He doesn't like to call it a compound, so I won't. It does have 10 inch thick concrete walls, though. When I heard that Ed Brown was allowing visitors to his "home" in New Hampshire, I had to visit.
Ed and Elaine Brown are a pair of famous tax protestors who are evading arrest in a standoff with the feds.
I exited the highway and passed a Wal Mart. Soon the road became only one lane each way. Soon it was winding through farmland. Shortly after it became a dirt road. The RV hopped over the potholes as veered left onto their street.
All of a sudden there were no more houses. Ahead was a small gravel road heading through the woods. Left over from a few weeks ago was a red, white, and blue sign that advertised a "freedom concert". The date on it was a week prior.
I cautiously pulled into the gravel driveway. I'd read that they have a lot of guns and, by many accounts, are crazy. Would they be happy to have company? Would they be suspicious of me?
I pulled into a clearing and got a good look. To the right was a huge house with a 360 degree viewing tower at the top. Surrounding the house was a huge yard with a few RVs and tents on it. I wasn't the only one visiting.
Coming towards me was a guy about my age dressed in a t-shirt and camouflage pants. He was holding an AR-15 semi automatic rifle, the civilian version of the venerable M-16. Things were already getting interesting.
I rolled down my window.
"Hi! You can park down there."
Friendly for a guy with a gun.
I parked and got out.
"Hey, is it just you? Ed wants me to look inside the RV, if you don't mind."
"It's just me. Go for it."
I opened the back door and let him peek inside. Satisfied, I followed him to the front porch.
Seated were the Browns, a mousy hippie girl, an older sunburned guy, and a family. The family was interesting. I later found out that the father was one of George Bush Sr.'s advisers. His wife was Hispanic, and they had three kids. To give you an idea of his thoughts on the government - his kids don't have social security numbers.
Joining the circle was a little bit awkward. Conversation stopped and they all looked at me.
"Hi. I'm Tynan."
They weren't impressed.
"Uhh... I drove here from Texas to see what it's really like."
"Where in Texas?"
"Oh! You must know Alex Jones!"
It was a test, and I was failing badly.
"No, I don't know who that is."
"Are you part of the freedom movement? He's on the radio down there in Austin."
"No, I'm not."
Things weren't off to a good start. I wasn't one of them and they knew it.
I sat down and felt a bit like an outcast. Ed Brown shifted his attention to his pocket. He pulled out a bullet.
"Now kids, what is this one?"
One of the kids replied with a knowing smile on his face.
Ed beamed with pride. "That's right. What's this one?"
Carl, the sunburned guy next to me, leaned over to me.
"Smart kids, all of them."
He pulled the last bullet out of his pocket.
"How about this one?"
"Wow! That's a big one!"
The three kids were awed. It was a big bullet - it was a 50 caliber anti tank round.
"Do you have any guns for that?"
Ed chuckled, "Yep. Two of them."
When Ed spoke, it was always in a confident and matter of fact tone. His people gave him their full attention and marveled in every word. He'd sometimes betray a satisfied grin. It's fun being in charge.
Carl looked over at me and said, "So. What's your position on 9/11?"
"No. Like what do you think about it?"
"I don't, really. It was six years ago and the number of deaths are totally insignificant."
I wasn't trying to frustrate him, but I didn't understand what he meant.
"No. Do you think terrorists did it?"
"I don't know the first thing about it. Probably."
For the next half hour my attention was begrudgingly consumed by Carl. He explained in excruciating detail how the whole thing was a government plot. It became clear to me that if anyone was crazy here, it was him.
"You should have come here yesterday," interjected Jason, the young guy with the AR-15, "we were attacked. There were shots fired in the woods and they were banging on the RVs."
Part of me wished I was there. It sounded exciting.
They asked me about the RV, and approved of my alternate lifestyle. Maybe we weren't so different. Carl had an RV too, a busted up Winnebago from the 70s that was parked on the far side of the lawn.
When I told them about Life Nomadic, it struck a nerve with Carl.
"You need to stockpile!"
I explained that I wanted less stuff, but he explained that the world economy was going to collapse soon and that I would definitely not survive. He would. He had enough toilet paper.
Ed joined the conversation. The kids had left, so he addressed me for the first time since I got there.
"Toiled paper," he mused, "Toilet paper will be like gold if something like that happens. The women will demand it. I stockpile the 260 sheet rolls. One eighty isn't enough, and they cost the same amount. Where are you going on your trip?"
