(Slave Freedom Movement)
Saturday, January 17, 2004
Subj: Re: Gene Chapman Speaks With President of 'Brothers to the Rescue'/ 41 Day Fa...
Date: 1/17/2004 4:23:04 PM Central Standard Time
Sent from the Internet (Details)
I have been responding to your emails...and have
wondering why the dialog has been...well...one-sided.
Now I know. I am ready to come fetch you whenever you
choose. I believe you were speaking of Feb. 5th. It
is at least 8 hours each way, Fort Myers to
Birmingham. We can do it in one day if you like, then
go on to Miami on the second day. My wife is looking
forward to meeting you.
BTW Candi is at the hospital. She just called. she
has been dialted one centimeter for a few days. she
is now at two and the doctor just broke her water. So
it has begun. When cherie gets home we may be going
to the hospital. Of course, she could be in labor all
night. One never knows with these things. I'll keep
Date: 1/17/2004 3:40:36 PM Central Standard Time
Sent from the Internet (Details)
You need to go get a life somewhere else. Your going to fast for illegal cubans whom do nothing to support this country. They all need to be deported and you along with them.
Have you not learned! You tried fasting in Washington DC for the income tax you GAVE-UP and no-one CARES. If you had died you would have been a blip at the most on a late night news show as again no-one would care. But you STOPPED and proved you were nor serious concerning your convictions.
And now you want to do it again?
Your a JOKE!
Gene here to reply. Jokes don't sign their e-mails. And it wasn't Washington. It was Austin where I did the fast. I stopped it because one of the 4 criteria of the fast had been met. I had "new profound material to evaluate before continuing the Death Fast." I may still continue it someday. Stay tuned. Gene Chapman
"State Security is isolating me. I am prohibited from sending letters or communicating with some members of my family.... I am aware that giving publicity to this document will create serious problems for my wife, my family and myself. But no one, no man can change my opinion about liberty, human rights and other beautiful things God gave us when He created us.... I was a healthy man. Today I am a sick person, growing worse with time.... The world must know of the numerous cells with cement beds resembling tombs where men are placed for two or three months until they become mentally insane. I have heard two or three of them, crying at night, asking for help and psychotropic medication. The only answer given by prison authorities - 'Why did you look for trouble?' "--Juan Carlos Gonzalez Leiva, Letter from Prison, Holguin, Cuba, May 27, 2003.
We agree that the anglo community in the United States does not now have a feeling of attachment to the Cuban problem, but we both hope that my fast will awaken a common bond between the anglos seeking freedom from Socialist Communism in our country's tax system, for example, and Cubans seeking freedom from Socialist Communism on the imprisoned island of Cuba.
He told me of the Mig 29 from Cuba that shot down a Brothers to the Rescue plane several years ago. He was the target, he told me, but the other slave freedom plane, not having the president of the organization on board blocked off the Mig 29, only to get the brunt of the effort to shoot down this man's plane. The other plane was shot down, as we all know.
Please go to slavefreedom.com and linik into the "Brothers to the Rescue" link on the "friendly links" section on the left the page.
The New York times
A Man Who Writes
By RAÚL RIVERO
arlier this month, the Cuban government tried and sentenced some 80 writers and dissidents to lengthy prison terms. Raúl Rivero, 57, a poet and the country's best-known independent journalist, was among them. He was accused of collaborating with the United States and given a sentence of 20 years. Mr. Rivero published the following essay two years ago in La Nación, a newspaper in Argentina. It was translated by Edith Grossman from the Spanish.
The letter of the law concerning the protection of national independence and the economy in Cuba allows the authorities in my country to sentence me to prison because of the only sovereign act I have performed since I gained the use of my reason: writing without being dictated to.
The path I set out on a few years ago, after a total rupture with the government's press and cultural media, has transformed me into a different human being, someone who has liberated himself on his own, someone who in threatened and hostile circumstances could begin the journey toward individual freedom.
Fear, prison and harassment have served only to give more value to these discoveries. They have contributed to the fact that my devotion to the sovereignty of the individual is now much more than an idea or a necessity; it is an untamable instinct.
And so an order written in the perishable ink of political trickery and wrapped in a clumsy maneuver to make it seem that we, a small group of journalists, were working in Cuba as allies of drug traffickers and procurers and salaried mercenaries of the United States, yields only a cocktail of repugnance in me.
