Albion Monitor /Features
 Freemen: Behind Events in Montana

Justus Township

by Devin Burghart and Robert Crawford,
Coalition for Human Dignity

"We're the new Federal Reserve"

So-called Justus Township has become a focal-point of common law court activity and militant white supremacy since Christian Identity figures LeRoy Schweitzer and Rodney Skurdal and anti-Semite Dan Peterson relocated to the Jordan ranch of Ralph Clark in September 1995 and renamed their new location.

Charged with criminal syndicalism in March of that year for a series of threats against public officials, the three had previously been holed-up in Skurdal's Roundup home. In Jordan, these leaders have established what has become a hub of common law organizing. Dug in and reportedly heavilly armed, the group exerts an influence on the national movement through a steady string of phone calls and visitors seeking the "knowledge" of Schweitzer, Skurdal and company. To date visitors from at least nine states have attended training seminars at Justus and the increasingly violent posturing of Justus leaders have inspired court activists around the country.

Christian Identity adherent LeRoy Schweitzer, a longtime tax protest leader, has become an important figure in the national movement through his common law leadership at Justus Township. A co-founder of Montana's first common law court of recent origin based in Garfield county, Schweitzer has become a leading mentor of the Christian Patriot strategy of filing bogus liens against political enemies and circulating bogus "certified bankers checks" to pay his debt. In the common law approach pioneered by Schweitzer and taught at Justus Township, activists send a "true bill," or confession sheet, to their target enemy. The so-called true bill details, in the form of a confession, the heinous deeds alleged by the sender and paves the way for the common law lien, claiming the rights to the target's assets for damage done. If the target of the true bill does not respond, he/she is proclaimed guilty and a lien is filed. Schweitzer, for instance, filed a $100 million lien in November 1994 against then treasury secretary Lloyd Benson because IRS agents "attacked the sovereign LeRoy M. Schweitzer" for tax evasion. Once the lien is filed, the "sovereign" can then write "checks" against bogus line of credit. Schweitzer has written copious checks based on an imaginary account at the Northwest Bank Anaconda-Butte N.A. which he claims holds some $1.2 billion. With this imaginary wealth, Schweitzer has even proclaimed "we're the new Federal Reserve."

"We're not hanging them yet. We don't have enough people to make the arrest, yet..."

On one level, Schweitzer's lien and check schemes are simply a variation on Christian Patriot maneuvers aimed at avoiding taxes and debt. However, the use of liens is also a means of harassing political foes and, as Schweitzer has implied in seminars at Justus Township, a prelude to violence:
We sent this little UCC 4 out to them, this confession sheet we call it, the true bill, as an agreement. And when they don't answer, it becomes a binding contract. Now we get 'em for failure of consideration, breach of covenant. That has value to it. Every time they breach a covenant with me, it's a hundred million. And if I'm feeling a little bit bad that day, I charge them a billion that day.

My liberty is worth a lot more than their hanging. So we're not hanging them yet. We don't have enough people to make the arrest, yet... So what we're doing is going after the property first. We're attaching the property. We'll get to the clean-up later.

Schweitzer has also described the use of liens as a prelude to confiscating public property. Again, in a training seminar at Justus Township, he has described how liens against public institutions would be made good:
Let's say a road grader come by here today, a county road grader. Now we go out there and we say: "Step off, walk to town, we want to take that road grater." See we got a $50 million lien on the probation state here...

That's coming, in the future. We haven't done it yet. We will. We're working in another way. First we're going to the banks, taking it from the banks, teach our people, then we will go out and specifically pick up a county pick-up , a cop car, you name it. We're gonna take it into the township. There's gonna be a sale the next day. And we'll put out a warning and say "Any public hireling that wants to mess around with this lawful writ of execution, one year solitary confinement, first offense."

Schweitzer's lien and check strategy has been used around the country. Check's bearing Schweitzer's name have shown up in Washington, Ohio and Tennessee. In addition the core of activists assembled at Justus Township have prepared some twenty-four true bills against United States officials, reporters, officers of the court, financial institutions and county employees.

