Scratching the Surface of Sovereignty
December 6, 2010
By Margo Lane
These days, there is more and more talk about Sovereign Citizens. As an attorney, the concept intrigued me. What does it mean to be Sovereign?
Academic training is difficult to forget. I did what most other lawyers do when a legal word perplexes: I flip through Black’s Law Dictionary.
According to Black’s, a “sovereign” is “1. a person, body, or state vested with independent and supreme authority.” Interesting. So a person can be sovereign, i.e., independent possessed of self authority.
But that begs the question: How?
That one, seemingly simple question led me into a maze of rabbit holes in the law. I did a lot of research on sovereigns, and I discovered that it is tremendously dangerous to pursue the path to sovereignty. I hunted down a couple Sovereign Citizens and actually flew across the country to meet with one in Los Angeles; we’ll call him Mr. M.
Mr. M has been sovereign for over 30 years and is an expert on the constitutional freedom to travel. Mr. M’s personal library on the subject of the freedom to travel is extensive, and it should come as no surprise that Mr. M was far more educated on the constitutional parameters of travel than this formally educated attorney. Mr. M explained to me that when a person obtains a driver’s license, that person enters into a contract to abide by all the laws of the licensure, and therefore, the driver subjects him or herself to the department of revenue to tag and title any vehicle they wish to travel in, in addition to obeying all traffic laws. The driver’s license process is therefore a contract, but most people do not even realize they are entering into a contract that will ultimately have the effect of restricting their freedom to travel.
Mr. M’s argument is that if a person refuses to obtain a driver’s license, that person still has all the freedoms to travel conferred by the constitution without the limitations imposed by licensure. The Constitution imposes no such rules like speed limits and tagging vehicles.
This is a fascinating subject to consider, and completely outside the realm of normal, socialized thinking. Most people do not stop to consider their options and merely assume that they must be licensed in order to “legally” drive a vehicle. While there may be a choice, the court systems hate Sovereign Citizens and treat them as “crazies.” I was researching this in depth and writing articles on it and a judge in Kansas told me that if I published any of the articles, this judge would have me investigated and possibly have my license to practice stripped. Some of the lawyers I tried to talk to, including a federal clerk, all told me that the sovereigns are considered domestic terrorists and they have been targeted by the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center.
One needs only to look at the MIAC report to confirm the reality of such tyrrany. However, both the Anti-Defamation Leage and the Southern Poverty Law Center and progressive think tanks and focus their criticisms of Sovereign Citizens on neo-Nazis. There are a lot of “skin heads” in the sovereignty movement, but to focus on that minority is to ruin the reputation of a vast majority of otherwise peaceful protesters exercising civil disobedience to a government they no longer feel serves their interests.
For more information on the topic, John Paul Mitchell wrote a book called The Federal Zone, which goes through and explains Supreme Court case law history and legislative genesis. The book is available online in PDF format for anyone to read. There’s also a book called Invisible Contracts by Mercier which explains all the seemingly invisible agreements we make with society that we can choose to break at any time, if only we are first aware of the agreements. The premise of both books is that we must first be aware of the contracts we have unwittingly entered into. Then we must acknowledge the fact that a contract is invalid where there is not a “meeting of the minds.”
If a person does not understand that they have entered into a contract, and they are unaware of all the terms of the contract, then how can a contract be valid and enforceable? Invisible Contracts talks about why it is so dangerous to be a “sovereign” – and that’s namely because sovereigns do not pay taxes and are not subject to any government rule.
The IRS is forever fighting these folks. There are a few judges who have been ridiculed when they stand up for the correctness of some of these “sovereign” legal arguments. Federal Judge Fox was one of them. However, the powers that be have made it nearly impossible for people who are new to the “movement” to succeed. For instance, when I went to LA to visit Mr. M, I saw actual documentation in M’s library that the 16th amendment on federal income tax was never properly ratified. However, that documentation is inadmissible in federal courts. Most recently, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals specifically denied to consider such evidence in a case where a gentleman was being prosecuted by the Government for attempting to publish and distribute for profit materials on how to avoid paying taxes due to the illegality of the tax system.
So federal courts have essentially taken away a person’s right to prove that the 16th amendment should not have the force and effect of law, and therefore, they should not be forced to pay taxes. The courts also ignore early Supreme Court cases that have never been overturned that say that the 16th amendment does not impose a direct tax and that a direct tax would be unconstitutional. If you dig through the case law enough, there are horrible inconsistencies that are somehow now treated as ignorable, unsubstantiated, antiquated, and whatever other excuse the government can come up with to ingore individual and constitutionally guaranteed freedoms. In a country where free thought is supposedly encouraged and protected, anyone who breaches the topic of individual sovereignty is somehow arbitrarily branded as a potential terror suspect.
