Sunday, January 24, 2010

Wikipedia – A wonderful resource or unreliable trash?

Before I begin, I should qualify that I’ve been an editor on Wikipedia for almost two years now – here’s my user page – so from the start it should be obvious that I don’t think Wikipedia is a piece of garbage. Do I think it’s perfect? No.  Do I think there are a lot of errors on it?  Sure.   But here’s my two cents on the matter:

Prior to Wikipedia, if one wanted access to information about a particular subject, most of us either went to the library or consulted an encyclopaedia – if we happened to own one. Now, do you suppose most if not all of these books contained factual errors? I’m sure they did – after all, humans wrote them. And once an error was discovered, was there any way for someone to go back and fix those errors on every copy?  Nope, but you can do that on Wikipedia.

And who would have recorded the vast majority of the information in encyclopaedias and works of non-fiction pertaining to history, the sciences, etc? A bunch of older, Caucasian, and probably fairly financially well-off, men (and for those of us in English-speaking countries, these would have been mostly English-speaking, Judeo-Christian men). So in effect, said books would have represented the viewpoint of a very small portion of Western society, which in itself makes up a small portion of the societies of the world. On Wikipedia, however, one can have people from different cultural and socio-economic backgrounds, with different and oftentimes opposing viewpoints, contributing to the very same article. Yes, there are heated debates and “edit wars” all over the place, and there are certain topics on which consensus is truly impossible. And that is one of the wonderful things about Wikipedia: Instead of having a book tell you “this is the history of ABC, and that’s that” – a book that will say the same thing year after year, decade after decade – the information on Wikipedia is ever changing, just like how our view of history, science, etc, is ever changing.  One also has access to the discussion pages of each article where people are actively discussing the article's content.

Doesn’t the act of allowing any Joe Blow to edit the information on Wikipedia make that information incredibly unreliable? Not as much as one might think:

It is my belief that if you want to “know” something, you have to investigate it for yourself and when seemingly contradictory information comes about you should also investigate that information as well and not simply dismiss it because of its slant or source. You cannot go to Wikipedia or any printed book or article – or any religious tome for that matter – to know the whole truth about anything. All of these things are edited and written by flesh and blood humans, and as humans we are only able to see things through our own eyes, which is a very small slice of reality. So if you think “there’s no point in trusting anything on Wikipedia; I’d rather get my information from X, Y or Z” you’re missing the point: You can’t trust X, Y or Z either. I find the same rings true for those who poo-poo certain “alternative media” sites and news blogs as if “mainstream media” is somehow less biased and more reliable. The best you can do is to try and search out information from as many different sources as possible, including sources which tend to carry viewpoints contrary to your own.

Mainstream media, comedians and other Wikipedia detractors often like to point to examples of articles which state things like “and he is also a big doodie head”. Yes, this kind of silliness creeps in constantly; you can only imagine how many times a day one has to revert edits to articles such as Beaver or Ballcock; it is impossible to stop, much like it is hard to stop government and corporate agents from manipulating articles on Wikipedia (as reported in this article by the BBC, who themselves were caught manipulating Wikipedia articles as per this story from The Independant of the UK!).  Corporate and government agents also have their hands in the information that gets fed to us through the "mainstream media", however, unlike factual errors made by the media or in published materials, on Wikipedia you will find that poorly sourced information, obvious vandalism or errors, are reverted almost always within the day. There is a function within Wikipedia which allows editors to “watch” certain articles; in most cases editors will “watch” articles which pertain to topics of interest or articles which they had created or greatly contributed to themselves. Many of us check our “watchlists” daily, if not several times daily, not to mention that there are many articles out there being watched by multiple editors at any one time, and if we see that someone has added some contentious or downright false material to an article, or removed valid or properly sourced material, we can revert their edits with just a click of the mouse. There are also editors who go through lists of newly created and poorly sourced articles to see if they meet Wikipedia’s notability and verifiability standards. Unsurprisingly there is also an article on Wikipedia about the of reliability of Wikipedia as well as a related article on the Wikipedia biography controversy (and remember, don’t just read what these articles say, check out the sources as well as any rebuttals to said sources!)

And I admit these “notability” and “verifiability” standards are a contentious issue for me: Remember what I was saying above about how you can’t just trust information from the “mainstream media” and “official” history books and encyclopaedias any more than “alternative media” and blog sites? Well, Wikipedia’s notability and verifiability standards actually state that one should be able to back-up any material they add to Wikipedia with citations from reliable sources which, you guessed it, tend to include published materials, mainstream news sources etc...

