Not Past It - American Terror: The Farm

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Hey, not past it.

Listeners this week, we’re bringing you a story from American Terror, a new podcast from gimlet and Vice news that takes you deep into the underbelly of Neo, Nazi Terror groups in the United States.

It’s a part of US history that we talked about in the past tense, but every day it seems, there’s a new headline, black people being targeted at their Neighborhood Grocery Store members of the lgbtq community being gunned down in a nightclub.


Acts of anti-Semitism Asian hate attacks.

All these things.

Tell a different story about our country in this episode.

We travel back to the 1980s to hear about one extremist group, the story of the radicalization and how it escalated into plans of murder and even overthrowing the United States government.


For more American Terror, you can follow the link in the description to subscribe.

We’ll have a brand new episode of not past it for you next week.

But until then, this is American Terror episode to the farm.


I was woke up at six in the morning, pounding on the doors and answer the door.

And the guy says Jim wants to see you.

So I’d go talk to Jionni.

He says you know, one of the guys on guard Duty noticed, snipers all around perimeter.


He said, I want you to go out there and talk to him.

Now I got my hands in here and I’m shaking life crackling stops, I don’t know.

Know what these guys are going to live one false move?

I’m dead kind of thing.

Five decades ago, Keri Noble was one of the leaders of a far-right extremist group in Arkansas.


And that group, it was actually a precursor to the domestic Terror groups were seeing in the u.s. today.

And one day in 1985, the FBI showed up at the group’s, compound Carrie sent to talk to them.

So I get fairly close tells me to stop acid.


Is, what do you want?

What do I want?

What do y’all want?

You’re intruding on our land.

I want you to leave.

He gets out.

He’s on the head sitting some talking.

He said he wouldn’t go down to talk to our commander.


So I walked down and the short guy.


Comes out, introduces himself to me.

He said that we need to end this peacefully.

I said yes sir, that’s what I want to do to.

He said I’m going to lay out the scenario for you.

I’ve got a Huey helicopter ride over the hill with a machine gun.


We’ve got another, she got home on the hill that it’s not.

Her will use and start blowing Big O holes in your building, and machine gun is going to start carrier by the Seas.

He said, I want you to understand the gravity of the situation and I want you to understand we are the hostage rescue team in Quantico Virginia.


They don’t send me to do penny-ante stuff.

The only send me in the most dangerous situations.

He said we’re not here to start the water.

We are not going to fire the first shot so you I want you to be at ease with that.

That’s okay.

He said but if anybody from the compound first, a shot, if you start this I want you to understand, we will ended very very quickly in all of you will be dead.


From Vice news and gimlets, I’m been McCoo and this is American Terror episode to the farm.


We’re in some like definitely, it’s got that Friday Night Lights with the like Whispering willow trees and the, you know, the no, no sidewalks.

Everything’s just a little bit, gold or green or brown.


We’re just outside Fort Worth.

Texas driving to carry Nobles house.

Party was curious about I want to know if I want to know how much of a former he really is.

I just like don’t know how you can be that extreme and just like suddenly like the light goes off or you’re like actually this is bullshit.


I’m always a little skeptical.

I know it happens and I know it’s true but I am interested to see It’s been hard to decide how to begin this series because racist terrorism has existed.

Since the founding of this country slavery was itself, genocide and Terror the many wars and conflicts with indigenous peoples saying this country was founded on white supremacy and the government’s as well as individual groups have used violence to uphold that system for centuries but there’s a moment I want to zoom in on because the Neo-Nazi groups I’m reporting on.


On like the base, they have a specific origin story and it starts back in the 60s and 70s, when far-right extremist groups were undergoing a transformation.

The major groups at the time like the KKK some members started to trade their white robes for camo fatigues and Military drills.


The American Nazi party a political party that at one point enjoyed public notoriety and splintered Many of these groups were abandoning electoral politics and choosing instead to live.

Apart from society, many moved out to isolated rural compounds or they dreamed of the downfall of society and the creation of their own white World which is of course something groups like The Base still talk about all the time and Keri Noble was in the midst of it.


All his group was called The Covenant Sword and the arm of the Lord or the CSA for short and Rise and eventual fall is tied directly to where we are today.

