March 5th, 2013
12:05 PM ET

Anti-government extremist groups increasing, say experts

By Callie Carmichael, CNN

(CNN) - The number of American "patriot" extremist groups has reached a record level, according to a new study, and experts are warning of a wave of anti-government violence.

A report released Tuesday by the Southern Poverty Law Center counted 1,360 "patriot" extremist groups in 2012 - up by 7% from 2011. The study defines patriot groups as anti-government militias driven by their fear that authorities will strip them of their guns and liberties.

"They believe the Constitution is being raped. With hate groups, things are going to get worse because they feel like they're in battle," said David Gletty a former FBI informant who spent time undercover with various militia and extremist groups. "It's not surprising with their hatred of President (Barack) Obama that there are even more hate groups out there."

The study said California has the most patriot extremist groups, with 81.

The SPLC report also offers a bit of good news: The number of "immigrant-bashing" extremist groups - so-called nativism organizations - is way down from 2011, falling by 88%.

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Filed under: History • Immigration • Race
soundoff (62 Responses)
  1. Biglou1964

    Hey the Klan, one of the Democrat's prouder moments in history. You Dems don't mention the Klan too much these day. Oh yes, you founded the original KKK, not the newer version we see today. Yeah big difference.

    April 17, 2013 at 5:09 am | Report abuse |
  2. john

    What!!! This cant be...after all, the great uniter, the great messiah, the hope and change president is still in charge. You know the one who promised to bring the world together, who achieved the nobel peace prize.....the only thing more pathetic than this lefty loon bafoon are the ones who voted for hime...TWICE!!!

    April 15, 2013 at 7:37 am | Report abuse |
    • sam stone

      both the left and the right have their loonies, as you have so admirably shown

      April 16, 2013 at 4:22 am | Report abuse |
  3. Maria O'Connor

    I think that anthropology should be a mandatory class in high school in each state of the union, so people will understand that races are just skin deep, due to environmental reasons. Myths are hard to die, but a DNA will clarify some people minds, because "whites" with more than four generations on this country have some black blood, blacks have some white blood, and most latinos show a surprising "caucasian" result.

    April 13, 2013 at 1:03 am | Report abuse |
  4. whta

    they speak of militias and show the KKK?? What the heck?

    April 12, 2013 at 7:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • sam stone

      no, they spoke of extremists and showed the KKK

      April 16, 2013 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Johnny

    Wow could that video be any less informative... We were exposed to just 1min. and 30sec. of discussion, from just one person. The video wasn't even long enough for him to complete his thoughts. What a waste of time. CNN should be proud. Just post some "shock" headline and allow a minute of incomplete video nonsense and call it a day. Who is really in the power seat, "us" or the "main stream media"?

    April 12, 2013 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sabboth

      You are right! Patriot is not extremism in most cases. There are some groups out there but being a patriot, Christian, or for the 2nd amendment, is not anti-government extremism. It is for those things.

      April 13, 2013 at 9:16 am | Report abuse |
  6. ben

    Surely most of these degrading comments are being made by CNN employees pushing their agenda as always. The media is OWNED and are told what to say and do. Honest journalism is a thing if the past. Do not underestimate the power of the people. The true racists in society IS our government.

    April 12, 2013 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
    • sam stone

      oooh, "the agenda"

      April 12, 2013 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
  7. fredisdead

    i dont think you will find any group less American and less patriotic than these wing nuts!

    April 12, 2013 at 9:29 am | Report abuse |
  8. Big Man

    According to the Jewish media and pundits.....oh,, and profiteers like ADL and SPLC.

    April 12, 2013 at 6:46 am | Report abuse |
  9. amongidiots

    Keep shoving your lgbt agenda down our throats cnn, and more will join. People are sick of it, what do you expect

    April 12, 2013 at 5:55 am | Report abuse |
    • sam stone

      we expect that americans should support equal rights for all americans, kingofidiots.

      the supreme court is going to strike down the ban due to the 14th amendment just like they did with interracial marriage. bigots will scream and cry. they can still be bigots, but there will be equal protection under the law. if that bothers you, i suggest adopting the cobain exit strategy

      April 12, 2013 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
  10. David Laidig

    Excuse me it is not Patriot....it is Hateroit!

