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|Submitted||Dec. 24, 2016|
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To Whom It May Concern:
This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act. I hereby request the following records:
Records relating to or mentioning Traditionalist Workers Party, which is a white nationalist group that advocates for racially pure nations and communities and blames Jews for many of the world’s problems. Even as it claims to oppose racism, saying every race deserves its own lands and culture, the group is intimately allied with neo-Nazi and other hardline racist organizations that espouse unvarnished white supremacist views.
In 2013, Matthew Heimbach — a young rising star in the white supremacist world who had led the White Student Union at Towson University in Maryland — joined with Matthew Parrott to found a white nationalist group they dubbed the Traditionalist Youth Network (TYN). Featuring a blog and a podcast, the group’s mission was “to provide resources and support to independent groups of high school and college students throughout North America who are learning about the Traditionalist School of thought” — a reference to an ideology that calls for a return to “traditional” values, including the central claim that nations should be racially and culturally homogenous. Heimbach and Parrot went on, in 2015, to create the Traditionalist Workers Party (TWP) as the political wing of the TYN.
The TWP’s goal, according to a platform statement on its website, is this: “While we have candidates for political office and will run campaigns, that work is secondary to our first priority, which is local organizing and advocacy for real-life working families who share our identitarian and traditionalist vision.” (Identitarianism is a closely related ideology that emerged in recent years in Europe.) The group uses the slogan “Local solutions to the globalist problem,” a reference to the idea that globalization, the knitting together of nations and national economies throughout the developed world, is destroying racially homogenous communities and nations.
The TWP/TYN is part and parcel of the American “Neo-Nazi,” an umbrella term for a racist ideology that scorns mainstream conservatism and argues that white people and white culture in America are under threat from the forces of political correctness and multiculturalism. It is also “traditionalist” and “identitarian.”
The group’s version of “traditionalism” has its roots in the “radical traditionalism” espoused by mid-20th century Italian “philosopher” Julius Evola, a fascist thinker who believed that Jews were to blame for the modern materialism and democracy that he thought subverted the natural order of the world. The TWP website includes the group’s definition of traditionalism: “Traditionalism, properly applied, makes us as autonomous and self-governing as possible in relation to the modernist societies that we live in.” It defines traditions as “positive cultural interactions that have existed over a long period of time” and says “those traditions have existed for a long time, because they work. They have formed European-American mores.” The traditionalist ideology sees adherence to those “mores” as the best way to organize society, and argues that a traditionalist lifestyle can successfully supplant the state, since “the family is the natural enemy of the state.”
“Identitarianism” refers to a movement that emerged in recent years in France that advocates for culturally and ethnically homogenous communities and blames liberals for selling out their country. Generation Identitaire, the youth wing of the anti-immigrant Bloc Identitaire movement in France, is known for its racist and xenophobic anti-Muslim stunts, like serving soups containing pork in Muslim neighborhoods. The ideology has its roots in the European New Right, or Nouvelle Droite, founded by French academic Alain de Benoist, who advocated against melting-pot societies and immigration while claiming to oppose biological racism.
The TWP positions itself as being in favor of diversity — what it terms “ethnopluralism.” But what it means by that word is a diversity of nations around the globe that are each racially and culturally homogenous. In a section on its website defining the term, it says that “ethnopluralists argue that the liberal multiculturalism is false, as it promotes a melting pot which leads to the disappearance of ethnicities, cultures or races through miscegenation and therefore is in fact monoculturalism.” TWP is against racial intermarriage, no surprise given its platform statements.
The “Folk” section of the TWP platform puts the group’s white nationalist views, and associated anti-immigrant vitriol, clearly on display. It says that communities should be able to determine their own “religious and ethnic character” without government interference, that American 14th Amendment birthright citizenship should be revoked, and that the borders should be secured with National Guard troops. One platform plank, “Stop Discrimination Against Whites,” claims that “our government is stacking the deck against White families,” and says that TWP “opposes all racial quotas in education, hiring, and government contracts.”