The years in prison that the law promises with so much generosity must be viewed with a consternation that goes beyond the fear of confinement and punishment. It means presenting the Cuban nation as an encysted tribe in the Caribbean, closed off from information and the discussion of ideas, remote from evolution and change.
I have responded to the raised arm of this new law, to the insults from the dark functionaries of official journalism, to the threatening calls to my house — I realize this when I am alone with my typewriter — with the joy of knowing I am free, the certainty that reporting with objectivity and professionalism and writing my opinion about the society in which I live cannot be a grave offense.
I cannot feel guilty. It is almost as if I were being accused of breathing, or as if an eventual prison term had been predicted for me because I love my daughters, my mother, my wife, my brother, my friends.
I cannot assume I am a criminal because I recounted with precision the drama of more than 300 political prisoners, or reported that a building in Old Havana was demolished, or published an interview with a Cuban who wants a pluralistic society complete with freedom of expression.
No one, no law, can make me assume the mentality of a gangster or a criminal because I report the arrest of a dissident or a lawbreaker, or make known the prices of basic food products in Cuba, or write an article saying it's a disaster that each year thousands and thousands of Cubans go into exile, to the United States, and hundreds of others living abroad try to remain wherever they happen to be.
No one can make me feel like a criminal, or an enemy agent, or someone who does not love his country, or make me believe any of the other absurd accusations the government uses to degrade and humiliate. I am only a man who writes. And writes in the country where he was born, and where his great-grandparents were born.
abused at the Combinado del Este Prison.
(HAVANA/CUBA/December 13/puenteinfocubamiami.org) - The prisoner of conscience Jesus Miguel Mustafá Felipe, member of the Christian Liberation Movement, sanctioned
to 25 years in prison in the repressive wave that began in March 2003, was able to smuggle out of prison a note stating:
" I denounce to the International Public Opinion and to the Human Rights Commission that as a form of reprisal for my refusal to wear the common prisoner's uniform as well as my
refusal to stand up for the prisoner's daily count, I have not been permitted to go out in the sun for the past 35 days and have been confined to a detachment with common prisoners
at the orders of Rojas, a Lieutenant Colonel of the State Security in Combinado del Este.
On October 21, he revoked my family visit and conjugal visit. No considerations were given to the fact that my relatives traveled all the way from Palma Soriano, Santiago de Cuba for the visit.
All these abuses are also being inflicted on the prisoner of conscience Luis Enrique Ferrer García, local Coordinator of the Varela Project, sanctioned to 28 years in prison
and Pedro Argüelles Morán, an independent journalist with the Cooperativa Avileña de Periodistas Independientes, sanctioned to 20 years in prison in the wave of repression
that began in March 2003."
Reported the correspondents of Lux Info Press in Havana Gilberto Figueredo Alvarez and Ada Kaly Márquez, also, National Coordinator of the Democratic Party November 30
"Frank País". For the Information Bridge Cuba Miami, given on December 10, 2003.
Denuncian atropellos contra miembros del Movimiento
Cristiano Liberación en el Combinado del Este.
(LA HABANA/CUBA/13 de diciembre/puenteinfocubamiami.org)- El prisionero de conciencia Jesús Miguel Mustafá Felipe, miembro del Movimiento Cristiano Liberación, quién fue injustamente sancionado a 25 años de prisión en la ola represiva que comenzó en marzo pudo sacar una misiva clandestina del Combinado del Este y declara:
" Denuncio a la Opinión Publica Mundial y a la Comisión de Derechos Humanos de las medidas represivas que toma contra mi, Preso de Conciencia Jesús Miguel Mustafá Felipe. El Teniente Coronel Rojas de la Seguridad del Estado, por negarme al vestuario de los Presos Comunes y por no levantarme al recuento. Dicho Militar me niega tomar el
Sol diario hace más de 35 días y me niega realizar cualquier otro tipo de actividad dentro del Destacamento donde me tiene confinado haciéndome convivir obligatoriamente con un Preso Común.
El día 21 de Octubre me negó visita familiar y pabellón conyugal, siendo mis familiares de Palma Soriano Municipio de la Provincia Oriental de Santiago de Cuba.
