COVER

THE ENEMY WITHIN

THE FAR RIGHT'S RACIST WAR AGAINST SOCIETY IS OPENING NEW FRONTS ACROSS CANADA

MARCI MCDONALD May 8 1995
COVER

THE ENEMY WITHIN

THE FAR RIGHT'S RACIST WAR AGAINST SOCIETY IS OPENING NEW FRONTS ACROSS CANADA

MARCI MCDONALD May 8 1995

THE ENEMY WITHIN

COVER

MARCI MCDONALD

At 21, her complexion is lightly grazed with acne, and one ear is studded with three silver hoops. As she slumps into a canvas chair in her third-floor dormitory room, the slim brunette in jeans and a black shirt might pass for any other second-year liberal arts major— the prototypical young woman next door fretting about the summer ahead. Outside her windows on the Queen’s University campus in Kingston, Ont., other students are already whooping and hollering, celebrating the end of final exams. But packing up her books, Elizabeth Moore is contemplating a more perilous passage—returning home to Toronto this week as what she calls “an ex-Nazi,” a recent defector from the Heritage Front, the country’s leading extreme right-wing umbrella organization. “I get worried sometimes I might get a letter bomb in the mail,” she says quietly. “I’m a marked woman now.”

Drifting into the white supremacist movement three years ago when she was still at a suburban high school, where she found herself part of an ethnic minority, Moore became one of the hundreds of disaffected young people who are being recruited as the newest foot soldiers in the country’s growing right-wing armies of hate. But as the April 19 terrorist truck-bombing in Oklahoma City forced an unwelcome spotlight on that murky nether-

THE FAR RIGHT'S RACIST WAR AGAINST SOCIETY IS OPENING NEW FRONTS ACROSS CANADA

world throughout North America, her story provides a cautionary tale. In the Heritage Front, Moore, a sickly only child who felt she did not fit in anywhere, had found friends and “a sense of belonging,” she says, “a reason for being.” Penning articles for its newsletter and serving as the voice for one of its short-lived anti-immigration hotlines, she rose to become one of its chief spokespersons.

But five months ago, sickened by the misogyny and increasing evidence of violence around her, Moore severed her ties. And last week in the wake of the Oklahoma blast, she shuddered as she recalled the front’s close links to U.S. anti-government crusaders and its members’ frequent references to The Turner Diaries—a 17-year-old white-supremacy novel that may have provided the blueprint for the bombing (page 42). “It was a real eyeopener,” she says. Still, the most haunting aspect of that memory was another chapter in the novel—portraying white rebels who hang other whites they regard as “race-traitors” from lampposts across the United States. “It just gives me chills,” she says. “They’ve probably reserved a special lamppost just for me.”

But despite those risks, the Oklahoma mass murder has made Moore more determined than ever to speak out against a hate move-

ment that respects no borders and whose numbers, according to experts, are increasing. There is, of course, no registry of its membership. But according to Warren Kinsella, the Ottawa author of Web of Hate, last year’s best-selling exposé of the Canadian ‘white supremacist movement, its numbers have grown from 200 hard-core leaders a decade ago, to an estimated 2,000 members, with another 2,000 camp followers scattered across the country in local organizations with loose-knit national links. Kinsella attributes that rise to a faltering economy and a concerted conscription campaign among angry and unemployed white urban youth. And he sees scant distinctions between the skinheads who are being recruited as the shock troops of right-wing extremism—their color-coded bootlaces indicating their prowess at mayhem—and Timothy McVeigh, the gun-obsessed Persian Gulf veteran and Oklahoma City bombing suspect who now sits in jail daring himself a prisoner of war. Says Kinsella: “We’ve got Timothy McVeighs out there.”

Indeed, while many Canadians regard the Oklahoma attack as a distinctly made-inthe-U.S.A. tragedy—complete

5PENING NEW FRONTS ACROSS CANADA

with links to a vast American paramilitary culture—Kinsella and others have been quick to disagree with those who assert that such an incident could never happen here. “It could happen anywhere,” he says. Agrees Const. Stuart Donaldson of an OttawaCarleton regional police unit dealing with hate crimes: “I definitely think there’s a danger. There’s a lot of hate out there.”

Canadian gun-control laws prohibit U.S.style private militias. But Bernie Färber of the Canadian Jewish Congress, who has been monitoring anti-Semitism over the past decade, has warned police forces not to find false reassurance in the relatively sparse numbers of the farright fringe. “There’s not a lot of them out there,” he says. “But as Oklahoma has proven, it doesn’t take a lot of people to create havoc.”

