Talk:Militia organizations in the United States

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This article is not neutral[edit]

"Resentment of the federal government only heightened with the passage of the Brady Act in 1993 and the Assault Weapons Ban a year later. Those laws also helped to drive more moderate gun owners into sympathy with some of the Militia movement's positions. The FBI's shooting of Vicki and Sam Weaver at Ruby Ridge also alienated many in the gun rights movement.[7] Some members of the Militia movement viewed this as an attempt by the government to disarm the American people, a preliminary step to clear the way for an invasion of United Nations troops and the establishment of a New World Order.[5] Many people joined militias in order to protect themselves, their families, and their rights from perceived government intrusion."

This seems to be a rather narrow statement on a broad swath of the American mindset in regards to perceived attitudes of the Federal Government and I dare say this and other sections seem to be sympathetic to one particular party. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:39, 19 April 2010 (UTC)

Isn't it correct that the underlying view shared by the vast majority of militia groups is that the federal government cannot be trusted? The idea that the constitution is above the federal government, and that loyalty to the constitution justified defying the government seems to follow for many. Doesn't these views mean that the militia movement must be described as extreme right wing? (talk) 07:20, 22 July 2012 (UTC)

First thoughts[edit]

Well, this is an article that I've long thought should be created, rather than being left to sections on other pages. However, I wonder why the article was created with "(United States)" in the title, instead of simply overwriting the redirect at "Militia movement." There doesn't seem to be any need for such disambiguation. I also think the current article reads like the effort of someone trying to be objective, but still subtly biased against the movement; all the sources cited (Pitcavage, Berlet, ADL) come from critics of the militias. --WacoKid 02:56, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

I agree this is an article long overdue. I think the title is perfectly accurate for the topic "The Militia Movement in the United States". Notability is clearly established, See 1997 PBS Newshour feature with the byline "the militia movement in the United States". Also, see the Senate Hearings on the topic "The Militia Movement in the United States". SaltyBoatr 19:50, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

Merge tags[edit]

An ip editor,, placed tags suggesting a merge to Constitutional militia movement or Militia (United States). Both of these suggestions are completely unsuitable. Merging to constitutional militia movement is a poor choice, as that article in no way approaches the depth of this article or has anywhere near the same content while it purports to be describing the same thing. Additionally sources have described the militia phenomenon as the Militia movement, never using constitutional in the title. There is also no reason to fold this article into the main U.S. militia article. This is not a minor event, as it stands this article could still be greatly expanded. While meeting one of the descriptions in the lead of that article, "Private militia forces, not necessarily illegal, which are made up of non-officially organized individuals who have formed paramilitary organizations based on their own interpretation of the concept of the militia." it is also a notable social and political movement that has been covered as an occurrence to itself in numerous reliable sources. --arkalochori |talk| 03:31, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

The following books have been published, all of which refer to a "Militia movement" and deal with it as a movement separate from earlier militias in American history.
Cozic, Charles P. (1997) The Militia Movement Greenhaven Press
Levitas, Daniel. (2002) The Terrorist Next Door: The Militia Movement and the Radical Right St. Martin's Press
Crothers, Lane (2003) Rage on the Right: The American Militia Movement from Ruby Ridge to Homeland Rowman & Littlefield
Mulloy, Darren. (2004) American Extremism: History, Politics and the Militia Movement, Routledge
There are many more books, as well as media reports. There is no reason to merge this anywhere. --arkalochori |talk| 05:41, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

I am not the only one suggesting a merge. Leave the tags, and let people discuss the issue. 20:38, 5 November 2007 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was no consensus to move the page, per the discussion below. Dekimasuよ! 07:35, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

Rename. It was proposed by DHowell in the AfD discussion to rename this, and I concur with the addition of quotes around "militia", to Criticism of "militia" movements (United States). Bracton 16:27, 7 November 2007 (UTC)

