Richard was getting into a form of anarchism, and writing on Facebook in 2010 about how horrible cops are, that we should get rid of the police and defend our own families, weird stuff like that.  He wanted us to get rid of various government-run and necessary programs, including public schools and fire departments.

He thought the government was going to force everyone to take the swine flu vaccine in 2009/2010 (which it never did), and he told me he would refuse.

He said that even if his second daughter died from swine flu, he would be sad, but he would resist the government’s intrusion.

(You’d let your own child die to make a political point???!!!)

Chris also posted about the dangers of the vaccine, but my family took it, and we all did fine.

On or before May 5, 2010, Richard made a strange post on Facebook asking do we really need the police?

I wrote–baffled that he would even say such a thing, since a police force is absolutely necessary to keep law and order and investigate crimes–

“Some bad seeds don’t negate the need for a police force to protect the public. That just flies in the face of all reason.”

Jeff and I both got into an argument with him on the wacky stuff he wrote about not needing the police to protect us, investigate crimes, etc.

Richard later claimed that he enjoyed the discussion, rather than being upset about it.  But I was miffed that he wrote in reply to my post,

Reason dictates that we should have the right to protect and defend ourselves.

When the Police require us to have them do it for us, that throws reason out the door and thus requires us to be subject to their inquiry, searches and seizures, their questioning and their actions upon our liberty all in the name of what you would suggest is “reason”.

You see it as the Police protecting you from the criminals.

I see it as the Police are the criminals I need to be protected from.

Ever been pulled over for no reason, your car searched and you are handcuffed in the back of the squad car, all done without the police answering your question of “what am I being pulled over for?”  Ever have that happen to you often enough to make you feel a bit threatened by the Police, especially when they never give you an answer.

How about having them step into your home unannounced and then start asking questions when all you did was wake up on the couch and see an officer there, and you door was locked, and the questions they are asking is about how many kids live there with you.  Experience this, and get back to me.

I wrote to Jeff,

Apparently now my opinion isn’t valid because I haven’t been abused by the police…..I guess having a desire to be safe and a desire for the well-being of my family (and having common sense) doesn’t give me a right to an opinion…..

And Richard said in our real-life conversation at the park a few days later (which would be May 8 or 9, 2010), that (if I recall correctly) he had been arrested more than 100 times.

Er–What?  To both claims–that my opinion was worth nothing because I’d never been abused by police, and that he’d been arrested 100+ times?

For what?  What the heck was he doing to get arrested 100+ times???

He couldn’t claim racial profiling, because he looks like any white guy, and his court records call him “Caucasian.”

If he were black, I would be far more sympathetic.

He is half-white; if his appearance made his other heritage obvious, I would be far more sympathetic.

But he looks like any other white guy.  His hair looks Caucasian; his clothes are not at all “ethnic”; if you don’t know his other heritage, his features look Caucasian.  Nothing about his appearance explains why he’d get pulled over–except maybe if he did something wrong.

When Jeff wrote,

Logic dictates that law enforcement be handled by capable people, and not left to just anyone.

I have had about a dozen encounters with law enforcement professionals from a variety of counties throughout this state, and I have been pulled over multiple times without knowing why.

While circumstances and dispositions varied, I have found police to be professionals doing a job, and when I offer co-operation I find that all my questions are answered in due time.

Richard replied,

I do not find that logical at all. It is illogical to give over our freedoms to a state controlled mafia, whom we neither appoint nor vote for. If we could vote for our officers things may be different.

(State-controlled mafia?  But I thought you liked the Mafia?)

To which Jeff wrote,

If you’re suggesting that some police act in an excessive manner in one way or another – I can see that.  If you’re suggesting that the police need to be held personally accountable for their actions, I’m listening and am inclined to agree.

If you’re actually suggesting that we rid ourselves of a trained police force and instead live in a city filled with 25,000 pistol-wielding yahoos … well, that’s where I draw the line.

I wrote to Jeff on May 6, “I’ve bowed out of this conversation.  It’s just too ridiculous to keep trying to argue the point.”

Jeff wrote to me a short time later, “… and I’m going to leave him alone.  I like Richard, but he’s not a wholly rational person.  I expect something’s happened that has upset him.  Given time, he may get better.”

