My Interview with Matthew Heimbach

Matthew Heimbach (far right) at a meeting of the neo-Nazi IKA (Imperial Klans of America) meeting. Note the Nazi swastikas present.

Matthew Heimbach (far right) at a meeting of the neo-Nazi IKA (Imperial Klans of America) meeting. Note the Nazi swastikas present.

Many of you have read my previous open letters to Their Eminences Archbishop Demetrios of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, Chairman of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops, and Metropolitan Joseph of the Antiochian Archdiocese, Vice Chairman of the Assembly, urging them to take specific action to reiterate that Matthew Heimbach is not a member of the canonical Orthodox Church in America. In my hour long phone interview with him this morning, Heimbach freely admitted that he does not commune in America, but that his spiritual father is an unnamed priest of an unnamed jurisdiction in Europe (he would not specify which country). A senior ROCOR priest confirmed with me that he has spoken with Heimbach numerous times and that ROCOR does not have the authority to “lift” an excommunication put out by the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese. Here is my wide-ranging interview with Heimbach. Emphasis on my part is in bold.

Phone interview with Matthew Heimbach

June 26, 2015, 10:00-11:00am EST

1) RH: You’ve publicly said that you consider the suspected Charleston shooter Dylann Roof a “victim” of a society that supposedly hates white people. Isn’t it grossly offensive to the memory of the victims of the Charleston shooting to call the alleged killer of nine innocent people a “victim”?

MH: ABC News quoted me out of context. They showed thirty seconds, the inflammatory part, of what was a thirty minute interview.

RH: Still, you called the alleged killer a victim….

MH: The Charleston shooting is a tragedy being used for political cheap shot [by white liberals]. I actually went there [to Emanuel AME church] to lay flowers in front of the church and pray for the victims of the shooting. I met with members of the black community there and they were very respectful. They appreciated me talking with them. I didn’t see any other white people doing it. I see it as very important to condemn this tragedy. What Dylan Roof did was absolutely horrendous. I would say there is a moral equivalcy between young marginalized whites [who become radicalized] and marginalized Muslims who resort to radicalism and terrorism.

2) RH: You have publicly said you support “white power” in an ABC interview. What does this concept mean to you?

[Avoided answering the question directly]. I truly believe in local solutions to local problems. A majority black community should have a majority black police force that reflects the community, so the black community would be empowered in places like Ferguson, Missouri, so that they’re in charge of their own school systems, their own law enforcement…. that would stop racial tension. I want white people to be in charge of white communities.

3) RH: Why do you see the solution to racial tensions as dividing people, segregating them from each other?

What I’m asking for is not to force everyone to live separately, but freedom of association – to have the option of self-segregation. [Nationwide], we’re at some of the highest level of segregation ever now. When people have the opportunity, they generally choose to live among people like themselves. All I’m asking for is the right for white communities to be able to do the same. I’m just asking that whites be allowed to have homogeneous communities. There is no homogeneous white identity.

[White self-segregation is good because it enables you] to be able to not have your culture and your identity displaced. Good fences make good neighbors.

4) RH: In a public ABC interview, when asked “Are you a racist?”, you responded: “Sure? So what? It’s natural.” Are you a racist, Matt?

I asked them to specifically clarify what their definition of a racist was. The definition they gave me was if I believed that there were any differences [emphasis MH] between racial groups and if I had a special pride in my ethnic community, and for that, I said, “yes, under that definition, I consider myself a racist, it’s natural”. Every person I think should have pride in their ancestors, but not hate their neighbors.

5) RH: You were excommunicated from the Antiochian Orthodox Church in 2014. I have read Fr. Peter John Gilquist’s letter to that effect. A priest high up in the ROCOR [Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia] also confirmed that you are denied communion in ROCOR churches. Where, if anywhere, do you take communion?

What I can say is that I was excommunicated from Antioch. [I personally believe] my excommunication was lifted by ROCOR. My spiritual father is a priest in Europe who has the support of his bishop, so it’s sad that I have to go overseas

I’m not a Phyletist. Fr Peter John Gilquist saw that I brought non-white co-workers to Vespers and Liturgy to his own church. I’ve literally been bringing non-whites to his church in the hopes that they convert to the Faith. I’m not a Phyletist, I’ve never been a Phyletist. My political views are about changing things politically, not the Church. I don’t put ethnicity above the Church. It really bothers me that I tried to dialogue with Bishop Anthony for months, and he refused to speak with me. I’ve condemned phyletism on several occasions.

6) RH: It’s no secret, my bishop is His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of ROCOR. Who is your bishop?

