Group claims Texas never legally joined the US, operates own congress

A group calling itself “The Republic of Texas” has been operating under the belief that Texas never officially became a part of the United States and remains a separate nation. The group has existed since 1995, but recently gained increased visibility after an FBI raid on one of their congressional meetings last month.

You read that correctly. The group holds monthly “joint sessions of congress” where they propose and debate legislature. They also have their own state department, court system, and have even minted their own currency. In 2011, the group sent a letter to the governor of Oklahoma claiming she “faced indictment” because her state was “trespassing inside the geographical boundaries” of the Republic.

While the group has sent out many of such letters to officials in the past, none have garnered much attention or response until last month, when the Republic “subpoenaed” a judge presiding over the pending foreclosure of a group member’s home. That action, according to the country sheriff, violated state law prohibiting the simulation of summons or other court processes, and led to the February 14 raid.

While no one was arrested, and some have characterized the group as “harmless and clueless” retirees with “too much time on their hands,” the county sheriff said their history necessitated the large scale of the raid, which included FBI agents.

A former leader of the group, Richard L. McLaren, was involved in a seven-day standoff with authorities after he and his supporters kidnapped a west Texas couple and held them hostage in 1997. The incident ended in a gun battle in which one member of the group was shot and killed.

The recent raid hasn’t seemed to deter the group in the slightest. The Republic of Texas has filed documents to the county sheriff’s lead investigator demanding $3 million in gold for his “trespass upon liberty.”

[NYT]

Tags: raid, secede, texas