Tag Archives: sovereign

Government Issues “Sovereign Citizens” Warning to HUD Employees

On Tuesday, the Department of House and Urban Development issued a warning to its employees and contractors concerning scams and confrontations with anti-government “sovereign citizens” who are reportedly illegally occupying federal housing.

The District Sentinel wrote:

“The alert, which came from HUD’s Office of Inspector General, alleged that sovereign citizens are increasingly taking advantage of state laws that aim to redistribute department-owned properties.

“The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and HUD OIG have noticed a resurgence of sovereign citizen fraud in HUD programs,” the IG said, stating that over the last four years, HUD has tallied 20 prosecutions and convictions related to sovereign citizens scams, recovering more than $17 million.”

Essentially, the report claims that “sovereign citizens” are illegally deeding themselves HUD real estate, installing alarms, and locking out the authorities. The report goes on to state that individuals might be involved in subsidized Section 8 housing programs and foreclosure rescue schemes.

The report states that “unlike other ‘squatters,’ sovereign citizens may retaliate if you confront them.” The report also warns employees that engaging in verbal arguments “could spiral into a violent confrontation.”

One issue with these types of reports is that this “movement” of so-called “Sovereign Citizens” is not a movement at all, but rather a loose group of individuals who have similar but often conflicting beliefs.

The bulletin gives this description of “Sovereign Citizens”:

[quote_box_center]”Sovereign citizen groups are loose associations of antigovernment extremists who do not recognize the Federal Government. They believe they are separate or sovereign from the United States and are exempt from Federal, State, and local laws and tax systems. They believe the county sheriff is the supreme law enforcement officer in the land and county clerks or registrars are the only legitimate elected officials. They subscribe to a belief in “common law” and their right to arrest or sue employees of the “illegitimate government.” They are known for filing nuisance lawsuits or liens against individuals who try to stop their schemes, which have involved in lender, credit card, tax, and loan frauds. They make their own driver’s licenses and license plates and sometimes attempt to form their own parallel institutions of government. Sovereign citizen encounters with law enforcement and government personnel frequently become confrontational and sometimes turn violent.”[/quote_box_center]

The FBI’s bulletin, “Sovereign Citizens: An Introduction for Law Enforcement”, elaborates upon the description:

“Sovereign citizens believe the USG (U.S. government) is illegitimate and has drifted away from the true intent of the Constitution. As a result, the USG is not perceived to be acting in the interest of the American people. These groups generally do not adhere to federal, state, or local laws.

They believe the US Federal Reverse System, the Treasury Department, and banking systems are illegitimate.”

According to the bulletin, many users of this website might be considered a “sovereign citizen” for believing that the Federal Reserve is illegitimate or for refusing to support the federal government. However, the FBI bulletin does note “these activities may also be indicative of lawful, innocent conduct”, including rights protected by  the United States Constitution,  and thus “these indicators should be considered in the context of other suspicious behavior and the totality of the circumstances in which they are observed or reported.”

Still, even with that caveat there is a dangerous trend for the U.S. government to demonize legal behavior while tying it to extremist viewpoints, such as those who identify as “sovereigns” or “Freemen” and choose to commit violence. Of course, this comparison completely ignores the millions of liberty lovers who believe similar ideas, yet never speak of violence.

The HUD bulletin goes on to offer indicators of a possible “sovereign citizen”. These include:

  • names spelled in all capital letters
  • Personal seals, stamps, or thumb prints in red ink
  • references to the Bible, and the Constitution of the United States

Also, included in the bulletin is an example of a fraudulent claim filed by a so-called “sovereign citizen” which highlights the use of silver dollars.

sov

Similar to the Missouri Information Analysis Center (MIAC) report and other  Department of Homeland Security documents, this latest bulletin may have many Americans asking why constitutionally protected behavior and thought is being targeted.

The report includes images of flags that are claimed to be associated with “sovereign citizens” including a “Title 4 Flag”, and the flag known as the “Gadsden flag” which is often associated with the American Revolution. However, this Gadsden flag has a ribbon above it that reads “The New Minute Men”.

