British Israelism was at the center of one of the greatest standoff tragedies in the history of the United States.
There are those who think British Israelism is an odd but harmless belief.
The events of Ruby Ridge suggest otherwise:
Sometimes things go terribly wrong.
Randy Weaver believed in British Israelism.
The problem with British Israelism is that it lends itself to racism and people who espouse it can get into trouble for no particularly good reason except they want to be left alone.
The story of how things unfolded at Ruby Ridge, Idaho in 1992 isn’t always clear. This is our best take on it.
Randy Weaver was a former United States Army Combat Engineer who moved to the remote mountaintop Ruby Ridge to live in a cabin that he and his wife built themselves with no electricity and no running water.
He had grown up in a deeply religious family and accepted Jesus into his life at the age of 11. He met his wife Vicki who had also grown up with strict religious views. He married her after leaving the Army where he had become a Green Beret.
Their paranoia about the government was intensified by their intense deep religious commitment.
Randy Weaver had never been a part of Aryan Nations but was a separatist. He and his wife had quite the collection of firearms. In 1989, undercover Feds purchased two sawed-off shotguns from him in hopes that he could be an informant within the Aryan Nations, but he refused to cooperate and instead he was indicted on two felony counts of making and storing illegal weapons. He didn’t show up for trial and the Feds watched.
Finally, in 1992, his 14 year old son Samuel engaged in a gun battle with Federal Marshals and was killed. After that, the tragic events of Ruby Ridge unfolded and more family members died, including his wife. The trial revealed that it was ATF entrapment and eventually the government paid Randy Weaver and his family $3.1 million in damages.
Randy Weaver visited the Waco Branch Dividian site in 2000.
Timothy McVeigh cited the Ruby Ridge incident as a factor in the Oklahoma City bombing of 1995.
Often, there is a sequence of events which fall like dominos. No one can specifically say that British Israelism is directly responsible for either what happened at Ruby Ridge or the Oklahoma City bombing, but British Israelism is by its very nature racist and we should all wonder if these tragic events would have happened without it. We say they would.
There are those who declare that even if British Israelism is wrong, it just a harmless if ridiculous odd belief. The history of British Israelism, though, is replete with crazy nuts doing violence in one way or another — for example, Denis Michael Rohan, a member of the WCG who set fire to the Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. The trouble is that British Israelism is a lie and to embrace it as a belief is to risk mental instability and become a kook — as is the topic of Chapter 3 of this book in which Herbert Armstrong was specifically mentioned:
Herbert Armstrong was a kook who helped lay the foundation of the tragedy of Ruby Ridge because of his promotion of British Israelism.
British Israelism as a lie is the province of the mentally unstable.
There’s nothing like a tragedy rooted in British Israelism aggravated by the government.