Key Groups

  • National Liberty Alliance (National)
  • Continental Court System of the United States (Regional)
  • American Lands Council (National)
  • American Stewards of Liberty/Stand & Fight Club (National)
  • Coalition of Western States (Regional)
  • Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association (National)
  • Association of O&C Counties Lawsuit (State Lawsuit)
  • Forest Trust Lands Lawsuit (State Lawsuit)
  • The Constitution Party of Oregon (State)
  • Oregon Firearms Federation (State)
  • Oath Keepers: Oregon Chapters (National)
  • Oregon III% (State)
  • Pacific Patriots Network (Regional)
  • 3% of Idaho (State)
  • The Liberators (State)

National Group

National Liberty Alliance

The National Liberty Alliance is a Sovereign Citizen-style group that has been setting up a network of fake “common law grand juries” in all fifty states, and now are promoting Committees of Safety, the popular shadow governments favored by the movement. They claim not to be Sovereign Citizens but promote the same fake legal structures of that movement. Oregon’s Robert Bristow, a National Liberty Alliance national coordinator, has spoken to the Columbia County Oath Keepers several times.(1)“Columbia County Oath Keepers -w/Guest: Robert Bristow of NLA, Nov 29, 2014,” Meetup event,; “Columbia County Oath Keepers W/ Robert Bristow NLA Nat. Coord., March 21, 2015,” Meetup event,; “Columbia County Oath Keepers Special Guest, NLA Nat. Coord. Robert Bristow, January 16, 2016,” Meetup event, Bristow lives in Scappoose in Columbia County, which is also the NLA’s mailing address for its Oregon “Unified State Common Law Grand Jury.” See “Robert Bristow,” LinkedIn page,; “Unified State Common Law Grand Jury Mailing Addresses,” National Liberty Alliance, For general information on the NLA, see “New Yorker Claims National Network of Pseudo-Legal Grand Juries,” Southern Poverty Law Center, November 21, 2014,

The Oregon Oath Keepers website linked to National Liberty Alliance, which supported the Oath Keepers’ call for armed members to go to Sugar Pine Mine. The Alliance interviewed Ammon Bundy a few days after the Malheur occupation started.(2)“Oath Keepers of Oregon Links,” Oath Keepers of Oregon,; “Orego Sugar Pine Mine Offical Calls for Oath Keepers” [sic], National Liberty Alliance, April 22, 2015,; “Ammon Bundy Interview with Gerard Aprea and Tanner Justis—National Liberty Alliance,” YouTube video, 16:58, posted by “National Liberty Alliance,” January 6, 2016, It later made a series of legal filings in Oregon federal courts regarding both the Hammonds and the Malheur occupation.(3)“Oregon—Ground Zero,” National Liberty Alliance,

In May 2016, the National Liberty Alliance started promoting the formation of Committees of Safety under the group’s banner, and in Oregon two contacts are listed, in Washington and Josephine Counties. One is Guenter Ambron, who promoted fake grand juries at a 2014 Josephine County community watch meeting attended by both the former and current county sheriffs, Gilbertson and Daniel.(4)“Committee of Safety Registry,” National Liberty Alliance,

A slideshow on the National Liberty Alliance website, promoting the formation of these Committees, says they will help stop the New World Order, the supposed U.N. environmental conspiracy Agenda 21, federal Common Core education standards, “moral decline,” FEMA camps, chemtrails, compulsory vaccinations, and Child Protective Services. It is noted that the historical committees forced the resignation of judges, and threatened to declare independence. The role of the Committees includes forming militias, cultivating relationships with the county sheriff, attending local government meetings to “Serve them with the Committee of Safety Resolutions” and “Require their obedience to the Law of the Land (the Constitution).” It also notes that, “The Committee of Safety may Petition the Common Law Grand Jury to resolve issues of ‘bad behavior’” by local politicians.(5) “Committees of Safety,” YouTube video, 22:40, posted by “National Liberty Alliance,” May 14, 2016,

Image shows a list of 18 Committees on various perceived societal ills
The National Liberty Alliance promote Committees of Safety as an alternative to wide variety of perceived social ills. (Screenshot from the National Liberty Alliance YouTube video “Committees of Safety,”

Regional Group

Continental Court System of the United States

A number of figures involved in Sovereign Citizen-style politics have recently joined together to form the Continental Court System of the united States. These include former Josephine County Sheriff Gil Gilbertson, and several fake judges involved in the Malheur occupation.

At least two fake grand juries—Patriot movement kangaroo courts—were planned or enacted in Harney County during the occupation. The first was inaugurated by self-proclaimed “U.S. Superior Court Judge” (there is no such title in the actual legal system) Bruce Doucette, a Colorado resident who came to the refuge around January 12, 2016, to set up a “citizens grand jury.” Although he was there during the day (many people slept in town at night, apparently including Doucette), his “grand jury” never received a public sanction by Ammon Bundy or the other occupation leaders, although apparently it was tolerated.(6)Betsy Hammond, “Self-appointed ‘judge’ arrives in Burns to ask local residents to charge government officials with crimes,” Oregonian/OregonLive, January 12, 2016, On February 1, Doucette posted that his “Constitutional Common Law Grand Jury” was ordering militia members to “search for, locate, and arrest” the law enforcement agents involved in the arrest when LaVoy Finicum was killed.(7)Originally posted on Facebook, February 1, 2016 (although now removed) at Some copies of Douchette’s “order” are online elsewhere, including at The Straight Dope, post #1913 by Jasg, February 1, 2016,

The occupiers did, however, ask self-proclaimed “Statewide Common Law Grand Jury Administrator” Joaquin Mariano DeMoreta-Folch to establish a “common law grand jury.” On January 23, 2016, Susan Hammond (wife and mother of the imprisoned Hammonds) signed one of DeMoreta-Folch’s documents, and the next day the Committee’s Briels did as well.(8)This video shows him speaking at a Malheur occupation press conference: “Michael Emry live in Burns Oregon 1/23/16,” YouTube video, 24:39, posted by “StarkHour Dotcom,” January 23, 2016, See also Kristian Foden-Vencil, “Armed Occupiers Convene Common Law Grand Jury Against Local Officials,” Oregon Public Broadcasting, January 24, 2016,; John Sepulvado, “Hammond Family Signs On To ‘Citizens Grand Jury,’” Oregon Public Broadcasting, January 25 (updated January 26), 2016,; “Statewide Common Law Grand Jury, Oregon/Florida/Nebraska—01-23-2016 Demand to Amend With No Delay In 40 Days,” “We the People,”; “Statewide Common Law Grand Jury, Oregon/Florida/Nebraska—01-24-2016 Demand to Amend With No Delay In 40 Days,” “We the People,” DeMoreta-Folch was originally associated with the National Liberty Alliance; however, Bristow publicly distanced the organization from DeMoreta-Folch, saying “he’s too extreme for us.”(9)John Sepulvado, “Hammond Family Signs On To ‘Citizens Grand Jury’,” Oregon Public Broadcasting, January 25 (updated January 26), 2016,

Other fake judges weighed in on the situation. A month before the occupation, self-proclaimed “Alaska State Judge” Anna von Reitz wrote an “An Open Letter to Sheriff Ward of Harney County Oregon.” Hitting Sovereign Citizen talking points, she claimed that the IRS and the American Bar Association are part of privately owned, foreign corporations, and U.S. federal courts are their subcontractors. The federal employees who have insisted the Hammonds must complete their sentence “are private corporate employees of a franchise or subcontractor of the District of Columbia Municipal Corporation having no more authority than a floorwalker at JC PENNY.” She told Ward he should convene a Common Law Grand Jury to decide the accusations against the Hammonds, and furthermore that he has the authority to demand their release if they are taken in federal custody. The letter was widely reproduced in Patriot movement circles. Patriot movement online broadcaster Pete Santilli read it on his show on December 1, 2015, and the YouTube video of this has received over 100,000 views.(10)“An Open Letter to Sheriff Ward of Harney County Oregon—and to All County Sheriffs in America from Judge Anna,” This page is an index of the writings of Judge Anna von Reitz from Big Lake Alaska,; “Hammond Ranch Update: Open Letter To Sheriff David Ward & All Sheriffs In The United States,” YouTube video, 26:27, posted by “Pete Santilli Show,” December 1, 2016,

