local incident- gov't routed by homeshoolced kids!greenspun.com : LUSENET : Freedom! self reliance : One Thread
Idaho Kids Hold Off Deputies By Nicholas K. Geranios Associated Press Writer Wednesday, May 30, 2001; 10:30 p.m. EDT
SANDPOINT, Idaho –– Six children, believed to be armed, refused to leave their rural home Wednesday after releasing a pack of dogs on sheriff's deputies who had arrested their mother, authorities said.
Deputies who retreated from the house after a two-hour standoff Tuesday said they planned to peacefully wait out the children.
"I have a four-year term," Sheriff Phil Jarvis said Wednesday. "I'm not going to force an issue with children."
He said he was trying to avoid a repeat of the 1992 shootout at nearby Ruby Ridge, where the wife and son of white separatist Randy Weaver were killed during a standoff with federal agents.
Officers on Wednesday said a 15-year-old boy had taken a leadership role. Jarvis said the children, ages 8 to 16, would not respond to calls from social workers or police.
"We know there are six children in there and guns in the house. The kids are trained to use the guns," Jarvis said.
The home lacks power, water and heat. The children have been caring for themselves for the past year, and for months have lived on soup made of lake water and lily pads, Jarvis said.
The children, who have been home-schooled, are being told over a loudspeaker they will be fed, housed and taken to see their mother if they come out, Jarvis said. A 19-year-old sister who left home was assisting authorities.
The incident was triggered by Tuesday's arrest of the children's mother, Joann McGuckin, on a warrant charging felony injury to a child. Jarvis declined to elaborate on the charge.
Authorities believe McGuckin, 46, is mentally ill. Her husband, Michael McGuckin, died three weeks ago.
Deputies lured McGuckin from the house Tuesday with grocery money. She was taken into custody after going to a store with a deputy who had brought the cash.
Deputies returned to the home to get the children and put them in the state custody, but one of the boys ran to the house and yelled, "'Get the guns,'" the sheriff said. He said the children then let the dogs out of the basement.
"They hunt. They pack like wild animals," Jarvis said. "They took down a moose a little while ago."
The Rev. Dennis Day, who officiated at the father's funeral, said he had suffered from multiple sclerosis. The family rebuffed help and seemed beset with anti-government paranoia, Day said.
"Everybody saw this coming. They were dirt-poor. The kids didn't have the right things to eat," he said. "They really alienated themselves from the world."
The home is located about a mile from the community of Garfield Bay, down a dirt road just past a county dump.
Garfield Bay resident Lloyd Wyatt, 84, said the children were sometimes seen around town dressed in ragged clothing. He said he wasn't surprised they were holed up in the house.
"We are a breed of people who say, 'This is our home and we are entitled to protect it,'" Wyatt said.
-- Chamoisee (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 30, 2001
"We are a breed of people who say, 'This is our home and we are entitled to protect it".
That pretty much sums it up, doesn't it? So is it now a crime to be poor and not take aid?
-- Doreen (email@example.com), May 30, 2001.
Sadly, it apparently now is, if you have children. Wasn't so a generation ago, what happened? Mom used to tell us that when she was growing up she had one dress which she wore to school everyday, and I guess once a week it got washed. Nobody knew they were poor, she'd say, because everybody was. They were all happy with what they did have. When the kids were older, they'd have the neighborhood over on Saturday night to dance and socialize and eat pimento cheese sandwiches. That was rich. Now if you live the way they did then, it's a crime, I guess because the gap in ideologies is just so big.
-- mary, in colorado (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 31, 2001.
I have read several articles about this in various places. They all refer to the mother as being mentally ill. Here she is, her husband has just died, leaving her with no money apparently and six children and the authorities are trying to take her children away.I have no idea if she really had problems before but that's enough to drive anyone a little crazy. Not to mention, the authorities lied to get her out of her house and arrest her. What kind of message is that sending to the kids? Has anyone simply gone in there nicely and tried to take them food or done anything to help them? We have a real problem in this country and I'm not convinced that it's people like this family.
-- Deena in GA (email@example.com), May 31, 2001.
I sure hope that sheriff contains the situation safely and gets the kids with their sister. Anything more would be govt going too far. What I hear on the news he seems to be a darn good High Sheriff. Hope the best for them all.
-- Jay Blair in N. AL (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 31, 2001.
All the local (Boise) news said was that the mother was arrested for child abuse and they had no heat, water or electric. They also said the kids were homeschooled. I was afraid the story was more like that posted here....
So she is mentally ill??? Does that mean I should call the state and ask their permission to have a wood stove for heat, an outhouse, oil lamps and no indoor running water? If I bring my child here and homeschool her will I be considered mentally ill? What if we have an income but still choose to live that way??? If I happen to enjoy home grown and foraged food more than store bought, will I be arrested too?
This is so sick I can't begin to imagine...
Sure doesn't sound like abuse if the kids are willing to send dogs after the cops and take up arms to defend their way of life......
Their only crime is being poor - as was said above. Maybe the next thing is a resurgance of the debtor's prison.
-- Sue Diederich (email@example.com), May 31, 2001.
The road is blocked by the cops so we can't help them. That's because the cops are wanting to starve them out-which can't be done if we all get together and send food in there. And no, I don't think they'll be going to live with the sister. It sounds more as though foster care is the goal. I don't blame these kids one bit for being afraid and not wanting to come out! First they lose their dad, then their mom, now they are going to be split up and divided among several different foster homes and sent to public school? With that kind of help, who needs enemies?
Bailing the mother out would be the best bet, but when it became a news item, they raised the bail from $10,000 to $100,000.
-- Chamoisee (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 31, 2001.
It sounds as if their chosen way of life is what is being defined as child abuse, and not something the mother did. I think if we wander far enough away from what the powers that be consider correct, and if we have children, we will be labeled that way. They then can save us from ourselves with this kind of action. Doesn't seem wrong to them if everyone is "better off" (by their definition) in the end. Or even if they are not, but are stopped from being so different.
-- mary, in colorado (email@example.com), May 31, 2001.
Chamoisee, do you actually know these folks? I'd really like to hear an unbiased opinion of the mother's mental state. From what I've been able to piece together from various news reports, they are saying that she is mentally ill because she believes that her husband's illness and death from MS was due to chemicals sprayed on the roads to keep the dust down. She also allegedly believes that there is a conspiracy to cover up the toxicity data regarding these chemicals. The family withdrew from the community in order to protect themselves from further chemical exposure. On the surface that doesn't sound like mental illness to me.
-- Sherri C (CeltiaSkye@aol.com), May 31, 2001.
"Mentally Ill" is the propoganda label used to slander someone who has the "wrong" political point of view and who does not change with brainwashing. This is a classic Marxist tactic that is well used all over the world by oppressive communist regimes. It is now widely used by Social Services, Child Protective Services in every state as a tool to bust up families who won't blindly follow like sheep. I refuse to accept such labels put upon others by government agents.
It appears to me, also, the kids got good reason not to trust the government, they lied and kidnapped their mother. Is there a collection going on to raise bail for the mother or for a aerial food drop to the kids? Are the locals rallying around the family or buying the government garbage?
-- Laura (LadybugWrangler@hotmail.com), May 31, 2001.
No, I don't know the woman. But regardless, what's going on is just plain WRONG! I don't know what's going on the local level, I just heard about it yesterday for the first time. And I for one do not buy the line about their subsisting on lily pad soup. If that were the truth there is no way they could have made it through the winter!
-- Chamoisee (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 31, 2001.
" child abuse "
Its important to note that she is not accused of abusing her children. This is the charge they used to rope her based on her dogs supposedly attacking a neighbor child a while back!
-- William in Wi (email@example.com), May 31, 2001.
The latest report over at abcnews.com says that the mother was arrested on "unspecified felony charges" and that the reason why the family was so poor was because she spent all their money on alcohol. So I guess now she's a drunk as well as being nuts. I just love how the story keeps changing.
-- Sherri C (CeltiaSkye@aol.com), May 31, 2001.
