Oath Keepers

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Oath Keepers is an American nonprofit organization[1] that advocates that its members (current and former U.S. military and law enforcement) disobey any orders that they are given if they believe they violate the Constitution of the United States.[2]

Organizational history[edit]

The Oath Keepers were founded on March 2009 by Stewart Rhodes and incorporated in Las Vegas, Nevada as a non-profit corporation.[3][4] Rhodes is a Yale Law School graduate, a former US Army paratrooper, and a former staffer of Congressman Ron Paul.[5] The Oath Keepers as a group have grown to include chapters in many states across America.[6]


In addition to maintaining a web site, Oath Keepers has taken various actions. It placed a billboard at the D.C. Metro White House Station on August 12, 2013, directed toward White House employees, stating, "Snowden honored his oath. Honor yours! Stop Big Brother! Expose unconstitutional actions."[7]

Media coverage[edit]

In the Southern Poverty Law Center's (SPLC) 2009 report The Second Wave: Return of the Militias, Larry Keller, a writer for the SPLC, wrote that the Oath Keepers "may be a particularly worrisome example of the Patriot revival."[8] Keller described Richard Mack, an Oath Keeper, as a "longtime militia hero"[8]:7[9] and quoted him as having said, "The greatest threat we face today is not terrorists; it is our federal government… One of the best and easiest solutions is to depend on local officials, especially the sheriff, to stand against federal intervention and federal criminality."[8]:7 Mack, a former sheriff, responded by denouncing the SPLC's claims.[10][11] Rhodes, who is one quarter Mexican and part Native American has disputed the SPLC claim of racism.[12]

Rhodes has appeared on several TV and radio shows to discuss Oath Keepers.[1] Lou Dobbs talked with Rhodes on his radio show and criticized the SPLC for "perpetuating the same kind of intolerance it claims to condemn."[1] On Hardball with Chris Matthews, Matthews and Rhodes discussed both the SPLC report and issues involving the Oath Keepers and extremists.[6]

MSNBC political commentator and former presidential candidate Pat Buchanan, quoting the Las Vegas Review-Journal,[13] said "Oath Keepers, depending on where one stands, are either strident defenders of liberty or dangerous peddlers of paranoia.” Buchanan explained their existence on the alienation of white America, concluding that "America was once their country. They sense they are losing it. And they are right." [14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Maimon, Alan (October 25, 2009). "Ready To Defend: Oath Keepers speak out at inaugural conference". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved October 25, 2009. 
  2. ^ Justine Sharrock (March–April 2010). "Oath Keepers and the Age of Treason". Mother Jones. Retrieved 2010-02-22. 
  3. ^ Acosta, Jim (November 18, 2009). "Who are the Oathkeepers". CNN. Retrieved November 18, 2009. 
  4. ^ "Incorporation Information for the Oath Keepers, Inc.". Nevada Secretary of State. E0559982009-3 (State of Nevada). October 22, 2009. Retrieved November 18, 2009. 
  5. ^ Maimon, Alan (October 18, 2009). "Ready To Revolt: Oath Keepers pledges to prevent dictatorship in United States". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved October 24, 2009. 
  6. ^ a b Nugent, Karen (October 23, 2009). "Ready to Protect: Former Bolton Chief Focuses On Constitution". Telegram & Gazette. Retrieved October 24, 2009. 
  7. ^ David Kerans. "Snowden spawning resistance inside the machine". 
  8. ^ a b c Keller, Larry (August 2009). "The Second Wave: Return of the Militias". A Special Report from the Southern Poverty Law Center (Montgomery, Alabama): pp. 5–10. Retrieved September 12, 2013. 
  9. ^ Fausset, Richard (September 18, 2009). "Oath Keepers organizer sees need to sound an alarm". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 2, 2009. 
  10. ^ "Sheriff Richard Mack (RET) Responds to Southern Poverty Law Center Smear Attack on Oath Keepers and on Sheriff Mack" (Press release). Oath Keepers. August 14, 2009. Retrieved November 3, 2009. 
  11. ^ Johnson, Jon (September 2, 2009). "Local man appears on Internet news show". Eastern Arizona Courier. Retrieved November 3, 2009. 
  12. ^ Radley Balko (7 February 2011), An Interview With Stewart Rhodes, Reason 
  13. ^ Maimon, Alan (18 October 2009). "Oath Keepers pledges to prevent dictatorship in United States". Las Vegas Review-Journal (Las Vegas, Nevada: Stephens Media LLC). Retrieved 4 July 2014. 
  14. ^ Patrick J. Buchanan (October 20, 2009). "Alienated and Radicalized". MSNBC. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]