Thursday, July 20, 2006

IRS Reportedly Wins Against ALH&Co. - Investors Lose All

IRS Reportedly Wins Against ALH&Co. - Investors Lose All

By Phil Osborn
Posted Saturday, September 17, 2005 on Skinny-Dipping the Deep End of the Memes
Discussion: US Domestic
For a more complete discussion of the Anthony Hargis story, see my previous article

I recently received a letter from the Justice Dept. informing me that no one had shown up to represent Anthony Hargis & Company at the most recent hearing and so the Judge had decided to decide the issues himself. Then, this past week, the Court Receiver informed me that the Judge had decided to award everything to the IRS, even though they have not presented any proof for their claims, while the hundreds of various investors have offered proof as to their equity. So it goes in 21st Century Amerika.

This is almost a paradigm textbook case, from what I've been able to gather. The IRS makes a claim - "Warehouse Bank" - which is basically a crime of their own invention, then seizes all the assets, leaving the defendants with nothing to fight with legally, no way to hire an attorney or do the research necessary and pay the court costs. Meanwhile, the courts assume that the IRS position is correct from the start, and the destitute defendants are now required to go hat in hand to the court and attempt to "prove" their innocence.

In this case - Anthony L. Hargis & Co. - Anthony apparently made the error of attacking certain sacred cows, namely the Federal Reserve System as well as the IRS itself, online at his business website. No matter that he had founded his business explicitly with the intent - or so I understood it - of getting people out of their dependence upon the Federal Reserve, and away from the use of "dollar" accounting via gold-denominated accounts, neither practice being in the slightest illegal. Thus, his critiques of the established order were part and parcel of the business and an important part of its advertising, just as much as an auto company might promote the 'joys of driving.'.

The court, however, had apparently already determined the "truth" in these matters, and so Anthony was essentially ordered to tell everyone that he was wrong, wrong, wrong, and stop the practice of putting out these dreadful lies. Instead, he went to jail for about six months, never charged with any crime, while the various federal agencies systematically looted his assets and then laid unproven claim to all of them.

My question: in the light of this and many, many similar actions in recent years by the courts and federal, state, and local agencies, as well as the ridiculous provisions of the "Patriot Act," (appropriately named, as it makes being a Patriot illegal) is there any further justification that anyone can name that would convince some kid who was aware of the state of affairs to have the slightest respect for the law? And I mean ANY kid, whether from Whitebread Middle Amerika, the Watts ghetto, or Baghdad.

Not that this is a bad thing... I certainly don't have any respect for the law. I respect morals and ethical conduct and human rights, which is the exact opposite of what our legal system has come to stand for. However, fine discriminations are not so likely among the illiterate Jihadi, whose abominations are excused by their holy motives. If it's ok for the U.S. to commit terrorism - under which class torture certainly should fall, to forget about inalienable human rights - the central concept of the founding of the U.S., and to justify it on the grounds of a holy mission to promote "democracy," whatever that means minus human rights, then why is it wrong for him - or her - to blow themselves up in the middle of a wedding party?

However, a LOT of the kids - and adults - are simply becoming totally cynical. Everyone's a hypocrite and a jerk or else a gullible victim. So, which would you rather be?

This sounds all too much like that age-old scam of religion: make anything that people enjoy and want into a sin, and then cash in on the guilt.

Some of the kids are rejecting the whole shtick and becoming the equivalent of modern day hippies, living in communal houses, doing volunteer work, protesting against perceived injustice, and often getting sucked into the very scams that they struggle to escape.

The problem - and here I'm going to sound so much like a conservative, I'm afraid - is that it is so much easier to destroy than to build, to loot rather than to produce, etc. So much of the incentive to be truly productive is bound up in the expectation of stability and certainty on a social level. You expect that if you work hard and deal honestly and benevolently with your fellow man and make your life decisions based on reason and evidence, then your chances of living long and prospering are good. And much of your enjoyment of life comes from your knowledge that you are responsible for yourself and your community, that you can look anyone in the eye, that you don't have to hide who you are for fear of arrest or persecution.

But then the War on Drugs, then ENRON, followed by the Neo-Con silly agenda, the Patriot Act, serial incompetence such as in the Katrina disaster, and a dozen minor tragedies day by day that wear you down and ultimately undermine and defeat that faith, or cause you to grasp at straws and fight strawmen, because you really no longer believe that the good will triumph or that your commitments are anything but a delusion and a waste. You should've been partying and figuring out the next scam against the contemptible suckers - like yourself.

What happens now when the dollar REALLY tanks? When gas is $10/gallon? When a dirty bomb takes out Los Angeles? Or when the Big One out here in SoCal makes Katrina look like a frat party? How much is still in the tank of good will and expectations in a culture that increasingly seems to paint "VICTIM HERE" on the backs of anyone who tries to do the right thing?

More Updates on the Anthony L. Hargis Case

Disaster be my life
The week so far...

By Phil Osborn
Posted Thursday, March 16, 2006 on Skinny-Dipping the Deep End of the Memes
Discussion: US Domestic
Update: April 23rd... Wow! Has it been that long? No, I didn't break my foot, altho it hurt like it for a while. As to the ongoing ALH&Co. case, I filed my motion in response to the Receiver's motion to make me and a lot of other people "partners" in ALH&Co. after the fact. I realize that the Receiver was simply trying to satisfy the IRS, and the IRS filed their own motion, in fact, in essence assuring the Receiver and the Judge that if we were all declared "partners," then the IRS would hardly have grounds to object, in as much as it was they who suggested the idea.

This is yet another indication of the general moral breakdown of the nation, especially the judicial system. It is no longer a case of "You broke the law. Therefore, you pay the penalty." Just as, for decades, movie cops who slyly break and enter in order to get the goods on the "bad" guy are portrayed as heroes, willing to risk their career, presumably, to protect us when the kid's gloved methods prescribed by our namby-pamby laws would stop them cold, so also the legal system itself has now become essentially a venue for corruption and privilege, in which it is fine for the authorities to break the law wholesale, so long as they carefully preserve a trail of "independent" evidence.

Of course, once they are tapping your phone, peek and sneaking your home, computer, email host and business, coercing your friends with intimidations and arrests, then it becomes a lot simpler to extract out of the mass of illegally obtained information, a set of data which a plausible trail of legally methods might have actually produced. Not that they likely ever did follow the law, but just the fact that they "could have" conceivably been at the right place and time two dozen times in a row makes the actual illegality moot.

Anyway, in spite of having basically given a rubber stamp to the IRS's early claims and actions vs. ALH&Co., despite their not producing any evidence to support their ridiculous claims, and in the face of the claims of the people who could show evidence that they had money on deposit with ALH&Co., this time the Judge decided simply not to rule on the matter. So the hearing never happened, and I haven't heard anything since, although I suspect that's not the end of it.

It leaves the Receiver hanging, without a clear path regarding the various tax liabilities from the liquidation of the properties. Will they proceed under the partnership concept, potentially leaving all the ALH&Co. customers to figure out what to do with tax assessments and penalties that might bankrupt them? Stay tuned....

March 16, 2006: About two hours ago, I may have broken my foot. More likely it's just a major bruise that will keep me hobbling around for the next several weeks. This is up to par for the week.

