Monday, December 17, 2012

The Challengers 2012 Christmas Mission

The Challengers, with special guest appearance by Santa Claus.


The Challengers’ annual holiday toy and art supply drive was a success. Through a donation box set up at Blush and an in-person appearance by The Watchman, Blackbird, and Night Vision at Brewed Cafe, the team collected donations.  that benefits the Gingerbread House (in West Bend) and Meta House (here in Riverwest). It was a rainy and cold day, but they stuck it out and collected donations of toys, art supplies, and cash. All together, they ended up getting a couple boxes worth of donations- good work, guys! 

Online fundraising (all monetary funds will be used to buy more toys and art supplies) will remain open until Friday, December 21 here: https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/6Om35

Happy holidays!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Challengers 2012 Christmas Charity Mission


Author's note: This is the third holiday season that I've helped out (mainly with press and e-mails) The Challengers- a local Milwaukee group of  RLSH. Each year they try to gather donations of toys and art supplies to donate to two charities. We had a good success with it in 2010. 2011 was a little disappointing, but we're hoping 2012 will be the strongest year yet. All the info for this year's event is below. Happy holidays!

Photo by Lacy Landre

LOCAL “REAL LIFE SUPER HEROES” ON A CHRISTMAS CHARITY MISSION

Superheroes to appear in person December 15 at Brewed Cafe

-December 5, 2012

Milwaukee’s team of “Real Life Super Heroes”-- The Challengers--  are once again working on their annual Christmas charity mission. Like the last two holiday seasons, they’ll be making an in-person appearance to collect toys and art supplies for two great local charities.

The Gingerbread House is a charity in West Bend that collects toys for low income families that need help buying gifts. Meta House, in Milwaukee, is a rehabilitation center for women and their families that has a need for toys and art supplies for their art therapy programs.

The Challengers are using their time and flashy appearance to help attract attention for these charities and collect donations for them. Monetary donations will be used to buy more supplies to donate.

This year, there are multiple ways you can get a donation to The Challengers:

In person: The Challengers will be making an in-person appearance at Brewed Cafe (1208 E. Brady Street) on Saturday, December 15, from 11-4. They will be accepting donations of toys, art supplies, and cash. This is a great chance to meet the “Real Life Super Heroes” in person and help them out with their cause.

There is also a donation box set up at Blush Beauty Boutique (249 N. Water Street) from now until December 15th where donations can be dropped off anytime during business hours (Mon: 11-5, Tu-Sat: 10-6).

In addition, there is a page set up on Fundrazr where you can donate money online: https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/6Om35

###

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Book Complete!



That picture is of my first completed book,Heroes in the Night. I got on the train to Chicago on Thursday and handed it in to my publisher.
Inside that file bin is a lot of work. There is a manuscript (14 Chapters, close to 300 pages) as well as all of the photos and art on a disc and hard copy, signed permission forms and material for the publicity department. 
My first interview for the book was with The Watchman, March 1, 2009. My last was a follow up phone call with Phoenix Jones, November 11, 2012. In between I did hundreds of hours of interviews, research, and field work. I also read a lot of comic books.
My travels for the book took me out on the streets of Milwaukee, Minneapolis/ St. Paul, Rochester, MN, New Bedford, MA, New York, Washington DC, Vancouver, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, and San Diego. I revised the book many times.
What’s next? Well, first I am going to take a day off. The book isn’t actually done, now it is in the hands of the fine folks of Chicago Review Press. They’ll slowly be going through with a line editor, the graphic design dept., and a copy editor. I’ll be working with them on any revisions they’d like to see. 
Then, when it’ s closer to publication date, I’ll be talking with them about publicity, media appearances, a book trailer, running excerpts, and events. That will be the fun part– I’ll actually have the book in my hand.
Meanwhile, I’m going to spend the next month or so working on catching up with smaller things- I have a few articles I’m working on that I need to wrap up. After I’ve caught up, I will be writing a solid beginning base for my next book.
But that, my friends, is a different story.
I'm going to take a couple months hiatus on this blog, but I'll be back in 2013 with some book updates and new Hero Profiles. See you then!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Mutual Kombat: Fight!

Its been awhile since I reported on news coming out of Seattle. Phoenix Jones and his crew, the Rain City Superhero Movement, have been running into a stream of street level confrontations lately.

The most dramatic of these happened in the early hours of this morning. The team intervened in an altercation between some men trying to stop another person's vehicle. The men then turned their attention to the RCSM and an angry confrontation started.

"You know Washington is a mutual combat state, if you'd like to agree to fight we can do that if you'd like to," Jones suggests at the 2:05 mark in the video below. He goes on to explain that  "mutual combat" apparently allows people to fight until one of them hits the ground. I'm no legal expert, but this claim seems to be legit because when police arrived on the scene, they allow the mutual combat to proceed (after trying to talk them out of it).

At the 6:25 mark the fight begins. Jones has removed his famous rubber cowl, and the two men begin to circle each other. After a couple of kicks, Jones' opponent attempts a choke-hold but Jones counters with a right hook and knocks the man out. He then quickly exits from the fighting area and at the command of police leaves the scene. The aftermath-- well, you can just watch for yourself. (NSFW-- loud obscenity, racist comments, total chaos)


On a less combative and more congratulatory note, Phoenix Jones' wife Purple Reign was honored by the University of Seattle for her work on the Purple Reign Campaign, which raised awareness about domestic abuse and money for a women's shelter.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

HERO PROFILE #94: Crimson Canuck


Operates out of: Windsor, Ontario, Canada

Team affiliation: Trillium Guards of Ontario

Activities: Patrols, homeless handouts, charity events

Current missions: "This weekend I'll be doing the "Superhero Walk" with Matthew House Windsor, a program that helps refugees who escape to Canada.

On Halloween I'm teaming up with Rogue Gallery Comics (a local comic book store) to go to a local hospital and hand out comic books and goodies to children who can't trick-or-treat."

Author's notes: The Crimson Canuck was featured in a recent article by Darryl Gallinger for The Lance, the student newspaper for University of Windsor. Gallinger also quotes me in the article, which you can read HERE.

After the article was published, I got a friendly e-mail from the Crimson Canuck, introducing himself and talking about his RLSH goals, which led to this rare Hero Profile update. Hero Profiles will now be on hiatus for a few months, but will return in 2013 as the publishing date for Heroes in the Night draws closer. For now-- a salute to the maple leaf, Darryl Gallinger for the write up and to the Crimson Canuck, one of the RLSH's most devoted Canadian brethren! 

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Knight Owl doc clip


Hey folks, not a lot of blogging lately because I've been working pretty intensely on the book.

I thought I would share this, though-- director Matt Harrison has been working on his doc about famous RLSH of the Pacific Northwest and just release this clip starring Knight Owl:


I'm quite familiar with this character as I met him four different times in four different cities.

