Monday, March 01, 2010



JOHN DAY, Ore.—A white supremacist group thinks an empty building in this once-thriving timber community would be a good place to establish a compound. But citizens are protesting the idea and the leader of the Aryan Nations Church of Yahweh is threatening to sue the small town should it try to block a purchase.

Protests the day of the meetings in downtown John Day.

The Idaho-based group's leader, Paul R. Mullet, 36 years old, said in an interview that he intended to purchase one of two empty buildings in the town, whose 2,500 residents make it the largest community in rural Grant County.

The Connecticut-size county lies midway between Portland and Boise, Idaho. Like much of rural Oregon, it has been plagued by high unemployment during the recession.

The properties he has in mind are a former junior high school and an abandoned opera house, whose construction harkens back to more-prosperous times. Mr. Mullet also proposed to use the surrounding forests for survival training of members, and said he hoped to have the grounds prepared in time to host a national convention of his movement in 2011.

News of his plans sparked a protest march last Monday at the nearby county seat of Canyon City, then two town-hall meetings on Friday.

Mr. Mullet, who said he was still planning to purchase property in John Day, said he may now consider suing John Day should it refuse to allow Aryan Nations to purchase property for sale there...CONTINUED

He may be unwanted in John Day, Oregon - but he IS getting his 15 minutes of fame.

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