“The resurrection of Brickton Missionary Baptist Church began one spring day a few weeks ago with an unusual telephone call.” (Amy B. McCraw, Times-News Correspondent, June 6, 2015, “Man’s Dream Becomes Reality”, blueridgenow.com)
So begins this 2015 story out of Fletcher, North Carolina. Reporter Amy McCraw continues, “Marshall Richards, who came to the area from Ohio, called local resident Clarence Livingston and told him he wanted to restore the little, white church founded by Livingston’s father, the late Colon Livingston. Richards said the idea of restoring and reviving the church came to him in a dream he first had in 1968 when he was a 14-year old boy living in West Virginia.”
“He said he continued to have the same dream over the years until he mentioned it while staying with a friend in Fletcher in February. The friend recognized the church Richards described and took him to Brickton Missionary Baptist Church. ‘It looked exactly as the one in the dream,’ Richards said. Richards knew he had to follow his dream and began work on the church in April.”
“In addition to working and researching the history of Brickton Missionary Baptist Church, Richards said he also preached and prayed while alone at the church. And before long, he said his prayers were answered.”
On May 7, 2015, one month prior to the Times-News article cited above, WLOS News 13 published on their YouTube channel a 2 minute video called Man On Mission To Restore Fletcher Church. This video is narrated by News 13’s John Lee, with segments interspersed of the voice of Marshall Richards, singing, preaching, and intoning his message…Praise the Lord, I’m just the donkey that God is using right now..be ye kind one to another, tender-hearted,… God gave me a dream and I heard and I finally answered,… Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God,… he’s followed the voice of God to Fletcher, will you finally take your call?, The Lord said, you’ll go to that church someday, you’ll restore it and you’ll preach there…
Near the end of this inspiring video, two women who were helping with renovations spoke; one remarking that, … this dream of this man is going to touch so many lives. It’s too many coincidences to be coincidental.
TOO MANY COINCIDENCES TO BE COINCIDENTAL? That’s just what I was thinking when I started to examine some of the YouTube personalities who showed up around the time of the dirty bomb incident in the Port of Charleston, South Carolina.
Almost a year later, I am adding the name of Okey Marshall Richards to my list of strange coincidences to ponder. It was from Dave (Acton) Sweigert, that I first heard the rumor that Richards might be the mysterious Deep Uranium who was the hidden source relied upon by George Webb for his Maersk Memphis dirty bomb tip. Sweigert also was tying in Richards as the probable voice of Mr. Hudson who was a repeat guest on Jason Goodman’s Crowdsource The Truth show.
Okey Marshall Richards was a FBI informant who had tape recorded 400 conversations of his friend’s militia, by insinuating himself into a command level position. He betrayed their trust for money; yet in 2015 he claims God was speaking to him in dreams going back to 1968. How does such behavior justify itself in light of numerous commands that Christians are to speak the truth, and not be deceivers?
Before going to prison, Floyd “Ray” Looker, the head of the West Virginia militia claimed he had a degree in theology and was involved in missions work. Eighteen years later, Okey Marshall Richards, decided to reinvent himself as a Christian preacher, using the small town of Fletcher, North Carolina to display his illusionist’s trick of Now you see me, now you don’t.
Note the condition of the church in this Google photo below, which in the right lower description states, image capture Feb 2017. If that date is accurate, it appears that almost two years after Richards arrived, creating a renovation sensation, nothing has really changed. The poorly painted sign reads, Need help & Building Supplies-Cash. According to Google maps, this church sits in an industrial part of Fletcher, and therefore I think it is unlikely that anyone will pour money into renovating it.
Recently, the YouTube channel called School Play Rehearsals, has published several short videos addressing both Jason Goodman and the hidden source of George Webb, believed to be Okey Marshall Richards. On May 14, 2018 SPR’S video entitled, Mr. Hudson Rightfully Called Out By Navy Veteran, led me to ask this video maker what specific court documents he was relying upon as his documentation for this video. It turns out that SPR has read extensively on Marshall Richards, and was of great help in narrowing down the specific trial transcripts of interest to me, in the 1997 criminal case against the West Virginia militia.
