Mark Kessler – Recent Past
Outpost of Freedom
December , 2014
During the events that occurred on the Bundy Ranch in Nevada, Ryan Payne and I were talking about the future of OMA (Operation Mutual Aid). OMA was the first real call to arms on behalf of the Ranch. At the time, OMA’s leadership consisted of two people, Ryan Payne and Jerry Bruckhart. The responders were a diverse assemblage of individuals from across the country.
Ryan had arranged to be liaison between the Bundy family and the militia. This was a necessary element in protecting Cliven Bundy from possible criminal charges (See The Bundy Affair – Answering the Most Common Question).
However, Jerry, back at home in Pennsylvania, had different ideas than Ryan, especially as to when the event was over, from the OMA standpoint. This, and other conflicts, demonstrated the need to overhaul the structure of OMA so that decisions could be made by a board, with a majority, rather than the conflicting 50/50.
OMD & BTFA
In June 2014, Ryan and Jerry came to terms on a breakup of OMA whereby Jerry would retain the name and would be supportive of a new organization that would be known as “Operation Mutual Defense” (OMD), more descriptive of the role it was intended to play in providing defense against overbearing governmental intrusions.
My role was to assist, as an advisor, though not a voting member, as my primary role is writing about events. I was also to be a media advisor, since in my over twenty years of experience, I have learned, well, how to use carefully written articles that can have an effect on even mainstream media’s presentation of stories.
We also determined that a sister organization needed to be created to deal with funding. If the government went after OMD, they could possibly confiscate any funds held by OMD. This would preclude any possibility of OMD providing financial assistance to those who participated in an OMD event.
We know well from the Bundy event that tens of thousands of dollars were raised, purportedly to support that cause, though very little was actually used to support the activities at the ranch.
Perhaps the largest organization, who claimed to have raised tens of thousands of dollars to support the effort, was Oathkeepers. However, with the exception of some direct support to members of Oathkeepers, there was nothing to demonstrate that any of the raised funds provided any necessary material support to the operation. Further, Oathkeepers has admitted that most of their membership is comprised of active and retired Law Enforcement Officers. That would explain why the “officer safety” aspect of law enforcement was applied when the Oathkeepers abandoned their mission to protect the Bundys when there was a threat of a drone strike at the ranch. (See The Bundy Affair – Oath Keepers vs. Militia – Part II).
To alleviate the confusion over the proper recipient of contributions, so that contributors would know that the proceeds would go where intended, without preference to “members”, rather to provide to all that responded to the call, a new organization was warranted. And, as many members of Oathkeepers had, based upon the failure of Oathkeepers as described in the above linked article, been more concerned with “officer safety”, it was determined that this new organization should be one that was based not on education, as Oathkeepers claims, rather, on being committed to the oath previously taken.
This led to the conception of “Bear True Faith and Allegiance…” (BTFA), based upon the wording within the oath one takes upon entry into military service. Anyone with any law enforcement experience would be excluded from membership, except when the advisory board saw fit, based upon demonstrable actions, to override the prohibition. It would also be open to any person who chose to take an oath, in the presence of a notary public, and provide the notarized certification of the oath to the board. This opened the door to many thousands of patriots who have not had military service, though believe in and are willing to Protect and Defend the Constitution against all Enemies, Foreign, and Domestic.
The BTFA would hold a primary responsibility to raise funds, secure them in a trust account, and distribute, as needed, to any OMD event, as well as other events that might warrant consideration. This would be the sister organization to complement OMD, and to provide the funding, which was lacking in Nevada.
Taken together, these two organizations were, potentially, a serious threat to the government going beyond its constitutional authority in undermining the rights of the People. It was anticipated that both would immediately come under government scrutiny.
The selection of potential members of the advisory board for both organizations was left to Ryan Payne.
My dealings with Kessler
One of Ryan’s choices for the OMD board was Chief Mark Kessler, based upon telephone conversations where Kessler provided verbal support and encouragement during the Bundy Affair. Kessler never did go to the ranch.
Kessler, having been invited to sit on the OMD board, while on a July 2, 2014, board conference call, suggested that Rick Light was bad and that he would have nothing to do with him. This was rather interesting in that Rick Light was a guest on Kessler’s radio show (59 min) on Guerilla Media, back on January 17, 2014. During the show, they both talked about not bad-mouthing fellow patriots and patted each other on the back.
