What You Need to Know About Militant Groups And How to Prepare for Them
By Sandra Lane
When the ‘Big One’ happens, whether that’s defined as the mother of all earthquakes, a massive volcano, a nuclear war, EMP, World War III, the next Revolution, or an invasion of the country, the Rule of Law will be threatened. The Rule of Law, loosely defined, is summed up as ‘individuals, persons and government shall submit to, obey and be regulated by law, and not arbitrary action by an individual or a group of individuals.’ Obviously, without Rule of Law, anything goes. That’s when various peoples step into action with an agenda, and sometimes nefarious goals. For a plethora of reasons, these people already exist and are already grouped up, unified, and practicing. This is not a joke, nor is it meant to be political.
There are things you should know about militant groups.
This information is not to scare you, but to inform you so you can be prepared and react accordingly.
A few years ago I was a member of a militant group. Unfortunately, I joined the group when they were going through a rough period, with some dissidents of the group revolting internally. But during my time with the militia, I was made Team Leader over two Tennessee counties, and I reported to the State Coordinator who in turn reported to State and National Leaders. Underneath me were an Assistant Team Leader, Intel, Comms, Engineering, Medical, and Security Leads, and of course members. All was well and good, and I loved the job. We checked in every day – every single member – and organized monthly meetings where we had cookouts, range training, CPR Certification, and First Aid training, canning and food preserving presentations, etc. I loved every minute of it. It was a family of like-minded people all sharing what they knew to help others.
Then I started getting phone calls and multiple group texts containing internal gossip regarding the behavior of the State Leader. I’m not one to listen to gossip all that often. I hear it, file it away to examine later if I need to, and move on. However, at the same time, I was seeing/hearing weird behavior from the State Leader. He was giving orders military style, which seemed appropriate – after all, we were a militia and many members were prior military – but the orders were a bit confusing and his moods were all over the map. One minute the order would be to take a team and ‘Adopt a Highway’ with the name of the militia as the Adopter, (in order to get the name of the militia out there to the public as a benign supportive group), then in the next breath he was explaining how every member needed camo uniforms and gear and AR-15s.
“I want you to take a fully equipped and armed team to each home in your neighborhood, introduce yourselves as the “(militia name here)” and make sure they have food, water, and know how to reach you in case of an emergency. They need to know that You will be the Rule of Law in your area.”
The State Leader had become a “Wildcard”.
A ‘Wildcard’ in most LEO or Military circles means unpredictable and therefore unreliable. All that day I received group texts and phone calls. The militia had split, taking at least half the members with it, and the splinter group wanted me to come to their side. Gossip and stories ran back and forth with He Said and She Said flying everywhere… Who does one trust? I promptly left the militia. I realized I didn’t really know anyone other than what they had chosen to show and tell me. I told the State Leader I was leaving, I told the leader of the splinter group I was leaving, then I deleted all numbers and blocked all calls and thanked God no one had been to my house or had my address.
There is a minimum of hundreds of active militias all across the United States, but not all of them are bad.
The Southern Poverty Law Center is an organization that monitors hate groups and other extremists throughout the United States. While the recent scuffle between Antifa and Proud Boys (far left and far right respectively) became front page news, it is important to note that not all militias or patriot groups are bad or dangerous. Some aren’t even militias but simple prepping/preparing groups who keep to themselves and will lend a helping hand if the situation warrants. Many people in all the different militias/groups are just trying to get along and make it, and many like the fact that a militia exists in their groups so they won’t be taken advantage of. A well-regulated militia is one of our rights in this country.
In 2013 the SPLC put out a list of “Active Patriot Groups” that named thousands of “antigovernment” groups and over 200 militias. Wikipedia currently lists only the top well-known militias. I, personally, am not a fan of the SPLC as I feel not all militias are anti-government and so the information they provide is inaccurate at best, and Wikipedia’s information is contingent primarily on its readers. But this data does show a possible threat to those of us who’d rather not have to shoot anyone when the crap hits the fan.
What should you do if one of these militia groups knocks on your door after a disaster?
First, you’re naturally going to want to know who you’re dealing with. Is it the National Guard or some other form of recognized military? There are plenty of groups who act like the real thing, and there are even militias that are sanctioned in 23 states and territories to help local and state governments (known as State Defense Forces or the SDF). Governors are able to deploy them easily and readily in the event of a natural or man-made disaster. So how do you know who you’re dealing with? More importantly, how do you know if they have your best interest at heart? You don’t. Unless they’re wearing a black mask (like Antifa and/or Isis) you can’t know for sure who’s who. You could look at uniforms, ID badges, Chevrons, even government ID’s but those can all be faked or found at surplus stores. Instead, it’s better to watch and listen to the second a disaster hits (before is even better). Get in touch with family, friends, and neighbors if you can to get information. Don’t forget that crank radio might tell you that the National Guard has been deployed, or that authorities are going door to door to check on people, or even that there are unsavory characters to be watchful of. Better still is the Ham Radio (solar/battery powered) or CB where everyday people like us can share what’s going on with others.
