and Valerie Lough
Dayton Daily News
April 5, 2010
ST. PARIS — If the United States government collapses, Michael Craft and his Unorganized Militia of Champaign County are ready.
“One day, if we have a complete collapse … if one day we are no longer a constitutional form of government, we’re going to need people who are willing to defend the neighbors in the community and your family,” Craft said.
The Southern Poverty Law Center last month placed Craft’s militia and 12 other Ohio groups on the same list of militias as the Michigan-based Hutaree, nine members of which were arrested last weekend on charges they plotted to kill police, then set off bombs at the funeral, as part of an uprising against the government.
Craft said his militia, founded in 2000, is “defensive, not offensive,” and doesn’t deserve to be lumped in with the Hutaree, an apocalyptic Christian group with Ohio members whose Web site includes the slogan, “Preparing for the end time battles to keep the testimony of Jesus Christ alive.”
“Now it’s going to be an upward battle to convince people that we’re not that way,” he said. “We support law enforcement, we’re not out to overthrow anybody.”
Extremist “patriot groups” and armed militias have grown exponentially since the November 2008 election of President Obama, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. Many of them have extreme anti-government doctrines, engage in unfounded conspiracy theories and believe a “new world order” of totalitarian world government is looming.
This article was posted: Monday, April 5, 2010 at 10:11 am