The National Alliance (NA), once the largest neo-Nazi group in the United States, has ceased to function as a membership organization.
In a September 6, 2013 letter to members of the white supremacist group, NA chairman Erich Gliebe states that the organization will now be “supporter based.” Gliebe claims this decision comes after consulting with the organization’s board of directors and key members and supporters.
In reality, Gliebe, who took over the leadership of the NA in 2002 after the death of its founder William Pierce, has overseen a steady decline in the group’s membership. The NA, which had about 1,500 members in 2002, has only a handful of active members today.
Gliebe’s lack of leadership skills and charisma, as well as his seeming poor judgment and apparent financial mismanagement, led to tremendous strife and disaffection within the NA. The group split into various factions in the mid-2000s and continued to lose members throughout Gliebe’s reign. In addition, the NA stopped publishing magazines and ceased operations of its once-profitable white power music company, Resistance Records.
The move to a “supporter-based” organization appears to be a face-saving device from Gliebe to detract from his many failures. In his letter to members, Gliebe characterizes the move to a supporter-based organization as a “step forward for the organization,” which will lead “to a brighter future.” Gliebe also optimistically requests his now-former membership to convert their membership dues into monthly donations of the same amount.
White supremacist Jim Ring, who resigned from the National Alliance in 2012, posted Gliebe’s letter on a website he created to oppose Gliebe. Ring also gave an interview in the September 2 edition on the American Free Press, an anti-Semitic conspiracy-oriented newspaper, in which he called Gliebe both incompetent and dishonest. Ring blamed Gliebe for the group’s demise and claimed Gliebe personally profited from the sale of Pierce’s gun collection and timber on the NA property.
Recently, Gliebe put the National Alliance’s property in West Virginia up for sale. Gliebe’s moves may well mark the endgame for the National Alliance.