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Triumph of the Will

William “White Will” Williams, a longtime stalwart on the neo-Nazi scene, has taken over the ailing National Alliance, which was once the nation’s most important hate group. Williams’ new role was worked out in a secret deal with Erich Gliebe, who is leaving the movement, but other former members are vowing a fight.

At an age when most men and women choose to retire, 67-year-old William W. Williams went out and got a new job in one of the world’s oldest professions — hate.

He is now the HNIC — Head Nazi in Charge.

Known throughout the white nationalist movement as “White Will” — the fictional hero of a notorious 1990s racist comic book he helped write and draw — Williams is the new chairman of what’s left of the old neo-Nazi National Alliance (NA), once America’s leading hate group. Crafty and smart, the self-described “biological racist” recently out-maneuvered and out-hustled his bitter rivals in the neo-Nazi movement for the tarnished title, a state of affairs duly registered with the Commonwealth of Virginia State Corporation Commission.

The handoff: After a dozen years heading the neo-Nazi National Alliance, Erich Gliebe (left) gave the reins to Will Williams, angering many of his former followers.

Williams won by stealth and ambush, skills he picked up as a young U.S. Army Special Forces officer during two combat tours in Vietnam. But this time, he did not have to fire a shot to get the job done. He sat back and watched his foes — a band of disgruntled former NA members calling themselves the National Alliance Reform & Restoration Group, or NARRG — do the heavy lifting. As NARRG was spending tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees to seize control of the Alliance with a $2 million civil lawsuit against Erich Josef Gliebe, the much maligned chairman who presided over the last 12 years of the NA’s decline, Williams was secretly negotiating with Gliebe to resign and hand over to him the keys to the crumbling kingdom.

 “We managed to keep it pretty close to our chest,” Williams told the Intelligence Report in a recent interview. “We didn’t go out there, bragging and boasting and all that. We just kind of slowly maneuvered around.”

Williams’ power grab clearly caught NARRG off guard. It was a stiff Roman salute to the jaw and NARRG did not take it well, calling Williams, among other things, a “superficial” “racial gadfly” who blends “various reactionary white nationalist ideologies” and is “bent on a path of religious tyranny.”

Herr Kettle, meet Herr Pot.

Needless to say, NARRG rejects Williams as chairman. “The lawsuit,” NARRG announced on its website, “continues to go on, even though the purported wrinkle of Williams may be in the mix.”

Good Riddance to Resistance

Williams has a southern drawl, a Russian wife 24 years his junior and an easy manner. But don’t be fooled, even when he’s trying to be polite by using “Negro” and “Jew.”

“We’re different races and we don’t need to be all thrown together,” he said. “If they want diversity, they ought to keep us apart. We need to have our own living space. We want our own reservation. We got to separate.”

Since 1985, Williams has worked closely with some of the biggest names in organized hate, from his old friend Frazier Glenn Miller, who was charged last year with gunning down three people at two Jewish centers in Kansas, to Ben Klassen, the late founder of the racist Church of the Creator, to the father of the National Alliance, William Pierce, a former physics professor and author of The Turner Diaries, the novel that inspired the Oklahoma City bombing.

Williams was the Alliance’s first membership coordinator in the early 1990s. But he quit the NA shortly before Pierce’s death in 2002. “I didn’t really like the direction the Alliance was going,” he said. “It was all these skinheads.” Days after Pierce’s death, Gliebe, who had helped recruit many of the skinheads Williams detested, was elected by the board to be the Alliance’s second chairman. Williams quickly became a frequent and harsh critic of his leadership. But these days, Williams tries hard not to bad-mouth Gliebe too much, at least not in public, since Gliebe has handed what’s left of the evil empire over to him.

“Everything I’m supposed to have, I’ve gotten,” Williams said. “They’re not getting them away from me.” Williams said he now controls — “legally and officially” — NA’s book publishing business, its inventory, websites, bank accounts, the hilltop compound on 423 wooded acres in rural West Virginia and its membership list — such as it is. Alliance membership languishes at around 100 people, compared to nearly 1,300 in the last days of Pierce. 