As Färber points out, recent raids on right-wing hangouts have produced alarming evidence of arms stockpiling. In 1993, police turned up a surprising weapons cache in the north Toronto house of Richard Manley, a security enforcer for Heritage Front youth leader George Burdi, the 24-year-old agitator who calls for a “racial holy war” (page 40).

Among their finds were an automatic

AR-15 assault rifle, an Uzi automatic machine pistol, a semiautomatic Ruger Mini-14 and 2,200 rounds of armor-piercing ammunition. And as white supremacists have focused their recruitment on the Canadian military, a growing number of right-wing militants know how to use that deadly hardware.

A 1993 report by the Canadian Security and Intelligence Service (CSIS) underlined “a noticeable shift towards more violence-prone groups.” Most claim ties to U.S. hatemongers—either to the former Ku Klux Klan chapter once headed by Louisiana white supremacist David Duke, or the Aryan Nations movement headed by Richard Butler from his compound in Hayden Lake, Idaho. Says retired CSIS official Peter Marwitz: “There’s a lot of cross-border activity.”

Ever since chapters of the Ku Klux Klan put down roots across the country in the 1920s, the Canadian extremist movement has taken different forms, from cross burnings in Ontario and Alberta as recently as 1990 to two rival Klan clavens in Quebec, which fell out in 1992 over a mundanely Canadian issue—separatism. But two recurring threads appear to link the groups: a preoccupation with white superiority and a suspicion that immigration is part of a plot by the United Nations and Jewish bankers to establish a new one-world state known as ZOG, the Zionist Occupation Government, designed to wipe out the Aryan race.

Constantly splintering into warring factions, the movement has been difficult to track since no national registry of hate crimes currently exists. But last week, there were indications that its tentacles have spread to random pockets of every region— “a very real menace,” according to Concordia University historian Stephen Scheinberg. In the Ottawa suburb of Orleans, one white supremacist hotline was in full swing from a down-at-the-heels white clapboard bungalow with a “Beware of dog” sign in the front window and Hector the Rotweiler standing guard at the front door. The home of Les Griswold, a ubiquitous right-wing voice on the Internet and a contributor to the Heritage Front’s magazine, the house is also listed as the Canadian address of the National Alliance, the U.S. organization founded by William Pierce, author of The Turner Diaries. In soothing tones, the line urged callers looking for a “white program” to telephone Pierce’s 400-acre headquarters in

West Virginia for books and tapes to “help you survive and prosper in the troubled times ahead.”

Across the continent, in the Vancouver suburb of Surrey, another hotline known as the Canadian Liberty Net was warning fellow conspiracy theorists that the Oklahoma bombing “is—and will be— used to further restrict the rights of Americans.” That rhetoric was tame compared with the hyperbole of

Canadian Aryan Nations leader Charles | Scott, who operates from Chilliwack, g B.C. (page 39). But these days, the Liberty Net, run by 27-year-old former g pest exterminator Tony McAleer, is watching its words after twice being called before the B.C. Human Rights Commission. In May, 1992, a commission tribunal heard complaints blaming the telephone bulletin board for a series of cross burnings on the lawns of Iranian refugees. But when the hotline was banned the following year, McAleer and his companions merely moved it across the border into Washington state.

Another message urged callers to in* dulge in one of the skinheads’ favorite * sports—gay bashing. “The ancient Celts used to take their queers and trample them into the peat bogs,” a voice on the Canadian Liberty Net declared. “That’s not such a bad idea, maybe.” Toning down his vitriol appears to have had no effect on McAleer’s mushrooming white supremacist following centred on B.C.’s lower mainland. In fact, Kinsella terms the province “the hot spot” for rightwing racism in Canada—second in numbers only to Toronto. One reason is the massive Asian immigration that has changed the complexion of the Vancouver area. Another is the fact that white supremacists in both Canada and the United States see the Pacific northwest as the site of a future Aryan homeland to be established after an inevitable racial

conflagration. “It’s where they see the last conflict taking place,” Kinsella says.

