During the 1990’s I served as a militia leader in Texas; it was after Federal agents killed Vickie Weaver and her son in Ruby Ridge, Idaho (1992), the Branch Davidian massacre in Waco, Texas (1993), the Assault Weapons Ban (1994), and the Oklahoma City bombing (1995). The nation was in turmoil. The Clintons were in power with “Bloody Janet” Reno as Attorney General. Even the Home-Schooling movement was under fire by the Clinton cabal. We were told it “took a village’ to raise our children–but their village was full of unpatriotic idiots.
Democrat Ann Richards (responsible for the illegal military involvement at the Waco massacre) was Governor of Texas, and we had almost no gun rights. You couldn’t even legally carry a pistol in your vehicle unless you could establish that you were “traveling” and staying away from home overnight (keep a suitcase in the trunk). By 1996 the militia movement was in full swing across the nation, with a bunch of poorly-trained men and women in camo, faced off against well-armed federal agents, law enforcement and the National guard. To say it was a powder keg would be an understatement. To make matters even more dangerous, the feds were using undercover operatives to stir up and instigate violence in militias.
Today when I see people write about how close to a revolution we are, I understand the sentiment, but you ain’t seen nothing yet! Wait until you decide to group together, armed and wearing some kind of military uniform, making loud anti-government statements, and planning your resistance! Lots of interesting things will follow!
Oh, the romance of being a revolutionary: square-jawed, armed and dangerous, feared by men, admired by women and children–and your dog. But mostly it gives you a chance to buy loads of expensive, dangerous-looking toys and cool camo gear! Who could resist swaggering around with salty BVD’s, and a full complement of “weapons of war” strapped to your body? Then there are bivouacs where, after a hard day of standing around in the woods, you sit around a campfire talking shit. Maybe, if you’re lucky, one of the militia members has some acreage where you can waste a couple of hundred dollars praying and spraying ammo in the general direction of a target—it’s all about the noise! The member with the loudest gun wins. And let’s not forget the comradery forged in the fires of Hell as you and your buddies fight off mosquitos during practice night missions while humping the seventy pounds of gear (mostly useless to real guerilla fighters) someone convinced you to purchase.
During the 1990s, the media managed to paint the militia movement as a dangerous bunch of kooks. Many will tell you that the bombing of the Murrah building in Oklahoma City was a government-initiated operation to further alienate the public. For many reasons I won’t get into here, I wouldn’t argue with those people.
The Clinton administration was very unpopular, and the last thing they needed was a national uprising. Bill Clinton was cozy with the United Nations. Globalization had reared its ugly head in the form of NAFTA and the World Trade Organization (which followed GATT). I don’t have the space to cover how these organizations crippled the US economy or affected society, so you will have to do some research on your own. Suffice it to say that both Republicans and Democrats in Washington were working together (still are) on the financial demise of our nation and its sovereignty. The Assault Weapons ban was a bi-partisan fear-response to the threat posed by a well-armed civil resistance.
To Be or Not to Be a Militia Member
The first question you have to ask yourself is what you hope to gain by putting a government target on your back, and those in your family. In 1997 I hosted a national militia meeting on my property in Texas; it was a large encampment of militia leaders and members from all over the country. We even made the cover of Time Magazine as a “militia hotspot.” What was the goal of this get-together?
Before I begin, let me tell you a funny story. During our camp set-up, we rented one of those huge blue and white striped tents (urban camo) and enough chairs to fill it. The day before our official agenda began, Channel Eight of Dallas sent a news chopper out to film our camp from the air. Seeing a bunch of people with AK’s slung over their shoulders, the chopper flew a wide circle around the camp–so wide they couldn’t get decent footage. They spent so much time flying this distant arc they ran low on fuel and had to leave. About thirty minutes later they came back, this time cautiously venturing in closer and closer; eventually, the side door opened and their cameraman began filming. I guess they decided we weren’t going to shoot them out of the sky. The point of the story is how the media had bought into their own militia boogeyman narrative.
“They” will set you up
Now back to the purpose of the meeting. Militia leaders were being picked off by the federales via entrapment schemes similar to what happened to Randy Weaver in Idaho. Government informants joined these groups and set up the leaders by doing things such as planting explosive devices (pipe bombs) on militia leader’s property to be “discovered” during federal raids. Other informants acted as instigators (our Texas group had one) prodding leaders and members into taking action that would unnecessarily put the unit in danger (physical and legal), and in a bad light to the public. Some informants got militia members on tape talking about planning illegal activities (this was actually a lot of empty bullshit boasting).
The national meeting acted as a sounding board so that other militia leaders could be informed of the risks they were taking. I also believed that we needed a strong joint public statement about our mission and our intentions. So, we invited the FBI and any law enforcement members who might want to attend—we knew they would find their way in anyway. A local sheriff deputy sat in his car across the road, watching with binoculars; my neighbors kept goading him into going up the hill to our event. He declined. Back then police were taught to be afraid of militia members and mental patients. At least we were in good company.
