Why I Went To Prison
I get the impression that, of the people who know my name—from my books, articles, talks and/or videos—the majority still aren’t aware that I spent a year in federal prison. And of those who are aware of that, most have only a vague general idea of how that came about. “You didn’t pay taxes, so they prosecuted you, right?” Maybe one out of thirty people who know my name actually remembers something about the actual issue. “Something about section 816 of the tax code… or maybe it was 861… or something like that, right?” But I am regularly reminded that the people who actually know what happened, with any degree of accuracy or in any detail, are probably less than one percent of the people who know my name.
Mind you, that’s not a complaint. Most people have no reason to know, because I hardly ever talk about it these days. As a result, what most people know about it (if they know anything), they got mainly from second- or third-hand rumors, from other people who don’t actually know what happened (often from my critics, who love to gleefully gloat about my imprisonment). “You got caught not paying taxes and they prosecuted you!” Nope, not that. “You were protesting the income tax, so they threw you in prison!” Nope, wrong again. “You were arguing that the income tax is unconstitutional, right?” Once again, dead wrong. “They got you for tax evasion, right?” No, they didn’t. “The feds proved you wrong, which is why you don’t talk about it anymore.” Not even close. “You thought you found some loophole in the tax code and…” Nope. Or the popular favorite among some state-worshipers: “You were running a fraudulent tax scam and got busted!” No, no and no.
The story of what actually happened is so involved that I don’t really expect most people to care enough to find out about it. But for those who do, I’ve decided to start giving away for free the e-book of “Kicking the Dragon (Confessions of a Tax Heretic),” the true story of my “adventures” with the federal extortion racket and court system. So many ridiculous, outrageous, and/or downright evil things happened over the course of about eight years that I can’t even remember them all myself, unless I look at the book to remind myself. So I obviously wouldn’t expect anyone else to remember it all. But it still causes a twinge of annoyance every time I see or hear someone—friend or foe—mischaracterizing what I went through, and what happened to me.
Be warned, the book is not a light read. A lot of people have said that somehow I did manage to make much of it amusing, which took some effort, since I wrote the thing in prison. Mostly by hand. In printed form, with appendices, it’s almost 500 pages long. Hand-written it was well over a thousand. And that was me being as brief as I could, without leaving out anything important. (I did omit quite a few less important facts and events, so people would still be able to lift the damn book.)
Let me be blunt here. I want people to care what happened. But I don’t expect them to, and I don’t blame them if they don’t care. And no, it’s not because I need them to care about me; it’s because the story involves an incomprehensibly huge fraud, which not only is unknown by the general public, but is unknown or misunderstood by the vast majority—almost 100%, in fact—of “tax protestors” and people who complain about the IRS. And most people don’t want to expend the time or mental energy to find out the full truth of the matter. And again, I can’t really blame them for that. If something sounds really unlikely, and it takes many hours of concentration just to figure out if it’s actually true, almost no one will bother—or should bother.
But, in case you’re one of those weird people who might have the time and the inclination to delve into a mostly infuriating story, here are a few little tidbits that might get your attention: I didn’t get “caught” doing anything. I ran full-page ads in newspapers asking the United States “government” to prosecute me. I was also telling everyone else to not do what I was doing, but to watch, because whatever happened to me, I was going to make the federal extortionists show themselves for what they are. And they did. I wanted to be their first target over the issue I was raising, because as far as I knew (and I still think this), no one was in a better position to defend themselves in such a case.
In the end, they prosecuted me for several counts of one misdemeanor: “willful failure to file.” But that was not why they actually went after me, as the IRS and the court made abundantly clear. But since “saying what you think” and “talking about the law” aren’t crimes in this country (not yet, anyway), they pretended it was about me not sending pieces of paper to the IRS. Meanwhile, I had numerous lawyers and CPAs agreeing with me, including former federal attorneys and IRS agents. And I was being very loud about what I had found, and had concluded. (Again, the book gives the details.) The IRS tried to silence me, and failed. Then they did an armed invasion of my home in 2003, and it took a year and a half to “unseal” their bogus, fascist search warrant (details in the book).
Before all this happened, Tessa and I owned our house outright and had zero debts. After my conviction, in a ridiculous mock trial in their kangaroo court (read the book for details), the court made it clear that I had to pay the IRS over $50,000 in back taxes (which I never owed) or I would be caged for five years instead of one. And the court fined me $10,000. And all the other legal expenses and fines, for my case and Tessa’s, made us have to mortgage the house, which we eventually lost. (I was also unable to earn any money for a year, while in prison, which didn’t help.) We’ve been pretty dang poor ever since. Yes, it’s difficult to not be bitter, at myself as much as at anyone else, for having lost all that.
And now I’ve decided to give away the whole story for free. Here is the link to download the e-book:
I hope a few people have the time and interest to actually learn the whole story. Even if you think you already basically know what happened, I guarantee you will learn things you didn’t know before. This wasn’t just someone hearing some weird claim on the internet and deciding not to file, and then getting flung in prison. This was an eight-year-long ordeal, with more weird developments and twists than you can imagine. And if, after learning the whole outrageous story, you want to donate something—whether out of pity or because you found the book informative and/or entertaining—feel free.
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