Catechesis is an education in the faith of children, young people and adults which includes especially the teaching of Christian doctrine imparted, generally speaking, in an organic and systematic way, with a view to initiating the hearers into the fullness of Christian life. -- Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 5 (quoting John Paul II).
Wikipedia tells us that "in the early church, new converts . . . were instructed (catechized) in the basic elements of the faith such as the Apostles' Creed, Lord's Prayer, and sacraments in preparation for baptism." Although I'm a Baptist, this always struck me as a useful tool to make sure that all of the folks who professed a creed actually understood the faith. Catechism hardly contains all the elements of a particular belief system, but it puts the newbie on the right path of study. I have been convinced for some time that the Three Percent needed a catechism of our own, since there are a number of folks who seem to want to reinterpret (if not hijack) the original concept for their own purposes. To quote Obi Wan Kenobi, "It takes strength to resist the dark side. Only the weak embrace it!"
The Three Percent idea, the movement, the ideal, was designed to be a simple, powerful concept that could not be infiltrated or subjected to agents provocateurs like many organizations that I observed in the constitutional militia movement of the 90s. In this I was both correct and dead wrong, as I have been battling folks almost since the beginning who have misunderstood, deliberately or not, what the Three Percent was in history, what it is today and what its aims are for the future.
What is a "Three Percenter"?
During the American Revolution, the active forces in the field against the King's tyranny never amounted to more than 3% of the colonists. They were in turn actively supported by perhaps 10% of the population. In addition to these revolutionaries were perhaps another 20% who favored their cause but did little or nothing to support it. Another one-third of the population sided with the King (by the end of the war there were actually more Americans fighting FOR the King than there were in the field against him) and the final third took no side, blew with the wind and took what came.
Three Percenters today do not claim that we represent 3% of the American people, although we might. That theory has not yet been tested. We DO claim that we represent at least 3% of American gun owners, which is still a healthy number somewhere in the neighborhood of 3 million people. History, for good or ill, is made by determined minorities. We are one such minority. So too are the current enemies of the Founders' Republic. What remains, then, is the test of will and skill to determine who shall shape the future of our nation.
The Three Percent today are gun owners who will not disarm, will not compromise and will no longer back up at the passage of the next gun control act. Three Percenters say quite explicitly that we will not obey any further circumscription of our traditional liberties and will defend ourselves if attacked. We intend to maintain our God-given natural rights to liberty and property, and that means most especially the right to keep and bear arms. Thus, we are committed to the restoration of the Founders' Republic, and are willing to fight, die and, if forced by any would-be oppressor, to kill in the defense of ourselves and the Constitution that we all took an oath to uphold against enemies foreign and domestic.
The Doctrine of the Three Percent in a few sentences.
The Three Percent are the citizens the Founders counted on to save the Republic when everyone else abandoned it. And we will. There will be no more free Wacos and no more free Katrinas. For we are the Three Percent. We will not disarm. You cannot convince us. You cannot intimidate us. You can kill us, if you think you can. But remember, we’ll shoot back. We are not going away. We are not backing up another inch. And there are THREE MILLION OF US. The next move, if any, is up to the aspiring tyrants among the domestic enemies of the Constitution.
This is not to say that all politics, even in the rigged, corrupt game played by both political parties today, is futile. It isn't. The Founders did not cede that ground to the forces of the King until forced to do so and we must not. Indeed, this is one way that we make the local contacts and build the local networks so key to the Founders' concepts of the militia as the guardian of, and the true expression of the will of, the people. There is a place then, for all who adopt the Three Percent ideal, regardless of age, sex, fitness, infirmity. Resistance is an expression of a determined minority, but that minority comes from everywhere and contributes what it can, where it can.
One other point. The Three Percent idea, being an idea, is internalized and finds expression in action when required without any top-down organization issuing orders. This was on perfect display at the Bundy Ranch stand-off when Three Percenters from everywhere flocked on their own to the Bundy's defense, interposing themselves between the Bundys and the Feds. No call was issued, they just came because they understood the concept of "No More Free Wacos." The Feds were shocked -- first into inaction and then into retreat. Indeed, the Bundy confrontation may be seen as the proof of the successful weaponizing of the idea of the Three Percent.
