The Order (white supremacist group)

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The Order
FormationSeptember 1983; 39 years ago (1983-09)
DissolvedDecember 1984 (1984-12)
TypeWhite supremacist, Christian Identity, neo-fascist, neo-Nazi, white separatist, white nationalist, domestic terrorist, insurrectionist
PurposeParamilitary fomenting white nationalist revolt against the "Zionist Occupation Government" and establishment of an all-white homeland in the Pacific Northwest
  • United States
Key people

The Order, also known as the Brüder Schweigen (German for Brothers Keep Silent or Brothers' Silence), Silent Brotherhood or less commonly known as the Aryan Resistance Movement,[1] was a white supremacist terrorist organization active in the United States between September 1983 and December 1984. The group raised funds via armed robbery. Ten members were tried and convicted for racketeering, and two for their role in the 1984 murder of radio talk show host Alan Berg.[2]


The Order was founded by Robert Jay Mathews in late September 1983 at his farm near Metaline, Washington.[3] Reportedly, Mathews's farm was where the members trained.[4] Mathews had previously formed the Sons of Liberty, an anti-communist militia mostly made up of Mormon survivalists, fundamentalists and associates of John Singer that had no connection to the historical American organization of the same name.

A fundamental goal of The Order was revolution against the American government, which its members, and those of other white supremacist groups, believed to be controlled by a cabal of Jews with internationalist and Jewish-racial loyalties, rather than loyalty to the American nation. The Order was named after, and partly modeled on, a fictional terrorist group in William Luther Pierce's novel The Turner Diaries.[5] The Order's goals included the establishment of a homeland (now the Northwest Territorial Imperative) from which Jews and non-whites would be barred. They often referred to the United States federal government as ZOG, an acronym for Zionist Occupied Government. Members of the Order included Randy Evans, Gary Yarborough, Bruce Pierce, Denver Parmenter, Frank DeSilva (also known as Frank Silva), Richard Scutari, David Lane, Randy Duey, and David Tate.

The Order drew up a hit list of enemies, and on June 18, 1984 radio talk show host Alan Berg was murdered in front of his home by Bruce Pierce, assisted by other members of The Order.[6] Berg was number two on The Order's list.[7]

In December 1984, authorities were able to track Mathews down to a house on Whidbey Island where he refused to surrender.[5] During a shootout, the house was ignited by incendiary flares and became engulfed in flames, and Mathews was killed.[5] Mathews is considered a martyr by some white nationalists.[8][9]


Next, the group discussed how to fund actions of The Order, considering bidding on lumber-jacking and timber contracts, counterfeiting money, diaspora funding from overseas oil countries, and robberies. Though timber contracts were legal, counterfeiting money appealed to the ideals of the group in that it undermined the government by devaluing US currency. Robbery was first denied as an option due to its perceived sinful nature, until someone suggested they could rob pimps and drug dealers, which would raise money for the organization as well as set back street criminals in their businesses.[10]

The organization won a bid on a timber trimming contract for a trail in the Salmo-Priest Wilderness. After five hours of grueling work, Matthews decided to call off the work and head home. Headed back to the trucks, David Lane muttered, "Well, we're going to have to be better thinkers than our fathers were, because we're sure not the men they were,"[10] while Matthews mentions that the pay off from the job "would not fund the right wing for a week anyway."[10] The Order decided to try their hand at robberies, attempting to target pimps and drug dealers. After weeks of trailing black men in flashy cars, they realized they had no idea what a pimp or drug dealer looked like[citation needed], and decided to switch to other crimes for funding.

