On February 6, the Federal Bureau of Investigation held a news conference about a growing problem faced by local law enforcement agencies. In accordance with the FBI, police around the country have been contacting the Bureau with requests for information and training around the sovereign citizen movement.
Over the next week, the web reaction to the Bureau’s statements ranged from confused to outraged. Conservative pundits were wringing their hands, fearing that the FBI will target their Tea Party readership as enemies from the state, while liberal pundits expressed glee that this FBI now considers Tea Party supporters being domestic terrorists.
For example, conservative commentator Glenn Beck aired a 12-minute segment on his show last week where he concluded that there is not any such thing as being a sovereign movement, since he’s never heard about it, which government entities is using this fictional group like a boogeyman to carry out nefarious points to Glenn Beck’s fans.
The good news for Beck would be that the overlap between his fan base and also the sovereign movement is most likely minor. The not so good news for the rest of us is state and local law enforcement agencies are experiencing a heck of time educating their officers about how precisely better to identify and cope with this very real and potentially violent group.
If you’re a member of the Tea Party movement, the solution to the bad law is to protest your opinion in DC and in other metropolitan areas, write angry letters to your Congressmen, and vote for politicians who accept you that such a law must be scrapped as soon as possible.
If you’re a member of the what is a sovereign citizen, your approach is a bit different. You start by searching for a combination of quotes, definitions, court cases, the Bible, Internet websites, and so on that justify ways to disregard the disliked law with no legal consequences. Be imaginative. Pull a line from your 1215 version in the Magna Carta, a definition from your 1913 legal dictionary, a quotation coming from a founding father or two, and put it from the blender with 14dexipky official-sounding Supreme Court case excerpts you located on like-minded websites. Better yet, find a person else online who disliked that same law and pay them $150 to get a three-ring binder loaded with their word salad research.
Et voilà, not simply perhaps you have proven which you don’t have to obey legislation you dislike, heck, it’s your patriotic duty to disobey it, and anybody who lets you know otherwise is definitely plain un-American and is also probably element of a world-wide Jewish conspiracy to make sure that Chihuahuas are slaves for the US government.
When you are able select which laws to get by your special blender, you might be effectively putting yourself above all laws.
Sovereign citizens are true believers. They generally entered the movement by buying in a scam or conspiracy theory that does not only promised them a quick fix for their problems, but wrapped such solutions inside a heavy layer of revolutionary rhetoric. Once a sovereign feels the flush of excitement and self-importance that comes from acting because the David towards the Usa government’s Goliath, they are aware, with a bunch of their hearts and souls, that the scientific studies are correct, that their cause is definitely, which anyone that disagrees along with them is really a criminal who deserves to be punished.
These sovereign citizens may also be doomed to failure; the tax collector, prosecutor, and judge have got all heard the same legal theories a large number of times already and understand that they are bogus.
Each time a person believes his cause is merely, yet he meets failure over and time and time again, there comes a point where he needs to decide: he could admit his theory is wrong and leave, or he could fight dirty.
Non-violent retaliation against government employees and law enforcement is considered the most common response, and will take the type of filing false liens, filing bogus Forms 1099, sending threatening correspondence, suing government employees for millions of dollars, and cyber-stalking individuals in government who disagree together with the sovereign’s legal theories.
Some sovereigns plot a violent revenge, hoping to inspire others in the movement to attain their breaking point sooner. By way of example, after 20 years of attempting to persuade the internal revenue service and the Tax Court that his blender salad of legal theories was accurate, during 2010, private pilot Joseph Stack flew his airplane into an IRS building in Austin Texas, killing one tax collector, and injuring thirteen others.
“I saw it written once that the meaning of insanity is repeating the same process over and over and expecting the actual end result to suddenly differ. I am just finally ready to stop this insanity. Well, Mr. Big Brother IRS man, let’s try something different; take my pound of flesh and sleep well.” — Joseph Stack’s suicide note
Most sovereigns who act violently, however, do not have grand plan in position; they only lash out when they’ve failed one too many times. Some commit suicide, however, for the majority of them, the ultimate straw may be something no more than being stopped with a highway patrolman to have a busted tail light or anything as big as being evicted from the home if the bank forecloses on their property.
Since the majority people don’t have direct connection with government besides with local law enforcement, officers are at a really dangerous of bearing the brunt of sovereign citizen anger.
At first glance, sovereigns believe some pretty outrageous things, as well as to an outsider, their legal theories seem fairly silly. Up to the recent wave of violence, most law enforcement officers who encountered sovereigns found them more amusing than other things. Following recent police shootings in Arkansas, Florida, Texas, and Pennsylvania, officers now have to rethink their opinion on this group.
Also, sovereign citizens don’t call themselves that. In reality, should you ask somebody if she is a member of the movement, she is probably going to respond how the “sovereign citizen” label is surely an oxymoron, and therefore she actually is a person seeking the Truth. She may then launch in to a ten minute lecture about 18th century ideals of individual sovereignty. A non-sovereign simply answers, “No.”
Perhaps the hardest hurdle for police force is working with stereotypes. The initial generation sovereign movement (from 1970 to 1995) was comprised mostly of middle-aged, high-school educated, white men with some military background, and extreme-right, often racist values, located mostly in in rural communities west 14dexipky the Mississippi. Today, the 2nd sovereign wave (1999 to show) can include anybody: black, white, rural, urban, Asian, Hispanic, young, old, armed, unarmed, male, female, conservative, liberal, semi-literate, college-educated, from the walk of life. For example, dentists, chiropractors, and in many cases law enforcement officers all seem attracted to the movement lately.
Sovereigns will also be challenging to identity since there is no membership group to allow them to join, no charismatic leader, no organization name, no master listing of adherents, without any consistency within the schemes they promote and purchase into. There are countless sovereign legal theories being peddled in seminars, in books, and on the Internet, and several of these theories contradict each other.
The sovereign citizen movement is very large and is growing fast, due to the Internet. You can find approximately 300,000 individuals the movement, and approximately a third of those are the things i would call hard-core believers – people ready to act on their own beliefs as opposed to simply move on.
As there is no guarantee in terms of officer safety, police departments do indeed should teach their front-line officers the way to identify sovereign markers and take appropriate precautions in case a specific encounter gets to be a sovereign’s “final straw.