Who's Afraid of Elohim City?

by Lee Roy Chapman and Joshua Kline —

Originally published in the April 15th, 2012 edition of This Land.


Bad men are drawn to the City of God. The Southern Poverty Law Center calls it the meeting ground for America’s most sinister extremists. Many Oklahomans regard it as the most dangerous and mysterious place in the state.

For 30-plus years, a small, isolated community in Northeastern Oklahoma has been the subject of endless scrutiny. Law enforcement agencies and conspiracy theorists insist that Elohim City is a breeding ground for neo-Nazis and anti-government militias hell-bent on overthrowing the “Zionist Occupied Government” (ZOG) of the United States. The most damning accusation suggests Elohim City played a central role in the planning and execution of the Oklahoma City bombing.

When asked if she’d ever had the chance to visit Elohim, a woman with the Stilwell Democrat Journal deadpanned, “No, we like to breathe."

* * *

“I find them to be quite upstanding citizens of my community,” says Adair County Sheriff Austin Young.

A sharp, stern man with a military presence, Young has the towering, no-bullshit persona of a Clint Eastwood character. His white hair is neatly cropped, his eyes maintain contact, and rarely blink.

“What I read in the papers, I never experienced that with them,” he says.