I won’t name names.

7) RH: You have publicly expressed your support for Romanian fascist activist Corneliu Codreanu. I have read numerous anti-Jewish statements made by Codreanu. He referred to Jews as mosquitoes. Do you agree with his anti-Jewish views?

[MH took issue with me calling Codreanu a fascist].

I think that Codreanu and his legions were actively supported by the [Romanian] Church at the time. If I’m standing on the same level with Fr Justin Parvu, who supported the Legions, then I stand behind Codreanu and I stand behind his statements. Fr Justin Parvu, on his way to sainthood, was a member of the Legion.

I’m not asking everyone to become a nationalist, I’m not asking to transform the Orthodox Church into my vision. What I’m asking for is to simply be allowed to exist in the Orthodox Church with my vision.

8) RH: Most Orthodox Christians worldwide do not support political Zionism, but we do not hate Jewish people. We support the State of Israel’s right to exist. You seem to believe in a worldwide Jewish conspiracy of some kind. Please tell me more about that.

In regards to ethnic Jews – I am an anti-Zionist. My inspiration to be anti-Zionist came from Middle Eastern Christians. I used to be an ardent Zionist who believed the Zionist narrative. It wasn’t til I met with Arab Christians that I changed my mind.

When it comes to the “Jews”, quote unquote, I pray for their salvation, I pray for their return to Christ, we’re called to bring the Gospel to all nations. Following St John Chrysostom and St John of Kronstadt, I have to acknowledge that the Pharissees have continued to wage a war against Christianity in rebellion against God for the past 2,000 years.

I would reference the Black Hundreds, supported by St John of Kronstadt and St Tsar Nicholas II…

Regarding the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, I do believe it is a genuinely accurate portrayal of tactics used against Christian civilization. St Tsar Nicholas II is the one that backed the printing of hundreds of thousands of copies of the pamphlet throughout Orthodox Russia. The Crown was directly funding groups like the Black Hundreds to get Russians to support the monarchy against Bolshevism. The Protocols were an important document in Russian history that the Tsar thought the people should read.

9) RH: Tell me about your immigration views. Aren’t we a nation of immigrants? Your last name is German, at some point your ancestors immigrated here. Even the first Native Americans crossed the Bering land bridge thousands of years ago.

[Never directly answered the question]. America as a proposition nation is truly the first proposition nation in human history. Prior to America every nation was based around a single tribe with shared values. America is truly an aberration. By indulging in these Enlightenment era philosophies – the Enlightenment era that was anti-monarchy, anti-hierarchy, anti-nation – we see that with the spread of the French Revolution and America to a certain extent. America from the beginning as in rebellion against traditional forms of government, traditional community. America seems to be in rebellion against the civilizational basis of every other society.

What I would say first and foremost is that we [white separatists] have totally lost, the battle for immigration is already over. What I want to see – what I truly believe will bring racial reconciliation – is to allow communities and states and regions – to Balkanize and have their own nation-states on the American continent. Many regions, especially the Southwest or the Deep South – that if they were to create their own independent nation-states would have a pretty ethnically homogenous population. I’m not asking for change within the church, but a political change.

I support the right of self-determination which I believe could lead to secession. While I support Russia in most things [such as the Crimean annexation], I support the Chechens’ right to secession. [Mentions the Scotland independence vote, the Catalans in Spain]. This isn’t a fringe idea. My people – white people—and all people should have this right [to secede]. Specifically, I identify as a Southerner from a small Southern town in Maryland.

10) RH: You identify as a “White separatist”, meaning you support white people’s self-segregation from non-whites. Doesn’t this interfere with Christ’s Great Commission to baptize and make disciples of all people? I know many Orthodox Christians who are non-white. What would you say to them?

I support a political solution to these problems which would allow for the right of self-determination. I want to see the entire world become Orthodox. What I’m asking for is a political solution. I am an Orthodox Christian, yes, but at the same time, say in Greece, Golden Dawn members can go to liturgy with PKE, the communist party in Greece, and they remember the important line of the liturgy “lay aside all earthly cares”. I want the church to be open to everyone of political persuasion and ethnic background. God-willing, all of the American continent will become Orthodox.

We couldn’t have black Orthodox churches, we are a catholic Church, a universal Church. I don’t want to bar anyone at the door,. I don’t want to stop interracial couples from coming into the Church. If I were to ever push to deny someone the mysteries of the Church, that’s putting so much judgment on my soul.