I had asked what Kessler knew that proved that Rick Light was bad, and he said that he “just knew it.” So, in an effort to help him, and the others, understand why Rick Light was bad, I posted a link to the Committee of Safety Common Law Court Unanswered Indictment of Rick Light, so that they could see evidence of Light’s relationship with the FBI.
Unfortunately, it appears Kessler “knew” everything and refused to read anything that might challenge his beliefs. What I had posted was supportive of, and would have enhanced his understanding.
A series of emails going through the maillist for the OMD Advisory Board demonstrates the immaturity of Kessler, and his propensity to use name calling, poor language (potty-mouth) and grammar, and circuitous (private emails to me) that I forwarded to the board so that they could see his true character. What is not included, since I don’t record private phone calls, is the dozens of calls I received from Kessler, during this period, where he would throw out a couple of sentences, vulgar, accusatory, and baseless, and then hang up, just like a child prankster.
In the emails, you will note that some of the members, even after the display by Kessler, wanted him to remain on the board which would decide whether an event was worthy of a call up for patriots to participate, as they did at the Bundy Ranch. This brought question as to whether the board could function as it was intended to, since there was not a common mindset to go deep enough to make the kind of determinations it would have to make.
At this time, BTFA was still separate from OMD, though there were three members who sat on each board. Mike Frye was aware of the membership of each board. On July 29, he started a group PM on Facebook. The conversation included members of both boards, and, of course, Kessler.
A couple of years ago, Randy Mack, on You Have Tread On Me Radio (2 hr 18 min), did a radio show dispelling the nearly two-decade-old accusation, by Bill Cooper, that I was John Doe #4 in the Oklahoma City bombing. That information was readily available to anyone who chose to “investigate” the validity of Cooper’s allegation. Chief Kessler failed, in investigative skills. Even though he had my email address and phone number, he chose not to ask me about the accusations. Kessler failed in both interrogation and investigation skills.
The image of the conversation that occurred during this second Kessler tirade is shown, in its entirety, at the right (pdf of chat conversation). You can see that his character has not changed; however, it did have the effect of making ineffective all of the effort that went into bring some patriots together into both organizations — that would have surely been an objective that the government would want to see accomplished.
Some may question why all of this information is being presented. I have been active in the Patriot Community since Waco. In that time, I have had friends go to prison, and, in every case, except one, there has been an informant involved. That insight, and having had a friend that was offered a plea bargain, turned it down, and then provided me, against the government’s explicit instructions, a copy of the entire plea agreement (See Informants Amongst Us?), have, perhaps, provided me more insight into the workings of such activity than most (See Vortex – The threat that keeps us apart). It is to share that information so that, hopefully, many will be better informed and will raise questions, when such behavior becomes apparent in someone with whom they are associated.
Now, let’s proceed on to other activities of Chief Mark Kessler, again, to understand just how these infiltrators create a “presence”, so that they appear to be as much a patriot, or more so, than those hard workers who are doing what they are doing, with the best of intentions. It is those who really are doing that need to understand just how the operatives (informants, agents, etc.) work so that they can protect themselves and continue the good work that they do.
Kessler and the Southern Border
On July 7, 2014, Kessler expanded his now shattered groups (CSF and III% BOG) to include border operations. His first call out was in a Facebook posting (saved copy, if the page is taken down). This post, reads in part:
“Kessler here… we’re expecting to make contact and be engaged by heavily armed cartel escorts trucking dope into Arizona, Feel free to join if you want, but be prepared to get contacted by heavily armed cartel members with automatic weapons, & possible grenades… so I suggest those who live in az come to the front lines and assist in stopping the traffickers, murderes[sic], rapest[sic] from entering! Instead of bitching about it on social media
Well, perhaps he is just going to go to the border, where he has never been before. However, in talking with those I am aware of that have been actively working the border, there was no prior discussion or invitation for Kessler to come, especially under the circumstances outlined in that Facebook post.
In the years that those who have been protecting the border, there have been no grenades thrown, nor has there been any real contact with the cartels, though some of the people that they have made contact with may be cartel members. Most, however, are coyotes, drug runners, or illegal immigrants. Firefights have not erupted, though it seems as if Kessler wants to make that happen, or, it is false (amateurish) bravado, or, simply to entice people (of the wrong sort for border operations) to join him in his quest for fame and glory.
I have spoken with two leaders of border operations, one from Texas, the other from Arizona. Kessler contacted both, and both refused to extend the desired “invitation”, as they saw that he had no desire to learn how to run such operations, and determined that it would be dangerous to even have him in their Areas of Operation.
