Elohim City, Oklahoma
Elohim City is a private community in Adair County, Oklahoma. It was founded in 1973 by Robert G. Millar, a Canadian immigrant and charismatic religious leader. Its 400 acres (1.6 km2) are frequented by adherents of Christian Identity. The community gained national attention for its alleged ties to members of the Silent Brotherhood in the 1980s and with convicted Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh in the 1990s.
Millar emigrated from Kitchener, Ontario in the 1950s to Oklahoma City, where he established a church. In the mid-1960s, Millar moved to Maryland, where he ran an evangelical camp near Ellicott City, located in Howard County on Frederick Road about one mile (1.6 km) west of US Route 29, at the former location of St. Charles College, a minor Catholic seminary destroyed by fire in 1911.[Note 1]
In 1973, Millar returned to Oklahoma with around 18 followers, some of whom were related to him by birth or marriage, to found Elohim City.
In 1986, a Canadian woman and her children sought refuge in the city, contravening a court order awarding custody of the children to her husband. Officers attempting to arrest the woman were met by a show of arms.
By the mid-1990s, four members of the Aryan Republican Army (Michael William Brescia, Kevin McCarthy, Scott Stedeford, and Mark Thomas) were residents of Elohim City. Brescia was engaged to Millar's step-granddaughter and stayed in the city for almost two years. Between 1994 and 1995, these four, together with other members of the ARA (known by the media as the Midwest Bank Robbers), were responsible for a series of 22 bank robberies totaling over $250,000 in the American Midwest, which they used to finance white supremacist causes. Millar denied any knowledge of the robberies.
The remains of former Elohim City guest Richard Snell were released to Elohim City residents following his April 19, 1995, execution in Arkansas. Snell taunted jailers that something drastic would happen on the day of his execution. The Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building was destroyed by explosives in the hours before he died. Earlier criminal proceedings had produced evidence that Snell and other affiliates had visited the Murrah Building to examine it as a possible bombing target in 1983. However, when Snell watched televised reports of the Oklahoma City bombing prior to his execution, according to Millar, who was with Snell at the time, Snell was appalled by what he saw. This contrasts with reports that he was seen nodding in agreement while watching the broadcast.
In 2008 an Adair County man, who had been previously evicted from Elohim City, was charged with threatening to commit violence against several Elohim City residents. He was acquitted in 2009 following a two-day jury trial in which he represented himself.
Other notable residents
Other individuals who stayed at Elohim City and later appeared in national news include:
- James Ellison, white supremacist leader of The Covenant, The Sword, and the Arm of the Lord
- Carol Howe, BATF informant who worked undercover in Elohim City
- Chevie Kehoe, a self-proclaimed white supremacist and convicted murderer
- Dennis Mahon, a former imperial dragon in the Oklahoma Ku Klux Klan and an organizer for White Aryan Resistance
- Andreas Strassmeir, German immigrant, head of Elohim City security, phoned by Timothy McVeigh two weeks before the OKC bombing.
- Shook, Somer; Wesley Delano , Robert W. Balch (April 1999). "Elohim City: A Participant-Observer Study of a Christian Identity Community". Nova Religio 2 (2): 245–265. doi:10.1525/nr.19126.96.36.199. ISSN 1541-8480. JSTOR 10.1525/nr.19188.8.131.52.
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- Charles Belfoure, "Outside Baltimore, a Reach Back to the 19th Century", New York Times, December 12, 1999.
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- Gibbons, Bob (September 25, 2008). "Area man charged with making threats". Talequah Daily Press. Retrieved January 5, 2012.
- Gibbons, Bob (January 23, 2009). "Stone to be tried for threats against compound". Talequah Daily Press. Retrieved January 5, 2012.
- Gibbons, Bob (October 8, 2009). "Jury acquits area man of threats to Elohim City group". Talequah Daily Press. Retrieved January 5, 2012.
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