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Self promotion racket September 30, 2021

Posted by guestposter in Uncategorized.

This is entertaining. I was listening to the QAnon podcast which mentioned some events in Scotland recently. A group of ‘sovereign citizens’ and/or ‘freemen’ decided that they’d occupy Edinburgh Castle. Why, you may ask.

Members of the public were evacuated as the demonstrators entered the grounds of the castle without a ticket. Police Scotland said that officers were dealing with the protest.

Reports emerged at about 5.45pm of an incident close to the entrance to the Museum of The Royal Regiment for Scotland.

The protesters filmed their protest on Facebook Live. In a 13-minute video, a woman says the castle “belongs to the people” and that they are “taking our power back”. She adds the Scottish people have been “lied to all our lives” and that the “building belongs to us, we have taken the castle back” in an effort to “restore the rule of law”.


There’s a problem right there!

Magna Carta – signed by King John in 1215 – has never applied in Scotland as it predates the Act of Union

Now this may strike you as a complete waste of time, and I don’t think you’d be far wrong, but what is this Article 61 lark? 

Well, it appears that there’s some of those involved in the ‘freeman’ stuff who’ve long dabbled in this. This example here outlines the thinking that underpins it.

A woman calling herself Jacquie Phoenix and representing the mother in a bitter child-custody dispute says she has pledged allegiance to a British lord and invoked an article of the Magna Carta that means Canada’s laws and courts do not apply to her and her client. She threatened a judge with “the gallows” if he didn’t comply.


“I can only guess at the scope and kind of misconduct and self-injury that results from (the Magna Carta) belief,” said the Court of Queen’s Bench judge. “But in this case I know that there is a little four-year-old girl whose health, safety, and well-being are being placed in jeopardy by these ideas.”


The aristocrats cited the 1215 Magna Carta, a landmark but largely historical document now that set out the rights of British nobility under the unpopular King John. Specifically, they cited article 61, which allowed a committee of barons to seize castles and other assets of the king if he contravened provisions of the Magna Carta. Others could swear allegiance to the nobles and follow their lead.

The Judge made short shrift of this noting: …the woman has no right to represent the mother, and then dismantled the Magna Carta movement itself.

He notes that article 61 was removed from the document by 1216, and that only three, unrelated clauses remain part of the British constitution today. Meanwhile, Canada repatriated its constitution in 1982, meaning no part of the British supreme law applies here.

But this isn’t just harmless self-promoting stuff (though events like this might make you think it was – not least the stunningly bombastic language used – and the real sense of self-importance on display – btw how do people afford to fly around the planet to show up at events like that?). This account of one murder – that of a former chief justice of the Tax Court of Canada shows the pathology at work.

On foot of the above judgement one of those involved argued ““All evidence has been collected for your trial before the jury, Robert Graesser, and the people will decide your fate,” she says to the judge.”

But as noted:

Lawyer Richard Warman said there’s no indication that Robinson has violent intent. But he said it’s important to take such behaviour seriously given the history of other “sovereign law” adherents – people who claim legal systems are invalid.

He pointed to the 2007 murder of a tax court judge and two others in Ottawa by a man who had earlier threatened to put the adjudicator on trial, and the killing of several police officers in the U.S. by “sovereigns.”

“I’m not alleging that Robinson herself may go out and engage in that kind of action,” said Warman, who has long fought extremist views online. “But the risk is that somebody in the movement who sees it could be inspired to do that.”

Somewhat entertainingly the response was:

…she said Tuesday that the oath she made to a British lord under the Magna Carta does not allow her to do harm, and questioned why her words would be considered threatening.

“These allegations are ludicrous,” the Alberta resident said about Warman’s complaint. “Ask yourself ‘Why are they so scared of a tiny girl with a pen?’ ”

Well, when you suggest that evidence has been collected for a trial and someone’s fate will be decided  – and also mentioning Nuremberg – difficult not to interpret that as pointing in a certain direction.

There’s a Covid connection to this – isn’t there always, as this piece here notes.

