UPDATE [December 11, 2011 @ 8:40PM]
Well followed and trusted news resource Oathkeepers.org, which first reported that federal agents had requested member and customer purchase information from a cannery operator in Tennessee, has responded directly to contradicting information that suggests no such event took place.
Republished in Full Via Oathkeepers.org:
THIS STORY HAS BEEN PULLED.
We have pulled this story about the Mormon cannery being visited by federal agents because the source of the information at the cannery is now denying that he ever told us that event occurred.
From now on, we will NOT post any such story based on what we are told by other people unless, and until, they are willing to go on video or at least on an audio recording with their info. That way, in case someone starts to crumble under the public attention or other pressures, and wants to deny what they told us, we have video or audio proof.
We get all kinds of scary intel, all the time, and we rarely pass it on because we don’t have confirming documentation. In this case, we were relying on a confirmed eye witness who is now denying it. We will not do that again without a recording.
We still welcome such tips, but unless you are willing to go on recorded record, using your name, we will not pass it on to the public, but will instead use it only for our own knowledge and internal analysis among our leadership with the caveat that it is not for public dissemination. Otherwise, we risk having people flake on what they told us, and that makes us look bad. People who send us information often times don’t realize the kind of public attention they may wind up experiencing, or the kinds of pressures they may come under behind the scenes. Another consideration is the real possibility that a person could be threatened with prosecution under the USA PATRIOT ACT of 2001 for making public the fact that they were contacted by Federal agents demanding private records. We need witnesses to be willing to go on recording right up front so they cannot later recant.
We will always respect the privacy and anonymity of sources, as we have done in this case, but will simply not run such stories in the future without video proof AND someone who is willing to be identified in the story. Anonymous tips will be used only for internal analysis.
NO SUCH STORY WILL BE POSTED ON THIS SITE AGAIN WITHOUT VIDEO OR AUDIO OF THE EYE WITNESS(S) SO WE CAN PROVE THEY TOLD IT TO US -No matter how urgent or important the information. As far as we are concerned, without such a recording, we will not consider it a real source, but just scuttlebutt.
Thus, now that we no longer have an eye witness willing to stick with his story, we no longer have a story we feel comfortable having on our site and we have pulled this story so we are not accused of still disseminating it.
Given the events over recent weeks, namely the passage of the National Defense Authorization Act and FEMA preparedness activities, it would not be at all out of the realm of possibility for such events to have unfolded, and hence it is easy to see why such information would spread rapidly and with fervor through the alternative news and preparedness communities.
Oathkeepers implies this information was from a source with direct knowledge of the situation who they trusted was reporting the facts as they happened. As such, they published the report.
Upon gaining steam on the internet and social networks, videos and comments began circling about the story being inaccurate. The response from Oathkeepers in attempting to verify the story, and then learning their source was not prepared to speak on the record, was what any responsible news organization would have done, and thus we commend them for making the effort and providing a direct response to their members, readers and greater web community.
ORIGINAL REPORT [DECEMBER 9, 2011 @ 10:30AM:
Report: Federal Agents Demand Customer Lists From Food Storage Facility
“Just because I’m paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get me.”
You may recall that the FBI, Department of Homeland Security and local law enforcement have regularly issued bulletins regarding domestic terrorist related activities that include suspicious purchasing habits to look for and how to recognize the 8 signs of terrorism. Federal training programs held for police departments across the country detail specific habits and characteristics of potential domestic terrorists including everything from homeschooling, leaning towards libertarian political philosophies, and holding strong religious views, to reading survivalist literature. It’s no secret that the government has been attempting to keep tabs on Americans who are acting outside of the status quo, warning those in the mainstream that any deviation in “normal” behavior should be construed as suspect and potentially dangerous – even your best pal could be a terrorist if he begins acting counter to his usual behavior.
The latest government effort to identify would-be terrorists and persons-of-interest comes to us from Tennessee, where federal agents have taken the need to acquire actionable intelligence to a whole new level. They are, by all accounts, no longer just sitting back and waiting for business owners like surplus store owners or the general public to provide them with suspicious activity reports, but rather, are taking matters into their own hands.
Oath Keepers has learned that federal agents recently visited a Later Day Saints (Mormon) Church food storage cannery in Tennessee, demanding customer lists, wanting to know the identity of Americans who are purchasing food storage from the Mormons.
