Taos Land & Film Company: Where Taos Land Sales Fund Independent Films

Mark Stagg

Childhood friend of Yorie& family
TAPE #4:08
9/10 ...the first thing that went thru my head was, I was wondering what
you were up to here ...as I mentioned to you I got cuaght with the cameras
before and they were going for the sensational then...you could sit and
talk with them for twenty minutes and they'd take one clip that was ten
seconds long ...9/37... and they'd try to find the most sensationalizing
10 seconds of your conversation, irregardless of what it was and then they'd
throw it in and it may be totally out of context someplace...(MEDIA DISTORTION)
...9/49...that was the first thing that went thru my mind, find out
what was going on... find out whether this was a real documentary or somebody
that had a predetermined position on this and was just basically try to
find anything to support what they've already come up with...10/12...
11/12... well Gordon had enough views as far as anti-semitism and racial
separation ideas and stuff and all the people he was'nt necessarily involved
with, jump on the bandwagon or jump in behind him... like the Aryan Nation
and the Clan, I can't remember the names of all these groups...they all
kind of fell in behind that...
11/47 ...Gordon himself used to get papers like the Thunderbolt...wich
is like a , all I remember is it said, "Thunderbolt, the White People's
point of view" , somehint like that...I'd say is was like a neonazi
paper but a little bit calmed down from what we'd call the hardline nazis...
12/09 ... but still definately that point of view... he used to get that
kind of stuff , he talked to em and used to correspond, but I never saw
him that active in them...12/27...
13/32 ...say it one more time, you do it three times and maybe we can
splice it together and make it work...
14/00 ...Well, I guess the first time I met yoriwould have been around
4th grade, in there and at that time, he lived failry close to us and we
used to play... 14/19 ....they used to at that time , they would move down
here to Crane and in the summer go back up to the farm and in the fall come
back down here to go to school...
14/29 ...finally I guess we got to be about 11 or 12 our interests focused
, well both of us liked to hunt... started spending a lot of time together
becasue we'd take our rifles out and go hunting... spend a lot of time hunting...
about the time we were fifteen we got dirt bikes...
...15/12 ...we always did a lot of hunting...hunting, the main area
of our relationship was always hunting...
15/35 ... in the course of the time that I knew them I'd go up and stay
on the farm up there, proably about three four times, I guess the first
time that I spent some time up there... I suppose about 1974 or 75, I went
up there and spent the entire Christmas vacation up there and did a lot
of hunting up there at that time...
16/27 ... one thing that was real interesting I remember the time I was
spending the winter up there when Gordon was in prison, and I always used
to wear this surplus army clothing for hunting... it was the best clothing
for outdoors... and I was standing there on the farm and I had this old
korean war jacket and pilots cap on... I was standing out in the yard one
day and the schoolbus came by to drop Loreen offand uh, right after that
a big rumor started all over the place that the national guard had come
out and seized the farm... because somebody had seen me walk back from the
barn to the house in that old army uniform... 17/20
...things were real gossipy up there at that time, people would pick
up on things and they'd spread...
17/59...well all the time I knew em, they had a strong homelife, they
were typical midAmerican farm family, strong family connecitons, spent a
lot of time around the house... Joan always did home baking, fresh pies,
fresh bread, the family would always get together around the dinnertable
for dinner, one of those old fashioned things where everybody sat down for
dinner and they'd talk things over and sometimes a little static between
the kids, the boys teasing the girls and the girls getting mad, normal family
things, typoical midamerica farm family... they spent a lot of time...
..19/02 ...the boys, even Gordon, I've gone hunting with KGkordon before,
spent time hunting, presenve the food, eat fresh food, Joan would can food,..
19/20 ...Gordon spent a lot of time reading...he was a big book reader,
he was always going thru stacks of books ...(CUT W/DAUGHTERS TALKING ABOUT
...19/28 ... the boys, most of their intersts were typical interest...
they always liked hunting, then when they got to be 15 or 16 they got into
motocycles and into cars and hotrodding a little bit, ...basic teenage interests...
the girls , I'd see them come and go ...I dind't know what the girls were
doing... my interest was with the boys teasing em...
20/29 ... oh he ws an exellent father as far as taking good care of
his famioly, he was hard working typcial, strong disipline in the house...
he was hard on the boys, if they got out of line, he was hard on em... just
like I remember one incident, one of the boys was tinkering with a rifle
and it discharged by accidnet in the house and man, he really got on em
for that , for playing with a loaded gun in the house...21/16...
so, in some ways when people think of the guns laying around, he wasn't
like that, he'd really get down on em for guns in the house... doing anything
other than just hunting with it or what it was intended to be used for,
playing with it, no way, you dind't do that...21/36...
