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Only my plea that this is the time and the place of my coronation obtained for me surcease from his prayers for guidance.
Encouraged by his success, in September 1923, Stephenson severed his ties with the existing national organization of the KKK, and formed a rival KKK made up of the chapters he led.
Huffington left for Indiana and set up his first headquarters in Evansville. Stephenson was active in the local Democratic Party and had run unsuccessfully in the Democratic Congressional primary of 1922 as an anti-prohibition candidate.
He was more successful with recruiting and organizing new members.
The Evansville Klavern became the most powerful in the state, and Stephenson soon contributed to attracting numerous new members.
In November 1922, Hiram Wesley Evans took power as the new Imperial Wizard in Atlanta, with the support of Stephenson.
Building on the momentum, Stephenson set up a base in Indianapolis, where he helped create the Klan's state newspaper, Fiery Cross and he quickly recruited new agents and organizers, building on news about the organization.
Protestant ministers were offered free memberships. From July 1922 to July 1923, nearly 2,000 new members joined the Klan in Indiana each week.
This led to many Indiana politicians at all levels of government to join the Klan in order to gain their support.
The Klan became so powerful, and Stephenson so influential, that by 1925 he began to brag, saying "I am the law in Indiana." The Klan's rhetoric was anti-Catholic and anti-Semitic in these years, as rapid expansion of industrial jobs in Indiana and other Midwestern states brought tens of thousands of immigrants from southern and eastern Europe.