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Radical Religion and Violence

Jeffrey Kaplan has been one of the most influential scholars of new reli-
gious movements, extremism and terrorism. His pioneering use of inter-
pretive fieldwork among radical and violent subcultures opened up new
fields of scholarship and vastly increased our understanding of the beliefs
and activities of extremists. This collection features many of his seminal
contributions to the field alongside several new pieces which place his
work within the context of the latest research developments. Combining
discussion of the methodological issues alongside a broad array of case
studies, this will be essential reading for all students and scholars of radi-
calization, religious and political extremism, and religiously inspired

Jeffrey Kaplan is an Associate Professor of Religion, Department of Reli-
gion and Anthropology, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, USA. He is the
author of numerous books on radical religion, right-wing extremism and

Routledge studies in extremism and democracy
Series Editors: Founding Series Editors:
Roger Eatwell Roger Eatwell
University of Bath University of Bath
and and
Matthew Goodwin Cas Mudde
University of Nottingham University of Antwerp-UFSIA

This new series encompasses academic studies within the broad fields of
‘extremism’ and ‘democracy’. These topics have traditionally been con-
sidered largely in isolation by academics. A key focus of the series,
therefore, is the (inter-)relation between extremism and democracy.
Works will seek to answer questions such as to what extent ‘extremist’
groups pose a major threat to democratic parties, or how democracy
can respond to extremism without undermining its own democratic

The books encompass two strands:
Routledge Studies in Extremism and Democracy includes books with an intro-
ductory and broad focus which are aimed at students and teachers. These
books will be available in hardback and paperback. Titles include:

Understanding Terrorism in New British Fascism
America Rise of the British National Party
From the Klan to al Qaeda Matthew Goodwin
Christopher Hewitt
The End of Terrorism?
Fascism and the Extreme Right Leonard Weinberg
Roger Eatwell
Mapping the Extreme Right
Racist Extremism in Central and in Contemporary Europe
Eastern Europe From local to transnational
Edited by Cas Mudde Edited by Andrea Mammone,
Emmanuel Godin and
Political Parties and Terrorist Brian Jenkins
Groups (2nd Edition)
Leonard Weinberg, Ami Pedahzur and Varieties of Right-Wing
Arie Perliger Extremism in Europe
Edited by Andrea Mammone,
The New Extremism in 21st Emmanuel Godin and
Century Britain Brian Jenkins
Edited by Roger Eatwell and
Matthew Goodwin

Right-Wing Radicalism Today Revolt on the Right
Perspectives from Europe and the US Explaining support for the radical
Edited by Sabine von Mering and right in Britain
Timothy Wyman McCarty Robert Ford and Matthew Goodwin

Routledge Research in Extremism and Democracy offers a forum for innovative
new research intended for a more specialist readership. These books will
be in hardback only. Titles include:

1 Uncivil Society? 8 Extreme Right Activists in
Contentious politics in post- Europe
Communist Europe Through the magnifying glass
Edited by Petr Kopecky and Bert Klandermans and
Cas Mudde Nonna Mayer

9 Ecological Politics and
2 Political Parties and Terrorist
Democratic Theory
Mathew Humphrey
Leonard Weinberg and
Ami Pedahzur 10 Reinventing the Italian Right
Territorial politics, populism
3 Western Democracies and the and ‘post-Fascism’
New Extreme Right Challenge Carlo Ruzza and Stefano Fella
Edited by Roger Eatwell and
Cas Mudde 11 Political Extremes
An investigation into the history
4 Confronting Right Wing of terms and concepts from
Extremism and Terrorism in antiquity to the present
the USA Uwe Backes
George Michael 12 The Populist Radical Right in
5 Anti-Political Establishment The patriots
Parties Rafal Pankowski
A comparative analysis
Amir Abedi 13 Social and Political Thought of
Julius Evola
6 American Extremism Paul Furlong
History, politics and the militia
14 Radical Left Parties in Europe
D. J. Mulloy
Luke March

7 The Scope of Tolerance 15 Counterterrorism in Turkey
Studies on the costs of free Policy choices and policy effects
expression and freedom of the toward the Kurdistan workers’
press party (PKK)
Raphael Cohen-Almagor Mustafa Coşar Ünal

16 Class Politics and the Radical 25 The Politicisation of Migration
Right Edited by Wouter van der Brug,
Edited by Jens Rydgren Gianni D’Amato, Joost Berkhout
and Didier Ruedin
17 Rethinking the French New
Right 26 Transforming the
Alternatives to modernity transformation?
Tamir Bar-On The East European radical right
in the political process
18 Ending Terrorism in Italy Edited by Michael Minkenberg
Anna Bull and Philip Cooke
27 The Populist Radical Right in
19 Politics of Eugenics Central and Eastern Europe
Productionism, population, and Ideology, impact and electoral
national welfare performance
Alberto Spektorowski and Andrea L. P. Pirro
Liza Saban
28 Radical Right Parties in Central
20 Democratic Extremism in and Eastern Europe
Theory and Practice Mainstream party competition
Power to the people and electoral fortune
Paul Lucardie Bartek Pytlas

21 Populism in Western Europe 29 Ideocracies in Comparison
Comparing Belgium, Germany Legitimation—co-optation—
and the Netherlands repression
Teun Pauwels Edited by Uwe Backes and
Steffen Kailitz
22 Extreme Right Parties in
Scandinavia 30 The Making of Anti-Muslim
Anders Widfeldt Protest
Grassroots activism in the
23 Catholicism and Nationalism English Defence League
Changing nature of party Joel Busher
Madalena Meyer Resende 31 Radical Religion and Violence
Theory and case studies
24 Populists in Power Jeffrey Kaplan
Daniele Albertazzi and
Duncan McDonnell

Radical Religion and Violence
Theory and case studies

Jeffrey Kaplan

First published 2016
by Routledge
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Routledge is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business
© 2016 Jeffrey Kaplan
The right of Jeffrey Kaplan to be identified as author of this work has
been asserted by him in accordance with sections 77 and 78 of the
Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or
reproduced or utilized in any form or by any electronic, mechanical,
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registered trademarks, and are used only for identification and
explanation without intent to infringe.
British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data
A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Kaplan, Jeffrey, 1954–
Radical religion and violence : theory and case studies /
Jeffrey Kaplan.
pages cm. – (Routledge studies in extremism and democracy)
1. Religion–Violence. 2. Radicalism–Religious aspects. I. Title.
BL65.V55K37 2015
201'.76332–dc23 2015021336

ISBN: 978-0-415-81414-0 (hbk)
ISBN: 978-1-315-67135-2 (ebk)
Typeset in Baskerville
by Wearset Ltd, Boldon, Tyne and Wear


On my first day on the campus of the University of Chicago two seminal events in
my academic life took place. First, I was directed by Prof. Jonathan Z. Smith to the
coat closet/office which housed the Fundamentalism Project directed by Dr. R.
Scott Appleby. On that day I was hired as the first and what turned out to be only
graduate assistant for the Project. Second, I met Prof. Martin E. Marty who agreed
to oversee my Ph.D. thesis on millenarian revolution. At that time he placed my
name in a small spiral notebook which he carried at all times in the pocket of his
suit jacket. With his retirement pending I would be one of the last names in the
book. Behind each graduate student’s name were meticulous notations following
the course of their academic careers. Prof. Marty’s prodigious output of invariably
brilliant books and articles, his unflappable calm, and his ability to do three things
at once, as I saw him do several times at the annual Fundamentalism Project con-
ference, provided a model for his graduate students which we have all tried and
failed to emulate.
Professor David C. Rapoport, cofounder and still editor of Terrorism & Political
Violence, served as my mentor in the field of religiously motivated terrorism and
violence. When my first article on the Christian Identity sect was ready for publica-
tion, he took me under his wing and published it in T&PV. Since then most of my
articles have appeared there. His invitation to a seminar in Berlin introduced me
to Prof. Heléne Lööw, who became a dear friend and with whom I have collabo-
rated on a number of projects in Sweden and the United States. He also intro-
duced me to Prof. Ehud Sprinzak who tolerated my extensive criticism of one of
his articles with patience and good humor, making several changes to his article
and becoming an unwavering supporter of my work. This opened the way, coupled
with Prof. Rapoport’s support, to my becoming part of several projects at the Van
Lear Institute in Jerusalem. Since those early days Prof. Rapoport and his wife
Barbara have become dear personal friends.
I therefore respectfully dedicate this collection to the two greatest influences
on my academic and personal life, Prof. Martin E. Marty and Prof. David C.
In the course of this project there are innumerable thanks due to a number of
people who have made this project possible––the extraordinarily patient editors at
Routledge, the even more patient loved ones around me, and many more. But there
is one who above all made everything possible. Thank you Sherman, we miss you.

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Contents List of illustrations xi Acknowledgments xii Introduction 1 PART I Methodology and theory 35 1 Interpreting the interpretive approach: a friendly reply to Thomas Robbins 37 PART II Firsts 57 2 Leaderless resistance 59 3 Tommy Rydén: a national socialist life 75 CO-WRITTEN WITH LEONARD WEINBERG 4 The Cultic Milieu: Oppositional Subcultures in an Age of Globalization: introduction 103 CO-WRITTEN WITH HELéNE LööW PART III Case studies 115 5 The context of American millenarian revolutionary theology: the case of the ‘Identity Christian’ Church of Israel 117 6 Right wing violence in North America 171 .

strategy and military reflections on the impact of “malign tribalism” and future threats 345 CHRISTOPHER P. COSTA Index 417 . affiliates. defensive action and the resort to force 222 8 America’s last prophetic witness: the literature of the rescue movement 258 9 Islamophobia in America? September 11 and Islamophobic hate crime 278 10 The Lord’s Resistance Army: millennialism. COSTA 12 The fifth wave: the new tribalism? 348 13 On tribalism: auxiliaries. and lone wolf political violence 379 CO-WRITTEN WITH CHRISTOPHER P.x Contents 7 Absolute rescue: absolutism. violence and the timeless dream 316 PART IV New directions 343 11 Post 9/11 policy.

4 Offenses. and known offenders 300 9. victims. offenses.2 Offenses. and known offenders 290 9. offenses. offense type 298 9.3 Incidents.1 Incidents.1 Estimated skinhead membership in the USA 198 9.6 Offenses.5 Incidents. offenses. 1994 249 13. victims. offense type 292 9. victims.l Cartoon by Shelley Shannon.1 Tribalism and the “new trinity” 397 Tables 6.Illustrations Figures 7. and known offenders 296 9. offense type 302 .

” Copyright © 2001 Taylor & Francis Group. 260–73. 3 (Fall 1997). I would like to thank the publishers for granting permis- sion to use the following copyright material: Jeffrey Kaplan.Acknowledgments The work in this collection has been published previously in a variety of different forms. “The Context of American Millenarian Revolutionary Theology: The Case of the ‘Identity Christian’ Church of Israel. This chapter was first published in The Emergence of a Euro-American Radical Right (New Bruns- wick. “Right Wing Violence in North America.” Copyright © 2002 Rowman Littlefield. pp. Reprinted with permission of the publisher. pp. Reprinted with permission of the publisher. This chapter was first published in Terrorism and Political Violence 5.” Copyright © 1999 Rutgers University Press. This chapter was first published in Nova Religio 1. This chapter was first published in Jeffrey Kaplan and Heléne Lööw. Jeffrey Kaplan. 169–93. NJ: Rutgers University Press). “Interpreting the Interpretive Approach: A Friendly Reply to Thomas Robbins. 80–95. It was reprinted in David C.. eds. Inside Terrorist Organizations (London: Frank Cass. Jeffrey Kaplan. 1 (Spring 1993). “Tommy Rydén: A National Social- ist Life. no. Terrorism and Political Violence 9. Reprinted with permission of the publisher.” Copyright © 1997 University of California Press. no. Reprinted with permission of the publisher. Jeffrey Kaplan and Leonard Weinberg. Rapoport. 1 (October 1997). 2001) pp. 30–82. pp. pp. Jeffrey Kaplan and Heléne Lööw. Jeffrey Kaplan. CA: AltaMira Press. This chapter was first published in Terrorism . pp. Reprinted with permission of the publisher. “Leaderless Resistance. 30–49. no. 2002). 1–11. “Introduction.” Copyright © 1995 Taylor & Francis Group. The Cultic Milieu: Oppositional Subcultures in an Age of Globalization (Walnut Creek.” Copy- right © 1993 Taylor & Francis Group.

” pp. Affili- ates. no. This chapter was first published in Terrorism and Political Violence 26. and T. 4 (2007). Defensive Action and the Resort to Force. 1 (2014). This chapter was first published in Terrorism and Political Violence 19. pp. Reprinted with permission of the publisher. “Islamophobia in America? September 11 and Islamopho- bic Hate Crime” Copyright © 2006 Taylor & Francis Group. Reprinted with permission of the publisher. “America’s Last Prophetic Witness: The Literature of the Rescue Movement” Copyright © 1993 Taylor & Francis Group. Special edition on Security and Religion. “On Tribalism: Auxiliaries. Maeyam Razavy. pp. Special Issue. no. 545–70. 3 (Autumn 1993). Butko. 58–77. Reprinted with permission of the publisher. 128–63. “Absolute Rescue: Absolutism. Jeffrey Kaplan and Christopher P. .” Copyright © 2014 Taylor & Francis Group. Reprinted with permission of the publisher. no. (eds. Reprinted with permission of the publisher. Reprinted with permission of the publisher. no. “Terror From the Far Right. no. “The Fifth Wave: The New Tribalism?” Copyright © 2007 Taylor & Francis Group. Special issue. 1 (2006). This chapter was first published in Terrorism and Political Violence 5. This chapter was first published in Terrorism and Political Violence 18. 44–95. This chapter was first published in Terrorism and Political Violence 7.” Copyright © 2009 Equinox Publishing Ltd. Acknowledgments xiii and Political Violence 7. Violence and the Timeless Dream. pp. Jeffrey Kaplan.” Copyright © 1995 Taylor & Francis Group. 1 (2009). pp. Reprinted with permission of the publisher. 1 (Spring 1995). Jeffrey Kaplan “The Lord’s Resistance Army: Millennialism.). “Lone Wolf and Autonomous Cell Terrorism. The publishers would be grateful to hear from any copyright holder who is not here acknowledged and will undertake to rectify any errors or omissions in future editions of this book. 95–127. T. 3 (Autumn 1995). 28. 13–44. pp. This chapter was first published in Religious Studies and Theology. no. Costa.” pp. Jeffrey Kaplan. Jeffrey Kaplan. no. Jeffrey Kaplan. Every effort has been made to contact copyright holders for their permis- sion to reprint material in this book. and Aspirational Political Violence. 1–33.

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The movement. ADL materials.5 For this reason. Every subsequent publication followed the pattern of the Christian Identity article. First. more than 20 years later. I pursued with a single-minded passion any informa- tion that was available on the subject. I can no longer recall the hint or esoteric reference that drew me to Christian Identity. With Christian Identity. I located the watchdog groups.2 At the time however. in a rather naïve way. and the true believers whose lives were shaped in accord- ance with its ideology/theology. which I referred to as ‘high priests . were invariably far from the socio-political mainstream. there was very little information available either in the academic literature or in the news media. Once alerted to its existence. Now.4 The watchdog data on racist and anti- Semitic movements like Christian Identity were so extreme that I was strongly reminded of the equally scabrous descriptions of new religious movements that were disseminated by the anti-cult movement. there was nothing in the English language literature of religion and violence quite like it. indeed almost diabolic. like that which would be dissemi- nated by similar organizations.3 In the late 1980s and early 1990s watchdog organizations such as the Anti-Defamation League of the B’nai B’rith held a virtual monopoly on relevant information.Introduction Education. terms. as with so many of my subsequent topics.1 The article adopted. My graduate education was interdisciplinary nature and so diverse that I didn’t have a specific disciplinary methodology formu- lated. a format that was reminiscent of the ‘thick description’ employed by the anthropologist Clifford Geertz. an esoteric belief system would crop up on my radar. however. The article therefore was an early and quite wordy blueprint for my work for the next two decades. Indeed.” was published in Terrorism and Political Violence. publications and the paper trail In 1993 when my first article. “The Context of American Millenarian Revolutionary Theology: The Case of the ‘Identity Christian’ Church of Israel. portrayed their subjects in an alarmist. I had neither read Geertz nor did I know the term thick description. they tended to be at the furthest fringes of American culture.

but it became the subject of my next published article and was the con- cluding chapter in my first monograph. into the ranks of the anti-cult groups. The Anti-Defamation League of the B’nai B’rith (ADL) has undertaken to monitor and report the activities of domestic terrorist groups.2 Introduction of esoteric gods’. Radical Religion in America: Millena- rian Movements from the Far Right to the Children of Noah. FBI HQ need not be notified of the results of these contacts with the exception of any significant cases or problems. That the FBI in the late 1980s and early 1990s had farmed out much of its surveillance of the American radical right to the ADL would seem at first surprising.7 The History of Culture Committee at the University of Chicago.6 Watchdog materials in these years informed both the FBI and the main- stream media as to the doings of these distant and malevolent figures. the radical right was considered to be miniscule and rather harmless and the political clout of the Jewish lobby groups was at its apogee. I could at least . It was also established that each FBI office contact each regional office to establish liaison and lines of commu- nication to promptly receive any allegations of civil rights violations. This strategy was not altogether popular among some new religious movements scholars. and that I ignored the pos- sible repercussions from publishing it. That I was able to recover an internal FBI memo formalizing this agreement. On 1/18/85 the New York Division initiated contact with (DELETED [by FBI]). Each receiving office should contact the regional ADL Director(s) listed in your division and establish this liaison. I was taken with the beauty and the amazing breadth of scholarship that was reflected in works such as Johan Huizinga’s The Waning of the Middle Ages which employed a prose style that was. These indi- viduals were advised of the primary jurisdiction of the FBI in civil rights matters. particularly the Ku Klux Klan. was typical of my style of research. Further.9 While I could never aspire to the lyrical beauty of Huizinga’s writing. but it must be remembered that at the time. was a seminal influence on my approach. This historical aspect of my research is quite closely patterned on the work of the great cultural historians of the past. which even the most positive reviews of my work have often lamented.8 My interest is historical rather than sociological. even in translation. The FBI document in question stated: Each [FBI field] office is requested to review the attached docu- ments. particu- larly the brilliant teaching and research of Karl Joachim Weintraub. they were advised that any legitimate civil rights allegations should be immediately brought to the attention of the appropriate FBI offi(DELETED) expressed his desire to cooperate and stated he would notify all regional ADL offices of the FBI’s responsibility. These contacts should be documented in each field office 44–0 file. poetic.

It is in this process of getting to know the oppositional movement as individuals who share a common humanity with the researcher that there is the greatest danger of becoming captured by the movement’s worldview. as the researcher gets to know the members of the group as individuals. it is precisely through this give and take relationship that the members of the movement may be influenced.12 As a start. but also its impact on the broader society. by the researcher. interacts with their families. and the participant/observer methodol- ogy which often accompanies the interview. This form of ‘scholarship’ is now ubiquitous. Of far greater import. Conversely.10 This is especially true in a milieu as isolated as Christian Identity. the aura of demonization that characterizes the public perception of the movement invariably fades away. In the pre-Internet age—that is. The interview subject thus becomes an indi- vidual with a life of his or her own rather than an act of imagination in which the researcher buys in to whatever reality the subject constructs. or a radical milieu.13 Among these was Pastor Dan Gaymon’s Church of Israel in Schell City. especially those conducted in the subject’s home. before the appearance of Windows 95—this task was not as simple as it appears. . Introduction 3 write well enough that my work would not represent a painful chore to the reader. This is a risk that both investigator and ‘investigatee’ must assume as the price of ‘interpretive’ success. What I could aspire to.”11 In my reply to Robbins’ concerns about the Interpretive Approach I wrote: In the process. and takes part in their private world. Missouri. The challenge then was to determine what material would become the basis for research into the development of an idea. however uninten- tionally. It is also virtually useless. a belief system. The interviewer can be talking to anybody and that anybody can claim to be anything. Face-to-face inter- views. the ephemera produced by radical religious movements was not so easily obtained. I found the addresses of several Christian Identity churches in an edition of Gordon Melton’s Encyclopedia of American Religions. can break down the barriers between researcher and subject and can bring to light a wealth of nonverbal data. however. Where today a Google search would unearth thousands of pages of documents. This person-to-person approach. is the basis for what became a highly controversial methodology which Thomas Robbins dubbed the “Interpretive Approach. was to follow the development of an idea through time and to delineate not only the patterns that this development demonstrated. interviews in the age of the Inter- net too often consist of email exchanges between the researcher and the interviewee. The answer from that first publication to the present was invariably the same: gather primary sources and undertake intensive inter- views with those who held these beliefs. An unknown figure floating in the ocean of the Internet is utterly faceless and ultimately anonymous.

cassette tapes. To access this literature the History of Culture Commit- tee was able to award me several hundred dollars which allowed me to drive to Lawrence and make a mountain of photocopies of the collection. The fol- low-up question was invariably how someone with such a Jewish-sounding name could safely exit from such circles. Sword. This material also produced names and addresses from which I was able to arrange field trip interviews. I was one of the first graduate students to take advantage of this collection. By 1991 the volume of material which I received on a daily basis necessitated opening a rented postbox. Laird Wilcox and Religious Studies Professor Timothy Miller were kind enough to allow me to stay at their homes. and even more so the impact of Radical Religion in America. The one most often asked. and Arm of the Lord—a group that would gain considerable notoriety after an FBI siege of their compound on April 19. which on a grad student’s resources. which produced a further avalanche of material.”16 The article pointed out that I was not the only one who utilized such a methodology. Such questions were greeted on my part by a roll of the eyes and shake of the head as I did not deem the question to be worthy of a response. and most rarely asked openly. including newsletters. The then radical approach of allowing those seen as dangerous pariahs to speak directly to readers in their own voices caused many who did not know me to ask whether I some way agreed with the racist and anti-Semitic pronounce- ments of my subjects. most notably Heléne Lööw in Sweden. My primary answer to these questions came in the form of an article which was published in Nova Religio as an answer to Thomas Robbins’ cri- tique of what came to be known as the Interpretive Approach: “Interpret- ing the Interpretive Approach: A Friendly Reply to Thomas Robbins. eliciting questions that I was unable to take seriously. which then was quite new and only recently collated by Rebecca Schulte.4 Introduction and The Covenant.14 Letters to the churches listed in Melton’s encyclopedia soon brought a wealth of literature.17 As to the difference between ‘seeing through the eyes of the other’ and buying into the world view of the other. 1985. I became aware of the existence of a massive established collection of radical literature in the Laird Wilcox Collection at the Uni- versity of Kansas. but completely unknown to the broader culture. . had surprising repercussions. was how someone with the surname Kaplan could find entrance to such anti-Semitic circles in the first place. who remains to this day the librarian in charge of the collection. was no easy feat. and references to publications and newsletters which were de rigueur for the radical right faithful. had independently developed a remarkably similar approach. In this period. Deeper questions soon followed.15 The interest generated by the Christian Identity article. Several other scholars around the world. which made the economics of the endeavor workable. From there it was a matter of bombarding every group listed in these ephemera.

This milieu of seekers are a permanent facet of society from the dawn of written records to this day. Christian Identity. Jonathan Z. The watchdog groups. borrowing from the opaque work of Ernst Troeltsch. is located in the neighborhood of the racist and anti-Semitic radical right which itself is far distant from the borders which serve as a demarcation between . the single visionary leader. has in the prescient words of James Billington ignited a ‘fire in the minds of men’ which has always driven the community of seekers to find the single idea. the interpretive approach was never intended to in any way ‘excuse’ or ‘explain away’ violence emanating from millenarian movements. A conference in Stockholm sponsored by Brå (The National Council of Crime Prevention) which I co- chaired with Prof. In the former case.”21 Observing the cornucopia of new style. the sociologist Colin Campbell. The most significant of these findings were that the milieu itself is composed of often bitterly competitive neighborhoods which group together equally bitterly competitive leaders whose ideas are closely interrelated but who must vie for the loyalties––and the cash––of a very limited pool of adherents. for example.20 To quote Prof. had been able to monopolize the dia- logue to such an extent that the isolation of the radical right from the mainstream was all but complete. “We have seen all this before. The ostracism of the radical right and other oppositional groups and the seekers whose life work is to find the ultimate answer to unanswerable questions had fascinating byproducts. What emerged was a map of a fascinating world of ideas––knowledge that has been forgotten or suppressed by the powers that be. One of these was key to the direction that my research was taking. music. like the press which invari- ably used watchdog publications and the ‘expertise’ of its researchers as the primary basis of their articles. and religions in 1960s London. coined the term ‘cultic milieu’ to describe the scene.18 Entrée to the milieu How did I gain sufficient access into the lives of the radical right true believers to be able to carry out personal interviews or do participant/ observer research? The question points first to the isolation faced by adherents of the milieu. to acquire a secret knowledge.22 The cultic milieu proved to be the first step in mapping the underworld of seekers and the ideas to which they migrate. who can unlock the mysteries of a world which has no place for them. Heléne Lööw provided further light on our understand- ing of the cultic milieu. Early interviews pointed to the remarkable fact that all of these figures had an extensive knowledge of a wide spectrum of oppositional ideas and the seekers who seek them that is utterly opaque to mainstream society.19 The drive to find these ideas. Introduction 5 The approach must never be confused with apologetics on the one hand or with scholarship which deals entirely with the literature on the other. Smith.

where I was tasked with the responsibility of giving a lecture to an audience com- posed of both academics and diplomats. anti-Semitism. Finland. and many more. The heart of this presentation was republished in the introduction to the Encyclopedia of White Power: A Sourcebook on the Radical Racist Right. regards the seekers themselves. another period of seeking. and violence had become ubiquitous. Many times. Another finding. They then seek another idea or another leader who will then provide them with another epiphany followed by another disenchantment. ad infinitum. and to a considerable degree to my own thinking about doing fieldwork among seekers whose reputation for racism. Remarkably. Each seeker’s life is marked by a quest for ultimate truth. These findings were duly published in an anthology which for a time brought the cultic milieu again to the attention of the academic community. It is presented here in full as it remains the sole published instance where I reflected in depth on the body of my work. another disillusionment. the people . racist Odinism (which in turn connects the neighborhood of the radical right with the far more vast neighborhood of pagan new religious movements). in keeping with the dictates of scholarship. or the new religious movements will quickly be disseminated throughout the milieu. animal rights. This goes well beyond Campbell’s 1970s’ era work. this time very much in line with Campbell’s original article. in whatever neighborhood of the cultic milieu.6 Introduction mainstream society and the cultic milieu. Such is the interconnection between wildly opposing neighbor- hoods of the cultic milieu that any fieldwork done with such staunchly anti-racist groups as those espousing deep ecology. seekers in the cultic milieu actually find it. proven to be trustworthy transcends a movement’s isolation. each failure only strengthens the seekers’ resolve just as it deepens their commitment to a belief system that had proven to be wrong. Sadly. each epiphany is invariably fol- lowed by crushing disappointment when the ideas or the leaders who dis- seminate them are proven to have feet of clay.23 Yet the acceptance of a researcher who has. In the 1998–99 academic year I was honored by being named the Fulbright Bicentennial Chair at the University of Helsinki. The most elemental question that this address sought to elucidate was where do I stand in relation to the data. Identity in turn is a distant subset of the neighborhood which includes such esoteric redoubts as National Socialism in its many flavors (which itself is even more distant from the mainstream then Christian Identity). Over and over again. and more to the point. skinheads (white nationalist music connects them to any number of oppositional neighbor- hoods). For this appearance I felt that it was incumbent on me to give a further insight into my work. another epiphany. While ultimate truth eludes most members of mainstream society. The lives of such seekers tend to follow a similar pattern regardless of their belief systems. footnotes which were not present in the original text. I have added.

were represented only by a single scholar. of the more than 100 anti-racism activ- ists invited to Stockholm. however. much to the relief of the academics and the consterna- tion of the activists.24 University of Helsinki Inaugural address I would like to do something this afternoon that I have never had the opportunity to do before. “Racism. Introduction 7 among whom the Interpretive Approach has proved efficacious? This goes to the root of how a Kaplan can feel welcome in the most demonized neighborhoods of the radical right. In my field of study—contemporary apocalyptic religious movements. After the formal opening. The adjective “remarkable” is here not taken lightly. modern millennialism and religious violence—it is imperative to separate intellect and emo- tions. such epicenters of European racial strife as Germany. Anti-racism. I would like to step out of the role of the detached observer and try. it soon became clear that the largest national contingent came not from any European nation. to speak to you from the heart about my work. This was an important statement on the part of the organizers of the conference that the problem of European racism could not be addressed without recognizing the important role played by the American movement. In doing fieldwork among racist and anti-Semitic groups in particular. The title and the topic of today’s address. for the conference was remarkable on a number of levels. The conference itself was structured in such a way as to bring together academic specialists from around the world with a cross-section of young European anti-racist activists. 1998 inaugural address at the University of Helsinki which focused on this question in the context of the contemporaneous 1998 European Year Against Racism. Certainly. the two conference constituencies were. the Americans present were somewhat bemused by our sudden prominence in the European Year Against Racism. and a sympathetic but not overly curious dean. . As you can imagine. while the United States was represented by no less than three academic researchers. Rather. The answer is approached gradually in my November 3. this dichotomy of head and heart is as necessary for success as a working tape recorder. a pen and paper. and perhaps some of our unhappy experiences could be of benefit to Europeans as they enter into a period of increasing multiculturalism. This is all the more remarkable in light of the fact that. Americans do have a certain expertise in the area of racism. and the Amer- icans: Reflections on the European Year Against Racism. This afternoon however. if only for a moment. England or Sweden. The heart of this address was pub- lished in the Introduction to the Encyclopedia of White Power. in the academic section of the European Year Against Racism conference. rather rigorously separated. But this was not really the remarkable feature of the conference. The head and the heart. not a single representation of the well funded and highly active American groups was present.” were born of a remark- able conference held in Stockholm last year to mark the European Year Against Racism. but from the United States! Indeed. Yet the American participants could think of few precedents for such European solicitude for American input into European social problems. The section is reproduced in its entirety below.

of cassette tapes and small rural enclaves. . and usually are. And I was not alone in this conception. a considerable—but utterly predictable—evolution had taken place. for what I expected to find when I set out on my own voyage of discovery were precisely these kinds of monsters—angry and violent men. Toward the close of the increasingly impassioned work- shop. There. Marty’s conception is important here. this observation from the American perspective was anything but obvious.25 In this. But even then. This is not to say that the idea was in any way new. in Martin Marty’s imagery. and the [facilitator] was roundly denounced . And what’s more. the many issues dividing the participants from each other dissolved as if by magic. the collected activists vented their frus- trations.26 Prof. . The complaints were many. which kept contact with each other—and with other oppositional belief systems as well. but the consistent theme was the failure of European nations to readily adapt to multiculturalism which. I should not speak so boldly if it were my due to be believed. In 1951. and at the dawn of the first phases of the Cold War and the McCarthy period of anti-Communist hysteria in the United States. [As the conference sessions] wore on. . not so much with the racist groups who were hardly mentioned. Hoffer was prescient. brings us back to our topic of “Racism. Eric Hoffer made precisely this point in The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements. so consumed by hatred that they could scarcely have resembled human beings at all. . should be fashioned on the American model and implemented immedi- ately by government decree. Hoffer was careful to avoid mentioning specific movements.” When I took up this research almost a decade ago. in angry isola- tion from the dominant culture. But for all we in the dominant culture knew of this world. the success of the Civil Rights Move- ment. the terra incognita which medieval maps depicted as inhabited by monsters of our deepest fears. The altogether unremarkable observations that anti-racist activists can be. and that the assembled activists might take this insight into consideration in presenting their case to the government and to the wider Swedish public. they existed in a seemingly separate universe of newsletters and booklets. Anti-racism and the Americans. for when I began my own research almost four decades later. Hoffer antici- pated the reception his carefully balanced descriptions of the extremist personality would evoke in academia. as with the Swedish state. the Swedish discussion facilitator noted as an aside that Swedes too have a culture. for it was a vision . it might as well have been. In the wake of the revelations of the horrors of the Holocaust. At that moment. the fall of Joseph McCarthy and the subsequent discrediting of the anti- Communist right. and nothing by way of advice. in the vision of the participants. only half a dozen years since the defeat of Nazi Germany. the American radical right had been banished to the most distant fringes of American culture. when he introduced his book with a quote from Montaigne: All I can say is by way of discourse. as intolerant of dissenting views as are racist activists. This is where I found them when I began my own research. and the massive social transformations of the 1960s.8 Introduction .

I spent some considerable time in this nether region. And whether we are to line up with him or against him. So armed with my trusty tape recorder. Fortunately. or the construction of cultural enemies. it is well that we should know all we can concerning his nature and potentialities. For my part. as for a number of years the information filtering back to the dominant culture about these distant figures. and a singularly forbearing spouse. To again quote Hoffer: It is necessary for most of us these days to have some insight into the motives and responses of the true believer. Here I must confess that I was in those days very much under the spell of Norman Cohn’s work on medieval millenarian revolutionary movements. And even the briefest glance at the movement’s literature would suggest that. and among each and every one of my professors. it is the very opposite of irreligious. very close to the surface. and both by converting and antagonizing he is shaping the world in his own image. was supplied by a network of watchdog groups whose mission it was to keep tabs on the doings of the far right. I did not question the validity of the construction of the radical right wing “other. That religiosity is a key characteristic of American radical activism is hardly a fresh insight. it is this one. as filtered through the news media. and in fact seemed to be a primary force driving the movement. . But in either case.29 If a single quotation could be said to encapsulate both the motivation and the meth- odology of my work. a powerful apocalypticism was very. I set off for the particular portion of terra incognita occupied by the anti-Semitic and racist Christian Identity faith. this was still in the pre-Internet stone age of academic research. a pen and paper. While there were a number of political and sociological studies of the American radical right. That we all shared this vision is hardly remarkable.27 But I was determined in any event to carry out the research. a sympathetic but not overly curious dissertation committee. The true believer is everywhere on the march. for many in this subculture. I spoke to leaders and simple true believers in the Identity creed. for there was at that time a gap in the academic literature which I hoped that my work would fill. that provided the stuff of dreams of which the monsters of the terra incognita were constructed. Others came from smaller. there was virtually nothing dealing with their millennialist religiosity. Eric Hoffer had made the same observa- tion in The True Believer. Introduction 9 widely shared among my graduate student peers. which made it possible to work with a finite number of published sources rather than an endless backlog of messages on a computer screen. the reports which these groups issued were largely in agreement. and it was these.” to borrow from James Aho’s work on reification. Some of these watchdogs came from religious communities such as the American Jewish Congress and the Anti-Defamation League of the B’nai B’rith. For though ours is a godless age. read a mountain of Identity materials and received enough tape recorded sermons to keep a radio station in programming for a month.28 and I felt that the American radical right would make a perfect case study of contemporary millenar- ian revolutionary activism. private groups with a more left wing political ori- entation.

these strange and isolated people seemed. I believe. of millenarian violence on the Norman Cohn model. Thus. But in these early days of my research. ad infinitum. when observed in the context of suggesting that . they struck me as dispirited and confused. what I found was not remarkably different from the Identity sect. and indeed the world. These findings were duly published in my first academic article in the Journal of Terrorism and Political Violence. and what I actually experienced in the field. upon closer examination. and later in Europe. I did find as expected a millenarian subculture with at least the potential. as a tiny and powerless “right- eous remnant” whose faith and perseverance would be rewarded with terrestrial peace. I was not at all sure what to make of this dissonance between what I had expected to find. What I found most puzzling was that the monsters of terra incognita. racial minorities. There held political views which were repugnant. So they fell back for support on the starkly dualistic battle of good and evil which they had been taught since childhood from the “Book of Revelations. and it took a considerable amount of time before I was able to fully understand its import. More than anything else. They saw themselves in biblical terms. If this finding could be given a name. were not really mon- sters at all. They were genuinely unable to understand the social changes that had in their life times reshaped America.30 This was. made an off-hand observation that would in a significant way change the course of my work. these were not monsters. It was at this point that I seriously thought of finding some other avenue of research. the first aca- demic article on the topic of right wing millennialism to appear in the academic literature. Wheaton is a Christian college and Doug himself is a devout evangelical Christian. to feel too much and understand too little. And in truth. How could such people be so much like us? And why would this seem so obvious to me. Yet as the years went by. and so opaque to the wider culture and the academic world alike? Surely I felt. this bothered me greatly. In their words and deeds they harmed mainly themselves and their families. It was at this nadir that a colleague and good friend.31 This is the stuff upon which they had drawn to construct their enemies—the Jews. one movement to another. and went ever deeper into the oppositional subculture of America. save that Identity believers tend to be much older and many of the groups with which I came into contact in America. if anything. But whatever their belief structure. fortunately only rarely actualized.10 Introduction Ultimately. could be better characterized as youth subcultures. the problem must lie with me. Perhaps I had simply stumbled on the wrong millenarians and the mon- sters lay still further into the depths of terra incognita.” and upon apocalyptic sermons which since the time of the Puritans have been a staple of American Christianity. power and plenty when Jesus returned to put the world to right. They were not the violent and hate filled people I had expected to find. and I followed one idea to the next. it would be this: the shock of shared humanity. But I found something else as well. Communists. Doug Milford of Wheaton College in Illinois. and religious views based on fantastically eccentric interpretations of sacred text. Far from monsters.

Introduction 11
perhaps aspects of my research—specifically, those dealing with Satanism and the
occult, would be better left untouched—that the real problem was that I had been
given a gift of discernment which allowed me to find, at the deepest level, the spark
of goodness, of humanity, in even the most lost of souls, it caused me to reflect deeply
on the implications of the idea.32
In the evangelical worldview, evil is a literal, ever-present reality in the world.
And discernment is understood as one of the gifts of the spirit which God grants to
allow the faithful to discern between truth and deception. Thus the force of the idea.
This after all is at the core of all the great religious traditions. In Judaism, it is con-
ceived of as the Sacred Spark and in Christianity it is the human soul. In Bud-
dhism, it is the Buddha nature. But by any name, and in any tradition, it is the
power of discernment, the search for the core of humanity and the spark of the
divine, that unites us all in the human family. And it is this universal truth of the
oneness of all human creation which we so often forget in dealing with those with
whom [we] most violently disagree.
It is this recognition of shared humanity which is so lacking in the popular con-
structions of the radical right, and it is precisely the lack of this recognition of shared
humanity which allows for the creation of the imaginary monsters of terra incognita.
There are real world implications of all this.
Before considering these real world consequences however, it is important to note
at this point that none of this is said to condone racism as ‘just another idea’ or,
more subtly, to rationalize evil. Rather, this is to suggest that all human beings can
be approached on a human level. That contact can be made. This human contact
will in turn invariably neutralize the caricatures which skew scholarly analysis and
distort the historical record.
Eric Hoffer’s warning, issued some 48 years ago, still rings true today:

The true believer is everywhere on the march, and both by converting and
antagonizing he is shaping the world in his own image. And whether we are to
line up with him or against him, it is well that we should know all we can con-
cerning his nature and potentialities.33

The demonization of the radical right ill serves us when now, more than ever before,
it is vitally important to know all we can about this esoteric milieu’s nature and
Moreover, at the end of this quest, I did find something even more remarkable
than the fact the ‘we’ and ‘they’ are both human beings and have important commo-
nalities. This discovery was more unsettling still, for just as Doug Milford had
warned, I found that there IS genuine evil in the world. It is rare. It is subtle. But it
is real.
By so demonizing the many, we cloak the few, and, however unwittingly, our-
selves facilitate the existence of evil in the world.
We do this in two ways. First, by failing to recognize the humanity which binds
us together, we lose the opportunity to do what anti-racism should be about: to try
to bring the angry and the outcast back into our midst.

12 Introduction
More subtly, by condoning the use of stereotypes and caricature, we virtually
invite a new generation of seekers to reject our own wisdom, our own way of seeing
the world, when they discover for themselves that those whom we had portrayed as
the embodiment of all modern evil are simply people like ourselves. People whose own
journey into the terra incognita of racism often began with the dissonance produced
by questioning received wisdom which, on closer examination, proved to them to be
either exaggerated or simply false.
It is through such disillusionment that those few whose hatred is truly dangerous
find followers, and new generations of the disappointed fill the ranks of the hate
I have over the years seen what I believe to be genuine evil of this sort only twice.
Both times, it was a considerable shock, and both times it was a frightening experi-
ence. But in both cases, it would have been impossible to discern what I believe is a
genuine threat to society, if I had accepted the stereotypical view that ALL of the
denizens of this milieu are equally bad.
As promised, there is a practical application to all this. Over the course of the last
decade, I have in the US and Europe done a number of formal interviews, and had
innumerable conversations, with people from these oppositional subcultures. In vir-
tually all of the interviews with core members of these groups, and in a number of
more casual conversations as well, not one person who had reached adulthood did
not report that, at some time or other, he or she had not harbored the dream of living
a normal life in mainstream society. Peripheral adherents come and go all the time.
But core members of these groups, people who are known to the police and the watch-
dogs and the general public, seldom have this option.
Yet on a few occasions several of these core members with whom I had dealt did
leave the movement. Indeed, one of the primary subjects of my early Christian Iden-
tity research—a man who had been one of the two or three primary theorists of the
American Identity creed, and who had, moreover, been in the milieu of the radical
right for more than 40 years, quietly left the movement. Even more remarkable, his
Church newsletter which in the 1970s had become one of the most strident sources of
religiously based anti-Semitic rhetoric in the nation, began in the 1990s to suggest
that perhaps Jews were not really the servants of Satan on earth, after all, but a
people from whose survival and current prosperity we could learn much.
Well, if a loss to my research is a gain for society, I can hardly complain. But I
can note that what I referred to as the shock of humanity is not a one way street.
Rather, the discovery can be, for the denizens of the racist and anti-Semitic terra
incognita, a shattering experience.
Which [for the last time] brings us back to the Stockholm conference and its Amer-
ican participants. Each of us, representing three very different generations of American
academia, and coming from very different political and religious perspectives, did
believe that Europeans could find some value in the American experience. From the
theoretical perspectives brought by my American colleagues, and through my own
experiences of fieldwork, we each in our own way stressed two overriding points.
First and foremost, America has over the years dealt with oppositional subcul-
tures in three ways. The most successful strategy is, in the present era, no longer

Introduction 13
much of an option. That is, we had plenty of land and few laws, so virtually any
oppositional group, so long as they were reasonably circumspect, could go west and
establish their own enclaves. America today has far less available land, and far
more laws, and so this is hardly more an option for us than it is for Europeans.
Second, as a long line of moral crusades of which the McCarthy era is only the
most recent34 demonstrates, the option of suppression has been remarkably unsuccess-
ful. By driving a movement underground, we have found that we have increased its
virulence without markedly lessening its appeal. In fact, it is the aura of the forbid-
den which most attracts young people to oppositional movements in the first place! 35
Indeed, my findings and those of a number of colleagues working on the skinhead
and the Satanist subcultures in particular, indicate that it is the simple availability
of an oppositional milieu, rather than an attraction to any particular ideology,
which first brings young people into a radical group.
What then did we suggest? To us, the protections of speech and action as embod-
ied in the First Amendment to the American Constitution seemed to be a far more
promising avenue than outlawing speech or non-violent action.36 This appeared to
us to be a necessary precondition to the kind of engagement that, recognizing the
Sacred Spark that exists in us all, may allow even the most seemingly lost of souls to
return to mainstream society.
The second suggestion follows naturally from the first. Anti-racism as embodied
in government programs and private initiatives is extremely important. Such pro-
grams can help break down the barriers of misunderstanding and mistrust which
have prevented the successful integration of immigrant and refugee populations into
the life of the nations of Western Europe. Indeed, the universities must play a central
role in the design and the implementation of these programs. But the American
experience of multiculturalism has taught again and again that the success of gov-
ernment and private initiatives depends on the cooperation and good will of all con-
cerned—public and private institutions, citizens and newcomers, activists and the
general public. The success of the multicultural project can not be achieved over-
night, and to attempt to produce significant changes in public attitudes by official
dictát can be counter-productive, and may in fact swell the ranks of the racist

The festschrift as self-starter
I was greatly honored when I was asked by Routledge to put together an
anthology of my greatest hits. It suggested a kind of self-selected festschrift
which seems apropos for the kind of scholarship that is contained within
these covers. In a telling review of Radical Religion in America, one reviewer
noted that my scholarship is an ‘acquired taste,’ making self-selection in a
sense a logical approach.

The scholarship of Jeffrey Kaplan may be an acquired taste; if so, this
reviewer has certainly acquired it. However, even if one disputes the
author’s key inferences, Radical Religions in America is an important

14 Introduction
source for the study of Christian Identity and an absolutely indispens-
able source for information on both the B’nai Noah and the neopa-
gan Odinist-Ásatrú complex. Dr. Kaplan has also extrapolated Colin
Campbell’s concept of the “cultic milieu” in a manner that furthers
our understanding of esoteric religiopolitical groups.37

The festschrift is normally undertaken post-mortem, which makes this
project even more interesting, albeit one approached with a certain
degree of trepidation. Once again however, Professor David Rapoport
served as my role model. In 2011, the University of California at Los
Angeles hosted a gathering of Professor Rapoport’s colleagues, graduate
students, and academic admirers for a conference, the papers of which
were gathered in the form of a festschrift which was published while he was
and is still very much alive and well. This not only gave me the opportunity
to pay homage to the seminal impact of his work on my own, but also pro-
vided a format for this work.38
The project opened a riptide of memory. The Interpretive Approach
has always been second nature to me. So much so that, at conferences or
after presentations at various universities around the world, graduate stu-
dents have expressed admiration for my fieldwork and asked how they can
best undertake similar research. Beyond a shrug and a ‘just do it,’ I never
quite know what to say. It appears to me that there is nothing particularly
difficult or challenging in the process. Just shut down your email, take
your digital recorder (yet another technological innovation that has elim-
inated the extremely tedious or extremely expensive need to type out tran-
scripts), and go forth and multiply this form of ethnographic research.
Even those who have followed this simple bromide have not always been
successful. Inherent in the process is the considerable chance that the
would-be research subjects will decline the entreaties of the researcher. This
has happened to everyone. One epic failure was in Sweden, where the
Radical Feminists refused to admit me to the premises in Stockholm which
served as their base of operations cum residence of last resort. I simply could
not meet their requirement of contact with women only. They take it ser-
iously. Dr. Heléne Lööw was at first turned away as well. Although she was
certifiably female, her infant son whom she took with her to the interview
was not. The problem was solved by conveniently swapping her son for a
friend’s daughter for the day. My handicap was unresolvable however, so the
interview never took place. Not all younger researchers are prepared to take
‘no’ for an answer. One such took to an email discussion group to breath-
lessly relate his dramatic experience of being chased through the streets by
one particular new religious movement. It seems that, having been denied
access, he purloined a ladder and tried to listen in from a window. Such is
the tribal aspect of the academic guild, in this case new religious movement
scholars, that no one publicly suggested that the ethics of covert research
are somewhat questionable. Well, almost no one.

Introduction 15
The realization that the fieldwork style which underlies the Interpretive
Approach is not for everyone is the trigger that really opened the gates of
memory. In reflecting on my life before academics—I did not return to
the United States and enter the Fletcher School until my late thirties—it
became apparent that, in a sense, my early life was the real foundation of
the Interpretive Approach. It took some considerable inner debate about
whether I would be able to engage in the kind of self-revelation that would
allow the reader to see the man behind the body of scholarship offered in
these pages. Yet it is in the nature of the festschrift that the life of the
scholar, usually conveniently no longer physically present, is discussed. In
this spirit, I would offer with considerable diffidence a brief reminiscence
of my life before academe.

The man and the mirror
My family was one of three white families in an African-American neigh-
borhood outside of Denver. The faces and voices around me were dif-
ferent from my own, but in the ignorance of youth it never occurred to
me that ‘different’ meant ‘wrong’ or ‘bad’. I spent hours sitting on
porches listening to the voices of old black men telling stories about
people they had known. I was allowed to go to the local Baptist church,
where the music, passion, and the power of the language captivated me.
Sonny Liston, who was then the heavyweight champion of the world
before losing his title to Mohammed Ali, lived only a few blocks away. I was
just another kid in the neighborhood, a bit paler than most, but one who
spoke the language and knew the culture and the rules. I became part of
the world of those around me, accepted into a culture barred to whites by
becoming colorless.
I learned two languages growing up—black English in school and white
English at home. Switching between the two was so natural to me that
when we moved to an all-white neighborhood while I was in middle
school, I soon learned which language was acceptable and which was not.
It took a while to learn the rules of this strange new country in which I
found myself—white suburban America.
A chance encounter with a group of what I took to be Golden Giants in
a tiny bus station on the Western Slope of Colorado affected me so deeply
that the memory is fresh to this day. I later learned that the men in that
bus station who were captivated by my engagement with the pinball
machine were Tibetans. This inspired a fascination with Buddhism that in
time developed into dreams of visiting Bhutan, since Tibet was closed to
Westerners in the wake of the Chinese conquest in 1959. After a long stay
in Eastern Europe and a brief sojourn in Africa and the Middle East, I did
eventually manage to make it to the Buddhist monastery at McLeod
Gange, Himachal Pradesh, India, which was high in the Himalayas where
the Dalai Lama was in exile.39 I learned much about mental focus and

16 Introduction
detachment, both of which would be applied to my work. What I learned
most of all was the destructive nature of ego. To this day these lessons
formed the basis of how I relate to my work. There is a process of total
absorption, an ability to remain detached from events––especially violent
events––while they are occurring, which is invariably followed by a lack of
attachment, of ego, which is so great that once involved in another project
I would commonly forget about the previous publication altogether.
I got my B.A. from Colorado State University in two years, although it
would be some time later before I signed the requisite documents and
picked up my diploma. I was anxious to go out into the world far beyond
the borders of the US. I bought a six-week student ticket from Icelandic
Airways that took me to Frankfurt where I tore up the return to emphasize
to myself that there was no going back. I went to Czechoslovakia where I
had been in contact with a Czech with whom I had been trading record
albums for some time. I was in Czechoslovakia when Karta 77 occurred.40 I
spoke no Czech, yet was able to get by, always guided, always helped, and
somehow remained seemingly invisible outside of a tight circle of friends,
all of whom were Czechoslovakian and Bulgarian students at Charles Uni-
versity. It was an extraordinary time, when violence seemed far away from
a world of passion and dreams of non-violent freedom expressed late at
night in the wine cellars of the Old Town of Prague, a city which at that
time had few resident foreigners.41 In the 1970s and early 1980s I traveled
widely, but Bulgaria served as a kind of home. When I was hurt or desper-
ately sick after extended stays in the Sudan, close friends in Sophia were
able to take me in and help me to get treatment. Eastern Europe during
communist times was a kind of finishing school in the art of stepping
lightly, leaving the smallest possible footprint, and most of all, listening.
Americans have always embodied a kind of missionary culture. Wher-
ever in the world they go, they carry with them a vision of how the world
should be constructed which they disseminate with a missionary’s zeal and
a true fundamentalist’s certainty. In this way America will always be the
City on a Hill. Whether the good news is free trade, Protestant Christian-
ity, anti-Communism, or the palliative of democracy, Americans are true
believers in an American way that America itself has yet to realize. Some-
times the American mission falls on receptive ears, but most commonly it
elicits a smile, a shake of the head, and a wonder at the insularity and
naïveté of so powerful a people. If I ever embodied this national compla-
cency, it was quickly lost in the company of Eastern Europeans who lived
under a system that left in its wake an utter inability to have faith in much
of anything.42
I fully imbibed this sense that there is no single truth or system that will
transform the world into a better place. Rather, there are a myriad of ideas
and approaches, each with its own particular history, and each with its own
tenuous claim to truth. This fascination with ideas, however esoteric, and
those who espouse them, however passionately, resonates throughout the

Introduction 17
whole of my work and is the passport into the world of the cultic milieu as
well as the return passage to the cultural mainstream.
Finally, there was Palestine. I had two Fulbright lectureships at the Uni-
versity Graduates Union in Hebron in the late 1980s. I was thus in Hebron
for the first year of the Palestinian Intifada.43 I became deeply enmeshed
in the culture and vitality of Al-Khalil (Hebron) very quickly. The change
from a seemingly quiet, deeply religious town with its associated villages of
my first year to the outbreak of violence during my second year was not at
all surprising, surprisingly enough. At the completion of each year, a Ful-
brighter in those days was required to write a report on the doings of that
year. My readers, particularly David Good, the State Department officer
responsible for the East Jerusalem consulate, were shocked to read my
prognostication that the following year would bring about a surge of viol-
ence against the Israeli occupation of the West Bank. There was no magic
in this. Virtually every evening, and certainly every weekend, was spent vis-
iting with colleagues, relatives of colleagues, students and their families,
and soon a large cross-section of families in the town and associated vil-
lages. Conversation and listening, which would later become the Interpre-
tive Approach, made it clear that a great deal was happening under the
calm surface of life.
I was by then no stranger to violence. I was in the Sudan three times in
my life. Twice in war and once in peace. To this day, the extreme hospital-
ity and bottomless kindness of the Sudanese remains as my fondest
memory and an ideal of kindness which none outside the Sudan could
possibly emulate. Given the decades of warfare there, this is a claim that
those who have never been to the Sudan would find hard to understand
and few who have been there would ever dispute. I was in Saudi Arabia in
1970 in the wake of the uprisings in the Shi’a town of Qatif in East Provi-
dence, which was lost in the global focus on the seizure of the Mecca
Mosque under the messianic leadership of Juhayman al-Otaybi.44 Most
important of all, I was teaching English in Iran at the time of the Iranian
Revolution, which supplanted the Vietnam War as my generational event
and which would ultimately propel me into higher education to study reli-
gious violence. But Hebron was something special in that I had been so
warmly accepted by the community. Unlike Iran, where great events roiled
a nation, the Intifada was up close and deeply personal. By then, I had all
but perfected the art of becoming a mirror.
This idea of the mirror is borrowed from Buddhism. In this context,
however, it evokes the empathy which Buddhists call compassion and
couples it with a deep involvement in the culture in which I found myself.
Whether East European, East African, or Arab, I found that even with the
most rudimentary grasp of the language, I often came to be accepted less
as a foreigner or as a researcher than as a fellow human being who under-
stood and cared about the conditions, beliefs, and the passions of the
person with whom I was conversing.

18 Introduction
When I left Hebron, the West Bank was struck from the Fulbright roils.
My wife at that time had tired of constant travel and had lost patience, to
put it gently, with being in places where bullets flew, where her husband
was rarely home, living in cultures that marginalized women. So we at last
returned to the United States where, to my surprise, I was accepted into
the only school to which I applied: the Fletcher School of Tufts University
in Medford, Massachusetts. There I learned much about the Middle East
and about intelligence studies, but it was not enough. Fletcher is an excel-
lent school which produces excellent bankers and diplomats but too few
real scholars. It is a professional school in the highest sense of the term. It
focuses, in keeping with the needs of professionals, on the ‘how’ while I
was fascinated by the ‘why’. So the next three years were devoted to the
interdisciplinary History of Culture program at the University of Chicago.
In Chicago, I benefited from some of the finest academic minds in the
country: Karl Weintraub, Martin E. Marty, J. Z. Smith, Bernard McGinn
(my committee chairman and dissertation committee respectively) and
many more. But a single chance event would solidify the vision which
forms the heart of my research. In looking through one of the university’s
satellite libraries, I happened upon a dog-eared paperback copy of
Norman Cohn’s Pursuit of the Millennium.45 His world was filled with lost
and bewildered townspeople who lived each day in the chaos and certainty
that the Parousia, the return of the Messiah, is nigh. Every man is thus
called upon to take violent action to facilitate the blessed event. With
Cohn’s insights, years of travel, conversations, and violent events came
together. I knew these people, or at least their modern descendants. In
the words of the Helsinki Address which began this descent into the past,
the fighters, the dreamers, the terrorists, and the victims too assumed
shape and form. ‘Far from monsters, these strange and isolated people
seemed, if anything, to feel too much and understand too little.’46
In this superfluity of feeling and dearth of understanding, researcher
and subject come together as one. Each of the articles contained in this
volume may best be seen as attempts to allow the reader to feel what the
men and women inhabiting the lands deep in the terra incognita feel
and to allow us all, subject, reader, and author, a chance to find

The volume
The articles in this collection are grouped thematically rather than chron-
ologically. The evolution of my work has been considered at some length
in this Introduction. The presentation of the articles themselves, there-
fore, would be of greater utility to the reader by grouping them into sec-
tions in which the topics are closely interrelated. These are:

The inter-movement relationship is often very intri- cate and even symbiotic as well as interactive in such a manner that the antagonistic parties’ interpretations of each other’s proclivities too often become self-fulfilling prophecies. Robbins gave the methodology its name.” neo-pagan groups such as the Asatrú and the Odinists) with stimulating analyses and provocative ideas. there seems to be an implication that some extremist groups are essentially passive reactors to the slings and arrows issuing from ‘watchdogs’ such as the ADL which push them in racist and violent directions that they would . the first issue of Nova Religio: The Journal of New and Emergent Religions contained a methodological debate between Tom Robbins and myself over the ethics of the form of fieldwork I and a few European scholars were using. American “Nordic. the work of Jeffrey Kaplan is particularly fascinating and impressive. 1 (October 1997). The article is a reply to Thomas Robbins’ critical appraisal of my work. and the authorities and anti-cult or anti-racist ‘watchdog’ groups which are spearheading a countermovement mobil- ization. Stigmatized fringe groups often tend to evolve in a direction that reinforces the stigma which has already been applied to them by countermovement ‘watchdog’ groups. pp.47 A later and far more refined reflection was contained in the Intro- duction to the Encyclopedia of the Radical Right.” Nova Religio 1. In this he includes not only the movements noted above which were contained in Radical Religion in America. This was the first attempt to publicly explain my methodological approach. After a long discussion of millenarian violence. combining an extensive knowledge of seemingly obscure and colorful fringe groups (e. . Robbins opens his critique with the heading “Does Jeffrey Kaplan Go a Bit Too Far?”48 Certainly his critique begins well: . “Absolute Rescue: Absolutism. particularly among new religious movements. First. Kaplan focuses on the relationship between a controversial move- ment on the one hand. also the far more controversial material contained in what I still consider to be my finest work. Introduction 19 Part I: Theory and methodology “Interpreting the Interpretive Approach: A Friendly Reply to Thomas Robbins. Defensive Action and the Resort to Force. though. Robbins does have issues with my use of the Interpretive Approach is with the discussion of violence.g.49 Where Dr. 30–49. on the other. His criticism was friendly and insightful. which was reprinted above.. In a very early attempt to explain the ‘Interpretive Approach’. no. Dr. . In our view.50 His central concern. It was Dr. centers on the watchdog movements and the question of violence: Two things bother me slightly about Kaplan’s analyses.” which dealt with the pro-life rescue move- ment.

it reflects a very poignant fear that has been expressed often in . In rereading my earliest work more than 20 years on. a “useful idiot”). notes that Christian Identity groups employ ‘pseudo-validation’ strategies to elicit hostile responses from perceived opponents which will appear to confirm the Identity racists’ conspiracy theories. violent) direction seems to be viewed as the responsibility of the vehe- ment critics and opponents of the volatile groups!51 Although I would disagree somewhat that Michael Barkun’s exemplary scholarship fits in with the with the term Interpretive Approach as we have defined it. Dr. but in making the point that the watchdogs play a far greater role than had been previously thought. Thomas Robbins accurately notes that in all authorit- arian sects—as in the world of the radical right and other millennialist communities—there is often a “problematic underside” that scholars of religion have too often chosen to ignore in the greater interest of carry- ing on the battle against the anti-cult movement. cannot fail to note these problems. and Waco. The need for such insights could have no more eloquent testimony than the three paradigmatic cases suggested in this article—Jonestown. This was not the intent.20 Introduction otherwise eschew. it seems implied that Jewish citizens should avoid denouncing racist groups and supporting anti-paramilitarist measures such as forms of gun control. Ruby Ridge. as a fieldwork-based methodology. the writing in these articles would support Dr. it would appear that this concern lies very much at the heart of “Religious Movements and Violence. Robbins makes a cogent point. to borrow again from Lenin. The evolu- tion of objectionable extremist groups in a more extreme (i.” Moreover. when it is based on sufficiently intensive fieldwork. The interpretive approach. racist. Robbins’ observations.” Offered almost as an aside. This is an issue that I gave cre- dence to in my reply to his article.e. By avoiding the trap of what Robbins warns can become a “cult apologist” (or. On the other hand. that is. however. Which brings us in conclusion to Robbins’ “problem of order. It would therefore useful to quote the conclusion to that article at some length: In his postscript.. Second. Michael Barkun. the insights provided by the interpretive approach at its best have the poten- tial to contribute to a better understanding of the internal dynamics of authoritarian and/or millennialist sects. also associated in the writer’s mind with the interpretive approach. However. it would appear to be the primary advantage of the methodology to provide some insight into the processes by which both leader and adherent of these sects understand themselves and interpret the world around them. and it is incumbent on the researcher to deal with them forthrightly. there does seem to be a tendency to somewhat portray the violence of the radical right as resulting from the actions of the watchdog groups.

” Terrorism and Political Violence 9. it is the embattled adherents of “constitutional order. it is important to note that I do not take Robbins’ fears lightly. in some small measure. 260–73. Leaderless resistance. Rapoport. no. 80–95. 2001) pp. “Leaderless Resistance. Of far greater import. Having said this. and presumably the primary reason that Routledge asked me to produce this retrospective. “Antichrist. their fears would appear to have a far greater basis in reality than those expressed by Robbins. can provide a bridge of mutual understanding that will serve.” appears to reflect a deep-seated fear of disorder which is widespread in American society generally and is particularly redolent in the vast literature of anti-Semitism throughout the ages. This fear—expressed in this context in the form of “paramilitarist zealots” from whom the average citizen requires protection by “public authorities” who may no longer be willing or capable of performing the task—underlines the need for the insights provided by the interpretive approach. . It was reprinted in David C. Inside Terrorist Organiza- tions (London: Frank Cass. 3 (Fall 1997). . In this view.” who fear the overwhelming power of a state bent on their destruction. These are the core of my work. as it was understood . but it still lives on in the footnotes of any work on lone wolves that is published today by anyone who has done their homework in the literature. the balance of power is decidedly unfavorable. Today the article is somewhat dated. are that the articles in significant ways are pioneering in the field of religious violence and reli- giously motivated terrorism. [His] somewhat jocular reference to the havoc that a neighboring “messianic communal sect” might wreak in retaliation for the minor depredations of the family dog. Quite the contrary. through its emphasis on personal contact and dialogue. Moreover.” the militias and the tiny righteous remnant of the “messianic communal sect. Introduction 21 relation to my writings . From the vantage point of the “messianic communal sect” and the “paramilitarist zealots. the term was all but unknown to any outside of the milieu of the radical right and the few academics who follow their doings. to allay the barriers of fear and hostility which have so long divided us.53 When “Leaderless Resist- ance” was published. The greatest benefit of the interpre- tive approach may yet prove to be that the methodology. Here.52 Part II: Firsts This Part requires less in-depth discussion than does the part on method- ology. as Ruby Ridge and Waco—and a long series of one-sided confrontations with state authority that predated these well-known cases—teach. pp.” the picture is quite different. President Obama recently declared that the greatest terrorist threat facing the United States today stems from lone wolves.

” in Jeffrey Kaplan and Heléne Lööw. virtually every isolated compound had been dismantled by the FBI and every organization had been thoroughly penetrated by the watchdogs and the FBI. eds. to take up the gun and fight in hopeless battle? The leaderless resistance idea. lone wolf terrorism is anything but a cry of despair. He founded the first Swedish branch of Ben Klassen’s Church of the Creator. is considerably different from lone wolf terrorism today.54 By the 1980s. What is lost in scale from attacks by terrorist organizations is gained in surprise and sowing fear in a population that suddenly sees themselves as vulnerable and begins to suspect that anyone who is different from themselves just might be a terrorist. Having somewhat of a claim on the franchise. it was adopted as a strategy of despair. “Tommy Rydén: A National Social- ist Life. Jeffrey Kaplan and Leonard Weinberg.. CA: AltaMira Press.55 which loosely fictionalized the decade-old coast-to-coast murder spree of the American National Socialist pariah Joseph Paul Franklin. I have done considerable work on lone wolves in recent years which will be considered in the last part. Having found with considerable difficulty their addresses. The interview took place at his home in a small Swedish town and it reflects both the fascinating transnational interactions within the cultic milieu as Rydén in his early teens discovered the names of American racist figures. For the radical right. it is a tactic which allows adherents of numerous ethnic and religious causes to take up arms largely under the radar of the coun- tries in which they reside. NJ: Rutgers University Press). was further popularized by the publication Hunter. 2002). “Introduction.56 Unlike leaderless resistance. It is the first such published interview with the radical right figure. pp. Having given up on the possibility of creating a viable fighting organization on the model of The Order which was led by Robert Matthews before its violent suppression by the FBI. What was left to do but for a single man. Rather.57 Jeffrey Kaplan and Heléne Lööw. 1–11. which until Klassen’s suicide was the most virulent source of racist and anti-Semitic propaganda in the pre-Internet world. acting alone. 169–93.22 Introduction by the radical right. primarily in the Ku Klux Klan. . pp. radical right thinkers such as the Identity preacher Pete Peters in Colorado and Klansmen Louis Beam in Texas suggested that leaderless resistance was all that remained to carry out from their per- spective violent resistance. he initiated a correspondence which would last a lifetime with a myriad of Americans. originally promulgated by Louis Beam. The Cultic Milieu: Oppositional Subcultures In An Age Of Globalization (Walnut Creek. This concluding chapter of the book co-written with professor Leonard Weinberg consists of an in-depth interview with Swedish National Socialist figure Tommy Rydén.” in The Emergence of a Euro-American Radical Right (New Brunswick.

the murderer (the abortion provider) and his victim (a baby or a fetus. Defensive Action and the Resort to Force. no. In addition. 30–82. So much has been said about this article already that it would make sense to continue onto the next entry. I did considerable interviewing and on-site research with the leadership and . no. At the time that it was written. This article is based primarily on interviews. It is based on fieldwork and participant/observer research among both Protestant and Catholic rescue organizations. The article’s timing was remarkable. It considers the radical right in America in terms of dis- parate and what on first glance appears to be quite separate belief systems. pp. but this article updates and upgrades the approach taken by Radical Religion in America in that it interprets the radical right as a system rather than a collec- tion of case studies. participant/observer research and primary sources. This introduction to the eponymous anthology summarizes our understanding of the cultic milieu at the turn of the millennium. from Protestant movements such as the relatively mainstream Operation Rescue to the radical fringe groups such as Missionaries to the Preborn in Milwaukee. the rescue movement was defined as consisting of those with their bodies between.” Terrorism and Political Violence 5. had just been crushed by the federal government’s use of legislation. The movement. 1 (Spring 1995). pp. How each system interacts with the others is taken into consideration. “Absolute Rescue: Absolutism. Introduction 23 A great deal has already been written in these pages about the cultic milieu. “Terror From the Far Right. 3 (Autumn 1995). in their parlance. in Pensacola. Special issue. 128–63.” 44–95. to have access to rescuers across the spectrum. There is nothing quite like “Absolute Rescue” in the academic liter- ature. which may be posited as the most extreme reaches of the pro-life movement. “Right Wing Violence in North America. no. having undertaken fieldwork just before the first shooting of an abortion provider. 1 (Spring 1993). The case study therefore coincided with my involvement as a researcher. including the utilization of the RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) Act.” Terrorism and Political Violence 7. David Gunn. It is the first step toward understanding the cultic milieu. depending on your point of view).” Terrorism and Political Violence 7.58 I was therefore the only academic. Dr. Part III: Case studies “The Context of American Millenarian Revolutionary Theology: The Case of the ‘Identity Christian’ Church of Israel. or for that matter outsider. Florida in 1993.

It gave me the chance to interview rescuers called at the same time that I was there. . The adage that with a grand jury you can indict a ham sandwich has a ring of truth to it. Alaska. Tiller. fittingly enough given the course of my life in the furthest northern point of human habi- tation. volunteers from the school. however. Barrow. raising their hands as if we were in an undergraduate seminar. the almost one dozen boxes of material had been in my possession for less than a week and had been transshipped to Barrow. Far more inter- esting was the grand jury proceeding itself. George Tiller. It was not long before a representative of the FBI arrived in Barrow with the subpoena to a grand jury convened to indict the leadership of the rescue movement as participants in a wide- spread conspiracy. by the end of the ordeal anyone. was Shelley Shannon. this was not good news. However. This unexpected boon to my research is what made the article. which includes a cartoon that she sent to me as a Christ- mas card and which perfectly illuminates the view of the world common among rescuers. were able to photocopy every piece of material so that I would be able to work with it after turning the originals over to the government. as were all of their tra- ditional customs. the grand jurors clearly lost patience and began to ask questions directly. A grand jury consists only of a prosecutor and a jury. The idea that a woman could undertake violence of any kind. She is now serving a term in federal prison for shooting Dr. which was then call Arctic Sivunmun Illisagvik College. The news soon got worse. On my first night there. videotapes of rescues. is an Inupiat town and the Inupiat have little love for a federal government whose policy in the last genera- tion was to gather up school-age children and ship them to tribal schools in Oklahoma where their language was forbidden. I turned on CNN only to see her smiling face looking back at me with the news that she had shot Dr. The context of the situation was unusual. who was later shot to death in 2009 by Scott Roeder. Tiller. in those innocent pre-suicide bomber days. It also underlies a major pitfall of the Interpretive Approach. To put it mildly.60 The bearer of the indictment was led on a grand tour of the town and its environs in a futile search for someone. In retrospect. Meanwhile.24 Introduction core members of the Catholic Lambs of Christ in Colorado. The grand jury proceeding was instructive. upon whom he could serve the subpoena. prison diaries. which quite frankly I failed to take seriously. There is only one voice. On the day that I left the University of Chicago for my first academic job. Barrow. which included private letters. She wounded Dr.61 It is against the rules for grand jurors to interact directly with the witness. after the prosecutor intentionally and repeatedly misquoted or took out of context parts of an early draft of this article. and much more. she did all but send semaphore signals of her intent.59 Ms. The most important contact however. I had spent much of my adult life in the Islamic world. Shannon supplied me with her entire archive of rescue material. never occurred to me. rescue journals.

one of the troika of Lambs leaders) to his daughter on the importance of non-violence in rescue. or calling in other members of the milieu to try to influence someone intent on viol- ence away from their projected course? The ethical and personal ques- tions involved are agonizing. When the FBI found Shelley Shannon’s date book and diary. the Clinton Justice Department was not pleased. Introduction 25 The transformation was triggered when. including entries overlapping the day of the shooting. I told them that in my view there was no such conspiracy. after numerous instances of asking me to defend statements that were taken blatantly out of context followed by my correcting him and restoring the information to its proper place. and their ire is clear in Shannon’s sentencing report. and through sheer ignorance I managed to sidestep the world of hurt that could have come down on my head follow- ing the Tiller shooting. manner. there is a network of true believers. The article was written immediately before the David Gunn shooting. . Had I actually understood what Shelley Shannon was intending to do. some of the issues were very serious. or in keeping with the spirit of the Interpretive Approach. I would have been in an acute dilemma. leaving a few lone wolf snipers who had nothing to do with the movement itself. Rather. There are lessons to be learned by those who seek to do this kind of research with movements that are involved in deadly violence. Predictably. . my name was all over it. who come together in a naïve. The lesson that I take from it is rather counterintuitive for an academic: ignorance is bliss. do you remain a mirror and let what- ever happens happen? Do you take a middle-of-the-road approach by trying to convince someone intending violence to desist.” Terrorism and Political Violence 5. But ignorance only works once.” It is included because of the data gleaned from a mail survey conducted through the Prisoners of Christ newsletter which involved a number of jailed rescuers. “America’s Last Prophetic Witness: The Literature of the Rescue Move- ment. I leave these to the reader to deduce. no. the grand jury declined to indict. I asked the prosecutor whether ‘he was taught that technique in law school or is it a Justice Department thing?’ The jurors exploded in laughter and the atmosphere from the prosecutorial point of view quickly went downhill. The next time . pp. although increasingly violent. which was stunning. 58–77. I told them as well that the rescue movement was dead. which noted my activities in considerably less than glowing terms. giving it . It also contains interview and primary source materials from the Lambs of Christ (includ- ing private letters between Ron Maxson. This article predated “Absolute Rescue. Do you drop a dime on a research subject with whom you have established a cordial relationship. In response to the jurors’ questions. While the denouement of the case had elements of farce. 2 (Fall 1993). Ultimately. each con- vinced of the ultimate rightness of their cause.

1 (2009). Maeyam Razavy. coupled with vigorous prosecution from the federal level. make contact with the LRA.” Terrorism and Political Violence 18. Special edition on Security and Reli- gion. including some rare good words towards President George W. Bush for his resolute use of the Justice Department to put an end to the wave of hate crime attacks against Muslims and perceived Muslims (Sikhs were singled out more often than Muslims because of what Americans perceive to be ‘Islamic’ dress). Costa. Strategy and Military Reflections On the Impact of ‘Malign Tribalism’ and Future Threats.” by Col. no. “Islamophobia in America? September 11 and Islamophobic Hate Crime. the article focuses deeply on the LRA’s tribal and religious roots. currently. When put to a vote however. Butko. I applied for a grant from a major Foundation that would have allowed me to go to Uganda. This final part of the book is introduced by Colonel Christopher P. pp. the US Navy’s program on Irregular Warfare and Special Operations Forces (SOF ) . He writes from the perspective of an experienced military intelligence officer in both the US Army and. In that way it is a different kind of article which does not utilize the Interpretive Approach. 1–33. (eds. The wave of hate crime was brief but intense. however. It would have been a great test of the Interpretive Approach. as always. ended it.” Religious Studies and Theology. Violence and the Timeless Dream. It did have some surprising findings though. It was done separately from the monograph Terrorism’s Fifth Wave. 95–127. T. Not surprisingly. Christopher P. As it is. and T. “The Lord’s Resistance Army: Millennialism. no. a bare majority vetoed the project on the grounds that it was too dangerous. This article was also written from the safety and security of my office. The Presi- dent’s speech condemning violence of this kind. “Islamophobia in America?” was written entirely within the confines of my office. This article attracted a wide variety of readers as evidenced by email contact from several high school students researching the question. Costa. 28. I came within a single vote of it being otherwise. and conduct some admittedly high-risk fieldwork among them.26 Introduction the atmosphere of a movement that continued to adhere to the model of Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights Movement. pp.). as well as local journalists seeking interviews on the subject. Part IV: New directions “Post 9/11 Policy. who has since co-written several of the seminal articles outlining the New Tribalism. the majority of hate crimes reported targeted Jews. 1 (Winter 2006).

Costa has taken these ideas to flag officers and the National Security Council. eds.63 “On Tribalism: Auxiliaries. Like the presentations. The result was messy to say the least. or anticolonial. 4 (2007). to continue the aquatic metaphor. 13–42. Col. in Lone Wolves and Autonomous Cells. What I attempted to do in that pre- sentation was to put out a number of ideas which took the findings of this article considerably further. DC. I realized it is a persistent undertow which can be identified throughout the fourth. This is the article which caught the interest of Col. the New Tribalism examines the concept of tribe in the context of violence. wave as well. “The Fifth Wave: The New Tribalism?” in Terrorism and Political Violence 19. Christopher P. and offers the most complete review of the New Tribalism to date.” Co-Written with Col. Introduction 27 Studies which is headquartered at the National Defense University in Washington. that offer them a sense of shared identity and culture. this turned out not to be accurate. Specifi- cally. I posited that tribalism seemed to constitute a putative ‘fifth wave’ in the context of David Rappaport’s Four Wave theory. 545–70. who issued the invitation to present my ideas to an audience comprised primarily of Navy SEALs. 2 (January 2014). Jeffrey Kaplan and Heléne Lööw. and has roots in the second. ascriptive and aspirational. . where they are now becoming part of the emerging doctrines of irregular warfare and the use of Special Operations Forces in current areas of conflict. The special issue was released in 2015 as part of a hardback anthology by Routledge. New Tribalism theory posits two forms of tribalism. Affiliates. wave of terrorism. Costa. The seeds of an idea was there and during several subsequent presentations the area which I call the New Tribalism at last took shape. took place at the National Defense University Program on Irregular Warfare and SOF Studies in 2012. no. Ascriptive tribalism refers to the immemorial blood ties that bind peoples together. Rather than seeing tribalism as a wave of any kind. We have worked together to further our understanding of the implications of the New Tribalism. this article was groundbreaking and ultimately unsuccessful. pp.62 Over the course of continued research. The New Tribalism is the direction of my contemporary research. and Aspirational Political Violence. Rather than take the safe option of recapping this article. which strays well beyond the anthropological conceptions of the term.. The result was considerably less than a home run. In it. no. each with benign and malign aspects. Costa. Far from the anthropological understanding of tribalism. Special Issue of Terrorism and Political Violence 26. My first tentative step into the reconception of tribalism. pp. or religious. to use an Americanism I ‘swung for the fences’.

Kony undertook a campaign of ruthless rape and murder which sought to capture children who could be brought up entirely in the millennialist and messianic ideology of the LRA. To make way for this felicitous event. Aspirational tribalism encompasses tribal structures that are voluntary in nature. None of these movements. the rate of Muslim growth is 73 percent. centrally controlled trans- national networks. set out to create a new Acholi people. and South Asia. Until the emergence of the Islamic State. compared to Christianity’s 35 percent and Hinduism’s 34 percent. aspirational tribalism would appear to be malign in nature. Al-Qaeda was the most successful aspirational tribe post 9/11.28 Introduction and a sense of security. That said. Tribal elders attempted to maintain the balance between tribal traditions and the exigencies of survival by adapting such traditions as they could to respond to the rapidly decaying circumstances around them. . or organizational brand names available to any self-styled group or individual ready to engage in leaderless resistance as an act of initi- ation into the aspirational tribe. as evidenced by the emergence of the Islamic State (IS/ ISIS/ISUL). aspirational tribes offer the opportunity to take part in a world-changing experience. brotherhood. both militia and millenar- ian. It is a port of refuge in the storms which for centuries have come to engulf the Middle East. At first glance. According to the latest statistics from the Pew Research Center. and ultimate power. emerged. and the rate of Muslim population growth by con- version and natural expansion today is stunning. Benign ascriptive tribal entities tend to be conservative in the face of catastrophic violence.64 No better example of benign aspirational tribalism can be offered. having been rejected by elders and tribesmen alike. The Acholi tribe of northern Uganda is a classic example. They may take the form of armed groups. malign aspirational tribalism is a very real and increasingly dangerous threat. In the context of civil war which often pitted the national government against the Acholi. traditional tribal ties fragmented and the number of movements. Africa. which was built on the ashes of Alice Lakwena’s Holy Spirit Movement. The emergence of Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army. Aspirational tribal structures provide both a familiar environment for those who seek to escape the strictures of traditional ascriptive tribal societies and to Westerners seeking to escape the anomy and individualism of Western cultures. Hizbullah fills the same role in the Shi’ite world and movements such as Palestinian Hamas and Somal- ian Shabab have had some impact as well. Ascriptive tribalism is kinship writ large. but nothing could be further from the truth. The paradigmatic example of benign aspirational tribalism is the Islamic ummah (community) in which men and women throughout the world join together to follow the teachings of the Prophet Mohammed. In both cases. The LRA is thus the paradigmatic example of malign ascriptive tribalism. bestowing on the adherent a sense of belonging. The growth of Islam by conversion was remark- able in the ancient world.

especially new converts and second generation immigrants. They publish collections of these reports in softcover book form. CA: AltaMira Press. Thomas Robbins. Encyclopedia of Religion and Society (Walnut Creek. . 271–2. (New York: Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith. IL: Uni- versity of Chicago Press.. 1978). .” Nova Religio 1. see J. “The Modern Anti-Cult Movement in Historical Perspective. Glazier. More ominously. the Islamic State urges these true believers to undertake lone wolf campaigns of violence in their home countries. 1997). The Pol- itics of Unreason: Right-Wing Extremism in America.” Syzygy: A Journal of Alternative Religion and Culture 2. The document was obtained through a source who was not connected in any way with Lyndon LaRouche. 127–63. pp. 265–89. 205. “The Anti- Cult Movement in America: An History of Culture Perspective. pp. Gordon Melton. as Western states become increasingly successful in stemming the flow of those wanting to become part of the IS.” Terrorism and Political Violence 5. Hate Groups in America: A Record of Bigotry and Violence. pp. pp. Notes 1 Jeffrey Kaplan. the Politics of Unreason was also connected to the ADL. Radical Religion in America: Millenarian Movements from the Far Right to the Children of Noah (Syracuse. 1988). 1966). MD: Altamira Press. As it turned out. 1998). For an excellent summation of the history of the anti-cult movement. Swatos and Peter Kivisto. no. 267–96. 30–82. Introduction 29 however. 1 (1997). “The Context of American Millenarian Revolutionary Theology: The Case of the ‘Identity Christian’ Church of Israel. notes that Geertz advocates an “interpretive approach to religious beliefs and institutions. P75 (Chicago. 8 See in particular Karl Joachim Weintraub. “The Anti-Cult Movement in America: An History of Culture Perspective.” in The Cultic Milieu (Lanham. “Religious Movements and Violence: A Friendly Critique of the Interpretive Approach. 1790–1977. 1 (1993). 13–29. Obtained through Lyndon LaRouche FOIA action. 2002). no. 4 Most of the material produced by the ADL and groups like it was disseminated in the form of reports and newsletters. 6 Jeffrey Kaplan. can match the amazing success of the Islamic State in capturing the imaginations of young people.” pp. These young jihadists have converged on the IS from all over the world. 3 A somewhat dated exception was Seymour Martin Lipset and Earl Raab. 4 February 1985. IL: University of Chicago Press. 2 William H. 3/4 (1993). authored by Stephen D. This material was primarily historical and covered groups and individuals like the John Birch Society and the 1968 George Wallace campaign for the presidency. A Phoenix Book.” In his discussion of my work the sociologist Thomas Robbins used this term to describe the pioneering nature of my work. See for example B’nai B’rith Anti-defamation League. no.65 The article also suggests an offensive use for the New Tribalism by the West in areas such as China’s Autonomous Zones . date unknown. 7 Director. NY: Syracuse University Press. Visions of Culture (Chicago. 2nd ed. It said little about the racist and anti-Semitic fringe in which Christian Identity is located. 5 The relationship between new religious movement scholars and the anti-cult movement was no less hostile than that between the anti-cult movement and the new religious movements which they target. . Brief entry on Geertz. ed. new rev. p. FBI to SACs and ADICs. pp.

1985). The X-Files became a pheno- menally popular television show with its first airing 1993 (the year that my first publications appeared as well). and Arm of the Lord was at that time the armorer of choice of the radical right and through one of its members. “Religious Movements and Violence: A Friendly Critique of the Interpretive Approach. 30–49. MI: Gale Research. 13–29. (Detroit. 10 As a classic example of the revolutionary impact of computer technology on social research. “Radical Beliefs Material Collection Celebrates 50th Anniver- sary Celebration Hosted at the University of Kansas. http://cjonline. Richard Snell. I had the opportunity to meet Dr. armed with Wehr (the best Arabic–English dictionary available). 2000). pp. As a graduate student. Clive Barker. Gordon Melton. “Right-Wing Violence in North America. Heléne Lööw. Alaska we read each other’s papers and both were stunned to find that. 1989). On our flights respectively from Stockholm and Barrow. 3rd ed. Another Swede. 18 “Interpreting the Interpretive Approach: A Friendly Reply to Thomas Robbins. 13 J. no. His work was often played out against the backdrop of public discourse in Sweden through his openness to interested journalists. Jeffrey news/2015-03-22/radical-beliefs-material-collection-celebrates-50th-anniversary. The remnants of this paper can be found scattered through Bernard McGinn. Dr. 71–5. 119–61. 16 Kaplan. Lööw at a conference in Berlin organized by Terrorism and Political Violence. 1 (Spring 1995). and Art in France and the Netherlands in the XIVth and XVth Centuries (New York: St. Mattias Gardell. The Encyclopedia of American Religions. .” Terrorism and Political Violence 7. I would offer this. Dr. The X-Files’ slogan “The truth is out there” per- fectly encapsulates the ethos of the milieu. 1995. Robbins’ article was Thomas Robbins. “Interpreting the Interpretive Approach: A Friendly Reply to Thomas Robbins. 1989). 1994). Jeffrey Kaplan. “Racist Violence and Criminal Behaviour in Sweden: Myths and Reality. Martin’s Press. 15 Associated Press.30 Introduction 9 Johan Huizinga. Thought. 1st ed. I currently have a phone app which can search in moments the references to the dajjal in English that it took me months to decipher from Arabic and Persian. by far the best paper which I produced was on the dajjal—the Islamic antichrist. I combed the hadith literature (the uninspired sayings of Mohammed). The Great and Secret Show: The First Book of the Art (London: Collins. 11 Robbins. they were absolutely identical in meth- odological style. CA: HarperSanFrancisco. CA: AltaMira Press. “Interpreting the Interpretive Approach: A Friendly Reply to Thomas Robbins. “Religious Movements and Violence: A Friendly Critique of the Inter- pretive Approach.” p. It posited a dead letter office in which knowledge can be sal- vaged from the detritus of undeliverable letters.” pp.” 2015. (San Fran- cisco. 32. would figure prominently in the Oklahoma City bombing which also took place on April 19. The Waning of the Middle Ages: A Study of the Forms of Life. 13–29. 14 The Covenant. Anti- christ: Two Thousand Years of the Human Fascination with Evil. pp. Encyclopedia of White Power: A Sourcebook on the Radical Racist Right (Walnut Creek.” pp. To produce the paper I disappeared into the bowels of the McCormick Theological Seminary where.” p. Sword. 17 As I mentioned in the Dedication. 12 Jeffrey Kaplan. although one was about Sweden and the other about the United States. 166–9.” pp. 19 The milieu of lost and suppressed ideas began to have residence in the main- stream through books such as Clive Barker’s The Great and Secret Show which appeared in 1989. 33. 1 (1995): 44–95.” Terrorism and Political Violence 7. no. would soon adopt the methodology.

2004. Chicago Studies in the History of Judaism (Chicago. 28 Norman Cohn. 79–95. 35 This comes as no surprise to the historian who will recall that persecution has on numerous occasions increased rather than lessened the attraction of oppo- sitional movements. 21 Jonathan Z. it would be safe to say that the antiter- rorism crusade has not only supplanted the McCarthy era. NJ: Transaction Publishers. Now. 119–36. 10. “Reification and Sacrifice: The Goldmark Case.ccel. as in the case of the Identity preacher noted above. The Cultic Milieu: Oppositional Subcultures in an Age of Globalization. The article was reprinted with the kind permission of the author in: Jeffrey Kaplan and Heléne Lööw.php. xxviii–xxxvi. 23 Kaplan and Lööw. or in the phrase with which I begin every class.’ 33 Hoffer. 34 This Address was given in 1998–99. The growth of early Christianity in the face of the Roman persecution of Christians is a major case in point. CA: AltaMira Press. evidence that racist and anti-Semitic beliefs.html. The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements. San Francisco. The Pursuit of the Millennium: Revolutionary Millenarians and Mys- tical Anarchists of the Middle Ages (London: Pimlico. 32 Discernment is a heavily Christian term whose connotation suggests an ability to discern good from evil and to thus approach ultimate truth. 1989). www.sinners. The True Believer. Moreover. http://citation. 22 Colin Campbell. Encyclopedia of White Power: A Sourcebook on the Radical Racist Right. 29 Hoffer. empathy in the context of this research means the ability to ‘see through the eyes of the other. 2004). but far exceeded it in the willingness of the American people to barter constitutional freedoms for the chimera of personal and national security. “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God. The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements. 12–25. This . 26 The terra incognita imagery which I borrowed from one of Martin Marty’s seminars. several years before the 9/11 attacks of 2001. no. 25 Hoffer. pp. “The Context of American Millenarian Revolutionary Theology: The Case of the ‘Identity Christian’ Church of Israel. the Cultic Milieu and Secularization. The reference to true believers is intentional and refers to the equally timeless work of Eric Hoffer. pp. pp. Billington. CA. Fire in the Minds of Men: Origins of the Revolutionary Faith (New Brunswick. Introduction 31 20 James H. IL: University of Chicago Press. 2002). Chapter 7. The Cultic Milieu: Oppositional Subcultures in an Age of Globali- zation (Walnut Creek. was picked up by other scholars of the radical right as well. August 15. are false most often leads to an increased faith in the belief system. Connecticut July 8. 1741. preface. American Sociological Association meetings. 1972). 30 Kaplan. xii. The Politics of Studying the White Separatist edwards/sermons. citation/1/0/9/4/1/pages109412/p109412-8.allacademic. See Betty Dobratz and Stephanie Shanks-Meile. 24 Kaplan. in the age of the Patriot Act. Imagining Religion: From Babylon to Jonestown. 1999). 1 (1987).” in A Sociologi- cal Yearbook of Religion in Britain 5 (London: SCM Press. 1982).” 31 The classic of the genre and the apocalyptic sermon that had the greatest impact on the American people was Jonathan Edwards. 27 James Aho. Smith. “The Cult. The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements. whose brilliant work written in the post-World War II era continues to describe the most fanatic seekers in the milieu: Eric Hoffer. An academic audience would be more comfortable with the term ‘empathy’ which allows an individual to sympathize with. preface.” California Sociolo- gist. Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements (New York: Perennial Library.” Enfield.

pp. see Michael E. Jean Rosenfeld (New York: Routledge. 38 Jeffrey Kaplan. Nation and Race: The Developing Euro-American Racist Subculture (Boston. For a good brief overview see The Legal Project. Human Rights in Czechoslovakia: The Documents of Charter 77.. operators on the American side became deeply emotionally attached to the men in the movement. MA: Northeastern University Press. 37 Thomas Robbins.32 Introduction cognitive dissonance is best explained in the classic 1959 study Leon Festinger. When Prophecy Fails (Mansfield Center. 40 Karta 77 was a quixotic endeavor whereby a group of Czech intellectuals circu- lated a petition informing the communist government under Gustáv Husák that due to their dearth of popularity they should resign to make way for a demo- cratic government. and Stanley Schachter. 36 This is a reference to the laws in many European states that forbid any form of speech which could constitute incitement. The Washington Papers (New York: Praeger. R Sengupta. Gordon pp. United States. 2014). 1998). G. through sheer magical thinking given the Dalai Lama’s ruling forbid- ding the guerrillas to take life. 470–2. 1982–1987 (Washington. It obviously made no headway and the Czechs were not inclined to follow the doomed example of the Hungarian uprising in 1956. Janusz Bugajski. Ranelagh’s brief account includes a quote worth remembering. Henry W. “The CIA Circus: Tibet’s Forgotten Army” Outlook (1999): www. For an in-depth view from both sides of the ques- tion. New York: Cambridge University Press. or for that matter to significantly impair Chinese control.friendsoftibet. “European Hate Speech Laws. Ironically. Erik Bleich. Václav Havel ended up in Hradčany castle as president of what soon became the Czech Republic. 41 Returning to Prague more than two decades later. were led to believe that success was possible. However. “David Rapoport and the Study of Religiously Motivated Ter- rorism. Czechoslovakia. Con- gress. 2011). the freedom dreams of the 1970s had given way to a city that had been sold piecemeal to foreigners and where drugs. The Content and Context of Hate Speech: Rethinking Regulation and Responses ( bank/usdefence/usd7. 2011). and carried it on into the 1970s which gave me the opportunity to meet them in european-hate-speech-laws.P.S. the Khampas. MA: Allen & Unwin. Kenneth J. Jeffrey Kaplan and Tore Bjørgo. crime.. 2012). Modern War Studies (Lawrence. 1988). Their presence in the Colorado mountains where they were trained by the CIA was also a secret. John Ranelagh. one of the founders of Karta 77. Conboy and James Morrison. The CIA’s Secret War in Tibet. albeit a poorly kept one. DC: U. The Agency: The Rise and Decline of the CIA (New York: Simon and Schuster. 66–84. Cf. . Boston. and prostitution seemed to have become a way of life. Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe. no. 335–6. CT: Martino Pub.” www. “Radical Religion in America: Millennial Movements from the Far Right to the Children of Noah (Book)” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 36. 1981). The Freedom to Be Racist? How the United States and Europe Struggle to Preserve Freedom and Combat Racism (New York: Oxford University Press.O. Charter 77’s Decade of Dissent.” in Terrorism. Charter 77 and Human Rights in Czechoslovakia (London. Herz and Péter Molnár. KS: University Press of Kansas. Riecken. 3 (1997). 39 At the end of my stay in the fascinating but frigid monastic life at McLeod Gange I would first learn that the men I had considered as a child to be ‘golden giants’ were in fact Khampa fighters conducting a decade-old secret battle against the Chinese for Tibetan freedom. Identity and Legitimacy: Four Waves Theory and Political Viol- ence. 1987). ed.html. New York: Central European University Press. Free Speech and Censorship around the Globe (Budapest. 1987). Péter Molnár. At the same time. 2002). 2009). H. The anonymous individual who is quoted notes that few at the CIA believed that the Tibetan uprising had any chance to succeed.

www. 1991). For a fine overview. Defensive Action and the Resort to HunterByAndrewMacdonaldWilliamLutherPierce/hunter_djvu. Joseph A.” International Journal Middle East Studies no. “Rejectionist Islamism in Saudi Arabia: The Story of Juhayman Al- ‘Utaybi Revisited. Revised and expanded ed. 2000). or for those averse to logging on to a Nazi website. CO: Westview Press. 50 Jeffrey Kaplan. 15. 15–18. but wealth and privilege flowed to the top no less than in a communist state.publiceye. (London: Maurice Temple Smith Ltd. Aburish. “Islamic Revivalism and Change in Saudi Arabia: Juhaymān Al-‘Utaybi’s ‘Letters’ to the Saudi People.” 48 Ibid. 18. p.” which can be found at https://www. 54 The idea was first published by Louis Beam in his essay “Revolutionary Major- ities. 39 (2007). 1970). . no. 47 Robbins. see Sabrina P.” pp. August 16. 1st ed. Encyclopedia of White Power: A Sourcebook on the Radical Racist Right (Walnut Creek CA: AltaMira Press.” (n. pp. Patrick White.” The Muslim World 80. 38–9.txt. 42 By the late 1970s. “Absolute Rescue: Absolutism. no. 1–16. On the impact of rock culture.. 103–22.gulfinstitute. 53 Associated Press. Introduction 33 Thomas Wolfe could not have been more right in saying that you really can’t go home again.” Huffington Post. They gazed longingly westward for access to Western cultural artifacts such as rock music and Hollywood films (especially under- ground art films).d. Information on the Qatif uprising is harder to find.” p. pp. Cry Palestine: Inside the West Bank (Boulder. there was some room for disengagement if not for dissent.huffingtonpost. Young people in particular had no illusions about the hopelessness of life under communism. Politics. 49 Ibid. p. www. a klepto- cracy where greed replaced ideology. xxxii.). “Religious Movements and Violence: A Friendly Critique of the Inter- pretive Approach. pp. www. The Pursuit of the Millennium: Revolutionary Millenarians and Mys- tical Anarchists of the Middle Ages. 46 Jeffrey Kaplan. and Social Change in the Middle East (Clifton. the text can be obtained from long-time watchdog Chip Berlet. 1 (1990).html. 3 (1995). see Saïd K.pdf. 1994). 1993). (New York: Atlantic Monthly Press. and much less so in Bulgaria. see Thomas Hegghammer and Stéphane Lacroix. For a general overview. Ramet.” Terrorism and Political Violence 7.. com/2011/08/16/obama-lone-wolf-terror_n_928880. original emphasis. What young people were able to do was to enter a kind of netherworld in which a group of tightly bonded friends would try to live out an idea—any idea–when not working or studying. 1989). NJ: Kingston Press. 128–63. Leaders. “Obama: ‘Lone Wolf ’ Terror Attack More Likely Than Major Coordinated Effort.html. Kechichian. CO: Westview Press. but they saw nothing particularly attractive in the American style of life which they dismissed as merely communism in happy face. the Stalinist terror had bt05. Helen Winternitz. 51 Robbins. A Season of Stones: Living in a Palestinian Village. online_85/Aryanbbs-01. “On Being Shia in Saudi Arabia. “Interpreting the Interpretive Approach: A Friendly Reply to Thomas Robbins. “Religious Movements and Violence: A Friendly Critique of the Inter- pretive Approach.stormfront. 45 Norman Cohn. 52 Jeffrey Kaplan. Let Us Be Free: A Narrative Before and During the Intifada. see Bayan Perazzo. 43 The literature on the two Intifadas is staggering.html. Rocking the State: Rock Music and Politics in Eastern Europe and Russia (Boulder. In Czechoslovakia. 44 On the beliefs of Juhayman pp. 55 The full text of Hunter can be found at: http://archive.

