Left Coast Right Watch

January 6th

  • In our first installment on the Oath Keepers data dump, we met Ed Durfee Jr and Brett Wynkoop, respectively the membership director and system administrator for the Oath Keepers. When the organization was abruptly deplatformed in the wake of the Capitol riots on January 6, they worked night and day to get the website back online and restore the Oath Keepers' command and control network. Since then the Oath Keepers chat server has been taken offline, leaving many of them back where they were at the beginning of the year - isolated, angry, and alone.

    Founder Stewart Rhodes liked to boast that the Oath Keepers' membership numbered over 30,000. Yet only a few rallied to the call last spring. Out of 4500 granted access to their private chat by Wynkoop - or his more dashing online persona, John Paul Jones - fewer than 300 took up the invitation. And for those who did, it wasn’t always smooth sailing.

    Today, we examine what happened when Stewart Rhodes replaced the Florida state chapter leader a day after the Capitol riots. John Odell was supposed to bring stability to an organization in crisis, but instead he amassed a trove of social security numbers and concealed carry permits, and granted fully vetted membership status to a 17 year old boy.

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    UPDATE 10 OCTOBER 2021 9:30PM: A timeline document of the J6 riot was previously reported as being created by the Oath Keepers' legal team. It was, in actuality, created by a Twitter user as crowd-sourced tool for identifying capitol rioters. The section about it has been removed.

    In early October, journalistic nonprofit Distributed Denial of Secrets released a trove of data collected from the Oath Keepers website. LCRW has been studying the material since the release. It reveals an organization mired in dysfunction and distrust – its membership directionless and often paranoid, its administration slipshod and laughably insecure, and its leadership seemingly running away from the members. Most of all, it shows the grandiose claims of its founder, Stuart Rhodes, are little more than hype and lies.

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