The Order (white supremacist group)

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The Order
Logo of The Order
Motto: "Thou art my battle axe and weapons of war: for with thee will I break in pieces the nations, and with thee will I destroy kingdoms" (Jeremiah 51:20, KJV)
Formation September 1983; 34 years ago (1983-09)
Extinction December 1984 (1984-12)
Type White supremacist, Christian Identity, neo-fascist, neo-Nazi, white separatist, white nationalist, domestic terrorist, revolutionary
Purpose Paramilitary 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 Silent Brotherhood, 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.


The Order was founded by Robert Jay Mathews in late September 1983 at Mathews' farm near Metaline, Washington.[1] Mathews was baptized into the Mormon faith as a high schooler. He formed the "Sons of Liberty", an anti-communist militia mostly made up of Mormon survivalists, fundamentalists and associates of John Singer (homeschooler) that had no connection to the historical 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 prominent Jews. The Order was named after, and partly modeled on, a fictional terrorist group in William Luther Pierce's novel The Turner Diaries.[2] 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.[3] Berg was number two on The Order's list.[4]

In December 1984, authorities were able to track Mathews down to a house on Whidbey Island where he refused to surrender.[2] During a shootout, the house was ignited by incendiary flares and became engulfed in flames, and Mathews was killed.[2] Mathews is considered a martyr by some white nationalists.[5][6]

Initiation of The Order[edit]

September 1983:[7] Matthews' wife, Debbie, prepared a banquet for eighteen guests the night The Order was founded. After the dinner, eight men left their dinner guests and followed Matthews into the barracks, a warehouse made for meetings and gatherings. With a fire burning on that nearing winter night, "Seated near him were the youngest faces, Richie Kemp and Bill Soderquist. There was his trusted friend, Ken Loff, and David Lane. Then there was the group from Aryan Nations: Dan Bauer, Denver Parmenter, Randy Duey, and Bruce Pierce."[7] He then proceeded to lay out a six step plan to the men. Form a group, set goals, procure funds, recruitment, then Matthews tells the men that if they are willing to join and execute the actions of The Order, they must take an oath. To show the significance of the oath and what The Order is truly fighting for, Matthews asked Loff to place his six-week-old baby in front of the men while they recite the oath. After the oath Matthews continues to explain the fifth step of The Order, assassination of racial enemies. The doomsday assassinations was a list of targets, one per member, that were to be killed if the integrity of The Order was compromised. Step six, formation of a guerrilla army for sabotage in urban areas.


The next discussion to take place was funding for actions of The Order. Options included bidding on lumber-jacking and timber contracts, counterfeiting money, diaspora funding from overseas oil countries and robberies. Timber contracts would serve as legal funding, counterfeiting money would appeal to the ideals of the group, undermining the government. Counterfeit money would raise new, clean money for the organization while also devaluing US currency. Robbery was first denied as an option due to its sinful nature, until someone mentioned they could rob pimps and dope dealers, which would raise money for the organization as well as set back street criminals in their businesses.[7]

The organization won a bid on a timber trimming contract for a trail in the Salmo-Priest Wilderness. After five hours of blistering 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,"[7] while Matthews mentions that the pay off from the job "would not fund the right wing for a week anyway."[7] The Order decided to try their hand at robberies, attempting to target pimps and dope dealers. After weeks of trailing black men in flashy cars and realizing they had no idea what a pimp or dope dealer truly looked like, they decided to switch to other crimes for funding.

The Order raised money through violent crime. This began with the robbery of a sex shop, which netted them $369.10.[8] Their later attacks were more effective, including several lucrative bank robberies, as well as bombings of a theater and a synagogue. The Order ran a large[9] counterfeiting operation, and executed a series[citation needed] of armored car robberies, including one near Ukiah, California that netted $3.6 million.[10] Proceeds from these robberies were distributed to leaders of sympathetic organisations such as William Pierce (National Alliance) and Frazier Glenn Miller, Jr. (White Patriot Party).[11]


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.[12] 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.[13] 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.[14] Like Mathews, Lane and Pierce are regarded by many white supremacists as heroes, political prisoners and martyrs. In another trial, 14 men were charged with sedition, conspiracy and civil rights violations.[13] Thirteen of them were acquitted, and the judge dismissed the charges against the fourteenth man for lack of evidence.[13] Over 75 men and women were tried and convicted of various charges connected to The Order.[clarification needed]

A 2011 NPR report claimed that some of the people associated with this group were imprisoned in a highly restrictive Communication Management Unit.[15] Richard Scutari, a member of the Order, was sentenced to a 60-year prison term in 1986,[16] and was removed to USP Marion CMU in July 2008.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Jury Told of Plan to Kill Radio Host (Subscription needed)". The New York Times. November 8, 1987. Retrieved 2007-08-25. 
  2. ^ a b c "The Alliance and the Law". Southern Poverty Law Center. Spring 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-09-30. Retrieved 2007-08-17. 
  3. ^ "Death List Names Given to US Jury". New York Times. September 17, 1985. Retrieved 2007-08-25. 
  4. ^ Morris Dees and Steve Fiffer. Hate on Trial: The Case Against America's Most Dangerous Neo-Nazi. Villard Books, 1993. page xiiv
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2005-12-01. Retrieved 2006-03-07. 
  6. ^ National Vanguard Archived 2012-03-08 at
  7. ^ a b c d e Flynn, Kevin J.; Gerhardt, Gary (November 6, 1990). The Silent Brotherhood: Inside America's Racist Underground (Mass-market paperback) (Reprint ed.). New York: Signet Books. ISBN 9780451167866. OCLC 22700196. 
  8. ^ "Global Terrorism Database". 
  9. ^ New York Times - 2 Linked to Aryan groups plead guilty in plot
  10. ^ "Free the Order Rally". Southern Poverty Law Center. Spring 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-07-11. Retrieved 2007-08-17. 
  11. ^ Gus Martin, ed. (2011). The SAGE Encyclopedia of Terrorism (2nd ed.). Sage. p. 450. ISBN 978-1412980166. 
  12. ^ Knudson, Thomas J. (October 31, 1987). "Trial Opens in Slaying of Radio Talk Show Host". New York Times. Retrieved 2007-08-25. 
  13. ^ a b c "Extremism in America: David Lane". Anti-Defamation League. 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-18. [permanent dead link]
  14. ^ The Denver Post, "Neo-Nazi gunman in Alan Berg's murder dies in prison," by Howard Pankratz (August 17th, 2010 - retrieved on August 17th, 2010).
  15. ^ DATA & GRAPHICS: Population Of The Communications Management Units, Margot Williams and Alyson Hurt, NPR, 3-3-11, retrieved 2011 03 04 from
  16. ^

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]