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The Rule Of Law Is Being Murdered In Cincinnati

The failure to sound the alarm-bells now means funeral bells will soon be ringing

ON MARCH 11, 2016, Raymond Kethledge, Eugene Siler and Deborah Cook of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision denying Doreen Hendrickson's appeal of her 2014 conviction on a single count of "criminal contempt of court". The decision upholds unprecedented orders compelling a government adversary in a legal contest to make government-dictated, government-benefitting false testimony.

Also upheld is an equally-unprecedented jury instruction relieving the government of the burden of proving a statutory element of a charged offense: "[I]t is not a defense to the crime of contempt that the court order that the defendant is accused of violating was unlawful or unconstitutional."

THE CHARGE IN THE CASE concerned orders made to Mrs. Hendrickson by a federal district court judge in 2007. The orders were written by, and issued at the request of, the DOJ in the context of a lawsuit seeking the return of purportedly "erroneous refunds" of amounts withheld from Mrs. Hendrickson's husband, Peter, during 2002 and 2003.

In fact, the refunds were not errors. They had been made by an unusually well-informed, eyes-wide-open United States, and only after a bit of resistance and an extraordinary amount of scrutiny. What's more, they had been made even while the DOJ was struggling in several courts around the country to suppress Pete Hendrickson's first book, 'Cracking the Code- The Fascinating Truth About Taxation In America' (CtC), in which he reveals information about the income tax which the government does not wish to be widely known.

After losing in that series of earlier efforts, the DOJ tried to work around its lack of a legitimate and lawful way of suppressing CtC. The "work-around" was a bogus "lawsuit" in which it falsely claimed the refunds it had made to the Hendricksons-- the first of their kind in American history, but by 2006 being routinely issued to tens of thousands of 'Cracking the Code' readers by the feds and dozens of state governments-- were just big mistakes made by an IRS that had been caught napping.

As a key part of its new book-suppression "work-around", the ruling written by the DOJ for the signature of the presiding judge in the lawsuit included false "findings" about the Hendricksons' tax liabilities for 2002 and 2003 based on a fictional IRS "examination report". The ruling also included false "findings" about what CtC says about the tax*-- by a judge who never read the book, and didn't even hold a single hearing in the case before issuing these official "facts" as requested by the government.

Most importantly, the "work-around" signature-stamped ruling contained two orders to Peter and Doreen Hendrickson. The orders are designed to compel the Hendricksons to personally repudiate Pete Hendrickson's research into the true nature of the income tax, and to create for the government a fictional basis for the application of the tax to the Hendricksons' 2002 and 2003 earnings (which the government would then be able to treat as a retroactive validation of its fraudulent lawsuit).

It is these orders Doreen Hendrickson is accused of "criminally" violating in the contempt charge for which she was convicted after two trials (the first having ended in a hung jury), and which was the focus of her appeal to the Sixth Circuit.

ONE ORDER COMMANDS MRS. HENDRICKSON TO DECLARE-- over her signature and under oath-- that she believes her earnings during 2002 and 2003 as a private tutor, and those of her husband as a purchasing director of a private-sector property-management firm, qualify as "income" as that term is meant in tax law. Mrs. Hendrickson does NOT believe these earnings qualify, and has testified repeatedly to that fact.

The government also does not believe the Hendricksons' earnings qualify. If the government believed the earnings qualify, 26 U.S.C. § 6020(b) requires it to produce sworn returns of its own making this allegation (a fact about which both government prosecutors and the presiding judge lied to the jury during Mrs. Hendrickson's second trial).

The government has never made 6020(b) returns concerning the Hendrickson's 2002 and 2003 earnings, as can be seen on Treasury Department certificates of assessment and IRS Master File transcripts for those years. These official records not only show that no 6020(b) returns have been created, but explicitly show the government's agreement that nothing the couple earned for those years qualified as "income" other than the $28.34 in interest from a national bank which the Hendricksons had duly reported.

Nonetheless, the government asked that the Hendricksons be compelled to replace their sworn tax returns for 2002 and 2003 with new ones. The couple was ordered to list their tutoring and property-management earnings for those years as "income", and to sign the forms indicating, under oath, that they believe this characterization of those earnings to be true and correct to the best of their own knowledge and belief.

The couple was given a second order, as well. This one enjoins the Hendricksons from filing tax documents "based on the false and frivolous claims in [the book] 'Cracking the Code' that only federal, state and local government workers are subject to the income tax," even though, as noted previously, the book makes no such claims, and the judge issuing this order, which was based on a "finding" as to the book's contents, has admitted to never having actually read the book.

The practical effect of this second order is to compel the Hendricksons to declare any and all earnings to be "income" on any future forms they complete, and to declare their belief in the truth of this characterization, since any failure to do so will be alleged to be based on the falsely-ascribed "claims made in 'Cracking the Code'...", and thus, a violation of this second order. This false construct was, in fact, deployed in the charge against Doreen Hendrickson, which included an allegation of contemptuous violation of this second order for her failure to declare a belief that $65 she earned in 2008 from a day's work as a movie extra qualifies as "income"-- even while the ruling in which the order was issued was being appealed.

PLAINLY, BOTH ORDERS OVER WHICH DOREEN HENDRICKSON WAS CHARGED attempt to take control of two Americans' expressions of belief. Both orders try to force these Americans to declare beliefs for the government's benefit, and more, things the coerced speakers believe to be false.

Plainly, both orders are transparent violations of the speech rights the government is prohibited from abridging by the First Amendment, and lack even a pretense of validity.

