Former Marine Detained, Held For A Month For Posting Conspiracy Theories, Rap Lyrics To Facebook

from the free-speech? dept

We were just discussing how some in law enforcement are overreacting to “threats” on Facebook, and someone in the comments pointed us to the case of Brandon Raub, which we had been unfamiliar with. Raub, a former Marine, posted some of his concerns about the government to his Facebook page, along with some rap lyrics. Raub’s views definitely fall into what many consider to be conspiracy theory territory — claiming 9/11 was an inside job, talking about the Illuminati controlling the world, etc. He also did make vague references to the idea that a “revolution is coming” and that a “civil war” was coming — and even said that “I’m starting the revolution. I’m done waiting.” The only directly “violent” thing he posted — which gets covered in all of the press about Raub’s situation — is the line: “‘Sharpen up my axe; I’m here to sever heads.” Of course, what nearly everyone who quotes that line leaves out is that it’s a lyric to the rap song Bring Me Down by the group Swollen Members.

Either way, it seems that these statements on his Facebook page resulted in him being detained in a psychiatric ward. A recent hearing ended with a decision that he needs to stay there for another 30 days. While government officials say he wasn’t arrested, the video footage of law enforcement officials handcuffing him and pushing him into a police car sure looks like an arrest:

It appears that a lot of folks have been speaking out about this — with reasonable concern over whether or not the government is monitoring (private) Facebook pages, as was the case with Raub’s page. Of course, it’s more likely that some of his Facebook friends were somewhat concerned and “reported” his page. There’s been a lot of talk about Raub’s case — especially in libertarian circles — and many of them do ignore some of the statements he made that could at least raise some concerns from some people, though the context matters a great deal.

That said, many others are quite reasonably concerned that a few comments involving conspiracy theories and angry rap lyrics can get one carted off by the government to a psychiatric ward for over a month. In an interview from the ward, Raub notes that he’d actually been leaning towards re-enlisting right before all of this happened.

No matter what, the situation raises some serious questions about free speech rights with regards to social networks these days. While I don’t have an issue with people investigating the details of a situation if comments could reasonably be interpreted to be a possible warning sign of a threat, it’s troubling how these same comments could be taken out of context and mean nothing in terms of an actual threat. The fact that he ends up in a psych ward against his and his family’s own best wishes is, at the very least, a big concern.

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Comments on “Former Marine Detained, Held For A Month For Posting Conspiracy Theories, Rap Lyrics To Facebook”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Yup, anyone who has been in the US armed forces probably need their heads examined in the first place.

Interesting that the difference between the brave heroic types who are part of the slaughter large numbers of men,women and children in other countries and crazy conspiracy theorists is so small.

Wally (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Not one bit. I’m proud of you ^_^

However I do find your final paragraph a tad misguided.

PTSD symptoms can start to appear up to 3 months after a traumatic event. The problem is that they send the unstable people (such as the man to what is a Section 8 classification. Mr. Raub is showing signs of PTSD. It’s common amongst servicemen and women who have been in combat duty for too long a time. So before he went in, he was fine. When he ended his tour of duty, he seemed fine. After 3 months, depending on what types of trauma they’ve gone through in their tour of duty, certain signs of it show up.

In his case it was Anxiety/Hyprearousal. Some of those symptoms include irrationalty and irritability.

Glad to help you gain a bit of perspective 🙂

Wally (profile) says:

Re: Well if he was a marine


Now that I have had a chance to vent. Let me explain to you that the shit Marines go through behind the enemy lines is extremely detrimental to mental health. Yes he probably should have reported to the US Navy’s Section 8 befor shipping out, but psychologically he doesn’t think he needs to. It’s called Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. The shockwaves of the various gunshots and explosions this man has heard over the years has damaged his brain at a neurological level. So maybe you should lay off the “people like that shouldn’t be allowed to walk the streets” shit. He’s as human as you and I are and I wish that you would have understood that being a human yourself, but you failed at it. So please next time you ever have a thought like that, please consider that he is a fucking human being who deserves the right to be helped as a human and not to be shut away from the world because he’s labeled as “crazy”.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Then shit happens.

