Paoli, IN – One of the most prominent neo-nazi factions in America, the Traditionalist Worker Party (TWP) was led by Matthew Heimbach, a camera-friendly rising star in the far-right lecture circuit who had once trained with mainstream conservative think tanks. Founded in 2013, the TWP grew for several years under the leadership of Heimbach, along with his second-in-command (and father-in-law) Matthew Parrott, who served as the group’s media spokesman and website administrator. The group went on to participate in a series of violent rallies around the country, including the deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville and Richard Spencer’s recent event at Michigan State University, before suddenly dissolving last month.
The group started out with more subtle ‘pro-white’ rhetoric, but over time took a hard-line national socialist stance, forsaking swastika flags but doing their best to advance an openly Hitler-inspired agenda within the wider ‘alt-right’ phenomenon. By using online propaganda, claims of community service programs, and sensational appearances at violent public rallies, the Traditionalist Worker Party had sought to project itself as “the tip of the spear” of a new American Nazi movement. A look inside conversations TWP members had when they thought no one was listening reveals their highest and lowest moments.
Previously unreleased Discord chat logs illustrate the internal workings of the now-disbanded Traditionalist Worker Party. Conversations obtained by Unicorn Riot show over a year of the internal workings of the party, providing a wealth of details regarding the activities, strategies, and dynamics of the neo-Nazi group which, until recently, considered itself the premier white nationalist street force in America. More than eight gigabytes of zipped screenshots are available for download in full below. Sensitive information about individuals targeted by Nazis has been removed.
CONTENT ADVISORY: racism, violence, sexual assault
The chats we obtained show that TWP members at times discussed their activities very loosely, appearing to implicate themselves in activities ranging from harassment and assault to making homemade explosives. Information gleaned from TWP Discord servers shows the geographic locations of its members (scattered throughout the country but concentrated in Ohio, Indiana and Tennessee) as well as its numbers (up to 100 including non-member supporters, with between 30 to 50 Discord users online every day.) The chat records show the timeline of events the group has attended, stretching from Donald Trump’s inauguration to the aftermath of Richard Spencer’s appearance at Michigan State University in March 2018.
TWP’s Discord text messages reveal an incident in November 2017 which threatened to split the party months before its eventual downfall in March 2018. A conflict erupted in the chat when Colton Williams, a hard-line true believer in TWP’s vision of an all-white ‘ethnostate’, became upset that party leadership was making an “exception” and tolerating the involvement of Jones Malone, who he considered a “race-mixer in the party”. Matthew Parrott then attacked Williams, accusing him of starting a “schism” and informed the group that because Malone was with his family before he became a white supremacist, he would be allowed to help TWP on the condition that he understood he and his family would not be welcome in their future ‘ethnostate’.
TWP party officer Tony Hovater also advocated for keeping Jones Malone involved in the group despite the fact his family wasn’t entirely white. “The Jones question is a non issue…” he wrote. “If a person is willing to fight with us for our ethnostate at the direct exclusion of his family then there is no reason to doubt the man.” Parrott then banned Colton Williams from the party’s official Discord server after he repeatedly objected to “allowing active and current race mixers” in “this Party I have devoted so much to and risked so much for.” Colton was later re-added to the Discord chat on orders from Matthew Heimbach, who had been traveling at the time the spat erupted. In a bizarre turn of events, Parrott then announced to the group that he apologized “for my intemperate personal insults against Colton” and resolved to address the conflict by working on “position papers on issue resolution and whiteness issues.”
While the leaked Discord chat logs provide an inside view on the organization’s petty dramas, dysfunctions, and empty promises, it also implicates the group’s members and supporters in serious ways. Months of internal conversations show how the group responded to several dramatic incidents.
The TWP Discord server was used to prepare for Unite The Right in Charlottesville, and many members were also present in the ‘Charlottesville 2.0’ Discord server administered by Jason Kessler and Eli Mosley to plan the event. Chicago-based TWP member Shane Duffy, who posts under the handle ‘AltCelt,’ featured prominently in the Charlottesville planning chat (whose contents we published last year), having repeatedly posted about using cars to run over counter-protesters. A review of TWP chat logs also show that after he was unhappy with Unicorn Riot’s coverage of TWP’s April 2017 rally in Pikeville, Kentucky, Shane Duffy apparently proposed paying to have one of our reporters killed. “I want a bounty on Unicorn Riot,” he wrote on May 2, “really for no other reason than I wanna see him as a black spot. What’s his real name?”
