After achieving the status of being the largest neo-Nazi group in the United States in June 2006, tensions and bickering within the National Socialist Movement (NSM) led to a number of key members either resigning or being expelled from the group the following month. Some of these members, including former media liaison Bill White and former chairman Cliff Herrington, went on to form their own neo-Nazi organizations, although it is doubtful that either one could attract a significant membership.
Even though the NSM lost some members, it continues to actively recruit new individuals to the group and hold rallies across the country. Despite low turnouts at rallies in the summer and early fall of 2006, the NSM has teamed up with various Klan organizations to co-sponsor events and bolster attendance at them. The group also continues to promote its online radio shows, including a new one for women, and its white power music company, NSM88 Records.
Bill White forms the American National Socialist Workers Party
Not surprisingly, Bill White, who had been the NSM's media liaison and a spokesperson at a number of NSM rallies, was behind some of the tensions that escalated within the group in the spring and summer of 2006. Standing in his Nazi uniform, White often represented the face of the NSM to the media, especially after he acted as the group's spokesperson when a planned NSM march led to riots in Toledo, Ohio, in October 2005, and attracted national media attention. Along with his media savvy, White is known for spreading propaganda and lies about his perceived enemies, including other white supremacists. He has made a number of disparaging remarks about the Vinlanders Social Club, an umbrella organization of racist skinheads, which contributed to a brawl between members of the NSM and the Vinlanders at Nordicfest, a white power event in Kentucky in May 2006. White's taunts against the Vinlanders and others in the white supremacist movement led many extremists to question why the NSM kept him on as a leader.
In early July 2006, NSM leaders Jeff Schoep and Cliff Herrington gave White a 30-day suspension and reprimanded him for his disruptive behavior and attacks on other members in the white power movement. White claimed that he then resigned from the group; NSM reported that he was expelled for his insubordination.
White subsequently established a new group, the American National Socialist Workers Party (ANSWP). Although the group appears to have few active members (White claims that the ANSWP has 6 state units), other NSM leaders did join the ANSWP. White appointed Michael Blevins, also known as "Vonbluvens," who had been the director of NSM's "office of information," and Gary Nemeth, the former leader of the Tacoma, Washington, NSM chapter, as deputy commanders of the ANSWP. Blevins is now the ANSWP state leader in Florida; Justin Boyer, who had been the leader of the Seattle, Washington, NSM chapter, is now the ANSWP Ohio state leader. White claims that his ouster led to the dismantlement of the NSM chapter in Virginia (which he led), and those in Florida and Washington state, as well as the resignation of numerous NSM state and unit leaders. In his new self-appointed position," White still spreads anti-Semitic and racist propaganda, and has started a magazine called National Socialist: Journal of the American National Socialist Workers Party.
As soon as he was no longer a member of NSM, White began a propaganda campaign against the group and its leaders. In August 2006, he also decided to bring a lawsuit against the NSM, accusing the organization of libeling him; the suit is still pending.
Cliff Herrington forms the National Socialist Freedom Movement
Cliff Herrington, the former chairman of NSM, also experienced problems with the NSM in the summer of 2006. First, Bill White reported that a Jewish group had made an assassination attempt against Herrington by planting a bomb in Herrington's car in a Tulsa, Oklahoma, parking lot in July—an allegation that quickly faded from public discourse. Days later, word leaked out, reportedly through an anti-hate group, that Herrington's wife belonged to a "satanic cult" and was using the same P.O. Box for her group that was used by the NSM unit in Tulsa, run by her husband. Many NSM members, who consider themselves Christians, expressed anger that anyone associated with the NSM would have ties to a satanic cult. Although Herrington claimed that he had nothing to do with satanists, some NSM members demanded that Herrington cut all ties to the group. When that reportedly did not happen, NSM leaders announced in July 2006 that Herrington had "retired" from his duties. In a subsequent angry statement, Herrington made it clear that he felt that he had been forced from the NSM due to a "coup d'etat" and claimed that he still retained his position. In the statement to fellow white supremacists, he declared, "I am the Chairman of the NSM in perpetuity until voluntarily, or by natural Or unnatural means as so relived [sic]. I cannot be fired & I was not." Herrington too, claims to have created a new group, the National Socialist Freedom Movement and a new magazine, NSMonthly Journal.
NSM spearheads a new World Union of National Socialists
In early September 2006, the NSM formally announced that it was reviving the World Union of National Socialists (W.U.N.S), which had been established by George Lincoln Rockwell, the founder of the American Nazi Party, in 1962. The NSM considers Rockwell, who was assassinated in 1967, one of its inspirations. The idea behind W.U.N.S. is that member neo-Nazi groups around the world will retain their own sovereignty and national identity, while sharing the goal of "a National Socialist State within our various Homelands." In its press release, the NSM stated that it intended to bring together national socialist groups worldwide "as an International bulwark against International jewry [sic], and all other enemies of our collective Cultures." In order to spearhead this effort, the NSM is planning on hosting and building a Web site for all groups that are interested in joining W.U.N.S. This lofty goal from NSM is another sign that it sees itself as the leading neo-Nazi group in the United States, capable of uniting various factions around the world. However, the NSM's own upheavals in the short time that it experienced a spurt in growth and membership demonstrates that it will be difficult for the group to achieve its stated goal.