Heimbach himself is an Orthodox Christian, and the TWP has a clear Christian bent (it claims to want to end “anti-Christian degeneracy”). This is a departure from European Identitarian ideology, which is less focused on Christianity. In the “Faith” section of its platform, the TWP calls for “religious freedom,” but this translates to advocating for discrimination in the name of religion: “If a business owner’s conscience compels him to serve one customer instead of another or refuse to sell a particular product, then the state should not interfere.” The “Family” section of the TWP’s platform also promotes a definition of marriage that is molded by “clergy and local tradition,” takes a strict anti-abortion stance, and advocates for “traditional” gender roles, with women staying home to care for children if possible. The TWP’s anti-gay stance has at times has led to conflict with others on the Neo-Nazi who want to include white gay people in the movement. When Heimbach wasn’t invited to the white nationalist National Policy Institute’s fall 2015 conference, it was rumored that it was because of his anti-gay views. (National Policy Institute leader Richard Spencer has waffled on the issue of LGBT inclusion to avoid alienating potential supporters on either side of that issue.)
The TWP is blatantly anti-Semitic. In part of its “Folk” section, subtitled “Regulate Foreign Lobbies,” it airs the ancient “dual loyalty” claim about Jews: “The State of Israel has a large and powerful Jewish population in America, many of whom are more loyal to Israel than they are to America.” The theory that Jews are not fully loyal to the U.S. is a common anti-Semitic trope and is also demonstrably false. In an April 2012 poll by the Public Religion Research Institute, just 4% of Jews said a candidate’s stance on Israel determined their vote. By contrast, a 2015 poll by Bloomberg Politics found that 58% of born-again Christians said they would support Israel even when it went against American interests. So-called “Christian Zionists” support Israel because they believe it is a key player in the biblical End Times.
Similarly, in a 2015 blog post, Heimbach writes: “All nationalists, regardless of ethnicity, should stand united against our common foes, the rootless international clique of globalists and bankers that wish to dominate all free peoples on the Earth.” The reference is a classic anti-Semitic phrase that actually reference to Jews.
While the TWP is unquestionably part of the radical right, it also departs from the views of many such groups with its criticism of capitalism and its endorsement of environmentalism. It supports government assistance and social programs, albeit for white people. It is staunchly anti-abortion, for example, but simultaneously calls for “expanded adoption assistance, expanded welfare and social service assistance for unwed mothers, and even more assistance for wed mothers and their husbands.” It opposes trade deals, saying they benefit giant corporations instead of families. And in a December 2015 blog post — titled “Learning from Europe: How Our Nationalist Movement Can Enter the 21st Century” — Heimbach endorses economic “third positionism.” That refers to a rejection of both capitalism and communism, a position espoused by Nazi leader Gregor Strasser (later assassinated by fellow Nazis who didn’t agree), who Heimbach quotes: “We must take from the right nationalism without capitalism and from the left socialism without internationalism.”
Heimbach goes on to at least nominally reject “white supremacy,” calling it a “neo-colonialist fixation on ‘greater’ and ‘lesser’ evil people.” In this regard, Heimbach diverges from the academic racists who spend their time trying to prove the intellectual superiority of white people. “A nationalist movement historically and today is based on love of ones [sic] culture, Identity, traditions, and ethnic extended family, not hatred of other groups simply because they are different,” he writes. He even sharply criticizes the seminal neo-Nazi novel The Turner Diaries, which gleefully describes a race war and the extermination of non-whites, Jews, gay people and “race-mixers,” and attempts to frame white nationalism as an anti-colonial struggle aligned with oppressed peoples around the world. Immigrants should leave the U.S., Heimbach says, not because they’re inferior, but because they “just don’t belong here.” When someone commented on the post, saying that Heimbach ought to acknowledge the superiority of whites to other races, Parrott replied and challenged him, arguing that “there’s no objective metric of societal value.”
But none of this has kept the TWP from close alliances with white supremacists.
