The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/e/espy.david/adl-armed-dangerous



 ARMED & DANGEROUS: MILITIAS TAKE AIM AT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT

   AN ADL FACT FINDING REPORT

   Anti-Defamation League, 1994
_________________________________________________________________

   ANTI-DEFAMATION LEAGUE

   David H. Strassler, National Chairman
   Abraham H. Foxman, National Director
   Howard P. Berkowitz, Chairman, National Executive Committee
   Peter T. Willner, Chief Operating Officer
   Kenneth Jacobson, Assistant National Director
   Robert G. Sugarman, Chairman, Civil Rights Committee
   Jeffrey P. Sinensky, Director, Civil Rights Division
   Gary Zaslav, Chairman, Fact Finding and Research Committee

   October 1994

This publication was prepared by Irwin Suall, Director of Special
Projects; Thomas Halpern, Associate Director, Fact Finding
Department;
David Rosenberg, Assistant Director, Fact Finding Department; and
James Q. Purcell, Assistant to the Civil Rights Director.

   (C) 1994 Anti-Defamation League, Printed in the United States of
   America, All rights reserved

                               TABLE OF CONTENTS

   Introduction
   Arizona
   Colorado
   Florida
   Idaho
   Indiana
   Michigan
   Missouri
   Montana
   New Hampshire
   New Mexico
   North Carolina
   Ohio
   Virginia
   Conclusion
   Appendix


Introduction

Bands of armed right-wing militants. most calling themselves
"militias," are cropping up across America. They have no centralized
structure, but there are linkages among some of them, consisting
largely of the sharing of propaganda material and speakers. A survey
conducted by the Anti-Defamation League has found evidence of their
activity in no fewer than 13 states.

The aims of these militias, often bellicosely stated, involve laying
the groundwork for massive resistance to the federal government and
its law enforcement agencies as well as opposition to gun control
laws. In the view of many such extremists. numbering in the
thousands. America's government is the enemy, now widening its
authoritarian control and planning warfare against the citizenry.

To the militia ideologues, gun control legislation -- the Brady
Law,(1) restrictions on assault weapons.(2) etc. -- are major
stratagems in a secret government conspiracy to disarm and control
the American people and abolish their Constitutional "right to bear
arms."(3) They are also obsessed with the role of government in two
recent events -- the Branch Davidian confrontation in Waco(4) and the
Randy Weaver siege in Idaho(5) -- which they interpret as signs of
impending tyranny. The answer, say these extremists, is ultimately,
necessarily, paramilitary resistance. An armed and aroused citizenry
must be mobilized and ready for a call to war.

For most, if not all, of the militias, the fear of government
confiscation of their weapons is a paramount concern. Samuel
Sherwood, head of the "U.S. Militia Association" in Idaho, states:
"When they come around to collect weapons, we'll have the legal and
lawful structure to say 'no' to that." Randy Trochmann of the
"Militia of Montana" gets tougher: "If and when the federal
government decides to confiscate weapons, people will band together
to stop them. They are not going to give up their guns." And the
"enemy" easily becomes nightmarish: Robert Pummer, a leader of the
"Florida State Militia," says that his group is "capable of defending
ourselves against chemical and biological agents."

Although thwarting gun control is the chief aim of the militias, they
seek to turn the clock back on federal involvement in a host of other
issues as well, e.g., education, abortion, the environment.

Case in point: Norman Olson, a regional militia commander in northern
Michigan, has envisioned violence erupting if present government
policies continue. Olson, a Baptist minister who owns a gun shop,
declared: "We're talking about a situation where armed conflict may
be inevitable if the country doesn't turn around." (Emphasis added.)
Most often the central issue of the militants has been the legality
of guns themselves. Clearly, their deeper suspicions and terrors
should be of concern: Is their militant cause merely the alleged
gun-toting "right" of citizens? -- or is it the "turning around" of
the U.S. itself from what the militants see as the "treasonous"
direction of the federal government's present policies? The question
which no one can answer just yet is what, exactly, the "militias"
intend to do with their guns.

Might they still, as many observers hope, limit themselves to the
time-honored means provided by the Constitution -- freedom of
expression, the ballot, the courts, the right of petition --or do
they intend to resort to lawlessness?

A recent episode in Virginia offers some partial but troubling
evidence. Members of a militia group calling itself the Blue Ridge
Hunt Club were arrested for possession of illegal weapons. The leader
of the group, James Roy Mullins, and three others who were taken into
custody, were found to be stockpiling weapons in their homes and
storage facilities. Found on a computer disk in Mullins' home was a
draft of the group's newsletter stating that it planned a series of
terrorist actions in furtherance of its aims. According to an ATF
official. the group intended to further arm itself by raiding the
National Guard Armory in Pulaski. Virginia.

A further and vexing problem uncovered by investigation of the
growing militias is the presence in some of them -- even in
leadership roles -- of persons with histories of racial and religious
bigotry and of political extremism. In the Northwest. for example, we
find militia leaders with backgrounds in the Aryan Nations movement.
and elsewhere other erstwhile neo Nazis and Ku Kluxers.

The militias are of concern and doubtless will remain so in the
coming months: they are driven by a combustible issue in American
life which remains unresolved -- that of gun control, an issue of
urgency and passion in a society beset by violent crime. Coming head
to head: a cry for weapons restrictions and a perceived
Constitutional right. Most of those siding with the latter are
law-abiding citizens who feel that guns are desirable for personal
defense or for sport. Many of them feel that the National Rifle
Association (NRA) adequately represents their concerns: others who
see the NRA as too moderate have sought out more extreme advocates
such as the American Pistol and Rifle Association (APRA). Of late,
however, still others are resorting to the mustering of a far more
desperate and dangerous "resistance" -- the militia movement that is
the focus of this report.

There follows a state-by-state synopsis of militia activity.

