static1.squarespaceOn Home of the Brave podcast, Peabody Award winning producer Scott Carrier interviews Brand Thornton, a believing LDC church member and a member of the Bundy militia.  In this interview Thornton explains the Mormon/religious/spiritual justifications for the occupation.  Brand says, “Absolutely, God told us to do this,” and quotes from the Doctrine and Covenants in his justifications.



  1. Charles January 14, 2016 at 6:13 pm - Reply

    I’m always intrigued by LDS spiritual witnesses. Mormons pray and get a spiritual confirmation that Thomas Monson is the living prophet, and that the LDS Church is the only true church on earth. I don’t doubt the sincerity, and the reality of the experience. But I’m intrigued by the fact that fundamentalists also pray Moroni 10:3-5 and D&C 9:8-9, and they get a different answer from God. They get a spiritual witness that Warren Jeffs is the living prophet, and that the FLDS Church is the only true church on earth. They seem contradictory. And I can’t doubt the fundamentalists’ sincerity either. To them no doubt the experience is just as real.

    It reminds me of the “Canadian copyright episode” the David Whitmer talks about, when Joseph couldn’t tell if his revelation was from himself or from God. Or of the Lafferty brothers, when they prayed to know if they should murder someone, and God told them that they should. It reminds me of Andy Poland’s testimony, when he found out that he was a false prophet:

    • Jay Jr. January 17, 2016 at 6:27 pm - Reply

      Man, the Andy Poland video – it’s a tutorial in the application of logic.

    • Gabriel von Himmel February 15, 2016 at 10:09 pm - Reply

      I don’t know what this is doing attached to an important interview with Scott Carrier?
      Andy Poland is the either the falsest or the most authentic prophet to spin a web of utter confusion and disarray –– A thorough time waster, I don’t know who posted this mess but it has no redeeming value –– I see a fat schlub arrogantly proclaiming his ability to degauss truth from thin air.
      Yes he and Lori deserve to go to a special outer darkness, Andy Poland, trust me, is the most dense schlub that ever existed, to ask his heart what to do. This must be the dumbest testimony ever.
      He believes he “really had the Words.” Pray to be SAFE. More words is mo-betta.
      More incations for him to get saved. It’s great that he didn’t get stuck in the rebirthing canall. Andy needs to edit his rebirthing debriefing.
      So Andy is floating overr the plains of desolation when
      Poland finally states, “to make a long story short” but, by then he has taken the story to uncontested heights of digression. Inelligent people are struck brain-dead from the sepsis of his drone,
      Let him push the edit button, I don’t know how this is helpful to anyone but Andy and Lori.

      • Coriantumr February 16, 2016 at 11:05 am - Reply

        Mein Gott!!!

  2. Charles January 14, 2016 at 6:23 pm - Reply

    It’s interesting that God tells them to do this, but then the LDS Church officially condemns them. It reminds me of the tensions discussed by John Hamer in his interview with John in episode 426 (my favorite episode).

  3. Gabriel von Himmel January 14, 2016 at 7:51 pm - Reply

    Mormon Miligram Experiment:
    My thanks to Scott Carrier for this peek into the “mind” of a Mormon Millennelist on the front lines for the Lord.

    Ammon Bundy the Mormon Fundie invokes magical powers and the malleability of truth.

    Yay, and it came to pass, the Mormon Moment rings out loud with yet more myopia. Mormonese spews forth from Ammon Bundy to secure the realm for Mormon Hegemony. Bundymania speaks with that still small voice to those hanging by a thread of their imagination while the rest of the earth faces the real, the unrevealed, the ambiguous, the planetary complexity of our species and all the little animals. Mormonese speak does little for the real problems faced by we who believe our mandate is to care for the gift of life.

    Is it true, If you’re a Mormon Cowboy are you the most correct and most worthy of all planetary creatures?
    I’m embarrased by the ignorance, the thieft of time and energy the miss-ues of human effort to solve this brouhaha.


  4. EPhima Morphew January 14, 2016 at 8:47 pm - Reply

    Scott Carrier has been a hero for some time.
    This is not Bundy-style Mormonism. It’s Mormon-style philo-Bundanity or It’s Mormon/Bundyism, hegemony and myopia are very powerful. But then again it could be Bundy/Mormonism, orgasmic and righteous, stiff necked and humbly divine.
    Wave some burning branches and give the land back to Origionals, the Tirbals, the worthy.
    Bamboozlement is not unique to the Mormon Mind thanks to THE MORMON MUSIC MAN.

  5. St. Ralph January 14, 2016 at 9:47 pm - Reply

    So often, when God starts talking, people start dying. Kudos to the Feds for handling this perfectly, so far.

