White Aryan Resistance (WAR)
White Aryan Resistance (WAR)
LEADER: Tom Metzger
USUAL AREA OF OPERATION: United States
The White Aryan Resistance (WAR) is a neo-Nazi national-socialist organization that preaches racial discrimination and solidarity among the Anglo-Saxon segment of the population, especially among white blue-collar workers, as a means of racial survival of the white men. The anti-capitalistic doctrine of the organization is also known as "Third Force" or "Third Position," and based on the left-wing theories sponsored by Gregor Strasser, a German Nazi Party member, executed in 1934 by Hitler's order. The group also claims to be fighting against a Zionist-occupation government (ZOG) that purportedly controls the U.S. government, among others.
The White Aryan Resistance (WAR) is a white supremacist faction of the American neo-Nazi movement. WAR was founded in California by Tom Metzger in the early 1980s and promoted the formation of several racist-oriented skinhead gangs in California and throughout the United States. The organization gained visibility from 1984 on, when Tom Metzger inaugurated his cable television program, "Race and Reason." WAR accuses the U.S. government and the American political arena (as well as most of the press and televised media) of being under Zionist (e.g., pro-Israel Jewish political movement) control. WAR also promotes radio shows and distributes racist videotapes, lecturing about the neo-Nazism doctrine, other white supremacist movements, and skinheads. WAR aligns with two associated organizations, the Aryan Youth Movement (AYM) and the Aryan Women's League (AWL), which actively promote Tom Metzger ideas.
Tom Metzger's daughter, Lynn, who replaced her mother, is the head of the Aryan Women's League (AWL). According to Floyd Cochran, a former racist activist, AWL "is the largest women's organization within the organized hate movement." Still according to Cochran, WAR's leader, Tom Metzger is the founder of, and responsible for, "America's most violent skinhead organization." Led by John Metzger, Tom's son and Lynn's brother, the Aryan Youth Movement (AYM) is the headquarters of the racist skinhead groups.
WAR suffered a major setback in October 1990, when skinheads Kenneth Mieske and Kyle Brewster from Oregon were convicted of the murder of Mulugeta Seraw, an Ethiopian immigrant, and Tom Metzger and his son, John, along with the White Aryan Resistance organization, were found guilty of conspiracy, substantial assistance, and encouragement of the defendants' actions against the victim. A total of $10,975,469.00, plus a yearly legal rate of 9% interest, was determined by the courts to be paid by the defendants for punitive and economic damages.
Another spokesman for WAR is Dennis Mahon, who became famous for being suspected of involvement with Timothy McVeigh in the Oklahoma federal building bombing, according to the British journal, "Guardian Unlimited." Although denying any participation in the bombing, Dennis Mahon stated to reporters that, "The bombing was a fine thing."
After the outcome of the Oregon trial in 1990, Tom Metzger has changed the White Aryan Resistance's tactics from frontal opposition to the system into what he defined as the "lone wolf lifestyle." The purpose is to promote the white separatism ideology through a subtler activism as a long-term strategy, whose ultimate goal is to overthrow the "super state" (e.g., the federal government and the Congress) through a future revolution, when such time is ripe. WAR intends to create small, independent white states throughout America.
PHILOSOPHY AND TACTICS
WAR's central premises are that racism is a matter of instinct underlying racial survival. The theory goes on claiming that "blue-eyed blonds and green-eyed redheads" were the dominant race throughout human history due to "thousands of years of pure hate racism." Furthermore, the white race is pictured as being the main target of an international Zionist conspiracy designed by the wealthy Jews of the world to dominate not only the governments, but also the world economic system, in search of an alleged Jewish supremacy. Such Zionist conspiracy would have infiltrated its agents at all levels of the American society, misleading the white younger generations into a state of passive alienation and manipulation by the social policies of racial integration and tolerance towards non-whites such as African Americans, Native Americans, Latinos, and Semites, in general. WAR denies the validity of equal rights based on the hypothetical existence of a natural racial hierarchy that, according to the WAR doctrine, would be determined by genetics. Genetics have supposedly endowed the white race with the best genes and talents, superior intellect, and higher moral qualities. The American government would therefore be at the service of the Zionists, and thus should not be recognized by Aryan activists as a legitimate institution. Actually, the movement refers to the American government and its institutions as "the enemy."