Because the story of this little-known group shows how this movement gained power and weapons and money and how the US government completely failed to bring down forward extremism when they had the chance.


Carries in his 70s, he’s tall and sort of walks with a shuffle.

He’s got a scruffy white goatee and thick glasses.

We meet on a warm cloudy day in April.

Wait till August, he’s just hot, but it’s just for the bugs and the Northerners who know, Carrie tells me.


He likes living in the country where it’s quiet.

Back in the 70s, Carrie was a young 20-something living in Dallas and working at a local newspaper.

He was married and deeply religious Southern Baptist, and he and his wife were starting a family.


They thought it sounded nice to live in a community somewhere to raise kids, with of the couples share the work back to the land type phibes.

So they moved in with some friends.

And then those friends introduce them to a religious community that had land in the Ozark Mountains, and they go visit We had old station wagon in those days.


The driveway runs through a thick Cedar Forest.

It was like nine miles just bump bump hero, you know?

And I never forget.

On this road of one point, there was like eight or nine deer in the road, the Communist self is spread across hundreds of Acres, the kind of place where you can really disappear and it was just a circle of white cabinets, and then one main house in the middle of the compound, as a small green space for camping and cookouts and a lake, it’s just a beautiful little place.


And then Kari says the group’s founder, a man named Jim Ellison pulls up in a logging truck.

He just come from cutting Timber.

Hey, jumped off the back of that truck and sort of, I don’t know what the word is sashayed, or squat.


So wandered over to me and very Joe vuli introduced himself to me and just laughed, and just very, very personable.

Hi, I’m Jim Ellis.

That’s the founder.

Jim Ellison in a documentary from the 80s.


God sent us here during the times of trouble that are coming.

Members of this community had nicknamed The Compound, the farm.

He loved it.


The sense of community belonging building something together.

So we quickly moves his family, his wife and baby daughter out to the farm.

When we started building houses on and developing the land, but fences up all that kind of stuff.


So in those days it was just Christians wanted wanting to live together.

Fellowship together work together was, I mean talk revolutions or nothing?

Just Community, the community believes in a type of apocalyptic Christianity that the end of the world is near and they celebrated pray for it because they think that From the Ashes of this world, Jesus would create a new Christian kingdom.


Everyone in the group is white.

And while the core beliefs, aren’t yet, explicitly racist, it’s definitely there in the background, the static of white supremacy.

So they’re prepping and constantly on the lookout for signs of the coming end times.

When you’re in an apocalyptic mindset, everything becomes a sign from God, good or bad, and to carry the CSA and the broader fire, right?



The 70s are exploding with Vietnam, we finally have reached the end of the tunnel and there is no light there, major historical turning points like the end of the Vietnam War.

It had me very long since abortion became legal and the establishment of Roe v– Wade, the court said in 8722 decision that the first three months of pregnancy, only the woman and her physician may decide whether she may have an abortion that was a hot spot for everybody.


In those days, had been very long since prayer got kicked out of school.


So that was a hotspot.

So you, you know, the signs were there, you know, for the end of the world.

Meanwhile Kari quickly climbs the ranks of the CSA he basically becomes the second-in-command the groups religious leader.


So he leaves Bible studies and becomes a mouthpiece for the founder.

Jim Allison disseminating Ellison’s message to the rest of the group.

And then Kari goes back home to visit his family and a friend of his gives him.

Some tapes of sermons by this guy, you guys language John Todd.


If whole world is a very political and financial World, John Todd was a conspiracy theorist who preached about the end of days and how a new world order was coming.

I’m going to be talking about an organization called the Illuminati today.


Todd’s message lit a fire under an already paranoid and Toriel community at the farm.

That when the apocalypse happen, people from cities would come for the compound, he shared Harry going to protect yourself when the bad people come out.

You need guns and so taught advocates for good God-fearing Christians like the members of the CSA to arm themselves and but just yeah like I said y’all Israel in the Old Testament had Spears and swords and stuff.


So sure you gotta protect yourself.

So we spent take it was fifty eight thousand dollars over the next 18 months.

Weapons ammunition military gear, while some seek a passive Retreat from the coming cataclysm others, prepare to meet disaster head on and started practicing.


So we bought every man had a shotgun or Rifle and Pistol and we practice and we practice and we practice and we became very good at it.

