The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Paranoia as Patriotism:
Far-Right Influences on the Militia Movement

The Arizona Patriots

The Arizona Patriots was an anti-Semitic group with an emphasis on stockpiling weapons and baiting public officials. (The group had disbanded by the end of the 1980's, but recent reports indicate that the group may be reconstituting itself.) The group first gained public notice by its efforts to clog the Arizona court system with nuisance lawsuits in the 1980's. This was a tactic also employed by the violence-prone Posse Comitatus, whose adherence to the anti-Semitic "Identity" doctrine and refusal to recognize any governmental authority higher than the county level were shared by the Arizona Patriots.

Ty Hardin, self-styled "freedom fighter" and former film and TV actor, led the Arizona Patriots. After a mid-1970's dispute with the IRS, Hardin ran a tax protest school called the Common Law Institute, whose packet of materials included a "Patriot Handbook" containing "tested cases and methods to maintain good personal freedom." In 1983 and 1984, Hardin edited _The Arizona Patriot_, a monthly journal that printed diatribes against government officials, calls for "Christian Patriots" to band together, and reprints of articles from such anti-Semitic publications as The Spotlight and The National Educator, as well as from Executive Intelligence Review, the magazine of the conspiracy-oriented Lyndon LaRouche political cult. The Arizona Patriot was published by Norman Kuhman, signer of the 1984 "indictment" document issued by the California-based Committee of the States.

In fact, mirroring the California-based Committee, the Arizona Patriots issued a collective "indictment" in June 1984, against all elected Arizona officials, threatening to conduct a "grand jury inquest" unless those officials resigned within 30 days. The document was written in the name of the Committee for the State of Arizona, Assembled.

During the same meeting at which the Patriots drew up its "indictment," heavily armed members, clad in combat fatigues, discussed plans to murder Arizona's then-Governor, Bruce Babbitt, U.S. Superior Court Judge Paul Rosenblatt, and members of the state's Department of Public Safety.

Following a two-year FBI undercover probe, Federal agents raided a Patriot camp in 1986, and confiscated a homemade blowgun, night-vision goggles, pamphlets depicting nuclear war, gas masks, spent shell casings, numerous rocket ammunition crates and publications of the Aryan Nations. The investigation also uncovered a plot to finance a paramilitary base by robbing an armored car in Nevada; Patriot surveillance of the Phoenix ADL regional office as part of a bomb plan; and plans for the group to bomb a Phoenix synagogue, and Ogden, Utah IRS facility, and the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles. FBI agents arrested eight members of the group, who also had in their possession blueprints for three U.S. dams.

Of those arrested, three - Jack Oliphant, Monte Ross and Daniel Arthur - were sentenced to four-year Federal prison terms, three were sentenced to five years' probation, one was released, and one remains a fugitive. Ty Hardin left Arizona, and the group soon ceased to function.

In prison, Jack Oliphant wrote a 70-page manuscript titled "To Alter or Abolish the Government" in which, according to USA Today, he said that an "all-out, do or die, to the last man civil war" is the only way patriots can "throw off one status of citizenship while retaining the territory in which they reside." Following his release, Oliphant returned to the Kingman, Arizona area, where he sheltered neo-Nazi Skinhead Jay Raspberry after an automobile-ramming incident for which three counts of aggravated assault were later brought against Raspberry. In a recent interview, Oliphant blamed a "Jew judge" for his own conviction in the 1980s. (Anti-Defamation League, 7-8)

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