Police in Montana are more than aware of the white nationalists’ activities. But in the absence of criminal activity, there’s little they can do. “We’ve got a lot of dangerous guys in Kalispell,” Police Chief Roger Nasset said. “But as long as they are peaceful, we can’t hold [their beliefs] against them.”
On February 2, 2014, I made a prophetic blog about Rena Christianson-Easton. She was living in Montana when she wrote me a long letter on Christmas Day. When I responded, she had deputy, Dan Mayland of Bozeman, give me a call. He told me Rena had come into the cop station and accused me of stalking her.
“I don’t have her address, or phone number, just a P.O. Box. If she gets another letter from me, all she has to do is throw it in the wastebasket. Did you see anything that looks like stalking in my letter, that you tell me she reconstructed from memory – after she tore it into little pieces – that she showed you in a paper bag?”
“No. But, there is no accounting for women’s actions, sometimes!”
That day has arrived! In Britain, a million people signed a petition forbidding Trump to see ‘The Queen’.
“Donald Trump should be allowed to enter the UK in his capacity as head of the US government, but he should not be invited to make an official State Visit because it would cause embarrassment to Her Majesty the Queen,” the petition said.
In 1976 I said this to someone who asked me what I thought about Rosamond’s Art.
“Her women are proof even Nazis had girlfriends. They look down their nose at men, and declare “I don’t need you!”
Christine had let her father back in her life and was emulating his superior attitude. One of his secretaries called him ‘Vic The Nazi’ to his face, on a regular basis. She ended up dead after Vic took her on a date. If I had introduced Rena to Captain Victim, he would have knocked me out with his infamous sucker-punch, dragged Rena into his bedroom, and raped her – for the Fatherland!
Rena is seventeen in the image above that she gave me when I visited her in Nebraska. It appeared on a post for a Oktoberfest event at the University of Nebraska. At the museum she struck a pose. As Diana she knelt on one knee, and drew an invisible bow. I was familiar with Ideal Nazi Art. She was the finest specimen of Aryan Womanhood I have ever lay my eyes on. Her ancestors were Danes.
Bannon’s demand that the media shut up and listen, suggests T-REX ‘King of Monsters’ has a master plan full of his beautiful ideas – and beautiful Beauty Queens he has judged. He flew freely to other nations to judge young beauties. If PBS wants to save its federal funding, I suggest they produce…..
‘President Trump – The Beautiful Years’
Leave out that crap T-Rex walked in on teenagers in order to catch them, naked. Have naked women posing as statues (painted gold) come alive as he walks proudly down ‘The Trump Museum of the Greek Gods’. They will throw rose petals before him as he takes us behind the vaulted door where lie all the gold that was in Fort Knox.
“I brought it here because I am opening my War Tax Casino, where my Bright Youth Movement can invest in stocks, using their Social Security funds they will not have to pay into. Alas, Trump Casinos International, will be a big success. The more enemies we make, the more money White Americans have to invest. It’s a legal Ponzi Scheme that I only want my Loyal Republicans to benefit from. But, that would be selfish of me.”
In June of last year I began my fictional story ‘Lucky Victors’ co-starring Winston Churchill’s daughter. I love that sign in back of Richard Spencer that is dropped when he gets punched in the head…….
“WHITE LIVES MATTER TOO MUCH”
Christine was the model of her portrait of our mother ‘Rosemary’. At he funeral Vic sat in the back and avoided the woman who gave birth to his children, because he knew it was not safe. They had not seen each other in over thirty years. He paid a professional photographer to take pictures of the grief of his surviving children, who did not know he was present! Is this stalking? Or, is this Art?
Rena was Rosamond’s and my muse. I told her my sister took up art after she saw he painting I did of her in 1971. We are now officially in White Art World. How…surreal!
The FBI is reportedly reviewing the spate of harassing emails and tweets that have slammed residents of the small town of Whitefish, Mont., after the neo-Nazi site Daily Stormer put out a cyberhit on several members of the Jewish community there last week.
