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Not definitely established
4 1 50 10 14 32
50 800 225
200 1, 250
1 Figures quoted apply as of March 1967. 2 Negligible.
14. United Knights of the Ku Klux Klan:
Headquarters: Davie, Fla.
tions confined to State of Florida, as of January 1967. 15. White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan of Mississippi:
Headquarters: Laurel, Miss.
as of January 1967, confined to State of Mississippi. Overall summary: Total estimated membership of all klan organiza
tions as of early 1967 is approximately 16,810. Of this number, 15,075 members were enrolled in the United Klans of America headed by Robert Shelton. The remaining 1,735 members belonged to 13 other klans listed above.37
37 No estimates are included for three very recently formed klan groups referred to on p. 18 of this chapter.
CHAPTER III. SECRECY AND RITUÁL OF THE KLANS
With the exception of the White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan of Mississippi, all present-day active klan organizations
borrow their ritual and kloranic degrees from the old Knights of the Ku Klux Klan which operated from 1915 to 1944.
The four basic kloranic degrees of a ku klux klan organization are named: the “Order of Citizenship or K-Uno" (probationary); “Knights Kamellia or K-Duo" (primary order of knighthood); “Knights of the Great Forest or K-Trio" (the order of American chivalry); and the “Knights of the Midnight Mystery or K-Quad” (superior order of the knighthood and spiritual philosophies). Klan ritual provides for a klan language which extends beyond the nomenclature for its officers and organizational subdivisions already described. There are klan kolors, and a klan kalendar in which a special system of keeping time has been devised. Secret handclasps and spoken greetings are supposed to help a klansman recognize a brother member of the order without revealing membership to outsiders.
Procedures for conducting a klavern meeting and other klan ritual work are set forth in a booklet titled "The Kloran."
Committee investigation with regard to the use of rituals revealed that present-day klans in the United States, in distinct contrast to the practice in Simmons' organization in the 1920's, pay only lipservice to prescribed ceremonies. With regard to the four kloranic degrees referred to above, only the first degree has ever been administered in any klan, in spite of the 100-year history of the movement. Probationary citizenship binds a person to thë klan oath and renders him liable for monthly dues thereafter. When this primary initiation ceremony is held, it usually takes place at the recruit's first klan meeting.
Committee investigation revealed that the United Klans of America has not engaged in any degree ritual beyond ceremonies for the first order of citizenship. William Hugh Morris, who testified to mem- . bership in various klan organizations dating back to 1924 and has most recently been associated with the National Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, copyrighted a booklet entitled "K-Duo." This is the only evidence that the committee uncovered to suggest that any klan organization has even considered going beyond
the first order of citizenship. No modern-day klan organization has been known to confer this secondary order of citizenship on any of its members, however. Testimony from longtime klan leaders such as James R. Venable suggests that as far as the modern-day klans are concerned, the third and fourth orders of citizenship have never even been written, much less bestowed upon any present klan member.
The committee finds that ritual receives very little emphasis in modern klans. Even the initiation ceremony is falling into disuse.
Committee investigation revealed that, while most klan constitutions require a member to receive the degree of K-Uno, most klansmen actually become members merely by signing an application and paying an initiation fee (klectokon). Even the application for membership is an insignificant document. After execution, it is immediately destroyed.
Secrecy is the cornerstone of every klan's structure. It is also essential to the success of their operations.
Committee investigation reveals that secrecy has enabled a relatively few klansmen to operate outside the law as vigilante groups to deal with” those whom the particular klan group or klan leader opposes. It has made it possible for a few organized klansmen, whose strength in numbers is minute compared to total population, to obtain influence and power in local communities.
Secrecy becomes the way of life of a klansman from the moment he takes his oaths of allegiance to his klan. All operations of a klansman thereafter are withheld from the public with the exception of certain public activities which the klan leadership may decide upon. Within the individual klavern, for example, strict security is maintained with respect to the identity of klan officers and members, sources of klan finances, klan rituals, klan meetings, and special “projects.
Committee investigation revealed that klan organizations employ a variety of internal security procedures to maintain the veil of secrecy surrounding their operations. Private meetings of klansmen are protected by inner and outer guards, who prevent intrusion from those not authorized to enter.
In some cases, klan officials search the persons of members suspected of collaboration with law enforcement agencies, looking for listening devices or notes taken at meetings. The klan is extremely sensitive to penetration by law enforcement agencies.
The committee's hearings documented the fact that high frequency citizens band radios and low frequency walkie-talkies are utilized to provide additional security for ħlan meetings, whether on klavern or higher levels. Inner and outer guards use these two-way radios to warn the secret conclaves of the movements of strangers who pose a threat to the security of the meetings.
Klansmen are also known to have used citizens band radios to intercept police radio messages in order to time their movements so as to avoid interception by police. Intelligence from such sources has furthermore been an aid to klansmen harassing civil rights advocates. Knowing police locations, klan leaders can position their forces where there is least risk of observation and apprehension by officers of the law.
