Sunday, April 6, 2014

Militant “Patriot” Who Declared Separate “Freedom County” among Missing in Washington State Mudslide

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
Later, Satterlee drew the attention of the Internal Revenue Service (I.R.S.) for trying to pay taxes with, as the hate-group-monitoring organization the Southern Poverty Law Center (S.P.C.L.) put it, “pseudo-legal ‘liens’ filed against a federal judge in Seattle over his handling of a conspiracy and weapons case against a group of western Washington militiamen.”

One proposed flag for Freedom County, Washington
But the Federal Bureau of Investigation (F.B.I.) got involved when Satterlee and some of his associates declared that they would arrest the Snohomish County sheriff, Rick Bart, if he wandered across the “border” into what they they had unilaterally declared a fully established “Freedom County” after a 1993 petition campaign.  Freedom County’s own sheriff was a “sovereign citizens” activist known only as Fnu Lnu (sic).  In 2002, Satterlee was convicted of running an illegal law practice.

The current flag of Snohomish County represents a row of
airline passengers assuming crash positions.
There are also indications in his writings that Satterlee subscribed to a set of beliefs called “Christian Identity,” common in “Christian Patriot” circles.  Christian Identity beliefs state that today’s Jews are in fact impostors and that white Anglo-Saxons are the actual “Chosen People” of the Old Testament.  Some strains of Christian Identity thought (such as the “twin seed theory”) hold that nonwhites are descendants of Eve mating with Satan in the Garden of Eden.

Thom and Marcy Satterlee, now presumed dead
Satterlee and his wife, Marlese (“Marcy”), age 61, are both unaccounted for and are, along with their daughter and her fiancé, among the 13 still considered missing after the destruction of their home in the March 22nd landslide.  Thirty residents have been confirmed dead by the recovery of their bodies.

Jackbooted thugs from the Muslim socialist Federal Emergency Management Agency
(FEMAinfringing on the rights of Freedom County residents by pulling
their dead bodiesfrom the muck with your tax dollars.
Thanks to William Abernathy for alerting me to this story.

[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.]


  1. oops! two more ideas> is it true that in the caribbean sea curacao, near aruba, was preparing its independance+++ i listened that new once and afterwords i didnt listened about that again...and about kurdistan> may be in the past they had coast in turkey and syria+++ when i watch the map of the syrian war i notice that some far hurdish villages are very near to the mediterranean coast!!!!!

  2. Well, at least he maintained his ideological purity to the end by not being rescued or given aid and assistance by the state or federal governments. It takes a brave man to die for what he believes in. Its easy to imagine his last moments when he told his relatives that they would not try to escape the mud flow, because that would be going along with UN Agenda 21. He certainly deserves a posthumous award, perhaps the Freedom County "Sovereign Citizen of the Year" medal and complimentary certificate good for one happy meal.

  3. As long as the swamp is OK, who gives a shit, eh?


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