Reminiscing the last decade

Within a year of stumbling across pseudolaw concepts online, I was already aware of some serious inconsistencies in the arguments. There was very little published on this phenomenon when I started this project, and nothing at all online to offer a contrary perspective in relation to the Australian variants and motifs. The beginning of my work in pseudolaw was in late 2012, with the rise of One Peoples Public Trust in the US importing to Australia. I wrote a response to the founder Heather Anne Tucci Jarraf, to which she replied early 2013, published on the AbsoluteDataExchange website in July 2013 as “Heathers Reply To Freeman Delusion”. I had by that time changed my Facebook profile name to “Freeman Delusion” and actively promoted the questioning of pseudolaw motifs, after unsuccessfully attempting a test case of many of the concepts before Magistrate David Heilpern in the local court in March 2013.

A Facebook page and a group The Freeman Delusion was created in February 2014, and each slowly gained members interested in pseudolaw responses, but I later lost access to the only admin profile, so the group remains inactive today. After publishing several memes with arguments attached as to why certain motifs have no basis in law, I deleted the first Facebook page “The Freeman Delusion” out of frustration with adherents’ willful ignorance, savage threats and disgusting insults. I reported the potential dangers of the Australian pseudolaw movement to authorities, which lead to an investigation in New South Wales the following year.

After joining a community law group on Facebook called the Australian Paralegal Foundation, I subsequently reopened another Facebook page Freeman Delusion in November 2015, and again started publishing a separate meme for each particular pseudolaw motif I had identified, with lengthy descriptions containing the authoritative responses of the appellate courts to each contention. In debate, I grew a thicker skin. The continual adversary interactions with various prominent pseudolaw adherents on social media provided me a great opportunity to gather a clear understanding of their various legal argument, as well as detail and sharpen my responses.

I came across an initial work of Donald Netolitzki as it was published in 2016 called “The History of the Organized Pseudolegal Commercial Argument Phenomenon in Canada”. This paper really inspired me. There had to be an Australian equivalent compiled, of the localised history and evolution of pseudolaw. It also lead to a deep study of the work of John Rooke ACJ in Meads v Meads [2012] ABQB 571, attempting to find the same authorities and scenarios in Australian law. After compiling the basic arguments for nearly 4 years, I published a free 500 page draft eBook, title paraphrased after Netolitzky and Rooke: “Freeman Delusion: The Organised Pseudolegal Commercial Argument in Australia“. I created another Facebook group to release the pdf, in late 2017. It was reciprocally noted by Quatloos in Canada “The book isn’t for the faint-hearted. It’s almost 500 pages and being continually updated. It makes Meads v Meads seem like a brochure.”

A group member Keith Knights posted a link to his live video in November 2017, and was later arrested and charged with much media attention. Due to this post, the name of “a bizarre Facebook group” called “Freeman Delusion: The Organised Pseudolegal Commercial Argument in Australia” was mentioned in dozens of news articles around the world, and also on mainstream tv news networks.

Wanting to move the information from Facebook, I created the website Freeman Delusion in June 2018, and began to relocate all the information from the individual memes onto individual articles, added more subjects and pseudolaw motifs in further articles, as well as files on various prominent individuals and groups perpetuating the myths online. All the original content in posts on the Facebook page was deleted after all relevant information and comments were extracted and moved to the website, and the page went through several periods of being unpublished and then republished without the content from that period. Similarly with my Facebook profiles, each year I would deactivate my current profile and create another, saving the content for the website each time.

In September 2020 I was a guest on ABC Radio Perth with Harry Hobbs, Mark Balnaves, and Kosta Lucas “Sovereign Risk”. I also registered the domain name for the website to get rid of the WordPress branding and annoying pop-up adds that month. In December 2020 my article regarding the myth that Australia is a US corporation was cited as the primary reference by Wikipedia in the entry “Commonwealth of Australia (US securities entity)”. In July 2021, Sydney lawyer Geraldine Johns-Putra wrote “Understanding and debunking the pseudo-legal ‘sovereign citizen’ movement” referring colleagues to my website as a reference. The same month Robert Barwick from the Australian Citizens Party published a similar article “Australia is not a corporation, it’s a corporate state” and I made a contribution to AAP FactCheck with “Does a constitutional clause ban vaccine mandates in Australia?”. I was invited to comment in an article published in The Echo, “Navigating through laws around business lockdowns”, after David Heilpern was interviewed recommending my website. The following month, I was a guest on the Conditional Release Program podcast with Joel Hill and Jack the Insider “Sovereign Citizen OPCA Law Skool with Rob Sudy”, and also interviewed by ABC News on the rise of pseudolaw phenomenon “COVID-19 is accelerating the rise of conspiracy and sovereign citizen movements in Australia”.

Around the same time I upgraded the website to a business plan to accept donations and payments via Patreon for my research. But unfortunately there was an issue with the Patreon plug-in, so I abandoned that idea to instead install WooCommerce, Stripe and PayPal plug-ins. Pretty complicated process and I’m not very tech savvy. I hope to have someone experienced rebuild the whole website soon. In January 2022 I was interviewed by Tom Tanuki for his 2-part documentary on pseudolaw in Australia, and throughout the year had constant mentions in podcasts and other media. I also received formal recognition of my work in academic literature. After three shooters killed two police officers and a neighbour in Wieambilla in December 2022, I was interviewed by The Australian (paywall free“Police shooting sparks sov-cit expert to warn of rising ‘cult’ danger” and SBS The Feed “Robert says being a sovereign citizen is like having a ‘mind virus’. He’d know, he used to be one”. 

Through the influence of two remarkable gentlemen and scholars, David Heilpern and Donald Netolitzky, who are now personal friends, I have converted many back to reality over a decade. I sparked an organic blow-back on social media, including those originally curious on the concepts themselves. I invoked many peoples passionate interest in law as a subject, who have since studied full time and become professional licenced practitioners. I became increasingly recognised as specialising in an area of law that at that time was a mystery to most experienced lawyers. I became cited in prosecution training packages, universities and academic literature, called upon by mainstream media journalists to assist them with a short summary in articles, and even my personal opinion on matters. It’s been an honour.

What a ride. Here’s to the next decade!

Happy New Year. 🙂

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