paraphernalia.
Schoep claims he began reading Hitler in fourth grade, and knew immediately that the führer's ideas were "definitely right." Involved in neo-Nazi organizations from the age of 19, Schoep joined the National Socialist American Workers Freedom Movement of South St. Paul early on, rising to second in command by 1993.
In the years since then, he has traveled frequently to white supremacist events, including the 1994 Aryan Nations World Congress in Idaho, where he spoke alongside such movement heavyweights as former Klansman Louis Beam, neo-segregationist J.B. Stoner and neo-Nazi Neuman Britton.
In 1998, Allen Vincent, a man whose roots in the neo-Nazi scene stretched back decades, handed the Freedom Movement over to Schoep, declaring the 24-year-old the future leader of the white race and the man who would finally achieve "white revolution." At the same time, the group's unwieldy name was shortened to the National Socialist Movement (NSM).
The NSM under Schoep has held a rising number of rallies and its leader has continued to speak at events put on by other hate groups, including this year's diminished Aryan World Congress. In particular, Schoep has worked closely over the recent months with White Revolution, a new neo-Nazi group run by Billy Roper (see Revolting in Arkansas).
Despite the mockery that members' brown shirts, black armbands and tall leather boots draw from many others on the racist right, Schoep's group has grown to 43 urban chapters, totaling an estimated 100 or so members.
Malik Zulu Shabazz, 36 | WASHINGTON, D.C.
A graduate of Howard University and its law school, Shabazz early on went to work as a campaign aide and then spokesman for Marion Barry, the three-term Washington, D.C., mayor implicated in a cocaine sting in 1990. (At around the same time, in 1989, Shabazz was part of the Defiant Giants rap group, where he called himself Zulu King Paris and helped cut an album called "Rise, Black Man, Rise.")
Shabazz then signed up with the black supremacist Nation of Islam and played a key role organizing and promoting that group's 1995 Million Man March, telling one group of high school students that "America should be glad that every black man is not on a killing spree."
Another Nation official, Khalid Abdul Muhammad, who had been a key deputy of Nation leader Louis Farrakhan, moved away from the Nation during this period and began associating with the New Black Panther Party, which was formed from small groups in Milwaukee and Dallas that began operating around 1990.
By about 1997, Shabazz had followed his mentor Muhammad — who by now was famous for vicious tirades against whites, Jews, Catholics and homosexuals — into the New Panthers, rising to become the party's chief spokesman.
"We will never bow down to the white, Jewish, Zionist onslaught," Shabazz said around this time. Muhammad, Shabazz added with evident delight, was the man "who gives the white man nightmares ... who makes the Jews pee in their pants at night."
Remarkably, in 1998, Shabazz was named "Young Lawyer of the Year" by the National Bar Association, the leading black lawyers' association. The same year, he ran unsuccessfully for the Washington, D.C., city council. Also in 1998, Shabazz co-organized a Panther takeoff on the Nation's marches, leading a much smaller Million Youth March in Harlem, N.Y., that ended in clashes with police.
When Muhammad died unexpectedly in February 2001, Shabazz took over the New Panthers and moved its headquarters from New York to Washington. He began to build the group up by traveling around the country — to Cincinnati, Louisville, Ky., and Decatur, Ala., among other places — to protest police brutality.
And while not as incendiary as Muhammad had been, he made similarly strident remarks. In 2001, for instance, he told Fox News' "Hannity & Colmes" show that he was not anti-Semitic. He had many Hebrew friends, he said, but they "happen to be black." (He was referring to the belief of some black nationalists that they, not the Jews, are the real Hebrews of the Bible.)
The next year, Shabazz traveled to Georgia to show his support for Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin, the former H. Rap Brown, who was ultimately convicted of murdering a black sheriff's deputy in Georgia. In early 2003, Shabazz organized another activist group, Black Lawyers for Justice, and also came out with another rap album, featuring parts of his speeches and entitled "Amerikkka's Most Hated," that harshly attacked the Bush administration.
On Sept. 6, Shabazz's Panthers organized a Second Million Youth March — this time in Brooklyn, N.Y. Though the Panthers said they expected to draw 20,000, fewer than 1,000 marchers actually turned out.
Yusuf Shabazz, 41 | SAVANNAH, Ga.
