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.
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