    • Mitch January 15, 2016 at 11:04 am - Reply

      I wouldn’t say ‘perfectly’, since an ideal solution would have ended this by now and the militia would be wholly incarcerated (and awaiting hearings on the revocation of their citizenship) or awaiting autopsy by now.

  6. Jake January 14, 2016 at 10:00 pm - Reply

    To think, a few years ago, the logic this man uses to make his decisions would have been similar to my own, his rationale my rationale, his faith my faith.

  7. Gordon Banks January 14, 2016 at 10:35 pm - Reply

    Sounds like the Mormon ISIS has arrived. Complete with priesthood curses and quasi temple prayer circles. I wonder if it would help if an authority went out and talked to them. Probably not. Who was it said that it takes religion to make good people do bad things?

    • ephima Morphew January 18, 2016 at 11:24 am - Reply

      Yes, Those who believe absurdities will commit atrocities.
      I do appriciate the spoiler alert with his sporting a Duck Dynasty hat.
      Great interview.

      • St. Ralph January 20, 2016 at 2:58 pm - Reply

        Yes, I noticed the hat. It says “just another Yeehawdist from Yokel Haram.” These guys should hang it up till they can afford a professional PR firm.

      • Rico January 21, 2016 at 7:59 am - Reply

        Maximilien Robespierre was the most reasonable and enlightened Frenchman during the French Revolution of the Age of Enlightenment.

        He commited no atrocity. He was an opponent of the death penalty, and so had very good reasons to have King Louis XVI of France executed. This was not an atrocity because there were good and enlightened reasons for doing so.

        Yes, it takes religion to do bad things. That is why reason is the answer. We need reasonable men like Robespierre to show the way.

        • James January 25, 2016 at 11:51 pm - Reply

          Holy smokes, have you heard of “the reign of terror”? Robespierre was the leader behind it!
          And to trust reason is to just follow another God. It is ideologies that gets us all into trouble again and again through out history. Prudent reason, caution, self scrutiny in all matters. (That’s where Robespierre failed)

          • Ephima Morphew January 26, 2016 at 12:58 pm

            James, thanks for lifting the lantern a bit higher to expose the greater truth.
            Yes Robespierre was the spiritual leader behind the Reign of Terror as Karl Rove is behind
            the dirt in muddy waters.

            Truth is fickle and subject to change.

          • Rico January 28, 2016 at 5:01 am


            Robespierre abolished the Catholic religion and its holy days, and in its place established the most enlightened religion of all: the “Cult of Reason”.


            See… No other religion has “Reason” in its name. Robespierre was no superstitious guy. He was perfectly reasonable, unlike those who think that “truth is fickle and subject to change.”

  8. inplainsite January 15, 2016 at 5:25 am - Reply

    Well, at least we know you are not an “unbiased” reporter reporting the facts without inserting your opinion. The freedom of press that you enjoy was made possible by “fringe lunatics” who rebelled against the legitimate authority of the British Crown. Most people looked upon the rebellious colonists as wierdos, strange, foolish to think they could go up against the might of the British empire and all the world recognized the British empire as the duly constituted, lawful authority. It is the epitomy of arrogance to think that the federal government always occupies the moral high ground, and is free of the corruption and tyranny that Washington, Jefferson and Franklin faced. You are a victim of normalcy bias, which means that you are in deep denial to believe that the USA has forever freed itself of the tyranny of the past and that forever more, you can sleep peacefully at night, knowing that the blood shed by the colonial rebels, will forever make the American dream possible. Who are the real lunatics?

    • Xposit January 18, 2016 at 7:01 am - Reply

      Wow, inplainsite, you sound a lot like Abu Bakr al-Baghdad. Are you one of his disciples?

    • Coriantumr January 26, 2016 at 10:40 am - Reply

      Actually I willl have to concede INPLAINSITE a big “almost A+” in his opinion. When the Clon-olias started to rebel against the British Crown there were, first and foremost, social strata, economic and lastly taxing reasons for the rebellion. For the Jeffersons and Washingtons of the Colony times were good, The Crown had waged THE FIRST TRUE GLOBAL CONFLICT to defend the Colonies against those treacherous Frenchies. For the Franklins, however, times were bad. The economy in those days was a land based economy…… no land…no fortune. The Crown insisted in keeping treaties with the Indians and cracked down on Colonials trespassing into Indian land. For the trader times were ok but the War had soured some of the deals because for a trader then and now pocket is first then country….. For the artisans times were bad because the Crown favored the articles from the Motherland and discouraged native gear……………. and then the taxes. The King had spent himself out of profit for an incident between fur traders and indians and it was well within his right to tax the people who were benefitting from the incident. And right there and then you have all the social strata on the Colonies aligning against the Crown: For the Washingtons and Jeffersons [known as Criollos in my country] the oppotunity for leadership was within grasp……… for the rest the opportunity for mobility just out in the Cumberland Gap. Bundy and the rest of the militia types are the people that are being crushed by the new Crown: Globalization. It is not really kool when your turn at the wheel is called. Indians, Mexicans, Blacks they all had their ass kicked around as the Bundies observed from the Gallery. Today is their turn and it just not fair……………….

