The Traditionalist Workers Party, a white nationalist group, came to an end in March as Poolesville native and founder Matthew Heimbach allegedly choked his father-in-law and group co-founder David Parrott to the point of losing consciousness in an Indiana trailer park.
He is due in court to face charges in September, but the charges against him kept him from attending the “Unite The Right 2” rally in Washington, D.C. this weekend.
Heimbach, considered one of America’s leading white nationalists, believed in creating a pure white ethnostate, and blamed the Jews for the Crucifixion of Christ. He first gained notoriety for founding a white student union at Towson in 2012, and for assaulting a protester at a Trump rally in 2016.
In a prior interview, Heimbach described his ideology as being “100-percent socialist, 100-percent nationalist,” and said Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini helped inspire his move to white nationalism. His organization made an appearance at the Charlottesville rally last year, the same rally in which 32-year-old Heather Heyer died when a car, allegedly driven by 21-year-old James Alex Fields Jr. of Ohio, plowed into a crowd of counterprotesters.
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Both Parrott and Heimbach retreated from public life after the choking incident.
“I’m not a position to be politically active; I have failed at my goals,” said David Parrott. “I’m not in the position to be a political voice anymore. I’ve been humiliated and disgraced and am now retreating to my private life.”
Heimbach said he would not attend Sunday’s “Unite the Right 2” Rally, in Washington D.C., but had no comment when asked if he is still involved in the white nationalist movement.
The Traditionalist Workers Party had been one of the better known white nationalists groups to come out of the alt-right movement.
The Traditionalist Workers Party collapsed after Matthew Heimbach apparently had an extramarital affair with his mother-in-law, Jessica Parrott. He is accused of choking her husband, David Parrott, when Parrott allegedly confronted Heimbach about the affair. The organization’s website, Twitter and Facebook accounts have been taken down. The only remnant of the group led by the man the Southern Poverty Law Center once compared to David Duke is a website for the Tennessee chapter of the movement.
A member of the Tennessee branch said they are no longer affiliated with Heimbach, and that the blog is only active for “posterity’s sake.” The group said that former members are not involved with anything associated with Jordan Kessler, the organizer of the Unite the Right Rally.
According to police reports, Matthew Heimbach had been having an affair with David Parrott’s wife, Jessica, which she broke off. Heimbach’s wife, Brooke Heimbach, and Jessica Parrott planned to set up the hate group leader, and see if he would attempt to sleep with her after they said the threemonth affair was over. Matthew Heimbach then apparently tried to sleep with her, and David Parrott, who was watching the encounter, confronted Heimbach, which led to the choking incident that left David Parrott unconscious.
When David Parrott awoke, his wife told Matthew Heimbach that they needed to find Brooke Heimbach, because she had a recording of the incident on her phone.
Matthew Heimbach then assaulted his wife, David Parrott’s stepdaughter, when police came to arrest him. He attacked his wife in front of his two young sons, ages one and three. All the parties involved in the case had their occupation listed as “White Nationalist” on the police report.
Brooke Heimbach filed a petition for dissolution of marriage in April, according to the Orange County Circuit Court in Indiana. A GoFundMe donation page, titled “Help Brooke and the Boys start over,” raised $4,639. David Parrott filed a petition of dissolution of his marriage that same month. Matthew Heimbach’s jury trial for one count of domestic battery committed in the presence of a child less than 16 years old and one count of battery is scheduled for Sept. 20.
According to court documents, David Parrott took down the party’s website on March 13, the same day the police report in Matthew Heimbach’s assault case was filed, and claimed to have “scrubbed” the information on the party’s membership. The same day he announced on Gab, a social media site frequented by members of the alt-right, that he had quit the party. The Virginia District Court for the Western District of Virginia prohibited him from deleting any additional information, due to his involvement in Charlottesville. Besides being a co-founder, Parrott functioned as TWP’s director and chief information officer.
According to Daryl Davis, an expert on hate groups, infighting is a common thread among hate groups.
“When you hate a lot of people, you hate yourself, and it comes back to bite you,” said Davis. “White nationalists get a little taste of power when they become a leader, and then someone else sees that and wants that power for themselves. You have too many leaders, and they all can’t agree.”
According to the Federal Election Commission, the group raised $14,250, in a two-year period between 2017 and 2018.
According to Davis, this number is not a paltry sum but is not an immense one either, putting TWP in the middle of the pack as far as funds are concerned. Davis said he did not consider Matthew Heimbach to be a massive problem, as he lacks the organizational abilities to be a top-tier leader.
“Matt Heimbach has lost his biological family. He’s already screwed that up, he’s screwed up his marriage, he can’t keep anything together,” said Davis. “He’s still dangerous, but he’s not that big of a deal.”
Davis said he believes that Matthew Heimbach will return to the political sphere.
“He will reinvent himself,” said Davis. “He thrives on that notoriety.”