Jewish man who has attended gatherings of group says, "These guys are very smart"


St. Louis Post-Dispatch/March 5, 2000
By Carolyn Tuft And Joe Holleman

Ten years ago, a middle-aged Jewish man walked down the driveway of his house near Springfield, Mo., to get his mail. Among the bills, he found a troubling pamphlet.

It was from Gordon Winrod, a Christian Identity preacher from Gainesville, Mo. Winrod is one of the most radical of the white-supremacist Identity leaders. He is the son of the late Rev. Gerald B. Winrod of Wichita, Kan., a pro-Hitler propagandist so notorious in the 1940s that he earned the nickname "Jayhawk Nazi."

Winrod's pamphlet told of how Jews were the devil's offspring, out to kill white Christians and drink their blood.

"I couldn't believe it," said the Springfield man, whose name has been withheld at his request.

He spoke to the Anti-Defamation League and began researching the Christian Identity's racist, anti-Semitic beliefs.

At first, the man said, he thought the Identity movement was a tiny group of racist malcontents who had no intention of acting on their beliefs.

But then came the bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City in 1995.

The bombers, Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, were linked to the militia movement, which has many members who follow the Identity doctrine.

"I said, 'Hey, these people have a plan, and they've already started working on it,'" the man said.

Increasingly troubled, he infiltrated the Identity "Superconference" last spring in Springfield. To the man, a Marine who served 2 1/2 years in Vietnam, the thought of entering a world where he was considered the offspring of the devil was not overly frightening.

"I figured these guys were goofs," he said. "But these guys are very smart. I found them offensive and dangerous."

At the conference, the man talked with Identity followers and heard diatribes about blacks, homosexuals, mixed races and -- most of all -- Jews.

"I just schmoozed them to find out whether they were planning to shoot someone or blow something up," he said. "They laid out an apocalyptic plan to get rid of all the minorities and Jews."

He also heard of a plan to make the Bible Belt of Missouri the Identity's promised land.

Last weekend, he tried to get into the "Songs for His People" conference at the Lodge of the Ozarks in Branson. He said he was quickly surrounded by organizer Norm Farnum and other Identity members.

"They'd been waiting for me," he said. "Norm said I was with the ADL (Anti-Defamation League) in St. Louis and told me, 'You're not welcome here.' "

At that time, the man said, he felt threatened and left.

David Waren, director of the ADL's St. Louis office, said the league did not ask the man to attend the meeting. The man agreed he had attended the conference on his own.

He said he doesn't know if he'll go to another but adds that someone must watch the movement. "They look for the disenfranchised, those white people who have a grievance with the world," he said.

"Then they just pick, pick, pick at the sore until they have them hooked into Identity."


To see more documents/articles regarding this group/organization/subject click here.