Brandon Raub Involuntarily Committed for First Amendment Speech on Facebook?

Monday, August 20th, 2012

Eapen Thampy

Been watching this story over the weekend and enough credible sources have picked it up that I’m interested. From Carlos Miller:

Law enforcement officials said they did not arrest Brandon Raub for his anti-governmentFacebook postings, even though they slapped handcuffs on him and forced him into a car before transporting him to a psychiatric hospital where he will remain for at least 30 days.

No, they merely went to “interview him” last Thursday, the FBI told the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

“Our office had received a complaint about threatening posts,” said Dee Rybiski, spokeswoman for the Richmond FBI office. “As we would do in any circumstance such as this, our office along with Chesterfield Police (Department) officers went to interview Mr. Raub.

“The FBI did not arrest him,” Rybiski said. “We are not commenting any further.

Meanwhile, Raub is locked away in a psychiatric ward in John Randolph Medical Center outside Richmond, Virginia where he was allowed to be interviewed by the Richmond Times-Dispatch via telephone.

“I’m currently in John Randolph in the psychiatric ward being held against my will,” Raub said in a telephone interview.

Raub said Secret Service, FBI and Chesterfield police officers came to his home Thursday. “They were concerned about me calling for the arrest of government officials,” he said.

He was taken to the Chesterfield police station and then to the hospital, he said.

“I talked to a Secret Service gentleman for 20, 30 minutes,” Raub said. “I was very cooperative and answered everything honestly.

“I really love America, and I think that idea that you can be detained and sent somewhere without due process and a lawyer … is crazy.”

Raub said he has been raising questions about 9/11 and signed a petition to reopen investigation of the terrorist attacks.

The Rutherford Institute, a Virginia-based civil rights organization, has come to the defense of Raub, a retired U.S. Marine who served from 2005 to 2011, including stints in Iraq and Afghanistan.

According to a statement the Rutherford Institute sent to Cop Block:

The Rutherford Institute has come to the defense of a former Marine, 26-year-old Brandon Raub, who was arrested, detained indefinitely in a psych ward and forced to undergo psychological evaluations based solely on the controversial nature of lines from song lyrics, political messages and virtual card games which he posted to his private Facebook page. Although the FBI and Chesterfield County police have not charged Brandon Raub, a resident of Chesterfield County, Va., with committing any crime, they arrested Raub on Thursday, August 16, 2012, and transported him to John Randolph Medical Center, where he was held against his will due to alleged concerns that his Facebook (FB) posts were controversial and terrorist in nature. In a hearing held at the hospital, government officials disregarded Raub’s explanation that the Facebook posts were being interpreted out of context, sentencing him up to 30 days further confinement in a VA psych ward. In coming to Raub’s defense, Rutherford Institute attorneys are challenging Raub’s arrest and forcible detention, as well as the government’s overt Facebook surveillance and violation of Raub’s First Amendment rights.

Raub’s statements might seem far-fetched to many people, even to those who don’t normally buy into government rhetoric.

But they’re not much different than what many people have been posting on the internet, especially after 9/11 when a small but vocal movement began spreading their views that the government somehow played a role in the terrorists attacks.

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40 Responses to “Brandon Raub Involuntarily Committed for First Amendment Speech on Facebook?”

  1. #1 |  Chuchundra | 

    I peeked at his FB page. It certainly seems to me that he’s a few sandwiches short of a picnic.

  2. #2 |  Lawman_45 | 

    Isn’t is a favored technique of the KBG to put dissenters in mental hospitals to cure their “illness” of disliking the totalitarian government?

    Never in America, thoughm my Democrat friends?

    How can you be sure you won’t be next up on some agency’s list? What goes around, comes around.

  3. #3 |  JLS | 

    Carlos Miller, Copblock, see this is why they will shut down the internet after November’s elections. Probably another late new years eve piece of legislation.

    For our own good.

  4. #4 |  Chuchundra | 

    If you are my friend, you deserve to know the truth. This world is secretly run by a shadow organization of people who among other things enjoy raping children. Some of leaders were involved with the bombing of the twin towers. It was a sacrifice and a complete inside job. Also the Bush’s are very sick twisted problems. I believe they have a secret Castle in Colorado where they have been raping and sacrificing children for many years. Think I’m crazy? Think again.

