by Travis Mateer
As someone who wrote under a pseudonym for many years, I respect a person’s right to create as many Facebook accounts as their sad little hearts desire.
For me, I started blogging as a reptile (lizard), then graduated to a more proper name using my middle name (William) and a DIFFERENT word for lizard (Skink).
Thankfully I reached peak-clever after getting tired of telling people the name of my blog out-loud, then having to awkwardly explain how I was an unwitting victim of my own cleverness (Reptile Dysfunction).
This brings us to the Facebook account of “Ty Freedom”, a person who can appreciate a late fall calf (picture above), and a person who is VERY active in accessing court documents to form opinions on developments in the Rebekah Barsotti case.
Here are some comments posted to the Facebook account last April to give you a sense what Mr. Freedom gets fired up about:
Yes, Mr. Freedom, I agree that it is VERY interesting how some people “can’t face the truth”. As a reporter, sussing out truth is my jam, but what kind of reporter am I? Mr. Freedom has some opinions on that.
Before we get to MY reporting skills, let’s take a look at the post Mr. Freedom is commenting on. Here it is:
And here is the comment thread between myself and Mr. Freedom:
Don’t tell Mr. Freedom this, but the more information he provides–like his mocking interest in my ignorance about deer skulls and the holes in the head made when hunters want to harvest antlers–actually gives me MORE insight into OTHER comments that have been made recently, like the ones by “Tannergraysucks”, which I chose to release.
Like Mr. Freedom, this commenter is ALSO interested in my misinterpretation of what that deer skull meant, and this commenter ALSO can’t seem to spell simple words correctly. I’m sure this is all just a coincidence.
This comment, as you can see, was made on one of my articles about the death of Joey Thompson, and that’s important. Why? Because Joey shares some very important things with Rebekah Barsotti. Here are some of those things:
- began as a missing person’s case
- both bodies found in the Clark Fork river
- both bodies located in Mineral County
- jurisdictional confusion
- unresponsiveness of authorities
That last bullet point has some question marks because this connection is still developing, but as it stands, I now have TWO people telling me that Kasen Konop has been selling illegal guns to teens in Missoula. Guns, and the people who fix and sell them (hopefully legally), are also lurking in the Barsotti case.
Is this where we could have some influence coming from a sort of ex-pat community living and possibly expanding in this area? The reason I ask is because of this carefully cropped screenshot from Konop’s list of Facebook friends:
Let me pivot from that name to a name most Americans won’t be familiar with, and that’s the name Alexander Dugin.
If you HAVE heard of this guy, maybe it was last year, when this “Putin ally” narrowly escaped a hit that got his daughter killed instead. I heard about Dugin a few years before that because his name came up in a book by Gary Lachman, titled Dark Star Rising: Magick and Power in the Age of Trump. Here’s an excerpt describing Dugin’s constantly shifting persona from the 90’s onward, and his perception on the geopolitical struggle between Russia and the West (emphasis mine):
Dugin’s occult and esoteric interests were not forgotten during this time. He produced two magazines, Elementy and Dear Angel, which helped fuse the disparate elements of his extremist palette in a weird alchemy of politics and the occult. His Arktogeia publishing house–named after the supposed Arctic home of the solar Aryan race–produced his own books and others and fed a wide new audience, hungry for anything that had until only recently been forbidden. Russians in the 1990s had an immense appetite for the esoteric, the occult, the hidden, for religion, spirituality, magic, everything that had been contraband under the gray dictates of communism. An occult revival took place then, rather like the one the West enjoyed in the 1960s and ’70s. Russian man–and woman–inhibited by Soviet rule, was back. The messianic streak in the Russian soul, always ready for the millennium, had returned.
In “The Great War of the Continents,” written in the early nineties, Dugin talked about an idea that would occupy him for the rest of his career. Fundamentally it argues that with the end of the Cold War, the tensions between the East and the West have not ended, but merely changed their form. What used to be the struggle between capitalism and communism now exists as the struggle between land-based and sea-faring powers, between Russia and the West.
Montana, a land-locked state, is home to lots of different cultures, but some strains of Russian extremism could blend dangerously with home-grown strains of white extremism, and the result could be bad, especially if we have law enforcement agencies getting corrupted by dirty money from drugs, humans, and guns.
I would like to write more about this ideological overlap, and how it might be informing local politics, but I’ll have to back-burner this for a later date, as more pressing matters require my attention.
If you appreciate the work I’m doing, and the risks I’m taking to increase people’s awareness of the craziness lurking just beneath the surface of this beautiful town, then Travis’ Impact Fund (TIF) is one way to support my work, and the donation button at my about page is another.
Thanks for reading!