"Aggressive Christians" bury the hatchet in Cibola County

Albuquerque Journal/November 7, 2005
By Bruce Daniels

The 60-year-old leader of a reclusive religious sect spent four days in the Cibola County Detention Center last week after being arrested Oct. 29 on charges aggravated battery with a deadly weapon after a family feud apparently turned violent.

But by last Friday, "General" James Green -- released from jail last Wednesday after posting 10 percent of a $25,000 bond -- appeared to have been reconciled with his wife, 58-year-old Deborah Green, also a "general" in what the group calls "The Army That Sheds No Blood," according to the Gallup Independent Web site.

James Green was arrested at the group's rural hideaway near Fence Lake in southwestern Cibola County after he allegedly attacked two members -- his 42-year-old son-in-law Peter Green and 55-year-old Phillip Jordan -- who in turn allegedly beat the "general" with walking sticks, the Independent reported last week.

A bloodied James Green was jailed after getting 40 stitches in his head from the fracas.

A sheriff's department report said Green had returned after several days' absence to the Shim Ra Na Holy Tribal Nation compound to retrieve some belongings and ordered people present to leave, the Independent reported. At some point, Green allegedly threatened to kill his wife and the two men, according to the Independent's account of the sheriff's report.

But by Friday, both James and Deborah Green told the paper they had apologized to each other and were trying for a reconciliation. In addition, Deborah Green said she was retracting her earlier report to police that her husband threatened her with murder.

A preliminary examination of charges against James Green is scheduled for Tuesday before Grants Magistrate Eliseo Alcon.

The group claims to be devoted to the Bible, is vegetarian and models itself on the Salvation Army, with an aggressive commitment to mission work, taking in troubled people who want to change their way of life, Sheriff's Sgt. Harry Hall told the Independent.

Hall told the paper that in five years of dealing with the Greens they were always cooperative and peaceful. The only problems with the enclave, which normally has about 30 or 40 people living there, are from outsiders who sometimes commit vandalism and even buzz the compound with low-flying aircraft, the sheriff's department told the paper.

According to the Independent, the group got its start in 1979 near Sacramento, spent five years in Klamath Falls, Ore., then moved to a farm near Las Cruces to be closer to its Mexican missions, but came to Cibola County after it outgrew its Las Cruces home.

The Greens told the paper the incident was the first of its kind in their 35-year-marriage, but claimed that years of outside harassment and persecution have put a heavy strain on their relationship.

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