In response to overwhelming calls for information about the Florida couple who "abducted" their own children yesterday, the Slidell Police Department in Slidell, Louisiana, has issued a press release about the June 2012 arrest of Joshua Hakken and the confiscation of his children:
In June of 2012, Joshua and Sharon Hakken were staying at a local hotel in Slidell. The Slidell Police Department was called in reference to a disturbance involving Mr. and Mrs. Hakken. When police arrived, both Mr. and Mrs. Hakken were acting in a bizarre manner that alarmed officers. They were talking about “completing their ultimate journey” and were traveling across the country to “take a journey to the Armageddon”. Let it be noted that both of their children were present in the hotel room at the time.
Based off their behavior, and the fact that narcotics and weapons were located inside of the hotel room, officers contacted the Office of Child Services (OCS). OCS determined that the children were in danger and needed to be taken into custody by the State of Louisiana and temporarily placed in a foster home. Mr. Hakken was placed under arrest for Possession of Marijuana, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and the Use of a Controlled and Dangerous Substance in the Presence of Minors. Officers also took custody of several weapons for safe keeping.
Approximately two weeks later, Slidell Police were notified that Mr. Hakken had shown up to the foster family home (somewhere in Hammond, LA) with a firearm demanding the return of his children. The foster parents called 911, and Mr. Hakken fled without his children. We have heard nothing until yesterday. Slidell Police was contacted by the FBI and the authorities from Florida to inform us about the kidnapping. They requested any and all information that we had on the Hakken’s.
I asked the Slidell Police Department for Hakken's arrest report, and was told that it's being kept private because Hakken's drug charges are still pending. As I noted in an update a few minutes ago, the Slidell Police Department says the claim that Hakken was arrested at an "anti-government rally" simply isn't true, and they don't know where it came from.
Earlier today, the Tampa Bay Times reported that Hakken uses the name "SailingBull" on various message boards (he owns a sailboat, and he's a graduate of USF, which has a bull mascot). After looking through nearly all of Hakken's 190+ posts on the Kel-Tec Owner's Group, I got the impression of a normal guy with libertarian/Tea Party leanings. He posted about opposing the death penalty, the war on drugs, and the Patriot Act; about loving his wife and sons; and about his enthusiasm for sailing, firearms, and building a new grill in their backyard. The "Armageddon" line is particularly confusing seeing as Hakken appears to be a member of secularhomeschool.com, where, in 2010, he described himself as an atheist:
I definitely plan on teaching about different religions to my children when it comes up in context of other studies: i.e. history, social studies, geography, philosophy... Right now we're in the pre-preschool phase so I've got time.
As far as teaching the dogma of any particular religion, I will probably limit my teaching of that in context with what / why people believe and how it has / will affect the actions of people.
Personally, I think every religion from Christianity to Athiesm is a plague. The notion that we can answer questions we have no knowledge base for is rediculous. While there may be redeeming lessons from a particular religion, most organized faiths have historically been used to shed personal responsibility while stripping the individual of personal rights and freedoms of it's congregation.
Religion does not teach moral value, the best it can accomplish is to coexist and not intrude on such values.
It's worth noting that law enforcement in Florida are painting the Hakkens as anti-government extremists at the same time police in Louisiana are describing them as death cultists. I suppose they could be both, but they could also be neither.