The call to “take action” against Jews in the small ski resort town was issued after Whitefish resident and property owner Sherry Spencer, mother of prominent white nationalist figure Richard Spencer, told the local ABC News affiliate earlier this month that mounting backlash over her son’s controversial political views had forced her to consider selling her property downtown. According to Spencer, pressure from Whitefish real estate agent Tanya Gersh and members of the local human rights group Love Lives Here caused her “financial harm.”
Divine destiny has given the German people everything in the person of one man. Not only does he possess strong and ingenious statesmanship, not only is he ingenious as a soldier, not only is he the first worker and the first economist among his people but, and this is perhaps his greatest strength, he is an artist. He came from art, he devoted himself to art, especially the art of architecture, this powerful creator of great buildings. And now he has also become the Reich’s builder.”
–Hakenkreuzbanner (The Swastika Flag), June 10, 1938
Graham Guest, the British lawyer who created the petition, said he had no specific issue or policy position in mind when he started the petition. It was just Trump the man, really. “Maybe Trump’s travel ban has angered people and they want him to know what it’s like to be banned from a country,” he wrote to CNN. The petition says Trump would be allowed into the country, but that an official state visit would “cause embarrassment to Her Majesty the Queen.” “Donald Trump’s well documented misogyny and vulgarity disqualifies him from being received by Her Majesty the Queen or the Prince of Wales. Therefore during the term of his presidency Donald Trump should not be invited to the United Kingdom for an official State Visit,” the petition states. This is not the first time Trump has faced such calls. In January last year, a petition to ban him from the UK after he made controversial remarks about Muslims gained almost 590,000 signatures and was debated in Parliament, with MPs from all major parties denouncing him. The proposed ban, however, did not go to a vote.
British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has warned U.K. politicians against attempts to “demonize” U.S. President Donald Trump over draconian new immigration controls.
Speaking in the House of Commons Monday, Johnson said he felt “disquiet” over Trump’s “highly controversial” policy, adopted by executive order Friday, of temporary restrictions on immigration from some muslim-majority countries and a freeze on the U.S. refugee programme
But while Johnson reiterated that this was “not an approach that this government would take,” describing it as “divisive, discriminatory and wrong,” he said it would be counterproductive to “demonize” the Trump administration.
He said that the U.S. and U.K. work together “more closely than any other two countries in the world” on security, and that a strong alliance between the two was vital.
Pointing to UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s “highly successful visit to the White House” last Friday 27 January as evidence of “the strength of that transatlantic alliance,” Johnson claimed it had helped him to secure an “exemption for U.K. passport holders” that immunizes British dual citizenship holders from the measures.
Thornberry continued: “When it comes to human rights, when it comes to women’s rights, when it comes to torture and the treatment of minorities President Trump is already descending down a very dangerous slope.
“We need a prime minister who is prepared to tell him to stop; not one who simply proffers her hand and silently helps him along.”
Meanwhile Yvette Cooper, a Labour member of parliament, said that Johnson’s criticism of Trump did not go far enough.
“One of our closest allies has chosen to ban refugees and target Muslims and all he can say is ‘well it wouldn’t be our policy,’” she said, “That’s not good enough.”
“For the sake of history, for heaven’s sake have the guts to speak out,” Cooper said.
Around the nation, security personnel at major international airports had new rules to follow, though the application of the order appeared chaotic and uneven. Humanitarian organizations delivered the bad news to overseas families that had overcome the bureaucratic hurdles previously in place and were set to travel. And refugees already on flights when the order was signed on Friday found themselves detained upon arrival.
“We’ve gotten reports of people being detained all over the country,” said Becca Heller, the director of the International Refugee Assistance Project. “They’re literally pouring in by the minute.”
State Attorney General Bob Ferguson said he will file a federal lawsuit Monday seeking to invalidate key provisions of President Trump’s executive order temporarily barring all refugees and immigration by citizens of seven majority Muslim countries.
Ferguson said the lawsuit — the first challenge of Trump’s order to be brought by a state — will be backed by declarations from Seattle-based Expedia and Amazon.com, testifying to negative business impacts of Trump’s order.
