During my tenure in Montana, two groups drew national deadlines – the Church Universal Triumphant, which to this day owns substantial acreage in Paradise Valley near the Gardiner entrance to Yellowstone National Park, and the Freemen.
CUT I written off to human susceptibility to religious indoctrination. They were end-timers, and built shelters to protect them as the final war raged on outside. When it didn’t happen, some came to their senses.
CUT activities are far less harmful than those of television preachers who scam people out of billions annually, and legally. The bomb shelters still exist, some converted to homes. The valley is still largely intact, just as when I spent so many days driving through there with my Dad as he installed the Cecil’s Cafe sign in Gardiner. Overall, from a standpoint of effects on the landscape, I would give CUT an A-minus. The people of CUT, one-on-one, are nice, just as are Mormons, Catholics, Jehovah’s and others with weird belief systems.
An article in the Billings Gazette today recounts the 1996 Freeman standoff. At the time of their trial, I lived with my kids in a fifth floor apartment nearby. We had a laser pointer we used to amuse the cat, and my son went out on the balcony one night and shined it below. We very shortly had a knock on the door. A friendly policeman confiscated the toy. The trial was going on in a barricaded Federal Building, and the red dot from a high building was rather frightening to the officers below.
I expected to find something in the Gazette story I’ve become accustomed to – and was not disappointed.
What propelled this cadre of rural extremists into world headlines began March 25, 1996, when undercover FBI agents lured [Leroy] Schweitzer, Daniel E. Peterson Jr. and Lavon T. Hanson from the compound and arrested them.
The compound was surrounded by 100 FBI agents. That’s strange, just like over fifty FBI agents being immediately on the scene of Dorothy Hunt’s plane crash in Chicago in 1972. They must have flown them in for the occasion. There aren’t that many agents in the whole state.
A nationally publicized siege ensued. The standoff lasted until June 13, 1996, when the men in the compound surrendered.
How do such small-minded and low-information men as the Freemen manage to create such a kerfuffle? The answer might lie in the word “undercover” FBI agents. We know now that the 1993 World Trade Center bombing was shepherded to its conclusion by FBI agents. They claim a screw-up in that real explosives where used, but that is barely plausible. It was a provocation, just as with Operation Gladio, which saw bombings and killings of hundreds of civilian in Europe during the 1970’s – done by CIA and NATO agents.
The purpose: A strategy of tension. Fascists are never voted into power. They are always a small and unpopular minority, but when people are frightened, they invite them in. I doubt we’ll ever see an investigation, but I have a hunch that the “Freeman”, a loose-knit group of low-IQ losers carrying around copies of None Dare Call It Conspiracy and Atlas Shrugged, were spurred on by undercover agents.
So common is this type of underground FBI and CIA activity that I presume that all of the major scary events of our times originate in those agencies. (It’s also documented – sometime look up at a non-Wikipedia source “Cointelpro” and “Operation Chaos”) It is done to keep us in constant tension so that we seek protection and allow government to take away liberties and start wars. Other events of that time, “Unabomber” Ted Kaczynski and Ruby Ridge, are equally suspicious.
The Gazette story by Lorna Thackeray is a standard journalistic treatment of the events of that time, recounting the known, and never probing underneath. It is the job of American journalists not to know things, not to ask the right questions. They are very good at their jobs.