NewMinutemen-m

A quick search for the Title 4 Flag does indeed lead to a website which professes the rhetoric discussed by the government, but there are no obvious calls for violence. A search for “the new minute men gadsden flag” leads to this website where a man claims ownership of the flag. He described the flag as one “that I created by combining the best attributes of the Culpeper and the Gadsden Flags.” The Culpeper Minutemen are well known for fighting in the American Revolution.

Once again, a search of the website does not reveal any calls for violence or even a mention of “sovereign citizens”. The site is apparently owned by a retired firefighter who will likely be surprised to find that his flag is included in a government warning about extremist violence.

UPDATE: TruthInMedia spoke with the creator of the “New Minute Men Gadsden” flag, Charles Manetta, a 62 year old retired firefighter and 9/11 first responder.

Manetta says, “This flag was made on my computer and was just to see if I could do it. It was creative art and nothing more. I am 100% behind our government and I love The United States. I would never take up arms against our Military or our Police. I love and have the utmost respect for all of them. In fact, three of my children are US Marines and have a few good friends that are Police Officers and they have all seen this image and see no threat from my creation.”

These type of reports are part of a dangerous trend where the U.S. government discourages, or even criminalizes legally protected behavior. While this new bulletin from the HUD may be of some value, it also creates a state of paranoia where police and government agents are constantly on the lookout for individuals who dare express their concerns with, or outright opposition to, government.

New Report Finds Homegrown Radicals Greater Threat Than Radical Muslims

A new report from a Washington-based research center found that the majority of terror attacks since September 11, 2001 have come from so-called “homegrown” extremists rather than radical Muslims.

New America has found that nearly twice as many people were killed by individuals espousing white supremacist and anti-government rhetoric than by those preaching radical Islam. The report calculates that 48 people were killed by non-Muslim extremists, and 26 were killed by self-proclaimed jihadists.

Non-Muslims have launched 19 attacks since 9/11, while Islamic extremists launched 7 lethal attacks for the same time period. The New York Times reported that a new survey to be published this week found that police have a greater fear of domestic extremism versus radical Islam. Researchers with the University of North Carolina and  Duke University took a survey of 382 police and sheriff’s departments nationwide and found that 74 percent believe anti-government violence is the greatest threat to their safety. The survey found that only 39 percent of the departments fear “Al Qaeda-inspired” violence.

In February, Truth In Media reported on an intelligence report produced by the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigations which called attention to an apparent domestic terror threat from ”right-wing sovereign citizen extremists.” The mainstream media was all over the report, complete with headlines proclaiming the growing “right-wing” threat. However, it was found that CNN and other outlets did not read the actual report.

Despite CNN claiming that the threat from sovereign citizens was greater than ISIS and included “right-wing” extremists, the report does not state that at all. In fact, the entire report does not even use the term “right-wing” or even mention the Islamic State. Statements on the alleged danger of right-wing extremists came from a separate report and quotes from the Southern Poverty Law Center, not the actual report itself.

[RELATED: CNN Lied About “Right-Wing” Extremism Threat Greater Than ISIS]

Whether a creation of the mainstream media or a reality check for tyrants, government agencies are, without a doubt, spreading the idea that homegrown, domestic civilians are to be feared.

In June 2014, Truth In Media reported on the creation of a new Department of Justice task force to combat “escalating danger” from “homegrown” terrorists in the United States. At the time of the announcement, Attorney General Eric Holder said, “We face an escalating danger from self-radicalized individuals within our own borders.”

The DOJ is not alone in monitoring domestic activity, however. Jay Syrmopoulos elaborated on the increasing focus on “domestic” or “homegrown” extremists:

First there was the MIAC report, which claimed that potential terrorists include people who own gold, Ron Paul supporters, libertarians, and even people who fly the U.S. flag.

Then in 2012, there was a leaked Homeland Security study that claimed Americans who are “reverent of individual liberty,” and “suspicious of centralized federal authority” are possible “extreme right-wing” terrorists.

More recently, there is a Department of Defense training manual, obtained by Judicial Watch, using a FOIA request, which lists people who embrace “individual liberties” and honor “states’ rights,” among other characteristics, as potential “extremists” who are likely to be members of “hate groups.”

This document goes on to call the Founding Fathers extremists, stating, “In U.S. history, there are many examples of extremist ideologies and movements, “ including, ‘The colonists who sought to free themselves from British rule.'”

