Elohim City, Oklahoma

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Elohim City
Private community
A sign warning intruders away from the enclave
A sign warning intruders away from the enclave
Founded1973
Founded byRobert G. Millar
Government
 • LeaderJohn Millar
Area
 • Total200 ha (400 acres)

Elohim City[Note 1] also known as Elohim City Inc.[1], and Elohim Village 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.[2][3] 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.[2][4]

The enclave consists of about a dozen structures, some of them mobile homes, others modernistic dome houses. The center of activity is the church-community center where residents meet for hour long sessions each morning.[5]

Robert G. Millar died on May 28, 2001.[6] Since his death, his second-oldest son, John Millar, has been the leader of Elohim City.[7][2]

Background[edit]

Robert G. Millar
Born
Robert Grant Millar

(1925-08-16)August 16, 1925
DiedMay 28, 2001(2001-05-28) (aged 75)
NationalityCanadian, American
Other names
  • Grandpa Millar
  • Rev. Millar
OccupationReligious Leader, Minister
Children8

Millar emigrated from Kitchener, Ontario in the 1950s to Oklahoma City, where he established a church.[2] In the mid-1960s, Millar moved to Maryland, where he ran an evangelical camp near Ellicott City,[7] 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.[8][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.[7]

History[edit]

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 an armed man.[7]

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.[7] 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.[7] It is believed that the ARA may have also recruited members at Elohim City and/or may have sent recruits to Elohim City for “re-education.” Reports also indicate that Elohim City may have provided ARA with training grounds and assisted them in distributing monies received from other groups.[9]

The Mueller family, who were brief residents of Elohim City, reportedly left the compound in fear they would be assassinated by the ARA. The Muellers were supposedly privy to information connecting the ARA to the Oklahoma City bombing. The Mueller family were soon after tortured and assassinated by Chevie Kehoe under the direction of the ARA.[9]

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.[10] 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.[10] This contrasts with reports that he was seen nodding in agreement while watching the broadcast.[11]

McVeigh is known to have telephoned Elohim City two weeks before the bombing of the Murrah building.[2]

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.[12][13] He was acquitted in 2009 following a two-day jury trial in which he represented himself.[14]

Customs and Ideology[edit]

The residents believe in, and advocate for white supremacism.[5] One recent observer described them as having “a passive form of modern white supremacy.”[15]

According to some alleged ex-members and one-time visitors, residents would frequently walk around with guns on the premises.[16] In an interview with The Oklahoman, Millar asserted that if anyone, including government agents, were to come to Elohim City to commit criminal acts, the community would defend itself.[17] Millar's daughter-in-law, Joan Millar,[18] denied that the community was violent but admitted that after the Waco siege, the compound discussed protection of its women and children against government intrusion.[citation needed]

Elohim City "elder" Zera Horton Patterson III stated in a May 13, 1985 Arkansas Gazette article that "community members did not think of themselves as 'white supremacists,' but as a 'chosen people' charged by God with the responsibility of serving and leading others."[19]

Polygamy was also acceptable at one time.[20]

Many of Elohim’s residents hold jobs in the nearest town. The children are homeschooled in communal fashion—most of the parents take an active role in the education of not just their own kids, but in their neighbors’ as well. Weekly trips to town to eat at local restaurants, visit the library or see a movie are not uncommon. The homes even have Wi-Fi.[21]

The town is run by a board of directors known as "elders".[22]

Religion[edit]

Elohim City's particular brand of faith draws heavily from the Old Testament. The community meets daily in services with singing and dancing playing large roles in ceremony. Religious services are held in a meeting center with a domed roof made of polyurethane.[22] Saturday, however, is the community's day of rest. An estimated 60% of residents attend these 1-2 hour daily meetings, where they also make announcements or discuss community and family business.[23]

Robert G. Miller declared CSA leader James Ellison a "prophet full of vision" who would unite the attending groups to battle the so-called Zionist Occupied Government.[9]

Law Enforcement Investigations[edit]

The federal government has monitored the private community since the 1980s due of its alliance with white supremacist groups and members of the Aryan Nations.[24]

Prior to July 1995, FBI informant, Richard Schrum, was sent to infiltrate Elohim City, but was unable to find anything illegal on the compound.[25][26]

Sometime before the Oklahoma City bombing, federal officials had planned to raid Elohim City. As a precaution, police scanners were monitored by the community and "spotters" were on the lookout to advise them of approaching suspect vehicular traffic. During this time, Millar also noted an increase in aerial over-flights of Elohim City. [27]

Alleged Illegal Activities[edit]

Several conspiracy theorists and sources alike claim that the compound has been involved in illegal activity, namely drug trafficking.[28][29]

Author David Hoffman claims in his 1998 book, The Oklahoma City Bombing and the Politics of Terror, that at one time, law enforcement officials had received reports that the compound was believed to be generating income through the sale of illegal drugs. Additionally, he states that an unnamed source who was "familiar with the community" had revealed to him about an incident when resident Bruce Millar (a son of Robert Millar) was supposedly "strung out" on Meth.[30][31]