” Inspire 1. Rescue however. 234–6.” www. 57 Kaplan. 61 Fittingly enough. and the book which followed. 63 This observation was made in perhaps too gentle of terms by Alex P. “Why Muslims Are the World’s Fastest- Growing Religious Group” (Pew Research Center. “Make a Bomb in the Kitchen of Your Mom.” November 25. 2014.nytimes.. DC: Georgetown University Press. pp. and to many. “The Judge Who Coined ‘Indict a Ham Sandwich’ Was Himself Indicted. as evidenced by the European growth of the counter-jihad movement.html. pp. org/fact-tank/2015/04/23/why-muslims-are-the-worlds-fastest-growing-religious- group/. Dark Soul of the South: The Life and Crimes of Racist Killer Joseph Paul Franklin (Washington.” in Attacking Terrorism: Elements of a Grand Strategy.pewresearch. www. Ludes (Washington. 2009). For a fine overview of the implications of the possible emergence of Muslim plu- ralities in several European states. May 31. Audrey Cronin and J. particularly among the radical right. 65 See for example the article from Al-Qaeda’s glossy magazine. Josh Levin. p. 62 David C. New York: valley/2014/11/25/sol_wachtler_the_judge_who_coined_indict_a_ham_sand- wich_was_himself_indicted. “Abortion Doctor Shot to Death in Kansas Church. The Alaska Native Reader: History.slate. html?pagewanted=all&_r=0. 54–6. 64 Michael Lipka and Conrad Hackett. Prof. Politics. Routledge/European Sociologi- cal Association Studies in European Societies (Abingdon. 2004). 2009. Schmid. 2015).” New York Times. Culture. Schmid’s kid glove treatment is appreciated in that. Encyclopedia of White Power: A Sourcebook on the Radical Racist Right.nytimes. pp. 33. 59 Joe Stumpe and Monica Davey. was not funny. www. 1993. The upside of the Interpretive Approach is the humor that fieldwork. The World Readers (Durham.34 Introduction 56 Mel Ayton. where a normal review appears and disappears with each successive journal the-clinic-gunman-and-the-victim-abortion-fight-reflected-in-2-lives. NC: Duke University Press. “The Clinic Gunman and the Victim: Abortion Fight Reflected in 2 Lives. Muslims in 21st Century Europe: Structural and Cultural Perspectives. 2011). My book. You can’t make this stuff up. 60 Maria Sháa Tláa Williams. Terrorist Groups and the New Tri- balism: Terrorism’s Fifth Wave (Abingdon: Routledge. 2010). The Routledge Handbook of Terrorism Research (Abingdon: Routledge. 46–73. March 14. drew will remain in print until the next edition of the handbook. 58 Sarah Rimer. which does have considerable value in research into African terrorist movements such as the Lord’s Resistance Army. 2010). 2011). “Modern Terror: The Four Waves. see Anna Triandafyllidou. ed. DC: Potomac Books. Rapoport. the well- deserved criticism which this article. . provides.html. Demographic changes in Europe are particularly stunning. alarming. is Jeffrey Kaplan. www. Schmid in his review of the article which was published in Alex P.

Part I Methodology and theory .

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Robbins’ comments are both con- structive and timely. as well as from members of minority religio-political belief systems. 1 (October 1997). “Religious Movements and Viol- ence: A Friendly Critique of the Interpretive Approach.” offers a number of pertinent observations and expresses several legitimate concerns about the possible misuse of the methodology as an apologia for violence eman- ating from new religious movements. pp. 30–49. they follow it. no. And they can never find a voice. This essay will therefore be divided into three sections. The first will offer some observations on Robbins’ critique of the “interpretive” approach. It will also suggest that the interpretive approach’s emphasis on dialogue may one day help to build bridges of mutual understanding that could help to allay the barriers of fear and hostility which have so long divided the mainstream culture from the adherents of millenarian and messianic movements. Section two will answer the specific comments centering on my own work. That allows them the right to be. and he singles out my own work as a prime example of the pleasures and the perils of this approach.1 (Lou Reed) Thomas Robbins’ most interesting article.2 Interpreting the interpretive approach So the first thing that they see. A final section will con- sider the future utility of the methodology. And you know what it’s called? Bad luck!3 .1 Interpreting the interpretive approach A friendly reply to Thomas Robbins (Copyright © 1997 University of California Press. Reprinted with permission of the publisher) Some people got no choice. This chapter was first published in Nova Religio 1. To talk with that they can even call their own. Well.

This form of violence has been given many names in the literature by such scholars as Thomas Robbins and Dick Anthony. . . . . Norman Cohn. A basic strategy . The methodology. academics have sought to come to some understanding of outbreaks of millenarian violence. is a historian who has worked closely with political scientists for a number of years. Bron Taylor. The cadre of research- ers engaged in the fieldwork upon which the interpretive approach must be based are scattered thinly through a number of disciplinary ghettos. While often brilliant theoretical encapsulations of the phenomenon. shall we begin to think about Jonestown as students of reli- gion.4 But by whatever name. Waco. is still very much in its infancy. something we have seen before. . . of its being utterly exotic. It was arguably the con- spicuous absence of such vital data that made such stunning events as Jonestown. As Jonathan Z. is to remove from Jonestown the aspect of the unique. is a sociologist. Heléne Lööw of Stockholm University.” and thereby contribute to prevent- ing such tragedies in the future. Robbins may be somewhat premature in his analysis. We must be able to declare that Jonestown on 18 November 1978 was an instance of something known. born of trial and error by a number of younger scholars working largely in isolation. This isolation raises several points that should be considered by scholars of religion interested in the question of religious violence should we ever collectively succeed at reducing Jonestown and Waco to the “cat- egory of the known and the knowable. and Ruby Ridge so traumatic to the civil authorities and the scholarly community alike—this despite calls for research that would make events like Jonestown part of the common corpus of our field. In reality. My own training is in the history of culture. none fully succeeded in making the intuitive leap from the scholar’s detached analysis to the emotional caul- dron inhabited by the groups themselves that would allow the reader to see the world through the eyes of the adherents. as members of the academy? . is in the field of Religion and Ethics. David Rapoport. It is only in the last several years that we have begun to establish contact and become familiar . Smith so aptly put it: How then. there has been a consistent thread in all of these works. . and Michael Barkun to name but a few. whose pioneering work with Earth First! is a prime example of the interpretive methodology. whose work with the radical right in Europe is among the best products of the interpretive approach. a graduate student at the University of Oslo who has done some fascinating work with Norwegian skinheads. Ehud Sprinzak. First is the problem of disciplinary boundaries. We must reduce Jonestown to the category of the known and the knowable.5 The methodology that Thomas Robbins dubs the interpretive approach was a response to this call.38 Methodology and theory For many years. Katrine Fangen. For example.

Conversely. Thus even so brilliant an encapsulation of the history of Christian Identity as that offered by Michael Barkun should not be considered exemplary of the interpretive approach as Robbins suggests. is the danger of being “captured” by the very movements that we seek to examine. This detachment means that the investigator must place to the greatest degree possible his own biases and preconceptions in abeyance throughout the research project lest he or she fall into the all too frequent trap of writing about the scholar in relation to his subjects—an ultimately sterile exercise. At the same time. The most serious of these. The approach must never be confused with apologetics on the one hand or with scholarship which deals entirely with the literature on the other. Moreover. Thomas Robbins’ use of the work of James Lewis in the context of the interpretive approach is unfortunate given the clearly apol- ogetic nature of Lewis’ coverage of events in Waco and in his work with other NRMs such as the Church Universal and Triumphant. Opposi- tional movements are rarely so deeply underground that potential adher- ents will fail to find them. Once accomp- lished. it is nonetheless worthy of some effort. Thus. for a myriad of reasons. a dynamic is established that cannot help but affect both the scholar and the movement. Interpreting the interpretive approach 39 with each others’ work. it takes years of patient work to establish a relationship in which the scholar is able to earn even a . In the former case. The problem of distance is indeed of prime concern. there are a number of pitfalls inherent in this endeavor. I would argue that it is simply not possible to appreciate fully the millenarian worldview without considerable interaction with the groups’ leadership and with its adher- ents. may resort to (or become victims of ) violence are relatively few in number and have a pariah status in the view of the mainstream culture. Such interaction is the necessary first step to replace our heretofore idiosyncratic trial and error methodology with any- thing so coherent as an ‘approach’. It is vital in this respect to understand what the interpretive approach is not. as Robbins implies. While the ideal of the scholar remaining utterly unmoved by his subjects is probably an impossible goal. Contacting the movement one wishes to study is not difficult.7 There is simply no substitute for fieldwork. however. the interpretive approach was never intended to in any way ‘excuse’ or ‘explain away’ violence emanating from millenarian movements. In such a milieu. It is important to remember in this regard that the movements which. contacting them and establishing a sufficient level of rapport to engage in productive fieldwork is no easy task.6 The central requirement of the approach if it is to succeed in providing the reader with a vision of the world from the eyes of the adherent is a Weberian detachment on the part of the scholar. such movements must sustain a sufficient degree of friction with the dominant culture to maintain an internal cohesion based on a self-view of the group as an oppositional force with which to be reckoned. For this reason.

authorities.12 the forces sur- rounding Randy Weaver’s cabin were all too real. . The mass suicide/murder .13 And this being the case. “What we shall term the ‘interpretive’ approach focuses on how militant or volatile groups are affected by the interpreta- tions which they construct of the actions and dispositions toward them on the part of those persons and groups which they perceive as their ‘enemies.14 The scholarly reaction to these three paradigmatic cases is instructive in evaluating the benefits of the interpretive method. Robbins’ decision to include these cases in a single. as well as of a federal agent—not to mention the subsequent attempt to cover up the unprecedented rules of engagement that made these tragic events all but inevitable—makes clear.9 It is in this process of getting to know the oppositional movement as individuals who share a common humanity with the researcher that there is the great- est danger of becoming captured by the movement’s worldview. According to Robbins. The following discussion of Robbins’ article will intention- ally avoid the difficult issues arising from the tragedies surrounding Aum Shinrikyo in Japan or the Swiss-based Order of the Solar Temple.40 Methodology and theory qualified degree of trust. Con- versely. how much greater still was the threat of the full fledged siege of the Branch Davidian compound in Waco? Yet the perceptions of the immediate protagonists in these incidents—amounting in all cases to mutual demonization—were remarkably similar. With this preamble. Given the vastly different historical.”10 More- over. short critical article was unfortunate in that it may have done more to obscure than illuminate the issues involved in the resort to violence. social. apostates. particularly groups and individuals who are perceived as distinctly hostile (and sometimes conspiratorial) to the movement. Where the actual danger to the Jonestown settlement presented by Leo Ryan and a handful of newsmen and defectors may seem from our vantage point to have been rather minuscule.8 In the process. however unintentionally. the aura of demonization that character- izes the public perception of the movement invariably fades away. it is precisely through this give and take relationship that the members of the movement may be influenced. interacts with their families. by the researcher.’ e. we turn to the text of “Religious Movements and Violence” itself. as the shooting death of his wife and young son. . and political contexts of the United States. as Robbins accurately points out. the actual level of threat presented by forces perceived as hostile by the target movement may vary greatly. and central Europe. anti-movement crusaders.”11 At the same time.. This is a risk that both investigator and ‘investigatee’ must assume as the price of “interpretive” success. as the researcher gets to know the members of the group as individuals. Japan. .g. and takes part in their private world. “The interpretive model sees the orientations and behaviors of prob- lematic movements with apocalyptic worldviews as significantly influenced by the actions and perceived dispositions of groups in their environment.

the decision was taken to accept once and for all the reality that . but as I have written time and again. John Singer. Yet to those few of us engaged in the interpretive method and focused on the radical right. by the time of the Weaver incident. by chance the fiery Identity pastor Pete Peters of LaPort.15 Equally understandable—but far less excusable—was the relative silence surrounding the Randy Weaver episode. This sense of numbed shock explains the dearth of academic analyses that prompted Jonathan Z. believed to have fallen under the domination of a Jewish conspiratorial elite known as ZOG (Zionist Occu- pation Government). and in a men-only meeting. Moran to name a few—could be far longer. Idaho. The deaths of Weaver’s wife and young son were interpreted at once as a sure sign of impending apocalypse and as proof positive that the American government. and despair that any hope of solace or salvation could come from the world as it was seen through the eyes of the faithful. Where most obser- vers saw the standoff as an isolated case. even real paranoids have real enemies. as the siege turned towards its bloody denouement with the unconscionable killing of Vickie Weaver. In most cases. it was obvious that this reaction would be seen by the community of the far right as a defensive measure born of desperation and despair. For them. Weaver. Colorado. Moreover. the Weaver drama was electrifying. Robert Mathews and David J. had at last decided to liquidate the “righteous remnant” of the far right once and for all. oppositional centers such as the compound of James Ellison’s idiosyncratic Covenant. Smith’s challenge quoted above. an admitted racist and an adherent of the then little understood but much feared Christian Identity faith. That is. In the Weaver case. Weaver and his family were yet another in a long chain of martyrs to the cause. Interpreting the interpretive approach 41 of the members of the Peoples Temple in Guyana understandably caught the academy by surprise. Also little known to the scholarly community were the accidents of timing that would mark the reaction to the Weaver and later the Waco affairs among the radical right wing faithful. Sword. the events at Ruby Ridge were seen quite differently through the eyes of the denizens of the radical right. was hardly the stuff of an academic cause célèbre. And the far right’s list of martyrs—Gordon Kahl. and Arm of the Lord chose the easy route of surrender when confronted by state power. desperation arising from the all too certain knowledge of the far right’s isolation from mainstream society.16 It was clear enough to anyone dealing with the radical right and utilizing a fieldwork-based interpretive approach that. Arthur Kirk. Paranoia? Yes. The news hit the meeting like a storm. Thus the movement’s increasing turn to apocalypticism and violence by the late 1980s. was holding his annual Bible retreat in the Colorado mountains. some reaction was building. Thus while a few academics took notice—James Aho and Michael Barkun come immediately to mind—few others in academe were interested in the drama in Ruby Ridge.

42 Methodology and theory the government had set out to eliminate the Identity faithful. were thus immediately drawn into the outraged after- math of Waco. and the result was outrage. And finally. West Bank. How could it be otherwise? For example. nary a word in 377 pages of text deals with the effects of Waco throughout the milieu of the radical right or even of new religious movements. Arma­ geddon in Waco.21 This schol- arly silence—and the shock that followed the Oklahoma City bombing— testifies to the vital need for the interpretive approach. .17 In another quirk of timing. Rather. With Waco. Here. those present agreed to put faith in the mercy of the Lord and at last fight back against the inexorable power of ZOG when the moment of truth arrived. Yet. edited by Stuart Wright. is inexcusable. and beyond it the wider world of the radical right.” although none survived the “rescue. This gave them common cause with David Koresh and the Branch Davidians—a group whose ideology and lifestyle most in the far right found repugnant. So too was the patent absurdity of the claim used to obtain a search warrant that the Waco compound housed a methamphetamine laboratory. and much new and important data comes to light. what better epitaph for the entire sorry affair than Attorney General Janet Reno’s unconscious mim- icking of the Vietnam-era cliché that “we destroyed the village in order to save it” with the repeated insistence that the raid was undertaken to “save children.18 The Identity world. It was no secret that the CS gas employed at Waco was deadly to children in an enclosed space. oddly enough. Herein lies the answer to the much asked question of the time as to why the radical right would react so strongly to the siege of Waco. Every Palestinian could have told of the effects of the gas.” But our task is not to rehash the facts of the raid. That the government did not know. just weeks before the embattled agency was due to appear on Capitol Hill for a very tough round of funding hearings. the scholarly community was at last taking notice of the increasing violence that was being employed by the state against opposi- tional religious movements. or did not care. the Waco tragedy would take place during the Weaver trial. Waco is ana- lyzed from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. no better evidence could be offered than the best scholarly collection to emerge from the affair. save for an obviously tacked-on reference in the preface as to the possible connection of Waco to Oklahoma City. Equally suspicious was the fact that the botched BATF action was undertaken.19 Here too lies the reason for the common ground the heretofore isolated radical right began to find with non-racist NRMs ranging from the Church Universal and Triumphant to scattered intentional communities throughout the rural United States. In reply. but with whose fate at the hands of a government seemingly run amok all could instantly identify. it is to note the efficacy of the interpretive approach.20 In this anthology. I had the opportunity to live and teach in the Pal- estinian sector through the University Graduates’ Union in Hebron. at the dawn of the intifada.

. The watchdog movements. It is very much as a product of this reaction that Thomas Robbins is moved to write. .26 At the same time. After all. Robbins asks the question—not for the first time—of whether my own work goes “a bit too far. Linda Thompson’s influential video. does Jeffrey Kaplan go a bit too far? It’s either the best or it’s the worst And since I don’t have to choose I guess maybe I won’t . Interpreting the interpretive approach 43 Yet. while Waco largely acted to unify scholars dealing with new reli- gious movements and to motivate a few to initiate contacts with the FBI. there was a rise in the temperature of the radical right wing that was palpable. groups like the Anti-Defamation League. and for some frightening. and the Klanwatch Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center began to grind out increasingly shrill alarums. the Big Lie. In particular. Of the latter. was not the government. Waco. his question as to whether the methodology had gone too far in presenting the violence of the target movements as purely reactive rather than as in some ways causative of the deadly confrontations con- sidered above is important and deserving of some reflection. the criticism offered by Thomas Robbins is the most acute. and the militia movement began to emerge to take up the torch of the defunct Posse Commitatus’ localism and the paramilitary tra- ditions pioneered by such groups as the Minutemen of the 1960s and the 1980s vintage tax resistance movement. . for all its flaws. . “On the other hand . some atten- tion was given to reassessing the scholarship that was seen as most sympathetic to the groups whose anti-state rage was now seen as a threat. the last line of defense between us and the violent racists and anti-Semites of the radical right? This perception gave added impetus to the group of scholars noted above who had on their own initiative established a liaison relation- ship with the FBI after the Waco disaster.23 In the aftermath of Waco.”22 With this observation. it is time to realize that a few movements seem quite capable of generating relatively unprovoked violence—occasionally even large scale slaughter—in a context which may be ‘confrontational’ largely as a function of sectarian ‘paranoia’ or exaggeration of the scope of the perceived countermovement and its potential for violence. .” Well.24 The anti-state rage of which the militias and indeed the Oklahoma City bombing were but symptoms was no longer the exclusive province of practitioners of the interpretive meth- odology. was released to a remark- ably receptive audience that went far beyond the narrow confines of the radical right.25 Many scholars worried that the popular post-Waco demonization of the federal government had gone too far. the subsequent demonization of the federal government on the part of many adherents of non-traditional belief systems (and some NRM special- ists) began to have a disquieting effect on many scholars.

or whatever. then so what? We still don’t amount to anything. the force at the disposal of the federal government. while it is certainly true that “some anti-cult groups are dis- tancing themselves from coercive deprogramming. I will restrict my response to my own published material rather than presuming to speak for others who employ much the same methodology in their own areas of study. As Identity pastor and Klan leader Thom Robb once told me in a moment of resigned candor. as Robbins implies.29 Yet it is important to realize that the cult/anti-cult embrace and the “cult wars” that result involve other actors as well. we may proceed toward the determination of whether Jeffrey Kaplan does indeed go too far. however. Nazis.”27 This is true. it might be valuable to offer an observation that the reader might consider pertinent. this has not always been the case. Indeed.28 Here he is correct in asserting that I do see at least some of the most extreme manifestations of the millennialist groups that I study to be at least partly reactive to the pressures put on them by the various watchdog movements. And given the vast disparity that separates the relative power at the disposal of the two adver- saries. given the will to bring this force to bear. This centers on the relevance of the insights offered by feminist scholarship concerning the dynamics arising out of highly asymmetrical power relationships. but it does place the greatest burden of avoiding confrontation if possible. rather than a refutation of the interpretive methodology. In prefacing this response.” this would seem to be a function of the success of the lawsuit which brought the Cult Awareness Network into bankruptcy and ultimately into the indirect control of the . Specifically. upon the state. Yet. dwarfs many fold that at the disposal of the oppositional millenarian movements. all Identity. it would appear to rest with the side enjoying the overwhelming superiority to show the greatest restraint in unleashing the force at its dis- posal. Thus. Exhibit A in this respect is Robbins’ analysis of my work on the key role of the anti-cult movement that I have defined to include watchdogs of every description. George Lincoln Rockwell understood this dynamic so well that he consciously used the swastika and the label “Nazi” in forming his American Nazi Party in an effort to attract just such a cadre of angry and alienated young men. Put bluntly. There has indeed in some cases been a moderation of the behavior of both the ‘cult’ and ‘anti-cult’ actors. an increasing radi- calization would appear likely. “Even if we were to link up all the Klan groups. There is indeed a dynamic that makes the most dire images which the watchdogs are able to formulate of these movements attractive to a cadre of alienated and often psychologically unstable individuals. the examples suggested by Robbins simply illustrate the complexity of the model.44 Methodology and theory As my own work was largely singled out in this respect. This does not absolve the millenarian adherents from the respons- ibility to obey duly constituted authority. while it is true that. This said. and minimizing the risk of the loss of life if clashes become inevitable.

have said. This insiders-view of the rescue movement is like no other academic or popular work on the pro-life movement. That this effort was largely success- ful in imparting the rescuers’ worldview has been brought home in letters and conversations with rescuers who. however. And while it is equally true that the “Church Universal and Triumphant has agreed to give up its arsenal. For this reason. That said. Robbins is correct that a primary danger inherent in the interpretive approach is a tendency to overemphasize the purely reactive nature of the target movement. and in spirit harks back to the work of Jules Michelet’s Satanism and Witchcraft.” this was more a function of its fear that.” Robbins was not alone in his disquiet over this article. having read the piece in manuscript form or in the pages of Prayer + Action News. As a case in point. “Absolute Rescue: Abortion.31 In both cases. Interpreting the interpretive approach 45 Church of Scientology (through the purchase of the organization’s name and assets by Scientologist Stephen Hayes30) rather than an interpretive over-emphasis on the reactive nature of the cult/anti-cult embrace. it was next on the federal hit list than a sign of moderation.34 But where Michelet opted for epic myth-making through the eyes of a composite character.”32 First to “Absolute Rescue.”33 does not necessarily represent my own views. “seeking to see the hostile environment through the eyes of the apocalyp- tics” and to “allow the rescuers to speak in their own voices. when the passions of the issue have died away and future historians and religious scholars seek to unravel the mystery of this particular apoca- lyptic sect. I am in particular debt to Robbins for his note that the methodology employed. “Absolute Rescue” will serve as a valuable resource in illumin- ating the worldview of a small group of violent “apocalyptics” (to borrow . I used the testimonies of real people in an effort to leave a record of how a particular group of millenar- ians interpret the world around them. Nonetheless. it is arguably through fieldwork and via the lens of the inter- pretive method that these insights—common knowledge to the groups involved but apparently unknown to even the most astute outside observ- ers—could be brought to light. Indeed it does not. and one that not only academic readers (including the editors of the Terrorism and Political Violence special issue on millenarian violence) have expressed. that’s me. that’s how I grew up and that’s how I felt. he presents two of my articles. “yes. after Waco. It was a feeling that I more than shared in writing it. Defensive Action and the Resort to Force” and “The Politics of Rage: Militias and the Future of the Radical Right.” It seems to me that years from now. but which so interested the federal government that I was subpoenaed to appear before a federal Grand Jury investigating abortion-related violence. the article sought to follow the trajectory of a mil- lennial community through their gradual evolution from a quiet middle class Americanism to membership in a much feared and little understood activist subculture and at last into a deviant splinter of that subculture which has opted for the efficacy of millenarian violence.

35 rescuers did not react by becoming “frenzied” and turning to “lethal viol- ence. is implied by the article to be “the responsibility of the vehement critics and opponents of the volatile groups. It may fairly be argued that this in itself is coercive and adds to the already traumatic situation of a woman contemplating an abortion. In this self-view. The blame for this radicalization. if need be. Much less does interposition envision “mob action. rational effort to save the unborn from imminent death and as a last.” This said. Uncomfortable stuff indeed. relatively cohesive groups such as the pro-force wing of the rescue move- ment.46 Methodology and theory Tom Robbins’ redolent term) and charting the trajectory that brought the group to the threshold. riots. It seeks to translate the perceptions of the subject movement into a text that provides the academic audience with an insight into the group and the lives of its members and to offer a historical context that reduces this esoteric worldview to the category of “the known and the knowable. of violent activism. In his discussion of “The Politics of Rage.” and (2) the associated suggestion that “Jewish citizens should avoid denouncing racist groups and supporting anti- paramilitarist measures such as forms of gun control” lest the target groups become more extreme. his or her life for the life of an unborn child.” The latter outcome would not eventuate until a much later stage in the evolution of the pro-force wing of rescue. it is important to address a minor misconception which Robbins has of the text. at least the rescuer can give his or her own freedom or.” Robbins’ comments here do point out a potential weakness in the inter- pretive approach. Yet the interpretive approach is not designed to reinforce the dogmas of the academy or to bring comfort to the reader. interposition is seen in the rescue world as a tem- porary measure that involves allowing a “sidewalk counselor” to attempt through reason and prayer to dissuade a woman from having an abortion. It is seen at once as a calculated. Such groups are sufficiently homogeneous to allow for a relatively high degree of generalization to capture the nuances of the worldviews of . Yet in rescue parlance. the violence emanating from the movement is purely reactive. The methodology is at its best when addressing small.” Robbins zeroes in on two very difficult points: (1) the implication that militia groups are “essentially passive actors to the slings and arrows issuing from the watchdogs such as the ADL which push them in racist and violent directions which they would otherwise eschew. implying as it does state sanction for rescue actions). he fears. and beyond. The term “interposition” in rescue parlance does not necessarily mean the “physical blockade of clinics. and stormtrooperesque depredations” (although the imagery of the latter term is fascinating.” and when court rulings in many states created “no speech” zones around many clinics. despairing statement that if the American “culture of death” can not be rescued. Rather. the tactic was never seen as a way to “win.” although the idea does not preclude this tactic.

In the course of this review. on a more global level.39 Finally. The context of “The Politics of Rage” involved a review of two contrast- ing volumes on the radical right. fears of inducing further radicalization among militia members by the imposition of aggressive legislation to curb their activities is unfounded. a diverse and highly decentralized group of indi- viduals representing a broad spectrum of interests and motivations. while clearly not an operation connected with the militia movement. . In this. I disagreed with Kenneth Stern’s claim that. I cited as paradigmatic the experience of the German ex-National Socialist Ingo Hasselbach who reported that he and other disaffected East German youth adopted National Socialism only after repeated accusations to this effect by the hated East German government. Further. First. there has in my view been an across-the-board rise in anti- government sentiment in the wake of Ruby Ridge and Waco not only in the radical right. the movement— which is quite diverse in terms of political and religious viewpoints. despite the remarkable diversity within militia ranks. the rapid changes brought about by the end of the Cold War and the increasing interdependence of the global political economy would appear to be an ideal breeding ground for millennialist and other radical movements. as Robbins accurately states.36 The former is a sensitive portrait of the actors on all sides of the Randy Weaver tragedy. Second. Oklahoma City. The militia movement on the other hand is. I found Stern’s argument that the militias were radicalizing and as a consequence becoming increasingly anti-Semitic persuasive for three reasons.37 In brief. Interpreting the interpretive approach 47 individual members. may well be seen as a portent of things to come. and gender and is moreover relatively quiescent when it comes to actual confrontations with state power—is fully capable of becoming much more aggressive given the kind of punitive measures Stern advocates and the not insignificant firepower in the hands of militia members. to my own surprise. the latter an alarm- ist account of the rise of the militia movement written by the American Jewish Committee’s “expert” on the activities of the radical right. but in a number of NRMs fearful of government persecution as well. I found myself increasingly in agreement with Stern’s dire prognostications of the increasing virulence of the militia groups—albeit coming to this conclusion from a distinctly opposite road than that traveled by Stern. ethni- city. In fact. Observers from Norman Cohn to Michael Barkun to Michael Adas have pointed to such dizzying change as conducive to such activity. They thus defy global categorizations. I suggested that if the perception takes hold that anti-militia activism stems primarily from the Jewish community. the anti-Semitic dynamic so well described in Benjamin Ginsberg’s remarkable The Fatal Embrace: The Jews and the State40 could come to pass in militia circles and beyond.38 The third reason involves the element of self-fulfilling prophesy. Jess Walter’s Every Knee Shall Bow and Kenneth Stern’s A Force Upon the Plain. as the movement could hardly be more paranoid than it is today.

I have found time and again that the seemingly ubiquitous presence of the Jewish organizations. even in those nations that suffer from an inconvenient dearth of local Jews!43 Once again.” is both telling and troubling.48 Methodology and theory With this background. in particular the Anti-defamation League. the world. this is an unpleasant fact to report. and it is a question which would be more comfortable to avoid. the interpretive meth- odology centers on presenting the reader with the world as seen through the eyes of the adherent. centers on such questions as the degree of deviance of the target movement and the forms of rhetoric employed by the group in question. This lack of intentionality on the part of the militias makes the extraordinary level of opposition to their activities that is prescribed in Kenneth Stern’s book all the more puzzling and thus alienating.42 There is little question that in the case of Chris- tian Identity. From the per- spective of the interpretive approach. The key. First. regardless of how repugnant that view may be to a mainstream audience. we can turn to Robbins’ specific criticisms of the “The Politics of Rage. that there is in my work the implication that “Jewish citizens should avoid denouncing racist groups and supporting anti-paramilitarist measures such as forms of gun control. making it unlikely that most militia members would consider attempting to induce either the state or private watchdogs into taking hostile actions as a kind of suicidal mobilization strategy. For the militias.”41 However. a group more homogenous and far more radical than the militia groups (only a small minority of whom accept the Identity creed). However. to para- phrase Lenin. the degree of deviance from the norms of contemporary society is not as great. the degree of deviance from the dominant culture is suffi- cient to make Barkun’s conception of “pseudo validation strategies” correct. ‘What is to be done’? This is at the heart of Robbins’ criti- cism. and by extension. however.” As a counterargument to the proposition that the militias’ behavior is primarily a response to the actions taken against them by watchdog movements. the case is not so simple. Robbins offers Michael Barkun’s observation that Christian Identity adherents employ a number of what he terms “pseudo-validation strategies” specifically designed for the purpose of “elicit[ing] hostile responses from perceived opponents which will appear to confirm the Identity racists’ conspiracy theories. But having returned from the field with this unpleasant news. It is an issue that I have frankly wrestled much with. he is referring to the Christian Identity community. in Barkun’s view. in the forefront of efforts to combat manifes- tations of the far right—even when that activity has no obvious anti-Semitic content—is in itself a factor that has induced otherwise unconvinced adherents to take seriously the claims of Jewish control of the nation. It . Robbins’ second point. The extreme manifestation of this view is the ZOG (Zionist Occupation Government) discourse which has today become ubiquitous among adherents of the far right. and one that has been discussed with a number of colleagues. for Barkun.

it would seem to be sufficient to provide the data and let the reader form his or her own judgment of ‘what is to be done’ in the policy field. it appears to me that the path of dialogue rather than confrontation would be most fruitful with regard to relations between the Jewish community and those in the far right who have not adopted an a priori view of Jewish hostility. Indeed.48 Witness as well the extraordinary.46 Moreover. a proposal even the ADL disavowed. measures to limit the free speech rights of rescuers noted above. The threat of the radical right has often been exaggerated to the point of the ridiculous by the various watchdog groups. in their zeal to combat racist groups. K. the watchdogs have at times gone outside of the law. Thus. to step for a moment outside of the interpretive framework. and now unconstitutional. there appear to be two avenues open to the Jewish community. Such was the case in the scandal involving the ADL and the theft of files from the San Fran- cisco Police Department in 1993. with considerable success under Rabbi Fineberg’s leadership. Given the relative dearth of genuinely dangerous right wingers.45 Dynamic silence sought. is not to be precluded so long as it meets two vital criteria—truth and proportionality. Fineberg enjoyed considerable success in isolating and thus neutralizing the most extreme proponents of anti-Semitism. The former has been the most frequent victim of the “cult wars” involving the radical right. the extravagant legislative and other repressive measures proposed by some to combat racism are potentially worse than the disease itself. to limit the access of racist groups ranging from Gerald L. The dynamic silence strategy championed by the American Jewish Committee’s Rabbi S. The second. Yet Thomas Robbins has posed the ques- tion and it seems incumbent on me to answer in the same constructive spirit in which the observation was made. when confronted with anti-Semitism that is both ingrained and potentially threatening. More than any single factor. The first is a strategy that has proved effi- cacious in the past. the path of direct opposition. the fieldwork conducted through the interpretive approach should ideally be grist for the mills of both the com- parativist and the policymaker. this use of RICO may have pushed the pacifists out of the movement and left the field open to the direct action wing of rescue from which lethal violence . and the use or misuse of RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) to deter rescuers from taking part in rescue activities. A. Witness in this regard the attempts—tantamount despite its denials to an intent to censor—by the Simon Weisenthal Center to have “hate” removed from the Internet. Moreover.44 Moreover. Interpreting the interpretive approach 49 would be preferable if the interpretive methodology was not used in a pre- scriptive manner. with often embarrassing results. Smith’s Christian Crusade to George Lincoln Rockwell’s American Nazi Party to the mainstream media.47 Proportionality is closely related to the first criterion of truth. Certainly a good proportion of the militia movement as yet falls into this category. despite the hue and cry raised by Kenneth Stern and others.

the balance of power is decidedly unfavorable.50 Methodology and theory ultimately emanated. In this view. On the other hand. “Antichrist.50 In his postscript. Which brings us in conclusion to Robbins’ “problem of order. The future utility of the interpretive approach Sometimes people get all emotional And they just don’t act rational They think they’re just on TV. and it is incumbent on the researcher to deal with them forthrightly. however. Thomas Robbins accurately notes that in all authorit- arian sects—as in the world of the radical right and other millennialist communities—there is often a “problematic underside” that scholars of religion have too often chosen to ignore in the greater interest of carrying on the battle against the anti-cult movement. cannot fail to note these problems. By avoiding the trap of what Robbins warns can become a “cult apologist” (or. a “useful idiot”). the insights provided by the interpretive approach at its best have the potential to contribute to a better understanding of the internal dynamics of authoritarian and/or millennialist sects. it would appear that this concern lies very much at the heart of “Religious Movements and Violence. The interpretive approach.” The some- what jocular reference to the havoc that a neighboring “messianic communal sect” might wreak in retaliation for the minor depredations of the family dog.” Offered almost as an aside.” Moreover. be as easily applied to left wing as right wing or Christian activists. From the vantage point of the “messianic communal sect” and the “par- amilitarist zealots. Ruby Ridge. Here. it would appear to be the primary advantage of the methodology to provide some insight into the processes by which both leader and adherent of these sects understand themselves and interpret the world around them. and may ultimately represent a threat to the civil liberties of us all. The need for such insights could have no more eloquent testimony than the three paradigmatic cases suggested in this article—Jonestown.49 This use of the RICO statutes may well however. and Waco.” appears to reflect a deep-seated fear of dis- order which is widespread in American society generally and is particularly redolent in the vast literature of anti-Semitism throughout the ages. when it is based on sufficiently intensive fieldwork. This fear—expressed in this context in the form of “paramilitarist zealots” from whom the average citizen requires protection by “public authorities” who may no longer be willing or capable of performing the task—underlines the need for the insights provided by the interpretive approach. it reflects a very poignant fear that has been expressed often in relation to my writings— and never so forcefully as in reaction to “The Politics of Rage. it is the embattled adherents of .” the picture is quite different. to borrow again from Lenin.

and messianic terror are three relevant examples. Lewis.. I would add only two provisos. 3 Reed. 1 (Spring 1995): 17–43. First. and of course Thomas Robbins for their invaluable critiques at various stages of this manuscript’s evolution. 1974). It must also provide comparisons with other belief systems in an effort to determine the degree of universality of the outlook and actions of a particular religio-political movement. reprint 1970). 2 As Thomas Robbins has coined the term. “Street Hassle. and the Waco Confrontation. in some small measure. 95–110. it is important to note that I do not take Robbins’ fears lightly. has much the same goal. 1982).51 Notes * I would like to thank Bron Taylor. Having said this. “Self Fulfilling Stereotypes. at its best. MD: Rowman & Littlefield.” who fear the overwhelming power of a state bent on their destruction.” American Political Science Review 78 (September 1984): 658–77. “Messianic Sanctions for Terror. 5 Jonathan Z. Stuart Wright (Chicago: University of Chicago Press. I am grateful as well to Phillip Lucas for providing a forum for this methodological and philosophical debate.” Metal Machine Music. to allay the barriers of fear and hostility which have so long divided us.” in Imagining Religion (Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 6 James R. through its emphasis on personal contact and dialogue. The greatest benefit of the interpretive approach may yet prove to be that the methodology. 1994). the Anticult Movement. idem (Lanham.” Comparative Politics 20 (1980): 195–213. “The Devil in Mr. 111–112. 236–59. “interpretive approach. ed. as Ruby Ridge and Waco—and a long series of one-sided confrontations with state authority that predated these well-known cases—teach. idem. idem. David Rapoport. the interpretive approach must be aimed at a scholarly audience and be equipped to provide relevant contextual material in terms of the history and theology of the target movement. 1995). Disaster and the Millennium (New Haven: Yale University Press.” in Armageddon at Waco. “Showdown at the Waco Corral: ATF Cowboys Shoot Them- selves in the Foot.” in Wright. no. Pursuit Of The Millennium: Revolutionary Millenarians And Mys­ tical Anarchists Of The Middle Ages (New York: Oxford University Press. Second.” Journal of Terrorism and Political Violence 7. ed. 1 Lou Reed. “Street Hassle.” 4 Norman Cohn.” the militias and the tiny righteous remnant of the “messianic communal sect.” I am content to accept his definition of the methodology. 87–94. “Right-Wing Terrorism in Comparative Per- spective: The Case of Deligitimation. Rather. 1957. their fears would appear to have a far greater basis in reality than those expressed by Robbins. Armageddon in Waco. Ehud Sprinzak. Catherine Wessinger. Michael Barkun. millenarian revolutionary movements. the interpretive methodology must endeavor to allow the observer to see the world through the eyes of the target movement to as great a degree as pos- sible. the interpretive approach must never be relegated to the level of journalism which. 1978. can provide a bridge of mutual under- standing that will serve. Interpreting the interpretive approach 51 “constitutional order. Michael Barkun. Millenarian violence. “Fear and Trembling: Terrorism in Three Religious Traditions. Quite the contrary.” in From the Ashes: Making Sense of Waco. A powerful criticism of this unfortunate tendency to provide an . and Thomas Robbins and Dick Anthony. Smith. “Sects and Violence. Moreover. Jones.

This point is strongly disputed by such scholars as Michael Barkun and Catherine Wessinger. forthcoming). 7 Michael Barkun. Satan’s Power: A Deviant Psychotherapy Cult (Berkeley: University of California Press. Their positions.” in The Future of New Religious Movements.52 Methodology and theory apologia for an NRM even before the group has formally been accused of any- thing is provided by Robert W. “Pius Aeneas Among the Taborites. for a review of the text and a discussion of these methodological issues. 8 Rodney Stark. Cf. Anson Shupe (New Brunswick. it seems reasonable to include intuitive reconstructions of the worldview of the target movement as being representative of the interpre- tive approach. Leon Festinger.” in Wolves Among the Fold. David Bromley and Phillip Hammond (Macon.” this issue. “How New Religions Succeed: A Theoretical Model.. 11 Ibid. directly or indirectly.” Church History 28 (1959): 281–309. 1956). “Religious Movements and Violence: A Friendly Critique of the Interpretive Approach. 16 March 1997. 24 March 1997. et al. . this insistence on fieldwork combined with a thorough ground- ing in the primary sources as the key to a full understanding of the target movement—and thus of a fully interpretive approach—remains in my view a vital ingredient to the success of the interpretive approach. Conversely. ed. the FBI in crisis situations or the dominant culture through such forums as the media and classroom teach- ing). forthcoming 1998). “On the Far Far Right: Christian Identity. taken collectively. R. The Waning Of The Middle Ages (New York: Doubleday. 23–24. In another well-taken criticism. NJ: Rutgers University Press. On Sacred Ground: Earth First! and Environmental Ethics (Boston: Beacon. Catherine Wessinger suggests that scholars engaged in a literature-based approach may contribute to the interpretive methodology by documenting the reactions of adherents to outside cultural opposition and by facilitating. Finally. a dialogue between members of the groups and outside forces (e. Gone are the days when Festinger’s covert methodology could be acceptable either on an ethical or a practical basis.. 1987). “How Not to Dis- cover Malfeasance in New Religions: An Examination of the AWARE Study of the Church Universal and Triumphant. Jules Michelet. However. Satanism and Witch­ craft. Balch and Stephen Langdon. A. NC: University of North Carolina. email message from Catherine Wessinger. to name but a few. Allison (New York: Walden. The intensive correspondence between Bainbridge and the adherents of the Process Church that reveal this dynamic with far greater clarity than the published work is preserved in the J. 1924). in cases of historic millennialism where fieldwork is impossible in any practical sense. These points are extremely well taken. Fax from Michael Barkun. see the study of the satanic Process Church of the Final Judgment by William Sims Bainbridge. Gordon Melton Collection at the University of Cali- fornia Santa Barbara.g. Outstanding examples include J. for a fascinating account of the evolution of a participant/observer relationship with one such oppositional millennial movement—Earth First!—see Bron Taylor. 5 February 1997. 1978). letter to author. point correctly to the vital contributions of scholars working from the literature or from a comparative perspective respectively.” Christian Century 2 (November 1994). 9 For an outstanding example of this process. Huizinga. 10 Thomas Robbins. eds. Jeffrey Kaplan. trans. 1939). GA: Mercer Press. and Howard Kaminsky. Religion and the Racist Right: The Origins of the Christian Identity Movement (Chapel Hill. revised edition. Cited with permission of Rob Balch. 1997). and both scholars have provided key contributions to our understanding of millennialist movements working from non-fieldwork approaches. When Prophecy Fails (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

1982). and the Montana Freemen. My own experience of these queries came as guest host of “Talk of the Nation. see John George and Laird Wilcox. 1995). 19 This is a question that most academic “experts” were asked at the time. it was a step toward that end. a much different picture no doubt emerges. For some insights into this issue. 1996. and indeed. Klans­ men. Armageddon at Waco. Branch Davidians. Triple Erasure: Women and Power in Peoples Temple. any issue of the Identity newspaper Jubilee from late 1992–1993. n. By contrast. see Jess Walters. on the topic “Charisma and Religious Authority. 13 For the best coverage of these events. Special Report on the Meeting of Christian Men Held in Estes Park. Tim Reiterman with John Jacobs. 1987). 20 See note 3 above. This meeting and the accompanying documents and cassette sermons have been erroneously credited as the genesis of the militia movement. 25. see Cath- erine Wessinger. I had warned of precisely this effect in a number of publications to be discussed in the following section and made precisely this criticism of the Wright volume in a long back- logged review of the Wright book in The Law and History Review (forthcoming). no. Communists & Others (Amherst. 1996). 24. Here. 1995). 1987). See for example.). 16 For a discussion of these events and the impact they had on the milieu of the radical right. American Extremists: Militias.” Jubilee 5.P. Supremacists. “How the Millennium Comes Violently: A Comparison of Jonestown. x–xi.d. Antichrist (San Fran- cisco: Harper Collins. and Rebecca Moore. “Right Wing Violence in North America. This starkly dualistic scenario which afflicted both sides of these conflicts is hardly new.” in Wright. Every Knee Shall Bow: The Truth and Tragedy of Ruby Ridge and the Randy Weaver Family (New York: Regan Books. “Showdown in Waco. see James Coates.. but the true impetus of the emergence of the militias would wait a season for the Waco conflagration. Drew University. Wessinger further sug- gests in this regard Mary McCormick Maaga.. Aum Shinrikyo. 5 (March/April 1993): 1.” 9 March 1993. The Old Enemy: Satan & The Combat Myth (Princeton: Princeton University Press.” 22 April 1993. For an application of this scenario specifically to the militia movement. 1992 Concerning the Killing of Vickie and Samuel Weaver by the United States Government (Laporte.” in Terror From the Far Right. Raven: The Untold Story of Jim Jones and His People (New York: E. Colo­ rado October 23.D. The interpretive approach would be valuable in determining how this threat was perceived from the vantage point of the adherents themselves. CO: Scriptures for America. This Thing of Darkness: A Sociology of the Enemy (Seattle: University of Washington Press. ed. Armed and Dan­ gerous: The Rise of the Survivalist Right (New York: Hill and Wang. ME: Edwin Mellen Press.” National Public Radio. see Louis Beam. 17 Pete Peters. 1985). In reality. Dutton.” The article is forthcoming in Dialog: A Journal of Theology and a form of the piece will appear as the introduction to her forthcoming book. and on the topic “National Security and Millenarian Cults. see Jeffrey Kaplan. For a less than detached journalistic overview of this history. . 18 For a good running account of the connection between the two cases drawn by the radical right. Interpreting the interpretive approach 53 12 This observation is meant to reflect the relative dangers to the movement as seen from the safe remove of almost two decades and half a world away. See Bernard McGinn. Ph. 21 “Preface. NY: Prometheus. diss. Tore Bjørgo (London: Frank Cass & Co. 1994) and Neil Forsyth. A Sympa­ thetic History of Jonestown: The Moore Family Involvement in Peoples’ Temple (Lewis- ton. 14 James Aho. 1994). 15 The most informative materials to come out of the immediate aftermath of Jonestown were thus journalistic.

657–62.” in Brotherhoods of Nation and . Kenneth S. Millennialism and Violence (Portland. no. 19 February 1997. 33 Robbins. Cf. no. “Supreme Court Rules for Operation Rescue. 1995. 37 Michael Barkun comes to a similar conclusion. Ph. idem.” Spring 1997. 30 Message from Nancy O’Meara of the Church of Scientology. including the fascinating detail of a sudden influx of sus- pected federal agents into the vicinity of the CUT property. only Michael Barkun had a know- ledge of the Christian Identity beliefs that the Freemen professed. Gordon Melton to my class in “Radical Religions in America. Reno. “The Politics of Rage: The Future of the Militia Movement. See Richard Carallid. Every Knee Shall Bow. diss. 1996). 28 Kaplan. and was serialized and made available to the rescue community in the journal Prayer + Action News in 1996–1997.” 23 Reed.” 83. American Fuehrer: George Lincoln Rockwell and the American Nazi Party. Pro- Choice Network. Cf. OR and London: Frank Cass & Co.. “Street Hassle. 27 Author’s interview with Thom Robb. Richard Abnes. Militias. Jason Scott. 19 June 1996. and Oklahoma City: The Mind of Conspiratorialists.” this issue. IL: InterVarsity Press.” Journal of Terrorism and Political Violence 7. Of the these scholars. 5.. Amer­ ican Militias: Rebellion. idem. 128–63. Stockholm..” paper presented to the conference on “Rejected and Suppressed Knowledge: The Racist Right and the Cultic Milieu.” 13–17 February 1997. 32 Jeffrey Kaplan. A few of the documents faxed to the FBI during the standoff have been kindly provided to assist my research. 1996). Stern. Idem. See Michael Barkun. Sweden. Satanism and Witchcraft.. 34 Michelet. ch. and none had done field work or come in personal contact with the milieu upon which they were proffering advice. was provided by J. Defensive Action and the Resort to Force.” 24 Kaplan. “Absolute Rescue: Absolutism.” The Christian Century. 5.54 Methodology and theory 22 Robbins.” AP wire story circulated by the Prisoners of Christ email news line. J. nos. 5 March 1997. and none of these samples demonstrate more than an abstract theoretical knowledge of the milieu. “Religious Movements and Violence. Scientologist Gary Beeney (or Beeny) had purchased the CAN judgment from the original plaintiff. “The Anti-Cult Movement in America: A History of Culture Perspective. Simonelli. 3 (Autumn 1995): 128–63. This article was republished in Michael Barkun. 25 Jeffrey Kaplan. “Right Wing Violence in North America. “The Modern Anti-cult Movement in Historical Perspective. “The Fall of the Wall?. 1 (Spring 1996): 50–64. For an update on this confusing situation.” Syzygy 2. ch.D. 35 These “bubble zones” were recently found by the US Supreme Court in an 8 to 1 vote to be unconstitutional infringements on free speech in Schenck vs. A Force Upon the Plain: The Amer­ ican Militia Movement and the Politics of Hate (New York: Simon & Schuster. “Religion. Radical Religion in America: Millenarian Movements from the Far Right to the Children of Noah (Syracuse: Syracuse University Press. 31 This information. The others were quite open about their lack of knowledge of the subject. see Jeffrey Kaplan. 29 Frederick J. Radical Religion in America. “Religious Movements and Violence. 1996). 26 This group would play an important role in the recent standoff involving the Freemen in Montana. 3–4 (1993): 267–96.. 1997). At this writing (May 1997)..” Terrorism and Political Violence 8. 24 August 1991. ed. “Conspiracy Theories as Stigmatized Knowledge: The Basis for a New Age Racism?. 36 Walters. Gordon Melton.” this issue. Racism and Religion (Downers Grove. having taken yet a different path from either Stern or myself. University of Nevada.

Mason’s sardonic view is precisely correct on all counts. 44 Dialogue is not the easiest of paths. and Simonelli. See for an example of this unhappy scenario. and Michael Adas. 38 Cohn. Radical Religion in America. I have briefly discussed this in the context of the militia movements in “The Politics of Rage. American Extremists. conversely. 40 Benjamin Ginsberg. Radical Religion in America. See for example. 1997). American Fuehrer. Not by the Sword: How the Love of a Cantor and His Family Transformed a Klansman (New York: Simon & Schuster.” 661–662.’ Long ago I came to see it was nothing and that it is the broad cycles of history which need to be understood” (Letter from James Mason. forthcoming). 48 Pamela Mendels. “Street Hassle. The Racist Mind: Portraits of American Neo­Nazis and Klansmen (New York: Viking.” New York Times Elec­ tronic Edition.” and consider it in greater depth in Radical Religion in America. James Mason. Ezekiel. n. The results can. 47 Kaplan.” 13–17 February 1997. Thomas Robbins and Susan Palmer (New York: Routledge. “What kills me is that you and others apparently find something worthy of note about the so-called ‘Radical Right. decrying a questionable drug arrest involving the Rolling Stones. Sweden. a life-long National Socialist currently imprisoned in Colorado writes. Pursuit Of The Millennium. Führer­Ex (New York: Random House. “Who Watches the Watchmen?: Another Side to the Watchdog Groups.). Barkun. The results can be depressing or worse. . 43 Kaplan. “The Politics of Rage. 1995). 42 Fax from Michael Barkun. 49 Kaplan.” 661. be remarkable. Interpreting the interpretive approach 55 Race: The Emergence of a Euro­American Racist Subculture. 12 November 1996. Messiahs and Mayhem: Contemporary Apocalyptic Movements in North America. “Millenarianism and Violence: The Case of the Christian Iden- tity Movement. was moved to write an editorial with a title which may be applied to much of what we have been discussing in this article: “To Break a Butterfly on a Wheel. Jeffrey Kaplan and Tore Bjørgo (Boston. eds. 24 February 1997.” The situation appears reminiscent of the extremes to which the British police went to stamp out the demons of the 1960s—the pop groups whose lifestyles were seen as leading fans to perdition. and Laird Wilcox. The Fatal Embrace: Jews and the State (Chicago: University of Chicago Press. George and Wilcox. 1996). and Laird Wilcox.” paper presented to the conference on “Rejected and Suppressed Knowledge: The Racist Right and the Cultic Milieu. 1993). “Absolute Rescue. 46 Kaplan. 1979).” 51 Aho. Kathryn Watterson. “Monitoring the Growing Web of Hate. 4 February 1997). Virtually all of the veterans of this esoteric subculture express disgust with their “comrades” and frank amazement that anyone in the “real world” could take them seriously. 41 Michael Barkun.” in Millennium. This Thing of Darkness suggests the efficacy of this approach in certain cases. Anti­Defamation League 1993 Spy Scandal Clipping File (Olathe. 45 Kaplan. 39 Ingo Hasselbach with Tom Reiss.” 50 Reed. KS: Editorial Research Service.d. 135. 1995). Raphael S. MA: Northeastern University Press. Prophets Of Rebellion: Millenarian Protest Movements Against The European Colonial Order (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. This as we have seen is a point often made by denizens of the radical right wing groups themselves. eds. Disaster and the Millennium. “The Politics of Rage. The cam- paign was eventually halted after the London Times. Stockholm. Witness for example the latest such expression to come my way. nor is it a panacea.

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Part II Firsts .

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or it may take the form of random targets of opportunity selected on the basis . (Joseph Tommasi) Don’t follow leaders. 2001) pp. Reprinted with permission of the publisher) The ‘leaderless resistance’ concept has been a long-standing subject of internal debate in the American radical right. leader or network of support. This chapter was first pub- lished in Terrorism and Political Violence 9. Beam’s ‘Leaderless Resistance’ essay in 1992. Watch your parking meters. engage in acts of anti-state violence independent of any movement. Leaderless resistance may be defined as a kind of lone wolf operation in which an individual. It emerged originally as a prescription for irregular warfare against invading ‘communist’ troops in the early 1960s. highly cohesive group. This viol- ence may take the form of attacks on state institutions or operatives. This article follows the history of leaderless resistance from its inception through its various permutations in the disparate ideological camps of the American radical right. Inside Terrorist Organizations (London: Frank Cass. pp. (Bob Dylan) More a mark of despair than a revolutionary strategy. leaderless resistance as it was formulated and disseminated to the far right faithful sought to make a virtue of weakness and political isolation. the tactic was employed by a few of the most com- mitted members of the American radical right in the 1970s and early 1980s. 260–73. or a very small. no. Pray for victory and not an end to slaughter. Turned against the American government rather than hostile foreign invaders. only a few months before the bloody shoot-out between Christian Identity adherent Randy Weaver and federal agents and the Waco tragedy. 3 (Fall 1997).2 Leaderless resistance (Copyright © 2001 Taylor & Francis Group. 80–95 and reprinted in David C. The term became widely known with the publication of Louis R. Rapoport.

The internal debates which produced the leaderless resistance strategy did not begin the 1980s. ironically was a Koehl loyalist almost to the day he was unceremoniously purged from the NSWPP and subsequently murdered by . soon renamed the Amer- ican Nazi Party the National Socialist White People’s Party (NSWPP) and initiated the endless round of purges that would soon cost the Party its bare handful of capable adherents. the literature of American National Socialism blended prognostications of the deleterious impact of integration and school-busing to achieve racial balance. Two victims of these purges and angry resignations. lurid crime: stories with a racial slant that would have done the supermarket tabloids proud. follow it through its National Socialist. Tommasi. All but the most idealistic adherent of National Socialist mass action theory realized full well that the American masses were hardly likely to flock to the swastika banner short of some catastrophic turn of events.2 This approach in National Socialist circles came to be known as the theory of mass action. and hopeful speculations of impending cataclysm. part-time Nazis) that such a strategy could not help but attract.60 Firsts of their perceived vulnerability and their symbolic importance.4 Following the assassination of Rockwell in 1967. throughout the 1960s and 1970s. The leaderless resistance concept was popularized in the late 1980s as a last gasp of defiance by the American radical right which was then at the nadir of its already bleak fortunes. Thus. Joseph Tommasi concerns us first.e. was himself one of the architects of the mass action strategy. Matt Koehl succeeded the Commander. Yet at the same time. they are of considerable vintage and reflect a long standing division in the far right. the party began to frag- ment. at government agents or buildings. Of Pierce much more will be said later. This article will examine the historical context which gave birth to leaderless resistance. there has always been a conservative majority of the movement who saw— correctly as it happens—that to engage prematurely in revolutionary viol- ence against a vastly more powerful state would be foolhardy at best. and will close with a speculative consideration of Timothy McVeigh as a possible case study of the strategy of leaderless resistance. figure prominently in the development of the leaderless resistance concept. the sole charismatic figure produced by the postwar movement. Rather. suicidal at worst.3 In one of the great ironies of American National Socialism.1 Thus acts of leaderless resistance may be aimed at targets as diverse as inter-racial couples. gay book stores or clubs. William Pierce and Joseph Tommasi. George Lincoln Rockwell. economic col- lapse and urban mayhem. Rockwell would continually decry as the ruination of the movement the ‘hobbyists’ (i. On the one hand. Christian Identity and neo-pagan Odinist formulations. The political strategy of choice was thus to utilize propa- ganda and legal demonstrations so as to build a ‘revolutionary majority’. or indeed.

Few of these young National Socialists were.F. Building the Revolutionary Party. and his seminal pamphlet. Tommasi was murdered.9 The NSLF was the first to act on the theory that.6 Tommasi. the N. Thus was born the National Socialist Lib- eration Front (NSLF ).P. no one is to be trusted. Tommasi published his now famous poster.7 In the end.8 The NSLF soldiered on at least in name for another decade.S. members except they were a lot more forward thinking. But this number is somewhat deceiving.5 Tommasi was one of the young West Coast party members whose radicalism thrilled a few and appalled the majority of American National Socialists. only receiving his membership card after Tommasi’s assassination). As James Mason recalls: Yes. POLITICAL TERROR: It’s the only thing they under- stand’. suffi- ciently suicidal to act on Tomassi’s rhetoric.P. to announce the formation of the NSLF. Karl Hand. Addressing the Second Party Congress in 1970. regardless of the dearth of public support. Tommasi was among the first to grasp fully the truth of the strategic situa- tion—in the milieu of the radical right. Tommasi gathered some 43 adherents to the foundational meeting of the NSLF in El Monte.W. the mass action doctrine meant in reality that no serious anti- state actions were possible given the patent impossibility of creating a mass based National Socialist party in the US.L. of Tommasi had four persons who carried out the illegal activities. his ringing call for revolutionary action NOW brought him to the attention of William Pierce—then in the throes of his own bitter dispute with Matt Koehl. to the leaderless resistance concept is incalculable. The NSLF ’s revolutionary ideology was based on the rejection of the conservative theory of mass action which Tommasi correctly believed was paralyzing the NS movement. In that time. was acutely aware of the bold actions undertaken by the Weathermen and the Symbionese Liberation Army to name but two of the left wing combatant organizations of the day. But the NSLF ’s contribu- tion. The remainder. anyone . only four NSLF ‘members’ undertook revolutionary action: Tommasi. provided that the determined revolutionary was prepared to act resolutely and alone. ‘THE FUTURE BELONGS TO THE FEW OF US WILLING TO GET OUR HANDS DIRTY.S. California on 2 March 1974. however. Leaderless resistance 61 an NSWPP member in 1975. like Pierce. They were determined to create a campus-based revolutionary movement of the right on the same model. David Rust and James Mason (Mason had not officially joined the group. For Tommasi. In 1973 or 1974. a blow could be struck against the hated state. and James Mason found a new avatar in Charles Manson. Hand and Rust were incarcerated for acts of racially motivated violence and firearms charges. the majority. weren’t that much dif- ferent from the N.

62 Firsts
could be (and probably is) an informer either for the government or for
one of the many watchdog organizations monitoring radical right wing
activity, and short of divine intervention, public support would not be
forthcoming no matter what tactical approach the movement was to adopt.
Yet in this state of weakness, there is ultimate strength. With nothing left
to lose, a man is totally free to act as he will. For while the state had proven
over and over again that it could effortlessly penetrate any right-wing
organization, it had yet to develop the capability to thwart the will of one
man acting alone!
This revelation would do the NSLF little good. The group actually died
with Tommasi.10 The actions of Hand and Rust were in reality pathetic out-
bursts of pointless violence which succeeded only in bringing them into
the care of the state’s prison system. But the example, once proffered,
could not be erased. Although it had yet to be given a name, leaderless
resistance was born.
At the same time, it is important to remember that the conservative
majority of the far right did not approve of the unauthorized actions of
leaderless resistors. Their well grounded fear was of precisely the sort of
pointless and undisciplined actions which landed the tiny NSLF combat-
ant cadre in prison. Rather, between impotent dreams of mass action and
the antinomian reality of leaderless resistance, there was a third path
which would become a model for the more extreme fringes of the present
day militia movement. Borrowed from Leninist theory, the cell structure
under a centralized command was the mark of the 1960s era Minutemen
under the leadership of Robert Bolivar DePugh. R. N. Taylor recalls of
these days:

The Minutemen never advocated leaderless resistance ‘per se’. In fact
where such did occur, where an individual or small group, did in fact
take some action on their own, it was generally a cause for concern
and created trouble for the National organization. We did our very
best to maintain a certain discipline among the members.
Originally the structure of organization was in ‘bands’ [that] pretty
well conformed to the classic guerrilla band of from 6 to 12 people.
Later for security reasons, we began to reorganize along the lines of
‘cells’ of three people. When all the members, in a geographical prox-
imity to one another had been made a part of a cell, then we insti-
tuted a dispersed cell system for members who lived at too great a
distance from other members. Where three people from 500 or more
miles apart would be members of a dispersed team. This was on the
understanding that, if directed to do so, they would all meet at a given
time and place. When they had fulfilled whatever function they were
called upon to accomplish, they all would then return to their respec-
tive locations. Only one of the three would even know the identity of
the other two members, and that party would be the only one directly

Leaderless resistance 63
in touch with the National Organization. This is like an underground
or resistance war type of structure. In addition to these modes of
organization, the national organization had what they termed the
‘Defense Survival Force’. The DSF was a group of inner core members
who had expertise and training in such skills as surreptitious entry,
lock-picking, electronic eavesdropping and proficiency in weapons,
tactics and all else that might apply to specialized para-military opera-
tions. The DSF to my knowledge never consisted of more than 50
members. This small sector were of course under control of the
National Organization. There was nothing spontaneous or thrill of the
moment about this inner corps’ activities. So, from the very beginning
the Minuteman Organization was always attempting to maintain
leadership and some sense of discipline and restraint among its

The decade which followed Tommasi’s death and the fall of the NSLF
were, from the perspective of the far right, both eventful and deeply dis-
heartening. Most notable, a true revolutionary movement, the Silent
Brotherhood, more popularly known as the Order, under the leadership
of Robert Mathews arose and after a brief but incandescent revolutionary
career, was smashed by the state. It was not until the Order was nearing its
inglorious end that many in the radical right were able to accept that the
group could be anything other than a diabolically clever federal entrap-
ment scheme.12
The death of Robert Mathews in a shoot-out with the FBI was thus trau-
matic to the movement, but far worse was to come. The 1989 Fort Smith,
Arkansas sedition trial brought into the dock a virtual ‘who’s who’ of the
radical right. Louis Beam, the author of the original ‘Leaderless Resist-
ance’ tract was there. So were surviving members of the Order. And so too
were such venerable movement patriarchs as Richard Butler of the Aryan
Nations and the ever jovial Robert Miles.13 The defendants were in the end
found innocent of all charges, but not before a parade of their erstwhile
allies, men such as the head of the Covenant, Sword and Arm of the Lord
Identity compound James Ellison and the Church of Israel’s Dan Gayman
betrayed the movement by appearing as witnesses for the prosecution.
Little wonder in such a bleak situation that the power of the federal gov-
ernment, and of what was seen as its Jewish puppeteers personified as the
Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith, were reified into ZOG, the all-
powerful Zionist Occupation Government (ZOG) now seen as the masters
of the nation and, indeed, of the world.
The ZOG discourse offered a form of comfort and an ironic sense of
security for the faithful. Against so all pervading a foe, what could be done
but to withdraw and wait and seek to persevere? Movement discourse thus
in the late 1980s became increasingly chiliastic. The mass action theories
of the previous generation were discarded as hopeless dreams. And so

64 Firsts
things may have stayed had two searing events not galvanized the move-
ment. In 1992, a heretofore obscure Identity adherent, Randy Weaver,
became an unlikely movement icon when, in the wake of a botched
federal government sting operation, Weaver’s wife, young son and family
dog were killed in a siege which took the life of a federal agent as well.14
Then the next year—in the midst of the Weaver trial as it happened—
there was the massacre at Waco.15 Suddenly, previously isolated voices
calling for individual acts of violent resistance to state tyranny began to be
heard and to a limited degree heeded by a few in the milieu of the far
right wing. No better symbol of this new found credibility can be posited
than the inclusion of Louis R. Beam’s original ‘Leaderless Resistance’
essay in pastor Pete Peters’ published report on a meeting of Identity
Christians which was convened to discuss the Randy Weaver drama.16 Sud-
denly, leaderless resistance was no longer an isolated theory. It was seen as
a matter of survival in the face of a government now determined to eradi-
cate the righteous remnant of the patriot community once and for all.
With this brief historical context, it is time to examine the texts which gave
form and substance to the Leaderless Resistance strategy. These texts
were, in chronological order, William Pierce’s sad sequel to the Turner
Diaries, Hunter; Richard Kelly Hoskins’ foray into imagined history, Vigil-
antes of Christendom; Louis Beam’s seminal essay ‘Leaderless Resistance’;
and David Lane’s reprise of the theory in Viking garb, ‘Wotan is
William Pierce, a confidant of George Lincoln Rockwell, was the spir-
itual father of the NSLF and the ghost in the machine whenever serious
acts of radical right wing violence are contemplated or undertaken. His
Turner Diaries, soon to be released in a mass market edition, was said to be
a major source of inspiration for both the Order and for Timothy
McVeigh, the convicted Oklahoma City bomber.18 Yet Pierce himself has
kept cautiously in the background, carefully building his National Alliance
organization cum book distributorship and living the: life of a gentleman
farmer on his West Virginia estate.
For all the attention given to the Turner Diaries, however, his long
awaited follow up, Hunter,19 is a dispirited affair which has garnered little
public attention. Yet Hunter, like its more famous predecessor, well reflects
the ethos of the time in which it was written. Hunter is the story of one
Oscar Yeagar, a character closely modeled on the real-life prototype of the
lone wolf killer, James Vaughn, a.k.a. Joseph Franklin, to whom the book
is dedicated.20 Hunter’s hero, stoically accepting the hopeless situation of
the right in the wake of the fall of the Order, the Fort Smith fiasco and the
perceived ever present reality of Jewish control of the nation and the
world, sheds his attachments to family and friends, to career and creature
comforts, and provides a fictional model of the lone wolf assassin, stalking
the enemies of the white race. The ultimate goal is to demonstrate the
weakness of the system and eventually to ignite a race war. But unlike the

Leaderless resistance 65
exuberant Turner Diaries in which the protagonist, Earl Turner, helps to
unleash a revolution that changes the very face of the planet, Hunter ends
not with a bang but with a resigned sigh:

He sighed. Well, he would be very busy during the next few days dis-
charging responsibilities he had already incurred. But after that it
would be time to do some more hunting.21

Where Hunter offered a plausible if rather unpromising model for action,
Richard Kelly Hoskins offered the Christian Identity faithful something
better; a safe but deeply satisfying dream. Hoskins’ 1990 magnum opus,
The Vigilantes of Christendom, offered the dispirited faithful the age-old
dream of supernatural succor as personified by a timeless band of selfless
avengers, the Phineas Priesthood (Num. 23:6–13; Ps. 106:29–31).22 The
Phineas Priests in the pages of Vigilantes of Christendom are presented as a
Templar-like order of assassins whose sacred role is to cull from the pure
flock of Christ those wayward sheep who through race mixing or other
transgressions, would do the work of Satan and his earthly servants, the
Jews. The Phineas Priesthood came with a catchy motto,

As the Kamikaze is to the Japanese
As the Shiite is to Islam
As the Zionist is to the Jew
So the Phineas Priest is to Christendom23

And who are the Phineas Priests? A long list of claimants to the title are on
offer. Robin Hood, St. George, Beowulf, King Arthur, John Wilkes Booth,
Jesse James, Gordon Kahl, Robert Mathews and Doug Sheets (accused of
murdering homosexuals) are but a few of the worthies in Hoskins’ elabo-
rate fantasy.
The Phineas Priesthood was, in the context of the times, a fantasy so
alluring that it was only a matter of time before a few brave or deranged
individuals would take up for themselves the title and set out in search of
God’s enemies. Given the fanciful nature of the Phineas Priesthood, such
a quest must unambiguously qualify as an act of leaderless resistance. And
indeed, a few did style themselves Phineas priests, not only in the radical
right, but in the most radical fringes of the pro-life rescue movement as
Clearly the most important text to emerge concerning leaderless resist-
ance is Louis R. Beam’s eponymous essay on the subject. Beam, a Klans-
man with close ties to Richard Butler’s Christian Identity Aryan Nations
compound, has for many years been at the cutting edge of movement
theory. It was Beam who early on realized the Klan’s marginality and
sought manfully, but ultimately unsuccessfully, to bring the organization
into the twentieth century. It was Beam too who was the first to propose—

66 Firsts
and attempt to institute—the use of computers as a tool of radical right
communication and recruitment.25 Beam was quick to comprehend the
dire strategic situation of the far right at the end of the 1980s, and to seek
some way to keep the flame of violent opposition alive.
Louis Beam’s writings take a serious interest in history and evince an
academic’s care to identify his sources. Thus, Beam takes no credit for
coining either the concept or the term ‘leaderless resistance’. Rather, he
traces its origin to one Col. Ulius Louis Amoss, the founder of the Balti-
more based International Service of Information Incorporated, who pub-
lished an essay titled ‘Leaderless Resistance’ on 17 April 1962.26 Col.
Amoss was suggesting guerrilla tactics in case of communist invasion and
conquest of America, but in the event, the scenario did not eventuate and
the essay was eventually forgotten. Such might have been the fate of
Beam’s essay as well had it not been written a mere few months before the
events of Ruby Ridge, Idaho. As noted above, Beam’s essay was included in
Pete Peters’ report on the Weaver tragedy, and suddenly the term leader-
less resistance was on everyone’s lips. The movement, seeing in Ruby
Ridge and far more so in Waco, evidence of a long feared government
plot to eliminate the patriot community, and understanding full well the
weakness and isolation of the movement, began to see leaderless resist-
ance as the only hope of striking a last despairing blow before inevitable
defeat. The watchdog community too seized on the concept as evidence of
a resurgence of radical right wing violence. And the government appears,
in the wake of Waco, to have undergone some paralysis as it sought to
understand what had gone wrong and, with the sudden rise of the militias
across America in response to Waco, where such wide spread anti-state
anger could have come from so suddenly.
In this supercharged atmosphere, Beam’s essay seems somewhat dis-
cordant, given its despairing tone and limited expectations for success.
The essay, however, perfectly reflected the mood of the late 1980s and the
pre-Waco 1990s. Beam begins:

In the hope that, somehow, America can still produce the brave sons
and daughters necessary to fight off ever increasing persecution and
oppression, this essay is offered. Frankly, it is too close to call at this
point. Those who love liberty, and believe in freedom enough to fight
for it are rare today, but within the bosom of every once great nation,
there remains secreted, the pearls of former greatness. They are there.
I have looked into their sparking eyes; sharing a brief moment in time
with them as I passed through this life. Relished their friendship,
endured their pain, and they mine. We are a band of brothers, native
to the soil gaining strength one from another as we have rushed head
long into a battle that all the weaker, timid men, say we can not win.
Perhaps . . . but then again, perhaps we can. It’s not over till the last
freedom fighter is buried or imprisoned . . .27

Leaderless resistance 67
Hardly the words of a man confident of victory. But following a discourse
on other seemingly doomed causes that somehow turned out well in the
end, Beam offers his tactical suggestions:

The concept of Leaderless Resistance is nothing less than a funda-
mental departure in theories of organization. The orthodox scheme
of organization is diagrammatically represented by the pyramid, with
the mass at the bottom and the leader at the top . . . The Constitution
of the United States, in the wisdom of the Founders, tried to sublimate
the essential dictatorial nature of pyramidal organization by dividing
authority into three: executive, legislative and judicial. But the
pyramid remains essentially untouched.
This scheme of organization, the pyramid, is however, not only
useless, but extremely dangerous for the participants when it is uti-
lized in a resistance movement against state tyranny. Especially is this
so in technologically advanced societies where electronic surveillance
can often penetrate the structure revealing its chain of command.
Experience has revealed over and over again that antistate, political
organizations utilizing this method of command and control are easy
prey for government infiltration, entrapment, and destruction of the
personnel involved. This has been seen repeatedly in the United
States where pro-government infiltrators or agent provocateurs weasel
their way into patriotic groups and destroy them from within . . .
An alternative to the pyramid type of organization is the cell system.
In the past, many political groups (both right and left) have used the
cell system to further their objectives . .
The efficient and effective operation of a cell system after the Com-
munist model, is of course, dependent upon central direction, which
means impressive organization, funding from the top, and outside
support, all of which the Communists had. Obviously, American pat-
riots have none of these things . . .
Since the entire purpose of Leaderless Resistance is to defeat state
tyranny (at least insofar as this essay is concerned), all members of
phantom cells or individuals will tend to react to objective events in
the same way through usual tactics of resistance. Organs of informa-
tion distribution such as newspapers, leaflets, computers, etc., which
are widely available to all, keep each person informed of events, allow-
ing for a planned response that will take many variations. No one
need issue an order to anyone. Those idealists truly committed to the
cause of freedom will act when they feel the time is ripe, or will take
their cue from others who precede them . . .28

With Beam’s formulation, the theory of leaderless resistance was essen-
tially complete. All that remained was to adapt and disseminate it to ever
wider constituencies of the far right wing. One of the more interesting of

68 Firsts
these hermeneutical endeavors was that of imprisoned Order veteran
David Lane. Lane, an Odinist and an icon in the racialist wing of that
movement, juxtaposed the leaderless resistance strategy with the Phineas
Priest concept and arrived at the dread Wotan, a man alone—a true
beserker—who will carry on the battle against impossible odds until the
day of Ragnarök.

So, let’s go on to strategy. Resistance to tyranny within an occupied
country necessarily forms into certain structures. Most basic is the divi-
sion between the political or legal arm, and the armed party which I
prefer to call Wotan as it is an excellent anagram [sic] for the will of
the Aryan nation. The political arm is distinctly and rigidly separated
from Wotan. The political arm will always be subjected to surveillance,
scrutiny, harassment, and attempted infiltration by the system. There-
fore the political arm must remain scrupulously legal within the para-
meters allowed by the occupying power. The function of the political
arm is above all else to disseminate propaganda. The nature of
effective propaganda is magnificently detailed in Mein Kampf, and con-
densed in Lane’s 88 Precepts. The political arm is a network and loose
confederation of like minded individuals sharing a common goal.
Wotan draws recruits from those educated by the political arm.
When a Wotan ‘goes active’ he severs all apparent or provable ties
with the political arm. If he has been so foolish as to obtain ‘member-
ship’ in such an organization, all records of such association must be
destroyed or resignation submitted.
The goal of Wotan is clear. He must hasten the demise of the
system before it totally destroys our gene pool. Some of his weapons
are fire, bombs, guns, terror, disruption, and destruction. Weak points
in the infrastructure of an industrialized society are primary targets.
Individuals who perform valuable service for the system are primary
targets. Special attention and merciless terror is visited upon those
white men who commit race treason. Wotan has a totally revolutionary
mentality. He has no loyalty to anyone or anything except his cause.
Those who do not share his cause are expendable and those who
oppose his cause are targets. Wotan is mature, capable, ruthless, self-
motivated, silent, deadly, and able to blend into the masses. Wotan
receives no recognition for his labors for if the folk knows his identity
then soon the enemy will also. Wotan are small autonomous cells, one
man cells if possible. No one, not wife, brother, parent or friend,
knows the identity or actions of Wotan.29

By its very nature, leaderless resistance is an act undertaken through indi-
vidual initiative. How then to determine with certainty whether a crime

Leaderless resistance 69
was committed as an act of leaderless resistance, or as an impulsive act of
opportunity? Certainly Joseph Franklin, Karl Hand and David Rust would
appear to have been engaged in leaderless resistance, although it is most
unlikely that they either read Col. Amoss’ 1962 essay or believed that their
actions would have much of an effect on the government or on the course
of the nation.
Illustrative of this problem of interpretation is the Oklahoma City
bombing. Certainly, by any objective analysis, Timothy McVeigh would
appear to be the veritable paradigm of the leaderless resistance concept.
Estranged from any right wing group, rejected by the militia movement for
whom his angry words appeared to be either the ravings of a madman or,
more likely, a federal plot, McVeigh with the help of one or two close
friends planned and executed the most destructive act of domestic terror in
American history. Moreover, McVeigh was very much a denizen of the cultic
milieu of the radical right, giving him access to a vast array of conspiratorial
and hate literature. It is not at all unlikely that McVeigh was familiar with
Beam’s essay. Indeed, given his widely reported fondness for the Turner
Diaries, it is almost inconceivable that he would be unfamiliar with Hunter.
But as is usual in the world of the American radical right, things are not so
simple, and McVeigh is not inclined to discuss the subject.
When McVeigh was arrested, he was carrying patriot literature in his
car. Subsequent publicity brought forward McVeigh friends and associates
who offered further literature distributed by McVeigh, as well as his per-
sonal letters. This article will close with a brief consideration of some of
these documents and letters in the context of McVeigh’s possible inten-
tion to act on the leaderless resistance concept.30
First, it must be emphasized that nothing found in McVeigh’s possession
in any way indicated an interest in, or a knowledge of, any of the. texts
dealing with leaderless resistance theory. In McVeigh’s car at the time of his
arrest an envelope was found containing fragments of what appear to be
several articles culled from various unnamed patriot publications. These
documents deal with the question of when a citizen has the right and duty
to resist a tyrannical government. Most notable among these documents are
a series of quotations from such luminaries as Thomas Jefferson, Alexander
Solzhenitsyn and John Locke on the subject. The last is of particular note in
that McVeigh writes this on the papers in his own hand, and the same quote
recurs several times in McVeigh’s effects:

I have no reason to suppose that he who would take away my liberty
would not when he had me in his power, take away everything else;
and therefore, it is lawful for me to treat him as one who has put
himself into a ‘state of war’ against me; and kill him if I can, for to that
hazard does he justly expose himself, whoever introduces a state of
war and is aggressor in it.
(John Locke, Second Treatise of Government)

(et ILL [sic]). and so should be quoted in full. draw first blood (many believe the Waco incident was ‘first blood’). The (B)ATF are one such fascist federal group who are infamous for depriving Americans of their liberties. decries government actions. it is lawful for me to treat him as one who has put himself into a ‘state of war’ against me. Jennifer. however. and DEA (to ne a few). One need only look at such incidences as Randy Weaver. Other articles. Rather. and kill him if I can. These appear to be little different from those found in his car on the day of his arrest save for one typewritten sheet titled ‘Constitutional Defenders’. and therefore. . when he had me in his power. Donald Scott. Apparently written by McVeigh himself. whoever introduces a state of war. but to overthrow those who PERVERT the Constitution. one article. ‘The American Response to Tyranny’. if and when they once again. a copy of the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights. and ‘Waco Shootout Evokes Memory of Warsaw ’43’. The patriot literature found with and distributed by McVeigh. foreign AND DOMESTIC. Constitutional defenders We members of the citizen’s militias do not bear our arms to over- throw the Constitution. Thus. would not. for to that hazard does he justly expose himself. Round- ing out McVeigh’s traveling collection is that staple of every patriot home and automobile. take away everything else. but stop well short of urging violent reprisals. McVeigh sent a number of documents to his sister. Many of our members are veterans who still hold true to their sworn oath to defend the Constitution against ALL enemies. to see that not only are the ATF a bunch of fascist tyrants. Gordon Kahl. as well. and is aggressor in it’. such as one’s right to self defense and one’s very LIFE. but their counterparts at the USMS [sic]. to organize and to resist are formulated here in terms of the creation of a mass movement which will call America back to the ideals of the Founding Fathers. as well as other Constitutionally-guaranteed and INALIENABLE rights. The brief text bears directly on our concern with the leaderless resistance concept. Through the years. exhortations to awaken. are. sug- gests no such suicidal course of action. the last line of the undated text has been widely quoted—sans context—in the news media. ‘US Government Initiates Open Warfare Against Amer- ican People’. As John Locke once wrote ‘I have no reason to suppose that he who would take away my liberty.70 Firsts Leaderless Resistance envisions an individual battle against hopeless odds in which the long range strategic objective appears to be little more hopeful than perseverance. Waco. juxta- poses Waco with the American Revolution and urges the faithful: ‘Don’t Get Discouraged’. FBI. There is scant hope that the American masses will rise against a state that the fighter sees as the embodiment of evil.

There is in this material a considerable quantity of patriot articles expressing rage at government actions at Waco: The people of this nation should have flocked to Waco with their guns and opened fire on the bastards! The streets of Waco should have run red with the blood of the tyrants. then sometimes we must go to war . I was only following orders!’ . cowardice (sic) bastards! Finally. Every person responsible for this massacre deserves nothing less than to die. but . . All you tyrannical motherfuckers will swing in the wind one day. a new found sense of personal mission. But once again. but . . McVeigh corresponded with a Michigan woman who made the material available to the FBI after the bombing. If this is too extreme for you. you spineless. . After all. other thoughts emerge. If we want to live in peace. at places like Waco. just as the ATF has admitted to doing? Why??? . Die. There will be future massacres because we allow them to occur. then bow down. isolation. . McVeigh expresses themes of loneliness. while at home. for your treasonous actions against the Constitution and the United States. . lick the hand of your master like a willing. . the thrust of this and all of the other articles sent to the Michigan woman by McVeigh is for a mass uprising. not lone wolf actions. .31 Angry words to be sure. Writing from a lonely desert encampment. who else would come to the rescue of those innocent women and children at Waco?!? Surely not the local sheriff or the state police! Nor the Army—whom are used overseas to ‘restore democracy’. risked all to . Leaderless resistance 71 Citizen’s militias will hopefully ensure that violations of the Consti- tution by these power-hungry stormtroopers of the federal govern- ment will not succeed again. One last question that every American should ask themselves: Did not the British also keep track of the locations of munitions stored by the colonists. . complacent whore and shut your mouth. and taking as a model the example of those: revolutionaries of a previous day who. I do not have the patience to listen to the whining of cowards. frus- trated sexual desire and. . oppressors and traitors that have slaughtered our people. Take whatever is dealt to you and your children and do not dare to com- plain to me about your fate. Yet in a letter to her dated 30 April 1995. Does anyone even STUDY history anymore??? ATF. . are used to DESTROY it (in full violation of the Posse Cornitatus Act). fear of aging. . Remember the Nuremburg War Trials ‘But . Noting that passing out literature is proving to be a futile gesture of defiance against the power of the state. . most of all.

then . The latter volume offers pictorial evidence of the ‘decline of Western civilization’. On the formation of the NSLF. and I know. 8 Letter from James Mason.N. Terrorism and Political Violence (hereafter TPV) 711 (Spring 1995) pp. Taylor. & March 1985) pp. 1996. 11 Interview with R. 2 This theory is best articulated by the author of the most influential tract on leaderless This Time the World (Arlington. The essay is reprinted in Tore Bjørgo (ed. 104. WV: National Vanguard Books 1984. or back pains. Siege (Denver. ‘Revolutionary Majorities’. This Time the World (note 3).p. White Power (n. 7 On the meeting. 1996. 1977). 5 Interview with James Mason. VA: Parliament House 1963). Beam. letter from James Mason. and for reprints of Tommasi’s writings. Terror from the Extreme Right (London: Frank Cass 1995). Taylor does not completely discount the utility of the leaderless resistance concept. what is left but the despairing bravado of the lone wolf assassin? Notes 1 Ehud Sprinzak. given the unlikely possibility that the right person may emerge to carry on the fight: . My philosophy is the same—in only a short 1–2 years my body will slowly start giving away— first maybe knee pains. The original essay was published in Beam’s ‘On Revolutionary Majorities’. Thus: Hell.. 1992). For the best of the era’s histrionic style. p. see George Lincoln Rockwell. it will not be long before time dulls his lethal edge. Siege (note 7). McVeigh notes that while he is today at the peak of his mental and physical prowess. Jr. . 1996. 6 Ibid. see James Mason. and idem.72 Firsts sign the Declaration of Independence. CO: Storm Books 1992). which features the work of the erstwhile propagandist of George Lincoln Rockwell’s American Nazi Party. 9 One such contribution is provided by the special double issue of the NSLF ’s newsletter which offered a ‘how to’ manual for those seeking to organize their own NS combatant organizations. 4 George Lincoln Rockwell. Beam. 1–12. you only live once. ‘Special Double Issue: How to Organize a Local Unit’. But I will not be ‘peaked’ anymore. rot away in some nursing home. Even today. 16 Dec. if a popular revolution is not on the horizon. You know it’s better to burn out. 3 A good flavor of the era’s NS agitprop may be found in The Best of Attack!: Revolutionary Voice of the National Alliance (Hillsboro. Might as well do some good while I can be 100% effective! In short. 1996. William Pierce. p. 16 Dec. ‘Right-Wing Terrorism in Comparative Perspective: The Case of Delegitimation’.). Inter-Klan Newsletter and Survival Alert 4 (1984). National Socialist Observer (Feb. See Karl Hand. 17–43.: 1967. . Louis R. however. Mason was responding to the sugges- tion that this core/peripheral membership was at the root of differing claims by Tommasi of the level that NSLF support was either more than 40 or only 4. See Louis R. 28 Nov. 28 wlp/aryan-page. 10 James Mason. or whatever. Interview with James Mason. 11 June 1997. 193. e-text available from the Aryan Crusader’s Library www.

e-text. 6. Washington. who conducted a one-man guerrilla war against Franco’s government. Too late. For a discussion of the importance of this text to the world of the radical right. But nothing Jess than that. 20 Franklin is currently serving a life term in Utah for the murder of two mixed race couples. 259. no page numbers.).). So. 24 In the rescue world. The Turner Diaries (Arlington. ‘Warning’. p. NY: Syracuse University Press 1997). Special Report on the Meeting of Christian Men Held in Estes Park. VA: Virginia Pub- lishing Co. Every Knee Shall Bow: The Truth and Tragedy of Ruby Ridge and Randy Weaver Family (New York: Regan Books 1995). The Ft. See Paul J. for decades. 1992 Concerning the Killing of Vickie and Samuel Weaver by the United States Government (Laporte. 19 Andrew Macdonald [William Pierce]. his determination and flair. On the movement’s suspicion of the Order as a federal gov- ernment sting operation see Rick Cooper. Cooper would realize his mistake and publish a eulogy to the Order. 25. He wasn’t a madman. 24. VA: National Van- guard Books 1989). Smith coverage filled all the issues in the given months. it might well capture the popular imagination. . Radical Religion in America: Millenarian Movements from the Far Right to the Children of Noah (Syracuse. What made Sabater the legend he was? I’m sure it was based on his daring. Such is the influence of this text that CNN broadcast an interview with Pierce on 1 June 1997. 1984) p. currently on death row in Florida for killing an abortionist and his bodyguard. CO: Scriptures for America. IL: University of Chicago Press 1995). He is suspected of several more racially motivated murders. 194–9. helped to serve as a sort of torch or beacon . 21 Andrew Macdonald [William Pierce]. Hunter (note 19). Hunter (Arlington. Leaderless resistance 73 As for its [leaderless resistance’s] effect on ‘demonstrating resistance- however doomed it might appear’. The Silent Brotherhood (New York: Signet 1990). 16 Pete Peters. front cover. See NSV Report (April/June 1985) pp. that suggests some Identity/rescue crossover. Siege (note 7). I’m sure his activities and the publicity generated by them. Armageddon at Waco (Chicago. . 23 Ibid. see Nicholas K. Paul Hill. 15 Stuart Wright (ed. 14 Jess Walter. single-handedly attacked the New Mobe head- quarters with gas bombs. n. 1990). he wasn’t a pervert—he was an idealistic patriot and nationalist of the highest order. . This might be the case. 1–5. 22 Richard Kelly Hoskins. 13 Robert Miles. Colo- rado October 23. 12 On the Order. For a laudatory review of Franklin’s life and works. ‘Should We Defend Born and Unborn Children With Force?’ Prayer + Action Weekly News 28. 18 Andrew Macdonald [William Pierce]. see Kevin Flynn and Gary Gerhardt. Vigilantes of Christendom (Lynchburg. A former member of the NSWPP. Francisco Sabater. pp. and offered an interactive forum with the author on its web site on the same day.. It brings to mind the Catalan. He became something of a mythic Robin Hood figure in Spain. if someone like that were to conduct some one man war. For a case in Spokane. cites the example of Phineas to justify his act.d. VA: National Vanguard Books 1978). Hill. see my review in Syzygy 1/3 (Summer 1992). and perhaps the only case in which something effective would be accomplished. 17 All of these texts are considered in a more general context in Jeffrey Kaplan. NSV Report (July/Sept. From the Mountain (March-April 1987–March-April 1988). breaking with the conser- vative majority of the NSWPP. Franklin was apparently much affected by the 1969 Mobilization against the War in Vietnam and. see James Mason. Mason helpfully includes an entire section on the movement’s lone wolves in this text.

Beam. ‘The Perfected Order of the Klan’. 10 Oct. e-text. Radical Religion in America (note 17). and James Brook. 1996. Beam. New York Times. ‘Wotan Is Coming’. Inter-Klan Newsletter and Survival Alert 5 (1984). ‘Computers and Patriots’. All references below are to these documents. 26 Louis R. just “catch up”—subject Waco’.74 Firsts Geranios. On his earlier attempts to bring the Ku Klux Klan into what he called the ‘Fifth Era’. Louis Beam. 25 Beam’s writings are both voluminous and engaging. Associated Press. 1992). no page numbers. The Seditionist 12 (Feb. Beam. Calhoun and Louis R. see idem. Beam’s text is available today through a number of web sites. WAR (April 1993). The Seditionist 10 (Summer 1991) p. 8. ‘Arrests Add to Idaho’s Reputation as Supremacists’ Haven’. 27 Louis R. 27 Oct. . 29 David Lane. the letters cited had no page numbers. ‘Leaderless Resistance’. 95–6. 30 This material was made available to potential witnesses for the defense in the penalty phase of the McVeigh trial. For his early analysis of the ZOG discourse. see his untitled article. Jeffrey Kaplan. Cf. The Seditionist 1(Winter 1988). pp.. 31 This is drawn from a fragment of an essay printed by the Keystone Second Amendment Association of Curwensville. 1996. 28 Ibid. McVeigh writes on page 47 of the piece ‘Read all—start here. On computers. ‘Three Bomb Suspects Nabbed’. ‘Leaderless Resistance’. see John C. PA.

