Low Profile, Slow Profile, No Profile
Editor's note: This was originally written to Claire Wolfe, and its conclusion is addressed specifically to her. Elias gave me permission to adapt that concluding paragraph as I saw fit for DF!, but after thinking about it I have decided to leave it unaltered. The sentiments present there are valuable things for us all to remember -- as bleak as things may look sometimes, none of us are alone in our desire for freedom, and we can take strength from each other.
One has to be consistent. One has to be fully responsible at all times. One has to know why one is doing it, and uphold that conviction every moment. It helps if one is somewhat smart and often lucky. I've drawn mostly from the "luck" side of life.
There is always the certain knowledge that I will be picked up by the law. It is part of the pulse of an outlaw's daily life, the knowing that iron bars and oppressive concrete await the wrong move, the first mistake, the seemingly inconsequential error in judgment. The knowledge of that is a constant pressure on one's mind, and must be adapted in as healthy a way as one can manage. I use spiritual-metaphysics and the magic of art coupled with a keen sense of moral responsibility. I manage the content of my mind, selecting which thoughts to keep and which thoughts to dismiss. I train myself daily about the value in living free, and the dreaded day in which government takes me down. I am aware that government cannot be defeated by direct confrontation, so I try to teach myself ways of sidestepping the agencies which support government.
I use both a "slow profile" and a "low profile" in conjunction. As of yet I have not achieved the status of having "No Profile", but that is one of my goals. The government has known of my existence in numerous ways since at least the early 1960s. It was in 1962 or 1963 that I applied for and received my social security number. I still have the card. On the bottom of the card is this phrase: "For Social Security Purposes; Not For Identification".
Apparently the government had to assure people back then that their participation in the Social Security scam would not become a system through which Americans could be "identified".
I got the number while still a high-school student. I had landed a minimum-wage job at 85 cents per hour in a woodworking factory. My father told me I should get the number so as to comply with government requirements for employment. As he had believed the lie, so then at that time did I. I've had the number for about 40 years now, though my account with Social Security has received no activity from me since back in the 1980s. It was at that time that I quit working jobs which withheld Social Security payments and Federal Income Tax payments. At that time in my life, I did not know why I preferred not to participate in Social Security and Federal Income Taxes. Today I feel much certainty about "why" I no longer participate in either. And now I am looking back at my decision in the early 1960s, and I privately wish I had never signed up for a Social Security number.
But Social Security is not the only way fedgov got me into its net. In 1965 I quit college at the University of Memphis, and joined the U.S. Marine Corps, volunteering all the way to Viet Nam, asking for it. The Department of Defense and a number of government agencies under its wing have files on that part of my life. The Veterans Administration, for instance, has a marvelous stack of files on me, but cannot be troubled to let me have copies of them, naturally. I was released from active duty in 1967 after fulfilling my two-year enlistment and a tour in the war.
Immediately I was recruited by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and after numerous interviews and tests and fingerprinting sessions I was cleared for hiring. LACSD told me that my fingerprints were sent to all states during my background investigation prior to being cleared to hire. They also, of course, wanted my SSN. Owing to pure luck, I had the good sense to resign that job my first day at the Training Academy.
In 1971, I was arrested for possessing thirty-two pounds of marijuana in Memphis, Tennessee. Yet again my fingerprints and other data were collected and distributed who knows where.
Recovering from that fairly nicely, by 1973 I had launched a drywall business employing over thirty sheetrock hangers and finishers. Banking practices in the early 1970s were not what they are today, but they still tied me to my Social Security number in many ways, prying into details which should have been privately held in my discretion only, and the subsequent Federal tax deposits were yet another way of accessing my personal life.
Thus far I had learned that the Military, the Banks, the IRS, and the Law Enforcement communities all were keen on keeping track on the events of my life. I also had dabbled in a small way into the insurance experience, owning several policies personally and professionally. The insurance industry also was intent upon collecting all the data on my life it could get. As I had done obediently with each other institution, I submitted to the violation and answered all their questions, some of which were quite intrusive.
