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Antigovernment General

Antigovernment groups believe the federal government is tyrannical and they traffic in conspiracy theories about an illegitimate government of leftist elites seeking a “New World Order.” In addition to groups that generally espouse these ideas, the movement is comprised of sovereign citizens, militias, overt conspiracy propagandists and constitutional sheriff groups

Top takeaways

The Intelligence Project identified 266 antigovernment general groups, which believe the federal government is inherently tyrannical and traffic in conspiracy theories. These include groups which self-identify as militias, but do not have any proven paramilitary activity.

In 2021, the conspiratorial and permanently dubious view of government was pervasive, as evidence by the movement’s popularity on such issues as COVID-19 regulations, local school curriculum, the “Big Lie” voter fraud, border security and various technological advances such as 5G cell service. Antigovernment imagery, such as the Gadsden flag and the Three Percenter logo, was commonly displayed by adherents across the country. Antigovernment groups were linked up with other hard-right groups in 2021, as they often targeted the same marginalized communities and engaged in actual or threats of political violence.  

The Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol and attempt to stop the democratic transfer of power through the formalized counting of electoral votes was the most public moment for the antigovernment movement since the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995. Of the over 700 people charged with offenses ranging from trespassing to seditious conspiracy for the actions on Jan. 6, at least 25 were members of identified antigovernment organizations.

Faced with greater scrutiny and deplatforming, antigovernment groups reorganized and were dispersed in communities focused on localized activities – a mainstay tactic of the antigovernment movement. Some local chapters of national organizations disbanded or unaffiliated, including chapters of Oath Keepers, the American Patriots Three Percent, III% United Patriots, the Three Percenters/III%ers, and the State of Jefferson Formation.

Ammon Bundy’s People’s Rights activists held a variety of small-scale demonstrations for individual grievances and organized a series of stunts disobeying COVID-19 public health measures, one resulting in Bundy’s arrest, throughout 2021.

In the Southwest, antigovernment extremists set up camps in the desert engaging in vigilante activities including harassing migrants and humanitarian aid groups and coordinating with border patrol agents.

Key moments

  • Jan. 6 Insurrection, Jan. 6, 2021: Violent domestic extremists, including antigovernment militias such as the Oath Keepers, stormed the Capitol building in Washington, D.C., in an attempt to stop the certification of the results from the 2020 general election. Members of the group face multiple federal charges. At least five people died in connection with the attack. Among those arrested were members of the Proud Boys, the Three Percenter movement and the Oath Keepers. Attacks by antigovernment militia groups also took place at state Capitol buildings in Arizona, California, Colorado, Kansas, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
  • Mamalitia leader Denise Aguilar and Border Network News co-founder Anthony Aguero were both at the capitol on Jan 6. Aguero would later travel to the U.S. Mexico border in June 2021 with lawmakers including Lauren Boebert of Colorado and Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina.
  • Throughout summer 2021, Ammon Bundy’s People’s Rights Network threatens a standoff in Klamath Falls in Dan Nielsen and Grant Knoll protest water rights with The Klamath Tribes (Klamath-Modoc-Yahooskin). 
  • Patriot Network Summit, July 30-Aug. 1, 2021: In Dugspur, Virginia, John Pierce, attorney for Jan. 6 Defendant joins Jeanette Finicum and health conspiracy theorists for an event focused on the Malheur standoff, while introducing the additional martyrdom of the Jan. 6 arrestees and opposition to national COVID-19 health efforts.
  • ReAwaken America Health and Freedom Tour, July-Oct. 2021: QAnon conspiracy theorists gather with other antigovernment activists in Michigan, Florida, Oklahoma, Texas, Colorado and California. Speakers include founder Clay Clark, Mike Flynn, Roger Stone, Gene Hoe, Richard Mack, (Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association), Joe Oltmann, (FEC United) and Artur Pawlowski (Canadian Black Robe Regiment pastor).
  • Sanctuary Church’s Rod of Iron Freedom Festival, October 2021: Antigovernment and hard-right leaders came together in Greeley, Pennsylvania,to promote guns and conspiracies. Speakers included Steve Bannon, Joey Gibson, Rep. Rick Saccone, and Dan Fisher and Gary Haskell of the “Black Robed Regiment.” 
  • Rachel Malone of Gun Owners of America spoke at a Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers event in Mesquite, Texas on Oct. 23, 2021 where CSPOA leader Richard Mack and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton also spoke.
  • For God & Country Patriot Double Down, Oct. 23-25, 2021: In Las Vegas Nevada antigovernment activists hold a rally promoting QAnon and other conspiracies. Speakers include Amy and John Sabal, Mike Flynn, Ron Watkins, Gene Ho, Jordan Sather, Zak Paine, Arizona state Sen. And known Oath Keepers Wendy Rogers and Mark Finchem and former Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, Sheriff David Clarke.