We built a Obstacle course built a four-block mock town called silhouette City.


These are not us infantryman’s.

They are soldiers of God, rehearsing for their self ordained role and maintaining order in the chaotic world to come.

You were preparing for a potential War.

Some kinds, we stockpiling.

We were stockpiling weapons.


Where we getting this stuff for you.

Stealing it from military.

We stole a lot of stuff from National Guard.

He posed buildings and stuff, a lot of dynamite see for an anti-aircraft missile.


I know that sounds extreme and it is but militia, and the far-right taking Munitions from army bases.

Happen more often than you would imagine.

And it still happens today.

And then we were given a 55 barrel of some sort of sign, I’d that we could use put into water supply or whatever.


We want to do with in and most got the military guys, put hollow-point bullet, they would put a little bit of Cyanide in that seal it with wax so there’s you guys shot with a hollow pointed, kill you pretty quick.

At this point the CSA is getting organized, they have money from selling thousands of dollars worth of lumber, they’re buying up weapons and building a military training course, on their property and they balloon to over 100 members and then another big change happens.


The csa’s founder Jim Ellison, goes to visit a radical Christian group and comes back with tapes of more sermons.

This time from a guy named Dan Gaiman, say ma’am.

We got to listen as he had all the elders come together and we listened to Scotland and will carry.


Here’s that day from gay.

Men was an ideology called Christian identity, it’s even more extreme than the end of days prepping they were doing so Christian identity is a racist, Christian cult.

Out members believe that the Bible actually says that why Christians not Jewish.


People are the true descendants of Israelites and they believe that people of color don’t have souls.

So, here comes gaming.

Pinpointing it even more narrow to saying, is this Jewish cabal is behind this whole thing.


Christian identity is farther right than even what most people consider far right-wing.

Kerry says that it shocked him but that had built upon what they already believed yet.

Understand, we’re apocalyptic.

So we start to see who’s betraying the United States.


And this was a group of all white fundamentalist, Christians living on a compound in the middle of nowhere.

They were primed for deeper radicalization.

So I buy every book that there is dr.

Find Terry says that it took the group sometime, but not that much to digest, and it took us six months to go through them.


Since I’m the Bible teacher of the group, everything has to come through me because I’m the one who’s got to teach it to everybody else.

So if I don’t understand it, I don’t teach it if I understand it.

Then I’ve got to teach it and Kari starts to dive deep into Christian identity.

Identity, I grew up in Abilene Texas.


I’m a teenager during the late 60s, when we’re having race Wars and colleges are in an uproar in that kind of stuff.

Carrie says race war, but I think he means the Civil Rights Movement, it’s definitely odd language.

He says Christian identity spoke to him because it directly discussed aspects of society and culture that mainstream Christianity considered taboo specifically race.


And I could remember in Sunday school class asking my Sunday school teacher.

What does the Bible say about race?

And my teacher said, we do not talk about that.

That’s a taboo subject which made no sense to me because the Bible answers everything.


What does he say about racing?

If we are told we can’t talk about that, that is a contradiction to me.

Now, here comes people who are not only willing to talk about race but want to talk about race and do it from a Bible point of view, that sucks me in.


And so Kari begins preaching this hateful, new ideology and prophesizing.

That the end times will play out as a race war and this is how in just a few years the group morphed from a Conservative Christian, commune to a highly armed frings, right?


Religious hate group one with access to weapons ammunition Oh, and hundreds of acres of land for training.

They start to make connections with other far-right, extremist groups and Ellison, invites them all to the farm because in the movement, you think of the three circles you got, you know, you’re Neal, Nasi, kind of people, you got your clan and racist.


Can of people, the CSA compound becomes a meeting point.

The clan Theory Nations Nazis, they all start sharing plans and ideology we all agree, the government’s problem.

We all That the Jews were the problem behind the government.


In those days across the country, the older generation just talk, talk, talk talk now with this is what we’re going to be.

The younger generation was tired of just talking.

So in 1983, a few members, quit the CSA, they leave the farm.

Some of them form a new group with former members of the Aryan Nations.


I do Butlers Church followers, came and Splinter Group the order called the order.

It’s more radical and more violent.

Some two dozen members are connected with me.

