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This article is the second in a multi-part series looking at the far-right Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association (CSPOA) and other “Constitutional Sheriff” efforts to capitalize on the reaction by dozens of sheriffs in Illinois against a recently passed gun control law. In this article, IREHR looks at another feature of the Illinois campaign – the importance of CSPOA’s engagement with far-right groups and individuals that promote antisemitic conspiracism, bigotry, and religious nationalism.

Roots in Far Right Conspiracism: CSPOA On-the-Ground in Illinois

In announcing its March 4 training for law enforcement officers in Illinois, CSPOA CEO Sam Bushman described that one of the group’s strategies for growth is to host rallies with multiple organizations, explicitly naming the Christian Right Eagle Forum and the conspiracy-weaving John Birch Society as examples.[1]

Such a strategy is in keeping with CSPOA’s deep ties to the far right, including:

  • Adding CSPOA board member Michael Peroutka, a former Maryland leader of the white nationalist League of the South.
  • Sponsoring a 2021 national tour with Robert David Steele, a prolific purveyor of antisemitism.
  • Boasting a long-standing relationship with the insurrectionist Oath Keepers, six leaders of which were recently convicted of seditious conspiracy for their role in the January 6 insurrection.
  • Using as a trainer KrisAnne Hall, a far-right “constitutionalist” who thinks the U.S. Constitution’s 14th, 15th, and 19th Amendments are “unlawful.”

CSPOA’s Richard Mack (second from right) with Oath Keepers’ national leader Stewart Rhodes (far right)

Similar far-right ties are found among the two lead organizers of CSPOA’s Illinois recruitment and radicalization drive.

Antisemitism, the Fed and the Satanic Conspiracy: Danny Banks

The host of CSPOA’s March 4 invitation-only event is Danny Banks, a Rolling Meadows, Illinois-based anti-vaxxer and conspiracy theorist whose social media posts provide clues explaining his involvement with CSPOA.[2]

Danny Banks

In September 2022, Banks displayed his affinity for far-right banking conspiracies, posting a link assailing the Federal Reserve Bank and alleging that U.S. dollars were “counterfeit receipts” compared to silver dollars and silver-backed currency.[3] Banks’ post provided a  link to the “End the Fed” website, a platform alleging that Federal Reserve Bank,

“counterfeiting causes the price of goods and services to rise…finances the tools of the government’s oppression over you: the militarization of the police, the surveillance apparatus, and the endless wars…END THE FED! A free market, where each individual has the freedom to choose what form of money to use rather than one being forced on them, must be allowed to function in its place…Central banks use their counterfeiting rackets to rig interest rates, bailout their cronies, fund the welfare state, fund the police state, fund the warfare state, create asset booms and busts, and stifle economic growth.”[4]

End the Fed’s motif of central banks as parasitic, the call to privatize the money supply, and the coupling of anti-elite frames with an attack on the “welfare state” is not accidental. For instance, one of the books the page recommends for “Getting Informed” is The Secrets of the Federal Reserve by Eustace Mullins.[5]

Eustace Mullins was a rabid antisemite whose 1954 book The Federal Reserve Conspiracy summed its aims as,

“Exposing the plot behind the passage of the Federal Reserve Act of 1913, which was the abdication of Congress, and the creation of the money trust, placing the nation’s banking reserves in the hands of the Jewish International Bankers for the purpose of carrying out their nearly fulfilled world dictatorship plan.”[6]

End the FED also recommends books by racist libertarian leader Ron Paul, 1970s tax protestor Irwin Schiff and Murray Rothbard, the paleo-libertarian “thinker” who embraced issue-framings used by David Duke in his 1992 election campaigns and defended the neo-Nazi as a “right-wing populist.” Alongside praise for the former Knights of the Ku Klux Klan leader, Rothbard advocated his own brand of devolutional nationalism, calling for the “decomposition and decentralization of the modern centralizing and coercive nation-state, deconstructing that state into constituent nationalities and neighborhoods, we shall at one and the same time reduce the scope of government power, the scope and importance of voting.”