Patriot movement livestreamer Pete Santilli is talking to a member of the press.  In the background stands a sign saying "Harney County Resource Center."
Patriot movement livestreamer Pete Santilli (right) at the Malheur occupation. (Photograph courtesy of Spencer Sunshine)

Gary-dean: Darby—the unusual spelling is common among Sovereign Citizens—is a self-proclaimed “Constitutional Judge.” In early February 2016, he sent a letter to Oregon National Guard officials, and then called them on the phone, asking them deploy their troops to expel the “foreign agents/forces or FBI cloaked mercenaries (Blackwater)” from Harney County. (He recorded the phone call and put it online.)(11)Letter from Judge Gary-dean: darby to Major Bomar, Four Corners Doctrine, February 5, 2016,; “Judge with Sworn Oath Contacts Military for Burns ‘Life & Property’ Protection,” AVNetnews, Strangely, the Guard ignored his request. Additionally, in recent months a new Sovereign Citizen-style legal expert, Lazaro Ecenarre (also spelled Lazare Ecenarro), has appeared at a rallies in Portland and speaking engagements, including in Baker City.(12)“Laz calls out corrupt co-conspirators,” YouTube video, 11:28, posted by “Leo Stratton,” May 26, 2016,; “’EXCLUSIVE’ LaVoy Finicim. Bundy’s, Hammonds complete story video 1,” YouTube video, 10:54, posted by “Leo Stratton,” May 29, 2016,

Image shows a poster advertising an event on May 28, 2016 where Lazare Ecenarro is slated to speak.
Lazaro Ecenarro has made his name as a Sovereign Citizen-style speaker in Oregon after the Malheur occupation.

All of these fake judges—Bruce Doucette, Anna von Reitz, Gary-dean: Darby, and Joaquin Mariano DeMoreta-Folch—are now affiliated with each other in a new group, the Continental Court System of the united States, which has members in six states. In Oregon, two (actual) former county sheriffs are listed as “Continental Marshals”—Gil Gilbertson (Josephine) and Robert Hudspeth (Wheeler). Two “Continental Superior Court Judges” are listed for the state, Darby and Mathisen (no first name given for the latter). The “Oregon Eastern Statewide Superior Court Grand Jury” appears to consist of videos posted by DeMoreta-Folch, which address happenings in Harney County, and span from January to June 2016. Docuette is listed as a Colorado “Superior Court Judge,” and Anna as an Alaska “Continental Superior Court Judge.”(13)The following are all from the Continental Court System of the united States: “Oregon Continental Marshals,”; “Oregon Continental Superior Court Judges,”; “Oregon Eastern Statewide Superior Court Grand Jury,”; “Colorado Superior Court Judges,”; “Alaska Continental Superior Court Judges,” Also of interest is that the Continental Court System of the united States takes pains to separate itself from, and denounce the leadership of, the National Liberty Alliance.(14)“Organize your State/County to be Constitutional,” Continental Court System of the united States,

National Group

American Lands Council

The American Lands Council is a national group, founded in 2012, that advocates for transferring public lands to the states. It was led by Utah State Representative Ken Ivory until February 2016, when he was replaced by Montana State Senator Jennifer Fielder. Both of them have ties to Patriot movement groups: Ivory has spoken to the CSPOA and signed one of their pledges, while Fielder is part of the Sanders Natural Resources Council ,an Idaho group that includes the founder of the Militia of Montana, John Trochmann.(15)Joshua Zaffos, “New leader steps up for the American Lands Council,” High Country News, February 10, 2016,; Center for Western Priorities, Going to Extremes: The Anti-Government Extremism Behind the Growing Movement to Seize America’s Public Lands, July 7, 2016, Fielder and Trochmann are both in the Sanders Natural Resources Council; see “Recycled County Supremacy Gains Traction, Lacks Legal Basis,” Montana Human Rights Network, November 2, 2012, Report – Coordination.pdf. Ivory has spoken in Oregon a number of times, and has ties to Oregon Hard Right movement figures like Baker County Commissioner Bill Harvey, while Fielder wrote an article approving of the goals of the Malheur occupation.(16)Jennifer Fielder, “What’s behind the standoff in Oregon,” Independent Record (Helena, MT), January 31, 2016,

The American Lands Council has other ties in Oregon, as well. In 2014, two Oregon counties, Wallowa and Klamath, had memberships; today, the group no longer lists member counties publicly.(17)See interactive map: Tay Wiles, “Land transfer battles rage on, county by county,” High Country News, July 15, 2016, State Representative Carl Wilson from District 3 (which represents part of Josephine county, including Grants Pass) is described by the Oregonian as an “ally” of the group.(18)John Sepulvado, “How Refuge Occupation Could Fuel Land Privatization Movement,” Oregon Public Broadcasting, January 12, 2016, Wallowa County Commissioner and Fred Kelly Grant fan Paul Castilleja is a member of the group.(19)“Vision,” American Lands Council,

Despite some similarities in view, the American Lands Council did not have any direct role in the Malheur occupation. According to High Country News, in November 2015, LaVoy Finicum had “rallied southern Utah ranchers to take part in a ‘Cowboy Uprising’ by refusing to pay grazing fees, a la Cliven Bundy, and asked for militia support. His speech to them repeatedly invoked the American Lands Council.”(20)Tay Wiles and Jonathan Thompson, “Authorities closing in on Oregon’s Malheur occupation,” High Country News, January 27, 2016, But the future occupiers were moving far beyond the organization’s reformist tactics. At the December 15, 2015 meeting where the Harney County Committee of Safety was formed, Ammon Bundy said the American Lands Council was legitimizing the federal government’s claims by going into federal court in the first place. He said, “I disagree with their position, because it’s not Constitutional, although I’m glad they’re bringing the issue up, but we cannot allow ourselves to get sucked up into a federal court and expect to win. It will not happen.”(21)“Harney County Town Hall #1 Dec 15, 2015,” YouTube video, 58:56, posted by “Crooked River Currents View,” December 16, 2015,

National Group

American Stewards of Liberty/Stand and Fight Club

The best known groups promoting coordination asserting local parity with or supremacy over federal control of public lands are the American Stewards of Liberty and Fred Kelly Grant’s Stand and Fight Club. The American Stewards of Liberty was founded in 2009 from the merger of American Land Foundation and Stewards of the Range. Grant was the president of Stewards of the Range, and then the American Stewards of Liberty.(22)“About,” American Stewards of Liberty,; “About Fred Kelly Grant,” Stand & Fight Club,

Despite his claims to be deploying the law correctly, Grant has Patriot movement-style views about radical right decentralization. “County governments hold the 10th Amendment in their hands,” he has said. “County governments and sheriffs together make an absolutely impenetrable wall.”(23)“Baker County Press. Local: FAFA Banquet,” Historic Oregon Newspapers, May 22, 2015, Grant also promotes Agenda 21 conspiracy theories about the United Nations, claiming coordination will help fight them.(24)Ryan Sabalow, “Fred Kelly Grant talks Agenda 21, ‘coordination’ with local activists,” Record Searchlight (Boulevard Redding, CA), January 23, 2012,

He has come to Oregon many times to speak, including in Josephine, Baker, and Grant Counties.(25)For Josephine, see “Fred Kelly Grant seminar on 10th amendment powers,” Southern Oregon Resource Alliance, July 16, 2011,; for Baker, see “Fred Kelly Grant Group: Coordination 101,” Forest Access For All, See also flyer for Fred Kelly Grant talk on “Coordination,” November 28, 2015, John Day, Oregon; PDF in possession of author. In addition to his coordination work, he represents the miners from the White Hope Mine, where armed camps were established in 2015.(26)“Press Release: Montana Miners Move Ahead With Lawsuit After Court Rules With Them As To No ‘Fast Tracking For Early Settlement’,” Pacific Patriots Network, September 17, 2015, Grant wrote a withering letter in defense of the Hammonds.(27)Fred Kelly Grant, “The Unraveling of the Hammond Case: A Dishonest and a Corrupted System of Laws Victimizes the Hammond Family of Harney County, Oregon,” Free the Hammonds, Grant’s Opinion.pdf.[xxvii] He was originally tapped as the lawyer for Jeanette Finicum, the widow of LaVoy Finicum who is planning to sue the government for wrongful death.(28) Kevin Jenkins, “Finicum’s widow: Law enforcement ‘spreading whitewash’,” Spectrum, March 9, 2016, As of August 2016, the lawyer is Brian Claypool. See Kale Williams, “Lavoy Finicum’s widow announces plans to sue feds, state cops over husband’s death,” Oregonian/OregonLive, August 27 (updated September 1), 2016,

Baker County Commission Chair Bill Harvey thanks the American Stewards of Liberty for shaping county land use planning policy. Screenshot of a Facebook post.
Baker County Commission Chair Bill Harvey thanks the American Stewards of Liberty for shaping county land use planning policy.

