By: Shane Radliff
May 16th, 2016
Note: It would behoove me to first say that the identifier “sovereign citizen” is an oxymoron, a contradiction in terms, if you will. A “sovereign” is above all else; a “citizen” is “a legally recognized subject of a state,” thereby subordinate to a larger body. Although I will use that identifier throughout this article, simply due to its notoriety and for purposes of clarity, because the tactics pursued by folks with ‘different’ labels (i.e. American State National, Freemen-on-the-land, etc.) are almost identical. Also, make sure to check out Kyle Rearden’s Committee of Safety PowerPoint presentation, as well as my interview with Gary Hunt on the Committee of Safety concept.
“A Committee of Safety can be briefly defined as a mutual self-defense association that also operates as a parallel government. Historically, they were known under a variety of names, yet, their function was exactly the same – to pool manpower for defense of the community and legitimize a self-organized populist government.” [Emphasis added]
– Kyle Rearden, The Origins of the Harney County Committee of Safety
I’ve been noticeably transparent about my previous involvement in a “sovereign citizen” group, especially so in the past week after Kyle and I produced an LUA Radio Special Edition titled, The “Sovereign Citizens” Are Douchebags. That involvement also consisted of interaction with the National Liberty Alliance (NLA), as well as a monthly donation for over a year to their organization. As with most “sovereign citizens”, I was duped into believing a bunch of mythology, most (if not all) of which is laughably unsubstantiated. To put it more simply, they have not been transparent about their “successes” (unless, you count the never-ending imprisonment of their practitioners), nor have they even provided sufficient documentation to verify their claims; on that same note, they have still failed to answer the list of questions Kyle asked over 2 years ago in his Only On Paper article, where he questioned their ideology.
On April 30th, I mirrored his article titled Fake Judges: How & Why Sovereign Citizens are Undermining Patriot Groups. It wasn’t long until the article went semi-viral drawing unconstructive criticism, ad hominem attacks, and all sorts of fallacious comments.
That said, I thought the refutation by Kyle and I of this gibberish was completed on May 7th, but it appears things are much worse than I expected—not only are these folks parading around as “fake judges”, or just convincing hapless saps to test out their already disproven theories, or muddying the waters for habeas corpus ad subjiciendum, but they are also attempting to subvert the Committee of Safety (CoS) concept.
A gander at their CoS page will alarm anyone that is even slightly knowledgeable in the idea. There are quite a few particularly atrocious documents (CoS Seal, Call to Sheriff for First or Second Visit, Example Resolution), and even anextremely inaccurate PowerPoint presentation.
To keep this short, I’ll just say the NLA has no understanding, whatsoever, of how a CoS is formed. They have no understanding of what it entails, and cannot “promote” the concept without incorporating the failed attempts at an allegedly common law “citizens’ grand jury,” as well as the inefficacious concept of the County Sheriff, who is an elected official within the existing government. By contrast, a CoS is a parallel government—the two are separate and by their nature remain as such.
That, and NLA even had the audacity to bring up “Chemtrails,” the “New World Order,” and “FEMA Camps” in their PowerPoint presentation. A CoS is a local government; as such, how can they begin to deal with these problems? Most disconcerting, the “habeas corpus” they “file” in courts is NOT ad subjiciendum. I can’t say I’m surprised, but credibility is important—there’s no reason to bring up unproven theories while promoting CoS— it just muddies the water.
Though, it gets worse…Much worse…
Further scouring that page and their website, I found their Committee of Safety Registry. In just three days, they had managed to triple the number of CoS formed in the past 20 years. That seemed suspicious to me, so I decided to register a fake CoS, just as a way of testing whether or not they were vetting the submitted applications. (Note: Click the images to enlarge.)
Within an hour, it was added to the registry—I wasn’t particularly surprised that it was, but I would have at least expected them to call the (fake) phone number I put in and realize it was bunk—hell, when I was in that “sovereign citizen” group and offered to volunteer for them, they called me once a week for 6 months. Besides, are they acting coy by asking for the first name only? A legitimate phone number would be easily traced to its source.
This arises some suspicion in my mind. Did this request even go to a human being, or was it just an automated approval? Keep in mind, this application was put in around 9pm CST on Sunday, May 15th.
There’s also another initial observation that warrants attention. The Harney County CoS is not listed in this registry at the time of publication. That is a confirmed CoS, and the NLA even republished my collaborative article with Kyle on The Origins of the Harney County Committee of Safety. And, of course they removed all of our embedded hyperlinks and highlighted certain portions instead!
Assuming the rest of those are “real” registrations, again, the process of forming a CoS arises. If I was able to put through a fake one, how many of those others actually held a publicly announced “town hall” meeting in order to form a CoS, and subsequently elect committeemen to serve the county? Are there any websites? A video? Anything?
I would posit that most, if not all, of those folks possess no understanding of the CoS concept, whatsoever; especially so, if their introduction to it, was by way of the NLA. It is also possible that some registrars simply thought this was comparable to a WhiteHouse.org petition, or even starting a III% chapter in their state (I did that too, but resigned within a week).
There are also a number of other issues.
NLA is a top/down organization—it is not grassroots, like CoS are. “Robert,” being the National “CoS Committee Chairman,” is representative of that fact—what they are doing is centrally planning the formation of CoS (in many ways, this is reminiscent of the anti-libertarian Libertarian Party). On the other hand, Committee.org, offers a couple of examples, but the by-laws and stipulations for joining are entirely up to the individuals in the specific county when they form their local CoS. That said, the NLA’s opposition to the “New World Order” (those at the “top” of the pyramid), should be reflected in their organization and actions, but that is surely not the case.
