CONVERSE, LA (KSLA) - A protest just held by the white supremacist group Aryan Nations last month in Jonesboro, Louisiana wasn't just a visit, it was "to let our people know that it's time to be seen and heard," according to leader Morris Gulett.
"I am rising up in favor of my people," Gulett explains. They call themselves racist. The government calls them terrorists. Whatever you call them, the Aryan Nations is now calling the ArkLaTex home, setting up their new world headquarters in Converse, just south of Shreveport. Gulett says he likes the remoteness of the location just south of the DeSoto-Sabine Parish line.
He may want his group to be heard, but in an interview with KSLA News 12's Doug Warner, Gulett makes clear his distrust of the media. "I just don't want you to misquote me or misrepresent me. I know how the media is, not going to display me in the most favorable light."
It was following the Aryan Nation's NAACP counter-protest protest in Jackson on January 14th that the group's intent to call Converse home became clear. Gulett, who also delivers his message from his online pulpit on the group's web site, lists P.O. Box 282 in Converse as the group's physical address.
"I'm an avid proponent for the betterment of my race," Gulett says. "So does that make you a racist?" asked Warner. "Yeah, it makes me a racist, but it doesn't make me a hater of people because of the color of their skin."
"Blacks by and large aren't as intelligent as Anglo Saxons," says Gulett.
The Aryan Nations reached their peak membership in the early 1980s. Using violence to get their message of white supremacy across to blacks, Jews and Hispanics certainly wasn't unheard of.
Former federal probation officer and Northwestern State criminal justice professor Bill Sexton says "Aryan Nations consisted of all these groups: neo-Nazis, Klan, CSA, 'the Order'…my experience is, they'll get an isolated area, very rural, and attract members to join the movement."
Until the year 2000, that rural area was in Idaho. The Aryan Nations maintained their world headquarters there, on a militia-style twenty-acre compound.
"Basically it became a place where individuals associated with any faction, Klan, Nazi, they would go there," Sexton says. On those 20 acres were a church, living quarters, guard towers and plenty of commando training for the thousands who came through who put 'their' color of skin ahead of all others.
"Once we have property secured and get it built, we'll build a church, a headquarters and it will be invite only," Gulett says, confirming that's exactly what he wants to do here. "What we are attempting to do is educate our people. Deuteronomy Chapter 28 states, 'One of the cursings is stranger you'll allow to remain among you will get above you very high and down very low.'"
Who is the stranger? "The non-Aryan. Blacks, Negroes, mongrels," Gulett explains.
The news came as a complete and unwelcome surprise to many in the area, including Converse Mayor Troy Terrell. "Don't know him or his organization." And, Terrel says, they don't want to. "Converse has nothing to do with his organization and I don't want to have anything to do with it."
Gulett won't say whether he's been approached by anyone around town who does want to affiliate with his organization.
For safety reasons, he also won't say exactly where he lives or where in or around Converse his headquarters is located. KSLA News 12 has confirmed, however, that Gulett already has partial ownership in roughly 20 acres - not in Sabine parish - but just a few miles north in DeSoto Parish.
Gulett has been affiliated with the Aryan Nations for close to two decades. Despite being a convicted felon who can't carry firearms himself, he urges followers who are allowed to carry weapons to arm themselves. "If you're capable of owning a shot gun, a 12 gauge pump, a 308, assault rifle, a hand gun."
"War is not on us yet. Now is the time for building up and preparation," Gulett says. "Preparing for what the scripture says is imminent, Armageddon, an all-out race war."