Among the websites recommended by End the Fed are the Ron Paul Liberty Report, the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, the site of paleolibertarian Lew Rockwell, and Oath Keepers.[7]

Danny Banks’ own Facebook page is peppered with far-right conspiracism, including posting memes stating that contrails left in the sky by planes are “LUCIFERS (sic) ATTEMPT” at a “MASTERPIECE” and declaring “Our government has been overthrown by a satanic cabal that wants to reduce the populations.”[8]

Additionally, Banks posted a meme about the Black Lives Matter protests against police racism and violence, stating, “Phase 2 of Operation New World Order has been Deployed…The Orchestrated Riots to bring in Marshall Law.”[9]

Conspiracism such as this is a consistently radicalizing aspect of far-right ideologies, positing an often racialized or quasi-religious evil and global conspiracy seen at work in left-to-centrist-leaning state policies. In this respect, such conspiracism provides a framework for violence and insurrection when the “conspiracy” is seen as having outright captured government – as in Banks’ statement that the government has been “overthrown by a satanic cabal that wants to reduce the populations.” As with End the Fed, these are often linked to antisemitism.

Such themes have long been part of CSPOA’s framework. In addition to hosting a national tour with antisemite Robert David Steele, Richard Mack has declared, “There is one person who I believe can stop this new world order. His name is your county sheriff. There is no question your sheriff has the responsibility to protect you from tyranny and international bankers.” And CSPOA has also promoted election denial conspiracies, a framework that has undergirded the January 6 insurrection and the group’s efforts to organize sheriffs to intervene in elections.

By early 2020, Banks was active in COVID denial mobilizations and promoting anti-vaxxer politics. Among other things, Banks boosted the use of the horse and sheep de-wormer Ivermectin as a COVID-19 cure, posted a meme declaring that “Vaccines are all poison,” and repeated some of the COVID denial mobilization’s most egregious practices by promoting spurious comparisons between vaccinations to stop the spread of pandemic and the Holocaust.[10]

In a particularly offensive example of the latter, Banks circulated a meme declaring, “A new badge has been created which will allow you to go back to work, to travel in your state, to fly, catch a train or bus, and to buy and sell.” The meme includes a replica of the yellow stars Jews were forced to wear during the Holocaust, the word “Vaccinated” and an identification number placed on it.[11]

Jewish organizations around the globe have roundly denounced the use of Holocaust imagery in this manner. For instance, the Montreal Holocaust Museum called this type of display of the yellow star “a painful symbol of Jewish discrimination and the Holocaust” and added, “comparisons between vaccine passports and yellow Stars of David are offensive, inaccurate and attempt to trivialize the painful history of the Holocaust.”

Another meme posted by Banks amidst his COVID denial activism expressed anti-Muslim bigotry, depicting women wearing turtlenecks that extended to cover their faces and stating, “IT’S BEGINNING TO LOOK A LOT LIKE ISLAM.”[12]

In 2020, Banks started joining COVID denial Facebook groups, including Reopen Illinois – Save our workers, restaurants, and businesses (joined May 2020), Illinois Standing Against Tyranny (joined October 2021), Reopen USA, and the New York Patriots Group, formerly New Yorkers for Medical Freedom (joined 2022). Banks would become a member of FREEDOM CONVOY TO DC 2022 LOGISTICS, Carpool, Lodging, Support, Forum.[13]

Further reflecting far-right COVID denial politics, Banks circulated a Tea Party Patriots “National Rally” against “USELESS Mask Mandates” and “ANY FORCED vaccinations.”[14] And he posted material praising Kari Lake and casting the far-right election denier as “Our first future woman president.”[15]

Banks frequently stresses the need for his movement to recruit police and military into the cause.[16] As early as August 2020, Banks began posting articles of sheriffs defying COVID-19-related orders.[17] By February 2022, Banks was posting information about CSPOA events.[18]  And Banks would voice the Posse Comitatus theme boosted by CSPOA, writing that “sheriffs have the power to say no to unconstitutional mandates, even if they come from the president or governor.”[19]

While promoting a 2022 CSPOA event, Banks endorsed the violence always potentially present in the CSPOA’s pro-paramilitary strategy. In February 2022, Banks wrote that the effort to organize sheriffs is “a real strategy to put a stop to this tyranny, by force if necessary.”[20] In another post, Banks wrote,

