#1. LYONS SUBPOENAED IN OKLAHOMA BOMBING TRIAL
#2. MCVEIGH TELEPHONED BLACK MOUNTAIN ONE DAY BEFORE THE BOMBING
#3. GERMAN NATIONAL WITH MCVEIGH CONNECTIONS FLED TO GERMANY VIA BLACK MOUNTAIN
#4. STORMFRONT WEBPAGE INCLUDES LINK TO CAUSE FOUNDATION
#5. CAUSE FOUNDATION SETTLES MONTANA 'FREEMEN' STANDOFF
#6. CAUSE FEATURED IN SOLDIER OF FORTUNE MAGAZINE
#7. CAUSE/FBI CONNECTION MAY CONFUSE CAUSE SUPPORTERS
#8. LYONS CALLS COUNTY COMMISSIONERS ENEMIES OF FREEDOM
#9. LYONS' CABLE TV SHOW OFF THE AIR
#10. BUCHANAN CO-CHAIR RESIGNS AFTER CAUSE FOUNDATION & OTHER WHITE SUPREMACIST/MILITIA CONNECTINS REVEALED
#11. LYONS OBJECTS TO TASK FORCE REPORT
#12. LYONS/CAUSE PAST RECORD POINTS TO WHITE SUPREMACY
#13. TURNER DIARY AUTHOR LOSES CIVIL SUIT
#14. FORMER NEW ENGLAND KKK LEADER STILL UNDERGROUND IN YANCEY COUNTY
#15. KILL MEXICANS SIGN ON HIGHWAY
#16. VIOLENCE/DISCRIMINATION AGAINST GAY AND LESBIAN CITIZENS
1. LYONS SUBPOENAED IN OKLAHOMA BOMBING TRIAL: Black Mountain-based CAUSE Foundation director Kirk Lyons, has been subpoenaed by Timothy McVeigh's lawyer because, according to Newsweek February 19, 1996 edition, the lawyer feels Lyons knows more about the Oklahoma bombing than he is saying. Lyons denies any connection and is fighting the subpoena.
2. MCVEIGH TELEPHONED BLACK MOUNTAIN ONE DAY BEFORE THE BOMBING: On March 11, 1996, the Denver Post reported that Timothy McVeigh telephoned the CAUSE Foundation in Black Mountain on April 18, 1995 the day before the April 19 bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. CAUSE Director Kirk Lyons acknowledges the call but says that the caller remained anonymous and told his associate Dave Hollaway (a former U.S. Army explosives technician) that what CAUSE is doing in the courts defending Waco/Branch Davidian families and survivors isn't enough, a stronger message needs to be sent.
3. GERMAN NATIONAL WITH MCVEIGH CONNECTIONS FLED TO GERMANY VIA BLACK MOUNTAIN: According to the Denver Post March 11, 1996, Andreas Strassmeir, friend and client of CAUSE Foundation director Kirk Lyons, was telephoned twice prior to the Oklahoma bombing at a Christian Identity white supremacist community in Oklahoma. It is unclear whether McVeigh actually ever spoke with Strassmier. Three months after the bombing and afraid of being arrested, Strassmeir came to Black Mountain and was helped back to Germany by Lyons' associate, Dave Hollaway. Because Strassmeir's father is a top advisor to Chancellor Helmut Kohl, the connection to McVeigh has been big news in Germany including a story by TV Spiegel taped in Black Mountain in May 1996.
4. STORMFRONT WEBPAGE INCLUDES LINK TO CAUSE FOUNDATION: The Cause Foundation as of September 1996 set up its own homepage on the World Wide Web and is linked from the STORMFRONT, a "White Nationalist Resource Page" website. The address is <http://www.stormfront.org> or <http://207.15.176:80/cause/> In the past Lyons and CAUSE have also been endorsed by Tom Metzger's White Aryan Resistance as a "pro-white law firm" and by the neo-nazi NEW ORDER as a supporter of "white POWs" in federal prison. Lyons has not renounced such endorsements. CAUSE and STORMFRONT website title pages are reproduced below:
5. CAUSE FOUNDATION "SETTLES" MONTANA 'FREEMEN' STANDOFF: Whether CAUSE was crucial in settling the 81-day standoff between federal agents and "Freemen" outside Jordan, Montana or was just helping facilitate the inevitable as the FBI turned up the heat and turned off the electricity, depends on whose account you read. There is no debate however that the Freemen(an assortment of Christian Identity supremacists, militia proponents, Common Law believers, and common criminals) felt comfortable with CAUSE and gave up to the FBI with help from CAUSE on June 9-11, 1996. The Asheville Citizen-Times reported October 26, 1996 that Russell Dean, one of the jailed Montana Freemen, is considering a move to Asheville, NC if he is released.
6. CAUSE FEATURED IN SOLDIER OF FORTUNE MAGAZINE: TheSeptember 1996 issue of Soldier of Fortune magazine includes a feature article entitled "Big Sky Surrender" giving the CAUSE perspective on the Freemen surrender. The article bemoans the national media not giving CAUSE the credit it deserves for settling the standoff. Included in the article is a photo taken by CAUSE Director Kirk Lyons of his associate Dave Hollaway. Hollaway has shot a glass in his hand and his arm around the shoulder of the FBI agent-in-charge as they celebrate the settlement. The Soldier of Fortune article describes Hollaway as a former Green Beret medic. However, CAUSE's own newsletter in its Aug-Sept 1995 issue describes Hollaway as a "former U.S. Army explosives technician."
