The Ku Klux Klan, founded in 1865, had four million members in 1925. Today, the Ku Klux Klan has a maximum of 8.000 members and is called a former terrorist power that "has become a curiosity" (via). Photographer Anthony Karen spent eight years documenting Klan organisations as a nonjudgmental observer (via).
Above: Son of an Imperial Wizard in North Carolina (first picture), Klan gathering in North Carolina (second picture) granddaughter of an Imperial Wizard (third picture), and sacred altar used to "naturalise" prospective members into the "Invisible Empire"
Below: Carl, an imperial wizard of a Southern-based Ku Klux Klan realm (or state-level group), takes aim with a pellet gun at a large cockroach (on the piece of paper just below the clock), while his wife and goddaughter try to avoid getting struck by a possible ricochet. (via)
Ku Klux Klan nomenclature (excerpt from second Klan era, via):
Imperial Wizard - national head of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan often referred to in documents as president.
Imperial Klonsel - Supreme attorney
Imperial Kleagle - executive, recieves reports from the Grand Goblins.
Grand Goblin - ruler over a "Dominion" which is now defined as a multi-state area.
King Kleagle - manager of state known as a "Realm."
Kleagle - field organizer over a certain territory or part of a "Realm."
Exalted Cyclops - president of the Klavern
Terrors - officers of the Exalted Cyclops which consists of:
Klaliff - vice president of the Klavern
Klokard - lecturer
Kludd - the Chaplain
Kligrapp - secretary
Klabee - treasurer
Kladd - the conductor of ceremonies
Klarogo - inner guard
Klexter - outer guard
Klokan - Head of the three-man Klokann Board which investigates prospective members.
Night-Hawk - Custodian of the fiery cross and person incharge of new candidates or "aliens"
Above: An imperial officer from a Midwestern-based Ku Klux Klan at the home of his imperial wizard and wife shortly before departing for a Christmas party for members at a local church (via)
Above (second one): “Little Charlie” of the Louisiana-based Dixie Rangers of the Ku Klux Klan displays her custom-made wedding veil as her fiancé looks on. (via)
Last row, left: Candidates wishing to become initiated into the Ku Klos Knights of the Ku Klux Klan take their oaths as part of a naturalization ritual. Candidates are blindfolded and led through the woods at a sometimes vigorous pace. They are questioned about Klan craft and history, and they swear certain oaths. They are then "knighted" through anointing with sacred waters, a sword touch on both shoulders, and a benediction. The new members are greeted and welcomed by the officiating officers. (literally via)
In general, white robes indicate a rank-and-file member, green robes indicate state leaders (Grand Dragons), black robes indicate Knighthawks. The Imperial Wizards, the leaders, choose among a variety of colours (via). For the highly interesting and complete "Catalogue of Official Robes and Banners. Knights of the Ku Klux Klan" from 1925 see the amazing internet library Internet Archive.
Above: Richard Bondira, former Grand Wizard and Grand Blufustin of the KKK. (via)
"Aryan Outfitters": Ms Ruth sews hoods and robes for Klan members every day. A red satin outfit for a so-called "Exalted Cyclops" costs about $140,- Ms Ruth comes from five generations of Ku Klux Klan members and has a quadriplegic daughter who was injured in a car accident (via).
photographs via and via and via and via and via and via and via and via and via and via and via and via and
via and via and via and via and via and via and via and via and via and via and via and via, copyright by Anthony Karen