Anti-Government Pastor Won’t Pay Taxes, Setting up Battle in Rural Oregon
SUBLIMITY, Ore. (AP) _ The leader of the anti-government Embassy of Heaven religious sect says that if authorities evict him from his property for not paying taxes, they’ll have to carry him off.
The pastor, who goes by the name Paul Revere, says he has no weapons but can’t control whether others bring them onto the rural property where his family and a few members of the sect live and worship in the foothills of the Cascade mountains east of Salem.
``Anything is possible. I do the very best I can to keep ... weapons out of the picture,″ Revere said Tuesday.
Marion County commissioners have given Revere a Nov. 6 deadline to pay $16,000 in back taxes on the 34 acres or face a 30-day eviction notice, said commissioner spokeswoman Sue McCracken.
But the county hasn’t decided how it would evict Revere, who says he has no intention of leaving _ or paying.
Revere, whose anti-government beliefs led him to put a ``Heaven″ rather than Oregon license plate on his car, said the Embassy is a church and therefore should be exempt from property taxes. The 10-year-old sect has about 300 active members nationwide, he said.
Neighbors laughed at the suggestion of a Freemenlike siege, but some worry about the people the Embassy attracts.
``I am probably more concerned with the rationale of a group of people who might follow″ Revere, said Clarence Gruver. ``Wackos beget wackos, so to speak.″