In 1981 Rick moved from Miami, FL to Rock Hill, SC to become Operations Manager of Belk Department Store at the TownCenter Mall. Having worked for the Belk Hunley group of stores, headquartered in Monroe, NC since the age of 16, he was now moving up the ranks toward higher levels of management. At the same time, however, his burden for the deteriorating state of the nation was rapidly increasing.
Since his outward profession of Christian faith on July 4th, 1979, Rick had been seeking to quench an insatiable yearning for truth. Biblical studies were paramount and foundational, but also of great importance was the avid pursuit of practical understanding and knowledge in the secular realm. History, economics, world affairs, government, science and culture were all included in this passionate quest for truth.
Once settled in Rock Hill he began searching for a church to attend and for several months participated in worship and fellowship activities at a Plymouth Brethren Assembly called Fairbluff Gospel Chapel in Charlotte, NC. It was at this church that acquaintance was made with an individual named Mark who regularly attended patriotic, constitutionally oriented activities in the Charlotte area. At one of these meetings Rick was first introduced to the writings and video productions of a Montana rancher named M.J. (Red) Beckman, a dedicated Christian man who had taken a principled stand against the criminal and unconstitutional actions of the Internal Revenue Service.
Mr. Beckman had authored a book entitled Born Again Republic wherein he effectively laid out basic yet profound truth regarding the manner in which Americans have sinfully allowed the government to flagrantly violate the Constitution and in the process become a tyrannical monster. Red explained with impeccable logic how the founding fathers had established a constitutional republic...a government of law and not of men. Probably his greatest contribution was to articulate the simple yet brilliant concept of the three votes established under America’s system of constitutional governance.
It was shocking to realize that government schools and the media had successfully deprived the populace of the knowledge and understanding of the “three votes” that was imperative if they were to be free. You see...it is the solemn responsibility of “we the people” to judge not only the facts of any given action of law enforcement and jurisprudence...but to stand in evaluation of the very law itself as well. Is it not of monumental significance that the state must obtain the permission of the people before it can enforce any law promulgated by the legislature?
If the grand jury, based on the lack of constitutionality of any given law, refuses to hand down a criminal indictment against an alleged offender the prosecution is stopped dead in its tracks. Furthermore, once an indictment has been obtained, the state must now garner a unanimous verdict from a trial jury comprised of the peers of the accused. If the grand jury or trial jury deem the law in question as being unconstitutional...they have the sacred duty to employ the action known as jury nullification of law. John Jay, America’s first Supreme Court Chief Justice, was a staunch advocate of jury nullification and clearly...it forms the cornerstone of why we have a jury to begin with. Needless to say, the usurpatious government wants to do everything it can to prevent Americans from knowing about and exercising this profound and ultimate power.
As Rick became increasingly knowledgeable regarding the illegal income tax (remember...it is the second plank of Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto) and the menacing methods employed in its imposition, he began to encounter considerable numbers of individuals who shared his interest and concern. All over the nation, patriotic citizens were dusting off the U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence in order to renew familiarity with these noble documents upon which the Republic had been founded and established. Groups and organizations were springing up from coast to coast as increasing numbers came to understand that the power to tax was truly synonymous with the power to destroy!
Yes...the founding fathers had much to say about taxation and its methods of procurement. Constitutional taxation would need to be both direct and apportioned according to the supreme law of the land. Other constitutional revenue generating mechanisms would be through the utilization of excises, imposts and duties. Growing numbers of patriotic activists were excitedly discovering that the income tax, in particular, was exceedingly oppressive, unjust, and overwhelmingly at variance with the tenets of the Constitution and Bill of Rights.
Among his many astonishing discoveries...Rick uncovered the following facts and details.
- The income tax was the outgrowth of a “temporary” wage tax implemented during WWII called the Victory Tax.
- The original income tax (supposedly spawned and legitimized by the 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution) was only applicable to corporate profits accrued by what were then known as the robber baron corporations.
