Christian Identity Events Attract Attention

  • July 10, 2004

Most of the prominent Christian Identity leaders from around the United States traveled to the Pacific Northwest for white supremacist events held on the weekend of July 16-18, 2004.  Christian Identity is a racist and anti-Semitic religious sect.

The most visible event was the three-day Aryan World Congress gathering hosted by Aryan Nations in the Northern Idaho town of Coeur d'Alene.  The Congress was attended by approximately 50 white supremacists, including racist group leaders such as Billy Roper of White Revolution and Thomas Metzger of White Aryan Resistance. 

From the back of a pickup truck, ailing neo-Nazi leader Richard Butler led a racist parade through Coeur d'Alene.  About 40 white supremacists accompanied him, while others cheered and gave Nazi salutes as onlookers.  Most bystanders, however, were there to oppose the Aryan Nations event.

The second weekend event, "The Gathering," took place in Western Montana and was organized by The Church of True Israel, and offshoot of Aryan Nations.  This event drew only some 30 participants rather than the 200 expected by its organizers.  One possible reason for the low attendance was that the owner of the property on which the meeting was to take place withdrew his offer after the event drew attention from law enforcement and the media.  Church of True Israel organizers scrambled to find another venue for their meeting, which ended up taking place in a remote unimproved campground outside of St. Regis, Montana.