APut 07/13 1854 Aryan Nations HAYDEN LAKE, Idaho (AP) -- White supremacists staged a cross

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APut 07/13 1854 Aryan Nations HAYDEN LAKE, Idaho (AP) -- White supremacists staged a cross-burning, but used electric lights instead of gasoline-fueled fire, a participant at the weekend Aryan World Congress was quoted as saying. No guns were visible, and those attending the gathering at the Church of Jesus Christ Christin (Aryan Nations) showed less conviction than in the past, said the unnamed participant quoted by the Spokesman-Review in Spokane. "Compared to last year, it was like going from a forest fire to a barbeque," the participant said. At the windup of the gathering Sunday, a hat was passed to raise money for legal fees for Aryan Nations leader Richard Butler and Robert Miles of The Mountain Church in Cohoctah, Mich., the participant said. Both face federal charges in Arkansas of plotting at the 1983 World Aryan Congress to overthrow the government. News reporters and photographers were barred from the two-day gathering. A news conference was scheduled Monday morning, but a $50 entrance fee was required. "At this point, to my knowledge, no one is willing to pay the 50 bucks, and so consequently we're not going to have a press conference," Aryan Nations spokesman Richard Masker said Sunday. Everett Hofmeister, a lawyer for Butler, said he might file a lawsuit against Kootenai County sheriff's deputies who photographed everyone entering the Aryan gathering. Hofmeister branded the action an infringement on the constitutional right of freedom of assembly of those attending the gathering. "We felt that this was an outstanding congress," Masker said at the conclusion of the event. "Everyone who attended was very pleased with it." The unnamed participant disagreed. "There was nothing profound this year," the participant said. "I saw people looking for somebody to follow, and there was nobody. "This sedition charge stuff is splitting the movement," the participant said. At past Aryan gatherings, security guards and participants have displayed semiautomatic rifles, shotguns, carbines, handguns and knives. Guards this year carried large wooden shields, painted with emblems of the Ku Klux Klan and Aryan Nations, and some carried knives. The Aryans also couldn't get a county fire permit for the cross burning, so they erected a cross wrapped with electric light bulbs on a catwalk on the compound's guard tower. The participant said about 175 people attended the Saturday evening "cross lighting," conducted by Miles with about two dozen people in Klan uniforms. Members of one political faction appear content to "talk among themselves," he said. "Another faction wants to go out into the community" with its message denouncing Jews, blacks, the news media and the federal government. "At no time did I hear them mention the need for a white homeland," the participant said. That was a focus of Miles' 1986 address. Last page !

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