With the capture of Eric Rudolph, the question of his motivation moves
to center stage. Why attack the Olympics and abortion clinics and a gay
bar? Was he following the concept of Leaderless Resistance, the Lone
Wolf, or Guerrilla Warfare? This page helps explain some of these
Rudolph and the Army of God
The Army of God and
It is likely the attack on the Olympics was motivated by opposition to
internationalism, global cooperation, and race-mixing. This,
along with opposition to abortion and gay rights, are core tenents
of a theology called Christian Identity. Rudolph was exposed to Christian
Identity in his youth, and appears to have kept in touch with others
who share this worldview.
Christian Identity is a derivative and heretical form of Protestant
fundamentalism that believes the US is the Biblical “Promised Land” and
considers white Christians to be God’s “Chosen People.” Michael
Barkun in Religion and the Racist Right has tracked the influence
of apocalyptic millennialism on major racist and antisemitic ideologues
within Christian Identity, including Wesley Swift, William Potter Gale,
Richard Butler, Sheldon Emry, and Pete Peters. The most racialized
version of Identity claims Jews are Satanic agents who manipulate subhuman
people of color. Karen Armstrong refers to militant Christian Identity
as fascist. Others see its most zealous wing as neonazi.
Christian Identity was a common belief in the Posse Comitatus in the
1980s and was the central belief for the Aryan Nations group based in
Idaho. Aryan Nations—plural—wants to establish many racially-pure “Aryan” nations
around the world. It is nationalist in desire and yet inter-nationalist
in scope. Some of its followers have engaged in violence and terrorism.
Identity is a millennialist ideology that plans for an imminent apocalyptic
race war, and history has proved that they act on their beliefs--making
the threat of violence especially real. Many proponents of Christian
Identity seek to overthrow the “Zionist Occupational Government” or “ZOG” in
Washington, DC and establish an exclusively white, Christian nation.
In this ideology Jews are pictured as agents of the Antichrist who must
be eliminated to prepare the way for the return of Christ.
Christian Identity uses the producerist narrative. Jews are seen as
the ultimate puppet-masters among the liberal secret elites believed
to be building a global new world order. People of color are the lazy
parasites gnawing away at society at below, while gay men and lesbians,
feminists, and abortion providers are the sinful parasites, poisoning
the moral order. The left is a sinister army of subversives.
One Extreme Right hate group that follows the tenets of Christian Identity
is Aryan Nations. This is the announcement they posted on their website
after Rudolph was captured:
|ERIC ROBERT RUDOLPH
This is the headline story of today, Saturday May 31, 2003.
The FBI is gloating over the fact that they finally "got their
man." Now every unsolved bombing over the past 6 years
will be solved by blaming this HERO of our race. That's
right SHEEPLE I said HERO! Let His enemies gloat for their
days are numbered. There will always be another to fill
the shoes of a fallen hero. The enemy has not won and will
NEVER win for our VICTORY is preordained by our Father YHVH!
So kinsman let us pray for Eric that he holds his head high in
the face of adversity knowing that he will be cursed by our enemy
but he will be blessed by his Father YHVH.
Eric, our prayers are with you...
Christian Identity is based on the theology of British Israelism--the
principle source of materials promoting this theology for many decades
was Destiny Publishers in Merrimac, Massachusetts. [ http://www.destinypublishers.com/ ]
For a collection of publications by Wesley A. Swift: http://www.kingidentity.com/cjc.html
Sermons by Wesley Swift: http://churchoftrueisrael.com/swift/
Online version of Emry's Billions for the Bankers: Debts for the People: http://www.321gold.com/mustread/billions.html
Some followers of Christian Identity see themselves as acting as agents
of God through the Phineas Priesthood. The idea of exacting vengence on
behalf of God is traced to a Biblical story. In recent times it is popularized
by Christian Identity ideologue Richard
who authored a book praising violence against enemies
of the White race, which he saw as in the tradition of the Phineas Priesthood,
for which the book was named. The book War Cycles, Peace Cycles
Hoskins was found among the belongings of Buford O’Neal Furrow, Jr.,
the accused gunman in racist shootings in California.
Aryan Nations and
the Phineas Priesthood - ADL
Eric Rudolph and the Army of God
The Army of God does not exist as a single entity, but is primarily a common
name used by a loose network of Christian Right anti-abortion militants.
This represents a very tiny wing of the Christian Right. There is some overlap
between the Army of God (and other militant Christian Right activists) and
the militia movement, and some in the militia movement are anti-abortion
activists. There are suspected links to the Extreme Right. In one case police
have charged that Eric Rudolph, probably influenced by the Extreme Right
Christian Identity, seems to have claimed credit for alleged bombings using
the name "Army of God."
The Army of God and abortion
View the letters released
by the FBI
AOG itself: http://www.armyofgod.com/
See also: http://www.armyofgod.com/ChristianNews.html
There is a similar situation with a variety of groups and individuals who promote
the idea of the Phineas Priesthood
The 1980s and 1990s saw innovation in the Extreme Right. Some leaders sought
a new sanitized image. Some groups spun off underground cells while
others had followers who acted as "Lone Wolves." This decentralization was
suggested by Klan leader Louis Beam in a 1983 essay titled, "Leaderless Resistance," based
on common theories of guerrilla warfare.