Regional Group

Coalition of Western States

The Coalition of Western States (COWS) was formed directly after the 2014 Bundy ranch standoff. It claims to represent “over 50 legislators, elected delegates and grassroots leaders” in several western states, including Oregon; it focuses on federal land transfer. COWS members include Nevada State Assemblywoman Michelle Fiore, CSPOA founder and Oath Keepers board member Richard Mack, and Patriot movement propagandists Gavin Seim and KrisAnne Hall. COWS was the first signatory on the initial “Redress of Grievance” document before the occupation, and members made several trips to the occupied refuge. (One included Oregon State Representative Dallas Heard, although he claims he is not a member of COWS.) They met with law enforcement and attempted to get the federal authorities to compromise with the occupiers by agreeing to discussions about federal land transfer. They even sent a member into the occupation, who helped several occupiers flee the refuge after the police arrested or killed the leadership, and then COWS members helped negotiate the surrender of the final remaining occupiers..(29)John Sepulvado, “GOP Politicians Planned And Participated In Key Aspects Of Refuge Occupation,” Oregon Public Broadcasting, March 16 (March 18), 2016,; Cheri Roberts, “Will Feds Round-Up Bundy Co-Conspirator COWS or Leave them to Graze Without Penalty on the Public’s Constitution?,” Challenging the Rhetoric, March 17, 2016,

National Group

Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association (CSPOA)

The Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association (CSPOA) appears to have a healthy following in Oregon. It was founded in 2010 former Arizona county Sheriff Richard Mack, who believes that county sheriffs have the power to decide which laws are constitutional, and therefore should be enforced. He is a frequent visitor to the state. In 2013, a number of Oregon sheriffs, including Glenn Palmer, Gil Gilbertson, and John Hanlin, sent CSPOA-initiated letters to Vice President Biden, saying they would not enforce new gun laws that were being discussed after the Sandy Hook school massacre. After the gun control law SB 941 was signed, the CSPOA listed 21 Oregon sheriffs as embracing the group’s idea of constitutional principles. (Inclusion on the list did not mean that sheriffs were CSPOA members, however.)(30)CSPOA, “TOTAL SHERIFFS: 485,” in “Growing List of Sheriffs, Associations and Police Chiefs Saying ‘NO’ to Obama Gun Control, original post February 1, 2014 (list updated July 6, 2015), CSPOA.ORG,
Today, eleven are on the list—although only six of them are currently in office, including Grant County’s Glenn Palmer.(31)“Growing List of Sheriffs Saying ‘No’ to Obama Gun Control,” Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association, May 14, 2016, The county sheriffs listed who are currently in office are: Glenn E. Palmer (Grant), Craig Zanni (Coos), John Hanlin (Douglas), Pat Garrett (Washington), Daniel Staton (Multnomah), and Brian Wolfe (Malheur). The sheriffs that are listed but whom are no longer in office are: Gil Gilbertson (Josephine), Larry Blanton (Deschutes), Mike Winters (Jackson), Tim Mueller (Linn), and John Bishop (Curry). Josephine County’s Gil Gilbertson was defeated. Other Oregon county sheriffs, who were not on the list, have also used similar language about SB 941, including Tim Svenson (Yamhill), Bruce Riley (Linn), and John Ward (Curry).(32)“Another Sheriff Speaks Out Against Gun Control,” YouTube video, 2:04, posted by “LaughingAtLiberals,” April 23, 2015,; Alex Paul, “Sheriff Riley opposes enhanced gun background checks,” Albany Democrat-Herald, April 4, 2015,; Jane Stebbins, “Sheriff is no fan of gun sales measure,” May 5, 2015, Curry Coastal Pilot,

Map of Oregon counties showing which have Sheriffs who are members of the CSPOA.  It is about half the counties.
Oregon counties with sheriffs that appeared on the CSPOA’s “List of Oregon County Sheriffs Saying ‘No’ to Obama Gun Control.” Sheriffs are not necessarily CSPOA members but the group says that they have made: “A reaffirmation that the sheriff will follow his or her jurisdiction.” (33)“Growing List of Sheriffs, Associations and Police Chiefs Saying ‘NO’ to Obama Gun Control by CSPOA,” originally February 1, 2014, archived August 12, 2015,

Palmer, who in 2011 was listed as a CSPOA board member, from 2012 to 2015 was on the CSPOA Council of Sheriffs, Peace Officers and Public Officials, along with Gil Gilbertson.(34)Constitutional Sheriffs & Peace Officers Association, “Stand Up for the 10th Amendment & Attend the Constitutional Sheriffs Convention Jan 30!,”; “CSPOA Board of Directors,”; CSPOA, “The Leadership—CSPOA Council of Sheriffs, Peace Officers and Public Officials,” As of September 2015, the Council was replaced by a new, three-person Advisory Board, which did not include Gilbertson or Palmer: “The Leadership,” Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association, Until 2015, the CSPOA website included this long list of sheriffs and other law enforcement officers who, they say, have made both a “reaffirmation that the sheriff will follow his or her oath and uphold the Constitution,” and an “affirmation to support the constitutional second amendment rights of citizens in his or her jurisdiction.” However, the site specified that not all of those listed were actual CSPOA members, and it was notoriously error-ridden. The list was removed from their website after the Malheur takeover, but was replaced in 2016, although it pads its numbers with sheriffs who are no longer in office. In 2012, the CSPOA gave Palmer its “Sheriff of the Year” award at their founding conference, where Gilbertson also spoke.(35)“Sheriff Glenn Palmer: 2012 CSPOA Sheriff of the Year,” YouTube video, 11:42, posted by “ Channel,” February 10, 2012,

One of the original 21 sheriffs listed, Marion County’s Jason Myers, was the president of the Oregon State Sheriffs’ Association (OSSA) in 2015. He was replaced by Brian Wolfe in 2016—who is on the current CSPOA list, and whose county borders Grant County, where Palmer is sheriff.(36)John Bishop, email to author, June 4, 2016. It is worth noting that the OSSA received misconduct complaints against Palmer, and the organization issued a strongly worded statement condemning the Malheur occupation.(37)Sean Hart, “State Sheriffs’ Association Asked To Investigate Grant County Sheriff’s Conduct,” Oregon Public Broadcasting, February 9, 2016,; “Response to Questions Regarding the Oregon Office of Sheriff,” Oregon State Sheriffs’ Association, February 5, 2016,
Clearly, just because a sheriff appears in the CSPOA list or has engaged in some movement activities, such as writing a letter to Biden or even meeting with local Patriot movement activists, it does not mean that they necessarily will support the larger aims of the different Patriot movement factions—or other sheriffs who do.

Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin’s office has views similar to those of a constitutional sheriff. Hanlin achieved national notoriety after the mass shooting on October 1, 2015 at Umpqua Community College (UCC) in Roseburg, Oregon. A student murdered nine people and then committed suicide. Hanlin was already on the CSPOA’s list of sheriffs who had sent a letter to Vice President Biden, vowing to refuse to endorse gun laws they considered to be unconstitutional. (However, Hanlin’s office says he is not a CSPOA member.(38)Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, email to author, May 24, 2016.) The letter was a response to possible executive orders regarding gun restrictions after the December 2012 Sandy Hook massacre; but after the Umpqua Community College massacre, it was made public that Hanlin had posted a video claiming that the Sandy Hook massacre was a hoax, as well as 9/11 conspiracy material.(39)Robert Mackey, “Oregon Sheriff Shared Sandy Hook Conspiracy Theory on Facebook,” New York Times, October 2, 2015, The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence called for Hanlin’s resignation.(40)“Brady Campaign Calls for Immediate Resignation of Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin,” Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, October 4, 2015, He is up for reelection in November 2016.

