The Bundys walked free in January 2018, but the story is far from over. The family has drawn large crowds on a multi-state speaking tour. Ryan Bundy is running for governor of Nevada. The national debate over public lands has tilted decidedly to the right. And in other forgotten corners of the West, momentum is building for another armed standoff.
The Bundys want to talk about land rights and Constitutional law, but the fights they pick have real, tragic consequences. This episode assesses the damage done by the Bundys, a chronicle of pain that includes prehistoric artifacts trampled by cattle, politicians shrinking public lands and a pair of Bundy followers who hatched a plot to murder as many police officers as they could find.
Welcome to Bundyville, a ghost town high in the Arizona mountains that used to be home to 200 people, most of them named Bundy. Find out how this family history has helped attract anti-government activists from around the country to Cliven Bundy’s cause. The episode also discusses the white privilege and double standards that have allowed far-right extremists inspired by the Bundys to become more bold in their actions.
Many journalists have written about the Bundys, and much of that writing has been done during the chaotic armed standoffs the family led in 2014 and 2016. But few people have talked to Cliven Bundy at length in his home in Bunkerville, Nevada. The man at the center of these events tells his side of the story in his own words.
To understand the Bundys, and their unwavering belief that they alone can save the U.S. Constitution, you must understand their faith. The Bundys are Mormon and deeply religious, but their beliefs are rooted in fundamentalist scripture disavowed by the modern Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
Dig into Cliven Bundy’s past and find out where his determination to dismantle the federal government began. It’s a story that takes us back to the government’s nuclear test program in the 1950s — imagine bombs in the Nevada desert — and culminates with Timothy McVeigh blowing up a federal building in Oklahoma City, killing 168 people. Along the way, the family patriarch becomes more emboldened to fight back against a government he believes is out to get him.
Our series begins in April 2014 in Bunkerville, Nevada, and chronicles the Bundys' leadership of two armed uprisings and their two victories over federal prosecutors. It also puts the Nevada and Oregon standoffs in a broader context of the growing far-right movement in America, which has grown steadily and substantially since two violent standoffs in the 1990s — Waco and Ruby Ridge — left dozens of people dead.
“Bundyville” is a deep dive into the politics and fringe religious beliefs that drive the Cliven Bundy family and their followers. From prophecies and nuclear testing to white supremacists and radical plans to shrink public lands, “Bundyville” explains how one family has beaten the federal government twice — and why this battle has just begun.