A TWP regional officer for Michigan who uses the name ‘McCarthy’ also figures heavily in both the ‘tradworker’ and ‘Charlottesville 2.0’ Discord servers leading up to August 12. Almost two months before Unite The Right, on June 17, ‘McCarthy’ announced he would be creating training materials for using “shield techniques” in “large scale confrontations.”
On July 23, Matthew Heimbach excitedly announced to the group, “Its gonna be epic. Our official TWP riot shields arrived.” The reinforced shields were a visible presence throughout the day on August 12, including during the brutal beating of African-American counter-protester DeAndre Harris in the Market Street parking garage. Among Harris’s attackers was Jacob Goodwin, who was wearing a TWP insignia armband and carrying a riot shield shortly before he was seen beating Harris.
Later, in December 2017, TWP Ohio member Kam Musser shared pictures of party members in the woods conducting riot training with the same shields. The same Ohio TWP chapter also documented themselves engaging in firearms training.
Messages sent in the TWP server before Unite The Right dovetail with the larger body of evidence suggesting various neo-Nazi groups came to the event intending to engage in violence. “The rally is all fighting ranks whether people realize it or not,” wrote TWP Discord user ‘Furor_Teutonicus‘ on July 14, 2017. After the dramatic, violent series of events surrounding Unite The Right, including the death of Heather Heyer, TWP members celebrated their role in the event and glorified Heyer’s death. “Dead commies is never bad…” wrote TWP chat participant ‘Kombat-Unit.’ “1 dead enemy, 35 injured & 2 dead cops is a win to any true revolutionary…” boasted Discord user ‘Harbinger of Hate’. “Fuck your optics…I’m here to fight a fucking war.”
In the months after Unite The Right, Matthew Heimbach, Tony Hovater, and others in TWP, would attempt to lift up Charlottesville car attack perpetrator James Alex Fields as a political prisoner and a prisoner of war. TWP members were encouraged to write letters and provide financial support to Fields, as well as the various men arrested for beating DeAndre Harris in Charlottesville’s Market Street parking garage. TWP leadership also made a habit of encouraging members to provide and show support for Dylan Roof, the young white supremacist who shot and killed 9 worshippers at a black church in Charleston, South Carolina in 2015. TWP members in Discord chats frequently referred to Dylan Roof as “Saint Roof” and reveled in ‘bowl’ memes containing celebratory references to Roof’s bowl cut.
Messages in the TWP chat server also reveal extensive connections with Atomwaffen, the secretive militant Nazi group implicated in five murders and several bomb plots. While TWP leadership eventually condemned Atomwaffen for their Satanic religious beliefs and kicked several Atomwaffen members out of the TWP server, chat logs also show conversations, relationships, and expressions of collaboration and mutual respect between the two groups.
‘Eulogy’, an Atomwaffen member who frequently engaged in chats in the TWP server, told TWP members how he saw both groups working together to serve a common goal. “Like with us and TWP I see it as a two-pronged attack. We sink the boat, you’re there with the life rafts.” In November 2017 another Discord user, ‘The Inquisitor‘, introduced himself in the TWP chat as “Formerly AWD, currently a free agent looking to help TWP.” “AWD are good friends of ours…” wrote Matthew Heimbach on November 22. “Each of us has their own jobs and duties.” TWP member and frequent Discord poster ‘Hadrian‘ agreed: “I enjoy watching Atomwaffen and they’re my brothers.”
At least half a dozen current or former Atomwaffen members were present and active in TWP Discord servers. Christopher Johnson, TWP regional officer for Texas, shared that he used to organize with Cameron Denton, the now-infamous leader of Atomwaffen who uses the alias ‘Rape.’ “Cameron is my boy,” Johnson posted on August 20, 2017, although he would later clarify on February 11, 2018 that “[Denton] decided to worship Satan and Charles Manson so we are no longer friends.” It would ultimately be religion and ideology that drove a rift between TWP and Atomwaffen, not the use of shootings, bombings, or other extreme tactics. While many in TWP expressed solidarity with Atomwaffen, as evidence of AWD’s leadership’s Satanist views emerged, many expressed a distaste with this direction as TWP is mostly made up of Christians and pagans who consider Satanism a form of ‘Jew-worship’.
