Women in the Neo-Nazi Group World Church of the Creator Speak Out
"Family values" have long been a staple of the radical right. A chief mission of the Reconstruction- and 1920s-era Klans was the protection of the "honor" and chastity of white women.
In more modern times, the "Fourteen Words" penned by imprisoned terrorist David Lane in the 1980s has become a family-oriented mantra for the white supremacist right: "We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children."
White women long have been portrayed as a tiny minority in a dark-skinned world (the National Alliance, a neo-Nazi group based in West Virginia, terms them the "Earth's Most Beautiful Endangered Species"), seeking only to protect their fair-haired children.
Now, the role of radical women is expanding.
Part of this new activism owes a debt to the examples of several previous female extremists. The most notable early case is that of Kathy Ainsworth, a Mississippi housewife and Klanswoman who was killed in a 1968 shootout with police as she and a companion tried to bomb the home of a Jewish businessman in Meridian. While Ainsworth was widely seen as a heroine, few women tried to emulate her.
That is less true of Vicki Weaver, the wife of white supremacist Randy Weaver who was shot dead by an FBI sniper in the 1992 Ruby Ridge standoff. Many movement women say they were deeply inspired by Vicki Weaver, who seems to have been a far stronger character than her husband.
Still, many women who join the white supremacist movement seem to do so for fairly traditional reasons. Kathleen Blee, a leading expert who estimates that fully a quarter of many hate groups' members are now female, has written that while many women enter the movement "because of worries about crime, the quality of children's schools or family dissolution," others do so primarily because of personal relationships.
Indeed, many racist women today are pointing out that they were brought in through a lover or husband, and that many women are not true believers like the men.
And they are seeking to change that.
Using Women to Recruit Women
Sitting at a picnic table in Sacramento, 19-year-old Brandi Houston looks like many a young mother as she cradles her baby Freya Geniveve — except for the WCOTC jacket and the Skingirl-style hairdo she sports.
Houston heads up the California chapter of a second WCOTC women's group, "Sisterhood," which works to recruit women to the cause and which also has chapters in Washington and Michigan. She and Melody La Rue, head of the Washington chapter, publish a Sisterhood newsletter five times a year.
That's not all they do. On alternate Fridays, Houston hosts study groups in her living room with a group of women who read up on Church of the Creator founder Ben Klassen's works, such as The White Man's Bible. They devise organizing techniques for women like slipping WCOTC literature into women's clothing on store racks.
They've designed an annual "Sister of the Year" award ("We thought since White Women are taking on a more vigorous role within our Church, some healthy competition would be fun!"). They are working on a "racialist" educational curriculum for women who home school.
And Houston coordinates "winter solstice" gatherings and other female recruitment efforts.
In such recruitment efforts, she says, she has an advantage. "It's easier for women to talk to women, instead of men approaching women," Houston notes. "When I approach women, I get a much better response than when a man approaches a woman."
Adds "Sister Blondi," another Sacramento area women's organizer for the WCOTC: "The fact that I am a fairly young woman, nicely dressed, and white, actually helped. I'm not a threat to anyone and others feel that they can speak to me freely."
Houston, speaking in an interview this spring, says she also works with female WCOTC members to help them gain the political confidence to deal with men. "I had this girl who was so shy, she never talked to anyone," Houston says. But now that Houston has taken her under her wing? "She opens up to everybody. ... She's a better leader than she was."
When dealing with women's self-esteem and confidence, issues that are critical to building future racist leaders, Houston finds that "girls just relate better. ... It's easier [for women] to talk to [other] women about those things."
For her part, Turner uses the Internet and newsletters to advise racist women to raise more children ("We must reawaken in our womenfolk these basic natural instincts and drives"); to push jewelry that celebrates their racial heritage; and to offer information on self-defense.
She calls for an all-woman white power rock band and proposes the creation of a magazine for white women "to compete with the Glamours and Mademoiselles ... that extols the glory of motherhood, rather than climbing the corporate ladder... or 'how to trap a man' by wearing the right shade of lipstick."
Turner blasts those of her "male Comrades" whose art on Web sites and in periodicals depicts white women as "sexual bait."
'This is not a Dating Service'
Indeed, the WCOTC and some other women's groups explicitly reject the notion that their women's forums are meant to further Aryan romance, like the Web's now defunct Aryan Dating Page, which was a classified personals section for racists.
"We are not here to flirt with men or get 'dates,' but to conduct ourselves professionally and in a decent, understanding way," says Turner's Women's Frontier page. As to Houston's organization, "Sisterhood's main objective is to tie together the female allegiance ... We are not a dating service and will not turn into a 'Cupid's Corner.'"
The WCOTC's "Creator Connection" page, Turner adds, "is a service for White women to network with one another... . THIS IS NOT A DATING SERVICE."
(Some men apparently don't heed that warning. In the Sisterhood guest book, for instance, one man announces that he is seeking a wife among "racially conscious women." He claims to be a Harvard graduate, "6' 3" and 220 lbs, with light brown hair... .")
Such talk has set off many a debate, as Turner points out. "Our male Comrades, both inside and outside the Church, have generally been extremely supportive and at times even thrilled" about the new Women's Frontier.
But, she adds, "there are always reactionary elements who grumble under their breath" about its formation.
The resulting exchanges are instructive.
"Women have got to start pulling their weight in greater numbers and stop treating the race movement as a tittering clubhouse," a man named Keith says in a Stormfront posting. "The guys cannot do it all on their own, nor should they be expected to."
"Quite a vicious feminist, aren't you?" retorts "Tarkec."
That angers "Litta": "Forgive my lack of humility here, but in case some of you haven't noticed, we women are capable of high IQs too," she says. "As for activism, even warfare, women have been there, done that, and if necessary we can do it again."
Tarkec: "To the angry feminists on this forum: find yourself a White husband. To the feminine a**-kissing males on this forum: defending the angry feminists will not help you become a breeder. What ever happened to the tough, rugged American cowboy image? ... The impetus of activism, leading, writing ... remains overwhelmingly male."
"On each and every list I've been on," New Jersey housewife "Marge" laments, "the subject of what the role of women should be has come up, and inevitably the most popular ideas are the ones about barefoot and pregnant and ... 'cook our meals, wipe our brows, understand we're in a war and give us comfort.' I'm actually surprised so many women do make contributions, given the misogyny of too many men on our side."