Gang Information

Member Profile
  • Male
  • White
Type of Group
  • Neo-Nazi
  • National Alliance
  • Ku Klux Klan
  • Silent Brotherhood
  • Supports anti-Semitism and white nationalism
  • White supremacist and Neo-Nazi ideology
  • Speaks highly of Hitler
  • Believes that non-Aryans are inferior and must be destroyed

Aryan Nations


The Aryan Nations was formed in the 1970s by Richard Butler as an extension of the Church of Jesus Christ Christian. This church was founded by Wesley Swift, a significant figure in the early Christian Identity movement. The Aryan Nation’s underlying beliefs lie in the teachings of Swift, which combined British Israelism, extreme anti-Semitism, and political militancy.


Hayden, Idaho – The 20-acre compound in Hayden, Idaho is patrolled by a security force of armed guards and dogs. Its location gives it the advantage of being remote from potential intrusions by law enforcement, counter-demonstrators, and media, while providing an atmosphere of rugged, unspoiled outdoors that coincide with the survivalist and separatist belief system.


The Aryan Nations exhibit the standard Aryan symbols in various manners to denote their allegiance to the white supremacy belief system. In addition to these symbols, their tattoos usually display the initials “AN,” the phrase “Aryan Nations,” or the Aryan Nations’ emblem to indicate set affiliation. The emblem is a crown topping a two-edged sword through the revolving resurrection cross on the face of a shield. See the gallery for examples of tattoos worn by members of the Aryan Nations


1973 – 1984

  • June 1973 – Richard and Betty Butler move to North Idaho from California a year after buying 20 acres north of Hayden Lake. In 1977, the site becomes the Church of Jesus Christ Christian – Aryan Nations.
  • April 1980 – Richard Butler, involved with a Posse Comitatus group in Kootenai County, calls for unity among white supremacist groups at a conference in Hays, Kansas.
  • December 1980 – As word of Butler’s racist group spreads, citizens meet in Coeur d’Alene, laying groundwork for what becomes the Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations.
  • June 27, 1981 – The Aryan Nations church is bombed, causing $80,000 in damage.  Butler blames the Jewish Defense League.  The bombing is never solved.
  • July 1981 – The first reported cross burning occurs at the Aryan Nations during a “Kingdom Identity Conference.”  The gathering becomes an annual event called the Aryan Nations Congress.
  • July 1982 – The Aryan Nations Congress honors Manfred Roeder, Robert Miles, J.B. Stoner, and Louis Beam Jr. as “Aryans of Outstanding Valor.”
  • September 1982 – Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations is formed by Under-sheriff Larry Broadbent, Reverend Rick Morse, and citizen-activist Dina Tanners.
  • June 1983 – Aryan Nations holds a rally in Spokane’s Riverfront Park, where a confrontation occurs involving Aryan supporter Robert Mathews of Metaline Falls, Washington.  Three months later Mathews secretly forms an Aryan terrorist group called “The Order.”
  • October 1983 – The Order launches its crime spree when Mathews and members Randy Duey, Bruce Pierce, and Daniel Bauer rob an adult bookstore in Spokane.
  • April 1984 – The Order robs an armored car in Seattle of $500,000.  Counterfeit money printed at the Aryan Nations also turns up.
  • June 18, 1984 – After bombing a synagogue in Boise, Idaho, members of The Order use a machine gun to assassinate Jewish talk-radio host Alan Berg in Denver, Colorado. The next month, The Order pulls off a $3.6 million armored car robbery in Ukiah, California.

