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‘Patriots’ and Militia Supporters Flock to New Social Networking Site

By Evelyn Schlatter on May 10, 2011 - 2:03 pm, Posted in Militias, Patriot Groups

Militia members and other antigovernment “Patriot” types have a new social network where they can share and discuss the latest conspiracy theories about the looming “New World Order” and its enablers.

The site, which calls itself the “Social Network of the Revolution,” is run by Patriot leader Gary Franchi, producer of “Camp FEMA,” a film that promotes the FEMA camp conspiracy theory.  The site, named RTR, apparently stands for Restore the Republic, since Franchi heads a Patriot group and website with that name.

It’s just been about a month since Franchi posted a welcome message on RTR, but already more than 30,000 people have signed up. Only 12, however, have responded to a recent fundraising email, according to the site.

The Unified Militia Communications Network is among the latest groups to join RTR. The UMCN left Facebook and the Ning networks, claiming that Facebook is “in bed with the Obama administration.” The UMCN calls RTR “a great new network” that is “already an active patriot community.”

Among the other groups that have joined RTR are the Oath Keepers, a group that encourages military personnel and law enforcement officers to disobey orders they consider unconstitutional. One Oath Keeper was arrested in 2010 for storing explosive devices at his home and a friend’s house, and another was also arrested that year for planning a bizarre scheme to arrest a town’s officials. Another group is trying to organize “Disbar” rallies in all 50 states — rallies to end Bar associations in every state.

Other members of RTR include the Confederate States of America and LibertyFest 2, a gathering scheduled for September 10, the day before the 10th anniversary of 9/11, in New York City. Scheduled speakers include Franchi, radio host and Patriot pundit Jack Hunter (who is a frequent guest on the Michael Savage show), and fellow ultra-conservative radio host Mike Church, who says in a bio at his radio website that he’s a “leader in the states’ rights movement.”

Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ new Infowars Business Team is also a member, as are several chapters of Ron Paul supporters, the Orlando Tea Party, the Illinois Tenth Amendment Center (a state sovereignty group), and Gun Owners of America. Other groups support specific candidates running for office in various states while some warn about the dangers of “chemtrails” and genetically modified foods. The site also attracts surprising groups, like the Gay and Lesbian Patriots/Tea Partiers/Libertarians (4 members as of May 5) and parents’ rights groups, one of which is concerned about the United Nations interfering in parenting. That group had 30 members as of May 5.

  • Joe

    I agree we need a movement to restore America and the values that our Foundng Fathers brought….and one way to do this,, is to restore the US Constitution, mandating that our representatives adhere to their Oath to the Constitution. Mandate a law that when our elected official violate their oath, they are dismissed from office. without reitrement pay……this shouldn’t be hard, since it is already the law,, that is the Constitution is the law of the land….I’ve never been big on law suits,, but maybe that is where we are at…to get this done…

  • Jack Conrad

    @Ruslan Amirkhanov
    “5. You want to use US dollars as a medium of exchange? Those dollars are printed by the treasury, and the US monetary system is watched over by the treasury. This means labor, and it means it costs money. You don’t want to pay so no US dollars for you. Try using your gold coin collection.”
    The money that you talk about is “debt notes” printed by the federal reserve banks, which are private businesses that report no income and pay no taxes. Those debt notes are printed each time a federal reserve bank receives a check from the for profit municipal corporation called the USA. The mint act of 1793 or 1797 describes with particularity what a dollar is: a certain weight (approx. 1 oz.) of 0.999 fine silver. Printed paper is not a USD and the paper debtor notes of the federal reserve do not purport to be anything more than a promise to pay, and are not actual USD.
    Ruslan, you have abused the use of this blog with way too many posts, and I do not know why the moderators continue to allow you to post so many times that you dominate and bully on this blog.

  • Brandon

    The only paranoid people I see are the ones associated with the SPLC

  • Betty

    It seems to me after reading this website the only traitors in this country are the liberial socialist and markists in this country who are trying to change this country into a new world order this is America NOT the united states of the nations !!!!

