It is not only at “Patriot” demonstrations – right-wing websites are similarly running wild with rumors and conspiracy theories. It has become starkly clear: LaVoy Finicum is the latest in a long line of right-wing martyrs.He cites several incidents which the violent right took as martyrdom and warns:
That outcome, no doubt, was exactly what the FBI was hoping to circumscribe when, two days after the shooting, they released video of the shooting and the circumstances leading up to it, as well as afterward. They knew all too well, of course, that already a panoply of conspiracy theories and wild speculation – all of it pointing the finger at federal authorities as out-of-control bullies – were brewing.
But if they were hoping to nip the speculation in the bud, they should have known better. The “Patriot” movement would never let a good martyr go to waste. And there has seemingly never been a circumstance yet to which they cannot apply some kind of wildly speculative conspiracy theory.
These martyrdoms all had rippling effects, often into each other. Kahl’s death inspired Mathews to engage in his rampage. The Weavers’ tragic fate came about largely because federal authorities were determined to crack down hard on the activities out the Hayden Lake compound of the Aryan Nations in northern Idaho.
And the deaths of Vicki Weaver and the Branch Davidians became a battle cry for “Patriot”/militia movement followers then: “Ruby Ridge and Waco” even today is synonymous with “outrageous overreach by federal law enforcement,” even in the mainstream. So it was not at all a surprise to see it referenced in Oregon by the leader of one of the main regional “Patriot” groups defending the occupiers.
“We’ve got a third one. There was Ruby Ridge and Waco, now there is Burns,” B.J. Soper, leader of the Pacific Patriots Network, told Raw Story.
According to Aho, there is always a price to this martyrdom, as it comes to embody the ritual and “reification” process – that is, the squaring of accounts, the dispensation of justice – in the minds of the True Believers. That amounts to a kind of expiation in the form of retributive violence, the kind that was unleashed on the federal Murrah Building in Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995, by Tim McVeigh and his “Patriot” compadres.