What he doesn’t control is NA’s one-time moneymaking machine, the white power music label Resistance Records, which attracted a wave of skinheads to its ranks, infusing the Alliance with youth and cash. The company helped NA generate up to $1 million a year in income. Williams said Gliebe quietly sold Resistance last year and Williams is happy about it. The move saved him the trouble, he said, of having to dump it himself, part of his campaign to “clean house” by chasing away “the skinhead genre” and other undesirables such as “prisoners.”

 “The best part of this is I don’t have to deal with these goddamn skinheads,” Williams said. “That music really sucks. It’s like rap music. I wouldn’t have bought that thing for nothing. But I don’t have it any more. That’s really good. We’re going to trim our sails.”

Birds of a feather: Will Williams, the new head of the National Alliance, has been close to some of the nation's best-known racist activists, including Alliance founder William Pierce (pictured).

Williams has been poring over NA’s financial records. It is not a pretty picture.

“Gliebe left me with a lot of debt,” he said. “I don’t want to bad-mouth him. But they were really way over their heads, mismanagement, well, I won’t say any more.”

He sighed.

“It’s going to be a slow rebuild, I’m afraid,” he said.

Strom Storm

Rebuilding trust with his former neo-Nazi comrades may be impossible, judging by the front page of the NARRG website. It is dominated with anti-Williams stories and headlines:

“The Hypocritical Religious Bigotry of Will Williams.”

“Anatomy of a Hypocrite? Updated.”

“Successful Sacramento NA Chapter Rejects Gliebe’s Successors.”

“The fight is not done yet, be certain of that if not of anything else,” NARRG member Robert Ransdell wrote on a different racist Web forum shortly after Williams announced he had taken over. Ransdell was a busy neo-Nazi in 2014. Not only was he fighting to reform and restore the NA as one of six plaintiffs in the NARRG lawsuit, he also ran for the United States Senate from Kentucky. His campaign slogan then was “With Jews We Lose.” Now it might be “We Lose With White Will.”

“After all the hard work NARRG has done to make it to where FINALLY Gliebe stepped down,” Ransdell wrote on Vanguard News Network (VNN), “Williams came in and was the supreme opportunist. Instead of taking the steps NARRG did with the court case Williams chose to align himself with EG, making who knows what sort of deal with him for the opportunity to be named Chairman.”

NARRG is even more adamant that Williams’ friend, ally and communications director, Kevin Strom, have nothing to do with the NA going forward. Like Williams, Strom was a longtime member who left the Alliance and now wants back in. He worked alongside Pierce for years, producing the group’s radio show, a job he has resumed under Williams. But Strom is a toxic subject within the white nationalist movement. He spent time in prison for possession of child pornography.

“We didn’t come this far,” Ransdell wrote on VNN, “to allow the organization to be headed by a pedo like Strom along with a man who has just proved himself to be as unscrupulous as Gliebe with his actions in regard to his being named Chairman by Gliebe.”

Williams, however, is fiercely loyal to Strom. “He’s a fixture in the National Alliance,” Williams said. “I can’t imagine the Alliance without him. All this bunk about him being a child porn enthusiast is just so much hype. That’s the movement. We get more trouble from these so-called movement people than we do from the Southern Poverty Law Center.” 

The Confrontation

Williams’ coming-out party as chairman took place on a sun-splashed morning last fall shortly after the feuding Nazis headed into the red brick courthouse in the small Virginia town of Gloucester. They were there for a hearing in NARRG’s $2 million civil lawsuit against Gliebe and the last remaining board members at the time: Ryan N. Maziarka of Virginia, and Jayne Cartwright, an Ohio midwife, who joined the neo-Nazi organization in 1977, seven years after it was founded.

But Gliebe was the main target, accused by NARRG of “a myriad of instances of malfeasance, misfeasance, illegalities and irregularities” as chairman. Cartwright and Gliebe, who lives in Cleveland, drove through the night to be in court on time. But Maziarka was a no-show. He had resigned from the board shortly after the suit was filed on Jan. 2, 2014.

