The Silent Brotherhood (German: Brüder Schweigen) was a White nationalist organization active in the United States between 1983 and 1984. Members were accused and convicted of various crimes.
Journalists began referring to the group as The Order, referring to a fictional inner circle of White revolutionaries in the novel The Turner Diaries. Robert Jay Mathews, the founder of the Silent Brotherhood in September 1983, is stated to have been inspired by the work and to have partly modeled the group's activities on the book.
Allegedly, a fundamental goal of the Silent Brotherhood was revolution against the government of the United States. However, as noted later, members were acquitted of sedition charges.
The Silent Brotherhood committed a series of robberies. Their first effort was the robbery of a sex shop (similar to an early event in The Turner Diaries) which netted them less than $400. The Silent Brotherhood later moved on to bank robberies, counterfeiting, and eventually a large armored car robbery in Ukiah, California which netted them $3.8 million.
After being arrested on counterfeiting charges, one member of the Silent Brotherhood informed FBI agents of the group's membership roll and its methods. Based on this information, authorities were able to track down Mathews in December, 1984. He was living in a cabin on Whidbey Island and refused to surrender to the FBI. During a shootout, the FBI set the cabin on fire and Bob Mathews died.
Ultimately, ten members of the Silent Brotherhood were tried and convicted under Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) statutes.
Four members were tried and two were convicted of "violating the civil rights" of Alan Berg, a Jewish radio talk show host who had been murdered in 1984. David Lane and Bruce Pierce were sentenced to what amounted to life sentences.
The district attorney declined to prosecute on murder charges, saying the evidence wouldn’t stand up in court.
Lane in his writings apparently did not deny certain of the crimes the Silent Brotherhood were accused of, but did reject involvement in the killing of Alan Berg, who may have had many enemies due to his controversial radio talk show and stated involvement in various crimes. The witnesses testifying for the prosecution were argued to have falsely done so in exchange for immunity and other rewards. During the judicial process, judges, prosecutors, and even appointed defense attorneys were stated to include several Jews, possibly creating conflicts of interest.
Oath and Motto
The nine founding members of the group swore an oath that began:
"I, as a free Aryan man, hereby swear an unrelenting oath upon the green graves of our sires, upon the children in the wombs of our wives, upon the throne of God almighty, sacred is His name, to join together in holy union with those brothers in this circle and to declare forthright that from this moment on I have no fear of death, no fear of foe; that I have a sacred duty to do whatever is necessary to deliver our people from the Jew and bring total victory to the Aryan race..."
A motto on the group's crest reads "Brüder schweigen", which means "Brothers remain silent" in German.
Orginal nine sworn members (September 22, 1983)
- Dan Bauer
- Randy Duey
- Richard Kemp
- David Lane
- Ken Loff
- Bob Mathews
- Bruce Pierce
- Denver Parmenter
- William Soderquist
Later members and associates
- Tom Martinez
- Gary Yarbrough
- Randal Rader
- Robert Merki
- James Dye
- Jackie Lee Norton
- Mark Jones
- Charles Ostrout
- Richard Scutari
- David Tate
- Mike Norris
- Jean Craig
- Frank L. DeSilva
- Ronald King
- Ardie McBrearty
- Randy Evans
- Lineage of American Nationalist organizations and individuals
- Women for Aryan Unity
- Betrayed (film)
- National Socialist Liberation Front
- The murder of Alan Berg in Denver: 25 years later https://www.denverpost.com/2009/06/17/the-murder-of-alan-berg-in-denver-25-years-later/
- David Lane - Collection of Works