The Three Percent as a modern expression of the Founder's model.
The reason why men enter into society, is the preservation of their property; and the end why they chuse and authorize a legislative, is, that there may be laws made, and rules set, as guards and fences to the properties of all the members of the society, to limit the power, and moderate the dominion, of every part and member of the society: for since it can never be supposed to be the will of the society, that the legislative should have a power to destroy that which every one designs to secure, by entering into society, and for which the people submitted themselves to legislators of their own making; whenever the legislators endeavour to take away, and destroy the property of the people, or to reduce them to slavery under arbitrary power, they put themselves into a state of war with the people, who are thereupon absolved from any farther obedience, and are left to the common refuge, which God hath provided for all men, against force and violence. -- John Locke, Second Treatise on Government, Chapter XIX, Of the Dissolution of Government, Sec. 222, 1690.
The Founders, it must be remembered, thought of themselves as Englishmen who were merely seeking their rights under the English Constitution from the depredations of a corrupt monarchy and its ministers. In this they were guided by the philosophy of John Locke's social contract theory. Locke declared that under natural law, all people have the right to life, liberty, and estate, further, under the social contract, the people could resist the government by force of arms when it acted against the interests of citizens and could replace it with one that served the interests of citizens. Such armed resistance, in Locke's mind, was an obligation which acted as a safeguard against tyranny. The language and reasoning of the Declaration of independence come straight from Locke.
Not only is the moral basis of the modern-day Three Percent movement the same as that of the Founders, but the tactics and strategy of resistance that was used by them, including the Sons of Liberty, the Committees of Correspondence and Safety and the Minutemen, are fully applicable to today's struggle. First, as I wrote over six years ago, Three Percenters recognize that with such a declaration of resistance comes responsibility:
"Take not counsel of your fears." In the coming period many rumors will sweep the blogosphere. Imminent danger will perceived from a million different directions. But here is how we should conduct ourselves."Wilson, I'm a damned sight smarter man than Grant; I know more about organization, supply and administration and about everything else than he does, but I'll tell you where he beats me and where he beats the world. He don't care a damn for what the enemy does out of his sight but it scares me like hell." -- William Tecumseh Sherman as recalled by James Harrison Wilson, in Under the Old Flag.Now Sherman wasn't saying that Grant should fail to seek through intelligence-gathering or scouting what the dispositions and the intentions of the enemy were. He was saying that you don't let your fears affect how you fight the enemy in front of you. Sherman also recalled that Grant worried less about what the enemy was going to do him and more about what HE was going to do the the enemy. As Three Percenters, we must only react to what we see and know and not some rumored threat. Above all, we must not lose our cool. We must always remain under control, and ready.
We must not react to, or repeat, disinformation, for this is the principal way the domestic enemies of the Constitution have used to discredit us over the years. As Three Percenters we must always be the adults in the room. We do not have the luxury of reacting out of emotion, fear or hatred. This is made easier by the discipline of building deterrence.
Again, from six years ago:
Work on the credibility of your deterrence. Deterrence only works if it's credible. We must ready ourselves for whatever comes. That means training, physical fitness, building up logistical bases, more training, marksmanship competence, organization, more logistics, more training.We have our enemy's promises that they will negate any possibility of our using the standard methods of politics against them. They have won the "majority vote" decision. Fine. But if we are to avoid conflict, we must convince them of how little this actually buys them in the way of power. We do that by building up the armed citizenry, one three-man buddy team, one six-man fire team and one squad at a time. Don't advertise. Friends and neighbors will do nicely. And remember, you're doing this in case the deterrence doesn't work. This is as real as it gets, folks. Act like it.
This is a major component of the discipline of the Three Percent. If you are focused on readiness you will be less likely to jump at shadows, less likely to take counsel of your fears. When in doubt about what is going on around you, train, organize, forge yourself and your teams into the sort of "well regulated militia" the Founders first created in the period leading up to 19 April 1775 and then later codified in the Second Amendment.
"Don't fire unless fired upon." -- Captain John Parker, Lexington Minutemen, 19 April 1775.
