They do not recognize the state
In September 2011, a certain Bobby Oliver Sludds appeared in a Wexford court charged with motoring offences, including two counts of driving without insurance.
It seemed a fairly clear-cut case. Sludds had 24 previous motoring convictions to his name.
But before police evidence could be submitted, Sludds had a proclamation to make.
He was not in fact Bobby Sludds, but ‘Bobby of the Family Sludds’ and described himself as “a free man travelling, not driving.”
It was also discovered that he had a very unconventional number plate on his car that read “BS PFN” which stands for Bobby Sludds Private Free Man”.
It became apparent that Sludds did not recognise the court as he described the Irish state as a fictional entity with eight of his supporters and kinsmen cheering him on.
The court did not buy his argument, fined him €670 and handed him two suspended sentences.
Sludds was part of the Freemen of the Land movement. Originating in the US back in the 1970s and 80s, it has made its way to the UK and Ireland in recent years, particularly with the advent of the financial crisis and bank debt.
Freemen believe that the laws of the state are a contract that citizens can choose to opt out of. Therefore they do not recognise the law of the land and believe they have no legal obligation to abide by them.
The Freeman Guide claims that “as a freeman on the land of Ireland, you will enjoy all your rights and freedoms. You cannot be held liable for any of the Straw Man’s (goverment) debts or Statutory obligations.”
This notion of freedom also stretches to the use of a person’s name. The Freeman movement believe that birth certificates create a “legal fiction” in one’s name as it is written on Bond paper that is owned by the state and government.
So by using a name such as Bobby of the Family Sludds rather than Bobby Sludds, a free man is no longer under the control of the state.
This creates legal implications when a Freeman comes before a court in any jurisdiction.
According to the Irish Law Society Gazette, the Freeman will take one of three approaches when summoned to court:
- Refuse to appear but instead write to the court clerks
- Question the authority of the judge
- Question the validity of the court
Pictured: Bobby of the Family Sludds (centre in grey suit) and his supporters
http://www.newstalk.ie/Who-are-the-Freemen-on-the-Land 17:50 Friday 17 May 2013