Murder armored car robberies and counterfeiting.

They start robbing banks, talk about blowing up federal buildings and threatened to assassinate so-called race.


Traitors people of color and Jews authorities.

Believe the order, we netted roughly 4 million dollars, money to buy an Arsenal, an Arsenal for the violent overthrow of the United States government, and they send a lot of money to various far-right, extremist groups around the country, to Chapters of the clan, and the Aryan Nations.


And Allegedly to the CSA around three hundred thousand dollars and then someone passing in a vehicle using a semi-automatic weapon or an automatic weapon.

I’m not sure which fired upon Alan Berg, when he was exiting his vehicle in front of his home, members of the order, murder a Jewish radio host named, Alan Berg a Jewish, radio talk show, host in Denver, who had been critical of white supremacists and Alan Berg has.


In fact Passed on, he is no longer with us.

Berg was really famous across the country.

He was what you called at the time, a radio shock.

Jock, he debated racists and members of white supremacist groups live on the air and his murder show that these groups could kill someone in the public eye.


Someone who directly challenge them.

Carrie remembers hearing the news about Burke’s murder when we first heard about it.

We should well, okay, there’s another Judas dad.

He was just a Jew.

He was a loud mouth to chew and you, but he was from our point of view, he was a Jew.


It didn’t hit us all that much.

This whole time I’m listening to carry trying to gauge if or how he had really changed his beliefs and I’ll be honest, I really win.

Steering him.

Say loudmouth Jew.

I do a lot of interviews of extremists and people used to be part of extremist groups, and when they say there were formed, I’m always hesitant to think it’s true.


A lot of farmers have talked to you.

Downplay their past racist, violent, intentions make-believe like they didn’t mean to do it, or they’ll minimize their own role or be apologetic during interviews.

But I started to get a different sense from Carrie.

He seemed to be at a point where he was just telling the story as he remembers it, including how he himself was involved.


And hearing how everything went down in this group, sheds, light on what’s happening today.


So it’s the 80s and the orders wave of violence.

It all started in 1983 at a gathering called the Aryan Nations Congress.


Where the far-right changed course?

This meeting brought together leaders from across the movement.

You have the heads of the clan, the Aryan Nations and other Neo-Nazi groups all meeting at the Aryan Nations compound in northern Idaho.

The CSA is of course there to.


This is when some of the Younger members got up and said, we need action or we going to do and what they decide to do.

It’s big the leaders of the various groups decided to go public with their racist ideology and goals they declare war against the United States government.


When Jim Ellison returns from the are in Congress, Carrie says, Jim warns them.

Jim Nichols said, we’re all traitors to the United States government.

Will all be hunted by the government and they are That’s after the break.


So the order is committing violent crimes all over the country far.

And extremist groups, including the CSA have openly declared war on the US, government and carrying Jim Ellison.

Decide if we were going to do anything, it had to be bigger than anybody else.

Did they feel like the CSA needs to gain back at standing in the eyes of the younger more violent parts of the movement?


We did consider ourselves Trailblazers in the sense that if God called us to do something, nobody could do.

It better than us.

That was our frame of Eat so carry along with Ellison and another CSA member Richard Snell decide that they will be the ones to take action.


Still came to us to Jim specifically and say, look, I’m having problems with this IRS out of Oklahoma City.

The IRS had accused Snell of tax evasion and raided his home.

So Snell’s suggests they plan an attack on the Alfred P Murrah building in Oklahoma City.


One of the biggest Federal buildings in the midwest bomb the Murrah building It’s a federal building in Oklahoma City and in 10 years every American will know this name.

They’ll hear it all over the news.


But carries talking about plans, his group had in 1983 more than a decade before this bill Warren shot.

It would reverberate off across the country.

If we blew this thing up.

But as they’re prepping, things start to go wrong and the change their target.


So then we said, okay, let’s will do an assassination.

He decided instead to kill agents of the federal government.

So, tax officials judges.

So we went to scope out, their houses, got their addresses, that kind of thing laid out plans for an assassination on all three carry Ellison, and Snell plan an attack for the morning after Christmas.


But Carrie says a snowstorm derailed.

Plans at the last minute, Carrie is still determined to prove to Ellison and the rest of the group that he’s dedicated to the cause.

