THE CIVILIAN MILITIAS & THE
MYTHOLOGY OF THE RELIGIOUS RIGHT

Written By
S.R. Shearer

A GROWING PHENOMENON

One of the most unusual developments in recent years has been the surprising spread of the so-called "Citizen's Militia Movement" throughout the country. The Citizen's Militia Movement has been a mainstay of the far-right, radical fringe for some time now, but until recently it was largely confined to anti-tax groups like the Posse Comitatus in South Dakota and white supremacist groups like the Aryan Nations in Idaho. That's no longer the case! - citizen militia units now operate in all 50 states. Skeptical observers admit that the movement now has at least 10,000 followers nationwide , but a growing number of very informed researchers claim the real figure is closer to 10 million - the difference, presumably, between hard-core activists on the one hand, and "admirers," on the other - people who, given the right political context, could transition rapidly from the fringe to the core .

The kind of pull the militias have in certain parts of the country was attested to recently in the numbers that attended a series of meetings in Eastern Montana. Daniel Junas, a Seattle-based political researcher and author of "The Religious Right in Washington State," writes, "In Hamilton (pop. 1,700), at the base of the Bitterroot Mountains dividing Idaho and Montana, 250 people showed up; 200 more gathered in Eureka (pop. 1,000), ten miles from the Canadian border, and 800 people met in Kalispell, at the foot of Glacier National Park - all this in one weekend.

Sam Stanton, a staff writer for the Sacramento Bee, reports that "... the militia movement is ... a phenomenon that has swept the country so quickly that even its own members are amazed, something one analyst calls 'the fastest growing social movement in the United States'." Echoing Stanton, Keith Schneider - in a special for the New York Times - warns that the militias are everywhere now.

A WHITE, CHRISTIAN AFFAIR

The evidence that has been gathered on the militias suggests that they are predominantly a lower (economically speaking), middle-class, white phenomenon composed in the main of self-described "patriotic whites," who limit membership in their groups to those who claim to adhere to the Christian faith "... because," as Dean Compton, a leader of the Shingletown, California militia says, "that's how the country was founded, as a Christian nation." He continues, "The Mayflower Compact was (created) by Christians and for Christians, and when they said 'God Bless America' they didn't mean 'God bless Gandhi'."

Christopher John Farley, writing in Times Magazine, agrees; he indicates that the people who seem predisposed to join the militias appear to be precisely those white, "euro-centric," blue-collar workers who feel left behind economically by the affirmative action, free trade and globalization policies the government has championed over the past twenty years. Farley writes, "The members of the larger patriot (i.e., militia) movement are usually family men and women who feel strangled by the economy, abandoned by the government and have a distrust of those in power ..." - and it's easy to find militia members who will substantiate Farley's analysis. For example, take Jim Barnett a leader of a Florida militia unit; Barnett says, "The low-life scum that are supposedly representing us in Washington DC don't care about the people back home anymore. We're grasping at straws here trying to figure out what we can do to get representation, and this (i.e., the militia) is our answer."

Junas concurs with both Farley and Schneider. He writes, "The Patriot movement ... draws its members from a large and growing number of US citizens disaffected from and alienated by a government that seems indifferent, if not hostile, to their interests. This predominantly white, male, and middle - and working-class sector has been buffeted by global economic restructuring, with its attendant job losses, declining real wages and social dislocations. While under economic stress, this sector has also seen its traditional privileges and status challenged by 1960s-style social movements, such as feminism, minority rights, and environmentalism. Someone must be to blame ... (and) the Patriot movement provides the answers ..."

LIBERALS AND MINORITIES FEEL THREATENED

Liberals and minority groups are aghast at what's happening; they feel threatened by the rage which seems to be driving people like Barnett and Compton - and not without some reason: Stanton reports that "... there is ... (evidence) that the movement is attracting ... elements from racist or white-separatist backgrounds." He continues, "... civil liberty groups say ... white separatists ... (are using the) militias as cover for their own fundraising and recruiting efforts. They say (that) some (are) simply mask(ing) their past when joining or forming a militia group and then start preaching rhetoric that ends up being anti-Semitic or racist." The Anti-Defamation League agrees. The League says that "hate mongers of long-standing" are already deeply involved in the movement.

