The change in this first-hand account has many people scratching their heads, as this story was confirmed face-to-face by none other than Oath Keepers Tennessee Chapter President Sgt. Rand Cardwell, a USMC veteran (Desert Storm) with a solid reputation. There is virtually no possibility that Sgt. Rand Cardwell invented this story, as he is widely known to be a trustworthy individual who honorably served his country as a U.S. Marine.
A far more likely explanation may be found in the Patriot Act itself, which features a sneak-and-peek with a gag order provision that allows federal agents to conduct searches of any facility and then gag the witnesses from speaking about it for at least one year, after which they may challenge the gag order. The existence of this sneak-and-peek gag order is widely acknowledged and easily verified through common web searches. Even NPR reported on it several years ago: http://www.npr.org/news/specials/pa…
– Constitutional lawyer (Yale Law School graduate) & Founder Of Oath Keepers Stewart Rhodes: Senate Bill Declares War On Americans (Video)
– Oath Keepers Alert: Federal Agents Demand Customer Lists From Mormon Food Storage Facility (Oath Keepers, Dec. 8, 2011):
Oath Keepers has learned that federal agents recently visited a Latter 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 relayed 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.
This event points to a new level of federal government encroachment on the basic freedoms of the American people. Likewise, it points to a confused policy within federal agencies. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in their “Are You Ready?” guide to “In Depth Citizen Preparedness” recommends that citizens store emergency supplies, including bulk food, in the event of a natural disaster or man-made event (the new politically correct term applied to a terrorist attack). The FEMA guidance is spot-on as it allows individuals and families to be self-sufficient during an emergency situation.
And here in Tennessee, we just learned that Nashville Metro Public Health and the Tennessee Department of Health are conducting “door-to-door assessment of disaster preparedness … using a tool designed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to go door to door and check to see how disaster ready you are. .. in 30 neighborhoods in Davidson County [TN] that have been randomly selected to be the target of a door to door assessment.” I have confirmed that that is a state run effort.
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.
This should be a red flag to all Americans. Not unlike the “trip wires” identified in the Oath Keepers list of orders that will not be obeyed, this incident should be considered as further evidence that our federal government is out of control. What business is it of the government if any of us purchase and store bulk food? Answer: It is none of their damn business! Maybe during the next Katrina-type event federal agents will storm your home to take your food stores along with your firearms. We can only theorize as to the motives of the government for this type of “list” being developed, but it goes against the very fabric of what a free people should allow by our government.” – Rand Cardwell.
Additional comments by Stewart Rhodes, Founder of Oath Keepers:
As Rand noted, it was fortunate that this particular cannery does not keep records of its customers. And Rand is correct that this is a very serious red flag. There’s a very good reason why one of the top ten orders that active duty Oath Keepers will refuse to obey is “We will NOT obey any orders to confiscate the property of the American people, including food and other essential supplies.” As our Declaration of Orders We Will Not Obey goes on to state:
“Deprivation of food has long been a weapon of war and oppression, with millions intentionally starved to death by fascist and communist governments in the 20th Century alone.
Accordingly, we will not obey or facilitate orders to confiscate food and other essential supplies from the people, and we will consider all those who issue or carry out such orders to be the enemies of the people.”
If those who carry out such orders to confiscate food are enemies of the people, then that same label also fits anyone in the government compiling lists of Americans who store food. There is no legitimate reason for the Department of Homeland Security to compile such lists. Al Qaida suicide bombers are not known to store powdered milk and buckets of wheat. Nor are they known to store away dehydrated carrots and instant potatoes, or fruit punch mix for the kids. But the Mormons are known to do so, and so are many other Americans who have the common sense and maturity to take personal responsibility for ensuring that their families will have food, come what may.
It is part of Mormon Church religious doctrine to store food for hard times and emergencies, with a recommendation that each family store a year’s worth of basic dry goods along with three months worth of store-bought canned and boxed foods. To facilitate that practice, the Mormon Church runs its own food storage canneries selling powdered milk, wheat, flour, rice and beans, sugar, salt, and various other dry goods either in bulk 50 lb bags or in #10 cans for long term food storage (up to 30 years for some items). These Church canneries also often sell food storage items to non-church members, seeing it as both morally right and prudent to help their neighbors store food, whatever their faith. The cannery in Tennessee that was “visited” by federal agents follows that practice of helping the general public become better prepared.
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.
The federal government already tipped their hand by sending the FBI to military surplus stores (as we reported), gun stores, and pawn shops to encourage those businesses to spy on their customers who buy MRE’s (Meals Ready to Eat), bipods, “night flashlights”, high capacity magazines, rifle bipods, and bulk ammo. Maybe some of you fooled yourselves into thinking there might be some legitimate reason for them to track purchases of such items. But powdered milk and wheat berries? Those are hardly items that could be used in a terrorist attack. It must be the storage of food itself that the feds now find so offensive and so “dangerous.”
And while the door-to-door preparedness assessments in Tennessee appears to be well intended (and we spoke with a friendly state preparedness officer who said it was motivated by the recent natural disasters in Tennessee), Americans are well justified in being concerned about such efforts and how that information may be used in the future, in light of these other well documented and confirmed incidents of federal law enforcement collecting information on those who purchase preparedness items and indicating that the purchases of those items may be “indicators of terrorist activity.”
If you are one of the many Americans who still have on rose-colored glasses, or who still have your head buried in the sand (or stuck somewhere else warm and dark), it is time to pull your head out and face the reality of what the federal government is telling you by the actions of its agents. Those actions show both what they fear and their intent. What they fear are prepared, equipped, and “switched on” Americans, and their intent is to identify who they are, where they are, and then plan on dealing with them when the time comes. And rest assured that time will come. The recent U.S. Senate passage of S. 1867, which authorizes military detention and trial of U.S, citizens under the international laws of war (as if we were conquered Iraq or Afghanistan) is also an expression of their intent, and their contempt for the Bill of Rights.
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. Good. That is as it should be. Don’t make it easy on them. And if you have not yet begun to store food, now is certainly a good time to start. You’re going to need it. Time is short, and you need to be prepared for what is coming. “Are You Ready?” indeed. – Stewart Rhodes