Where I wrote;
The study refers mainly to two papers written by Donald Netolitzky, legal counsel for the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench, the same court that released the Meads decision. These are;
Netolitzky, D. J. The history of the Organized Pseudolegal Commercial Argument phenomenon in Canada. Alberta Law Review
Netolitzky, D. J. Organized Pseudolegal Commercial Arguments (OPCA) in Canada: An attack on the legal system. Journal of Parliamentary and Political Law
There is apparently no freely available copy of this paper online.
Well Netolitzky's published yet another paper, with the somewhat cumbesome title;
ORGANIZED PSEUDOLEGAL COMMERCIAL ARGUMENTS IN CANADIAN INTER-PARTNER FAMILY LAW COURT DISPUTES
which I decided to punch up a little for the title of this discussion. The article can be read here;
He doesn't have kind words about the OPCA types;
As for naive laypersons adopting OPCA strategies, this appears unlikely given these ideas generally circulate in highly paranoid, politically extremist, and introspective marginalized social communities, with certain limited exceptions.11
He does a comparison of the underlying development American and Canadian OPCA/sovereign history;
A brief introduction to OPCA history and OPCA theories is helpful to understand OPCA inter-partner disputes. This review will focus on Canada. The US has a lengthy OPCA history, which has led to substantial commentary by academics, government bodies, and other agencies. However, US and Canadian OPCA litigation is quite different in that US Sovereign Citizen concepts were developed in rural farm and blue-collar communities with libertarian, evangelical religious, and often racist beliefs, to counter perceived excessive state interference or intrusion into personal activities via taxation, gun control, civil rights, and education curriculums.28
A dramatic shift in focus occurred when Sovereign Citizen ideas were introduced into Canada via the Freeman-on-the-Land movement. OPCA strategies were initially limited to parent versus state child custody disputes. This gave the Freeman movement and its successors a different orientation, one that is much more amenable to applying OPCA concepts in family law disputes since Freemen explicitly view children as property, and have an expanded mythos on that subject and its implications.
Robert Menard's pivotal place on Canadian OPCA history is recognized;
The Freemen-on-the-Land, the second broad-based and now dominant Canadian OPCA movement, first emerged in British Columbia “[a]round the year 2000 … in … politically leftist, ‘green,’ anti-globalization, [social activist, marijuana advocacy,] and anti-government communities.” This OPCA movement was effectively the sole creation of a single guru, Robert Arthur Menard, a British Columbia street comedian who claimed that all government authority may be defeated if an individual withdraws his or her consent to be governed. Freeman-on-the-Land concepts have a broad application, allegedly permit Freemen to evade practically any government obligation or authority, and yet, still give Menard’s followers a right to extract conventional (and extraordinary) services from the remainder of Canadian society. Perhaps unsurprisingly, this earned Freemen a popular nickname: “Freeloaders-on-the-Land.”
Along with the movement's eventual failure;
The Freeman-on-the-Land movement grew throughout the 2000s, but is now in considerable distress and upheaval. Menard failed to deliver on his many schemes. In 2014, he was arrested in Ontario for multiple counts of impersonating a peace officer, and then absconded. Menard’s guru heir apparent, Dean Clifford, was arrested in 2013 on grow-op and firearms charges. He was convicted and sentenced to three years incarceration. Clifford’s reputation, too, has suffered with the obvious failure of his ideas during his 16 month pretrial detention and at trial. The now-disintegrating Freeman movement has attracted the attention of many new gurus who scavenge for its remaining affiliates.
Netolitzky set himself the herculean task of identifying reported Canadian OPCA judgments with impressive results;
Prior investigations identified 725 reported Canadian court judgments that:
1. either had a litigant:
a. employ OPCA concepts, or
b. display OPCA litigation indicia, or;
2. reported on a proceeding where OPCA concepts or indicia were identified.
This set of decisions is the “OPCA Judgment Dataset.”
He delved deep into the OPCA underbelly to find them;
However, many identified OPCA decisions were not located via database searches, but instead with information gleaned from other sources, such as OPCA social media sites and Internet forums, media reports of OPCA activities, and data extracted from OPCA documents. Names and atypical terminology identified in this way could then be used to search reported cases. The result is that many OPCA topic judgments were identified by “chaining.” For example, this author observed an OPCA document that invoked the now abolished common law writ of coram nobis. Searching with that term then located a 2001 Alberta debt-related proceeding involving an OPCA litigant, Pat Whitfield, that resulted in several judgments. Many OPCA litigants are involved in a range of OPCA-related activities. Searching with Whitfield’s name identified a series of OPCA Detaxer judgments. Similarly, OPCA litigants often collaborate with one another. The first Whitfield debt-related judgment saw Whitfield rely on a foisted “administrative adjudication” by a “Harvey R. Jaehn.” Jaehn’s name then led to further OPCA jurisprudence.