In a subsequent post, he says:
This is why we need funding to get as many people to join our Arizona border Mission on July 19th, we can not wait anymore! this illegal invasion by Cartel controlled Mexican Military must stop , they are using hit and run tactics, straing[sic] out of guerilla war fair[sic] manuals, Border agents are on stand down orders from the Liar in Chief,
I can’t believe Americans are letting this happen right before their eyes and do nothing !!!! this it way out of control on JULY 19TH Pack your gear, weapons, ammo, first aid kits, MRE’s or canned food A lot of bottled water and roll out to rally point in sierra vista Arizona, if you can’t make this mission, please assist by donating, this mission is going to be longer then[sic] 5 days, we are asking for patriots to do rotations every week to re-leave current units that will be their[sic] from July 19th , as once said, ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country!
rally point in sierra vista,
The Windemere Hotel & Conference Center
2047 State Highway 92
Sierra Vista, AZ 85635
So, now he is asking for funding, which would only take away from those sincere people that are actually doing something. He also expects that he can do in five days what others have spent years, to even put a dent in border crossings.
In yet another post:
Anyone that has night vision monoculars or night vision scopes they want to donate towards the July 19th Arizona mission, we are in need of these items soft and hard body armor. if by chance their[sic] is a great American patriot out their[sic] that follows this situation on the border but wants to stay out of the lime light, and they have the ability to donate one of these thermal weapon scopes annonamusly[sic], it would be greatly appreciated, we are in need of gear like thermal scopes, night vision monoculars, night vision scopes, ammo, & MRE meals, soft & hardbody armor along with first aid kits , wet wipes & funding for gas and water. anyone willing to donate ammo we need the following for sidearms: 9mm, 40 cal, 45acp, for long guns we need 5.56 x 45mm, 223 caliber, 7.62 x 51mm, 308 caliber, 7.62 x 39mm, 5.45 x 39mm
He begins asking for high tech (expensive) equipment, and apparently has quite an arsenal in that he is asking for ammunition for 3 types of handguns and six types of rifles. Apparently, however, his entourage, when he arrived in Arizona consisted of himself and no more than 15 others.
After his trip, he reported:
“Learned a lot about how our border patrol protects our southern borders and that not everyone on the other side wants to jump the fence! They are perfectly happy living in their country! And not everyone is working for cartels! Not even the Mexican military.
“I’m sure their [sic] are small pockets of military units assisting/working with cartels but not every single unit as it was portrayed to me and the crew with me!
“I can say we were expecting to be attacked by heavily armed cartels and we drove 2500 miles to respond for assistance, willing to risk life and limb, not knowing what we were walking into, armed for an all out battle with drug smugglers… thank god[sic] that didn’t happen.
From sources on the Arizona border, it appears that Kessler & Co. did go to the border, and spent no more than a few hours, at best. How he was able to determine the conditions, when those who have spent many months, or years, on the border to understand what those conditions are, is hard to say.
He also says that he was expecting to be attacked. And, even though that was his intention, from the earlier posting, he now thanks God that it didn’t happen.
This appears to be showmanship at its finest; Endeavor to present an appearance of knowledge of conditions, the willingness to initiate a fight, and the humility to thank God when that fight did not ensue.
Other reports I have received from those on the Arizona border indicate that local sheriffs and Border Patrol did pursue Kessler and his group in a helicopter. They were desperate to find him and “kick him out of town.” The local law enforcement people had developed reasonable working relationships with the militia units, and between what the militia units reported their opinions on Kessler to be, that of a loose cannon, and law enforcement’s own investigation, they wisely decided that he had to be removed from the area, as persona non grata.
In Texas, as in Arizona, many of the border protection groups are reluctant to have their names included in this article, and I honor those requests. However, K. C. Massey is willing to lend his name to what he has reported to me. In written communication, regarding his contact with Kessler:
“I was personally contacted by Mark Kessler on or about the first of September. He inquired about joining us at Camp LoneStar, situated on the Texas border near Brownsville. I exchanged several texts and telephone calls with Kessler. He was talking about wanting to “come kick wetback ass” and his attitude was not what I considered conducive to our mission on the border. I denied his request to join Camp LoneStar and he broke off communications with me.”
It is interesting to note that Kessler’s call to Massey was just a few days after the shooting event that eventually led to Massey’s arrest (See Camp Lone Star – The Arrest of K. C. Massey).
In a follow up conversation with Massey, he had been in contact with nearly all of the Texas border protection operations, and nobody seemed to want Kessler to visit their operations. They wanted to maintain distance from him, as well.