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a Montgomery, Alabama group that tracks far right organizations, also concurs. It issued a report in October 1994 that asserted that white supremacist involvement in the militia movement is growing rapidly. However, Mike Reynolds, a leader in the SPLC, says that the supremacists are "... being very canny about it ... they aren't going around lighting torches and burning crosses at their meetings. They're using code words. Instead of talking about the Zionist occupation [the "ZOG" (Zionist Occupational Government), in anti-Semitic parlance], they talk about the new world order. It's the same old stuff dressed up for the '90s."

David Helvarg - writing for The Nation - cites the Northwest as a specific example of what's happening; he writes that "... since January (1994) a new and ... ominous trend has begun to emerge on the hard right ... White separatist veterans of (the) Aryan Nations have begun working with ... gun-rights advocates in the formation of 'armed militias' (in the Northwest)." Helvarg believes that what's happening in the Northwest is a precursor to what will take place in other parts of the country unless something is done immediately to stop the movement.

THE CONSPIRACY THEORY
UNDERLYING THE PHENOMENON

Farley writes, "Patriots ... fear that foreign powers, working through organizations like the United Nations and treaties like the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (now the World Trade Organization), are eroding the power of America as a sovereign nation." Specifically, militia members assert that the United States is being subverted from within by a clandestine and sinister cabal of multicultural, multi-racial, "one world" New Age elitists dedicated to the destruction of Western Civilization and the Christian religion.

According to militia members, the cabal operates out of the United Nations and has been secretly stationing UN troops in isolated areas throughout the country in preparation for the takeover - and some speak in hushed whispers of actually seeing secret highway signs meant to guide UN forces. In addition, members believe that the appearance of mysterious formations of "black helicopters" in the sky over certain areas of the country is a prelude to the takeover; and that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (F.E.M.A.) is the cabal's principle coordinating agency in the country charged with the responsibility for managing the seizure. [It's interesting to note in this connection that an Associated Press release in June of 1997 has confirmed the fact that there is substance to "black helicopter" sightings; according to the AP, the "black helicopters" are associated with secret Special Forces training designed to prepare U.S. forces for urban warfare. The training has from time to time been carried out on a clandestine basis in the continental U.S. The AP revelation came as a great embarrassment to liberal critics of conservative conspiracy theorists who had ridiculed militia outrage over this matter.]

For example, in Fort Bragg, California, Mike Howse - a 42-year-old auto body repair shop owner and an interim unit commander of a citizen's militia group - says, "... the UN. troops and equipment that are in the country ... (are here to) be used to disarm the people ... In fact, that seems to be what they're training for. The government won't give you a figure. We've received figures from people in the military that ... say they know of up to 800,000 here. I don't thing there's that many. The closest approximation is up to 300,000."

And there's more! - on a video promoting patriot ideas, a man who gives his name only as "Mark from Michigan" says he fears that America will be subsumed into "one big, fuzzy, warm planet where nobody has any borders," and Samuel Sherwood, head of the United States Militia Association in Blackfoot, Idaho, tells followers that the Clinton Administration is planning to import 100,000 Chinese policemen to take guns away from Americans. ["Mark" and several others mentioned in this report have since "passed from the scene" - and have been replaced by even more radical figures.]

Junas warns that militia organizers in Eastern Montana have been "...encouraging their audiences to form citizens' militias to protect themselves from the impending military threat."

PARANOIA? OR JUSTIFIED ANXIETY?

Many "establishment" observers, of course, are tempted to write the militia movement off as the product of an unsophisticated "redneck" and "blue collar" paranoia. But if that's so, it's a paranoia that the "establishment's" own proven lies and deceit have helped to fashion over the last thirty years: Watergate, the Pentagon Papers, the Contra fiasco, Irangate, the MIA controversy, etc. - deliberate government fabrications (and recognized as such by most civil libertarians)! - lies which have over the years eaten like an acid at the historic trust most "redneck" and "blue collar" Americans have had for their government.

As a result, there exists today a basic notion in "blue collar" communities throughout the country that the government is simply incapable of telling the truth, and that, therefore, its heated denials regarding F.E.M.A., the "black helicopters," the stationing of UN troops in remote areas, etc. cannot be taken seriously. The plain fact of the matter is, an aura of deceit now surrounds the government and bathes it in a light which is not conducive to engendering trust.

To a great extent, the origins of this mistrust can be traced back to a single event and a single moment: the morning of November 22, 1963 - the assassination of JFK; specifically, to the government's explanation of that event.

