COSTA MESA, CA - Who are the Piecemakers?
Marie Kolasinski founded the group - now under investigation in Costa Mesa in 1967.
Members follow the teachings of Jesus Christ and say they are moved by His command not local authority. They pray and worship at home.
The followers live in small groups in five homes in the Mesa Verde neighborhood. They share work and child care.
The 30 to 40-member group, formerly known as the Body of Christ, gradually built its arts and crafts business on Adams Avenue into a corporation with overseas contracts and a reported income of $3 million a year. They say all the money goes to their "true church" and toward helping others start businesses around the world.
The group made headlines two years ago when the FBI investigated a profanity-laced letter it sent to the Orange County Health Department that made vague references to the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.
The letter was sent after health officials said the candy counter at Piecemakers Country Store on Adams Avenue did not meet standards.
Throughout the years, Piecemakers has sent letters to the city and newspapers expounding on their beliefs.
"I'm tired of seat belt laws - of helmet laws - of code books - of permits - of inspections - of taxes - of fear tactics.... I suggest we seriously begin to get rid of government, starting with the City Council. "
"I suggest we get rid of all the gnats called inspectors who should get a degree in harassment."