Ex-neo-Nazi says colleagues targeted homeless, minorities &

Tom Boland (wgcp@earthlink.net)
Wed, 18 Nov 1998 20:59:43 -0400


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"Meeinks said [skinhead group] members bragged about...
killing a homeless man and cutting off his ear to prove it."
  -- from article below

http://www.denverpost.com:80/news/news1111i.htm
FWD  Denver Post - November 11, 1998

EX-NEO-NAZI FINDS LIFE BEYOND HATE
By Renate Robey - Denver Post Staff Writer

Nov. 11 - At 13, Frank Meeinks was a "messed-up kid'' with a troubled home
life, looking for someplace to belong.

He found a home within a neo-Nazi skinhead group. Before Meeinks turned 18,
he'd taken part in more than 300 acts of violence, such as beating people
up because he didn't like their skin color, or smashing up nightclubs
because he didn't like the people who attended. He eventually landed in
prison for kidnapping.

"They take kids like me and just show you where to direct your hate to,''
said Meeinks.

Tuesday, 10 years after Meeinks first joined a neo-Nazi group, he talked to
about 600 Cherry Creek High School students about what a mistake it was.
Meeinks said he's now out of those groups and works to keep other kids from
going down that road.

"I may not have made it into the gates of heaven,'' said Meeinks. "But I
made it out of the gates of hell.''

After leaving the violent skinhead groups, Meeinks started working with the
Anti-Defamation League, who sponsored Tuesday's trip. Meeinks was one of
the speakers at an ADL luncheon, where members called for more
comprehensive laws on hate crimes. Meeinks also met with members of the
Denver police gang unit.

Meeinks, now 23, doesn't really stand out at Cherry Creek High School, with
his T-shirt, baggy jeans and hair just below his ears. Until, that is, you
look at his tattoos. Some have been covered up with new tattoos, but there
are remnants of images like a Nazi soldier. There's a mark on his neck
where a swastika has been removed by laser.

It wasn't hard to get started with hate groups back in Philadelphia, said
Meeinks, who had cousins in the group. "Soon enough, I shaved my head and
had boots on my feet,'' he said.

Over the course of five years he was affiliated with various skinhead
groups on the East Coast and later in Illinois.

He became a recruiter for the groups and leader of various chapters.
Meeinks said members bragged about brutally attacking a group of Cambodians
and causing one woman to have a miscarriage, and killing a homeless man and
cutting off his ear to prove it.

Members who killed someone tattooed a spider web on their elbow. Killing a
second person added a fly to the web. Killing a gay person or a cop put a
spider in the web.

Meeinks went to prison for kidnapping a member of "Skin Heads Against
Racial Prejudice.'' He and others tortured the man and videotaped it.
Meeinks spent a year in prison for the crime.

It was in prison that things changed for him.

Until then, he'd been reading the Bible, but always with someone
interpreting it for him and how it fit into the neo-Nazi agenda, Meeinks
said.

"We were never reading the real words,'' he said. Instead someone would
say, "Let me tell you what it says about race,'' he said.

But in prison, he started reading on his own, in Bible studies with people
of all races, and came to different conclusions.

"I really didn't think God wanted me to be doing what I was doing,'' he said.

Meeinks also joined prison sports teams and made friends with the kinds of
people he'd bashed before going to prison.

"After a while, they started becoming my boys,'' Meeinks said.

Another turning point came after prison, when a Jewish man gave him a job
refinishing furniture. He'd had stereotypes about Jewish people, but his
employer "blew them totally away.''

Meeinks let his hair grow out and started looking for ways to make up for
the harm he'd done.

Meeinks now runs Harmony through Hockey in Philadelphia, a program he started.

It brings inner city kids together, gives them an alternative to gangs, and
helps them learn to accept each other.

END FORWARD
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** NOTICE: In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is
distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in
receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. **

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"Meeinks said [skinhead group] members bragged about...

killing a homeless man and cutting off his ear to prove it."

