Rick Koerber Indicted? Schmucks, Grand Juries, & the Trials Ahead. by Rick Koerber
As our modern culture hurls itself imperviously over the rocky cliffs of socialism in the name of rescue and bailout, normal people seem to be losing their ability to think critically and distinguish decency, fairness, civility, and honesty from rumor, rhetoric, political posturing and gossip. Its a cultural battle being waged every day in the business world, and I don’t mean just big business, I mean small business America too. The competition is decency vs. defamation. Do-gooders, versus society’s most valuable doers. In my world, the constant reminder of this battle is the fact that hardly a week goes by without someone asking me if I’m going to be indicted.
A chilling result of the crisis will be furthering the deadly process of criminalizing business failures. In the old days when an enterprise failed, the proprietors often ended up in debtors’ prison…But in recent years, particularly after the Enron/WorldCom corporate scandals, federal and local prosecutors began actively pursuing evidence of fraud whenever a big business went bust. Yes, there has been corporate wrongdoing, and miscreants have been tried and jailed. But many noncriminal individuals have been pursued.
One notorious case was the IRS’ attempt to prosecute KPMG and a number of its partners and employees for alleged tax fraud. The shelters KPMG sold in the 1990s were not illegal. The IRS still determined, however, that they weren’t valid. That kind of tax dispute would normally be settled in civil court. Instead, prosecutors threatened KPMG with annihilation: Settle on our terms or we will hit you with an enterprise-killing indictment. Arthur Andersen had recently been destroyed by such an indictment, even though the courts subsequently threw the charges out. The feds even pressured KPMG not to pay the legal bills of the targeted individuals–which would have forced these people to settle, as they couldn’t afford the massive legal costs of defending themselves. Thankfully, a courageous federal judge stopped this abuse.
But the itch to indict remains. No sooner had Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers and AIG gone bust than criminal investigators swarmed in. They will find evidence of “fraud”–why didn’t you more aggressively mark down the value of suspect paper even if there wasn’t a market for it? Why the expressions of confidence in the soundness of your businesses when the rumors of trouble were surfacing? Lost in all this will be the fact that Lehman and AIG didn’t know they were in mortal peril until almost the very end. There will be indictments. The chilling lesson: Unsuccessful risk taking or failing in business can send you to prison. (Steve Forbes, “How Capitalism Will Save Us” Forbes Magazine, Nov. 10, 2008) Emphasis added.
It’s a dumb question really. It’s not like the government, even with the most corrupt bureaucracies, normally calls up the subject of its investigation on the telephone to say, “Hey, just for your information, we’re planning to indict you.” But, the brain-off among us don’t have to be bothered with thinking—they’re too busy indulging in feeling.
In January of this year a local news reporter came to my house and asked me point blank, “But, is it fair to say you expect to be charged?”
Rick Koerber. Some people want to see me behind bars.
Rick Koerber. Some people want to see me behind bars. This is the closest I've come so far. Which I'm hoping annoys the socialists, and my old friend Abel Keogh, daily!
The reporter, Brian Mullahy, and I had been having a conversation about the fact that there have been rumors about me being in trouble with the law, despite no charges, nor formal complaints and no formal allegations of wrong-doing, over the course of the last five years. In that context, I had complained that the very existence of these persistent rumors—even the ones with no credibility whatsoever—had actually given bureaucrats the ammunition they needed to continue their years long investigation of me and my companies without any reasonable basis.
In answer to an earlier question I explained that I, in fact, had not been indicted or charged either on the state or the federal level and that I did not know what was being planned by prosecutors.This was the context for his question “But, is it fair to say you expect to be indicted?” I thought about his question and reluctantly answered, “Sure, sure.”
I went on to say in our interview that given the modern business climate in America any businessman in a situation like mine—regardless of his innocence—would be foolish not to prepare as if an indictment were coming. Of course, all this context was dropped when the evening newscast aired with the headline, “Utah Businessman Facing Federal Charges.” This, of course, is a lie. I was not then, nor have I ever in my life, been facing federal charges.
It used to be a criminal offense to slander someone like this, but now we live in a world where it’s considered by many to be journalism—while at the same time businessmen are routinely accused of criminal behavior by vague allegation, outright defamation, and little attention given to facts or statutes and usually without the businessman having done anything that can be demonstrated to be clearly against the law. This situation, which is the fruit of socialistic ideas in government, has been a growing reality in America for the last full generation and is now a defining legacy.