Since these folks are Constitutionalists, you would at least expect them to abide by copyright law—which is much more stringent than Creative Commons (never mind the BipCot NoGovernment license). Though, that is not the case—instead, they selectively chose those three documents Gary Hunt published on CoS, yet dispensed of those that conflict with their confirmation bias. Worse, they don’t even attribute them to him on their main CoS webpage. How hard would it possibly be to add (Gary Hunt, Outpost of Freedom) to the end of Committees of Safety Volume I and II and The Historical Documents? Apparently, it was too difficult for their webmaster.
Guilt by association also comes into play, which could be applied under any of the aforementioned “licenses.” Gary’s writing on the subject could connect him to the NLA, but that is inaccurate on its face—he and Kyle did an entire five-part series on Patriot Mythology, which debunks everything the NLA stands for. Gary is not, in any way, shape, or form connected to their nonsense.
In fact, when the “leadership” of the NLA invited Gary to one of their conference calls, he deferred direct involvement and stipulated that a CoS must be locally generated, and that he would wait and see how they proceeded before he could support what they were doing. He also suggested a knowledgeable person, who will be referred to as Mr. C.o.S, that has studied both his work and independently studied the true CoS concept, and who became quite knowledgeable on the subject. Apparently, NLA then made contact with Mr. C.o.S, implying that they could work together, but failed to contact him again—they obviously wanted someone to accommodate them and their agenda, not someone to promote and truly educate their members about CoS. Instead, they created a national position of the chairman, for an individual named Robert, which is absolutely contrary to the entire concept.
As an aside, Mr. C.o.S was barred from discussing CoS at one of the Stand By Me rallies in Oregon this past March.
Regardless of what the NLA claims to be, they are just another “sovereign citizen” group. Just because you “don’t entertain the fiction such as bills of exchange, redeeming and/or discharging through trust accounts; nor do [you] involve [y]ourselves with contracts, commercial liens and the exchanging of an oath of office for a value,” does not therefore mean that you are not a “sovereign citizen” group, especially when you are filing frivolous court documents and even the occasional UCC commercial lien. After all, UCC was simply a recommendation for adoption by the states, and for the most part, was adopted, though considerable changes have been made in most states from the original suggested model. Citing UCC is like citing the rules of Monopoly when you want a bank loan. There is No Legal Authority to do so, NLA! (Note: The image below shows the Unified United States Common Law Grand Jury documents being rejected by the federal judiciary.)
That said, the semantic games that will be played are meaningless. The actions taken to achieve said freedom are what matters, and with this nonsense, it doesn’t help—for many, it gets them tossed into a rape cage. Freedom, much?
I highlighted the concerns I had briefly with the NLA’s vetting process, but it doesn’t just end there. One question I have is this: How genuine is their registry when they’re not even vetting the applicants? – No phone call, nothing. On the original CoS registry, they at least have a phone call or an exchange of emails—that is not the case with NLA.
This also makes the NLA’s CoS page extremely vulnerable to black hat hackers; whether it’s by way of government agents or the private sector. Who knows? Tomorrow there may be 5,000 CoS registered!
The CoS concept will now look like a joke with this lack of vetting. It’s no different than putting in your name, phone number, and email for an online petition. Though, unlike one of those petitions, members of a CoS will be out there, doing things. A petition is simply begging those who falsely imagine themselves to be “our” rulers to please be nicer to “us”.
If I had to posit a prediction, my fake CoS will be taken down within a week. Though, I would also not be surprised if it remains there ad infinitum.
The actions of the NLA, as well as the other “sovereign citizens”, need to be called out for the bullshit that they do. The CoS concept is pretty cut and dry and has nothing to do with county sheriffs, contrary to the beliefs of those within NLA; or, maybe, they are intentionally adding to/removing various elements to fit their agenda? Nonetheless, CoS have proven their efficacy historically, and the county sheriff concept has surely not—for example, consider the actions (or, inaction?) by Sheriff David Ward in Harney County, Oregon during The Statist Turf War (AKA, the occupation of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge), not to mention anything of Article 16 within the 1876 Texas Constitution. 1(a) states:
All elected and appointed officers, before they enter upon the duties of their offices, shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:
“I, _______________________, do solemnly swear (or affirm), that I will faithfully execute the duties of the office of ___________________ of the State of Texas, and will to the best of my ability preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States and of this State, so help me God.” [Emphasis added]
“Defendant Myers signed ‘Militia…Arrest Warrants’ in his capacity as a ‘Militia Volunteer’ and ‘Constitutional Common Law Enforcement Officer.’ These ‘arrest warrants’ were based on the CLC ‘contempt order’ of the same date, and were directed at Judge Walker and the other ‘respondents…’ Myers…mailed and caused to be mailed, the CLC ‘contempt order’ of August 27, 1994, together with the ‘arrest warrant’ of that date, to Judge Walker and the other ‘respondents…” [Emphasis added]
Myers is still serving a seven year prison sentence, and is expected to be released sometime in 2019.
Much like the inclination for “sovereign citizens” to file commercial liens against government officials, completely ignoring the 1998 United States v. Marsh decision (“The filing of the lien is the crime.”), these folks will continue to attempt demonstrably failed tactics, until it gets them tossed in a rape cage; this is largely due to their inability to learn from history, therefore, they are doomed to repeat it.
Be wary of formal organizations, like NLA. Also be wary of silver bullet solutions to the problem of tyranny—especially if it consists of filing magical documents in court, or setting up common law “citizens’ grand juries”; you may just end up in a cage. I think Barry Reid put it best:
“Avoid membership in political groups or other civic organizations. As a rule, these groups are filled with super sneaky, nosey individuals more willing than not to stab someone in the back if it suits their selfish purposes. Total snakes.” [Emphasis added]
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