Long before he began calling himself Yusuf Shabazz, Lorenzo Jackson was taking in some of the tenets of early black nationalism from his family. His grandfather was a follower of Marcus Garvey and his mother took the young Jackson to lectures and rallies of the black supremacist Nation of Islam.
While still in high school, Shabazz told the Savannah Morning News, he started a fight that evolved into a campus riot after a white student wouldn't move his feet from Shabazz's chair. Later, while at the Savannah State College studying civil engineering, he joined the Nation of Islam and changed his name.
At 22, Yusuf Shabazz entered politics with an unsuccessful run for a local county commission seat and, in 1990, he opened the Shabazz Fish Restaurant in his home town. He also started publishing two newspapers, Freedom's Journal and the Statesboro Sun. Shabazz would try again for the county commission in 1995, when he made it to a runoff but failed to win the seat.
Shabazz got to know Khalid Abdul Muhammad, then the fiery second in command of the Nation of Islam, inviting him to Savannah for several lectures. When Muhammad left the Nation to take over the reins of the anti-white, anti-Semitic New Black Panther Party around 1997, Shabazz followed him. By 2001, shortly after the death of Muhammad, he had organized a major chapter of the Panthers in Savannah, and he was soon the Georgia state coordinator for the group as well.
Yusuf Shabazz travels frequently in his organizing work. In October 2002, for instance, he came to Montgomery, Ala., to protest police brutality and set a local chapter in motion (although this chapter never materialized). "If they take our lives, we begin to take their lives. A life for a life," Shabazz told the crowd. Although he has claimed not to be anti-white but merely pro-black, his words gave the lie to that. "There are no good crackers," he said.
Back in Savannah, Shabazz was a central figure in a controversy over a monument to African-American history. Angry that the artist selected was white, Shabazz and his Panther chapter funded a "Black Holocaust Monument" that was erected in an abandoned lot in a tough part of town.
Depicting a shackled black man, the memorial finished last December was made of papier-mâché and toppled in July. Police said the memorial may have been brought down by rain, but the Panthers suspected otherwise.
Edgar J. Steele, 58 | SAGLE, Idaho
Edgar Steele was a little-known lawyer with some unconventional ideas in the northern reaches of Idaho until he took the case that would make him something of a celebrity on the radical right — defending the neo-Nazi Aryan Nations and its leader against a 2000 lawsuit brought by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).
After he lost the case — which he described as an attack on free speech — Steele abandoned any effort to appear mainstream, now publicly singling out "the Jews" as being behind all that ails America.
Steele graduated from college in 1967 and then served four years in the Coast Guard, rising to command a radio-navigation station in the East China Sea. Shortly afterward, he earned a master's degree in business at the University of California at Berkeley, and worked at several corporations. But Steele soon decided to change professions and graduated from UCLA with a law degree in 1982, going to work for two years at a San Francisco firm but then setting up shop as a sole practitioner.
Today, Edgar Steele describes a Jewish lawyer who once worked for him and supposedly tried to steal his clients as a principal "trigger" for his realization that Jews are "predatory." But that attitude was not public when he took the Aryan Nations case, which the SPLC had filed on behalf of a woman and her son terrorized by Aryan security guards.
At around that time, Steele began writing essays suggesting, among other things, that the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing involved a government conspiracy.
In a late 2000 interview published in Resistance, a neo-Nazi magazine, Steele suggested that the FBI stacked the deck against the Aryan Nations by purposely failing to find an important witness. In an essay entitled "The Conspiracy Grows Ever Larger" published two years later, Steele accused the judge in the Aryan Nations case of unfairly refusing to allow him to present evidence, suggesting that it was an example of how "[j]udges and lawyers actively use existing rules and laws, or simply make it up as they go along, in furthering the leftist agenda, particularly when it comes to keeping the spotlight off things they don't want you to know."
Still, as late as September 2001, he was writing on his conspiracypenpal.com Web site that "the vast majority of American Jews are fine people," some of whom were his "friends." But an Oct. 7, 2002, essay, "It's the Jews, Stupid!!!" put an end to any question about his virulent anti-Semitism.
In 2002, Steele filed an amicus brief for the anti-black hate group Council of Conservative Citizens in a case that sought to invalidate a Virginia law outlawing cross burning. More recently, he gave a June 2003 speech to a conference of the Holocaust-denying magazine The Barnes Review.