Todas estas medidas represivas no solo han sido tomadas contra mi sino también, contra los Presos de Conciencia Luis Enrique Ferrer García, Coordinador local del Proyecto
Varela, condenado a 28 años de prisión y Pedro Argüelles Morán periodista independiente de la Cooperativa Avileña de Periodistas Independientes, condenado a 20 años de
prisión en la última ola represiva que comenzó en marzo."
Reportaron los corresponsales de la Agencia Cubana Independiente de Información y Prensa LUX INFO-PRESS en La Habana, Gilberto Figueredo y Ada Márquez, además,
Coordinadora Nacional del Partido Democrático 30 de Noviembre "Frank País". Para el Puente Informativo Cuba Miami, dado el 10 de diciembre de 2003.
new tracking device for your computer.
Alan Bacon blogging. I met him in Austin at the Death Fast, where I forgot to die. He's one of the good guys. Gene.
Solutions: Part I
One of the readers of my website suggested that I speak about some of the possible
solutions. And that really is a tall order. I'm going to take a stab at it and try to explain some of the ways one can protect his rights and re-establish his God-given rights.
The first thing that comes to my mind is that fact that we don't really know who we
are and to whom is our responsibility. As a Christian, this is not a difficult one to
answer, but this also would apply to others, as all of us are creations of God. While
I don't want to preach, I'll do it from time to time, but it is essential that we know who we are and from whence we came.
God is the ultimate sovereign, who created all of us and we are obviously subject to
Him. However, God gave us a free will to chose which way our lives will unfold, and it
is us who have the ultimate responsibility for our actions.
We, as men and women, are sovereigns in our own right. However, we are sovereigns
without subjects. That freedom comes from God himeslf, and it doesn't come from any man. We have the right to work, marry, trade, own land, breath, fish, hunt, and we are the people who establish the direction of our lives to the extent that we have any control over it.
As men, we know that there is the establishment of government, which, at least in
our country, is supposed to keep people from hurting each other, and to protect the
liberties that come from God. No government or constitution bestows rights unto man.
In our country the Declaration of Independence, Articles of Confederation, and the subordinate Constitution for the United States are the foundational documents that acknowledgeall mens rights. They are intended to put a rein on
government, and at the same time, they are supposed to be used to help protect the
rights of each and every man and woman.
Our problems arise when we don't know who we are. The order of authority is as
follows: 1. God, 2. Man, 3. Government. The current government in our country
has attempted to displace God and His law, with it's own statutes, codes, and policies,
and many of them are repugnant to the Scriptures.
Look as some definitions of sovereignty.
We an see from this that the people are the ones who establish the government. The
government is to be the servant of the people, and not the other way around. Today,
we have the unrelenting problem of government taking over every facet of our lives.
Because of the intense brainwashing and mind control that we all have been subjected
to, and the main thrust of it is that the government is the source of all that is good, and that
it is the source of our rights. Nothing could be farther from the truth. However, the
mind control makes us weak, and we don't understand who really is the boss. We
are the ones to control the destiny of our own lives to the extent that we have the
options. Most of the time, when it comes to government, they must get our consent from us to do things to ourselves, that we normally would not
Let's use the IRS as an example. To receive a letter from the IRS brings terror into
the hearts and minds of most Americans. I don't think the SS in Nazi Germany was
able to inflict that much terror, as does the IRS. This mind control causes people to
commit suicide, break up marriages, destroy business, and bring havoc and chaos
whenever its authority is challenged. But really, who is in control? If we as individual
sovereigns were able to put a stop to this, we wouldn't have this problem. It isn't
only the IRS, but most government agencies are masters of controlling the thinking
of the people through fear, intimidation, and harrassment.
However, if you know who you are, you can then make progress by asserting your
God-given rights, and stand up for in what you believe. The government is supposed
to be your servant, and not your slavemaster. You and I are not chattel or livestock,
but we are real men and women, with unalienable rights, and we must effectivelyexercise them.
Here is an example on how this can be done, without a lot of confrontation. I have a
friend of mine, Chuck, who was speaking with me on the cell phone as he was
driving (traveling) in his truck when he was stopped by the California Highway Patrol.
The officer came up to his window, and Chuch rolled it down about two inches and
said something like, "May I help you officer?" The CHP asked him for his driver's license.
