What A Difference A Year Can Make
Last year when I first heard of the Second Vermont Republic I had no idea where this would lead when I decided to put up a blog.   I did sense from what I'd learned initially that there was something "wrong" about the group but really I had no inkling of the depth of intellectual dishonesty that permeates the neo-Confederate movement, of which SVR is very much a part, or of the role Thomas Naylor and his cohorts at "Vermont Commons" were playing in the "Vermont secession" charade.
What I'd first thought was a possibility, that the whole "Vermont secession" thing was just a "boiling frog" scenario intended to dupe Vermonters into being the front group for a plot by a neo-Confederate cabal that Naylor has had a long, long involvement with, has turned out to be true.   Naylor spelled it out when he said that the plan was "to provide an example and a process for other states and nations which may be seriously considering separatism, secession, independence, and similar devolutionary strategies."   It turned out to be pretty much the only card in his deck and now that everyone's seen his hand the game appears to be over, at least where Vermont is concerned.
Whenever Vermonters look into secession, this seems to be where they ending up finding out "the whole story," i.e. the parts that Thomas Naylor and Rob Williams at SVR and VTCommons would rather Vermonters not find out about.   While the traffic here has been miniscule in blog terms (8,500+ hits since I started counting), it has served to get the truth out about SVR.   Even that wouldn't have been possible without the assistance of a number of Vermont blogs, most notably John Odum at Green Mountain Daily and JD Ryan at fivebeforechaos.   Out of state web resources such as the Anti-Defamation League, the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Anti-Neo-Confederate and others have been invaluable websites for finding the information that "put the pieces together" regarding Thomas Naylor's longterm, deep ties with the white supremacist, neo-Confederate movement.   The thoughts, comments and suggestions of Odum, JD, the SPLC's Intelligence Director, Mark Potok, Ed Sebesta at the Anti-Neo-Confederate, as well as many others, have all served to improve the quality of what's been posted here and this blog would have been poorer indeed were it not for each of them.
I'd understood that "there m(ight) be some heat as I shed light on the topic of secession," but I never thought that I'd get the number of threats that I did that started this past fall and have continued up until last week.   One secessionist even went so far as to put the lie to Naylor's oft stated malarkey that his is a "genteel revolution."   According to the most recent attempt at intimidation by one obvious nutcase, who also happens to blog at VTCommons and does web work for other secessionists like Kirkpatrick Sale at the Middlebury Institute, this blog promotes "dissension" which will lead to a "violent civil war."   I guess the message we're to take away is that if we Vermonters won't quietly come forward to drink the KoolAid, there'll be trouble.
It'd been my intention to wind things down as the anniversary date approached.   SVR is a spent group with little crediblity or support in Vermont any longer, but the continuing threats and blatant attempts to intimidate have now changed that intention.   The blog will remain as a chronology of Naylor and his allies now almost comically tragic pursuit of nihility.