Pipe Bombs And Pipe Dreams

Michael Bloom had big plans. He had the pipe, he had the gunpowder, and he had a long list of targets.

"Mike wanted to get together with people they would use in the new [neo-Nazi] group and he wanted me to come to a meeting," Carl remembers. "He talked about having his stuff confiscated and going to a skinhead rally in California. He also talked about finding out who snitched him off. He threatened to kill this girl he thought was the one who narked him off." When asked how he'd gotten the unlisted phone number, Michael said a directory-assistance operator had given it to him.

Although Bloom hadn't figured out the true source of his troubles, the Schalls were terrified that it was only a matter of time. They were also frantic he'd found them so easily. The phone company was apologetic about its mistake.

After Bloom's eventual arrest, Carl's true role became apparent to Michael.

On a visit to a mall, Carl ran into a mutual friend who'd seen Bloom in jail.

"Mike's been busted big time and he's looking for you," was the warning.
The Schalls worry that Bloom might find them and they wonder still at the furious events that have engulfed their entire family, events that began when Carl transferred to Sunnyslope High in order to take Air Force ROTC. Carl said he met Michael during their sophomore year and that, as loners, they hit it off.

"Mike had been a member of the S.S. Action Group [a neo-Nazi group based in Michigan] and towards the end of the year he talked more and more about Nazism and how the government needed to be overthrown. He brought in anti-Communist leaflets.

"He just got more and more into it and showed stuff to some of us who were anti-black, a circle of six or eight."

Carl's problems with blacks began in rural Georgia.
"Back there, blacks in junior high beat up my first-grade brother and my other brother in kindergarten," recalled Carl.

"If you tried to stand up to one black person, you had to fight ten or fifteen."

Mrs. Schall said that until they moved to Georgia, none of her kids had problems with race.

"No one had tolerance for anyone in Georgia," said Mrs. Schall. "A black person would be killed if they walked into a white church. And no white person could ever think of going to a black church.

"In my school where I taught, a lot of the little kids came to class indoctrinated. I kept one of my first graders in during recess and made him finish his assignment and he told me, `First thing I'm going to do when I get out of school is kill me a white teacher.'"

Carl said he ran into problems at Sunnyslope High, where racial tension was aggravated by black gangs like the Bloods and the Crips, and Latinos who swore allegiance to Pico Nuevo.

In October of '88 Carl and Mike leafleted their campus and began recruiting sympathetic students to the cause of white supremacy.

On November 21 the two of them were suspended from school, and for the first time Carl's parents became aware of his activities.

"At the school's hearing, they had the pamphlets that they'd passed out. They were anti-black, anti-everybody that wasn't white and blonde," says Carl's mother. "My goodness, some of our best friends are Jewish. We've never had anti-Jewish thoughts. Having memories of the second World War, we were horrified." Both of Carl's parents are teachers and describe themselves as quite conservative.

"We've read the Constitution together with the kids, gone over American history, but we never discussed Nazis. We just assumed in school they learned that the Nazis were every bit as bad as the Communists."

Although the school did indeed discuss fascism, Carl said Mike put it all into perspective: "We heard about Hitler in World History but the way Mike explained it, we were borrowing some of the national socialism issues. Mike said Hitler was a great man who went crazy."

After they were booted out of school, Detective Shearer paid a visit to the two boys. The door he opened with Carl gave young Schall somewhere to turn when he became desperate.

Although his parents had now forbidden Carl from hanging out with Michael, the two still met on a regular basis.

On December 17 Carl went over to Mike's house.
Bloom's bedroom was a bunker dedicated to fanaticism. Flags from Nazi Germany and the Civil War Confederacy were unfurled in the room. Interspersed with the stacks of white-supremacist literature were a sawed-off shotgun, a bolt-action rifle and a .22-caliber revolver. A book, The Poor Man's James Bond, had been well-thumbed. Purchased at the Guardian Spy Shop on Northern Avenue, the tome contained detailed instructions on how to assemble and detonate homemade bombs. On the wall, a map of the city had a large number of minority targets circled. In his closet, beneath the two brown-shirt uniforms he'd purchased through the mail, was a collection of pipes waiting for gunpowder.

Outside, the streets of Phoenix were hung with Christmas decorations.
Bloom, who'd been active with neo-Nazi organizations for more than three years, pulled out his latest correspondence from the S.S. Action Group.

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