      • Gordon Banks January 26, 2016 at 2:11 pm - Reply

        I agree that the working class is getting kicked around by globalization, and while cowboys are working class for sure, I’m not sure they are so kicked around by globalization, since their product (beef, mostly) is not easier to produce in countries with low labor costs. We export beef to China. Illegal Mexican immigrants (braceros) can compete with them for jobs, but mostly stay in agriculture now. Also, I’m not sure the Bundys qualify as working class (although they have similar backgrounds as cowboys), since they are ranch owners, not laborers. Probably a lot of the militia is working class, though, and not owners of much except their guns. And I agree that globalization accounts for a lot of the working class anger. I lived in Pittsburgh for years. In the heyday of the steel industry, a guy with a high school diploma could own a nice house, a nice car, a boat, & his wife didn’t have to work. They still remember those days and don’t like that they have no chance for this now. Someone is to blame, and if they find a theory as to who, they just might go for it.

        • Coriantumr January 26, 2016 at 5:57 pm - Reply

          A minor correction though….. Braceros were Mexicans Nationals that participated in the Bracero Program of the 1940’s to 1964. They were legally hired but illegally treated. My Grandfather and my Father in law were part of it. After 1964 everybody was illegally hired and illegally working in the fields. I don’t think that the working class is the only one hit by the New Crown. I certainly do not believe the Bundy Bunch and Company are working poor. The cheapest AR-15 of dubious brand sold here in GA for about 499 USD on Black Friday… Cheapest gun in 9 mm is a Taurus at about 399.99 Retail…sold for 299.99 on Black Friday…. Once you factor in all the trims, thermal ware, camo, food and the fact that they’be been there for the better part of 2 weeks, well they ain’t poor. I can’t really tell my boss that I’m going to defend the Constitution for 2 weeks without getting my ass in trouble. No Sir, they’re privileged people who dislike their turn at the wheel. It may just be that being delightful and whitish does not cut it anymore. What is disingenuous, in my view, is the script of “the middle class”. A creature of opportunity , result of the War, invented by the same guys that traded with the Iroquois it is just incredible to me that people just don’t get that it was not meant to last. But eventually they will get tired, run out of money and then a few of them will be made examples of in a court of law.

          • Gordon Banks January 28, 2016 at 12:37 pm

            Maybe not all working poor, but certainly working class. They may be poorer than you think. A lot of those guy have new pickups and the latest tactical gear, but their wives and children are living in a beat up trailer and on food stamps. Those who are veterans (a good number) were enlisted, not officers, which are what middle class people are (the few of them who serve in the military at all). Finicum was a rancher, but had gone bankrupt and was supporting himself by running a foster care home, which isn’t something middle class people do usually. Financially union workers of the 1950s and 1960s were middle class, but in attitudes and education they never were and now are reverting to the kinds of incomes unskilled people earn globally, which by comparison to what it once was seems unfair to them and so they are ripe for paranoid ideologies that tell them their country has been stolen from them. In Oregon, it is especially acute among former loggers. Environmental regulations have stopped them cutting old-growth forests, and they fail to foresee that once the old-growth here was cut down, Oregon would be no more a loggers paradise than West Virginia is now (WV was a loggers paradise in the 19th century, until all the tree were gone). The logging pays more than what they have now, but the real money in resource extraction is made by the corporations not by the workers. Once the land is stripped, the workers either move on to a new area, or revert to poverty when there are no more resources available to be exploited.

          • Coriantumr January 29, 2016 at 7:44 am

            I’ve heard the term “milk the beast” amongst Fundies but not being there to witness it I would not mention it on posts. To think that once the US almost went to hands with England for the territory. I think we both agree that certain sectors in the US are being disenfranchised by the Crown. I think that this process will accelerate even further in the next 50 years. What is certain is that certain sectors will be bankrupt because the former support of the feds will disappear. The task ahead is to make people aware that this is not entirely within their control and that the solution is not as

      • Coriantumr January 26, 2016 at 3:06 pm - Reply


  9. LPearlD January 15, 2016 at 9:12 am - Reply

    This action shows just how much people need love. These guys need a hug and someone to tell them they are good, and they don’t need to prove anything. In my view, the idea that this is from God and they are protecting our liberty is just an excuse to look for personal validation. You don’t need to be a hero to show you are good – you were born good.