Arizona

Efforts have recently begun in Arizona to create a militia movement.
David Espy, who portrays himself a latter-day American Revolutionary
captain, has attempted to organize militia meetings over the last
several weeks. An advertisement he placed in the September 11 and 25.
1994 issues of the Prescott Courier announced a meeting in Paulden,
Arizona of the "Association of the Sons of Liberty and the Volunteer
Militia." The purpose of the meeting was to discuss plans for action
against the federal government which, he asserts, "continue[s] to
pass legislation that weaken our unalienable, private property and
Bill of Rights (sic)." The formation of a militia is an integral part
of Espy's plan:

So. everyone out there, who thinks that taking pride in owning
firearms, is being fanatical or nuts, should remember where you are
living and how we all got here to begin with. It wasn't by just
sitting back and letting the government run our lives and usurping
our fundamental rights as free people. So forgive me, if I see a
clear and present danger with what is happening in our country today,
and that I feel a genuine and rational need to form a volunteer
militia force. if for no other reason than to [let] Washington know
that there is still a large group of us out here that have inherited
revolutionary DNA and are willing to fight for it until our dying
breath.

Another aspect of his plan is a demand for "the legal cessation (sic)
of Arizona from these federal United States."

Also active in Arizona is Gary D. Hunt. a man obsessed with the Waco
Branch Davidian incident. Hunt himself was present during the siege
in Waco and wrote about the event at the time, comparing the Branch
Davidians to the original revolutionary Minutemen: "I understand why
[the Minutemen] were willing to stand and face portions of the
greatest military force in the world. And I understand why David
Koresh and the other brave defenders of Mount Carmel stand fearlessly
defending their home and mine."

More recently, Hunt has distributed a flier dated July 2, 1994 and
labeled "Sons of Liberty No. 3." The flier describes the
effectiveness of militias in the Revolutionary War and suggests that
militias are again needed now. At the bottom of the flier, written in
by hand, Hunt announced: "March on Phx FBI 8-25-94 5-6 p.m. to
release the Branch Davidians. Bring legal signs + guns. Tell a
friend." The FBI and Phoenix Police paid close attention. but the
planned march never materialized.

Colorado

Militias in Colorado have benefitted from the support of a number of
right-wing groups. Most active in the movement are so-called Patriot
groups that proliferate throughout the state. Others showing support
for militias in Colorado are the Constitutionists. the Guardians of
American Liberties (GOAL). and state representative Charles Duke.

Militias, calling themselves Patriots, are being formed across the
state and are currently operating in Lakewood, Longmont, Boulder,
Greeley and Fort Collins. The Fort Collins group is led by Duncan
Philp, who has been a member of Pete Peters' LaPorte Church of
Christ. a racist and anti-Semitic church that embraces the ideology
of the Christian Identity movement.

The Patriots propaganda promotes the view that the federal government
has betrayed the people and the Constitution through laws regarding
home-schooling, abortion, taxation, freedom of speech and religion,
and, most importantly, gun control. While calling on citizens to take
political action (e.g., write their Congressmen, attend meetings,
etc.), they also urge that people prepare to resist the government by
forming militias and stockpiling weapons, groceries and other
necessities for survival.

The Patriots publish a newsletter and sell tapes and videos through
"The Patriot Library." Among the titles for sale are "The New World
Order, Communist groups supported by Hillary Clinton." as well as
tapes describing black helicopters said to be scrutinizing the
actions of citizens in the western states. A June 22, 1994 "Patriot
Factsheet" encouraged members to read, by computer access, The
Spotlight, the organ of the anti-Semitic Liberty Lobby.

Guardians of American Liberties. a multi-slate organization centered
in Boulder. is attempting to take a leadership role in the militia
movement. It describes itself as a national grassroots network of
American Citizens formed to insure our government is free of
corruption, that it is actively aligned with the will of the people
and to safeguard the Constitution of the United States of America
>from  all forms of corruption." GOAL has some 40 to 50 members in
Colorado as well as claimed chapters in Texas, Arizona, California
and Nevada. It has established a militia committee, although it is
not clear what degree of success it has achieved in organizing
militias in Colorado or elsewhere. GOAL literature lists these
additional committees: a "Federal Reserve & IRS Committee." a
"Political Prisoner Committee," and a "Sovereignty & Freedom
Committee," beneath which is printed the slogan. "Kick the Feds out
of the Counties."

GOAL's leader. Stewart Webb. has appeared frequently on right-wing
radio shows to discuss his various conspiracy theories regarding,
among other issues, the S&L and BCCI scandals. Webb has a history of
anti-Semitism. From the mid-1980's and into the 90's. he made a
series of threatening anti-Semitic phone calls and continued to do so
even after receiving a cease and desist order.

The Constitutionists. a Kansas-based extremist group whose leadership
includes Evan Mecham, the impeached former governor of Arizona, has
received support in its promotion of militias from Colorado State
representative Charles Duke. Duke spoke at the group's June
conference in Indianapolis and promoted the formation of militias as
an effective way for citizens to protect themselves from the
government. At a Patriots meeting last July, Duke said: "We need some
ability to get some firepower to protect the citizens. I would like
to see a militia...[the type] that functions as a sheriff's posse and
has sufficient training."

Radio station KHNC in Johnstown has offered its facilities to the
Patriots and other groups active in the militia movement. KHNC
broadcasts continuous Patriot programs and talk on "conservative
issues." Among regulars on the station are Bo Gritz (see Idaho
section of this report) and Dr. Norm Resnick, an outspoken opponent
of gun control. In addition to using the radio to air their views.
Colorado militias also disseminate information on computer bulletin
boards that reach readers across the country. The Colorado Free
Militia and Boulder Patriots, for example, are promoted on the New
Age Electronic Information Service, a Colorado bulletin board.

Florida

Several groups using the name "militia" have appeared in Florida.(6)
Among them are groups whose handbooks and leaflets variously engage
in anti-Semitic innuendo. serve up alarmist warnings of a government
conspiracy to abolish individual rights (especially gun ownership
rights), and specify the amount of ammunition and other material each
militia member is expected to carry.

One such outfit is the Florida State Militia, whose prime mover is
Robert Pummer of Stuart, in Martin County. Pummer, a Kansas native
who was a drug dealer in Michigan in the early 1970's and served time
for second-degree murder, has been agitating on some of the same
issues exploited by militia-style groups around the country: gun
control, the Branch Davidian conflagration in Waco, the Randy Weaver
siege at Ruby Ridge in Idaho, allegations of Russian and other
foreign troops operating on U.S. soil, and other conspiracy-minded
themes. He claims members in every Florida county.

