Aryan Nations

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      Aryan Nations Compound Entrance.JPG

    Aryan Nations compound in Hayden Lake, ID; property surrendered to law enforcement after group went bankrupt in 2001.[1]

    Status: Active
    AKA: Church of Christian Aryan Nations, Church of Jesus Christ Christian, Brandenburg Division (CA)
    Formed: 1974
    Area of Operations: United States; Alabama, California, Colorado, Idaho, Minnesota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania
    Headquarters: Northern Idaho
    Ideology: Political (Ethnic Separatist), Religious (Christian Identity), Social (White Supremacist)
    Group Size: 100-500 members
    Known Leaders:

    Paul Mullet, August Kreis, Jerald O'Brian, Clark Patterson, James Wickstrom, Charles Juba, Morris Gullet

    Group Affiliations: Aryan Brotherhood, Christian Defense League, Christian Identity Movement, Church of Jesus Christ-Christian, Hammerskin Nation, Ku Klux Klan, Militia of Montana, Minutemen American Defense, National Socialist Movement, Posse Comitatus, Silent Brotherhood, The Creativity Movement, The Order, Volksfront, White Revolution
    RSS:
    Map

    Headquarters of the Aryan Nations are in Coeur d'Alene, ID, according to one group website.[2]

    Organizational History

    The Aryan Nations group advocates the elimination of Jews and all minorities.  They also act as an umbrella movement for many other organizations, hoping to create a white homeland in five northwestern U.S. states.

    Founded by Richard G. Butler, the Aryan Nations began in the 1970s in Hayden, Idaho, as an extension and political wing of the Church of Jesus Christ Christian. The affiliation, while originally operating under the Christian Identity philosophy of white supremacy and anti-Semitism, has also come to embrace neo-Nazi beliefs. In starting his organization, Butler intended to unite marginalized segments of the extreme right under the banner of religion. Butler also began issuing military-styled uniforms and supporting paramilitary training near his Hayden Lake, Idaho, compound. The compound was seized by the government following a civil suit lead by the Southern Poverty Law Center in 2001. Richard Butler died in his sleep on September 8, 2004, at the age of 86. Butler’s death is not likely to signal the demise of the group. The Aryan Nations has weathered tough times in the past, including a civil suit that left Butler bankrupt and forced him to surrender his 20-acre compound to authorities in 2001.[3]

    Following these issues, the Aryan Nations split into two different factions; one headed by August Kreis in Pennsylvania and the other by Jonathan Williams in Georgia.  Kreis was featured on the news as stating that he wished to find "common ground" with extremist Muslims on the basis of their shared hatred of Jews.[4] From Pennsylvania, Kreis transfered the faction to South Carolina where he began recruiting among motocycle gangs in 2005.  In 2010, he created an organized security crew calling themselves the 1st SS Kavallerie Brigade Motorcycle Division. Jonathan Williams moved his group to Alabama and renamed it the United Church of Yahweh before he left the group in 2008. Few other small splinter organizations remain; one led by Jerald O'Brien in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho; another in New York headed by Jay Faber, and finally one led by Martin Linstedt in Missouri called the Church of Jesus Christ Christian-Aryan Nations. 

    The biggest of all factions was brought together by Paul Mullet in Chillicothe, Ohio.  It has 14 different chapters, and is continually growing.  In 2010, the World Knights of the Ku Klux Klan in Maryland disbanded and all remaining members joined with the Ohio-based Aryan Nations organization.  After searching for, and failling to find, enough donations to buy land in Tennessee to create an "Aryan Republic Homeland," Pullet left the Aryan Nations for the American National Socialist Party.  Morris Gulett, active in the organization for decades, took his place.[5]

    Stated Aims

    Advocates the elimination of Jews and all minorities; also acts as an umbrella movement for many other organizations; hopes to create a white homeland in five northwestern US states. [3]