21/48... also, I'd say about Gordon he spent a lot of time reading and
studying, at first it was studying the constition of the US and studying
various little legal things that he'd obtained and was reading and studying
and reading a lot of history, but then it more and more off, where he was
reading a lot of ...22/15... religuois study and bible study, very heavy
into this stuff... would go thru constantly reading and marking passages,
doing this type of research...22/29...
END TAPE @04:22:29
TAPE #04:22:30
23/13 ... well do you know how Yorie got his name? well Yori was named
after a wartime friend of Gordon's, course Gordon was a top turret gunner
in a B25 during World War II... one of his very very close friend, his last
name was Yorie...this guy was a tail gunner in Gordon's B25 and he was killed
during one of their missions... and being close friends, he named his first
born son with the name Yorie...24/00
24/09 ... a deceased war buddy, that's where the name come from and I
guess a long time ago Gordon had decided to name his first born after this
war buddy and he did...
24/33... I'd dssay I knew him very well, as good as anyone could outside
the family...I was treated like a second son... I guess I knew him about
as good as anyone outside the family could have known him...25/00
25/10... yep, he had that same effect on you, you hated to disappoint
him or anything...even helped me, put me to work with his sons with the
Toots mathis outfit down in Crane, when the summer come along, I'd go along
and do steaming and painting and sandblasting... go home with them and eat
with them, usually, only go home to sleep and get up and go to work with
them the next day...25/52...
we spent a lot of time together, course Gordon would sit down and talk
to me and taell me his points of view on religion and govt...and I'm sure
you heard, he believed in the states rights principal, the rights trickling
down, as far as the fed. govt. at the bottom and the local and states gotvs.
above them, of course many peopole have supported this idea... the national
govt. he felt didn't have a right to be taxing him the way it was and using
the money the way they were. And a lot of people agreed with this...26/45...
he got quite a following at one time, he started to lose em when he got
a lot of heavy religious overtones to it...which I think frightened a lot
of pepole off...26/58...
No I haven't read Bitter Harvest...
27/39... Well, as I saw it, posse comitatus was nothing really but an
organization that didn't amount to too much. People getting together going
over this stuff...gordon basically leading it, expressing these ideas, and
preaching to them on these ideas and thoeoreis and his religious points
of view. and some people agreeing with it, but that was it. it went no further
than that...28/17... there was no, it didn't take any real action it didn't
in any way try to operate within or without the system , it didn't try to
operate within the system and chaange the govt. anywhere, and try to modify
the existing system. and it didn't do anything outside of it. They dind't
do much of anything except get together and talk...28/46...that's about
it, that's the way I saw it...
29/20... let me you, first off, the posse comitatus , alot of people
they passed these things around signing people up, alot of people signed
those things, oh yea, I'll sign that , sounds good, they didn't know what
they were signing, they didn't know what it was, nothing ever went from
there, they might give you a pamphelt every now and then they didn't really
seek contriutions from these people , they didn't try to push them to be
active,... so if you looked at it in name,,,29/52...it may have been a big
organization, of the posse comitatus, but of those probably 75% of them
didn't do anything after they signed up, maybe read a couple of pamplhets
thereafter and that was it ... and then as far as what went on.. sure at
these meetins they'd get the rhetoric going, they had some great oratories
but that was it... as far as I know, it's never been against the law to
get up and do as big an oratory as you want on anybody...30/27... critizing
em or puttinf forth you point of view, it doesn't matter how radical the
sppeech is as long as it's a speech ...I never saw anythihng else come out
of it, and as far as these meetings go...30/43... (CUT IN FREEDOM OF SPEECH
QUOTES)... I attended a couple of mettings a few times with Gordon and the
boys and Joan, ,,, the meetings were always an anticlimax , cause you'd
expect to see all these people after you hear, oh so many people are enthusiastic
and all that stuff, and you'd get there and the meeting would be a kind
of ho-hum kind of thing... it reminded me a whole lot of ...31/09...
...going to an AMWAY MEETING (CUT BUFORD T.) ...or something like that,
where ther's a lot of people sitting around kind of acting like they're
fired up , but not really, down in their heart, not too interested in it...but
trying to look like they are...that's what these meetings reminded me of...31/27...
as far as this grand organization that's such a threat to the govt., I never
even saw it...31/33... (CUT W/JIM CORCORAN)... at that time I was real close
with em and I went around with em and it was never there...I think maybe
in a few people's minds, they wanted it to exist, but it didn't... 31/55
...when I say they wanted it to exist, I mean not only a few people
like Gordon who wanted to build this up, but also a few people like the
police on the other side who wanted this to exist so that they could say
there was some sort of criminal activity going on...32/09... (CUT TO SHERIFF
WEATHERBY/RALSTON/HOLIDAY/NOAH/CORCORAN)...people wanted it to be there,
but it wasn't there, it just wasn't there...
32/35 Raymond Weatherby is a good ole boy... just interested in keeping
apeacable community...
