If you haven’t heard of the Sovereign Citizens movement, it might be about time to brush up.
Regarded by the FBI and law enforcement officials as the nation’s top terrorist threat (yes, ahead of Muslims and ISIS), the sovereign citizens’ movement essentially states that the U.S. government and most state governments are “illegal, and that if you don’t like a law, then it doesn’t apply to you. And when it comes to defending your “natural rights” (given exclusively by God), you have the “natural right” to kill anyone you want.
At about 3:30 a.m., the 21-year-old SethGrim was driving through West Virginia when his dog tried to jump out of his 1998 Ford Explorer‘s window. Perhaps it did so to escape the 30 or so chickens in the back of the SUV. Though it might also have been to escape the pot. Or the two AK-47 knockoffs, loads of ammunition and home-made explosives next to it.
When his dog attempted exodus, Grim swerved off the road and rolled the SUV. When officers arrived at the scene, they discovered Grim’s mobile destruction cache; they also discovered that he was, in fact, fleeing a warrant from his home state of Pennsylvania.
Grim suffered minor injuries, and authorities collected the chickens. The dog, unfortunately, died as a result of its injuries.
As of right now, details are sketchy. Police say the “improvised explosive devices” were some sort of “modified fireworks,” though they didn’t say how they had been modified. As of right now, Grim is being held on charges of possession of marijuana with intent to sell, and several as-yet unnamed firearms and weapons charges. He’s currently being held on $25,000 in bail in West Virginia. While some might say that seems a bit paltry, it’s worth remembering that Grim currently has a hold on him for his warrant in Pennsylvania; even if he paid the bail, he wouldn’t be getting out.
There’s some discussion right now as to what Grim planned to do with all of his artillery; it’s possible he was just bringing what he saw as the vital necessities (pot, guns and chickens) with him as he fled from Pennsylvania. Though his last Facebook page reveals a somewhat darker potentiality:
Another Facebook post reveals that he might have just had a nasty run-in with the police…possibly related to the warrant he was fleeing from:
(FTP = “F*ck the Police.”)
Of course, these days, it’s hard to know what to make of any violent encounter with the police. Could be he was simply standing in the road with his hands up. Though, given his disposition toward the government and involvement in the Sovereign Citizens movement, it’s probably safe to say that some provocation might have been involved.
Heavily rooted in New World Order/Illuminati conspiracy theories and springing from the hugely anti-Semitic 1970s Posse Comitatus movement, the Sovereign citizens’ movement is as far-right as it gets, the logical extreme of Ron Paul libertarianism. In fact, most members of the SC are big Ron/Rand Paul fans, following right on the heels of Alex Jones and Michael Savage. And of course, they love guns. Lots of guns. And 9/11 conspiracy theories. And Chemtrails, and almost everything else Alex Jones has ever mentioned.
The sovereign citizens movement is growing… and dangerous.
The movement is far from organized, but it is growing very quickly. And it is dangerous. Here are some of the AATTP headlines from this year alone:
- Right-Wing ‘Sovereign Citizen’ Sets Patriotic Dumpster Blaze to Ambush and Shoot Police
- Sovereign Citizen and Convicted Felon: ‘Your Laws Are Violating My Rights’ to Own Guns
- Maine Tea Party Governor Conspired with ‘Sovereign Citizens’ to Execute Democrats
- Sovereign Citizens Jailed for Handwritten License Plate, Say They Were Following God’s Law
- Sovereign Citizen’ Opens Fire, Tries to Blow Up Georgia Courthouse
- Assault Rifle-Wielding ‘Sovereign Citizen’ Murders Two State Troopers over $150 Couch
- Police Find Cache of Bombs and Booby Traps Inside Foreclosed Home of Ohio ‘Sovereign Citizen’
Of course, some will laugh at the story of Seth Grim — and it is funny. It’s always funny to see bad people undone by their own stupidity, especially when it involves dozens of chickens. Especially when you frame that against the cognitive dissonance it takes to call yourself something as glaringly (and grammatically) self-contradictory as a “Sovereign Citizen.” You might even think that these people are obviously too stupid to do much real harm…a comedy of errors in the making.
But Grim’s story is funny like clown shoes on a serial killer. There’s a far darker and more frightening pattern emerging here, and it involves people who won’t hesitate to kill anyone they see as “violating” their “God-given right.” They are far-right, violent, heavily armed, paranoid, militant, unstable, self-entitled religious fundamentalists with a persecution complex and nothing to lose — the Sovereign Citizens may be America’s ISIS.
We see beheaded journalists in the near future.
And we’ve got a suggestion for the first.
H/T: Crooks and Liars