In the fall of 1997 the American public was treated to some canned outrage over abuses committed by the Internal Revenue Service. As suddenly as if someone had thrown a switch, the news media began interviewing weeping victims of the IRS. Senators and Congressmen blustered at the IRS on network television. House hearings were convened and more victims of IRS oppression were trotted out to cry and tell their story. With great fanfare legislation was introduced and passed "reforming" the agency. Now we have a "new and improved", "soft and cuddly" tax agency that is even open on Saturdays for "problem solving day" (refreshments provided). The cameras panned to balloon-festooned IRS offices where concerned agents poured over paperwork with taxpayers, nodding their heads in sympathy and listening intently. Next we see beaming taxpayers leaving the IRS office, telling the cameras how happy they are with the "new" IRS. [Fade in "America the Beautiful" and cut to American flag waving in the breeze]. Is this for real or were we all watching a really bad "B" movie this fall?
The almost comical propaganda of the old Soviet Union has come home to roost in "Amerika." It's not funny now because it's here and many Americans sleep on, tranquilized by images on their Orwellian telescreen. There are some who are not sleeping, however, and they are the real reason behind the recent propaganda blitz. The number of Americans who are not filing their tax returns have reached approximately ten to twenty million by some estimates. This is of great concern to the powers that be and, while this may be caused by a number of factors, there is unmistakable evidence of an income tax rebellion. More and more Americans are refusing to file form 1040 with the IRS.
The media blitz that focused on IRS abuses was a diversionary tactic. It was intended to draw attention away from the corporate-banking-government conglomerate and its system of slavery and oppression, as well as the fraudulent tax system that supports it. The IRS was made the lightning rod for public anger. Cosmetic changes were made, while the IRS was actually given more power than before and the oppressive income tax left untouched. This has not gone unnoticed by tax protesters, who for years have preached against the federal income tax and the IRS. The best sermon against the federal income tax, however, was preached by the government itself in 1993 when it immolated the Branch Davidians near Waco, Texas. Windblown embers from that blaze have set this nation alight with anti-government sentiment and resentment of the income tax has spread accordingly.
While a majority of your average Americans agree that the federal income tax is necessary and should be paid according to the law, that type of consensus is not present within the minority that dispute that belief. The legal arguments surrounding the tax are as many and varied as are the people that hold them and, often, they contradict one another. We may generally say there are two schools of legal thought within this minority: those who believe the federal income tax law is legally binding, but also oppressive and not what the Founding Fathers had in mind. The other class believes it is either unconstitutional and invalid, generally or not applicable to them specifically. Here we will attempt to explore a few of the points of contention over the federal income tax.
Of all the points of disputation, the 16th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution is a major one. This amendment was ratified in 1913 for the ostensible purpose of clarifying congressional authority to levy income taxes. Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution gives congress the power to "lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises" as long as they are "uniform throughout the United States." These are classified as "indirect taxes" and, depending on which school of thought you're from, this includes taxes on personal income derived from wages.
Congress is also prohibited by Article 1, Section 8 from levying a "direct tax" unless that tax is "apportioned" or applied among the several states according to population and congressional representation. Direct taxes are considered to be those applied to the state governments directly or to property. Before 1913 taxes on personal income derived from property, such as land rents and stocks, also fell within the "direct tax" category. The apportionment requirement rendered impractical a federal tax on incomes derived from property.
In 1894 the congress passed a tax on incomes derived from wages as well as property. The tax was not apportioned and was struck down by the Supreme Court the following year in Pollock v. Farmers Loan and Trust Company. The High Court ruled that taxes on occupations and labor are "indirect" and are not in need of apportionment, but the taxes applied to property-related income were, in a sense, a tax upon the property itself and were, therefore, a "direct tax" in need of apportionment. The court threw the whole income tax law out, not believing congress had intended for the wage earner to bear the entire tax burden.
