Armed & Dangerous: 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.