The Order raised money through robbery. This began with the robbery of a pornographic video store, which netted them $369.10.[11] Their later robberies were more effective, including a bank robbery, followed by a series of three armored car robberies. In the armored car robberies, they took a total of $4.1 million, including their final armored car robbery near Ukiah, California that netted them $3.8 million. The Order detonated a timed firebomb in a movie theater in Seattle (causing no deaths or injuries), in order to occupy the police during their second planned armored car robbery that took place the next day. Proceeds from these robberies were distributed to leaders of sympathetic organizations such as William Pierce (National Alliance) and Frazier Glenn Miller, Jr. (White Patriot Party).[12][13][14]

The Order also ran a counterfeiting operation, but their bills were of poor quality, especially early on, and they led to Bruce Pierce being jailed early on, which later precipitated the group's downfall.


The Order was ultimately brought down when a member, Tom Martinez, approached the FBI and offered to turn informant. His role in the organisation had been to pass counterfeit money and he had been arrested on June 29, 1984, for passing counterfeit ten dollar bills to buy liquor. After he was released on his own recognizance Mathews convinced him to go underground and during this period Martinez learned that Mathews intended to kill the liquor store owner in order to prevent him from testifying. When he learned of Mathews' plan, Martinez approached the FBI and offered to turn informant.[15][16]


Ten members of The Order were tried and convicted under Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) statutes with the help of the testimony of Frazier Glenn Miller, Jr., who testified against Order members in order to have his own sentence reduced. In a separate trial, three other members of The Order were tried and convicted of violating the civil rights of Alan Berg.[17] No one has been charged in the murder of Berg. David Lane, the getaway driver for Berg's assailants, was sentenced to 190 consecutive years on the charges of racketeering, conspiracy, and violating Berg's civil rights. He died in prison in 2007.[18] Order member Bruce Pierce was sentenced to 252 years in prison for his involvement in the Berg murder, and died of natural causes at the Allenwood Federal Correctional Complex on August 16, 2010 at the age of 56.[19] Like Mathews, Lane and Pierce are regarded by many white-supremacists as heroes, political prisoners, and martyrs.[citation needed] In another trial, 14 men were charged with sedition, conspiracy, and civil rights violations.[18] Thirteen of them were acquitted, and the judge dismissed the charges against the fourteenth man for lack of evidence.[18]

A 2011 NPR report claimed that some of the people associated with this group were imprisoned in a highly restrictive Communication Management Unit.[20] Richard Scutari, a member of the Order, was sentenced to a 60-year prison term in 1986,[21] and was transferred to USP Marion CMU in July 2008.


Name Associated Group(s) Sentence Status Ref.
David Charles Tate Church of Israel Life imprisonment without parole Incarcerated at Southeast Correctional Center [22][23]
Richard Joseph Scutari The Covenant, The Sword, and the Arm of the Lord 60 years Incarcerated at FCI Mendota[24]
Thomas Allen Martinez National Alliance 3 years probation [25]
Andrew Virgil Barnhill The Covenant, The Sword, and the Arm of the Lord 40 years Released on April 24, 2008
Ardie McBrearty Posse Comitatus 40 years Released on July 3, 1995 [26]
David Eden Lane Aryan Nations 190 years Died while incarcerated at FCI Terre Haute on May 28, 2007
Bruce Carroll Pierce Aryan Nations 252 years Died while incarcerated at USP Allenwood on August 16, 2010
Sharon Merki LaPorte Church of Christ 25 years
Jean Margaret Craig 40 years Died on April 18, 2001 [27][28]
Denver Daw Parmenter II Church of Jesus Christ Christian 20 years [29]
Randolph George Duey Aryan Nations 100 years Incarcerated at FCI Butner Medium
Frank Lee Silva Ku Klux Klan 40 years Released on August 18, 1998
Gary Lee Yarbrough Aryan Nations 60 years Died while incarcerated at ADX Florence
Zillah Craig [30]
Jackie Lee Norton The Covenant, The Sword, and the Arm of the Lord 6 months plus 5 years probation [31]
James Sherman Dye 20 years [32]
Robert E. Merki LaPorte Church of Christ 30 years

The Order II (Bruder Schweigen Strike Force II)[edit]

