According to ADL/LEARN, he has been fighting against a government he views as "tyrannical and controlled by Jewish conspirators" for more than thirty years. He first became engaged on the far right as a paramilitary Klansman, later with ties to Christian Identity groups. He cites Thomas Jefferson in resistance to tyranny. Beam refused Aryan Nation's head Richard Girnt Butler's offer of leadership of the religious group in 1988 and chose to continue to work alone. During the past twenty years, he has had limited influence except for rare postings on the internet. His essay Leaderless Resistance has been translated into seven languages.