But I don’t find the fact that I edit on Wikipedia and conform to these standards to be contradictory to my opinions about “official” history books and "mainstream" news sources. I recognise that if one is going to add information to Wikipedia, another person reading said information should then be able to find the source of said information and read it for themselves. Not only should they be able to do this, IMO they should go and check out the source of said information, for many reasons, including: A) to assess the source of the material as well as any corporate/political ties that the source(s) may have, B) to see if what is written in Wikipedia accurately reflects the actual text in the source that is being cited, and C) to then go out and try to find further sources on the topic, especially from sources which tend to have opposing viewpoints. In fact, people should be taking these steps no matter where they are getting their information from, be it Wikipedia or otherwise.

Many of you might say that you simply don’t have the time to research everything you read or see or hear, and this is very true. This is why I believe we should try to not to repeat anything we’ve read in a book or on the web, or seen in a video or film or on TV as fact (which comes back yet again to my post on repeating). Admittedly this is very hard to do. I’m trying as much as I can to catch myself and to preface certain statements with qualifiers such as “as I see it” or “here are my 2 cents” or “as so-and-so once said...” or “I read an article which said...” (And I’m certain that within the posts of this blog you are going to find many places where I’ve made “statements of certainty” in error. If you catch me on any, please feel free to post a comment to point them out. )

Another great thing about Wikipedia is that it is edited by people all around the world and so, in the case of English Wikipedia, we now have information about topics that might not otherwise have been available in our own language, because most of the source material on the topic was in another language. Now, multilingual editors can allow us to see more about the history of other parts of the world and with the ever-improving sophistication of web translation programmes we can often check out these sources for ourselves.

So yes, if you are going to Wikipedia expecting it to be an infallible source of truth, then you are going to be disappointed.  However, if you need a starting point for your investigation, Wikipedia is as good a point as any. And to all those who like to point out mistakes on Wikipedia, I'd ask: Why don’t you fix them? That’s what it's there for! And if anyone wants to learn more about editing on Wikipedia, feel free to leave me a message on my Wikipedia user talk page or leave a comment on this post and I’ll help you with whatever I can.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Freeman/Sovereign/Natural Person awakening

I'd like to give you all a high-level overview (as I see it) of a very interesting awakening coming about; when I originally started writing this post I tended to use the word “movement” to describe it, but I hesitate to call it that since this is not really a coherent or organised amassing of people towards a common goal, but rather an awakening of individuals to a greater reality -- individuals who have come to some very similar conclusions about life, reality and consciousness. (WARNING FOR SKEPTICS AND THE LIKE: I’ve just used some scary terms like “awakening”, “a greater reality” and “consciousness”. Please believe me when I say that I am not going all crystal-wearing, purple-loving, candle-burning, seminar-attending, mantra-chanting crazy. This is not what this is about, so please read-on...) There are also so many levels and layers to the story that the best I can do is provide you an introduction (as I see it) and allow you to find your own route to discovery.

I've been studying this stuff for about a year and a half now and I find it both fascinating and inspiring. Thus far I have only found stories of individuals from the English-Speaking Western World who are putting these concepts to practice (no doubt, due in large part to the fact that I am English speaking and that the internet is dominated with English-based information); there very well could be others in the world coming to very similar conclusions about life, but I have yet to discover them.

Part of the appeal, for me, is that this awakening is comprised of a very diverse and interesting cast of characters; people who have awakened to the games of law, government, and corporations -- sometimes via a slow awakening and at other times by accident, sometimes after having been “agents” on the inside, sometimes after having been victims of the con. The ideas and concepts that many of these people espouse (I’ll get to just who they are in a moment) really hit home with me on a deeper, moral and (dare I say) spiritual level. (SKEPTICS: I’m warning you: Keep reading!) And the simple fact that so many different people, from so many different places in the world, have come to such similar conclusions via such different avenues tells me that there must be some truth to it. This is not a “movement” whereby some charismatic individual manages to convince another group of people about the nature of reality and/or the self. They weren’t born-into these ideas, much like one is to organised religion. This is truly an organic expansion of consciousness, and contrary to many of the prophets and gurus throughout history you will actually find that the people involved in spreading the ideas of this awakening will often make statements such as “I’m not a leader”, “I don’t know everything”, “I’m not especially intelligent”, “don’t just believe what I say; investigate it for yourself”. For the most part, these are not people looking to gain profit or fame from this information, they simply want to share what they’ve discovered with the world and the internet has certainly allowed them to do that.

