Radok? Boramander? Zulif?

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According to CNN ("At least 7 arrested after raids in three states", 3/28/1010):

Federal authorities plan to unseal charges Monday against several people arrested in a series of weekend raids in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana, prosecutors in Detroit said Sunday. […]

Mike Lackomar, a county leader for the Southeast Michigan Volunteer Militia, said the target of the raid was a Christian militia group called the Hutaree. The group proclaims on a Web site that it is "preparing for the end time battles to keep the testimony of Jesus Christ alive."

The origin of the group's name, Hutaree, is not explained on what seems to be their web site. And there are other linguistic mysteries to be found there, including their system of paramilitary ranks.

One of their web pages gives this list:


I don't see basis in biblical or military history for Radok, Boramander, Zulif, Arkon, and Lukore. They sound kind of like Pokémon names (e.g. Arbok, Charmander, Zubat, Rokon), but there's no precedent there either.


Update — details of the indictments are discussed here and here:

Update #2 — Pictures of eight of the nine people indicted are shown here. Their ranks are not indicated, but the accompanying article does say that their leader, David Brian Stone, "also used the name 'Captain Hutaree'". You'd think that he'd be a (the?) Radok, not just a mere Captain. So I wonder whether the ranks on their web page might be some peculiar sort of joke.

Certainly someone involved in building the web site has a quirky sense of humor, as shown in the "Beast Watch" page, which mingles apparently serious stuff about implantable chips and RFID bracelets as versions of the "mark of the beast", and a link to an oh-so-serious discussions of "the potential beast government" in Europe (they think Javier Solana may be the antiChrist) and the question of a "pre-trib rapture" (they think not), with the following set of jokes about "The beast's number":

670 – Approximate number of the Beast
DCLXVI – Roman numeral of the Beast
666.0000000 – Number of the High Precision Beast
665.9999954 – Number of the Pentium Beast
0.666 – Number of the Millibeast
/666 – Beast Common Denominator
666 x sq. rt (-1) – Imaginary number of the Beast
1010011010 – Binary of the Beast
1-666 – Area code of the Beast
00666 – Zip code of the Beast
1-900-666-0666 – Live Beasts! Call Now! Only $6.66/minute. (Must be over 18)
$665.95 – Retail price of the Beast
$710.36 – Price of the Beast plus 6.66% state sales tax
$769.95 – Price of the Beast with all accessories and replacement soul
$606.66 – Price of the Beast at Wal-Mart
$566.66 – Price of the Beast at Costco
Phillips 666 – Gasoline of the Beast
Route 666 – Way of the Beast
666 F – Oven temperature for roast Beast
666k – Retirement plan of the Beast
666 mg – Recommended Daily Allowance of Beast
6.66 % – 5 year CD interest rate at First Beast of Hell National Bank ($666 minimum deposit)
6-6-6.xls – Spreadsheet of the Beast
Word 6.66 – Word Processor of the Beast
666i – BMW of the Beast
DSM-666 (revised) – Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the Beast
668 – Next-door neighbor of the Beast


  1. Kahomono said,

    March 29, 2010 @ 6:35 am

    Unmedicated schizophrenia comes to mind….

  2. Johan Anglemark said,

    March 29, 2010 @ 6:37 am

    Arkon's easy, the other ones I have no idea about.


    [(myl) Don't you mean http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arkon ?]

  3. Nick Lamb said,

    March 29, 2010 @ 7:03 am

    This seems to be a militia. In a conventional military most of your ranks are management hierarchy. The US navy needs to have about a dozen officer ranks so that everybody who is in charge of somebody else can be given an appropriate rank. A small country might get away with nine or ten. (NATO has translation charts so that you can figure out who you're supposed to salute on a base which has officers that use a wide variety of different systems)

    This chart has 12 ranks, and I doubt they have more than a few hundred members. To me that says it's functioning more like the ranks in a treehouse club. The kid with the treehouse gets to be "Radok" and his best friend is a "Boramander". The kid they don't like much is a "Lukore" except in the summer when they use his parent's pool, then he's "Gold Rifleman" and nobody is ever a "Silver Rifleman" because the Boramander's sister took the silver pen.

