Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    The 215, Pennsylvania
    (Bucks County)
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    9660497

    Default Re: PA Oath Keepers - anyone a member?

    Got my little welcome packet in the mail complete with letter explaining who they are and what they do. I'm looking forward to hearing from my local chapter shortly.

    Thanks, all!

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    Lock Haven, Pennsylvania
    (Clinton County)
    Posts
    7
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    0

    Default Re: PA Oath Keepers - anyone a member?

    Quote Originally Posted by EB85 View Post
    So about a week ago by now I both emailed and PayPal'd to join up and have yet to hear anything back about memberships, meetings, anything. Are they just a little slow to respond, are there changes being made within the group delaying response times? Anyone have any insight?
    Greetings everyone,
    My name is Chad Liguori, I was elected as Vice President for Pennsylvania Oath Keepers for 2019. One of my my goals for this is year is to not only promote our mission, but more so our identity, so that everyone understands what we're truly about and why they should join. I saw all these posts after doing a Google search on our organization and I'm deeply concerned by all the misconceptions, frustrations and some untruths people have voiced. I will try to address each issue I see, as best as possible. I will be completely open, honest and respectful with all of you.


    EB85, did you try contacting the PAOK website (wwwpaoathkeepers.com)? I have been in charge of responding to people who message our website since the beginning of 2018, and have responded to everything I have received. You should have gotten a membership card and welcome letter saying that if you didn't hear from one of our leaders within a few weeks, to contact our website. If no one tells us there's a problem, we can't address it. I work hard at trying to correct any issues members are having. We have run into all kind of issues, like something as simple as an email address getting misspelled, or their membership wasn't processed because no payment was received (our Membership Director emails people when this happens). We've also had more serious issues where a website link was broken, and an issue to where the website was sending emails to a mailbox that was not even set up. I had tried to address all those issues at the start of 2018 when I started in leadership. I will say this however, in PAOK's first 2 years (2016 and 2017) I had heard that people were not being contacted. I had voiced frustration over the fact that these issues weren't being addressed, but no one had stepped up to correct them, so that's when I started getting more involved. There was a severe lack of volunteers, but that's no excuse. I'm sure we lost a lot of credibility and trust with people when that happened. Unfortunately, there's nothing I can do about what happened in the past. However, when I had come into leadership as a District Director in 2018, I wanted to make sure there was a follow up to make sure people were being contacted, which is why that letter was sent out to all members so if there was an issue, there would be a way to quickly identify the problem, so we could correct it. I will apologize on behalf of the organization, for anyone who wasn't contacted.

    Now as to why our organization had separated from the national "Oath Keepers" organization and started this new organization November of 2015 was due to several serious issues at the national level - the two biggest being embezzlement of over $200,000 and Stewart's threatening of BOD members who wanted membership to be aware of the issue. $40 annual dues were going to the National level and not a dime was coming back to the state for running our operations, which makes it almost impossible to run a State organization especially as a non-profit volunteer organization. Remember, our leaders were committed to the mission, but this was a serious ethics and principles violation, so we wanted the problems fixed. We weren't running away or giving up on the organization. We had tried to resolve things diplomatically, and submitted a petition of redress (attached below), which was a cooperative effort with several other state chapters. Stewart vehemently rejected the petition and fired our entire leadership. The result was several state chapters broke away and started new organizations. There are a lot of great people in the national organization and I would never talk down about them, but this is what caused the break. Below I attached a copy of the petition we delivered to Stewart, as well as some supporting articles.

    Attachment 114295

    Virginia Oath Keepers has a great write up on the unfortunate situation, right on there website at:
    http://virginiaoathkeepers.org/vaok-...-organization/

    You can read about the embezzlement below (you have to filter through the writer's bias, however the facts are there).
    https://challengingtherhetoric.wordp...ore-than-200k/

    Also, I know this question will probably come up: why we didn't do a name change after everything? It was voted on by our members when we first started up and also a year later at our first annual meeting, and people felt strong about keeping the name because of the symbolism of it. I have been for a name change for some time because it's a marketing nightmare when you have to start off by saying who you aren't. However, as an organization we were at the mercy of what everyone voted.

