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The ties that bind: hypocrisy at the foundations of the Nationalist Front

A series of scandals in the Nationalist Front — and a long-running and well-documented hypocritical streak on the part of leadership in the neo-Confederate League of the South (LOS) — has revealed a willingness on the part of president Michael Hill to look the other way when both allies and his own troops fail to meet his supposed moral standards.

While allegations of grifting, pederasty, S&M fetishes, petty larceny and “race-mixing” are hardly news on the far-right, the rumors and allegations that members of Nationalist Front member organizations have failed to live up to their own moral code begs the question: what, if any, values do they still cling to?

The Nationalist Front — a collective of far-right organizations including the LOS and neo-Nazis in the Traditionalist Worker Party (TWP), Vanguard America (VA), and National Socialist Movement (NSM) — has been one of the most prominent and visible groups clamoring for the spotlight in the Trump-era political arena. Its members were integrally involved with the most sustained violence on the ground in Charlottesville, Virginia, during last year’s Unite the Right Rally, with the NF member organizations leading the charge.

While each group in the front has, in their respective bylaws, taken a stance that decries a government that “legalizes the murder of the unborn, takes away state sovereignty, makes homosexual ‘marriage’ equal to the traditional family, and nullifies any ability to reform this system,” few have been more outspoken than Hill.

Although the first item listed under the League’s “Core Beliefs Statement” is its commitment to “the tenets of our historic Christian faith” and that it “acknowledges [that faith’s] supremacy over man-made laws and opinions;” Hill has several times compromised the beliefs he states in “The League and Theocracy.”

“There is really only the choice between pagan law and Christian law and nothing else. There is no neutral position where one can comfortably sit. The God of the Bible specifically forbids pluralism (“Thou shalt have no other gods before me,” Ex 20:3) He is not one bit interested in sharing dominion over this Creation with the ungodly,” Hill wrote.

But the Nationalist Front has bound the League to many who don’t share Hill’s conception of Christian morality, among them Kevin Cottle and Derrick Davis of the TWP, and the NSM’s Jeff Schoep.

Hatewatch recently documented the existence of a profile that features Cottle, a security contractor and Rhode Island TWP member, on the website, a website that caters to BDSM fetishes such as those listed by Cottle’s “Dark1976” profile, namely “Curious about bisexuality, Anal Training, BBW (big beautiful woman) Submission, and Gay Sex and Male Bisexuality.”

Cottle is not the lone “traditionalist” among TWP’s ranks who appears to have proclivities that run counter to the tenets of “faith, family, and folk” touted by founder Matthew Heimbach. Online posts have circulated featuring Richmond, Virginia, member Derrick Davis wearing eyeshadow and women’s clothes and stating that he sometimes “get[s] bored” with wearing traditional men’s attire.

On his Twitter account, Davis lists himself as a “TWP Quartermaster,” something of a high-level regional leader. Davis clearly has Heimbach’s faith, as he served as Heimbach’s “personal security detail"  during the group’s march into Charlottesville. He has also felt emboldened enough to mock members of other groups, calling members of the ultra-violent Rise Above Movement, for example, “kiddos” on Twitter.

Matthew Heimbach and Derrick Davis. (Source: The Indianapolis Star.)

While Schoep, NSM commander, has not turned up on any S&M dating sites, he has his own past history of legal and racial indiscretions, including burglary and raising a daughter with a woman previously married to a black man, the latter a cardinal sin on the racist right. Heimbach has also apparently flaunted the movement’s race laws.

A “Cesar Adolfo Hess” once listed himself on a Facebook profile as a “Regional Coordinator at Traditionalist Worker Party.” “Cesar” included a Facebook profile picture of himself arm-in-arm with Heimbach at a rally held in Pikeville, Kentucky, held in April 2017. “Cesar” appears to be wearing the official TWP uniform for the rally. The white supremacist gossip mill has for months now bandied rumors that Heimbach and Matthew Parrott had been allowing non-whites into their group. “Cesar’s” Facebook profile seems to evidence that not only does TWP allow non-whites into their organization, but they are also comfortable with them holding high-level positions.

This is surprising, as Heimbach recently lambasted Andrew Anglin and his Daily Stormer over its connections with Andrew “Weev” Aurenheimer to Newsweek. Allegations of Aurenheimer’s “Jewish descent” led Heimbach to tell the magazine that “Jews cannot be part of the white nationalist movement, just as a white man can’t be a part of a black-nationalist group like the Nation of Islam.

Parrott dismissed questions about “Cesar” when Hatewatch contacted him this week.

“There are many millions of white Hispanics throughout Latin Ameirca,” Parrott said. He added, “We stand behind our members and officers against this garbage gossip. These incidents have been carefully reviewed by our central commmittee. Needle-d---ing the private lives of our thousands of members and supporters is proof that we're not actually guilty of serious offenses you rats routinely accuse us of.”

While it is easy enough for Hill to decry the goings-on in other organizations, the League itself has a messy relationship when it comes to maintaining a consistently applied code of conduct.

Late last year, LOS members took to social media to criticize former KKK leader Bill Riccio, aka William Davidson, who had been a League member for a number of years. Hill apparently overlooked long-standing allegations of Riccio’s past as an informant and pederast. While many among Hill’s membership railed against Riccio’s inclusion for months, it took almost a year before Riccio was kicked out of the League.

Were these violations of far-right sexual mores by League members and their Nationalist Front allies not enough, the League’s very association with Neo-Nazi’s and their necessary belief in the tenets of national socialism has long been pilloried by Hill as non-Christian.

In “The League and Theocracy,” Hill decried social entitlements, writing “All that Caesar requires in return is that he be worshipped as the source of true salvation (Oh! Give us this day our daily bread, father Welfare State”).

The shared belief among members of VA, TWP, and NSM in a robust welfare state (for whites) does not appear to present any significant stumbling block for Hill despite such strong statements. 

It has been a long road of self-discovery that has brought the League to its current status at the forefront of the “hard right.” Just as Davis, Cottle, Schoep, and Riccio have found latitude within the confines of far-right morality to experiment with their own preferences, Hill has been fairly carefree in the relationships he has sought.

Throughout the League’s existence, Hill has staunchly maintained that “the south was right” and has been more than forthcoming in his belief that the Civil War was indeed fought over slavery, even acknowledging that “the Confederacy seceded and fought a war because the North intended to apply to the blacks the tenets of the Declaration of Independence pertaining to all men being equal and in possession of certain rights, the ‘self-evident’ phrase.”

Michael Hill, the League of the South, and the Nationalist Front’s driving animus was on display in Charlottesville, Virginia, when they piled into counter-protesters, fighting with any and all who engaged them. The clearest espousal of their belief system came towards the end of that day when members of the League and Nationalist Front were among those who beat a young black man named Deandre Harris in a parking garage.

At the true core of the League of the South’s union with the Nationalist Front — beyond the cell phone and news cameras capturing the violence in which they revel — lies a rank hypocrisy that is emblematic of the League and its commitment to its stated beliefs.

Hill has accepted numerous transgressions throughout the years, each flying more and more flagrantly in the face of his beloved League’s values. Rather than a conviction born out of a devotion to scripture or some notion of “southern culture,” Hill has displayed a commitment to one lasting principle — that of racial violence and attention-seeking that comprises a dangerous reciprocity. Any other claims about “politics, culture, society, and economics” are merely costume and pageantry.

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