1985 – 1995

  • December 7, 1984 – After earlier shootouts in Sandpoint, Idaho and Portland, Oregon, four Order members are arrested at a hideout on Whidbey Island, Washington. Mathews dies in a siege by the FBI.
  • April 15, 1985 – A federal grand jury, which has questioned Butler, indicts 23 members of The Order.  The same day, Aryan Nations and Order member David Tate fatally shoots a state trooper in Missouri.
  • August 1985 – The Aryan Nations’ security chief Elden “Bud” Cutler is arrested in Coeur d’Alene for trying to hire a hit man to kill the key FBI informant in The Order investigation.
  • December 1985 – A federal jury in Seattle convicts 10 Order members of racketeering, while others plead guilty.  Sentences range from 40 to 100 years.
  • July 1986 – The Aryan Nations Congress promotes establishing a white homeland in five Northwest states.
  • Sept. 29, 1986 – Three pipe bombs explode in Coeur d’Alene, including one at the U.S. Courthouse.  An earlier bombing damages the home of anti-Aryan activist Bill Wassmuth.  Investigators later tie the bombs to Aryan Nations’ security chief David Dorr, who has formed “The Order II.”
  • April 24, 1987 – Richard Butler is arrested on a federal indictment, accusing him and 12 others of playing godfather roles in a scheme to overthrow the government with The Order.  Butler stands trial in Fort Smith, Arkansas and is acquitted in 1988.
  • April 1989 – The Aryan Nations hosts its first Aryan Youth Conference, attracting neo-Nazi skinheads in an event that coincides with Adolf Hitler’s birthday.  The Aryans Nations promotes the event in its first mass mailing to residents of Kootenai County.
  • May 1990 – Three men with ties to the Aryan Nations (Steven E. Nelson, Robert J. Winslow, and James Proctor Baker) are arrested after traveling from North Idaho to Seattle, Washington to blow up a gay bar.  The three are later convicted in Idaho.
  • January 1991 – Randy Weaver, who attended Aryan Nations’ gatherings in the mid- 1980s, is arrested for selling a sawed-off shotgun to an informant.  Weaver refuses to show up for trial, ultimately triggering an August 1992 shootout with federal agents at Ruby Ridge, Idaho.  Weaver’s son and wife and a deputy U.S. Marshal are killed.  Weaver later is acquitted of most charges.
  • February 1992 – Another splinter group from the Aryan Nations, “The Bob Mathews Brigade,” is linked to plots to assassinate two civil rights leaders.
  • June 1992 – The U.S. Supreme Court rules that cross burnings like those at the Aryan Nations are protected free speech.
  • December 1992 – Two members of the Aryan Nations, Tim R. Biscope and Adam Elteto, are arrested for first-degree murder in the shooting death of skinhead Johnny R. Sharbnow.
  • July 1993 – Chevie Kehoe marries his second wife in a polygamous ceremony at the Aryan Nations.  Kehoe later forms a Mathews-style group, the Aryan Peoples Republic, which is linked to five killings and three robberies.
  • December 1995 – Betty Butler dies.

1995 – 2005

  • March 1998 – The FBI says that a group known as the Aryan Republican Army, which is responsible for 22 bank robberies, got its firearms from Chevie Kehoe.  He is sentenced to life in prison in May 1999.
  • July 1998 – Victoria and Jason Keenan are shot at during a car chase from the Aryan Nations compound.  The assaults occur two weeks before an Aryan parade in Coeur d’Alene.
  • December 1998 – Two wealthy former California businessmen, Vincent Bertollini and Carl Story, form the 11th Hour Remnant Messenger and send out expensive mass mailings promoting the Aryan Nations and its Christian Identity white supremacy message.
  • January 1999 – Aryan Nations and Butler are sued by the Southern Poverty Law Center, which represents the Keenans.
  • August 11, 1999 – Former Aryan Nations’ security guard Buford Furrow is arrested for killing an Asian postal carrier and firing an assault rifle in a Jewish day care center in Los Angeles.
  • July 2000 – A national leader of the Posse Comitatus and Bertollini are featured speakers at the Aryan Nations Congress, where swastikas and a cross are burned in night ceremonies.
  • September 2000 – The Southern Poverty Law Center won a $6.3 million judgement against the Aryan Nations for the Keenans.  As a result, Butler turned over the 20 acre compound to the Keenans, who in turn sold the property to a philanthropist, who donated the land to North Idaho College, which designated it a “peace park.”
  • February 2001 – Sandpoint, Idaho millionaire, Vincent Bertillini, provided Bultler with a new house in Hayden, Idaho
  •  September 2004 – Butler dies of heart failure.


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