It borrowed parts of the initiation ceremony from that group, with the same purpose: "ludicrous initiations, the baffling of public curiosity, and the amusement for members were the only objects of the Klan", according to Albert Stevens in 1907.According to The Cyclopædia of Fraternities (1907), "Beginning in April, 1867, there was a gradual transformation ...With numerous autonomous chapters across the South, it was suppressed around 1871, through federal law enforcement.Members made their own, often colorful, costumes: robes, masks and conical hats, designed to be terrifying and to hide their identities. Griffith's 1915 silent film The Birth of a Nation, which mythologized the founding of the first Klan, it employed marketing techniques and a popular fraternal organization structure.It used K-words which were similar to those used by the first Klan, while adding cross burnings and mass parades to intimidate others.It rapidly declined in the later half of the 1920s.The second group was founded in the South in 1915 and it flourished nationwide in the early and mid-1920s, including urban areas of the Midwest and West. Rooted in local Protestant communities, it sought to maintain white supremacy, often took a pro-prohibition stance, and it opposed Catholics and Jews, while also stressing its opposition to the Catholic Church at a time of high immigration from the mostly Catholic nations of Central Europe and Southern Europe.This second organization was funded by selling its members a standard white costume.
They had played with an engine of power and mystery, though organized on entirely innocent lines, and found themselves overcome by a belief that something must lie behind it all — that there was, after all, a serious purpose, a work for the Klan to do." Klan groups spread throughout the South as an insurgent movement promoting resistance and white supremacy during the Reconstruction Era. In 18, the federal government passed the Enforcement Acts, which were intended to prosecute and suppress Klan crimes.Beginning in 1921, it adopted a modern business system of using full-time paid recruiters and appealed to new members as a fraternal organization, of which many examples were flourishing at the time.The national headquarters made its profit through a monopoly of costume sales, while the organizers were paid through initiation fees.While Simmons relied on documents from the original Klan and memories of some surviving elders, the revived Klan was based significantly on the wildly popular film, The Birth of a Nation.The earlier Klan hadn’t worn the white costumes or burned crosses; these were aspects introduced in the film.