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Waco Biker Story Brings Out Misconceptions About Oath Keepers

An article about the Waco bikers brought out misconceptions from comment posters about Oath Keepers. Members have an opportunity to correct the record.–Photo by Pat Jones, Creative Commons Share Alike International License.

An organization like Oath Keepers can’t exist without attracting opposition, including from people ostensibly on “our side.”

I experienced some of that firsthand when I announced on my Facebook page some weeks back that I would be writing for Oath Keepers, and received a warning accusing this group of all kinds of thing.  It turns out he had a personal ax to grind. When I asked him to provide documentation of his accusations, so that everyone exposed to them could validate things for themselves, he suddenly went dark.

I get that good people are going to disagree with each other at times, sometimes strongly and emotionally. When we do, and when accusations start flying, the best thing to do is get things out in the open and then see if allegations can be substantiated. We only do ourselves a disservice if we level charges and then don’t back them up.

Case in point is my latest piece on The Truth About Guns, an article about evident cronyism and cover ups in the Waco Twin Peaks biker case. It’s a story I intend to explore further, including tying to sound out some Oath Keepers in the area, and I saw I wasn’t the only one thinking along those lines.

A comment poster suggested Oath Keepers could help, and that brought about two strong and immediate objections.

“What the Oath Keepers view as unconstitutional is pretty limited in scope and since their ranks are filled with mostly current and former LE, they wouldn’t touch this with a ten foot pole,” one reader asserted. “The Oath Keepers are cool with corruption and abuse of power within Local and State agencies.”

“BINGO! The Oathkeepers is a PAC, nothing more,” another reader weighed in. “Anybody who thinks otherwise is just willfully ignorant.”

I let them know they were commenting on an article written by an Oath Keepers contributor, me, as the most direct refutation of both their accusations I could think of. Another and better rebuttal is a November article by Ed Wilson, “Police Expert: War On Terror Has Turned Our Cops Into Occupying Armies — And We’re The Enemy.”

Of course Oath Keepers cares about local and state corruption  and abuse, and is a leader in exposing and opposing it.

“As for the argument that we are a PAC, we aren’t even a Federal income tax exempt non-profit (we are a Nevada non-profit, but intentionally did not seek IRS non-profit status) let alone a PAC,” Stewart Rhodes notes. “We don’t want the IRS to have any grounds for trying to tell us what we can and cannot say or do.”

Still, this is a “lemonade out of lemons” opportunity to educate a wider gun owner readership of the mission of Oath Keepers, as well as to provide real life examples of Oath Keepers making real contributions to advance freedom.

Feel free to head on over to that piece and where you see someone passing on bad information about Oath Keepers, shine some light instead of heat.  While it may be tempting to tear into the guy you’re responding to, I’d suggest keeping in mind who you’re really sending a message to: the people reading comments. Reputation management is important to all of us, and to the organizations we are part of. We’re known by the company we keep, so let’s make sure we let everyone know we’re proud to keep honorable company.




David Codrea blogs at The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance (, and is a field editor/columnist for GUNS Magazine. Named “Journalist of the Year” in 2011 by the Second Amendment Foundation for his groundbreaking work on the “Fast and Furious” ATF “gunwalking” scandal, he is a frequent event speaker and guest on national radio and television programs.



  1. David, your last paragraph pretty much hits it on the head about commenting and reputation. The blogosphere is teeming with willful ignorance, blind ignorance or just plain trolls weaving their deceit and distrust to many who read these blogs. Many times I just read the comments and from my view I can see the friction words have even between those that are fighting for the same cause. Yeah , we need to put a restraint on our tongues, in this case fingers, usually they tend to run off willy-nilly before giving it much thought. Let us stand united for the greater cause of protecting that which is the reason for this organizations existence.

  2. Do not forget educating as an important step in the PR process. One thing I run into a lot is we have the choice between “civil war” or “revolution”, which is not true, nor is it even the correct choice. We are defending our legitimate government from the corrupt Oath takers working from within our governments by removing them with whatever means it takes.

    Our Elections are Fraudulent.
    Recall is mostly a joke.

    Those who serve within our governments already “revolted”, in that THEY are trying to change our legitimate and chosen government in unlawful and even treasonous ways (Treason & Terrorism many times from Bush 1 thru the current administration. Yes, and before, but these people are still living and can be prosecuted, held accountable).

    That is not the problem we are dealing with today. Our problem is replacing those who serve within our government and are corrupt, and have have also corrupted our system.

    Abraham Lincoln: “We, the people, are the rightful masters of both congress and the courts – not to overthrow the constitution, but to overthrow men who pervert the Constitution”

    We are NOT changing our government, but as Dr. Vieira says, “RESTORING it to its rightful condition.” (more of a paraphrase).

    It seems as the Militia is the only constitutional and lawful means of removing, charging those who have committed crimes, with more investigations and then prosecuting.

    Because Oath Keepers, along with other constitutional organizations, are having an impact on shedding the light on their corrupt activities and showing the way to constitutionally stop them I am sure that “smearing” OK is a high priority, and whatever else they can come up with.