The TWP’s Discord server logs are also rife with harsh comments party members had for other white nationalist groups and leaders, including some they were formally allied with. “NSM is a fucking joke,” TWP member Johan Corallo wrote on March 8th about the National Socialist Movement, a neo-Nazi party formally aligned with TWP as part of a coalition called the Nationalist Front. Corallo went on to make an apparent death threat against the ‘Commander’ of the NSM, boasting that he would “choke Jeff Schoep to death with my bare hands.” Months of chats also demonstrate TWP members’ considerable dislike for Andrew Anglin of the Daily Stormer, spending hours complaining about his criticisms of TWP and making memes mocking Anglin. TWP members also disparaged Richard Spencer as being secretly gay and Jewish, and shared a meme showing Matthew Heimbach throwing former Identity Europa leader Nathan Damigo off of a roof.
A disturbing recurring theme in the TWP’s Discord logs was their almost entirely male membership’s obsession with objectifying, stalking, and describing themselves as raping female anti-racist protesters. The chats contain many degrading references to “antifa chicks,” mostly Kentucky-area women whose pictures and personal information were shared in Discord by Cory Smith.
TWP Discord moderator Zaine Deal, aka ‘Fevs‘, who is 18, repeatedly complained about how he hadn’t had sex in years, and would share screenshots of women he saw on Tinder. Women’s Facebook or Tinder screenshots were routinely shared and commented on by TWP members, many of whom encouraged each other to commit rape. In two different discussions regarding pictures of white women they found attractive, TWP party officers Christopher Johnson and Colton Williams encouraged other party members to “rape a white baby into her.” TWP members repeatedly fantasized about kidnapping and raping women anti-racist protesters and joked with each other about how many “white sharia” “war brides” or “sex slaves” they would be allowed to have in their Nazi ethnostate.
A conversation after the Spencer MSU debacle, which would later be deleted, appears to contain alarming admissions by several TWP members. Just a few days earlier, much of the party had been in Michigan for an alt-right conference in Detroit (which ended up getting cancelled) and Richard Spencer’s speech at Michigan State University in Lansing. Pursued doggedly by anti-fascists all over Lansing, the various white supremacist factions in town for the event ended up retreating to the safety of a property being rented by Richard Spencer in nearby Ann Arbor. TWP members throughout the weekend had been tasked with guarding vehicles against vandalism during meet-ups in parking lots. According to their Discord conversations, TWP members concerned about protecting the home where Spencer was staying constructed homemade firebombs, or ‘molotov cocktails’, to be used in the event of an attack by antifascists.
“I fucking love having you at events with your molotovs and smoke bombs from home lmfao,” Jessica Parrot wrote to TWP member Cory Smith on the night of March 8th. “I wonder what Spencer thought of the molotovs on his back porch in the morning,” “Fucking mobile armory here boys,” bragged Smith to the group after Jessica Parrot’s message. “Nigga why’d you have Molotovs?” asked ‘Fevs.’ “Cos antifa had our address,” responded Jessica Parrott. “And there was a back way in through the woods.”
Cory Smith and other TWP members explained to ‘Fevs’ how they used “lamp oil”, “tiki torch fuel” and “expensive NPI liquor” to make molotov cocktails. ‘Hadrian’ seemed to sum up the thinking behind the decision to make the primitive explosives: “There’s woods back there and antifa know the address. Let’s get ready to start a forest fire.” Another chat participant implied that Smith’s techniques in making the firebombs were questionable, claiming that he “would have just immolated himself the way he made his ‘molotovs'”.
After the fights outside the Michigan State University building where Richard Spencer spoke on March 5, different TWP members recounted their own participation in the day’s violence. “I hit a dude and grabbed his neck,” wrote Colton Williams, a party ‘Major’ for the state of Kentucky. “It was another Charlottesville…” said Heimbach’s sidekick Johan Corallo. “I got a black eye and shit. But we beat those nigger loving commies down.” Other TWP members shared news photographs of fights and pointed out themselves as well as those they had hit.