Sunday evening I finally got to look at some paperwork that I originally thought was junk mail. But no, this was only made to look like junk mail - no envelope, poor Xerox, tiny print, stapled on one corner and folded so that anyone could read it.


The receiver, Robert P. Mosier, was appointed by the court to dispose of the assets representing Anthony's life work and the savings of some alleged 1190 customers, plus God knows how many shareholders and others with credible claims. As I have covered in detail elsewhere, this case represents what the Feds are REALLY doing with the Patriot Act and similar "anti-terrorist" legislation. I don't think that anyone has yet accused ALH&Co. of being a terrorist organization or funding any such thing.

Briefly, so to speak, (an in-joke for the IRS shysters reading this) ALH&Co. was a shareholding trust, which Anthony established in the late '70's for the stated purpose of, on the one hand, offering people a way of preserving capital against inflation, via putting money into accounts with ALH&Co., and, on the other, of using the funds so provided by depositors and/or shareholders to invest in businesses that had something to do with promoting the non-corporate free market and presumably to make profits for the shareholders.

The shareholding trust is a long-established form of business, popular before the litigious lawyers made owning a business of any kind a hazardous undertaking, thus forcing most businesses of any size into the corporate mold. Such a trust typically limits liability to the Trustees, by forbidding any control of the company to the shareholders. The Trustees being solely in charge, they also bear all the liability in case of some huge punitive award against the company.

Here is a small sampling of sites related to the shareholding trust form of organization: the Football Governance and Research Centre
Ross Holmes business consulting firm
the Washington State Legislature Legal Site
Or, just to illustrate the absurdity of trying to say that there is no such recognized legal entity in California as a "shareholding trust," here is a statement from the CalPERS site - the HUGE (perhaps the largest single business entity in the State of California, in fact) public employee retirement trust for the state employees of California:

The CalPERS fund is a trust, administered under the Board's sole authority. Although CalPERS is exempt from the federal oversight of private pension funds, it turns to these standards and the "common law" of trusts for guidance. (emphasis added)

Could it be clearer than that?

Of course, from my own anarchist standpoint, it might be legally useful to have a Federal Court declare that shareholding trusts were not legal, as that would put CalPERS out of business. Then the IRS could have literally tens of $Billions of potentially collectible penalties to asses on them as well. Hmm. Perhaps NOT such a great idea, after all...

In the 19th century, shareholding trusts were a fairly common form of business structure, isolating the shareholders from liability by insulating the Board of Trustees from shareholder control. Note the CalPERS statement above - "the Board's sole authority."

As the courts moved away from the common law, however, which is strictly a law of equity - of returning things to their proper place, and moved more and more into the business of enforcing state "positive" law, including civil punitive damages to enforce social norms or simple jury prejudice against a defendant, even the Trust form of business became risky, compared to having the joint protections of "limited liability" and immunity from suits already covered by bureaucratic oversight which are granted to a corporation by state fiat.

For over 25 years, ALH&Co. operated its gold depository, which was roughly the equivalent of a typical 19th century-era private bank, and various investments and businesses without particular fuss. Occasionally the IRS would come to visit and ask Anthony questions - or so he reported in casual conversation. However, that was typically the end of the matter. When Anthony, who virtually lived in the Orange County Law Library, did have to go into court, he usually exited a winner.

One notable occasion, however, should have given everyone pause. Around 1993, the feds invaded ALH&Co. bigtime, the machine guns, flak jackets, the whole deal. Of course the door was open, and they could simply have walked in, where people were peacefully conducting business transactions and bookkeeping. The cause of action was allegedly that ALH&Co. was engaged in money laundering and must be in some way connected with drug dealing.

The evidence for this was reportedly that a customer of ALH&Co. in Florida (ALH&Co. was in the OC) had been pulled over under suspicious circumstances and discovered by the officer to be in possession of many thousands of dollars, cash. Having a large amount of cash ($400 is the rule-of-thumb limit) on one's person, in case you don't realize it, is automatic proof that you must be a drug dealer. For real. The policy by the feds - and a lot of local authorities cashing in - is to seize the money, claim a prima facie case for drug dealing, and then try to pile-on other charges - on the flimsiest of suspicions or out of thin air if necessary - in order to force the victim to give up on getting the cash back.

In this case, they reportedly found a receipt from ALH&Co. for the amount of the cash, which had apparently been mailed to the woman from ALH&Co. So, ALH&Co. must be a drug dealer! Makes sense. If the woman is a drug dealer, even though no drugs were found and she had no record or any other prior association with drug dealing, then, by that standard of "proof," ALH&Co. must be involved to the hilt.

In reality, as was later proven in court, the woman had just had a huge personal crisis involving a boyfriend and a pregnancy, and so she was fleeing that situation to someplace safe and needed the cash to disappear. And, after a year or so, the feds returned everything to ALH&Co., without any apology. Of course, they had had a year to investigate the personal records of his customers on the computers they seized, many of whom were "Patriot" types who valued their privacy.

Fast forward to 2004, when the feds again went after Anthony, this time on the basis of that new extension of the Patriot Act that had been passed in early '04 (or so is my understanding). This extension allows the feds from various agencies to demand all your customer records from whatever business you have without a warrant or court order or any alleged crime. This is to keep us safe. From terrorists.

So, they put Anthony in prison for 6 months, because he refused to turn over the names, etc., of his customers - to protect us all, of course. Meanwhile, the IRS, based on its own unproven allegations of tax evasion, went around tracking down every bank that ALH&Co. used and either seizing or freezing the accounts, all without a warrant, naturally, as the IRS is basically a law unto itself.

The IRS then told the judge involved in the case that ALH&Co. was actually a "warehouse bank," set up for and pursuing the purpose of hiding people's assets and dealings for the underlying purpose of promoting tax evasion. For all I know, this may have been true for some of Anthony's customers. One of the drawing cards for attracting customers from the Patriots was doubtless Anthony's advocacy of the legal position that both the IRS and the Federal Reserve System were frauds, and illegal to boot.

However, I was one of Anthony's early customers, and I well recall how painstakingly he went out of his way to discourage customers, shareholders, and potential trust creators (Anthony at one time offered for sale a legal package for how to create a shareholding trust) from thinking that they could use any or all of the above to evade taxes. His point to them was that this was a separate issue to be decided politically and in the courts. His business was providing people the option to keep savings denominated in gold, for the purpose of capital preservation, and to possibly have the opportunity to invest in businesses that were consistent with their moral principles.

Too bad. Last I heard, Anthony is now penniless and has a claim against him by the IRS of some $30 million or so. His total assets, at the time that the Feds seized everything, were possibly worth an estimated $7 million. The seizures resulted in the loss of a good portion of those assets, apparently, as various businesses shut down, etc., leaving perhaps $2 million, it appears, from the final liquidation by the Receiver.

I owned no shares in ALH&CO. and never did own any. I did have a nice nest egg of a gold account, which, at the time of the seizure, was worth about $7k, and would be worth today considerably more, based on gold prices. That savings represented years of work on my part, now down the drain.