One time I was out hunting, and we got caught out there by the rancher
and hauled int to Raymond...and he just gave us our rifles back to us and
said, boys, you oughtn't to be hunting out there or at least not get cuaght
at it... I think the police had more friction with Gokrdon than Ray. Weatherby
did...33/56... I think ray. was more like, I just wishd this'd go away...
34/48... well, we had a couple of those down in Crane too, that I would
say definately suffered from the Barney Fieff Syndrome, there was a chief
of police Bill Lee. and Hal Doe... and those two definately got a lot of
friction up with Gordon and they was always looking for stuff...I remember
at times they were calling me down to the police station cause they knew
I was close with the family,... oh, did you ever see anything over there,
like machine guns, or explosives or grenades or anything, ...no, there
aren't any of those in there... they always be like, Ohhh, what a disappointment,
you know... and I always got that reaction out of them, they wanted something
to be there that wasn't there... 35/50...
36/23 ... I always wondered what the national level , people like US
Marshals, and the different investigators for the IRS and people were finding
out because I'm sure, it must have really sounded threatening if what they
were getting, if they were going by the reports coming up from the little
policemen and stuff like that, and if they were really giving credit to
this stuff, giving credence to what they said, cause it must have looked
awful cause I'm sure these people were saying, boy we've got radicals and
people trying to overthrow the govt. and renegades down here and they're
arming up and they're ready to go up and blow Washington away any minute,
I'm sure this is the stuff that was being portrayed up... 37/13... (CUT
W/RALSTON SAYING THEY SHOT THE TV SET)... so I often wondered just how these
people recieved it up above, in light of things now,... you'd have to say
they listened to it too much, they must have put too much credence to it
and really decided that this is what's going on...37/36...
38/05... never in the early years, now in the later years, I saw a potential
for it, because by tyhen I could see the friction between the police and
Gordon which had been building for several years and then in the later years
Gordon began to talk like a man who had become disappointed in the system
...38/30... more like , he spole several times like this is going to come
to open warfare, it's going to lead to shots being fired, there's no way
around it, there's no alternative, more and more of this depressing talk,
that there was no way short of it...I remember one time when I was going
to college and I mentioned well,... 38/54... I'm gong to go on to college
and get a degree and Gordon said something to me, he said, well I don't
think there's any point in that. I said, what do you mean? Well, I don't
think there's any point in going to college because things are going to
totally fall apart, this world revolution is going to take place before
you're ever going to get out of that... more or less the Armegeddon is going
to come, Revelations, cause he tied everything very closely in with the
Bible. And so he felt like that Armegeddon was going to be there before
that and you shouldn't waste your time studying because you're never going
to get anything out of it anyway , because the world's all going to collapse
before that time...
39/39... and that's when , in fact when he said that to me, that time
is when I began to see things, things are really going down hill here, and
that was in 77 when I went to college, 77 or 78 in that area, and I thought,
things are getting a gloomy point of view here that like there's no way
out of this, once you get going down that road it's hard to get back and
say well lets make the best of the situation, instead you're looking at
things going apart so this is the way it's gong to go inevitably, anyway,
so we might as well face up to it... if, we force it to come a little sooner
what's the difference cause it's gong to come anyway... 40/25...
...and that type attitude....
40/32 ... and even Yori, he got this attitude, ...at different times
when I working with him in 80 and 81, I'd mention to him, well, why don't
you see about working up in the company, moving up... course one of the
main things he had was absolutely refusing to pay his taxes or in any way
file a soc. sec. number or anyting, this was a major problem ...41/05...
but then, he'd always come back with this same thing, well there's no time
to do that anyway cause things are coming to an end here anyway , there're
going to collapse the end of the world is just around the corner, ...anyway,
so, with this type of attitude, you can see things are inevitably going
to take a turn for the worse , cause how can they go for the better when
nothing for the better is being accepted...41/28...
42/01 ... but then again on the prophosizing , Gordon prophesized a lot
about big brother, getting stronger, getting more clamps on you, you're
going to have to have a soc. sec. number to work ...whuch he saw this as
the same thing as the 666 mark that is referred to in the Bible,,,first
off you have to put things in this conotation before you can see things
as he saw them ...but on the other hand, if you look at things , the world
is greatly modernizing. with computers and everyhting, peple have much
more knowledge, it is so much more easiler to track things now, it is inevitable
that big brother is going to get more and more down into the small parts
of our lives... 43/00...
...this is the argument, so many cases are going to court, thiese days,
as to where govt. control should stop... so you can say it's a prophesy,
but on the other hand, isn't it kind of just inevitable that this is going
to be the trend of things. I mean I don't think any one of us is going
to predict that there is going to be a lot less govt. in the future... 43.24...
it's a prophesy, but it's a type of prrophesy that can't help but be
44/18... Yes and no. I'd say, Gordon, he brought it upon himself in
that , anyone that takes the course of saying that this is inevitable and
then forces himself to fit into that way of life, saying that there is no
other way of life, there is no alternatives to this because this is what
is got to happen of course he's forcing himself in that direction... but
there had to another participant, and the other participant happened to
be the law enforcement community , who decided that they were going to go
ahead and fulfill what he was pushing...
