The face of the Militia Movement that you see most likely depends on your political viewpoint and the amount of actual experience you’ve had with the members of a militia. It may also depend on which militia you have experience with as each of them differs in their level of extremism. The average American gets most of their information about the militia movement via the news media reports which come whenever there is a conflict of some sort. In many cases that information is distorted for dramatic and political purposes.
Many neighborhoods already are forming neighborhood watch groups to monitor potential criminal activity and try to prevent criminal activity from occurring in their neighborhoods. One great national resource for this in the United States is www.nextdoor.com. Individuals can create a free account using their address and be automatically placed into the appropriate group for their neighborhood.
With NextDoor.com, boundaries for groups can be adjusted on a map to be as large or small as the group desires. It’s a great way to be introduced to your neighbors and begin to work together as a community to help keep your neighborhood safer right now. But anyone can start a neighborhood watch group just by gradually contacting neighbors and setting up meetings. A neighborhood watch group is a great way to initially bring like-minded people together who are interested in the safety of their entire neighborhood.
An organized militia when done correctly, combines an interest in keeping your entire group or neighborhood safer with the mindset and skills of a prepper. A militia can become a trained and organized group who is ready to defend the families and property in their neighborhood or town when the need arises.
What is a Militia?
A militia is a group of people, typically non-professional fighters, and comprised of everyday citizens who have been trained in the various aspects of fighting. This group of people can be called upon to fight if and when they are needed.
Most preppers know that securing supplies and security of your group will be major issues during a SHTF situation or an extended grid-down scenario. Some people believe they will be able to protect their belongings best in a small group made up of just their family members. For those people who are isolated and outside of the reach of hordes of desperate unprepared families and looters, that may work out.
But while there is definitely logic to only having family and friends in your group that you know well and trust, there are others who believe that the value of a larger group is that members can pool skills and resources to better chances of survival. There are others who believe that local law enforcement will be quickly overwhelmed in a SHTF or WROL situation and having trained militia members who can step in and offer assistance will be beneficial.
Let’s face it, our local law enforcement members can be tremendously helpful with criminal activity that involves individuals or small groups. But in a WROL situation, it is possible that local law enforcement will be overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of people involved. Paychecks will cease and officers’ will be faced with protecting their own families or staying on the job. An armed militia ready to fill in could be beneficial. A militia could mean the difference between a neighborhood having adequate supplies and security to survive and not.
Forming a Militia to Prep for a WROL Situation
There are several categories of things to consider when starting a militia including:
- Physical Fitness
- Strategy and Tactics
- Mission Planning and Execution
For more information on recruiting and organizing an effective militia in our modern times, see the video from the Oklahoma Defense Force recruitment officer below:
Although militias are not new, there were several incidents beginning in 1992 that caused an increase in the number of militia members back in the 1990’s including the incident known as Ruby Ridge, the Waco Texas raid, and the Brady Bill on gun control.
Ruby Ridge Incident
In August of 1992, a standoff occurred at a remote cabin in northern Idaho, owned by Randy Weaver and his family. Randy Weaver, a known white separatist had failed to show for court on charges of illegal sales of guns. Weaver’s 14-year-old son and their family dog were walking on a road near the family’s property when U.S. Marshals shot and killed the dog. Sammy returned fire, he and U.S. Marshal Michael Degan were killed. A standoff ensued and the FBI was called in and the siege resulted in the death of Weaver’s wife as well.
One of the most famous of these conflicts occurred in February of 1993 in Waco, Texas on a Branch Davidian compound, raided by over seventy BATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms) agents.
The FBI was called in and the stand-off continued for more than seven weeks. On April 19th, armored vehicles moved in and tear gas was shot into the compound for several hours. By afternoon the building was in flames and more than seventy men, women, and children died.
Most experts agree that the incidents at Ruby Ridge and Waco, Texas eroded faith in our government’s intention towards its gun carrying citizens and when the Brady Bill passed in November 1993 that convinced many current militia members that the government was corrupt and turning against its own citizens, and intended to completely disarm American individuals.
Following the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995 and the false accusation that Timothy McVeigh was associated with the Michigan militia, several groups disbanded but the publicity brought new members to the militia. Anger with the government, fear of mass gun confiscation, and susceptibility to conspiracy theories, including that a New World Order would be imposed upon the country, brought the militia movement to its peak in early 1996.
- John Trochmann in Montana (founder of one of the earliest and most well-known militia groups) He published “Taking Aim”, a magazine and his group was sometimes chided for being the Mail Order Militia. Heavily involved in Y2K hype. Still active today.