By the late 1970s I had created a Tennessee Sub-chapter S corporation which was a jewelry-industry trade shop, employing seven bench jewelers. More withholding tax payments, and Social Security payments, and an endless list of local and State payments, all done through banks, spread my life out upon the government's observation-tables, databases. An encounter with the IRS-gestapo caused me to terminate that business and seek the relief of changing my approach to gaining a livelihood.
By the early 1980s I had had my fill of business, and took to the big roads as an interstate, irregular-route trucker running the lower 48 States. At that time I claimed zero dependents, allowed the companies which hired me to withhold taxes from my checks, and simply did not file the 1040 form, figuring to let the government just keep my money in hopes they would not have time to track me down to argue with me about not filing. I intuited at that time that since I had nothing of value, and that since any audit by IRS would reveal a credit to my favor, the IRS would not pursue me for letting government keep more of my income than it would keep were I to file returns each year.
Even then I had a sense that something was not right about the way the Federal government was administering itself upon the people. I lived in the trucks for five years. Six hundred thousand logged miles in 48 states, no accidents, no real savings, and a sore back accompanied my enjoyable experience of discovering the 48 states over and over again. (It was then, in the mid-1980s, that I discovered Montana and knew instantly that I wanted to end up here.) Owing to my estranged mood about government (as it had been groomed inside me during the war), I did not pay attention to politics, did not read the newspapers, did not watch television, and listened to very little radio. I read books and tried to teach myself how to "write". Since the late 1960s I had avoided the world of politics and would not get involved with that again until the late 1990s during the Clinton scandal.
By that time I had re-entered the world of business and shared with a partner ownership in a retail jewelry store in Georgia. It was all in her name, including the shop equipment I had brought to the table of our partnership. I had the 535i and thrice-weekly golf matches, a nice home, furniture, credit, and the rest of it. But as I watched Clinton lie publicly and get away with it, suddenly some old wound from deep within my soul, a wound I suppose now had been unconsciously carried since my days in Viet Nam, came to the fore in me and I felt something inside me awaken to a new feeling about life in America. Odd feeling, coming from an honorably-discharged veteran of a foreign war, eh?
Government apologists would prefer to say that at that time I simply went "middle-age crazy", but I do not think that is what happened. Old scores wanting settlement within my soul began to show up in my mind as I worked and managed that store. I lived with my partner, slept with her; she began to complain that I was having sleep disturbances, shouting and kicking about in my sleep. I had read closely into the truth of U.S. involvement in Viet Nam, and knew the symptoms of PTSD. I found myself speaking candidly with customers, people on the street, many of whom also sensed that there was something "wrong" in America. A blanket of guilt associated with my identity as an American then settled like a light fog over my waking hours each day.
I felt that it was time to pursue my boyhood wish to become a "writer", felt that I wanted to begin writing my memories and the stories I'd lived through, and felt that I must speak out the best I could in hopes of reaching some people, getting my insights "out to the public". But though I have no experience as a writer, and doubt I'll ever have much effect, I thought that I'd mix my reflections upon my colorful life with items of pertinence to the corruption in today's political world. I purchased a computer and got it online. I quickly discovered message boards and a boldness in speech which I did not see in "real life" day to day. Something inside me began trying to write my opinions as I began to learn to interact with strangers on the Internet.
Many things began to come clear to me, if very late in my life. In quick succession I realized I must look into the Federal government's inner workings, the Federal Reserve System, Inc. and the 16th Amendment and the IRS. I knew I must gain an understanding of the War on Drugs. I learned that I needed to investigate the clandestine activities of the U.S. Intelligence community, beginning with the CIA. I wanted to learn what sinister forces were hiding behind the words "foreign policy" and "diplomacy". I learned that I needed to refresh my studies of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights, and re-read the old books I'd read in high school, such as Brave New World by Aldous Huxley and 1984 by George Orwell.
