Season one of Bundyville, a National Magazine Award-nominated series and podcast by Leah Sottile, in partnership with Oregon Public Broadcasting.
Cliven Bundy and his sons led two armed standoffs against the federal government and beat them twice in court. The Bundys and their supporters see themselves as Patriots fighting government overreach. Others see them as domestic terrorists rallying extremists and conspiracy theorists to their side. What is the truth?
The Bundy family’s belief that they are defenders of liberty have been shaped by their Mormon faith, but their convictions are connected to a prophecy that the modern Mormon church does not accept as church doctrine. A book of photocopied scripture and speeches by LDS prophets also gives clues to their motivations.
A look into the Bundy family’s history reveals how they began to distrust the federal government. From nuclear testing programs in the 1950s to the decades-long Sagebrush Rebellion starting in the 1970s, Cliven Bundy came to believe that the government was out to get him and became emboldened to fight back.
The Bundys have found momentum in the Trump era. Ryan Bundy is running for governor and politicians are joining the Bundys at public events. They say they’ll do “whatever it takes” to defend their rights.