  4. Tyler said,

    March 29, 2010 @ 7:47 am

    Rokon is not a pokemon, but Rotom is.

  5. Vance Maverick said,

    March 29, 2010 @ 7:50 am


  6. tudza said,

    March 29, 2010 @ 8:05 am

    I remember going to a talk at a bookstore in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The talk somehow drew a few members of the local militia. One spent the time before things began by showing samples of some of the script they had come up with to use when US currency no longer had any worth.

    Oh, such a hobby!

  7. Sili said,

    March 29, 2010 @ 8:48 am


    Might it not just be a result of their high priest speaking in tongues?

  8. Justin said,

    March 29, 2010 @ 9:00 am

    According to http://www.hutaree.com/forum/read.php?12,140,140 , Hutaree's from a conlang of what I assume is one of the followers. It means "Christian Warrior". I'd gather that the other ranks are from the same conlang.

    [(mly) Good catch — I missed that. The forum entry in full, by RD-Merzonik, dated February 20, 2009 06:43AM, reads

    The word Hutaree, is from our own dilect, there are only about 4 people in the world that know this language, of course me being 1,lol.

    According to the Jennifer Chambers and Doug Guthrie, "Militia members arrested in Sunday raid to be charged today", Detroit News, 3/29/2010:

    The leader of the local group, Gulliksen said, is a man who goes by RD Merzonik on the group's Web site.

    "I've met him. He's an opinionated man who likes to share those opinions," Gulliksen said. "The Hutaree is a nationwide group, but I have met a couple of the members here and I can say they all belong to one specific church. Our concern is the protection of our nation. Religion appears to be a big part of what they are doing."

    The person quoted is Jim Gulliksen, "coordinator of the Lenaway Volunteer Michigan Militia with membership of about a dozen in the Adrian area", who also said ""Their philosophy and ours differ in many ways, so we don't do a whole lot with them. They are too extreme or radical for us … I just kind of got a bad feeling about the group and we did not want to associate with them. They are a little too paranoid for me."

    RD Merzonik's MySpace page doesn't quite have (what I think of as) the typical profile of a conlanger. But I shouldn't stereotype. ]

  9. Luis said,

    March 29, 2010 @ 9:07 am

    Boramander sounds vaguely Pañjabi. Zulif sounds like what happens when Arabic loanwords travel to Pakistan. Perhaps Radok is more of the same — perhaps there's some kind of Central / South Asian influence going on here.

  10. Luis said,

    March 29, 2010 @ 9:08 am

    Oh, missed the conlang thing. So there you go.

  11. Michael said,

    March 29, 2010 @ 9:20 am

    it is somewhat surprising that a christian group would not use biblically sounding titles. But then Smith was extremely inventive, too…

  12. Jon Hendry said,

    March 29, 2010 @ 9:57 am

    "The kid they don't like much is a "Lukore" except in the summer when they use his parent's pool, then he's "Gold Rifleman" and nobody is ever a "Silver Rifleman" because the Boramander's sister took the silver pen."

    Nick Lamb wins the internet and/or a Huttaree title of his own.

    Anyone suspect Huttaree is their own version of Hatari, as in the John Wayne movie? According to Wikipedia the movie says Hatari is Swahili for "danger".

  13. Kane Gruber said,

    March 29, 2010 @ 10:30 am

    I made the same Pokemon joke on Metafilter.

    (Hi, Johan!)

  14. Aelfric said,

    March 29, 2010 @ 10:43 am

    Sounds to me like a sort of hierarchical glossolalia–I'd be willing to bet they believe their language was 'given' rather than constructed.

  15. Luke said,

    March 29, 2010 @ 10:45 am

    RD Merzonik's MySpace page doesn't quite have (what I think of as) the typical profile of a conlanger.

    Especially because he's 11 inches tall. Face it, the guy's a troll.

