The IRS And Self Incrimination

Respected legal hstorian Leonard Levy writes in Origins of The Fifth Amendment that:

“…In 1774, the legislature(in the colonies)…passed a liquor excise requiring consumers to give an account to tax collectors, on oath, if necessary, concerning the amount spent by them for liquor.”

A group including Sam Adams and John Hancock, supported the efforts of Boston schoolmaster John Lovell that its practice would enslave the country. Samuel Cooper, minister of the Brattle Church, pointed out that if an accounting of any part of one’s innocent conduct could be so “extorted”, then “every other part will with equal reason be required, and a political inquisition, severe as that in Catholic countries, may inspect and control every step of his private conduct”.

The complaint centered around the right against incrimination, going to ancient times, and part of the protection of man’s conscience against human authority. No man can be forced to accuse himself. “Taxation without representation” therefore, was more than just getting the approval of your representative in the legislature, but even the legislature could compel no man to give personal accounting of the money he spent, if that same compulsion was used to incriminate him.

Taxes are, as admitted recently by a IRS official, voluntary. We know this because no man can be compelled, in any criminal case, to be a witness against himself. If any person is held criminally accountable for not reporting taxes, then the report itself becomes the basis for in criminal action, which is not allowed by the 5th Amendment.

This was understood as part of the Bill of Rights itself. The 4th Amendment was not considered seriously unil Madison pointed out that the power of the federal government to tax was plenary, but suppose, said Madison, the government wanted to look into our accounts witout warrant? The result immediately was the 4th Amendment.

Levy writes in Origins Of The Bill Of Rights that:

“James Madison…recalled that the legislative powe constituted a great danger to liberty; in Britain, he noted, ‘they have gone no further than to raise a barrier agains the power of the Crown. The power of the legislature is left altogether indefinite’. ”

The 4th Amendment, therefore, was intended as a protection against the federal legislature. But it is the wording of that amendment that needs to be examined:

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated…”.

Notice that the amendment does not estabish such a right. It acknwledged that such a right already existed, and would not be violated. The people had a right to be secure against unreasonable search and seizure. So, what was “unreasonable” as they understood it?

We know that taxes could be collected, but the taxes could not be based on compelled testimony from the people. The right against self incrimination prohibited it. While the power of the federal governmen to tax was admittedly plenary, the right to collect those taxes could not violate pre-existing rights of securiy against unreasonable search and seizure.

What did the law say was unreasonable? The definition for that came from English common law, decided by Lord Camden, in a case called ” Entick v Carrington”. Camden stated that the law required no one to incriminate himself, for that would be ‘cruel and unjust’ to the innocent and guilty alike. “And it should seem, that search for evidence is disallowed upon the same principle“.

If the right against unreassonable search and seizure already existed, it was based on the 5th amendment right that no person, in any criminal case, can be compelled to be a witness against himself.

What we are not told is that there is a distinction between the “right against self in crimination” and the right against being a witness against yourself. The right agains self incrimination assumes that a person can be a witness in any case as long as that person is not the accused. At any point in testimony under oath, the witness may “plead the Fifth” on the grounds that an answer may tend to incriminate him. That is, the person may answer all questions except those questions that may incriminate him/her.

But the 5th Amendment declares that no person “shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself”. The principle goes back to ancient times, and says that no man may be forced to accuse himself. If your punishment, therefore, is based on your voluntary compliance to report your taxes, there can be no prosecution against you if you fail to report them, because no person can be compelled to be a witness against himself.

While SCOTUS has ruled in “Miranda” that you must be informed of such rights upon arrest, the right always exists, whether you are arrested or not.

So, what is an arrest? By law, an arrest is any process by which you are detained by law enforcement with a warrant. Any detainment, including license checks, is a violation of “seizure” as SCOTUS clearly ruled in “Delaware v Prouse”. There can be no general warrant to stop or “seize” people. If people are stopped, then by law, no criminal penalties can be enforced, because no person can be compelled to be a witness against himself. No person may be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law, and “due process’ means courtroom time. The instant any deprivation comes into the courts, all evidence is disallowed(Entick v Carrington) because the accused was compelled to provide the evidence.