Chuck then said, "If I give it to you, could any of the information be used against me
in a court of law?" The CHP said, "Yes." Chuck said, "Then I don't want to give it
to you." Of course, when this kind of thing happens, such as asserting your rights,
the CHP called for backup. Two other cars came to the scene. And after a few minutes
on the radio, Chuck was allowed to leave and carry on with his business.
I was musing at the fact that if one mentions the Constitution the cops call for backup.
Chuck calls me back a few minutes later, and tells me this story, and after about twenty
minutes, he gets stopped again. It seems that Chuck was going down the Interstate
at 80 MPH and swerved slightly as he was on the cell phone talking to me. So Chuck
did the same routine to the next CHP and this officer said, "Where you the one that
was stopped about twenty minutes ago?" Chuck said, "Yes, I think I'm the one you're
thinking of..." Chuck said, that the officer went back to his truck and he could see
the man shaking his head while watching him in his rear view mirror. The officer came
back to Chuck's truck and said, "Mr. XXXXX, please slow down, you're endangering
the people of California." Notice that Chuck never gave him his name, but they already
knew who he was.
The point of the story here is that you don't have to do anything that compromises your
rights. Chuck wasn't rude or nasty, but he stood on his rights and simply didn't
want to disclose any information that might compromise himself.
We don't have to give our names to anyone that we don't wish to engage, and that
goes for government officials. The government depends upon us to disclose information
that might be damaging.
What Chuck did was to exercise his right to not incriminate himself in any way. This
is a fundamental right, but most of us don't know how to use it.
I'll be posting more possible solutions that will help all of us understand who we are
and how to keep government officials in their place.
Friday, January 16, 2004
Thursday, January 15, 2004
Doug has actually opened up a door I've been looking for to build my "Divine Democracy" concept on for several years. Where do we go from here?
The founders of America had in mind a "Divine Democracy," but they had no internet upon which to level the table of ideas for all to seat themselves at and explore the solutions to the world's problems. For the first time, man can now sit across a table of ideas anywhere in the world and chat with another. But "Divine Democracy," as I have been working on it these last several years, is based just as much in the positions found in Christian apologetics that Jesus is risen from the dead and is the only sovereign over humankind and all the universe.
We shall speak more of my new world, as we together, step beyond the vail and touch the face of God.
Gene Chapman, Pastor
The way I'm seeing people splinter off WTPC over this kind of issue gives credence to my assertion. This top down pyramid command and control structure on the national level will be the death of WTPC, if it is not corrected. I bet I have a dozen e-mails to that effect. People don't feel valued there. It seems I remember another little group of centralized leaders that refused to let the people have a role in guiding the organization, and those happy people followed the top leaders blindly -- The Nazi Party. I'm not building a dictatiorship for anybody whose last name is not "Christ." Gene.
If I sell out all my retirement and personal stock accounts, I'll have $9,000, as of today. That will allow me to pay off most of my personal bills with about $1,500 left in bills.
We have two people wanting motor homes to drive around. Robert Clarkson in South Carolina and Kelly in Mobile, Alabama said they could place one each for us.
Doug Kenline said his boss saw the motor home we have in the Atlanta Project the other day on the loop around Atlanta. We're doing alot of good with that rv in Atlanta, so I hate to even think of taking it to Miami to my Castro Fast. They may be taking it to see a Democratic election event with President Carter soon in Plains, Ga, they told me. No, that rv belongs in Atlanta with Robert and Doug. Gene.
Monday, January 12, 2004
I think this could be big as well. When Robert Ingle and I had just checked into the hotel room in Fort Worth for the Dick Simkanin trial Robert turned on the television. The news was on and there was this big report on there about how the Cubans down in Miami were very upset with Fidel Castro for running a Communist state and making slaves out of the Cuban people.
Plus you just had that big riot police event that happened in Miami for the WTO protest or whatever it was. People down there have just recently seen these huge shows of riot police in riot uniforms shooting citizens with rubber bullets.
I think Gene has hit on a good idea here.
I know you have some interest in Slave Freedom, so I
thought this article I read today in Forbes may be of
some interest. Also, although I will not be with you
in person, I plan to fast for a few days with you
during your Miami fast.
May God bless you and keep you.