“I see 2 ways out of this path to communism and slavery. 1. All out civil war. The problem with this idea is that we have no way to communicate and organize tens of millions of Americans without government surveillance. 2. Follow me on this one. Overthrow them from the inside, like they’ve done to us. There’s a global movement of people buying physical silver. The US and Australian mints have already announced they have shortages of silver. The power to issue endless amounts of paper currency is absolute. If people choose a form of money that they can’t control, it destroys the entire criminal financial system.”[21]

On December 22, 2020, one day after a mob of some 300 people, including armed individuals and members of the Proud Boys and Patriot Prayer, attempted to force their way into the Oregon State Capitol, Banks posted an article about the event titled, “Heavily Armed Far-Right Mob Floods Oregon Capitol.”[22]

Banks wrote, “A good start.”[23]

An exchange on his Facebook page on January 6, 2021, demonstrates Banks’ dismissal of the violence occurring during the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. [24] In response to a post in which Banks stated, “We’re basically a province of China right now. People have to get organized with their local police and military that still believe in freedom,” one individual replied, “are (sic) you watching the news (sic). protest (sic) in Capitol building.” Banks responded by characterizing the insurrection as “People walking around with American flags being accused of rioting” and dismissed media coverage as “CCP [Chinese Communist Party] propaganda.”

When another commenter declared, “I was there. It was amazing and positive,” Banks castigated a media that “painted it like a terrorist attack.” When the commenter continued, “Oh I know the media sucks total drama it was peaceful it was fun it was great energy the whole time no crazies its great I feel so bad for our country,” Banks responded, “1000 percent agreed.” Banks would, however, express pessimism that the effort would lead to change.

Down the Rabbit Hole with Jennifer Martin

Another CSPOA organizer on the ground in Illinois is Jennifer Martin, the activist who corresponded with the Illinois Sheriff’s Association Executive Director Jim Kaitschuk and whose message was sent to sheriffs around the state.

Jennifer Martin is a Perry County Commissioner, elected in 2022.[25] In June 2022, while a candidate for the position, Martin was charged with disorderly conduct (Class C misdemeanor) when she refused to leave Trico High School after being trespassed by the principal. Martin was accused of further engaging law enforcement officers in “a loud verbal argument while school was in session.”[26]

Jennifer Martin

Martin is also a far-right conspiracy theorist and anti-vaxxer who has spread anti-Muslim and racist birther-style claims.

In 2015 Martin re-posted a spin on racist “birther” claims about former President Barrack Obama—the debunked claim that Obama was a foreign student at Columbia University (a conspiracy “theory” that spread exponentially across the presidential campaign of Donald Trump).[27]

That same year Martin, a Trump supporter, also posted a false and debunked claim that Valerie Jarret, an advisor to President Obama, had said that she sought to turn the U.S. into a “more Islamic country.”[28]

As the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Jenny Martin appears to have been radicalized by anti-mask and anti-vaxxer protests, changing her Facebook profile picture to feature a sign stating “UNMASK OUR KIDS” and posting a meme stating, “#AllVaccinesArePoison.”[29] Long before the pandemic, Martin was sharing anti-vaccine propaganda on Facebook—as far back as 2015.

During this period, Martin joined several COVID denial/anti-vaxxer Facebook groups, including Open Perry County Illinois back up now, Freedom of Choice in Illinois Schools, Freedom is Calling (later Patriot Brigade), and Illinois Educators for Medical Freedom.[30]

Across the COVID-19 pandemic, Martin emerged as a full-blown conspiracy theorist, endorsing the idea of a “dark & wickedly sinister agenda behind this whole Coronavirus thing” and positing an elite need to get rid of then-President Trump.”[31]

Martin’s conspiracist COVID denial activism may have played a role in advancing CSPOA’s project with the Illinois Sheriffs Association (ISA). In the email that ISA leader Jim Kaitschuk sent to sheriffs around the state about the CSPOA event, he described Martin’s as “interesting” and “at the forefront of the covid suits.”[32]