How does the government get around this? The government is not required to inform you of your rights unless you are arrested. That’s “Miranda”. Notice that, when you are given a traffic ticket, there is no arrest. If there were, the officer would be required to inform you of your rights. But when you do get a ticket/citation, notice that you can waive your rights and simply send payment in to he courts! The government avoids due process with your permission! It does the same when you fill out a 1040 form!

But, can we consider a taxpayer a “witness” under the terms of tax payment? In fact, we can.

In “Miranda”, the courts have staed that “The Fifth Amendment provision that the indiidual cannot be compelled to be a witness against himself cannot be abridged”.
Further, the court ruled that: “Where rights secured by the Constitution are involved, there can be no rule-making or legislation which would abrogate them”.

The legislature, therefore, cannot compel any person to report taxes, and then hold them criminally liable for not doing so! How do they get away with it? They don’t have to inform you of your rights unless you are arrested. If you are not arrested, they can do anything by statutory(not common law) law that you do not challenge. If the IRS says “WE can do this by statutory law”, they are correct, but statutory law does not override common law rights guaranteed by the Constitution!

Notice further, in “Sullivan v. United States”, that :
“There can be no question that one who files a tax return under oath is a witness within the meaning of the Fifth Amendment“.

That is the ruling of SCOTUS! In 1976, SCOTUS further ruled:

“The information revealed in the prparation and filing of an income tax return is, for Fifth Amendment analysis, the testimony of a ‘witness’ as that term is used herein”.

SCOTUS has clearly verified the right against self incriminatin regarding a 1040 form! No person, in ANY criminal case, can be compelled to be a witness against himself! There can be no criminal penalty for refusing to fill out a 1040 form!

I recently had a conversation with a North Carolina Department of Revenue official who was careful to tell me that, by statutory law, I could be penalized for not filliing out an income tax form. But he knew I could NOT be penalized by constitutional law, either the NC Constitution or the US Constitution!

How do they get away with it? First, because a large number of people are convinced they should report taxes, and second, because it simply costs more than it’s worth to fight them! They are happy to quote statutory law, and the people are too ignorant to know better!

But let’s look at the “Sullivan” case from which I quoted earlier. Manley Sullivan was an auto dealer who supplemented his income by selling moonshine during prohibition. Since he could not report illegal income, he simpy did not file a tax return. He was charged with willfully failing to file a tax return. He was convicted by a lower court, but the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the conviction, rulng that:
1. Requiring Sullivan to file a tax return would be “in conflict with the Fifth Amendment”.
2.The language of the Fifth Amendment must “receive a liberal interpretation by the courts”
3.No one can be compelled “in any procedings to make disclosure or guive evidence which would tend to incriminate him, or subject him to fines, penalties, or forfeitures”
4.The Fifth Amendment “aplies alike to civil and criminal proceedings”
5. “There can be no question that one who files a return under oath is a witness within the meaning of the Amendment”.

The Court of Appeals understood it correctly. They recognized “Entick v Carrington” and the complete protection against self incrimination!
But notice, Sullivan did not file under the Fifth Amendment protection of being a witness against himself, but under the right against self incrimination. That technciality is exactly how SCOTUS overturned the Appeals Court decision! By filing his defense under the right again st self in crimin ation, Sullivan had implied that he WAS required to be a witness, not havig been yet accused, but that he only had to refuse certain information! The right against self incrimination does permit compelled testiomny, up to the point that the witness might incriminate himself. From that point, the witness may selectively answer questions that will not tend to incriminate him/her.

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr penned the response, and notice how he worded it:
“If the form of return provided called for answers that the defendant was privileged from making he could have raised the objection in the return, but could not on that account refuse to make any return at all.”

Notice that Holmes ruled on the right against self in crimination, saying specifically that the defendant could not simply refuse to file a tax form based on the right against self incrimination. Sullivan had used the wrong defense! He should have declared that no person can be compelled to be a witness against himself! Since he had based his defense on the right against self incrimination, he was admitting that he should have filled out the form EXCEPT for certain information that would tend to incriminate him!

Notice further what Holmes stated:

“We are not called on to decide what, if a nything, he might have withheld. Most of the items warranted no complaint. It would be an extreme if not extravagant application of the Fifth Amendment to say that it authorized a man to refuse to state the amount of his income because it had been made in crime.”