In fact, Heimbach has been associating with neo-Nazis and Klansmen for years, even before the formation of the TWP. In 2013, he praised neo-Nazi David Duke and joined a cross and swastika lighting hosted by the Aryan Terror Brigade, the Imperial Klans of America and the National Socialist Movement. That led to his brief expulsion from the League of the South, a neo-Confederate white supremacist group trying to appear more moderate, though he was reinstated shortly after.
The fraternization with neo-Nazis and their ilk has continued under the banner of the TWP. In June 2016, The Barnes Review, a journal specializing in Holocaust denial, announced a partnership with TWP and TYN, giving their members a discounted subscription rate and several free books with their order, including Russia and the Jews and A Straight Look at the Second World War. In a website posting, the TYN praised The Barnes Review as an “esteemed revisionist publication which has been cutting through the bias and distortions to get to the historical truth for decades.”
Shortly afterwards, in July 2016, the neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement (NSM) announced that the TWP had joined its Aryan Nationalist Alliance (ANA), a coalition of white nationalist organizations. The ANA was first unveiled by NSM leader Jeff Schoep in April 2016, and its list of member organizations includes neo-Nazi, Klan, and racist skinhead groups. The mission statement of the ANA uses many of the same talking points as the TWP: it claims that the ANA is a “legal and non-violent anti-colonialist movement” whose members “reject racial supremacy and racial hatred.” But that is plainly nonsense — the NSM says on its FAQ page that “[c]ommon sense tells us that there are obvious real physical differences and history shows us there are fundamental differences between the races that drive the White Race to be the most advanced and progress producing race on earth.” Likewise, the ANA mission statement quotes Nazi collaborator Leon Degrelle as saying, “National Socialist racialism was not against the other races, it was for its own race.” Anyone with a passing knowledge of history knows that claim is entirely false.
Why does the TWP make alliances like these? In a 2013 essay, Matthew Parrott says that while he finds “much to admire and respect in contemporary Black American, Latin American, and Jewish culture,” his work “doesn’t exist in a vacuum, devoid of historical context. I’m opposed to usurious Jewish bankers, just like Hitler. I’m fed up with negro criminality, just like the first Klan. I’m proud of my racial identity, just like Dr. William Pierce [the late leader of the neo-Nazi National Alliance]. I share Anders Breivik’s commitment to push the Muslim invaders out of our Western homelands.” In 2011, Breivik murdered 77 of his countrymen in Norway, many of them children, because he thought they were enabling Muslim immigration.
In fall 2015, the TWP named the first candidates to represent the party: Tony Hovater, a candidate for city council in New Carlisle, Ohio, and Tom Pierce, a candidate for county commissioner in Knox County, Tennessee. Hovater didn’t win a seat. By 2016, Pierce was advertising himself as an “independent” candidate, though he’s still espousing white nationalist views on his Facebook page: “There is no country allowed solely for the White, Christian. I say the Appalachian Bible Belt is our country and if we do not act to secure it then we will not survive.”
In summer 2016, the TWP announced its first endorsement, for Rick Tyler, a candidate for congressman in Tennessee. Tyler is known for putting up billboards that say “Make America White Again,” which prompted outcry among locals and calls for boycott of the restaurant Tyler owned. The TWP pledged to help Tyler with his campaign, with Parrott writing that Tyler’s campaign was “an unexpected opportunity to achieve a national impact in our party’s first election cycle.”
However, as the group’s website says, running and endorsing candidates is just part of what it does. Heimbach has mentioned that the TWP aims to have regional meetings in addition to monthly local meetings, to distribute a quarterly publication to members, and to hold community events and demonstrations. By summer 2016, it had at least seven chapters around the nation, including in Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, the mid-Atlantic, Indiana, and Texas. During the first half of 2016, the TWP warmly praised GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump.
