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Tax Protestor Dummies > 13th
How do you know that you are not so stupid that you will fall for darn near
anything? A good test might be whether you fall for the 13th Amendment scam
The 13th Amendment scam derives from alleged “research” by David
Dodge and Tom Dunn, a couple of wackos who chanced upon the “missing” 13th
Amendment in a library in Maine, and concluded that not only had the Amendment
been ratified, but that it also had been “hidden” for years by
an obscure but elaborate and extensive conspiracy, and that the net effect
of the Amendment was that no laws passed by Congress had any validity.
This was a scam from the outset. The idea was that scam artists could go around
and pitch the “Missing 13th Amendment” and sell seminars and books
and tapes and whatever on the subject. When this scam was first pitched in
the early 1990s, it actually found favor with the Midwestern farmers who were
battling with their local banks to keep control of the their family farms,
and were more than willing to listen to tales of evil bankers and conspiring
But a scam that smells so sweet is still a scam. And this scam never really
caught on because even if you ass-u-me that the 13th Amendment was secretly
passed, it is hard to then go to where this does anybody any practical good.
The premise of Dodge and Dunn was along the lines that the 13th Amendment would
have prohibited attorneys (which they ass-u-me is a “title”, although
it is really a license) from holding seat in Congress, and thus they further
ass-u-me that Congress is full of attorneys who would be thus un-seated. What
these ace researchers weren’t able to figure out, however, is that Congress
actually includes very few attorneys (in addition to, as noted above, that
one is granted a license to be an attorney, not anointed by the Queen or President,
just as a CPA or barber is granted a license).
Anyhoo, this 13th Amendment Scam has been thoroughly de-bunked time and time
again by a number of qualified and accredited researchers, probably most thoroughly
by Jol A. Silversmith in his work: “The Real Titles of Nobility Amendment
FAQ”, appearing at http://www.thirdamendment.com/nobility.html and his “The ‘Missing
Thirteenth Amendment’: Constitutional Nonsense and Titles of Nobility” at
Notwithstanding that NO accredited legal scholar thinks the 13th Amendment
argument is anything other than a scam, and though this scam has been discredited
on the internet and elsewhere by real academics time and time again, the following
fraudsters continue to perpetuate this scam:
TONA Research Committee -- http://www.amendment-13.org/trc.html -- Suzanne
Nevling, Alan Nevling, Richard Green, Bob Hardison, Brian March, David Doge,
Thomas Dunn. “Research” by Bob Hardison
Even Larry Becraft admits the 13th Amendment claims are totally bogus:
Date: Mon, 08 Nov 1999
From: Larry Becraft <firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: Re: LAWYERS CHANGED US CONSTITUTION SO THEY COULD HOLD OFFICE
To whom it may concern,
There has been lots of talk on the Net regarding the alleged "missing" 13th
amendment. I have followed the development of this research since it first
got some notoriety years ago and my views are expressed below.
When Bill Benson and I tried to rip the 16th amendment out of the constitution,
I had to immerse myself into the law of ratification of amendments. First,
an amendment's ratification is a decision committed to the political branch
of the government, meaning the Congress. The President and the courts play
no role in the ratification process. When an amendment is proposed in the typical
manner, states ratify the amendment and send notice of ratification to the
Secretary of State. Once a sufficient number of states ratify, the Secretary
of State proclaims its adoption. The number of states required to ratify are
not limited to those in the Union at the time of the amendment's proposal.
Although there is no litigated decision on the point, the accepted scholars
declare that states admitted after the proposal of an amendment must likewise
join in the ratification process. It seems that the courts would agree with
In reference to the "missing" 13th amendment, I have over the years
had a number of people mail me material regarding the issue, which I have studied.
In order to prevail on this argument, the proponents must refuse to count states
that entered the Union after this amendment was proposed; they limit the number
needed for ratification to those in the Union when this amendment was proposed
in 1810. But even with this invalid limitation of the number of states needed
to ratify, the proponents admit that they cannot prove that Virginia ratified.
All they have are published copies of constitutions of the period that include
this amendment. You cannot prove that an amendment was ratified without having
the actual state ratifications of sufficient number to meet the constitutional
threshold. But further, you need a proclamation from the Secretary of State
of ratification. The proponents do not have this essential proof of ratification.
While this issue is an interesting study, there is no substance to it.
But the proponents also desire to make other wild claims. While titles of
nobility are limited to titles like prince, princess, duke, etc., (I don't
know all the various names) they expand this definition to things like "honor" and "esquire," from
which they draw the conclusion that lawyers have a title of nobility. Go ask
any lawyer if "esquire" is a title given him by some monarch and
he will tell you the same thing I am telling you now: he has no title given
to him by a monarch. These terms are just customary salutations and clearly
are not titles of nobility.
Has this argument done damage? I know of a case up in Cincinnati styled United
States v. Ed Badley, Gar Bradley and another of Ed's sons. They were indicted
last fall for federal tax crimes and they filed pleadings which were predicated
upon this "missing" 13th amendment argument. They went to trial earlier
this year and used this and the "non de guerre" issue (names in CAPS)
for the 3 weeks that the trial lasted. The jury was back with guilty verdicts
in 45 minutes.
The proponents of this argument claim that the "missing" 13th amendment
would destroy "immunity" defenses of public officials. Govt officials
do not have absolute or qualified immunity because they have some "title
of nobility." The origins of such immunity is the common law doctrine
that "the king can do no wrong." Since this is a common law legal
principle, it today manifests itself as the principle that the "government
can do no wrong." If this supposed amendment were a part of the constitution,
we would still have today this immunity defense.
The "title of nobility" argument has no substance, yet it continues
to circulate and mislead people in the freedom movement. There are lots of
arguments floating around of the same nature, like assertions that all Americans
(and particularly lawyers) are subjects of the British crown. I consider that
those who make these arguments have a "title of stupidity."
~ Larry Becraft