Into The Abyss:
A Personal Journey into the World of Street Gangs

by Mike Carlie, Ph.D.        
© 2002
Michael K. Carlie
Continually updated.

~ Table of Contents ~
Home | Foreword | Preface | Orientation

What I Learned | Conclusions
End Note |
| Appendix
Site Map / Contents
| New Research

Up-To-Date Gang-Related News

White Supremacist Groups/Gangs
Source: The Florida Gang Investigators Association
Reproduced here with permission.


"White Supremacist groups emerged early-on in the history of United States. They usually operated clandestinely, in an attempt to avoid the attention of law enforcement and the media. Historically, these groups relied primarily on word-of-mouth notoriety to intimidate their intended targets. Their numbers were sporadic until recently. Now there is unprecedented growth in the number of and membership in, white supremacist groups.

Only about 25,000 Americans are hardcore ideological activists for the white supremacist movement, a tiny fraction of the white population. They are organized into approximately 300 different organizations. No two groups are exactly alike. They ranging from seemingly innocuous religious sects or tax protesters to openly militant, even violent, neo-Nazi skinheads and Ku Klux Klan Klaverns. The basic underpinnings of these organizations is they are rooted in religion, which is combined with a paramilitary, survivalists, or anarchists operational approach. Currently, Klan groups are on the decline while more Hitler-inspired groups, like the National Alliance and the Church of the Creator, are growing in numbers and influence. Swastikas and Uzis are replacing hoods and crosses.

Some 150,000 to 200,000 people subscribe to racist publications, attend their marches and rallies, and donate money. Approximately 100 hatelines are in operation, with recorded messages that propagandize the caller with hate-motivated speeches and publicize upcoming meetings and rallies. Because of their increasingly sophisticated use of the media and electronic technology, there are 150 independent racist radio and television shows that air weekly and reach hundreds of thousands of sympathizers.

In the 1960s, the Ku Klux Klan was the most infamous hate groups with an estimated 40,000 members in 1965. But by the end of the 1970s, the majority of white supremacists belonged to organizations other than the Klan. They had evolved from loosely structured fraternal organizations into highly developed paramilitary groups with extensive survivalist training camps often funded by proceeds from counterfeit money and bank and armored car robberies. In the 1990s, they have transformed themselves from a violent vanguard into a sophisticated political movement with a significant constituency.

The Aryan Nations in Idaho has been one of the umbrella organizations seeking to unite various Klan and neo-Nazi groups.

In 1979, founder Richard Butler convened the first Aryan Nations World Congress on his property and attracted Klan and neo-Nazi leaders from the US, Canada and Europe, who gathered to exchange ideas and strategies.

There are at least 26 different Ku Klux Klan groups in the United States. The largest and fastest-growing is the Knights of the KKK, headquartered in Harrison, Arkansas under the leadership of Thom Robb. The Knights recently held rallies in Wisconsin, Ohio, Louisiana, Indiana, Texas, Tennessee, Arkansas and Mississippi. Robb's Knights were the first group to recruit Skinheads into their ranks and he has been quick to put promising young leaders like Shawn Slater in Colorado into the national spotlight. It is the most Nazi-esque of the Klans, maintaining strong ties to Richard Butler's Aryan Nations in Idaho.

Robb's group, originally founded by David Duke in the 1970s, has moved into national Klan leadership because of the dissolution of the Invisible Empire Knights of the KKK in 1993.

The Holocaust-denial movement is the clearest expression of the anti-Semitic nature of white supremacy. Various institutions within the white supremacist movement are revising the history of Nazi Germany, claiming that the Holocaust against the Jews either did not happen or was greatly exaggerated.

The most sophisticated of these institutions is the Institute for Historical Review (IHR) in California. Founded by longtime racist and anti-Semite Willis Carto, the IHR offers hatred with an intellectual gloss.

Many of the distinctions between various Klan and neo-Nazi groups have dissolved. The membership is extremely fluid; members flow in and out because of internal squabbles and leadership battles. Cross-memberships, in-depth leadership summit meetings, and the use of common periodicals are frequent, indicating considerable organizational cohesion.

Here are just a few groups that are active: Church Of The Creator; 14 Word Press; Aryan Nations (Church Of Jesus Christ Christian); Mountain Church; The Identity Church Movement; Aryan Preservation Society; Carolinian Lords of The Caucasus; Knights Of The Ku Klux Klan; Posse Comitatus ("power of the county); Volksfront; The Covenant Sword, Arm Of The Lord; Christian Patriots Defense League; Skinheads; The Order; National Association For The Advancement Of White People; White Aryan Resistance (WAR); Christian National Socialist; Neo Supreme White Power.

These groups will not hesitate to use bombs, murder, arson, and assault to accomplish their goals and objectives.


White Supremacy is an ideology that believes the United States government is controlled by a conspiratorial cabal of non-whites or Jews or a combination of both. They advocate changing this "Zionist Occupation Government (ZOG)" through terror or violence, but also are becoming more politically active in order to influence the mainstream politics. They tell their followers that crime and welfare abuse by African Americans, immigration by Mexicans and Asians, or a fictional Jewish conspiracy are responsible for a decline in the status of white people. They accuse civil rights organizations of "hating white people" and brand whites who do not support them as race traitors or self-haters.

