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DECATUR -- The 80-year-old leader of a suburban Atlanta church is at the center of a sex scandal of biblical dimensions: He slept with his brother's wife and fathered a child by her.
Members of Archbishop Earl Paulk's family stood at the pulpit of the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit at Chapel Hill Harvester Church a few Sundays ago and revealed the secret exposed by a recent court-ordered paternity test.
This is not the first sex scandal involving Paulk. But this time, he could be in trouble with the law for lying under oath about the affair.
For years, 34-year-old D.E. Paulk was known publicly as Earl Paulk's nephew. He became head pastor a year and a half ago. D.E. Paulk says he did not learn the secret of his parentage until the paternity test.
A judge ordered the test at the request of the Cobb County district attorney's office and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. They are investigating Earl Paulk for possible perjury and false-swearing charges stemming from a lawsuit.
The archbishop, his brother and the church are being sued by former church employee Mona Brewer. She says Earl Paulk manipulated her into an affair from 1989 to 2003 by telling her it was her only path to salvation. Earl Paulk admitted to the affair in front of the church last January.
Monday, November 19, 2007
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A Metro police officer has been arrested. He's facing multiple charges of possession of child pornography, lewdness with a minor under the age of 14. and coercion of a minor.
Patrol Officer Damian Amalfitano was booked at the cCark County Detention Center on 30 different counts.
- 10 counts of Lewdness with a Minor
- 1 Count of Luring or Attempting to Lure a Child
- 19 counts of possession of Child Pornagraphy
The arrest is the result of an investigation that Eyewitness News first learned about in August. Amalfitano, a six-year Metro veteran, has been on leave since then.
At first Amalfitano was being investigated for allegations of committing lewd acts with a 13-year-old girl. The investigation led to the child porn possession charges along with the lewdness counts.
The 32-year-old officer was assigned to the Southwest Area Command.
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SEMINOLE COUNTY -- A Central Florida woman using a new Florida Department of Law Enforcement mapping source found 43 sex offenders and predators living within a 2-mile radius of her children's elementary school.
Janese Evans, whose children attend Hamilton Elementary School in Seminole County, said she was shocked to find so many sex offenders living near the school.
"I don't think they have the first clue as to how many (sex offenders) are within walking distances of the schools," resident Janese Evans said. "My kid's safety is my number one concern. I don't want to have to go to work and wonder if my kids made it to school or not."
Local 6 reported that Evans is going public because she lives less than 2 miles from the school and a path to campus passes by the home of a registered sex offender.
"It totally surprised me," Evans said. "I know that they can't live within a certain distance from school."
Under Florida law, a sexual predator or offender may not live within 1,000 feet from any school, day care, park or playground. However, anything beyond 1,000 feet is legal.
Children are well within the front door of offenders and predators as they walk to school, Local 6's Mike Holfeld reported.
The latest Florida Department of Law Enforcement map source shows 26 offenders and one predator within walking distance of Bear Lake Elementary School.
Local 6 showed video of a sheriff's deputy doing a routine check of a sex offender in Central Florida who lives less than 2 miles from Bear Lake.
School leaders in Seminole County acknowledged the risk, Holfeld reported.
Officials said they want transportation for any student walking in the path of a predator.
Florida Representative Sandy Adams said elementary and middle school children in every county in Central Florida are facing the same potential risk.
"I'm concerned that our children's safety is at risk," Adams said. "I think a lot of people don't realize who is living in their neighborhoods."
FDLE Launches Mapping System
Meanwhile, Local 6 conducted a random check of elementary and middle schools across Central Florida and found many sex offenders live less than a mile from the schools.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement offers a new mapping system to locate sex offenders and predators living around schools.
The map puts the location of sex offenders in blue, predators in red and multiple offenders in purple.
Adams wrote the "blueprint" for legislation that would designate those walks to school as "hazardous" and calls for busing.
Some said addition busing would be too expensive.
"That statement bothers me that it costs too much to protect our children," Adams said. "I don't believe that for one moment."
Adams introduced the bill last session and it was blocked, Holfeld reported.
Adams said she is not giving up.
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NEW YORK - A former police detective who tried to set up a sex tryst with a 14-year-old girl pleaded guilty Monday to child pornography charges.
Michael Farrell, 36, pleaded guilty in Manhattan to attempted dissemination of indecent material to minors and was promised a one-year jail sentence. He would have faced up to four years in prison had he been convicted after trial.
