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The Brothers of Drane was a Canadian-American commune, gang, and cult that was active in the northeastern regions of the United States and southern Canada, particularly New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, in the early-late 1990s. Led by Wolfville native Warren Drane, who occasionally used the alias of “Coda”, they lived an unconventional lifestyle largely aloof from civilization, and at times were violently hostile towards outsiders. It attracted an estimated following of 100-120 members, who were all men and boys who varied in age, ethnicity, and income, some even being homeless.

Drane, who claimed that the cult was “a revanchist organization”, was known to make bizarre statements that suggested that he saw himself as the second coming of Jesus Christ, being revered as a god among his members. The cult was based on the teachings of Drane himself, who preached ideas associated with anti-establishment, social deviance, reclusiveness, misanthropy, and misogyny. Many of its members were orphans, runaways, drifters, ex-prisoners and gang members, or otherwise people who felt they were wronged by society. Many also sought to live off the grid, in remote areas of the country, where they often practiced hunting, fishing, and primitive survival techniques while in communal living. Drane encouraged his followers to live in the woods or other isolated areas, avoid mainstream society and its laws, and avoid interacting with anyone outside their group.

In the late 1990s, the group was responsible for the disappearances of several local women, which encouraged discontent with their activities. An uprising on November 1, 1999 led to the deaths of several top-ranking members. The ones responsible for the uprising fled into the woods, where they were later discovered by law enforcement. Drane meanwhile was discovered in his bedroom, where he had slit his own throat.

In 2005, several former teenage members of the Brothers of Drane who led the uprising started the charity organization Justice For The Lost that donates all of its profits to victims of abuse, as well as funds for counseling and spreading awareness of bullying, subcultures, gender rights, and LGBTQ tolerance.

Notable Members and Associates

  • Warren Drane
  • Jacob Gallegos
  • Herbert Moorehouse
  • Ernest Coffey
  • Christopher Caiazzo
  • Thomas MacQuoid
  • Nile Gottler
  • Damon Orlic
  • Ren Lingxin
  • Derrick Buckley
  • Joaquin Seco
  • Lu Chun
  • Richard Perkins
  • Andrew Pittman
  • Bryan Keller
  • Harada Mitsuhide
  • K.J Dunlap
  • Jamar Joliff
  • Calvin Henlay
  • Jessie Hood
  • Manuel Alarcón
  • Gabriel Ramirez
  • Tyler Cole
  • Vihaan Helstad

History

Warren Drane

In 1989, then 19-year-old Warren Anthony Drane was a homeless teenager living in the slums of Wolfville, Nova Scotia, Canada. It is speculated that he was estranged with his mother, who was known to be tense, abusive, and prone to violent outbursts. He was closer with his father, Harrison Anthony Drane, and his half-brother Alex, whom he moved in with in a year prior after he could not handle his mother any longer. During this time with his father, Drane kept a secret journal, in which he wrote about many different things, including his discontent and hatred for people, especially women and children, his love of death, and personal scientific essays of creating “a new brand of man”.

An excerpt from his journal, discovered by police in 1999 -

“...No one is worthy of this planet. The world is polluted, and no one cares. All humans do is destroy, destroy, and destroy. All they care about is themselves. Life is a bitter scramble to the top, in all classes of people. Take women for example. It is nature, the force that god damn Mother Nature fucking set up, for women to be the lower class. They are weaker, subservient. But no. Every woman on Planet Earth wants to kill men. In say 50-100 years, I bet men will be at the bottom of the chain. There will probably be a massive shift, where women now rule the world and use men for labor. Women will probably inject themselves with something that will grow them a dick. All men will become sex slaves. They will force us to beg at our knees for that dick, sucking them off all naked and such while they grab our throats and say ‘You’re not so tough anymore’. Or maybe there will be a massive genocide of all men, something simple as that. Just you wait…”