Just learned of this today.(i'm so isolated in my "bunker" or is that "compound").This is not my opinion but if you read anything that social services puts out you will see it.Guns in house=child abuse,no electricity=child abuse,no running water=child abuse,no central heat=child abuse,no government school=child abuse,Unusual diet=child abuse,unusual religious beliefs=child abuse(you could add no tv,computer games or junk food as "depriving" a child.)I guess any life style that does not jibe with rhe local social workers cosmology is child abuse.I question if the woman was tractable enough to sucker away with money for groceries then she must be tractable enough to accept help.Genuine help and assistance not psycobabble,our way or no way welfare but help with her and her familys immediate problems.Instead the minions of the state have to show how clever they are in baiting the mother of a family that is already paranoid (perhaps with good reason) away.Yep who could have seen a confrontation coming?Boy who would have guessed?Shucks golly gee.I hope the sheriff will be true to his word.This is an extreemly dangerous situation.The very best guerilla fighters in the world are children.They think they will live forever and have not yet fully developed emotions and a sense of compassion.These kids will kill without a thought.This needs to be handled much differently than an adult barricade situation.I fear for these kids.Hopefully this will be kept as a local event and local law enforcment.At least these folks still have to answer to the community.The federal answer to children in a barricade situation is to shoot them in the back or to burn them.
-- greg (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 31, 2001.
This kind of garbage has got to stop. Here's the sheriff's website. I suggest that everyone either email or call and tell the folks to 1) reduce the bail, 2)back off on the kids and 3) keep the Fed's OUT of it. I'm going to do that right after I eat dinner.
-- Dreen (email@example.com), May 31, 2001.
There is now a trust fund set up to help the family. Hopefully enough will be raised to bail the mother out of jail. Here is the link for the trust fund. http://www.freerepublic.com/forum/a3b16e0b4500b.htm
-- Chamoisee (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 01, 2001.
There is coverage of this at Sierra times.It seems that these folks had electricity until the cops had it cut.The water situation was caused by a recently failed water pump.(when it rains it pours.dad dies and the pump breaks)They have about forty acres most of which is lake front.They have been getting water from the lake.The family has been getting food from the food bank for a while so the lily pad soup story is BS.(by the by it's the roots from rushes and lily pads that you eat not the leaves)There is real estate involved here.I saw a photo of the the home in question and it is probably nicer than many of ours.So these kids are not in a hovel in the woods.These folks have/had land abuting a national forest sooo.....? It seems that this property had been sold for $50,000 at sheriff's sale recently for back taxes.Could this be how they were being evicted? This story just gets more and more interesting.The thing that gets me about this is this could be me right now if I had kids.It could be some of you as well.(no past due taxes here,but hey a filing mistake and bingo.no house)In my case my well has failed and produces at best 5gallons of potable water per day.I pump and haul water for my stock from a spring on the property.My septic line has failed and we are using a chemical toilet at the moment.We do have electric and phone service.Plenty of chow in the pantry.But could you imagine if I had a child go to school and mention to the teacher that he had no running water for a month?And that we used a camping potty?(plenty of water here it just doesn't come out of a tap) I'm sure I would have a friendly social worker at the door pronto.How many of you are using unusual means of providing for domestic needs? Dare I ask how many of you have a gun in the house?(the concept that owning a firearm and having children is abuse is gaining acceptance in social service circles) Given the right chain of events what is happening to this family could be happening to any of us.
-- greg (email@example.com), June 02, 2001.
Greg, I carefully instructed my teenage sons NOT to mention that we don't always have running water to anyone at school. I was afraid of the same situation. If you all will check NewsMax you will find there is an article there discussing the local law's fear that the militias will get involved. I believe several have already contacted the sheriff there and told him there would never, ever be another Ruby Ridge, which is only about 40 miles or so from Sandpoint I think. Could it be concern for their own rears, and not concern for the children's safety that has kept them at bay?
-- Green (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 02, 2001.
I read a story in the Seattle P-I. According to the locals interviewed, this family is no different than the thousands of other families living in the Idaho Panhandle or the millions of us country dwellers.
The mill shut down, loss of income, illness and death. This family fell on hard times like life does to all of us and because they won't accept government help they get a SWAT team and a bunch of social workers slandering them.
Also the article stated she was not charged with child abuse, but "felony child neglect." For not accepting welfare? For leaving them home alone when she went to jail? Leaving them alone in a house with guns? The children are well educated and quite articulate.
My impression on the whole thing is that locals are calling "BS" on the sheriff and the media and the child abuse industrialists are pushing the envelope on what they can claim is child abuse.
-- Laura (LadybugWrangler@hotmail.com), June 02, 2001.
Doreen, you must get to your job of being our leader!! You must change the title of this thread now! :)
With just a twist of any facts, any and all of us can come off in the media just like this family. I would say that most of the folks on our road, if interviewed, would say I was a crazy goat lady, who has baby goats in the house! She will kill your dog in a heart beat if they come on her property and she raises this breed of dog who will also kill your dogs!
The goats are kept in a play pen but, all true, you can see quickly how folks would think dirt floors, filth and me more crazed than I am :) I was a little more than saddened to see the map on the TV, which showed this place to be a meer inches from Ruby Ridge.
Can't help but wonder where the neighbors are, the local do good church folks (oh, how foolish of me they send all their money to missionaries in other countries) and why if they are starving someone isn't helping to feed these youngsters. Vicki
-- Vicki McGaugh (email@example.com), June 03, 2001.
It took me a minute to understand the "change the title" thing...coffee...need coffee.
It looks as though the kids are now in the hands of the government. I am glad therre wasn't bloodshed, yet I wonder if the land will be taken now and then the entire family dealt another emotional blow by being seperated and forced to acclimate to Standard Issue Americanism.
It really could be any of us at any time. All the allegations of squandering their income on alcohol could have come from buying one bottle of wine or beer. If my husband died after such a lenghty illness and I had six kids in the house, I might want a drink too. I might want two drinks.
Arrrgh. I hope the lawyer uses the trust fund money to get the land back to these folks.
-- Doreen (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 03, 2001.
I figured I'd find a thread about this, glad I did. As someone with chemical poisoning, I could see how his illness could be cause from the road sprays. I suppose now if they put the kids in public schools they'll insist on vaccinations, what a pity. (not a popular subject, I know). How sad this all is.
-- Cindy (SE In) (email@example.com), June 03, 2001.
'Change the title', I think Vicki is kidding about what Ken did to this thread at the C-side forum. He deleted home-schooled from the thread title, said 'there was no evidence that the children were receiving 'formal schooling'. We knew that- they were HOME SCHOOLED! Poor man needs to get a life, he must really be bored.
About the alchohol, now they are admitting that neither parent had ever imbibed ( except maybe the communion). For a family that is reported as being so reclusive, seems as though folks sure knew an awful lot about them! Turns out that the basis for the 'filthy living conditions was mice in the house! Yep, Vicki, I can just imagine the kind of report they could make about me, would make the McGuckin family look tame!
-- Chamoisee (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 03, 2001.
My son who is a news freak said they were telling on the radio that the land had indeed been sold for taxes, but that a cousin had bought the place so they could continue living on it. The same cousin had been bringing food to them and leaving it. They would not accept it if he brought it to the house, but he left it just down the road for the children to "find". The lady may be a little off mentally. Still, it doesn't seem that the kids were in any real danger. Also, the reason the kids came out was the same cousin had gone and gotten a signed document from the judge and the Child Protective people that he got custody of the kids until at least the hearing, and that the kids would have to be placed with family members and not with strangers if they could not stay with him. This story may not end as badly as it seems. I hope it turns out well for the mother.
And it seems the person who turned them in was the Catholic preist. Seems they no longer attended church like they should.....
-- Green (email@example.com), June 03, 2001.
Chamoisee, and all, First of all, I for one was disturbed by the changing of your title on the CS forum. I realize that there is a new editorial policy, but I was under the impression that that policy was to apply to specific issues, such as aggressive posts and argumentative threads. I know that Ken said that political and religious subjects would be subject to more attention than others, but I don't recall hearing that if Ken disagreed with your wording, he'd change it. Maybe I missed that part though... As far as this family goes, I agree with all of you. Randy and I talked about this a couple of nights ago, and we decided that if the authorities came to our house on a bad day (i.e. pretty much most days without a 4 hour phone warning first LOL) we could be in major trouble. The laundry was piled up? They're homeschooled? They're wearing dirty clothes?
