After a black civil rights advocate took over the neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement (NSM), Kynan Dutton had enough.
Dutton, the Tennessee state director for the Michigan-based organization, publicly resigned from the long-standing racist group, taking shots at longtime commander Jeff Schoep on his way out the door.
Dutton posted a meme featuring Schoep with the words “race traitor” imposed on his forehead and the words “Outsmarted by a J------ N-----” and “N----- Slave Movement” across the photo.
“Racial treason will not go unpunished,” Dutton wrote March 2 on VK, the Russian social media equivalent of Facebook.
Dutton’s departure came just weeks after Schoep signed over the legal rights to NSM to James Hart Stern, a California man with no prior legal ties to the group. The move appears to have come as a surprise to NSM members – and the group’s attorneys – and opened the door for other outfits to attempt to swoop in and pick off NSM members to swell their own rolls.
Now, League of the South and the white nationalist ShieldWall Network have made public overtures to NSM members in advance of a rally scheduled for March 9 in Little Rock, Arkansas, involving Neo-Nazi Billy Roper, the League of the South and the Neo-Confederate Hiwaymen.
As other groups openly recruit members of the NSM, the organization’s future is a murky mess.
A secret deal
Schoep was 21 when he took control of the violence-prone group in 1994.
About four years ago, Schoep met Stern, who runs Racial Reconciliation Outreach Ministries, at a conference where race was discussed, according to Stern. That initial conversation spurred the two men to discuss the Nazi swastika used on the NSM flag and logo. The NSM removed the swastika and replaced it with an Othala rune in 2017. It’s a move Stern took credit for on his blog.
Fast forward to January 2019. Stern filed paperwork with the Michigan Secretary of State to take control of the NSM and take the title “president/director.” The legal move ousted Schoep but went unnoticed until reported on Hatewatch on Feb. 15.
And apparently no one in NSM, outside of Schoep, knew about the change in leadership.
Stern told Hatewatch that multiple group members called him after seeing the news.
“They’re trying to figure out what’s going on here,” Stern said.
Stern said he plans to keep control of the group legally and reconstitute it.
“My goal is to get rid of hate groups,” Stern said.
After chatting with Schoep, Stern said the NSM leader talked of disbanding the group. Instead, Stern suggested transferring it to him. Simply dissolving NSM, Stern said, would allow a follower to reconstitute it under the same name and continue the same activities.
“A black man now controls the website, the organization, the podcast,” Stern told Hatewatch. “It’s mine.”
Schoep didn’t return emails seeking comment and stayed quiet until March 1. That’s when he posted a somewhat disjointed message on VK, saying, “I was deceived,” and calling the transfer “fraudulent.”
In the same statement, Schoep announced his resignation as commander of the NSM.
Along with taking over the group, Stern fired two attorneys representing the NSM in a federal civil lawsuit stemming from the events around the deadly “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017. Stern then took the nearly unprecedented step of filing a motion on behalf of NSM accepting full liability for everything alleged in the lawsuit.
Schoep also fired his attorneys in the same lawsuit.
The idea that a black man is leading a neo-Nazi and white supremacist organization is anathema to members. It is also causing other groups to start to pick at the remains of the organization, chasing NSM members with offers of inclusion in other organizations.
Matthew Heimbach, who briefly served as the community outreach director for NSM before leaving in November, said he isn’t entirely sure what happened, but there had been a split between Schoep, group leaders and members over the organization’s direction.
Heimbach, whose Traditionalist Worker Party crumbled in a sex scandal in 2018, sees the current turmoil as the end of NSM in its current form.
Other organizations, especially the neo-Confederate hate group League of the South (LOS), appear ready to take on anyone looking to leave NSM.
Jason Merritt, a self-described “Southern nationalist,” made a recruiting pitch to Dutton to join the LOS.
“We can guarantee no non-whites!” Merritt wrote in a note to Dutton on VK. “I know the wounds are fresh, but give us a call when you feel the time is right. No pressure, Brother.”
Belle Boyd, another self-described “Southern nationalist” in Phoenix made a similar pitch to Dutton with an offer to email him an info packet.
NSM member Ramsey Randall, who posted a meme of Schoep saying “Wanted for Treason” on VK, told Boyd to contact him.
“Belle, pm me for my email I also just lost money to the n----- lover,” Randall wrote.
Roper, the Arkansas white nationalist, has also been making a pitch for NSM members. He posted a meme on VK saying: “Draw a hard line. Stand in one, too,” above a photo of men holding shields and spears with the legend “Nah, Bro … We’re not signing over NOTHING!”
Johan Carollo, a former Traditionalist Worker Party member, also took to VK to pitch Roper’s organization, the Shieldwall Network, as a landing spot for NSM members.
“Want an organization that will be there for you and you can be proud to be there for it?” asked Carollo. “Well look no further. The Shieldwall Network is here for you. Growing our folk, defending our race, keeping the struggle pure.”
Burt Colucci, the former chief of staff to Schoep who now claims leadership of the NSM, isn’t giving up on the organization’s future. Colucci plans to return the swastika to the NSM logo and is planning to battle Stern for control.
“He has not taken over the group, Colucci told the Detroit Free Press. “He’s a paper tiger. … He definitely needs to be removed from the organization.”
Some NSM members appear ready to move on.
Dutton posted on VK on Tuesday that Schoep’s move likely cannot be undone:
The explanation gave no course to remove the negro. Just to carry on under the pretense of ‘it will be ok?’ This is the course of c---- and fools. I refuse to be led like a sheep to slaughter. That is exactly what is being orchestrated. The remaining membership is subject legally and otherwise to the will of a negro. No matter how much it’s denied. Antifa won.
Others are joining Dutton. Jared Daniel posted March 1 that he’s leaving NSM after Stern’s ascension and Schoep’s decision to turn the organization over to him.
“Sadly, I will not support the NSM. He knew what he knew,” Daniel wrote on VK. “There is a lot of people talking about If you’re a national socialist they just started some serious shit.”
And, others, including Roper and League of the South, will continue recruiting former NSM members.
Photo illustration by SPLC