Two Washington State University students claim they posed as white-supremacist sympathizers from Tacoma, Wash., to get into last weekend's Aryan Youth Action Congress at Hayden Lake.
But a spokesman for the event's organizers said Monday that they had no problem with the students' action."Unless they are obviously not white, we admit them," said Carl Franklin, a staff member for the Church of Jesus Christ Christian-Aryan Nations. "We have no problem as long as they are white, participate and behave themselves. What their sympathies are we don't know."
Eric R. Everson and David J. Lane, both Washington State seniors majoring in political science, said Monday that they paid $45 entry fees and told conference organizers they were white-supremacist sympathizers to get into the congress Saturday at the Aryan Nations compound.
"It was a lot easier than either of us expected," said Kane, who is from Tacoma. "I was really nervous at first, but I thought I can't give up an opportunity like this to learn a lot and see what the reality is."
Everson, an editorial writer for Washington State's student newspaper, said he and Lane left the conference Saturday night after a swastika was burned.
"I heard a lot of amazing and really weird things and a lot of real impassioned speeches and talk," he said. "I got a little bit of insight into our culture."
Franklin said Everson and Kane were among 100 young people who attended the three-day conference, which was aimed at acquainting Aryan youth with their identity and heroes they should emulate.
"All we require is that they are Aryan youth, white," he said. "Our message is for the white race."