FBI allegedly dragged Catholic family out of home at gunpoint over “offensive memes”

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A disturbing story recently surfaced over the United States FBI allegedly dragging a traditional Catholic family out of their home, all after their son was goaded to post “offensive memes.”

The terrifying scenario (via American Greatness) happened earlier this year but only recently came to its conclusion with Jeremiah Rufini, their father, seeking financial aid after the entire ordeal nearly bankrupted their family.

Rufini posted a fundraiser over on GiveSendGo seeking roughly $20,000 to help get his family back on their feet, as even after the FBI dropped the case the state brought criminal charges on his family that left them spending thousands.

In short, the family’s teenage boy – a volunteer firefighter and altar boy at their local parish – was goaded by FBI agents to take pictures in public wearing ski masks and leave printed out memes on picnic tables, while also pressing him on his access to guns and even sneak photos of his family’s guns.

All of this started when Rufini’s father got too weak after chemotherapy to work at their family business, or care for their 93 year old grandmother. While Rufini worked during the day, their teenage son took up the mantle of watching their grandmother, so he got his first cell phone to keep in touch.

“None of our children, including my son, had been raised with cell phones or unrestricted internet access. It became necessary for him to have a phone so we could communicate while he was alone at my father’s house caring for my grandmother, and so we reluctantly allowed him to have a cell phone. He spent a lot of time alone with nothing to do but wait and think and the cell phone became a welcome distraction. His interests in history and theology led him down a rabbit hole where he was recruited into group chats targeting teenage traditionalist Catholics with extreme political content. We later learned that these chats were being closely monitored, and possibly operated by, FBI agents as part of an effort to investigate Traditional Catholics that was downstream of a broader domestic investigation spurred by the events of January 6th.”

Despite the United States Attorney General Merrick Garland fervently insisting the Department of Justice nor the FBI do not investigate “based on religion” (a leaked FBI memo said they were, in fact, targeting “radical-traditionalist Catholics”), this new attack on Rufini’s family confirms they have done such investigations and still do to this day.

Unbeknownst to us, he was being drawn deeper and deeper into these chat groups and goaded into doing things like take pictures of himself in public wearing ski masks and to print out memes and leave them on picnic tables. They would ask him if he had access to guns (he would go target shooting under the supervision of my brother, who lived in an in-law apartment at our home and owned firearms) and encourage him to sneak photographs of the guns and post them. Ironically, our legal troubles began when he had an attack of conscience and abruptly deleted all of his chat apps. He later told us that he felt using social media was a coping mechanism and it had been affecting his mood and ability to sleep.

Once the teenager broke free of the FBI’s calculated dragnet, Rufini notes the federal agency then assumed “he must have connected to a terror cell in real life and ‘gone dark’ ahead of some potential violent act.”

This was when the FBI built a legal case to raid the family, upon which they promptly stormed their home for purported evidence of a threat while they locked the family in a van.

There was no such plan and they had no evidence of one, but it didn’t stop them from spending two weeks fabricating a legal pretense for a search warrant of our home. At 10:00pm on a Sunday evening we were dragged out of our home at gunpoint, handcuffed and locked in a van while they searched our home for evidence of this imagined plot. Having found no such evidence, they seized my brother’s firearms and had my son hospitalized on mental health pretenses.

While Rufini said he was disappointed in his son’s “severe lack of judgement” online, he found the FBI’s actions and raid on their family and home was “very disproportionate”.

Once no evidence of a threat was found, the FBI lost interest in the case, but that’s where the state came in on new charges on their son, the father, and the father’s brother. The ensuing legal battle lasted for months and nearly bankrupted their family.

At the time of writing, the Rufini family’s fundraiser has raised nearly $30,000 of their original $22,000 goal, so consider sending donations if you can.

This is Niche Gamer Tech. In this column, we regularly cover tech and things related to the tech industry.

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