Evil Harvest: The True Story of Cult Murder in the American Heartland
A dramatic glimpse into the mad world of a divine-right cult leader and mass murderer. Colvin was a broadcast journalist in Nebraska when the shocking story broke. He opens with the FBI’s 1985 raid on a Nebraska fame. The ramshackle commune was raising nothing but white supremacy and a survivalist, charismic Christian cult, and the officers unearthed two victims of apocalyptical holy man Mike Ryan. Colvin’s intimate research and dramatic writing offer pre-David Koresh insights into the later dynamics of the Branch Davidian and Aryan Nation phenomena. He brings us to neo-Nazi meetings of the Midwest farmers who blame foreclosures on the Satanic Jews running Washington and the world’s economy. Truth and logic are no match for the fearful anger of the white Christian. Twisted gospels prove non-whites are “an impure race…Jesus came for the true Israelites, the white Anglo-Saxons.” The chosen delusion is fostered by Ryan’s mentor, Rev. James Wickstrom, through paramilitary groups like the Posse Comitatus.
Fortified by his Vietnam experiences, Ryan commits sadistic depravities on God’s direct orders. Reading about his elaborate tortures requires a strong stomach. Enraged by paranoia, Ryan shoots one follower’s fingertips off, skins him alive, then sends him to eternal hellfire: “Ryan jumped on James’ checks, stomping the life out of him.” For good measure, the disciple is also raped with a shovel handle. Another victim is forced to fornicate with a goat. Finally, Ryan rapes a married woman to get God’s grandson.
Eight pages of photos display several of Ryan’s victims, some of the supplies the cult amassed for the Battle of Armageddon, and the bearded messiah before and after his sentencing to the electric chair. A frightening picture of what wacko, Waco-style cults have done and what Jim Jones wannabes could do in the coming millennial year.