What’s ahead

The antigovernment movement will look to expand upon the broad popularity of foundational ideas related to guns, government distrust and conspiracy theories. They will continue to capitalize on the current issues related to public health guidance, local school curriculum and practices, control of natural resources, claims of election fraud, immigration and national security. They will particularly seek to further mainstream their ideas and operationalize their power by running for office in large numbers from the local to federal level.

The movement will also seek to mitigate the damage to their brand in the wake of the Jan. 6 insurrection. Particularly, movement leaders will want to shift the media narrative and deflect legal, law-enforcement and public scrutiny. If historical trends are a guide, the movement could also see growth in response to federal government expansion and policy shifts under Biden.


Antigovernment groups are part of the antidemocratic hard-right movement. They believe the federal government is tyrannical and they traffic in conspiracy theories about an illegitimate government of leftist elites seeking a “New World Order.” Adherents and critics have in the past referred to this movement as the “Patriot” movement. 

A particularly prominent conspiracy in the antigovernment movement – and one conspiracy propagandist groups often push – involves an effort to create a New World Order through a One World Government, often facilitated by the United Nations in order to institute communism/socialism and take away private property rights. Another conspiracy alleges that there are plans to merge the United States, Canada and Mexico into a single country. Other notable conspiracies include the idea that the federal government is secretly planning to round up citizens and place them in concentration camps run by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Fears of impending gun control or weapons confiscations, either by the government or international agencies, also run rampant in antigovernment circles.

These conspiracy theories identify grievances, both real and imagined, and demonize groups they deem responsible for them. Conspiracy propagandists offer simple answers to complex problems, but often stop short of offering a specific solution to the threats, instead hinting at actions to be taken by movement members while being careful to maintain plausible deniability. Groups including The John Birch Society, WorldNetDaily (WND) and InfoWars are crucial to the antigovernment extremist movement in that they help craft and nurture the very conspiracy theories that animate the movement’s activists.

The antigovernment movement has experienced waves of popularity, including the 1990s. In 1996, the year after the Oklahoma City bombing, 858 groups were documented active in the U.S. Timothy McVeigh, one of the Oklahoma City bombers, was motivated by extreme antigovernment beliefs then circulating in the militia movement. He was also inspired by the racist novel The Turner Diaries, modeling his attack on a scene from the book. The antigovernment movement of the 1990s, typified by the proliferation of militias, was fueled by a string of incidents, including the 1992 Ruby Ridge standoff, the 1993 Branch Davidian Waco compound siege and the 1996 Montana Freemen standoff. Other factors included the struggling economy in the early 1990s, particularly in Western states, and the election of President Bill Clinton, who was characterized by antigovernment activists as a liberal intent on seizing their weapons. Similarly, the in the last 2000s and 2010s the antigovernment was animated by the Tea Party movement, with both national and local groups mobilizing resentment around the economic challenges of the great recession and in opposition to the presidency of Barack Obama.

The Jan. 6 insurrection saw Oath Keepers and Three Percenter group members arrested for charges relating to the insurrection. Three Percenter groups adhere to the dubious historical claim that only 3% of American colonists fought against the British during the War of Independence. 

The Oath Keepers were founded in 2009 by Elmer Stewart Rhodes, a veteran army paratrooper, law school graduate and former Ron Paul congressional staffer. Like some antigovernment groups and activists such as Jack McLamb’s Police Against the New World Order, Oath Keepers primarily recruits current and former law enforcement, military and first-responder personnel, though they also accept civilians. Unlike many other militia groups that are local, geographically-based groups, Oath Keepers has a centralized hierarchical leadership and tiered structure at national, state and local levels.

