The Aryan Nations: 5 things to know

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Apparent members of the Ayran Nations Worldwide, a Villa Rica-based extremist group, salutes and poses with their group's flag in a photo from their Facebook page.

The Aryan Nations Worldwide, a white extremist group camped on the edge of metro Atlanta, is a new entry on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s annual “Hate Map.”

Here’s a primer about the group:

They are based in Villa Rica, but have roots in Louisiana.

Carla Hill, a researcher for The Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism, said the group is made up of remnants of a defunct Aryan Nations cell in Louisiana, although some members have long Georgia ties.

They espouse a racist and arch-conservative vision of Christianity called “Christian Identity.”

Apparent members of the Ayran Nations Worldwide, a Villa Rica-based extremist group, salutes and poses with their group's flag in a photo from their Facebook page.

Apparent members of the Aryan Nations Worldwide, a Villa Rica-based extremist group, salutes and poses with their group’s flag in a photo from their Facebook page.

Originally popular with the Ku Klux Klan but widely adopted by other white power groups, the Christian Identity movement believes white Europeans are the “lost tribes” of Israel and God’s true chosen people. It also teaches that other races are inferior or even subhuman.

They were part of a coalition of racist groups that held a rally in Rome in April.

The rally, organized by the National Socialist Movement, was one of the largest white extremist events of the year, with more than 100 participants representing the KKK, neo-Nazis, skinheads and others.

The group is small.

Hill estimates the Villa Rica group has a handful of members but is “extremely anti-Semitic and racist.” The chief deputy of Carroll County said he wasn’t even aware they existed in his jurisdiction.

What they have to say is pretty far out there.

A member of the group, who wouldn’t give his name, claimed the Pulse nightclub massacre in Orlando was “the Lord’s work.” He also said the group wants to reintroduce racial segregation and stop women from “competing” with men in the workplace.

For more about this local hate group, read the AJC Watchdog column here. 


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