KKK rebrand: Blacks, Hispanics, gays & Jews now welcomed by Ku Klux Klan
A new branch of the group, traditionally known for its extreme-right views, will now be offering a wider membership, recruiting followers without discriminating against their religion, race or sexual orientation.
Founded by a KKK leader from Montana, the off-shoot is called the Rocky Mountain Knights. Encouraging its members' diversity, the white-hooded man behind the branch says his Klan is "new," as opposed to the "white supremacy" of the "old."
"The KKK is for a strong America," John Abarr of the Rocky Mountain Knights told The Great Falls Tribune newspaper. "White supremacy is the old Klan. This is the new Klan."
The "new Klan" leader has been involved with the white supremacy group for some time, but says his views on its activities have evolved. He decided to make it more inclusive, but retained KKK paraphernalia, with white hoods and outlandish robes still being obligatory.
To join the new non-discriminatory group, you need to be 18, live in the Pacific Northwest, and want to fight against a "new world order," which, according to Abarr, the US government is trying to usher in.
me when i found out the KKK are letting black people join http://t.co/f9mVRX3pbI
— IG: JameZalawiyE (@JamesNovaStar1) November 12, 2014
However, the "Imperial Wizard" of the United Klans of America, Bradley Jenkins, said Abarr could not use the KKK title for his initiative, as he's "going against everything the bylaws of the constitution of the KKK say."
"He's trying to hide behind the KKK to further his political career," Jenkins added.
Others agreed that Abarr is probably the only member of his newly founded group. "He's one guy, pretending to start a Klan group," Mark Pitcavage of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), which monitors the activities of hate groups and other extremists in the US, told the Daily News.
According to ADL, there are about 35 different Klan groups in the US today - with most of them ranging in size from "small to very small, often with only a single local presence."
The KKK Christian organization, considered to be one of the most significant hate groups, was founded in America in 1865. It called for the purification of society and publicly announced that it didn’t accept non-white races. Its heyday in the US is now consigned to history, but it's estimated that some 5,000 to 8,000 people currently belong to various Klan groups in the States.