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The Order
Abbreviation Brüder Schweigen, Silent Brotherhood
Formation 1983
Extinction 1984
Type White nationalism
Purpose/focus Paramilitary formenting white nationalist revolution, against what they call the Zionist Occupation Government.
Location United States
Key people Robert Jay Mathews
David Lane

The Order, also known as the Brüder Schweigen or Silent Brotherhood, was an organization active in the United States between 1983 and 1984. The Order described themselves as a white nationalist revolutionary group, and are probably best known for 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 Falls, Washington.[1] A fundamental goal of The Order was revolution against the government of the United States, which was seen by members of The Order and other white supremacist groups as being controlled by a cabal of prominent Jews. The group was partly modeled on, and was named after, 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) where 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 Silva, Richard Scutari, David Lane, Randy Duey, and David Tate.

To fund their goals, the Order committed a series of violent crimes. First the robbery of a sex shop, which netted them less than USD $400. Afterwards, the Order's attacks were more effective, committing several lucrative bank robberies, as well as bombing 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 $3.8 million.[4]

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.[5] Berg was number two on The Order's list.[6] Berg's murder and the subsequent trial formed the basis of Steven Dietz's 1988 play God's Country, and also loosely inspired Eric Bogosian's play Talk Radio (later adapted into a film by Oliver Stone) and the film Betrayed. A fictional version of the story was also the subject of the movie Brotherhood of Murder.

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 held in high esteem by some within the white nationalist subculture.[7][8]



Ten members of The Order were tried and convicted under Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) statutes. In a separate trial, three other members of The Order were tried and convicted of violating the civil rights of Alan Berg.[9] 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.[10] Lane is regarded by many white supremacists as a hero, political prisoner and martyr. His Fourteen Words slogan, "We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children", has become a prominent motto of many white nationalists.[10] In another trial, 14 men were charged with sedition, conspiracy and civil rights violations.[10] Thirteen of them were acquitted, and the judge dismissed the charges against the fourteenth man for lack of evidence.[10] Over 75 men and women were tried and convicted of various charges connected to The Order.


Further reading

  • Kevin Flynn and Gary Gerhardt. The Silent Brotherhood ISBN 0-451-16786-4.
  • Thomas Martinez and John Guinther. The Brotherhood of Murder ISBN 978-1583485804.
  • Morris Dees. Gathering Storm: America's Militia Threat. Harper Perennial (April 23, 1997) ISBN 0060927895

External links


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