“My decision is of a personal nature, as I will no longer hold office, represent or be a member of Aryan Nations,” Juba said. “For those kinsmen who know me at a personal level, understand my reasoning for this abrupt move, and I thank them for their support.”
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Juba said he was appointing the group’s high counsel, August B. Kreis III, of Sebring, Fla., as his successor.
“As it was with me, the new headquarters will reside with where the national director resides,” Juba said. “The Kansas address is no longer valid, and all reading this should disregard it from this point forward.”
Local officials and civil rights leaders were delighted at the news.
“Obviously, we don’t have a welcome mat out for this type of individual,” said Don Denney, spokesman for the Unified Board of Commissioners of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kan. “I was very proud of the way the community banded together with the Unified Government to send the message to these people that this type of activity won’t be tolerated.”
The announcement that Juba was leaving the organization came hours after he had resigned as national director of the Aryan Nations and a day after The Kansas City Star reported that he had recently moved to the Kansas City area to rebuild the organization. The group preaches that Jews are the offspring of Satan and that nonwhites are inferior.
Juba has not responded to repeated requests for comment. Information has come from Kreis, who told The Star on Friday that Juba was leaving the organization at the insistence of his wife.
“He capitulated to his wife,” Kreis said. “She gave him an ultimatum. I didn’t think he would do it. But he not only stepped down, he quit.”
Kreis appointed Wulfran Hall as the group’s next high counsel. In an e-mail to The Star on Friday, Hall said he was not concerned about the Aryan Nations’ deserting Kansas City.
“Regarding the abandonment of Kansas City as a base of locations: I reference you to al-Qaeda (The Base of Jihad) — whether they are operating out of a cave in Tora Bora or a training camp in the Sudan … the end result is the same,” Hall wrote.
Those who monitor the extremist movement said the community should not let its guard down at the news of Juba’s resignation.
“It should be noted that in Juba’s resignation letter, he does not distance himself from racism and anti-Semitism and the group’s core ideas,” said Leonard Zeskind, president of the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights. “What it looks like to me is a temporary retreat in the face of massive public opinion.
“And all of us in the metropolitan area need to remember that the problem of organized bigotry has not reached a solution,” he added.
When Ed Chasteen heard that Aryan Nations was leaving, he sent an e-mail to supporters of HateBusters, of which he is president.
“Praise God,” he wrote. “We have been spared a national embarrassment. The nation will know that we love and care for one another.”
Rather than cancel a protest rally he had scheduled for noon on Monday, Chasteen decided to transform the gathering into a victory rally. He said the public was invited to attend the rally at Central Baptist Theological Seminary, 31st Street and Minnesota Avenue. A caravan down Minnesota Avenue will follow.
Organizers on Friday canceled a community forum that had been scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Jack Reardon Civic Center. The forum probably will be rescheduled.
The Star’s Dawn Bormann contributed to this report.