WAR claims that the white race can only survive by resisting the social integration with non-whites and by promoting racial segregation and the coalition of all white workers through the rekindling of racial hate. A fanatic zeal is encouraged as being a moral quality. For the time being, WAR recommends that its members become "lone wolves" as a form of resistance. Lone wolves should, according to Metzger, keep a low profile, working as very small cells or alone, trying to gain the respect and cooperation of other whites for the cause, while they infiltrate and take strategic positions in every level of the system—from the private to the public spheres. They should act as spies in their own surroundings, trust nobody, not even their peers and supporters, gathering any important background information about them, such as their military backgrounds, personal past history, relationships, etc. Lone wolves should act as eyes and ears for the white supremacist cause, by snooping into police communications, people's ideologies, civil records, etc., in order to avoid the infiltration of government agents among their cells. Lone wolves are also advised to develop an "economic support network with friendly businessmen," who share their racist feelings in private without publicly expressing them. Another strong recommendation is that lone wolves should never talk to police officers, nor give any information under interrogation, whether in police precincts or in courts.
Lone wolves should also maintain means of informing the public and spreading suspicion against government policies and against non-white groups, through the distribution of covert literature and forged black propaganda. WAR lone wolves are taught by Metzger how to recognize and approach those white individuals who are receptive to their doctrines, being advised as well to avoid discussing the cause with those already "infected" by liberal ideologies, including among their own relatives and friends. WAR expects that, once an extensive network is put together as result of long-term term and patient work, they will achieve an optimum momentum to start a racial revolution sometime in the future—"with surgical precision." WAR and other white supremacist groups are mutually supportive, such as the Aryan Nations, Stormfront.org, Creativity Movement, etc.
WAR response (through Metzger) to the September 11 al-Qaeda attacks was to blame the U.S. government and the intelligence agencies as being "idiots" and "incompetents," adding in a further communication that, "As far as the targets hit by the Islamic attackers, I do not consider the WTC a U.S. institution, but the headquarters of most that's wrong with our present masters … As far as the Pentagon, that is now the muscle headquarters for the Imperialist anti-white regime—I care nothing for its fate either."
When Tom Metzger founded WAR, he already had a history of racist activism, initiated in the early 1960s through his affiliation to the John Birch Society (JBS), an ultra right-wing political movement. After leaving JBS, he became an anti-tax activist for five years (1971–1975), refusing to pay income tax to the IRS (Internal Revenue Service). He joined the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) in 1975, and soon after, became the KKK Grand Dragon of the California Knights. In the same year, he entered the white supremacist movement known as New Christian Crusade Church, which he later repudiated. As a KKK Grand Dragon, in 1979 he organized a Klansmen platoon to hunt illegal Mexican immigrants near San Diego, California. In 1980, another KKK uniformed armed militia, created by Metzger, attacked a group of anti-Klan demonstrators in Oceanside, California, leaving seven people injured.
He embarked on three unsuccessful attempts to be elected for public offices: in 1978, for San Diego Supervisor; in 1980, for Representative of California's 43rd Congressional District; and in 1982, as a nominee to run for Senate by the Democratic Party. Before the 1982 campaign, he changed the name KKK California Knights to White American Political Association (WAPA). After losing the election for Senate, he changed WAPA's name to White American Resistance in 1983, and later, to White Aryan Resistance. The WAR newspaper, one of the propaganda tools used by the organization, is defined by Metzger as "the most racist newspaper on earth," and aims at promoting a coalition of white, Anglo-Saxon, blue-collar workers to make a racial revolution in the United States.
- Metzger arrested for unlawful assembly and cross burning.
- Metzger arrested and deported from Canada where he and his son John were attempting to take part in a demonstration of the Heritage Front.
- WAR and its leadership was indicted and convicted at the Oregon trial.
In 2002, the White Aryan Resistance tried again to infiltrate the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) and the U.S./Mexico Border Patrol by distributing a communication to the lone wolves stating, "The Aryan Syndicate has been notified by insiders that the Immigration and Naturalization Service is looking for White Power People to help guard the borders. Apply today!"