And in those days we had what was called, earning your place in the Kingdom that I had to earn my right in.


Jim’s eyes to hold a position of authority.

And so, Carrie approaches Jim and I should you really want this whole right?

You know, racial war in two days Warfare used.

Yeah, you know what to do?

Plans, yet another attack.


As the musicians are asked, get me a silenced weapon and a briefcase full of C4.

And I’ll go make this happen.

He’s heard on the news about a park in Kansas City.

That’s a hook-up spot for gay.

Men care decides, he’ll drive there with his pistol and silencer, I’ll go around this park and help kill whoever I see in this park.


So Carrie shows up after dark got to this gate park around 10 or 11 and drove around it half.

Dozen times or more I’m at the driver seat.

I got the wind and I get the silenced pistol.

I’m I’m ready.

So nobody.


But the park is empty.

You had encountered.

Someone, would you kill them?

I’m convinced of that.

Out of Shadow, I was geared up out.

I had to make this up to Jim somehow.

In my mind again, this is carries version.


We haven’t been able to corroborate this story.

Carrie says, he still felt like he needed to prove to Alison and the other members of the CSA that he’s serious about the violence, the group reaches that he wants to start a race war accelerate, the downfall of the US government.


So the next morning, he says he goes to blow up a church that openly welcomes gay people.

So we take the briefcase we glean course.

They think we’re just two homosexuals come to church.

Don’t think nothing about it.

Welcome us.

We didn’t know what to expect, you know, in our minds, the propaganda is sexual orgies going on when we get there, which obviously is not the case.


So we sit down on the men’s side of course.

And I had told my friend, I said when we go in there I can’t just set the timer and we walk out that would look suspicious.

We going to stay for a while, you know, half an hour.

They do the announcements just like a typical church thing.


And then I start looking around, of course, in a military situation.

One of the things that you do not do is put a face on the enemy, which is hard to do.

If you’re sitting in the midst of the enemy, you know.

So I’m looking around and I’m realizing there’s nobody’s got to eye in the middle of their forehead.


Horns tail sticking out, nothing like that.

Everybody just looks normal. and, then I start looking around, and See him thinking to myself.

Well, you know, these are homosexuals but they’ve never hurt me.


He would never hurt my family.

They’ve never heard of hurt Friends, mine, I don’t know these people from Adam, and if I kill these people, it’s not because of anything.

They’ve done to me.

Sound like self-defense, you know, anything like that.

And then the next step was if I do this is it really going to start what we think is the racial or war in America?


And I had to be honest with myself said and I said no it’s probably not.

It’s gonna be a horrendous act.

It’s got to be Media news for a while but it’s not going to cause the uprising in the country struggle to overthrow the government that kind of thing.


And then they started doing their music playing music and you know, typical church music.

But then I started seeing homosexuals, raise their hands and worship and little crazy their heads and stuff that we did.

And for the first time, I didn’t see them as homosexuals anymore.


It’s almost Christians because they’re worshiping God.

And the thought came to me of an identification with them that these people are simply trying to find their place in God and their their place in the world for who they are.

And now I see him as Christians.


You know, that they just want to praise God, the best of their ability, be accepted, just like everybody else is accepted, it’s all they want and that’s all I want.

It was to fit in.

So I told my friend get up for it, even took the briefcase and we walked out.


Now we go back to the farm.

Again, this is carries version of how this all went down.

The only other person who could corroborate this story has died.

Give out to the farm gym, and all the guys are watching the news.


Still trying to wait for something, and we walk in and Jim looks at me and says, what, what happened?

I told him everything and he just looked at me after I finish you.

Look at me in front of all the guys that you’re a coward.

This was your chance to our your place and you’re just a coward, you’re nothing.


At this point, carries belief in the cause is waning and the FEDS are looking closer at the CSA.

Kerry says one of the members of the order had left a pistol at the scene of a robbery and that pistol gets traced back to the CSA, then the federal agents move, they start arresting members of the order and surround the spot where the group’s leader.


Robert Matthews is hiding, December 1984, another fire fight.

This one on Whidbey Island Washington and a massive Shootout ensues ends the life of Robert Matthews Mastermind of the terrorist group, the order and architect of its string of robbery arson and murder Matthews is killed members of the order, go into hiding, some come to the farm and hide out with the CSA.