Quentin Hardy, 01.12.04
Some parts of the world are all too tolerant of the
slave trade. The International Justice Mission tries
to make life unpleasant for the slave owners.
Gary Haugen, a onetime United Nations investigator,
has witnessed some of the most awful consequences of
brutality, from the killing fields of Rwanda and the
old South Africa's apartheid system to murders by the
Philippine army. But even those horrors, he says,
barely match his encounters with the victims of
"Nothing compares to the deadness in the eyes of a kid
in a brothel," Haugen, 40, says. "In Rwanda, the dead
were already gone. In the brothels of Cambodia, they
are the living dead."
Sights like that motivated Haugen to start a
slavery-fighting nonprofit seven years ago called
International Justice Mission (IJM), based in
Arlington, Va. His strategy: Work with local
authorities to dig up evidence and bring prosecutions,
raising slave owners' costs of doing business.
Slavery is shockingly common in the world today: in
homes, factories, farms and brothels on every
continent except Antarctica. The most common form is
bonded servitude, or holding people to work off debts
with stratospheric interest rates. One widely held
estimate puts the number of people in slavery at 27
million. The U.S. CIA estimates that up to 900,000
people are sold across international borders each year
(maybe 20,000 of them into the U.S.). The trade is
illegal, and officially condemned, throughout the
world. Yet it flourishes, earning perhaps $7 billion a
year for the perpetrators.
Haugen employs what he describes as a market approach
to fight slavery. Most human rights crusaders focus on
change through high-level international treaties--what
Haugen calls "a wholesale approach to human rights."
That is an important first step, he thinks, but "in
lots of places, there's still a big gap between what
the law says and what the poor experience." So he goes
after slavery at the retail level. IJM helps
overworked (or unmotivated) prosecutors to enforce
existing laws, so that perpetrators either end up in
jail or pay stiff fines.
Haugen's group does not preach; it hears about
exploitation from missionaries and aid workers, then
builds legal cases through infiltration, surveillance
A recently concluded case in Cambodia was a
long-sought victory. It began in late 2000 with covert
videotapes of children in brothels in the sex tourism
village of Svay Pak, located seven miles outside the
capital city of Phnom Penh. IJM's investigators met
with officials of the local government and the U.S.
embassy through 2001 and 2002, gathering evidence,
including testimony of girls whom IJM helped escape
from one brothel.
They mapped a systematic, and highly profitable, trade
in innocents. Kids from remote rural areas are
promised work or treats in distant cities by slave
dealers, who sell them to brothels for up to $1,000.
Sex with these kids costs $30 compared with $5 for an
adult prostitute in Cambodia.
"Our investigators came into Svay Pak, and within ten
minutes pimps came up saying 'Do you want small-small?
I can get small-small,'" says Sharon Cohn, the head of
IJM's antitrafficking unit. "It was unbelievable--kids
as young as 5."
IJM adopted hardball tactics to get Cambodia to move
against the brothels. It lobbied for Cambodia to be
listed as a chronic offender under the U.S.
government's 2000 Trafficking in Victims Protection
Act--a designation that would have cost Cambodia U.S.
government aid. A nationwide police raid in March 2003
freed 37 kids and arrested 13 brothel owners and
workers, 4 of whom have since been convicted at trial.
A police commander was fired, and at least one
American pedophile was identified by IJM.
Equally important, believes Cohn, was the number of
brothel owners who saw their peers draw 15-year
sentences. "You do a lot of raids, and the rest are
wary," she says. Similar raids, with well-publicized
convictions, have taken place as a result of IJM work
in Thailand, the Philippines and India.
Haugen recently freed a 70-year-old man who began
working in 1946 to pay off his parents' $4 loan. The
man's kids were also working to pay the loan, on a
plantation in southern Asia holding a total of 12
bonded laborers. IJM investigators collected their
testimony and presented their evidence to a government
official, who released the 12 and issued an arrest
warrant for the plantation owner.
Dealing with authorities doesn't al-ways work so
smoothly. An early-December raid on a brothel in India
released some girls from bondage, but the slave owners
escaped after they paid the low bail. "The world is
full of ugly injustice," Haugen says. "You can only
expect a probability of success."