One of the problems which plagues on-line discussions of the identity of Deep Uranium as being that of former FBI informant Okey Marshall Richards, is that so far I have not seen definitive proof offered, which can be relied upon, to give a positive identification of the true identity of Deep Uranium. Secondly, while one can compare the voice of Richards in the Fletcher church video, with that of the Jason Goodman’s Mr. Hudson, it would be useful to have a forensic analysis, rather than just subjective opinions. For example, one of the months-old comments in a Jason Goodman video suggested that it was Dave Acton who was the voice of Mr. Hudson. An affidavit from Looker, or Richard’s ex-wives who personally knew the voice of Marshall Richards, would be helpful.
Below is a screenshot of an exchange between Ghostcrab @JIBCAMERA with Ray Looker, who was one of the defendants in the West Virginia militia criminal trial in 1997, in which Okey Marshall Richards had been a paid FBI informant.
From a Christian commentary standpoint, the background history of Okey Marshall Richards is interesting in and of itself. I do not have a problem with law enforcement going undercover as part of a criminal investigation, but I do find the use of law breakers and pathological liars as paid informants to be fraught with many dangers in a free society. I am especially bothered when so-called Christians boast of being employed as FBI informants. In the world of sinful men, Christians are to be salt and light, and to reprove wrong doing and encourage others to a better course of action, rather than becoming liars and betrayers for a “noble” cause.
The issues being raised here are similar to what I discussed in my 2016 post The Professional Liar as Hero, I began that article with a quote from the Scriptures, But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation. James 5:12. The first paragraph made reference back to another post written in 2015 where I had commented on the testimony of a former FBI informant who claimed to be a true Christian. I wrote, But what is most interesting about Hagmann’s article is the darkness of his own philosophy. This he discloses in his opening sentences, saying, “As an investigator and in particular, when I was working as an operational asset for the FBI in the 1990’s, I was particularly good at securing covert video like that captured by the Center for Medical Progress of Planned Parenthood. In fact, I was used because I could convincingly present myself to the subjects of investigation as someone I was not, and secure the needed evidence that served as the basis for immediate raids, arrests and sometimes later, as courtroom exhibits for a jury to see”.
The statement, “I could convincingly present myself …as someone I was not” is an apt description of Okey Marshall Richards, as we shall see when we examine excerpts from the 1997 West Virginia militia criminal case.
Criminal Action case #1:96-cr-00043-FPS: Okey Marshall Richard’s character was examined under oath by the direct interrogation of attorney Gary B. Zimmerman of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, as counsel for defendant James R. Rogers.
This testimony is found in the United States District Court-Northern District of West Virginia criminal action number 1:96-cr-00043-FPS, document 163 filed August 20, 1997, representing the trial transcript, volume 4, August 19, 1997: United States of America, Plaintiff vs. James R. Rogers, Defendant.
(Here is a link to my pdf of these transcripts.looker criminal rogers vol 4 820 1997. Parts of the transcript that I found interesting are shown below, but the reader may desire to view the entire transcript to comprehend the context of this testimony. The page reference number I note is that of the PDF itself which is 239 pages long, and not that found on the court filings. Also any bolding is mine, and is not a part of the court transcripts.)
In the beginning, attorney Zimmerman cross examines Okey M. Richards and determines that he is 43 years old, born in West Virginia, but lived in Virginia, and because his father was in the service, had moved 16 times in 18 years. Richards graduated from high school in 1972, and in August of 1972 enlisted in the United States Navy for 4 years, and given radar training. Around 1973/74, Richards ended up in Norfolk, Virginia and was assigned a ship, starting out as an E1. He got out of the Navy in 1974, not serving his full four-year enlistment, having been charged with a variety of activities that were not in accordance with Navy regulations.