So now you’ve got fugitives from one far-right extremist group hiding out with another Carrie still there, even though he’s hesitated when it comes to committing violence, he still hasn’t left the CSA By April 1985, police sergeant in Arkansas, calls, Carrie down to the station to talk about.


Alison, you should arrest warrant conspiracy to possess unlawful weapons.

He said, it’s just a conspiracy thing.

It’s 5-year maximum sentence.

Apply do if you volunteer service to surrender the good inspector half, and if I do last time in that.


And so what, I got to go talk to Jim First, Care tries to talk Ellison into surrendering, but Allison refuses.

And by the next day, the farm is completely surrounded by federal agents.

Almost 100 of them, world news, Saturday, here’s Kathleen Sullivan, good evening along the border of Missouri and Arkansas tonight.


Heavily-armed FBI, agents and local.

Police are playing a tense, waiting game outside the headquarters of a Neo-Nazi group Ellison orders carry to go negotiate.

So Carrie walks down to the main gate to speak with the FBI.

As lead agent.

He should we The end this peacefully.


I said yes sir that’s what I want to do to.

He said I’m going to lay out the scenario for you.

It’s okay.

You were not here to start the war.

We are not going to fire the first shot, he said, but if anybody from the compound first, a shot, here’s what’s going to happen.


I’ve got a Huey helicopter ride over the hill with a 50 caliber machine gun.

I’ve got another 50 caliber machine gun it on on the hill that its natural use and start blowing big.

Do holes in your building.

If you start this, I want you to understand.


We will end it very, very quickly and all of you will be dead.

We corroborated this whole story with the FBI agent, Danny Coulson.

He doesn’t remember saying this specifically, but he said that he did threaten carry that.


If the group attacked first, the FBI would retaliate Carrie, says members of the order are who are hiding at the farm are encouraging Ellison to fire.

The first shot, meanwhile, Kari is the go-between with Allison, the FBI and the Press, you know, just all the men on alert, if anything bad happens, you know, which we Want to try to avoid if possible.


This is Kerry talking with a national reporter, as the standoff is unfolding what our standards been made known in the past that we won’t allow violence against our people after four days, Ellison, finally surrenders.

So the man coming to land formation gyms in front, I’m in the back Center and the guys are seeing in one of our war songs all the way down and I’m just crying like a baby, you know, just glad it’s over with and we’re not dead.


Seven CSA members are arrested.

Carry pleads guilty to a handful of weapons charges.

He sentenced to five years in prison.

Ellison’s sentenced to more than 20 years Carrie serves a little over two years but as his release date nears, he gets a visit from the FBI and they took me into a private room and said gems, turning State’s evidence against the leaders of the right-wing movement or we’re going to have a sedition trout.


Sedition plotting to overthrow the federal government.

And I said, good luck.

They said, well, we need for you to cooperate.

Jim’s testimony not interested.

I’m most of my chill times over with what now, get to go home.


I’ve put all this stuff behind me, or try to forget everything that’s happened.

And one of them looks at me and says, you don’t understand.

If you don’t cooperate, you’re going to be named as a defendant and you could face life in prison.

So Kari decides to cooperate and to act as a witness for the government.


For years.

The FBI had been building a case against a list of people who belong to several far-right extremist groups.

The idea is to prove that these groups are a coordinated movement with an ideology and a plan.

And that plan is to overthrow the US government, if the government’s case succeeds, it’ll be historic set a precedent for going after future extremists and domestic Terror groups.


The feds charge 14 liters with inciting Rebellion.

Defendants are among the who’s who of hate groups including the heads of the clan, the Aryan Nations, and members of your door on the left.

Reverend Richard Butler of Idaho’s Neo-Nazi, Aryan Nations Church on the right, Louis beam a former Texas Klan.


Grand Dragon also on trial are David Lane and Bruce, Carol Pierce, both convicted in the 1984 slaying of Jewish Denver, talk.

Show host Alan Berg the trial begins in February 1988.

Fort Smith Arkansas.

It’s meant to be a turning point for how the US government prosecutes, right-wing extremists.


And that’s what it ends up being.

Just not the way the FBI envisioned.

