Dear Readers: Brian Wright passed away in early 2023; he now lives forever in our hearts. A lifelong defender of liberty and nonviolence, Brian wanted his websites kept active so readers may enjoy his prolific columns, book & movie reviews, tributes, and evolving thoughts over the past decades. ~Rose Wright
In yet another bizarre and outrageous assault on liberty and the law, Doreen Hendrickson, wife of noted educated-tax denizen, Pete Hendrickson, has been subjected to desperate attacks by the federal prosecutocracy for—get this—heresy. That is, she was charged by the US courts with contempt for refusing to sign a form stating she agreed with something that she did not in fact agree with. Folks, it don’t get more whacked out than this…
My column today is from Peter’s newsletter and from a journalistic source out of Kentucky of all places that describes what has happened. Basically, hung jury by 1 stubborn SOB, and IRS may try again or may not.
Where Are All The Journalists? Where Is Your Outrage? We haven’t ever before had a trial for heresy in America,
but one is on the docket now…
BACK IN WHAT WE ALL LIKE TO THINK OF AS A DISTANT PAST, the ways of which are universally viewed with derision, contempt and condemnation as both simple-minded and barbaric, people were sometimes accused of “heresy“. The crime was the profession of a belief which “the authorities” wished to go unspoken.
The fictional pretext for criminalizing heresy was that the heretic really knew better than what she errantly professed, because the officially-approved beliefs are presumed to be unmistakable established truths. They wouldn’t be the “officially-approved” beliefs otherwise, don’t you see, and anyone too dense to recognize them like everyone else has done must know them to be such truths anyway, because of that “official approval”.
A heretic could therefore be properly punished for lying and properly made to declare instead what the authorities knew she really knew to be true. Further, the crime wasn’t just an individual perjury; a heretic’s continued profession of her errant beliefs, and her failure to recant and instead profess the favored view, would infect the minds of others with her seditious beliefs.
Perhaps the best known victim of this tyrannical practice was Galileo Galilei. Galileo was accused of heresy for declaring his belief that the Earth revolved around the Sun, contrary to the official view at the time.
Sorry to say, Galileo recanted his perfectly correct conclusions and was spared being burned at the stake. (He was sentenced to house arrest for the rest of his life anyway, for having lied in the first place as proven by his recantation, and as warning against the next person who might be tempted to publicly declare a belief contrary to the “official” one that everybody knows to be true, the right to do so having been something else Galileo had asserted as part of his “heresy”).
Popular resistance to this manifestly improper rationalization for the exercise of state power against an individual was overcome with the sly claim that it was all about saving the souls of the accused, since heresies were purportedly rejections of God. This was combined with the unspoken but obvious threat that anyone who objected too strongly to the assault on any “heretic” could be readily tarred as being a heretic himself, and would become the next in line for the attention of the inquisitor.
The real goal, of course, was the suppression of information, conclusions and beliefs which threatened to take hold in the minds of others and undermine the status quo. Those in power understand that the reason things are the way they are, with themselves on top, is because of the way things are. They strive mightily to prevent change– especially change in the perceptions of those capable of taking away their power.
A “TRIAL” FOR HERESY WAS SOMETIMES KNOWN AS an “auto de fe”– an “act of faith”. Once the relevant tribunal (the “inquisitor”, generally) had determined that the charged expression qualified as heresy, the accused would be given a chance to recant her disfavored belief and declare her adherence to a position the powers-that-be found more to their liking. If stubborn, the accused would be tortured for a while to help her remember that deep down inside she knew the truth of the favored view and the error of her own (or that deep down, she really didn’t believe her professed view at all).
If an accused heretic were to recant (under the influence, or anticipatory fear, of the torture or other penalties of continued contumaciousness), she might still be punished, but not so badly as otherwise. If she did not, things would be the worse for her…
Barbaric and simple-minded, right? Thing of the past, yes?
Indeed, this kind of thing is expressly prohibited in America by virtue of the First Amendment guarantee of freedom of expression and conscience, isn’t it?
This very day Doreen Hendrickson faces a charge of heresy. Doreen has been charged with criminal contempt of court for refusing to recant a belief about a matter of law which she has repeatedly declared under oath, and to replace it with a contrary statement declaring that she believes something the government would prefer her to say.*
Doreen was ordered to declare this government-dictated “belief” over her sworn signature attesting that it is her own belief. She was also ordered to lie about the fact that the recantation and contrary, government-dictated declaration are by command of the court, so as to perfect the appearance that these are things done of her own accord and truly reflect what she herself really believes to be true and correct.
