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Saturday's Talk

(originally launched into cyberspace on 02/28/2003)
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Dear List Subscriber,

Okay, now I have more info about tomorrow's talk. It is NOT an evening
event. There will be a bunch of speakers, and I'm supposed to be the first
one. I should go on at about 1:30 p.m., as long as lunch doesn't run too
late. At this point I'm not sure if admission is free (I'm guessing lunch
isn't), and I'm not even entirely sure that it's open to the public. Aak.
As soon as I get the REST of the details, I'll let you know.

Sincerely,

Larken Rose
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Really Bad Announcement

(originally launched into cyberspace on 02/27/2003)
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Dear List Subscriber,

Somewhere, sometime I'm giving a talk. Hope to see you there.

Okay, maybe I can do a bit better than that. This Saturday evening (um... I
think it's evening), I'm giving a talk at the Marriott in Trenton, New
Jersey, at an event put on by the New Jersey libertarian party.

I've been sick for a couple days, which is my feeble excuse for this
announcement being late and sorely lacking in details. I WILL get you all
the details (times, driving directions, etc.) in the next day or so. (I'll
make sure that "or so" part happens before the talk does.) Ain't I just the
epitome of organization?

Sincerely,

Larken Rose
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
http://www.theft-by-deception.com

Ask The Experts

(originally launched into cyberspace on 02/27/2003)
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Dear List Subscriber,

I'm happy to report that over 200 H&R Block offices have now been sent "THE
QUESTION." (Sounds like something from a Monty Python skit.) Here's a
quick rehash of what to do, followed by a rather amusing example of what
responses to expect.

Again, I am NOT the one keeping track of this thing. Peter McCandless was
kind enough to volunteer to orchestrate this emdeavor... so bury HIM with
your questions, not me. [Smile] Here is his e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

We will be sending the following letter to as many local H&R Block offices
as we can, keeping a record of which offices were asked, and keeping a tally
of the responses (or nonresponses) we get back. For this letter-writing
campaign it is IMPORTANT that all the letters be exactly the same. Here is
the letter:

http://www.taxableincome.net/hrblock.html

1) First, you'll need to find an H&R Block office to send it to. This link
makes it easy:

http://www.hrblock.com/universal/office_locator.html

Again, you don't have to pick one near you, and you don't have to pick just
one. Several people have each sent the letter to DOZENS of local H&R Block
offices.

2) You should just be able to do a "cut and paste" of the text of the letter
at the link shown above, and put it into any word processor (even WordPad
which comes with Windows). You will just need to FIX THE DATE at the top of
the letter, and PUT IN YOUR NAME at the bottom.

3) Be sure to make a SECOND copy, and send it to the "cc:" address shown at
the bottom of the letter. That is H&R Block corporate headquarters.

4) Once it is sent, send Peter an e-mail ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) and tell
him ALL of the following:

The ADDRESS of the H&R Block office you sent it to.
The DATE the letter was sent.
Your E-MAIL so we can check if you got a response.

And again, the H&R Block folk might only answer if they get paid for it, so
if you're willing to contribute financially to this, let Peter know (
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ). (Yes, it is somewhat annoying to be giving any
money to people who MISapply the law, but in the end it will be worth it.)
If you sent a letter, and they respond with how much it will cost, it would
be great if you can cover the cost yourself. If not, contact Peter as ask
if we have funds to cover it.

-------------------------------------

And now, to the amusing part.

In general, I think the questions should be done by "snail mail" (not by
phone or by e-mail), just because a response on H&R Block letterhead is a
lot harder to fake than an e-mail. (If they say something REALLY looney,
which is pretty likely, people will think we made it up.) However, when
someone did try to get an answer to the question by visiting two local H&R
Block offices, the results were rather amusing. (I have removed the names
and locations, to protect the ignorant.)

Tapdance #1:

The question, again, was whether they determine their clients' taxable
domestic income under the rules of 26 USC § 861(b) and 26 CFR § 1.861-8 (in
addition to any other pertinent sections). The office manager at one office
responded with "we use the IRS regulations" and said that there were a lot
of other sections other than those mentions. No kidding? Golly, gee. He
added to this brilliant non-response by saying that "people a lot smarter
and richer than us" (like Leona Helmsley) have learned the hard way that we
all have to pay taxes. What's funny about this is that these "experts" are
the ones who TOLD the rich people that they owe. After that the manager
preached about how he doesn't want to live in the country for free (as if
that has some bearing on what the LAW says about what is taxable). He then
suggested going to a lawyer for an answer. Hmmm... one of the biggest tax
preparation companies in the WORLD says that if you want to know how to
determine your taxable income, you should GO SOMEWHERE ELSE. (On that
point, I agree.)