So what’s the truth?

Do groups like ISIS pose a threat to the liberty of the American people? Is the “threat” from “domestic” or “homegrown” extremists truly increasing? And to whom are they a threat ? The people or the government?

Perhaps the greatest threat to Liberty lies in the people issuing these reports and passing laws that work to limit the freedom of the people.

UPDATE: CNN Lied About “Right-Wing” Extremism Threat Greater Than ISIS

Despite a widely circulated article from CNN, the latest DHS report on extremism does not state that Right-Wing Extremism is more dangerous than ISIS.

Last week we reported on the newly released  intelligence report produced by the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigations which called attention to an apparent domestic terror threat from ” right-wing sovereign citizen extremists.”

The report claimed that there have been 24 sovereign citizen attacks in the United States since 2010. According to the report these “extremists” believe they are not bound by the law and will assert their rights on a regular basis when confronted by police. This could be a traffic stop or refusing to obey court orders.

Now Reason.com has obtained the actual report – CNN failed to show a copy of  the report – and it offers stark contrasts from what was originally reported. Despite CNN claiming that the threat from sovereign citizens was greater than ISIS or included “right-wing” extremists, the report does not state that at all. In fact, the entire report does not even use the term “right-wing” or even mention the Islamic State. Statements on the alleged danger of right-wing extremists came from a separate report and quotes from the Southern Poverty Law Center. Not the actual report itself.

Some key points CNN failed to mention include the fact that the majority of individuals who identify as sovereign citizens are nonviolent. Instead the report focuses on  “sovereign citizen extremists,” or SCEs. The report finds that violence from these individuals is at best sporadic and expected to stay “at the same sporadic level” in the coming year. The violence in these cases is rarely planned in advance, the report concluded. This can include plotting a murder or sending threatening letters, however they tend to be traffic stops gone wrong. Twenty-four cases of violence connected to this apparent movement have been documented since 2010. Only 2 of those 24 cases involved SCEs successfully killing anyone. Hardly the growing threat CNN wants you to believe.

As I wrote last week, when governments criminalize innocent actions of free people there will be resistance. When governments propagandize the people to mistrust those who assert their rights, there will be division. Ultimately it is up to each of us to communicate with our neighbors and family members so they understand the difference between those pursuing violence and those attempting to live free. A full list of the incidents from the DHS report appears below.

One last thing to remember as you look at these 24 incidents: At least one of them (Schaeffer Cox) was arrested after being encouraged and essentially entrapped by federal authorities. Knowing the FBI’s history with creating or encouraging terror attacks using confidential informants, it is important to take the information provided by the DHS with a grain of salt.

Click here for an interactive map of the incidents.

• March 2010: Brody James Whitaker shoots at the Florida State Highway Patrol after a traffic stop.

• April 2010: Walter Fitzpatrick plans a “citizens’ arrest” of a Knoxville jury foreman who refused to indict President Barack Obama.

• May 2010: Jerry and Joseph Kane get into a shootout with the police after a traffic stop. They kill two officers and are themselves killed.

• June 2010: A sovereign citizen begins a multi-year series of written and verbal threats against law enforcement officials in Sweetgrass, Montana.

• September 2010: Victor Dwayne White of West Odessa, Texas, shoots and wounds two sheriff’s deputies and a utility worker who came onto his property to access an oil well. A 22-hour standoff ensues.

• January 2011: David Russell Myrland is arrested after threatening to use “deadly force” if necessary to “arrest” the mayor of Kirkland, Washington, and other officials.

• March 2011: Francis Shaeffer Cox conspires with confederates to kill a judge and an IRS officer in Anchorage, Alaska.

• June 2011: A domestic disturbance call brings police to the home of William Foust in Page, Arizona; Foust is shot and killed in the ensuing altercation.

• July 2011: James Tesi of Colleyville, Texas, fires on police after an attempted traffic stop.

• November 2011: A property dispute brings the authorites to Rodney Brossart’s home in Lakota, South Dakota. He threatens to shoot the officers, and a stand-off follows.

