Sign of Hope or Calculated Deception?
Dr. Neill Payne
What to Make of All This?
1. White Collar Racists Program
2. On Black History Month
3. Become Invisible
4. Holocaust Museum Demonstration
5. Offer of Assistance to UNCA Fraternity
6. Soldier of Fortune Convention/Magazine
7. New Black Mountain Chapter of Sons of Confederate Veterans
8. Importance of Youth To White Supremacy Movement
9. Hey, What's the Big Deal
Lyons, 38, describes himself and CAUSE quite differently and benignly outside white supremacy circles. The purpose of this memorandum is to provide information that will give local citizens in Black Mountain and Western North Carolina a more complete picture of what Lyons is doing and saying. While active nationally, Lyons initially kept a low profile in Black Mountain. He is gradually becoming more public.
Sign of Hope or Calculated Deception?
On January 8, 1994, Lyons attended the Swannanoa Valley Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Prayer Breakfast at Ridgecrest. He stood and applauded after the "I Have a Dream" speech, and he held hands with an African-American man during the singing of "We Shall Overcome." Was Lyons there because he embraces Dr. King's dream of a nation where all Americans live together in harmony and equality? Or was his presence the continuation of a shrewd strategy to dupe the local community into thinking he's 'just a regular guy' and his organization is an objective 'civil rights' foundation? Whatever the answer, Lyons witnessed hundreds of people being inspired by a magnificent program. He also saw how the Swannanoa Valley community is united in promoting harmony and justice.
Regardless of Lyons' reason for his attendance at the MLK Breakfast, the community needs to be aware that more people connected to Lyons have moved to Black Mountain to join him in CAUSE's work. They are:
Dr. Neill Payne, 38: Incorporator with Lyons and Dave Hollaway of the Patriots Defense Fund which preceded CAUSE; Payne was arrested in 1987 for harboring one of the FBl's most wanted fugitives, Louis Beam, former Grand Dragon of the Texas KKK (Beam later acquitted); Payne has leased Swan Mountain Chiropractic on US 70 west of Swannanoa*; Payne was an original incorporator of the CAUSE Foundation with Lyons and David Duke lawyer Sam Dickson; Payne is active with the local Sons of Confederate Veterans. Payne's wife Laura is the sister of Lyon's wife Brenna. *(UPDATE: Lease terminated by mutual agreement March 11, 1994.)
Charles Tate, 63: Former second-in-command of the Aryan Nations compound in Hayden Lake, Idaho, now described by an Aryan Nations spokesperson as the Aryan Nations' "deputy leader-at-large". In 1985, his son, David, a member of the violent white supremacy group called The Order, was convicted of murdering Missouri State Trooper, J. Linegar. Linegar was machine-gunned to death and another officer seriously wounded when they pulled over Tate's van filled with weapons and explosives. According to the Columbian Missourian, Charles Tate said that if his son spends the rest of his life in prison, "...he will have given his life for his white race." He also said his son and others in The Order, "...have shown a lot of guts."
The Missourian article continued: "According to Charles Tate, the movement of white supremacy is just beginning. 'All wars start on a propaganda level,' he said 'Back before the American Revolution, Adams and Jefferson stirred people up -- it ended up in a bloody shooting war. If you're asking, 'Did Charley Tate say it would end up in a shooting war?', I say they always do. That's common sense. He said the state trooper's death was an 'unfortunate' yet unavoidable outcome of such a war." David Tate was sentenced to life imprisonment in a Missouri State prison. Note: Charles Tate did printing for the Aryan Nations and is Kirk Lyons' and Neill Payne's father-in-law.
Betty Tate. 57: Wife of Charles Tate; described
in a January 8, 1994, Spokesman-Review (Spokane, WA) article as "backbone",
with her husband, of the Aryan Nations compound. Ex-Aryan Floyd Cochran
said in that same article: "Chuck and Betty did everything up there, plus
they put a lot of their money in to keeping that place running over the
years." Betty Tate said in the article that she is now "a paid clerical
assistant for CAUSE which provides legal assistance to white racialists
in the United States and abroad".
Others Already Here:
Herbert Horton: reclusive Black Mountain resident for twenty years and major donor to David Duke's campaign. Horton met Lyons at Populist party meetings and invited Lyons to come live in Black Mountain. For about a year, Lyons lived in one of Horton's rental homes and used another for his office. In December 1992, a professionally stitched Nazi armband was received in the mail anonymously by this office with a note attached: "Found in Herbert Horton's truck on 12/15/92 Downtown Blk Mtn, on front seat, window open. What's going on?" The note and armband were handed over to Black Mountain police. Horton reportedly said that someone was trying to set him up and make him look bad. Horton has in recent years traveled to Germany on more than one occasion.
