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Other Things the Neo-Militiaperson Believes In?

Last Updated March 26, 1996

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Commentators have often had a hard time characterizing the neo-militia movement because of a lack of hard data. For instance, who knows how many people might belong to neo-militia groups in the United States? No one. Some groups are secretive, while others inflate their numbers: getting a solid estimate is an almost fruitless task. Are there 30,000 nationwide? 50,000? No one can say.

For much the same reasons, there have been no opinion polls of the militia. Other than what their leaders publish, put on videotape, or say in interviews, how can one get a feeling for what the neo-militia movement believes? While it is possible to come away with a reasonably coherent view of their political ideology through these sources--and this is covered in another essay--other elements of the militia mindset remain obscure. To get at these elements requires a few tricks, a little peripheral vision, and a sharp eye. But some of the results might be surprising.

Alternative Opinions

The pro-militia magazine Media Bypass offers us one way to catch a glimpse of the mindset. For its November 1995 issue, this right-wing magazine conducted a poll of its membership. Because virtually everybody who responded announced that they were in favor of the neo-militia movement, it is not a wild leap to assume that their answers to other questions will also reflect the opinions of the militia. Here are some of the results:

1. "If the presidential election were held today, who would you vote for?"

Pat Buchanan		48%
Charles Collins		11%
Phil Gramm		 5%
"Bo" Gritz		 4%
Alan Keyes		 3%
Ross Perot		 3%
Irwin Schiff		 1%
Colin Powell		.5%
Pat Robertson		.5%
Others/no preference	24%

Here respondents exhibit a preference for the extreme right, with Pat Buchanan the only major candidate getting any sizable percentage of the vote, extremist Charles Collins coming in second. The low showings for Phil Gramm and Colin Powell are noteworthy; Bob Dole, the Republican frontrunner (as of November 1995) does not even make the list.

2. "Favorite talk-show host"

Chuck Harder		15%
Tom Valentine		 8%
Rush Limbaugh		 8%
William Cooper		 6%
G. Gordon Liddy		 6%
Derry Brownfield	 5%
"Bo" Gritz		 5%
Jaz McKay		 5%
Others/no preference	42%

Again, a telling set of replies. Note that tied for second with Rush Limbaugh--the most popular radio commentator in America--is Tom Valentine. Haven't heard of Valentine? This is hardly surprising, for Valentine largely inhabits the world of "patriot" shortwave radio, although his show is heard on a couple AM stations. Valentine hosts Radio Free America, that is, when he isn't selling his "alternative" health messages such as "The Truth About Shark Cartilage." Valentine's broadcasts are sponsored by the anti-semitic (and pro-militia) publication The Spotlight.

3. "Would you abolish the IRS?"

Yes		91%
No		 1%
No response	 8%

This shouldn't turn many heads, I suppose. The neo-militia movement--and its tax-protester forebears--have long claimed that the 16th Amendment was foisted illegitimately upon the American people.

4. "I would replace the income tax with..."

A National Sales Tax	41%
A Flat Tax		32%
Tariffs			 8%
Retain income tax/other/none listed	19%

5. "Do you favor..."

The death penalty	92%
The federal reserve	 1%
School prayer		88%
Citizen militias	99%
The United Nations	.5%
Foreign aid		 2%

Again, not a surprising list. Many "patriots" believe the federal reserve is run by a clique of moneyed interests, largely Jews, while most all of them believe that the United Nations intends to take over the United States and impose a socialist tyranny.

Alternative Advertising

One sneaky way to get at what the movement believes in is to look at what people who try to sell to the movement think they believe in. In other words, who advertises to the movement?

In short, the answer to this message is: cranks. Publications that cater to the neo-militia movement and related "patriot" groups tend to be chock-full of advertising aimed to attract people who--to put it charitably--are susceptible to the notion that mainstream repositories of information are keeping secrets from them. Less charitably, the ads target people who are a few bricks shy of a load.

Illustrating this point is not only easy but highly entertaining. Here are some summaries of ads from among the larger pro-militia publications such as The Spotlight and Media Bypass:

Comments from the author of this essay are in bold.

  • 30 Ways IRS Controls Preachers videotape, only five dollars.
  • Surviving the New World Order four-videotape set, only $49.95.
  • Precious Metals Quote Line. (Ads dealing with gold and silver are common among these people, who are suspicious of paper money)
  • Greatest Bible News in 396 Years; banned 1599 Geneva bible back in print.
  • Lee Oswald, JFK & Me, a videotaped interview with Ron Lewis, "the man Lee Oswald recruited into the Bannister/CIA cabal," only $23.95.
  • Viking International Trading, "the Patriot's Hard Asset Authority." Ostensibly re-invests one's money "back into the Patriot Movement."
  • Get Paid for Reading Books, $100 per book.
  • If you want to know more about Dehyrdoepiandrosterone tablets....(You'll be sending your hard-earned $60 to Tijuana, Mexico)
  • Get Free Cash Now. (I hardly need to expound upon the likelihood of this one, now do I?)
  • Three audiotape special on the "Roswell (Alien) Autopsy." (Your perfect Fox TV Home Companion)
  • Tom Valentine's Search for Health book.
  • Swanson Health Products, which promote various concoctions such as Montana Big Sky's "Pure Energy," a combination of Bee Pollen, Gotu Kola, Siberian Ginseng and Royal Jelly.
  • "Scarlet and the Beast," a 1343 page, three volume set of books on how Freemasonry is ruling the world.
  • Latest suppressed news from "Amerika's Patriot Undergound." A 900-number you can dial for patriot news.(Now only if they had Patriot phone sex numbers: "Ooh, baby, how big is your new world order?")
  • The Welfare Game, which comes complete with the bonus game Capital Punishment: "Bring your Celebrity Liberals out of the Ivory Tower, and use them to knock your opponent's Celebrity Criminals back on the Street to prey upon his 14 Innocent Citizens."
  • Just the Facts video series, which tells you that income tax is voluntary.
  • The American Institute of Theology, which holds bible correspondence courses that can earn you a "prestigious Certificate in Christian Education."
  • The book The Great Snow Job, which tells you that you can legally stop paying income taxes because they are voluntary.
  • A book on the real cause of AIDS, which, as it turns out, is not HIV, but rather "another deadly factor" which "has been covered up because politically powerful gay rights groups don't want the public to know about it."
  • The newest work of Jordan Maxwell "and other prominent New World Order researchers."
  • The Free American magazine, which urges you to support Charles Collins for president.
  • The book The Federal Mafia, which tells you that you don't have to pay income taxes because they are voluntary.
  • The book How to Get the IRS Out of Your Life, which tells you that you don't have to pay income taxes because they are voluntary.
  • A book on the "murder" of Vince Foster.

These advertisements are generally aimed at people who will believe anything. Health supplements that will cure cancer, ways not to pay your income tax, revelations about the New World Order or various other conspiracies; in short, crackpot products. Presumably these ads actually have a modicum of effectiveness, or they would not keep reappearing. Knowing this provides a little more insight as to why these people might believe that there is a "New World Order" conspiracy with designs to take over the United States.

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