THE CIVILIAN MILITIAS & THE
MYTHOLOGY OF THE RELIGIOUS RIGHT
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
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
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
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
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."
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)
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
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,
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
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
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
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?"
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
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
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
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
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