The Florida State Militia's handbook, published by Pummer, declares:
"We have had enough -- enough drugs and crime, enough violence and
bloodshed, enough Waco- and Ruby Ridge-style government attacks on
Christian Americans." The handbook explains how to organize militia
regiments. It prescribes the recommended survival gear and weaponry:
"BUY AMMO NOW! YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO BUY IT LATER! while expressing
worry over the possibility of infiltration, the handbook offers the
following reassurance: "[Y]ou still have your inner circle, and this
the FBI, ATF, or any other federal scumbags cannot penetrate, if you
keep up your guard."

Publications contained in a "Patriot List" in the Florida State
Militia's handbook include several anti-Semitic periodicals: The
Spotlight, organ of the Washington. D.C.-based Liberty Lobby, the
wealthiest and most active anti-Semitic propaganda organization in
the country: The Truth At Last, an obsessively anti-Black and
anti-Jewish hate sheet produced by longtime extremist Ed Fields of
Marietta. Georgia; Criminal Politics, a conspiracy-oriented
anti-Semitic, "anti-Zionist" and anti-establishment monthly; and The
National Educator, whose pages have honored the leaders of the
far-right terrorist gang called The Order and the neo-Nazi
paramilitary group, Aryan Nations. The handbook says a short-wave
radio is an essential piece of communications equipment. It
particularly endorses the Liberty Lobby-controlled program "Radio
Free America" as one source that transmits "what the mainstream media
will not tell you ."

Pummer's militia sponsored an Information Fair and Campout in St.
Lucie County on the weekend of September 17, 1994. The event
attracted approximately 100 attendees, including some parents who
came with their children. Most attendees carried firearms, including
some semi-automatic weapons. Many wore knives. A workshop on radio
communications was conducted by a man who identified himself as a
retired police chief and Air Force officer. All attendees were
encouraged to attend the U.S. Constitution Restoration Rally in
Lakeland. Florida. on October 1 (see below).

A Key Largo-based group calls itself alternately the United States
Militia and the 1st Regiment Florida State Militia. Making a specious
claim to legitimacy from such documents as the U.S. Constitution, the
Federalist Papers, the Florida Constitution and Florida statutes,
this group has been attempting to recruit members at "patriotic" and
anti-gun control gatherings in Florida. Mimicking the style of the
Declaration of Independence, its literature speaks of a "Train of
Abuses" perpetrated on state and local governments and the citizenry
by the federal government. "Just as our Founding Fathers of this
country shook off their shackles of bondage," the group declares, "so
must we."

The militia's regulations state that "County units will be organized
in each county of the state." Militia members are told to expect to
spend one weekend a month engaging in unit activities including
rallies, shooting events and fund raisers. A list of suitable
equipment is provided, which includes one thousand rounds of
ammunition per weapon and six 30-round magazines for each militia
member. While the group's regulations state that "The unit may not be
used against the police or governmental authority within the state of
Florida," an exception may be made when such an "entity" commits
"crimes of violation of their oath of officer and "of "sections or
articles of the Constitution of the United States of America and of
this state."

The United States Militia's material was distributed at a U.S.
Constitution Restoration Rally in Lakeland, Florida, on October 1,
1994. Attended by 1,000 to 1,500 people, the event was sponsored by
Operation Freedom, an outfit created by Charles and Ruth Ann Spross
of Maitland Florida. The Sprosses describe their effort as a "for
profit partnership," and, indeed, they offer for sale scores of video
and book titles, such as "The Planned Destruction of America" and
Linda Thompson's "Waco, The Big Lie." Featured on the schedule at the
October 1 gathering was a speech by M. J. "Red" Beckman, of Montana,
 who has been influential in the militia movement in his home state.

Distributed along with the speakers program at the rally was a sheet
bearing the heading: "Paul Revere Rides Again." It proclaimed: "A
strong and growing Underground Patriotic Movement with state-wide
militia groups exists against The Sinister Ones that is unreported by
the monopolistic and controlled establishment media." (sic)
Identifying such enemies as the House of Rothschild, international
bankers, the Federal Reserve System and the Trilateral Commission,
the flier asked: "What is the range of British and Israeli influence
in the upper tiers?" It urged readers to "Stockpile food, water, guns
and ammo. Never surrender your weapons.... Subscribe to the weekly
populist newspaper The Spotlight.... Form or attend meetings with
other spirited patriots.... Consider yourself warned!"

Also distributed in large numbers at the rally was a flier urging
that "All Gun Owners Should Fire A WARNING SHOT As A Signal To The
New Congress" on November 11 at 11:00 pm. "Congress has failed to
safeguard the Bill of Rights," it reads, "especially the 2nd
Amendment." It further declares:

A warship will fire a warning shot across the bow, a rattlesnake will
sound off: these warnings are never ignored. It is time to warn
politicians that if they do not respect the Bill of Rights they
should at least fear the wrath of the People. Congress is forcing the
country into a civil war.

A group in Tampa that claims alignment with a national "patriot
movement" has ordered four judges and several Hillsborough County
officials, including the tax collector, to give themselves up for
arrest to the group's so-called Constitutional Court. Founder of the
group, Emilio Ippolito, and his daughter, Susan Mokdad, reportedly
said they have an unarmed militia composed of volunteers to execute
the Constitutional Court's orders. Subsequently, Ed Brown, an
activist with an armed militia group in New Hampshire, contacted
Florida law enforcement authorities, prosecutors' offices and the
Florida Bar Association to express support for Ippolito's court.

Idaho

As in other parts of the country, the recent rise of militias in
Idaho can be linked to four events: the Randy Weaver siege, the Waco
disaster, the passage of the Brady Law and the federal anti-crime
law. Idaho militias identify particularly closely with the Weaver
incident because it took place inside the state and because some key
militia figures in the region were allied with Weaver and indeed
participated in the events surrounding the siege.

Samuel Sherwood, an Idaho militia leader, has recruited hundreds of
Idahoans into his United States Militia Association. At a July
meeting in Blackfoot, Idaho, Sherwood reportedly told potential
recruits that President Clinton's crime bill authorized the
government to hire 100,000 former Royal Hong Kong police to come to
America to enforce gun control laws. As of August 1991, Sherwood's
association has organized militias in at least a dozen of Idaho's
counties.