On page 24, Zimmerman brings up that on November 5, 1974 Richards had been an unauthorized absentee from the U.S.S. Hassayampa, located in Pearl Harbor. Richards replies that, “I received leave from that ship to go back to Chicago and when I arrived in Chicago, I was in contact with the Naval Intelligence Agency or the Naval Investigative Service.” And Zimmerman counters, “Well, sir, your naval records indicate that you were placed in a restrictive status pending disciplinary action.”
Zimmerman: For example, 6-17-74, a violation of Article 86, “United States Code of Military Justice”, missing movement; June 17, 1972, violation of “United States Code of Military Justice”, failure to obey a lawful order, breaking restriction, punishment, reduced to E2, forfeited $120 per month. Do you recall that, sir?
Richards: Yes, I do.
Zimmerman: And also 11-6-94, failure to obey a lawful order, breaking restriction, punishment, reduced to E2, forfeited $120 per month. Do you recall that, sir?
Richards: Yes, I do.
Zimmerman: (page 25) Was the discharge that you got characterized as an administrative discharge?
Richards: It was an agreement between myself and the Navy. We agreed that I would leave the service, that it was in my best interest and theirs, and I left with a general under-honorable-conditions discharge.
Zimmerman: But you and the Navy agreed that you would leave the Navy and they wouldn’t court-martial you, isn’t that correct, because you had pending charges at the time?
Richards: They deemed it wasn’t in their best interest because I was involved in narcotics investigations.
Zimmerman: You were involved in narcotics investigations?
Richards: That’s correct.
Zimmerman: (page 26) Have you ever been advised, sir, by one of your commanding officers that you were recommended for this administrative discharge because you were considered unreliable for duty?
Richards: I don’t recollect that, no.
Zimmerman: Well, are you trying to tell us that you were engaged in some kind of undercover activity that the Navy sanctioned and even though they sanctioned it, they discharged you? They sort of terminated you?
Richards: Yes, sir; I am.
Zimmerman: Do you have any–in the entire world, sir, have any evidence, any documents, any reports or any person that I or anyone else could contact to verify that you, in fact, were involved in an undercover operation for the United States Navy?
Richards: Yes, sir, I do.
Zimmerman: And who is that?
Richards: Special Agent J.J. Baker with the United States Naval Investigative Service.
Zimmerman: (page 30) While you were in the Navy, sir, did you receive any special training outside of being a radar man?
Zimmerman: What was that?
Richards: I trained at Little Creek, Virginia, with–they classified it as a ship’s landing party. We trained over there, though, with SEAL Team 2, and UDT 21 was being absorbed into SEAL Team 2 at the time.
Zimmerman: Are you trying to tell us you were in the Navy SEALS?
Richards: No, sir.
Zimmerman: (page 31) Did you serve in Vietnam, sir?
Richards: No, sir.
Zimmerman: Were you ever even on orders to Vietnam?
Zimmerman: Now, did you ever tell anyone you served in Vietnam, sir?
Richards: Yes, I did.
Zimmerman: (page 31) You lied about being in Vietnam to many, many, many people, did you not?
Richards: Yes, sir.
Zimmerman: Have you ever told people that you, in fact were a member of the Navy SEALS?
Richards: Yes, I did.
Zimmerman: (page 33) And I assume you did that to impress people so that they would have a higher, higher view of your esteem; is that correct?
Richards: I had very low self-esteem, yes.
Zimmerman: So you made up this scenario about you being a special Navy SEAL doing all this dangerous work, and all this intricate knowledge about special military operations so that people would think of you in that way; is that right?
Zimmerman: And when you first met Ray Looker in 1990 or whenever it was, you told him you were a Navy SEAL; is that correct?
Richards: Yes, I did.
Zimmerman: (page 34) Well, I mean, did you tell Mr. Shaffer, sitting right here, that you, in fact worked closely with the CIA?
Richards: I don’t recall saying that.
Zimmerman: Saying what? You don’t recall saying that or telling him that?
Richards: I don’t recall, that is correct.
Zimmerman: Do you recall telling anybody that you had contacts and had done work for the CIA?
Richards: I may have said something like that, but I don’t recall who it would be.
