Betyársereg was introduced to Hungarian public life in 2008, when its members arrived to an irredentist protest clad in black, wearing face-masks, some of them on horseback cracking bullwhips. As the organization advertises on its own website, in a self-summary dated 2009, „the laws of the republic are not worth much in our eyes. But we obey the ancient laws of the puszta, and we make others obey it as well. Those in power have forced us outside the bounds of the law.“
Later Betyársereg came to be known for their participation in the vigilante occupation of Gyöngyöspata, a town in north-eastern Hungary, following a rally held there by far-right party Jobbik against the „criminal behavior“ of Romas residing in the town.