(originally launched into cyberspace on 09/16/2008)
Once upon a time there was a guy named Fred. One night Fred was
having trouble sleeping, and went to the kitchen for a snack.
Before turning on the light, he happened to glance out the window,
and see some movement in his neighbor's garage. As he watched,
Chuck, another of his neighbors--not the owner of that house--
walked out carrying some garden tools. Fred glanced at the clock,
which said 2:15 a.m. Fred grabbed his camcorder, which happened to
have night vision, and kept watching and filming as Chuck crept
from one house to another, sneaking into any open garages, and
carrying off various items.
Though he couldn't imagine an innocent explanation, the next day
Fred decided to confront Chuck, as politely as possible, about what
he had seen, before mentioning it to the neighbors. So he strolled
over to Chuck's house and knocked on his door. Chuck opened the
door, wearing his usual friendly smile. "Um, I don't quite know how
to say this," began Fred awkwardly, "but I saw you last night,
taking stuff out of other peoples houses. I didn't want to say
anything before talking to you about--." His words were cut short
by a rather vigorous punch in the nose.
"You'd better shut up if you know what's good for you," said Chuck,
and slammed the door, leaving Fred standing there, dazed and with a
Several hours later, after his nose had stopped bleeding, and had
returned more or less to its normal size, Fred decided he had to
speak to his neighbors about what had happened.
The first neighbor Fred went to just responded with, "That's
impossible. Chuck is a great guy. He would never do that. And if he
were doing something like that, someone would have noticed by now.
I don't believe you. Go away." The neighbor shut the door in Fred's
face, before Fred could even mention the videotape.
As soon as the second neighbor opened the door, he said "Chuck
warned us that you're telling lies about him. He says the
accusation is ridiculous, absurd! So go away." Again the door
slammed before Fred could mention the videotape of Chuck's dirty
The third neighbor also started talking as soon as he opened the
door. "Chuck says you're the crook, Fred, that you steal stuff, and
that you gossip about all of us. I want nothing to do with you."
The door was again slammed in Fred's face.
The fourth neighbor, though seeming suspicious and less than
friendly, let Fred say a bit, just enough to mention the videotape.
Somewhat begrudgingly, the neighbor watched the video. At the end,
however, all he would say was, "Well, when you brought it up, you
got a punch in your nose. So who cares whether what you say is true
Fred almost went home then, but decided to try the last house he
had seen Chuck take stuff from. The fifth neighbor answered the
door, and Fred quickly summarized the situation, hoping to get it
all out before being punched or having the door slammed in his
face. This time, however, the neighbor listened quietly and
intently, and then asked to see the videotape, which he watched
quietly and intently. After a few more moments of silence, the
neighbor said, "Thank you for letting me know. I'll have to think
about what to do about it, if anything, but I appreciate you
letting me know."
Walking home, Fred felt content. The problem hadn't been solved,
and most of his neighbors had been thick-headed dunces, but at
least one person wanted the truth and got it. And, for the moment
at least, that was good enough for Fred.
The above story may seem unrealistic. After all, people wouldn't be
so dense that they wouldn't want to know if someone's taking their
stuff, right? Well, it depends upon who the accused thief is.
My "Taxable Income" report, in all its manifestations since 1998,
my "Theft By Deception" video, my web sites, etc., all boil down to
a simple message: "I have proof that you've been robbed, by Uncle
Sam no less." Now you might think, whether they believed that
accusation or not, that people would at least wonder whether it was
true. Oddly, most of them DON'T. In fact, most of the people in the
"tax honesty movement" also DON'T. Consider the most common
responses to the "861 evidence" (which correspond to the various
neighbors in the above story):
1) "That can't be true. Our government would never do that, and if
it did, someone would have noticed." Of course, this says nothing
about the evidence, since people who think like that never LOOK at
the evidence. But what makes that common response especially looney
is the claim--and I've heard people say this on many occasions--
that if that were true, someone would have discovered it, and told
them about it. Um, someone did, and someone did. I guess what they
mean is that someone ELSE would have known about it, and would have
told them SOONER. Well, others tried, and they didn't listen then,
2) "The courts say that's frivolous." So people appointed by the
accused crooks, and paid by the accused crooks, assert that the
accused crooks aren't crooks. And apparently that's good enough for
a LOT of people. What about the evidence? Do the courts have an
explanation for it? No, but apparently they don't need one, as far
as most people are concerned. The mere ASSERTION (called a "ruling"
when a "judge" does it) that the issue is bogus is enough to
dissuade most people from ever considering the evidence.
3) "The government says that this is a tax fraud scheme, and you
were convicted, so you're the criminal." Demonizing an accuser is
nothing new, and the reason it's been around so long is because it
often works quite well.
4) "Well, all it got you was trouble, so I don't want to hear about
it." This response comes not only from the general public, but from
a lot of people in the "tax honesty" movement. In short, if they
aren't spoon-fed a sure-fire, risk-free means of resisting the IRS,
they don't CARE what's true and what's not.
Thankfully, there are some people who want to know the truth, the
whole truth, and nothing but the truth, even if it's unpleasant,
and even if they don't know what to DO about it. It amazes me how
few of such people there are, even in the "movement." Maybe it's
because they really DON'T believe it could be true, and so they
don't want to examine the evidence too closely. Well, for those who
want to look closely, my new book "Kicking the Dragon"--which shows
one way to stand up for the truth and get hurt for doing so--gives
all the evidence you'll ever need. So far, however, less than one
person in ten on this e-mail list has ordered the book. It makes me
wonder, how many people REALLY want to know the truth, and how many
are just playing the wishful thinking game? The number of weird,
baseless arguments in the "movement," and the number of people who
blindly accept them as the gospel truth, is an indication to me
that lots of people WANT a snake oil cure, not the often bitter
truth. Bummer. Well, for the few weirdos like me who value the
truth simply because it is the truth, I wrote "Kicking the Dragon."