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Bertollini and Story: 11th Hour Remnant Messenger
Founded: 1990
Headquarters: Sandpoint, Idaho
Years of birth: Story – 1932; Bertollini – 1939
Background: Story and Bertollini are wealthy former Silicon Valley entrepreneurs.
Strategy: Expensive mass mailings, Web site, letters to editors and public officials
Ideology: Christian Identity
Differences: Bertollini has been more outspoken and publicly provocative.
Notable propaganda: A six-feet by three-feet full-color Identity poster, The Adamic Race: Adam’s Pure Blood Seedline, tracing the "history" of the world’s races according to an Identity interpretation of the Bible
Support for extremists: Bertollini was Aryan Nations founder Richard Butler’s leading financial supporter and public champion; the two men also financially supported America’s Promise Ministries, a Christian Identity organization in Sandpoint, and Bertollini publicly endorsed white supremacist Alex Curtis.

Idaho multimillionaires Carl Story and Vincent Bertollini promote the anti-Semitic and racist theology known as “Christian Identity.” Since 1998, their “ministry,” the 11th Hour Remnant Messenger, has distributed tens of thousands of Identity posters, pamphlets, booklets and videotapes. In 2000, Bertollini stepped into the spotlight as a leading ally of and advocate for well-known white supremacists Richard Butler and Alex Curtis.


Silicon Valley Comes to Sandpoint

The boom of the 1990s made a number of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs fabulously rich. Many of these individuals spent princely sums on luxury items and contributed vast amounts of cash to charities. But two of them, Carl E. Story and Richard Vincent Bertollini, chose a different path — they use their wealth to promote hate.1

Carl Story established or helped start three profitable computer firms, and he earned a fortune by selling his share of them. At Systems Chemistry, which he founded in the mid-1980s, his longtime friend Bertollini became head of operations. In 1990, when the duo established their 11th Hour Remnant Messenger ministry, Story was a fundamentalist Christian. By the time Systems Chemistry was sold at a profit in 1995, he, like Bertollini, had become a Christian Identity adherent. Like other Identity believers, Story and Bertollini think that white Anglo- Saxons are the chosen people described in the Bible, that Jews are the product of a sexual union between Eve and Satan and that nonwhites are soulless subhumans.

After the sale of Systems Chemistry, Story and Bertollini left Silicon Valley to settle in Sandpoint, Idaho. “North Idaho was selected for its clean air, beautiful scenery, quiet life style, recreation, lack of crowds, low cost of living, low violent crime,” they wrote, “but above all, more than 98 percent of North Idaho's population is of the Adamic White Aryan people.”

Mass Mailings

During their first few years in Sandpoint, Story and Bertollini did not draw public attention to their beliefs. Then, in September 1998, envelopes from the 11th Hour Remnant Messenger were mailed to approximately 9,000 Idaho addresses. These envelopes contained an introductory letter, an anti-Semitic booklet and a full-color poster explaining the group's Identity beliefs. The pair later claimed to have sent the latter item to 6,000 “Evangelical and Catholic Churches, friends, family and like-minded individuals throughout the world” and received requests for over 1,000 more.

Measuring six feet by three feet, the poster, entitled The Adamic Race: Adam's Pure Blood Seedline, is one of the most professional pieces of white supremacist propaganda in recent memory. Bertollini has said that each copy cost $9.45 to print, fold and mail. The poster traces the history of two genealogies, or "seedlines" - "Adam's Pure Blood Seedline" (the descendants of God, from Adam through Jesus to the "Aryan" people) and "Satan's Chosen People" (the descendants of Satan, from Cain through Esau to "Jewry") - over the course of more than 6,000 years. Alongside the illustrated chart are the texts of Bible passages Story and Bertollini use to support their claims. According to the 11th Hour Remnant Messenger, "blacks, orientals, and other races," unlike "Aryans," do not have souls. They are "Pre-Adamic" - existing before Adam, who was the first being created by God in His image - and later intermarried with the Jews, producing "a mongrel, hybrid, a non-race."

