---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, 09 Oct 2001 13:48:42 -0700
From: radtimes <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Rainbow Farm: Drug War Waco -- continued...(4)
Michigan: Rainbow Farm Marijuana Activists Laid to Rest, Friends Not Resting
At first glance, Rainbow Farms is a beautiful, tranquil rural
retreat in the Michigan woodlands. The trees and meadows, the
cool, clean air and the country quiet all suggest a peaceful,
pastoral place. But then you notice the burnt out hulks of
buildings and the gaping holes in the ground where other
buildings collapsed, the charred papers blowing across the
grounds, and the police tape blocking the entrances. This is
where Rainbow Farms owner Tom Crosslin and his life partner
Rollie Rohm died over the Labor Day weekend, gunned down by FBI
and Michigan State Police shooters, who ended a four-day standoff
by ending their lives.
DRCNet reported two weeks ago on the circumstances leading to the
Crosslin's enthusiastic pro-marijuana activism, his use of the
campground for pro-pot rallies, the vendetta by Cass County
Prosecutor Scott Teter that resulted in Crosslin's and Rohm's
arrests in May. After the arrests, things went from bad to worse
for the couple, as local authorities threatened them with years
in prison for growing marijuana, moved to seize the property, and
removed Rohm's 12-year-old son from the family unit. On the
Friday before Labor Day, rather than face a bail revocation
hearing for holding an unauthorized marijuana rally in August,
Crosslin and Rohm retreated to Rainbow Farms and began burning
down the buildings rather than let the state take them. By the
following Tuesday, both were dead.
The killings, which are now under investigation by both the
Michigan Attorney General's office and the US Justice Department,
have excited deep anger as well as profound grief from the
couple's friends, supporters, and political allies, and stunned
disbelief among area residents.
"This is just not right," said 18-year-old Nessa Hunkler of
nearby Cassopolis, who had first encountered Rainbow Farms at
last year's Roach Roast, where she worked as a vendor. "They
were great guys, and the atmosphere here was happy and energetic.
Scott Teter said this was their choice," Hunkler told DRCNet,
"but it was his choice to hound them and try to take their land
and their son. He's the one who chose to shoot and kill.
Everything about this is twisted. What do I think about the
local authorities? Fuck 'em all," she said.
Such sentiments are unsurprising coming from someone who had
enjoyed Crosslin's hospitality, but even more mainstream local
people confess to being deeply disturbed by the killings. Cass
County Democratic Party chairman Bruce Webb -- not a big
marijuana fan -- told DRCNet that local people are in shock. "I
think many people were and are stunned, as well as feeling sorry
for the deceased because of what they were about. You don't
expect this type of Bruce Willis Hollywood-style gangbusters
stuff out here. People here are deeply uncomfortable with this,
they wish it had never happened," he said.
But in his remarks to DRCNet, Webb also indicated how widely the
suspicion of police misconduct has spread. "I think they were
executed," he said. "If the county sheriff had been allowed to
handle this instead of the FBI and the State Police, we think
they would still be alive."
At the encampment of Rainbow Farms supporters at the intersection
of Michigan-60 and White Temple Road, a few miles from the farm,
popular support could be heard clearly in the honking of horns
from passing motorists, including semi-truck drivers, old farm
couples in their pick-ups, and middle-aged women passing by. One
army vehicle gave supporters a thumbs-down, but according to
Huckler, "at least half the traffic is honking for us." It
certainly seemed that way when DRCNet visited two weekends ago.
The encampment had been in place since the beginning of the
stand-off and featured a 4' x 8' plywood sign reading "Rainbow
Farms Lives Forever," as well as flags, posters from the November
Coalition and a dozen or so people holding vigil. At one point
in the afternoon, a rainbow appeared in the sky above the camp,
much to the elation of the crowd.
A much larger crowd attended the funeral of Tom Crosslin in
nearby Elkhart, Indiana, earlier in the day. And what a sight it
must have been for the good burghers of Elkhart: Hundreds of
mourners spilling out of the funeral home on Jackson Boulevard on
a sunny Sunday morning: young tye-died hippies; legions of
graying, pony-tailed men, several men with obvious prison tattoos
who, from their demeanors and the looks of their dreadlocks, had
through pot found a path out of petty criminality; men in suits
and ties; crying women in their Sunday best; distraught relatives
being comforted by family friends; guys who looked like they had
just come in from the fields.