    The fact that there are no or few ? women involved says a lot. Maybe if a few moms and wives show up and tell these guys they are good and they are loved they might go home.

    • Xposit January 18, 2016 at 6:58 am - Reply

      You can bet your sweet bippie LPearlD that if law enforcement shows up their women will come crawling out of the the woodwork. Putting their women and kids between themselves and the authorities is one of the tactics they employed down on Daddys compound.

  10. Robert M Hodge January 15, 2016 at 10:15 am - Reply

    The problem is that you can’t get reliable directions from heaven without the aid of a peep stone and a hat. If those scofflaws didn’t have access to the stone and hat they may have been deceived. And, there is only one certified reliable peep stone (as Hyrum Page would testify) and that is the one produced by Joseph Smith to translate the Book of Mormon. But these “Patriots” could not have accessed that stone because the Church has it under lock and key. Therefore this guy’s “inspired” view, if you believe Joseph Smith, could be from God, man, or the from devil. Two of three are bad. I don’t like the odds.

  11. Matt January 15, 2016 at 10:44 am - Reply

    Wrong bro, doctrines n convenets 113:24-28 doesn’t exist. It’s doctrines and covenents section 4…..20 verses….I give up!

  12. Matt January 15, 2016 at 11:05 am - Reply

    Wrong bro! Doctrins n Covnents section 113 verses 24-28 doesn’t exist! It’s doctrines n Covnents section……..420:…….oh, I give up

  13. Tom Lewis January 15, 2016 at 12:22 pm - Reply

    I have been working with an organization in Linn County, Oregon, which offered its assistance to the Hammond family. Both father and son had been charged with arson, despite the fact that there was no proof of malicious intent. I met Ammon Bundy on 12-15-2015 in Burns, and then attended the protest in 01-02-2015. We were quite surprised and dismayed that Ammon’s group had gone to the Refuge without informing the protesters of their intent. A town hall meeting was held, where we requested that Ammon come to the meeting. He would not come. The organizations participating in the protest offered the Hammond men sanctuary from the Federal Government’s additional imprisonment, but they opted for the imprisonment, and the organizations respected their wishes. The organizations’ position is consistent with the LDS Church’s position that such an occupation was not necessary, and that such an occupation has resulted in more swarms of Federal officers coming into Burns to further “harass and eat out the substance” of Harney County. However, it needs to be noted that such government agencies as the BLM are not constitutional, according to the 10th Amendment, and the Federal Government owning that so much land in Oregon, Idaho, Utah, and Nevada is unconstitutional according to Article 1, Section 8, Paragraph 17, where it severely limits the amount of land the Federal Government can own. Ammon and his group are not attempting to overthrow the government; they are attempting to return land to the farmers and ranchers of Harney County and return Harney County to its previous condition of prosperity. However, I cannot agree with their methods, as they run contrary to D&C 134:5, which states that sedition and rebellion are unbecoming of citizens at least somewhat protected in their rights, despite the respect for the Constitution that the LDS have, as specified in D&C 98:5-7. While I cannot agree with the methods of Ammon and group, I am still slightly sympathetic, as the BLM has shown a lack of respect for the people of Harney County by burning cattle, burning a home, and almost burning the town of Frenchglenn, a small town near Steens Mountain, during the summer of 2012. I traveled through the area and saw the effects on 09-11-2012. I am LDS, but have not received the same revelation that Ammon has received. My motivation for whatever support I can give the Hammond family is derived from my belief in treating the Hammond men with compassion and not subjecting an old man to five years of imprisonment.

    • Leah January 15, 2016 at 1:40 pm - Reply

      Except the rightful owners of the land were Native Americans not farmers and ranchers.

