Is That a Gun in Your Pocket?...

Marilyn G. wants a mate who is armed with more than a smile. And she knows that there are others in the patriot movement who feel the same way. So she has become Marilyn the Patriot Matchmaker. Now her unique Colorado-based business--a worldwide newsletter full of romance ads and patriot chitchat--is booming among those who have looked for black helicopters in all the wrong places.

Relentlessly sunny and cheerful, the 53-year-old Marilyn set up shop at the patriot movement's Preparedness Expo earlier this month in Denver to scout for new clients who want to fight the New World Order with a helpmate.

"If you're going to go through these hard times," she says, "it's better to do it together."

And she offers some dynamite prospects. Take, for instance, David, a self-described "Teutonic Celt" who's "80 percent Jeffersonian, 15 percent National Socialist and 5 percent Anarchist." If he doesn't boil your water, how about Berny? He's 45, a former helicopter pilot now self-employed as an emu rancher who wants to share his "self-sufficient lifestyle" in Kamiah, Idaho. If you're looking for a female, how about "half-attractive" Jeanne, who cuts and hauls her own wood and is an avid reader and shortwave-radio listener? Then there's Patty, whose ad declares: "Must love Jesus, birds, flowers, people and simple, natural life. I am interested in nutrition, aware of NWO."

Interspersed among the personals are short articles extolling the virtues of hemp-seed oil and dissing the use of the sweetener Aspartame. Occasionally, one of the clients of Marilyn's matchmaking service pens a story: A recent issue featured a science-fiction romance tale by member Jerry that revolves around a "Venusian serpent woman masquerading as a human." Another article offers instructions for using ZIP codes without submitting to "federal jurisdiction." For the most part, however, the newsletter features personals and Marilyn's own pep talks. "These macho guys," she writes, "are very much in need of the support and comfort that you girls can give them."

That squares with Marilyn's view of what she calls a "patriot hero." She says it's "important for a woman to respect her man. I'm a strong person, although very traditional."

Marilyn herself is looking for Mr. Rightwing, and not just any old flag-waver will do. "I've always liked the kind of guys who'll get me shot," she says. Unfortunately, her newsletter has kept her so busy that she hasn't had time to really explore her options.

"I don't have the time to think of myself," she says. "When it's meant to be, it'll happen. I'll find the right person. I do have a couple of prospects, but there are problems with each of them: One guy's a political prisoner and the other is not yet a superpatriot."

Marilyn wasn't always a superpatriot herself. Born in Las Vegas, she spent a number of years as a housewife. She also sold real estate and appeared as an extra in forty to fifty movies, including First Monday in October and Best Friends. Then, about a decade ago, her disgruntlement with the IRS inspired her involvement in the patriot movement. Earlier this year she launched her dating service from the remote town of Craig; in the ensuing months, she has garnered hundreds of responses, some from overseas. (She has since moved her operation to Frederick, a burg north of Denver.) Sixty-nine dollars will get you a subscription to Marilyn's bimonthly tip sheet full of personals. "Full-service matchmaking" costs $399. In an attempt to weed out undesirables, Marilyn's questionnaire asks specifically whether applicants are "agents" of the federal government.

She says she hasn't yet "broken even" in this labor of love. "It's a co-op thing," she says. "I'm providing a service." But it does keep her connected with other patriots. And that was her main goal.

"I'm single and I love patriots," she says. "I'm not a researcher, and I'm not an expert on law. But I love hanging around these people. I thought to myself, 'What can I do?' And then I decided, 'I'll be their matchmaker!'"

And the Preparedness Expo, conducted at the Denver Coliseum November 8 through 10, was fertile ground for Marilyn with its exhibits, seminars and booths at which anti-parasite medicine was hawked along with "microcurrent" and "color" therapy, lethal blowguns, copies of the far-right newspaper The Spotlight and racist and anti-Semitic books (including one that portrayed a boot with a Star of David stomping on "Christian civilization").

Celebrities like Colonel "Bo" Gritz and talk-show host Dr. Norm Resnick, whose radio shows are beamed around the globe via shortwave, were in attendance to guide the crowds through the far-right liturgy. But this audience was already converted.

Marilyn herself has taken a typical path to patriot values. She recalls the feeling of "slavery" when she was filling out her income-tax returns and soon latched on to the belief that the IRS is "unconstitutional." She's now hip to all the patriot jargon, referring to the recent election as "Votescam," to the political parties as "Republicrats" and to the educational system as the "public fool system." To her, most Americans are brainwashed.

"Yes," she says, "I'm one of those 'nuts' that believe in conspiracy." Gesturing at the crowd, she adds, "I like these people because everybody's thinking, and sometimes they figure out the truth."

And one of the truths she holds dear is that a strong man needs a helpful woman. Like Robert, who needs "a quiet, submissive, long haired, Caucasian, Christian woman to bait my fishin' hooks, etc." Or Dale, who's "looking for a petite patriot white female...who loves her family and country." Perhaps they would enjoy holding hand grenades with Linda, a "survival-minded, well-informed woman" who "wants to be prepared and will stand by your side when the chips are down." Or maybe Bonnie, who's "interested in Bible prophecy, talk radio, horses and cooking" and is "looking for an attractive large boned male." A few of the ads may strike some as disquieting, including one from an unnamed patriot (#N101 in Marilyn's tip sheet) who advertises himself as a power-plant mechanic with "nuclear" experience. Others are from patriots who might qualify as Renaissance men, such as Hugh: "I am a futurist, woodsman, survivalist and a hypnotherapist."

The tip sheet is heavily weighted with men looking for female partners, but Marilyn tells her readers that she hopes to rectify the situation by advertising for female clients in the magazine Women and Guns. Even without such marketing, she's drawing more and more people, and though she can't point to any marriages yet, she says, "I have some people with very serious sparks."

Marilyn describes herself as "a strong person, although very traditional." Many of her subscribers also fit that shoe, like Marianne, who says, "I enjoy being a lady but I can be tough when it comes to guarding freedom."

People outside the patriot movement have had a field day with such lines from Marilyn's newsletter--a recent issue of Harper's poked fun by featuring excerpts from the personals. But Marilyn isn't put off by the parody. The more publicity, the better. "It didn't bother me," she says with a grin. "I just think they should have put my phone number and address in."

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