Farrell, of Levittown, N.Y., admitted having computer photographs of underage children depicting sexual conduct and acknowledged that he had arranged to meet in lower Manhattan and have sex with someone he thought was a 14-year-old girl. He has similar charges pending in Nassau County.
When Farrell was arrested he also was charged with attempted endangering the welfare of a child. The plea deal eliminated that charge.
State Supreme Court Justice James Yates told the defendant he could remain free until Feb. 14, St. Valentine's Day, to get his financial affairs in order. The judge warned him not to visit "any inappropriate sites."
Farrell's lawyer, Richard Murray, said his recommendation was that his client go to trial.
"I don't think they have a legally sufficient case," he said of the prosecutors.
Farrell, a police officer since 1992, resigned in January 2006 after he was charged in Manhattan.
Assistant District Attorney Maxine Rosenthal said the charges stem from Farrell's sexually explicit online chats with six undercover police officers posing as minors in February and May of 2005.
Rosenthal said police subsequently searched Farrell's home computer and found several images of child pornography.
She said the Long Island charge is possession of a sexual performance by a child. She said Nassau County Assistant District Attorney Steve Traglia told her that if Farrell pleaded guilty there he would get no more jail time than in Manhattan and that it would run concurrently with Monday's agreed upon sentence.
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Thousands of convicted sex offenders are reporting to police that they are homeless, raising concerns that their lack of a permanent address could make them difficult to track, a USA TODAY analysis shows.
Sex offenders, who are required to register with police and often barred by law from living near places where children gather, list addresses such as a tent, "near a bike path," "behind a cemetery" or "woods behind Wal-Mart."
In Boston, nearly two-thirds of 136 high-risk sex offenders lack permanent addresses. In New York City, more than 100 registered at two homeless shelters. In Miami last month, 22 reported living under the Julia Tuttle Causeway that links the city to Miami Beach.
"People should be concerned about this," says Jill Levenson, sex-crimes policy analyst at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla. She says homeless sex offenders are more likely to commit another crime.
USA TODAY reviewed each state's sex-offender registry, searched tens of thousands of addresses and interviewed officials in 45 states after contacting all states. The analysis shows:
*Two-thirds of the states allow convicted sex offenders, including violent predators, to register as homeless or list a shelter or inexact location as long as they stay in touch with police.
*At least a dozen states list hundreds of sex offenders without specific addresses. California registered 2,716 as "transient." Washington state listed 564 as homeless, but the number is probably much higher, says Carolyn Sanchez of the Washington State Patrol.
*Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maine and other states say the number of homeless sex offenders is rising. Landlords often won't rent to them, and laws in dozens of states and hundreds of cities bar them from living near areas where kids play.
"Residency restrictions are the linchpin for causing homelessness among sex offenders," says Frances Breyne of the Kansas Department of Corrections.
In California, about 500 have registered as "transient" since a law last year blocked them from living within 2,000 feet of a school or park, says Bill Sessa of the California Department of Corrections. They must report daily where they'll spend the night.
An exact count of convicted sex offenders who are homeless could not be done because not all state records are online. Some states do not list homeless as an address but allow shelters, post office boxes, highway mile markers and streets without house numbers.
Illinois prefers that an offender register as homeless and report weekly to police rather than register once a year and list a shelter where he might stay one night, says Cara Smith, deputy chief of staff to the attorney general.
Some states keep sex offenders locked up until they find housing. In Michigan, they are less likely to get parole than murderers, says Russ Marlin, spokesman for the state Department of Corrections. In Georgia, sex offenders can be arrested for being homeless.
- How do you find housing when you are locked up? Not everyone in the world has friends and family to help them out.
Homeless sex offenders are not necessarily more dangerous than those with housing, says Laura Rogers, director of the Justice Department's office for tracking sex offenders.
She says, "The people you need to be worried about most are the ones who aren't registering at all."
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ALAMANCE COUNTY -- Deputies arrested a former Alamance County detention officer Thursday on charges of soliciting a child over the Internet for sex.
Rodney Delorenzo, 42, of Mebane is accused of soliciting for sex an undercover deputy sheriff who he believed was a 14-year-old girl. He's in the county jail under a $2,500 bond.
Delorenzo allegedly traveled from Mebane to Greensboro to meet who he believed was the girl at her home.
