From the October 2005 Idaho Observer:

Nation’s leading tax honesty movers on trial

Government cases crumbling under weight of truth, logic

Whether by government design or divine intervention, two of the most iconoclastic tax honesty activist/researchers are currently on trial. Witnesses report that both Bill Benson (The Law That Never Was) and Irwin Schiff (The Federal Mafia) are, even under the most contrived courtroom circumstances, destroying the government’s cases against them. The federal court’s admission in the We The People right to petition case and the recent vindication of former IRS agent-turned tax-honesty advocate Joe Banister are also indications that, on one hand the government does not care to redress the people’s grievances and, on the other, the people are proving the level to which they are being aggrieved.

DOJ lawsuit against Bill Benson backfiring

U.S. District Court "tricked" into hearing evidence that the tax law never was

CHICAGO—Twenty-five years ago Bill Benson, a former Illinois Department of Revenue investigator, went out in search of documentary evidence regarding the ratification of the 16th Amendment. This was a vital undertaking, since the government uses the 16th Amendment as its sole authority to directly tax individuals’ wages and salaries.

During his two-year trip to the 48 states in the union as of 1913, Benson collected thousands of certified legal documents from both state and federal archives documenting exactly how the 16th Amendment was acted on by each state legislature and handled by the office of the Secretary of State for the United States.

Benson, and his co-researcher Red Beckman, documented the results of their work in a two volume research report entitled, "The Law That Never Was." Their work is definitive proof that the 16th Amendment was fraudulently declared ratified by Secretary Philander Knox.

Until now, no federal court has agreed to examine the vast body of legal evidence compiled by Benson. Indeed, the federal courts, both district and appellate, have consistently refused to tackle the troubling issue, claiming the matter of the fraudulent ratification of the Amendment to be a "political question" for Congress to decide, and beyond the jurisdiction of the courts.

Today, as the result of a dramatic court battle now being waged in Chicago, Bill Benson and Red Beckman may be on their way to vindication.

In November 2004, the Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against Benson in the USDC in Chicago, accusing him of operating a "fraudulent tax shelter" and violating Section 6700 of the Internal Revenue Code.

At the heart of Benson’s alleged fraudulent tax shelter "scheme" is The Law That Never Was. The hard-bound publication is an exhaustive, detailed review of each state’s legislative process regarding its adoption, or rejection, of the 16th Amendment.

The government claims Benson fraudulently induced large numbers of Americans to stop paying income taxes because they relied upon fraudulent statements contained in Benson’s "Reliance Defense Package."

Shortly after being charged, Benson’s lawyer, Jeff Dickstein, filed a Motion to Dismiss the suit, claiming that Benson, as a matter of law, could not present a defense as to the factual truth of his claims regarding the ratification fraud because the federal courts have repeatedly ruled that the issue is outside their legal domain and, hence, the courts are without subject matter jurisdiction.

Specifically, Benson’s attorney argued that because the fact of making "false or fraudulent statements" is a central element of the alleged unlawful act, due process requires that Benson must be given an opportunity to directly defend the factual question of whether his claims are true or false—despite the fact that the federal courts apparently lack any jurisdiction to consider or adjudicate such a question. This legal "Catch-22," Dickstein argued, required the dismissal of the case.

The court rejected Benson’s Motion to Dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, thereby indirectly admitting it did, in fact, have subject matter jurisdiction regarding the ratification of the amendment.

The court must now address Benson’s due process rights which include challenging the factual substance of the government’s allegations that Benson willfully and falsely told people they do not have to file a tax return because the 16th amendment wasn’t ratified.

The court specifically stated it would study The Law That Never Was and on August 1, Benson’s attorney filed the legal brief detailing aspects of the ratification fraud.

It appears the DOJ case has backfired: The government must now consider the thousands of certified documents proving the 16th Amendment fraud. ~From WTP at


Schiff’s landmark tax trial enters fifth week

Government case sputtering, judge holds wily defendant in contempt for causing jury to question tax law

LAS VEGAS—One could say that Irwin Schiff has been preparing his tax trial for about 30 years. Schiff is well prepared—he knows his material and has studied the methods of his adversaries. The government is not so well-prepared and is arrogant enough to believe that it must merely desire someone be sent to prison, and it will happen, with or without establishing guilt or criminal intent.

Schiff and co-defendants Larry Cohen and Cindy Neun are being prosecuted for a variety of charges stemming from his tax consultation activities which are based upon the belief that there is no law compelling individuals to pay taxes on their wages. Schiff’s research in this area is contained in his controversial book, "The Federal Mafia," which was temporarily banned in 2003.

