Freemen and Cattle

Ryan at Ryan at
Fri Apr 12 10:16:23 MDT 1996

>The Freemen have defrauded banks, wealthy corporations and
>government agencies. Their beliefs are based on the Old Testament,
>common law and the constitutions of the US and the state of Montana.
>These beliefs are nowhere near as important as their willingness to
>bond together and resist a common enemy: corporate America.

It is true that part of what fuels the anti-government resentments of the
Freemen is due to the loss of their land. Richard Clark, who turned himself
in to authorities, for example, had his ranch foreclosed upon. The federal
indictment count 1related to this is conspiracy to obtain money and property
by means of false pretenses via defrauding financial institutions. (The
question is going to be proving whether or not it was a "conspiracy"). The
count doesn't question the validity of the securities of the Freemen, but in
their sucessful attempts to convert them into cash and property. The problem
is that instead of hurting the financial institutions who end up with the
property to sell, the real victims are other farmers and ranchers desperate
to save their property and their way of life. It is another victory for
Corporate America.

I agree that, for us, as repulsive as their white separatism is, as well as
their anarchistic beliefs and methods, the Freemen have been a critic of
government/corporate abuse of power and a thorn in their side.


South Dakota farmer taken in by bogus check scam offered
by Freemen

The Associated Press
and The Billings Gazette

MITCHELL, S.D. (AP) - One of the Freemen leaders arrested last
week wrote hundreds of thousands of dollars in bogus checks to
help out a financially strapped Mitchell farmer last year,
Davison County officials say.

The signature of LeRoy Schweitzer, who was arrested by federal
officials in Montana, was found on bad checks used to pay off
the farmer's debts, Davison County Sheriff Lyle Swenson said.

The problem came to the attention of county authorities in
September 1995, and federal officials got involved, Swenson said.

"The point is, we aren't immune from those kinds of scams, and
that's all it is in my opinion," Swenson said.

Swenson said the farmer was approached by someone associated with
the Freemen and offered help in August 1995. Swenson wouldn't
reveal the identity of the farmer, saying he didn't want to
further embarrass the man.

"Exactly what they told him I can't tell you ... (but) they wrote
him checks for several hundred thousand dollars and these were
going to pay off the bills in various places that he owed money to
and put him free and clear on the farm," Swenson said.

The farmer, who will have to repay the money, saw the offer as
a "godsend," because banks would no longer lend him money and he
also wanted to expand his operation, Swenson said.

The Freemen didn't discuss loans, interest or how soon the
money had to be paid back, Swenson said.

"These people were just going to be the answer to all his
problems," Swenson said. "He got suckered in."

It is not known if the area farmer actually spoke with
Schweitzer or if Schweitzer was in the state, Swenson said.
But people taken in by the Freemen tend to be down and out, he

"When everything that you worked for all your life is about to
go down the tubes ... these people ride in on their great white
horse and say, 'Boy, we're going to save you,'" Swenson said.

Sally Ryan

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