Oath Keepers: Structured and Lucrative Financing Strategies
Group Financing Profile
Last week, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) analyzed the names of approximately 38,000 individuals on Oath Keepers membership lists. Upon examining the list, ADL identified more than 370 people that it believes currently work in law enforcement agencies, more than 100 presently serving military personnel, and over 80 individuals that ran for or served in public office. The analysis raises concerns about the presence of extremists in positions of authority, as well as provides insight into the individuals potentially involved in the January 6th United States Capitol Attack.
As one of the three main groups involved in the January 6th Insurrection on the US Capitol, the Oath Keepers have fuelled violence and threatened democratic institutions. Disrupting their financing mechanisms is key to minimizing the potential damages associated with their operations. As the most structured organization amongst the Proud Boys and the Three Percenters, the money trail of the Oath Keepers is easier to follow. The Oath Keepers’ methods of financing are explored in the article below.
Ideology and Origins
The Oath Keepers, founded in 2009 by Stewart Rhodes, has active chapters across the United States. The group is a large but loosely organized collection of individuals, many of whom are law enforcement personnel, and some of whom are associated with militias. The name of the group originates from a vow that law enforcement and military personnel take – to “support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic”. While Oath Keepers are urged to obey the Constitution, their interpretation often conflicts with that of US lawmakers. Members believe that the US federal government has been co-opted by a “cabal of elites” trying to strip American citizens of their rights. The group therefore advocates for Americans to stockpile goods, engage in paramilitary training, and create self-reliant community networks to prepare for “inevitable” conflict with the government.