Embellishing versus Lying
On page 35, Okey Marshall Richards explains that he embellishes his speech. To which attorney Zimmerman replies, “You embellished? ‘Embellished’ means ‘stretching.’ You actually lied, did you not; made something up out of whole cloth, completely whole cloth, fabricated and you told many, many people that. Richards says, “Yes”.
During much of this cross-examination, Zimmerman brings out the various individuals, including wives and associates and friends, that Okey Marshall Richards lied to in order to promote himself as being a former Navy SEAL, a Vietnam veteran, working in intelligence, bringing Vietnam POW’s out of Vietnam. He even lied to his own psychologist who, based on his false testimony, concluded that Richards was suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. Zimmerman says to Richards on page 38, “You were convincing enough to convince a professional who was trying to help you that you were in Vietnam…”. And later Zimmerman says, “You weren’t you were–would you say you couldn’t because you were a pathological liar?”
In regard to one of Richard’s former jobs, we read this:
Zimmerman:(page44) You lied again about that. Did you lie and tell them you were involved in the intelligence community?
Richards: I may have.
Zimmerman: So on the basis of your persona, so to speak, what you told them about your other life, they hired you as chief of security?
Zimmerman: Okay. And how long–how long was it that you worked as the chief of security for this company?
Richards: A year or so.
Okey Marshall Richards discusses with Zimmerman a string of minimum wage, short-term jobs. Several are of interest, including his association with several men in EMT, one of whom claimed to be an ex-CIA agent. These men thought Richards had been a Navy SEAL. EMT went out of business, and apparently because of complaints, the FBI in 1995 had opened an investigation into that company. Richards also became a campaign strategist for a U. S. Senate seat in 1988, involving former State Senator of West Virginia, Jay Wolfe. Richards met Looker in 1990 because he had been putting together a newspaper with Jay Wolfe. Looker, we learn, actually was in the military for 13-14 years. Looker introduced Richards to others as a Navy SEAL.
On page 75, Zimmerman says to Richards, “And he (Looker) obviously thought you had some great expertise in the military stuff because he asked you eventually to join his group in a command structure; is that correct?”
Zimmerman: So you had convinced Mr. Looker that, in fact, you were a Navy SEAL and that, in fact, you were in Vietnam and that, in fact, you took POW’s out of Vietnam, and were engaged in intelligence operations in the United States.
Richards: I convinced him I had a background, yes.
Zimmerman also brings out Richards’ history of having several wives, three children that he owed thousands of dollars in back child support on, and failure to file tax returns.
Zimmerman: (page 102) And when you were being prepared for your testimony for this case, did you have any discussions about your failure to file your income taxes with any member of the federal government?
Zimmerman: (page 103) In addition, sir, you were paid a substantial sum of money by the federal government for this case, were you not?
Richards: Not in 1995.
Zimmerman: You weren’t in 1995? You started getting paid, in June of 1995, 2,000 bucks a month.
Richards: I wouldn’t say it was a substantial amount of money.
Zimmerman: When you are making five bucks an hour and are getting 2,000 bucks a month from the government, wouldn’t you consider that substantial?
Richards: Mr. Zimmerman, you are confused. I wasn’t working for five bucks an hour at the time I started working for the government. I was earning $1,000 a week.
Zimmerman: You were working for 1,000 bucks a week which, if you worked every week of the year, that would be $50,000, correct?
Zimmerman: And you did not file an income tax return or pay any income taxes on one cent of that money, did you?
Richards: I didn’t file–1995, which means I didn’t file my 1994 taxes.
Zimmerman: I am talking about pure 1995 money, sir.
Richards: Which means I would have filed that in 1996.
Zimmerman: That is right.
Richards: And I did not file it.
Zimmerman: It was due April 15, 1996.
Richards: And I did not file because I did not know how to report money I received from the FBI. What am I supposed to do? Tell an IRS agent that I am working for the FBI?
