TORONTO (JTA) — A Canadian judge has invalidated the will of a man who bequeathed his estate to a U.S. neo-Nazi group.
A court in New Brunswick ruled June 5 that the National Alliance, an American hate group, may not inherit the estate of Robert McCorkill because such a bequest would run counter to Canadian public policy.
Even before he died in 2004, McCorkill, a one-time member of the National Alliance, left his entire estate to the group. His assets included a valuable coin collection, Nazi memorabilia and reportedly even a human skull.
In a 43-page decision, the judge voided the will, ruling that the written materials of the National Alliance were “racist, white-supremacist and hate-inspired,” and that the group “stands for principles and policies [...] that are both illegal and contrary to public policy in Canada.”
While McCorkill’s bequest does not advocate violence, it “would unavoidably lead to violence because the NA, in its communications, both advocates and supports its use by others of like mind, such as skinheads,” the judge ruled.
The bequest, he added, is “repugnant” because the NA’s goals and methods “are criminal in Canada.”
A retired chemistry professor, McCorkill was recruited into the National Alliance in 1998. He later lived at the group’s compound in West Virginia, where he edited the final book written by its founder William Pierce, author of the infamous far-right screed, “The Turner Diaries.”
The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, or CIJA, and B’nai Brith Canada were both intervenors in the case. They argued that McCorkill’s collection, which included ancient Greek and Roman coins valued at some $250,000, would revitalize the Alliance.
It’s now “a severely diminished group barely holding onto its shrinking membership,” CIJA said in a statement. “The injection of about a quarter million dollars might have breathed new life into this dying organization. Let this decision stand as a stark reminder that we must remain ever vigilant in our efforts to not allow such hatemongers the oxygen to spread their toxic vitriol.”