END TAPE @04:44:58
TAPE #04:45
45/28... as to the question of whether GK was paranoid,...I don't think
that Gokrdon was really paranoid ...I think he led himself this way, becaue
I think anyone who thinks a certain path is inevitable of course is limiting
himself, he has no options any more, he's forced down that road, but then
on the other hand in Gordon's case, he had to have compliance, he had to
have law enforcement supplying the other side of it... 46/12
...if they hadn't exactly as he'd said they'd respond, then it wouldn
't have happened as he prophosied it to come true.... so in a way the law
enforcement people that handled this case, brought about exactly what he
said they'd bring about, they followed basically what he said they'd do...
but I don't think this is so much as saying he prophosied as possibly we
could say the law enforcement people were awfully predictable to him...46/48...
maybe he understood the way the system was going to operate back at
47/05... oh, yes...
47/54 ... first off let me give you the family...
47/59... the family was uh very disheartened by the time the trial had
taken place...they felt like they'd been ramrodded on the trial,,,that gordon
didn't get to express his point of views, that he was convicted before he
even stepped in the courtroom...that the trial was a sham, they didn't get
to be tried by a jury of their peers... I can tell you this is how the family
felt at the time...48/36...
and I think from that point on , that's when things definately took
a turn for the worse...48/42...
as far as the families attitude towards things...I think they no longer
had faith in the system from that point on...I think also the boys, Yori
being about 16/17 and fred being 15/16 about that time, it was a very impressionable
time for them and the girls, ... but at this age, going thru this and seeing
your dad being tried, and being made out to be a petty criminal, which he
definately wasn't... 49/33...
I mean he never at anytime tried to say he was going to try and get
away with this... he told them what he was doing and what he stood for...
but to have your dad made out to be a petty criminal, this has got to have
a severe effect on the kids at that time... 49/48...
as to how I percieved what was going on...I felt like, first off, Gordon's
predictions that he was going to be ramrodded came true...of course he didn't
help anything in the matters, in that the way he went about it, whenever
they told him he couldn't do something , rather than try to find an alternative
way to do something, he just kind of gave up on things... and felt like
aha, this is the inevitable coming down on me now... the govt.s going to
give me their retribuition on all of this and I'm going to be cast off in
their prison cells... 50/48...
he just kind of took it like that then, when he saw he wasn't going
to be able to stand his ground the way he had intended to stand his ground...
the family, they would have had to take it bad at this age, and they kind
of closed up ranks , became more inwardly focused toward the family themselves
and a lot less outwardly focused towards people... 51/31 ... (CUT W/ JOAN
LEFT ALONG) ... there was a lot of resentment toward people and of course
when it came down to the line and it was these people who were supposedly
supporting them , all of a sudden , kind of just, what was going on? Oh
, I don't know about that...51/50... this kind of this, they just wanted
to disavow everytghing at that point, this left a lot of hard feelings too,
because all these people that they thought was going to give them a lot
of support were acting like they didn't know what was happening, or about
the tax movement, and everybody just started to bail out... when they saw,
uh,oh, somebodies going to go to jail over this, we better bail out fast...
...and so in the community they were living in, they didn't have much
to do with them anymore , they felt like these people let them down or were
even traitors to them...because of the way things went, which I can't say
that if I'd of been in that situation I would have felt the same way...
cause going thru all that and then have to face those results from the people...
...53/05 ...after 81 was when my contact was broken... after Gordon
got out, Gordon spent a lot of time reading the Bible and pulling out quotations
...I felt like the anti-semietic feelings got much stronger...the influence
that these pople that had been after him before , of like the white supremiist,
seemed to be getting stronger...influence with him... not that he necessarily
was such a white supremeist , but these people showed support for him and
he was turning toward the people that showed support for him...53/44...
kind of like going for the support where it was at...and he had definately
strong ideas about the separation of different races, and this type of thing
which I'd always known about, early on, ...I noticed after he got out of
prison he started looking for the support where the support was, and a lot
of times the support was from the most radical groups...they said , yea,
we'll back you up Gordon...
he got to going thru and reinterpreting the Bible accordingly,,,to fit
this area... he wasn't as talkative as he was in the earlier days... when
he did sit and talk to me it was more of preaching and lessons and this
type of stuff, and I'd sit and listen to him, because I always found him
and interesting man, he was a very smart man... and to sit and listen to
him and how he put things together and stuff was always very interesting,
even if you didn't agree with him...it was really interesting because he
was an extremely intelligent man... 55/01...
but, I could definately see the influencse of prison and such on him
and his ideas were how can I say, I guess, more, Doomsday type of view,
more hopeless, more lost, once he got out, everythiing focuesed singly on
this, there was very little talk anymore about hunting or farming and then
we'd talk about this stuff too... but all that kind of faded out, no more
talk about hunting or WWII or farming or little day to day stuff... things
just focused on these great events and how everything was coming to an end
and time was running out and the crisis at hand and so yeah, there was a
lot of difference after he got out of prison , in the way that, just the
general attitude of the man, the simple day to day life things just dissappeared...56/27...
and then I didn't know him from 81 on... from when things really started
to get serious ...but just from the time period I did know him, if he stayed
along the same road that he had been going I'm sure he must have gotten
to a point, where he was totally consumed by these ideas...