From the age of fifteen. Reprinted with permission of the publisher) If any one figure could be said to personify the transatlantic connection at the heart of the current convergence of the Euro-American radical right.1 Unlike the activists who had come before. fol- lowing the Cotswolds Conference. Tommy Rydén is an articulate advocate of his beliefs.3 Tommy Rydén A national socialist life Co-written with Leonard Weinberg (Copyright © 1999 Rutgers University Press. Much of what follows is thus taken directly from the transcripts of taped interviews with Rydén that took place in Sweden in 1995 and 1997. it is the Swedish race activist Tommy Rydén. The primary thrust of this chapter will be to introduce Tommy Rydén in his own words. This approach has been taken for several reasons. The World Union of National Socialists under the leadership of George Lincoln Rockwell. faxes. As we have seen. sup- plied his anti-Semitic writings—in a variety of languages—to activists throughout the world from the 1940s until his death. sought to formalize these linkages under the aegis of an organizational infrastructure. First. NJ: Rutgers University Press). formed stronger alliances with foreign movements than they would enjoy with their own compatriots. pp. by accident as much as by design. Moreover. this postnationalist vision of race rather than nationality as the primary source of identifica- tion will become increasingly prevalent. for example. While this remains an unusual introduction to the racialist milieu. it is likely that in the vanguard of the contemporary race movement. It is hoped that by presenting Tommy Rydén thus. it will be possible to gain a greater understanding of the individuals who are drawn to the transatlantic racist right. Rydén has sought to establish linkages with American racialist groups of every description. Letters. This chapter was first published in The Emergence of a Euro-American Radical Right (New Brunswick. Einar Åberg. a number of lesser-known activists. Tommy Rydén looked first to the foreign groups and only after having established contact with the American movement did he become active on the Swedish scene. 169–93. transnational linkages have been common throughout the postwar years. and it was felt . and Rydén’s writings will play a large part as well.

estrange them from most members of their respective families. and gifted with a sardonic sense of humor. and five children (Ronja. which doubles as a bedroom. age three. the Rydéns are hospitable and the atmosphere is relaxed and friendly. It is thus the contradictions between Tommy Rydén’s public and private persona that are perhaps most striking. and both are dedicated followers of the strict dietary guide- lines of the Church of the Creator. Yet his views are unwaveringly racialist and anti-Semitic. a profession that Rydén has recently taken up as well. Today he lives with his wife. Embla. is decorated with photographs of the Führer and of a Klan cross burning in a bricolage par excellence of the trans- national race movement. Rydén’s life is in some ways paradigmatic of the racialists of his generation. Rydén’s small study. born 19 June 1997 as this chapter is being written) in the small town of Mullsjö in the Jönköping dis- trict of Sweden. and create the constant unspoken fear that at some point the families—or the state—may seek to remove the children from the home. He thus exists on the fringes of Swedish political life. Disa. Second. but at the same time this public image has allowed the Swedish antiracist activists to create through the media a caricature of the man and his ideas that has little basis in reality. this air of middle-class conformity is somewhat skewed by the photographs of American and Swedish National Socialists adorning the wall—a wall on which pride of place is given to a photograph of the founder of the Amer- ican Church of the Creator. if idiosyncratic. Andrée. Early days Tommy Rydén was born in Linköping. well read. Indeed. however. Once inside. Tommy Rydén is a much feared—and much demonized—figure in Sweden. From the outside. age seven. the actions of antiracist activists are of some . Rydén’s home looks like any other in the middle-class neighborhood in which he resides. Both Tommy and Maud are commit- ted racialists. age five.76 Firsts that the reader would better understand the transnational movement if given the opportunity to see the world through his eyes. the impression of a comfortable. His father was a salesman. He has a younger brother and sister. Sweden. Ben Klassen. Because of these views. But the central focus of the chapter will remain Tommy Rydén and his world. In this respect. Beyond the photographic exotica. Maud. Moreover. age eighteen months. and Robin Remir.2 These beliefs and lifestyle obviously isolate them within their community. He is in fact bright. This formidable aura is in some ways beneficial. middle-class existence tends to fade. on 5 January 1966. The living room is lined with bookshelves covered with (so far) child-proof netting. drawing to him a steady stream of the alienated and the merely curious. elements of his biography are the common coin of the life stories of a number of activists from a wide variety of opposi- tional belief systems whom Kaplan has interviewed over the years.

praising the Lord. JK: I’m very curious. Like all teenagers. Everyone is unique in some ways. and my mother took me to these so-called revival meetings. Pentecostal meetings where they sing “hallelujah” well. . But I am not a conservative today. . but somewhere it stops. it is time to allow Tommy Rydén to tell his own story. But all the others were out at discotheques and were playing around and having a good time. in many other ways. I have had my rebellious time too. oh yes. Religion has always played a very important role in my life. He is willing to fight for what he believes in. as are the sometimes unsavory individuals who are drawn to the racialist movement and to Tommy Rydén. I was reading books that perhaps some other people would think were very odd. JK: Was your father a conservative Baptist in the American sense. And I think . . I was reading. But that is what I grew up with. reading a lot of different books. more careful. ordinary working family. I have been raised in that environment. you know. Step by step. no smoking. I am not a copy of my father. no drinking. but from an early age I was very curious. I can say that from my beginning [my] conservative philo- sophy of life was in large part an inheritance from my father who . well. . But it seems that I got all the genes from my father who is a little bit of a factor as a personality. . no dancing? TR: Yes. [from] the majority so to speak of children and teenagers. but the reason is of course that I have been raised in a religious environment. etc. and a couple of times financially too. and he is not a copy of his father. I was in fact more interest[ed] in reading antique books . . But of course. Growing up as a fundamentalist in Swedish society is different. Tommy Rydén 77 concern. . TR: [excited] Yes. TOMMY RYDÉN (HEREAFTER TR): My background is. . I am a racialist. Always. So I guess when you ask me about these things there is some strong similarities between myself—and my father. . With this introduction then. like they say. is much older than my mother.. . He doesn’t share my religious views. And that’s the way it was. And as I said. . . But of course. So in fact he is still the only one who has supported me morally. And that puts me on their left-wing side on some issues concerning the environment and some . like everyone else. there are probably more similarities between me and him than between me and my mother. like I said. There is a big difference in fact. yes. but he is the only one among the relatives next of kin who have supported me and my family . . this is different. . morally. he was and is a conservative. so he was the old traditions so to speak. . I’ve been raised in a middle-income. But I have been different all the time from the others in that my interests have been different . while my mother is soft actually. Nothing special. wanting to learn more about things. different kinds of religion. .

78 Firsts
other issues that are not considered to be conservative. But I don’t
label myself. I am not interested with the labels at all.3

This aspect of being a true seeker from a very young age is typical of
most racialist activists. Virtually all note among their earliest memories a
feeling of being different, of not fitting in to their respective societies.
Many have been avid readers, and it would appear that it was more the
availability of an oppositional milieu rather than attraction to a particular
ideology or theology that would provide many with an entrée to the world
of radical politics. As with so much of Tommy Rydén’s life, this quest for
knowledge would become all-consuming and his commitment would be

JK: Did you experiment with other ideas, other than the racial?
TR: Oh yes, oh yes. I was in contact with communist groups in Sweden.
And everything between heaven and earth you know [laughs]. I was
reading everything. I would read books about the Muslim creed. I
mean, I was open!4

At the age of fifteen, an incident occurred that would have a consider-
able impact on Tommy Rydén’s life. Such events are not uncommon in
the recollections of race activists, and serve a variety of functions. Most
important, they serve in a sense as bridge-burning events. The activist,
faced with the consequences of his or her actions, is forced to make a deci-
sion; either to continue along the racialist path or to abandon the belief
system and to return to the safety and comfort of the status quo. This deci-
sion of course had always been implicit, but the young activist will often be
shocked at the negative sanctions that result from acting upon what he or
she had perceived to be widely held racist attitudes. The backlash is there-
fore often interpreted as evidence of the hypocrisy of the dominant
culture. In this regard, the young racialist is little different from other
seekers who find their way to a wide variety of oppositional belief systems
in a quest for the hidden truth that underlies the seemingly chaotic rush
of everyday events. The search is for absolutes, and any deviation or com-
promise will be contemptuously rejected. So it was with Tommy Rydén’s
bridge-burning event.

TR: There are so many things that influence you as you grow up. But I
want to point out that I have never been attacked by any foreigners.
I have never been harassed by any foreigners. In any way. So I have
no reason to feel any hate toward any minority group. . . . There are
no such motivations. But of course one thing that was a turning
point in my young life . . . that I have said very little about . . . at age
fifteen I and a few other guys got involved in some kind of militant
activities . . . I’ll tell you it was an all-white community, but a gypsy

Tommy Rydén 79
family, a nonwhite gypsy family moved into the neighborhood and
they have a very special style of life. Quite common here in Sweden
in various places. Anyway, we, I and a few other guys, we were teen-
agers at that time, attacked the house where they were living.
Crashed some windows and there were some real terrorist activities
[laughs] at that young age. And anyway to make a long story short . . .
the family moved away from the neighborhood, and there was a lot
of publicity in the newspapers of course, on the local level about it,
and later they found out, the police found out, the newspapers
found out, that I and a few others had been involved. We were young
teenagers then. I was fifteen, two who were fifteen and one who was
fourteen. And I was interrogated by the police in my home. Not very
dramatic but anyway at that age of course, it didn’t lead to court. No
trial whatsoever because of our age. We were very young. So one
could say that we escaped it in the end because of our age. But of
course there were some interrogations and some trouble before that.
But in any case, this whole thing you know probably meant a lot in
my life, because judging from what I have written in my diaries I had
to make a decision at that time to give up. Because the other two
guys they gave up. Their parents blamed it on me.
JK: So you were the leader?
TR: [laughs] Yes, perhaps I had some leadership abilities at that time
[laughs]. I don’t know. Anyway I got the blame from them and many
people you know started to . . . I don’t know what the hell people like
to call it. . . . People stopped talking to me. And there were many dif-
ferent reactions to it. Even with the people who liked it of course. In
any case, I had to make a decision and I made a decision at that time
to continue on the road. That I had taken part in these actions and
that I was going to stand for it. Whatever the cost. And I was not sup-
ported by my parents. No one supported me whatsoever. I was com-
pletely 100 percent alone in that situation. And you know when you
are fifteen, barely fifteen years old, you have to go through that and
you decide to take up the fight with the whole world. And that changes
you as a person. Either you can handle it or you can’t. And in some
ways I have been able to handle it. And it was a very traumatic experi-
ence, because when I came back to school—it all happened during
the summer—when I came back to school I could see some reactions
from the teachers and so forth. Suddenly they all began to talk about
Adolf Hitler and concentration camps [laughs] that no one had men-
tioned before . . . [laughs] [about how many] were killed and all those
things you know, mixture of reality and fantasy. So it was a very diffi-
cult situation and this whole incident changed the direction of my life.
Until that I had been a young man you know who was just experiment-
ing, reading books and, but I was not, I didn’t know very much about
it. I didn’t have any hardcore views.5

80 Firsts
For Rydén, the contradiction between the strongly negative feelings in
the community about the gypsy family and the universal disapproval of the
actions he and his friends undertook to act on the community’s views,
created an irreconcilable dissonance. All the more so given the tacit
approval of the gypsy family’s decision to leave. Rydén’s reaction was to
reject the perceived hypocrisy and compromise of polite society. Yet even
then, this quest was not confined to the racialist path. He had in the
months before this action begun to contact a variety of groups in the U.S.
His first contacts with the American racist movements show the same
remarkable ingenuity which has been noted before in these pages with ref-
erence to James Mason’s efforts to make contact with the American Nazi
Party from small-town Ohio.

JK: It sounds like you always looked to the outside for different things, as
you say writing letters at a young age.
TR: Yes, but it is very difficult to give an explanation to that because I
don’t think one can explain such things. Some people will say it’s fate,
it’s the genes, it could be a hundred reasons to why one is like one is. I
don’t have any . . . but I can only state as a fact that I’ve been like that
from a very young age. Interested in those kind of things. When I was
fifteen years old, that was the first time I got in contact with the first
racialist organization, the very first racialist organization, when I saw
the Ku Klux Klan in America. That is also fantastic. I mean [laughing]
there was no advertisement for the KKK in the town I was living in, but
to make a long [story] short, I read a hostile article about the KKK in
the United States and in that article one could see where they claim
they [were] living, I mean, there was no address, but somewhere in
the South. So I wrote down all the facts I could get together about this
address. I was hoping that the letter would reach him and it did and I
got in contact with the KKK in the United States, and with that I
managed to establish some contacts with racialist groups in the United
States. I am talking about Bill Wilkinson’s small Klan.6
I put together some kind of an address and sent a letter and
someone was nice at the postal office in America so it reached him. And
I got a reply from him, from his organization. And a newspaper and all
those things. Bought some audio tapes from them and stayed in touch
and subscribed to the magazine. And it was later that I got in touch with
organizations here in Sweden. But the first organization was American.
JK: That’s amazing. Why so?
TR: I think that I am a curious person. That explains part of it, but you
have to realize that at that time there was no well known nationalist
organization here in Sweden. It was years later that the BSS, Keep
Sweden Swedish movement came. But that was later. So at that time it
was, well, you were looking out in the world and that’s the organiza-
tion that I found.7

Tommy Rydén 81
Bill Wilkinson’s Klan group, the Invisible Empire Knights of the Ku
Klux Klan, was all too typical of the American radical right. The Invisible
Empire came into being in reaction to David Duke’s mediagenic approach
to the Klan. Wilkinson’s Klan was positioned as a traditionalist, action-
oriented group, and until the 1980s it was moderately successful.8 Indeed,
in Wilkinson’s grandiose telling, the Invisible Empire was the only viable
Klan organization in the country.9 Yet in the same time period, it was
revealed that Imperial Wizard Wilkinson was an FBI informant, and had
been for many years.10 Such disappointments become the common lot of
those who persevere in the racialist milieu for any length of time. In this
context, the early shock of the hostile public reaction to the attack on the
gypsy family—while hearing few voices bemoan the family’s decision to
leave the neighborhood—certainly must have served to inoculate Rydén
against these future disappointments. Asked precisely this question in
1997, Rydén observed:

TR: It didn’t hurt me. No, no way. Because nevertheless, I felt it was far
away from me in another part of the world. This was before e-mail
[laughs] and fax machines.11

This same tolerance would be extended to other American movement
figures suffering a similar fall from grace.
This early American connection may also have acted as a sort of solace
for the isolation that Rydén suddenly experienced in his home town.
Shunned by the community, the Americans appeared to offer a welcoming
hand and a vital sense of community in a world infinitely more exciting
than small-town Sweden. Unlike the Swedes, the Americans appeared to
be active and effective, conferring by association a sense of power on the
young Tommy Rydén.12

TR: My father was very shocked at the beginning, because I was caught,
[laughs] You know the father, well, one could see parents, not only my
father but also other parents talk about these gypsies shortly before.
And at that time these gypsies were the scum of the earth. But then
when their own boys are caught attacking these people and doing some-
thing about this problem, they are talking. That’s how you know it’s very
sensitive and at the same time, no afterwards, I could understand his
reaction because his opinion at that time was that I should not take all
the blame on myself. You know, as I mentioned the other parents
blamed it on me and they tried to escape it. And I was the little boy they
were writing about in the newspapers. They didn’t write one word about
the others. The headlines were “Young Racialist” or some kind of com-
mando attack [laughs] on the gypsies. Very sensational. Because of my
age of course. And during the interrogation they asked if I had any
accomplices in the world? [laughs] And I mentioned the Knights of the

82 Firsts
Ku Klux Klan, [laughs] And also the group in West Germany . . . the
Hoffman National Socialist group, [laughs] Who [laughter] were
having [laughs] paramilitary [maneuvers] preparing for the coming
war. So of course I said those things and they leaked it to the media. So
I could read about it in the newspapers afterwards. [laughs] Of course I
put myself into a difficult situation in one way. But I was a young man
and you don’t know anything about interrogations, police, and trials,
newspapers. Everything was new to me.
JK: At the same time, there must have been an element you liked in that,
standing alone against the world.
TR: Yes, yes, but I—that’s something I had been born with I suppose . . . I
don’t think that I have that from my family. Of course, my father has
been a singer. He has been in the opera, traveling around seeing dif-
ferent places. So of course he has been a public person in one way,
but not in the sensational way. So I don’t think I have anything in my
genes from him when it comes to this. But of course, yes, there was
something in it that I liked. To be in the center. To have the spotlight
on myself.
JK: Did that spotlight attract other comrades in your immediate circle, the
school or the town?
TR: No, [they] fled with all the rest, [laughs] Well, of course, I remember
that my . . . schoolmates . . . were all very curious of course, asking me a
lot of questions. Anyway, it’s far back now. I don’t remember all the
details, but I know for sure that this incident changed the direction of
my life. So after that I became more deeply involved in those things.
That is not the same thing as saying that I suddenly . . . knew exactly what
to think and say, no not at that age. There was still a lot of development
in my life. A lot of things happened after that too. I was involved in Chris-
tian, well, I went to a Christian Bible school in the northern part of
Sweden for some time. I was a member of a Christian congregation. But
all the time I was one could say in the right-wing camp. As a youth, but
inside in that camp somewhere. And sometimes in racialist youth also.
JK: Did that search push you out farther and farther, looking farther afield
for ideas, for people you could correspond with?
TR: Yes, all my life, even today, I’m constantly writing to new people, and
sometimes with success, and sometimes with no success of course. But
these new people lead me to other people, to new organizations, for
example, I have been corresponding with I don’t know how many
hundreds of people and organizations during my life. Of course, many
of these people and organizations and political parties and whatever
. . . have had some . . . kind of influence on my life. You know, I’ve
perhaps learned a few tricks here and there.13

Rydén’s contacts with the U.S. in this period were wide ranging. On
the one hand, he sought to contact as many radical right-wing groups as

Tommy Rydén 83
possible. On the other, his interest in fundamentalist Protestantism
brought him into contact with such luminaries as Jerry Falwell of the
Moral Majority and radio commentator Cal Thomas. In all cases, Rydén
showed great ingenuity in unearthing even the most obscure addresses.
And none were more obscure than the American National Socialists that
began to occupy more of his curiosity. Here, fate intervened in the form
of the ever helpful United States Information Agency.

TR: I grew up with the same stories [about National Socialism] as anyone
else. But I think that too changed with . . . the publicity, that attack on
the house. Because after that, I went to the library . . . and looked up
every book I could find on National Socialism. I read everything I
could find. And I wrote to the American embassy and got a list of
addresses to National Socialist organizations.
JK: From the American embassy?
TR: Oh yes. [laughs] The NSDAP/AO for example.
JK: Gary Lauck’s group?
TR: In Nebraska, yes. I remember their address because they sent me a lot
of material. And Matt Koehl and the World Union of National Social-
ists. They were still active.14

At some point, every committed adherent of a radical right-wing ideo-
logy must confront what Anton LaVey in a previous chapter accurately
refers to as the “Auschwitz taboo.” That is, he or she must come to terms
with the legacy of German National Socialism and the person of Adolf
Hitler. This by no means necessitates the acceptance of National Socialism
as an ideology or the near-deification of Hitler that is so common in the
U.S. National Socialist movement. But the enormity of this history—and
the powerfully negative perceptions that Hitler and all his works engender
in the dominant culture.—is simply too important to be ignored. For
Tommy Rydén, this moment of truth came early.

TR: So it’s a natural interest that you are involved in these kind of things
you have to, sooner or later, you have to decide where you stand on
National Socialism. Either you are a supporter of Adolf Hitler—that
doesn’t mean that you have to support every soldier in the German
army or SS. . . . But one has to decide if one has to support Adolf
Hitler or if one is an enemy of Adolf Hitler. One can never escape
that. There are some people in Sweden who think they can avoid
that question. They call themselves Sweden Democrats and many
other things. And they think they can be racists without calling them-
selves racist. And they think they can promote National Socialist pol-
icies without giving any tribute to Adolf Hitler without calling
themselves National Socialists. But . . . one has to make a stand. But
for me that hasn’t been a problem. But it has been a development

84 Firsts
like everything else. I mean I am not interested in the war. It was a
world war and it was a stupid thing. A disaster for everyone. But I
have been interested in the individual, Adolf Hitler. The person. So
I read many books and material about his life. And I can see many
similarities between his boyhood dreams and his way of looking at
things. Between him and me. There are many similarities in the way
we look at the world. But then of course that was in the thirties and
we live in the nineties. Of course there are many things that have
changed. Of course, the situation is much more complicated today. I
have stated on Swedish television that I am an admirer of Adolf
Hitler and I think that he was a great man, etc. I never backed off
from that. But then of course one could discuss all these other
details. There were different personalities around him, Then . . . well,
that’s another story.
JK: Following on that you began to get in contact with the American
groups as well. The National Socialist groups?
TR: Yes, I have been in contact with the National Socialists in America . . . I
think they, are, well, there are good people in American [NS
groups]—I have been corresponding with them, and there are many
intelligent people. But for some mysterious reason they have a habit
of living in the past you know. They try to be more like Germans than
the Germans are themselves you know.
JK: Hitler cultists?
TR: Yes, sectarian perhaps to put it one way Because the people I have
been in contact with in the United States, they are constantly talking
about, ‘oh, what a great time it was. Adolf Hitler. Goring.’ [laughs]
The old boys. [laughs]
JK: Keep the uniform in the closet.
TR: Yes. [laughs] . . . That is the problem I think. The past. I know I have
been corresponding with a guy in, it’s the man who is on the wall out
there. We were in contact.
JK: What’s his name?
TR: Ron Michaelson, I was corresponding with him for a long time and he
was a real nice guy.15 I sent him some material, and he sent me some.
But he is a good example. He would talk all the time about the good
old times. As he thought it was. Because there are no real leaders,
because if you compare David Duke to Adolf Hitler, well, it was a dif-
ferent year. You just can’t do that, but they do it. So it came as a sur-
prise to me. I just think it’s sad and unnecessary.

This process of coming to terms with German National Socialism can
be traumatic and life changing. For some, such as George Lincoln Rock-
well, a true conversion experience may take place. Rockwell’s apparently
mystical experience of National Socialism and the legacy of the Führer is
echoed by one young Swedish activist, who states:

Tommy Rydén 85
At first I thought the Nazis were just shit. I hated Germans, everything
German, but I was interested in the Second World War. I read every-
thing I could find about it. And it became sort of an awakening. I sud-
denly woke up. I and my friends went to a meeting where one old
National Socialist spoke. He spoke about the democracy, the hypo-
crisy, the double standard, the lies. It was like something fell from my
eyes. I woke up. We walked away as different human beings. . . . But it’s
hard to be like us. . . . I have asked myself hundreds of times why I’m
doing this. Why I’m not doing something else with my life. But I
cannot do that. This is my life. There is nothing to do about that.16

Similarly, Tommy Rydén would emerge from his own study of German
National Socialism a committed, if not uncritical, true believer. On the
one hand. he would condemn the Second World War as a disaster for the
white race out of which little good could be salvaged.17 Unlike so many in
the American movement—and an older generation of European National
Socialists—Hitler is not absolved of responsibility for the war, and the
German war machine is not spared Rydén’s critical assessments. For
Rydén, the root cause of the war was the nationalism of the German
National Socialist state. This unchecked nationalism caused the fratricidal
conflict between the white nations of Europe and served to benefit only
the Jews. Worse, Hitler himself stands accused of never daring to chal-
lenge “Jewish Christian society” which serves as the “Jews’ best weapon
against whites.” Yet even with so strongly held a belief as anti-Semitism,
Rydén is somewhat equivocal and self-critical: “I have no Jew fixation, but I
have to admit that during the years I have been active I am frustrated to
encounter again and again so many Jews among our enemies. . . . Many of
those who appear on TV and talk stupidly about neo-Nazism and so on . . .
are in fact of Jewish descent, so certainly there is a conflict between Jews
and whites, so to speak—they say so themselves.”18
The first Swedish movement that Tommy Rydén would become
involved with was Keep Sweden Swedish (Bavara Sverige Svenskt or BSS).
BSS was a small antiimmigrant organization that was the beginning of the
parliamentary parties formed in the late 1970s to oppose (nonwhite)
immigration. The BSS was in essence an interest group formed to push for
a national referendum on immigration. It never coalesced into a political
party, and was never very large, with an estimated 300 members by 1984.19
Nonetheless, passing through BSS ranks were a number of adherents des-
tined for careers in both the parliamentary and the extraparliamentary far
right. The BSS however, offered little that would hold Tommy Rydén’s
interest for long.20 Rather, ironically enough, he had by then begun to
think of emigrating himself. His vision was of a white redoubt where the
dream of community could be realized in a more concrete fashion than
could be achieved through the mails. In the 1980s, South Africa became
the destination of choice for a number of young white racialists from

And I spent a lot of time with the police officers. he would have a number of experiences that in retrospect would be life changing. I and 7.21 JK: Why did you decide to go to South Africa? TR: Because I regarded this country as a lost country. an AWB-member in (Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging) Bloemfontein took me to Bert Steenkamp who was the leader of a Christian Identity congregation called Israel Vision not far from that town . a very intensive time. I traveled around and toured South Africa for three and a half months by car. I also held a short speech at a Conservative party meeting Ladysmith (Natal) where I urged the middle-class audience to fight for a white-governed South Africa. the priests (and of course. In early February. And similar groups [like] the Conservative party. A priest from the Calvinist Church (NG Kerk) took me to that rally. Later that month. Which is strange today. 1988. bus. Rydén knew with absolute certainty that the races were different and ordained to be forever separate. . forever unequal. I am talking about the Christian priests on the conservative side in this case).000 others(!) applauded Eugene TerreBlanche23 in the Skildpadsaal. . There. .S. because we know the facts today about South Africa. I had been an active Christian for five years. Christ-insanity played a major destructive role here since they actually believed it was their “Christian duty” to give the black man a job—but they did not want him in the same swimming pool! I was in support of an ALL WHITE area—but that was some- thing else! When I arrived in South Africa on February 5. Travels with Tommy Rydén was to spend three and a half months in South Africa. but none had as dramatic a symbolic impact as his observation of a beautiful white woman whom Rydén describes as the “Aryan ideal” on one side of the street. But at that time I thought that Sweden is a lost country and I have to go away to the United States or South Africa where people are doing a bit more— trying to do something at least. Tommy Rydén arrived in South Africa on 2 May 1988. using cheap black labor power for all the most silly things—it was obvious to me that it would end with the whites losing all power and control. I told them this over and over again—but in vain. In February.22 Let me first of all point out that I was NEVER EVER a supporter of [the] apartheid-system. while on the other side was a “typical African Black woman” walking on the opposite side of the street. At once. . But all kinds of people. . weighed down with packages.86 Firsts Europe and the U. . And so when I came to South Africa I immediately got in touch with the Afrikaner Resistance Movement.

. But then of course in South Africa one could also see the big difference. Rydén’s attach- ment to Christianity was first eroded and then abandoned entirely. somehow I found this strange that their Jewish messiah were going to save neo-Nazi-looking white militants in South Africa. Rydén was already in contact with several American Christian Identity churches. but I saw very little of apartheid while I was there. . In fact . that’s the thing I remember strongest. In light of what he saw and experienced in South Africa. . that’s non- sense. who were telling me . The strong- est impression. what . The turning point was South Africa and my experiences at that place. I approached him after- ward and shook his hand. another well-known Swedish activist attended the same meeting. I mean. . but I was not making a name for myself in racialist circles. I mean the racial difference. But in 1988 I really got involved 100 percent. It is like a burning fire within me. in South Africa I could see that Christianity is a Trojan horse seen from a Christian perspective. and Christian Identity. which has been documented throughout this chapter.” . JK: What experiences in particular? TR: Well. to me it looked like a very multi- cultural society except for a little bit of power. . at that place one really felt that one was completely surrounded by nonwhites. I have realized that is my life and destiny to be in battle throughout my whole life. Further. Not in my opinion at least. Otherwise it was very multicultural. In South Africa I also read Hitler’s Mein Kampf for the first time!25 For Tommy Rydén. Well. in South Africa I met a lot of people that were telling me that Jesus was going to save them. Even if I try to be understanding. . at the time he departed for South Africa Rydén was immersed in two contradictory reli- gious traditions. So that was. And it was a very strange situation for me because I several times I had to argue with South Africans. he had already begun to make the contacts that would lead him to yet another direc- tion—the American-based Church of the Creator. . and this would play a large role in his activities in South Africa. That was a great moment for me! By the way. . Ever the searcher. . not at all. like in the shops—they were talking about apartheid. When he left Sweden. JK: As you look back . when his men burned the ANC flag. . the South African trip was as much of a religious pilgrimage as it was a political statement. . but none of us knew that the other was there!24 On March 31 1988 I wrote in my diary: “. . [laughs] it was just a little bit too much. really turned you from this conservative Christian path toward the racialist path? Or was it just a gradual evolution? TR: It was gradually. . Before that I’d been moving around. conservative Christianity. Tommy Rydén 87 Pretoria. It was not just one thing that dropped down on me from the sky.

etc. a racial religion. It’s just that I turned from being a Christian fundamentalist hoping for Jesus to save me. the church began to reunite in 1995 under the leadership of Matt Hale in Wis- consin and today is showing signs of vibrancy which was sorely lacking in Klassen’s final years. then they are really lost for the future. This may be attributed in large part to the strongly negative view that the Church of the Creator takes of Christian Identity. Rydén had established contacts with a number of the American Identity ministries which have passed through these pages. including such luminaries as Richard Butler of the Aryan Nations.88 Firsts “oh we have a chance. Better. The obvious place to turn when he returned to Sweden was to the United States. but given . in it’s current formulation it is an American racial religion. If we are not fighting back. By 1988. As his South African days drew to a close. after all. just as British Israelism.26 It is hardly a revelation that Tommy Rydén would be attracted to Chris- tian Identity. I was turning into a social Darwinist with a biological approach to the conflict. and also this fact that if we don’t do anything we will be outnumbered. So there were many things which made me think about religion and politics. would have an attraction to the imperial endeavors of Great Britain. I realized that if the whites in this place give up. Identity’s genteel nineteenth-century British predecessor. The whole world is against us.” Ben Klassen. And the same thing will happen to Sweden too. Identity is. Rydén was alienated from the Identity creed’s Jewish roots and yet more convinced than ever that the answer to what he believes to be the disastrous situation facing the white race is a racial religion.” And I who came from Sweden was telling them it remained a white nation fighting for their old nation. More- over. Pete Peters of Scriptures for America and Dan Gayman of the Church of Israel to name but a few. then they [nonwhite immigrants] will draw in numbers like they are doing right now and will out number us in no time.28 A COTC comeback is by no means assured. Identity’s peculiar herme- neutics and intense biblical focus would be particularly amenable. And for an adherent coming from a conservative Christian background.27 Tommy Rydén today is somewhat loath to accept that he was once a Christian Identity believer. racialist Identity had a ready audience in the waning days of South African apartheid. and to the small but growing Church of the Creator (COTC) under the leadership of the self-styled “Pontifex Maximus. The Church of the Creator The COTC is a fascinating study in itself. That of course was a strong impression in South Africa. but we have to be multicultural. Written off as moribund after the 6 August 1994 suicide of its founder and Pontifex Maximus Emeritus.

Klassen’s own irascible personality.31 But from the distance of Sweden. Klassen’s dream for his church is encapsulated in the title of one of these tomes. Moreover. Ben Klassen. the COTC seemed to Tommy Rydén to be. unlike Iden- tity. He made one record. The Planet is Ours. the COTC heartily agreed that Christianity was indeed built on the foundation of Judaism. RaHoWa. Here was a racial religion which. Henrie. That being the case. conspiritorialism. is a blend of secularized Christianity. who sent me a cassette.” From its earliest beginnings. pro- ducing lengthy. but reserved even greater contempt for the Identity Christian community who would seek to wrest from the Jews the poisonous fruits of this religious legacy. his long and rather tedious books that seemed to take delight in heaping scorn on virtually every leader and belief system in the milieu of the radical right.30 Klassen was a prolific writer. Klassen found himself deeply at odds with virtually every other leader in the white power world. It was in the end the latter that appeared to be most directly responsible for the eclipse of the COTC in its last days as Klassen first began to cast about for a successor as age and infirmity began to overtake him and as he tragically lost his wife and long- time helpmate. Klassen had little more luck in finding a “Hasta Primus” (literally “spearhead”) to run the COTC’s daily affairs and to help publish its newspaper. did not seek to contest with the Jews for the prophetic mantle of Old Testament. The putative successors to the leadership of the COTC proved disastrous. texts that were disseminated to the small band of faithful. and extreme racism. at long last. albeit repetitive. the Sixteen Command- ments of Creativity. The COTC has roots in the early 1970s. in COTC terms. Klassen derisively dismissed Christians as dupes in an age-old Jewish plot to subvert the white man’s glory. an audio tape. Tommy Rydén 89 the distinctly unpromising history of the COTC. Raciai Loyalty. which is an acronym for Racial Holy War and spells out the Pontifex Maximus’ vision of. the strides that the group has made in the last two years under Reverend Hale are remarkable. when he talked about his creed and this was a cassette from that same . At issue were a number of factors. BSS. but in its own official history was founded in North Carolina on 10 March 1982 by Ben Klassen. and his highly questionable judgment of people. health faddism. the answer. “a whiter. brighter world. Rather. In place of Christianity. The essence of Creativity as propounded in its credal statement.29 The Church of the Creator propounded an extreme antitheology that com- bined a violent abhorrence of Jews and nonwhite races with a complete rejection of Christianity as a conscious Jewish plot to subjugate the white race. Klassen offered a religion that replaced worship of God with the veneration of the white race itself.32 Tommy Rydén first heard of Ben Klassen and the Church of the Creator while he was still associated with the BSS: It was a member of the movement Keep Sweden Swedish.

In the meantime. . Ryden: This will acknowledge receipt of your Interesting letter of July 31. Regarding some of your questions starting with No. Since that I have been working for the COTC in Sweden. Do we ever have members in South Africa! One of the most flour- ishing church groups in our movement is under the leadership of Rev. 1. but little came of this correspondence. That was before my trip to South Africa. Klassen.” As far as following the program in Salubri- ous Living. if you will explain to me what a “spirit” is. and I felt that I had to have something. RAHOWA! For a Whiter and Brighter World. something to live [by] . I am glad that among these is the realization about what a farce is the spooks in the sky swindle. Rydén recalls of this time: I came back to Sweden.34 Ben Klassen replied personally to this new round of questions: Dear Mr. So I had listened to that. One needs a faith. so I got in touch with Ben Klassen once again I might say because the first contact I had with him was in 1983. Creatively Yours. So that was my first contact. M. . Jan S. . It was in 1980 something. You can’t just be a Christian for many years and then just throw it in the litter and be without anything. expansion and advancement of the White Race. So I wrote to him. two months in jail for distributing Racial Loyalty and fliers without knock- ing anyone down or anything like that. I didn’t know what guy it was. and I began to realize that perhaps this might be the right thing for me.90 Firsts broadcast. he had also enclosed the address to Ben Klassen. . something to work from . We would be happy to hear from you again soon and have you as a member. . I began to correspond with him. and the individual can take the advice and benefit from it.33 He wrote to Klassen in 1983. no. ’86. some creed of some kind. and I detect that you have increased your learning considerably as far as our program of survival. B. But when I came back from South Africa I got in touch with the Church again and for some reasons. . I might be able to answer your ques- tion about “spiritualism. it is not mandatory to do so to become a member of our church. Smith . P. but I was a Christian at that time so I was not interested in his message.35 . A platform. Evi- dently you have had a number of revealing and educational experiences since we last corresponded five years ago. It is a helpful guide to better health. and in 1991 I spent four. so if I remember it right.

exciting. but some of its material is still sold through a project called the DeVries Institute. despite the efforts of both Tommy Rydén and his wife Maud. Tommy Rydén 91 Thus began Tommy Rydén’s association with the Church of the Creator.36 The Swedish COTC period was eventful. So much space in COTC texts and in Racial Loyalty was given to vicious polemical assaults on any and all potential allies that it is little wonder that the positive aspects of the message were overshadowed. The Kreativistens Kyrka was dissolved in 1995 due to a lack of members and problems related to the mother church in the USA. While Rydén’s respect for Ben Klassen remains very much intact. Against the Evil Tide—An Autobiography and Trials. or more precisely. it could have been no other way. but ultimately unsuccessful.38 And it was through his association with the COTC that Rydén would come into his most intensive contact with an American group. and was sentenced to four months in prison in 1991. The Church (Kreativistens Kyrka). While Rydén argues today that Klassen’s message was often misunderstood. The Kreativistens Kyrka in all its forms always remained loyal to Klassen. were often less than edify- ing. In this. which is named after the author of the COTC book Salubrious Living. Klassen himself hardly set an example. He did not officially resign from the COTC until 1995. In truth. It was in connection with the COTC that Rydén was arrested for distributing the COTC paper. the COTC message. despite exhortations for white self- sufficiency and industriousness. meant for Rydén consider- ably more than such capsule prose would indicate. Tribulations and Triumphs.39 Indeed. read selectively by Creativity adherents. Of greatest import. In reality. incompetent. was never able to attract more than a handful of adherents. few Creators bothered to follow the stringent dietary and healthy living prescription of the COTC. The results. was primarily negative. Rydén is even more critical of the revolving “successors” to Klassen and the too often lazy. Racial Loyalty. he met his wife Maud during this period and they joined the COTC together. whom they said “came as a light in the darkness. His autobiographical volumes. or simply criminal parade of Hasta Primus title holders. he nonetheless is candid in describing the man’s shortcomings. Rydén offers his own brief history of the group: The Kreativistens Kyrka later changed its name to the Ben Klassen Academy and the Reorganized Kreativistens Kyrka due to conflicts with the leadership after Klassen’s 1990 retirement.” Ben Klassen in turn praised Rydén in his last book. Trials. Tribulations . this would seem to be more a symptom than a cause of the underlying malady that slowly devoured the COTC. in retrospect.37 The Kreativistens Kyrka period however. The COTC would prove to be his longest lasting organizational commitment. for healthy living and mutual cooperation.

I MAY BE REACHED HERE AT WORLD HEADQUARTERS.” one can well imagine the collection of “reverends” the COTC managed to attract! Nonetheless. and I was desperately searching for a man whom I could not only trust to carry on the Creativity movement. It was cen- tered in America. Europe. No better authority for this state of affairs can be offered than the Pontifex Maximus himself: I was now 68. NC. Indeed. North Carolina. OTTO. while on the subject: ALONG THE SAME LINES AS ABOVE. probably half of whom were Jewish stooges or government agents. she was informed by the Hasta Primus of the moment that only one. I AM A YOUNG SINGLE MAN (22). however. and believe me. I WOULD BE INTERESTED IN HEARING FROM THEM. but one that I felt could do a better job than I was doing in promoting the great new White Man’s religion. The message was. skinheads and other alienated and rootless young men. and South Africa. What I was really looking for was another Adolf Hitler. the COTC was a truly transnational movement. a prospect not too likely to happen.40 If the potential leaders were “strange and twisted characters. In 1989 for example. when Maud Rydén requested the names and addresses of other COTC women to correspond with. BROWN HAIR. and are replete with his choice of cuisine on any particular night. However. I ran into a variety of strange and twisted characters. it is safe to assume that the movement was overwhelmingly composed of single white males aged twenty to thirty. Worse. 190. In so doing. USA. In another letter to Rydén from COTC headquarters in Otto. the request is made to help a well- heeled contributor find a nice Swedish girl: . BLUE EYES. While no authoritative demographic data is available on the COTC’s membership. tailor made for attracting a clientele com- posed primarily of prisoners. but had adherents scattered thinly throughout North America. an American. the primitive racial animus in Klassen’s writings (or in contemptuous movement parlance. was avail- able.92 Firsts and Triumphs note in wearisome detail Klassen’s fondness for an evening highball and American chain eateries. I approached just about anybody and everybody that I thought showed some kind of leadership in the racial movement.41 The situation would get worse. IF YOU KNOW ANY ELIGIBLE GIRLS. the “nigger this and nigger that” syndrome) was hardly designed to attract stable families who would raise their children according to the Creativity creed. I AM 6’1”. a lonelyhearts column in the COTC newspaper Racial Loyalty and a considerable amount of correspondence within the COTC world appears to have been aimed at finding mates for these young men.

Help bring him around to us a little more if you can. I think he still has some reser- vations about the COTC. . She. She. Tommy Rydén 93 I have given your address and phone # to one of our supporters who is coming to Sweden about the time you receive this (26th of March or thereabouts). there could be far more women in the movement if we had more of those [men] who not only talk about it. He dabbled in Christian Iden- tity. . she states: My full name is Maud Wailith Rydén. maybe through change in the way of presenting the message—so that women feel that it is dir- ected also to them. Strong. Maud Rydén’s experiences are thus instructive. Our children play with the other kids . very wealthy. too. They formed a stable family unit.”42 The question of the COTC’s inability to attract women to its ranks con- cerned both Rydén and Ben Klassen himself. How to reach more women? Well. But I also have female friends that do not share my point of view. I was born in Söderköping. motivated and well-behaved men would attract good women to our circles. she notes that: I have contacts with other women both in the USA and my own country. but also act like men in their deeds. He is about 50. Women are generally a softer nature. Before I married Tommy my last name was Ahlm.45 So exceptional is a stable family unit in the small world of the COTC and the wider world of the racialist right that the question of what would attract a woman to the movement becomes particularly acute. is well aware of the outside world. Rydén recalls: I once asked Ben Klassen about that. from New Orleans. for a couple of years.44 With this brief portrait of the COTC. [However] I think the women will always be in a minority [in the movement].43 Maud Rydén today notes that the situation is not as dire as these missives would make it sound. is well edu- cated and articulate. and for family reasons lived briefly in Florida. he wants to find a bride while there. although she is far more reticent and she shuns the public spotlight. like Tommy. We only lived there for . like I said during our conversation. His name is Prescott Rathbone. it becomes immediately obvious that Tommy and Maud Rydén were the exceptions in the movement. Louisiana. given the current balance of power between racialists and the state. Anyway. For her own part. Of herself. But. and his—and my own—answer to that is that it is natural for men to make war. This is the major reason. like yourself. considering recourse to violence both futile and foolish. Their racial activism was limited to organizing and propaganda.

different kinds of shops as for example a small shop that was selling cosmetics. . My father got the job he wanted. inspired me. For me Tommy and my family were much more important. he is somewhat ambivalent in his assessment of the group’s impact: . Maud Rydén would go through such an experience with the alien- ation of her relatives. I did not have “political consciousness” before I met Tommy.94 Firsts another three years after I was born. Maud and Tommy Rydén joined the COTC at the same time. English. although she adopted the ideology slowly and with many questions: The [COTC] books . I teach my children to find out facts for themselves and not just believe what we or other people say. through Tommy.49 Just as Tommy Rydén would go through a bridge-burning experience in the aftermath of his youthful attack on the home of the local gypsy family. Asked about this time. I worked in book shops. . Everything that I had thought about prior to this was verified in the books. Maud Rydén reflects: My relatives have had almost no contact with me since Tommy’s trial in 1990–91 and the publicity surrounding it. and about the prospects of her children in Swedish society as it is currently constituted. I ended up . .47 As noted. Her introduction into the world of racialist politics was however.50 Tommy Rydén’s break with the COTC was less than amicable. They made me understand more. I had [some] personal experience of that already in my early school years. I grew up in a “multicultural” neighborhood. . It was hard for a time to find jobs [which] I was educated [for]. They will look at the society with open eyes and critical and intelligent minds. My mother was a housewife all her life after she had married my father. After grundskolan I went to gymnasiet46 for two years and learned about dis- tribution. But I have always felt a strong feeling against immigra- tion of non-White people. To work as an engineer. economics. particularly after Tommy Rydén was tried and imprisoned for his COTC-related activities. working at a workshop with a computerized weldrobot. [As for the children] I believe they will do just fine. They reacted negatively. I also worked as a receptionist at the communal dentist. Then we moved to Jönköping.48 But her memories of the “multicultural neighbor- hood” of her youth were such that she was receptive to the racialist message. Today. so I even worked as a teacher at different schools. But no.

but not the rest. [You say he was a] poor judge of people. unfortunately . This and much more can be found in the COTC books. You also mentioned the problems in North Carolina [COTC head- quarters in Otto. etc. Yet it seems like many members never read those parts. Tommy Rydén 95 TR: We (the Swedish COTC) have been a propaganda success—some of our ideas have been absorbed by the other groups. Rick McCarty took over. I have to say that Ben Klassen from my point of view was a great man as an author. I can assure you that here [in Sweden] we had men and women who were sober and decent. do you suppose?51 With Ben Klassen’s suicide. was built entirely on the Sixteen Commandments. you will see that he constantly talks about “think and act positively. But that has been a problem. Tommy Rydén is philosophical about the COTC period of his life. . Salubrious Living. Rydén’s own resignation from the movement is noted above. However. in fact Maud and my marriage was brought by the COTC. and I think that says more about the general white movement in the USA than it does about Ben Klassen. Irrespective of what you might have heard.52 The Swedish branch did not long survive Klassen either. The . rallied the faithful briefly. Racial Holy War. Reacting to Kaplan’s criticisms of the movement. But the real problem was that there was no charismatic David Koresh-type of leader53 who could succeed Klassen and turn the organ- ization into a truly religious movement! [You say that many around Klassen] “were more interested in their own pockets”. And perhaps even more healthy living. That’s also some- thing we introduced in the movement.” “only a better people can build a better world. . our will to have children. But we haven’t received such big interest when it comes to creating a proper organization. and not just the phrases about other races and religions. You are right about that I guess. however. as an inspiration. NC]. We joined the Church at the same time. he attracted some bad people? I can agree with you that too much time and money was spent on attacking others. We discussed these things and we could say that our marriage. the term and its implications.” “honor the family unit. and then left. I can’t say that we had any prob- lems—serious problems that is—as long as they stayed in NC. He was too intelligent for the American people. Perhaps we are the only ones in the whole world who have actually practiced the COTC [laughter]. If you read the books. as a pen friend. the now tenuous connection with the American church fell apart entirely. Today. Like this thing with RAHOWA. reportedly taking with him the COTC’s treas- ury. Rydén reflects: You say that because of his attacks on other faiths..” a “healthy lifestyle.” etc. In TTT there are examples of that yes.

in an abortive move. the COTC by 1997 appears to be making something of a comeback under the leadership of Matt Hale. and they live on a minimal amount of money. His notoriety is such that there is a constant risk of antiracist activists finding his employer and seeking to get him fired—if that is. four small children and a wife who must remain in the home to care for them represents a considerable responsibility. When he came home he wrote me a letter and informed me that Mark Wilson and the others had salaries but slept over every morning and achieved very little. Yet even under Sweden’s once generous social welfare system. the Hembygdspartiet. Rydén is a husband and father. In 1996–1997. He also told me that one Steve Thomas was openly negative about me! I think I know why.55 But Tommy Rydén has moved on to a variety of interests. and these responsibilities became acute in 1997. But his creed is alive in me and will in due time influence millions of people in one way or another. So he hated me.54 As noted.S. I was a parent and he was a criminal. 1992 and adds: “I wish we had a million more fighters of your caliber. he put aside his distaste for skinheads and their “revolution by compact disk” to become associated with the music magazine Nordland. Rydén was able to eke out an existence as a full-time activist thanks to the Swedish social support. to perform an Ásatrú “baptism”.96 Firsts trouble started when they moved to Wisconsin and Mark Wilson & CO took over! A young British man paid them a visit in Wisconsin. an employer could be found . and he became part of a new political party that has had some localized success. How Klassen could turn everything over to them is beyond my understanding! He [Klassen] told me about the change of leadership in a letter dated June 6. supplemented by occasional contributions from family members and other activists. I was a dedicated Creator. he trans- lated Jost’s Arya Kriya materials into Swedish for dissemination in Scandi- navia. A new Kreativistens Kyrka in Sweden has formed and has taken to the World Wide Web.” The original COTC is dead. For many years. Tommy Rydén began to search for a job in earnest. This is no easy task for a figure such as Tommy Rydén. but he was false. Rydén adapted some of the old Ásatrú Free Assembly rituals created by Steve McNallen in the U. he attempted to form a Cosmotheist church [Cosmotistkyrkan] modeled on that of the American National Socialist figure William Pierce. When these sources proved insuf- ficient for a growing family. It would be an under- statement to say that the Rydéns are no materialists.56 Home and hearth Along with these movement commitments.

he found a job as a salesman. but with this employment I have now decided to withdraw from the nationalist scene .58 So I will not waste the upcoming years on these lazy Swedes. So I am leaving the battle scene for a moment— everyone who has studied Sun-Tzu’s writing on the art of war will understand me (the others will continue to listen to their compact disks and understand nothing). no articles. . They do not support us who try to do something. The projects I have been involved in will be taken over by other activists. No. or will disappear entirely. This opportunity to support his family like any other husband and father represented yet another life changing event for Tommy Rydén. Tommy Rydén 97 willing to give him a chance to work. no matter how you try to market it. But I must concentrate 100 percent on my family and see to it that my children get a decent future. but this job as a salesman was the one that I really wanted. but refused to give up and. etc. no party leader.57 Rydén faced this frustration. No one else will do it for us. and perhaps they could see that in my eyes! For years I have put the cause before my own wellbeing and our family’s economy. Rydén reflects: . Although in reaction to the suggestion that his hiatus from the move- ment is less than permanent. And to this the sad fact that I am the only one in this whole nation- alist movement here who has the guts to stand for my views with name and picture (even on the Internet). nor can I help others. problematic. I have not changed my views. I cannot fight the forces that we are up against.59 A new order? Is this the first step toward leaving the movement entirely? Undoubtedly not. Began to hunt for a job like never before. As a poor man. in 1997. This isolation represents a primary impediment to those seeking to leave the movement—the bridges have been burned making reintegration into society at best. It is more productive to invest time and money in family and friends—the only things of value in the Ragnarök that awaits us around the corner. while so many others hide behind made-up names and protected identities. The big problem in Sweden is that the citizens have been so passi- vated by the state’s Marxism—so they still sit there and expect “big brother” (the politicians) to save them. and booked job interviews (not bad at all. since most people do not even get that far!). . Rydén’s pride in this achievement is evident and there is no better note on which to conclude this chapter: Let me first give you the good news that I now got employment as a salesman at a company! I found the job through my own hard work.

having a chapter in an academic book dedicated to his ideas and actions. as you say.64 Notes 1 For example. However. like Maud. He. of fear. I would not be surprised at all if she demands that her kid is moved to another class! I am dangerous you know! Anyway. The school is nearby and the female teacher seems to be OK as a human being. 3 of them non-Whites.98 Firsts You say that you do not believe that I will totally disappear from the “movement. I do want to emphasize that it is my family’s principle to associate with the very best of people we know. has toyed with such thoughts. but I guess the situation could have been worse.63 it is no easy task given the best of intentions to be allowed to act the part of the normal husband and father. an American Nazi Party veteran who is blessed with what he cheerfully admits to be an at best slight artistic gift found .62 But weighed against such dreams are the years of contacts with distant activists. There will be 14 in the class. To get around winners and stay away from people who are going nowhere with their lives—and therefore Maud and I no longer feel that we are. We had preferred an all-Swedish class. at the parents meeting I was the only one who asked most of the questions—and will continue to do so. I could see that the Asiatic woman recognized me (tell me who does not!) and looked very uneasy. one is racemixed (Chinese/White. Funny. as an object of curiosity and. newspaper articles. a part of this current “movement” because its membership is made up mostly of people who in fact are the very opposite to what they preach. Tommy Rydén is no different. At the same time I realize. To focus on positive things (11 against 3) and to become problem solvers. But perhaps of greatest import. the notoriety that accrues to even the infa- mous in the form of television talk shows. that sooner or later we will have to stand up and fight for our children. with wife and children and the respect of the community. we teach our children to be proud in a positive way.” Maybe you are right about that.61 Virtually every long time activist has dreamed of what it would be like to live a “normal” life. Yesterday I was at an information meeting for parents in the school our Ronja will attend in August. Their children will receive home language training (the only thing they never cut down on in our lovely country). Herbert Hillary Booker. If my children were teenagers today I would advise them to not join any of these racialist groups. and indeed. there is the fact that after having lived so long as an outsider. the mother is adopted from somewhere) and the two others from the Middle East with parents who can hardly speak Swedish at all. indeed. too. In this.60 Yet Tommy Rydén remains committed to his racialist and anti-Semitic weltanschaung.

. Spain. Three of these. but was quickly subsumed in the excitement of the imminent move.d. Magnussen. Tommy Rydén 99 in the 1980s a link with Michael McLaughlin’s British Nationalist and Socialist Movement which was stronger than any he could find in the US.” had more serious intent. In Heléne Lööw. Mythology and Lifestyle.” On the eve of his departure for South Africa. 10 John George and Laird Wilcox. and is a tenet of faith within the skinhead music subculture. No better encapsulation of this view could be offered than the recent anthology CD con- taining tracks from white noise bands from Poland. 22 February 1997.” cas- sette tape distributed by the Invisible Empire (n.” 19 Heléne Lööw. 22 February 1997. newsletters not organizations. 16 Heléne Lööw interview with anonymous adherent. Rydén made some quixotic attempts to form organizations of his own. “Neo-Nazi Chief Gets Jail Term in South Africa.” 20 In these years. Mr. 22 February 1997. Västerländska Motståndsrörelsen. 21 Kaplan conversation with Tommy Rydén. American Extremists. “Swedish National Socialism and Right Wing Extremism After 1945. 28 July 1995. 12 This sense of the superior effectiveness of the American movement was noted previously in these pages with regard to the Swedish National Socialist leader Göran Assar Oredsson’s over-estimation of the size and strength of Rockwell’s American Nazi Party. Germany. 22 February 1997. 43. 4 Kaplan interview with Tommy Rydén. 27–28. 17 July 1991. a more serious organizational venture. 24 That activist was Torulf Magnussen.” unpublished paper.” New York Times. Email message to Kaplan. . “ ‘Wir Sind Wieder Da’. 18 Heléne Lööw interview with Tommy Rydén. 2 This strictly vegetarian.” 22 Kaplan interview with Tommy Rydén. he was already in contact with Wilkinson. Italy. 17 Among younger National Socialists. 3 Kaplan interview with Tommy Rydén. 9 “Some of the Best of Bill Wilkinson and the Invisible Empire of the KKK. this view is becoming increasingly pre- valent. is today associated with the White power band Svastika for . 14 Kaplan interview with Tommy Rydén. Rydén places the age at which he contacted the Klan at closer to 13. In other interviews. intended as “some kind of John Birch Society. 22 February 1997. 15 Ron Michaelson is an American National Socialist whose letters and materials have appeared in a variety of NS publications over the years. The younger age is more likely as when the incident involving the Gypsies occurred when he turned 15. the Czech Republic. Portugal. 28 July 1995. Konservativt Forum. Michaelson was kind enough to provide Kaplan with a video tape of his wedding which embodied elements of National Socialism into the ceremony. email message to Kaplan from Tommy Rydén 6 July 1997. p. 7 Kaplan interview with Tommy Rydén. 6 Kaplan interview with Tommy Rydén. Recently married. a young friend and admirer of Tommy Rydén. Extremism on the Right. Slovakia. 28 July 1995. Rydén adds in this context: “For me. 5 Kaplan interview with Tommy Rydén. 18 June 1997. In Heléne Lööw. 17 June 1997. “Racist Youth Culture in Sweden: Ideology.” The CD is distributed by Di-Al Records. the White woman symbolizes the beauty in this world. 11 Kaplan interview with Tommy Rydén. Italy and Sweden evoca- tively titled “No More Brother Wars. 28 July 1995. 22 February 1997. Great Britain. 13 Kaplan interview with Tommy Rydén. 23 Eugene TerreBlanche was sentenced to 6 years in prison in 1997 for beating one of his black workers who was caught eating on the job.). caffeine and alcohol free regimen is described in the Church of the Creator text Salubrious Living. 8 Anti-Defamation League. Motståndsrörelsen and Imperium were merely self-described “paper tigers . pp.

14 November 1995. [there] should have been a different marketing plan for the COTC.. pp. The jail sentence was tacked on after he appealed the conviction. 34 Kaplan interview with Tommy Rydén. Magnussen’s South African adventure was probably more typical of the lives of young European racialists in southern Africa. . 19 February 1997. 40 Ben Klassen. and idem. Linköping. 1993). Terror from the Extreme Right. 28 For just such a ‘death of the COTC’ analysis. For Hale’s decision to assume the leadership of the remnants of the post-Klassen COTC. p. His other experiences however. Sweden. Radical Religion in America. 33 Kaplan interview with Tommy Rydén.” The Struggle VI (December 1995). “Right Wing Viol- ence in North America. 408–409. Expanding Creativity. 20 August 1989. p. 128.100 Firsts whom he writes Odinist inspired lyrics. 22 February 1997. The White Man’s Bible (Otto. see Jeffrey Kaplan. idem. 30 For an analysis of the 16 Commandments. published under the imprimatur of the De Vries- Institutet’s July–August 1995 newsletter. Kaplan interview with Torulf Magnussen. “Kreativistens Kyrka. pp. pp. see Jeffrey Kaplan. p. He too recalls the meeting which the two expatriate Swedish racialists unbe- knownst to each other attended. 64–66. Magnussen’s South African experience was less idyllic than Rydén’s. 4). IL: COTC. 32 These ideas are expounded at remarkable length in Ben Klassen. I think too much time was spent on criticizing people. 22 February 1997.” Kaplan interview with Tommy Rydén. and Magnussen soon returned to his native Linköping. Tribulations and Triumphs. 39 Rydén humorously notes this problem in retrospect: “Yes. 36 The official resignation. 31 Chapter and verse on these problems is chronicled in Ben Klassen. idem. And too much money was spent on print- ing books and newspapers. 28 July 1995.” in Tore Bjørgo. see “My Hopes for Unification. This issue includes the eight point self-defense program of the reconstituted COTC. However. Magnussen eagerly jumped at the opportunity for the same reasons as did Tommy Rydén.. were not as sanguine. work was not so easily found and the virulently racist Magnussen eventually found himself working for very little pay in a factory in which he was the only white in a sea of black African laborers! Things went downhill from there. 24 August 1988. 26 Kaplan interview with Tommy Rydén. Trials. decried in particular the increasing negativity of the post-Klassen COTC. All emphasis as in original. 1981). 23 September 1995. NC: Church of the Creator. Rydén was originally given only a fine. 28 July 1995. 41–42. ed. Trials. Trials. 1.. Rahowa! The Planet is Ours. 25 Letter from Tommy Rydén. 41 Letter from a COTC Reverend [name withheld] to Tommy Rydén. 37 Tommy Rydén. Building a Whiter and Brighter World.” in Jeffrey Kaplan. The capitalization as in original. 35 Letter to Rydén. Trib- ulations and Triumphs. 23 September 1995.. replete with a mocking epitaph from Harold Covington.. Although he can laugh about it today. fax to Kaplan. and with the Swedish music magazine Nordland. Promised a job and a place to stay if he moved to South Africa. 29 Ben Klassen. Tribulations and Triumphs (East Peoria. 38 Rydén describes this experience in stark terms in an open letter to his fellow Creators in the August 1991 issue of Racial Loyalty (p. The White Man’s Bible. Encyclopedia of White Power. The original 16 Commandments can be seen in Ben Klassen. 27 Letter to Kaplan. 1. idem. Nature’s Eternal Religion. All are COTC publications.

and he lost no time in getting in touch with one of the surviving Davidians in the US.” 53 David Koresh and the Branch Davidians did not fail to capture Rydén’s atten- tion. letter to Kaplan from Tommy Rydén. 43 Letter from Rydén to Kaplan. “Hembygdspartiet. Gymnasiet is for students aged 17–18 and functions as a sort of cross between a junior college and a high school. in which Rydén notes “People in the movement are consumers. Radovan Karadzic. There is simply no way to compartmen- talize this part of the activist’s life. and on the failure of that endeavor. 3 May 1996. 47 Kaplan interview with Maud Rydén. including a plea for funds in a document titled “Northeast Director’s Report. With Maud. Your letter was the proof that our fight for our ancestors’ land was understood properly after all. 28 July 1995.” Letter to Tommy Rydén from Dr.” 12 August 1993. On the other hand. not activists”. 46 Grundskolan in Sweden is equivalent to elementary school. email message to Kaplan 6 July 1997. Tommy Rydén recalls having perhaps in retrospect ‘pushed the envelope’ a bit in their early meetings. On the Kos- mostheist Church. and not being completely honest from the outset will invariably doom the relationship. Indeed. it is better not to be overly vociferous at the outset. 55 Rydén notes that the fledgling group did not contact him so as to learn from past mistakes. from whom he obtained copies of tapes made during the Waco siege. and on the Hembygd- spartiet. 28 June 1997. 17 June 1997. Word of McCarty’s disappearance with the group’s funds was disseminated in a number of ways. Rydén’s curiosity is insatiable. as a practical matter. Tommy Rydén apprised the Swedish movement of the news in an undated flier. It must be noted too that the same activity—distributing Racial Loyalty—would be con- sidered protected speech in the US under the provisions of the First Amendment. 8 November 1996. Tommy Rydén. 44 Kaplan interview with Maud Rydén. Rick McCarty. letter to Kaplan from Tommy Rydén. and that the ordinary people like yourself understand our aims and are with us. The same letter congratulates Tommy and Maud on their engagement. 19 March 1989. “Judas Rick McCarty Upplöser COTC. 51 Kaplan interview with Tommy Rydén. 48 Kaplan interview with Tommy Rydén. 28 June 1997. 49 Kaplan interview with Maud Rydén.5 July 1996. 22 February 1997.” in Jeffrey Kaplan. Rydén notes that a young racialist can make no greater error than to try to hide or ‘finesse’ his views when getting to know a woman. 45 It must be noted here that the propaganda aspect of Rydén’s COTC activities constituted a violation of the Swedish law forbidding incitement to racial hatred and would ultimately cost Tommy Rydén a prison sentence. Radovan Karadzic. 3 December 1996. lest the potential mate be frightened away. 52 Klassen’s death was announced to the Creativity faithful in “Letter to all Crea- tors from Dr. The books referred to are Nature’s Eternal Religion and the White Man’s Bible. March 1997 (the day had inadvertently been omitted from the letter). 54 Letter to Kaplan from Tommy Rydén. We are always happy to know that not all the world is against us. 50 Kaplan interview with Maud Rydén. 56 On the baptism.” 11 April 1994. letter to Kaplan from Tommy Rydén. 28 June 1997. 28 June 1997. on Arya Kriya. Encyclopedia of . Email message from Tommy Rydén. who was moved to opine: “I must tell you I was deeply touched reading your words of support. leading him to seek to contact individuals and groups as disparate as the Jewish Third Temple movement and the former president of the Bosnian Serb Republic (and indicted war criminal) Dr. Tommy Rydén 101 42 Letter from Hasta Primus Will Williams to Tommy Rydén. 13 October 1995.

6 July 1997. 60 Email message to Kaplan. the Jewish mayor in the Kiryat Arba community [in Hebron] in Israel wrote a friendly letter to me in May this year [1997] after . I do not hate those Jews who fight for their own people down there. he had positive comments regarding the late Jewish militant. Maud Rydén notes that even people who visit the Rydén home for one reason or another are clearly afraid. but with age. Nation and Race. The Nordland association is kept somewhat quiet due to the fact that anyone found editing the magazine is subject to a jail term under Swedish laws dealing with incitement to racial hatred. Asked about this. .102 Firsts White Power. 59 Fax from Tommy Rydén to Kaplan. 57 Tore Bjørgo. But I do hate those who try to blackmail Swiss banks and who try to force their exaggerated war stories upon our children. This was brought home to Kaplan in particularly graphic form in Linköping. .” Email to Kaplan from Tommy Rydén. To be a local object of dread does wonders for a teen-ager’s ego. 13 April 1997. Moreover. 61 Rydén takes some exception to the anti-Semitic label. not only does the state in effect subsidize anti-state activists from a bewildering variety of causes. p. 22 February 1997. While interviewing skinhead activist Torulf Magnusson in a coffee shop—and even more while walking with him through the streets—it became apparent that a number of people would turn and stare with genuine fear as he passed. 58 In Sweden. . “Entry. So no.” in Jeffrey Kaplan and Tore Bjørgo. 62 Kaplan interview with Tommy Rydén. I had written a letter to his settlers where I stated that although I was reluctant to choose side[s] in the Middle East conflict I nevertheless had to admit that they appeared to be much smarter and [more] dedicated than the Arabs. 63 This element of fear is important. but through the use of ‘protected identities’. Magnusson was clearly embarrassed. “Tzvi Katzover. Peter Millander [neé Rindell] was the last to receive this perk of office. 50). noting that it is not a precise fit for his more nuanced view of Jews. Sweden. the situation can become very uncomfortable for all concerned. in 1997. 21 May 1996. the government hides and protects activists from reprisals by opposing activists (and occasionally from the local police investigating crimes committed by those with protected identities). 7–8. 6 July 1997. In this regard. 64 Letter to Kaplan from Tommy Rydén. Bridge-Burning and Exit Options: What Happens to Young People Who Join Racist Groups–And Want to Leave?. he notes as well that in Nordland (no. Rydén’s description of his refusal to condemn Jews in toto was noted above. Rabbi Meir Kahane (the only Jewish figure against which the ADL felt obliged to issue an oppositional tract).

and that from these esoteric reaches. What would come as no surprise. very often.4 The European Union has adopted a common currency. That there exists within every society a small but dedicated underground of true seekers of esoteric and. to use the more common terminology). this underground of seekers grew apace. eds. This chapter was first published in Jeffrey Kaplan and Heléne Lööw. is well known. pp. Transnational corporations now control greater resources than most states. milieu. by the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Reprinted with permission of the publisher) When the British sociologist Colin Campbell first published his theory of the cultic milieu. the academic literature and the popular press have focused on the ongoing process of globalization—a process facilitated by the end of the Cold War and the revolution in computer-based technology. All this would have been undreamed of by Colin Campbell in 1972. assuming ever more international dimensions. forbidden knowledge. was a time of considerable oppositional ferment. was that globalization would have impacted the cultic milieu of its day.3 Globali- zation is creating interdependent economies as national boundaries become ever more theoretical. had taken a form very much in keeping with the description offered in Campbell’s theory. which is reprinted in its entirety in this volume. while its member states have increasingly ceded sover- eignty to the European parliament in Brussels and Strasbourg and to an emerging new aristocracy of bureaucrats (or Eurocrats. magicians and alchemists whose quests were not unlike those of the seekers described so well by Campbell as inhabiting the cultic milieu.4 The Cultic Milieu: Oppositional Subcultures in an Age of Globalization Introduction Co-written with Heléne Lööw (Copyright © 2002 Rowman Littlefield. The antiwar movement in . 1–11. however. The Cultic Milieu: Oppositional Subcul- tures in an Age of Globalization (Walnut Creek.1 the phe- nomenon he described so well was hardly new. or cultic. CA: AltaMira Press. an oppositional counterculture would emerge to challenge the forces of globalization in the dominant culture. 1972 we should recall. With the explosion of literacy which took place in the Renaissance and Reformation eras. this underground. The Middle Ages had its heretics. 2002).2 Today..

104 Firsts the United States and Europe had reached new heights of militancy. allegedly. technological and cultural structures con- verged to facilitate the emergence of these forms of large-scale protest. These endeavors were products of the dreams of large numbers of young people in North America and Western Europe. in late 1999 when the World Trade Organization (WTO) met in Seattle. the protests were marked by violence. ’zines. which are most associ- ated with the globalization process. Indeed. much more. The first Earth Day occurred in 1970. pop records. great differences between the antiglobalization protests and the movements of the 1960s and the 1970s. trade unions. many more.6 This was the golden age for underground mail-order companies and street corner activists. or simply moving back to the land to form communal societies hoping to create ecological utopias.11 . is built of a bricolage7 of ideas and interests which converge during large-scale demonstrations that form during meetings of targeted and much-demonized institutions such as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. representatives of charitable institutions. and none was on the horizon. No mass movement existed. The sound spawned a host of imitators. There were. Seattle was a large but laid-back. splinter sects from the animal rights and radical environmental subcultures. where the political. touristy town on the American West Coast heretofore known primarily for its cappuccino and for grunge music—a sound typi- fied by the late Kurt Cobain and his band. however. poster art and much.8 Although. radical ecology. or merely oppositional-were communicated to a receptive global youth audience in the 1960s and 1970s through a myriad of media. Nirvana. economic. The antiglobalization movement of the early years of the twenty-first century. like its 1960s and 1970 era antecedents. sexual liberation. less true of the 1970s than the 1960s. a myriad of ideas—political. adherents of various religious communities and many. many of whom remain—when their various problems with heroin and alcohol allow—very much at the top of the pop charts. religious. small groups representing such causes as forgiving Third World debt or the Mexican Zapitista guerilla move- ment. under- ground newspapers.10 Thanks largely to a core of violent anarchists known as the Black Bloc and.5 bringing to the surface an ecology movement which heretofore had been confined to the under- ground of the 1960s. featuring widespread destruction of property and running battles with the police. perhaps. ecolo- gical. The town was completely unprepared for the appearance of a large crowd of antiglobalization protestors representing a bewildering variety of seem- ingly unrelated causes—anarchists of various hues.9 environmentalists rep- resenting a wide spectrum of views. helping to force American withdrawal following the January 1973 Cease Fire accords. the oppositional forces whose passionate protests helped to doom an unpopular war and end American military conscription formed a mass movement of disaffected young people in the Western world whose passion was devoted to a few key issues: the antiwar movement.

13 What most surprised world leaders and those whose duty it was to provide security at these gatherings was not so much the presence of angry. the far left Anti-fascist Action. are seen as establishing. Underlying the antiglobalization theme is criticism of the capitalist philosophy. as well as broadsides against the so-called Bilderberger groups meeting in Stenungsund outside Gothenburg. 8 The global parameters have encouraged disparate groups and indi- viduals to participate in the demonstrations. and the Inter- national Monetary Fund (IMF ). the far right National Socialist Front and other radical right groups found themselves running into each other on the street comers of Gothenburg.12 Over the course of the next year. In Seattle and Washing- ton. for example. and violent confrontations would escalate in intensity with each meeting of world leaders or of institutions associated with the globalization process. the wide variety of parading malcontents evoked the eclectic ambience of a “protest county fair. however. con- sidered to be the servants of corporate interests. In Gothenburg. protests would grow in size. the Attack movement found itself side by side with everyone from the Black Bloc to esoteric anti-Semites. collection of actors and activists who would seem—even to their own organizations—to have little in common with putative allies in the battle against globalization. and rendering judgements on global trade practices. Sweden. such as the World Trade Organization (WTO). monitoring. a stance promoted once again by left-of-centre activists and militant anarchists. and are viewed as the spearheads of economic globalization. in such disparate locales as Sweden. A somewhat bemused Canadian Security Service puts this bluntly: 7 Protest objectives extend beyond the claimed corporate impropriety.” Circumstances also have promoted the involvement of fringe extremists who espouse violence. the World Bank (WB). More- over. Rather. largely represented by Black Bloc anarchists and factions of militant animal-rights and environmental activists. albeit from dif- ferent perspectives. The melding of various ele- ments and establishing of strange-bedfellow ties at individual demonstrations have contributed both to the impact and the unique character of the events. it was the often incongruous. have increasingly become principal demonstration targets. exercising more power than elected governments and interested only in the profit motive.14 [emphasis ours] . at other times simply bizarre. antiglobalization demonstrators. These institutions. for example. Multinational economic institutions. All sides were handing out leaflets protesting globalization. the Czech Republic and. most violently. Italy in Septem- ber 2001. a couple of weeks before this clash. The Cultic Milieu 105 Seattle brought this bewildering coalition—or more accurately— convergence of oppositional belief systems—to widespread public notice for the first time. occasionally violent.

by con- trast. however.16 Campbell noted that the adherents of these new religions had a remarkable awareness of the many. Campbell’s original essay dealt with the profusion of cultic religious groups that rose and dissolved. exchanged. the cultic milieu is a strikingly diverse and remarkably tolerant ethos. cultural and political mainstream flourish. reformulated. absorbing the debris of the dead ones and creating new generations of cult-prone individuals to main- tain the high level of membership turnover. Such a generally supportive cultic milieu is con- tinually giving birth to new cults. a place in which ideas. Ideas unacceptable to the social. would have recog- nized an instant kinship between the diverse number of ideas and actors in the antiglobalization struggle and the denizens of the cultic milieu described by Campbell more than a quarter century ago. This is not to say that they find accept- ance. adopted or rejected within the cultic milieu itself. many are criticized. Beyond this element of seekership. The sole thread that unites the denizens of the cultic milieu—true seekers all—is a shared rejection of the paradigms. and ultimately. a permanent feature of society. eventually. is clearly highly conducive to the spawning of cults in general. Rather. or other incompatibilities. accepted all or in part. would not allow people from differing belief systems to cooperate too closely. adopted or rejected by adherents of countless. if not conducive to the mainte- nance of individual cults. But they are heard and exchanged and passed on from belief system to belief system. the cultic milieu is not a product of the 1960s. The cultic milieu is a zone in which proscribed and/or forbidden knowledge is the coin of the realm.106 Firsts Students of Campbell’s cultic milieu theory. the orthodoxies. only to rise again in different forms that stemmed from the remarkable religious creativity of the 1960s and early 1970s. are heard and rejected. theories and speculations are to be found. many choices on offer in the religious and spiritual marketplace of the time. most are ignored. they will have been thoroughly vetted.18 .17 But as this introduction has noted. Most. or rejected. of their societies. it is a permanent feature of society—not just this society. The cultic milieu is oppositional by nature. indeed. primarily ephemeral groups whose leaders come and go and whose membership constitute a permanent class of seekers whose adher- ence to any particular leader or organization tends to be fleeting at best. whereas cults are by definition a transitory phenomenon. from leader to leader. analyzed. nonviolence. but of every society for which we have historical records.15 The ideas generated within the cultic milieu may eventually become main- stream. Thus. Campbell put this best: cults must exist within a milieu which. even when causes or beliefs in violence vs. debated. but long before they come to the attention of the dominant culture. Much the same could be said of the way in which ideas were exchanged. modified and. the cultic milieu is. and from seeker to seeker.

and even spiritual literature participants in these different subculture clusters read (although I concede there may be some overlap in the area of pagan spirituality. in the words of the Canadian Security Service. but again. In the cultic milieu. promising to change their advertising policy. Taylor notes: To my knowledge there is no overlap in the kinds of journals. they discovered to their dismay that it was “nothing but entry-level neoNazi racist propaganda. antinuclear. Discussing the incom- patibility of racist movements and militant environmentalists. usually have dark skin). . This is in no small measure because many of its participants cut their activist teeth in civil rights. most acknowledge there remain various “hidden hierarchies” within these groups) . as well as the editors who would be so unfortunate to publish it. Adherents of these ideas. That racist and radical environmental subcultures do not overlap is due to firm border defenses.) Put more carefully. Earth First!ers stridently criticize any article that is even remotely “politically incorrect” with regard to race and gender bias. however. novels. the specific pagan literature radical environmentalists read generally tends to have a politically pro- gressive edge. not coinci- dentally. antihierarchial and feminist I have ever encountered (at least their rhetoric is. The Cultic Milieu 107 This cultic milieu—oppositional by definition. after the editors of Earth First! ran an advertisement for a book entitled AngloAmerican Biocentric Tribalism by Thorz Hammer (circa 1992). Moreover. Taken together.19 Radical environmental subcultures are the most militantly egalit- arian.’ ” Cultic milieu theory suggests one key to understanding the linkages between the wide variety of parading malcontents.” The journal editors denounced the book as “trash” and published an apology for running the advertisement. Bron Taylor. despite their defacto anticensorship consensus. insisting on viewing sample copies before publish- ing book advertisements. I should add one ironic qualification: If there are radical environ- mentalists whose worldviews are racist. ideas are fungible. seekers after ultimate truth by nature—may be seen by the dominant culture. their general orientation has been lo express solidarity with colonized peoples (who. these dynamics strongly militate against any cross-fertilization between radical envi- ronmentalists and even the green-racist-right. in his contribution to this anthology. and social justice campaigns. For example. I have never encountered neo-Nazi or other overtly racist literature within radical environmental subcul- tures. . as a “wide variety of parading malcontents [who] evoked the eclectic ambience of a ‘protest county fair. they are far more likely to be . Earth First! simply does not provide suitable habitat for racist (or sexist) ideologies. provides a good example of this process. are not so easily dif- fused between belief systems.

This observation—and the contributions to this volume—point to a more complex picture than Campbell had envisioned in his 1972 essay. but likely. it is not only conceiv- able. as the case may be. are not so easily diffused through the cultic milieu. Yet. and with the explosion of Internet communications in the present day. Racists and neo-Nazis do not easily mix with adherents of the radical environmental subculture. They are acutely aware of the literature. the milieu is vast and it is indeed a permanent aspect of every society.23 Ideas flowed easily between neighborhoods in 1972. they would seem to have little enough in common. but they probably would not join utterly incompatible groups. most radical formulation came from Savitri Devi. because the ideas move so easily within the vast cultic milieu. for example. although the same could be said for Black Bloc anarchists and members of mainstream labor unions or adherents of the Catholic Church.20 Yet as Heléne Lööw notes in her contribution to this volume.108 Firsts biased against persons with European ancestry for presumed imperi- alist predispositions. imaginary urban landscape inhabited by many neighbor- hoods. belief systems. a passionate National Socialist of the World War II era. As those of us who have studied the more esoteric reaches of the cultic milieu would attest. as if from the very ether itself. ideologically or religiously. but to actually cross into that space inhabited by “the other” would be almost unthinkable. ideas and activities of the strongly antiracist subcul- tures of which Taylor writes. Seekers.21 And indeed. and certainly the neo-Nazis would be well aware of Earth First! ideas. The cultic milieu in this sense may be seen as a vast. it would be fair to say that one of the first books that espoused animal rights in its modern.22 Ideas are indeed fungible. and indi- vidual adherents could (and do) materialize together. racist sub- cultures are ardent and quite radical environmentalists. a “wide variety of parading malcontents” may converge. Yet these latter have marched side by side in opposition to globalization—all the while denouncing the excesses or the moderation of the other. despite the fact that politically. that vastly incompatible groups. ideas move with unimaginable speed to an ever increasing audience of consumers. Adherents. Such a convergence in 1972 would have been unlikely indeed. however. That was a time before mass movements had fragmented into uncountable causes and microconstituencies and before computer technology freed the dissemina- tion of information and ideas from their dependence on the availability of . for example. But it is not undifferentiated. An Earth First!er in this conception would be aware of ideas emanating from neo-Nazi circles. the group’s activities would continue until her death in 1982. At antiglobalization demonstrations. Seekers may. for events on which interests converge. however. may not be as fungible. sample many cultic religious groups or drift through the various enclaves of the racist or environmental subcultures.

Wolves. 1997.” which was extensively rewritten in 2001. Bron Taylor’s “Diggers. the ideological.” is a somewhat darker affair that . “The Gothic Milieu. László Kürti and Massimo Introvigne write of precisely the sort of move- ments Campbell had in mind when he penned his cultic milieu theory. and Violence from Earth First! and the Earth Libera- tion Front to the Antiglobalization Resistance. These changes had not been fully assimilated by scholars when the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention (BRÅ) and the Centre for Migration Studies (CEIFO) at Stockholm University sponsored the confer- ence “Rejected and Suppressed Knowledge: The Racist Right and the Cultic Milieu. and indeed. Elves and Expanding Universes: Bricolage. Psychic Phenomena and Media Trickery: Cultic Differences in Hungary. “The Historical Communal Roots of Ultraconservative Groups: Earlier American Communes That Have Helped Shaped Today’s Far Right.” looks at a number of communal groups. a Hungarian New Age subculture is detailed. such as the Black Bear Ranch hippie commune. the laid- back Black Bear Ranch became an inspiration for Jost Turner’s right-wing communal experiment. this model of convergence is the norm. from 13–17 February. This latter connection provides the oppor- tunity to consider the question of violence in even so avowedly a nonvio- lent movement as Earth First! Timothy Miller offers a historical essay dealing with communal groups whose roots are of greater vintage: nineteenth and early twentieth century America. provides an unparalleled look at the world of radical environmentalism.” Here. Taylor’s essay examines in great detail the interactions—and divisions—which exist between the “neigborhoods” inhabited by radical environmental subculture and the subcultures of the far right. such the Branch Davidians. and various LDS (Latter-day Saints. Ents. others are as they were presented in Stockholm in 1997.” in Stockholm. are known to few beyond their own numbers. spiritual and organiza- tional roots of the militant environmental movement Earth First! is deeply informed by the author’s extensive fieldwork. The Cultic Milieu 109 mimeograph machines and the purchase of postal stamps. Intro- vigne’s contribution. or Mormons). Sweden. the far left. Some groups. But in the first years of the twenty-first century. replete with ties to both the ruling political establishment and to a variety of foreign religiopolitical movements. Kiirti offers a panoramic view of postcommunist Hungary’s wildly inven- tive cultic milieu in his essay. are quite well known. Religion. But all interact in the cultic milieu with an array of other. the National Socialist Kindred. of the isolated world of the Manson family as well. For example. the Church Universal and Triumphant (CUT). Their discussion of cultic milieu theory from a wide variety of academic perspectives remains vital some four years after the event. Its discussion. Others. “Neo-Shamanism. often diametrically opposed groups. Although some of these papers in this volume have been updated by parti- cipants since that conference took place.

Simonelli invokes Eric Hoffer’s seminal ideas regarding the nature of the “true believer”24 as he takes the reader through the idiosyncratic world of post-war National Socialism. The contribution by Mattias Gardell. the cult of the vampire. Gothic music. but remarkably powerful. Heléne Lööw broadens the context of the chapters dealing with the radical right in her contribution. Simonelli concludes: Increasingly.” is remarkably illustrative of the efficacy of cultic milieu theory. “Black and White Unite in Fight?: On the Inter-Action Between Black and White Radical Racialists. insincere at worst. Simonelli offers a fine historical examination of the revival of the Euro-American National Socialist move- ment in “Thriving in a Cultic Milieu: The World Union of National Socialists. Simonelli’s chapter also offers an insight into the ideology and tactics of the early post-war generation of National Social- ists-an era that in many ways represents the “lost generation” of the move- ment but which nevertheless laid the groundwork for the last decade’s white power counterculture.” In his examination of George Lincoln Rockwell’s efforts to build the World Union of National Socialists (WUNS) into an effective organiza- tion. 1962–1992. In terms of cultic milieu theory. a genuine friendship seems to have developed. like that of Bron Taylor. While outside observers have often dismissed this facet of right wing ideology as tangen- tial at best. and role-playing games all fall within the purview of this essay. Where but in the underground in which the search for hidden and suppressed know- ledge is undertaken would one find so seemingly incompatible a set of bedfellows as the stridently racialist American White supremacists and African American nationalists? Gardell’s essay focuses on high-profile leaders such as the Nation of Islam’s Louis Farrakhan and the White Aryan Resistance’s (WAR) Tom Metzger. Additionally. Animal Rights and Environmental Protection. considers the possibilities of linkages between such wildly disparate subcultures as the largely leftist and anarchist radical environmentalists and the racialist right.110 Firsts nonetheless sheds considerable light on the little-known Gothic subculture—especially in its European form. as Rockwell concentrated his attention and effort on his struggle for dominance within the global racist right more than on . “The Idea of Purity: The Swedish Racist Counterculture. as well as such lesser lights as Klansman John Baumgardner and Chief Osiris of Pan-African International as they come together over the issue of racial separation. Lööw demonstrates that the quest for ecolo- gical balance and animal rights has been central to the belief system throughout the post-World War II era. explicit Satan- ism. the essay. be it in terms of race or in the form of the natural environment. in the case of the latter two. Surprisingly.” Lööw con- centrates on the little noticed. From the American scene. This quest is traced to this milieu’s obsession with purity in all of its forms. Frederick J. currents of radical environmentalism in the Swedish radical right wing.

In this clash of cult and counter-cult. which is vitally alive to its initi- ates but largely opaque to the outside world. In “Who Watches the Watchman? Another Side to the Watchdog Groups. and the followers of Charles Manson. which increased their isolation while elevating their sense of chosenness. of strict legality) in the service of ideologies which. radical environmentalists. Odinism and other neo-pagan traditions. Finally. like the ADL. of the far left in the guise of concerned watchdogs and the far right as increasingly demonized outsiders.” considers the evo- lution of the anti-cult movement from its 1970s and early 1980s peak to its current nadir in the wake of the successful law suit which brought down the Cult Awareness Network (CAN). he drew a tighter and tighter circle around himself and demanded the exclusive allegiance of his followers. are at the heart of Kaplan’s study. . through these pages march such seemingly dis- parate communities as explicit Satanism. Melton concludes: “Though anti-cult organizations and ‘cult’ experts will persist into the foreseeable future. WUNS [World Union of National Social- ists]. Thus. their ability to oppose the spread and activities of the new religions in North America seems destined to fade. there is much of the com- plexity of Campbell’s view of a cultic milieu. as well as the millennial religiosity of contemporary National Socialism. Rockwell’s world. The Cultic Milieu 111 any meaningful pursuit of political power. was the very “oppositional milieu” that nurtured manifesta- tions of cult-like behavior that marked the ANP [American Nazi Party] and. to an increasing degree. are often no less extreme than those of the movements they seek to monitor.26 Jeffrey Kaplan carries on the discussion of the post-war National Socialist scene begun by Fredrick Simonelli in his “The Postwar Paths of Occult National Socialism: From Rockwell and Madole to Manson.” Wilcox traces in considerable detail the actions of the political watchdogs.25 This “supportive cultic milieu” encouraged Rockwell’s deviance from the more conventional right. “The Modern Anti-Cult Movement in Historical Perspective. two conference participants address in very different ways the role of the watchdog movements.” Kaplan’s chapter concentrates on the interactions of the denizens of the National Socialist subculture with an array of other oppositional-although not neces- sarily racialist milieus. the world of demons and fantasy. In his powerful argument for reli- gious pluralism unfettered by the machination of the watchdog groups. that was the neo-Nazi culture of the 1960s. the author argues. of intrigue and conspiracy. Gordon Melton in his essay.” Laird Wilcox is less sanguine in his powerful examination of the polit- ical watchdog groups such as the Anti-Defamation League of the B’nai B’rith (ADL) and the many smaller groups and individuals who. have undertaken the self-appointed mission of monitoring the doings of the far right wing. These activities often appear to violate the basic tenets of fairness (not to mention. The interactions of these and many more.

.. Interestingly.W. 1980). 1998).ca/eng/miscdocs/200008_e. Forbidden Rites: A Necromancer’s Manual of the Fifteenth Century (University Park. Nye. 2000). Washington.: Institute for International Economics. when trading companies commanded greater resources than states. Globalisation: Threat or Opportunity? (Copenhagen.000+ entries under the heading “globalization. Globalization and its Discontents (New York: St. . 1 19–36. 1998) and Richard Kiekeffer. 2000). the Cultic Milieu and Secularization. The Occult Estab- lishment (LaSalle. Donahue and Joseph S. 3 To illustrate the extent of this literature. Martin’s Press. Conjuring Spirits: Texts and Traditions of Medieval Ritual Magic (University Park. we also hope that they will help to stimulate scholarly discussion of Colin Campbell’s prescient. Runaway World: How Globalization ls Reshaping Our Lives (New York: Routledge. see James Webb. 2000). (1972). no better source can be found than the Pennsylvania State University Press series. Anthony Giddens. Norton. IL: Open Court Publishing. Canadian Security Intelligence Service publication Report # 2000/08. D. 2 For a representative selection of texts. 2001). 20 April 2000. VA: Copen- hagen Business School Press. Anti-Globalization—A Spreading Phenomenon. John D. PA: Pennsylvania State University Press.. Notes 1 Colin Campbell. and Paul Streeten. Billington. 1970). Edward M. Martin’s Press. 1979). this situation is reminiscent of the colonial era. 2000). and Jeffrey Burton Russell. We believe that Campbell’s insights have much to offer scholars working in a variety of disciplines.112 Firsts While we believe that these essays are valuable additions to the social science literature in and of themselves.” See for example. MA: Visions of Governance for the 21st Century. (New York: Oxford University Press. see for the medieval period: Norman Cohn. For the seventeenth and eighteenth century periods. 1965). On the magical beliefs of the Middle Ages. ed. a multilingual library search of the aca- demic literature alone turned up no less than 11. 2000). Available at: http:/Aiww. 2000). 4 Of the top 100 economies in the world. Dissent and Reform in the Early Middle Ages (Los Angeles and Berkeley: University of California Press. Useful texts for the uninitiated would include: Jan Aart Scholte. revised and expanded edition. Graham.: Brookings Institution Press. and idem.html. Visions of the End (New York: Columbia University Press. Herndon. idem. Bernard McGinn. but too long overlooked. 1997).csiss- crs. The report cites as its source a report in the Ottawa Citizen. “Magic in History. Fighting the Wrong Enemy: Antiglobal Activities and Multinational Enterprises (Washington. Will Hutton and Anthony. Governance in a Globalizing World (Cambridge. Giddens. D. “The Cult. and it is our hope that this volume will be seen as a contribution to reopening this conversation. For the cultic milieu in fully modem form from the nineteenth century. which are highly recommended. 1976). IL: Open Court Publishing. Apocalyptic Spirituality (New York: Paulist Press. 51 are multinationals and only 49 are nation states. Global Capitalism (New York: New Press: Distributed by W.gc. The Occult Under- ground (LaSalle. Fire in the Minds of Men: Origins of the Revolutionary Faith (New York: Basic Books. Claire Fanger. PA: Pennsylvania State University Press.C. The Pursuit of the Millennium.” most of them dated 2000 or later. still unsurpassed is James H.C. Stephen Kenneth McBride and John Richard Wiseman.” in A Sociologi- cal Yearbook of Religion in Britain 5. Globalization: A Critical introduction (New York: St. 1975). cultic milieu theory.

10 “Globalization Unifies Its Many-Striped Foes. the Cultic Milieu and Secularization. The 60s Communes: Hippies and Beyond (Syracuse. The Sixties Spiritual Awakening: American Religion Moving From Modern to Postmodern (Rutgers. 9 For a sampling of these factions. Coalition Looked Like a Movement. see Ulrike Heider. see Sen. Gaylord Nelson. Seattle.. 2000). And the Crooked Places Made Straight: The Struggle for Social Change in the 1960s (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.” 123. and subsequent antiglobalization protests would grow in size and intensity with each event. NJ: Rutgers University Press. Ents. however. 12 It was not the first appearance of antiglobalization protesters. Umberto Eco and Robert Lumley. Anti-Globalization—A Spreading Phenomenon. Italy. Wolves. Anarchism: Left. 7 The term was coined by the French anthropologist Claude Gustave Lévi-Strauss to describe the process by which a number of disparate ideas are combined to form an ideology. Salisbury. D.” in Bron Taylor and Jeffrey Kaplan. see: Timothy Miller. The Transatlantic Business Dialog meeting in Stockholm in October 2002 was cancelled for the same reason. 1995). Right and Green (San Francisco: City Light Books. ed. on 29–30 September 2001 were cancelled in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on Washington and New York which occurred on 11 September 2001. 32. “The Cult. “The Cult. 1994). meetings of World Bank and the Internatioanl Monetary Fund scheduled for Washington.. Hamilton. For more focused and incisive works. was hastily arranged at a remote mountain location in the Cana- dian Rockies in an effort by world leaders to avoid antiglobalization protests that marked—or on occasion as in Seattle—shut down their meetings. had at least ten times that number of protestors. The next G8 summit meeting scheduled after the violence-marred summit in Genoa. 1996).” Associated Press. Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature (London: Continuum. the Cultic Milieu and Secularization. and the letter and apology ran in Earth First 13:3 (2 February 1993). the Cultic Milieu and Secularization. 1997). Apocalypse Postponed (Bloomington: Indiana University Press. 1999). Gini Holland. “Takin’ It to the Streets”: A Sixties Reader (New York: Oxford University Press. 1994). Mystics and Messiahs: Cults and New Religions in American History (New York: OUP. Some 2. The Cultic Milieu 113 5 For reflections on the first Earth Day by the sponsor of the legislation making the occasion an American national holiday. NY: Syracuse University Press.” 120–24. The Elo- quence of Protest: Voices of the 70s (Boston: Houghton Mifflin. see Harrison E. and Alexander Bloom and Winifred Breines.” New York Times.” this volume.C. The 1960s. 17 April 2000.” 121–22. Elves and Expanding Universes: Bricolage. however. “Diggers. 15 April 2000.” New York Times. 14 Anti-Globalization—A Spreading Phenomenon. Religion. 20 Bron Taylor. 25 November 2000 11 Anti-Globalization—A Spreading Phenomenon. 1994). “Earth Day. CA: Lucent Books. 8 For a broad and shallow overview. 18 Colin Campbell. 13 In September 2001. 16 Peter Jenkins. CA: ABC-CLIO. London: British Film Institute. and Violence from Earth First! and the Earth Liberation Front to the Antiglobalization Resistance. . see Neil A. 17 Robert S. 15 Colin Campbell. The ABC-CLIO Compan- ion to the 1960s Counterculture in America (Santa Barbara.000 people appeared to protest at the G8 economic summit in London on 18 June 1999. Ellwood. in September 2001. 19 “Now white boys can be tribal too!” in Earth First 13:2. “The Cult. 6 Colin Campbell. A Cultural History of the United States Through the Decades (San Diego. For a comprehensive reader of 1970s era protest movements. or “USA: Seattle WTO Protests Mark New Activist Age. 1999). “From Cell. forthcoming 2003). David Mark Chalmers. 1972).

