Guest Column: All That Matters Now

On December 10, the good guys come together…

… or a final nail goes into the rule of law’s coffin. By Pete Hendrickson

PeteLET IT BE SAID PLAINLY: Forcing someone to declare herself indebted to another party– whether by court order or threat of penalty for not making such a declaration– is not a legitimate, lawful act of any organ of the state. Instead, it is a corrupt, tyrannical act, and prohibited by the United States Constitution’s speech, due process and equal protection provisions.

LET IT BE CLEARLY UNDERSTOOD: Compelling someone to declare a belief that her earnings are “income” taxable by the United States is compelling her to declare herself indebted to the United States (or to declare her agreement with material facts under which the tax debt then arises as a matter of law). Compelling someone to declare her earnings on a line in the “income” section of a testimonial document like a 1040— whether by direct command or by threat of a penalty for not doing so– is compelling her to declare a belief that those earnings are “income” and subject to the tax.

LET IT BE RECOGNIZED: If someone’s earnings ARE actually subject to the tax as a matter of law, and the government is aware of them sufficiently to command their declaration on a 1040, there can be no legitimate purpose for compelling their declaration, even were doing so not Constitutionally prohibited. Such an effort to compel can only serve a government interest if those earnings ARE NOT actually subject to the tax as a matter of law.

Earnings actually subject to the tax are so subject whether the recipient agrees or not. Compelling agreement with that fact is pointless as well as illegal. All the government needs to do is create its own return declaring the earnings to be “income” over a sworn signature– which it is, in fact, required to do by law if the recipient of the earnings hasn’t already agreed to the tax. Needless to say, this is both simpler, cheaper and easier than attempting to compel agreement from the recipient, and involves no Constitutional issues. (And again, it is mandated by law in any event).

Compulsion of declared “agreement” is only of use to the government where the earnings in question are NOT actually taxable. Its purpose is to eliminate the recipient’s ability to dispute the application of the tax to those earnings, and allow the government to proceed as though those earnings are taxable as a matter of law.

Declared agreement creates a false appearance of “no dispute over material facts”. The government is relieved of what otherwise would be its burdens of proof (or, more exactly, its obligation to walk away from the untaxable earnings and confine its attention to gains legitimately subject to the tax, in regard to which no coerced fiction of agreement is needed). The tax can then collected– improperly, but with a superficial appearance of legitimacy which is impenetrable by anyone not educated about the actual objects of the tax and how it is applied under the law.

BUT THERE COULD NEVER BE SUCH COMPELLED AGREEMENT IN AMERICA, you say! Such a thing could never happen here!!

Wrong. It IS happening here, right now. And you’d better pay attention and get involved….

… [background material to the current case]


The first trial was held in October of 2013. Doreen defended herself.

Faced with the problem of the orders Doreen is accused of resisting being manifestly unlawful, the government asked for an instruction barring the jury from considering the unlawfulness or unconstitutionality of the orders in deliberations.

Even then the government knew it couldn’t get a guilty verdict. So it also asked that the jury also be told it needn’t unanimously agree that Doreen had actually committed either of the two distinct acts of contempt alleged in the indictment— one, failing to submit “amended returns” for 2002 and 2003 declaring a belief that her earnings were taxable, and two, filing a return the government alleged was based on the absurd notion falsely ascribed to CtC that only federal, state and local government workers are subject to the income tax (this was a return filed in 2009 for a $5 refund of withholdings from Doreen’s $59 of W-2-reported earnings in 2008, which the government, after its standard thorough vetting of her claim, had duly issued).

(By the way, this second alleged offense was deliberately misstated in the indictment and the jury instruction as violating an order to “not file a false return”, even though the order involved actually says what I list above. This is because the government knows it can’t prove that Doreen filed a return based on a notion that is easily shown to not appear in CtC at all.)

That trial, conducted against Doreen by a team of DOJ specialists brought into Detroit from Washington to do the mugging, ended in a hung jury.

This wouldn’t do for the tyranny-interests, so they tried a second time, in July of 2014. Again, Doreen defended herself. Again, the special instructions were given to the jury removing the “lawfulness” issue (even though it is a specific statutory element of “contempt” crimes) and sparing the government from its actual unanimous verdict burden.

But this time the government also saw to it that Doreen was not permitted to make her Opening Statement, or to finish her Closing Argument. This time she was prevented from citing and reading to the jurors Supreme Court opinions on speech rights specifically declaring unconstitutional orders like those she was accused of believing herself to be under a valid legal duty to obey but violating anyway– the legal standard for a contempt charge.

To top it all off, this time, in the closing minutes of the trial, the prosecutors produced what they claimed to be evidence that, contrary to Doreen’s testimony on the subject, the government had never actually pursued– and then abandoned– efforts to enjoin CtC shortly after it appeared in print (which of course, it actually had). Unable to prove that this “evidence” was actually a government misrepresentation until later, Doreen’s reliability as a witness and a key fact involved in the defense theory of the case appeared to be impeached. (Find more discussion, documentation and relevant motions concerning many of these unprecedented attacks on due process here.)

With all of that, this time the jury returned a guilty verdict.

All of the foregoing should be enough to outrage and make deeply concerned any and every adult American. Plainly, this is a horrendous assault on the rule of law, and one being practiced in order to keep everyone from learning about the most significant government scam and abuse in our country’s history– the systemic mis-application of the income tax to the tune of trillions of dollars scammed out of the pockets of their rightful owners and into the hands of the political class and its clients and cronies.

But there is one additional aspect of this assault on the rule of law that goes even beyond just the First Amendment and due process/equal protection issues, and the purely practical issues of all that money being snookered away. This other thing, which ought to chill you to the very bone if you’ve got your wits about you, is this: The concept rested on by the government for why it was okay to dictate and command Doreen’s statements of belief was that she is only being told to say what she herself really believes to be true. After all, a judge has said it. Therefore, Doreen must believe it, too.

Over and over, throughout the trial, the US attorneys kept saying Doreen was only being ordered to “say what was correct”. Their Closing Argument was little more than pounding on the podium and shouting that Doreen was told what was correct by the judge, and so how could the jury imagine that she could honestly believe otherwise?!

Think about that, and tremble.

An “official” has said it, therefore it must be true, therefore you can be forced to say you believe it, too– even on a legal form that controls who gets to keep or claim your property.

That’s exactly the same sick and twisted crap we once rightly denounced in the old Soviet Union, where people who dissented against the party line were deemed mentally ill and made wards of the state, without rights. Here it is in America– if you don’t do something about it.

SO HERE’S THE THING, PEOPLE– THE ONLY THING THAT MATTERS NOW. On December 10, at 1:30 PM, in the courtroom of Victoria Roberts in the Theodore Levin Federal Building in downtown Detroit, my beautiful and good Doreen is due to be sentenced for the alleged “crime” of not letting herself be compelled to declare a belief the government wants her forced to avow, and punished for not avowing.

Be there, making yourself heard and seen, and until then, be raising one hell of a racket with journalists and the legal community– especially organizations that profess to be “public interest”. If not, don’t cry to me when your turn comes.

When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle. — Edmund Burke

P. S. Anyone who’s ever been presented with the threat of a “frivolous penalty” based on, or reasonably taken as based on their having not declared some or all of their earnings as “income” on a 1040– even just one of the fictional versions with which a few educated filers are occasionally harassed– is a victim of this tyranny just as much as if he or she had been ordered directly on pain of punishment to so declare. If this is you, you ought to be furious. You ought to be all over the newspapers and the public-interest law organizations, as well as suing and seeking criminal charges against those responsible.


Full column by Pete Hendrickson here.

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