57/10... yeah, he sure did, we talked a lot about things...where he
flew, ...so many stories.. I couldn't recite em all... I remember him telling
me a lot of stories... 57/38... I remember him telling me one time when
he shot down a US B51 and he felt real bad about it... they'd been flying
in formation and this was over the Pacific, and they came out of a cloud
formation ... and their flight of bombers came out and some Japanese fighters
came out at the same time and some American fighters came out up above...
from up above it looked like a bunch of Japanese fighters escorting these
bombers... all this happened faster than I can tell it.. anyway, the P51s
dove down, coming down, on the formation, the Jamapnese fighters broke off
to run, the american fighters that were coming down saw what was going on
as they started firing and the leader broke off ...But, one of the Mustangs
had radio problems or somehting and had a young boy in it and kept hammering
away at Gordon's plane , and Gkordon, eventually the pilot ordered him to
fire and he turned around and fired and shot one of their own airplanes
out of the air...58/39...
and he told me he could see the incinderys burning on the engine and
he hope the guy would bail out... but no chute ever came out of the plane
and he later found out it was a young boy on his first flight and he felt
pretty bad about that, but I remember that one story in particular... 58/56...
59/10 ... okay, he had a couple of purple hearts from being wounded
two times...as far as all the other medals that go on, I've read some books
that greatly exagerate the number of medals and citations he got...I saw
his army papers one time, it was so long ago... he had a good service record
and a couple of good citatinos for meritorius duty and a couple medals for
being wounded a couple times, but I wouldn't call him an exceptional, super
war hero or anything like that, he put in a very commedable service for
his country but he wasn't any Audie Murphy or anything like that...00/05
05/00/05... as I said, he let me look at his military papers one time...
I think maybe a silver star, a flying cross...
00/36... oh Gokrdon had a good sense of humor in the early days, in the
later days I never saw it... but in the early days we used to kid and joke
about a lot of things, and watch comdy shows late at night on TV and sit
and laugh about it... Gokrdon liked a good joke, he was always a good, cleancut
guy, no barroom jokes or these dirty jokes or anything like that, good clean
jokes, he had a good sense of humor... 01/11...
especially in the early days, he was a good, well rounded man, he still,
this was only a facet of his life in the early days, something he felt like
deserved time and effort and as a citizen of the US he felt like he was
committed to it and working to it, only in the later years did it turn into
an overwhelming obsession to where everything else started to fade out of
focus... 01/40...
01/47... I remember him playing the piano a few times, he was real good
on the piano, from what I understand he played by ear... he was real quick
on the keyboard, he could knock out the tunes...
2/32... he was the one in fact that answered the door when the FBI showed
up at the door after he had excaped, my roomate was oh my god the FBI is
looking for you, what did you do???
2/54... they just were tracking down anybody that had been close with
the family in the past... of course he wasn't staying at my place, they
wanted to come in and look around and they did and they asked If I knew
where he might be... he never told me his plans or anyting,,, they came
back one more time... I couldt have helped them anyway... at that point
in time I hadn't had contact with the camera...
3/55... initailly my info. was off of the TV like anybody's else's and
then later I got to look at the letters from Gordon wrote back, ...
4/28... during the trial period, very little contact...
4/56... it was after that , when Yori was already in priosn and I think
may have been after Gordon was caught up with... I did recieve some letters
during the trial... I talked to Yori a couple of times... by that time everyting
was history...
5/48... I was pretty busy in college, but I followed it as best you could
follow it thru the media's standpoint...I felt like, from what I saw, both
the media and the govt. were pretty one sided... they made these people
out to be like Bonnie & Clyde running over the country and rampaging
it.. . ...if I hadn't known them any better, from what I saw on TV I would
have thought these were people out shooting up the countryside and robbing
and pillaging and raping as they went... so I thought...6/29... they were
real biased on the coverage that they recieved at the time... I don't know
if that's the media's fault , it could have been this is what the govt.
was portraying to the media and the media was picking it up...0646... (CUT
...unfortuantely, we know that the nighttime TV news, they're looking
for the spectacular, so if it's offered to them, they're sure ready to pick
it up...06/56...
7/16... yea, I do, the incident was, the media had come by to talk with
me,... I refused to interview on camera...