LIES WHICH HAVE CREATED THE PARANOIA:
THE BEGINNING OF IT ALL - THE JFK ASSASSINATION

Without question, the unease and discomfort surrounding the government's account of the JFK assassination has done more to undermine the public's confidence in the government than any other single event in the last half of the twentieth century. Indeed, a November 1994 CBS News poll indicates that 89 percent of the population (up from 52 percent in 1963) now believes that the assassination was the result of an elaborate plot, and 81 percent believe that the government has conspired to hide the truth regarding the assassination from the public. And unless one is prepared to say that 89 percent of the American populace is "wacko," hardly a vote of confidence for democracy, than one is left with the thought that there may indeed be some justification for the anxiety most militia members exhibit toward their government's basic "truthfulness."

The fact is, the great majority of Americans now believe that the Warren Commission Report was nothing more than a government fabrication - a giant cover-up typical of countless others which have been perpetrated on the American public since - and, despite attempts to quash such thinking by "responsible authorities," there is a good deal of evidence - not all of it generated out of the "nut circuit" - which tends to support such a thesis.

the FBI to say nothing about a "conspiracy" to the commission. O'Neill also expressed "profound doubts" as to the Warren Commission's truthfulness.

FRIGHT & MISTRUST

Sacramento Bee reporter Sam Stanton reports that it is exactly this kind of government subterfuge and duplicity that has essentially produced the anxiety that is driving the conspiratorial belief systems which now seem to surround most of the militias - a suspicion of the government so vast and extensive that many of the militias currently operate as "cell groups" analogous to those used by the IRA and other terrorist groups - a stratagem designed to prevent civil authorities from obtaining their membership lists.

John Newman, a former analyst at the National Security Agency concurs with Stanton's thinking. He remarks that essentially what the government has produced by all its lies over the last thirty years is a deep distrust of government by ordinary people - a conviction that the government is simply incapable of telling the truth. Commenting specifically on the government cover-up of the JFK assassination, Newman writes, "In a sense it doesn't matter to me who killed Kennedy. What matters is whether we're told the truth about it today. If you study recent American history, the lies about Vietnam, Watergate, and on and on, and see the level of cynicism and malaise that's grown up, it's frightening."

DANGER AHEAD

Stanton writes, "These notions that the government may be plotting against its citizens are common among militia members and have helped spur its tremendous growth ... that the United Nations may be preparing to sweep into cities and take over, that FEMA may be used to suspend the Constitution and could arrest people without cause, that so-called "black helicopters" used for spying by the government have been spotted nationwide. In years past, such talk was largely limited to shadowy anti-government groups such as the Posse Comitatus or others that came to prominence briefly in the 1980s. Today, however, it stems from (the) militias ..."

Mike Reynolds of Klanwatch warns that this kind of paranoia can't be bottled up forever. It's eventually going to result in something - and given the fact that the militias are well armed, that "something" could spell disaster. He says, "... what we're seeing in these militia groups is ... (that they are) extremely paranoid, (and) they're extremely well-armed. Their fax messages, their computer (bulletin) board messages are just aiming for violent confrontation, which will happen sooner or later if the paranoia stays up like this."

RANDY WEAVER AND
THE BRANCH DAVIDIANS

Stanton believes that two recent events have added fuel to militia tendencies toward violent confrontation with the government: one was the Randy Weaver siege at Ruby Ridge that began August 21, 1992 in the mountains of Idaho. The standoff was precipitated when US. marshals went to the white separatist's cabin to arrest him on a weapons charge - a charge which a court later found was nothing more than a setup - and ended 10 days later after marshals had killed Weaver's wife and son. The other, which has led to a burning hatred against the government by many militia members, was the attack on the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas for which they blame Janet Reno who, they allege, is nothing more than a "flaming faggot" bent on imposing homosexuality and militant feminism on the country at large.

In both instances, a great many unanswered questions remain - not only in the minds of militia members, but in the minds of countless others, including many civil libertarians - about the government's involvement. Charges of government cover-ups revolve around both attacks - and Weaver's acquittal on most of the government's charges has added fuel to militia anxieties against the government. Furthermore, the all-too-obvious "star chamber" proceedings against the remaining Branch Davidians have only buttressed militia suspicions - so much so that Linda Thompson, the self-appointed "Acting Adjutant General of the Unorganized Militia of the USA" has called for an armed march on Washington to demand an investigation of the Waco siege. Frank Swan, a trucker who is a member of a militia unit in Montana, says, "The Waco thing really woke me up. They went in there and killed women and children." Farley writes that the incidents at Waco and Ruby Ridge have helped convince "... many would-be militia members that the US government is repressive as well as violently antigun and untrustworthy."

