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Richard Kelly Hoskins
Year of birth: 1928
Home: Lynchburg, Virginia
Ideology: Christian Identity
Selected Works: Our Nordic Race (1958), War Cycles, Peace Cycles (1985), Vigilantes of Christendom (1990)
Publications: The Hoskins Report; (still active) Portfolios Investment Advisory (defunct)
Notable for: Introduced the term "Phineas Priesthood" as a designation for Christian vigilantes who violently avenge perceived crimes against the white race.

Richard Kelly Hoskins
Richard Kelly Hoskins
in a 1981 photo;

Lynchburg News & Advance

Although not as well known as white supremacists such as Matt Hale and the late William Pierce, Virginia financial advisor Richard Kelly Hoskins has promoted racism and anti-Semitism for nearly fifty years, and has considerably influenced the far right during the past two decades. His books, Christian Identity-based commentaries on history and economics, are among the most widely-read on the Identity circuit, and he has become a fixture at movement conferences and retreats. He is best known for introducing and advocating, in Vigilantes of Christendom (1990), the concept of the "Phineas Priesthood": violent white supremacist guerrillas who avenge "crimes" against the white race. Hoskins' idea is derived from a passage from the Book of Numbers, and has been adopted or popularized by some of the country's most radical racists and has provided a religious justification for acts of domestic terrorism.

Background and Early Work

Richard Kelly Hoskins was born in Lynchburg, Virginia, in 1928 and attended local schools before transferring to a military academy in Waynesboro, about fifty miles north. After joining the Air Force and serving in the Korean War, he enrolled at Lynchburg College, where he earned a degree in history. He worked for a New York City brokerage firm, then returned to Virginia.

In the late 1950s, in the wake of the then-recent integration of Virginia's schools, Hoskins decided, in his own words, "to write a short book on the history of our own Saxon race and publish it myself if I had to." The result was Our Nordic Race (1958), 1 a self-published attempt to prove the superiority of "pure Nordic" peoples. Hoskins asserted that the empires of Rome and Greece fell primarily because the native peoples mingled their "pure" blood with that of lesser races: "When a race which produces original thought breeds with a race which produces little or no original thought, the resulting breed is a failure." From this Hoskins concluded that "our Nordic race in these nations was betrayed and destroyed by their own Nordic countrymen who . . . became Race Traitors." 2

Hoskins' antipathy toward Jews was also evident and presaged his later, more fully developed, Identity beliefs. He described Jews as a "mixed breed" of Mongolian descent, unable to "blush red" and unrelated to the "Nordic" Israelites of antiquity. He alleged that "agitation Jews" worked in concert with the Nordic "race traitors" to undermine western civilization.

Hoskins experienced a spiritual reawakening of sorts in the mid 1960s, which culminated in his becoming a Southern Baptist in 1966. During this time he began attending Jerry Falwell's Thomas Road Baptist Church and also made an abortive foray into politics, running for Lynchburg City Council the same year. 3 He also began to publish his financial/racist newsletter The Hoskins Report.

Identity Activist

Hoskins' religious conversion did little to moderate his views on race. He delved further into Christian Identity, a sect whose dogma includes the belief that whites are God's chosen race - descendants of the Bible's Israelites - and that Jews literally and figuratively descend from Satan. Identity became the spiritual foundation on which the bulk of his subsequent writings and lectures would be based, and he grew to be a familiar figure at Identity gatherings throughout the South. (At one of these events, according to Beckwith's wife, Thelma, he became friendly with Byron de la Beckwith, the ex-Klan member who killed civil rights activist Medgar Evers. 4 Hoskins has denied meeting Beckwith, but did publish a letter written by Beckwith in a 1991 issue of his Report.) As time passed, Hoskins' reputation within the Identity community grew and he became one of its most influential figures.

"When a race which produces original thought breeds with a race which produces little or no original thought, the resulting breed is a failure."
Periodically, he also ventured outside Identity circles into the larger racist marketplace. In the mid-60s he wrote for Western Destiny, a neo-fascist publication established by Willis Carto, the �minence grise of postwar American anti-Semitism. He later contributed occasional columns to Carto's newspaper, The Spotlight, at the time the most influential publication on the far right.

In 1985 Hoskins published War Cycles, Peace Cycles, which purported to be a Christian analysis of banking and economics in Europe and America. In actuality, the book denounced predatory lending and banking practices purportedly committed by a cabal of political and economic elites that included corrupt political leaders and Jewish banking concerns. Hoskins restated many of his ideas on racial purity and borrowed heavily from earlier accounts of banking cabals. Unsurprisingly, the volume was well received in racist and extremist circles.