1. The Superheroes Anonymous 3 Conference, New Bedford, September, 2009
2. Winter Olympic Meet Up, Vancouver, Feb. 2010
3. HOPE 2011, San Diego, July 2011
4. Infamous trip to Pacific Northwest, Portland, October 2011

The doc's website is: www.citizenheroesthemovie.com

Ok, back to work!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Thanatos Dropping In: FOLLOW UP

Thanatos in training.

Back in February I reported on Vancouver RLSH Thanatos' plan to raise funds for the Easter Seals charity. Thanatos raised the $1600 in contributions to allow him to rappel down the side of a twenty story building in downtown Vancouver on September 11. He'll be wearing his green skull mask and Thanatos gear, of course.

To prepare, he's been practicing his rappelling skills. As we all know from the old Adam West Batman show, this is a key art of the costumed superhero.

"To those who have helped me make my goal, I say a grateful thank you on behalf of some special kids who will benefit from this," Thanatos says.

Thanatos is the star of one of the chapters of my upcoming book, Heroes in the Night. The chapter is titled "The Man in the Green Skull Mask."

Friday, August 31, 2012

Angle Grinder Man- The Legacy Continues

Perth's Wheel Clamp Man in action.

One of the colorful characters I found in my Real Life Super Hero research was a highly disgruntled British bloke that called himself Angle Grinder Man.

Angle Grinder Man operated in London and Kent (his hometown) and his origin story is simple: he snapped after one too many parking violations. In those cities (and others around the world) you will receive what is known as the "boot" or the "clamp"-- a device attached to the wheel of your car-- if you are parked illegally. You then must pay a hefty fine to have someone come around and unlock the device to free your car.

It is aggravating and many angry motorists think it is a racket.

Enter Angle Grinder Man. He first appeared around 2002 or 03, dressed in blue tights and a gold cape, sporting goggles and revving up a gas powered angle grinder. He set up a hotline for frustrated, wheel clamped citizens and would then rush to their side, sawing through the clamps in a shower of sparks. It took him about 45 seconds to saw through a clamp.

"There are not enough parking spaces for people, and no public transport to speak of," Angle Grinder Man declared in a 2003 television interview. "It's a complete joke and yet instead of us suing the government for shambolic mismanagement, we allow them to take back money from us, the very people they have let down."

In 2005, Angle Grinder Man disappeared as mysteriously as he had appeared.
England's Angle Grinder Man

But now, almost a decade later and thousands of miles away, a new superhero has taken on Angle Grinder Man's mission. He is  Wheel Clamp Man of Perth, on the west coast of Australia.

"I'm helping people out," he told Perth's Sunday Times. "I don't feel like I'm damaging property."

Wheel Clamp Man's costume looks like RLSH meets the Village People. He asks for a donation from motorists he helps and reportedly gives the money to the homeless.

Not surprisingly, Perth police aren't happy. They've encouraged the public to turn over the superhero so they can charge him with criminal damage.

--Report from The Telegraph HERE.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Phantom Patriot Protests Aurora


Last post I wrote about a RLSH named Beast who was arrested outside of a Home Depot after observers thought they were witnessing a copycat of James Holmes, the man responsible for the shootings at the Dark Knight Rises premier in Aurora, Colorado. I received an e-mail from the conspiracy theorist RLSH known as Phantom Patriot who informed me that he traveled from his home in Las Vegas to Aurora just to protest at the Century 16 Theater, where the event occurred. 

He held a sign that read "Don't let a mind-controlled , Prozac-popping Joker destroy your freedom !" He says reaction was mostly positive. Police told him to stay on the public sidewalk. 

He further elaborates: 


"I want the RLSH Community to understand that (as crazy as this sounds) one of the (minor) reasons that the New World Order staged this bizarre crime might have been to scare us into inactivity. They don't want a bunch of "Zorros and Robin Hoods" running around and inspiring the common people to take a stand against a corrupt government. More and more , we are being sidetracked into charity events and reality TV. Where's the risk ; where's the heroism in that ? It has become apparent that my previous advice to other RLSHs was correct...don't dress like a Black Blok Anarchist / terrorist. Of course , a protest sign does wonders , to explain yourself to the public. I stuck my neck out (again) to make a point. I challenge the other RLSHs to do the same!" 

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Parking Lot Patrol Ends Badly For Suburban "Beast"

Police arrest Beast, a Mansfield Township RLSH

--BREAKING NEWS--

I've not written about the tragic shooting in Aurora, Colorado at the Dark Knight Rises premier simply because I don't think I have words to express how terrible it is.

The shooting, still prevalent in the news cycle, has naturally made people on edge about...unusually clad people lurking in public places. For an example, we can look at the latest RLSH arrest, a man patrolling the New Jersey suburb of Mansfield Township (population 8,544, according to Wikipedia) that calls himself "Beast."

According to a report on lehighvalleylive.com (which you can read HERE), the Beast was hanging around a Home Depot parking lot, asking shoppers if they needed his assistance when people began to make the Colorado shooting connection in their mind. One woman saw Beast reach into his pocket and was afraid he was going for a gun. He was grabbing his cell phone.

Afraid they were observing an Aurora shooting "copycat,"concerned customers and store employees called police, who arrested Beast in front of Home Depot's garden section. They charged him with disorderly conduct and possession of handcuffs, according to the report. They also drove him to Hackettstown Regional Medical Center "to be evaluated for crisis intervention."

The Beast has a court date set for August 21.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Superheroes Turn to Crowdfunding

Rock N Roll (left) and Night Bug, members of the California Initiative,are fundraising to produce a series of books for children.

In late May I posted a blurb about Austin,Texas RLSH Zimmer's effort to raise funds to build a solar poweredphone recharger for his gadget building company Zimtelligence. His Kickstarter campaign to fund the project was a success, raising over $3,000 and started what appears to be a new trend for RLSH (X-ALTS, RCSM,etc.)-- crowdfunding to support projects and equipment upgrades. There are two current campaigns I'm aware of and will mention here.

Members of the California Initiative are currently trying to raise a little over $8,000 through the site FundRazr to pay for the production of a series of RLSH themed children's books. The FundRazr page states:
"Through our stories, wehope to teach children the importanceof being kind,standing up for what you believe in, getting involved in your community, and much more from the code of ethics that all true superheroes live by."

The group says 10 percent of book sales will be divided between children's charities and are offering incentives at a number of donation levels similar to Kickstarter.

The donation page and more info can be found HERE.

Also a hot topic is Phoenix Jones' effort to raise$10,000 for a new "supersuit" via paypal donations. The Seattle superhero, leader of the Rain City Superhero Movement, says the upgrades include bulletproof armor and face shield, and built in cameras that will allow viewers to follow his patrols live. His effort is off to a strong start,but other RLSH have been critical of his budgetary priorities. (See for example, this post from the Seattle Weekly.)

Jones is also offering a number of incentives for donating at different levels. High rollers can even get their name engraved on the suit. The donation page and more info can be found HERE.