After flunking out of high school, Drane was kicked out of his home by his father, who was enraged that his son did not graduate from high school and could not find a stable job. Feeling banished, Drane eventually sold many of his belongings, including his blue Ibanez G10 electric guitar, but it did not earn him much money back. Now living on the streets, he eventually fell in with a teenage street gang led by someone known only as Damian. Damian’s gang members included Dingo, a 17 year old thief and younger cousin of Damien, and G-Man, a 23-year-old petty criminal who was formerly imprisoned in juuvy for grand theft auto. The four lived in an abandoned warehouse that was crumbling and had broken walls covered in graffiti. It was located in a dangerous neighborhood where shootouts would regularly be heard by them. Drane and Damian were very well acquainted, and Drane soon became Damian’s confidant and best friend. Damian’s gang had its own code of honor, wherein they were expected to not only steal for the gang, but also to protect each other and others in the community. Drane admired this sense of comradery between the members, and would later adapt this idea into his cult.

Damian’s gang was soon recruited by a new “pimp” in the neighborhood: a 34-year-old drug dealer named Big John. John was not a pimp, however; he was simply a businessman, supplying recreational drugs and other illegal commodities to street gangs. Drane went back numerous times and bought marijuana and heroin, eventually entering full-scale addiction. He isolated himself from his other gang members, sometimes disappearing for days on end. Continuing to write in his journal, an examination from this time period revealed that Drane’s former antagonistic thoughts turned into murderous fantasies. He discussed ways of “punishing women for their insolence” as well as topics such as natural selection and a “master-race” that only he was a part of. During this same period, Drane was frequenting a drug den called the “Crystal Palace,” which was a hangout for many young adults. Here they would often discuss their hatred of people and the idea of power. They would often make charged and violent comments regarding women, homosexuality, and politics.

As his addiction progressed, Drane eventually lost contact with the other members of his gang. G-Man, who is the only surviving member of the original gang, later stated in 2009, “Him and Dame (Damien) were tight, but we never saw much of him after he got involved in that shit. From what we saw of him, he looked like a skeleton that would break apart in a second. We didn’t break up on bad terms or anything. One day we saw him, and the next he was gone forever”. Drane drifted for several months as a homeless young man through Nova Scotia, abusing heroin and stealing from people to get money for his addiction. He slept under a bridge in Middleton by the ocean. On March 2, 1990, he made a deal with a local gang that he would do odd jobs for them in exchange for heroin. When he failed to do them though, he was beaten up in an alleyway. This experience led him to take matters into his own hands.

Formation

Drane began formulating his own philosophy based on a mixture of Luciferianism, occultism, incel, misogyny, and sadism. His first follower was a 21-year-old fellow drug addict named Jacob Gallegos, who shared Drane’s views. They became best-friends, and eventually scraped together enough money to live together in an apartment. Drane and Gallegos soon began to attract small crowds of listeners and some dedicated followers. They targeted males for manipulation who were emotionally insecure, social outcasts, and/or were incels and had bad experiences with women.  One such individual was a 12-year-old runaway named Jessie Hood. According to Hood, Drane told him that he could have “a woman with no strings” if he joined him and Gallegos. Hood paid this amount and left his family. Michael Hood, Jessie’s father, tried to find his son everywhere, but was never able to. After gaining a small, but devoted following of just five, which included a 23-year-old Chinese immigrant Lu Chun, a 22-year-old Acadia University graduate named Nile Gottler, Hood, Gallegos, and Drane, they left the Nova Scotia area and took off on the road. Drane became the main voice, but the four other members served as his aides. Drane preached that being “born again” was paramount to true happiness, and that they were the only true beings. He began to refer to himself, Gallegos, Hood, Chun, and Gottler as “archbloods”.

The gang soon expanded to New Brunswick and northern Maine and New Hampshire, where they focused on recruiting homeless and emotionally unstable men. Living off the radar in the woods, they began to attract more followers, most of whom were mentally ill, drug addicts, alcoholics, and those living on the edge of society. Drane began to present himself as a guru, or shaman. His appearance during this time was considered to be very Jesus-esc, aka meaning he had long brown hair and a beard. He preached that humans were becoming more and more weak, and that he was chosen to lead whom he chose back to a more godly and just life. Drane also spoke of an impending “gender-war” that he would lead, where all women will be killed off and the Earth will be ruled by a collective, all-male society. He decreed that all of his followers should refrain from pornographic material and romantic interests, even masturbation.