I got as far as Japan, the second stop.
He drifted off as if recalling a fond memory.
"Osaka..." he continued, "I've never been there, but I'd like to go. I don't know why. It just sounds nice."
He smiled, "I can almost smell the air."
It was sad, in a way. He probably wouldn't ever leave the property alive. He'd been there for six months and the US Marshals and New Hampshire police dropped by frequently. He frequently told us that this would end in violence. It was the only way, he said.
"Let them shoot me. Let them shoot my wife. For each of us, five of them will die. I'll take that exchange any day, gentlemen."
He always called people gentlemen.
"I have a wish list with 50 people on it. It's already out there. If they take me out, they go too. Not their families. They'll come after my family, but I don't do that. It's not right."
Out of nowhere a newcomer added a comment, "This is probably the free-est place in the world right now! Don't you think?"
Ed rolled his eyes slightly and looked deflated.
We went inside for a quick tour. It was a beautiful house that wasn't quite finished. Tile floors ended and plywood continued. The kitchen had huge granite countertops. We made our way into the garage. My interest piqued when I saw his batteries. Connected to the wind turbines and six solar panels were 24 huge batteries. I can last a day on my RV battery, and each of his batteries was at least 3 times the size.
Their home is completely self sufficient, with enough power to run the fridge, lights, and even laundry machines. Water is pumped from a well and sewage goes into a septic tank.
"They told me, 'see how you like it when we cut your power!'" Ed snorted, "I like it just fine! I don't need their power anyway."
He didn't. In fact, I was offered food half a dozen times at least. There was no shortage of that either.
We sat out on the porch for a few hours. Once we got up to test out a homemade M-80. It was successful. Then Jason tried a bomb that he made from chlorine and alcohol. It seemed like a failure until we'd all given up and it exploded and shot chlorine everywhere.
Another time an impromptu meat fight started between Jason and Ed. Jason tried to serve Ed a sausage that had been outside for 24 hours. Ed took a bite and threw it at Jason. Jason threw a huge T Bone steak at him.
It's easy and fun to make Ed look like he's crazy, but he's not.
What I don't write about are the hours of talking that took place in between the exciting or strange moments. Ed's against the income tax, but that's not what he's about. Like pretty much everyone on the internet, Ed is sick and tired of the government absorbing our freedoms and operating corruptly.
The difference is that unlike everyone on the internet, Ed Brown is standing up for himself. The tax issue was just the straw that broke the camel's back. He got sick of being pushed around by the government and decided to fight back.
Soon it was getting dark. I'd been there for almost four hours and still had to drive down to Boston.
"Hey man, do you want to stay here and help us?"
It was Jason, the guy with the gun.
Tempting. My ordinary life is defined by whim and pleasure. If I fail to do something, it's not a big deal. These guys are on a mission fighting for survival. They weren't making chlorine bombs to play a prank, they were making them because they will be at war some day in the forseeable future.
"No, I have to go."
It wasn't my battle to fight.
the 'wishlist' sounds completely unreal. i can't believe people do that outside of action movies and mean it. just insane.
Good reporting on the Browns. When you're ready to learn a bit more, check out Terror Storm by Alex Jones on Youtube - it will fill in a lot of the 'blanks'
I'm really glad you went to visit the Browns. As much as I admire them for standing up -- at great personal cost -- for what they believe, I don't think that the only two points on the spectrum are "making the ultimate sacrifice" and "cowardice". Contribute by recruiting your fellow Americans to the cause of returning liberty to the people, and retaking control of our government servant run amok. Armed revolution will do the job, but it's not the only way.
Bottom line is you want people like Ed,Jason and insane Carl to defend your freedom because you are a coward at heart. You express your opinons but refuse to fight for the right to do so. Your self denial will not protect you.
Holy crap. That is awesome.
I think it's awesome that they are standing up for their beliefs. I'm sure I'd agree with a lot of what they think except for maybe some of the conspiracies.
I'm surprised you didn't know about Alex Jones.
About a week ago I woke up and got out of the RV, which I've had parked on the same street for the better part of the last five months. To my surprise there was ANOTHER RV in front of mine. It was a lot older, but about the same size.
I went to lunch, and as I returned I saw a man getting into the RV.
"Hi! Welcome to the neighborhood," I said jokingly.
