British Israelism was at the center of one of the greatest standoff tragedies in the history of the United States.

There are those who think British Israelism is an odd but harmless belief.

The events of Ruby Ridge suggest otherwise:

Randy Weaver
Randy Weaver

Sometimes things go terribly wrong.

Randy Weaver believed in British Israelism.

The problem with British Israelism is that it lends itself to racism and people who espouse it can get into trouble for no particularly good reason except they want to be left alone.

The story of how things unfolded at Ruby Ridge, Idaho in 1992 isn’t always clear. This is our best take on it.

Randy Weaver was a former United States Army Combat Engineer who moved to the remote mountaintop Ruby Ridge to live in a cabin that he and his wife built themselves with no electricity and no running water.

He had grown up in a deeply religious family and accepted Jesus into his life at the age of 11. He met his wife Vicki who had also grown up with strict religious views. He married her after leaving the Army where he had become a Green Beret.

Their paranoia about the government was intensified by their intense deep religious commitment.

Randy Weaver had never been a part of Aryan Nations but was a separatist. He and his wife had quite the collection of firearms. In 1989, undercover Feds purchased two sawed-off shotguns from him in hopes that he could be an informant within the Aryan Nations, but he refused to cooperate and instead he was indicted on two felony counts of making and storing illegal weapons. He didn’t show up for trial and the Feds watched.

Finally, in 1992, his 14 year old son Samuel engaged in a gun battle with Federal Marshals and was killed. After that, the tragic events of Ruby Ridge unfolded and more family members died, including his wife. The trial revealed that it was ATF entrapment and eventually the government paid Randy Weaver and his family $3.1 million in damages.

Randy Weaver visited the Waco Branch Dividian site in 2000.

Timothy McVeigh cited the Ruby Ridge incident as a factor in the Oklahoma City bombing of 1995.

Often, there is a sequence of events which fall like dominos. No one can specifically say that British Israelism is directly responsible for either what happened at Ruby Ridge or the Oklahoma City bombing, but British Israelism is by its very nature racist and we should all wonder if these tragic events would have happened without it. We say they would.

There are those who declare that even if British Israelism is wrong, it just a harmless if ridiculous odd belief. The history of British Israelism, though, is replete with crazy nuts doing violence in one way or another — for example, Denis Michael Rohan, a member of the WCG who set fire to the Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. The trouble is that British Israelism is a lie and to embrace it as a belief is to risk mental instability and become a kook — as is the topic of Chapter 3 of this book in which Herbert Armstrong was specifically mentioned:

Kooks: A Guide to the Outer Limits of Human Belief
Kooks: A Guide to the Outer Limits of Human Belief

Herbert Armstrong was a kook who helped lay the foundation of the tragedy of Ruby Ridge because of his promotion of British Israelism.

British Israelism as a lie is the province of the mentally unstable.

Kooks Back Cover
Kooks Back Cover

There’s nothing like a tragedy rooted in British Israelism aggravated by the government.

8 Replies to “tragedy”

  1. I recall this. Back in the day when this happened I was a acog member. I thought it was persecution. It was not.

    HWA’s doctrine of BI along with promotion of BI by the Aryan Nation/KKK contributed to these needless deaths. Also the heavy hand of Janet Reno, a lieutenant of president Bill Clinton, who thru sheer incompetence also managed to invoke the public’s anger against the USA government that still stands today.

    With the latest standoff in Oregon that resulted in the death of Bob Finicum, it seems incompetence is a hallmark trait of the Amerikan government. This trait is also shared by the acog’s who never seem to learn that pushing the lie of BI is a morally bankrupt decision, and one that may lead to violence and the death of their fellow human beings.

    Being a target for ones belief system is not the issue here. It is the deception of the membership that can get them killed. I say drop the BI you armstrongist and promote the teachings of Jesus who you claim is your savior.

    But you won’t. You desire a following and all wealth that being a tithe farmer can bring. You are animals who stoop to the lowest level. You are dirt because you know you promote lies.

    1. There are some people who so firmly believe in their assumptions that they are willing to be martyrs. And they come from all walks of life. Have you seen the video of LaVoy Finicum? I did. You can assign so much more intent and circumstantial evidence when you slow it down frame by frame. I had convinced myself that it was an execution. But when you watch it at normal speed all those nefarious assumptions can’t fit into those 5 seconds. Besides, at the end of the video, it shows that he was armed. What is also damaging to the Finicum’s belief that he was executed, is that the other armed male in the vehicle said that he had wanted to be a martyr. Maybe that is why he ran to distance himself from the vehicle which contained some of his family.

