Archive/File: orgs/american/idaho kamiah.001 people/g/gritz.bo almost.heaven fascism/usa/idaho kamiah.001 Last-Modified: 1994/06/20 - typos mine. knm. Reprinted with permission from "The Dignity Report," a publication of the Coalition for Human Dignity Research Department, February 15, 1994. Almost Heaven? -------------- "In what may be the most significant development in the white supremacy movement in the Northwest in recent years far-right leader James 'Bo' Gritz is moving forward with plans to establish a community of his followers in central Idaho. Gritz and ex-Arizona police officer Gerald 'Jack' McLamb have acquired property overlooking the Clearwater River near the town of Kamiah, Idaho just inside the Nez Perce Indian Reservation. There, on a parcel of land they have named 'Almost Heaven,' they plan to establish what they call a 'Christian Covenant Community,' a base of operations for Christian patriot tax protestors and anti-Semitic fanatics. Gritz and McLamb, through a myriad of trusts set-up by Gritz's financial wizard Michael Bloomquist, are now taking the necessary steps to actually establish the sort of Christian patriot refuge they have talked about for more than a year. Gritz and his agents reportedly travelled extensively in eastern Washington and in Idaho in search of land that could serve as a base for the 'Covenant People,'; a place that could serve both as a refuge for true believers and as a base of operations for intervening in conflicts between Christian patriots and law enforcement, civil rights activists, minority communities, the IRS, and other political enemies. It would, however, be a mistake to consider the Almost Heaven community as representing a case of 'separatism.' The communtity is intended as a retreat, a last refuge for patriots in case the apocalypse they anticipate overtakes them, but it is also intended as a regional base of power. In fact the Sheriff of Idaho County has already been put on notice by area 'constitutionalists' (the Idaho euphemism for Christian patriots) that he had better start looking for a job. The reason? Their own candidate was on his way from Arizona. Both Gritz and McLamb presently operate from Arizona. SPIKE The formation of Christian Covenant Communities is in part a result of Gritz's failed 1992 presidential campaign as the candidtate of the racist Populist Party. The base of support and leadership of Gritz's campaign rooted him deeply in the white supremacist movement. In 1992 Gritz's campaign leaders and contacts in the Northwest read like a who's who of Pacific Northwest supremacists - Christian Identity leader Chris Temple and hard-core anti-Semite Red Beckman in Montana, neo-Nazi Harry Schmidt, Klan leader Kim Badynski and Christian patriot John Prukop in Washington, and Christian patriot Richard Flowers in Oregon. In February 1993 Gritz began the first in a series of SPIKE (Specially Prepared Individuals for Key Events) seminars, capitalizing on the climate created by the Weaver stand-ff and on the notoriety he gained by negotiating an end to it. The SPIKE trainings seem to promise to prepare his Christian patriot followers for future stand-offs between far rightists and law enforcement. A number of people involved in the SPIKE trainings and the formation of the Covenant Communities played top leadership roles in Gritz's 1992 campaign. Prominent among them is former Arizona State Senator Jerry Gillespie who served as Gritz's 1992 campaign manager. He is in on the Idaho land deal in addition to being executive director of the Center for Action, the organization that sponsors the SPIKE trainings. Gritz's Oregon campaign organizer Richard Flowers, head of the Boring, Oregon-based Christian Patriot Association (CPA) was listed as a SPIKE instructor in Phase III and promotes the mail forwarding service which Gritz's Almost Heaven Properties Trust lists as its address. From the beginning in Gebruary 1993 the SPIKE sessions have had the appearance of paramilitary trainings, a characteristic that has only increased as the cycle has progressed. Instructors in Phase I included former Navy Seal Scott David Weekly, former Army Ranger Gary Goldman and former Los Angeles Police Instructor Dick Clark. Phase II added Bob Spear, an author of books such as 'Hapkido-The Integrated Fighting Art' and 'Military Knife Fighting.' With the beginning of Phase III in September 1993 the sessions have included weapons training. Gritz claims to have furnished the weapons and has offered to make available Class II and IIA body armor which will reportedly stand up to .357 and .44 magnum fire. In the August edition of the 'Center for Action' newsletter, Gritz advertises: 'Our classes will include instinctive, combat, and special purpose marksmanship. All weapons and ammunition will be furnished.' Adding that, Bob Spear remains as your SPIKE WEAPONS DEFENSE INSTRUCTOR... You will learn what weapon and ammunition type is best in times of grave peril; how to carry, draw, hold and effectively engage multiple targets with a handgun. You will fire the latest Ruger semi-automatic pistols equipped with laser and red dot sights. Both street confrontation and deliberate shooting will be taught along with instinctive 'Quick Kill' skills. All guns and ammo will be furnished. ('Center for Action,' September 1993, p.4) The close relationship between the SPIKE trainings and the formation of Christian Covenant Communities is exemplified through Mike Bloomquist, Gritz's specialist on 'common law trusts.' Besides being a SPIKE trainer, Bloomquist doubles as 'First Trust Agent' for the Almost Heaven Properties Trust, the entity established to procure and hold the property for Gritz and the other (un-named) Board of Directors. Bloomquist also runs Crown Enterprises based in Phoenix, Arizona. Lastly, Phase IV of the SPIKE training is apparently designed to facilitate the formation of Regional SPIKE Teams. 