"60 Minutes" did a propaganda piece on the "Sovereign Citizens Movement". The spin was "Some people who criticize the government murder policemen. Therefore, everyone who questions the legitimacy of the government should be arrested and prosecuted for treason. It's so annoying and unfair, that the 1st Amendment gives people the right to question the government."
"60 Minutes" is almost entirely State propaganda. However, it's a good measure of what State comedians are promoting. Normally, people who criticize the government aren't mentioned at all. State propagandists felt so threatened, that they did a smear piece.
It's an indication of progress, when the State media starts criticizing people who question the government. However, it could be a bad sign. By hyping "dangerous Sovereign Citizens on the Internet", that could be used as an excuse for censorship. However, I doubt State thugs in the USA would get away with China-style Internet censorship.
They focused on "Sovereign Citizens" and not "market anarchists". By hyping people who make a weak criticism of the State, that makes all people who question the government monopoly seem like fools.
"60 Minutes" focused on people who follow stupid tactics. They were focusing on "Some people will murder a policeman over a minor dispute." and "Some people make 'frivolous' legal arguments. Some people file 'frivolous' lawsuits and liens, against bureaucrats/judges/police who mistreated them."
Almost every story on "60 Minutes" can be inverted to tell the real truth. Instead of criticizing the "Sovereign Citizens Movement", it's more accurate to criticize the "Sovereign Government Movement".
Imagine an honest news story on the "Sovereign Government Movement". Imagine someone reading the following in an authoritative news anchor voice:
There's a small group of people threatening America's freedom. They believe they have the authority to tell everyone else what to do. They are prepared to use deadly force, to get what they want. Anyone who disobeys them is kidnapped or killed. This dangerous group of criminals call themselves "The Sovereign Government Movement".That was amusing. If you refer to "The Sovereign Government Movement" instead of "The Sovereign Citizens Movement", it's much more accurate. I noticed that many "60 Minutes" stories can be inverted to tell the real truth.
They will tell you what type of food you may eat. They will tell you what type of medical care you may get. They tell you what type of car you're allowed to drive. They tell you what type of light bulbs you may buy. They tell you what type of toilet you're allowed to use. They tell you what type of shower head you're allowed to use. They tell you what type of job you may have, via licensing requirements. Through complicated and burdensome regulations, they restrict your ability to start a business. They directly or indirectly control almost all aspects of your life.
Claiming your body as their property, they restrict your ability to use certain drugs or smoke certain plants.
They demand you get permission from them whenever you work. They demand half of all your labor via "income taxes". They demand you pay them rent or "property taxes" on your home, or else they will use violence to kick you out of your home and steal it. They steal a little bit from you via "taxes", whenever you do anything. Via inflation, they gradually steal the money out of your wallet and out of your bank account.
They have set up a system of "schools", where your children are brainwashed to obey them. They are prepared to use violence to force you to send your children to "school". If you disobey, they will kidnap your children. If your child is resistant to their brainwashing, then they will forcibly drug your child and kidnap him if you refuse.
Almost every day, the Sovereign Government Movement makes up new "laws". Each new "law" is a threat of violence against any who disobeys. There are so many laws on the books, that practically anyone can be accused of a crime for anything. This makes it very easy for members of the Sovereign Government Movement to ruin people who they don't like.
Each new "law" benefits some members of the Sovereign Government Movement, at the expense of everyone else. For example, the "law" banning raw milk is a regressive tax on small farmers, favoring large corporate milk farms run by members of the Sovereign Government Movement.
The Sovereign Government Movement sends spies to see if anyone is selling raw milk. Then, they will use deadly force to kidnap the farmer, steal his cows, or force him to close his business.
The Sovereign Government Movement does this in almost every industry. They will use deadly force to prevent anyone from operating a business that competes with businesses run by members of the Sovereign Government Movement. Every large corporation is run by members of the Sovereign Government Movement. Via a system of "lobbying"/bribery, laws and regulations are passed that makes it hard for small businesses to compete with large corporations.
The Sovereign Government Movement sends spies to infiltrate and subvert any group of people who question their authority. For example, the Sovereign Government Movement plants spies in peaceful anti-war groups. Even nonviolent dissent is treated as a grave threat by the Sovereign Government Movement.
The Sovereign Government Movement has set up a system of "courts" and "justice", where they pretend to impartially rule on disputes. If you have a disagreement with one member of the Sovereign Government Movement, then another member of the Sovereign Government Movement will get to "judge" the dispute. Any dispute with this criminal gang is decided by another member of the same criminal gang, making an unfair outcome very likely.