The attacks on Randy Weaver and the Branch Davidian compound have convinced most militia members that the government is utterly evil and will stop at nothing in order to carry out its "One World" designs - and in this respect the government has done little to allay militia fears with regard to this matter in the clumsy way it has tried to "cover" the matter up, as a report by the University of California (Berkeley) laid bare. One of the findings of the report indicated that the government's explanation as to how the fire at the compound began was not truthful - it's not at all the way the mainline media and the government have attempted to portray it. The report says, " If you don't believe that the residents started the fire, how do you explain the tapes where voices are saying, 'Pour the fuel'? A little over a month before the April 19 fire, FBI tank drivers tried to remove three steel drums that sat on a frame outside of Mt. Carmel's 'southern' wall. In the process, they tipped over those drums, which contained diesel fuel and gasoline. Koresh berated the FBI for using tanks to remove those drums. He believed that the exhaust systems on those tanks threw sparks, and when the tanks passed over the fuel that they'd split, he thought that they were likely to set themselves on fire. 'Those tanks aren't fireproof, you know', he warned the federal lawmen. The 'pour the fuel' reference-between six and seven o'clock on the morning of April 19, five to six hours before any fire-reflects back on that incident. Koresh and his cronies may have been trying to lay a trap for the tanks. The object was defensive, not suicidal."

This is the kind of "stuff" that drives militia members into fits of rage, and ratchets their paranoia higher and higher. Schneider writes that most militia members believe that the government now aims at "... utterly crush(ing) all those who resist ... (its 'one world' aspirations)." Jim Southwell, a 43-year old Montana real estate agent who says he served in the navy in the early 1970s and who is also a militia activist, confirms Schneider's assessment.

He says, "What's driving this movement (i.e., the militia movement) is the lesson being taught by the American government (itself) ... That lesson is that you are not in control of your life, your children, your home. The government is in control. And if you push back, if you cross the government, they will come down on you hard."

Mike Howse, an interim unit commander of a citizen's militia group in Fort Bragg, California says, "A lot of people I'm sure have called ... (us) paranoid. A couple of years ago I probably would have called it paranoid, too - (but) not any more (after the Weaver and Branch Davidian incidents)"

GUN CONTROL: A PLOT BY MULTI-
CULTURALISTS TO DISARM THE "GOOD GUYS"

Farley writes that "... patriots were particularly enraged when Congress passed a crime bill last August that banned assault weapons." Henry McClain, the leader of a Florida militia unit, complains, "The Federal Government has taken it upon itself to regulate everything you can think or touch or smell." Junas writes, "The sense of foreboding and resentment of the federal government was compounded by the passage of the Brady Bill (imposing a waiting period and background checks for the purchase of a handgun) followed by the Crime Bill (banning the sale of certain types of assault rifles), For some members, these laws are the federal government's first step in disarming the citizenry, to be followed by the much dreaded United Nations invasion and the imposition of the New World Order."

Schneider writes, "... Thwarting gun control is (one of) the chief aim of the militias." Militia members see the attempt to outlaw automatic weapons as a first step in disarming the public - thereby making resistance to the multicultural, "one worlders" impossible. They have taken note of the rather obvious fact that most supporters of gun control are liberal democrats - which they perceive to be nothing more than "toadies" and "bootlickers" for the elitists at the United Nations.

It's here that liberals - in attributing opposition to gun control efforts only to the so-called "gun nuts" of the National Rifle Association (NRA) - may be greatly underestimating both the breadth and depth of the opposition that now confronts them. It's much more than that; the fact of the matter is that opposition to gun control has spread far beyond the old-line constituency of the National Rifle Association. Sheriffs in several Montana counties who have been actively monitoring militia groups in the state say that hundreds of residents - people who had never before exhibited any interest in guns - began attending militia organization meetings immediately after passage of the Brady bill, which requires a five-day waiting period for handgun sales. It's the same in Michigan where observers note that new recruits are coming from all walks of life - including small-business owners, executives, auto workers, nurses, etc. What's driving these people is not necessarily a "love for guns" as it is fear of the government. And it's not just Montana and Michigan, it's California, Texas, Florida - it's everywhere.