Meanwhile, most of the “Aryan” people, who Story and Bertollini believe are “God's Chosen People” as described in the Bible, migrated from the Middle East to Central and Western Europe and finally to the United States. Story and Bertollini believe, however, that America has become a dictatorship in which Aryans are enslaved to “Jewish Communism.” They predict that there will be a third world war, followed by the migration of the “White race” from America to Israel. Eventually, “the War of All Wars” between “whites” and the Jewish, Satanic “non-race” will lead to Armageddon, resulting in the victory of whites and the unending reign of Jesus Christ over his fair-complexioned people.

In 1999, the 11th Hour sent three more major anti-Semitic mailings. “Who are the real hate mongers?” asked the first, a nine-page letter dated February 1999. The unsurprising answer: Jews and those “backed by Jewish influence.” Story and Bertollini then sent, in October 1999, an 18- page booklet and a 4-foot-long poster to roughly 5,000 addresses in Sandpoint and Sagel, Idaho. According to this material, America is doomed because it is dominated by “Satan's Jews.” In December 1999, Story and Bertollini distributed an article entitled “The Wannabe's That Want To Be and Shall Never Be,” in which they insist that a devious Jewish conspiracy is behind nearly everything wrong with American society.

More recently, Story and Bertollini mailed a pamphlet in November 2000 with the title “Idaho, the Hue Man Rights Jew Controlled Marxist Communist State” — mocking the slogan of the Kootenai County Human Rights Task Force, “Idaho, the Human Rights State.” Sent to homes in two Idaho counties, Bonner and Kootenai, the pamphlet featured a map of Idaho marked with the locations of several of that state’s human rights organizations. “I’m not happy about being a target,” commented one civil rights activist whose name appeared on the pamphlet. “My family’s not happy about being a target.”

Story and Bertollini’s mail campaign constituted a breakthrough for the contemporary far right. For the first time, the production values of white supremacist literature matched or exceeded those of mainstream publishers, and the quality of the design lent legitimacy to its content — a legitimacy that the do-it-yourself knockoffs of other extremists could not approach.

Support for Richard Butler

In addition to distributing their own material, Story and Bertollini supported other extremists in the area, particularly Richard Butler, founder and, until recently, leader of the neo- Nazi Identity group Aryan Nations. (In September 2001, Aryan Nations announced that the aging Butler had selected Ray Redfeairn of Ohio to take over as head of the group.) In July 1998, the booklet and poster included in the initial mailing were handed out by Aryan Nations supporters during the group's parade in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. In October of that year, Story and Bertollini funded a major mailing to approximately 3,000 Northern Idaho residents that included the booklet and a 45-minute videotape of an interview with Butler.

Bertollini spoke on behalf of Aryan Nations at a public forum on June 18, 1999, at North Idaho College in Coeur d’Alene. In addition, he attended the July 10, 1999, Aryan Nations parade in Coeur d'Alene where, according to the Spokane Spokesman-Review, he called Butler “the only man standing up for the white race in America that I know of, and doing it in a reasonable way.” On July 15, 2000, Bertollini gave a lengthy speech at Butler’s annual Aryan Nations Congress, the text of which he later mass-mailed to thousands of households in North Idaho. In his address, Bertollini asserted that Jews are to blame for “the most horrible atrocities known to modern man,” namely, those committed by Soviet Communists.

On August 28, 2000, Victoria Keenan and her son Jason, shot at by Aryan Nations security guards after they stopped momentarily on the road bordering the group’s compound, filed a civil lawsuit against Butler (they were represented by the Southern Poverty Law Center). Bertollini supported Butler and attended the trial “to have a presence” and “be vocal.” He was ultimately disappointed in the result: the jury awarded the Keenans $6.3 million in damages. But this judgment, which threw Butler and his group into bankruptcy and disarray, only encouraged Bertollini to ensure that the elderly racist leader would be able to continue getting his message out. “Pastor Butler will continue preaching,” he promised. “Pastor Butler will continue printing and Pastor Butler will continue to ride the Internet.” Bertollini even paid more than $100,000 to purchase a house for Butler after the pastor had to hand over the Aryan Nations compound to the Keenans. He marched with Butler in an Aryan Nations parade in Coeur d’Alene that fall and later circulated a message on the Internet declaring his intention to file a lawsuit against the Keenans’ lawyer, Southern Poverty Law Center chief trial counsel Morris Dees. In December 2000, Story and Bertollini called the court decision against Butler a “shallow victory,” pointing out that Butler was bankrupt and gloating that “not another penny has been paid or will be paid” by Butler to the Keenans, “excepting that which they will steal from his postal box from donations.”

