As a member of the law enforcement community, it is imperative that I read voraciously. While motivation and capability can fluctuate wildly between criminals and their organizations, their methods are often shared. Terrorism, murder, bombings, weaponized sexual crimes, and robberies are often the glue that binds these groups together into commonality. The book The Silent Brotherhood is a look into the neo-Nazi movement of the 1980’s, their tactics, and the methodology by which they attempted to attain their goals.
The Silent Brotherhood
The Chilling Inside Story Of America’s Violent Anti-Government Militia Movement
Kevin Flynn and Gary Gerhardt wrote ‘comfortably secure Americans are used to thinking of terrorism as something that carries a foreign dateline…’ in the opening preface of their book. In the not so distant past of American history our nation was embroiled in extreme violence as several groups jockeyed for position in what they believed was a coming civil war based on political ideology, skin color, and financial disparity. Groups such as The Order, Weather Underground, Ku Klux Klan, and Black Panthers conducted operations throughout the United States that included assassination, robbery, theft, kidnapping, and terrorist acts.
This book covers the struggle between white nationalist or white identity groups as they prepared for what they thought was an inevitable war between what they called the ‘Zionist Occupational Government’ and ordinary citizens. The focus of this novel was on the Silent Brotherhood, a private guerrilla army with the goal of conducting terror and sabotage campaigns within the United States in order to hasten the start of civil war II. This group was famous for obtaining $4 million dollars in stolen money from bank and armored car robberies as well as conducting the targeted assassination of Jewish talk show host Alan Berg in Denver Colorado in 1984.
The Order was originally founded by Robert Jay Mathews in 1983 at his farm in Metaline, Washington. The name ‘The Order’ came from a book called The Turner Diaries in which a fictionalized American revolution leads to the violent overthrow of the United States Government. Mathews began his story as a baptized member of the Mormon faith who felt that the church lacked the extremism that he thirsted for. He moved on to form an anti-communist militia before eventually evolving into a member of white identity and forming The Order.
Attacks And Operations
The Order conducted operations such as counterfeiting money, requesting money from Iran, robberies, and more. They also performed legal work such as timer contracting and lumber-jacking. While they did perform legal work, they felt that the appeal of counterfeiting was more conducive to their mission as it also functioned as a direct attack on the legitimacy of the American Government. Due to the groups believe that robbery was sinful, the group attempted to only target pimps, drug dealers, and owners of pornography stores. They felt this behavior worked in a double role of causing damage to street criminals while also funding their ventures.
The group firebombed community centers, bombed pornography theaters, and conducted attacks on Brinks armored cars. Eventually they netted nearly $4.0 million dollars that they gave away to groups like the National Alliance and the White Patriot Party. Their intention was to fund the groups who they believed would help usher in an advancement of white interests and a hastening of what they believed was an inevitable race war.
Ten members of The Order were convicted under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) after Frazier Glenn Miller, Jr testified against them in exchanged for reduced sentencing. No members of The Order were ever charged in the murder of Alan Berg. The results of the trials of these men ranged from 252 years in prison for one member and acquittal for 14 other men.
Robert Jay Mathews, the founder of The Order died in a home on Whidbey Island near Freeland Washington after engaging federal law enforcement in a heated gun battle. Mathews fired over 1000 of ammunition before agents fired M-79 Starburst flares through the window of the home, igniting it on fire. The home burned to the ground and agents were later able to find the charred remains of Mathews with a pistol still clutched in his hands. Autopsy concluded that Mathews died from burns and smoke inhalation. No federal agents were injured in the gun battle.
America has a vicious history of radical militant groups who have operated within her borders since inception. While today our media focuses on Islamic terrorism and flirts with Narco-Terrorism, there was a time that the militia movement was of great concern to the powers that be. Leftist groups like The Weather Underground and neo-Nazi groups like The Order conducted violent operations throughout the nation. While many of these groups have disappeared into history, it is important that we never forget the motives, tactics, or capabilities of these groups. We must not forget that these groups once planted bombs around the nation, struck terror in almost every state, and continue to spread their messages through numerous organizations throughout the US with histories steeped in warfare that many no longer remember.
You can purchase the book on Amazon.