Thursday, December 11, 2008

Michigan's Cluster Coital Experience: Lessons Learned


I've learned quite a bit since yesterday about the situation of the "Hutaree" in Michigan, and have been excoriated on AWRM and elsewhere for my pains. No good deed ever goes unpunished. My reply to the fire-breathers of AWRM is below, along with some wise words from Dr. Enigma just received on the same subject.

From AWRM:

Now that I've been drawn into the festering sore that is internecine Michigan "small m militia" inter-group relations and everyone of you mother's sons have apparently finished venting about what a government-sponsored asshole I am, let's apply some logical maggots to chew away the pus and infection and get down to living tissue so the wound can be begin to heal.

Question the First: OK, guys. If any of us found out that the ATF was sniffing around a licensed dealer asking specific questions about us, would we react this way? --

Subject: FLASH,,FLASH,,ATF ENFORCERS------------------------

From: joe stonewall
Date: Mon, Dec 8, 2008 at 4:59 PM
To: (about 25 email addresses redacted)

OK,,here we go,,looks like the ATF enforcers are looking for a reason to start a firefight,,and WE WILL answer the call,,ALL Hutaree members,,contact me immediatly!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

From: (email redacted)
Date: Mon, Dec 8, 2008 at 7:15 PM

What the hell happened?

(Name redacted)

From: joe stonewall
Date: Mon, Dec 8, 2008 at 7:18 PM
To: (email redacted)

armed ATF enforcer agents went to our local ffl dealer wanting specific names,,Hutaree guys names.

MBV continues:

Sorry guys, ATF pukes asking questions about you at a dealer, private or public, is not a casus belli. If indeed the ATF were "looking to start a firefight," reacting emotionally and sending out "WE WILL ANSWER THE CALL" messages is probably a good way to oblige them.

Lesson One: Commanders, if they truly command, have a duty to their troops to act responsibly, think rationally, react with intelligence and care. Those of us who take on the responsibility of command cannot react to things without thinking them through. The first question that would pop up in my mind is: OK, what is their purpose in doing so? Is it just a "ping" to see how we react? If we're currently in compliance with the law, what do we have to worry about?

That's not as pollyannish as it sounds. Now, if it was me and heard this (and I speak from experience) this is how I would handle it. Call my local sheriff and tell him that the ATF is sniffing around and I sure would appreciate it if he would caution them not to do anything stupid. The FIRST thing I would NOT do is panic and send out mobilization calls. Such an action speaks to the fitness of a man to command. Am I wrong?

Question the Second: Who's your friend? Witness this exchange from the Southern Michigan Volunteer Militia discussion board:

Thumper: This morning I had a visit at home from Special Agent Chris R. Johnson of the FBI and Joint Terrorism Task Force Officer Kenneth T. Arthurs. Wanted to know about the MM so I turned you all in. NOT ! They had my driver license photo from the State Police, and probably tracked me down from MY NAME I posted on the web-site. They wanted to know about the November 5th meeting and the election. How I felt about OBAMA and so on. All I said is what we have allways posted on the web-site, you tube, my space, face book and so on...... our public meetings, Camp Stasa........everything they all ready know about. My questions to them gave me the impression that there has been some serious anti-Obama chatter and the rioting talk that has been going on. If I heard some say they were going to kill someone, would I let them know. I said I would have done that even before our visit. They were polite and said they said that I'm not under suspection of anything, they are just following up on chatter. A dozen or so question later they left. They also talked to Weapon M, Mad Hatter, and are looking for Chuck Wagon, so we told him and he called them, they still want to meet him. So if anyone else has had a visit, I like to know what happened. I await your flood of comments.

WeaponM: Special Agent Leslie Larsen and Postal Inspector Ryan Coffey asked me basically the same thing, and they also asked about anything that raised my hackles, so to speak, was there anything that worried or frightened me. [B]The conversation led to The Hutaree, who do actually worry me.[/B]

I told them that if anything had bothered me like that, I had pulled it from the web site. The conversation led to The Hutaree, who do actually worry me.

I think they are actually worried about some nonsense after the election, and are looking for help in finding it.

It was not a bad conversation, and they went out of their way to stress that we are on the up and up, and that they appreciate what we are doing, and how above board we are about everything.

Still, when the boss calls you to the office telling you that the FBI and Inspection Service are here to speak with you, ya gotta wonder....

MBV continues:

I've got a policy that has served me well. You never EVER volunteer anything to a fed. You do not seek out a fed to tell him something. You do not confess your thoughts, feelings, fears or speculations to a fed. EVERY time they talk to you they fill out a report called a "302" that becomes part of YOUR file. They do not tape record your conversations with them precisely because they can make the report say ANYTHING, even if it is the precise opposite of what you said. Why do they always meet you in pairs? Because they can say, "well, Agent so-and-so heard him say it too."

