The judge, John Rooke, had heard it all before. Across the country, courts and police had been dealing with Canadians like Mr. Meads who thought they could evade taxes, parking fines and spousal support payments by spouting lines from Freeman on the Land literature (via Anti-government ‘freeman’ movement could face clampdown after ruling | Canada | News | National Post)
- The judge, who happened to be the Associate Chief Justice of the Court of Queen’s Bench, had heard enough. He decided to turn Mr. Meads’ divorce into an opportunity to set things straight.
- This week, he released a scathing 185-page decision that not only dealt with Mr. Meads’ divorce, but also eviscerated the movement he represented. “These persons employ a collection of techniques and arguments promoted and sold by ‘gurus’ to disrupt court operations and to attempt to frustrate the legal rights of governments, corporations and individuals,” he wrote.
- Referring to them collectively as Organized Pseudolegal Commercial Argument (OPCA) litigants, the judge decried their “legal and intellectual bankruptcy” and called their methods “scams” promoted by “con men.”
- “The persons who advance these schemes, and particularly those who market and sell these concepts as commercial products, are parasites that must be stopped,” he wrote.
- He also named a few of those “gurus,” notably Robert Menard of the Freemen on the Land. According to the World Freeman Society website, which promotes Mr. Menard’s ideas, Freemen have “revoked consent to be governed by human laws.”
- In Ontario and Alberta, Freemen have been caught driving cars without licence plates and when they get pulled over, or are brought before a judge, they claim the courts have no jurisdiction over them.
- Police are wary of the Freemen, believing they could pose a risk to officers. Recently, Freemen have been trying to form their own “corps of peace officers.” The judge called them “strongly anti-government” and said certain members believed they had the unrestricted right to bear arms.
- Their main technique has been termed “paper terrorism” — clogging the court system with a flurry of seemingly incoherent documents that use the jargon recommended by the movement’s “gurus.”
There is legitimacy in libertarianism, but that doesn’t involve dreaming up your own laws and expecting everybody else to accept it. That’s just dumb.