A violent revolutionary secret society that flared and burnt out in early 1980s America, the Bruders Schweigen (German, “Silent Brotherhood”) was the brainchild of Robert Mathews, a member of the racist Christian Identity movement. Mathews’ conviction that racial war was brewing between “Aryan” whites and other races was inflamed by William Pierce’s racist novel The Turner Diaries (1978), a fictional account of the overthrow of the US government by a white supremacist secret society. In 1983, Mathews decided to put the novel’s scenario into practice by organizing a secret society and launching a terrorist campaign. See Christian Identity.

The Bruders Schweigen found recruits among members of the racist right eager to begin the long-awaited war against ZOG, the so-called “Zionist Occupation Government.” To raise funds for the coming apocalypse, Mathews and his followers carried out an armored car robbery and counterfeited US money. They also assassinated Alan Berg, a Denver radio talk-show host who made a habit of baiting racists on his program. See Zionist Occupation Government (ZOG).

These actions brought down a massive response from federal law-enforcement officials, who had little difficulty placing an undercover agent within the group. Mathews was cornered by federal marshals in a safe house in Washington State and gunned down, while most of the other members of the organization were arrested in 1985 and 1986 and are currently serving long prison terms. The Bruders Schweigen effectively ceased to exist with these arrests, and its complete failure to accomplish its goals did much to turn the racist right away from standard revolutionary methods and toward the occult teachings of the Black Sun and the ideology of “leaderless resistance.” See Black Sun; neo-Nazi secret societies.


The Element Encyclopedia of Secret Societies : the ultimate a-z of ancient mysteries, lost civilizations and forgotten wisdom written by John Michael Greer – © John Michael Greer 2006