He expanded on these themes at gatherings sponsored by leading Identity groups like America's Promise Ministries and Pete Peters's Scriptures for America. His investment newsletters (he began distributing Portfolios Investment Advisory to private clients in 1973) offered his views on:

    The Holocaust: "Constant lies. Lies, lies, lies. Forty years of lies...the anti-Christ Holohoax scam."

    Integration: "Better a blood-soaked Joseph Stalin than a smiling Ian Smith or congenial DeKlerk who opens the door to the barbarians. Compromise means death."

    Politics: "A political candidate need take just 3 simple stands. 1) Abolish usury. 2) Root sodomists from the land. 3) Outlaw racial interbreeding."

The Phineas Priesthood

Hoskins followed up the success of Cycles with his best-known and most infamous work, 1990's Vigilantes of Christendom. The book traces the supposed history of the "Phineas Priesthood," vigilantes who, throughout history, have punished "race traitors" with violent reprisals.

"A political candidate need take just 3 simple stands.
1) Abolish usury.
2) Root sodomists from the land.
3) Outlaw racial interbreeding."
The Phineas concept derives from a passage in the Book of Numbers in which an Israelite named Phineas kills a kinsman who has had sexual relations with a non-Israelite woman (brazenly violating God's law and communal ties). For this act, God blesses Phineas and his descendants with everlasting favor - a covenant that marks the start of the Priesthood, according to Hoskins. He writes approvingly of murderers of homosexuals and interracial couples, and asserts that followers of the Phineas credo include John Wilkes Booth, the Waffen SS, the Ku Klux Klan and the 1980s terrorist group The Order. Vigilantes also devotes a section to "proving" that the Holocaust was a hoax perpetrated by the Jews to destroy the German nation.

The symbol of the Priesthood - the letter P with a horizontal line through it - began to appear in extremist logos and jewelry as the Phineas idea came to represent the ultimate white supremacist commitment.
While mostly comprised of Hoskins's account of world history from a Phineas perspective, the book's true influence was in the conceptualization of the Phineas Priesthood, a clergy to which any white supremacist was ordained merely by seeking to destroy God's enemies, including race-mixers, homosexuals, abortionists and Jews. In the years following its publication, a number of white supremacists (including Beckwith) adopted the Priesthood concept ex post facto to justify crimes they had already committed, while others used it as the inspiration for acts they intended to commit. The symbol of the Priesthood - the letter P with a horizontal line through it - began to appear in extremist logos and jewelry as the Phineas idea came to represent the ultimate white supremacist commitment.

As the kamikaze is to the Japanese
As the Shiite is to Islam
As the Zionist is to the Jew
So the Phineas priest is to Christendom. . .
-Vigilantes of Christendom

Hoskins' Influence

Since its publication more than a decade ago, Vigilantes of Christendom has inspired and influenced several incidents of violence:

  • In 1994, Paul Hill, an anti-abortion activist who advocated "Phineas actions," shot to death a doctor and his escort outside a Florida abortion clinic.

  • After the 1996 arrest of Aryan Republican Army members Peter Langan and Richard Guthrie, members of a group that tried to finance a white revolution by committing two dozen bank robberies, authorities found a recruiting video in which Langan, wearing a mask, held a copy of Vigilantes and referred to it as "an effective handbook for revolution."

  • In what is considered one of the major domestic terrorism cases of the 1990s, four men identifying themselves as Phineas Priests were arrested in 1996 and later convicted for bank robbery and bombings at a newspaper office and abortion clinic in Spokane, Washington. The men were part of a larger underground cell whose other members remain at-large.

  • In 1999, former Aryan Nations member Buford Furrow fired on children at a Jewish Community Center in Los Angeles and murdered a Filipino-American postal worker; found among his personal effects were copies of Phineas Priest documents, along with a copy of War Cycles, Peace Cycles.

Active in his 70s

As of December 2004, Hoskins continues to print his Report on a fairly regular basis, and still manages to publish an occasional book-length treatise that restates his racist and anti-Semitic views, always couched in terms of preserving the white race and fulfilling God's laws. Now well into the fifth decade of his racist career, he continues to receive significant respect and veneration as an "elder statesmen" among white supremacists and Identity activists.

1Richard Kelly Hoskins, Our Nordic Race, 1958: Virginia Publishing Company, Lynchburg, Virginia.
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2 Ibid.
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3"Where He Sees Pride, Others See Only Hate," The Richmond Times Dispatch, October 3, 1999.
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Richard Kelly Hoskins
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