Oppose Notablity test: Are there any books with the topic "Criticism of "militia" movements in the United States"? I don't see any. I do see many reliable books with the topic "Militia movement in the United States". SaltyBoatr 18:02, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
Comment: Actually I proposed heavily revising this article, and then perhaps moving it if it a new title would more accurately describe the subject of this article. The article as it exists now is heavily biased against its subject: not even Adolf Hitler gets this much negative treatment in Wikipedia. Whether it gets renamed or not all depends a lot on what its focus would be after getting the article to comply with WP:NPOV. Right now the article gives undue weight to sources critical of militia movements, while ignoring sources such as Searching for a Demon: The Media Construction of the Militia Movement which documents the heavy bias present in the mainstream media's portrayal of the militia movement.
I think discussing renaming this article may be premature until the neutrality concerns are addressed. If the article is to remain at its current title, then it needs more material from less biased sources; if it is to be renamed and the focus be on the criticism of militia movements, then it needs languague which describes this criticism more neutrally (rather than accepting the critical views as fact). Either way, unsourced and synthesized claims, which this article is full of, need to be removed. DHowell 22:40, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
Oppose Both praise and criticism should be contained in one, NPOV article. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 00:09, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.


The John Birch Society and America First are terrorists and militia orginizations? Whats the justification for this other than being against foreign aid/foreign wars and immigration? The trend across virtually every political article on wikipedia seems to be any opinion of the adl and splc, pretty extreme groups themselves, being taken as unquestionable fact. I guess this classifies me as a terrorist. You learn something new every day. I don't even own a gun but i am a militia extremist... This is the type of stuff that results in people being laughed at when they use Wikipedia as a source, fellas. The bias related to anything remotely involving conservative politics whilst making blind assumptions that groups who lean just as far to the left are authorities on the classification of them is obscene. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:50, 2 February 2008 (UTC)

I've edited most of the lunacy out of the article. It's funny and sad to think someone wrote this, and others have subsequently believed it. I would recommend an entire re-write eventually, as this article still has a strong opinion that Militias are only a bunch of Christian mid-westerners with assault rifles. In addition, I've added a line about the 21st century (as it's now been 9 years since we were in the 1990's) that needs to be expanded ASAP. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:59, 6 July 2008 (UTC)

Thanks go to for much needed contributions. I agree that an overhaul of this article for clarity and neutrality is needed. To that end I offer the following points:
  • A distinction ought to be made between paramilitary organizations (which advocate use of violence to further political ends) and those that advocate better equipment/training for the militia.
  • On the same note, what meaning should we give to the word "milita" itself? A synonym for "private army" or "paramilitary group," as used by most American media outlets? Or "the body of citizens organized for emergency military service," the most popular definition before the 20th century and still the one used in legal contexts? Without clearly making this decision, "militia" is a weasel word. In any case, we need something to call the alternate definition.
I propose using "political paramilitary" for the first and "militia" for the second. "Militia movement (US)" is then the ideology that justifies the combination of politics with paramilitary training or even violent action using the Militia Clause and 2nd Amendment.
post TBC WildWeathel (talk) 21:49, 31 July 2008 (UTC)
  • How much of a link is there actually to survivalism? There certainly are survivalists who are also political paramilitaries and plenty others who are not.
  • What standards of quality should be demanded of sources? I'll start another thread to deal with this topic.
  • "Left," "Right," of name-calling there's no end in sight.... I'd rather stay away from political-spectrum language like this because of neutrality and objectivity concerns.
  • Paramilitary politics have been an intermittent part of United States history since before the United States proper (Shays' Rebellion). At what point did paramilitary groups start claiming legitimacy as really representing the US or state militia?
OK, that's enough for a start at least WildWeathel (talk) 17:17, 1 August 2008 (UTC)


Please come here to comment about specific sources or introduce others. WildWeathel (talk) 17:35, 1 August 2008 (UTC)