Yes, you might find some of these people to be a bit eccentric (for lack of a better term), but I challenge anyone to find me a true "free thinker" who doesn't communicate ideas which fall outside of bounds of societal norms (whatever those are.) There is also a spiritual message that is very closely connected and intertwined with this awakening, and I know how that can also turn some people off. Having been raised in a household with no religious affiliation (read atheistic) I certainly cringe at times when someone starts to drift into the territory of “God” and “the power of the self” and “trusting intuition”; terms like these, at least for me, tend to conjure up images of houses of worship, Oprah gurus, personal empowerment seminars, e-meters and the like. However, I’m starting to warm up to these concepts a little more, due in no small part to the concepts of the freeman/sovereign/natural person awakening.

A large part of this awakening has to do with the realisation that the whole world of laws, governmental regulation/taxes, fiat currency, etc. -- things by which most of us feel bound -- are actually nothing more than ink on paper. WE humans created these things and WE humans give them power over us and WE humans ALSO have the ability to choose not to take part in those constructs and systems. Admittedly, this is very obvious to many of us, but I find very few of us actually believe it, or at least, there are many of us (and I include myself in this group, although I am trying to free myself of this) who think that these things have been around for so long and there is such an institution and web built around it, that we have no choice but to continue on within it, but the fact is, there are people living today in Canada, the US, the UK and Australia who have decided for themselves what relationship, if any, that they want to have with the various governmental and fiscal bodies of the world. Many of these people no longer pay income or property taxes, do not register their vehicles with the government, travel freely without a driver’s licence or passport, and pay for services such as post-secondary education, electricity bills, credit card bills etc... using a bond created in their name when their birth was registered with the state. Many of us do not even know of the existence of such an account in our names, let alone how to use it. One might also ask: “If such a thing exists: Why don’t I know about it?” And this is a VERY interesting question and is but a fraction of the stuff you’ll discover with some of the links I am about to provide.

Another part of this awakening is to understand the history and the language of law. Due to the fact that very few of us went to law school, very few of us truly understand the language of law. Although English law texts will contain words written in what looks like English, many of the words used in law and commerce actually have a very different meanings, sometimes even opposite to the same word’s definition in an English-language dictionary; it is because of these assumptions that most of us make -- including, sadly, assumptions made by enforcement officers (i.e. the police, the tax man, airport security) -- that the con works.

But the most attractive thing to me about this awakening is the importance on questioning EVERYTHING that we don't understand and taking NOTHING for granted. Many of the victories experienced by these people in legal matters came from them simply asking the right questions. There are certain questions that the establishment does not want to address, otherwise their con falls apart, and so there are people who are winning cases in court, and even avoiding court cases all together, because the Courts would rather throw the case out than allow anyone else in the court to figure out what's going on.

So where to start? There are bits and pieces all over the web. Here are some people whose work is worth investigating.


Robert-Arthur: Menard. (Why did I write his name like that? You'll have to watch his videos to find out.) Rob is a Canadian currently living in BC. He has made many videos available on the web and his YouTube channel which he updates quite regularly. He also has a website: However, I would suggest you start with these two particular movies which explain his discoveries about statute law.

Bursting Bubbles of Government Deception – 1hr 20mins. In this video Rob explains many of the terms in law which we misinterpret due to their actual “legal” meanings. He discusses such things as the concept of the “person” in law, the right to travel, the bond created by your birth certificate and much, much more. He also discusses many interesting experiences that he and others have had in court.

The Magnificent Deception - 2hrs 01mins. In this video Rob further expands on the concepts introduced in Bursting Bubbles. He discusses such things as how we unknowingly become agents of the government, how tickets are actually bills of exchange, and of course his always amusing interactions with police officers and agents of the judicial system.

Rob has also started on his Very Cunning Plan which he has further updated on and through videos posted to his YouTube channel.


The Strawman Illusion - 1:34:55. This is audio of a presentation by Thomas (aka Agent J) Anderson, from Australia. In it he discusses the concept of "The Strawman" or the "capitalised fiction" which is created with the registration of our birth. There is also this interview of Thomas by Adam Davis of Truth Movement Australia available on YouTube.


Russell Anthony Porisky of The Paradigm Group has a couple of his presentations on the web. He is one of the many people who accidentally discovered the intricacies language of law when a case against him was dismissed in court after he asked a particular question. In his presentations Your Human Rights and the Illusion - 3hrs 23mins and Reclaiming Our Rights - 1hr 41mins he discusses the language of law and how to decipher it. He also talks about the origins and significance of our capitalised fiction -- our name in all capital letters. Russell's journey tends to be more focused on tax laws in Canada and why he believes Canadians are not required to pay income tax if you properly decipher the statues of the tax act. The Paradigm Group also has their own website at, although as I type this their site is under construction.

