NSM Increases Activity and Scope
Posted: June 27, 2005
Between the fall of 2004 and the spring of 2005, the National Socialist Movement continued to expand by creating additional chapters, conducting rallies and literature distributions and by using technology to reach potential recruits. The group also vowed to run a National Socialist candidate in the 2008 U.S. presidential election. Because other neo-Nazi groups such as Aryan Nations and the National Alliance have disbanded or fallen apart in 2005, the NSM is trying to position itself as the leading neo-Nazi group in the country.
In 2005 the group opened new chapters in Indiana, Kansas, California, Massachusetts, and Canada, and gained new members, most likely due to the demise of other neo-Nazi groups. In addition, in 2004 the NSM absorbed a Portland, Oregon, racist skinhead group, the Tualatin Valley Skins, into its ranks. NSM also focused on recruiting teenagers through its Viking Youth Corps, and by joining forces with neo-Nazi Gary Lauck to advertise free computer games geared to youth with names like "Concentration Camp Rat Hunt," "Nazi Doom,” and "Ghetto Blaster." The group also appointed a new national director for its women’s division. Female members, dressed in Nazi regalia, are pictured prominently next to male members in photos the group took at the NSM National Conference in April 2005 in Kansas City, Missouri. Also in full Nazi dress at the conference was a former Fairleigh Dickinson professor, Jacques Pluss.
NSM has also expanded on the technological side, by offering more sophisticated features on its Web site, particularly streaming online radio, downloadable leaflets that can be printed out and distributed, online copies of the group's newsletters, and a "news service" geared to white supremacists. Additionally, in an effort to fill the void left in the world of white power music by the demise of the Panzerfaust music label and the decline of Resistance Records, the group has created its own white power music label, NSM Records, and offered its first release for sale on its Web site in June 2005.
In 2004 and 2005, the NSM focused on distributing racist and anti-Semitic leaflets around the country. Local NSM members circulated leaflets in the Minnesota cities of Minneapolis, St. Paul, and Richmond, and, through the Tualatin Valley Skins, in multiple locations in the Portland area. NSM also did a joint flyer distribution with another racist skinhead group, the American Thule Society, in Boyertown, Pennsylvania, in May 2005. The group clearly wants to increase its membership by working with racist skinheads.
NSM also sponsored or took part in various “white unity” rallies. In July 2004, an NSM rally in Lincoln, Nebraska attracted about 30 supporters and 400 counter-demonstrators. In September 2004, the group held one of its biggest and most publicized rallies in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, to protest against what it described as the "unchecked immigration" that is "breeding us out of existence," as well as the war in Iraq. The rally included speakers from the Klan and attracted about 100 white supremacists and 200 counter-demonstrators. After the Valley Forge rally, NSM leader Jeff Schoep seemed to gain more influence within the white supremacist movement, as he was invited by numerous Klan leaders to speak at various rallies promoting white unity. He spoke at a Scottsboro, Alabama, White Pride Fest hosted by the National Knights of the KKK in November 2004, and was one of the speakers at a white supremacist rally in Laurens, South Carolina, in March 2005, sponsored by Klan groups and NSM. Schoep was also a featured speaker at Nordic Fest, a white power music festival sponsored by the Imperial Klans of America and Blood & Honour that was attended by more than 300 white supremacists. The cooperation between the NSM and the Klan was not one-sided. Jeff Schoep invited Klan leaders to speak at NSM’s June 2005 rally in Yorktown, Virginia.
NSM also announced that it would get involved in mainstream politics by running National Socialist candidates in the 2008 U.S. presidential race and in other elections. The group formed a political action committee called PAC 88 in March 2005 “to pool resources to help elect pro-White candidate's [sic] for federal, state, and local office who demonstrate a positive concern for the issues relating to the survival and well-being of White American's [sic]." To gain publicity and attract attention, NSM also participated in two clean-up actions; one in an adopt-a-road program, which resulted in a sign with the group's name being erected on a public thoroughfare near Salem, Oregon, and the second in Cadillac, Michigan, where local NSM members participated in the clean-up of a city park and received a citation of thanks from the town's mayor.
NSM is clearly trying to position itself as the preeminent neo-Nazi group in the United States., At this point the NSM has the benefit of greater stability and leadership than other U.S. neo-Nazi groups, which have suffered from factional infighting and leadership deaths. However, its potential for growth may be more limited than that of some other neo-Nazi groups because of its emphasis on openly wearing Nazi regalia, which many white supremacists would refuse to do, and because of the relatively cruder and less sophisticated nature of its racist and anti-Semitic propaganda.