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Author Topic: What Should the Membership Policy for Oath Keepers Be? NEED YOUR INPUT  (Read 31893 times)

Stewart the Yalie

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I am still trying to sort out what our membership policy will be.  At the moment, it is open membership, and starting on April 19, we began charging $20.00 a year dues (that amount can change, perhaps to $25.00 a year). 

We have had some (both current police and retired police) suggest we have a more exclusive membership process, by which we screen people carefully as a form of protection of our reputations and also to limit liability (both legal, and political) but I am really leaning toward a broad, inclusive membership with no screening, such as the NRA, GOA, JPFO, and Campaign for Liberty.  All of those groups let anyone join, and don't screen people.  For example, NRA charges $35.00 a year for membership.  Go here to see their application:
 
https://membership.nrahq.org/forms/signup.asp

Anyone can join.  And here is the sign up page for Campaign for Liberty, which is also $35.00 a year for dues paying, or free, with much reduced access and perks:

https://www.campaignforliberty.com/signup.php#form

None of those groups screen their many members, and because they don't screen, it is allot tougher to hold them responsible for something one of their many, many members does.   We have already gotten hundreds of emails asking how to join Oath Keepers, and people really want to be members, and are apparrently willing to pay dues.  I think it likely we could very quickly have thousands of members.  That could both bring in much needed revenue, and also give us some serious political clout and cover.  And, as with the other orgs, it is precisely because we would not screen or vett people that we cover our butts (just as I currently have the blog set on open comments, without pre-screening and approval, since I don't have time to read each comment, but will remove any offensive, racist, or threatening comments once I become aware of them).

 If we make it a very exclusive, small club of members made up of only those we have screened and vetted, with others being just supporters with no membership status, I think it will really hurt the growth of Oath Keepers and lessen the enthusiasm,  And it will mean we forgo the funds that come with many dues paying members. 

And if we vett people, now the media, and even a prosecutor, can all the more argue that we own what they do. 

Also, there are unofficial Oath Keepers meetup groups popping up all over the place, and people calling themselves Oath Keepers on their personal blogs and in their correspondence, so that cat is already out of the bag.  I think it best to fan the fires of this brush fire and let it run wild.

So, I am thinking of doing it as a very broad dues paying membership, like the NRA or Campaign for Liberty, and then having a very exclusive, well vetted small cadre of volunteer staff, such as the veteran and police liaisons for each state that Dave and I are already working on and maybe even state or regional directors. 

That is what all of those other orgs do.  They have staff, who do represent the org, and they have members, who don't.

I think it makes perfect sense for some clubs, such as motorcycle riding clubs, to be extremely selective, since they are actually meeting up with and riding with people, but for what we want to do with Oath Keepers, which is spread the message far and wide, I think the general, dues paying membership is the way to go. 

We could even have them sign a statement of understanding and agreement with our policies, which makes it clear that they do not represent Oath Keepers, do not speak for Oath Keepers, are not on the staff of Oath Keepers, and also have them agree to our statement of non-violence and non-discrimination, reserving to ourselves the right to cancel membership of anyone who violates those principles. 

Campaign for Liberty does something like that for their blog:

http://www.campaignforliberty.com/rulesnregs.php


Let me know what you think.  I want to be very exclusive regarding anyone we let into the actual core group as staff or cadre, who will be speaking for us in some capacity, but I think it makes sense to have a very inclusive general membership (though we will reserve the right to revoke the membership of anyone who we later find to be racist or to be advocating violence or making threats). 

And, if we do go with a broad, inclusive, dues paying membership, I am thinking that active duty military and police will be free, with no dues.  Also let me know what you think of that idea. 