NARRG was represented on that late October day by Daniel A. Harvill, a Manassas, Va.-based lawyer, and one of the plaintiffs, Brian Wilson, a Nevada state government employee, apparently taking vacation or comp time in order to make the cross-country trip to fight for the cause of National Socialism in the United States. Wilson is NARRG’s “legal liaison.”

Neither Cartwright nor Gliebe had a lawyer and it looked like it would be a good day for NARRG. The judge ruled in the group’s favor, ordering Gliebe, a 51-year-old sometimes janitor, to hand over financial and membership records to the plaintiffs by the next court date, set for January. But that victory was quickly obscured in the smoke from a bombshell Gliebe dropped in the middle of the proceedings.

Dressed in a dark suit, the tall, lanky ex-boxer, known as the “Aryan Barbarian” in his fighting days, rose to his feet at the defense table and declared he was no longer chairman; that he had resigned, effective immediately. “This is the first time I’ve heard Mr. Gliebe is no longer the chairman,” NARRG’s clearly surprised lawyer told the court.

“I handed the Alliance over to Mr. Williams because I thought he was the best man for the job,” Gliebe said that day after court. “I think he’s the most knowledgeable. He’s not a cultist.”

Gliebe told the Report in a telephone interview that the NARRG suit was not the reason he stepped down as chairman and resigned from the NA. “I want to raise my son the best way I can,” he said, referring to his 8-year-old. “Being chairman, I can’t do that. There’s too much negativity associated with the Alliance.”

Gliebe said he was happy and relieved to be “totally out of it.”

“I did my 25 years,” he said. “I’ve had enough arrows shot at me. It really feels good to be out. I don’t have that anchor around my neck any more.”

The theatrical resignation was just part of the agreement that had been secretly negotiated for weeks by Gliebe and Williams, who, with a big grin and firm handshake, introduced himself to Wilson.

Then Williams delivered what he hoped would be the coup de grâce.

“I’m the new chairman,” he said.

Kiss of Hate

Williams told Wilson that there was no reason for NARRG to continue its lawsuit. Enough money and time and goodwill had been wasted. Gliebe was out. NARRG had gotten what it wanted. There was a new chairman and a new day. Working together, the NA would rise again.

As they talked on the sidewalk outside the courthouse before the monument with dozens of names of the area soldiers who died fighting the Nazis and their Axis allies during World War II, Williams noticed a news photographer snapping pictures. Williams grabbed Wilson’s right hand and held it tight. “He couldn’t get away from me,” Williams said, chuckling. “He was back-pedaling the whole time, but I had a good grip. I reached up and kissed Brian on the cheek. I would love to have a picture of that. It was a photo-op and he could hardly stand that this guy was taking our picture.”

Williams left the courthouse confident that NARRG would drop the suit. He was wrong. Now he is defiant.

“Brian Wilson, he’s no match for us,” Williams told the Report. “He’s way over his head. I don’t give a good goddamn how many tens of thousands of dollars he gives Harvill [the lawyer], he’s not getting any financial documents from me, or membership information. They requested something like 80 different kinds of documents. They wanted every donation that had been made to the Alliance since 2006. It’s really just a fishing expedition. You know how lawsuits go. They just try to wear you down.”

On to the Board

A couple of weeks before the Nazis walked into the courthouse on Oct. 24, Williams was quietly put on the NA board, so when the time came he could help vote himself into the top spot. That time came in Williams’ motel room in Gloucester on Oct. 23. Inside the room, Gliebe officially resigned as chairman and Williams was elected to take his place “like any other corporate succession,” Williams told the Report.

Williams’ close friend John McLaughlin, a longtime NA member, was also added to the board. McLaughlin, 64, is a wealthy Illinois farmer, who has received over the years hundreds of thousands of dollars in government farm subsidies. McLaughlin had his 15 minutes of fame in 1992, when he got into a fistfight with journalist Geraldo Rivera at a Ku Klux Klan rally in Wisconsin. Rivera objected to McLaughlin calling him a “dirty s--- Jew.”

“That set it off,” Williams said.

Williams said Cartwright — “a sterling member” — offered to resign from the board, but Williams asked her to stay on. Currently, the board consists of Williams, Cartwright and McLaughlin. Williams said he has asked several other people to join the board, but has been turned down. “They just don’t need it,” he said, “watchdogs ruining their lives.”

