Book Proposal

By Christopher Zoukis Killing God’s Enemies relates the origin, history and activities of the church of Christian Identity and its violent outgrowth called the Phineas Priesthood.  In doing so, the book reveals the group’s philosophy of hate; their methodology, which is death to all blacks, Jews, homosexuals and abortionists; and their goal, which is an […]

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Power of Symbols

By Christopher Zoukis

Hoskins sought out Webster Smith and introduced himself.  He then invited Smith to join him at his table.  The two men spent the next two hours engaged in intense conversation.  Smith did most of the talking.  Hoskins interrupted occasionally, asking a question.  But for the most part, Hoskins simply listened.  He was soaking up information like a sponge.  Image courtesy

When he got back to Virginia, Hoskins began to write.  He wrote for the next three years.  The result of his labors was an almost impenetrable and incomprehensible 469-page monster of a book – Vigilantes of Christendom.  In his book, Hoskins set out the concept of the Phineas Priesthood, using Numbers 25 as his starting point.  From there, Hoskins moved on, tracing the history of famous Phineas Priests.  According to Hoskins’ interpretation of history, famous Phineas Priests included John Wilkes Booth, Robin Hood, the Waffen SS, and the Ku Klux Klan.  And of course, Gordon Kahl, and Robert Mathews and The Order. 

Vigilantes asserted that anyone – man or woman – who saw the Law of God being broken was ordained by God to take any action necessary against those breaking the Law.  These law-breakers were called “ungodly.”  Hoskins called such actions “Phineas Acts.”

Hoskins provided Scripture to encourage and back up such violent “Phineas Acts.”  The first was Ehud, whose story was related in Judges 3: 1-30.  Ehud led an armed revolt against the Moabite occupation of territory belonging to the Tribe of Benjamin.  Ehud asked for and received an audience with the King of the Moabites.  Walking into the King’s presence, Ehud killed him.  Ehud then rallied the Israelites to take advantage of the situation.  Thousands of Moabites were slaughtered.

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A Crazy Ballad of Crazy People

By Christopher Zoukis

Taking a cue from the zealous Levitical priest Phineas, who, with a thrust of his holy spear, dispatched Zimri and his girlfriend, one group of supremacists calls itself the Phineas Priesthood. 

The Phineas Priesthood is a Christian Identity group in the United States.  They oppose interracial intercourse, mixing of races, homosexuality and abortion.  They also hate Jews, any kind of cultural pollution and paying taxes.  And in general, they don’t like women much either.  In fact, the Phineas Priesthood is so opposed to everything that they have no governing body, no meetings, and no membership process.  You become a Phineas Priest by simply adopting the beliefs of the Priesthood and acting upon them. 

Blowing up federal buildings, bombing abortion clinics, robbing banks and murdering immoral people who participate in interracial relationships are approved methods of acting upon your beliefs, according to the Phineas Priesthood and Christian Identity.

Robert Jay Mathews was a Phineas Priest, only he didn’t refer to himself by that term, because the term wasn’t invented until 1990, which was when Richard Kelly Hoskins coined it.  More about Richard Hoskins later.  Yet the idea of a “solitary warrior” did exist.  And that’s the way Mathews thought of himself – as a “solitary warrior” for God.  Robert Jay Mathews / Image courtesy

Mathews decided he could “accomplish more for God” – those were his words – if he was a little more organized.  If his organization combined violence with a system, the sky was the limit.

If still alive, Robert Mathews would be almost 60 years old now.  Instead, he was dead at the age of 31.

The ballad began in Marfa, Texas.  Where, on January 15, 1953, Una Mathews delivered the last of her three boys.  She and her husband Johnny named the baby boy Robert Jay Mathews. 

As you can tell by the spelling of the name ‘Mathews,’ they were of Scottish descent.  And the Scots are noted for being stubborn and violent and honorable. 

Robert came from good stock, which meant his family had some money, owned property and were educated.  His father was the mayor of Marfa, the President of the Chamber of Commerce, a businessman and a deacon in the town’s Methodist Church.  While Una Matthews was a god-fearing woman; a good mother, respectable wife and a den mother for the Boy Scouts. 

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