I had made some negative remarks about the ceasefire declared by Prime Minister Ian D. Smith, which was already allowing terrorists to enter from their training camps in Mozambique and Tanzania, with no defense allowed by us in the security forces. I must have made them too loudly because when I finished my patrol at Nyamapanda the big boss of Support Unit, Chief Superintendant “Fats” Waller, called me into his office. “Campbell, I have word that you don’t intend to return here from your vacation in the States. There are some in the police who would like to see you in prison.”
I was astounded. Almost speechless, but not quite. “You mean, after all I’ve done, someone would like that?”
“So, you have a choice. You may serve out the remainder of your contract without leaving the country or buy it out now. You may not, however, leave the country on your vacation and remain in the police.”
“Well, sir – considering everything I’ve done for this country, for virtually nothing… that’s easy: I’ll buy out my contract.”
“Very well. I’m sorry you feel that way.”
“It appears to me, sir, that the government does not plan on winning this thing. Joshua Nkomo is being groomed for leadership at Vila Salazar.” I’d never heard of Robert Mugabe, who we now know was getting the same preparation in Salisbury Prison. “If we were allowed to fight these guys properly, I’d never leave.”
Waller knew I was the most gung-ho guy in Support Unit. But he had his orders. I bought out the next day.
Ironically, I was approached indirectly a few days later by a civilian who asked me to drop by the prime minister’s office on Jameson Avenue and speak to Major Ian King, the PM’s military attaché. I did so. Major King shook hands and got right to it. “You’re going back to the States, we hear. Are you able to find certain military items if I were to give you a shopping list?” I nodded. He handed me a list of about ten items ranging from small arms to patrol boats to red-eye missiles to Douglas Skyraider airplanes. He asked me how I would get them into Rhodesia, considering the United Nations sanctions and blockade that only South Africa ignored.
“I’d probably get them to the Seychelles and stage them over from there.” He nodded and agreed that was possible. He warned me that another country was also possibly involved in supplying these weapons but he encouraged me to arrange these purchases as quickly as possible. I arranged with my American friend in Salisbury, Igor Karpenko, to be the liaison with Major King. I made my way to West Palm Beach to visit with my father on his sailboat and then up to New Orleans to speak with the Phillips Company, builders of modern patrol boats. They were actually able to provide everything else on the list except the Skyraiders.
I called McDonald-Douglas in Long Beach and asked about the airplanes. The man said, “Well, of course, we don’t make them anymore but there are some that are probably for sale in Vietnam. Vice-president Ky has Skyraiders that he might sell.”
The Rhodesian air force had some old Hawker Hunters and Vampires but they were jets and jets were not effective as ground-support planes. Prop-driven Skyraiders were thought to be the ultimate in those days for operations against ground forces.
Just as I was making travel arrangements for Saigon, a small headline appeared in our paper: “UN Censures Jordan for Arms Deal.” King Hussein had beaten me to it, supplying the Rhodesian shopping list to South Africa, which passed them on to Rhodesia. That was that.
Atlantic Richfield (ARCO) offered me a job as a drilling foreman trainee in ’75 and I underwent training in Hobbs, New Mexico, eventually breaking out as a foreman that year, probably the youngest one in the country at that time at twenty-eight years old. I transferred to Bakersfield a couple of years later and after two more years was persuaded to go to work for the John Birch Society in Southern California as a field coordinator. My old man had been a life member but I had never joined it.
I spent a strange year, all of ’79, with this hypocritical organization that advertised itself as anti-Communist but pro-Zionist. Its board of directors had on it members of the Federal Reserve and the Council on Foreign Relations. Its leader was a Freemason. In other words, the John Birch Society was a total fraud on its members, who were told that the enemy was Communism but if a member pointed out that Communism was Jewish, he or she was removed from the membership in disgrace. My job as a coordinator was to punish this sort of heresy. Fortunately for me, all the aware members in Southern California had been purged before I showed up.
