The Rise of ‘Sovereign Citizens’ (Video)

A slanted, but interesting story from CBS’ 60 Minutes:

This is a story about a group of Americans you’ve likely never heard of: they’re called “sovereign citizens.” Many don’t pay taxes, carry a driver’s license or hold a Social Security card. They have little regard for the police or the courts, and some have become violent.

The FBI lists them among the nation’s top domestic terror threats.

By some estimates, there are as many as 300,000 sovereign citizens in the U.S. And with the sluggish economy and mortgage mess, their ranks are growing.

More on 60 Minutes

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  • Masomystic

    if you had 300,000 dog trainers im sure some of them would be violent. I am amazed at the stupidity of our society and the blanet lies the media tries to portray on people. I am pretty confident the number is way beyond 300,000. These people are sick of the government and they are making a stand. If the system wants to be violent towards them then i say go for it, kill everyone one of them. Finally have people standing up to the bullies and now the bullies are fighting back with disinformation. I hope every one of you sub human pieces of shit who work for the system and abuse your fellow human being in the name of power gets whats coming to you.

  • Masomystic

    if you had 300,000 dog trainers im sure some of them would be violent. I am amazed at the stupidity of our society and the blanet lies the media tries to portray on people. I am pretty confident the number is way beyond 300,000. These people are sick of the government and they are making a stand. If the system wants to be violent towards them then i say go for it, kill everyone one of them. Finally have people standing up to the bullies and now the bullies are fighting back with disinformation. I hope every one of you sub human pieces of shit who work for the system and abuse your fellow human being in the name of power gets whats coming to you.

  • GoodDoktorBad

    Nice smear job CBS.  A truly lopsided propaganda-fest. Sure, all people searching for freedom are AK-47 toting cop killers or seminar sheisters -NOT. Sovereignty is not a dirty word. It means something close to: “free man on the land” in this context. Its all about something they taught us when I went to school. That whole “freedom” concept. The pursuit of happiness. The “good fight” against tyranny, fascism, oppression etc. What we supposedly fought the Revolutonary war over, ya know -taxation without representation, a bloated and pompous authority structure ruling by the sword, etc.

    Look into the concept of sovereignty -personal and otherwise before you scream terrorist.

    ” there are as many as 300,000 sovereign citizens in the U.S.”
    That’s a pretty big group to marginalize.
    If they are not careful with this smear campaign , it may backfire and push more people into removing their rose colored glasses…

    [Edited]

    • Anon

       I agree with you… except 300,000 people is just less than one percent, not ten.  Of course, since this is a smear job, that number might be a lot bigger in real life.

      • GoodDoktorBad

        Duh, you’re right, its 1%. 300000 sounds better though. lol

        • hunter349

          Actually 300,000 is 1/10 of 1%.   3,000,000 would be 1% and 30,000,000 would be 10%.

          :)

          As far as the clip. It is weird that they would choose to pick on those people on a personal level and not rational level. By their own metric there would be more violent non tax paying construction workers than people in that clip.

          • GoodDoktorBad

            Crap, you’re right. I suck… 

          • Simiantongue

             You do? So um… do we have to take a number or is there a line or something?

    • Toggle

       @GoodDoktorBad:disqus ….agreed….60 minutes picked one of the worst examples they could find to make the case for the patriot act and government institutions…ass licking toadies.
      There are a lot of psychopaths in the government as well….but let’s not cloud the issue with equal time to present a more truthful picture of what the sovereign citizen movement is trying to do.  If they did that the sheeple might not fear the idea.

  • Anonymous

    Nice smear job CBS.  A truly lopsided propaganda-fest. Sure, all people searching for freedom are AK-47 toting cop killers or seminar sheisters -NOT. Sovereignty is not a dirty word. It means something close to: “free man on the land” in this context. Its all about something they taught us when I went to school. That whole “freedom” concept. The pursuit of happiness. The “good fight” against tyranny, fascism, oppression etc. What we supposedly fought the Revolutonary war over, ya know -taxation without representation, a bloated and pompous authority structure ruling by the sword, etc.

    Look into the concept of sovereignty -personal and otherwise before you scream terrorist.

    ” there are as many as 300,000 sovereign citizens in the U.S.”
    Ummm, thats 10% percent of the US population, more or less. That’s a pretty big group to marginanlize.
    If they are not careful with this smear campaign , it may backfire and push more people into removing there rose colored glasses… 
     
     

  • Anon

     I agree with you… except 300,000 people is just less than one percent, not ten.  Of course, since this is a smear job, that number might be a lot bigger in real life.

  • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

    Disinfonauts are all terrorists… I heard it on 60 minutes

  • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

    Disinfonauts are all terrorists… I heard it on 60 minutes

  • http://www.facebook.com/diarmaidomeara Diarmaid O Meara

    I’m not American so maybe my view is slightly skewed here but that was basic media Propaganda.. Was it not? Possibly not pushed from a political body but that was the most one sided, dis-informing piece of’informative’ video I’ve seen in a while.

    Interesting.

  • http://www.facebook.com/diarmaidomeara Diarmaid O Meara

    I’m not American so maybe my view is slightly skewed here but that was basic media Propaganda.. Was it not? Possibly not pushed from a political body but that was the most one sided, dis-informing piece of’informative’ video I’ve seen in a while.

    Interesting.

  • Anonymous

    Duh, you’re right, its 1%. 300000 sounds better though. lol

  • Anonymous

    Actually 300,000 is 1/10 of 1%.   3,000,000 would be 1% and 30,000,000 would be 10%.

    :)

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_UKYMXXCN2KBUE2W4RT7CJRLPQU Robbie C

    These people are REAL. Their ideology is that we all have a constitutional right to kill each other. This is right-wing extremism and it’s ignorant, it’s dangerous and it’s anti-American. These “sovereigns” think they live in a “free” country and drive on “free” highways, but those highways were built by the GOVERNMENT, with TAX DOLLARS (gasp!). This country exists because we established a GOVERNMENT and LAWS and ENFORCEMENT and a MILITARY. I wish the government would round these people up and put them in camps and prove them right. I really do, but that would never happen. Sadly, they’re going to continue carrying their automatic weapons, killing cops and threatening the rest of us with their violent rhetoric.

    • Anonymous

       …this is gonna be good :puts popcorn in microwave:

    • GoodDoktorBad

      Robbie C, Robbie do… 

    • Rooti

      Utter nonsense. 

    • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

      *sigh* i think imma regret this, but I’ll bite

      These examples that they show on 60 minutes are sociopaths that happen to align themselves with the sovereign citizen idea. The examples in no way prove the rule. Most would live up to libertarian ideas of “leave me alone, an i’ll leave you alone”. There are (or at least used to be.. I’m not sure if its been outlawed yet..) real legal ways to do what they are talking about and legally stop paying taxes. Given, nowadays its probably a one way ticket to the terrorist watch list and govt. harassment.

      They are mostly hardcore constitutionalists, that believe the bill of rights are as important as christians think (most of) the 10 commandments.  Frankly the idea of an armed populace is important for a free society… notice how we don’t seem to be in much of a free society anymore, just a very shiny illusion.

      Sovereign citizens are the natural reaction to our loss of old values, and it pisses them off. What pisses them off even more is the fact that they feel alone in this understanding because they are characterized as nutjobs in the media like what you have probably just watched.

    • Freedom Isn’t for the Ignorant

      “but those highways were built by the GOVERNMENT” You are retarded, the highways were built by flesh and blood human beings who were paid by “the government”. And where did the government get the money to pay them? FROM THE PEOPLE through taxes. THE GOVERNMENT DOES NOTHING. Actually, “the government” doesn’t even exist, it’s just a bunch of PEOPLE who work under the name “the government.”

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_UKYMXXCN2KBUE2W4RT7CJRLPQU Robbie C

    These people are REAL. Their ideology is that we all have a constitutional right to kill each other. This is right-wing extremism and it’s ignorant, it’s dangerous and it’s anti-American. These “sovereigns” think they live in a “free” country and drive on “free” highways, but those highways were built by the GOVERNMENT, with TAX DOLLARS (gasp!). This country exists because we established a GOVERNMENT and LAWS and ENFORCEMENT and a MILITARY. I wish the government would round these people up and puts them in
    camps and prove them right. I really do, but that would never happen. Sadly, they’re going to continue carrying their automatic weapons, killing cops and threatening the rest of us with their violent rhetoric.

  • Anonymous

     …this is gonna be good :puts popcorn in microwave:

  • Be432

    Well then the majority of the people running our government must be sovereign citizens since they are “above the law” and “don’t pay taxes”…

  • Be432

    Well then the majority of the people running our government must be sovereign citizens since they are “above the law” and “don’t pay taxes”…

  • Navysealteam7

     Viagra sponsers the Sovereign Citizen movement, lol. Anyone else catch that? Skip to 13:10 ;)

  • Navysealteam7

     Viagra sponsers the Sovereign Citizen movement, lol. Anyone else catch that? Skip to 13:10 ;)

  • Anonymous

    Crap, you’re right. I suck… 

  • Anonymous

    Robbie C, Robbie do… 

  • 5by5

    What I love about people in movements like this is that they rail against “the government” while simultaneously forgetting that in a Democracy, by definition they ARE “the government”. 