The income tax was originally intended to tax the wealthy. Populist Party agitators campaigned for a constitutional amendment that would classify all income taxes as "indirect" and not in need of apportionment. The resulting 16th Amendment was ratified in 1913. The amendment reads: "The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration." The way was prepared for a broad income tax which has been upheld by the Supreme Court ever since.
High Court unanimity has in no way silenced the cacophony of grass roots opinions to the contrary. One argument frequently presented is the 1915 Supreme Court decision in Stanton v. Baltic Mining Co. where the court ruled that the 16th Amendment "conferred no new power of taxation...." Since the income tax law of 1894 was not legal before the 16th Amendment -- some people reason -- and the Supreme Court later says the 16th Amendment confers no new power, evidently income is still not subject to taxation. But, in the Stanton decision, the court went on to declare that the 16th Amendment "simply prohibited the previous and plenary power of income taxation possessed by Congress from the beginning from being taken out of the category of indirect taxation to which it inherently belonged." In other words, congress has always possessed broad powers to tax income and the 16th Amendment simply corrected the court's error of classifying taxes on income derived from property as "direct taxes" subject to apportionment.
Another theory defines "indirect taxes" as an excise laid on events or activities, on commodities such as alcohol, tobacco, and firearms, or on entities chartered by the federal government. This argument claims congress was restricted by the 16th Amendment to levying "indirect taxes" for its source of revenue, and that "direct taxes" are the sole prerogative of the several states. "Direct taxes" are here defined as income taxes on the state citizens' wages and other income. The federal government has no authority to tax the state citizens' income "directly." It may only "directly" tax the states.
Evidently, this is a view not shared by congress which passed its first income tax in 1862. The law levied a tax "upon the annual gains, profits of income of every person residing in the United States, whether derived from any kind of property, rents, interest, dividends, salaries, or from any profession, trade, employment, or vocation carried on in the United States or elsewhere, or from any other source whatever." This tax was upheld by the Supreme Court in Springer v. United States (1880) and in 1895 when the Supreme Court overturned the income tax law of 1894. It declared that taxes levied against income derived from wages or labor were "indirect" taxes and, therefore, constitutional. Only unapportioned taxes on property-derived income were declared unconstitutional in that decision.
It has also been asserted by some that the 16th Amendment was fraudulently ratified. This theory is based on the fact that the states which ratified the amendment were working with text that varied slightly from the original text, and that Kentucky never completed the ratification process. At any rate, ratification was a squeaker with the amendment barely coming up with the thirty-six states needed for ratification. There are conflicting accounts on whether Kentucky (one of the thirty-six states) passed the amendment, but there has never been any disputation of the ratification on Kentucky's part.
It is easy to see that there are varying and conflicting legal opinions on the intent of the 16th Amendment and the legality of the federal income tax, even among those from the same school of thought. To summarize thus far, it is asserted that the income tax was declared unconstitutional in 1895 and, since "no new power of taxation" was conferred, there must be no income tax. Others dispute what defines "direct" and "indirect taxes" with definitions ranging from "taxes on all income" to "an excise laid on certain events and activities, commodities, and select occupations." Finally, it is theorized that the 16th Amendment was fraudulently ratified and is, therefore, invalid all together.
The above is merely a brief sampler of the background and legal controversy swirling around the 16th Amendment, itself just one of the many points of contention in the great federal income tax debate. There are many other issues involved as well, not the least of which is the issue of jurisdiction. One legal argument claims that citizens of the fifty states are sovereign citizens, not "subjects" of the United States government; that the U.S. government is an entity foreign to the fifty states; and that its jurisdiction extends only over the designated territories such as the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, etc. There are also enclaves that the states have ceded to the federal government such as "forts, magazines, arsenals, dock-yards and other needful buildings" (military bases, federal buildings and installations) as called for in the Constitution. Sovereign citizens of the fifty states are not the subjects of the federal income tax, which applies only to the "subjects" of the United States government living in territories and possessions over which the United States is sovereign.
