|Ripe for Recruitment
Brad Heavner, July 1996
In April, 1983, a pornography shop in Spokane, Washington,
was robbed. The thieves ran off easily. In their pockets was a total of only $369, but in
their heads was the inspiration to steal large sums of money for their revolutionary
They were the Order, a small group of white supremacists
inspired by the Aryan Nations to scramble society and create a white homeland in the
Pacific Northwest. They went on to hold up banks and armored cars throughout the following
twenty months, netting millions of dollars. Their biggest take was $3.6 million from a
Brinks car in Ukiah, California. They murdered Alan Berg, a Denver radio host who had
challenged them on the air, as well as a Missouri state trooper.
It is thought that much of the money they stole, in
addition to profits from a counterfeiting operation, was donated to the Aryan Nations and
other white supremacist organizations. Listed among these is William Pierce's openly
neo-Nazi group, the National Alliance, now the producer of a weekly radio program heard on
The Order was broken up by the killing of its leader in a
shootout with the FBI and the conviction of twenty-four of its members. Other followers,
whose identities may have been unknown to federal officials, disappeared from public view.
Seven years later, Richard Guthrie was arrested in West
Virginia for allegedly running a scam to defraud K-Mart out of $250,000. After admitting
that he sent most of that money to the Aryan Nations, he skipped bail and went into
Then a string of bank robberies began in the U.S. Midwest.
Since December, 1994, robberies at eighteen banks in seven states have yielded over
$200,000 for a group calling itself the Mid-Western Bank Bandits. Richard Guthrie was
arrested in connection with this gang in January, along with Peter Langan, whose apartment
contained stacks of white supremacist and neo-Nazi literature. From analyzing this
material, it appears that the Bandits also went by another name, the Aryan Republican
Army. In a video found at Langan's home, it is explained that the group's goals are to
"Eliminate the government, from the federal government to the county seats;
exterminate Hymie; repatriate all nonwhites to their homes."
The 'Patriot' movement which has exploded in the United
States in recent years goes to great lengths to tell us that they are not racist. They are
law-abiding citizens concerned about God, family, and country. Certainly there is a large
amount of truth to this. Many of those becoming 'common-law citizens,' attending
Constitution study sessions, and even training with the militias do not want to split the
country along racial lines. They are concerned enough to become active in changing America
for what they think will be the better.
But they often don't realize what they're getting involved
in, and have misjudged the consequences of their actions.
The members and supporters of the Order who did not land
in jail certainly did not all decide to abruptly change their beliefs. Or their tactics.
And the bank jobs in the Midwest may not have ended with the arrest of two of those
All people involved in the movement may not be racist, but
the movement is. That's where its roots are, and it's foolish to believe that new
leadership can sever those roots at will. Openness and a celebration of diversity are
precisely not what these false patriots are all about. As long as one fights against
tolerance, one is leading people toward bigotry.
If the leaders of this movement are so concerned about
abusive state power, why do we hear nothing about Leonard Peltier, who has been sitting in
a U.S. prison for the past twenty years for a crime which he did not commit? (See VISTA,
Apr. 96) They jump to the defense of white supremacist Randy Weaver and renegade cult
leader David Koresh, both of whom were victims of murderous aggression by the state, but
are unable to see any wrongdoing when it comes to crimes against a Native American.
If the leaders of this movement are so concerned about
oppression and about the ill-effects of NAFTA, why do we hear nothing about Chiapas? When
confronted about this, Mark Koernke could give no tangible explanation for his failure to
build solidarity with the Zapatistas. He is clearly only interested in promoting his own
narrow-minded, xenophobic organization.
People are looking for solutions, for some place they can
run to. They turn on their radios, and this is what they're finding.
The dangerous rhetoric of these spokespeople is becoming a
self-fulfilling prophesy. The leaders of the unpatriotic militia movement say we need to
organize militarily to fight the FBI and ATF, inspiring followers to commit criminal
offenses, which then force law enforcement to respond more strongly. For one example, the
anti-terrorism bill, first introduced months before the bombing in Oklahoma City, may not
have gone through were it not for that horrendous act. There is only one reason to
advocate violence, and it is not to encourage the authorities to lighten up on the
citizenry. It is to wreak havoc on society.
