The CEO of a large marijuana testing lab in Eugene, Oregon announced she’s stepping down Wednesday after allegations that she was a secret neo-Nazi surfaced online.
According to The Oregonian, OG Analytical CEO Bethany Sherman announced her resignation and plans to sell the marijuana testing facility she founded in 2013. In a statement to the newspaper, she also said she’s only guilty of a “thought crime.”
“I find it extremely disconcerting that it is admired and revered to have ‘gay pride,’ ‘black pride,’ ‘Asian pride, or pride in any other cultural heritage, but if you have ‘white pride’ it automatically makes you a Nazi, and you are ostracized, attacked, and lynched by your community,” Sherman wrote. “I admit, I am proud that I am white, and I’m not ashamed of my heritage. And I admit that I have been so conditioned to feel shame about this pride that I discreetly sought community where I could.”
Sherman denied that she was involved with any neo-Nazi groups.
“The community I’m referring to is comprised of hard working, good-hearted people like you and like me, who are forced into secrecy because they share similar beliefs, which Eugene Antifa is now proving to be true: that being White and having pride in your cultural heritage will make you the victim of hate crimes. I learned a great deal from this experience, and have learned even more in the last 24 hours since this article was published.”
Sherman’s move to step down from the company came after a coalition of Pacific Northwest-based anti-fascist groups alleged she and her former partner Matthew L. Combs operated neo-Nazi social media accounts.
In a post published by Eugene Antifa, the coalition claimed they’d gained access to chat logs from Discord, a gaming chat app that is often used by white supremacists, that were linked to Sherman and Combs (who was also a co-founder of OG Analytical).
As The Oregonian notes, the antifa groups also allege that Sherman “supplied food and support for neo-Nazi gatherings and operated a Twitter account under the handle, @14th_word,” a reference to a white supremacist slogan claiming “we must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children.”
OG Analytical’s lab director Rodger Voelker told the newspaper that after learning about the allegations, employees at the company decided they were uncomfortable with Sherman remaining at the helm of the lab.
“It blindsided all of us,” Voelker, who claimed to not have a relationship with Sherman or Combs outside of work, said. “It’s unbelievable that you can work with people — our relationship is purely professional. We don’t share personal beliefs, religious, political or anything else. This is just unbelievable.”