And on July 12, taking on one more enemy, he posted the latest of scores of essays on his Web site — the first of a multi-part series, "In Defense of Racism," that attacks blacks for their alleged intellectual inferiority.
Elisha H. Strom, 28 | EARLYSVILLE, Va.
Elisha Strom is about as close to a feminist as you can get on the American radical right. She has engaged in running battles with some leading neo-Nazis and others over their use of salacious images of women, and has managed to enrage many male members of the group her husband helps lead, the neo-Nazi National Alliance*.
Strom apparently joined the revolutionary right early this millennium, when she became the second wife of Kevin Alfred Strom, who was a key deputy to Alliance founder and leader William Pierce. Though the couple did not live on the Alliance's compound in West Virginia, they visited often from their Earlysville, Va., home, and Pierce is known to have developed a dislike for Elisha Strom's assertive ways.
Up until their marriage, Kevin Strom's personal Web site had carried a gallery of alluring photos of young girls, many of them scantily dressed, and running to shots of a teenage Brooke Shields atop a horse. That changed after the wedding, and today his site carries a gallery of far less alluring classical art, although it includes many nude paintings.
After Pierce died in July 2002, Kevin Strom was named to replace him as host of the Alliance's shortwave "American Dissident Voices" broadcast. In that post, he has been attacked by many racists as effeminate and weak (see Against the Wall). But neither those attacks nor the criticisms leveled at her personally have caused Elisha Strom to desist.
Today, she has her own Web site (elishastrom.com) that celebrates Renaissance art and classical European composers along with the raising of "elite white children" and her "favorite man of all," Kevin Strom.
She also runs the angrywhitefemale.com Web site. And she has engaged in running battles with two key Internet racists, Bill White (see The Gossip) of overthrow.com and Alex Linder (see Potty Humor and the Revolution) of Vanguard News Network (VNN).
When Linder, an Alliance member known for his misogyny, attacked her recently, Elisha Strom responded coolly: "Very much looking forward to meeting you again, Linder. My really awesome 'Fuck VNN' t-shirt is already packed."
Samuel Jared Taylor, 51 | OAKTON, Va.
In his personal bearing and tone, Jared Taylor projects himself as a courtly presenter of ideas that most would describe as crudely white supremacist — a kind of modern-day version of the refined but racist colonialist of old.
And indeed, that is the stock-in-trade preferred by Taylor, who carefully avoids epithets, writes in language that approximates that of academia, and generally seeks to put a rational and well-argued face on anti-black racism.
Taylor is a Yale graduate who worked for 17 years in Japan, is fluent in that language, and greatly admires his former hosts. The reason for that admiration is instructive — the Japanese, Taylor told British journalist Nick Ryan, "think with their blood, not their passport."
Taylor entered the active racist scene in 1990, when he began publishing American Renaissance, a magazine that focuses on alleged links between race and intelligence, and on eugenics, the now discredited "science" of breeding better humans.
"Never in the history of the world has a dominant people thrown open the gates to strangers, and poured its wealth out to aliens," Taylor wrote in his magazine, under the pseudonym Thomas Jackson, in 1991. "All healthy people prefer the company of their own kind." Blacks, Taylor writes, are "crime-prone," "dissipated," "pathological" and "deviant."
Taylor, whose 1992 Paved With Good Intentions: The Failure of Race Relations in Contemporary America makes similar points in a book format, went one further in 1993, speaking at a conference of the racist Council of Conservative Citizens. (Today, Taylor's New Century Foundation, which publishes American Renaissance, is intimately related to the council through "common membership, governing bodies, trustees and officers," according to the foundation's tax forms.)
In the late 1990s, he came out with The Color of Crime, a booklet that tries to use crime statistics so as to "prove" that blacks are far more criminally prone than whites. That racist booklet is now a staple of white supremacists like former Klansman David Duke.
One thing that separates Taylor from much of the radical right, however, is his lack of anti-Semitism; he told MSNBC-TV interviewer Phil Donahue in 2003 that Jews "are fine by me" and "look white to me." That view may be related to his wife, who some in the movement have said is Jewish.