Now there is no place for the movement to go but to become
more extreme. Already the exposure these groups have enjoyed have caused moderate members
to drop out and has attracted more radical devotees. Then their predictions of total
collapse do not come true, and with various groups competing for the most marketable
scapegoat the movement's leaders will continue to pull their supporters toward the fringe.
That is the direction they are taking, and they will continue in that course. Some number
of them will wind up at the very edge. When they do, there will be plenty of hard-core
racist revolutionaries willing to give them a hand for going their way.
Update on Stations
Jeff White, a long-time shortwave enthusiast who has been
involved with such good projects as Radio Earth, started WRMI in Miami last year. Until
recently, he broadcast anti-Castro programming paid for by Cubans in exile in order to
fund his own programs geared toward shortwave hobbyists.
Although White has reported that his station was
profitable from the start, it seems it was not profitable enough for his liking. He could
not resist expanding his broadcast hours in order to sell airtime to people promoting
racism and reactionary violence. His schedule now contains Identity leaders Pete Peters
and Bob Hallstrom and militia activist Mark Koernke. He has sporadically carried wild card
A new private shortwave station came on line in the U.S.
at the beginning of this year. WGTG broadcasts from Georgia with one 50 kilowatt
In the spirit of democratic communications, the Far Right
Radio Review loves to see the airwaves opening up to new voices. There is space available
in the HF spectrum in this continent for more stations, especially if their power levels
are kept low. With the station manager of WGTG reportedly building the transmitter
himself, something for which it was previously almost impossible to get FCC approval, it
sounded like we were finally seeing media outlets coming into the hands of people with
just enough money for the bare parts.
But who got the license? This new station has shown itself
to be nothing more than extra space for the same thing: the government plot to blow up its
own building, the threat of secret societies, the need to 'cleanse' America...
WWCR began the trend to use shortwave for domestic U.S.
broadcasts in 1990, and continues to lead the pack. They recently added a fourth 100
kilowatt transmitter at their site in Nashville, Tennessee. With one transmitter leased 24
hours a day to Texas evangelist Gene Scott, the other three contain militant and racist
programming -- one of them almost exclusively, one around half, and one carrying a
sprinkling. At $100-150 for an hour of airtime, this station is milking the far-right for
all it's worth. With a transmitting capacity already exceeding that of many countries,
they may expand even further.
For its first eight years of broadcasting, World Harvest
Radio concentrated solely on evangelical programming. Then a change came two years ago. As
their main talk radio host, Chuck Harder, become more entrenched in the militia movement,
other 'Patriot' leaders came to them as well. These include Identity preacher Pete Peters,
who has since been cut; Texe Marrs, using the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion to
explain that "ten notorious men reign over the Earth;" and Jack McLamb, on the
air every day recruiting active duty law enforcement officers and military personnel to
the militias. Now WHRI is proud to present Bob Enyart, who in his own words is "the
nation's most popular self-proclaimed right-wing religious fanatic, homophobic,
anti-choice talk show host." Does it bother these supposedly Christian broadcasters
that the assailant in a recent attack on a gay man in Colorado was reportedly inspired by
Bob Enyart's show?
Lester Sumrall, the founder of World Harvest Radio and
Television, recently died in his mid-eighties. What course the next generation of
management takes now that they are not supervised by a man who dedicated his life to
preaching the Gospel and raising money to feed impoverished communities remains to be
Originally an FM station in New Orleans, WRNO broke the
ice years ago by becoming the first U.S.-based private shortwave radio station. They had a
difficult time making ends meet, and eventually turned to selling airtime to racist
organizations. They have stayed fairly consistent with only a small number of far-right
programs, yet they are some of the most blatantly racist programs to be found anywhere --
the National Alliance's American Dissident Voices and Kingdom Identity Ministry's Herald
of Truth among them. Ernst Zundell's Holocaust-denying Voice of Freedom was pulled on
content grounds and has not returned. WRNO owner Joseph Costello has said, however, that
he's willing to carry almost anything. "You produce a program. You want to be heard.