In Fort Smith Arkansas today, there’s the case of the landmark trial at issue are charges of sedition hate violence.

And the question of free speech.

Carrie says he knew from the start that this trial was going to be a mess.


I told the governor, the prosecuting attorney at right off, but I said, I want you to You know having Jim Alison these your primary Witnesses a huge mistake, huge mistake.

Because first off, Kari knows that Ellison is completely unreliable.

That he has an inflated sense of self Ellison, literally refers to himself as king of the Ozarks.


Second while having this in Arkansas, instead of the Northwest, you know, Seattle, where they really wanted to be is a big mistake.

He said why I said, because Arkansas is an anti-government state to begin with, you know, Civil War and all that kind of stuff.


You’re asking people to prosecute somebody else because for anti-government feelings that these people have how you going to have somebody in the jury’s.

Not Anti-government in Arkansas.

It’s almost impossible.

Veiled in unprecedented Small Town Security.


The trial is the government’s latest defensive in its war on racial hate groups, adding to trial security Jitters, have been a series of recent Clan, marches and rallies, sympathetic to the defendants.

This case is a big deal at the time, people refer to it as a landmark trial, the far-right claims that their views and speech are protected under the First Amendment.



And for the government, this prosecution is kind of a risky move.

The justice department has charged the 14 with sedition, with scheming to overthrow the federal government using robberies assassinations bombings, even plotting to poison, the city water of Washington, DC, and New York sedition is a crime of conspiracy, which means the crime is committed by a network of people or groups.


So, the federal government has to prove that these groups intended to overthrow the state that they had any proof, they would have charged me a specific acts a long time ago and that’s harder to prove than charging individuals for smaller crimes, like murder or robbery or stolen weapons.


This edition trial is an opportunity to put many of the most dangerous leaders in the far-right, extremist movements Behind Bars.

Many of them for life.

But from the start, there are issues with the prosecution’s case.

For one, it relies almost exclusively on the testimonies of Jim Allison and carry himself.


The defense attacks Ellison’s credibility, they say he was mentally unfit and that he would testify to anything to get a reduced sentence.

And then there’s Carrie They asked me to identify one of the defendants, because carrying new the defendants and was asked to point out.


One of them, a member of the order already make birdie and had been probably six years since I’ve seen Artie.

And I looked, I couldn’t spotty.

So I pointed to one of the furnaces, and I think that’s him, and the jury old, the whole Court started laughing because it wasn’t him after a seven-week trial.


Thirteen, white supremacist charged with plotting to overthrow the government and set up a new nation of their own, have been found not guilty, all the defendants are acquitted.

The government’s case was based largely on the testimony of James Ellis.

Former leader of an ultra-right paramilitary group now, serving 20 years for racketeering, he claimed that he attended a 1983 meeting with a plot to overthrow.


The government was hatched when asked by the Press why they voted to acquit.

One juror says we just didn’t believe the government’s Witnesses but the jury didn’t buy it civil rights groups.

Say they are concerned that the verdict will now lead to a Resurgence by white supremacist groups which is basically what happened after the trial some of The defendants, the defendants left, the courtroom triumphant and defiant, they marched.


The Confederate Memorial located, just across the street from the courthouse, the Press photographs, a member of the movement, a clan leader named Louis beam holding his wife who’s fainted in his arms.

One, I Want To Praise yahweh’s holy and precious name to.


I want to say to hell with the federal government.

The trials, actually, good publicity for the movement and a major embarrassment for the FBI.

II and the federal government.

We thought we had met the elements and I thought we had proved it Beyond A Reasonable Doubt, but apparently we had I want to take a moment here to State very, clearly how consequential this trial was, because back then and even still today, it’s very rare for the government to try anyone for sedition.


It’s happened.

A handful of times in the course of American history.

In fact, only recently have sedition charges made a Resurgence in direct response to Jan 6th Cavalry.

Man is charged members of The Proud boys and The Oath Keepers with seditious conspiracy.


Piracy for their role in the attack on the capital sum of already pleaded guilty.

The failure of the Fort Smith trial in 1988, ultimately scares the Department of Justice from bringing sedition charges against anyone for years to come moving forward, that changed how the FBI went after far-right extremists and set the stage for what’s happening today.


Because from that point onward, there will be no more trying to Target the movement as a whole.