This incident was confirmed, in person, by Oath Keepers Tennessee Chapter President, Rand Cardwell. Here is Rand’s report:
“A fellow veteran contacted me concerning a new and disturbing development. He had been utilizing a Mormon cannery near his home to purchase bulk food supplies. The man that manages the facility related to him that federal agents had visited the facility and demanded a list of individuals that had been purchasing bulk food. The manager informed the agents that the facility kept no such records and that all transactions were conducted on a cash-and-carry basis. The agents pressed for any record of personal checks, credit card transactions, etc., but the manager could provide no such record. The agents appeared to become very agitated and after several minutes of questioning finally left with no information. I contacted the manager and personally confirmed this information.”
“So on the one hand, government agencies both state and federal are urging you to be prepared and even checking up on you to see how prepared you are, and on the other hand, we now have federal agencies that are attempting to gather information on individuals that are following FEMA suggestions. What is the reasoning behind gathering this information? Are American citizens now being ‘listed’ by DHS if they are simply following FEMA guidance and purchasing bulk food and emergency supplies for their families? It appears as so.”
So why do federal agents want to know who is storing away long-term food storage? We suspect it is for the following reasons:
1. DHS/FEMA wants to know which Americans have food storage so the federal government can at some future point confiscate that food. Just as with lists of gun owners, compiling such lists is the first step toward future confiscation.
2. DHS wants to identify those Americans who are “switched on” and squared away enough to actually store food for coming hard times (such as during an economic collapse). That population of awake, aware, and prepared Americans poses a “threat” to whatever DHS and its masters have in store for the American people, and as Joseph Stalin so ably demonstrated, one of the easiest ways to subjugate defiant people is to confiscate their food and starve them into submission.
Clearly, in light of the above, if you purchase food storage, along with any other preparedness items, you should be concerned about those purchases being tracked and your name winding up on some government list. But don’t let that stop you from storing food and other essential supplies, and don’t let this disturbing incident keep you from using your local Mormon cannery to do so. You need to get prepared. But do it while following the advice of James Wesley, Rawles over at www.survivalblog.com, who repeatedly urges his readers to “think OPSEC!” – if at all possible, buy with cash and pick it up in person, just like the customers of this particular cannery did, which left the “agitated” agents empty handed and frustrated.
Source: Oath Keepers (via a report by Oathkeepers Founder Stewart Rhodes)
If this report is accurate – and we have no reason to believe it’s not – then not only is government intrusion into the private and lawful activities of American citizens reaching unprecedented levels, but every individual who has ever taken the time to acquire bulk foods and supplies or even discuss preparedness related information on an internet message board is now a person-of-interest.
For many it may be impossible to “get off the grid,” and with so many nodes in the modern day police state there is a paper or digital trail for almost everything. As recommended by Oathkeepers’ Stewart Rhodes, while you may not be able to keep all of your personal activities private (highly ironic considering the principles on which this country was founded), you may be able to minimize your foot print:
- Assume everything you do is monitored and archived. Everything. Which means, chances are, you’ve already left a Sasquatch footprint in a Fusion center somewhere.
- Use cash whenever possible. This is not always feasible, but is good practice, especially when buying hundreds of pounds of food at one time. You can also try temporary credit cards (available at your local grocery store or gas station) but even these provide only a thin level of security.
- Don’t readily identify yourself as a preparedness minded individual
- Be aware that when you say or do something, someone else may see something and report it
- If you have like minded family and/or friends then make an effort to diversify your assets. Don’t keep all of your food and other supplies in any one location. Confiscation, as we saw in the aftermath of New Orleans, is the reality when martial law has been declared. If you are engaging in any of the “suspicious” activities and behaviors highlighted in this article, then you should assume that you will be targeted by agents of whatever authority is charged with protecting residents in a disaster or emergency area.
- Consider preemptive contingency planning for the possibility of confiscation now. Obviously, someone is trying to get their hands on lists of names, and you must assume you’re on that list (regardless of how careful you think you’ve been). If they come, they will come at exactly the moment that you have nothing to spare. Designate one or two people to acquire goods, while others store those goods at your retreat or bug out locations. While not foolproof, this strategy may provide some level of protection.
- Always have backups for your backups. Get a shovel, dig a hole. Store at least 60 – 90 days of emergency food and other supplies (you know which ones) in a location that is known only by you and your closest and must trusted family/friend(s). Also remember, as a prepper, you can never have enough holes dug (take that literally or figuratively)
You can call it paranoia. But it’s becoming increasingly clear that you’re justified in your thinking – and you’re not alone.
In case you missed our post earlier this week highlighting recent comments by Congressman Rand Paul, here it is again:
Something is amiss. Rand Paul knows it. You know it. Take whatever steps you deem necessary to ensure you’re prepared.