I have to point out, the question was whether THEY use 861(b) and 1.861-8 to
determine their clients' taxable domestic income. This is hardly an
overly-abstract theoretically question. They either DO, or they DON'T. How
can they NOT KNOW whether they do? Then again, maybe they don't know; the
manager said "we go by the tax code", and when then asked "don't you use the
regulations?" he responded with "isn't that the tax code?" That really
builds my confidence in the "experts." How about you?

Tapdance #2:

Again, the question was presented to the office manager (different office).
He spent a while trying to find anything in the company computer program
that mentioned 1.861. Apparently he had no luck. After being asked the
question again, he evaded for a while, and then made a rather interesting
(and disturbing) admission. He said they do not use individual sections to
do their job; they use IRS Publication 17. Yep, they use a LEGALLY
WORTHLESS "publication," and IGNORE the legally-binding regulations. Better
yet, they put their own cover on the IRS Publication 17, and call it "H&R
Block 2003 Publication 17." If any of you still thought that tax preparers
are actually knowledgeable about THE LAW ITSELF, I hope you start to
reconsider.

Sincerely,

Larken Rose
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
http://www.theft-by-deception.com

Operation Blockhead

(originally launched into cyberspace on 02/25/2003)
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Dear List Subscriber,

(First of all, I'm not really officially calling this endeavor "Operation
Blockhead," but I couldn't resist just this once.)

With tax season gearing up (the season for misapplying the tax laws), it's
time to listen to "the experts." No, this time I mean it. Whenever you put
the 861 evidence in front of a so-called "expert," what do they almost
always recommend (after they're done with insults, assertions, threats,
etc.)? They suggest that if you have questions about what you owe, you
should CONSULT A "REPUTABLE" TAX PROFESSIONAL. I agree.

So here's how this will work:

First, I am NOT the one keeping track of this thing. Peter McCandless (the
guy whose radio show I've been on a bunch of times) was kind enough to
volunteer to orchestrate this emdeavor... so bury HIM with your questions,
not me. [Smile] Here is his e-mail:

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Here's the deal. We will be sending ONE question to as many local H&R Block
offices as we can, keeping a record of which offices were asked, and keeping
a tally of the responses (or nonresponses) we get back. For this
letter-writing campaign it is IMPORTANT that all the letters be exactly the
same. Here is the letter:

http://www.taxableincome.net/hrblock.html

I'll tell you more about the reason for this, and the longer-term plan soon,
but for now here are the instructions:

1) Find a local H&R Block office. The phone book works, and since they're
advertising all over the place these days, they shouldn't be hard to find.
Incidentally, while I'm guessing most people will just pick a nearby H&R
Block office, there's nothing that says it has to be one close to you, and
nothing that says it has to be just ONE. If you have the time and desire to
do it, feel free to look up a HUNDRED Blockhead offices, and send each a
letter.

2) You should just be able to do a "cut and paste" of the text of the letter
at the link shown above, and put it into any word processor (even WordPad
which comes with Windows). You will just need to FIX THE DATE at the top of
the letter, and PUT IN YOUR NAME at the bottom.

3) Be sure to make a SECOND copy, and send it to the "cc:" address shown at
the bottom of the letter. That is H&R Block corporate headquarters. After
we tally up results for a while from the local offices, we want to put
headquarters on the spot.

4) Once it is sent, send Peter an e-mail ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) and tell
him ALL of the following:

The ADDRESS of the H&R Block office you sent it to.
The DATE the letter was sent.
Your E-MAIL so we can check if you got a response.

That's about it. We're still figuring out exactly what to do once we have a
decent number of responses, but it will probably include running a newspaper
ad in a Kansas City newspaper (where Block headquarters is) at the peak of
"tax season." But for now, we just need to start asking the question.

Once more thing: Chances are that most, if not all, H&R Block offices won't
want to answer the question without getting PAID (if they answer it at all).
If you are able to contribute financially to help get some responses (the
per-response cost shouldn't be very much), please do! Again, contact Peter
( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) if you're willing to contribute to this. (And yes,
it is somewhat annoying to be giving any money to people who MISapply the
law, but in the end it will be worth it.)

If you sent a letter, and they respond with how much it will cost, it would
be great if you can cover the cost yourself. If not, contact Peter as ask
if we have funds to cover it.