This concept is challenged by Thomas R. Eddlem in his article "Patriot Beware" (The New American, 2-17-97). Mr. Eddlem points out that the article of the Constitution which grants the federal government the right to "exclusive legislation" in the District of Columbia and U.S. possessions does not restrict its power of general taxation among the states. He contends that the exclusive jurisdiction is "in addition to other enumerated federal powers within the states, not a limitation upon them." Mr. Eddlem also contends that "to suggest that the Founding Fathers drafted a federal constitution only for the District of Columbia and its territories is ludicrous. The District of Columbia did not even exist at the time [the Constitution was written] and was [later] established to provide a seat for the national government." Several months ago The WINDS wrote to the IRS asking if sovereign state citizens were required to pay federal income tax. They have not responded as of 12/31/97.
The definition of "income" is also a subject of debate. It is claimed by some that when money is exchanged for labor it is not "income" as would be stock dividends or profit on a sale of property. Wages are given in exchange for labor, a form of property, and cannot be taxed and are protected by the "takings" clause of the Fifth Amendment which states that "private property [shall not] be taken for public use without just compensation." Labor is considered "property" and wages are merely given in exchange for it. This argument claims that taxes on labor are taxes on a person; they are outside of the scope of the federal government's taxing authority which is limited to excise taxes on events, activities, commodities, etc. In spite of its logic, this argument stands in contrast to U.S.C. Title 26, Section 61 which defines gross income as "all income from whatever source derived, including ... (1) compensation for services" (wages). Moreover, the courts have always ruled that wages are income and subject to the federal income tax.
Another prominent argument asserts that income tax is "voluntary." This springs out of the belief that citizens of the fifty states have been "fooled" into "volunteering" to file a return when, in fact, the graduated income tax is only binding on "subjects" of the federal government living in the District of Columbia and the territories and possessions over which it is sovereign. This belief is also based on the statement by former IRS Commissioner M. Caplin who said, "our tax system is based on individual self assessment and voluntary compliance." This same statement was also issued in the Supreme Court ruling Flora v. U.S. which said, "our tax system is based upon voluntary assessment and payment and not upon distraint." Those rebutting this theory claim that these statements mean to say that the tax system depends on tax payers to file their returns voluntarily, rather than a tax collector coming to the door, and that income tax itself is not voluntary.
Finally, Section 6012 of Title 26 U.S.C. states: "Returns with respect to the income taxes under subtitle A [governing tax computations] shall be made by the following: (1)(A) Every individual having for the taxable year gross income which equals or exceeds the exemption amount." Section 7203 calls for up to a $25,000 fine and one year in prison for anyone "who willfully fails to pay such estimated tax or tax, make such return, keep such records, or supply such information."
After studying the myriad arguments against the federal income tax, one might think that certain individuals hope to pull the correct legal lever that will magically transport themselves and their property back to 1787 where they will live happily ever after. This will never happen. Historically, it is the courts that interpret the law and the Constitution in this country, and they have consistently upheld the federal income tax as it stands today. This is why so many tax protesters have had their property seized by the IRS or wind up in jail, their legal knowledge notwithstanding. While a few may have won limited legal victories in individual cases, they have yet to convince the Supreme Court that the income tax is unconstitutional and the Supreme Court has the final word in the American legal system.
The sacred rights of mankind are not to be rummaged for, among old parchments, or musty records. They are written, as with a sun beam in the whole volume of human nature, by the hand of divinity itself; and can never be erased or obscured by mortal power. -Alexander Hamilton, 1775.
While we find no legal panacea for the challenges to our freedom, there is a law that stands supreme over the laws of human government -- the law of morality and conscience. Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence and third president of the United States stated unequivocally, "I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man." The freedom of man to think, live and worship according to his conscience was the cornerstone of the American Republic.
In the Declaration of Independence the Founding Fathers recognized that man was endowed by his Creator with certain unalienable rights, and that governments are instituted among men for the purpose of securing those rights. Government also derives its powers from the consent of the governed and, when it tramples on God-given rights or rules without consent, it is "the right of the people to alter or to abolish it..." as it has become inimical to its purpose. These are truths the Founding Fathers recognized as "self evident" -- not created by men, but standing on their own moral authority, universally recognized by all.
