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Hough, G. (2006). American Terrorism and the Christian Identity Movement: A Proliferation Threat From Non-State Actors. Int. J. Appl. Psychoanal. Stud., 3(1):79-100.

(2006). International Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies, 3(1):79-100

American Terrorism and the Christian Identity Movement: A Proliferation Threat From Non-State Actors

George Hough, Ph.D., ABPP

Wild, dark times are rumbling toward us, and the prophet who wishes to write a new apocalypse will have to invent entirely new beasts, and beasts so terrible that the ancient animal symbols of Saint John will seem like cooing doves and cupids in comparison. (Heinrich Heine, 1842)

Religious fervor has periodically swept across the landscape of American culture from the days of the pilgrim settlements to the present. Each American generation has known its share of religious prophets and profiteers, witch hunts and spiritual “great awakenings.” Over the past 20 years we have been drifting inexorably into a pernicious and uncompromising era of anti-government sentiment, motivated by religious passions and an obsession with the “end-times.” This paper will focus upon the perceived terrorist proliferation threat posed by one particularly notorious paramilitary movement of the American religious right, known as Christian Identity. These paramilitaries are considered right-wing domestic terrorists who aspire to obtain weapons of mass destruction. Christian Identity adherents maintain a deep and abiding hatred of the US government, and seek to destroy it through paramilitary actions justified by racist and genocide propaganda, as well as apocalyptic literature.

The core fantasies of world annihilation and the subsequent rebirth of the self are central to the determined apocalyptic call to violent action. The apocalyptic terrorist is here differentiated from those individuals or groups whose motivations and aims are purely political or simply misguided revenge.

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