  5. #5 |  Nicolas | 

    Time to pay tribute to Thomas Szasz, who has warned of this for 60 years.

  6. #6 |  Dave | 

    First they came for the Truthers, and I didn’t speak out because Truthers are loonies.

    Next they came for the…

  7. #7 |  qwints | 

    I would understand if his family or friends had him evaluated or sought to have him involuntarily committed. I do not understand why the government felt it had the right to do so.

  8. #8 |  bbartlog | 

    I was under the impression that one had to be a threat to oneself or others, not merely delusional, in order to be involuntarily committed. Or does that vary from state to state?

  9. #9 |  EH | 

    bbartlog: who’s askin’?

  10. #10 |  Or gone | 

    He’s obviously disturbed. I hope he grits the treatment he needs.

  11. #11 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    I think a large part of the problem is the history of Hollywood films that depend for their “Plot” on somebody who believes in a vast conspiracy (real or not) taking up arms and cutting a wide swath of destruction. I don’t know that anything remotely like it has ever happened, but if it has it certainly isn’t common. But if you take your worldview from watching films you would believe that it happens every week.

  12. #12 |  En Passant | 

    #4 | Chuchundra wrote August 20th, 2012 at 8:39 pm:

    If you are my friend, you deserve to know the truth. This world is secretly run by …
    …Also the Bush’s are very sick twisted problems. I believe they have a secret Castle in Colorado where they have been raping and sacrificing children for many years. Think I’m crazy? Think again.

    If this is what he had posted on his facebook page, then he not crazy. He’s just misinformed.

    Everybody knows it wasn’t the Bush family, it was the Clintons. And they don’t have a castle in Colorado, they have a secret underground bunker in Philadelphia.

    The feds are just stupid, going after somebody who doesn’t have a clue what the master plan is. But that’s cool. It means they won’t be coming after m@#3&%#6&#*#! NO CARRIER

  13. #13 |  overgoverned | 

    “I talked to a Secret Service gentleman for 20, 30 minutes,” Raub said. “I was very cooperative and answered everything honestly.”

    First mistake!

    “I invoke my Fifth Amendment right to remain silent, and I assert my rights under the Fourth Amendment. I do not consent to a search of my person or property. Now, unless I am under arrest or being detained, I am going to calmly and slowly close and lock the door.”

  14. #14 |  Woog | 


    Then the uniformed thugs take a tank to your front door.

    Local elections matter most. Find out how the heads of law enforcement are appointed, find the responsible elected thugs, and boot their asses out of office. Replace with individuals who promise to follow the rule of law and equality under the law.

  15. #15 |  Pete | 

    He’s pretty delusional …

    “This is a picture of the government dropping Barium and Aluminum Powder from the air on American Citizens”

  16. #16 |  Eric Y | 

    Which one is the real Brandon? Or are they both the same? I found two FB accounts. One has the “shirtless guy with antique gun” photo in an album uploaded 7 December 2011, along with several other photos of him in other settings, like holding a puppy in what looks like a FOB and a picture of himself with a wife or girlfriend.

    The other is the one Pete linked to…the guy a few buns short of a burger. He has no photos of himself or photos in his album that indicate a tour overseas, and the profile picture is from the first mentioned account. There are no public photos listed in his profile album but it says “Updated about a week ago”.

    First profile, linked to album with image, “Raub Brandon”:

    Second profile, complete with tinfoil hats

  17. #17 |  Fmr Marine arrested over internet posts; FBI says comments "terrorist in nature" - Page 7 - INGunOwners | 

    […] At least he has someone onhis side now that might be able to regain him his freedom. The Rutherford Institute has stepped in. Hopefully they'll be able to get him out of the clutches of the government and their agents. Brandon Raub Involuntarily Committed for First Amendment Speech on Facebook? | The Agitator […]

  18. #18 |  marie | 

    …a few sandwiches short of a picnic…
    …obviously disturbed…
    …pretty delusional…
    …a few buns short of a burger…

    Mentally ill people have Constitutional rights.

  19. #19 |  Mairead | 

    If all they had were his posts, I think they jumped the gun. His posts suggest a degree of exaltation, but not enough to warrant involuntary evaluation.