    Now in a Democracy, if you’re unhappy with the way that government is functioning, that means you become MORE involved in government, and change it’s direction. You don’t bug out, or get violent, while other means of redress still remain.That said, where these people are correct, is that many of those in government at both the state and national levels who have FAR exceeded their Constitutional authority –  Gov. Snyder in Michigan is a PRIME example. So is that nitwit currently running Wisconsin into the ground, and Chris Christy in New Jersey, or my fave, the Medicare fraudster-turned-Governor, Rick Scott of Flaaahrida.On the national level, illegal wiretapping, B.S. “protest zones”, groping in airports, national security letters, basically 99.9999% of the idiotic Patriot Act, the unilateral power of the President to simply declare someone an enemy of the state (all powers taken under Bush, which Obama has yet to give back – so in this both parties are culpable), these are all problems, and serious threats to freedom. They are baby, and sometimes not-so-baby steps down the road of Fascism, and should be resisted by all the legal means at our disposal.Violence, doesn’t happen to be one of the legal means. And I’m not saying that, incidentally, out of some peacenik “all life is precious” thinking either. Nothing about a douchebag like a Rick Santorum’s life is precious, except that he’s such an unbelievable asshat, that he makes running against Republicans ridiculously easy.I’m saying that violence as a tool for average people is simply unrealistic, an the irony is, rightwingers — the very same people who are all up in the 2nd Amendment’s grill — and their obsessive fears are what have made it unrealistic. They are the ones who armed “the government” to such a degree that your “right to bear arms” is utterly irrelevant. They are the ones who’ve insisted year after year for more than 70 years that the U.S. Government have such militaristic power, that the DOD and the rest of the security apparatus in this country now tops a whopping 55% of the national budget.The most any of those idiots can do, is kill minor players who they have more in common with, like an average police officer, who’s in many ways just as much a “victim of the system” as these sovereignty fools. Your pop gun doesn’t amount to squat against tanks and drones and RPG’s and fricking NUKES, not to mention No Such Agency, which is gobbling up more data every SIX HOURS than exists in the entire Library of Congress. So cut the crap. It ain’t 1870 anymore, and this ain’t the Wild West, punk.This is the modern world, and if you want to change things to your liking, then you’re going to have to find more elegant, less simplistic solutions than that.

    • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

      We don’t have a democracy, we have a republic. 

    • Freedom Isn’t for the Ignorant

      I’m not for violence at all, but that fact that you ruled it out is wrong. You said “should be resisted by all the legal means at our disposal.” This is illogical. If sovereign citizens are opposing the governent to secure their natural born rights, it doesn’t make sense to obey their opponents rules. That’s like being in a fist-fight and having your opponent say “you can’t punch, it’s the law” while they wail on you face. Now, violence isn’t the right answer unless it’s in self-defense. The right way to do it is exactly what MOST sovereign citizens are doing: claiming their independence back and saying they don’t agree with the “legal system.” “Legal” does not equal “Law.” A Law is something that cannot be broken and is a fact, like the law of gravity. “Legal statutes” are rules, and they were made to be broken in the name of freedom.

  • 5by5

    What I love about people in movements like this is that they rail against “the government” while simultaneously forgetting that in a Democracy, by definition they ARE “the government”. 

    Now in a Democracy, if you’re unhappy with the way that government is functioning, that means you become MORE involved in government, and change it’s direction. You don’t bug out, or get violent, while other means of redress still remain.That said, where these people are correct, is that many of those in government at both the state and national levels who have FAR exceeded their Constitutional authority –  Gov. Snyder in Michigan is a PRIME example. So is that nitwit currently running Wisconsin into the ground, and Chris Christy in New Jersey, or my fave, the Medicare fraudster-turned-Governor, Rick Scott of Flaaahrida.On the national level, illegal wiretapping, B.S. “protest zones”, groping in airports, national security letters, basically 99.9999% of the idiotic Patriot Act, the unilateral power of the President to simply declare someone an enemy of the state (all powers taken under Bush, which Obama has yet to give back – so in this both parties are culpable), these are all problems, and serious threats to freedom. They are baby, and sometimes not-so-baby steps down the road of Fascism, and should be resisted by all the legal means at our disposal.Violence, doesn’t happen to be one of the legal means. And I’m not saying that, incidentally, out of some peacenik “all life is precious” thinking either. Nothing about a douchebag like a Rick Santorum’s life is precious, except that he’s such an unbelievable asshat, that he makes running against Republicans ridiculously easy.I’m saying that violence as a tool for average people is simply unrealistic, an the irony is, rightwingers — the very same people who are all up in the 2nd Amendment’s grill — and their obsessive fears are what have made it unrealistic. They are the ones who armed “the government” to such a degree that your “right to bear arms” is utterly irrelevant. They are the ones who’ve insisted year after year for more than 70 years that the U.S. Government have such militaristic power, that the DOD and the rest of the security apparatus in this country now tops a whopping 55% of the national budget.The most any of those idiots can do, is kill minor players who they have more in common with, like an average police officer, who’s in many ways just as much a “victim of the system” as these sovereignty fools. Your pop gun doesn’t amount to squat against tanks and drones and RPG’s and fricking NUKES, not to mention No Such Agency, which is gobbling up more data every SIX HOURS than exists in the entire Library of Congress. So cut the crap. It ain’t 1870 anymore, and this ain’t the Wild West, punk.This is the modern world, and if you want to change things to your liking, then you’re going to have to find more elegant, less simplistic solutions than that.