END TAPE #O5:07:32
TAPE #05:07:35
7/35... Gordon's case doesn't deserve a little attention still, but maybe
it's getting blown out of proportion...as far as him being portrayed as
a great person...
8/18... no, she really didn't,... now, I get the impression as things
went downhill for Gordon when he went in prison , she felt like she owed
it to her husband to pick all this stuff up and carry it...8/35...
8/49... sure, they came out to interview me and talk to me, course I
didn't let them, interview me on camera,,, I let them go thru old pictures
of me and Yori, one of em they picked looked militant, cause it was of us
out hunting, he had a paramilitary type gun that we were out shooting...I
took the picture and he hunkered down into the stance, it was just a joke
picture at the time...9/31... he hunkered down and I snapped a picture of
him... well out of all the pictures they borrowed from me, they went thru
and they grabbed this one and they flashed it on TV and it did, it was reall
militant looking ...like a real radical guy, like somebody from the the
Simbionese Liberation Army or something...but it wasn't. it was a picture
of us out hunting down on the pecos river... it was definately taken out
of context... 10/14...
(CUT W/MEDIA SECTION) ... then the family felt like I wronged em, like
I really made him look bad, well, I never intended to ... and these were
hunting pictures...nothing more... and they took it out of context and made
it look militant, the family got mad because I made him look militant, and
I got caught in the middle , and I wasn't doing nothing, but giving peple
what I thought was harmless hunting photographs...all of a sudden everybody
doesn't like me and I'm just caught in the middle and that's happened a
lot in this situation... that's happened a lot...11/00 ... this was the
only timew over media.... a lot of times over the years with the Kahls you
got caught in the middle on something, when if you didn't necessarily agree,
you were against em... which wasn't the case, ...just can't go with that
point of view... 11/23...
cause there were a lot of things that they said that I agreed with,
that taxes were out of hand... I don't agree with militant action...should
be taken... I,.. by rule of reason you ought to operate by some type of
system, otherwise you have anarchy...I guess that's the main reason we drew
apart in the end...11/54... when they were working in the early days in
the system or trying and it seemed like a reasonable thing to do...something
that somebody ought to do... when it got out of hand, that's when it kind
of became something hard to support anymore, but on the other hand the govt.
didn't help anything, because they tried to make people look really radical
too , so that people wouldn't supprt them...12/29...
specifically for that reason, it's kind of like the old thing, if you
make me out to be this way, then I'm just going to be this way... and I
think a lot of that occurred...12/46...
I think not only, ...Gordon had this feeling of inevitablility, it was
inevitable that it had to go a certain way...he became more and more in
tune that way... 13/00
...the govt. pushed him more and more in a certain way, what you've
got is the govt. and Gordon, two entities, both with blinders on, rufusuing
to look at the possible side routes or alternatives that might be available,
and when you have them both going on a collision course...13/23...
and both sides started going this way , both side pushing, some strongly
and nobody wanting to look for alternatives whatsoever... 13/37...
...14/03... well as a really young man, yori was just like any other
young boy, ... his father pushed him and pursuaded him and taught him a
lot, as far as all these ideals and these philopshophies, which in the early
days, didn't set that much in... 14/36...
...but they were there, but underlying bacause he was involved with
being a young boy... as time went on Yori had a great deal of respoect for
his father , and very very close with him and I think when they starrted
coming strong for his father with the trials and all, Yori took up for his
father a lot more... it's kind of like the syndrome where you find the man
beating the wife and you step in to start help her and she starts hitting
you too... 15/07....
the same type syndrome, once they attacked his dad I think that drew
him in a lot closer to the whole thing... ...because he felt like he had
to take up for his dad and bear the family honor...15/28...
15/43... oh yeah, that was a big event...of course when your dad got
to get up and speak on TV,... then he was known everywhere so everybody
in school knew about, oh, we saw your dad on television, of course, the
reaction came all different ways, cause kids react the way their parents
did...so the kids whose parents said he was a crackpot, they came to school
and said, heh, man, what's wrong with your dad, he's a crackpot...the other
ones may come up and say, heh, I saw your oldman on televison, man he had
a lot of guts to get up and talk liike that on TV...so you get all that
feedback in school ...like ... this had a lot of effects on the fmaily,
in some ways good, get support, make em feel good about your dad... and
other ones that really hurt em, where these comments came in, they said
your dad's a real crackpot...16/58... it would all have it's effects, mainly
it would thrust them into a position, that most of us don't face, most of
us aren't brought into the highlight like that at that point in our life...to
where all of a sudden we're a center of attention for a community... and
everybody is really looking at us...that I'm sure, definatley played a part
in the way things shaped up in Yorie's life...17/31...
...Yori, more, between the two brother, ... yori was the more emotional,
fred was very stoic... he didn't respond to things... he just kind of looked
at things, that's the way they are...