The Islamic City: a Colloquium (Oxford. although no visible border or physical demarcation may separate one enclave from another. 2000). [Philadelphia] University of Pennsylvania Press. Encyclopedia of White Power: A Sourcebook on the Radical Racist Right (Walnut Creek. CA: Noontide Press. Jeffrey Kaplan. the Cultic Milieu and Secularization. and “Savitri Devi. 25 The phrase “oppositional milieu” is from Jeffrey Kaplan. and Occult Neo-Nazism (New York: New York Univer- sity Press.” this volume. 1998). Cf. Animal Rights and Environmental Protection. CA: AltaMira Press. . 1970).” in idem.. 22 See the recently reprinted Savitri Devi. See Albert Hourani and Samuel Miklos Stem. The True Believer (New York: Harper & Brothers. “The Idea of Purity: The Swedish Racist Counterculture. Impeachment of Man (Costa Mesa. linguistic and cultural world. 91–95. 23 Perhaps the most useful real world referent would be the mosaic which is the Islamic city. Cas- sirer. the Hindu-Aryan Myth. “Savitri Devi and the National Socialist Reli- gion of Nature. Hitler’s Priestess: Savitri Devi. “The Cult.” Terrorism and Political Violence? (Spring 1995). 26 Colin Campbell. 1951).” Pomogranite 7 (February 1999). Nicholas Goodrick-Clark. 24 Eric Hoffer. “Right Wing Violence in North America. 1991). To cross from one neighborhood to another is to cross into a dif- ferent cultural. 44–95.114 Firsts 21 Heléne Lööw.” 121.

Part III Case studies .

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. This article examines the Church of Israel. church and state. wield the sword of vengeance. The conclusion is that while Christian Identity theology represents a revolution within the religious tradition. 30–82. In the October 1989 issue of Terrorism and Political Violence.5 The context of American millenarian revolutionary theology The case of the ‘Identity Christian’ Church of Israel (Copyright © 1993 Taylor & Francis Group. the Church of Israel of Schell City. an important center of Identity theology. Missouri headed by Pastor Dan Gayman. To examine dispassionately . This chapter was first published in Terrorism and Political Violence 5. You do not have the Scriptural authority to . to determine whether or not that popular impression is consistent with the facts in this case and with the Identity movement as a whole. Reprinted with permission of the publisher) Rebellion is a sin of sorcery. you have a responsibility to protest sin and put down evil by working in cooperation with the proper authorities in the home. following a pattern familiar to earlier millennial movements in which the dominant motif was partial withdrawal from society punctuated by unusual and exceedingly short out- bursts of violence. 1 (Spring 1993). .1 (Pastor Dan Gayman. no. pp.2 This study will consider in some depth the constituent elements of the White Supremacist constellation as a context for an examination of a single major center of Identity Christian theology. its adherents have rarely resorted to revolutionary violence. Michael Barkun offered a provocative article detailing with great clarity the millenar- ian implications of the current American ‘White Supremacist’ movements. It differentiates among the competing appeals of the far right wing offering taxonomies of organization types and ideo- logical appeals. presumption a crime of idolatry! (1 Samuel 15:23) As a private citizen. 1991) It is popularly believed that the millenarian Christian Identity theology movement in the United States is inextricably associated with revolu- tionary violence.

prayerfully await- ing the End of Days while only selectively engaging with the dominant culture. these groups may emerge as activists or even as violent centers of revolutionary activism.118 Case studies these belief systems is vital on several levels. there is in the ‘constellation of “White Supremacist” movements’ an inherent dynamic which moves millenarian groups toward a quietist posture. and to imple- ment appropriate policy responses on the basis of this information. Arriving at this paradigm. Rather. Further. This study concludes that.3 provide a plan of action through which the normal ‘rational calculus’ of risks to benefits is set aside in the belief that with the close of the historical process. and under circumstances which are still far from clear. brief. To do this. Primary in importance is the need to differentiate realistically those groups which threaten the institu- tions and citizens of the United States from those that do not. Identity adherents have only rarely resorted to revolutionary violence. and it is a mindset which political authorities from the days of the Taborite rebellion in fifteenth century Bohemia5 no less than the twentieth century American government agencies charged with bringing to justice the members of the Brueders Schweigan (the Order)6 have been forced to contend. while the theology of Christian Identity represents a revolution within the religious tradition. more commonly. if not destroyed in a hopeless confrontation with government authorities or. Yet as the Church of Israel demonstrates. by extension. will examine the millenarian aspects of the Church of Israel. as they seek prim- arily to withdraw to the greatest possible degree from a society seen as inher- ently contaminating. Then. then. an important center of Identity theology in the United States. when understood in the light of an inerrant scripture. A major focus will be to determine whether the widespread image of revolu- tionary violence which has become popularly associated with Christian Identity theology is justified for the Church of Israel and. when it occurred. This examination of the Church of Israel will first consider the doc- trinal elements of millenarianism which affect the choice between activism . and about the historically resonant tendency of a significant number of individuals to divine. one must differentiate among the competing appeals of the far right wing in America by offering taxonomies of organizational types and ideological appeals. the apocalyptic millenarian mindset does not lead invariably to revolutionary activism. of the Identity movement as a whole.4 For this is the essence of revolutionary millenarianism. from the daily dross of news- papers and television. these groups may return to the withdrawal mode. this article suggests that Christian Identity follows a pattern set by earlier mil- lennial movements in their partial withdrawal from society with the resort to violence both exceedingly rare and. signs and portents that. regard- less of how hopeless the odds may appear to the non-believer. unbiased scholarly consideration of these movements may reveal much about the apocalyptic mindset. final victory is assured to the faithful. Such in essence is the case of the Church of Israel.7 On occasion. rent asunder by internal divisions. This article.

the key consideration is whether the belief system under exami- nation emphasizes the reign of a sinless elect over a chiliastic kingdom posited as perfect. a 1. positing the ultimate goal of an utopian society of such perfection as to make its realization impossible within the conventional framework of history. With overlapping memberships and a wild proliferation of fly-by-night groupings. and agrarian protest groups. or whether the millennium will be purely the result of human effort. and reconsider Professor Barkun’s five-point ‘white supremacist synthesis’. II The chiliastic community Professor Barkun posits four major elements of what he refers to as the White Supremacist constellation: Klan groups. none of . one can include the full range of movements which profess a White Supremacist ideology. scholars have loosened these definitional require- ments so as to include in their analysis of millenarian movements not only the Abrahamic traditions. but to allow for the examination of non-Western traditions as well. and thus ahistorical. with Jesus’ appearance reserved for the final phase of the drama. James Aho’s 1990 book.000 year post-historical period seen by Christians as a time of peace and plenty. In fact. of Christianity. This examination is based almost entirely on primary sources: interviews with leading theoreticians of the movement as well as reviews of relevant movement documents. Contemporary Christian eschatology embraces differing theories of the millennium. By adopting this more malleable definition of millenarianism.9 to very unreliable reports ranging from the material that is distributed by the Anti- Defamation League of the B’nai B’rith10 to that disseminated by Leonard Zeskind of the Atlanta-based Center for Democratic Renewal.12 Increasingly however. American millenarian revolutionary theology 119 or withdrawal. with the chiliastic Kingdom reaching the stage of sinlessness through the perfection of the human spirit (postmillennialism). Christian Identity groups.8 and several journalistic endeavors. explicitly neo-Nazi groups. centering on whether Jesus will return to usher in and rule the chiliastic Kingdom (premillennialism). or even of overt religiosity. the primary thread linking these movements is a pronounced chili- asm. Secondary material is of wildly varying quality. particularly within the context of revolutionary millenarianism.13 In this view. but which may lack the ele- ments of apocalypticism. each of which embodies a rich eschatological heritage. ranging from the excellent article by Barkun. the term millenarianism refers to the biblical millen- nium.11 The contemporary context of the movement I The conception of the millennium By strict definition.

15 it has become largely a shadow projection of other White Supremacist appeals. in defi- ance of the world’s universally held perceptions. Colorado. either the demonic offspring of the unholy union of Satan with Eve in the Garden. Richard Butler and Thomas Robb to name a few. in common with its predecessor. the Klan is coming to serve as an introduc- tion to other racialist ideologies. Single Issue Constituencies and Lone Unguided Missiles.14 In fact.120 Case studies these categories can be considered discrete units. Christian Identity Groups: Identity theology will be examined at greater length through the microcosm of the Church of Israel below.’ with a new emphasis on public relations and openness. however. I have reformulated Barkun’s categories.22 Ordination too flows from the teacher-student relationship. men such as Dan Gayman. and an amorphous category. Here. proclaims those who are known as Jews to be imposters. of the current crop of Identity ministers. it will suffice to make a few preliminary observations. Odinism and the like. such as Christian Identity. dropping the agrarian protest movement since. Nonetheless. Idiosyncratic Sectari- ans. Christian Identity. How else could one term an ideology which. following the 1985 demise of Roderick Elliot’s Colorado-based Primrose and Cattleman’s Gazette.17 In almost every case however. There exists no center of orthodoxy. but remain modeled loosely on the Civil War era precedents. The White Supremacist constellation 1. there is considerable evidence of ‘modernization.23 Identity theology is always revolutionary.16 in its place I have added the categories of Reconstructed Traditions. Richard Butler with Wesley Swift in California.18 Even in this most tradition-bound of belief patterns. overlapping and serial membership patterns. Klan Groups: Ku Klux Klan organizations are highly fragmented. Anglo-Israelism. all based on an individualistic approach to biblical herme- neutics (interpretation). with group solidarity often no more substantial than a name on a mailing list. even this diverse listing fails to do justice to the rich imagination of the White Supremacist community! To illustrate the profusion of ideological appeals available.21 and Gayman and Robb with Colorado Identity teacher. all derived their training through a process of teacher-student relationships with leading Identity figures of the immediate post-Second World War generation. remain the norm.19 At the same time. Hope Seeking a Means to Fulfillment.24 although this concept of revolution involves primarily a non-violent internal dialogue within the Christian tradition. and consti- tutes an important event in the life of an Identity congregation.20 2. individual Identity pastors offer often widely diver- gent doctrines. Ken Goff in Denver. Dualism.25 or the fruit of the conversion of . is a table in which there is a place set for anyone who wishes to partake of the doctrine. those enjoying the greatest respect in Identity circles.

Included here too are ‘Hitler Cultists. ‘fuehrer’). and that which. the substantial degree of cross membership. drifters. Odinism is the . D. often in fanciful forms.33 Yet it would be a mistake to eliminate these elements of the supremacist community from consideration in the millenarian context. Pierce.31 and many. particularly Christian Identity and the reconstructed traditions.26 and that in either case. the very act of proclaiming the truth as they know it is the ultimate revolutionary act. author of the controversial Turner Diaries. the true heirs of the covenant of Israel are in fact the Caucasian peoples of Europe? From the point of view of Identity adherents.28 the Euro-American Alliance (Maj. ‘fuehrer’). Identity Christianity and Odinism most notably) may lend some support to academic theorists who have identified a definitive element of chiliasm at the heart of the original German National Socialist dream of a 1. seeks actively to destroy the surrounding culture.’ professing unbroken fealty to German National Socialism as constituted before 1945.V. These may be Christian sects or Christian heresies such as Robert Miles’ Dualism.32 These groups tend to be tiny. Political quietism is in fact more the norm in Identity circles. many more. will Identity adherents go beyond the simple assertion of faith and actively seek to wrest by force of arms the mantle of Israel from the Jewish people whom they see as demonic usurpers. Whether in the active or withdrawal mode however. however. as a revolution within the religious tradition. with some centers of Identity thought even going so far as to seek to wean adherents from the corrosive racism which has become imbedded in much of the movement. Reconstructed Traditions: The reconstructed traditions include all of the many racialist ideologies which are based on a conscious attempt to resurrect. American millenarian revolutionary theology 121 the barbaric Khazar tribe to Judaism.30 the American Nazi Party (Jim Burford. Clerkin. the current role of neo-Nazis in several sectors of the White Supremacist movement (Klan groups. thieves and clowns’. Rarely. Explicitly Neo-Nazi Groups: These groups sport such names as the National Alliance headed by William L. like the little boy in the fable who in his innocent attachment to truth loosed the populace from its fear and so set them free by simply shouting out the ‘plain truth’ that the emperor had no clothes. simultaneous and serial. composed of ‘mama’s boys. of neo-Nazis with other ideological appeals. religious traditions of the past. in the words of one long time adher- ent who with some difficulty managed to extract himself from this milieu. ‘fuehrer’).34 make the isolation of any one element of the community problematic. Christian Identity is invariably millenarian.29 the American National Socialist Party (Hale McGee. like some member of the Brueders Schweigan. In addition. On the one hand. or they may be pre-Christian or neo-pagan. fractious and.35 4. and so to usher in the chiliastic kingdom of the elect by force of arms.000 year reich. 3. jobless loiterers.27 We are then faced with two models of Identity as a revolutionary ideology: that which sees its revolutionary appeal as internal.

even if few of these potential recruits ever adopt the ideology of white supremacy. The soul. Yet they are not one and the same. but because they serve as primary sources of recruitment of the very many individuals in America whose alienation from the dominant culture makes them receptive to an appeal which is both millenarian and racialist. You came to earth and took daughters of men! You were mighty and men of renown! You were GIANTS in the beginning! You still carry the ASTRAL SEED within your flesh. and to return whence they came: to the stars. the offspring of the Angels of Light as mated to the comely daughters of men)42 are in our blood line of the flesh. a super- human elite who have but to realize their inherent greatness to be freed of the travail of this earth.36 while Odinism functions as part of the dis- tinct subculture of wiccans (practitioners of witchcraft) and neo-pagans. if synchretic. prisoners of chains. Thus. aggregation of selectively retrieved doctrines in which the primary focus is on the twelfth century French sect of manichaean dualists. but they are not of our soul lineage. and are noted in Genesis 6:1–4. rides in the flesh as a driver rides in a vehicle.40 He is also a man who spent time in federal prison for bombing empty school buses and was accused at the 1988 Fort Smith trial of having supplied a member of the Order with a drum of cyanide with which to poison the water supply of an unnamed northwestern city. The Sixth Day (soulless non-white male and female based on Gen.37 Together. as well as selected aspects of Identity doctrine.122 Case studies prime example here.38 Robert Miles. to the Light: We came to this earth. These are brought together to present the White race as a race of giants. an avuncular racist.1:26–27) and the Eighth Day creations (Adam and Eve. you shall be free if you so will it and follow the light!43 . your true self. We are not akin to those who were made of it nor were created on it. the Cathari. You can regain the powers and can be again the Giants of this earth! Prisoners of the flesh. the reconstructed traditions have the potential greatly to increase the numbers of individuals who are aware of the White Supremacist appeal. You enter the Old Testament briefly. with secondary elements drawn from Genesis.39 is the genial grandfatherly figure who perhaps more than any other individual serves to link together the diverse strands of the White Supremacist constellation. the primary thrust of Pastor Miles’ Dualist appeal is towards a prison ministry. The reconstructed traditions are important in themselves not only as interesting examples of how ‘new religions’ may base themselves on the revitalization of historically resonant belief systems.41 His Dualism is much in keeping with his personality: an imaginative. the Book of Jubilees and various other inter- testimental texts. [all emphasis in original] That seed is pure and untouched by all the matings with earth creatures.

53 proved to be an irresistible attraction to certain members of the ‘White supremacist constellation.54 but the influx became so marked that.52 Such theories.51 Such is the case with the theory of ‘metagenetics. the Asatru Alliance is still ongoing. Odinism offers a similar ideological appeal. and the out- siders. However. the efforts of Odinists to reconstruct the Teutonic spirit have attracted two very different constituencies. and later prose.57 .48 the Odinist Fellowship of Crystal River.46 and the Odinists involved with the journal Quarterstaff. is often anti-Jewish and exclusivist in terms of racial minority groups. presumably appeals most strongly to those who find themselves at the most distant fringes of society: the convicts.’ which holds that the Odinist religion is passed down from generation to generation in the genetic material itself. The endeavor common to each of the many groups of Odinists is to reconstruct as nearly as possible the form. In so doing. and as with Dualism. The putsch failed. certain texts. Both groups evince a sincere pride in the Germanic and Norse racial and cultural heritage. It is an ideology which is explicitly anti-Christian. following some internal difficulties. the result of which invariably seems to reflect the political stance of the adherents. within the Odinist community. they sought to take over the organization.55 Of the AFA’s successors.47 to such non-racialist groupings as the Asatru Free Assembly in Texas. with its near deification of an elite core of the White race. and Steve McNallen dis- solved the Asatru Free Assembly (AFA) which until that time was the only national organization linking Odinist kindreds or groupings throughout the United States. but even among some non-racialist theorists there is a very fine line sepa- rating ethnic pride from racial mysticism. Odinism too fits comfortably into the millenarian framework of the White Suprema- cist community. and in its impossible search for a reconstructed way of life. at an Althing [gathering of kindreds]. Odinism encompasses a great range of belief and action. American millenarian revolutionary theology 123 Dualism. is currently in the process of being reorganized. mythology are subjected to a hermeneutical process.’ particularly to neo-Nazis.45 the Nation of Odin in Toronto. Indiana. and the Ring of Troth. from their current popular association with Nazism. primarily the Eddas44 of ancient Norse poetic.50 As the division between these racialist and non-racialist Asatru (Odinist) groupings indicate. there is a diversity of opinion and practice. in this pattern of interaction with other components of the White Supremacist constella- tion.56 Thus. if not neces- sarily the substance. most notably the sun wheel or swastika. Florida49 and the Odinist Study Group of Aryan Religions of Lafayette. the impoverished. when added to Odinist attempts to reclaim ideas and symbols. of the ancient Norse tradition. National Socialists seem to have been attracted to Odinism from the earliest days of the Asatru Free Assembly. but one which appeals most strongly to individuals alienated from both society and conventional religion. from the political activism and extreme racialism of the Order’s David Lane. in 1987.

Punishment too was sexual. Several examples are . would come out at the Fort Smith trial with the government presenting Ellison as its star witness. who came to be contemptuously referred to as ‘King James of the Ozarks’ in recognition of his regal pretensions by Robert Miles. A believer. The COC centers on the belief that the nearly universal perception that Christianity is built upon the foundation of Judaism.58 Such tragedy struck at the Rulo. is in fact correct. Most striking among the dispersed sectarian appeals may be Ben Klassen’s unique Church of the Creator (COC). and that Jesus himself was a Jew. the COC has erected a religion it calls Creativity. but in the course of their development. in the isolation of Rulo. one rarely finds single issue constituencies or violent ‘lone unguided missiles’. in plural marriage and the sacrality of the ‘white seed.’ Ryan. The oddities practiced by Ellison. Male followers were forced into public displays of homosexuality. and histrionic racism.61 In its place. came over time to claim all women (and girls having reached the age of menstruation) as his own. Tragedy is never far behind such a development. characterized by a single all- powerful charismatic leader without whose leadership the group could not survive. involving acts of incest and bestiality. and the Arm of the Lord (CSA).59 Similar doings were reported at the compound of the highly unstable Identity leader James Ellison at Zarepath-Horab in southern Mis- souri.124 Case studies 5. Michael Ryan. Thus. All of this is presided over by Klassen (styling himself Pontifex Maximus). like some in the Identity movement. authoritarian leader leads sometimes (although not inevitably) to a powerful strain of antinomianism. and a ‘priesthood’ composed of anyone willing to submit an application and a check or money order. Nebraska compound ruled in absolute fashion by a survivalist and Posse Comitatus adherent.60 Physical isolation however is not a requirement for inclusion in this cat- egory. the headquarters of the evocatively styled The Covenant. the Sword. a shared sense of persecu- tion.62 6. of murder. Christianity itself is Jewish and therefore anathema—as is the society which would embrace such a Jewish religion (styled JOG or Jewish Occupation Government rather than the more usual ZOG or Zionist Occupation Government). and in the end. there occurred a marked change in the group’s structural dynamic. most notably of a five-year- old child. Single Issue Constituencies and Lone Unguided Missiles: In this milieu. and the increasing dominance of the group by a single charismatic. an odd blend of rewritten Christianity. Idiosyncratic Sectarians: Idiosyncratic sectarians are groups whose struc- ture more nearly approximates a cult group. given the prevalence of cross-memberships. These groups may have started out in a particular camp. This change often follows a withdrawal from the surrounding society into isolated compounds where increasing psychological and physical isolation. than a political or religious movement. the imprisoned Rudy Stanko as heir apparent. particularly that of the Klan or Christian Identity. health faddism.

The victim. William Stumpp. there seems little inclination in the move- ment to form a ‘Klansmen for Life’ chapter any time soon. but one that must be undertaken. given the current turn in the thinking of the violent fringes within the movement as reflected in Hoskins’ Vigilantes of Christendom and Pierce’s Hunter. despite the nearly unanimous pro-life position reflected in the literature of the movement. murdered on Christmas Eve 1985. would probably be unwelcome among pro-life organizations. Presumably.64 Still.68 A more ambiguous case of the unguided missile may be that of Richard Snell. by a deranged gunman who mistakenly believed the couple to be Jewish. is he most properly styled an Unguided Missile. More attractive single issues are various economic appeals. No case more egregious can be posited than that of the Goldmark family. etc. for example. acting as a part of Christian Identity. although the presence of the more well known racist leaders. It is an important category to keep open. certain home schoolers. Texas for the murder of a black Arkansas state trooper during a routine traffic stop. according to the classifica- tion suggested here. as suggested here. American millenarian revolutionary theology 125 offered here. for example Colorado’s Arch Roberts and other Federal Reserve conspiracy theorists. culminating in the murder of the owner of a pawnshop during a robbery in Texarkana. the focus of the most volatile of current single issue constituencies in the mainstream body politic. some Posse Com- mitatus tax protestors. some adherents do participate in local pro-life activities. given that the murders of which he has been convicted were undertaken at his own initiative in the mis- taken belief that they would meet the approval of his colleagues? It is a dif- ficult task.70 Was Snell. Previous to this murder. whose doctrines he fervently embraces? Or would he be more comfortably ensconced in the Idiosyncratic Sectarian camp. currently on death row in Texarkana. or unguided mis- siles. lest such non-violent institutions as the Church of Israel and other Identity churches through- out the world be unjustly tarred with the murderous actions of a minority of the movement. Arkansas. was believed by Snell to be Jewish. but the list is suggestive at best.71 . given his fealty to Jim Ellison and the Covenant. and thus he ‘needed to die’. Lone wolves currently may be found in the nether reaches of surviv- alism. It is possible that none of the individuals or causes listed here is in fact isolated from other adherents or causes.63 The sorts of single issue constituencies which appeal to the White Supremacist community may offer some surprises. however. Abortion.65 Holocaust revision- ism is also a major attraction to the single issue zealot. Sword and the Arm of the Lord? Or. does not seem to play a role in the White Supremacist community. Snell was involved in a series of crimes.67 and in the lone gunman who on his own decides to strike a blow for the cause by a random murder.69 The Snell case is offered here to illustrate the notorious difficulty of seeking to categorize so fluid a movement as the White Supremacist constellation.66 Even rarer than single issue zealots are lone wolves.

para- site.72 Modelled on the mid-1970s British youth movement of the same name. . as noted above. the linking factors (besides hair style) of both the British and American versions are clothes. the following samples. the other from a skinhead desiring to know more about Odinism: Rev. After your fantastic letter. I’ve thrown this book in the trash. Identity leaders preaching a message of non-violence or submission to civil authorities too report a consider- able prison constituency. liar. . which I wouldn’t use for toilet paper. dope addict and a number of other things . the one from a disgruntled Identity adherent. American skinheads are the target of considerable recruitment efforts from across the White supremacist constellation. are a surprisingly diverse movement. and music. steel-toed boots. Aryan to me means WHITE. so named for their preferred hair style. . punk. Many British skinheads are tied to the quasi-fascist and anti-immigrant National Front.77 Odinists also have a significant prison minis- try. and many others have had connections in some form with various skinhead groups. Consider for example.74 The prison population. a version of three-chord British punk known in England as ‘Oy!’ and in America variously as punk or thrash. particularly heavy. It is. too has been a primary recipi- ent of appeals from across the White Supremacist spectrum. These include in particular racist skin- head groups and the denizens of American prisons. nevertheless. The racist skinhead groups. the Stars!!) and Richard Butler (The Way). Identity figures Richard Butler.126 Case studies 7. California.76 They also may come in response to requests from prisoners themselves. William Pierce’s neo-Nazi National Alliance. I’m writing in response to your letter in which I’m called a Jew. Butler. . such as the VISIT [Visit- ing Incarcerated Saints in Tribulation] program sponsored by Pastor Paul Hall in Midpines.73 The attraction is obvious: a group of young street toughs willing to fight battles as directed by leaders who themselves keep a safe distance from the fray. Tom Metzger.75 These appeals may come from leaders such as Robert Miles (Beyond the Bars . .78 Increasingly. They may come as well in response to requests from prisoners themselves. a tactic which is becoming increasingly risky for the leaders in the aftermath of the recent civil judgment finding Metzger responsible for the murder of a black Ethiopian immigrant of which he himself had no direct knowledge. there is evidence of considerable competition for the allegiance of White prisoners between Identity and Odinist factions. I ask for help in improving myself. Hope Seeking a Means to Fulfillment: This category refers to the most enthusiastic audience for the appeals of the various components of the White Supremacist constellation. garbage. How can you show such niggerish dis- respect and call yourselves Christians? I had a book on Christian Iden- tity. a former Identity preacher who has both a Klan and neo-Nazi background.

materials.80 Of course. I think Tom Metzger and Richard Butler and the rest of the figureheads are truly in the movement to suck money out of their people.79 You asked what I’m in for. I am right now . ‘Outside agitators’ may help to oil troubled waters. . publicity and legal aid to incarcerated activists. have been of some importance in creating and developing oppositional movements of many religio-political stripes. Personally. Christianity has already put our race . . largely clan-based combatant organizations which.85 These groups came to international attention when.83 From this prison experience came a new generation of Islamist activists. . it is the prisoners themselves who control the movement. the classic paradigm in which a religio-political movement was formed through the prison experience into a powerful mobilization tool is provided by the case of Egypt. appeals directed from the outside to prisoners are hardly the invention of the ‘White Supremacist constellation’. . in a gutter .82 However. and the activists’ ability to shape those conditions to advantage. . . or such charismatic American Black radicals of the 1960s as Eldridge Cleaver or George Jackson. . .81 Prison ministries. I feel a person who calls himself a Christian & then claims White Power is a very confused person . on 6 October 1981. They are really white. . Yet even a cursory examination of cases from around the world points to a predominant pattern: while outside assist- ance may be invaluable in providing support. Peru’s Sendero Luminoso today. . . far more radical than anything envis- aged by Qutb. managed until his execution in 1965 to turn his prison into an intensive seminar on the revival of a militant. Qutb. –M. I got 3 years for it. the inventor of a little plan to try and bring the Skins who are into that Jew worshipping Christian crap out of it . incarcerated with the core leadership of the Ikkwan [Brothers]. American millenarian revolutionary theology 127 and this is the answer I get? I believe I’ll stick to odinism [sic]. In the early 1960s Sayyid Qutb. . conducted both by incarcerated activists and by outsiders. who formed the takfir84 movement: a cluster of autonomous. This pattern would appear to be valid for such imprisoned radicals of the left as the Baader-Meinhof Gang in Germany in the 1970s. . . Then when I was in Folsom I stabbed a Rat so I’ve got to do the whole 3. oppositional Islam which created in the first instance a resur- gence of radicalized Ikkwan cadre. utilize violent tactics to achieve their aims. . and they have respect for their people . I’ve got to finish my time here in the hole too . under a variety of oper- ational names. . one of their . I’ve got 10 months left . . the premier ideologist of the Muslim Brotherhood. was arrested on charges of conspiring against the life of President Nasser. but the conditions of the prison world itself. . are the keys to the success or failure of such prison based movements. Have you met any Skins before? . Well I tried to force a baseball bat down a Jews [sic] face.

the real force behind the attack on God’s people. it must be born in mind that the Egyptian model is not precisely analogous to the incarcerated White Supremacists in the USA.86 Whether the current ‘prison ministries’ serving the members of the ‘White Supremacist constellation’ could ever approach the effectiveness of the Egyptian model is impossible to predict at the present time. (6) Single Issue Constituencies and Lone Unguided Missiles. they are clearly aware of the minority status of the belief system and of its occupational and political disutility beyond the walls of the prison where the sect could at least provide companionship and protection. assassinated the Egyptian President Anwar al-Sadat. or in a word. ruling out the Reconstructed Traditions which may have . racial superiority. a full fledged zeitgeist. a national history.90 Identity theology as a variable too would seem to be overly restrictive. Nazism as the preferred vehicle for securing racial purity. and ultimately by Satan himself. a clan lineage. especially when applied to Christian Identity groups whose chili- astic dreams tend to center on the perfected reign of Christ rather than on a return of the Fuehrer. the Jihad organization of ’Abd al-Salam Faraj. Almost all Identity Christians. (2) Christian Identity groups. it is a way of life which is seen as under unremitting attack—by the state. does not so deeply identify with his reli- gion.128 Case studies number. An Identity appeal to Jesus in jackboots would probably strike most of the faithful as incongruous. And despite the natural zeal of the convert. are converts.87 The adherent of Chris- tian Identity. and a millenarian view of history. it is neces- sary to reconsider the applicability of Nazism as a desirable political system. It is at once a religious creed. and the source of social mores. Clearly.88 The seven camps within the White Supremacist constellation—(1) Klan organizations. Islam in Egypt incorporates the primary basis of identity for the adherent. Barkun’s group of ideological variables would appear to need some revision. These will be the focus of the following section. and (7) Hope Seeking a Means to Fulfillment—all exhibit certain common points of ideology. (5) Idiosyncratic Sectarians. or of Odinism. by the West which is seen as the ‘hidden hand’ behind the state. (4) Re-constructed Traditions. In particular. if not blasphe- mous. and all Odinists. Jewish conspiracy. it is just such a fear that underlies the Anti-Defamation League’s warning on the subject. Further. However.89 Since it is evident from the discussion in Section II that the adoption of a considerably wider model of the White Supremacist community is both a valid and useful analytical approach. (3) neo-Nazi organizations. III Ideological formation Professor Barkun suggests five primary elements which compose the ideological basis of the White Supremacist movement today: Identity theology.

would have to include: (1) a Golden Age Myth. An alternative group of ideological variables which all sectors of the White Supremacist constellation could be said to share. and perhaps action. we can but imagine glim- merings of this period of former glory. but which de-emphasize the identifica- tion of biblical Israel with the Caucasian race in favor of alternative interpretations. These ideological factors often spur the believer toward political and social action and. The Klan groups. this vision appears to present a picture of community in every sense of the word. it may be the primitive Church of the Roman Cata- combs. In the interests of space. or at least primordial archetype which has sadly decayed until. among certain individuals. Yet this imagination of the golden age remains sufficiently strong that its evocation can still arouse passion. Whatever the period chosen by a given set of adherents. while a Louis Beam can wax rhapsodic over the Klan’s own past.91 Or for a certain strain of Christian thought.92 a Thomas Robb can draw a glowing portrait of a day in America’s early history which in his evocation . at least to some degree. offer competing visions. they share certain features of this per- sistent longing for a lost world of innocence and purity. The lives of each member of the com- munity are lived according to a divine. (4) a Manichaean world view. and (7) a millenarian view which centres either on the imminence of apoca- lypse or on some form of chiliasm. only the Klan. Identity. The White Supremacist constellation does not lack for such visions. and the inchoate Hope Seeking a Means to Fulfillment all tend to subscribe to these vari- ables to some degree. American millenarian revolutionary theology 129 much in common with Identity. or perhaps the America of Puritan Pietism. actions undertaken by elements of the White Supremacist constellation which appear to the outside observer as hopelessly naive (if not lunatic) result from a certain strain of logic common to millennialist movements throughout their long history. (5) a conspiratorial view of history. (3) scripturalism. although these cannot be predicted with absolute certainty. the Single Issue Constituencies and Lone Unguided Missiles. but their interpretations tend to be too individualist for concise examination in this forum. For example. in the present day. For a Sunni Islamist thinker it may be the Meccan period of Islamic history (seventh century ce) under the rule of the Prophet or the Rightly Guided caliphs. First. neo-Nazi and the Reconstructed Tradition groups will be analyzed fully. (2) the perception of a ‘Theft of Culture’. The Idiosyncratic Sectarians. but what most strikes the outsider is that the seductiveness of the message appears to be the inverse of its degree of specificity. with cooperation and mutual support for every individual in a group marked by its lack of diversity or dissent. divided as they are. 1 A myth of a golden age of peace and plenty is a common thread in nearly every religious belief system. (6) an unyielding self-image of the adher- ent as a member of a much persecuted elect or ‘Righteous Remnant’.

. When pressed as to specifics.97 while Robert Miles’ Dualist appeal alter- nately focuses on the France of the pre-Albigensian crusade (before c. and the demoniza- tion of Israel through the evil of Babylonian Talmudism. who for the benefit of suffering mortals stole fire from the gods. but I’m perhaps not know- ledgeable enough to speak at any length about it. whether the reference is to colonial America. But here. The neo-Nazi groups have a less formidable hermeneutical task to define a golden age. and Iden- tity quarters have delved deep into a largely imagined history to recon- struct scenarios of former bliss. . it wouldn’t be so much returning like a force type of thing. as the victim of a theft of culture—a culture which many in this milieu see themselves as exclusively fit to bear. it is no surprise that its various preach- ers fix the golden past in various times and places. it’s allowing people the freedoms that they had. but you know we could go all the way back to returning America to—well. 2 The theft of culture theme is as old as the myth of Prometheus.96 Recon- structed Traditions offer a golden age myth appropriate to each group’s choice of a tradition deemed worthy of reconstructing. far from being the beneficiary of a theft.130 Case studies would appear Edenic. each in its own way.94 Others point to the era before the Babylonian exile. before the Fall. In this view the culture has been gradually wrested from White Americans by the combined impact of race .98 In all cases. the elements of the White Supremacist constellation see themselves. the vision of a lost golden age motivates the seeker to dis- cover precisely how and why that great time was lost. And it is as a result of this search for lost glory that adherents all too often begin the journey from dreams of past glories to an active effort to reclaim at least the shadow if not the full substance of the birthright which they see as right- fully theirs.99 Klan groups in general tend to posit this theft in relatively contemporary. All of course agree on the time of Adamic creation.93 Identity being a diverse theology. the theft must be laid at the door of a malign.95 The range of possible utopias of the past to choose from is almost unlimited. nativist American terms.’ the false Jews. And if you allow the people the freedoms that they had they would return to any of these things on their own . and for many. before the demonic creation of the present day ‘Synagogue of Satan. envious OTHER. the threads of the golden dream tend to unravel: There’s all kinds of things we could look at. reaching only to Nazi Germany for its heroes and for its days of bliss for the elect.1250 ce) and on the Giants of the Enoch literature. The Odinists obvi- ously focus on the life of the Long Halls and sailing ships of the Norse era (ninth to eleventh centuries). For who could believe that the golden age was lost through the fault of the elect? Rather.

is not new. The Odinists see the spread of Christian- ity as the agent of the destruction of the tradition. Satanic act of pseudo-creation. It has been going on since man began.100 Identity Christianity takes its very name from its professed realization of the most grandiose theft of culture in recorded history.105 In its most extreme formulations in other reconstructed traditions. Historians of a subsequent age attempted to give Jesus lineage socially acceptable to the masses. the malign Jew at the root of it all. it was enough for adherents to perform the difficult work of biblical herme- neutics necessary successfully to identify the Caucasian nations of Europe with the ten lost tribes of Israel. He was a Galilean. .This attempt to make history support a certain status. In its original guise of Anglo-Israelism. Jesus came out of the North! Not out of the desert lands. during the time of Jesus. to fulfill prophecy . immigration of non-white foreigners. with Dualism . and seen as an agent for the destruction of the Aryan race. Thus scripturalism is an important component of the ideological appeal of White Supremacist movements. of any racial culture. American millenarian revolutionary theology 131 mixing. base themselves on text. Christian Identity obviously stands or falls as a belief system on the foundation of an inerrant Bible. a separate. while some Identity groups would add the intertestimental texts as well. and as the ‘human’ instrument for the diabolic theft of culture which Identity adherents to this day strive to rectify.102 This would change in the America of the 1920s. Christianity itself is posited as Jewish. or indeed. of course. Identity came increasingly to identify the Jew as a servant if not in fact the literal offspring of Satan. . .108 The reconstructed traditions.106 Perhaps the most creative formula- tion of the theft of culture myth is offered by Robert Miles’ Dualism: First of all. the theft of the birthright of the ten tribes of Israel by those ‘false Jews’ who form the Syn- agogue of Satan. or a combina- tion of all three scenarios. Understand that the popula- tion of Galilee. too.104 the Reconstructed Traditions apply a much more inter- esting hermeneutical approach.103 While neo-Nazi groups still question the results of World War II and the reality of the Holocaust in a manner very much in keeping with the theft of culture motif.101 and indeed. the Khazar theory.107 3 Visions of a Golden Age now lost due to a theft of culture cannot be invented from whole cloth. . Anglo-Israelites were on the whole in sympathy with the Zionist enterprise. rewriting history as it were. with the Norse gods gradually absorbed into the cosmology of Christianity. which gave birth to Identity Christianity as we know it today. Our folk! . Jesus was not a Jew. a corrupt government and. was composed of relocated northern Folk tribes. In the nineteenth century it was unneces- sary to demonize the Jews a usurpers. be they the result of the seduction of Eve by the Devil. They must be based on a legitimating textual source.

violence or withdrawal.112 That the internal workings of the movement may not be as secular as the public appeals of the groups would have it appear may be indicated by the Turner Diaries. a conspiratorial view of history. many Klan groups take ‘Christian’ as characteristic of their organizational identity. it would be an error to dismiss an attachment to biblical text as an unimportant facet of Klan ideology. and this act of hermeneutics is itself condi- tioned by other components of the ideology prevalent in the White Supremacist constellation. secret text (Mein Kampf?) is presented to senior members of the revolutionary Order. It must be noted here however. based primarily on material fed to journalists by such organizations as the ADL and Klanwatch. to paraphrase Lenin. however. à la the ‘Phineas Priesthood’. although the latter do not tend to emphasize inerrancy. of course. however. The neo-Nazi groups present an even greater enigma.’114 Scripturalism is of great importance for the pragmatic political orien- tation of the group.109 Klan and neo-Nazi groups are not as overtly tied to scriptural sources of authority. indeed. does not reveal a group of sectarians thumbing the well worn pages of Mein Kampf in search of daily guidance. the question invariably arises. A cursory examination of the public organs of these groups such as the National Vanguard. where an inerrant.115 For. . and having mourned its loss. that contrary to the media coverage of the movement in the wake of the Order’s activ- ities. the Euro-American Quarterly or The Talon.’ and a chiliastic dream to cling to in times of tribulation.132 Case studies looking to the same sources as Identity adherents.110 but only a few Klan leaders emphasize the religious appeal as on a par with race. Precisely what form the reaction will take. . for having identified a Golden Age. . a sense of victimization as a persecuted member: of the ‘righteous remnant. The Klan emphasizes Christianity as a prime component of identity. appears to be possible without a mental framework that includes the closely related elements of Manichaeism. and the Odinists basing themselves on the Eddas. as it can suggest. depends primarily upon the inter- pretation of the guiding text.113 with secrecy posited as necessary because: ‘There has not been sufficient time to develop in all our people the essentially religious atti- tude toward our purpose and our doctrines . as we shall see in the final section of this article centering on the Church of Israel. the choice of action is by no means invariably violent.111 Given the centrality of the concept of Christianity to the Klansman’s self-image. of ‘What To Do?’ It is the answer to this question which distinguishes mille- narian movements from other forms of religio-political activism: millena- rian movements react in a total fashion which largely discounts any rational calculus vis-à-vis the prevailing balance of forces. Neither option. biblical authority as easily can provide a mandate for submission to all but the most unjust forms of secular authority. a blueprint for violence.

its out- lines are clear enough: Jewish money as the motive force of history. less impressed with the Protocols.125 . No. of course they won’t leave me alone! Would you leave them alone if we were in power? Of course not! We would round up those guilty of heinous crimes like the mad dogs they are and execute the ones guilty. The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion provides an entry for many in the Identity camp to the identification of the Jew as the prime human mover in the timeless conspiracy against the people of God. with Jewish conspiracies the dominant motif.121 textual proofs are not hard to come by. darker facet of the Jewish conspiracy which has attracted a relative handful of adherents from across the White Supremacist constellation: the ‘blood libel’ of Jewish ritual murder. such an outlook is hardly alien to its adherents.117 while Robert Miles in recognition of the powerful Manichaeism at the heart of the White Supremacist world view actually goes so far as to base his recon- structed religion on past dualist sects.120 Identity Christianity has a rich tradi- tion of conspiratorial suspicions. or otherwise rid our nation of their miserable presence. and. a capitol of this timeless sub- version. . a cabal of shadowy ‘elite’ Jews working tirelessly through Gentile front men to control every facet of the life of the world from religion. Louis Beam’s Klan appeal puts this dualistic view starkly: We are at war . In this popular demonology of history.’119 5 A conspiratorial view of history appears to be the logical result of a pro- nounced Manichaean worldview. deport them. Christian Identity groups feature a powerful Manichaean appeal. serial or simultaneous. to the media. One [is] against the antichrist that rules the world. the state of Israel.124 Parallel to this view is an older. has been a central belief in Identity circles. . financed and publicized by Henry Ford. These range from the relatively restrained approach of a Howard Rand118 to the extraordinary radicalism of William Fowler’s Church of Jesus Christ Chris- tian in Coeur d’Alene. Idaho: ‘We have two wars we are engaged in.116 Neo-Nazi groups are no less Manichaean in outlook. with its substantial tendency towards cross membership. Only Odinism does not in itself contain the seeds of a Manichaean outlook although. to the American government.122 Other Identity figures. hang ’um’. the other is an internal war within ourselves for the purification of our body and mind. since 1948. to be a more compelling case for the Jewish conspiracy theory of history. American millenarian revolutionary theology 133 4 A Manichaean world view suffuses the documents emerging from every corner of the White Supremacist constellation. The Babylonian Talmud as the most evil book ever written is discussed above. found the Dearborn Independent’s series.123 Whatever the entree into the Jewish conspiracy theory of history.

in Norman Cohn’s terms.134 As action becomes increasingly imperative. suggesting that rel- ative deprivation theories are of limited use for Identity adherents. following years of violent rhetoric emanating largely from the California group around William Potter Gale and Wesley Swift. Consider the following expressions of this pain from the various constituencies of the White Supremacist constellation: . In the meantime. give up the belief system altogether. dazed urban migrants in a period of rapid and bewil- dering social change. perhaps more important. This conception would tend to argue against the standard social science theories of political violence as relevant to the mobilization of Christian Identity adherents into an active revolutionary mode. the literature of the White Supremacist constellation becomes at once strongly exclusivist. And the key concept here is ‘tiny!’ Not one constituent of the White Supremacist constellation seems to harbor the slightest hope of attracting more than a handful of followers—and this despite a virtual mountain of publications and a tireless personal outreach. Why were these calls suddenly heeded by a few (and ignored by many)? The economy was comparatively robust— there is no indication in movement literature that Identity adherents felt themselves to be losing ground vis-à-vis other Americans. positing the adherent as a member of the elect. The adherent thus must cling to his faith in this sea of troubles until the preordained time of ulti- mate victory.128 6 A Manichaean world view often leads the believer to view history as con- spiratorial and. Nor was immigration a primary concern.126 the neo- Nazis.134 Case studies While the conspiratorial view of history is the most highly developed in Identity circles. locked in almost hopeless battle with the malign forces that rule this world. it is hardly unique to Identity.133 Suffice then to say there appears to be a purely indi- vidual psychological point beyond which the believer simply cannot continue to merely proselyte for his view and must actively undertake some positive action. induces the adherent to see himself as a small and somewhat helpless figure. or conversely. Nor are Identity Christians members of a rootless urban proletariat comprising of.131 For example.127 and the Reconstructed Traditions—especially Robert Miles’ Dualist Church—all subscribe to this view (with the possible exception of most Odinist groups).132 Jobs were available. and outspokenly bitter at the majority of society in whose interest the activist believes he has sacrificed so much.130 Perhaps more than any other ideological variable. it is this sense of helpless despair at ever being able to convince more than a miniscule group of the Truth as they know it that finally spurs the believers to action. The Klan groups. and the limited affirmative action programs had yet to become a matter of public debate. which was later taken to Idaho with Richard Butler and his acolytes. the turn to violence by a few adherents came in the mid to late 1970s. he must ‘occupy’129 as a part of a tiny ‘right- eous remnant’. defined in this context as threatening to jobs or status.

or an instability. . The Capitalists and the Communists pick gleefully at our bones while the vile hook-nosed masters of usury orchestrate our destruction. a certainty of final victory.138 7 Despairing of ever righting the course of history on their own. like a herd of cattle. . all Identity. is treating Americans realisti- cally . We will treat them exactly as they deserve to be treated. when sin is at its apogee.139 But for the millenarian. the dominant model of millenarianism is quietism. The water is rancid and the air is rank. . of ever being more than marginal voices in the American body politic. And in the White Supremacist constellation. while the violent revolutionary activism of such groups as the Order has made the headlines. without so much as lifting their voice in protest. be pulled into the dream of revolutionary violence as a method to. American millenarian revolutionary theology 135 What the Organization began doing . violence is far from the preferred course of action. In the logic of the millenarian. . then and only then will salva- tion come to the believer. they are in fact at their best. Nazis or whatever. What is to become of our children in a land such as this? Yet still our people sleep!136 It is a tragic indictment upon the American People to contemplate the awesome truth that they have allowed their country. faith and prayer are much more the norm. and their cherished freedom under God [to be lost]. their constitution. they live each day in the confidence that it may well be the last on the earth as they knew it—yet they prudently plant the crops for the Spring. force the End. when things are at their worst. Our cities swarm with dusky hordes. . even forfeiting the future of their children .135 All about us the land is dying. as it were.137 [emphasis in original] Even if we were to link up all the land groups. Since they are no longer capable of responding to an idealistic appeal. Yet there remains in millenarian revolutionary movements an inherent dynamism. we began appealing to things they can understand: fear and hunger . Now as in the early Christian communities. Our farms are being seized by usurious leeches and our people are being forced off the land. For eschatological prophecy centers on the belief that when the world is at its worst. yet refus- ing to simply surrender their belief system. . which defies easy categorization. then so what? We still won’t amount to anything. . it is the quietist withdrawal mode that is far more common. A single movement can begin in the quietist camp. what is left? How can action be contemplated with so slim a hope of success? Only through millenarian eyes does there exist a hope. nay. . withdrawal from the dominant society to as great a degree as possible. only to return to the withdrawal mode with the frustration of immediate chiliastic .

. and Pine and Conifer.141 Given the importance of this institution to modern Christian Identity. studied the Bible along with other textbooks at a rural one room country school. (2) the Church of Israel within the White Supremacist constellation. . . Pastor Gayman’s biography becomes some- what difficult to reconstruct. Colorado. Some of my earliest childhood memo- ries include Church services in Denver. Pastor Gayman undertook a career in public education. . who died when he was still a child. My parents continued to attend Church when we moved to rural Missouri. Colorado. This section therefore. doctrine and political behavior of the COI very much reflect the tumult of the racialist right wing during this period of Amer- ican history. I began preaching and doing evangelistic work among rural Churches of Christ in Southwest Missouri .143 . The importance of the Church of Israel may reliably be attrib- uted to the status of its pastor. world which we have dubbed the White Supremacist constellation. eventually becoming the teacher-principal of Walker High School. arguably the premier theologian in the Identity movement today. and was raised without a father. yet highly diverse. so I was churched all of my early life. and residing since 1967 in Schell City. So complex is this dynamic that the final section of this article will examine this aspect of the millenarian phenomenon among White Supremacist groups through the microcosm of the Christian Identity Church of Israel headed by Pastor Dan Gayman of Schell City. I became interested in scripture at a very early age. an examination of the move- ment’s ideas and activities may shed some light on the closed. and the changes in outlook. I was preaching Kingdom/Israel truth at all of these small Churches of Christ at that time. It is hoped that such an examination will provide a model of millenarianism applicable to other sectors of the White Supremacist constellation. (3) COI doctrine. At the age of 21.142 In his own words: I had the good fortune to be born into a home where God and scrip- ture were considered important. and made: it a point to try to read the Bible through once a year when I was in High School . Dan Gayman. An honors graduate of Southwest Missouri State University in 1964 with a major in history. in the mountains north of Denver. and (4) conclu- sion and future prospects. before opting in 1976 for a full time career in the ministry. Colorado where I was born. will concentrate on: (1) the history of Pastor Gayman and the Church of Israel (COI). IV The Church of Israel The Church of Israel (COI) pastored by Dan Gayman has been at the center of the evolving Identity movement140 for the past 15 years.136 Case studies hopes. Beyond this thumbnail sketch. Missouri. l Dan Gayman was born in 1937 in Denver.

148 Immediately prior to this education however. which henceforth would become a stridently racialist organ. Cruz. This publication became Zion’s Watchman in 1973 and was later shortened to The Watch- man. Jesse F.145 As he states above. given his family’s connec- tion to the Church of Christ (Temple Lot).144 The Gospel of the Kingdom has been a focal point of the Church since about 1960. and created a divisive law suit pitting Dan Gayman and his faction against a faction championed by his brother Duane. We were holding spring. a dissident Mormon sect with centers in Denver and three other cities. . Dan Gayman’s interest in religious subjects dates back to his early childhood. a teacher to many current figures in the movement. At that time . This view is evident from the 5 March 1972 resolution through .150 The impact of Dan Gayman’s racialist Identity theology and his crusading zeal had split the Church by 1972. I should hasten to add that various portions of the Kingdom were preached in the church in the 1940s and 1950s by my maternal Grandfather. I began placing total focus on the Gospel of the Kingdom. the ferment of the 1960s was the catalyst. weapons and survivalist training. Dan Gayman returned to Schell City to win election as a Church pastor and the editor of the Church news- paper. American millenarian revolutionary theology 137 As early as 1960. Armstrong and the BIWF. He had read the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. opting instead for the racialist and anti-Semitic wing of the movement. Dan Gayman took his first substantive step into racialist activism. Zion’s Restorer. unsuccessfully attempting to turn the Church youth camp into something of a Christian Identity adult seminary which would provide theological education. we pub- lished a church magazine called Zion’s Restorer. . that unsettled time stimu- lated the apocalyptic millenarianism which defines the Church of Israel to this day. Throughout the 1960s.146 Pastor Gayman’s youthful interest in British Israelism is of particular note. he was much influenced by the Dearborn Independent series. Arm- strong’s Plain Truth Magazine and Howard Rand’s Destiny publications.147 Dan Gayman received his primary training in Kingdom theology under Denver-based Identity minister Kenneth Goff. but these were never a strong influence. I was reaching just up from our present Church of Israel sanctuary. In this. at Goff ’s Soldiers of the Cross Training Institute in Denver in 1964–65.151 Why did this sudden turn to activism occur? Clearly. The resulting court case cost Dan Gayman all but 20 acres of the Church’s property. He soon veered away front the mild doctrines of AngloIsraelism as propounded by Herbert W.149 Armed with Ken Goff ’s teachings and a much strengthened sense of mission. He later sent for British Israel World Federation (BIWF ) material. and these conferences became formal festival celebrations in 1970. although he discovered Kingdom theology ‘with a keen sense of interest’ in the early 1950s through Herbert W. but on a deeper level. summer and fall conferences throughout the 1960s.

.156 The names of his associates. . the Church was forced to confront the ‘incestuousness’ of the White Supremacist constellation. the Gospel as contained in the Articles of Faith and Practice. and the operation of home churches presided over by the family patriarch where an Israelite congregation is unavailable. by 1987. realizing that the religious and political right in America is charged with many diverse ideologies.152 The Church of Israel today is an international ecclesiastical organiza- tion which conceptually has been divided into twelve dioceses. and include such major figures as William Potter Gale. . The congregation of the COI is at present about 100 individuals residing in the vicinity of Schell City. So self-contained is the world of the White Supremacist constellation that even for those individuals who were not direct contacts. Buddy Tucker. Sheldon Emry. no name mentioned by the author from Wesley Swift to Robert Miles to the three generations of Winrods157 was unknown to him. in the wake of the the Order’s violent activities and with the indictments in the Fort Smith sedition trial on the horizon. . The Church of Israel passed a resolution on 15 January 1987: The CHURCH OF ISRAEL. Thom Robb. Smith era. . with an international mailing list of subscribers to the Watchman and a large cassette tape ministry which the church opened in 1977. and 4 Bring . James Warner and many more. 3 Establish a storehouse of the Lord as the economic order of God in these latter days. In fact. each named for one of the tribes of Israel. under the administration of . .153 How many of these dioceses are operational is unclear. 2 Establish [the Church] as a place of retreat for God’s people. named for the son of Joseph and covering the United States. Richard Butler.K. nearly every major figure in the White Supremacist constellation in the post-Gerald L. This resolution vowed to: 1 Prepare a people for the return of Jesus Christ to earth. in these years read as a veritable Who’s Who of the White Suprema- cist constellation. . feels an urgent need to point those who desire to be Christians toward a Christ-centered walk in this evil world. but recent movement literature has stressed home schooling (as well as home birthing). Adam’s race under the influence of the Gospel of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ .154 The COI operated a Christian Day School in the late 1970s. although there is evidence of substantial COI activity in Great Britain and South Africa. Dan Gayman has come to know and be associated with. or mere con- tacts. for better or worse. Pastor Gayman heads the Diocese of Manasseh.155 2 In his more than 30 years of involvement with the Kingdom movement.138 Case studies which Dan Gayman sought to take the Church over.

hatred of blacks.158 murder. national social- ism. driving unlicensed vehicles. dualist. William Potter Gale. The key Identity figure in this explosion in Dan Gay- man’s view was a California associate of Wesley Swift.160 This resolution was the outcome of the turn toward revolutionary viol- ence throughout the White Supremacist constellation in the late 1970s and early 1980s. a significant minority of voices in the Kingdom movement called for such action.159 polygamy. the far right was a cauldron waiting to explode. welfare fraud. James Ellison’s CSA compound in Missouri. Neo-Nazi. posse commitatus. however. and the Board of Trustees. Quietism. war against the gov- ernment of the United States. American millenarian revolutionary theology 139 In order that all may clearly understand the position of the CHURCH OF ISRAEL in the midst of this unsettled time in history. At the same time. Laws are obeyed (so long as they do not too egregiously violate religious conscience). It is important to note that in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Ku Klux Klan.162 Gale. conversely. and the congregation of the same in America and throughout the world do not offer this Church as a sanctuary. Activism in this split’s context is defined as advocating the use of force in pursuit of revolutionary change. Some. a military man who served in World War II under General Douglas MacArthur in the Philippines.161 In retreat since the loss of school integration battles stemming from the 1954 Brown vs. stealing. organizations or groups. be it hereby known that the CHURCH OF ISRAEL has no mission apart from the above stated commitment. the Pastor. and it was in the wake of this call that a split occurred in the movement which has not been healed to this day: that between the militant activist and quietist camps within this millenarian community. para- military training. that teach civil disobedience.163 Only the Order however appears to have gone beyond the rhetorical stage and entered actively into an operational mode. hunting game without proper licenses. reprisals against the Jews. militant armed might. Millenarians in a quietist mode (historically the most common scenario) will acquiesce to government authority even as they condemn the state as illegitimate or unjust. and voting is encouraged if only to oppose the greater of two evils in an election. Political engagement thus becomes selective. etc. the millenarian seeks to set some boundaries . Board of Education case. or ‘safe house’ for any person or persons. and seek to withdraw to as great a degree as possible from that society. Hitler cult. odinist. and Richard Butler’s Aryan Nations annual jam- boree. cover. may be equated with an accommodationist stance. and eclipsed in popular attention by radicals of the left. was a powerful voice in prodding the heretofore quietist Identity movement into action. such as John Harrell’s various Christian Patriot organizations in downstate Illinois. gun-running. taxes are paid. offered paramilitary training for weekend warriors until ADL model anti-paramilitary training statutes brought this game to an end. violence.

and similar events in Michael Ryan’s Rulo. The flashpoint was reached in 1976 when Buddy Tucker.168 What is clear in retrospect is that in the wake of this arrest. the fanciful . Dan Gayman in the 1970s leaned decisively towards the radical camp164 and moved only gradually towards the partial withdrawal from American society characteristic of the Church today. and the like from society. speaking engagements. a Baptist minister from Knoxville. and such a closed circle of debate rarely yields positive results. [however] The major body of the congregation never bought the militant case. may well create much of the atmosphere which fosters such antinomian devel- opments (considered earlier in this article) as those which took place with James Ellison’s CSA compound. The disagree- ment escalated to a confrontation culminating on 2 June 1976 with Dan Gayman. ‘The National Emancipation of our White Seed. This sealed environment of newsletters.165 then as now. for Buddy Tucker had come to Schell City at Pastor Gayman’s invitation to attend a Kingdom Conference which the Mormon faction opposed. with adherents talking largely in a closed circle to themselves. and much of the revolutionary violence of the Identity movement in the 1970s may be attributed to this isolation combined with the national atmo- sphere of polarization in the wake of the 1960s and early 1970s. Ideas unchallenged with rational counter-argumentation tend to take on a life of their own.166 communication for several years has turned increasingly inward. Even lacking such high drama. among others. combined with the added pressures of perceived persecution by government authorities and by such private interests as the ADL. Buddy Tucker and others entering the church which had been lost as a result of the court case spotting a banner of the organization to which both Tucker and Gayman belonged. this activist/quietist dialogue was conducted purely within the movement. it can be safely posited that no radical subculture adapts its goals to the dictates of prag- matism in an atmosphere of isolation or persecution.’167 In the ensuing confrontation. And this is a significant finding in the study of the White Supremacist constellation: with access to communication with the wider culture increas- ingly closed to most members of the White Supremacist community. numerous policemen and state Highway Patrolmen entered the building. held sessions at the Church of Israel which ‘injected militancy into the Church . Indeed.’ There is some irony in this. etc. education. Dan Gayman must have begun to rethink his position. The demonstration had accomp- lished nothing save to incur further legal fees. Lacking much real contact with the dominant culture. This quietist/activist split had dramatic repercussions within the Church of Israel. arresting both Dan Gayman and Buddy Tucker.. Tennessee. Kingdom confer- ences. Nebraska encampment. and their stability and perseverance saved the Church. church government. . .140 Case studies around a kind of sacred space which he erects to shield familial relation- ships.

subject to periodic reexamination. . described by the Nevada Herald as ‘a white uniform. Dan Gayman’s understanding of Kingdom doctrine. being in a state of flux.172 These points will center on cre- ation beliefs. ‘manifested the fruit of what was learned in the 1960s. was of key importance to the choices made by the Church of Israel.171 However. no two major Kingdom figures pre- cisely agreed on the specific results of this hermeneutical endeavor—small surprise given the large areas of disagreement over points of Kingdom doctrine. planted in the 1960s. Church of Israel theology holds that Adam was neither the first created being.170 with the activist/quietist split over the issue of violence the immediate point at issue. that adherents are invited in church services and via the tape ministry to offer rebuttal to Pastor Gayman’s conclusions. Adamic man is like unto a Trinitarian God. the interpre- tation of inerrant text. and the sole Trichotomous cre- ation. that is. As it happened. and the ‘theology of violence’. involving both intrinsic and extrinsic meanings of biblical text. and then lessened. Indeed. A further complication arises from COI doctrine. with knee length storm trooper boots. 3 Tracing the doctrinal elements of the Church of Israel would require a volume-length analysis in itself. the only culture bearer. particularly in the Identity churches. And from Pastor Gayman’s recollections noted above. . was very much a product of hermeneutics. American millenarian revolutionary theology 141 uniform adopted by Gayman and Tucker for the action. even so basic a tenet of racialist Kingdom doctrine as the belief that the Jews are the Satanic offspring of Eve and the Devil. soul (mind) and spirit. therefore. These seeds were manifested in militancy at the Church of Israel. and more.169 could not have brought about a desirable public effect. The Talmud Unmasked. In this. is according to Pastor Gayman subject to review. will receive their blessings through the race of Adam!’174 The Jews represent . other races were created first. by the 1980s. as with Kingdom theology generally. and an empty pistol holder and belt slung over one shoulder’. so democratic is this spirit of biblical inquiry. and is thus created in his image with the mission of dominion over the other races who ‘.’ The White Supremacist constellation was. the seeds of discord. but Adam was the first Caucasian. possessing the attributes of body. it remains possible to trace the primary tenets of COI theology as they apply to the activism/ withdrawal modes of political action. Church of Israel theology is extraordinar- ily complex. Rather. nor even the first biped which God placed on the earth. overlaid with such secondary source material as Arthur Koestler’s The Thirteenth Tribe. analysis of contemporary society as viewed in the context of millennialist beliefs. given these difficulties. represented most often by the snake in the garden of Eden. How that issue was resolved. They crested in 1976. Whatever the precise circumstances however. Thus.173 each in its own place. bitterly divided against itself. there appears to have been an attempt in this imbroglio by Reverend Tucker to ‘steal’ Dan Gayman’s congregation by preaching ever greater militancy.

more immediately. becomes an attractive option. the White race.176 and they are believed to have dispossessed the true Israelites. and recently COI doctrine has held that the Jews are rather to be admired: Dare we as Christians condemn the Jews when we have failed to move forward in obedience to our God and keep His covenant law? Have we not lost our racial identity by default? Is it not true that our failure to keep the covenant law of the Old Testament enabled the Jews to fill this void and steal our inheritance?178 Christian Identity leaders are unanimous in holding that they are premillennialists (Jesus will return before the thousand year epoch begins). while for others withdrawal. The spe- cific Signs of the End may vary according to the news of the day. but the conclusion is unvarying. they are the synagogue of Satan. that of White Adamic man and the chil- dren of Satan. the adherent has no practical hope of escape from this world during the times of ‘Jacob’s trouble’. but deny the doctrine of Rapture. Cain. in common with nearly all Kingdom believers. Zion’s Watchman carried a column which presented the reader with the seven leading Signs of the day. This logic propels some towards political activism. Put under a curse of eternal enmity from the seed line of Adam. As it is impossible to separate the group’s analysis of contemporary society from their millenarian beliefs. however. The election of Jimmy Carter in 1976 for example. the Jews were the result of the seduc- tion of Eve by Satan. and thus a prime sign of the End. and a powerful millenarian message of chiliastic hope. with the increasing radicalization of the Kingdom believers. with the issue of the union. and thus be spared the horrors of the seven- year Tribulation period. these are the worst of times. although the Jews have failed to wrest from them the covenant relation- ship with God. Dan Gayman’s ministry has been from its inception centered on an apocalyptic analysis of contemporary American culture. from their identity. Rather. Based on a careful analysis of the news. the two seed lines.180 In practical terms. as reflected in the Resolution quoted above. ‘have been locked in conflict for the last six thousand years upon this earth’. In either case. modeled on the Seven Trumpets of Revelation motif. holds that the Jews should not be subjected to reprisals for this usurpation. was posited as ‘the greatest disaster ever’. these included in two typical months in 1977: . to survive the Tribulation period. the Jews. these will be examined together. and ultimately survivalism.175 The Jews in this view are not truly Israelites. these beliefs mandate the adherent to act decisively in this life both to assure eternal salvation among the elect of God and.179 the belief that the elect will rise to meet Jesus in the air. as the carrier of the seed of Lucifer. For the Church of Israel.177 The COI.181 In the late 1970s.142 Case studies the only non-created race.

yet plan for the future of the Kingdom believers’ children in a supportive community setting. (2) the alleged construction of concentration camps throughout the US to hold ‘Patriots’. (5) a survivalist call to store food. and participate in local activities. opposition to state immunizations of children. . November 1977183 (1) UN treaties on Economic. (4) possible war in the Middle East. quoting him to the effect that ‘. and the Fort Smith sedition trial in their wake. The key events in turning Dan Gayman and the Church of Israel away from confrontation with secular authorities and towards quietism appear to have been the violent activities of the Order.186 the COI has developed a 50-year plan. health care. drugs. Current among them are race mixing. suggesting such prac- tical steps as education.185 This apocalyptic analysis of American society obviously calls for some response.187 These ideas are further developed in the same issue of the Watchman with spe- cific plans for the Christian family (7 points) and the Christian Church (12 points). stressing such elements as home schooling and home birth- ing. (5) ‘Trilateral (Commission)’ restrictions on US military exports. relatively new. Social and Cultural Rights and on Civil and Political Rights. vote. (4) an estimate that Whites will soon be a minority in the US due to immigration and high non- White birth rates. American millenarian revolutionary theology 143 July 1977182 (1) The UN Genocide Convention. so as to simultaneously prepare for the End. as we have seen. . and increasingly in recent years that response has come in the form of withdrawal to the greatest possible degree from American society.188 While the current emphasis of the Church of Israel is on withdrawal and self sufficiency. . (6) forced busing and White urban flight.184 the Mexican Free Trade Zone proposal. and general economic upheaval. . and (7) American civil defense plans. Lacking the confidence to predict with any certainty the precise time of the End. A recent Watchman updates these signs. and (7) the Panama Canal Treaty. AIDS. sexual sins. This trend is also. this trend is not absolute. refusal to acquiesce in the state licensing of ministers. food production and relocation. (2) a water shortage in the western US.190 These events had a chilling effect on the .’. the EEC Common Market. (6) a headline quoting a Jewish spokesman as fearing a new holocaust. the Bible points out that Jews are the children of the devil . etc. One Worldism (George Bush’s New World Order phrase resonates negatively among millenarians from evangelical and fundamentalist backgrounds no less than for the White Supremacist constellation). abortion.189 Indeed. COI members work in both public and private sector occupations. (3) the Soviet acquisition of a laser rangefinder. pay taxes. (3) The invitation of Russian officials to observe American army maneuvers.

and deepened with a series of complex scriptural studies based primarily on Romans 13 which mandated submission to civil authorities in all but the most extreme cases.’197 . All but invisible to the dominant culture. . The purpose of this exposition simply is to challenge the idea that there can be vigilantes in Christendom.191 with scores of witnesses hauled in to testify more about their own activities than those of the defendants. that the Phineas priest vigilante band is a legitimate part of the Christian faith .144 Case studies White Supremacist constellation. . ostensibly to testify about the $10. In contrast to the Turner Diaries. ‘Vigilante action by whatever name it is called is still rebellion. the event immediately accelerated the move towards withdrawal already in process within the COI after the Buddy Tucker controversy. 4 The Hoskins debate is instructive on several levels. Tangible evidence of this move began with the 1982 resolution quoted above. tracing their ancestry and mission back to time immemorial. and in all probability completely fictitious. and rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft. Dan Gayman too was called. Vigilantes of Christendom purported to be historical fact. the implication throughout the book is very clear: . in the uproar following the publication of Richard Kelly Hoskins’ Vigilantes of Christendom. Dan Gayman’s riposte was not long in coming: While the author is very careful to never call for overt vigilante action. . A fanciful.196 [emphasis in original] Pastor Gayman does not challenge the historicity of Hoskins’ timeless band of zealots.193 the: Phineas Priesthood seems to have seized the imaginations of many in the post-Order activist camp precisely because they want so much for it to be true: a divinely inspired band of selfless believers.194 the strange case of the Phineas Priests195 provides a case in point of the ever more fantastic nature of the discourse in a subculture which has been largely closed off to the surrounding society. the Phineas Priesthood carries on an ancient tradition of eliminating the ‘enemies of God’. . Whatever the politics of Fort Smith. and it was accepted as such. complete with an attention grabbing blurb on the cover. Rather.This book is gradually finding a place on the shelves of hundreds of remnant homes. he challenges the ‘Priests’ both as to the bibli- cal authority for their mission.000 passed to him by the Order. The key text here is 1 Samuel 15:23. and its contents allow a fertile mindset to endorse vigilante activity. ima- gined history.192 The viol- ence/withdrawal debate between the COI and other elements of the White Supremacist constellation can best be seen however. . basing himself on scripture. with some assistance from Black’s Law Dictionary. . the flavor of the book is that these many historical vigilante actions are a natural response to laws that oppose God and scripture . and upon the practical impact that such a movement would have on the families of these self-appointed elects.

ultimately. The Golden Age is held to have been in the pre- constitutional period of American history. The Church of Israel manifests to a greater or lesser degree each of the seven ideological factors suggested as typical of the White supremacist constellation. scripturalism is the basis for every pronouncement of the COI. the doctrine embraces a .199 In the meantime. forcing Pastor Gayman to reformu- late at greater length his arguments. and execute vengeance out of the barrel of a gun or with a fist. they waste away in prison while their children are left as orphans for the welfare state to care for. and a self-image of the adherent as a member of a much- persecuted ‘righteous remnant’. take the law into his own hands. far removed from the filth.201 The source of some of the more vehement objections can be inferred by the appended section attacking the Posse Comitatus by name. In the White Supremacist constellation it is a debate which is inherently dynamic—no position is final and immuta- ble—and as it is conducted in the vacuum of the movement’s own isola- tion.202 And here stands the level of the current internal debate between those counselling revolutionary activism and those urging progressive withdrawal from the dominant culture. and moral rot of the prisons where their students are warehoused. V Conclusion In conclusion. the essentially racialist doctrines of the Church. based on Pastor Gayman’s interpretation of Kingdom theology. we conclude that there are no grounds for using Phineas as the case law by which private citizens commit acts of violence.200 Needless to say. noise. will remain intact for the foreseeable future. it can be safely posited that the Church of Israel fits com- fortably into the Christian Identity component of the White Supremacist constellation. the teachers who guided them into this unChristian behavior are living a quiet and peaceful life. and today. the perception of a Jewish theft of culture (the Israelite Identity) is a central COI doctrine. Many good young men have tried this in recent years. Both views are resonant of the primary choice faced by millenarian move- ments throughout history. and. While the political behavior of the Church has been moder- ated considerably in recent years. the Church manifests a strongly Manichaean view of the world. American millenarian revolutionary theology 145 Since Phineas was not a private citizen and did not seek to circumvent God- ordained authority in the execution of judgement. resulting in a conspiratorial view of history. it will remain volatile—subject to sudden and apparently irrational eruptions. these views were not well received in many quarters of the White Supremacist constellation.198 [emphasis in original] No Christian in good conscience can become a vigilante.

e. Every race will occupy that portion of the earth assigned to them by their God. Church History 26 (1957). For good introduction to the considerable post- Cohn literature on revolutionary millennialism. Moreover. ‘Millenarian Aspects of “White Supremacist” Movements’. 5 Howard Kaminsky. 409–34. inerrancy. Prophets of Rebellion: Millenarian Protest Movements against the European Colonial Order (Chapel Hill: Univ. Sylvia L. 1967). Missouri. Jonathan Z. Thrupp (ed. 1979). 1973). 3 Christian Identity theology shares with Protestant fundamentalism a belief that the Bible is directly inspired by God and therefore is untainted by error or contradiction. The Christian view must be that every race has its particular life purpose in the plan of God. what then is left but the age-old dream? Every race was created by Yahweh and was pronounced very good (Genesis 1:31). of N. Every race bears the original design of God in skin color and all other unique qualities established by the act of cre- ation. 1989). it must be true that what God created perfect in the beginning will be a part of His Kingdom design in the end. i. see Michael Adas.146 Case studies millenarian view of history which sees an apocalyptic climax to history as imminent. The Pursuit of the Millennium: Revolutionary Millenarians and Mystical Anarchists of the Middle Ages (NY: OUP. see Norman Cohn. I would like to extend as well a special thanks to Prof. Smith for much needed historical perspective. Dan Gayman and Ron Hand for their assistance and advice in the draft stages of this article. 2 Michael Barkun. pp. and Prof. ‘Chiliasm and the Hussite Revolution’. pp. 4–5. 1957. A History of the Hussite Revolution (Berkeley. Terrorism and Political Violence 1/4 (Oct.203 Notes I would like to thank Laird Wilcox. when the dominant society becomes repugnant to the believer. 1 Dan Gayman. 4 For the earliest formulation of this theory. CA: Univ. and Bryan Wilson. and offers a defined chiliastic vision to the adherent. 1970). 1991. There can be no hatred for the various races that Yahweh has created and placed upon His earth. especially in the non-Western context. of California Press. Schell City. . Millennial Dreams In Action: Studies in Revolu- tionary Religious Movements (NY: Schocken. That chiliastic vision may make a fitting ending for this examination for. Carolina Press.. and idem. as with so much in the White Supremacist constellation. We believe that every race as created in its pris- tine original design will be resident within the Kingdom when Jesus Christ rules this earth. Michael Barkun for his incisive criticism at the final stages. Magic and the Millennium (NY: Harper & Row. of this draft.). and when the very direction of history takes on the appearance of inevitable and final degeneration. when a culture is perceived as having no place for the adherent or his way of life. ‘Can There Be Vigilantes in Christendom?’ pamphlet published by the Church of Israel. 1970).

Hate Groups in America: A Record of Bigotry and Violence (NY: ADL. MA based Political Research Associates. ‘Lenny Zeskind. Kansas (March 1989). James Coates. 1986). 149–57. the volume which the ADL had been commissioned to write for the sum of $20. 1983. 1983). my review of this volume in the new Syzygy: A Journal of Alternative Religion and Culture 1 (Winter 1992). formerly known as the Anti-Klan Network. 1990). see Laird Wilcox. 7 Carried to its logical extreme. 10 Anti-Defamation League of the B’nai B’rith. These internal CCR documents culminate in the 26 March 1982 letter from John Hope III to Irwin Suall of the ADL. Lyn Wells of the CDR and Chip Berlet of the Cambridge.000 was ultimately rejected for pub- lication. Since 1978 Zeskind has been a figure in the Marxist-Leninist community centered in Chicago. . and Phillip Finch. is hardly a detached observer of Identity activity. All denied the ADL version of their activities or views. refusing to publish the docu- ment under the heading of the US Commission on Civil Rights. 1988). Lyn Wells and the Center for Democratic Renewal Including Chip Berlet and Political Research Associates: The Hidden “Links” and “Ties” of an “Anti-Extremist” Organization’. another organization dedicated to opposing the far right. but rather to point up the all too common scenario of one group of extremists setting themselves up as self-styled watchdogs over other groups of extremists. special report from Editorial Research Service of Olathe. 1987). review of Aho. Aho. In a series of communications from the US Commission on Civil Rights (CCR) dated 8–26 March 1982. See the discussion of Idiosyncratic Sectarians below. providing footnotes and some consideration of the historical context. sp. 9 Kevin Flynn and Gary Gerhardt. issue on Violence and the Sacred in the Modern World (Autumn 1991). The former volume has a particularly checkered history. For extensive documentation of these links. 8 James A. God. Assistant General Council of the CCR and sent on 8 March 1982 notes that only 10 individuals of some 51 persons contacted after being mentioned by the ADL in Hate Groups in America replied. The Silent Brotherhood (note 6).’ A second internal memo signed by Gail Gerebenics. The point of this recitation is not to raise the ghost of Sen. and idem Extremism on the Right: A Hand- book (NY: ADL. Cf. the withdrawal of a group into isolated com- pounds can in itself carry the seeds of confrontation with authorities. GA: Center for Democratic Renewal. The ‘Christian Identity’ Movement: Analyzing Its Theological Rationalization for Racist and Anti-Semitic Violence (Atlanta. pp. Still. All documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act action filed by Laird Wilcox on 21 Sept. 11 Leonard Zeskind. Ter- rorism and Political Violence 3/3. Acting Staff Director of the CCR: ‘The ADL report is rank with epithets and labels that only serve to distort the factual accountings of the activities of the KKK and similar organizations. The Silent Brotherhood (NY: Signet. 1988). Zeskind is more respectful of scholarly practice than the ADL. Armed and Dangerous: The Rise of the Survivalist Right (NY: Hill & Wang. The Politics of Righteousness: Idaho’s Christian Patriotism (Seattle. American millenarian revolutionary theology 147 6 The most comprehensive coverage of the Order to date is the journalistic effort by Kevin Flynn and Gary Gerhardt. In the words of Acting Council General Paul Alexander in an internal memo dated 8 March 1982 written to John Hope III. the text contains several significant factual problems and employs a rather alarmist tone. WA Univ. Joseph McCarthy. It should be noted that the Center for Demo- cratic Renewal (CDR). hail from remark- ably similar backgrounds. of Washington Press. 1990). Michael Barkun. Guts and Guns: A Close Look at the Radical Right (Seaview: Putnam.

and his latest thinking is reflected in the quar- terly journal titled ironically in the wake of the Ft. and the Identity message is there for whoever wants it. rather than in any independent farm-oriented vehicle. nd). p. pp. The American Farmer and the Extremists: An ADL Special Report (NY: ADL. Quentin N. Capstan Turner and A. 4–5. 1992. in what he calls the ‘Fifth Era Klan’. 17 ‘Hope seeking a means of fulfillment’ is a formulation I owe to Ronald Scott Hand. such as it was. 1983). of Chicago Press. so use discretion’. Gordon Kahl’s son.. ‘Millenarian Aspects of “White Supremacist” Movements’ (note 2). . Pennsylvania. 22 July 1990. p. 13 Bryan Wilson. Living in the Shadow of the Second Coming (Chicago: Univ. There was a Man: The Saga of Gordon Kahl (Nashville. Barkun. In fact. The review ends with a warning to readers in bold type that the book’s publisher. Burdick of North Dakota.J. Anti-Defamation League. letter to author 3 Jan. 1985). Llewellyn ‘is not a racialist publisher. 93. MN: Pro-American Press. seem to have constituted the agrarian protest movements. 120–9. most notably by the Tom Metzger acolyte Dennis McMahon in Okla- homa. First Godhi of the Odinist Study Group of Aryan Religions. Blood in The Face (NY: Thunder’s Mouth Press. and James Corcoran. See Yorie Kahl’s 19-page letter written from the penitentiary in Lewisburg.148 Case studies 12 For a lively history of American millenarian belief. 19 The most intellectually coherent presentation of the ‘New Ku Klux Klansman’ is offered by Texas Klansman and close associate of Richard Butler. 18 As note 14. Bitter Harvest (NY: Penguin. 410–13. p. 14 Barkun. Oklahoma Excalibur (May 1992). Essays of a Klansman. Comparative Studies in Society and History 6 (1963–64). to Sen.1984). Letter and material to author from Robert Miles. dated 9 Nov. The Seditionist. 414. whose impassioned appeals to militance are carried in Richard Butler’s Aryan Nations Newsletter. 9. no better evidence can be offered for the lack of an independent agrarian movement than the case of Yorie Kahl. pp. Louis Beam. for a concise statement of the tenets of American millenarian belief. 1–10. TN: Sozo Publishing Co. 1987). Lowery. 24 Aug. p. see Timothy Weber. 1990). 1 Oct. This development may be aimed as much at discrediting Thom Robb as it is an expression of religious curiosity. the Inter-Klan Newsletter & Survival Alert. gydhja) is an elder or priest(ess) of Asatru (Odinism). 1990). 1989. These ideas are set out in a series of publications. See the book review of an important Odinist text in Dennis McMahon’s newsletter: Karl Hand. 1991. 8. and author’s interview with Thom Robb in Chicago. See Inter-Klan News- letter & Survival Alert 4 (c. pp. and Inter-Klan Newsletter & Survival Alert 5 (c. Why ‘They’ Wanted to Get Gordon Kahl (Detroit Lakes. 20 For example.). See James Ridgeway. but is by no means pushed onto recruits. Cf. 1991. ‘The Book of Troth by Edred Thorsson’. Len Martin. 15 Conversation with James Coates. Beam has gathered the best of his material into a single volume. pp. ‘Millenarian Aspects of “White Supremacist” Movements’ (note 2). Pastor Robb notes that for his Knights of the KKK. 16 Larry Humphries of the Heritage Library in Velma. in Aryan Nations Newsletter 72 (n. and a loose grouping of Posse Comitatus adherents. A godhi (fem. Odinism has been recently introduced into the Klan’s internecine warfare.1984). the radical message is primary. the innovative blending of Dualism and the KKK by Robert Miles in Michigan and of Identity and the KKK by Thom Robb in Arkansas. Smith trial fiasco. ‘Millenarianism in Comparative Perspective’. Cf. Oklahoma.d.

299–300. or more commonly among Identity adherents. in Sheldon Emry. 1991). Given the primacy of the secular nation-state in the modern era. and flows from a particular hermeneutical approach to Revelations 2:9–10: I know your hardships and your poverty. American millenarian revolutionary theology 149 21 See. earlier sources are sometimes men- tioned. When he speaks a falsehood. self-published pamphlet. tran- script of 1970 sermon published by the Lord’s Covenant Church (Phoenix. a movement which by peaceful persuasion seeks to bring about a no less dramatic break in the continuity of a religious tradition. . Revelations 3:9 and John 8:44 are also frequently cited. AK: Elna M. For a good. John 8:44 states: You are of your father the devil.. a violent reaction in the political sphere appears increasingly remote. Newsletter Vol. 23 See. He was a murderer from the beginning.. he speaks what is natural to him.g. sect or individual seeks to overthrow the existing order by force of arms. and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. whose ‘Satan’s Kids’ moniker has become widely used in Identity and other right-wing racialist circles. The Christian Patriot Crusader. Silent Brotherhood (note 6). 53. see Gerald Winrod. 9–11 Dec. the photo of the ordination of Doug Evers at the hands of Pastors Pete Peters of Colorado and Earl Jones of New Mexico in Scriptures for America. a student of C. 1978). p.g. e.O.. Politics of Righteousness (note 8). and it is your will to practice the lusts and gratify the desires of your father. 1991. since purged by an unseen hand from later editions. Stadsklev. Lt. 1976). pp. Smith Foundation. For various interpretations. which details the relation- ship of Pastors Swift and Butler. ‘Exploding the “Chosen People” Myth’. 10. p. brief formulation of this doctrine. see Raymond Bray. 1991. For extended quotations from this article. and Flynn and Gerhardt. the relationship was less than amicable. but are really members of the synagogue of Satan. however. Cf. Robinson. see Jack Mohr. The Winrod Letter 158 (March 1978) and any of many expositions by Jack Mohr.K. Rumors abound that at the end. the anonymous ‘Who What Why When Where? ARYAN NATIONS’. AZ: 1986). 22 Interview with Thom Robb. and his turn toward the more violent sectors of Identity may safely be posited to be due to the influence of these teachers. p. 25 This view is rather ubiquitous in Identity circles. See Aho. an undated pamphlet distributed by the Aryan Nations. 1 (1992). success in the latter has often brought about a revolutionary upheaval in the socio-political sphere. Mohr is also expanding on this theology in his newsletter. in particular the 1911 version of the Encyclopaedia Britannica. 1–17. While Koestler is the most influential source of the Khazar theory in the movement today. Smith in the latter’s autobiography Besieged Patriot. The Christian Patriot Crusader 4 (Dec. e. See. Smith and Charles F. (Eureka Springs. and—though you are rich—the slander of the people who falsely claim to be Jews. p. 55. ‘The Beast With Two Horns Like a Lamb’. 26 The primary source cited for this view is Arthur Koestler. 24 Aug. Elna M. pp. The Thirteenth Tribe (NY: Random House. Interview with Dan Gayman. for he is a liar and the father of lies and of all that is false. Butler had been introduced to Swift by William Potter Gale.g. 24. Col. e. Stadsklev himself was fondly remembered by Gerald L. the description of the 1967 ordination of Pastor Sheldon Emry. Historically. 24 The term ‘revolution’ as it is employed in this article is used in two senses: the commonly accepted definition by which a dissident group. eds. ‘The Seven Sins of Canaan’.

the work of Raymond Bray of The Lord’s Work Bible study center in Lucas. VA: National Van- guard Books. This view has led him to reject anti-Semitism in any form. as described in 459 rambling pages by Richard Kelly Hoskins. 32 A good example is the German based NSDAP/AO headed by Gerhard Lauck. 15 Feb. American Ephraimite 5 (Sept. On Pastor Bray’s views of racial origins. Through translations of its newspaper New Order. 1990). with its primary appeal directed to skinheads. pp. Oregon. It is a model which may have been influenced by the phantom assassins from the dawn of time. Jr. 2:19–20) or the view that there existed pre-Adamic races.. 29 Publications include the Euro-American Quarterly and the Talon. Virginia Publishing Co. Koestler discusses his own sources in Thirteenth Tribe. Letter from Mike Benjamins. e. pp. embraces the core doctrine of the Caucasian peoples of Europe being in fact the remnant of the lost ten tribes of Israel. Lev. Africa. the lucid conspiracy theorist and senior Identity Pastor Earl F. p. Appendix II./Oct. On his view of the Jews. Hunter presents a model of lone wolf guerrilla tactics. 1991). and thus to ‘withdraw from the mainstream patriot movement due to significant differences . 19:33–34. Jones. a pseudonym for Pierce whose modesty does not prevent him from placing his real name on the copyright./Oct. 1–7. which holds that Jews are the demonic offspring of the union of Eve and Satan. 1991). 28 Andrew Macdonald (pseud. 30 Publishers of New Facts.g. Ex. . For an excellent example of how the violent racist fantasies of material like Hoskins’ and the fears (real or otherwise) of the organizations which exist to monitor the far right interact. The Turner Diaries (Arlington. an unpublished and undated essay which emphasizes the Biblical injunctions to treat the stranger (non- Israelite) with kindness (Ex. notes that his congregation maintains an allegiance to the Identity doctrine of the descent of the Anglo- Saxon and Celtic peoples from the Ten Tribes. New Order in America is published and distrib- uted from Lincoln. ‘The Curse of Apostasy Upon America’. the NSDAP/AO reaches an audience throughout Europe. 15 April 1992. of the Remnant Church of Klamath Falls. but holds that the current state of Israel represents prophetic Judah. VA. Pastor Bray has earned the enmity of many in Identity circles by arguing against the iden- tification of blacks and orientals with the ‘beasts of the field’ (Gen. ‘The Strangers Among Us’. Cf. . Jr. however. Going further. MacDonald. Pastor Newton is virtually alone among Identity pastors in seeking to maintain cordial relations with fundamentalists. 1992. 1990). Henry Ford’s Dearborn Independent series. etc. Letter from Pastor Joseph Newton. More. Pastor Joseph Newton of the American Heritage Identity Fellow- ship in North Carolina. the Phineas Priesthood. 12–13. pp. Pastor Mike Benjamins.). In the same vein.. 22:21. Christian Crusade for Truth Intelligence Newsletter (July–Aug. 1978). see idem (note 26). 27 See. 1991). ‘Lesson in History Part 9’. Hunter. 5. Vigilantes of Christendom (Lynch- burg. which reflects tactical changes in the wake of the large- scale government crackdown on the far right following the activities of the Order. the Americas and South. but rejects the ‘two-seeds doctrine’.). and Arthur Koestler’s Khazar theory. 31 No known publications.. The Monitor 24 (Dec. see Raymond Bray. despite the latter’s pronounced support for Zionism. see the Center for Democratic Renewal treatment of the Phineas Priesthood: ‘Beckwith to be Tried Again for 1963 Evers Murder’. Nebraska. 206–14. fully embrace the demonization of the Jew through the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. in 1989 produced a second novel. . he decries in the strongest terms the pervasive ‘hatred’ practiced in much of Identity Christianity. He does.. Where the Turner Diaries presented a fictionalized account of the forma- tion of a successful mass revolutionary movement. Kentucky. 23:9.150 Case studies American Ephraimite 5 (Sept.

later scholars. the Third Reich as a millennial revolution came to be downplayed considerably. 34 Ibid. Respectable Folly: Millenarians and the French Revolution in France and England (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP. adding some significant qualifications in the process. Author’s telephone conversation with the betrayer of the Brueders Schweigan. pp. 1974). Disaster and the Millennium (New Haven. Michael Barkun. Undated letter from the publisher of Today’s Aryan Woman. see Margot Adler. 1980). have adopted Cohn’s theories. concluding chapter. and J. the newsletter From the Mountain. 36 The published vehicle for this appeal is the newsletter. and of the socio- economic and political factors which he believed to be the cause of such outbreaks. Name withheld. both the pub- lisher and her husband had been Christian Identity adherents. The Pursuit of the Millennium (note 4). 186–94. 1991. Consider as well the impact of the Turner Diaries on the members of the Order.F. For excellent presentations of how. 1979). Rhodes. The Hitler Movement: A Modern Millenarian Revolution (Stanford. was the persistent subtext running throughout the book which rather strongly implied that the history of the Christian West was in essence an anti- Semitic pogrom on the grand scale! Prof. 1202). centered primarily on Prof. on occasion. 18.1095–1192).C. The Second Coming: Popular Millenari- anism 1780–1850 (New Brunswick. 1980). . as was the rather pessimistic interpretation of Western history. Cohn’s identification of the Nazis as the heir to an almost unbroken line of medieval millenarian excitements. Martinez is now in the federal Witness Protection program following an unsuccessful attempt at decapitation by an Oder sympathizer. Considerable criticism fol- lowed. Silent Brotherhood (note 6). Rhodes. the revolutionary Taborites (fifteenth century). 38 This observation is the product of numerous conversations and formal inter- views with members of the wiccan and neo-pagan subculture in Chicago. CT: Yale UP. in earlier times. millenarian ideas competed with occult and other esoteric religious appeals for the allegiance of a ‘community of seekers’ whose existence was often barely known by the dominant culture. however. 1975). Fire in the Minds of Men: Origins of the Revolutionary Faith (NY: Basic Books. most of whom were Identity adherents or sympathizers. See Norman Cohn. American millenarian revolutionary theology 151 33 Letter to author dated 5 Nov. see James H. . of the ‘amoral super- men’ posited as the leadership cadre of the movements. Prior to the appearance of this journal. Cohn was forced to revise his work several times. By the 1970 edition of The Pursuit of the Millennium. The Stars! It is a separate publication from the more widely distributed forum for Miles’ views. but perhaps as critical to the reception of Cohn’s theory. Billington. Press. 37 For a good overview of the wiccan (witchcraft) and neo-pagan community in contemporary America. putting out the Identity journals Christian Patriot Woman and Christian Frontline. however. Flynn and Gerhardt. Cohn’s descriptions of the popular classes most affected by millennial excitements. a National Socialist publication. Less stated. p. . p. Tom Martinez. There have been. Clarke Garrett. NJ: Rutgers UP. However. James M. joint issues published. 1991. featuring such widely disparate actors as the Crusaders of the first three Crusades (c. Harrison. 24 Oct. 35 Norman Cohn was the first to publicize this theory. 93. most notably Michael Barkun and James M. the antinomian Free Spirit heresies (twelfth to fifteenth centuries). Drawing Down the Moon (Boston: Beacon Press. Without exception. every individual I spoke with had some knowledge of Christian Identity—a familiarity which few academics or the general public display. and many more made a strong initial impact within the scholarly community. Beyond the Bars . CA: Hoover Insts. 1986). the reclusive abbot Joachim of Fiore (d.