Samuel Adams, Father of the American Revolution wrote, "If men, through fear, fraud, or mistake, should in terms give up or renounce any natural right, the eternal law of reason and the grand end of society would absolutely vacate such renunciation. The right of freedom being a gift of God, it is not in the power of man to alienate this gift and voluntarily become a slave." God-given rights also bring with them a moral responsibility to be good stewards of those rights. In a sense, it is immoral to cease exercising our freedom because we have been threatened with loss of property, loss of freedom, or loss of life.
Gandhi once wrote, "When a man submits to another through fear, he does not follow his nature but yields to brute force. He who has no desire to dominate others by brute force will not himself submit to such force either. Recognizing, therefore, that man who fears brute force has not attained self-knowledge at all."
"While boasting of our noble deeds, we are careful to conceal the ugly fact that by an iniquitous money system we have nationalized a system of oppression which,though more refined, is not less cruel than the old system of chattel slavery." Horace Greeley - founder of the New York Tribune
Many Americans who pay their federal income tax every year are blithely unaware of what they are supporting. The ABC News segment, "It's Your Money" promotes the common misconception that government is spending tax- payers' money. It is not. The government spends credit loaned to it at interest by the private Federal Reserve banks with your future labors used as collateral. The official U.S. government debt now stands at over five trillion dollars, and personal income tax payments are deposited directly into the Federal Reserve bank as payment on the compounding interest on that debt. In President Ronald Reagan's 1984 report to the Grace Commission he stated, "100% of what is collected is absorbed solely by interest on the Federal Debt and by Federal transfer payments. In other words, all individual income tax revenues are gone before one nickel is spent on the services taxpayers expect from government."
To add to this, the Clinton Administration has committed tens of billions of taxpayer dollars to prop up shaky economies, first in Mexico and then in Asia. In a recent move to bail-out South Korea, the administration contributed from $1.7 to $5 billion in taxpayer funds from the U.S. Treasury's Exchange Stabilization Fund. This is in addition to loans from the U.S. taxpayer-funded IMF. It is reported that the U.S. Treasury is putting the money directly into the hands of the foreign banks that are holding South Korean debt, a sharp departure from the practice of governments dealing directly with each other.
Once again, the U.S. taxpayer is treated to news broadcasts showing how much those poor South Koreans need our help. Wall Street investment banker and Treasury Secretary Robert E. Rubin warned, "We've got 37,000 troops on the ground in South Korea, and we don't want economic chaos when you've got one of the most unpredictable Stalinist regimes on earth with the fourth largest army a few clicks from American forces." Blatant propaganda such as this is meant to excite pity and fear, thereby, reducing public opposition to their own fleecing. No one seems to notice the contradiction to other propoganda which has North Korea starving to death dependent on American food to survive.
South Korea is saddled with $150 billion worth of debt to foreign banks and investors, 60% of which is due within a year. When the value of its currency, the won, fell on the currency exchanges, South Korea was unable to make its debt payments. Foreign banks and Wall Street investors should have "bit the bullet" and renegotiated terms of repayment, but, instead, a "bail-out" was launched that would ensure the money grubbers would make their profits, all at taxpayer expense.
Few Americans realize that they surrender over a third of their wages to a collection agency (IRS) that, in turn, deposits it directly into a private banking consortium (the Federal Reserve). Personal income taxes are applied toward the interest on bank-created credits that were spent by the federal government years ago, often on bail-outs and other schemes that only benefit the banking interests. Our government has been completely usurped by a sinister financial element. Society, at large, is controlled on the one hand by government regulation and taxation, and by economic pressures and the media on the other. These mediums of control are dominated by a few financial wizards who manipulate rivers of wealth behind the scenes.
