New York, NY, October 1, 2013 … Once the nation’s largest neo-Nazi group, the National Alliance today is “barely a shell of its former self,” with flagging membership, reduced revenue streams and few remaining supporters, according to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), which monitors extremist groups and movements in the United States.
“The near-total collapse of the National Alliance indicates a significant change in the neo-Nazi movement in the U.S.,” said Marilyn Mayo, Co-Director of ADL’s Center on Extremism. “The movement is not nearly as active; the groups do not have a substantial following and are not attracting many new members. Their leadership has been in decline, and so is the movement as a whole.”
She added: “While other extremist groups, particularly anti-government groups, continue to experience growth in the U.S, the neo-Nazi movement is at its lowest ebb since the 1970s. The National Alliance is barely a shell of its former self.”
Last month, National Alliance leader Erich Gliebe announced in a letter to members that the group would discontinue its membership program and now be “supporter-based” – another sign that this once active neo-Nazi group is now in deep decline and unable to attract new recruits.
Fifteen years ago, ADL designated the National Alliance as the most dangerous organized hate group in America. At the time, the National Alliance was led by founder William Pierce, the racist author of The Turner Diaries, the novel believed to have influenced a number of domestic extremists, including Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh.
At one time in the early 2000s, the NA was believed to have more than 35 active cells from coast to coast and there was evidence of NA activity in about 30 states. National Alliance members were also responsible for numerous acts of violence over the years.
Gliebe took over the NA after Pierce’s death in 2002. At the time he vowed to continue the West Virginia-based hate group’s mission of promoting “Aryan culture and “racial purity,” which included a virulently racist and anti-Semitic ideology.
But 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’s ranks. 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, according to ADL. Recently, Gliebe put the National Alliance’s property in West Virginia up for sale, and his recent moves may well mark the endgame for the NA.