In August 2020, Martin posted the Qanon “Q” symbol and associated white rabbit, indicating an affinity for that particular brand of far-right conspiracism.[33]  By July  2021, Martin posted a meme declaring, “THE DEEPER YOU LOOK THE MORE YOU’LL FIND. WE’RE IN A DIFFERENT KIND OF WAR. NOT GUNS AND BOMBS. IT’S A WAR OF THE MIND. A NEW WORLD ORDER TO DESTROY MANKIND.”[34]

In July 2021, Martin would post a link to antisemitic conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and re-post a message stating, “BREAKING ARIZONA UPDATE…RIGGED ELECTION…TRUMP WON ARIZONA!”[35]

Martin would also promote a reactionary stance toward the murder of George Floyd by then-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin and the movement for Black Lives. On the first count, in April 2021, she posted a meme stating, “Chauvin immediately stood calmly placed his hands behind his back. Imagine where we’d be had George done the same.”[36]

Another meme posted by Martin assailed Black Lives Matter in the form of a “question” asking, “I’m curious, has BLM helped one black person get a job or an education? Have they cleaned up one city? Built any Rec Centers? Have they really helped any blacks at all?”[37] Another would include a sketch of Barrack Obama, stating, ‘BREAKING NEWS. POLICE RELEASE SKETCH OF SUSPECT RESPONSIBLE FOR AMERICA’S RACIAL DIVIDE.”[38]

Such racism denial and distortion of the basic facts of American racism have also been part and parcel of CSPOA’s bag of bigoted tricks. For instance, Richard Mack is notorious for writing the racist lie that “the Reverend Jesse Jackson types and the NAACP have done more to enslave Afro-Americans than all the southern plantation owners put together.”

CSPOA’s drive to radicalize American law enforcement in the direction of Posse Comitatus “policing” practices is dependent on gains in two areas: building a network of sheriffs with the capacity to reach other law enforcement officers and working with an existing network of far-right individuals and organizations.

Both are on display in Illinois. Both must be stopped.



[1] CSPOA Posse Intel Webinar 01-24-23. CSPOA Intel Webinar Sam & Jimmie Discuss Upcoming Rally Being Planned in Illinois Against Gun Control.

[2] Sheriff Mack Training. Evite. Accessed February 7, 2022

[3] Banks, Danny. Facebook. September 10, 2022.

[4] The site elaborated that the Fed  “is siphoning off the productivity that should have come from those technological advances. The reality is that you are working overtime solely for the benefit of some bankers who the government gave the power to conjure money out of nothing. In addition, the Fed’s counterfeiting finances the tools of the government’s oppression over you: the militarization of the police, the surveillance apparatus, and the endless wars…END THE FED! A free market, where each individual has the freedom to choose what form of money to use rather than one being forced on them, must be allowed to function in its place.” End The Fed. Why Should I Care?; End The Fed. THE BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO UNDERSTANDING THE FRAUD OF FIAT CURRENCY & CENTRAL BANKING. Accessed February 6, 2023.

[5] End The Fed. Getting Informed Books.  Accessed February 6, 2023.

[6] Mullins, Eustace. 1954. The Federal Reserve Conspiracy. Union, New Jersey: Christian Educational Association.

[7] End The Fed. Getting Informed. Websites. Accessed February 6, 2022.

[8] Bans, Danny. Facebook. September 29, 2021.; Banks, Danny. Facebook. July 18, 2021.

[9] Banks, Danny. May 31, 2022.

[10] Banks, Danny. Facebook. January 25, 2022.; Banks, Danny. Facebook. January 17, 2022.; Banks, Danny. Facebook. January 3, 2022.; Banks, Danny. Facebook. April 14, 2021.

[11] Banks, Danny. Facebook. January 4, 2021.

[12] Banks, Danny. Facebook. December 27, 2020.

[13] Illinois Standing Against Tyranny. Facebook.; New York Patriots Group. Facebook.; Reopen Illinois – Save our workers, restaurants, and businesses; FREEDOM CONVOY TO DC 2022 LOGISTICS, Carpool, Lodging, Support, Forum.

[14] Banks, Danny. Facebook. August 27, 2021.

[15] Banks, Danny. Facebook. June 25, 2022.

[16] Banks, Danny. Facebook. January 6, 2021.

[17] Banks, Danny. August 9, 2020.

[18] Banks, Danny. Facebook. February 17, 2022.

