Next Up in DCQC’s Speaker Series—History of the Modern Militia Movement

Marybeth Bates

Join us on Sept. 18, for a sobering and fascinating discussion with Terry Sayles about the history of the modern militia movement in the United States and how it is now playing out here in Arizona. He’ll cover the role that events such as Ruby Ridge and Waco played in the formation of these groups and the dominant ideologies that inform them. He’ll discuss how the recent political landscape—from the election of Barack Obama, our first African-American president, to the subsequent election of President Trump—kicked the movement into high gear. He’ll also cover a range of the more than 20 groups that are currently active in Arizona, including the Oath Keepers and the American Border Patrol.

In 1992, Terry Sayles lived in rural eastern Washington where he discovered that it was home to many white supremacy groups. He was surrounded by hate groups and, over time, learned of their desire to take over county government and also a vast region, including parts of several states. Also in 1992, an anti-Semitic Christian identity pastor, Pete Peters, hosted the Rocky Mountain Rendezvous in Estes Park, Colo., where 160 extremists, reacting to Ruby Ridge, lay out strategies for what would become the militia movement. Some scholars on extremism argue that this Colorado gathering was the birth of the modern militia movement.

Some years later while convalescing from triple bypass surgery, Terry Sayles was drawn to investigating all aspects of far-right extremism, militia groups, and all other hate groups. After moving to Arizona, he became interested in border issues and was involved in debunking the so-called cartel child sex camp in Tucson. Wikipedia said, “that event is considered the first Qanon incident.”

Terry Sayles does not consider himself an expert, but has lots of solid information to share. If you’re interested in learning more about these groups and how they came to be, and what they may mean for our future, join us for a provocative and interesting discussion with Terry Sayles at the Democratic Club of Quail Creek’s meeting on Sept. 18, at 3 p.m. The meeting will be held in the Ocotillo/Mesquite rooms in our Kino Conference Center.