Headquarters: Sandpoint, Idaho
Years of birth: Story – 1932; Bertollini – 1939
Background: Story and Bertollini are wealthy former Silicon Valley
Strategy: Expensive mass mailings, Web site, letters to editors and public
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 has been 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.”
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
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
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 have 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.)
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.
- 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.