Who is Richard McCaslin? The State of California says he’s an arsonist and felon. He makes musician Les Claypool (of Primus) a little nervous, to tell you the truth. Conspiracy theorist superstar Alex Jones was Richard’s inspiration, but he doesn’t want to talk about him. Neither does country music star Chely Wright, who went out to dinner with him after he won the date at a charity auction. Richard’s buddy Lon, who he went to stuntman school with, says Richard is a decent guy who is misunderstood. And Richard himself (also known by his costumed persona, the Phantom Patriot) describes himself as a Real Life Superhero and folk legend.
In the center of all this is a secretive club for the most powerful and rich men in the world that meets every summer in the heart of California’s redwood forests at a place called the Bohemian Grove. It’s here, Richard says, that they engage in a bizarre and sinister ritual in front of a giant statue of an owl. That’s why he decided to pack an arsenal of weapons and raid the quiet men’s retreat.
Richard’s belief in a conspiracy theory about the Bohemian Grove took him on a strange journey from Zanesville, Ohio to Nashville, through the Bohemian Grove and into Soledad State Prison. His story and the odd cast of characters he’s crossed paths with is told here for the first time, after years of interviews and research.