I completed my BA in Criminal Justice in 2015. Currently working on my MS in Homeland Security Management.
What is an Affidavit of Truth? - Definition & Example
Becoming a Sovereign Citizen
What if one day you decide you no longer want to conform to the obligations required to be a U.S. citizen? What process would you have to take to no longer be legally controlled by any form of government? Creating an affidavit of truth and signing it is how individuals become sovereign citizens, individuals who revoke any rights of a U.S. citizen and are no longer legally under the power of any form of U.S. government.
Explaining Affidavit of Truth
Let's go in depth of what an affidavit of truth actually is. The simple definition is that it's a document that an individual signs to declare himself a sovereign citizen. But what is a sovereign citizen? It's an individual who denies that any form of U.S. government has any legal authority over him or her.
Basically, the individual is not obligated to follow the laws put forth by the U.S. government. However, these individuals still hold the constitutional law in high esteem and will follow any of its laws that pertain to individuals. The reason for this is that the constitutional laws have sections pertaining to lesser powers for any form of government over its citizens.
The document also states that the individual is not considered an inhabitant living in the U.S. Their land is their own, and not the government's. The individual also disregards their social security number, because it's assigned by the government as a tracing mechanism.
When the affiant, the individual writing the affidavit, signs the affidavit, they also state that the government did not give them the right to vote, have a driver's license, use of banks, and register their children into schools. They state that the government forced them to participate in these things and they only did them to survive and to avoid harassment by the government. The affiant also will state in the affidavit that, even though they completed the mentioned actions, it does not mean they submit to government authority.
The Cons of Sovereign Citizenry
Let's look back at the introduction example where you decided to become a sovereign citizen. You created and signed your affidavit of truth, now what? Now,
- you're under no obligation to follow the law.
- you no longer have a social security number because you're not considered a citizen.
- you don't pay taxes and you don't have a driver's license or a legitimate job.
Life seems pretty nice, doesn't it? There are some benefits you no longer have access to once you become a sovereign citizen.
- you no longer can drive legally because you do not have a driver's license. Only U.S. citizens can have a license.
- in the case of a serious event, the United States is no longer under any obligation to provide you protection or aid.
- since you are no longer a citizen, you can no longer legally obtain work.
Due to all these obstacles mentioned, a sovereign citizen may engage in criminal acts in order to earn money. Would you want to be a sovereign citizen?
Crimes After an Affidavit of Truth
As a sovereign citizen may find out, after signing their affidavit of truth, they lose certain benefits reserved for U.S. citizens. One of those benefits is the ability to work legally in the United States. They still need to make a living to survive, so how do they do that? A sovereign citizen may go around doing seminars about how to become sovereign. These seminars could include how to avoid paying taxes. There will be a fee to attend the event, and that is how the sovereign citizen will make their money.
Another technique they will use is white collar crime, or financially-motivated, nonviolent crimes. This could include mortgage fraud. The sovereign citizen may find vulnerable targets for fraud, by contacting realty agents. They will purchase the house using fake financial documents, then sell the house for higher than market value. Once the house is purchased, the sovereign citizen will run off with the money or use it to fund other activities.
Some other criminal acts that have been committed by affidavit of truth signers include:
- Police killings
- Threats against federal officers
- Bank fraud
- Mail fraud
- Mortgage fraud
- Illegal sales of firearms
- Money laundering
A real-life example of a crime committed by a sovereign citizen was the case of Jerry Kane. Kane became a sovereign citizen in 2003. He had fallen on some hard times. He was divorced, lost his job, and lost his home.
Kane committed two crimes. The first one was a debt elimination seminar scheme. By 2009, though, he was not making enough money to support himself or his son. In 2010, the father and son duo were pulled over. Kane showed the officer his sovereign citizen documentation. A scuffle between Kane and the officer followed, then his son pulled out an AK-47 and began firing. In the end, two officers were killed, two wounded, and Kane and his son were killed after a 90-minute pursuit that ended in a Wal-Mart parking lot.
An affidavit of truth is written and signed by an individual that wishes to become a sovereign citizen and no longer be held to follow U.S. laws. These individuals consider themselves as living on their own land, not owned by the U.S. government. They do not have driver's licenses, they don't pay taxes, and they do not hold legitimate jobs.
However, since sovereign citizens still follow constitutional law, they can still be tried for crimes they commit, even if they're not considered U.S. citizens. Police killings, like Jerry Kane committed, are considered punishable crimes, even if the individual is sovereign. Other crimes such as money laundering, threatening federal officers, mail fraud, conspiracy, illegal selling of firearms, and seminar schemes, are all considered crimes that a sovereign citizen can be punished for.
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