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‘Sovereign’ President: ‘I Am in Jail Because I Stood for Righteousness’

By Ryan Lenz on October 24, 2012 - 4:15 pm, Posted in Antigovernment, Extremist Crime, Sovereign Citizens

James Timothy Turner, the enigmatic president of the antigovernment “sovereign citizens” group Republic for the united States of America (RUSA), has told his followers that despite his incarceration on federal tax charges, he is still very much their leader. And as for his legal problems? That’s simply the federal government squashing the “righteous” truth.

“The Lord has called for and annointed [sic] me for this position,” Turner says in a handwritten letter dated Oct. 15 and recently posted to the RuSA website. “His annointing [sic] has not been removed because I have been incarcerated.”

Last month, a federal grand jury indicted Turner on a host of tax charges, including allegations that he attempted to pay his own taxes with a fictitious $300 million bond and tried to assist others who wanted to get out paying taxes with similar bonds ranging from $10 million to $300 million.

Turner’s letter comes as RuSA experiences perhaps the biggest challenge to its survival amid increased law enforcement scrutiny and tremendous upheaval in its rank-and-file.

Fearing that Turner was a flight risk, a federal judge last month denied him bail, leaving RuSA, the largest and most organized sovereign citizens group in the United States, reeling.

As proof of that, RuSA has bumbled through plans to host an election to replace Turner – with some of his loyal acolytes publicly fearing that the end of the group is near. Kelby Smith, a spokesman for the group and one of Turner’s loudest supporters, said on an Oct. 17 telephone call with followers, “We as a Republic look very, very, very bad with our president sitting in jail.” He added, “Either the president gets out of jail, or the Republic is going to be split.”

Members of RuSA view the federal government as an illegitimate “corporation” designed to enslave American citizens in a system of financial snares, an idea with a storied history within the antigovernment “Patriot” movement. They also see Turner as a divinely anointed savior tapped to save a nation from turmoil.

That reality alone has prompted law enforcement worries that members of RuSA, some of whom have already been embroiled in criminal enterprises, will lash out violently as sovereigns have in the past. And Turner, who has historically calmed his followers when their rhetoric against the federal government intensifies, seems willing to stoke those fires.

“I am not in jail for violating the law,” Turner wrote in the letter. “I am in jail because I stood for righteousness and truth in government.” He then asked his followers to “pray that God will crumble the foundations and break the power and strength of the corporation and restore his righteous government in America.”

“I am praying daily that God will cut off all financial, military, political, and spiritual support for the municipal corporate government in Washington, D.C.,” Turner wrote.

There is no indication when – or even if – RuSA will hold an election to replace Turner. For his part, though, the sovereign president for the time being seems unwilling to let go of a movement he founded two years ago and took further than most had before – by forming a shadow government to lie in waiting for the collapse of the federal government.

For Turner, the fantasy has continued even in jail.

  • Notafool

    Turner,s replacement and mis-guided political lemmings are without doubt, MORONS.

  • aadila

    Oh Rey, Happy Birthday!!

  • Reynardine

    Meanwhile, somebody go give that head problem a pill, before he damages himself.

    Reasonably recovered and turning LXIX on Friday (peace, Hays Office! I must go through that one before hitting LXX!)

  • Reynardine

    Why so sure, Sam? Did you write the votehacking program yourself? And if so, were you competent to have written it?

  • aadila

    Right, Sam…apparently anyone voting for Romney has made their decision that it is fiscally irresponsible to add $1 trillion to the budget for universal health care, but it makes good financial sense to add $3 trillion to the budget for the military.

    Especially since we already spend 58% of the world’s military budget, and six times more than the closest spender China. The military is a state-sponsored industry so that makes America the biggest socialist of them all, comrade.

  • Sam Molloy

    Dear What???: Mitt Romney will be elected, like it or not. I like to think that only a very small percentage of people that will vote him in have made their decision on the color of his skin.

