Militia of Montana

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The Militia of Montana (MOM) is a paramilitary organization founded by John Trochmann, a retired maker of snowmobile parts, of Noxon, Montana, USA.[1] The organization formed from the remnants of the United Citizens for Justice in late 1992 in response to the standoff during the siege in Ruby Ridge, Idaho. The Militia of Montana reached their member high point in 1999 and largely disbanded after the Y2K threat turned out to be minor.

History[edit]

Officially formed by John Trochmann and his brother David in January 1994, MOM received significant assistance from self-styled analyst Robert Fletcher. Trochmann's wife, Carolyn, who drives a school bus and is a regular substitute teacher at Noxon Public School, had delivered food to the Weaver family during the several months preceding the standoff between the Weaver family and Federal agents in Ruby Ridge, Idaho.[2] The Waco Siege solidified MOM's standing as one of the first established militia groups. John Trochmann stated that people needed to arm and organize themselves in order to prevent future incidents from occurring.[3]

MOM grew in membership and notoriety which culminated in a gathering in Kalispell, Montana, of over 800 people to listen to an address by John Trochmann in June, 1994.[4] In a 1995 interview, John Trochmann stated, "Gun control is people control," and MOM claimed to have more than 12,000 members trained in guerilla warfare, survivalist techniques, and other unconventional tactics in preparation for withstanding the perceived federal government onslaught to seize their weapons presaged by the Waco Siege.[5]

In March 1995, MOM's newsletter, Taking Aim, reprinted a lengthy letter from Richard John ("Wayne") Snell, a convicted murderer of an Arkansas State Trooper and a pawn shop owner, asserting that his coming execution related to a series of Arkansas scandals allegedly connected with President Bill Clinton, in which twenty-five victims were said to have met strange deaths. Snell was to die, according to MOM, because he "was and still is heavily involved in exposing Clinton for his trail of blood to the White House."[6]

MOM organized against the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act and the Federal Assault Weapons Ban which increased membership who believed that threats to the Second Amendment were orchestrated by financial and corporate elites in a global conspiracy.[7] After Oklahoma City bombing, Robert Fletcher declared to the press, "Expect more bombs!"[8] As fears that the Y2K computer meltdown would provoke social collapse, MOM capitalized on these anxieties through its catalog and John Trochmann's frequent appearances at preparedness expos. After 2000, membership dwindled, however MOM continued to fuel conspiracy theories surrounding the September 11 attacks in 2001 and the 2007 Financial crisis.[7]

Ideology[edit]

MOM proposes several points:

  1. The New World Order conspiracy theory combined with the belief that the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was designed to impoverish and enslave Americans.[9]
  2. The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution is designed to provide for armed insurrection against the established government.[10]
  3. The Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution and affirmative action is racist, and therefore should be repealed.[10]
  4. Allodial title applies to individuals who own land outright can be considered sovereign in accordance to groups such as the Montana Freeman in Jordan, Montana.[11]

The Volume 6, Issue No. 10 April 2000 of Taking Aim made references against peace officers:

"Why do you suppose your leaders lead you to oppose the very rights you swore to protect? Why do they want a disarmed public? You know the reason. It has nothing to do with controlling crime. It has everything to do with using you to disarm, fine and control your fellow American Citizens. Don't fall for it. Don't force me to kill you."[12]

John Trochmann on the passage of Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act:

"Health care was one more straw in the camel's back. Perhaps it's the one that breaks it."[13]

Robert Fletcher on anti-Semitic rhetoric:

"If the bulk of the banking elite are Jewish, is that anti-Semitic? The people who are doing this are the international banking elite, and if they are all Jews, so be it, but that's not the case. I don't care if they're Arabs or monkeys."[14]

Decline and current status[edit]

The excitement of military exercises and drilling declined as few were willing to support taking up arms against the government since the height of MOM's membership in 1999. In March, 2000, Randy Trochmann, David Trochmann's son and an instrumental leader, left the group for financial reasons. The free e-mail bulletin mass circulated by MOM began charging its subscribers, which decreased readership. John Trochmann mainly speaks at regional gun shows, seldom traveling outside the Pacific Northwest.[15] MOM continues to publish Taking Aim and still publishes their product catalog which includes firearms manuals, videos, and other books to "help you prepare for an uncertain future.[16]

In popular culture[edit]

In The Simpsons episode Kill the Alligator and Run, Homer pays Bart with money printed by the "Montana Militia." When Bart states that it isn't real, Homer responds threateningly, "It'll be real soon enough."

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kelly, Michael (June 19, 1995). "THE ROAD TO PARANOIA". The New Yorker. 
  2. ^ Chaloupka, William (1996). Publius: The Journal of Federalism 26:3. p. 165.  [1]
  3. ^ Kushner, Harvey (December 4, 2002). Encyclopedia of terrorism. p. 290. 
  4. ^ Southern Poverty Law Center, Timeline.
  5. ^ Hoffman, Bruce (April 15, 1999). Inside terrorism. p. 104. 
  6. ^ Barkun, Michael (1997). Religion and the Racist Right: The Origins of the Christian Identity Movement. University of North Carolina Books. p. 264. ISBN 0-8078-2328-7. 
  7. ^ a b Anti-Defamation League
  8. ^ Philadelphia Trumpet newsmagazine
  9. ^ Mediafilter.org
  10. ^ a b Second Amendment Foundation
  11. ^ Institute for Social Equality
  12. ^ Militiaofmontana.com
  13. ^ USA Today
  14. ^ New York Times
  15. ^ Anti-Defamation League Profile
  16. ^ Militia of Montana catalog

External links[edit]