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In a rare conversation with a reporter, white separatist Randy Weaver talked to TIME correspondent Edward Barnes about the tragic 1992 shootout in Ruby Ridge, Idaho that killed his wife and son and the legend that has grown up about him as a result. Weaver, who has been lionized by the anti-government militia movement, thinks that they picked the wrong hero. "I'm not a joiner," Weaver confided at his home in rural Grand Junction, Iowa. "I don't belong to the militia or any other group. I have my own take on things. Hell, I'm really not even a Christian. But I get calls all the time from the militia and other groups to come talk . . . But if I do, I think I would only last a few speeches. They would find out I don't really agree with them either." Weaver, who held off federal agents for 11 days in the siege, is now waiting out conditions of his probation that restrict him to southern Iowa through the end of this year. He has also filed a $180 million civil suit against the federal government.