Entrance to the Freemen
is either hereditary or through apprenticeship.
During the Freemen
siege, for example, group members repeatedly refused to recognize any government authority, thereby necessitating the use of TPIs to open the dialogue and later to facilitate a reasonable settlement.
Clark bought the land at auction last fall, but Freemen
- some of them his relatives - ordered him to stay off.
As two vans and one sedan carrying the Freemen
left the compound, an FBI agent in a vehicle that followed leaned out his window and waved an American flag - a gesture of triumph that the longest armed siege in modern U.
gathered Wednesday night in their main building, FBI agents in flak jackets took down a tentlike shelter near the entrance to the compound, where weeks of open-air negotiations have taken place.
The arrest of Schweitzer and another Freemen
leader more than two months ago sparked the 79-day standoff.
Until the last 24 hours, negotiations had been stalled for two weeks between federal agents and the Freemen
, some of whom are wanted on charges of circulating millions of dollars in bogus checks and threatening to kidnap and kill a federal judge.
A source familiar with the FBI strategy said the highly publicized arrival of the armored vehicles and helicopter was not a sign that authorities plan to move on the Freemen
The negotiators have their own strategy for contacting the Freemen
and don't want this kind of disruption,'' said a senior federal official in Washington, speaking on condition of anonymity.
are using the Constitution as a facade to prevent their incarceration for illegal activity.
Until Sunday, negotiations on behalf of the Freemen
had been handled by four men considered to be leaders of the estimated 20 people who have been holed up on the compound for nearly two months.
Montana's assistant attorney general, confirmed that the Freemen
had rejected an offer of leniency on state charges in return for their surrender to federal authorities.