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    Gee Pat, I must have missed the part of this article where they called people who served their country’s military “racist” and “fringe”.

  • Sam Molloy

    Walkaway, that’s a chilling account of a thought process I considered long gone. I commend you for being “out” as a Native American and hope you find a job with a progressive tolerant company.

  • Patrick

    I’m not part of a “fringe” element nor am I a racist just because I served this country while in the military, my family members serve this country still, and because I love this country. That’s called patriotism, and there’s nothing wrong with it.

  • John Joseph Persing

    What a bunch of wacko’s

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    “his is not supposed to be a democracy because under a democracy, mob rules.”

    No they didn’t want democracy because the founding fathers were members of the rich ruling class.

    ” Under a Constitutional Republic, the law rules and protects equally. ”

    Yes, that’s why according the original constitution, black people were property, and women and men without property couldn’t vote. Good thing progressive people continually amended and fixed that broken Constitution of the Founding slaveowners, right?

    Wealthy elites always fear democracy, calling it “mob rule”. Funny how they often resort to mobs to keep themselves in power when it is necessary. If you think that the mass of people are not capable of making decisions which affect them, then who is to decide for them?

  • Tru Peace

    The group does not hate American and all it stands for and the people in it…Far from it. What they groups seems to want is for the government to return to the Bill of Rights and protect its citizens and actually represent its citizens. There is nothing wrong with that. You need to brush up on the Bill of Rights and the Constitution…Most of the members are peace-loving and want to prevent this country from becoming socialist or communist or anything else.

    This country was founded as a Constitutional Republic for a reason. We have a “law of the land” that was not perfect, but was a starting place to keep the federal government under control, give most of the power to the local and state governments. this is not supposed to be a democracy because under a democracy, mob rules. Under a Constitutional Republic, the law rules and protects equally. Sure, there been needs to add laws, with regards to race and sex, and we should have picked up and gone forward from there. But RTR and most of the groups like them, Oath Keepers and others, are far from racist and certainly don’t hate the government. They want to see the government protect our rights and liberties…

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    “Since when did freedom of though, freedom of speech, the ability of self determination and personal responsibility become ignorant?”

    Since when was anyone trying to take away your freedom of thought or speech? Exposing someone and criticizing them is not taking away their freedom of speech, or did you confuse freedom of speech with freedom from criticism, as so many conservatives tend to do?

    And as for personal responsibility? Well since conservatives and their ilk are so fond of blaming someone else for their problems while preaching personal responsibility to everyone else, that’s when it became “ignorant” I guess.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    “Want to be gay and get married? fine…just dont force me to pay for it.”

    Uhhhhhh….who is asking you to pay for gay weddings?

    ” Want 9 kids? You got it…i dont want to be forced to subsidize it. ”

    Well you’re not subsidizing children now either. You are subsidizing mostly old people or military contractors. Enjoy your failure.

    Here’s my counter-offer.

    1. Want to drive on our roads? Too bad. You don’t want to pay.

    2. Want to use our libraries? Nope, free for paying customers only(as in taxpayers).

    3. You want to utilize services and infrastructure which was built either by the government or built via government investment? Sorry, paying customers only.

    4. You want to live in the US West of the East Coast? Sorry, that territory was annexed to the United States courtesy of the US government which either took the land by force or bought it and then sold it to various individuals and companies for a loss, sometimes practically giving it away.

    5. You want to use US dollars as a medium of exchange? Those dollars are printed by the treasury, and the US monetary system is watched over by the treasury. This means labor, and it means it costs money. You don’t want to pay so no US dollars for you. Try using your gold coin collection.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    “Y’all need to get a grip and read the founders.”

    Nobody cares what the worm-food wanted when they were alive. The constitution is a living document.

    “they are talking about eliminating BIG government,”

    What is “big” government, how do you measure the size of government? Cubic meters? Is it measured by weight? Explain this.

    ” back to a time when presidents didnt go around the country bragging about their accomplishments,”

    When was this time? Show your work.

