As regular readers and followers of the Freeman on the Land Cult will know, some time ago I wrote a satirical post about a cult member Dominic Lohan. He preaches legal woo which is as hilariously mistaken as to law as anything you are ever likely to read. On 9th November 2011 two Occupy London protestors, Dominic Lohan and Mark Edwards, scuffled with each other in St Paul’s Churchyard and both were arrested. Having written about Mr Lohan and had Mr Edwards as a neighbour in Occupy London (he had parked his tent next to mine near the beginning of the original encampment), I took an interest in the case. Consequently I attended the trial of Mr Edwards on 4th January 2012. The charges were dismissed for lack of evidence.
The following day I wrote about Dominic Lohan and the antics of his cultish friends again, making the point that although he insists in public that courts do not have the proper jurisdiction to hear cases he must have hypocritically accepted their remit over him because he had agreed to bail. On 6th January 2011 he attended a committal hearing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court and again accepted bail conditions, in stark contrast to everything he says in public about his ability to frustrate the ordinary operation of the courts by relying on the Magna Carta. Whether or not he attempted to insist that the magistrates produce their actual oaths, as per the Freeman cult’s creed, I do not know. He’s due to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court again on 3rd April 2012 at 2:00pm with a time estimate for his trial of an hour and a half on the following charges:
- “On 09/11/2011 at Bishopsgate Police Station, The City Of London, being a person in police detention arrested for and at the time the requirement was made had not been charged with an offence, namely possession of a class A drug , contained within Schedule 6 to the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000, failed without good cause to provide a non intimate sample for the purpose of ascertaining whether you had a Class ‘A’ drug specified in Part 1 of Schedule 2 to the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 in your body Contrary to sections 63B(8) and 63C(1) of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984. Contrary to sections 63B(8) and 63C(1) of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984.”
- “On 09/11/2011 at St Pauls Churchyard, The City Of London used towards Mark Edwards threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour with intent to cause that person to believe that immediate unlawful violence would be used against him by any person, or to provoke the immediate use of unlawful violence by him whereby that person was likely to believe that such violence would be used, or it was likely that such violence would be provoked Contrary to section 4(1) and (4) of the Public Order Act 1986. Contrary to section 4(1) and (4) of the Public Order Act 1986.”
Dominic Lohan insists in public that he does not use money so it will be interesting to watch him walking to court on 3rd April 2012, unless he doesn’t mind someone else paying for transport on his behalf?
The Freeman cult makes much of s.61 of the Magna Carta. They say that it allows them to force a judge to produce his actual oath. The Magna Carta was written in medievalist shortform latin. It wasn’t intended for general reading at the time. In 1215 nothing was but the Magna Carta is particularly hard to understand. Almost no word, on the single sheet of vellum which it was written on, is complete. They’re not just classical latin or camp latin words that were shortened – they are a medieval variation. I don’t mind admitting that I am not one of the few scholars in medievalist shortform latin in this country but there are plenty of translations around. Here is the section so loved by the Freeman cult:
SINCE WE HAVE GRANTED ALL THESE THINGS for God, for the better ordering of our kingdom, and to allay the discord that has arisen between us and our barons, and since we desire that they shall be enjoyed in their entirety, with lasting strength, for ever, we give and grant to the barons the following security:
The barons shall elect twenty-five of their number to keep, and cause to be observed with all their might, the peace and liberties granted and confirmed to them by this charter.
If we, our chief justice, our officials, or any of our servants offend in any respect against any man, or transgress any of the articles of the peace or of this security, and the offence is made known to four of the said twenty-five barons, they shall come to us – or in our absence from the kingdom to the chief justice – to declare it and claim immediate redress. If we, or in our absence abroad the chief justice, make no redress within forty days, reckoning from the day on which the offence was declared to us or to him, the four barons shall refer the matter to the rest of the twenty-five barons, who may distrain upon and assail us in every way possible, with the support of the whole community of the land, by seizing our castles, lands, possessions, or anything else saving only our own person and those of the queen and our children, until they have secured such redress as they have determined upon. Having secured the redress, they may then resume their normal obedience to us.
Any man who so desires may take an oath to obey the commands of the twenty-five barons for the achievement of these ends, and to join with them in assailing us to the utmost of his power. We give public and free permission to take this oath to any man who so desires, and at no time will we prohibit any man from taking it. Indeed, we will compel any of our subjects who are unwilling to take it to swear it at our command.
If one of the twenty-five barons dies or leaves the country, or is prevented in any other way from discharging his duties, the rest of them shall choose another baron in his place, at their discretion, who shall be duly sworn in as they were.
In the event of disagreement among the twenty-five barons on any matter referred to them for decision, the verdict of the majority present shall have the same validity as a unanimous verdict of the whole twenty-five, whether these were all present or some of those summoned were unwilling or unable to appear.