  16. John Lawler said,

    March 29, 2010 @ 10:52 am

    Oh, boy. Thank you Mark.

    Now that I live out in Washington instead of Ann Arbor, I probably would have missed the goins-on in my old hood.

    And Friday I'm talking (partly about conlangs) at Norwescon (details, insofar as they exist yet, here), and the Hutaree rank system is definitely going into the handout.

  17. Thelonious Funk said,

    March 29, 2010 @ 11:43 am

    I'm pretty sure that a Boramander is a commander of boars.

  18. KCinDC said,

    March 29, 2010 @ 11:54 am

    Or a commander of boors?

  19. acb said,

    March 29, 2010 @ 11:55 am

    I'm pretty sure that a Boramander is a commander of boars.

    I imagine it'd be a cross between Godzilla and a mole.

  20. JimG said,

    March 29, 2010 @ 12:16 pm

    tangent warning!
    AFAIK, scrip (a substitute currency) is different from script (something written)

  21. William Ockham said,

    March 29, 2010 @ 12:46 pm

    When I saw the name "Hutteree" I assumed it was a malformation of Hutterites, a Christian sect of absolute pacifists.

    [(myl) The pronunciation seems to be [ɦuˈtɐ.ɹi], for what that may be worth.]

  22. cardini said,

    March 29, 2010 @ 1:20 pm

    It will be interesting to watch this as it unfolds.
    Looking at their videos and website, they are not Christian extremists and likely not even Christian. They have a private link called "Jew hating forum" but in the public forum they pander to Israel and say things like , "Christians would have nothing without Jews" along with a lot of other nonsense like the invented language discussed above. My summation is this is just to discredit genuine concerned citizens/militias like what happened in Oklahoma City. I'm not a Christian, but attacking Christians has been en vogue for a while and this is part of it too. Huttaree leadership are a zionist/government front as no public militia is going to initiate an attack on police. Another example is Schlesselman and Cowart from 2008, what happened to those goofballs?

  23. Benjamin Zimmer said,

    March 29, 2010 @ 1:45 pm

    Shouldn't the Hutaree be speaking Huttese?

  24. Jon H said,

    March 29, 2010 @ 1:54 pm

    "Looking at their videos and website, they are not Christian extremists and likely not even Christian."

    Um, their website is full of Bible verses. They're clearly end-times Christian nutjobs.

  25. Alex said,

    March 29, 2010 @ 2:57 pm

    "Hutaree" from Japanese 二人, futari, "two people"?

  26. Andrew (not the same one) said,

    March 29, 2010 @ 3:01 pm

    Nick Lamb: I suspect the twelve ranks do not form a single series – the three 'gunner' ranks and the three 'rifleman' ranks probably belong to different sections. That said, I agree there is something juvenile about this. A schoolfellow once initiated me into his private army, in which the highest rank was General, and the lowest rank was Private, but the intervening ranks included 'Posmun' and 'Pol'.

  27. Balloon Juice » Blog Archive » The only survivors of the National People’s Gang said,

    March 29, 2010 @ 7:02 pm

    […] I don't know why I find the Hutaree rank system so funny (h/t Doctor Science): […]

  28. Gordon Campbell said,

    March 29, 2010 @ 7:15 pm

    Hutaree? Perhaps there's some connection to the Hekawi tribe from F Troop?

  29. Nanani said,

    March 29, 2010 @ 9:31 pm

    Re: Pokémon, Rokon is a (mis)romanization of ロッコン (the official one is roccon), which was officially translated as Vulpix in all English-language pokéstuff.

    Boramander makes me think of Borat with a Charmander…

  30. Spectre-7 said,

    March 29, 2010 @ 9:48 pm

    Odd. I thought of Boromir and Anaximander.

  31. Teresa Nielsen Hayden said,

    March 29, 2010 @ 10:53 pm

    Aha! Thank you for clearing that up.

    Julie L. on the Making Light thread just referred me to this discussion. In my main entry there, I'd described the Hutaree nomenclature as "bad fantasy slush names." I'll cheerfully take "juvenile conlang" as a more-than-reasonable substitute.

