[Editor’s Note: In October 2017, a Civil Air Patrol member contacted AuxBeacon to express concern regarding what they perceive as current and covert Ku Klux Klan influence in the Civil Air Patrol. That member pointed us to this story from 1980 and the ‘investigation’ of Civil Air Patrol Major Paul Renfro. They are looking for support and more current information and evidence.]
On Sunday November 23rd, the Houston Post reported that an instructor at a Ku Klux Klan ‘survival camp’ who says communists and homosexuals are his only enemies is teaching boy scouts and Civil Air Patrol cadets how to strangle people and fire guns.
It said that ex-Marine cook Joe Bogart, a drill instructor from La Porte, Texas, conducts the course for Explorer scouts and Civil Air Patrol cadets at Camp Puller near Houston.
Earlier the Houston Chronicle reported that Camp Puller — called a ‘survival camp’ — is frequented by right-wing extremists and is used as a training camp for the Texas Emergency Reserve, which is a Klan paramilitary arm.
The camp is run by Robert John Sisente of Deer Park, who denies he is a Klan member, and Louis Beam of Pasadena, grand dragon of the Texas KKK. Sisente is associated with an Explorer post.
“I am proud to be a member of the Klan,” said Bogart, who said he had been a member for two years. “There are only two groups I’ll battle with — communists and homosexuals. That’s the basic reason I joined the Klan.”
Bogart stated that he was invited to teach the youths by John Bryant, who is on federal probation for illegal weapons sales in Memphis and who was expelled from Civil Air Patrol on October 20th. Bryant said that CAP superior officers were attempting to ‘assassinate’ his character by tying him to the KKK. He described himself as an ‘asset protection officer’ aiming to ‘develop young men.’
“I have no connection whatsoever with the KKK,” he said. “Half my post is Mexican-American. We’re not teaching these guys how to snipe. They only shoot a few rounds, not proficiently by any means.”
CAP Maj. Paul Renfro said he had been conducting an investigation into the training CAP cadets received at the camp because parents had complained their sons were learning guerrilla warfare and had heard racial slurs from leaders.
“There was nothing boy scout about it,” said Civil Air Patrol’s Major Renfro. “They were on maneuvers. They were firing, unloading, using live ammunition and the parents were very upset because they were told nothing about this.”
The Civil Air Patrol cadets who participated came from the Ellington CAP unit in Houston.