I met Congressman Larry McDonald, who later headed the Birch Society until his murder, and he and I had several conversations about Rhodesia. He unfortunately had on his staff a Zionist agent from England named John Rees, who hated me. He obviously knew more about me than I about him. His hatred was connected to my service in Rhodesia.
The experience of confronting Robert Welch, the leader, in his office in Belmont, Massachusetts was very disturbing and added to my seething hatred of Carter, Rockefeller, Kissinger, Brezezinski, et al. By this time, too, the Rhodesians had been sold out by their prime minister and it seemed everything had turned to crap. So I decided to kill David Rockefeller.
A guy I knew had a Thompson M1A1 submachine gun, untraceable, and he gave it to me for the job. I approached another friend from Los Angeles who had been purged from the Birch Society before my time. I knew he had some money and I told him of my plan to go to New York and kill Rockefeller, which needed some support. He immediately agreed on the condition that he would participate in the attack. Unable to talk him out of it, I agreed to teach him his role with a shotgun as a backup to my weapon.
In early 1980, we had found an isolated spot out in the wilds of Carmel Valley, where I showed him how to use the shotgun properly to deal with Rockefeller’s bodyguards, if any. His shotgun was short-barreled but legal. We violated Murphy’s Law and were seen by a couple of hikers, who reported our activity to a game warden who eventually reported it to a sheriff’s deputy. Richard put the shotgun in the backseat and covered it. On our way out of the area, the deputy stopped us with a shotgun of his own. He searched Richard’s car, found the shotgun and fished the keys out of Richard’s pocket and opened the trunk of Richard’s car without a warrant. In the trunk he found the submachine gun.
A few days later we were released but facing felony charges with many years in prison. The Salinas newspapers portrayed me as an ex-mercenary and probable assassin-for-hire, which was not strictly true. Nobody hired me, but the Krugerrands in Richard’s trunk made it look pretty exotic.
My first attorney threatened the DA, saying that he’d better let Campbell go because he’s a wild son of a bitch. That attorney nearly got arrested himself and I fired him when he told me what he’d done. My next attorney was an ex-Monterey cop who assured me that the search would be thrown out as a matter of routine. The deputy had had no probable cause to go in the trunk without a warrant. The deputy, in the preliminary hearing, had lied, saying that the hikers said we had a black bag and that was what he was looking for. The SMG had never been out of the trunk and I think Richard himself was not aware that I’d put it in there.
Long story short, a year later my appeals to the appellate court in San Francisco and the Supreme Court in Sacramento were denied and we had to go to trial. My attorney, Bob Nixon, was beside himself with guilt and anxiety for having trusted the county clerk to supply the transcript of my preliminary hearing to accompany the first appeal. The clerk lied and the lack of the transcript was why the routine appeal was denied both times. He’d promised Nixon that he would take it to the San Francisco appellate court that day and place it with the appeal, because he was too busy to locate it right then.
The morning of the trial came. I went to Nixon’s office to talk it over. He said, “Well, our appeals have been turned down. They can use the weapon against you and you’re going to be convicted and sent to prison. However, there is possibly one thing left for us.”
He said that he wanted me to submit to the preliminary report, also called making a slow plea. A slow plea of what? I asked.
“Well, I don’t need an attorney to plead me guilty.”
“There’s just one crazy thing… You are not mentioned in the preliminary report.”
“How can that be?”
“I don’t know. It’s crazy, but you’re not mentioned.” He gave it to me. I read it and sure enough, only Richard was named. So we went on over to Salinas for the moment of truth. He feared the prosecutor, who had been making a big noise about sending me away, already knew about the discrepancy.
We waited in the hall outside the courtroom. The cocky young prosecutor came sauntering along, hailing my attorney. “Hey, Nixon! You ready?”
“Yeah. Well, we’re going to submit to the pre-lim.” Bob had his fingers crossed behind his back that only I could see.
