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Identity Movement
Founder: Unknown

Most Identity groups teach that the British (and by extension Americans, Canadians, and others) are the spiritual and literal descendants of the 10 lost tribes of ancient Israel. After the invasion of the Northern kingdom of Israel, the Assyrians scattered the indigenous population. They resettled in the Caucasus Mountains, and later drifted into Europe. The Identity movement extended that theory and generated their own profoundly racist doctrine. They believe that the white race (or the "Aryan peoples" or "White Anglo Saxon Protestants", or the "British Peoples", or "White Americans") represent God's chosen people, as mentioned in the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament). They have taken these beliefs in an extreme direction to justify their hatred of Blacks, Jews, homosexuals and communists.

The Bible records in the Old Testament how a schism occurred among the ancient Hebrews, separating the land into:

  • The Southern Kingdom of Judah which included the tribes of Benjamin and Levi, and

  • The Northern Kingdom of Israel which included the remaining ten tribes.

About 721 B.C., the latter was captured by the Assyrians. Its population was taken into captivity, and assimilated. Gentiles were brought in the region and the Northern Kingdom ceased to exist. However, British Israel writers developed the belief that these "10 tribes" retained their identity, became lost to history, and wandered far from the Middle East. They stated that the stone used in the coronation of King David was transported to the British Isles where it exists today as the Stone of Scone. The latter stone is still used for the coronation of British queens and kings. The writers promoted the belief that divine authority was transferred from ancient Israel to England along with the stone. British Israelism formed a main part of the foundation of Herbert W. Armstrong's Worldwide Church of God

The Identity movement is a movement of many extremely conservative "Christian" churches and religious organizations, extreme right wing political groups and survival groups. Some are independent; others are loosely interconnected. The largest Identity movement has traditionally been the Ku Klux Klan which was reorganized in 1915 by William Simmons, a "Christian" pastor. He had been inspired by the film The Birth of a Nation which portrayed the KKK as a champion of white civilization. The KKK slid into obscurity by the second World War, but was revitalized in the mid 1950's as a reaction to enforced racial integration in the southern U.S.

Quoting the FBI's Megiddo Report on domestic terrorism:

"Wesley Swift is considered the single most significant figure in the early years of the "Christian" Identity movement in the United States. He popularized it in the right-wing by 'combining British-Israelism, a demonic anti-Semitism, and political extremism.' He founded his own church in California in the mid 1940s where he could preach this ideology. In addition, he had a daily radio broadcast in California during the 1950s and 60s, through which he was able to proclaim his ideology to a large audience. With Swiftís efforts, the message of his church spread, leading to the creation of similar churches throughout the country. In 1957, the name of his church was changed to The Church of Jesus Christ Christian, which is used today by Aryan Nations (AN) churches."

"One of Swiftís associates, William Potter Gale, was far more militant than Swift and brought a new element to "Christian" Identity churches. He became a leading figure in the anti-tax and paramilitary movements of the 1970s and 80s. There are numerous "Christian" Identity churches that preach similar messages and some espouse more violent rhetoric than others, but all hold fast to the belief that Aryans are Godís chosen race."

Other current organizations which follow Christian Identity beliefs are: American Nazi Party; Aryan Nations; Church of Jesus Christ Christian, Aryan Nations; Confederate Hammerskins; Jubilee, National Association for the Advancement of White People; The Order; radical modern offshoots of the original Posse Comitatus; Scriptures for America, White Aryan Resistance (WAR) and White Separatist Banner. Many small groups fade in and out of existence frequently.

The leadership of the more radical Identity groups advocate, but do not themselves engage in violence against Jews, Blacks, and Homosexuals but are waiting for Armageddon to begin.

Cult Beliefs:

  • They have a very conservative interpretation of the Bible in regards to other religions and homosexuality. This has led to a hatred of homosexuality and of homosexuals and a rejection of followers of other religions.

  • They view the white race, the "Adamic race" or "True Israelites" as superior. Other races are the "Satanic spawn" of Cain. This leads naturally to a hatred of Blacks, Native Americans, and immigrants from "non-Aryan" lands

  • They believe that Adam and Eve were white. Many other "pre-Adamic" and non-white people were already in existence when Adam was created. This leads to the belief that Anglo-Saxon Protestants are the "true identity" of God's chosen people of the Hebrew Scriptures. Non-whites are considered sub-human. These beliefs confirm their concept of white racial superiority. At a minimum, they call for racial separation; some call for extermination of what they call the "mud races" (non-white races). 

  • They believe that the commandment which forbids adultery does not refer to extra-marital sexual relationships. Rather, it forbids "racial adultery"; i.e. inter-racial marriages. Their reasoning is that the 10th Commandment (Exodus 20:17) which forbids coveting one's neighbor's possessions already bans adultery; one of those "possessions" is the neighbor's wife. And, God would not have repeated Himself.

  • They believe they are direct descendants Adam's son Abel and thus are God's chosen people. They regard the Jewish people as having descended from Cain. Thus the Jewish belief that they are the chosen people is invalid. This has led to an hatred of the Jews within the Identity movement.

  • They believe in the inevitability of the end of the world and the Second Coming of Christ. It is believed that these events are part of a cleansing process that is needed before Christís kingdom can be established on earth. During this time, Jews and their allies will attempt to destroy the white race using any means available. The result will be a violent and bloody struggle -- a war, in effect -- between Godís forces, the white race, and the forces of evil, the Jews and nonwhites. Significantly, many adherents believe that this will be tied into the coming of the new millennium.

  • The view of what Armageddon will be varies among Identity believers. Some contend there will be a race war in which millions will die; others believe that the United Nations, backed by Jewish representatives of the anti-Christ, will take over the country and promote a New World Order. One interpretation is that white "Christians" have been chosen to watch for signs of the impending war in order to warn others. They are to then physically struggle with the forces of evil against sin and other violations of Godís law (i.e., race-mixing and internationalism); many will perish, and some of Godís chosen will be forced to wear the Mark of the Beast to participate in business and commerce. After the final battle is ended and Godís kingdom is established on earth, only then will the Aryan people be recognized as the one and true Israel.

  • They believe that God will use his chosen race as his weapons to battle the forces of evil. Identity followers believe they are among those chosen by God to wage this battle during Armageddon and they will be the last line of defense for the white race and "Christian" America. To prepare for these events, they engage in survivalist and paramilitary training, storing foodstuffs and supplies, and caching weapons and ammunition. They often reside on compounds located in remote areas.


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