THE CHRISTIAN RIGHT

It's precisely at this point where the interests of the Religious Right and the Citizen Militias intersect: the fear that there exists a hidden and sinister clique of New Age conspiracists which has seized control of the government and is bending national policy to comport to its "one world," New Age, and - ipso facto - anti-Christian and anti-nationalist (i.e., anti-American) schemes. As we indicated in a previous newsletter, take Pat Robertson. Robertson writes: "It is clear to me, beyond any shadow of doubt, that ... there has been a continuity of policy and leadership in the United States that operates the same regardless of which nominee of the major political parties gains access to the White House ..." Robertson sees this "continuity of purpose" as "... a single thread (which) runs from the White House to the State Department to the Council on Foreign Relations to the Trilateral Commission ..." Robertson elaborates, "... It is my firm belief that the events of public policy are not the accidents and coincidences we are generally led to believe. They are planned. Further, I do not believe that normal men and women, if left to themselves, would spend a lifetime to form the world into a unified whole in order to control it after it had been so unified. No, impulses of that sort do not spring from the human heart, or for that matter from God's heart. They spring, instead, from the depth of something that is evil, neither well intentioned nor benevolent." Robertson is, therefore, convinced that behind this "continuity of policy" is an unseen and evil confederacy of New Age activists dedicated to the destruction of Western Civilization and the relentless expansion of its own fiendish domain. Robertson elaborates, "No, there has to be something more. There has to be some other power at work which has succeeded in molding and shaping United States public policy toward one clear goal - world government - from generation to successive generation ..." Robertson warns that the conspiracy aims at "... a complete redistribution of wealth, the ... (the final) elimination of Christianity ... (and) the deaths of two or three billion people in the Third World by the end of the decade."

This kind of thinking is precisely what's driving the militias, and indicates just why the Religious Right and the militias are proving to be such a good match for one another. Junas writes, "(The militia movement) ... is spreading within the Christian Right. In the early 1990s, the Coalition on Revival, an influential national Christian Right networking organization, circulated a 24-plank action plan. It advocated the formation of 'a countrywide well-regulated militia according to the US Constitution under the control of the county sheriff and Board of Supervisors'." Junas continues, "In the Midwest, some militias have (particularly) close ties to the Christian Right, particularly the radical wing of the anti-abortion movement. In Wisconsin, Matthew Trewhella, leader of Missionaries to the Preborn, has organized paramilitary training sessions for his church members."

Schneider writes, "(While) it's difficult (sometimes) to describe precisely the militia's many (specific) grievances with the government ... they (definitely perceive) ... a threat to national sovereignty and personal liberty (which emanates from the liberal agenda), and members talk gravely about the coming 'New World Order' in which they fear the planet will have one totalitarian government" - which is, of course, exactly what Robertson, LaHaye and many others in the Religious Right are talking about. Typical of the Religious Right activists who are now flooding into the militia movement is Norman Olson, pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Alanson, Michigan and a new Michigan militia leader. He says, "When we started the militia, I thought it might get big fast. I'd been seeing the uneasiness that people have about their government. It's not a government by the people anymore. It's a government of (liberal) bureaucrats. We are ceasing to be a republic. Their (i.e., the militia's) fear is (merely) a response. When people sense danger, they will come together to defend themselves. That's what's happening." Olson believes that the militias are the Religious Right's shock troops dedicated to taking back the nation for "Christ and the church."

THE EMERGENCE OF BO GRITZ ("RAMBO")