41 On the less savory aspects of Miles’ past legal entanglements. . a racist for all seasons. 40 For secondary source coverage of this role. 43 Beyond the Bars . 4 vols. On the interaction between Dualism and Identity. MN: Llewellyn. Pastor Miles was acquitted of the Ft. 1976). Neil Forsyth argues convinc- ingly that these motifs may themselves be traced back to Babylonian arche- types. circa 1800–600 bc. This belief refers prim- arily to the writings of the Rev. Paul. 2nd ed. e. The Prose Edda of Snorri Sturluson (Berkely. The Stars! (June 1983). 130–2. Runes and Magic: Magical Formulaic Elements in the Older Runic Tradition (NY: Peter Lang. The Old Enemy (Princeton. Princeton UP. Miles is at once a leader in the Michigan KKK. the most important Odinist theorist is arguably Edred Thorsson. Pranaitis. 1987). pamphlet published by the Mountain Church. 1966) and The Poetic Edda. 44 Jean I. and his theology so elastic. a Dualist priest (who always refers those for whom Dualism is too rich an intellectual stew to Identity. Miles’ appeal is in fact so broad.. MA: Peter Smith. The angel of mythological motifs based on the Eddic and Saga literature is gathered in Jacob Grimm. Flowers. 1985). 1988). Truly.g. see Anti- Defamation League of the B’nai B’rith. scholar of Germanic Philology from Texas whose dissertation was published in Stephen E. ‘Revival of .d. Hollanden (Austin.R.–Dec. Young (trans. CA: Noontide Press. see Pastor Robert Miles. I. trans. The Jewish Religion: Its Influence Today (Torrance. 1962). 1986). trans. 1892) and Elizabeth Dilling. is a Ph. See Neil Forsyth. Still in his academic guise. 1983).B. See. 42 There is a striking irony in Miles’ theology of which no scholar of religion could fail to remark. and in his life. Ridgeway.152 Case studies 39 In Pastor Miles’ words ‘We are not Identity. 1991. of California Press. ‘The Identity of Dualism and The Duality of Identity’. Mills. Alexander Rud Mills. Lee M. on occasion. pp.). p. l. A touchstone of the anti-Semitic ideology common to each of the adherents covered in this article is an unflinching belief that the Babylonian Talmud is the most evil book ever written. which elaborate the intercourse between the Angels and the daughters of men which appear in the Bible in Genesis 6:1–4. Peters- burg. Michigan. (Gloucester. The first revival of Odinism in its racialist form was attempted in the 1930s by an eccentric Australian. Blood in The Face (note 16). Thorsson. 81–7. Smith charge. pp. ADL and FBI’. Stallybrass. 1987). See Edred Thorsson. see. 1933). the elegiac treatment of the Vikings (‘VES HEILL! OLD NORSE’) in From the Mountain (Nov. [All emphasis in original] Letter to author dated 1 Oct. of Texas Press. Currently. Ironically. The Talmud Unmasked (St. Flowers. There is much irony in Miles’ theology. The Odinist Religion Overcoming Jewish Christianity (Melbourne: A. TX: Univ. The Way). James S. CA: Univ. a form of Cathar theology. Silent Brotherhood (note 6). An anti-Semite charged with ‘poisoning wells’ is a remarkable coincidence. Extremism on the Right: A Handbook (NY: ADL.g. n. an avowed opponent of racialist drift of some sectors of Odinism.. that it is through his Mountain Church that a direct linkage can be found with the racialist ele- ments of Odinism. pp. 160–91. Pastor Miles has based much of his cosmology on the Enoch literature preserved in the inter-testimental texts. 1–4. and Flynn and Gerhardt.D. and the more general wiccan/neo-pagan appeal on the occasion of Samhain (Hal- loween) in From the Mountain (Sept. The Book of Troth (St. especially through the Richard Butler prison broadsheet. pp. 1992). e. We are Dualists. But—we are racists—‘open but called Identity churches by the press. Flowers published what at this writing appears to be the only scholarly article on the revival of Odinism: idem. and a man whose farm is used for neo- pagan rites. Mrs Dilling’s volume was originally titled The Plot Against Christianity. Cohactah.–Oct. whose real name is Stephen E. Teutonic Mythology. .

pp. 9–11 Dec 1991. the article decries 20 years of racialist drift among some prominent Asatru writers and concludes with a paraphrase of an ‘Old European saying that there are three things one cannot be at the same time. to be published under the aegis . This theory may be traceable to Steve McNallen. 1991. pp. 30. singling out for par- ticular criticism a ‘major figure in the Asatru Alliance [Mike Murray]’ whose ‘youthful indiscretions’ included association with George Lincoln Rockwell’s American Nazi Party. 55 Ibid. 47. 6–9. conversation with Phil Nearing of the Asatru Fellowship. 1991. 46 ‘The Awakening of a New Saga’. Odinist Fellowship. Drawing Down the Moon (note 37). Bruce Pierce. Crystal River. 433. is the commentary by High Priest Paul Hartmann which holds that in contrast to the evil of the alleged practice of ritual murder by the Jews. an Order member currently serving a 250 year federal prison sentence.d. Northern Magic: Mysteries of the Norse. 53 Thorsson. More generally. the Norse heritage is a rich source of myths and symbols which would be of benefit to anyone. In this issue. pp. 110–11. n. pp. Crystal River. however. Vor Tru 30 (Fall 2238 Runic. 28. 45 Interview with Pastor Dan Gayman. Paul. Hoskins finds in the emer- gence of Odinism evidence of a conspiracy against Christianity by the demonic hybrid which he (and many others in the White Supremacist constel- lation) refer to Judeo-Christianity. This journal is the organ of the newly formed Asatru Fellowship which grew out of the Old Northwest Kindred. Odinist Study Group. Book of Troth (note 44). who would take over the corpse of the Asatru Free Assembly in the form of the Asatru Alliance. 25 July 1992. intelligent and a Nazi. Thor: Hammer of the Gods 3 (c. pp. Florida. a fictional story manages to collect in 12 pages the majority of anti- Semitic stereotypes known to the author.. regardless of their racial or ethnic background. 275–9. p. Vigilantes of Christendom (note 28). 279–94. 571. ‘The State of the Alliance’. and indeed. p. Cf. 435–42. claims Bob Mathews himself. Germans and English (St. pamphlet published by the Odinist Fellowship. honest. 25 July 1992. American millenarian revolutionary theology 153 Germanic Religion in Contemporary Anglo-American Culture’) The Mankind Quarterly 21(Spring 1981). n. To these adher- ents. 5 Nov. On Murray’s past association with neo-Nazi groups. 51 It should be noted that there are kindreds within Asatru who reject the notion that Odinism is based on ethnicity in any sense of the term. the same act is clearly enjoined by the Norse texts as holy.’ 52 Edred Thorsson. formerly associated with the Asatru Free Assembly. 4–5. Vor Tru. Adler. Ask and Embla 1 (forthcoming). See Mike Murray. 1992). The first issue of the AFA’s official organ. 49 Letter from Mrs Else Christensen. 1988 ce). 1991. The remarkable feature of the docu- ment. which is the object of hysterical persecution by anti-white elements. 48 Letter from Ron Hand. 56 Conversation with Phil Nearing of the Asatru Fellowship. and ‘Odinism and the Odinist Fellowship’. 9 Sept. the founder of the Order. Florida. 1991 and 5 Nov. Going further. ‘Invisig- oth’. See Vigilantes of Christendom. 13) 47 Adler. ‘Aryans in the American South have been practicing the traditional method of sacri- fice in their additional “lynching ceremony”. Drawing Down the Moon (note 37). Judeo-Christianity is in fact little more than what religious scholars have referred to since the 1960s as civil religion. conversation with Phil Nearing of the Asatru Fellowship. 54 Particularly through Mike Murray. Odinist Study Group.’ (p. Minnesota: Llewellyn. The article attacks the neo-Nazi elements in the Asatru movement. p. pp.1977). was an Odinist. 50 Letters from Ron Hand. Cf. 25 July 1992. 17 July 1991: ‘What is Odinism?’ pamphlet published by the Odinist Fellowship. Hoskins. pp.

58 This pattern bas a long and sad history among millenarian movements of the past.’ All of this is spelled out in some detail in the COC monthly newspaper. It should therefore come as no surprise that in a few cases. 23 March 1992. history and magical theory under the editorship of Diane Ross and later Ed Van Cura. 60 Flynn and Gerhardt. R. isolated identity compounds in the rural United States would follow the same path. From the Mountain (March–April 1987 to March–April 1988). Ch. see Robert Miles.B. and most recently. a fertile field for the forms of antinomianism prac- ticed by the followers of Jacob Frank. pp. that has come to the same conclusion as the Church of the Creator. in COC parlance. Raven (NY: E. Vor Tru tends to function as a newsletter. after several ideological transfor- mations. failure and death. The Seditionist 10 (Summer 1991). On Frankism. Systemized and Interpreted (Chicago: S. On the developments at Tabor. Baldur. Salubrious Living. History of the Hussite Revolution (note 5). And on Jim Jones. Rahowa! The Planet is Ours. 1971). ‘On Avoiding Conspir- acy Charges and Other Related Matters’. which have strong Christian connotations. Norse Mythology. Edred Thorsson was a frequent contributor. 1992): . reemerged in the isolation of the jungles of Guyana with tragic results. 59 Coates. Pastor Dave Barley of America’s Promise Ministries in Sand Point. Anderson. Ragnarök as it appears in the Prose Edda also contains elements of the rebirth of the dead god. there is apparently a wing of Pamyat. the Russian Orthodox church itself. 57 Indeed. substituting a form of pre-Christian paganism. 5. and in our own day the early survivalist appeal of Jim Jones of the People’s Temple. 1876). On Pamyat. see Kaminsky. pp. 63 On the reasoning behind this change. is an acronym of RAcial HOly WAr. is Jewish and so must be done away with. and thus the whole of the civilization of the Christian era. there exists in Odinism a myth cycle centering on Ragnarök. Reacting to a recent warning by the Russian Orthodox Church that Hassidic Jews want to create an ecumenical world religion as a weapon against Christianity. while Idunna is a more cerebral affair. Containing All of the Myths of the Eddas. 256–61. presents this episode in some- what sordid detail. The latter volume. Ber Haskelevich is a Lubivitcher Hassid who broadcasts into Russia over Radio Liberty. under the impact of isolation and the appearance of a Free Spirit appeal. 61 In Russia. The White Man’s Bible. Idaho illustrates the dangers of the seductive call of the Phineas Priesthood dream in a cassette teaching: ‘Conquering the Leviathan (A Message to the Phineas Priests)’. concen- trating on theology. the ultra-nationalist and often mystical revivalist movement. linking kindreds across the country. see Gershom Sholem. see Louis Beam. The Ring of Troth’s journal is Idduna.C.. For a running commentary on Ellison’s Fort Smith performance. or. these elements of Pamyat have put forth the view that while this charge is undoubtedly correct. brighter world. 5–7. Dutton.P. Interview with Rabbi Dov Ber Haskelevich. 122–41. a ‘mil- lennial’ event in which the structure of the old world was destroyed and the world we know today was born. ‘A whiter. No. Silent Brotherhood (note 6). (Feb. pp. 1982). Armed and Dangerous (note 9). published in 1989. 30 (Fall 2238 Runic. 1988 ce). the antinomian Adamites. pp. 413–38. and spells out Klassen’s dreams for bringing about. The Messianic Idea in Judaism (NY: Schocken. the seventeenth century Jewish false messiah Sabbatai Zevi would leave. in the wake of his apostasy. The Religion of Our Forefathers.154 Case studies of the Asatru Alliance: Vor Tru. R. 62 The primary texts for the COC are Ben Klassen’s Nature’s Eternal Religion. see Tim Reiterman. The Taborite rebellion spawned. Racial Loyalty. Griggs and Co.

. A prominent exception would be Ralph Forbes. pp. but had left Identity in favor of Klan and neo-Nazi doctrines. and these banners or whatever you want to call them were sent in with it . 20–1. 64. . 66 Anti-Defamation League of the B’nai B’rith. ‘Was There Really a Holocaust?’ pamphlet published as Truth Tract No. in which Forbes was an officer. ‘Fate Violence and White Supremacy: A Decade Review 19809–1990’ The Klanwatch Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center (Dec. thus making a clash with the civil authorities of questionable biblical authority. dated 6 Feb. still nascent at this writing. . Politics of Righteousness. in which an attempt is made to differentiate between racist and non- racist Identity. Fields. Rather.). Silent Brotherhood (note 6).d. while his son has apparently never been affiliated with Identity). He was arrested in anti-abortion protests in Wichita in 1991. ‘Hoping to Change Minds of Young on Holo- caust’. 1991. I don’t know this man personally . American millenarian revolutionary theology 155 I have a book here which was sent me recently. 128–9. pp. The key point here is not that a Non-racist Identity is an oxymoron. On Forbes’ own colorful biog- raphy. p. 67 Coates. 260–61. how to kill police officers. Conversation with Dan Gayman. . Armed and Dangerous (note 9). pp. 8. Under Non-racist identity. . California Sociolo- gist 10 (Winter 1987). ADL Research Report (Summer 1989). but Dualist rather than Identity). 68 James Aho. New York Times. Aho lists the Mountain Church of Robert Miles (racist. 91–3. see ADL. This man is a very dangerous enemy of our people . More common. Holocaust “Revisionism” ’. Prof. the important point would appear to be to determine how particular Identity leaders will seek to actuate their ideas. or hat and let anybody know that you are Phineas Priests .R. 33. . . 23 Dec. however. See the form letter mailed under the letterhead of Forbes—‘The New America First Committee’. 65 Aho. pp. 20–1. p. . . . how to kill any of their enemies through various poisons and mixtures and methods and techniques that he has talked about in his book and the foul language that he uses and the ager and the bitterness that he has and is presented in his book. The Truth at Last (n. and of no pragmatic political effect. Cf. . 1991. . pp. the White American Resistance (WAR) and the White Student Union (WSU). 1989). Aho lists such avowedly racist appeals as Dan Gayman’s Church of Israel and Pete Peters’ Scriptures for America (both considered at length throughout this essay). were considered above. and he is gonna get a lot of people in a lot of trouble . 70 The efforts of even the most meticulous of scholars can go awry in seeking to draw distinctions of this kind. 69 Flynn and Gerhardt. Dr E. 14 Oct. The senior Metzger was once an Identity preacher. Politics of Righteousness (note 8). . The Klanwatch Project. . so you can sew it on your shoulder or jacket . (Both WAR and the WSU were the creation of Tom Metzger and his son. 257. but when I read through a book like this that tells Christians out there how to kill Christians. Several attempts to wean Identity from racism. notice what it says. how to kill judges. Maynard C. whatever these may be. Politics of Righteousness (note 8). 64 Also. Thus . ‘Phineas Priest’. ‘Reification and Sacrifice: The Goldmark Case’. It is by . p. was condemnation of the Wichita confrontation due primarily to simple despair that the code of the nation could be effectively altered. an Arkansas Identity preacher who maintains a strong loyalty to the late George Lincoln Rockwell of the American Nazi Party. Under Racist Identity. See the excellent Aho. Extremism on the Right (note 10). Camp- bell Jr . . Extremism on the Right (note 10). 19. He wants people to go out there and take care of his enemies . . . 1992. See Anti-Defamation League of the B’nai B’rith. Prof. 1 by the Georgia-based newspaper.

Telephone conversation with Ron Hand. 1992 to Ron Hand from a California prisoner. prison were told by Aryan Brothers to ‘stab cops and other inmates’. 1992. 75 It should be noted too that religious appeals of every description have been aimed at prisoners from time immemorial. 13. n. 9–11 Dec. 77 E. On skinhead music.. Inc. pp. letter to acquaintance of author (name withheld) from Raymond Bray of The Lord’s Work. 73 Anti-Defamation League of the B’nai B’rith. PBS Documentary. ‘White Racist is Freed Because His Wife is Ill’. 13.’ He then goes on to ask several questions regarding Odinist belief. 1991. broadcast 5 Feb. the fight goes on through his prison Identity ministry. See the form letter sent by Mary Snell to all supporters of the Last Call. 157–76 gives much more detailed coverage. 9 Dec. p. Richard Snell’s own Death Row meditation. critically ill from lung cancer. The Seekers is most notable for Richard Snell’s rambling and disjointed style. 78 The flavor of this ministry can be glimpsed in a letter dated 11 Jan. See ‘Publisher’s Post’. New York Times. 1991. 79 ‘Letters’. p. interview with Dan Gayman. Bill Moyers. ‘The Defender: “Pluralist” Answer to the Turner Diaries’. In addition to VISIT. e. see. These are but a few of the many appeals which are directed to White prisoners. p. revolutionary activism to differentiate Identity appeals would appear a more practical schema. 72 There are anti-racist skinheads and apolitical skinheads as well. 2. The Aryan Brothers are ‘full of drug addicts and common criminals. p. 80 Letter from a prisoner in California to a prominent Odinist leader. dated 25 Jan. p.156 Case studies the choice of withdrawal vs. 6. with no concern for the White race. and privately distrib. made appealing by a sincere humility in confronting the complexities of biblical exegesis. Aryan Brothers even have Mexicans and Indians among their number. 1991. The Seekers. 23 Feb. ADL Special Report (1987). . ‘SKINHEADS (emph. 1991). Ridgeway. Richard Wayne Snell. It is distributed by his tireless wife. correspondence. in original) want my head’. 1992. and its publication. ‘Shaved for Battle’. National Vanguard 111 (June–July 1990). A good insight into the attraction of such a ministry is indi- cated by a letter to the editor in a recent issue of Jubilee in which ‘Darlene’ writes that she has become engaged to marry a prisoner she met through the Jubilee prison ministry. and ‘Supremacist Gets Jail In Cross- Burning Case’. Pastor Hall includes a column of prison letters as a regular feature of his Jubilee newspaper. 71 For Snell. 1991). Metzger was recently released from jail to attend his wife. names withheld by request. emphasizing the strong similarities between certain Odinist tenets and the Christian doctrines of Armageddon and the Trinity. 1992. Cf. In brief.. whose current efforts involve Snell’s latest appeal. New York Times. 15. Hate on Trial. the Last Call Ministries. especially as relates to Metzger. 74 Klanwatch Intelligence Report 54 (Feb. The letter continues with specific questions regarding the tenets of Odinism. The Way (June 1987). c. and occasional assistance in the form of financial aid and services..d. 4 covers the basic facts..1986). although these garner little press attention.. p. SKINHEADS in this California. 76 Pastor Hall’s ministry includes personal visits to prisoners. 17 Jan. The Shadow of Death! (Is There Life After Death?) (self-publ. and as a result. 1992. Mary Snell. For the National Alliance’s views of skinheads. see ‘The Pervasive Sound of Hatred’. but he refused. Klanwatch Intelligence Report 54 (Feb. Jubilee 4 (March/April 1992). this inmate states that he is tired of ‘playing prison political organizations’. Blood In The Face (note 16). 4 Dec.g.g. This is in keeping with the admonition of 1 Peter 3:19 to preach to the spirits in the prisons.

Soul on Ice (New York: Dell. A History of Islamic Societies. and author’s conversation with John Harrell of the Christian Patri- ot’s Defense League of Flora. pp. Francis X. with the ‘vision’ of George Washington or the remarks of Abraham Lincoln often serving as the basis for such constructions. Ira M. with his penchant for dressing bodyguards in SS-style uniforms and in his adoption of a swastika-like cross as his symbol. pp. ‘Prison Has the Body. 1977). Lapidus. it has been rendered by various authorities as ‘excommunicate. ADL Special Report (June 1986). 89 Barkun (note 2).. pp. 1. Inter-Klan Newsletter & Survival Alert 4 (c. See. 92 See his brief ode to the First Era Klansman in Louis Beam. Arab Studies Quarterly 4 (1982). ‘On Revolutionary Majorities’. Scott Appleby (eds. (Chicago: Univ.1984). see Anti-Defamation League of the B’nai B’rith. 1969). and Marshall C. In the present context. International Journal of Middle East Studies 12 (1980). The Venture of Islam. 417–18. 1991. 82 Eldridge Cleaver. 1974). see in the same issue. Lapidus. MD: Adler & Adler. ‘George Washington’s Vision and Prophecy for the United States of America’. ‘The Islamic Alternative in Egypt: The Muslim Brotherhood and Sadat’. of Chicago Press. 75–93. 88 Another possible future for these racialist prison appeals. 1986). 1983). Dreamy evoca- tions of America’s past glories. Illinois. pp. may be an exception to this rule. American millenarian revolutionary theology 157 81 For a somewhat alarmist picture of the situation. Saad Eddin Ibrahim. 86 An excellent introduction to the events surrounding the assassination is Mohamed Heikal. Clines. pp. p. e. often exaggerated or imaginary. 84 Takfir is a difficult term to translate precisely. 93 Author’s interview with Thom Robb in Chicago. ‘ “Al-Takfir Wal-Hijrah” A Study in Sectari- anism’. flier lacking date or publica- tion data. Cf. are common to the golden age fantasies throughout the White Supremacist constellation.). l. 90 Richard Butler of the Aryan Nations in Idaho. 1988). unlikely for the present. 87 The best contemporary picture of this manichaean view. p. 1968). ‘A Klansman’s Guide to the Fifth Era’. pp. of Chicago Press. Autumn of Fury (NY: Random House. 3 vols. 24 Aug.g.’ or even as ‘heresy’. 9–13. may be the most evocative of the literature to come out of this milieu. but Allah Has the Mind’. For a more general sacralization of revolutionary America. Ceman Reports 5 (1977). ‘Anatomy of Egypt’s Militant Islamic Groups: Methodological Note and Preliminary Findings’. Such a scenario appears to be underway in the New York prison system with members of the Nation of Islam (Black Muslims).1978). A History of Islamic Studies (Cambridge: CUP. Dan Gayman offers such a vision in metaphorical language in ‘America’ Speaks to Her People’. 1–7. Fundamentalisms and the State: Remaking Polities (Chicago: Univ. Marty and R. 91 Ira M. is Amir Taheri.’ ‘repent. 2 July 1992. For the historic development of this view. ‘Extremism Targets the Prisons’. The Society of the Muslim Brothers (London: OUP. Hodgson. in Martin E. 85 Abdel Azim Ramadan. Great figures of America’s past are prominent features of this effort. 1993). 423–53. is that prison authorities will embrace the most accommodationist of these ministries as a foil against more radical appeals. Saad Eddin Ibrahim. . 1991. New York Times. Washington’s vision in such diverse con- texts as ‘George Washington’s Vision’. 9 Nov. Jack Mohr. pp. albeit from a Shi’i perspective. 9.. The Spirit of Allah (Bethesda. 135–62. Zions Watchman 1 (Jan. and Maurice Martin and Rose Marie Massad. 7 (Lincoln too is quoted here). Aryan Nations Newsletter 7 (c. 83 The primary text on the Muslim Brotherhood remains Richard Mitchell. ‘Fundamentalist Influence in Egypt: the Strategy of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Takfir Groups’.

TN: Rutledge Hills Press. . Poole. On the giants and the full ima- gined history of the golden age. entitled. Maryland offers Nazi memorabilia. 99 The White man as the sole culture bearer is a common belief in the White supremacist constellation. Zion’s Watchman 8 (July 1977). Pierce’s National Vanguard Books in Hillsboro. John Wilson. Bibliophile Legion Books of Silver Spring. View of the Hebrews (Poultney. 3–5. The Appalachian Forum booksellers of Pittsburgh supply to this market as well. The Pilgrim Torch (June 1962). Len Martin.1977). The Winrod Letter 212 (Sept. Cf. 1987). KS: Defender Publishers. Founded Upon Five Hundred Scripture Proofs (London: n. from the Bible (as our great grandfathers knew). This issue includes an article along the same lines by the ‘Southern Headquarters’ of the Posse Commitatus in Murfreesboro. Hitler reproductions and numerous books on various aspects of the Third Reich. Forty-Seven Identifications of the Anglo-Saxons With the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel. For a sampling. 1991). 1–5. 97 ‘The Wisdom From the Edda’.: Destiny Publishers. The Fiery Cross (NY: Simon & Schuster.). see Gerald B. Cf. Anglo-Israel or the Saxon Race Proved to be the Lost Ten Tribes of Israel (Toronto: n.158 Case studies 94 For a good selection of these diverse ideas. pp. lnterKlan Newsletter & Survival Alert 5 (c. J. Dan Gayman. if tedious. Less enthusiastic views may be found in Jerry Thompson. see the work of Eldon D. 1982). that the negro is the beast of the field and not a son of Adam nor a part of Israel.d. 1989). ‘Jewish Fables Capture American Pulpits’. 1933). NC. Tucker. ‘Satanism the Father of Communism’.–Feb.d. The most evocative modern formulation of this view is in the fictional Turner Diaries (note 28) by neo-Nazi William Pierce. [c. Our Israelite Origin (Philadelphia: Daniels & Smith. Wyn Craig Wade. 98 The best source for Pastor Miles’ Cathar beliefs is the combined issue of From the Mountain and Beyond the Bars . biblical refutation of Anglo-Israel . CT. Purvis in the newsletter New Beginnings 4 (April 1982) and New Beginnings 1 (Jan. 1902). ‘The Seven Sins of Canaan’.: Smith & Shute.1948). 101 See for example. several of the most influential of these texts: Edward Hine. John Wilson. For the best.). Winrod. ‘WHO Brought the Slaves to America?’ 96 For the work of a contemporary of Hitler. pp.1875]). Thor: Hammer of the Gods 3 (c. see the undated and untitled newsletter of the White Angel Isaac Sons Ministry of Lincolnton. Critique 19/20 (Fall/Winter 1986). Pastor Miles takes the liberty of reprinting Eric Wynants. Why ‘They’ Wanted to Get Gordon Kahl (note 16). 95 This theme is ubiquitous in the literature. . 24 Aug. and for the view in its most primitive form. Ethan Smith. 1988). ‘The Perfected Order of the Klan’. p. 1823).’ Cf. See the identification of the non-White races with the ‘beasts of the field’ in Genesis. and W. ‘Killing the Jews’. the Stars!! (Jan. Cf. and Kenneth Goff.. Hitler in Prophecy (Wichita. 1982. VT. see From the Mountain (March–April 1985). Calhoun and Louis Beam. n. Sheldon Emry. 1986). and Richard K. John C. The Dragon and the Cross: The Rise and Fall of the Ku Klux Klan in Middle America (Hamden. Fafnir (the mythological Norse dragon slain by Sigurd). In this issue. MA. My Life in the Klan (Nashville. author’s interview with Thom Robb. Tenn. 9: ‘Most of you know. 1850).H. W. l–7.: Archon Books.d. 1991. The Title Deeds of the Holy Land (London: James Nisbet and Co. 100 Ibid. ‘The Church’s Attack on the Cathars’. along with a running commentary by the pastor in his favorite alter ego. Allen. pp. Virginia offers numerous titles centering on other idealized pasts ranging from Viking ships to various facets of European culture and history. see Gordon Winrod. Judah’s Scepter and Joseph’s Birthright (Merrimac.H.

Letters from Ron Hand. the Odinist art and articles in Richard Butler’s prison outreach.. 110 See the listing of group names in Michael Newton and Judy Ann Newton. precursor to the slick National Vanguard. The Way. the Church of God. spearheaded by Howard Rand and C. 1991.S. National Van- guard 105 (May–June 1985). Seventh Day took its doctrine. Under Their Revealed Prophet. Gordon Melton.d. 109–12. 15–18. 108 For the most comprehensive view of the evolution of modern Identity theo- logy from the 1930s to date. is suggested by Ron Hand. p. or the current National Vanguard Book catalogue. 1991. self-published pamphlet (June 1991).). who traces a line of transmission from Richard Brothers (mid-eighteenth century) to John Wilson (mid- nineteenth century). although this is at the bottom of the page and follows allegiance to the Constitution of the United States and fealty to the White race. Thompson. as well as by the depredations of modern scholarship. 1794). 112 That there may exist such a text for recruitment into neo-Nazi groups. 104 All of these themes are gathered neatly though a ‘catalogue’ of available Holo- caust revision materials in Bradley R. 1930). pp. The inspiration for early Anglo-Israelism was Richard Brothers. . Smith. 109 The available texts are considered too much corrupted. By 1930. Odinist Study Group.). particularly by the machinations of the churchmen whose literacy preserved at least a portion of this heritage. Allen. Eshelman. The Religious Right and Israel: The Politics of Armageddon. 111 Thom Arthur Robb. From Allen. n. 103 How this change in Identity came about is still far from clear. NC: Duke UP. From the Mountain (March–April 195). .H. p.d.M. Louisiana—David Duke’s ‘youthful indiscre- tion’—place Christianity as a requirement of their loyalty oath. For a view of interplay between these belief systems. a new Identity with a new passion for identifying and punish- ing the Jews for their theft of the birthright emerged. Not Revealed to Any Other Person on Earth. ‘The History and Significance of the Life Rune’. pp. Cf. p. ‘Holocaust Revision Materials’. by the Year 1798. 102 Ruth Mouly. 5 Nov. Message of Old Monthly 6 (n. My Life in the Klan (note 100). Two Parts in One Volume (London: n. 1991 and 29 Dec. The Stars! 107 Miles. consult the catalogue of Howard Rand’s Destiny Publishers of Merrimac. and then across the Atlantic to America and Canada with works by M. J. New Order. W. Containing with Other Great and Remarkable Things. 47. Godbey. 18. Gordon Melton.p. Warner. Armstrong. pp. Mass. The Lost Tribes A Myth (Durham. Poole and J. consult any or all issues of the newspaper Attack!. based on the ideas of Heinrich Himmler. Perhaps the best theory to date is that of J. The Restoration of the Hebrews to Jerusalem. as well as letters from Odinist prisoners in both The Way and Beyond the Bars . Drawing Down the Moon (note 37). see Allen H. The Ku Klux Klan: An Encyclopedia (NY: Garland. . ‘The Negro Tool of the Anti-Christ’. American millenarian revolutionary theology 159 theory. 5 Nov. . self- published monograph (n. 571. . however. 105 Letter from Ron Hand. The Knights of the Ku Klux Klan in Metairie. see the article in the neo-Nazi National Vanguard by Jim De Witt. quoting the Odinist journal Quarterstaff for a mild formulation of this view. Gerhard Lauck’s news- paper. pp. 1991). all late nineteenth to early twentieth century figures. A Revealed Knowledge of the Prophesies and Times . 5–8. under the impact of the Dearborn Independent’s anti-Semitic series and the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Odinist Study Group. as did Herbert W. 4. 1991. On WWII revisionism.H. Encyclopedic Handbook of Cults in America (NY: Garland. 1986). 53–61. letter of 29 Dec. 106 See Adler. Cf.

Eustace Mullins. born again. . It was as if I had just returned to earth—to the room— after a thousand year voyage through space. n. see Richard H. 1985). . when I finished the last page some four hours later . 83 (Nov. The Satanic Counterfeit (Musk- agee. 1987). (NY: New Benjamin Franklin House. 118 See. . 52. the most extreme aspects of the movement. in a much larger context than I had I ever considered before . plastic binder. 74. pp. On the technique itself. . Zeskind then replays the article in his own publication as evidence for the sinister nature of Christian Identity.160 Case studies 113 Macdonald. I know now that I will never again be able to look at the world around me or my own life in quite the same way as I did before. As members of the Order we are to be bearers of the Faith . Howard Rand. Gerald L. . Time. 1986. pp. 20 Oct. 2nd ed. 116 Louis Beam. . ‘We Are At War’. 119 ‘Seek the Inner Man’ End Time Revelation Newsletter 2 (Oct. DC: Pergamon- Brassey’s. Dezinformatsia (Washington. Architects of Fear (Los Angeles: Jeremy P. . Cf. 121 The phrase and concept is borrowed from the venerable conspiracy theorist. Although not remembered as an Identity figure. For a longer formulation of the same theme. Turner Diaries (note 28).K. a relatively late convert to Identity. ‘To My Fellow Thought Criminals’. e. . . A good picture of a conspiracy theory of American history in action is Anton Chaitkin. 70–1 elaborates this theme: I was led into another basement room . . Here. pp. p. OK: Hoffman Printing Co. p. p. 2–4. . . The Seditionist 10 (Summer 1991). 1983). spread out before me . The book placed our present struggle . 1984). l. Destiny Editorial Letter Services Special Alert No. See. in a sense. I had never seen the whole picture so clearly.. Shultz and Roy Godson. 1986). with all its nations and tribes and races.. 1982). ‘The Antichrist Assembles Pagan and Religious Leaders to Pray for Peace’. Tarcher. What I had read—it amounted to a book of about 400 typed pages—had lifted me out of this world . perhaps two inches thick . The Curse of Canaan: A Demonology of History (Staunton.d.). . Treason In America. 114 Ibid. VA: Revelation Books. Center for Demo- cratic Renewal. see ‘Conspiracy to Destroy the Chris- tian West’. The guard told me that I was to read everything in the binder very carefully . . in the same issue. Pastor Fowler’s formulation is virtually identical to the definition of jihad (struggle) offered by contemporary Sunni Islamist thinkers. Rand died in 1991 at the age of 102. On the table was a black. 1976). are attributed to Leonard Zeskind of the Center for Demo- cratic Renewal. is a case in point. GA: Center for Democratic Renewal. 120 A good recent study of conspiracy theories is George Johnson.g. The Antichrist is identified as Pope Paul II (sic). 71–4: We are truly the instruments of God in fulfilment of His Grand Design . and it had taken me to the top of a high mountain from which I could see the whole world. . 1–8. Aryan Nations Far-Right Underground Movement (Atlanta. . 115 A prime example of this process is ‘A Sinister Search for Identity’. See his book length commentary on the Protocols: Jack Mohr. he appears to have come to embrace the Identity message: . suitably exaggerated. pp. . . Smith brought under his wing such Identity figures as Wesley Swift. Today I was. Kenneth Goff and others. 117 William Pierce. National Vanguard 111 (June–July 1990). 1. . p. 122 Jack Mohr. Toward the end of his life.

n.000 missing children a year . MI: Dearborn Pub- lishing Co. 9–11 Dec. Adam Weishaupt A Human Devil (no publication data. The American Focus on Satanic Crime. Cf. . 1991. the Zionist Occupation Government. 1969).d. ‘The Zionist World Order’. and on ZOG. ‘Jewish Fables Capture American Pulpits’. James Warner of the New Christian Crusade Church has revived Arnold Leese’s work through his mail order book list out of Metairie. complete with photographs. 1975). Newer elements. innocent victims of Jewish ritual murder . Zion’s Watchman 8 (July 1977). see any issue of Richard Butler’s Aryan Nations publications or Flynn and Ger- hardt. . . . NJ: American Focus Publishing. A recent number of this publication contains a lavish 31-page recitation. Foreword. For a wider view of the conspiracy. 1 (Millburn. Satan’s New Testament (Los Angeles: Christian Nationalist Crusade. Kenneth Goff. p. 25. The full 4 volume set of Dearborn Independent reprints is cur- rently available from National Vanguard Books. But the people who say they are Jews and are not . the real Israel which came out of the seed of Abraham . Vol. The International Jews: The World’s Foremost Problem (Dearborn. see Gerald B. these same statistics are posited as proof of human sacrifices by satanic cults in America. . were chosen of God for special holy purpose (the salvation of mankind). CO: Kenneth Goff. See The Dearborn Independent. LA.d. Wisconsin. pp. the Sword.. see Norman Cohn. . Traitors in the Pulpit (Englewood. American millenarian revolutionary theology 161 True enough. Jewish Influences in American Life. . 124 The essentials of this view were already set down in The International Jew.. 125 Some sources reviving the Jewish ritual murder as a Talmudic rite have emerged in recent years. Petersburg.1935). . . Der Friekorpsmann. are sacri- ficed within 48 hours of abduction!’).K. Nearly 150 children a day . from neo-Nazi circles. any of the material emanating from Ellison’s The Covenant. namely the success of the conspiracy in fully taking over the Protestant churches and the American government. Police reports further reveal . See ‘New Christian Crusade Church Book List’ (Fall/ Winter 1991). . The Christian Education Association. and Aspects of Jewish Power in the United States. Dan Gayman. Finally. Inc. and the Arm of the Lord. 1988). the most complete presentation of this belief comes. Florida recently issued an undated flier as a weekly report: ‘What is Jewish Ritual Murder???’ The CEA provides a connection which has become common among American believers in the ritual murder conspiracy: the juxtaposition of current police statistics listing the extra- ordinary numbers of missing children (‘over 50. Warrant for Genocide (NY: Harper. Winrod. Silent Brotherhood (note 6). is a conscious parody of the ‘watchdog’ organization Klan Watch. of St. . are victims of Jewish ritual murder!!! . 1920). 1946). 123 Interview with Dan Gayman. self-published booklet. These volumes are: The International Jew. c. See Alan H. Peterson.. Smith. ‘Woe Unto Ye Fundamentalists’. can be viewed in the fol- lowing texts. Jewish: Activities in the United States. predictably. Jack Mohr. including such supporting characters as the perennial Illuminati. From Identity circles. n. a neo-Nazi group from Texas. of Jewish ritual murder beliefs. Interestingly. based on both Arnold Lees and . . See his exegesis on the Protocols. self- published booklet. Also from Christian Identity and Posse Comitatus circles is a mimeographed ‘Special Report’ on Jewish ritual murder: ‘Jewish Murder Plan Against Gentile Humanity Exposed’. He sets out for particular note Leese’s Jewish Ritual Murder. Jew Watch. . Jack Mohr. On the probable origins of the Protocols. . Gerald L. undated flier distributed by Family Farm Preservation of Tigerton. puts out a magazine whose title. have no relationship to the true Israel which grew out of the seed of Abraham and gave us the Son of God. 1–4.

133 Cohn. 14 Feb. there is more to learn . Pursuit Of The Millennium (note 4). This sentiment was expressed by a South Carolina minister who abandoned Identity in favor of a fundamentalist minis- try on the grounds that ‘. Crises and Revolu- tions (Cambridge. The farm crisis of the 1980s which brought fame to Gordon Kahl does not seem to have caused significant radi- calization among displaced family farmers. Pastor Thomas Robb claims that there exists a text. Author’s interview with Thomas Robb. 1959). 1991. ‘Occupy until come’. . See Jew Watch 16 (n. 1980). 2nd ed. name withheld. . although the impression was left that it is a blueprint for Jewish action. found by a friend of his in his capacity as an insurance claims adjuster investi- gating a Jewish household after a fire. Euro American Quarterly 3 (Autumn 1980) and Euro-American Quarterly 4 (Winter 1981).’ Undated letter. Political Violence.. 24 Aug. . The Politics of Unreason. (Chicago: Univ.–Oct. . mountains of paperwork. ‘The Perfected Order of the Klan’. as in Paul Hartmann’s Thor: Hammer of the Gods 3 (c.d. .162 Case studies translations of Julius Streicher’s 1934 series in Der Sturmer (described in Jew Watch as ‘a German forerunner to America’s National Enquirer’). of Chicago. British Journal of Sociology 4 (Dec. Cf. books beyond counting all circulating within the patriotic underground.g. . and far from being Christian. Why Men Rebel (Princeton: Princeton UP. Odinism in its most extreme racialist forms holds for the Jewish conspiracy theory.). Calhoun and Louis Beam. 126 John C. issued to selected elite Jews in numbered editions called The Book of the Bible in the Hands of the Creator. MA: Schenkmann Publishing Co.1977). ‘Secrets’. Another South Carolina former Identity minister goes further: . Among them I found few who had submitted their lives and dictates of the Son of God [sic]. 3–4. . Seymour Martin Lipset. including a somewhat uncomprehending treatment of Norman Cohn’s scenario for millenarian violence. at least in part. 132 Ted Robert Gurr. 18 Dec. 127 See the two-part essay: Mrs Norma Cox. 1991. many video cassettes. . e. he is conversant with its contents. Either we will restore our constitutional form of gov- ernment or we will be the best educated slaves in the history of mankind. 1983).. Conversation with Laird Wilcox. 1992) 131 These theories. 134 Abandoning the belief structure is apparently not uncommon. 129 Luke 19:13. The role of this mys- terious text is unclear. . 1978). It was. Identity is a movement of hate. The standard soci- ological examination of the right wing is Seymour Martin Lipset and Earl Raab. he asserts. pp. A flood of literature on deprivation theory followed in the wake of this publication. 1970). After spending a number of years in the Identity Movement. 128 See. . 130 This plethora of material is described best by Ross Upton. ‘Social Stratification and Right Wing Extremism’. head of the Jonathan Swift Society. may be viewed in thick Germanic prose in Ekhart Zimmermann. More common however is a milder Chris- tian conspiracy against the old gods. a research center specializing in unravelling what they see as the master conspiracy governing the modern USA. From the Mountain (Sept. In an interesting parallel to the Protocols conspiracy scenario. along the lines of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. hundreds of audio cas- settes. Although he has not himself seen this book. (Letter from Ross Upton. I found it to be a system of works based on ridiculous theories and suppositions con- trived by those who have not the least understanding of the precious and full labor of Jesus Christ.

in that organization’s declaration of war against ZOG. prefer- ring their own pleasure to God. name withheld) 135 Macdonald. American millenarian revolutionary theology 163 I have seen homes and families destroyed by their intolerance of the beliefs of children. 17 Aug. heartless and intractable. how many perjuries among deacons! There are evil deeds among the ministers. 1992. while the cassette ministry and the Church’s primary outreach organ. The Church of Israel’s publishing arm continues to issue monographs on specific points of doctrine. Zion’s Watchman 3 (Feb. 137 Dan Gayman. in the virgins dangerous traces! Pseudo Ephraem (sixth to seventh century bc). pp. . 61) 140 Given the reputation for violence which Identity Christianity has gotten in recent years.. 1988). many in the movement have preferred to drop the ‘Identity’ des- ignation entirely. e. irreligious. parents. the Watchman. they will be slanderers. arrogant and rude. wives. ‘Articles of Faith and Doctrine (Church of Israel)’. the consummation remains. MI: Gale Research Co. the COI credal statement. profligates. quoted in Flynn and Gerhardt. provide evidence of a teach- ing ministry of considerable quality. Silent Brotherhood (note 6). Even enemies of the Church. Visions of the End: Apocalyptic Traditions in the Middle Ages (NY: Columbia University Press. (From Bernard McGinn (ed. . believe the Holy Spirit who speaks in us. 2.). with pastors concentrating on releasing studies of particular doctrinal issues without making a great effort to link these ideas into a coherent theology. savages and enemies of everything that is good. etc. 24 Aug. Iden- tity theology is simply in too great a state of flux. wantonness in the youths—in mature women false faces. They will keep up the outward appearance of religion but will have rejected the inner power of it. and their doctrine as Kingdom theology. Most run from preacher to preacher seeing what new thing they can hear—never coming to the full understanding of anything . 136 Bob Mathews of the Order. 361. COI members refer to themselves as Israelites. . (Letter dated 14 Jan. 1979). 101. dis- obedient to their parents. ungrateful. p. Keep away from people like that. Nor is respect for the Church of Israel limited to the US. adulteries in the aged. Gordon Melton (ed. 139 You may be sure that in the last days there will be some difficult times.. People will be self-centered and avaricious. and there are many.g. as will be seen from the reaction to the Phineas Priest- hood controversy considered below. 1991. The reference is to the chiliastic Kingdom to be ushered in by the imminent return of Christ. The Ency- clopedia of American Religions: Religious Creeds (Detroit. The Church of Israel is the primary exception to this rule. Mathews adopted the term ‘sheeple’ for the sleeping American masses. they will be treacherous and reckless and demented by pride. Has not faith withered away from mankind? How many foolish things are seen among youths. how many crimes among prelates. We have already told you that the End of the world is near.1991.—hardly a one of them have any lasting relationships. Turner Diaries (note 28). accord the theological material emanating from the Church considerable respect. ‘War Crimes against the American People’. Dearly beloved brothers. See. p. 1978). p. 2 Timothy 3:1–5. 141 Christian Identity theorists rarely produce theology worthy of the name. This is the case with the Church of Israel. 626–33. . p. in J. boastful. Many are directed by doctrines that are so divisive that they can only be inspired by Satan himself . Conversation with Dan Gayman. See the journal of the London-based Christian Israel . how many lies among priests.). 138 Author’s interview with Thomas Robb.

and a self-proclaimed reformed communist. Watchman 4 (Fall 1991). 1990). 158–64. Steven L. p. The Protocols in their most widely available form. including Dan’s father. Henry Ford and the Jews (NY: Stein Day. pp. ‘Kitchen Table Talk’. Warrant for Genocide (note 122). Watchman 4 (Fall 1991). moved the sect to Halley’s Bluff and Schell City. may rank with some of the most turgid and frag- mented prose ever committed to paper. Divergent Paths of the Restoration: A History of the Latter Day Saint Movement (Los Angeles. 9–11 Dec. pp. 98. in fact. Extremism on the Right: A Handbook. 138–9. Goff emerges from the literature and the reminiscences of those who knew him as a decidedly equivocal man. and Albert Lee. ‘The Church of Christ at Halley’s Bluff ’. a schismatic Mormon sect. 1991). 1977). On this debate. the Victor Marsden translation. are from the Dec. Univ. term paper. unless otherwise indicated. Jesse Cruz. Conversa- tion with Dan Gayman. having little to say to contemporary Americans. 469. 1991. The historical record however is clear. a strongly monarchist document. Wake Up! 8 (Sept. and Anti-Defamation League of the B’nai B’rith. CA: Restoration Research. and its themes of fear of change. the document resonates with imagery drawn from the nineteenth century crisis of Russian autocracy. 1991. American Jewish History 69 (June 1980). On this history. ‘Kitchen Table Talk’. of Kansas at Lawrence (Summer 1977). 148 Ken Goff. a mentally unstable individual. The Church of Christ (Temple Lot). and Dwain A. while of little more literary quality. an influential Identity pastor in the late 1940s and 1950s. It is. 57. ‘Henry Ford and the International Jew’. Jenista. Norman Cohn. Shields. More. 17 Aug. 147 Dan Gayman today seeks to down play his Mormon roots. a great patriot and a shady character. alienation and despair are as relevant today as they were in the America of the 1920s. unpubl. The 1944 National Chairman of Gerald L. is an inter- esting figure. 1980). in 1945. interview and will not be further noted. 6. speaks specifically to a contemporary American audience. and his maternal grandfather. 36. described alternately as a brilliant preacher. All direct quotations. Encyclo- pedic Handbook of Cults in America (note 103). p. The leaders of the breakaway faction. 142 Dan Gayman’s biography is pieced together from the following sources: ‘For Readers of Zion’s Watchman’. itself suffered a doctrinal schism in 1936. p. p. 144 Other articles appeared irregularly in journals scattered across the spectrum of the White Supremacist constellation. Smith’s Christian Youth for America group (of which Dan Gayman later became a member). 194. ‘Linking the Family’. Encyclopedic Handbook of Cults (note 103). often all in the same breath. I would like to thank Dr Melton for bringing the latter two documents to my attention. While taking no position on this debate. Ribuffo. see Melton. 178–9. my reading of both documents suggests possible reasons for the ambivalence of current Identity leaders over the Protocols and the unqualified embrace by these same theorists of the International Jew series. This dynamic has echoes in the scholarly world as well. pp. 448–9. 36–7. pp. 57. Zion’s Watchman 1: (Jan. pp. Melton. He died . The Independent series conversely. 145 As note 143. Leo Gayman. Interview with Dan Gayman.164 Case studies Foundation (British Israel World Federation).K. p. see Leo P. p. both in Missouri. 28./Oct. 146 Pastor Gayman in this reflects an ambivalence over the influence of the Proto- cols which contrasts sharply with the wholehearted acceptance of the Dearborn Independent series common throughout the White Supremacist constellation. 143 Dan Gayman. The core question for scholars seems to center on the degree of influence which the Protocols exer- cised on the authors of the Independent series.

W. and reportedly considered himself a potential successor to Smith. He does know Smith’s widow. p. . 156 Gayman knew Smith and attended his funeral. 151 Ibid. Gordon. Smith (New Haven: Yale UP. p. ‘Dan Gayman’s Infamous Resolu- tion’. 150 Jenista. 6–7. ‘Church of Christ at Halley’s Bluff ’ (note 147). 8. Schell City Missouri. while both stealing and welfare fraud were practiced by Ellison’s CSA. 158 Stealing seems a reference to the spectacular armored car heists carried out by the Order. 10. The exact number of persons on the mailing list. tithing or sending irregular offerings is unavailable to the author. with the spirit of Christ. ‘Handbook for Establishing a Home Church’.K. 1953). 6. Smith (note 148).. 210. 153 Melton (note 103). fittingly in a Chicago telephone booth racing between speaking engagements according to one of his students and admirers.K. a kinsman by blood and through the blood of Jesus Christ. as he did. For a printed accolade. 155 Dan Gayman. 10 Jan. see Jack Mohr’s dedication from The Satanic Counterfeit: . ‘Drawing Battle Lines’. 149 Melton in (note 147). The Oklahoma Satirist (Nov. 19–22. 160 Church of Israel. pp. pamphlet from the Church of Israel. pp. ‘Building Your Home Altar’. Lena Walker. somewhat better. who decries the fact that he was ejected from the Schell City compound on the grounds of his KKK affiliation. Silent Brotherhood (note 6). 1991). and Glen Jeansonne. D. Watchman 3 (Spring 1991). ‘Articles of Faith and Doctrine’. American millenarian revolutionary theology 165 several years ago. when the battle for righteousness has been won. Apostles of Discord (Boston: Beacon Press.That the resolution was enforced by the COI is evidenced by the outraged denunciation of the resolution by one of its victims. p. booklet published by Church of Israel. pp. 31. The document further indicates that pastor Gayman had not yet altogether quit his Mormon beliefs. such secondary sources as the excellent Ralph Lord Roy. Gerald and Gor- don’s work is noted elsewhere in this article. The COI asks no money either for the Watchman or for the tape ministry. Cf. an intensely religious woman. Dennis Mahon. 159 Bob Mathews of the Order’s declaration of war against ZOG was quoted in part earlier. 157 Gerald (dubbed the Jayhawk Nazi). see Jeansonne. see the series in the Ketchikan Daily News from April–May 1991. I predict that one day soon. but the literature of the Church is at pains to not appear to stress finances. p. and now David. 154 The term ‘subscriber’ may be misleading. a prophet without honor] in the roll call of modern day American heroes. and may be found in full in Flynn and Gerhardt. he will be recognized as the great American hero he was. an Oklahoma Klansman. 1990. It does accept tithes and irregular offerings. 152 Ibid. On Tucker.. pp. 360–1. .e. 1982. p. Buddy Tucker delivered a eulogy at the funeral. but was too young for any close association with a figure whom he considered in any case too secular. Gerald L. to the memory of a good friend. Mahon. Few men faced tremendous odds and danger. Watchman 3 (Summer 1991). 1988). 161 Pastor Gayman was not alone in his concern about the violent turn in . Kenneth Goff. pledging allegiance to the truth of Holy Scripture and the Nephite Record. For the misadventures of young David in his quest to establish a community of transplanted midwesterners in the most distant reaches of the Alaskan islands. As a dedicated soldier of the Cross. he was without excellence [i. Gerald L. 8–9.

Arkansas. 11. 7) 164 Typical of this stance according to Gordon Melton was Pastor Gayman’s trans- formation of the Church youth camp into a paramilitary ‘training ground to teach weapons use and tactics’. Louis. the Posse Commitatus. 1991). undated self-publ. On Dave Barley. Extremism on the Right (note 10). Jack Mohr. about the essential silliness and ultimate futility of Kingdom believers turning towards displays of weapons. but I never. see the warnings issued by Jack Mohr. 166 The media outreach noted above remains the exception rather than the rule. Sheldon Emry. here a convention was in progress in the year of ’81. and has recently decided to abandon the radio network painstakingly built up over a life-time by Pastor Emry. The KAAY air time was taken over from Pastor Dave Barley’s America’s Promise Minis- tries. may be disseminated. Idaho. Peters’ media outreach includes 2 weekly shortwave broadcasts heard throughout the US and Europe.’ Forming around Gale were adherents who would become driving forces in such sectors of the White supremacist constellation as. 163 The ADL model statute is published in Anti-Defamation League of the B’nai B’rith. Here were a people determined to right wrongs and cure the ills of society. undated form letter from America’s Promise Ministries. p. and such empty shows of bravado as reviving in Identity circles a ‘cult of Hitler’ and threatening Kingdom believers who disagreed with them about violence. ‘Wanted! A Few Good Men! (a call for volunteers in the army of the Lord!)’. On the more ambitious ADL involvement with ‘Hate Crimes’ legislation. the Aryan Nations. p. Melton (note 103). 54. Pastor Barley moved this ministry to Sandpoint. see Anti-Defamation League of the B’nai B’rith. see Scriptures for America. Hate Groups in America (note 10). The Seekers (March–April 1992).000- watt station KAAY of Little Rock.166 Case studies Kingdom circles by the time the 1982 COI resolution was propounded. See ADL of the B’nai B’rith. pamphlet from Bay St. see ‘A Special Announcement to our Friends and Supporters’. . suitably pre- sented. . For example. p. News- letter Vol. Spacenet 1. Weren’t they? It was here that I dis- covered that the Book [Bible] I had disavowed long ago made sense when one took the time to unravel what had been twisted (Richard Snell.’ In personal terms. Tom Metzger’s ‘Race and Reason’ public access television show is defunct in the wake of his legal problems noted above. inherited from the late Phoenix-based Identity patriarch. Mississippi. and the dreaded computer bulletin . my thoughts detoured to Louisville. Pete Peters has an expanding radio ministry which will grow larger with the addition of time on the 50. David Duke was forced to make implausible denials of his current role in the White Supremacist constellation to run for Louisiana governor. which can be picked up only by satellite dish. On the psychological benefits the festivals brought to those who attended. For a good example of these concerns. ever was a member of anything he organized. A good example of the effect of the banning of paramilitary training on the camps may be seen in the curtailment of John Harrell’s Christian Patriot Defense League Freedom Festivals. but Gale laid the background for the Radicalism. Illinois. He had a strong military mind . a genuine hero of the Korean War. . and to my joy it was discovered that there were thousands who thought as I. 1 (1992). ‘Bill Gale may have contributed a little to my militancy. consider the recollection of Richard Snell: . et al. . ‘Ed Sez’. paramilitary chic uniforms. and risk all on a television venture. On Pete Peters. 165 There remain a few media outlets in which the Identity message. Hate Crimes Statutes: A 1991 Status Report (NY: ADL. 162 Gayman’s view: ‘I get the idea that Wesley Swift laid the radicalism.

in the Christian-pagan polemics of the time. On the fears of the potential of this techno- logy to break through to a wider audience. or in most cases a combination of the three. the guiding light behind the ‘computer- ized networks of hate’ up to the time he fled to Mexico to avoid arrest in con- nection with the Fort Smith case. privately circulated document. Popkin. 18. 169 Ibid. For an excellent recent consideration of La Preyrére’s theory. DePugh is currently in federal prison on a charge of possession of child pornography. Schell City Missouri. an incredible document circulated among right-wing figures in the late 1970s. see Richard H. p. . 1656).’ No more graphic description of the problem can be offered than that of the spectacle of Klansman Louis Beam. . ADL Fact Finding Report (Jan. and under the leadership of the French king. was the organ of this organization. arguing for the superiority of Caucasian Adamic man.. which today is the last surviv- ing redoubt of literal pre-Adamist belief. 1985). with several pre-Adamic races already in existence at the time of Adam’s creation. unpubl. of being secret Jews involved in a Jewish con- spiracy. see Robert Miles’ From the Mountain (Nov.p. In its earliest formulations. On the current state of the art. 1982. offering his readers a primer on computer terms and technology in Louis Beam. Isaac La Preyrére (1596–1676): . ‘Computers and Patriots’. 6 June 1976. holding that through kindness and toleration. 3. compendium of COI beliefs is Church of Israel. however. were adopted primarily in America to support theories of race. 170 The level of viciousness and paranoia infecting the White Supremacist con- stellation in that period can be viewed in the unpublished ‘Deguello Report’. booklet published by Church of Israel. The same article ‘proudly’ offers the telephone number of the Texas Liberty Net telephone bulletin board: an expensive alternative which makes the dissemination of printed matter impossible. ‘The Church of Christ at Halley’s Bluff ’ (note 147). A ‘pale’ substitute! 167 The Battle Axe N. p. accusing each of being secret communists taking part in a communist conspiracy. 172 The most concise. Nineteenth century formulations of pre-Adamic theory. They were the last rather than the first human creations. secret homosexuals involved in a homosexual conspiracy. however. 1991. the report included by name most of the leading figures and groups of every facet of the far right wing of the day. Interestingly. Anonymous. 168 Jenista. This mirrored the transformation of the philosemitic appeal of Anglo-Israelism which became over time the racialist theology of Christian Identity. The Seditionist 10 (Summer 1991). ‘The Deguello Report’. and that Adam and Eve were thus the progenitors of only one of the earth’s many peoples.–Dec. if somewhat dated. usher in the mil- lennium. quoting Nevada Herald. ‘Articles of Faith and Doctrine’. La Preyrére’s appeal was strongly philosemitic..W. Formulated by the Frenchman Isaac La Preyrére in his Men Before Adam (London: n. which has Miles noting a report from Robert Dyslin with the conclusion that: ‘The need for computer technicians is apparent . pre-Adamism can be traced to the second century ce. 171 Interview with Dan Gayman. 16–18. Possibly the product of Minuteman founder Robert DePugh. American millenarian revolutionary theology 167 boards too are defunct. see Anti-Defamation League of the B’nai B’rith.S. 8–10. pp. this theory held that the Bible was in fact the history of the Jewish people only (with Christians counted in this number in New Testament times). the victim of the deplorable level of computer literacy in the world of White Supremacy. 9–11 Dec. pre-Adamism is strikingly similar to the development of Christian Identity. 1976.E. 1985). the Jews would of their own accord move to France. In its modern form. 173 This pre-Adamite theory is not unique to Identity. convert to Christianity. ‘Computerize Networks of Hate’. 10 Jan. pp..

186 Interview with Dan Gayman. or ‘Remnant Response to the Gulf War’. 8. 30 Jan. 187 Dan Gayman. Zion’s Watchman 12 (Nov. Zion’s Watchman 1 (Jan.). p. 19 Aug. 9–11 Dec. 1991.000 of the Jews will be deceived into following him. 1977). Much of the racism in Identity circles follows the view that the non-White races over the course of time have fallen under the control of the Jewish conspiracy for world domination. Zion’s Watchman 8 (July 1977). 185 Dan Gayman. pp. you may open it. 1–6. 1991. at the culmination of which. pp. but would you go?’ Interview with Dan Gayman. p. 9–13. 176 Revelations 2:9 and 3:9. pp. p. 183 Dan Gayman. and love of. Watchman 3 (Summer 1991). pp. ‘Jesus Christ Was Not A Jew’. Zion’s Watchman 1 (Jan. 1977). 1977).d. The cassettes are particularly valuable in that they center closely on text. particularly those emanating from the Christian Reconstruction- ist camp. 1977). Hear for example. 179 Rapture is not a logical position for Dan Gayman: ‘if someone knocks on your door. Zion’s Watchman 4 (April 1977). ‘Apoca- lyptic Millenarianism’. ‘Personally . p. 177 Dan Gayman. all other races. ‘Warning from the Watchmen Standing in the American Watch- tower’. any of the works of California fundamentalist Chuck Smith or the forthcoming book on the New World Order by televangelist Pat Robertson. 11. From the Editor’. 9–11 Dec.. Cf. pp. pamphlet pub- lished by the Church of Israel. and allow the listener some insight into the hermeneutical process. The Antichrist will be defeated.168 Case studies His Life. Zion’s Watchman 8 (July 1977). Pastor Gayman replied: .d. 1987). idem. n. pp.g. 6–8. Cf. ‘Plain Talk to Sincere Christians’. 14–15. 1989. ‘America in the Hands of an Angry God’. Watch- man 3 (Summer 1991). 1991. 175 Dan Gayman. according to premillennial eschatology.J. how a premillennial ministry can rely so heavily on postmil- lennial texts. each of whom has its own blessings bestowed upon it by God. Watchman 4(Fall 1991). 2–5. pp. These themes are reinforced in the cassette tape ministry. ‘The Divine Call to be a Separated People’. ‘The Servant People: A Brochure on Anglo-Saxon Identity and Responsibility’. ‘The Fifty Year Plan for the Remnant of North America’. For 3½ years there will be a time of peace in which all but 144. ‘The Holy Bible: The Book of Adam’s Race’. Work and Influence (Leiden: E. 181 Dan Gayman offers such a vision in metaphorical language in ‘America Speaks to Her People’. See Popkin.. e. 11–12. 19–22. ‘All Races did Not Descend From Adam’. e. 178 Dan Gayman.g. 189 When asked. pp. Brill. 17 Aug. See Howard Rand. . How directly La Preyrére’s ideas influenced Richard Brothers in his earliest formulations of what would evolve into Anglo-Israelism is unknown. Watchman 3 (Summer 1991). 1991. 174 Dan Gayman. ‘Warning From the Watchmen Standing in the American Watchtower’. 188 Dan Gayman.. pp. 182 Dan Gayman. p. 16. Zions Watchman 9 (Aug. The righteous remnant will hold out through a further 3½ years of war. Jesus will return. pamphlet distributed by Destiny Publishers (n. . Pastor Gayman follows a long tradition of Identity belief in holding that God’s call to his chosen race is a call to responsibility for. 180 The Tribulation refers to the seven-year apocalyptic period in which the Anti- christ will reveal himself in Jerusalem. ‘Drawing Battle Lines’. 9–13. the apoca- lyptic essay centered on the American entry into the Antichrist System in 1973: Dan Gayman. and Satan will be bound for the thou- sand years of the millennial Kingdom. 184 See. 10. 128. ‘The Fable of Eve and the Apple’. 8–10.

This brought in people we couldn’t identify with in any sense of the word. See Flynn and Gerhardt. but you won’t bring in the Kingdom . and vice versa.000 when Scutari re-crossed him! Gayman’s name and phone number on Order telephone log. While life may imitate art. the strong version of the hypothesis.]. At the time. ‘it was not biblically in order for thievery and murder.1989. the 4-hour cas- sette series. 1988. American millenarian revolutionary theology 169 We are premillennial. It should be noted that a published account holds that Richard Scutari of the Order told Gayman of the activities of the organization. don’t roll over and play dead. we watched the proliferation of violence surfacing in this country. ‘The Bible and Civil Disobedience’. Christ will rule the Kingdom himself. elect anyone. and idem. write a letter to a congressman if it will help.000 but denied receiving $240. 1991. we are content to say you fellas [Recon- structionists] can try. His later orders to remove any Order prisoners from his church mailing lists questioned as self-saving gestures. Admits did not return Order monies to FBI until after they called upon him to do so. That hard feelings persist. 26–7. ‘Christian Con- science Towards Government’. p. and received his blessing. 9–11 Dec. 1987. ‘Rebellion or Repentance: Which Way Modern Israel?’. pamphlet from the COI. Watchman 3 (Summer 1991). I had absolutely no knowledge whatever of any counterfeiting ring in the Pacific Northwest or anyplace else. 1 Jan. Gayman in fact has voted in every election in his adult life. . Christ will come in the beginning of the millennium as only Divine intervention will bring about the Kingdom. When the Order committed its crimes. 10. Cf. . pp. In reply to this charge. idem. [While] .–11. received 26 Dec. an order of avenging Christians carried on in an unbroken line of transmission from time imme- morial. Interview with him. . [adopt] postmillennial Reconstruction- ist philosophy. 1989. Robert Miles wrote of Gayman: ‘What an evil looking witness he made! Unable to look at either the jury or the defense attorneys. 23 June 1986. forced a choice which led to a change of course from the radicalism of the 1970s. This was motivated by both moral and pragmatic considerations. hear the 2-hour tape series ‘The Christian View of Civil Government’. ‘Kitchen Table Talk’. especially Gary de Marr’s God and Government. 190 ‘In the early 1980s. Hold onto biblical principles. see Dan Gayman. including Robert Mathews. 192 Dan Gayman. . 1991) 191 Hard feelings abound from this trial. .’ He was afraid also that the COI would be seen as a ‘safe house’ for these people. Silent Brother- hood (note 6). . . (Undated letter to author. 305. He admitted to receiving $10. pamphlet from COI. . ‘occupy until I come’ .’ Robert Miles. we exercise what influence we can . And never did such a conversation about such take place between myself and Richard Scutari or anyone else. Gayman ties to the Order beyond denial. is simply inconceivable.’ The proliferation of violence. From the Mountain/Beyond the Bars . [yet] We believe in Luke 13:19. 193 It is conceivable that there may indeed have come into existence in recent years a group styling themselves the Phineas Priests. pp. The Stars!! combined issue (March– April 1988). especially in the American northwest. ‘Romans 13: A Primer in Government for Patriotic Christians’. as was inevitable. this was a signal event. pamphlet from COI. but you are all failing. as well as a promise to care for the families of Order members when. they would be killed. he was a witness who defied respect. Dan Gayman writes: I was very stunned to read the information printed on page 300 of The Silent Brotherhood [paperback ed. . . For the use of Reconstructionist texts. . Morally.

200 As note 196. 460. 7. ‘Comparing Militant Fundamentalist Movements’. David C. Watchman 3 (Spring 1991). 669–71. On the Family Assistance Project. 203 Dan Gayman. Texas. Alabama. in Marty and Scott Appleby. p. p.170 Case studies 194 The story of the Phineas Priesthood As the Kamikaze is to the Japanese As the Shiite is to Islam As the Zionist into the Jew So the Phineas priest into Christendom 195 Numbers 25. It should be noted that Phineas has provided a model for Jewish revolutionary movements for over a millennium. ‘Can There Be Vigilantes In Christendom?’ pamphlet from the Church of Israel. ‘Fear and Trembling: Terrorism in Three Religious Traditions’. . Rapoport. 202 Ibid. Rapoport. p.. American Political Science Review 78 (Sept. 2. 9 198 Ibid. ‘The Bible Case Against Miscegenation’. n. Fundamentalisms and the State (note 85). The Houston organiza- tion is heavily publicized in Pastor Earl Jones’ newsletter. 22. See David C. see the news- letter of Richard Snell’s Last Call Ministries. pp. p. pp. 199 There are now organizations actively soliciting donations for imprisoned white supremacists: the Patriot’s Defense Foundation of Houston. ‘Can There be Vigilantes in Christendom?’ Watchman 3 (Summer 1991). 201 Dan Gayman. 51. 196 Dan Gayman. p. The Seekers (April 1991). and the Family Assistance Project of Fultondale. 197 Ibid. 1991. 1984). 11.. The contemporary Ultraorthodox (haredi) Jews of Israel also utilize the Phineas model. p. 12–13. The Christian Crusade for Truth Intelligence Newsletter.

the article offers some suggestions for the further refinement of Ehud Sprin- zak’s theory of split delegitimation. The Posse. divisive.” pp. founder of the Bruders Schweigen or Silent Brotherhood. and dwindling cadre of true believers thoroughly infiltrated—and occasionally led—by agents of the FBI. This chapter was first published in Terrorism and Political Violence 7. Yet even the Ku Klux Klan held out greater promise than such pretenders to revolutionary activism as the Posse Comitatus or the Phineas Priesthood. 1 (Spring 1995). no. (Arkansas Klan Leader Thom Robb. was by the mid-1980s a fragmented. Even if we were to link up all the Klan groups. the post-Civil War organization synonymous with racial viol- ence. the Ku Klux Klan. Nazis or whatever. 44–95. The long- cherished dream of many denizens of the American radical right—that the nation might awaken to the truth of its ‘subjugation’ at the hands of an alien conspiracy and purify itself through the cleansing violence of a popularly-based revolution—died with him. Special issue. was composed of a small group of high profile ‘leaders’ backed by a membership no more substantial than a . a graphic picture of which is provided via Martin Marty’s mapping theory. it turned out. more popularly known as the Order. Secondarily. Reprinted with permission of the publisher) This article offers a typology of radical right wing movements which emphasizes their roles in what may be termed an oppositional community. The examination stresses both the interdependence through the applica- tion of Colin Campbell’s theory of the cultic milieu and the movements’ isolation from the American cultural mainstream.6 Right wing violence in North America (Copyright © 1995 Taylor & Francis Group. then so what? We still don’t amount to anything. 1991)1 On 9 December 1984 Robert Mathews. “Terror From the Far Right. The demise of the Order was only the latest in a series of disappoint- ments to which the radical right has experienced in recent years. died in a hail of FBI gunfire on Whidby Island off the coast of Washington state. all Identity.

members of the homosexual community in North America. and the reaction of both state and non-state interest groups to radical right wing activities. identification of ‘enemies’ and perception of threat stemming from these perceived foes. The Phineas Priesthood is a case in point to illustrate both the fervent hopes of the believers and the credulity of those whose mission it is to serve as ‘watchdogs’ over the machinations of the radical right. however. the Phineas Priests were embraced as a kind of an Illuminati-like order of assassins from the very dawn of time whose self-imposed mission is to slay the enemies of God. That is. and will present a comparative framework which will examine in some depth movements which have turned to violence. The lit- erary invention of one Richard Kelly Hoskins. until at last the Phineas Priests did come to enjoy a form of quasi-existence as a mail order Order along much the same lines as the Posse Comitatus. the same cannot be said of random acts of violence initiated by adherents of right wing ideologies on an individual or small group basis. emphasizes the difficulty of differentiating ideological appeals which have many common beliefs yet at .172 Case studies mailing list peopled by an anonymous group of correspondents who. often though not invariably with weapons ranging from blunt objects to fire- arms. The forms which this violence takes most often involves physical assaults. Part I of this article will offer a brief typology of the organizations and ideologies represented among North American radical right wing move- ments. could become the proud owners of a Posse Comitatus membership card and a stack of literature which the putative new local Posse leader was invited to reproduce and distribute at will. increasingly. for the cost of a stamp and perhaps a contribution of a few dollars. I suggested a typology of far right wing groups. a group of entrepreneurs created a line of Phineas apparel and accessories suitable for framing or as conversational fodder for an otherwise monotonous hunting trip. Such acts of violence are most often directed against member of other racial or ethnic groups or. although with far less frequency. I The right wing constellation In a 1993 article in the journal Terrorism and Political Violence. This examination will take into account such variables as the group’s ideology. while concentrating on the susceptibility of a par- ticular ideological appeal to calls to violence. Bombings and arson occur as well. the credulous on both extremes of the American political spectrum seized on the Phineas Priests as a source of either chiliastic hope or of dread danger to the republic. What follows is a brief updated review of that typology which. If the dream of revolutionary violence under the direction of a van- guard movement is no longer credible. Once again. Part II will utilize Ehud Spinzak’s theory of split delegitimization as a vehicle to explore the factors which may be responsible for catalyzing right wing violence.

Informing this presentation are theoretical con- structs of countercultural communities such as that of the cultic milieu suggested by Colin Campbell and religious mapping championed by. with mapping theory seeking to locate a particular belief system in relation to the dominant culture and Campbell’s cultic milieu documenting the close interactions of members of this oppositional community. the perception of a ‘Theft of Culture’. Right wing violence in North America 173 the same time are bitterly divisive and competitive for the allegiance of a limited pool of adherents. a vision of the group as an ‘elect’ or. in terms of mapping theory. Campbell’s description of the cultic milieu is particularly relevant to a discussion of the constituent ele- ments of the radical right wing: . . the primary constituents of the radical right wing in North America are: Ku Klux Klan groups. and who no doubt has stops yet to make during his or her life. an apocalyptic or chiliastic analysis of society. as a ‘righteous remnant’.5 Given these qualifications then. Thus. . and thus not only socially unac- ceptable. Such a generally supportive cultic milieu is continually giving birth to new cults.4 This difficulty is compounded by the pro- nounced tendency of the adherernts of radical right wing ideologies toward serial or simultaneous membership in more than one group or belief system. in religious terms. the more distance a particular group tends to be from the values and beliefs of the mainstream society. by con- trast. literally unemployable. may well brand someoone as beyond the pale of the society’s acceptable discourse. Indeed. a permanent feature of society. Association with a highly stigmatized ideological appeal. absorbing the debris of the dead ones and creating new generations of cult-prone individuals to main- tain the high level of membership turnover. the more difficult it becomes for an adherent to moderate or give up the belief altogether. a researcher would be hard pressed to point to a single individual in the constellation of right wing movements who has not already passed through several ideological way stations. but in fact. the cultic milieu is. among others. is clearly highly conducive to the spawn- ing of cults in general. Yet it is important to make these distinctions.3 Given the close association of the adherents of the radical right wing within this oppositional milieu. and finally.2 Both systems posit deviance from the beliefs of mainstream society as the key analytical factor. a conspiratorial view of history. scriptualism. whereas cults are by definition a transitory phenomenon. cults must exist within a milieu which. it is extraordinarily difficult to separate appeals which share such primary characterics as a Golden Age Myth. say Nazism or holocaust denial in contemporary North America. if not conducive to the main- tenance of individual caults. a manichaean world view. Moreover. Some groups do tend to be more susceptible to appeals for violent confrontations than others. Martin Marty. Christian Identity .

neither we nor they have ever ‘won’. and the catch-all category of Single Issue Constituencies and the inchoate hope seeking a means of fulfillment (or less elegantly. is deeply rooted in the collective American consciousness. 1984) In the contemporary demonology of American culture.174 Case studies believers. Idiosyncratic sectar- ians. it is not surprising that the already fragmented Klans in North America would enter into a bitter battle of polemics over the tactics of non-violence vs. It is a fear which at once attracts and bedevils Klan recruits who often find that their initial attraction to the Klan’s mystique of secrecy and popular fear wanes with the realization that virtually any public activity undertaken by the Klan is certain to be met by a far greater crowd of counter-demonstrators. when spread over the centuries. Neo-Nazi groups. has taken a final turn. Worse. However. given the success of federal agencies at infiltrating Klan ranks and inducing Klan leaders to cooperate in federal investigations.7 Given these powerful disincentives to violence. Reconstructed Traditions. The victories each has in turn known. and perhaps a shared collective shame for the power which the movement accrued in both the Reconstruction-era American South (c. equal stalemate. The age-long conflict approaches the last battle—Ragnarök. Aryan technology has shrunk the whole earth to the size of one battlefield. but through the imaginative utilization of standing conspiracy statutes and the newly adopted hate crime sentence enhancement provi- sions available in many states. On the one hand. members face indictment not only for whatever criminal acts may occur. Thus.1865–76) and in several Northern states in the 1920s. Fear of the Klan. The eternal war. the suc- cessful use of cdivil ligitation initiated by such watchdog organizations as the Klanwatch Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center on behalf of victims of Klan violence has the intended effect of putting those Klan organizations which do perpetrate acts of violence out of business. Emerging from this internecine debate are two very dif- ferent approaches: the call to violence championed by such firebrands as . no organization elicits a more negative reaction than does the Ku Klux Klan. Armageddon—is about to be fought. and there will be only one survivor of this struggle. covert Klan opera- tions appear to be undertaken at the sufferance if not the outright invita- tion of government authorities. the young toughs or knuckle draggers of the movement). the Klan’s tradition of violent activism. lengthy incarceration. which can most properly be called a Conflict Of The Ages. Moreoever. for a Klan group to undertake or even seriously con- template violent action is tantamount to organizational suicide.6 (Louis Beam. Ku Klux Klan groups Throughout the millenniums of warfare between the Aryan and the Jew.

treason. and ruthlessly take vengeance on ‘lying politicians. The theory. The most celebrated of Beam’s exploits may well be the shoot-out in which Mexican federal offic- ers attempted to take Beam and his wife into custody. Arkansas. assorted degenerates. however. articulate and widely read—the driving force behind the dreaded right-wing computer bulletin boards of the late 1980s—Louis Beam has lived the life that many Klansmen and would-be Klansmen fantasize over. is a rarity among Klans- men. and he remains free at this writing. communists. Right wing violence in North America 175 Louis Beam of Texas and Dennis Mahon of Oklahoma as opposed to the mediagenic call to non-violence. best embodied by Arkansas based Thomas Robb. Here too he was acquit- ted. the author of the manichaean and apocalyptic analysis of contemporary history which opened this section. culture distorters. Mahon was best known for his association with Terry Boyce’s Confederate Knights of America Klan chapter and for his calls to arms in the Knight’s journal. Beam’s wife managed to pin down the arresting officers. Beam’s charmed life did not end with his return to the United States and his role in the ill-starred sedition trial held at Fort Smith. put together with the help of the late Robert Miles and others. overthrow the current socio-political order. racial traitors. Prior to his defection to WAR. was called the ‘Fifth Era Klan’. Dennis Mahon is no Louis Beam. Undeniably intelligent. Only when these difficulties are addressed and rectified will Beam’s ecumenical calls to take up arms.8 Louis Beam. the White Beret. allowing her husband to make good his escape. A Vietnam veteran. Beam preaches the dream of revolutionary violence and has himself not been loath to take up the dan- gerous existence of the underground fugitive. having come to much the same analysis of the Klan’s current status as Louis Beam. and those who resist the implementation of lawful constitutional govern- ment’9 be more than a pipe dream. he amicably left the Klan in 1992 for Tom Metzger’s White Aryan Resistance (WAR). as . as well as an honest appraisal of the remarkably poor quality of recruits the present day Klan organizations have managed to attract. in 1989. indeed. criminal bureau- crats. which has been the history of the Klan since the original movement was disbanded in 1869. Beam’s successes should not. Beam’s ecumenism is aptly demonstrated in his extra-Klan contacts. but he too has come to represent a revolutionary voice in Klan circles—so much so in fact that. In the ensuing con- frontation. obscure the essential futility of his primary quest: to modernize the Ku Klux Klan by unifying its many dis- parate factions and forging the organization into an effective vanguard revolutionary force. ranging from his close association with Richard Butler’s Christian Identity Aryan Nations com- pound in Idaho to the sort of generic Odinism alluded to in his equating of the Christian Apocalypse with the Norse end-time scenario of Ragnarök in the quotation above. In the meantime. a Klan capable of a clear-styled analysis of the incompetence and.

and thus the switch to WAR. For Mahon. The average ‘Joe Six-pack’ out there. is a telling appraisal of the current state of the Klan: . in as much as the Ku Klux Klan could get positive media coverage. burning a cross on some poor Blacks (sic) lawn. I just got tired of seeing so many mistakes in tactics and ideology of the leaders of the other 25 or so Klan groups in Zoglandia.10 Mahon’s drift from the KKK to WAR speaks volumes to the applic- ability of Campbell’s culture milieu to the radical right. I feel that Tom Metzger’s leadership and personal strategies fit my personality and mindset better at this time of my life. whenever he thinks of a Klansman. as are the tactics of non-violence and staged events in which Klan groups are seen as demonstrating peace- fully until they are attacked by anti-Klan demonstrators which is the forte of Thom Robb. Robb’s message of love for the White race while eschewing any (public) negative comments of any other race has dovetailed nicely with a certain trend in American society toward the reinforcement of ethnic as opposed to national identity. It’s like a broken record. and. Interspersed between intemperate attacks on Thom Robb (‘the Grand Lizard’) and Robb’s attempts to remake the image of the Klan from a revolutionary force to. The Jewsmedia always link the Klan with ‘lynching niggers’. nigger that’.12 Robb’s kinder. but of greater interest is his frank analysis of the Klan. virtually alone among members of the radical right in America. Identity minister and Klan leader Thom Robb made the surprising declaration that. The effortless penetration of Klan leadership ranks by government agents as well as by informants reporting for private watchdog groups is decried. . So many of these mini- führers of these other Klans have embarrassed me with these displays of weakness and idiotic statements of ‘Niggers are the cause of all our problems—we got to kill the niggers—nigger this. the contradictions of the modern Klan became intolerable. . pictures an uneducated hick half drunk. as Dennis Mahon’s writing amply demonstrates. Also. During of an interview with this writer in Chicago in 1991. Indeed. in effect. after 12 years of proudly wearing the robe of the Invisible Order. he was pleased with the media coverage of his Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.11 Mahon continues his analysis throughout the premier issue of his post- Klan vehicle. . and the Klansman stating how he ‘put the nigger in his place’. The Oklahoma Excalibur. many Klansmen knowingly fit the media stereotype. in bib overalls. a civil rights group.176 Case studies well as for his occasional forays to Europe and Canada on behalf of the Klan. with tobacco juice dripping down his chin. Unfortunately. it has doen much to further divide and already disintegrating movement. gentler Klan is unlikely to do much to erase the intensely negative associations which the organization engen- ders in Americans.

an eccentric Englishman born in Newfoundland who spent several of his years incarcerated in London madhouses. the ADL was moved to write: Although the Klan’s decade-long decline has stopped. W. the KKK has only limited present and potential significance. Identity’s origins and its widespread appeal have been something of a mystery. Right wing violence in North America 177 How low the Ku Klux Klan’s fortunes have ebbed in recent years is clearly documented by the watchdog community. These figures represent the lowest Klan membership total in 15 years according to the ADL. . According to Anti- Defamation League figures.000 members.13 So dire are the Klan’s current fortunes that in its 1991 report on the KKK. Adherents of British-Israelism in the last century represented the elite of British society. . Nevertheless. and Klanwatch’s 1990 estimate of 5. .14 Christian Identity Perhaps no single constituency of the North American radical right has met with such fervent organized opposition as has the heterodox theology of Christian Identity. followed by an introduction to several of the more influential Iden- tity churches in North America. Poole. and it may begin to grow again—especially if the current recession becomes lengthy and severe—there is little prospect of the hooded order once again becoming a significant force in the lead. The movement which has come to be known as Christian Identity evolved out of the no less heterodox theology of British-Israelism. This state of affairs is hardly surprising in light of the adherence to Identity doctrine of leaders such as Robert Mathews of the Order and Richard Butler of the Aryan Nations. Yet for all of the current interest in the movement. total Klan membership had by 1988 hit a record low of between 4. The danger consists specifically of violence and terrorism. British-Israelism was introduced to North America primarily through the work of a Canadian.000 shows little hope of upward growth. British-Israelism may have been inspired by the eighteenth century writings of Richard Brothers (1757–1824). This is of considerable signifi- cance. . This section is a brief history of the move- ment. . and it was via these social circles that the movement was disseminated throughout the Com- monwealth.500 and 5. for—unlike the uniquely American genesis of the Ku Klux Klan— . it poses a danger to the communities in which it oper- ates. . the central tenet of Brothers’ teachings—the belief that Anglo-Saxons are in fact the direct descendants of the Lost Tribes of Israel—had considerable appeal in nineteenth century imperial Britain. The Klan’s very presence in a community constitutes a source of anxiety to members of minority groups and a standing threat to peaceful and friendly relations among the citizens. considered from the standpoint of the nation as a whole. As long as it con- tinues to exist. However. H.

William Cameron may have been a primary influ- ence. with the coterie surrounding Gerald L. the development of Christian Identity doctrine shifted to the United States. Put under a curse of eternal enmity from the seed line of Adam. who are believed to have dispossessed the true Israelites. Modern Christian Identity emerged in the 1940s. The Canadian-born Cameron would come to fame as the chief spokesman for Henry Ford and. that of White Adamic man and that of the children of Satan.18 . collectively titled ‘The Inter- national Jew’.15 This transformation occurred in the 1930s. the true Israelites who are in reality the White race. Doctinally. Bertrand Comperet and William Potter Gale. and Howard Rand would distance himself from the movement in the same period. William J. Smith as the key figures. the Dearborn Inde- pendent. The most influential of these California figures were Wesley Swift. the White race. That is.178 Case studies Canada. of greater import. the move- ment placed its primary stress in the so-called two-seeds doctrine. and in particular British Columbia. as the carrier of the seed of Lucifer. Which would provide an entry for many to the world of anti-Semitism. It was the Independent’s 1920 series. the Jews. Parker and Clem Davies in Vancouver and such West Coast American adherents as the core of influential Iden- tity figures associated with Gerald L. but the groundwork for the emergence of modern Christian Iden- tity had been laid. K. although the Jews have failed to wrest from them the covenant relation- ship with God. with the first in 1937 attended by no lesser lights than Howard Rand and Reuben Sawyer. they are the synagogue of Satan (Revelations 2:9 and 3:9). the product of the inter- action of the tireless British-Israel evangelist Howard Rand and the anti- Semitism of his associate.17 Other races are identified with the ‘beasts of the field’ (Genesis 1:25) who took human form as a result of illicit mating with the nefarious Jews. The Jews represent a separate creation—the result of the seduction of Eve by Satan—with the issue of the union. however. but the key events involved the extensive contacts between such anti- Semitic British-Israel figures as C. would play a vital role both in introducing British-Israel beliefs to the United States and in the transforma- tion of the rather philo-Semitic British-Israel movement into the virulently anti-Semitic theology of Christian Identity. the two seed lines. Smith. F. ‘have been locked in conflict for the last six thousand years upon this earth’. Cameron. whose primary claim to fame lies in his being the first to combine Identity theology with Ku Klux Klan leadership. the Bible was held to be the history of only one people. The process by which this doctrine came to be held as a sort of Identity Orthodoxy is complex. Cain. as editor of Ford’s newspaper. By the end of World War II. The actual medium of exchange was a series of con- ferences. the descendants of the race of Adam. Cameron would leave British-Israelism in the 1930s. from their identity.16 The Jews in this view are not truly Israelites. K.

by virtue of his own wits and through recourse to his own food stores and weapons. Perhaps of greatest import of all. 3:9). how is it that the Jews have succeeded in keeping alive a centrally directed con- spiracy against Christianity over the course of two millennia? Identity’s explanation is as simple as it is elegant. He was a murderer from the beginning. the efficacy of the two-seed theory centers on its ability to demonstrate to the faithful the truth of what to the uninitiated is the weakest link in the extravagant conspiracy scen- arios which it is the passion of the far right wing to unravel. This conspiracy is genetic. and it assures them of their promised future of happiness and terrestrial power. no preeminent figure to tie together the fractious world of independent Identity churches. because there is no truth in him.19 for as the Book says. Why did Christian Identity appeal to these alienated seekers? It appears that the primary explanation lies in Identity’s unique ability to meet the need of many members of the racialist right for spirituality. the Identity believer has no such hope of supernatural rescue. Rather. Identity in this view pro- vides the hermeneutical key to unlocking the mysteries of past. Identity apprises them of their golden past before the machinations of the satanic Jews robbed them of the know- ledge of their covenantal birthright. the Christian Identity believer is seucre only in his ability to persevere—to survive by the grace of God. fellowship and ritual in a Christianity shorn of its Jewish roots. ‘Ye are of your father the devil. for he is a liar and the father of lies and of all that is false’ (Rev. and it is your will to practice the lusts and gratify the desires of your father. . When he speaks a falsehood. There is no center of orthodoxy. the apocalypticism characteristic of Chris- tian Identity is little different from that which is found in Protestant fundamentalism in all but one key element: where fundamentalists can await the eschatological ‘End of Days’ secure in the knowledge that in the dreaded seven-year period of the Tribulation when war and famine and disease engulf the earth they will be raptured into the air to await the inevitable conclusion of history at Jesus’ side. Identity theology today is highly decentralized. and in the post-Wesley Swift era. In this respect. The three Identity leaders discussed below were therefore selected toillustrate the diversity characteristic of the Identity world. More. he speaks what is natural to him. Jack Mohr and John Harrell are typical of this evolution. Right wing violence in North America 179 The newly energized doctrine of Christian Identity was soon to gain wide currency in the world of the American radical right. present and future while offering the faithful an explanation for their current per- ception of dispossession. Identity doctrine gives shape and substance to the conspiratorial suspi- cions of the faithful remnant. That is. Adherents seem to have been drawn primarily from the ranks of conservative Protestant churches—particularly from Protestant fundamentalism where belief in anti-Semitism or conspiratorialism alientated many from the pro-Zionist stance of the fundamentalist churches. and does not stand in the truth.

when Robert West. an Identity minister based in northern Colorado. Louis Beam tried to shore up the group. Security chief and leading can- didate for the succession Floyd Cochrane left the movement and publicly renounced his racist views. This innate caution does much to explain the pre- cipitous decline in Reverend Butler’s fortunes in the 1990s. The Order emerged from the area around Hayden Lake. as an aging Butler casts about for a successor. fewer than one hundred people made the trek to Hayden Lake. Indeed. His Aryan Nations compound became a mecca for the radical right and his annual ‘open house’ attracted adherents of a wide variety of far-right belief systems. saw little if any of this largess. he preached a violent message while refusing to sanction—or even discuss— the possibility of acting on his words. In a word. he was mur- dered at the direction of Order founder Robert Mathews. but seems to have little interest in replacing Butler. veered as close to neo-Nazism as Christian Identity in North America has come. one of the residents of Butler’s compound.24 There appear to be few realistic prospects for the movement to long survive Butler’s demise. Mathews seems to have held Butler in some contempt. while Robert Mathews and the Order were at the zenith of their fortunes and donating large sums of cash to several far right wing movements. so low have Richard Butler’s fortunes sunk that at the last Aryan Nations Congress in 1993. whose Aryan Nations compound supplied the Order with much of its manpower. In the late 1970s and early 1980s. Richard Butler. Younger.21 Reverend Butler was one of the star defendants at the 1989 Fort Smith conspiracy trial.20 Butler. was found to be unable to drink and keep quiet at the same time. . A central attraction of this carnival was the weapons and survivalist training offfered by Aryan Nations ‘experts’ who. more outspoken and also peripherally connected to the Order is Pete Peters. in their snappy brown imitation-Third Reich uniforms. a disciple of Wesley Swift in California who moved to Idaho in 1973. Idaho.180 Case studies Perhaps the Identity minister who has become synonymous with the construction of Christian Identity as the ‘Theology of Hate’ is Richard Butler and his Aryan Nations compound at Hayden Lake. Finally. Thus. prob- ably possessed the strongest claim to be the Swift’s spiritual heir. the Aryan Nations movement appears to be fragmenting. His legal position at that point was precarious.22 Yet Richard Butler was acquitted of all charges at Fort Smith. His body has never been found. Worse. and several founding Order members were Aryan Nations residents. he has been remarkably successful at skirting the law without actu- ally crossing the line. the Aryan Nations’ prison ministry appears to have been highly influential in the formation of the Aryan Brotherhood movements among white prisoners. the printing press used in the Order’s counterfeiting operation belonged to the Aryan Nations. Of greatest import. Butler’s star did indeed appear to be in the ascendant. and indeed.23 And.

either through legitimate political action or. this drama was played out during the 22–28 August Scriptures for America Bible Camp conducted in Colorado by Peters. does seem to have come home to roost in the case of Pete Peters. Peters attempted with limited success to channel the outrage felt throughout the far right wing into an organized move- ment which would seek to prevent such an event from happening again. far-flung kingdoms that are the Identity ministries in North America. By chance. brought him little more than increasing difficulties with Colo- rado authorities. The title succinctly states the message of the tract: Death Penalty for Homosexuals. The battle electrified the world of Christian Identity. by fighting back rather than allowing the federal government to eliminate Christian Patriots one by one. Right wing violence in North America 181 Peters. first came to public notice during the investigation of the Order’s connection with the murder of Denver radio talk show host Alan Berg with the revelation that several members of the Order attended services at Peters’ Laporte. represents the opposite end of the Identity spectrum.27 So fractious is the world of Christian Identity that it almost goes without saying that Pete Peters has had little success in his quest to unite the small. Colo- rado. at this writing. Missouri. He has more recently been vilified for his authorship of a booklet which owes as much to Christian Reconstructionalism as to Chris- tian Identity. Worse. in an event that would eerily resemble a small-scale version of the federal action at the Branch Davidian compound in Waco. Peters at this writing had amassed fines plus interest of over $10. church. A stubborn man. Weaver’s 14-year-old son and his wife—shot in the head while holding her infant daughter in her arms. By refusing all efforts at com- promise.000. convinced of his own basic ‘rightness’.26 Following the camp. while overstated. if no other recourse were possible. Peters held fast to his principles for over two years of complicated legal wranglingt with the state of Colorado over a minor elec- tion law violation which carried a small fine. An opportunity to assert this claim to influence pre- sented itself in August 1992. Where a Richard Butler could gather a group of the disaffected and dream of revolution. on 21–22 August 1992. a well known figure in the world of Christian Identity.28 Pastor Dan Gayman of Schell City. There. This occasion followed the events which took place near Naples. Texas (1993). an 18-month stakeout of the cabin of Identity adherent Randy Weaver culminated with the deaths of a federal marshall. Idaho. and a Pete Peters could urge the Identity community to unite for self-defence against a government seen as . On 26 February 1993 the state of Colorado seized his church and froze his bank accounts in an effort to make good on the debt. the authoritarian personality documented by Lipset in regard to those sus- ceptible to right wing ideologies.25 Pastor Peters’ efforts to step into the vacuum of Identity leadership brought on by the decline of Richard Butler’s influence and the further splintering of the movement in the wake of the Fort Smith fiasco have.

More. These new found principles of non-violence were announced in a 15 January 1987 resolution adopted by the congregation of Pastor Gayman’s Church of Israel: .30 This declaration was followed by a series of scriptural teachings based on Romans 13 mandating submission to all but the most unjust of secular authorities and culminatede with a stern denunciation of the fictional commandos from the dawn of time. stealing. etc. war against the government of the United States.31 The future of Christian Identity is difficult to gauge. Gayman apparently received at least $10. welfare fraud. Gayman in his younger years was closely identified with the most radical wing of Identity believers. posse Comitatus.182 Case studies bent on the destruction of the ‘righteous remnant’. that teach civil disobedience. Paster Gayman’s evolution from confrontation to accommodation with government authority was greatly accelerated. the Phineas Priesthood. . Dan Gayman would urge the faithful to withdraw to the greatest possible degree from the sur- rounding society and prepare as best they can for the imminent End of Days. driving unlicensed vehicles. hunting game without proper licenses.000 from the Order. gun- running. . paramilitary training. K. Hitler cult. and the Board of Trus- tees.29 Yet in the wake of the Fort Smith trial. The movement is in constant flux with adherents taking up the cause only to abandon the belief system months or years later. Yet Identity has proven to be as resilient as was its British-Israel predecessor. Neo-Nazi. violence. although at FBI insist- ence at the time of the Fort Smith trial. Neo-Nazi groups Right now this movement is plagued with little self-appointed SS groups who spend huge bucks in assembling SS paraphernalia and putting it on for secret photographic sessions that almost smack of queers coming out of the closet— . Ku Klux Klan. militant armed might. polygamy. the Pastor. national socialism (sic). A student of Gerald L. murder. organizations or groups. . or ‘safe house’ for any person or persons. this money was returned. reprisals against the Jews. cover. hatred of blacks. The decentralized nature of Identity combined with a largely mail order congregation precludes reliable estim- ates of the size of the Identity flock at any given time. and the ability of Identity pastors to combine Identity doctrines with other right wing appeals—Thom Robb’s mix of Identity and the Ku Klux Klan comes immediately to mind—suggests that Christian Identity will be a feature of the North American racialist right for some time to come. This is not to say that Paster Gayman is a pacifist. Smith acolyte Kenneth Goff. be it hereby known that the CHURCH . and the congregation of the same in America and throughout the world do not offer this Church as a sanctuary. . odinist (sic). dualist.

