Yes, I know it’s a bit strange opening this blog with an entry about the Ku-Klux-Klan, but I happened to stumble upon the subject when reading about the big mess in Ferguson, Missouri in early August. To recap – a (white) police officer, named Darren Wilson, got into an altercation with Micheal Brown, an unarmed 18-year old. This altercation ended with at least six bullets in Brown’s corpse – 4 in the body and 2 in the head. Following the shooting there was an outcry of the local population, sometimes violent, that lasted for more than 2 weeks. These events were covered by practically every media outlet in the US and overseas.
As of now this story has not ended, but somewhere along the way, among those who supported Darren Wilson, was one Charles “Chuck” Murrey, that tried to raise money for Wilson’s legal defense. The interesting thing about Murrey was the title that he carried — An Imperial Wizard for the Ku Klux Klan
Wikipedia tells me that the KKK went through 3 phases, none of them good: the first was between 1865-1874 during the reconstruction era in the south following the Civil War. The second phase was between 1915-1944 and introduced such innovations like a burning cross. During its peak in the phase, the clan had about 6 million members, but facing criminal activities of its leaders and external opposition, this number dropped to about 30,000. The third phase was between 50s and the 60s, and between the 70s to the present. Needless to say that all 3 phases were violent, and included the lynching of black Americans, anti-semitism and other terrorist activities.
When I started reading, the first thing that caught my eye was the origin of the name. Wikipedia says that it’s probably derived from the Greek Kuklos, meaning “circle”. This seems a bit idiosyncratic to me – a Greek word just lying there, but then I got to read a bit about their slang, and titles, and found it hard to keep a straight face.
The entire Klan field of jurisdiction is called an Empire, with the different states called Realms. Each Realm could have up to 3 Dominions, and any number of Provinces (equivalent to a county).
- The Empire is led by an Imperial Wizard, who has a team of ten Genii. He has an Imperial Exchequer and an Imperial Scribe.
- The Realm is led by a Grand Dragon and a team of eight Hydras, plus a local (grand) Exchequer and Scribe.
- The Dominion is led by a Grand Titan and a team of six Furies, plus the local Exchequer and Scribe.
- The Province is led by a Grand Giant and a team of four Goblins, plus the local Exchequer and Scribe.
So a short recap: Wizard > Dragon > Titan > Giant.
It’s not over.