Volksfront’s leader, Randal Lee Krager, founded the group in 1994, along with three other inmates in an Oregon prison. Although Krager claimed he resigned as head of Volksfront in 2004, he continues to be the main influence behind the group. Krager and Volksfront’s other leaders are based in Portland, Oregon.
Randal Lee Krager
Like many leaders in the white supremacist movement, Randal Lee Krager earned the respect of his peers by committing hate crimes and serving prison time, including two years for his 1992 assault on an African-American father of four who was left paralyzed. Shortly after establishing Volksfront and being released from prison in 1994, Krager pleaded guilty to three counts of first-degree intimidation for phoning three Jewish people and threatening to slit their throats and burn their homes. He was sentenced to 14 months in state prison and 24 months probation.
Krager, who has Nazi “SS” bolts tattooed on the underside of his forearm, cultivates a blue-collar image to gain credibility in the racist skinhead culture, which is rooted in the working-class. In addition to Aryan Fest and other large events, Krager also throws smaller parties to help forge alliances with other racist groups – a strategy that seems to be working. After Aryan Fest 2004, a weekend-long white power rock concert organized by Volksfront and held in Phoenix, several messages posted on Volksfront’s Web site reflected the degree to which Krager’s leadership is appreciated by other hate groups. A representative of the neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement noted the way Krager “delegated his authority…the whole organization walked in the trail blazed by Randy.” A post by a member of Women for Aryan Unity described how Krager “can take on a leadership role and do with with [sic] class, fairness, but be stern!” A representative of the fledgling neo-Nazi group, the National Socialist Skinhead Front, added that “Randy is very focused and has taken VF with fullforce [sic] to become the honorable organization it is today.”
Though Krager announced his resignation as Volksfront’s president in December 2004 and appointed Richard Arden to take his place, his activity and influence in the organization appear undiminished. Krager organized Aryan Fest 2005 in Portland; led a contingent of Volksfront members to Hammerfest in Atlanta, Georgia, in October 2005; and organized the Volksfront 11-year anniversary party.
Late in 2004, Randal Krager announced that he would step down as president of Volksfront and that Richard “Rick” Arden, vice-president at the time, would succeed him. Arden, tattooed with the white supremacist symbols “14” and “88” on respective forearms as well as the crossed-hammers crest of the Hammerskins, accepted the position in an Internet post on the Volksfront forum, and relocated from southern California to be near the group’s headquarters in Portland, Oregon. Krager, however, still appears to be in charge of the group. Arden plays bass for the Volksfront-sponsored white power rock band, Intimidation One, known today as Criminal Culture. Arden also plays in the band Jew Slaughter.
After relocating to Portland to live with Randal Krager, Abbie Chelf, a Christian Identity group adherent, seems to have risen to a role of leadership among the few women in Volksfront circles. She also maintains her involvement with the Florida-based Christian Guard. After a March 2006 fundraiser held by Christian Guard at a Hammerskin event, Chelf wrote online, “On behalf of the Christian Guard, I would like to thank everyone who bought items from us and donated to our fundraiser.”
Chelf has taken to giving advice to members of the group and the white supremacist movement at-large in the Volksfront online forum, and at her online social networking profile. After the 2006 arrest for probation violations of Kyle Brewster, a Portland-area racist skinhead who was involved in the 1988 killing of an Ethiopian immigrant, Chelf suggested in light of Brewster’s activity on the Internet, “I think we all need to keep our profiles as "low-profile" as possible....let's not give the pigs [Chelf’s term for law enforcement] more ammo against us than they allready [sic] have.”
When asked on an Internet forum what her hobbies were, Chelf wrote, “God and Christian Identity, reading and educating myself-especially History, real History, not the Jewish lies...i love white power music.”
In 2005, Volksfront Webmaster Dylan Wheeler, a one-time member of the white power rock band Intimidation One, created a Web site, Folkcom.com, modeled after mainstream social networking sites on the Internet. Within a few months of its launch, Folkcom, short for Folk Community, hosted the profiles of over 2,000 white supremacists nationwide and beyond. Folkcom membership was initially made up of only racist skinheads, but its popularity grew to include Klansmen, Christian Identity adherents, Holocaust deniers, and neo-Nazis. Because many of these right-wing extremists are separated from each other by great distances, Folkcom helped them overcome this obstacle and let them share details about their lives, events and ideologies in an unprecedented fashion – including photographs, music and video files.
In September 2005, Wheeler shut down Folkcom after rumors circulated claiming that Volksfront leaders were spying on Folkcom members’ private messages. Many Folkcom users have since relocated to other online social networking sites.