SUPERSECRET "ACTION" GROUPS A most sinister and dangerous aspect of klan secrecy is the formation of small hard-core groups within the klan organization whose membership and activities are unknown to the general membership. Committee investigation disclosed that atrocities committed by klansmen are generally conceived and executed by selected groups of trusted members whose participation in such activities is not known to other
members. Most of the violence and extra-legal activities of the klans are committed by these highly secret "action groups" within the klan.
The groups range in size from three to as many as a dozen men, and they plan the commission of lawless acts outside of regular klavern meetings. The operations of these action groups should not obscure the fact that violence is also often discussed at klavern meetings. In the case of a UKA klavern in McComb, Miss., slips of paper identifying victims of future klan violence were drawn by lot by klansmen attending a regular session of their klavern.
Frequently, action groups emulate big-city gangsters in that unlawful acts in a particular locality may be committed by members of an action group from a distant area called in at the request of the local klavern. Committee investigation revealed that members of these hard-core groups are usually given military and other special training by instructors who are ex-servicemen with experience in these fields. The groups have practiced judo, karate, firing of pistols and rifles, and received instruction in the use of explosives, demolition devices, and incendiaries. Most members of these groups have accumulated supplies of weapons, ammunition, and explosives and they spend much of their time discussing these subjects.
Proof of the existence of klan groups as described above was presented at the committee's public hearings. A few are cited from the hearing record.
In the South Carolina Realm of the United Klans of America, members of an action group known as the Underground met in secret (outside of regular klavern meetings) to discuss and plan specific acts of violence. Members of the Underground were extremely militant and prone to violence. Committee investigation revealed that the members took training in marksmanship and accumulated a large number of weapons.
It is understood that the existence of this organization, whose first leader was Furman Dean Williams, was known to the UKA's grand dragon for South Carolina, Robert Scoggin. Scoggin gave this organization at least tacit approval by taking no action, to the committee's knowledge, to disband it or expel its members from the United Klans.
Within the Georgia Realm of the United Klans of America is Clayton County Klavern No. 52, also known as the Clayton Civic Club, Inc. A subgroup of hard-core members was organized by Exalted Cyclops Robert Bing and named the “White Band.", Its primary purpose was to plan and execute acts of harassment and intimidation against Negroes. Members of the White Band held meetings apart from those attended by the general membership of the klavern. Subgroup members took extensive training in the use of firearms and demolition devices, as well as in judo and karate.
It should be noted, however, that the Clayton County Klavern itself sponsored such training for the general klan membership and even permitted attendance by members of other klan organizations. This training took place on numerous occasions at the farm of Exalted Cyclops Bing in Henry County, Ga. The knowledge which these klansmen received during training sessions in explosives and incendiary devices was to be put to use to frustrate Negro efforts to achieve constitutional rights as affirmed by legislative acts and judicial edicts.
1 See ch. VI for more details on such klan training.
In most klaverns of the United Klans of America, as well as in some other klan organizations, there is a group of appointed officers known as the klokannwho serve on a klokann committee. According to the UKA constitution, their functions are to audit the financial records of the klavern, to investigate prospective members of the klan, and to carry out such other duties as the exalted cyclops or other klan leaders deem necessary. Evidence uncovered by committee investigation, however, reveals that more often than not the klokann committee serves as a small strong-arm squad entrusted with planning and executing acts of intimidation and harassment.
Working with the klavern klokann is the intelligence committee. As prescribed in the United Klans of America manual, “The Klan In Action,” the duties of the intelligence committee are:
(a) To protect the Klan from the actions of unfaithful members; to investigate members whose actions are suspicious or who seem to show lack of proper regard for any part of their oath.
(b) To protect the Order by advising of spies and enemies within the Klan.
(c) To find the sources of all adverse propaganda reported by the Propaganda Committee.
(d) To keep the Exalted Cyclops informed on all matters of controversy within the Klanton.
(e) To investigate other societies and organizations.
g) To obtain evidence against public officials who are not administering their official duties according to law and American principles.
(h) To investigate all cases of discrimination against Klans
(i) To investigate all cases of fraud within the Klanton. The activities of the intelligence committee are kept secret from most other klansmen. Thus, the average klansman considers its membership to be identical with that of the klokann committee. For this reason, most information furnished to the Committee on Un-American Activities relating to klan investigators and klan violence involved the klokann rather than the intelligence committee. This confused situation, whereby the impression was created that an intelligence committee did not exist, added to the security of members of the intelligence committee. Functions of that committee are comparable to the Klan Bureau of Investigation of the White Knights and the wrecking crews of the Original
Knights. The White Knights Klan Bureau of Investigation carried out its intelligence functions under the leadership of grand, province and imperial investigators. These investigators would appoint individual klansmen or entire klaverns to assist in intelligence gathering or violent reprisal against those classified as “enemy.” This set-up permitted the investigator on State or province level to send klansmen to conduct investigations or participate in violence in areas of the State of Mississippi where the klansmen were strangers to the local klan organization and law enforcement authorities.
2. Klokann is the plural form for klokan (investigator), according to the UKA constitution.