When the truth of our enslavement is fully grasped, perhaps one can understand why President Andrew Jackson raged against the ambitious bankers of his day. To those seeking to establish a national bank in 1829 he said, "You are a den of vipers and thieves and I intend to rout you out, and by the eternal God, I will rout you out!" In a speech before congress Andrew Jackson declared, "If the people only understood the rank injustice of our money and banking system, there would be a revolution before morning!"
"The powers of financial capitalism had (a) far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole." Prof. Carroll Quigley in Tragedy and Hope.
Free men and women do not support the enslavement and oppression of their fellow citizens. Infamous demonstrations of this oppression were witnessed at Waco and Ruby Ridge, the horrors of which were compounded by government cynicism and cover-up. The list of oppression goes on and on, from our rapidly expanding prison population to the use of military forces in law enforcement. From expanded surveillance and wiretapping authority to massive seizures of private property. Our constitutional republic has quietly evolved into a post-modern police state. The executive branch mocks the Constitution daily, ruling by decree and subverting what is left of congressional authority. The president hobnobs with terrorists and homosexuals while he vilifies the few patriotic citizens who call for a return to constitutional government. One patriot has accurately described the political elite of this country as "psychotic", demonstrating a vast array of "sadistic, brutal, obsessive-compulsive, hypocritical, self-serving, power-hungry, two-faced, duplicitous, sociopathic tendencies." Welcome to the real world!
It is also immoral to support the enslavement of other nations. Little do Americans realize how their own foreign policy establishment and military are used to enslave other nations to the great beast of global finance and control. Americans see their troops abroad as "peacekeepers" handing out food and giving medical treatment to refugees. They see U.S. troops in Bosnia mingling with children at Christmas time or containing Saddam in the Middle East. They see their government spending billions on developing countries and struggling economies. Americans do not see the complex subjugation behind the scenes.
For example, before the U.S. and the IMF would loan South Korea the money it needed to avoid collapse, it had to agree to an "appropriate set of macroeconomic and structural policies", according to Secretary Rubin. Interpreted, this means South Korea must open its economy up to globalization. It will also have to bust the labor unions who will certainly oppose massive layoffs that result from corporate downsizing. "Efficiency" -- the Orwellian watchword of the global sweatshop -- must be increased to ensure foreign investors the kind of profits they desire. The government may no longer protect key industries or restrict the flow of capital. In light of the extortionate demands placed on South Korea by the financial wizards, it makes the sudden financial troubles of the region look highly suspect. Did someone set them up?
Americans see their "peacekeepers" on television and their compassionate politicians offering financial help to struggling countries. They do not see the dapper men in dark suits setting terms for loan repayments, dictating "human resource" policies, defining terms for capital investment or demanding the privatization of public assets. When the U.S. comes to the rescue of any other nation, either militarily or financially, it comes with an offer that few are in a position to turn down. Only history will completely reveal the path of misery and ruin left by the "benevolence" of our financial and political elite.
"I cannot and I will not retract, for it is unsafe for a Christian to speak against his conscience." Dr. Martin Luther (16th Century A.D.) before the German Emperor.
Chief Justice Warren E. Burger wrote that America's Founding Fathers "did not invent all the ideas and ideals" embraced by the Constitution, but that they "drew on the wisdom of the ages to combine the best of the past in a conception of government..." The Protestant Reformation in the 16th century provided a large backdrop for the American Revolution in the 18th century. Martin Luther, the father of the Reformation, boldly defined in medieval times the truths that the Founding Fathers declared to be "self evident" -- the freedom of man to live according to his conscience and to "obey God rather than men" when the commands of both were contrary to each other.
When Luther was put on trial for his seditious and heretical teachings, the national council demanded that he retract. In his reply he stated, "I cannot submit my faith either to the pope or to the councils, because it is clear as the day that they have frequently erred and contradicted each other. Unless therefore I am convinced by the testimony of Scripture or by the clearest reasoning, unless I am persuaded by means of the passages I have quoted, and unless they thus render my conscience bound by the word of God, I cannot and I will not retract, for it is unsafe for a Christian to speak against his conscience. Here I stand, I can do no other; may God help me."