    April 12, 2013 at 5:05 am | Report abuse |
  11. lisaiam79

    These groups of inhumane ppl should be charged with crimes i mean who do they think they are this country has suffered enough by the stupidity of racisim,all people are human no matter the race when is the us gonna start standing up for the right thing.we are minorities of this country going back to day one.and these kkk groups ate abusing their children by these teachings so charge them with that also.i could find a million crimes here the us needs to take action before we end up with our very own al kida group what these ppl practice is no differant still teaching hatred

    April 12, 2013 at 1:24 am | Report abuse |
  12. Bob

    Is there anyone less patriotic than the self proclaimed Patriots of the last 4 years?

    April 11, 2013 at 7:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • notraitors

      How about all those (from the Oval Office on down) who want to turn this country into a European welfare state and who think appeasing our enemies will actually work?

      April 12, 2013 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Lyn

    Please do not use the word patriots... The words that applied are "They Just Don't Like Change"

    April 11, 2013 at 7:22 pm | Report abuse |
  14. timelord7202

    For all the wrong reasons; these people are typically (not always) racist, but are anti-Liberal.

    If they really bothered to look at Obama's record, he's far closer to Bush or Reagan in practice. Maybe they believe he's playing chess and is as much communist as the Chinese companies that "American" companies offshore jobs to while our tax money, as corporate welfare, props them up...?

    April 11, 2013 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
  15. SmellsFishy

    Obama needs to declare open season on these frail minded KKK's members.. maybe some airstrikes at their circle jerks.

    April 11, 2013 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse |
  16. beatstockpromotersdotcom

    Would be nice if some group made a group who's sole purpose was to kill Klu Klux Clan members

    April 11, 2013 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      I would too. But they'd point out that we are targeting a certain racial or religious group, or in this case a cult.

      April 11, 2013 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • notraitors

      Say, aren't you the same people who tell us how much the right encourages violence?

      April 12, 2013 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Greg

      And then we make a group targeting the group that targeted killing KKK members? Seriously killing anybody in this situation is wrong. Yeah it's not great what they believe but that is still their right in this country. So long as their is no damage done to property or injury against a specific person they are free to do whatever they want. But are we really going to worry about a group whose highest officer is known as the Grand Wizard? Let them burn crosses and wear silly hoods. The rest of us can move on and be more productive than them. Eventually, it will go away to just very small pockets in certain areas. Racism will always exist. Asking if we can kill KKK members kinda puts you on the other side of the same coin. Violence against someone who doesn't fit your mold is a bigoted statement regardless of how wacked out their ideas may be. You be the better person.

      June 20, 2013 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
  17. Diogonese

    Dude, you hit the bully's eye.

    April 11, 2013 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
  18. jem0276

    "The tree of liberty must be watered from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."


    April 11, 2013 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • timelord7202

      Funny thing, liberty... we proclaim to cherish and want everyone to have it with one hand, but then on the other hand we're strangling people who may not agree with how "our" definition of "freedom" is defined.

      Still, a patriot is not a tyrant, and real freedom does not mean one can use their freedom to take away another's.

      Ethics is a wonderful thing, or is supposed to be.

      April 11, 2013 at 6:42 pm | Report abuse |
  19. SalveofGodObamaTheBankersBestFriend

    Continue to be trendy and do what you are told. Just remember over 100 million humans were killed in the name of communism to build a utopia. Who killed those people? GOVERNMENT. The biggest murderer of humans in the history of man kind is GOVERNMENT which is called DEMOCIDE. How many American's need to die before the winning team is satisfied? Why does Government have the right to choose who lives and who dies? You don't have that power. I don't have that power. If you want to be a slave you will get your wish. You deserve what you get as others will get what you and the government feel they deserve just for telling the truth.

    April 11, 2013 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • timelord7202

      Do corporations, particularly the private insurance company "death panels" that are on record denying newborns coverage due to "preexisting conditions"?

      Happy researching.

      April 11, 2013 at 6:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      Cipher for us Jethro.

      April 11, 2013 at 7:21 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Steve

    But the government IS trying to strip us of guns and liberties. After all we just had to stop congress for a day to get the administration to admit it wasn't allowed to kill Americans on American soil without due process. It was apparently an open question still. Of course they still maintain that it you go abroad, all bets are off and they can kill you then if they feel like it.

    April 7, 2013 at 11:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • College student

      Some of the groups that are out there have bad ideas and radical ideas; however there are a lot of other groups out there standing for good values that everyone can respect. The reason that this is happening is because since Obama has taken office more of our liberties have been taken away he has passed many laws that give the government power and take it away from the people. So for CNN to try and say that it is because people are raciest is false information and being a younger person I am frankly disgusted at how the government has handled major issues that have come up during my life time.