"Leaderless Resistance" was written by Beam and published in a small newsletter,
the Inter-Klan Newsletter & Survival Alert, undated, circa May 1983.
The Alert was published from the Aryan Nations compound in Hayden Lake, Idaho.
The essay (see below) concluded with a note:
IN coming issues of the Inter-Klan Newsletter we will begin our
detailed study of LEADERLESS RESISTANCE and how it may be used against the
enemy who seeks to enslave the descendants of the Founding Fathers.
In "Leaderless Resistance," Beam is reacting to the increased U.S. government
crackdown on members of extreme right hate groups (see chronology
below), especially the killing of Posse Comitatus leader
Gordon Kahl. Beam speaks about a broad range of ways to "defeat the enemy
by whatever means possible." There has been a tendency to lump together the
idea of Leaderless Resistance with the concept of the Lone Wolf. Guerrilla
cells and Lone Wolves are not necessarily forms of what has come to be called
in the broad sense "Leaderless Resistance"--the idea of autonomous cells carrying
out acts of sabotage or terrorism without direct orders from a leader of a
larger political organization or movement. Furthermore, what Beam actually
meant by his essay "Leaderless Resistance" was a whole range of guerrilla warfare
activities. A Lone Wolf might have been acting alone and have picked a target
without advice, or might have been sent on a mission by a hierarchical leader.
Even a Lone Wolf acting alone in the generic sense of Leaderless Resistance
might still have been greatly influenced by an ideology, or the verbal or written
statements of a respected movement leader.
These complexity of these issues are discussed in detail in the following
of Netwar (Revisited)
Rand Study: John Arquilla and David Ronfeldt
(Thanks to Paul de Armond for his discussions concerning many of these
*Beam, Louis. 1983 "Leaderless Resistance" Inter-Klan Newsletter & Survival
Alert, undated, circa May, pages not numbered, on file at PRA.
The concept of leaderless resistance was proposed by Col. Ulius
Louis Amoss, who was the founder of International Service of Information
Incorporated, located in Baltimore, Maryland. Col. Amoss died more than 15
years ago, but during his life he was a tireless opponent of Communism, as
well as a skilled intelligence officer.
Col. Amoss first wrote of leaderless resistance on April 17, 1962.
His theories of organization were primarily directed against the threat
of eventual Communist takeover in the United States. The present writer,
with the benefit of having lived many years beyond Col. Amoss, has taken
his theories and expounded on them.
Col. Amoss feared the Communists. This author fears the federal government.
Communism now represents a threat to no one in the United States, while
federal tyranny represents a threat to EVERYONE. The writer has joyfully
lived long enough to see the dying breaths of Communism, but may unhappily
remain long enough to see the last dying gasps of freedom in America.
Read Full Essay
Leaderless Resistance and Christian Identity: A Chronology
With the exception of the Pagan neonazis in The Order, what unites this list
below is Christian Identity, especially as spread through the Posse Comitatus
|Gale proposes idea of Posse Comitatus||1971|
|Mike Beach spreads ideas of Posse Comitatus||1973|
|Gale forms Committee of the States||1982-1983|
|Arizona Patriots start forming Kingman cell||1983-1984|
|Gordon Kahl / Posse Comitatus first shootout||1983 February|
|Beam first publishes "Leaderless Resistance." *||1983 May|
|Gordon Kahl / killed||1983 June|
|Covenant, Sword, and Arm of the Lord – plots|
(includes Richard Wayne Snell)
|1983 (after Kahl death sez Noble, 130)|
|Aryan Nations Congress|
(alleged plot cited in 1987 Fort Smith indictments)
|CSA affiliates try to arson gay positive church||1983 August|
|Order cell formed by members of various groups||1983 August/September|
|Order cell stages Spokane, porn store robbery||1983 October|
|CSA affiliates w/ Snell stage attacks||1983 November|
|Order cell stages Seattle area bank robberies||1983 December|
|Gale activates "militia" - Committee of the States||1983-1984|
|Order cell stages Seattle area robbery||1984 January|
|Order cell stages Seattle area armored car robbery||1984 March|
|Snell shoots officer||1984 June|
|Order cell assassinates Berg||1984 June|
Gale meeting "declaration"
(see Daniel Levitas, p. 288 in bibliography) 1984
Aryan Nations Congress 1984
Order cell stages California armored car robbery 1984
|Robert Mathews dies in shootout||1984 December|
|Covenant, Sword, and Arm of the Lord raid||1985 April|
|Fort Smith Indictments||1987|
|Bush New World Order speech||1991|
|Beam republishes "Leaderless Resistance."||1992|
|Eric Rudolph (suspected in)
Olympic Park bombing
Women's reproductive health clinic
Women's reproductive health clinic
|Buford Furrow, Jr. (Christian Identity) |
Shootings in California
More Links for Context: