Kristen Kaiser Speaks Out About Her Time as a Member of the National Alliance
A former National Alliance insider speaks
KAISER: The day after the [April 19, 1995] bombing, Kevin got really nervous. He went through the house and found all his old Voice of Tomorrow stuff. [VOT was a mobile, far-right pirate radio station that Strom ran out of a specially equipped van before meeting Kaiser.]
I had never seen him so scared. We put a box of the stuff in the back of the car and we drove to the back of a Wal-Mart in Virginia, I think, and dumped it.
Later, Kevin told me that Timothy McVeigh had called the Alliance five minutes before the bomb went off and that somehow the FBI knew. But he said McVeigh must have called a lot of other right-wing groups, too.
He also said, "You know, the reason why they were all upset is because the bomb was just like the one talked about in the book." Everyone knew what book he was talking about [The Turner Diaries].
I had befriended a lot of local people in West Virginia, and after Oklahoma, a good friend came to me and said, "You know, Kirsten, you better watch your kids. If they get a chance the local people are going to kill your kids, because a lot of kids were killed in Oklahoma." I look outside my window and there are all these reporters.
My heart is racing and I am just petrified. This is real. These are all real reporters, people dressed up in suits with cameras and microphones. I'm not making this up.
IR: How were you affected by all this personally?
KAISER: By this time, I had realized that the idea of a revolution was ridiculous. If these people can't hold down a regular job, what makes you think they can run a country?
Kevin told me that the bombing was a good thing, because it was a government building and that government employees had been killed. It was a part of the revolution. I called my brother and my brother said, "Yeah, well what about all those kids that were killed?"
Kevin said to me, "Well, if there were children killed, they must have been the children of government employees and it will teach them all a lesson." This was retribution for what happened in Waco.
After I got through with this conversation with my brother, something began to grow in me. It was like this little seed. My brother works for the Coast Guard, which means the government, so Kevin was saying that he deserved to be killed. It took a little while for that to sink in on me.
I became so depressed after the bombing. The whole idea that they really think it's okay for children to be killed was starting to bother me.
IR: So you began to think about leaving West Virginia?
KAISER: At about this time, Kevin and Dr. Pierce were having a disagreement. I was happy because I was thinking Kevin was finally going to say we could leave. I wanted to go to Minnesota. One day, he came home with a magazine saying Rochester [Minn.] was supposed to be the best place in America to live.
It was either 96 percent or 97 percent white, so it was acceptable for that reason. We moved there in November of 1995.
I don't know if anyone can relate to this except maybe a prisoner of war, but when we left I was able to listen to regular radio broadcasts. I hadn't heard Paul Harvey in years. I didn't know that O.J. Simpson had apparently killed his wife.
Kevin hadn't allowed us to watch television or read the newspapers because they promote multiculturalism. Driving across country, we were stopping at gas stations and I could see newspapers with today's date on them. There were TVs in the hotel rooms. It was really weird.
IR: How was Rochester once you got there?
KAISER: I got a job as a real estate salesperson. I had a lot of fun, but I felt a sense of shame for the first time because when people asked, I couldn't say what my husband did. At the same time, I couldn't go to office parties, various social things, because Kevin didn't like being around people.
And I couldn't go alone because that would mean getting a baby-sitter, and we couldn't have a baby-sitter because they'd be in the house and then they would know who we were.
The fact that I had to name my baby daughter Klara — Klara was Hitler's mother's name — was also starting to bother me. This whole deal with Hitler was really starting to bother me.
IR: When did it all come to a head for you?
KAISER: On Nov. 13, 1996, we were listening to the radio to hear the weather report. They were talking about some young couple in New Jersey that had hidden the fact that the girl was pregnant. They killed their baby after she gave birth in a hotel room.
I just started crying, and Kevin got mad at me. He said, "Why are you crying?" And I said, "They killed a baby. They killed a baby." I'm looking at my own baby, who is three or four weeks old, and I am just freaking out. And then Kevin said that it was a good thing that it happened, because the woman was a Jew and the man was a Gentile.
I was thinking several thoughts at the same time. How could he know the woman was a Jew? And it occurred to me, for the first time, that it actually didn't matter what race the child was. It was a little baby.
I just kept envisioning that happening to my baby, and I couldn't stop crying. I curled up into a ball in the corner and held on to the baby. I wouldn't let her go, and I couldn't stop crying.
Eventually, I went to see a counselor. He told me that it was a good thing that I was upset, that everyone should be upset when they hear things like that. He said that all children were all part of our family. That is what he said.
In his office, I picked up an old magazine with pictures of the Oklahoma bombing. I screwed up my courage and I read the articles and I looked at the pictures.
I was thinking that this child being held by a fireman doesn't look any different than my son, Oskar, and it's covered with blood. And that whole idea, that there really isn't any difference, that children are children, all came to me. It all came together on that date.