Still Crazy After All These Years

The names of the patriots have changed, but not their tune.

The split-level ranch house on the western outskirts of Fort Collins doesn't look like a bunker, but it houses Colorado's oldest war room in the battle against the New World Order.

The HQ is the basement office of Colonel Archibald E. Roberts, a former Army information officer who for decades has churned out propaganda against everyone from former Los Angeles mayor Sam Yorty, the United Nations and the international banking cartel to the current occupants of the White House, who, in case you didn't know, are Marxists controlled by Jews.

Ask Colonel Roberts a question, and it reminds him of a pamphlet. The trim little man in his seventies walks over to one of many neat stacks and cubbyholes brimming with material from his Committee to Restore the Constitution and plucks one out. Politely, he hands it to his visitor and says, "I believe this will answer your question." If it doesn't, he will discourse about the destruction of the United States, and he will do so in a calm, measured voice. He blames the "international bankers and international industrialists" (phrases that groups like the Anti-Defamation League have long maintained mean "Jews") for the imminent spiritual, moral and financial collapse of the Republic.

"The course of America," he says, "now is irrevocably headed to a breakdown." But he himself doesn't seem to be. Not one to foam at the mouth like some rabid "patriots," the colonel speaks beautifully, in complete sentences, while espousing the most outrageous theories concerning the evil, godless federal empire that is making slaves of a once-free Christian people.

Arch Roberts is not a household name, but he was quite notorious thirty years ago in the national press as an anti-communist activist. He might be Colorado's Original Patriot.

A few miles south, at the only stoplight in tiny Johnstown, is an equally unknown soldier in the war against the New World Order. He's Don Weideman, owner of radio station KHNC. Housed in a former auto-parts store, KHNC claims an audience of 3 million listeners in 81 countries, thanks to satellite and shortwave technology. There's no way to verify that claim, but over the past three years the station has served as a major clearinghouse for a variety of right-wing conspiracy theorists and activists--including Arch Roberts.

While KHNC's talk shows, featuring the likes of Bo Gritz and homegrown celebrity Dr. Norm Resnick, command center stage, Weideman himself is determined to stay in the background. But he's no ordinary grunt in this war. Watchdog Morris Dees and his liberal group, the Southern Poverty Law Center, rate the little-publicized Weideman as one of the most influential people in the "patriot" movement.

Until the bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City in April 1995, KHNC proudly called itself the "USA Patriot Network." Since patriots were linked to the bombing, however, the station now calls itself the "American Freedom Network," and its monthly magazine has changed monikers from USA Patriot News to American Freedom. Even so, Weideman and Roberts--along with the rest of Colorado's so-called patriots--are liable to attract renewed attention when the expected horde of reporters descends upon Denver for the upcoming trial of suspected bomber Timothy McVeigh, who has been identified as an avid follower of patriot talk-radio and literature.

Weideman doesn't pack a pistol like his braying compatriot Resnick. In fact, KHNC's unassuming owner has good-naturedly identified himself at the station as "the guy who sweeps up." He won't entertain questions about his life outside KHNC, and he refers all queries about anything else to Resnick. But six days a week he runs a media operation that spans the globe with doomsday politicking about the "international banksters" and the New World Order, interspersed with sales pitches for guns, survival gear, gold and silver, and radios to pick up his station's broadcasts over World Wide Christian Radio, a shortwave linkup he uses in Nashville, Tennessee.

What does this mysterious man do on the seventh day? He doesn't rest. He's a rabbi.

Jews have always been a big hangup for the "patriots" of Arch Roberts's generation. Alan Berg, the openly Jewish loudmouth who dominated Denver talk radio in the Eighties, was killed by far-right gunmen nurtured by the anti-Semitic propaganda of patriots. The Turner Diaries, a right-wing novel that suspected bomber McVeigh reportedly once carried around, is loaded with anti-Semitic references. Even the "council" for Roberts's organization, the Committee to Restore the Constitution, includes a couple of people who have targeted Jews as a major irritant. One is Dr. William Campbell Douglass, who wrote the 1966 novel The Eagle's Feather, about the horrifying reign over America of a Jewish president and the heroic struggle of Chris-tians to overthrow him.

Another, Eustace Mullins, is a disciple of the brilliant poet and scathing anti-Semite Ezra Pound. Mullins, a frequent speaker at patriot rallies and talk-radio, argues that the phrase "Have a nice day" is Zionist code warning of an impending pogrom against Christians. He denies that his argument is anti-Semitic; he says what he writes about Jews "can be found in the Bible." In a 1968 book, The Biological Jew, Mullins compared Jews to parasites, saying that the "religious ceremony of drinking the blood of an innocent gentile child is basic to the Jew's entire concept of his existence as a parasite, living off the blood of the host."

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