As Three Percenters we are bound by an ironclad commitment to no first use of force. We call this, "No Fort Sumters." From six years ago:
No "Fort Sumters." This means exactly and precisely what it says. We must not fire first.Neither were the leaders of the Confederacy eager to start a war. Jefferson Davis and his cabinet, sitting in their offices in Montgomery (Alabama), much preferred to negotiate until they got their way. They always had, after all. In fact, Southerners in general considered Northerners to be incapable of standing up to them. They had seceded thinking the North would "just let them go." Should it come to civil war they were confident that the great European powers, desperately needing cotton for their mills, would intervene on the side of the Confederacy. The one possibility the South never considered was the one that actually happened: that the North would actually fight an all out civil war rather than let the Union be shattered and that England and France would not come to the aid of the South. Lincoln's adroit handling of the matter left Montgomery with few choices. If they attacked Fort Sumter, they'd lose both their moral high ground and their Northern allies. -- Joe Wheeler, Abraham Lincoln, Howard Books, 2008We don't fire first, nor second, nor perhaps even third. This does not mean we can't defend ourselves. We must.What it does mean is that the rest of don't react until everyone understands that it is collective self-defense. We must not cede the moral high ground.If the Confederacy had not fired on Sumter, what would Lincoln have done? Whatever it was would have cost him the moral high ground and political legitimacy. And for the brave new world of imperial presidency that he was embarked upon, that might have led to an entirely different result. Division in the North, perhaps even impeachment. It is our enemies who are the revolutionists and the aggressors.Take a stand on familiar ground and their appetites will do the rest. They will come to us. Just be ready. Then when it is apparent, ACT, at once and collectively, on familiar ground of our own choosing and in enlightened self-defense on a large scale seeking only the criminally culpable.
This absolute tenet of the Three Percent concept comes in for the most criticism from those who would have someone (someone, significantly, NOT themselves) take the first shot out of fear or other motives which may or may not be their own. It is in the interest of the domestic enemies of the Constitution to get us to go to proactive violence. The solution then is to refuse to do so. Their own tyrannical hungers combined with impatience at our defiance, like that of the Founders', will in time force them to cede this vital point or, far less likely, to give up the game. But it must be their choice and their action. Again, here it is vital not to take counsel of your fears and to assign some supernatural powers to the enemies of liberty. They cannot sweep down and bag the lot of us, as some Chicken Littles fear. We have them out-numbered by a long shot. If some of us are killed to make the point that THEY are the aggressors in Locke's "war against against the people," then we must recognize that this is what we signed up for when we took our oaths.
The other moral absolute that you sign on to when you become a Three Percenter is no targeting of innocents. We call this "No Oklahoma City bombings." And this includes the innocents who make up the non-combatants on the enemy's side. If you claim to fight monsters, it is important not to become one yourself. They target innocents in retributive terror operations like Waco, we do not. We are also criticized by some for this "weakness." It is, rather, not only a strength but our greatest strength. It is what defines us as defenders of liberty and the people. It is also what the tyrants most fear -- if innocents are taken off the target list, only the guilty remain. And the one thing the war-makers and decision-takers of tyranny fear is a Fourth Generation civil war targeted solely and precisely at THEIR miserable existence. It is the only thing they cherish, the only real thing they believe in -- their own existence and the power that existence gives them to feed their hunger off other people's liberty, property and lives. If the order-givers start to disappear, through death or desertion, the orders do NOT get given. With no Eichmanns to make up the schedules, no cattle cars depart to the East for "Arbeit Macht Frei." This strategy also takes advantage of our greatest strength -- our rifle marksmanship. The accurate rifle in the handle of a trained marksman is our "precision guided munition." Millions of such rifles, properly targeted, by people with the will to use them, amounts to utter defeat for any would-be tyranny, and death for any would-be tyrant.
These four principles -- moral strength, physical readiness, no first use of force and no targeting of innocents -- are the hallmarks of the Three Percent ideal. Anyone who cannot accept them as a self-imposed discipline in the fight to restore the Founders' Republic should find something else to do and cease calling themselves a "Three Percenter."
This is by no means a complete exploration of the subject and I will have more as time progresses. I invite comment and criticism.
Mike Vanderboegh, 29 June 2014.