WHITE SUPREMACIST GROUPS AND SKINHEADS

Aryan Nations
Aryan Nations, whose founder Richard Butler died in September 2004, has for many years been America’s most notorious neo-Nazi group, even as it was eclipsed in prominence by larger and better-organized neo-Nazi groups such as the National Alliance. The group virtually collapsed after Butler’s death. Currently, it has a largely inactive faction based in Alabama (although this faction is planning to resurrect Butler’s annual “World Congress”), and a small faction headed by Charles Juba and August Kreis. Aryan Nations has always attracted a small number of racist skinheads as members and, in recent years, Butler spoke at various events organized by skinheads. For example, he appeared at Aryan Fest in Arizona in February 2004. Juba, before he moved to Missouri in 2005, was on good terms with many skinheads in Pennsylvania, including members of the Delaware Eastern Hammerskins, the Keystone State Skins and the Pennsylvania chapter of Eastern Hammerskins. In 2005, one skinhead member of Aryan Nations, Sean Michael Gillespie, was convicted for attempting to firebomb a synagogue in Oklahoma City, the first of a planned series of attacks. More

Creativity Movement/World Church of the Creator
The Creativity Movement, a white supremacist group formerly known as World Church of the Creator before a 2002 federal trademark infringement ruling forced the group to change its name, has always had a large skinhead following. Originally founded in 1973 by Ben Klassen, the group gained prominence in the late 1990s under the leadership of Matt Hale, convicted in April 2004 for threatening to kill the federal judge who ruled against his group in the trademark case. Since Hale's incarceration in January 2002, the Creativity Movement has been in considerable disarray. There are still a number of skinheads around the country active in the Creativity Movement, particularly in Illinois, where Hale was based, and in nearby Indiana. Other areas of racist skinhead Creativity activity include Ohio and Florida. In March 2005, Adam Jacobs, a prominent Creator in Missouri, was arrested on a variety of assault, kidnapping and other charges for allegedly beating his roommate—a new recruit—for ten hours after the roommate talked to FBI agents involved in a murder investigation (which turned out to be unrelated to the Creativity Movement). Jacobs pleaded guilty to second degree assault in August 2005 and received a five year sentence. More

Klan groups
The Klan, which encompasses a wide variety of groups around the country, did not generally appeal to skinheads in the past, perhaps because the two groups differed so strongly in terms of culture, style of dress, and outlook—although their ideologies overlap. However, in recent years, some Klan groups, particularly the Imperial Klans of America (IKA), headed by Ron Edwards and based in Dawson Springs, Kentucky, have reached out to skinheads. The IKA uses age-old Klan traditions and ceremonies, but also promotes Christian Identity teachings. Edwards is aging, but he still maintains the look and demeanor of a skinhead, and is therefore very influential among young skinheads. The group also sponsors the annual Nordicfest on Edwards' property in Dawson Springs, Kentucky, which brings together skinheads from all over the country. In 2005, the racist skinhead group Blood & Honour co-sponsored Nordicfest along with Edwards. A lesser known but active Klan group in Louisville, Kentucky, the SS Knights of the KKK, also attracts skinheads and has drawn some ex-Confederate Hammerskins as members. More

National Alliance
The National Alliance (NA), headquartered in Hillsboro, West Virginia, was for many years the largest and best-organized neo-Nazi group in the U.S. Although the now-deceased founder of the group, William Pierce, and the subsequent leaders, Eric Gliebe and Shaun Walker, have been critical of skinheads (which has led to animosity on the part of some skinheads toward the group), NA units around the country include active skinheads as members. NA leaders have tried to reconcile with skinheads who have been angry over alleged disparaging remarks made by Gliebe. In some cases, skinheads do not join the National Alliance but choose to affiliate with the group.

The National Alliance also owns a white power music company, Resistance Records, whose customer base is largely made up of skinheads. In addition, the group publishes Resistance Magazine, which covers the white power music scene and other topics of interest to skinheads. There are also individual NA members who run businesses whose customer base is mostly made up of skinheads. For example, SS Regalia is a mail-order distributor of neo-Nazi items and skinhead paraphernalia based near Edgewater, Maryland, and run by Steve Smith, a leader in Maryland National Alliance.

In the spring of 2005, dissatisfaction with Gliebe’s leadership among NA membership reached a boiling point, with entire units defecting, many of them to a new organization, National Vanguard, created by former NA leaders expelled by Gliebe and Walker. The NA is currently in a state of crisis, and it is not clear whether it will survive intact, in a changed form, or be completely supplanted by National Vanguard or a group like it. More

National Socialist Movement
The National Socialist Movement (NSM), a neo-Nazi group headquartered in Minneapolis and led by Jeff Schoep, draws unaffiliated skinheads from all over the country, particularly in the Midwest. For example, many independent skinheads in Minnesota affiliate with the NSM, as do independent skinheads in the Cowley County and Lake Afton areas of Kansas. More

The Nationalist Movement
The Nationalist Movement, founded and headed by Richard Barrett, is a white supremacist organization based in Learned, Mississippi. The group has been able to attract a steady, but small, number of racist skinheads. However, his skinhead following is not very active. (See Skinheadz under Mississippi.) More

White Revolution
This neo-Nazi group, based in Russellville, Arkansas, was founded by Billy Roper in September 2002 after he was expelled from the National Alliance. Roper actively recruits skinheads into his organization, and has appointed a number of them to leadership positions in the group. For example, Tom Martin of the West Virginia Skinheads was White Revolution's youth coordinator and is now the group's Webmaster, and Ken Zrallack of the White Wolves, a racist skinhead group in Connecticut, is also the White Revolution contact in that state. One of the reasons for Roper's dismissal from the National Alliance was his desire to involve more skinheads in events sponsored by the group, a move that William Pierce opposed. More




Terror Plot in Tennessee
On October 22, 2008, the Crockett County, Tennessee, Sheriff's Office, along with agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), uncovered and prevented what could have been the deadliest extremist shooting spree in years, designed to culminate with the assassination of Barack Obama.


ADL Reports Resurgence of Racist Skinheads in U.S.
Extremism in America
Hate Symbols Database
Upcoming Extremist Events

CAVEAT: NOT EVERY SKINHEAD A RACIST
The skinhead subculture was not originally racist —and, in fact, today around the world there remain many non-racist or explicitly anti-racist skinheads (often called sharps, for “skinheads against racial prejudice”).



© 2009 Anti-Defamation League