So what is Sam really up to?
The more research I do, the less I’m inclined to believe that he is doing this merely for the money.
Sam is someone who is very self-centered and believes in his personal greatness. His frustration is when that greatness isn’t recognized by others.
The venture that caused him to earn the federal conviction also energized him – he loved the attention. Posing as a security expert gained him all sorts of praise and adoration. He got published, got to sit on panels as an “expert”, interviewed as a professional, and got him the respect that he believes he rightly deserves.
I’m guessing that he still believes that he did nothing wrong, and was merely targeted because he was a threat to the status quo. He enjoyed the respect. It was never the cause, it was the respect.
He figured that he deserved it and came up with some ideas on how to get it again.
By the beginning of 2009 he came up with some ideas to get him back into the limelight and get his “earned” respect. In all fairness, he did still need to make a living, but I think most of the ventures were designed to support his lifestyle; only a few were designed to earn him his greatness.
The charities, modeling agency, the HVAC business, etc., were there to make a living. The real venture was to get into the political powerbroker game.
He saw the Tea Party Movement start and figured he could take advantage of it. Plenty of folks have made millions on the Tea Party. Some merely made money. Others gained political influence. Sam wanted both.
In early 2009 he formed America 527. A 527 organization or 527 group is a type of U.S. tax-exempt organization organized under Section 527 of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C. § 527).
In common practice the term is usually applied only to such organizations that are not regulated under state or federal campaign finance laws because they do not “expressly advocate” for the election or defeat of a candidate or party.
There are neither upper limits on contributions to 527s, nor restrictions on who may contribute. There are no spending limits imposed on these organizations; however, they must register with the IRS, publicly disclose their donors and file periodic reports of contributions and expenditures.
Examples of 527s include Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, The Media Fund, and America Coming Together.
Sadly for Sam, he dissolved this in 2011 after a little more than two years. 527s are required to disclose their donors, and when we looked at the online reports, he had attracted no donors.
But he wasn’t done with the Tea Party! On one of his many blogs, he describes the two years he spent crisscrossing the country following Tea Party groups. He published two books during this time (one of 108 pages and one of 194 pages) all trying to garner respect for the Kerodin brand. They were self-published by the publishing company that he started. They are still for sale on Amazon, even though the publishing company’s business license was forfeited to the State of Maryland.
He even convinced the Examiner (a specific subject-oriented web blog) to allow him to blog as the Washington DC Tea Party “expert”.
Along the way, he heard folks talking about the III Percent movement as being the “armed” wing of the Tea Party movement. He found Mike Vanderboegh of Sipsey Street Irregulars and acted like a fan and supporter. Once he learned the language and folks learned a little about him, he made the big split and went off on his own ventures.
We’ve talked about the dozens of ventures he started. While many of them helped fund his lifestyle (and not that fancy a life style, by all accounts), the goal was to get as many folks in the III movement to associate the III brand with the Kerodin brand. Instead of having to attract someone with a general belief in the III movement, he made “boutique” sub-groups to attract as many folks as he could.
Originally I thought it was about making a fortune, but they aren’t rich. It merely is about getting as many different interests associated with the Kerodin-III brand.
It appears that he learned about the efforts of Bo Gritz. Bo had quite the following with his STRIKE training. Thousands of folks who bought into (quite literally) the Bo model of training. As much as Bo made off the ventures, it had to be gratifying to be surrounded by large numbers of sycophants. Sam figured he could do the same thing.
Of course Bo had the credibility of actually serving in the Army during Vietnam! Sam liked the model, but in the absence of personal qualifications, he stole the skills and accomplishments of the OSS, namely the Jedburghs.
In the absence of real skills though, Sam tried to associate himself and his brand with respected professionals. When they discovered who Sam really was, they turned their backs on him. Sam needed someone on his side so he ended up affiliating himself with folks of dubious skills and reputations.
Bo’s other successful venture (at least for a little while) was an off the beaten path residential place called Almost Heaven. Bo made millions on this venture (bad business decisions caused him to lose the money, but it sold well for a while). Sam couldn’t copy it exactly, so he came up with the notion of a walled city. Copying Bo’s model, he chose Idaho for the base of his operations.
For a short period of time, Sam had achieved his goals. He was respected as a force in the III movement. His time with Glenn Beck had to bring flashbacks from his glory days working as a security “expert” after 9-11. But unlike Bo’s efforts, Sam’s Citadel plan was as much fantasy as the romance novel that he based it on (a book that he wrote and published). It sounded too good to be true and actually was.
Then the clouds burst and people figured out that it was all a dream. A dream of Sam’s that could never come to fruition. His efforts to save the Sam brand, caused him to double down in his attacks on his perceived enemies. Enemies that meant him no physical harm, but enemies that threatened his credibility and resultant respect in the III movement.
Folks started detaching the III brand from the Kerodin brand.
So, what’s left for Sam now?
His goal was personal respect and adoration. It still is.
He’s changed his focus on his various blogs to be the aggregator of the “truth” of the day. Political, military and other topics that he is “hand-picking” to make his sites the “go-to” place for patriotic, liberty minded folks.
Unlike many who create popular blogs, I don’t think he wants to build up a followership in order to sell the site. He wants to be the next Drudge, the next Limbaugh, the next Savage.
It will be up to his readers to decide if he can change his brand.
He’s lost lots of followers.
Perhaps a new batch of followers who aren’t familiar with his past will get him the power and respect that he believes he so rightly deserves. It’s up to those of us who have figured him out to make sure that potential new followers learn the truth before they get hurt, after that the decision is up to them.
I wouldn’t be surprised if we see another name change in the near future.