A recent Department of Justice guide for investigators of criminal and extremist groups lists “constitutionalists” and “survivalists” alongside organizations like Al-Qaeda and the Aryan Brotherhood. The 120-page, “Law Enforcement Sensitive” guide to “Investigating Terrorism and Criminal Extremism–Terms and Concepts” describes itself as “a glossary designed primarily as a tool for criminal justice professionals to enhance their understanding of words relating to extremist terminology, phrases, activities, symbols, organizations, and selected names that they may encounter while conducting criminal investigations or prosecutions of members of extremist organizations.”
Constitutionalist, defined by Random House’s 2010 Dictionary as an “adherent or advocate of constitutionalism or of an existing constitution”, is described in the report as a “generic term for members of the ‘patriot’ movement”. Survivalists are described in the document as fearing a “coming collapse of civilization” and are trying to prepare themselves for this collapse. Such individuals are said to have “typically stockpiled food, water, and weapons, especially the latter, and instructed themselves on topics ranging from first aid to childbirth to edible plants”.
The guide defines the term “New World Order” as being “used by conspiracy theorists to refer to a global conspiracy designed to implement worldwide socialism”. The Bilderberg Group, Trilateral Commission, and Council on Foreign Relations are described as organizations “targeted by right-wing extremists for conspiring to dominate the world”. The guide also defines “One World Government” as the “concept that there will ultimately be a single governing body that will control the world”, adding that “some right-wing extremists fear this occurring, believing that white people will be in the minority, with Jewish people ultimately controlling the world”.
While the document’s introduction does state that “the fact that an entry appears in this publication does not imply a connection to illegal activity”, it goes on to say that the guide consists of “terms that may be germane to members of an extremist movement” or are “singularly employed by specific extremist groups”. The obvious result of the inclusion of terms such as “Bilderberg Group” and “Trilateral Commission” in a report titled “Investigating Terrorism and Criminal Extremism” is that law enforcement officials unaware of these groups will tend to associate legitimate discussion as “extremist” speech. This diminishes the credibility of any person attempting to rationally discuss such groups and fosters a perception that any discussion of such groups could be associated with a supposedly “extremist” ideology.
Examples of “Extremist” Terminology
Black Helicopters: Unmarked dark helicopters allegedly observed by many members of the “patriot” movement, who claim that the helicopters are part of some vast conspiracy, perhaps involving the United Nations or the “New World Order.” Various explanations have been offered for some of the sightings, but the term has since entered the popular vocabulary and is often used as a generic, sometimes satirical reference to conspiracy-related beliefs.
Bilderbergers (Bilderberg Group): Along with the Trilateral Commission and the Council on Foreign Relations, one of the three groups targeted by right-wing extremists for conspiring to dominate the world.
Collection (of Information): The identification, location, and recording/storage of unanalyzed information, typically from an original source and using both human and technological means, for input into the intelligence cycle to determine its usefulness in meeting a defined tactical or strategic intelligence goal.
Concentration Camps: Detention camps supposedly being built or already built by the United States government, according to conspiracy theorists.
Constitutionalists: A generic term for members of the “patriot” movement. It is now often used to refer to members of the sovereign citizen or common law court movement. Sometimes the word “constitutionist” is also used.
Council on Foreign Relations (CFR ): Along with the Bilderbergers and the Trilateral Commission, one of the three key groups that conspiracy theorists claim operate behind the scenes to control the world and to establish the “New World Order.”
Executive Orders: The formal means by which the President of the United States determines the conduct of business in the Executive Branch. Typically, such executive orders take two forms: (1) orders governing administrative or policy matters in Executive Branch agencies or (2) orders for which the authority is derived from congressional authorizations. The “patriot” movement, however, contends that executive orders are “presidential laws” that bypass Congress and subvert the Constitution.
Flag of Peace: The American flag preferred by the “patriot” movement; a red, white, and blue flag without any gold trim, braid, balls, tassels, eagles, fringe, or spear on the flag or pole. Patriots believe that any other American flag is a military flag that denotes military jurisdiction. Only under the “flag of peace” do U.S. citizens receive their constitutional rights and due process.
Globalization: This term generally refers to the denationalization of economies, markets, products, and populations brought about by ever faster travel, improved communications, and advances in technology.
Illuminati: An intellectual society and social club formed by a university professor, Adam Weishaupt (1748–1811), in southern Germany in the 1770s in the spirit of the Enlightenment. It was suppressed by Bavarian authorities in the 1780s. Weishaupt spent the rest of his life writing about the Illuminati. People who believe Illuminati conspiracy theories believe the society never died away but lived on, run by people intent on controlling the world through devious means.