      Somehow I doubt that they would be willing to return it to them…

    • Gordon Banks January 15, 2016 at 2:14 pm - Reply

      Tom, I don’t agree with your interpretation of history or the Constitution. Article IV, Section 3 gives Congress the power to regulate territory and property of the USA. At the time of the adoption of the Constitution, the US had extensive territories in the Midwest and it was decided under the Northwest Ordinance that the colonies would give up their land claims in favor of the Federal Government. If anyone understood the Constitution, it was Thomas Jefferson, who made the Louisiana Purchase from Napoleon, acquiring the vast territories for the federal government. If the government was forbidden to own land outside of post offices and forts, then that would have never been constitutional. I know everyone at the time was not in favor of buying this territory, but I don’t know that it was objected to on constitutional grounds. Now to the matter of who rightfully owns the Malheur Bird Refuge. The land in question was occupied for centuries by the Paiutes. There was a land grab, but it wasn’t from the white ranchers. It was from the Indians, and it was like taking candy from a baby. The poor Paiutes had no means to withstand the might of the United States Army. So their land was taken and the most desirable parts of it were made available for settlement by whites. Wealthy rancher Peter French drained the lake and claimed the former wetlands as his, but the courts found that he did not have a legitimate right to do that. So how is it that white ranchers (the wealthiest segment of the population of Harney County) have the rights to that land? If anyone has the right to it, it is the Paiutes. Is Ammon proposing to give the land back to them? Why not? Visit the Warm Springs Tribe’s museum in Warm Springs sometime for another view of our history. I couldn’t get through it without weeping at the terrible things perpetrated by our ancestors on the Indians. Oregon’s Indians suffered more than most. The settlers would move onto their land, then the government would negotiate a treaty reducing the land owned by the Indians, but promising no more encroachments. Subsequently, settlers would move onto the Indians’ remaining land. The Indians would go to the government and ask the Army to remove the settlers. The Army would not. After many vain petitions, the Indians would act against the squatters, who then would run to the government asserting hostile Indians were attacking. The Army would attack the Indians, and a new treaty would further reduce their lands. Some of these poor tribes are now down to as little as 5 acres! So it is hard for me to see giving land to white ranchers that never should have been theirs in the first place.

      • Tom Lewis January 15, 2016 at 7:39 pm - Reply

        We are at least agreed that the Federal Government should not own the land. I am aware of the cruel treatment given to the Paiute Indians, where they were shackled and marched from the Oregon High Desert to the Yakima Indian Reservation. I will visit the museum in Warm Springs when I get a chance.

        • Gordon Banks January 17, 2016 at 12:52 pm - Reply

          I would prefer to see the Federal Government not own land, but I don’t want it turned over to private individuals for their profit. I would turn some of it back to the Indians, but not all of it. I know it may sound patronizing, but I don’t think the Indians at this point can make use of all the land the feds own. They can be good stewards, but they also are poor and subject to exploitation. It is a major problem as to how to give land back and ensure that whites don’t find a way to take advantage of them without being too paternalistic. Australia has the most experience with this, I think. Certainly the Indians should have certain rights to use lands, such as hunting and fishing on even those that others don’t get such access. This is true of the Malheur Refuge. The Paiutes have rights there that whites don’t have. But I think we need commons land and the birds and animals need refuges and wilderness. We have been very poor stewards of this earth, and they have suffered mightily for it. I would prefer such lands be turned over to conservation trusts such as the Wilderness Society or the Nature Conservancy. Perhaps also some game reserves that could be managed by hunter and fisherman groups. I think they would be good stewards. Turning the land over to individuals to exploit and despoil would be a real mistake, and I’d oppose that. I also think the Hammonds got a bum deal and I would abolish minimum mandatory sentences. Unfortunately, Obama (or a future president) will have to pardon them, since they’ve already taken their case all the way to the Supreme Court. I see no legal way Ammon Bundy is going to spring them by his action, and in fact may just make it worse, since it would be harder to pardon them since Bundy has polarized the issue by making an armed action against the government..

      • Tom Lewis January 22, 2016 at 9:46 pm - Reply

        Article 4 refers to territories and Article 1, Section 8, Clause 17 refers to states. The Federal Government does have the right to dispose of land in the territories, but only limited right to own land in the states.

        • Gordon Banks January 23, 2016 at 12:41 pm - Reply

          The word territory is generic. Even animals have territories. If the Constitution had meant only to apply that section to incorporated territories (there was only one, the Northwest Territory, at the time) and there was no reason to assume there would be more in the future, wouldn’t it have specified it specifically? Did the Federal government dispose of all the land in a newly created state as soon as the state was created? I don’t think it has ever been interpreted that way before. If you have some evidence otherwise, please say. So I take it as literally referring to territory, not organized entities which were given title of territories. I don’t know if the Supreme Court has ruled on the interpretation of the word, but would it matter to Bundy? I think those guys decide what they think the Constitution should mean and admit no higher interpretive authority than their own.

          • Tom Lewis February 29, 2016 at 11:04 am

            Notice that the word “Territory” is capitalized. I do not believe it is generic. I believe that the vast amount of Federal land in the West needs to be transferred to the states or private individuals. According to the 10th Amendment, there should be no BLM, FWS, or Forest Service. I also maintain that the myriad of Federal agencies in Harney County are “harassing the people and eating out their substance. An interview with John Witzel of Frenchglenn supports my assertion:


            Those ranchers who petition the government for redress of grievances are harassed and have the rights enumerated in the 1st Amendment violated.