    Since our inception there has been a list of issues we faced. During part of the first year there was as serious struggle between the President and Vice President. There was a lot of gossip, hardheadedness and backstabbing going on. There were also some honest mistakes made, that were then blown out of proportion by gossip and hearsay that just compounded the issues. What should have happened when problems started, is that all the good members and leaders committed to the cause should have banded together, been transparent with everything and stuck it out. That way any person or leader who violated the Code Of Conduct could have been reprimanded properly, including terminating their membership. Quite honestly, it was pitiful to see how petty and disrespectful some people had become. A lot of gossip went around and between that and I believe a lot of people were kind of testing the waters, since we had just split from National, and so they just kind of bailed instead of trying to know what was truly going on and sticking it out. I can't blame those people, because I can understand their sentiment. I wanted to work with people who actually cared about their families, communities and country, but the way a lot of them acted would make most people want to give up or at least turn away.

    By late 2016/early 2017, we thought we had gotten rid of all the bad eggs, and we had really started picking up momentum. We had a lot of groups doing positive things in their communities, we were giving good training in only a few select areas where we had the volunteers, but it seemed like we had a formula that could work all across the state. We were really growing fast in the western part of the state. Then, the guy that was Vice President from 2016 basically threw a grenade in the middle of everything right before our annual showing at the NRA Great American Outdoor Show, by saying he thought we needed to completely change the organization to a 501.C3, change the name, and change the mission slightly to allow funds to come in from the Federal Government. And he did this very quickly, to where he had already had the organization ready to go and everything - there was no talk with leaders or members to see how they felt - he just went and did it. This sent a big shockwave throughout the organization, causing us to lose a lot of membership, especially in the western part of the state. Again, there were a lot of people who saw a sinking ship, and jumped prematurely. Yes we have made mistakes, yes there was a lot of dysfunction, and yes there were plenty of issues and obstacles that had to be overcome. That's what makes us what we are now.

    This is why I will be focusing my energy this year to bring in quality men and women into this organization. We will work to prove with our actions what our real identity and worth is. Hopefully, you all will recognize my sincerity and consider rejoining, getting involved, or at least I can change your minds a little. The core of our organization is committed to not only recognizing and teaching our communities about the problems and threats we may face, but also act as a solution to these problems. We are striving to build a reputation as being the balanced, calm, cool, collected, disciplined professionals who can talk about hard issues with tactfulness, striving towards actual solutions. We are the type of people who have compassion, who want to unite our country, who are educated and truly see the big picture, but we're also bold when needed. Some people may think we're weak because we don't show up in battle rattle to peaceful events, but we care more about actually winning over peoples hearts and minds, and we're actually involved in the political process. Everything in life requires balance- we care about that balance. We want all people coming into the organization to understand that they're expected to be able to agree to disagree with other members, but should always be respectful with them. The thing we should all be united on is that we all work towards a goal of protecting our natural rights, our Constitution and our country. We don't want hot heads or unrestrained egos, and we're not gonna put up with that anymore. That's what caused almost all of our issues in the past. We're committed to being involved in the political process, but we're also realistic with current events, so we try prepare our communities for any and all threats that we may face. We want to build chapters around the state that have open debate and conversations on hard issues like police brutality, the drug epidemic, politics, etc. Our mindset is basically the same mindset of John Lovell and the Warrior Poet Society - if you understand his mindset, you should understand ours. Shameless plug- you should check his YouTube channel out, he's got a lot of great stuff.

    That being said, we are a growing organization. A non-profit, volunteer organization at that. This means that there are plenty of pieces of the puzzle that are still missing. We will work towards correcting them all in time, but we need more people to get involved to address everything. The few leaders we have are all wearing way too many hats, but we're all committed to the same thing. We rarely ask for donations, but when we do it's because there is a need to fill a void that we can't fill without it. To the gentleman that said we constantly are asking for donations; I'm going to assume that you are referring to the National Oath Keepers organization, because I still get their emails and they do ask for donations a lot. I sent out all the emails during 2018 and we hardly ever asked for donations. What we did ask for was more volunteers. I'd rather have 1 good volunteer than a $20 donation, but they all are used to the best effect. I can't interest people with money to do work, so they have to have it in their hearts that they're doing something bigger than themselves as a crucial aid to their country. In today's day and age, this is that much harder to find, unfortunately. Just look no further than the volunteer fire departments, to see how much of a problem this is. Sometimes we run into an issue where we have the knowledge of a problem, but we don't have a volunteer to be involved in the solution (Example: leaders willing to teach a specific skill, leaders willing to start a new chapter in their area, people to start a committee focused just in one area like political activism, training, Constitution education).