Of the 1190 alleged customers that the Receiver identified, many of them were elderly, retired, and had a sizeable portion of their life savings in those accounts (from what Anthony's employees said in passing). One customer of ALH&Co., Bruce, who was a personal friend, although not really close, ran a small printing business, specializing in high quality prints, that had apparently taken out a loan from ALH&Co. and then paid it back. On that basis, as far as I can tell, Bruce was alleged to be some kind of co-conspirator with Anthony's evil criminal empire, and, I was just told this past weekend, hit in 2004 with a $million in penalties, somehow. The entire assets of the business, which was just barely scraping along like so many small traditional print shops in the digital age, were at most in the low tens of $thousands, I'm sure, and that's probably an overestimate, as most of their equipment is decades old and has been nursed along, relying upon the skill of the aging operators to make up the difference.

Bruce never mentioned his personal problem of the $million dollar assessment against him, in his discussions with me, but it clearly took its toll. Bruce had dedicated his spare time for many years in studying the law and trying to find possible solutions for our dysfunctional legal system - for example using the UCC (Uniform Commercial Code) as a contract-based extension of the common law. I looked forward one day to having discussions with him of those issues, as they appeared to dovetail with my own research on the possibility of a universal social contract. However, Bruce died of heart failure, probably in his late 40's, just recently, as I found out this weekend from a mutual friend. Thus, his study and work and the possible results that he might eventually have produced are now lost to all of us. To demonstrate just how thorough, meticulous, careful, and generally on-the-ball the feds actually are, they reportedly showed up at the print shop, again with their whole SWAT team goon squad, and tried to insist that one of the two remaining workers (I think that there were only three, including Bruce), who was apparently trying to carry on with business until all the legal stuff was settled, was in fact Bruce. They insisted that he was lying like a dog in telling them that Bruce was dead. I suppose that it is nice to think that someone actually cares whether you live or die, but I'd prefer that it not be IRS goons, pedophiles or necrophiliacs, personally, not in any particular order of precedence.

So, here comes this NOTICE OF RECEIVER'S PETITION, looking like a junk mailing, and I finally open it up on Sunday and discover that - Oh my God! - I am being named as a partner in the business of ALH&Co. It seems that there is no legal language that the Receiver or his attorney could find that describes a shareholding trust. This is probably because such a trust is a purely private contract. It has no special legal status, unlike a corporation. There are no permissions involved, no waiving of liability by state fiat, and no penalties of the kind that accrue from the pacts with the devils that corporations have to make.

The Receiver is now apparently asking the Judge - the HON. DAVID O. CARTER, PRESIDING JUDGE OF THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA - to go along with the IRS's catchall for businesses that do not fit one of their pigeonholes - a partnership. This "partnership" would consist of all the holders of accounts at ALH&Co., thus opening the door potentially of going after all the assets of the 1190 people, some of whom, admitted by the Receiver, had only a few bucks in an account, or had no evidence of doing anything at all with an original deposit from many years prior.

Then I discovered that the Receiver had sent the package to the wrong address, which, in addition to the delay caused by my misidentifying it, had pushed me right up to the deadline for filing an objection or counter-motion, that deadline being Monday.

So, perhaps I could file for an extension of time, under the circumstances. The length of the brief alone - over twenty pages reduced on a poor Xerox machine to about 6 point type - would probably justify more time allowed for a response from the affected parties. However, as I discovered on Monday, calling about frantically during lunch and break and then leaving work early to try to deal with this, first you have to have extensive knowledge of the proper way to produce the documents you are going to file.

This involves such items as "blue-backing," which apparently is where you put a sheet of blue paper on the back side of each page of your motions and attach a label to it for filing purposes. It all has to be done just so, and I could not find any explanation of exactly the dimensions of the oversized blue paper anywhere. Every web site, including the court's - many courts, in fact - all assume that you know what blue-backing is. Nobody that I could locate has an explanation.

I did find what appears to be the proper Motion in one of the Federal Court Motions books, and, after finding out that there was NO WAY to even get my request for extension in on time, I went ahead and generated the form, had it checked by a paralegal friend, and then submitted it by mail.

My intention, then, is complete the process of objecting to being willy-nilly transformed into a "partner" in a business over which I had no control, and no return on investment. I've been told by several people since then, who are in the same boat, that we can all file an appeal, regardless of the Judge's decision. I recall, however, that appeals have to generally be based on something in the original case and the way it was dealt with, and the timely raising of objections. So, I will try to cover that base, even if my extension is turned down. The fact that it was denied, under the circumstances, as well as my attempt to follow through regardless, may tip the scales on appeal.

Or, perhaps my arguments will actually be heard....

Suggestions - of a positive kind???

Oh, and so, I was in a daze by this afternoon, having been up all hours working on this and then going to work where I manage a 1500 page corporate website and also do the desktop publishing, which includes the yearly catalog just now. So, I got blindsided by someone going just a tad too fast up an alley in front of my motorcycle, crossing in my path, slammed on the brakes, and then discovered the gravel on top of the pavement... Not fun. The bike is ok, as it appears to be a piece of junk anyway - which is my theft-deterrent. I have a couple bumps and scrapes, and possibly a broken foot. Something is hurting anyway. However, on the bright side, now I'm wide awake.

Bring it on.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Anthony L. Hargis & Co. - A Case Study in the Present Danger

By: Phil Osborn

Originally Posted: 8/29/2004 5:07:50 PM on Skinny-Dipping the Deep End of the Memes.

Note: altho this article is still listed on, I have not been able to access it or most of my major articles there for more than a month. My only copy is pure text, without the links or Anthony Hargis's extensive commentary. I will attempt to replace the links as I have time.

Follow-up: January 31st, 2005: Well, now the receiver's office has taken possession of ALH&Co.'s website at Click here, and Anthony and his associates are essentially both under a gag order as to defending their position publically - which the court has already decided constitutes fraudulent behavior, if I understand their document correctly - and are also required to notify all AHL&Co. account holders of the error of their ways. See for yourself at the site. Also, a list of "List of Potential ALH Account Holders" is provided in pdf format. So much for privacy.

The latest wrinkles for me was discovering that such people as I had not gotten around to giving my new address were being notified by the receiver to send mail to their address - apparently without any details as to why. Plus, I got the newest form from the receiver with a message that if I had already submitted a claim against ALH&Co., then all they needed was my tax ID # or SS#, which I'm sure will either scare many potential claimants right out of filing a claim, or pursuing one, or will cause them to refuse on principle, as many of them have revoked or denied the validity of these #'s, and giving one to the receiver (and likely right on to the IRS for sure) would in their minds constitute lying and participating in a fraud. So it goes...

Follow-up: December 13th, 2004. The IRS wants to take everything - and some more.

Surprise, surprise. According to Craig Collins of the receiver's office which was assigned to gather up and preserve, sell, distribute or whatever the judge decides to order with regard to the assets of the former Anthony L. Hargis & Company, the IRS is attempting to assess fines of $1,100 each against about 800 or so identified customers of ALH&Co., on the basis of their participation in an allegedly illegal alleged "Warehouse Bank." (See the reasonably accurate coverage of this matter in the Orange County Register of Friday, the 10th of December, Front page of Business section.)

