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The Order (white supremacist group)

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)
FormationSeptember 1983; 36 years ago (1983-09)
ExtinctionDecember 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), Silent Brotherhood or less commonly 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.


The Order was founded by Robert Jay Mathews in late September 1983 at Mathews's farm near Metaline, Washington.[2] Mathews's farm is where the members reportedly trained.[3] 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 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.[4] 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.[5] Berg was number two on The Order's list.[6]

In December 1984, authorities were able to track Mathews down to a house on Whidbey Island where he refused to surrender.[4] During a shootout, the house was ignited by incendiary flares and became engulfed in flames, and Mathews was killed.[4] Mathews is considered a martyr by some white nationalists.[7][8]


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 dope dealers, which would raise money for the organization as well as set back street criminals in their businesses.[9]

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,"[9] while Matthews mentions that the pay off from the job "would not fund the right wing for a week anyway."[9] 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.[10] 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 counterfeiting operation and executed a series of armored car robberies taking a total of $4.1 million, including one near Ukiah, California that netted $3.8 million. 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).[11][12][13]


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.[14] 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.[15] 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.[16] 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.[15] Thirteen of them were acquitted, and the judge dismissed the charges against the fourteenth man for lack of evidence.[15]

A 2011 NPR report claimed that some of the people associated with this group were imprisoned in a highly restrictive Communication Management Unit.[17] Richard Scutari, a member of the Order, was sentenced to a 60-year prison term in 1986,[18] and was removed to USP Marion CMU in July 2008.

See also


  1. ^ []
  2. ^ "Jury Told of Plan to Kill Radio Host (Subscription needed)". The New York Times. November 8, 1987. Retrieved August 25, 2007.
  3. ^ "Resurgent hate groups have long history in Washington state, Northwest". The Seattle Times. August 19, 2017. Retrieved February 26, 2019.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ "Death List Names Given to US Jury". New York Times. September 17, 1985. Retrieved August 25, 2007.
  6. ^ Morris Dees and Steve Fiffer. Hate on Trial: The Case Against America's Most Dangerous Neo-Nazi. Villard Books, 1993. page xiiv
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on December 1, 2005. Retrieved March 7, 2006.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ National Vanguard Archived March 8, 2012, at
  9. ^ a b c 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.
  10. ^ "Global Terrorism Database".
  11. ^ Gus Martin, ed. (2011). The SAGE Encyclopedia of Terrorism (2nd ed.). Sage. p. 450. ISBN 978-1412980166.
  12. ^ "Free the Order Rally". Southern Poverty Law Center. Spring 2007. Archived from the original on July 11, 2007. Retrieved August 17, 2007.
  13. ^ New York Times - 2 Linked to Aryan groups plead guilty in plot
  14. ^ Knudson, Thomas J. (October 31, 1987). "Trial Opens in Slaying of Radio Talk Show Host". New York Times. Retrieved August 25, 2007.
  15. ^ a b c "Extremism in America: David Lane". Anti-Defamation League. 2007. Archived from the original on August 18, 2004. Retrieved July 18, 2007.
  16. ^ 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).
  17. ^ DATA & GRAPHICS: Population Of The Communications Management Units, Margot Williams and Alyson Hurt, NPR, 3-3-11, retrieved 2011 03 04 from
  18. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on January 19, 2012. Retrieved December 5, 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

Further reading

External links