The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Paranoia as Patriotism:
Far-Right Influences on the Militia Movement

Louis R. Beam

Sometime Klansman and neo-Nazi Louis R. Beam has been a leading advocate of anti-government sedition and various forms of "Aryan" violence for more than a quarter of a century.

In 1968, Beam joined Robert Shelton's United Klans of America (UKA) and in 1976 switched to David Duke's Knights of the KKK. His chief responsibility in the Klans was to instruct the "knights" in guerrilla warfare.

In 1981, Beam became "Ambassador-at-Large" for Aryan Nations, a violence-prone, Nazi-like hate group headquartered in Idaho. Beam has been touted as a possible successor to the organizations 77-year-old leader, Richard Butler. He has built a computer network for the group, featuring an assassination "point system" through which a participant could be designated an "Aryan Warrior" based on the importance of the politician, civil rights leader, police officer, or minority group member that he managed to kill.

In 1983, Beam told a crowd: "I'm here to tell you that if we can't have this country, as far as I'm concerned, no one gets it. The guns are cocked, the bullets are in the chamber. ... We're going to fight and live or we're going to die soon." His philosophical watchword, reported stated in a 1970s terror campaign against Vietnamese fisherman [sic] in Texas, is "Where ballots fail, bullets will prevail."

In April 1987, Beam and 11 other extremists were indicted in Arkansas on charges involving conspiracy to overthrow the government. Before the indictment was issued, Beam fled to Mexico, where he was arrested after a shootout and returned for trial. A jury later acquitted Beam and his codefendants on all charges.

In February 1992, Beam issued in his quarterly publication, The Seditionist, an appeal for a concept called "leaderless resistance," described as an alternative to the "leadership" structure in "underground" groups. In this alternative, activity is autonomous, organized around ideology rather than leaders. It is explained as a system for keeping secret the plans of terrorist assaults against the Government, known only to a few individuals in small leaderless cells in order to prevent leaks or infiltration. The concept was fathered in 1962 by Col. Ulius Amoss, the founder of an anti-Communist organization, International Services of Information, Inc., who feared a Communist takeover of America. (Interestingly, this is also the organizational pattern employed by some foreign terrorist groups.)

With Soviet Communism no longer a threat, Beam wrote that "the purpose of Leaderless Resistance is to defeat state tyranny." He added: "Like the fog which forms when conditions are right and disappears when they are not, so must the resistance to tyranny be."

Beam recently attended a gun rights rally whose sponsoring group, according to the Spokane Spokesman-Review, includes militia members and sympathizers. He also attended the most recent Aryan Nations World Congress, and in 1995 purchased property not far from that organization's northern Idaho compound.(Anti-Defamation League, 33-34)

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