Santos Bonacci, a self-styled “Astro-theologist” from Berwick Victoria, runs a Facebook page titled ‘Universal Truth School’ spruiking what he calls ‘Syncretism’ – “bringing together all the fields of knowledge and wisdom and showing the interrelatedness of all things”. A very talented classical guitarist, he was once a fixture on the Melbourne busking scene, and with his musical partner performed at a Bill Gates’ event in Las Vegas in 2001 and have also opened for Leo Sayer at the Crown Casino. Since around 2011, he released videos teaching OPCA concepts to his followers.
Besides perpetuating the basic OPCA principles related to the “strawman” and the medieval “common law”, his main influence seems to be another Sovereign Citizen “guru” Jordan Maxwell, as Santos Bonacci parroted most of his pseudo-religious interpretations nearly word for word.
One such video I watched went into detail on a whiteboard about how the Papal Bull “Unam Sanctam” claimed all souls on earth, a second “Convocation” gave administrative control to the “Crown Corporation of London” and a third “Cestui Que Vie Act 1666” created constructive trusts through the creation of a “person” and presumed them dead or “lost at sea”. Not really new concepts, just the same old OPCA fundamentals circulating for many years. 1
But like most OPCA theorists, these beliefs engulfed his life, using the interpretations as some sort of justification for refusing to pay fines, tolls, and anything else he could avoid forking out cash for. Between 2010 to 2014 he racked up 483 fines for unpaid road tolls, and additional speeding tickets, worth $132,000 in total. He ignored any correspondence from state debt collectors as it was “addressed to his person” and not him, so eventually the Victorian Sheriffs Department had to get involved.
Although his arrest was immediately and unanimously condemned by his fans online as an “unlawful kidnapping of a living man”, that’s where things got messy. While in the public spotlight having 15,000 followers to impress with this “secret knowledge” he was put on the spot, forced to prove the validity of the concepts when applied to the courts. He truly believed at the time he could easily pay the fines using the “accepted for value” techniques he learned from the movement, so he used the opportunity to speak with the media about the OPCA-related “corruption and fraud” allegedly perpetrated by government authorities. 2
He was told by Magistrate Steven Raleigh (January 2014) that he faced 916 days in prison if he refused to pay the fines. “At the time of the apprehension of Mr Bonacci, he was quite uncooperative,” Barrister Peter Pickering, acting for the Sheriff’s Office, told the court “he claimed the police and court had no right to arrest him, that they were acting fraudulently and that he had been put under duress.”
“I do not wish to be a party to fraud, sir” Santos Bonacci told Magistrate Raleigh. He added that he sought a “peaceful remedy” to the situation, describing Victoria Police as a criminal organisation that engaged in fraud. “Those roads and everything are built by we, we the people. We own them” he said.
Mr Raleigh granted him bail on the condition he report to Narre Warren police station once a week. He was also barred from publishing offensive comments about Sheriff’s officers on social media after a separate incident, regarding him posting a video online…calling a police officer a “cunt” and a magistrate a “paedophile”.
The Attorney-General launched Supreme Court proceedings against him for contempt of court in July 2014 to address the online intimidation campaign, but he refused to take part. 3 This prompted Supreme Court Justice Stephen Kaye to issue a warrant for his arrest, 4 but court staff and police were unable to track him down, despite him being on bail for his unpaid fines, with a condition that he regularly report to police. A friend told a process server, charged with serving documents on him that he was in hiding, and was “a sovereign person who refused to follow government rules.”
The defiant Bonacci remained “free” on the run from authorities 5 who had a warrant for his arrest, while continuing to be active on social media preaching astrotheology to his 15,000 Facebook followers. Police initially said they believed he was hiding out in Myrtleford, (north-east Victoria) and posted a notice appealing for information from the public concerning his whereabouts. He was due to appear in court again on 1 April 2015, but Victoria Police released the statement in October 2014 saying he was a wanted man, after he breached bail conditions by failing to report.
But even after racking up more than $130,000 in unpaid fines, publicly intimidating a judge, and a warrant being issued for contempt of court, Santos Bonacci still thumbed his nose at the law, and became increasingly obnoxious and abusive the more his OPCA strategies were ignored by authorities. Even in the online chatter, people noticed how he had suddenly changed, losing a percentage of fans due to his fiery rants at those who questioned the validity of his strategies.