Via "legal opinions", "laws", and "lawyers", the Sovereign Government Movement makes a mockery of justice. They claim to be following natural law, but they're just making fancy-sounding excuses for taking away people's freedom. Legal opinions use fancy language, but they're really gibberish. A "judge" makes up a fancy excuse for doing what he wanted to do. The "judges" help preserve the illusion that The Sovereign Government Movement isn't one big criminal conspiracy.
Members of the Sovereign Government Movement claim to be restrained by their own rules. However, they can violate their own rules with impunity. They know that other members of the Sovereign Government Movement will protect them, if they are accused of a crime. Like all criminal gangs, members of the Sovereign Government Movement protect each other at every opportunity.
They have set up a system of "elections". In an election, both candidates are members of the Sovereign Government Movement. This makes the election one big farce. Elections help provide the illusion of legitimacy for the Sovereign Government Movement. People don't realize the elections are rigged. Elections give people the illusion that they can prevent the Sovereign Government Movement from stealing too much.
Recently, members of the Sovereign Government Movement are starting to get more and more desperate. Due to their massive criminal activity, the "economy" is falling apart. Desperate to preserve their lifestyle, the Sovereign Government Movement is stealing a larger percentage of all productive work.
Recently, members of the Sovereign Government Movement stole trillions of dollars on a "housing bubble". Instead of being punished for their crime, fellow criminals in the Sovereign Government Movement bailed them out. They lost trillions of dollars, but got a bailout and kept their jobs. They are stealing again right now. Recently, many banksters had a "perfect trading quarter", making a profit almost every day from the Sovereign Government Movement's rigged financial casino.
The Sovereign Government Movement is a grave threat to every American's freedom. They are a group of dangerous criminals. They are prepared to use deadly violence to steal. They are prepared to use deadly violence to impose their will on others. They will kidnap or murder all who disobey.
Members of the Sovereign Government Movement are sensing that their scam is ending. That makes them even more dangerous. They are prepared to use more and more violence to preserve their lifestyle.
Do I count as a member of the "Sovereign Citizens Movement"? I know that government is one big criminal conspiracy. I know that the government's authority is not legitimate.
However, I'm trying to avoid a violent confrontation with police. Having been involuntarily hospitalized with a "mental illness", I can no longer get a gun permit, even though I was the victim of medical malpractice. However, I never would have realized that it's desirable to own a gun, if I hadn't discovered that almost everything I knew was a lie. My "gun preparedness" plan is to find a legal gun owner who'd keep a spare gun around, to give me in a SHTF scenario. A gun is useless in a confrontation with State police, because they'll just murder you on the spot.
I'm focusing on high-reward or low-risk resistance. If I get paid on a 1099 or W-2 or on-the-books, I'll declare the income and pay the tax, rather than making a "frivolous" tax return. I'm not going to attempt to pursue justice via the State legal system.
I was the victim of medical malpractice. I realized that it wasn't feasible for me to file a malpractice lawsuit. (Originally, I believed "All psychiatric drugs are harmful." Now, I'm more inclined to believe "I was given the wrong drug." That's still malpractice, albeit a different type.)
There's a key difference between a "market anarchist"/agorist and a member of the Sovereign Citizen Movement. Agorist tactics are likely to be effective. Sovereign Citizen tactics are more likely to lead to murder or kidnapping via a confrontation with State thugs.
By promoting "Sovereign Citizens" and not agorists, 60 Minutes is promoting stupid resistance instead of effective resistance. By promoting antigovernment fools, they try to make everyone who criticizes the government seem like a bloodthirsty lunatic.
If someone files "Strawman Redemption" papers in a State court, that makes it very easy for State thugs to put you on a "dangerous fruitcake" list. I wonder if some undercover State spies are intentionally promoting stupid forms of resistance?
Alfred Adask was the "Sovereign Citizen guru" highlighted as an anti-government extremist on the "60 Minutes" propaganda piece. Obviously, he's making a weak criticism of the State, making everyone who criticizes the government look stupid. Is he a disinformation agent? Is he a misinformed "useful idiot"? It would have been more accurate to interview Stefan Molyneux or Marc Stevens or Larken Rose or George Donnelly.
State propagandists carefully selected Adask as the person to "make famous" via a "60 Minutes" interview. Either Adask is a disinformation agent, or he's someone who presents a weak criticism of the State. Adask says "If only government respected its proper Constitutional limits!" rather than "All taxation is theft! By its very nature, government is a massive extortion racket and criminal conspiracy!" For example, searching Adask's website yields zero references to the phrase "Taxation is theft!", making me very suspicious of his seriousness as a freedom activist.