Come over here some day and see what five kids, two adults and various and sundry livestock can do in a few hours.
And if the mother was a little "off" the circumstances certainly seem to warrant a bit of a mood swing, IMHO. Just because she's paranoid, doesn't mean there's no one out to get her.
-- Kristin, in LA (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 04, 2001.
More information for consideration. God Bless!
Sandpoint: Next Phase of the Battle (Exclusive Interview with Attorney Edgar Steele)
Government Front Page News Keywords: IDAHO STANDOFF Source: Sierra Times Published: 06.04.01 Author: J.J. Johnson Posted on 06/03/2001 20:11:57 PDT by nunya bidness
Sandpoint: Next Phase of the Battle (Exclusive Interview with Attorney Edgar Steele) By J.J. Johnson 06.04.01
© 2001 Sierra Times.com
SANDPOINT, ID - As the last of the McGuckin family has been removed from the Garfield bay property, questions are now being raised about the nature of the charges against JoAnn McGuckin. In an exclusive interview with Sierra Times.com, Idaho Attorney Edgar Steele raised issues about why the legal and public relations end of the McGuckin Case seem so chaotic. "The national media have folded up the satellites, and are packing to go home, but this story is far from over", said Steele.
JoAnn McGuckin, was arrested for child neglect Tuesday. But what led to her arrest remains unclear. Court documents obtained by Sierra Times show that the Bonner Country Prosecutor, Phil Robinson testified under oath of malnourishment and lack of electricity at the McGuckin home. "On [May 17th], the children were in tents, ill, no food, and on the verge of starvation", said Robinson in Magistrate Debra A Heine's Court. It was even reported at this hearing that one of the children has stress fractures due to malnutrition. It was these charges which led to the warrant for JoAnn McGuckin's arrest.
But after 5 days in a standoff situation - after the mother was taken into custody, the children were driven past Sheriff's barricades in a large sport-utility vehicle at about 6 p.m. Saturday. They were taken to a hospital in nearby Sandpoint, where officials said they were in good condition and had no injuries.
The Idaho Observer reported on Benjamin McGuckin's case stating: "Benjamin was given a physical after being taken into custody and is reportedly in excellent health. Benjamin reported that there is plenty of food and water in the house.
The Observer also reports that in the past there were only two reports about the dogs - numbering about 15. Sierra Times has learned that many of the dog pack were in fact puppies. As of this time, the area is still cordoned off, and no one knows the condition of the dogs at this time.
''They're in very good shape,'' said Susan Montgomery, director of nursing as reported in the Associated Press. Nancy Johnson, Sierra Times Legal Analyst said, "the evidence leads to a question of perjury by the prosecutor in open court."
Nancy Johnson - Legal Anaylist
Believes Prosecutor Perjured himself Johnson also questions the manner in which the prosecutor testified himself. "There is clear case law on this. Prosecutors should not be their own witness at a hearing to determine probable cause to issue a warrant. By testifying as a witness as to probable cause for an arrest warrant, the prosecutor destroyed his absolute immunity because he acted as a witness, not a prosecutor. This means that if Mrs. McGuckin decides to sue him for a civil rights violation, he is no longer immune.", Johnson concluded.
Steele told Sierra Times is he is "glad the children have been removed safely". He also gave praise to the Bonner County Sheriff's office on how they handled the situation. Much of the telephone interview was used to deflect false and misleading rumors that are cropping up - specifically on the Internet.
The first was one of his possible disbarment. "I have offices in both California and Idaho. I have received no reports from either bar concerning any actions taken against me. I am still a licensed attorney". Said Steele.
Attorney Edgar Steele
Heavily critized many internet reports Another was an Internet message saying, "…Attorney Edgar Steele on Thursday warned that antigovernment activists from around the country would converge on northern Idaho if the children's mother was not released from jail." Steele passionately denied making any such statements saying, "It's stuff like this that we don't need out there."
Steele insists the battle can be won in the court. Sierra Times can confirm the above statements cannot be attributed to Steele.
During the hearing when the bail was raised from $10,000 to $100,000, the prosecutor argued for a higher bond not because JoAnn was a flight risk; not because she was a danger to the community, but "to keep her away from her children". This alone is a violation of Mrs. McGuckin's civil rights, said Nancy Johnson.
Steele said he was told of JoAnn's alleged request that he communicate only through her court appointed attorney. He was never told this by JoAnn face to face, and he did not feel the arrangement was in her best interests. Experts say that Steeke is eminently more qualified than the young public defender, who appears to be too chummy with county officials. However, rather than pressing the issue, Mr. Steele felt withdrawal was prudent.
Nancy Johnson has been in the same situation. "An incarcerated victim of government excess (Nancy's client held off police for four hours on Highway 78 in San Diego) is emotionally fragile", said Johnson, "Jail is a bad place to be, and it is easy for the jailers to manipulate the victim and turn her against even a well-meaning, pro bono, attorney." In this case, Nancy questions the propriety of the public defender's visit with Mrs. McGuckin after she had agreed to Mr. Steele's representation. "Contact with a represented person in the attorney's absence is strictly prohibited by the ethical rules."
Mr. Steele remains willing and eager to help if Mrs. McGuckin so requests (in person), or to represent anyone else in her family. Steele did not give any indication that she was a threat to herself or in bad health of any kind. He said the best hope for the truth coming to light is if JoAnn is released from jail as soon as possible. Those handling the trust for the McGuckin family say donations and pledges are pouring in, but more are needed.
Steele indicated that this in not an unusual case. "I have received numerous communications from across the country from victims who have suffered the same fate - losing their land by the hands of authorities for bogus reasons."
The whereabouts of the children are unknown at this time. Neighbors are concerned as well. Several, who spoke with Sierra Times on condition of anonymity, stated that JoAnn had been very concerned about "the government taking her land". One stated that the 40 + acre parcel around Beaver Lake "would make a prime nature conservancy." All who spoke with Sierra Times said there were never any indications that the children had faced starvation or malnutrition.
Neither the investment firm of Korenngut, Schumel, & Amy, nor attorney J.T. Diehl of Sandpoint who, according to public records, closed the deal for $50,000 on property estimated worth $500,000, could be reached for comment.
Sierra Times has confirmed that the Bonner County Sheriff's Office has no order to take the property at this time.
Sierra Times will continue to monitor this situation as it develops.
Donations to the bail bond fund may still be made to: McGuckin Family Trust, PO Box 1255, Sagle, ID 83860. Rest assured that every penny contributed to this fund will inure directly to the benefit of only members of the McGuckin family.
---------------------------------------------------------------------- ---------- To: Lesson in Demonization Sierra Times
Cuttin' through the Bull #68 Lesson in Demonization Copyright © 2001 By Ray Thomas
In Sandpoint, Idaho, "Six children, 'believed to be hungry and armed,' refused to leave their rural home and instead released their pack of vicious dogs on sheriff's deputies who had earlier arrested their mother, the Bonner County sheriff said." The sheriff is uncomfortable with this whole thing, but he is going along with it to a point, believing what he has been told by the child protectors and other county officials
They say the mother is unbalanced and should be "put away." But her lawyer says that she is mostly "sharp as a tack," only occasionally "going off on tangents" (or what he might consider to be "tangents.") They lured her away from her home with the promise of money for food and a ride to the store to get it. But they never planned to give her any money for food. It was a ploy so they could arrest her on a vague charge of "felony injury to a child." A charge on which they refuse to elaborate, hiding behind the usual child protector claim of "confidentiality" to "protect the children," but which in reality protects the child protectors by giving them a "handle" to use in vilifying a parent without having to be specific about it. Whenever "officials" want to violate somebody's rights, they routinely say all kinds of unprovable things about them to turn the community against them.