Strictly and tehnically, based on above information I have provided, Holmes was correct! The right not to be a witness a gainst one’s self did NOT include the point of self-incrimination, but was, as Lord Camden had said, a protection against BOTH innocent and guilty!
Holmes admitted as much!

“But if the defendant desired to test that or any other point he should have tested it in the return so that it could be passed upon”.

Sullivan had misapplied his defense! Crime can not be used as a defense in regard to the Fifth Amendment! Holmes correctly asserted that the 5th Amendment was never intended as the specific protection of crime. It was intended as a complete protection of both innocent and guilty, with the weight of evidence being provided by the goverment itself! That is precisely what Holmes said! The court therefore applied his defense as if he were a subpoenaed witness who failed to appear. But Sullivan was NOT a subpoenaed witness who had failed to appear, because a filer CANNOT be subpoenaed to be a witness against himself!

The Court of Appeals had given Sullivan a “break” by admitting that the Fifth Amendment demanded a liberal interpretation, but Holmes had techically and legally forced Sullivan to correctly state his defense, which he had not. He was not allowed to use the amendment in protection of crime.

“Sullivan” therefore, was NOT the test case for the 5th Amedment right againast being a witness against one’s self, but against the right against self incrimination concerning a subpoenaed witness.

On such technicalities, the American people are enslaved.

“Hell” And “Due Process” Of Law

Within the concept of due process, as stated by the 5th amendment and SCOTUS, is the ancient idea that no man can be made to accuse himself. Borrowing from the writings of the Jewish rabbi Maimonides, SCOTUS has declared that the 5th amendment right against self incrimination has its origins in the Bible(Miranda v Arizona, footnote 27).

Jon Lilburne of England demonstrated this truth, leading to the destruction of Star Chamber judgement in England, pointing often to the trial of Jesus himself. As we see in John 18:19-23, Jesus demanded that the high priest provide witnesses against him, proving that he had in some way violated law. This was never done.
Verse 20:

“I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort, and in secret have I said nothing. Why asketh thou me? Ask them which heard me, what I have said unto them: behold, they know what I have said”

Jesus exercised his right to face his accusers(Isaiah 50:8), and protection of God(Isaiah 54:17), thus becoming an example for all those accused of lawbreaking, or “sin(1 John 3:4)”.

Within this example, we see Supreme Court Justice Abe Fortas echoing this principle of protection from God(Miranda):

“The principle that a man is not obliged to furnish the state with ammunition against him is basic to this conception….[The state] has no right to compel the sovereign individual to surrender or impair his right of self defense….A man may be punished, even put to death by the state; but…he should not be made to prostrate himself before its majesty. Mea culpa belongs to a man and his God. It is a plea that cannot be extracted from men by human authority. To require it is to insist that the state is the superior of the individuals who compose it, instead of their instrument”.

Law historian Leonard Levy writes:

“The framers understood that without fair and regularized procedures to protect the criminally accused, liberty could not exist. They knew from time immemorial the tyrant’s first step was to use the criminal law to crush his opposition”.

Applying this idea to the concept of “hell” as taught by Christianity, we see that Jesus demanded that his accusers provide actual testimony that proved he had indeed “sinned” by breaking the law. In fact, no proof was given, and as the Jews admitted to Pilate, “It is not lawful for us to put any an to death(John 18:31)”.

From this we have the separation, as Blackstone pointed out, between civil law(Roman law) and “common law”, which recognized the authority of “God, reason, and nature”. The Jews could not lawfully put any person to death without direct proof, unquestionable, that the accused had committed a sin worthy of death. If they did so, by the law of Deuteronomy 19:19, they were guilty of the sin with which they accused the person. Therefore, it was unlawful for them to put Jesus to death by “hanging on a tree” without bringing the “curse” upon themselves.(Galatians 3:13, Deuteronomy 21:22-23).

As you see in verse 23, “…for he that is hanged is accursed of God”. This is in reference to Leviticus 18:25, which curses the land itself on which Israel lived, if they hanged a man from a tree. Consequently, it was important that Jesus be “laid to rest’ that very day on which he was hanged.

Paul, therefore, pointed out that Jesus was “made a curse for us”(Galatians 3:13). By leaving crucifixion to civil(Roman) law, the Jews avoided the responsibility of putting an innocent man to death by their law.