Delorenzo worked for the Alamance County sheriff's department beginning in August 2006, but is no longer employed there.
According to a media release from the Alamance County sheriff's office, Delorenzo was caught during an online predator investigation conducted by the Guilford County sheriff's office in October. The two agencies are now cooperating in the investigation.
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Many things in life happen below the radar, but not all stay there. A Nov. 13 divorce hearing settled out of court in Fayette County, combined with documentation compiled in an investigation by Fairburn City Clerk Nancy Faulkner revealed past sexual liaisons between former Officer Sanita Hampton and several current or former Fairburn officers.
In all, three Fairburn officers during a December 2006 sexual harassment investigation admitted to having sexual relations with Hampton, including former Capt. Jeremy Rogers, then-Officer Chris Clark and former Sgt. Quenton Garrett, according to city records. Additionally, more than a half-dozen other officers surfaced during the investigation, though those individuals were not interviewed since they held no supervisory capacity and were not related to complaints of supervisory harassment. In all cases, it was Hampton whose name was mentioned.
The matter came to light when Hampton initially approached a city employee on Nov. 29, 2006 saying she and Rogers had had an affair for more than a year. Hampton said that, more recently, she believed she had been turned down for a job with the city of Smyrna after comments Rogers allegedly made to her perspective employer, a claim found later to be baseless. Though Hampton was upset with the employee for relaying her comments, Faulkner was told of the conversation and subsequently began the internal investigation.
During interviews with Hampton, Rogers, Garrett and Clark, Hampton admitted to having sexual relations only with Rogers, city documents said. But Rogers, Garrett and Clark all admitted to sexual relations with Hampton. During her interview, Hampton said she expected special favors and protection from Rogers due to their relationship and that Rogers had told her he needed to be extra careful not to show favoritism towards her, according to reports. During the period of the sexual relationships, spanning more than a year, former Chief Charles Long was not made aware of the liaisons by his officers, though Clark later told Long of his role.
The city’s investigation also showed Hampton’s complaints about retaliation relating to her work schedule were without merit, investigation documents said.
Documents from the Fairburn investigation were obtained prior to the divorce hearing by Hampton’s husband, Mike Hampton, under the Georgia Open Records Law. Identical documents were obtained by The Citizen.
Hampton said in the investigation that her husband filed for divorce in November 2005 and she was worried about losing custody of her daughter. Hampton also said her husband had found phone records of calls to and from Rogers and brought his concerns to Long. When asked by Long about a sexual relationship, Hampton denied it.
Mike Hampton said outside the court room Tuesday that Long and the city of Fairburn had conducted a fair and thorough investigation of the confusing and convoluted series of affairs.
Sanita Hampton effectively resigned from Fairburn Police in March 2007 after twice refusing to return original files she had mistakenly received from city hall. Hampton filed an EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) complaint in April 2007 for sexual harassment and retaliation.
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Our firm represents the family of a five year old girl who was sexually abused on her school bus on the way home from school in Marshall, Arkansas on November 8, 2007.
On her ride home from school, two boys held down this young child and sexually assaulted her. Julie Munsell, a spokesperson for the Arkansas Department of Human Services said the State has yet to remove either boy from their homes. However, an investigation is underway.
Hopefully, the authorities at the Searcy County Schools District will take the proper steps to discipline these boys and ensure this behavior does not happen again. The Superintendent, Andrew Vinning, said "the proper authorities are investigating and he could not discuss the disciplinary actions that may have been taken against the boys."
It is true that in Arkansas a child must be 10 years old to be declared a juvenile delinquent. However, there are many steps that can be taken to make sure these assaulters are disciplined and counseled to remedy their problems. Human Services can have them and their families receive counseling and therapy, which may involve sex offender treatment. A more severe step can include removal of the child from his home and also involve treatment, in or our patient.
In an article in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette, Andrew Vinning, the Superintendent for the schools, said the bus driver who was a substitute did absolutely nothing wrong and is continuing to work for the school system. It is interesting that the sexual assault of the five year old took place in the seat directly behind the bus driver. Further investigation will reveal more information and hopefully find ways to offer protection to our young children. If you have more information about this case or others like it, please contact the proper authorities.
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ACWORTH - Three boys ages 8 and 9 were being held Monday in a detention center on charges of kidnapping and raping an 11-year-old girl in the woods near a suburban apartment complex, officials said.