Pope Pius IX recognized these Protestant principles in the American Revolution. In an Encyclical Letter of August 15, 1854, he fumed, "The absurd and erroneous doctrines or ravings in defense of liberty of conscience are a most pestilential error -- a pest, of all others, most to be dreaded in a state." He should know as those "absurd" doctrines brought down the papal world government of the Dark Ages and helped the American colonists deal with another despot.
In medieval times the church possessed civil as well as ecclesiastical power. It could lay taxes as well as hold court, fine, imprison and even execute capital punishment. The intrusion of the church into civil affairs bore a resemblance to our present government's unnatural intrusion into the affairs of the conscience. Instead of a church- dominated state, we now have a socialist state that has usurped the role of defining morality and is every bit as threatening to the liberty of conscience. Evolutionary humanism - the worship of collective human power - is the state's religious surrogate and is taught in the schools, churches and the work place. Instead of corrupt priests and prelates dominating every aspect of public life, society today is dominated by a money cult with its various ranks of political and ideological lackeys. Society's plunge into the amoral abyss has brought a crisis once again.
Martin Luther was a patriotic man who was faced with our moral dilemma. He was a "true son of Rome", a devout Catholic and an ordained priest, and the idea of opposing the established order had never entered his mind. Soon after entering the priesthood, he became angered by the way the church used and manipulated the superstitious multitudes, all for the sake of money and control. He did the unthinkable at that time -- he attacked as fraudulent the power of an "infallible" pope. He exposed the lies of corrupt and self-serving priests. He also taught that man is first accountable to God and that the conscience is sacred ground, to be illuminated and guided by sacred principles and not controlled by the dogmas and decrees of men.
Instead of bringing reform, he brought down on himself the wrath of the church hierarchy and the multitudes who felt their security blanket being stripped away. However, there was a substantial decrease in money flowing into the church treasury. It wasn't long before he was served with a papal edict pronouncing his condemnation. Before publicly burning the pope's edict in the city square he said, "I despise and attack it, as impious, false ... I rejoice in having to bear such ills for the best of causes. Already I feel greater liberty in my heart; for at last I know that the pope is antichrist, and that his throne is that of Satan himself." (D'Aubigne, book 6, chapter 9).
There were conservative churchmen of Luther's time that decried the corruption in the church but remained loyal to the system itself. Mr. Alonzo Jones, a Christian writer and statesman of the late 19th century wrote that this class of men believed "the church was 'the ark of God,' 'the ship of Salvation.' The pilot, the captain, and the crew, might all be pirates, and use every motion of the ship only for piratical purposes, and load her to the sinking point with piratical plunder, and keep her ever headed straight toward perdition, yet 'the grand old ship' herself was all right and would come safely to the heavenly port. Therefore, 'cling to the ark,' 'stand by the old ship,' and you will be safe and will land at last on the heavenly shore.
"...So long as this delusion was systematically inculcated, blindly received, and fondly hugged, of course reformation was impossible. But as soon as there arose men with the courage of conviction and the confidence of truth and spoke out plainly and flatly that the Roman system is not The Church at all in any feature or in any sense, then the Reformation had begun."
Political conservatives of our generation imbibe the same error. It goes something like this: "The New American has long opposed the federal income tax, but it should be eliminated through the legislative process and not civil disobedience." ("Patriot Beware!" by Thomas R. Eddlem 2-17-97). Many conservatives decry the corruption and abuses within this nation's political system, but they still "stand by the old ship", condemning anyone who appears disloyal to it. They point to the system's rich traditions and quote the heroes of yesteryear and they warn of the consequences of disloyalty. "You might go to jail," they say, as though it were an unanswerable moral argument. They remain in good standing with the system itself because they are the greatest bulwark against true reform.
As in Luther's day, the established system of our time has become hopelessly subverted and corrupt. The political process in the U.S. has become a gigantic fraud, a system that uses and manipulates the multitudes while deceiving them into thinking they are the ones in charge. The federal government is dominated by a corrupt political and bureaucratic elite that is carrying out the reconstruction of society, harnessing the masses to the whims of a few financial manipulators. This government, originally chartered to secure God-given rights and the liberty of conscience, has become antagonistic to those principles and, therefore, to its only purpose for existence.