    We may still have flaws, but we have honest hearts that care about correcting them, just message our website if there's an issue, and I guarantee we will actually try to remedy it. I am no great public speaker, but I am good with people one on one and I care about helping people understand who we are, so that we can grow. I found a place in the puzzle where I felt I could fit, so I got involved. I believe wholeheartedly in our mission, so I will be committed to pushing this message to try to get like-minded people involved so we can build this organization to the level we dream to achieve. Anyone that can abide by our Code Of Conduct, who has a heart and soul dedicated to doing what's right has a place in our organization.

    I hope I addressed all the concerns as best as possible. If you have any questions or concerns that I haven't addressed, or would like to get involved with a good group of people, please contact me.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    Lock Haven, Pennsylvania
    (Clinton County)
    Posts
    7
    Rep Power
    0

    Default Re: PA Oath Keepers - anyone a member?

    Quote Originally Posted by EB85 View Post
    Got my little welcome packet in the mail complete with letter explaining who they are and what they do. I'm looking forward to hearing from my local chapter shortly.

    Thanks, all!
    Sorry, I didn't see this post until now. If you'd like to get involved, send me an email and I will make sure to help however I can. We don't have anything going on down in Bucks County right now, unfortunately.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    On top of a hill, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    7,175
    Rep Power
    21474850

    Default Re: PA Oath Keepers - anyone a member?

    Quote Originally Posted by UniteAndRise View Post
    Greetings everyone,
    My name is Chad Liguori, I was elected as Vice President for Pennsylvania Oath Keepers for 2019. One of my my goals for this is year is to not only promote our mission, but more so our identity, so that everyone understands what we're truly about and why they should join. I saw all these posts after doing a Google search on our organization and I'm deeply concerned by all the misconceptions, frustrations and some untruths people have voiced. I will try to address each issue I see, as best as possible. I will be completely open, honest and respectful with all of you.


    EB85, did you try contacting the PAOK website (wwwpaoathkeepers.com)? I have been in charge of responding to people who message our website since the beginning of 2018, and have responded to everything I have received. You should have gotten a membership card and welcome letter saying that if you didn't hear from one of our leaders within a few weeks, to contact our website. If no one tells us there's a problem, we can't address it. I work hard at trying to correct any issues members are having. We have run into all kind of issues, like something as simple as an email address getting misspelled, or their membership wasn't processed because no payment was received (our Membership Director emails people when this happens). We've also had more serious issues where a website link was broken, and an issue to where the website was sending emails to a mailbox that was not even set up. I had tried to address all those issues at the start of 2018 when I started in leadership. I will say this however, in PAOK's first 2 years (2016 and 2017) I had heard that people were not being contacted. I had voiced frustration over the fact that these issues weren't being addressed, but no one had stepped up to correct them, so that's when I started getting more involved. There was a severe lack of volunteers, but that's no excuse. I'm sure we lost a lot of credibility and trust with people when that happened. Unfortunately, there's nothing I can do about what happened in the past. However, when I had come into leadership as a District Director in 2018, I wanted to make sure there was a follow up to make sure people were being contacted, which is why that letter was sent out to all members so if there was an issue, there would be a way to quickly identify the problem, so we could correct it. I will apologize on behalf of the organization, for anyone who wasn't contacted.

    Now as to why our organization had separated from the national "Oath Keepers" organization and started this new organization November of 2015 was due to several serious issues at the national level - the two biggest being embezzlement of over $200,000 and Stewart's threatening of BOD members who wanted membership to be aware of the issue. $40 annual dues were going to the National level and not a dime was coming back to the state for running our operations, which makes it almost impossible to run a State organization especially as a non-profit volunteer organization. Remember, our leaders were committed to the mission, but this was a serious ethics and principles violation, so we wanted the problems fixed. We weren't running away or giving up on the organization. We had tried to resolve things diplomatically, and submitted a petition of redress (attached below), which was a cooperative effort with several other state chapters. Stewart vehemently rejected the petition and fired our entire leadership. The result was several state chapters broke away and started new organizations. There are a lot of great people in the national organization and I would never talk down about them, but this is what caused the break. Below I attached a copy of the petition we delivered to Stewart, as well as some supporting articles.

