The John Doe Times
Volume III, No. 11
5 February 1997


The John Doe Times is an on-line electronic newsletter produced by the 1st Alabama Cavalry Regiment (Constitutional Militia). We are a proud and active member of the "Right Wing Media Cabal", Internet Division and we are working our way up the Clinton White House Enemies List as fast as we can. Send letters to the editor to: Send requests for back issues of JDT and directions to one of the web sites posting the series to the Circulation Manager: Send neoNazi letter bombs and garden-variety snail mail to: P.O. Box 926, Pinson, AL 35126. Our motto: Sic Semper Rodentia!








By James Ridgeway

WASHINGTON-In the Oklahoma City bombing case, the basic question is the same as with the Kennedy assassination, which remains unresolved more than 30 years later: Did the accused criminals, Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, act alone?

Other questions quickly follow: Was there a John Doe #2 comparable to the phantom figure on the Grassy Knoll? Were McVeigh and Nichols acting entirely of their own volition? Or were they just one set of operatives in a much broader conspiracy, which may even have been responsible for other crimes across the country?

A series of arrests and revelations over the last week has uncovered the outlines of a broader conspiracy that ties together a skein of Midwest bank robberies with a plot to finance the white power movement. So far, any ties between the robberies and the Oklahoma City bombing are speculative, but federal investigations are ongoing.

The key figure in a wider conspiracy is Mark Thomas, 46, of Macungie, Pennsylvania. Thomas, the PA Aryan Nations leader, is also a Christian Identity preacher, member of the underground Posse Comitatus, and a former chaplain of the Ku Klux Klan.

Last Thursday, a federal grand jury in Philadelphia indicted Thomas and four others, charging them with conspiring to commit bank robbery and receiving stolen money between 1994 and mid 1996. According to the indictment, Thomas ''recruited young people at his residence . . . including defendants Scott Anthony Stedeford and Kevin William McCarthy, to rob banks and commit other crimes on behalf of the Aryan Republican Army''-the name the Midwestern bank robbers went by. Thomas introduced Stedeford and McCarthy to Richard Lee Guthrie Jr. and Peter Langan, the leaders of the Aryan gang. The indictment covers seven of some 22 bank robberies allegedly carried out by the group since 1994. The heists netted more than $250,000.

Thomas was accused of providing the group with false identification and illegally modified radio equipment, as well as renting a van used in one robbery, among other charges. According to the indictment, the robbers gave Thomas an unspecified amount of money ''to further the goals of the organization [i.e., building a separatist white bastion] and to purchase weapons and other items necessary for additional bank and armored car robberies.'' Thomas faces up to 25 years if convicted. ''I'm innocent,'' he said before surrendering last Thursday.

As for the other members of the gang: Authorities say Guthrie committed suicide in his jail cell last July. He had just arranged to testify for the government and was in the midst of negotiating a book deal for which he promised to tell all. His partner, Langan, is currently on trial in Columbus, Ohio, for a bank robbery there. Stedeford was tried and found guilty last year of a March 1995 robbery in Des Moines. And last week McCarthy, 19, who has become a witness for the government, testified in Langan's trial that Thomas had introduced him to the robbers and plotted the thefts.

Thomas is a peripatetic number-two man in the far right movement. Over the years he has crisscrossed the nation, ingratiating himself with Richard Butler, who heads the Aryan Nations in Idaho, and speaking at the funeral of Bob Miles, the white resistance leader who was beaten to death in August 1992. Most recently, through his Web site, Thomas has been promoting the teachings of Louis Beam-probably the most influential figure in the white power operation. Thomas's home outside Allentown has become a permanent squat for skinheads, and he has shuttled his young followers back and forth to Elohim City. According to the indictment, three meetings to organize the bank robberies took place at that Christian Identity enclave in the Ozarks. Thomas made headlines in 1995 when he was linked to two skinheads, David and Bryan Freeman, who murdered their parents. They had been at Thomas's home, but Thomas claimed he did not know them.

The fifth man named in the indictment is Michael William Brescia, 24, a part-time college student at LaSalle University in Philadelphia and the son of a retired firefighter. Brescia lived for a time with Thomas, who then introduced him to Guthrie and Langan. Brescia also resided for a while at Elohim City, where he was reportedly the roommate of Andreas Strassmeir, a former German army officer who has become a mysterious fringe figure in the Oklahoma City case.

McVeigh's phone logs show him making a call to Elohim City shortly before the bombing in an alleged effort to reach Strassmeir. No one knows much about Strassmeir, who is variously reported to be a Berlin neo-Nazi, a German army intelligence officer, and possibly even a U.S. or NATO undercover agent. Now the question is whether Strassmeir was in any way tied up with the robberies.