He came to the inevitable conclusion that the “public servants” in the “corrupt corporate courts” wouldn’t just dismiss the matter or “do as they were told” by this “learned” sovereign man, and this was totally inconsistent with OPCA theory, causing him much discomfort through the associated cognitive dissonance, hence the hostility. So in an effort to “save face” rather than publicly fail in the courts, he fled jurisdiction and “jumped bail” interstate to Queensland. And in true OPCA form, he sent some friends to the courthouse to …pay the $132,000 with a signed postage stamp marked “accepted for value”, (his version of a “promissory note”) before he left. He must of contemplated “remaining in honour” and thought “oh well, that’s the debt taken care of.” Santos Bonacci did not attend court to face the charges. 6
He was declared in contempt of court 7 for mounting the intimidation campaign against Judge Geoffrey Chettle in R v Bonacci  VSC 121
During his absence, the Supreme Court hearing for contempt of court continued as scheduled 8 in The Queen v Bonacci (No 2),  VSC 134, with Justice Stephen Kaye sentencing him to six weeks in prison. 7 During the sentencing, Justice Stephen Kaye said there was no alternative sentence for Bonacci’s “entirely unacceptable and reprehensible” contempt of Victoria’s justice system.
Justice Stephen Kaye found that Santo Bonacci sought to interfere with a County Court criminal case by using inflammatory radio broadcasts, emails and social media posts. The court heard that he used an online radio broadcast to urge Australians to put pressure on Judge Geoffrey Chettle while he was presiding over a drug matter involving Kerry Marks and Miroslav Oleyar in 2013. Marks and Oleyar were later convicted after both pleaded guilty to trafficking charges in 2014. When they were still due to go to trial, Mr Bonacci claimed “the pair’s lives were ruined by the justice system” and likened their treatment to “human trafficking” according to Justice Stephen Kaye’s decision. He then published email addresses for the judge, his associate, and five members of staff of the chief judge of the County Court, urging his followers to “make a fuss about this” in a Facebook post on November 11, 2013. The following day, he told listeners to an internet radio broadcast to “let these thugs know, that they will be next” and called for the system to be “pulled down”:
“At least we could…let them know that we’re watching, and we’re interested in the case, because this is pretty interesting that an individual being of light is no longer allowed to grow the plant of their choice on this planet and we are now under threat of being caged… If you are able, if you have the energy and the love to let the County Court know… that we’re onto their game, and let this be an example, probably for ever more, that we wish to make a stand against people trafficking. We need to let these thugs know, that they will be next, all of them, all of them will be next. The way you treat one, you shall be treated. And this must be, this evil system, it is evil, and it serves no-one, must be pulled down, and it must be done now, immediately.”
Using an email address attached to his band’s website, he also sent emails to County Court staff calling them “criminals” and warning that they would “be found guilty of aiding and abetting a live human being to commit fraud”. In an expletive-riddled email to Judge Chettle he said the judge “would soon be in jail” and described him as a “dirty pawn”. Justice Kaye wrote that each of Santos Bonacci’s communications
“formed part of a campaign by the respondent to place pressure on and intimidate the court in the conduct by it of the criminal proceedings against Marks and Oleyar.”
He made declarations of contempt of court in relation to the facebook post, internet radio statements and seven emails. Justice Kaye said the seven-week campaign was deliberate and inexcusable:
“The Facebook page, and the internet radio broadcast, were intended to excite public support for two persons charged with serious criminal offences, and, in particular, to encourage other persons to contact the court with a view to improperly influencing the court not to proceed with the cases against those two accused persons.
Although the publications were expressed in somewhat bizarre terms, nevertheless they were effective. As a result of the Facebook post and the internet radio broadcast, some 24 emails were sent to the County Court in the ensuing month, 19 of which were dispatched in the first three days after the internet radio broadcast. Each successive email was more intemperate, abusive and threatening than its predecessor. The degree of abuse and obscene language contained in the emails was specifically directed to elevating the level of intimidation contained in those communications.
It is of the highest importance that our courts be free to administer justice independently, objectively and impartially, and free from any improper external influences and interference. It is that principle that distinguishes, and demarcates, our courts from those in countries which do not afford to their citizens the democratic rights and freedoms enjoyed by citizens of this country.”