  • Rooti

    Utter nonsense. 

  • D^rail

     Well the good news is there are two less cop’s on the street.

    • ewk

       that’s a disgusting thing to say. fuck you

  • D^rail

     Well the good news is there are two less cop’s on the street.

  • Simiantongue

    Never heard of sovereign citizens before. Wow what a hatchet job 60 minutes is doing though, that means their afraid of them. Guess I’ll have to go to some of their sites and see what they have to say. 

  • Simiantongue

    Never heard of sovereign citizens before. Wow what a hatchet job 60 minutes is doing though, that means their afraid of them. Guess I’ll have to go to some of their sites and see what they have to say. 

  • Simiantongue

     You do? So um… do we have to take a number or is there a line or something?

  • Anonymous_Reader

    For a legal view of this, including the Supreme Court cases behind it, try to find a copy of “How to Get the IRS Out of Your Life Once and For All” by the Status Foundation. This explains the difference between an American Citizen and a United States citizen, the real effect of the Civil War amendments, etc. Even if you don’t plan on deleting your Social Security number it’s a fascinating book. 

    Most “rich” people actually own nothing of value. They are merely beneficiaries of Article 1 section 10 trusts. They are “comfortably impoverished.” If you have the right lawyers you can get away with anything. If you don’t have any “income” you don’t owe any taxes. That doesn’t mean you can’t spend money, however.

  • Anonymous

    For a legal view of this, including the Supreme Court cases behind it, try to find a copy of “How to Get the IRS Out of Your Life Once and For All” by the Status Foundation. This explains the difference between an American Citizen and a United States citizen, the real effect of the Civil War amendments, etc. Even if you don’t plan on deleting your Social Security number it’s a fascinating book. 

    Most “rich” people actually own nothing of value. They are merely beneficiaries of Article 1 section 10 trusts. They are “comfortably impoverished.” If you have the right lawyers you can get away with anything. If you don’t have any “income” you don’t owe any taxes. That doesn’t mean you can’t spend money, however.

  • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

    *sigh* i think imma regret this, but I’ll bite

    These examples that they show on 60 minutes are sociopaths that happen to align themselves with the sovereign citizen idea. The examples in no way prove the rule. Most would live up to libertarian ideas of “leave me alone, an i’ll leave you alone”. There are (or at least used to be.. I’m not sure if its been outlawed yet..) real legal ways to do what they are talking about and legally stop paying taxes. Given, nowadays its probably a one way ticket to the terrorist watch list and govt. harassment.

    They are mostly hardcore constitutionalists, that believe the bill of rights are as important as christians think (most of) the 10 commandments.  Frankly the idea of an armed populace is important for a free society… notice how we don’t seem to be in much of a free society anymore, just a very shiny illusion.

    Sovereign citizens are the natural reaction to our loss of old values, and it pisses them off. What pisses them off even more is the fact that they feel alone in this understanding because they are characterized as nutjobs in the media like what you have probably just watched.

  • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

    We don’t have a democracy, we have a republic. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1048179327 James Laframboise

     The honest-to-god last sentence of the report: “To learn more about citizens’ rights, visit 60minutes.com. Sponsored by Viagra.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1048179327 James Laframboise

     The honest-to-god last sentence of the report: “To learn more about citizens’ rights, visit 60minutes.com. Sponsored by Viagra.”