Bo Gritz (rhymes with "bits") is a former Green Beret and an authentic hero of the Vietnam War whose persona and exploits became the pattern out from which the fictional character of "Rambo" was fashioned. Gritz came to public prominence in the 1980s when he led a number of private missions (some of which - it is alleged - were financed by Ross Perot) in search of POWs he (and Perot) had become convinced the government had callously abandoned in Vietnam and Laos after the withdrawal of US forces in the early 1970s. As the movies Rambo I and Rambo II suggest, the seeming unyielding disregard by officials of the US government for those American soldiers supposedly left behind in Vietnam led Gritz (i.e., Rambo) to conclude that something very sinister was afoot - that interests inimical to those of ordinary, patriotic Americans now controlled the government - a view which the overwhelming popularity of Rambo I and Rambo II seems to suggest is widely held by millions of ordinary, every-day, blue collar Americans. And it should be noted here, that it's not just simply the popularity of the movies Rambo I and Rambo II which indicate that most Americans hold views similar to those held by Gritz, most polls indicate the same - despite countless numbers of "official investigations" which argue that no appreciable number of Americans were left behind. The fact of the matter is, most Americans believe that the government is not telling the truth - that it's lying. And the reason behind the lies? - that should the truth become known about the POWs and MIAs, Americans would demand war - a war which would destablize the efforts by the "one worlders" to implement their "New World Order."

The pathology at work here is identical to the pathology described above with regard to the JFK assassination - and, like the JFK assassination, there is evidence to suggest that the government has been less than truthful over the years about the POWs and MIAs. Take, for example, the efforts by one well-known, highly respected Harvard researcher into KGB archives which has yielded a great deal of material which seems to point unswervingly to the conclusion that hundreds, perhaps thousands, of both Vietnam and Korean War prisoners were transported to the Soviet Union - and that the US government not only knew about it, it covered it up. The government has done little to directly challenge the veracity of the information unearthed - instead it has either ignored it or snubbed it as merely another effort by "know-nothings" to exhume an issue that was better left dead and buried. Harvard, an institution of "know nothings?" - hardly!

Indeed, so overwhelming has the evidence become which indicates that the government has been less than candid about Americans left behind in Vietnam (and Korea), that the direction of the various government investigations into the matter have undergone a subtle and rather artful transformation; the object of most of the investigations is no longer, did the government abandon American soldiers in Vietnam? but whether there remain any of those abandoned soldiers left behind that are still alive? - and if none remain alive, isn't it better to leave the whole matter alone? - after all, there's nothing anyone can do about it now. The subtly, however, has not gone unnoticed by Gritz and those in the militia movement, and its callousness has only served to ratchet the fury of Gritz and people like him to new heights of rage and indignation - and it didn't help matters when, as a tangential issue to the Senate hearings, evidence surfaced which suggested that when Eisenhower ended the Korean War, he not only knew that hundreds of Americans prisoners had been left behind in North Korea, he covered it up. The revelations shocked the committee - and only added fuel to concerns that the same fiendish and cruel process was now at work with regard to the Vietnam War MIAs and POWs. Gritz and thousands like him in blue collar communities around the country - those who have historically done most of the nation's fighting - have been appalled at the thought that the government has been lying to them about such matters - that it seemed ready to leave behind its own soldiers (i.e., the sons and daughters of blue-collar "slobs" like them) to rot in wretched prisoner of war camps because to mount an effort to rescue them would risk war and jeopardize the globalization processes which the "one world elites" had set in motion. Whether such a perception of things is in fact right or wrong, one must surely admit that such a thought is horrifying and outrageous.

The effort by people like Gritz and his blue collar followers to come to grips with the government's seeming indifference over the POW / MIA issue and similar questions like globalization, affirmative action, immigration, etc. has led to their growing radicalization - and it isn't as if Gritz and his followers have not sought redress of their grievances through normal political channels; the fact of the matter is, the elites in both the Democratic and Republican party haven't even given them an audience - they've been shut out. The plain truth is, for whatever reason, the people responsible for setting the agenda for both the Democratic and Republican parties are committed "globalists" - and blanch at any effort which they adjudge to be inimical to this process.