A couple of responses later, Zimmerman accuses Richards of making up an excuse on the stand as to why he did not file, and asks him, “You are not worried about going to jail?” Zimmerman adds, “Well, do you think that you will be a special case and be given some dispensation because you are testifying for the government–and you have committed a crime, sir. You have failed to file your taxes. Do you think they are going to forgive that because you are on the witness stand here?” To which, Richards replies, “I don’t think so, no.” It comes out on page 112, that the FBI paid Richards in cash.
Zimmerman (page 114) And during 1995, how much money did you pay to your children to catch up with all of the years you failed to pay support?
Richards: I paid the amount I was required by the courts.
Zimmerman: How much was that?
Richards: $100.54 a month.
Zimmerman: $100.54 a month. You are making six G’s a month, you hadn’t paid your children’s support for years, and you are sending them $154 (sic) bucks a month. Is that an accurate statement?
Richards: Yes, sir.
The Unusual Telephone Call Initiating Contact With the FBI
On page 125, we discover that it was Okey Marshall Richards who called Agent Rafferty to ask him if they had any interest in the militia. Zimmerman asks, “You had no idea at that time, did you, what Mr. Looker was doing, what he was organizing, who was in his group or what the goals were, did you?” Later, Richards is asked, “So you had limited knowledge about his involvement and even with this limited knowledge, you called up the FBI and said, you know, ‘Are you interested in this group?'” On page 127, Zimmerman again stresses this fact, stating to Richards: “you called up the FBI and wanted to know if they were interested, and they rightfully told you, ‘No. We are not interested in these people. It is no crime.'”
On page 128 the discussion centered on what service Richards thought he could be to Mr. Rafferty of the FBI. Zimmerman asks, “Well, he–he was led to believe, however, by you that you were a Navy SEAL, a Vietnam veteran, an intelligence operative. You had deceived him about that. Were you trying to see if he could get you to be involved in some kind of an undercover operation? Was that your purpose?”
On page 130 Zimmerman asks Richards, “Well, you told everybody that would listen to you, did you not, that you were, in fact, involved in all these covert activities? You told Mr. Looker that. You told Mr. Rafferty that. You told Mr. Rogers that; Mr. Schaffer. You told as many people as would listen to you. Gary Keith. You told all those people that you worked with, the president of Northwestern College, the person that you worked with at West Virginia University, everybody else you got in touch with, you told them that is what you were. Did it ever occur to you once to actually try to be what you wanted to be rather than just to fantasize about it?”
On page 137, Zimmerman asks Richards, “Why did you join the group if you didn’t believe in what they stood for?” Richards replies, “Because I was concerned about the safety–I was concerned about the safety of Americans. When I saw a fireman walk out with the baby dangling in his arms after Oklahoma City, I decided I was going to join the militia and find out what it was about.”
[Tracking the Leopard Meroz comment: I have to interject here that this noble profession of love for a stranger’s baby comes out of the mouth of a man who did not care enough for his own children to provide for their day-to-day living expenses. I Timothy 5:8 “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.” ]
Zimmerman: (page 138) You started your own investigation, then, of Raymond Looker and the West Virginia–called the militia–listen to my question before you do that, please. You started your own investigation of your friend, Raymond Looker, and the Mountaineer Militia in West Virginia even though you had been told by the FBI that they were doing nothing wrong and they were allowed to be together; is that right? That is “yes” or “no”.
Richards: I don’t agree with the term “investigation.” I joined the militia on my own volition, out of my own curiosity.
Richards: (page 139) he said–he made it very clear to me that –that the FBI, that their stance or their position on militias is as long as these individuals were operating within their constitutional rights, that they had no interest in the militias, and I understood that.
Zimmerman: So that even with that, with that information you then went out and said to your friend, Ray Looker, someone who you had–considered to be their friend, someone that you had helped, you went out and told him, “Look, I want to join your group, and I want to be the chief of intelligence because I am a former Navy SEAL; I have been in Vietnam; I am an intelligence operator. I know all about the militia and military, and I can help you out.” That is what you went out and told him; right?
