I would argue that there are two key trends at work. Firstly, deniers tend to conduct turf wars during periods when denial is enjoying brief public exposure. Secondly, denial is simply exhibiting the same factionalism and essentialism that can be found in any other cult or extremist political movement. The difference is that 'revisionism' claims to be an intellectual movement based on 'evidence', rather than the faith position that it clearly occupies in reality.
With regard to turf wars, it is no coincidence that two of the bitterest periods of denier backstabbing coincided with the Irving-Lipstadt libel trial and the Tehran denial conference. The former led to accusations that Irving had not deployed the full range of denier arguments. The latter led to Mark Weber making a TV appearance that caused Berg to fulminate against his failure to deny the Holocaust unequivocally. These episodes require deeper exploration.
The Irving trial was exploited by Rudolf to position himself as, effectively, the denial guru of the moment. In so doing, Rudolf neglected to mention that Irving had been obliged to ditch Rudolf's fatuous 'report' from his appeal due to Rudolf's fraudulent use of sources in the report. However, Rudolf's new guru status did not protect him from denier feuds for long. In 2004, Fritz Berg launched a scathing public attack on Rudolf for publishing a paper by Charles Provan that debunked Berg's crackpot theories on gassing:
Dear Germar,This brings us to the current fratricide post-Tehran. Berg has predictably been at the forefront of attacks on Weber's evasions and backsliding. However, Berg's own conduct brought a public rebuke from Bradley Smith:
What was your purpose for publishing that essay by Provan? Do you think there is any merit to what he has written? You dummy! You obviously still think there might be some merit to Provan’s horseshit. Go adjust your head. You should have seen through Provan’s drivel the moment you read it.
Fritz, that includes you. One of the reasons you are unable [to] help create such an organization is demonstrated by how you have addressed the issue of Weber and IHR in this thread. I am not saying that you are saying anything that is false. I am saying that the way you address these issues is so divisive that I do not believe you will ever be able to participate, much less spark, the organization that we all have a sense that we need. You do brilliant, unique, independent work, you have done it for years, for decades, you are one of the major contributors, internationally, to revisionist studies, but you have no idea how to deal publicly with organizational or personal issues that you want to address.So where does this leave us? I would draw an analogy with the fate of fascist groups in western politics. These groups enjoy occasional bursts of publicity that are invariably followed by internal squabbles, essentialist discussions of ideology, and the rooting out of heretics. The witch trials of Weber and Irving are simply the latest manifestations, albeit highly entertaining, of this factionalism in the faith-based cult of Holocaust denial.