Williams insisted he did not set out to be chairman. Several months ago, he said, he got wind that Gliebe was increasingly desperate for a way out. NARRG was closing in. Gliebe planned to sell off Pierce’s huge personal library. A sacrilege, Williams thought, and reached out to Gliebe to negotiate purchasing the library of about 12,000 books at Pierce’s hilltop compound. Then Williams discovered there was an even larger library in storage, donated by the son of a deceased member. Williams asked to buy that as well.

“Once I got that and worked with him and gave him some money for those things, he said, ‘Well, I’m going to turn it over to you,’” Williams said. “That’s how it happened.”

He laughed.

“Yeah, I was slick.”

The Education of White Will

It took two semi-trailer trucks to haul the books, all 27,000-plus volumes, to Williams’ remote property near Mountain City, Tenn., part of a county that he says is 98 percent white. That will be the site of the Alliance’s new headquarters and “world-class library,” which includes, he said proudly, “one of the biggest Hitler sections anywhere.”

Williams said he intends to keep and maintain the West Virginia property that Pierce purchased, loved and died on. Gliebe once put the property on the market and struggled to keep up with the taxes. The taxes, Williams said, are paid off and current, mostly from money he has been pulling from his own pocket.

NARRG, Williams said — “just like the Jews, just like the government” — has been trying to determine where his money is coming from. He insisted he has been using his savings, social security and military disability benefits.

He admitted his two tours of duty in the Vietnam War affected him for decades. A North Carolina native, Williams was still in high school when he joined the Army in the mid-1960s. “I wasn’t fighting for the Constitution and the flag and apple pie and all that crap,” he said. “It was an adventure. I wanted to kill communists.”

One of the most popular songs of the day was the “Ballad of the Green Berets.” A lifetime later, Williams can recite the lyrics that sent him off to war, “full of piss and vinegar.”

“Silver wings upon their chest

“These are men, America’s best

“One hundred men we’ll test today

“But only three win the Green Beret.”

Williams became a captain in Special Forces at age 22, an accomplishment that would never had happened, he said, if not for the war raging in the jungles 10,000 miles from home. “They needed cannon fodder,” he said.

It was in the Army, he said, when his “racial awakening” began. Half of his company in basic training was African-American — “what a shock.” The racist awakening continued Vietnam. “Those Vietnamese, they’re not like us, they’re different,” he said. “They have their nature and we have ours.”

Williams came home from the war disillusioned, alienated and most of all haunted. “Of course it had an effect on the rest of your life,” he said, referring to his combat experience. “It shaped me as how far I could push myself. I also got PTSD from it.”

Back in North Carolina, he enrolled in college. He was a 23-year-old freshman, but dropped out to work after about a year. He got a job in the construction business and said he eventually owned his own construction and architectural business.

The economy tanked and Williams said his business suffered. In the early 1980s, he got locked into a bitter, three-year “war” with the IRS and a “Negress auditor.” That experience, he said, eventually led him in 1985 to join the White Patriot Party, led by former Klansmen and neo-Nazi Frazier Glenn Miller. “I came into the movement as a kind of tax resister because of the run-in I had with the IRS,” Williams told the Report. “They hounded me mercilessly.”

Williams told neo-Nazi Internet radio host Carolyn Yeager in a 2012 broadcast of her show, “The Heretics Hour, that the IRS “created a monster.”

“I was so antigovernment by then, I started studying,” he said, adding that he soon discovered “the problem was biological.”

“It was the Jew.”

Williams decided to stop paying taxes. He dropped out of the work force and became “a starving artist,” specializing in portraits. His portrait of a young and sunburned David Duke was reportedly sold several years ago for $2,000.

Sin, Valhalla and Divorce

Before joining the Alliance in early 1992, Williams worked for Ben Klassen and his Church of the Creator (COTC, later renamed World Church of the Creator and known today as The Creativity Movement) in the late 1980s. For about a year, Williams and his first wife, Lucinda, lived at the church’s hilltop compound in North Carolina in a two-bedroom apartment above an office where they helped produce Klassen’s monthly newsletter, Racial Loyalty.