Heroes in the Night will be published in Fall 2013 by Chicago Review Press

Saturday, July 14, 2012

News of the EXCELSIOR! New RLSH Show Hosted by Stan Lee

I had been hearing whispering about this for quite awhile, but a couple of days ago the official trailer was released for Stan Lee's Academy of Heroes, a Real Life Super Hero reality show produced for the YouTube channel.

There have been several disastrous attempts to create a RLSH reality show, but this appears to be the first to make it out the other end of the tunnel alive. Readers of this blog will recognize several faces here, as I've met all off the contestants on this show and some have starring roles in my upcoming book. I'm very interested to see what Stan the Man has in store for the RLSH. Check out the trailer below.

Heroes in the Night will be published in Fall 2013 by Chicago Review Press

Thursday, June 21, 2012

HEROES IN THE NIGHT GETS PUBLISHER

Author Tea Krulos on the street with The Watchman. Photo by Paul Kjelland.

Hello, my friends. I'm very pleased to announce that after a lot of hard work and focus, I've signed a contract with a publisher for Heroes in the Night.

The publisher is Chicago Review Press, a company that offers an excellent catalog of non-fiction. I am very happy with the deal between us and have faith they are going to do a fantastic job and give the book the best presentation possible. Another bonus is that the company is just a short train ride away, so I can stop in and see how things are going in person if need be.

Here are some tentative details: the book is scheduled to have a Fall 2013 release. My final manuscript will be done in the next few months, and then the team at Chicago Review Press will work on editing and lay out.

The book will be available in an affordable paperback and e-book version.

Thanks to everyone who has helped me out so far. Being a published author has been my dream for a long while, and now it has come true.

I will be taking a couple weeks off this blog to work on some stuff and take a short vacation, but in July I will be offering some more Hero Profiles of some folks you'll be reading about in my book.

And now, I suppose, I should get back to work.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

HERO PROFILE #93: Rouroni

Rouroni's XJL teammates and family transport him to his final resting place.


Status: Deceased (car accident)

Team Affiliation: Xtreme Justice League

Activities: Patrols, charity, public appearances

Quote: From his team mate, Urban Avenger: "He was very humble and always kept to himself, but at the same time he could make everyone laugh. He never wanted to be in the spotlight and never wanted to be mentioned or take credit for anything. He was really the epitome of what a RLSH should be. We all learned a lot from him."

Author's notes: R.I.P., Rouroni. 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Zimmer Takes Apollo Armband to Kickstarter


Inventor and Real Life Super Hero Zimmer (of Austin, TX) has launched a Kickstarter campaign to try to raise funding for the first gadget being produced by his company, Zimtelligence. The device is called the Apollo Armband Solar Generator and it collects solar energy to power devices like phones, iPADS, and tablets.

You can watch a video and learn more about the campaign here:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1323279651/apollo-armband-solar-generator

Saturday, May 26, 2012

XJL MEMBER ROURONI DIES IN CAR ACCIDENT

Rouroni with Xtreme Justice League colleagues and other esteemed guests. Rouroni is third from the left, back row.

Yesterday it was reported that Rouroni, a RLSH and member of San Diego's Xtreme Justice League, died in a car accident. In a message on Facebook, XJL team mate Urban Avenger writes:

 "He'd been with the team for almost two years now and patrolled as often as he could and was a huge and important factor in our team. The Xtreme Justice League is deeply saddened by this, we were all his friends and we saw a lot of stuff together. It saddens me deeply just to type these words. Death is never easy to accept, and even harder when its someone you work with all the time and call brother." 
Although I met many of Rouroni's team mates when I visited San Diego last summer for HOPE 2011, I narrowly missed meeting him.

On a personal note, I'd like to offer condolences to Rouroni's family and friends and his XJL team mates in this difficult time.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Heroes in the Night featured in Melbourne City Journal


Straight out of Melbourne, Australia is the below article (not available online) on RLSHs. Journalist Yolanda Redrup interviewed me for the article via phone and quotes me on RLSH relations and the infamous "pepper spray incident" I witnessed while patrolling with Phoenix Jones. It was a wild night, especially when, as Yolanda puts it, I "copped a punch in a massive brawl."  The article focuses quite a bit on the Fauna Fighters, a Melbourne duo that are animal rights activists that use the superhero motif to promote their cause, gathering petition signatures, litter pick up, and patrols. Thylacine and Flying Fox have had a controversial reception among the RLSH for showing support for the radical animal rights group the Animal Liberation Front.

Thank you to Yolanda and The City Journal and G'day to any new readers that followed the article to this blog.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

RLSH TEAM-UP Issue 1

Richard McCaslin aka the Phantom Patriot has released a new comic book that he has written and illustrated titled RLSH Team Up #1. The comic stars himself and San Francisco RLSHs Motor-Mouth and Mutinous Angel in a fictional storyline, inspired by the meet up the three had for a protest of the Bohemian Club in January. I was there to witness the protest (see entry HERE ) and am also mentioned (along with Heroes in the Night) in the comic.

You can get a copy by sending a SASE 6x9 with 2 stamps, 1 copy per request. To also get a copy of McCaslin's last comic, Phantom Patriot, include 1.40 worth of postage on the SASE and send to:
 Richard McCaslin PO Box 7450 Las Vegas , NV 89125 .


"Any orders I get before June 1st will be handled immediately," McCaslin says. "Any orders sent in the month of June won't be handled until July." 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Flint Journal Talks to Heroes in the Night

M Live, the website for the Flint Journal, recently spoke to me and wrote a post about my RLSH "expertise" on their website HERE talking about the recent arrest of Bee Sting (see recent entries).

Thanks to writer Scott Atkinson for the interview. I always enjoy talking to journalists from any variety of publications and have been fortunate in that Heroes in the Night has allowed me to speak with writers around the globe. Next up, I'll be doing an interview with an Australian paper on Sunday, we just figured out the massive time difference.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

MAY DAY! MAY DAY!

May 1st is International Workers' Day, a commemoration of the Haymarket affair, which was  an 1886 clash between police and protesters in Chicago. Most May Day protesters are peaceful, but events often draw the Anarchist Black Bloc, a group that often demonstrates by causing property damage, smashing windows and clashing with police.

In Seattle, Phoenix Jones, along with his team mates Midnight Jack and El Caballero hit the streets to monitor the Anarchist Black Bloc. Rather than speculate, interpret, or comment further, let me simply share this video so you can see what happened next.

Monday, April 30, 2012

The Initiative Announces POWER UP TOUR




The last couple entries on this blog have been about the arrest of Bee Sting, currently in jail for pulling a shotgun on a motorcyclist outside of Flint, Michigan. The entry previous to this is an account by his team mate, Justicar.

Although Bee Sting has yet to go to trial, available evidence (Facebook photos, news reports, team mate's eyewitness account) suggests that this was about an ounce away from being the very worst RLSH scenario. Bee Sting could have easily shot himself, the person he was fighting (who, unless proved otherwise, was only in violation of a noise ordinance), or accidentally shot a bystander or responding officer instead of the empty trailer he hit when the shotgun went off. 