  32. Graeme said,

    March 30, 2010 @ 9:16 am

    'Pre-trib rapture'? I have no idea what that could mean: sounds like liner notes from a girl-girl video. Safer by far than some end-day nutters.

  33. Nick Lamb said,

    March 30, 2010 @ 9:40 am

    Graeme, there's a large religious sub-culture which believes in an event called "the rapture" where God will take True Believers away to heaven. The same groups, roughly, believe in "the tribulation" where the world becomes a much worse place than it is now, typically for a period of seven years. They disagree about which of these mythical events happens first, and since this a trivial disagreement it is of course seen as absolutely the defining element of their religious faith. Hence, pre-trib rapture and post-trib rapture.

  34. Michael said,

    March 30, 2010 @ 10:36 am

    Cardini's "zionist/government front " comment suggests either profound ignorance or malicious misreading.

  35. Alexandra said,

    March 30, 2010 @ 12:50 pm

    They forgot my favorite number of the Beast:

    Avogadro's Number of the Beast: 6.66 * 10^23

  36. Dennis Paul Himes said,

    March 30, 2010 @ 3:40 pm

    -rw-rw-rw- the file permissions of the beast

  37. UL said,

    March 30, 2010 @ 4:23 pm

    Today, Michel Martin, host of NPR's Tell Me More asked Detroit Free Press reporter, Niraj Warikoo about the origin of "Hutaree." In his reposnse, Warikoo referenced a "linguistic expert from the University of Pennsylvania." I'm curious if Warikoo actually talked to someone from Penn or if he's merely following this LL thread.
    Click Here and advance to 2:27 of the audio file

  38. Vince said,

    March 30, 2010 @ 6:27 pm

    There is a "FREAK" rank missing, in my humble point of view…

  39. Spectre-7 said,

    March 30, 2010 @ 7:06 pm

    -rw-rw-rw- the file permissions of the beast

    My god… how will we stop him if he can't be executed?

  40. Dan Lufkin said,

    March 30, 2010 @ 8:16 pm

    Where there is a hutaree, does logic not insist there must be a hutarer? Still evading the FBI?

  41. mike said,

    March 30, 2010 @ 9:30 pm

    omg you people are hilarious. this is totally gonna be my homepage from now on. intelligent & hilarious. i know i can't spell…

    anyway on their blog on the hutaree website one of them makes a big deal about how christ's real name is yeheshua Ha-Notsri so i would guess that they were mixing up names ala the master and the margerita, EXCEPT….

    then i went to myspace and read all their pages and under books they all said some variation of "i don't read much bekause books are stupid"

  42. Cliff said,

    March 30, 2010 @ 11:19 pm

    Re the rapture mania, Google "Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty" to see the real skinny on that 180-year-old British fantasy that has produced American millionaires like Hal (serial polygamist) Lindsey, Tim LaHaye, John Hagee etc. If you want to go in-depth, Google "Pretrib Rapture – Hidden Facts," "The Newest Pretrib Calendar," or "Pretrib Rapture Secrecy." Cliff

  43. Alex said,

    March 31, 2010 @ 8:45 am

    Boramander certainly sounds like a monster from the Toho stable: Godzilla vs Boramander. The Bronze, Silver and Gold Riflemen would be more something out of a Shaw brothers movie.

  44. Mabon said,

    March 31, 2010 @ 10:20 pm

    Godzilla vs Boromander would be the sequel to Godzilla vs Lipitor.

  45. Anton Sherwood said,

    April 1, 2010 @ 2:51 am

    333: Eric the Half-a-Beast

    (from a t-shirt belonging to Galen Tripp, if memory serves)

  46. Lars Finsen said,

    April 7, 2010 @ 8:27 am

    They forgot i666, too – the Number of the Apple Beast.

  47. Old enough said,

    April 7, 2010 @ 1:35 pm

    6+6+6 – Beast's age of majority (Now he can call the Live Beasts! line!)

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