In Alberta, that notion of a white homeland straddling the border was one of the pet themes of Terry Long, a rancher who set up shop as the Canadian head of the Aryan Nations in 1984 after a visit to I Butler’s Idaho headquarters. Like many 5 of the U.S. rural tax protesters who s joined the anti-government Posse Comitatus groups in the early 1980s— precursors of the current American militia movement—Long had lost his own

farm to a mortgage foreclosure. But he moved back to his mother’s spread next door to figure skater Kurt Browning’s parents in Caroline, a hamlet outside Red Deer, where he invited like-minded militants to join him shooting at targets of former Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin.

But Long’s chief claim to fame among white supremacists is the September, 1990, Aryan Fest he organized on a farm in neighboring Provost, where a who’s who of the continent’s racist right showed up for two days of cross burnings and oratorical bile punctuated by

UNDER INVESTIGATION

As rescue workers continued their grim task of searching for bodies in Oklahoma City’s ruined federal building last week, devastated relatives began burying their dead. The confirmed death toll from the April 19 blast, the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history, reached 120 by the end of last week, with as many as 73 people still unaccounted for. After visiting the bomb site and comforting stricken families, President Bill Clinton returned to Washington where he proposed an expansion of law-enforcement powers to better deal with terrorists. Among the proposals: more crime-fighting personnel, restricted public access to dan-

gerous chemicals, Stifter criminal penalties for attacks on federal employees and the creation of a special counterterrorist centre headed by the FBI. Meanwhile, investigators continued their search for clues to the bombing, focusing on anti-government paramilitary groups like the Michigan Militia. The key suspects:

TIMOTHY JAMES McVEIGH The only person formally charged with the bombing, the 27-year-old, crewcut Gulf War veteran appeared at a preliminary hearing last week at the federal prison near Oklahoma City where he was being held. Authorities said that McVeigh was not co-operating with investiga-

tors—they said he considers himself a prisoner of war—and responded to questioning with only his name, rank and serial number.

TERRY and JAMES NICHOLS Police in Michigan charged the brothers last week with conspiring with McVeigh to manufacture explosives—a charge not directly related

to the Oklahoma bombing. Terry, 40, a military surplus dealer, surrendered to authorities in his home town, Herington, Kan. During a search of his house agents found 33 firearms, ammunition, an antitank rocket launcher and detonator caps, as well as various components of explosive devices like the one used in Oklahoma. Terry and James, 41, who was arrested at his farm in Decker, Mich., have ties to the Michigan Militia.

JOHN DOE No. 2 FBI agents issued a second, slightly revised sketch of an unidentified man in a baseball hat, suspected of assisting McVeigh plant the bomb, but it remained unclear whether he was still at large or had been killed in the blast. Authorities discounted media reports that he had been identified as a former soldier who had served with McVeigh.

straight-arm “Seig Heil” salutes and chants of “Death to the Jew.” Some guests wore their white Ku Klux Klan bed sheets. Others, like fellow organizer Carney Nerland, the head of Saskatchewan’s Aryan Nations chapter, sported Nazi uniforms. But within a year, Nerland had traded those clothes for prison garb after being convicted of shooting a Cree trapper who made the mistake of venturing into his Prince Albert gun shop. When word of the Aryan Fest seeped out a year later, Long was hauled before an Alberta Human Rights Commission tribunal. But when the hearings began to turn against him, Long suddenly vanished—never to be seen again by provincial authorities.

Long’s escape was a further outrage to Keith Rutherford, a retired Edmonton broadcaster, who blames Long for costing him the sight in his right eye. In April, 1990, Rutherford opened the door of his suburban split-level and found himself being brutally beaten by Dan Sims and Mark Swanson, two members of the city’s vicious Final Solution Skinheads, who clubbed him in the eye. His crime? According to one of his assailants, their spiritual godfather, Terry Long, informed them that 30 years earlier, Rutherford had broadcast the name of a suspected Nazi war criminal living in Winnipeg, prompting the man to hang himself. Swanson received an eight-month sentence, Sims 60 days—although an appeal court later increased that by a year.

Now, Rutherford spends his time monitoring Alberta’s right-wing fringe for signs of resurgence. And last week, in the remote mountain stronghold of Noxon, Mont., John Trochmann, an anti-government survivalist

who heads the 2,000-man Militia of Montana, claimed that he had been deluged with calls from Albertans furious at Justice Minister Allan Rock’s proposed gun-control laws. In response, he has mailed off his helpful hints: copies of Citizen Soldier and Small Arms Defense Air Attack, complete with tips on how to shoot down air force jets.

