The summer of 2017 marked the beginning of work. As Trooper Kelly had warned, building an organization proved to be anything but exciting. It was slow, it was dull, it was frustrating. I often felt like I was trying to drive a thousand blind geese through one tiny wicket. But slowly, the Christian Marine Corps grew.
The first thing I did was identify a small group of people I could turn to for advice. I knew better than to think I had all the answers, or all the questions, either. The questions were more important, at least at the start. As Sir Francis Bacon said some centuries back, if you start out with questions, you may end up with answers. But if you start out with answers, you will end up with questions.
The first and most important question was, what did we want to do? We knew the answer to that one: we wanted to take our country back. We wanted to take it back for our traditional, Western, Christian culture – in short; for the Ten Commandments.
We realized this was a tall order. We were living in a country where a teacher who posted the Ten Commandments on the wall of his classroom would be fired. (By 2016, in Massachusetts, he would also be fired if he did not put up a state-supplied poster titled “The Ten Commandments of Safe Sex.”)
But we also knew the cultural Marxists, seemingly so powerful, had reached what in war is called the “culminating point.” They were running out of gas. As they stuck their big noses into the business of more and more average people, they were building up a tremendous backlash. Our goal was to shape, strengthen, and guide that backlash.
That was itself a challenge, but one we thought we could manage, God willing. To further limit the task, we decided we would focus on New England.
The second question we faced was, how do we do it? Here too, we had an answer: by offering the other good people who had the same goal our expertise in war. We sought only to be advisors, never controllers – a true general staff.
The secret of success in the culture war would be “leaderless resistance,” where people worked independently but with efforts harmonized by shared objectives. The worst thing we could do was create some kind of formal, hierarchical organization. That would be easy for the other side to attack, it would demoralize our own troops by reducing them to pawns on someone else’s chessboard, and it would leave us dependent on one or a handful of brains when we could have many brains thinking and acting for us. Also, it would generate office politics as people within the organization struggled for power. I’d seen enough office politics in the Corps to last me the rest of my days.
Ultimately, the Christian Marines did not want to be about power. This, we recognized, was our biggest difference from all the other factions. We did not want power. We did not want a new country built around power, or struggles for power.
Power was itself an evil, maybe the greatest evil. Tolkien was right; the Ring of Power, which is power itself, cannot be used for good. That was another lesson we learned the hard way in the U.S.A. At one time, America had shunned power, refused power, at home and abroad. Those had been our happy days. Then the “Progressives” came along, who thought the power of government could be used for good. Eventually, they decided the power of government was good in itself – because they controlled it.
That’s how it always works: power looks good to whoever has it. But it isn’t. Our war was in a way the strangest war of all, a war to bury power, not to seize it.
Advisors – only – we would be. In the heat of battle, when someone had to decide and act, fast, we would do that. And our advice itself would be action, because it would counsel action. But in the end, our goal was to return to our plows, Cincinnati, not Caesars.
Only with these questions answered did we turn to the third (too many people started with this one): what kind of organization would we be?
First, we would start small. The old German motto was correct: “Better no officer than a bad officer.”
That meant we could not simply recruit former Marines. There were people from other services, and people who had never been in the military at all, whom we would want. And, truth be told, the number of Marines who really understood war was small. The Corps had put strong emphasis on studying war, beginning in the 1980s, but most Marine officers blew it off. Their focus was on looking good in the uniform and maxing the Physical Fitness Test, they read nothing beyond the sports page and their only talk was about trout fishing and getting promoted. To us, or to anyone, they were useless.
One of our great fears was that if actual fighting started, civilians who shared our values would turn to retired senior officers for leaders. Most of these guys, the colonels and generals, had never been soldiers. They were milicrats – military bureaucrats. In the old American military, once you made major, further promotion was based on how well you used your knee pads and lip balm, not military ability. If our side ended up led by milicrats, we would be defeated before the battles even began. We would be like the Whites in the Russian Civil War, who got all the old Tsarist generals as their leaders. The Reds got guys like Trotsky, who were serious students of war. We all knew who had won that one.
Because we would stay small, a few hundred men at most, we could avoid formal processes for recruiting. In fact, we avoided formal processes for everything, because the focus of any process becomes the process, not the product. We would accept new Christian Marines only by consensus, and we would consider candidates only on the basis of what they had done, not what they told us. We wanted to see actions, not words: articles or books published, speeches given in places where they counted, people mobilized, victories in free play military maneuvers (and later, as it turned out, in real combat), victories over the Establishment – results.
Das Wesentliche ist die Tat.
A final rule we adopted was one I insisted on, as only someone who has just learned something important himself can insist. Any Christian Marine had to know the canon of our culture. He had to undergo my “baptism by immersion” in the great books and ideas of Western civilization. We couldn’t hope to fight for that culture, and fight well for it, unless we knew what it was. A few of our recruits came to us with that knowledge – more accurately, that understanding. The rest had to start where I had started. That was true regardless of how well they understood war. An officer should never be a mere technician.
For the next couple years, as we slowly grew in numbers, we kept a low profile. We weren’t exactly a secret organization, but we didn’t put out any press releases, either. If we succeeded, people would know us by our works, which were all that counted. If we failed, better our failures remained obscure. In any case, Stabsofficiere haben keine Namen – general staff officers have no names.
Carefully, we built our cadre. New Christian Marines were recruited, and accepted, one by one. I spent a lot of time doing detective work. When our side won a battle in the culture war, like keeping pro-homosexual propaganda out of the schools, who had provided the leadership? That might be someone we wanted. When a Marine – or anyone – who had written knowledgeably about war moved to New England, he was potentially one of us. Where did he stand on the cultural issues? Were there other men who believed as we did in key positions in the state legislature, or the National Guard, or the state police? If so, they could be important to us.
Did we infiltrate the power structure in the New England state governments? Of course, wherever we could. In Massachusetts and lower New England, we didn’t get very far; the cultural Marxists were fully in charge there. But we gradually made some key friends in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont. Some of those friends became Christian Marines. Others just knew who we were and what we had to offer.
We also infiltrated the active-duty forces. Our goal was not to overthrow the United States government. We were never enemies of the old U.S. Constitution. But we knew that government and its Establishment were going to fall, of their own weight, corruption, ineptness, and disinterest in actually governing. We were looking, always, to the time after it fell. We wanted as many active duty Marines – and soldiers, sailors, and airmen – as we could get who would come to New England when it happened, and help us save something worthwhile from the wreckage.
By the first decade of the 21st century, the message that the U.S.A. was finished, that it was only a question of when it came apart, not whether, found many a receptive ear. Books like Martin van Creveld’s The Transformation of War had opened quite a few minds. Only the people in the capital, in Washington, could not see it coming. They were like the citizens of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, watching the rain come down in buckets but not thinking about the dam.
For us, in Maine, the dam started to crumble in the Fall of 2020.