Chaos to Conspiracy: Racist Skinhead Violence Growing More Organized
To all appearances, the Independence Day murders of Daniel Shersty and Lin Newborn in the Las Vegas desert were far from typical Skinhead killings. This double murder had all the hallmarks of an execution.
Shersty and Newborn, well-known members of the Las Vegas Unity Skins who had had many run-ins with racist neo-Nazi skins, were not killed in some beer-fueled, Skinhead bar brawl. Friends say that the victims were deliberately lured to the desert by two white women affiliated with racist skins.
Shersty, a white 21-year-old stationed at an Air Force base, was shot dead next to his car. Newborn, a 25-year-old black man working at a tattoo parlor, was murdered some 200 yards away, apparently as he tried to flee.
A neo-Nazi Skinhead, John Butler, has been arrested in the murders, and authorities are investigating a possible greater conspiracy. Butler, 26, reportedly had connections with the larger neo-Nazi scene and Utah Skinhead leader Johnny Bangerter who once lived in Las Vegas. Officials believe that Shersty and Newborn were killed in a racist Skinhead plot to eliminate non-racist Skinhead critics.
Since the inception of the American racist Skinhead scene some 15 years ago, there has been a sea change in the nature of the crimes it produces. What began as a wave of spontaneous acts of violence—often erupting at the music shows that were once the prime venues of Skinheads—has escalated over the years, finally reaching the level of well-planned murders.
While there are many exceptions, the overall trend in Skinhead violence has been one of increasingly organized crime.
Originally, Skinhead violence usually occurred during encounters between racist and non-racist skins in the "mosh pits," areas just in front of musical stages where wild dancing and drinking often devolved into slugfests. By the late 1980s, however, there was an increasing number of killings, sometimes involving victims that racist Skinheads viewed as their enemies.
In Las Vegas, Skinheads involved in Satanism murdered a convenience store clerk. In Washington D.C., an 18-year-old skin beat a gay man to death with a baseball bat. In Denver, a Skinhead robbed a hair stylist and then shot him dead. In Pittsburgh, another racist skin murdered a social worker who worked with the blind.
In 1988, one of the first Skinhead murders connected to an organized hate group made headlines across the nation. Skinheads affiliated with White Aryan Resistance, a neo-Nazi group run by Tom Metzger that is based in California, beat an Ethiopian student in Portland, Ore., to death with a baseball bat.
Although the attack was triggered by a chance encounter on the streets, it showed the increasing influence of established hate groups on young, already violent street thugs. Southern Poverty Law Center attorneys sued the group and its leaders and won a $12.5 million verdict for the family of the victim.
In July 1993, the leader of the Fourth Reich Skinheads was a central figure in an unsuccessful plot to blow up the First African Methodist Episcopal Church in Los Angeles and spray its 8,500-member congregation with machine-gun fire. The plan also called for attacks on Rodney King, black celebrities and Jewish targets.
In the mid-1990s, racist Skinheads were involved in two major revolutionary racist groups. Three Skinheads were members of the deadly Kehoe gang—two of them falling victim to their own comrades-in-arms—and another three were convicted in connection with the bank-robbing, white supremacist Aryan Republican Army.
Late last year, Matthaus Jaehnig, a Denver Skinhead, led police on a wild car chase after being surprised while he burglarized a home. When he was cornered, Jaehnig was willing to do something no Skinhead had yet done in this country—murder a police officer. Jaehnig then committed suicide.
Investigators believe that Jaehnig may have been involved in a larger criminal enterprise, marketing hard drugs and trafficking in heavy weapons—like the machine gun he used in the murder.
Earlier this year, Skinhead Daniel Rick, 20, pleaded guilty to weapons charges in connection with a plot to blow up the Southern Poverty Law Center and murder its co-founder, Morris Dees. Police believe that he was involved in a ring that was selling fully automatic weapons to fund the cause of white supremacist revolution.
With the killing of Shersty and Newborn, these kinds of plots may have reached a new plateau—a successful assassination conspiracy aimed at furthering the Skinhead white supremacist agenda.