But nowhere has the white supremacist movement taken stronger hold in Canada than in Toronto, where 46-year-old Bavarian immigrant Wolfgang Droege, who calls himself a “racialist” and boasts that his grandfather knew Hitler’s top aides, presides over the six-yearold Heritage Front. Established with controversial CSIS informer Grant Bristow, the front has become the chief clearinghouse for the Canadian far right through a World Wide Web of computer and fax linkups that have helped today’s groups evade the scrutiny of customs inspectors on the watch for hate literature. But in fact, the group is only one of the countless incarnations of the movement set up by Droege and his on-again, off-again comrade Don Andrews over the past three decades.

In 1967, Andrews, a former city public health inspector who was bom in Yugoslavia as Vilim Zlomislic, joined a Mississauga, Ont., high-school teacher named Paul Fromm in founding the Edmund Burke Society, which was anti-Communist, antiimmigration, and, above all, anti-Pierre Trudeau. Shortly afterward, he made a pilgrimage to Arlington, Va., a suburb of the U.S. capital, to soak up the wisdom of William Pierce, who had not yet retreated to his West Virginia mountainside. “He was witty and quite worldly,” Andrews recalls. “But he had an eye for the ladies. He had these pop-bottle glasses, but I’d be asking him important questions on ideology and he’d be watching a blond go by.” Still, not all Pierce’s preoccupations were so lighthearted. In 1978, Andrews was convicted of possessing inflammatory literature—including copies of Pierce’s National Vanguard magazine, which carried detailed bombmaking instructions.

By 1972, he and Fromm went their separate ways. Andrews set up the activist Western Guard, which, by 1975, had recruited Droege, who promptly landed in jail for writing White Power slogans on public walls. Over the next decade, the pair would shuttle in and out of prison, falling in and out with their fellow white supremacists and occasionally with each other.

Droege’s most visible efforts came in 1989 when he and Bristow founded the Heritage Front and embarked on a two-pronged course of action—one a public propaganda

effort to promote a white supremacist agenda, the other, according to a CSIS report, a covert paramilitary program aimed at the eventual establishment of a white power enclave outside Peterborough, Ont. The covert program, based on forming independent cells of as few as three members, appears to draw on the philosophy of a lone-wolf resistance being promoted by Tom Metzger, the veteran leader of California’s White Aryan Resistance, whom Droege has twice hosted in Toronto over the past four years.

But Droege’s public efforts have been anything but difficult to trace. Between court appearances, he spends hours sweet-talking reporters in a soft, patient explication of his views. And last November, when he ran as a candidate for the suburban Scarborough city council, playing on an anti-immigration ground swell, he garnered 870 ballots—14 per cent of the vote. “When people voted for me, they knew who they were voting for,” he boasts. ‘We have to get our views out in public—create an awareness.”

As part of that awareness, Droege has made a concerted effort to target young people, handing out flyers outside east-end high schools and courting street toughs for the skinhead movement. “You always need new blood,” he says. In fact, scholars of the right wing credit him with single-handedly remaking the country’s hate movement. “Once the average age of a Canadian racist was 60,” says Peter Raymont, the Toronto film-maker who made the recent CTV documentary, Hearts of Hate. “Now, it’s 18 to 20 years old.” As one of those recruits, Elizabeth Moore found herself ushered into a ready-made white supremacist universe where the old and the new faces of right-wing racism were

clearly linked—often in the home and headquarters of veteran publisher Ernst Zundel, one of the world’s largest purveyors of Nazi material. There, lavish doses of praise were doled out to impressionable young people along with lashings of Holocaust denial literature. “Zundel was good at boosting young men’s confidence,” she says. “He’d compliment them all the time about being Aryan-looking, strong.” Moore herself had never been interested in Zundel’s theories; her own hobbyhorse was immigration. Still, when she defected from the Heritage Front, Bemie Färber took her on a tour of the Canadian Jewish Congress’s Holocaust memorial and she found herself in tears. “I didn’t realize how much I’d bought into it,” she says. For Färber, that thought was equally chilling.

Indeed, this month as the country celebrates the 50th anniversary of the end of the Second World War, he and other scholars of right-wing racism are calling for increased public vigilance against a rebirth of its sinister theories, which are once more stalking the world. “If there’s anything that can be learned, it’s that we have to wake up,” he says. “A crisis may be in the making if we continue to wear blinkers.”

BARRY CAME

E. KAYE FULTON

LUKE FISHER

KERRY DIOTTE