http://www.sltrib.com/09122000/nation_w/21447.htm Aryan Nations' Leader Says It 'Isn't Over' Tuesday, September 12, 2000 BY NICHOLAS K. GERANIOS THE ASSOCIATED PRESS HAYDEN LAKE, Idaho -- There's a silver bust of Adolf Hitler in the church. A guardtower is decorated with Nazi flags. German shepherds roam the grounds. And swastikas are everywhere. This is the wooded, 20-acre compound that the Aryan Nations will have to relinquish after losing a civil lawsuit. But it's not clear when the winners of the lawsuit can take possession. And it's unlikely the loss of the compound means the end of the Aryan Nations. "This isn't over," Aryan Nations founder Richard Butler said at a weekend news conference. "We are going to find a way to go on." Butler, 82, could move his Church of Jesus Christ Christian/Aryan Nations to another location. Or he could concentrate his activities on the Internet, where Aryan Nations already has a home page. Perhaps the most immediate decision is whether to appeal the $6.3 million judgment a jury awarded to a woman and her son who were assaulted by Aryan Nations security guards. Butler has repeatedly said that he doesn't have the $960,000 bond required by Idaho law to file an appeal. But he's planning to ask for a new trial before the Sept. 18 deadline. If 1st District Judge Charles Hosack denies a new trial, Butler would have 54 days to file an appeal. Butler was also ordered to appear at a hearing on Oct. 13 to testify under oath about his assets. The plaintiffs could then pursue a court order to force a sheriff's sale of the Aryan Nations' assets. Or Butler could be forced into bankruptcy. On Friday, attorneys for Victoria and Jason Keenan sent a certified letter to Butler saying they intend to move immediately to claim the neo-Nazi group's assets. Attorney Norm Gissel of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, wrote that his clients want "all posters, artwork, memorabilia, Nazi symbols, swastikas, altars, pulpits, church benches, plaques, flags, Aryan Nations symbols, weapons" and other items. The letter warned Butler not to try to remove or destroy any of the items. "I'll leave the property just as it is," Butler said. Morris Dees, whose Southern Poverty Law Center was behind the civil damages suit, said he wants to take possession to the very name "Aryan Nations" and retire it. Butler vowed he would continue using the name anyway. Butler was upset by Dees' suggestion that the compound be turned into a museum of tolerance. "He wants to bring little children up here and say, 'This is where hate is,' " Butler said. "Anything pro-white is hate." Butler, a widower, has no plans to resist eviction from the property. "I'll leave the property," he said, adding that he may be sleeping "on a park bench." Whatever happens, Butler is not going quietly. He has filed a request for a permit to parade down the streets of nearby Coeur d'Alene in October. "We may have lost a battle," Butler said. "But we haven't lost the war."
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