If we had separate nation-states, I believe if Orthodoxy were to grow in America, the idea of having autocephalous churches – Southerners have a very distinct culture, and to be able to dream of an autocephalous Dixie Church would be amazing. That would depend on conversion and the politics of the time. The Church is not supposed to be political.

11) RH: You have attended numerous events with Neo-Nazis present. Do you consider yourself a neo-Nazi? You say you support the fascist Codreanu. Why, if you don’t consider yourself a neo-Nazi, do you praise them?

I don’t consider myself a neo-Nazi. Codreanu is my largest inspiration and the Legions. The Legion’s mission was to save souls through the revitalization of the Orthodox Church in Romania.

I do not identify as a neo-Nazi. I consider my biggest spiritual inspiration to be the Legion of St Michael the Archangel. When I went to Romania with my wife, when I got to talk to some old timers who remember the Legion, I saw humble and loving Orthodox Christians who were willing to suffer torture for decades in prison.

12) RH: People aren’t trying to hurt you. No one is trying to force you out of the Church. We want you, we want everyone, in the Church. All we are praying for is that you abandon your racism. If you do that, the Church will show you mercy. Would you consider abandoning your racist views and conforming your mind to the Church?

First and foremost, it’s most important to be able to find a way to reconcile myself to the Church in America. I feel like the biggest problem has been miscommunication. Not a single bishop has sat down with me and discussed these issues.

13) RH: Why, if you claim you are not a phyletist, did Fr Peter John Gilquist publicly excommunicate you?

I can’t speak for Fr Gilquist, — the call for my original excommunication came from Bishop Anthony, Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest. He was the one who ordered my excommunication. A prayer vigil that my group was holding in Bloomington, Indiana, in which there was a slut walk walking down the street, the local anti-fascist activists attacked us….we were attacked on the street. My friend, Thomas Buhls, an Iraqi war veteran, was physically attacked. I grabbed the attacker off of my friend. He was literally punching my friend in the face, and I grabbed him in a headlock to pull him off of him. Then, after we had been attacked by these people, they took my cross, spit on it, and broke it. I have video evidence of this. We stood on the corner for the next hour and prayed the rosary for these men. We did not respond with more violence, but with prayer. I never beat him with the cross. The man was wearing a mask.

14) Will you try to be reconciled to the Church? Would you consider changing your views, which the Church has condemned as racist and unacceptable?

If I’m in heresy, I want to know it and repent. If I’m not, let me in communion. I had gone to Greece and Romania and visited several monasteries in both countries, to meet with different priests. My wife and I honeymooned in Greece and Romania. We stayed with a priest who put us up with his family in one of those countries. What I was told over and over again was that this would not be happening in Romania. They said you sound like you live under communists.

28 thoughts on “My Interview with Matthew Heimbach

  1. Ryan, if it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck. Heimbach runs with the Nazis; YouTube has plenty of video evidence of him with the National Socialists. I think you need to get away from waffle-wording by using intellectual-theological descriptors like “phyletism” and point him out to be the racial war-mongering scum that he is. I’m surprised you didn’t dig a bit harder on the lifting of the excommunication by ROCOR. First of all, that’s not how it canonically works. If Bishop Anthony imposed it, Bishop Anthony or someone in the chain higher than him has to lift it. I don’t doubt that he was told what he was told in Romania, a country which despite being ‘Orthodox’ still recently experimented with AIDS cures by injecting orphaned children with live viruses. I thank the Lord daily that we have no mandatory acknowledgment of all saints, because the Romanians have a track record for some really specious ones. As far as his comments on the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” go, he is right – it was one of Nicholas II’s favorite books, a fact that causes me to choke on my coffee whenever someone adheres to the silly notion that – like that priest in Britain last week – that somehow Nicholas II was not dumber than a box of hammers. It was forged by Nicholas’ secret police, and widely propagated by the Russian orthodox Church. Enough rant. Frankly, I believe Heimbach needs less understanding and more “right hand of Christian fellowship” applied to his head.

    • “I’m surprised you didn’t dig a bit harder on the lifting of the excommunication by ROCOR. First of all, that’s not how it canonically works. If Bishop Anthony imposed it, Bishop Anthony or someone in the chain higher than him has to lift it.” Heimbach’s answer speaks for itself, Werner: he is outside of the Church. ROCOR did not lift his excommunication. I spoke with senior ROCOR bishops who told me that it is still in place.

