The Oath Keepers and The Rise of Radical Patriotism

by Project Censored
Published: Last Updated on

Oath Keepers is one of the fastest-growing “patriot” organizations on the right. Founded  April 2009  by Yale-educated lawyer and ex-Ron Paul aide Stewart Rhodes, the group has established itself as a hub in the sprawling anti-Obama movement that includes Tea Partiers, Birthers, and 912ers. There are scores of patriot groups, but what makes Oath Keepers unique is that its core membership consists of men and women in uniform, including soldiers, police, and veterans. At regular ceremonies in every state, members reaffirm their official oaths of service, pledging to protect the Constitution—but then they go a step further, vowing to disobey “unconstitutional” orders from what they view as an increasingly tyrannical government.

As of mid-January, according to Rhodes, Oath Keepers had at least one chapter in every state and was adding dozens of members daily. Some 14,000 people had signed up as members on the Oath Keepers website while more than 15,000, including dozens of military recruiters, had done so on Facebook.

The group’s leader, Stewart Rhodes, spoke at an annual Revolutionary War simulation in Lexington, he gathered support from many who are Tea Party sympathizers. Most Oath keepers are libertarians who believe in the New World Order and are prepared for another American Revolution as soon as the government goes too far. This may occur as soon as the government blocks cities, detains citizens in camps, or takes away the right to bear arms. If any of these occur, the Oath Keepers are prepared to fight against their fellow service men and women in order to uphold the constitution.

Title: Oath Keepers and the Age of Treason

Sources: Mother Jones March/April 2010


Student Researcher: Jenna Hornbuckle

Evaluator: James J. Preston Ph.D.

Faculty Instructor: Peter Phillips, Professor of Sociology,

Sonoma State University