The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.
A note to right-wing extremists: When the John Birch Society (JBS) condemns your movement as a “fringe group” whose followers are “paranoid” “conspiracy theorists” who “occasionally go off the deep end … when confronted with reality,” it’s time for some serious soul-searching. ( continue to full post… )
Not even antigovernment “sovereign citizen” James Timothy Turner, who has made a living teaching people sovereign tactics he claims will allow them to beat the banks, can save himself when it comes right down to it.
On Feb. 22, Hatewatch has learned, the People’s South Bank in Ozark, Ala., foreclosed on two parcels of rural land totaling roughly 52 acres after Turner failed to make payments on a mortgage dating to June 2006. The same day the foreclosure was filed, the land was auctioned off on the steps of the Dale County Courthouse. The bank bought the land, and there wasn’t a peep of protest from Turner, a man who tells others how to defy the government. He didn’t even show.
But it’s the weeks ahead that have some in law enforcement worried. Will the man who has professed defiance of government for years stand idly by as the courts deliver an eviction notice? Or will the “president” of the Republic for the united States of American (RuSA), the nation’s largest sovereign group, stand firm against what he has called “the big tyrannical federal government” and its banks? ( continue to full post… )
Arizona officials say a murder suspect who used language reminiscent of that employed by antigovernment “sovereign” citizens during court appearances must undergo a mental competency exam before returning to court, the Arizona Republic reported yesterday.
Michael Lee Crane, 31, of Mesa, Ariz., pleaded not guilty yesterday to three counts of first-degree murder, two counts of kidnapping, two count of armed robbery, and several counts of arson and theft. He is accused of killing Lawrence and Glenna Shapiro in their home in Paradise Valley, Ariz., home on Jan. 30, then setting fire to the couple’s home in an attempt to conceal the crime. ( continue to full post… )
An Alaska man who is challenging President Barack Obama’s eligibility for office on the grounds that the president is a “mulatto” based his complaint on an argument common to the neo-Confederate and antigovernment “sovereign citizen” movements, Hatewatch has learned.
In a complaint filed Tuesday with the Alaska Division of Elections, Gordon Warren Epperly of Juneau argued that Obama isn’t eligible for office because, as a person of mixed-race descent, he is not a “natural-born citizen” of the United States. ( continue to full post… )
A man accused of twin murders in a Phoenix suburb and facing a possible death sentence used language in his initial court appearance mimicking false legal theories advanced by antigovernment “sovereign citizens.”
Michael Lee Crane, 31, is charged in Maricopa County with two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of kidnapping, two counts of armed robbery, burglary and arson. He is accused of killing Lawrence and Glenna Shapiro in their Paradise Valley, Ariz., home on Jan. 31, then setting fire to the couple’s home in an attempt to conceal the crime. ( continue to full post… )
These days, the U.S. Department of Justice and its investigators and prosecutors get accused of a lot of things by conspiracy-minded antigovernment extremists, but here’s a new one. A so-called “sovereign citizen” in the state of Washington, just sentenced to 40 months in prison, has filed suit accusing the government and its agents of using poor grammar and writing at a second-grade level.
David Russell Myrland filed the civil suit in U.S. District Court in Seattle with help from David Wynn Miller, another sovereign who claims he became the “king of Hawaii” in 1996 after turning that state’s name into a verb. (For the record, Miller prefers the “full-colon” spelling of his name, David-Wynn: Miller. Like many sovereigns who don’t recognize most state and federal laws, he claims the government uses grammar to enslave it citizens. By using hyphens and colons in their names, he claims, citizens can escape the grasp of government and its taxes.) ( continue to full post… )
There’s stupid, and then there’s really stupid. Finally, there’s blind, leaden stupidity, a quality personified in great detail by the loathsome Glenn Beck last week.
Beck has long been aware of his own ridiculous qualities, telling The New York Times for a major 2009 profile that he was a mere “rodeo clown,” not really a serious kind of a fellow. But that’s letting the one-time Fox News host off the reality hook a little too easily. The plain truth is that Beck has done as much as anyone to inject complete falsehoods, conspiracy theories and demonizing propaganda into American political discourse. Facts mean nothing to the rodeo clown.
Neither, it turns out, does any kind of taste or judgment. ( continue to full post… )
An accountant who took his antigovernment “sovereign citizen” views to work with him is going to prison, and many of his former clients are faced with huge, unpaid tax bills.
Timothy Garrison, 60, of Mount Vernon, Wash., was sentenced Wednesday to 42 months in federal prison and ordered to pay $95,626 in restitution after pleading guilty to two counts of assisting with the filing of false income tax returns. ( continue to full post… )
UPDATE 2.2.12: The jury sentenced James Michael Tesi to 35 years in prison.
A self-described “sovereign citizen,” who also called himself a “Moorish American,” has been convicted in Fort Worth, Texas, of shooting at a police officer who tried to arrest him for traffic violations last summer.
James Michael Tesi, 49, was taken into custody following the jury verdict Tuesday, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported. The 12-member jury immediately began the penalty phase. Tesi faces up to life in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Tesi, an occupational therapist, was charged with aggravated assault on a public servant with a deadly weapon. The charge stems from a series of encounters he had with police for not wearing a seat belt, speeding, failing to show up in court and not producing a valid driver’s licenses. ( continue to full post… )
Everyone has heard of jailhouse lawyers. How about a jailhouse accountant – an antigovernment “sovereign citizen” doing time in New York – who got a $327,456 tax return from the IRS?
Ronald Williams not only filed 12 fraudulent tax returns for himself while behind bars, he also reportedly helped at least 10 other New York state prison inmates with their tax returns, testimony revealed at his just-concluded trial. ( continue to full post… )