If feds come to see you, tell them if they really need to talk to you, you'll meet them at your attorney's office. If they don't want to go to that level, tell them to forward any questions they have through your local sheriff IN WRITING and you'll THINK about answering them.

Every one of these SOBs starts out telling you how they know "You're one of the good guys." That means exactly dick. NONE of these bastards who take the King's shilling are anything more than the King's men.

Now, I understand how low the once mighty Michigan Militia have fallen. Riven by egomaniacs, personality conflicts, disagreements over principle and tactics, it is a textbook case against the big unit model. But this is exactly the situation the Fibbies are born to exploit. Does anyone remember COINTELPRO? The way the FBI destroyed the Black Panthers by playing one off against another? Because most of the Panthers were morons, it was ridiculously easy for them. Now, it would seem, we have folks in Michigan willing to cooperate in their own neutralization and destruction. Let me repeat:


ALWAYS involve your local sheriff in any attempt by the 3-letters to ask you questions, set you up, or even breathe heavily in your presence.

Cockroaches dislike the light. Use that.

Question the Third: In what way does chest-thumping substitute satisfactorily for rational thought and problem solving?

Witness this from the Hutaree in an email to me:

"Have we NOT answered the harassment question loud enogh yet?"

MBV: It is not question of their volume, but of their judgment. Then "the Hutaree" says this:

Is it not time for the patriots to find their balls and stand up together as one, or will they run and hide amongst the women and children,,maybe the later group will have to do the fighting, that so many men are afraid of doing.

MBV: Why am I reminded of the mercenary Jayne Cobb in Firefly, when River tells him Jayne is a girl's name: "I'll show you I've got man parts." Is there anyone in Michigan who can hand this guy a VHS of Braveheart, cued up to the scene where William Wallace's uncle tells him he will teach how to use his his sword when he learns how to use his head?

THINK, people. THINK! The period we find ourselves in leaves no margin for error.

Question the Fourth: How stupid do you have to be to think of the world in absolute monolithic terms? Witness this from "the Hutaree" to my suggestion about using local and state law enforcement:

"You say contact our local and state gestapo?,,you really do not have a clue as to who the NWO soldiers are then!!"

Sigh. If you approach everyone as an enemy, they will be your enemy. As avowed Christians, they should understand this. Government agencies are made up of people. Generally, and the Founders understood this, the closer public servants are to the people, the more likely they are to serve and not oppress. If you're not smart enough to understand this . . . words fail.

In conclusion:

I was pulled into this mess apparently by accident. OK, fine. I've pissed people off. OK, fine, I'm a big boy. It's not like I'm worried I'll sell a couple dozen fewer volumes of Absolved when it comes out.

I suspect that, under the cockroach/light rule, my inquiries through Alabama state law enforcement and elsewhere have at the least put the ATF on notice that they are not operating in a Michigan vacuum.

But mind the active presence of the FBI in this volatile mix. The ATF blunder about seeking the next box of exploding cigars they can pilfer and light up. The Fibbies are a threat of a different magnitude. Cooperate with them at your own (and everyone else's) peril.

It would be wrong of anybody in this multi-sided cluster coital situation in Michigan to point fingers at each other and heighten the mutual hatred and suspicion. Folks, there are real enemies out there and everyone in this sorry story has made at least one mistake, including me. So shut the hell up, to the feds and each other, and see to your preparedness. I wish the Hutaree well, but I hope they take the opportunity to learn the lesson that has been presented them. If not, they'll be just one more easy picking for a predatory federal government.

Use your head, think before you react, and you might even last long enough to really make a difference in the struggle to come.

Thus endeth the lesson.

Mike Vanderboegh

And then we have this from Dr. Enigma

Dr. Enigma’s Take…”On Trip Wires" & “Lines in the Sand”

Of late there's been lots of talk among various groups across the country regarding 'trip wires' and personal 'lines in the sand' and so on. People are rightfully concerned about their futures and validating resolve at this point is the right thing to do. The socio-political and economic vortexes could easily combine with general global incidents and circumstances to form a "perfect storm" that unleashes its full fury here at home. Prudence would dictate that making a determination as to what you will or will not do, take, accept, or comply with based upon your views and beliefs and most specifically, reliance on Constitutional guarantees and governmental limitations is sound.

We are correct to be watchful while we train and prepare.

However, one must be wise in how one's perception may be shifted by such a determination. As an example, a recent situation comes to mind regarding certain folks who apparently believe that ATF ‘harassment’ of a FFL dealer equates to an act of war and should be answered with force. This is, in my humble opinion, flawed logic brought about by a desire to “get it over with” tempered by personal ego and/or group think. Why? Because FFL dealers, public or private, know that when they get their licenses to sell firearms, ATF ‘harassment’ is a condition of employment. Like it or not, as a good friend told me this morning, the ATF is empowered to do just that. Does the name, “Red’s Trading Post” ring a bell? Confronting the ATF over doing tasks they are empowered to do and escalating it to battle would, in fact be tantamount to firing on Fort Sumter, which as students of history know, would have the same result as it did for the South: It removed the moral high ground united the deeply divided North. In our case, it would unite those who would take away the last vestiges of the Constitutional guarantees and limitations on the government as well as remove our moral high ground. Tactically, it would give those parties and/or agencies the strategic and operational initiative to win.

