Northpole Standoff

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A fierce battle ended in a stand-off today as a
multi-jurisdictional task force of federal law enforcement agents
tried to arrest the leader of a militant doomsday cult, who call
themselves "Elves," living in a heavily fortified compound at the
Northpole. According to witnesses, federal agents hid in livestock
trailers as they drove up to the compound.

The approach was difficult in the snow using wheeled vehicles.
Several agents were reportedly thrown from the trailer when it
hit a snowbank. The agents were unable to use dogteams and sleds
because the ATF agents shot all the dogs during training at a nearby
recreational facility where agents had practiced for weeks on a
mock-up of the compound in preparation for the raid.

As three National Guard helicopters approached, over 100 law
officers stormed the main compound, a heavily fortified
gingerbread structure, throwing concussion grenades and screaming
"Come out!" Cult members and law officers negotiated a cease-fire
about 45 minutes after the incident began.

For the next several hours, ambulances and helicopters swarmed
the premises. The area was cordoned off and ATF agents with
machine guns were posted in the roadways to keep reporters at
least two miles from the main battle area.

In a lengthy report on the group Saturday, The Northpole
Tribune-Herald said that the cult was known to have a large
arsenal of high-powered weapons, probably produced in a workshop
disguised as a "toy factory." This toy factory is also believed
to be the sight of a mephamphetamine laboratory, according to
sources inside the ATF.

The article quoted investigators as saying the crazed cult
leader, who uses several aliases, "Santa Claus," "Saint Nick,"
"Sinterclaas," and "Saint Nicholas," age unknown, has abused
children and claims to have at least 15 wives. Santa Claus denies
these accusations of abuse and said he has had only one wife, Mrs.
Santa Claus.

Authorities had a warrant to search the Northpole compound for
guns and explosive devices and an arrest warrant for its leader,
Santa Claus, said Mess Stanford of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and
Firearms in Washington, D.C. Mr. Stanford added it would be useless
to attempt to get a copy of this warrant, however, because it had been
sealed, "for national security reasons."

The assault came one day after the Northpole Tribune-Herald began
publishing a series on the cult, quoting former members as saying the
deranged cult leader, Santa Claus, abused children and had at least 15

ATF spokesman Jack Killchildren in Washington said the assault
had been planned for several weeks, although he added, "I think
the newspaper's investigation set up heightened tension."

The cult's fortress, called "The Toy Factory," is dominated by a
tower with lookout windows facing in all directions. Guards
reportedly patrol the 77-acre grounds at night.

Attorney General Janet Reno ordered the raid after cult members
refused to surrender documents relating to national security. A
source inside the Justice Department said that the documents were
lists of cabinet members and highly placed government officials who
were naughty or nice. Despite preliminary, secret negotiations to
obtain the list, the Elves refused to surrender the document to the
Justice Department.

The raid was scheduled early, because December 25 is believed to
be a traditional cult holiday and all the militant elves would be
engaged in cult rituals in preparation for the event.

At a press conference this afternoon, Attorney General Reno said,
"These militants abuse children in the most vile manner, by teaching
them to expect charity. They have even distributed free, working
replicas of 'assault weapons' and 'handguns.' It is a matter of dire
importance to our future and the future of all our children, that this
peril be ended by every means at our disposal."

She went on to say that "I do not want to surround the compound
and shoot everyone and then burn it to the ground in order to
prevent this child abuse from occurring again, but that appears
to be our only alternative."

According to Reno, the "Toy Factory" itself is a sweatshop and
conditions inside were horrendous. The Department of Justice is
also looking into allegations of animal cruelty. Former members
of the cult have claimed that Santa Claus frequently uses leather
restraints on at least eight reindeer, housed in sordid conditions on
the compound. Witnesses reported seeing a reindeer with a protruding
red nose, which Janet Reno said was further indication of the abusive
conditions inside the compound.

Several of the elves were reported by the BATF to have been
carrying automatic weapons. However, independant sources dispute
this, claiming that the "automatic weapons" were nothing more
than large candy canes.

ATF leader Ted Oyster, shaken after the ordeal, spoke to
reporters as hundreds of agents, many of them in tears, were
taken away from the Northpole in military airlifts, ambulances,
and private vehicles.

"We had our plan down, we had our diversion down, and they were
waiting..." Oyster said resignedly, shaking his head.

A hospital spokesman said that most of the wounded ATF agents
appeared to be suffering from shrapnel wounds from broken candy
canes, as well as frostbite, apparently suffered from wearing
forest-green camoflage in the wintery terrain.

Attorney General Reno offered no comment on these reports.

Mack "the knife" McWarty was seen strolling across the White
House lawn, chuckling to himself as he read what inside sources
say was a copy of the naughty/nice list.

One highly placed government official was found dead in Marcy
Park. His name and the cause of death are unknown at this time,
however, the White House immediately issued a statement claiming
the official had committed suicide after learning his name was
not on the nice list.

Patsy Thomahawk refused to comment on the advice of her attorney
on whether she had any part in removing copies of the
naughty/nice list from a safe in the White House.

A spokesman from the MJTF said that it was indeed a tragedy that
Santa Claus had caused this confrontation, but this should be a
lesson to anyone who tries to give to everyone without permission from
the welfare department, and that gathering sensitive data without a
permit from official sources will be stopped by any means.

FBI spokesman Bob Pricks, the former national Abortion Poster
Child of 1944, relayed that "We are dealing with a madman. We
have cut off all electricity, water, and communications to the
compound. Santa Claus has demanded that we relay a message to the
world. It reads, 'Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.'
FBI psychological experts are presently analyzing the message,
however, preliminary reports indicate this is an encrypted threat to
invade the neighboring towns near the Northpole. It may also be a
doomsday message that the cult intends to commit suicide, like

Shortly after the raid, a smiling Reno was seen strolling through the
pile of rubbish looking for anatomically correct Barbie dolls. She
claimed that she was going to confiscate any that she found as
"evidence" and that they were for a personal investigation that she
was conducting.

Attorney General Reno also disclosed some information about plans to
raid Mr. E. Ster Bunny sometime next spring. According to the FBI's
report on Mr. Bunny, he has been hording food all year. This is in
direct violation of a secret Presidential Directive. "This ingratitude
for everything that we have done will stop, even if it means raiding
every house in the USA to enforce these new laws that were made to
insure your freedom...." Reno said.

This, boys and girls, should make us all sleep just a little bit
better tonight. The government will protect us from overindulging in
freedom. If they didn't step in and take control of that
"naughty/nice" list, just think what shape we might be in.....

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