Thanks,

Stewart
« Last Edit: April 27, 2009, 04:19:25 am by Stewart the Yalie »
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american4life

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I think it's a great idea. How about a lifetime membership? I think the NRA has one. You might , and this is just a suggestion , keep the dues at 20 for a year or so and see how membership picks up. And maybe a reduced rate for active police and a free membership to all active military. Just a thought. Btw I'm neither...lol. And while i'm on the subject would we get any patches on shirts saying Oath Keepers member or ????
 And while i'm here, are you thinking about setting up like ,umm what's the word i'm looking for, Chapters of Oath Keepers at state levels? You know like veterans org have?
 Ok my 2 cents!!! PEACE!!!
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Klapton Isgod

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Definitely NO SCREENING.  By all means screen everyone very carefully who will actually "work for" the organization.  But none for general membership.

I think it's important to include something regarding non-violence to CYA, and because Oathkeepers really IS about simply disobeying - NOT violently resisting - if / when unconstitutional orders are given.  BUT -- and this is a very large BUT -- Our country, and the very documents we have sworn to defend were born out of violence when We The People finally got so fed up we were NOT going to take their crap anymore.  The goal of Oathkeepers, of course, is to PREVENT the need for violent overthrow by disabling the enforcement arm of government should it ever cross the line we have drawn in the sand, thus making armed rebellion unnecessary.  But there may come a time when violence DOES become unavoidable, at which time it's important that however your affirmation to join Oathkeepers is worded, it does not pretend to be yet another oath forswearing the use of violence.

I think perhaps the wording should emphasize INTENT.  None of us INTEND or DESIRE violence as a solution.  But make no mistake - if SHTF, some of us most certainly WILL fight.
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Bernie

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Three Tiers of Membership

1) I am an Oath Keeper.  I visit their webpage and post to their forum.  I spread the word.

2) I am a registered Oath Keeper.  I have a membership card and they have my address and phone numbers.  I am on the Rapid Deployment Roster.  My membership is free and I will give my life if needed.

3) I am a supporting member of the Oath Keepers Foundation.  I have access to the Oath Keeper’s store and can buy officially licensed Oath Keeper Stuff.  Because it is a foundation it is tax exempt.  I have this cute little enamel pin I wear on my suit when I go to Church for my tax deductible donation / membership fee.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2009, 07:21:24 am by Bernie »
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Jeff Watts

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Perhaps a little more clarity from the upper levels is needed here.

I consider myself an "Oath keeper" without reservation or restriction, based on what I've seen and read here, on youtube, and from other sources. If I'm encroaching in any way please feel free to tell me so.

My question(s) are thus: What do we recieve from the official organization of the Oath keepers? Keep in mind that I'm not talking about cool ball caps and patches and decals and such. (although it would be cool) I'm refering to what if any doors may be opened (if any) to official members, what resources will be made available,(if any) and what is expected by the organization from it's members? What precisely will our annual dues and contributions be used for? What level of regulation would the "management" impose on state or local Oath Keeper groups? This is important to me, because I would not tolerate the oath keepers name being used by a closet hate group of some sort while I call myself an oath keeper. I have some experience with this, and have watched it happen. As local "chapters" form, they will be approached by aryians, neo-nazis and all manner of alternate agendas looking to legitimize themselves by standing under the Oath Keepers" umbrella, and recriut for their own groups from our membership.

If there is going to be an officially recognized status for sub groups or chapters, then there will have to be oversight. If there is no oversight, you will have your organization hijacked right under your nose, and by the time you realize it, it will be too late. Guilt by association is reality.

That said, I'm in until I'm no longer wanted, or I see a reason that I shouldn't be. Anything I can do in Illinois/Missouri or the midwest, you need only ask.
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NuclearDruid

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If we make it a very exclusive, small club of members made up of only those we have screened and vetted, with others being just supporters with no membership status, I think it will really hurt the growth of Oath Keepers and lessen the enthusiasm,  And it will mean we forgo the funds that come with many dues paying members. 

Bingo! I'd keep it a simple and direct process. Besides, it helps those of us whose official records have been lost multiple times by the military paperwork processing system.

Those volunteers acting in an official capacity (local corrodinators, etc) for the group should have a higher standard. That seems reasonable to me. Then again I'm a "word and a handshake" kinda person.