“Donald Trump is blowing the dog whistle for White racial interests harder than any other candidate, and louder than the Republic elites would ever dream a candidate would do in our politically correct age,” Heimbach wrote in a blog post in fall 2015. He said he would be campaigning for Trump because, “While Donald Trump is neither a Traditionalist nor a White nationalist, he is a threat to the economic and social powers of the international Jew.” Elsewhere — in a March 2016 speech to members of the white nationalist Council of Conservative Citizens — Heimbach called Trump a “gateway drug” for white nationalism. “We can then move [Trump supporters] from civic nationalism and populism to nationalism for us,” he said.
Despite the TWP’s talk of nonviolence, Heimbach attended a Trump rally in Louisville, Ky., where he was seen repeatedly shoving a black woman, 21-year-old Kashiya Nwanguma. In April 2016, Nwanguma joined two others in suing Trump for inciting violence at his rallies; Heimbach was also named as a defendant. In July, the authorities charged Heimbach with misdemeanor harassment in the incident.
In June 2016, the TWP held a rally for “Faith, Family, and Folk” in Sacramento, Calif., with the Golden State Skinheads and Blood & Honour America Division, both racist hate groups. Violence erupted between the racists and counter-protesters almost immediately, leaving nine people hospitalized, only one of them a white nationalist. (Neither Parrott nor Heimbach were present at the rally). Police officials said later that the counter-protesters had started the violence.
Please conduct a search of the Central Records System, including but not limited to the Electronic Surveillance (ELSUR) Indices, the Microphone Surveillance (MISUR) Indices, the Physical Surveillance (FISUR) Indices, and the Technical Surveillance (TESUR) Indices, for both main-file records and cross-reference records of both HQ and all field offices for all relevant names, agencies, organizations, companies and events including but not limited to those cited in the previous paragraphs and/or links as well as a cross-reference with the Southern Poverty Law Center to include any information provided by the SPLC. My request includes but is not limited to 137, 157, 176, 177, 183, 184, 188, 214 and 266 files. If previously released records are available, then I request a rolling release consisting of those records while additional records are located and processed for release.
I am a member of the news media and request classification as such. I have previously written about the government and its activities for AND Magazine, MuckRock and Glomar Disclosure and have an open arrangement with each. My articles have been widely read, with some reaching over 100,000 readers. As such, as I have a reasonable expectation of publication and my editorial and writing skills are well established. In addition, I discuss and comment on the files online and make them available through the non-profit Internet Archive, disseminating them to a large audience. While my research is not limited to this, a great deal of it, including this, focuses on the activities and attitudes of the government itself. As such, it is not necessary for me to demonstrate the relevance of this particular subject in advance. Additionally, case law states that “proof of the ability to disseminate the released information to a broad cross-section of the public is not required.” Judicial Watch, Inc. v. Dep’t of Justice, 365 F.3d 1108, 1126 (D.C. Cir. 2004); see Carney v. U.S. Dep’t of Justice, 19 F.3d 807, 814-15 (2d Cir. 1994). Further, courts have held that "qualified because it also had “firm” plans to “publish a number of . . . ‘document sets’” concerning United States foreign and national security policy." Under this criteria, as well, I qualify as a member of the news media. Additionally, courts have held that the news media status "focuses on the nature of the requester, not its request. The provision requires that the request be “made by” a representative of the news media. Id. § 552(a)(4)(A)(ii)(II). A newspaper reporter, for example, is a representative of the news media regardless of how much interest there is in the story for which he or she is requesting information." As such, the details of the request itself are moot for the purposes of determining the appropriate fee category. As such, my primary purpose is to inform about government activities by reporting on it and making the raw data available and I therefore request that fees be waived.
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To Whom It May Concern:
I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Dec. 24, 2016. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.
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The request was received on 01-03-2017 (actual date request was scanned into the FOIPA Document Processing System) and assigned FOIPA Request Number #1363986-000. The request was closed on 01-09-2017. Correspondence indicating a no record response was mailed to your attention on 01-05-2017.
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02/16/2017 04:45 PM FOIA Request: DOJ-AP-2017-002357
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