- Ron Gaydosh in Michigan
- Charlie Puckett in Kentucky spent 12 years as the leader and primary trainer of the Kentucky State Militia. He was arrested and jailed in 2002 for allegedly manufacturing and/or possessing a machine gun.
- Mark Koernke in Michigan aka “Mark from Michigan” during his prominence as a militia activist and shortwave radio broadcaster. He hosted “The Intelligence Report” on WWCR but his broadcasts were suspended by the station shortly after he indicated that Timothy McVeigh might become victim of an FBI assassination. He created educational videos, including “America in Peril” the catalyst in a trilogy of documentaries.
- Carl Worden in Oregon leader of the Southern Oregon Militia which was initially created to assist local police in the event of an incident similar to the Rodney King riots in Los Angeles. Now views government as the corrupt enemy.
- Linda Thompson, Indiana. An attorney who made a video called Waco, The Big Lie. She claimed stickers on backs of highway signs were to guide U.N. tanks after they invaded the U.S.
- Ron Cole-inspired by Branch Davidian siege in 1993 to convert, he founded the North American Liberation Army and the Colorado Light Infantry. He and three other members of the Colorado militia were arrested in 1997 on suspicion of machine gun possession.
- Robert G. Millar—An immigrant from Canada who founded a compound known as Elohim City in Oklahoma in 1973. During 90’s four members of the Aryan Republican Army hid out there. Timothy McVeigh may have had ties with the compound as well. Richard Snell, a resident of Elohim City, while convicted on death row for murder, threatened something drastic on the day of his execution. Oklahoma City bombing was just hours before the Snell execution.
General Philosophies of Militia Members
Sovereign activists are those people who believe none of the Amendments that followed the Bill of Rights are valid. This means the true American people are only the white Christians. They claim they are direct ideological heirs of American revolutionaries.
Anti-Socialists are those members of the militia groups convinced that the federal government is intent on destroying the individual liberties of American citizens. They believe gun control, income tax, and land use regulations are in violation of the Constitution. The Brady Bill and the subsequent ban on assault weapons were believe to be the first phase of a disarmament of the people.
Anti-internationalists are those members who believe the federal government has been already taken over by the United Nations, The Trilateral Commission, Israel, Russia and other third world countries. They believe they are acting in the interest of all Americans and anyone who doesn’t share their beliefs must be deluded or in league with the foreign enemy.
Anti-secular humanists believe that the conspiracy within the Federal government is targeting Christianity and in turn the Constitution which was founded on Christian beliefs.
Some militia members may hold beliefs belonging to one or more of the above categories and like with any beliefs there are different levels of commitment to those beliefs. So, just like with the prepper community, the militia movement is made up of people who are preparing to defend themselves against a threat. In fact, many preppers may belong to a militia as part of their preparations for what is to come.
Although the militia members may differ in what they think that threat may be and how it will be carried out, they are preparing to rise up and/or defend against threats as needed. Contrary to popular belief, not all militia members condone racism and violence.
In fact, many of the militia websites and literature specifically indicates they will not tolerate racism, inciting violence against the government, etc. For many of them, they are training in order to present an organized and effective defense of American citizens, against ANY future threat, should the need arise.
- Kentucky State Militia
- Ohio Unorganized Militia Assistance and Advisory Committee
- Southeastern Ohio Defense Force
- Michigan Militia (2 factions using same name)
- Southern Indiana Regional Militia
- Southern California High Desert Militia
Began in 2008-09 amidst the election of Obama, the economic crisis, the Tea party movement and a proliferation of propaganda from right -wing blogs, and talk radio there was a resurgence of the Patriot movement, especially strong in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky.
Groups at the forefront of this rejuvenated movement were:
The Oath Keepers—formed in early 2009 by Founder, Stewart Rhodes, law school grad and former aide to U.S. Rep Ron Paul. Oath Keeps is made up of current and former police and military. Members vow to uphold the oats to the Constitution that was in effect while in military or law enforcement. They believe their oath is to the Constitution not the politicians. They do not claim the militia label and the SPLC does not consider them a hate group. Estimates put membership at over 35,000 whose actions include:
- Assignment of four armed men during social uprising in Ferguson Missouri to protect property
- Offering Kentucky county clerk, Kim Davis, protection when she refused to grant gay couples marriage licenses.
- Protested the U.S. Forest Service in partnership with other groups in Montana.
- Protected property rights at Sugar Pine Mine in Oregon until the land owner called for them to desist due to social media spectacle cause by keyboard commandos.
The video below is the Oath Keepers response to the recent Orlando shooting:
Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association
A group whose mission is to fight against land ownership by the federal government by promoting “County sheriff supremacy” and holding sheriffs as the “highest level of law enforcement authority” over state and federal governments. The groups interpretation of the law is repudiated by most legal experts. Ken Ivory, Utah State Rep, is a public official most noted for supporting seizures of public land.
