Oath Keepers founder forced his child to guard the family home with a rifle and body armor: court docs

Oath Keepers founder forced his child to guard the family home with a rifle and body armor: court docs
Image via Creative Commons.

Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes allegedly made his son, Dakota, guard his younger siblings with a rifle when they played outside and, in a paranoia-fueled incident when Dakota was 16, forced the boy to wear full body and patrol their house with a gun while the rest of the family fled.

“Stewart became convinced that a power outage was a pending governmental raid and ordered Dakota to don full body armor with a rifle as the family fled their home in the middle of the night, anticipating an attack,” according to court documents obtained by Raw Story.

The document continued, “Dakota is angry that Stewart subjected him, at age 16, to being killed as an armed hostile if there had actually been an encounter with governmental forces.”

New information from the full divorce file of Rhodes adds to the sad and sordid tale of family life with the man convicted of seditious conspiracy and recently sentenced to 18 years in federal prison for his role in the January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Raw Story obtained the court file from Lincoln County District Court in Montana. The judge unsealed it last month.

Raw Story had previously reported exclusive details involving Rhodes' dysfunctional family life: shocking allegations of abuse contained in an unsealed affidavit filed by his now ex-wife Tasha Adams and the concern of Rhodes’ son Dakota that his father might receive a presidential pardon rather than serve his entire prison sentence.

“From testimony, the parties lived an unusual life style,” the judge wrote. “All of the children were required to carry knives at all times from an early age.”

A court filing said Rhodes told the children “that they were going to be raped or dismembered if they were unable to defend themselves.”

She stated Rhodes “held a pistol to his head multiple times during arguments.” Rhodes denied the allegation and denied abusing his children, generally. He earlier said Adams and her attorney “twisted over 23 years of facts.

Rhodes was allegedly away from the home 30 percent to 40 percent of the time and criticized his wife’s home-schooling of the children, saying he taught them history, geography, and the Greek classics. He said he was unaware that two of them couldn’t read.

The judge, however, wasn’t buying it.

“It is hard to believe … that he would be unaware that two of the children could not read if he was indeed teaching history, geography and the Greek classics,” the judge wrote.

Rhodes’ family didn’t use mainstream medical services. All of the children were born at home.

Tasha and Dakota stated that one of the minor children “cut the tip of her finger off with a knife while at a wilderness survival camp with Stewart. In none of the instances of alleged injury to the children was medical assistance sought other than a midwife who advised care of (minor) finger, apparently over the telephone.”

Stewart Rhodes acknowledged a history of being abused as a child and said he suffered from “severe” depression and had sex addiction as a result.

In a May 2018 hearing to determine whether the minor children needed a guardian ad litem — a third party to watch over the minor children’s interests — former Oath Keeper Jason Van Tatenhove testified for Rhodes.

Van Tatenhove would later leave the organization, write a book and testify before the January 6 Committee.

At the time of the Montana court hearing, however, Van Tatenhove said Rhodes lived in his basement, according to a filing by Tasha. The judge noted that it was rent free, “although he sometimes purchases groceries.”

In October 2019, Rhodes filed a handwritten note to the court.

He requested “all filings in my case, as I no longer have an attorney (and) need to have everything so I can represent myself.”

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