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Late on a Sunday night, Rob Thorn leaned over the microphone and told his people he needed them.
The Voice of Freedom is a listener-supported radio show, he said. He had no mugs or T-shirts, but if you give generously, you might win a bulletproof vest. If you already have one, maybe you could use a military pack, or maybe a first-aid kit that equips you to perform surgery on yourself. Call now, and don't worry about the government tracking you down. Just send cash without a name.
"You're listening to the hard-truth radio network,'' said Thorn. ''If the truth is worth knowing, then the truth is worth supporting."
Thorn took off the headset and gave the signal for the commercial. It was playing in the lobby of station KFCC when he wandered out: "Go see Miles at Spring Army Surplus and get stocked up for what we all know is coming." Thorn looked at the half-dozen men gathered in the lobby, told them he had a headache and asked if anyone had an aspirin. "No," said the smiling man in a constable's uniform, "but I've got a bullet."
In fact, there was a bag of bullets on the table. Some of the men rattled handfuls of them like spare change. The deputy constable unholstered his gun to show that his bullets were better -- hollowpoints. Thorn ignored them, found an aspirin in the first-aid kit and returned to the microphone. Out in the darkness, hundreds of people leaned close to their radios as Thorn told the real truth about Bill Clinton and Janet Reno, the IMF, the ATF, the FBI, the CIA and, of course, the U.N. They're all united in a grand conspiracy to wreck your life and establish the New World Order. You do remember Waco, don't you?
"They haven't tried another genocide since, but I'm sure they have one in the pipeline," Thorn said, "and I'll be interested in seeing how much spunk Americans have when they try it.''
In the lobby, the men had heard it all before. They were speaking now of other things. "What I need is a good gas mask,'' the deputy constable was saying. And Shawn, who established his authority when he announced his daddy was a Green Beret and his mama was a Marine, advised the deputy to ''buy Israeli.''
"What would you recommend for footwear?" another man inquired.
"You just cannot beat a U.S. Army jungle boot,'' Shawn replied.
It went on like this for some minutes, Shawn serving all their combat needs. He was ready for the tyrants. "They come for my ass, that's just fine,'' said Shawn, "because this old Airborne Ranger knows how to run and gun.''
Suddenly, the men were running, if not quite gunning, to the front door. They were militiamen, most of them, and they had come to protect Rob Thorn from the New World Order. Outside, someone had seen a van with federal government plates and what looked like gun barrels protruding from the windows. Rogue agents, the deputy constable explained.
"I'd stay inside if I were you,'' he warned. "Every man out there has a gun, and I don't want you getting caught in the line of fire.''
When he saw the reporter jotting that down, he said he didn't want to be known as a constable or a police officer or even as a peace officer. Just call him "PO," he said, "because I'm really getting scared about this thing."
About a week after the federal building was bombed in Oklahoma City, President Clinton stood up to say, "The nation's airwaves are too often used to keep some people as paranoid as possible.'' The talk shows spread hate, Clinton said, and leave the impression violence is acceptable.
Rob Thorn says Clinton is wrong. He's just trying to get people excited about their rights.
"Sovereignty," Thorn says, "if it doesn't exist in the heart, if it doesn't exist in the head, if it doesn't exist 15 rounds in the clip, it just plain doesn't exist."
It was several days before his show, and Thorn was sitting in his studio at KFCC, 1270 on the AM dial, in far southwest Houston. He's 42, but he looks at least ten years older. His teeth are yellow from smoking, and his skin has the pallor of a man who lives at night. He hadn't been talking long when his friend, Tom Maxton, barged in with a new tape recorder. Maxton quickly unwrapped it, filled it with batteries and proceeded to record the entire interview. It was obvious many years had passed since they last trusted the media.
"What I've figured out is America is a captured nation,'' said Thorn. "International banksters are holding every person and piece of property hostage."
"The world elite," Maxton interjected. And Thorn went on:
"They're handing over the people and property of the U.S. to the United Nations in order to establish global governance."