Here are some of the other claims they're using to back up their story:
Guns in the house with children trained in their use: According to power seekers, this is bad. Kids with guns? (shiver) Has anyone seen a gun yet? If so, has anyone been shot by one of these kids? They have a pack of "vicious" dogs: They live on 40 acres and most of those dogs were born there and consider the children to be in their protection. Of course they're going to be "vicious" to invaders such as the child protectors when they try to come in and take them away. The dogs "hunt in a pack like wild animals, say the "officials." What's wrong with that? They live on 40 acres in a rural area. "They took down a moose a little while ago." Do you believe that? Officials in these cases are prone to making statements like that, further effort to make their quarry look bad. Even if it's true, that's what hunters do. They claim that these dogs attacked a woman walking near the house, while a deputy trying to rescue the woman was also bitten. Maybe so. But notice they "tell the story" without elaborating. Was the woman doing something the dogs thought was a danger to their kids? As to the deputy, we know why he was bitten. He came in to stop what they were doing. Not necessarily right, but understandable. The whole story swings upon what the woman was doing, and the cops aren't talking about that.
They say the kids "released the 27 dogs from the basement" and "set them onto the deputies." Have you ever seen 27 big dogs in one basement? You'll never get that many in there. Not unless your basement was a lot bigger than the one that goes with that tiny house. They say they "warded off the dogs with gunshots." I think they were trying to kill them but couldn't hit any of them. Then they "used a loudspeaker to try and talk the kids out of the house." Yeah, right: "We're from the government and we're here to help you."
The home lacks power, water, and heat: One lie here, already. The house does not lack power. The sister pays for it and it has been on (unless the "officials" turned it off to put pressure on the kids) all the time, contrary to the "officials' claims. The house does have water, but a pump to bring it up from the well broke down and the new part they got didn't work. Now they're a little busy to fix the pump. But no matter, they live on a lake and can go and get all the water they want. Heat? How do they know that? And what difference does that make? It's spring and temperatures are up. They don't need heat.
The younger children were kept home from school: No kidding. They have been home schooled. That's why you home school children. To keep them out of the clutches of the government conditioning mills so they can't be taught to be "good collectivists." So they can't be taught the value of "doing for others first," rather than for yourself. For my part, my interests come before anybody else's, and that's the way it should be if we're intelligent people. Nobody else is going to ever be as interested in your interests as you are. That's simple common sense. To tell you that others would help you if you helped others is simply setting you up to become a "slave to the group," and their every "need" becomes a demand on you. That's wrong. So far, they haven't been able to make home schooling illegal, but it's not for lack of trying. The power seekers are desperate about eliminating home schooling because for every home schooled child, there's one adult later who will not buy their lies and knuckle under to their control. In order to dominate them in later life, they must get to them when they're young enough to buy that collectivist crap. The child protectors, ever obedient to what the power seekers want (because that's where their money comes from), do everything they can, legal and illegal, to destroy home schooling. One method they use is to claim that home schooled children get deficient education. But they don't, else why would they excel in all areas where they are tested, including the National Spelling Bee, which home schooled children have won several times in the last few years?
The family is "absolutely stone broke": And why is this, you might wonder? The county sold a half million dollar property out from under them for a pittance ($50,000) when they got behind on their property taxes as their father got closer to death (the Land is prime timber property 40 acres, with lake front access to beaver lake... you do the math). But maybe they didn't need a lot of money. Families living in similar conditions 100 years ago didn't have a lot of "cash money" but often were "rich" in what they could take from the land. By all reports, this family was well able to do that.
The mother would not accept the county's help: That's terrible! She wouldn't take welfare! To the liberal mind that's the worst crime of which she's guilty but one they'll never legally charge her with. But here their story begins to come apart. If she refused all help, why would she be willing to get in a sheriff's patrol car and go to the store to buy groceries with the county's money? Doesn't figure. Furthermore, word is that a few days ago someone dropped off 200 pounds of food and other goods from the "Food Bank." This is someone who "refused all help?"
They're reclusive: Is that right? Since when is shunning the company of people who think you're crazy against the law? Don't we all have the right to be "reclusive" if we wish? When "being reclusive" becomes a crime they'd better come and get me because I could be described the same way even though my job requires me to meet lots of people every day. It's when I get off work that I don't "socialize" with a lot of people because I have little in common with most of them. Their lives are shallow and they ignore what's important to them. So I stay away from most people unless we do have something in common. I don't "socialize" just to be socializing. So mark that one off the list.
They claim she was spending the family's money on alcohol: Really? Why is it that every time the child protectors get into it, suddenly a teetotaler becomes an alcoholic? Someone who has never used drugs becomes a drug user or worse, a drug dealer? I know of many people who have never used alcohol who have had this "sin" added to the list the child protectors use against them.
The father died of malnutrition and dehydration: Naturally they would use this against this family, hinting that this woman had starved him as well as the kids. But anyone who knows anything about MS knows that malnutrition and dehydration is part of having MS.
They were afraid of the government: Of course, this earns for them the label, "government haters." For my part, you don't have to be crazy to be afraid of what this government has become at all levels. They stop you on the street, search you without a warrant, and take your money, calling it "probable dope money," all without even charging you with anything. Government agencies who want your land say, to build a sheriff's station conduct a "Gestapo raid" on you on the unsupported word of a sleaze-bag drug dealer who would say anything they told him to say to avoid a long prison term. If you "come out shooting," as is your right under the Constitution, they don't back off and identify themselves. They just fill you full of lead and take the property as "probable fruits of drug sales." Or they wait until you're "down" and take your property in a tax sale, making a "sweetheart deal" with someone who will give them a "cut" under the table or just keeping it and building their sheriff's station. Does she have good reason to fear the government? I'd say so. Being paranoid doesn't mean you don't have some real enemies. One of the local officials said: "She was quite paranoid about the government and I don't know what led to that." He doesn't? How about the government taking away the only thing they had of any value, their property? I'm not saying the government wasn't legally able to do that. But to her, it was the government taking their property without cause. And since I believe property taxes are only a means to force us to pay rent to occupy our own property, I agree with her.
She believed that chemicals sprayed on area roads had caused her husband's illness: And why not? In Denver right now, we've got a controversy over road chemicals killing plants and trees along the road. It's proven. It's a fact. I don't know what causes MS, but this woman wasn't "the sharpest knife in the drawer," if you know what I mean. So it's quite possible she might have sincerely thought that without being "crazy." Has anybody actually looked into the possibility? Intelligent people believe the vapor trails they see in the sky are evidence that the government is spraying poison down on all of us [Which I don't believe. -RT]. Why shouldn't she believe that? Is it against the law for her to believe that?
She was deathly afraid the government was going to take their belongings and take her children: Now why would she think that? Could it be because that's what they've been trying to do for some time? What they're in the middle of accomplishing right now? They thought it would be easy to snatch the children and put them in foster care if she was out of the picture (each child is worth $400 to $600 a month in federal "fees" and $4,500 to $6,000 in federal fees if they can terminate parental rights and put them up for adoption). They routinely do that all over the country. But they didn't reckon on the children being sufficiently "savvy" to realize what is going on and take action of their own. Unlike in Atlanta, Georgia recently, where "authorities" dragged 49 children away from their parents in a church, for Heaven's sake, on thin "evidence" they were being abused, these children proved themselves well able to take care of themselves. By the way, they had to return all the children they dragged away in chains, within the week, for lack of proof of abuse. Being "under the spotlight" like they were, they couldn't do it in "secret" as they usually do, so they had to surrender.
When they arrested her, they got in collusion with the judge and placed a bond figure of $100,000 on her so she couldn't "bond out" and come home to get in the way of their snatch of her children. Like the "authorities" in Atlanta, they made the mistake of allowing this situation to become a "media event" because of the fact that a bunch of children were holding off "Sandpoint's Finest." They also made the mistake of allowing a "bulldog" lawyer to take their case pro bono and who "fanned the flames of publicity." They will claim that this lawyer, who defended white supremacists who lost their compound to one of their victims, is one of the "bad guys," but it isn't going to work. He will bring out all their "dirty little secrets" and unless these "officials" do something stupid and we have another Waco or Ruby Ridge on our hands, this family is going to win. He's even talking about an investigation into the "sweetheart deal" in the tax sale of their property. Their scam is coming apart at the seams and they'd better start thinking about cutting their losses before they get in real trouble as Wenatchee, Washington did in their "child abuse Witch Hunt" that is fast bankrupting them.