A "Warehouse Bank" is loosely defined as an operation designed to conceal individual transactions by means of paying out or depositing to accounts held by the bank in other banking institutions, from which accounts checks may be written to pay bills, etc., for the warehouse bank members. Note that the concealment part is essential to the criminality, and the concealment has to be for the purpose of committing some crime, such as tax evasion, for example, which is what the IRS is alleging.

So, all these people were thoroughly investigated by the IRS and, after such investigation, were deemed to have committed such illegal acts, and so naturally they have the perfect right to assess these fines.... NOT! First off, although I personally have not been contacted by the IRS, given my own casual knowledge of the other customers of ALH&Co., I'm guessing that I am on that list, along with them, simply on the assumption that we are criminals. Please note that many of ALH&Co.'s customers were attracted to his business on the basis of an easy way to invest in gold, without the risks of personal storage and with lower premiums than the coin shops charged. No matter. To get our money, we have to apparently PROVE our innocense.

Breaking news: September 4th, 2004. Anthony Hargis has reportedly been released from prison, after spending over six months without being charged with anything. Hargis was incarcerated by order of the Federal Court Judge because he refused to turn over customer records to the feds for their fishing expedition. Meanwhile, ALH&Co. is essentially dead and gone into receivership, by order of the judge, meaning that probably several hundred productive people have lost about ten million dollars, including the life savings of a number, very likely, as a consequence of Anthony's decision to act as though he had the rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, as well as natural law. Details follow:

In several of my previous articles, I mentioned the ongoing legal problems connected with ALH&Co.. Here's a few other links the reader may find enlightenling:

A recent report and
Another later one from the same author' blog.

A brief background: Anthony L. Hargis & Co. was a "Massachusetts Trust," (also sometimes referred to as a "free market trust" to emphasize that it is a purely contractual relationship, owing no part of its existence or any privileged status to the state) which only has historical connection with the state of MA. This kind of trust was popular before businesses were forced into the corporate mold by excessive risk. That risk level was in turn engendered by the corruption of the legal system from being focused on equity to being focused on punishment. As the potential for devastating punitive damages became realized in the late 19th century, the legal cap on liability provided via state fiat in the mechanism of the corporation became the fix. Anthony rebelled against this trend successfully for about 25 years, as AHL&Co. started in the late '70's.

ALH&Co. provided a means for investment in shares in itself as well as customer accounts denominated in either gold or Federal Reserve Units ("dollars"). Customers could and did use his company as their bank and as a means of maintaining a market position in gold. They could write "transfer orders," which functioned like bank checks among the various businesses that recognized them, or submit them to AHL&Co. and recieve FDIC bank checks in return, or have ALH&Co. pay their regular bills, such as power and water, or make scheduled mortgage payments, etc., which was a convenience for those who were working or living abroad for extended periods.

Hargis was completely up front about the fact that the funds were at risk, as he intended to invest the money in productive enterprises, similar to what any FDIC bank does when it receives funds. He also invested in various political causes, such as attempts to legally sieze and then sue for damages* freighters in U.S. ports belonging to Soviet Block nations. (I personally did not take these efforts all that seriously but saw them more as promotional efforts. Not that Anthony's positions weren't legally/morally valid, but just that they stood the snowball's chance in Hell of actually working in the current legal climate.) Anthony also provided kits and consultation to others interested in forming similar Trusts.

*On behalf of the victims of the Gulag and innumerable other attrocities.

While Anthony was adamant about what he considered the illegality of much of the U.S. tax codes, he did not, so far as I am aware, claim that he could shield anyone from paying taxes. Some people may have nevertheless chosen to attempt to use his services for this purpose. One of the other trusts that Anthony helped to sponsor in the 1980's was in fact shut down by the trustee when he realized that he could not get any substantial protections of that sort.

As to the more general question raised by the feds in their current fishing expedition, I can't speak from personal knowledge, although I suspect that this was the case, given all the anti-tax sentiment surrounding Anthony's business, and the anti-tax pamphlets, etc. from various organizations which one could typically find in his lobby.

Anthony also wrote and sold as part of his business various books and other writings on history, legal systems and political philosophy. When I first began dealing with ALH&Co. in the late '70's, my impression was that Anthony was pretty much a libertarian, possibly of the "anarcho-capitalist" school, with strong influences from Ayn Rand. Socially, however, he was very conservative, belied by his typical casual attair - jeans, floppy hat - and appearance - tall, very slender, shoulder length wispy blond hair.

Hargis researched, wrote and gave seminars on a host of topics, including alternatives to the corporate business model. His ideal business model was the trust, in which the shareholders are shielded from liability by the fact that, unlike the corporation, they have no direct control over the actions of the business. The trustees have sole authority, and thus also sole liability. He also dealt with the problems of the corporate wage serfs, who find themselves at odds with the interests of their employers, who want infinite work for zero wages, of course.

Anthony saw a problem in the lack of self-interest tie to corporate success, which could potentially be solved by using only contract workers who would be required to purchase a percentage of shares in order to qualify for a work contract. This would directly tie their self-interest to that of the employing trust. If businesses throughout society were organized by this model, then there would emerge a natural infrastructure of mutual interest, as everyone would be invested in the long-term success of everyone else.

Although he innovated this line of thought himself, so far as I know, at some point he became aware of the enormously successful Mondragon Cooperative, which grew out of the cooperative / anarcho-syndicalist movement centered in the Basque heartland of Spain. Anthony found much to admire in the Mondragon Cooperative, although he apparently also had some disagreements with their structure as well, especially practices originating from their socialist background, such as their cap on the ratio of highest wages to lowest, which I believe is now at 20 to 1.

I had been personally working on a similar business model, starting in the early '70's, but related to family structure and modern child-rearing, and it was this mutual interest which brought me together with Anthony in the late '70's, when I discovered that he had been working on the same basic issues. I suspect that in part it was my continued intellectual pressure on Anthony that gave him incentive to extend his own thinking in this direction. Ultimately, Anthony presented me with a model similar to the highly popular "Nanocorp," but based on the trust concept.

Under his model, a child would be made the trustee of a personal trust from the time of birth. The parents would function as nominal trustees until the child was legally competent. Meanwhile, they could negotiate sale of shares in the personal trust to raise funds for education, medical, etc. The child, of course, could reject the whole thing at the point they reached legal competence, but doing so would cut them off from the assets, including especially the interest that others in society, such as potential investors, would have in their life success. This model could work anywhere in the world, potentialy allowing businesses such as mutual funds to invest in the futures of millions of kids in 3rd World countries, for example, who otherwise faced grueling challenges and a high liklihood of failure.

(The highly successful and widely copied Grameen Bank, has demonstrated with its microloans programs that small scale investments targetted directly to people who can turn them into high investment returns can work even in a 3rd World village in Bangladesh. The problems in any such enterprise are largely related to overhead costs - monitoring, handling, records, etc. - and risk, but Grameen has shown ways that these costs can be minimalized.)

Note that our traditional approaches that depend upon charities often evolve to perpetuate the very problems they allegedly exist to solve, or alternatively state welfare tends to put money into whatever fails. All these approaches pay off on need, thus creating an evolutionary pressure for more need. The approach that Anthony and I worked on instead paid off on success, thus creating the same selection pressure in reverse.