    ” when the EPA could declare anything illegal,”

    The EPA can’t declare anything illegal, and I mean anything because the EPA in case you haven’t heard is not a legislative body.

    ” before the NLRB declared it illegal for Boeing to build a factory in the state of their choosing.”

    So that they could screw workers and force states into a bidding war to see who would offer the lowest taxes, if any?

    ” “They” and I include myself in this group would like to see lower taxes (or a fair or flat tax),”

    First of all, Americans have the 2nd lowest tax burden in the industrialized world; and look what we got for it. Stop complaining about taxes. If you make under $250,000 a year you got a tax cut a few years ago. You want a flat tax? Spend some time in Russia, which as had a flat tax for about ten years now, and like the US, has incredible inequality of wealth. By conservative logic, modern Russia should be a utopia. Even the large bureaucracy which exists on paper is easily bypassed with money.

    ” a government that doesn’t support 51% of the population by some program whatever it might be,”

    Please cite a source for this ridiculous claim. The US has the flimsiest social welfare system in the industrialized world, and in some cases has worse health statistics than some non-industrial countries. Norway has far higher taxes, most of which is spent on social welfare(as opposed to military expenditures, which consumes a portion of the US budget far bigger than any welfare program), and it also has the highest standards of living in the world. In fact, when we look at statistics related to living standards and health, we see that the countries with the best statistics tend to have higher taxes and spend a lot of money on social welfare programs.

    What a novel concept- instead of letting our cities rot, we could improve our infrastructure, creating jobs in the process, create socialized healthcare so that people don’t have to worry about potential healthcare expenses and thus can spend that money on consumer goods and services(thus creating more jobs), and we can spend the money on higher education as well as job training and re-training programs to have a more flexible, dynamic workforce.

    Oh no, some crank would call that ‘socialism’(although it is clearly not, by definition). Let’s just keep giving more tax cuts to the richest percentage of the country while spending more money on military expenditures than all the other major military powers combined. That’s useful, and it’s worked SO well thus far.

  • jeremy

    @Jonas Rand – you are more than welcome to discuss ideas or current issues at RTR. Its a great site filled with people who want nothing more than to be free from our overreaching and overburdensome government.

    Although this may be tough for the SPLC to understand, RTR.org people are not discriminatory in the least. Libertarians/liberty minded people recognize above all else, that you are free to choose to live your life as you please provided it doesn’t infringe on my life. Want to be gay and get married? fine…just dont force me to pay for it. Want 9 kids? You got it…i dont want to be forced to subsidize it. You should be free to live as you wish, provided you take responsibility for your actions. We all do.

  • BigSugar

    Nick, you better read your Constitution again. The 3/5ths clause that you refer to was there because the farmers and slave owners, who didn’t want freedom for every “man” couldn’t count them to boost their numbers in the government. AND it was also repealed with an amendment.

  • BigSugar

    “The people who claim to be the most tolerant, are usually the least tolerant” Andrew Wilkow.

    Everyone has their own beliefs and ideas as to what freedom means to them. When you hear that people want to take the governance back to a previous era (most preferably pre-FDR) they aren’t trying to bring back any of the apartheid ideology, or separatists ideas, they are talking about eliminating BIG government, back to a time when presidents didnt go around the country bragging about their accomplishments, when the EPA could declare anything illegal, before the NLRB declared it illegal for Boeing to build a factory in the state of their choosing. “They” and I include myself in this group would like to see lower taxes (or a fair or flat tax), a government that doesn’t support 51% of the population by some program whatever it might be, where BIG government honors states rights, and so much more!
    “Liberals are people that haven’t been educated in reality yet”

  • Jerome Strong

    I am an African American and many of my friends and family (who are also of African descent) are informed to what is really going on in this country,as we are falling into a police state, and i tell you what i am a lot more afraid of my local police tasing me or killing an innocent person (as they do quite often) than i am afraid of a “patriot” which is a broad label for many different people with many different mindsets. your sad attempts to make the “truth” movement into a racial issue is an obvious attempt to distract people from the fact that the government is becoming more and more fascist, (breaking many international war treaties including torture).

