Members of The Order were assigned to assassinate Henry A. Kissinger, David Rockefeller and other prominent persons as part of their oath to rid America of Jewish influence, a former member of the white supremacist group testified Friday.
The members went so far as to plan a suicide bombing at the Olympic Hotel in Seattle in November, 1983, when a member of France’s wealthy Rothschild family supposedly was to visit.
The testimony was given by Denver Daw Parmenter II, one of 23 persons indicted for racketeering in what the government says was a crime wave that included murder, armored-car robberies and counterfeiting.
Parmenter, 33, pleaded guilty in January to racketeering charges in exchange for a 20-year term in a medium-security prison. Ten other defendants had pleaded guilty earlier and one pleaded guilty Friday.
Defendant Changes Plea
Thomas Bentley, one of 11 defendants on trial, changed his plea after the trial adjourned for the day. Bentley, 57, of Hayden Lake, Ida., pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy charges. Sentencing was set for Jan. 24 and details of the plea agreement were sealed at the government’s request.
Ten defendants remain on trial.
Complicity in Murder Charged
In a 21-count federal indictment, Bentley was accused of helping to kill Walter West, an Order member said to have been slain by fellow members.
Parmenter was the second government witness in the case before U.S. District Judge Walter McGovern. The government alleges that the defendants ran a national crime campaign to support their white supremacist views, with the ultimate goal of overthrowing the U.S. government.
Parmenter testified that at a September, 1983, meeting at which The Order was formed, the nine persons attending were each assigned an assassination target.
TV Figures Targeted
Those targets, he said, included Kissinger, David Rockefeller and the heads of the three American television networks. His target, he said, was Fred Silverman, then head of NBC.
The networks officers were targeted because “it was felt that the news media was one of the (vehicles) responsible for indoctrinating our race, poisoning the people,” he said.
The assassinations were to be carried out if the group’s members became scattered and The Order destroyed, he said.
In at least one case, however, members actually planned to carry out an assassination, he said.
In November, 1983, Parmenter said, he traveled to Seattle from the Spokane area with defendants Randolph Duey and Bruce Pierce. Also on the trip were Order leader and founder Robert Jay Mathews and members Dan Bauer and Bill Soderquist.
The purpose of the trip, he said, was to scout places for a possible armored-car robbery.
Heard of Rothschild Visit
Bauer said he had heard that one of the Rothschild family was to visit Seattle that month, Parmenter said, and he and Bauer went to a University of Washington library, where they found details of the visit in a “Jewish publication.”
The group then watched the hotel.
“We were thinking about blowing up the reception area or wherever he was going to speak,” Parmenter said. “We wanted to kill him.”
The members discussed various ways of committing the act, including a suicide bombing, he said.
The plan never came off, he said, because “it was felt we just didn’t have the time to get organized and get it accomplished, so it was dropped.”
Charles Ferraro, general manager of the Olympic Hotel, said that Baron Rothschild visited the hotel on Nov. 29 and 30 that year for a dinner of the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle. The Jewish Transcript, a local Jewish newspaper, said Baron Elie de Rothschild attended the dinner.
Accused of Robberies
Members of The Order are accused of crimes that include two armored-car robberies in Seattle, one near Ukiah, Calif., bank robberies, an attempted arson at a Boise, Ida., synagogue and two homicides, including that of Denver radio talk-show host Alan Berg.
One defendant remains at large and another faces trial in Missouri on charges of killing a state trooper.
Prosecutors say that Order members “all viewed as common enemies Jews, blacks, who they called mud people, and other racial minorities.”
Order founder Mathews, of Metaline Falls, Wash., died in December in a fire ignited by flares during a shoot-out with federal agents on Whidbey Island, near Seattle.