The initial investors would naturally buy into kids who showed exceptional promise, from family circumstances, testing scores, whatever, and lower risk. However, the investors would be in competition over whose shares to buy, and so there would be an inherent incentive to find ways to improve the odds. Thus, mutual funds might set up family counselling services where needed covering health and education issues for uneducated 3rd World families, making sure the kids got good nutrition and medical intervention as necessary. They might offer low-cost kits on various subjects, designed to offset poor local facilities. Training for local family counsellors might be funded by a mutual fund that had made a reputation and thus captured a large portion of the market in a given locale.

Kids with high market-share values in their nanotrust, just like adults today with nanocorps, could parley that equity into college or technical training, musical instuments, business start-ups, etc. This would provide a radically new way for low-income people anywhere in the world to bootstrap themselves into prosperity. The parents would naturally be paid for their efforts in shares as well, which would give them a major new incentive to ensure that their child had a succesful life.

Note that this is simply an modern extension of the traditional family model that has served mankind for a milllion years or so. In that model, children were an asset to the parents, grandparents and other family members, as they would be expected to take over the farm, business, whatever, and take care of the parents in old age. Anthony's trust concept puts that model back into play, but on a thoroughly modern financial basis.

From a philosophical start that rested solidly on moral principle and free-market economics, however, Anthony became more and more involved in what I considered arcane legal and political theory as he drifted from the libertarian fold toward the ranks of the right wing "Patriots." This unfortunate process took a period of decades, and, even up to the present, Anthony's positions* on most issues would still fit in the libertarian mainstream. The exceptions I will briefly mention for purposes of completeness, objectivity and clarity.

(I don't like to spring the kind of surprises on my readers that involve failing to mention information of a kind that could be seen as damaging to my arguments. An argument becomes much stronger, in fact, when one goes out of the way to find the best possible objections to it and gives them every benefit of doubt.)

*(as I understand it, as none of this discussion is based on recent information directly from Anthony himself, but rather on my 25 years of observations, and attending his seminars, and reading his publications.)

Anthony's focus then and up to the present was on the dishonesty and fraud, as he viewed it, perpetrated by the Federal Reserve System, which he viewed as a giant scam and Ponzi scheme supported by the armed might of the U.S. and its international cabal, which had shifted financial burdens from their irresponsible originators to the backs of the least able to pay, including coming generations of Americans as well as the unfortunate victims of U.S.-supported 3rd World Dictators. (I note that Anthony's positions on these issues was hardly radical, as some of the more prominent Swiss banks' own customer journals have echoed similar sentiments about U.S. banking practices.)

What was radical was that Anthony did something about it and succeeded, for a long time. Anthony's answer to the Fed was his Trust and the accounts in gold. He gave regular seminars for many years on the need for capital preservation and the use of gold accounting to accomplish this. For about a decade, ending in the late '80's, ALH&Co. was also a social hotbed for local libertarians and "patriots."

Anthony held monthly pot luck house parties at his business, at which local libertarian luminaries such as Bob Lefevre, Jeff Riggenback, Sam Konkin and many others were often seen playing the board game Risk - of which Anthony was an addict - or holding audience on libertarian theory and history. I met some of the most valuable and interesting people in my life through Anthony's parties, many of whom have risen to national prominence since.

At his business, Anthony offered dollar and gold accounts, investment counselling, trust documents and set-up assistance and various books by himself and other libertarian-related authors, such as Ayn Rand or Murray Rothbard. If you were a libertarian or patriot, then ALH&Co. was a place to look forward to visiting, a rare opportunity to see like individuals working together for a common dream of the future.

Anthony's then wife, Jane McLaughlin, also played a prominent role in his ongoing business and political adventures. Jane started Morningrise Printing, in Costa Mesa, CA, in the same industrial mini-park that housed ALH&Co. When the City of Costa Mesa went after her for failing to get permission for her two modest and tasteful signs advertising her business, she fought them to a standstill for about fifteen years, and, after costing the City - by its reported estimates - over $15,000 in prosecutorial costs and substantial damage to its reputation, when she was finally summarily defeated in court (after the prosecution claimed they had received threats from someone the judge suddenly threw out Jane's entire defense and declared her guilty), she was sentenced to three days in jail, which she spent in the court - a few hours each day - and a couple hundred dollars in fines.

And, she still refused to file for a permit, altho the entire time she had agreed to pay the fee. The problem was not the permit itself or the fee, as she saw it, but the fact that in applying for it you had to sign a statement that had nothing whatsoever to do with the permit or the signs, in which you agreed to let the City come into your business at any time under any pretext and investigate any aspect of your business for whatever reason or lack thereof they chose. This she refused to do, and Morningrise Printing - with which Jane is no longer actively involved as far as I know - still has no permit, although they do still have their signs, last time I checked.

At the court hearings on the Morningrise signs, the courtroom was typically filled with supporters of Jane, who herself put on quite a show, asking the City to explain why her signs were a problem, and why they couldn't simply take her money, or the permit application in which she crossed out the offending passages. Of course they couldn't answer her, and this made for high comedy in the courtroom, which the audience was well cued to enjoy.

Anthony and his supporters and customers and friends would often do little guerilla theater things, like picket the IRS wearing wooden barrels to emphasize the role of the tax system in impoverishing everyone. At any point during the late '70's and through the late '80's, there were always things going on at ALH&Co. in which one could participate for recreation, if nothing else.

I don't know the extent of ALH&Co. holdings or the number of customers, but I'm willing to accept for the time being the estimates of the feds of perhaps something under ten million dollars and a few hundred customers, as well as quite a few shareholders. While other similar efforts by libertarians or "patriots" ran aground due to bad management or legal troubles, Anthony spent half his time at the large local law library and managed to fend off many reputed attempts by the feds or other authorities to shut him down, including a dread "seizure" around 1992.

(At one point, a customer of ALH&Co. requested that a large sum of money be mailed to her in Florida. This lady was having some personal difficulties, I've been told, and needed to distance herself from some people for a little while to collect her thoughts. Unfortunately, she got pulled over for a traffic violation wearing a disguise (a wig) and using her sister's ID and the officer (naturally) became suspicious and searched her vehicle, finding ten grand or so in cash, which is automatically assumed then and nowadays to be drug money. So, the cash was siezed, and documents in the lady's possesion made it traceable back to ALH&Co. here in Fountain Valley, CA (the OC).

As you might guess, next the federal joint swat team showed up at ALH&Co. with the machine guns, etc., and stormed Anthony's office, where the doors were open for regular business, and proceeded to sieze everything in sight, still operating on pure suspicion, without any specific crime or criminals having been named. Typically, this would leave the victim without recourse, as they would have no money to fight the siezure and would thus have to crawl hat in hand into court to beg for a portion of their assets.

Note that no actual proof of a crime is necessary in seizures, as the legal theory goes that property does not have civil rights, and the seizure is based on this bizarre legal premise that it is the property that has committed the crime. Yes, people, this is real. And very convenient for grabbing cars, bank accounts, land, buildings, businesses and just about anything else, after which the victim has to prove the property's innocence. No, I'm not making this up or exagerating - at all. According to the "Orange County Register," around the mid-90's over half of the budget of OC police departments came from such seizures, and the total nationwide at that point was into the billions of dollars.

