The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has published the spring issue of its Intelligence Report, revealing a 755% growth in "Patriot Movement" groups over the past three years ending last Dec. 31. Conspiracy theories are popular with the "Patriot Movement" groups, which are apparently increasing due to racist anger over Obama's presidency and the bad economy.
SPLC also reports that there has been a slight increase in hate groups last year, rising from 1,002 groups to 1,018, adding:
2011 also saw many politicians and other public figures attacking Muslims, LGBT people and other minorities, effectively taking on some of the issues dear to the radical right. But there was enough of a far-right wind to fill the sails of politicians, hate and Patriot groups, and Tea Parties alike, very likely the result, in large part, of a view of Obama as a dire threat to the country.
Briefly quoting portions of the in-depth report , the different types of hate and/or extremist groups described in SPLC's Intelligence Report include:
- Anti-gay hate groups – The number of anti-gay hate groups in the United States rose markedly, going from 17 in 2010 to 27 last year.
- Anti-Muslim groups – The number of anti-Muslim groups tripled in 2011, jumping from 10 groups in 2010 to 30 last year.
- Black separatist groups – The so-called “sovereign citizen” ideology, a set of ideas that originated in white supremacist groups of the 1970s and 1980s, has taken off among African Americans.
- Christian Identity groups – Christian Identity is a radical theology that describes Jews as biologically descended from Satan and people of color as soulless “mud people.” It has been declining in recent years, largely because its arcane, Bible-based doctrines seem to hold little interest for young racists. But last year that trend reversed itself, as a new Identity group, Crusaders for Yahweh, appeared with 30 chapters.
- Ku Klux Klan groups – The year brought major changes in the Klan formations, with some large groups disappearing while others popped up or added large numbers of new chapters.
- Nativist Extremist groups – These groups, which harass people suspected to be undocumented immigrants, have declined, in part due to state legislation meant to punish undocumented immigrants, effectively stealing the issue away from the nativist groups.
These and other groups are more fully documented in SPLC's report.