    Of course, if they had more than his posts, then maybe what they did was appropriate. Maybe. But people shouldn’t be involuntarily committed for evaluation just because they have beliefs that other people don’t share.

  20. #20 |  Cynical in New York | 

    Raub also did an interview with Adam Kokesh of Adam vs The Man.

  21. #21 |  Ben | 

    I can’t believe #1, #4, #10, #15. Seriously guys? So because the guy has some wacky conspiracy theories, it’s ok that the fuzz comes in and disappears him indefinitely, with no access to a lawyer? As regular readers of this site, you really want the government, either federal or state, wielding a hammer like that? #6 has it exactly right.

  22. #22 |  Mattocracy | 

    Judging by the quotes people are attributing to this person, this isn’t even the craziest shit I’ve heard people say. All of the conspiracy theorists for 9/11, Kennedy assassination, moon landing deniers and alien abduction fuckers say shit like this. Are they all committed? I remember watching a History Channel special about conspiracies/secret societies and all of the nutty people they interviewed said things like this.

    These people aren’t dangerous. They’re just idiots. Being an idiot doesn’t mean you should be committed. Otherwise we’ll be committing people who believe that Noah’s Ark really happened.

  23. #23 |  whim | 

    It’s a fact of warfare that each side adopts the successful measures used by the opposing enemy.

    For the U.S. vs. the U.S.S.R., our government has adopted what the Soviets sucessfully used for decades concerning:

    –Use of psychiatric hospitals to incarcerate dissenters who have not been adjudged guilty of anything. Thirty days seems like a very long time to lock someone up in a VA Hospital against their will. Local police agencies have been using this technique to extra-judicially punish people that they lacked a basis to arrest. They would instead detain, and then deliver a person to a local psychiatric hospital for “observation”.

    The hospital staff realizes it is total B.S., but HELLO, there facility is being paid by the city/county/state government for another “mental health evaluation”.

    –Use of sensory deprivation and sleep deprivation to break the will of incarcerated prisoners, and make them mentally ill. Read the legal filings concerning the following individuals, available on the Internet:

    John Walker Lindh;
    Jose Padilla;
    Bradley Manning

  24. #24 |  ClubMedSux | 

    Looks like we have an answer to Frank Zappa’s 46-year-old question, “Who are the Brain Police?”

  25. #25 |  Deoxy | 

    Otherwise we’ll be committing people who believe that Noah’s Ark really happened.

    Actually, considering the number of disparate cultures and religions that have a “Noah’s Ark” story of some kind, several actually named “Noah”, I think any anthropologist worth listening to should be considering that some actual flooding event did take place.

    But the rest of your post was pretty good.

    As to whether he is delusional or not… yeah, seems that his cheese has slid right off of his cracker.

    That said, I do agree that, with the info we have, involvement by the FBI seems… well, completely ridiculous.

    The simplest explanation would be that he actually got something right (see the movie Conspiracy Theory – note how he was completely ignored until he got something right – yes, it’s a movie, but the point was decent).

    So, somebody who has some time:what has he been saying that the other kooks haven’t been?

  26. #26 |  liberranter | 

    @#18, et. al.: Exactly what evidence does anyone have that this guy is “mentally ill?” That term, by the way, especially the “ill” part, is one of the most horrifically abused in the English language. Ninety-nine percent of those who are so branded have NOTHING organically wrong with their brains, so the term “illness” does not really apply at all.

    I think everyone is missing the point here. What we are seeing with Mr. Raub’s case is the first domestic application of the most abominable provisions of the NDAA. THIS, FOLKS, SHOULD BE BIG NEWS!

  27. #27 |  Helmut O' Hooligan | 

    #8 bbartlog: “I was under the impression that one had to be a threat to oneself or others, not merely delusional, in order to be involuntarily committed. Or does that vary from state to state?”

    You are correct, as far as I know. In my state that is true and I’m pretty sure that is standard. During my time in healthcare security I have learned that there are relatively few reasons you can involuntarily admit a patient. The reasons I am familiar with consist of: 1.) Expressed suicidal ideations (this is most common in my work environment); 2.) Expressed homicidal ideations; 3.) Patient is mentally incompetent.