Recognized as one of the leading authorities on the 54,000 pages that comprise the Internal Revenue Code, Schiff is capable of tying government tax-liability arguments into knots based upon its own code.

The government rested its case against Schiff within a week of the trial’s actual commencement on Sept. 12, 2005. Schiff, who is looking at spending the rest of his life in prison if found guilty, is testing the court’s patience with his insistent, cantankerous, I-have-nothing-to-lose" pro-per representation of himself to the court.

According to a We the People report, "Over the last three weeks, Schiff, who is defending himself with only court-appointed stand-by counsel, has repeatedly irked the court by his persistence in continuing to discuss specific aspects of U.S. tax law, even though the court has forbidden Schiff to do so, claiming it, alone, will instruct the jury as to the law.

Witnesses report that Schiff’s discrediting of government witnesses through questioning them on the stand has been brilliant. The government’s response is for Federal District Judge Kent Dawson to sustain repeated government objections.

Schiff’s tactics and the government’s obvious attempts to minimize the damage he is doing to its case are apparently causing the jury to take notice. Unexpectedly, the jury foreman presented Judge Dawson with questions for the court—one of which the judge refused to even read into the record.

Judge Dawson found Schiff in contempt Sept. 30 and ordered him to serve eight days in jail and threatened to double the penalty each time he decides Schiff has committed an infraction. The threat does not seem to bother Schiff who, though handicapped by the judge, is succeeding in his attempts to get government witnesses to testify to important facts favoring the defense. According to Schiff, the government has not proved that his tax advice was false or fraudulent.

The following Monday (Oct. 3), Schiff moved to strike the testimony of all government witnesses to date, asserting that the Court was directly violating the Supreme Court ruling in Cheek v. U.S., 498 U.S. 192 (1991). In Cheek, the Supreme Court specifically held that it was the burden of the government (not the court), to establish the specific laws and legal duties that the Defendants are accused of violating.

The U.S. attorney explained to the court that the government had no intention of providing a witness to testify about the law, and that it was relying on the court to establish the law for the jury. The court subsequently denied Schiff’s motion.

On the same day, the U.S. attorney requested that the judge clarify for the jury potential "confusion" that may have arisen during the testimony of government witnesses regarding the liability statutes that allegedly impose income taxes on wages and salaries.

Though such instructions are usually given to the jury after both sides have rested and before it begins deliberations, Judge Dawson agreed to the government’s request.

Go to to stay abreast of this important trial as it unfolds. The record shows that Schiff is right. We must pray that justice prevail in this case.


Federal judge rules that the people have right to petition for redress, government is just not obligated to answer or respond

WASHINGTON, D.C.—On September 13, 2005, Federal District Judge Emmett Sullivan determined that the government is no longer answerable to the people. In We The People et al., v. United States, et al., Sullivan, ruled that the government does not have to listen or respond to the People’s Petitions for Redress of Grievances.  

We the People (WTP), led by Bob Schulz, began pursuing the "right to petition" lawsuit after formally-submitted petitions for redress of specific grievances were ignored by Congress, the president, the IRS and the Department of Justice. The petitions, which contained thousands of signatures, were properly served on the above-named parties and nearly 1,000 delegates from nearly every state in the union converged on the nation’s capitol Nov. 14, 2002, to receive the government’s response.

The government completely ignored the national delegation and refused to answer lawfully-filed petitions demanding the government redress citizen concerns about the income tax, the then pending war in Iraq and certain civil rights-violating provisions of the Patriot Act.

The government rebuff prompted WTP to explore whether or not the government was obligated to acknowledge the people when they formally notice the government of grievances through the petition process. Nearly three years later, WTP has compelled the government to answer. Though not the answer we may have wanted, it is the answer that became evident Nov. 14, 2002.

In its press release after Judge Sullivan dismissed its right-to-petition lawsuit, WTP explained that, "Confrontations between men and their governments have never been without anguish or agony. In our system of governance, the Petition is the fine line between peaceful and physical rebellion. Although Petitions may bring painful revelations and result in difficulties, the Right to Petition is the final check and balance that protects the People against the abuses of government—and insures the continuation of our Founding Principles.

"That said, a government that restricts or infringes upon the Right to Petition commits a clear and grave error because it diminishes accountability and the full enjoyment of Rights, Freedoms and Liberty. To outright deny the Right to Petition is to invite physical rebellion."

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