  • Mulloy. American Extremism
  • Williams. The Mythic Meanings...
  • Pitcavage. Camouflage and Conspiracy (may only be available in print or DRM PDF)
  • [1]
  • Right-Wing Populism
  • Rise of Citizen Militias
  • Militia Nation
Blatantly partisan. Quote:
Why We Focus on the Right
While attacks on civil liberties can come from any direction, the political and Christian Right use skillful marketing that exploits the public’s desire for quick solutions and capitalizes on today’s hectic information flow. With clever slogans that oversimplify complex public policy issues, the Right routinely scapegoats others in pursuit of their agenda.
PRA responds with fair and accurate analysis, looking beneath the sound-bites and slogans of the Right, exposing the true goals and agendas of specific leaders, organizations and movements. We then present our analysis in ways that can help the media, advocates and educators understand and challenge the Right.
My understanding is that publications of think-tanks are questionable at best (except as evidence of the think-tanks opinion). I propose this source be struck. WildWeathel (talk) 18:14, 1 August 2008 (UTC)
  • Dees. Gathering Storm
  • CNN
  • New York Times
  • Chermak Searching for a Demon
  • Crothers The Cultural Foundations...
  • Anti-Defamation League The Militia Movement
  • de Armond articles on [2]

All of the sources above seem to either be pushing their own political agendas, or are merely propagating material produced by one of the others (e.g., CNN and the NYT). There are very few scholars writing on the subject that seem to be neutral or reliable. Robert Churchill and an earlier book by Jonathan Karl (now a reporter with ABC News) seem to take a neutral stance. Bracton (talk) 22:00, 31 May 2009 (UTC)

New book by Robert Churchill[edit]

The new book by Robert H Churchill, To Shake Their Guns in the Tyrant's Face: Libertarian Political Violence and the Origins of the Militia Movement, University of Michigan Press (March 3, 2009) ISBN 0472116827, presents a very different treatment of the subject, and one that explicitly and credibly debunks works of the other writers cited in this article as impaired or defective. Churchill was one of the early debunkers of Michael A. Bellesiles whose work has now been thoroughly discredited, so his stance on this topic deserves to be given great weight. I will be blending in material from this book into the various articles related to the topic. Bracton (talk) 19:11, 23 April 2009 (UTC)

Known Militia groups[edit]

Proposed merger with constitutional militia movement[edit]

We have here a geographic scope problem, in that much of what is in both militia movement and constitutional militia movement pertains only to the United States, and those parts that do could be merged. However, there have also been militia movements in other countries through history, mainly movements advocating strengthening militia in preparation for some threat. However, almost all such movements have a constitutionalist aspect in their respective countries. On the other hand, the constitutional militia movement could also be characterized as a constitutionalist movement with a militia aspect or "wing". Churchill mostly describes episodes in a long militia movement with constitutionalist wings, but much of the historical continuity he reports has consisted of constitutionalist efforts that did not manifest in militia "wings", but focused on public education, legislation or ligitation. So it may be more accurate to write of a general whig or republican movement through history that sometimes emphasized political, sometimes judicial, and sometimes militia, or some combinations of them. Given that readers may approach these subjects from various angles, it would seem to work better to proliferate articles that are somewhat duplicative (with cross references). Bracton (talk) 21:42, 31 May 2009 (UTC)

Hutaree militia[edit]

Considering recent events, it might be good to update this article with information about them as well as other militia movement activity in recent years. I really know very little about them so perhaps someone else could take the lead. Franklin Moore (talk) 17:11, 30 March 2010 (UTC) Hutaree is NOT a militia, it is a GANG, better yet, A cult that is trying to hide behind the militia name, the FBI person in charge of the case even said this is not a militia group, other militia groups also reported this gang to the FBI, since most militia groups have active, and leo police officers as members, they use the militia as a way to buy guns from other groups, but the other groups are aware of these type of people and always ignore them or turn them away, like they did with Hutaree. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Lowlux (talkcontribs) 20:44, 4 May 2010 (UTC)

Hutaree is NOT a militia, it is a GANG, better yet, A cult that is trying to hide behind the militia name, the FBI person in charge of the case even said this is not a militia group, other militia groups also reported this gang to the FBI, since most militia groups have active, and leo police officers as members, they use the militia as a way to buy guns from other groups, but the other groups are aware of these type of people and always ignore them or turn them away, like they did with Hutaree. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Lowlux (talkcontribs) 20:39, 4 May 2010 (UTC)

Misleading information[edit]