A meme shared on Facebook in which Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin claims President Obama wants to ban gun ownership, and compares him to Hitler, Stalin, and Pol Pot.
Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin claims President Obama wants to ban gun ownership, and compares him to Hitler, Stalin, and Pol Pot.

State Lawsuits

Association of O&C Counties and Forest Trust Lands Lawsuits

Association of O&C Counties

The Association of O&C Counties (AOCC) represents all but one of the 18 Oregon counties with O&C Lands. These lands—originally belonging to the Oregon & California Railroad, but transferred to the federal government in 1916—include over 2.5 million acres of forests in western Oregon.(41)BLM, “Resource Management Plans (RMPs) for Western Oregon,” Bureau of Land Management, The 18 counties are Benton, Clackamas, Columbia, Coos, Curry, Douglas, Jackson, Josephine, Klamath, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, Marion, Multnomah, Polk, Tillamook, Washington, and Yamhill; Benton is not part of the AOCC. See also Alex Paul, “O & C Counties to Challenge BLM Timber Harvest Levels,” April 13, 2016, Gazette Times (Corvallis, OR), Douglas, Josephine, Jackson, and Lane counties all have over 350,000 acres of O&C lands in them.(42)“Public Land Statistics 2015,” Bureau of Land Management, May 2016,, Table 1-5, page 26 in the PDF itself.

The AOCC have announced plans to sue the Bureau of Land Management over its new proposed Resource Management Plan—the first time the 1994 Northwest Forest Plan will be updated. The AOCC argue that the Bureau of Land Management is obligated to log a certain amount of land, which will result in revenues to the counties.(43)Alex Paul, “O & C Counties to Challenge BLM Timber Harvest Levels,” April 13, 2016, Gazette Times, See also Sarah Gilman, “BLM moves away from landmark Northwest Forest Plan,” High Country News, July 25, 2016, The AOCC wants at least 500 million board feet cut per year—far more than Bureau of Land Management’s proposed plan of 278 million.(44)Alex Paul, “O & C Counties to Challenge BLM Timber Harvest Levels,” April 13, 2016, Gazette Times,; Jane Stebbins, “Suit Seeks Federal Funds for Counties,” February 16, 2016, Curry Coastal Pilot, Article is now offline; copy in possession of author.
The Bureau of Land Management signed the Resource Management Plan Record of Decision on August 5, 2016.(45)“Resource Management Plans (RMPs) for Western Oregon,” Bureau of Land Management,
By August 15, the AOCC and a wood industry trade group, well as a number of environmental groups, and had filed suit.(46)Karina Brown, “Multiple Lawsuits Over Update to OR Forest Plan,” Courthouse News, August 8, 2016, The environmental groups include Western Environmental Law Center, Earthjustice, Pacific Rivers, Cascadia Wildlands, Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center, OR Wild, and the Wilderness Society. See “Press Release: Stakeholder Groups Challenge Oregon Forest Management Plan,” Your BLM Backyard Forests, August 9, 2016, – !Press-Release-Stakeholder-Groups-Challenge-Oregon-Forest-Management-Plan/e0hm8/57aa27490cf2fdb0f74e5f0b.

A number of Oregon counties have agreed to help fund the AOCC lawsuit, including Lane ($84,000), Linn ($24,000), and Curry ($20,000).(47)Alex Paul, “O & C Counties to Challenge BLM Timber Harvest Levels,” April 13, 2016, Gazette Times,; Curry County Commissioner Susan Brown, telephone conversation with author, September 2, 2016. The plan is also supported by the Oregon State Sheriffs’ Association, who blame financial crises in rural counties on the decline of O&C funding.(48)Some counties had relied on O&C funding for their coffers and had extremely low property taxes. Those—Josephine in particular—that have not raised property taxes (or secured revenue in another manner) after the decline in both O&C and Save Rural Schools funding, have had budget crises that have affected county law enforcement. Karina Brown, “Oregon Logging Plan Roundly Criticized,” May 23, 2016, Courthouse News,

Forest Trust Lands Lawsuit

There is a second lawsuit from Oregon counties over forest revenues unrelated to AOCC. Linn County is leading a 15-county class action lawsuit over claims that Oregon officials failed to generate enough timber revenue on Forest Trust Lands.(49)Jolene Guzman, “Linn County Files Timber Lawsuit,” Polk County Itemizer-Observer, March 17, 2016,; Denis C. Theriault , “Linn County plans $1.4 billion lawsuit over Oregon logging rules,” OregonLive/Oregonian, January 13, 2016,
The $1.4 billion lawsuit was announced in January 2016 during the Malheur occupation, and filed in March. It names Oregon Governor Kate Brown and the State Forester Doug Decker.(50)The counties are Benton, Clackamas, Clatsop, Columbia, Coos, Douglas, Josephine, Klamath, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, Marion, Polk, Tillamook, and Washington. Denis C. Theriault, “Linn County plans $1.4 billion lawsuit over Oregon logging rules,” OregonLive/Oregonian, January 13, 2016,; Jolene Guzman, “Linn County Files Timber Lawsuit,” Polk County Itemizer-Observer, March 17, 2016,; Alex Paul, “Linn County’s $1.4 Billion Dollar Lawsuit Many Years in the Making,” Albany Democrat-Herald, January 17, 2016, It differs from the AOCC lawsuit in that it targets the state and not the federal government, and seeks direct payments to the counties rather than an increase in logging. The lawsuit contends that a 1998 management plan, which took a variety of environmental factors into consideration, resulted in reduced harvests to the tune of $35 million per year. The Polk County Itemizer-Observer has written that, “According to the suit, the state’s responsibility upon taking the land was to manage them in a way that maximizes the revenues going to counties.”(51)Jolene Guzman, “Linn County Files Timber Lawsuit,” Polk County Itemizer-Observer, March 17, 2016, Environmental groups are challenging the suit.(52)Alex Paul, “State, Environmental Groups Seek Dismissal of Linn County Timber Lawsuit,” Albany Democrat-Herald, May 11, 2016,

State Group

The Constitution Party of Oregon

In the 1990s, militias did not just attract electoral party support from Republicans; they were also involved with the small, Hard Right theocratic U.S. Taxpayers Party. In the mid-1990s, one prominent member, Reverend Matthew Trewhella of Wisconsin, advocated forming church-based militias. In 2000 the group renamed itself the Constitution Party.(53)Stern, A Force Upon the Plain, 240–41; Fred Clarkson, Eternal Hostility: The Struggle Between Theocracy and Democracy (Monroe, ME: Common Courage Press, 1997), 118–19, 152–53, 160; Montana Human Rights Network, The Constitution Party of Montana: The Radical Right Wing’s Collision with Mainstream Politics, third edition, 2009 (originally 2000), 9–13, 63–64, Updated report.pdf.
The Constitution Party of Oregon was affiliated with the party’s national organization until 2006, although it has the option to place the national party’s candidate on the ballot, which it did in 2008. In 2013 the Constitution Party of Oregon became part of the National Alliance of Independent American Parties.(54)Jack Alan Brown Jr, email to Political Research Associates, April 16, 2016; “Immediate Release to Media,” The Constitution Party of Oregon, September 6, 2013, The Alliance includes the Nevada state Independent American Party, which Cliven Bundy joined after the Republican leadership dumped him for making racist comments.(55)Morgan Whitaker, “Cliven Bundy is leaving the Republican Party,” MSNBC, May 27, 2014, (A rift in the Utah state Constitution Party happened after the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which many party members are involved in, denounced the Malheur occupation.(56)Judy Fahys, “Oregon Occupation Creates Rift In Utah Political Party,” KUER 90.1 NPR Utah, January 6, 2016, – stream/0. )

Screenshot of a meme posted on Facebook by the Constitution Party of Oregon, in which they demonize the Black Lives Matter movement while falsely claiming that the Patriot movement is treated more harshly.
The Constitution Party of Oregon demonizes the Black Lives Matter movement while falsely claiming that the Patriot movement is treated more harshly.

