Kirk Johnson
The New York Times
April 1, 2010

  • A d v e r t i s e m e n t
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ADRIAN, Mich. – The Stone family, and the fiercely militant Christian group that revolved around them at a ramshackle homestead outside of town here, were best known by their neighbors for their active use of guns and their increasingly heated talk about fighting back violently against the government.

But their biggest and most surprising adversary was practically next door: the local branch of the Michigan Militia.

From a distance, the two might seem like peas in a pod: both wear fatigues or camouflage, train in the woods with heavy weaponry and believe in threats to liberty from Washington.

But here on the ground the distinctions were crucial. The Michigan Militia, which in past years had links to extremist groups with neo-Nazi flavorings, has moderated over the years, according to members and experts who track the organizations. Meanwhile, the Hutaree (pronounced Hu-TAR-ay), as the Stone group was called, was going the other direction, with increasing talk of violence.

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