[19] Banks, Danny. Facebook. February 15, 2022.

[20] Banks, Danny. Facebook. February 3, 2022.

[21] Banks, Danny. Facebook. June 9, 2021.

[22] Banks, Danny. Facebook. December 22, 2020.

[23] Banks, Danny. Facebook. December 22, 2020.

[24] Banks, Danny. Facebook. January 6, 2021.

[25] Perry County Illinois. Perry County Officials. Accessed February 8, 2023; Governmental Business Systems. November 8, 2022 General Election ** Unofficial Results. Accessed February 8, 2023.

[26] Martin, Jenny. Facebook. July 20, 2022.

[27] Reuters Staff. False claim: Obama’s Columbia University ID card shows he was a foreign student.  May 4, 2020.; Martin, Jenny. Facebook. December 3, 2015.                                                                    

[28] Putterman, Samantha. No, Valerie Jarrett never said she seeks to ‘change America to be a more Islamic country’. Politifact. May 7, 2019.; Martin, Jenny. Facebook. December 10, 2015.; Martin, Jenny.  Facebook. November 3, 2020.

[29] Martin, Jenny. August 8, 2021.                                                                                      ; Martin, Jenny. Facebook. April 2, 2021.

[30] Open Perry County Illinois back up now. Facebook.; Facebook.; Illinois Educators for Medical Freedom. Facebook.; Patriot Brigade. Facebook. Accessed February 16, 2023.

[31] Martin, Jenny. Facebook. March 14, 2020. In this post, Martin announces that, “This is what I have been trying to say !!” posts  “opinions piece” stating,

“There is a dark & wickedly sinister agenda behind this whole Coronavirus thing. It is not what they are telling us. There is a book about the stock market crash of 2008. It was a managed crash. There was an election that needed to be won. A managed crash of the stock market was necessary. It worked. That election was won.  Now, there is another election that needs to be won and the same people, and companies are panicking the public about the Coronavirus. The main stream media has become an instrument of propaganda (sic). This panic is tanking the stock market. Based on the CIA World Factbook, there 7.7 billion people in the world. There are 333 million people in the United States. Add in the 40 million illegal immigrants, there are upwards of 370 million. Worldwide, there has been less than 4 thousand deaths….Why are companies & schools in the United States closing down when not even 100k people are sick and less that 20 people have died? Why are companies like Twitter, Facebook, Citibank, etc., encouraging their employees to work from home “to avoid getting sick?” Why is the media hyping this disease up?…We have had the worst market crash ever because of the Chinese situation with covid-19, but according to news reports, less than 4 thousand people in China, a country of 1.4 billion have died. Why is the whole world shutting down? People in high places have stated that they are willing to lose money in the stock market if it will get rid of this President. Because of media hype, the President and CVC are forced to react. HUGE RED FLAG, The president asked for 2 billion dollars to combat this virius. Democrats said, nooooooo! We need 8 billion: and actually gave the 8 billion to him. Hummmm. Keep watching. Something wicked will be exposed in the future.”

[32] Email from Jim Kaitschuk to Dwight Baird, Richland County Sheriff Andrew Hires, Ogle County Sheriff Brian VanVickle, Nick Petitgout. January 13, 2023.  Kaitschuk wrote of Martin, “I spoke to this gal earlier today at the request of Sheriff Bullard. She is ‘interesting’ and has been at the forefront of the covid suits and other issues. She wanted our involvement in all this and wanted us to share this. My thought would be to just share this with sheriffs as an FYI and that be it. Thoughts?”

[33] Martin, Jenny. August 1, 2020.                                          

[34] Martin, Jenny. Facebook. July 19, 2021.

[35] Martin, Jenny. Facebook.; Martin, Jenny. Facebook. July 16,2021.

[36] Martin, Jenny. Facebook. April 21, 2021.

[37] Martin, Jenny. Facebook. April 20, 2021.

[38] Martin, Jenny. Facebook. April 16, 2021.

Chuck Tanner

Author Chuck Tanner

Chuck Tanner is an Advisory Board member and researcher for the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights. He lives in Washington State where he researches and works to counter white nationalism and the anti-Indian and other far right social movements.

More posts by Chuck Tanner