The Order II, which is also known as the Bruder Schweigen Strike Force II, was an attempt to perpetuate the activities of the first Order by David and Deborah Dorr, both of whom were previously members of the Aryan Nations, but their activities were confined to the state of Idaho.[33] The group launched its first attack on March 6, 1986, when it sent a packaged bomb to Gary Solomon, a local Jewish businessman who owned the Solomon Trucking company in Hayden Lake, Idaho.[34] No casualties resulted from the incident and it is unknown whether or not the explosion caused any property damage. The bomb was sent by David Dorr, the leader of Order II, a group that grew out of the original Order, which had previously collapsed. Order II (Bruder Schweigen Strike Force II) was also anti-government and anti-Semitic.[35][36]

On August 7 of the same year, a 12-inch tube bomb exploded at Fred Bower's auto repair shop in Hayden, Idaho, causing about $2,000 in damage.[34] No casualties resulted from the incident. The two perpetrators, David and Deborah Dorr, and an alleged third perpetrator, Edward W. Hawley, were members of the Bruder Schweigen Strike Force II.[37]

On September 16, 1986, an explosion was reported in front of the house of a Catholic priest who lived in the city of Coeur d'Alene, in Idaho. The explosion caused no injuries. It only caused property damage.[38][39] On September 29, 1986, his latest attack targeted a federal building, a telephone and luggage store, and a restaurant parking lot in Coeur d'Alene, without causing any injuries.[34]