However, Anthony was more than prepared for such moves by the authorities and went into court and got everything back - although it did take a year, and no damages or apology was forthcoming. I, as one of ALH&Co.'s customers suddenly found myself shorn of my savings, right on the day that I was scheduled to leave to cover an important conference in San Jose for an international computer magazine. For a few days, I thought that I had lost my entire savings. However, Anthony turned it all around and was open for business within a couple of days, and thus I concluded that ALH&Co. could probably take care of itself. Afterwards, however, I made sure that I had most of my assets elsewhere. Just in case. Which turned out to be a good plan. I just wish I had followed it a bit more consistently.

And, just for the record, I never saw any evidence of any involvement by Anthony or AHL&Co. in drugs or in advocating any kind of violence. Anthony informed his customers right from the beginning that illegal drugs were absolutely verbotten at his business along with any transaction involving them. In fact, he related at one meeting how the Mafia had politely approached him at one point, all dressed in their three-piece pin-stripe suits - which is a dead giveaway in casual California, desiring to use his service for money laundering, and he politely declined. End of story. Also, one of his contract workers (Anthony hired out all work on a contract basis) failed to inform him that he had been a member of some East Coast tax-resistance organization that had advocated violent resistence to the IRS. When Anthony discovered this, he immediately terminated the contract with the man.)

I personally had a long and somewhat tumultuous relationship with Anthony. On one occasion in the late '70's, I took a vacation from my day job to see if I could handle running his office. I found his triple-entry gold/dollars accounting system unfathomable, however, and finally gave up after a couple weeks as an intern. On several occasions during the '80's, I also rented space in the rear or his large office unit for my own purposes, and, almost inevitably, this ran aground on Anthony's personality quirks, for which he was somewhat notorious.

In one such incident, I recall asking Anthony if I could put insulation up on the rear (East facing) sliding door that the sun beat unmercifully on every morning, turning the office into an oven, especially my rear area. He would not allow me to do so, because his lease indicated that any such improvements became property of the building owner, who he despised with a passion. So, he was willing to spite himself and make me miserable in order to spite the owner, who would certainly have torn out the insulation anyway when Anthony moved. I could relate many similar incidents, but they would serve no purpose except to rub in that Anthony was one stubborn person, and he clearly relished that part of his personality.

In the mid '90's, however, I began to notice an ominous trend in Anthony's philosophy. Starting with a legal position relative to the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, with which former slaves were made full citizens, Anthony followed the research which had become popular among the extreme right "patriots," in which a stong thread of racism lurks (only to frequently burst forth once one has become trusted in such circles). According to this political philosophy, there are "White Citizens" who have natural rights, as versus "Black Citizens" or 14th Amendment citizens (who may actually be caucasian) who have only provisional rights granted by the state - or such is my limited understanding.

(I haven't taken the time to track down "representative" links on this issue, and any link I post will probably draw hate mail or worse from somebody and get me labeled either as a racist or a commie, but here's just one that illustrates the charged atmosphere surrounding the topic. Readers who want to post what they consider better sources are thus invited to do so, and I will try to move them from their comment into the text, as I see reasonable.)

Anthony had meanwhile gone thru a divorce from Jane, mainly, I gather, over child-rearing issues with respect to their daughter, Aurelia, born around 1989. I and most of their friends considered that they both - but especially Anthony - were psychologically among the worst candidates for parenthood that one could imagine and that they were about to embark on total disaster. Anthony, in particular, had always been extremely closed emotionally. We were right, unfortunately. As far as I know, none of Anthony's glorious plans for making Aurelia the perfect example of his theories ended up being implemented, except in name, due to both his own emotionally closed nature and also Jane's resistance, based on a blatantly obvious extreme emotional dependancy on Aurelia on her part that precluded any kind of rationality. Everything I saw at the time pointed to post-partum depression, but that's only my layman's speculation.

With Jane, who had been an anchor of sanity and ever-cheerful practicality in Anthony's life, out of the picture, Anthony began to drift more and more into this phase of extreme legalism. I no longer heard or read from him about how to revolutionize the world and create a libertarian utopia. Instead, the focus became more and more on who to blame for everything.

In particular, Anthony had spent endless hours tracking down the documentation on California State as well as local city government investments in corporate stocks. The amounts were staggering. I forget these kind of details easilly, but I know that Anthony said something to the effect that the return on investment for the tens, if not hundreds, of billions in various stocks owned by California could easilly entirely wipe out all taxes for the state, and, if anything, that applied double for many cities in the state. Yet very few people have any idea of these gargantuan holdings, and the information is buried in ways that only long and tedious research and Freedom of Information requests may finally uncover.

Other reasons why you might not easilly come by this information apparently have something to do with what the actual stocks are. Clearly there is a huge potential for conflict of interest when a state agency is pouring millions or billions of dollars into a particular business. If that stock drops in price, then there is the liklihood, at minimum, that whoever made the choice of investing in it may find themselves on the hot seat. So, you find situations such as the public school computer purchasing mandates issued by school boards.

OK, what follows for the next several paragraphs is actually relevant to the theme and is based on my personal experience and needs to be said for a lot of reasons, and I really want to say it, but the reader may want to skip it to follow the main line of argument.

For years, in one major example, Apple II computers completely dominated the public schools. Since this is in my area of expertise, I can state unequivacably that the Apple II was perhaps the worst computer, by far, on the market at the time as far as the needs of these schools. Not only were the Apple II's three times as expensive as the popular and technically superior Commodore 64, but also very few students had Apple II's at home.

The majority of kids who did have a home computer - about 40% by around '84 - had Commdore 64's. The software as well as the disk formats were totally incompatible, which meant that virtually no students could take their Apple II work home or bring their reports, etc., to school, except as printouts. And, the C64 was easilly ten times as easy to use and program. And, there was plenty of educational as well as professional level business/school software, such as word-processors, spreadsheets, databases, and a multitude of programming languages and utilities for the C64, which dominated the educational market in many major countries of the world.

But, Apple had figured out the secret in dealing with an ignorant market: "Reality doesn't matter. Only marketing counts."

So, the "OC Register" ran a little piece profiling the local education rep for Apple, who was taking down $50,000 as he drove around in his BMW to give each school - or, more accurately, the person most likely to influence purchasing decisions - its one free Apple II. Meanwhile, the private schools with whom I consulted for free or for $16 for two hours had typically already bought either Apple II's or C64's. Most private schools have nowhere near the budget per pupil of the public school, so the yuppie schools proudly displayed their 30 Apple II's, restricted to a computer lab, of course, which the schools that had purchased C64's would show them to me with all kinds of expressions of embarrassment or regret, as they were only "home computers," not "educational computers," but that was all they could afford. I noted that the kids - excepting the 3% of hackers - had to be dragged into the Apple II labs, while the kids had to be locked out of the C64 labs.

