Jim Gilchrist, the notorious national leader of the Minutemen paid a visit to the border on April 5th, in full battle gear, and a radio reporter in tow. This is what he encountered from fellow Minutemen:
THE EMPEROR HAS NO CLOTHES
"I said, I will take heed to my ways, that I offend not with my tongue. I held my tongue, and spake nothing. I kept silence, yea, even from good words;
but it was pain and grief to me. My heart was hot within me, and while I was thus musing the fire kindled, and at the last I spake." (Psalm 39:1-4).
I am one of the volunteers at the Mountain
Minutemen's Light Up the Line event in Campo, CA. I feel this post needs to be made and I ask only two things: (1) That you read it all the way through to the end; and (2) That if you are inclined to flame me (or, if a
moderator, delete this post), you take 10 minutes to at least think about what specific rule or TOS I have violated by making this post.
Background. I came late to the Minuteman effort, and
so missed all of the schisms that have led to its present division. I came to volunteer with the Mountain Minutemen, located at Patriot Point, Campo, CA through a family friend - not because I have ill will toward any
other Minuteman group. I try very hard not to speak ill of fellow Minutemen or SOS'ers and steer clear of the divisiveness that hampers our efforts. On the other hand, when someone acts as atrociously
as Jim Gilchrist did this weekend, I feel I must speak. The Light Up the Line event was off to a smashing success by midday last Saturday. Friday night saw us blanket a line of almost two miles
with spotlights, generators, auto headlights, and most importantly, border watchers. Several groups of illegals spent the night attempting to enter at various points, only to be turned back when they saw
our positions or were illuminated by our lights. I myself spent the entire night Friday on top of the 241, guarding the lights and generator trained on our flag and on the entry point. I have never been as cold, wet and
miserable in my life - but it was worth it. Our focus and elation changed in a heartbeat Saturday afternoon. Who should come strutting up to Patriot Point with the Mayor of Corona and a
reporter in tow, but Mr. Jim Gilchrist? (In tactical gear with canteen, even though he had just exited his automobile.) Further background. Mr. Gilchrist and the Mountain Minutemen (led by
Robert Crooks) have a substantial amount of bad blood between them for two primary reasons. First, back in mid-2006, according to Mr. Crooks, Mr. Gilchrist promised monthly funding to operate the
Point. This funding never materialized. Second, as is well known, Mr. Gilchrist has all but abandoned border operations - the heart and soul of the Minuteman Movement - in favor of soliciting donations and doing. well just what
exactly? That is the question. He certainly hasn't been seen on the Tecate/Campo border in almost two years. In light of this background, it was highly inappropriate for Mr. Gilchrist to simply arrive, unannounced, and expect to
be hailed as the returning Dear Leader or some such. Needless to say, Mr. Crooks immediately began questioning Mr. Gilchrist - pointedly - about why he abandoned border watch efforts, the Point, and yet continues to solicit
donations apparently simply to self-perpetuate his own prominence in the movement. Here is where it got surreal. Instead of answering Mr. Crooks' valid questions with information, Mr. Gilchrist began
screaming that the Minutemen were a "gang," a bunch of "thugs," and that we were there to "kill illegals." At one point, he demanded to be taken "up the hill to where
you have the bodies." I stood in shock. I had heard this all before - from MEChA and La Raza. But I never expected to hear it from the founder of the Minuteman movement. At this point I sidled up to Mr. Gilchrist and in a
calm voice asked, "What do you mean we are a 'gang' of 'thugs'? Please explain that." He snarled, "Was I talking to you? I don't think I was talking to you."