The ATF and local, state and federal security forces collected evidence from the scene of the blast and executed a federal search warrant at Dorr's residence three days later. Special agents discovered a shelter that housed fully automatic AR-15 assault rifles which was a violation of federal firearms laws, as well as 30 other firearms, large amounts of ammunition and counterfeit money.[40][41] They also discovered bomb-making components that were used in the September 29 explosion, as well as in previous bombings. The militants received federal sentences which ranged from 6 to 30 years and state sentences which ranged from 5 years to life in prison.[42][43][44]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Martz, Ron. "Klan marching staunchly to ultra-right". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
  2. ^ "Order, The". TRAC Terrorism. Retrieved December 6, 2020.
  3. ^ "Jury Told of Plan to Kill Radio Host (Subscription needed)". The New York Times. November 8, 1987. Retrieved August 25, 2007.
  4. ^ "Resurgent hate groups have long history in Washington state, Northwest". The Seattle Times. August 19, 2017. Retrieved February 26, 2019.
  5. ^ a b c "The Alliance and the Law". Southern Poverty Law Center. Spring 2007. Archived from the original on September 30, 2007. Retrieved August 17, 2007.
  6. ^ "Death List Names Given to US Jury". New York Times. September 17, 1985. Retrieved August 25, 2007.
  7. ^ Morris Dees and Steve Fiffer. Hate on Trial: The Case Against America's Most Dangerous Neo-Nazi. Villard Books, 1993. page xiiv
  8. ^ "Robert Jay Matthews Last Letter". Archived from the original on December 1, 2005. Retrieved March 7, 2006.
  9. ^ National Vanguard Archived March 8, 2012, at
  10. ^ a b c Flynn, Kevin J.; Gerhardt, Gary (1990). The Silent Brotherhood: Inside America's Racist Underground (Mass-market paperback) (Reprint ed.). New York: Signet Books (published November 6, 1990). ISBN 9780451167866. OCLC 22700196.
  11. ^ "Global Terrorism Database".
  12. ^ Gus Martin, ed. (2011). The SAGE Encyclopedia of Terrorism (2nd ed.). Sage. p. 450. ISBN 978-1412980166.
  13. ^ "Free the Order Rally". Southern Poverty Law Center. Spring 2007. Archived from the original on July 11, 2007. Retrieved August 17, 2007.
  14. ^ New York Times - 2 Linked to Aryan groups plead guilty in plot
  15. ^ Hamm, Mark S. (2007). Terrorism As Crime: From Oklahoma City to Al-Qaeda and Beyond. NYU Press. pp. 124, 148, 162. ISBN 978-0-8147-3745-3. Retrieved March 14, 2020.
  16. ^ "FBI Informant Helped Put Hate in Its Place". Los Angeles Times. October 19, 2003. Retrieved December 6, 2020.
  17. ^ Knudson, Thomas J. (October 31, 1987). "Trial Opens in Slaying of Radio Talk Show Host". New York Times. Retrieved August 25, 2007.
  18. ^ a b c "Extremism in America: David Lane". Anti-Defamation League. 2007. Archived from the original on August 18, 2004. Retrieved July 18, 2007.
  19. ^ The Denver Post, "Neo-Nazi gunman in Alan Berg's murder dies in prison," by Howard Pankratz (August 17, 2010 - retrieved on August 17, 2010).
  20. ^ DATA & GRAPHICS: Population Of The Communications Management Units, Margot Williams and Alyson Hurt, NPR, 3-3-11, retrieved 2011 03 04 from
  21. ^ "Richard Scutari". Archived from the original on January 19, 2012. Retrieved December 5, 2011.
  22. ^ Marks, Kathy (1996). Faces of Right Wing Extremism. ISBN 9780828320160.
  23. ^ "MODOC Offender Search".
  24. ^ Richard Joseph Scutari - Register Number: 34840-080 - Located At: FCI Mendota. Retrieved 25 January 2022.
  25. ^ Martinez, Thomas; Guinther, John (1988). Brotherhood of Murder. ISBN 9780070406995.
  26. ^ "Ardie McBrearty".
  27. ^ "Camera Shop Owner Testifies Jean Craig Discussed Killing Berg". Associated Press.
  28. ^ "Jean Margaret Craig".
  29. ^ "Defense Attorneys Attack Order Member's Credibility". Associated Press.
  30. ^ Dietz, Steven (1990). God's Country. ISBN 9780573691584.
  31. ^ "Survival Teacher Says Sect Members Bragged of Crimes". Associated Press.
  32. ^ "Robert Jay Mathews, founder of the white-supremacist group the Order, is killed during an FBI siege on Whidbey Island on December 8, 1984".
  33. ^ "Order II, The". Terrorism Research & Analysis Consortium. Retrieved December 6, 2020.
  34. ^ a b c "BOMBS ROCK IDAHO CITY TORN BY STRIFE OVER RACISTS". The New York Times. September 30, 1986. Retrieved December 6, 2002.
  35. ^ "GTD ID:198603060005". Global Terrorism Database. Retrieved December 6, 2020.
  36. ^ Smith, Brent L. (January 1994). Terrorism in America: Pipe Bombs and Pipe Dreams. State University of New York Press. ISBN 9780791417591. Retrieved December 6, 2002.
  37. ^ "GTD ID:198608070008". Global Terrorism Database. Retrieved December 6, 2020.
  38. ^ Turner, Wallace (October 3, 1986). "IDAHOANS CALM IN FACE OF BOMBINGS". The New York Times. Retrieved December 6, 2020.
  39. ^ "GTD ID:198609160002". Global Terrorism Database. Retrieved December 6, 2020.
  40. ^ "Trio Indicted On Counterfeiting Charges". AP News. Archived from the original on April 5, 2023. Retrieved December 6, 2020.
  41. ^ "A small band of white supremacists arrested in several". UPI News. Archived from the original on November 4, 2021. Retrieved December 6, 2020.
  42. ^ "Five neo-Nazis banded together in a bombing and counterfeiting". UPI News. Archived from the original on November 4, 2021. Retrieved December 6, 2020.
  43. ^ "2 LINKED TO ARYAN GROUPS PLEAD GUILTY IN PLOT". The New York Times. February 5, 1987. Archived from the original on November 27, 2022. Retrieved December 6, 2020.
  44. ^ "He was not following orders". Seattle Weekly. October 9, 2006. Archived from the original on April 6, 2023. Retrieved December 6, 2020.

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