Support for Alex Curtis

Richard Butler was not the only white supremacist whose cause Bertollini and Story championed. They sought out other active radicals to support, including San Diego-based Alex Curtis, publisher of the Nationalist Observer newsletter and Web site. Though not a Christian Identity adherent, Curtis had established himself as one of the nation’s most vocal promoters of white power. Bertollini and Curtis established a relationship in 2000, with Bertollini at first simply encouraging Curtis and assuring the younger man that Jewish “bastards” must be “eliminated, removed or, otherwise, be neutralized (sanitized) to assure the safeguard of our people.” By August 2000, Bertollini claimed to have placed materials published by Curtis on “at least 1,000 vehicles” in Boise, Idaho.

In November 2000, though, Curtis was arrested and charged with conspiracy to violate the civil rights of various individuals, including public officials and civil rights activists. Bertollini continued his support: he wrote that month that he had visited San Diego in a failed attempt to see Curtis in person as his “minister,” and he circulated Curtis’s prison address and urged readers to write to him with “moral and financial” assistance. He also claimed to have sent an e-mail to the San Diego office of the F.B.I. “I’ve got a copy of your two bit indictment against Alex Curtis and if you guys weren’t so bought off by the ADL it would be laughable,” he said he told the agency. “Go after the Crips and Bloods, the Mexican terrorists and the drug dealers running rampant in your culturally diverse city! Leave true patriots alone. You know, we could be the best of friends…if you didn’t roll over for your Jew Masters. Think about it.” (In March 2001, Curtis pleaded guilty in exchange for the recommendation of a reduced sentence; in June he was sentenced to three years in prison.)

Drinking, Disappearing

In January 2001, Bertollini was arrested by Sandpoint police on charges of driving under the influence. The following day, he circulated claims on the Internet that he had been falsely apprehended and beaten. He asserted that the police “threw” him to the ground and “pummeled” him “several times,” culminating what he saw as “several years” of police harassment because of his “unpopular, politically incorrect views.” “This is the face today of Evangelist Vincent Bertollini of Sandpoint, Idaho,” declared the Aryan NationsWeb site beside photos of a bloodied Bertollini. “He was followed home last evening by the Sandpoint Police Department, followed into his garage and beaten senseless.”

According to the officer who arrested him, Bertollini was driving erratically and refused to stop and answer questions. He had twice before been convicted of drunken driving. The officer claimed that Bertollini injured himself — while resisting arrest — by slipping on a puddle of water and hitting his head. In July 2001, after Bertollini failed to attend a pretrial hearing, a warrant was issued for his arrest. He had not been seen in the area of Sandpoint since June. His mail is reportedly being forwarded to an address in Ireland, and his home in Sandpoint is set to be auctioned because he defaulted on his monthly payments. No new propaganda distributed by Bertollini and Story has surfaced since May 2001, but as of October 2001, their 11th Hour Remnant Messenger Web site remained online.


UPDATE

  • July 29, 2002: Bertollini and Story ceased producing and distributing new propaganda more than a year ago, though their 11th Hour Remnant Messenger Web site remains online.

  • January 29, 2002: Bertollini has remained a federal fugitive since failing to appear for his drunk-driving trial last July. Had he been convicted, he was facing up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine since this was his third such arrest in a two-year period. His disappearance prompted the Bonner County Prosecutor’s office to request a federal unlawful flight warrant in September. Law enforcement officials and others who know Bertollini believe that he has fled the country, possibly to Ireland or the Caribbean.

    It is also likely that Bertollini’s partner in the 11th Hour Remnant Messenger, Carl E. Story, has left Northern Idaho as well. Although the 68-year-old Story isn’t wanted by authorities, he has put his house up for sale and hasn’t been seen in Sandpoint since November of last year. Some press reports have speculated that Story is in California.



1Bertollini is generally known by his middle name.
UPDATE
Bertollini Sentenced
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