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Court ruling leaves neo-Nazi group open to financial ruin

from The Sydney Morning Herald
http://www.smh.com.au/news/0009/05/text/world12.html
September 5th 2000
Date: 05/09/2000

New York: A neo-Nazi group that has trained two generations of racist
murderers and thugs faces financial ruin this week after a judge in Idaho
ruled that its security operation was "outrageous" and an "extreme
deviation" from the acceptable.

The ruling opens the way for a jury to award unlimited punitive damages
against the Aryan Nations, a group that despises non-whites and
idolises Hitler.

In a bizarre civil trial, America's white supremacists and the government
subterfuge devised to monitor them have both been exposed.

Seven men posing as news photographers had their credentials revoked
last week after their shiny cameras and polished shoes gave them away
as FBI agents.

In court, testimony from present and former Aryan Nations members
revealed how paranoia, heavy drinking and a fight over a slaughtered dog
led to the violent attack that threatens to bankrupt the group.

At its ramshackle compound by Hayden Lake, the Aryan Nations'
founder and head, Richard Butler, 82, is treated as a quasi-religious
figure by his followers.

But one night in 1998 his security guards set on a mother and son whose
car had backfired. Thinking they were under attack by a Jewish group,
they seized Victoria and Jason Keenan, bound them, beat them and
interrogated them for several hours.

Two former guards are in prison for the attack. This latest civil suit is
aimed at Butler and his former head of security, Michael Teague,
charging them with the negligent oversight of the armed, drug-taking
young men under their command.

In his testimony, Butler defended his group's slogan, "Hatred is our law,
revenge is your duty", saying it came from the Book of Psalms.

The Telegraph, London

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