“Really? Right on!”
Nixon didn’t look at me as we followed the hotshot into the courtroom. We took our seats and the judge entered and sat down. He said, “All right, People v. Campbell, possession of an unregistered machine gun. Are we ready to go?”
The attorneys said they were. Nixon stood up. “Your honor, we wish to submit to the preliminary report.”
“You wish to make a slow plea?”
“Yes, your honor.”
The judge asked the prosecutor if that was all right with him? The prosecutor enthusiastically said that it was. The judge eyed me and launched into an explanation of what I was doing meant. Did I understand what I was doing? Nixon nudged me to say “Yes.”
Nixon stood up. “Your honor, my client is not mentioned in the preliminary report. We therefore move for a dismissal of the charge.” This was followed by about five seconds of silence, at which point the hotshot prosecutor jumped up.
“I object!” The judge looked at him.
“You object to what?”
“Er – I object to this motion!”
“You just said that you were satisfied with Mr. Campbell’s submission to the pre-lim.”
“Well, er –“
“Have you actually read the preliminary report?” The judge produced a copy from his papers and read through it. “Ah-hah… Mr. Nixon is correct that Mr. Campbell’s name is not in this report. Cased dismissed.”
Thus ended my felony prosecution. Richard, whose prosecution had been severed from mine, simply blamed me for getting him in trouble, for putting the gun in the trunk and cited my acquittal. He also walked free. My prosecutor was fired the day of the trial and went to work for a shoe company. Nixon was the toast of the Monterey law fraternity for his unorthodox tactic but resigned from the practice of the law a few days later, saying that he never suspected how corrupt the system was, that the county clerk, a friend, could betray him so viciously by deliberately withholding my transcript from the appeal package.
This incident showed me a couple of things. Number one, I needed a political movement to overthrow the Rockefeller gang from power, not just an assassination. I still believed in the assassination of Group members but by a more powerful association of men, not just by lone wolves such as myself. (“The Group” was the term used by Carroll Quigley in his posthumously-published book, The Anglo-American Establishment, to describe the Rothschild/Rockefeller syndicate.)
It also showed me that I needed to think big to start such a movement. I’d been thinking of starting a school for young guys that would instruct them in the important masculine things, such as fitness, history and politics, weapons and self-defense – and chivalry. I mentioned my idea to my friend in New Jersey, Bill Murray, who was another disillusioned ex-coordinator for the Birch Society. He immediately said that no one would send kids to my school and that I needed to write a book.
A book? Me?
So, I did some research and in 1983 came up with The New American Man – A Call to Arms. That was how the militia movement got started. I followed with a screenplay based on the general idea, first called BREAKDOWN and later changed to DEATH VALLEY. The screenplay turned out to be tougher than the book’s first draft, since the former called for revolution and the book hadn’t.
The book manuscript was sent around for comments. Almost no one understood what I was doing, since this was in the Reagan years, and I was obviously way ahead of the power curve, calling for the overthrow of the US government by force and violence during a time when most people were not too upset with things. And nothing came of it until Reagan was gone and replaced by Mr. George Bush of the CIA, who began talking about the New World Order and invading foreign countries, killing millions. Hmm, some guys thought – maybe Campbell was right. But that came later.
Perhaps the most dangerous thing I did came on the heels of finishing the book and the screenplay in ’83. The guy who gave me the Thompson was facing foreclosure on his house and property in the Santa Cruz mountains. He needed some help and some guns to resist the fraudulent foreclosure.
I’d been helping him with his legal defense, typing up his motions and so forth, and even had proposed in the first place his defense which was to sue the bank for fraud and usury, since it had lent credit, technically illegal, but wanted to be repaid in cash. Today, we are beginning to understand the magnitude of foreclosure fraud, with Nevada recently outlawing foreclosures without a true chain of title. But in 1983, this idea was pretty radical. And my friend’s suit was thrown out by a judge who was protecting the bank.