They say that all they want to do is "protect the children" by putting them in foster care. But that's a lie because other family members have said they would be willing to care for these children as a group and not separate them as they would be in foster care. These "officials" want to "take charge" of these children so they can collect the "fees" so conveniently offered by the power seekers in Washington as an incentive to get "the locals" to do their bidding. They can't do that if the family takes them unless they force their way in as they usually do.
Remember one thing: this is a family in mourning. The father has died, the mother has been arrested with a bond so high she'll never make it, and the police have come to take the children away. This is exactly what their mother feared. It's not by any means the first time there has been a "standoff" in a supposed "child welfare case." Elian Gonzalez aside, in November, 1998, a woman in Catalina, Arizona, remembering the snatching of one child, ran with her only remaining child into her house when she saw the child protectors arriving with police backup. She knew what was coming. She made the error of telling them she had a gun and they put her house trailer under siege for 18 hours until they were able to con her into letting a couple of officers inside where they overpowered her. Thankfully, it ended without anybody being hurt or killed, but her last child is gone. The thing she most feared has come to pass. The only difference in this case is that it's the children who have barricaded themselves while the mother is ""in custody."
I think the only reason something really bad hasn't happened is that the sheriff isn't "in on the scam" and is uncomfortable with the whole thing. He wants to just "close up and go home" but the local politicians won't let him. But they'd better. [This is being written Friday, June 1, 2001 and no violence has (yet) occurred. -RT]
UPDATE SUNDAY, JUNE 3
According to the news media, the "Sandpoint Standoff" is over, "to everyone's satisfaction." What I want to know is, how do they know that everyone agrees about the result. Mrs. McGuckin was "paranoid" about the government coming in and taking their property and her children, separating them and sending them away from each other. What she feared the most has now come to pass. The snatch of her children is complete. Her home was sold for a pittance to satisfy an even smaller pittance in taxes. She was denied the services of her chosen lawyer and forced to accept those of a state-appointed lawyer who is obviously working hand-in-glove with the county officials to destroy her family. Those officials have been getting some nasty messages by e-mail. Here are some of their comments about that: [My comments in square brackets. -RT]
"It's easy to hide behind a computer and spew hate," said Sandpoint Police Chief R. Mark Lockwood. [It's even easier to hide behind a police chief's badge. -RT]
The chief attributes such messages to the "extreme right-wing, left- wing, off-the-grid types, some of whom are affiliated with the militia, Christian Identity, separatist movements. "I know many of them would like to liken this to Ruby Ridge and Waco, but we're in a different dimension here," Lockwood said. [In other words, anybody who criticizes this rape of a family is whacko and "spewing hate." "Hate" is in the eye of the beholder. Most of those who don't like their action are normal, average people with families of their own who do dislike actions such as these. He really "touched all bases" in labeling those who criticized him, didn't he? I'd like to see him show some proof of those charges. -RT]
Bonnie Bergey, another militia tracking expert [Hate hunter? -RT], said the "radical right sees this as another indication of undue government interference in the lives of private citizens." Bergey said some of these people "genuinely fear for the well-being of the children." [They have good reason to fear for the well-being of children with the child protectors "going wild" all over the country snatching children from loving homes on little or no evidence, routinely violating their rights as they've done here and usually without notice in the national press. -RT]
"Sierra Times," another Internet site featuring "anti-government topics," called the standoff "another modern American Tragedy in the making." [I love the way they throw around that "antigovernment" tag for those who are against the criminals in government. -RT]
[Question: Were any guns found? No one has said so far. Even if there were guns in the house (not unusual in families who live "out in the weeds") obviously no one used them. I firmly believe the "guns in the house" claim is just an excuse to further demonize these people. I don't even believe any of the kids said: "Get the guns." I think that was an invention of the sheriff's department to justify their siege. - RT]
Her preferred attorney is rumored to have been "denounced" by Mrs. McGuckin and even to have been "suspended" by the Bar Association. But in any case, you can't get an e-mail to him. Later releases from Steele tell us that they denied him any contact with his client, claiming the court-appointed attorney was her attorney. Since when does the county, even the court, get to determine that? Additionally, they won't let anyone talk to her personally, so we must depend on their word. By now you should know what that's worth.
The so called court appointed attorney [conveniently] fails to show up and represent the interests of "his client," Mrs. McGuckin, at a bail reduction hearing, so this unreasonably high bail amount stands ensuring that Mrs. McGuckin is isolated from the world, cannot tell her story, cannot talk to her chosen personal attorney, and is under the complete control of the perpetrators. It's the judge who set the bail at an excessive $100,000.00, then determined who her attorney would be, then postponed the bail reduction hearing insuring the mother stayed in jail. This certainly gives the appearance of misconduct by this judge. [More than "the appearance." -RT] The more I get into this, the more it becomes obvious this whole thing is all about $500,000 worth of land that the county stole. They wanted to get rid of Mrs. McGuckin so she couldn't initiate an investigation and snatch her kids for the federal fees that go with that and a "child abuse report" was the easiest way to accomplish that. You don't have to prove child abuse in their "rubber stamp courts" because the allegation itself is considered prima facie evidence of guilt. They got rid of the only attorney who had her interests at heart by denying him access and telling the world that she fired him, a patent lie. The lawyer who was supposed to be representing her failed to show up at the bail reduction hearing, guaranteeing that they could continue to control what she said. This was a "railroad job," pure and simple and everything they said in support of it is suspect.
Waco or Ruby Ridge it wasn't. But it's worse because it's merely a variation of what is going on all over this country as the "child protectors" run wild, running roughshod over people's rights, destroying families right and left, and selling their children on the Internet. Wake up, people! Recognize what's going on right in front of your nose. Don't accept their lies about the victims and just go on, saying "too bad." One day they'll get to you, and then it'll be too late... for you.
FYI -- under attorneys in the Sandpoint, ID yellow pages:
James T Diehl - Diehl James T 106 W Superior St Sandpoint, ID (208) 263-8529
-- Wendy@GraceAcres (email@example.com), June 04, 2001.
It looks like they are trying to pin it on the mothers actions with her own kids again. They should at least try to get their story straight...
Mother: Kids are mine
Published: June 4, 2001
Author: Winston Ross
SANDPOINT -- JoAnn McGuckin spoke out for the first time Sunday, the morning after learning her children had been convinced to safely leave the home they'd holed up in for five days.
In some ways, her words served as a reflection of the tense standoff, which was marked by wild dogs, stockpiled weapons and hungry, frantic children barricaded in a rural North Idaho home.
Her statement also castigates Idaho officials.
"Those children are my children," McGuckin said in a statement read by her court-appointed attorney, Bryce Powell. "Not wards of the state."
Tuesday, Bonner County sheriff's deputies lured McGuckin from her home with promises of money and groceries, then arrested her for alleged child neglect. Later that afternoon, they went back to put the children in state custody.
At some point, the oldest boy, Benjamin, 15, became spooked, ran back toward the house and yelled, "Get the guns," according to Sheriff Phil Jarvis. The children then released a pack of feral dogs from the basement. Baring their teeth, the dogs charged authorities.
Jarvis pulled back, and the children eventually came out Saturday amid an international media circus.
From her cell in the Bonner County Jail on Sunday, McGuckin had angry words for authorities.
"The state needs to learn its place -- and that is not in family business," McGuckin said. "I do not accept the charges to begin with. It will be up to them to explain their behavior to everyone because it affects us all. May the public demand some answers as well.
"May the family be protected forever and ever. May they (authorities) be punished for their imposition, but may affairs of the heart be the purview of love within the house and may they never be confused."
"The Constitution of the United States of America supports this premise."
Bonner County Prosecutor Phil Robinson responded to McGuckin's charges on Sunday.
"I understand exactly where that's coming from," Robinson said. "I am mandated to carry out the laws. One of the laws is that people do not harm their children, in either a reckless type of neglect or in some type of volitional act."
