For at least six years, a well-known and respected certified public accountant — a man whose firm has audited many of Idaho’s public schools and government bodies — has led a secret life as a neo-Nazi. Timothy Stephen Folke now says his activism was part of a bizarre research project, but his family has not accepted that claim.
In April, after this story was completed, Timothy Folke again contacted the Intelligence Report to say that he had “experienced the loss of my wife and family” and had “withdrawn from all activities dealing with the public, as well as all aspects of my previous profession and business.” His CPA firm’s website was taken down, as were his own website and some of his racist writings. The Report contacted his son, Kurt Folke, who said that his father had only informed his family of his “deeply disturbing” secret life the previous weekend, and confirmed that his parents were divorcing and his father had “retired from the firm.” His father, he said, “is out of the picture and out of our family and our lives.” Kurt Folke added: “He needs to reflect on what he’s done. He’s going to retire and reflect on what he’s done.”
It is rare indeed to find a middle-aged, respected CPA who is also a Hitler-worshiping Holocaust denier intent on building an all-white Aryan homeland. Yet that is exactly what Timothy Stephen Folke, an accountant whose firm in Payette, Idaho, audits many of Idaho’s public schools and other government entities, appears to be. In secret. And with the personal advice of Hitler.
Folke has written dozens of racist and anti-Semitic tracts under his O’Reilly pseudonym, which he describes as “the pen name of a businessman, farmer, and investor. A family man, his home is in the Pacific Northwest.” A longtime member of the neo-Nazi National Alliance (NA) who attended the group’s “leadership conference” in 2009, Folke’s fascination with organized Aryanism, according to his autobiography, reaches back to the late 1970s when he visited the Alliance’s original Arlington, Va., headquarters, where he claims to have met a successor of American Nazi Party founder George Lincoln Rockwell.
But Folke, confronted by the Intelligence Report, now says it was all a hoax. In a bizarre series of E-mails, Folke — who on his CPA website describes himself and his family partners as “easy to work with,” having “good senses of humor” and known for their “tactful” ability to “hold items of trust in strict confidence” — said that his years of racist and anti-Semitic writings were all part of a research “project.” His book was only written, he said, to gain access to people who seemed to live close to nature — “part of my effort to both illustrate a nature-based world and gain entrance into a closed society for the purposes of my research.” He said he wanted to understand “why human beings don’t ‘fit in’ with the natural world.”
“I prize truth above all else,” he wrote in one of the E-mails. “I desire it with all my heart, and will pursue it no matter what roads I must trod to do so.”
It’s hard to tell from Folke’s E-mails how writing racist tracts to gain favor with neo-Nazis was going to help him answer his purported questions. It is true, however, that the original Nazis thought of themselves as close to nature, which they pictured as governed by a cardinal rule: The powerful will always rule the weak.
‘Our Aryan Values’
Tim Folke’s apparent devotion to the National Alliance, whose late leader William Pierce’s writings inspired Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh, is far from a new thing. His numerous racist and anti-Semitic writings appear to have begun with a 2007 piece in the Alliance’s chief journal, National Vanguard. In a piece entitled “Our Aryan Values,” Folke, writing as O’Reilly, meditated on how “thinking” is “the Aryan’s finest pastime” and how Hitler thought of Aryans as the “good race” and all the other races as “chaff.” The following year, he published a short essay, “Internal Strength,” in the National Alliance Bulletin, the group’s internal newsletter. It stressed the need to financially support the NA.
In past years, in addition to paying monthly membership dues of $130 and up (several times the monthly minimum required by the Alliance), Folke has purchased hundreds of dollars in items from the neo-Nazi outfit. And he is one of only three men specifically thanked in the pages of the Bulletin for donating $1,000 or more to support the posthumous publication of Pierce’s final work on the white race, Who We Are. The book is meant to be a prime recruiting tool for the organization.
Although he did not dispute his authorship of his novel and various racist essays, Folke told the Report that he had made no such donation and knew nothing of Who We Are. He blamed the mention of his name on “identity theft.”
Folke’s literary tour de force is surely his multi-part series on creating thriving white homelands, “What Will Work,” which ran between 2010 and this January on a racist website, The Occidental Observer. The site is devoted to “White Identity, Interests and Culture,” and publishes the work of prominent anti-Semites including Kevin MacDonald, a psychology professor at California State University, Long Beach, whose work has been denounced by his colleagues and administrators.
In nearly 20 installments, Folke lays out what amounts to a “how to” guide for building successful Aryan homelands, as he calls them, covering everything from finances and employment, to secession, to such things as culture and Aryan values. The series is infused with racism and anti-Semitism. In it, he writes that “Colored” people are “Mother Earth’s own proverbial ring around the collar” and then goes on to discuss Jews. “The Jew has found the chink in our armor — our enthrallment with visual imagery,” he writes at one strange point. “How the Aryan delights in private visual imagery — entertainment, sensationalism, drama, and pornography! And the Jew is there to offer it, 24/7, for he knows that visual imagery delivered via mass media — be it TV, movies, videos or internet — is his key to world dominion through brain-hacking the only people that pose a real threat to him.” (Alliance founder Pierce also often complained of “Jewish pornographers.”)