I’d previously provided my friend, Jack, with a .357 magnum revolver. I took an HK-91 rifle to him before the SWAT team got there. We had lunch, I checked him out on the rifle and said I’d probably go on back to Carmel as I’d driven non-stop from Santa Fe, New Mexico and got his message upon getting home. But as I went to open his gate I saw eight or nine camouflaged SWATs marching up the road, armed with rifles and shotguns.
“Hey, the SWATs are here,” I told them back at the house. We went outside and my friend grabbed the rifle. On his shirt he was wearing a Silver Star and a Purple Heart from his shoot-out with Viet Cong. He’d killed thirteen of them with an M-60 machine gun. There was a commotion at the lower gate and Jack ran down to investigate. Two cops with rifles jumped out from their hiding spots and ran after him. I stepped off the porch and motioned vigorously to go back, which they did. I was wearing a sport coat, slacks, white shirt and a tie, so they were obviously confused.
Jack came back to the house. I indicated the two shooters who had gone back behind the bushes and trees. The trees were giant redwoods. I said, “Those guys almost drilled you from behind. You need to be more careful.”
His wife Betty was scared and said to me, “Go up there and talk to them!” I shrugged and headed up to the bushes, about thirty yards away. The shooters aimed their AR-15s at me and ordered me to get on my knees. I declined, saying, “I’m not getting on my knees. I came up here to ask you not to shoot my friend. He just wants his day in court.” I turned around and went back down to the house. They yelled and threatened to shoot, but they didn’t.
Eventually the cops withdrew, so as you would notice. The television and newspapers were allowed to come in and interview Jack and Betty. The phone and power had been cut off so I told Jack I’d try to go down to the country store and call for some help. I said to him that I’d leave my Scottie because if they arrested me, they probably kill her.
I got a hundred yards down the road when cop cars surrounded me. I was arrested and taken to Santa Cruz County jail. Eventually I was questioned by a detective. At no point, either on the road or in the jail, was I read my Miranda rights. I told the cop what Jack wanted. He said that’s not the way to go about it. “Yeah? What is?” He had me taken away to the cells.
The Santa Cruz jail was from the Depression days, like an old Cagney movie, very overcrowded. The Mexicans slept all day and stayed up all night, tattooing each other with ink made from burned plastic cup soot. The whites stuck together and I made a couple of friends.
The detective called me on the jail phone. He accused me of supplying the guns. I had to make a very quick decision, and answered, “Yes, I did.”
About the second day, the jailer called out my name. I went to the cell door. He said, “Attorney visit.”
After going through another strip search, I waited in a small room. Two cops entered and identified themselves, one from the sheriff’s department and the other from the coroner’s office. That didn’t sound good. They said they needed next of kin information on Jack and Betty. “You killed them?”
“We can’t comment until next-of-kin are notified.” I couldn’t help them because I didn’t know their next-of-kin. It didn’t occur to me that they were lying. I staggered back to my cell.
They let me think that my friends were dead and I was looking at Murder One for about four hours. My fellow prisoners were watching a TV through the bars and shouted at me. “Hey, check this out!”
Turned out Jack and Betty and their pregnant daughter and her little girl had escaped through the redwoods, right through SWAT lines, down the mountain to freedom. Jack was at large for a couple of months but eventually arrested in the courthouse as he was attempting to get copies of his bank lawsuit. In his trial, the SWAT leader stated that the sheriff had authorized the team to kill us all. Even the women and child? Yes. He couldn’t say why we weren’t all shot.
Jack was sent to San Quentin for several years. Betty was never caught. Because I had confessed without being Mirandized, as I’d figured, the felony charges against me were dropped. I got ninety days for misdemeanor accessory and wound up doing a few weekends.
So I got through a couple of ill-conceived incidents and realized I’d better jack up my ideas and get serious if I intended to do any good and survive this thing. The big danger lay ahead.