Sherwood's recruitment campaign has met with opposition from law
enforcement officials. The Tri-County Sheriff's Association,
representing 16 eastern Idaho counties, has passed a resolution
against the formation of militias. Greg Moffat, Madison County
Sheriff and the leader of the association, has asserted that they
would "give absolutely no support to the idea of a militia."


  BO GRITZ

Although his current project is not strictly speaking the formation
of militias, Bo Gritz's activity closely parallels the militia
movement. Gritz, the 1992 Populist Party candidate for president, is
a former Green Beret, well-known for conducting SPIKE (Specially
Prepared Individuals for Key Events) training throughout the region,
preparing participants in weapons and survival techniques.

Gritz is currently creating an armed community on a 200-acre piece of
land in Central Idaho known as "Almost Heaven." He purchased the land
and is now selling it in lots. A second community called "Shenandoah"
is also planned nearby. Gritz plans to live at Almost Heaven with 30
other families in a self-sufficient community which he has said will
obey all laws "unless they go against the laws of God and common
sense." Through rigorous military training, Gritz plans to prepare
his followers to prevent the government from making any attempts to
intrude: "I want a community where if the F.B.I. looks at us, they'll
end up saying it's more trouble than it's worth."

Gritz derives much of his support from his opposition to the federal
government s actions in the Weaver and Waco cases. He himself was
present at the Weaver standoff and assisted Weaver in surrendering to
the authorities. Gritz recently wrote in his newsletter, "The tyrants
who ordered the assault on the Weavers and Waco should be tried and
executed as traitors." But Gritz's extremist views go beyond
opposition to certain government policies. For example, in his book,
Called To Serve, he peddles the anti-Semitic myth that Jewish
families control the Federal Reserve System.


Indiana

Indianapolis is the home base of Linda Thompson, an influential
figure in the militia movement nationally. Thompson is a lawyer and
chairman of the American Justice Federation, which describes itself
as "a group dedicated to stopping the New World Order and getting the
truth out to the American public." Thompson claims to have contact
with militias in all 50 states. She appears frequently at militia
gatherings and gun shows, to lecture and sell her videos "Waco, The
Big Lie," and "Waco II - The Big Lie Continues." The latter, she
claims, "proves conclusively the government murdered 100 men, women
and children at Mt. Carmel in April, 1993." She also sells other
propaganda material such as "The Traitor Files," which purport to
link "Bill and Hillary Clinton to a Marxist-Terrorist network."

On July 13, 1991, Thompson was arrested in Indianapolis for using her
vehicle to block a bus carrying supporters of President Clinton's
health care plan. She was charged with obstructing traffic. At the
time of her arrest police officers seized from her person a
.45-caliber pistol and a .22-caliber Derringer pistol. They also
found in her vehicle an assault rifle with 295 rounds of ammunition.
Her case is pending.

Thompson's most ambitious undertaking to date was a planned militia
march on Washington. D.C., on September 19, 1994, where an ultimatum
was to be delivered to the government. The ultimatum commanded
members of Congress to initiate legislation that would, among other
things, repeal the 14th, 16th and 17th Amendments to the
Constitution. and the Brady Law and NAFTA. Designating herself
"Acting Adjutant General." of the "Unorganized Militia of the United
States." Thompson ordered all participants to come "armed and in
uniform." She announced that, besides delivering the ultimatum, "The
militia will arrest Congressmen who have failed to uphold their oaths
of office, who will then be tried for Treason by citizens courts."

Realizing after several months that support for her march was
lacking, Thompson called it off, yet her standing in the militia
movement apparently remains undiminished.

The John Birch Society, troubled about Thompson's influence on its
members and staff, found it necessary to warn them against her. On
May 12, 1994. the Society, issued an official "admonition to all
members and a directive to all employees" to "stay clear of her
schemes." They said: "Linda Thompson's call for the arrest in
September of members of Congress and the President of the United
States by an armed militia is not just insane, it is contrary to all
understanding of the nature and identity of the enemy." It appears
that even by the standards of the John Birch Society, Thompson is too
radical.

Meanwhile, Thompson continues to appear at rallies and conferences
around the country, and on radio, promoting the militia cause and
calling down thunder upon the American government and its law
enforcement agencies.

A rally to form a militia in Indianapolis took place in September
1994, at a union hall in the south central part of the city. In
attendance were some 200 persons, filling the hall to capacity, while
an overflow crowd was turned away.

A smaller militia is believed to be functioning in Switzerland
County, in eastern Indiana. The county, long plagued by extremist
activity, has been the home base of the Northwest Territory Knights
of the KKK. a Klan splinter group.


Michigan

The militia movement has gained a following in Michigan. The most
visible such group in the state has sprung up in northern Michigan.
Spokesmen there make the (probably exaggerated) claim that militias
have 10,000 members and that brigades are operating or are currently
forming in 66 of the state's 83 counties. Meetings reportedly draw 50
to 100 attendees.

The issues animating Michigan's militias are the same as those
fueling the movement nationally. Chief among them is a belief that
gun control legislation is but a prelude to a complete ban on
firearms ownership in this country. An essential additional
ingredient, though, is their conviction that the government intends
to wage war on citizens who refuse to give up their weapons. They
cite as evidence for this view the tragic assault on the Branch
Davidian compound in Waco, Texas. and the 1992 raid on the cabin of
Randy Weaver in Idaho, in which Weaver's wife and son and a federal
marshal were killed. They also contend that this same federal
government is acquiescing in the surrender of U.S. sovereignty to the
United Nations and other international bodies. The militia's aims are
to "stand against tyranny, globalism, moral relativism, humanism and
the New World Order threatening to undermine these United States of
America."

Norman E. Olson, 47, a Baptist minister and gun-shop owner in
Alanson, is the Commander of the 1st Brigade, 2nd Division, Northern
Michigan Regional Militia. After a few months of discussion and
recruitment, the group was established in April 1994. It conducts
training exercises twice a month. At a recent session, weapons
reportedly included Chinese SKS semi-automatic assault rifles,
shotguns and deer rifles.

When residents complained about militia members clad in camouflage
uniforms and painted faces gathering with their rifles at a village
park and a public campground in Pellston, the village council banned
firearms from those and other village sites. Militia commander Olson
threatened to sue the village for allegedly violating his rights. He
also announced that his group would no longer convene in the park or
the campground, saying: "The people of Pellston have got to want the
light of liberty."

