their private interests can be advanced
were driven off
Sovereign Citizens: The Real Terrorist Threat
"Sovereign citizens say they are not bound by statute law unless they contractually agree to be so bound. Government acts are optional and can only be used on individuals who agree to them. They argue that statutes are “maritime law”, never meant for dry land as they were laws made for ships that were outside jurisdiction on the high seas. They believe that they can declare themselves independent of the government and the rule of law, the only “true” law is their own interpretation of common law.
"If you’re a sovereign person, you make the laws for yourself.”
"In the infamous 1987 Canadian court case Meads v Meads, Alberta Queens Bench Associate Chief Justice John D Rooke described the techniques used by the ‘Freemen’ in court as “frivolous and vexatious”, coining the term ‘Organised Pseudolegal Commercial Arguments’ (OPCA).
"Sovereign Citizens is a movement that suits a variety of combustible outsiders; from men’s rights activists to groups like Truthology, who hold seminars on how to operate outside of the ATO.
Mark Darwin, who runs Truthology, explains how the “world monetary system impacts your daily life. Everything you thought you knew about money, taxes, fines is one of the greatest illusions ever perpetuated by mankind.”
"The Truthology website offers to free people from wage slavery so they can enjoy their lives by getting around fines of all kinds using the Sovereign Citizen tactics. The site makes it all sound quite palpable. Perhaps we all question why we slog to work every day, frustrated about how our lives are ruled by mortgages, wages and a plethora of rules. We wonder whether we are prisoners of system that is beyond our control, and long for a better and easier way to live in the world.
"But the problem with not paying your electricity bills is that sooner rather than later, the lights will be turned off."
"In Australia, the movement has been embraced by Indigenous communities; a natural fit for people who have never accepted sovereignty. Former fisherman Mark McMurtrie has been a leading Aboriginal Freeman, travelling the country with message of an Original Sovereign Tribal Foundation. “Our tribes are sovereign” he tells cheering indigenous people at rallies,
“The legislation is entirely immaterial to us. We don’t give two shits what the crown thinks. We are not particularly concerned about their legislation other than the fact that they continue to use their blue coated bully boys to railroad us and to commit ethnic cleansing on behalf of this thing called crown corporation.”
Armed with his own treaties, he is telling dispossessed people what they want to hear,
“Not one piece of legislation of the crown has any authority over any person. If a court is going to exercise any of the powers attaching a right of ownership over me, forcing me to accept any right of punishment over me, then I will be addressing the matter from a point of view of slavery. They do not own me, they have no right to tell me anything.”
"In 2002, McMurtie lost a case against the Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander Commission who he sued for $33 million after losing out on a business grant worth $35,000. In other unsuccessful cases, he has demanded to have cases of Indigenous persons heard by a Tribal Council of Elders or under Common Law with a jury.
"Freemen believed all government acts to be optional and only enforceable on individuals who consented to them. As long as they did not acknowledge statutory law or the judiciary, sovereign citizens claimed they were exempt from prosecution – as well as from taxation, debt and road rules. In courts, they submitted rambling declarations containing private heraldry, wax seals, oddly coloured text and signatures jotted in blood or unusual inks. Written statutes, they argued, were actually tyrannical “admiralty laws”, never meant for dry land.
"In Australia, a burgeoning faction of Freemen is targeting Indigenous audiences. A taste of the subculture can be gleaned online, in groups such as the Tribal Sovereign Parliament of Gondwana Land, the Original Sovereign Tribal Federation (OSTF) and the Original Sovereign Confederation.
"The most quoted and influential Aboriginal Freeman guru is OSTF founder and travelling speaker Mark McMurtrie.McMurtrie's OSTF "is currently partnered with a sovereign citizen outfit called the Truthology Foundation, which holds yearly “freedom summits”. These feature talks by Truthology’s creator Mark Darwin on “how you can operate privately outside the rules of such organisations like the ATO” and workshops by a “Mr X” on “successful techniques for negating and or waiving council fines, traffic infringements and tolls”."
"When part of a culture senses the court system is rigged against it, when a society has managed to make the terms “protection” and “child welfare” sound grim, then the OSTF mentality is partly understandable. Alienation begets anti-politics. Alienated people want explanations for the absurdism they feel around certain institutions; answers to why some professional fraternities give them the chills.
"Fantasies about tyrannical admiralty lawyers provide just that. They’re the opiate of the excluded."