Santos Bonacci was eventually arrested in Queensland, and extradited back to Victoria. He served out his six-week prison sentence and was forced to concede to either arranging a payment plan for the outstanding $132,000 in unpaid fines, or stay in prison for another 3 years. Regardless of finding out none of it works, Santos Bonacci still holds the same OPCA-related beliefs, and perpetuates the ideology to his followers online.
Santos Bonacci 9 pasted this comment on a few dozen posts on the Freeman Delusion Facebook page, when he was still “on the run” from police in 2015. It demonstrates succinctly how abusive and obnoxious he became after authorities ignored his imaginary body of rights. It also shows how far into denialism he had slipped, still claiming to be “free” despite the warrants for his arrest
A comment from Santos Bonacci
“This message is for the delusional fornicators that run this site! Too much time masturbating and wasting the chrism seed is what’s going on on this site, to entertain other delusional peanut brained followers that think they know something when in fact they also have no chrism left in the organism.
To all you fucktards with your hands on your dicks that follow this page……. I’m free….. very free…. and very happy. No Promissory notes…. no ‘appearing’ (Only ghosts appear) in court…. no kidnapping…. i suggest YOU get help for your mental health and general slave condition that you are wallowing in. Oh and remember that every time you spill your seed fornicators, you are emptying your brain…. by the sounds of it you are running on empty. Dumb-ass shills.”
“Santos, your very aggressive and unintelligible response is totally symptomatic of the denial and cognitive dissonance you’re suffering right now bloke, not having any valid established evidence to substantiate you have actually finalised your state debt, while overwhelmed with case law that proves otherwise. It is self-evident that a warrant would of issued for your arrest had you failed to appear, which would by all logical deduction be active right now. Being on the run isn’t “free” I’ve done that myself quite a few times.
If you have actually appeared this month and your bail has been continued, it means the case is ongoing. If this is the situation, then you are not “free” at all, you are granted bail to appear at the courts pleasure.
It still doesn’t validate the frivolous defence you are attempting, that’s up to the court, who are obliged to follow precedent. All are equal before the law Santos, and you are not above it either. Ignorance of the law is no excuse, which is why I research and provide valid established evidence of everything I post, not mere abstract speculations, as you rely upon for evidence.
All have the right to recognition before the law as a person, and you fail to see that the “legal person” you claim removes your rights, is the very thing that establishes them, without which you have no rights at all. Just in case you go off on abstract etymological interpretations of words, understand that the term “Frivolous” I used above is a legal term you should get familiar with.
I have tagged you in this pretty pic of you with your comment attached, to continue this conversation if you want. I will be deleting all the rest of your exactly identical non sensible comments on over 20 photos on here, as this merely shows the actions of a troll. If you any “chrism left in your organism” to give me a decent intelligible debate, with at least a precedent as a counterclaim, comment here.”
Santos Bonacci left Australia and resided in the US shortly after this episode, where he was involved in an altercation with an ex partner of a woman he was staying with, in which the man was stabbed and died from his injuries. He then skipped the border south and currently lives in Mexico.
- 1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9plu2MNiqrY
- 2 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sN1iKfSfihw
- 3 http://m.theage.com.au/victoria/selfstyled-astrotheologist-santo-bonacci-in-contempt-of-court-for-facebook-campaign-againstjudge-20150407-1mekeb.html
- 4 https://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/law-order/warrant-for-arrest-of-ontherun-serial-finedodger-sentenced-to-jail/news-story/afedf2d0a362438e65d21d97e0bdb90c
- 5 https://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/law-order/toll-dodger-santo-bonacci-is-on-the-run-after-failing-to-pay-nearly-500-fines/news-story/4f8998993a7bcf440ce1b9a7e8c05a0d
- 6 https://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/law-order/abusive-finedodger-guilty-of-contempt-of-court-after-attacking-judge/news-story/daac08b9b79d290669744092527d086f
- 7 https://jade.io/article/387643 https://freemandelusion.files.wordpress.com/2018/07/r-v-bonacci-2015-vsc-121.pdf
- 8 https://jade.io/article/389605 https://freemandelusion.files.wordpress.com/2018/07/the-queen-v-bonacci-no-2-2015-vsc-134.pdf
- 9 Santos Bonacci on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/santos.bonacci