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Being a Brother

Secret Aryan Brotherhood documents unearthed in a raid detail the rules for members of the notorious prison gang.

When agents from the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics raided the former residence of Aryan Brotherhood member Bartow Usry in October 1994, they found two file folders hidden in a bookshelf. The folders belonged to Usry, who had carelessly left them behind when he moved out a few weeks before the raid. To the great delight of law enforcement and prison officials in Mississippi and beyond, the folders contained a mother lode of information about the inner workings of the Mississippi chapter of the prison gang, including hand-written copies of the AB's secret constitution and membership oath, an interview questionnaire for prospective members, a decoder, and a chart detailing the gang's organizational structure.

Usry had joined the AB while serving a 17-year sentence at Parchman Farm, a Mississippi state penitentiary, for armed robbery. Usry's own files identified him as the AB's head of recruitment inside Parchman, and outlined his efforts to organize AB members on the street after he was freed in 1993. Interviewed by The (Jackson, Miss.) Clarion-Ledger after his files were discovered, Usry disputed a statement by a Bureau of Narcotics spokesman characterizing the Aryan Brotherhood as a "potentially violent" white supremacist gang.

"I'm not trying to get me an army together to go killing blacks and Jews like people think," Usry said. "The only problem we have with blacks and Jews is crossbreeding. 'White Pride' means that if you had a Rottweiler dog, you would not breed it with a poodle."

What follows are a few more pearls of AB wisdom, extracted from Usry's accidentally discovered files.

From an AB questionnaire
If you become a brother...

  1. What do you feel you would be representing?
  2. Why do you want to represent this?
  3. If asked what you represent, what would you say?
  4. If you see a Brother in a fight, do you... a) Immediately help, b) Ignore the situation, c) Jump in if he's losing, d) Jump in if someone else does, e) Alert all other Brothers
  5. If someone calls you a "b----," what do you do?

From the AB Constitution
TO ALL Brothers who have been chosen to stand, lead, follow, and obey, as one in sincere unity with all the laws and ways of the supreme Aryan Brotherhood of the state of Mississippi the following is our law, code, and orders:

(1-A) An ARYAN BROTHER is one who shows, gives, and demands his respect where it is due and upholds every moral principle and value of and for all the Elite White Aryan Race...

(2-B) Once a chosen prospect has become a full Brother to the brand he will hold that title until his very death. Whether his death be of honor and loyalty to the Brotherhood, or of Dishonor and without loyalty. It is of his own choosing. For that very dishonor and un-loyalty may be the very cause of his death...

(7-A) The Aryan Brotherhood constitution will be read by all prospects at the time of becoming a Brother. Under no circumstances shall the A.B.'s constitution be ignored, neglected, disrespected or used in slander by anyone for any insult is certain of IMMEDIATE DEATH!!!

From a list of AB 'characteristics'

a) Awareness of your surroundings and environment at all times
b) Belief in and of the racial purity of the white race
c) Mental stability
d) Efficiency in acquiring further knowledge
e) Family oriented for your race
f) Genetically of European ancestry
g) Honest in any and all Aryan Business
h) Valuable to the Brotherhood
i) Willingness to be supportive of the Brotherhood outside prison
j) Pact-Bound
k) Strong Willed
l) Obedient of all known Aryan Laws
m) Noble and superior in Nature
n) Keeper of information