Led by Mike Vanderboegh of Alabama, the Threepers exploded into public light when Vanderboegh in March 2010 published this statement, “To all modern Sons of Liberty: THIS is your time. Break their windows. Break them NOW”, on his blog. Threepers philosophy is that the establishment of the United States of America after overthrowing British tryanny is attributed to only 3% of the colonial American population who served in militias.
The Washington Post reported several incidences of glass doors and windows being shattered at Democratic district offices from New York, to Kansas, to Arizona. There were reports of death threat to at least 10 Democratic lawmakers, incidents of vandalism and harassment.
The Citadel-Chris Kerodin
Chris Kerodin originally part of the Alabama Threepers under Vanderboegh broke away from that group and in November 2013, registered the Citadel Land Corporation, with the Secretary of State in Idaho. The Citadel was to be a planned compound made up of residents united by:
- Pride in American Exceptionalism
- Proud history of Liberty as defined by the Founding Fathers
- Physical preparedness to survival and prevail in the face of natural or man-made catastrophes.
The intent was to create a walled city with one gate to house up to 7,000 patriotic American families who recognize emergency preparedness and proficiency with a rifle are prudent measures. Proposed layout included three distinct neighborhoods with schools, a farmers’ market, firearms museum, and town center. The primary economic source III Arms Factory displayed prominently within. Although there was a purchase of 20 acres of land in the area, the Citadel itself doesn’t seem to have gotten off the ground as of yet.
The New Wave
Citizens for Constitutional Freedom
Oregon members, organized around two sons of Cliven Bundy, Nevada rancher who sparred with government in 2014 when he failed to pay over $1 million in grazing fees. Members led by Ammon Bundy, occupied a remote government cabin in Oregon for five days in January 2016. Their goal is reduction of federal land ownership in every county and state and promotion of individual Americans’ Constitutional rights. Accused federal government of imposing tyranny through land management practices. They claim to have been protesting the re-imprisonment of the Hammond family. The Hammonds were jailed for a fire that started and spread to 139 acres of federally managed land they had grazing rights to. The Hammond family publically denied association with the Citizens for Constitutional Freedom.
In 2008 there were only 42 local militia groups. By 2009 estimates were that 50 new militia training groups had been created in less than 2 years. Sales of ammunition and guns skyrocketed in 2009.
There was a cross-over between militiamen, anti-Semites, tax protestors, white supremacists, and nativists. 2008-2009 saw the more growth than over the previous decade. In 2014 the number of active anti-government groups was estimated at 202 and it jumped to 276 in 2015.
Many militia members state they are committed to the preservation of freedom, protection of individual rights and restoration of the constitution as the law. Referencing Agenda 21, the U.N. resolution on sustainable development, some local militia members fear is establishment of a New World Order and believe citizens will be forced into FEMA camps during an enactment of Martial Law across the country.
There is an overall distrust of government born of events surrounding Hurricane Katrina and the 911 bombing. Militias fear the government will be overwhelmed with the chaos of future events and that they are preparing to either assist local law enforcement in maintaining order or to effectively defend their family and community during a SHTF event against ANY threat, including their own government if need be.
There are extremists who will call themselves militia members but across the board most militia groups today will tell you that they do not condone racism, bombings or violence against the government or anything illegal unless the government oversteps its authority. They are training their members in various types of skills including map reading, navigation, gun safety and target practice, first aid, and military evasion.
The militia groups are growing, being fed by current events that many people see as a threat including ISIS, the Flint water crisis, the large number of refugees in Detroit, the attack in Paris, and the one in Orlando. Many militia members believe that armed citizens could prevent or at least reduce the number of innocent lives lost. Our current political arena has done nothing to ease the fears of the people and more individuals are turning to the militia in fear of what the current Democratic election may bring in its wake.
The militia have for the most part been portrayed by the media as obsessive, extreme, racist and prone to violence. For anyone who researches the militia movement, it’s clear that the media profile of militias has been greatly exaggerated and one-sided. Perhaps this one-sided portrayal of the militia is intentional, to keep the average citizen from considering militia membership as a viable option to the current political and economic chaos.
The Bible says there is a time to fight. Our Constitution states that no government shall overstep our constitutional rights and that the “body of the people” shall rise up to defend it. The militia members are preparing for everything from natural disasters to foreign attack.
To this aim, Rick Light of Texas has kicked off a movement to professionalize the militias, to further weed out the racists, the extremists, and the immature in an attempt to bring those people with common ground together in a more cohesive, organized, and prepared way.
Because after all, United We Stand, Divided We Fall.