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March 18, 1981 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1981-03-18

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The Michigan Daily-Wednesday, March 18, 1981-Page s

Survivalists are armed and i

(Continued from Page i)
crowd. "This baby will knock big holes
On people. This is not a gun you're going
to use for tin cans; this is a gun for
killing people. This country's headed
for extremely hard times, probably an
invasion by the Russians. If you feel
you're going to have to kill somebody,
thisis the gun for you."
lpunkins is the stocky, goateed
organizer of today's Survival Show. He
knows guns like a mercenary. (A few of
which are probably in the crowd;
* unkins advertised the show in
Soldier of Fortune magazine.)
HE PICKS UP a huge shotgun. "This
double-odd buck-if somebody comes
chargin' into your house, maybe after
your food or your guns, you gotta be'
careful. If you fire this gun in your
house, it's gonna go through the walls.
If you've got family in the other room, if
your target doesn't take all the shot, it's
gonna go through the wall, maybe
through your neighbor's walls." The
vigilante audience is impressed. "You
gotta watch it if you got family,"
Younkins affirms.
Visions of some bizarre college lec-
ture flood into mind as the men jot
notes and ask questions. "What about
snipin'?" one man in a lumberjack coat
Younkins considers his response. "A
serious survivalist will want a sniper
rifle. If you can drop somebody 500 yar-
s away, it's easier than looking them
in the eye. Also a lot safer."
WITH HIS casual, matter-of-fact
references to "dropping" and
"snuffing" people, Younkins sounds
like some backwoods gun nut.
But Jerry Younkins waving a Whop-
pee with cheese is far different from
Jerry Younkins waving a shotgun or a.
btillet. As he gulps down his lunch in a
quiet hallway, the sincere, concerned,
afraid Jerry Younkins emerges. The
*Jeirry Younkins who once lived the life
of aradical in Ann Arbor.
"A lotta people have this picture of
sivivalists as guys wearing
camouflage and running around with
makeup on their' faces and going ber-
serk in the woods," Younkins smiles.
"Yeah, that's part of it. I do that. I like
camouflage and I go out with people in-
to'the woods and we try to sneak up on
each other and pretend to kill each
other. It sharpens your senses."
HE TURNS VERY serious! "But
mostly we believe in surviving to see
our country livable again. I wanna get
through what I see coming. Somebody
has to be around to start building over
again. Pardon me, but the assholes
have had their turn; I want a turn.
"I'm aChristian and I hope I never
have to hurt anybody, I pray I don't,"
Younkins continues. "But if what I per-
sonally think is gonna happen happens
in the future, it will be a miracle if I
don't ever have to use violence on
another person."
What Jerry Yotnkins sees coming,
what he thinks is going to happen, is a
total collapse of the United States. He's
not sure what will precipitate it, but he
is convinced that there will be an inter-
nal economic collapse and an external
Communist invasion.
"The economy is in an extremely
precarious position because the gover-
nment's been spending more than it
earns. Most of what we've got in real
life exists on credit, on paper. That
structure is very, fragile, and what I
read everywhere convinces me that the
economy is about ready to go belly up."
AND TIME IS running short. ".If we
get through this year, it's gonna be a
miracle. And if we get through this
year, we won't get through next year
without something happening. We're
gonna see riots that make Miami look
like nothing. Food's getting too expen-
sive for poor people to afford. Blacks

will feel it most and start rioting."
He is 34 years old, with a wife and a
young daughter to support on the
money he earns from a variety of odd
jobs-"I don't like working for other
people," Younkins says. "Of course, that
makes it real difficult to save money
and stock up food and weapons like I.
F today's Survival Show, Younkins
has purchased a number of guns that he
hopes to sell. After paying rental of
the Armory, he thinks he'll come out a
few hundred dollars ahead. "Not bad,
considering it's Super Bowl Sunday,"
hemuses. ;
of going to film school. "I love movies
and- writing screenplays," Younkins
says. "I've written three minor ones
that I've sold. I was trying to get
enough money to go to film school and
was working in a shop when I did this."