Pay me, and it's on," he told a NY Times correspondent.
Update on Hosts
May '96 saw the return to the airwaves of one of the Far
Right Radio Review's oldest subjects of scrutiny, Kurt Saxon. A survivalist, former
activist with the Minutemen and the American Nazi Party, and promoter of eugenics, Saxon
is back on the air three nights per week on WWCR.
It was largely due to Kurt Saxon's program the the FRRR
originally went on the air. While RFPI had long been concerned about the rise in far-right
programming on shortwave, it was upon hearing Saxon explain how to kill someone using dry
ice and give detailed instructions on bomb construction that it was decided that a
response had to come without delay. The FRRR went on the air the following week, and in
edition #3 a full half hour was dedicated to reporting on Kurt Saxon.
He left the airwaves the following year, complaining of a
conspiracy to cause poor reception of his program, and retreated to his hillside in
Arkansas. Now he's back, once again trying to sell people back issues of his publications,
which include the Survivor, U.S. Militia, and the Poor Man's James Bond.
Protecting Your Wealth
Viking International Trading has been showing its true
colors lately. The producers of the Protecting Your Wealth program on WWCR and sponsors of
Mark Koernke's Intelligence Report and now Radio Free America, Viking uses the airwaves to
fill people with paranoia in order to sell them gold coins.
Robin Noel, one of Protecting Your Wealth's revolving
hosts, has been amazingly inciteful of late. Hailing from Zimbabwe (which he still refers
to as Rhodesia), Noel left that country when the 94% Bantu majority got the vote and took
power. (It turned communist, says Noel.) He then went on to South Africa, where he fought
for the preservation of Apartheid. ("Fortunately," said Noel, "the
Government was kind enough to give us a dollar twenty-five a day to shoot those people
[i.e. ANC members].") Then democracy was instituted there (Noel calling it, of
course, communism), the black majority voted the ANC into office, and Noel left for the
He seems to be no foreigner to far-right movements in the
U.S. Recently, he has been keeping pace with a number of Christian Identity leaders and
activists whom he has invited on the program, putting aside all talk about the economy to
discuss Judaism. "There are Jews and there are Jews," he has said repeatedly.
"If the Jews hate Germans so badly because of the Holocaust, why is it they all drive
Mercedes and BMW's?" We learn that "about 90% of Clinton's cabinet is
Jewish," and that Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Wilson, FDR, Truman, and Eisenhower were
all Jewish. In response to the beating of illegal Mexican immigrants in Riverside,
California, we have this: "I said it before, [laughter] if it was me I would have
After having fought with limited success to build a
network of AM stations across the U.S. to spread its conspiratorial message of Holocaust
denial, the Liberty Lobby was the first far-right organization to turn to shortwave nearly
six years ago. They found it to be very worthwhile, and paved the way for others on the
extremist fringe to make use of the medium for domestic broadcasts.
Their man was Tom Valentine, hosting a program called
Radio Free America. For the next six years, he came our way 2-3 hours each night on WWCR.
His program centered mainly around the same wild conspiracy theories concocted in the
Liberty Lobby's weekly newspaper, The Spotlight. Nearly every ad on the program was for
subscriptions to the tabloid. Valentine stuck to the subtle anti-Semitism of his sponsor
and kept his distance from the 'Patriot' movement. At times, he openly criticized the
Now Tom Valentine is apologizing for those remarks. In
recent editions, we have heard people advocating violence being presented in a positive
way. What changed? Radio Free America's sponsorship. With the Liberty Lobby pulling back
its ad time, Valentine now runs commercials for Viking International Trading. The piper is
now being paid by Vikings, and has thus changed his tune.