The Jews, therefore, can technically argue that it was civil(Roman) law that put Jesus to death, and not God’s law.

This would mean that if Jesus paid the penalty of law, which was death, he paid the penalty of civil law, which had hanged him “on a tree” by law. Civil law, in accordance with Justice Fortas’ statement, had no authority to compel any person to confess guilt, and federal law IS civil law. Therefore, we have the understanding of the 5th amendment that “[no person] shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law”.

Due process of civil law? No, common law, which Justice Joseph Story shows plainly in his “Commentaries” is recognized as “due process”. Story takes his conclusions from English Chief Justice Coke, who equated common law with due process. Since Jesus had paid the penalty of civil law, any accused person had the right of common law procedure to defend himself against accusers, which included protection of God and the right to face accusers, as Jesus himself had demanded.

How far does the principle of the right against self incrimination go by Biblical law? Notice Jude 9:

“Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil for the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said ‘The Lord rebuke thee’.”

Notice, however, in describing “the devil” and his “angels”, in Jude 6, we see:
“And the angels which kept not their first estate(proper domain) but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgement of the great day”.

We see from this that God has “reserved judgement” on even those beings. Even the archangel, therefore, could not bring accusation against Satan, as God himself was the judge. “The Lord rebuke thee”.

In 2 Peter 2, we see this parallel of Jude. Verse 10:

“But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptious are they, and self willed, and not afraid to speak evil of dignities”.

Does this mean we have no right to speak out against human government? Next verse, 11:

“Wheras angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord”.

Who DOES bring accusation? Well, hebrews 2:14:

“Forasmuch as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he(Jesus) also himself likewise took part of the same, that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil”.

How is it that Satan exercises this power of death? Matthew 4:8-10, and Luke 4:6-8. Satan ruled over the governments of the world, and offered world power to Jesus, who then told Satan that “thou shalt serve the Lord thy God and him only shalt thou serve”.

We see from Biblical example AND the statement of a Supreme Court Justice(Fortas) that the state may accuse, but has no power to compel any person to admit of any guilt. it is “between man and his God”. We also see, from Biblical example, that not even archangels have this power of accusation(2 Peter 2:11).

The state has no authorization to condemn anyone by its own laws.

If the state acts as accuser, being under power of Satan, we see the nature of those people who serve it, in 2 Peter 2:12:

“But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not, and shall utterly perish in their own corruption”.

The state cannot justify condemnation of any man for breaking a “victimless” law. The state is no more permitted to such accusations or punishment than the archangels mentioned in 2 Peter and Jude.

Notice further the description of these folks in 2 Peter 2:18-19:

“For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from those that live in error.
“While they promise them liberty, they themselves are servants of corruption, for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage“.

if they are “again entangled” in these laws and doctrines, they have created their own bondage(verse 20). Civil law(Roman, laws of men), cannot exercise punishment simply by virtue of the law itself, since Jesus died and paid the full penalty for us.

These are not people, but those who serve a combination of “beast(government) and false prophet(church)”. It is interesting to note that Ayn Rand, an atheist, referred to them in similar terms; “Attila and the Witch Doctor”, the combination of “faith and force” without reason and logic.

We now know mathematically from Godel’s theorem and Turing’s halting problem, along with other mathematical proofs, that it is simply impossible, by human reason, to put all truth in one package. Every attempt to do so results in “undecidable propositions” or “self swallowing sets” of logic. By attempting to establish human authority, we become “entangled” in what Douglas Hofstadter(Godel, Escher, Bach), calls “tangled hierarchies” of human authority.

Such absolute authority cannot be established by either church or state, leaving us with Jesus’ admonition in Matthew 24:23.

So who is condemned to hell(hades, or gehenna)?

They are named in the book of Jude, verse 6. The devil and those who followed him in rebellion. They control the governments of the world, and they enslave those who wish to be part of that system, including both church and state. For whom is “everlasting fire” reserved? “The devil and his angels(Matthew 25:41)”.
Those who follow human laws and human reasoning that condemns men by the authority of “victimless crime” deceive themselves, seeking punishment for others “as brute beasts”, condemning that which they do not fully understand.

You are free, now, today. You need not enslave yourself to human reasoning or even religions(Matthew 24:23).
Ralph