THIS IS WHAT THE "PATRIOTS"
ARE TALKING ABOUT

Liberals might not like it, but this is exactly what the "Patriots" are talking about - the disconnect between the "establishment" and ordinary people. Take one: C.E. VanAvery, who is by no means the "illiterate bumpkin" liberals would like to make most militia members out to be: VanAvery writes, "We discover that we have created, through our own neglect and disinterest, a government in which graft and favoritism is replete. Our representatives have come to believe themselves to be independent of the people they represent Indeed, many are incensed that they must throw their support, though faintly, into an issue with which they do not agree, while lamenting to their colleagues that their actions are the result of the people's misguided desires ... We discover that the individuals we sent to govern have, first and foremost, sought to secure their positions in government, improve their personal balance sheets, and construct a nobility of patronage for their henchmen and followers. They have built themselves nests which offer unregulated banking services, indiscriminate and unchallenged abuse of franking and postal privileges, posts and privileges for their loyal and generous supporters, and seemingly unlimited benefits; all paid for with monies taxed at confiscatory rates from the earners and producers for which this nation was founded ... We discover that our representatives have for decades been building and nurturing a bureaucracy of endless laws and regulations, designed to create a perfect and just society without class, cultural, racial, sexual, or ethnic divisions, and from which they have generously exempted themselves. They have sought to tell us how we must live, what we can and cannot do with our property, to what extent we can protect ourselves and our families, and, most arrogantly of all, how we must aid and support our fellow man." The obvious question in all this is, what's the real difference here between what VanAvery is saying and what Merry and Kennan are saying? - except to say that both Merry and Kennan have Ph.D.'s behind their names and Van Avery does not. More than that, nothing could be said except to say that maybe Van Avery is a little more eloquent than Merry and Kennan. Liberals are making a big mistake to write the militia off as a bunch of uneducated, empty-headed, blue collar bumpkins. They may indeed be blue collar, and they may not have attended ivy league schools, but they're certainly not empty-headed bumpkins.

The "establishment" may - in the end - only have themselves to blame for driving men like Gritz and VanAvery over to the radical right. Why? - because the "establishment" in both parties has studiously refused to take these people seriously. Take Gritz, for example. All through the early and mid-1980s he worked tenaciously to gain a hearing within the Republican Party on the matter of the POWs and MIAs; he was rebuffed wherever he went. Finally, he stumbled onto the Populist Party which not only gave him a "fair hearing," but nominated him as their vice-presidential candidate in 1988. Gritz - who fashions himself as an "Old-Time" type of Christian and who by any account was relatively unfamiliar with the political landscape, accepted the nomination as a means of making his voice heard. Unfortunately, in doing so, he had fallen into the wrong crowd. The Populist Party an electoral amalgam of neo-Nazis, the Ku Klux Klan, and other racist and anti-Semitic organizations. His running mate was ex-Klansman David Duke. Gritz later disavowed any relationship with Duke, but in 1992, Gritz was back as the Populist Party's candidate for president.

According to Junas, Gritz has since emerged as one of the principle mentors for the militias - so much so that in the 1992 campaign, he encouraged his supporters to form militias, sparking a huge influx of activists into the movement. The issue which sparked Gritz's plunge into the militia movement was the assault on Ruby Ridge. Shortly after the FBI siege of the Weaver Compound at Ruby Ridge began, friends of Weaver contacted Gritz and urged him to intervene to protect Weaver and his family from what they had become convinced was a concerted effort by FBI operatives to slaughter the Weaver family. Gritz became so aghast at what was occurring at the Weaver compound that he appeared on the scene and interposed himself as a negotiator between the FBI and Weaver. He eventually convinced Weaver to surrender and end the 11-day standoff. The episode gave Gritz national publicity and made him a hero on the right.

THE MILIEU OF CONSTITUENCIES
THAT CONSTITUTE THE MEMBERSHIP
OF THE NEW MILITIA MOVEMENT

The entrance of people like Pastors Olson and Trewhella, and Bo Gritz into the militia movement has meant a blending of new issues into the mix of older militia grievances like gun control. Schneider singles out three: education (i.e., prayer in the public schools, vouchers, and home schooling), the environment (meaning anti-environmentalism, "Wise Use," etc.), and abortion (meaning pro-life). Schneider concurs, He writes that militia members generally "... seek to turn the clock back on Federal involvement in a host of ... issues ... (like) education, abortion, and the environment." The merging of these issues (along with their various constituencies) together in the militia movement milieu undoubtedly has grave implications for evangelicals who get mixed up in all this: what it's doing is bringing them into contact with others who - while they may agree with evangelicals insofar as certain political issues are concerned - care little for the message of Jesus Christ to whom evangelicals are devoted.

Take the anti-environmentalists, for example. David Helvarg - writing in The Nation - reports that anti-environmentalists have also been flooding into the militia movement, and that many of them have a penchant towards violence which far surpasses the violence in the anti-abortion movement.

Helvarg writes, "While some of the violence is spontaneous in nature and some incidents seem to be the work of professional security agents working for ... industries (which are not complying with environmental laws), the majority of the violence and intimidation occurs in the course of ... (anti-environmental) campaigns in rural and low-income areas of the country." Junas writes, "The appearance of armed militias (connected to the anti-environmental movement) raises the level of tension in ... (a country) already at war over environmental and land use issues."

