Law officials warn of growing popularity of freeman movement

Law officials warn of growing popularity of freeman movement

VANCOUVER – He introduces himself as “Brian Arthur of the Alexander family,” and before he’ll answer any questions, he asks a reporter to declare that she is not a government employee.

He drives without a license and does not pay income tax.

Brian Alexander is a self-proclaimed Freeman-on-the-Land and one of a growing number of Canadian followers of the so-called “sovereign citizen” or “Natural Persons” movement.

Adherents have “freed” themselves from what they see as an overbearing government that has overstepped its bounds.

“People can’t afford to live and they’re basically destroying society, in our view,” Alexander says during a lengthy interview at his home in Kamloops, B.C.

“They’ve created it themselves. Most of us are peaceful. We paid our taxes, we love our country and all that but when they start pushing at you, you tend to start asking questions and that’s where this whole movement comes from.”

Alexander says violence is not advocated and has no place in the movement, but one official who has followed the rise of the sovereign citizen movement in Canada says there have been a number of confrontations in B.C. and elsewhere during routine traffic stops or legal proceedings.

“We’ve seen that escalation already,” says Ron Usher, of the Society of B.C. Notaries.

Notaries have found themselves embroiled as many Freeman attach inexplicable importance to having notaries authorize documents the Freeman have invented to declare their status.

“What we’ve seen over the last year is an increasing level of frustration, an increasing level of desperation. People just don’t like the idea that someone isn’t going to help them with their fantasy,” Usher says, noting the society discourages its members from signing the “nonsensical” legal documents.

“They’re very confrontational. We’ve had a number of instances now where they’ve needed to call police or security,” Usher says.

There have been a number of “hard take-downs” by police in B.C. involving Freemen who refuse to have a driver’s licence and, sometimes, automobile insurance.

The Law Society of B.C. and B.C. Notaries have both issued warnings about Freemen, which the law society said in a bulletin last year may number as many as 30,000 in Canada.

“Since one of the tenets of the Freeman-on-the-Land movement is an unrestricted right to possess and use firearms, they raise significant safety and security concerns,” says the bulletin, which advises lawyers who come across Freemen to take appropriate security measures.

RCMP and the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police officers are currently developing awareness materials for frontline officers, and the movement is the subject of upcoming policing seminars in Vancouver and Toronto.

“The RCMP is aware of the Freeman-on-the-Land ideology and the interaction that some police jurisdictions have had with individuals who follow this movement. Additionally, in the recent years, the RCMP has received correspondence directly from followers of this movement,” RCMP spokeswoman Julie Gagnon says in an email.

“Individuals associated to this movement are a concern because some followers advocate violence to promote their views and this may involve violence toward police officers. There are officer safety concerns when dealing with followers of this movement during routine police interaction.”

There’s no indication that they pose a threat to the general public, Gagnon says.

In the United States, the FBI considers the movement a domestic terror threat, and a 2011 FBI report cites several cases where followers have clashed with law enforcement, including the 2010 shootings of two Arkansas officers during a routine traffic stop.

“Although the sovereign-citizen movement does not always rise to violence, its members’ illegal activities and past violent — including fatal —incidents against law enforcement make it a group that should be approached with knowledge and caution,” it says.

And it warns the movement will likely grow, fuelled by the recent economic downturn and the popularity of seminars being held across the country.

If there is a guru of the Freeman movement in Canada these days it’s a man named Dean Clifford from Manitoba. In June, about 80 people paid to hear Clifford spread the sovereign gospel at a seminar in Victoria and tickets are now available on his website to another scheduled for Toronto this November.

Alexander, 43, has become a pseudo-spokesman in B.C. after running — ironically — for provincial and municipal office under the Freeman banner.

A self-employed father of a teenaged boy, he speaks emotionally about the plight soldiers have faced upon their return from Afghanistan and with frustration about the degradation of the environment. And he appears to genuinely disagree with the use of violence or threats in the name of the cause.

“Yes, there has been the odd person here and there that has actually fought back and done some stupid things, but those are individuals. And to paint all Freemen as terrorists, it would be the same as painting all Frenchmen FLQ or all Germans Nazis. It’s kind of ridiculous,” he says.

While in the United States the movement has a large following on the far right and among white supremacists, in Canada it has found sympathizers among First Nations, in B.C. in particular, where some have come together under the banner of the “Sovereign Squamish Government.”

The Squamish group claims to distribute its own licence plates and one Ontario Freeman is recruiting his own police force with an online video appeal for the Canadian Common Corps of Peace Officers.

The sovereign citizen’s campaign in Canada, however, focuses on the courts, and a quick search of court documents involving Freemen reveals a litany of cases from the East Coast to the West, ranging from the bizarre to the criminal.

Police officers, Crown lawyers and judges have been sued or been named in multimillion-dollar “liens” or “ecclesiastical notices” or other legal manoeuvres.

Dozens of sovereign citizens have found themselves in front of a judge facing tax evasion, contempt or criminal charges.

