Armed & Dangerous: 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.