Brescia also has been named as a defendant in a civil suit brought by victims of the bomb blast against McVeigh. They have likened him to John Doe #2, although the slight Brecia is said to bear scant resemblance to the swarthy suspect on the now discarded wanted posters. Two weeks ago the feds formally disbanded their manhunt for John Doe #2, claiming they know the identity of the man on the poster and that he is not involved in the case.

Guthrie's statements to the government before his death, now buttressed by the testimony of McCarthy, should help bring into focus the larger far-right plot. What's happened is the reestablishment of a white resistance underground, reminiscent of the 1980s Order gang. This renewed insurgency includes both an above-ground political apparatus and an underground that attempts to raise money by robbing banks, armored cars, etc. The stolen money is said to then pay for extending the operations of the underground: buying radio equipment, explosives, and get-away cars; arranging for fake IDs; producing propaganda videos; and so on.

There's another layer to the conspiracy theories swirling around the Oklahoma City case. That is, did the feds have prior knowledge of the bombing through informants or, as some would like to think, by setting up an abortive sting operation? The far right would love to blame the whole thing on the government and, in the ensuing uproar, get rid of the detested Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms.


JDT Commentary: O.K., I admit it. I would like to live in a post-ATF America. Many folks I know would like to know what it's like to live without the Gun Gestapo and mass murders at federal buildings with all the earmarks of "Our tax dollars at work."


In addition, the victim claimants in the civil suit would like to include the government as a defendant because it would allow them to make millions of dollars in a settlement.


JDT Commentary: Now this is as uncharitable a comment about Edye Smith and the Wilburns as I have ever read, and frankly it ticked me off when I read it. The thought that they want to drag the government into the civil suit simply because it has deeper pockets than Michael Brescia belies the fact that Carol Howe AND Andreas Strassmeir were ATF informants according to press accounts reprinted here in previous editions of the JDT. The very statement is insulting to them, and attempts to cheapen their motives for pursuing the truth-- the loss of their little loved ones Chase and Colton Smith. It is reprehensible to impute such a mercenary motive to honest, decent folks who are just searching for the truth about their terrible loss and simple justice to the criminals involved. Shame on you, Jim Ridgeway.


The McVeigh defense also stands to gain ground by showing prior knowledge, if only to place McVeigh as a mere soldier in the midst of a larger plot.

That is why the sudden emergence of Carol Howe, the daughter of a well-to-do Tulsa businessman, adds to the intrigue of the case. Reliable sources in the case say Howe has given an affidavit to the FBI recounting how she worked as a paid informant for the ATF and infiltrated the far-right movement in Tulsa-accompanying various members on their trips to Elohim City. According to Stephen Jones, McVeigh's lead defense attorney, Howe told her ATF superiors that she heard Strassmeir and Dennis Mahon, the Tulsa Klan leader, discuss blowing up federal buildings on several occasions before the Oklahoma City bombing in April 1995. Howe could not be reached for comment, and her attorney did not return calls. Angela Finley, reportedly Howe's ATF supervisor in Tulsa, said, ''I am not allowed to comment on anything about the investigation.''

Mahon has never been charged in the Oklahoma City bomb plot. However, he recently testified before a Tulsa federal grand jury investigating yet another white-power bomb plot. In that case, several people reportedly discussed blowing up various federal buildings in 1996. In an interview last Sunday, Mahon said, ''This woman has got some shit on me. They're lies. But it's my word against hers. It looks real bad for me right now. My lawyer says I can be arrested.'' In 1994 a Tulsa court issued a temporary protective order to safeguard Howe after she complained Mahon threatened to ''take steps to neutralize me,'' by breaking her knees if she tried to leave the Aryan movement. The order was later dismissed.

Was McVeigh tied up in these robberies, conceivably as a way to finance the purchase of the ingredients to make the bomb? Jennifer McVeigh reportedly told the FBI that her brother once handed her three $100 bills, told her they were from a bank robbery, and asked her to launder the money; she put the money in her credit union.

Jones denies McVeigh was engaged in bank robberies. Still, the conspiracy behind the Oklahoma City bombing is beginning to unravel. And as it does, McVeigh and codefendant Nichols are proving to be more than mere freelance murderers acting on their own.

Additional reporting: Erica Macy

Talk back!



5 February 1997

.c The Associated Press


Associated Press Writer

MULDROW, Okla. (AP) -- Up seven miles of bad road, past no-trespassing signs nailed to blackjack oaks, sits a major stop on the right-wing extremists' underground railroad.

It looks more like a low-rent trailer park. Ramshackle mobile homes and polyurethane huts sit willy-nilly on this Ozark mountain, hidden by woods and surrounded by the crackle of gunfire.

It's called Elohim City, and the name of the armed, all-white enclave of 80 or so religious zealots keeps popping up in criminal investigations.

