There has been, at long last, some actual attention paid to the violent tendencies of right wing extremists in this country. What hasn’t been noted, and what our mainstream media continues to fail to note, is that there is a national hub for white supremacist extremists, down in Oklahoma. To read the roster of visitors to Elohim City is to look at a “Who’s Who” in the violent, racist antigovernment movement.
Let’s look at the Wikipedia entry on Elohim City before we proceed. Elohim City was founded on the principles of Christian Identity, which we will also spend a little time on later.
Elohim City is a private community in Adair County, Oklahoma founded by Robert G. Millar in 1973. Millar, a Canadian immigrant and charismatic religious leader, moved his followers to the site from their former location in Ellicott City, Maryland known as “The Camp”, it was located on Route 144 about one mile (1.6 km) west from the intersection of Route 29 in Howard County, at the former location of a Catholic Abbey. “The Camp” was rural in the early 1970s and has since been developed into a suburban housing community. Millar moved the community from The Camp to Oklahoma in 1973, after previously having established a church in Oklahoma during the 1950s. Its 400 acres are frequented by Christian Identity followers. The community gained national attention for its supposed ties to members of the Silent Brotherhood in the 1980s and with convicted Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh in the 1990s.
In 1986 a Canadian woman and her children sought refuge in the city, contravening a court order awarding custody of the children to her husband. Officers attempting to arrest the woman were met by a show of arms.
The remains of former Elohim City guest Richard Snell were released to Elohim City residents following his April 19, 1995, execution in Arkansas. Snell taunted jailers that something drastic would happen on the day of his execution. The Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building was destroyed by explosives in the hours before he died. Earlier criminal proceedings had produced evidence that Snell and other affiliates had visited the Murrah building to examine it as a possible bombing target in 1983.
Other individuals who stayed at Elohim City and later appeared in national news included Andreas Strassmeir, head of security and suspected federal undercover operative; BATF informant Carol Howe; and Dennis Mahon.
Elohim is a Hebrew word for God.
Snell, in that great white supremacist tradition, murdered a pawn shop owner he was robbing (as an added bonus for Snell, he thought he was snuffing a Jewish man.) Snell, like most of his Christian Identity brethren past and present, was convinced that he had a Divine right to do whatever he felt was necessary to further his aims. He was inspired a lot by the patron saint of Elohim City, Bob Mathews. Mathews often turned to armed robbery to finance the activities of his group, known as “The Order.” Among other activities “The Order” engaged in was the murder of liberal (and Jewish) talk show host Alan Berg in Colorado. Let’s learn a little more about The Order from the Reconstitution archives.
Their first crime was the April 1983 robbery of a Spokane porn shop, from which they netted $369. The Order began to print counterfeit money at the Aryan Nations compound, but Pierce was arrested when he tried to use the bills. Their counterfeiting operation soon, however, grew more sophisticated and profitable, as did their robberies. In December of 1983 Matthews robbed a Seattle Citibank with a note, and walked out with $29,500. The group began attacking armored cars in March of 1984. Their most successful operation was the robbery of a Brinks armored car carrying $3.6 million. A Brinks employee sympathetic to The Order gave the group information about the car’s route, and twelve Order members ambushed the car in a California redwood forest on July 19, 1984. The group spent some of the money (on weapons, military training, and a ski condo, among other things) and distributed the rest of it to other militant white groups.
The Order’s crimes were not limited to larceny. Bruce Pierce bombed a Boise synagogue, although he did little damage. Order member Walter West was murdered when Bob Matthews began to suspect him of talking about the group to outsiders. In June of 1984, David Lane and Bruce Pierce gunned down Jewish radio host Alan Berg outside his home in Denver. Berg had argued with Order members who phoned in to his talk show, and by all accounts (including, apparently, the vengeful Order members themselves) had gotten the better of them.
The Order was in incredibly violent group, and Mathews was a racist psychopath who was thrilled by every murder he committed. He eventually met his end in a burning house on Whidbey Island in Washington State, unable to escape the FBI and ATF agents who had tracked him down (not unusual at all; a measurable number of white supremacists meet their ends at the hands of authorities.) They are among the most rotten scum society ever regurgitated, but in Elohim City, they are heroes.
Mathews taught a lot of lessons to those who would come after him. The most important lesson learned was that the white supremacists want to avoid organizations of more than a handful of people; The Order, at about 30 members, is considered to have been too big by most of Mathews’ successors. They now tend to operate in “cells” of 3 to 5 men, informally trading information with each other. They do a lot of their story and strategy swapping at Elohim City. Let’s look at some more of the people who have passed through town:
You know about Tim McVeigh, but what the media never really explored was McVeigh’s ties to Elohim City. Had they done so, they might have been able to discover a whole underworld of violent racists. For you see, Snell wasn’t the only one promising people that something big was up. Not by a long shot.
Two news stories that followed the bombing reported raised interesting questions concerning a wider conspiracy. In Arkansas, prison officials reported that in the days preceding April 19, Richard Snell repeatedly told them to expect a big bombing or explosion on the day of his execution. Execution came for Snell exactly twelve hours after the Oklahoma City bombing. Meanwhile, in Spokane, Washington, the local paper reported that Chevie Kehoe, a former Elohim City resident staying at a motel in the city, woke early on April 19 to demand that the motel owner turn the lobby television to CNN, telling him that “something is going to happen and it’s going to wake people up.” The motel owner said that Kehoe became ecstatic when news of the Oklahoma City bombing was announced. “It’s about time!” Kehoe is reported to have exclaimed.
