A white supremacist group that had aims to move into Southeast Tennessee has removed most online traces of itself several days after the Times Free Press published an article about it.
The Times Free Press previously reported that property records show a 44-acre piece of land in Meigs County was purchased in March 2017 by a woman reportedly associated with the group. Her husband, Eric Meadows, has posted on social media about bulldozer work being done in a wooded area in Southeast Tennessee for a project called Wotans Nation.
Eric Meadows is a former member of the National Socialist Movement who operated as the training director for a paramilitary wing of the League of the South, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, a nonprofit organization that tracks the activity of hate groups nationwide.
Meadows did not return a request for comment from the Times Free Press, but he told WTVC NewsChannel 9 that he and his wife called off their plans for Wotans Nation because people had come to misunderstand their intentions.
A Wotans Nation Facebook group that had grown to nearly 300 members over the past several months has been taken down, as has the official Wotans Nation website and its online shop. The website, wotansnation.org, now shows a black screen and a "Coming Soon" message.
Previously, the website bore a statement that stated: "Wotans Nation is indeed on the rise! The formation and creation of an actual location and community in the works and close to becoming a reality."
Previous attempts to contact members of Wotans Nation through the website were unsuccessful, but a mission statement on the front page shed some light on the group's ideology.
"As the indigenous Europeans are increasingly being called home by our ancient Gods there arises a need for our folk to have a place to practice our religion freely, without fear of social stigma and in a healthy and natural environment among other culturally and spiritually similar people," it stated.
"It is in that spirit that the Wotans Nation project has been formed. Wotans Nation is an actual community within Eastern Tennessee made up of Folkish Heathens coming together and working as a theologically based community."
The Wotans Nation Twitter handle has also been taken down, but old posts remain from some users who referenced the group previously.
"Hay yall if yall could give my friend @WotansNation a fallow its run by a group building a actual IRL community for whites," tweeted one person going by @FLREB88 on Twitter.
Contact staff writer Emmett Gienapp at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6731. Follow him on Twitter @emmettgienapp.