Extremists' collectibles used to fund today's hate movement
Attempts to sell neo-Nazi memorabilia online are nothing new, but a recent marketing ploy attempts to use the sale of racist antiquities to fund modern-day racist activities.
The new online pitch comes from White Lives Matter (WLM), 3-year-old neo-Nazi movement whose racist message is being embraced by various white supremacy groups.
Two WLM sellers, Travis Golie and Kevin Harris, claim their recent online, public auction of a black prisoner-of-war flag is helping them print and distribute thousands of White Lives Matter flyers throughout the United States.
They claim the POW flag they sold once flew over a tiny plot of private land in northeastern Washington state where the cremains of Robert J. Mathews and some of those of David Lane are said to have been scattered.
It was on that same home site in 1983 that Mathews founded The Order, which neo-Nazis affectionately called Bruder Schweigen. This secret cell of domestic terrorists attempted to bring about a race war as described in the novel The Turner Diaries, written by the late neo-Nazi leader William Pierce.
The Order’s members eventually were rounded up by the FBI, but not before they committed assorted, high-profile crimes, including counterfeiting, armored car robberies, bombings and the assassination of radio talk show host Alan Berg, who was Jewish.
“The past can literally help fund the movement today,” Golie claimed in an online video as he pulled out a 500-page bundle of White Lives Matters flyers from a copy-paper style box.
At least one critic — herself a staunch supporter of Mathews and his 1980s band of terrorists — alleges in an online posting that the new sales ploy is a scam.
Susan Yarbrough, the wife of the late Order member Gary Yarbrough, quickly responded with an online post calling the memorabilia auction a scam that disrespects the memory and honor of the fallen and imprisoned members of Bruder Schweigen.
“Anybody who participates in these fake auctions has zero respect for the Bruders or zero integrity,” Susan Yarbrough wrote. “Our movement needs to be purged of these profiteers like Golie and Harris.”
She said her late husband, who died April 2 in the “Supermax” federal prison in Colorado, would have called Golie and Harris “profiteers.”
“The money made off these fake Order items wouldn’t have gone back into the Movement!” Susan Yarbrough wrote. “The funds were going into their pockets because none of these idiots work! The Movement is their cash cow!”
“The Bruders sacrificed ALL for our NOBLE CAUSE and things like this do not need to happen … for people to profit off their names and sacrifice!!!”
She also posted supporting statements from Order members Richard Scutari and David Tate, who are still in prison.
“Even IF it was legitimate historical memorabilia there’s no way it should be auctioned outside diehard Folk,” said Tate, serving life for murdering a Missouri state trooper.
“Something that mundane, not even produced by our (white nationalist) Folk, is clearly false,” Tate said. “I seriously doubt (Mathews’ widow) Debbie (Mathews) had a POW/MIA flag flying on her property.”
Susan Yarbrough said the POW flag appeared to be a newly produced facsimile that may never have seen daylight. “You can tell it has not seen one day of weather,” she said. “It is a cheap flag and would have weathered quickly!”
But Golie bounced back, claiming the piece of neo-Nazi history is helping today’s white nationalism cause.
Golie says an “older gentleman” who was not identified “wanted to make a difference for the cause, so he donated a rare piece of history so that we could auction it off so that we could turn around and generate funds for the cause.”
He claims the effort has resulted in the distribution of the White Lives Matter flyers in eight states, and he specifically named Kansas, Wisconsin, Indiana, New York and Illinois.
“Look at that!” Golie says, pointing to the bundles of flyers. “So. Thank you, Bruder Schweigen ... you’re still fighting the same cause, you’re still on the front-lines with us, motivating us, inspiring us, and as you can see, even financially helping the movement.”
The video ends with another voice shouting, “Hail, The Order!”