Former Aryan Nations HQ Up for Auction

Associated Press in Los Angeles Times/August 28, 2005

Hayden, Idaho -- The former headquarters of a white supremacist group is headed for the auction block because no one picked up the mortgage payments after the group's founder died in September.

Aryan Nations founder Richard Butler died of a heart attack at age 86, leaving an unpaid balance of $91,486 on the home.

Human-rights advocates say the looming sale is one of many signs the Aryan Nations is in decline.

"He was the glue of the Aryan Nations movement in the Northwest, if not the country," said FBI agent Norm Brown, supervisor of the Inland Northwest Joint Terrorism Task Force. "As a result of his death, we've seen a marked decrease in Aryan Nations activity in the Inland Northwest."

Butler was an aeronautical engineer from California who moved to northern Idaho in the 1970s and built his Church of Jesus Christ Christian, also known as Aryan Nations, on a 20-acre rural site north of Hayden Lake.

After Butler was hit with a $6.3 million civil judgment in 2000 for an attack on two people by Aryan Nations' members, he filed for bankruptcy and lost the compound.

Millionaire Vincent Bertollini then moved Butler and the Aryan Nations operation into the house in Hayden, where the group continued largely through the Internet. Bertollini also hasn't paid on the mortgage on the house and authorities believe he has left the country.

The public auction was scheduled for Wednesday after the mortgage lender decided to foreclosure on the home.

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