  • Nick

    Patriotism is just nationalistic jingoism. “I love the flag more than you!” “the CONstitution is perfect, even though when it was written it said black people weren’t people and women couldn’t vote! Not to mention that ‘consent of the governed’ is founding pillar of the US, something the government never had.”. My flag can beat up your flag! Give me a break.

  • Aron Levy

    Brian,

    I too, would fight and die to protect your beliefs. But I have heard far too many ‘patriots’ screaming about how ‘liberals should be killed,’ and wishing death on elected government officials.

    These are the people who give your groups a bad name. And until you get them under control, I will still hold the ‘neo-patriot’ movement in contempt.

    Aron

  • Brian

    As one of “those people” I can assure you that I am not paranoid, nor am I ignorant or intolerant. I applaud those of you who have joined to learn more. What disturbs me is the number of you who have commented about “patriots” being ignorant or intolerant. Since when did freedom of though, freedom of speech, the ability of self determination and personal responsibility become ignorant? I am confused by those on the left that preach these freedoms but only as long as the thoughts and ideology conform to what the left considers acceptable.

    As as conservative, I will fight and die to protect your rights and beliefs, no matter how much I disagree. Would you do the same for my beliefs?

  • JT

    What exactly does this new networking site have to do with “hate”?

    I fail to see why this is even an issue.

  • Josh

    @ Gregory:

    “I think, as a generally sound rule of thumb, that anyone who labels themselves a “patriot” almost certainly isn’t.”

    Typical liberal ignorance. In fact, most people I know that call themselves patriots are more patriotic than any liberal ever imagined. Just because someone doesn’t go along with what government tells them, or the liberal agenda, they’re not patriotic? That’s just nonsense. By definition, a patriot is “a person who loves their country and who is ready to defend it against an enemy” (Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary.) An enemy can be a foreign entity, or it can be specific officials within theory own government. An enemy is simply someone perceived as a threat to their country and the way they believe it should be. Most patriots’ (including my own) viewpoints stem from a more literal interpretation of the Constitution, not the picked-apart, warped interpretation coming from the corrupt judicial system. So before you generalize patriots as being anything other than a patriot, try to see things from their perspective. And before you make some general “typical conservative” remark about me personally, I’d inform you that I take my values and beliefs on an individual basis, so don’t be the “typical liberal.”

  • Allen

    Wouldn’t it be funny if we found out that almost all of the people who signed up for this social network were there just to spy on the hate groups? Then one day they all realized the people they had been talking to were just other citizens concerned about hate groups? That would make for great comedy!

  • Monster

    I’m a member of RTR and I’m not some whacked-out “conspiracy theorist” (a beloved buzzword for anyone who doesn’t believe whatever TV tells them to) – it’s just another social network with some really cool features. It’s like a hub for every other social networking site I use, which makes things really convenient.

    There are some really intelligent, truly patriotic people there – including the founder, Gary Franchi. The fact that the SPLC is targeting it only reinforces my belief that it’s a positive, helpful force for sharing information and communicating with other people.

    Why are you people so scared of freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, and the philosophy of liberty?

  • GW

    Y’all need to get a grip and read the founders.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    Yeah if you want to see racists being racists and totally oblivious about it, just look at Dick Lancaster’s posts in the Birther thread again. I mean you can actually explain point by point why their unfounded claim is considered racist, and they don’t even acknowledge it. If anything they say, “But it’s true?! How can it be racist if it’s true?” Well most of the time “it”(as in the widely held false belief about some “race”) is not true, and the fact that someone so readily believes negative or condescending myths about a particular group of people speaks volumes about how they feel about said people.

  • Mark Anthony

    Do you think they have a personals section?

    SWM ISO FWF of pure Aryan blood. Must have proficiency in rifle and sidearm. Pickup truck a plus. Ability to field dreads a deer/other large game a plus. Membership to National Watch List a plus.