Olson strenuously denies that the Northern Michigan Regional Militia
is racist or anti Semitic. He claims some Jewish ancestry, and
professes admiration for Israel. But his militia's rhetoric on
occasion has been extreme and alarmist. In reference to the aborted
march on Washington promoted by Indianapolis militia leader Linda
Thompson, Olson has written: "Many thousands are prepared to go to
Washington in uniform, carry their guns, prepared to present the
ultimatum to the President and to Congress. This may be the beginning
of a Concord-like confrontation." A militia pamphlet distributed at a
May meeting in Petoskey attended by some 55 people reportedly asked:
"What force exists to prevent a state or federally orchestrated
massacre like the one in Waco from occurring in Michigan?" Ray
Southwell, a real estate agent who is the group's information
officer, has said: "I'd guess that within the next two years, you
will see the Constitution suspended." His further prediction:
"Christian fundamentalists will be the first to go under fascism this
time. Just like the Jews were the first last time."

Southwell speaks as though he regards confrontation with law
enforcement as inevitable. His militia is preparing for the day "when
martial law is declared." "We are taking a stand." he says, "and are
prepared to lose everything."

Other militia activists in Michigan have had their own encounter with
the law. Police in Fowlerville (Livingston County) arrested three
militia members on September 8, 1994. Loaded rifles and handguns, as
well as gas masks, night-vision binoculars and two-way radios, were
found in their car. At the men's scheduled September 14 hearing, at
least two dozen uniformed supporters staged a protest in front of the
courthouse and stomped on a United Nations flag. The suspects failed
to appear and are considered fugitives. They were described by their
supporters as security aides to Mark Koernke (a.k.a. "Mark from
Michigan"), a former Army intelligence officer whose "America in
Peril" video and speeches have helped to recruit members to militias
around the country.

All the confrontational talk has caught the attention of law
enforcement authorities. "Some of their material is disquieting
because it defines the U.S. government as the enemy said a Michigan
State Police commander. "It is disquieting if people think redress is
in armed conflict with the U.S. government." The head of the Detroit
office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms expressed the
hope "that the militia groups would use the power of the vote rather
than the threat of armed violent confrontation to accomplish their
goals."


Missouri

Militias are active in Missouri but do not appear to be as
well-organized as in other states. They operate in at least five
southern Missouri counties: Crawford, Green, Barton, Dade and Cedar,
and number collectively approximately 130 members. The militias hold
irregular meetings to view training videos, discuss paramilitary
techniques and exchange literature reflecting right-wing views.

Missouri's militias are attempting to organize themselves for
political action by, among other things, running candidates for local
office. In keeping with their political aspirations, they have
attempted to avoid any public identification with more extreme
groups. although some members also belong to the John Birch Society
and the Populist Party.


Montana

Militias have been forming in Montana since February 1991. While the
rhetoric of these groups focuses on gun control and other familiar
militia causes, examination reveals that some of the leading figures
in the Montana militia movement have also participated in the
activities of racist and anti-Semitic groups.

Meetings have been held across the state, drawing as many as 800 at a
March 10 meeting in Kalispell. Two other meetings there also drew
over 150 participants. Similar gatherings held in Hamilton, Eureka,
Big Timber and Great Falls drew over 200 participants each. Smaller
numbers attended meetings in Sanders County, Billings and Troy. While
the crowds at initial meetings have been large, they have tended to
fall off somewhat at subsequent gatherings.

Montana militias often dwell on the state's history as an independent
outpost of freedom. A recent militia newsletter quoted, with
approval, Gary Marbut, president of The Montana Shooting Sports
Association (an anti-gun control group) in a call for rejection of
all federal control over the state:

Montanans are fed up with the federal government dictating to Montana
and the people of Montana and we are through with Congress's
increasing encroachment on the Bill of Rights. We have a thirst for
freedom in Montana, and we simply will not subsist under the boot
heel of federal tyranny. There may be some debate about what the
Second Amendment means to the U.S. Supreme Court or the people of
Peoria, but there is no question about what the Second Amendment
means to the people of Montana. "The great purpose" as Patrick Henry
said, "is that every man be armed."


  MILITIA OF MONTANA

The Militia of Montana (M.O.M.) is among the most visible and the
most extreme of such groups in the country. M.O.M. is run in Noxon,
Montana by the Trochmann brothers, John and David and David's son
Randy. all of whom have long been involved in the white supremacist
movement. The Trochmanns have been members of the Aryan Nations, the
Idaho based neo-Nazi organization that promotes anti-Semitism, white
supremacy and the establishment of a white racist state. John
Trochmann was a featured speaker at the Aryan Nations Congress in
1990. He has also been an active supporter of Randy Weaver, the white
supremacist who was involved in a shoot-out with federal authorities.
Some members of M.O.M. circulate neo-Nazi publications among
themselves. One such book, Seed of the Woman, is a "novel" detailing
the wild exploits of several young neo-Nazis in a contemporary
America peopled by gross stereotypes. Its favorable depiction of
Nazi-inspired slaughter and its promotion of Nazi doctrine make it a
prescription for violence against Jews, blacks. homosexuals and
others.

M.O.M.'s eight-page pamphlet. "The Militia," discusses the history of
militias and their origin in the United States, arguing that the
Second Amendment was intended to allow the citizens to form
"unorganized" militias in order to protect themselves from a
potentially tyrannical government. It outlines the militia's role as
follows:

To balance the military power of the nation with the might of the
militia will put at odds any scheme by government officials to use
the force of the government against the people. Therefore, when the
codes and statutes are unjust for the majority of the people, the
people will rightly revolt and the government will have to acquiesce
without a shot being fired, because the militia stands vigilant in
carrying out the will of the people in defense of rights, liberty and
freedom.

The purpose of government is in the protection of the rights of the
people, when it does not accomplish this, the militia is the crusader
who steps forward, and upon it rests the mantle of the rights of the
people. (sic)

Displaying the group s attitude towards taking up arms, John
Trochmann recently said: "We don't want bloodshed. We want to use the
ballot box and the jury box. We don't want to go to the cartridge
box. But we will if we have to."