  2. “I don’t consider myself a NAZI” is weasel-wording. Trying to make out as if “racism” means pride in ethnic heritage is weasel-wording. The problem here is there is no public repentance shown in the interview, so no reason to think the public scandal he has created is healed. He needs to go to the doctors who assigned his penance for doctoring … not search for backward country priests who will approve his dalliances. Also, I think there is a canon that speaks to obedience to the laws of the land. Calling for the destruction of the nation into tribal ghettos is not obedience to US law but possibly sedition. While it is not the business of readers on the topic to pretend to make a spiritual diagnosis of the man, the words sound very much like double-mindedness.

    • “backward country priests who will approve his dalliances” Letting your own prejudices show, friend.

      “Calling for the destruction of the nation into tribal ghettos” Like what the Greeks, Serbs, Bulgarians and Romanians did to the Ottoman Empire? Pretty sure the Church blessed the nationalists who rose up against the Turk…

  3. Orthodoxy isn’t a democracy. If he disagrees with his bishops decision to excommunicate him he can appeal to his metropolitan. Then the patriarch. The reality is you don’t get a hearing. Due process is a legal term not a religious one.

    Jurisdiction hoping is also kind of uncool. He wasn’t excommunicated from the antiochian church, he was excommunicated by the orthodox church as a whole.

    • Exactly, Thomas! That’s an important point to consider. When one jurisdiction excommunicates you from the Orthodox Church, the epitemia applies to *all* canonical Orthodox jurisdictions. Which is why I believe MH’s spiritual father in Europe (he refused to name which jurisdiction) is a schismatic Old Calendarist Romanian priest.

  4. There are photos of this guy doing more than just talking about being a separatist. Like posing with a confederate flag in from of a MLK memorial, also in front of Dr. King’s church. All the while smiling. That’s some slap in the face antics.

  5. America is not the first propositional nation. any ancient empire once it started taking in non ethnic origin citizens like Rome did became propositional. Christianity is in fact the closest thing to a propositional nation, since it is same faith, same God, same no Greek Jew barbarian male or female but all one in Christ Jesus, and our citizenship is not any tribe or nation state here but the Kingdom of Heaven.

    so called white civilization depends for its superior qualities of philosophy and science and technology on foundations laid by mostly non white ancient civilizations. (or brownish.) it is worth preserving, but who is to do the preserving, what color or ethnic origin they are, does not matter. “white civilization” is a propositional concept, a bunch of things that are not ethnic in nature but happen to be heavily European in past centuries.

    In fact, many elements of this “white civilization” such as Italians and slavs with their Turkic related looks (all from same origin in Scythia and Russian steppes) would not have been
    considered white by the WASPs (White anglo Saxon Protestants) who were the backbone of the KKK and similar efforts.

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  10. The original views of the Iron Guard, the Legion of the Archangel Michael is way different from what you may find anywhere on the internet. At the very beggining they start as a anti-comunist movement, their main propose was to keep the cultural heritage of romanian culture alive and not getting destroyed by the comunist party. They also have a great apreciation to the Royal Famlily of Romania, they always claim that Romania should return to sozerainty as thei have a deep respect for the King Mihai of Romania who was forced to leave the country during the comunist era. Their affiliation with the nazi party was purely a win win situation. The Iron Guard may share some anti zionist thoughts but they were and still are a pro activist group who fought for what is right for the people of Romania. The affiliation with the Orthodox Church, i think, was assambled only becouse the comunist party tried to forbidden the existance of any religious organizations, so, as they were/are a pro activits who support the original cultural heritage of Romania they fought for that too, so people could have a free will, the opportunity to choose between beeing religious or not. If you dont belive that they are a pro activist group search on google about the fights from Pungeşti from the winter of 2013, there was no racial clame, the fight was only about anti Chevron and anti the system, you may not find any claims that they were there, but be sure that i know many people who been there from the Iron Guard, they didnt care if their name will be heard again. Everything you know about the Iron Guard were written by the comunist party, as i said above, their affiliation with the nazi party was a win win situation, as the comunist party was sending many Iron Guards members in jail for trying to opose the comunist party, and at that time is was already 1940. Their best option agaisnt comunism was the nazi party. I cant deny the terrible things that they did but they fight for something different than this shitty safe zoned white american.

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  12. This whole post looks a bit like you’re stalking the guy. There have been Communists, Anarchists, Fascists (and fascistoid groups like the Iron Guard), Nazi-collaborators, and even liberals who have been faithful Orthodox. This Nazi-hunting mentality of yourself and of many of the commenters here is horrendous. The Church is meant to serve as a hospital to our spiritual illnesses, not as a virtue-signalling wing of the secular State or secular liberal society. What bothers me most is this selective fixation – excommunicate people who practise violence unrepentantly, but not for their political ideology. What about Orthodox politicians who get elected to Congress and vote for abortion or attacking foreign countries? It’s been a long time since I’ve seen usurers excommunicated – and they do actual harm! I know several hipster Orthodox with culturally leftist opinions – they don’t even get a talking to.

