TEXAS An active militia presence was established in Texas with the founding of the Texas Constitutional Militia in 1994. The organization's manual includes language identical to the Michigan Militia's literature, with a pledge to "stand against tyranny, globalism. moral relativism, humanism, and the New World Order threatening to undermine our form of government and these United States of America." Since Fall 1994, the Texas Constitutional Militia has organized widely, with groups active in the San Antonio, Dallas, Houston and Beaumont areas. The militia's "commanding officers" include, in Collin County, welder John A. Turner of Plano, and in Dallas County, Russell Smith, a glass artist. A separate group, the Red River Militia (or Red River Militia Guard), has organized in east Texas, and is believed to be active in Gilmore. Marshall, DeKalb and Texarkana. On November 12, 1994, the Texas Constitutional Militia convened an "Alamo Rally" in San Antonio "to honor the Alamo heroes ... and to petition the government for redress of grievances." The rally was advertised in the anti-Semitic Liberty Lobby's tabloid. The Spotlight. Anti-Semitic and racist materials produced by such groups as Liberty Lobby and William Pierce s neo-Nazi National Alliance were distributed at the rally. The Dallas-area militia, known as the North Texas Constitutional Militia and based in suburban Richardson, has engaged in paramilitary and survival exercises near the Texas-Oklahoma border. These exercises have included the S.T.A.R. (Strategic Training for Assistance and Readiness) program. According to its materials, S.T.A.R. is conducted by a "cadre" of "former Rangers, Seals, Green Berets, and Martial Arts Experts." On April 19, 1995. the day of the Oklahoma city bombing, and two years to the day after the Branch Davidian compound at Waco erupted in flames, the North Texas Constitutional Militia erected near the site of the compound a stone tablet in memory of those killed in the blaze. Several militias are also believed to be active in Kerrville, northwest of San Antonio, among them the U.S. Civil Militia, founded by Betty Schier and her son Carl. In early May, the pair reportedly turned over to federal authorities a variety of explosives, including TNT, nitroglycerine and a homemade material incorporating ammonium nitrate and paraffin. Betty Schier, 66. a retired gun dealer, said she and her 35-year-old son "don't condone" the Oklahoma City bombing and claimed they only had the explosives for purposes of producing a video called The Mad Bomber," which the son has been trying to sell through a survivalist magazine. The authorities questioned the pair and took possession of the explosives after Carl Schier alerted the FBI that an acquaintance had asked him for information on making a car bomb. No charges were filed against the Schiers. Gritz Visits Texas On February 18, 1995, Bo Gritz (see Idaho) brought his SPIKE (Specially Prepared Individuals for Key Events) weapons and survival training workshop to Dallas. Several timeworn anti-Semitic screeds were sold at the seminar, including The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, Jewish Ritual Murder, by mid-century British anti-Semite Arnold Leese, The Jews and Their Lies, by Martin Luther, and The Truth About the Protocols, by Gerald Winrod, the Kansas-based Jew-hating demagogue of the 1930's and 40's known as the "Jayhawk Nazi." The local contact person for Gritz's visit was Tom Baker, who runs Baker's Outpost, a "Survival & Preparedness Center" in nearby Plano. Along with survival and "defense" supplies, Baker sells conspiracy literature, including Peter Kershar's Economic Solutions -- The Incredible Story of: How You and America are Being Bankrupt & What You Can Do to Avoid the Wipeout, which advances the anti-Semitic canard that the Federal Reserve is run by eight Jewish families. The book carries an endorsement by Bo Gritz. Gritz returned to Dallas the following month for "Preparedness Expo '95," where he shared the podium with, among others, the Michigan-based militia figure Mark Koernke. On a more recent stop in Dallas, shortly after the Oklahoma City bombing, Gritz deplored the tragedy. but went on to describe the bombing as "a Rembrandt, a masterpiece of science and art. " Congressman Steve Stockman In an official letter dated March 22, 1995, Congressman Steve Stockman wrote to Attorney General Janet Reno claiming that "reliable sources" had informed him that several federal agencies were preparing a para- military style attack on the militias, whom he described as "Americans who pose no risk to others." Mr. Stockman even specified the dates and hour of the alleged impending attack: March 25 or 26 at 4:00 a.m. Warning that the assault would "run the risk of an irreparable breach between the federal government and the public," Congressman Stockman asked for detailed information about the military arrangements for the assault. The purported plan of attack, it turned out, was a fiction. Stockman also wrote an article which appeared in the June issue of Guns and Ammo magazine, claiming that the raid on the Branch Davidian compound in Waco was conducted by the Clinton Administration "to prove the need for a ban on so- called assault weapons." Earlier, Stockman appeared as a guest on the radio program of Liberty Lobby, the leading anti-Semitic propaganda group in the nation; he has since said he was unaware of Liberty Lobby's anti-Semitism. ADL has recently conveyed its concerns over these matters in a meeting with Congressman Stockman. ~ ADL Fact Finding Report, "Beyond the Bombing: The Militia Menace Grows," Anti-Defamation League, 1995.
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