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Author Topic: 1990-07-16 'Loyalty' Rooted in a History of Hate

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1990-07-16 'Loyalty' Rooted in a History of Hate
« on: 02 June 2010 at 23:13 »
'Loyalty' Rooted in a History of Hate
Ben Klassen says he didn't distribute Racial Loyalty, his anti-black, anti-Jewish trabloid, in a local neighborhood.  But he's glad someone did.

St. Petersburg Times (St. Petersburg, Florida)
By Sheryl James
Times Staff Writer

Last week, Valrico resident Patricia Moorhead took what looked like a shopping advertiser from two neighborhood teen-agers who had found it on their street.  She unfurled it.

She realized that the 12-page tabloid newspaper, which mysteriously appeared on lawns and windshields in this integrated neighborhood in Hillsborough County, was clearly no shopper.

"It's Great To Be White!" read one slogan at the top of the publication, Racial Loyalty.

"Let them Wither on the Vine: They are not our kind, they are not our brothers and they are not our concern!" was the cover story headline.

To the right was a photo of a woman's face" "ANOTHER VICTIM of the Black/Mud/Jew Criminal Terror Against Whites," the headline read.  The item detailed the alleged murder of a California woman by a rabbi.

Moorhead was shocked and upset.  So were her neighbors.  She called the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.  Newspaper and television reporters rushed to the scene.  No one knew who distributed the papers, which also had been found in the Town 'N Country and Forest Hills in Tampa.  The newspaper had a North Carolina address, but, as Moorhead said last week, "I don't think someone would drive all the way down from North Carolina to do this."

Ben Klassen, publisher of Racial Loyalty and a former Florida state legislator, would have smiled.

Klassen wrote most of the articles in the newspaper.  He also founded the paper's publishing entity, the Church of the Creator, which is dedicated not to a deity but "to the survival, expansion and advancement of the white race."

"I don't know who distributed it," Klassen said in a telephone interview last week from his home in North Carolina.  "But I'm glad they did."

He said that his church does have members in the Tampa Bay area, that they include some white supremacist "skinheads" and that he probably could easily track down who delivered the papers in Valrico.

But he declined to identify the distributors, saying the "would be harassed; they might lose their jobs."

Mystery is part of Klassen's method of operation.  Racial Loyalty has turned up in several U.S. cities, including Denver and Austin, Texas.  The papers usually are distributed in the middle of the night, and the shock value is the same in most communities, said Stephen Goldman, director of the West Florida Region Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith in Tampa.

"People wonder: Was I picked out?  Do they know I'm Jewish?  It instills fear in the most insidious way," Goldman said.

Klassen is no mystery to the Anti-Defamation League, an organization founded to stop the defamation of Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all citizens.  The league has a two-page fact sheet about the church leader and author of several books, including The White Man's Bible.

"He's a crackpot," says Ira Gisson, regional director of the Anti-Defamation League in Norfolk, Va.  But a crackpot who has some impact.  "He is a prolific pamphleteer.  He gets distribution of his materials in specifically targeted areas.  He likes to try to get his White Man's Bible distributed in prisons -- in some cases he's been successful."

Klassen's reputation is well known by his neighbors in Otto, a tiny community in mountainous, western North Carolina near the Georgia state line.  Since he moved there in 1981 from Lighthouse Point, near Pompano Beach, Klassen has built a church and started a School for Gifted Boys.  The enrollment this year was four.

Recently, according to reporter Bob Scott, who has written about Klassen for the Asheville (N.C.) Citizen for eight years, "people who seem to resemble the skinheads have reportedly been seen around the church."

Area residents say Klassen generally keeps to himself.  There is no evidence he has participated in any kind of violence.  But his rhetoric, which lives through his church and publications, is viciously anti-Jewish, anti-African American, anti-Hispanic, and anti-any-other-race that is not Anglo-Saxon.  He calls non-white people "the mud races."  All minorities in the United States should be sent back "to their natural habitat," he says.  He calls Adolf Hitler "the greatest white men that ever lived."

