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Shofar FTP Archive File: orgs/american/militias/montana/btb-montana



                           MONTANA

     Militia groups in Montana, whose armed members have
been embroiled in hostile confrontations with police. are
among the most volatile in the country.

     The Militia of Montana (M.O.M.), one of the movement's
most visible and extreme groups. has continued to spread its
message around Montana and the nation from its headquarters
in the small town of Noxon.

     M.O.M. was founded by John Trochmann -- who has been a
speaker at a major conclave of the white supremacist Aryan
Nations -- along with his brother David and David's son
Randy. In public, John Trochmann has tried to play down his
Aryan Nations experience. In a recent press release,
however, Aryan Nations leader Richard Butler announced that
Trochmann had traveled to the group's Idaho compound "quite
often ... for Bible study." and that he "even helped us
write out a set of rules for our code of conduct on church
grounds."

     In December 1994, M.O.M. sponsored a five-stop speaking
tour in Washington and Montana with Mark Koernke ("Mark from
Michigan"), whose videos and speeches are key recruiting
tools for the militia movement. John Trochmann and Bob
Fletcher, another M.O.M. Official, were also in attendance
to answer questions from the audience. One month later,
Fletcher traveled to Colorado to reach out to sympathizers
in that state. He warned an audience of about 75 that a
bloody battle was in store, and instructed them to be
prepared. "You better  damn well learn how to use a gun if
you don't know how to use one now," he said. "If you don't
have bullets now, you better flat get them."

M.O.M. Propaganda

     An item in an issue of M.O.M.'s monthly newsletter,
Taking Aim, printed several weeks before the bombing of the
Oklahoma City Federal Building, underscores the centrality
of the date, April 19, to the group's ideology. The
newsletter noted April 19, 1995, as the upcoming execution
date ("UNLESS WE ACT NOW!!!" it read) for convicted murderer
and white supremacist Richard Wayne Snell. The item
recounted that April 19 was also the day on which "Lexington
burned.... Warsaw burned.... The feds attempted to raid
Randy Weaver.... The Branch Davidians burned." By citing
Lexington and Warsaw, M.O.M. seems to compare today's U.S.
Government to colonial America's British rulers and,
outrageously. to the genocidal Nazi regime, while
simultaneously agitating on behalf of a racist and anti-
Semitic killer.

     As is the case with many militia groups around the
country, M.O.M. leaders are obsessed with the notion that
United Nations troops, aided by Soviet-made weapons, are
planning a takeover of the United States. An "lntelligence
Report" recently distributed by M.O.M. purports to provide
followers with detailed documentation of this conspiracy. A
National Guard base in Biloxi, Mississippi, is said to be
filled with trucks "of Soviet origin," whose "fuel tanks
have been topped off and apparently look ready to roll." The
report adds: "These trucks are being marked at this time
United Nations."

     The Militia of Montana distributes a catalog that-
offers for sale numerous videotapes, audiotapes and
publications on a variety of conspiracy themes. The catalog
also offers a comprehensive bomb-making and warfare manual,
"The Road Back," which was produced by the anti-Semitic
Liberty Lobby's publishing arm, Noontide Press. M. O. M.
describes the book thus: "A plan for the restoration of
freedom when our country has been taken over by its enemies.
20 chapters on organization. recruiting, intelligence,
communications, supply, weapons, sabotage, medicine,
warfare, and training, etc."

Brush With the Law

     In recent months, authorities in Musselshell County
have learned that several M.O.M. members, including John
Trochmann, have cooperated with so-called Freemen. Followers
of this anti-tax movement have defied local and federal law
and have operated their own common law court system,
reflecting their view of the Constitution.

     In early March 1995, rancher William Stanton, a
follower of the Freemen movement, was sentenced by a judge
in Roundup, Montana, to a 10-year prison term for criminal
syndicalism -- the advocacy of crime, violence, or property
damage for political ends -- related to Freemen activities.
On the heels of Stanton's sentencing, and in an apparent
show of support for the Freemen, John Trochmann and six of
his followers embarked on a 500-mile journey to Roundup,
armed with an arsenal of weapons. "I believe the men were
here to attempt to capture or kill us," the Musselshell
County Attorney told a local paper.

     The seven men were arrested on charges of carrying
concealed weapons and felony intimidation. A search of their
vehicle revealed a collection of handguns and rifles,
communications equipment, thousands of rounds of ammunition,
quantities of gold and silver, and $80.000 in cash.

     Charges against all but two of the men -- Frank Ellena
of Billings, and Dale Jacobi of Thompson Falls -- were
dropped in late March after a state prosecutor concluded
that there was insufficient evidence to support felony
charges.

North American Volunteer Militia

     The Boonville, Indiana-based North American Volunteer
Militia (NAVM), directed by Joe Holland (see Indiana), has
an active outpost in Montana. The group's attitude toward
law enforcement officials may be discerned from a letter by
Holland to the Montana Revenue Department: "How many of your
agents will be sent home in body bags before you hear the
pleas of the people?" asked Holland in his letter. "Proceed
at your own peril!"

     In early April 1995, an armed encounter between militia
members and Ravalli County officials ended with the arrest
of one militia man. Drawing a parallel between this
situation and the confrontations involving the Branch
Davidians at Waco and Randy Weaver at Ruby Ridge in Idaho,
Joe Holland urged followers to travel to Ravalli County in a
show of support. "In my opinion," Holland wrote in an
"alert" message distributed by fax, "it looks as though
another Waco or Ruby Ridge may be in the planning stages in
Ravalli County, Montana. There has been a build-up of police
over the last few days." In May, Holland and two Montana men
were charged with criminal syndicalism; Holland has
surrendered to Indiana authorities.

     NAVM's Montana coordinator is Calvin Greenup of Darby,
a dump operator and elk rancher. In early May 1995, Greenup
was charged with plotting to kidnap, try in a common law
court. and hang local government officials. The charges,
which were also filed against Joe Holland and two of his
cohorts. followed an undercover investigation conducted by
the state Justice Department. In addition, Greenup has been
wanted by officials for tax evasion, obstruction of justice,
and running an unlicensed game farm. For several weeks,
though, he avoided arrest by hiding out on his large farm
and threatening to shoot any law officer who approaches. In
early June, Greenup turned himself in to local authorities,
made bail, and was
released. Greenup's son, Scott, who was sought by police for
assaulting an officer and jumping bail. also surrendered.

     Before ending his holdout, Greenup said his extreme
stance was his only guarantee that "the crooked politicians"
will take notice. "Do the political officials want this
state to blow or do they want to get it back and hear our
pleas?" he asked.


~      
ADL Fact Finding Report, "Beyond the Bombing: The Militia
Menace Grows," Anti-Defamation League, 1995.


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