As a result, it is practically impossible for a lawyer to determine what business conduct will be pronounced lawful or unlawful by the courts. This state of affairs is equally embarrassing to businessmen endeavoring to obey the law and to Government officials attempting to enforce it.” (Robert H. Jackson. Assistant Attorney General of the United States. Later Supreme Court Justice of the United States. Anti-Trust Legislation Seen Necessary, New Jersey Law Journal, February 3, 1938, 6 N.J.L.J. 37 (1938) c. 1938 ALM Properties, Inc.)
So, our modern itch to indict, as referenced by Steve Forbes, continues to have affect in my life, and the same questions come week after week. The rumors this past week were stirred up by none other than prominent Salt Lake attorney Rodney G. Snow. He should know better, but we’ll talk more about that in a minute.
Indictment, indictment, in·dite·ment! Sometimes the questions come from those secretly hoping the rumors are true and that soon I’ll end up behind bars (for just what exactly, they can never quite articulate). Sometimes the questions come from brain-off, but kind hearted friends who just want to express their sympathy (again, for what, they can’t quite articulate.) It all makes me want to throw up, to tell you the truth.
I’ve reached a point in my life where I just can’t stand the slobbery thickness of brain-off emotionalism. I care nothing for the predicaments of those whose own emotional insecurity has brought them to the point of thinking that I’m somehow a villain in their life story when at the same time they don’t have the courtesy, civility, or kind feelings sufficient to talk to me and either get the facts to clear up their misconceptions or, on the rare occasion that there is actually something amiss between us, give me the chance to take responsibility for whatever wrongs or mistakes may, in fact, be mine.
Even worse, I’ve grown sick of the ever growing popularity of the notion that in the present era of bail-outs, bank failures, unemployment and rampant foreclosures, a consumer being stupid (or at least imprudent) and loosing a lot of money somehow qualifies him or her to randomly assign blame and self-righteously demand guilt from whatever businessman seems to fits the bill at the moment—facts be damned. These people are schmucks, and those who are moved by their groveling selfishness enable the sad state of affairs, so often talked about these days. They are complicit in our societies unyielding march towards disaster.
Do I have empathy for those whose financial situation is bleak? Of course. I’ve dedicated my life reaching out to and teaching these very people. However, that is part of the problem. Whenever you dive into deep water, in an effort to save a drowning person, you become at risk yourself. I can’t otherwise explain how so many people whom I’ve never done business with can be so maliciously engaged in the spreading the negative rumors and gossip—almost wholly started years ago by unprincipled, privately motivated, reckless and vindictive government employees.
I once read a post on the Internet that stated, “I would love to talk to someone about the $140,000 that Rick Koerber has of mine that [he] ‘can’t pay’ me back. Thanks. Ryan in St. George.” Evidently I don’t qualify as the kind of “someone” this person wants to talk with, because I have never been contacted by him. Not only do I not recognize his name or situation, the sad reality is that I don’t know anyone in St. George, Utah named Ryan who has ever given me anywhere close to that kind of money. I certainly do not have, nor do any of my companies have, to the best of my knowledge, any unpaid debts in any amount to someone named Ryan in St. George.
Such a small thing like this illustrates a major problem in our world today, particularly with federal grand juries. I have known, for example, that as early as March 2008 there have been witnesses being called by the US Attorney in Salt Lake City, to testify before a federal grand jury regarding my supposed business dealings. But in a federal grand jury proceeding I don’t have the right to confront any witnesses. The rules of evidence are not the same, and there is no cross examination or rebuttal. So, this guy named Ryan could be called before the grand jury, asked to testify about his $140,000, and this could be used as undisputed grounds to issue an indictment. The problem is compounded by grand jury secrecy.
The fifth amendment to the US Constitution is the legal cornerstone for federal grand juries, and the original purpose of a grand jury, including the secrecy of its proceedings, was originally to protect citizens from government abuses. During the era of the Founders (most would be surprised to learn) there were no government attorneys. But, today the US Attorney oversees cases before the grand jury and he (or a member of his staff) is essentially given de facto control over access to the grand jury by the public, and the secret proceedings they carry out. Once a fair minded person begins to think through the implications of this modern court setting, serious issues regarding justice and fairness begin to emerge.