- The construct for the modern manifestation of the income tax was supposedly derived from Title 26 of the United States Code...a voluminous compilation of ostensible law that, on its face, transcends the ability of the average citizen to understand. (Incidentally...any such “law” is automatically classifiable as being “void for vagueness” according to historical standards of Anglo Saxon jurisprudence.) In reality, however, Title 26 never defines “income” (and for good reason...because wages are not income...i.e. profit...but instead, constitute an equal exchange of one’s time, talent, ability, etc...for remuneration of comparable value). Furthermore...nowhere in Title 26 do we find any law requiring a wage earner to file a 1040 tax return.
- In their own manuals, booklets and publications, the IRS has long acknowledged that America’s income tax is based on “individual assessment and voluntary compliance.” In one such manual, entitled The Tax Audit Guide, agents are instructed that “an individual taxpayer may refuse to exhibit his books and records on the grounds that compelling him to do so might constitute a violation of his right to privacy under the Fourth Amendment, or his right against self-incrimination under the Fifth Amendment.” Hence the necessity of suckering the unsuspecting citizen into “volunteering” to forfeit his sacred, God-given rights.
- The purpose of the income tax is in no way to fund the legitimate functions of government...but instead to routinely engender a pattern and spirit of fear induced compliance with a vexing and humiliating annual exercise of self injury and exploitation. One of the best kept secrets that hides in the open is the fact that the sum total of income tax collections is applied directly toward payment on the mere interest charges incurred upon a national “debt” owed almost entirely to a private banking cartel represented domestically by an entity misleadingly entitled the Federal Reserve. (In fact...the Federal Reserve is no more a part of the government than Federal Express...but is instead...a private corporation that has never been audited nor paid one dime of tax on its obscene profits that are estimated to have surpassed 50 trillion dollars since its inception in 1913.) The federal government habitually engages in the criminal and unconstitutional practice of “deficit spending” and has now amassed tens of trillions of “dollars” in debt. No pretense, whatsoever, is put forth of either the necessity or intention of adhering to a practice of fiscal responsibility or solvency. Those responsible for this massive, debilitating fraud are guilty of treasonous criminality that clearly rises to the level of capital proportions.
- The 16th Amendment to the Constitution, which supposedly establishes a constitutionally legitimate pretense for the income tax, was never properly ratified by the individual states. In fact...not one single state legitimately ratified this nefarious proposed addendum to the Constitution. Instead...it was arbitrarily and summarily pronounced to have been ratified by then Secretary of State Philander Knox.
As Rick amassed documentation of the shocking aforementioned truths, he gradually transitioned to the point of ending his corporate employment, and embarking upon an activist agenda to disseminate truth. He proceeded to form an organization named CAUTION (Citizens Against Unconstitutional Trends In Our Nation). CAUTION quickly grew to over 1000 dues paying members, all of whom filed an Administrative Law Brief (ALB) with the Secretary of the Treasury of the United States Government. This 45 page legal brief cited provisions of Title 5 USC that required a response by the Secretary in a stipulated, timely manner. Failure to render such a response was tantamount to acknowledgement of the accuracy of the petitioner’s claim of not being liable for the so called income tax. Needless to say, no one ever received a response from the Treasury Department...thus fortifying the premise as to the validity of the content of the brief.
As the months unfolded Rick logged hundreds of hours lecturing to informal groups about the flaws and fallacies inherent in the nation’s income tax system. A headquarters facility was leased in Rock Hill and numerous events were sponsored featuring informative guest speakers. On one occasion, previously referenced patriotic leader Red Beckman was brought to Rock Hill to address a crowd of several hundred attendees, many of whom were employed by the electrical utility Duke Power. The tax liberation message spread throughout the Catawba nuclear power facility to the degree that 4,000 of the 6,000 total employees had filed “exempt” on W-4 forms thus stopping all withholding from their paychecks. Of course, this was almost as objectionable to Duke Power as it was to the IRS. The corporation made quarterly transfers of revenue to the Treasure Department and had use of all that money for three months at a time. Needless to say, they didn’t appreciate the interference with such ill-gotten gain.
As CAUTION rapidly grew and Rick proceeded to expand organizational efforts throughout the Carolinas he knew fully well that backlash and retaliation were likely to occur. His communication and relationship with Red Beckman had increased significantly and, in 1983, fueled by an admiration for the manner in which Montana’s Fighting Red Head sought to establish and marshal his efforts on Christian/Biblical foundations, Rick galvanized his own understanding that only through divine favor and empowerment could there be any meaningful hope for victory over the forces of evil entrenched in the systems of American governance.