      April 11, 2013 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
      • Tim

        Please provide examples of how our liberties are being taken away, and let me guess to which group you belong!

        April 11, 2013 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
  21. krehator

    Just a coincidence that they typically side with Republicans?

    April 7, 2013 at 6:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • wahoo1969

      I don't think you quite understand these groups... They are about as anti-establishment, anti-government and dangerous as you can get. Do you seriously think these groups actively pursue and discus politics and vote?

      April 7, 2013 at 6:58 pm | Report abuse |
      • timelord7202

        That depends. Who are they voting for, and what's the perceived difference?

        April 11, 2013 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Keith

      ^^^funny how they are mostly in liberal states

      April 11, 2013 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
  22. robjh1

    Interesting. And we were lead to believe that with the election of the first black president racism had died. Thank you for the fantasy media.

    April 7, 2013 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Keith

      no one said racism died...its like violence or anything else its always going to be around....

      April 11, 2013 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
      • bonny

        Keith, you're so correct. Hatered will always be around, it was strong when Jesus walked the earth. The way I look at it, if a person hates an individual due to their, race, religion, whom they marry or friends with, truthfully they need to look at themselves. My Granny would say, to hate someone so much you cant possibly love yourself!

        April 11, 2013 at 8:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      Prior to 2008 I thought it was practically dead. Only alive in the deep south...... The I saw the outright hatred for this good man right from day one.

      April 11, 2013 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Victor

    It's very sad the word patriot has been corrupted in such a way. A patriot used to be someone who loves his country. Today it means someone who would love to fight his country.

    April 7, 2013 at 9:15 am | Report abuse |
  24. Bud

    You need only reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence. – Charles Beard

    April 7, 2013 at 8:53 am | Report abuse |
  25. Ed F.

    Just Christians being Christians.

    April 4, 2013 at 6:58 pm | Report abuse |
  26. David

    These hateful people are not patriots. Also, patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels.

    March 28, 2013 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Lucifer

    Wow. Okay, let me clear up the confusion. This article is NOT calling patriots extremists. The article is sarcasticaly using partiots to describe extremists, because groups like the KKK like to call themselves patriots. i would hope the average person could see and correctly interpret obvious quotation marks.

    March 27, 2013 at 7:11 pm | Report abuse |
  28. Lucifer

    The article is saying that the extremists call themselves patriots, while the term is actualy quite ironic, since they are talking about anti-government groups.

    March 27, 2013 at 6:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • TXLibertarian

      It's also interesting that you would equate anti-government with being un-patriotic. Government and country are intertwined but distinct. I would call American revolutionaries patriotic and anti-government (British government) at the same time.

      April 5, 2013 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
  29. PaulC

    Probably a better term would be "paranoid extremists". There is absolutely no evidence to support the delusion that the gov. is going to raid their homes and take their guns, bible, 4th grade diploma or big gulp.
    It's really a temporary situation. The level of lunacy will decrease as soon as a white person is elected president.

    March 26, 2013 at 7:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kita

      I think what Paul c meant was that the people hat hate Obama for being a black president will finally stop acting so crazy once another white president is elected

      April 13, 2013 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
  30. Susan Jones

    Odd that I replied to DavidMann and my patriotic response did not post. hammmmm

    March 24, 2013 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
  31. Paul

    How about we take back the country from all the stupid people that don't know the difference between are and our. Or those that don't know how to use capital letters properly.

    March 21, 2013 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lucifer

      You should have made your post a compound sentence, because now "Those" in the second sentence is an indiscript noun; also, you are saying that we will take the power from one of the two groups you described, not all under either description.

      March 27, 2013 at 7:07 pm | Report abuse |
  32. Jcraw

    "California has the most patriot extremist groups, with 81" California??? Who knew! Unfortunately you can't stop people from Hating... It will only get worse as we become one big melting pot, one world future.

    March 21, 2013 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • sdovhasov

      It's probably due to the fact that California has such a large population. Nevertheless, I was shocked as well.

      March 21, 2013 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
  33. david mann

    If it's not Halloween, and you're prancing around wearing a sheet, you're a racist coward. KKK, and all the rest of these so called "Patriot groups", are just a bunch of cowardly bullies. The only time they take action is when there's a mob of them against the people they hate. Pathetic!

    March 21, 2013 at 9:10 am | Report abuse |

    YOU BET!!!

    March 15, 2013 at 10:46 pm | Report abuse |