Repeatedly in “What Will Work,” Folke cites variations of the white supremacist motto known as “The 14 Words” — “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for White children” — as his motivation. Interestingly, the cover art for Folke’s novel, Hyperborean Home, was designed by Ron McVan, who collaborated with Katja Lane in establishing 14 Words Press (both live in the Pacific Northwest). Katja Lane is the widow of David Lane, who coined The 14 Words and who was sentenced to 190 years in prison for his part in a 1984 assassination carried out by the white supremacist terrorist gang The Order. He died in 2007.
Folke published his novel in March 2011. The story is set three millennia in the future and, perhaps unsurprisingly given Folke’s profession, has a long section on accounting practices. (One befuddled racist reviewer remarked: “It does seem odd that the author wanted to teach about race and the New Order and he uses a lesson in accounting to do it.”) The novel features a race called “The Fairest Ones,” beautiful light-skinned people who have their own homeland and live long lives as the result of natural selection and eugenics, or the selective breeding of humans. They are stalked by “Evil Ones” who seem to basically be what modern racists call “multiculturalists,” or supporters of multiracial societies. The book says it “indicts the current system and gives hope for a better world to come.”
Folke does not merely fantasize about the future; he seems to be all about building it. Another of his projects, the website familyhomenorthwest.com, laid out practical advice to Aryan activists ready to relocate to his area — until, that is, the Report asked him about it mid-March, after which the entire site was pulled down. With the basic theme of acting locally, the site had discussed in practical terms the employment and cultural opportunities for white couples ready to move to the great Northwest. In a Summer 2012 article in a racist journal, The Occidental Quarterly, Folke advertised his website and talked about the importance of building a National Socialist economy now if an Aryan ethno-state is the desired end game.
“Adolf Hitler did not get into power or win the hearts of his people through a racialist platform, but rather by putting people back to work, which in turn put pride in men’s hearts, food in the wife’s pantry, and warmth and joy in the family,” Folke wrote. White people, he added, have forgotten that “cash talks.”
Folke is not the first apparent white supremacist to offer up his views on how to build a brighter future for the Aryan race. But he may be the first to simultaneously earn his living by auditing public corporations set up by a government that any contemplated Aryan state would presumably have to eliminate in a massive bloodbath. Folke’s CPA firm, in addition to doing taxes for individuals, has audited nearly a dozen Idaho public school districts, several charter schools, various Idaho cities, sewer districts, and other governmental bodies.
When asked by the Report about his views, Folke avoided any direct mention of his “Aryan” propagandizing. “The postings you refer to, as well as the website, were part of a research project that I hoped would provide me information I was seeking” on “animal rights, people working together, religious issues, rural versus urban living, and so on.” Folke said he pulled down his website on creating a white community in the Pacific Northwest after being contacted by the Report because it had “served its purpose.” He added that his “research” effort “was not successful insofar as getting the information I sought.”
An attempt by the Report to seek further clarification about Folke’s reasoning produced a second bizarre E-mail from Folke saying that his research project had failed and had made him many “enemies” among white nationalists, and claiming that his real commitment was to animal rights. It’s hard to know what Folke really thinks, but in his “What Will Work” series he advocates a technique to fellow white supremacists — something he calls “pragmatic deception.”
“Pragmatic deception means that we listen more than we talk, that we keep our thoughts to ourselves when not amongst friends, that we still keep our thoughts to ourselves when amongst loquacious friends, that we use pseudonyms when possible, and that we never, ever announce our plans or the weapons in our possession ahead of time to our enemies,” Folke wrote in April 2012. This type of deception serves another purpose, he added. “The greatest blessing accruing to those of us who perfect the fine art of deception,” he says, “is that (when used responsibly as a weapon) it lifts from our shoulders all fear of reprisal for publicly advocating the interests of our own folk.”
Folke has taken his own advice, at least as far as using a pseudonym and working to avoid identification. None of his racist or anti-Semitic work appears anywhere under his own name, apart from a 2005 letter to the editor he wrote to the Weiser (Idaho) Signal American complaining about Jewish neoconservatives who he said were controlling President George W. Bush’s Middle East policies. Nowhere in the Alliance’s publications or on racist websites does his real name appear.
It does seem that Folke has taken some concrete, on-the-ground action in furtherance of the dream of creating an Aryan homeland. At least that’s what he said in August 2011, when he wrote about finding low-cost mortgages for whites wanting to relocate to his area and claimed to already have “two families in place.”
Folke’s tale and, especially, his explanation for his writings, are certainly strange — but they are not entirely unique. In 2006, a year after he was fired from his post as a Fairleigh Dickinson University history professor following the discovery of his membership in the neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement (NSM), Jacques Pluss published a remarkable screed entitled, “Now It Can Be Told: Why I Pretended to Be a Neo-Nazi.” In it, he claimed he joined the NSM, and became a spokesman for the group, only to research a book on “the wacky White Power movement.” But a year later, Pluss admitted that he really was a neo-Nazi, and four years after that, in 2011, he was arrested for threatening the head of the Anti-Defamation League, a Jewish human rights group. He ultimately pleaded guilty to a weapons charge.