“We are a country based on the rule of law. In a courtroom, it is not the loudest voice that prevails. It’s the Constitution,” Ferguson, a Democrat, said at a news conference in Seattle. He said his legal team worked through the weekend to prepare the complaint, which will be filed in U.S. District Court against Trump, the Department of Homeland Security and top administration officials.
More on immigration order:
- Washington AG to file lawsuit seeking to invalidate Trump’s immigration order
- Light-rail trains loaded with protesters skipped Sea-Tac briefly — but why?
- Here’s what happened over the weekend in Seattle after Trump’s immigration ban
- Seattle City Council to reaffirm support for immigrants, refugees
- Refugees and immigration: What Trump did — and then what happened
- Trump refugee ban spurs second night of Seattle-area protests
- U.S. judge bars deportations under Trump travel ban
- Local worshippers mourn, denounce Trump’s immigration ban
- Starbucks will hire 10,000 refugees
- Microsoft reaches out to its workers affected by immigration ban
- Amazon working on plan for staffers stranded overseas
- This Iraqi helped the U.S. Army. Will his mother be allowed to join him in U.S.?
- ‘We came to this beautiful country looking for safety’: Seattle-area refugees speak out
- A history of immigration in America
Noah Purcell, state solicitor general in Ferguson’s office, said Washington’s lawsuit will argue Trump’s executive order violates constitutional guarantees of religious freedom and equal protection.
The attorney general was joined by Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee, who blasted Trump’s refugee ban aimed at several war-torn, Muslim majority nations — and giving precedence to Christians — as “un-American.”
“The fact is that its impact, its cruelty, its clear purpose is an unconscionable religious test,” Inslee said, pointing to the executive order’s provision calling for prioritizing the admittance of Christian refugees.
President Trump defended his executive action in a statement Sunday, accusing critics of misreporting it as a ban on Muslims. “This is not about religion — this is about terror and keeping our country safe,” he said.
While legal challenges already have been brought against Trump’s refugee ban, Ferguson said Washington’s case is broader in scope and, if successful, could strike some of its key provisions down on a national level.
The lawsuit would seek a temporary restraining order blocking the executive order — a ruling Ferguson said he hopes will occur swiftly.
Signed on Friday, Trump’s order sparked a wave of protests in Western Washington and across the country over the weekend, with huge crowds pouring into Seattle-Tacoma International Airport amid reports that refugees and immigrants from countries targeted by the travel ban were being detained there.
Is Rena the Muse of White Power?
Right after Dan Mayland called me I had a sense that some white dudes were putting me in their cross-hairs. Does Rena Easton hang with White Supremacists? If so, the thing that could have ticked them off, was at the poetry reading, a black man invited me to come to the microphone with my image of Rena, and, Nisha reads Rena’s poem in front of a black man playing drums. Kenny Reed identifies Nisha as his daughter. This is because Kenny is married to a white woman, my childhood sweetheart, Marilyn.
“Can she be my must too!”
Everything fits, the trailer on the hill so you can see the enemy coming and be assured your neighbor – if they be black – are going to be a ways from you so you don’t have to LOOK AT THEM! That video is THE TARGET. That’s what they want off my blog, and will take down my whole blog to get it out of their lily white racist faces! This why Dan is relaying the message that Rena will not be sending me any more information because I misused the information she sent me. I defiled her, brought her down from her Tower of White Power.
This why Rena didn’t call me, send me a PERSONAL letter, because I had crossed the line of no return, and, these White Chicken-Shit Racists love to work in the dark, pretend they must conduct covert paramilitary operations in the name of White Folks – and their White Nazi Jesus.
Racist Bookburners for the White Killer Jesus are gathering in Montana for the fake End Time apocalypse invented by John Darby in 1840. Not once did Rena mention anything in this blog she has read. She says this;
“It amuses me a bit that I have become a SUCH a Red-neck woman.”
What Rena is saying, is, she used to a Liberal-Leftist, and the person she was beholds her now and see she IS SUCH a Red-neck Woman. I think my life is in danger. Has Dan Mayland heard things that might suggest I am, thus he felt he was doing me a favor in trying to get me away from Rena, and destroy all evidence I know her.