However, that link did have some good bits. Adask gave some insight on how "60 Minutes" and the State propaganda engine works. The power to selectively edit is an incredible censorship power. Practically nobody can speak on a subject for 2 hours without saying something that looks bad when quoted out of context. The interviewer kept hammering the same question, regarding the second Amendment and the right to violently resist police and politicians. Apparently, he keeps asking the same question until an answer is given that makes the interviewee look stupid.
When Adask tried discussing topics that interested him, the interviewer was uninterested and kept changing the subject back to the 2nd Amendment. It wasn't a "determine the truth" type of interview. It was an interview where the interviewer had already decided that he was trying to make the interviewee look bad.
Even if you know the mainstream media is trying to make you look stupid, you should accept the interview. In the present, someone with a clue can do their own research on the Internet, and find a website where you tell your version of the story. If I were serious about "promote agorism via standup comedy", it'd make rational sense for me to pay $10k+ as a bribe to be "featured" on a mainstream media program, even if I was ridiculed on the appearance.
A pro-State troll says "It's reasonable to cut the interview for time. They can't air 2 hours." However it's not fair when the selectively edit and quote someone out of context. Another pro-State troll says "So what? It's the free market at work!" It is a problem when a handful of people control all media corporations, and all those insiders have a similar mindset and a desire to preserve the State extortion racket. The Internet is changing the equation somewhat, but the mainstream media still has a lot of influence.
However, people are starting to become desensitized to State propaganda. I'm sure some people saw the hit piece and thought "I should investigate these 'Sovereign Citizens'." However, they'll be researching stupid anti-State arguments, and not proper market anarchism.
Some commenters on Adosk's blog claimed that the "60 Minutes" website was censoring unfavorable comments. That doesn't surprise me.
Someone from quatloos said that Alfred Adosk was "carefully selected" as the "guru" to be featured on the program. Someone like Stefan Molyneux or Marc Stevens or Larken Rose or George Donnelly would be unsuitable, because they are able to more coherently explain why the State is evil. It's better to promote someone who weakly criticizes the State. It's much safer to promote someone who says "If only government respected its proper Constitutional limits!" rather than "All taxation is theft! Who needs a government monopoly?"
Also, one of the quatloos regulars, JJ McNabb/Demosthenes was interviewed. She gets consulting contracts with the Southern Poverty Hate Center (SPLC) and the State to study anti-government extremists. There are a lot of people feeding off the State gravy train. There's always a big budget, to provide funding for people who study/infiltrate/disrupt the anti-State movement. Most of the quatloos regulars are people who profit from the State extortion scam, and have a financial interest in preserving it.
The "Sovereign Citizen" is an example of "right conclusions, poor tactics". A "Sovereign Citizen" is correct when he says that the government's authority is not legitimate, although most "Sovereign Citizens" can't explain it clearly like I can.
The "Sovereign Citizen" is usually focused on one evil, rather than realizing it's all one big scam. One target is the IRS. Another target is the requirement to get a driver's license and register your car with the State. It might be a pointless lawsuit against a specific Statist who mistreated the Sovereign Citizen.
Here are some stupid things that "Sovereign Citizens" do:
- If you get into a small dispute with a policeman or bureaucrat, don't escalate it to the point of deadly violence. It's better to focus your resistance efforts where there's a better reward.
- Don't file liens or lawsuits against policemen, judges, and bureaucrats. If you believe the legal system is corrupt, what do you expect to accomplish via a lawsuit?
- Don't expect to get a fair trial.
- There isn't some magic paperwork you can file with the State, to get your freedom back. If it actually worked, everyone would do it. If it actually worked, politicians would find a way to close the loophole. Freedom is more work than magically filing the right paperwork with the State. It's more important to act free, than try to get permission from your masters.
- If you get paid on a W-2 or 1099, declare the income and pay the tax. It's better to work completely off-the-books for cash/silver/gold.
- Don't make up your own license plates. Don't drive around without a license and registration. Otherwise, you're daring the policeman to kidnap you. Like most laws, that's an invalid law, but it's a poor risk/reward ratio for breaking that law.
Jerry Kane is someone who figured out that government isn't legitimate *AND* he's a con artist. Therefore, everyone who criticizes government is a con artist. Jerry Kane went around giving "magic get out of debt trick" seminars. A debt contract with a bank isn't a valid contract. That doesn't mean you should borrow and refuse to repay it. It is offensive that banksters got bailed out while people lost their homes and their savings. A foreclosure trial or debt collection trial is a bench trial with no jury, precluding the possibility of jury nullification.