The big question now is...what happens next?

One group that has been working on a solution to incidents like this is the Initiative, a group that has chapters in NYC, Virginia, and North and South California. I recently interviewed one of the group's founders, Zero, about the recent events and the Initiative's plans for the Power Up Tour. He explained the ins and outs of the program and how it is designed to help us from reading about explosive stories like this in the future. 

Tea Krulos: Zero, we've had a couple of troubling incidents over the past couple of months that have painted a pretty negative portrait of the community watchdog. The first is a well known case, nationally-- George Zimmerman shooting an unarmed youth named Trayvon Martin after following him for "looking suspicious." 

And then, and this is closer to home for RLSH and X-ALTS-- we had the case of Bee Sting confronting a motorcyclist with a loaded shotgun, reportedly over a noise issue.

How have these incidents affected what you do and what other people with similar goals do?


Well, as of right now I'd say they really haven't, but bear in mind that this Bee Sting incident just happened a few days ago and so far it's remained pretty low profile on the news. I don't expect that to last very long. Actually, I personally believe it's only a matter of time until someone of note connects the two incidents together and someone raises a campaign against any kind of citizen self-empowerment. 

That's really sad, and more than a little alarming in a world where a lot of people are expressing a distrust in their government, and having that distrust backed up by cases of excessive use of force, wrongful death and just a callous disregard for humanity in some law enforcement.

That said, I don't really believe in absolutes. There are tons of good cops and LEO's out there. I've met quite a few. Generalization has and always will be a huge enemy of compassion, and even worse for progression as a society.

I believe that our system is failing and we're all getting hit with the fallout. I also believe that you're going to hear a lot of negative reports before you hear positive ones. That's just how the news works. We've tried to stay positive, and work on positive goals. 

Honestly, we're not worried. No one is ever going to stop us from helping and protecting people. 


Have you ever felt like, hey, this is all too crazy, I should just quit and leave it up to the cops/ law enforcement? 

Sure, all the time. There's always that part of you that wishes you could just live your life and rely on someone else for protection; but then you see something happening right in front of you, and you can't turn away. You have to do something. And then you do the math and realize it's happening all over. 

Stuff like that, you can't UNsee. 

After a few times of successfully diffusing a conflict that might have blown up into something much larger, you develop a taste for it. Wearing a badge, being under someones thumb and enforcing someone else's politics upon people, that was never for us. Call it grassroots. I believe that a safe society is one where all are capable of watching out for each other. I don't believe that's a polarizing issue, really. 

Protecting our fellow human beings is all we want to do. That and finding new and innovative ways to help people. I think we are approaching a New Renaissance of Necessity; Creativity, Compassion, and Action. Lines are about to be crossed, definitions blurred, boundaries demolished. 

Everyone keeps saying the future is bleak, but I say it's an exciting time to be alive.


The Initiative is announcing the 2012 Power Up Tour. Can you give us a brief overview of what the goals of the tour are and how it will be carried out?

The POWER UP TOUR 2012 is an Initiative Collective nationwide project to bring not only empowerment, proper training, and confidence to Neighborhood Watch and Block Guardians, but also accountability and transparency. After the arrest of Bee Sting, Phoenix Jones and of course the ever-present and looming implications of the Trayvon Martin case, we feel that it's time to bring the power back where it belongs: The People. 

We will be launching a fully functional website on June 1st, in tandem with a physical tour in which we contact each and every PD Community Affairs office and established Block Watch in our respective cities and organize meetings. These meetings will introduce the site, give a tutorial, and drop off our PowerPack… a brief list of solid, low cost resources for initial training and resources to get people started, or to give them momentum to continue their efforts to protect their loved ones and their neighborhoods responsibly. 

From there, they can use the website to report crime anonymously, track crime patterns, build block watches, trade skill training between professionals and communicate with each other and their precinct's Community Affairs offices. In addition, we will be building strong communication and trust between not only ourselves and the community, but as we move from neighborhood to neighborhood, the community itself. As they teach and learn from each other, they will build confidence in themselves and their skills in practical self defense, medical assistance, legalities and most importantly for this kind of work, non-violent communications. 

And as they learn, so will the Initiative. We all teach, we all learn, we all prosper. 

And how will this help prevent incidents like the one with Bee Sting, George Zimmerman, or other RLSH or neighborhood watch group who have been arrested or made bad decisions? 

I think the problem with a lot of issues like these is not enough focus on non-violent conflict resolution techniques. In fact, a lot of people scoff at the idea because they have never seen just how effective these techniques can be. 

Going at an argument with personal attacks, baseless commands or just plain rudeness is like taking a jackhammer to build an ice sculpture. The only way to GET someone to understand is to put aside your ego and try a little understanding yourself. 

People who act erratic or irritate you are most often coming from a place of pain. If you contribute to their defenses by acting offensive, you feed a fire. You don't put one out. 

With a program like the Power Up Tour, we're going to try to put into place a skill trade system which will allow people to train each other in their respective fields, as well as keep people up to date with free or low-cost training resources. This method of facilitating free training will lead to stronger skill sets, which will give people a better grasp on actual technique and eliminate the overcompensation that often happens with the undertrained and overzealous. 

There are many facets and peripheral goals of the Power-Up Tour, but the skill trade is one of my favorites. Just the idea of "trade anything" always leaves me excited, and I hope that it gets people thinking about the possibility of living outside the box even further. 

At it's base, what we're doing here is creating a central communications hub, a skill trade system, and an quantifiable recruiting pool. Then we're physically going from block to block to establish a real-time, face to face connection with PEOPLE. This is something that is important, as it's really easy to forget that there are a whole lot of people behind all of those little avatars on the internet. We need to re-connect. 

Again, as with any project the Initiative does, we wouldn't be presumptuous enough to think that this is THE solution to save the world… It's just us putting what we know to work to get something started. If this whole thing crashes and burns, but someone ends up making a better resource because of it, we will have done our part. That's all I want. 

How can people get involved with this project if they want to participate?


Even "Superman" couldn't be everywhere at once. But do you know who can? ...EveryONE.

Literally EVERYONE can get involved in this project. Check out the site, make a profile, find a block watch near you. List your skills, certifications, anything legal you want to teach or learn to make a stronger and safer community. 

The skill trade sections are Fitness, Conflict Resolution, Legal, Medical, Self-Defense, Miscellaneous Professional and Safety Resources. 

In addition, if people really believe in this and want to go the extra mile, they can always grab the PowerPack and go talk to Community Affairs and block watches to introduce them to the site and how it allows for better communication. No one has to put in any money, or subscribe to anything. There is no allegiance to organizations, no papers to sign, no promises to keep. 

It's just a social contract and people working with people, that's all. 

The REALLY sweet thing is how this opens the doors to something that has been going on in professional circles for a long time, but never really utilized on a game-changing level; Skill trade can get people better jobs, and strengthen us as a people overall, regardless of it's connection to block watches. 

