School for Scoundrels: Online ‘Patriot’ University Opens Doors
What’s more, he says, “Our instructors don’t follow the script written by state and federal governments or specific organized religions about education in the realms of political science, theology, or general studies.” Instead, “we allow you to research down whatever rabbit-holes you choose.”
Bollinger knows a thing or two about rabbit holes. A pale, bearded character who appears in the promotional video clad in a black suit, narrow black tie and broad-brimmed black hat of the kind favored by traveling preachers of yesteryear, “Disciple Aaron” is a longtime radical-right activist who has mingled and worked with the some of founding fathers of the antigovernment “Patriot” movement.
In 1981, fresh out of high school, he joined the “Committee to Restore the Constitution,” a Colorado-based operation run by the late Archibald E. Roberts, a retired Army lieutenant colonel who despised the United Nations and who once wrote that “men of unbalanced and dangerous brilliance” - presumably Jews - had “perfected a sophisticated and systematized plan, incorporating brainwashing and genetic prostitution, to achieve soviet-style control over the American social order.”
Bollinger has worked for Liberty Lobby, an anti-Semitic organization founded by infamous Holocaust denier Willis Carto, and as a researcher for the far-right Gun Owners of America, whose founder, gun rights absolutist Larry Pratt, played a crucial role in introducing the concept of citizen militias to the radical right. In the mid-2000s, Bollinger became involved with Christian Exodus, a fundamentalist effort to take control of South Carolina and, “if necessary,” declare it a sovereign republic that would enforce “Christian” morality through the power of government.
(The Christian Exodus movement still exists online, where website administrator Keith Humphrey - who also manages one of the Sherman Institute’s websites - rails against birth control and abortion and “promotes the preservation of Christian culture for generations to come, through disentanglement from the flesh-hooks of imperial servitude, and a return to the fundamentals of Christian living.”)
These days, Bollinger works as legislative director for Restore the Republic (RTR), a conspiracy-minded Patriot group that wants to eliminate the Federal Reserve and the IRS, end globalization, and make it illegal to implant microchips in people (no signs that is happening, but according to RTR, plans are in the works). Bollinger also serves on the advisory board for Committees of Safety, another Patriot group, along with lawyer and radical-right thinker Edwin Vieira, under whom he studied “constitutional law” in the early 1980s.