Richards: I told him that I had reconsidered, and I was willing to join.
Zimmerman: And that–
Richards: And that I was willing to join only under the–only if I had the position of intelligence officer.
Zimmerman: And what did that mean to you? Intelligence officer, I mean.
Richards: I figured that that would give me a position that was privy to the most sensitive information. It would allow me to determine if there was anything to be concerned about or not.
Zimmerman: And you knew that being an intelligence officer and even used the word in your–in your report back to Mr. Rafferty, “G-2”, right?
Richards: That was a position that Mr. Looker gave me.
Zimmerman: G-2, you requested it.
Richards: Yes, sir.
Zimmerman: Now, how in the world does a seaman who couldn’t even finish his enlistment understand the functions of what G-2 in an intelligence–what G-2 means in military jargon?
Richards: You grab as many books as you can as quick as you can and you read them.
Zimmerman: (page 159) Now, you turned in to the FBI all of these people, many of whom you had never met; is that correct?
Richards: That’s correct.
Zimmerman: You knew nothing about?
Richards: I don’t know how many I never met, but there are people–there were people that I did not meet.
Zimmerman: Well, there is maybe 100 names here….
Zimmerman: (page 167) Did it ever occur to you if you were so concerned about what was going on in this country, that you would say, “I don’t think you should do that?”
Richards: I’m sorry? I didn’t hear.
Zimmerman: If you were so concerned about our country that you decided to join the militia on your own because you didn’t agree with them, why was it that you would do everything that he suggested without telling him it was foolish and that he shouldn’t do it?
Richards: I didn’t do that –I just didn’t do that.
Zimmerman: (page 170) Well, Ray Looker may have believed that, that they were already at war. But you never in any of the conversations that we saw or any of the other 400 conversations that you were recording with Mr. Looker, at one time said, “Ray, you’re wrong,” did you?
Richards: No, sir, I did not.
Zimmerman: (page 172) You egged on the fears of Mr. Looker and Mr. Rogers, did you not?
Richards: No. I don’t agree with that. I did not egg–
Zimmerman: (page 175) Well, then, why don’t you believe that there is a New World Order if you believe what Looker tells you? Why don’t you believe there are black helicopters? You don’t believe everything he tells you, do you?
Richards: No. I don’t believe everything that he tells me.
Zimmerman: Right. You were involved in this case to do an investigation and you were– you were finally what you always wanted to be. You were an intelligence operator, something that you had fantasized about for 20 years. You were finally doing what you always wanted to do, and when you had the opportunity to push Mr. Rogers about getting these plans, you pushed him even though he was reluctant; isn’t that correct?
Richards: (page 196) Well, I can’t say that. You know, I was playing a part. I was–I had to appear to be a willing militia member, and I tried to do that….
Zimmerman: (page 215) You were the colonel. You were his superior officer. He looked up to you. He did thing that you asked him to do. You asked him to get certain things, he got them for you. You talked to him. Did he ask you–
Richards: I never told him to get information on FEMA until he brought it up.
Zimmerman: Why didn’t you tell him, “Don’t waste your time. This is foolish?” Why didn’t you tell him that?
Richards: Because I was playing the part of the militia man.
I shall end these notes on this 239 page transcription at this point. One must remember that several members of this militia served jail time for criminal acts, which they in fact committed.
But one has to wonder whether things might have turned out a little differently, had Okey Marshall Richards decided to behave as a Christian man in his life instead of a pathological liar, fooling friends, family and business associates. Instead of being a true friend to Looker, he lied to him, as well as others in their militia group, and gained their confidence for the sake of receiving his 30 pieces of silver from the FBI. In exchange, he secretly recorded conversations where he had control of the direction in which these discussions took. Because Richards was a Colonel in charge of intelligence/security for this militia group, his leadership role was imbued with responsibilities, and by his condoning of actions which he knew to be illegal, he is as guilty in the sight of God, as the men who were jailed.
Now the next question is: did Okey Marshall Richards make any unusual phone calls to George Webb and Jason Goodman?