Imagine if the environment were being destroyed and death and misery on a massive scale were already beginning to be realized while for decades governments around the world have done next to or worse than nothing to avert any of it. Wouldn’t that be worse than a mere mall shooting?

Imagine if the US and UK government convinced everyone to wage a war on a third world people over imaginary weapons of mass destruction, leading to the deaths of probably hundreds of thousands of people and no one did anything about that. Wouldn’t that be worse than a mere mall shooting?

When it comes to intimidating and stripping the populice of their civil rights, any hint of a threat is sufficient justification for any degree or kind of over reaction or absurdity, but when it comes to real and present threats and harms, it’s all just “too hard” and we pretend that these things are inevitabilities that no one is really blameworthy for.

Our risk perception is badly skewed so that we sense a huge risk is letting law abiding people walk free, but none in letting the state invoke the mere hint of the possibility of a potential threat as an excuse to lock away law abiding people. That’s crazy-dellusional.

We need to stop stomping on the faces of the mostly powerless as an excuse to be distracted from those who are powerful enough to do real wide spread harms at the stroke of a pen, and who having been getting away with their destructive harmful crap. Meanwhile everyone else is made to bicker and look with suspicion on each other while tossing blame and hysteria back and forth amongst ourselves.

Moral hysterias over freak incidents involving the relatively powerless keep us from looking up and asking the really tough questions of our so called elites.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Imagine if the government was made aware of his ravings and did nothing and he opened fire on shoppers in a mall a week later.

So according to you the only choices are “do nothing” and “lock him up for a month”?

Some of the adults in the room realize that there’s a wide spectrum of responses that could be taken, and (as expressed in the article you clearly did not read) believe that perhaps it should be further in one direction on that spectrum, not all the way at the extreme end.

Anonymous Coward says:

Normally I agree

Normally I agree with this blog, and the overstepping of governments and the ridiculous antics of people, but this is very slanted.

The guy deserved to be detained. He was making repeated violent threats against people, and trying to downplay his desire for a “revolution” is being naive.

Sure, the axe comment was a lyric, but so what? Does it mean any less because of that? He was a MARINE. Trained to kill, talking about killing and starting a civil war.

Yeah, lets let this nut-job slide until he shows up to your next movie premiere.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Normally I agree

Sure, the axe comment was a lyric, but so what? Does it mean any less because of that? He was a MARINE. Trained to kill, talking about killing and starting a civil war.

I think I recall that the Columbine killers were found of quoting violent lyrics in advance of their cowardly attack.

weneedhelp (profile) says:

Re: Normally I agree

You know AC with the home depot like avatar, the same argument could have been made for the founding fathers.
” trying to downplay his desire for a “revolution” is being naive. “

Dont kid yourself. If the GOV keeps tightening the noose it will be inevitable, a civil war. Or do you think the sheeple will just accept being RFID implanted and every action, transaction, and word uttered be monitored and stored for future or real-time scrutiny?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Normally I agree

Being questioned by the police was a fair and rational response. The detention came after evaluating him… kind of proving that they made the right call.

Granted its not the ONLY option, but forgive me if I don’t trust a potential psychopath’s “friends and family” to stop a potential disaster.

Wally (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Normally I agree

“Granted its not the ONLY option, but forgive me if I don’t trust a potential psychopath’s “friends and family” to stop a potential disaster.”

Adding to this as a psychologist, you should never trust any diagnosis unless done by a professional. Friends and family are the single worst proponents in recognizing this type of neurological disorder because they are biased in how they see him. They see him from what their homeostasis allows them to see. If they don’t “seem to notice” irradic behaviors it’s because they were conditioned not to see them because he wasn’t like that before he shipped off to the Marines.

weneedhelp (profile) says:

Re: Normally I agree

Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable. – Was this guy a nut job?

“We, the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow men who pervert the Constitution.” – How about this one?

“The right of citizens to bear arms is just one guarantee against arbitrary government, one more safeguard against the tyranny which now appears remote in America, but which historically has proved to be always possible.” – Or this guy

“As civil rulers, not having their duty to the people duly before them, may attempt to tyrannize, and as the military forces which must be occasionally raised to defend our country, might pervert their power to the injury of their fellow citizens, the people are confirmed by the article in their right to keep and bear private arms.” – Or this guy?

