Excerpt from Chapter Nine
There was nothing Tommy Lee Lattimore enjoyed more than masturbating while watching a woman on the toilet. Obviously, that wasn’t always easy to do. But his apartment met his needs nicely because its bathroom shared an inner wall with the bathroom in the apartment next door. The arrangement was all the more wonderful because his neighbor was a very pretty woman. He tried to make her acquaintance several times but she rebuffed his efforts. It didn’t matter; his peepholes made up for it.
Tommy Lee liked the routine he established for himself in Chicago. He found a job at a nearby video store and the perks were primo. He could take home all the pornography he wanted for free and sometimes he was able to steal microwave popcorn and Kit Kats. The apartment was actually far nicer than he could afford but he didn’t worry about money. His uncle Nelson covered most of his expenses so all Tommy Lee had to do was make a little pocket change and provide a nice place to stay for the occasional missionary his uncle’s church sent to Chicago.
“It’s important that you have a job, son,” his uncle said. “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop.”
His uncle raised Tommy Lee since his lousy whore of a niece, Tommy Lee’s seventeen year old mother, dropped him off on Nelson on her way to Vegas twenty years earlier. The Reverend Nelson B. Wilbur was a widower and lived alone on 1600 acres in Montana just outside of Billings.
“You’re a man of God,” Roberta Ann said, “how come you can’t help us? It’ll just be ’til Ricky and me get on our feet in Vegas. Then we’ll come for the kid. And anyway, you ain’t got no kids and all this property is just perfect for little boys. He’ll even be able to help you some. Little kids can do a lot more than you think, you know.”
And so she deposited Tommy Lee on her uncle’s ranch and never returned.
Tommy Lee was only three and his uncle Nelson was still a relatively young man at thirty-six. Nelson actually became fond of the boy although it soon became obvious he was about as smart as a bag of hammers. Nelson never held it against him.
Nelson inherited his spread but never did any serious ranching. His passion was preaching and politics and in his mind they were one and the same. Like his daddy before him he studied at a Southern Baptist Bible College and returned to Montana to minister to the two hundred families between Otter Creek and Buffalo Falls which was halfway between Billings and Smokey Forge. Everyone in the area called him Pastor Nelson and whenever possible they attended his Arm of God Bible Church which was situated on the main road just north of his property. It was a pretty little church and its congregation and pastor were very determined to preserve its fundamentalist bent which, everyone fervently believed, was exactly why the Constitution of the United State was written.
Nelson gravitated to the wonders of the internet; he immediately understood it was the most powerful communication tool in history. It motivated him to sell off 1500 prime acres and his small herd of cattle to his nearest neighbor. Nelson invested his considerable profits wisely. He also purchased the most powerful computer available and signed a contract with a satellite company specializing in internet service to rural areas.
Like all libraries of learning, cyberspace provides a world of brilliant ideas and intellectual opportunities and the Reverend Nelson B. Wilbur proved he was no different from other mortals when he chose to narrowly seek out only those ideas most compatible with his own religious beliefs and world views. The internet expanded on and reinforced his already flawed thinking as he hopped from one fulminating right wing web site to another. In due time, he was as knowledgeable about white supremacist, neo-Nazi, skinhead, KKK, and other lunatic fringe hate groups as the Southern Poverty Law Center, the ACLU, and the F.B.I. combined.
The difference was, however, that Pastor Nelson didn’t want to monitor these groups to control or prosecute them. He wanted to study them and take from each the best of what he believed they had to offer. His intention was to remake those ideas into his own ideology, his own true faith.
The Arm of God Bible Church served the pastoral needs of the community but didn’t effectively speak to the wider political needs of the entire United States which Nelson, of course, believed he fully understood. He met significant resistance when he began to preach to his congregation that the Arm of God Bible Church was called by God to fight the battle that would return America to its white Christian roots during The End Times.
Merwyn Bermer at the feed store put it best when he said “Your sermons, Nelson, are, well I don’t know any other way to put it so I’ll just spit it out, kinda’ scary to some of the folks around here. All this talk about the New World Order, the Antichrist, and the need to overthrow the godless, socialist U.S. government is just too radical for church talk. Stuff like that don’t belong in the pulpit.”
Nelson also heard grumblings from others folks. Some started speaking up after Sunday service and others took him aside at the barber shop and grocery store. But when Howard J. Ridley, president and sole owner of the Otter Creek State Bank spoke to Nelson he knew he had to listen. Ridley was a right wing extremist himself and a man to reckon with and Ridley thought Nelson was “way over the top.”
“Nelson,” he said, “your sermons are sounding downright loony. You tone them down a bit, ya’ hear? You’re scaring the hell out of people.”
Ridley added, “Hell man, you’re going to get the damn government snoopin’ up our asses around here. You understand?”
Nelson understood and wisely chose to listen to the voices of his community. He returned to preaching simple Bible lessons and his friends and congregants relaxed and were grateful.
Bermer explained it this way: “A man’s entitled to get a little crazy so long as he don’t stay that way.”
The locals agreed and took satisfaction in knowing they were able to help Pastor Nelson get his head screwed on straight.
Nelson decided to express his virulent views under cover of the internet, in the infinite and unregulated world of cyberspace. He created an extension of the Arm of God Bible Church, a very special ministry called the Fist of God, or F.O.G. Right from the beginning, Nelson conceived of Fist of God as a sophisticated cyber church. He established a PayPal account to accept donations which he called “tithes.” He created F.O.G.’s website himself which was crude but effective; it contained 287 pages of his own writings, most of which were convoluted screeds against blacks, Hispanics, Jews, Moslems, Catholics (especially Jesuits), immigrants of all kinds, labor unions, liberalism, feminism, socialism, occultism, homosexuality, abortion, as well as the U.N., Illuminati, Masons, Rockefellers, Bilderberg Group, and the Mark of the Beast. He had a particular hair up his ass for Jim Harte and his American Jerusalem All Faith Church whom he pegged as a False Prophet, the Antichrist, and the leader of a group of intergalactic travelers called the Sons of Zod.
Nelson wasn’t sure what to expect but after F.O.G. received $25,000 in tithes in its first three weeks he realized he hit a nerve deep inside America. Naturally, he understood it to mean only one thing: that God had chosen him to save America from itself.
One of the first true believers to accept Nelson’s call to action to save America was Anders Matheson, a twenty-six year old ex-Army sharpshooter. Anders was raised by parents who were proud and active members of a white supremacist hate group known as the American Christian Resistance Effort or ACRE. ACRE was a hybrid combination of the KKK and the White Aryan Resistance, or WAR as it was called, but it was too tame for Matheson. Anders was fed up with talk; he wanted to belong to a group that understood actions speak louder than words. F.O.G. seemed to meet that need.
When Anders arrived at Tommy Lee Lattimore’s 2nd floor apartment in Wrigleyville just before midnight that miserably cold night in mid-December he didn’t need to say “Your uncle sent me” or anything else. Anders wasn’t the first F.O.G. missionary Tommy Lee’s Uncle Nelson sent to Chicago and he knew the drill.
Providing a place to stay for his uncle’s missionaries was the main reason Tommy Lee was in Chicago but if he could have a little fun while doing it, Tommy Lee didn’t mind.