“He who accuses, excuses.”
If this is going on, then let me say this…Come get me you white Satanic deluded trailer trash!
“For two years in the mid-1990s, Judge Greg Mohr carried a gun and wore a bulletproof vest while presiding over his tiny courtroom east of Kalispell. Members of the Montana Freemen, an armed group of racist extremists, were regularly appearing before him, and they didn’t mince words. Some of them later sentenced Mohr to death in their own pseudo-legal “common-law courts.”
Yet another organization with a white supremacist agenda — this one packaged as a “white nationalist think tank” — has moved its operations to northwestern Montana, leaving Georgia to join a rag-tag collection of some of the country’s leading racists and extremists.
The National Policy Institute (NPI), which enjoys tax-exempt status, now lists a post office box in Whitefish, Mont., where, public records show, its new director Richard Bertroud Spencer lives in a $3 million home. Spencer moved NPI to Montana after the late 2011 death of chairman Louis R. Andrews, documents filed with the Internal Revenue Service reveal.
On those documents filed annually with the IRS, the white nationalist institute lists thousands of dollars in expenses for a conference, a book, an educational video and a website — all devoted to “subjects of the U.S. and international social and scientific issues.”
If you want to learn about the clusters of Aryan, White Supremacist, Neo-Nazi groups in Montana, take a look at the Hate Map on the SPLC website. Add to them a significant number of Freemen, Militia groups, and Sovereign Citizens followers and you will have a pretty clear but underestimated picture of what’s happened in Western Montana. Like-minded paranoid, conspiracy believers cling in loose woven relationships and tightly warped minds.
I’m not sure that I understand why this group is attracted to Montana…”
I think the answer is fairly simple. When they first started coming to Montana and Idaho and nearby states, they were coming to very rural areas where there might be miles and miles between houses, and no worry about having to live near a “non-white”.
But also, the very rural aspect makes it easier for them to set up their indoctrination camps. What better places than heavily wooded areas often accessible by only one road (if any). While there certainly are still wooded areas in Georgia, they are often much closer to big cities.
Oh, and it’s very simple to see that Montana is in no way part of the PACIFIC Northwest. Would you call Ohio part of the Atlantic Midwest? Ohio is much closer to the Atlantic than Montana is to the Pacific.
Nearly two decades later, similar types of antigovernment stirrings are frequently being felt again across Montana, especially in this nearly all-white city in the northwest corner of the state. Far-right extremists are vowing that if a war with the federal government comes, their base will be in the mountains here.
Chuck Baldwin, a Baptist preacher who ran for president under the Constitution Party banner in 2008, moved 18 members of his family to Montana’s Flathead Valley last fall after receiving what he called a divine message telling him the state was the “tip of the spear” in the fight for liberty. Stewart Rhodes, a Yale-educated lawyer, former Army paratrooper and head of the conspiracy-minded Oath Keepers, also moved here. Rhodes is laying the groundwork for a new militia and is calling for citizens to adopt a barter economy to escape the bondage of U.S. currency. Neo-Nazi April Gaede, also a transplant to the state, has issued a call for white nationalists to “come home” to the Northwest.
These extremists and others came for different reasons, but they are having a cumulative effect. Law enforcement officers and courts have seen a surge of antigovernment activity by “sovereign citizens,” radicals who believe that most laws do not apply to them. Rooms at the Kalispell Public Library host regular screenings of racist films. Christian Identity adherents are papering neighborhoods with their message that whites are the true chosen people of the Bible and Jews are directly descended from Satan. And, once again, so-called “Preparedness Expos” are being held so shoppers can get ready for the imminent collapse of government.
For Mohr, who got to know most of the Freemen long before their famed 81-day standoff with FBI agents in 1994, it’s the second act in a frightening drama.
“Here we go again,” he said with a nervous chuckle in September.