  • Anonymous

    “The non-payment of debts carries no moral weight. The only moral
    standards recognized in Western society as being relevant to lending are
    those which identify profit made from loans as a sin. Loans themselves
    are mere contracts and therefore cannot carry moral value.”
     -John Ralston Saul

  • razzlebathbone

    “The non-payment of debts carries no moral weight. The only moral
    standards recognized in Western society as being relevant to lending are
    those which identify profit made from loans as a sin. Loans themselves
    are mere contracts and therefore cannot carry moral value.”
     -John Ralston Saul

  • Junnydelmagnificiento

    This is America. The Arab spring could never happen in such a country like this. Turn renegade against the ruling tyrants, and expect a media witch hunt with the masses compliantly agreeing.

    Remember the Wisconsin protests? A conservative Youtuber lost his shit and I lost count of how many times he called the protestors “thugs”, not to mention the GOP mouthpiece’s take on it. Fighting for your rights is thuggery, America? Guess what? Those DERRTY TOWELHEAD SANDNEGGERS are, in principle, more American than you.

  • Junnydelmagnificiento

    This is America. The Arab spring could never happen in such a country like this. Turn renegade against the ruling tyrants, and expect a media witch hunt with the masses compliantly agreeing.

    Remember the Wisconsin protests? A conservative Youtuber lost his shit and I lost count of how many times he called the protestors “thugs”, not to mention the GOP mouthpiece’s take on it. Fighting for your rights is thuggery, America? Guess what? Those DERRTY TOWELHEAD SANDNEGGERS are, in principle, more American than you.

  • ewk

     that’s a disgusting thing to say. fuck you

  • Toggle

     @GoodDoktorBad:disqus ….agreed….60 minutes picked one of the worst examples they could find to make the case for the patriot act and government institutions…ass licking toadies.
    There are a lot of psychopaths in the government as well….but let’s not cloud the issue with equal time to present a more truthful picture of what the sovereign citizen movement is trying to do.  If they did that the sheeple might not fear the idea.

  • Feathermerchantusmc

    Hmmm- don’t know how “slanted” the 60 Minutes piece was. But I find it interesting that if the folks who don’t pay taxes, carry a driver’s license or hold a Social Security card and have little regard for the police or the courts were overwhelmingly black or brown or born in Mexico or relied on a just society to protect their human rights and dignity, we don’t call them sovereign citizens – we call them prison inmates.

  • Feathermerchantusmc

    Hmmm- don’t know how “slanted” the 60 Minutes piece was. But I find it interesting that if the folks who don’t pay taxes, carry a driver’s license or hold a Social Security card and have little regard for the police or the courts were overwhelmingly black or brown or born in Mexico or relied on a just society to protect their human rights and dignity, we don’t call them sovereign citizens – we call them prison inmates.

  • Freedom Isn’t for the Ignorant

    “but those highways were built by the GOVERNMENT” You are retarded, the highways were built by flesh and blood human beings who were paid by “the government”. And where did the government get the money to pay them? FROM THE PEOPLE through taxes. THE GOVERNMENT DOES NOTHING. Actually, “the government” doesn’t even exist, it’s just a bunch of PEOPLE who work under the name “the government.”

  • Freedom Isn’t for the Ignorant

    I’m not for violence at all, but that fact that you ruled it out is wrong. You said “should be resisted by all the legal means at our disposal.” This is illogical. If sovereign citizens are opposing the governent to secure their natural born rights, it doesn’t make sense to obey their opponents rules. That’s like being in a fist-fight and having your opponent say “you can’t punch, it’s the law” while they wail on you face. Now, violence isn’t the right answer unless it’s in self-defense. The right way to do it is exactly what MOST sovereign citizens are doing: claiming their independence back and saying they don’t agree with the “legal system.” “Legal” does not equal “Law.” A Law is something that cannot be broken and is a fact, like the law of gravity. “Legal statutes” are rules, and they were made to be broken in the name of freedom.

  • Freedom Isn’t for the Ignorant

    This video is a smear on the very people that are trying to protect the natural born rights of Americans and all human beings. The system in America is approaching economic slavery very quickly if we’re not there already. Media companies like CBS are all owned by the rich guys on top who want to control you through “the law” so they call people that are trying to defend their rights “domestic terrorists” to get all the viewers to think they’re the bad guys. FUCK THE MEDIA.

  • Freedom Isn’t for the Ignorant

    This video is a smear on the very people that are trying to protect the natural born rights of Americans and all human beings. The system in America is approaching economic slavery very quickly if we’re not there already. Media companies like CBS are all owned by the rich guys on top who want to control you through “the law” so they call people that are trying to defend their rights “domestic terrorists” to get all the viewers to think they’re the bad guys. FUCK THE MEDIA.

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