          • Gordon Banks March 7, 2016 at 8:24 pm

            But why should the land be turned over to ranchers? Why not hunters or birdwatchers? You should know who will end up with it if it was privatized: large corporations who have the money and influence to get it. The 1% will win again and the little guy will get screwed.

        • St. Ralph January 23, 2016 at 1:00 pm - Reply

          One thing I’m pretty sure the Bundyites don’t get is that if the Federal Governments lets go of the land they own, it’s not ranchers like Bundy who are going to get the land. The land will go to the highest bidder, which in every case will be a large corporation. When the land is owned by the corporate oligarchy, Bundy and friends will have far LESS access to it than they do now and, instead of simply restricting use of the land the way the Feds do, Corporate America will be actively trashing it for short-term profit of which the Bundyites will see none.

          If the Federal government was ever to divest itself of its land holdings Justice would dictate that it be returned to the descendants of the people it was stolen from in the first place. We all know that’s not going to happen. I just bring it up to illustrate the fact that if the land goes to the highest bidder or the rightful owners, the Bundyites are out either way. They should be fighting to maintain the status quo, if anything.

          • Gordon Banks January 23, 2016 at 1:15 pm

            Highest bidder was how the feds disposed of land prior to the Civil War. That is how land speculators ended up with much of it (for example, the guy who sold the Mormons the land where they built Nauvoo). Large ranchers may have the money to be highest bidder on some land, especially if there are no valuable minerals thought to be lying under it. But I agree, very few would have the money to compete with very rich corporations.

            Bundy seems to have the idea that the land should go to working class people like loggers and miners in addition to ranchers, but we know how likely that is to happen.

    • Dave Harris January 15, 2016 at 3:45 pm - Reply

      The problem with your statement: “they are attempting to return land to the farmers and ranchers of Harney County” is that the farmers and ranchers of Harney County simply do not own this land and never have. The vast majority of federal land in Oregon, Utah, Idaho and Nevada was never owned by the residents of those states or their ancestors. If anything, the land was “owned” by the Native Americans. The genocide that Europeans inflicted on Native Americans plus hundreds of years gone by makes ownership a very complicated equation.

      I really want to understand. Can you please explain why you think this land belongs to the ranchers and farmers of Harney County? Are you asserting some sort of squatters rights approach? I live right next to BLM land. I don’t think it should personally be my land any more than people I know from California to Delaware. I make a living without trying to take land away from citizens of the USA. This is the issue that most people in the country just don’t understand. Please explain.

    • Robert M Hodge January 15, 2016 at 4:22 pm - Reply

      I really can’t see why Article 1 , Section 8, Paragraph 17 limits the amount of national land that the Federal Government can own. As I read it it limits the size of the “seat of Government” I.E. the Capital but not the scope of Federal land ownership nationwide. And with all due respect for your altruism for the militant Bundy scofflaws, they have broken laws, state and federal, and if we are to remain a nation of laws, and not of men or “Sovereign Citizens”, we are going to have to evenly and fairly apply the law to this situation. As to the Hammond family, 5 years does seem excessive.

    • Xposit January 18, 2016 at 7:28 am - Reply

      While I completely disagree with your interpretation of the constitution I appreciate that you seem to understand what Ammon and the Bundy groupies do not. There is a court system designed to settle our differences without resorting to fisticuffs. When the courts have found that the Bundys’ arguments have no merit, rather than pursuing their grievances through more creative, peaceful methods, they have selfishly decided to short circuit the system by invoking an armed game of ‘chicken’ with local, state and federal authorities to the detriment of the broader society. The fact that absolutely nobody, and I mean nobody, has been held responsible fro the ongoing illegal activities surrounding the Bundy compound in southern Nevada has encouraged this nonsense Ammon is now engaged in. Thanks for sharing your view on the matter and respecting the fact that not everyone agrees. Also, thanks you for respecting the wishes of the Hammond family.

  14. Phil January 17, 2016 at 7:56 am - Reply

    As an armchair anthropologist, I find the Bundy group a fascinating insight into old school “original recipe” mormonism.

    The key ingredients:
    1. Lack of formal education
    2. Agrarian background
    3. steeped in mormon religious theory
    4. belief in folk magic (I’d say their “sovereign citizen” legal theories are a form of folk magic)

    As a thought experiment, imagine sending them back to Nauvoo in the 1800’s. I think they would fit right in, which raises some concerns:

    Are the feds coddling these guys based on a rose colored understanding of mormonism?