When IBM began encroaching on Apple's educational territory, both companies were faced with the uncomfortable fact that both products were crap. The IBM PC was a kludge from the start, put together in a desperate hurry with amazingly awful compromises in both the basic hardware and the software from Microsoft, which had been written years before as a grad student project. Meanwhile, the Apple II was simply way, way, way out of date technically. Competing directly with them were the FAR superior Atari ST and the even better Amiga computers. The ST was what the IBM PC had originally been intended to be, before IBM blew it and had to run with the abysmally bad Intel chip - because Motorolla was late with the 68000, and a crudely scaled up and very limited 16-bit version of the excellent (for the '70's) OS called CP/M.

Either the ST or the Amiga could literally run rings around anything that IBM or Apple could engineer. Both machines offered outstanding graphics, sound, animation, and general multimedia capabilities that the PC only began to approach ten years later. The Amiga also offered the first truly modern OS on a personal computer, with full high-speed multitasking that worked far better in 1985 than any PC running Windows can offer today in 2004. Both machines had the mouse controlled iconic interface that Xerox PARC invented and Apple introduced on the Mac. I suppose, since I've gotten this far into this digression - which is germaine to my point, which is coming, trust me - that I should mention that the lowly C64, as well as Commodore's business machine, the SuperPet, also had a mouse/icon GUI from about 1984.

Both the Amiga and the ST could also run both most Mac programs and most PC programs under software emulators as well, so the general compatibility for either machine was higher than either the PC or Mac. And, both machines were a LOT cheaper than a PC or Mac.

So, naturally since the schools are in the information business and have highly trained and intelligent, forward looking staff, they all switched to Amigas or ST's... NOT! The Apple/IBM/Microsoft answer to a much better product at a lower price was to convince the OC School Board to issue a mandate that ONLY IBM PC compatible or Mac compatible computers could be purchased for school use in the OC. Never mind that both Amiga and ST offered pretty good emulations of both PC and Mac, and they worked ten or a hundred times - for real! - better than either machine in their native modes. Reality does not matter! Not when you're dealing with an ignorant market, and that goes double for the school market, which has the most incompetent personnel, especially in management, of any market I've ever seen.

So, imagine that it's not just a free Apple for the principal or whoever makes purchasing decisions to play with. Imagine that your career is on the line. If there's some little thing you can do to make sure that the stock your career is riding on will make money, how far are you likely to resist. Now consider that tens or hundreds of billions of dollars are involved, as Anthony uncovered. So, do you think that the companies involved aren't going to let their lobbiests know the score?

Can you say "facism?"

One interesting thing that various crtiques of the corporation have mentioned in passing, but which Anthony focussed upon, was that corporations are generally required to agree that their operations will always be "in the public interest." This is definitely the case in California, but I'll let you try to guess just how many times a California corporation has ever bee shut down, or even threatened by the California State Attorney General, in whom that authority is vested.

Would you believe ZERO, NEVER, NADA, NOT ONCE AT ALL?

There were many other aspects to Anthony's research in this area, and I am only aware of some of the central themes, but, however excellent Anthony's research in the history of corporate abuse, his other research started looking rather suspect. Jane, during the process of disengaging from Anthony, had become involved with Judaism through her sister, as I recall, and her Israeli husband and, I believe, ultimately converted and finally married a Jewish man. I remember her gleefully describing learning the traditional Jewish dances, well before her split with Anthony.

As a consequence of this experience, I suspect, Anthony began moving more and more in the direction of anti-semitism, starting with a denial of the holocaust in part, and then, in full, claiming that it was just a hoax. (See his exerpts from his "Fires that Cry" for a minor taste of this.) I attempted to reason with Anthony on several occasions and brought him books to counter the claims of the "revisionists," but when he told me that after careful research, he understood that Hitler was not a monster, I realized that I needed to start disconnecting. I think that without Jane, Anthony was slowly losing it, and the last couple of years, in which he apparently made some incredibly bad investments - with MY money! - as well as clearly some bad legal decisions were simply the natural extension of a disconnect with reality.

(Anthony has always had some major blind spots. For example, I saw very clearly what was coming with personal computers and the internet by 1981. I even wrote up a set of proposals for then Editor of the Orange County Register, John Yench, around 1983, detailing the changes that would occur by the turn of the century, including MUDDS, Meet-Up, search engines, web pages, blogs and even "agents," a term I coined a decade or so before Apple, with the same meaning. Anthony invariably responded to my attempts to explain this future and its implications with a condescending smile. When he finally got a PC, he refused to buy a mouse, insisting on using Windows with keyboard commands only.

When, around 1993, the feds descended upon ALH&Co. because of the woman in Florida who was arrested while carrying thousands of dollars in cash and a receipt from AHL&Co. - of course, they must! be drug lords!!! (Or, we like to pretend that they must be, since that allows us to sieze money and cars and homes and businesses without a trial or even a warrant) - Anthony was discovered to have not used any kind of encryption. Thus, all his customer records were available to the feds on the computers they siezed. Even though he was able to prevail legally and get everything back, I can be fairly certain that the feds did not throw out the list of customers they gleaned from that search. I recall that everyone was appalled at Anthony's failure to exercise normal due dilligence at the time, and he lost a lot of customers reportedly. I think that the present situation is more of the same. )

(Similar to the 14th Amendment issue, I have not personally spent the time trying to verify the historical authenticity of the "showa." Here is Link_denial.html> one anti-revisionist site. As in the 14th Amendment case, I don't want to make my blog into a forum on the issue, but if people want to submit links that illustrate positions, I will certainly try to consider them. Or, just put them in your comment. My own position is that regardless of the specific numbers of Jews, Gypsies, mental retards, physically deformed or politically inconvenient people who were enslaved and/or slaughtered by the NAZIs, it is clearly wrong. And, it is clear that the NAZI philosophy was perverse and fundamentally evil, and enormously destructive of everything good in practice.

I highly recomment Joseph C. Harsch's "Pattern of Conflict" for an objective view of the NAZI's in practice prior to 1941. Harsch was for many years the "Christian Science Monitor's" foreign correspondent in Berlin, and followed the Wehrmacht into the various countries Germany invaded. He pointed out that Germany could easily have created a Europpean Union. There was a strong sentiment throughout Europe for such a political move, and the Wehrmacht was itself exemplary in its conduct, making every effort to avoid creating animousity among the conquered peoples. Often the Germans probably behaved better toward their new subjects than their own corrupt governments had been doing.

However, the NAZI's utterly blew their great opportunity, as the SS and Gestapo followed behind the Wehrmacht within a month and immediately, via their monstrous conduct, created a rabidly anti-NAZI resistance where none had existed before. And, the NAZI's had already bankrupted Germany anyway, which is why they needed the war. They were sticklers for following the letter of international law, but they cleverly used it to take control of the banking systems of the invaded countries and establish things like rates of currency exchange that allowed them to steal everything valuable in sight.

One example was the regular trainloads of German "tourists" (generally low-level state bureaucrats) who went straight to Paris and simply cleaned the stores out with their artificially valuable DeutschMarks. This did not make friends of the Parisians.

(Hey, can you spell Halliburton?)

Because of the concerns discussed above, which I felt tended to besmirch my character by association, by the beginning of this past year 2004, I had been taking gold out of my modest account in a steady draw down for some time. However, then gold started spiking, and I found myself succumbing to the temptation to put off a final separation, which would also have involved difficulties with my mail, as I had used a mail box at ALH&Co for over two decades. So, I hesitated and the result is that I personally am probably out about $8,000, due to the feds. I am probably one of the smaller losers in this, but that still hurts, especially as my income has fallen in the meantime, and inflation is on the rise. I had hoped, in fact, to take a year off to finish a major book I've been working on for over ten years, but that will have to go on hold now.