Not only can you, say, trade some training in a skill you have to get better at self defense, you can also tap into the "Pro Skills Misc" section to pick up some skills to trade for other skills. The possibilities are endless, all working towards making us stronger as a people, and more confident in our private lives. 

Anything else you want to say to anyone reading this about these crazy times we live in?

Yeah. Just breathe. We will make it through together. 

Trust Yourself.

JUSTICAR GIVES HEROES IN THE NIGHT STATEMENT

JUSTICAR-- BEE STING'S TEAM MATE RECALLS WITNESSING INCIDENT, SAYS BEE STING BROUGHT "A SHOTGUN TO A SHOUTING MATCH"
Justicar

It has now been revealed that when Bee Sting was arrested for pulling a shotgun on a motorcyclist outside of Flint, Michigan, that he wasn't alone. His team mate Justicar was also present and witnessed the event. I asked him if he would like to share a statement about the night and he wrote the following for me to share:

The rest of the story...sounds like Paul Harvey, doesn't it? This tale almost deserves this treatment. The night my life as a RLSH changed forever. I am still working on putting the pieces together from that night to make sense from it all. Am I shattered by it? Yes. Do I question putting the mask back on? Yes. Bee Sting made a critical error bringing a shotgun to a shouting match. I have watched everything from the media to Facebook taking sides. This is very polarizing, and it should be. Was this something that could have been prevented? Yes. A little common sense and a cooler head. Bee Sting was a hothead in this and never should have torched a situation that seemed volatile to start.

Introducing a firearm to a situation will raise the stakes to a level that is almost hopeless. It played out before my eyes like a nightmare in slow motion. I then saw the aftermath of the victim's kids crying and I know those children will be haunted by this a long time afterward as I will be. Pieces of me are left there forever over a bad decision over a noise complaint.

I know of another life shattered by this as well. I keep hearing that the true story will come out. It has but what of those of us that have to deal with the collateral damage it has wrought? We as humans have the freedom to make good and bad decisions and this one was a wrong choice I'm sure with good intentions.

I play this out in my mind daily and hug my family when I do. All RLSH should learn from this as a cautionary tale as how a thing we do can turn very wrong and where a very solid line should be painted.

I have thoughts of shredding my mask over this and wondering how long before the public knows who I truly am. I chose my name to represent Justice and this was not. One needs to accept whatever the wage of sin will bring because of this.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Bee's Fiancee Speaks

Bee Bee Gun? Bee Sting at the firing range.


BREAKING NEWS: BEE STING CHARGED, FIANCEE GIVES HEROES IN THE NIGHT INTERVIEW, PLOT THICKENS

Charges have now been reported in the arrest of Bee Sting (see previous entry). The Flint Journal's website reports:

"(Bee Sting), age 36, of Sterling Heights, was arraigned by Genesee District Judge Larry J. Stecco on Friday for assault with a dangerous weapon and wearing body armor during a commission of a violent crime."

Earlier this evening I received an e-mail from Bee Sting's fiancee. I offered her to give a statement about what was going on and what follows is the impromptu interview that took place.

Tea Krulos: Anything you'd like to say, I'll repost.

Thank you. I still haven't gotten to talk to (Bee Sting). They have him in the main holding area where he can't get visitors or phone calls. Right now all I have is anger for the other members of the RLSH, the ones that have jumped to conclusions without knowing (Bee Sting's) side.

TK: Can you tell me about the last time you saw him? What was going on, what did he say?

It was Wednesday night. He didn't tell me he was going on patrol...he knew it made me worry. The next thing I know someone is trying to call me from jail Thursday morning...a cell phone, so I couldn't accept. But I can tell you I know (Bee Sting) and he NEVER would have pointed a gun at an unarmed man unless he feared for his life or someone else's. I wish the jail would let me talk to him.

TK: So you're saying this story doesn't fit his character? You don't see him doing something like that?

Absolutely not. And I can also tell you that the owner of the mobile home park was paying him and the other guys $10 a night to patrol, $10 each, to cover their gas.

TK: Really? Because in the article I read, he distances himself from Bee Sting and the group.

He was, according to the article. That was a lie, though. (Bee Sting) had just told me the previous weekend about how the guy wanted them to patrol...and was more than willing to pay for it, even though they told him they didn't need to.

TK: What did you think of him bringing a shot gun on patrol? Did you know? Did that concern you?

I knew that he had one, and frankly I thought it was a good idea to have just in case a situation got really bad.

TK: So you've seen some of the negative reaction online from RLSH and others-- what message do you have for them?

All I want them to know is that if the tables were turned...if it were any of them sitting where he is right now, he would not be rushing to judgement. He wouldn't be trying to "boot them" from the Michigan Protectors. He would wait to hear their side, he'd get all the facts. They way they are turning on him like a pack of rabid dogs is just sick.

There was many a time I questioned the whole RLSH thing, when I questioned the real purpose of the Michigan Protectors. He never failed to stand up to me, to stand on behalf of every one of them. It's sad to see that they can't lend him the same courtesy, even when he isn't in a position to defend himself.

BEE STING STUNG

MICHIGAN PROTECTORS MEMBER ARRESTED RIDING SHOTGUN IN TRAILER PARK



According to a report by the Flint Journal, Real Life Super Hero and Michigan Protectors member Bee Sting was added to the list of the  AWM ("Arrested While Masked") members of the RLSH (see entry previous to this for more examples over the last year).

Writer Roberto Acosta reports that Bee Sting was arrested early Thursday morning after getting into a skirmish and firing a shotgun. The incident occurred at the Twin Meadows Mobile Home Park in Burton, Michigan, a suburb of Flint. Acosta reports:

Lt. Michael Odette said Bee Sting is part of the Protectors group, which label themselves online as "a group of costumed activists," but owner Bruce Stein denies giving the group permission to act as security at the park off Fenton Road.

Around 12:07 a.m. Thursday, a 38-year-old man was riding into the park with his girlfriend when the pair were approached by Bee Sting because of the volume of the motorcycle.

"Bee Sting approaches the man about how he was driving his motorcycle too loud," said Odette. 
The costumed man was equipped with a tactical belt, pepper spray, scissors and handcuffs, and wearing a bullet-proof vest, black leather jacket with a bee logo, shin guards, knee pads, black leather gloves and carrying a shotgun. 
A verbal confrontation ensued between the men, Odette said, when "It escalates and the suspect, Mr. Bee Sting, according to our victim points a gun at him."
The victim was able to grab the barrel of the shotgun and point it in an opposite direction, Odette said. One shot was fired and struck a nearby vacant trailer, and police arrived as the men were fighting.
Bee Sting's last Facebook status update, posted before going on patrol reads, "Time to roll. Everyone BEE safe." He also posted a couple of photos showing off an arm gauntlet designed to hold shotgun shells.

"I love the smell of new gear in the morning," reads his caption to the photo below. "There's a zipper compartment as well. Buck shot on the outside, all-purpose on the inside."