  -- from article below


http://www.denverpost.com:80/news/news1111i.htm

FWD  Denver Post - November 11, 1998


<paraindent><param>right,left</param>EX-NEO-NAZI FINDS LIFE BEYOND
HATE

By Renate Robey - Denver Post Staff Writer 

</paraindent>

Nov. 11 - At 13, Frank Meeinks was a "messed-up kid'' with a troubled
home life, looking for someplace to belong.


He found a home within a neo-Nazi skinhead group. Before Meeinks turned
18, he'd taken part in more than 300 acts of violence, such as beating
people up because he didn't like their skin color, or smashing up
nightclubs because he didn't like the people who attended. He
eventually landed in prison for kidnapping.


"They take kids like me and just show you where to direct your hate
to,'' said Meeinks.


Tuesday, 10 years after Meeinks first joined a neo-Nazi group, he
talked to about 600 Cherry Creek High School students about what a
mistake it was. Meeinks said he's now out of those groups and works to
keep other kids from going down that road.


"I may not have made it into the gates of heaven,'' said Meeinks. "But
I made it out of the gates of hell.''


After leaving the violent skinhead groups, Meeinks started working with
the Anti-Defamation League, who sponsored Tuesday's trip. Meeinks was
one of the speakers at an ADL luncheon, where members called for more
comprehensive laws on hate crimes. Meeinks also met with members of the
Denver police gang unit.


Meeinks, now 23, doesn't really stand out at Cherry Creek High School,
with his T-shirt, baggy jeans and hair just below his ears. Until, that
is, you look at his tattoos. Some have been covered up with new
tattoos, but there are remnants of images like a Nazi soldier. There's
a mark on his neck where a swastika has been removed by laser.


It wasn't hard to get started with hate groups back in Philadelphia,
said Meeinks, who had cousins in the group. "Soon enough, I shaved my
head and had boots on my feet,'' he said.


Over the course of five years he was affiliated with various skinhead
groups on the East Coast and later in Illinois.


He became a recruiter for the groups and leader of various chapters.
Meeinks said members bragged about brutally attacking a group of
Cambodians and causing one woman to have a miscarriage, and killing a
homeless man and cutting off his ear to prove it.


Members who killed someone tattooed a spider web on their elbow.
Killing a second person added a fly to the web. Killing a gay person or
a cop put a spider in the web.


Meeinks went to prison for kidnapping a member of "Skin Heads Against
Racial Prejudice.'' He and others tortured the man and videotaped it.
Meeinks spent a year in prison for the crime.


It was in prison that things changed for him.


Until then, he'd been reading the Bible, but always with someone
interpreting it for him and how it fit into the neo-Nazi agenda,
Meeinks said.


"We were never reading the real words,'' he said. Instead someone would
say, "Let me tell you what it says about race,'' he said.


But in prison, he started reading on his own, in Bible studies with
people of all races, and came to different conclusions.


"I really didn't think God wanted me to be doing what I was doing,'' he
said.


Meeinks also joined prison sports teams and made friends with the kinds
of people he'd bashed before going to prison.


"After a while, they started becoming my boys,'' Meeinks said.


Another turning point came after prison, when a Jewish man gave him a
job refinishing furniture. He'd had stereotypes about Jewish people,
but his employer "blew them totally away.''


Meeinks let his hair grow out and started looking for ways to make up
for the harm he'd done.


Meeinks now runs Harmony through Hockey in Philadelphia, a program he
started.


It brings inner city kids together, gives them an alternative to gangs,
and helps them learn to accept each other.


END FORWARD

-

** NOTICE: In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. **


HOMELESS PEOPLE'S NETWORK  <<http://aspin.asu.edu/hpn/>  Home Page

ARCHIVES  <<http://aspin.asu.edu/hpn/archives.html>  read posts to HPN

TO JOIN  <<http://aspin.asu.edu/hpn/join.html> or email Tom <<wgcp@earthlink.net>

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