The Constitution Party of Oregon platform calls for the transfer of federal public lands, the right of the county sheriff to interpret the Constitution, and for taxes to be paid in gold or silver. During the occupation, the party called for the Malheur Refuge to be transferred out of federal hands.(57)“Platform of the Constitution Party of Oregon,” The Constitution Party of Oregon,; “IAP Releases Statement Concerning Bundy Occupation,” Independent American Party, January 21, 2016, Oregon III% Vice President Jeff Roberts said he “gathered hundreds of signatures at gun shows and malls to establish the Constitution Party of Oregon.”(58)Jeff Roberts, Facebook post, April 22, 2015, screenshot in possession of author. For the November 2016 election, the Constitution Party of Oregon’s gubernatorial candidate is Aaron Auer. They are also running candidates for two U.S. representative seats, the Oregon Secretary of State, and for Josephine County clerk.(59)“Oregon Candidates 2016,” The Constitution Party of Oregon, Auer ran for Oregon governor in 2014 and received 15,929 votes.(60)Oregon Secretary of State, “November 4, 2014, General Election, Official Abstract of Votes,”

State Group

Oregon Firearms Federation

The Patriot movement, going back to Posse Comitatus in the 1970s, has frequently been tied to gun rights groups. In Oregon today this is no exception, and the group most closely tied to movement is the Oregon Firearms Federation (OFF).

OFF was founded with the help of the Gun Owners of America (GOA), one of the biggest of the gun rights groups to the right of the National Rifle Association.(61)“Who We Are,” Oregon Firearms Federation, GOA’s former director Larry Pratt was a pivotal figure in launching the 1990s militia movement, and he helped move it out of organized racist circles by building bridges to theocratic Christian groups and guns rights activists. In fact, Pratt himself has had no qualms appearing alongside open racist leaders, which he did at the 1992 Estes Park meeting alongside White separatist leaders. The CSPOA and Oath Keepers’ Richard Mack was a lobbyist for GOA, and Pratt in turn spoke at the 2012, 2013, and 2014 CSPOA conferences.(62)“Profiles on the Right: Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association,” Political Research Associates, November 22, 2013,; Rachel Tabachnick, “Profile on the Right: Oath Keepers,” Political Research Associates, April 23, 2015,; “Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association Constitution Day Press Conference,” September 17, 2014,; Larry Pratt, “Sheriffs to the Rescue,” Gun Owners of America, February 9, 2012,

OFF is led by Kevin Starrett, the brother of Mary Starrett, current Yamhill County Commissioner and former Constitution Party of Oregon gubernatorial candidate. They were both slated to speak at the February 30, 2015 anti-SB 941 rally in Salem, alongside a host of other Patriot movement activists. Kevin Starrett also spoke at the May 2015 anti-SB 941 rally in Salem.(63)“Kevin Starrett—‘I will not comply!’ SB 941 Protest,” YouTube video, 2:46, posted by “S. Thomas Lewis,” June 1, 2015, In its typical hyperbolic rhetoric, OFF said SB 941, which they strongly campaigned against, “eviscerates due process and turns Oregon into a Soviet style collection of secret snitches!” The national Oath Keepers’ website cited this claim approvingly.(64)David Codrea, “‘Most Dangerous’ Oregon Gun Bill Creates New Threat to Freedom,” Oath Keepers, January 18, 2016, In 2004, Kevin Starrett had also addressed the Constitution Party’s national convention, held in Clackamas, Oregon.(65)Bob Moser, “Constitution Party Hopes to Take Politics to the Extreme in 2004,” Southern Poverty Law Center, November 12, 2003,

OFF’s website was linked to on the main Oregon Oath Keepers website, and one local activist, Chris Brumbles, is the Columbia County coordinator for both OFF and the Oath Keepers.(66)Chris Brumbles, “Open letter to Oregon Rep. Jeff Barker, D-Aloha” (letter to the editor), South County Spotlight, February 26, 2016, OFF’s May 2016 call for donations for embattled Grant County Sheriff Glenn Palmer was reproduced on the national Oath Keepers website, and the organization’s PAC donated $5,000 to him.(67)“Tell The Sheriff You Have His Six.,” Oregon Firearms Federation,; “Sheriff Glenn Palmer Under Attack,” Oath Keepers, May 3, 2016,; Les Zaitz, “Grant County sheriff builds $20,000 defense fund through outside donors,” Oregonian/OregonLive, July 15, 2016,

National Group—Pacific Patriots Network

Oath Keepers—Oregon chapters

Oath Keepers chapters have been active in Oregon since the national organization was founded in 2009.(68)“Active ‘Patriot’ Groups in the United States in 2009,” Southern Poverty Law Center, March 1, 2010, However, most chapters seem to have been established since 2014 in the wake of the events at Bundy Ranch. Oregon Oath Keepers came to the December 2014 gun rights rally in Washington state, where then Oregon Oath Keepers Coordinator Jeff Ford spoke.(69)“We Will Not Comply – Come and Take Them—Part 4 of 4,” YouTube video, 37:49, posted by “RealEstateinMoto,” December 17, 2014, They were also involved in both the February and May 2015 anti-SB 941 Salem rallies, and the Josephine County chapter was the main organizer of the Sugar Pine Mine action. However, as of August 2016, the organization seems to be losing its position in Oregon, with the disaffiliation of its most prominent group, the Oath Keepers of Josephine County.

From late 2013 to late 2014, Jeff Ford was the Northern Oregon Coordinator and Tom McKirgan was Southern Oregon Coordinator; Ford then became the sole state coordinator until after the May rally.(70)In October 2013, Ford (then described as a “recent transplant from California”) and McKirgan were described as the Northern and Southern Oregon Oath Keepers’ leaders, respectively. See Volubrjotr, “Oath Keepers Unite With P.A.N.D.A. To Stop McCain’s NDAA In Oregon: Rotate Honor Guards To Ensure WWII Veterans’ Access To Memorial,” Political Vel Craft, October 16, 2013, In April 2015, Ford is referred to as the sole state Coordinator (as well as a member of the Oath Keepers National Board); see “Calling all Oath Keepers to help with Security at the Sugar Pine Mine, April 17, 2015,” Meetup event,, McKirgan is part of Oregon III%, and is the leader of Zone 4 (Douglas, Jackson, Josephine, Coos, and Curry counties). He is also one of the two national administrators of the “3%ERS” Facebook group, which has over 24,000 members ( Facebook post, August 2016, screenshot in possession of author. (Currently the Oregon coordinator position is listed as “TBA.”)(71)“Oath Keepers of Oregon” Oath Keepers, Brandon Rapolla is the state Community Preparedness Team coordinator. He is also the leader of Oregon Tactical, a founder of Pacific Patriots Network, and was part of the Sugar Pine Mine camps, Bundy Ranch standoff, and was in Burns, Oregon.(72)For CPT leader, see Stewart Rhodes, “Historic ‘Militia’ Moment: Pacific Patriot Network (Including Oath Keepers) Calls On FBI,” Oath Keepers, January 10, 2016,; for Sugar Pine Mine and Bundy Ranch, see James Pogue, “The Oath Keepers Are Ready for War with the Federal Government,” VICE, September 14, 2015,; for Rapolla at Bundy Ranch with weapons, see “Bundy Ranch, III%, Militia, Independence,” YouTube video, 7:19, posted by “Brandon Rapolla,” July 4, 2014, Rice confirmed with me that Rapolla was a Pacific Patriots Network founder; Joseph Rice, telephone interview with author, July 17, 2016.

