Council president blasts 'outrageous' You Tube videos: Postings accuse mayor of running 'Christian cult'

The Shawano Leader, Wisconsin/December 11, 2008

By Tim Ryan

Shawano Common Council President Woody Davis Wednesday blasted recent videos posted on the Internet web site You Tube accusing Shawano Mayor Lorna Marquardt of being a religious cult leader.

Zechariah Sindt can be seen in several You Tube videos in which he accuses Marquardt of running a "Christian cult" dedicated to the elimination of Samanta Roy Institute of Science and Technology.

The videos, Davis said, "are, to say the least, both outrageous and concerning."

Sindt accuses Shawano Police Chief Ed Whealon, Shawano County Sheriff Randy Wright and Shawano Fire Chief Doug Knope of being a part of the so-called cult and working with Marquardt to eradicate SIST.

"Sindt and those who helped him write his script said some very damaging things about our community officials," Davis said.

"Hearing our mayor described as a religious cult leader who is accused of telling people to join her cult or be killed is just one example of the outrageous lies and propaganda being said on the Internet You Tube site," he said.

The most recent video posting includes images of Adolph Hitler and the piled remains of Holocaust victims as Sindt makes comparisons with Shawano city officials.

Davis addressed his comments to the citizens of Shawano during the public comment portion of Wednesday's monthly council meeting.

"As a Common Council, we stand united in support of our community leaders who are being so viciously attacked and we want them to know we are proud of them for standing strong against such malicious, hateful attacks," Davis said.

The video postings came amid an FBI investigation into a list allegedly making "implied threats" against 60 Shawano area residents, including government officials. Three people on the list – including the mayor – were said to be in danger of physical harm, according to authorities.

Shawano Police said the list was compiled by someone involved with SIST and they said the FBI had a "person of interest" in the case. No arrests have been made and the investigation is continuing.

Sindt, of Minnesota, was arrested in Shawano last week on an outstanding warrant issued in Minnesota for failure to appear in court on a misdemeanor charge of issuing worthless checks.

His arrest came after he was seen videotaping outside the mayor's home. Police questioning him about the incident did a routine check and discovered the warrant.

Sindt, who posted bond and was released the same day, has posted two more videos since that arrest.

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