The piece sums it up neatly:

And that’s because this document – and the assertions of law that it contains – is pure nonsense. It is a species of what regular attendees at courts will recognise as the pseudo-legal rubbish peddled by self-styled “Freemen on The Land”, a grouping of proselytising individuals who believe that by misquoting Magna Carta and basic tenets of contract law, they can somehow place themselves outside the jurisdiction of the law of England & Wales. By making various incoherent and illogical assertions cloaked in legalese, they profess to be bound by “other” laws, such as the laws of the sea or long-repealed mediaeval treaties, and claim that the legal system has no control over them.

But back to Edinburgh Castle. What exactly did those ‘occupying’ it want? What did they think it would achieve? Clearly said ‘occupation’ and the attendant PR had no effect whatsoever. It’s this gap between the rhetoric and the reality that is truly telling. It has no systemic or structural impact. And in a way it’s not meant to. It’s performative but really to no greater goal than getting screen time on Youtube or at best a fleeting mention in the news media. 


1. NFB - September 30, 2021

Think with this mindset there’s a hope that such a “seizure” will be the spark that starts some manner of popular movement, like it’s the Boston Tea Party or something. Such individuals seem to suffer from a degree of meglomania, so it’s easy to imagine them thinking all they need to do is some manner of publicity stunt and the rest will fall into place.

Liked by 2 people

2. Colm B - October 1, 2021

I used to come across Freemen or sub-freemen views now and then amongst students in my work but to be honest it was usually people with significant social/mental health probs.

It seems to have faded though, now replaced by harder, more clearly far-right stuff churned up by the anti-vax/Qanon movement.

That said, at least here in Glasgow, it still seems very much a minority past time, thankfully.

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - October 1, 2021

it’s a weird one. The 2008 crisis really brought them to the fore. But then they faded back somewhat, as you say, think Trump was a catalyst for a return.


alanmyler - October 1, 2021

They were around at the start of the CAWHT campaign whenever that was, 2011 or so was it? Certainly they got a lot of traction within that with their “no consent, no pay” slogan, people picked up on it and maybe some got drawn in deeper through it. Out this way the prime mover back then is still active, Gilroy, although he has flitted around from Direct Democracy Ireland to Yellow Vests Ireland to whatever bandwagon looks most opportune for him. CMK (whatever happened to him here) could give you plenty on how they were operating over in Drogheda too at that time. I would imagine that the average punter who gets drawn into that, I’m not talking about the Gilroys or the Rudds or whoever else are organising it, probably goes one of two ways, a) they eventually lose interest in the constant negativity and woo nonsense, or b) they get sucked into a journey of conspiracy theories and take on the next big scare that’s fed to them by those who are leading these movements, gradually losing any connection to reality as they go on. It’s quite sad as a personal level. I’d mentioned previously someone we know who went down that rabbit hole and the impact it has had on the personal relationships with those who were closest to them. These fuckers have a lot of pain and damage to answer for.

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - October 1, 2021

Completely agree. I’ve some sympathy for those who are dragged in – a lot of people are very vulnerable after all that has happened in the last few years and the last decade or more. But those who centrally involved…

Liked by 1 person

Colm B - October 1, 2021

Yes, that reflects my own experience with people who get drawn towards the whacky end of things, as opposed to the far-right fanboys who spout Jordan Peterson shite etc.

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - October 1, 2021

I wish Peterson had stuck with the self-esteem stuff. That’s fair enough, not earth-shaking, but no harm for some young men in particular to hear that. The problem was that that wasn’t enough… he had to go off on the gender and political side of things. To me he’s a perfect example of someone in academia who got a bit of a platform and liked it and realised to get a bit more he had to up the ante etc, etc.


WorldbyStorm - October 1, 2021

Though on reflection doesn’t it say a lot that basic self-esteem messages for youngish men could be diverted down a completely different pathway.


Colm B - October 1, 2021

If was younger and greedier, I think Id try my luck with a “Karl Marx can change you’re life” book by trawling through Marx’s works to create a self help book – I’m sure there’s a market there😁
Change Yourself, Change the World?


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