What is true about the danger of “enterprise-killing” charges today, was also true in the days following America’s revolution. The Founders sought to protect citizens from overzealous government by ensuring federal felony charges could not be brought whimsically or too easily, thus the requirement of a grand jury. Secrecy, during grand jury proceedings was a long standing English tradition dating back to the Magna Charta. A critical defense of free society rests upon the notion that the very allegation of wrongdoing, made by the government, can be punitive in-and-of itself, and the process must therefore be strictly guarded.
So, the grand jury is generally supposed to be private/secret. The idea is that before charging a free citizen with a crime, a person who is presumed innocent until proven guilty, give a jury of his or her peers the opportunity to consider the case first, without exposing his reputation to ruin by the process. Of course, there are other reasons for secrecy but the rights of individual citizens are at the foundation of the issue.
The problem today is that, with permanent government prosecutors essentially in charge of the grand jury proceedings, what was once a protection for citizens now, too often, is only an advantage to the prosecutor. Today, there is very little check against malicious prosecution or prosecutorial misconduct when all the proceedings are conducted in secret. Take for example the political motivation to tip the party balance in the United States Senate which utilized prosecutorial corruption in the recent case of former Alaska Senator Ted Steven’s whose case was just thrown out—after he suffered great harm to his reputation and after he lost his Senate seat, all because of the situation I’m describing. It is therefore, not surprising, that according to experts in the field, in 95% of the cases, prosecutors simply get an indictment, whenever one is wanted.
This means that a businessman has no way of knowing in advance whether the action he takes is legal or illegal, whether he is guilty or innocent. It means that a businessman has to live under the threat of a sudden, unpredictable disaster, taking the risk of losing everything he owns or being sentenced to jail, with his career, his reputation, his property, his fortune, the achievement of his whole lifetime left at the mercy of any ambitious young bureaucrat who, for any reason, public or private, may choose to start proceedings against him…It is a form of persecution practiced only in dictatorships and forbidden in every civilized code of law. It is specifically forbidden by the United States Constitution. It is not supposed to exist in the United States and it is not applied to anyone-except to businessmen. (Ayn Rand. Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, pg. 50 - from a speech given at the Ford Hall Forum, Boston, on Dec. 17, 1961)
In my case, after a failed attempt by rogue state regulators that felt just as Ms. Rand describes, I’ve now learned more about what the federal government is up to, and what is happening before the grand jury, through rumor and gossip—than is supposed to be publicly available at all.
What good does it do to say to me, “We’re protecting your reputation Rick, by ensuring everything is done in secrecy,” when attorneys, government employees, and even members of the prosecutor’s staff are reportedly giving information about secret grand jury proceedings to their colleagues like Mr. Snow, who seem driven to spread the word around.
Lest you think its just any old attorney involved in such behavior, Mr. Snow’s resume shows just how connected he is, having worked as an Assistant US Attorney for this very same office earlier in his career. Mr. Snow, by his privileged position, evidently not only receives special illegal exemption from the legal requirements of secrecy, but he gets to use them to further his law practice at my expense.
There is a strange, almost unnoticed drum beating in our popular culture, where economic hard times (which are the persistent handmaiden of socialism and its relatives) bring average Americans to believe that society’s producers are now somehow the villains. Even worse, our bureaucrats, government employees, and government officials are supposed to become our heroes. In the Founder’s generation we elected heroes to office, to keep abusive government in check. Today we try to make heroes out of those who like to cast aspersions without consequence, spend money without accountability and who send out bureaucrats and government agents with guns, threats, and the delegated force of the people—to satisfy our itch to indict and to punish society’s white collar villains—who, in rapidly growing percentages, are increasingly men and women whose crimes can’t be described or articulated and whose actual performances and intentions are almost entirely irrelevant. Lost is the idea that businessmen, entrepreneurs, and even corporate executives (regardless of their supposed crime) are still citizens, in a free country, presumed innocent until proven guilty—also born like the rest of us, with unalienable individual rights.