At the heart of LeRoy Schweitzer's drive to oppose the actual law and institute a government of his choosing is his commitment to the racist tenets of Christian Identity. Speaking to trainees assembled at a Justus Township seminar, Schweitzer described just who could occupy the seats of justice, and just who held the title of God's "chosen people:"

This is in the family. Israel. The lost sheep. The select, the elect, the peculiar treasure, the royal priesthood, the Aryans, the battle axe. There's fifty-some names for God's people in the Bible. This is it. The King's Bench.
Keeping with the Christian Identity system of demonology, Schweitzer also described who was behind the system of law of "Babylon."
...positive law is the law of the Jew. This is positive law (pointing to law books on a shelf behind him, ed.), but it's for aliens. So we read in the book of Jude, in the Bible ...certain men have crept in unoticed amongst you. Evil and wicked men from time immemorial through their acts of licentiousness.
LeRoy Schweitzer's commitment to waging an Identity inspired war against the government is matched by that of his common law compatriot Rodney Skurdal. In September 1992 Skurdal had made a public "Declaration of War" in order to "honor my God and the Laws of the [MY] Bible," to "regain my rights to acquire private allodial property" and "to regain our Justices'Court." Skurdal made clear in the declaration that "my duty is to God and this Republic...and to "NO" other, of the "de facto"/Democracy form of government."

A document produced by Skurdal in November 1994 gives insight into the racist leader's understanding of his God and his vision for "this Republic." In the document, in which Skurdal declares himself a "Notary Public" of the "one Supreme Court in and for Musselshell County," he lays out his Christian Identity beliefs. Skurdal writes that God is not a God unto the other races, but only that of Israel, the White [sic] Race;" that Jews "were fathered by Satan" and "will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven," and that people of color are the "beasts of the field" described in Genesis.

"We are to kill all of the inhabitants of the other races"

Skurdal's bloodthirsty fantasies are displayed when he uses Leviticus 20:15-16 to argue that "If a woman approaches any beast (i.e., person of color, ed) and lies with it, you shall kill the woman and the beast; they shall be put to death..." Skurdal continues, stating that "nor are we [Adam/Israel] to make any covenants with the other races" and that "when we move into a new land, We are to kill all of the inhabitants of the other races" (emphasis in original). To bolster his call for racist murder Skurdal goes on to cite the Biblical passages used to justify the murderous doctrine of the so-called Phineas Priesthood, a Christian Identity honor bestowed upon those who commit racist, anti-Semitic and homophobic murders.

For Rodney Skurdal the means of acheiving this vision, and re-establishing "the Republic," is the common law and the common law court. Establishing common law courts, arming "militias" or "posses," threatening public officials and digging in for violent confrontation follows logically his understanding of the "right" of white people to make up their own laws: "Either We the People, 'Israel' can make up 1) our own laws and constitutions, 2) follow man made Laws pursuant to the Word of Almighty God and/or 3) disregard 1 and 2, and just follow the Word of Almighty God" (emphasis in original).

Others involved in Justus Township and close to Schweitzer and Skurdal have also made known their commitment to race hatred and anti-Semitism. Daniel Peterson, an activist in Skurdal's former Musselshell court and a Justus Township trainer, has displayed his interest in this racist "religion" as well, using material from the Canadian British-Israel Association in common law court seminars given at the Jordan ranch where Schweitzer, Skurdal and company remain holed up. At one such training in late 1995 Peterson betrayed his belief in the anti-Semitic conspiracy theories that form the backbone of the racist right. Peterson asked the seven or so assembled for the training if anyone had read the "Jewish Manifesto."

"The Protocols -- you talking about?" asked an audience member.

"Yep," Peterson affirmed, explaining that it says that "we will all be made into chattels."

Another Justus associate is Dale Jacobi, who was also a participant in Skurdal's Musselshell county court, has also signed onto Christian Identity bigotry. A document dated September 7, 1995 and signed by Jacobi and Skurdal refers to the "Preamble People/white race/Israel" and states that only white males "have a right to participate in its (government) administration."

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Excerpted from Guns & Gavels: Common Law Courts, Militias & White Supremacy
Copyright 1996, Coalition for Human Dignity

All rights reserved.
No part of this report may be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission from the publisher.

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Albion Monitor April 15, 1996 (

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