Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Subsidizing Hate: The FBI’s Role in Revitalizing the Aryan Nations

Posted by M. C. on July 30, 2022

“We’d go out shooting with [the FBI informant] and he funded many of our trips to Aryan Nations in Idaho. He was always loaded with a lot of money, always had $100 bills on him,” the former Aryan Nations member told Painting. “Anything we wanted, [the informant] had the cash. He drove to Aryan Nations with us in the summer of ’94.”

by Ken Silva

When reading the recently released book on racist extremism, “A History of Hate in Ohio,” I was struck by a statistic about the growth of the neo-Nazi group Aryan Nations between the time of the Waco massacre in 1993 and the Oklahoma City bombing two years later.

“In 1993 Aryan Nations was present in only three states. As Klanwatch reported in March 1995, Aryan Nations staged an alarming comeback in 1994,” write authors Michael Brooks and Bob Fitrakis. “Aided by money from the Aryan Republican Army [a domestic terrorist group that committed numerous armed robberies], the Idaho-based group swept into 15 states, including Ohio, in 1994, and ended up in 30 states by 1995.”

This statistic went against my understanding of the Aryan Nations, which was a notorious white supremacist organization in the 1980s, but whose members were mostly dead, dying, or neck-deep in legal woes by the 90s.

What could have accounted for the resurgence? While incidents such as Ruby Ridge and Waco inflamed anti-government sentiment, why would they revitalize a neo-Nazi organization that, by all accounts, was largely irrelevant by that time?

I asked historian Wendy Painting, author of the 2016 doctoral thesis-turned-book “Aberration in the Heartland of the Real: The Secret Lives of Timothy McVeigh.”

In response to my question, Painting provided me with an excerpt of an interview she conducted with former Aryan Nations head of security John Bangerter, who explained that the FBI flooded the organization with cash in 1994, the year of its resurgence.

“That’s just the way it was at that time. We were infiltrated. We knew it and we always used that to our advantage. It was normal to have to deal with that. We didn’t stop talking to them, we talked to them more to try to feed them as much disinformation as we could,” the former Aryan Nations security head, who has long since disavowed his racial ideologies, told Painting. “Plus, we kept them close for the money. We always got money from them. They paid for everything. They handed out stacks of money like it was paper.”

See the rest here

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