The alleged attack happened Thursday and the girl's mother reported it to authorities Sunday, Acworth police Capt. Wayne Dennard said.
"The juvenile victim stated that an 8-year-old boy and two 9-year-old boys that she had been playing with earlier pulled her into a wooded area, where one of the boys raped her," Dennard said.
The three boys were charged with rape, kidnapping, false imprisonment and sexual assault, Dennard told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Their names were being withheld because of their age.
Prosecutors have not decided whether to try the suspects as adults.
"That decision hasn't been made," said Kathy Watkins, a spokeswoman for the Cobb County District Attorney's office. She had no further comment.
Calls to the Acworth Police Department were not returned Monday morning.
Acworth is 30 miles northwest of Atlanta in the city's fast-growing outer suburbs.
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More than three dozen states allow convicted sex offenders to register with police as homeless or transient, or list shelters or imprecise addresses. This list provides a partial picture based on each state's sex offender registry or interviews with state officials in October and November.
Some offenders are listed as "absconders" or "non-compliant" because they gave police fake addresses or did not register. Where statewide registry figures are unobtainable, city numbers are given.
Alabama: 59 unknown addresses
Alaska: 23 homeless, 130 unknown addresses
*Arizona: 152 homeless; in Phoenix, 23 homeless/transient, 209 unknown addresses and 255 absconders
*Arkansas: 170 unknown addresses
*California: 2,622 transient
Colorado: 31 homeless/transient, 17 unknown addresses, 807 failed to register
*Connecticut: 64 currently or recently homeless, 507 non-compliant
*Delaware: 58 homeless, 78 non-compliant
*District of Columbia: can register at shelters, 31 non-compliant
Florida: can register as homeless; in Miami, 39 homeless/transient, 140 absconders
Georgia: 2 homeless, 492 absconders
Hawaii: 43 homeless, 650 non-compliant
Idaho: 47 homeless/incomplete addresses
*Illinois: 110 homeless, about 1,300 non-compliant; in Chicago: 33 homeless, 98 unknown addresses
*Indiana: cannot register without specific address
Iowa: can register without permanent address; in Des Moines, 8 homeless, 20 unknown addresses
Kansas: 30 absconders
*Kentucky: can register at shelters or churches; in Louisville, 61 non-compliant
*Louisiana: need permanent address to register; in New Orleans, 258 non-compliant (42% of total)
*Maine: can register as transient, but no data provided
*Maryland: 5 homeless, 536 non-compliant
Massachusetts: can register without permanent address; in Boston, 49 homeless/shelter, 29 unknown addresses
*Michigan: 62 homeless, about 10,000 non-compliant
*Minnesota: 59 homeless; in Minneapolis, 9 homeless
*Mississippi: 5 homeless
*Missouri: 22 homeless, 51 unknown addresses
*Montana: 17 transient, 67 non-compliant
*Nebraska: 7 transient, 108 absconders
*Nevada: about 130 homeless, 1,935 non-compliant
*New Hampshire: 27 non-specific addresses, 212 non-compliant
New Jersey: 35 "fugitives" with unknown addresses
New Mexico: 4 homeless, 49 absconders, at least 180 non-specific addresses
New York: can register without permanent address; in New York City, more than 100 at two homeless shelters
North Carolina: 12 unknown/non-specific addresses
North Dakota: 19 unknown/absconders, many list P.O. boxes
Ohio: can register without fixed address; in Akron, 11 homeless
Oklahoma: 544 P.O. boxes only, 839 unknown addresses
*Oregon: at least 100 homeless; in Portland, 14 homeless/non-specific addresses
*Pennsylvania: cannot register as homeless, 586 non-compliant
Rhode Island: 9 unknown/non-permanent address
South Carolina: cannot register as homeless; in Charleston, 22 failed to register
South Dakota: 3 homeless/transient, 21 unknown addresses
*Tennessee: 122 homeless; in Nashville, 17 homeless/non-specific addresses; 29 unknown
*Texas: can register as transient but no state tally provided
*Utah: cannot register as homeless
*Vermont: 6 homeless, 48 "wanted" for failure to register
*Virginia: 225 "wanted" for failure to verify address; in Richmond, 2 homeless/shelter, 4 unknown addresses
*Washington: 564 homeless, 1,311 failed to verify addresses
West Virginia: 8 unknown addresses, at least 21 without specific addresses
*Wisconsin: cannot register as homeless, 10% non-compliant
Wyoming: 9 transient, 6 non-specific addresses, 99 non-compliant
* — Based on interview with state official
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Elliott Bloom, a convicted sex offender, lived in his car for nine months this year, parked on a street corner in Miami.