The current situation in brief is this:

As of late August, Hargis is still in jail - from mid-March. (Finally reported released August 31st.) Up until very recently he had still not been charged with anything other than refusing to turn over confidential customer records. As of last information, the feds have still not been able to name either specific criminals or specific crimes that he or his cusomers might be involved in, and have stated so in front of the federal judge of the case. I.e., this is a pure fishing expedition.

However, the judge has now apparently ruled that Hargis is in violation of something or other; after six months he had to come up with something, as the federal statutes require that incarceration must serve some purpose, and the ALH&Co. records were reportedly only kept for a few months anyway, and then recycled for privacy purposes. Thus, Anthony should have been kept at most for a couple of months, beyond which his incarceration served no judicial purpose. But, since he was in fact imprisoned for over six months, the judge reportedly ruled that he had violated some prior court order telling him that he could not exercise his right to political speech on his commercial website, where he sold books and other materials related to his political/historical research and the related projects that his business was involved in.

This is interesting. If you can make money promoting your ideas, then you aren't free to discuss them? That is what I've been able to glean from witnesses of the court proceedings, and Anthony is still in prison as far as I know, as of August 31st, 2004, guilty of promoting his ideas. I suppose that authors of politically sensitive books may want to take note, as potentially this decision could hit them, as well, if they make money on those books. The same would logically apply to talk radio shows on commercial radio, right?

However, no matter how good an appeal this could generate, it is questionable whether anything will come of it, as ALH&Co. is now gone, due to a series of federal siezures of the assets, especially a host of bank accounts, again on pure suspicion, without any specific allegations, grand juries, warrants, or any of that pre-patriot Act nonsense about the Constitution, and, most recently, the turning over of whatever remains of ALH&Co. to a receiver, by order of the judge. Thus, the question becomes where will Anthony get the money for the appeal?

And, should it appear that he might succeed in such an appeal, the opposing feds will predictably simply fold and pay him, rather than set a precedent, so that any political value of his appeal will be mute. The IRS has done this for decades. If they run into an argument they don't know how to answer, they fold and drop the prosecution, and meanwhile work out a strategy for dealing with that argument the next time. The defendant, of course, usually has no similar option in reality.

It used to be that in this great land we call the U.S. that if you were going to be incarcerated and/or have your property seized, then a few niceties had to be observed by the authorities in charge. For one, there had to be allegations of a specific crime, and witnesses to this crime and/or evidence had to be provided to a grand jury, who alone could determine that there was sufficient cause to have an indictment prepared listing the crimes, the criminals, etc. The police could arrest you on suspicion of a serious crime, based on their own information or knowledge, but they could only hold you for a limited number of days before going before a judge and presenting their evidence, again alleging a specific crime and specific criminals... How far have we fallen...

The objectivity that this process was designed to provide, to prevent any usurption of power from the people to some privileged elite, has been largely lost. Today, you can be incarcerated indefinitely and secretly on the word of a single man - the president, or whatever functionary he designates - without recourse or access to counsel - in the name of protecting our freedom. You can have your property seized on pure suspicion (or alleged suspicion disguizing malice) and be required to prove that your property was not involved in anything illegal or lose it - in the name of protecting you against drugs.

Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of professional paid informants have learned how to turn their criminal skills into a lucrative racket aimed at blackmail and/or seizure, of which they receive a large percentage - in the name of protecting you against crime. And whatever wealth you do manage to earn and keep is subject to the manipulations of a banking system whose stability is only guaranteed by overwhelming military threat. And should you dare to suggest that this system - The Federal Reserve - is in fact unstable and could actually crash, then you can be jailed for simply making that suggestion - in the name of financial stability.

Welcome to Amerika, the land of freedom, opportunity and choice. What ID number would you like on your free(!) slave collar?

The steps by which this has been accomplished are easilly available from common historical sources, but not often spelled out. I will attempt, as an amateur legal historian to lay out some of the basics below, and any useful related links, of which there are tens or hundreds of thousands, which the reader has found exceptionally valuable would be appreciated. I plan to create a table of them for those readers who find the subject of their freedom and survival a matter of concern.

"When there is not justice, there cannot be peace."

What is justice? Justice is when you control your own life - your body and the values that you have brought into existence by your actions. Injustice is when some other person has interfered or violated your control over what is rightfully yours - your life and the consequences of your actions in that life. Rape, murder, torture, incarceration are all violations of your control over your life. Theft, fraud, vandalism are violations of the right you have to receive the results of your labor, the consequences of your actions.

The common law, as it evolved through much of Northern Europe, especially Ireland, Anglo-Saxon England and much of Scandinavia was fundamentally focussed on siimple justice. There was no criminal law. There were no punishments. What ruled was equity - to each person his or her own. Only if a person rejected the common law itself was the element of violent sanctions invoked. That person could be declared an "outlaw," literally "outside the law." Then the courts, which were organized and paid for on a local subscription basis, would not protect that person's life or property, and anyone was free to agress against him with legal impunity - although the outlaw still retained his personal right of self-defense.

The common law court did not make the law. Rather, it identified it. It looked to the existing recognized agreements, covenants, and social norms to identify the equity of a case, and then arrived at a decision aimed at simply restoring that equity. Each case decision was recorded for reference and would typically serve as a precedent when a similar issue was being decided. All cases were tort cases, aimed at recovering damages or identifying and/or verifying a property claim.

Unfortunately, the common law does not work well for invaders, as the invadees could then sue them for damages. So the Normans in England, the English in Ireland, etc., all found it necessary to pervert the common law to protect their own interests. In the case of the Normans, this may even have been an immediate substantive improvement, as the English Common Law was truly primitive. However, the immediate gains from introducing a more sophisticated Roman Law have to be set against the fact that the Roman "Positive" Law both removed the law from the rule of the people and put it firmly into the hands of a predatory elite, and also created a mechanism by which any group - noble, king or democratic coalition - could then use the law to enforce its own prejudices and to systematically plunder the rest of society, exactly the opposite of the aim and practice of the common law.

That perverted Common Law is what we inherited here in the U.S. Instead of aimed solely at restoring equity, the various U.S. jurisdictions have moved ever more in the direction of enforcing the will of concentrated interests on their victims, in a Hobbesian war of all against all.

One of the most pernicious and disasterous of these steps in the evolution of law from enforcing justice to acting as the agent of injustice was the introduction of punitive damages. Not only is this a clear case of the court being employed to hurt those with whom a particular jury dislikes, for whatever reason - racial, ethnic, religious, or personal - but it creates such a risk factor for those who have resources worth stealing, such as business enterprises, that it created the need for a legal fix, which we call the "corporation."

(For an awesomely researched history of the corporation, go to the "Gangs of America" site. This is, in fact, as far as I know, the only conprehensive history of the rise of the corporation, its legal foundations, etc. And, for an equally awesome example of an alternative to the corporation, go to the Mondragon Cooperative site.)