Klassen, who also is anti-Christ, calls himself "Pontifex Maximus" (Latin for "high priest") in his church.  At 72, he says he soon will retire and has designated as his successor the "Reverend" Rudy "Butch" Stanko, who was convicted several years ago of selling rotten meat to public schools.  Stanko will take control of Klassen's organization as soon as he gets out of the federal peinitentiary.  That could be sometime this year, Klassen says.

He is exercising freedom of his religion -- the religion of white racial purity, Klassen says.  "What we''re trying to do is ... I presume you're white.  Do you have children?  How would you like to have a world similar to Harlem?  That's what we're trying to avoid."

Hostility Magnet

Klassen spent the first six years of his life in the Ukraine, in a large Mennonite colony.  he says he is of German descent, they youngest of five children.  The Mennonite colony was prosperous and happy until the Bolshevik Revoloution.  During the early '20s, Mennonites were persecuted by Communists, who were, Klassen says, secretly inspirted by the Jews to revolt in 1917.

"The Mennonites were raped and murdered.  They took all our grain.  People starved to death.  When I was 3 years old, we were having dinner, my dad was dividing black bread among the family.  It was half a slice."

His family emigrated to Mexico in 1924, and later to Saskatchewan, Canada.  When he took an ancient history course in college, he says, "I studied ancient Greeks and Romans.  I discovered there had been thousands of religions that had come and gone.  I came to the conclusion that our Christian religion was one of those -- based on supersition, gullibility, ignorance.  I didn't believe in it anymore."

Klassen settled in Florida in 1958, rushing to the political right.  In 1966, he was elected to the Florida House of Representatives, representing an area in Broward County.  After one term, he says, "I guess I was a little too radical for the Republican party.  On the second go-around, they didn't support men, and I was out."

In 1968, he served as the Florida chairman of George Wallace's American Independent Party, when Wallace ran for president.  But Klassen soon rejected both Wallace and a membership in the John Birch Society, saying both had become too liberal.

Already known for his anti-Jewish and anti-black views, Klassen decided no existing organization or religion suited him.  He established the now-defunct Nationalist White Party.  In 1973, he created the Church of the Creator, headquartered in Lighthouse Point.  He wrote several books, including The White Man's Bible, and Nature's Eternal Religion, and sold them in his American Opinion Bookstore in Pompano Beach.

The contents of his books, from which he quotes at length in Racial Loyalty, are generally considered too inaccurate or offensive to publish in daily newspapers.  He said during the interview that white people must regain control of the country and their destiny.  He believes the United States must stop subsidizing Israel and all "mud countries," and cut off non-whites in this country as well.  He has no mercy for non-whites in any situation.

Klassen says his church also advocates whites marrying whites.  Racial Loyalty does its part by featuring "Cupid's Corner," a "white racial matching service."

"One of the Sixteen Commandments of Creativity states: Be fruitful and multiply," one Cupid column stated.  "Eligible white men take note: We already have some very interesting inquiries from beautiful blond and blue-eyed White women from Sweden."

In 1982, Klassen said, he left Florida because it had too many non-whites, too much congestion, and too much crime.  He moved to vacation property he had owned for years in Otto, where he lives in a Swiss-chalet style house.  He lives with his wife, Henrie Etta.  He has one daughter and three grandchildren.

He is challenging Macon County's refusal to grant him tax-exempt status for his church and school.  "We are depending on the First Amendment," Klassen said.  "We're entitled to our own religion, our own means of having peaceful assembly, to distribute literature.  We want to do our thing, to promote ideas peacefully."

When asked whether his church advocates violence, he said, "We don't, we don't, we don't."  But if faced with violence, "We would fight."

He admits the church is hoping to lure skinheads.  "Yes, we're very much together with them.  They're rebels without a cause; they don't know what they believe.  We think we have what they're looking for.  They're glad to be with us."

Defining "we" is difficult with Klassen.  He refuses to cite church membership numbers, or say how many subscribe to Racial Loyalty.  He says only that the church has "worldwide" membership.

The numbers don't matter, said Ira Gisson at the Anti-Defamation League in Norfolk.

"It is potentially dangerous.  With the expected arrival of the inmate Stanko as the leader, I would say the prospect of violence is enhanced.  These are dangerous people.  And while few in number, it doesn't take many to do a great deal of harm."
"United and organized the White Race is ten times as powerful as the rest of the world combined."