    Attachment 114295

    Virginia Oath Keepers has a great write up on the unfortunate situation, right on there website at:
    http://virginiaoathkeepers.org/vaok-...-organization/

    You can read about the embezzlement below (you have to filter through the writer's bias, however the facts are there).
    https://challengingtherhetoric.wordp...ore-than-200k/

    Also, I know this question will probably come up: why we didn't do a name change after everything? It was voted on by our members when we first started up and also a year later at our first annual meeting, and people felt strong about keeping the name because of the symbolism of it. I have been for a name change for some time because it's a marketing nightmare when you have to start off by saying who you aren't. However, as an organization we were at the mercy of what everyone voted.

    Since our inception there has been a list of issues we faced. During part of the first year there was as serious struggle between the President and Vice President. There was a lot of gossip, hardheadedness and backstabbing going on. There were also some honest mistakes made, that were then blown out of proportion by gossip and hearsay that just compounded the issues. What should have happened when problems started, is that all the good members and leaders committed to the cause should have banded together, been transparent with everything and stuck it out. That way any person or leader who violated the Code Of Conduct could have been reprimanded properly, including terminating their membership. Quite honestly, it was pitiful to see how petty and disrespectful some people had become. A lot of gossip went around and between that and I believe a lot of people were kind of testing the waters, since we had just split from National, and so they just kind of bailed instead of trying to know what was truly going on and sticking it out. I can't blame those people, because I can understand their sentiment. I wanted to work with people who actually cared about their families, communities and country, but the way a lot of them acted would make most people want to give up or at least turn away.

    By late 2016/early 2017, we thought we had gotten rid of all the bad eggs, and we had really started picking up momentum. We had a lot of groups doing positive things in their communities, we were giving good training in only a few select areas where we had the volunteers, but it seemed like we had a formula that could work all across the state. We were really growing fast in the western part of the state. Then, the guy that was Vice President from 2016 basically threw a grenade in the middle of everything right before our annual showing at the NRA Great American Outdoor Show, by saying he thought we needed to completely change the organization to a 501.C3, change the name, and change the mission slightly to allow funds to come in from the Federal Government. And he did this very quickly, to where he had already had the organization ready to go and everything - there was no talk with leaders or members to see how they felt - he just went and did it. This sent a big shockwave throughout the organization, causing us to lose a lot of membership, especially in the western part of the state. Again, there were a lot of people who saw a sinking ship, and jumped prematurely. Yes we have made mistakes, yes there was a lot of dysfunction, and yes there were plenty of issues and obstacles that had to be overcome. That's what makes us what we are now.

    This is why I will be focusing my energy this year to bring in quality men and women into this organization. We will work to prove with our actions what our real identity and worth is. Hopefully, you all will recognize my sincerity and consider rejoining, getting involved, or at least I can change your minds a little. The core of our organization is committed to not only recognizing and teaching our communities about the problems and threats we may face, but also act as a solution to these problems. We are striving to build a reputation as being the balanced, calm, cool, collected, disciplined professionals who can talk about hard issues with tactfulness, striving towards actual solutions. We are the type of people who have compassion, who want to unite our country, who are educated and truly see the big picture, but we're also bold when needed. Some people may think we're weak because we don't show up in battle rattle to peaceful events, but we care more about actually winning over peoples hearts and minds, and we're actually involved in the political process. Everything in life requires balance- we care about that balance. We want all people coming into the organization to understand that they're expected to be able to agree to disagree with other members, but should always be respectful with them. The thing we should all be united on is that we all work towards a goal of protecting our natural rights, our Constitution and our country. We don't want hot heads or unrestrained egos, and we're not gonna put up with that anymore. That's what caused almost all of our issues in the past. We're committed to being involved in the political process, but we're also realistic with current events, so we try prepare our communities for any and all threats that we may face. We want to build chapters around the state that have open debate and conversations on hard issues like police brutality, the drug epidemic, politics, etc. Our mindset is basically the same mindset of John Lovell and the Warrior Poet Society - if you understand his mindset, you should understand ours. Shameless plug- you should check his YouTube channel out, he's got a lot of great stuff.

