Today the Southern Poverty Law Center issues a report on the growing “sovereign citizen” movement, a growing group of about 300,000 Americans who declare themselves completely exempt from the laws and controls of all governments, local, state and federal.
They call themselves sovereign citizens, U.S. residents who declare themselves above state and federal laws. Many don’t register children’s births, carry driver’s licenses or recognize the court system. Some peddle schemes that use fictional legal loopholes to eliminate debt and avoid foreclosures. A few such believers are violent: Two police officers in Arkansas died in a shootout in May after stopping an Ohio sovereign citizen and his son. Hate group monitors say their numbers have increased thanks to the recession, the foreclosure crisis, the growth of the Internet and the election of Barack Obama in 2008. Adherents expect the current American system of government to end one way or another. “I’m the Patrick Henry of the 21st century. I’m here to regain our freedom,” James McBride said in a jailhouse interview. “I’m going to, or die trying.” At the heart of their belief system: The government creates a secret identity for each citizen at birth, a “straw man,” that controls an account at the U.S. Treasury used as collateral for foreign debt. File enough documents at the right offices and the money in those accounts can be used to pay off debt or make purchases worth thousands of dollars.
From the wacko Restore America Plan’s Declaration of Independence:
We the People inhabiting the North American continent, free men and women convened under God, having been granted by the Creator dominion over all the earth, to restore the blessings of liberty for ourselves and the posterity, do hereby invoke our sacred right to alter or abolish destructive government as memorialized in The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America, c. 1776 by declaring herewith this solemn declaration to the people of the earth and all governments and nations derived there from.