Evelyn Rich became well known because of her 1985 and 1986 interviews of Duke, conducted as part of her dissertation research, and was perceived by many as an anti-racist. (The recorded interviews, in Tulane University's archives, were used by anti-Duke forces to make radio ads attacking Duke during his run for Louisiana governor in 1991.) As a result, Taylor's long term cohabitation with Rich has shocked many of those who know about it.
Today, Jared Taylor's conferences are well-attended, suit-and-tie affairs that reflect his international reach. In 2002, speakers included Nick Griffin, leader of the neofascist British National Party, and Bruno Gollnisch, who was then second in command of Jean Marie Le Pen's immigrant-bashing National Front in France.
Harold C. Turner, 41 | NORTH BERGEN, N.J.
Just when some thought that the modern white supremacist movement had adopted the calmer language of scientific racism, along came Hal Turner. A belligerent, foul-mouthed talk show host, Turner is the maestro of radio hate — a man who rants about a "Portable Nigger Lyncher" machine, "faggots," "savage Negro beasts," "bull-dyke lesbians" and "lazy-ass Latinos ... slithering across the border." And that is just the beginning.
According to a profile in his local newspaper, The (Bergen County, N.J.) Record, Turner was born in Jersey City and raised in Ridgefield Park. He served a 10-month stint in the Marines, was honorably discharged, and went to work as a driver and sales manager for a moving company. Later, he sold commercial property.
Turner got involved in politics as well, serving as a Republican committeeman in Hudson County, the North Jersey coordinator for white nationalist Pat Buchanan's 1992 presidential campaign, and manager of the 1997 gubernatorial campaign of Libertarian Murray Sabrin.
As early as 1994, he was defending racism, holding a rally for New York radio talk show host Bob Grant, who had been fired from his show for making racist comments about blacks. In the late 1990s, Turner often called in to local radio shows as "Hal from North Bergen," telling their hosts things like, "The problem with police brutality is that cops don't use it enough."
In 2000, Turner sought the local Republican nomination for Congress, and was enraged when GOP leaders instead supported Theresa de Leon, a dark-skinned Hispanic who was the chief financial officer for New York's Legal Aid Society and the mother of 10 children. It was at this moment that Turner had a reported "epiphany," deciding the system was rigged against white men and abandoning all ties to the mainstream.
Not long after, he started up "The Hal Turner Show," renting time on shortwave radio maverick Allan Weiner's WBCQ, located in Monticello, Maine.
Building up a substantial audience and paying for the five-nights-a-week, two-hour show with advertising and donations, he became a favorite of many on the radical right, including several in the neo-Nazi National Alliance. After neo-Nazi World Church of the Creator* leader Matt Hale was arrested in late 2002 for allegedly soliciting the murder of a federal judge, Turner openly supported Hale.
"I don't think killing a federal judge in these circumstances would be wrong," he said, referring to the judge's ruling against Hale's group in a copyright dispute over its name. "It may be illegal, but it wouldn't be wrong."
Early in 2003, Turner told The Record, federal agents from the Secret Service and the U.S. Marshals Service questioned him about statements made on the air. Also in early 2003, Turner joined a neo-Nazi rally held in front of the Southern Poverty Law Center. In June, he was at the Aryan Nations World Congress in Idaho, where rainy weather prevented his planned outdoor on-site broadcasts.
In recent months, however, Turner has repeatedly told his listeners he was gravely ill and begged for donations to pay his creditors. But he has never said what his disease was, and his many skeptics have noted that his "illness" seems to worsen when bills come due at month's end.
Mark E. Weber, 51 | COSTA MESA, Calif.
Born in Portland, Ore., and equipped with a master's degree in history from Indiana University, Mark Weber first appeared on the radical right in 1978, when he became news editor of National Vanguard, a neo-Nazi publication of the National Alliance, the most important hate group in America.
But while he remained connected to the Alliance for years, Weber was by 1979 already writing articles for The Spotlight, an anti-Semitic tabloid started by Willis Carto, and other Carto publications. (Carto is the main architect of American Holocaust denial. In 1978, Carto founded the Liberty Lobby, publisher of Spotlight, and, in 1979, the Institute for Historical Review, or IHR. IHR has long published the Journal of Historical Review, a Holocaust denial journal.)