Update: I should mention that one of the commenters on this post stated that Porisky has been imprisoned for tax evasion. Although I cannot find any information about his conviction via the web, it is true that the website has been taken down and I'm thinking that Robert-Arthur:Menard may have indeed referenced Porisky in a couple of his talks which I saw on his YouTube channel -- in these videos Rob advised against the use of the "natural person" defence, adding that a man had gone to jail trying to argue that point.  Even if this is the case, this does not invalidate his argument, in my opinion.  I also still strongly recommend the aforementioned videos to help one understand how to deconstruct laws and statutes.

Mary Elizabeth: Croft has lived in both the US and Canada and is best known for her lengthily-titled web-book How I Clobbered Every Bureaucratic Cash Confiscatory Agency Known to Man ... a Spiritual Economics Book on $$$ and Remembering Who You Are. Mary Elizabeth discusses interactions with law enforcement and collection agents on both sides of the border and how laws, taxes, bills, etc. are all used to keep the general populace in a constant state of worry and fear, which in turn allows them to be more easily controlled and manipulated. Her text is a long one and does tend to go into different directions. Her book was one of the first things I read and I find that now that I have been doing some more investigating I am better equipped to go back and read this book again. I do however love her conviction and sardonic view of things.

Mary Elizabeth also has a blog called Spiritual Economics Now.


Veronica: Chapman is from the UK and also hosts her own website FMOTL stands for Freeman-on-the-Land. As you will see, the very first thing she states on her home page is: "This is a weird website. It is deliberate." It is not especially easy to navigate, but contains some great info as well as examples of documents, such as her NOUICOR (a Notice of Understanding and Intent and Claim of Right). She also has her own web-book Freedom Is More Than Just A Seven-Letter Word.  She has also published a paperback version which apparently has some updates and an extra chapter.

I also enjoy Veronica's writings. She is quite direct and actually pokes a few jabs at some of the people mentioned above and I find that her book is a good summary of much of what has been discovered by Robert, Thomas, Mary-Elizabeth et al. However, I do find that in order to comprehend some of what she discusses in her book, you need to read some of the works of the people mentioned above in advance.


John Harris. I love listening to this guy speak, not only because of his heavy cockney accent, but he just says things in a way that really ring true to me. I have a few of his speeches and interviews on my YouTube Channel, including his talks titled It's an Illusion. He is also the creator of the website - TPUC stands for The Peoples United Collective.


Other names you might want to Google:
  • Irene-Maus: Gravenhorst
  • Gary-Thomas: Clement
  • Jon Witterick

...So this is all just a starting point. There is certainly a lot to investigate, watch and read out there, including the forums of the various sites mentioned above where people are discussing these topics and putting them into action in their own lives. I suspect that I'm not going to receive many comments on this post, if any; I have written a lot and have provided links to a lot of lengthy documents as well as videos, some of which are hours long. Unless this stuff truly interests you I suppose this would all be quite boring. I do however hope that someone out there comes across this post and discovers a new way of looking at the world and “reality” (for lack of a better term). And as always, I welcome any and all commentary.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Love Police

Props go out to Charlie Veitch, Danny Shine, et al. I absolutely adore what these guys do. It makes me want to buy a megaphone and go down to Dundas Square.

If you like what you see check out Charlie Veitch's YouTube Channel for more Love Police shenanigans, as well as their newly created website

You might also want to check out Danny's YouTube Channel as well as his blog. Danny also does some interesting talks at Speakers Corner in London's Hyde Park, some of which he has recorded and posted on his YouTube Channel.



UPDATE 03/10/2010:  I am saddened to report that Danny has decided to part ways with Charlie and has since requested that Charlie take down any videos in which he had appeared and has taken down his own personal videos from his own You Tube channel as well.

Here's what Danny had to say on his blog.

And here's an update from Charlie about the situation: 

Danny was an extremely funny, smart and thoughtful contributor, not only to You Tube, but to the greater consciousness in general, and although I understand his reasons for parting ways with Charlie, I'll certainly miss Danny's exploits and commentary. Hopefully we'll see/hear from him again in the near future.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

My god! Could I truly be becoming a neo-con?

OK, so I'm being a bit alarmist. It's really a sensational headline meant to draw attention...

But seriously folks: Is big govt necessary? Should government be responsible for the people's welfare? Do we really need them to take care of us? Is having a government which provides some great services and safety nets, such as universal health care, really worth it when we know that the majority of what they take from us in taxes is either being wasted or used to fund things that we don't agree with and/or which do nothing to help the average citizen? (Ex: bank bailouts, unjust wars, private chauffeurs, corporate tax breaks, etc...)