Still, says John Miller, senior adviser on
international slavery to the U.S. secretary of state,
"Gary is one of the heroes of our time for what he has
done, starting from nothing. No one was working with
law enforcement to get prosecutions with this much
Haugen graduated from Harvard in 1985, worked in the
antiapartheid movement in South Africa, then earned a
law degree at the University of Chicago. He
investigated legal abuses in the Philippines while
with the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights, then he
looked at U.S. police misconduct while at the U.S.
Department of Justice. In 1994 he was lent out to the
United Nations for investigations into the Rwanda
genocide. It became a call to greater action, and
three years later he started IJM with $200,000. "I had
lawyer friends in my church, and we talked about the
missionaries who saw evil around them but couldn't do
anything," he says. "There was a massive outpouring of
services to the poor from America. We know how to
comfort, house and feed the poor. Why not defend them,
IJM now employs 100 people in the U.S. and abroad,
with a budget of $4.5 million that comes largely from
private donations Haugen solicits at speaking
His town-by-town strategy is slow going. He figures
his group helped free about 700 people in 2003, up
from 600 in 2002.
Other antislavery workers want faster action. Since
1998 the Boston-based American Anti-Slavery Group has,
in conjunction with Swiss charity Christian Solidarity
International, freed 80,000 people held in slavery in
the Sudan, at a cost of $20 to $50 apiece. Is there a
risk that this ransom aggravates the problem by
rewarding the slave owners? Spokesman Jeffery Hipp
notes that over the past six years the price of one
human being in the southern Sudan has remained at
about $35, meaning the group's work has not boosted
Haugen doesn't even go there. He rates the Sudan a
failed state, where his methods wouldn't work. The
Sudan government, for its part, denies it supports
slavery or even that slavery is widespread in the
"Justice is a scarce resource in the developing
world," says Haugen. "Most injustice isn't driven by
the overwhelming power of the perpetrators, it's
driven by the weakness of the victims."
Sunday, January 11, 2004
For those of you who want to be saved, according to the Bible, I offer to show you the narrow path that leads to life everlasting so you can join us with Dick Simkanin in the next life with joy unspeakable and full of glory. It's my job and doesn't cost money; I'm a preacher. Just e-mail me: email@example.com.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spent much of his life fighting unjust segregation laws that were on the books in violation of moral law. These were laws that sent black accident victims to their deaths as they rushed toward black hospitals 50 miles away from the scene for care because they were the wrong color to go to the white hospital 5 miles away and have a chance to live. They were a race enslaved by laws on the books.
The Government has not shown a law on the books to our whole movement of Tax Slave Freedom to indicate a tax liability for an individual, but we would still be as just as Martin Luther King Jr. in our fight for liberty, were there such laws on the books. Do not worry, Moral law always prevails in the end. Truth crushed to the earth shall rise again.
As for Judge McBride and the Prosecutor, I can only point to Scripture. Apologetics (bibleapologetics.blogspot.com) establishes Jesus Christ as the credible sovereign over all the earth. If Christ is risen (and I firmly believe he is), then these two opponents to liberty are under the judgment of the living God. Those who "enslave" (I Timothy 1:10) are under the wrath of God. And those of us who are free when we become saved have no authority to become the slave of any man (See: I Corinthians 7:23), "literally, figuratively, voluntarily or involutarily."
If the judge and the prosecutor are saved men, then the Holy Ghost tears them apart inside this hour and shortens their lives with the resulting stress. They face a salvation, "as by fire." If they are lost, then they purchased for themselves a deeper degree of Hell this week (Luke 16). Let us be still in the fear of our God, as He alone moves in the affairs of men this hour.
Pastor Gene Chapman
Posted on Sat, Jan. 03, 2004
Tax protesters plan to attend Bedford man's retrial
By Toni Heinzl
Star-Telegram Staff Writer
FORT WORTH - For tax protesters across the country, Bedford businessman Richard Simkanin has become a hero and martyr for taking a stance against federal income taxes and rejecting the authority of the federal courts.
Simkanin has been jailed since June while awaiting trial on tax charges. He accepted a plea bargain that was later thrown out because of a technical error, saw his first trial end in a mistrial and will face a retrial Monday.
The 59-year-old owner of a small plastics-manufacturing company is "an American patriot persecuted by a tyrannical government," his supporters say.