18/03... oh yeah, Yori had, he was an emotional type guy, he'd go from
high points to low points and stuff like that, he had a temper on him, probably
no more than anybody elese that age, I wouldn't call it anything abnormal,
but, he had that where he could get fired up when he got mad... we were
like that at one time 18/37...
....we were the best friends, like brothers, I told him everything,
he told me everything... we did everyting together, at one time, we were
married to sisters... my first wife and yori's wife were sisters... 19/00
...real close
19/45... as far as what I saw what happended in Medina, I feel like
that Yori presented himself very miltantly at the incident when it occured,
but he didn't really ever do anything, they shot him down before he fired
any shots or he ever did anything, ...this is very typical of the way I
remember Yori, he was, he would talk really strong, very convicted in his
ways... I never saw Yori do anything very militant... I never saw Yori ever
shoot anybody, or pull a gun on anybody , or threaten anybodies life, or
heah, there's a lot of talk now and then, oh we're going to have to kill
all those guys someday ...but it was abstract talk though, there's a lot
of people that within their house or close friends go, "you know we
ought to just go and clean out kWashnton, the only way to clean out this
problem is to kill all those ppolicticans...well, that doesn't mean they're
going to go kill every politician in Washington...21/14... but they just
say that type of stuff and there's a lot of that type talk, but being close
to Yori, that's stuff I'd just sluff off as ... I just go yeah, that's probably
right, and just blow it off... Yori was not violent in that way...Yori,
I've seen him out hunting, feel bad about an animal that I've wounded and
want to hurry up and finish it off...22/00
...to put it out of it's misery or just feel bad that it was shot in
the first place... he was just a typical boy who'd make a lot of militant
statements, but I don't feel like he was that radical...now how he has changed
since prison, you put somebody in that type of environment for 5 or 10 years,
there's no telling what's going to happen with that tupe of environment,
...you take a dog that's a nice house dog and lock him up in a cage for
five years and he's probably going to be pretty mean by the time you let
him out.. 22/38...
22/45 ...probably about four years ago now, when Joan came down here...that
was the last time I had a phone conversation with Yori...it's not that I
don't want to talk to Yori, it's just that the way that he talked at that
time was so depressing... 23/16... so, not that he sounded depressed, but
so much like things were all going to hell again and the world is coming
to end... I hope I can get out before things all fall apart... I just didn't
care to carry on anymore converstations like that...I din't mind talking
to him if I was going to cheer him up ... but I didn't feel like I was doing
any of that and he was predetermined about things falling apart...he sounds
pretty much like gordon did in the later times... a lot like Gokrdon, that's
why I haven't had much contact with him in recent times... 24/10...
24/20 ... yeah, at those times he was still hopeful that his appeals
would go thru, ...but with my own knowledge of the legal system that he
was just barking up a tree, the chances were really slim... on the grounds
that he was mentioning, ...the only way to get an appeal on something like
that is you have to show the constituional rights have been violated in
the process in trial and he was still trying to argue his point of view
and that's not grounds for appeal...25/00
so, you get caught in a situaiton where you don't want to sit there
and tell them they can't do that, you don't want to burst their bubble...but
on the other hand, you know when you're talking with them, that this isn't
really realistic...25/21...
25/35... let me put it this way the Yori I knew and the Yori I grew
up with wouldn't be a threat to anybody getting out of prison, he'd run
his mouth off, but he wouldn't be a threat, ...but after being in prison
I don't know...the yori I knew, he wouldn't be a threat, he'd run his mouth
off and tell people where things are supposed to go... but I dind't think
there were supposed to be any laws against that in the US ...26/44
...voicing what he thought abou stuff...
27/38 ... I think all these things influenced it...I think they wanted
to squelch Gordon...I think they're scared to death of a tax revolt....I
think the IRS really is scared to death of that... I think they then began
manipulating the system... we're going to make little things big things...
Make him an example... whether as Gokrdon would say this was a giant conspiracy...I
don't know, I think it worked from the bottom up... these local IRS guys
saw him as this terrible terrible guy leading a tax revolt... by the time
this message got to the top it looked bad... finally by

with interviews of...
Joan Kahl
Yorie Kahl
Lynn Crooks
Toots Mathis
Dennis Fisher
John Noah
Irv Nodland
Bill Kennelly
Prof. Ed Gran
Jack McLamb
Delores Everts
Scarlet Skiftu
Herman Widicker
August Pankow
Victor Seil
Marlys Klimek
Ron Perleberg
Len Martin
Brad Kapp
Robert Holiday
Tom Lee
Ed Fitzpatrick
Gene Nail
Buford Terrell
Marlene Gaysek
Bob Ralston
Darrel Graf
Steve Schnabel
Jack Swan
Loreen Dyck
Mark Stagg
Sheriff Ray Weatherby
Jack Miller
Tracy Adams
Allison Hoffman
Jeffrey F. Jackson
production design
Jim Haddon
Peter Lloyd
film editing
Tracy Adams
Martyn Hone
Jeffrey F. Jackson
original music by
Tracy Adams
sound department
Tracy Adams
Jeffrey F. Jackson
Rex Reddick
produced by
Jeffrey F. Jackson
Angela Kaye
writing by
Jeffrey F. Jackson
directed by
Jeffrey F. Jackson
A timeline of the life of Gordon Kahl, from early childhood interests, to his marriage to Joan Kahl, his decorated military experience, his outspoken tax protest, the Medina shootout, and his unusual death in Arkansas in 1983.