In these articles, Weber referred to the Holocaust's Jewish "mythmakers," attacked the credibility of Anne Frank's diary, claimed that the Allies used torture to extract false stories about extermination camps, and suggested that the testimony of victims of the Holocaust was unreliable at best.
"The Holocaust hoax is a religion," he wrote in 1989, according to the Anti-Defamation League. "[T]he rise of religions such as this generally coincides with the decline and fall of nations which tolerate them." The same year, he said he didn't believe it possible for blacks to assimilate into American society.
In the mid-1980s, Weber remained a part of the Alliance and was listed as the treasurer of its Cosmotheist Church, which was an attempt by the basically atheistic group to win tax-exempt status. This is surprising because Carto and Alliance leader William Pierce had been bitter enemies since 1970, when they split as they worked to reconfigure the old Youth for Wallace group as the National Youth Alliance (which Pierce would turn into the National Alliance four years later).
Nevertheless, it was in this same period, the mid-1980s, when Weber began taking a leading role at Carto's IHR. In 1984, Weber began leading the group's annual conferences. These gatherings typically were highlighted by a "mystery guest, " who in 1987 was Maj. Gen. Otto Ernst Remer, the unrepentant Nazi who helped crush a 1944 bomb plot against Hitler. In 1985, Weber joined the IHR's editorial advisory committee, and in 1992 he took over IHR's Journal of Historical Review, a post he still holds today.
In 1993, with Weber's support, the IHR board ousted Carto as its leader, accusing him of interfering in editorial decisions. The next May, Carto and his wife tried to retake IHR by occupying its California offices, a situation that led to fistfights and Carto's arrest. At around the same time, another dispute between IHR and Carto broke out, with IHR leaders accusing Carto of diverting some $10 million that was allegedly left to IHR's parent company.
During the decade of litigation that followed, Carto's Spotlight characterized Weber as a "rat," "cockroach" and "devil," but in the end Weber's side basically won. The Spotlight was shut down, although it was rapidly replaced with the lookalike American Free Press. Carto also created The Barnes Review, a new Holocaust denial journal that competed directly with IHR.
Today, Carto's operation seems healthier than the IHR, which is limited to Weber and a few cronies. But that may change, in part thanks to Weber's energetic personality.
William A. White, 26 | SILVER SPRING, Md.
Not many on the American radical right started out on the American radical left, but that is precisely what Bill White did. As recently as 1998, the man who is today the Matt Drudge of the extreme right — an ebullient Internet gossip who is sometimes right, sometimes wrong, but always self-important — was an anarchist who promoted drugs, homosexuality, bombs and violent anti-racism.
Today, he runs the overthrow.com Web site and its "Libertarian Socialist News" service, which is the second most popular racist site on the Internet after Stormfront (and is violently opposed to homosexuals and Jews, among others).
White got interested in politics early, becoming a "utopian anarchist" in junior high school, reading Freud and Marx at age 13, and putting out his first issue of the Utopian Anarchist Party (its symbol was a black fist on a red background) newsletter the next year. Among other things, he railed against juvenile psychiatry, writing later that he had been subjected to a series of psychiatric tests as a youth in which he routinely scored high for paranoia and aggressiveness.
Bill White has an extensive juvenile record, including, by his own account, some 22 arrests between ages 15 and 19 for "assault, weapons, explosives, property destruction, graffiti and use of false identification." He also says he served several months after attacking police officers when he was 19.
By 1995, White had begun building sites on the Internet and become a Web developer. He ran openly as an anarchist for the local Montgomery County school board in 1998 and 2000 but lost both times. Midway through his first campaign, he put up Overthrow, the Web site that he still runs today.
Then, however, it featured links to the Green Panthers, an Ohio pro-marijuana group agitating for a "stoner homeland"; Anti-Racist Action, a group that likes to physically confront neo-Nazis; the Revolutionary Workers Party, a Trotskyist organization; and the so-called Lesbian Avengers. The site also included recipes for a broad array of synthetic drugs and bombs.
In 1999 and 2000, White says, he became an official of white nationalist Pat Buchanan's Reform Party presidential campaign and that of a local candidate for the right-wing Constitution Party. His Web site began to reflect the wild swing in White's politics.
For six months starting in late 2001, he was a correspondent for Pravda, the old Soviet publication that by then had taken on a strong right-wing flavor. He began to rail endlessly about "the Jews" and also to write extensively about the internal politics of many American neo-Nazi groups, eventually establishing himself as the chief gossip-monger of the movement.