What’s more, the “belief” that Doreen was ordered to declare is that her earnings qualify for the “income tax”. Plainly, this is something either objectively true or not, irrespective of Doreen Hendrickson’s beliefs, meaning that the order can have no legitimate practical or legal purpose.
Further, Doreen is ordered to declare this “belief” on her own tax form, the legal effect of which is to authorize the government to impose a tax on those earnings. The government has been unable to assess a tax on these earnings, even over the course of the 11 years that have passed since some of them were received– because, in fact, her earnings do NOT qualify for the tax, as this history, and the very fact that the government is trying to force Doreen to agree that they do, should make clear to anyone old enough to be out of kindergarten.
Thus, the coerced lies ordered by the government and the court assault not only the very core of liberty– freedom of speech and conscience. They also assault the principle of “due process” as well, under which no one can be forced to declare agreement with a legal adversary’s view of the facts.
More, these corrupt orders don’t simply serve the state’s corrupt political interest overtly declared in the court’s order, which explained itself as intended to discourage others who “imitate” Doreen and “file false tax returns”– returns which, in their tens of thousands over a full decade now and even when striven mightily against, the government has been unable to overcome by any legal means and which are plainly NOT “false”, like the educated amended return that produced this complete refund– with interest– for Henry and Kathleen two-and-a-half weeks ago:
No, these corrupt orders have the added dimension of serving the direct and immediate financial interest of those in control of the state, as well, because that’s really what this is all about.
I THINK EVERY RATIONAL AMERICAN CAN AGREE that it’s one thing for the state to tell someone that she must declare what she believes, and it’s rather another for the state to tell someone WHAT she must declare she believes. The one is mere “discovery”. The other is rankest tyranny.
Doreen’s trial ended in a hung jury, thanks to her good fortune in ending up with one or more real Americans being among those into whose hands this case was put. But if everyone’s right to freedom of speech and conscience is to still be preserved when the government comes back at her again next summer, we all need to make some noise about this assault, and keep on making it.
“Although all men are born free, slavery has been the general lot of the human race. Ignorant–they have been cheated; asleep–they have been surprised; divided–the yoke has been forced upon them. But what is the lesson?…the people ought to be enlightened, to be awakened, to be united, that after establishing a government they should watch over it….It is universally admitted that a well-instructed people alone can be permanently free.”
This morning, the jury in Doreen Hendrickson’s trial returned to the courthouse and deliberated all day. At around 5pm, they finally emerged and presented their verdict: hung jury. What a delightful victory!!!
At least one juror (and possibly more — we just know about one) stood up to the others, stood up to the IRS (no small undertaking) and to the judge who was clearly making decisions on the side of the IRS.
One principled juror was even called out and grilled about his decision. He was not swayed by the badgering: “I just wasn’t convinced.” Thank you! Neither were we.
And, yes, I’m saying the other jurors weren’t principled. Unless supporting thuggery is principled? Suborning perjury is principled? Obeying an IRS demand even if it is unlawful and unconstitutional is principled? Being ignorant of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and jury nullification is principled?
I think not. As our masters are fond of telling us, being ignorant of the law is no defense. That blade cuts both ways.
Let the low-information jurors go home to Dancing with the Stars. Maybe one day, they will wake up. I’m grateful for the jurors who trusted their guts: thank you for being the conscience of the people.
“It does not take a majority to prevail… but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men.” – Samuel Adams, Founding Father and signer of the Declaration of Independence
Footnote #2: What Happens Next
The IRS can call it quits and move on. Or it can re-try Doreen and waste even more taxpayer money.
If they try again, the Hendricksons will be even more prepared for the shenanigans. The news about jury nullification is spreading. As the economy falls further into the toilet, Americans are waking up to what is going on and who is benefitting.
More and more people are questioning the IRS’ tactics if not the entire institution. Calls to “Audit the Fed!” are heard more and more often…
Not that any dose of sanity will stop the DOJ drones. They have nothing to lose — ain’t their money they are spending to persecute a tiny woman for not obeying their order to sign the damn form and perjure herself. They get paid regardless, right? Get their pensions and benefits regardless, right? Right.
The only person who can stop them is YOU. We are gathering names and addresses for letters and emails to TPTB. At least one juror sent a very strong message today. Let’s not leave him and Doreen to stand alone.