The only successful tax protesters have been the ones who followed the advice in Invisible Contracts and have done away with using their bank accounts – because a signature card on an account is a contract whereby the signor waives their 4th and 5th amendment rights where tax “crimes” are concerned, and whereby the signor agrees to the propriety of Title 26 of the US Code, which is the income tax provision that was never positively enacted into law. Like I said, fascinating…but one pretty much has to be willing to give up a “normal” life in order to gain individual sovereignty. The system itself is a prison beneath a web of choice and an illusion of freedom.
Sovereigns renounce their social security numbers, so they can’t get normal employment. They get paid in cash because they do not bank, and most employers refuse to pay in cash unless they engage in black market activities…there’s a deduction for payroll and compensation to employees and contractors, after all. Actually – and what I am about to say is probably most heretical of all - the closest thing we have to a sovereign citizen movement in this country are illegal aliens.
Undocumented workers by definition don’t have social security numbers, they get paid in cash, and they fly under the radar. They actually have it better than documented citizens do because they get all the benefits of the system without being subjected to it. At its heart, I think this is REALLY what all the animosity towards illegal aliens is all about, if only folks would stop and think about what injustice they perceive.
I have been threatened numerous times to stop talking about sovereignty because as an attorney, I’m supposed to play on the team that buys into the supremacy of the system - I am supposed to be on the system’s side with regard to these arguments, and for those who choose otherwise, they will lose all their clients and credibility – not to mention their license to practice law - if they start to talk about the propriety of such topics with any earnestness as an “officer of the court.” Plus, a lawyer can’t run a practice without a bank account. As an attorney, I’m forced to play the game and I didn’t even realize what the game was until it was too late to turn back. This is something most all of us have in common in one way or another.
Despite this, I do have an unwaivering faith that “karma” will get the system…whether in my lifetime or beyond. For example, the system cannot keep putting people in jail for theft when they themselves are guilty of worse. For instance, I have clients who lost their jobs, unemployment ran out, and they broke into a car and stole a stereo to pawn for food for groceries to feed their family. The stereo was just over $1,000. That’s a felony offense, punishable by up to 3 years in prison in most states. But somehow it is not stealing when the government passes a bill to spend $10 billion of taxpayer money to feed kids in public schools organic food – better food than most of us can afford to feed ourselves. When the powers that be pass legislation to print more money and give it interest free to banks that steal people’s property – I say steal because there was a case out of Indiana where a man won a claim against a mortgage company trying to foreclose. In a rare judicial moment, the court determined that the man had given something of value in the contract – a right to his property – but the bank had given nothing in return because money is not money.
Money is a promissory note, meaning it is a promise to pay a debt. But what’s the debt we are owed? And what currency will we be able to redeem the notes for? Gold? Silver? Land? When Nixon made the currency fiat in 1971, the currency was suddenly backed by NOTHING. Therefore, when the bank gave money in exchange for property, it gave NOTHING of value, and thus the contract was invalid and the foreclosure void. So how is it we owe the government taxes in the form of this paper when the paper itself is supposed to have an underlying value owed to us, The People, and we can’t even redeem this government paper for anything if we try to exchange it at a the Federal Reserve?
The entire system is a lie. At the end of the day, the government would have us believe that the man that steals a car stereo has committed an evil act and society deserves protection from such a man, justifying a sufficiently long prison sentence to accomplosh said goal. But who is really stealing? Is the man being sentenced for theft merely a red herring to keep everyone’s eye off the ball? The ball being the fact that the money is worthless funny money and its the government that owes US a debt, and not the other way around? What’s really going on here? For those who dare to question, the unavoidable realization is that the hypocrisy that has entrenched itself in our government is unsustainable. I have faith that someday people will stop and think about this long enough to realize we’ve all been had.
Ultimately, this cannot last. Its not a matter of if, but when. Its impossible to tell when. But eventually, the system will suck every last drop it can from individual freedom and the People will be so depleted that they will not be able to ignore the inconsistencies and hypocrisy any longer. My hope is that it results in mass civil disobedience rather than violence. But the fact of the matter remains that while there are a brave few who have taken this path into their own hands, the vast majority of us will be relegated to playing the game until the majority of us give up that game at the same time. Only then will the true meaning of sovereignty be discovered, much like it was back in the days of our Founders.” – Margo Lane
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