Oklahoma and Utah!

Lisa Rogers EQDOMAIN.EQWQ.LROGERS at email.state.ut.us
Thu Apr 27 14:51:47 MDT 1995


This post may look more like bar-talk than marxist analysis per se,
but it's all in there, and both are good for this list, I agree.
Call this "Local News from Utah" or "Is Salt Lake City Next?"

------------------- NEWS follows --------------------
I had hesitated to recap bits from the news, but I appreciate it when others points things out,
because I miss things, and there are those outside the States...

The head of Michigan Militia claims that the bombing suspects were denied membership in the
militia because they were known to be "too radical" - part of their "it's just the fringies"
argument.  If anyone knows, doesn't that militia use and circulate a book which includes a recipe
for fertilizer and fuel oil bombs?

A former head of the militia says that he warned the FBI in February that he knew of the
suspects talking about doing something like this, and he took it seriously.  The FBI didn't.

I think a change in attitude or education, or noticing what is in your face, is all that is required,
to recognize that Waco's Branch Davidians' stash of weapons and preaching of the end of the
world was not the only or the last such organization, and that it is not only the Arabs/Islam that
we have to fear.  Waco's program seems rather similar to the militias' and others - and how about
that nerve gas cult in Japan?  I don't know much of their teachings, except that it is apocalyptic
too.  This crap has been building for many years in the US, often with the rhetoric of biblical
prophecy.

Maybe people within the western US are more aware of these things, because there seem to be
a lot of anti-government, survival in the wilderness kind of right-wing "communes" and people
in this area.  The larger polygynous organizations are a part of this, they are surely against gov.
interference in their organization, but they are not very politically active and usually keep a low
profile.

Right now, in northern Utah, there are a bunch of people camped out on Forest Service land,
where they have some legal mine claim.  In order to live there, they are required to be actually
mining.  In order to mine, they must follow regulations, get permits, post a reclamation bond,
etc.  When normal mine regulators visited the site, they were each presented withe the
"Declaration and Statement of Purpose" of the Ensign Company School of Common Law.

I have a copy.  It is an almost entertaining mish-mash of constitutional talk and the claim of the
precedence of God's Common Law as found in the Bible (mostly old test.) They especially point
out that their religious beliefs prevent them from having any dealings with any government which
does not follow god's law, which they outline with selective citations from the Bible.  Scary shit!!
The "no dealings" includes no permits, not for watershed protection, reclamation, sanitation, etc.

I haven't heard much about it lately.  The regulators say that the site is not profitable to mine,
and rules prohibit mining unless it is expected to be profitable.  So, they will take normal legal
action if mining begins, which is not likely since it would lose money.  Mostly they just hope
it goes away, and they hope the local health dept. will take action regarding the lack of plumbing.
Of course, health doesn't want to touch it either.

Every year there is a huge "preparedness" convention in Salt Lake. (I think there is a big one in
Las Vegas too.)  Part of it is food storage, and is billed as emergency preparedness,  but
emergency is anything from earthquakes to police standoffs.  It used to be a lot about allegedly
surviving a nuclear war.  I know this was promoted a lot by the locally dominant (mormon)
Church at least through the 70's, and was tied into their religious teachings.  I know that other
christians also taught that the nuclear apocalypse could be the fulfillment of biblical prophecy
of the end of the world, and would begin the millenium.  Mormons added some of their own
twists as well.

Mostly the convention is about "survivalism" of all sorts.  This is not just about kid-scouts living
off the land.  It's about war-games in the woods, in order to be prepared for what?  It used to be
post-nuclear gangs, but now?  I don't know all the details, because I haven't gone there to see,
but the stuff that comes through in newsbites includes war against the government.  They are a
bit cagey about saying it right out loud, but they seem to really envision squads of FBI agents
hunting them through the woods.  Which does ocasionally happen ... Randy Weaver, at Ruby
Ridge, Idaho.

And tax avoidance!  That's a big part of the convention.  There are several people making big
money in these parts selling books on how to avoid taxes, and I am not just talking about what
a CPA could do for you.  The IRS has no respect for the "preparedness expo" type of methods,
but every audit is taken as just another example of government abuse which must be fought,
literally.

Such conventions are the places where militia types get their camoflage suits, books, videos,
inspirational speeches, guns, dried fruit, everything.  It is actually a large and profit-driven
business.

Bo Gritz is one of these types who ran for president last election, and he got more votes than
either Perot or Clinton, second only to Bush!  His second most supportive state was Idaho, I
think.  He is also proud to call himself a Mormon, last I heard, although the Church leaders are
not too thrilled about this being known.  He hasn't pushed things far enough to get himself
excommunicated, but The Church has been doing quite a crack-down on the "fringes" at both
ends in the last few years.

About 6 people were ex-ed, but they were all among the church reformers (including BYU
professors) who advocated priesthood for women and criticized church leadership policies on
women (that is the worst crime, apparently, criticizing leadership.)  At the same time, very strong
warnings and "guidances" were given to the right-wingers, to not use church facilities and the
church name for their activities, and especially that they must pay their taxes.

The (orthodox, majority) mormon church takes great pains to be and to appear mainstream, and
they have developed quite a good relationship with the IRS.  It seems that the IRS will not try
to take away the Church's tax exemptions, even though they do sell certain "religious" privileges
(like they tried but unfortunately failed with the Scientologists) but the mormons will not foster
tax protesters in the membership.  It is enough that members must pay tithing to the church,
which is tax deductible anyway.

Speaking of Bo Gritz and conspiracy theory, did you hear that he described the Oklahoma
bombing as "a masterpiece of art and science"? Now he's suing ABC news for quoting him out
of context.  He wasn't praising the action, you see, he was just saying that it was so well-done
that a couple of dumb jerks from michigan couldn't possibly have done it!  Instead, it must have
been the CIA.  Well, let ABC stand corrected!

I also saw Michigan Militia members saying that if the FBI could do Ruby Ridge and Waco, why
not Oklahoma?  So, either the CIA or the FBI blew up the federal building in Oklahoma.  Now
there's logic!  I haven't heard yet if there is any rationale for *why* the gov. would have done
this to itself...

But when one woman said "Well, while their watching us, who's watching the FBI?" I had to
admit she had a point, but perhaps for different reasons than mine.

Hope you enjoyed this chatty note,
Lisa Rogers



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