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Redemption In Law Crack [NEW]ing The Code


Redemption In Law Crack [NEW]ing The Code

Scam artists and right-wing extremists are hawking a pseudo-legal strategy that promises both financial gain and the opportunity to take revenge against what is seen as a sham government. Called "redemption," the technique has earned its promoters untold profits, buried courts and other agencies under tons of worthless paper, and led to scores of arrests and convictions throughout the United States.

In just one roundup of redemption activists this August, authorities in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, indicted people on charges of racketeering and other violations in a scheme involving nearly million in worthless "sight drafts."

Last December in Michigan, another 12 redemptionists were convicted on similar allegations in a scam that included a remarkable $550 million in bogus sight drafts, as well as court filings intended to trigger probes of judges.

Like a whole series of other antigovernment paper schemes, redemption represents "the intersection between the financial interests of con artists and the antigovernment political message of the 'Patriot' movement," says Daniel Levitas, an author who has studied the historical antecedents of this latest ripoff.

The government, they argue, is financially bankrupt, and the Uniform Commercial Code (or UCC, which in real life governs commercial transactions) is actually the supreme law of the land. Importantly, any document to which your name is affixed in all capital letters is not legally binding, the redemptionists say. Corrupt judges and lawyers know all this, but they all have been sworn to secrecy.

By filing particular government forms in a particular order, and by using precisely the right language (don't worry: the redemptionists will tell you how), you can redeem your stolen assets, reclaiming your God-given freedom and a whole lot of money, too.

Using obscure parts of the UCC, you can "capture" your "strawman," which in redemption-speak is the entity (identifiable as your name written out in all capital letters) that the government created to represent the value of each individual life.

Probably the leading redemption cheerleader is Robert Kelly, the publisher of a radical antigovernment newspaper called The American's Bulletin, based in Central Point, Ore. Kelly's paper overflows with ads for redemption products, and he offers telephone consultations, among other things, at $50 an hour.

For a mere $95, you can become a affiliate and receive a 10% commission on sales. Cough up $300 and you can attend an all-day redemption seminar. For $800 (or $1,125 per couple), you can have all the necessary paperwork filed for you.

For the extreme right, which has long been animated by conspiracy theories, redemption "ties together a number of things they have already 'known,'" says Mark Pitcavage, the national director of fact-finding for the Anti-Defamation League, which has studied redemption.

"They 'knew' something was fishy when we went off the gold standard. They 'know' paper money is no good and that any form of money you create yourself is just as valid. They 'know' that if your name appears in all capital letters, it's not really your name. They've already been taught all these things over the years and in different formats, and redemption ties all of them together in one complete explanation. It makes all the pieces of the puzzle fit."

The redemption scam is the last variation on "sovereign citizen" and "common-law" beliefs that spun largely out of the ideology of the Posse Comitatus, a violent, anti-Semitic group active in the 1970s and 1980s.

The tactics he used spread like wildfire in the 1990s, becoming the core of the redemption scam. Not coincidentally, the use of common-law tactics like filing bogus property liens and other kinds of harassing legal papers spread throughout the radical right during the same time period.

Other redemptionists-cum-Patriots include Howard Freeman, a veteran tax protester whose far-right resumé includes


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