Both orders are plainly fraudulent, as well. As has been shown, the government admits that what it wants the Hendricksons to say they believe is untrue even in its own mind. Further, the second order is constructed of a false ascription of content to a book the order-issuing judge has never even read.

The Hendricksons have refused to obey these fraudulent, rights-trampling, transparently invalid orders, just as would any decent, law-abiding American. Nonetheless, in 2013, Doreen Hendrickson was indicted on a charge of contempt of court for her courageous exercise of her right to control her own expressions even in the face of this executive and judicial corruption.

In trial, the government requested, and the judge issued, an instruction to the jury that, "[I]t is not a defense to the crime of contempt that the court order that the defendant is accused of violating was unlawful or unconstitutional." By this instruction-- which invokes a doctrine of generic character, equally applicable to any court order as much as to these particular orders-- government-requested court orders are elevated to the level of divine edicts, to be suffered without recourse no matter what they command.

This doctrine will equally shield from challenge and correction an order to confess to alleged child abuse as much as it shields these orders to commit tax-law perjury. This doctrine says it doesn't matter what the state commands you to do. The state can command anything, legal or illegal, authorized by the Constitution or in defiance of the Constitution, it doesn't matter. You must simply do whatever you're told. If you do not, you go to prison, period.

This instruction has never been made in any trial before in American history. But now it has, and it has been upheld by the Sixth Circuit in a decision originally unpublished, but now published on the government's motion and therefore a formal precedent which can be used to argue for the same instruction in every other case involving orders issued by any judge.

IN ITS DECISION, THE APPELLATE PANEL argues for exactly the pernicious doctrine that I have just described. Refusing to address the question of the lawfulness of the orders involved, the panel spends several pages arguing that it need not conduct any such analysis, finishing with, "[T]he constitutionality of the underlying order is not at issue in this case." Doreen Hendrickson should have just done what she was told, the panel says, whether the orders were illegal or not.

In upholding the instruction which kept the question from the jury, the panel "reasons" that if the jury were to consider "lawfulness" it would invade the authority of the court. Again, the argument is, orders of a court are not to be questioned by mere citizens.

If told to jump, all a citizen can say is "How high, m'lord?" The pretense of a jury trial will be conducted for the ostensible purpose of getting the People's agreement that a crime was committed, but, well... not really.

Perhaps recognizing the inanity of its own positions in this regard and as in its own refusal to strike down the orders, the panel then digs deeper still. It goes so far as to argue that "lawful" is not an element of criminal contempt anyway, despite its explicit inclusion in the statute under which Doreen Hendrickson was charged, 18 U.S.C. § 401(3) (emphasis added):

A court of the United States shall have power to punish by fine or imprisonment, or both, at its discretion, such contempt of its authority, and none other, as--

(3) Disobedience or resistance to its lawful writ, process, order, rule, decree, or command.

The details of these arguments and positions of the appellate panel can be seen laid out in concise detail in the petition to the Supreme Court found here.

AT BOTTOM, THEN, A FEDERAL CIRCUIT COURT has held that an American can be ordered to declare beliefs she does not hold. It has further held that when tried for disobedience her jury can be prevented from considering the unlawfulness of the orders, and an appellate court needn't consider that issue. In short, a federal circuit court has established a precedent upholding an unchallengeable judicially-administered tyranny.

The rule of law is being murdered here, in an effort to cover up information critically-important to the preservation (or restoration) of liberty and limited government in America.

And so far, btw, everyone is just letting it happen.

Has America become the land of the sheep and home of the knave?

I hope not.

I hope people will finally start raising their voices, before it's too late.

"As nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression. In both instances, there's a twilight where everything remains seemingly unchanged, and it is in such twilight that we must be aware of change in the air, however slight, lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness."

-William O. Douglas

PLEASE RECOGNIZE WHAT IS AT STAKE in all this. I say without any hyperbole at all that the preservation of even a hint of liberty for you and your kids rests on immediate action. We must slam shut the new door to despotism pushed open by the Sixth Circuit in this barbaric decision RIGHT NOW!  

You know how this goes. If the state gets away with dictating Doreen's testimony in this case, it will soon be dictating the testimony and "admissions" of anyone it chooses to target for property-seizure, compelled waiver of rights or simple punishment. If the damning "testimony" is not made, trial for "contempt" follows, and the unlawfulness of the order will be off the table for the jury, just as in Doreen's trials. The only thing that will matter is that the false testimony was not made as commanded.

This ploy will be used to control testimony about others, or concerning matters of public policy, also. And the public will never know. One feature of Doreen's case was that she was ordered not only to swear she believes what she does not, but to conceal the fact that what she said was not her own testimony, and that she was forced to say it.

The potential for evil engendered by the grossly corrupt ruling in Doreen Hendrickson's appeal is enormous. Please, PLEASE get involved in helping to publicize this outrage and demanding the overturning of Doreen's conviction, if not the impeachment of every judge responsible for the whole ugly affair.


BTW, HERE'S SOMETHING that should help convey a sense of urgency: As of July 2, 2018, one of the judges responsible for this assault on the rule of law-- Raymond Kethledge-- is actually on President Donald Trump's "short list" of candidates for the vacancy about to be created by Anthony Kennedy's retirement from the Supreme Court.

No one in his right mind would want this guy judging a potato-sack race, much less sitting on the US Supreme Court for the rest of his life. Get loud.

"A free people claim their rights as derived from the laws of nature, and not as the gift of their chief magistrate."

-Thomas Jefferson

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