      While he was obviously unbalanced in the snow, was he crossdrawing his pistol or was he turning around because he heard something behind him?

      1. I shall wait and see what the final analysis brings forth. Yes, video does not lie and I see the circumstances in another way. Could I be wrong? Yes, of course.

        1. If you want to bypass Youtube’s age restriction without signing in.
          What I saw several months ago is the 38min+ drone video. I left it behind me because of my error of deducing frame-by-frame analysis and all that. What confused me several months ago, is why did they let him go at the previous stop? The government could have told Finicum the road was blocked and that they needed to detain him, now. Could the roadblock been more of an ambush? New videos have emerged, to me at least. Another WACO? Mobile network unavailable? Shots were fired as they approached the roadblock and it still shows that Finincum chose to avoid hitting a government agent at the roadblock. Shots were fired into the vehicle BEFORE Finincum even got out and after he emerged from the vehicle with his hands up. I still can’t tell if he was cross-drawing or just turning around to see what was coming up from behind him, when he received the fatal shot.

          Despite justification of lethal force, there were big mistakes made by our government. Because Finicum got what he wanted which is martyrdom.

          1. I hope Finicum didn’t want martyrdom. The last thing needed is a political fanatic which is the same class as a religious fanatic. If there is to be change it must be done through the political system. The main reason is, a guerilla war against a government (pick one) only has around a 47% chance of success. Or so I have read somewhere. As long as the police protect the elites, the military the leaders, the problems continue. How long before these asshats see that they suppress themselves and their own families when they protect these scum from harm?

            Anyway, every movement has fanatics and level headed people. I didn’t allow the wcg to change me into a complete asshole. So many things they taught showed me the group wasn’t rational. It took less than a decade before I voted with my feet.

          2. “The last thing needed is a political fanatic which is the same class as a religious fanatic.”

            So true.
            We need more people to be rational, and not irrational, to get things to work. People who can and will pay attention to what is going on around them and who are not obsessed with only their assumptions.

            One more thing though about the Finicum debacle, here is a video that some claim was aired within 42hours after Finicum’s death. From what I discovered though, it was made and aired a few weeks prior. Either way, our mainstream news media has devolved into The Daily Show and carefully planned propaganda.

  2. Strictly speaking, Denis Rohan was not a WCG member when he committed arson, and as far as I know, never did become a (baptized) member. As I wrote some time ago, at Painful Truth and/or Silenced, I encountered Rohan about 10 years after the event. He wanted to attend services, and it was apparently GTA who gave the HQ okay. And you’re aware of the rest, and how he died in a mental institution. Once again, a little knowledge of Armstrongism can be a dangerous thing.

    It was after the torching of the mosque that HWA downplayed the building of the Third Temple. Despite what at least COG leader wrote, HWA did teach that the Temple was needed. In fact, following the Six-Day War, HWA had to remind the Jews that “Time is short!” as the Temple had to be completed by 1972.

  3. Another BI story, but nothing as tragic as the one posted.

    Groups of single WCG men sometimes leased houses and rented rooms to others to cut costs and pool resources. An elderly couple, who had some vague connection to the WCG was offered one of the spare rooms in one group’s house. I remember being asked to help the couple move.
    The old man appeared to be a BI enthusiast. He had a number of books that pre-dated HWA’s work, probably including a copy of JH Allen. I remember one of our group, our local “BI expert”, flicked through one of the books, looked at a map of Europe with supposed migration routes of different nations from the Middle East. He pointed to some obscure curved line and mutter, “That’s wrong.”
    On another occasion, the same fellow nearly came to blows with the old man over a speculative BI-related prophetic remark he made. The old man backed off with an exasperated, “What did I say that would get someone so upset?” Just an observation, but our young BI expert had the same education level as HWA, with the exception that he did try several times to complete the GED.
    Anyway, the elderly couple fit into the home with the other men until one day something obviously happened. The young man who offered the couple the room came to see us with an eviction notice. He wanted us to sign some petition so he could get the couple out. We indignantly refused to condone such an “unchristian act” by a church member. The young man then went to the local WCG minister, who we heard said the old couple weren’t WCG members, so go ahead, kick them out. I don’t know if he the minister signed the petition for him.
    Was this action prompted by a disagreement over BI? Maybe, or just the way some WCG members deal with people…

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