The antigovernment movement has also included groups whose focus was on tax protest and survivalism. While groups associated with both segments still exist, their prevalence has diminished in recent years. As the antigovernment movement has changed in the last 50 years, different segments have either grown or shrunk, but the key conspiracies and ideas are always taken up by other antigovernment groups and often reemerge later.

Three Percenters

Three Percenterism is one of three core components within the antigovernment militia movement, along with the Oath Keepers and traditional militia groups. The reference to 3% stems from the dubious historical claim that only 3% of American colonists fought against the British during the War of Independence.

Oath Keepers

The Oath Keepers, another core component of the militia movement, was founded in 2009 by Elmer Stewart Rhodes, a veteran army paratrooper, Yale Law School graduate and former Ron Paul congressional staffer. It primarily recruits current and former law enforcement, military and first-responder personnel, though it also accepts civilians. Unlike Three Percenterism, Oath Keepers was conceived as an organization with hierarchical leadership at national, state and local levels, one committed to establishing a network of activists it hopes will lay the groundwork for the creation of state militias.

2021 General Antigovernment Groups

map of antigovernment groups

This list encompasses groups that adhere to a general antigovernment ideology. In addition please see the following 2021 group lists: 92 Militia, 75 Sovereign Citizen, 3 Constitutional Sheriffs, and 52 Conspiracy Propagandists

Download the list with EIN (tax ID) numbers.


Antigovernment General

2nd Amendment
Halltown, MO

America’s Survival, Inc.
Owings, MD*

American Guard
American Patriot Council

American Patriot Party
Ashland, OR

American Patriot Vanguard
Rio Rancho, NM*
Illinois (two chapters)

American Patriots Three Percent
Jacksonville, FL
New York
North Carolina
South Carolina

American Policy Center
Warrenton, VA 

American Regulators
Goshen, OH*

American Revolution 2.0
Naperville, IL*

American States Assembly, The

AVOW (Another Voice of Warning)
Rigby, ID

AZ Desert Guardians
Pima County, AZ 

Berks County Patriots
Blandon, PA* 

Border Network News
El Paso, TX

Camp Constitution
Charlotte, NC 

Center for Self Governance
Republic, WA

Citizens Militia of Mississippi

Cold Dead Hands 2nd Amendment Advocacy Group
Greenville, TX*

Constitution Club, The
Riverside, CA

Constitution Party
Montgomery, AL
Apache Junction, AZ
Fort Smith, AZ
San Leandro, CA
Stanislaus County, CA
Arvada, CO
Jupiter, FL
Woodstock, GA
Wailuku, HI
Coeur D’Alene, ID
DuPage County, IL
Metropolis, IL
Bloomfield, IN
Pleasant Hill, IA
Lexington, KY
Eunice, PA
Kennebunk, ME
Rockville, MD
Grand Rapids, MI
Redwood Falls, MN
Newton County, MS
St. Charles county, MO
Pulaski County, MO
Cole County, MO
Piedmont, MO
Lincln, NE
Elko, NV
Auburn, NH
Albuquerque, NM
Buffalo, NY
Charlotte, NC
Bismarck, ND
New Lebanon, OH
Chandler, OK
Grants Pass, OR
Lancaster, PA
Lancaster County, PA
Taylors, SC
Sioux Falls, SD
Iredell, TX
Bountiful, UT
City of Newport News, VA
Spokane, WA
Weston, WV
Milwaukee, WV
Harville, WY

Constitutional Party of Alaska
Soldotna, AL

Constitutional Coalition of New York State
Cheektowaga, NY*

Constitutional Education & Consulting, KrisAnne Hall
Wellborn, FL

Constitutional Rights PAC
McLean, VA*

Cowboys Motorcycle Club

Defense Distributed
Austin, TX*

Democrats against U.N. Agenda 21
Santa Rosa, CA*

Eagle Forum
Alton, IL*
Dothan, AL
Birmingham, AL
Sacramento, CA
Orange County, CA
Santa Rosa, CA
Elko, NE
Bergenfield, NJ
Uniontown, OH
South Jordan, UT

Educate Yourself
Costa Mesa, CA

Faith Education Commerce (FEC United)
Parker, CO*
Denver, CO
Colorado Springs, CO
Grosse Pointe, MI