You want to have already planned and be prepared for a disaster, but even in some cases, you might have to move quick and quiet at a moments notice to set the ‘stage’. Quickly store the bulk of your food out of sight, but leave a little food left in the cupboard and a little meat in the fridge. That way, if someone insists on taking what you have, let them think they got it all by leaving it in normal areas. And the food you do store away? Have a ‘false stash’ that can be found easily by someone who’s trying to make sure you don’t have any more to take. Store the rest in many, many hiding places in and around your property. Get creative. As your hiding it away, you’re going to want to hide it in terms of importance and expediency because your next big step may be to vacate the area as soon as safely possible.
Be prepared to lose at least one, maybe two, weapon(s) and some ammunition.
If you’ve purchased a firearm from a gun store lately, or ammunition since July 1, 2019, in some states (and the list will be growing), then you can bet the government knows that you’re armed. Since various sources state varying ‘facts’, it’s almost impossible to know if the guns taken after Katrina in 2005 were forcibly removed from citizens or, as the police say, only taken because they were found in abandoned homes or without owners. Regardless of that, in 2006, Congress passed the DISASTER RECOVERY PERSONAL PROTECTION ACT OF 2006. The law was intended to prevent the government from seizing legally owned firearms during the time of a disaster. It was incorporated as an amendment to the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act 2007 and signed into law on October 4, 2006. (4) Most state legislatures followed the Federal Government and adopted their own version of this law.
What this means today is the United States Government can’t legally demand you turn over your legally owned weapons, with a few exceptions (such as using it to commit a crime, being a felon, or threatening someone with it). But knowing what I know now, I have to wonder how many militias, and perhaps gangs pretending to be caring militias, forced innocent people into giving up their guns after Katrina. This is why you want at least one weapon to give up. And why you want strangers to think you have more members in your household than can be seen. A power-driven militia will want to control you, and therefore control your weapons.
So, in preparation, pick your least favorite weapon, and any ammunition to go with it, and put it on your nightstand or lock it in your safe/closet – any place you would normally put a weapon. You don’t ever have to use it; you just have to be prepared to lose it. Now pick a second weapon, preferably a bladed one that you stick in an obvious place like under your mattress or inside your armchair. They will likely push you for more weapons, and this bladed one is one you can pull from it’s ‘hiding place’ and give up. Again, be creative and don’t advertise – not even on FB. Keep your favorite weapon and ammo in a totally separate spot – at least for the time being.
How you act could save your life.
As important as your food and weapons are, so is your demeanor. Unless you have a well-armed militia of your own at your back, you’re going to want to act somewhat meek and submissive. How? Lower your chin so that your eyes have to look up to see their cheeks. This makes you appear somewhat sad and reserved as it sinks your eyes and gives the appearance of subservience. Slump your shoulders forward a bit and down, as if defeated. Don’t talk unless you’re asked a question, don’t offer your opinion at all – you don’t have one, and literally, keep your mouth shut. When a person’s lips are together, they appear calmer and more subdued.
If they want to know how many people are in your house add at least 2 to your real number. And – whether we like it or not ladies – make those fictitious people that you added to your family adult males because you may need someone to think you have a large Uncle/Ex/Husband etc. in the household. Just make sure you have a good explanation of where they are if the group at your door decides to search the house. If food is offered take it; this makes it appear like you don’t have any. Same with water. That’s another area the extra number comes in handy – if they are legitimately military or just plain good people, they may offer more food and water. If it turns out that your neighborhood is indeed being controlled or run by power hungry militias or gangs, you’re going to want to leave as soon as possible. That’s an article for another writer at another time.
For now, remember that when it comes to people, first impressions aren’t always right. More and more often people are getting better at presenting themselves in a false light where one can only tell their true nature over time. That may be a commodity we won’t have for much longer.
What do you think?
Are you prepared for the possibility of a militia group showing up on your property when SHTF? Please share your thoughts in the comments.
Sandra D. Lane is city born and bred but is a country girl at heart, a published artist (acrylic paintings) and photographer, fellow prepper, animal advocate, handgun competition participant, and Theologian. She currently lives with her husband of 38 years in Tennessee with an ever-growing number of outdoor stray cats.