The 20th Century KKK was Really Just a Pyramid Scheme

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON ASSOCIATEDCONTENT.COM JULY 13, 20018

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The Ku Klux Klan, or KKK, is rightly known as one of the most disgusting organizations in the history of the world, just above Yale’s Skull and Bones Club and just below the Republican Party. But what most people aren’t aware of is that the bulk of members of the KKK were not just inbred racist mongoloids that make Paris Hilton look like Nikola Tesla, they were also dupes of capitalist barons whose primary interest in propagating hate had less to do with ignorance of the genetic superiority of pretty much every other race besides the white one (how many mixed race children are confused with albinos?), but with making money off the easily exploited stupidity of those who would one day give birth to a nation of people driving pickup trucks with a big black number 3 decal on their rear window.

With the resurgence of the KKK following D.W. Griffith’s avid four hour long commercial for its necessary goodness known as The Birth of a Nation, an Atlantan named William J. Simmons saw a potential goldmine that would eventually make all those ridiculous Grand Masters of the KKK richer than the devil whom they worshiped. Simmons began rounding up a collection of Georgians born without brains, which was and is in certain areas like Forsyth County still not exactly a Herculean task, and began charging them a ten dollar initiation free to join the Klan. Simmons was a real comedian too; he called this ten dollar fee a “klectoken.” Even better than the initiation fee to belong to an organization that would probably have paid anyone dumb enough to join was the KKK life insurance policies. Nearly 50% of these brain dead Georgians paid for the privilege of having a bunch of cowards in white sheets being in charge of looking out for their families should they die in the process of lynching black people and burning crosses. (One imagines the double indemnity clause about accidentally suffering an aneurysm while trying to understand the writings of Kant never went collected.)

The KKK pyramid scheme really burst into the stratosphere in 1920, however, when the Southern Publicity Association signed a deal with the Klan to take over their publicity. The initiation fee was still ten dollars, but now the SPA got to keep eight of those dollars. The owners of the SPA, Edward Clarke and Elizabeth Tyler, set to coming up with a grid for KKK provinces and a massive force of door to door salespeople who actively searched for people across the country just as lacking in brain cells as Simmons’ Georgia base. Here’s where the pyramid structure comes in, ala Amway. Each of these salespeople, known as Kleagles, received four dollars out of that eight dollars from the ten dollar initiation fee from each new member signed up. In addition, there were also regional supervisors called, get this, Grand Goblins. My God, were these people the biggest nerds in America or what? And all the while that two dollars remained at the very top of the pyramid in the hands of William Simmons.

The money train built upon the racks of the stupidest Americans this country has ever known expanded to include the sale of Klan titles with names comical to everyone but themselves like Imperial Klageroo, and even something called the Imperial Tax that each member was required to pay in order to remain in good standing. Of course, there was no cash cow in the KKK that was quite equal to the single biggest money maker they had. There was a factory located in Atlanta called Gate City Factory that existed for the sole purpose of making white sheets and robes and hood.

The factory was capable of making these racist pretties for just two dollars a piece, but these cowardly morons picked them up for $6.50 apiece. Talk about an ideal capitalist system: a buying public made up of people too stupid to realize they could get the exactly same item for half the price. When you realize that at its peak, the KKK had over three million registered members and countless others who unofficially tagged along, that $6.50 added up to oil industry rich.