    Number 3 requires further explanation. Incompetent means that medical staff and/or therapists have determined that the patient can not take care of themselves if released from the hospital. This may be due to profound mental illness (ie. they are delusional), dementia/alzheimer’s, traumatic brain injury/stroke or due to temporary effects of medications administered in the hospital. Another big reason is severe intoxication, mostly alcohol intoxication. If a person is unable to stand or walk, can barely speak and has an extremely high BAC (blood alcohol content) they may be held temporarily. These patients are at risk of traumatic deaths (ie. falls, being hit by cars, being targeted by criminals) or may die in their sleep due to aspiration. Sometimes these patients will be released to a responsible (sober) adult instead of being held in the hospital.

    Returning to the matter at hand, I can tell you that based on my experience, the involuntary admit of Brandon Raub looks extremely suspicious, no matter what you think of his views or his allegations against the government.

  28. #28 |  el coronado | 

    Where the fuck is the ACLU on this? Too busy fundraising? Unwilling to shine a spotlight on a civil rights atrocity committed during our naked Emperor’s reign??

  29. #29 |  Mannie | 

    Sharpen my axe. I intend to sever some heads.

  30. #30 |  croaker | 

    Welcome to the USSA. If you speak out against The Fatherland or The Party you are insane and will be committed for treatment.

    Plus he now loses all his gun right now that a judge signed off on the psych hold, under the same penalties as felon-in-posession. This might be the real reason. I’m hearing reports of anti-gun DA’s who deal with gun rights activists in this manner and laugh about it.

  31. #31 |  Cheryl | 

    If this is the bar we are using to decide whether someone is a danger to the government, then I can’t believe all my high school FB friends haven’t been arrested by now. And seriously? We’re now relying on the FBI, the Secret Service and the local police department to determine whether someone is mentally ill? Talk about the inmates running the asylum…

  32. #32 |  Bill Poser | 

    There isn’t some sort of hotline that immediately alerts the ACLU of possible violations of civil liberties. In this case, it may be that the guy in question has not contacted them, nor his family or friends. They don’t always issue public statements, especially if they don’t have much information and have not yet spoken to those involved. It’s quite possible that they actually are taking action but that it isn’t in the news yet. In any case, for a specific matter like this (as opposed to an objectionable national policy), the state organization would handle it, not the ACLU, which is the national organization.

  33. #33 |  Elliot | 

    Nicolas (#5): Time to pay tribute to Thomas Szasz, who has warned of this for 60 years.

    Does that make up for all the other ways in which he’s been wrong?

  34. #34 |  The Late Andy Rooney | 


    Good point about the Feds deciding a person’s sanity. But since we now let the DEA determine whether or not a person is taking too many painkillers, why not?

  35. #35 |  liberranter | 

    @#33: In what ways has Dr. Szasz been wrong? Do share.

  36. #36 |  Elliot | 

    @liberranter (#35): 150 years ago, science and medicine lacked the technical capability to detect diabetes and epilepsy through tests. The etiology was unknown. By Szasz’s logic, people who showed symptoms the doctors couldn’t explain were just malingering.

    But once the technology of science and medicine advance sufficiently to allow for accurate testing and solid evidence for the etiology and function of the disorder, then (and only then) can they be diseases. The patients are no longer malingering. They have a bona fide medical disease.

    Then again, maybe it’s about thetans or something.

  37. #37 |  Bergman | 

    Re: croaker, #30:

    That’s the point where enough damage has been done (at least to the individual) that a localized application of Jefferson’s reset button would be called for. Because anyone who can swear an oath to the constitution and then betray it like that has no business being on the planet, let alone in a position of authority.

  38. #38 |  dieseldemon | 

    Facebook is being watched if we let them get away with this then we will get what we deserve

  39. #39 |  Leon Wolfeson | 

    Overt facebook surveillance?

    Look, if it’s public, it’s public ffs. It’s quite another thing if it was a private…

  40. #40 |  David Lasker | 

    In response to post 13, I don’t know what your talking about. Under involuntary commitment you have no rights. They will hold you as long as it takes until you talk. And they just might give you medication so that you do talk.