You need to wake up.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Normally I agree

Your comment has made me very uncomfortable. What kind of person would say “Yeah, lets let this nut-job slide until he shows up to your next movie premiere?” Sounds like you are advocating violence. I am now calling the authorities to report you and have you held for psychiatric evaluation. I hope you understand.

Jake says:

I’m also going to vote with giving the cops the benefit of the doubt on this one. The stuff he posted on Facebook certainly justifies sending a couple of officers over to ask him a few pointed questions and maybe encourage him to seek some help. Maybe they found stuff at his house that suggested he was planning to put his money where his mouth was?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

what stuff did he say (not publicly, his facebook was set to private) that you think was inappropriate? I’ve heard many people complain about what he said, and agree that he needed to be hauled out of his home for some reason, but no one has told specifically what they objected to, or what law he broke by exercising his first amendment rights. Basically it has all boiled down to “well I certainly don’t share his sentiments, and the idea that someone would say such things makes me very uncomfortable. DETAIN HIM!”

Psychiatric wards have a long history of being used to slander and discredit political prisoners.

Jake says:

Re: Re: Re:

Depends what the evidence is; according to the Huffington Post article the local police thought this was serious enough to warrant bringing him to the attention of the FBI. Even if they’ve apparently determined that Raub himself is no threat to society, he might have been in contact with persons of similar political views who were a bit more proactive about implementing them, and the FBI is hardly going to release details of an ongoing investigation to the media.

Some of the comments on the HuffPo article are claiming he got a court order to release him, though, so who knows?

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: What did they put on the warrant?

In the US, “detained” and “arrested” are two related, but different, things — but they are both defined and have rules associated with them.

In short, detentions are shorter and more limited in scope, and carry a lower burden of proof.

However, in this case I think it’s a psychiatric detention, which is a little bit different. They have cause to believe that he may present an immediate danger to others, and are detaining him pending a psychiatric evaluation.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Or in the vernacular, he was pink slipped. (Involuntary Psychiatric Hold for those who’ve never dealt with them.) After the initial 72 hours, they can be held with another ‘pink slip’ for an additional 7 days, then 30, then a court has to be convinced they need to be held until the doctor feels they are no longer a menace to others or themselves.

Davey says:

Different strokes

Funny how a Republican Texas judge and Republican County Chair can spew shit like this on network tv without fear of consequences: Obama will

try to give the sovereignty of the United States away to the United Nations. What do you think the public’s going to do when that happens? We are talking civil unrest, civil disobedience, possibly, possibly civil war … I’m not talking just talking riots here and there. I’m talking Lexington, Concord, take up arms, get rid of the dictator.

I guess he couldn’t possibly be certifiable or a threat because he’s a Republican judge, not some guy on Facebook. And the bright folks around Lubbock think his judgement is so good they decided to pay him for it. He won’t be going to the psych ward anytime soon. At worst he’ll decide to spend more time with his family while collecting a nice fat pension for the rest of his life.


Wally (profile) says:

Re: "Conspiracy theories" come in all forms...

“I would challenge anyone to explain how the “official” 9/11 Report doesn’t also qualify as a conspiracy theory.”

We have tons of recorded evidence to back up the claims that the report convey’s. This includes conversations recorded on Flight 93 that was supposed to hit Cleveland.

A lot of conspiracy theorists believed 9/11 was an inside job because of political motivation. They failed to account for the fact that there was a lot of recorded evidence and scientific tests done to confirm how the steel failed in the towers.

For the jet fuel fire vs the steel I-Beems test. It took 30 minutes for the steel to bend like gack being stretched out.

The Pentagon’s holes should not be bigger on the inside is a favorite among them too. They fail to account for the shockwave and dabrye expanded the size of the hole in the next wall.

As for your comment, there was irrefutable scientific evidence and recorded personal accounts of passengers compiled to create that report.