‘There’s a Fight Coming’
What is happening in Montana — thanks to this newest wave of extremists — is a convergence of two “separatist” ideas that have long fermented in the brew of Pacific Northwest extremism. The antigovernment “Patriots,” the larger of the two movements, want to establish a remote base of like-minded allies as a bastion of resistance for the day when, as they believe, the government will impose martial law. White supremacists are organizing around the idea of forming a long-desired all-white homeland far away from the multicultural cities.
The idea of staking a claim in the American West is tied intimately to Montana’s history and identity. The state is quintessentially Western, predominantly white, and home to a frontier ethos of militant individualism and support for the Second Amendment. Moreover, Montana’s residents tend to distrust the federal government, which is seen as a distant meddler, and they are vigilantly protective of the privacy afforded by the state’s remote location and rugged terrain.
Such an environment has historically drawn antigovernment and extremist groups — from the Freemen to the Militia of Montana, founded in 1994 by John Trochmann, a militant with white supremacist leanings. Unabomber Ted Kaczynski also was caught after years of hiding in Montana’s remote forests in 1996.
Now, it all seems to be happening again.
Karl Gharst, a neo-Nazi activist
Karl Gharst, a former member of the neo-Nazi Aryan Nations and a Christian Identity adherent, is one example. He recently moved to Montana and is working to make a white nationalist presence felt in the Rocky Mountain West. In September, he sent an E-mail to the anti-racist Montana Human Rights Network threatening to convene a “citizens grand jury,” a tactic commonly employed by radical-right extremists, to investigate what he described as a “Jewish criminal organization working with other Jewish crime networks.” He made similar comments about the Southern Poverty Law Center and Media Matters for America after learning that both were preparing reports on the situation in Montana.
More recently, militia leader Francis Schaeffer Cox, now under federal indictment for a scheme to murder state troopers and judges, spent time in Montana building support for his nascent militia before moving to Alaska.
This past June, militia activist Dave Burgert — who spent eight years in prison for his part in the “Project 7” plot to kill judges to spark a revolution a decade ago — allegedly fired shots at a Missoula County sheriff’s deputy before disappearing into the Lolo National Forest. Officials believe that Burgert, a trained survivalist armed with only a handgun, is living in the woods on caches of food, ammunition and other supplies. He was still on the lam at press time.
The Flathead County Sheriff’s Department, the FBI and others have not associated Burgert with other radical groups now active in Montana, including those linked to Baldwin, Rhodes and Gaede. Nevertheless, Burgert represents the militant extreme that ideologies now pervasive in the state are capable of reaching.
During a speech to a packed house at Kalispell’s Outlaw Inn in January, shortly after moving to Montana, Chuck Baldwin strolled onto the stage like a lawman of old, promising to round up the “terrorists of Washington, D.C.,” and restore liberty to America. A firebrand Patriot and “constitutionalist,” he vowed to lead anyone who would follow him into the breach.
“We know there’s a fight coming,” Baldwin said. “We know there is a line being drawn in the sand, and we want to be in the right place. The good ground is right here in Montana.”
A Modern-Day Alamo
Baldwin is by far the most visible of this new generation of extremists in Montana, a state he has praised for being thousands of miles from the “Orwellian machine” of government and for being more gun-friendly than most others. Last fall, he arrived in Kalispell after abandoning a church he led for 35 years in Pensacola, Fla.
“We are going [to Montana] to fight!” Baldwin wrote in a Sept. 15, 2010, letter to his followers. “The Mountain States just might become The Alamo of the twenty-first century, with, hopefully, much better results. But if not, I would rather die fighting for Freedom with liberty-loving patriots by my side than be shuttled off to some FEMA camp.” (Fears of government prison camps have long animated the radical right.)
Eighteen members of Baldwin’s extended family moved with him to Montana, most notably his son Timothy Baldwin, a writer and lawyer. The family has wasted no time in feathering a nest for what Baldwin has called a “gathering of eagles” — people opposed to oppressive “big-city liberalism and UN-sponsored globalism.”