The state Oath Keepers took most of its public communications offline around the time of the Sugar Pine Mine encampments; their Facebook group has only been updated once since June 2015, and the sparse website (which went offline in May 2016) does not list staff or even local chapters.(73)Oath Keepers of Oregon, The last capture on was April 30, 2016, and the website is presently offline. There is only one post on their Facebook page,, between June 2015 and July 2016. All of this is a rather odd public face for an organization that takes great pains to claim not to be a clandestine paramilitary. With the disaffiliation of the Josephine County chapter  in August 2016, there is only one public website in the state, run by the Baker County chapter.(74)See Baker County Solutions,

The Oath Keepers have chapters around state, generally organized by county. Chapters that announced meetings in 2015 or 2016 include Josephine; Central Oregon (including Crook); Douglas; Baker; Linn and Benton; Marion, Polk, and Yamhill; Washington; Columbia; Lane; Malheur; and Klamath. (Chapters that held public meetings in 2014 or earlier include Jackson; Deschutes, Union, Coos, Curry, and Clackamas, and city chapters in Salem and Portland and/or Gresham.)(75)For the 2015 and 2016 meetings, see: “Josephine County Oath Keepers General Meeting,” Meetup event for August 11, 2016,; “Oath Keepers of Oregon, Baker County,” MeetUp event for December 15, 2015,; “Oath Keepers of Oregon, Linn and Benton County General Meeting,” MeetUp event for March 6, 2016,; “Oath Keepers of Oregon, Marion, Polk and Yamhill Counties,” MeetUp event for June 16, 2016,; “Oath Keepers of Washington County Monthly Meetings,” MeetUp event for April 28, 2016,; “Columbia County Oath Keepers Celebrating our 2 year anniversary,” MeetUp event for April 16, 2016,; “Lane County Oath Keepers General Meeting,” MeetUp event for February 21, 2016,; Malheur County Oath Keepers Meet and Greet,” MeetUp event, January 9, 2015,; “Oathkeepers of central Oregon,” MeetUp event for August 25, 2015,; “Oath Keepers of Klamath County,” MeetUp event for August 20, 2015,; for Douglas County, see “Sportsman & Outdoor Recreation Show – Feb 13th–15th,” MeetUp event, chapters that held public meetings in 2014: “Oath Keepers of Oregon Jackson County General Meeting,” MeetUp event for February 17, 2014,; “ MeetUp event , May 8, 2014,; “Oregon Oath Keepers Deschutes Chapter Start Up,” MeetUp event for November 13, 2014,; “Union County Oath Keepers of Oregon – General Meeting – Candidates Forum,” MeetUp event for October 28, 2014,; “Oath Keepers of Oregon, Clackamas County Chapter General Meeting,” MeetUp event for October 15, 2014,; “Oath Keepers of Oregon, Clackamas County Chapter General Meeting,” MeetUp event for April 30, 2014,; Oath Keepers of Oregon Coos County Chapter Meeting,” MeetUp event for July 26, 2014,; “Oath Keepers of Oregon, Multnomah County General Meeting,” MeetUp event for July 14, 2014,; “Oath Keepers of Oregon Curry County Chapter Formation,” MeetUp event for January 18, 2014,; “Oath Keepers of Oregon, Portland Chapter (Gresham) General Meeting,” MeetUp event for December 2, 2013,; “Oath Keepers of Oregon Portland Chapter General Meeting,” MeetUp event for June 3, 2013,; “Oath Keepers of Oregon Salem Chapter General Meeting,” MeetUp event for November 9, 2013,

The Oregon Oath Keepers website listed links to organizations like PANDA (People Against the NDAA), Tenth Amendment Center, Oregon Firearms Federation, American Lands Council, and National Liberty Alliance.(76)“Oath Keepers of Oregon Links,” Oath Keepers of Oregon, In Oregon, the Oath Keepers have been building a grassroots movement, partly based on community service work and the creation of emergency-based response teams. The state website said that some of their actions included, “Building wheel chair ramps for the disabled,” “Repairing school playgrounds for disabled access,” and “Community Preparedness Teams to assist in emergencies.”(77)“Oath Keepers Oregon,” Oath Keepers of Oregon,

In August 2015, the national Oath Keepers leadership—who had previously focused on high-profile, media-friendly actions—was promoting the Oregon’s volunteer service approach. According to the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights, national founder Stewart Rhodes called on chapters to both promote militias, as well as to join local “volunteer fire departments and churches, neighborhood watch groups, search and rescue and other first responder groups, and VFW groups.”(78)Devin Burghart, “Oath Keepers Roll Out Plan to Infiltrate Local Institutions [Video],” Institute For Research & Education On Human Rights, November 3, 2015, At the same time, many Oregon Oath Keepers—fresh from the conflict at Sugar Pine Mine—also travelled to Lincoln, Montana to help establish armed camps at the White Hope Mine.(79)Elias Alias, “Press Release: Operation Big Sky: Lincoln, Montana,” Oath Keepers, August 9, 2015,

In July 2016, Joseph Rice, leader of the Oath Keepers of Josephine County, said that “in the last year or so a lot of the Oregon Oath Keeper chapters have stopped and they’ve disbanded. But it doesn’t mean those individuals are no longer participating in securing and preserving Constitutional rights. They’ve just named themselves something else.” The next month, his organization website announced they were no longer with the national Oath Keepers, and unveiled their new name: the Citizen Patriots of Josephine County.(80)Joseph Rice, telephone interview with author, July 17, 2016, and email to author, August 25, 2016; see also Citizen Patriots of Josephine County,

State Group—Pacific Patriots Network

Oregon III%

Oregon III% logo shows an outline of the state with "III%" inside it, and a ring of 13 stars around it.
Logo of the Oregon III%

Oregon Three Percentersare very active and seems to have eclipsed the Oath Keepers as the locus of Patriot movement organizing in the state.

The Three Percenters have a complex structure. Anyone can call themselves a Three Percenter, and there are also competing national organizations. But there is also a statewide group, called simply, “Oregon III%,” which functions as a group-based network, albeit with a central leadership.(81)Their webpage is, and their main Facebook page is: “Oregon III%,” Facebook page, (This seems to run contrary to cofounder Vanderboegh’s original vision for the Three Percenters as a decentralized form of the militia that was harder to infiltrate and disrupt. However, these more organized Three Percenter groups, in Oregon and Idaho, have been very successful.) There is significant overlap between Oath Keepers and Three Percenters, as well.

The President of Oregon III% is David Samuel Hill, and the Vice President is Jeff Roberts; the group registered as a 501(c)4 in November 2015.(82)Oregon Secretary of State, Corporation Division, Business Entity Data: Oregon III%, Roberts claims that in 1993, as a 15-year-old, he drove to the Ruby Ridge standoff with Bo Gritz.(83)Jeff Roberts, Facebook post, April 2015, screenshot in possession of author. In September 2015, Hill said the group had 1,000 members and a full “executive staff”—up from 200 members and no staff, except its president, less than a year before.(84)David Samuel Hill, Facebook post, September 2015. Screenshot in possession of author. These numbers have undoubtedly grown since the Malheur occupation. Oregon III% divides the state up into seven “Zones,” plus an independent eighth section.

Oregon III% Vice President Jeff Roberts says he went to Ruby Ridge standoff with Bo Gritz, and helped found Constitution Party of Oregon.
Oregon III% Vice President Jeff Roberts says he went to Ruby Ridge standoff with Bo Gritz, and helped found Constitution Party of Oregon.

Hill says, in addition to participating in the Pacific Patriots Network, Oregon III% has “a close working relationship with other patriotic, prepper and training groups.”(85)Ibid. Oregon III% co-organized the February 2015 Salem anti-SB 941 rally, was active in the Sugar Pine Mine and White Hope Mine armed camps, were at May 2015 anti-SB 941 rallies, and were part of “Protect the Protectors” campaign to “guard” U.S. military recruiting stations in July 2015.(86)Ibid.

