Ricin Plot Inspired by Fiction Novel: Authorities Arrest Four in Georgia

Four suspected members of a Georgia militia were arrested by federal agents for plotting an attack with toxins, like ricin, and explosives. The four men, who were arrested yesterday, will appear in federal court in Gainesville, Georgia, later today.

According to CBS, ricin is a poison found naturally in castor beans. If you watch “Breaking Bad,” you’ve probably heard of ricin before, as it is the weapon of choice for Walter White.

Ricin played a big part in the fourth season of “Breaking Bad,” but according to the AP, the four men were inspired by another work of fiction. According to court documents, 73-year-old Frederick Thomas modeled the ricin attack off of the online novel “Absolved” by Mike Vanderboegh.

According to Media Matters, “Absolved” centers around a group of underground militia who wage war on the federal government over gun control laws and gay marriage.

Vanderboegh writes in the introduction to “Absolved,” that the novel is meant as “a cautionary tale for the out-of-control gun cops of the ATF.”

After the ricin plot was foiled and the four men were arrested, Vanderboegh posted on his blog:

“Pretty geriatric ‘militia.’ What does ricin have to do with ‘saving the Constitution’? The only idiots I ever heard interested in ricin were neoNazis.”

The four men were arrested after they tried to obtain an unregistered explosive device. The group was also seeking out the complex formula to produce ricin. CBS reports that the four men have been meeting since at least March and had created a “bucket list” of politicians, government employees, CEOs, and members of the media that they felt needed to be “taken out.”

U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said:

“We must also remain vigilant in protecting our country from citizens within our own borders who threaten our safety and security.”

Do you think novels like “Absolved” encourage violence?