Barbecue Nations

Aryanfest was hardly the badass event it billed itself. Shaved-headed men hugged each other like they were at a gay pride picnic.

Metzger said he's been courting skins since they first arrived in this country from England in the '80s. "I was the first in the country to recognize skinheads and befriend them," he claimed. At a time when the rest of the right wing in America abhorred them -- used skinheads solely as event security staff -- Metzger saw great potential.

But the more visible skinheads, like those at Aryanfest, Metzger said, "are not as effective. They are too easily identified as to their political position." The cause is best served, he said, by going underground. "The government is becoming more oppressive. Our opponents are quite powerful." Covert, devious action is what he supports. Is violence necessary? "If need be," Metzger answered quickly.

Metzger is 15 years into paying off his $3 million portion of a $12 million judgment leveled against him, his organization and his son for their involvement in the murder of an Ethiopian man in Portland in 1988.

Aryanfest took place outside Fountain Hills.
Aryanfest took place outside Fountain Hills.
Skinheads in wife-beaters danced with each other to 
the beat of hate bands at Aryanfest.
Skinheads in wife-beaters danced with each other to the beat of hate bands at Aryanfest.

The judgment, which he's paying off in monthly installments, has cost Metzger his home, shop and tools. He supports himself these days by fixing TVs in the sleepy farm town of Fallbrook north of San Diego.

When he addressed the crowd at Aryanfest, the television repairman became a rear admiral, full of advice for those he sees, like himself, not as domestic terrorists but as "freedom fighters."

And they listened, mesmerized -- like the skinheads in Portland did 16 years ago.

"Don't stockpile firearms," he told the crowd. "How many guns can you shoot at once, guys? Besides, I could brew up bigger weapons than guns in my kitchen."

Metzger urged his fans to direct their energies toward political targets rather than pointless street violence. "Don't operate like a battleship," he barked. "Operate like a Nazi submarine! Use your periscope! We have to infiltrate!

"Infiltrate the military! Infiltrate your local governments! Infiltrate your school board! Infiltrate law enforcement."

Metzger's call to action may have been too ambitious for the crowd he addressed, as the only entity these guardians of the white race seemed interested in infiltrating was the Aryanfest beer garden.

Glistening steel kegs of Pabst Blue Ribbon and Miller rested on ice behind the folding table turned makeshift bar in the cordoned-off drinking area inside Aryanfest. The cheap beers were selling briskly for two dollars per 16-ounce plastic cup. Jell-O shots, heavily spiked with cheap vodka, were a buck each. Some Nazis also carried ornately carved Viking drinking horns full of whiskey or home-brewed mead.

One of them was a blonde in her late 20s or early 30s, who had multiple face piercings, heavy makeup and wore her hair in a Chelsea cut (partially shaved on the top, tendrils of hair down the sides) -- a classic look for skinhead women. She had on maroon boots, and her black bomber jacket bore the militaristic red, white and black insignia of a Volksfront member. She was hammered by one in the afternoon and making a spectacle of herself, lurching about and repeatedly falling on her ass between swigs of bourbon from the drinking horn.

Then, Pastor Richard Butler arrived, and she snapped to.

"Ohh, ohh, ohh, ohh!" she exclaimed. "There's Pastor Butler! He's here! He's here!"

And there, indeed, was Richard Butler, who holds the distinction of being the oldest active white power leader in the country at 85. Butler, a former aeronautical engineer during World War II turned founder of Aryan Nations, tottered into Aryanfest led by one elbow. Trailing behind him was a phalanx of imposing Volksfront security guards. Butler's attendants guided the octogenarian into a folding chair to the left of the stage and covered his knees with a blanket. There Butler sat for about two hours, alternately dozing and shaking hands with skinheads paying their respects to this living legend (who lost his Idaho campground in 2001 after he was bankrupted by a $6.3 million civil judgment stemming from an attack on passing motorists by his front-gate security detail).

Notable in her absence was Butler's former companion, Wendy Iwanow, who spent last fall promoting Aryanfest and promising half-price tattoos at the event for all her racial brothers and sisters. Iwanow was arrested on forgery charges at an Idaho airport in November when she and Butler were attempting to board a plane for Phoenix, and was subsequently outed on the Internet.

Seems Iwanow enjoyed a lengthy film career as porn star Bianca Trump, billing herself not as the white power Russian American she does today but as the "Latin Princess." She had co-starred with women, black men, and even Ron Jeremy, a Jew. But rules are rules, even for the close personal friend of a near deity; sucking black dick gets a girl banned from Nazi parties.

When it came time for his keynote address, Butler, wearing a blue suit with Aryan Nations and confederate flag patches on its shoulders, slowly scaled the four steps to the stage. He kept his remarks necessarily brief.

"You are the select, elect people of God," he croaked. "You have been selected and elected by God to conquer this Earth. Our mission is to conquer this Earth, and conquer it we will. I look out upon these proud white faces and I see captains of [crews of] 10s, captains of 50s, captains of 100s, of 1,000s."

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