Domestic Extremism Edition! Reopen Bucks Member: Masks Are 'Satanic Ritual,' 'Patriot' Movement Recruits Police in PA & Beyond, Oath Keeper Cops & Soldiers Across the U.S., And More!
The 2016 election of Donald Trump provided extremist groups "an invitation to be out in the mainstream,” said Deana Rohlinger, research director of the Florida State University Institute on Politics.
WORSHIPPERS AT WORLD PEACE AND UNIFICATION SANCTUARY HOLD WEAPONS DURING THEIR SERVICE FEBRUARY 28, 2018 IN NEW FOUNDLAND, PENNSYLVANIA. PHOTO BY DON EMMERT/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES
First I’d like to thank Alison Dagnes, a professor of political science at Shippensburg University and author of “Super Mad at Everything All the Time: Political Media and Our National Anger.” I spoke with her for my latest column “Right-wing 'media' triggers misinformed right-wing rage” where I examine the GOP’s mushrooming disconnect from an evidence-based reality and the dire consequences it is having for the health and survival of our democracy.
My next column will talk about another troubling extremist and potentially violent development in Bucks County. That will be published Oct. 28. I’ve tried to pitch a weekly column to the editor, or even a podcast on off weeks, but so far no luck. If you appreciate the progressive perspective I offer every other week with my column, don’t forget to let the papers (The Bucks County Courier Times and The Intelligencer) know with letters to the editors. The far-right haters are loud, obnoxious, and relentless.
Speaking of the far-right, Reopen Bucks blob member Shannon Harris went full “Church Lady” conspiracy theorist at the Central Bucks school board meeting this week. You can listen HERE starting at minute 37:37. It even caught the attention of Philadelphia Magazine writer Victor Fiorillo. Harris, one of the Reopen Bucks blob’s intellectual leaders, who is also suing the school district, believes masking is a “Satanic ritual.” She said a whole lot of other stuff, mentioning Lucifer, 666, New World Order, blood, etc., but just do yourself a favor and listen to her speak for herself. I don’t want to do her a disservice.
Meanwhile, Reverend Raul Antony, spokesperson for the official Church of Satan, didn’t have kind words for Harris and rejected her accusations. “No, simply ‘wearing a mask’ is not a Satanic ritual, and anyone that genuinely thinks otherwise is a blithering idiot,” he told Philly Mag.
Read Fiorillo’s full article here: https://www.phillymag.com/news/2021/10/15/school-mask-mandate-lawsuit-bucks-county/
Richard Mack, the former sheriff of Graham County, Ariz., speaks at the 10th annual Second Amendment Action Day rally on the steps of the Pennsylvania Capitol in Harrisburg, PA, on May 12, 2015. Photo: AP
The Anti-Defamation League released a report exposing the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association (CSPOA) and its founder Richard Mack’s efforts to recruit law enforcement into the anti-government “patriot” movement.
“The central tenet of CSPOA, borrowed from the anti-government extremist sovereign citizen movement, is that the county sheriff is the ultimate authority in the county, able to halt enforcement of any federal or state law or measure they deem unconstitutional.”
Mack, who spoke at a pro-gun rally in Harrisburg, PA, in 2015 (as the above photo shows) was a speaker at the Oct. 8-10 Sanctuary Church’s Rod of Iron Freedom Festival in Greeley, PA.
For more context about the PA-based MAGA Cult Sanctuary Church read:
Become a paid subscriber for as little as $5/month!
Two articles about the Oath Keepers from The Gothamist:
“Over the last decade, dozens of current and former law enforcement officers, military personnel, and government officials in New Jersey joined a far-right, anti-government militia called the Oath Keepers, according to a WNYC/Gothamist analysis of what appear to be membership rolls obtained by an anonymous hacker…”
“The Oath Keepers are a vile, extremist anti-government organization,” said Bill Neidhardt, a de Blasio spokesman. “An immediate internal investigation has been launched…”
“Deana Rohlinger, research director of the Florida State University Institute on Politics, said political extremism has always been around, but the 2016 election of Donald Trump provided extremist groups with "an invitation to be out in the mainstream…”
“An analysis by OPB of hacked data uncovers police officers, sheriff’s deputies and military in Oregon who had joined the far right militia group since 2009…”
“Reporters identified 302 people with Utah addresses and reached out to around two dozen people that appeared to be public officials or had clear ties to the military or law enforcement…”
In case you haven’t had your fill of extremism, The House Committee on Veterans' Affairs held a hearing Oct. 13 “Domestic Violent Extremist Groups and the Recruitment of Veterans.” Watch the entire hearing here:
And for more, shorter context, read:
“These extremist groups recruit veterans because they believe their combat experience, weapons training and leadership skills add credibility and authenticity to their operation,” said. Rep. Raul Ruiz, D-Calif. “We need to understand that these factors are some of the reasons that extremist groups recruit veterans.”
[Bucks County has a Three Percent militia cell led by a combat vet.]
Wednesday’s hearing was often stalled by Republican lawmakers who questioned the need for such testimony and framed extremist views and behaviors as a matter of free speech.
“We have seen a range of white supremacist groups express interest in adding veterans to their ranks because of their military skills and training, including violent paramilitary white supremacist groups like The Base and Atomwaffen, whose members participate in training camps to refine their survivalist tactics in preparation for a perceived impending race war.”
“Between 2015 and 2020 10 percent of all domestic terrorist attacks and plots were committed by veterans.”
Finally, here are 3 extremist school board candidates in Bucks County:
Thanks for reading! I look forward to your feedback and suggestions. And most importantly, keep organizing!