Only businessmen - the producers, the providers, the supporters, the Atlases who carry our whole economy on their shoulders-are regarded as guilty by nature and are required to prove their innocence without any definable criteria of innocence or proof, and are left at the mercy of the whim, the favor, or the malice of any publicity-seeking politician, any scheming statist, any envious mediocrity who might chance to work his way into a bureaucratic job and who feels a yen to do some [governing]. (Ayn Rand. Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, pg. 44 - from a speech given at the Ford Hall Forum, Boston, on Dec. 17, 1961)
While we’re not yet France, we are not far behind. Did anyone notice the report yesterday from Reuters about the poll in Paris, where almost half of all citizens now think its okay for laid off employees to actually “lock up” or “take hostage” corporate executives—without any due process of law—as part of labor bargaining?
Or, did you notice that just this week, the day after North Korea successfully test launched a long range ballistic missile that means they can not only threaten our Asian allies but Hawaii and Alaska as well, our government announced its intention to actually reduce our missile defense budget, including the money allotted for existing self-defense based weapons systems stationed in Alaska. This brings to mind former US President Ronald Reagan’s warnings in the 1960’s against appeasement and unilateral surrender to the Soviets. But, I don’t want to get too distracted. How about his statement regarding creeping socialism and the risk to the American businessman?
It is time we realized that socialism can come without overt seizure of property or nationalization of private business. [My note: Today, the federal executive speaks openly about seizure and nationalization of banks and financial institutions]
It matters little that you hold the title to your property or business if government can dictate policy and procedure and holds life and death power over your business. [My note: The President of the United States just fired the chief executive of GM]
The machinery of this power already exists. Lowell Mason, former anti-trust law enforcer for the Federal Trade Commission, has written “American business is being harassed, bled and even blackjacked under a preposterous crazy quilt system of laws.” There are so many that the government literally can find some charge to bring against any concern it chooses to prosecute. (Ronald Reagan. A Time for Choosing, Speech given October 27, 1964)
This is a reality far too few American’s have sobered up to realize. Which, brings me back to where I started. Have I been indicted? No. Will I be indicted? I don’t know. Am I preparing for it? As best I can. Regardless of what happens, I’m sure its only more likely that I’ll eventually be indicted as I continue to criticize the government, government employees, the lazy government PR media, and now complicit lawyers.
The point, however, is that it’s not really me who will be put on trial in such a case. It’s America, and its citizenry who are already on trial, today.
As for me, I’d actually be kind of a glad—in an odd sort of way—if I am ever indicted, because at least then I’ll be extended the courtesy and privilege of defending myself against actual charges, rather than vague insinuations and secret rumors. Don’t get me wrong, I am not anxious to plunge headlong into a legal battle where most of the deck is already stacked against me, but I will not run from it either. Though I’m certain it would be an extremely difficult road if that day does come—following the example of others who have tried to negotiate with unprincipled, power corrupt bureaucrats and over zealous prosecutors whose pre-condition for negotiation is an admission of guilt, is not something I will choose to accept.
I’m optimistic that this kind of conflict can still be avoided in my case, and I take steps regularly to try and ensure that is the case. But, if it cannot be avoided, while its impossible for me to see the details in advance, or the outcome of such a fight—I refuse to fear it. Why? Well among other things, in most cases, there are still twelve free citizens at the final end of any verdict.
The world of [regulation] is reminiscent of Alice’s Wonderland: everything seemingly is, yet apparently isn’t, simultaneously…It is a world in which the law is so vague that businessmen have no way of knowing whether specific actions will be declared illegal until they hear the judge’s verdict - after the fact. (Alan Greenspan. Later Chairman of the Federal Reserve. Paper given at the Antitrust Seminar of the National Association of Business Economists, Cleveland, September 25, 1961.)
While those with an eye to see, do indeed know the final end to this story (to paraphrase Dr. Skousen), none of us knows the details regarding our own personal challenges on the path to our ultimate rendezvous with destiny (to paraphrase another great hero of mine). The only option is to choose; to make a choice when the options are clear, and the chaos and tension that accompanies conflict has not yet become overbearingly personal.
I made my choice early on, when I first encountred these people. I made my choice before the huge successes and before the tragic business failures that have defined the last several years. I’m not proud or happy about the business or financial failures that have so closely affected my life, and the lives of so many of my friends and loved ones. Nor can I rest from my own labor to compensate for the ones for where I bare primary responsibility. But failure, financially—short or long term, has never been the enemy of free citizens in America, or throughout history. Failure, morally—to stand up for right, for freedom, and for truth—this is a failure that I consider the most serious enemy of all. As economic freedom is threatened broadly, across all parts of the world’s citizenry, each of us are increasingly exposed the fact that we have an inescapable choice to make, individually.