But appearances can be deceiving. Spotting one portly, middle-
aged man dressed in farm overalls and work boots, DRCNet asked,
"Are you a farmer?" "Yeah," he smiled, "mostly indica."
At the funeral service, people began crying as a song played. "I
see fire and brimstone coming," ran the refrain. But people
smiled through their tears when Crosslin and Rohm's dog, Thai
Stick, made an appearance. The dog had been placed in the pound
after the raid. "We liberated Thai Stick," people cheered.
After the funeral, DRCNet toured the Rainbow Farms site with
Crosslin family spokesman Doug Leinbach, Crosslin's long-time
business manager. Leinbach was angry and frightened as he
discussed the deaths. "There's been an organized conspiracy of
government agencies, which included the Cass County prosecutor,
Cass county police, the Michigan State Police, the Michigan
Attorney General's office, the FBI, and the DEA," he said. "They
had been meeting at least twice a year for the last four years to
try to figure out how to shut this down. The result is cold-
blooded murder. They couldn't stand a man who stood up and spoke
for freedom and organized people to get active. So they killed
Leinbach paced restlessly. "They knew this would happen," he
said. "Tom had told them years ago if they tried to take his
land, they'd get nothing but fire and blood." In fact, Cass
County Prosecutor Teter has produced a letter written by Crosslin
in 1998 saying just that.
An American flag flew upside-down and at half-mast over Rainbow
Farms. Leinbach scowled. "I don't know who did that," he said.
"Tom would never have done that. He always flew the flag
proudly. He was always very patriotic, he loved freedom, that's
why he became so outraged at the drug war ruining people's lives
all across the country," Leinbach explained.
"But look around you," he said, surveying the burnt-out
buildings. "It looks like Bosnia, like a war zone. You see what
the drug war reaps. That is what this flag is about. There were
tanks, armored vehicles, they were shooting bullets and tear gas,
and this was a full-scale assault. They knew what they were
doing, because they planned to do this for the past four years.
They drove him to this point."
David Watts of nearby Goshen, Indiana, was Crosslin's long-time
security chief during events at the farm. "This is some hard
shit, man," he said as he looked at the farm for the first time
since the standoff. "Me and Tom and Rollie go way back. This is
really tearing me up." Then he walked off to be alone with his
Even as the funerals were taking place and the September 15
scattering of Crosslin's and Rohm's ashes over the property was
being planned, the legal wheels were beginning to grind.
Dan Wilson and his wife, attorney Janet Frederick-Wilson, head
the parents rights group Parents for Children in Warren,
Michigan. Frederick-Wilson is representing Crosslin's and Rohm's
parents in a potential wrongful death lawsuit and related
matters. Wilson, who is a spokesman for the families, told
DRCNet there are four tasks ahead. "We are following the state
and federal investigations," he said, "and we need to regain
custody of the boy and settle the estates. Keeping that boy from
his grandparents is a real tragedy. We're a society that pulls
together in a crisis, but here, Cass county, the state, and the
federal government are acting to tear this family apart."
Wilson also provided information casting doubt on official
versions of how the two men died. In media interviews, FBI and
Michigan State Police officials said Crosslin was shot by an FBI
agent after pointing a weapon at him and Rohm was shot at by two
Michigan State Police officers for the same reason. The
officials did not clarify the degree of danger faced by the MSP
officers, who shot and killed Rohm from 150 yards away while
hiding in a tree line at dawn as Rohm came out of a burning
"Crosslin was shot 3 to 5 times," said Wilson, "and Rohm 2 to 3
times. It appears there were several shooters in both cases," he
The fourth legal task for the Crosslins and Livermores (Rohm's
parents) is the wrongful death suit. "We're awaiting the results
of those investigations before we act," said Wilson.
