So, who are the major players in the Oregon Occupation?
There seem to be three significant groups commenting and acting on the situation.
Ryan Payne, late of Bundy ranch “fame” and currently of Operation Mutual Defense seems to be the ringleader. Those who remember him from the Bundy ranch days, will recall that he was a self proclaimed Army Ranger veteran who could organize and save the day for the Bundys.
His moment in the sun came crashing down when folks did some due diligence on someone they hadn’t heard of before, and it was discovered that Mr. Payne was never an Army Ranger, never been to Ranger school, and pretty much had no background in militia activities.
Between he and his brother, they sought the limelight and when actual atrocities didn’t happen they made things up to stir up the press, such as their claims that the government was seizing weapons from folks that were coming out to the Bundy ranch to help out.
Not distracted from the bad press, Payne went on to form an organization called Operation Mutual Defense in 2014. The stated goal was to make their original group Operation Mutual Aid, more effective in response, planning, coordination and organization, in defense of life, liberty or property.
Oddly enough, they state that they “serve to coalesce resources to protect and defend citizenry requesting support.”
Mike Vanderboegh over at Sipsey Street contacted the Hammonds early on to offer support and see what they needed to assist them. The Hammonds made it clear from the beginning that they did not desire a Bundy ranch scenario. Vanderboegh acknowledged their wishes and along with other groups like the Oath Keepers, was very outspoken in the community about not turning the Hammond situation into an armed confrontation.
Vanderboegh continues in that vein, condemning the occupation and questioning their motives. Mike was one of the first in our movement to call out Ryan Payne in the early days of Bundy ranch.
Bob Wright (like some in our movement, a individual who is respected for what he actually has done, as opposed to what he talks about) has put out one of the seminal analysis’s of the two situations and published it on the Sipsey page.
Sam Kerodin has spent the years since Bundy ranch doing the same thing that he did before Bundy ranch.
Those who recall his comments on the Bundy buildup will recall that he was very much against people going out there. He was very forthright in his suggestions that this was a bad place to draw a line and that folks would probably die.
Once Bundy turned out to be a success though, he was quick to claim it as a victory.
Ryan Payne’s Operation Mutual Defense organization was strongly supported by Sam. Despite the knowledge in the III Community that Payne was a fake at best, Sam posted an endorsement of OMD in November of 2015.
Sam’s writing on the Hammond situation in the past few weeks was classic Sam. He rode the fence so incredibly well. On the one hand he was against any overt support, while supporting actions in the next post. He played folks against each other in the comments section incredibly well. Similarly to the Bundy ranch situation, he has positioned himself perfectly to take credit for what happens, no matter which way it comes out.
For those who will claim that this is a “for or against” MBV or Sam post, I’d like to share a comment from a III who enjoys almost universal respect as a solid III. Sandman (as he is known) is one of the most honorable, competent and respected IIIs on the scene. He’s not just talk. He can and does do it.
He commented in April of 2014: “… a Group called Operation Mutual Aid (OMA) The call themselves a Militia and are good at getting on TV but they are not part of OUR network…I have never had good relations with OMA. They stir shit up and put out a lot of sensationalist crap. I call BS on anything originating from them.”
And that was on Sam’s blog.
In part three, we’ll discuss some outcomes of this occupation.