  3. David, I agree for the most part that Oath Keepers and other patriot organizations are full of well meaning people. Those of us like myself who served in the Armed forces do not have to join a group to keep our “Oath.” You say that ” Of course Oath Keepers cares about local and state corruption and abuse, and is a leader in exposing and opposing it.”
    What about the divide and conquer in Oath keeper local/county organizations? The gossip and maligning and slander against volunteers and Life Members of Oath Keepers who call attention to the Founder of Oath Keepers to see there are some serious problems and he refuses to listen to ALL concerned parties and perhaps admit that he may need to clean house?
    When people in the OK Organization are so easily to convince the Founder to not pay attention to possible Whistle blowers who want to keep the dirty laundry in house and have issues looked at more closely or resolved….instead black ball those who dare to say things were not perfect…far from perfect…even Illegal at the Sugar Pine Operation and at Bundy? All 15 people wanted was equal time to talk to the founder and not have a cover up. And to be afraid of guest coming up on a talk show and present evidence ?

    1. Maggie Rose, your comment is full of gossip-borne rumors and here you are with no more class than to post up your fantasies on our website. You are being an embarrassment to yourself and apparently you don’t even know it. Try to search your soul for a trace of dignity as an individual. Are you here to complain? Do you want to sow discontent among our readership, give the SPLC a little boost, provide more inspiration for the enemies of freedom in our country? What on earth motivated you to decide to take your rumors and gossip to our website?

      Allow me to explain a few facts of life in contemporary America.
      1. Oath Keepers is not like any other organization operating on behalf of the Constitution in America. We are going to appear “different”, because we *are* different. Being “different” is a significant part of our effectiveness.
      2. Stewart Rhodes is an inspiring visionary, a man of genius whose mind never stops. He is the founder, and he is the leader of Oath Keepers. It’s a big world out there. Stewart’s as big as it is. Would you really expect him to bow to your own concept of how to run his organization? Really?
      3. No one is forced to be a member in Oath Keepers. Everyone is free to start one’s own force for liberty. If you’re not happy with Oath Keepers management style, what’s it to you other than a sure sign that you may find a more suitable group elsewhere, or, perhaps even start your own.
      4. If you choose to nitpick every little detail about how the Oath Keepers movement has answered every challenge while we were establishing ourselves and firmly implanting the meme of liberty and freedom into the political discourse of this nation; If you can’t see that our mission is waking up countless Police and Military and First Responders and Veterans and yes even many thousands of average citizens who have never served but who are serving now by supporting Oath Keepers and promoting our mission; If you are trying to wreck that good work by spreading your rumors and judgmental gossip by posting baseless accusations here, I’m afraid I’m going to have to dismiss your lack of graciousness and forgive your indiscretion. Please try to elevate your personal sense of dignity.
      5. If you have something to say in the future, please just send me your thoughts by email.
      6. One who is focused on the mission need not worry oneself about what Oath Keepers national is doing — one just carries forward the mission without deciding to make gossip or spread rumors. I hear a lot of rumors all the time. They usually come from the sorts of people who take their marching orders from the SPLC or DOJ, or worse. Do you want to fight for liberty, or are you merely seeking to disempower the most powerful liberty movement in this country? Think on such things.

      Oath Keepers, thanks to Stewart Rhodes, gave you a damn good idea. Why do you want to piss on him now? Who are you to tell him how he should handle his countless decisions every day? Are you out there on the front lines like he is? Is your life a series of ticket-counter lines at airports the way his is? Can you take one/one-hundredth of the heat Stewart Rhodes has to deal with every day, 24/7? You really good enough to judge him?

      Do you pay dues in Oath Keepers? Do you work for the SPLC? Are you a ghost-writer for Ann Landers? A sensational drama queen? Email me any proof you may have about any rumor, for instance, *What?* was done illegally at the Sugar Pine Mine operation? Use my email address above.
      Elias Alias, editor

  4. Elias , your really good with words. But , something smells bad here. Maybe it’s the self righteous , gun toting , egotistical bulkshit you spread. I dunno. Maybe your just a bunch of racists parading around with guns …. That’s what it sounds like to me. President Obama is NOT gonna declare Marshall Law. And you maggots seem to like to spread lies about this kind of crap …. And pretend your ” protecting the Constitution “. What a Joke. I’m just curious …. How many non-white members do you have ? Duane in Florida

  5. Elias,
    Judging from your rather unprofessional response, I would say that Ms. Rose pushed some very sensitive buttons in you. I was disappointed at the lack of professionalism contained in your reply to her. As the editor, you speak not only for Elias Alias, but for Mr. Rhodes and all members of “Oath Keepers”. I, for one, resent being embarrassed by someone who is unskilled in human relations and/or human communication. I would recommend that you re-read your response to Ms. Rose as an “Oath Keeper” would for the first time. It is a well known fact in human communication that whenever someone thinks they are telling us about “someone” else, they are, in reality, telling us far more about themselves. Your lengthy reply provides clear evidence of the validity of that dictum of human communication. It is well known that there are some minor and some serious problems within our organization at both state and national levels. Attacking a commenter or trying to impose what appeared to be an “Oath Keeper gag order” on any future e-mails from Ms. Rose by instructing her to contact you at you e-mail address was a low-water mark in your response. If you are unable or unwilling to serve in the capacity of our editor with professionalism, decorum and aplomb, I would suggest that you relinquish the position to someone who is better equipped to do so while seeking another position. Please be considerate of Mr. Rhodes and our members before posting any similar responses in the future.

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