While it may be true that a majority of Americans are happy for things to continue as they are, the majority have no right to trample on the consciences of the few who cannot submit themselves to be slaves. This minority cannot, in good conscience, support a system that enslaves others. This minority cannot knowingly surrender half of their labors to a system that is destroying mankind. They must be true to the Divine ideal of freedom. They must obey God rather than men.
There may be some that believe gun ownership is a protection against government tyranny. Others study the myriad laws in regards to taxes and sovereignty as a remedy for oppression. Some think that if we can restore the U.S. Constitution to its original interpretation, we will all be safe at last. Others prepare for an economic and social collapse by stockpiling food and weapons and learning survival skills. People who do this are afraid and hope to find that safe place where they may live safely and unmolested with their families and property. In seeking to empower themselves in some way, most put their trust in a vain hope.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, writing from experience, described the great test that all men and women must meet in some fashion when living by a pure conscience in a corrupt slave society. He wrote, "So what is the answer? How can you stand your ground when you are weak and sensitive to pain, when people you love are still alive, when you are unprepared? What do you need to make you stronger than the interrogator and the whole trap?
"From the moment you go to prison you must put your cozy past firmly behind you. At the very threshold, you must say to yourself: 'My life is over, a little early to be sure, but there's nothing to be done about it. I shall never return to freedom. I am condemned to die -- now or a little later. But later on, in truth, it will be even harder, and so the sooner the better. I no longer have any property whatsoever. For me those I love have died, and for them I have died. From today on, my body is useless and alien to me. 'Only my spirit and my conscience remain precious and important to me....' Confronted by such a prisoner, the interrogation will tremble.... Only the man who has renounced everything can win that victory." (The Gulag Archipelago, Vol.1, New York Harper Perennial , 1973, 1974, p.130).
There are many who cling to their guns and hate taxes and the government, but are operating out of rebellion instead of conscience. These are tyrants themselves and would not be happy in any society, always suspicious and resentful of civil authority. If there were a breakdown in the current social order, these will be first to declare themselves dictator. Others complain about the corruption in politics but will not do anything that endangers their toys or their little kingdoms, not to mention their lives. Both of these classes melt when the heat comes, and they would do better to learn to be good slaves than worthless complainers.
As citizens, we are obligated to perform certain duties in society. This includes paying taxes and obeying the laws, even the ones we don't like. Without these we would not have a civilization. But when conscience is stirred by higher principles of right and wrong, and there is an irreconcilable conflict between the earthly government and the heavenly, then it is time for men and women of principle to "obey God rather than men." These must refuse obedience to the earthly entities where they have aligned themselves against righteousness and truth. History has always vindicated the few who have made a conscientious stand against tyranny and corruption.
Of the ten to twenty million people who failed to file their federal income tax return last year, it is reasonable to assume that many "failed" deliberately. If any of these deliberate non-filers were acting according to conscience rather than rebellion or self-interest, if they can no longer work to support a corrupt and despotic system without compromising their moral principles, then they must make their stand on those principles rather than endless and flawed legal theories or supposed constitutional guarantees. Regardless of what the law says, they find themselves bound to refuse filing or paying the tax which they believe is the source of power for the beast which grinds the innocent under its oppressive heal. The Supreme Court of the universe, the Court that has the final word on matters of conscience, is the great interpreter of the Word which says, "Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the the things that are God's".
• Vultures in Eagles Clothing by Lynne Meredith
• Patriot Beware! by Thomas R. Eddlem The New American 2-17-97
• Letters to the Editor, The New American 3-17-97
• South Korea Bail-out... Washington Times 12-14-97
• World Banks, Governments Rally to Save South Korea ABCNews 12-29-97
• IRS Agent Confesses... Save-A-Patriot Fellowship
• The Great Controversy by E. G. White
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