Dave Holloway: Lyon's assistant in Texas who came to Black Mountain when Lyons did in January 1992; has replaced Sam Dickson on CAUSE Foundation board; Hollaway has listed himself in the past as Executive Director of the Institute for Applied Marine Research with a Black Mountain address. Dr. Neill Payne serves with Hollaway on the institute's board. Hollaway has taken at least one course at UNCA and was injured seriously in 1993 while inspecting the debris at the David Koresh compound in Waco, Texas, as part of the CAUSE Foundation's investigation and defense of several Davidians.
However, for our community to avoid being seen as a welcoming haven for white supremacists, we must continuously and publicly promote our vision of a unified community that opposes white supremacist/separatist philosophy and teachings. The King Breakfast, Church Women United booth at the Sourwood Festival, and resolutions against hate crimes by the town councils of Black Mountain and Montreat, the City Council of Asheville, and the Buncombe County Commissioners have sent a powerful, important message about the positive values our communities hold. The current nine-week course, "Building Bridges: Overcoming Racism" being held in Asheville, is another example. (253-0749)
If Lyons' attendance at the King breakfast was simply a clever attempt to pretend interest in racial harmony, do we need to worry about the CAUSE Foundation's intentions or presence in our community? An answer to that question may lie in a review of Lyons' recent activities:
1. "White Collar Racists" Program: Five days after Lyons attended the King breakfast, he was a guest on a Sally Jesse Raphael talk-show program entitled "White Collar Racists" viewed on WLOS Channel 13 out of Asheville. The show was a repeat of a March 18, 1993, program. According to the written transcript of the program, Lyons described himself as a "white separatist" and said: "I'm not convinced we can send them (African-Americans) back. I don't think that's a possibility. It may be. Let's sit down and divvy up the country." (Note: Lyons told the Raleigh News and Observer in an April 19, 1992, article that he wanted 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."
2. On Black History Month: After an incident where students waved Confederate flags during Black History Month at Owen High School in February 1993, Lyons, who lives just outside the high school's rear gates, wrote a letter to the Asheville Citizen in which he said: "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, Afro-centric nonsense...?" (ACT March 3, 1993)
3. "Become Invisible": In an interview in "Volkstreue," described by the Center for Democratic Renewal as a "Neo-Nazi Skinhead" publication, Lyons said: "I have great respect for the Klan historically, but, sadly, the Klan today is ineffective and sometimes even destructive. There are many spies in it and most of its best leaders have left the Klan to do more effective work within the movement. . .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." In that same interview, Lyons stated that, "Democracy is a farce. I don't believe in democracy." (Translation provided by CDFT)
4. Holocaust Museum Demonstration: The ultra-conservative Spotlight newspaper reported on March 15, 1993, that Lyons was the organizer for a demonstration April 22, 1993, at the dedication of the Holocaust Museum on the Mall in Washington, D.C. Lyons was quoted: "On April 22, Americans can show their concern over the squandering of $150 million of taxpayer money." (Lyons was factually wrong. The location was given by Congress, but the $168 million to build and furnish the museum was privately raised. Also, it is ironic to note the same day of the museum demonstration, Lyons was a guest on Larry King Live! where he strongly criticized the US government for "incinerating" David Koresh's followers in Waco, Texas. While we and many Americans condemn the badly botched Waco tragedy, why does Lyons not feel equal concern over Jewish victims of Nazi terror? Lyons has spoken at Holocaust-didn't-happen conferences in Europe and this country.)
5. Offer of Assistance to UNCA Fraternity: According to the president of a UNCA fraternity that was under fire after its members attacked a group of black students in March 1993, Lyons offered his assistance to them. According to the fraternity president, Lyons did meet with them and his assistant, Dave Hollaway, was there. The fraternity president said he did not know Lyons' background or Lyons' connections with the white supremacist movement.