White is energetic, extremely prolific, and not afraid to go with a totally unproven story — a trait that has gotten him in trouble many times. Recently, for instance, as he endlessly spread rumors of a split within the neo-Nazi National Alliance*, he made a fool of himself by publishing a letter that seemed to praise him lavishly. In fact, the first letters of each paragraph spelled out this sentence: "BILL WHITE'S A FAG."
White thinks a great deal of himself, recently boasting that he and just two friends had done "immeasurably more" for the movement in the prior nine months than any other person or group. When one of those two friends, Marc Moran, was outed as an Alliance member after being appointed to a New Jersey town council, White showed another side of himself — the punk kid who used to get in so much trouble.
Seconds after posting a note asking his readers to call in to Moran's "kike loving" colleagues to "tell them what you think," White did so himself, anonymously leaving messages filled with anti-Semitic and racist slurs. Despite White's much-vaunted intelligence, he called on his own cell phone, and his number was duly recorded by Caller ID.
James P. Wickstrom, 60 | MADISONVILLE, Tenn.
Jim Wickstrom is the kind of neo-Nazi white supremacist who appears in bad novels and movies — a red-faced, spit-firing, soaked-in-sweat speaker who looks as if he's about to have a coronary every time he gets to attacking "the Jews."
Wickstrom talks about the pleasures of seeing his enemies' "heads on the fence posts" and longs for the day when "Aryans" will "fill our shoes with the blood of our enemies and walk in them." He wants to "go hunting," to "kill" the Jews, to "exterminate" race-mixers and a whole host of other enemies.
And it is precisely these dubious qualities that make Wickstrom a continuing draw on the American radical right, especially among violent Skinheads and Armageddon-minded neo-Nazis.
The man often known as "Wick" first came to the movement in the early 1970s, when he joined the Mission of Jesus the Christ Church in Humansville, Mo., which promoted the Christian Identity theology espoused by the late William Potter Gale. (Gale's theology described Jews as biologically Satanic and whites as the real chosen people of the Bible.)
In 1980, he ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate on the ticket of the far-right Constitution Party. By the following year, he was calling himself "national director of counter-insurgency" for the violently anti-Semitic Posse Comitatus that was founded mainly by Gale.
Wickstrom ran for governor of Wisconsin in 1982, but failed miserably. In 1983, he was arrested after forming an illegal township, christened "Tigerton Dells," which was a collection of about 30 trailers and a bar. He was sentenced to 18 months for impersonating a town clerk and judge, but fled to Oklahoma while the case was on appeal and was only arrested and sent to prison seven months later. In the end, he served just 13 months, moving to Pennsylvania upon release.
By 1987, Wickstrom, a practicing Identity preacher, began attending annual congresses of the neo-Nazi Aryan Nations*, and it was at that group's Idaho compound, authorities alleged, that he schemed to pass $100,000 in counterfeit bills to finance extremist paramilitary groups.
That 1988 case ended in a mistrial, but Wickstrom was convicted in a second trial in 1990 and sentenced to serve 38 months in a federal prison. While in prison, he turned over his Pennsylvania operation to Mark Thomas, a neo-Nazi now in prison for his role in a conspiracy to rob 22 banks.
In 1995, after leaving prison, he moved to Munising, Mich., setting up an Identity ministry and collaborating with neo-Nazi August Kreis of Pennsylvania in running the anti-Semitic possecomitatus.com Web site. The same year, Wickstrom started a business, Information Consulting Corp., to sell survival gear, outdoor apparel and videotapes about militias.
In the late 1990s, Wickstrom preached regularly to an Identity congregation in Dayton Township, allegedly including Scott A. Woodring, who was killed by police in July 2003 after murdering a police officer who came to serve a warrant for alleged solicitation of a teenage girl.
Later, he moved his ministry to an old furniture store in Hampton Township, where a recent visitor was James Nichols, brother of the Oklahoma City conspirator. This June, Wickstrom told friends he was moving to Tennessee, where he would be living and holding services on the property of John Roberts, former head of the Militia of East Tennessee.
Steven J. Wiegand, 30 | MAPLE SHADE, N.J.