    Will the Bundys go all danite on us?

    Since LDS Inc. sends missionaries all over the world asking people to pray for a warm fuzzy feeling to confirm the authenticity of an ahistorical fantasty book, why is anyone surprised when some members get a warm fuzzy over a libertarian fantasy story about Western states land rights?

    Meanwhile, back at the ranch…New Guinea cargo cults have nothing on the Bundys.

    • St. Ralph January 17, 2016 at 10:49 am - Reply

      I don’t think the Feds are coddling these guys. The Feds are doing their best to ignore them, which admittedly, they can only do up to a point. They’ve learned a few things from Waco and Ruby Ridge and they DO NOT want to turn these bozos into folk heroes. If they leave the Bundites alone long enough. they will go home, or craving attention, they will destroy some property or endanger or harm some civilians, giving the Feds undeniable justification to go in and remove them. And it doesn’t have to be a bloodbath, either. The Feds don’t like to advertise the fact, but they have chemical agents with which they could gas the lot of them and haul them off to an “undisclosed secure location,” probably without killing anyone. They (the Feds) are really trying NOT to be heavy handed.

  15. Marc January 17, 2016 at 1:15 pm - Reply

    These comments are fascinating. Both sides seem to be talking right past each other.

  16. Xposit January 18, 2016 at 7:40 am - Reply

    To paraphrase Susan B. Anthony, I distrust anyone who claims to know what God wants them to do because it always coincides with their own desires. Thanks Mr. Carrier for doing the leg work most of us can’t.

  17. non-Mormon January 20, 2016 at 12:19 pm - Reply

    These people have broken all kinds of laws from vandalism to sedition. They have deprived members of the public of the public lands they are occupying. They are actively inciting others in the area to defy the government and to cease paying on their contractual arrangements with the federal government. They have violated the privacy of employees of the Malheur Wildlife Reserve. They have forced the closing of schools. They are keeping the residents of the surrounding areas under stress despite a mounting number of requests and demands from the citizens of Harney County and various cities of Oregon that they go back to their homes in other states.

    I applaud the local, state and federal governments’ patience that has, so far, avoided bloodshed. But when the leaders and spokespeople are identifiably Mormon and openly breaking laws why aren’t Mormon officials involved in bringing them to sanity and responsibility? Do religious leaders not recognize some responsibility to lead in this precarious situation? Or do they just fear appearing to be impotent?

    • St. Ralph January 20, 2016 at 2:48 pm - Reply

      If the last forty-odd years has taught “Mormon officials” anything, it is how bad they are at dealing with reality and the public outside of the Church. For them to open their mouths outside of a Mormon context is a lose, lose situation and they know it. They are only adept at making pronouncements to people who are sworn to believe and obey them. They really don’t know how things work in the world at large and they’ve learned that they can only lose if they try to involved themselves in it.

      That’s why.

      • non-Mormon January 21, 2016 at 5:04 pm - Reply

        If only they could have had similar humility and restraint when it came to the civil rights of gay Americans. … and women and Black Americans.

    • Ex-Mormon-too January 20, 2016 at 6:33 pm - Reply

      Mormons do not like conflict. It does not surprise me that a lot of these men are LDS. They think they have some kind of power because they have the priesthood or what ever. Instead of resolving a problem or conflict. They will just ignore you or try to avoid the problem or the person. I have seen this in the church. Mormons try to act like they love and care but its just an act they dont. They just want your 10%
      Scary people.

  18. Ephima Morphew January 20, 2016 at 6:44 pm - Reply

    Bundy Grifting is gifted from God to the Chosen Philo-semite
    Grifting is baked into the Mormon Mind-Set –– Given their privileged access to the Afterlife, Mormons know the rights afforded the worthy here on earth are deserved.
    Fraud is as fraud does and Mormon Fraud is blessed by Our Heavely Father who got the word second hand from Our Prophet Joseph Smith, The Mormon Music Man.

    free will is not informed choice but imagined america on steroids

  19. Jonathan January 21, 2016 at 10:42 am - Reply

    A formula for creating religous extremism in the USA:
    1. Preach that the constitution is divinely inspired – almost literally written by the hand of God.
    2. Emphasize that the 2nd coming of Christ is imminent – and that this generation will witness it.
    3. Teach that prior to the 2nd coming of Christ that the constituion will be threatened or “hang by a thread”.
    4. Promote the idea that your Church is under attack, the influence of Satan is everywhere (even within ‘liberal’ members of the faith) and that non-believers can’t be trusted.