    I don’t agree with white separatism or giving any credence to the Protocols, but these are not excommunicable offences and I don’t see how you figure an excommunication from an Antiochian virtue-signalling bishop has relevance for ROCOR, much less for the Church in Romania or Greece. And if I disagree with Heimbach, I find the line of questioning frustratingly dumb.

    • Thomas,

      This interview was years ago, and I haven’t responded for ages because, to be frank, I’ve been busy with a million other things. I bear Matthew Heinbach no ill will, and trust that he’s working out his salvation in the Church somewhere. Obviously I disagree with his public positions, but I hold no animosity toward him or his supporters. If ROCOR wishes to receive him or already has, that’s up to whoever his priest or bishop is–I have no say or stock in it. As you can probably tell, I’ve long since stopped caring or following any of these concerns. I oppose racialist National Socialism (Nazism) and Marxist-Leninist Communism with equal measure. Francoist fascism is not at all ideal to me—I’m a traditional monarchist sympathetic to the Slavophiles and Non-Juror Toryism— but has obviously far less of a body count than Nazism or Communism.

      I’m not sure if you know what the Golden Circle is (a proposed Mexican Empire-C.S.A grand alliance), but I’ve long since harbored a nostalgic with that the C.S.A. could have gone the way of Brazil and peacefully abolished slavery, forming a rather grand traditional alliance with (what would have remained monarchical) Mexico and Brazil…but such is mere idle speculation.

      I’m not a leftist or ‘SJW’ virtue signaller at all, though you can believe of me whatever you wish. You can see from any of my writings that I make no secret of my political views. As for the issue of today’s racial violence, I oppose any violence directed against helpless individuals regardless of political identity or what have you. Violence begets nothing but more violence.

    • “…excommunicate people who practise violence unrepentantly, but not for their political ideology. What about Orthodox politicians who get elected to Congress and vote for abortion or attacking foreign countries? It’s been a long time since I’ve seen usurers excommunicated – and they do actual harm! I know several hipster Orthodox with culturally leftist opinions – they don’t even get a talking to.”

      I agree about this double standard. Suffice it to say that you and I are of the same mind here. An “Orthodox” politician who votes for bombing civilians anywhere or in favor of abortion is not at all Orthodox, and if he or she claims to be so and persists in his or her public errors, excommunication should of course follow….

      • You say this and yet your entire interview is dripping with concepts that come from your American political outlook, which has ZERO relationship with Orthodoxy. You and your commenters stand in snide and borderline heretical judgment upon the Romanian Church and even the blessed martyr Tsar Nicholas II, to such an absurd degree that it becomes laughable. The American Orthodoxy authorities, whatever their station, DO NOT have the gravitas to ground any claims against the ancient national churches in Eastern Europe, and Heimbach’s statements about the Legion are entirely 100% accurate. The Church was an enthusiastic supporter of the movement, which struggled for a revival of Traditional Christian Romania, and was on the verge of granting sainthood to at least two of its members before Antonescu seized control of the government. Did they dislike Jews? Yes. Guess what, I hate to break it to you, but if you are a philosemite you might do better in the Evangelical churches. The Orthodox Church’s history is awash with clear statements from hierarchs and saints alike AGAINST the errors and wicked practices of the Jews. NOBODY in Europe liked Jews until after WWII. They were universally unpopular, and not without reason, because they blasphemed Christ worse than most Muslims. Heimbach only names a paltry few but there are MANY others who spoke about this. These are the views of the actual Church, while you and the hierarchy in America are (much like their Catholic counterparts) conveniently molding their faith to be more acceptable to the profoundly un-Orthodox American political landscape.

        Heimbach’s associations with certain groups is troubling to say the least, but nothing he he said falls into the category of an error warranting ‘excommunication’, which is why the Romanians were incredulous about it and commented that it was as if he was in fact living under Communism. Perhaps the greatest irony is that you call yourself a ‘slavophile’ just above! I don’t suppose you know what the Slavophiles thought of Jews? Aksakov, Sharapov, etc.

        I’ll give you a guess…

        You state above that you believe Heimbach’s priest is a schismatic. I can tell you for a fact that no priest in Romania would consider an excommunication from an American church to be worth the paper it was printed on. You clearly don’t know how negatively the United States is viewed by faithful Orthodox in Eastern Europe, especially the priesthood, which is well aware of the erroneous liberal views which enter American churches.

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