Although the Ku Klux Klan is the most notorious, hate groups come in many forms. For example, they organize as religious cults, most predominantly the Christian Identity model which asserts that (1) white people are the original Lost Tribes of Israel; (2) Jews are descendants of Satan; and (3) African Americans and other people of color are pre-Adamic, or beasts created by God before He created Adam, the first white man. Christian Identity followers feel they can attack and murder Jews and people of color without contradicting their religious convictions because they have been told by their leaders that people of color and Jews have no souls.

Another significant religious cult is the Church of the Creator, founded in 1973. Its members believe they are engaged in a racial holy war (RAHOWA) between the "pure" Aryan race and the "mud races." Adherents are frequently in the headlines for their violence. In 1993, members were arrested by the FBI as part of the Fourth Reich Skinheads who attempted to bomb a church in Los Angeles and assassinate LA’s Rodney King. Members have also been arrested in numerous murders, violent assaults, and bank robberies across the nation. They believe that they can precipitate the race war by provoking a violent response with attacks upon Jews and people of color.

Most white supremacists in America believe that the United States is a "Christian" nation, with a special relationship between religion and the rule of law. Because racists give themselves divine permission from God to hate, they often don't see that their actions are driven by hate; they claim to "just love God and the white race." If they are religious, they distort Biblical passages to justify their bigotry.

Each group is working to create a society totally dominated by whites by excluding and denying the rights of non-whites and Jews. The movement's links are global.

Symbols / Identifiers

Left: Celtic Cross was originally the symbol for the Celts of ancient Ireland and Scotland. The Celtic cross has been adopted by many American white supremacist groups. This identifier incorporates the white supremacist slogan "White pride world wide."

Middle: Ku Klux Klan blood drop. The drop is one of the KKK’s best-known symbols. For Klan members, the drop represents the blood that Jesus Christ shed on the cross as a sacrifice for the white race.

Right: Aryan Nations. This symbol is used by the neo-Nazi Aryan Nations, based in Haden Lake, Idaho. Bryan Nations is one of the nation’s most established extremist groups.

Left & Middle: Nazi swastika, adopted in 1935 as the official emblem of German’s Nazi Party. The swastika is widely used by neo-Nazi, Skinhead, and other white supremacist groups. Dozens of variation of the swastika are common.

Right: A Nazi symbol signifying the Schutzstaffel (SS), the elite military arm of Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich. One of the SS missions was supervision of the death camp network.

 Identifier is for the National Socialist White People’s Party (NSWPP) a neo-Nazi supremacy group with roots in Germany. D.A.P. is for "German Workers Party."

War Skins. Used by Skinhead followers of the neo-Nazi group White Aryan Resistance (WAR).


Formal symbol of 
Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich.

Skinhead identifier that show that show the Skins are international (USA/UK)

Aryan Nation tattoos.
Click on image.

Skinhead tattoo.
Click on image.

Enemies / Rivals and Allies

These groups and their members have similar profiles. They have strong feelings of white ethnicity and are often members of the biker subculture. These groups tend to be allies of each other, and their enemies are generally non-whites, members of the Jewish faith, the government, and authority figures.

Propensity for Disruptive Behavior

White Supremacy groups pose a potentially dangerous dilemma. Their hate orientation and racial rhetoric combined with deep religious beliefs can cause serious disruption/violence anywhere, as they seek to promote their divisive dogma within our vulnerable multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, multi-racial environment.

The Corrections arena must be acutely are of the potential these groups have of coming together and exploding into a major disturbance—especially in these times of increased inmate numbers and longer sentences served.

In 1983 Posse Comitatus member murdered two federal marshals in North Dakota.

The Order commits a 1983 bank robbery in Seattle, WA.

In 1983 and 1984, The Order, a far right revolutionary organization, committed a series of violent crimes—murder, bombings, and armed robbery.

In 1986 ten members of The Order were convicted for various crimes including killings and bombings.

In 1986 FBI probe found a Church Of The Identity group stockpiling weapons and plotting to finance a paramilitary base by robbing an armored car in Nevada.

The most violent wing of the white supremacist movement is the growing neo-Nazi skinhead movement, of which there are about 3,500 members in the United States. They openly worship Hitler and many young people, with ages from 13 to 25, are inducted into their ranks after committing a hate crime as part of the gang initiation. Their youthful appearance is rapidly changing the face of hate. Girls are rapidly rising into skinhead leadership. Not all skinheads are Nazis, and a movement of skinheads in opposition to the Nazi model has asserted itself in recent years.

Skinhead groups have developed their own leadership and appeal, distinct from adult Klan and neo-Nazi groups. Skinheads have committed over 25 murders in the last four years and have expanded into 40 states.

Skinheads are the "urban guerrillas" of the hate movement. More seasoned adults have abandoned open violence to sanitize their public images. Such adults recruit and encourage young people to commit criminal activities, just as older drug dealers use young kids to push drugs. Unfortunately, this means that hate crimes committed by juveniles are often seen as mere pranks, not the serious assaults on liberty and freedom that they really are. This tactic also frequently allows the adult leaders to escape punishment. For example, the FBI learned of the assassination plots planned by the Fourth Reich Skinheads by monitoring the phone lines of Tom Metzger, leader of White Aryan Resistance in California.

Skinheads have firmly established themselves in six to eight national organizations, rather than simply as appendages of adult groups.

All of these groups and their members are fanatical in their racist beliefs. Fanaticism combined with religious beliefs poured over violence and explosives produces a very dangerous product—use extreme caution."

Source: The Florida Gang Investigators Association, with permission.

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