Rick Sieman of the Sahara Club (obviously a parody on the Sierra Club), a Southern California anti-enviro dirt-biker group, brags of members being armed with "baseball bats" and "bad attitudes." Sieman claims that "you can't reason with eco-freaks but you can sure scare them" - and Sieman is typical of many in the anti-ecology movement! Take what happened to Ellen Gray, an Audoban Society activist in Everett, Washington. According to Gray, a man approached her at a meeting she was attending and placed a hangman's noose on a nearby chair, saying, "This is a message for you." He also distributed cards with a picture of a hangman's noose that said, "Treason = Death" on one side, and "Eco fascists go home" on the other. The other man told Gray, "If we can't get you at the ballot box, we'll get you with a bullet." These aren't Christians, and most aren't even pretending to be. In their own crude parlance, they're just plain "bad-as-s" and they don't claim to be anything else. Some of the tactics the Sahara Club engages in are "Dear Faggot" letters, arsons, bombings, pet killings, death threats, physical assaults, murder, etc. - and so much so that - according to Andy Kerr, head of Oregon's Natural Resources Council - "Death threats (now) come with the territory ..."

Anti-environmentalists are delighted with their new Religious Right allies and have even begun using a rhetoric which seems designed to attract more Religious Right activists; for example, Wise Use, the most prominent of today's anti-environmental groups, now speaks of a "holy war against the new pagans who worship trees and sacrifice people." But the use of such rhetoric has more to do with attracting Religious Right support than it has to do with any kind of "personal conviction" regarding Jesus Christ as "Lord and Savior" of one's life - after all, it's hard to think of Christ writing "Dear Faggot letters" and carrying around a baseball bat to bash in the skulls of "tree worshippers." Helvarg reports that Religious Right activists and anti-environmentalists have begun working closely together in various militia groups active in Montana, Idaho, New Mexico, Washington, eastern Oregon and other parts of the West.

Helvarg sees the melding of these two groups in the militia movement as especially "ominous." Helvarg relates that over the last several months some of the militias (who communicate through the "Paul Revere" and "American Patriot" networks on the Internet) "... have begun forming three-to-five man 'Autonomous Leadership Units' that look and act suspiciously like terrorist cells."

Typical of what's going on is the bombing of the US Forest Service office in Carson City, Nevada in March, 1995; the same day a pipe bomb exploded outside a Forest Service facility in Lamoille Canyon. The feds have offered a $25,000 reward for information regarding the bombings, but so far the reward money has elicited little response from Carson City residents. Indeed, things have gotten so bad between locals and employees of the federal government in rural areas of Nevada that Forest Service employees there now carry "how to cope" cards in case they are arrested by local authorities - and it's not just Nevada; the BLM (Bureau of Land Management) in Idaho has issued "war-zone guidelines" to rangers: "stay in radio contact, travel in pairs, plan escape routes."

The interest by new Citizen Militia members in issues like abortion is particularly alarming to abortion providers. For example, in a September 1994 meeting in Northern California put on by People for the American Way, a group dedicated to fighting the Religious Right, a number of abortion providers expressed great horror at what all this might mean. What all this is tending towards is the development of an armed radical fringe of the Religious Right - sort of like what the IRA is to Sean Fein. If that's the case, then we'd all better watch out.

We need your help to spread the word concerning Antipas Ministries and the eschatological viewpoint it represents; WE NEED YOUR HELP BECAUSE WE DO NOT "LINK" WITH OTHER SO-CALLED "CHRISTIAN" WEBSITES which are, for the most part, "in the tank" insofar as their loyalty to the United States is concerned - a loyalty that has made them partners in the BLOODY trail the American military has left in its TERROR-RIDDEN rampage throughout the world, as well as making them partners in the abject poverty that American corporations have imposed on the peoples and nations the American military machine has ravaged - A BLOODY, TERROR-RIDDEN RAMPAGE THAT HAS TO A LARGE DEGREE BEEN CARRIED OUT IN THE NAME OF THE "PRINCE OF PEACE." [Please see our articles, "The Third World as a Model for the New World Order," Inside the American New World Order System" and "The American Empire: The Corporate / Pentagon / CIA / Missionary Archipelago."]

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