1993-1995

Around 1993, the group purchased a large cabin in the mountains of northeastern Maine. They named it "The Compound'', and kept a low profile. Drane began to hold regular meetings there for two to three weeks at a time. Meetings were held in an enclosed room in the back, where there were no windows. Members were usually not allowed to leave the grounds except for trips for either groceries or recruiting. When a member left, they wore masks or bandanas to hide their faces. They even had custom uniforms they had sewn themselves, consisting of a black dress shirt with a red scarf. Many members were ordered to do things which Drane had taught them as part of the 'training'. Drane did not believe in working as an individual, but in leading others. Reports that Drane was an oppressive and violent leader early into investigations were actually falsified. According to several members, he was actually quite caring and sensitive to his follower’s needs. Drane made it clear he would prefer for his followers to be happy and actually enjoying their life in the cult instead of just using it as an escape.

During this time, the group made several VHS tapes, mainly of Drane giving speeches, and a few documentaries of the group's rituals. They also made a few 8-mm films of Drane speaking alone, and on the group's "history". One was an initiation tape. In that video Drane had a special robe he would put on and he would talk about religion. He would talk about the history of the human race and how humans came to be. They were now also referring to themselves as the “Brothers of Drane”.

In 1994, the group nearly doubled in size, now attracting older men as well as young. Some new members included 48-year-old truck driver Herbert Moorehouse, 62-year-old former sheriff Ernest Coffey, 21-year-old Japanese permanent resident Harada Mitsuhide, and runaway teen Jamar Joliff. Drane began to introduce rituals into the cult, including blood oaths and carving symbols into their bodies with knives. When undergoing treatment in February 2000, Jessie Hood was found with numerous symbols scarred into his arms, including a swastika and a rudimentary upside-down cross. After abandoning the Compound, they traveled up and down New England, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia to stay one step ahead of police and curious locals. They are thought to have gone as far south as Plymouth, Massachusetts and as far north as Dingwall, Nova Scotia. Oftentimes they would either buy abandoned properties and cottages or would simply camp out in the wilderness for sometimes months on end.

Murder of Logan Rockwell

On June 13, 1995, teenage member Logan Rockwell was discovered to have a secret girlfriend, local Bethany Sharpe. According to Hood, Rockwell’s was brought before Drane, who stabbed him in the heart. Drane ordered Rockwell to be decomposed and buried in an unmarked grave nearby on the property.

Final years and uprising

For the next four years, the Brothers of Drane grew to 120 full-time members. The men had become entirely self-sufficient, growing their own food, hunting, and fishing. They began to make extensive purchases of rifles, military-grade explosives, and even an illegally purchased rocket launcher. Members wore various paramilitary uniforms, ranging from police riot gear to fatigues. To pay for all of their expenses, Hood and other members would regularly sell off their possessions, including their cars. All of this would go towards funding the cult’s activities. However, Drane’s behavior started to become more erratic and strange, sometimes to the point where his preaching did not even make sense, leading some in the cult to start to secretly defy their leader. Despite the fact that the members would continue to follow Drane’s instructions, they were still disgruntled. This was only accelerated with what Drane called “Rides”, beginning in early 1998. Rides were forceful abductions of local women, usually late in the night as they walked home from work, or were otherwise coerced somehow by members of the cult. They were brought back to wherever the Brothers of Drane had set up their base of operations, and were drugged and locked in either a bedroom or the basement. However, none of the women, who all wish to remain unnamed, reported any sexual activity between any of the male members. Instead, they were simply chained and beaten, starved, and sometimes had their heads shaved. Jessie Hood, along with other teenage members, refused to get involved, and would act like they were preoccupied with something else. Hood would later go on to describe the crimes they had committed as “...sickening. I wish that pain upon no one.”