The Baldwins established a new church, Liberty Fellowship, which meets every Sunday at Kalispell’s Red Lion Inn and claims to attract as many as 200 people every week, including Randy Weaver, a white supremacist who engaged in a famous standoff with federal authorities at Ruby Ridge, Idaho, in 1992. Timothy Baldwin ran for the board of trustees of Flathead Valley Community College and, although he lost, received a surprising 20% of the vote. Together, Chuck and Timothy Baldwin formed The Baldwin Institute of Education, a school with a distinctly Patriot curriculum focusing on American Revolutionary War history.
It’s virtually impossible to accurately say how many extremists have heeded the call to come to Montana. Christian Identity adherent Karl Gharst, in an E-mail to the Intelligence Report, claimed, “For every one of us you know, there are 10,000 you don’t” — an obvious and wild exaggeration. But there are signs the numbers may be significant.
Chuck Baldwin has publicly said that dozens have already moved to the Flathead Valley and “scores” more are on the way because of his urgings. His speeches draw audiences numbering in the hundreds, and his family has made inroads with many prominent figures on the Patriot scene. They included Weaver; Stewart Rhodes, the Oath Keepers founder who since coming to Montana has embraced a host of conspiratorial fears, including the idea that the U.S. Army has trained soldiers to invade cities; and Dane Clark, a Constitution Party advocate known for wearing a gun on his hip to political functions.
The Baldwins’ move to Montana is part of a grand design to prepare the Northwest for an apocalyptic clash between “liberty-loving” Patriots and international agents of the New World Order. The idea of building a fortified home for “Christian Patriots” in the Northwest is known as “The American Redoubt,” a plan to strategically group people across five Western states (Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Oregon and Washington) as a “defensive reaction” to threats to liberty and the Christian way of life. It was first proposed by survivalist author and sovereign citizen James Wesley, Rawles. (The comma is part of his name; sovereigns often use such bizarre forms of punctuation.) “I am a separatist, but on religious lines, not racial ones,” Wesley, Rawles wrote on his website. “In calamitous times, with a few exceptions, it will only be the God fearing that will continue to be law abiding. Choose your locale wisely.”
What Wesley, Rawles casually ignored — as, for that matter, did the Baldwins — is the history of the idea. Others have chosen the Northwest for similar reasons. They were Nazis.
In the mid-1980s, the idea of carving out a white homeland in the Pacific Northwest was highly popular among neo-Nazis and other white supremacists. The so-called Northwest Territorial Imperative, popularized by Aryan Nations founder Richard Butler, imagined enclaves of “racially conscious” white people. Two decades later, in 2006, April Gaede left her home in California for Kalispell, where she took up residence in a quaint, two-story house adorned with a sunflower garden. Not long afterward, she set out to breathe fresh air into that Aryan dream.
“I am formally making your [sic] invitation to ‘come home,’ she wrote on the white nationalist Web forum Stormfront in 2008. “Over 20 years ago some of the first White Nationalist pioneers started moving to this area. The numbers are not clear, but we are slowly but surely gaining ground.” Touting “wonderful neighborhoods,” “the best high schools in the nation” and a “state of the art hospital and care,” Gaede implored fellow white supremacists to move to Montana and form “Pioneer Little Europe” communities. The idea, first proposed in a 2001 pamphlet by H. Michael Barrett that was titled Pioneer Little Europe Prospectus, envisioned consolidating white residents in existing cities and towns and actively repelling racial minorities.
Gaede’s invitation drew apparently widespread but largely anonymous support online, despite the comical reservations of some detractors who feared that creating a white homeland in landlocked Montana, with no harbors, would make it impossible to ever secede from the Union.
Meanwhile, white nationalists are growing more visible to Montanans. British Holocaust denier David Irving gave a speech in Kalispell last May. Gaede and Gharst hold frequent white nationalist film screenings at the Kalispell Public Library, despite public protest.
Police in Montana are more than aware of the white nationalists’ activities. But in the absence of criminal activity, there’s little they can do. “We’ve got a lot of dangerous guys in Kalispell,” Police Chief Roger Nasset said. “But as long as they are peaceful, we can’t hold [their beliefs] against them.”