6. Soldier of Fortune Convention/Magazine: According to the Center for Democratic Renewal, Lyons and Hollaway were featured speakers at the Soldier of Fortune conference in Las Vegas in September 1993. The CAUSE Foundation was featured in the February 1994 edition of Soldier of Fortune magazine with a picture of Lyons, Hollaway and Payne. In the article Lyons purports to be an objective civil rights lawyer who defends unpopular people, goes to cross-burnings as an observer, and recognizes that some of the people he defends "are not popular, not in the mainstream, and not even likeable." (This detached, observer image fades when one learns that Lyons asked former Imperial Dragon of the Texas KKK to be the best man at his wedding; when one reads how impressed Lyons is with nationalists activities in Germany; and when one realizes Lyons was married on the Aryan Nations compound in a church with swastikas in the stained glass windows.)
7. New Black Mountain Chanter of Sons of Confederate Veterans: Using a press release and photo supplied by Lyons, the Black Mountain News reported on January 27, 1994 that Lyons is the "Commander" of the Isaac Newton Giffen Camp #758 of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. Thirty-eight "members and guest" were present for the presentation of the new charter by N.C. Division Commander Frank B. Powell of Raleigh. Dr. Neill Payne made a toast to Robert E. Lee at the event. The event took place on January 145, 1994, (Dr. King's birthday).
8. Importance of Youth To White Supremacy Movement: The UNCA incident and the comment of the Owen High flag controversy reflects Lyons's past comments on the importance of youth in "the movement" In the Neo-Nazi skinhead publication interview mentioned above, Lyons said: "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 (18-25 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. (translation provided by CDR) (What is the "nationalist movement" of Neo-Nazis and skinheads doing in Germany today? Is that the kind of "civil rights" Lyons advocates?) Also in a February 1992, speech to the Populist Party meeting in Clemmons, N.C., Lyons said: "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 . . . the people are going to have to work in the political process and are gonna have to go back to basics. Get to the grassroots. How many of you asked someone from a high school to come with you today? . . . you've got to grab the young generation. I want to grab them before they get to law school so we'll have them."
(Does Lyons' "professionalism" mean becoming 'invisible'? Does it mean going to King breakfasts and being a regular Joe around town? Does that "professionalism" mean using semantics to dodge real intentions? Using "separatist" for supremacist, "racialist" for racist, "patriot" for white supremacists?)
9. Hey, What's the Big Deal?: In what appears part of the CAUSE Foundation's effort to confuse and ultimately deceive the local community, Lyons wrote a letter to the Black Mountain News in which he said:
"Everyone in town has heard something about us, but when we meet our fellow citizen and they discover who we are, they generally admit they really know nothing about us."
"CAUSE Foundation is a non-political civil rights legal foundation: it is not a front group for anyone. We have no agenda save preservation of our ailing Bill of Rights."
"...Please join me for coffee anytime your busy schedule or mine allows; we really should meet..."
(Lyons is right about one thing: people do not know enough about him. How could they? What he shares with the Black Mountain News is quite different from what he shares with a Neo-Nazi publication in Germany.) What Lyons states in his letter to the Black Mountain News contrasts with his statements outside Black Mountain, some of which have been reported in this memorandum. Joe T. Roy described what is going on in an April 19,1992, interview with the Raleigh News and Observer:
"Lyons' language echoes the changing tone of white supremacists everywhere", says J. T. Roy, chief investigator for the Klanwatch project of the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Ala. "They're becoming the kinder, gentler white supremacists," Ray says. "Their sales pitch is, 'I don't hate anybody; I just love the white race."'
Says Roy, "I don't know if he's a card-carrying white supremacist, but you have to use your common sense. If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, it's a duck."
We in the Swannanoa Valley and western North Carolina need to use our common sense and put it to work by public actions and deeds that affirm our commitment to equality, peace and harmony for all people. One question for us In the Swannanoa Valley and Western North Carolina is: How can we do more to ensure that young people in our communities have the thinking skills to ward off such "professional" deception? (The art and essay contests connected with the Swannanoa Valley King celebrations were excellent examples of how to take a concrete step in that direction.)
At the Swannanoa Valley King Breakfast, January 8, 1994, George Morrison, Mayor of Montreat, spoke powerful words in describing how we are all brothers and sisters and should treat each other as such. He concluded, "Let's continue to be good neighbors, even better neighbors honoring and respecting each other." Whatever Lyons' agenda, those words should be our agenda.
If there are those in our neighborhood who intend to divide this community along racist lines and who do not recognize the strength in diversity, then these people should be exposed for what they are. This organization intends to keep you advised of developments and continue to monitor activities of CAUSE and its members.
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