A right-wing conspiracy theorist, anti-tax campaigner has barricaded himself into his 110 acre home, complete with water-well, solar panels and three months of food, preparing for a deadly shoot-out with local Sheriffs in Plainsfield, NH.
Retired rodent exterminator Ed Brown parted ways with his wife last week when he decided not to join her for the conclusion of their federal tax evasion trial. Brown has amassed a new and growing group of friends fringe groups who support his decision to stand up to government authority.
During the past few decades, Brown has claimed membership in several of the most deranged anti-government and militia groups including the Constitution Rangers of the Continental Congress of 1777, the Constitution Defense Militia and the UnAmerican Activities Investigations Commission, which he founded.
A jury decided Brown and his wife plotted to hide their income and avoid taxes on Elaine Brown’s income of $1.9 million between 1996 and 2003. Over 10 years, they also used $215,890 of postal money orders broken into increments just below the reporting threshold to pay for their hilltop compound and for Elaine Brown’s dental offices.
When news of Brown’s decision began circulating on talk radio shows and militia-oriented blogs earlier this week, journalists at the Brown homestead outnumbered supporters. As Brown declared that Plainfield might become another Waco, three others known to carry arms said they had joined him
“This situation is exploding so fast in this nation and internationally that the Illuminati around the world are becoming very aware,” Brown said, referring to a rumored secret society that he believes has infiltrated the highest levels of the world’s governments.
Brown and his wife, will be sentenced in April. Elaine Brown, who is cooperating with authorities, has been prohibited from returning to the house. On Friday, the court unsealed a bench warrant for Ed Brown’s arrest.
Despite the threat of looming violence, Brown’s kitchen was abuzz with activity yesterday afternoon, reported the local Concord Monitor Newspaper. Young children built forts from the kindling stacked beside his woodstove. Activists shared newsletters on how to avoid paying property taxes and why it’s a bad idea to register to vote. Men munched on Doritos, and women poured their children glasses of orange juice. Rob Jacobs of Allenstown prepared to be sworn into the Constitution Rangers of the Continental Congress of 1777, a group charged with holding law enforcement officials accountable to the Constitution.
Over the course of the week, Brown has said repeatedly that he would rather die than submit to federal jurisdiction and that he’s readying himself for an armed standoff when the marshals come to arrest him.
Several friends and bloggers have been calling for a bloody conclusion to the situation. William Miller, a friend and fellow Constitution Ranger, sent an e-mail last weekend demanding the hanging of the federal judge and prosecutor who worked on Brown’s case – and the martyrdom of Brown himself.
“Ed Brown, my friend and mentor, for patriotic reasons, is now worth more to me, and to what I stand for, dead, than alive,” Miller wrote.
Brown said that Miller has clarified his position with the marshals and that he does not personally endorse any violence toward court officials. But Miller is not the only Brown supporter making violent proclamations. The Liberty Guard of New America, a militia group, has also called for the murder of the judge.
Supporters at Brown’s home said the only violence they anticipated was defensive, but several said that they see a shootout as an inevitability.
“There’s been violence throughout our history, and it’s sometimes what it takes to right the wrongs.” said Bernie Bastian, a close friend of Brown who has been at his side since the trial ended. “It’s a shame that men can’t right the wrongs without resorting to it.”
Other visitors said they were visiting Brown to lend moral support but did not plan to participate in any gun battle. Tim and Marylisa Logsdon spent the weekend at the house with their three young children. Tim Logsdon said he did not feel he was putting his family in any danger.
“The building is pretty secure,” he said. “And the feds have promised that they won’t raid.”
Brown said he was ambivalent about the prospect of violence. He’d prefer a peaceful resolution, he said, but feels that there are few options available to him.
“I would like to see this whole thing go away,” he said. “But now’s the time it’s continuing to build.”
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