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Sovereign spat

The titular head of a fictitious government has issued an “international arrest warrant” for a self-proclaimed judge who’s an influential guru in the antigovernment extremist sovereign citizen movement.

The practice of sovereign citizens founding their own pretend governments is fairly common. Sovereign citizens believe that the U.S. government has been illegitimate since the passage of the Fourteenth Amendment and the end of the gold standard. They believe both events turned the United States into a corporation and its citizens into corporate slaves.

John Harold Fulks signed the aforementioned arrest order as “Governor for the Government of The United States of America”; the sovereign judge named in the document is Alaska-based Anna Maria Riezinger, aka Anna von Reitz. Riezinger’s husband (and “Hereditary Head of State for The United States of America”), James Clinton Belcher, and a conspiracy website proprietor named Destry Payne are also named in the bogus arrest warrant that offers a glimpse into the convoluted logic of the movement itself.

The warrant was in response to claims von Reitz made online in April 2017. She told her followers that the General Post Office, which is an “agency” of Fulks “Government of The United States of America” was gathering an “army” and planning to invade the Continental united States of America (sic), which is the psuedo nation that von Reitz belongs to.  She warned people against supporting the General Post Office and called the “Government of The United States of America” illegitimate saying “you can call yourself God, Mother and apple pie for all I care and the answer is still all the same. You have no right to be here causing trouble on our soil.”

The charges in the document against Riezinger, Belcher and Payne include “publishing international propaganda on behalf of a foreign Monarch, making false claims against the Government of The United States of America, inciting violence and revolution, thereby inciting international terrorism on behalf of a foreign communist government, as well as violations of numerous Articles within the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”

The order also states “that any and all are hereby authorized to detain, incarcerate, and in the case of violent resistance, use deadly force against” the trio of sovereigns.

“These people are whackjobs that think because they made a claim on abandonment on the name ‘The United States of America’ that they own it,” Riezinger wrote in an email to Hatewatch regarding her sovereign foes.

As for the phony arrest warrant, Riezinger wrote, “that has become a fashionable thing to issue arrest warrants with no authority and no court and no enforcement to back them up as a publicity stunt.”

Sovereign citizens — who generally disdain the term, calling it an oxymoron — have a variety of beliefs, often espoused by internet gurus like Riezinger, but their core tenets are typically the same.

Some sovereign citizens engage in fraudulent pseudo-judicial activity to further their agendas, and others have resorted to violence, especially against law enforcement, when they felt their freedoms were infringed upon.

Prominent sovereigns are often involved in spats with one another, as with the fake arrest warrant issued by a “governor” to a competing “judge.” Riezinger is no stranger to these spats. In 2017 she beefed on the internet with another sovereign “judge,” Bruce Doucette of Colorado, and publicly disassociated herself from him less than a month before Doucette was indicted on a slew of charges related to his activities as a sovereign citizen. They included participating in a racketeering enterprise, retaliating against a judge and attempting to influence a public servant.

Doucette was sentenced last month to 38 years in prison as a result of the case, and Riezinger swiftly issued a “told you so” email, writing, “I did nothing wrong and I am not in trouble. I obeyed and honored the Public Law and the jurisdictions set forth under the Constitutions. I advised them to do the same. They chose otherwise. I am still here and they are in jail. It isn't my fault that they are, and it gives me no joy that I was right.”

Riezinger and the group which wrote the spurious arrest warrant, the Government of The United States of America, have been feuding online sporadically for years, and seem unlikely to stop anytime soon. Riezinger concluded her email to Hatewatch by writing, “Unfortunately, there are a lot of ignorant people out there.”

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