A Georgia Cadillac

Christopher Zoukis

In the Spring of 1987, Hoskins was speaking at an Identity gathering in Georgia.  Sponsored by the Georgia Peach Church of the Last Days, the event was held at a local amusement park.  Lakeside Amusement Park was run by one of Georgia’s great showmen, David Beck.  Of Germanic descent, Beck described himself as “an impresario of the old school.”  Which meant he had a taste for fountains and fireworks, along with rollercoasters.  Beck, who had been married four times, was an ardent believer in Christian Identity.  And his park reflected his religious beliefs.  Image courtesy ajc.com

Lakeside had an array of fountains – most of which were topped with water-spouting eagles or mystical warriors – designed by Beck himself.  Beck had expanded Lakeside’s gardens, turning them into outdoor wonders.  There was a huge ballroom.  Its ceiling supported by great wooden arches from which dangled Teutonic chandeliers.  A platform had been erected at one end and hundreds of chairs sat in neat rows in front of the speaker’s podium.

As the event unfolded, Hoskins sat in a chair behind the podium, waiting his turn to speak.  There were a total of five guest speakers.  Three of who sat near Hoskins.  The fourth man was already at the podium, exhorting his listeners in a high-pitched, darting voice. 

Thirty minutes later, Hoskins arose and approached the podium.  His features were heavily Germanic in structure and provided him with a powerful presence.  His voice, deep and sturdy, could rumble easily or roar vehemently.  Whichever he did, galvanizing blue eyes gazed steadily, gauging reaction to his words.  All in all, Richard Kelly Hoskins was a handsome man and a persuasive orator.

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Hell, Fire, and Damnation

By Christopher Zoukis

Up to this point, Hoskins would not have been described as a religious or spiritual or mystical personality.  This changed in the mid-1960s.  For Hoskins got religion.  His spirituality, previously dulled by insufficient stimulation and by a lack of human compassion, emerged and shone in zealous splendor.  Hoskins was narrow-minded and saw no need for religion, because to his way of thinking religion was weak.  It preached tolerance, love, forgiveness, and turning the other cheek.  Hoskins had no tolerance for such namby-pambyism.  He wanted the Jesus of the Second Advent, not the whimpy Jesus of the First Advent, which was what religion taught.  At the Second Advent, Jesus came back with eyes like fire and a tongue like a sword, with which he killed his enemies.   Image courtesy www.nndb.com

Hoskins finally found it.  And when he did it was transforming, life-changing.  For his spiritual awakening nurtured the seeds of a new and fervent vocation:  unreasoning religious fanaticism.

It happened like this.  Hoskins had descended into the pit of alcoholism.  “On April 28, 1965, at 4:00 in the afternoon, in the green rocking chair on the front porch,” Jesus showed up.  Only this Jesus wasn’t a Jew, he was a Nordic from the great Aryan race.  As Hoskins said, “When He saved me all He got was a drunk with a nervous breakdown who couldn’t work and who had no money.” 

Hoskins became a devotee of the hell-fire and damnation preaching of Jerry Falwell.  Falwell was an old-line fundamentalist, who hated Jews, abortionists, non-whites and government interference.  But Falwell was smart too.  He didn’t want to be stamped as a rightwing nutcase.  It was more profitable to be conservative than radical.  So he preached a watered-down version of Christian Identity, a version that made it more palatable to the average champion of the status quo Christian.

Falwell’s preaching was music to Hoskins’ ears.  He had found a kindred soul, a fellow warrior of the White Way.  Hoskins began attending Thomas Road Baptist Church, where Falwell held sway every Sunday, preaching the truth of God’s word.  Which in reality had little resemblance to the truth or to God.  More accurately, it was the Jerry Falwell show and the word being preached was the Gospel of Jerry Falwell.

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