"I just pulled the chair back to sleep," says Bloom, 30, a chef-in-training who was convicted two years ago for having sex with a 15-year-old girl.
He had a tough time finding an apartment because state law bars him from living within 1,000 feet of places children gather, putting most of Miami off-limits. He listed his address on the mandatory registry of sex offenders as "transient.
In Richmond, Va., Keith Francis registered his address as "under Canal Bridge." Francis, 51, convicted in Florida in 2001 of luring a minor he met online, says, "I put plastic down and have a few blankets."
Francis works temporary jobs but says he doesn't have enough money for an apartment. He says he could probably go to a homeless shelter, but, "I used to be a Boy Scout. I like to camp outside."
Nationwide, thousands of sex offenders like Bloom and Francis are registering as homeless or giving police vague addresses such as highway mile markers.
Some blame the residency restrictions that keep offenders away from youngsters. Others cite lack of money or rejection by landlords after background checks reveal their criminal record. "As sex offenders are more and more in the media, people are starting to think twice before renting to them," says Patty Morris, supervisor of sex offender compliance at the Arizona Department of Public Safety.
'The modern-day lepers'
Many sex offenders lack jobs or family support, says Jo Ellyn Rackleff, spokeswoman for the Florida Department of Corrections. She sees more of them becoming homeless, and that worries police.
"A homeless sex offender is a much more dangerous sex offender," says Elizabeth Bartholomew of the Maryland Division of Parole and Probation.
They are less likely to receive mental health care and substance abuse treatment and are more difficult to monitor, says Jill Levenson, a sex-crimes policy analyst at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla.
"Being homeless is also demoralizing," Levenson says.
Sex offenders are likely to behave better if they have a stake in their community and "something to live for," says psychiatrist Fred Berlin, founder of the Johns Hopkins Sexual Disorders Clinic. Sex offenders are increasingly being shunned and isolated. "They are the modern-day lepers," he says.
David Finkelhor, director of the Crimes Against Children Research Center at the University of New Hampshire, says research on criminals suggests that having an unstable home makes them more likely to commit another crime.
"How much it increases the risk is hard to say," says Finkelhor, who questions the value of residency restrictions. "Homelessness and all the stresses that go along with it is more of a risk factor than being in a neighborhood with children."
At least 27 states and hundreds of cities have passed laws in the past decade to restrict where sex offenders live.
The laws don't necessarily keep sex offenders away from kids, says Florida's Rackleff. "What people don't realize is these offenders are in our communities," riding buses and walking around, she says.
"It's a waste of resources to check where they're sleeping," says Corwin Ritchie, executive director of the Iowa County Attorneys Association. He says sex offenders may sleep in one place and spend their days elsewhere. He says it is better to monitor where they go.
States are increasing their use of electronic devices, often attached to an ankle or belt, to monitor sex offenders. California has 2,300 Global Positioning System units for paroled sex offenders but plans to have10,000 for all parolees by June 2009, says Bill Sessa of the California Department of Corrections.
Housing in Washington, D.C., is so expensive that a third of parolees lack permanent housing, and many homeless sex offenders considered high-risk are tracked with GPS devices, says Leonard Sipes, spokesman for the Court Services and Offenders Supervision Agency.
Keeping track by satellite
"We need to know where these offenders are," says Ernie Allen, president of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. He says the effect of residency restrictions has varied nationwide, but states are putting more resources into tracking sex offenders.
States report widely varied information on online sex offender registries. Many states allow sex offenders to be homeless but require them to report a location, even if it's a shelter or "under a bridge."
"People will use homelessness as a way to evade monitoring," says Melissa Roberts of the Wisconsin Department of Corrections.
Several states see a rising number of homeless sex offenders. In Connecticut, 46 are registered as homeless or at shelters, up from fewer than a dozen three years ago, says Sam Izarelli of the state's sex offender registry.