In a show of solidarity, many of the protesters have vowed to come to the federal courthouse in Fort Worth on Monday for Simkanin's retrial.
They have posted a billboard message just a few blocks from the federal courthouse to send a message to U.S. District Judge John McBryde, the trial judge.
In large letters, the billboard proclaims: "USDC Judge McBryde. OBEY THE CONSTITUTION. FREE Dick Simkanin NOW!"
It gives the We The People organization's Web site address, www.givemeliberty.org., and features a head shot photograph of Simkanin's behind superimposed prison bars, with the caption, "Innocent until proven guilty."
McBryde has not been impressed by arguments made by Simkanin and other tax protesters. He compared the "tax honesty movement" to a cult, according to a scathing order issued July 14 in which McBryde stated his reasons for keeping Simkanin behind bars pending trial.
"He, and those who share his views, have a cult-like belief that laws that are generally accepted by citizens of the United States are not applicable to them," McBryde wrote. "Certain of them have joined Simkanin in publicly announcing that they are not complying with the internal revenue laws of the United States."
A vow to ignore laws
Until a few years ago, Simkanin was the little-known owner of Arrow Custom Plastics in Bedford.
But his life in obscurity ended in March 2001 when he took out a full-page ad in `USA Today' with a group of like-minded citizens who announced their opposition to federal income taxes.
Last summer, he was charged by federal authorities with failing to withhold taxes from his employees' paychecks and with filing fraudulent claims for tax refunds.
McBryde ordered Simkanin held in jail after an informant told authorities that Simkanin had threatened to kill federal judges. Simkanin also testified before McBryde that he did not believe that the federal courts had any jurisdiction over him.
On his Web site, a warning was published that spoke of the "fury of a fire" that would consume his adversaries. He once wrote to the treasury secretary that he had repatriated himself from the United States to the "Republic of Texas" and vowed to ignore the laws of the United States.
Prosecutors argued that a man with such views could not be trusted to obey bail conditions set by a federal judge.
Simkanin and other followers of the tax honesty movement believe that the vast majority of U.S. citizens working for U.S. companies are not required to pay federal income taxes under the Constitution or any current law.
They accuse the government, and particularly the Internal Revenue Service, of taking trillions of hard-earned dollars from average citizens in an unprecedented scam. The IRS and the Justice Department maintain that the arguments of the tax honesty advocates are bogus and popular ploys in a string of illegal tax evasion scams promoted by a few self-styled tax experts.
The fact that Simkanin's first trial ended in a mistrial in November because of a hung jury has galvanized this movement.
Simkanin has won supporters in tax protester circles across the nation.
One of them, Ken Evans of Wilmington, Del., a salesman for a pharmaceutical company, said in a telephone interview that he instructed his employer two years ago to stop withholding federal income taxes from his paychecks. He said that he has not faced any administrative action from the IRS, but that a federal judge dismissed his civil lawsuit against the government in which Evans sought to force the IRS to explain his tax liability to him.
"The lawsuit against Mr. Simkanin is nothing more than a propaganda lawsuit by the government," Evans said. "I'm very confident that the government will lose this one because Mr. Simkanin is correct that the law does not require the majority of businesses in this nation to withhold for people who work for them."
Another tax honesty advocate, self-employed database manager Mark Yannone, of Phoenix, said in telephone and email interviews that he admired Simkanin's courage to take on the government, adding that he believes that millions of people share his views but are afraid to take action.
"More than 50 percent of American adults receive some kind of federal checks, including Social Security," Yannone said. "If they speak out against the government, they're cutting their own throats."
Phil Beasley, a spokesman for the IRS in Dallas, said the agency would not make any officials available to discuss Simkanin's case until the conclusion of his trial because it would be improper to comment on pending litigation. Instead, Beasley referred to IRS publications and Web site postings aimed at debunking common myths spread by the tax protesters.
In essence, the IRS response says that the constitutionality of the federal income taxes has been upheld by numerous court decisions and that the tax protesters deliberately misinterpret tax laws to advance their agenda.
"Some people find themselves irresistibly drawn to the anti-tax movement's illusory claim that there is no legal requirement to pay federal income tax," IRS Special Agent Mike Lacenski said in a statement Sept. 30 -- after Simkanin pleaded guilty to failing to collect and pay taxes on his employees' wages.
