Home / Notes on Eric Rudolph’s Manifesto & Postscript

Notes on Eric Rudolph’s Manifesto & Postscript

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On April 13, Eric Rudolph issued a handwritten statement explaining his motives for carrying out a series of bombings in the South during the late 90’s. Rudolph’s “manifesto” is both fascinating and disturbing – it is best described as a terrorist’s desperate last-ditch bid for mainstream acceptance. Not surprisingly, it has a wildly inconsistent tone, fluctuating between populist rhetoric and extremist calls for violence. At several points during 11-page manifesto, Rudolph tries to hearken back to the Founding Fathers – in an attempt to justify bombings that killed two Americans, injured 123 others, and resulted in a five-year manhunt that cost American taxpayers over $20 million.

Rudolph also borrows mainstream social conservative buzzwords (e.g. – “homosexual agenda”) to try to rationalize acts of violence that only an infinitesimally small fraction of social conservatives would ever condone. But it doesn’t take long for Rudolph to demonstrate how far outside the conservative mainstream he is – a substantial part of the manifesto is dedicated to criticizing President Bush for merely advocating pro-life views through the appropriate political avenues, and not going outside of that framework:

“George W. will appoint the necessary justices to the Supreme Court and Roe will be finished, [some pro-life activists] say. All of this will be achieved through the lawful, legitimate democratic process. And every year a million and a half more die . . . The coward Bush talks about the “culture of life,” but intends to effect no change with respect to Roe v. Wade.”

Perhaps the most unusual rhetoric comes when Rudolph paints the 1996 Atlanta Olympics as a vast conspiracy to promote “global socialism,” citing, in part, the fact that the theme song was John Lennon’s “Imagine.” How merit-based athletic competitions that emphasize national pride promote “global socialism” is beyond me. The contradictions of this argument are borne out even further in the next sentence, which seems like Rudolph’s attempt to reach out to anti-globalization activists:

“Multinational corporations spent billions of dollars, and Washington organized an army of security to protect these best of all games.”

Finally, considering the extremely intolerant approach Rudolph takes in much of the manifesto, it is odd that he felt compelled to issue an incredibly-nuanced “look, I don’t have anything against gay people” disclaimer in the same paragraph in which he calls for violent responses to the gay rights movement:

“Homosexuality is an aberrant sexual behavior, and as such I have complete sympathy and understanding for those who are suffering from this condition. Practiced by consenting adults within the confines of their own private lives, homosexuality is not a threat to society. Those consenting adults practicing this behavior in privacy should not be hassled by a society which respects the sanctity of private sexual life. But when the attempt is made to drag this practice out of the closet and into the public square in an ‘in your face’ attempt to force society to accept and recognize this behavior as being just of legitimate and normal as the natural man/woman relationship, every effort should be made, including force if necessary, to halt this effort.”

While a number of newspapers and websites have posted Rudolph’s manifesto, I have only come across one that posted the “postscript,” the Charlotte Observer. The postscript is less ambitious (if that’s the word) than the manifesto, but at least as interesting. In the postscript, Rudolph criticizes various “misconceptions” he claims were spread by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation agent and CNN reporter who wrote “Hunting Eric Rudolph,” saying that much of their information comes from his brother’s ex-wife, Debbie Rudolph, who he considers to be an unreliable source. Rudolph claims that:

“Debbie has a penchant for bars, infidelity, and cocaine.”

Rudolph also uses the postscript to deny being seriously involved with the Christian Identity religious/white supremacist group. He says that he attended their church for 6 months, but that he went just because the girl he was dating did. And he admits that he dealt marijuana, but claims that he was a small-time dealer:

“Stone claims that I am a major marijuana grower selling as much as 50 pounds a year. Yes, this is why I was living in a trailer paying $275 a month for rent. Big time drug dealer, that’s me.”

There’s also an anecdote about whether a ziplock bag that was confiscated by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation contained marijuana or collard greens. Although I don’t know anything about the facts of this incident, I have a feeling the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s response would be that they’ve heard that one before.

Below is the postscript, reprinted from the Charlotte Observer:


April 13, 2005

“As a postscript I would like to clear up some misconceptions about me which are based upon the false information, innuendoes and lies disseminated by some unscrupulous individuals. A recent book written by former GBI agent Charles Stone and CNN reporter Henry Schuster carries many of these lies and misconceptions. The purpose and intent of the book was quite clear to use lies and distortion in order to prejudice the public against me and thereby pollute any potential jury that was to be chosen for the trial. This book was written by a former agent who was sworn to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. And a part of this Constitution guarantees a defendant the right to a fair trial. He makes a mockery of this Constitution he was sworn to protect and uphold For example, in his book he says that my brother, after listening to the 911 call made the night of the Park blast, positively identified my voice. This is a lie he knows this, for the discovery 302s (FBI documents) state the opposite. Stone, knowing that I couldn’t answer this lie before trial, hoped that this lie would convince any potential juror that I had to be guilty, because after all my own brother identified my voce on the 911 tape.