    And ?? … you get religious extremists. The type that occupy buildings in order to inspire others. Historical events, bad weather and actions by a legitmately elected government that are evenly slightly progressive are all interpreted in the worst possible light. For the LDS Church to disavow this people is extremely disengeous. The Church contributed heavily to the way they think and view the world.

  20. Gabriel von Himmel January 26, 2016 at 10:11 pm - Reply

    Now arrested for conspiracy, The Bundy-Mormons are now in limbo.

    I’ve noticed over these pas few days that Ammon has developed a much bigger butt and even bigger gut.
    “This revolutionary thing is work’in fur me.”
    LaVoy Finicam is martyred with his togs all shiny-new and stuff. R.I.P.
    With 18 grandchildren I might guess that he was a foster parent for the state with his own grandchildren.

    Regarding the Bundy Manifesto:
    First, most of these arguments are an obfuscation –– a canard. The real issue is Constitutional, it an argument about the intent of our Founding Fathers.

    Did the creators of the constitution get their inspiration from God, as the mormons say, “Our Heavenly Father,” or were our founders pantheists. If they were inspired by God’s it would then be a Divine Document.
    If they were pantheists they made it up as they went along, gathering all formative information to create “A More Perfect Union.”
    So is it a Nation directed by God, or, are we directed by thoughtful deliberation and heated argument?
    The Constitution can not be both.

    So the argument is either a secular or religious manifesto. God has had multiple opportunities to create “Obedience” and then again “Perfect Obedience” for the cause of the Natural Man ––– it remains a forlorn hope.

    Caveat, the founding fathers were part of “The Inlightenment” they were pantheist, agnostics or atheists. After the damage done in Europe and in the early colonies The Constutional framers wanted no truck with formal theology.
    As a believer in the persistence of doubt I wish this argument would winnow down to an obtuse whimper.

    Hey protestors, you know what they say, “pack’it in pack’it out.

  21. Ephima Morphew January 26, 2016 at 11:03 pm - Reply

    I want to reinforce the interest in the Scott Carrier’s interview.
    “Absolutely, God Told Us To Do This”

    if you don’t listen you won’t hear.


  22. Coriantumr January 27, 2016 at 8:01 pm - Reply

    Well that is that…………. There is nothing worse than being abandoned by your God, disavow by your Prophet, and thrown under the bus by the people that claim they love freedom and the Constitution like you [The Glenn Becks and Alex Jones of the World] including some of the commenters here. Being who I am, I feel for you…. even if I disagree with you. Now you’re part of us , El Tirado. Just ask Cuahutemoc…….

  23. Rico January 28, 2016 at 6:23 am - Reply

    The agnostic libertarian Murray Rothbard wrote an incisive critique of of the philosophy behind Protestantism as the forerunner of Messianic Communism. I think he is right on target:

    The Bundys are the unwanted children of Mormonism, just as Mormonism is the unwanted child of Protestantism. We have had 500 years of Protestant ideas, with America being the remaining bastion of White Anglo-Saxon Protestantism. The greatest crime of Protestantism is that it gave permission to every nutcase who can quote the Bible to start a religion. It’s as if a religion is something any Thomas Edison can invent in his garage or backyard.

    In short, American inventiveness and enthusiasm for Protestantism are not a good mix…. sometimes.

    The absurdities of Protestant thought is naturally coupled with a messianic urge, as Rothbard, who is no religionist, points out. We’ve all seen this movie before, whether in Guyana, Waco, and now in Oregon. The script Joseph Smith followed seemed to have the same lines. In socialism, and its monumental failures, both Joseph Smith’s zionism and Karl Marx’s communism are philosophical relatives.

    It was a predictable show, unlike French modernist movies, we knew how it will end. The Bundys saw themselves as messiahs out to save the great American wilderness from government evil. Their story may have ended, but we haven’t seen the end of this Protestant messianic lunacy.

  24. Ephima Morphew February 19, 2016 at 7:09 pm - Reply

    More constitutional teaching continues in Halfway Oregon:

    Baker City Herald
    “Grifting is baked into the Mormon Mind-Set –– Given their privileged access to the Afterlife, Mormons know the rights afforded the worthy here on earth are deserved.” For the mormon, free will is not informed choice but imagined america on steroids.

    So the Bundy Bunch are bunked in Oregon. The waves ripple across the land to infect other places with ergot thinking.
    The sepsis spreads to Far-Western Deseret, Halfway Oregon
    I don’t know why it took four tries to get this article out and onto the website? They did manage to break up the commentary.
    Could to be the embarrassment of the riches, or revelation or the need to bury the lead.

    Do these people know that civics is about satisfying dispute? Can Millenialists Satisfy their calling withou blowing up the entire planet?

    smiley face here

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