Two self-avowed white supremacists, Holly Ann Grigsby and David Pederson, are awaiting trial in district courts in Oregon and Washington State for a five-month crime spree in 2011 that included kidnapping, robbery and murder—all in the name of preserving and purifying the “white race.” They are charged under the same racketeering statute that was used by federal prosecutors in 1985 in Seattle, when twenty-three members of The Order were indicted for a murder, robbery and other crimes.
The Order criminal enterprise lasted longer, involved more combatants and was considerably more sophisticated politically than the most recent case. Indeed, the legacy of The Order included multiple Klan, Aryan Nations and neo-Nazi organizations adopting the “white bastion” strategy: trying to create a whites-only republic in the states of the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. Although it had its detractors inside the white nationalist movement at the time, the strategy was promoted widely until the defeat of the militia movement in the late 1990s.
Today, the white nationalist idea of secession, carving out a piece of territory in the Pacific Northwest, is regaining adherents. An uptick in activity in the region, increased discussion of the possibility of establishing a white republic, and the migration of a few white souls into states of Montana and Idaho may be signs that more trouble is in the offing.
In the present era, such a proposal is rooted in a frank admission of failure. The Aryans are without a strong organizational vehicle. There is little of the cross-organizational cooperation similar to that of the Klan-Aryan Nations-neo-Nazi axis of the late 1980s. As such, the Tea Party movement—not white nationalism—has become the principal vehicle for white opposition to President Obama and racial equality.
Moreover, this strategy is undercut by the fact that its main proponent, Harold Covington, is considered an anathema by most other white nationalists. Born in North Carolina, he became a National Socialist, moved to Southern Africa in the early 1970s to pursue his politics there, then returned to North Carolina as a member of the National Socialist Party. He tried to establish a home in England, but was quickly found out by Searchlight magazine. Moving again and again, he finally settled in Washington State and became in the new millennium a propagandist for the cause of an Aryan republic in the Northwest. Today he is the eminence gris behind the Northwest Front and the author of four “revolutionary” novels.
The Northwest Front maintains a small cadre of individual members dotted across the states of Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington and its website is devoted to encouraging others to move into the region. But Covington’s long history of bitter personal attacks on men, like William Pierce, who are universally admired by most in his movement, virtually guarantees that his ranks will remain small and thin. Also, Harold’s tendency to treat himself as the only serious player in the room generally leaves a bad aftertaste for those who do try and work with him. The fact that The Occidental Quarterly reviewed his books and pronounced him to be a brilliant writer and the smartest National Socialist leader since George Lincoln Rockwell says less about Covington, and more about the lack of common sense in the Quarterly’s ranks.
No thanks to Covington, Aryan-types have remained in the region. Followers of the so-called Creativity religion invented by Ben Klassen have lived there for some time. Volksfront originated on the Oregon-Washington state border two decades ago to become a trans-Atlantic white power skinhead confederation, before burrowing underground after the Wisconsin skinhead murder spree this summer. Remnants of the Aryan Nations, such as Karl Gharst, remain a danger; in Gharst’s case making repeated threats to the Montana Human Rights Networkk, which has labored long and hard to stem the racists and anti-Semites in that state. Elements of the militia movement persist as well.
The idea of creating a white bastion is back. One of the threads on the Stormfront website that discusses moving to the Northwest has 112 pages of comments. Further, a number of high profile white nationalists have recently been drawn into the region—particularly Montana. Stewart Rhodes, an attorney associated with the Posse Comitatus-like organization Oath Keepers, recently moved into the state. So did Chuck Baldwin, formerly of sunny Florida. Baldwin made a name for himself as the presidential candidate of the Constitution Party in 2008. Richard Spencer, executive director of the National Policy Institute and creator of the Alternative Right website also moved in. Most vocally, Californian April Gaede moved into Montana.
Gaede, a one-time member of William Pierce’s National Alliance, is a talented organizer. More than a decade ago she began promoting her twin girls, Lynx and Lamb, as the Aryan songstresses Prussian Blue. After mainstream news sources started covering the duo as a novelty act—singing Skrewdriver anthems at meetings across the country—April Gaede gained a certain notoriety as well. Today, however, the National Alliance that gave Gaede a platform is all but gone. And the twins, now grown up young ladies, have eschewed their mother’s politics in favor of multi-racial liberalism. Today, Gaede is promoting a strategy called Pioneer Little Europe.
Unlike Covington’s Northwest Front, the Pioneer Little Europe strategy does not demand obeisance to one organization or ideological permutation. It is purposefully organizationally non-specific. And it does not require one to move into the Northwest, but encourages the creation of all-white enclaves anywhere in the country. As such, it builds on the already-existent tendency towards white flight among a sector of the population..
It is making its first, most-concentrated appearance in Montana, however. And it is the Montana Human Rights Network that will be most in need of the support and resources necessary to counter Pioneer Little Europe.