The unethical agent Stone and his hack coauthor Schuster base much of their conclusions on or about my beliefs and lifestyle on information given to them by Deborah Givens (she calls herself Deborah Rudolph). Based upon this unreliable source they falsely characterize me as an Identity believing Christian who made my living growing and selling marijuana, and became violent because of my paranoid beliefs and my massive ingestion of marijuana. They write that my father who contracted cancer sought out an unconventional treatment (laetrile), and they claim that because the US. government didn’t approve of this particular treatment for cancer, this was the {quot}trigger{quot} that set me off. Wisdom is exceptional, but ignorance is almost universal. Stone’s book is an excellent example of the latter.

I am not now nor have I ever been an Identity believing Christian. I was born a Catholic, and with forgiveness I hope to die one. It is true that for one six month period in 1984 I did live near and attend a church that holds to the Identity doctrine. The purpose for my prolonged stay at this church was because I met a wonderful young lady whose father attended the church. We became engaged for that short time, but when the relationship ended, I left the church and I do not believe I have talked to an Identity believer since that period in the early 1980’s.

While attending this church I never bought into the convoluted Identity argument of racial determinism. I believe that human beings are spirit and ideas and the important conflicts in this world, and probably the next are about ideas, not flesh. For example I oppose the idea, philosophy and the spirit behind the horror of abortion and will accept as my comrade any manor woman of whatever race who joins me in this fight. Racial determinism is a day before yesterday idea, a product of Darwinism an the 19th century and its obsession with biological determinism. We are not our bodies, but rather we are spirits on a temporary sojourn in the world of flesh.

Stone tries to tie me to Nord Davis who was a character who ran a local militia style group in the Andrews area. Apparently he was an Identity believer. Most local residents in the Murphy Andrews area had heard of Nord Davis and knew him by sight.

He was primarily a petty con man and had a little Ponzi scheme and was constantly looking for investments in his latest fraud. Even though, like most1people I knew him by sight, in all the years I lived in the Andrews area I never spoke two words to Nord Davis, let alone joined his little group.

Stone claims that I am a major marijuana grower selling as much as 50 pounds a year. Yes, this is why I was living in a trailer paying $275 a month for rent. Big time drug dealer, that’s me. The truth is that when I left Washington’s army in 1989 I did cultivate marijuana in the early 1990’s but was never a big time grower and it did not constitute the major source of my income as he suggests. I hated every aspect of the marijuana trade except for the great deal of time where I grew it in the woods. Happily I left that lifestyle behind me years ago.

An interesting footnote to Stone’s marijuana angle is the assertion that there was a large bag of pot found at my campsite. After I was captured in Murphy is 2003, my campsites were searched, and the items found there were inventoried. Among the items was a trash bag with a dry, green leafy substance in it. The agent, perhaps the redoubtable agent Stone, labeled the material {quot}suspected marijuana.{quot} When the FBI took this bag of {quot}suspected marijuana{quot} back to their lab, they analyzed it and did whatever they do with such things. And, to and behold, they discovered it to be {quot}vegetable matter{quot} collard greens. That’s right, collard greens. Thirty five years of police work and agent Stone can’t tell the difference between grass and greens.

The laetrile explanation is laughable, and not worth extended comment except to say that when my father was diagnosed with cancer, I was not even old enough to know what laetrile was let alone be aware of any controversy surrounding its use.

Stone and Schuster admit their chief source of family background information came from a woman calling herself Deborah Rudolph. (She still insists upon using this surname despite being divorced from my brother for many years now.) Debbie Givens which is her actual name was married to my brother in the early 1980’s, much to the consternation of our family. Debbie has a penchant for bars, infidelity, and cocaine. She developed a deep animosity for me because I was one of the only family members to visit my brother and was on the front lines to get my brother to leave her She knew this was my design; she hated me. And, hence the reason for her appearance on television to spread. lies and distortion about me. Finally, even his long suffering nature was not enough to block out her repeated, multiple infidelities, and he divorced her over twelve years ago. This was the last time I laid eyes on Debbie Givens.”

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  • Rudolph also borrows mainstream social conservative buzzwords (e.g. – “homosexual agenda”)

    “Homosexual agenda” is a mainstream social conservative buzzword? Wow… that says a lot right there.

