After his release from prison, Stern founded Racial Reconciliation Ministries, an organization dedicated to promoting conversations between people of all races and resolving the wounds of racial conflict. Speaking around the country and working with groups across the country.
“I have personally targeted eradicating the (Ku Klux Klan) and the National Socialist Movement, which are two organizations here in this country which have all too long been given privileges they don’t deserve,” Stern said in a video posted to his website.
In January 2016, using the power of attorney he received from Killen, Stern filled a Declaration of Dissolution to disband Killen’s Ku Klux Klan branch.
Sterns appears to have been targeting the NSM for years. His connection with the former KKK head also led to a 2014 “race summit” with Schoep. The two men kept in limited contact over the years, with Stern convincing him to drop the swastikas from the NSM logo.
In 2017, he wrote that he met with Schoep to “sign a proclamation acknowledging the NSM denouncing being a White supremacist group.”
“This is a start in the right direction and any one that stands in the way of this is really the Racist, don’t say you want change and you don’t give the racist a chance to change. He was thought to be a racist he can learn not to be one,” Stern wrote on his website.
Schoep Facing Financial Ruin
Stern and Schoep reconnected in December to discuss another summit. But when Schoep called in January, “he was concerned and scared,” Stern told the Daily Beast. “He told me he was having problems … He told me for the first time about the lawsuit going on in Virginia.”
The NSM was among a group of White supremacists that marched en masse in Charlottesville, VA in 2017. But what racists planned as a coming-out moment turned deadly when a neo-Nazi drove a car into a crowd of anti-racist protesters, killing one.
More than a half-dozen white supremacists have been convicted for attacks in Charlottesville, and dozens of racist individuals and organizations named as defendants in Sines v. Kessler, a sprawling lawsuit by powerhouse lawyer Roberta Kaplan. Schoep is named in the lawsuit as an individual, and implicated again in his capacities with the NSM and fascist supergroup Nationalist Front, both of which are also defendants.
When legal pressure against the group escalated in January, Schoep signed over all its leadership positions to Stern, in a bid to avoid a court case. Now Stern is taking a legal sledgehammer to the organization.
Lawyers for the plaintiff in Sines v. Kessler have asked the court to Schoep. They say he has ignored his obligations to turn over documents and give them access to his electronic devices and social media accounts. They also claim Schoep recently fired his attorney as a stalling tactic.
Since taking over, Stern has agreed to surrender NSM documents for the discovery process (lawyers for the plaintiffs previously accused NSM of stalling the discovery process) and filed a motion for summary judgment “which is basically the NSM pleading guilty.
“It is the decision of the National Socialist Movement to plead liable to all causes of actions listed in the complaint against it,” he wrote.
Recently, Schoep made an attempt to save face by releasing a press release informing members Hart is not affiliated with NSM in any capacity, announcing his own retirement from the organization he led for more than two decades and appointing NSM’s former Chief of Staff Burt Colucci as NSM’s new commander.
But according to the Daily Beast, affidavits, court transcriptions, and recorded calls suggest Schoep was in on the plan. After Schoep signed over the rights to the NSM, Stern asked him to sign an affidavit explaining the decision. Stern also shared phone calls with Schoep, which he says he recorded with Schoep’s knowledge.
Sources: splcenter.org, Wikipedia, the Daily Beast and the Associated Press.