eliciting a smattering of applause. "He
did it alone, he had no help. If we had
rallied to his standard a long time ago,
we wouldn't be faced with the prospect
of nucular blackmail by the Russians.
You know, one day soon our officials
are going to get on the TV and announce
that we have no alternative but to
surrender to the Russians."
Harrell is the kind of man who says
"nucular." He is a white-haired former
millionaire from rural Flora, Illinois,
where the Christian Patriots have their
55-acre headquarters. Two decades ago
he founded the Defense League's
progenitor, the Christian Conservative
Churches of America, and now spends
his time preparing the 25,000 Patriots
for the collapse.
JOHN HARRELL IS big on the
Communist threat, and he can make
paranoia sound plausible by pointing to
very real immigration problems. "The
invasion is already on," he warns. "Are
you aware of what's happening along
the Mexican border? The tens -of
thousands of people that are pouring in
and our government officials are being
refused the right to even stop them or
turn them back? Many of the Mexicans
that come in are training for
the revolution. Anyone who gets down
around Miami can see there are serious
Already Harrell's followers are
establishing processing stations to han-
dle the thousands of Patriots who will
flee the invasion and revolution. The
preparations are fanatical in their
detail. "We have several hundred
places for Patriots to gather in time of
crisis," Harrell says. "We have 1,000
boxes of clothing and 60 different forms
ready to process people. We have voice
stress tests and polygraph tests
to screen out the true Patriots."
BUT OF ALL the plans, the "Mid-
America Survival Area" is the most
spectacular. "There are not enough
Patriots to hold the country," Harrell
acknowledges. '"There's millions, but
not enough to hold this big nation. And
there are many immigrants that have
come in from other nationalities that
are not loyal to this country. They're
loyal to their original homeland, and of
course we are in favor of them going
back to their original homeland." The
audience cheers. "We must pick a spot
in this country where we can solidify
our resistance if it becomes
The Patriots have picked a

trapezoidal area in the middle of the
country, bounded by Scottsbluff,
Nebraska; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania;
Atlanta, Georgia; and Lubbock, Texas.
"This is an area that can .be held in-
definitely by several million dedicated
patriots," Harrell says.
The entire outer perimeter of the
country has already been lost. The
blacks have taken over the East Coast;
the Cubans control Florida; the,
Mexicans and Indians have the South
and West; the blacks, Mexicans, and
Orientals control California; and the
Orientals all but control the Northwest.
It is to -the Mid-America Survival Area
that the Christian Patriots must
JERRY YOUNKINS has not been
poisoned by" the racism of the
Christian Patriots, although he proudly
counts himself one of their members. "I
respect these people and I love these
people, but nobody agrees with
anybody one hundred percent. I agree
with the vast majority of what they're
doing, but I personally don't care what.
color a guy is-they do."'
It appears that his former Ann Arbor
liberalism has inoculated him. "I don't
think of people in colors-everybody
does, but I try not to. I try to think of

people as people. Blacks were terribly
abused, and became very pushy-and
God knows they have reason to be. If I
was black, I would be right out there
pushing with the best of them. Unfor-
tunately, the backlash that exists now
because of this push by blacks, if things
collapse, will be very ugly."
BUT THERE ARE signs that his im-
munity may be fading. Jerry Younkins
is pessimisitic and confused aboutthe
future, and in his desperate search for
reasonable answers to an irrational
world, he appears to be surrendering
the rationality that distinguishes him
from the masses of fanatical sur-
"I think we're headed for some really
severe earthquakes in the United States
which could precipitate a collapse of
the economy," he says. "That sounds
really far out to some people, but if
California suffers a major quake, it will
disrupt the food chain. Have you ever
heard of the Jupiter effect? Well, in 1982
all the planets line up on the same side
of the sun except for the earth, and
these astrophysicists computed the pull
and it is awesome. That could
precipitate massive earth upheavals.
See ARMED, Page 7