Law enforcement officials are keeping mum. Although the local
press has reported that Cass County Prosecutor Teter continues
his efforts to seize the farm, a tight-lipped employee at his
office would not confirm that. The only thing she would tell
DRCNet was: "Everything is under investigation."
Lt. Parrish of the Cass County Sheriff's Office was slightly more
forthcoming. "We are not investigating that incident," he told
DRCNet. "You'll have to ask the state." He told DRCNet the
sheriff's office had not been contacted by state or federal
investigators. But Parrish also expressed some sorrow over the
killings. "It's too bad it had to happen that way," he said.
"No one wanted that to happen."
Chris DeWitt of the Michigan Attorney General's office told
DRCNet that both the FBI and the Michigan State Police are
completing their reviews. "There's no timeline," he said.
"Tom wanted all this to go to his son, he wrote that in his last
hand-written will," said Leinbach, gazing on the green rolling
hills of Rainbow Farms. "And we intend to see that happen.
Teter will be toast in the 2002 elections, I guarantee it."
Democratic Party head Webb isn't so certain. "It's too early to
tell, although he'd already made some enemies in the county," he
said. "But he's also got some support."
Not from Nessa Hunkler. "I'm registering to vote," she told
DRCNet. "Let's get rid of these guys. Teter said this was their
choice, but it was Teter's choice to come after them and hound
them and try to take their land. He's the one who chose to shoot
ATTORNEY GENERAL JANET ASHCROFT?
Pubdate: Fri, 07 Sep 2001
Source: National Review (US)
Author: John Derbyshire
Note: Mr. Derbyshire is also an NR contributing editor
ATTORNEY GENERAL JANET ASHCROFT?
In Robert Bolt's wonderful play A Man for All Seasons, Sir Thomas More is
subjected to a show trial because, for reasons of conscience, he will not
take an oath acknowledging King Henry's supremacy over the English church.
Found guilty by a rigged jury, and knowing he will be executed for his
"crime," Sir Thomas says the following:
I do none harm, I say none harm, I think none harm. And if this be not
enough to keep a man alive, in good faith I long not to live.
We all know, from the example of Waco, that doing none harm, saying none
harm and thinking none harm were not enough to keep a man -- nor a woman,
nor a child, either -- alive in the America of Bill and Hillary Clinton. I
forget whether Janet Reno was Hillary's third or fourth choice for the
affirmative-action slot of Female Attorney General; but along with everyone
else who cares about liberty, I shall not soon forget the cold-eyed cruelty
with which that sinister creature ("very big and very scary," testified one
of her victims, 17-year-old Ileana Fuster) dispatched those who were so
foolish, or so stubborn, as to cross her and her battalions of armed thugs.
But all that is behind us now, isn't it? We now have a Republican
administration, right? And an attorney general, John Ashcroft, who is not
keen on torturing 17-year-old girls, burning cultists alive, protecting FBI
snipers who had used the wives of eccentric mountain men for target
practice, or kissing Fidel Castro's backside. Don't we?
Well, you might have asked Tom Crosslin or Rolland Rohm. Up to a few days
ago you might, that is. This week they were both shot dead: Crosslin, aged
47, on Monday by an FBI agent; Rohm, aged 28, on Tuesday by a Michigan
state trooper. Crosslin was the founder and owner of Rainbow Farm in
Vandalia, Michigan, where Rohm also lived. As of the time of writing,
Rainbow Farm's website is still available, and I suggest you take a look at
it to see the background to this story. I particularly direct your
attention to the farm's "mission statement," which you can get to by
clicking the "Purpose" link on the website's first page.
Crosslin was a libertarian and a keen proponent of marijuana legalization.
When he bought the 34-acre farm 15 years ago, it seems to have been with
the express purpose of making it a haven for, as he says in that mission
statement, "the medical, spiritual, and responsible recreational uses of
marijuana." Rock concerts were held on the property. At one, in May 1998,
an expensive car that was about to be forfeited to the U.S. government as
part of a drug investigation was set in front of the concert stage where
concert-goers, egged on by the vehicle's owner, smashed it to pieces with
hammers. Another concert, last June, featured Merle Haggard, an old
favorite of mine. (Sample quote, for those who don't know the man: "Look at
the past 25 years -- we went downhill, and if people don't realize it, they
don't have their [expletive] eyes on ... In 1960, when I came out of prison
as an ex-convict, I had more freedom under parolee supervision than there's
available to an average citizen in America right now... God almighty, what
have we done to each other?")