Through Red Beckman’s televised educational broadcasts Montana had become a hotbed of resistance to tax tyranny. On numerous occasions federal prosecutions for “willful failure to file a 1040 tax return” had resulted in jury acquittals of courageous, constitutionally motivated defendants. Jury nullification of law was becoming a very real threat to the government’s stranglehold of fear over the American people.
At approximately the same time as the Montana triumphs against the IRS, another string of court victories was being engineered by a Georgia criminal defense attorney names Scott McLarty. In the trial proceedings Attorney McLarty would introduce black University of Georgia law professor Larry Blount as an expert witness who would proceed to verify and corroborate the defendant’s position against filing for or paying an income tax on earned wages. The highwater mark of this series of jury nullification success stories occurred with the acquittal of an individual in New York state named Jack Pierce. When Scott McLarty travelled to California for his next trial defense a surprise awaited his arrival. There in the California courtroom where defendant Omar Bruce was to be prosecuted was none other than the trial judge who had presided over the recent Jack Pierce case. The government had sent him there to collude and coordinate with the federal judge running the show in the now unfolding Bruce trial. Professor Blount was disqualified as an expert witness and Omar Bruce was unfairly convicted.
With all of this awareness in mind, Rick was ceaselessly contemplating the question of how to vanquish such a corrupt, powerful, and ruthless adversary. He knew that they would go to almost any unscrupulous degree of unprincipled malevolence in order to maintain their dominance and mastery of the citizenry. Thus, it was with keen interest that Rick listened when Red Beckman informed him in a phone conversation that a group known as the Montana Historians were in the process of compiling hundreds of pages of documentation that the 16th Amendment had never been properly ratified. Copies of these documents were furnished and Rick began planning ways to use them in the ongoing crusade against the criminal usurpations of the IRS.
While bracing himself for possible prosecutorial actions on the part of the feds, Rick and the CAUTION organization were caught off guard by a maneuver in which the IRS and Duke Power combined to levy $500.00 fines against all the workers who had filed for exempt status in order to halt all withholding from their paychecks. These fines were levied without due process and were seized from the employees’ paychecks. Furthermore...all these workers were immediately subjected to maximum withholding. It was at this juncture that Rick came to realize that a majority of the CAUTION membership was actually comprised of “fair weather patriots” who had no interest in fighting a difficult struggle. As soon as the winds of adversity blew...they were nowhere to be found and the organization’s membership fell at breakneck speed to a comparatively miniscule hard core nucleus.
While being devastated, on one level, by these developments, in other ways Rick was relieved and intrigued. Of great significance was the fact that the government failed to criminally pursue anyone who had filed the Title 5 based Administrative Law Brief. Also of note was the manner in which he himself had gone totally unscathed and unmolested. In numerous other organizational configurations the feds had proceeded to charge and prosecute group leaders on trumped up charges of “aiding, abetting and counseling others in the filing of fraudulent tax forms.” In obtaining investigatory documentation through the mechanism of a freedom of information request Rick had learned that a professed stalwart member named Stephen Powell had actually been functioning as an informant for the IRS. Interestingly...Powell met an untimely ending in a head-on car crash in which he flew through the windshield of the vehicle he was driving.
Through all the unfolding of adversity in the latter part of 1983 Rick made the decision to leave the Carolinas and move to Ft. Myers, FL where his recently deceased paternal grandfather had left a small but comfortable home made available to him for occupancy. The heavy handed tactics of the feds had effectively taken the wind out of the sails of the CAUTION organization and he relished the prospect of continuing his activism in a new venue with the full benefit of the valuable lessons and experiences recently undergone. Thus, as 1984 commenced, he embarked upon the next chapter of the ongoing effort to fight for restoration of liberty and constitutional justice. To his pleasant surprise, Ft. Myers was already home to a loose-knit group of freedom seeking individuals who were ripe for the infusion of Rick’s enthusiasm and leadership abilities.