Call it Klan Kamp, a summertime retreat in the Ozark Mountains where, for $500 per camper, young and old can learn the fundamentals of the “HOLY mission of White Christian Revival” with the goal of becoming leaders in the “New Crusade for race, faith and homeland.”
On Aug. 23, the first class of the Soldiers of the Cross Training Institute (SOTC) is scheduled to begin on the Arkansas property of the Knights Party, the offspring of David Duke’s Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.
The seven-day institute is the brainchild of the Knights Party leader and pastor, Thomas Robb, who has brought together a roster of fellow white supremacists from down the road and across the sea to teach such subjects as “America’s Changing Political climate,” “Leadership – Activist leaders and leaders in the shadows,” “What is propaganda and how to use it effectively,” and “Establishing white conscienceness [sic] in modern society.”
There is no mention on the institute’s website of spelling or typing lessons being offered during the weeklong kickoff of the crusade to establish “white consciousness.”
In addition to Robb, the six-person faculty will include Paul Fromm, one of Canada’s best-known white supremacists and anti-immigration ideologues; Tomislav Sunic, a Croatian author and frequent guest speaker at American extremist events; and Billy Roper, the uncensored voice of violent neo-Nazism, born into organized hate as the son and grandson of Klansmen.
But before the first marshmallow can be roasted, the institute needs money and is seeking contributions to build a dorm for the students and a place “to house our vast library.” According to the SOTC website, the dorm will cost $40,000. “We are at the beginning of a new year and many of you are getting your refund checks in the mail,” the Klan Kamp solicitation letter states. “I know it could be tough for some of you, but we need to stop for a moment and put some value on our people and consider whether safeguarding the existence of our people, and providing a future for our children is worthy of what ever sacrifice we make now.”
The institute is open to campers 16 and up, although students under 18 will need a signed, notarized statement from a parent or guardian granting permission to attend. There will be scholarships available if enough people sign over their tax refunds.
See, the government is good for something.
The camp’s primary focus is to train future leaders who will return to their communities “with the tools to become actively involved” in the “struggle for our racial redemption.”
This is not the first time Robb has tried to turn his compound, about 30 miles south of the country music playground of Branson, Mo., into a summer camp or training center for Klan kids. In the early 1990s, he attempted to start a family-oriented Klan camp in the area.
It’s also not the first time someone on the radical right has operated a Soldiers of the Cross Training Institute with the purpose of preparing a new racist leadership cadre. Kenneth Goff, an early ideologue of Christian Identity – a racist theology that’s been popular among Klansmen, neo-Nazis and other white nationalists for decades – founded a Colorado-based, Soldiers of the Cross Training Institute in the 1950s.
Goff’s SOTC trained Christian Identity leaders, including Dan Gayman, a well-known anti-Semitic leader during the 1980s.
A 1969 Soldiers of the Cross newsletter penned by Goff describes black civil rights protesters as seeking to “submerge our culture and religious heritage under a flood of cannibalism, voodooism and beastly jungle sex orgies.”
Robb’s SOTC does not use such extremist language in its appeal for students and funds. Robb has longed tried to paint his Knights Party as a softer, gentler, more politically astute Klan. His training institute, according to the website, will prepare a new “generation to walk in the footsteps of the great heroes of history that we recognize” and teach the “strategy of our enemies and how to combat them in the arena of ideas.”
Sounds like a fun week.