Again, thanks to Peter for volunteering for this... and I hope he lives
through it. [Smile]

Sincerely,

Larken Rose
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
http://www.theft-by-deception.com

Finding Blockheads

(originally launched into cyberspace on 02/25/2003)
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Dear List Subscriber,

For the H&R Block campaign, here is a far easier way to find a local office:

http://www.hrblock.com/universal/office_locator.html

Sincerely,

Larken Rose
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

TAX SCAM ALERT!!!!!

(originally launched into cyberspace on 02/24/2003)
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PUBLIC NOTICE:

Be advised that there is a tax evasion scam now being widely promoted, which
is attempting to persuade the public that federal income taxes are
unconstitutional and need not be paid. This bogus scam is called the "861
argument" because it revolves around a gross misinterpretation of Section
861 of the Internal Revenue Code.

"This claim would be laughable if it were not hurting innocent Americans who
are seduced by the sales pitches of the scam artists promoting this scheme,"
said IRS spokesman, Edward Smith. "Section 861 quite clearly shows the
wages of most Americans to be taxable, in addition to other types of
domestic income. The 861 argument is completely baseless."

The Department of Justice has been successful in shutting down several of
those promoting this scam, but others continue to spread the claim that most
Americans are not required to pay their income taxes.

According to John Hamilton, a former IRS Commissioner, "in spite of the fact
that the claim is patently ridiculous, and the fact that many promoters of
this scam have been enjoined or imprisoned for making it, there continues to
be a handful of shameless charlattans trying to get rich from selling this
losing argument." Mr. Hamilton added, "while we'd all like our taxes to be
lower, I think it's despicable that anyone would encourage their fellow
Americans to avoid paying their fair share of what is needed to fund the
necessary government services that benefit us all."

Mr. Smith also added, "Every court which has come across this silly argument
has ruled against it, and often they have imposed fines on those raising it,
as it is frivolous and utterly baseless, and is nothing more than an attempt
to clog up the courts with tax protestor cases."

Federal officials want to make it publicly known that the "861 argument" has
no basis in law, and that those promoting it are being pursued both civilly
and criminally. The IRS encourages anyone who comes across the promoters of
this scam to report them to the IRS, and they suggest that those with
questions should consult a reputable tax professional to determine their
proper tax liabilities.



---------------------------------------------



Okay... now how is your blood pressure doing? While you were reading that,
did you feel psychological discomfort (fear, anger, hopeless, etc.)? I bet
most of you did, even though it might be uncomfortable to admit it.

I wrote the fake "public notice" above, and the names and quotes are made up
(though the quotes are pretty close to things that government officials have
said). I didn't just do it to raise your blood pressure. I did it to
illustrate a few things:

Propaganda works. I knew full well that my "public notice" was full of
lies, but I bet it still had the effect on you that the feds want THEIRS to
have on you. To be blunt, most people find it very difficult and
uncomfortable to stand behind a claim or a cause when everyone around them
(especially those representing "authority") are telling them not only that
they are incorrect, but that they are stupid, dishonest, and immoral. You
cannot withstand such an attack unless you have a solid understanding of the
issue AND the spine to stand up for an unpopular truth.

Expect two MONTHS of things much like the "public notice" above, only they
will come from the government, and probably the tax preparation industry as
well. They are already gearing up their terror campaign, and it will keep
getting worse until April 15th.

This is a war of words, and since they have almost infinite resources
(having the media parrot whatever some clueless government official blurts
out), it can feel pretty hopeless. Do NOT get impatient. When you see Joe
Bureaucrat out there bashing YOU (for all your friends and neighbors to
see), it's natural to want to immediately bash back. But we can't... yet...
which can be very frustrating.

How many of YOU were swayed by my "public notice" into thinking that 861 is
wrong? There probably are a few, and those people just need to do more
homework looking into the issue. Probably the vast majority of you just got
angry, frustrated, etc. We need more people who know what YOU know, because
then they too will not be swayed (only annoyed).

How many people familiar with the 861 evidence will "unlearn" it because of
the next two months of government propaganda about it? ZERO. They may be
scared to act on it, but no one who has digested the EVIDENCE will be
disuaded by "IT'S FRIVOLOUS!!" If you understand the SUBSTANCE, nothing but
SUBSTANCE will change your mind. (And since there is no real substance on
the other side, you're in good shape.) We need more and more UNDERSTANDERS,
because they do not "defect" back under pressure.

Do not get overly anxious, angry, frustrated, etc., when the feds bombard
the public with their disinformation campaign over the next two months. We
will patiently, persistently, and unstoppably tear this fraud out by its
roots. And no amount of bureaucrat ranting will stop that.

Sincerely,

Larken Rose
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
http://www.theft-by-deception.com