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A kinder, gentler militia

Saturday, October 30, 1999

By Dennis Roddy

Forget right-wing death squads, people's liberation armies or even the local rugby team. If you're looking for a militant stand that won't ruin the crease in your camouflage pants, the Beaver County Militia -- http://sonoguy.tripod.com -- is ready for you.

Militia commander Gen. R.W. Boyce has trained the righteous anger of vigilant Americans on the real threat to our sovereignty:

The Amish.

Log on and see his proof. Gaze at the surveillance photoof Amish farmers harboring United Nations soldiers. Tremble over the long-suppressed snapshot that caught an Amishman meeting with top Soviet generals.

There is the giant Amish robot, the warren of secret tunnels, the "Plain Terror" of Osama Bin Laden.

Get the results of the militia's annual turkey shoot: "Who knew that turkeys could run so fast?"

For Christmas, the militia offers its own line of 'Lil Patriot Toys for Militia Girls and Boys, including the "Pup Gun" pull toy, and "My First Pipe Bomb."

Who are these guys?

"The Beaver County Militia," explains Gen. Boyce, "is a militia for those that are nonviolent but are militant about being nonviolent and will fight to the death to stay nonviolent."

This was a tough interview. It took two telephone calls, several e-mails and a solemn promise to the general not to reveal that he's really Randy Boyce, 45, of Aliquippa, Beaver County, who works days as a medical technician.

A self-described moderate who idolizes Jefferson, Boyce was cruising the ether one day when it occurred to him: he had an Internet account, it gave him Web page space, he likes to kick a beehive every once and again ...

Boyce started logging onto discussion groups with names such as alt.conspiracy and alt.black-helicopters.

"I wanted to come up with an enemy that in reality was so gentle and innocent that there was no way that they could be a threat," he explained.

He thought it over: black helicopters, black clothes, black buggies, a group that outsiders can't penetrate.

His wife worried. Wouldn't the Amish take offense?

"I said, 'Honey, I don't think you're going to find too many that are surfing the net right now," Boyce said.

Since December of last year, 24,000 visitors have logged on.

"I guess the government really likes the site. They've visited 30 times."

Two weeks ago, when Boyce announced the 'Lil Patriot line of toys, he heard from a visitor who tried to order a "Pup Gun," but couldn't locate the price list. Another visitor e-mailed to say the photo of the U.N. soldier with the Amish farmer looked suspicious: why wasn't the soldier casting a shadow when the Amish farmer was?

Boyce explained that U.N. soldiers are specially trained not to cast shadows.

Someone else wrote in with questions that border on found poetry:

I do not understand the cats on your Improvised Weapons page. How do you tie their tails together? How would you throw them at an opponent? If you hold them by the tail, the tails will probably come off. I cannot think of any other way to throw them any distance.

Sometimes you get the joke. Sometimes the joke gets you.

"Wonder if you'll be laughing when the New World Order slams a microchip into ya skull," wrote one visitor.

"Sorry you didn't like the page," Boyce wrote back. "But this microchip in my head keeps telling me to do these naughty things."

Here's hoping it doesn't fall out soon.

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