Matriarchs of The Folk

TeacherThinking back to my early days of service to the Cause (late 70’s and early 80’s) I can recall so many pro white movement leaders of our past. Two who are no longer with us, Pastor Richard Butler of Aryan Nations and Pastor Robert Miles of the Mountain Kirk, come clearly back into my mind as dear friends who were both like grandfathers to me. But many forget the women who stood beside them.

Mrs Betty Butler was beside Pastor Butler through thick and thin. When the Scriptures say of a married couple “the two become one flesh” this could be no more clearly proven than in Pastor and Mrs Butler. I can honestly say that without Betty the original Aryan Nations in North Idaho would have never gotten off the ground. Betty worked a full time job outside of the struggle and even more so at the church, allowing Pastor Butler to dedicate his full attention to the Church and Aryan Nations. She helped keep the place in order and was the Hostess that so many of us remember when visiting the church for the first time and for meetings. And as many have pointed out, she did so well despite that many misfits that seem to be attracted to places like Aryan Nations. No one believed that Betty, who was always full of energy, would ever leave us before Pastor Butler, but she succumbed to cancer after a couple of years of struggle against it. Pastor just did not seem the same afterwards, and the Aryan Nations of the Northwest continued on a serious decline. Betty is a figure I will always remember as Mother and Matriarch at the “original” Aryan Nations of our past.

In Michigan Pastor Butler’s counterpart was Robert E Miles, some might remember him as Fafnir who published from The Mountain. But unless you were part of those times you might not remember Dotty Miles. Dotty Miles like Betty Butler worked beside her man and built a church that is fondly remembered by so many of the old stalwarts of the movement. I remember her from the many visits they made to Aryan Nations during congress time. Dotty was a truly kind soul, a person that was easily accessible and enjoyable to talk to, a genuine Mother. I could not get enough of either Bob or Dotty Miles. They lived a personal form of New Testament Christianity that was unique to our age and unimagined by modern American standards. And I am not talking about their Gnostic doctrines which differed greatly from old hardline identity. Rather, they understood friendship and the brotherly love of the New Covenant in a way that is so often missing from religious circles. The two were very close and when Dotty passed away, Rob followed her exactly one month later. Like Pastor Butler and Betty Butler, no one believed Rob would have outlasted Dotty, for he had many heart attacks over the years from which Dotty nursed him back to health.

Another dear Lady we should remember was Janet Hounsel, the Aryan Nations secretary from the very beginning. Janet lived by herself in a little place in Hayden Lake not too far from the church. She was separated from her family and her children lived in Canada, and so she put her life into the Cause. Everyday, and even weekends, she made her way to the church and did office work for little more than gas money, Janet’s personal project was her prison ministry, and I can say that the Church of Jesus Christ Christian / Aryan Nations would have never had a prison ministry without Janet. In fact, I can say that Janet pioneered the whole concept of prison ministries among the Folk even before Robert Miles started his own after his prison time as a POW. If Pastor and Betty Butler were as Grandparents to me, then Janet was a dear Aunt. I worked with Janet personally from my earliest years as an activist. I was 17 when I took on the task of managing the AN print shop. And we worked on so many daily projects together. It broke Janet’s heart and spirit when we members of the Bruder Schweigen fell to prison. It had been her hope that men would come to the Father and get away from these places of living death, not that we might end up here! I don’t think Janet realized that she actually laid the groundwork for men we would all meet in the different prisons after out arrival. I came to know many of the Brothers Janet ministered to after my imprisonment, and even twenty years later have occasion to meet old cons who remember her work.

These are only three great Ladies of our Folk I remember personally and fondly. Yet there are so many others from our past and present that I could not possibly recount them all, and who our next generations of young Sisters should hope to emulate. That they too might one day join the ranks of the Matriarchs of our Folk that follows a long line back to the very origins of our People, and who are all awarded the precious title : Mother.

David C Tate

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