A Family’s Nightmare

The following story comes from the very excellent blog Journal of Whole Food and Nutritional Health wholefoodusa.wordpress.co

It is truly terrifying to me that our civil liberties can be so easily shredded without so much as an explanation or chance to defend ourselves.

Now that spring is finally here we are, at last, heading up to the mountains this weekend where I will be able to “score” some fresh raw milk. Should I bring a lawyer???

And what the HELL is going on in Ohio these days anyway!?

April Update: SWAT Team Raid on Homeschool and Food/Health Ministry for Hungry Families

April 21, 2009 · 29 Comments

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Is this image illegal, too? Or is it unpatriotic?

If a dozen or more terrorists held two women, 10 children, toddlers and a baby hostage for six hours, the event would be on television nationwide and on the front pages of newspapers the next day.

I suppose it would not mean so much to me if the victims were not my friends, as if they are my brothers and sisters. In fact, they are probably the most loving family I have met in many, many years. I cannot help but bring the story to the forefront again along with new details and nestling all the legal documents and video together in one place.

In this latest Update video, an investigative reporter interviews the victims and the sheriff’s office and includes video of their children and small farm.

It happened before Christmas 2008 at a food and health ministry for hungry families in Ohio. It was as if the family were bio-terrorists or something.

Three snipers with high-powered rifles were aimed at the home with ten children being homeschooled. Babies and toddlers were inside also. About twelve armed sheriff deputies along with agents from the Lorain County (Ohio) Health Department and the Ohio Department of Agriculture raided and ransacked the inside and held the family for six hours inside a room in their home outside Lagange, Ohio.

Food, computers and phones were seized from their private home along with 61 boxes of grass-fed beef and lamb were taken that was butchered, wrapped and labeled by a licensed and USDA inspected butcher shop and delivered the day before. According to the expired search warrant, deputies were to seize money and bank accounts. The storehouse of organic foods from a variety of suppliers as well as the personal food stock were taken as the terrified family watched.

Why? A dozen eggs had been sold after being coerced by an undercover agent. As anyone would say, “there is more to it than that”. Yes, there was more. The owners of the home, Jackie and John Stowers, and their Manna Storehouse, an organic food co-op inside, were alleged to have operated without having a retail food license.

But this event did not make the newspapers or television news much at all, leaving the public unaware to this day what occurred on December 1, 2008, not far from my house.

In homeschool, the children are being taught the 3Rs, as well as Greek and Hebrew. The two Stower teenagers raise the sheep and goats they care for and love so much. The authorities had apparently been tipped off as to their time to strike as the kids lambs were led to slaughter. This was so they could make the bust the day the packed meat was delivered to their home for distribution. Yes, the grinches stole Christmas-even the Christmas dinner, not for just the Stowers, but for many hungry families in the LaGrange area.

But where is the news media, the fair and balanced team?

Where is the Ohio health rule that states a private co-op who does not sell food but arranges for orders of food to be delivered at one location, is required to have a retail food license? There is none.

No charges have yet been filed against the Stowers and The Manna Storehouse. So, where is the beef? Has it been eaten? Or is it rotting in a leased storage facility?

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Is this how the Lorraine County Sheriff protects and serves? Is this how the Ohio Department of Agriculture promotes sustainable, organic agriculture and small, family farms? And is this how the Ohio Department of Health and their county counterparts promote and protects public health through their food safety program?

Just who are the terrorists?

It will be a Christmas never forgotten for the Stowers families and the 12 children, including those of Katie, the wife of Chad Stower. Chad is serving America in the Iraqi War as a Navy SeaBee.

The official motto of the Seabees is “Construimus, Batuimus” – translated into English as “We Build, We Fight.” The Seabees have several unofficial mottos as well. Their best known unofficial motto is the simple phrase “Can Do!”

What will you do?

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