Gaede insists that people are coming, but the indications are that no more than a half dozen families have answered her call. And she has the Patriots to contend with. If the white nationalists are whispering their wishes in shadowy gatherings, the Patriots are yelling through a bullhorn. In June, a survivalist “Preparedness Expo” in Kalispell drew at least 1,000 people to learn about “resources and workshops to help you prepare for the unexpected,” as event fliers advertised.
Speakers included Stewart Rhodes, Chuck Baldwin and former Arizona Sheriff Richard Mack, a hero to many Patriots for challenging gun control laws in the 1990s. Such expos were frequently held during the first wave of the militia movement in the 1990s, when the Militia of Montana and other groups were hell-bent on preparation for a war that never came.
The current popularity of the expos is due largely to one group, the Flathead Liberty Bell.
Calling All Patriots
Founded in 2009 with the help of Francis Schaeffer Cox, the boyish, self-made militia leader who spent time in Montana before leaving in March for Alaska, the Liberty Bell arguably represents the future of the Patriot movement in Montana. It is loosely organized, keeps no public records of its members and remains exceptionally secretive.
Francis Shaeffer Cox
Francis Schaeffer Cox helped found the Flathead Liberty Bell, a Montana “Patriot” group, before moving on the Alaska. He has since been charged in a plot to kidnap and kill police officers and judicial officials. PHOTO CREDITS contributed from Francis Shaeffer Cox’s facebook page
Mike Greskowiak, a Kalispell barber who now leads the group and serves as its primary spokesman, bristles at the suggestion his Liberty Bell is anything more than a grassroots organization informing the community of constitutional rights that have been systematically dismantled. “We want nothing more than constitutional government and to get these sons-of-bitchin’ Marxists out of office,” he told the Report in September.
In reality, the group wants much more. The Liberty Bell clings to an ideology closely akin to that of the sovereign citizens movement, holding that modern government is slavery and that citizens can once again be free. “American’s Founding Fathers would say that Americans today are slaves. Wealthy slaves that enjoy luxury and tranquility, but slaves none the less,” its website states.
Members see government as a “Big Brother” figure meddling in the lives of well-meaning citizens, and the group offers primers on “living off-grid” through “solar power, alternative housing systems and herbal remedies.”
The mindset is distinctly survivalist and tied intimately to the origins of the group. In its early days, founding members met at a sprawling property on top of Big Mountain, near Whitefish, Mont. The property belonged to Sam Halpern, a tax protester, survivalist and sovereign citizen who went by the name Sam Bentacour de Valencia Halpern. His fears, in fact, led him to build a $500,000 hermetically sealed shelter underground on his property.
The Liberty Bell continues to work closely with many extremists in the area. Greskowiak appeared alongside Rob Blair at a Flathead County Commissioners meeting in February, during which Blair, who heads the Christian Patriot group Mountain Mission, asked the commission to investigate “invalid oath of offices [sic]” among county officials. Chuck Baldwin and Stewart Rhodes also routinely speak for the group.
On March 8, for example, Rhodes and Baldwin spoke at a Liberty Bell function at Valley Victory Church, just outside Kalispell. There, Rhodes issued a call, in front of a giant American flag, for citizens of Flathead Valley to help form his nascent militia. The collapse of the government was imminent, he warned, and the federal government would soon start rounding up American citizens. “You’re weak,” he admonished. “You’re militarily weak.”
This apparent militarization, or at least such rhetoric from many of the movement’s most visible figures, has grown increasingly worrisome. Several judges and law enforcement officers say the concerns are real, just as they were two decades ago. People are coming to court armed with a vitriolic distrust of government — and, on occasion, sidearms. Judge Mohr, who sees frequent sovereign citizens and Patriots in his courtroom, said many believe they have been sold a bill of goods. And they are rallying around what he calls “messianic” figures who would much sooner die than bow to a government they hate.
How dangerous does he fear it will become? Is he carrying a gun this time? Mohr just laughs. “I’m not talking about it. Not talking about it.”
Reblogged this on Rosamond Press and commented:
Going down to Bozeman!