Last month, Warren Fischer, a practitioner of traditional Chinese medicine in Nelson, B.C., broke down in tears in court after being convicted of tax evasion.

An adherent to Freeman philosophies and a member of the Sovereign Squamish Nation, Fischer refused for several years to pay income tax, saying he did not want his taxes to support the war overseas. He will be sentenced in October.

Last year Daren Wayne McCormick was convicted in a Nova Scotia court of uttering threats toward officers and sentenced to just over three years in a federal prison when a judge disagreed with his argument that he’d freed himself of the Criminal Code and federal gun laws.

“It appeals to the angry male whose life isn’t working out very well,” says Usher. “You get this spiral of legal mess that the only person that’s benefited is the person who’s taken their money for the seminar teaching them how to do all this.

“It looks like desperate people spending their last nickel on bad advice.”

 

Source: The Star Phoenix

25 Comments

  1. “Since one of the tenets of the Freeman-on-the-Land movement is an unrestricted right to possess and use firearms, they raise significant safety and security concerns,” says the bulletin, which advises lawyers who come across Freemen to take appropriate security measures.
    Do you agree with that statement?

  2. The only correlation between the freeman and firearms is the letter "F"

  3. We do not, nor have ever promoted the use of firearms. The right to bear arms is already a right in some countries, and limited in others, but that is an altogether different topic. The media here thrives on lies and the Law & Notaries Societies are in dishonour and in fear of our lawful duty to uphold the common law and freedoms we are all entitled to, these are not gifts, they are our rights.

  4. They are dragging up the firearms issue just to have something to carry on about. There has never been and never will be an issue of this nature.

  5. Magna Carta,
    In clause 39 of the Magna Carta, John of England promised as follows: "No free man shall be seized or imprisoned, or stripped of his rights or possessions, or outlawed or exiled, or deprived of his standing in any other way, nor will we proceed with force against him, or send others to do so, except by the lawful judgment of his equals or by the law of the land. Magna Carta itself immediately became part of the "law of the land", )

    What part of that does the government not get?

  6. LOL! The more the media talk about Freeman, the more people google search it! LOL! HA HA! :P

    Any publicity is good publicity! ;) (Y)

  7. Steve Rogers LOL, yes, it does have that effect. As more people are exposed to this and see through the deception of the press and establishment it only empowers us more to further study their lies and hold them accountable eventually for their actions. As a minority group, with an estimated 100,000 worldwide following what we do in numerous sites and forums, it has become clear to us, in the way the Police, Government and Courts treat us that we are in the same boat an alleged 6,000,000 were in WWII with faschismus breathing down their necks.

  8. Time has an inexorable way of demonstrating that such risible assertions as freemen being violent are just nonsense…Realistically speaking, these power mad greedy individuals need help and support with their condition. It was recently acknowledged by the medical profession in Britain that obesity is an illness, so how long will it be before we realise that greed per se is also an illness. Anyone who harms the environment, people, economy or animals in their pursuit of cash should be considered to have an illness, and we as human beings should "Support" these types with their illness by taking away the very thing that is making them ill in the first place. We are conditioned to adulate the rich, and drip fed the chance to be like them by desperately indulging in "The Lottery" etc…. Notice that the likes of oil companies are fined for spillage, but the relentless pursuit of cash is never the issue within that. GREED is an illness, and fundamentally underpins the very institution that has been "Contrived" to control the sheep. I have been quite aware of the media laying the groundwork for the inevitable new carbon tax they are going to foist onto the people; as if the state of the world is our fault. Do they not tear the planet apart in their relentless pursuit of cash, do they not provide us with the very machines which pollute the atmosphere which allows "THEIR" society to function and generate more cash for them. They fear the freemen because they know that such a philosophy is both ostensibly and fundamentally based on sound humane reasoning, and if they choose to argue the point it merely reveals them for what they really are….Greedy pigs…Hence they do not openly debate the Freeman philosophy, rather they attach fear and lies to it…

  9. ^^^ Yeah, but then they only see the cops version of it unless they have specific information they are looking for, or a name. If everyone started a blog and only copied and pasted one quote or lawful document per day, that would change. The term sovereign citizen comes up with so much of their dribble, I can only assume they created the term and are using it to discredit everything everyone else is working on.

  10. Yes, it is just desparate people falling for bad advice, very sad. There has NEVER been a court case won using freeman techniques, but still they try them and lose. Really tragic how this organisation cons the weakest. Do not be one of them!!!

  11. To exert total control over society and to be able to bully them you must first disarm them, it goes back to the old adage, " to know your enemy you must first become his friend, once all his defences are down you can then chose the most suitable means for their demise".
    this is the tenet of all governments. To be a freeman you need freemen, you would need to unite against a common enemy, boycott the greedy businesses, unplug the power from the powerful and all the while do it in a non violent way, but do not forget the government have all the bullets and won't think twice to use them to protect their wealth. It will first begin with false accusations about the freeman movement, every violent action made by a freeman will be all over the news, then being a member of the freeman movement will be outlawed and members will suffer persecution. That's how the power mad greedy work.