The easier less legally risky approach will be to just Target individual actors with lesser.


And so another result of this trial is that all these groups just continue doing what they were doing, spreading the propaganda planning violence, and openly collaborating across the country.


The carry.

He actually goes in the opposite direction after his release from prison.

He returns home to his wife and family believing wasn’t easy Carrie had built his entire life around the CSA.

He’d raised a family.

They’re built a community and he says, leaving the farm had profoundly harmed his children.


As we family bad, after all this.

Now our right after now, I think more like, forgive me for assuming this, but I imagine that probably some damage done by this to my family.

Yes, my oldest daughter had nightmares for years.


He was 10 when we had to leave the farm was all she knew.

I had to help her to just let the farm time.

I can tell you for a fact, none of us have adjusted back to society.

I haven’t I still hate it with the patch.


You know Society to me sucks.


She writes two books about his experiences says he fundamentally changes his whole life memorabilia from back in your time I still got a few pictures about four.


Maybe five years ago.

When I quit speaking out all that much, I got tired of it.

I threw everything away that I had proof.

Eddie 89 percent of it.

I kept a few pictures.


He says he just couldn’t carry that weight anymore.

Instead he shows me family photos, every three or four thanksgivings will gather out there and have a picture taken.

During the interview, we’re sitting at carries dining room table.


So I got black grandchildren, I got Native American grandchildren, I got to spend it grandchildren, he pulls out photos and albums of his life after the CSA as five kids.

Kids and dozens of grandkids, but yeah, I’m very proud of him.

Youngest daughter.

Come out being lesbian.

I’ve got my home Rainbow Coalition screenshot on my computer to I frankly did not expect this or to believe that he had actually changed.


And I have to say, listen to carry talk about this for hours, it was clear that at one point, he really truly believed in this cause this man was a racist.

And at least some part of him was prepared to engage in truly horrendous acts of violence, but it’s also refreshing to hear him admit that.


When I talk to Carrie, I hear a man who knows the damage that he’s done and he owns it driving in a town.

I talked with one of my producers.

Sam about it.

There wasn’t any like damage control. it was just like, No, I did that like that’s not an easy thing to admit to I’d imagine.


And I think a big part of why he’s open to talking is that Carrie knows the stakes.

In fact there was something Kerry said that really stuck with me how about when something like Oklahoma City happens and you see the Murrah building how do you react you’ve just does that?


Does that freak you out?

I saw it on the news.

So I don’t understand how anybody in this world could conceive.

The do something like that to innocent people.

The carry knew immediately.


First time I saw it, I said it about my wife and I are watching.

I said they’ve done it.

The right wing is finally crossed the line of they do it.

They did it.

I knew right off the bat, it was the right one.

There’s no way it could have been foreign terrorism.

Why would foreign terrorist bomb?

Oklahoma City.


I mean, there’s no symbology to foreign terrorism in terms of the Murrah building.

None whatsoever.

They like the world Tower buildings and that kind of stuff, you know.

Something that has symbology about the United States.

That’s not Oklahoma City.


Oklahoma City was domestic terrorism symbology.

He recognized the Target and marks of the movement and he knew their Origins.

A book he’d read called the Turner Diaries.

The far-right text that sets the stage for the future of Neo-Nazi terrorism that people in groups like The Base read today.


That’s next time on American Terror.


American terror is a Spotify original podcast from Vice audio and gimlet media.

It’s reported by me then Mac who, as well as Mac.

Lamoureux Ashley Clique, Sam, Egan Sophie cases and Zachary Kamel.

It’s produced by Sam Egan and Sophie cases and executive produced by Ashley Clique, and by Colin Campbell, and Nicole beamster bore from gimlet.


Sound design and original music composition by prayer and Bandy editing by Kate Osborne from Vice audio.

And Brendan klingenberg from gimlet.

Janet Leigh, is the senior production manager advice audio fact-checking by Maximo Anderson and Nicole bazooka.


Joshua Fisher Birch, was our expert consultant special thanks to Katie.

She word, Miguel, Fernandez, Flores and a Sebastian McLemore.

Oh, Tim Marchman, Josh, Visser Kisa, White.

And the infiltrator for risking his life to bring this story to the public.


I’m Ben makuu.