Information Warfare: Synonymous with cyberwarfare, information warfare is the offensive and defensive use of information and information systems to deny, exploit, corrupt, or destroy an adversary’s information, information-based processes, information systems, and computer-based networks while protecting one’s own. Such actions are designed to achieve advantages over military or business adversaries.
Jack-Booted Thug (JBT ): A law enforcement officer (especially federal) draped in combat fatigues or other military or paramilitary uniform, wearing a ski mask or similar headgear guaranteeing anonymity, wielding powerful military weapons, and utilizing other military vehicles and gear.
New World Order: A term used by conspiracy theorists to refer to a global conspiracy designed to implement worldwide socialism.
One-World Government: The concept that there will ultimately be a single governing body that will control the world. Some right-wing extremists fear this occurring, believing that white people will be in the minority, with Jewish people ultimately controlling the world.
Open Source Information or Intelligence: Individual data, records, reports, and assessments that may shed light on an investigatory target or event and do not require any legal process or any type of clandestine collection techniques for a law enforcement agency to obtain. Such information is obtained through means that meet copyright and commercial requirements of vendors, as well as being free of legal restrictions to access by anyone who seeks that information.
Patriot Movement: The “patriot” movement is a general term used by its members to describe the collective movements and individuals on the extreme right wing. In one form or another, this practice dates back many decades; in the 1930s, many on the far right referred to themselves as “superpatriots.” In the 1960s and 1970s, it was common to refer to the “Christian Patriot” movement, but this term is less common now than then. Among the types of individuals that can be found within the “patriot” movement are white supremacists, sovereign citizens, tax protesters, militia members, and sometimes antiabortion or anti-environmental groups.
Patriots for Profit: A term used to describe those individuals in the “patriot” movement who perpetrate scams and frauds against other people, usually fellow members of the movement. It also refers to people who attempt to make money by selling various products and “kits” to members of the movement. By far the most numerous of the “patriots for profit” are the people who cater to would-be tax protesters.
Pirate Radio: The operation of radio transmitters without a license from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Although some of the most notable pirate stations, such as Free Radio Berkeley, have been primarily left-wing in orientation, a large number of pirate stations adhere to right-wing or antigovernment philosophies.
Sovereign Citizen: A term used to describe adherents to a philosophy derived from the group Posse Comitatus that posits that there are two types of citizens: “Fourteenth Amendment Citizens,” who are subject to the laws and taxes of the federal and state governments, and sovereign citizens, who are subject only to “the common law.” Sovereign citizens claim that they have absolute mastery over all their property (including freedom from taxes, regulations, ordinances, or zoning restrictions), that they essentially do not have to pay taxes (aside from tariffs and a few other insignificant taxes), that they are not citizens of the United States but are “nonresident aliens” with respect to that “illegal corporation,” that the only court which has jurisdiction to try them for any matter is a common law court, and that they can never be arrested or tried for a crime or matter in which there is no complaining victim, as well as various other notions. Typical signs that someone is a sovereign citizen include the use of punctuation between their middle and last names (i.e., John Wayne; Doe); a refusal to have a social security card or any paper, license, or document related to automobile ownership or driving; a refusal to use zip codes; and the displaying on various items—from envelopes to paper money, to time cards, or to forms—of the phrase “UCC 1-207,” or variants thereof. Sovereign citizens are often also known as state citizens, freemen, preamble citizens, common law citizens, or other appellations.
Survivalists: The survivalist movement feared a coming collapse of civilization, generally as the result of nuclear war, and tried to prepare themselves to survive it. Survivalists typically stockpiled food, water, and weapons, especially the latter, and instructed themselves on topics ranging from first aid to childbirth to edible plants.
Tax-Protest Movement: A movement consisting of people who do not simply want to avoid paying taxes but generally claim they should not have to pay them. The right-wing movement started in the 1950s and 1960s and has concentrated on interpreting the Constitution, U.S. law, and the tax code, in particular, in such a way as to be able to claim that most people do not have to pay income taxes. The motivating force behind the right-wing tax-protest movement was to find loopholes, actual or manufactured, that would allow people to claim that they had no tax obligation.
Trilateral Commission: A group, along with the Bilderbergers and the Council on Foreign Relations, that is viewed by the “patriot” movement as being one of the major organizations seeking to implement the “New World Order.” Formed in 1973 by David Rockefeller and Zbigniew Brzezinski, the Trilateral Commission consists of slightly over 300 members from Europe, Japan, and North America (the three main democratic-industrial regions of the world, thus the term “trilateral”). Members include prominent figures in the media, politics, business, and academia. Conspiracy theorists claim it is a group of elitists determined to promote a one-world government.