Montana Division of Criminal Investigation
Volume 1, Issue 4
December 1999

Good News!

The DCI was recently awarded a grant to develop an interactive web sight for Montana's Sex and Violent Offender Register. The site when complete will provide local law enforcement agencies an effective vehicle to disseminate information to the public. The offender Information listed on the web sight will conform with the legal requirements for public notification. We are also exploring options for the posting of additional information such as the conditions and restrictions imposed on offenders who are on probation or parole. Anyone wanting to assist us with the development of the web sight please contact me or Shelly McKenna a 444-3874.

For the past seven years, I have had the pleasure of serving on the Rocky Mountain Information Network (RMIN) board, the past three as chairman. Montana law enforcement, I believe has benefited greatly from many of the resources provided by RMIN including financial support of our regional training efforts. The chart below is one example of how RMIN's efforts have helped Montana. As you can see Montana has received substantially more financial resources for training than any of the other RMIN states. If you get the opportunity to thank RMIN for their support please do so. Montana's RMIN Field Coordinator Dean Mahlum has obviously served Montana well. Thanks should also go to Montana's other RMIN board member Custer County Sheriff Tony Harbaugh for his continued support of RMIN in Montana.

  Arizona    $34,739.40
  Colorado   $25,718.72
  Idaho      $33,357.00
  Montana    $61,794.12
  New Mexico $30,185.77
  Nevada     $12,886.50
  Utah       $32,171.54
  Wyoming    $37,664.77

Happy Holidays,
Mike Battista


Montana Freemen Supporters Involved in Bombing Plots

Kevin Ray Patterson, 42, and Charles Dennis Kiles, 49, were arrested on December 5, 1999 by federal agents. It was alleged that Patterson had masterminded a plan to blow up a propane facility in Sacramento, California. The facility stores 24 million gallons of propane and supplies 15% of the propane for the state of California.

A threat assessment report by the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Livermore Laboratory concluded that a successful attack on the facility "would likely result in a firestorm that could reach as far out as 14 kilometers from the site and could cause a fatality rate as high as 50 percent up to 5 miles away."

Court documents indicated that Patterson and Kiles planned to blow up the facility and wanted to bomb several other Northern California sites to help a militia overthrow the federal government. A search of the suspects' homes turned up "items associated with the making of bombs" as well as guns, ammunition and ingredients for methamphetamine.

Patterson's militia activities included joining other members

For Law Enforcement Use Only

Rainbow Family To Gather In Montana

Since 1972, the Rainbow Family of Living Light has held national and regional gatherings on National Forest System lands. The climax of the national gathering is a day of honoring Mother Earth and praying for world peace. According to the Rainbows, the first attendees were Vietnam veterans who had a difficult time reentering mainstream society because of their war experiences and people who were part of the 1960s hippie and environmental movements. Early gatherings were much smaller; an estimate from the 1986 gathering at Queen's Creek/Heart's Content near Warren, Pennsylvania was 5,000 attendees. At more recent gatherings attendance has been estimated high as 24,000 for the 5-week event.

Information has indicated that the 2000 Gathering will take place in Montana with as many as 25,000 individuals attending. Traditionally the Rainbows have picked a location on National Forest in a sparsely populated county. The Rainbows have expressed an interest in the southwestern and northwestern parts of the state. They do not announce the exact location of the Gathering until two weeks before the start. As additional information becomes available it will be forwarded to the appropriate agencies.

In the Rainbow philosophy, "everyone is a Rainbow, some just don't know it yet" and "anyone with a belly button can be a Rainbow". They are of all ages and from all parts of society. The Rainbows espouse and teach their concept of Constitutional rights. It is anti-authoritarian and conflicts with the requirement to obtain a permit for a large gathering on public lands and enforcement of federal, state and local laws. The Rainbows also call their selected national gathering site their church and resent law enforcement presence in the area.

Core Rainbow Family members state they are bound together by their common belief and desire for peace, love and respect for planet Earth and all its inhabitants. This collection of core members reflect a great deal of diversity. Some members are regularly a part of mainstream society and some still live the hippie life-style. Some are college or graduate level and educated with professional or technical skills. Some are high school dropouts who only work sporadically, and some are chronically homeless.

The Rainbow Family states they have no formal charter or organization, all Rainbows are equal and no one speaks for the entire family. Rainbow family decisions are made at council meetings which occur throughout the year at regional and national gatherings. Family issues, decisions and actions are discussed at councils with decisions made only if consensus is reached among those attending council. Even with a decision, no Rainbow will sign a written version of the decision such as a rehabilitation plan. Their decisions can change at any time through a council meeting and consensus.

In recent years, however, gathering attendees barely reflect the original founders of 27 years ago. The gatherings appear to have a much younger demographic with the majority of attendees 25 years or younger who come to "party." Some present and former gathering attendees contend the core Rainbow group has lost control of this younger crowd. There was more garbage such as foodstuffs, trash and clothing left behind at the 1999 gathering, ostensibly for the clean up crew of Rainbow Family members to address. This incident to support the lack of "pack it out" ethics in these younger attendees. There is more observable conflict as the core Rainbow group tries to influence the behaviors of these younger gathering participants. Some younger people attracted to the gatherings are juvenile runaways.

Recent gathering are also attracting more of a criminal element. Rainbows claim to love everyone, and criminals are in need of healing. As a result, there are no detrimental consequences to criminal activity outside the gartering. Although the Rainbows try to separate themselves physically and philosophically from the use of alcohol, they believe marijuana and mushrooms are healing herbs and the use of hallucinogenic drugs such as LSD, methamphetamine and others is common. The separation of alcohol users and abusers adds a dangerous and erratic presence to the gartering. Rainbow Family members are approaching law enforcement officers more frequently with complaints about "A-Camp," but seem unwilling to approach the alcohol users themselves.

Significant criminal activity, which has occurred at past gatherings, includes homicides, sexual assault, theft, stolen vehicles and the distribution and use of controlled substances. Ironically, the Rainbows attempt to self-police using a group called the Shanti Sena (peacekeepers), but they become ineffective as the gartering swells in number. The Shanti Sena has turned individuals over to authorities in past gatherings, but they selectively enforce rules and laws according to the general beliefs of the Rainbows. In 1999, two fugitives from other states were

recovered with no involvement by the Shanti Sena.

The resource impacts on National Forest lands also presents an interesting conflict within Rainbow philosophy. The Rainbows teach respect for Mother Earth and offer low impact information on their web page. However, they welcome all attendees, and resource damage grows as the numbers swell. As one Los Angeles Times reporter wrote, "Within the various camps, signs are posted regarding respect for the streams, forest and grasslands. But, these messages are invariably affixed by nails hammered into trees. 1/

Typical Rainbow Family Gathering resource impacts include large areas of soil compaction from thousands of small camps, parking areas and the development of new trails, large fire pits and makeshift structures built for the camps and kitchens, holes dug for slit trench latrines, degradation of the forest roads accessing the gathering, damage to riparian areas and effects to water quality. Since the national gathering is also held in June and July, fire danger can be an issue at sites in the western United States. Some Rainbows stay behind to help in rehabilitating the site, which generally takes two weeks to a month.

The Forest Service, as lead agency, is working with various state and local agencies to plan for this event. Special Agent Bill Fox will be the Incident Commander for the Forest Service. If you have any information regarding the Rainbows and their plans, please contact S/A Fox at (406) 329-3114 or Agent Bryan Costigan at (406) 444-3070.

Additional information about the Rainbows can be found at their homepage at:

1/ Rainbow Family Encampment Tests Meaning of "Public Lands," Los Angeles Times, July 4, 19998