Thomas Robb

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Thom Robb
Born Thomas Robb
1946 (age 67–68)
Detroit, Michigan
Residence Boone County, Arkansas
Title National director of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan Pastor of the Christian Revival Center.

Thomas Robb, also known as Thom Robb,[1] (born 1946) is the national director of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan,[2] and a pastor at the Christian Revival Center.

Early life[edit]

Thomas Robb was born in Detroit, Michigan into a Baptist family and grew up in Tucson, Arizona.[3]

Robb's parents shared some political views with Joseph McCarthy, Gerald L.K. Smith, Kenneth Goff, and Conde McGinley. Robb claims to have become awakened to the "Myth of the Holocaust" at the age of 13 while reading Conde McGinley's anti-Communist and antisemitic paper Common Sense which actively promoted Holocaust denial. While still in high school he was an outspoken supporter of segregationist ideals and an active member of the John Birch Society.

Activities[edit]

In 1986, Robb organized a protest against the Martin Luther King National Holiday in Pulaski, Tennessee, which is the birthplace of the Ku Klux Klan. The event eventually became known as the White Christian Heritage Festival, held each October in Pulaski.[4] Over the years Robb has developed a close relationship with other extremists including, J. B. Stoner, Ed Fields, Don Black, David Duke, Willis Carto, Billy Roper, Michael Collins Piper, Canadian extremist Paul Fromm and former Croatian diplomat Tomislav Sunic.

Robb defends the Klan as a harmless organization, claiming that it is "gentle, upbeat, and friendly".[5] When featured in the PBS documentary Banished, Robb compared a Klan hood to a businessman's tie, claiming that "it's just tradition."[6] Robb is a pastor who believes in creationism, "or as some call it intelligent design," and rejects evolution as "an attack upon our faith."[7] He is the pastor of a church, Christian Revival Center,[8] and broadcasts on shortwave radio and Stormfront internet radio.

In July 2009, his group lost a lawsuit and was ordered to pay $25,000 in punitive damages to the Rhino Times, a North Carolina newspaper, the KKK had started putting fliers inside newspapers leading some to believe that the newspaper supported the group.[9] The case was filed in 2006 when the paper charged that the Klan inserted its fliers into editions of Rhino Times.[9] The Klan counter-sued for defamation, but the case was dismissed.[9] Recent attention has focused on his family, such as his daughter Rachel Pendergraft and his granddaughters, Charity and Shelby Pendergraft, who have recently formed a "white nationalist" band called Heritage Connection.[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Rebranding Hate in the Age of Obama". Newsweek. May 4, 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-15. 
  2. ^ "Ku Klux Klan files suit against Rhino Times". News & Record (Greensboro). Oct 18, 2006. Retrieved 2008-07-15. [dead link]
  3. ^ Christopher, Garland (27 March 2008). "Klan's New Message of Cyber-Hate". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 2009-07-15. 
  4. ^ White Christian Heritage Festival website
  5. ^ Jon Ronson (2001). "New Klan". www.jonronson.com. Retrieved 2008-09-22. 
  6. ^ Ellen Maguire (2008-09-19). "PBS's 'Banished' Exposes the Tainted Past of Three White Enclaves". Washington Post. Retrieved 2008-09-22. 
  7. ^ "The Trap is Set". Thomas Robb blog. April 24, 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-15. 
  8. ^ Christian Identity Church website
  9. ^ a b c "Arkansas Klan Group Loses Legal Battle with North Carolina Newspaper". Anti-Defamation League. July 9, 2009. Retrieved 2008-08-15. 
  10. ^ "Another Adorable White-Power Sister Act". Southern Poverty Law Center. August 6, 2009. Retrieved 2008-08-15.