    Structure

    Centralized and hierarchical; the group is currently composed of several factions, including one located in Pennsylvania led by August Kreis and Charles Juba, and a group calling itself the Church of the Sons of YHVH/Legion of Saints (church of the Sons of Yahweh) led by Ray Redfeairn Morris Gullet; the Group is divided nationally by a series of chapters as well as ideologically aligned organizations that are subsumed over the overall organization, including the Tualatin Valley Skins, Idaho Division, Ohio Chapter, Brandenburg Division, Colorado Chapter, Church of True Israel (CTI), and Pennsylvania Aryan Nations. [3]

    Size of Group

    The Aryan Nation has a membership of 100-500 members, with roughly 6,000-15,000 supporters nationwide.[3]

    Network Contacts

    Members in common with several other white supremacist and Neo-Nazi groups; the Aryan Nations' compound at Hayden Lake had served as one of the central meeting points and rallying grounds of far-right extremist of all stripes, including various Ku Klux Klan factions, Militia of Montana (MOM; AN is known to have ties with MOM leaders David, John, and Randy Trochmann), Nevada Volunteers (Nevada-based militia), Mountain Church, Teutonic Unity, Euro-American Alliance, National States Rights Party, Covenant, Sword, and the Army of the Lord (CSAL), Western Guard, the Order (splinter of AN), Aryan Brotherhood (Splinter of AN), White American Bastion (Splinter of AN), Silent Brotherhood (splinter of AN), Posse Comitatus, National Sozialistische Deutche Arbeiter Partei Auslands Organisation (Nebraska-based organization with ties to German Aryan groups), National States Rights Party, Christian Defense League, Christian Identity Movement, Sons of YHVH in Dayton, Ohio, Church of the Creator (COTC); also reported to have had connections with Louis Farrakhan's Nation of Islam to discuss how to divide the nation into two separate racial countries. [3]

    Funding

    The organization operates on membership dues, sale of books, shirts, and paraphernalia. They also request donations on their various websites in order to continue operations.

    Recruitment

    The Aryan Nations Hayden Lake compound was the site of regular white supremacist festivals until the group lost the property in 2001. The festivals gave prominent white supremacists a chance to network and actively recruit from interested parties. The group ran an Aryan Nations Academy in the early 1980's to teach young people the principles of white nationalism. The group has been reaching out to prisoners with a message of white supremacy since 1979.[3]

    Publications

    • The Way, a newsletter geared toward prisoners

    Targeting and Tactics

    Besides more common communication activities, incidents of assault and threats have also been attributed to the Aryan Nations, though most were perpetrated prior to the 1990s.  In one of the more recent incidents, Steve Holten, the leader of the aforementioned Nevada Chapter of the Aryan Nations, was indicated in October 2004 for sending threatening emails to newspapers in Reno and San Francisco. The group often engages in leafletting of neighborhoods in order to spread their ideology and increase interest in their organization.  Group members have staged occassional rallies by themselves or with other white supremacist organizations.

    Gallery

     

    Aryan Nations Guard Tower.JPG

    Image shows Hayden Lake, ID compound before it was surrendered in 2001.[1]

     

    Aryan Nations Members.JPG

    Aryan Nations members engaged in protest.[1]

    AryanNations.gif

    Aryan Nations flag.[1]

     

    richard butler.jpg

    Richard Butler, the now deceased founder and leader of the Aryan Nations with his followers.[6]

    References

    1. Image courtesy of The Oatmeal, retrieved from [1]
    2. Aryan Nations Website [2]
    3. Institute for the Study of Violent Groups (ISVG). 2006. Extremist Groups: An International Compilation of Terrorist Organizations, Violent Political Groups, and Issue-Oriented Militant Movements. Huntsville, TX: Office of International Criminal Justice. (pp. 221)
    4. Southern Poverty Law Center. (n.d) Aryan Nations. Retrieved from [3]
    5. Southern Poverty Law Center. (n.d.). Aryan Nations. Retrieved from [4]
    6. Aryan Nations Gone, But Memory Remains. (2009, August 2). Associated Press. Retrieved from [5]

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    Aryan Nations compound entrance
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     Aryan Nations Guard Tower.JPG
    Aryan Nations guard tower
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    Aryan Nations members
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    Aryan Nations logo
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    Richard Butler
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