"I've seen an increase in homelessness," says Paula Stitz, manager of Arkansas' registry. "It's difficult for a lot of these sex offenders to find a place to live." She says one person lived in a van under the Broadway Bridge in Little Rock for two years.
In Miami, Bloom says he and his pregnant girlfriend finally found an apartment that complied with state and local residency restrictions and moved in last week. He may not be staying long. Unless the therapist he sees as a condition of his probation gives approval, he will have to move out once the baby is born.
The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed HR 1955, titled the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007. It was passed with 404 votes in favor.
A close reading within an historical context – keeping especially in mind the Patriot Act and the Military Commissions Act of 2006 and Presidential Executive Orders, pursuant to which the government has engaged in massive surveillance of its own citizens, as well as detentions, extraordinary renditions, assassinations, and torture – leads me to the following conclusions:
- This is a "Thought Crime" bill of the type so often discussed in an Orwellian context.
- It specifically targets the civilian population of the United States.
- It defines "Violent Radicalization" as promoting any belief system that the government considers to be extremist.
- "Homegrown Terrorism" and "Violent Radicalization" are defined as thought crimes.
- Since the bill does not provide a specific definition of extremist belief system, it will be whatever the government at any given time deems it to be.
A few extracts of the Bill are presented below to show you its tone or "flavor."
"(2) VIOLENT RADICALIZATION- The term `violent radicalization’ means the process of adopting or promoting an extremist belief system… to advance political, religious, or social change."
SECTION 899B. FINDINGS.
"(3) The Internet has aided in facilitating violent radicalization, ideologically based violence, and the homegrown terrorism process in the United States by providing access to broad and constant streams of terrorist-related propaganda to United States citizens."
"(6) The potential rise of self radicalized, unaffiliated terrorists domestically cannot be easily prevented through traditional Federal intelligence or law enforcement efforts, and requires the incorporation of State and local solutions."
Section 899D of the bill establishes a Center for the Study of Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism in the United States. This will be an institution affiliated with the Department of Homeland Security. It will study and determine how to detain thought criminals.
THIS LEGISLATION ENDS THE POSSIBILITY OF A CULTURE OF REASON.
It is an attempt at legislative lobotomy of conscience. It aims to eviscerate ethical sensibilities of an entire culture.
Having usurped the power of war and peace, life and death, the Corporatocracy now bludgeons even the thought of speaking for conscience. This is State murder of the mind.
It is just too awesomely obscene for words. It exceeds not only the scope of my vocabulary, but my imagination as well.
The minions and hired agents of politicians are free to murder, rape and pillage on government hire using our money, but to imagine alternatives to them and the degraded, psychopathic political "leaders" who design and perpetrate these atrocities is legislated as a thought crime!
This is the legislated, politically promulgated end of man as a thinking, self-directed being. Surely this must be the outer limit of "positive law," that is, statutory laws passed by "Lawmakers."
It further entrenches the Power Elite as separate from and above their "subjects." It clearly demonstrates the paranoid delusions of the Establishment, pursuant to which it legislates a massive defense mechanism to protect itself from the populace that it subjugates.
I use these terms deliberately, because the so-called freedom of the vote has turned out to be a big con game. It is only the "freedom" to choose one set of thieves over the other. The blue suits or the red suits… all of them manufactured suits of the corporations.
Following in the train of this legislation will doubtless be internal travel documents, neighborhood snoops and spies, rewards granted for turning in politically incorrect thought criminals, mass civilian detention centers – in short, the whole totalitarian control mechanism that we associate with the SS, KGB and other code words of criminal regimes. There will be "re-programming / rehabilitation" centers to correct errant free thinkers.
Take note that the Department of Homeland Security already has more than 750,000 persons on its watch list. For a glimpse of past as prologue, read Solzhenitsyn.
Who Will Be Thought Police and Under What Standards?
Who will define radical thought, and by what standards? For example, how about the reported millions who believe that 9-11 was an inside job, citing a mass of evidence from eye witnesses, physicists, engineers, and recorded statements such as "We pulled it," essentially a confession by the building’s owner of the planned demolition of Building 7?
Will the writings of John Perkins in Confessions of An Economic Hit Man and The Secret History of The American Empire be thought crimes? Will this very essay be a thought crime?
