�Identity� Movement Called
Hal Mansfield, M.A.
Cult Observer, 1997,
Volume 14, No. 4
When people first hear the term
Christian Identity, they think that it refers to another Christian
denomination, such as Methodist or Baptist.
This confusion enables racial supremacists to provide a
�religious� cover for their views.
The basic belief of the Christian Identity movement is that the
Jews are descendants of Satan, and that the real Israelites are the
English-speaking and Germanic tribes.
This idea is derived from the teaching that after the Assyrian
captivity the scattered tribes in the Caucasus Mountains, who later
settled Europe, were the true Israelites. Blacks, Asians, and other minorities are considered pre-Adam,
that is, inferior creations. Some
Identity groups have decided that minorities are on the same level as
animals, and therefore have no soul. There are variations in teachings
with different Identity Churches. Some
advocate separation of all the races, while others call for the
extermination of all nonwhites.
There seem to be two basic theological
paths in Identity. One believes the word Jew is derived from Judah. The
tribe of Judah lost its heritage by mixing with the Babylonians and
adapting parts of other religions.
People following this path many times refer to a Jew as an
Edomite. The second path,
which is by far the more popular, teaches that Jesus, when talking about
the Jews, was literally talking about the descendants of the Devil.
Since the Devil is a liar and a murderer, Jews are liars and murderers
like their father. According to this belief, Jews became descendants of
Satan when Satan seduced Eve and Eve gave birth to Cain. Satan�s plans are to destroy the pure white race by causing
other races (called �mud-people�) to sexually mix with the white
Ku Klux Klan members and neo-Nazi
followers appear to be strongly attracted to this �religion.�
In fact, one often observes dual or even triple memberships in
these organizations. This
makes it difficult to measure how many people actually belong to these
groups, since one may be counting the same nose three times.
Lately, there seems to have been an
upsurge of recruitment into Identity churches.
These groups are trying to draw in the more mainstream middle
class, and are having some success.
When approached by one of their recruiters, one doesn�t hear
about supremacy issues. Instead,
talk centers around gun control and other more mainstream issues.
Later, the true agendas are presented, after the organization has
had time to gain the person�s trust and determine if he or she is open
to their racist views.
Much current recruitment seems to
revolve around survival materials, especially at exhibitions such as
recently occurred in Denver. A
wide range of people attends these exhibitions.
Some fear that the end of the world is imminent and are waiting
for the government to collapse. Others
just want to buy materials to be self-sufficient.
At these exhibitions an Identity group member manning a booth
will display materials of general interest.
When people stop by the booth and talk to the operator, he or she
will size a person up to determine if he or she might be recruitment
material. If the prospect is deemed to be a possible member, he or she
will be given other publications, which are stored under the table.
Another popular means of recruitment is
through the sale of audio and videotapes.
The recruiter will approach prospects and ask them to view a tape
that has some �stuff� on it, and have the persons give their
opinions. Most of the issues on this tape will be of no particular
interest to the Identity movement.
But if the prospect shows an interest in the one or two that do
concern Identity group members, then the recruitment process will go to
the next stage, namely, to convince the person that he or she �thinks
like we do.� If the recruit continues to show interest, he or she will
over time be introduced to other issues and ultimately indoctrinated
into the Identity philosophy.
As with many cultic groups,
supremacists keep people from testing their beliefs against reality by
cutting them off from all contact with outside ideas. Members are told
that all media and the government are controlled by ZOG, which stands
for Zionist Occupied Government. Members
are told that Jews control the media and government, that Jews can�t
be trusted, and that one shouldn�t associate with race traitors or mud
races (mud races are any race other than white). Once this belief is
accepted, members rely only on their leader for �true� information.
Many families involved with these groups have broken up when spouses
have objected to having outside contact. Again, the similarity with many
cultic groups is evident.
Many communities don't realize that
they have Identity churches in their midst. Typically, an Identity group
will look and sound like a fundamentalist Bible church, masking what
they are really about. Most take an anti-gay stance in the community;
some on the extreme side. These groups may also take hard-line stances
on other issues, such as obscenity or teen pregnancy, in order to create
the false impression that they are just fundamentalist preachers, when
in fact they are supremacists. The community may object to this kind of
rhetoric on issues, but may not know there is a supremacy agenda behind
it. In fact, in many cases, communities aren't aware of these groups
until they are well entrenched. Like David Duke, a Ku Klux Klan leader
who won a seat in the Louisiana legislature, supremacists have learned
that they can gain power by looking like the rest of their host
Not surprisingly, there is considerable
crossover in membership from the KKK to Identity groups and some of the
Militia and Patriot movements. These ties have given supremacists access
to people with weapons and violent agendas. This is a problem that will
continue well beyond the year 2000.