How about you? How will you react when you have your day in court (literally or figuratively)? Do you think that somehow you can escape the consequences of the rocky cliffs ahead? Will you just coast along the tidal wave of life that carries you about from day-to-day while you complain as you go that your life isn’t what you want? Or, will you stand up? Will you say to freedom’s common enemy, “There is a certain point beyond which you cannot pass!”
I’m sure the slobbery thickness of brain-off emotionalism will continue to bring more people to my door in the future asking about some supposed, pretended, or actual indictment–or maybe even worse. But, in the mean time, me and those who stand with me (including the consistently growing numbers of those who will be standing with me tomorrow and the next day, and the days after that), we will keep producing, educating, and organizing. And, when we can squeeze it in (and I’m pretty sure it’s something we’ll not soon forget), we’ll also do what we can to make sure the complicit schmuck’s (including those in the media, the legal profession, and in key government positions) who keep overstepping their bounds, to the detriment of innocent and free citizens, are also made to face the legal consequences of their own wrongdoing. I doubt that they’re any more anxious to face a just tribunal than have been any of history’s well known tyrants and their dimwitted, brain off accomplices.
It looks like a foot race, and they better hope we don’t beat them to the punch!
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Tags: bailout, brain off, business america, business failures, capitalism, challenges, citizens, corporate scandals, corporate wrongdoing, debtors prison, entrepreneur, indictment, money, notorious case, realization, rick koerber, Ronald Reagan, socialism, tax fraud
21 Responses to “Rick Koerber Indicted? Schmucks, Grand Juries, & the Trials Ahead.”
Freedom From Creditors says:
April 8, 2009 at 10:19 pm
A lot of people are accepting socialism because capitalistic good business owners like yourself get beat up and persuaded to be silent by government bureaucrats or face indictment and criminal charges. I like that your taking a stand because many of this nation’s good people are faced with adversity and loads of debt problems which have forced and converted many into a government bondage mentality. What most people don’t realize is that the culprit for most of the financial sturugles this country has had is because of the banking system and the Federal Reserve. Both the Federal Reserve and the banking system should be eliminated and attacked for the fraud that it has perpetrated upon this country.
Ammon Nelson says:
April 8, 2009 at 10:58 pm
I am glad to say Rick, that I have never blamed you for my financial difficulties, though I probably experience similar financial difficulties to some of the brain-off individuals who do blame you.
I wish you the best in you fight against government corruption. I am joining you in your fight - though I don’t corroborate or associate personally with you. I agree with your philosophy and paradigm and am doing my best to spread the message of free and intentional thinking, which is so much lacking in our modern culture. Hopefully you consider me an ally.
Dave Montague says:
April 8, 2009 at 11:09 pm
You and I only met a couple of times at the Spanish Fork gym. We have never done business together. What I want to say is I totally admire how you have stuck to your guns and persevered through a mire not many will ever come to know.
There is something wrong with a society so eager to punish. Friedrich Nietzsche made this observation: “But thus do I counsel you, my friends: distrust all in whom the impulse to punish is powerful!”
Stay the course my friend!
All the best,
Brad King says:
April 8, 2009 at 11:42 pm
I would love to talk to Rick about the money that was invested through Northridge investments into FC. I am not in the least belligerant but would simply like to discuss what I can expect and thus prepare myself for the outcome.
Ryan Dana says:
April 8, 2009 at 11:51 pm
My name is Ryan in St. George. I loaned J*** D***** $140,000. That situation sure sounds a lot like mine the only difference is I never loaned out any money to you. I would like to know the blog source you read that comment from. I would like to investigate because I don’t like people throwing my name around like that. It could’ve been another Ryan but I doubt it. Please email me that blog resource.
I understand you are trying to make a point but taking a blog note as fact can be misleading, especially if someone decided to throw my name in the blog and info without understanding any facts.
If you could change the name on your blog to maybe a fictitious name that would be great. I understand Jake’s business had some financial difficulties and I have never pursued anything with the $140,000 that he owes. I have never publicly stated my displeasure for the whole thing and I have chosen to move forward until his situation becomes more fortunate and it is up to him to square up with me. As for myself, I have learned a great deal in the school of hard knocks and have vowed to learn from my mistakes.