Eventually, Hood, along with fellow members Bryan Keller, K.J Dunlap, Andrew Pittman, Calvin Henlay, and Manuel Alarcón began to organize a rebellion. They were horrified at what their group had become. They never intended to kill or otherwise harm anyone. Realizing they had been tricked and coerced by Drane’s clever scheming, and the gravity of their situation, they decided in secret that they were going to assassinate top-ranking members of the cult, including Drane, Gallegos, and Gottler, free the women and bring them to safely, and destroy the cult once and for all. Late in the night on August 4, 1999, Hood, Keller, Dunlap, Pittman, Henlay, and Alarcon armed themselves with anything they could, including knives, hammers, and pistols. Hood, Keller, and Dunlap slowly individually entered the rooms of Drane, Gallegos, and Gottler. Before any of them made a move, Gallegos and Dunlap had a brief physical altercation before Gallegos shot Dunlap dead with a revolver. This led to chaos, as loyal members started to awake to see what was happening. Pittman, Henlay, and Alarcon meanwhile managed to free several of the women besides one, who was shot dead by Drane as she tried to escape into the forest. Gottler fell off the roof of the cabin to his death while chasing Keller. Hood was not able to kill Drane, later stating that Drane “literally just pushed me out of his room and locked the door. I tried to break it open but it was no use. He always was a pussy.” He was 29 at the time of his death. After being chased out of the property by loyal members of the cult, Hood, Keller, Pittman, Henlay, and Alarcon, along with the women, managed to lose them and came to an open highway, where they waited for hours for someone to see them. They finally managed to get the attention of a family driving a minivan, who took them in and drove them to a hospital and then a police station.

After getting details from the boys and women, several nearby police departments in both Maine and New Brunswick led a raid on the property hours later. Many of the cultists were either killed in a brutal shootout that followed, and lasted for nearly a half-hour, or were arrested trying to flee. Police found Drane and Gottler dead, a loaded assault rifle on the bed beside Drane, and several other weapons in the house, including a machine gun and two rifles. Many cult members were detained at the county jail in nearby South Portland and charged with nearly five counts of kidnapping as well as attempted and aggravated murder. Galagos was shot in his shoulder during the shootout, but managed to survive.

Belief system

Core

A former member of the Brothers of Drane, who prefers to remain unnamed, has described the group's theology and its practices -

(Former Member): “...We were always taught to worship Warren as if he was a god. He saw himself as a savior, a liberator, a guardian or whatever. In some ways, he was. Many of us were orphans, you know? Street kids. We didn’t know what else to think. He took us in and cared for us...like no one else did. He saw himself as someone who would have all of us be free of oppression, free of the need to work, and free of hate. We saw Warren as the one true God. He was everything.”

(Interviewer):What were some of his practices? What did he preach to you?”

(Former Member):Umm...it was all over the place, really. His main point was that we were stronger as one, not as many. We were a sort of collective unit, and uhh...a brotherhood I guess. We all had a story, some of us worse than others. We were only supposed to interact with each other, not anyone else outside of the commune. Warren said he would lead us to salvation, but only if we were willing to join him for the ride. Everyone was an idiot...no human being was worthy enough for this world. In Warren’s mind, he wanted to get rid of all the...the...you know the arrogant, rich, creepy, terrible and no-good people in the world. I remember too he was very against women, in all aspects. None of us were allowed to have girlfriends or wives. If we did, we were punished. Porn and shit wasn’t allowed, although some of us broke it from time to time (laughs).

The ideology of the Brothers of Drane was a sort of blend of anti-establishment, isolation, social deviance, misanthropy, misogyny, and incel, and that Drane “would lead his fellow Brothers to a new utopia where everyone was equal, and all men were accepted into this society.” He instilled a belief into his followers that he was godlike in power, a “guiding spirit to darkness”. He even claimed that he was the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Members were to worship him wholeheartedly. This meant that no other religions were allowed, including atheism or agnosticism. They were to follow only Drane, “or they’d be punished and left behind.” They were taught how to “sink” into their environment, and how to avoid social connections. They “sink” into the background and become “indistinguishable” from the mass of people, and “untouchable.” As such, they were taught to be “cold,” and “callous.” They learned how to “walk the earth without a care in the world,” and how to be “invisible.” They were taught to be “cunning,” and “clever.” They learn that “humans are inferior,” and the belief that they themselves “are to be worshipped,” “adored,” and “followed blindly.”

