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 youtube.com

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 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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