Yes, Chevie Kehoe, who would go on to become famous for a shootout in Wilmington, Ohio, and the murder of an 8 year old girl in Arkansas, knew something big was up. And just to give you some perspective on this, the world didn’t hear about Chevie Kehoe until two more years had passed. The authorities knew that he was a white supremacist gun nut, and they had testimony that he KNEW something was going to happen the day of the Murrah bombing. WHY did they not look further into it? If they had, an 8 year old girl would be an adult young lady now, in all probability.
Elohim City is the link between McVeigh and Kehoe. The “director of security” in Elohim City was a Nazi from Germany by the name of Andreas Strassmeir, and he appears to have known both men. Strassmeir may well have helped to “case” the McVeigh building before the attack, but he happens to be the son of a (then) high ranking German politician. As a result, he slithered out of the country, and no one ever got the chance to question him. In any case, a Federal informant appears to remove any doubt about whether or not McVeigh spent a good bit of his time in Elohim City.
Q. Now, are you familiar with what Timothy McVeigh looks like,
A. Yes, sir.
Q. Have you seen photographs of Timothy McVeigh?
A. Yes, I have.
Q. Did you ever see Timothy McVeigh at the Elohim City
A. I believe I did.
Q. All right. When did you see him?
A. It was in July of 1994.
Q. Okay. And where did you see him?
A. He was at a section of the compound walking across a lawn
near the church building.
Q. And was he accompanied by any other individuals who you
A. Yes, he was.
Q. And who were they?
A. A man named Peter Ward and a man named Andreas Strassmeier.
Q. About how far away were you when you believe you saw
A. Approximately 70 feet.
Q. At the time that you saw him, did you know his name was
A. No, sir.
Q. You subsequently came to learn his name was Timothy
Q. Now, did you have occasion to–did Mr. Mahon– strikethat.
Did Mr. Mahon
have an apartment in Tulsa, Oklahoma,during this time period?
A. A house, yes.
Q. A house. And did you have occasion to spend time there
during the time period we’re talking about, fall, 1994?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. Did Mr. Mahon in your recollection–did he ever receive
any phone calls while you were in the house with him?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. Do you recall Mr. Mahon ever saying or mentioning the name
MS. WILKINSON: Objection.
THE COURT: Overruled.
THE WITNESS: Yes, I do.
BY MR. THURSCHWELL:
Q. Okay. Could you tell the jury not any contents of the
phone call that he related to you but how you came to hear
his name; that is, Tim Tuttle’s name?
A. Mr. Mahon received a phone call. We were sitting in the
living room. He went into the bedroom to answer the phone, and
I heard his statements from where I was sitting.
Q. And what did you hear him say?
A. I heard him say, “Tim Tuttle, Tuttle, Tuttle, Tuttle,
Tuttle,” and laughed.
Q. And you subsequently had a conversation about that phone
call that he had received?
A. Yes. When he came back –
*”Tim Tuttle” is an alias that McVeigh admits having used.
Who is “Mahon?”
A leader of one of the country’s most notorious White-power organizations says he is moving to Arizona and that the group will significantly step up its activities in the state, primarily targeting illegal Mexican immigration.
Gilbert leaders felt the impact Wednesday when some found copies of the group’s racist newspaper in their home mailboxes.
Dennis Mahon, 50, a Midwest leader for the White Aryan Resistance in Tulsa, has been deported from Canada for neo-Nazi activity, has been scorned in Germany because of recruiting efforts for the Ku Klux Klan and has defended Timothy McVeigh’s bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, which killed 168 people.
Now, Mahon says he will move to Kingman because “I like that rough, hilly area and there’s a lot of anti-government people out there.” McVeigh lived in the Kingman area for two years and planned the Oklahoma City bombing while living there.
Mahon says he temporarily will live in the Valley for organizational efforts among groups such as Gilbert’s Devil Dogs, a teenage, White-supremacist gang, and that he will circulate the White Aryan Resistance group’s newspaper during the next week.
Arizona. The home of the latest far-right murder. The “Minutemen” have long been known for their associations with white supremacist philosophies, and Mahon has definitely hobnobbed with them, though there is no evidence that he is a member.
But that’s how they operate. They don’t flagrantly associate whenever they can get around doing so. And Elohim City has long provided them a quiet sanctuary where they can discuss their beliefs, their aims-and their plans.
There’s more to this. I will periodically post more. Let’s end this one with a definition of Christian Identity.
Christian Identity is a label applied to a wide variety of loosely affiliated believers and churches with a racialized theology. Many promote a Eurocentric interpretation of Christianity.
According to Chester L. Quarles, professor of criminal justice at the University of Mississippi, some of The Christian Identity movement followers hold that non-Caucasian peoples have no souls, and can therefore never earn God’s favor or be saved. Believers of the theology affirm that Jesus Christ paid only for the sins of the House of Israel and the House of Judah and that salvation must be received through both redemption and race.
Christian Identity’s key commonality is British Israelism theology, which teaches that white Europeans are the literal descendants of the Israelites through the ten tribes that were taken away into captivity by the armies of Assyria. Furthermore, the teaching holds that these (White European) Israelites are still God’s Chosen People, that Jesus was an Israelite of the tribe of Judah, and that modern Jews are not at all Israelites nor Hebrews but are instead descended from people with Turco-Mongolian blood, or Khazars, and are descendants of the Biblical Esau-Edom who traded his birthright for a bowl of soup (Genesis 25:29-34).
The Christian Identity movement first broke into the mainstream media in 1984, when the white nationalist organization known as The Order embarked on a murderous crime spree before being taken down by the FBI. Tax resister and militia movement organizer Gordon Kahl, whose death in a 1983 shootout with authorities helped inspire The Order, also had connections to the Identity movement. The movement returned to public attention in 1992 and 1993, in the wake of the deadly Ruby Ridge confrontation, when newspapers discovered that former Green Beret and right-wing Christian fundamentalist Randy Weaver had at least a loose association with Christian Identity believers.