Because JoAnn McGuckin made a voluntary decision to endanger her children, Robinson said, the charges of felony injury to children do apply. Robinson maintains she neglected her children, by not providing adequate food and shelter. McGuckin's oldest daughter, Erina, 19, reported the conditions at her house after leaving last Fall to join the Navy.
McGuckin plans to hold her own press conference as soon as she's released from the Bonner County Jail, Powell said. She has yet to see her children.
"She demands that the criminal charges, of felony injury to a child, be dismissed, and that she be reunited with her family," Powell said.
McGuckin could be released from jail soon, said Bonner County Prosecuting Attorney Phil Robinson, who said Sunday that he's willing to recommend a reduction in JoAnn McGuckin's $100,000 bail. Ultimately, it will be up to a judge, however.
"I expect it to be reduced," Robinson said. "I'd be shocked if it wasn't. I don't think she is any way a menace to the general public, or other citizens."
Her preliminary hearing is scheduled for June 13.
The children are still in state custody. They may be released from Bonner General Hospital today to stay with a family friend who's acting as a foster parent, Robinson said.
The children stayed longer at the hospital than expected, because "they're very withdrawn, apprehensive, frightened and non- trusting," Robinson said. "Because of that, we really have not been able to complete a good evaluation. We don't want to rush this thing."
The first custody hearing could begin as early as today. The children will also get a court-appointed special advocate, he said.
The judge has three options today: to throw the case out, and return the children to their mother free of state supervision; to keep custody in the state's hands; or to grant custody to the mother with continued Idaho Department of Health and Welfare supervision.
Robinson will push to have the state retain custody.
That's because it's hard to determine if JoAnn McGuckin will truly be able to care for her children properly, Robinson said.
"The primary reason is the unknown. Knowing how they've lived for so long only tends to confirm to us that the children have been indoctrinated, in a situation where they truly do not trust people outside of an extremely small circle."
Health and Welfare's North Idaho director, Michelle Britton, held a press conference Sunday afternoon at the Bonner County Courthouse.
A family whom the children know and trust is standing by to take all six children, Britton said. She wouldn't reveal the family's location, but Robinson said it is in Bonner County, and the Health and Welfare had granted it an emergency license to be a foster family.
Britton's press conference was Sunday's last major media event in the standoff, which attracted news crews from all over the world.
Much of the media gaggle, who'd camped out at the bottom of the bay en masse, packed up their cameras and satellite dishes Sunday and left.
The residents of Garfield Bay went back to their quiet way of life.
"I'm just glad it's over now," said Tony MacLeod, a longtime neighbor of the McGuckins. "The kids are out, they're safe and no one was hurt."
At the property, a blue Dodge Ram sat parked in the driveway as it had for years, its yellow blade snow blade resting on the ground next to a sign made of aluminum siding, warning of the dogs.
Every so often, one of the mongrels poked an inquiring head out of the bushes by the property.
The dogs were fed a 50-pound sack of food at about 4 a.m. Sunday, deputies said. It's likely the dogs will be removed today , though it's unclear what will be done with them. Several humane societies have offered to take them.
From the C&R Grocery on Sunday, Dori Stricklan watched a television satellite truck leave her community -- with glee:
Staff writer Thomas Clouse and the Associated Press contributed to this report.
• Winston Ross can be reached at (208) 765-7132, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
-- William in Wi (email@example.com), June 04, 2001.
Heres an interesting take...
The McGuckin Family Of Idaho - The Real Story
From Rayelan firstname.lastname@example.org
Rumor Mill News
The bulk of this release has been composed over the last two days. As you will see, it is our contention that this is a land grab, and the the children and the international media attention got in the way.
Well, we just moments ago learned that we were more right than we thought and certain members of Bonner County government are intimately involved in the foreclosure, seizure and disposal of the McGuckin property to pave the way for a real estate development.
Apparently, the McGuckins, who the media reported had no water, are sitting on the best source of clean water in the area and that source is sufficient enough supply several sites with water. We will not comment further on this aspect of the story until we have more information. But, what we will be reporting soon is the real story here and it may be explosive enough to really damage some very big players in Bonner County government.
The McGuckin Story
By Don Harkins
The McGuckin story, which, as I will explain, epitomizes both the arrogance of county government and the power of network dominant media. The story, which on the surface seems like a simple state- concern-for-the-welfare-of-children case, is incredibly complex. I believe that it boils down to a four (or more) year persecution of an unfortunate family that has a really neat, and possibly strategic, 40- acre piece of property with a pristine lake. This entire travesty would never have made more than a few lines of the local evening news if it had not been for one thing: The McGuckin children sicced their dogs on the "authorities" and made a stand.
Since the Idaho Observer keeps its office within 17 miles of the "standoff" and, since no other media in the area has the editorial license to tell the truth and, since millions of people all over the world are fixated on understanding the truth behind this surreal scenario, I will place things into proper perspective. My wife Ingri and I were able to gain the proper perspective by riding with Joann McGuckin's (former) attorney Edgar Steele while he delivered a letter that withdrew his representation from this case and when we discovered that a bond reduction hearing that had been scheduled for 4 p.m. had been postponed until Monday, June 4, 2001 amid strange circumstances.
Rather than turn this into a series of newsstories, this is just going to be Don talking. There will be a mixture of facts that can be verified by documentation and my own interpretation of events based upon my knowledge of the characters involved and other stories that I have covered which are connected or related. I will, however, break each segment down under a headline to make things easier to explain.
To fully understand the McGuckin story, it would be best to obtain copies of the November and May editions of The Idaho Observer wherein we reported the christening of the Cutthroat (a 110 foot unmanned submarine that is now being used for research in Lake Pend Oreille) and the Parkison story wherein another Bonner county family was squeezed for several years until they lost their property. I also suggest that you obtain a copy of the September, 2000 edition of The Spectrum newspaper (1-877-280-2866) wherein some interesting clues regarding this region's importance to sophisticated technology research are found.
It appears that the veneer of propriety on the part of the state is extremely thin in this case. Now that the "standoff" has ended, it will be a matter of simple investigation to prove that the McGuckin's land was stolen from them illegally and that the charges of child neglect alleged by Bonner County Prosecutor Phil Robinson were fabrications that are not supported by evidence.
Breaking News - The "standoff" has ended
By the evening of June 2, 2001, the standoff ended peacefully and the five remaining children have been taken to Bonner General Hospital where they were to spend the night. Three persons, including a family friend and neighbor whom the children trusted, made contact with the children and it was that contact which ultimately led to their decision to come out. Bonner County Sheriff Phil Jarvis claims that he sent word to the children that they would not be separated if he has anything to say about it. The three mediators also gave the kids a note from their mother in jail. It is reported that the note allegedly from mom was what compelled them to go with "authorities." Jarvis' promise that they would not be separated may not be his to keep as the children are now in thecustody of state child welfare workers who have made no such promises to the children.
By all reports the children were all in fine shape physically and mentally were in good spirits when they left their home. The children were taken to the hospital where they would all be given physicals. It is also likely that the hospital staff was be ordered to administer vaccines to make them current with state recommended vaccination regimen. If the children are healthy now and then begin to experience adverse reactions to vaccines, I am concerned that the mother will somehow be blamed for the delayed reaction of ill health and that the introduction of toxic substances directly into their blood streams will not be considered as the cause. I am also concerned that the "authorities" will, in their attempts to pacify the children's emotional needs, start feeding them a bunch of junk food which will exascerbate vaccine-related health complications and compromise their psychological equanimnity. There is still no word on when Joann McGuckin will be released from jail though it appears there is no reason to continue holding her because her children are obviously not the victims of neglect as alleged in the complaint filed by Bonner County Prosecutor Phil Robinson May 29, 2001.
Myths and fabrications:
1. The children have no food and are eating lilly pad soup. This is not true as more than one person reports that the children have plenty of food.
2. The children have no heat. This is north Idaho. They have wood and a wood stove.
3. The children have no electricity. The house has electricity that is hooked up and paid for.
4. The family has 27 vicious and hungry dogs running wild and hunting in a pack. The number is probably closer to 15 dogs that are more protective than they are vicious.