  • against splc

    This story is one of the biggest lies I have ever seen, on this site. You know that your days are numbered. The People will find out what you and the de facto have done and have been doing to the People. We will not forget who the enemies of the Republic are. We are not anti-government. We are anti de facto and anti-corruption. We are pro-Constitution and pro-Rights and you know it. You guys should be ashamed of yourselves. You are clearly part of the Legion of Doom!

  • What???

    What I find hilarious yet tragic is that the tea baggers that are just about half way between this guy Turner and the old moderate GOP will vote for Mittens… who is so obviously a corporate puppet… all on the basis of fear of and hatred for a black POTUS… I hope we are not doomed!

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    ““The Lord has called for and annointed [sic] me for this position,”

    Funny how these people constantly talk about freedom and liberty. Who thinks they would achieve freedom under the guidance of a man who claims to be anointed by “the Lord?” He’s practically claimed divine right.

  • krissy

    I just find it hilarious that a US patriot group calls itself russia.

  • Erika

    Rey, as much as i hate to do this, i actually have to object on the grounds that Dubya is way smarter than this guy.

    (now i need to go take a shower, ugh!)

  • Sam Molloy

    Ric, don’t waste your life tilting at windmills like Don Quixote. Our system is not perfect, but it is people like you who should be involved working within it.

  • aadila

    Sir, you are not Henry David Thoreau.

  • Anthony

    I agree with a slightly reworded comment by Mark:
    Consider yourself a stupid but lucky man whose misguided perceptions will only come to a misguided and wasted life.

  • Roger B.

    recipe for an idiot: lack of intelligence, no moral compass, delusions of grandeur, no ability to think for yourself, sprinkle on a little mental derangement and only half bake until a complete moron like Turner is produced.
    Come to think of it, that recipe works quite nicely for a vast array of hate groups out there.
    Ring any bells Ric?

  • Suzy

    “Reynardine” said it all!

  • Erika

    More evidence that the insanity defense is often not used by the most truly insane.

    Does anyone have a picture of what his $300,000,000 bond looked like? the picture in my mind is of something done in crayons.

    And again i will note that no one who actually has $300,000,000 would keep in in one paper bond – 300,000 $1000 paper bonds kept in a secure vault and traded electronically yes, one $300,000,000 bond in your possession, no. That is just plain stupid.

  • Andrew

    I’m reading “The Terrorist Next Door” by Daniel Levitas. It goes into great detail about the anti-semitic, racist, and right wing conspiracy theories that the sovereign citizen’s beliefs are based in. I fear these homegrown terrorist much more than terrorist from overseas.

  • Gregory

    No, you are in jail because you are an idiot.

    Sorry if the truth hurts.

  • Reynardine

    What a man! As intelligent as George W. Bush and as modest as Mitt Romney!

  • Ric

    I have met Turner and am considering joining, but not until I get more questions answered. Having a hard time find the real truth, but this article uses the wording wrong. The Republic is not anti government, they are anti corrupt government subtle yet huge difference.

  • Mark Gerardy

    James Timothy Turner: Dude, find your own country. “Sovereignty” takes billions of dollars to purchase the land, establish the infrastructure, file the paperwork and set up a fanatical government. You don’t have the latitude to just set up shop just wherever you like because of 3rd grade ideology or mental illness that manifests itself in political extremism. Countries will defend their border against people like you, and go to war and anniliate you. Consider it a bless by virtue of the fact that you are in only jail, and not behind held under prisoner-of-war standards. In the 1700s, you would be executed for treason. Consider yourself a stupid but lucky man, whose misguided perceptions will never come to fruition, only to a misguided and wasted life.

  • Dan Zabetakis

    Well, let’s give him credit for nailing his colors to the mast, as it were. It will be impossible for his lawyers to mitigate if (when) he is convicted. He can also forget about getting bail at any future hearings.

    Unless the court finds him insane, a long custodial sentence is assured.