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The Invisible Empire, alive and well in the state of Virginia

Jim Lo Scalzo, a photojournalist with the European PressPhoto Agency, has spent several months documenting three chapters of the Ku Klux Klan in Virginia. Lo Scalzo explains:

The Invisible Empire is experiencing a revival in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Three chapters of the Ku Klux Klan have reemerged in the state, holding rallies, lighting crosses, and seeking new members. Anger over gay rights, racial changes in the population, and a black president are frequent refrains at these rallies. Yet Klan members say they are not about hate, but about taking pride in their own race. "The blacks have the NAACP [The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People], the Mexicans La Raza, and the Jews have the ADL [The Anti-Defamation League]," says Stan Martin of the Rebel Brigade Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. "We whites have the Ku Klux Klan." 

Jim Lo Scalzo / EPA

Members of Virgil's White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, watched by the daughter of a member (background), lift a tree trunk that they chopped down, and which they will fashion into a cross, in preparation for a cross lighting ceremony on private property in Dungannon, Virginia, on June 11.

Jim Lo Scalzo / EPA

Members and supporters of Virgil's White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, including Ernie Campbell (on horseback) and Imperial Wizard Gary Delp (purple robe), march through town during a Fourth of July weekend 'Mountain Treasures Festival' in Dungannon, Virginia, on July 2.

Jim Lo Scalzo / EPA

Visitors to a rally of Virgil's White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan fashion two tree trunks that they chopped down into a cross in preparation for a cross lighting ceremony in Dungannon, Virginia, on September 17.

Jim Lo Scalzo / EPA

Two female members of the Knights of the Southern Cross of the Ku Klux Klan (KSCKKK) don their robes and hoods inside the home of a KSCKKK member just before the start of a cross lighting ceremony on private property near Powhatan, Virginia, on May 28.

Jim Lo Scalzo / EPA

Members and supporters of Virgil's White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan gather for a cross lighting ceremony on private property in Dungannon, Virginia, on September 17.

Jim Lo Scalzo / EPA

The Imperial Wizard of Virgil's White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, Gary Delp participates in a cross lighting ceremony in Dungannon, Va.

Jim Lo Scalzo / EPA

Juanita and Jerry Tignor are married in a Klan wedding, ministered by Gary Delp (center), Imperial Wizard of Virgil's White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, after a cross lighting ceremony in Dungannon, Virginia, on June 11.

Jim Lo Scalzo / EPA

A cross burned by members of the Rebel Brigade Knights of the Ku Klux Klan remains at the rally site on private property near Martinsville, Virginia, on April 2.