Elohim City, Oklahoma

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Elohim City[Note 1] is a private community in Adair County, Oklahoma. The 400 acres (1.6 km2) rural retreat was founded in 1973 by Robert G. Millar (August 16, 1925 – May 28, 2001), a Canadian immigrant, former Mennonite and once one of the most important leaders in America's Christian Identity movement, a theology common to an assortment of right-wing extremist groups.[1][2] The community gained national attention for its alleged ties to members of The Order in the 1980s and with convicted Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh in the 1990s.[1][3]

Robert G. Millar died on May 28, 2001.[4] Since his death, his son John Millar has been the leader of Elohim City.[5]


Millar emigrated from Kitchener, Ontario in the 1950s to Oklahoma City, where he established a church.[1] In the mid-1960s, Millar moved to Maryland, where he ran an evangelical camp near Ellicott City,[5] 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 Catholic minor seminary destroyed by fire in 1911.[6][Note 2]

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.[5]


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 armed man.[5]

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.[5] 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.[5]

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.[7] 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.[7] This contrasts with reports that he was seen nodding in agreement while watching the broadcast.[8]

McVeigh is known to have telephoned Elohim City two weeks before the bombing of the Murrah building.[1]

In 2008 an Adair County man, who had been evicted from Elohim City, was charged with threatening to commit violence against several Elohim City residents.[9][10] He was acquitted in 2009 following a two-day jury trial in which he represented himself.[11]

Other residents[edit]

Other individuals who stayed at Elohim City and later appeared in national news include:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Elohim is a Hebrew word to be translated as "God" or "Gods" (Because in Hebrew, "-im" ending is common as plural masculine substantive nouns).
  2. ^ The area, which was rural until the 1980s, has since been developed into a suburban housing community. The ruins of the seminary's recreation hall are now located in the middle of Terra Maria Way circle (39°17′16″N 76°53′15″W / 39.287713°N 76.887635°W / 39.287713; -76.887635 (EllicottCity)). See [1] and [2].


  1. ^ a b c d Hastings, Deborah (23 February 1997). "Elohim City on Extremists' Underground Railroad". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2009-05-13.
  2. ^ 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.1999.2.2.245. ISSN 1541-8480. JSTOR 10.1525/nr.1999.2.2.245.
  3. ^ Clay, Nolan (10 July 2005). "Elohim City questions resurrected by Nichols". NewsOK. Retrieved 2009-05-13.
  4. ^ "Changing of the Guard: Racist patriarch dies in Oklahoma". Intelligence Report. Southern Poverty Law Center (103). Fall 2001. Retrieved January 5, 2012.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Elohim City -- Extremism in America". ADL.org. Anti-Defamation League. Retrieved December 31, 2011.
  6. ^ Charles Belfoure, "Outside Baltimore, a Reach Back to the 19th Century", The New York Times, December 12, 1999.
  7. ^ a b Thomas, Jo (20 May 1995). "Oklahoma City Building". The New York Times.
  8. ^ Thomas, Jo; Ronald Smothers (May 20, 1995). "Oklahoma City Building Was Target Of Plot as Early as '83, Official Says". The New York Times. Archived from the original on July 12, 2011.
  9. ^ Gibbons, Bob (September 25, 2008). "Area man charged with making threats". Talequah Daily Press. Retrieved January 5, 2012.
  10. ^ Gibbons, Bob (January 23, 2009). "Stone to be tried for threats against compound". Talequah Daily Press. Retrieved January 5, 2012.
  11. ^ Gibbons, Bob (October 8, 2009). "Jury acquits area man of threats to Elohim City group". Talequah Daily Press. Retrieved January 5, 2012.
  12. ^ Hastings, Deborah (February 23, 1997). "Elohim City on Extremists' Underground Railroad". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 4, 2013.
  13. ^ Linder, Douglas O. (2006). "The Oklahoma City Bombing & The Trial of Timothy McVeigh". Archived from the original on February 27, 2011. Retrieved December 31, 2011.
  14. ^ "Q&A: What really happened: The official version, the conspiracy theories and the evidence surrounding the Oklahoma bombing". Conspiracy Files. BBC News. March 2, 2007. Retrieved January 2, 2012.

Further reading[edit]

  • Atkins, Stephen E. (2011). Encyclopedia of Right-Wing Extremism in Modern American History. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 978-1-59884-350-7.
  • Chapman, Lee Roy; Kline, Joshua (April 15, 2012). "Who's Afraid of Elohim City?". This Land. This Land Press.
  • Copeland, Thomas E. (2007). Fool Me Twice: Intelligence Failure and Mass Casualty Terrorism. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. ISBN 978-90-04-15845-0.
  • Graff, James L.; Cole, Patrick E.; Shannon, Elaine (February 24, 1997). "The White City on a Hill". Time. Retrieved March 13, 2012.
  • Hamm, Mark S. (2002). In Bad Company: America's Terrorist Underground. University Press of New England. ISBN 978-1-55553-492-9.
  • Jones, Stephen; Israel, Peter (2001). Others Unknown: Timothy McVeigh and the Oklahoma City Bombing Conspiracy. PublicAffairs. ISBN 978-1-58648-098-1.
  • Malcomson, Scott L. (2001). One Drop of Blood: The American Misadventure of Race. Macmillan. ISBN 978-0-374-52794-5.
  • Niebuhr, Gustav (May 22, 1995). "A Vision of an Apocalypse: The Religion of the Far Right". The New York Times.
  • Quarles, Chester L. (2004). Christian Identity: The Aryan American Bloodline Religion. McFarland. ISBN 978-0-7864-1892-3.
  • Simi, Pete; Futrell, Robert (2010). American Swastika: Inside the White Power Movement's Hidden Spaces of Hate. Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 978-1-4422-0208-5.
  • Wright, Stuart A. (2007). Patriots, Politics, and the Oklahoma City Bombing. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-87264-5.
  • Zeskind, Leonard (2009). Blood and Politics: The History of the White Nationalist Movement from the Margins to the Mainstream. Macmillan. ISBN 978-0-374-10903-5.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 35°38′30″N 94°30′52″W / 35.64167°N 94.51444°W / 35.64167; -94.51444