    Who is this organized group of homosexuals with their agenda? Are they an off shoot of the tri-lateral commision? Which conspiracy group is it that these “homosexuals” and their “agenda” come from? Do they meet at Area 51? Are they free-mason’s? Perhaps they all have special tattoos that show their adherence to the “agenda”?

    Sorry, but when I hear the words “homosexual agenda”, you have ALREADY LEFT the mainstream. The only context that I could see a “homosexual agenda” is perhaps a general desire for acceptance and to be left alone and not persecuted for being themselves. This would be similar to the “black agenda” during the days of slavery or perhaps the “Tom Delay agenda” during these days when he is claiming to be persecuted. If sticking up for yourselves and your rights is an “agenda”, perhaps it should be considered the “American Agenda” instead of the “homosexual” agenda…

  • Oh come on, BTP. Anyone who has a registered PAC – or several in this case – and organizes marches, has magazines, maintains activist mailing lists and fundraises, probably has an agenda. If you tell me GLAAD doesn’t have a gay agenda then I’m just going to laugh. They’d even admit it.

    This, of course, doesn’t mean that there’s anything wrong with having an agenda and promoting it, assuming the agenda itself is legal and reasonable – NAMBLA need not apply.


  • Well, don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t endorsing that view in any way. In the context of a discussion about a serial bomber, my use of “mainstream” was intended just to distinguish between people who advocate their views through the political/legal process, as opposed to using violence. So when I talk about “mainstream social conservatives,” I just mean people who have conservative views on abortion and gay rights, but don’t think carrying out bombings against other Americans is an effective or moral way to express those views.

  • Thad,

    I didn’t interpret it as meaning that you personally were obsessed with the “homosexual agenda”, you’re mention of it just got me going on an issue I find really irritating.

    And it’s not that I don’t think homosexuals as individuals or as large groups might have some goals or “agenda”, in fact I gave the example that they may have a common goal or agenda of desiring civil rights for themselves just as groups in the world have historically had to fight for their civil rights, protestants, revolutionary era Americans, blacks, etc.

    But the term “homosexual agenda” is not used in those generic terms in most cases. It seems to be most often used to conjure some ominous evil conspiracy in a similar manner as the “Men In Black” or “The Illuminati” or the “plot of aliens to suck our our brains”. Except that it is not as benign as most of those examples because the idea appears to be to help incite hatred and fear of a certain percentage of our fellow Americans. I wouldn’t want to sit quietly by as someone talked up the “race mixing agenda” or the “jewish cabal” and I don’t think people should see talk of the “homosexual agenda” as deserving any less scorn than those phrases would.

  • The Rudolph case is particularly interesting to me, because a lot of my family is from the mountains of North Carolina. While a large percentage of the people in the mountains are opposed to abortion and gay rights, I think the media may have exaggerated the level of public support Rudolph enjoyed locally. I have a number of family members from that part of the state who do not support abortion and gay rights, and none of them would consider bombing an abortion clinic or gay bar acceptable.

    However, there is definitely an intense distrust of authority in that region, which is probably more of a factor behind any popular support Rudolph enjoyed, and/or ambivalence some people showed towards the FBI manhunt, than anyone’s beliefs on abortion or gay rights. This mindset can be traced all the way back to the first Europeans who settled the region. While the coast of North Carolina was dominated by aristocratic English settlers, most of the whites who pushed into the mountains were Scots-Irish, along with a number of Germans. These groups lived in small, clannish settlements, and were engaged in a perpetual war with the Indians.

    Their ultra-independent, anti-authority mindset is the main reason that North Carolina’s Governor did not have executive veto power for the first 200 years of the state’s history (the office just got the veto during the last 10 years). A friend of mine works for the NC Wildlife Resources Commission, and at a recent community meeting in the mountains, had an elderly lady tell him that, if he didn’t listen to them, they’d “secede from North Carolina and create a 51st state with the capital in Asheville.”

  • BTP –

    It’s weird, I remember watching TV with my dad some time in the early 90’s when I first heard the term “homosexual agenda.” We both laughed, because the sinister “gay Dr. Strangelove” scene it conjured up seemed pretty absurd. I kind of figured the pundit had coined the term mid-sentence, and that I’d never hear it again. Wrong there.

  • RJ

    Mr. Rudolph should be executed, if found guilty of killing people.

    However, he does seem to be an intelligent person, with strong beliefs.

    (Of course, the same thing could be said about a lot of members of al-Qaeda…)

    Anyway, I guess my point is that not all of these “mad bombers” are mindless, inbred lunatics. They are often very intelligent, and in their own way, are simply following their fringe political beliefs. (The Unibomber is another example.)

    They should be punished to the fullest extent of the law, but it is disingenuous to label them as “crazy morons” or anything like that.

  • ll

    ee eric rudolph 2 will soon be back take that to the bank eric 2