Josiah Stone, a former resident of the sect, stated in a court case the he had information about the community's supposed involvement in illegal activity of which he did not specifically name.[1]

Other residents[edit]

Robert Millar had a total of eight children.[32] His four sons all live at Elohim City.[2]

Other individuals who either stayed or lived at Elohim City (some which later appeared in national news) include:

  • Tony Ward, [33]
  • Pete Ward Jr.[34]
  • Michael J. Fortier, an army buddy of Timothy McVeigh's, who was imprisoned for failing to warn authorities of the Oklahoma City bombing.[35]
  • James Ellison, white supremacist leader of The Covenant, The Sword, and the Arm of the Lord[2]
  • Carol Howe, ATF informant who worked undercover in Elohim City[36][37]
  • Chevie Kehoe, a self-proclaimed white supremacist and convicted murderer[7]
  • Dennis Mahon, a former imperial dragon in the Oklahoma Ku Klux Klan and an organizer for White Aryan Resistance[7]
  • Andreas Strassmeir, German immigrant, head of Elohim City security, phoned by Timothy McVeigh two weeks before the OKC bombing.[7]
  • Kerry Noble, the second-in-command of The Covenant, The Sword, and the Arm of the Lord. He was part of the plot to blow up the Murrah Federal Building in 1983.[38]
  • Faron Earl Lovelace[39]
  • George Eaton, Founder of The Present Truth Ministries and publisher/editor of a right-wing, anti-Semitic newsletter called The Patriot Report.[40][41][42]
  • Willie Ray Lampley, a self-proclaimed prophet, leader of the now-defunct Oklahoma Constitutional Militia and the head of the Universal Church of God (Yahweh). For unknown reasons, Lampley had planned to test a homemade bomb at Elohim City, but was thwarted by the FBI. He was also friends with Robert Millar as the two were both firm believers of Christian Identity.[43][44]
  • Lorraine Allen Millar, the late wife of Elohim City's founder, Robert Millar.[45]
  • Rokus den Hartog, Millar's protégé who, along with his wife and seven daughters, lived on the compound for a couple of years in the 1980s.[46]
  • Zera Patterson IV[47]
  • Rachel M Patterson[48]
  • Dorcas Millar, the wife of John Millar.[49]

The total population of Elohim City is unknown. It was estimated to be between 70 and 90 in the 1990s.[23][32][2] In 2015, it was estimated that there were about 100 residents, most of them descendants of Robert Millar.[50]

See also[edit]