  • A walkaway

    I know what you mean, Rusian Amirkhanov. When the regional business owners discovered that I was American Indian by birth (a family secret I learned about at middle age), I lost just over 60% of my customers in one month. That devastated our business.

    Previous to that, they thought I was a “Good Ole White Boy”, and the racist language was embarrassing and sometimes almost continuous. I heard the “N-word” in most of the businesses I dealt with (in Florida), and the owners would brag about how they’d find ways to only employ white males. They were also very hostile to “quotas” and “statistical analysis”. That was about the only way they could be caught. Some of the customers I had left after that month tried to pick fights with me over “I should have the right to deny service or do business with whomever I wish!”. In other words, they didn’t want to do business with immigrants and African Americans and only did so because they feared lawsuits.

    From that horrible month, I’ve refused to assimilate and express pride in my ancestry. It’s wrong to “go along” with racism just because you need an income. That only empowers them.

    Jonas Rand – I suggest you read “Two Nations” by Hacker and “RacistAmerica” by Feagin. There are two main forms of racism, the overt kind that everyone thinks of when they think of “racism”, and the covert form. The covert form is almost ubiquitous in this country, and takes its form as stereotyping and making false assumptions. This form also is reflected in hidden discrimination – nothing is said but the guilty person will prefer a white male over any other minority and/or show greater respect for that person (and treat them better).

    Recognizing the covert form of racism can be difficult, and indeed it’s suggested that one takes classes on the subject, where you will learn to spot it (and then it becomes obvious and blatant).

    Another aspect to racism that most people forget is that it is tied to power and domination and is an expression of dominance.

    It’s a safe bet to accept that most “Patriot” or “Militia” groups are racist. For the most part, you can detect the racism in the language they use and the things they say (and the things they DON’T say).

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    Yeah but Todd, nobody seems to get all upset about those white illegal aliens. And if you are suggesting that the presence of illegal aliens negates national sovereignty, then there are virtually no sovereign nations in the entire world.

  • Todd

    You can be white and be an illegal alien.
    It’s not a racial thing. It’s a sovereignty thing.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    So long as they do not know you are black, Mr. Rand, you have a very unique opportunity to see what these people will say when they think they are among their own. It will be a very educational experienec.

  • Gregory

    I think, as a generally sound rule of thumb, that anyone who labels themselves a “patriot” almost certainly isn’t.

  • Jonas Rand

    James Hutchings – when I go to the front page, I do indeed see some black people.

    I joined, because I always wanted to know more about the ideology and thoughts of these people. However, I didn’t tell them that I’m black, because I suspect that these groups and militia types have a tendency to tokenize, as they are mostly white.

    Allow me to explain why I joined. The rhetoric of these groups has always made me wonder what their ideology really is. Organizations which are composed of militia/”patriot” types often allude to a supposedly better time in American history where “liberty” was guaranteed. I never understood what they were supporting a reversion to, or what they feel changed all this. I wanted to find out more about their thoughts, because their rhetoric usually indicates a dissatisfaction with the state of things and a desire to change the country. However, it does not seem racist, to me at least, for the most part. When a militia-type “patriot” group criticizes a “flood of illegals”, or gives views on illegal immigration, I consider that evidence, though not definitive evidence, of thinly veiled racism. But what I’ve noticed from their information outlets is a penchant for conspiracy theorizing and a tendency not to mention illegal immigration most of the time. I wanted to find out more about their ideas and thoughts individually, and decided to sign up.

