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What Happened With the Aryan Nations?
I got a call yesterday from a listener who hikes in the forests near John Day and who wanted to know if he was likely to run into any neo-Nazis there this summer. It's a fair question. He was referring to this show we did last month about the group Aryan Nations, which had expressed interest in moving to Grant County.
I called Scotta Callister, the editor of the Blue Mountain Eagle, to find out if there have been any developments since she was a guest on the show. She said that she hasn't heard a peep from Mullet — the self-proclaimed leader of the group — and has read reports that he has spent time back in Ohio.
But interestingly, there was news this week, in a roundabout way, about Aryan Nations. As the Oregonian reported, two small Northwest businesses are talking about the possibility of selling their land to the neo-Nazi group as a way to influence local decisions.
The owners of the Moby Dick Hotel, Restaurant and Oyster Farm on Washington's Long Beach Peninsula don't want the Department of Agriculture to spray herbicides near their oyster beds. And the owners of the Bearcat Lodge B&B in Seneca (about 25 miles south of John Day) are upset that the City Council nixed their expansion plans.
So it seems that if nothing else, the Aryan Nations group has enabled a new form of community brinksmanship: give me what I want or you won't have me to kick around any more... you might have neo-Nazis.