SEATTLE -- An organization that tracks hate groups says records show there are more such groups now than ever before.
In an effort to help determine why, KOMO News got an exclusive interview with a member of the Aryan Nations and with those determined to stop the hate.
Jerald O'Brien stamped his skin with symbols of the Aryan Nations.
"We alone are his children," he said.
He named his daughter "Berlin."
"Hitler was a great man," O'Brien said.
And he hears the battle cry of a brotherhood in a race war.
"Now we have a slave reigning over us," he said, referring to President Barack Obama.
And when O'Brien looks at the headstone of Pastor Richard Butler in a Coeur d'Alene, Idaho cemetery: "I promised Pastor Butler and my father, who art in heaven, that I would not let this die and I won't lose my faith."
It's a faith spewed by Richard Butler. For 30 years, he was the guiding force of the Church of Jesus Christ Christian, Aryan Nations.
"You can't have a nation of all kinds of things -- you can't mix orangutans in and say, 'This is part of your nation...they've been taught to talk now," Butler said during one of his sermons.
When Butler died in 2004, the people of Coeur d'Alene buried Idaho's decades-long history with the Aryan Nations -- a group the government once targeted as a "terrorist threat."
It was headquartered on 20 acres; a compound where young extremists were recruited and trained.
'Impossible to measure how evil this organization was'
Norman Gissel was one leader of a civil rights movement that forced Richard Butler's neo-Nazis out of Coeur d'Alene.
"It's almost impossible to find a gauge to measure how evil this organization was," Gissel said.
Butler's home came down eight years ago with the rest of the 20-acre compound when the group lost a lawsuit and its members left town; their Swastikas bulldozed to the ground.
"That was one of the great days of my life," Gissel said.
But one small seed of the white separatist movement is still rooted here, determined to grow.
"Right now is the time for us to gather," O'Brien said. "It really is. We need action and we need action now."
Hate groups up 50 percent
The Southern Poverty Law Center tracks racial hatred. In the last eight years, the center reports the number of hate groups has gone up 50 percent. They count 962 -- the most ever on record.
"Six months ago, I had four contacts a month, wanted information and membership applications," O'Brien said. "Now it's up to four or five a day."
The center says there are three reasons: Exploitation of the illegal immigration issue, the crumbling economy and the historic election of Barack Obama.
"It means that white America is waking up," O'Brien said. "That's what it says to me that people are starting to get involved and understand the plight of our race."
The sound of hatred echoed just weeks ago in the shots fired at the U.S. Memorial Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. A white supremacist is accused of killing a black security guard.
But more often, the anonymity of the Internet makes white pride Web sites like Stormfront.org work as magnets.
"The night of President Obama's election, the Stormfront Web site was hit with so much activity that it crashed," said Hilary Bernstein with the Anti-Defamation League.
The league tracks the "hate chatter" and says online talk fueled an assassination plot by two white supremacist skinheads who allegedly planned to kill blacks and President Obama last October. The ADL alerted the FBI.
Long road to eradicating hate
"What is happening in the Northwest is little pockets of people -- lone wolves," Bernstein said.
The Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs reported 157 racially- and ethnically-motivated hate crimes in Washington last year. The number went up 18 cases from 2007.
The Pacific Northwest still is relatively quiet, but not free of these sentiments.
"There would be people in those communities who subscribe to those Web sites," Bernstein said.
Last August drivers found an anti-Semitic message glaring at them in Marysville.
Eradicating the hate can be a long road.
"You never, never decrease the problem by ignoring it," said Tony Stewart of the Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations.
He says what used to be Butler's compound is now back to more natural beauty.
"I've been here several times when deer would cross," Stewart said. "The animals returned after the hate left."
Stewart and Gissel helped clear the Aryan Nations from this path. It was the fight of their lives.
"Every community, make it loud and clear: if you're going to move to our community and engage in hate, it will be rejected," Stewart said.
And so the 30 year-old O'Brien salutes his dead hero in a cemetery, determined to resurrect the Aryan Nation Church of Jesus Christ Christian. But Coeur d'Alene says that tie to history is severed.
Two members of Aryan Nation are operating out of a post office box number, but Stewart knows that hate can find a new address.
"The First Amendment guarantees protection, even for hate speech," Stewart said. "But good speech outweighs hate speech."
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