7. CAUSE/FBI CONNECTION MAY CONFUSE CAUSE SUPPORTERS: In a 1991 interview in the KKK publication The Klansman, Lyons pleads with KKK readers to accept him and understand that he is not working for, as Lyons put it, "ZOG" (Zionist Occupational Government. "ZOG" is Lyons' anti-Semitic name for the U.S. government). In July 1995, CAUSE ran in Soldier of Fortune an advertisement whose headline read, "Help Stop Reno and her Gun Grabbing Goons." A year later, Soldier of Fortune ran a photo of CAUSE staff and FBI agents drinking together in celebration of the surrender of "Freemen" patriots. Those apparent contradictions may create or compound suspicion within the radical right extreme about CAUSE. At the same time, others recognize that the Freemen felt comfortable with CAUSE because they share so many common beliefs. With CAUSE named as a hate group year after year by the Southern Poverty Law Center and Lyons named as a leader in the national white supremacy movement, some observers see CAUSE as more of a concern than the petty criminals calling themselves "Freemen". The June 14, 1996 editorial in the Asheville Citizen-Times stated that the FBI should be wary in the future of utilizing far-right folks as negotiators because doing so appears to give them a sense of acceptance and credibility.
8. LYONS CALLS COUNTY COMMISSIONERS "ENEMIES OF FREEDOM": On January 1996, CAUSE Director Kirk Lyons spoke to "We The People", a group trying to recall Cherokee County, N.C. county commissioners mainly for passing an ordinance prohibiting concealed weapons on county property. The January 11, 1996 Andrews Journal reported that, in reference to the county commissioners, Lyons said "These people are enemies of freedom." The recall effort fizzled.
9. LYONS' CABLE TV SHOW OFF THE AIR: "Uncensored Truth" a 30- minute weekly show featuring at times Kirk Lyons and Christian Identity preacher Pete Peters went off the air on TCI Cablevision of Asheville in early March 1996 after eight months. Low interest and viewership was cited by station officials as the reason Isrealite Productions pulled it. On one show, Lyons' called his detractors "insidious insects."
10. BUCHANAN CO-CHAIR RESIGNS AFTER CAUSE FOUNDATION & OTHER WHITE SUPREMACIST/MILITIA CONNECTIONS REVEALED: Larry Pratt, head of Gunowners of America, an organization that had contributed tens of thousands of dollars to Lyons' CAUSE Foundation, resigned February 15, 1996 as campaign co-chair for presidential hopeful Pat Buchanan. Pratt's participation in a 1992 anti-government gathering in Colorado of 160 white men called together by Identity preacher Pete Peters to strategize about the Randy Weaver stand-off in Idaho was cited by the Associated Press (Asheville Citizen-Times February 16, 1996) as a key reason for the resignation. Kirk Lyons was also a participant at that Colorado meeting, and the A.P. went on to say that Pratt confirmed his advocacy group's contributions to CAUSE. The 1992 Colorado meeting has been described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as the birthplace of the modern militia movement.
11. LYONS OBJECTS TO TASK FORCE REPORT: The October 18, 1996 Asheville Citizen-Times reports that Kirk Lyons objected to the CAUSE Foundation being named a "white supremacist group" in the "Mayor's Task Force For Eliminating Racism in Black Mountain" report. The Times reported Lyons voiced his objection to a "skeptical" town council meeting where "many rolled their eyes and groaned." Upon the invitation of a member in the audience, Lyons also carried his complaint that same day to a meeting of Building Bridges, a six week dialogue on racism being conducted in Black Mountain. Lyons followed up with a guest column in the October 26 Citizen-Times complaining about the news coverage and saying there "is not a scintilla of evidence linking us to any 'racism' in Black Mountain in the four years we have peaceably resided here." The newspaper added an editor's note saying the paper "stands by its description of CAUSE and Lyon's role in the organization."
12. LYONS/CAUSE PAST RECORD POINTS TO WHITE SUPREMACY: --"If we're going to succeed in a worldwide movement, for that of white rights and for whites future, having a future at all, then we must encourage professionalism.....You've got to grab the young generation. I want to grab them before they get to law school so we'll have them. CAUSE Foundation intends and will accept invitations to speak on any campus." Lyons' speech to Populist Party meeting in Clemmons, NC February 8, 1992.