With images of Heimbach and other TWP members brawling with antifascists in Michigan once again making national news, they seemed poised to continue along the path they saw for themselves in creating a new wave of post-Charlottesville street activism. That all came to a dramatic end recently, when the group disbanded after a series of incidents involving domestic abuse and an extramarital affair.
TWP’s years of work seem to have all come crashing down in early March 2018, when Matt Heimbach’s wife Brooke, along with Matthew Parrott (Brooke’s father-in-law) discovered that her husband was having an affair with Jessica Parrott, Matt Parrott’s third and current wife. A confrontation escalated into an incident in which Heimbach choked Matt Parrott into unconsciousness before he fled the scene and called the police, who then arrested Matt Heimbach in his home for allegedly striking his wife Brooke in the face. Shortly after the incident Parrott announced that he was quitting TWP and deleting all the group’s membership information and digital infrastructure, taking its website offline within hours.
In a Discord voice chat shortly after the domestic violence incident involving the Heimbach and Parrott families, the aftermath was discussed by TWP members who were active in the TWP chat server before the server was shut down. They discuss how future problems could be avoided by keeping women out of the white supremacist movement, and by discouraging leaders from having wives or girlfriends. Unicorn Riot was able to obtain a partial recording of the conversation:
Many TWP members were quick to disavow their former leader and jump ship, with several joining the ranks of other nazi groups such as Vanguard America, Patriot Front, or Richard Spencer’s new ‘Operation Homeland.’ In a new Discord server made days after Heimbach’s arrest, former TWP members, led by former Heimbach wingman Tony Hovater, planned to launch a re-brand of their group using the name ‘Nationalist Initiative.’ Others expressed their desire to stay with TWP but lamented that they had never been told by Heimbach who their regional group leaders were, despite repeated promises to put people in touch with their local TWP officers. “I kept hearing that any day now, an email is going to go out telling us who our leadership is,” complained ‘Hadrian’ after the group’s public collapse had begun. “But it never happened.”
TWP members also expressed worry that the party’s leadership had failed to pay their attorneys for costs associated with the civil suits against TWP resulting from events in Charlottesville. “The case against us still stands, and Heimbach NEVER paid the lawyer,” complained TWP member Justin Burger. “He owes like 6 payments. The money in our dues and income just evaporated. It never even went to the lawyer fighting for us in court.”
While the Traditionalist Workers Party officially no longer exists, most of its former members can be expected to continue to be involved in similar activities. The thirteen months of their recorded communications over Discord show the kind of people that are attracted to groups like TWP, and the behaviors they can be expected to engage in in the future.
“If TWP ends North America is fucking lost,” Cory Smith wrote on March 10, just days before the party would publicly collapse in disgrace. “Heimbach knows what’s up, our leadership knows what’s up.” It remains unclear exactly what, if anything, will come from the remnants of TWP, which for several years had seen itself as the cutting-edge vanguard in an imaginary battle to save the white race.
Downloadable .zips of TWP Discord server screenshots (totalling 8.6 gigabytes) are available from Unicorn Riot below.
- Part 1: 2.0GB
- SHA1 checksum= a0f8d2dc3b7ad585c9082e3861b8be025738311e
- MD5 checksum= 7f6631eb9fa874d73ddc0966b0420745
- Part 2: 3.4GB
- SHA1 checksum= 719550064b3a8f18d0cc57b07eb02d6eafc5281e
- MD5 checksum= 3467cff57a8c19ac6143f4d19f0627ad
- Part 3: 3.3GB
- SHA1 checksum= 4c59f7ffd20c05ad51f8944018fb5b0a7228c5dd
- MD5 checksum= febed4a43647a87f6e050de1524a707d
Tech tip: Using ‘
unzip‘ on your terminal command line may be best for file processing. You can fingerprint the files with commands ‘
openssl sha1‘ and ‘
md5‘ or ‘
md5sum‘ . Drag the files into terminal and hit enter: in a minute or two it will verify the files checksums or “fingerprints” match.
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