I also learned that almost all the information I desired was available online. I began going to government sites, copying articles and proclamations and saving them to files. By late 1999 I was writing rants and screeds and letting surprising things come up from deep within me as I typed online and offline, most of which startled me. This psychological shift accompanied my decision to discuss with my partner, in whose name the business was operated, the need for closing the store, ceasing business, and going off the system's grid in as safe and practical a way as I could conceive. (I would like to pause now to note that my partner was a truly great woman who did not want to see me go, but who understood and subsequently remained supportive of me as I drove out of her life to go underground. She is today one of my finest and closest friends, and a supporter of TMM. Her name is "ladylearning".)
Late that year I created the website for The Mental Militia, thinking it would become a grassroots think tank investigating and expressing the perspective of the "average American". I still felt I was an "American", and I felt that perhaps many other citizens were also beginning to see through the government's maze of lies, its deception, its mental control over popular opinion. The site attracted some excellent essay-writers and post-composers, and one of our members created for us a message board which was lively and very avant-garde in its political perspectives. Many of us became like family, and I felt myself gradually dispelling many of the myths by which I had previously lived.
In quick succession, and in less than one year, I went from being non-political to being a Republican, to becoming an Independent, which was quickly replaced by becoming a Libertarian. That was fated to be replaced by Anarchy, which itself was replaced by a passion for Voluntaryism coupled with Individual Sovereignty. I had managed in less than a year's time to exhaust all excuses for political involvement, winding up a total sovereign individual who would never again be able to attach himself to any political party or religion or national identity.
I do support the libertarian vision, most especially the works of Carl Watner and Wendy McElroy as Voluntaryists, but I steadfastly refrain from "joining" any group or organization. I support the LP because it is a tool of consciousness which I find to be useful in my one-man-revolution of consciousness against all governments everywhere. I came to see the value in detachment, inner detachment, the detachment which frees one from cultural and social programming and conditioning.
By early 2000 I had arranged with my partner to close the store, had moved out of Georgia, and had taken the first steps on a lengthy and slow journey to the mountains of Montana, where I now sit typing these reflections.
So I have noted above that I like to keep a slow profile and a low profile. Part of doing that involves having no debt. I rent a house in someone else's name. The power bill is in someone else's name. My phone line is also in someone else's name. I do nothing which requires me to give my SSN. I have no credit, no "accounts", no insurance policy, no property aside from my personal effects. I live simply, buying nothing which would involve making payments.
Another part of keeping a low, slow profile has to do with how I move within society's towns, cities, and open roads. I have an older car which is paid for. I do keep legal tags on it. The car is a neutral color and is of the sort which gets lost quickly in traffic or in any parking lot. I have never "had a wreck" since I got my driver's license at age 16, and that is true for one reason only: I learned very young about "defensive driving". Defensive driving, as I see it, involves knowing what everyone else on the street or road is capable of doing or may be in a position to do. I adjust my car's relationship to traffic constantly, trying to anticipate problems before problems show up. I've been doing that for so long that it is second nature to me, and is not something I have to think about. I always know where all vehicles in my proximity are, by scanning visually my mirrors and turning my head and by simply staying alert to what I'm doing while driving.
Since I no longer possess a valid driver's license, I cannot afford to be in an accident, or get stopped for any reason. I do not drive outside of Montana since losing my license because I fear sporadic road-block/check points on public roads. Montana, thus far, has not done this, as far as I know. One stop by a cop and I'm gone to jail, with precious little way of getting myself out. Yet I drive to work wherever I can find it each day, and drive for other purposes, including the long rides I sometimes take in the mountainous countryside, an act of freedom which itself is one of my most enjoyable pleasures.
One arrest and that could all be gone in a twinkling. I have to keep this on the front of my mind all the time. Every day I make it without incident, I register my thanks inside myself and celebrate with happiness my good luck. I place a high value on each day, and try to accomplish as much as I can with each given day. But I also know I cannot be lucky always. I live with that fear, trying to outrun it daily, trying to forget it while I enjoy my reading and writing, my sessions down by the Jefferson River where I enjoy meditating, my long car-rides in Montana's splendor, my friendships, my life as a free American living under a government which will cancel that freedom the first time I stumble into its attention.
