The nice people at Roll On Friday have sent me a link to this rather excellent extended clip of Jon Witterick from GetOutOfDebtFree appearing on something called EdgeTV (no, me neither):
Frankly, there’s so much to enjoy here that I’m not sure what my favourite bit of the show is.
We could start with this strained attempt to link statute law to maritime law: “And what else has a company?” Er… The army? Wolves? “A ship!”
Or this: “They’re called ‘birth certificates’ for a reason. Like a ship’s berth.” Um, no, you see, because… Ah, what’s the point?
And perhaps this: “Companies are fictitious entities. As living, breathing souls, we can’t contract with a fictitious entity.” Which is good news for their employers, if they have them – should save a packet on wages.
And who wouldn’t take financial advice from a man wearing a “9/11 Was An Inside Job” t-shirt and calling himself Ceylon? He’s done more research than you can imagine!
He can even explain the ancient mysteries of filing: “You can see all of the letters you’ve sent!” Perhaps he could have explained to the “text jockey” how her tech works…
Jon Witterick, on the other hand, is all modesty: “My understanding of this is that of an educated 12 year old.” I don’t know about you, but I think he’s flattering himself.
On the other hand, there’s nothing that can quite match my favourite Witterick clip (which rather annoyingly I can’t find a link to), of his slide show on the unreality of money being interrupted by a man who remembers that Jon owes him a tenner. And yes, he pays up.
It’s easy to poke fun at the Freeman on the Land movement. And so I shall, for example by directing your attention to this claim that you can abstain from driver licensing requirements (“I claim the right, as Son of God, to unencumbered World travel…”) and this utterly incomprehensible User Agreement (a copy of which I received with a debtor accompanied by a demand for £1,000,000 for each use of his name).
But then again, this stuff does get peddled as genuine advice. One of my lizard correspondents, for example, is an independent financial adviser.
Of course, some Freemen do have their debts written off. They would have been written off if they’d done nothing (because not every unpaid debt is litigated), but just as in alternative medicine anecdote is proof.
And just like alternative medicine, sometimes the consequences of legal woo are rather serious.
Take Elizabeth Watson, of Doncaster Council contempt of court (sort of) fame. Turns out that writing “no consent” and “no contract” on court orders doesn’t actually mean that you’ve exempted yourself from English law, even if John Hemming is on your side. Who knew?
Or Mark Bond, whose principled stand against rationality saw him arrested over non-payment of council tax. Wonder how that freemany landy thing is working out for him now?
Yes, they’re happy to go along with a convenient conspiracy theory, and yes, it’s their right to be credulous (and my right to poke fun at them). But these are still real people with real families.
On the other hand, what are the chances of them listening to rational argument? And if you can’t beat ‘em, you could always get yourself one of these.