'When time runs out for awareness and training, proper areas will be available for those desiring to relocate,' writes Gritz in the September 1993 'Center for Action' newsletter. Income Tax or Armageddon? The 'Center for Action' newsletter has become increasingly strident, and the role Gritz sees the covenant communities playing in a potential confrontation has become clearer with each new publication. In the July issue Gritz writes: I believe that through a system of Christian covenant communities we ... will be sealed up against both the dragon and the Wrath of God poured out against His enemies.... THIS DOES NOT MEAN THAT THERE ARE NO BATTLES WAITING TO BE FOUGHT. The way we will band ourselves together in mutual strength is through alignment, organization and engagements short of violent combat (Center for Action, July 1993, p.3). Although Gritz continues to deny his affiliations with racists, his own writings and SPIKE Team members betray him. One need look no further than the material promoted by Gritz's 'sovereignty' expert Doug Olsen who promotes the State Citizen Service Center in Orange County, California. Olsen distributes material from the Christian Patriot computer bulletin board of California leader Richard McDonald. According to Olsen's legal theories there are two varieties of citizens in the United States - white people who he terms 'State Citizens' or 'de Jure citizens' and people of color, termed '14th. Amendment citizens.' Besides using bogus legal arguments to justify white supremacy, Christian Patriots often adopt biblical arguments to support their prejudices. In the January issue of his Center for Action newsletter Gritz brazenly promotes the core tenets of the racist pseudo-theology of Christian Identity. Cain was the SEED OF THE DEVIL. Able was OF ADAM (Au-dawm, meaning blusing face). Even before they were born GOD MADE THEM ENEMIES (enmity).... Identify believers routinely use this reference as a 'proof' that white people (who can 'blush red in the face') are the genetic descendents of Adam, 'the first man.' This, they claim, places them in the line of biblical Israel and Jesus Christ and subsequently as racial heris to the seat of a white Christian government on earth. To win this government, Identity followers view themselves engaged in a struggle against Jews, whom they see as a Satanic force presently controlling the government bureaucracy and people of color. Gritz has written that he believes that the Federal Reserve Bank is dominated by 'eight Jewish families' ('Called to Serve,' 1991, p. 609). And he has scapegoated Jews for all that Christian patriots consider evil and corrupting in the world. Who in the world is promoting abortion, pornography, pedophilia, Godless laws, adultery, New Age international banking, entertainment industry and world publishing. Wherever you find the worshippers of BAal with their roots still deep in Babylonian mysticism... Yes, there is a star war going on today between the five-points of righteousness and the six-points of Satan (Center for Action, January 1994, p. 8). Finally, as if in an effort to confirm his own sense of self-importance, Gritz proclaims 'I have been annointed with consecrated oil, and men of God have laid hands upon my head with blessings that I be a Gideon for the righteous in this time of trouble.' (Center for Action, January 1994, p.2). Conclusion The Pacific Northwest has suffered its share of bigoted violence over the past decade. The neo-Nazi terrorist organization known as 'The Order' culled many of its members from the ranks of the Northwest's most notorious hate group, the Church of Jesus Christ Christian - Aryan Nations, located in Hayden Lake, Idaho. The the aging patriarch of the church, 'pastor' Richard Girnt Butler has lost much of his luster, and his dream of turning the Northwest into a 'Mountain Republic' for white supremacists has fallen on tough times, leaving the movement leaderless. The SPIKE trainings and the move to central Idaho indicate that Gritz is positioning himself to fill the leadership role. Editor's Note: This report is adapted from a more comprehensive topical report titled 'Almost Heaven? Bo Gritz, Spike and the Christian Covenent Communities,' issued by the Coalition for Human Dignity in February 1994. To obtain a copy of this report write to us at P.O. Box 40344, Portland, Oregon, 40344 or call us at (503) 281-5823. This report costs $2.00 pre-paid including postange and handling. ..."
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