5. The children are victims of neglect. Though they may not live in a family like yours, these kids are not behaving like neglected kids. These kids love each other, their deceased father, their mother and their home.
6. Joann McGuckin spends her money on alcohol. There is no evidence of this.
7. The children are armed. Benjamin said "go get the guns" to start this standoff. Since that time nobody has seen them brandishing any weapons. Benjamin, however, has allegedly admitted that there were five guns in the house.
8. Joann McGuckin has mental problems and does not trust the government. Joann has lost her husband, she has been slipping into poverty for the last several years as her husband's health deteriorated and has been in full knowledge that the loss of her home was imminent. Intrusive government has not attempted to help her, it has been attempted to remove her from the property by a variety of means. Then, charges of child neglect are fabricated, she is tricked by police into being arrested, she is thrown in jail and her kids decide to defend their home. How would you feel?
9. The children must be taken into custody for their own protection because there is no place else for them to go. A family friend of ten years whom the children trust and like, who lives 30 minutes away on a 140 acre ranch has offered to take the children in but the state will not allow them to because they are not "licensed."
10. Benjamin "gave himself up to authorities." Benjamin had apparently left the house on a recon mission two days previously. He was unable to cross the police line and his coming into police custody more closely resembles capture than a voluntary surrender. Since he was taken into custody, nobody but "authorities" have had access to him.
11. The bond reduction hearing was canceled because of a power outage in the courthouse. The hearing was to take place at Bonner County Jail, not at the courthouse. There was a TV setup at the courthouse for media members who were going to watch the hearing from that location. There had been no power outage at the courthouse as of 4:20 p.m. when Ingri and I left. At 3:55 p.m. we learned that Judge Heise was still in the building and that Dublic Defender Bryce Powell was nowhere to be found.
12. Ed Steele had his license to practice law in Idaho suspended. Ed never mentioned such a thing and it does not stand to reason that he would volunteer to represent McGuckin in this high profile manner if he was going to be prevented from representing her in court. Steele said that he has not been informed that he is not longer licensed to practice law in Idaho.
13. The children are unhealthy and malnourished. There is no evidence to suggest this is true. The children appear to be healthy, vibrant and intelligent. Benjamin was given a physical after being taken into custody and is reportedly in excellent health. Benjamin reported that there is plenty of food and water in the house.
14. The children have been home schooled and taught to be suspicious of the government. Both of these things might be true, however the media spin is negative where I see nothing but positives. The children were smart enough to not be taken into custody by police who had tricked their mother into going to jail and had sold their property at auction when it appears that the foreclosure, seizure and sale of the property was conducted illegally. It would appear that being suspicious of government is a survival skill that all children should be taught. They are survivors, they are close-knit and they have proven to be more capable than most children who attend public school.
15. The father died of malnutrition and dehydration. This may be partially true, but persons who suffer for years from the ravages of degenerative disease may not feel like eating or drinking the last few days or weeks of their lives. It would be absurd to conclude that the last four years of his declining health was because he decided to starve himself and not drink water.
Steele withdraws from McGuckin case-for now:
SANDPOINT, June 1, 2001-At 2:30 p.m. today Attorney Edgar Steele hand delivered a letter to public defender Bryce Powell and Joann McGuckin that announced his withdrawal from the case. Steele, who I must say is a personal friend of mine, has stated to me that he would rather not practice law in the courts of north Idaho because it has been his experience that law is not the most important part of the judicial equation here. The fact that he decided to try to help this woman and her six children was, in my estimation, a purely selfless and noble gesture on his part.
Steele had an excellent visit with McGuckin May 31. McGuckin thanked Steele for representing her without charge and definitely, according to Steele, wanted him to represent her and the children in matters not related to Robinson's criminal complaint. He learned a lot and found that there were several areas that he could be of service to her because she and her family had been given a raw deal with regard to the loss of the property. Powell was representing her on the absurd criminal charges of felonious injury to children. Steele was up until midnight researching and studying documents pertaining to the case and working out a strategy. The following morning he was unable to talk to her; she only wanted to communicate with Steele through written memoranda and a couple of people friendly to McGuckin were suddenly noncommunicative. Steele said that he cannot adequately represent her under these conditions. He did tell Ingri and I that he left the door open for her, though, and that if she was able to get her thoughts together when things calm down, he would be glad to reconsider.
Based upon what we can infer from the characters involved, the fact that Powell is a young attorney trying to make a living in a tightly controlled small town legal environment, that he is very likely in way over his head in this case and that he must listen to the local power clique to have a future practicing law in Bonner county, it would appear that Powell convinced McGuckin to dissuade Steele, an extremely competant attorney who cannot be controlled by the local power clique, from digging into the injustices that have been done to the McGuckins.
After delivering the letter to McGuckin through her jailers, Steele was stopped by the news media to give on camera interviews. In anticipation of the bond reduction hearing scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. (it was at this time 3 p.m.) there were several local and national news teams and two satelite trucks waiting around in the Bonner County Sheriff's Department parking lot. Steele very eloquently and accurately said several things to the news media that would have made all concerned Americans very proud. When asked what he thought would be the best resolution of this matter, Steele said that McGuckin should be let out of jail immediately so she can go home to her kids and the police should go home to their families. He also indicated that it was his belief that Bonner County Prosecutor Phil Robinson's charges of child abuse were unfounded and demonstrably false.
Bond reduction hearing delayed:
SANDPOINT, June 1, 2001-A bond reduction hearing for Joann McGuckin that had been scheduled to take place at the Bonner County Jail at 4 p.m. here today in the court of Magistrate Judge Heise has been postponed until Monday, June 4 because public defender Bryce Powell was nowhere to be found. McGuckin, 45, was arrested through deception by the Bonner County Sheriff's Department Tuesday after Bonner County Prosecutor Phil Robinson filed a complaint against McGuckin for felonious injury to children. McGuckin is being held on $100,000 bond though most of the charges Robinson alleged against McGuckin have been demonstrated to be false.
Bond is a mechanism that is used to protect the community from the accused if they are at risk for fleeing prosecution or pose a danger to the community. McGuckin is not a danger to the community and the likelihood that she would flee the area and leave her children behind is so remote as to be absurd to contemplate. Therefore it would appear that $100,000 bond is excessive and put in place to keep her in jail so that she does not have the opportunity to speak to the press, have unmonitored access to legal counsel or have contact with her children.
Local and national media with satellite uplinks were positioned at the jail and Court room 2 at the Bonner County Courthouse in anticipation of the hearing. Ingri and I were with several other reporters in the courthouse at 3:30 p.m. when it was learned that Judge Heise was still on site because Powell was nowhere to be found though he was well aware of the hearing time, date and location. It was learned later that he had been out attempting to talk the children into giving themselves up. I believe that he was there doing that, but that it was an excuse to not be present at the bond reduction hearing at the jail. I believe that his controllers, the county that appointed him to represent McGuckin in this case, arranged his not being present for the hearing so that they could continue the hearing to Monday. I think they wanted a couple days to think, hoping that something magical would bring the standoff to an end before Monday. The more conspiratorial side of me is concerned that she will be psychologically manipulated into saying things that will compromise public perception of her in a negative way.
The kids: Kathryn, 16, Banjamin, 14, Mary, 13, James, 11, Fred, 9 and Jane, 8 I have heard several people say that the kids, though sometimes a little dirty, are nice, a little shy, but polite, intelligent and well spoken. It sounds like these children should be used as poster children for the benefits of home schooling rather than being labeled as outcasts unfit to function in polite society. I for one, am proud of the McGuckin children and hope to meet them some day and tell them so.
Conclusions to date:
This is a land grab case not a child abuse case. The kids are fine except that their father is dead and the police tricked their mom into being arrested on charges of felonious injury to children that are either bold faced lies or baseless accusations. In either event there is no evidence to support the charges against Joann McGuckin, there is no reason for her to be in jail and there is no justification of $100,000 bond as she is not s flight risk or a danger to society.
