Sovereign Citizen Movement and a Guy we used to know
Several times over the past decade, I’ve written on here about a guy we encountered in the SCA 20 years ago. He was apparently sociopathic and caused a lot of trouble in our shire. Years later, he went to jail for taking naughty pics of an underage girl. He’s been in and out of court since. I summarized our whole history with him, what I learned afterwards, and a criminal case which hit legal websites and Youtube, here:
So I googled a sociopath from my past
Take a minute to read that and you’ll know everything you need to keep up. I describe the weird language he used to protest that he’s not a citizen of the US (Inc) but of the US. Oh, and just as he finally resolved the case I describe in that post, guilty but time already served, he was busted–AGAIN–for violating the sex registry requirement. This time, though, he didn’t take as long, didn’t go through all those lawyers, and just went ahead and pled no contest. That was finally resolved last week.
Well, tonight’s newspaper has an article, “What is going on with Gbaja-Biamila’s language?”
The article explains:
“i man known as (Muhammed-Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila) am in the state of ‘man’ now: past: forthwith,” the handwritten note filed with the Brown County Clerk of Court reads in part. “Not a Defendant: Respondant all benefits: maybe: waived by i.”
If you were the judge in the former Packers player’s divorce proceeding and received that note, you might be more than a little puzzled about what you were being asked to do.
But the peculiar language that Gbaja-Biamila and his associates have been using to baffle the Brown County court system and confuse the public in recent months is straight out of the “sovereign citizen” playbook born out of the white supremacist movement of the 1960s and 1970s, according to an expert in the subject.
Gbaja-Biamila’s associates, or “brothers,” as he refers to them, have filed equally cryptic documents in Brown County Circuit Court, where they are accused of carrying concealed firearms into a children’s Christmas pageant put on by Providence Academy, a Christian school that three of Gbaja-Biamila’s children attend.
Later on, the article states:
The language is a variation of the “sovereign citizen” movement, started 50 years ago by extremist groups like the Posse Comitatus, said Mark Pitcavage, a senior research fellow with the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism who has been studying the movement for 25 years.At its core, the language is intended to deny the authority of police and courts, which proponents of the sovereign-citizen movement say have no jurisdiction over victim-less crimes and civil matters.The movement started as anti-government ideology by white supremacists and anti-Semites in the United States in the late 1960s, Pitcavage said. Through natural attrition, those people began to die off, but the movement continued to expand across racial and ethnic boundaries and spread overseas, to other English-speaking countries.…Proponents claim the U.S. government secretly enslaves its citizens by establishing them from birth as corporations rather than private individuals, by putting their names in all capital letters on legal documents — everything from birth certificates to driver’s licenses.…Gbaja-Biamila told the Green Bay Press-Gazette recently that admitting to being a “person” rather than a “man” is to accept the state’s illegitimate authority. And like the sovereign citizens that Pitcavage talks about, Gbaja-Biamila believes police, prosecutors and judges have no business charging people with victim-less crimes.…“Sovereigns believe that if they can find just the right combination of words, punctuation, paper ink color and timing, they can have anything they want — freedom from taxes, unlimited wealth, and life without licenses, fees or laws, are all just a few strangely worded documents away. It’s the modern-day equivalent of ‘abracadabra,’” the law center wrote in an article on its website.
The weird “i man” language is a new variant; the basic point is using language to make it sound like you’re not subject to the courts, and rejecting legal documents. This all sounded familiar, so I went back to the bizarre document written by the guy I knew 20 years ago–let’s call him “J.”
Especially at the beginning and the end of J’s document, you can see the sovereign-citizen-style language. I recall reading in the newspaper back around 2010 that J doesn’t have any documentation, despite being born a US citizen, and that’s on purpose to relinquish the control of the state over him. It also made it difficult for the police to figure out who he was (he has a bunch of aliases). I wanted to pull that up for you, but it looks like old articles have been purged.
J even filed a complaint against Scott Walker (and a bunch of other people), stating that
Scott Walker used his position as Wisconsin Governor to cover up acts of domestic terrorism, while criminally violating the due process and other rights of [J], effectively denying [J] his First Amendment guarantee to “redress of grievances” and access to various state and federal courts, to a jury trial, and litigation of the merits of [J]’s criminal RICO claims.
Writing in American Scientific Affiliation, Dennis L. Feucht reviewed American Militias: Rebellion, Racism & Religion by Richard Abanes, and described the theory of Richard McDonald, a sovereign-citizen leader, which is that there are two classes of citizens in America: the “original citizens of the states” (or “States citizens”) and “U.S. citizens”. McDonald asserts that U.S. citizens or “Fourteenth Amendment”
citizens have civil rights, legislated to give the freed black slaves after the Civil War rights comparable to the unalienable constitutional rights of white state citizens. The benefits of U.S. citizenship are received by consent in exchange for freedom. State citizens consequently take steps to revoke and rescind their U.S. citizenship and reassert their de jure common-law state citizen status. This involves removing one’s self from federal jurisdiction and relinquishing any evidence of consent to U.S. citizenship, such as a Social Security number, driver’s license, car registration, use of ZIP codes, marriage license, voter registration, and birth certificate. Also included is refusal to pay state and federal income taxes because citizens not under U.S. jurisdiction are not required to pay them. Only residents (resident aliens) of the states, not its citizens, are income-taxable, state citizens argue. And as a state citizen landowner, one can bring forward the original land patent and file it with the county for absolute or allodial property rights. Such allodial ownership is held “without recognizing any superior to whom any duty is due on account thereof” (Black’s Law Dictionary). Superiors include those who levy property taxes or who hold mortgages or liens against the property.
In support of his theories, McDonald has established State Citizen Service Centers around the United States as well as a related web presence.
Writer Richard Abanes asserts that sovereign citizens fail to sufficiently examine the context of the case laws they cite, and ignore adverse evidence, such as Federalist No. 15, where Alexander Hamilton expressed the view that the Constitution placed everyone personally under federal authority.
Some sovereign citizens also claim that they can become immune to most or all laws of the United States by renouncing their citizenship, a process they refer to as “expatriation”, which involves filing or delivering a nonlegal document claiming to renounce citizenship in a “federal corporation” and declaring only to be a citizen of the state in which they reside, to any county clerk’s office that can be convinced to accept it
It all sounds like not only is Gbaja-Biamila part of this sovereign citizen movement, but my husband’s old “nemesis” J is as well. It’s all frickin’ nuts! People wonder if G-B was knocked in the head too many times (he used to play for the Packers); I wonder the same about J….
Welcome to the alternative reality of the Sovereign Citizen.
(And this rabbit hole goes DEEP. Deeper than the Matrix…)
Just search YouTube on the string “sovereign citizen”. You’ll get a LOT of hits, and find out just how deep the rabbit hole goes.
(Here’s one of the more humorous, “sov cit gets pwned by judge” sub-type)
“…“Sovereigns believe that if they can find just the right combination of words, punctuation, paper ink color and timing, they can have anything they want — freedom from taxes, unlimited wealth, and life without licenses, fees or laws, are all just a few strangely worded documents away.”
I heard this described as “They think they’ve got all the Cheat Codes memorized.”
(Unless the rest of us “straw men” and “stupid sheeple”.)
And as Judge Tim put it once in a Wartburg Watch comment thread, “When court opens with the defendant reading a Sovereign Citizen Manifesto, you know it’s going to be a long day and it can only go downhill from here.”
That video is hilarious. 🙂