Heroes in the Night will follow any updates. The case of the George Zimmerman (a self appointed neighborhood watchdog) shooting of Trayvon Martin (an unarmed youth) has been a firestorm in the media for weeks. It'll be interesting to see public reaction to the case of the shotgun toting superhero.

AWM: Arrested While Masked




Bee Sting, right, shown here chatting with Master Legend, is the latest RLSH arrest.

People ask me what the relationship between RLSH and the police is like. I'm somewhat relieved to say that the majority of the time it is ok, if not a little awkward. That is because most RLSH patrols are done unarmed, like a concerned citizens foot patrol.

But over the last 9 months there has been... incidents. Consider the following RLSH Arrested While Masked (AWM):

--October, 2011. Phoenix Jones and "the Pepper Spray Incident." One of the more hair-raising parts of my upcoming book, Heroes in the Night, details a night I spent in Seattle. Phoenix Jones, along with his Rain City Superheroes Movement team mate Ghost, myself, and videographer Ryan McNamee saw a street fight between Russians, Jones intervened and pepper sprayed the combatants, and all hell broke loose. Eventually the Seattle Police Department showed up and read us all our Miranda Rights. They let us all go except Jones, who was taken to jail with assault charges. The charges were later dropped.
Infamous video HERE

--November, 2011. I was the one who broke the story of the arrest of The Ray, a Bay Area RLSH and former member of the Pacific Protectorate. The Ray was beaten down by police and arrested for "assault" and "failure to disperse" at an Occupy Oakland protest. See my write up HERE.

--January, 2012. I traveled to San Francisco to meet a man named Richard McCaslin aka Phantom Patriot aka Thoughtcrime for a protest. Although he hasn't been arrested recently, the event reflected on the 10 year anniversary on his 2002 arrest for raiding a place called the Bohemian Grove. It is a complex story and I try to make sense of it HERE.

--April, 2012. The Bar Harbor Batman finds himself in hot water after he posts a Facebook update meant to be an April Fool's joke that says the Bar Harbor Batman will blow up a hospital unless his demands are made. A trial is still pending. See my blog post HERE.

--April, 2012. Bee Sting arrested. See entry after this one.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

HERO PROFILE #92: Red Light

Operates out of: Washington, DC

Activities: Patrols, charity work


Quote: "I mostly break up bar fights, call in drunk drivers and suspicious stuff...like the car that likes to camp out the ATM late at night. That sort of thing. I've always done volunteer work and charity stuff. Helped out the bouncers at the many bars I've worked at. They used to let me handle kicking people out because I'd have them out the front door before they knew what happened. I was just good at talking them down."

 Author's notes: Today's profile is on the ginger haired ninja of DC, the witty and kind-hearted Red Light. This modest woman gets mistaken for a Canadian due to her love of hockey and is an insomniac. She has a job in security and applies those skills to her patrols. "It wasn't a far stretch to take what I'd learned over the years and apply it to the street," she tells me.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

HERO PROFILE #91: Vampireto!


Operates out of: Undisclosed location in Mexico

Activities: Agriculture instruction and advocacy

Quote: "My main purpose or area of work is to teach people from rural areas how to better grow their food and improve their lives.Instead of giving the homeless food that they ´ll finish in half an hour and then need more, it's better to teach them how to make their own food."

Author's notes: Inspired by his love of superheroes and Dia de los Muertos, Vampireto! adopted his vampire bat theme after he found out about the RLSH and decided to use his training in agriculture to help others.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

HERO PROFILE #90: Peaceman


Operates out of: A giant castle in the Hamptons, Long Island

Activities: Raises money for the Peaceman Foundation, which benefits victims of hate crime and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, produces music videos based on peace protest songs.

Sidekicks: Dragonmina and Peace Puppy.

Vehicle: The Peacemobile, a 1960s themed stretch limousine.

Quote: "My super power is the power of my checking account. My ability to save lives, literally, by writing checks to various causes."

Author's notes: Read an in depth interview with Peaceman in the blog entry prior to this one.

THE MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR RLSH


Million dollar super crew: Peaceman, Dragonmina, Peace Puppy.

Two very popular superhero franchises in recent years have been DC's classic character Bruce Wayne aka Batman and Tony Stark, alias Iron Man.

These two characters have no super powers to speak of, save one: they are both filthy rich. This was a good idea for the writers. They could explain away any crazy vehicles, bat computers, robot suits, etc., by the simple fact that Wayne and Stark's vast fortunes had paid for the technology. Both characters started as millionaires, but with inflation were soon upgraded to billionaires.

But what if there was such a thing as a multi-millionaire Real Life Super Hero? Would he spend big money on flying exo-suits and training with grappling hook guns?

Well, not so much. Sir Ivan Wilzig is also known as his superhero alter ego Peaceman. He is the founder of the Peaceman Foundation, which benefits victims of hate crime and also those suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He also has cut several videos from his album I Am Peaceman, a series of techno dance remixes of classic protest songs like The Grass Roots' "Let's Live For Today," and John Lennon's "Imagine." He also has an interpretation of the African-American spiritual song "Kumbaya." I don't quite have the words to describe it, so I posted it below.

Fans of the Stan Lee hosted reality show Who Wants to be a Superhero? will recognize him as Mr. Mitzvah on season 2, a character designed to celebrate his Jewish heritage. He chose a new character for the show to retain copyright on the Peaceman persona.

Peaceman's lair is a incredibly huge castle in the Hamptons, where he has a secret changing room, a stock of Peaceman outfits, including several capes with rhinestone studded peace symbols, and a sidekick-- a teacup chihuahua named Peace Puppy. He is currently working on a custom made tie dyed stretch limousine which he'll debut in a tour of him cruising around doing good deeds. You'll be able to see him in action in an upcoming reality show about the Wilzig family.
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Peaceman's castle in the Hamptons. Not too shabby.

I recently had a phone interview with Peaceman, exploring his life as a millionaire superhero, which follows.

Tea Krulos: What is the origin story of Peaceman?


Peaceman: Well, you know I was on second season of Who Wants to be a Superhero, right?

Right, under a different name.


Peaceman: Mr. Mitzvah. So what happened is that made me, historically, the first Jewish superhero in history. I don't know if you're aware of that.

No.

Peaceman: Yeah. You can Google it and...there was an Israeli female superhero, but only in animated form, not one that played the role of a superhero on television or in a movie.

When I auditioned for that show, it was as Peaceman, but then they wanted to own all of the intellectual property to that so I created the other character.

The reason I created the character was because my father is an Auschwitz survivor. I lost 59 relatives in the Holocaust. The character started as a nickname because I started wearing peace capes to perform in when I made the transition from banker to singer.

45 is pretty late to start a pop music career after working twenty years in a bank so artistically I wanted to go from a three piece suit and a briefcase to something different so people would know I'm no longer the banker but a singer about peace and I started wearing the peace symbol cape because the songs that I sang were all modern remakes of the iconic 1960s anti-war songs, from the Woodstock generation.