He's clearly a man who doesn't have a lot of spare time for pointless frivolous activities like swilling craft ale in pubs.
He gets around to focusing on the topic at the bottom of the eleventh page of the paper (page 965 of the review) where he noted that of the 725 cases 39 related to family law. 19 were between spouses and the remaining 20 were against government or government entities.
He had the same problem that I've had in discussing some of the cases I've reviewed on Quatloos;
That process identified some litigants whose names had been “anonymized” in reported judgments, typically by replacing a person’s name with initials. This article does not report certain details where that additional information may breach legislation that mandates publication bans, or where the parties to family litigation were “anonymized” by the court or a judgment reporter.
Quatloos gets mentioned on page 967;
1. ALLAN JAMES CURLE
Allan James Curle has employed OPCA concepts in a number of contexts, including family subject disputes. Curle’s litigation is unusual both in its variety and forms, and also by the range of material available. Curle has drawn the attention of the Quatloos! Internet forum, a community of hobbyist OPCA analysts and critics who investigate and document OPCA activities worldwide. The Quatloos! commentators recovered and published a collection of Curle’s litigation materials and unreported judgments. This provides an unusually rich information pool to evaluate Curle’s activities and arguments.
And even a mention of me in the footnotes;
72 See online: Quatloos! <www.quatloos.com/Q-Forum/>. Quatloos! is a website that tracks, documents, and debunks online scam activity. This often tongue-in-cheek forum is identified in Meads, supra note 3 at para 655 as a useful resource for study of OPCA phenomena. Its members include recognized experts in the Sovereign Citizen and tax protestor movements, such as JJ MacNab, Bernard J Sussman, and Daniel B Evans. While it initially addressed US OPCA phenomena, Quatloos! now has contributors from many Commonwealth countries, including Canada. At present, the Quatloos! forum represents the best public information and news resource for this subject domain.
73 Burnaby49, “Allan James: Curle – A New Dean Clifford Arising?” (17 June 2014), Quatloos!, online: <www.quatloos.com/Q-Forum/viewtopic.php?f=48&t=10060&p=201010&hilit=Curle#p201010>.
79 This position is explicit in R v Curle, supra note 76 at para 5. Curle’s written submissions in this action have been published by Quatloos and provide a detailed explanation of Curle’s current pseudolegal concepts. See note 95, below.
95 Quatloos! has published Curle’s arguments for his unsuccessful judicial review of his criminal convictions and his proposed constitutional attack on child support legislation. See online: Mediafire <www.mediafire.com/view/im33dx1vla0ml3f/Curle_-_CR-15-0019-MO_affidavit_for_judicial_ review_of_criminal_convictions.pdf>; <www.mediafire.com/view/1eujxm9b2elvlbv/Curle_-_CV-15- 273_proposed_Charter_application.pdf>
After this it's a review of various case histories including the ur-OPCA divorce, Meads v Meads.
We get local with G.J. on page 977 who is none other than Vancouver's own Gregor Jahn whose tribulations I followed on Quatloos;
His sidekick "R.D. from the House of H" is Rory Daniel Hawes who has a couple of discussions under his own name;
Page 983 has the court citations for the various discussed individuals if you want to check into the actual decisions behind Netolitzky's summaries.
The paper touches on another local Freeman with this comment;
The absence of these strategies from identified partner versus partner disputes is therefore very interesting. There is no theoretical reason why one partner could not, for example, use the Three/Five Letters scheme to (allegedly) prove a fact or fix an obligation on the other partner. For example, Partner A could use this mechanism to challenge Partner B to prove that B had not concealed income in a corporation owned by B. Failure to complete the foisted requirements of a Three/Five Letters procedure would then (allegedly) mean that B admits the alleged undeclared income, and is also estopped from later challenging that admission in court. This approach is often used when OPCA litigants are in conflict with state245 and institutional actors,246 and even occasionally in a personal civil litigation context.247 The Three/Five Letters scheme is a flexible, multi-purpose tool. One OPCA criminal offender even claimed this was a valid mechanism to obtain legal consent to sexual activities with underage children!248
248 This extremely disturbing application of OPCA pseudolaw is reported in R v TLP, 2015 BCSC 618, 2015 BCSC 618 (CanLII). Unsurprisingly, the foisted unilateral agreement scheme was categorically rejected as a defence to illegal sexual touching.
