FREEDOM? Tasha Adams' tale of surviving marriage, and life, with Oath Keeper Stewart Rhodes. Part 3
(This is part three of an exclusive three part series on Tasha Adams and her marriage to Stewart Rhodes. Part one is available here and Part two is available here.)
“No, I can’t speak about the divorce, at least not in specifics but I can tell you the IRS came to visit me recently. It’s not just Stew’s January 6 role that the government is interested in.”
That line, uttered by Tasha Adams towards the end of our multi day conversation, brought into focus the notion that, maybe, she was just as much a prisoner as Stewart Rhodes, her estranged husband.
Having begun communicating with Adams just a few days after Rhodes’ arrest for sedition, our talks revealed a woman, while at times defiant and despondent, wholly focused on owning a past and present narrative that was never before defined by her.
“Do you mind if we don’t go on camera? I’m exhausted, and I know more is coming but I want to do this story with you, so does just the phone work?”
“Let’s set up something which won’t conflict with my run into town.”
Again and again, Adams’ belief in giving her time and, with it, all of herself to everything she undertook became wholly apparent over the course of our discussions.
“Stew was incapable of normal living, of a normal existence. He lived in a fantasy world, I’d drive him to work at the law firm and he would refuse to go in until 10 am, so we’d just sit out there. And that craziness, it affected all of us. Everyday it hurt us, me and the kids, it was so painful.”
A still birth, two miscarriages, six children. A housewife, a patriot wife, an indentured servant. Ghost writer of legal briefs for her disbarred lawyer husband, and his punching bag, too. Yet here was this woman, still tethered to the most infamous man in America, going out of her way to accommodate Political.tips, a small news outlet from Las Vegas.
It has taken me almost a week to release part three of the Tasha Adams’ interview sessions.
After you reveal Stewart Rhodes, the face of the January 6 insurrection, as a monster who exploited the death of his children, a sexual deviant who tried to pimp out his wife, and a grifter who built his entire persona on anti government propaganda despite working for with the feds, what more can be said?
That Stewart Rhodes is a monster?
That was known, and that is known even more so now.
That Tasha Adams is a survivor?
That was known, and that is known even more so now.
Ultimately to matter, part three of the trilogy had to look past what Tasha said, to ignore the many salacious details and shocking anecdotes, and reveal the fact that Adams is a human being.
Every human deserves their own agency, and each is entitled to it, Adams being no exception.
Currently ensconced on a proverbial island, she is a woman at once alone and everywhere.
Adams herself pointed out that, while the Southern Poverty Law Center has been there for her emotionally, “none of our former friends, none of the people who made up my life with Stewart, no one called me to offer support when I finally left him.”
Yes, she was there physically when the Oath Keepers were created, even recounting the night in Pahrump, Nevada when Stewart Rhodes elicited opinions on the yet to be formed groups’ moniker, witnessing when a recently returned Air Force vet suggested the name to him.
However, while she was present at every point during the creation of the Stewart Rhodes the nation now sees, during our talks I found myself wondering at what point was the veneer of individuality and soulful humanity stripped from this beautiful Mormon mother, and replaced by an automaton programmed to serve its beastly master?
It happened over time, until Tasha Adams was gone.
Tasha only reappeared thanks to the total and complete breakdown of Rhodes’ own humanity. Some slight flicker, during the ongoing torture session known as her marriage to Stew, ignited the fire of life inside her once again, allowing her to, finally, escape from bondage.
“He bought guns, he traveled, he had maybe 30 bank accounts, but we didn’t own a car, day to day we wondered if we would eat, we didn’t have food, we didn’t have anything. I guess you could say me and the kids were just there.”
Tasha Adams’ delivered the tale of her children's malnutrition, and her husband’s probable financial crimes, not with lamentation but a steely, steady, resolve and it led into one of my final questions.
“What now Tasha? I know you can’t give me details, but do you think you will finally be done with this man, that you’ll finally get the divorce?”
Utilizing the same tone with which she described years of poverty, Adams was blunt that despite her internal liberation, she was aware steps still needed to be taken for her have true and total sovereignty over her own self.
“I hope this is it, but now the problem is finding him to serve the papers, they (the Bureau of Prisons) are moving him around so much. He’ll probably still fight me, but that’s okay, this time, this time…”
Her voice gaining hopeful emotion.
“...I’m the one in control. This time, I won’t be abused, I’m done being abused.”
Stewart Rhodes is the prisoner.
Tasha Adams is free.