Then I decided to start the Peaceman Foundation, whose mission is to battle hate crime and post traumatic stress disorder. I chose hate crime, obviously, because of my family background. And while not every hate crime victim is suffering from PTSD and not every victim of PTSD is a survivor of hate crime, the two do overlap so I chose to champion both of those causes through my foundation and music.

I've worn my costume several times to do good deeds. One time it was feeding the homeless during Thanksgiving and another time I went to a school in Harlem that was going to lose it's mortgage so I showed up in costume and gave them a donation so they wouldn't lose their school.

After Who Wants to Be a Superhero I was contacted by Superheroes Anonymous, by Life, a RLSH in New York. They do real life good deeds, everything from crime watch to manning soup kitchens, etc. I saw what he was doing was a great thing. I not only in the beginning gave them a few small donations, to make sure their charitable and community minded activities were successful. I became so impressed with them that I became their patron saint as you might say, their benefactor, sponsor, underwriter, whatever you want to call it. They have an annual event at Times Square, workshops, handouts to the homeless, teaching other superheroes how to make costumes and get involved, and advice.

So you've met other RLSH and made a connection.

Peaceman: Yeah, I've met some from the New York area. I tell them my super power is the power of my checking account. My ability to save lives, literally, by writing checks to various causes.

Stan Lee himself called me the "Real Life Bruce Wayne." And instead of a Batmobile, I'm taking my car, it'll be the most famous car in the world when I'm done, I'm going to take my stretch limousine to the Peacemobile. I'm going to have it custom painted to look like the old Volkswagon hippy van. I'll then go city to city in it doing good deeds, visiting communities and doing donations and things.

Wow.

Peaceman: Part of that will probably be reflected in a family reality show with my brother and mother that is currently be produced. We begin shooting the sizzle reel for that next month in Miami and New York and work on a pilot in the summer.

(Note: Sir Ivan's brother, Alan Wilzig, is a race car driver and his mother, Dr. Naomi Wilzig, owns the World Erotic Art Museum.)

By the way, when I dress as Peaceman in my capes with the large Swarovski rhinestone peace emblem on the back, for each cape I have in my closet, which is about a dozen different colors, my teacup chihuahua, I call her the Peace Puppy, she has identical silk capes. I take her out with the matching silk capes with the peace sign on the back. So there is Peaceman, Peace Puppy, and my best friend will be going with us dressed as Dragonmina. Dragonmina is immortalized in a sculpture that fits in the center of the pool, nude morphing into a dragon. So it'll be like a superhero family going on these missions together.

Are you planning a follow up album to I am Peaceman?

Peaceman
: I'd like to do a I am Peaceman II and III. Probably each album would contain a certain amount of remix from the 60s, but not entirely.

Do you do live performance as Peaceman?

Peaceman: I do occasionally, but I prefer doing music videos, instead of touring around. I usually tie in live performance with events for the Peaceman Foundation at my castle each summer.

I think I might be the oldest RLSH doing this, I'm 56. Are you aware of any older than me doing this?

Well, there is Thanatos in Vancouver. He's in his early 60s.


Peaceman: Ok, and I can't say for certain because I don't look at everyone's financial statements, but I suspect I'm the wealthiest.

Yes. I think that is pretty certain.


Peaceman
: And I don't want to toot my own horn, but I think I am the wisest as far as formal education. I not only went to an ivy league college, but also graduated law school.

So you're a multi-millionaire, you can do anything you want, really. So why Peaceman?

Peaceman: I get to raise money for some worthy causes, battling hate crime and PTSD. Hate crime is such a big deal to me because I had so much of my family murdered by the ultimate hate crime: the Holocaust. And my father, while never formerly diagnosed with PTSD, he certainly exhibited signs his whole life of having mental scars, he had nightmares and flashbacks of being in the camps and suffered from depression occasionally. He was very nervous and anxious all his life. It didn't keep him from being one of the most successful businessmen in America, but it did make it difficult to be around him.

It also--because I get publicity being Peaceman, it gives me an oppurtunity to remind people and talk to them about history and the Holocaust.

I sometimes get teased by people on the street somebody says 'hey, there's an Elvis impersonator' or 'there's a magician running around' or 'that nut thinks it's Halloween.' You have a thicker skin when you go out in a cape. Not everyone can do it. So I kind of stand for people who are proud to be different.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

HERO PROFILE #89: Knight Warrior


Operates out of: Salford, England

Team affiliation: Justice Union

Activities: Crime patrols, charity events, attempted mayoral campaign

Quote: "I decided to run for mayor to bring something different to the job."

Author's notes: Knight Warrior, a young British RLSH that patrols Salford recently made an attempt to get into the race for the Salford mayoral seat (see previous entry on this blog), attracting some media attention.

He didn't succeed at raising the 500 pound (about 791 US dollars) filing fee, but on a positive note he donated the campaign money he did raise to a local homeless shelter.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

KNIGHT WARRIOR RUNS FOR MAYOR


BRITISH RLSH NEEDS TO RAISE FUNDS BY TOMORROW TO BE IN RUNNING FOR SALFORD MAYOR

--Salford

According to several British media sources, British RLSH Knight Warrior is trying to campaign to become Mayor of Salford, a city of 229,000 people in northwest England.

Before the masked man can seriously campaign for office, though, he'll need to raise a 500 pound application fee. Knight Warrior explains:

"I'm looking to reach a target of £500 by Wednesday 4th April, this is needed for the fee laid down by Salford Council. If for whatever reason I'm not able to raise the full amount (therefore unable to stand for election) all monies raised will be donated to Centre Point."

A RLSH in public office? Is it possible?

You can read an in-depth article on the mayoral run HERE.

Knight Warrior's campaign page on Facebook, with a link to donate is HERE.

And lastly, I wrote an article on Knight Warrior and other British RLSH for the British quarterly magazine Delayed Gratification, which you can read HERE.

Monday, April 2, 2012

BAR HARBOR BATMAN GOES BEHIND BARS


APRIL FOOL'S JOKE FOUND NOT-SO-FUNNY BY BAR HARBOR'S FINEST

Lots of people were posting jokes as updates on Facebook yesterday, and the caped crusader of Bar Harbor, Maine, was no exception.

The Bar Harbor Batman (who was profiled a little over a year ago on this blog HERE) does parade appearances and foot patrols and posted this April Fool status update:

"I demand payment of 1 million Dollars or I will Blow up the Hospital. Once the funds are secured, Private Message me for Further Instruction."

Facebook followers didn't see the funny side and reported the Facebook posting to the police, who showed up at the Bar Harbor Batman's humble abode to haul him in.

He is out on bail and returns to court in June to face "terrorizing charges," according to a report you can read HERE.

This is a rare case where Batman will have to stand before a judge and prove that he is...funny.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

HERO PROFILE #88: Thoughtcrime


Operates out of: Las Vegas, NV

Formerly known as: The Lynx, Crackdown, the Phantom Patriot

Activities: Various protests against politicians, the "New World Order," Bohemian Club, etc.

