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(52,103 posts)
Sun Oct 17, 2021, 11:09 PM Oct 2021

A short explainer of what the Oath Keepers are and why they matter.


Several of you responded to my open call for newsletter ideas asking to learn more about theOath Keepers. Given how much they’ve been in the news this year it’s an understandable curiosity. It’s also a good time to write about the Oath Keepers because thanks to a massive leak of member emails last month reporters and researchers have learned a lot about how the group operates, and who its members are.

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Oath Keepers are “one of the largest far-right anti-government groups in the U.S. today.” The group also claims “tens of thousands of present and former law enforcement officials and military veterans as members.” Leader Elmer Stewart Rhodes founded the group in 2009, reacting to the election of Barack Obama, America’s first Black President.

The name comes from members being asked to continue to uphold the oath they took in the military or law enforcement. The Oath Keepers recruit heavily from both of those institutions. (more on that in a moment.) The irony of an anti-government group recruiting from two government entities is apparently lost on them.

But there’s a limit to following the oath. The Oath Keepers have a list of 10 orders that members are never supposed to obey from authority figures, even their own superiors. Read the American Military’s oath of enlistment, and the conflicts are obvious. I guess you’re supposed to follow the oath until you aren’t? Follow the oath but in these 10 circumstances, you have an out? Follow the oath ish? It’s all very confusing.


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(45,806 posts)
2. I read the whole article. This a frightening group. They appear to have representation in a lot of
Sun Oct 17, 2021, 11:36 PM
Oct 2021

State offices which is exactly how the Pubs got as much control in the States. More info about this group will come out during the Congressional investigation as well as the various trials of the already charged Oath Keepers for their behavior on Jan. 6th. I sure we uncover enough to squash the entire group. We'll see.


(17,438 posts)
7. The Plump Boys are in it for the babes.
Mon Oct 18, 2021, 05:39 AM
Oct 2021
So, the Proud Boys are -speaker announces that many of them are single and "looking for house wives.


(14,909 posts)
6. Their oaths sound like a list of right-wing conspiracy...
Mon Oct 18, 2021, 05:32 AM
Oct 2021

... theories about liberals.

They might as well update it to include QAnon nonsense too -- e.g., "We will NOT obey orders to commit pedophilia against children or drink their blood."


(24,654 posts)
8. I was following a lot of stuff about militias in the 1990's
Mon Oct 18, 2021, 07:38 AM
Oct 2021

When I heard about the oathkeepers, I definitely viewed them as an offshoot and people to be concerned about. If Trump had tried to implement martial law it would be interesting to see how they would respond given their 10 oaths. I would imagine that they would be more “flexible” about them.

Midnight Writer

(22,306 posts)
9. I know a few "Oathkeepers" and they describe it as a pro-cop, pro-military support group.
Mon Oct 18, 2021, 08:23 AM
Oct 2021

I think that is how they get people "in the door", then they indoctrinate from there.

Like a cult.


(5,958 posts)
10. I remember them being founded during the Bush administration and at the time
Mon Oct 18, 2021, 08:30 AM
Oct 2021

I thought it might be good because they wouldn't go along with Bush's war crimes like torture and killing civilians. But obviously they have gone off the freaking rails since then.


(19,964 posts)
11. They are terrorists
Mon Oct 18, 2021, 08:32 AM
Oct 2021

We have dangerous terrorist groups in this country with 10s of thousands of members, and our criminal justice system is still treating them like kooky harmless boy scout troops.

We're heading for a mass casualty event before the DOJ starts taking this threat seriously. These are dangerous extremists who no longer love their country and don't respect our Democracy. Sure, they'll claim patriotism and love of country, but they only love small parts of America, they've lost the love for what the country really stands for.

Membership in the Oath Keepers should be treated exactly the same as membership in ISIS. We wouldn't let 10s of thousands of ISIS members move about our country freely.

Kid Berwyn

(16,156 posts)
13. Organized Fascists under the thrall of an Unstable Moron.
Mon Oct 18, 2021, 06:16 PM
Oct 2021

Not all the money the NRA got from Russia made it to the Republicans in Washington.

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