. the drugs of urban life . were both purge victims as well. . revolutionary coalition. . is a movement boasting ‘a lot of little führers with no brains and lots of guts’. whose widely shared obser- vations of the quality of adherents that neo-Nazi movements in North America manage to attract opened this section. . total bums and losers. . Virginia. threatening. . and spreading rumors about other Party members. the highly disparate world of explicitly neo-Nazi groups in North America is notable both for its high profile activism—they are a highly visible feature of the landscape of every right wing march—and for its minuscule size. in the widely shared observation of West Vir- ginia Nazi figure George Dietz.33 Today. admittedly the best and most selective unit in the Party! The other units are even worse . One person described these fits as ‘a bearded Gerber baby on a rampage’ . Dr William Pierce. it is a highly idio- syncratic collection of ‘leaders’ scattered around the country whose unen- viable task it is to lead a tiny and unsavory band of followers toward the dream of revolution and the institution of a New Order. in the past year we have had here in North Carolina as ‘house guests’ . in some cases. whose visionary novel The Turner Diaries had such a strong influence on the tactical approach of the Order. A 32-year-old 300 pound psychotic who tried to play junior Martin Bormann. Here too. And this is in Carolina. . and would throw screaming tantrums like those of a four-year-old child when opposed.34 In other words. . and Harold Covington. . . drug addicts. This is not to say that National Socialist groups are without influence— quite the opposite is true—but if Christian Identity is fractious. Such high-profile Christian Identity figures as James Warner and Ralph Forbes began their careers in the radical right in the ANP only to be harried into other appeals in the cultic milieu through this process of Koehl-era fragmentation. Matthias Koehl inherited Rockwell’s American Nazi Party. and those few who favor immediate . that is what it is. National Socialism is fratricidal! The movement in fact has been preoccupied with its internecine rivalries since 1967 when Commander George Lincoln Rockwell was assassinated in Arlington.32 (Harold Covington) More a study in political pathology than a viable political movement. tattooed women. changing its name to the National Social- ist White People’s Party and beginning what would be an ongoing feature of the movement since then: a seemingly unending round of purges and angry resignations. . Right wing violence in North America 183 indeed. National Socialism. . the movement is bitterly divided between the conservative majority of party activists who favor the theory of mass action which calls for carefully build- ing a broad. police informers. The fact is (and we had better start admitting some of these unpleasant facts) that this movement has a distinct tendency to attract faggots because of the leather-macho image that the System Jew media imparts to the SS uniform . spent his time here insulting. .

who authored The Turner Diaries which strongly influenced the founder of the Order. it is no easy task to find an influential leader in National Socialist ranks today. admit- tedly.37 Prior to producing The Turner Diaries. Like every associate of Carto. Instead. A PhD physicist who resigned a pro- fessorship at Oregon State University to become a core member of Rock- well’s American Nazi Party. and the internal Action and its successor National Alliance Bulletin) have consistently been not only literate but also intellectually chal- lenging. this affili- ation was short lived and the National Alliance was born. Pierce edited the ANP’s quarterly journal. This is no mean feat in this milieu! More.35 In either case. No mere Hitler cultist.36 As the introduction to this section indicates. as was Tom Martinez. Pierce’s career considerably predated the Turner Diaries. Robert Mathews. his journals (Attack! and its successor National Vanguard. There is little question that the single most influential neo-Nazi in North America is National Alliance leader William Pierce. very much worth fighting for. Dr Pierce’s influence in the world of the radical right was based less on his Rockwellian pedigree than on his own ecumenical approach to National Socialism. but almost all have gravitated to other racialist appeals less stigmatized by the negative public image of Nazism and less prone to attract the sort of adherents decried by Harold Covington in the quotes presented above. Many have passed through the movement. with the unremarkable . Pierce has consistently eschewed the swastika or other overt displays of Third Reich nostalgia. Mathews was once a member of the National Alliance before his discovery of Christian Identity. the dream is frankly millennial. National Socialist World. the Cosmotheist Church. After 1978 the National Alliance was joined by a new Pierce creation. But it is a dream which is. whose primary tenet of faith appears to be that ‘Thou shalt not deny Dr Pierce tax exempt status’ as had the Internal Revenue Service in that year.184 Case studies revolutionary violence on the model of 1960s era left wing guerrilla move- ments. Indeed. however. and thus. It was Pierce. ahistorical. to the faithful. writing under the pseudonym of Andrew Macdonald. the man whose betrayal would cost Mathews his life. What remains are a small group of true believ- ers—Hitler cultists in every sense of the term—and a relative few for whom veneration of the Third Reich does not stand in the way of an objective analysis of the current condition of the movement and the flexibility to adapt National Socialist doctrine to the exigencies of contemporary North Americ. Pierce remained with the ANP for three years after Commander Rockwell’s assassination in 1967 before that organization’s internal upheavals forced him into the arms of veteran racist Willis Carto and his National Youth Alliance. This section will examine several of the more influential of these modernist ‘little führers’ and consider how a movement with so few adher- ents—and those held in contempt by their own leaders no less than by the far right wing generally—could enjoy as much influence as it does.

with the service companies reportedly doing worse at each location. a change in tactics was in order. Both head Nationalist Socialist organizations which have no members. the Americas and South Africa. and perhaps its successor. Pierce launched Hunter into the post-Fort Smith void to suggest to the dispirited movement that all was not lost. Dr Pierce has managed to remain on good terms with a considerable number of radical right figures. most notably in Germany. the NSV would work to create a separatist enclave which they called Wolf Stadt which would ultimately provide a refuge for the ‘righteous remnant’ of the racialist right. Lauck unabashedly dreams of world revolution and pledges explicit obeisance to the ghost of Hitler. Undaunted. California.39 Rick Cooper and Gerhard (Gary) Lauck do not approach the status of William Pierce in the world of the radical right. and the memorable Galactic Storm Troop Amusement Center!41 . New Order in America is published and distributed from a post office box in Lincoln. With the Order crushed and the dream of the ‘revolutionary majority’ in tatters. Rather. both NSWPP veterans. Nebraska. Where Cooper seeks to adapt NS prin- ciples to the creation of a small. Cooper in North America and Lauck abroad. Rather. with its primary appeal directed to skinheads. the NSDAP/AO reaches an audience throughout Europe. Wolf Stadt would be built from the proceeds of a group of private business established by the trio in Salinas. Cooper and co- founders Don Stewart and Fred Surber. Among its ventures were: Nordic Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning. Right wing violence in North America 185 exception of Willis Carto. The NSDAP/ NO was founded in 1974 following Lauck’s expulsion from West Germany for giving a speech on American National Socialism. Quartermaster Laundry. separatist utopian communalism. briefly incarcerated and banned from entering the country for life. The Turner Diaries best captures the seductiveness of the chiliastic dream that allowed a certain segment of the radical right to ignore the glaring disparity between the forces of ZOG (Zionist Occupa- tion Government) and those of the ‘revolution’ and to enlist in Robert Mathews’ quixotic Order. Yet both do enjoy a certain degree of influence in National Socialist circles. The NSV migrated from Salinas to Oregon and then Washington.38 But it is the Turner Diaries. Nonetheless. made a virtue of necessity in stating at the inception of their National Socialist Vanguard (NSV) thata the organization neither had nor would they accept followers. Through translations of its newspaper New Order. Hessian Janitorial Service. Lauck tried again in 1976 and was arrested. with the lone wolf assassin provid- ing for the moment the only realistic outlet for revolutionary violence. the NSV could hardly be accused of obfuscation. Lauck’s name is perhaps better known to an international audience.40 Ricky Cooper’s Nationalist Socialist biography is less colorful than Gary Lauck’s. A former member of Matt Koehl’s NSWPP. for which Pierce will best be remembered. Their approaches to NS doctrine are polar opposites. Hunter.

As . 12th century)43 Reconstructed traditions are belief systems which are consciously modeled on idealized traditions of the past and are adopted by adherents attempt- ing to reconstruct in the modern world the spirit if not the substance of that past Golden Age. a wind-age. two reconstructed traditions have played important roles. Dualism. remains vibrant and shows considerable poten- tial for growth in the foreseeable future. television programs and films which might be of interest to what the NSV calls the White Nationalist community. an axe-age. Prose Edda. an elaborate construct based on Mountain Kirk impressario Robert Miles’ Francophile fascina- tion for the medieval dualist sect. man will know misery. shields will be cloven. plays a vital role in the world of the radical right and in the wider universe of the cultic milieu. (Odin’s description of Ragnarök. like that of William Pierce. intelligent propa- gandists that North American National Socialism has managed to produce in the wake of George Lincoln Rockwell’s assassination have proven to be a valuable resource for a broad spectrum of appeals across the spectrum of the radical right wing. a sword-age. the Cathars.42 Cooper’s willingness to forge alliances across ideological chasms. adulteries be multipled. Cooper is of particular note for making himself available for class room appearances (there seem to be no shortage of these opportun- ities) and for his innovative mass mailings to high school students in selected cities in the United States. In the world of the radical right. .186 Case studies Cooper’s influence in National Socialist circles stems from his affabil- ity—he never met a racialist ideology in which he could not find at least some positive points—and from the role of the NSV Report which provides something of a friendly tabloid documenting the recent doings of the radical right and reviewing the latest books. siblings do incest. Odinism. Odinism. The minuscule number of literate. Reconstructed Traditions: Odinism Brothers will fight and kill each other. a wolf-age . a reconstruction of the Viking-era Norse pantheon. Odinism is located at the spir- itual crossroads linking the racialist appeals of the radical right with the occult/magical community of Wiccan witchcraft and neo-paganism. . died with pastor Miles in 1992.44 In terms of mapping theory. The other. is the key to the riddle of how so tiny a movement as National Socialism could exercise such a considerable influence on the radical right wing.

Right wing violence in North America 187 denizens of the cultic milieu. as Christianity is built on a Jewish foundation. would have puzzled the pagan era Norse.45 Mills’ work disappeared for a time. Odinists practice an imaginative blend of ritual magic. race being a primary but not sole source of this tension. remarkably. ceremonial forms of fraternal fellowship. We . the inherent tensions within the Ásatrú Free Assembly shattered the movement. an eccentric Australian. These concerns are . which is typical of the right wing milieu. Contemporary Odinism originated in the fanciful revival of the cult of Odin among certain elements of the Weimar era ‘German Youth Move- ment’. The Christensens’ quest. most notably Steve McNallen who would at virtually the same time found the Ásatrú Free Assembly. for example. took them from Spengler to Yokey before quite by accident coming across Mills. and it is his writings that inspired the first generation of Odinist adherents in the postwar Americas. Although Christensen’s Odinism and McNallen’s Ásatrú were at their inception difficult to distinguish. More. and would find resonance with sympathizers abroad whose anti-Semitic beliefs would lead them to conclude that. only to be resurrected in the late 1960s by Else and Alex Christensen in Florida as the culmination of their search for ‘the answer’ to society’s ills. as the above text indicates. . sympathize with the legitimate frustrations of white men who are concerned for their kind and for their culture. McNallen’s reaction marks a decisive and painful break with the racialist roots of the modern Odinist revival: [this] Nazi-Odinist identification has persisted down to this day [1978]. and an ideological flexibility which allows for a remarkable degree of syncretism in adopting elements of other white supremacist appeals—Nazism and. How difficult the issue of race—and of National Socialism—would be for the fledgling Odinist/ Ásatrú movement was illustrated in 1978 when the tiny National Socialist White Workers Party led by ANP veteran Allen Vincent obtained a meeting room in San Francisco by claiming to be ‘The Odinist Society’. as would the various conspiratorial fantasies which are ubiquitous in the radical right. This cultic activity would flourish in Nazi Germany. . it too must be swept away in the construction of a chiliastic ‘New Order’. At that time. Alexander Rud Mills.46 The formation of the widowed Else Christensen’s Odinist Fellowship and the publication of the first issue of The Odinist in 1971 coincided with the discovery of the Norse pantheon by other seekers. The Ásatrú Free Assembly announces the end of that tolerance. Odinists tend to subscribe to beliefs which are explicitly Christian. by the late 1970s the two movements would come to differ considerably. Christian Identity in particular. Anti-Semitism. was one such. with the primacy of racialism in Odinism at the heart of this division. but most of us either learned to live with it or simply hoped it would go away if we ignored it.

Faced with a conflict between those whose primary quest was spir- itual and those who sought to use Ásatrú as a primarily racialist vehicle. diverse. That this transforma- tion of criminals into productive citizens was not always efficacious is amply demonstrated by the octogenarian Mrs Christensen’s arrest and current incarceration on a marijuana charge—the result of her loyalty to her ‘boys’ upon their release!48 Nonetheless. Odinism travels well. Mrs Christensen began to fashion the OF into an influential prison ministry. Else Christensen’s Odinist Fellowship (OF ) followed quite a different path in these years. the Committee for the Restoration of the Odinic Rite was founded by John Yeowell in England. southern Africa and Scan- dinavia. offering (according to her version of events) an educational vehicle providing white prisoners with a message of racial pride. She remains the most recognizable figure in contemporary Odinism. linking racialist adherents in North America with like minded groups in Germany. The Odinist.188 Case studies fully justified. as well as more than a smattering of National Socialists profess to be followers of Odinism. For example. the Alliance adopted a Steve McNallen/AFA policy banning its organiza- tion from espousing any political line while allowing its constituents to follow any path they wished so long as they made no attempt to involve the national organization in their activities. The latter group eschewed race and concentrated instead on revitalizing the magical traditions of the pagan Norse-Germanic peoples while at the same time aspiring to create an Ásatrú ‘priesthood’ modeled closely on that of the early Church. self-respect. It is a tragedy that these men are driven to radical groups such as the NSWWP because there is no well-known. Too. the primary challenge faced by Odinism today may be less the related appeals of other ideologies in the constellation of white . as well as the Toronto-based Sunwheel (for which she was listed in an apparently honorary capacity as managing editor) has had a remarkable impact on a generation of Odinists.51 and in the same year. Indeed. respons- ible organization working for white ethnic awareness and identity. Ásatrúarmenn in Iceland was formed by late Svein- bjørn Beinteinsson in 1973. to put it mildly. Mrs Christensen’s influence should not be underestimated.50 although a variety of skinhead groups and bikers.49 The current constituency of North American Odinism is. Best known are David Lane and other Odinist members of the Order. But the Alliance—whose leader was himself a graduate of the NSWPP’s odd Nazi Motorcycle Club headed by James Warner and who in those days signed his letters with a hearty ‘Heil Hitler’—presented a more complex case. and her American vehicle. and a way to transcend violence and anger so as to emerge from prison a new man. the Ásatrú Alliance headed by Mike Murray of the Arizona Kindred and the Ring of Troth founded by Edred Thorsson.47 Two successor organizations filled the void left by the AFA’s demise. Primarily a mail order kindred.

this section will examine individual survivalists through the microcosm of the Randy Weaver incident and the broader universe of idiosyncratic appeals through the uncertain fate of the Church of the Creator in the wake of the 1993 suicide of its leader. This might seem odd in the case of the creators. These groups may have started out in a particular camp. and in the case of the most committed adherents. Yet despite the fact that ‘creativity’ tends to be an urban phenomenon. Right wing violence in North America 189 supremacist groups than with competition from the non-racialist Ásatrú community. an avocation for passing out the COC newspaper Racial Loyalty to anyone willing to buy or accept a copy. The individual survivalist and the ‘creators’. Where the earlier essay concentrated on isolated compounds. principally the Klan or Christian Identity. despite these organizational trappings. Both are composed of highly idiosyncratic indi- viduals who profess fealty to no one. have more in common than it might seem at first glance. the urban creators have been implicated in invari- ably random acts of racially motivated street violence. and the increasing dominance of the group by a single charismatic. a check to pay dues and buy literature. whereas the geographic isolation of the survivalist makes him a rather unlikely candidate to commit an act of violence against anyone. Idiosyncratic sectarians: Church of the Creator and assorted survivalists Idiosyncratic sectarians were described in my Spring 1993 article in Ter- rorism and Political Violence as groups whose structures more nearly approxi- mate a religious cult than a political movement. This diffuse organizational structure combined with the COC’s histrionic racialist appeal brought the COC a scattered group of adherents worldwide. the Church of the Creator remains a mail order ministry in every sense of the word. This violence is at once encouraged by the tone of COC literature and overtly discouraged by the cautious Klassen’s practice of framing the most violently racialist prose with disavowals of any intent to foment violent behaviour among his church’s ‘ministers’. Moreover. creators in reality are every bit as alienated and alone as are the rural survivalists. a shared sense of persecution. but during their development there occurred a marked change in the group’s structural dynamic. . the COC membership is diffuse and no more sub- stantial than a name on an application form. authoritarian leader may have led to a powerful strain of antinomianism. This change often followed a withdrawal from the surrounding society into isolated compounds where increasing psycho- logical and physical isolation. Beyond an ever changing core of would be successors to the late ‘Pontifex Maximus’ Ben Klassen. given their affiliation with an appeal which styles itself as a ‘church’ and which was headed by a charismatic and highly authoritarian leader. However. Ben Klassen. as the adherents of the Church of the Creator like to be called.

the COC holds that the nearly universal perception that Christianity is built upon the foundation of Judaism. the COC’s program is primarily negative. and scabrous racism. especially those religions seen as appealing to potential COC adherents. . is in fact correct. but it is Christianity that comes in for particular vilification: Where did the idea of Christianity come from? As we have shown .53 With so much time devoted to attacking other religious faiths. it therefore stands to reason that all religions are Jewish cre- ations constructed to mislead and thus enslave the world. So let us proceed further in first of all exposing the ridiculous Jewish story known as Christianity. the greatest swindle in history. So important are these Commandments—the COC asks little more of minis- ters than an adherence to these basic doctrines—that a comprehensive listing is included below: The Sixteen Commandments 1 It is the avowed duty and the holy responsibility of each generation to ensure and secure for all time the existence of the White Race upon the face of this planet. That is. They looked for an alternative—mind-manipulation through religion—and they found the right creed in a relatively unimportant religious sect called the Essenes . which I prefer to call the ‘spooks in the sky’ swindle. as the Jews are the font of all of the lies of this world. Thus. . literally thou- sands of pages are devoted to debunking religious belief. What passes for a COC credal statement is contained in the Sixteen Commandments of Creativity and a number of ‘credos’ which do little more than recycle the aphorisms which abound in Klassen’s writings. . . the COC has erected in His place a religion it calls Creativity.190 Case studies The COC centers on the belief that Christian Identity’s quest to wrest back the divine covenant from the Jews is misguided. . COC publi- cations attack every belief system from Mormonism to Odinism. Christianity itself is Jewish and therefore anathema—as is the society which would embrace such a Jewish religion (styled JOG or Jewish Occupation Government).52 Having rejected the existence of God or any other supernatural being. the Jews. an odd blend of rewritten Christianity. health faddism. and that Jesus himself was a Jew. . . Following this line of reasoning. More. it is hardly a revelation that Creativity would provide little in the way of a creed of its own. so then must all religions be false. They had tried military opposition and failed miserably. They have always been at war with the host peoples they have infested like a parasite. Thus. . The- ologically. have been Master Mind-manipulators of other peoples from the earliest beginnings of their history. Rather. being no match for the superlative Romans. the Pontifex Maximus deduced that as Christianity is built on a lie. who were scattered throughout the Roman Empire.

Do your part in helping to populate the world with your own kind. but no suggestion is offered as to how this felicitous denoue- ment is to take place. Have social contact only with members of your own racial family. confident and aggressive. We regard work as a noble pursuit and our willingness to work a blessing to our race. think and act positively. be courageous. 13 You shall honor. Right wing violence in North America 191 2 Be fruitful and multiply. and the most dangerous of all is the Jewish race. 8 and 10. the Racial Comrades of the White Race. 14 Throughout your life you shall faithfully uphold our pivotal creed of Blood. It is our immediate objective to relentlessly expand the White race. 8 Destroy and banish all Jewish thought and influence from society. 10 Decide in early youth that during your lifetime you will make at least one major lasting contribution to the White Race. however. Pollution of the White Race is a heinous crime against Nature and against your own race. Utilize constructively your crea- tive ability. Soil and Honor. Sword hard to bring about a White world as soon as possible. 3 Remember that the inferior colored races are out deadly enemies. for it is the heart of our faith. In commandment 3. 3. More intriguing. Here. are the ambiguous suggestions of violence contained in commandments 2. 11 Uphold the honor of your race at all times. 12 It is our duty and privilege to further Nature’s plan by striving towards the advancement and improvement of our future generations. Phase out all dealings with Jews as soon as possible. 15 Be a proud member of the White Race. 4 The guiding principle of all your actions shall be: What is best for the White Race? 5 You shall keep your race pure.54 The themes presented in the Sixteen Commandments—and the tone in which they are presented—are archetypical Ben Klassen. it is the present link in the long golden chain of our White Race. Do not employ niggers or other coloreds. 9 Work and creativity are our genius. the earth is posited as the exclusive domain of the White Race (2). 7 Show your preferential treatment in business dealings to members of your own race. are determined to regain complete and unconditional control of our own destiny. 16 We. 6 Your first loyalty belongs to the White Race. and hold it sacred. Calls to racial pride and group solidarity are interspersed with Klassen’s fascination for eugenics and National Socialist imagery. Practice it diligently. It is our sacred goal to populate the lands of this earth with White people exclusively. protect and venerate the sanctity of the family unit. Klassen calls for lebensraum by . and keep shrinking our enemies.

The fate of the Church of the Creator in the post-Klassen era remains. Klassen took some boxes of documents to a local recycling center. Klassen’s advanced age and failing health—and at the end perhaps the death of his wife of many years—necessitated a search for a new Pontifex Maximus. Weaver’s story is straightforward enough. with National Socialist figure Harold Covington following long-standing precedent in far right wing circles and publicly accusing Klassen of being a homosexual and a Jew. however. however. Weaver was entrapped into selling undercover agents a sawed-off shotgun with a barrel slightly under the legal length. Klassen’s apparent suicide in 1993 capped a chaotic period in the existence of Creativity. Offered an opportunity to avoid prosecution by becoming an informer.192 Case studies ‘expand(ing) the White race . and for once the White supremacist beliefs of the suspect were considered to be less important than either the force utilized by gov- ernment agents in the effort to apprehend him or the fanciful explana- tions offered for government conduct at the ensuing trial. or merely a chiliastic dream? Klassen’s writings could easily support either interpretation. Attacks on Klassen mounted. An Identity believer of no par- ticular distinction. shrinking our enemies’. would be forced to live for over two years the subsistence exist- ence of the survivalist. Commandment 8 mandates the purging of ‘Jewish thought and influence’ in an effort to cleanse the earth of all but the White race. on 6 August 1993. Mark Wilson and Dr Rick McCarty were named as Klassen’s suc- cessor. The case of Randy Weaver became national news. Charles Altvatar. The COC by the late 1980s enjoyed considerable growth while in the process gathering more than its share of enemies in the competing camps of the ‘right wing synthesis’. uncertain. In rapid succession. . the Church of the Creator came to appeal to an audience made up increasingly of skin- heads and prisoners. Tobacco and Firearms (BATF ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. for some men survivalism comes naturally.55 To paraphrase an American aphorism. He reportedly left behind a suicide note which referred to a passage in The White Man’s Bible which asserted suicide to be honourable way to end a life that was no longer worth living. Rudy Stanko. for others. a young Christian Identity adherent loosely tied to Richard Butler’s Aryan Nations. Are these calls for a ‘final solution’. while commandment 10 urges the faithful to undertake at least one act that will make a lasting difference to the status of the ‘White Race’. Formed in 1973 as either the fruition of a burst of religious illumination or a tax dodge. the COC began to falter. as a result of government conduct which would ultimately be found to be beyond the pale in an American courtroom. returned to his home and ingested the contents of four bottles of sleeping pills. By 1992. who. The latter describes the case of Randy Weaver. Finally. . it is thrust upon them. at this writing. The Weaver case. would be substantially different from other post-Order instances of violent conflict involving agents of the Bureau of Alcohol. Weaver .

Ultimately. More seriously. to the surprise of one and all.56 Single issue constituencies Given the applicability of the theory of the cultic milieu. a flamboyant defense attorney from Wyoming took the Weaver case on a pro bono basis and proceeded to put the government on trial for its actions. Spence’s warnings that what the govern- ment did to Randy Weaver it could easily one day do to any other citizen was suddenly credible to a white. It appears . Right wing violence in North America 193 refused and a trial date was set. popular indignation spread beyond the insular world of the radical right. Samuel. middle class American jury with the cata- clysmic denouement of the Waco siege fresh in mind. At last. Part of this may be explained by the way in which Vicki Weaver died while cradling her baby in her arms. Populist Party candidate Bo Gritz negotiated Weaver’s surren- der. Fearing that a ZOG plot was afoot. Weaver and Harris were charged with murder in the killing of William Degan. Gary Spence. And there it should have ended. Weaver’s trial coin- cided with the Branch Davidian siege at Waco. For 20 months! Finally. the government’s often contra- dictory explanations for the events surrounding the Weaver case were held up to ridicule. Finally. and what had been a low-level surveillance was transformed into a siege. a bench warrant was issued for his arrest. and the similarity of the two events was lost on no one. part of it with the killing of a 14-year-old boy whose primary sin seems to have been in investigating the death of his dog and firing back when shot at by men concealed in dense underbrush and firing high powered weapons. had precedent held true. In a classic defense which would be imitated with nearly as much success by the attor- neys representing the Branch Davidians. as was Federal Marshal William Degan. For 11 days the Weavers and a family friend. the Weavers’ dog rushed at one of the agents who panicked and shot it. At this point the tale becomes murky. either a federal agent using a high powered rifle or an automated robot equipped with such a weapon fired a bullet which penetrated the cabin’s wall and entered the skull of Vicki Weaver as she sat at the kitchen table holding their 10-month old baby. was shot in the back and killed at this point. the true single- issue constituency is a rarity in the world of the radical right. She was killed instantly. held out. and Weaver was further charged with the original weapons viola- tion and unlawful flight to avoid prosecution. Part of it too had to do with timing. Weaver fled with his family to a cabin in the Idaho hills where federal agents soon material- ized and placed the site under surveillance. This time. however. Weaver’s 14-year-old son. in August 1993. the jury voted to acquit both Weaver and Harris of all charges against them. What appears to have happened is that Weaver was given the wrong trial date—not an unusual occurrence in the chaotic American court system— and when he failed to appear at the correct time. In any case. Kevin Harris.

The primary cases of single issue zealotry in the world of the radical right are significant for their intellectual rigor. conspiratorialism (with the Federal Reserve system as prime suspect). it can only be those masters of financial chicanery. Mathews describes a pattern of harassment by IRS agents which drove him ever deeper into the milieu of the radical right: This campaign of harassment and intimidation began because of my involvement in the Tax Rebellion Movement from the time I was fifteen to twenty years old. More. should he or she have the stamina to persevere. the Jews. the literature of the tax protest movement is arcane. of such stalwarts of the violent fringe of the radical right as identity minister and Posse Comitatus founder William Potter Gale and Robert Mathews. as though peeling the layers of an onion. . law. our people have devolved into some of the most cowardly. the theorist is then faced with a conspir- acy of considerably greater antiquity than the paltry 80 years since the Federal Reserve Act was passed in 1913 or the mere 219 years of American statehood.194 Case studies that for most adherents there exists an interlocking composite of beliefs which allow the seeker to subscribe to several ideological appeals either seri- ally or simultaneously. but because I was thoroughly disgusted with the American people . and the incomprehensible body of the tax code itself. there is a more immediate disincentive to lasting affiliation with the tax movement: the aggressiveness of the Internal Revenue Service in combating anything which smacks of tax resistance. Finally. remain exclusively in the tax movement. I left Arizona and the Tax Rebellion when I was 20. the radical right wing provides a banquet of conspiratorial scenarios from which to choose. more interesting revelations. First. tax protests hold little lasting appeal. Who in this view stands behind the bankers who profit from the ‘illegal’ Federal Reserve system? Natur- ally. Second. It has held the attentions. . The tax protest movement. the newly initiated tax protester will find that the pursuit of ‘truth’ behind the federal government’s taxation policies will lead to other. but it is not terribly atypical of the experiences which tax resistance survivors have related during this research. For most of these neophyte enthusiasts. The government was on me so much in Arizona that during one incident when I was eighteen. The reasons for this fleeting attraction are not difficult to discern. for example. Having made this deduction. however fleeting. I left not out of fear of the IRS or because of submission to their tyranny. has provided a frequently used port of entry for the neophyte right wing extremist.57 . Few however. sheepish degenerates that ever littered the face of the planet. IRS agents shot at me for nothing more than misdemeanour tax violation. In a letter which was widely republished in move- ment journals. laden with ques- tions of constitutionality. Unraveling these mysteries is a task for which few in this milieu are intellectually or temperamentally equipped. Robert Mathews’ experience is perhaps exaggerated. founder of the Order.

Zundel’s legal problems began with the efforts of the Canadian Holocaust Remembrance Association to have his postal privileges . Despite the IHR’s tireless efforts to bring Holocaust revisionism to the center of American public discourse. too was primarily a tax protest organization which came to have considerably wider aspirations. requires a cadre of single minded specialists willing and able to comb the vast literature emanating from World War II for evidence to disprove the allegation that the Nazi regime systematically exterminated six million Jews. More to the point are tax protest groups who have turned to paramilitary activity. founded in 1984 by William Potter Gale. the activities of a small but dedicated band of Holo- caust revisionists have been a far greater source of concern to the organ- ized Jewish community in the United States and Canada. For this reason. In the United States. California. and Zundel’s legal tribulations in particular have made headlines on both sides of the border. the ensuing debate provides publicity of which the IHR could only dream. and to discredit German National Socialism.58 While the tax protest movement has been of considerable concern to the US government. there are few such as Colo- rado’s Arch Roberts who adhere to tax protests as a single issue crusade. and serving as a resource for such independents as Bradley Smith. the best known figures associated with the revisionist movement in Canada tend to do so as loosely associated individuals: men such as Ernst Zundel. like tax protest. the Posse Comitatus. Holocaust revisionism. There is considerable contact between these sets of pseudo-scholars. Whether the advertise- ment is published or censored. it is arguably Smith’s tactic of placing advertisements in college newspapers throughout the country which has brought revisionism the greatest media exposure. All have had legal proceedings brought against them. Both the United States and Canada have produced a core of high- profile holocaust revisionists. placing archives of revisionist documents in the public domain through easily accessed computer archives known as FTP (File Transfer Protocol) sites. producing studies with all the trappings of rigorous scholarship. to extort financial support for that homeland. although there are distinct differences in their organization and approaches. The Journal of Historical Review. Right wing violence in North America 195 Despite the tribulations of the tax movement. The activities of the IHR con- sciously mirror those of the academic think tank. this was a lie perpetrated by Zionist Jews and their elite western co-conspirators in their quest to make the dream of a Jewish homeland a reality. at the Insti- tute for Historical Review and in the pages of that organization’s glossy periodical. The most significant of these was the Committee of the States. Another Gale vehicle.59 Canada’s more draconian approach to the challenge to public amity posed by right wing extremists is less conducive to the formation of Holo- caust revisionist organizations. holding annual conferences. the epicentre of holo- caust revisionism may be found in Newport Beach. Malcolm Ross and James Keegstra. In their view.

convic- tions against Keegstra and Ross for similar offenses were eventually overturned as well. often ‘long suppressed’ facts which will collectively work to undermine what they see as the weakest link of the Jewish claim to the conscience of the world. in short. At a stroke. be shown to be ille- gitimate. If the actual number of victims could be shown to be fewer than six million. Revisionist claims. an ambitious and intellectually demanding undertaking. then and only then could a primary target of revisionist activity. War and Islam’ and ‘Backlash’ in 1981. Despite the scholarly accoutrements of revisionism. Holocaust revi- sionists make little secret of their methodology. but this verdict was ulti- mately overturned by the Canadian Court of Appeals. the state of Israel. When this effort failed. More. an obsessive search for random. Indeed. This weakness centers on the mantra-like number of six million Jews murdered by the Nazi regime which revisionists see as impossible to substantiate. perceived Jewish control of the US government would be sundered. the same Jewish organization—despite a considerable split in the ranks of organized Jewry in Canada over the advisability of the CHRA’s tactics—managed to have Zundel indicted under a little known 1920s era law prohibiting the publi- cation of false news. or in movement terms. ‘The West. that is. War and Islam’ and ‘Did Six Million Really Die?’ Zundel was convicted of these charges in 1985 in regard to the latter tract. The tracts at issue this time were the same ‘The West. it may well have been the inroads made by revisionist activities which motivated Stephen Spielberg to take the considerable financial gamble which ultimately produced the effective film Schindler’s List in an effort to . then and only then would the ‘seamless garment’ of Jewish claims unravel and the public would at last see the Jew as does the revisionist: a master conspirator engaged in an age-old manichaean battle with the belea- guered forces of righteousness. remarkably enough. It is hardly a revelation that it is primarily anti-Semitism packaged as more fashionable anti-Zionism which motivates most Holocaust revision- ists. built as it was in this view on world sympathy for the Jews arising from fabricated revelations of the activities of the Nazi concentration camps.60 Indeed. would that not plant a seed of doubt that perhaps other holocaust claims are specious as well? If only respectable historians could be convinced that claims of Nazi genocide directed at Jews were exaggerated.196 Case studies revoked to stop the dissemination of his publications. have found some fertile ground in North America where the historical member of the World War II generation has begun to fade and where such ill- considered efforts to revive these memories as the fiasco that was the deportation and trial in Israel of John Damjanjuck on false charges of being a notorious concentration camp guard known as ‘Ivan the Terrible’ have given new credibility to those casting doubt on all Jewish claims. Holocaust revisionism is. if they could be freed to speak a truth which they currently dare not utter ‘for fear of the Jews’.

The charges. From the perspective of such movement leaders as Tom Metzger too. This flirtation became risky in the wake of the successful Southern Poverty Law Center’s (SPLC) civil suit holding Metzger respons- ible for the murder of a black Ethiopian immigrant in Portland. and that the victims should ‘get their Ethiopian ass . the alleged plot. received life’. Hope seeking a means to fulfillment (or knuckle draggers galore?) West Coast Bomb And Assassination Plots Spearheaded by Racist Skinheads: Young White Supremacists Eager to Act on Violent Race War Fantasies of the Movement’s Elders. are of some note. Tom Metzger and his son acted in their own defense. if proven. Right wing violence in North America 197 present the holocaust to a generation of viewers far removed from the memory of Hitler or of Nuremberg. Implicated in the plot were skinheads affiliated with the racist skinhead organizations American Front and Fourth Reich Skins.5m) in an action to. ‘Build a fence $10 million high’ to keep the Metzgers out of Oregon. Dees then played a tape of Metzger’s telephone bulletin board which justified the killings after the face. claiming that these ‘beau- tiful Blacks’ (the victims) were ‘high on crack’ and that the killers were doing ‘a civic duty’. (Klanwatch Intelligence Report headline)61 The 1993 headline encapsulated the fears of observers that groups of young. would indicate a reckless disregard for the dif- ficulties which he has already encountered as a result of his courtship of skinhead groups. Oklahoma. talking to a group of skins and suggesting that they ‘kick a little ass’. neo-Nazi skinheads would place themselves under the command of veteran racist leaders in a terrorist campaign aimed at bringing to life Charles Manson’s fondest dream: igniting a race war in America. for heretofore skin- head violence had always been impulsive and sporadic. Skinheads always hunt in packs. if true. Another tape claimed that ‘One young fighter. The plaintiffs asked for an award of $10m (they ultimately received $12. contending that ‘skins can’t be organized’. The trial graphically demonstrated the interconnections between skin- heads and racialist leaders when Dees played a videotape of Metzger in Tequila. Adding tantalizing hints of bigger game to be caught were the connections of members of the conspiracy to Tom Metzger’s WAR and the Church of the Creator. They in fact did more to lose the case than the plaintiffs did to win it. quoting SPLC founder Morris Dees. The plot allegedly centered on a planned bombing of a Los Angeles church whose parishioners included such well known Black celebrities as Arsenio Hall and Dionne Warwick. selecting targets of opportunity on the streets of America and never initiating an attack unless even the most seemingly helpless target could be surrounded by skins. Oregon. Ken Mieske.

The most comprehensive publicly dissemi- nated estimate is provided by the ADL. Of greater interest are the writings of some of the most determinedly racist skinheads in America— those currently incarcerated for involvement in violent hate crimes. Nazi Skins? Well a lot of us look toward National Socialism as a great form of government compared to Table 6. This review of the current state of the milieu of the radical right wing in North America could have no better conclusion. The text is presented as it was written.000 34 June 1993 3.000–3. they are worth some consideration both for their indications of the skinhead movement’s scant appeal on these shores and for the movement’s clearly static growth curve.62 Beyond the very real instances of skinhead violence in North America.000–1. There are a few different fractions of our movement.500 12 October 1988 2. none of whom being non-racist or anti-racist. is a narrative put together from three letters written by another skinhead inmate in Crescent City.500 ‘Neo Nazi Skinheads’ (or more recently ‘Young Nazi Killers’). The success of the SPLC suit temporarily closed down Metzger’s operation.1 Estimated skinhead membership in the USA Date Members States February 1988 1. as well as making him technically homeless and garnishing 40 per cent of any future moneys he may manage to earn.000 31 June 1990 3.65 What follows however. So I am the first skinhead you’ve met.000 21 June 1989 3. precisely what does this mean in a crime ridden nation of more than 260 million? While there is as yet little academic data on the movement in North America. the battle of polemics between racist and anti-racist skins can be observed in all its vacuity on the alt. it is difficult to assess with any accuracy precisely how great a threat the skinhead movement represents. On the computer literate fringe of the movement. Well this isn’t the first time I’ve been in this spot so I’ll tell you a little about skinheads. A portion of one such letter was offered in my previous article in Terrorism and Political Violence.64 there are some sources of insight.skinheads news group. No accurate estimate of skinhead numbers exists. errors and all. and while this research has received various indications that the ADL’s figures are exaggerated. and even the rather dubious numbers which are offered are unable to account for the relative numbers of non-racist and anti-racist as opposed to racist skinheads.63 Even if the ADL’s worse case scenario were to be accepted with 3.500 40 . California. during the summer of 1990.198 Case studies (sic) out of this country’.

Anyway I’m starting to get the drift that some of the Odinist groups are starting to do like the Klan and don’t want anything to do with us because we are too radical. . . . How can a person be too dedicated to securing the future for our children. But if a nigger or anyone non-white is proud then they are just making up for all that torment that Whites have given them. And the whole idea of wearing hoods is a sign of fear to be known as a racist. . . . All the sweat and toil our Race has given and we are left with this. . SHARP (Skinheads Against Racial Pregudest [Predudice]). We are proud or our race and unafraid to fight to defend it. . I don’t consider these two as anything but confused. . . I can see this only getting worse in the future and I personally want what is Rightfully ours back. . They dress a little different than we do though. They say we are too violent and act like pagan Vandals. When a White is proud of his heritage and wants to help and be with people that are of his ethnic background he’s an evil racist. That’s ok though they are not what they used to be. they wear Green ones. But skins are pretty split up right now. they are contradictive idiot that don’t deserve to wear our cloth- ing or haircuts. We are the youth that has been left with the mess. That’s what 99 per cent of the skins also feel. . Butler. . That is our reasoning for being out front. I guess that one thing I could tell you about skinheads is that our primary concern is for the future of our race. This is our country and we want it back. And then my biggest enemy under the code of skins. Identity skins. You know one thing that pisses me off about the Skinhead Move- ment in the last few years is that my comrades are all sucking up to these ‘movement Politicians’. . And there are Odinist skins and there are Atheist skins. . So I put race first in my fight. . We wear Black jackets. etc. That scares me . But that does not scare some Racists off. Hell even in this prison I can see it. Most of the Klan hates us.66 . I know that it will be even worse for my kids when I have ’em. ! That is causing a lot of stupid turmoil between Skins because of influence from these older Racists who have been fighting each other stupid reasons for years . Miles. We are just sick of seeing what’s going on in this country. There are COTC skins. . . . It is to show that we are not a part of the main- stream sheepish society running around kissing up to the Jews. And then comes the two fractions that I really don’t agree with. . I’m talking about people like Metzger. Right wing violence in North America 199 the one we are stuck with right now. They have a Racist Black TV station that is called Black Entertainment Tele- vision but if [Tom Metzger’s] Race and Reason was on they would be outraged and claim the state was racist. . . . .

] The four areas of concern to be addressed below are: (1) delegitimiza- tion in the case of right wing movements in North America appears to be a reciprocal rather than a unilateral process. Indeed.200 Case studies II The question of terrorist violence In the introduction it was suggested that despite the fondest wishes of some of the most radical adherents of right-wing appeals in North America. but could profitably be expanded to include a process which might be called mutual .67 Sprinzak’s theory of delegitimization is a promising step toward the cre- ation of a predictive instrument which may be applied to conditions that appear conducive to the formation of a terrorist movement. This crisis of confidence is an important precondition for the transformation of a heretofore generally law abiding dissident group into a movement increasingly disrespectful of legal norms. This observation is undoubtedly correct. Several points raised here by Kaplan are incorporated into Sprinzak’s revised model pre- sented in this volume. Random acts of street viol- ence directed at targets of opportunity have been much more the norm. offered to suggest further refinement of the theory rather than to question the fundamental tenets of Sprinzak’s work. actual instances of revolutionary violence in the wake of the Order’s demise have been few and far between. In the present context. The following criticisms are. split delegitimization offers valuable insights into the uniqueness of the phenomenon of right wing terrorism occurring in Western demo- cracies. the resulting sense of betrayal may create a crisis of confidence in the regime. (3) Sprinzak’s vision of the adherents’ ‘desired world’ under- estimates the religiosity of the radical right in North America. the pattern of violence manifested by right wing groups in North America is sufficiently reminiscent of Ehud Sprinzak’s theory of delegiti- mization as to make an application of that theory to the cases presented here a valuable exercise. and (4) the theory may underestimate how far even a democratic state is prepared to go in suppressing right wing movements when subjected to sufficient pressure to ‘do something’ about an unpopular subculture. and therefore less resistant to adopting violence. (2) the theory’s concentra- tion on violence directed primarily at the ‘other’ rather the state underes- timates the degree to which the state had lately come to be identified with the ‘other’. [Editor’s comment: The critical comments relate prim- arily to Sprinzak’s original 1991 formulation of his model. therefore. when the right wing oppositional group deduces that the government is unwilling or unable to act in the interests of its ‘true citizenry’. Delegitimization as a mutual and reciprocal process A central tenet of the theory of split delegitimization holds that. and thus the distinctive chiliasm of the movement’s ultimate vision.

as opposition to his message grew—an opposition which he identified as emanating primarily from the American Jewish community—was alongside Father Charles E. K. in the years before World War II. More. This virtual demonization of radical right wing discourse in America is of comparatively recent vintage. Coughlin among the leading anti-Semites in the nation. With American engagement in the war on the side of the Great Britain and Stalin’s Russia. and in fact held the reigns of government in several northern states and municipal governments. K.68 This tolerance for the rhetoric of the radical right came to an end in the era of Gerald L. Nazi Germany had strong regional pockets of North American admirers and a core of high profile propagandists in both the United States and Canada. but either simultaneously or more often as a precondition for the radicalization of the right wing group. Smith on a formal level in May 1947 when. As recently as the 1920s. More. or to resort to the ‘propaganda of the deed’ to make his beliefs felt. K. given its fractious nature. One symptom of this sensitivity to the voices of the radical right was the great sedition trial of 1944 in which Gerald L. the dominant culture on both state and non-state levels have anathematized the discourse of the radical right. Here. That is. for it suggests in graphic terms the considerable dis- tance from the borders of the North American cultural heartland to which the milieu of the radical right has been banished. How this came about provides some insight into the process of reciprocal delegitimization. not only is the nascent dissident group engaged in a process of stripping the regime of its claim to legitimacy. War was looming in Europe and the Depression era flourishing of populist appeals of the left and the right had yet to fade. At first. the organized Jewish community in the form of the American Jewish Committee (AJC) and the Anti-Defamation League of the B’nai B’rith (ADL) did little to combat the Smith phenomenon. the interests of the American government and the Jewish organizations converged on the necessity of neutralizing the still influential voices of the radical right for whom distrust of Britain was only marginally less acute than hatred of Soviet communism. a populist orator of the first magnitude and. Marty’s mapping theory is of value. alarmed at the apparent success of Smith and other right wingers at linking Jews to . Smith and his Christian Nationalist Crusade. The resulting marginalization of right wing discourse leaves the adherent with only two options: to withdraw into the milieu of the radical right. Smith was. The American Jewish Committee first focused on the activities of Gerald L. Smith was fortunate to escape indictment. Smith’s crusade broght together the adherents of several radical right wing appeals in coalition which.69 Another symptom was the evolution of resolve in the Jewish community to make an example of Smith to any would-be successor to his mantle as the doyen of the racialist right. the Ku Klux Klan held considerable sway in American politics. is unlikely to occur again in the Americas. Right wing violence in North America 201 delegitimization. This would soon change. Gerald L. K.

once fastened on a target. and by distributing ‘educational’ mater- ials intended to neutralize criticism of the Jewish community. succeeded to a remarkable degree in banishing the adherents of right wing appeals to the margins of society. What is more. the first flush of the Cold War. the tactics employed by the ADL and the AJC were well honed: to identify potential anti-Semites and to seek to preempt if possible. the ADL. It was not until the attempt by Smith and others to block the appoint- ment of Anna M.70 This and subsequent meetings failed to come to an agreement on a coherent strategy. the AJC executive committee met to form a plan of attack against the Smith crusade. by printing the names of suspected anti-Semites. the ADL acted along two tracks: a somewhat covert press campaign which attempted to influence local and national newspapers to write in opposition to the road building effort. A.73 Using tactics perfected in the 1950s. It is an inter- pretive role that today continues to be performed by the ‘watchdog’ groups of which the ADL is the most influential. K.202 Case studies Soviet communism. their activities by putting pressure on elected officials and on local and national newspapers. through carefully nutured connections with Congress. Championed by Rabbi S. to risk involving a Jewish organziation in the controversy. By then. the strategy which both the ADL and AJC eventually arrived at was termed at the time ‘dynamic silence’. K. due primarily to the delicate balance of the body politic in this. Fineberg of the AJC. government agen- cies and the media. is tenacious in its endeavors to isolate the target movement from the mainstream culture. leaving the ‘watchdog’ organizations such as the ADL and AJC in a position to assume stewardship of the public expo- sure of the movement. to halt if not.72 This decision would mark the moment in time when the radical right would gradually fade from direct access to the popular media.71 Making a virtue of indecision. with the main highway. and thus the public consciousness. Rosenberg as an Assistant Secretary of Defense in 1950 that both the American Jewish Committee and the ADL opened a full- fledged attack on Gerald L. Smith by bringing charges of anti-Semitism before the US Senate. Included in this latter . the ADL and its numerous imitators have. and with the international communist movement as well. the idea was to close off all access to the public media—and thus the larger culture—to ‘rabble rousers’ such as Smith. Smith’s biblical theme park and annual passion play in Eureka Springs. Soviet Jews were simply too deeply involved in the Soviet state. and a high profile campaign headed by ADL National Chairman Don Schary to appeal to government officials to intervene. Arkansas. No better example could be given of an attempt physically to isolate a perceived enemy than the 1969 effort by the ADL to prevent the building of a road at public expense linking an aging Gerald L. Acting in a role which is strikingly reminiscent of a ‘high priesthood’ whose self-appointed task it is to interpret the distant rumblings of the radical right wing milieu.

however. and Berg’s particularly censorious behavior made him an early assassination victim of the Order. The importance of this media breakthrough must not be underesti- mated. Geraldo Rivera.75 The tactics pioneered against Smith proved so efficacious that even before the onset of the 1980s language rectification movement known somewhat derisively as ‘political correctness’. although what its long term implications might be are as yet unclear. the political ‘monsters’ lurking in the outlands of the radical right. but not before the ADL set out to punish any indi- vidual or company having any connection with the project. .74 Smith himself ended his career in virtual obscurity. Examples of this dearth of media access were noted in the context of Christian Identity in my previous Terrorism and Political Viol- ence article. The appearance of radical right wing figures on television and radio talk shows was not unprecedented. the process has gone further with active prosecutions of right wing figures. This near invisibility changed when the ratings competition among network and syndicated cable talk show hosts brought into millions of homes across America tales of private pathology. composed of adherents of the racialist right and equally unrepresentative Black nationalists. the radical right had been all but silenced in the American public square. and ad infinitum. however. albeit at the cost of the trivialization of their message. attracted the interest of right wingers beyond the borders of Louisiana through an appearance of Tom Snyder’s late night show on the National Broadcasting Company. Right wing violence in North America 203 campaign were President Richard Nixon. This allows radical right wing ideo- logues uncensored access to a segment of the North American public for the first time in years. and at last. made national news by erupting in a chair swinging fight which broke the nose of the sleaziest of this new breed of talk show hosts. Recently. and thus demonstrated the marketability of these prepackaged confrontations. Smith’s theme park did in the end get its road. holocaust revi- sionists in particular have fallen afoul of Canadian prosecutors if not courts of appeal. Secretary of Commerce Maurice Stans and Secretary of Transportation John Volpe.76 The treatment meted out to some guests on these programs by such as Denver radio talk show host Alan Berg has often been less than civil. David Duke. publishing his Cross and the Flag news- letter and putting out ever more inconsequential tracts purporting to contain ‘revelations’ of the Jewish hand behind sex education. revelations of rampant Satanism. however. Suitably packaged spokesmen for far right causes have occasionally been featured on late night network television. for example. horror stories of dysfunc- tional families. In Canada. and efforts to break through to the mainstream culture have been just as unavailing for other radical right wing ideologies. through the medium of popular afternoon ‘talk shows’. Capital Hill debauchery. this wall of media silence has begun to crumble. One such panel.

The panel was composed of such radical right stalwarts as Tom and John Metzger and such self-promoting non-entities as the Nazi uniformed Art Jones. When Jones protested that to do so could start a fight. the racialist right had by the late 1950s turned in on itself. Worse. Deprived of mainstream outlets through which to disseminate its views. This observation leads to the second criticism of Sprinzak’s theory: that the . banished to the margins of American culture. Jones was not suffi- ciently incendiary on a first run through. the show would have plenty of security. Jones responded with a recitation of FBI crime sta- tistics which Commander of the Black Panther Militia McGee took to imply that Black women and prostitution were synonymous and the tussle was on. the Metzgers were ultimately invited to address McGee’s group—a meeting that went well according to all concerned. Long before the milieu of the radical right came to despair of redeeming the American government from the per- ceived influence of the ‘other’. Jones. however. it became clear that the panel had more areas of agreement than disagreement. contriving ever more fantastic conspir- atorial scenarios to explain its marginalization. This epiphany was short lived. Jones immediately apologized for the misunderstanding and shook hands with McGee. although the expected ratings bonanza did not appear to materialize. was assured a place on the panel by his willingness to follow the suggestions of the producers and ‘say something outrageous’. Coughlin to the tawdry carnival side show that is the Jerry Springer Show speaks volumes on the reciprocal nature of delegitimization. a brief scuffle erupted among participants. Smith or a Fr. On the other side stood Black nationalists Michael McGee and Doris Green. he was assured that there was nothing to worry about on that score. The duplicitous host was left to end the show with a plati- duinous soliloquy to the effect that none of the guests were nice people while the mailing addresses of each participating group were flashed on the screen. and indeed. the dominant culture—and thus the state itself—had determined that the views of the radical right were beyond the bounds of legitimate discourse in the American public square.77 The dramatic descent ffrom the vast audiences commanded by a prewar Gerald L. Here too. From this period of isola- tion and savage infighting came the view that today defines the movement: that the US government has been irretrievably lost as the malign ‘other’ has come to control the apparatus of the state. National Chairman of the America First Committee. a last-minute addition to the spectacle. who was accompanied by both of the members of that organization. sim- ilarly garbed and prominently displayed in the front row of the audience. as the discus- sion wore tediously on. causing the host to call a halt to filming and start again. K. There was less to the confrontation than met the eye. Still dubious. filmed in Chicago and televised on 11 May 1993.204 Case studies How manipulative these televised spectacles can be was graphically demonstrated in an edition of the Jerry Springer Show.

. inevitable. I tried hard to separate myself from the system so I would not be a party to its crimes. . his death occurred on the second anniversary of the day in which Moran’s hero. Thus I . I wanted to be left alone and not forced to participate in my own destruction. I KNOW NOT WHEN I WILL DEPART FROM THIS EARTH. yet they remain immutably worthy. a founding member of the Committee of the States. The omnipresence of ZOG In the past. Now. and above all. .78 (David J. Robert Mathews. its hypocrisy. Moran died in a shoot-out with police on a lonely highway in rural Califor- nia on 8 December 1986. its music. . its art. . ONLY THAT IT WILL BE SOON. met a similar fate. Right wing violence in North America 205 conception of split delegitimization underestimates the degree to which the contemporary discourse of the radical right identifies the ‘other’ with the state.). its politics. despising the evil that was around me and yet not wanting to be a martyr. 1986) The extended quotation above is taken from the Last Will and Testament of David J. polit- ical beliefs. . I was ‘criminally’ investigated by the IRS in 1982–1983. For though I stopped paying my tithes (income tax) to the satanic system. . Alienated from the dominate (sic) trends of judaized culture. acts of the Jewish-owned Federal reserve system and its collection agency. means and dedication of our enemies. stopped working for corpora- tions or other system creations. Several of my friends and associates were subpoenaed (without due process or grand jury investigation) to give information about my private. no doubt. from my public efforts to expose the crim- inal. . Moran. I leave with no regrets. revoked my slave number (social security number). and was chosen for inclusion here primarily for its accessibility in a published work. the IRS . There is nothing here to hold me. disgusted by its commercialism. etc. Moran’s themes of alien- tation and isolation are ubiquitous in the milieu of the contemporary . have declared war on ZOG . I no longer suffer from any delusions regarding the motives. I know better. . . This came. canceled by bank accounts and stopped accept- ing checks. I was not let alone. I am a stranger in my own land and to my people. personal affairs (source of livelihood. I deceived myself into believing that merely by refusing to aid my enemies in their machinations would be sufficient to solve my conscience and yet not jeopardize my life. Both died at precisely 9:00 p. I know that most of my people will not understand my motives nor my actions . To watch my people devoured by Judaism and not resist would destroy me just as surely as ZOG’s bullets and jails . working for cash or for barter only .m. and in the final ana- lysis. necessary. The letter is unremarkable in the internal dis- course of the radical right wing today. . Moran. In keeping with that delusion. of course. .

206 Case studies
radical right, but what interests us here is how complete is the identifica-
tion of the state and the dominant culture with the ‘other’. In this man-
ichaean conception, the Zionist Occupation Government epithet is no
mere rhetorical device. Like its Church of the Creator equivalent JOG
(Jewish Occupation Government) or the recent contribution of Identity
pastor Paul hall, BOG (Babylonian Occupation Government), the term is
evocative of the despair felt by adherents of ever being able to reverse this
latest example of the Jewish theft of culture. This belief strongly con-
ditions the forms which violence will take, once the conclusion is reached
that no other alternative is possible.
It is important to note, however, that Sprinzak’s observations of the
rarity of violence in this milieu is borne out in North America. As in Spin-
zak’s theory, violence is undertaken only by splinter elements of a move-
ment. More, the resultant terrorist groups tend to be small, autonomous,
and composed of part-time revolutionaries who continue to maintain jobs
and families. Operations tend to be largely focused on targets of oppor-
tunity arrived at as a result more of an emotional outburst than a process
of rational planning. Only a minority of these groups are more sophistic-
ated, employing a rational calculus of risk to potential benefit before
undertaking an operation.
There is some difficulty, however, with the conception of split target-
ing.79 That is, as a result of ‘two contemporaneous processes of delegitimi-
zation: an intense delegitimization vis-à-vis the hated non-governmental
collectivity and a diluted delegitimization towards the regime’, ‘the main
violence . . . is expected to involve non-ruling populations, [while only]
some of the heat is likely to reach political authorities’. This observation
certainly describes the random street attacks perpetrated by racist skin-
head groups and the increasingly rare instances of Ku Klux Klan acts of
local vigilantism. Yet as David Moran’s statement indicates, many on the
violent fringes of the movement no longer make a distinction between the
government, the dominant culture, and the ‘other’. They have in recent
years become inextricably interconnected, and thus to strike at one is to
strike at them all.
This powerful strain of Manichaeism has led to forms of violence
beyond the vigilantism noted above. At one extreme are the confrontation
between state authority and the inhabitants of isolated compounds or indi-
vidual survivalists. Here, despairing of the dominant culture, groups of
adherents seek to withdraw completely from the ‘system’ and move
beyond the reach of its minions. The motivations for this course of action
are primarily millenarian, and by situating themselves in the most isolated
pockets of rural America, there is obviously little opportunity for acts of
vigilante violence directed at the now distant ‘other’.
Apocalyptic millenarians all, bereft of the hope of supernatural rescue
through the doctrine of rapture in the ‘soon coming’ Last Days, these iso-
lated compounds in the 1970s and 1980s were armed camps. They were

Right wing violence in North America 207
isolated only in a geographic sense, however. They maintained contacts
with each other and with other appeals in the right-wing milieu. Eventu-
ally, a kind of specialization evolved with on the one hand Richard But-
ler’s Aryan Nations compound serving as both the annual mecca for
movement gatherings and the public face of the movement gatherings
and the public face of the movement, and on the other, James Ellison’s
Covenant, Sword and the Arm (CSA) of the Lord becoming the move-
ment’s armorer and preferred location for training in weapons and non-
conventional warfare tactics for the ‘serious’ adventurer.
Ellison’s compound provides an interesting case study in the effects of
physical isolation and complete alienation from the surrounding culture.
Ellison, already unstable, came to take on regal pretensions while a
marked strain of antinomianism developed at the CSA compound. Viol-
ence too was not long in coming. Here, two distinct patterns emerged. On
the one hand, some Order-inspired CSA adherents did undertake a spree
of revolutionary violence. The most notorious of these, Richard Snell, is
currently on death row in Texarkana, Texas, for the murder of a Black
Arkansas state trooper during a routine traffic stop. Previous to this
murder, Snell was involved in a series of terrorist acts, culminating in the
murder of a pawnshop owner believed by Snell to be Jewish. Yet Snell and
his confederates were by then acting outside of the aegis of CSA, and the
pattern of their activities suggests an ultimate dream far beyond vigilant-
ism’s aim to preserve the status quo.
The primary confrontation involving the organization was not with
random targets of opportunity, but rather with the state itself. It was a
hopeless battle, and in April 1985 the CSA compound was surrounded and
Ellison and others arrested. This pattern of withdrawal, siege by govern-
ment forces and a forced decision to resist or surrender is by far the
dominant pattern of violence in the movement’s survivalist fringe. This
pattern holds true for targets as disparate as the idiosyncratic CSA or the
lone figure of a Randy Weaver. In this milieu, the outside world is per-
ceived as literally demonic, and to strike out at a Jew, a Black policeman or
an FBI agent is essentially to resist the devil himself.80
Closer to home are instances of revolutionary violence aimed directly at
the ‘system’. IRS buildings and agents are fair game here, as are softer
targets such as judges or other government officials. Here lie the dreams
of Robert Mathews of the Order, whose revolutionary tactics were honed
as a tax resister in the Arizona Patriots. Here too rests the core charge
behind the Fort Smith conspiracy trial featuring the hapless Ellison as the
star witness; conspiracy to overthrow the government of the United States!
And here as well are the acts—are more precisely, threats—issued by the
Committee of the States and adherents of the amorphous Posse
The objectives here are clearly not vigilante violence. Blacks are not
attacked—they are seen as having too little intelligence or initiative to be

208 Case studies
perceived as a threat. Indeed, an early Robert Mathews directive to the
Order was to eschew any racist remarks in public. Jews conversely, are seen
as a threat—the hidden hand behind everything from the Civil Rights
Movement to the tyranny of the state. But with the exception of a few
high-profile figures, individual Jews were rarely marked for death, and
attacks on synagogues were seen as both futile and counter-productive.
Indeed, the Order’s assassination of Alan Berg appears to have been the
result of a last minute substitution for the less accessible Baron de Roth-
schild, Henry Kissinger, Norman Lear and the non-Jewish Morris Dees.81
The target here is in fact the state itself, and the tactics are indirectly
borrowed from European leftist terrorists as distilled by such American
imitators as the Symbionese Liberation Army and the Weather Under-
ground. Robberies of ‘system targets’ such as bank (and armoured cars)
are undertaken to finance the revolution until such time as the less risky
method of counterfeiting currency can be perfected. The money is then
recycled to finance other appeals in the radical right wing with the imme-
diate objective of forging alliances and demonstrating through the ‘propa-
ganda of the deed’ that revolution is possible and that ZOG is not as all
powerful as the Manichaean Zeitgeist of the radical right imagines. Assas-
sination in this conception is no mere act of impulsive vigilante enforce-
ment of threatened norms, but is rather a form of armed propaganda
aimed at instilling the maximum hope in the faithful by demonstrating
the vulnerability of the hated ‘system’.
How susceptible the milieu of the radical right is to propaganda, be it
of the deed or of the pen, is of considerable interest here. Clearly, the
denizens of this milieu thrilled to the Order’s exploits once they could be
convinced that Mathews and company were genuine revolutionaries rather
than part of an elaborate government entrapment scheme. But in line
with Sprinzak’s observation, few were prepared to place their own lives on
the line to join the revolution, and the government did not lack for self-
serving prosecution witnesses at Fort Smith! More, the fictional Turner
Diaries and the imaginary enforcers of the Vigilantes of Christendom would
become ubiquitous on the book shelves of the faithful, but few would take
the dream beyond the unfashionable literary circle which is the world of
right-wing newsletters into the streets of America. Thus the Turner
Diaries’ bitter sequel, Hunter, suggesting a return to lone wolf attacks on
‘system’ targets.
For the considerable population of the faithful whose apocalyptic per-
ception of contemporary American culture forces them to action but
whose innate caution rules out such lone wolf adventures, other options
remain. One of the more popular of these in the early 1990s is the militia
movement. These growing citizen militias are strongest in several Midwest-
ern and western states. Based closely on the dreams of Robert DePugh’s
1950s era Minutemen group and on the early models of William Potter
Gale’s California Rangers, John Harrell’s Illinois-based Christian Patriots

Right wing violence in North America 209
Defense League, and the Arizona Patriot group that was Robert Mathews’
gateway to the revolutionary right, the citizen militias are composed of a
diverse band of weekend warriors. Taking to the hills and the forests, clad
in camouflage fatigues and armed with a variety of weapons, the militias
diligently prepare for the day in the not too distant future when, they are
certain, the government will descend to wrest from this beleaguered
remnant of the last of their cherished constitutional freedoms as a prelude
to the imposition of an international dictatorship under the United
The various militia groups have studiously eschewed violence. Theirs is
a call to vigilance and preparation for the coming time of tribulation. Yet
the militia groups themselves are at best ad hoc collections of part-time
enthusiasts whose backgrounds and opinions are startingly diverse.
Women, a few Jews, and members of racial and ethnic minorities can be
counted among their number.
The loosely organized state militias communicate with each other in a
variety of ways: journals and newsletters, meetings, travels of militia
members from state to state, a fax network, and, most recently, a prolifera-
tion of computer BBS and mailing groups. This rapid exchange of ideas
further facilitates the already marked tendency toward serial and simulta-
neous cross-memberships in which militia members can be affiliated with
a variety of other ideological appeals across the spectrum of the radical
right wing.
The militias themselves are organized on local and state levels and are
structured around a core of local leaders with a fluctuating band of fol-
lowers. However diverse the membership may be, there does appear to be
a core of beliefs that are in keeping with the radical right’s accepted ortho-
doxy: apocalypticism, manichaeism, and a view that the Federal govern-
ment has fallen under the control of a hostile conspiracy bent on seizing
from the dwindling ranks of true Americans the last vestiges of their con-
stitutional liberties.
Typical of the militias’ appeal is an undated pamphlet issued by the
Militia of Montana (MOM) led by Randy Trochman of Noxon, Montana.
In an undated pamphlet titled ‘Executive Orders for a New World Order’,
Trochman presents in reasoned tones the outlines of the evolving ortho-
doxy of the radical right wing in the 1990s. Adopting as MOM’s slogan the
Robert Mathews-coinced termed ‘sheeple’ ‘Refuse to be “Sheeple” Become
Informed’), the brief text sets out the importance of executive orders in
what the radical right wing firmly believes to be the culmination of a con-
spiracy to subvert American sovereignty in favor of membership in a UN-
inspired New World Order whose dictates are to be enforced by UN

All other forms of government throughout the world must cease to
function . . . Because the Constitution is a document that safeguards

210 Case studies
[our] sovereignty it must be destroyed. Because of the genuine threat
of the American militia, the American people must be disarmed, and
become addicted to government hand-outs and thus become

Yet as Sprinzak correctly suggests, violence resulting from split delegitimi-
zation is the province of the few rather than the many. And here, the rela-
tionship of propaganda to violence is more complex. Robert Mathews was
influenced by the Turner Diaries, and in the Order’s formative stages he
pressed a copy on each potential recruit. He was in fact an early disciple of
the author of the Turner Diaries, Dr William Pierce. Yet much of the tacti-
cal advice contained in the book had already been employed, albeit on a
less systematic basis, in the world of radical tax protests, among which were
Mathews’ own Arizona Patriots. More, the Turner Diaries got a markedly
mixed reception within the Order itself.83 Similarly, the popularity of the
Vigilantes of Christendom’s Phineas Priesthood appears to have motivated
buta few of the most gullible denizens of the milieu to style themselves
Phineas Priests. More commonly, however, the Phineas Priesthood became
more a fashion statement than a serious call to arms.
The resistance of the milieu of the radical right to such overtures to
violence as the Turner Diaries or the Vigilantes of Christendom may speak to
the most fundamental criticism of the theory of split delegitimization; that
it seriously underestimates the religiosity, and thus the millenarianism and
comitant chiliasm, inherent in the radical right wing in North America.

The millenarian ethos of the North American radical right
What dream could be so alluring as to induce a man to risk all in a lonely
battle against a foe whom he perceives to be immensely greater than
himself? More, having won through to victory against impossible odds,
what will the world which he sacrificed so much to bring into being look
like? According to Sprinzak:

Their desired world is not a reality of some non-violent universal
humanity that is transformed temporarily—and for just reasons—into
a bloody existence. Rather, it is a reality, and an implied Weltanschau-
ung, which is predicated on conflict, permanent discrimination
against certain classes of people and their dehumanization. . . . Ter-
rorism against these ‘aliens’ or ‘subhumans’ is just another means of
making sure they do not multiply or prevail.84

In other words, the prize is a continuation of the hated status quo, albeit
with the significant differences that those who would challenge this
‘natural order’ have with difficulty been put in their place. Such visions
were indeed once features of the literature of the racialist right—particularly

Right wing violence in North America 211
in Ku Klux Klan circles—but in recent years these appeals for a restored
status quo have been abandoned in favor of visions which are frankly chili-
astic. In these felicitous scenarios, the ‘other’ have not been ‘put in their
place’, but rather, they have been banished altogether. What is striking
about these scenarios is how reminiscent they are of the Christian apoca-
lyptic tradition. This would hardly be surprising in an appeal as strongly
biblical as Christian Identity, but the dream is articulated in nearly ident-
ical terms in the avowedly secular world of National Socialism, in the neo-
pagan world of Odinism, and in the demand for a ‘whiter brighter world’
from the stridently anti-religious Church of the Creator!
It was not always so. In the 1950s the movement’s vision was indeed
more reformist than revolutionary. This contrast could not be better seen
than in a comparison of the respective denouements of the radical right’s
visionary novel of the 1950s, The John Franklin Letters,85 and that of the
1980s, the Turner Diaries. In the former, the apocalyptic confrontation
between the forces of good and true Americanism and the ‘enemy within’
of international communism eventuates in a reconstituted American state
in which constitutional government is restored. In this resurrected status
quo ante, the constitutional line of succession to the presidency is followed
with such meticulous care that the novel ends with the swearing in of a
Black president! The Turner Diaries offers no such heart warming prognos-
tications. Rather, the planet is devastated by ‘chemical, biological and radi-
ological’ means in a war of extermination against Jews and non-Whites
conducted on a global scale. The chiliastic dream is of an elite band of
survivors inhabiting truly ‘a new heaven and a new earth’.
The chiliastic visions current in the milieu of the radical right all appear
to contain three distinct stages. First, there is a preliminary demand for
separation. This may be articulated in the discourse of White nationalism
such as the call for a home for the ‘remnant’ peoples to be created in
several northwestern states. Robert Miles came to this view in his later
years, and this too was an early dream of Robert Mathews. For many who
took up residence in rural compounds, this withdrawal motif was seen in
these terms as well. In all cases, however, withdrawal from the contamina-
tion inherent in any dealings with ZOG or the culture that could give rise
to such a demonic entity was seen as but a preliminary step. The goal was
to prepare for the coming Tribulation, and it is precisely this intermediate
stage which is described by Sprinzak in the quotation offered above.
To discern precisely when that Tribulation may begin (or may have
begun) is no easy task. In its literal Christian form, the Tribulation is seen
as a seven year period in which the Antichrist will peacefully gather
together a world coalition for 3½ years which will be followed by 3½ years
of apocalyptic violence. Jesus will then return to defeat the Antichrist and
create a millennium of peace and plenty for the faithful remnant. The dif-
ficult is to discern by means of signs and portents—the Bible and CNN in
modern terms—that the time of the End is nigh. Christian Identity does

212 Case studies
not lack for interpreters of the signs of the End. Earl Jones and Dan
Gayman are but two of the most important Identity figures involved in this
complex task of hermeneutics. Yet as the examples quoted throughout
this study indicate, the literature of Odinism, National Socialism and Crea-
tivity no less than that of Christian Identity are deeply apocalyptic, and
each foresees a period of tribulation as the necessary birth pangs of the
desired new world.
What that new world may look like differs according to the dreamer.
Klansmen such as Thom Robb and Louis Beam see a pristine, all White
America on the lines of what they imagine the colonial period to have
been like. This may be accomplished in Robb’s view by a peaceful decision
to separate with passage for Blacks and Jews to wherever they came from
cheerfully supplied by White Americans. Beam sees the world in less rosy
hues, and with Fanon sees the violence needed to rid the nation of the Jew
and the Black and the alien liberating in and of itself. National Socialist
chiliasm tends more towards Beam’s eagerness to engage in battle, as does
Creativity, but the end is the same; a whiter brighter world from which the
pollution of the ‘other’ is eradicated and a uniracial, unicultural paradise
of peace and mutual cooperation is born. The Odinist Ragnarök too envi-
sions a world without the ‘other’, but with the significant difference that
the new world is ‘remagicalized’, the old gods returning as Christianity is
defeated. These fantasies appear to be drawn along the lines of Norse
mythology as rendered through the medium of sword and sorcery novels
and movies. Identity chiliasm is not greatly different from other appeals in
that the new world of peace and plenty will be one in which the ‘Israelite’,
that is, the White man, will be allowed to live in peace and happiness
among his own kind under the benevolent rule of the returned Jesus.
What distinguishes it, however, is a marked pre-Adamistic schematic in
which the races are separated and each lives in the place assigned to it by
the Creator as determined by Identity’s exegesis of Genesis.
The idealism of the 1950s was reflected in the milieu of the radical right
wing in a decidedly reformist vision which saw America as imperilled but
intrinsically good. While it was true that America’s enemies would be
defeated in an apocalyptic conflagration, the new world which would emerge
would be nothing but a purified version of the contemporary American state.
However, as the voice of the radical right was increasingly banished from the
public square, and as the processes of immigration, integration and eventu-
ally multiculturalism gained momentum and the state was seen as irrevocably
hostile to the ‘remnant’ of ‘real Americans’, this reformist vision would
change. The state, ZOG, was increasingly seen as not worth reclaiming, and
with this conclusion, the movement’s dreams became increasingly chiliastic.
With this, too, the pattern of violence emanating from the fringes of the
movement began to shift from vigilantism to anti-state terrorism.
This latter development was not unexpected and the resort to deadly
force was, again, not unilateral. This is the fourth suggestion from the

Right wing violence in North America 213
further development of Sprinzak’s theory; some account must be made of
the effect of violence directed at the radical right by state agencies.

An incipient martyrology
Gordon Kahl, Arthur Kirk, Robert Mathews, David Moran, Vickie and
Samuel Weaver. With the exception of Kahl, about whom a television movie
was made, these names and many more are largely unknown to the Amer-
ican cultural heartland but are instantly familiar throughout the milieu of
the radical right. From the sieges of the Covenant, Sword and the Arm of
the Lord’s compound, Randy Weaver’s cabin, and ultimately, to that at
Waco, there has in recent years been an escalation in the use of force against
inhabitants of the cultic milieu across the board in America. The reasons for
this increase in violence are complex, necessitating a study in itself. What
concerns us here, however, is the effect that this resort to force may have on
the movement’s own recourse to terrorist violence. It is a question that the
current internal literature of the movement is wrestling with, and one for
which it is as yet impossible to offer much illumination.
What is certain is that in the more sophisticated reaches of the radical
right wing, the view that the US government has become the agent of a tri-
umphant Jewish conspiracy has become accepted orthodoxy. The occa-
sional armed skirmishes which began with the effort to suppress the
anti-tax movement have come to involve adherents of other appeals in the
milieu of the radical right. The key event here may in retrospect prove to
be the siege of Randy Weaver’s cabin and the subsequent acquittal of
Weaver and Kevin Harris of all charges resulting from a confrontation
which resulted in the death of a federal agent. That this was followed so
quickly with a similar verdict in the case of the Branch Davidians in a trial
that involved the death of four federal agents may well prove to be a
turning point for both sides. The manichaean ‘us against them’ ethos
which characterizes the radical right could well engulf those whose task it
is to enforce the law. Add to this a budgetary environment which pits
agency against agency in the suddenly competitive national security com-
munity—a widespread suspicion regarding the Bureau of Alcohol,
Tobacco and ‘Firearms’ actions at Waco scarcely two weeks before the
agency’s congressional budget hearings were due to convene—and the
barriers to a too rapid resort to force in executing warrants could be ever
While it is true that most Americans would shed few tears were there to
be fewer denizens of the milieu of the radical right to remind us all of the
darker side of our history and culture, it is also true that, as the siege of
the Branch Davidian compound demonstrates, state violence once
unleashed can acquire a momentum of its own. The consequences of this
are surely considerably more deleterious than the disquieting views
espoused by the radical right.

Monitor 25 (May 1992). 30–82. Time. 23 Jan. Oklahoma Excalibur 1 (March/May 1992).e. e. ‘On Revolutionary Majorities’ (note 8). Terrorism and Political Violence [here- after TPV] 5/1 (Spring 1993) pp. effectively putting the United Klans of America out of business. The Klanwatch civil action. see ‘White Supremacist Nabbed in Toronto’. R. Robert Shelton. the UKA was responsible for the acts of its members. 9 Louis Beam. Thus in 1987.g. p. A Nation of Believers (Chicago. For another view of Robb. p. 5 This research has indicated cases in which right wing extremists have been dis- missed from their jobs following visits from representatives of watchdog groups. 1991. absolute evil. Klanwatch Intelligence Report 59 (1992). ‘The Perfected Order of the Klan’. the media success of Robb acolyte and former .. See ‘Hate Groups in Bitter Struggle Over Pubic Image: Militants Call for Viol- ence. however. p. Thomas Robb. 1993). 11. 1. 1. The model for this strategy is based on a successful case brought by Klanwatch on behalf of Beulah May Donald whose son Michael was murdered in 1981 by three members of the United Klans of America. promising to one day ‘round up those guilty of heinous crimes like the mad dogs they are and execute the ones guilty. Klansman Dennis Mahon’s loss of his employment at an aircraft manufacturing plant is typical of these anecdotes. was taken against the United Klans of America and the organi- zation’s Imperial Wizard. 1991). detailing the demise of Imperial Wizard James W. 119–36. A3. 1976). Mrs Donald was awarded control of the group’s Tuscaloosa headquarters. pp. 3 Campbell (note 2). Ferrands’ NC-based Klan group. i. Finally. The connotation is of a utopia of peace and plenty. 1993. Cf. Klanwatch Intelligence Report 69 (Oct. ‘The Context of American Revolutionary Theology: The Case of the “Identity Christian” Church of Israel’. 12 See. Colin Campbell. p. ‘It’s Now War!’. ‘We Are At War’. Old Style Groups Claim to Condemn It’.. the Kingdom of Christian terms. 6 John C. ‘Invisible Empire Turns Over Assets to the NAACP’. pp. The killers were caught and convicted of criminal charges. 121–2. 7. 30–1. Kitchener-Waterloo Record. pp. Klanwatch Special Report. (1972). Inter- Klan Newsletter and Survival Alert 5 (1984). ‘White & Wrong: New Klan. p. 25–7. The jury found that although Shelton knew nothing of the killing in advance. Perhaps the best introduction to Beam’s vision for the Klan and the country is Louis Beam. 8 The split by 1992 had come to the attention of the watchdog groups as well. p. 6 June 1992. in A Sociological Yearbook of Religion in Britain 5. 4 Manichaean refers to an undifferentiated zeitgeist of absolute good vs. ‘On Revolutionary Majorities’. Inter-Klan News- letter and Survival Alert 4 (1984). This case is recounted in considerable detail in Bill Stanton’s Klanwatch: Bring the Ku Klux Klan to Justice (NY: Grove Weidenfeld. Chiliasatic refers to the post-apocalyptic world order. IL: Univ. including its printing equipment. 7 ‘The Ku Klux Klan: A History of Racism and Violence’. 3–4. 2 Jeffery Kaplan. The Seditionist 10 (Summer 1991). ‘The Cult. 11 Dennis Mahon. 24 Aug. 1. Beam. p.214 Case studies Notes 1 Author’s interview with the Grand Design of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. 1. for Beam at his most vociferous. see ‘Robb’s Knights of the KKK Stage Small Comeback’. see Louis Beam. Old Hatred’. ‘hang ’em’. 4th ed. deport them or other- wise rid our Nation of their miserable presence’. pp. Marty. the Cultic Millieu and Secularization’. pp. 3. of Chicago Press. Cf. p. the remarkably sympathetic portrait of Robb by Michael Riley. 10 On the less than hospitable reception Mahon received on one of these forays. Calhoun and Louis. and Martin E. (1991).

is an ongoing series titled ‘Lesson in History’. 27 These plans were published under the ungainly title: Special Report on the Meeting of Christian Men held in Estes Park. 1994).). ADL Special Report (1987). and Jeffrey Kaplan. 22 For details on these Order related activities. ‘Jesus Christ Was Not a Jew’. Zions Watchman 8 (July 1977).). Colorado October 23. 24 ‘The White Supremacist Movement: 1992 At A Glance’. pp. Brotherhood of Murder (NY: Pocket Books. CO: Scriptures for America. 20 See Anti-Defamation League of the B’nai B’rith ‘ “Identity Churches”: A Theo- logy of Hate’. The similarity of the tactics employed at Waco with those uti- lized against the far right wing did not go unnoticed. 5–8. 1019–22. ‘Reflections After Waco: Millenialists and the State’. pp. see Thomas Martinez with John Gunther. 4. 47. Cf. 12–13. Zions Watchman 4 (April 1977). 18 Barkun. ‘The Hate Movement Today: A Chronicle of Violence and Disarray’. 1990). n.d. pp. ‘The Far Side of the Far Right’. 10. 4–6. 1994. 1992. Right wing violence in North America 215 skinhead Shawn Slater. Hate Groups in America: A Record of Bigotry and Violence (NY: ADL. NC: UNC Press. 1994). and ‘the Ku Klux Klan: A History of Racism and Violence’. Klanwatch Special Report. Klanwatch Intelligence Report (Feb. 1992 Concerning the Killing of Vickie and Samuel Weaver by the United States Government (Laporte. 17 Dan Gayman. ‘The Fable of Eve and the Apple’. Leonard Zeskind. pp. 3–4.). 1987). MD: Rowman and Littlefield. Klanwatch Intelligence Report (Feb. ADL Special Report (June 1986). ‘The Millennial Dream’. both in James R. p. The Silent Brotherhood (NY: Signet. Lewis (ed. 24. 270–1. The Christian Century. Death Penalty for Homosexuals (Laporte. 1993). see Eustace Mullins. Christian Crusade for Truth. p. Ch. 11–12. The timing of the tract’s appearance indicates that it was intended as a riposte to Bo Gritz’s reluctance to endorse capital punishment for homosexual- ity before a gathering of Identity ministers during the 1992 American presiden- tial campaign. p. p. 25. 26 ‘Special Message and Alert from Pastor Peters’. 4. Scriptures for America cassette No. GA: Center for Democratic Renewal. 1993). For a good. pp. 1986). ‘The KKK Today: A 1991 Status Report’. See Michael Barkum. The Curse of Canaan: A Demon- ology of History (Staunton. 16 Dan Gayman. New York Times. 22 Feb. book length version of a similarly complex Jewish conspiracy. 13 ADL.d. ADL Facts 28 (Spring 1983). ‘White Supremacist Movement Reels from Severe Set- backs in 1993’. 6–8. Religion and the Racist Right: The Origins of the Christian Identity Movement (Chapel Hill. ADL Special Report (NY: ADL. ‘From Aryan Nations to Anti-Hate: Floyd Cochrane Talks About the White Supremacist Movement and the Reasons He Left It’. The booklet contains as a bonus a little known but important essay by Louis Beam arguing for the efficacy under the present circumstances of those willing to engage in revolutionary violence to utilize . pp. pp. p. 11. 2 Nov. pp. pp. 23 Martinez and Gunther (note 22). my review article. 1994). ‘Colorado Klansman Refines Message for the ‘90’s’. 21. 25 Pete Peters. CO: Scriptures for America. 1990). 1988). VA: Revelation Book. 21 ADL. 14 ADL. 1991). and Kevin Flynn and Gary Gerhardt. Klanwatch Intelligence Report (Oct. 1993). 19 The most sophisticated version of this conspiratorial scenario may be found in Pastor Earl Jones’ newsletter. 15 The reconstruction of Identity history which follows is based primarily on Michael Barkun. ‘Extremism Targets to Prisons’. Religion (note 15). The ‘Christian Identity’ Movement: Analyzing Its Theological Rationalization for Racist and Anti- Semitic Violence (Atlanta. From the Ashes: Making Sense of Waco (Lanham. 41–53. 552 (n.

In actuality the work of Harold Cov- ington in the early 1980s. See Louis Beam. the criticism of Lipset’s findings in James Aho. 305. blabbermouths. p. 29 On Gayman’s career. ‘Articles of Faith and Doctrine’ (Schell City. On the internecine rivalry that pervaded ANP ranks during the Commander’s life- time. Klanwatch Intelligence Report (April 1993). pamphlet from the Church of Israel. The Politics of Unreason: Right Wing Extremism in America. Cf. 34 Conversation with Ron Hand. The Politics of Righteousness: Idaho Christian Patriotism (Seattle. . one-track minds. MO: Church of Israel. 31 On submission to state authority. p. This Time the World (Arlington. 1963). 28 On Peters’ legal dilemma. 1978). 1987. see Jeffrey Kaplan. ‘The Context of American Millenarian Revolutionary Theology’. 477–82. 1992. 7. of Chicago Press. 1990). ‘Leaderless Resistance’. 1968 which denounces Forbes and explains that his decision to lead a breakaway faction from the NSWPP to form a new American Nazi Party was taken after Matt Koehl failed to resolve a dispute among Los Angeles-based Nazis satisfactorily.216 Case studies small cell or even ‘lone wolf ’ tactics without recourse to a central organization. In George Lincoln Rockwell’s view: ‘I learned from bitter experience that the human material of the right wing consists 90 percent of cowards. 6. ‘Romans 13: A Primer in Government for Patriotic Christians’. p. nuts. 4. ‘Rebellion or Repentance: Which Way Modern Israel?’. WA: Univ. ‘The Bible and Civil Disobedience’. 193. 1982). boobs. see Dan Gayman. by the National Society Party of America. unsurprisingly. 1 Jan. 1991. n. 12 Sept. who was purged from the NSWPP by Koehl on the grounds that he allowed young women and copious amounts of marijuana in party headquarters. see ‘Identity Minister’s Church and Property Seized’. see idem. 17–18 and 11–13 resp. Tomassi responded by forming the NSLF on the model of left-wing terrorist groups of . On the Phineas Priesthood. p. One More Victim: The Life and Death of a Jewish American Nazi (NY: Signet Books. ‘Christian Conscience Towards Government’. ‘Can There Be Vigilantes in Christendom?’. 35 The National Socialist group most involved in this form of revolutionary viol- ence is. IL: Univ. of Washington Press. and Idem. VA: Parliament House. moribund if not defunct. see Seymour Martin Lipset and Earl Raab. Rosenthall and Arthur Gelb. 33 See for an early example James Warner’s letter to ‘Fellow National Socialists’ dated Jan. 20–23. 30 Church of Israel. pp. 1790–1977 (Chicago. see Flynn and Gerhardt (note 22). 32 Harold Covington. On the authoritarian personality. 31. 1989..’. pamphlet from the Church of Israel.M. pp. A much stronger denunciation of Koehl and the NSWPP is offered in a report marked ‘confidential’ (on every page!) from the self-styled National Socialist Defence Force Stormtroops Central Command Organization of the National Socialist Party of America. 1967). 1989. pp. The National Socialist Libera- tion Front (NSLF ) was founded in the early 1970s by Joseph Tomassi. pamphlet from the Church of Israel. 190. p. undated pamphlet pub. pamphlet from the Church of Israel. 1988. For the allegations themselves. the 4 hour cas- sette series. ‘What Have We Learned?’. 81–82 for his denial of any knowledge of Order activities or of conversations he was alleged to have had with Order member Richard Scutari. .. These sentiments are ubiquitous in the writings of American National Socialists. see the acerbic record of life in Rockwell’s barracks by A. the report. incurable tight- wads and—worst of all—hobbyists .. Ibid. Cf. George Lincoln Rockwell. sys- tematically holds up to ridicule virtually every facet of Koehl’s leadership.. especially n. The quotes are taken from pp. 10 Jan. titled ‘NSPA Security Division Report on the Current Status of the National Socialist White People’s Party (NSWPP)’. dopes. Idem.

pp. the head of the National Socialist Party of America in Chicago in the late 1970s. and 286–8. pp. Rick Cooper of the National Socialist Vanguard is equally explicit: We know ‘Armageddon’. For Mason’s account of mass action vs. On the Covington/Collin imbroglio. 39–40. will climax a tribulation period at which time the bankers will close their doors. For a discussion of the impact of the two volumes. Harold Covington. he [Rockwell] would be propa- gating the Milennial Idea as the rallying banner of an embattled race’. 1988). The Hitler Movement: A Modern Millenarian Revolution (Stanford. CA.] Cf. although in the milieu of North American National Socialism. pp. 40 Lauck’s current loner status in the world of National Socialism may have been the result of an ill-starred alliance with Frank Collin. Both Rust and Hand are currently incarcerated. ibid. 37 Martinez with Gunther (note 22). made the fortuitous discovery (while rifling through Collin’s desk) that the half-Jewish führer also had a weakness for pedophelia and did not hesitate to photograph his dalli- ances with young boys. VA: National Vanguard Books. Collin’s reign ended ingloriously. For a remarkable record of the blossoming of the Pierce-Klassen relationship. hardly atypically. 111. 1993). CO: Storm Books. 36 According the Matt Koehl. 1992). 39 Andrew Macdonald. NY: Prometheus. 7. Siege (Denver. Rhodes. 65 n. and for some 400+ pp. [Rick Cooper. pp. Nazis. First. NC: Church of the Creator. 1992). and Ben Klassen. perhaps the last man that Church of the Creator Ben Klassen could call a friend before Klassen’s 1993 suicide. and Pierce’s reward was the opportunity to buy Klassen’s North Carolina property at the bargain price of $100. 212. 360–1. 1993). Cf. of that group’s newsletter. see the exchange of correspondence in Ben Klassen. pp. 35–47. see ‘Gerhardt Lauck in Europe’. p. As if this were not enough. and Idem. 8–9. VA: National Vanguard Books. see James Mason. James M. ‘Like a true disciple.: Hoover Insta. Klansmen and Others on the Fringe (Buffalo. As a result. 1980). Karl Head and James Mason. leaving behind a cadre which included David Rust.000. The Klassen Letters Volume One 1969–1976 (Otto. This too was no mean feat. Hunter (Arlington. ADL. Klanwatch Intelligence Report (Aug.000 dollars [‘Church of the Creator Founder Ben Klassen Commits Suicide’. p. 220–2. ADL. see Kaplan (note 2). Collin was sent to prison.. Extremism on the Right: A Handbook. 364–365. pp. 366–7]. Covington inher- ited the NSPA and moved its operations to North Carolina. 1989). Tomassi was assassinated by a NSWPP adherent in 1975. 28. Press. 38 Dr Pierce remains. The Turner Diaries (Arlington. 93–100. pp. 118–19. his rival for NSPA ‘power’. p. 29–33. Extremism on the Right: A Handbook (NY: ADL. pp. Extremism on the Right: (note 36). For a first person account of Lauck’s meetings with German comrades in third countries. Laird Wilcox and John George. Right wing violence in North America 217 the day. NSV Report 11/3 (July/Sept. and the luckless Lauck found a new calling: translating American neo-Nazi propaganda and smuggling it into Germany [Wilcox and George (note 37). The Klassen Letters Volume Two 1976–1981 (Otto. 59–60.. 1. What we have been attempting to determine now is a possible trigger incident that will cause the bankers to close their doors. ADL. pp. 1988). 144–5.] The article states that Pierce immediately put the property back on the market with an asking price of $300. New . in fact. it was revealed that Collin was half-Jewish—his father had been a prisoner in the Nazi concentration camp at Dachau. which many (we included) believe is the biblical word for race war. revolutionary violence split in National Socialist ranks. Communists. 1978). NC: Church of the Creator. 1988). ‘No Man Knows the Date’.

p. p. A complete documentary history of the Ásatrú/Odinist community will appear as Jeffrey Kaplan. forthcoming). Mankind Quarterly 21/3 (Spring 1981). 1. of California Press. leaving the Odinist/Ásatrú literature to refer to the contemporary world—our world—as the Wolf-Age. Odinist 11 (March 1974). ‘The Structure of History’. based on this and similar texts. Jean I. and ‘More Yockey’. 3. (Berkeley. 45 C. See in particular the NSV Report 2/3 (July/Sept. p. Rud Mills’. however. less explicitly racialist reconstruction of the Norse-Germanic pre-Christian tradition than does Odinism. With Ragnarök. See ‘Our View of History’. p. 46. one need look no farther than the Depression era leader of the fascist Silver Shirts. IL: Univ. Mills is presented to the readers of The Odinist in ‘The Wisdom of A. 1./Feb. Young. Marty. The Odinist 65 (1982). 1964). see Martin E. CA: Univ. For other views. Vol. p. 1. Extremism on the Right (note 36). Lauck was arrested for this activities in Denmark in April 1995 as this volume was going to press. ‘Wotan’. Flowers. The marked similarity of this description of Rag- narök. McNallen. c. On Lauck’s success in importing National Socialist materials into Germany. p. in James Lewis (ed. 1930).G. 10. Rud Mills. 1992). Anchorage Daily News. For a perceptive encapsulation of Pelley’s syncretic ideology. NY: SUNY. p. trans. the NSV Report. 46 Interview with Elsie Christensen 27 Nov. The Odinist Religion: Overcoming Jewish Chris- tianity (Melbourne. 1991). Odinist 10 (Dec. sug- gesting how this stratagem was hatched. The letter is signed by Victor Fox for Commander Vincent. ‘The Reconstruction of the Ásatrú and Odinist Traditions’. Stephen Flowers is the birth name of Edred Thorsson. the Twilight of the Gods. see Wilcox and George. The Prose Edda. 86. William D. p. Bollingen Series XX (NY: Pantheon. The statement is accompanied by an internal NSWPP letter dated 24 June 1978 advising members to eschew their Nazi uniforms and paraphernalia for the ‘Odinist’ event. most of the gods and a great deal of the potential for human happi- ness disappeared from the earth. 42 These themes are drawn from an 11-year collection of NSV Reports. Magical Religions and Modern Witchcraft (Albany. ‘Revival of Germanic Religion in Contemporary Anglo-American Culture’. after a period of . of Chicago Press. 1. Stephen E. 47 The quote is taken from a typescript of McNallen’s summer 1978 statement. The Collected Works. ‘ “Farm-Belt Fuehrer” ‘Feeds German Market for Hatred’. 262–5. Modern American Religion Volume 2: The Noise and the Conflict 1919–1941 (Chicago. Fox is an Odinist attached to the Ásatrú Alliance where he enjoys according to this research a particularly vile reputation for his overt Nazism and for the reputed dishonesty of his personal dealings. pp. 43 Snorri Sturluson. Jung. 44 To date. Pelley. 1993. there is only one published account of the history of the Ásatrú com- munity which may be thought of in simplified terms as a form of Norse neo- paganism which seeks a fuller. 1.). Australia: self-published. 1992. and ADL. in Jung. A career officer in the US Army. p. Yockey would deservedly be accorded greater attention than Mills. Nazis (note 37). Odinist 12 (June 1974). currently a primary Ásatrú theorist and a leader of a wing of the Satanist Temple of Set. 1966). A. 1984) for the Wolf Stadt dream and biographies of the leaders. to Jewish and Christian apocalyptic texts demonstrates the compatibility of the reconstruction of the Norse tradition with the monotheistic apocalypticists who people the radical right wing. 1973). 9 Sept. 41 The saga of the NSV is best found in its breezy newsletter. see Tamera Jones. Fox at this writing is fighting the Army’s efforts to discharge him for racist activity. 366. For a classic example of the primary influence of occult beliefs on neo-Nazi adherents.218 Case studies Order 96 (Jan.