ND
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mustang

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Thanks Stewart for the 'on the green' efforts. Now to my 2 cents;

My military and LEO credentials can easily be verified with a scan to email effort Any missing DD214, etc. can be easily replaced by the Veterans Administration. It took me one week to get a copy of my DD214 to qualify for VA medical card.

I fully appreciate the need for funding this project. That's why I sent in a contribution, even though I had many other demands for that $100. A general membership argument seems to resolve that item.

However I personally joined because Oath-Keepers represented itself as an organization including my fellow military and LEO people. This is similar to my membership in the original Gillcrest Minuteman Project. Anyone with combat experience knows the importance of knowing who's on your left or right. Not an issue of who is better than others, just which people have the training and experience. As I understand it our PRIMARY objective is to resolve this peacefully, but if this ever goes beyond that we need to easily identify those standing alongside us.

For what it's worth.  Ken
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da gooch

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Quote
Quote Stewart:
"
So, I am thinking of doing it as a very broad dues paying membership, like the NRA or Campaign for Liberty, and then having a very exclusive, well vetted small cadre of volunteer staff, such as the veteran and police liaisons for each state that Dave and I are already working on and maybe even state or regional directors.

That is what all of those other orgs do.  They have staff, who do represent the org, and they have members, who don't."

I with you on this idea. 100%

Three Tiers of Membership

1) I am an Oath Keeper.  I visit their webpage and post to their forum.  I spread the word.

2) I am a registered Oath Keeper.  I have a membership card and they have my address and phone numbers.  I am on the Rapid Deployment Roster.  My membership is free and I will give my life if needed.
I would counsel being VERY Careful of using any word or words that can be misconstrued as to intent of the Org.
Using just such words as these "Rapid Deployment Roster"  could be misconstrued as Aggressive militaristic style activities.
Which could Cause confrontation rather than obviate it.
Quote

3) I am a supporting member of the Oath Keepers Foundation.  I have access to the Oath Keeper’s store and can buy officially licensed Oath Keeper Stuff.  Because it is a foundation it is tax exempt.  I have this cute little enamel pin I wear on my suit when I go to Church for my tax deductible donation / membership fee.
Other than the one caveat I am in agreement with this whole Idea.

[Although I MIGHT have to work off my "dues" in payments ....  :rolleyes:  ]

If we make it a very exclusive, small club of members made up of only those we have screened and vetted, with others being just supporters with no membership status, I think it will really hurt the growth of Oath Keepers and lessen the enthusiasm,  And it will mean we forgo the funds that come with many dues paying members. 

Bingo! I'd keep it a simple and direct process. Besides, it helps those of us whose official records have been lost multiple times by the military paperwork processing system.

Those volunteers acting in an official capacity (local corrodinators, etc) for the group should have a higher standard. That seems reasonable to me. Then again I'm a "word and a handshake" kinda person.

ND

Ditto here again.

PM incoming Stewart
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NuclearDruid

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Any missing DD214, etc. can be easily replaced by the Veterans Administration. It took me one week to get a copy of my DD214 to qualify for VA medical card.

You must be Army or Air Force. The Navy has managed to botch both mine and Mutti's 214's. My attempts to pull my records have revealed all kinds of issues. Fortunately, the very first week after I was discharged I went down to the county courthouse and registered my 214. At least I have a back up option should I every need verification. If I remember correctly in Mutti's case they never issued a corrected 214 after she was called up for Desert Shield. Important should she want to qualify for VFW membership.

Vets Suffer as DD214 Errors Increase

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Dana Cushing as a Marine served two tours of duty in Iraq and a third in east Africa, but when she returned home, she found herself labeled a "conscientious objector" and also was denied medical care by the government.