So much wacky stuff, actually talking about getting rid of the police force and replacing it with everybody having guns to protect their own houses with.  He talked about replacing them with the sheriff’s department, because the sheriff is elected.

But…the sheriff and police have different functions.  Though the biggest difference between the two is that police are for local cities etc., while the sheriff is for the whole county.  So–You want the sheriff’s office to handle all the police work in an entire county???  Talk about inefficiency and backups!

When I wrote that I want to be able to call 911 and get a cop here right away, like the way it is now, he said he’d be able to protect my family himself!

Does he have a siren on his car?  Does he even HAVE a reliable car, or is he, yet again, relying on us for rides?  And how in heck is he going to do that when he doesn’t even answer most of the time when we call?

Just wacky, deranged stuff that flew in the face of all reason, yet he treated Jeff and me like we were being irrational and illogical.

In retrospect, I wonder if Richard was truly becoming unhinged, due to TEA Party and anarchist friends, a chronic state of sleep apnea, taking care of four children, and dealing with a wife who yelled at him all the time and sometimes smacked or punched him….

I came across a site called http://www.copblock.org–maybe he referenced it, I forget–that said the same stuff he did.  He also got very hateful toward soldiers, and both my brothers had been soldiers, one of them even going to war!

Richard said I should cut up my credit card and pay it off (a laughable prospect until Jeff could find a better job after he lost a good-paying job in the recession) because banks were soon going to go to something like 80% interest.

LOL–wut?

That was 2009/2010; here it is 2016, and my rate is still around 10%.

Chris talked about some kind of apocalyptic economic collapse coming in 2010, and how he wanted to buy a farm and live off the land because that would be the only way to survive.

Hasn’t happened.

Well, he moved to a farm.

Richard told me in 2010 that Obama was getting a military force in place around Iran, because he wanted to start a war there. 

Wait–what?

It’s 2015–where is this war with Iran?

The very fact of Obama’s negotiations with Iran in 2015, even against the objections of Congress, proves this to be yet another unfounded rumor.

Yet Chris and Richard called dissenters “sheeple.”

From what I’ve seen on the Net, a lot of this is coming from sources such as Glenn Beck and militia organizations–hardly reliable sources.

Richard’s politics got so strange that I wondered how someone of such high intelligence as he claimed, could fall for these things.  Todd has also wondered this.

Chris was also into the birther and 9-11 conspiracy theories, against vaccines and fluoridation–

–and posted strange things about the Illuminati and New World Order and international bankers running everything and such

–things I hadn’t believed since I stopped watching Pat Robertson back in the early 90s!

(For a sane debunking of such things, see the 5-part The Origins of the Illuminati Myth and the Protocols, and the Slacktivist, who connects these things to Tim LaHaye’s “Left Behind” series, since LaHaye was a member of the fanatical John Birch Society.  Also here, here, here, here and here.  And here and here.)

Chris even began posting about Facebook persecuting users who used the board for political reasons, and joining with the CIA to keep an eye on people.

Meanwhile, Richard told me things like, when Obama started his term, “We’ve woken up in a different America than we did yesterday,” that Obama was doing shady things, the government was trying to take over our freedoms….

He posted a blog in 2009 comparing Obama to a Soviet officer based solely on a striking facial resemblance.

From what I recall, he enjoyed Photoshopped pictures that made Obama into the Joker (the Dark Knight, Heath Ledger version) or some other such horrible thing.

It was disgraceful.

Read here about the John Birch Society, its beliefs, and its connection to Fred Koch.  All these conspiracy theories are here, along with the desire to abolish the Federal Reserve–and the Koch Brothers have been shown to have connections with the current TEA party-backed governor of Wisconsin and with the TEA party itself.  (Also see here and what Koch Industries has to do with the global warming debate.)

The paranoia coming out of both Richard and Chris was insane.  All this Bircher conspiracy crap being spewed out by Richard and Chris was, to them, the “truth,” and people like me who did not believe it, were somehow deluded and (in an allusion to Neo in the movie “The Matrix”) had taken the wrong pill.

Somehow I was “sheeple” and a “socialist” who didn’t believe in or care about the freedoms Richard would die for.

Meanwhile, Richard, with all his claims of intelligence and being able to tell when a politician was lying, was taken in by all of this.

While I rejected it years ago when I woke up to Pat Robertson’s lies and stopped watching “The 700 Club.”