Anonymous Coward says:

someone please tell me exactly what anyone says, writes, does, listens to, reads or where they go that governments dont know about? we have a completely fucked up, totally paranoid set of governments that try to learn as much as possible from each other, while withholding as much as possible from each other and thinking that everyone is a terrorist apart from those that actually are! the way things are going, i dont think we need to worry too much about global warming wiping us out or the Mayan calendar prophecy coming true. i reckon we’ll beat both to it all on our own!!

William Chambers (profile) says:

Nope, they got it right

The dude’s quite possibly unstable. They didn’t lock him up for life, they got him evaluated for his mental health which can indeed take time. Better safe then sorry and as someone who has seen the effects unknown mental illnesses can cause, He may well end up lucky that he was forced into it.

The sad thing is that naturally people think they’re perfectly fine, even if everyone in their family can see it. Usually there’s nothing that can be done to even get them diagnosed.

Wally (profile) says:

Re: Nope, they got it right

Mike Mansick, may I be as so bold as to suggest that this part of the comment by William Cambers be first word?:

“The dude’s quite possibly unstable. They didn’t lock him up for life, they got him evaluated for his mental health which can indeed take time. Better safe then sorry and as someone who has seen the effects unknown mental illnesses can cause, He may well end up lucky that he was forced into it.”

And the second part of the same comment be the final word?:

“The sad thing is that naturally people think they’re perfectly fine, even if everyone in their family can see it. Usually there’s nothing that can be done to even get them diagnosed.”

Anonymous Coward says:

Sheesh, dude is venting or being weird and eccentric. I’m thinking “is that all?”

People seem to think, for some insane reason, that putting your venting/eccentric antics on the internet suddenly makes it more real.

I have friends like this guy that I can totally see sharpening an axe in front of me going “I’m gonna chop people’s heads off so I can appease the great dragon!” and my response will be something along the lines of “Whatever Brad, there something you want to talk about or did you forget your meds again?”

DMNTD says:


This whole idea you mental nut jobs have of future crime is a crime in itself. You think there is some kind of betterment in using sci-fi to decide what someone is going to do? So the powers at be make up fan art and then say that is your future, that’s what you want? I refute your future crime and DNA sabotage to “make a better race”. They are parallel ideas, and warrant psych help in my opinion.

The crackpots who took this guy in need to be reprimanded and then ostracized. It’s also funny some of you point out that he is a trained killer…HILARIOUS, for all these “trained killers” are never properly brought back into society with proper treatment after going out and being exactly what the army trains them to be. I wonder why?

Wally (profile) says:

Re: Re:

I will be happy to answer your question as a professional ^_^.

He has to be evaluated and monitored. It takes a bit of time to get a diagnosis, especially when a patient refuses to cooperate. So the detainment is mostly behavioral observation. It’s not like he’s going to be there for years as well.

I could point to the copy of DSM-IV that I have but The Mayo Clinic website gives it in plain English:
Feel free to read that at your own leisure 🙂

There are 3 types of PTSD but the one I would like to focus on is hyperarousal/anxiety:

Symptoms of anxiety and increased emotional arousal may include:

Irritability or anger
Overwhelming guilt or shame
Self-destructive behavior, such as drinking too much
Trouble sleeping
Being easily startled or frightened
Hearing or seeing things that aren’t there

So maybe someone saw some of these behaviors and decided to help him out to get evaluated. Point is that he can now start treatment before it gets worse 🙂

Biffbitrot (profile) says:

marine vet detained outrage

WORDS ARE NOT BULLETS. I grew up listening to a line that became a cliche from overuse. – “I may hate what you say but I’ll fight to the death to defend your right to say it!”. That was THE American anthem. What happened? What was done to this man is OUTRAGEOUS! It’s what the old Soviet Union used to do to political dissenters – have we forgotten that already? Have we completely abrogated our rights as American citizens? When is enough going to be enough? Wake up people. (Somewhere Thomas Jefferson’s body is spinning so hard it’s likely to pop up in Tienanmen square.) For starters, how about a detailed, exacting, legal definition of what actually constitutes an act of terrorism as opposed to whatever offends some LEO (law enforcement officer) or bureaucrat’s delicate sensibility?

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