• February 2012: Vahe Ohanian visits a California Highway Patrol station and a sheriff’s station in Santa Clarita, California, threatening to “snipe” officers. (*)

• February 2012: Matthew O’Neill pleads guilty to sending an envelope containing white powder to the Colorado Department of Revenue.

• August 2012: In LaPlace, Louisiana, a traffic stop leads to two shootouts with members of a small sovereign-citizen group headed by Terry Lyn Smith, one at the vehicle and the second at a trailer park. Two police officers are killed and three wounded.

• September 2012: Phillip Monroe Ballard attempts to solicit the murder of the judge presiding over his tax trial. • March 2013: Jeffrey Allen Wright of Navarre, Florida, threatens officers with a gun when they try to serve a warrant. He is shot and killed.

• June 2013: In Snellville, Georgia, a man sends police a letter threatening death if they interfere with members of a sovereign-citizen group called the “Embassy of Granville.”

• June 2013: Lewis Pollard points a gun at officers at his Fruita, Colorado, residence. He is shot and killed.

• July 2013: Eric Stanberry Jr. pulls a gun on a security guard outside a Nashville strip club, identifying himself as a “sovereign peace officer.” Police tase him.

• July 2013: An incarcerated sovereign citizen plans to kill a federal agent and a witness.

• July 2013: David John McCormick refuses to let the Coast Guard board his boat. After lunging at one of the crew, he is arrested for assaulting a federal officer.

• August 2013: David Allen Brutsche and Devon Campbell Newman are arrested for allegedly planning to “arrest,” “try,” and “execute” police officers.

• March 2014: Israel Rondon of Middleburg Heights, Ohio, fires at deputies serving a warrant. He is killed.

• June 2014: When deputies try to serve an eviction notice on Earl Carlson Harris of Ashland, Oregon, he threatens them with a rifle and is killed.

• June 2014: On federal land in Nevada County, California, Brent Douglas Cole allegedly fires at employees of the Bureau of Land Management and the California Highway Patrol as they attempt to tow vehicles from Cole’s unsanctioned campground.

“Uncoinventional Living Tour” Takes Activist Family from Texas to New Hampshire Using Only Bitcoin

San Marcos, Texas – Activists John Bush and Catherine Bleish have embarked on a historic journey across the United States, traveling from San Marcos, Texas to Lancaster, New Hampshire, spending only Bitcoin while they travel.

John and Catherine, along with their two children, make up the Blush family. They are the stars of the Sovereign Living reality show that follows the family in their quest to become self-sufficient and lead a voluntary and natural life. John and Catherine are well known for their strong advocacy of alternative currencies, natural health, sustainability, peaceful parenting, and unschooling.

On Monday June 16th they began their 4,400 mile “Uncoinventional Living Tour”, leaving from their home in San Marcos, Texas. The family will be trekking across the country in their minivan, hosting five screenings of their reality show and stopping at several conferences to speak about their adventures and how to make using crypto-currencies like Bitcoin an everyday reality.

The first major stop on the tour is Washington D.C., where the family will speak at the Bitcoin in the Beltway Conference hosted by Jason King of Sean’s Outpost, a homeless outreach and advocacy group. From there the family will be headed to Lancaster, New Hampshire for the eleventh annual Porcupine Freedom Festival. Their final stop before returning home will be Kansas City over the July 4th weekend.

Along their way they plan to find creative ways to travel, eat and sleep without using the dollar bill, or federal reserve note. On the family’s blog Catherine discusses the perils of planning a cross-country trip using only Bitcoin. The more businesses take advantage of crypto-currencies, the more applications are available for everyday living. Catherine said she is “excited to test the practical reality of traveling with Bitcoin.” The Blush family is utilizing Gyft.com for gift cards for food and hotels, CoinMap.org for lists of locations that accept Bitcoin, and Coinfueled.com for gas cards purchased with Bitcoin.

To follow the family’s journey keep up with the Uncoinventional Living Tour Blog.

if you want to contribute to their journey, here are the various ways:

BTC: 1HJ3WRuEEapWgEFNTDCxpTxzWoJCZ8YZQc
LTC: Ld35jZQhkJrpRPKtnfRw1r37KuazzgAiQS
Doge: DLpxS6j6DA38kZzkGAUNtR6tCtCHckaW7k
PayPal: donttreadoncat@gmail.com