“We were told that the human species were the scum of the earth, and that he (Drane) would purify us of their filth,” says Richard Perkins, a former member.

Claims of neo-nazism have been denied, since several former members said that Warren was indiscriminate against race or ethnicity.

Views on women

In particular, Warren Drane harbored a particular resentment against women and girls. He taught that men were superior to women. “It was the men, after all, who made the rules,” claims a former member, “and the women were just mindless, and obedient” and “submissive.”

The cult’s views on sexuality and politics were shaped by the belief that women had an especially sacred position in the world. According to them, women were “submissive,” and they were “meek” and “weak,” and they were to be treated like “toys.” Sexuality was considered a different matter, however; members were not allowed to have girlfriends, wives, or even children, and they were not permitted to look at pornography. If they had children before they joined, the member could either allow only the son into the cult or abandon his children all together. Drane considered the former to be better, and he would take care of the sons of other members.

In the cult’s view, feminism was evil. Feminist writers were read in order to understand that men and women were not created equally, and how women were trying to gain a more prominent position in the world. A cult member recalled, “We read everything by Isabel Allende. We even had a few books by a feminist named Elizabeth Cady Stanton. They had a special shelf in the library.” Regarding as to why they even had these books in the first place, some have suggested that Drane liked to torture himself this way.

Remarks made by the women who were kidnapped in 1998-1999 suggest that no attempts at sexual harassment were made by the cult on the women. In fact, the cult seemed disgusted by the women's appearances alone.

"They wanted barely anything to do with us, other than break our spirit."

Aftermath

Investigation and trial

An official search of the property that housed the compound, including several other locations that the Brothers of Drane used as bases, yielded many documents which described Warren's philosophy and his plans for supposed world domination. Other things that were found included the VHS tapes (only a select few were released to the public in 2003), a number of photographs of different members, several letters to Drane from “associates,” an extensive collection of occult books, several books by Nazi and fascist authors, and about $9,000 in cash. The Brothers of Drane claim that the money and materials were payment for “training.”

Most of the notes were written by Drane, although others were in other languages. The most prominent was Drane's own, which discussed the philosophies of both Satanism and his own beliefs. Other notes included a list of various items such as military hardware, explosives, body armor, weapons and a plan of action in case they were ever discovered.

After the cult was shut down, only 76 members were recorded alive from the nearly 120 at its peak. Many were found unfit to stand trial, suffering from various diseases and mental illnesses such as PTSD, Dissociative Personality Disorder, Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder, and Psychosis. All but 13 of those who were charged with crimes refused to testify, and only 3 individuals pleaded guilty. Some found it difficult to readjust to normal society again, leaving them in state where they are afraid of even going outside. Former members are still institutionalized all around the United States and Canada even to this day. Jacob Gallagos was one of those who pleaded guilty, and was charged with aggravated kidnapping and assault and mental scarring of a child (Hood and other teenage members). He was sentenced to death on April 2, 2000 and awaits his execution.

Survivors and Justice For The Lost (JFTL)

Jessie Hood, Bryan Keller, Andrew Pittman, Calvin Henlay, and Manuel Alarcón were all taken into police custody after they admitted their crimes and the ordeal that happened, but were never tried and arrested. In fact, all were haled as heroes after their escape. K.J Dunlap was also haled, with a statue of him being erected in Wolfville.

In 2005, after years of coping, they started a charity organization called Justice For The Lost (JFTL), which aims to combat and spread awareness of bullying in schools and elsewhere, as well as child abuse and tolerance and acceptance of LGBQTQ youth.

Media depictions

Books

  • This Is My Apology (2008) - Autobiography of Jessie Hood before and during his time in the Brothers of Drane

Films

  • Brothers of Drane (2013) - Jason Lee-directed film chronicling the life of Warren Drane in the early years of his cult


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