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Newsgroups: alt.conspiracy,alt.politics.white-power
Subject: Paranoia as Patriotism: The Order

Archive/File: pub/orgs/american/adl/paranoia-as-patriotism/the-order
Last-Modified: 1995/08/22

                       The Order

The Order was the most violent and notorious domestic
terrorist group of the 1980s. Founded in 1983 by Robert J.
Mathews, a recruiter for the neo-Nazi National Alliance and
an activist in the Nazi-like and "Identity"-affiliated group
Aryan Nations, The Order (also known as Bruders Schweigen, or
Silent Brotherhood) drew its members from the National
Alliance, Aryan Nations, and various Klan splinter groups. As
a blueprint for its "revolution," The Order relied upon
William Pierce's novel _The Turner Diaries_ (see below), and
many of the crims for which Order members were convicted
resembled terrorist acts described in the book.

In its first year, The Order began accumulating a war chest
for its real-life revolution when three members stole $369
from a Spokane, Washington store. Soon thereafter the group
launched a counterfeiting operation at the Aryan Nations
compound in Hayden Lake, Idaho, which was exposed when Order
member Bruce Carroll Pierce was arrested for passing a phony
$50 bill. Pierce was eventually convicted, but jumped bond and
went underground until 1985. Before the end of 1983, Robert
Mathews robbed the Seattle City Bank of $25,000.

The robberies escalated the following year. In March 1984,
Order members diverted police by exploding a bomb in a Seattle
theater while other members robbed an armored car parked
outside a department store, seizing $500,000.

In addition to these crimes, Bruce Carroll Piece planted a
bomb in a Boise, Idaho synagogue, which caused minor damage
but no injuries. The Order also began assassingating perceived
enemies, beginning with one of their own members, Walter West.
West had aroused the suspicion of his comrades by, in their
words, "talking too much." In May 1984, he was driven into the
Idaho wilderness by Order members who then executed and buried

Another victim of The Order's terror was Alan Berg, a
controversial Jewish talk-radio personality in Denver. Berg
was murdered outside his home in June 1984 after he repeatedly
goaded right-wing and white-supremacist extremists on his
call-in program.

Around the time of this murder, Order members resumed their
counterfeiting operation and robbed a Brink's armored truck
near Ukiah, California. The hold-up yielded the group's
biggest take - over $3.6 million - which was distributed for
salaries, mobile homes, uniforms, vehicles, and weapons. The
group also purchased parcels of land in Idaho and Missouri for
paramilitary training camps and reportedly donated money to
fellow extremists, including the leaders of Aryan Nations and
the National Alliance.

The Order's revolution might have progressed even further if
Mathews had not left a pistol at the scene of the Ukiah
robbery, which the FBI traced to the mailbox of another Order
member. In that mailbox authorities found Aryan Nations
propaganda. Agents also obtained descriptions of Order members
through their recovered vehicles. At the same time, Order
member Thomas Martinez was arrested in Philadelphia for
passing counterfeit money. Martinez agreed to become a
government informant and flew to Portland, Oregon, to meet
with Mathews and fellow Order member Gary Yarbrough.

Agents raided the hotel the next morning. Mathews wounded an
officer before escaping and Yarbrough was arrested at the
scene. Mathews was traced to Whidbey Island in Washington,
where in December 1984 he held off 200 law enforcement
officers for over 36 hours, until he died in a conflaguration
set off by the ammunition with which he barricaded himself. On
December 30, 1985, nine men and one woman - all members of the
group - were convicted following a four-month Federal court
case in Seattle. They were sentenced to terms of 40-100 years
in prison, as well as stiff fines. Another member was
convicted in a spearate trial of murdering a Missouri state
trooper and was sentenced to life. In addition, 12 Order
members pleaded guilty to various crimes; one had become a
fugitive and was on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted list before his

Although The Order is defunct, several incarcerated members,
most notably David Lane, continue to propagandize from their
prison cells, and continue to wield influence in the hate
movement. (Anti-Defamation League, 26-27)

                       Work Cited

Anti-Defamation League. [Special Report] Paranoia as Patriotism:
Far-Right Influences on the Militia Movement. 1995.

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