What about Operation Northwoods, pursuant to which the Joint Chiefs of the United States planned for innocent people to be shot on American streets, for boats carrying passengers to be sunk on the high seas, for a wave of violent terrorism to be launched within the country, and for other depraved acts conceived in the minds of government-hired psychopaths? Previously top-secret documents about this were released on 18 November 1997 and can be researched at www.wikipedia.org. Evidently, members of the Establishment will be permitted to engage in thought crime.
Soon enough, we will all be killing each other, and the statement of Mohandas Gandhi will be borne out: "An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind."
Will thinking about cleansing the national soul of our atrocities – of Iraq, Guantanamo, Abu Gharib, the advanced plans underway to nuke Iran, the crimes of Blackwater murderers, the government’s domestic coercion and violence – be "Thought Crimes?"
Will it be thought crime to conceive of a domestic Truth and Reconciliation Commission pursuant to which high government officials are brought to book for crimes against humanity?
Will it be "radicalization" to think of alternatives to a government of, by, and for the Corporatocracy, which accumulates its vast wealth through the blood money of endless war?
What about imagination-consideration of a non-coercive society of free individuals acting in voluntary cooperation, what is commonly referred to as anarchy?
Will it be radical to conceive of preventing the Cheney-Bush cabal from launching WWIII and the incineration of earth through a false flag operation against Iran?
WE ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE ACTIONS OF OUR GOVERNMENT
BECAUSE WE PAY FOR IT
It has taken me too many years – and too much income tax – to come to the awful realization that these "public servants" are only hired mouthpieces and puppets of the Money Powers who operate behind the scenes to orchestrate war, to coordinate the Military Industrial Complex, the Homeland Security Complex, the NGO Help-The-Poor Complex, the "Third World Corporate Development" Complex. In short, the Exploitation Complex.
The roaring inside me is about the self-disgust at living by the whims of Nice Government Men and their intellectual and financial pimps – men who, for just one example, can force starvation upon Indian farmers by their money printing press maneuvers to save their own hides from the overreach of blind greed. Men like those in Goldman Sachs who have the power to bail out their own companies and pay billions in bonuses while manipulating currencies such that basic food staples become priced out of reach of the rural Indian poor.
Let our excuse for the sorry state in which we find ourselves be not ignorance, for history is quite clear to those who would study. I quote founding father James Madison, "History records that money changers have used every form of abuse, intrigue, deceit, and violent means possible, to maintain their control over governments, by controlling money and its issuance." A more honest excuse would be our own greed and laziness. The quick buck. Buy now, pay later.
Statement of Conscientious Objection
HR 1955 as recently passed by the House of Representatives is in effect a Thought Crime Prevention Bill. This action simply stops my mind. It cannot be absorbed. This ultimate Police State freezes my imagination.
This newest version of draconian legislation on thought control is where Jeff Knaebel says enough is enough. Speaking truth to Power, I say, I am not your puppet. I declare my self-ownership. Come and get me if you wish. If you wish to own my body, you will have to imprison it. I am breaking the paper chains by which I have allowed you to enslave me.
Imagine with me for a moment (it may not yet be a thought crime). I say to Dick Cheney, "I refuse to obey. Come and get me, boss. Come alone – I’ll not run, and I am unarmed and harmless. Meet me in yonder open field." Standing in front of him, I remove my shirt, challenging him to do likewise. To prove his manhood equal, he follows along until we stand facing each other naked in the open field. I ask, "Now, what is your business with me?"
You see, it is all a mind game. The government is powerless before our non-cooperation. Of course, although an abstraction, it is a heavily armed abstraction. This argues for the right to bear arms and a well-armed citizenry in the American tradition. But if the mind behind the gun is cowardly and subdued, the gun is of no use. I suggest that nonviolent civil disobedience has proven to be a more effective method of regaining control of our lives. There would be significant loss of life, but much less than with an armed struggle.
Is murder an act that involves the human conscience? Can any other hear the voice of my inner conscience? Then, how can any such other claim the power to "represent" me in choosing to kill? How can such other "represent" me in determining which of my thoughts is criminal?
To say, or even to imply, that these people "represent" me cannot be described as an obscenity. It is an absurdity. Really, I should laugh. Instead it generates a roaring inside me – the inner roar of a man who would be free.
THIS IS MY PLACE OF "LIVE FREE OR DIE."
One cannot deal with this except to speak out and be willing to put his life on the line. One must resist this legislation and this government, or else surrender his humanity and become a dead thing.