Prior to my edit, there read the following sentence: "Political pressure groups, such as the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center have portrayed militias as racist, despite there being only tenuous, if any, connections to White supremacists." This was then sourced to, which does not support that conclusion. The author suggests two wings of the militia movement, one white supremacist, one libertarian. I changed the former sentence and added a following one to represent the source material. Let's try and keep this neutral and not distort sources. We can't trust every reader to actually read linked material, so it's up to the editors and writers to make sure articles can be trusted. D.E. Cottrell (talk) 02:22, 19 April 2010 (UTC)

Anyone using the term "White supremacist" can not be taken seriously, since virtually non of the groups or people this label is assigned to hold the view that Whites ought to rule over other races. So anything with that in should be kicked out. -- (talk) 08:20, 11 February 2014 (UTC)

suspected point of view[edit]

Suspected Hutaree members (released on apparently unsecured minimal bond)? Suspected of what? They are probably Hutaree members, but representative of the militia movement? If I put up a picture of nine suspected members of a Communist front in an article on a left wing movement, or nine suspected ALF terrorists (quoting SPLC) in an article on humane society, it would come down with comments on McCarthyism. The position pushed by some of the sources is that the militia movement is all or mostly anti-government, apocalyptic religious and white supremacist. This is as ludicrous as the congressman who claimed that those of us who ask "If no one in Congress read the health care bill, who wrote it?" are "Aryan militia". "Militia" has become a scare label like "Communist" used where it does not apply, or given a prejudicial implication that does not fit.

There is a pro-government religion-neutral non-racist militia position that is ignored here. The act of congress that created the National Guard in the early 20th century defined the "unorganized militia" as those eligible to volunteer or be conscripted for military service but not actively enrolled in any branch including the National Guard. The National Rifle Associations of Britain and America were formed in the late 19th century so such persons would have familiarity with safe gun handling and marksmanship skills before volunteering or being drafted. A strict read of the SCOTUS US v. Miller 1939 history section supports the idea that anyone potentially eligible for military service (unorganized militia) should not be barred from possession of, and training with, a military service rifle.

There was also a militia movement within the US military based on the duty, under the soldier's oath, not to obey unlawful orders that violate the Constitution, regulations or the UCMJ. The extraordinary requests by ATF for Special Forces resources at Ft. Hood TX Feb 93 under the false claim that the Davidians had a meth lab ("War on Drugs" exemption to the Posse Comitatus Act), plus the Combat Arms Survey administered to selected special operations units in 1993 and '94 (Question 46 asked would you "fire upon U.S. citizens who refuse or resist confiscation of firearms banned by the U.S. government"), led to the formation of a Special Forces Underground with a clandestine publication The Resister. Their hero is Hugh Thompson, Jr. who refused to "just follow orders" at My Lai. Naaman Brown (talk) 12:05, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

  • The treatment of this subject in a POV manner, as informed by the personal comments on the talk pages by the editors, proves the institutional left-wing POV bias of Wikipedia as a whole. ~Anonymous — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:24, 25 July 2011 (UTC)

Still heavily biased[edit]

Could the author try and use something besides the most biased reference material they can find?

Perhaps a little of the opposing viewpoint might be justified. But of course, that would probably be contrary to the author's own personal opinions on the matter... — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:20, 12 January 2012 (UTC)

Remove From Terrorism Category[edit]

As noted in many of the above comments, it's heavily biased and just not fact based to have this article in the Terrorism category. Are all militia movement members terrorists? I don't think lumping the militia movement in with Al-Queda is in anyway accurate. Can we please move this out of the Terrorism category? - SCVPolitik (talk) 20:39, 7 September 2012 (UTC)


BulbBAn RfC: Which descriptor, if any, can be added in front of Southern Poverty Law Center when referenced in other articles? has been posted at the Southern Poverty Law Center talk page. Your participation is welcomed. – MrX 17:02, 22 September 2012 (UTC)


This article has a set and overt focus on certain actions, controversial actions of certain individuals who are connected to the militia movement, which should be a sub-topic of the entire topic. This article needs to be balanced out with an objective description of the militias goals, origins and ideology. -JamesFalklandII (talk) 19:08, 4 November 2012 (UTC)


There are no sources for many of the purported militias listed in the article. Cwobeel (talk) 23:15, 4 May 2014 (UTC)