Jerry Kane decided to not own a driver's license. He made up his own license plates. This led to many frivolous arrests/kidnappings. He was getting frustrated. A policeman had stopped him. The policeman was about to start the arrest/kidnapping process. Jerry's son Joe shot and killed the policeman. They fled, there was a chase, and they were summarily executed.
This is an example of "death penalty for an unpaid parking ticket". Jerry Kane refused to have a State driver's license. He was prepared to resist kidnapping with deadly force. Therefore, he was executed. Most people would say "Jerry Kane committed suicide via cop." Another viewpoint is that the policemen were aggressors, enforcing an invalid law. Jerry Kane had a history of abuse by police, and he decided that he was going to go down fighting. It isn't "Jerrry Kane shot a policeman for no reason." He had a history of being abused by State thugs. However, a more sensible person wouldn't escalate a minor dispute.
As State abuse gets bigger and bigger, more and more people will spontaneously decide "I'm going down fighting!" Even if they don't coordinate and share information, many people will spontaneously crack when they see massive injustice.
Most people would get a driver's license. Most people would pay a parking ticket. Most people would surrender peacefully, when arrested/kidnapped. It's stupid to escalate minor disputes.
Many people would agree that it's morally acceptable to use deadly force to resist a mugger or (non-policeman) kidnapper. A traffic ticket or arrest is a type of mugging or kidnapping.
Is it morally acceptable to use deadly force over a minor theft? Are the mugger and policeman different? It might be poor tactics to violently resist a mugger. The police may decide to charge yoy with a crime! It's definitely stupid to violently resist arrest. The police will execute you on the spot. You might be morally correct, but that's no consolation when you're dead.
Right now, there are more policeman than there are people who know that government is one big criminal conspiracy. If everyone who really understands "Taxation is theft!" violently resisted, then the police would happily murder/kidnap all of them.
Besides, even if you could risklessly kill a State criminal who deserved it, someone else would eagerly take his place. The police have superior numbers and resources. You'd be throwing your life away for nothing, if you resisted violently. However, if every slave resisted at the same time, then everyone would be free.
It's a tough coordination problem, a variation of the Prisoner's Dilemma. If you're the only one who resists, you're throwing away your life away for nothing. If everyone resists at the same time, then everyone is free. It's hard to coordinate "Everyone resists at the same time!" due to State control of information/media. State spies will disrupt any attempt to organize resistance.
That's why I like agorism. You only need a handful of people, and you use stealth. It won't be possible to 100% avoid taxes until the State collapses, but you can reduce your taxation rate. (For example, property taxes must be paid even if you work 100% off-the-books. If you rent, property taxes are a component of rent. If you look at property tax rates, rental properties pay a higher taxation rate than single-residence home! State thugs do this because, for a rental property, the landlord sees the property tax bill and not the tenant.)
Do I count as a member of the "Sovereign Citizen Movement"? I prefer to call myself a "market anarchist" or agorist. Like "Sovereign Citizens", I know that government is one big criminal conspiracy, even more than most "Sovereign Citizens". However, I'm not interested in a violent confrontation with police. I'm not interested in "paper terrorism" or fighting State thugs on their turf in the State legal system.
If I'm falsely charged with a crime, I might decide to defend myself pro se. If I'm a tough target, State thugs might pursue softer victims. However, if I gain a wider audience, then it's a greater priority to "set an example".
It is possible that all people who criticize the government will be lumped together with people who get violent over minor disputes. For example, the prosecutor in the Nothaus trial referred to him as a "domestic terrorist". Is everyone who criticizes the State a terrorist? State insiders would like to be able to get away with that.
At one time, the Alien and Sedition Act made it a crime to question the legitimacy of the Federal government. President Lincoln arrested newspaper editors who criticized the Civil War. The Internet has made it easier to discover and promote freedom. Are State thugs eager for a crackdown on free speech on the Internet? Any criticism of government could be interpreted as advocating for violence, leading to censorship.
The "60 Minutes" hit piece was pure propaganda. However, it's interesting. Are State thugs getting concerned? Do they know that their scam is ending? Are State thugs trying to promote censorship of alternate viewpoints? I think it's a favorable sign. At this point, the collapse is inevitable, no matter what State criminals do. All the "positive feedback" in government is leading towards greater corruption, rather than real reform.