282. All emphasis in original. 1973). p. but during his life he was something of an icon for North American Odinists. and ‘Fugitive in Idaho Cabin Plays Role of Folk Hero’. 1. 1. Sunwheel 1 [Britain] (1990). Expanding Creativity. 7. emerged in 1994 with a new explicitly National Socialist/Odinist vehicle. 54 Ibid. has been given The Odinist mailing list for his own recently revived periodical. ‘Why Adolf Hitler Had to be Overcome’. Lane’s philosophy of life is detailed in David Lane. p. After The White Man’s Bible. ‘Divided Loyalties’. 10. 1993). More recently. See the first issue of the NS Kindred’s newsletter. 7. Klanwatch Intelli- gence Report 66 (April 1993). The Toronto Sunwheel. NSV Report 8/3 (July/Sept. ‘Am I so different just because the genes I inherited from my Aryan ancestors impelled me to seek some adven- ture? Wasn’t our very heritage built on Viking raiders?’ ‘Brotherhood’. 2. p. pp. 48 The seeds of Mrs Christensen’s downfall should not have been difficult to foresee. most of these volumes merely reprint material from Racial Loyalty. p. 9. and Rahowa! The Planet is Ours. 23 June 1993. pp. 1971 and would appear faithfully for 21 years.. pp. Consider a letter from an Odinist prisoner reprinted on the front page of Odinist which decried the rejection faced by prisoners in the Odinist/Ásatrú community upon their release. Beinteinsson died in 1993. Klassen is more succinct in Nature’s Eternal Religion: ‘Christianity was invented by the jews (sic) as a tool with which to destroy the White Race’. ‘A whiter. 51 Flowers (note 44). ‘US Hits Snag in Idaho Siege Trial’.). 258. The last volume. NC. WAR II/I (n. Odinist 67 (1982). p. The White Man’s Bible. 9 July 1993. The Runestone. published in 1989. 26 August 1992. Right wing violence in North America 219 inactivity. the press accounts of various stages of the Weaver odyssey. 1. Nature’s Eternal Religion (Otto. and spells out Klassen’s dreams for bringing out. 55 ‘Church of the Creator in Turmoil Over Leadership Change’. Aryan Destiny! (n. in COC parlance. The Odinist carries the remarkable story of one young American Odinist who made the journey to see Beinteinsson.). This output is impressive. p. The White Man’s Bible (Otto. NC: Church of the Creator. 50 Lane was later to resign from the Order on the grounds of the incompatibility of his Odinism and the Christian Identity faith of the majority of Order adher- ents. All of the volumes above are published by the Church of the Creator. 22–3. p. Klanwatch Intelligence Report 68 (Aug. After all. several volumes of Klassen’s letters have appeared as well. 1990). and to write moving accounts of the effect of that worthy’s beatific smile which changed the seeker’s life. 1981). For various movement views. ‘88 Precepts’. Ben Klassen. 408–9. p. see the Christian Identity . 52 The primary texts for the COC are Ben Klassen’s Nature’s Eternal Religion. See Grimnir. Reportedly. 53 Ben Klassen. the National Socialist Kindred. Jury Acquits 2 in Marshal’s Killing in Idaho Siege’. 49 The premier issue of The Odinist appeared in Aug. 325. ‘Editorial’. For just such a touching account. New York Times. Salubrious Living. brighter world’. David Lane. p. Otto. New York Times. is an acronym of Racial Holy War. 313. but also somewhat less than meets the eye. a quasi-Odinist vehicle billed as ‘The Voice of National Socialism in Britain’. New York Times. NC: Church of the Creator. 1–2.d. ending only with Mrs Christensen’s incarceration. ‘Church of the Creator Founder Ben Klassen Commits Suicide’. p.d. Cf. Building a Whiter and Brighter World. p. 56 ‘Rebuking the US. see The Odinist 49 (1989). Steve McNallen. only to find the language barrier impassable. long inactive on the Ásatrú scene. The reader is reminded of religious seekers of an earlier day who would make pilgrimages to distant holy men only to discover that they were equipped linguistically and cul- tural to do little more than stare at the radiant countenance of the learned one.

for Historical Review. the original edition was published under the aegis of the National Civil Rights Committee. p. 66 Letters dated May–July 1990. 60 Stanley R. CO: Betsy Ross. et al. 64 Mark Hamm. the National Socialist the- orist considered above. the California Rangers. and ‘Weaver Trial Update’. 2. in this volume. Idem. Jubilee 5/2 (Sept. p. 1992. is perhaps most notable for his early recognition of the lessons that Charles Manson and his ‘Helter Skelter’ race war fantasy could teach the movement would Nazis but give him an ear. Committee of the States: Inside the Radical Right (Mari- posa. 1. Dema- gogues in the Depression (New Brunswick. ADL Special Report (1990). 58 Archibald Roberts. Birkenau and other Nazi concentration camps could not have been responsible for the murder of human beings. ‘Young Nazi Killers: The Skinhead Danger’. ‘The Process of Deligitimization: Towards a Linkage Theory of Political Terrorism’. 65 Kaplan (note 2).. pp. 19 Dec./Oct. Perhaps the star exhibit available to anyone with a modem and the address of an IHR FTP site is the Leuchter Report. Mason initiated a corres- pondence with Manson and his followers and may now be classed as something of a Manson adherent himself.. 1993. ‘Right-Wing Terrorism in a Comparative Perspective: The Case of Split Deligitimization’. as well. Bennett. 1967. ADL. ADL Special Report (1993). 62 Klanwatch Intelligence Report 54 (Feb. pp. CA: Carnden Place Communications. Siege (note 35). IL: Ivan R. James Mason. 1987). George. ‘Weaver. 156–65. Jubilee 5/6 (May/June 1993). Coughlin. CA: Inst. broadcast 5 Feb. A printed version of the work is available from Bradley Smith for $20. ADL. Is God A Racist?: The Right Wing in Canada (Toronto: Univ. 1992). A Trial on Trial: The Great Sedition Trial of 1944 (Torrance./Dec. Bill Moyers. Dee. 1993). 1987). 63 ADL. Emerging Struggle for State Sovereignty (Ft. The Balance 4/2 (Aug. . is the sole available academic study. pp. 68 Kenneth T. 59 Leon Jaroff. 1. 1984). 6. 67 Ehud Sprinzak. Previous ADL publications about the skinhead movement were ‘Shaved for Battle’. Barrett. 1991). ADL Special Report (1987). and ‘Neo Nazi Skinheads: A 1990 Status Report’. Name withheld by request. The view of a movement lawyer. 61 Klanwatch Intelligence Report 68 (Aug. 50–68. NJ: Rutgers UP. 1992). 1992). PBS Documentary. p. ‘The Committee of the States’. 40–1.–March 1985). American Skinheads (Westport. Harris Face the Death Penalty’. 1979). 1969). This document. Mason. 1993). One could add to this list another Gale creation.220 Case studies sources: ‘Lesson in Federal Tyranny: The Weaver Family Saga’. 57 NSV Report (Jan. Cheri Seymout. p. Jackson. Jubilee 5/3 (Nov. ADL Special Report (Oct. Cf. TPV 3/1 (Spring 1991). 1993). 1. ADL Research Report (Summer 1989). Time Magazine Electronic Edition. purports to prove on the basis of blueprint specifications that the gas chambers at Auschwitz. 1. The latter issue runs Waco and Weaver news side by side. p. 5. 1945. p. CT: Praeger. Klanwatch prefaces the article with a quote from William Pierce’s Turner Diaries to the effect that the war against the ‘system’ has at last begun. see David H. p. 1915–1930 (Chicago. The Ku Klux Klan in the City. 1. of Toronto Press. Hate on Trial. see Lawrence Dennis and Maximillian St. the work of one Fred Leuchter whose claim to be an engineer was debunked in 1991 when he was forced to admit that his academic background was limited to a BA degree in history. Kirk Lyons is offered in ‘White Separatists Acquitted’. p. On Smith. ‘Debating the Holocaust’. ‘Holocaust “Revisionism”: Reinventing the Big Lie’. 69 For a view of the trial as seen by one of the defendants. 1991). Collins. Before the IHR reprint- ing.

346. 1977).). 185. see CSA.. 1988).. Right wing violence in North America 221 70 Naomi W. p. and Stanton (note 7). The Humble Oil Company. The fate of Jews in the Soviet Union was a critical factor in this decision as well. 42. 81 Martinez with Gunther (note 22). 1986). to detect covert movements of UN troops in the USA) was the Christian Identity White Angel Isaac Sons of Lincol- nton. 72 Glen Jeansonne. Richard Snell’s musings can best be found in Richard Snell. ‘75 Prostitutes.g. c. of Illinois Press.d. p.). p. but the Cross and the Flag went on briefly. On the concept of the ‘high priesthood’ of watchdog groups. 71 Ibid. Libertinism.. Free Love. ‘The Shadow of Death! (Is There Life After Death?)’ (unpub. Flynn and Gerhardt (note 22). Not Free to Desist (Philadelphia. Sword and Arm of the Lord. Gerald L. or his death row newsletter. 2–3. Evaporation of Religious Standards’. Ch. See The Cross and the Flag 36 (Sept. CT: Yale UP.. The New Anti-Semitism (NY: McGraw- Hill. pp. One of the first movement newsletters to begin the serious sport of ‘bluehat spotting’ (i. pp. Gerber (ed. Epstein. 1987). pp. 1993). 66.. see Glen Jeansonne. 77 ‘The Jerry Springer Show’. e. unpub. n. Juvenile Perversion. 76 Among them the Order’s Tom Martinez. the Last Call. 82 Militia of Montana. 13. Martinez appears to suggest that a more important source of tactical advice was drawn from Order member David Lane’s ‘Bruders Schweigen Manual’. 79 Sprinzak 1991 (note 67). Cf. pp.g. p. 158–60. 63–6. ‘Sex “Educa- tion” (?) Phony Name For Academic Pornography Resulting in Corruption of Youth. pp. which publicized the passion play in a list of outdoor dramas printed in its Happy Morning News. SYZYGY 2:3–4 (Summer/Fall 1993). United States Senators in a Brothel Run by Jews’. 84 Sprinzak 1991 (note 67). Cf. 80 For an unparalleled view into the world of the Covenant. Cf. p. Idem. For a scholarly view. 1974). Community Degeneration. Cohen. K. 85 Anon.. Smith: Minister of Hate (New Haven. ‘Combating Anti-Semitism: The Case of Gerald L. This account was privately confirmed in considerably greater detail by a participant in the fiasco. 73 Smith died on 15 April 1976. See pp. Smith and the Christian Nationalist Crusade. n. Anti-Semitism in American History (Urbana. 29. to Cross and the Flag mailing list. Popularization of Pre-Marital Sex. found its correspondence with the ADL leaked to the press and some credit card holders returned their cards. Smith’. (n. North Carolina. 23 for a discussion of the project.d. . Ridicule of the Church. 267–96. 44–5. This pastime has since become a ubiquitous in move- ment literature. 1959). 1986). Survival Manual (no publication data). and Arnold Forster and Benjamin R.e. 1972). ad did the dream of a biblical theme part and passion play at Eureka Springs. report distr. ‘The Anti-Cult Movement in America: An History of Culture Perspective’. Repudiation of Moral Standards. 11. Stephen Singular. pp. in David A. 22. 75 E. The John Franklin Letters (NY: The Book Mailer. p. to Cross and the Flag mailing list. pamphlet distr. 96–100. Jeffrey Kaplan. 74 Forster and Epstein (note 73). 193.d. Talked to Death: The Life and Murder of Alan Berg (NY: William Morrow. of America. for an advertisement for the park and p. 83 Martinez with Gunther (note 22). p. pp. ‘Executive Orders for a New World Order: What You Should Know’. p. 17–18. NSV Report 11/3 (July/Sept. K. the CSA of the Lord newsletter. unpub. 78 Seymour (note 58). Martinez with Gunther (note 22). Gerald L. IL: Univ. K. 62–3 for excerpts. PA: Jewish Publication Soc.

Of the groups profiled in these pages in my Autumn 1993 review article. ‘America’s Last Prophetic . They [the abortion industry] are just hanging themselves by making us stronger. defensive action and the resort to force (Copyright © 1995 Taylor & Francis Group. (Shelley Shannon. pp. . This essay seeks to detail the stages through which the radical fringe of the rescue movement passed before they came to embrace the necessity of ‘Defensive Action’. June 1993)1 The rescue movement is dead. Such was the view of rescuers interviewed for this research. 128–63. By allowing the rescuers to speak in their own voices. who lose everything because of their obedience to Him. That act opened the floodgates to other violent attacks on doctors. Reprinted with permission of the publisher) The murder of Dr David Gunn in 1993 by Michael Griffin made a decisive break with the pro-life rescue movement’s 20-year history of non-violent protest against abortion in America. it is hoped that the study will contribute to a greater understanding of the activism. and no longer have any ties or obligations in the world. process by which a millenarian movement turns from non-violent witness to violent activism. totally committed to God. Rescue those being led away to death. . The select few willing to pay the increasingly draconian price of true rescue—in rescue terminology the interposition of the body of the rescuer between the killer and his intended victim—have dwindled to a paltry few. And many of these are paying the price of that faithful witness in the jails and prisons of America. This chapter was first published in Terrorism and Political Violence 7. 3 (Autumn 1995). and brought to public notice a violent splinter sect of the larger millenarian subculture dedicated to the ‘rescue’ of the unborn. hold back those staggering toward slaughter (Proverbs 24:11) Imagine 50 Christians.7 Absolute rescue Absolutism. who can easily risk all . no.

‘murder’ or ‘child killing’ for abortion. schol- arly audience an apocalyptic millenarian Zeitgeist which is at this writing still very much in the process of formation. Yet the term remains in the text as it is not only the most accurate description of the profession. this work will attempt to present these events as they are seen through the eyes of the adherents of the faction of the rescue community which has accepted the necessity of the use of force. A great deal of internal material. Yet of equal import are the rescue journals. More. already estranged from its main- stream pro-life parent. on occasion. has served both to polarize the once cohesive world of rescue and to create an increasingly bitter chasm between rescuers and the larger pro- life constituency. letters. are not only intrinsic to the discourse of the movement.4 This study seeks to illustrate the complex of factors which have led to this state of affairs. Absolute rescue 223 Witness: The Literature of the Rescue Movement’. functioning more as traveling tent revival than a rescue organization. Interviews and personal letters too have played a considerable role in what follows. Much of what follows thus relies heavily on the assistance and the writings of the rescuers themselves. the term ‘abor- tionist’ is itself controversial. ‘death culture’ or ‘abortion culture’ for American culture. In the final . conducted as are all internal debates within the rescue move- ment in the pages of key rescue journals and among adherents themselves. For this reason. magazines and newsletters in which the theology of rescue is even now evolving.3 What is more. the rescue community. has been torn asunder by an increasingly divisive debate over the utility of the resort to violence in defense of the unborn. ‘killing center’ or ‘child killing industry’ for for-profit abortion clinics. In so doing. The Missionaries to the Preborn have suffered a leadership schism and the missionaries themselves are enmeshed in the court system. In the attempt to introduce the scholarly community to the Zeitgeist of the rescue world. ‘abortuary’. those who have accepted at least the theoretical possibility of the efficacy of the resort to deadly force. but because the various readers of earlier drafts of this work could suggest no alternative which was not either linguistically clumsy or utterly artificial. Thus. This debate. the terminology employed throughout the article reflects the accepted pattern of discourse within rescue’s most deter- minedly millenarian adherents. prison diaries and extensive correspondence has been made available to this research. In this context. it is hoped that it will be possible to translate for a secular. ‘deathscorts’ rather than clinic escorts. the Lambs of Christ have ceased their rescue activities. while for reasons that may not at is time be made public. ‘killer’ or ‘mass murderer’ for abortion- ist.2 Operation Rescue National is a shadow of its former self. the term is ‘baby’ rather than fetus. this article allows the rescuers to speak in their own voices. but are neces- sary if the movement’s world view and its recent actions are to be made comprehensible to a scholarly audience. ‘Prisoner of Christ’ for jail or prison inmate. and.

5 I Worldview The conversion experience You know. . and. The voices in which it is written are those of such imprisoned rescuers as Shelley Shannon (convicted of shooting Wichita abortionist George Tiller). (Joe Scheidler)6 Virtually every rescuer can point to a moment in which a general feeling of uneasiness with abortion was catalyzed into a sudden. poorly understood oppositional millennial movement which. For some. Perhaps a woman had an abortion. for life itself. this chorus of ‘prophetic witnesses’ will serve to illuminate this American pariah movement. in taking its chal- lenge to the prevailing attitudes of the America of the 1990s. for fam- ilies. . The rescue movement today is a little studied. ultimately. to the adop- tion of a seemingly hopeless course of revolutionary violence. but of equal import to the task of this volume. Other voices will be heard as well—those counseling an adherence to rescue’s twenty year old ethos of pacifism and non-violence. The social critique which rescue offers centers on the most delicate and deeply personal issues of our time: the relative values placed on individual freedom and reproductive rights versus our society’s traditional reverence for babies and children. however. intense realiza- tion that abortion was indeed murder and that some concrete action had to be taken to save the babies from imminent death. and thus the decision to allow the scholarly community to see and hear for themselves the rescue movement’s powerful indictment of the contemporary world. or a man urged or financed such a procedure. to follow the evolution of an opposi- tional millenarian appeal from its optimistic beginnings through an increasingly apocalyptic and despairing phase and. . this moment was the culmination of feelings of remorse over some personal involvement with the abortion culture. Thus the powerful emotions unleashed on both sides of the ‘abortion wars’. convicted clinic bomber John Brockhoeft and Paul Hill. More often. It is hoped that together.224 Case studies analysis. sentenced to death for killing the abortionist John Britton. at the deepest level. has struck a raw nerve in the dominant culture. It is hoped that through this work. every pro-lifer has a story . that moment of enlightenment came as a result of having seen the graphic evidence of the reality of abortion. The study will be divided into two sections: worldview and the resort to force. this contribution seeks to present the rescue movement on its own terms and in its own words without the distraction of an intrusive scholarly voice. it will be possible not only to better understand rescue as a social movement.

Until then. they would rise as one to put a stop to the practice. Nathanson’s film. . its mouth went open like it was screaming. an American man. deep shame and embarrass- ment before God. especially. I read a short article by Melody Green describing Dr. but what to him was immeasurably more shocking was the indifference of the public and of the ever-present pro-choice demonstrators to this indisput- able evidence of the evils of abortion. and for having put off the doing of what I felt was my duty to my God and my country. More. ‘The Silent Scream’. . a graphic film of an abortion narrated by former abortionist Bernard Nathanson. . On that bitterly cold day. As John Brockhoeft’s narrative illustrates. fury and rage toward the criminals . In 1987 or thereabouts. The effect on Brockhoeft was immediate. but it couldn’t. She described the baby trying to get away from the abortionist.7 ‘The Silent Scream’. . and . My heart was overwhelmed with grief and love for the babies. Absolute rescue 225 For John Brockhoeft. . to protect the lives of American babies.8 This film too is alleged by Michael Griffin to have triggered his resolve to kill abortionist David Gunn: an act which opened the floodgates to the resort to the ‘justifiable homicide’ of abortionists to save the lives of their victims. Brockhoeft’s life had changed forever. and finding that there were other people who were also awake. I was ashamed of myself for having done nothing during the first years. and so little thereafter.9 So intense was the impact of the visual image of an aborted baby on individual rescuers that it was little wonder that signs depicting horrific images of the results of burned bodies resulting from saline abortions or the dismembered corpses left by suction abortions became ubiquitous at non-violent rescues throughout the nation. . that moment came on Saturday. I never thought about the babies being killed. the exertion of actual force to preempt the slaughter of my people. . And when he killed it. namely. but most weren’t. 28 December 1985. I was ashamed of being an American and. It was like suddenly waking up. while taking part in a peaceful pro-life demonstration outside a Planned Parenthood clinic in Cincinnati. it was felt that if the American public could but see the awesome truth of abortion. ashamed of being part of a lukewarm church . was Shelley Shannon’s introduction to the movement: I’ve always known abortion was wrong. this realization of the slaughter of the innocent would be the catalyst for the awakening of the Church whose silence is perceived by rescuers as . for suddenly: . activist Melody Green displayed the bodies of seven aborted babies respectfully laid out in seven tiny caskets. .

for despite the hostility displayed to the rescue message. the rescue com- munity for almost two decades held true to its original commitment to nonviolence. deeply religious members of independent funda- mentalist or evangelical Protestant churches or devout Catholics. the experience of violence at the hands of those that the civics texts of the 1950s and 1960s held to be the guardians of order was the next great shock. Why? It is not only for the rare satanic zeal which kills babies. rescuers are products of an idealized America in which truth. It took much more than this to bring about the current climate. and I will give you the crown of life. justice and basic good- ness are sure to triumph in the end.’ That’s how it was in the beginning. It is because of the pervasive lukewarmness which kills babies.10 The awakening The wrath of God burns furiously against the USA. even to the point of death. in John Brockhoeft’s words. (Rev. and worse that the Church itself was indifferent to res- cue’s plea for the lives of ‘Christ’s least brothers’ to use the terminology of the Lambs of the Christ. and that’s the way it was all along in America for hundreds of years—even until within a relatively few years ago—even within my short lifetime. an America whose colonial Golden Age myth is one of a Christian nation in which ‘Everybody was a Christian. Primarily white. unashamed of the gospel. Be faithful.13 That the American public was hostile to the simple truth offered by the rescue community. I tell you.12 Theirs was. and we are poised for destruction. But it was only the first step. was the first step on the road to rescue’s current demonization of American culture. rescuers before their conversion to the truth of the abortion culture were an unremarkable group. Police. the devil will put some of you in prison to test you. largely middle and working class.226 Case studies the greatest crime of the abortion culture. and you will suffer persecu- tion for ten days. prisons and the ‘deathscorts’ Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. 2:10) . That both the church and the populace would remain unmoved may be safely posited to be the genesis of the apocalyptic view of American culture which characterizes the mille- narian ethos of the rescue movement. (John Brockhoeft)11 By their own testimony. For if indifference was the first step in the disillusionment of res- cuers with American society.

Randall Terry’s Accessory to Murder offers an instructive portrait of this time of trial. Clinic volunteers are a diverse group. in the view of the rescuers. violence at the clinics—violence in which rescuers often found themselves to be the victims—escalated rapidly. Absolute rescue 227 In the ‘Siege of Atlanta’ in 1988. It was in Atlanta that police systematically adopted the use of ‘pain com- pliance’ tactics designed to force rescuers to walk under their own volition to waiting police vans. Atlanta’s police and prisons apprised rescuers of the grim truth that their non-violent witness would not soon awaken America to repent- ance or the Church to renewal. Escorts come from many walks of life. That the rescuers’ outrage at the behavior of the clinic guards was fully reciprocated by the escorts’ disgust for the actions of the rescuers is clear as well from the literature. men and women. . much if not most of the violence around clinics which occurred during rescue’s pacifist heyday came from the highly emotional.17 A central irony of the rescue movement lies in the fact that rescue. intended a non-violent action with the dual intent of preventing the death of a baby in the immediate sense and of awakening American society and the American Church to the devaluation of the value and quality of human life which has taken place in recent years. Jail conditions under which rescuers were held deteriorated rapidly as well. but Shelley Shannon was there. has in practice unleashed the most negative emotions on both sides of the barricades. the volunteer clinic defense teams—the so-called deathscorts—deserve more than a passing mention. but it was an experience which was to have an even more pro- found impact on the rank and file rescuers. Given the social backgrounds of the rescue commu- nity—men and women who had never before considered even the possib- ility of violating the lawful orders of police and courts—this was a revelation in itself.14 Atlanta split Operation Rescue and gave birth to the Missionaries to the Preborn. John Brockhoeft had been taken into custody by BATF agents on 7 May 1988. In the formation of the currently prevalent apocalyptic worldview of the rescue community. and it was in Atlanta too that rescuers were intro- duced to the terrible conditions to which prisoners are subjected in much of urban America. and occasionally physically abusive behavior of the ‘deathscorts’. In the wake of the Siege of Atlanta. members of such homosexual activist groups as Act Up and Queer Nation. feminists. two months before the events in Atlanta. deathscorts). too often vitu- perative. Rescuers assert that the primary sources of clinic level violence centered on the volunteer clinic escorts (or in rescue parlance.15 Atlanta was in fact a mere taste of what was to come. So were hundreds of others. liberal activists. and on some local police departments. the staunchly pacifist Operation Rescue lost its innocence. and perhaps most notably for the rescuers.16 It is clear from this research that. Rescue would never again be the same.

228 Case studies Consistently. They did get one .18 Indeed. The litany of such events serves as a resume for veteran rescuers. Whenever I opened them. as well as the characteriza- tion of the abortionist as ‘killer’ or ‘murderer’ has served this purpose. Pain compliance holds served to force rescuers to abandon their positions ‘voluntarily’. also kicks. . They were nice to pro-death but extra brutal to us.20 Taking the lessons learned in Atlanta. West Hartford. Shelley Shannon’s description of such police techniques in Portland in a 13 January 1990 rescue are typical of this turn to greater police force. it took little imagination to interpret these imprecations as explicitly and unambiguously satanic. For rescuers hearing such epithets. some local police departments began to respond to Operation Rescue’s mass events with an increasing violence. Thus began a process of dehumani- zation on both sides which served to lower the threshold to the resort to violence. I had my eyes closed praying . her wrist was broken]. . the anger generated between the groups encamped outside the clinic door has brought about verbal confrontations intended to attack that which each side holds most dear. I saw people getting tortured. and some departments went far beyond the call of duty. including the use of nunchukas. Yet the line between ‘pain compliance’ and outright brutality is exceedingly thin. Pittsburgh. Shelley Shannon notes that her own deci- sion to resort to force was influenced by listening to a taped sermon com- paring the abortion clinics of America to satanic altars. Thus the confirmation of the view that the abor- tion clinics of America are literal altars to Satan. On the rescue side. . by Los Angeles police.21 Pain compliance holds became more severe. and Los Angeles are particularly memorable. How could a real Satanist resist an opportunity to participate in human sacrifice with immunity from prosecution? And we have discovered that to be accepted in some satanic covens a young woman must submit to the initiation of getting pregnant and aborting the baby. . On the part of the escorts—particularly those from homosexual organiza- tions—the terminology of abuse has been explicitly anti-Christian and often sexual and scatological as well. and that those involved in the abortion industry—particularly the clinic volunteers—are literal witches and satanists.19 John Brockhoeft is equally explicit: It is a well known fact that some people who deliberately and know- ingly worship Satan take jobs in abortion chambers. terms such as ‘deathscorts’ and the Nazi era metaphor in which the term is often couched. They messed up Linda’s wrist [Linda Wolfe. Atlanta. . a Philippines martial arts weapon. Police & pro-aborts worked arm in arm. and thus increased both police efficiency and reduced the chance of police injuries incurred in the process of carrying sometimes hefty rescuers determined to remain limp.

I thought. Cops and guards dragged them up five flights of stairs. . . These men strip searched the women. the casual violence and degradation which is the norm in America’s urban jails was replaced with the alleged sexual abuse of female rescuers by male officers in full view of male prisoners. I saw the big officer with grayish hair and mustache. . Pittsburgh police roamed through the bus where female rescuers were manacled. this research indicates that for rescuers. having fun. club Derek and say ‘get up!’ Poor Derek. res- cuers assert that after having covered their badges. He’s only 19 yrs. . The prison system itself can be far worse. . ripping the clothes off them. The explanation for . . Remarkably. culminating in the events in the Pittsburgh jail in 1989. and here too rescuers encounter the most hardened of prison guards.24 As important to the formation of an apocalyptic world view as were events such as those in the Pittsburgh jail. There. Worse was to come: They took the women to the men’s jail. Stays are of relatively short duration and mass rescues of the Operation Rescue variety tend to quickly over- whelm these facilities. They ripped rosary beads apart.22 With the rise in police brutality came an increasingly severe prison regime. . No one cared. Pro-aborts were laughing. res- cuers come in contact with the most violent of criminals. old. One violent officer [name deleted] grabbed a handful of Derek’s hair and yanked him up & away by it saying ‘Get off those officers!’ That was weird. Thus the reaction to events in Pittsburgh. Rescue is an intensely reli- gious form of Christian witness whose primary emphasis centers after all on procreation and the dignity of human life. paraded them naked up and down in front of the men’s cells. ‘Woe unto you who laugh now’. because there were no officers . Then he grabbed a handful of my hair and pulled me up by it. shouted obscenities. the prisoners are seen in a considerably more positive light than are guards or prison officials. pulling out clumps of hair. . it must be kept in mind that a muni- cipal jail is primarily a holding cell. sexuality is a central concern. Absolute rescue 229 guy by the jaws (I should have told him to put his chin down Before they get to you). threw Bibles into trash cans. The newspapers and churches were not interested. little emphasis is placed on individual suffering. beating them with nightsticks. It made a sick sound . is something else. who always threatens to break our arms. Sexual abuse. Here. fondled and molested them. and the violence of some local police departments have come to be accepted as the price of admission to the rescue culture. threats of rape or other forms of implied or actual sexual violence intended to degrade or humili- ate female rescuers however. For rescuers. Beatings are shrugged off. In such a culture. telling me to get off the imaginary officers . .23 In Pittsburgh.

If so. . . Conversely. such as the Lambs of Christ. A guy was going to set her up in prostitution and pay her bail and for her abortion. . and even later she got another but she said it smelled like man’s stuff. it is hardly a revelation that rescuers would see a pattern to their individual experiences of mistreat- ment which would indicate to many the existence of a pervasive evil under- lying the visible pattern of events. Jail . . it is only natural that the treatment of rescuers— hardly career criminals and brought up with a naïve view of American jus- tice—would be less than gentle. please God. 6 hours. . . . . In such an atmosphere. protec- tive of incarcerated rescuers. They say it was thyrozine (?) [sic] in the kool-aid to take away your sex drive. [name deleted] is pregnant and doesn’t want to tell them because another lady . She did have a mis- carriage though. 10:33 and 13:3. There are some in here who aren’t saved (Help us. . . the following text compresses a diary written by Shelley Shannon from 12th October 1989 to 2 November 1989 as a guest of the Fulton County Jail in Atlanta for a stay of ‘10 days. it had b. [A] lady told us how [Oregon rescuer] Linda Wolfe saved her twin babies . 17 minutes’. or to pay fines or court costs. Prisoners for their part appear to have been. She said she was going to kill her child just to get out. Such suspicions in the prison diaries and internal communications of rescuers clearly begin to reflect these sus- picions as early as 1989. for many rescuers.25 All along its seemed like a spiritual battle: God giving us tickets on sale so we could fly . worse than any prison any of them have been in . . There’s a feeling something great is going to happen in Atlanta . and leading me and [name deleted] to come instead of paying a fine . these observations are often broached with a humor belying their deadly seriousness. was given pills and started bleeding. Not so prison guards and prison officials. and defiance is dealt with harshly in America’s prisons. and Rev. One lady in here told us when she finally got a blanket. . . on it.230 Case studies this anomaly may lie in part in the rescuers’ view of prisoners as a poten- tial mission field as much in need of hearing the Gospel’s message of hope as are the unborn themselves (Heb. . We are now in a filthy holding cell waiting to check into Fulton Co. And she decided not to get an abortion and has been sitting here in jail .m. to help them) . A number of rescuers. To give an early flavor of this evolution. Linda came over to her and they talked a long time. Such defiance is hardly conducive to the maintenance of order in penal institutions. . I Peter 3:19. even refuse to give their names. . to leave vol- untarily unless all of their number are released. Some. . Everyone is telling us about the conditions in the jail . it doesn’t work on the lesbians . by and large. . Remarkably. 2:10). . She quit taking them and I’ll try to get some out. have made it a point not to cooperate in any way with prison authorities. . . . . following the example of Joan Andrews.

Yet the rescuers’ America of 1988–89 was still God’s ‘city on a hill’. What follows examines . and by late 1989 or early 1990. rescue literature began to take an increasingly despairing tone. . (The Army of God Manual. Bolton which found three proposed restric- tions to full abortion access in a Georgia statute unconstitutional served primarily to confirm to the rescue community that justice for the unborn would not soon be forthcoming from the courts of a fallen America. . I wrote for my prayer request that ‘God will revive America and His people who are called by His name will turn from their wicked ways in repentance’ . . 1994)27 The 1973 Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion on demand in the now famous Roe v.28 More relevant restrictions on the public witness of rescuers. The confirmation of the decision in 1973’s Doe v.T.L. like the 1962 ruling against prayer in the public schools. do officially declare war on the entire child killing industry. With this realization came the decisive break between rescue and the larger pro-life movement. the same call to save an America seen as contami- nated by the vile sins of child murder. . [Praise the Lord]! . sexual vice and selfish materialism.26 The political process and the legal system Beginning officially with the passage of the Freedom of Choice Act—we. [name deleted] has been doing good— she has delivered witches and prostitutes crying out to Jesus to deliver them! P. served as a wake-up call to segments of the religious com- munity that something in America was seriously amiss. Shelley Shannon’s notes are not atypical of the rescue literature at the time of the ‘Siege of Atlanta’. and it is these restrictions—some ironically gaining overwhelming majorities for passage in response to some act of rescue violence—which were key ingredients in the turn to violence by some in the rescue movement. began to cast the shadow of doubt about America’s salvation among the rescue community. She’s getting back with her husband and he’s really happy about the twins. The experiences of Atlanta. Wade case. . have sounded the death knell of rescue which opened this essay. as in private correspondence. however. however. That God would soon act to cleanse the land from the stain of abortion remained an article of faith. . She also told us a lot of inmates came in pregnant and end up with miscarriages after receiving ‘medication’. the remnant of God-fearing men and women of the United States of Amerika [sic]. But how? It rapidly became clear that salva- tion would not take place by means of the courts and the political system. . Absolute rescue 231 paying the price for choosing to do the right thing. There was in the published literature.

1992 to pay . It was only one of a blizzard of similar suits. the police give this evil a cadre of enforc- ers. The abortionist and the ubiquitous ‘deathscorts’ give the devil’s timeless evil a human face. l represent the Lovejoy Surgicenter. An early RICO suit was filed by the National Organiza- tion of Women against the father of organized rescue in America. to the surprise of many legal observers. This letter is written to advise you that you have until 12:00 noon on July 21. dismissed by both the Federal District Court and the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals was. . Very Truly Yours. Yet what effective rejoinder could be offered to a missive such as the following? Dear Ms Shannon. I have been instructed to immedi- ately initiate a legal action for collection . [Name Withheld])29 The Lovejoy suit which resulted in this demand was a 1991 civil action alleging simple trespass against the Advocates for Life Ministries and several individuals associated with the Oregon rescue community. THIS IS THE FINAL DEMAND ON THIS ACCOUNT BEFORE LEGAL ACTION IS INITIATED.43 plus attorney fees and costs . while at their worst. The failure of rescuers either to make restitution or to cease their activities provoked the application of the RICO (Racketeer Influence and Corrupt Organizations Act) statute against members of the rescue community. $504. . The Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) debate in 1989 and the draconian Freedom of Clinic Entrances (FACE) bill of 1994 together served to sever whatever lingering faith the rescue community might have had to the insti- tutions of the US government. by the above stated deadline. the rescuers’ furor over the proposed Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA). Joseph Scheidler of the Pro-Life Action League in Chicago. . The administration of . .30 The suit. There is something faceless yet inexorable about the workings of the legal system.232 Case studies only a few of these developments: the use of civil litigation and the RICO statute to deter rescuers. and the criminal penalties of the Freedom of Clinic Entrances Bill (FACE). upheld by the Supreme Court in 1994. the free standing abortion clinics of America offer an obvious address for the rescuers’ war against Satan. If you fail to meet this deadline. [a Portland abortion clinic]. Conversely. In rescue parlance. the rescue community evinced no surprise whatever.31 The barrage of civil litigation for them was merely of a piece with the criminal legislation which was designed at first to marginal- ize and later to crush the rescue movement. . Inc.486. It was not always so. On 2 May 1994 the United States Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal of the case effectively letting the judgment stand. .

As the polit- ical aspirations of the rescue community faded. With the controversy surrounding FOCA. President Clinton was fully prepared to translate that commitment into policy terms. a bill yet to be passed. In Bill and Hillary Clinton. some rescuers expressed their horror at the specter of the Clinton presidency less in political than in theological terms.33 The 1992 election of Bill Clinton dashed this tenuous faith in the effi- cacy of the political system. Wade lay in the political process.35 The Freedom of Choice Act was introduced in the House of Represent- atives in 1989. a rapid evolution took place which has considerable precedent in the history of the Christian West. the current troubles were translated into theological terms and placed as part of the End Times’ scenario of the Book of Revelations. until the point of fetal development whereby the baby could live outside the womb. That is. The declaration of war against America’s death culture offered at the top of this section from the Army of God Manual is indicative of the impact of FOCA on the rescue community. For the part. More. While FOCA was not in itself written to terminate the activities of the rescue community. that is.34 Indeed. the growing rift between the . Absolute rescue 233 Ronald Reagan gave considerable hope to both the pro-life constituency and the rescuers that somehow the answer to overturning Roe v. the administration of George Bush. this illusion of official sanction seems to have served as a brake on the drift toward direct action. Another more secular feature of this rapid loss of hope in American demo- cracy was the demise of the touchstone of the political faith upon which the rescue movement was founded: that one day the movement would emerge from its pariah status to be recognized as the successor to the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s. making FACE inevitable. One prominent feature of this apocalyptic scenario led to ongoing specu- lation as to whether President Clinton was in fact the literal Antichrist. Similarly.32 In retro- spect. but did serve to link the rescue community with its pro-life parent. rescuers were faced with a new political equation. the presence of the Antichrist on earth would do much to explain the failure of the Church to awaken and rally to the defense of the babies. at least gave the appearance of fighting a holding action in defense of the unborn. it did have the effect of demonstrating to rescuers the hostility of the American political system to the moderate pro-life message and thus confirmed the rescuers’ man- ichaean perceptions of American culture. FOCA. Wade status quo and were backed by a liberal coali- tion which prominently featured the nemesis of the rescue message: fem- inists and gay advocacy groups. The clinic burnings of the early 1980s demonstrate that the use of force was already a potential court of last resort for the movement. less charismatic by far and less sincerely committed to the pro-life cause. an optimism that was perhaps unwarranted. would have guaranteed a woman the right to abortion at any time and for any reason up to the point of ‘viability’. The Clintons were unabashed advocates of maintaining the Roe v.

For the rescue community as a whole. put out on 4 January . it was not until the 1994 passage of the Freedom of Clinic Entrances Act that it became unam- biguously clear that the American government under the Clinton presid- ency had moved from general hostility to the pro-life message to a determination to destroy the rescue movement itself. then. was less concerned with violence against rescuers than that which was aimed at abortionists. For some years. most probably a product of hindsight rather than an authentic reaction to FOCA in 1992.36 Congress. The following section will therefore concentrate exclusively on that portion of the rescue faithful which finds no alternative to the resort to force in defense of the unborn. FACE does appear to have successfully accomplished this objective. Salvi’s written statement. As of this writing. merely took this welter of local injunctions and ordinances and created from them a law which makes it a federal offense to interfere with any person seeking an abortion and setting stiff sentencing guidelines which are crafted to deter all but the most faithful rescuers. FACE. a John Salvi III was inevitable. however. FACE was constructed to create a so-called ‘bubble zone’ separating res- cuers from the entrances of abortion clinics. His actions—random shots fired into abortion clinics that resulted in the deaths of two employees and the wounding of several others—broke the one inviolable rule of the rescue movement: do nothing which would endanger the unborn child.37 This makes it a relatively simple matter to isolate and incarcerate this remnant.234 Case studies moderate pro-lifers and rescue grew deeper and at this writing widens by the day. in particular the killing of Dr David Gunn in Florida and the wounding of Dr George Tiller in Wichita. As criminal penalties became more draconian. In this. That the full implica- tions of the FACE bill only belatedly dawned on much of the rescue com- munity may be in part due to the offer which the US Senate extended to rescue leaders to testify about their own experiences of violence and abuse at the hands of both local police departments and the deathscorts guard- ing the clinics. The despair evinced by that Army of God Manual quote is. the number of rescuers inevitably declined. both in 1993. II The resort to force In the atmosphere of December 1994. These local legislative and adminis- trative efforts were in turn essentially political actions modeled on the court injunctions which clinic operators had obtained to restrain the activ- ities of rescuers at their establishments. there was an inevitable radicalization which served to divide the heretofore highly cohesive rescue community. FACE was hardly innovative. however. Of the faithful remnant who chose to persevere. municipal authorities in various locations around the country had experimented with such ‘bubble’ or ‘no speech’ zones in response to rescue activities.

38 Yet the sudden escalation of clinic viol- ence could not help but draw in such marginal personalities as John Salvi. just as since the 1973 advent of Roe v. The clinic bombers of the 1980s. it is highly unlikely that any woman was forced to carry to term against her will. For them. pregnant women determined to go ahead with their decision to abort had but to make an appointment at another clinic. the 1960s American Civil Rights movement metaphor was supplanted by an almost exclusive focus . the iso- lated voices which had been arguing for a resort to force were brought to the fore. This was the realization that not only was the American death culture beyond redemption. It continued and deepened in the pages of certain rescue journals. The necessary innovation in this reformulation is merely one of emphasis rather than originality. then no legitimate option other than to take up arms in defense of the unborn remained. Clearly. There had been for some years a gradual erosion of the barriers against the resort to deadly force among some of the most radical voices in the rescue movement. people such as John Brockhoeft and Marjorie Reid. The internal debate that began in the late 1980s to seriously consider the resort to deadly force was conducted primarily among imprisoned res- cuers—Prisoners of Christ in rescue parlance—and between these incar- cerated rescuers and a handful of activists on the outside. however. More. far from immediate and remains to this day the province of a minority of the rescue community. war had been declared on the most faithful of God’s people. as the apocalyptic world view of the rescue com- munity solidified in the cauldron of the 1980s. the most deter- mined members of the rescue community had one more psychological bridge to cross. the destruction of the property would be sufficient to. while even in more rural areas. With FACE. If. reveals a young man obsessed with fears of anti-Catholic conspiracies. Before such a commitment could be made however.39 This tactic did sometimes succeed in halting abortions for a brief time. in rescue terminology. halt the slaughter of the unborn. it was to be war. but that it would be necessary actively to confront the killers on their own terms. each of which had long been present in the literature and the internal debates of rescue. were scrupulous in their determination that the destruc- tion of. This realization was. Wade. a war had been declared on the unborn. Thus. at least for a time. and in book form cour- tesy of Michael Bray. then. Yet in urban areas. This section will attempt to trace that evolution.40 At the core of this discourse are several key themes. Absolute rescue 235 1995 over the AP wires and relayed to this researcher via the Internet. the killing centers would be accomplished with absolutely no loss of human life. and if the babies were to be rescued. and as the courts and the Clinton administration succeeded in criminalizing rescue and driving much of the pacifist majority to the sidelines or into the prisons. a far greater commit- ment to the use of force would be needed if abortion was to be stopped through violent means. but it has nothing to say of abortion.

Corrie Ten Boom’s stature derives from her efforts to protect Jews from Nazi occupation forces in wartime Holland. Christianity and the world may have forgotten him. Yet as the movement’s mood darkened. the rescue movement was not loathe to publicize the marked parallel which they perceived between the Nazi policy of genocide against the Jews and others in Europe and the slaughter of millions of babies yet in the womb. the distinguished German bishop and theologian whose resolute opposition to Hitler and the barbarism of the Nazi state would lead to his execution for his involvement in the wartime plot to assassinate the Fuehrer. Her eventual arrest and incarceration in the Ravensbruck concentration camp is posited by rescuers as analogous to their suffering in the jails and prisons of America. Res- cue’s interpretation of both of these heroes is instructive in tracing the movement’s turn from pacifism to violence. Do not rob him of his voluntary and glorious sacrifice! Do not rob us of the legacy he handed down to us!43 . an opportunity to share God’s Word of ultimate hope with fellow inmates and guards alike. Yet concomitant with the drift of the faction of rescue which would opt for or support direct action. on Nazi Germany and on the resistance to that proto- type of the modem culture of death. The Lord could have kept him from it. and both suffered greatly for their actions.236 Case studies on the holocaust.41 Indeed. Bonhoeffer was willing to die defending others. is today the undisputed model for emula- tion of the Defensive Action wing of the rescue movement. Randall Terry’s optimistic first book. Both resisted the Nazi government’s genocidal policies on religious grounds. the rescue movement reached back into this period of history for its two great heroes: Corrie Ten Boom and Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Indeed. has the slogan ‘You can stop the abortion holocaust in America!’ emblazoned on its back cover. Her witness was solidly based on biblical grounds and utterly non-violent. so intense is this lionization that a distinct form of hagiography is beginning to appear in the rescue literature which appears to elevate Bonhoeffer almost to Christ-like stature: The Lord Our God has always been ultimately in control! Bonhoeffer was executed before you were born.42 Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906–45). He volun- teered to die! He became more powerful in death than in life! Had he survived the war. The Third Reich and the American Holocaust From its inception. In this early pacifist period. Operation Rescue. the example of Corrie Ten Boom’s non-violent attempt to rescue the Jews would be devalued in comparison with Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s resort to direct action against Adolf Hitler. it was increasingly to the example of Bonhoeffer that the rescuers turned.

in the Jewish question. in one of Bonhoeffer’s earliest essays. and so the moral injustice of certain concrete acts of the state which are necessarily bound up with the use of force. Like the remarkably similar declaration of war against ZOG [Zionist Occupation Government] issued by Robert Mathews and the Order. Indeed. The church cannot in the first place exert absolute direct political action. Thus. for example. for the church does not pretend to have any knowledge of the necessary courses of history.45 In essence. Shelley Shannon. Thus the current hagiographic treatment of Bonhoeffer in the rescue literature. many rescuers have come to see the world around them as pre- cisely analogous to that of Dietrich Bonhoeffer: society has become liter- ally satanic. and to act accordingly. recalls reading several of Bon- hoeffer’s books during her evolution toward Defensive Action. Absolute rescue 237 Bonhoeffer’s actions. were not undertaken on a whim. The imagery of war The road leading from the rescue movement’s 20 years of fruitless non- violent witness to the Army of God Manual’s declaration of war against ‘the child killing industry of America’ is not so long as it would appear on first glance. the . Thus. between the servants and collaborators of the abortion culture and the people of God. political action by the Church is specifically prohibited in all but the most dire historical circumstances: [the church] recognizes the absolute necessity of the use of force in this world. even today. sanctioning the mass extermination of helpless human beings and the only just response of God’s church is to recognize that in con- temporary America a state of war exists between good and evil. nor were they permissible in any but the most dire situations. the manichaean imagery of a beleaguered remnant under siege by the forces of a decayed and utterly irredeemable culture were present in the discourse of rescue virtually from its inception. it is little wonder that many of this community would identify their own travails with Bonhoeffer’s gradual drift from a Romans 13 style subordination to state authority to a suicidal attempt to excise from the world the radical evil of Adolf Hitler’s regime through the use of deadly force.46 Once again.44 Given the grim social and political climate facing rescuers today. the mark of the rescuers who would adopt or condone the resort to force is merely one of degree rather than innovation. it cannot address the state directly and demand of it some definite action of a different nature. however. More. it would not be long before the state of war between the ‘Defensive Action’ wing of rescue and the dominant culture would engulf the rescue movement itself. and thus too the demand for Bonhoeffer’s original writings by many in the rescue community.

and facing an administration in Washington determined to protect abortion access by the criminalization of rescue activities. I do not love any member of this reprobate anti-Christ nation within our borders which wages war against my people. despairing of the efficacy of non-violent witness. the transformation of a faction of the rescue movement from a pacifist witness with a deep and abiding faith in the efficacy of the Amer- ican system and the transforming power of God’s Church into a move- ment willing to take up arms was complete. currently under a sentence of death for killing a Florida abortionist and his volunteer bodyguard.238 Case studies disavowal of rescue violence by such rescue leaders as Randall Terry or the current Operation Rescue leader Flip Benham would be posited as weak. to defend their country and their neigh- bors . as the Mis- sionaries to the Preborn in Milwaukee pioneered the use of imprecatory prayer to call down the wrath of God onto the head of the abortionist. In accordance with Jesus’ mandate. But during this time of war.47 This is the state of the rescue movement today. such primary Christian values as love and charity values which are at the heart of the rescue movement—are too often allowed to fall by the wayside: There are very few (that I know of ) who are my enemies on a strictly personal basis (perhaps no more than one or two). there was first a gradual escalation from rhetoric to the destruction of property. convinced of their perse- cution by the courts and of their victimization through extraordinary viol- ence from police and clinic guards. cowardly and effeminate at best. driven from the abortuary door. It is a given fact of life: ‘In every war. a peripheral figure in the world of . . treasonous at worst.51 At last. the rescue movement faced an intractable dilemma. or separation from their families. and this was followed by an increasing personalization of the struggle as the rescue message. Paul Hill. this time of grave national crisis. it took Michael Griffin. I do love those enemies and pray for them. the resort to lethal force was slow in coming.50 With the certainty that the contemporary United States is but a mannered reincarnation of Nazi Germany. John Brockhoeft states this proposition simply and eloquently: ‘abor- tion is a war crime which means that our nation has been in a state of war since 1973’. Even so. beseeching God either to change his heart or to take his life. sees no need to expound on the state of war between rescue and the death culture. I’ve done the same thing. and that the death culture would stop at nothing in its unceasing war against the faithful remnant of God’s people.’49 And in times of war. Prayer too began to change.48 In a 26 November 1994 interview published in the rescue literature. . that the abortion holocaust is merely a continuation of the Nazi Holocaust. Rather. men have been willing to go out and risk death. would increasingly come to encamp on the side- walk of the abortionist’s home. Nevertheless.

Thus. The legal penalties she would pay for this futile if deeply symbolic act confirmed to her and others both the manichaean nature of the present day culture of the United States and. that most paci- fist of rescuers. to force the movement to make such a decision. It began innocuously enough with. of all people. it was but a small step to entering a clinic in the dead of night intent on wreaking the greatest possible damage on equipment. furnishings and patient records. there was a rapid escalation which would be typical of all aspects of the rescue movement in the 1980s. Toward lethal force The more the authorities take our legal redress away the more com- pelling to do more drastic measures. In the world of rescue in those pre-Clinton days. Absolute rescue 239 rescue. that the penalties for doing far greater damage to the property of the child killing industry could be no more harsh than that for merely pulling a plug. there were other stirrings while angry words on both sides of the clinic door were slowly dehumaniz- ing the dreaded ‘other’ for all concerned.53 As the clinic confrontations sharpened and the perceptions of the res- cuers grew ever darker. however. even during the clinic’s working hour. Blood will be shed [and] not just the babies’ blood either. So why not take a hammer or a tube of glue next time and destroy the hated killing device all together? At least the clinic would have to obtain a replacement at some considerable expense. From the destruction of equipment. there was a rapid increase in the sophistication of . It is going to get a whole lot worse. From the destruction of equipment. First. there was the destruction of property. having got past the clinic door. it was only a short step to the next innovation of the rescuer’s craft: butyric acid and the attempt to make clinics unin- habitable by the introduction of noxious odors. In this. it was not unusual for rescuers. Her crime was to unplug a suction machine in the course of a rescue. That evolution is the focus of the remainder of this study. to find various ways of disabling equipment. Joan Andrews. despite the taunts of the ubiquitous death- scorts and the all too frequent violence of the police and the prisons. and perhaps the brief down time faced by the clinic would result in the saving of a child’s life. it was thought that no price would be too high to pay for the life of a single child. the rescue message until the late 1980s remained one of reverence for all human life—born and unborn. Beneath the surface. (letter from imprisoned female clinic arsonist)52 Despite the violence at clinics. on a purely pragmatic level. there was even among the most pacific of rescuers a marked ambivalence toward the use of force at levels below that which would physically harm even the most culpable of human beings. and in the face of an increasingly hostile public climate.

‘My arms will be torn away from my torso tomor- row! My skull will be crushed until fragments cave inward and cut into my brain!’ I imagined how terrible the physical pain would be! I thought of my right arm being dismembered. as a necessary prerequisite to for the first time in his life stepping outside the law. It was at this time of tactical exper- imentation that Joseph Scheidler published his remarkable Closed: 99 Ways to Stop Abortion which. helpless child about to lose his or her life acts as a powerful goad to action. if need be. non- violent localized skirmishes soon became more coordinated actions taking place on an increasingly national scale as both sides began to form net- works to share information. indeed.54 So important is this increasing identification of the rescuers with the babies in the resort to force that it is deserving of some attention. This intensely mystical sense of unity with the unborn explains much of the turn to increasing levels of violence among some of the most committed rescuers. served as the primary source of rescue tactics.56 It was this intense identification with the babies which at last goaded John Brockhoeft to abandon peaceful protest and to become one of the early clinic bombers. In the early stages of this research. rescuers adopted the crawl—a slow. for to hear the cry of a single. I bore in mind that my arm would not be taken off cleanly with a sharp surgical instrument while under anesthesia. Thus. between the legs of policemen in an effort to get to the clinic door while imitating as closely as possible the helplessness of the baby. and the notes and letters of other rescuers bear this out as well. single child so in need of help. Thus for example. it would be brutally . What had begun as low level.55 The kind of political and public relations calcu- lations so dear to the hearts of the pro-life movement pale in comparison to the distress of that one. Brockhoeft concentrated on his total identifi- cation with the babies: I put myself in the baby’s place. No. at roughly the same time that local police departments began the routine use of pain compliance techniques. until the appearance of the Army of God Manual. reminding myself that I had to love that baby as myself. although she is somewhat reticent about saying so publicly. and as I thought of it. Shelley Shannon certainly did. inexorable procession of rescuers on their hands and knees seeking to crawl under police barricades and. In order to overcome his fear of being caught and imprisoned. it became clear that some imprisoned rescu- ers were convinced that they had heard the cries of unborn babies from within the walls of the abortion clinic.240 Case studies the tactics employed on both sides. Thus the often frantic nature of some rescues. intelligence and experiences. too the often extravagant means employed by rescuers to merely delay the business of a targeted clinic— Kryptonite bicycle locks giving way to incredibly complex devices into which a rescuer will lock himself until the fire department or other emer- gency service is able to cut him loose for example.

and I knew I was being killed unjustly. For instance. The bombers turned out to be amateurs and were rather easily rounded up and incarcerated. I’ve become friends with gang members and others. and if butyric acid would be good for a week or so. Even a Vietnam veteran such as John Brockhoeft found that military training was . I imagined the terrible mental horror and terror of looking at my right shoulder.60 The clinic arsons did have some local effect on the availability of abor- tions. but it gets boring. lots of other stuff. I make it a point to be sure that robbers find out that most killing centers charge ‘cash only’ and lots of it. For rescuers. These lessons could be of more worldly import as well.57 The mid-1980s marked the high point of the clinic bombings. the rescue community was loath to speak ill of the clinic arsonists. I would not be too afraid to go to the death chamber with gasoline and destroy it tonight. and my right arm is gone! And blood is gushing out of where it had been! . was going to suffer so much and then die tomorrow morning. and the fact that abortionists tend to carry large amounts of ‘cash only’ home with them at night. . It was simply a matter of the economy of scale. and are able to teach a lot. how much more effective would be the total destruction of a facility? And if caught. If the destruction of equipment would cripple a clinic for a day or two. But also learned in jail was: destroying fingerprints with WD40. these lessons were largely spiritual—the jails and prisons of America were of primary importance in the formation of the apocalyptic millenarian Zeitgeist of the rescue movement today. given the demonstrable effectiveness of their actions and their extraordinary care that no person be harmed by the clinic fires. I wasn’t sure that was wise. was high. how much harsher the penalty? Certainly. as far as stopping abortion.59 Every first time prisoner receives an education behind bars for which no college could have prepared him or her. It’s true that we learn a lot of things we never wanted to know while in jail. If I. however. Absolute rescue 241 torn out of the shoulder socket and twisted off! It would hurt so bad! But I did not think only of the terrible physical pain. The cost. I fully intend to get a great deal out of all jail or prison time that I serve. . like the baby. One imprisoned rescuer for example writes: We also learn a lot in jail. knocking out plexiglas with a mallet or how to cut through it. since I have been here I’ve learned the one last piece of info I needed to have a complete knowledge of pipe bombs (not that I will ever need or use that info). ‘bullet proof ’ isn’t really. I’ve taught a very lot of people much about abortion and/or bombs.58 There was a natural progression from the destruction of instruments to the incinera- tion of buildings.

and it took little time for the lessons learned in the prisons to be communicated to the rescue community as a whole. Lesser known was Alabama abortionist George Patterson. offers a microcosmic view of this rapid evolution. and is acting accordingly.63 . One such Prisoner of Christ. Lesser known still is the shooting of a Canadian abortionist. had a powerful radicalizing effect on the bombers. The prison experi- ence. his act was por- trayed in the public arena as if a dam had burst and a torrent of pent up rage was unleashed by the pro-life movement. . however. ‘fiendish plots’). In short order. Shelley Shannon made pilgrimages to visit such incarcerated clinic bombers as John Brockhoeft— and were facilitated though the regular publication of prisoner lists through such ministries as the Milwaukee-based Prisoners of Christ. Some of the earliest of these are at best rudimentary. however.. .’62 Within a year. it would not be until Michael Griffin’s 1993 killing of David Gunn that the resort to lethal force would move from internal debate to actuality.this Prisoner’s ideas would become increas- ingly sophisticated. Such a non-starter was a plan to free pro-life prisoners: ‘Wherever there is a prison that is holding pro-lifers . George Tiller. Alabama. John Britton. All within the space of two years. Shelley Shannon shot and wounded a Milwaukee doctor whose late term abortion practice and combative stance toward the rescue movement had made him for many rescuers the caricature of the predatory abortionist. shot to death in an apparent robbery attempt as he was leaving a pornographic movie house in Mobile. shot and killed Florida abortionist David Gunn.242 Case studies poor preparation for the world of the urban guerrilla. at best a peripheral member of the rescue com- munity. in his home while his wife and daughters were present. While no suspect has been apprehended. in 1994. Garson Romalis. Then Paul Hill shot and killed another Florida abortionist. culminating in a 16-page manifesto in which the resort to deadly force is seriously broached. Ten Boom or Bonhoeffer? When Michael Griffin.61 As the apocalyptic mindset of the rescuers became increasingly fixed in the early 1990s. in a remarkable series of letters written in this period to a fellow rescuer. incarcerated clinic arsonists were already debating the heretofore unthinkable: a turn to lethal violence. and his volunteer bodyguard. the town nearest to the prison that has an abortion mill hammer it until they close down [then] picket the Bureau of Prisons headquarters demanding release of our hostages. the Canadian government is proceeding on the assumption that a member of the rescue community is responsible. It may be safely posited that this prisoner—in another life a midwestern housewife— reflects much of her prison experience in her various stratagems (or in her own terms. Despite the ominous mood of the rescue community. These lessons were communicated among rescuers through letter and personal visits—indeed.

it was little wonder that there were voices in the rescue movement calling for more resolute action to halt the holocaust. Now he doesn’t remember shooting him. Imprecatory prayer. While calling upon God to act against a human being could in one sense absolve the faithful of responsibility for the resulting action. Rather. Rage had little to do with the turn to violence against human beings among a few rescuers. More. unfortu- nately. the rescue community as a whole was. it was no great leap to accept that America was at war—and that the most helpless victims of this war are the unborn. edging ever closer to an acceptance of the proposition that there could be found a solid. the passages in ‘America’s Last Prophetic Witness’ which came in for the most criticism among rescuers dealt with the unquestioned acceptance by this researcher of the proposition that Michael Griffin acted from some sense of inarticulate rage. the underlying motivations for the resort to lethal force had little to do with anger. In fact. With such a Zeitgeist. Do you think that I was angry. almost impercepti- bly. and at last with true interposition legislated virtually out of existence. Shelley Shannon gently suggested: Now you have me curious. Rather. was one such step. also when M. biblical basis for the resort to deadly force. he (Michael) seemed peaceful & calmly turned himself in. identifying ever more intensely with the babies in the womb. hateful. mainly in Life Advocate. and indeed for the rescue community as a whole. there was as we have seen a rapid intensification among even the most determinedly pacifist of rescuers of an apocalyptic millenarian mindset which diagnosed the current epidemic of child killing as of a piece with the timeless war of Satan against the people of God. G. More tangible was the widespread adoption by rescuers of Joseph Scheidler’s call to ‘adopt .64 Shelley Shannon was quite correct in her criticism. in a deeper sense this imprecation may be said to constitute a call to blood vengeance which seems far from the spirit of contemporary Christianity. or in a rage when I shot Tiller? There were witnesses. finding ever more convincing par- allels between the German National Socialist state of the 1930s and the America of the 1990s. Absolute rescue 243 Yet for the shooters themselves. From what I read. Schooled in the brutality of the streets and the jails. the deep reverence for all human life had begun to fray among some members of the rescue community. The death of David Gunn was in this sense less an epochal event in the history of recue than the culmination of a process already too far advanced for anyone to stop. highly controversial in rescue circles. save that now that age old battle was reaching its apogee and thus its inevitable con- clusion. Michael is an extremely godly person. A theology of violence was already evolving. The signs of this change were there for all to see. In small ways. [Michael Griffin] shot & killed the FL mass murderer. I promise you.

manslaughter. The tactic was occasionally successful in persuading the abortionist to find other employ- ment. the program both personalized the con- frontation and diminished the private space needed by both sides to decompress from the constant pressure of the abortion conflict. Interposition would with the stroke of a pen be legislated out of existence. the killing of one abortionist has the anticipated . rests on a strongly biblical foundation and reflects a deeply held apocalyptic millenarian worldview. while Father Norman Weslin was called Father Doe. The Lambs of Christ. To a deter- mined minority of rescuers. modeled on an imita- tion of the helplessness of the baby in the womb. like Paul Hill’s Defensive Action theory. The goal was to appraise the families and neighbors of the favored abortion provider of the manner in which the doctor made his living. If a second or third arrest for non- violent rescue had the same price as. may have been the defining moments. Absolutism. as long as true rescue through interposition was possible. the resort to deadly force against abortion- ists has a pragmatic surface which complements its millenarian core. what was left other than the example of Dietrich Bonhoeffer? This realization brought to the fore of the internal rescue debate the ‘absolutism’ of John Brock- hoeft and the Defensive Action theory of Paul Hill. in rescue parlance. A practical aspect of this identification is the belief in rescue circles that to save a baby—even one baby—is a miracle and thus the confirmation of God’s blessing on the rescue endeavor. On a purely pragmatic level. The actions of these and other rescuers were. A primary factor in assuring almost 20 years of non-violent rescue was the intense identification of the rescuer with the babies. If Corrie Ten Boom’s non- violent witness would not be tolerated by the death culture. FACE. To save one baby was of such great importance that to risk long- term incarceration was seen as counterproductive. . the choice was both stark and. Ironically. the seeds of violence were present in the rescue world for some time. but again on another level. Who then would be left to save the baby whose life would be terminated tomorrow? Or the day after? FACE changed these calculations. the rescue community was largely deaf to those among its number who called for more resolute action. for example. say. and it was this intense identification with each unborn child which allowed the rescuer to live with the guilt of not having been able to prevent. given all that had gone before.400 babies which rescuers hold to be the average daily casualty rate of the American abortion holocaust. identify themselves when arrested as Baby Doe. remarkably easy to make. however.244 Case studies an abortionist’. . to the greatest degree possible. For both however.65 In these and other small ways. well. the murder of the rest of the almost 4. To save that one baby was in fact worth almost any price worth could be paid by the rescuer. This program brought the nonviolent rescue witness from the doors of the clinic to the homes of the abortionists themselves.

making the dream of overturning Roe v. Wade more distant than ever.000 Americans going around proclaiming the name of Jesus Christ and being LUKEWARM AT THE SAME TIME! (John Brockhoeft)67 Michael Griffin’s killing of David Gunn was an epiphany for John Brock- hoeft. although this choice is most often cloaked in the mantle of justifiable homicide intended solely for self-defense and the defense of family members or neighbors from imminent. More. but it is at this point that the movement’s core millenarianism becomes most evident.68 Taken together.66 Despite this short term utility however. these opponents point to the undeniable fact that the turn to violence has brought disaster on the movement in the form of punitive legislation. Griffin’s act fit perfectly with ‘The Brockhoeft Report’s’ apocalyptic millenarian interpretation of abortion and what abortion portends for contemporary American culture. the absolutist wing of the movement has opted for true terrorism. Absolute rescue 245 effect both of saving every baby scheduled to die that day and of persuad- ing abortionists everywhere to find another means of livelihood. On a tactical level. the political climate has become increasingly hostile. Brockhoeft calls his view absolutism. the resort to deadly force has not yet found the favor of the majority of rescuers and it horrifies the broad pro-life constituency. This argument too has undeniable efficacy.000. and young doctors willing to take up the mantle are increasingly few and far between. what profit will be the most presci- ent of political stratagems?’ Absolutism and defensive action The only possible way future historians will fail to see 1993–1994 as a turning point in the Abortion War is if we do not have any more history. God will act for us! When He returns. In this respect. And if this divine judgment falls on our nation. after all. Aside from moral considerations. Medical students tempted enter the profession too are expected to think twice before accepting employment in an abortion clinic. it will be not only because of a few hundred wicked people shedding the innocent blood of babies. What care millenarians. . His ‘Brockhoeft Report’ was intended as a book which was hand written a chapter at a time from his prison cell. and abso- lutism brooks absolutely no compromise with the American death culture. Abortionists have been frightened into closing their practices. due to having been swept away by the cup of God’s wrath. deadly peril. It will be because of the 150. after the highly publicized killings of abortion doctors. this strategy has an undeniable efficacy. sword of vengeance in hand. for the long term political implications of their actions? As John Brockhoeft so eloquently points out: ‘if we do not act now to halt the slaughter.

Hill’s writings reflected the same sense of excitement as did those of John Brockhoeft. every act. For Brockhoeft. are in some measure guilty of a war crime. indeed. is a laudable act in and of itself. Paul Hill’s Defensive Action theories. Don Gratton and Floyd Murray identified John Britton as David Gunn’s replacement. According to John Burt. today serves as a primary source of suspects for the current . and a Nuremberg- like tribunal will be instituted to try these miscreants and to mete out punishments commensurate with the gravity of their crimes against the unborn: Believe now! Repent now! And know this: that if the brave among those who proclaim His name are too few to assume authority through their own (blessed by God) exertions. the Life Advocate ran a detailed story of the covert operation by which Paul Hill. Hill was free to take decisive action. gentle. no less Bible-centered than John Brockhoeft’s absolutism. ‘As suspected. and. Either way. it was Griffin’s act which ultimately convinced Hill to move from rhetoric to action. John Burt. will pay the ultimate price. will face capital charges and. . and any action which deals a blow to Satan’s murderous henchmen. either by active participation in the abortion holocaust or by passive acqui- escence to it. He is a circuit riding abortionist named John Bayard Britton of Fernandina Beach’. issued in the wake of the killing of David Gunn. the new killer in Pensa- cola is another of those bottom-feeders on the food chain . there is no hope for you to escape. As early as September 1993. . Unlike Brockhoeft. eschews grandiose millenarian proclamations in favor of a more pragmatic formulation of the problem. if guilty. and every person.246 Case studies Absolutism springs from a total identification with the babies. irresistible power.000 years ago it was as a lamb. the abortionists of America. America is undeniably at war with the faithful remnant of Christians who would dare to stand against its killing industry. once Griffin had shown the way. For Brockhoeft. All who were culpable. This time it will be to show justice. When that day comes. Indeed. nor could there have been any doubt as to the identity of the intended target. is judged with reference to the abortion issue. Satan is unambiguously involved in this war. no careful reader of the rescue literature could have mistaken Hill’s intent. every woman who has had an abortion. When the Lord came 2.69 Thus. In the wake of Michael Griffin’s resort to force. unless you repent. to show mercy. however. or as a consequence of the return of the Lord. every man who knowingly facilitated an abortion. then the Lord Jesus Christ will soon return and install the few in office through almighty. history is approaching its denouement where it is preordained that the people of God will be assured of power— either ‘through their own actions. there will be a reckoning.70 Paul Hill’s Defensive Action statement.

his use of lethal force was justified provided it was carried out for the purpose of defending the lives of unborn children. If you dispute this clear teaching of the Bible you will have assumed the unbearable burden of having to prove the justice of using force to protect the born.71 The statement itself is decep- tively simple. Issued concurrently with the Defensive Action declaration however. Perhaps in his view. he ought to be acquitted of the charges against him. You can no more deny your responsibility to defend the unborn with force that you call deny the good Samaritan’s responsibility to aid the wounded and the dying traveler. but not the unborn. Hill opens his case by maintaining that there is an essential distinction between the wisdom of using deadly force to save babies and the justice of the action. the undersigned. ‘Should We Defend Born and Unborn Children With Force?’73 This essay systematically examines every facet of the Defensive Action argument. Of this material. it is not politically wise to use force. Therefore. it is just to rescue those unjustly condemned to a violent and terrible death. for the resort to force in defense of the unborn. . Reverend Hill then make a biblical case for Defensive Action. and justice must outweigh the wisdom of political expediency where a precious human life hangs in the balance.72 While the press and public concentrated on the implications of Hill’s statement of support for Michael Griffin. he concludes: There is no question that deadly force should be used to protect innocent human life .74 Hill’s ethical basis for Defensive Action is strongly millenarian. that is. were a series of detailed scriptural studies which serve as the bib- lical foundation for Hill’s resort to force. Citing the example of Phineas. Acts and Numbers are particularly cited) to support each point. These are carefully reasoned treatises utilizing biblical proof texts (Exodus. perhaps the most accessible is his 1994 essay. given the costs of taking the action both to the individual rescuer and to the wider pro-life cause. the pro-lifers are correct that in the current climate. declare the justice of taking all godly action necessary to defend innocent human life including the use of force. Based on numerous proof texts. But in the eyes of God and by the laws of man. . We proclaim that whatever force is legitimate to defend the life of the born child is legitimate to defend the life of an unborn child. The original statement reads: We. he asserts that the individual has an over-riding . movement literature gave considerably more attention to the more detailed expositions issued by Hill through the Defenders of the Defenders of Life Ministry in Bowie. Maryland. Absolute rescue 247 Portland Grand Jury’s conspiracy inquiry. We assert that if Michael Griffin did in fact kill David Gunn.

. Ex. 12:29.76 Reverend Hill concludes with the prophesy that Defensive Action will ulti- mately succeed in stopping the abortion holocaust. prepared the way. and worked everything out. Therefore. Men will be forced to admit their horrendous neglect and will respond with zealous repentant hearts . with odes to Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Phineas. millions who are indifferent to abortion or accepting it as expedient will be forced to reconsider . That’s blasphe- mous since he more accurately could be described as acting as God’s agent. Then. and concludes with a call to action which is strongly reminiscent of the Posse Comitatus theory of the radical right wing: As we put our convictions into concrete actions. If we will but act in true repentance and faith God will bless our zealous but feeble efforts with abundant success. These truths will grip men’s minds and not release them from their duties. God himself kills people. 38: 7. I’m totally convinced that God called Paul to do what he did. the truth and duties involved will have an abiding effect. Once this shock has passed. When this occurs. we must act in a decisive and timely manner. . . Hill argues for the duty of waging a just war. the shedding of guilty blood has cooled the flame and saved the people from destruction. while Christ went before.248 Case studies ethical responsibility to do all in his power to turn God’s just wrath from the American people: Though sin has fanned God’s righteous anger to a searing blaze. that he’s a murderer. opened doors. and he obeyed. so it can’t always be wrong [Gen. God has people kill . Thank the Lord! Some Christians are publicly saying he sinned in what he did. 10. He’s doing great. Whether or not we are willing to accept the truth of it. . the time will have arrived for the lower civil magistrate and those in positions of power to call the multi- tudes to unified action.77 The rescue movement today Paul Hill and I have been writing. Acts 12:21–23].75 What follows is a learned disputation answering ten objections to Defen- sive Action theory. This felicitous outcome rests on the twin foundations of an unbounded faith in the basic goodness of the American people and faith in the certainty of divine inter- vention on the side of the faithful remnant: There is an ultimate shock and horror that comes from considering that the death of Dr Gunn may have been justified. and even that he ‘acted as Satan’s agent’. for taking up arms in a just cause.

2:25]. is right and just. does not approve of the shedding of inno- cent blood (murder). Note Numbers 35:33 reads: Do not pollute the land where you are. even if it takes the use of force to do so. 32:26–28]. . In response. however. (Shelley Shannon)78 The resort to lethal force has split the rescue community. 1994. Protecting babies. except by the blood of the one who shed it. Bloodshed pollutes the land. and atonement cannot be made for the land on which blood has been shed. it has further distanced that community and its prophetic witness from the mainstream pro-life coalition. 1 Sam.l Cartoon by Shelley Shannon. I certainly won’t condemn Paul Hill. and it has allowed the courts and the Clinton adminis- tration to move against the rescue movement with such force as to make true rescue an all but suicidal enterprise. the rescuers who Figure 7. stopping the murders of the innocent. Absolute rescue 249 people [Ex. To say that killing is always sinful is to call God sinful. and He has approved of some killing [Numbers 25. God. including the slaughter of defenseless little babies.

The comment was made in the context of her disdain for the numerous lawsuits resulting from her involvement in non-violent rescue activities. or who have lent public support to it. 2 Jeffrey Kaplan. 1994). Rapoport for his encouragement at the genesis of this research. humility. And If So. in light of the fact that such public relations maneuvers are being taken in lieu of active rescues. John Brockhoeft and Paul Hill. among the abortionists themselves. Shelley Shannon’s public and private writing reveals a woman of great sincerity. Terrorism and Political Violence 5/3 (Autumn 1993). to the editorial patience of Prof. ‘Is Rescue Dead . 40. 1995. lionize each other in their public writings and pronouncements. Garrow. . however. for example. 1 Letter to author from Shelley Shannon. ‘America’s Last Prophetic Witness: The Literature of the Rescue Movement’. 4 For the purpose of this research. The American Coalition of Life Activists. and presumably.79 At the same time. released a ‘dirty dozen’ list of abortionists. Symptomatic of this isolation is the intense bonding which links rescuers imprisoned for acts of violence. written from her home in Grants Pass. and most striking. 3 For a rare candid discussion of the problem in the rescue literature. Notes I would like to thank members of the rescue community—in particular Shelley Shannon—for their support and assistance in this project. with the National Right to Life perhaps playing the most prominent role. It would be a tragic irony if the primary casualty of the turn to Defensive Action would prove to be the rescue movement itself. Cf. the threat of violence has had some deterrent effect on individual abortionists. Shelley Shannon. Oregon. Thus. The pro-life movement functions as an umbrella for a broad spectrum of viewpoints. see Rev.80 This minor success pales. What Do We Do Now?’ Life Advocate (Sept. Rescue conversely was founded in conscious imitation of the Civil Rights Move- ment of the 1960s in which peaceful albeit extra-legal civil disobedience would be the primary avenue of protest. pro- choice activists. For Shelley Shannon in particular. The mainstream pro-life movement is composed of local and national organizations. . Bruce Evan Murch. David C. 58–77. 33. are increasingly isolated within the rescue community and estranged from the dominant culture. piety. the mainstream pro-life movement is treated as distinct from the rescue movement. pp. ‘Clinic Violence a Sure Sign Anti-Abortion Movement is Dying’. when Joseph Foreman’s post-Missionaries to the Preborn venture. This atmosphere of fear has had some short term utility to even the most non-violent of souls in the rescue community. . but is distinguished by its com- mitment to pursuing its goals through established legal and political channels. J4. there was consternation among federal authorities. David J.250 Case studies have opted for Defensive Action. this intense cult of devotion has been problematic. Anchorage Daily News. 15 Jan. almost two months before her arrest for shooting abortionist George Tiller in Wichita. Michael Barkun and to Doug Milford for his comments and suggestions. Thanks are due as well to Prof. pp. Her occasional remonstrations against these public affirmations of adoration have led to some highly emotional reactions—in particular from John Brockhoeft.

Prayer + Action Weekly News (Dec. Paul Hill cites Griffin’s act as the key event in convincing him of the necessity of. 1989). Cf. 67. 9. Accessory to Murder: The Enemies. p. 1989). Randall Terry. 1993. 1992). 14 Feb. Prayer + Action Weekly News (Nov. 1993. repr. and is confirmed by observations of the rescue community in Chicago and elsewhere. p. 2 Feb. CA: California UP. 1990) and Randy Alcorn. 8–10. Lansing. Cf. p.’ 8 Letter to author from Shelley Shannon. Nat Hentoff. 1993). History of a Free People. 9 Cathy Ramey. 11 John Brockhoeft. 6 Interview with Joe Scheidler. The Advocate 5/5 (Dec. ‘The Brockhoeft Report 12’. Declare ‘War’ ’. “ ‘Pain Compliance” Amounts to Torture’. Contested Lives: The Abortion Debate in an American Community (Berkeley. Rescuers (note 9). 1994’. 24 Sept. Tom Watson. 5 Oct. 11. Is Rescuing Right: Breaking the Law to Save the Unborn (Downers Grove. Cf. For a less enlightening polemic. The Advocate (Nov. ‘The Brockhoeft Report 12’. USA Today. 5 Oct. p. pp. For a diverse collection of conver- sion stories. NC: Cooling Spring Press. The Sunday Oregonian. ‘I know your deeds. See ‘Paul Hill Interview: November 26. ‘Shots Fired: Griffin’s Trial in Pensacola’. 15. Defensive Action to prevent the abortionist from carrying out his purpose. in his terms. 14 The genesis of Accessory to Murder may be found in Terry’s incendiary Letter from Fulton County Jail. TN: Wolgemuth & Hyatt. . IL: InterVarsity Press. 1988. 1994). Michigan. Shattering the Darkness: The Crisis of the Cross in the Church Today (Montreat. 1988. Jnl of Contemporary Ethnography 21/4 (Jan. 1994. Cf. See ‘Randy Terry Writes From Jail’. 43. deParrie. Prayer + Action Weekly News (June 1994). Kaplan (note 2). The reference to a ‘lukewarm church’ is drawn from Revelation 3:15–16. Bragdon and Samuel Scotchmen. pp. ‘Abortion Opponents Charge Police Brutality. p. Allies and Accomplices to the Death of Our Culture (Brentwood. 16 The participation of homosexual activists in clinic confrontations with rescuers was noted in Kaplan (note 2). that you are neither cold nor hot I wish you were either one or the other! So. 12–16. or ‘Police Get Tough at Protest’. TN: Wolgemuth & Hyatt. 15 A good. pp. Atlanta Daily News. p. p. ‘Testimonies from Jailed Rescuers: Operation Rescue Siege of Atlanta— July–Oct ’88’. The Rescuers (Brentwood. because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 1990). see Judith A. 1993). Paul deParrie. 1989). ‘Securing Our Sanity: Anger Management Among Abortion Escorts’. 44: and Spencer Heinz. 1989). Dilrorio and Michael R. Henry W. published source of these reminiscences is Josephine County Right to Life. Prayer + Action Weekly News (Sept. ‘The Brockhoeft Report 10’. from undated issue of the State Journal. ‘Praying With Fire: The Genesis of Shelley Shannon’. the head of the ACLU’s Reproductive Rights Project in Chicago. 14 Nov. 17 For a view from the perspective of the escorts. The source for this view is credited to a public school history text- book. 5. see Faye Ginsburg. The presence of these activists as escorts was confirmed in my interview with Coleen Connell. ‘Did She Aim for His Arms?’ Prayer + Action Weekly News (March 1994). 1993. 10 Oct. 411–38. 10 The best exposition of this thesis is Joseph Foreman. 13 John Brockhoeft. 72 n. Cf. 1994). Nusbaumer. pp. Life Advocate (April 1994). 7 John Brockhoeft. Absolute rescue 251 5 The term ‘pariah’ was first applied to the rescue movement in 1989 by the only civil libertarian to have taken note of the unusually harsh treatment of rescuers and the remarkable silence of such champions of the right to protest as the American Civil Liberties Union. 12 This sociological generalization is drawn from my own research among impris- oned rescuers. 1989. 5–7.

25 Shelley Shannon. The Advocate (Nov. Prayer + Action Weekly News (April 1994). This incar- ceration is described as a pleasant holiday weekend in comparison to Atlanta’s hospitality. Pennsylvania. This source recalls as well that Pittsburgh’s heavily Catholic police force seemed in her view rather more sympathetic to the rescuers than to the escorts. 21 Rescuer Tom Herlihy ranks these cities according to the scale of police brutal- ity and gives not overly fond reminiscences of each in an undated New York Post article reprinted in the Drexel Hill. Ray Kerrison. 1990. The Rescuer 5/6 (May–June 1991). American Studies (forthcoming).252 Case studies 18 For just such an explicit statement from the perspective of the Lambs of Christ. Prayer + Action Weekly News (May 1994). 24–31. 24 Ray Kerrison (note 21). 1994). The Advocate (May 1989). 20 ‘The Brockhoeft Report I’. p. The Wanderer. and while it is impossible to find independent confirmation of these events. pp. it is of paramount importance that rescuers believe the version of events published in the rescue and the religious literature without reservation. 13 Jan. 1990). see Terry (note 10). It is notable that the spelling of ‘Amerika’ strongly recalls the practice or 1960s left wing radicals at a similar stage of despair that the nation could be reformed by legal means. see Kaplan (note 2). 10. Michael Barkun notes that a Pittsburgh clinic escort of ‘unimpeachable integrity’ finds the following account to be not credible based on her own experiences in Pittsburgh. and react accordingly. 4. prison notes. 4. p. (2) The abortion must be approved by the hospital’s abortion committee. unpub. She notes as well that after a break-in to the clinic in question. p. 24. Several testimonies from Atlanta are available to this research. For a discussion of the social construction of Satanism in contemporary America. 137–68. 1994). 63. Prof. p. unpub. in Prayer + Action Weekly News (Dec. The Rescuer. 27 This latest revision of the Army of God Manual was repr.000 in damage due to tar which was poured over the equipment and furni- ture. 3 Jan. and ‘Pittsburgh Night- mare: ‘I Wish They’d Broken My Arms’ ’. 22 Shelley Shannon. p. For considerable detail. 55. 1991. the clinic suffered over $20. For sources in the rescue literature. 10. see ‘Pittsburgh Police Abuse Rescuers’. ‘Police Brutality’. p. newsletter. The Wanderer. While it is the norm rather than the exception that rescuers and clinic escorts see the same events in diametrically opposite ways. 26 A good source for the philosophical dimensions of this split is the anti-violence consensus of pro-lifers and pacifist rescue leaders in ‘Killing Abortionists: A Symposium’. ‘Pro-abortion Satanists’ are noted as attending Shelley Shannon’s trial. 10. ‘Toward the Use of Force’. First Things 48 (Dec. p. It is instructive of conditions in Atlanta that Shelley Shannon’s notes contain an account of her interest at her Grants Pass home almost immediately upon her return to Oregon. 19 Shelley Shannon. and on her knowledge of the city. 23 The events described herein have become a matter of established orthodoxy among rescuers. 11. ‘Multigenerational Satanism: The Eternal Conspiracy’. but few are as reflective—and occasionally quite humorous—as those of Shelley Shannon. 28 The three proposed Restrictions were: (1) The abortion must be performed in a state-accredited hospital. pp. and (3) The attending physician’s medical judgement must be confirmed by independent examinations of the patient by at least two . see Jeffrey Kaplan. See Shelley Shannon. 1993). p. p. ‘Sex- ually Molested Pro-Life Women Seek Justice: Offenders May Get Off Free’. Randall Terry concurs with this list. Events in Pittsburgh are described in brief in a full page advertisement in the mainstream Catholic newspaper. Prayer + Action Weekly News (Dec. notes. ‘Shelley Shannon Trial From the Perspective of Shelley Shannon’.

see Kaplan (note 2).000 fine for a first ‘exclusively non-violent’ offense and 18 months and $25. 37–8 32 Ronald Reagan. 31 See ‘High Court Upholds RICO’. 36–41. 25 Jan. IN: Our Sunday Visitor. 1994). pp. 1984). 1993). Letter from Marjorie Reed. and ‘Supreme Court Issues Narrow. p. and a nattily dressed Hillary against a back- drop of memorial posters for aborted babies. 1993). Life Advocate (Aug. pp. 75–6. is considerably less well known outside rescue circles than John Brockhoeft. Everett Koop. 15. Prayer + Action Weekly News (Feb. An excellent source for the political con- texts into which the Antichrist has been projected through the ages is Bernard McGinn. Norman Weslin. See ‘The Brockhoeft Report 1–4’. ‘Year Ends With Shootings at East Coast Abor- tuaries’. and ‘The Brockhoeft Report 5–6’. replete with saxophone. 33 Barbara Hinkson Craig and David M. 38. 20 and was reported in brief. Wonderfully illustrative photo- graphs making the rounds in rescue circles feature Bill Clinton with a large 666 written on his forehead. Life Advocate (July 1994). see Marjorie Reed. . n. in Reagan (note 32). 35 For a good capsule summary of the tactical models of early rescue from the aboli- tionists to the Civil Rights movement. IL: Cross- way Books. ‘Oh Please Spare Me (Or a Day Before the Grand Jury)’. 16 Oct. NJ: Chatham House.000 for each addi- tional offense thereafter. ‘Clinton Display at Picket draws Federal Attention’. Ct 739]. For a rare public appearance. 1993/Jan. TN: Nelson. Harmful Decision in NOW’s RICO Suit’. p. Signed by Clinton’. 38 After some puzzlement in rescue ranks. For a brilliant analysis. Abortion Rites: A Social History of Abortion in America (Wheaton. 41–73. 34 Interview with Fr. with both Clintons sporting 666 on their foreheads. 1995). 39 The ongoing Brockhoeft Report discusses the fires he set in abortion clinics in Ohio and Florida in considerable detail. 40 Michael Bray. pp. 1994). Abortion and American Politics (Chatham. 25–36. Absolute rescue 253 other physicians [410 US 179 or 93 S. Prayer + Action Weekly News (Dec. See C. see Phillip F. 30 For a brief synopsis of RICO and the Now v. OR. 8. Scheidler suit. 36 ‘Congress Hears Truth on Pro-Abort Violence’. almost terse terms. ‘The Slide to Auschwitz’. 1994). 1993. An earlier suit was filed in Portland. p. somewhat more optimistic report on the occasion of the Supreme Court’s agreeing to hear the suit. O’Brien. see ‘Clinton Administration Urges Overturning NOW v. An excellent scholarly source for the legal and political implications of the abortion controversy is Barbara Hinkson Craig and David M. OR: AFL. Life Advocate (July 1993). pp. Antichrist (NY: Harper San Francisco. 1992). O’Brien (note 28). It is highly significant that so important a decision—a decision which made it unlikely that any rescuer could hope to have a RICO judgment overturned in the courts of America—was relegated to p. Life Advocate (March 1994). 20–22. For an explicitly pro-life point of view. Operation Rescue: A Challenge to the Nation’s Conscience (Huntington. Life Advocate (Dec. Salvi’s statement was characterized as delusional and psychotic and Salvi himself treated as a curiosity with no con- nection to the rescue movement. 41 The Nazi metaphor is common to the larger pro-life constituency as well. pp. A Time to Kill (Portland. For an earlier. 1995. 5 Aug. A ideologically dubious example has a leatherclad Bill Clinton. Lawler. Life Advocate (July 1993). 1993. interview with Kathy Rumey. legal firm to Shelley Shannon. currently serving a 12-year sentence for ‘aiding and abetting’ a clinic arson. 1994). Life Advocate (Feb. pp. see Marvin Olasky. 8–9. p. 1994). 10 July 1992. 29 Letter from Portland. Scheidler Acquittal’. 40. see Foreman (note 10). 20. Abortion and the Conscience of the Nation (Nashville. 37 ‘FACE Bill Passed. Sen- tencing provisions include six months incarceration and a $10. Mar- jorie Reed. 1992). pp.

‘Craft Quits!: Sixth Abortionist to Stop Killing in 10 Months’. p. She is the stuff of sermons. the Missionaries and other rescuers believe in its power without ques- tion. Prayer + Action Weekly News (Jan. and all after having been the subjects of imprecation. 42. and a time to hate. While it would be impossible to document the efficacy of this spiritual weapon. 15. PA: Fortress Press. She recalls two of these titles as: Life Together (note 51) and Letters and Papers From Prison. Volume One: 1918–1934 (Phila- delphia. p. a time of war. Operation Rescue (Springdale: Pai Whitaker House. 15. pp. Prayer + Action Weekly News (May 1994). (Nov. as members of . This Christian ‘science fiction’ includes a paean to Shelley Shannon as a ‘Bonhoeffer-like figure’. Prayer + Action Weekly News (March 1994). 50 ‘The Brockhoeft Report 12’. p. 1994). stating forthrightly and without fear that we declare ourselves to be in full and unrelenting state of war with those forces seeking and consciously promot- ing the destruction of our faith and our race’. could forgive his enemies. his formulation is based on Ecclesiastes 3:8 ‘A time to love. it should be noted that as of 1991. 1989). For on early source positing Ten Boom and Dietrich Bonhoeffer as equivalent models for emulation. 43 Joe Bartlett. the following. p. ‘Dietrich and George and the Time Machine’. who thus—stricken by the wrath of God—and in no other way. who met God’s vengeance in our stead. So viral is Bonho- effer’s theology beyond the narrow worlds of rescue and evangelical Christianity that the American Academy of Religion plans to hold a panel discussion on Bonhoeffer’s legacy at its 1995 meeting in Philadelphia. The Advocate (Feb. 47. 1988). p. 51 Imprecatory prayer was introduced in these pages in Kaplan (note 2). pray the imprecatory psalms? In so far as we are sinners and express evil thoughts in a prayer of vengeance. 357–8. the Christ who took all the vengeance of God upon himself. 55. 46 The preamble of the Order’s declaration states: ‘We. ‘Did She Aim for His Arms: Report on the Trial of Rachelle Shannon’. Operation Rescue (note 42) and Accessory to Murder (note 10). 1994). then. 3. The Silent Brotherhood (NY: Free Press. too. More. and a time of peace’. all within the space of a year. p.254 Case studies 42 Corrie Ten Boom is something of a cult icon to rescuers and to other members of the evangelical subculture. p. 44 Klaus Scholder. The Missionaries did not however pioneer the use of the imprecatory psalms as a weapon of war. who himself suffered the wrath that his enemies might go free—we. see Alcorn (note 10). For a good example of how this challenging material is distilled and disseminated to rescu- ers of a non-scholarly bent. John Brockhoeft would not take this (or any other) public position without bib- lical warrant. No less a figure than Dietrich Bonhoeffer counseled: Can we. But in so far as Christ is in us. we dare not do so. being of sound mind and under no duress. p. 1988). 1995). Good sources for the war imagery of the early rescue movement are Randall Terry’s first two books. 45 Shelley Shannon. Milwaukee abortionists have had unusually high incidences of strokes (Drs Tarver and Woo) and sudden death (Dr Leon Gillman). The Church and the Third Reich. 49 ‘Paul Hill Interview’ (note 9). 6. 48 ‘The Brockhoeft Report 14’. ibid. Prayer + Action Weekly News (Sept. 1990). In this case. Prayer + Action Weekly News (May 1994). p. 111–16. A good example of this praxis in the context of rescue is ‘Kenny Sacht: A Pastor Continues to Rescue despite upheaval in His Church’. 54. pp. See Kevin Flynn and Gary Gerhard. hereby sign this document of our own free will. and even comic books to inspire children. see Randall Terry. 276. ‘Toward their Use of Force’. p. n. 47 ‘The Brockhoeft Report 15’. articles. p. 49. The Advocate (May 1991). 77. Scholder’s two volume history is the best introduction to Bonhoeffer’s theology in its historical context. 11.

p. Tim Lindgren. reminded him of the unborn baby in the womb. commented that his predicament. The Anti- Abortion Movement and the Rise of the Religious Right: From Polite to Fiery Protest (NY: Twayne Publishers. (San Francisco. and ‘Abortion: Who’s Behind the Violence?’ US News and World Report. 16. Doberstein. p. see Dallas A. 1994. clinic bombers or those who would resort to lethal force. from the heart of Jesus Christ. At the same time. Blanchard’s . Prayer + Action Weekly News (Dec. Religious Violence and Abortion (Gainesville. Shelley Shannon appears to have been among these aficionados. Thus too the interest shown in Scheidler by the current Portland Grand Jury inquiry into the possibility of a national conspiracy against the abortion industry and so too the decision of NOW to file the flagship RICO suit against Scheidler and his Pro- Life Action League. Scheidler. Blanchard. Scheidler never met a rescuer or pro-lifer he did not like. 6. 1993). Blanchard and Jerry J. 55 This intensely mystical experience of unity with the unborn appears to be evocative of the voices heard by Joan of Arc and by a long line of medieval female saints engaged in intensely emotional devotions. NAF figures from 1977–91 count 34 bombings and 60 arsons. Life Advocate (Jan. John W. IL: Crossway. 60. unable to know what was happening outside of his steel tomb. 1954). ND. finding 1984 to be the most active year with 18 clinics bombed and 6 damaged by arson. Joseph Scheidler’s role in the movement is controversial. Life Advocate (Oct. 54 Joseph M. stressing his commitment to non-violence against persons. 59 For a riveting step by step account of the destruction of an abortion clinic. Harper & Row. The father of the rescue movement. Closed: 99 Ways to Stop Abortion (Westchester. pp. p. rescuers and conservative Christians in general. 58 Movement figures have clinic bombings peaking in 1984 when 18 clinics were bombed and 11 others suffered damage from arson. helplessly encased in total dark- ness. 1994. 1993). These numbers sharply declined from 1985. FL: Florida UP. 14 Nov. 1994). These rescuers chained themselves with Kryptonite locks into a clothes dryer. That the tactic remains in use today. trans. through Jesus Christ. 56 An excellent example of the lengths to which this can go can be seen in the pretzel-like contraption employed by two rescuers in Fargo. 1995). ‘Rescuers Go Far in Fargo to Save Babies’. see ‘Clinic Acid Dosing Raises Fear’. although the numbers are in some dispute in movement literature. and in turn had these dryers fixed into the body of an old car with an array of chains and metal. 1994). whether they be committed pacifists. For its part. For an intensely negative scholarly polemic against clinic bombers. he gives unqualified support and counsel to all who ask. 57 ‘The Brockhoeft Report 3’. see ‘FBI Undertakes Conspiracy Inquiry Into Clinic Violence’. Butyric acid became something of a fad among rescuers determined to close a clinic but unwilling or unable to take sterner measures. 53 Joan Andrews tells her story in Joan Andrews with John Cavanaugh O’Keefe. (Dietrich Bonhoeffer. 31. 1993). Life Advocate (April 1994). p. the National Abortion Federa- tion generally agrees with these numbers. The car was then pushed in front of the clinic door. can pray these psalms. New York Times. Life Together. Prewitt. 34) 52 This letter was written to a rescuer closely identified with the resort to force. On the conspiracy inquiry. p. ‘Shannon Hints at Butyric Acid Involvements’. I Will Never Forget You (San Francisco: Ignatius Press. The names of both the author and recipient will be withheld. 56–7. see ‘The Brockhoeft Report 5 and 6’. Dallas A. 1985). 4 Aug. Scheidler felt it necessary to update his book in 1992. Kaplan (note 2). Prayer + Action Weekly News (Feb. 1989). p. One of the rescuers. Absolute rescue 255 this Jesus Christ. Thus. 19.

