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The Human Aspect of Jeff

I justified the hate and violence because I felt I was fighting for the survival and rights of “my people”. Growing up, I was fascinated by post-World War II history and what I felt was a one-sided narrative villainizing Germans. As a young adult, I found mentorship and a place for action in a movement I felt stood up against the wrongs in the system. Shortly after, I took over the leadership of the Neo-Nazi organization, The National Socialist Movement (NSM), and in the following decade, I grew it into a national force. The larger we grew, the more people expressed their vitriol against us, and with it, the deeper my own convictions rooted within me. Ultimately what started as a love for my people turned into hatred toward others. Hear how unexpected kindness and compassion from those I once vilified and believed were my enemy challenged my inner truth. Once the idea that I might be wrong about my beliefs was planted, it grew no matter what I did to resist it. Before I knew it, I saw the humanity in everyone and was compelled by principle to break free of the shackles that bound my heart, mind, and spirit. It was difficult because I had to let go of my identity and life for the last 30 years. After letting go, guilt, shame, and the desire to repair the mistakes of my past took hold, compelling me into a new mission in peacebuilding and also to help others let go of extremism and hate and reshape their own trajectories in life. I found strength, purpose, and direction in sharing my journey to help unite people in our shared humanity.

I justified the hate and violence because I felt I was fighting for the survival and rights of “my people”. Growing up, I was fascinated by post-World War II history and what I felt was a one-sided narrative villainizing Germans. As a young adult, I found mentorship and a place for action in a movement I felt stood up against the wrongs in the system. Shortly after, I took over the leadership of the Neo-Nazi organization, The National Socialist Movement (NSM), and in the following decade, I grew it into a national force. The larger we grew, the more people expressed their vitriol against us, and with it, the deeper my own convictions rooted within me. Ultimately what started as a love for my people turned into hatred toward others. Hear how unexpected kindness and compassion from those I once vilified and believed were my enemy challenged my inner truth. Once the idea that I might be wrong about my beliefs was planted, it grew no matter what I did to resist it. Before I knew it, I saw the humanity in everyone and was compelled by principle to break free of the shackles that bound my heart, mind, and spirit. It was difficult because I had to let go of my identity and life for the last 30 years. After letting go, guilt, shame, and the desire to repair the mistakes of my past took hold, compelling me into a new mission in peacebuilding and also to help others let go of extremism and hate and reshape their own trajectories in life. I found strength, purpose, and direction in sharing my journey to help unite people in our shared humanity.

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