The Order (group)

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The Order
Motto Thou art my battle axe and weapons of war: for with thee will I break in pieces the nations, and with thee will I destroy kingdoms; Jeremiah 51:20
Formation 1983
Type White supremacist, Christian Identity, neo-Nazi
Purpose Paramilitary fomenting white nationalist revolution, against the Zionist Occupation Government.
Key people
Robert Jay Mathews (leader)

The Order, also known as the Brüder Schweigen (German for Brothers Keep Silent) or Silent Brotherhood, was a white supremacist revolutionary terrorist organization active in the United States between September 1983 and December 1984. The Order received widespread attention from media and law enforcement for its role in the 1984 murder of radio talk show host Alan Berg.


The Order was founded by Robert Jay Mathews in late September 1983 at Mathews' farm near Metaline, Washington.[1] Mathews was baptized into the Mormon faith as a high schooler. He formed the "Sons of Liberty", an anti-communist militia mostly made up of Mormon survivalists that had no connection to the historical organization of the same name. A fundamental goal of The Order was revolution against the American government, which its members, and those of other white supremacist groups, believed to be controlled by a cabal of prominent Jews. The Order was named after, and partly modeled on, a fictional group in William Luther Pierce's novel The Turner Diaries.[2] The Order's goals included the establishment of a homeland (now the Northwest Territorial Imperative) from which Jews and non-whites would be barred. They often referred to the United States federal government as ZOG, an acronym for Zionist Occupied Government. Members of the Order included Randy Evans, Gary Yarborough, Bruce Pierce, Denver Parmenter, Frank DeSilva (also known as Frank Silva), Richard Scutari, David Lane, Randy Duey, and David Tate.

The Order raised money through violent crime. This began with the robbery of a sex shop, which netted them $369.10.[citation needed] Their later attacks were more effective, including several lucrative bank robberies, as well as bombings of a theater and a synagogue. The Order ran a large[3] counterfeiting operation, and executed a series[citation needed] of armored car robberies, including one near Ukiah, California that netted $3.6 million.[4] Proceeds from these robberies were distributed to leaders of sympathetic organisations such as William Pierce (National Alliance) and Frazier Glenn Miller, Jr. (White Patriot Party).[5]

The Order drew up a hit list of enemies, and on June 18, 1984 radio talk show host Alan Berg was murdered in front of his home by Bruce Pierce, assisted by other members of The Order.[6] Berg was number two on The Order's list.[7]

In December 1984, authorities were able to track Mathews down to a house on Whidbey Island where he refused to surrender.[2] During a shootout, the house was ignited by incendiary flares, became engulfed in flames and Mathews was killed.[2] Mathews is considered a martyr by some white nationalists.[8][9]


Ten members of The Order were tried and convicted under Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) statutes with the help of the testimony of Frazier Glenn Miller, Jr., who testified against Order members in order to have his own sentence reduced. In a separate trial, three other members of The Order were tried and convicted of violating the civil rights of Alan Berg.[10] No one has been charged in the murder of Berg. David Lane, the getaway driver for Berg's assailants, was sentenced to 190 consecutive years on the charges of racketeering, conspiracy, and violating Berg's civil rights. He died in prison in 2007.[11] Order member Bruce Pierce was sentenced to 252 years in prison for his involvement in the Berg murder, and died of natural causes at the Allenwood Federal Correctional Complex on August 16, 2010 at the age of 56.[12] Like Mathews, Lane and Pierce are regarded by many white supremacists as heroes, political prisoners and martyrs. In another trial, 14 men were charged with sedition, conspiracy and civil rights violations.[11] Thirteen of them were acquitted, and the judge dismissed the charges against the fourteenth man for lack of evidence.[11] Over 75 men and women were tried and convicted of various charges connected to The Order.[clarification needed]

A 2011 NPR report claimed that some of the people associated with this group were imprisoned in a highly restrictive Communication Management Unit.[13] Richard Scutari, a member of the Order, was sentenced to a 60-year prison term in 1986,[14] and was removed to USP Marion CMU in July 2008.

See also


  1. "Jury Told of Plan to Kill Radio Host (Subscription needed)". The New York Times. November 8, 1987. Retrieved 2007-08-25.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "The Alliance and the Law". Southern Poverty Law Center. Spring 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-17.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. New York Times - 2 Linked to Aryan groups plead guilty in plot
  4. "Free the Order Rally". Southern Poverty Law Center. Spring 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-17.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Gus Martin, ed. (2011). The SAGE Encyclopedia of Terrorism (2nd ed.). Sage. p. 450. ISBN 978-1412980166.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "Death List Names Given to US Jury". New York Times. September 17, 1985. Retrieved 2007-08-25.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Morris Dees and Steve Fiffer. Hate on Trial: The Case Against America's Most Dangerous Neo-Nazi. Villard Books, 1993. page xiiv
  9. National Vanguard
  10. Knudson, Thomas J. (October 31, 1987). "Trial Opens in Slaying of Radio Talk Show Host". New York Times. Retrieved 2007-08-25.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 "Extremism in America: David Lane". Anti-Defamation League. 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-18.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. The Denver Post, "Neo-Nazi gunman in Alan Berg's murder dies in prison," by Howard Pankratz (August 17th, 2010 - retrieved on August 17th, 2010).
  13. DATA & GRAPHICS: Population Of The Communications Management Units, Margot Williams and Alyson Hurt, NPR, 3-3-11, retrieved 2011 03 04 from

Further reading

External links