Leaderless Resistance: Wonder Weapon of the Antis

an essay by Fred Wallace

We have one thorough example of the antis' call for "Christian" insurrection. This is in a one hour video of Franky Schaeffer, preaching at the Brookfield, Wisconsin Assembly of God Church on July 24, 1992. This is a RealVideo presentation of a tape made by the Missionaries to the Preborn. Here is one of several very telling quotes from Schaeffer:

"Because what we are engaged in, ladies and gentlemen, is not, is not a conflict of civil disobedience, it is not a political debate, it is not even a religious debate. We are engaged in the beginning of the second American civil war."

From this and other comments of Schaeffer, it is obvious that the antis have a simplistic and manipulative view of organizing an armed uprising: a single spark can start a prairie fire. In other words, work the gullible up to such a state that they erupt into sanctified violence.

Without a doubt, Leaderless Resistance is by far the grand theoretical wonder weapon of the Christian insurrectionist right wing. Supposedly the theory lays out a blue print for a cell structure that can protect the various parts of an organization, so that if one part is compromised, the others, in their protective isolation, remain immune. Louis Beam, the author of the theory, is treating us to a rather dull recitation on organizational security that has been stated and restated for decades from every part of the political spectrum, from left to right.

The real value of Leaderless Resistance lies in two aspects not related to its overt content. First, it represents a swaggering claim to invincibility: we're bad, we're organized, you can't break us. Second and essentially it is both cover and excuse for a lazy and self-exculpatory view of the relationship of leaders to followers. Leaderless Resistance is the theoretical basis for a smirking claim that nobody's in charge, nobody's conspiring, but everybody knows what to do.

Leaderless Resistance has been held up to well deserved criticism and ridicule from activists on the extreme right, who find it a devious and implausible theory.

There's no doubt that weak or confused individuals can be duped and manipulated. These people are the proper agents of Leaderless Resistance, for it is a theory which imposes minimal obligation on leaders, and maximal risk on followers who can be manipulated to do some Great Act. That's where the so-called "Christian" revolutionaries have had some terrible success: inspiring gullible individuals to acts of terror.

As for the leaders of the anti-abortion movement, their own courage as leaders is so meagre, their opportunism so pronounced, and their disdain for the masses within their own organization so strong, that they cannot maintain a complex operation that depends on mutual respect, cooperation, and understanding at all levels over a long period of time. Leaderless Resistance is assuredly the right theory for them.

More about Leaderless Resistance

The Text of "Leaderless Resistance"

For links to Louis Beam's text "Leaderless Resistance" try this list. For some reason, the text does not have a long life span at any one location.