Why People Still Join the Ku Klux Klan: Page 2

Frazier Glenn Miller is the former "grand dragon" of the Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, which he founded and ran in the 1980s.
Southern Poverty Law Center photo

The Klan, meanwhile, has been distancing itself from the word "hate," perhaps in an effort to attract more middle class members -- or perhaps even in a more genuine sense, Karen said.

"I've met many people that claim they don't 'hate' anyone," Karen said. "They simply enjoy being in an exclusively white Christian organization, which supports ideals that the Klan champions -- such as a strong opposition of homosexuality, interracial relationships and advocating stauncher policy regarding illegal immigration. To others it's as simple as them wanting to be amongst similar minded people in a fraternal atmosphere."

But when individuals find a group like the Ku Klux Klan that validates their views, they're more likely to commit a violent act, Levin said -- even though those who do, like Glenn Cross, are the minority.

Why Conspiracy Theories Provoke Violence

"In my experience most current Klan related illegal activity has been at the hands of a random few, not an organized squad representing an entire organization," Karen said.

Like Glenn Cross, it has also become common today for members of such groups to jump from organization to organization, complicating the task of rooting out potentially violent characters.

"Just a few years ago, the National Alliance in West Virginia was the most dangerous group in the U.S.," Levin said. "Now, you can't find them."

As recently as the 1990s, the FBI could keep track of potential threats by infiltrating major groups, Levin said. Tracking down a lone wolf who may hop from group to group is much harder.

"Nowadays, it's almost impossible," Levin said.

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