M.O.M.'s newsletter, Taking Aim, details the ways that the government
is currently failing to protect the rights of the people. It cites
gun control and the crime bill as evidence of this, but also suggests
a variety of conspiracy theories about plans by world leaders to
implement a world government. M.O.M. plays to paranoid fears by
making wild claims about the supposed activity of foreign military
troops in Montana and across the country. One report on the activity
of out-of-state troops brought in to fight forest fires concludes:
"One more note: Mysterious deaths have been taking place since these
troops appeared. Coincidence? We do not know." While the newsletter
does not echo the racist ideology of the Trochmanns, it makes a
homophobic slur in alluding to rumors regarding Attorney General
Janet Reno's sexual orientation.

M.O.M. advertises and distributes books, tapes and videos that
provide further "information" on their conspiracy theories. Typical
of the selection is a video advertised as "The Countdown to History
(Biochip - Mark of the Beast) UN Police Force, One World Govt., Chip
implants. All by the year 2000-Totally Documented." Also offered are
tapes and videos on organizing militias and on survival and combat
techniques.


RED BECKMAN

M. J. "Red" Beckman, an influential figure in the militia movement,
has a record as an anti-Semite and an anti-tax activist. He recently
lost a long struggle with the IRS when he was finally evicted from
his land long after it had been sold to pay for taxes due the
government. Beckman, like many militia proponents, is a conspiracy
theorist. He has said that the Federal Reserve Bank, the
International Monetary Fund and the so-called New World Order are
conspiring to dominate the world. In his 1984 book, The Church
Deceived, Beckman proclaimed that the Holocaust was a judgement upon
the Jews for worshipping Satan. More recently. he appeared on
KULR-TV, a Montana television station. and repeated his view that
Jews are worshippers of Satan.


New Hampshire

New Hampshire law provides for an "unorganized militia" made up of
all citizens over the age of 18 who are not in the national guard or
state guard. Militia enthusiasts in New Hampshire have pointed to the
state's legislation (as well as the Second Amendment to the U.S.
Constitution) to explain and justify their seemingly oxymoronic
organization of "unorganized militias." There is nothing to suggest,
however, that they actually intend to serve according to the spirit
of the laws by which they justify their own existence. Such laws call
for the governor of the state to direct members of the "unorganized
militia" to serve in the National Guard during times of crisis.

New Hampshire is the home of the Constitution Defense Militia, a
well-organized group with at least 15 members. It is not known if the
group engages in paramilitary training or the stockpiling of weapons.

The group has held meetings at the home of Edward L. Brown of
Plainsfield. Brown is outspoken in his support of the concept of
militias and devotes much of his time and energy to the causes
embraced by them: opposition to gun control, the United Nations and
the federal government. He recently lobbied against a bill that would
ban guns in school zones, for example.

While much of Brown's activity appeals to mainstream opponents of gun
control and big government, his enthusiasm for conspiracy theories
and his reliance on extremist propaganda places him on the far
reaches of the political spectrum. Brown is a devoted reader of The
Spotlight, the organ of Liberty Lobby, the best-funded and most
active anti-Semitic propaganda organization in the United States. In
a recent telephone call to ADL, Brown acknowledged that he gets his
information on domestic and international affairs from The Spotlight.
He recently wrote letters to his Congressman and Senators in
Washington regarding the alleged build-up of hostile foreign troops
inside the United States. Other members of his militia reportedly
also embrace conspiracy fantasies involving the Council on Foreign
Relations, the Trilateral Commission, and the Rockefeller Foundation.

At a recent meeting of the group, members expressed their admiration
for two extremist figures: Bo Gritz and Linda Thompson (see the
sections of this report on Idaho and Indiana). The group has been in
contact with Gritz regarding the organization of militias.

New Mexico

As in neighboring Arizona, the organization of militias in New Mexico
is in the nascent stages. Thus far, the most visible manifestation of
pro-militia sentiment in New Mexico has been found in The Free
American, a monthly newspaper published privately by Clayton R.
Douglas and his wife, Jan Douglas. The September 1994 issue contained
an advertisement declaring: "It's Time To Take Matters Into Our Own
Hands. It's Time To Protect Our Constitution! Join The New Mexico
Unorganized Militia." The accompanying phone number for more
information was the number of the newspaper itself.

The militia movement appears to be taking hold in Catron County, an
area that in recent years has experienced much anti-federal
government sentiment among some residents. Among the groups
attempting to organize a local militia are "Concerned Citizens" and
the "Patriots of Catron County."

Finally, literature from Linda Thompson's (see Indiana section)
"Unorganized Militias of the United States." has been distributed
through gun shops in Albuquerque.


North Carolina

North Carolina's militia movement has been fueled by an alarmist
vision of a U.S. government bent on the destruction of American
liberties.

A Monroe-based group called Citizens for the Reinstatement of
Constitutional Government has coalesced around Albert Esposito. He
denies that he is preaching revolution, but his rhetoric includes
clear overtones of preparation for battle with the imagined enemy. He
urges the group to amass caches of the "Four B's": Bibles, bullets,
beans and bandages. Many members own semiautomatic weapons, including
AR-15's and AK-47s.

The group's program is a mixture of anti-government, religious and
conspiratorial ideas. It aims to "make the Holy Bible and the United
States Constitution the law of the land." and it vows to "resist the
coming New World Order (one world government)." To accomplish its
goals, it promises to "Remove treasonous politicians and corrupt
judges from positions of authority, and return authority to the
people." (Precisely how these malefactors are to be removed from
office is not slated.)

Citizens for the Reinstatement of Constitutional Government meets
twice a month, alternating between Monroe, in Union County, and
Matthews, in neighboring Mecklenburg County. At one meeting,
Esposito, a 43-year-old contractor, reportedly repeated G. Gordon
Liddy's alleged statement about the new crime law's assault weapons
ban: "He said. If they pass it, don't obey it. And if they come after
you, meet force with force."

The group has distributed application forms for the "National Free
and Sovereign Civilian Militia, North Carolina state Division." The
forms ask applicants whether they are proficient in the operation of
handguns and rifles. "reloading ammo," and a variety of survivalist
skills.

Esposito has espoused his views on guns at Union County
commissioners' meetings. He also railed against federal encroachment
in announcing his support for a nonbinding resolution passed by the
commission in support of school prayer. Holding a copy of the
Constitution in the air, he declared: "We control the county. Not
Washington."

Consistent with such anti-federal government views, Esposito says he
has refused to file federal income tax returns for three years
running because he regards the tax as unconstitutional.