First State Pathfinders
Odessa, DE*

Free North Carolina
Cape Carteret, NC*

Freedom Coalition
Live Oak, CA*

Freedom First Society
Colorado Springs, CO*

Freedom Law School
Spring Hill, FL

Freedom Rising Sun
Logan, UT*

Garden State 2A Grassroots Organization
Mulica Hill, NJ*

Gideon Knox Group, MT Daily Gazette
Sidney, MT

Gilford, NH*

Gun Owners of America
Springfield, VA*
Harrisburg, PA 

Heartland Defenders

III% United Patriots

Illinois Sons of Liberty

Institute on the Constitution
Evansville, IN
Caroline County, MD
New Hampshire

Institution on the Constitution (aka American View), The
Pasadena, MD*
Auburn, AL

Liberty First University
Wellborn, FL

Liberty Under Fire
Taft, CA

Long Island Loud Majority
Lindenhhurst, NY*

Long Island Mutual Assistance Group
Nassau County, NY*

Madison’s Militia
New Lebanon, NH*

Maine Volunteer Responders
West Gardiner, ME*

Stockton, CA*
San Bernardino, CA

Marching Patriots, The
East Aurora, NY*

Maulitia Motorcycle Club, The
Dauphin, PA*

Micro Effect, The
Kamiah, ID

My Brother’s Threepers
Smithsburg, MD* 

National Constitutional Coalition of Patriotic Americans
Bridgeport, WV*
New Jersey

News with Views
Bowie County, TX

Next News Network
Northbrook, IL*

Oath Keepers
Orange County, NY
Swan Lake, NY
Bayville, NY
New York
Zuni, VA
Goochland, VA
Blackstone, VA
Norfolk, VA
Hanover County, VA
Bedford, VA
Fredericksburg, VA
Woodstock, IL
Ware, MA
Randolph, VT
Wakefield, VA

Ohio Patriots Alliance
Newark, OH*

Outpost of Freedom
Los Molinos, CA

Overpasses for America

Panhandle Patriots Riding Club

Patriot America
Middletown, OH*

Patriot Depot, The
Powder Springs, GA

Patriot Party of AZ
Glendale, AZ*

Patriot Shit Outfitters
Bethel, OH*

Patriots at Large

Patriots for Delaware
Georgetown, DE* 

Patriots for Ohio
Marysville, OH*

Pennsylvania Homeland Shield
Clarksburg, PA*

Pennsylvania Patriots United
Oley, Pennsyvlania*

Pennsylvania State Militia

People’s Rights
Emmett, ID*
Kalispell, MT

Renew America
Provo, UT* 

Rhode Island Patriots
Rhode Island*

Riders United for a Sovereign America, Corp.
Tempe, AZ* 

Rolling Patriots, The
East Aurora, NY*

Sarasota Patriots
Sarasota, FL*

Secure Arkansas
Little Rock, AR

Sons of Liberty Survival Outfitters
Sparta, NJ*

Southern Ohio Outdoorsmen
Peebles, OH

State of Jefferson Formation
Shasta County, CA*
Mariposa, CA
Stanislaus County, CA
Sonora, CA
Tehama County, CA
Siskiyou County, CA
Harney County, OR

TEA New York
Grand Island, NY*

Tea Party of Kentucky
Louisville, KY

Tenth Amendment Center
Los Angeles, CA*

Three Percent Liberty Defenders

Timber Unity

True Texas Project

Union of Three Percenter American Patriots
Phoenix, AZ*

United States Justice Foundation
Riverside, CA 

Utah Citizens Alarm

Utah Constitutional Militia
Salt Lake City, UT*

Voices against Tyranny
Lansing, MI

Watchmen of America

We Are Change
New York, NY*
San Dimas, CA
Fresno, CA
Los Angeles, CA
Walsenburg, CO
Denver, CO
Waterbury, CT
Orlando, FL
Tampa, FL
Rockford, IL
Chicago, IL
Big Rapids, MI
Las Vegas, NV
Reno, NV
New Jersey
New York
Raleigh, NC
North Carolina
Corpus Christi, TX
Blacksburg, VA

West Coast Patriots

Wild Bill for America
South Daytona, FL