I realise the irony of me asking such questions, given my love of universal healthcare: I've participated in several discussions on-line, particularly during the US healthcare debate, where I championed Canada's healthcare system. And when the issue of "taxpayers money" is brought up I have stated on more than one occasion that I'd be willing to pay 50% income tax, if those taxes went to the right things, such as free post-secondary education, or the type of dual-parternal leave offered in such countries as Sweden and Norway.

But even though I like having governmental safety nets like unquestioning health care coverage, I'm beginning to question putting one's own welfare into the hands of the government, especially since government is so deeply intertwined with private/corporate interests and rarely puts the welfare of its people before said interests.

During a New Year's visit to my parents' place, I was discussing with my family about what is known as the Freeman/Natural Person/Sovereign movements and how some people have chosen not to contract with the government and in doing so have relinquished their Social Insurance Number (SIN), have stopped contributing the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) etc... She then asked what the majority of the Canadians would do without the financial assistance of CPP in their later years. And this is a good question. I responded with the idea that the elderly should not have to look to the state for care, and that we should live in communities which take-in and provide assistance and support to their elderly in their latter stages of life. And people should be able to decide for themselves what they want to do with their life's savings and not be forced to give a certain percentage to the government to save for them the way that the government sees fit. Not to mention the fact that, with the way the economy is going, I don't think my hard-earned CPP will even exist when I get to retirement age...but more on that later.) The thing is, I also realise that we in the Western World are becoming less and less likely to take care of our aging parents directly. We've started to convince ourselves that having to interrupt our own lives to take care of our parents is a burden. Even our aging parents themselves speak of not wanting to be a burden; that somehow they have failed as parents if their children are forced to take care of them.

As for the likelihood that I or most of those reading this post will ever see our CPP: With the fiat money and fractional banking system being used around the world, it will be impossible for us to ever pay off the national debt. Impossible. Like, mathematically impossible. If you would like to learn how that could possibly be true, you should really watch a relatively short film called Money as Debt. You'll find a full version on Google Video or you can check out my You Tube channel where I have a playlist including Money as Debt and its sequel, Money as Debt II. Believe me, usually I see or hear anything related to finances (or anything to do with numbers really), my brain starts to shut down. It's like my brain has hands which it's placing over its ears while it shouts "La-la-la! I'm not listening! La-la-la..." However, you should also believe me when I say that Money as Debt is a fascinating and eye-opening look at our money system, what it is based on and how we got into this mess. It explains it all in very simple terms -- kinda like fractional banking for dummies. I'm also starting to understand why my brain reacts to this seemingly imaginary, arbitrary, convoluted world we call investment banking and finances. Because it is just that; Imaginary, arbitrary and convoluted! We've become a slave to a system that only has power over us because we believe that it does. It's bloody nuts!

Then there is the whole concept that the government works for us, not the other way around, and that income taxes are unlawful, and that truly human beings are not subject to statute laws -- they are only being applied to us to generate revenue. (I'll get into more of this stuff later as well.)

So have I got any magnificent ideas for a better system? Of course not, but I am looking into what others are proposing. I think a good start would be to rely more on small community systems of governance, as well as barter and trade systems that don't rely on a fiat currency. We need to go back to a time when one helped -- hell, when one even knew -- their neighbours. A community which helps those in need within their community, because in doing so one improves the state of their community.

Unfortunately I'm no Poli-Sci or Economics major (remember what I said about my aversion to all things financial?), but I think taking the attitude of "well, that's the reality and life sucks; just accept that we are just forced to use this inefficient system" is not only lazy, but silly. WE have created this system of governance -- all of us -- whether we run the system, work for the system, or profit from it in any way. And if the majority decided tomorrow that they didn't want that system, it would simply cease to be. The same goes for our monetary system. It's all a construct. This isn't ideology, it's the truth.

So I've tried my best to write a coherent post here. I did tend to go off on tangents and I'm not sure that I got to the point, but I'd be interested if anyone out there in the interweb has any thoughts on these matters.

Oh, and by the way, I don't believe in voting anymore. Some of you may gasp at that thought, especially since I was known to espouse the old saying "if you don't vote, you have no right to complain." I realise know I was just being a Repeater. But I'll save my ramblings about voting and democracy for another post.

...And of course just as I was formulating this post, I came across this very apt 8 minute video about the concept of liberty. I'm beginning to appreciate these little "coincidences" or bursts of insight that the universe seems to be throwing at me these days...