Among the missing in this month’s deadly mudslide in Oso, Washington, was a prominent secessionist from western Washington’s ultra-conservative “Christian Patriot” and “sovereign citizen” movements.
The now-presumed-dead activist, Thom Satterlee, age 65, came to public attention in the 1990s as a proponent of splitting the rural parts of Snohomish County away to form a new jurisdiction to be called Freedom County. That push was prompted by environmental rules to protect wetlands which Snohomish County conservatives felt impinged upon property rights. (A more mainstream proposal around the same time would have created Skykomish County from most of eastern Snohomish County and part of adjacent King County (whose seat is Seattle).)
Satterlee and an associate, John Stokes, went so far as filing a complaint with the United Nations in 1997 against the State of Washington for its refusal to create Freedom County. (The U.N. declined to intervene.) (Stokes later attracted controversy as host of a Kalispell, Montana, pro-militia radio talk show called The Edge, where he spun theories such as one that the Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh was not a right-wing militiaman but was in fact an agent provocateur from the Sierra Club. Stokes, who has referred to environmentalists as “green Nazis … pure, unadulterated satanic evil … vile vomit,” also made headlines by marking Earth Day with the burning of a giant green swastika.)
|An Earth Day publicity stunt by pro–Freedom County activist|
and hate-radio shock jock John Stokes
|One proposed flag for Freedom County, Washington|
|The current flag of Snohomish County represents a row of|
airline passengers assuming crash positions.
|Thom and Marcy Satterlee, now presumed dead|
|Jackbooted thugs from the Muslim socialist Federal Emergency Management Agency|
(FEMA) infringing on the rights of Freedom County residents by pulling
their dead bodiesfrom the muck with your tax dollars.
[You can read more about right-wing militia activity in the Pacific Northwest and the “sovereign citizens” and “Christian identity” movements, as well as numerous separatist and new-nation movements, both famous and obscure, in my new book, a sort of encyclopedic atlas just published by Litwin Books under the title Let’s Split! A Complete Guide to Separatist Movements and Aspirant Nations, from Abkhazia to Zanzibar. The book, which contains 46 maps and 554 flags (or, more accurately, 554 flag images), is available for order now on Amazon. Meanwhile, please “like” the book (even if you haven’t read it yet) on Facebook and see this interview for more information on the book.]