Tag Archives: PorcFest

Ross Ulbricht Expresses Optimism And Seeks Help In First Published Letter From Prison

Silk Road creator Ross Ulbricht’s first published letter from prison addressed supporters and attendees of this year’s liberty-focused New Hampshire event known as PorcFest. In the letter, Ulbricht expressed disappointment about not being able to attend the event, and he wrote about the upcoming struggles that will ensue in appealing his life sentence. He concluded the letter seeking financial support to continue his fight against “outright corruption” stemming from the government.

Ulbricht’s mother Lyn attended PorcFest last year to give a speech about her son’s case while Ross was awaiting trial, and also attended the event this year to provide insight in light of the Silk Road documentary Deep Web and the aftermath of Ross’s trial and sentencing.

The letter, first posted to FreeRoss.org, read:

Hi Porcfest,

I am writing to you from my cell in New York City. Sorry I couldn’t make it this year. Unfortunately the worst case scenario has played out for me and I’ve been sentenced to spend the rest of my life in prison. I am an eternal optimist though and will never give up hope for my release. I have confidence that the appeals court will recognize the errors by some and outright corruption by others in the government and give me some sort of remedy. It could be a new trial, where hopefully the whole story can be told or the case could be dismissed altogether.

In many ways, my struggle is just getting started now that it’s going to the higher courts, so I still need your help. Mounting an effective appeal is not easy. I’m confident in my team, but there’s only so much we can do without your donations. What we can be sure of is that the government will spend as many of your tax dollars as needed to keep me behind bars, so please help however you can. I hope my story has shed light on some of the issues we face these days. There are many, but please don’t let what’s happened to me lead you to despair. Keep standing for liberty and respect for our rights. Keep fighting for your freedom and evenutally we will win.

Cheers, Ross

A few words in the letter regarding “semantics and incorrect use of legal terms” were changed at the request of Ulbricht’s attorney and with Ulbricht’s approval.

Ulbricht appeared to make note of “outright corruption” from the government to directly reference two federal agents assigned to a Silk Road investigation who allegedly stole massive sums of money from the site and were later charged with fraud after Ulbricht’s trial had begun.

[RELATED: Two Silk Road Investigators Face Massive Fraud Charges]


Ulbricht’s defense team has pointed out numerous times that the alleged actions and legal consequences related to the agents, Carl Force and Shaun Bridges, were hidden from the defense until just before the trial began. It has been argued that the two compromised the entire investigation and trial.

Bridges allegedly took over a Silk Road staffer’s account to steal over $800,000 worth of bitcoin. Force allegedly used several false identities to extort money multiple times from Ulbricht and signed a contract with 20th Century Fox, without telling his superiors, to be paid up to $240,000 for offering his story to be used in a movie about Silk Road.


Ross Prison Letter
Image via FreeRoss.org



1,500 Liberty Lovers Gather At 12th Annual PorcFest


The Free State Project’s 12th annual week-long Porcupine Freedom Festival, also known as PorcFest, concluded last Sunday. Truth In Media’s Annabelle Bamforth visited PorcFest to catch a glimpse of some of the activities at the festival, which takes place at Roger’s Campground in Lancaster, New Hampshire.

PorcFest is the Free State Project’s premier summer event that showcases the movement’s purpose, which is to inspire 20,000 individuals to move to New Hampshire in pursuit of personal liberty. A large number of attendees bring their camping gear to spend the week enjoying the festivities and ample space offered at Roger’s Campground, surrounded by one of the state’s most scenic mountain regions.

Personal freedom encompasses the atmosphere of the FSP and PorcFest, and attendees had plenty of avenues to explore. The following is a mere sampling of events that PorcFest had to offer:

  • Tours of New Hampshire’s scenic North Country
  • Appearances by Lenore Skenazy discussing the “free-range kids” movement
  • A kombucha-brewing tutorial
  • Discussion from residents in different regions of NH offering their perspective on ideal locations in which to settle
  • A Q&A session with Ross Ulbricht’s mother, Lyn Ulbricht, following the screening of the Silk Road documentary Deep Web
  • A “Jury Rights Jeopardy” game testing its attendees about juror’s rights
  • Daily activities for families and children
  • A lecture from Muslims 4 Liberty about spreading the voluntaryist message globally
  • Yoga and various dance classes
  • Screening of 101 Reasons: Liberty Lives In New Hampshire
  • Annual cook-off hosted by The Liberty Ladies of NH
  • A panel examining different forms of activism
  • A Crony Awards ceremony to award various crony capitalist “winners”
  • A speech from Julie Borowski about spreading the liberty message to a broader audience
  • Discussion from recent FSP “new movers” sharing their moving stories
  • Multiple discussions to assist people interested in running for elected positions locally and statewide

Many of the discussions and events illustrated New Hampshire as a state boasting a low tax burden, a diverse and thriving economy, a high quality of life, and a state legislature striving to limit government authority.

Beyond PorcFest’s pavilion area stood Agora Valley, the vendors’ section of Porcfest. Attendees visiting Agora Valley had access to over 60 vendors near the campsites offering freshly prepared meals, handmade products, Bulletproof coffee, endless varieties of homemade canned goods, locally caught trout, a vending machine refurbished to accept bitcoin, a great deal of pro-liberty literature, and plenty in between. Amanda Bouldin, whose homemade ice cream stand is a PorcFest favorite, enjoyed her sixth year at the event serving up flavors like Surveillance State Strawberry, WaterMolon Labe, Orwellian Oreo, and Constitutional Carry Chocolate Cherry.

Two agents from New Hampshire’s Department of Revenue made an appearance at this year’s PorcFest in an attempt to ensure that the food vendors at Agora Valley had “proper licensing” and were collecting the state’s meal tax at the festival. The agents warned that some vendors could be considered non-compliant. The incident, caught on video, showed a confrontation between the agents and Free Keene’s Ian Freeman. The agents were quickly notified that they were on private property and were asked to leave. After speaking with the campground’s owner, the agents exited without gaining access to any vendor paperwork.

Matt Philips, a FSP participant, spoke with Bamforth about his experience organizing this year’s PorcFest with his girlfriend, Kristin Weitzel. Philips estimated that at least 1,500 attendees were to be expected over the week and said that as the FSP grows, PorcFest grows steadily as well.

“We’re longtime Burning Man people,” said Philips of himself and Weitzel, “so we bring a little bit of that perspective.” He said that his time volunteering as a Black Rock Ranger at Burning Man inspired him to organize a new set of volunteers, called Porc Rangers, to assist at PorcFest. “They can summon medical, they can summon community support, they can help people help themselves,” said Philips.

Philips also spoke of the “principles of Porcfest,” something that he and others have been working on to “identify the parts of the culture that we really want to emphasize, get more of.”

“We’re trying to get people who think they might be interested to come, meet everyone, see what it’s about,” said Philips. “To see the experimentation that’s going on here with the vendors and the people here around each other. The little microcosm of the free society that we could have if we all came to this one place and magnified, amplified, each other’s efforts.”

There are innumerable tenets that draw such a large crowd to PorcFest. Some attendees had specific advice to share or to seek. Some attended to hear speeches relevant to their principles. Some attendees have described the event as a week-long experimentation showing what a truly free society could look like. Some simply wanted to go camping with like-minded friends. No matter what brings them to Lancaster year after year, PorcFest is an ideal setting for liberty-loving guests to unite in celebration of the Free State Project’s motto: “Liberty In Our Lifetime.”