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Tax evasion standoff has revolving cast

Some supporters have backed away

Ed and Elaine Brown, addressing reporters during a press conference in Plainfield, N.H., in June, have been convicted of tax evasion and have been holed up in their home. Ed and Elaine Brown, addressing reporters during a press conference in Plainfield, N.H., in June, have been convicted of tax evasion and have been holed up in their home. (Jim Cole/ASSOCIATED PRESS)

CONCORD, N.H. -- Some supporters of Ed and Elaine Brown, who were convicted of tax evasion and have refused to turn themselves in, are now keeping their distance.

In the more than six months since the Browns, holed up in their home, were convicted, they have hosted an ever-changing cast of backers.

Some relationships have ended bitterly: The Browns have squabbled with bloggers, radio hosts, and several spokesmen and assistants.

"Brown has ignored, on many occasions throughout the years, the good council [sic] of some valiant, focused, hard-working freedom fighters whom, unfortunately, exemplify a larger spiritual vision, and a more finely tuned sense of balance and reason than does Brown," stated a recent e-mail from Bill Miller, a former military exercise trainer who left the Browns' fortresslike house in February.

Doug Kenline, a blogger who set up a website dedicated to news about the Browns and who interviewed them for audio webcasts, was rejected by Ed Brown, who had learned that Kenline's wages were being taken by the IRS to cover unpaid back taxes, the Concord Monitor reported.

"I'm not talking anymore to people who aren't going to stand up for the lawful laws of this land," Brown said in an Internet recording of the conversation in which the two parted ways. "People can be slaves, and I'm not going to associate with them anymore."

David Ridley of Keene, a member of the Free State Project, said Brown told him to leave, in part because Brown disagreed with Ridley's pacifist views.

The Browns' supporters include Jim Hobbs of Phoenix, who lives in a trailer on the property and helps screen visitors, and Danny Riley of Albany, N.Y., who was arrested by marshals in June after he stumbled on a surveillance unit while walking the couple's dog, the Monitor reported.

US Marshal Stephen Monier said Tuesday that his office is continuing to investigate those who aid and abet the Browns. The marshals have not charged any supporters with crimes, he said.

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