One flyer indicates that BJ Soper and the Oregon III% were the organizers of the initial January 2, 2016 march in Burns, Oregon (Rice claims it as PPN and Oregon III%). Soper, and both Oregon and Idaho Three Percenters, spoke at the rally.(87)Video shows that the speakers include Brandon Curtiss and Brooke Agresta (3% of Idaho), Soper, and Jeff Roberts (Oregon III%). See “Live feed Hammond ranch,” YouTube video, 3:01:57, posted by “Pete Santilli Show,” January 2, 2016, As part of the PPN, they were active in Burns during the occupation. At least one Oregon Three Percenter, Flipp Todd, was part of the occupation early on.(88)“Anatomy of a Standoff,” Anti-Defamation League, 2016,

Some members of the Oregon III% are reportedly involved with an anti-immigrant vigilante group, which does street patrols, called the Soldiers of Odin. The group was founded in Finland by white supremacists, and it has recently spread across the United States.(89)“Soldiers of Odin USA: The Extreme European Anti-Refugee Group Comes to America,” Anti-Defamation League, 2016,

As of August 2016, the Oregon III% Zone divisions and leaders are:

  • Zone 1 (Columbia, Clatsop, Tillamook, Washington, Multnomah, Clackamas, Marion, Polk, Yamhill, Lincoln, Linn, and Benton counties) — Ron McCue
  • Zone 2 (Hood River, Wasco, Sherman, and Gilliam) — Trevor Anders
  • Zone 3 (Morrow, Umatilla, Union, Baker, and Wallowa) — Damon Locke
  • Zone 4 (Douglas, Jackson, Josephine, Coos, and Curry)—Tom McKirgan
  • Zone 5 (Crook, Deschutes, Jefferson, Wheeler) — Jerrad Tyrea Robison
  • Zone 6 (Klamath, Lake)—Tim Harris
  • Tri-County III% (Grant, Harney, Malheur)— Jason Ward (contact)
  • Zone 8 (Lane)—Isreal Southerland

What was Zone 7—Harvey, Malheur, and Grant counties—became the Tri-County III%, which is described as “a separate, autonomous III% group separate from Oregon III%. Though not connected, Oregon III% recognizes and supports Tri-County III%.”(90)Facebook post, accessed August 2016; screenshot in possession of author.

The Oregon III%, like many other states, divides the state into different Zones. Tri-County III% is autonomous from the larger group.
The Oregon III%, like many other states, divides the state into different Zones. Tri-County III% is autonomous from the larger group.
Each Zone of the Oregon III% has a leader and a Facebook page.
Each Zone of the Oregon III% has a leader and a Facebook page.
The leadership structure of the Oregon III%.
The leadership structure of the Oregon III%.

The county chapters include Multnomah, Washington, Marion and Polk, Linn and Benton, Clatsop and Columbia, Clackamas, Lincoln, Josephine, Jackson, Douglas, Coos, and Curry.(91)Facebook posts, accessed August 2016; screenshots in possession of author.

Regional Group

Pacific Patriots Network

The Pacific Patriots Network (PPN) is made up of the most active Patriot movement paramilitary groups in Oregon. It stepped into the spotlight by its attempts to establish an armed “buffer” between the Malheur Refuge occupiers and the FBI during the occupation.

The PPN consists of the Josephine County Oath Keepers, Oregon III%, Southern Oregon Constitutional Guard (SOCG), Central Oregon Constitutional Guard (COCG), West Valley Constitutional Guard, Bearded Bastards, and Heirs of Patrick Henry. PPN groups that are not based in Oregon include 3% of Idaho, and the Oath Keepers National.(92)“Pacific Patriots Network Partners,” Pacific Patriots Network,

The PPN is an “umbrella” organization that was founded to help facilitate regional Patriot movement cooperation after Sugar Pine Mine in April 2015. Four of the five founders have gained public notoriety: Joseph Rice (Oath Keepers of Josephine County), BJ Soper (COCG), Brandon Curtiss (3% of Idaho), and Brandon Rapolla (Oregon Tactical and Oregon Oath Keepers Community Preparedness Team coordinator). The fifth founder, Chino Ruiz of the Bearded Bastards, keeps a much lower profile, and is reported to be no longer actively involved.(93)Joseph Rice confirmed the five founding members; email to author, July 15, 2016. Brandon Curtiss also said there were five founding groups, and described the Pacific Patriots Network as an “umbrella” organization. See “Friday Jan 9th Morning Press Briefing with III%, CFCF and PPN from the Oregon Refuge Center,” YouTube video, 15:53, posted by “OathKeepersOK,” January 10, 2016,; see 14:03 and 14:32. As of August 2015, the Pacific Patriots Network staff was: Brandi Hawkins (Public Affairs Officer), Angela Brainard (Medical Support), Bill Cross (Patriot Supply Railroad), BJ Soper (COCG), Brandon Curtiss (3% of Idaho), Colby Damon Olsen (Southern Oregon Constitutional Guard), David Samuel Hill (Oregon III%), Israel Southerland (Team Indigo), J.d. Parks (The Heirs of Patrick Henry, Northwest), Matt Kaney (Spectres Training Group), Chino Ruiz (Bearded Bastards), and Robert Rowe (Washgoneho Supply Railroad). Facebook post, August 2015. Screenshot in possession of author.

Screenshot of a post in Pacific Patriots Network Facebook group asking for people to join a training session and listing names of leaders.
The leadership of the Pacific Patriots Network, as of September 2015.

Since the PPN is merely a network, it is not always clear which are actions are of the PPN proper and which are those of its constituent groups. Some individuals, for example, seem to claim that any action done by a member group is a PPN action. PPN loudly trumpeted its participation in the White Hope Mine armed encampment.(94)There are over a dozen Pacific Patriots Network press releases and videos posted about the White Hope Mine and Operation Big Sky between August and October 2016. See Pacific Patriots Network, “Current News,” However, their participation in the Malheur occupation and activities in Burns is complex. (See appendix II.)

Since the Malheur occupation, the PPN has largely been involved in support activities for those arrested and in electoral activity, as some prominent members have run for election, and then entered the Republican Party apparatus.

Idaho Group—PPN

3% of IDAHO

While this report is focused on Oregon groups, the 3% of Idaho deserves a mention. It is part of the Pacific Patriots Network, and Oregon III% leaders gave credit to the 3% of Idaho for helping set up the Oregon structure.(95)Jeff Roberts, Facebook comment, May 2015; screenshot in possession of author. The group was in Burns before and during the occupation—which was physically closer to Boise than to the homes of many Oregon Patriot movement activists. 3% of Idaho members were also present at the Sugar Pine Mine and White Hope Mine actions.(96)Dave Neiwert, “‘III Percenters’ Ride Wave Of Islamophobia In Idaho To Lead Anti-Refugee Protests,” Crooks and Liars, November 6, 2015,

3% of Idaho President Brandon Curtiss founded the organization after being inspired by the 2014 Bundy Ranch standoff.(97)Fedor Zarkhin, “‘Buffer zone’ in Oregon standoff: Ex-cop Brandon Curtiss says he’s a peacemaker,” Oregonian/OregonLive, January 15, 2016, The group’s Vice President, Eric “EJ” Parker, is famous for being photographed pointing a rifle at federal agents during the standoff. He was arrested in March 2016 in connection with the events, and his trial is scheduled for February 6, 2017.(98)John Sowell, “Four Idahoans among 14 newly indicted in 2014 Bundy Ranch standoff,” Idaho Statesman, March 3, 2016,; Associated Press, “Nevada trial for Cliven Bundy, 18 others set for 2017,” Oregonian/OregonLive, April 27, 2016,

The Idaho III% logo is essentially the same as Oregon's, using a state outline, with III% inside it, and a ring of 13 stars around it.
The 3% of Idaho support their Vice President EJ Parker, currently awaiting trial for pointing a weapon at federal agents during the 2014 Bundy Ranch standoff.

In its home state, the 3% of Idaho is best-known for organizing anti-Syrian refugee demonstrations, which combine xenophobia and Islamophobia. One was held in Twin Falls on October 2015, and two in Boise in November 2015. The second Boise rally was a counter-demonstration against a pro-refugee demonstration; the Three Percenters were greatly outnumbered by the pro-refugee crowd.(99)“Three Percent of Idaho marches against Refugee Program in Twin Falls,” KMVT, October 18 (updated November 9), 2015,; Dave Neiwert, “‘III Percenters’ Ride Wave Of Islamophobia In Idaho To Lead Anti-Refugee Protests,” Crooks and Liars, November 6, 2015,; Harrison Berry, “Thousands Gather at Idaho Statehouse to Demonstrate For—And Against—Syrian Refugees,” Boise Weekly, November 21, 2015, (In comparison, in Oregon in 2015 there was a single announced Patriot movement-organized anti-Muslim demonstration.) In April 2016 the Idaho group also held a demonstration in Boise to support Idahoans arrested in connection with the Malheur and Bundy Ranch incidents.(100)“The Resist Rally,” Facebook event for April 30, 2016, The website The Voice of Idaho, run by Mike Emry, is affiliated with the 3% of Idaho. Emry said he was the group’s “embedded” reporter at the Malheur occupation, but afterwards was arrested on weapons charges in Oregon.(101)Les Zaitz, “‘Embedded’ reporter tied to militia arrested in John Day on weapons charges,” Oregonian/OregonLive, May 6 (updated May 7), 2016, On September 2, 2016, as the Malheur occupation trial was about to start, the 3% of Idaho suddenly distanced themselves from Emry, claiming that he was not “embedded” after all but rather was merely a “media contact.” III% of Idaho Official Press Release, TVOI News, September 2, 2016,