  12. All I have seen is Police Officers kill others without cause more people then an individual wanting to protect himself, family and property.


  13. there goes your supposition

  14. Chad Brodgesell Exactly, I'd rather see a peace officer carrying a firearm than the likes of TPS Const. James Forcillo carrying one.

  15. american citizens have openly and publicly carried firearms for years whats the differance?

  16. Blue Collar Moto Yup, Sovereign Citizen is actually an oxy-moron. It is a non word, a contradiction in itself. A Sovereign is King, and has subjects. We are not Sovereigns. In the case of America the use of the word has a slightly different meaning to the 'English' meaning. Since they are a republic and have freed themselves from their Sovereign King George and became Citizens of a Republic. That does not make them Sovereigns, but gives them the right to the rights of a Sovereign as a people. They then embodied that Sovereign Power into the State Governments and the Federal Government then stole that from the States.
    A Citizen is a member of a Republic or a dweller of a City. No more, no less. Since the word 'Citizen' was invented when Slavery was abolished, you can easily make the connection between the 2. A Slave Ship brings in labourers from overseas, whereas a Citizen-Ship brings in immigrants from overseas.
    We are not Sovereign Citizens but Freeman who have lawfully rescinded their consent to be governed by a fraudulent, bankrupt and corporate fascist body corporate. By Consent of the Governed. Words that in any translation make the whole thing a voluntary system. You can opt-out any time you like.

  17. every person in this country has the right to bear arms. if just owning a gun makes you a terrorist then I guess we're all screwed.

  18. I believe the word violence has been misused in the segment. There is a difference between violence and force. Violence infringes upon rights. Force is put forth to protecting rights. These men just want to be left alone. Nations can rape, pillage, and steal land; call it manifest destiny but if a man drives on their roads without paying a tax they are subject to jail time. This hypocritical modality of thinking is evidence of brain damage and those individuals support modern day slavery using inflated currency of the monetary system as an instrument to play puppet master. As humans we should have the choice when it comes to being part of a corporation. No victim, no crime.

  19. Won a case where I openly admitted to doing it but it was not a crime, and they could not prove I was subject to the charter.

  20. Jason, this just shows a court going into recess, which is far from showing a victory. still no Freeman victory evidence then, let alone proof. gatz, if what you do is not a crime, there will be no charges pressed evenif you fuck up and use freeman techniques…unless you get too annoying when you could end up with contempt charges even when no law has been broken.

  21. Jes de Haroun Thanks for your comments, but they are unjust. We have dozens of examples from all over the globe where we are making huge headways. Cases are being dismissed left right and centre. You mention contempt charges…. Civil or Criminal? We have 100/s of thousands members worldwide all disambiguating the silly rules of Government 'they' call law. We are holding these words against those who wrote them, and now they don't like it. The Freeman are not going anywhere, we are getting bigger every day, more and more are joining and learning the difference between law and legislation. The game is over, the illusion uncovered and people are waking up. People have tried to rip us to pieces since we started almost 6 years ago. But we are still here, no lies being told, only truths uncovered. Namaste

  22. Seems to me the only one being violent are the trigger happy cops. They escalate it to violence first.

  23. Seriously…the police and RCMP should look at their own "incidents" of inappropriate conduct…from public beatings to sexual assault and harassment against women

  24. Im not good with words but ill try to get my point across.I think that instead of comparing the people who are poor or have legal issues to the freeman they should compare them to how many people don't vote in this country. A lot of people don't vote and its not cuz they don't care or have time, its the options they have. When a group makes sense and majority of people see a problem shouldn't you all have a rep or be able to choose a way of life that you agree with. I guarantee theres enough people out there that believe the same things but don't think its possible to change it. If we had a option like this we will jump on it not cuz it gets you off of crimes its to stand up for what is rite. the government doesn't care about rite or wrong they would let there own family die of cancer if it means they will get payed. I am a very good person have always tried to do the rite things and tried to be a helpful person. Always working hard paying taxes and way through life and trying to be a productive additive to society, Yet because I was not bourn wealthy I have had a hard life and the government and the police have done everything in there power to drain me of life. I don't let them though cuz im very positive. I believe that in a lot of cases poor people are made out to be criminals, their pushed till they speek up for themselves then there punished for it, creating a spiral of hatred and anger towards the police and government. they are then givin one more push towards the edge and sometimes they snap and retaliate ( think maybe that person had a loved one die from something the government could have prevented plus their harassed constantly by police yet they are really truly good trying not to hurt or harm anyone). Does that make them criminal. If they where left alone no one would have ever thought a bad thing about them. The government wants to keep the ritch ritch and the poor poor. ritch don't get ritcher and poor dont get poorer for no reason. Its a plan in place the ritch have been working on for years. hope this all makes a bit of sense. everyone on here has good points and I really like how ray trusty thinks.

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