Source: Southern Poverty Law Center, 1998
The Anti Defamation League (ADL) is one of the centers that fight the hate propaganda by providing detailed information on hate groups, including the White Aryan Resistance, and by offering research resources for high school students. ADL reports that in June 2001, the National Conference for Community and Justice (NCCJ) for the Arizona Region launched an educational campaign with the motto "Not in Our State" against hate group activists, especially Dennis Mahon and WAR. Mahon, who recently announced his plans to move to Kingman, Arizona, also sent the White Aryan Resistance journal to the community leaders of Gilbert. The response of NCCJ to WAR and its spokesman, Mahon, was the distribution of a petition to the public and to schools and the promotion of special educational activities to alert the public about WAR's intentions to spread racial hate in the region. The content of the petition said: "We, the citizens of the State of Arizona, affirm the basic value and dignity of all people, and thereby reject the promotion of hate and dehumanization of members of our community … There is no place for hate in our state." Schoolteachers, Christian clergy leaders, Jewish leaders, community councils, and common citizens, throughout the state, signed the NCCJ petition. Another NCCJ communication stressed that "We cannot passively allow the Dennis Mahons of the world to target our young people when they are most impressionable."
Farhan Haq, in an article published by the "Albion Monitor," in June 1997, affirmed that the McVeigh conviction would not deter extremists. He also cited the White Aryan Resistance as one of the racist movements, and quoted Dennis Mahon's comments on the Oklahoma bombing: "I hate the federal government with a personal hatred…. I'm surprised that this hasn't happened all over the country." According to Haq's analysis, McVeigh is seen as a martyr by the anti-government extremist groups, with more people seeking affiliation to the militias and to the white supremacist groups right after the bombing. However, the "Detroit Free Press," in an article by Judy L. Thomas, published several years later (April 2005), reported that antigovernment and hate groups are now weaker than before the Oklahoma bombing—at least those with a formal organizational structure, such as Aryan Nations, the Creativity Movement, and the White Knights. However, Thomas alerted that these movements are "testing new tools," new ways of gaining momentum again. The article informed that although most hate and antigovernment organizations were left in disarray in the last 10 years because of the intense alertness against domestic terrorism after the Oklahoma tragedy, and tougher anti-terror legislation, especially after the September 11 attacks, the danger is still out there. Particularly in a time when most of the intelligence resources of the country were shifted to fight international terrorism. The author cited as one of the examples a statement by WAR spokesman Dennis Mahon: "After the bomb went off in Oklahoma City, the White Knights completely collapsed … They shut down the post office … the hot line. They were scared to death. They just went down the hidey hole." Still quoting Mahon to exemplify the new tools in use by hate groups: "… I think it's just we all want to overthrow the government and get a state of our own. There's many ways to do that. It's called small cells and lone wolfism." The FBI recognizes that mobile, autonomous cells, or murderers acting alone, such as McVeigh, are much harder to detect.
Mark Potok, of the Southern Poverty Law Center, alerted to the dangers of the use of the Internet by the neo-Nazi groups, agreed with Les Back, of the Centre for Urban and Community Research at Goldsmiths College in London, who discussed the easy access by young people to learn how to make bombs on the web: "The real danger," he wrote, "is perhaps that in the information age isolated acts of racist terrorism may become a commonplace."
The Internet, the elusive cyberspace, has become a pervasive tool for a myriad of terrorist groups, racist movements, and hate organizations, providing a network through which the several white supremacist movements can easily access each other, spread their propaganda, and attract new followers. The White Aryan Resistance was quick in perceiving how useful a tool the Internet can be. An ideological war between numbers of opposing groups is currently going on in the cyber-battlefield. Although different militia factions and other white supremacist organizations may eventually have their own rivalries and doctrinaire conflicts, as Les Back explains, they have found in the Internet "a common language of race and white solidarity." According to Back, the racist cyberspace has provided an ideal means to fostering racial separatism and the formation of "white fortresses" with a transnational impact. Skinhead racist groups for instance are reported in Brazil, Canada, England, Scotland, Germany, the Netherlands, and elsewhere. However, such global characteristics of cyberspace are also used by a growing number of humanistic and educational foundations, institutes, universities, and governmental agencies to inform the public about the criminal activities of extremist groups and the dangers posed by hate propaganda. Furthermore, they also address ethical issues such as human mutual respect through the appreciation of ethnic and cultural differences, and the essential oneness of all human beings.
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