I reported TLP's case here;
Towards the end the paper makes a point I've sometimes considered, particularly when reading Gregor Jahn's court judgments;
None of the OPCA Inter-Partner Dispute Judgments squarely address what has emerged as an important issue in criminal prosecution of OPCA litigants: can an OPCA litigant be trusted to follow court instruction? When dealing with accused persons and offenders, Canadian courts have, in certain instances, concluded that judicial interim release273 and conditional sentences274 are not appropriate. OPCA affiliates claim they are exempt from state and court authority. How can they be trusted? Arguably, the same is true for OPCA litigants in a family law dispute. That said, again, the fact that OPCA litigants identified in parent-to-parent disputes did not invariably claim to be outside any authority is interesting. Penney and S.M. denied or questioned court jurisdiction, but not Curle, G.J., T.C., and A.B. Instead, there seems to be a distinction between court and state jurisdiction.
And Allen Curle gets a special mention;
Litigation sophistication varied widely, ranging from bald claims of special status (such as Penney invoking a “Strawman”-based immunity), reliance on pre-fabricated documents (such as A.B.’s debt elimination scheme), unusual applications of standard OPCA schemes (for example, Meads’ use of “A4V” in a family law debt context), to creative adaptation and development of unique OPCA schemes (as seen in Curle’s behaviours). Curle deserves special mention as an uncommon OPCA litigant who, throughout his litigation, was sophisticated in both law and pseudolaw. The 2004 Curle v. Lowe lawsuit displays a full appreciation by Curle that he must respond to Canadian jurisprudence.281 Similarly, Curle’s recent attempts to circumvent his vexatious litigant order and conduct a Charter challenge of child support legislation is, for a lay person, very well constructed and argued. The procedure is correct, his court documents are of high quality, and he faced and responded to actual Canadian law. At the same time, Curle’s pseudolegal arguments are carefully constructed, though obviously still doomed to fail. Curle is therefore both a sophisticated legal and pseudolegal SRL. Most modern Freeman-on-the-Land OPCA litigants show little understanding of legal procedure and principles, and generally flail and founder when in court. Curle, however, is a product of the Detaxer subsociety. That community adopted a more detail- and procedure-oriented litigation approach. For example, their methods included searching for formal defects in government documents, and advancing “conventional” disclosure and evidence arguments to defend against prosecution.
Netolitzky's conclusions start on page 993 and I'll leave you to read them for yourselves. I did like one analogy he made;
Another important question is whether pseudolaw could potentially become more common in family law litigation. A useful approach to this possibility is to evaluate OPCA ideas as “memes”: discrete ideas whose frequency and distribution in populations are selected in a manner analogous to how genes operate in a biological context. In brief, meme theory applies the principles of natural selection to ideas. Viewed in that context, OPCA ideas are pathogenic, parasitic, deleterious memes: they spread through populations, have a superficial appeal, and provide no useful benefit to their host, instead inflicting serious harm. When viewed from a historical perspective, OPCA concepts exhibit a memetic epidemic pattern of emergence, spread, and collapse.
Then ends with a mention of Menard's role in repackaging concepts for a new host population;
There are at least two historic examples where predominately right-wing, white, racist, anti-authoritarian Sovereign Citizen concepts were resettled into a very different host population:
1. Robert Menard repackaged and introduced Sovereign Citizen OPCA memes into the leftist, anti-government, ecologically and environmentally focused, “hippy” and “occupista” Freeman-on-the-Land movement.
2. The Moorish Law movement hosted in urban black populations adopting Sovereign Citizen memes.
Radical “inter-species leaps” of this kind appear to be rare as, worldwide, the spread of OPCA concepts has only provided a few examples of a dramatic shift in the resident conspiracy culture. That said, as Menard has demonstrated, all that it takes to “infect” a hitherto isolated and unexposed host population is the right guru: a person who identifies pseudolaw as a tool that may fit into a new setting, with a willingness to exploit that vulnerable population to his or her advantage and the necessary skills to sell the victims on the OPCA product.