Steve Wiegand entered the thriving world of Internet hate in 1996, when he started the White Pride Network with a site called whitepride.com. His devotion to racist Skinheads and their white power music was evident in the pseudonym he used when registering the site — Ian Stuart, after the late founder of the seminal British "hatecore" band Skrewdriver, one of the first to use explicitly racist lyrics.
By 1998, Wiegand had changed the name of his site to micetrap.net, and it had become a major seller of racist music and paraphernalia. His mission, he said, was to "build the largest and best selection of quality pro-White items at the most affordable prices possible."
In an interview with the online Fade to Black Comedy Magazine, Wiegand traced his racist roots to "growing up two miles from one of the worst ghettos in the state" and said that the world's troubles were due mainly to Jews. Blacks, he added, are merely "the Jews' puppets." Wiegand says on his site that he was involved in the Skinhead scene for many years, but now realizes that it has turned into "a trendy fad full of hypocritical drug-users, race traitors and 'gangstas.'"
Wiegand has had his share of conflicts with Skinhead bands, according to the Spokesman-Review newspaper, over bootlegged music and videos. But he has attributed the many negative Web postings about him to efforts to hurt his music label and help his competition. Wiegand joined the neo-Nazi National Alliance* briefly in 1999, but pulled out the following year and quit carrying music from the Alliance's Resistance Records* catalog.
In October 2001, he took over the white supremacist 14 Words Press* from imprisoned terrorist David Lane and Lane's wife, Katja, who described Wiegand to a newspaper reporter as "a personal friend and supporter for many years." But Wiegand quickly resold the business, telling Swedish scholar Mattias Gardell that "heat from local press, police and residents" had made him reconsider.
Today, Micetrap remains one of the leading purveyors of hate music, competing with Resistance and Panzerfaust Records.
Ron G. Wilson, 56 | EASELY, S.C.
When Ronnie Wilson was elected commander in chief of the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) in August 2002, his politics were largely unknown both inside and outside the 32,000-member heritage group.
Within months, however, it was clear that Wilson was an extremist. Working closely with white supremacist ally (and failed SCV leadership candidate) Kirk Lyons, Wilson has appointed racists and anti-Semites to key posts, purged some 300 SCV members and leaders who opposed racism, and worked to turn the SCV into an actively neo-Confederate organization.
But it turns out there is more to Wilson's history than the last year has revealed. He is the author of five essays about the evils of communism (one praising the legacy of disgraced Sen. Joseph McCarthy) published in the tabloid of the racist Council of Conservative Citizens* (CCC). He spoke at a 1997 CCC meeting that also featured long-time white nationalist Sam Francis (see 'The Stupid Party').
He hosted a late 1990s right-wing talk show, "Hour of Courage," on WWCR, a shortwave station. In the same period, he led the South Carolina Heritage Coalition, a group whose vice chairman was Jerry Creech, state director for the CCC (an outfit that has more recently called blacks "a retrograde species of humanity").
At the same time, Wilson runs a business called Atlantic Bullion and Coin Inc. But that's not all. Until he pulled down its Web site last year, he also operated from his Easley home a firm he called International Commerce Corp., "specializing in books & videos for the family & home schoolers."
One book his company sold, Barbarians Inside the Gates by 1960s Defense Department official Donn de Grand Pré, is a viciously anti-Semitic tome that approvingly quotes The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the infamous Czarist forgery that purports to reveal a Jewish plot to take over the world.
The squib advertising the book on Wilson's Web site included these words: "The author reveals concealed codes and goals that might be extracted from the Protocols of Zion. Once again our publisher asks 'can you handle the truth??' ... I thought long and hard about handling this book. [But] I will not back away from the truth in this book. You MUST READ THIS BOOK for yourself."
With a political lineage like that, it's no surprise that Wilson grew close to Lyons, a long-time racist attorney, in the late 1990s. Today, Wilson is on the board of Lyons' non-profit law firm, the Southern Legal Resource Center, while his daughter, Alison Shaum, works there.
Among many similar actions inside the SCV, Wilson recently named Allen Sullivant, who created the racist orderofwhitetrash.com Web site, the group's "chief of heritage defense." Now, although he was temporarily stymied in votes taken at the SCV's national conference in late July (see Unfinished Business), Wilson is working hard to solidify the extremist takeover of the SCV.