The group he leads split off from a tax-protest group in Charlotte
called the Carolina Patriots, three of whose leaders were convicted
in October 1994 of conspiracy to help people avoid their tax
obligations. Esposito's group has attempted to distance itself from
the Carolina Patriots.

In addition to their views on guns and taxes, members of the Monroe
group have expressed ideas and conspiracy theories that are
characteristic of some other militias around the country. These
include charges that the Federal Reserve system has enriched a tiny
elite (the group's literature advocates the abolition of the Federal
Reserve), and that some government employees have been implanted with
computer chips in order to monitor the citizenry. Another claim made
at one of the group's meetings, that the government cannot require
private citizens to obtain a driver's license, echoes the stand of an
earlier extremist group, the Posse Comitatus.

A separate North Carolina militia group has been formed in
Greenville, in the eastern part of the state. Led by Scott Brown, the
unit is part of the Idaho-based United States Militia Association.
Brown reportedly has said his group worries that government
representatives "don't really understand what the Constitution means
and stands for, and they're voting away our unalienable rights." It
is not known whether the Greenville unit is engaging in any more
incendiary rhetoric or activity. But this fear -- which is apparently
spreading and growing -- that the government is a threat to the
rights of the people, is a central theme that militia groups are
feverishly trying to exploit.

A computer bulletin board in Alamance County, called "The Spirit of
'76." has served as an area recruiting point for the militia led by
Linda Thompson, the Indianapolis woman who is a leading figure in the
militia movement nationwide. Another bulletin board system that made
Thompson's computerized materials available has referred individuals
interested in joining the militia to The Spirit of '76. For its part,
The Spirit of '76 has declared itself off limits to police and other
government authorities by posting a warning that states: "This BBS
 [bulletin board system] is a PRIVATE system. Only private citizens
who are NOT involved in government or law enforcement activities are
authorized to use it."


Ohio

Several militia-like groups have arisen in scattered communities in
the State of Ohio. One such militia has been meeting and conducting
paramilitary training exercises in Pike County in rural south central
Ohio. There is overlapping participation, and a weapons-sales
connection, among the Pike County militia, the neo-Nazi SS Action
Group and the Ku Klux Klan.

Other militia groups have arisen in Franklin County and Warren
County. A militia-type group called "Patriots" meets in Cincinnati
and conducts paramilitary exercises in rural Clermont County.


Virginia

On July 27 of this year, James Roy Mullins, a founding member of a
militia-like group called The Blue Ridge Hunt Club, was arrested and
charged with the possession and sale of a short-barreled rifle and
unregistered silencers and with facilitating the unlawful purchase of
a firearm. Ultimately, three other members were also charged with
firearm offenses. Federal officials said that Mullins had formed the
club to arm its members in preparation for war with the government.
The cases are pending.

The group, formed earlier in 1994, has had as many as 15 members.
They are said to have met three times before Mullins' arrest. While
members of the group say that their purpose is to lobby against gun
control laws, federal law enforcement officials tell a much different
story. An ATF official who investigated the case said that "Mullins
is organizing a group of confederates, to be armed and trained in
paramilitary fashion, in preparation for armed conflict with
government authorities should firearms legislation become too
restrictive." Evidence of such preparation is substantial. In
searches of members' homes and storage facilities, federal agents
found a stockpile of weapons. In Mullins' home, agents found 13 guns,
several of which had homemade silencers. They also found explosives,
hand grenades, fuses and blasting caps in a separate warehouse.

Even pretrial incarceration has not stopped Mullins from threatening
violence. While in jail, he wrote a letter to a friend saying that he
wanted to borrow a machine gun in order to "take care of unfinished
business" with certain prosecution witnesses.

The strongest indications of the group's goals was the draft of a
portion of its newsletter found on a computer disk obtained by
federal agents. On the disk, Mullins had written:

Hit and run tactics will be our method of fighting... We will destroy
targets such as telephone relay centers, bridges, fuel storage tanks,
communications towers, radio stations, airports. etc... human targets
will be engaged ... when it is beneficial to the cause to eliminate
particular individuals who oppose us (troops. police, political
figures, snitches, etc.).

An ATF official also said that Mullins was planning to arm the group
by burglarizing the National Guard Armory in Pulaski, Virginia.


Conclusion

Given the revolutionary posturing of so many of the militias, and the
role in them of hatemongers of long standing, the better part of
wisdom dictates that close attention be paid to them. There is a role
here for the press and for citizen organizations that monitor
extremism. The Anti-Defamation League is pledged to do its part.

The chief responsibility for keeping on top of the militia threat,
however, plainly rests with the law enforcement branch of government.
That this responsibility must be implemented with all due respect for
the legal rights to which everyone is entitled should go without
saying. Law enforcement agencies need the requisite resources to
monitor these groups and to take appropriate measures, when
necessary, to protect the public.

One such tool is paramilitary training legislation already on the
books of many states. Those laws (many patterned after a model bill
first formulated by ADL, which is appended to this report) should be
applied, where appropriate. In states where such laws have yet to be
adopted, ADL urges that they be given prompt consideration.

The right to hold and promote one's views on the issues which are
agitating the militias -- such as gun control, the environment, and
abortion -- is inviolate under the Constitution. There is no right,
however, to use force or violence either to impose one's views on
others or to resist laws properly enacted. That is the crux of the
problem presented by the rise of the militias.

Appendix

ADL MODEL PARAMILITARY TRAINING STATUTE

A. (1) Whoever teaches or demonstrates to any other person the use,
application, or making of any firearm, explosive or incendiary
device, or technique capable of causing injury or death to persons,
knowing or having reason to know or intending that same will be
unlawfully employed for use in, or in furtherance of, a civil
disorder; or

(2) Whoever assembles with one or more persons for the purpose of
training with, practicing with, or being instructed in the use of any
firearm, explosive or incendiary device, or technique capable of
causing injury or death to persons, intending to employ unlawfully
the same for use in, or in furtherance of, a civil disorder, shall be
fined not more than ___ or imprisoned not more than ___ years, or
both.

B. Nothing contained in this section shall make unlawful any act of
any law enforcement officer which is performed in the lawful
performance of his official duties.

