These Desperate Far-Right Grifters Are Trying to Recruit a Militia

A collective of far-right media figures have launched a militia—and like any serious militarized group of extremist quacks, they’re recruiting on Instagram, according to a new report from researchers at media watchdog Media Matters for America.

Dubbed “North American Patriot and Liberty Militia,” or “NAPALM” for short, the group is led by people whose names you’re better off not remembering, such as white supremacist conspiracy theorist Stew Peters, who, between naps in the tanning bed, spends his days screaming at a camera that “Jews control media” and “diversity isn’t America’s strength” while directing his viewers to buy guns.

Joining Stew Peters—whose name matches his mind perfectly if you say it very quickly—is QAnon-loving podcaster Ann Vandersteel, right-wing radio host Pete Santilli, who routinely threatens public officials with violence (how else do you get enough listeners to turn ad revenue?), and former Fox host Rochelle Richardson, who still goes by “Silk” of the MAGA duo “Diamond and Silk,” even though it disbanded after Diamond died. Joining the media blabbernauts are a man so obsessed with violence he was banned from running for office and a woman who was involved in the 2022 ultracringe “People’s Convoy”—an anti-vax protest where conspiracy theorists and QAnon adherents literally drove around in circles while living in a parking lot.

While any calls for far-right mobilizing around violence is cause for concern, “NAPALM” looks at first blush to be a QVC-rebrand of the Oath Keepers, itself a deeply embarrassing movement endeared by former cops and retired military desperate to find meaning by cosplaying as G.I. Joes instead of discussing their midlife crises to a licensed therapist. On announcing its creation, the group’s website claims to already have “300+ local chapters” and “over 20,000+ members” spanning “active sheriffs, former military, farmers, and pastors.”

The group also insists, in defiance of reality and for the feds, who are most definitely watching, “This is not a fringe / extremist group.” Shortly after Media Matters published its article announcing the group’s use of Instagram to recruit, Instagram nuked—or should I say napalmed—their account, as recruiting for militias and extremist groups is strictly against Meta’s terms of service.