No longer relegated to the back corner of the bar of state enemies, I’m not officially an official domestic terrorist according to the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI):
The FBI considers sovereign-citizen extremists as comprising a domestic terrorist movement, which, scattered across the United States, has existed for decades, with well-known members, such as Terry Nichols, who helped plan the Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, bombing. Sovereign citizens do not represent an anarchist group, nor are they a militia, although they sometimes use or buy illegal weapons. Rather, they operate as individuals without established leadership and only come together in loosely affiliated groups to train, help each other with paperwork, or socialize and talk about their ideology.
Holy shit my head hurts after reading that. First I’m going to, again, bring up the fact that sovereign citizen is an oxymoron:
Sovereign citizen is a contradiction of terms. A sovereign is a supreme ruler while a citizen is a subject of a state. You can not be a supreme ruler and a subject at the same time. On the other hand a sovereign individual is a supreme ruler of an individual, him or herself. If you’re going to make us appear as a threat please get the terminology right at the very least.
Beyond that let me focus on the, “Sovereign citizens do not represent an anarchist group… Rather, they operate as individuals without established leadership…” Huh? Sovereign individuals aren’t anarchists but operate as leaderless individuals? I would love to know what the FBI’s definition of anarchist is because there are various forms of individualist anarchist philosophies. If anybody working for the FBI is reading this post (let me use a Department of Homeland Security keyword to ensure you are, drill) please take a few seconds to read my post that explains different schools of anarchism.
A person who considers themselves a sovereign individual very well could be an anarcho-capitalist, voluntaryist, or a mutualist (which can actually be seen as an individualist or collectivist form of anarchism depending on how you look at it). Unless the FBI is using an extremely narrow definition of anarchist the statement on their own page is contradictory. Furthermore they state Terry Nichols as an example of a sovereign individual but fail to mention any others. Murray Rothbard, Walter Block, and Jeffery Tucker would all consider themselves sovereign individuals but, like myself, advocate strict adherence to the non-aggression principle.
Blatant undefined generalizations are one of the biggest problems with the United States government. They will say all sovereign individuals are violent and thus label anybody who consideres themselves a sovereign a domestic terrorist. What this does is group non-violent individuals such as myself with the rare violent individuals, which makes both groups appear the same in the eyes of law enforcement.
I’m sure those reading the FBI’s article are wondering, “How can I identify a sovereign individual?” Easy, the FBI has a list of identifying factors:
Sovereign citizens often produce documents that contain peculiar or out-of-place language. In some cases, they speak their own language or will write only in certain colors, such as in red crayon. Several indicators can help identify these individuals.
- References to the Bible, The Constitution of the United States, U.S. Supreme Court decisions, or treaties with foreign governments
- Personal names spelled in all capital letters or interspersed with colons (e.g., JOHN SMITH or Smith: John)
- Signatures followed by the words “under duress,” “Sovereign Living Soul” (SLS), or a copyright symbol (©)
- Personal seals, stamps, or thumb prints in red ink
- The words “accepted for value”
They also carry fraudulent drivers’ licenses to indicate their view that law enforcement does not have the authority to stop their vehicle or may write “No Liability Accepted” above their signature on a driver’s license to signify that they do not accept it as a legitimate identification document.
What? Writes in red crayons? I’m not sure where they came up with that one. Oh, referencing “The Constitution of the United States, U.S. Supreme Court decisions, or treaties with foreign governments” makes one a sovereign individual and thus a terrorist? Damn… that basically covered every lawyer, law professor, and libertarian in the country. I guess I’ve been wondering how long it would take the FBI to label the United States Constitution a terrorist document, now I know.