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By the end of the interview, Doug seems at ease, firing off witty retorts, smiling at his own jokes. He calls me "brother," and I reciprocate. Quinn's a little more standoffish; I ask to borrow his WCOTC books, and he's reluctant to lend them. "Just give them to him. He'll give 'em back," Doug says. But they seem to agree that they trust me enough to meet with me again. I feel the same way.
As I sit in my car getting ready to leave John Prince Park, I take a quick look over at my interviewees, thinking something along the lines of, That wasn't that bad, when from the bushes emerge two skinheads, who file into Quinn's BMW. As the car pulls out of the lot, I realize that these men had secretly been standing sentry for the entire two-and-a-half-hour interview.
Articulate and affable as these guys may be, I'm not just going to take their word for everything. I realize they're hoping to use me as their propaganda mouthpiece, so I decide to check in with the long-time nemesis of any group with a whiff of Nazism about it. The Anti-Defamation League tracks hate groups throughout the world. Southern Area ADL director Art Teitelbaum keeps a close eye on the various characters in these parts. The ADL already knows much about the World Church of the Creator and is in the process of gathering information on the South Florida Aryan Alliance, whose leafleting has targeted middle- to lower-class white neighborhoods in Broward and Palm Beach counties. But the Aryan Werwulfe Brotherhood and the concept of the Lone Wolf is just now starting to draw the attention of the ADL.
Ever since the Oklahoma City bombing and the increased focus of federal law-enforcement agencies on domestic extremists and paramilitary organizations, some people have responded by engaging in a process they call leaderless resistance, Teitelbaum says. "Their theory being they would be better served in maintaining their secrecy by having smaller organizations, thus being less vulnerable to government surveillance," he adds.
He's never heard the term Werwulfe to describe these conspiracies of one. He doubts that this is a meaningful organization but believes it is instead a ploy to create the perception that there are many wolves out there. The same, he says, holds true with the Aryan Alliance.
While acknowledging that these groups exist, he also theorizes that ol' Doug is trying to play me. "One of the characteristics of these right-wing extremists is their tendency to create and re-create themselves whenever it's convenient, including for the purpose of impressing reporters," he cautions.
Joe Roy, director of intelligence for the Southern Poverty Law Center, says that Florida is in the top three states in terms of the sheer numbers of hate groups, with 39 reported. He adds that his center doesn't list the Aryan Alliance on its official roster of hate groups but says the group has been identified recently. For the year 2000, the number of hate groups was up 12 percent from the previous year, and the figure is projected to rise.
"Technology and the economy have a lot to do with that," Roy says. "Now, with the economy starting to get stressed, it's always been a factor. And the white-power music, which is real popular with the younger people, is drawing them in."
The World Church of the Creator, Teitelbaum says, has a sordid history in Broward County. Fueled by militant racist and anti-Semitic rhetoric, the organization has been responsible for or connected to at least one Florida murder, two conspiracies to commit hate crimes on the West Coast, and a secret police action against the African National Congress conducted in the waning years of South African apartheid.
"They have a long record, under the leadership of Matt Hale in Chicago, of being violence-prone and quite capable of committing murder," he says.
Yet Sean Quinn, a WCOTC member who is studying for his priest's certificate and rising in the ranks, says Teitelbaum couldn't be more off base. "We are a nonviolent group," Quinn says. "It's printed on our membership application. When a person applies, they agree in writing to our principles, that being we don't condone violence or unlawful activities, nor do we promote or incite them. The only reason we've been knocked down the way we have been is because of the liberal media, especially the liberal Jew media."
Throughout our subsequent conversations, Quinn reiterates over and over that what his movement and the Lone Wolves and the Aryan Alliance are involved in is no different from what the ADL and the NAACP do -- promote the rights of minority groups.
"White people are becoming a minority," he says. "We would like to see a peaceful process for our people to advance. But they term our movement violent because of our speech. They don't like that we're right. All you have to do is look at the statistics; 76 percent of the U.S. is white, and they commit only 30 percent of the murders. Niggers and Hispanics are 21 percent of the population, and they committed 70 percent of the murders in the U.S. last year. And they say we're a hate group."