ND
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"GREAT COMEBACK FOR STOCK MARKET" - Front page, Spokane Daily Chronicle, October 22nd, 1929

"I believe it is the duty of each of us to act as if the fate of the world depended on him. Admittedly, one man by himself cannot do the job. However, one man can make a difference..." -Adm. Hyman G. Rickover

mutti

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f I remember correctly in Mutti's case they never issued a corrected 214 after she was called up for Desert Shield. Important should she want to qualify for VFW membership.

Always remember - check it well for data. Mine says I was where I wasn't and didn't do what I did (I was stupid, didn't check and really just wanted the entire process over with at the time).

My FIL - served 2 tours in Vietnam? His said he was TAD out of TX for the time frame, however because DD 214 never reflected where questions were always being raised as to his eligibility for various services.
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MamaLiberty

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Re: What Should the Membership Policy for Oath Keepers Be? NEED YOUR INPUT
« Reply #10 on: April 27, 2009, 03:17:25 pm »

Keep it all as simple and spontaneous as possible. Please. Organizations become ever more complex, then so easily become top heavy bureaucracies and morph into other ugly things.

Donations, not "dues." Or everyone should pay for membership equally. Most of us value best what we have earned/paid for. Active duty military or law enforcers are not incapable of paying this small amount. If it is not important enough for them to pay, why bother with membership at all? Does it really honor any of them to avoid the shared responsibility?
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american4life

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Re: What Should the Membership Policy for Oath Keepers Be? NEED YOUR INPUT
« Reply #11 on: April 27, 2009, 03:21:35 pm »

Mama you have a great point... I really like how you think!! :thrbiggrin:
Keep it all as simple and spontaneous as possible. Please. Organizations become ever more complex, then so easily become top heavy bureaucracies and morph into other ugly things.

Donations, not "dues." Or everyone should pay for membership equally. Most of us value best what we have earned/paid for. Active duty military or law enforcers are not incapable of paying this small amount. If it is not important enough for them to pay, why bother with membership at all? Does it really honor any of them to avoid the shared responsibility?
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Bernie

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Re: What Should the Membership Policy for Oath Keepers Be? NEED YOUR INPUT
« Reply #12 on: April 27, 2009, 03:31:32 pm »

An open note to Gooch and all that read my posts.

Don't take me literally, as in word for word.  I am a smart A$$ by nature.  If there isn't a bite or touch of sarcasm in my post, I probably did not write it.

Faithful Always,

Bernie
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da gooch

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Re: What Should the Membership Policy for Oath Keepers Be? NEED YOUR INPUT
« Reply #13 on: April 27, 2009, 05:08:12 pm »

An open note to Gooch and all that read my posts.

Don't take me literally, as in word for word.  I am a smart A$$ by nature.  If there isn't a bite or touch of sarcasm in my post, I probably did not write it.

Faithful Always,

Bernie

Oh Ma-a-an .... and I had my heart set on a cute little enamel pin for my shirt collar.  Shoot ....
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YeOldFurt

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Re: What Should the Membership Policy for Oath Keepers Be? NEED YOUR INPUT
« Reply #14 on: April 27, 2009, 10:18:15 pm »

Stewart & Gooch,
I'm a little stunned by all this. I've been wrapped up in job search and wasn't aware all this was going on. I've been a supporter of the Oath Keepers since the end of March. Even going so far as to try to arrange a gathering in Gonzales Texas on April 19th for those who couldn't make the meeting on the green. I've spent money, time, effort and energy. Now I read that this is going to become some elitist, exclusive club? I was under the belief that this organization was grass roots oriented and for the common man. Was I wrong? Has it become a dues paying members only club? That's not why I took my oath in Aug 1970 or again on April 19th 2009. I'm not here to pay any dues, I've already done that, I'm here to live up to my word to Preserve, Protect and Defend the Constitution of the United States from ALL enemies, Foreign and Domestic. Not to obey officers appointed over me if their orders are Unconstitutional. Did the militia members that stood on Lexington Green on April 19th, 1775 have a dues paying membership or was it simply an oath of mutual defense and support in case of need?
YeOldFurt
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