I work in the jewelry industry as a self-employed man with useful hands and many years of experience. I do not pay the Federal Income tax. I speak out loudly about that fact all over the Internet, hoping to encourage other Americans to look more deeply into the corruption and evil which exists in the Federal Income tax. So far, after over three years of blabbing about that, I'm still walking around "free", as much so as a man can claim to be free in today's America. Of course I'm not free; no American today could truthfully say he is free. But I'm free to get around, to work, to do the things I choose to do. That's some consolation, I suppose.
I ask myself daily whether I may be subconsciously seeking to be punished by the State. I'm convinced that I have no such latent wish. To my own knowledge of myself, I love life and freedom, creativity, beauty, Nature in all her manifestations, friendship and trust, honor, true pride in living honestly, intelligence and imagination, life's mysteries, the miracle of emotions, the miracle of form and function, the miracle of having been born of the bone gates of life into a world full of color and shape and movement and action. I think of myself as being perpetually distracted by the miraculous. I know a deep and abiding happiness, which I value. Having been incarcerated in the War on Drugs back in 1971, and having spent some months behind bars, I am quite sure that I never want to be in such a place again, ever.
Yet something inside me refuses to simply hide from this rogue government. Something inside me seriously fears the pattern developing within the national government over the past ninety years. Something I can sense, and perhaps have always sensed, suggests to me that my children may not be assured of a life of freedom such as I've known. I also feel that this pattern toward subjection of the individual to the powers of the State are being intentionally put in place, are being nurtured by those who own this nation's national debt, the people who secretly plan America's social disintegration, and this is the largest challenge to my happiness of which I'm aware. (I also think I know "who" these powers and principalities are. I call them: the "Globalizing Socialist Bankers of the Corporate Dynasty".)
Why? Because it causes me to know that I must stand as a man and try for all I'm worth to stop the social rape of America. It causes me to understand why we who are older owe it to coming generations to thwart this criminal destruction of America's Constitution and Bill of Rights. It brings to the fore in my mind and in my heart that treasured spirit of patriotism dedicated to freedom. It is not to be confused with modern notions of "patriotism", subject as they are to Statism and nationalism, but to a higher vision of the emotion, to the potential of the individual human being in a state of natural freedom.
Such feelings have caused me to step forward despite my pitiful impotence, my lack of power, and take whatever jabs at this government I may peacefully exercise. I believe that consciousness works, and I do not advocate violent revolution. But I am a guerrilla-war veteran, an ex-Marine who keeps the guns oiled. So I publish my small website as best as I can, setting forth for any reader who might come across the site my views about sovereignty vs statism. And I know that sooner or later I shall ping the ire of the powers against whom I speak out. I also know that I can never beat them in a violent confrontation. I also know that they are ever searching for fodder for their outsourced prison industry, and that they seek first among people like myself for their prey. Still, like you, I "keep the faith". And I also keep a slow and low profile, all the while broadcasting as best I can my defiance of governmental intrusion.
So that is a bit of who I am, and what is inside me. I want to thank you for providing me with the opportunity to sketch briefly an outline of my crazed and wonderful life as one more little dude in a very big country. I also would like to tell you, so you'll know this at times in which you may wonder why you burn your candle at both ends trying to write your guts out for freedom, that reading your work has been a very wonderful blessing to my life, an encouragement and a light, and that I am very grateful for all the influence, assistance, strength, wit and wisdom you've put into your words through your soul. You have had a profound effect on my life in just three years of reading your works. You ain't alone, Claire Wolfe, and you show me that neither am I. In times such as we now face, it is good to know that people like you are "there". I really hope you're able to make five minutes for me in Missoula, for I have a warm hug and a grand southern smile to share with you before it turns to be time to shoot the bastards.