Four of five white supremacists indicted last week on charges of conspiring to rob seven Midwestern banks have visited or lived there. And two weeks before the Oklahoma City bombing, Timothy McVeigh called the Oklahoma compound and spoke for nearly two minutes, phone records show.

Elohim City's leader is Robert G. Millar, a former Mennonite who brought his flock here 24 years ago. He is 71 and favors kilts and clerical collars. His followers, most of whom are related to him by birth or marriage, call him ``Grandpa.'' Elohim (pronounced eh-loh-HEEM) is a Hebrew word for God.

Millar is considered one of the most important leaders of America's Christian Identity movement, a theology common to an assortment of right-wing extremist groups.

The movement teaches that its followers are at war with the U.S. government, that racial minorities are sub-human ``mud people,'' that Jews are the offspring of Satan and that a ``New World Order'' endangers freedom.

``It is a religion on steroids,'' said Morris Dees of the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks extremists through its Klanwatch Project.


JDT Commentary: "Religion on steroids"? If what Dees does can be considered "tracking extremists", his search dogs must have gotten deaf, dumb, blind in the eye and dull in the nose.


Adherents include groups such as the Aryan Nations and the now-defunct Covenant, Sword and Arm of the Lord, or CSA, whose members have been implicated in robbery, terrorism and murder.

People seeking the company of like-minded zealots travel between Elohim City and other extremist encampments, including the Hayden Lake, Idaho, compound of Aryan Nations founder Richard Butler and the Pennsylvania farm of Aryan Nations leader Mark Thomas.

Thomas is one of the four men indicted last week in the bank robbery case to have visited Elohim City. Two men who already have been convicted of committing some of the robberies took shelter at the compound during the spree, according to court testimony.

The robbers' intent, prosecutors say, was to finance a war against the government.

Elohim City itself remains unscathed. Millar has never been arrested, and his compound has never been raided.

In the 1980s, residents bearing semiautomatic weapons faced down federal and local law enforcement officers trying to enforce a court order in a custody fight. The officers left rather than risk gunfire. After the Oklahoma City bombing, as rumors spread that the compound would be raided by federal agents, residents were said to have aimed their guns at planes overhead.

Millar is the most powerful person in the Christian Identity movement, according to Kerry Noble, a former CSA leader who served more than two years in prison on racketeering and weapons charges after a three-day standoff with federal agents in 1985. Noble said he remains in contact with people in the movement, although he has abandoned its teachings and now advises law enforcement organizations about extremist groups.

``He's got charisma,'' Noble said of Millar. ``He's got money coming from somewhere. He's respected. He's well-known. Some people say he has spiritual powers.''

Millar moved to the United States in the 1950s from Kitchener, Ontario, after God said, ``Thou shalt go to the state called Oklahoma,'' Millar told The Associated Press.

He followed God's voice to Oklahoma City, then to Baltimore, where he ran a youth camp. In 1973, Millar returned to Oklahoma with about 18 family members and bought the property they now live on. Today, several of Millar's eight children and more than 30 grandchildren live here.

According to Noble, Elohim City was not armed until after 1982, when Millar met Noble and CSA founder James Ellison. Until then, Noble said, Millar ``hadn't entertained the concept of a paramilitary outfit of God ... that God would use a group to bring forth judgment.''

Today, Ellison lives at Elohim City and is married to one of Millar's granddaughters. Millar ``believes that Ellison is the one to lead the right-wing movement. And Robert sees himself as the power behind the throne,'' Noble said.

On a recent cold winter day, the children of Elohim City played outside, some barefoot, their faces dirty, the girls' hand-me-down dresses several sizes too big, with ripped-out hems. Their parents stared angrily and refused to be interviewed. Only Millar and his second-oldest son, John, would speak.

Millar allowed an AP reporter and photographer to attend one of Elohim City's daily religious services and visit the home of Millar's youngest son. Then he cut the visit short, saying his flock was fed up with the media.

The compound's chapel, a bubble of hardened polyurethane decorated with the Confederate and Christian flags, housed a service punctuated by dancing, salutes and lyrics announcing the time has come to ``raise our swords to fight.'' A young man wore a shoulder holster containing a semiautomatic gun.

Millar said Elohim City operates a small sawmill and trucking enterprise on its property. Millar's son Bruce owns a fleet of trucks that he leases to National Carriers Inc., a Kansas-based hauling company that transports general commodities and hazardous materials.


JDT Commentary: Hmmm. A CI-based trucking company with ties to terrorists hauling HAZMAT materials. What's wrong with this picture?


Robert Millar said his congregation just wants to be left alone to practice its religious beliefs of self-denial, hard work and simplicity: ``I am just repulsed by people who link white supremacists to Christian Identity.''


JDT Commentary: Oh, of course.


AP-NY-02-05-97 1426EST

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