    Many have suggested (though, to their credit, not the SPLC) that these groups are racist, whether against Blacks or Mexicans (Chicanos and immigrants). I have not made up an opinion as to whether these people are mostly racist, as I have no evidence to suggest such a thing. However, I can certainly understand why they are viewed as having those sentiments. As I wrote above, their rhetoric tends to advocate a reversion to some previous era, and when a time frame is specified for this alleged golden age, it is almost always before the civil rights movement and before the greatest presidency in US history, which was Roosevelt (FDR, not Teddy). Some criticize multiculturalism or “illegal immigration”, which are usually tell-tale signs of racist sentiments toward minorities. The vast majority of what I’ve seen come from groups with “patriot” tendencies don’t talk negatively about multiculturalism. A united world is also not a bad thing in my opinion, but militia types often think it is. Criticizing a “one world government”, though, is not criticizing multiculturalism, plenty of racists criticize multiculturalism without spouting off about a “unified world government” . If this site begins to rant and rave about multiculturalism or “illegals”, I will leave immediately and request that my profile be deleted. I did not join to experience a disguised copycat of Stormfront.

  • http://theblogthatam.yolasite.com/blog.php IludiumPhosdex

    As Fred Allen would have put it in opening his radio show back in the mid-1940′s, “it isn’t Facebook, kiddies …”

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    “Somehow the word Patriot is a dirty word in the liberal/progessive vocalulary. That’s okay with me.”

    They’re not patriots, they hate everything about America and have hated it for a long time. You can’t be called a patriot when you hate your country and most of the people in it.

    “It’s time for others not feeling guily of being a patriot
    and worry about the one world government and the NWO conspiracies.”

    You mean the NWO that was supposed to take over and establish a world government over 50 years ago, and every year it was always “just around the corner”? What’s taking so long.

    “People should take heed regardlesws of race, color, sexual orientation, socioecomonic status and so on should all worry a government that will not be minority, women or gay, lesbian and transgendered friendly. We are all in this mess…together.”

    Oh yeah, militia types have really been reaching out to women and gays.

  • Concerned Citizen

    Somehow the word Patriot is a dirty word in the liberal/progessive vocalulary. That’s okay with me.
    It’s time for others not feeling guily of being a patriot
    and worry about the one world government and the NWO conspiracies. People should take heed regardlesws of race, color, sexual orientation, socioecomonic status and so on should all worry a government that will not be minority, women or gay, lesbian and transgendered friendly. We are all in this mess…together.
    If the progressive folks like the SPLC and others wants to ignorant about it. That’s their business., when it does finally happened. They are first to scream to be saved from a one world government onsalaught. It will too late for them and everybody else. Ignorance is bliss. It you want to take the words of the left for it.

  • Ian

    “The site also attracts surprising groups, like the Gay and Lesbian Patriots[...]”

    We are indeed everywhere.

  • Jonas Rand

    The site, which calls itself the “Social Network of the Revolution,” is run by Patriot leader Gary Franchi, producer of “Camp FEMA,” a film that promotes the FEMA camp conspiracy theory. The site, named RTR, apparently stands for Restore the Republic, since Franchi heads a Patriot group and website with that name.”

    This paragraph begs the question: What is the site’s name, “RTR” or “Social Network of the Revolution”?

    For clarification, the name of the site, which can be found at rtr.org, is “RTR”. The slogan of the site is “social network of the revolution”. The difference is expressed in “the site, which calls itself…” and “the site, named RTR”. It would be nice if the Hatewatch editors would use clearer language, someone else might get confused about the name upon reading that paragraph. I had to go to the site to find the site’s name. Why doesn’t this post at least provide a link?

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    I think this is going to fail. These people are incredibly paranoid, and they have to be fully aware that police organizations do use social networking sites to gain information. Many of them will be suspicious about a site which specifically seeks to gather “patriots”(traitors, actually).

  • DrMJG

    While I agree that his falls into “more of the same”, in terms of these groups, it is important that the SPLC and other group keep a tab on them. And, given the power of internet to get items out quickly, it is important to be just as quick in shining a bright light on such cockroaches.

  • http://teleleli.blogspot.com James Hutchings

    Wow – it sounds like they’ve got everyone on there. Well, except for black people.

  • Linnea

    Sounds like the usual paranoid suspects. I especially love the mention of people concerned about the UN interfering in parenting. WTF?? Seems like every few months brings some new twist on the fringe.