A better decision would be to bide one’s time and wait for an outright unprovoked ‘raid’ or ‘attack’ by an agency so that our side, patriotic groups and citizens, would retain the initiative and enjoy even more solidarity.

So, if you’re thinking about taking any kind of action as described above, remember this: The S has not HTF yet! Proof? Sure. We still are able to conduct business, move about freely, associate with people of our choosing; the persecution of people based upon their beliefs or political views is not reached anywhere near a crescendo yet, and we are still free to speak our views, such as this piece. Ergo, we are not in a "SHTF" condition.

That being the case, you should not be in a 'war mindset' yet. How about a preparedness mindset? Certainly, by all means. Or a serious training mindset? Absolutely! Awareness mindset? Without a doubt. Colonel Jeff Cooper’s "Condition Orange" if you will. But that's as far as you should be at this point.

I finish this with a quote or two that you might consider….

“The soldier, above all other people, prays for peace, for he must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war.”

-- General Douglas MacArthur

“People who are anxious to bring on war don't know what they are bargaining for; they don't see all the horrors that must accompany such an event.

-- General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson


Sean said...

The waaaiiiting is the hardest part. -Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.

Anonymous said...

Jon Roland from offers this:

Good post, and one worth sharing with other lists.

However, I have a few disagreements.

First, it is not necessarily wise to have the fed go through your local LEO. See . A fed will sometimes come with a local LEO, and both of them fill out a 302. Note the statute is not limited to "lying" to a federal investigator, but to any "criminal investigator".

Second, having a lawyer present might be a good ploy unless they take you up on it, and thus cause you to incur a significant expense. (Assuming you even have a lawyer.) It is usually sufficient and less provocative to demand there be independent witnesses present and that the entire interview be video recorded. (Offer them a copy, perhaps delivered by posting it to the Web.) They can intimidate lawyers, even those you consider "friends". I recommend having a digital camcorder handy at all times, and record any encounter with strangers before you even know who they are. The new hard drive models are better because they produce files ready to upload. Best is to have the ability to immediately transmit the recording to a remote site just in case. In this era a good camcorder can be worth more than a firearm for the cause of liberty.

Most of these feds are just doing what they think are their jobs, and to the extent they are doing the right thing, they deserve our support (if not our full cooperation). However, at present they have us outnumbered, outorganized, and outgunned, so let's not be outsmarted as well.

CCK said...

Mr. V,
I was just going to write this too. I would not recommend speaking to a law enforcement officer at ANY time.
I'm sure you have seen the video by Professor Duane at Regent University. -

I specifically bought a cheap video camera for just such occasions.

jon said...

let's see a prag defuse a situation like that.

Anonymous said...

The easy way to handle any request for an interview by a law enforcement officer is to simply say the following, "I'm sorry, I have no comment. Please leave. Have a nice day."

Do not fall for any psychological tricks to make you feel like you should respond. If they say anything else after you have said the above, simply repeat it again: "I'm sorry, I have no comment. Please leave. Have a nice day."

A typical trick is for them to say the following in response, "Oh, do you have something to hide?" Don't fall for it, and do not respond to the bait. Just repeat the quote from above, "I'm sorry, I have no comment. Please leave. Have a nice day."

Do not try and game the system. Even attorneys can make fatal errors when they try and play ball.

Anonymous said...

Hey, there was no problem with the ATF going to David Koresh's FFL dealer. That turned out okay didn't it? Who cares that they lie, kill and manufacture evidence to arrest and murder innocent people. Just don't provoke these demons. If you get into an honest to gosh firefight they might run away like the pussies they are same as when a few men and lots of old people and women whipped their ass on day 1 at Waco without even trying. Biggest mistake there was not pressing their advantage.

Wait for a surprise raid you wait to get murdered in the middle of the night.


Anonymous said...

Mike -- good advice re having attorney present... also, consider pulling out a tape/digital recorder and saying, "Guys, just so I have an accurate record of our chat, I'm recording it... " The reaction is worth the cost of the recorder many times over...

Anonymous said...

I agree that cameras are an incredible tac tool; they can change the complexion of a who,e encounter, I've been involved in that happening - when the police demanded my film, I courteously passed the film to another person but promised the LEOs that I would send them copies to any address they gave me. They were less than happy, but filmed documentation IS a good thing...

Anonymous said...

I for one miss the conversations on AWRM with you Dutchman6...