*** added by editor for privacy purposes.
Dave Charbonneau says:
April 9, 2009 at 12:13 am
Thanks, Rick, for sharing your thoughts and standing tall. Emotional warfare, popularity contests, and seeking un-earned rewards… I thought this stuff went away in high school. Challenge is, those “winning formulas” learned in youth are tolerated and - in the short term seem to be externally rewarded. Power is such a strange temptation to figure out. Learning, living, and defending the principles of freedom certainly make for a more rewarding life; no matter the garbage that others promulgate as truth for their personal gain. I, as with most, do not know your business, your circumstances, or the intents of your heart and mind. However, I do know it is common human behavior to seek a fight in the name of their own fears, inadequacies, and general misunderstanding of their own values. As such, I refuse to read the ‘comments’ section on any online news story where accusations are being made. The Founders also understood this nature of ours, and that of the corruption of power.
I have you and Les to thank for first introducing me to the meaning and existence of governing Principles. Thank you.
Learn, Live, Defend.
Kathy and John Hansen says:
April 9, 2009 at 1:57 am
Nice to hear directly from you Rick. Yes, we saw the new reports. Yes, we’ve heard the rumors too. And yes, we agree with all you’ve articulated about the media manipulation of the economic climate. Thanks for speaking out. Thanks for saying what so many of us feel but can’t put into words. Count us among your supporters, praying for your success.
Joe Olivas says:
April 9, 2009 at 3:22 am
I thank you for your candor and will say publicly here, as I know many will read your message, that I believe with every ounce of my being that you have in no way, shape or form been anything than honorable with me. I know and understand that those who are seeking such difficulty to fall upon you and your family are doing so simply because they lack integrity, refusing to take accountability for choices they have made. Emotion is a powerful factor my friend, and those who govern their lives in this manner, are left open to powerful mistakes in judgement.
We will all, one day, when everything is clear before us, have our day in court. No jury will be present at the trial of which I speak, however, there will indeed be many on the witness stand. You are counted in my life as a true friend, as an incredible example, and even greater still as a mentor of the mind. As such, when this day comes for you my friend, I can witness with a clear conscience, “Not Guilty!” While I cannot state for a certainty what the course of events will be like in the temporal sense, my answer will be the very same nonetheless. For how can one pronounce unearned guilt?
I have made my choice, I know on which side of the line I stand. I know at who’s table I sit. Our land, our country, freedom and liberty is far too precious for me to not have made this ever important decision. My life, as I choose to live it, is one that I love. Those who hide in the shadows of deceit are too fearful of the light to stand with those who love their lives. And in their misery and darkness, they seek to destroy others who no longer live in their world.
Les once said, “The World is Changing…” I believe he was right. I believe in part, that he was speaking to me personally, in that I have the power within myself to make it so. Every day, I live in the World of My Choosing, and it is something I must protect. As there are indeed many who seek to destroy my world around me simply because they do not see what I see. They do not feel what I feel, nor do they know what I know. Namely, that A is A!
Randy Soderquist says:
April 9, 2009 at 8:56 am
Rick, (captain my captain, Dead Poet’s Society)
My life today is amazing! In a large part this is due to the principles that you teach and that I am striving on a daily basis to better understand and apply. As I face my own fears and observe what is happening in our society today, I am comforted by the fact that principles govern. Thank you for sharing your talent of teaching and explaining principles in a way that for me, has helped me to see my life and the world from a truer perspective.
Thank you for taking a stand and for your courage to follow principles and to do what is right, come what may! I appreciate you, all that you do and all that you stand for!
Don Thornton says:
April 9, 2009 at 9:59 am
Rick, thanks for showing a possible future for my business. I’m glad to see from the other comments here that there are still many in the world fighting for freedom. I’m starting to know what that means and the first step is to wake up! I may hit my snooze alarm once or twice, but I’m excited about life and I’m aiming for full consciousness. Life is sweet beyond the deceptions.
Andreas Fischer says:
April 9, 2009 at 11:50 am
in concideration of the fact that no holy land is left on earth so far territorialy we have to choose it mentaly. This is what I constantly say to myself thinking of reasons for emigration because of misleading society - at any place on earth.