Quote: "It is a sad day in America when someone has to resort to gaudy street theater to get the truth out to the masses, but you have left me no choice."

Author's notes: To get a fuller picture of who Richard McCaslin aka Thoughtcrime (and his other alter ego, Phantom Patriot) is, read the post on this blog previous to this one.

RETURN of the PHANTOM PATRIOT


Ok. It is time now to talk about Richard McCaslin aka the Phantom Patriot aka Thoughtcrime.

This is a story that I've gotten to know since Fall of 2010. It is a complex story that I've often had a hard time wrapping my head around, but we'll look at this story in simple steps.

PRE-PHANTOM PATRIOT: McCASLIN BEFORE 2002

McCaslin was in fact one of the earlier known RLSH prototypes.

McCaslin served in the Marines and even as Batman for a Six Flags stunt show in the late 1990s. Submissions sent in to comic book letter pages show he was talented at duplicating the costumes of his favorite superheroes.

In the 1980s, McCaslin read Night Rider’s How to Be a Superhero book, a self published guide to being a RLSH written in 1980. McCaslin had mail ordered the book via an ad in the back of a Marvel comic book. McCaslin was excited about the book and drove from Zanesville, Ohio (where he was living at the time) to Morgantown, West Virginia (where the book lists a po box as its address) and spent a night cruising around, hoping to run into Night Rider on patrol.

He adopted a new persona, The Lynx, in 1985 and began patrols of Zanesville with a partner named Iron Claw. Iron Claw, still a teenager, was probably the first RLSH sidekick. McCaslin developed other personas over the years, mostly for TV, stage, or movie ideas.

THE PHANTOM PATRIOT

In 2001 McCaslin developed the Phantom Patriot persona, who had the goal of protesting the “New World Order.” Phantom Patriot’s gear featured a navy blue jumpsuit, boots, and a skull mask with an American flag wrapped bandana style on the head. An elephant decorating one arm and a donkey on the other both were cancelled with a red circle and slash.

He travelled to make a series of “symbolic appearances” on the east coast, leaving literature he had written about the New World Order government conspiracy at the Minuteman statue, the White House, and the Boston Tea Party Ship. A trip to the Statue of Liberty was aborted because of security.

Back home in Austin, Texas, where McCaslin was living at the time, he saw a documentary produced by conspiracy theorist Alex Jones on public access. The documentary, “Dark Secrets of Bohemian Grove,” claims there are satanic rituals held there.

The Bohemian Club, located in San Francisco, owns the Bohemian Grove, located north of San Francisco near Monte Rio. The Grove is a 2,700 acre resort deep in the redwood forest. It is members only, men only, with no media access allowed. Members include the most powerful and wealthy men in the country-- every Republican president since 1923 has been a member as has several Democrats, as well as lots of high level politicians, CEOs, businessmen, actors, and entertainers. The Grove is open year round, but the biggest event of the year happens in July, a two week long Midsummer celebration. This more or less consists of the Bohos networking, getting drunk, and partying in the woods.

What conspiracy theorists have latched onto is this elite gathering of powerful men’s opening ritual for their Midsummer meet up-- a bizarre ceremony called the “Cremation of Care.” In this production, several members of the club (McCaslin refers to them as “Bohos”) dress as druids and burn an effigy at the foot of a 40 foot owl statue, the “Great Owl of Bohemia.” There is eerie music, pyrotechnics, and the owl statue even speaks to them in some cryptic poetry (and to make things even weirder, the owl’s voice is a recording made by beloved news anchor Walter Cronkite - I can’t make this stuff up!)

Many people who have written on this suggest it’s nothing more than theatrics-- a sort of frat boy ritual for rich old men.

The Phantom Patriot didn’t think so, though, as he informed me through a series of e-mails and hand written letters. He was (and still is) convinced that live human sacrifice took place there, and he planned a raid to save the victims and expose the Grove. On Jan. 20, 2002 he slipped into the Grove with the following: a rifle, a pistol, a knife, a sword, a bullet- proof vest and a homemade smoke bomb launcher. He also had a crossbow and a baton in his truck. What he didn’t have was adequate batteries for his flashlight, so after he entered the Grove he found himself lost in the dark. He broke into a cabin and spent the night.

At daybreak he found the Owl of Bohemia, which he had planned to destroy, but found it was made of concrete instead of wood as he had anticipated. He decided to burn down a nearby mess hall instead. He lit it on fire, but the sprinkler system extinguished the blaze and sounded an alarm. After a short but tense standoff with the Sheriff’s department, he surrendered.

McCaslin was sentenced and imprisoned from 2002-2008. During this period he drew a comic book version of the events and developed a new, Jehovah’s Witness - themed superhero - The Revelator. He abandoned this persona after he dropped out of the religion.

“I quit, in front of my whole congregation after learning that their founder, Charles Taze Russell, was a 33rd degree Freemason and Knights Templar - a major player for the Illuminati!” McCaslin explained in a letter.

The Phantom Patriot was paroled in May 2011. His parole conditions stated he must stay 35 miles away from the Bohemian Grove, and informed him, “You will not possess or have access to costumes-clothing.”

POST-PAROLE: THE THOUGHTCRIME TOUR


After his parole period was over McCaslin adopted a new persona-- a George Orwell inspired hero named “Thoughtcrime McCaslin.” In summer of 2011, he hit the road traveling to all 48 lower states to hold peaceful protests against the New World Order. I actually met him and shadowed him for his protests in downtown Milwaukee and at O'Hare airport in Chicago, where he protested specifically against the TSA.

McCaslin currently lives in Las Vegas where he incorporates the Thoughtcrime persona to protest appearances by politicians and has protested with the 9/11 Truthers.
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Thoughtcrime in Milwaukee during the Thoughtcrime Tour

THE RETURN OF THE PHANTOM PATRIOT

In January I was invited out to San Francisco to witness McCaslin return as the Phantom Patriot to commemorate the tenth anniversary of his raid on the Bohemian Grove. He recreated his Phantom Patriot outfit and marched to give a protest at the Bohemian Club headquarters in downtown San Francisco. RLSHs have been reluctant to reply or participate with McCaslin in protests because they don't share his beliefs, but in this case he was joined by two members of the Pacific Protectorate-- Motor-Mouth and Mutinous Angel.

Outside of the Bohemian Club, McCaslin spoke for about ten minutes, describing his beliefs about the Bohos and reading an excerpt from the book Trance-Formation of America, written by Cathy O'Brien and her husband Mark Phillips. In the book, O'Brien claims that she was brainwashed under the government's MK Ultra program and used as a sex slave by several prominent American and foreign politicians. McCaslin read an excerpt in which O'Brien describes being used as a sex slave in the Bohemian Grove.

A full video of the appearance is below. I am currently developing a book that will follow Heroes in the Night that will be about McCaslin, his life and beliefs, working title: Phantom Patriot.