"The Courts have repeatedly rejected those arguments as frivolous," Lacenski said.
In a bizarre twist in this high-profile tax case, Simkanin's Sept. 30 plea agreement, negotiated by government and defense attorneys and approved by McBryde, contained a mistake regarding the potential maximum sentence.
The original plea agreement misstated the potential maximum sentence under the law as being three years when it should have said five years. When Simkanin refused to sign off on another plea offer with a potential maximum sentence of five years, McBryde threw out the agreement and allowed Simkanin to take his case to trial before a jury.
In court filings, Assistant U.S. Attorney David Jarvis has indicated that the government will seek to use additional evidence at the retrial to buttress its contention that Simkanin deliberately broke tax laws and that he had a documented history of rejecting federal and state jurisdiction.
Under a unique feature of criminal tax cases, jurors must decide whether a defendant unintentionally violated the law after trusting wrong advice in good faith. Ignorance of the law, in such cases, is a legal defense.
Prosecutors argued at the first trial, and again in court filings for the retrial, that Simkanin intentionally decided to shirk his tax obligations.
During the first trial, Simkanin's former accountant, Fred Taylor, testified that his firm stopped representing Simkanin when Simkanin refused Taylor's advice to continue withholding and paying taxes on employees' wages.
Taylor, an accountant with more than 25 years of experience, said he told Simkanin that it would be unlawful to drop out of the tax system.
Jarvis said that Simkanin searched for an accountant who shared his views about income taxes and found an ally in accountant Wayne Paul.
Defense attorney Arch McColl of Dallas said that Simkanin trusted Paul's advice.
"Mr. Paul advised my client he did not have a requirement to withhold because of the particular business he was in," McColl said after the first trial.
McColl did not return several messages left at his office during the past two weeks.
For the retrial, McColl's list of defense witnesses includes a California lawyer and tax honesty advocate, Eduardo Rivera, who is highly regarded in tax protester circles.
Rivera made headlines last April when the Justice Department filed suit in federal court in Los Angeles to stop him from promoting three major tax scams.
The lawsuit, filed April 10, accuses Rivera of selling opinion letters falsely stating that his customers are not liable for federal income taxes and of selling an "asset protection" service that he claims can shield his customers' assets from IRS levies. Justice Department attorneys also said in court documents that Rivera represents his customers before the IRS for the purpose of determining that they are not liable for all federal taxes.
According to court papers, Rivera argues that only federal employees have to pay federal income taxes. The IRS claims that six of Rivera's customers owe more than $9.5 million in taxes, interest and penalties.
"Tax scammers enrich themselves by helping others violate the law," Eileen O'Connor, assistant attorney general for the Justice Department's tax division, said in a statement after the lawsuit against Rivera. "The Justice Department will shut down abuses of the public trust by people who promote tax scams, including those run by licensed professionals."
In a telephone interview last week, Rivera, of Torrance, Calif., said he could not comment on Simkanin's case because he might be called as an expert witness for the defense.
He agreed, however, to email to the `Star-Telegram an advice letter he sends out to friends and clients in which he rejects the authority and legitimacy of the federal courts.
"Any litigant in any United States district court in any state of the Union is warned that these courts have no judicial power whatsoever," Rivera wrote.
He advises his tax clients against making voluntary appearances at a federal courthouse: "Your voluntary appearance at courthouse will be interpreted as a consent to territorial jurisdiction of that court, so, any appearance or acquiescence with a demand or request will constitute acceptance of jurisdiction."
Kelly McGinley has a blog now. Thanks Doug for setting it up.
I'm really pleased with the way the current motor home is being used in the Atlanta Project by Doug Kenline and Robert Ingle to go together to see elected officials at public meetings, travel to Ft. Worth, etc. This rv stuff with mobile bllboards, driving web traffic to our community, is the future growth of the movement. It's grassroots and everybody gets involved, gets to teach and know each other. Please be in prayer about owning your own mobile billboard for your local community. We are making a difference, as I already met a man about 3 weeks ago who had seen my rv on the loop around Atlanta. They (the People) know who we are and how to contact us from the signs on the motor homes; they know what we believe from reading our blogs on the internet; they know us from trading e-mails and making phone calls to us.