VARIETY /   Indie documaker Jeffrey F. Jackson sticks it to the IRS and the Feds in "Death & Taxes," a hard-hitting reinvestigation of the 1983 Gordon Kahl case, about which questions still linger. Jackson's unfazed, investigative reporting-style approach and inventive handling of familiar material make this a controversial item for fests and progressive webs. Non-U.S. viewers will also get a charge out of its conspiracy theme. read more
CHRONICLES MAGAZINE /   Gordon Kahl was a simple farmer who became famous for not filing income tax returns. Imprisoned and hounded by IRS agents who never did prove he owed any amount of money, Kahl and his son were involved in a shootout with police. The son is still serving a prison sentence, but the father was surrounded and shot in Arkansas by police officers who mutilated and burned his body. read more
GUNS & AMMO /   A new video documentary, Death & Taxes, details a case of government murderously out of control that was briefly mentioned in the October 1994 Guns & Ammo article "The Ugly Truth About Gun Control." Death & Taxes is the story of Gordon Kahl, a North Dakota farmer and decorated World War II veteran, and his apparent death at the hands of federal agents. read more
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Death & Taxes (DVD)
First time on DVD (113 min)
Death & Taxes (VHS)
This is a limited edition collector's VHS in the original unbroken packaging. (113 min)
Death & Taxes Miniseries (DVD)
Set of 6 DVD's comprising the complete uncut footage from the documentary film project. (783 min)
Gordon Kahl: Godfather of the militia movement
Now Available!
This set of 6 DVD's comprises over 13 hours of uncut footage, including a 2+ hour prison interview with Yorie Kahl, and candid interviews with wife Joan Kahl. In this rich stockpile of research, you'll find many more threads than could reasonably be pursued in the final feature.
The Death & Taxes Miniseries DVD Set Includes...
01: Gordon Kahl Meets With Head North Dakota U.S. Marshal Bud Warren (60 min)
02: The Beginning: Gordon Kahl's military experience and views on a variety of subjects (93 min)
03: Gordon's Texas Tax Trial (90 min)
04: Medina Shootout (60 min)
05: Gordon Kahl Was...: A montage of over 25 people describing who Gordon Kahl was in their eyes. (50 min)
06: Mysterious Death In Arkansas (90 min)
07: Media Circus: Chronological portrayal of Gordon Kahl in the media (70 min)
08: Yorie Kahl Prison Interview (150 min)
09: Joan Kahl Uncut Interviews (120 min)
The connection between Gordon Kahl, Timothy McVeigh, and the Oklahoma City Bombing
A little-known fact regarding Death & Taxes is the surprising connection to Timothy McVeigh and the ATF / Oklahoma City Bombing. Here's a clip of Jackson sharing the story during a director's commentary on his film Postal Worker.
Manhunt in the Dakotas
The story of Gordon Kahl so captured the attention of mainstream America that it was turned into a highly-rated made-for-television movie titled In The Line of Duty - Manhunt In The Dakotas.

DEATH & TAXES is the story of Gordon Kahl, a North Dakota farmer who became America's "most-wanted" fugitive. How had a WWII war hero become the target of one of the largest manhunts in FBI history? Gordon Kahl U.S. Marshalls Most Wanted Fugitive
Gordon Kahl's charred and burned remains were reexamined after his exhumation. The island of unburned skin shows that Kahl's body was likely positioned against the floor at the time he was set on fire.
The badly burned remains of Gordon Kahl, with an island of skin that shows he was in a prone position at the time of the fire.
Was Kahl a racist, gun-toting fanatic? Or a victim of an IRS policy of harassing vocal tax protestors into silence to keep the rest of us intimidated? Did Bill Clinton conspire to cover-up the torture and execution of Gordon Kahl in Arkansas? Did federal agents mutilate and burn the body to cover-up the murder of the wrong man?
DEATH & TAXES follows the trail of Gordon Kahl as his body is exhumed for a new autopsy. Building on newsreel clips covering two fiery shootouts and hundreds of interviews -- with IRS agents and federal prosecutors as well as Kahl's family and supporters -- D&T explores the myths and controversies surrounding a man who dared to challenge the federal income tax system. Some revile Kahl as a cop killer. Others revere him as an American patriot. Which was he?