The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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

"Pastor" Pete Peters

Pete Peters is probably the leading figure in the "Identity" movement, preaching the bigoted pseudo-religion in his LaPorte, Colorado Church of Christ since 1977. He proclaims that Jews pose a Satanic threat to American civilization and that they are conspiring to control America; that blacks and other people of color are inferior to whites; that homosexuals should be executed; and that northern European whites and their American descendants are the Biblical "chosen people."

Peters makes video and audio recordings of his sermons, writes numerous pamphlets, broadcasts on shortwave radio, satellite, and public access TV, and hosts semi-annual "Bible" retreats across the country. The titles in Peters' Scriptures for America book and tape catalog reveal the essence of his "Identity" philosophy: "My Personal Experience with Jewish Power"; "Skinheads - S.O.S. Troops of the Right"; "Death Penalty for Homosexuals"; "Martin Luther King, Jr.: His Dream, Our Nightmare."

Peters and his congregation first received national attention in 1985, when it was reported that several members of The Order, the most violent far-right terrorist group of the 1980s, had attended the LaPorte Church during their criminal heyday. Subsequent investigation into The Order's activities revealed a string of firebombings, armed robberies, counterfeiting and the "execution" of one of its own members. On February 13, 1984, Peters and his close colleague, Col. Jack Mohr, appeared on Alan Berg's Denver talk radio program. An angry confrontation ensued between the host and his guests over the latter's white supremacist views. Four months later, on June 18, Berg was murdered outside his home. In 1987, two members of The Order were convicted and sentence to prison terms of 150 years in connection with the crime.

Peters inspires fervent devotion by presenting his ministry as the ticket to salvation. His statements and writings document his hostility toward Jews, blacks, other minorities and American democracy itself. (Anti-Defamation League, 35)

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