So, it has been forever since I have last been on here, and honestly a lot has happened since then! Last time I wrote my life was pretty boring, lately it's gotten pretty interesting! That "Brayden" dude, remember him? The stupid one, that broke my heart, yada yada yada. Well he decided to be a really really big asshole dick, and say things to my best friend like "Why don't you go cut again." Yes, my best friend used to cut. Like oh my goodness he is stupid! Like you do not just say that to someone, especially if they used to cut! So, I texted him, knowing that I had to stick up for my best friend. And he decided to be stupid and say "You just keep finding ways to message me don't you? Obsessed as fuck" I wasn't messaging him because I'm obsessed with him, because to be honest I hate him for ruining my life like that, I hate him for making me hurt that much. So I explained to him, that any good friend would stick up for their friend, and I called him "messed" because he is. And he then said "How am I messed? I didn't even cheat on you" He kept bringing our old relationship into it, and it made me so angry. Then he tried to apologize kinda, like no you can't do that. He said he was only acting rude and full of himself because he wanted me to hate him, because he was so fucking sorry for what he did to me, and he didn't even know how to apologize for a fuck up like that. I told him it didn't help at all, so he said "you must have known I was sorry. Did you? You didn't deserve it, you did nothing wrong." Then, I explained that I never knew he was sorry, I thought he wanted to hurt me, and a million other things. So he said he was sorry, and it was his fault, and he didn't enjoy hurting me. I said "I know its your fault, and I now know that I deserve better, I deserve someone who loves me for exactly who i am, someone who isn't gonna hurt me, and looks at me like I am their whole world. So goodbye Brayden Alexander Cochrane, have a good life." He wasn't supposed to reply to that message, that was supposed to be my last word to him, but instead he replied and said "It's funny because that was me, I was that guy. I put you before everyone. You were my world but I was weak and let someone get between us. But guess what? That was the best thing I've ever done. Being weak at that moment in my life, was perfect because I met the perfect girl, and I love her more than I ever loved you." He knew, he knew that would hurt me, but I didn't let him see that. I know I don't love him anymore, but what he did, to think about it, still hurts me, a lot. Because he's that one guy that every girl has, that they will never fully get over, and always remember. Instead of showing him that hurt me I replied with this "Good, you're perfect for each other, you're both the same. If you two get married you can tell your kids how you met. That you started flirting and talking to her when you had a girlfriend. You were never that guy, because if you put me before everyone, then you never would have been talking to her, you would have been loyal, but no, you weren't. You do NOT get the last word, I do. And you know what those words are? Fuck you." Then I proceeded to block his number. So yeah that happened. Then, a few weeks later, I got married to this guy Josh on facebook as a joke thing, and we flirted. So I went to an MVD (Music Video Dance) with my best friend, and Josh was there. He asked me to dance on a slow song, so I said yes. Then at the end of the night he kissed me. Oh and he also came up and put a bracelet on my wrist, which I still have, cause I keep everything from exes. The next day, Ruby (My best friend) and I were at the mall, and Shannon was there. I will fill you in on who Shannon is. Shannon has been in my life for almost 2 years, we dated about a year and a half ago, and then a few times more after that. I love Shannon, I can't lose him,he is one of my best friends. I cry at the thought of it. For a year and a half he has been telling me he is in love with me, I love him, but for some reason I can't date him. I talk to him everyday, and everytime I get a boyfriend, it hurts him, but he refuses to leave. So we were hanging out with him at the mall, and he kissed me twice. That's two different guys in two days! I felt terrible! Ruby told me, that I needed to hang out with Josh more before could make a decision. But truth be told, I don't want to lose either of them, they are both my friends. So the weekend after that, I was at the mall again with Ruby, Morgan, Shannon, and some other friends. Josh and Shannon both like me. Josh told me he wasn't gonna come, and I felt relieved. Then I saw him walking with Ruby's boyfriend. Let's just say I literally got under the table, but he saw Ruby and made his way over to me, and took me out from under the table. Shannon threw his phone at the table when Josh came,.and walked away to the bathroom. I felt terrible, I knew Shannon felt hurt seeing Josh sitting beside me, and it didn't help that he kept side hugging me and kissing my cheek. I went outside with Shannon, to wait for his dad, and Shannon kissed me again, which made me even more confused. When Shannon left, i went back in, and Josh was saying he wanted to beat up Shannon, because he could tell by the way that Shannon looks at me, that he loves me. So basically my life right now, I don't exactly know what's happening or what to do.