Tonight’s episode is an origin story of sorts- a self-proclaimed hero’s descent into villainhood. As they say, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. This is a story about Jim, a man who was lead by the spirits of the Riverlands on a journey that ultimately ended in terrorism and murder. Jim was a preacher who founded a survivalist Christian community deep in the Missouri and Arkansas Ozarks. Jim’s sermons became increasingly paranoid and foretold the decline of civilization. What began as a community of the lost and idealistic, eventually evolved into an extremist paramilitary organization that dissolved after a multi-day standoff with the U.S. government.
Thanks for listening! The music featured in this episode was Over Bored by Jesse McClary from his project “the quarantine tapes volume one”. You should check out the rest of the project and Jesse’s band: The Old Capital Square Dance Club!
This is a long, complicated story and we know we did not include every single detail about Jim and the CSA in this episode. If you’d like to know more, here are some resources to get you started. Be warned: The CSA is a dark road, so take care as you wander.
The Cult Vault’s Interview with Kerry Noble (CSA Member)
GlobalSecurity.org entry about CSA
University of Arkansas Research Center on Terrorism article on Jim
Roots of Religious Violence in America– an essay from the book: Misunderstanding Cults
Information about the Titan Missile Explosion referenced in the episode
An excellent BBC documentary about Christian Survivalist (we used a few clips from this documentary)
Article about John Todd, “Former Witch”
State of California Department of Justice Bureau on Organized Crime report on outlaw motorcycle gangs. Discusses the involvement of the CSA with these groups.
A New York Times article outlining the history of White Supremacy. The CSA features heavily in the roots of this.
Article discussing the 1983 plot on Oklahoma by the CSA
New Republic Article about the CSA
University of Missouri Kansas City Law Faculty project discussing the Elohim city connection to Oklahoma
New York Times article discussing 1983 Oklahoma plot