Spring 2017

Individuals from all races, nationalities, and social economic status are involved in the sovereign citizen movement, including former law enforcement officers. What all have in common is some level of dissatis- faction or disillusionment with the U.S. Government. Some believe the 14th Amendment regarding jurisdic- tion and national citizenship is unconstitutional and the 16th amendment requiring payment of taxes was illegally ratified. Some are financially distressed, while others are con artists who take advantage by con- ducting seminars, selling bogus documents and insurance, license plates, passports and services. There are many websites that offer information as how to declare sovereignty, what to do if stopped by law enforce- ment, and benefits of being a sovereign, all for a price.

Sovereigns are involved in traffic law violations associated with not having a driver’s licenses, license plates, or possessing fictitious documents and will claim that there are not driving but are ‘traveling” and therefore do not need licenses. Mortgage and foreclosure fraud, fake deeds, investment and real estate schemes are common crimes, while others have been arrested and charged with finding foreclosed properties, creating false quick claim deeds, and then squatting on the property as well as bank and wire fraud related with re- demption schemes.

There are three generalized categories of sovereign ideology. Constitutional sovereigns interpret the U.S. Constitution differently and believe the United States Government is a corporation and therefore not legiti- mate. Some who subscribe to this ideology believe that the 14th Amendment created a federal citizenship as opposed to state citizenship, with the intention to enslave citizens within the corporate U.S. Government and that these slaves are nothing more than revenue generators. Any document such as a birth certificate, driver’s license, or vehicle registration an individual has constitutes an indirect contract to be a slave of the government corperation. Common terminology are “free man” meaning your flesh and blood person, and “straw man”, meaning your corporate slave persona, with your name spelled in all capital letters. Practition- ers also believe the concept of redemption, meaning the corporate U.S. government has a secret account associated with each enslaved individual and that one can create their own bank checks and drafts to “redeem” funds from in these accounts. References to the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), maritime law, and common law as also used.

Practitioners will reference the differences between constitutional law, common law and legislation, believe they have a “right to travel” without driver’s licenses or vehicle registrations, and do not recognize local, state, or federal authority with the exception of the county sheriff. Some groups set up mirror governments with their own Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches as well as their own state Governors and Secre- taries of State. Other groups within the constitutional sovereign category believe the United States became a corporation when President Franklin D. Roosevelt took the country off of the gold standard and made it ille- gal for citizens to own gold.

The second category of sovereigns adopt beliefs with religious overtones, and accept the only law they have to follow is God’s law and therefore do not recognize nor are subject to worldly governments. There are some organizations that claim have church exemptions and offer for sale driver’s licenses, “right to travel” documents, marriage certificates, and information as to how to confront police officers and the courts. Ac- cording to their beliefs, one cannot serve God and government at the same time.

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