C. As used in this section:

(1) The term "civil disorder" means any public disturbance involving
acts of violence by assemblages of three or more persons, which
causes an immediate danger of or results in damage or injury to the
property or person of any other individual.

(2) The term "firearm" means any weapon which is designed to or may
readily be converted to expel any projectile by the action of an
explosive; or the frame or receiver of any such weapon.

(3) The term "explosive or incendiary device" means (a) dynamite and
all other forms of high explosives, (b) any explosive bomb, grenade,
missile, or similar device and (c) any incendiary bomb or grenade,
fire bomb, or similar device, including any device which (i) consists
of or includes a breakable container including a flammable liquid or
compound, and a wick composed of any material which, when ignited, is
capable of igniting such flammable liquid or compound. and (ii) can
be carried or thrown by one individual acting alone.

(4) The term "law enforcement officer" means any officer or employee
of the United States, any state, any political subdivision of a
state, or the District of Columbia, and such term shall specifically
include, but shall not be limited to, members of the National Guard,
as defined in section 101(9) of title 10, United States Code, members
of the organized militia of any state or territory of the United
States, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or the District of Columbia,
not included within the definition of National Guard as defined by
such section 101(9), and members of the Armed Forces of the United
States.



Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith

NATIONAL OFFICE
823 United Nations Plaza, New York, NY 10017                (212)
490-2525
WASHINGTON OFFICE
1100 Connecticut Avenue, N.W. (Suite 1020),
Washington, D.C. 20036                                      (202)
452-8320

REGIONAL OFFICES
ALBUQUERQUE
P.O. Box 21639, Albuquerque, NM 87154                       (505)
843-2712

ARIZONA
The First Interstate Tower, 3550 North Central Avenue (Suite 914)
Phoenix, AZ 85012                                           (602)
274-0991

ATLANTA (Southeast)
One Securities Centre, 3490 Piedmont Road, N.E. (Suite 610),
 Atlanta, GA 30305                                          (404)
262-3470

BOSTON (New England)
1 Lincoln Plaza (Suite 301), Boston MA 02111                (617)
330-9696

CHICAGO (Greater Chicago/Wisconsin)
309 West Washington (Suite 750), Chicago, IL 60606          (312)
782-5080

CLEVELAND (Northern Ohio)
505 Terminal Tower, Cleveland, OH 44113                     (216)
579-9600

COLUMBUS (Ohio/Indiana/Kentucky)
42 East Gay St. (Suite 814), Columbus, OH 43215             (614)
621-0601

CONNECTICUT
419 Whalley Avenue, New Haven, CT 06511                     (203)
787-4281

DALLAS (Northwest Texas/Oklahoma)
12800 Hillcrest Road (Suite 219), Dallas, TX 75230          (214)
960-0342

D.C. (D.C./Maryland)
1100 Connecticut Avenue, N.W. (Suite 1020),
Washington, D.C. 20036                             

DENVER (Mountain States)
300 South Dahlia Street (Suite 202), Devner, CO 80222       (303)
321-7177

DETROIT (Michigan)
4000 Town Center (Suite 420), Southfield, MI 48075-1405     (810)
355-3730

HOUSTON (Southwest)
4635 Southwest Freeway (Suite 400), Houston, TX 77027       (713)
627-3490

LOS ANGELES (Pacific Southwest)
10495 Santa Monica Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90025         (310)
446-8000

MIAMI (Florida)
150 SE Second Avenue (Suite 800), Miami, FL 33131           (305)
373-6306

NEW JERSEY
741 Northfield Avenue, West Orange, NJ 07052                (201)
669-9700

NEW ORLEANS (South Central)
925 Common Street (Suite 975), New Orleans, LA 70112        (504)
522-9534

NEW YORK CITY (New York City, Westchester, Rockland, Putnam, and Long
Island)
823 U.N. Plaza, New York, NY 10017                          (212)
490-2525

NEW YORK STATE
125 Wolf Rd. (Suite 504), Albany, NY 12205                  (518)
446-0038

OMAHA (Plains States)
333 South 132 Street, Omaha, NE 68154                       (402)
333-1303

ORANGE COUNTY
2700 North Main Street (Suite 500), Santa Ana, CA 92701     (714)
973-4733

PALM BEACH COUNTY
The Commerce Center, 324 Datura Street (Suite 223)
West Palm Beach, FL 33401                                   (407)
832-7144

PHILADELPHIA (Eastern Pennsylvania/Delaware)
230 South Broad Street, 20th Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19102  (215)
735-4267

SAN DIEGO
7851 Mission Center Court (Suite 320), San Diego, CA 92108  (619)
293-3770

SAN FERNANDO VALLEY
22622 Vanowen Street, West Hills, CA 91307                  (818)
587-3220

SAN FRANCISCO (Central Pacific)
720 Market Street (Suite 800), San Francisco, CA 94102-2501 (415)
981-3500

SEATTLE (Pacific Northwest)
Plaza 600 Building (Suite 720), 600 Stewart Street,
Seattle, WA 98101                                           (206)
448-5349

ST. LOUIS (Missouri/Southern Illinois)
10926 Schuetz Road, St. Louis, MO 63146                     (314)
432-6868

VIRGINIA/NORTH CARLONIA
6330 Newtown Rd. (Suite 326), Norfolk, VA 23502             (804)
455-9002

OVERSEAS OFFICES
JERUSALEM
30 King David Street, Jerusalem, Israel 94101
011-972-2-251-171

CANADA
Cooperative Association with the League for Human Rights of Canadian
B'nai Brith
15 Hove Street (Suite 210), Downsview,
Ontario, Canada, M3H4Y8                                     (416)
633-6227

[Archive Note: For an update to this report, see URL
ftp://ftp.almanac.bc.ca/pub/orgs/american/adl/beyond-the-bombing.]


Home ·  Site Map ·  What's New? ·  Search Nizkor

© The Nizkor Project, 1991-2012

This site is intended for educational purposes to teach about the Holocaust and to combat hatred. Any statements or excerpts found on this site are for educational purposes only.

As part of these educational purposes, Nizkor may include on this website materials, such as excerpts from the writings of racists and antisemites. Far from approving these writings, Nizkor condemns them and provides them so that its readers can learn the nature and extent of hate and antisemitic discourse. Nizkor urges the readers of these pages to condemn racist and hate speech in all of its forms and manifestations.