Lucinda did the typing. Williams helped with the layout and was named editor, although, as he told Yeager, “I’ve never been much of a writer.” The couple was paid $1,000 a month.

Williams went to work for the so-called church after reading and being inspired by the prolific Klassen’s book, Building a Whiter and Brighter World. But when Williams and Lucinda first arrived at Klassen’s doorstep in the spring of 1988, offering their services to the cause of white supremacy and its twisted religion, they were unmarried. They were living in sin. Klassen insisted that if they wanted to stay they had to become husband and wife.

 They agreed and Klassen officiated at their wedding at the compound. Williams selected what he thought was an auspicious date for the ceremony: August 8, 1988 — 8/8/88.

For neo-Nazis, 88 is the numerical symbol for Heil Hitler.

“It should have been a marriage blessed in Valhalla,” Williams said on “The Heretics Hour.” “But it didn’t turn out that way.”

Williams has been divorced twice.

Scars of Vietnam

In his 10th and last book, Trials, Tribulations and Triumphs, self-published shortly before his suicide in 1993, Klassen devoted chapter 35 to the turbulent time he spent with Lucinda and Will Williams.

Klassen wrote that Williams told him during their first meeting that he had finally found the movement he was looking for.

“All the other racial movements he knew of either embraced, or tolerated Jewish Christianity and he had decided a long time ago,” Klassen wrote, “that he wanted no part of that Jewish garbage.”

But there was trouble in paradise almost from the beginning. Klassen stated that it was clear that Williams “had not recovered from the psychological scars” of Vietnam.

“There were times,” Klassen wrote, “when he talked about it he would be on the verge of crying, and it affected his whole outlook on the world, on the U.S. government, and on his moral attitudes in general.”

Klassen added that Williams “openly admitted he was a con-man, and in fact bragged that you can’t con a con-man.”

Soon after the wedding, Klassen writes, he received a telephone call from the new bride. She was sobbing and pleaded with Klassen to rush over to the apartment and “protect her from Will.”

“They were apparently having one hell of a fight and Will was beating up on her,” Klassen wrote.

He went over and scolded them for getting him involved in their “domestic fight.” He warned the couple that if there was a next time, he would kick them off the property and out of the church.

“Things simmered down after that,” Klassen wrote, “at least on the surface.”

 Williams moved out of the apartment and set up a cot in the downstairs office. About a year after arriving, Williams, as he told Yeager, quit working for Klassen and “went back to the woods.” He was burned out and alone. His wife had left him.

“It was a tough tour,” he told Yeager.

Back to the Future?

In December 2003, responding to a nasty thread about him on VNN, Williams called Klassen’s depiction of their time together “bullshit,” although, he added, “I can’t express how hurt I was by it.”

Williams said he was working for Pierce in 1993 when Klassen’s book arrived at the NA compound in West Virginia. He said he and Pierce reached the same conclusion: “The man had lost it.”

“Klassen’s life was over,” Williams added. “His wife of 45 years had just died; his church had fallen completely apart after I left; he had no help; he couldn’t find a successor. … He was depressed and showing signs of senility, if not Alzheimer’s disease.”

In an E-mail to the Report, Williams again sharply disputed Klassen’s depiction of their time together. “That chapter in Klassen’s last book about me and my wife is nonsense,” Williams wrote, “sour grapes from the Pontifex Maximus, trying to explain why his Church had failed.”

Williams also denied ever beating his wife, as Klassen alleged, or being on the verge of tears about his service in Vietnam or ever describing himself as a “con man.”

He said he did once tell Klassen something his “daddy often advised, ‘don’t bullshit the bullshitter’ — not ‘don’t con the con man.’”

“Klassen,” Williams said, “committed suicide soon after self-publishing that last book — a sad end to the life of an otherwise extraordinary man of his race.”

But Klassen’s main motivation for “trying to destroy my name,” Williams wrote, was because “I had recruited away all the best members of COTC, most of whom I had recruited anyway, to the National Alliance.”

The title of the thread Williams was responding to was “White Will — White Nationalist Hero or Dysfunctional Braggart?”