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The Hidden Trail

Plinky the Elder

Like a common criminal, the welfare-warfare state makes its living by stealing things and extortion. We safeguard our property by taking steps to make it more difficult for crooks to steal from us. We often lock things up to deter criminals, but this tactic doesn't work very well against extortion, especially state-sponsored extortion.

An alternative method involves hiding our valuables--hiding things in the freezer, inside a hollowed-out book, or the like. A crook can't steal what he can't find. The same is true of the criminal known as the welfare-warfare state. What the state can't see it cannot tax. If the state cannot find any assets to pilfer, it soon finds itself on a very strict diet that will weaken its ability to stomp on our liberty.

This is simple in theory, but difficult in practice. The problem is that most productive activities (along with many that aren't productive) create a money trail for the state to follow, just like the pheromone trail left by ants. The most effective way to destroy this trail would be the use of anonymous digital cash. Unfortunately, there is not much of that to be found yet.

Until then, we should use some alternative methods to hide money-trails from the state.

Cash is best

The first, and most obvious of these methods is the use of cash. Everyone accepts it and it's very difficult to establish a money trail with cash-only transactions. But it has its drawbacks. The first of which is that it is only suitable for face-to-face transactions. Another drawback is that if state enforcers catch you with a large quantity of it, they will confiscate it on the grounds that you are participating in some dastardly crime against the State, such as drug trafficking. If that happens, then you must legally prove your innocence to recover it. While the Sixth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution may protect you, your cash isn't protected under the legal theory of deodands. Your country may have similarly legal shakedown schemes.

Money orders

The familiar money order can be purchased anonymously from a variety of locations. Money orders usually have a maximum allowable value, but be careful about buying multiple money orders from the same place at once, or you could be charged with a financial crime known as structuring. When using this medium of exchange, do not fill out any recipient information on the money order. This removes the recipient from the money trail, and it permits re-use.

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E-gold is a service furnished by Gold & Silver Reserve, Inc. (G&SR) that allows for the exchange of electronic dock receipts of gold, silver, platinum, or palladium. Exchanges are made through the Internet using their secure website. To ensure maximum privacy, use the utmost discretion in providing the service with personal information. G&SR doesn't really need your personal information other than an account number and password to transfer metal from one account to another. The only time they need more information is if you need for them to cut you a check or to physically send you metal.

For extra privacy, use an anonymzing service when accessing your e-gold account.

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Pre-Paid Phone Cards

A novel idea that was inspired by Don L. Tiggre's book Y2K: The Millennium Bug is that long distance service can be used as a medium of exchange. By using commonly available pre-paid phone cards, it is possible to transfer long distance telephone time from one person to another. These cards can be purchased anonymously from chain stores, convenience markets, and even the United States Post Office.

There are two methods to transfer phone minutes. The first method is to simply provide the recipient with an account number and a pin. This method has the obvious drawback of still allowing the sender to have access to the telecom account. The second method is to use the "recharge" feature by adding time from another card. This requires both parties to have phone cards/accounts, but it prevents the sender from having access to the account once the balance has been transferred.

An important thing to keep in mind when using this medium of exchange is that if you use it from your home or work phone, it can compromise your anonymity. Phone cards are best used from pay telephones even though they are assessed a surcharge. But who said privacy is cheap?

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Keep in mind that hiding your goodies from thugs tends to make them unhappy, so be careful!

(c) 2000


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