The twenty-five barons shall swear to obey all the above articles faithfully, and shall cause them to be obeyed by others to the best of their power.
We will not seek to procure from anyone, either by our own efforts or those of a third party, anything by which any part of these concessions or liberties might be revoked or diminished. Should such a thing be procured, it shall be null and void and we will at no time make use of it, either ourselves or through a third party.
As you can see, there is nothing there about judges being required to produce a written form of their oaths before conducting trials. It is all about the barons who had just won new rights from the king. The Freeman cult make much nonsense out of this but the implication is clear – they wish to abolish our modern representative democracy and return the country to a system of law best suited to warlords fighting over territory, with no rights for anyone else, Mr Lohan included. Perhaps he fancies his chances as a baron? Without substantial land and wealth, he wouldn’t last five minutes.
The fact is that the Freeman on the Land cult abuses legal concepts in much the same way as a fundamentalist religious cult abuses general accepted spiritual wisdom. They are disinterested in the actual law but like to borrow catchphrases from it, so that they can quote from senior judges to promote their cause. Essentially, they claim they can opt out of being governed on the basis that they did not give their consent to the law. This convenient concept is mired in the language of the Magna Carta because the consent of the barons was pivotal to its creation. They obsess with simple notions from the early law of contract and insist that it is applicable to all other branches of law. Despite the repeated failure of their pseudo-defence (example), they proselytise that it works in practice. The creed becomes true comedy with its constant references to maritime law, which stems from a serious distortion of the meanings of certain words, eg. citizenship. Anyone who challenges the cult is called a shill. In keeping with other cults, all criticism is taken as an attack on the truth. The cult’s promise to free its followers from debt is analogous to a religion’s promise to free sinners from hell.
The rational wiki has produced a list of various occasions when the Freeman on the Land arguments have utterly failed:
- Judge challenged to produce oath by man disputing summons Full panoply of Freeman delusion on display here – down to Black’s Legal Dictionary being produced in court. End result: Conviction, and when The FreeMan Bobby of the Family Sludds wanted to appeal — “I can’t accept a bail bond from someone whose signature can’t be verified,” [the Judge] said, remanding Mr Sludds to Cloverhill prison.
- Two men are arrested and charged with growing cannabis they claim to be “freemen on the land” but the courts state that they have “no personal circumstances applying to them which affords immunity to prosecution”, that there was “no legal significance” to the term “freeman on the land” and that they would be tried anyway.
- Freeman Mark of the family Bond gets arrested after refusing to recognise the court and giving police his notice of intent. He gets a suspended 3 month jail sentence anyway, on condition that he pays off his debt
- Freeman “Brian-arthur: alexander” tries to get out of speeding by telling a judge the law doesn’t apply to him. The judge disagrees and the police suggest further charges of obstruction and mischief for his freeman shenanigans.
- Mika Rasila gets stopped by the police for not having a licence plate. He tells them that he doesn’t consent to their laws and that he isn’t an employee of the “corporation of Canada”. It doesn’t work and they arrest him and impound his van. A judge later gives him a fine of $1,250.
- Freeman Darren Pollard gets arrested despite telling the police officer he doesn’t consent or contract. Not surprisingly it fails and they take him in to custody anyway
- Darren Pollard gets arrested again after refusing to appear in court despite trying to claim that he was ‘Darren of the family Pollard’ and not the legal fiction of Darren Pollard they were looking for
- A Freewoman user “girlgye” recollects her account of being arrested for not having road tax or car insurance and having her “conveyance” impounded. This in spite of all the freeman woo she tried. She was later sentenced to 14 days in HMP Styal women’s prison for contempt when she attempted to defend herself using more freeman woo.
- Freeman Ben Lowrey is arrested for driving a motorcycle without registration, insurance, MOT or a crash helmet. Subsequently fined £500
- Canadian Ian Freeman (AKA Ian Bernard) arrested, tried and jailed for 93 days for dumping a couch. Within seconds of his trial commencing, he was rearrested and hand-cuffed for refusing to sit down when asked. He has since attempted using the freeman woo while defending a parking ticket.
- James-Michael: Tesi arrested. After refusing to pay a fine for not wearing a seatbelt, he flooded the court with woo-woo documents basically refusing to pay. The court ignored this, and issued an arrest warrant. A police officer pulled him over, which resulted in gunfire and Tesi being wounded.
- A Freewoman attempts to use the entire panoply of freeman woo to deny a court’s jurisdiction in child custody proceedings. She was sentenced to nine months for contempt.
The question is will ‘the man commonly known as dom’ have any more luck with a Freeman defence or will he abandon it in the face of more practical considerations?