Notes[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] Archived 2012-04-26 at the Wayback Machine and [2] Archived 2012-04-26 at the Wayback Machine.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b https://cases.justia.com/federal/district-courts/oklahoma/okedce/6:2009cv00098/18335/18/0.pdf?ts=1428518589
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Hastings, Deborah (23 February 1997). "Elohim City on Extremists' Underground Railroad". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2009-05-13.
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ Clay, Nolan (10 July 2005). "Elohim City questions resurrected by Nichols". NewsOK. Retrieved 2009-05-13.
  5. ^ a b Richard W. Break (1985-06-23). "Mountaintop Religious Retreat Armed Against Outside World". Newsok.com. Retrieved 2019-02-01.
  6. ^ "Changing of the Guard: Racist patriarch dies in Oklahoma". Intelligence Report. Southern Poverty Law Center (103). Fall 2001. Retrieved January 5, 2012.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Elohim City -- Extremism in America". ADL.org. Anti-Defamation League. Retrieved December 31, 2011.
  8. ^ Charles Belfoure, "Outside Baltimore, a Reach Back to the 19th Century", The New York Times, December 12, 1999.
  9. ^ a b c Pre-Incident Indicators of Terrorist Activities (PIITA), J. William Fulbright College of Arts & Sciences, Sociology & Criminology. May, 2006.
  10. ^ a b Thomas, Jo (20 May 1995). "Oklahoma City Building". The New York Times.
  11. ^ 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 January 7, 2013.
  12. ^ Gibbons, Bob (September 25, 2008). "Area man charged with making threats". Talequah Daily Press. Retrieved January 5, 2012.
  13. ^ Gibbons, Bob (January 23, 2009). "Stone to be tried for threats against compound". Talequah Daily Press. Retrieved January 5, 2012.
  14. ^ Gibbons, Bob (October 8, 2009). "Jury acquits area man of threats to Elohim City group". Talequah Daily Press. Retrieved January 5, 2012.
  15. ^ sam j. steiner (2017-08-28). "Robert G. Millar | In Search of Promised Lands". Ontariomennonitehistory.org. Retrieved 2019-02-01.
  16. ^ "Elohim City". Topix. 2018-12-05. Archived from the original on 2018-12-05. Retrieved 2019-02-01.
  17. ^ Robby Trammell (1995-05-25). "Elohim City Leader Blames "Lunatic Fringe" for Blast". Newsok.com. Retrieved 2019-02-01.
  18. ^ http://www.historycommons.org/entity.jsp?entity=joan_millar_1
  19. ^ "Harrison-L-La-tour - User Trees". Genealogy.com. Retrieved 2019-02-01.
  20. ^ "Changing of the Guard | Southern Poverty Law Center". Splcenter.org. 2001-08-29. Retrieved 2019-02-01.
  21. ^ https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/cultbustersgalactica/elohim-city-oklahoma-neo-nazi-christian-identity-r-t1175.html
  22. ^ a b "Tiny Adair County Community of Elohim City "Centered' on God". Newsok.com. 1982-04-11. Retrieved 2019-02-01.
  23. ^ a b "Elohim City Residents Enjoy Separate Lifestyle, Religion". Newsok.com. 1993-12-19. Retrieved 2019-02-01.
  24. ^ "White separatist head, 75, dies in Fort Smith". Newsok.com. 2001-06-01. Retrieved 2019-02-01.
  25. ^ Brent L. Smith (2011). Pre-Incident Indicators of Terrorist Incidents: The Identification of Behavioral, Geographic and Temporal Patterns of Preparatory Conduct. DIANE Publishing. p. 138. ISBN 978-1-4379-3061-0.
  26. ^ Robby Trammell (1995-11-14). "Self-Proclaimed Prophet Admits Building Explosive". Newsok.com. Retrieved 2019-02-01.
  27. ^ "VI. PRIOR WARNING, ATF INFORMANTS, AND POSSIBLE "OTHERS UNKNOWN." McVEIGH PETITION FOR WRIT OF MANDAMUS - MARCH 25, 1997". Fas.org. Retrieved 2019-02-01.
  28. ^ "VISUP: The Road To Elohim Part III". Visupview.blogspot.com. 2013-02-08. Retrieved 2019-02-01.
  29. ^ "Elohim City". Retrieved 2019-02-01.
  30. ^ "The Oklahoma City Bombing and the Politics of Terror, by David Hoffman | The Online Books Page". Onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu. Retrieved 2019-02-01.
  31. ^ "The Oklahoma City Bombing and the Politics of Terror: David Hoffman: 9780922915491: Amazon.com: Books". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2019-02-01.
  32. ^ a b "Elohim City". Adl.org. 2013-06-24. Retrieved 2019-02-01.
  33. ^ https://www.genealogy.com/ftm/l/a/t/Harrison-L-La-tour/GENE3-0001.html
  34. ^ https://newsok.com/article/2605782/bomb-inquiry-figures-widow-shares-findings
  35. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20121026165407/http://www.wingtv.net/elohim.html
  36. ^ Linder, Douglas O. (2006). "The Oklahoma City Bombing & The Trial of Timothy McVeigh". Archived from the original on February 23, 2011. Retrieved December 31, 2011.
  37. ^ "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.
  38. ^ http://www.historycommons.org/entity.jsp?entity=elohim_city_1
  39. ^ https://www.nytimes.com/1998/03/29/us/killings-illuminate-culture-of-white-supremacists.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm
  40. ^ By GUSTAV NIEBUHRMAY (1995-05-22). "A Vision of an Apocalypse: The Religion of the Far Right - The New York Times". Nytimes.com. Retrieved 2019-02-01.
  41. ^ Martin Durham (13 November 2007). White Rage: The Extreme Right and American Politics. Routledge. p. 56. ISBN 978-1-134-23181-2.
  42. ^ False Patriots: The Threat of Antigovernment Extremists. DIANE Publishing. 1996. p. 50. ISBN 978-0-7881-3132-5.
  43. ^ Patrick Casey (1995-11-13). "Alleged Bomb Plot Confuses Elohim Leader". Newsok.com. Retrieved 2019-02-01.
  44. ^ https://www.adl.org/sites/default/files/documents/assets/pdf/combating-hate/adl-report-1997-vigilante-justice.pdf
  45. ^ "In Memory of Lorraine Allen MacMillar". Fmfsinc.com. Retrieved 2019-02-01.
  46. ^ Gypsy Hogan (1984-03-11). "Elohim "Manifesting God's Word in Shoe Leather'". Newsok.com. Retrieved 2019-02-01.
  47. ^ "Key Wants Focus Returned to Elohim City". Newsok.com. 1998-03-09. Retrieved 2019-02-01.
  48. ^ "Building BeenVerified Report". Beenverified.com. 1970-01-01. Retrieved 2019-02-01.
  49. ^ "Roberts Reed-Culver Funeral Home". www.robertsreedculverfuneraldirectors.com.
  50. ^ Thomas, Judy. "Little Has Changed At Elohim City, Including The Beliefs Of The Residents". www.flatlandkc.com. Flatland. Retrieved January 14, 2019.

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