"Is it now wrong for a white student to display his passive protest to the Black History Month icon (that frankly touts a great deal of white-bashing and Afro-centric nonsense)?" Lyons' letter to the editor, Asheville Citizen-Times March 3, 1993 referring to a student at Owen High School waving a Confederate Flag. --"I am impressed by the quality of the people I found in the Nationalist movement in Germany. I am also impressed by the fact that the majority of your movement is comparatively young (18 to 25 years old). With such a number of young people I see good chances for the success of the movement. After visiting Germany, I think that the movement there is better organized and more disciplined than similar groups in the USA." Interview with Lyons in neo-nazi publication Volkstreue winter 1992 --"It would be good if the Klan followed the advice of former Klansman Robert Miles: 'Become invisible. Hang the robes and hoods in the cupboard and become an underground organization. This would make the Klan stronger than ever before.'" Interview with Lyons in neo-nazi publication Volkstreue winter 1992 --"Lyons is enjoying his work, but he doesn't expect to practice law forever. Someday he says, he probably will go into politics. He would like to be the president of the Republic of Texas. It would be a predominantly white state with European Institutions, he says, but he might permit a small minority population to live within its borders. 'I like other cultures,' he explains. 'I don't want to have to go to China to eat Chinese food.'" Raleigh News & Observer April 19, 1992 --"I will never be a force for dividing us, the one thing is that I keep my eye on the ball and I keep my finger pointed in one direction, at our enemies, and I don't point at anybody else on our side of the line." Interview with Lyons in Sept/Oct 1990 KKK publication, The Klansman --"Lyons believes that racial stereotypes are real and should be discussed honestly. 'Racial humor (provides) some of the funniest jokes you ever heard,' he said. "A man shouldn't go to jail for telling a nigger joke, but our childlike society can't see that." Green Line May 1992 --"I'm not convinced that we can send them back. I don't think that it's a possibility. It may be. It's--that may be pie in the sky. Let's sit down and divvy up the country." "White Collar Racists" Sally Jessy Raphael TV Talk Show March 18, 1993 --"Betty Tate (Lyons' mother-in-law) said she is a paid clerical assistant for CAUSE which provides legal assistance to 'white racialists' in the United States and abroad." The Spokesman-Review, Spokane, WA January 8, 1994.
SAMPLING OF OTHER WHITE SUPREMACY ACTIVITY IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA:
13. "TURNER DIARY" AUTHOR LOSES CIVIL SUIT: On June 12, 1996 in Bryson City, NC, William Pierce, head of the West Virginia-based neo-nazi National Alliance, lost a civil suit brought against him by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The court ordered Pierce to pay $85,000 to the widow of an African American Gulf war veteran murdered in 1991 by devotees of Ben Klassen's white supremacist Church of the Creator which was based in Otto, N.C.. The court ruled that Klassen(who committed suicide in 1993) had tried to avoid a civil trial judgement against him by selling property near Otto to William Pierce for about half its value. Pierce later sold the land for a substantial profit and it is this profit that the court claimed in the judgement. Marion lawyer Frank Goldsmith was the local representative for the Southern Poverty Law Center. The Turner Diaries novel written by Pierce under the pen-name Jeffry McDonald is believed to have been the model used by The Order, a violent white supremacist group, in killings and robberies in the mid-1980s. Accused Oklahoma bombing suspect Timothy McVeigh is said to have slept with that book under his pillow at times.
14. FORMER NEW ENGLAND KKK LEADER STILL UNDERGROUND IN YANCEY COUNTY: Tom Herman, former Grand Secretary of the KKK in Maine and New Hampshire, moved to Yancey County outside Burnsville three to four years ago. His letters attacking the United Nations prompted WNCCEIB to write a letter May 9, 1996 to the editor exposing Herman's KKK connections based on newspaper clippings from New Hampshire. The Yancey Common Times Journal has refused to print the expose having "turned it over to the lawyers for review." WNCCEIB continues to work with the newspaper to persuade them to fulfill their journalistic responsibility to the community by printing the letter or doing their own investigative report.
15. "KILL MEXICANS" SIGN ON HIGHWAY: On July 20, 1996, a sign reading "Kill Mexicans" was found nailed to a traffic marker on N.C. Rt. 80 near the Celo community outside Burnsville in Yancey County. The sign had been prepared with some care.
16. VIOLENCE/DISCRIMINATION AGAINST GAY AND LESBIAN CITIZENS: Historically, white supremacists have targeted three key groups: people of color, Jews, and gay men and lesbians. Many observers believe that recent resolutions by county commissioners in Madison County and Rutherford County against gay/lesbian citizens affirm and encourage such behavior in people who choose violence to express their disapproval of others. WNCCEIB is receiving an increasing number of reports of violence directed toward gay and lesbian western North Carolinians including one where a teenager brandishing a machete came to the door of a lesbian couple in Madison County shortly after the resolutions passed. Waving the machete around, he screamed "Where are the queers?" At a WNC state-run agency, a lesbian professional who had been offered a job had the job offer withdrawn after some staff members prevailed upon the director not to hire her. No mention had been made of her sexual orientation during the interviews.
CONCLUSION: Information in this memorandum presents a challenge to each of us to act on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. words when he said, "The ultimate tragedy is not the brutality of the bad people but the silence of the good." Good people are speaking up in many ways throughout the Swannanoa Valley and western North Carolina. Racism dialogues; listening projects; task forces for eliminating racism; well-attended, unifying King commemorations; and individual acts of courage. Such activities inspire each of us to participate and take action ourselves. For suggestions on how you can be involved in your community, please contact us.
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