Review: Flynn and Gerhardt’s The Silent Brotherhood: The Chilling Inside Story of America’s Violent, Anti-Government Militia Movement


The Silent Brotherhood: The Chilling Inside Story of America’s Violent, Anti-Government Militia Movement
Kevin Flynn
Gary Gerhardt

The first on the scene book about the “the Order”, a white supremacist criminal gang that robbed banks to fund the white power movement and was involved in the assassination of liberal radio DJ Alan Berg. Told is a kinda trashy style, the book is still a very useful look into the formation of a relatively successful (though eventually doomed) white supremacist criminal cell.

 

Founded by Robert Jay Matthews at his rural Washington state farm, the group existed for approximately three years, before being taken down with the use of a government witness. All its known members are now in jail or dead. In the time that it was functioning, the Order raised millions of dollars for white supremacist organizations, and killed at least one man. While white power organizing has become much more sophisticated since the days of a group of men plotting shit in a barn, this book features many of the same themes (and some of the same people) as we see today.

 

Recommended for those interested in understanding the enemy.

 

 

* aka “Silent Brotherhood” or the “Bruder Schweign”.

Ridgeway’s Blood In The Face

Blood In The Face: Ku Klux Klan, Aryan Nations, Nazi Skinheads and the Rise of New White Culture

James Ridgeway

Published in 1995 (the year of the Oklahoma City Bombing), Ridgeway’s Blood in the Face was, was the first serious book I read on the rise of post-war neo-Nazi formations like Aryan Nations and Skinhead subculture. While the book begins by tracing the history of the KKK, it’s real worth, I think, is in the serious reporting Ridgeway put into tracing the formation of Aryan Nations, Posse Comitas, and the various amorphous nazi-skinhead groups which plagued the punk rock scene of my youth.

Much of what we see today in terms of the racist and anti-semitic tropes of the so called “alt-right” had their beginnings in these groups. You can see a clear through line from the simplistic hate literature Ridgeway reproduces here to the pepe the frog gas chamber meme’s of today’s alt-right twitter. While others have covered this ground since, Ridgeway was there first and his book remains essential reading for anyone interested in understanding postwar neo Nazism in America.

Recommended.