Such blatant disrespect for the government's authority over our lives and
property did not, of course, go unnoticed. To further compound the offense,
Crosslin kept guns to protect his property. Marijuana! Guns! Pretty soon
the state police had a court affidavit filed to stop the rock concerts. In
testimony supporting the affidavit, witnesses reported seeing children as
young as 13 smoking pot in front of adults. If that doesn't shock you
rigid, another witness saw even younger children, aged 7 and 8, subjected
to the sight of adults walking around naked and embracing. When, last
Friday, Crosslin skipped a court date related to drugs and weapons charges,
the mighty engine of law enforcement rumbled into action. Not only local
police, but also the Feds were involved, because Crosslin was suspected of
shooting at a TV news helicopter -- a federal offense under Title 18 (I.2,
Sec. 32) of the U.S. code.
Tom Crosslin was not the type to yield meekly. There quickly developed one
of those "standoffs" we are so familiar with now, in which heavily-armed
and trained agents of the nation and the state surround a citizen who has
declined to bend over and squeal like a pig for their amusement. You might
suppose that the obvious tactic for the authorities in such a case would be
to cut off the suspect's electricity and water, hunker down, and wait him
out. This never seems to happen.
Spotting Crosslin walking across his property with a long gun in his hand,
an FBI man shot him dead. Rohm met a similar fate at the hands of a state
trooper the next day. In both cases we are told, by the authorities, that
the man "pointed his gun at the officers."
There is much more to the case than this, and you can read the details for
yourself if you feel inclined, on the news wires (available via Drudge) or
the pages of local newspapers like the Detroit Free Press (which, however,
does not seem much inclined to question the government line).
Crosslin seems to have been on the point of losing his property, in some
measure because of government harassment. Rohm was involved in a child
custody case. Bonds had been revoked, the legality of firearms questioned.
It's not a simple case. I must say, though, that in my own readings I have
come across nothing to prove that either man was a danger to anyone,
certainly not before the government began to threaten and intimidate them.
To the best of my knowledge they did none harm, said none harm, and thought
none harm. The general temper of the Crosslin project can be gauged from
the closing paragraph of that mission statement:
Rainbow Farm DOES NOT promote the use of illicit drugs by anyone, nor do we
condone or encourage the use of tobacco, alcohol, or marijuana by minors.
We do not encourage breaking laws. We work hard to change attitudes and bad
laws from within the system of government currently in place. We support
that system of government and we feel privileged to live in America.
The man who wrote that no longer lives in America, or anywhere else. He was
shot in the head late Monday afternoon by an FBI agent. That agent's boss,
new FBI head Robert Mueller, has made no comment on the case that I can
locate. Neither has his boss, Attorney General Janet Ashcroft. Oh, sorry:
that should be John Ashcroft, of course.
Subject: RE: What's up?
First, you need to know that Tom's autopsy results today revealed SEVEN
gunshot wounds...1 to the right shoulder area & 1 to the right hand. These
wounds happened prior to the fatal remaining 5 shots to his head.
So, Tom was wounded and could have easily been taken alive. It's believed
that the order was shoot to kill.
There are other things that I'm not at liberty to divulge. The local press
are really questioning what happened here. This morning the news began
reporting that it looked like Tom & Rollie WERE murdered by the Feds.
The family of Rollie is having a second, independent autopsy done on
him. They don't trust the Government. Imagine that..due to wishes of the
family, and the fact that an independent investigator arrives on the scene
in the AM.
The cops were back at the Farm this morning "investigating" some more.
Tom's viewing is tomorrow, the funeral on Saturday. I look forward to neither.
There are too many things that I don't know. That I cannot know.
I'm very tired and I have a ton of email to wade through. <snip>
...thanks for the help.
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