Canadian Anti-Hate Network
Shane Sutherland is accused of the murder of his 22-year-old girlfriend and mother of one, Amanda Black. A tragic and senseless act under any circumstances, it appears as though Sutherland is also a member of a dangerous sect of neo-Nazi extremism called the Christian Identity Movement.
According to Alaska Highway News, legal proceedings against Sutherland for Black’s murder have been adjourned until April 26, as lawyers continue to wait for evidence disclosure. The 27-year-old male, from Fort Saint John, British Columbia, remains in custody as he faces second-degree murder charges.
Few details have been released by police, and the media coverage has happily focused on the memory of the victim more than the ideology of the alleged killer. However, Sutherland’s affiliation and the crime he was accused of quickly spread throughout encrypted channels and chat rooms.
The word from the movement was clear -- the man in custody was one of their own.
“We must inform you all that our brother, Sloan Sutherland, was taken into police custody and charged with murder after his wife, Amanda Black, was found dead in their home on Monday night (8th Feb),” claimed a post to a social media channel that shared Sutherland’s content only four days after the murder. “Details surrounding this event have been kept under lock and key so far, with most reports only stating the barebones details.”
Since the announcement, antifascist researchers uncovered a trove of social media accounts operated by Sutherland that show not only virulent racism, homophobia, and bigotry of all stripes, but the regular condoning of violence and a broad spectrum of online writings that show a connection to the Christian Identity Movement.
Despite its title, Christian Identity, also called Kingdom Identity and Israel Identity, is far removed from any typical interpretation of the Christian faith. Its primary teaching is to cast white Europeans as the biblical chosen people, rather than Jews. It grew out of a 19th-century belief system known as British-Israelism, which held that British colonial power was in part a result of the peoples’ divine origins as the favourite of God’s people. While this initially focused on the superiority of Brits, CI came to accept that all the peoples of Northern Europe were the true descendants of the 10 lost tribes of Israel, according to Charles H Roberts’ book “Grace Over Faith.” Antisemitism and racism are baked into the core of the ideology as many of its followers see non-white people as “mud people” who existed before the creation of Adam and Eve.
An Alleged Killer’s History with Christian Identity
Sutherland penned a prolific amount of Christian Identity content. Besides six separate Facebook accounts, he also ran multiple CI themed groups on the platform. A blog that serves as home to some of his writings includes historically inaccurate explanations for considering Europeans to be the true Israelites, including one 2018 entry titled, “Hey White Nationalists.”
“It is quite readily apparent to us all that mainstream media is full of ‘Jew’ish lies, yet many of these same WNs still put a great deal of faith in mainstream academia, particularly in the areas of history, genetics, and anthropology in general,” the article bearing his name reads. “What these WNs fail to realize is that the full ‘Jew’ish seizure of media control was preceded by their seizure of control of academia. ‘Jews’ have essentially shaped the 21st-century White man’s view of his own race’s history.”’
Not shy about where Jewish people fit into his belief system, Sutherland’s writings suggests he is a “seedliner.'' Seedliners are CI adherents that believe Jewish people are the biblical children of Eve and the serpent from the garden of Eden, while white people are descended from Adam and Eve.
“I hope that it is also clear to my readers that when Eve ate of the tree she brought sin into the world through this act of fornication and the offspring thereof through Cain and the Kenites,” he wrote in a post, referencing the theory that another biblical character, Cain - best known for murdering his brother Abel - and his descendants were the true lineage of what we now call Jews.
Sutherland also does not shy away from sharing texts from other cultures he feels support his theories on race. In the same article discussing Eve, he points to the “Bhagavad Gita” and “other Indo-Aryan texts” as sources.
Many extreme neo-Nazi movements have begun to embrace reinterpretations of the Bhagavad Gita as a holy “Aryan” text, viewing it as a creation of an early Aryan people. Sutherland appears no different.
“Interpolations and alterations at the hands of Hindus during their time in non-Aryan hands,” he wrote, “this portion of the text clearly reflects the Vedic awareness of the origins of evil and its development within a society.”
Not all followers of Christian Identity believe that modern Judaism is practiced by decedents of a temptful snake, according to the Anti-Defamation League. “One-seed" followers do not trace the origins of Jews back that far, but remain equally as antisemitic.
His numerous social pages show a wide swath of hate content. From videos mocking Christian pastors who adopt progressive social views and welcome Jewish people as friends, to his repeated insistence on discussing the dangers of “Fornication, Adultery and Idolatry,” he makes a “Biblical Case Against Miscegenation and Multiculturalism.”
“Miscegenation” is a racist, pseudo-scientific term applied to having interracial children.
Shortly before his arrest, it appears Sutherland had a falling out with his particular branch of the community. The 1980s saw the theology flourish among members of white power groups, many who would go on to commit crimes or acts of violence. Even Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh spent time at a CI compound before destroying the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in the deadliest domestic terror attack in US history.
Infighting With William Finck
Organizing communities was once the ideal for CI members, but this has since faded from vogue as the ultimate goal for the movement. Most Christian Identity now lives online, and Sutherland was happy to quietly build a digital home on a website belonging to William Finck.
Finck runs a prominent neo-Nazi and CI-focused network of blogs. He and Sutherland often engaged in discussion on Finck’s forum. Some posts by other members include excerpts and rewrites of Sutherland’s extensive theological analyses, showing he was likely once a prominent voice among this corner of the CI community.
In January, Finck posted a long screed that included a screenshot of a post allegedly from a group Sutherland administered, followed by work of his own. In the post he accuses his young former friend of plagiarism.
“This may not bother me if he were not so arrogant when speaking to him on other issues, such as the John 14:12 thread here,” Finck wrote. “But then again, if he were not arrogant, he would give me credit for my research when he steals it to prop himself up.”
Later posts include the two trading snipes about their ethnic origins. On February 8, the date Black’s body was found, Sutherland posted a message severing his ties with Finck’s site, Christogenea. Among other hate projects, the website includes creating a better translation of “good Christian man” Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf.
“I’m going to have to delete a few folks I’m afraid. Unfortunately even people I’ve counted among my best friends on [Facebook] have betrayed my trust, so I will no longer be interacting with them,” Sutherland said, on a Facebook account under the name Sloan V. Sutherland.
It would be one of the final posts he would make that day. All accounts we have connected to him have been silent ever since.
A crowdfunding site was set up to aid with mediation over the fate of Black and Sutherland’s child has recently begun to ask for donations towards a legal fund to support Black’s parent’s legal bid as both they and the accused’s parents are allegedly seeking custody.
AHN reports that Sutherland has yet to enter a plea.
The city of 20,000 people has been reeling from the crime, with Mayor Lori Ackerman tearfully telling the CBC the "community is absolutely horrified," and "We've lost a young mum and a young boy has lost his mom.”
Canadian Anti Hate Network has reached out for comment from the RCMP and will update accordingly.