1993 edition containing ‘The Brockhoeft Report 1–4’. For other useful material on Paul Hill. 1993). 28–9. Hill. Paul J. pp. The Anti-Abortion Movement (note 58).. pp. 1991. Julie Ingersoll’s review of the Blanchard and Prewitt volume in Terrorism and Political Violence 6/1 (Spring 1994). ibid. 1994). 10–14. ‘America’s Last Prophetic Witness’ (note 2). pp. 62 Name of author and recipient withheld. Typical are ‘Abortionist Shooting Spurs Another to Quit’ and ‘Women’s Center Discontinues Abor- tions’. The term ‘bottom feeder’ is taken from a comic book issued by a Texas minis- try portraying abortionists as the catfish-like bottom feeders of the medical profession. 61 The Prisoners of Christ ministry was a function of the Missionaries to the Preborn in Milwaukee. In the wake of the split between Pastor Matt Trewellah and the Rev. Cf. 45–8. Hill on the occasion of his appearance on the Phil Donahue television program. 19. 25–38. Life Advocate (October 1993). (Dec. Perhaps the best summaries of absolutism are contained in the Dec. Foreman to California. 17. 1994). 19. 31 March 1993. Life Advocate (Oct. 71 FBI and BATF Start Reno-Inspired “Witchhunt” ’. Life Advocate (July 1993). 21. . For an example of the justifiable homicide argument. 18. Life Advocate (Feb. 1995). p.256 Case studies vendetta is reprised in Blanchard. 154–6. 19 June 1993. pp. The statement can be found as well in the Prayer + Action Weekly News (Nov 1994). ibid. Dave Leach in Iowa. For an example of the occasional success story. Prayer + Action Weekly News (Aug. 72 Pro-Life Pastors and Leaders Declare Justice of the Use of Force’. p. Abortionist Quits’. 73 Paul J. 1993. 65 Joseph M. Scheidler (note 54). Joseph Foreman. 66–7. p. 42–6. 1994. 18–19. 63 For details of these lesser known cases. ‘Should We Defend Born and Unborn Children With Force?’ Prayer + Action Weekly News (Sept. ‘Taking the Battle Home: Tactics Get Tough With Abortionists’. She is reacting to Jeffrey Kaplan. Shelley Shannon was until her arrest the original editor. This essay was written to further clarify points made by Rev. 1994). see ‘Abortion Clinics Search for Doctors in Scarcity’. 10 June 1994. Cathy Ramey. Hill. ibid. see ‘Bottom of the Barrel: Abortion- ists—The Dregs of Society’. On the dearth of candidates to become abortionists. 8. See ‘ “Bottom Feeder” Humor Upsets Abortionists’. pp. Life Advocate (Nov. Prayer + Action Weekly News (Dec. Fortuitously. (Jan. ‘Canadian Abortionist Shot’. Feb. (July 1993). Life Advocate (Nov. 1994). 60 Letter to author from imprisoned rescuer. pp. where the first installment appeared in Dec. p. and ‘Canada Targets Pro-Lifers: Media and Government Forces Seek to Destroy Pro-Life Movement’. 48. the POC newsletter has relocated with Rev. 68 The ongoing ‘Brockhoeft Report’ is serialized in Prayer + Action Weekly News. 19. pp. and ‘The Brockhoeft Report 7’. ‘Strategy for the Future: The Pro-Life Exception or “By Any Means Necessary” ’. pp.. 98–100. pp. p. 10–13. pp. 67 ‘The Brockhoeft Report 4’. 59. Cf. 69 ‘The Brockhoeft Report 7’. editor of the various Prayer + Action Weekly News editions. 70 ‘Florida Pro-Lifers ID Replacement for Gunn’. The comic book was mailed to students in medical schools across the country. 1993). 28. Prayer + Action Weekly News (March 1994). ibid. New York Times. 1994). A transcript of that interview can be found in ‘Phil & Hill’. pp. ibid. ibid. 64 Letter from Shelley Shannon.. 66 There is no dearth of reporting on abortionists who seek other means of liveli- hood out of fear of violence in the rescue literature. Life Advocate (Sept. 10–15. 31. stepped forward to continue the work. pp. 1994). pp. see: ‘Paul Hill Interview’ (note 9). and ‘Planned Parenthood Starting to Train Doctors in Abortion’. name withheld. 1994). p. see ‘After Home Picket.

76 Ibid. most notable for comparing Shelley Shannon to Dietrich Bonhoeffer. 271–3. ibid. Committee of the States: Inside the Radical Right (Mariposa. my review essay on the influ- ence of this text in Syzygy: Jnl of Alternative Religion and Culture 1/2–3. TX) Howard Silverman (Boston. MD) George Kabacy (Canby. see ‘ACLA: New National Activist Coalition Begins in Mississippi’. (Jan. OR) Steven Kaali (Dobbs Ferry. recent television news reports have singled out Joseph Booker as at greatest risk. pp. Absolute rescue 257 ‘Who Killed the Innocent—Michael Griffin or Dr. 1991). 1990). 15–18. canoniz- ing her and Paul Hill as movement martyrs. 1993). KS) David Allred (Los Angeles. 1995). The example of Phineas and his resort to deadly force in a success- ful effort to shield his people from the wrath of a justly angry God is of considerable importance to a number of contemporary American millenarian appeals. The Posse Comitatus was a (very) loosely organized movement in the American heartland which rejected the legitimacy of all civil authority above the level of county sheriff. the Phineas Priesthood. p. . 37. NY) Thomas Greysinger (Fort Washington. 74 Hill (note 73). pp. David Gunn?’ Life Advocate (Aug. compromised. and excommunicating Michael Griffin from their number due to his having ‘flip-flopped. as well as the strong condemnation of the act from pro-life and rescue quarters. and Mississippi rescuer and signer of Paul Hill’s original Direct Action statement. p. p. p. and threw away his honor for nothing’. Cf. see ‘Abortionist Accused of Pointing Gun at Crowd of Anti-Abortion Protesters’. Roy McMillan. Life Advocate (June 1994). 79 The intensity of this emotion can be glimpsed in ‘An Open Letter From Joe Bartlett to Shelley’. 77 Hill (note 73). 1994). 32. 1994. This letter. ‘Hill Says. 78 Letter from Shelley Shannon. 28.”. Prayer + Action Weekly News (Oct. Richard Kelly Hoskins draws on this source to posit a phantom order of avengers from the dawn of time. Vigilantes of Christen- dom (Lynchburg. 1994). 40–3. VA: Publishing Co. CA: Camden Place Communica- tions.’ Life Advocate (Sept. WI) Urich Klopfer (Fort Wayne. See Richard Kelly Hoskins. CO) James and Elizabeth Newhall (Portland. betrayed his friends.. pp. 80 Those named on the list are: Joseph Booker (Jackson. was written in lieu of an installment of ‘The Brockhoeft Report’ due to Brockhoeft’s despair at having been asked by Shelley Shannon to leave her out of his writings lest she be further glorified for her actions. pp. “Now is the Time . 9 Sept. . . 27. 36–7. OR) Douglas Karpen (Houston. and ‘An Interview With Paul Hill’. In the world of Christian Identity for example. Life Advocate (Oct. IN) Of these. 1994). CA) Warren Hern (Boulder. MA) Paul Seamers (Oconomowok. 26–9. as the most likely to act.. pp. see Cheri Seymour. 10–15. pp.. On Hill’s killing of John Britton and James Barrett. On the history of the ACLA and its actions in Mississippi. pp. For an introduction through the perspective of the late Posse founder William Potter Gale. 75 Ibid. On the warmth of the McMillan/Booker relationship. 43–7. MS) George Tiller (Andover.

no less than other religio- political activists.1 This state of affairs is remarkable when considered in the context of the academic study of religious movements in other cultures which. in stark contrast to the remarkably open and non-violent ethos of the rescue movement. of the welter of resurgent religio-political organizations active in the con- temporary world.2 Similarly. no. For instance. scholars of Islamic fundamentalism following the example of Richard Mitchell in his ground breaking study of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.8 America’s last prophetic witness The literature of the rescue movement (Copyright © 1993 Taylor & Francis Group. the children they have nursed? Should priest and prophet be slaughtered in the Lord’s sanctuary? (Lamentations 2:20) The academic study of the radical faction of the pro-life movement in the United States known generically as the rescue movement is unique in that. pp. and consider: whom have you ever treated like this? Should women eat their little ones. 3 (Autumn 1993).3 Yet with few exceptions. virtually no scholarly account of rescue uses the large body of literature generated by the rescuers themselves. have pre- sented researchers with significantly greater challenges in approaching activists and gathering primary source materials. This chapter was first published in Terrorism and Political Violence 5. Reprinted with permission of the publisher) Look Yahweh. have produced a coherent body of literature and a pool . no scholar purporting to study such radical Jewish fundament- alist groups as Gush Emunim would fail either to make use of the liter- ature which the movement has produced or to interact with Gush adherents in the Occupied Territories. have proved remarkably adept at unearthing primary source documents and. occasion- ally at some risk. personally interacting with movement leaders and cadre. scholars moved to undertake an academic study of rescue appear not to have ser- iously entertained the notion that rescuers. 58–77.

in movement terms this equates to the placing of the body of the rescuer between the ‘murderer and his intended victim’. however.6 The continued commitment to non-violence7 in the literature of the rescue movement is all the more remarkable in the light of the increas- ingly apocalyptic analysis of American society reflected in the pages of rescue material as well as in conversations with rescuers throughout the country. the movement views the act of rescue to be accomplished by means of a tactical approach called inter- position. allegedly at the hands of a peripheral adherent of the Houston-based Rescue America. this literature con- tinues to insist that rescue activities at the clinic level are primarily a delay- ing action which will allow ‘sidewalk counselors’ time to approach women and seek to ‘change their hearts’ about abortion. and threats to violence . For this purpose. All agree that Michael Griffin. the movement was thrown into a state of agonized soul-searching. violence against property. This review article will seek to offer a prelimi- nary consideration of some of the more important works to have emerged from the rescue movement in recent years. Yet the killing to David Gunn did mark a significant watershed in the history of the rescue movement. was at best a peripheral member of the rescue community. however.8 Rather. understanding the desperate rage which would fuel such an act. How rescue came to such a quandary is revealed in the pages of its by now vast body of literature. and what most startles the observer in this context was the unwillingness of veteran rescuers to condemn the event. it may be useful to propose a three-fold typology of violence: viol- ence against persons. Wade (1973) activism. America’s last prophetic witness 259 of personal narrative which offer significant insights into the remarkable sub-culture that the rescue movement has become. Since then the rescue movement has been portrayed as an unusually violent fringe of the American religious right. and involves in some formu- lations nothing less than the reawakening of the Church. the murder of a human being is unprecedented in the 20-year history of post- Roe vs.4 Such an approach to the rescue movement is of particular importance in the wake of the killing of Dr David Gunn in Florida on 10 March 1993. First. is notable for its stated adherence to principles of non-violence. is less well defined. However. The strategic vision of the movement. it is imperative to examine the widely held perception in America that the rescue movement itself engages in violence or terrorism. but unable to justify murder in light of rescue’s intense reverence for life. while the literature of rescue has from the beginning found little fault with the destruction of property if this could be useful in saving human life. Basing itself on Prov- erbs 24:11 ‘Rescue those who are being taken away to death.5 Yet the move- ment’s literature. hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter’. no less than its internal communications. Despite the significance—and keenly felt—reverses suffered by the movement since the 1992 presidential election. and a grand renewal of American (and thus world) society. the alleged killer.

15 Until the formation of Operation Rescue in 1986–87.14 Arguments. and they are obviously terrifying to the recipient. and have been forced to move to police vehicles under their own volition (as opposed to being carried) by police pain com- pliance techniques. However. on the other hand. Clearly. ranging from five to none per year from 1985–90.). accusations. bombings have declined sharply. sprayed with mace. Virginia and John Broekhoft. currently serving a sentence in Ashland. At the apex of these actions are the activities of the ‘clinic bombers’ whose mission is to destroy the clinic physically without harming any individual. etc. confrontations at the clinics which have the potential for violence. is to damage medical equipment used in performing abortions. Since then. have offered some insight into this phenomenon and both state unequivocally that their motivations were in reality millenarian. these threats have been made. Joseph Grace.13 Implied threats. Yet even in this formative . and the like. rescuers themselves have been beaten by police. Joacheme of Fiore!12 Below the level of bombing or arson.10 Damage to property. Before the murder of David Gunn. no rescuer had been convicted of a serious act of premeditated physical violence against any individual. Kentucky. suffered physical and sexual assault in the jails. and in fact peaked. and are engaged in by both sides. while arsons ranged from a high of nine in 1985 to four to five per year from 1986–90. are often features of rescue efforts. including leaving threatening messages on answering machines. in 1984 when according to rescue movement figures some 18 clinics were bombed and 11 were either set afire or where the victims of attempted but unsuccessful bomb- ings or arsons. by contrast. perhaps pio- neered by rescue heroine Joan Andrews.9 Con- versely. Indeed.260 Case studies (verbal statements. it is simply not possible to establish with certainty pre- cisely who made the threat and for what reason. Two of these. imprecations and verbal taunts. currently imprisoned in Burkeville. volunteer clinic escorts and clinic guards. has in recent years become something of a hallmark of the more extreme adherents of the rescue movement. rescue was the province of a handful of activists from around the country drawn to a myriad of often short-lived adhoc groups which were notable primarily for their sincere intentions and tactical ineptitude. yet diffi- cult to substantiate. Mr Grace has made available to this researcher complex charts on the theme of the imminent apocalypse which have more than a passing similarity to those produced by the twelfth century monastic apocalypticist. there are numerous reports of such damage to clinic property as pouring glue into locks or spraying facilities with caustic chem- icals when nobody is on the premises. in the case of threats made over the telephone. This tactic was first employed. are ubiquitous features of rescue activities in the press. Another favored tactic.11 The motivations for clinic bombers are extraordinarily complex. shouted imprecations during clinic level confrontations.

Andrews emerges as a remark- ably tenacious proponent of her own essential rightness—a trait as applic- able to a prophet as to stubborn petulance of a child. Yet while all of this may strike the secular reader as hopelessly naïve. The uncompromising stance has con- tributed greatly to her own prison travails.16 The most evocative account of these early days of rescue is that of Joan Andrews’ I Will Never Forget You. and even of lesbian sexuality in the prison environment. The same harsh judgement is even meted out to her fellow rescuers whose convictions will not allow for the same degree of sac- rifice which she demands of herself. who comes to dwell in each human heart.20 Flowing too from Andrews’ rage is her sense of naïve wonder at the injus- tices of the world and her determination in the face of such iniquity to refuse to cooperate in anyway with society or any of its minions. In words which remarkably echo Sayyid Qutb’s judgment of Egyptian society as jahiliyyah— a state of pre-Islamic barbarity—Andrew states: In a pagan society. In pursuit of this essential truth. the oft-stated incomprehension of this self-professed virgin at Catholic judges who would uphold man’s law rather than that of their church. or the life of the unborn is as precious to God as that of any living creature. the law. at students in a Catholic school who were among her most critical audiences. Thus. Thus. like most early rescue figures a deeply pious Catholic.19 she does not hesitate to criticize the clergy—parish priest or bishop alike—if they do not support her activ- ism (as most do not). As recorded in I Will Never Forget You. it is this refusal to accept . which in turn have intensified her battle against the injustices of a society which condones the act of abortion and condemns those who would act to save the lives of the victims of abortion. America’s last prophetic witness 261 period of the post-Roe vs. Flowing from this conviction.17 Joan Andrews. and to a highly emotional attachment to the sacra- ments and to her own Marian devotions.18 is today lionized in rescue circles as a Joan of Arc figure whose suffering ‘for the babies’ provides a model for emulation to which few rescuers could hope to aspire. people do not always understand what ‘idolatry’ is. Wade 1970s. the pages of I Will Never Forget You offers the devastating critique of American society which has come to be widely held in the internal dialogue of the rescue movement. even as she cleaves to the Church. He [the judge] decided that everyone had to bow down to an idol. and [the state’s law] was idolatry. Andrews does indeed speak with the simplicity of a Joan of Arc or a St Francis of Assisi for whom the complex dogma of the Church need be reduced to but a few basic propositions based on the primary dogma that all life is sacro- sanct. the defining characteristic of the movement was already in evidence: rescue is a deeply religious movement in which only the most religiously committed activists were able to perse- vere. not to God.

25 While the Lambs adhere to non-violence. and as Chief of the War Plans Division on the General Staff. the patroness of the movement. and indeed. After his entry into the priesthood in 1982. Ron Maxson too is a 22 year veteran of the US Army. with society in any way. rescuing where least expected in lightning strikes across the country. Father Norman Weslin. doing penance for the evil of abortion. he served in the order of Mother Teresa. is invariably referred to as ‘our commander in chief ’.27 Father Weslin sees the Lambs as ‘victim souls’.28 Three guiding principles govern Lamb rescue operations. largely due to a highly negative portrayal of the group’s 1991 rescue activities in Fargo.24 Since then. the Lambs of Christ.30 a steadfast refusal to ‘pay money into the system’ . the group’s organization.26 Weslin’s biography after his con- version to Catholicism in 1951 includes a 20-year army career.262 Case studies the less palatable realities of the world which provides her with the strength to endure the costs of her primary condition to the rescue move- ment: a determination to take the role of the ‘victim sole’ and. and resulted from a chance meeting between Father Weslin and ‘Grandma’. refuse to cooperate with her jailors. North Dakota.29 Full obedience to an appointed shepherd (who may not be the ranking spiritual authority present at a rescue). and thus it is fitting that Andrews ends her narrative at the very point at which the Lambs begin. with stints as a lieutenant colonel in charge of nuclear missile installations in various parts of the world. like that of the Missionaries to the Preborn (see below) came about after the mass rescue organized in Atlanta in that year. taking the name Father Doe. Ron Maxson. Indeed. a frail grandmother whom Weslin credits as being the mother of Lamb theo- logy. and was awarded a Purple Heart and two Silver Stars for his Vietnam service. with her judges. were career military men. form the core of the Lamb decisionmaking process. like the helpless infant in the womb. Its genesis. The Lambs was born in 1988 as a predominantly Catholic rescue organ- ization. is the founder and leader of the Lambs of Christ. and they with Grandma. the Virgin Mary. it is the Lambs who have come to be most popularly associated with acts of rescue violence. job and family to live itinerant lives of apostolic poverty.’23 Father Weslin. ethos. and one of its chief spokesmen. forsaking the comforts of home.21 The concept of the victim soul—the individual put on this earth to fortify the faith of others by his or (more often) her vicarious suffering22 is the starting point for the least understood of the contemporary rescue organizations. The Lambs have published no books and their literature consists primarily of hastily prepared communiqués and references in various movement newsletters. with the determi- nation of Father Norman Weslin to put together an as yet unnamed ‘group of rescuers who will identify with the babies by taking the name “Baby Doe” and will be noncooperative. The explanation for this quasi-military style is straightforward enough: both its founder. on the CBS program ‘60 minutes’. and tactical sophistication are strikingly militaristic.

in jail. please do not gather with the Lambs. including that of Mother Theresa and others around the world who are in continuous prayer for the success of the Lambs’ mission. and the like. ‘leaving no-one in the cracks’. in rescue terminology. it was decided to pay taxes on the theory that much of this money is spent for the public good). which protects the clinics is literally satanic. Rather. are unabash- edly engaged in a war with Satan: the devil is a manifest presence in America. it is no accident. The Lambs of Christ have no equivalent of Operation Rescue’s pledge of non-violence.34 It is rare that the historian is able to offer much more than speculation as to the calculus which determines the resort by a quasi- clandestine group such as the Lambs to violence. or the determination to maintain non-violent tactics even in the face of their apparent futility. the Lamb leadership are hardly pacifists. a city like Fargo. North Dakota. literally.32 Against such an enemy. counting among their supporters clergymen. Ron Maxson offers a rare glimpse into this reasoning process in a letter written from a jail cell to his daughter. (‘a festering pocket of pus’ in Ron Maxson’s phrase). it is in the support the move- ment receives from the Catholic religious community. however.31 The Lambs of Christ. although after much debate. and his primary haunts are the abortion clinics of the country. ‘Christ’s least brothers’ is a powerful temptation to men steeped in military culture. i.. You will set us back ten years). written in a style aston- ishingly similar to a fatwa or legal ruling written by an Islamic religious . Thus for example. (If you are inclined toward violence. Never has a Lamb been found to be violent. America’s last prophetic witness 263 (i. the true strength of the Lambs is not in its highly developed system of command and control (communications is decidedly not a Lamb interest). bishops.e. (The Lambs go limp whenever God compels them to go limp). to pay fines.33 If this call to non-violence appears to be more of a tactical option than a philosophical imperative. ‘witches’ or members of ‘satanic covens’. while those who would work in or defend the clinics are. how can the Lambs hope to overcome? Only by adopting the meekness of Jesus on the cross. fees. in the self-view of the movement. The Lambs are never violent.35 The letter. and by identifying with the helplessness of the infant in the womb: [The Lambs] become an unborn child in its utter helplessness by becoming limp and not having any name except ‘Baby Doe’. all stay or all go together).. and perhaps most striking of all. Mary. While no Lamb has ever been convicted of violence against persons or property. more than any other rescue group. and clearly of greatest value of all. never leaving their casualties on the field of battle (or in the distinctive argot of the Lambs. cloistered orders and other prayer communities. and in fact the instinct to use force to prevent the abortionist from taking the lives of.e.

’ Against this compelling logic. Augustinian ‘Just War’ doctrine. He used a whip to cleanse the temple. Her reasoning was straight- forward: ‘Killing the murderer surely saves more babies than your way (non-violent rescue) does. however. Mr Maxson was forced to elaborate on his answer. is subject to the date of .’ Rescue in other words is not directed toward ending abortion per se. that which is directed at property to that which seeks to deter. He never used the political process and He never used lethal force. The question of the use of violence is thus separated from the use of lethal force. . En route to presenting three guiding principles for any act of rescue. but not kill. there is room for a menu of options gradually escalating from. He confronted liars. [we] are not doing this [rescue] “to save the babies”. revolu- tionary change in every aspect of American culture. hypocrites and unrepentant sinners. human beings. This Christianization of America will be accomplished through the institution of a politico- religious system thoroughly grounded on biblical principles. [empha- sis in original]. Ron Maxson ranges from a consideration of the edict in Romans 13 for submission to state authority and the state’s monopoly of deadly force. natural law theory. .37 and a strategic analysis that uncannily echoes the Robert McNamara-era ‘flexible response’ strategic doctrine38: Christ modelled for us a full range of options short of lethal force. was composed in response to Mary’s request for advice on the per- missibility of composed in response to Mary’s request for advice on the permissibility of killing abortionists and her objection to her father’s simple refusal to allow her to support violence. and in its multi-layered thematic structure. He lived the truth perfectly for 33 years. and what emerges in these pages is a glimpse of this hierarchical world which verges on what might almost be dubbed ‘Catholic Reconstructionism’36 in that Mr Maxson speaks from a position which relates his ‘authority as head of my family to the authority of those Christ has placed over me’. We are doing what we do in obedience to Christ. in the context of this article’s typology of violence. implying that short of killing. resulting in a seven-page ruling imbued with the philosophical ethos of ‘Lamb spirituality’. He announced the truth three years. perhaps a vision of the evolution of the rescue move- ment in America. He escaped the hands of those who sought to murder Him until his ‘time’ had come (John 18:11). Even this. but towards a complete. The logic of Ron Maxson’s letter flows from a simple proposition— widely held in the rescue community but which has received scant atten- tion elsewhere: ‘. The argument leading to the conclusion that Mary must not resort to ‘lethal force’ save under the most rigidly defined circumstances brings a fascinating variety of influences to bear on a complex work of biblical hermeneutics.264 Case studies leader.

. . Despite his reluctance to enter clinics himself. In the end. . . Joseph Scheidler today is the symbol of the ecumenical appeal of rescue as a bridge linking the worlds of evangelical Protestantism and the Catholic Church. that least brother may well be the mother and the abortionist about to murder an innocent child. Thus: A Christian individual must obey God’s command to rescue but he must do it in a manner of Christ. [emphasis in original] Joseph Scheidler. the principles laid down by Jesus. Scheidler has come to be recognized as the father of the pro-life movement. which invests the state with the power of the sword. and for a Chris- tian. No! you must not resort to lethal force.’ . armed with his trade- mark bullhorn and fedora hat. and no New Testament justifications for the use of deadly force whatsoever. in the final analysis [that rescue must] conform to the ultimate value of salvation for our own souls and the souls of sinners we can influence. Should the rescuer be attacked by the abortionist or others at the clinics (not an unusual occurrence. . Even the prohibition against escalating the confrontation between the rescuer and the abortionist is not absolute. America’s last prophetic witness 265 Romans 13:3–4. While this is in itself no . A deeply conservative Catholic who came to pro-life activism having pursued careers both as a monk and a working journalist. . We must recognize . may be found on any given day exhorting rescuers to perseverance and non-violence. the rescuer may exercise the ‘perfect’ option and lay down his life in the style of the early martyrs of the Church. Mary. although these incidents have seldom been life threatening). Lethal force is permitted as a last resort but not required nor even suggested for an individual Christian. The means of rescue range from telling the truth and living (as Jesus did) through official use of lethal force . We obediently save lives because our very own soul depends on seeing Jesus in our ‘least brother. . a thor- ough examination of scripture reveals few Old Testament precedents for the use of lethal force by private individuals to protect the ‘innocent being dragged unjustly to death’. or he may resort to lethal force in self- defense. as well as the worlds of imprisoned clinic bombers with the congregations of the most deter- minedly pacifist adherents of Operation Rescue. has been an omnipresent part of the rescue scene virtually since its halting inception in the 1970s. the rational expression of social justice. . Scheidler is an immensely charismatic figure who. the head of the Chicago based Pro-Life Action League. The means of defense must conform to the principles of natural law. .

If Joseph Scheidler is the most prestigious figure to emerge in the radical end of the pro-life movement. Allies. the justice system at every level and. It even features a discus- sion of the morality and the practicality of pro-life graffiti! Closed outlines approaches to the halting of abortion which often step to the edge of viol- ence. Closed nonetheless serves as the tactical bible of the rescue movement and a lightning rod for the blatant misuse of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act statutes by the National Organ- ization of Women [NOW] in their efforts to put Scheidler and the Pro- Life Action League out of business.43 Subtitled The Enemies. from the innocuous organizing of workshops and speakers’ bureaus to the highly charged tactic of picketing the homes of those con- nected with the abortion industry. and featuring the notation on the cover. has become virtually synonymous in the public mind with the rescue movement. lesbianism. Scheidler’s innate ironic humor and his basic optimism42 admit of none of the apocalyptic analyses of American culture which characterize so much of the recent body of rescue literature. the media. and Accomplices to the Death of Our Culture. founder of Opera- tions Rescue. every one of us for tolerating such festering evil in our midst. . 43]). and vibrators [for female masturbation] have in common? You guessed it: the National Organization of Women’ [p. Marxism. Randall Terry. ultimately. and the scream of rage and pain which followed. every tactic undertaken by rescuers. but never actually counsels (or condones!) such a step.266 Case studies mean feat. the American Civil Liberties Union. this latter volume is telling evidence of the radicalization of the movement in the wake of the experience of prison and of the anguish which the rejec- tion of the rescue message by the dominant culture has engendered in the rescue community. is considered. and follows this with a simply crafted apologetic which may be character- ized as a theology of anger. Yet the heart of the volume is a powerful indictment of the movement’s—and thus the unborn’s—chief persecu- tors: Planned Parenthood and its deceased founder Margaret Sanger [1883–1966] (subtitled ‘Planned Parenthood-Born of a Whore’). Operation Rescue. witchcraft. NOW and feminism (‘What do child-killing.40 In its pages. or Sheikh Muhammad Hussein Fadlallah’s Islam and the Logic of Force [Al Islam was Montaq al Quwa] was on a generation of young Shi’i in Lebanon.41 Conversely. And no more telling illustration of the despairing mood of the movement may be offered than the contrast between Terry’s relatively optimistic first book. the organized pro-choice camp. say. Accessory to Murder opens with a brief missive from Terry’s prison cell. Frantz Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth was to the intellectuals of Third World liberation in the 1960s. Accessory to Murder.39 Unlikely to be as influential to this generation as. Scheidler will be best remembered for his vital contribution to the literature of rescue: Closed: 99 Ways to Stop Abortion. ‘Written From a Prison Work Camp’.

disease and impending financial collapse. in response to the adversity which he has suffered stemming from his rescue activities. these do not in fact constitute the Great Tribulation. Reverend Foreman’s vision of the offense of the cross posits an American culture radically denuded of its Christian heritage. This debate serves to link the theological content of Shattering the Darkness with its withering criticism of the rescue movement itself. for the first time in the literature of rescue. that despite the eschatological implications of his predicted cata- clysms of war.46 The importance of Shattering the Darkness lies in Joseph Foreman’s ability to intertwine two coherent levels of argument: a vital theological discourse and a manifesto for political action that features a revolutionary new approach to organized rescue and. Indeed. Abortion in this conception is but the most visible of the evils rotting the soul of the nation. has adopted a postmillennial eschatology. For the prophet. the America of Shattering the Darkness is a land where the very profession of Christianity beyond the sphere of an emasculate ‘Sunday religion’ is an offense to society and a cause for the persecution of the Church’s faithful remnant. a prophetic figure and. famine. political action—defined as the seizure of power—is the key to victory. as a meditating center. At the heart of this apocalyptic analysis of the culture is a debate between a kingly figure. he is able to at one and the same time deny the imminence of the parousia [Second Coming]. The theological sphere of the book takes as its central motif an adaptation of a 1950s era Billy Graham sermon on ‘the offense of the cross’. a long-range strategic vision for a revitalized Church and the (re?) Christianization of American society. no compromises with the idolatry that . America’s last prophetic witness 267 What is to be done in the face of such an all-powerful enemy? Terry’s last chapter.45 It may have been as much Randall Terry’s apparent deviation from the orthodoxy of Protestant fundamentalism as it was his inability to accept the alleged brutality meted out to rescuers in the jails of Atlanta in 1989 that led to the decisive break between Joseph Foreman and Randall Terry and which resulted in the formation of the Milwaukee-based Missionaries to the Preborn and the publication of what may be the most important theological work to emerge from the rescue movement to date: Joseph Foreman’s Shattering the Darkness. an ineffectual priestly figure. envisaged as the end to abortion in America. draught. pestilence.44 Thus. with the various clergymen associated with Operation Rescue playing the role of mediator/peacemaker. however. For the king. and yet assert that America is undergoing God’s judg- ment.47 Construed in a far more man- ichaean framework than Billy Graham would have imagined possible however. It is in fact a thinly disguised encapsulation of the sort of impassioned jail house disputation that must have taken place between Randall Terry (the king) and Joseph Foreman (the prophet). ‘Epilogue: The Inevitable?’ would appear ambiguous in the extreme were it not for Reverend Joseph Foreman’s observation that Terry.

a sec- ondary concern to making a living and caring for their own families. he was a student of mission. It is from his determination to reclaim the Church that the Missionaries to the Preborn (MtP) owe their origins. MtP is based on the vision of Joseph Foreman and the experience of Pastor Matt Trewhella. the society is lost because the Church itself is lost. fellowship and prayer support from sponsoring congregations. and reasoned that this was a result of the short-term nature of the rescue action. he noted with dismay the high degree of burnout suffered by OR’s troops. at best. MtP members would commit themselves to a particular location (currently Milwaukee and Wichita). And who was more in need of an evangel- ical ministry than those most defenceless of human beings whose very lives—and thus their opportunity to hear the kerygma [Good News of the Gospel] were in imminent peril?48 Therefore. MtP would become a true missionary enterprise. As with missionaries to any part of the world. would find financial. Years later. This full-time commitment to rescue represents a significant tactical evolution from Operation Rescue’s national calls to gather in mass in a particular city (or currently [Summer 1993] seven cities—a biblically reso- nant number of ever there was one!). a long-time veteran of Operation Rescue. Pastor Tre- whella recalls that before his awakening to the abortion crisis. The MtP approach had the effect of professionalizing rescue on a tactical . What profit it to make abortion illegal (as it was in the distant pre-Roe past) without changing the hearts of the people (who cared nothing for abortion’s illegality if it interfered with their convenience)? And how to change the hearts of the people without first causing a ‘Great Awakening’ in God’s own slumbering. he could find no ministry which con- cerned itself with the unborn. with rescuers giving their lives full time to the mission outreach to the unborn. as well as the unreliability of the OR method of issuing national calls to action to people whose commitment to rescue was. more short-term rescues featuring rescuers from other parts of the country and young people who would otherwise be in school are prominent features of the MtP summer and holiday schedule. Reverend Foreman. and that all the clinics had to do was to simply wait for the rescuers to move on to resume business as usual. and would return to the clinics as soon as their jail sentences were served. Worse. the fact that so many rescuers were strangers to the target community. As with mission out- reaches to distant parts of the world.268 Case studies is America and its man-made laws will do. scandal- plagued churches? Shattering the Darkness thus argues that the path toward the salvation of the Church leads squarely through the doors of the ‘abortuary’—the living symbol of the nation’s having turned its back on God. upon examining a listing of Christian mission fields throughout the world. Rather. and of God having turned His face from the nation. was well aware of how little lasting impact OR actions had on their host cities.

Rescue is a small but deeply held form of religious commitment which is enacted on the public stage. is a tiny sampling of the literature generated by the rescue movement in America. than to provide insights with which either to inform policy debate or to enlighten public discus- sion on the emotional subject of abortion. For when the doors of reasoned discourse are closed. It is a sentiment which pervades the literature of rescue. the existing intellec- tual dialogue has had the effect of transforming the putative question of the examination. had the ironic effect of marginalizing the scholarship pur- porting to deal with the rescue movement. This growing body of scholarly musings simply has little to say to anyone beyond the confines of academe. it is astonishing that the scholarly consideration of the movement has been so often centered on secondary sources. but—as several rescuers throughout the country have discovered—one’s homes and one’s family’s financial security in the face of civil legal actions as well. at least in their own mission field. steeped as they are in a literature which demands non-violent resist- ance. Thus. and when to offer witness against the abortion industry is to risk not only one’s liberty. This ongoing exchange of received wisdom appears more to reveal a great deal about the contemporary state of academia. in the final analysis. adding an increasing sophistication to the pursuit of a grand vision which is truly world changing. and to provide a coher- ent body of analysis to the wider culture. of greater import. This state of affairs has. To understand such a movement. America’s last prophetic witness 269 level49 and. rescue. Randall Terry’s most oft-quoted remark is: ‘If you believe abortion is murder . to the murder of David Gunn. It is this dearth of reasoned consideration of the rescue movement which has opened the door for the current escalation in the risks of rescue. Its tactics are ever evolving. With so rich an available corpus of material. creating a base community of rescuers to effect.50 Conclusion This essay. . Yet. provides a remarkably accurate measurement of this increasing tension. and which is often heard from the lips of rescu- ers themselves. replete with its dogmas and forms of acceptable discourse. It is a role poorly served by the learned polemic which surrounds the rescue movement in the academic literature. These words still grace Operation Rescue National’s business envelopes. until the Gunn murder. to a conclusion which then becomes the subject of discourse. . the long term objective of recap- turing the Church—and thus the culture—for Christ. few rescuers seem to have . ACT like it’s murder’. The literature of the rescue movement. at best. should be the scholar’s task. and which may in part account for the ambivalent reaction of res- cuers. when the very fabric of society appears to those within the movement to be irreparably torn by abortion. examined chronologically. some reaction is inevitable.

of Chicago Press. Mitchell. e. of Chicago Press. Good participant observer material on Gush Emunim is offered by Gideon Aran. of Texas Press. and David Weisburd. the term ‘terrorist’ has been applied to the rescue movement. or . to apply this dictate to. 1987). 2 Richard R. For a mar- ginally more nuanced attempt to engage with the subject of her study. Amal and the Shi’a (Austin: Univ. p. Blanchard and Terry J. privation and sacrifice. Torat Eretz Yisrael.g. Whether in the wake of the Gunn killing.. In Martin E. 5 Indeed. Scott Appleby (eds. 1993). Barbara Craig and David O’Brien. 1989). Cf. the rescue movement will be content to continue to play the role of the prophet in the wilderness is a question yet to be answered. by virtue of their practice of periodically con- verging on target cities. A far better work. whose activities are described as a ‘daily reign of terror’. Augustus Richard Norton. say. of California Press. See the full page advertisement. ‘Jewish Zionist Fundamentalism: The Bloc of the Faithful in Israel (Gush Emunim)’ in Martin E. and Tzvi Yehuda HaCohen Kook. NY: Cornell UP. language and. Marty and R. it has been until now the self-appointed task of the rescuer to act the timeless role of the prophet: to bear with courage the scorn of his compatriots. Fundamentalisms and the State (Chicago: Univ. The Vanished Imam (Ithaca. The Society of the Muslim Brothers (London: OUP.. the calls now heard for the legal suppression of the rescue movement. 3 See. (Jerusalem: Torat Yisrael Publications. Violence and Abortion: The Gideon Project (Gainesville. CA: Univ. 1993). 1986). A welcome excep- tion to this rule is the recent Dallas A.). 16 March 1993. trans. 1978). trans. 1991). 1989). 1969). 9. the imperative of Exodus 21:24. ‘They Shot Him in the Back Because He Stood Up for Our Right to Choose’. FL: Florida State. in the wake of Dr Gunn’s murder. an ‘eye for an eye. and ed. will be revealed first in the pages of the literature of the rescue movement. see idem. to accept with patience the rejection of his message by the wider culture.’51 Rather. 1993). the Hebrew language settlement journal Nekuda. New York Times. Jewish Settler Violence: Deviance and Social Reaction (University Parks: Pennsylvania State UP. 4 Rescuers form a definite sub-culture in that they appear to share common interests. Tzvi Fishman. beliefs. 1991). which sur- veyed rescuers and cities major rescue texts. Prewitt. Abortion and American Politics (Chattham. ‘Saving America’s Souls: Operation Rescue’s Crusade Against Abortion’. Scott Appleby (eds.270 Case studies contemplated. and Fuad Ajami. and certainly none ever attempted. Fundamentalism Observed (Chicago: Univ. The primary reli- gious texts of the movement have recently been made available in English and includes Ben Zion Bokser. and the avalanche of calls now heard for the legal suppression of the rescue movement. includes one citation from primary rescue materials. Abraham Isaac Kook. liminal experiences marked by shared feelings of danger.). Notes 1 See the New York University anthropologist Faye Ginsburg’s 1989 account of the movement for an egregious example of this scholarly vacuum: Faye Gins- burg. and to stay true to his timeless role as a witness for the word of God and a voice of rebuke to all who would stray. Contested Lives (Berkeley. when it is given. Marty and R. That answer. Classics of Western Spirituality (NY: Paulist Press. a tooth for a tooth. NJ: Chattham Press.

‘Abortion Doctors Under Siege’. (2) I commit to be peaceful and nonviolent in word and deed. as well as brief biographical sketches of prominent rescuers written by one of their own. America’s last prophetic witness 271 ‘Slaying Is a Call to Arms for Abortion Clinics’. emphasis in original] 8 In fact. . New York Times. The Rescuers (Brentwood. (1) As an invited guest. Despite a . TN: Wolgemouth & Hyatt. p. Chicago Tribune. I will sign this pledge having seriously considered what I do with determination and will to persevere by the grace of God. WI. This ministry of the Milwaukee-based Missionaries to the Preborn publishes the names and charges pending against all impris- oned rescuers. I will not take it upon myself to yell out to anyone. Therefore . and ‘A Target. the police. Chicago Tribune. even if I am violently attacked either physically or verbally. Hence. For the text of this pledge.’ Cf. ‘The Historic Christian Doctrine of Interposition’. (4) Should I be arrested. or state- ment. 12 March 1993. or make any threatening gesture. in order to avoid the central issue at hand—murdered children and exploited women. (5) I understand that certain individuals will be appointed to speak to the media. 7. I understand that for the children’s sake. 12 March 1993. 7 This commitment is formalized in the pledge signed by each rescuer participat- ing under the aegis of Operation Rescue. I will not raise my voice in anger. where the sub-heading reads ‘A Shared Term: “Terrorist”. New York Times. Signature: Date: [pp. 12 March 1993. peaceful. Michael Griffin’s name was quickly added to the list of names in the Prisoners of Christ Newsletter. but will remain polite and passively limp. see Paul deParrie. 6 Revds Matt Trewhella and Wayne Sedlak. this gathering must be orderly and above reproach. I realize that some pro-abortion elements of the media would love to dis- credit this event (and the entire pro-life movement) and focus on a side issue. to my knowledge. action. . (3) I will follow the instructions of the rescue crowd control marshals. [‘Abortion Doctors Under Siege’. I will cooperate with the spirit and the goals of the rescue as explained in this pamphlet [this material is distributed to rescuers at meetings or prayer services held before every rescue]. ‘This is nothing any pro-lifer approves of—it’s murder. But I have to admit some good came out of the evil: doctors are going to be more difficult to get’. and the women seeking abortions. undated scriptural study distributed by the Missionaries to the Preborn. I will not struggle with police in any way (whether in deed or in tongue). 1. although Joseph Scheidler perhaps came closest. but will follow the example of Christ. no member of the rescue community has without qualifications condemned the incident. and free of any actions or words that would appear to be violent or hateful to those watching the event on TV or reading about it in the paper. 158–9. Doctor Defends Abortions’.] In fact. 29 April 1993. but will continue singing and praying with the main group as directed. The full text of the ‘rescuers Agreement’ reads: I understand the critical importance of rescue operations being unified. 16. remember- ing that mercy triumphs over judgment. 1989). This dilemma was illustrated in microcosm in a July 1993 appearance by Illinois Operation Rescue leader pastor Kirk Heldrith before a class studying religious fundamentalism at the University of Chicago. p. Milwaukee. p.

but their pres- ence has added a particularly volatile element to an already unstable situation. These acts have invariably been the result of altercations at the clinics in which rescu- ers were involved. 11 Jenny Westberg. 10 For a widely available summary of these incidents. 44–5. 1979). a martial arts weapon from the Philip- pines. [‘18 Abortion Protesters Arrested After Blocking Path to Clinic’. 9 There have been convictions of rescuers on charges of simple assault. and with Joseph Scheidler. 13 A recent rescue in Gary. 12. 8 July 1993. but to take only two: in a scene in an undated home video of a rescue in Portland. Ch. strongly implied that the Lambs of Christ were responsible (see below). 1989). Letter from John Broekhoft. 10–15. Several injuries were caused by these tactics. Life Advocate (July 1993). Life Advocate (June 1993). and are t he common coin of internal conversations and letters between rescu- ers themselves. A home video of Los Angeles police actions was made available to this researcher. 10. 21 April 1993. The latest such were the odd cases of William Pitts and Rex Noelker. 11.272 Case studies deeply felt moral conflict and a passionate commitment to Operation Rescue’s ethos of non-violence. Coleen Connell. Apocalyptic Spirituality (NY: Paulist Press. 1993. Their motivation is unclear. p. For widely varying views of this phenomenon see author interviews with the head of the Illinois ACLU’s Reproductive Rights Project. Ignatius Press.] The theory and practice of destroying abortion equipment is offered in Joan Andrews with John Cavanaugh-O’Keefe. Accessory to Murder: The Enemies. ‘Disarming Weapons’. Chicago Tribune. These incidents were commonly reported by most respondents to the author’s survey of imprisoned rescuers. 14 Telephone threats played a major part in a ‘60 Minutes’ TV documentary on the 1991 Fargo. sinners’ before being shouted down by other rescuers with the cry. Indiana utilized the glue in the lock scenario. . Cf. without evidence. they failed to appear and were found guilty. see Bernard McGinn. who ‘were picketing an abortion clinic when a sodomite grabbed their signs. ‘Charity. ‘Sinners. 1993. North Dakota. 14 Feb. pastor Heldrith could not bring himself to reprove Michael Gunn for his actions. at the Feminist Women’s Health Center. Ch. 2 Feb. Allies. 97–148. 15 Rescuers have in recent years attempted to curb their side of this war of words. A fascinating side light of the ‘battle of the clinics’ is the presence of members of the homo- sexual organizations Queer Nation and Act Up as volunteer clinic defenders. The police motiva- tion for pain compliance techniques is illustrated as well on these and other videos—it is exceedingly hard on the back to carry to a waiting police van a 200+ pound rescuer who has determined that she will remain limp. a voice among the rescuers is heard shouting at clinic personnel. pp. Graphic evidence for the allegations of police brutality may be found in videotaped footage of rescues. 1990). pp. particularly those in Los Angeles where police resorted to the use of nunchunks. TN: Wolgemuth & Hyatt. see Randall Terry. p. 20 March 1993. and Accomplices to the Death of Our Culture (Brentwood. ‘Both Sides In Abortion Debate Ask Congress For Protection’. When they tried to get their signs back. 1993. 30 March 1993. see ‘Pro-Abortion Violence’. they were charged with assault. 20 Feb. Examples abound. 3. See Prisoners of Christ.’ Given the wrong court date. 12 Letter and documentation from Joseph Grace. or ‘Stalking LAW May Be Used on Abortion Protesters’. to force rescuers to move. and in one memorable scene. Oregon. ‘We Bomb Clinics (Don’t We?)’. Chicago Tribune. For a recent source on violence against rescuers. 18 March 1993. pp. rescue which. I Will Never Forget You (San Francisco. a rescuer’s arm was visibly broken by policemen over-zealously applying a hammer lock to the victim. On Joachime of Fiore. aged 76 and 68 respectively. Chicago Tribune.

1991 and a nearly 50-page. 28 In Fr. More modest is The Rescuer. 2 Feb. more formally called Maryology. This work. 20 Joan Andrews (note 13). From the Lambs’ perspective. 22 A ‘victim soul’ is a traditional Catholic concept which seeks to explain the the- odicy [divine justification] of martyrdom. Ma’alim fi’l-Tariq [Signposts on the Road] (Cairo: Maktabat al-Shuruq). Grandma now seldom actively rescues. The suffering of the ‘victim soul’ is offered by an act of free will to uplift and redeem others. See the interview with Andrew Burnett in Paul deParrie. Weslin’s terminology: ‘[The Lambs are] following the mystical theology of victim souls whereby we unite ourselves sacrificially to Jesus Christ in divine . handwritten interview on the subject of Lamb Spirituality provided to this researcher by Ron Maxson from a cell in the El Paso. and to veteran rescuer Shelley Shannon of Oregon for providing a priceless archive of documents covering the history of rescue in America. 19 Marian devotions. a glossy magazine published by Andrew Burnett and Dianne Burnett in Portland. OR. The best known proponent of Maryology is the current pope. of which there are literally hundreds. 1. IN: Our Sunday Visitor. ‘The Lambs Serve Notice on Fargo’. 1981). 27 Fr. Fr. the three engage in fierce. occurred in the process of the Brotherhood’s brutal prison experience of the early 1960s. 1993. MA: Pro Fratribus Press. The Philosophy of Life: The Pope and the Right to Life (Arlington. Qutb was. recalls how he was appalled. Similarly. at the harshness and vindictiveness with which many rescuers treated women entering the clinics for abortions. under its original Arabic name. pp. 26 Ibid. This is the unanimous view of jailed rescuers from throughout the country according to the author’s ongoing research conducted among these activists. 95–7. 23 Joan Andrews (note 13). 247–8. when he first took up rescue. Rosario Thomas (ed. From an outsider’s point of view. 187. the primary theological authority in the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. It should be noted that Qutb’s rage. As soon as he rose to a position of leadership. 1–43. with a biographical sketch of Qutb titled: ‘Syed [sic] Qutb Shaheed [martyr]’. pp. Andrew Burnett. Due to family problems. This volume contains a preface by Joan Andrews and a foreword by Joseph Scheidler. P. 199. Son Times Newscast. The Rescuers. p. Cf. 21 May 1993. Badrul Hassan (Karachi: International Islamic Pub- lishers. John Paul II. 21 Joan Andrews (note 13). 75–82. Texas jail. 16 Interview with Joseph Scheidler. until his 1956 execution. pp. p.A. a prominent Oregon rescuer and the editor of the Life Advocate. 1992). intramural debates. 1989). is an intensely mystical rev- erence for the Virgin Mary. the object of this exercise— usually undertaken during periodic Lamb spiritual retreats—is to understand and conform to the will of Jesus. he put an end to this un-Christian behaviour. however. The parallel to the radicalization of the rescue movement is inescapable.). 27 July 1993. pp. 25 The most important of these is the Life Advocate. 5 Jan. 18 Phillip Lawler. 24 Conversation with Ron Maxson. America’s last prophetic witness 273 charity’. Ron Maxson’s biography is drawn from Ron Maxson. Operation Rescue: A Challenge to the Nation’s Conscience (Hunting- ton. This researcher is deeply indebted to Mr Maxson for his assistance. 17 Joan Andrews (note 13). Rescue issues are often discussed in more mainstream pro-life publications. an inexpensively produced newsletter published by The Defenders of Life in Drezel Hill. was translated by S. and the radicalization of the Ikkwan. Sayyid Qutb. Ch. Weslin’s biography is drawn from an undated interview with Pat Glass dis- tributed by the Lambs of God. This latter source included a quantity of early Lamb communiqués.

the Unborn Child) and each of us as Lambs of Christ. but is very much in the spirit of certain Catholic martyrs and saints. 31 Interview with Ron Maxson. and the only way to overcome such evil is by remaining in solidarity with the victim (which is Jesus Christ. also known as Dominion Theology. 21 May 1993.).] 29 These principles are a primary component of a much larger—and still evolv- ing—concept which Lambs call ‘Lamb Spirituality’.. and its current champions include such figures as Rushdoony’s son-in-law Gary North. Gary De Marr. 1977). 32 The quote from Ron Maxson is taken from. This formulation would be somewhat controversial in Catholic the- ological circles. Weslin is pos- iting is an intensely mystical union of the Lamb. Norman Weslin.e. Vol.] 30 This tactic draws heavily on the concept of strategic deception. but especially. See James Turner Johnson. p. p. The father of the movement is Rousas John Rushdoony. 33 In ‘The Gathering of the Lambs’ (nd).’ in Martin E. For the dualist Zeitgeist of the movement. ‘. For an overview of millenarian theories.). according to Ron Maxson. by the infinitely stronger sacrificial unity of Christ.’ Communication from Fr. Ammerman. Clouse (ed. 1991). and the author of the movement’s primary political text. 37 For a capsule summary of St Augustine’s just war doctrine. The Meaning of the Millen- nium: Four Views (Downers Grove. Norman Weslin. God and Gov- ernment. see any Lamb communiqué. just war burst back into the public consciousness during the debates leading up to the 1991 Gulf War. 27 July 1993. See Nancy J. i. while he in turn would be subordi- nated to the husband who would hold the power of life and death over them. This source contains capsule biographies of Lamb cadre as well. postmil- lennial belief system dedicated to the gradual institution of the reign of Christ through the perfection of the human spirit and thus of human institutions.’ [Conversation with Ron Maxson. 27 July 1993. is a Protestant. p. After a long slumber in the limbo of academic discourse. p. inducing the police and the courts to concentrate their efforts to isolate the ‘ringleader’ on a secondary authority. 9. Its most controversial feature is an Old Testament view of social organization in which the wife and children would be subordinated to the husband who would hold the power of life and death over them. 1992). 233. Weslin elaborates on this early Lamb document: ‘According to Pope John Paul II. The quotations and analysis which follow are drawn from this document. (note 27). was written in 1993. of Chicago Press. 1973). Rushdoony has publicly condemned Opera- tion Rescue as ‘lawless’. 51. . . What Fr. ‘North American Protestant Fundamentalism. 679. abortion is a social sin. see Robert G. [Interview with Ron Maxson.] 35 The undated letter. 12 (New York: Scribners. The experience of vicarious suffering lets Christ work through us’ [Com- munication from Fr. and was made available to this researcher by Ron Maxson. the unborn child. Fr. while he in turn would be subordinated to his pastor and to the power of the state. Marty and R. David Chilton. Fundament- alism Observed (Chicago: Univ. 34 This military training and experience can only be overcome. Ironically. 28 July 1993. ‘The Lambs Serve Notice on Fargo’. titled ‘May A Christian Kill An Abortionist: A Letter from Jail to My Daughter’. IL: InterVarsity Press.274 Case studies love and thereby allow Jesus to work through us to transform the world to His Heart. Just War and the . and the Holy Spirit. Just war is updated and contextualized brilliantly by Bernard Brodie. Scott Appleby (eds. 36 Reconstructionism. ‘The Gathering of the Lambs’ newsletters stemming from the events in Fargo. 21 May 1993. see Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics. War and Politics (New York: Macmillan.

8. From his office in Chicago. Segers. was the basis of the strategic vision behind the Vietnam fiasco..e. that while the litigation has had a serious financial impact on his organization. Strategies of Containment (NY: OUP. Cardozo Law Review 12 (Feb. ‘The Consistent Life Ethic in State Politics: Joseph Cardinal Bernardine and the Abortion Issue in Illinois’. the Supreme Court concurs with the favourable lower court deci- sions [Conversation with Joseph Scheidler. A Critique of the New Natural Law Theory (Notre Dame. RICO asks only for a pattern of criminal conduct (i. 1980). 1987). and Savings and Loan and other major white collar criminals. plus legal and other costs attendant to the case. Randall Terry. ‘Implementing Flexible Response: Vietnam as a Test Case’. 1982). see the Op-Ed piece by one of the authors of RICO as chief counsel to the relevant Senate sub-committee. See John Lewis Gaddis. 39 Joseph M. and has served as a source of some embarrassment to many in the feminist legal community for its dire implications for the First Amendment rights of other protest groups. 1993. Scheidler is something of a father figure for them all. However. Byrnes and Mary C. ‘Jewish Law and the Noahide Obligation to Preserve Social Order’. Robert Blakey. whose par- ticulars and cast of defendants have changed periodically as the case wends its way through the courts with Scheidler having won on First Amendment grounds at each stage.’ [Author interview with Coleen Connell. 1993. 14 Feb. however. Closed: 99 Ways to Stop Abortion (Westchester. and a constant thorn in the side of Cardinal Joseph Bernardine and the Church hierarchy. but suggests that Scheidler’s embrace of clinic bombers and rescuers who destroy abortion-related medical equipment . For details of the intent of the law. 38 Flexible response. drug dealers. New York Newsday. and in any case. 1992). it will be recalled.] Scheidler himself professes wonderment at the logic of the suit. IL: Crossway Books. Details of Scheidler’s biography were supplied in his interview with author. Violence and Abortion: The Gideon Project. or Russell Hittinger. see Dallas A. 23 July 1993. Scheidler. 1991). 2 Feb. Blanchard and Prewitt agree that Closed warns against the resort to violence. Blanchard and Terry J. It is a powerful prosecutorial tool. IN: Notre Dame UP. Scheidler keeps in contact with rescue personalities as disparate as Joan Andrews. 40 The case is currently before the Supreme Court. on the Jewish context. and many. ‘Deliver Us From Rico’. author’s interview with Joseph Scheidler and Mary Anne Borrelli. and its current misuse against the rescue movement. 137–51. 1985). as expected. See John Finnis. America’s last prophetic witness 275 Gulf War (Washington. and draws from both Christian and Jewish legal philosophy./March 1991). many more. pp. It was intended for prosecution and civil litigation against organized crime. 41 For an argument on the contrary. he confidently expects to sue NOW for damages when. two or more illegal acts). Natural law theory is that painfully complex subject which failed to mesmerize the nation during the recent Clarence Thomas Supreme Court hearings.] The Racketeer Influ- enced and Corrupt Organization Act (RICO) has in fact been used rather indiscriminately against a variety of individuals and groups. On this often highly amusing running dialogue. and provides for restitution to the damaged party in the amount of triple damages. Natural law theory is in fact of considerably antiquity. G. CO: Westview Press. ‘What else can we do? They [rescuers] just don’t play by the rules. He notes. Ch. it has been a boon to fund raising. Prewitt. and has the feature of allowing for civil as well as criminal litigation. see Nahum Rakover. Natural Law and Natural Rights (NY: OUP. in the words of one pro-choice activist. 1 March 1993. in Timothy A. DC: Ethics and Public Policy Center. The Catholic Church and the Politics of Abortion: A View From the States (Boulder. clinic bomber John Brockhoeft.

139–41. ad infinitum. Testimonies From Jailed Rescuers: Operation Rescue Siege of Atlanta–July–October ’88 (Grants Pass. would be found to be offensive to American society. to act to shut down the clinic by whatever means He may deem fit. and alluded to the secularization of American society which was apparent in the 1950s. are con- tained in Foreman. 2 Feb. On the rigors of Atlanta’s welcome to Operation Rescue. [Interview with Joseph Scheidler. unlike premillenialism in which Jesus will return to usher in the one thousand-year reign of peace and plenty. 49 A second. ranging from his support of bombers to his support for the harassment of abortionists. This clearly constitutes what this article terms ‘implied viol- ence’. pp. 1988). nd). Accessory to Murder. see Terry. 1992. imprecatory prayer might well constitute a fourth category of . Accessory to Murder (note 43). Scheidler’s rationale for these actions. Joseph Foreman. Terry. Accessory to Murder: The Enemies. In this practice. similar sessions are held with his wife. 206 and 263. The heart of this argument is found on pp. 43 Randall A. Lest the break between Terry and Foreman be construed as too personal. or the profession of Christian values. more controversial MtP tactical innovation is imprecatory prayer. Matt Trewhella. 231–2.e. NC: Cooling Spring Press. Milwaukee. Dec. Foreman dedicates his book to Randall Terry and Joan Andrews. Josephine County Right to Life. Graham warned of a time when the display of Christian symbols. The story of the origins of the Missionaries to the Preborn. at the least. Interview with Joseph Schei- dler. ‘Imprecatory Prayer’ cassette teaching from t he Missionaries to the Preborn. 1993. 46 Joseph Lapsley Foreman. Joseph Foreman from Milwaukee County Jail.] In a less secular society (or in less secular fields than those concerned with the study of terrorism and polit- ical violence).. The observations regarding Terry’s problems with the jail experience are from the interview with Rev. 47 ‘The offense of the cross’ was a frequent motif in Graham’s sermons. OR: JCRL. Scheidler outlines an effort to counsel abortionists as to the error of their ways by having a woman who has undergone an abortion talk to them. 8 Jan. and that Jesus will only return at the comple- tion of these labors. to his half-hearted condemnation of the murder of David Gunn is straightforward enough: none of these actions can compare in magnitude to the violence done to a baby in the process of abortion. 1992). [Rev. Idem. Shattering the Darkness: The Crisis of the Cross in the Church Today (Montreat. Allies. support for violence. 44 Author’s interview with Rev.276 Case studies constitutes. postmillennialism believe that the chiliastic kingdom will have to be built by mankind’s own efforts. Should this testimony fail to move the doctor. Cf. In this interview. Sources familiar with this work assert that the anger so evident in Accessory to Murder appears to have subsided. 45 Randall Terry.. Catholicism). A third book by Terry is now in press.] 42 This was never more in evidence than in Scheidler’s confident belief that the evangelical Protestant rescuers will one day see the light and return to the bosom of the Church Universal (i. 1993. the missionaries beseech God to do active harm to the abortion- ist. PA: Whitaker House. 8 Jan. 1993. his friends. 194. which quotes Scheidler’s descrip- tion of his ‘Adopt an Abortionist’ program. as well as its foundational documents. The Great Tribulation is the seven-year period of apocalyptic events which will precede the establishment of the chiliastic kingdom. 2 Feb. and was made glaringly obvious with the 1963 Supreme Court decision banning school prayer. See pp. pp. and Accomplices to the Death of Our Culture. or more generally. 251–8. Specifically. Operation Rescue (Springdale. 48 Conversation with Matt Trewhella. WI. 1993. his neigh- bors. Central to Postmillenialism is the belief that. Shattering the Darkness (note 46).

Framline. the atmosphere in the rescue community in the wake of the Gunn murder may have been an important factor in the determination of Mary Maxson to seek a ruling on the legitimacy of killing abortionists. For the flavor of the ambivalence which the Gunn murder engendered in rescue circles. interview of 8 Jan. 258–9. stemming from his deeply held Catholicism which. 1993. could not countenance such an action by the laity. America’s last prophetic witness 277 violence. for an explanation of the practice by Joseph Schei- dler. property. While this suggests that Scheidler favors the tactic. [Interview with Joseph Scheidler. and implied violence. Blanchard and Prewitt. pp. e. This Exodus passage is decidedly not included. Washington. Arguably. in his interview with the author he expressed strong reservations. Significant recourse was made as well to the newsletter of the Wichita Missionaries. adding spiritual warfare to violence against persons. ‘Shots Fired!’ Life Advocate (May 1993). in practice. 10–15. see the cover story of the May 1993 issue of the Life Advocate. 2 Feb. the brief collection of relevant biblical passages in the ‘Pro Life Scrip- ture’ distributed by Team Dove of Vancouver. . Cathy Ramey. Further insights were added by Joseph Foreman. Violence and Abortion: The Gideon Project (note 1). The subtitles on the cover are: ‘Michael Griffith: Savior or Assassin?’ and ‘One More Casualty in Pensacola’. pp.] 50 The analysis of MtP is based primarily on Foreman Shattering the Darkness (note 46). 1993. 51 See.g. and various cassette tapes and documents supplied by the Missionaries to the Preborn in Milwaukee. Cf.

and only a few more knew who Osama bin Laden might be. 1–33. This chapter was first published in Terrorism and Political Violence 18. 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. and much more tentatively. The impact of tech­ nology. pp. the nation went from shock to rage without giving much pause for reflection. after which the number of hate crimes fell sharply. the paper compares the current situation to the treatment of Japanese Amer­ icans following Pearl Harbor and to the Red Scare of the 1950s. 1 (2006). there was a stunned silence in America. Reprinted with permission of the publisher) This article examines the sharp rise in hate crime directed at Muslims or those per­ ceived to be Muslim following the September 11 attacks on the United States. Predictably as these things go. is examined as indirectly contributing to the rapid decline of hate crimes after the initial nine­week period. Few Americans knew the name of the group. (2) Decisive law enforcement intervention on the federal and local levels. Finally. Introduction In the immediate aftermath of the September 11. especially the internet and the rise of al­Jazeera as alternative sources of information to the government or the major American media outlets. Within hours however. no. The article attributes the abrupt fall in hate crime to four variables: (1) Leadership in the form of effective intervention by the U. President. Such was the state of the American psyche that the question which was on . (4) Moral ambiguity in the rapid dissolution of American consensus over the War on Terror following the invasion of Iraq. The intense phase of these attacks comprised approximately nine weeks. civic and educational groups. (3) Grassroots outreach to Muslims by religious.S. hate crime statistics from the FBI and the American­Arab Anti­ Discrimination Committee from the years 2000–2002 are examined to document the numbers and types of violent hate crimes directed at American Muslims and those perceived to be Muslim. To illustrate these points.9 Islamophobia in America? September 11 and Islamophobic hate crime1 (Copyright © 2006 Taylor & Francis Group. responsibility had been fixed on an unnamed Islamist group that was eventually tentatively identified as Al Qaeda.

S. a public service group serving the American Islamic community. civic and educational groups The article will also offer more tentatively a fourth factor: • Moral ambiguity in the rapid dissolution of Amer ican consensus after the invasion of Iraq By contrast to the first three elements of the model. and if such is the case. Section II will offer a preliminary discussion of the structural changes in the U.4 and the American Sikh community who because of their attire were mistaken by many for Muslims.7 A definitive answer will have to await future research. In so doing. the article will suggest a four-point model to attempt to explain how the wave of post- September 11 hate crime directed at those perceived by the perpetrators to be Muslims was diffused: • Leadership in the form of effective intervention by the U. it is as yet too early to offer the fragmenting of American consensus as more than a suggestion. but brief. this sense of dread served as a motivation for an unprecedented wave of anti-Islamic hate crime directed at targets of convenience in American cities: Muslims men. Islamophobia in America? 279 everyone’s lips was: “Why do they hate us?”2 A few voices tried to answer thoughtfully. For a few. The first section of the article will offer some historical context through an examination of the treatment of Japanese Americans and resident Japa- nese nationals in the US during World War II8 and the moral panic that took place in the so-called “McCarthy” period of the 1950s. The article. President • Decisive law enforcement intervention on the federal and local levels • Grassroots outreach to Muslims by religious. The third section will focus on the hate .”3 Put in this way. women wearing some form of hijab or traditional dress. and indeed. will suggest that there are important changes taking place in U. which might explain some of the reasons for the dif- ferences between these historical cases and the situation faced by Amer- ican Muslims after September 11. it was not a great jump to say that those who would hate us for our freedom must be hateful indeed. but the president saw the issue in theological terms as a struggle pitting absolute good against irredeemable evil and responded for the great majority with the comforting bromide: “Because they hate our freedom.. in the world. that the knowledge that “they” might live among us was for many a cause for considerable alarm.S.S.5 This article will examine the spate of hate crime6 which followed Sep- tember 11 through both FBI statistics and through the statistics provided by the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC). however. culture which will illuminate the reasons why the surge in hate crime dir- ected at Muslims in America was sharp.

000.000 people. Italian. and a genuine grassroots outreach by religious. The internment of Japanese Americans was little studied until recent years. in another act that would live in infamy. educational. America’s least visible minority. Roughly seventy-five percent of these were Japanese Americans. a major player in American public life for the first time. illustrating the surprising fact that the ADC and the FBI numbers are remarkably similar. invasion of Iraq).9 I Context: the Japanese internment and the Red Scare Prior to September 11. the conclusion will argue that the wave of hate crime was successfully countered by a combi- nation of presidential leadership.280 Case studies crime statistics themselves.13 There were of course economic dimensions to the policy—especially from agricultural and fishing interests in the American West.15 But such was the state of confusion and fear at the time that these voices were few and far between. as well as a smaller number of German.17 . Finally. This memoir liter- ature in fact forms the basis of much of what we know of the instances of “hate crime” against Japanese (or those perceived as Japanese) in the wake of Pearl Harbor.S. The model could well serve as an example in European nations (the Netherlands comes much to mind) who have been facing an upsurge in Islamophobic violence since the 1980s. The conclusion will also suggest a possible fourth reason for the rapid curtailment of anti-Muslim hate crime: the fragmenting of national consensus over Operation Enduring Freedom (the U. on February 19. Roosevelt as “a date which will live in infamy. President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 which mandated the internment of America’s Japanese citizens and legal residents. 1942. They were relocated to ten camps in seven states. The rest were Japanese citizens. 1941—the day which is fixed in the American memory by President Franklin D. only about 2. and civic organizations throughout the country which had the unfore- seen effect of making Muslims. forceful federal law enforcement inter- vention. and these were confined separately in a camp in Montana.”10 On that day.12 Of this 120. with histories tending to focus on a particular camp or a particular group of internees. the Japanese Imperial Air Force attacked and destroyed the American naval base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. and other nationals of Axis countries. Only two months later.16 Much of the recent literature surrounding the event has emerged in the form of memoirs.11 Executive Order 9066 provided the authority for the detention of approximately 120.14 and there were voices raised at the time to protest the relocation. the last time that the United States suffered a signi- ficant attack from a foreign source was on December 7.000 were ever charged with a crime.

the enemy could be everybody. Unlike the attacks on Pearl Harbor or the attacks of September 11. and in such a situation. There is no question that the government was proactive in projecting the image of being able and willing (a key difference) to protect the public from the communist menace. ethnic. violence against Asian Americans in the Amer- ican West—in particular in areas where large numbers of Asian railway workers came in contact with white communities—was so common that it no longer warranted note in the newspapers. Thus.20 Moreover. nor are other forms of violence and intim- idation against the perceived “other. took a proactive stance reassuring Americans that it was in control. led by President Roosevelt. violence against Asian Americans is not a new phenomenon. no wave of violence against Asian Americans took place. there was no particular racial or ethnic group to fear. a few high profile names from the ranks of government. Lynching is not new. The gov- ernment. the anti-communist hysteria of the period was amorphous.”23 More radical organizations such as the John Birch Society. Islamophobia in America? 281 Hate crime as a distinct category of crime statistics is in fact a quite recent development. But clearly.18 while the FBI’s national col- lection of statistics dates back only to 1995. . The strikingly racist stereotypes by which the Japanese were por- trayed in U. and with the declaration of Executive Order 9066 only a few months later. Congress mandated that hate crime statistics should be collected on a national basis only in 1990.22 The importance of the public perception of resolute governmental action against internal enemies is brought home again by the case of the McCarthy years of the 1950s.21 But after Pearl Harbor. In the nineteenth century. as well as several organizations. academe and popular culture. The facelessness of the enemy could have inhibited mob action or the eventuality of hate crime. there was something deeper that served to keep any particular person or group from being singled out: the perception that the government was firmly in control of the situation. government propaganda made even strident rhetorical attacks on Japanese by individual Americans superfluous. the enemy could be anybody. violence against racial.24 dissatisfied with the federal government’s efforts to unmask and punish the enemy within. were named as “communists” or “fellow travelers. Rather.” But the conception of these forms of violence as a distinct category of criminal intent—a category worthy of being sanctioned by enhanced sentencing guidelines—emerged from the consciousness of the 1960s and the increasing prominence of civil rights and ethnic interest organizations in that period of American history.19 Of course. The reasons for this lack of violence are impossible to posit with absolute certainty. or political minorities is of ancient vintage in America. Americans were reassured that any potential Japanese “fifth columnists” were safely in custody and they could get on with the business of fighting the war on foreign rather than domestic shores.S. sexual. but it would seem that Americans did not take to the streets in anger as some did after September 11 simply because they perceived no need to do so.

26 By 1998.28 What was unforeseen in any of these writings however. The jury is still out on how accurate these rather dire prognostications would come to be. Once reported. but the very pervasiveness of the anti-communist mobilization of the period would have mitigated against individual vigilante action that could have resulted in hate crimes as we presently understand the term. But at the same time. the stentorian voice of the omnipresent narrator would drive home the ideas that the Bureau played no favorites and had no political agenda. popular culture may provide the best window into the time. The number of hate “groups” (more often one person with a com- puter than a “group” in the traditional sense of the term) active on the Internet has grown markedly as the technology has become more widely available.” serves as a case in point. dis- covered the technology at this time and the facility of younger adherents to adapt to computer technology revolutionized the way the movement had traditionally conducted its recruiting and disseminated its propa- ganda. especially in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. The program broad- cast seventy-three episodes between 1945 and 1953. Several of the programs dealt with various aspects of internal subversion. Rather. listeners were warned to take no action and to undertake no investigations on their own. and what followed was a flood of academic and anti-racist activist studies which warned of the dangers of the Web as a vehicle for racist activism. the alarm had been sounded in anti-racist circles. and these portrayed the FBI as being on the front lines in defending the nation from the threatening tide of communism. could result in lost jobs or lost social status. and could be said to have been very much the product of Hoover’s genius at utilizing popular media to create a mys- tique around the FBI. Why that should have been the case is again speculative. listeners were assured that the Bureau could be relied upon to handle the problem. suspicious activity should be reported to the FBI (whose phone number listeners were told could be found on the first page of their local directo- ries).282 Case studies attempted at the grassroots level to conduct unofficial “investigations” and to take action against those they suspected of subversion. A popular radio program.S. the Internet has proven to be a useful tool in targeting indi- viduals and in mobilizing actions. The program was endorsed by J. “This is Your FBI. was how pro- found an impact the new communications technology would have in . for mutual support. Edgar Hoover. and for secure communication among radical movements in the U. These actions could involve local unpleasantness. but of utmost importance.27 Moreover. for example.25 II A brave new world of news and views? The use of the Internet as a tool for recruiting. and Western Europe dates back to 1995. The radical right. but rarely eventuated in violence. Once again.

.31 Indeed.32 That same consensus held through the Cold War years of the 1950s. . mythologize. it’s in the context of a terrorist attack that caused enormous suffering in the United States. and communist subversion within.33 The Vietnam War bitterly divided the nation. Islamophobia in America? 283 shaping how events are perceived by the world as a whole. the global network of bloggers (individuals keeping Web logs) has proven remarkably adept at finding “secret and suppressed” information and bringing it to the attention of mainstream media outlets. and even more has changed in the world of terrorism and political violence. and its echoes haunted the 2004 presidential campaign nearly forty years after the fact. with the great majority of Amer- icans convinced that Soviet communism abroad. This self-censorship was reflected in the words of a memo from the CNN head of Standards and Practices.36 . Walter Isaacson: We’re entering a period in which there’s a lot more reporting and video from Taliban-controlled Afghanistan . and in an effort to mythologize the war in Iraq. These changes must be taken into account if the sudden rise and fall of post-September 11 hate crime in the United States is to be fully under- stood. the consensus over the War in Iraq lasted less than a year. the majority of Americans supported the war. and for the wider battle against Western (read “American/Israeli”) hegemony. Recall that in World War II. no less than two national network news anchors used the term “the new greatest generation” to describe soldiers in Iraq on the same day. There was from the beginning a conscious decision in the mainstream media—born as much of the bitter experience of Vietnam as of the post-9/11 surge of patriotism—not to show suffering other than that of the Americans themselves.30 Clearly. and the justness of the American cause. much has changed in the ways governments can manage news stories. were existential threats to the very survival of the nation.35 The resultant moral ambiguity over the American cause in the War on Terror may have contributed to the very limited duration of the wave of hate crimes that followed the September 11 attacks. who then pass the information—correct or incorrect as the case may be—to the outside world.29 More.34 By contrast. and recruit adherents for the battle in Iraq. A key front in the current War on Terrorism is the “virtual battlefield” of Islamist web- sites which popularize. That this consensus lasted as long as it did might be posited to the media mobilization that took place after September 11. You want to make sure people understand that when they see civilian suffering there. the unity of purpose of the “good war” is recalled nostalgically to this day. never broke down. but as long as Amer- ican boots were on Vietnamese soil. when there appears to have been a conscious moratorium on reporting news that did not fit with the American self-perception of victimization and its sense of righteous indignation. the consensus on the basic rightness of the war.

broadcast media has followed. That “interrogation” in their own countries routinely involved torture. however.40 In normal times. and the U. program of “renditions” was “revealed” in the New York Times.284 Case studies From there. to “embedding” reporters in Iraq with U. demands for pas- sengers for its taxi service. the European media had limited access to the events. was resolutely denied by the Department of Defense. prison at Guantanamo Bay. nothing new. however.S. understood. neglected to criticize itself for these same abuses. information unearthed and publicized via the new technology. the term to mean. combat units which all but guaranteed that only one side of the war would get through to American viewers. CNN had global reach. rather more centered on reporting what its Arabic-speaking audience wanted to hear than on news as a Western audience understands. the pattern changed.38 However. allied governments have begun to resist U. monolingual. Hypocrisy. Paren- thetically. is not noted in the report. was in effect operating a “torture taxi service” was hardly a secret. controlling the story should have shaped the reality of the war for Americans. In 2005. but there was something deeper to be said for this public relations fiasco. it might be argued.S.43 . and to the rather understandable reticence of reporters to leave the relative safety of the Green Zone to go out and look more deeply at the realities of Iraqi society under American occupation. First.S. which has made the story impossible for any state to manage.S. the U. and much tongue cluck- ing over the shortcomings of other governments follows in the public air- ways—at least for a news cycle. has long been the mother’s milk of American policy. In terms of broadcast media.42 As a result. and the fledgling al- Jazeera network was then small. State Department issues a report detailing human rights abuses around the world. The European media had been writing about the program for months.41 The Times’ revelations were. and truth be told. Every year.39 Several recent examples demonstrate the deleterious impact of new communications technology on domestic consensus. govern- ment made no secret of its policy of delivering suspects taken from various countries in the course of the American global War on Terror to their country of origin for interrogation. the annual human rights report was delivered at the almost precise moment that revelations about the U. the report is publicized in newspapers and on televised news broadcasts. similar abuse of human rights at the U. or perhaps more appropriately. In that year. it was but a short step again to not showing civilian casu- alties at all.S. and in several countries—Sweden and Canada for example—there were full-blown national controversies over the com- plicity of local governments in handing over prisoners to the Americans. and at other “off the books” prisons in Afghanistan and elsewhere around the world. while at the same time the State Department was documenting the patterns of torture and abuse by those very states. The U.S.S.S.37 In theory. and amplified. that the U. however.

a National Guard soldier captured during the initial phase of the Iraq invasion. in a telling reflection of the deterioration of Amer- ican standing. Conspiracy the- orists soon discovered the news. It was such a curiosity that the sightings became something of a plane spotter sport—rather like bird watchers eager for a glimpse of a rare migratory fowl.S. rem- iniscent of something of a cross between the propaganda films of the Second World War and Rambo I. The rest.47 Perhaps the most telling evidence of change is the failure of govern- ment sponsored propaganda initiatives designed to provide the War on Terror with manufactured heroes through the creation of “instant hagiog- raphies. actions around the world has been extremely damaging to the national con- sensus that prevailed in the aftermath of September 11.S. this seems to have all been another example of Amer- ican hypocrisy. Politics watchers discovered it. several intrepid plane spotters had noted the odd comings and goings of an unmarked aircraft which seemed to land at odd hours of the night and take off again almost immediately. But the polling data noted above sug- gests that if neither this individual example nor those to be discussed below is decisive in the process of fragmenting U. Islamophobia in America? 285 The European press had been alerted. was an unlikely hero. not through the usual process of government leaks or investigative journalism. It seems that in this netherworld of secret and suppressed knowledge.46 Less easily documented is the domestic effect of these revela- tions in a country already deeply divided over the War in Iraq.48 Pfc.S. Young. the cumulative effect of negative reports on U. but through the ideas bouncing in cyberspace between hobbyists. has always been a champion of human rights around the world. A weapon in each hand. as one of the primary human rights abusers in the world. as they say. she was portrayed as being the last soldier standing after her tank unit had become separated and over- whelmed by the Iraqi army. but a made-for- television media icon. Lynch seemed a central casting character with whom everyday Americans could identify. leaving a deeply embarrassed State Department to hold to its list of human rights abusers—a list that included such popular “torture taxi” ports of call as Egypt and Uzbekistan44—while press- ing the somewhat historically dubious point that the U.S. consensus on the War on Terror/the War in Iraq. by virtue of its standing in the world and the deeds undertaken in its name in the War on Terror. Indeed. she held the enemy . government has sought with some success to link in the public mind). Amnesty International’s annual report named the United States. and puzzled by the War on Terror’s (which the U. and conspir- acy theorists. is history. and from a rural West Virginia back- ground. political junkies. from whence it seems to have filtered to the mainstream European press. and took it up with gusto through the cross-fertilization of the bloggers’ art.” The most visible of these failures were the cases of Jennifer Lynch and Pat Tillman. Jennifer Lynch. pretty. Her capture was portrayed in heroic terms.45 For world opinion.

All of this was captured in stark night vision film footage. The Iraqis had long since abandoned the hospital to the doctor and a group of nurses. Replayed endlessly on CNN and the networks.52 More remarkable still is the unraveling of the Pat Tillman myth. I Am a Soldier. the only flying bullets were those of the Americans themselves. which shipped with an advance order of half a million copies.50 Private Lynch informed the waiting nation that she was embarrassed by the coverage. . after September 11 Tillman walked away from a multi- million dollar contract and the bright lights of the NFL to join the elite Green Berets and to fight terrorists in Afghanistan. 2004 with the award of a posthumous Silver Star: He ordered his team to dismount and then maneuvered the Rangers up a hill near the enemy’s location . .S. An all-pro defensive back with the St. Tillman’s voice was heard issuing commands to take the fight to the enemy forces. soon fell apart. lines. but the stirring story. it was the ultimate reality show. that she passed out before the battle even began and remembered nothing of it. Louis Cardinals. and that the Iraqi doctor treating her had actu- ally tried to drive her to U. Tillman directed his team into firing positions and personally provided sup- pressive fire. But it wasn’t real. military was desperate for some good news back home. at the time of the Tillman story the pictures from the infamous Abu Gharib prison scandal were fresh in the news and the U. and suitable dialog was attrib- uted to the prisoner and to her rescuers. like that of Jennifer Lynch. However. . There is no question that Pat Tillman was by any definition heroic.49 When finally allowed to give interviews. In fact. Tillman was in fact a remarkable man. had been noted long before the inter- views in the world of Web blogs and discussion groups. but had turned back when his car was targeted by jumpy American soldiers at a checkpoint. A series . There he died.S. The fiasco is recounted in her book. . issuing a statement on April 30. and the U. a far less photogenic—soldier in her unit than it did her. the model for the campaign was pure World War II home front propaganda. What followed was a made-for-TV movie. Too: The Jessica Lynch Story.S.286 Case studies off valiantly until she ran out of bullets and then—in a wonderfully Holly- wood touch—she lost consciousness and thus could not remember if any- thing untoward happened to her after her capture.53 Again.51 The basic facts of the case though. As they crested the hill. that the story better fit a male—and frankly. Army propaganda machine shifted into high gear. with the always unconventional hero portrayed as a cross between John Wayne and Rambo. American Special Forces troops under the cover of night swooped down on the hospital and with bullets flying dramatically entered the facility and brought the gallant and grateful prisoner out on a stretcher to waiting choppers. The doctor finally got through to the Americans by phone and the rescue was on. .

where monstrous German troops were reported to be skewering innocent Belgian babies on their bayonets. though. Islamophobia in America? 287 of articles in the Washington Post in December 2004 confirmed what Inter- net bloggers had been suggesting all along: the story just wasn’t true. In World War II this involved relocation camps and preventative detention. What is surprising. The report originated with Kuwaiti exiles testifying before Congress. has a history of proac- tive government action in response to attacks on the homeland or to per- ceived threats of subversion at home. dates to the dawn of propaganda—and public opinion—in World War I. where grown men will go all soft and gooey at the mere sight of a baby.S. a much too public prison camp at Guantan- amo Bay in Cuba. Tillman was killed by friendly fire while on an unnecessary and milit- arily ill-advised mission. compare these failed influence attempts for example with the report during the first Gulf War that the monstrous Iraqis were throwing babies out of incubators in Kuwait City. but it was just as widely believed.55 and a state’s ability to preserve support for a foreign war is no easy task in the age of the Internet. The report was no more true then than it was in the Gulf. the U. Throw them out of incuba- tors? They would sooner throw themselves out of the nearest window! The model for the report though. it is not surprising that in the wake of September 11 there was an intense spasm of violent hate crime against Muslims (or those perceived to be Muslims) throughout the U. In response to the attacks of Septem- ber 11. four theoretical explanations were posited. damn it!” Following the Post series.” the fanciful tale went largely unquestioned for several years after the conflict.S.S. was how brief—no more than roughly nine weeks—that episode of violent hate crime actually was. Less dramatic were the anti- communist witch hunts of the 1950s. after which it was broadcast on all U. it made little sense to anyone who had spent any time at all in the Middle East. III Hate crime statistics: the wave that wasn’t As documented in Section II of this article. These were: . war time mythmaking is not what it used to be. At the time.S. Far from urging his comrades forward. Clearly. In the introduction to this paper. and has initiated a series of sometimes embarrassing investigations of Muslim immigrants at home.54 To provide a sense of how dramatically the world of information man- agement (or plain propaganda) by states has changed. the Army was forced to announce yet another internal investigation. Tillman’s last words began with a doomed attempt to get the firing to stop and his last words were the deeply ambiguous phrase. the U. For lack of other “eyes on the ground. as primly described by the Washington Post: “I am Pat [expletive] Tillman. media. has set up a series of secret prisons camps for “enemy fighters” around the globe. in the age of the Internet.56 Given this history.

was one of outreach. businessman. First though. Muslim organizations came into their own and for the first time took a high profile public role in American life. civic. and cul- tures of the Islamic world. and more tentatively • Moral ambiguity in the rapid dissolution of Amer ican consensus after the invasion of Iraq. But as important as these grassroots activities were.” made a high profile appearance at the Washington Islamic Center where he proclaimed: “The face of terror is not the true faith of Islam .59 Before moving to the hate crime statistics themselves. for the lawless few. Here. . . the factor that most turned the tide of anger away from individual American Muslims was the leadership shown by President George W. For many Americans. “in a gesture that surprised and gratified Islamic leaders. One of America’s least visible minorities was now making important inroads into the American public consciousness for the first time. . . • Decisive law enforcement intervention on the federal and local levels. Bush in the wake of the first reports of anti-Muslim violence. there is genuine confusion over what a Muslim might look like. President. • Grassroots outreach to Muslims by religious. with a number of Sikhs being victimized by hate crimes in misguided retaliation for September 11. in schools.58 despite the fact that Sikhs are not only not Muslim. and on television and radio talk shows. anyone looking vaguely “Middle Eastern” might be a convenient target for this anger. [women who cover their heads should not fear leaving their . it is important to note that the immediate reaction in the United States. Thus the search for convenient targets was often badly misdirected. President Bush.S. and anger needs to have an outlet. and educational groups. Within the first week following the attacks. it cannot be emphasized enough that the anger in America at the time was palpable. but come from a faith community that was a historical opponent of Indian Islam. Islam is peace . the term “vaguely Middle Eastern” is used quite deliberately. and Muslims were invited to appear before church groups. but also on the history. it appeared that. lawyer. Media-ready experts appeared as if from the ether ready to expound not only on the fine points of international terrorism. Could it be a stereotypical Arab sheikh in flowing robes or a turbaned Turk?57 Is an “Arab” black or white? Could a local doctor. but few Amer- icans know anything at all about the Middle East save the Hollywood vision of Israel as the good guys and the “Arabs” as the bad guys. or cab driver perhaps be a terrorist? Or are the terms Middle Eastern. and terrorist synonymous? The United States might well be the major player in Middle Eastern power politics. Arab.288 Case studies • Leadership in the form of effective intervention by the U. Local mosques were contacted by news organizations. These factors will now be examined in the context of the hate crime statis- tics themselves. far from violence dir- ected at perceived Muslims in our midst. In the days after September 11. religion.

62 The public appears to have gotten the message as well. never appeared to register the importance of this exercise in presidential leadership. and the geographic regions in which incidents occur. especially for hijab- wearing Muslim women. victims.S. Islamophobia in America? 289 homes] . perpet- rators. There were 9. This article will focus on religiously or ethnically motivated violence primarily through an examination of the aggregate number of incidents and victim groups. compassion and reassurance for Arab-Americans: • Statements defending the community by many prominent persons.63 The numbers speak The FBI has been collecting hate crime statistics since 1995.924 victims of hate crime and . including President Bush and Secretary Powell. but it was not missed by American Muslims. • Volunteer escorts. and institutions.”60 So effective was the visit that the President made an encore visit the following year on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr. That should not and that will not stand in America.7 percent of the population of the United States. in the year 2000. 2001– October 11. the FBI reported a total of 9. This section will occasionally reference violence directed at Jews and homosexuals as a kind of “control group” to allow readers to better gauge the relative levels of violence directed at Muslims as opposed to other target groups.61 Significantly.65 forty-nine states particip- ated in the FBI’s collection of data. with the favorabil- ity rating of American Muslims actually rising after September 11 accord- ing to the Zogby Polling organization. we will examine the data from 2000 through 2002. The mainstream media in the U. The FBI data goes into considerable depth looking at types of incidents. the level of anti- Muslim hate crime had declined so markedly between the two visits that issue was not directly raised during the visit. . including both houses of Congress. Conversely. 2002 report.66 with coverage extending to 85. the holiday marking the end of the Ramadan fast.S.67 For the purposes of this paper. Some narrative will be used when the text appears to illustrate a particular idea or trend. That’s not the America I know.64 By 2002. the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Commit- tee noted only four instances of support. In its otherwise bleak September 11. and to a lesser degree. while the ADC’s reports go back only to 1998. relating the words of the victims themselves. while lacking the FBI’s sophisticated presentation of the data. In aggregate terms. the ADC reports include considerable narrative. • Fundraising for backlash victims.430 reported hate crimes in the U. . • Public relations efforts promoting tolerance. the forms which this violence has taken.

2000.1%.409 3.443 Anti-male homosexual 896 1.5% of cases.023 1. 2000)1 Bias motivation Incidents Offenses Victims2 Known offenders3 Total 8.906 7. accounting for 18.535 2. The data points to racial prejudice as the overwhelming motivation for bias related incidents. 2 The term victim may refer to a person.080 1. 3 The term known offender does not imply that the identity of the suspect is known. .472 1.413 9.169 Anti-black 2. business.216 1. ethnicity or national origin accounted for only 11.558 1. offenses.530 offenders were identified. data in this table may differ from those published in Crime in the United States.088 Anti-female homosexual 179 211 228 169 Anti-homosexual 182 210 226 153 Anti-heterosexual 22 22 24 18 Anti-bisexual 20 20 20 15 Ethnicity/national origin 911 1.924 7. institution. 4 A multiple­bias incident is a hate crime in which two or more offense types were committed as a result of two or more bias motivations.3% of reported incidents.050 1.452 Anti-white 875 1.884 3. 4 6 7 1 Sexual orientation 1.799 Anti-American Indian/ 57 62 64 58 Alaskan native Anti-Asian/Pacific Islander 281 317 339 273 Anti-multiracial group 240 333 379 153 Religion 1. Disability and other causes were detected in only 0.397 4. and known offenders (by Bias Motivation.164 1.520 Race 4.012 Anti-Hispanic 557 735 763 694 Anti-other ethnicity/ 354 429 453 318 national origin Disability 36 36 36 36 Anti-physical 20 20 20 22 Anti-mental 16 16 16 14 Multiple-bias incidents4 8 17 18 10 Notes 1 Because hate crime submissions have been updated.8% of the cases reported.269 405 Anti-Catholic 56 61 63 33 Anti-Protestant 59 62 62 23 Anti-Islamic 28 33 36 20 Anti-other religious group 172 187 210 77 Anti-multireligious group 44 46 52 18 Anti-atheism/agnosticism/etc.171 5.337 5.530 Single-bias incidents 8.430 9. Religious bias came next. Unsurprisingly given America’s self-perception as a nation of immig- rants.556 1.699 577 Anti-Jewish 1. but only that the race of the suspect is identified which distinguishes him/her from an unknown offender.161 1. followed by sexual orientation bias at 16.055 9.169 Incidents. victims.109 1.060 1.290 Case studies 7.3% of incidents.68 Table 9.299 1. or society as a whole.486 1. Racial motivations were found in 53.063 9.

The ADC in this three-year period documents approximately six cases of physical assault clearly motivated by racial.71 Also included are cases in which hate speech or physical threats were directed at a mixed ethnic group. are exceedingly difficult to tease out. The attempted terrorist violence in Colo- rado. In terms of property crime. one case in which the FBI apparently derailed a plot to bomb a mosque in Aurora.” or thirty-three violent crimes in all. but little actual violence. Victims. and doubtful immigration status increases this reticence. or tribal relations of the victim. ethnic. and it comes much more to life in the ADC report than in the cold FBI statistics. there were twelve property crimes. and 20 cases in which the identity of the offender was known. Conversely. for example. As Table