    That being said, we are a growing organization. A non-profit, volunteer organization at that. This means that there are plenty of pieces of the puzzle that are still missing. We will work towards correcting them all in time, but we need more people to get involved to address everything. The few leaders we have are all wearing way too many hats, but we're all committed to the same thing. We rarely ask for donations, but when we do it's because there is a need to fill a void that we can't fill without it. To the gentleman that said we constantly are asking for donations; I'm going to assume that you are referring to the National Oath Keepers organization, because I still get their emails and they do ask for donations a lot. I sent out all the emails during 2018 and we hardly ever asked for donations. What we did ask for was more volunteers. I'd rather have 1 good volunteer than a $20 donation, but they all are used to the best effect. I can't interest people with money to do work, so they have to have it in their hearts that they're doing something bigger than themselves as a crucial aid to their country. In today's day and age, this is that much harder to find, unfortunately. Just look no further than the volunteer fire departments, to see how much of a problem this is. Sometimes we run into an issue where we have the knowledge of a problem, but we don't have a volunteer to be involved in the solution (Example: leaders willing to teach a specific skill, leaders willing to start a new chapter in their area, people to start a committee focused just in one area like political activism, training, Constitution education).

    We may still have flaws, but we have honest hearts that care about correcting them, just message our website if there's an issue, and I guarantee we will actually try to remedy it. I am no great public speaker, but I am good with people one on one and I care about helping people understand who we are, so that we can grow. I found a place in the puzzle where I felt I could fit, so I got involved. I believe wholeheartedly in our mission, so I will be committed to pushing this message to try to get like-minded people involved so we can build this organization to the level we dream to achieve. Anyone that can abide by our Code Of Conduct, who has a heart and soul dedicated to doing what's right has a place in our organization.

    I hope I addressed all the concerns as best as possible. If you have any questions or concerns that I haven't addressed, or would like to get involved with a good group of people, please contact me.
    Thank you for taking the time to address the past issues and explain where things are now and the direction they are headed.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    USN Retired, Pennsylvania
    (Monroe County)
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    3,335
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    21474850

    Default Re: PA Oath Keepers - anyone a member?

    No way too many stolen valor fakers in it and when pointed out they keep them.
    TriggerTime LLc 01/02 FFL "Range Rosco"

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    On top of a hill, Pennsylvania
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    Default Re: PA Oath Keepers - anyone a member?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rosco the Iroc View Post
    No way too many stolen valor fakers in it and when pointed out they keep them.
    Shouldn’t a valid and verifiable DD214 be required?

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    Lock Haven, Pennsylvania
    (Clinton County)
    Posts
    7
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    Default Re: PA Oath Keepers - anyone a member?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rosco the Iroc View Post
    No way too many stolen valor fakers in it and when pointed out they keep them.
    Don't be insulted, but I'll be honest and say that I find this very hard to believe. I've never even heard so much as even a rumor about this, and I was very involved with this organization even before I got into a leadership role. Even with the problems we had before, this sort of stuff should have been taken very seriously. Do you have names or any credible information? If so, I can guarantee you they will be removed as members.

    Best regards,
    Chad Liguori

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    (Allegheny County)
    Posts
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    Default Re: PA Oath Keepers - anyone a member?

    Quote Originally Posted by Krichardson View Post
    That's not good....they can't even be bothered to reply to your emails.
    Oath keeping is very time consuming.

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    Lock Haven, Pennsylvania
    (Clinton County)
    Posts
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    Default Re: PA Oath Keepers - anyone a member?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hodgie View Post
    Shouldn’t a valid and verifiable DD214 be required?
    We don't require DD214's because some of the most humble and dedicated volunteers are 'citizen patriots' and/or first responders who may have no military background. We do run a background check on all potential members before their membership is processed.

    Best regards,
    Chad Liguori

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Chippewa, Pennsylvania
    (Beaver County)
    Posts
    3,543
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    Default Re: PA Oath Keepers - anyone a member?

    From the code of conduct;

    "Pennsylvania Oath Keepers will not advocate, be a member of, or associate with, any organization, formal or informal, that advocates the overthrow of the government of the State of Pennsylvania, or of these United States, or the violation of the Constitutions thereof."


    What if the government deserves to be overthrown?
    Life has a melody.

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