The McGuckin property, which has a homestead exemption and is worth nearly $500,000, was seized for $5,000 in back taxes and sold at auction for $50,000. It appears that the McGuckins have been under attack for at least four years and the intent was to steal their property. I personally believe the attack was subtle, and conducted with the use of sophisticated technologies that to most people are the stuff of science fiction. They became increasingly reclusive, I think, because nobody would believe them if they told them what was going on and they were afraid that people would think they were crazy.
So, the two components of this surrealistic scene is the provably illegal seizure and disposal of their property and the provably fabricated charges of child abuse and neglect. The veneer is so thin that when this thing begins to unravel, the corruption and arrogance behind this property theft will become obvious. I was a disappointed that though there are millions of people talking about this, the public was not represented at the jail or the courthouse. The only people on hand were media types. I guess people wish to be angered by the events by understanding the issue through the eyes of the dominant media.
Copies of the complaint of child neglect filed by Bonner County Prosecutor Phil Robinson (CR-01-01116) can be obtained by calling the Bonner County Courthouse at: (208) 265-1432. The Idaho Observer will FAX a copy. Call (208) 255-2307.
The Bonner County Prosecutor, Phil Robinson, can also be reached at the above number.
Don Harkins is the editor of The Idaho Observer, a monthy tabloid- sized, 24-page newspaper that seeks to report the truth of events that are shaping the socio/political, spiritual and economic demise of our our once free nation. For back issues or subscription information, contact The Idaho Observer at: (208) 255-2307 or by visiting the website at: http://www.proliberty.com/observer
The Idaho Observer PO Box 457 Spirit Lake, Idaho 83869 (208) 255-2307 email@example.com http://www.proliberty.com/observer
RMNews, The Uncensored National Rumor http://www.rumormillnews.com
THE ONLY RUMOR YOU CAN TRUST
RUMOR MILL NEWS AGENCY
P.O. BOX 1784
APTOS, CA 95001
TEL 831 462 3949
FAX 831 462 2545
-- William in Wi (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 04, 2001.
William, I'm glad you have laid out the situation so well for us. This morning the county prosecutor labeled those of us who smell a rat in this as anti-government extremists. Now I have another label attached to me. Christian and patriot weren't enough.
-- melina b. (email@example.com), June 04, 2001.
Thanks to all who put all this info up for us. I am so saddened by this whole thing. Those people will end up getting ground down by the system and all it's resources.
It could be any of us, that's the scary part. Look what the media have done in this situation. They have demonized these people to look like major dirtbags. I don't hear any mainstream types getting worried out in the community here. I'm hearing a lot of "she should've taken better care of her kids. And She must be a real loony" No one questions anything about the reports in the paper. Like sheep.
One things for certain- News people don't report news and the authorities are becoming more authoritarian.
-- John in S. IN (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 04, 2001.
"the authorities are becoming more authoritarian" sounds like what's happening lots of places-one in particular-don't y'all know people are't smart enough to think for themselves and work out their own problems.
Hope the rain stops soon for awhile, I wasn't wuposed to have to time to read the forum, oh well!
-- Cindy (SE In) (email@example.com), June 05, 2001.
Neither the investment firm of Korenngut, Schumel, & Amy, nor attorney J.T. Diehl of Sandpoint who, according to public records, closed the deal for $50,000 on property estimated worth $500,000, could be reached for comment.
The Kurengut's Attorney, James T. Diehl is also a board of director for the Idaho Panhandle State Bank in Sandpoint,
PANHANDLE STATE BANK DIRECTORS:
Charles L. Bauer
James T. Diehl
Robert W. Farmin
Wray D. Farmin, Jr.
James B. Fenton
Terry L. Merwin
John B. Parker
Michael J. Romine
Jerrold B. Smith
Douglas P. Ward
The Kurengut's own an adjacent piece of property and are said to be preparing to put a multimillion dollar developement on that site and the McGucken water source is the best in the area. Still investigating but it appears that both the Kurengut's and the McGuckins had dealings through Panhandle.
This is a summary of information from Harkens at the Observer relayed to me by a friend:
Everyone they've talked to has always described the McGuckin family as well spoken, and very, very nice. They do not believe that Mrs. McGuckin is going through any extraordinary mental problems other than the loss of her husband.
The property was quit-claim deeded to one James Stewart of Eugene, Oregon. No one has been able to contact him. According to the county records, NO back tax notifications were ever sent to Mr. Stewart -- they were all sent to the McGuckins. They have not been able to reach Mr. Stewart. The property was illegally auctioned off, in the first place, because the deeded owner was never notified, according to county records, that there were any back taxes due.
All of this research was done by folks, including the attorney Ed Steele, and they believe they can get her property back for her -- all she needs to do is be able to contact them. They did not know that Diehl was on the board of directors for the Idaho Panhandle Bank. The local lore is that this bank was established a few years ago to launder drug money.
Lets not forget that "In 1994 the Idaho State Bar gave Phil Robinson a public reprimand for his admitted violation of “Idaho Rule of Professional Conduct, 8.4(c), conduct involving dishonesty, deceit or misrepresentation in written statements made to the court” and this is the same prosecutor involved in this case.
Here are some contacts if you want to assist in being a thorn in the side of tyranny.
Government Agency and Media Contact List For Bonner County Idaho/McGuckin Case
Idaho Child Protective Services
During business hours, Idaho CareLine at 800-926-2588
Idaho Department of Health and Welfare
450 W. State Street,
Boise, Idaho 83720-0036
Sandpoint (local) Office (208) 265-4523 24 hour emergency numbers: 265-4523 1-888-769-1405
County Prosecutor Phil Robinson:
PH:Bonner County Courthouse at: (208) 265-1432.
Bonner County Courthouse
215 South First Ave
Sandpoint, Idaho 83864
Bonner County Sheriff: Phil Jarvis, Sheriff
Phil Jarvis, Sheriff Bonner County, Idaho (208) 263-8417
Bonner County Commissioners:
Jerry Clemens. Brian Orr. And, Retired G-Man Tom Suttemeir.
They can be reached at the following address and number:
Bonner County Commissioners
Bonner County Courthouse
215 South First Ave
Sandpoint, Idaho 83864
Contact You can write Idaho Governor Dirk Kempthorne at:
Office of the Governor
700 West Jefferson, 2nd Floor
PO Box 83720
Boise, Idaho 83720-0034
or Fax 208-334-2175
The Bonner County Daily Bee (newspaper)
P.O. Box 159
Sandpoint, Idaho 83864
208-263-9534 Fax letters to the editor to: (208)263-9091
email letters to the editor to: firstname.lastname@example.org
This is a local weekly with a section on Bonner County.
Bonner County News
Mike Weland, Editor
Published by Woodbury Reports, Inc.
PO Box 1107
Bonners Ferry ID 83805
Star Silva at email@example.com
The Idaho Observer at: (208) 255-2307
or by visiting the website at: http://www.proliberty.com/observer
The Idaho Observer
PO Box 457
Spirit Lake, Idaho 83869
Quote: “Don Harkins is the editor of The Idaho Observer, a monthy tabloid- > sized, 24-page newspaper that seeks to report the truth of events > that are shaping the socio/political, spiritual and economic demise > of our our once free nation.”
Spokane TV email:
Spokane Newspaper: http://www.spokesmanreview.com
More as I have time...
-- William in Wi (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 05, 2001.
Nancy Johnson, Sierra Times Legal Analyst said, "the evidence leads to a question of perjury by the prosecutor in open court."
Nancy Johnson believes Prosecutor perjured himself
Johnson also questions the manner in which the prosecutor testified himself. "There is clear case law on this. Prosecutors should not be their own witness at a hearing to determine probable cause to issue a warrant. By testifying as a witness as to probable cause for an arrest warrant, the prosecutor destroyed his absolute immunity because he acted as a witness, not a prosecutor. This means that if Mrs. McGuckin decides to sue him for a civil rights violation, he is no longer immune.", Johnson concluded.
OK folks, any ideas? A professional court Persecutor knows better. Who would have something on him that would force him to carry water for them?
-- William in Wi (email@example.com), June 05, 2001.