As I told my friend Mike in spring 2010, I knew two TEA partiers, and wanted to be able to tell people that the TEA partiers are not as wackadoodle as the media portrayed them, but sadly, I could not.

I based my opinion on the TEA party on what these two people posted on their Facebook and told me via phone and chats, NOT on the media.  Todd also saw Richard as going off the deep end, and tried to reassure me that not all Libertarians are like that.

These things were not at all what I would want in a priest, who should be far more politically neutral, and is forbidden to run for political office.

I certainly agree with this article, Religious Right Must Not Set Agenda for Orthodox Church.

And I was beginning to wonder if Richard’s interest in religion had been supplanted by his fervor for extreme right-wing politics, that apparently wanted to dismantle government and build some supposed utopia where everybody does whatever they want and has lots of guns to defend themselves with.

And I wondered if this was why he no longer called me except when he wanted something, if this was why he had cooled to me, because I did not believe his conspiracy theories.  No, I did NOT use words like “wackadoodle.”  Those words began popping into my head later on, after I saw the destruction these theories caused in our friendship.  As I usually do when interacting with people (and not diaries), I bit my tongue.

He also told me all sorts of stories about Clinton, Bush and Obama, things which because of his background he supposedly had the inside scoop on.

I believed him, of course, though when I tried to verify these things, I scoured the Net and found nothing.

On the contrary, it seemed that these things may not have happened at all.  He, of course, told me these things were being kept off the Net, and he refused to post about them himself on the Net because he didn’t want government officials showing up at his door.

So these things could have been true, or they could have been tall tales told by a narcissist, but I have no way of knowing either way.

A very telling incident, however, was when he told me, before the 2008 election, about a video with Obama which was appalling enough to change how I voted.

(Though I fixed that mistake in 2012 by voting for the right guy this time: Obama.)

He told a Wisconsin pro-choice group that he would force taxpayer abortion funding, or something like that (it was 5 years ago, so I forget).

I later checked into it, and he never actually did this; it was just stump-promising.

This video did indeed exist, but whenever somebody tells you something like this, you’ve got to see it for yourself.  But when I asked Richard for a link to this video, he got offended at me for not believing him without seeing it!  So I had to Google it.

Richard always seemed to have all sorts of stories about various organizations, even proof that the Free Masons were as shady as people think they are–proof which I never got to see, of course, but which he claimed to know through various connections and personal experience.  This, of course, made him seem even more awesome, back in 2007.

On the weekend, just a few days after our argument on Facebook about the need for police, we had that birthday party at the park, which I mentioned earlier.

I had just gotten through an illness so bad that it scared me for a time, made me afraid for my life, because I rarely got so sick.  It seemed to give me a new perspective on life, just as going through labor had done, with all of its frightening complications: I didn’t want to take crap from anyone, but fight for things to be right.

I felt sad through the whole party, staring out at the lake, feeling like I didn’t belong there, didn’t want to be there, like it was all falling apart.

I was miffed about the way Richard ripped on me during the police argument, and I thought he was angry with both Jeff and me, though he now told us he actually enjoyed the discussion.

But I felt sad, as if I felt our friendship slipping far away and I had no idea why.  Why was he being so mean to me lately?  Why did he only call when he wanted something?  Why was it so hard to get him to respond to e-mails?

Once, Tracy wanted to talk (using her words to tell me this for once).  She called me “buddy.”

I looked at her warily, because it was hardly characteristic of her to call me that.   What did she want?  Was she being sarcastic?

(As I mentioned before, though we got things sorted out a year earlier, she never really lost her snarks and general prickliness–and now she was starting to get bad again.)

Table of Contents 

1. Introduction

2. We share a house 

3. Tracy’s abuse turns on me 

4. More details about Tracy’s abuse of her husband and children 

5. My frustrations mount 

6. Sexual Harassment from some of Richard’s friends

7. Without warning or explanation, tensions build

 
8. The Incident

9. The fallout; a second chance?

10. Grief 

11. Struggle to regain normalcy

12. Musings on how Christians should treat each other

13. Conclusion 

13b. Thinking of celebrating the first anniversary

14. Updates on Richard’s Criminal Charges 

Sequel to this Story: Fighting the Darkness: Journey from Despair to Healing