I replied, "Well, you said we are thugs, and I'm volunteering here, so I assume you include me in that." He again snarled that he was "not talking to me." At this point I attempted to take a different
tack to try to show Mr. Gilchrist that we could not possibly be "thugs" - I presented my "bona fides." I explained that I had come to watch the border, not to argue with anyone; that I was an Ivy League-educated Orange
County attorney, and a member of the Lincoln Club of Orange County (with which Mr. Gilchrist would certainly be familiar as a former congressional candidate). He again snarled, "So, you think you're better than other
people?" (Missing my point entirely). At this point, Mr. Gilchrist came completely unhinged and retreated to name-calling. "You're obviously stupid," he said, "and you've
drank the Kool Aid here; but wait, I forgot, you can't be stupid if you went to Harvard." A propos of nothing, Mr. Gilchrist then proceeded to call me a "wimp." (Interesting, that. I had just spent a night
in wet 35 degree temperatures on a mountain at 3000 feet, guarding our border. I assume Mr. Gilchrist had spent Friday night in his house in OC. Who exactly is the 'wimp'?") I replied, "At least I am down here on the
border. All you do is sit in Orange County with your shell corporation and beg for donations. What exactly do you do anymore?" He replied, "I raise awareness." At this point, I
simply said, "you disgust me," and walked away. Other Minutemen had similar, even less polite exchanges with the venerable Founder. He appeared genuinely surprised and caught off guard
by the fact that there were so many volunteers there all willing to speak up and not be cowed by him. The Mayor of Corona (who had apparently, I learned from his campaign manager, asked for an introduction
to the Minuteman Project from Mr. Gilchrist) looked perplexed and confused by his guide's behavior. The reporter, Steve Gregory from KFI, simply looked disgusted. Mr. Gilchrist began behaving even more strangely. At
one point, he took out his wallet, opened it, and leafed through it as if he planned to give money to Mr. Crooks. He then began to tear up and try to rebuild bridges with the Minutemen he had just savagely
reviled and insulted. He approached me and without any apology, simply said, "Hi, I'm Jim," as if to start over. One only gets one chance with me, and he had blown it. Having
none of it, I said evenly, "You, sir, are NOT quality. And you never will be." He sputtered, "That wasn't very diplomatic." After a few more minutes, he slunk away. This surreal event begs a couple of questions. Why,
exactly, did Mr. Gilchrist choose to take the Mayor of Corona to Patriot Point (if the Mayor asked for an introduction to the Minuteman Movement)? I can think of a few reasons. First, perhaps in spite of himself, Mr. Gilchrist
actually DOES think the Mountain Minutemen are an effective operation, and that's why he chose to bring his guest there. Naively, he may have thought he'd be hailed as the returning King, and when that didn't
materialize, he came unglued. Second, perhaps Mr. Gilchrist expected Mr. Crooks to be alone, and planned to embarrass him as the "crazy loner" living on the border. Caught off guard by how many Minutemen were present, Mr.
Gilchrist unspooled. Third, perhaps Mr. Gilchrist had heard of the Light Up the Line event and simply wanted to get a share of the coverage. Him, plus the border, plus a reporter, equals a great photo op. He
didn't count on the fact that REAL Minutemen, operating on two hours' sleep, cold, wet, hungry, and doing the real work he hasn't done for years, wouldn't appreciate his
antics. But whatever the reason for his visit, the most important piece of information that needs to get out is this: Mr. Gilchrist has only contempt for the rank and file volunteers watching our border.
The moment he does not receive the adulation and kudos he feels he deserves, he switches to vicious attacks in PRECISELY the same terms as our adversaries. That speaks volumes. I conclude from this that Mr.
Gilchrist has no loyalty toward or respect for individual Minutemen. In his eyes, we exist only to either give him laud, or make donations. He does not work with us, he does not visit us to give support - no, in his
first visit to the border in almost two years, he arrives in full "mufti," with a politician and a reporter in tow - to do what? To scream the same insults, the same slanders,
at us that MEChA and La Raza do. We need to get this word out to all those who donate to Mr. Gilchrist thinking they are furthering the Minuteman Movement. The proverbial little old lady in Kansas who sends him $50
a month on PayPal, for example, needs to be made aware that not only does he not support border watch operations, he has the utmost contempt for them - for US. Whatever value he once had, it is clear that Mr.
Gilchrist has "gone bad." He should be run out of the Minuteman Movement, shunned, and the truth about him be told to all that will listen. The Emperor has no clothes.
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