This is the place where the soles of my feet meet the path of Liberty. This is where Jeff Knaebel refuses to renew his "permission to live" identification documents pursuant to which Big Brother tracks him like an owned domestic animal. Any situation in which I am not free to leave means that my presence is by coercion or threat of coercion. If one cannot leave some "place" except by permission of the "owners" (passport), then he is a slave. To learn more about issues of expatriation and "man without a country," visit my website at www.statelessfreedom.org.
I was never the property even of my biological father, leave aside the absurdly stupid abstract concept of Nations – bounded by arbitrary lines drawn on maps – across which opposing armies of blood relations gun down the other.
My body is not the property of the U.S. Government. I will challenge the U.S. Government for ownership of my body, with my body itself. My mind will be forever free.
I did not ask for US citizenship, and I will not accept its rules even if forced upon me.
Any situation in which I am not free to leave means that my presence is by coercion or threat of coercion. If I cannot leave some "place" except by permission of the "owners" (passport), then I am a slave.
The US State does not own the land called America, and it does not own anybody who was born there or lives there.
No bureaucrat has the right to define who I am – and the murder of which other person I may be forced to finance – by his stamp upon some arbitrary piece of paper.
I belong to none, other than Almighty Creation.
I claim my freedom to respect the lives of others, as I would be respected. Freedom to do no harm, and to eschew violence. Freedom to express compassion in action. Freedom to support life. Freedom not to finance murder.
No other can hear the voice of my conscience, let alone "represent" it, or speak for it. My conscience will be muffled by no person and by no law. Nor will I ever knowingly aggress against another.
It Is Man’s Duty To Love.
It now must be of the "tough love" variety. We must see clearly and face bravely the reality of what we continue to create for ourselves. We must take up tough ethical positions.
We have proved again and again, over spans of millennia, that any kind of violent revolution will only turn the wheel of violence another revolution, around and around.
If we will but cease to destroy, we may live. We cannot negotiate with melting glaciers. Perhaps we can negotiate with the storms of insatiable greed and desire raging within our own minds. Perhaps we can come out of our addiction to more, more and faster, faster.
The revolution we must undertake to save ourselves is a revolution within our own minds toward loving kindness, truth, and respect for life.
To those who would accept a legislated statutory slavery, I say – may your shackles bind you without too much pain. May you go quietly into oblivion, and may you not burden me with the memory that you ever stood a watch with me on Spaceship Earth.
If you are interested in further exploration of personal statelessness, stop by and visit www.statelessfreedom.org.
November 5, 2007
Jeff Knaebel [send him mail] is an expatriate American domiciled in India since 1995. He formerly practiced as a registered professional engineer, having been trained at Cornell Univ. and the Colorado School of Mines.
Copyright © 2007 LewRockwell.com
Terrorism in the modern sense is violence or other harmful acts committed (or threatened) against civilians for political or other ideological goals. Most definitions of terrorism include only those acts which are intended to create fear or "terror", are perpetrated for an ideological goal (as opposed to a lone attack), and deliberately target or disregard the safety of non-combatants. Many definitions also include only acts of unlawful violence.
As a form of unconventional warfare, terrorism is sometimes used when attempting to force political change by convincing a government or population to agree to demands to avoid future harm or fear of harm, destabilizing an existing government, motivating a disgruntled population to join an uprising, escalating a conflict in the hopes of disrupting the status quo, expressing a grievance, or drawing attention to a cause.
Terrorism has been used by a broad array of political organizations in furthering their objectives; both right-wing and left-wing political parties, nationalistic, and religious groups, revolutionaries and ruling governments. The presence of non-state actors in widespread armed conflict has created controversy regarding the application of the laws of war.
An International Round Table on Constructing Peace, Deconstructing Terror (2004) hosted by Strategic Foresight Group recommended that a distinction should be made between terrorism and acts of terror. While acts of terrorism are criminal acts as per the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1373 and domestic jurisprudence of almost all countries in the world, terrorism refers to a phenomenon including the actual acts, the perpetrators of acts of terrorism themselves and their motives. There is disagreement on definitions of terrorism. However, there is an intellectual consensus globally, that acts of terrorism should not be accepted under any circumstances. This is reflected in all important conventions including the United Nations counter terrorism strategy, the decisions of the Madrid Conference on terrorism, the Strategic Foresight Group and ALDE Round Tables at the European Parliament.