The 3% of Idaho has also been embroiled in accusations of financial improprieties. Curtiss, who runs a property management business, has filed for bankruptcy three times, and in May 2016, the Idaho State Police started investigating him for defrauding clients.(102)John Sowell, “Idaho patriot group leader filed bankruptcy after Malheur visit,” Idaho Statesman, March 27, 2016,; John Sowell, “Idaho State Police eyes allegations against Meridian property manager,” Idaho Statesman, May 12, 2016, Meanwhile, his group claims to be a registered nonprofit, but the Center for American Progress reported there was no record of this.(103)Matt Lee-Ashley, “Congress Should Confront the Rise of Violent Extremism on America’s Public Lands,” Center for American Progress, March 24, 2016,

Brandon Curtiss speaks into a microphone at an outdoor rally, with an American flag behind him.
Brandon Curtiss (3% of Idaho) speaking at the January 2, 2016 rally for the Hammonds in Burns, Oregon. (Photograph courtesy of Jason Wilson.)

State Groups—PPN

Heirs of Patrick Henry, Northwest and Southern Oregon Constitutional Guard

Screenshot showing a list of group admins for the Heirs of Patrick Henry Facebook group.
The administrators of the Heirs of Patrick Henry, Northwest Facebook group. Many are leaders in other Patriot movement organizations.

The Heirs of Patrick Henry, Northwest is one of the PPN member groups; and in turn, the organization’s membership overlaps with the Oath Keepers, Three Percenters, Central Oregon Constitutional Guard, and Southern Oregon Constitutional Guard. The Heirs of Patrick Henry were formed in fall 2014 to organize a February 2015 demonstration for gun rights in Salem.(104)Casey Runyan, “The Heirs of Patrick Henry, NW,” GoFundMe page, created November 23, 2014,; “Patrick Henry Rally” Facebook event for February 9, 2015, The admins of the “Heirs of Patrick Henry, Northwest” Facebook group are: J.d. Parks, John Parker Jr., Colby Damon Olsen, BJ Soper, Bruce Cook, and Brandi Hawkins. “Admins” on “Heirs of Patrick Henry, Northwest” Facebook page, According to J.d. Parks, “The Heirs of Patrick Henry Northwest exists for coordinating grassroots, local activism in the Pacific Northwest.”(105)J.d. Parks, “Reminder,” “Heirs of Patrick Henry, Northwest,” Facebook group, July 12, 2016, Their members have also been active in the “railroad” systems which ran supplies to the different Patriot movement armed camps and standoffs.

The President of the Heirs of Patrick Henry, Northwest is Casey Runyan, who spoke at the May 2015 anti-SB941 rally.(106)“Speaker’s List Schedule for the Salem Event on Saturday,” May 27, 2015, posted by Dutchman6 , In 2014, he won the Republican primary for Oregon representative in District 9, but the party pulled their support after his previous conviction for felony assault conviction became known.(107)Anna Staver, “Oregon GOP pulls support for HD 9 candidate Runyan,” Statesman Journal, July 18, 2014, Runyan lost in the general election to Democrat Caddy McKeown, 13,746 to 8,983 (57.7 percent to 37.7 percent).(108)Oregon Secretary of State, November 4, 2014, General Election, Official Abstract of Votes, “State Representative, 9th District,”

Logo for the Southern Oregon Constitutional Guard shows an ancient Greek helmet with two swords crossed behind it over a silhouette of the state.
The Southern Oregon Constitutional Guard is a member group of the Pacific Patriots Network.

The Southern Oregon Constitutional Guard is one of the smaller groups in the network. It is led by Colby Damon Olsen, who was at Sugar Pine Mine.(109)Picture of Olsen at Sugar Pine Mine, Facebook post, April 2015, screenshot in possession of author. One of its few public acts was marching at the May 23, 2015 Boatnik Parade in Grants Pass with other Patriot movement groups.(110)BJ Soper, Facebook post, May 2015. Screenshot in possession of author. Olsen was also involved in the Fielder Dam controversy, and Southern Oregon Constitutional Guard members were present in Burns, as well.(111)Olsen can be seen at a Jackson County commission meeting; see “Fielder Dam: Waterwatch’s Decimation of Jackson County Property (26 Aug 2015),” YouTube video, 10:22, posted by “Kevstir,” August 27, 2015,; Carissa Wolf and Kevin Sullivan, “In Oregon, angry protests about the killing of a wildlife refuge occupier,” Washington Post, February 1, 2016,

State Group

The Liberators

The Liberators deserve attention as a behind-the-scenes Patriot movement group that has had an outsized influence on the constitutional sheriffs movement in Oregon. They are older than most of the other Patriot movement groups existing today. Based in Roseburg,  Douglas County, and led by Loma Wharton and Rae Copitka, its describes itself as “a central clearinghouse for a plethora of information that is useful to both elected officials and the public.”(112)“We are,” “The Liberators: V.A.C.A.T.E.,” The Liberators,; “Loma Wharton,” The Liberators,

The group claims that in 2009, it brought former Arizona sheriff and CSPOA founder Richard Mack to Roseburg, and 600 people attended two of his classes. In 2010, the Liberators say they brought Mack back to the state, and that event, hosted by then-Josephine County Sheriff Gil Gilbertson, was attended by then-Oregon county sheriffs Dennis Dotson (Lincoln) and John Hanlin (Douglas), and then-sheriff candidate Craig Zanni (Coos)—all of whom “attended the private class with Sheriff Mack.”(113)“Our Mission,” The Liberators,

When the CSPOA website first went online in 2010, the Liberators were one of only two Patriot groups that it linked to. The group is closely tied to former Josephine County Sheriff Gil Gilbertson; during his speech at the first CSPOA conference in 2012, he thanked Wharton for her research help.(114)“Links,” Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association, – links; “Sheriff Gil Gilbertson UnravelingFed 30Jan2012 a,” YouTube video, 15:16, posted by “ Channel,” February 22, 2012,; see around 6:00. The Liberators’ website hosts writings by both Gilbertson and Sheriff Palmer.(115)“Downloads,” The Liberators, Wharton and Copitka also were both deeply involved in National Constitutional Sheriffs’ Association, which Gilbertson was on the board of.(116)For example, the NCSA and Liberators telephone number and mailing address are the same. See “National Constitutional Sheriffs Assoc. LLC,” Position paper Press release.pdf and “Education & Information,” The Liberators—V.A.C.A.T.E.,; “USN Captain (Retired) Norman R. Malmberg praises Siskiyou Co Board of Supervisors,” Pie N Politics, August 15, 2013,; “Choose Your NCSA Annual Membership,” National Constitutional Sheriff’s Association, In Grants Pass on July 7, 2014, the Liberators cosponsored, with Gilbertson, a talk billed as “The Solution Revolution,” featuring land transfer advocate Ken Ivory. On July 19, 2014, Copitka and Wharton also spoke at the Patriots Gathering in North Bend in Coos County, alongside Oath Keeper leaders and the News With Views editor. The group also attended a support rally on February 16, 2016 for the Malheur occupiers which was held outside the Bureau of Land Management office in Roseburg.(117)“Solution Revolution is June 7, 2014,” Pie N Politics, May 22, 2014,; Jim Kouri, “News With Views Editor to be Special Guest Speaker at Patriots Gathering in North Bend, OR,” News With Views, July 14, 2014,; Troy Brynelson, “Protestors outside BLM office decry jailing of occupiers, killing of LaVoy Finicum,” News-Review, February 16, 2016,

A poster for a 2014 gathering in North Bend, featuring a number of hard right speakers and guests.
A 2014 gathering in Coos County which featured a number of Oregon Hard Right figures, including members of the Liberators, Oath Keepers, and News With Views.


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