The negative government public relations campaign didn’t always work. During the national meeting, several families came to the gate with food and encouragement. My rural neighbors supported and encouraged what we were doing. When a Dallas news team gathered, interviewing people off our property, they only found one person (not a local) who said anything negative—guess which interview made the nightly news!
I haven’t seen Clint Eastwood’s movie on Richard Jewel yet, but the Atlanta bomb that Jewel discovered was most likely planted as a false flag. Working as security, Jewel found the package and reported it. He paid the price for screwing up their operation. In a joint personal assault, the federal government and the media tried desperately to paint him as a domestic terrorist. Interestingly, the feds never investigated anyone else for this crime. See the movie.
Who joins the militia?
There were very few militia members with military experience. The ones, like myself, that had experience were Vietnam Vets. If you were around back then you will remember how vets were painted by the media as dangerous, wild-eyed camo-wearing kooks. It seemed that not a month went by without a violent incident involving a veteran. Just as school shootings are now, the media rushed to cover every veteran-involved incident. We were still wearing the scourge of the Vietnam War, and most media types came from the same liberal group that protested the war. Back then, no one knew anything about PTSD, and the VA denied such a malady existed (kind of like Agent Orange). The term “postal” was derived from Vietnam Vet Post Office employees losing it and shooting up the place. Occasionally a VA center would be the target. Eventually, many of these vets got help, but not nearly soon enough for them or their families. I digress.
Most newbie militia members had no experience, and putting these well-intentioned, patriots in a real military-type operation would have been leading lambs to slaughter. A militia leader had to be realistic about his members and their capabilities. If you were lucky you would have at least a sprinkling of country people with firearms and woodland experience. At the time, people were coming in from everywhere because so many were concerned about a government mass round-up of dissenters and/or a societal breakdown where the bad guys could come from anywhere. I personally focused on gun safety, weapons familiarization, and marksmanship. Additionally, we worked on techniques for traveling safely during times of unrest, home defense, and survival.
There was a reason so many people were worried about citizen internment. The plan for FEMA concentration camps was real. Former Congressman Henry B. Gonzales, R, of Texas, publicly admitted their existence and their purpose (contain people during a period of mass unrest). State troopers had been put on alert to be watchful for anyone who might be a militia member. Sheriffs and municipal police across the country were being fed scary bullshit by the FBI, and law enforcement was running around with hair-triggers during traffic stops.
Nothing has changed–for the good
I guess I have spent most of your time talking about how things were “back in the day,” but you can count on the same dynamics this millennium. The government is much more sophisticated in keeping an eye on citizens, and there are thousands more armed government agents. You have to assume that everything you do or say is being monitored by Big Brother. The good news is, if your group stays small and keeps their mouths shut, the feds are unlikely to bother with you. If you are looking for strength in numbers, assume you will have at least one informant in your group.
Cull these members out immediately
Gung-ho members who encourage aggressive illegal actions should be expelled immediately. Now, that may rub some patriots the wrong way, but to do otherwise is to set up your members for potential prison time. Just like in other relationships, everyone is not trustworthy. If you have a member(s) go off the rails and do something stupid, you are all guilty by association. If, on the other hand, you are willing to “take a stand” like they did at the Bundy Ranch in Nevada, just be aware it will be expensive and you risk your lives, family fortunes, and many years behind bars. Only you can know if the price is worth it. Also, be aware that if you have an informant or agitator in your group, your operation may be compromised in advance and your members put at risk, physically.
Here is an article on what happened to members of a Michigan militia. The FBI planted a secret informant and FBI agent in the militia in 2008 to record the activities of the group. The video and audio recordings became the crux of the federal case, including clips of the elder Stone making anti-government statements and remarks about killing police officers. The defendants all faced a maximum sentence of life in prison. Fortunately, after a very expensive and lengthy trial, most of the members were cleared of all charges. The leader and his son faced weapons charges.
Explosive “experts” (guys who want to show you how to make illegal weapons like pipe bombs, grenades, etc.) should not be allowed in your organization unless you know them really, really, really well—even then you have to worry about other members who might inform on your group. In case you choose to train members on how to manufacture/store illegal explosives or weapons, the risk is great that they will be found and you will be prosecuted. Two militia leaders in South Carolina went to prison when two informants slipped onto their property and planted pipe bombs. The guilty verdict came even though there was testimony from several witnesses, including the informants, that the group had stated repeatedly that it was NOT interested in making explosives or doing anything illegal.
In summary, there are fewer risks in forming your group around like-minded family members and close friends. As you can see from the Michigan Christian militia group–even they were infiltrated. Any stranger brings with them more risks than rewards. A family unit focused on self-protection and survival is your best option. If everyone is trained in survival skills, including marksmanship, and all members are equipped with everything they need, you should be prepared for almost anything coming your way. If society falls apart, or a government, foreign or domestic, imposes itself on the population, your group will have the option of joining with others if you so choose.
With the threat of a “foreign” military (immigrant militias) operating in our country, danger could come from any quarter!
Stay off the ridgeline and keep your powder dry!
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David Brockett is a Vietnam Veteran and former Marine aviator. He writes fiction and historical fiction, as well as articles on politics, religion, gun-rights, preparedness, and current events.
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