He holds up his left hand, which is
missing parts of two fingers.
Younkins grew up fatherless in
Grosse Pointe, and although he lived in
Ann Arbor from 1964-67, never got a
college degree. "I'm one of the guys
who has changed polarities. I lived in
Ann Arbor and was extremely political,
leftist political. I went to all the mar-
ches. I was dragged down the halls of
the federal building by the hair. Now I
feel totally different, totally betrayed.
Communism and socialism are not
viable forms for the human spirit. They
may be viable for animals; but I just
don't feel that thehuman spirit can live
in a socialist environment."

Photos by
David Harris

Jackson, only 50 miles from Ann Arbor
but a world away. With a church every
50 feet and a bar in between, Jackson is
probably the best city in the world to
hold a survivalist exposition.
There is more than a germ of truth to
much of what Younkins says. However
unlikely his dire predictions, however
frightening his devotion to guns,
Younkins remains keenly insightful.
"It's not just the lack of food that's
gonna make people violent," Younkins
believes. "It's the tremendous desire
instilled by advertising in the average
human being to have things that are
beyond his means. You know, here's
some poor guy sitting in his rundown
apartment, looking at Suzanne Somers
on the television and in between Suzan-
ne Somers he's seeing these commer-
cials in a thirty thousand dollar kitchen.
It's affecting the human mind. These
poor people see this stuff and they know
they are never gonna have any of it and
-it drives them crazy."
Once the economy founders,
Younkins says, frustrations will quickly
boil over into racial conflict. "All you
need is a couple of crazy people to
polarize things completely. Look at that
guy down in Atlanta killing those black
kids. It only takes, a few like that to
make people scared. It only takes a few
Zebra killers like they had in California
or a few people dragged out of their
cars and beaten to death like in Miami
to get whites scared."
E NTER John Harrell, whose self-
appointed mission is getting
whites scared. Scared that America is
no longer a moral nation, that God is
about ready to smite us all, that blacks
and other inferior races are trying to
mix with whites and destroy their
Harrell is the 59-year-old fire-and-
brimstone leader of the Christian
Patriots Defense League, probably the
best organized of the Christian sur-
vivalist groups. He is in Jackson
today-a long way from his home in
southern Illinois-at the request of
Jerry Younkins, who is a Patriot him-
"PEOPLE ASK ME, 'How bad is, it

times, this will happen in America, ex-
cept it will be worse. We are, going to
suffer the wrath of an insulted God.
People say God's dead-well, we got
some signs we pass out that say 'God is
Back, And Is He Mad!' "
And just what is God so mad about?
Well, for one thing, "We are a marsh-
mallow people, a twinkie people,"
Harrell says. The country is steeped in
immorality. "It has now gone so far
that there is no way to salvage the
nation from the brink of bankruptcy
and disaster."
FOR ANOTHER, WE have allowed
the races to mix. The Christian Patriots
adhere to a euphemistic philosophy of
"racial responsibility." "We are for
separation of races," Harrell tells his
approving all-white audience. "When
two or more races mix in the same
social structure, the race that is slower
and less civilized out-produces the more
civilized, more creative race, leading to
its extinction. This is not racial
hatred-nature demands that you
preserve your own species. We are
committed to the preservation of
western civilization, which is a product
of caucasians."
This separatist policy is little more
than a very old racist argument. But
the Christian Patriots add a special
twist. "We also want to help other races
preserve their heritage and lineage,"
Harrell explains. In fact, he says, there
are black survivalists. "Our black
members are higher class blacks than
the average," Harrell says. Separate
survivalist conferences are held
"elsewhere" for non-white races, ac-
cording to the Patriots' literature, but
they won't tell you when or where.
because we have gone soft on the Com-
munists. "Senator Joseph McCarthy
was one of the greatest patriots this
country ever had," Harrell intones,

I hope
I never

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