Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - September 11, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
LETHBRIDGE Klux Klan planning to change its style CAMPTI, La. (AP) "Welcome to Klan the big sign said. And there beside the highway, on a rented meadow three miles north of Campti, the Ku Klux Klan was seek- ing recruits. Blacks and Jews hberalb, skeptics and their kind need not apply. Most cars whining along the central Louisiana highway zipped right on past the KKK sign and the ominous hooded figure beside it "People don't come until after said state grand dragon John King, a lawyer. "They don't care to be seen at a Klan rally." He said that's because the Klan is famed for clandestine terrorism, murder, whippings and ire to impose its version of law and word hasn't gotten around that times have changed. This peaceful dragon is state commander for the United Klans of America Inc. richest and most visible of the 15 separate and jealous Klan groups known to the FBI. The encampment was patrolled by 10 armed men wearing grey military-type uniforms, boots, black helmets. Each men's belt bore a bolstered pistol. A two-foot billy club dangled beside it. Two troopers carried M-l carbines. King was fiery-faced and sweating hard from the unac- customed labor of helping prepare the grassy field for his Americanism Rally." The props included: 30-foot-tall wooden cross, wrapped in burlap and soak- ed with diesel fuel, to be lighted later; plus a four-foot cross made of lead pipe, perforated like the burners of a gas stove. Feb by a tank of butane, the small cross flamed beside the floodlit welcome sign. 18-wheel flatbed truck as a platform for musicians and speakers. large and luxurious motor homes, one for King, the other for Robert Shelton of Tuscaloosa, Ala., the UKA's imperial wizard. Keeping tabs on the UKA and other Klans used to involve millions of FBI dollars and hundreds of agents and in- formers. But except for a militant klavern here and there, FBI spokesmen say things have been routine since 1971. How many Klansmen are there? How many klaverns in what states? People who know won't say. But Klan secrecy seems to hide weakness, not strength. "The secrecy of our power lies in the secrecy of our mem- a leaflet boasts. "We are a great secret organiza- tion to aid officers of the law and we can do our best work when we are not known to the public." The FBI says membership in the Klans has declined con- siderably since 1971. The FBI estimates that United Klans of America, the largest group, has a membership of In 1972, they estimated it at Klans were never very secret to the FBI or interested police. Agents rated the worst ones as dumb and easy compared to new radical-left groups such as the Weathermen or the Sym- bionese Liberation Army. "Members of the new radical left are educated and inge- an FBI veteran said. "They're a different breed, much more difficult to infiltrate." By dark nearly 200 cars and pickups were parked on the field but more than half left when a rainstorm struck. About 100 spectators stuck through two hours of speeches resembling fundamentalist preaching, condemning racial integration, new math, communism. Anti-semitism got, more space than'blacks. Jews are the shouted Shelton. "People say Christ was a Jew. He was not. Show me any- where in the old King James Bible where it says Jesus Christ was a Sears You get more with a Kenmore We service what we sell, coast-to-coast. Each Kenmore washer and dryer is covered by dependable labour and parts warranties plus Simpsons-Sears exclusive 'Satisfaction or money refunded' guarantee. Charge your Kenmore on your all-purpose account. Automatic heavy- duty laundry pair with special knit settings 2-speed, 4-program Kenmore washer features pre-wash, normal, perma-press and delicate programs with special knit setting on dial. 5 temperature combinations. 3 water level control. Self-cleaning filter. Super Ro'o-swirl agitator. Lid safety switch. Wht 26R 023 621 In Harvest Gold more. 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Weldon Kennedy, a member of the FBI's uniform crime re- porting division, acknowledges that statistics, if not kept in perspective, can be misleading, and that some of the increase is undoubtedly a reflection of improved crime-reporting methods in rural areas. He also says em- phatically. "There's definitely more crime out there. We just don't know how much." Ronnie Angel, Georgia Bu- reau of Investigation inspec- tor, says rural crimes certain- ly are increasing, "the most serious crimes as well." "I think the fact that the law enforcement in rural areas is hampered by a lack of person- nel is one of the reasons for the said Inspector Angel. Sheriff Ted Barr of Cabell County, W. Va., attributes in- creasing rural crime rates to "the population shift, the interstate highways and the lack of law enforcement in rural areas." In effect, Barr says city po- lice practically all crime control efforts have been aimed in re- cent literally chased criminals out into the country where they can operate in relative safety. The FBI's Kennedy says somebody needs to start mak- ing a study of rural crime. "About the only thing we know so far is that nobody knows much about said Howard Phillips, professor of rural sociology at Ohio State University. "In many areas, people who just a few years ago wouldn't have dreamed of such things are now locking their Phillips said. "And insurance rates are going up, too. "And then there's drugs. The parents are alarmed. Right now, we don't know how much of this is fact and now much is alarm." Ohio Farm Bureau members say that most of them feel shifting populations and negative changes in socie- ty are responsible for the crime increase. Some farmers have formed vig- ilante groups to combat the problem, others demand more and better law enforcement. "Most of the responses blamed the crime increase on undisciplined youth, city mi- grants, people under 30 and drug Phillips said. Howard Docker, assistant director of toe Kansas Bureau of Investigation, says the increase in rural crime reflects a general increase in all crime. He says the big reason for it is removal of capital punishment. "As long as we had capital punishment, the robbery and killings were few and vt- he said. Docker doesn't believe that television has provided country people a "school for crime." He says mobility is a big factor in the increase of rural crime. More young peo- ple have cars available to them now than a few years ago, he says.