Due to my dear friend Caspar I found out about the sainthood of principles you and your’s have rediscovered from ancient societies, constantly spreading the word of truth. I’ve joined in with you on November 25th, 2008, far away from America by doing my pledge. And today I don’t hesitate standing forth to confess that I am a citizen of the wolrd belonging to the capitalistic society. Whatsoever the name of the country I live in is. Whatsoever the people around me do think or, even worse, do not think. Principles govern, you just have to keep going.
Jeremy Parkin says:
April 9, 2009 at 2:31 pm
Keep your head up, keep moving forward, and trust that God will help with the slack.
Lance Jackson says:
April 9, 2009 at 2:49 pm
It is refreshing to see conviction to Principle that runs deep, even to the core. I am pleased that Rick calls me out and challenges me to be more than just a “Sunshine Patriot”. It is his example, in such circumstances, that inspires. I am not so eloquent as Rick, but I count myself as one of his supporters.
I count myself blessed that we have an example to emulate. Though he is not a perfect being, I can learn much from his dedication to truth. He has signed the Declaration of Independence and has pledged his Life, Fortune and his Sacred Honor. Is anything less asked of us?
Stephen Street says:
April 9, 2009 at 5:12 pm
This is the era of the “Rich Hunt”. Even perceived wealth makes you a target.
Top down thinking and mindless education by memorization is creating a society comprised of a pack of wolves willing to attack as ordered.
Not more than 30 years ago something which was stupid was called what it was and forgotten. In 2009 stupid activity is given a euphemism or called a criminal activity depending on the mood of the accusers.
The problems you are experiencing would be the result of your public persona. In your case the only thing that matters is that the ideas you promote are contrary to the indoctrinations by the social engineers.
Sorry for your problems. Your persecution goes with the territory.
As my own financial situation improves I understand and sympathize with you. I have lost money. It was my fault. No need to sue because I learned from my experiences. Failure is the price we pay for success.
Joseph Graves says:
April 9, 2009 at 5:24 pm
Stand strong. TONIGHT i start the first (know) Free Capitalist meeting in Nashville. Although we are all not done 100% with our Pledge Quest. Soon. I can not stand by as we watch heroes like Rick, and others, battle against the bureaucrats who seek only to justify their existence through leeching others. I have complied the Primer and select podcasts to hand out on disc. Officela formation will come in the next 2 weeks. I have been fighting, as a new FC, to set my paradigm in prosperity, not scarcity. Especially during these “challenging economic times”. STAND UP. Be free. Do not sell yourself into modern slavery. Gather with the like mined. learn the principles, spread them to the rest of your community. God bless us all. Thank you Rick!
Mister Mike says:
April 9, 2009 at 5:38 pm
Was reading your article yesterday and was going to immediately respond but thought better.
Still stuck in the angry capitalist mode I see. I stopped reading your article when you berated those around you who were attempting to show support. Have you ever read the book “How to Win Friends and Influence People”?
While I chose not to associate myself with your way of promoting principles I also am not going to line up to kick you while your down.
May I suggest that you stop sticking your finger in the eye of those who have the power to further make your life hell especially since you apparently no longer have the resources to fight them? Also, accept support from friends and associates as they feel comfortable giving it rather than thru your narrow filter. A strong dose of humility is in order.
Oh, and I am a big believer in standing strong on principles but I’m also learning that you have to pick your battles.
April 9, 2009 at 8:52 pm
Thanks for the article.
You know, the Leninists did the same thing. They pillaged and killed any producers they could find and called it eliminating the upper class, but they went so much further, until almost no business people were left.
Then, they did it again when the common people assigned top run farms couldn’t produce - they killed them, too, who were trying to become new producers in their communist system.
I consider my self a producer, and though I don’t have your experience and exposure, plan to stay the course.
Ken James says:
April 10, 2009 at 4:30 pm
Rick, I support you 100%! On a personally level, I know how people will not be accountable for their actions, and yet want to pour the blame on someone else. I know how a businessman can be honest in his dealings, and show people how to make money with a CLEAR up front understanding of the RISK and the REWARDS, and when their are profits being handled out, the world is a great place, the sun shines bright, but when their is a loss, it is everyone else fault.
Their is always jealousy and envy from people; and those same people have the opportunity to make their own life better without holding a honest businessman in contempt. I joined the FreeCapitalist Project because of your teaching and even more so, because of what you have gone through.
I salute you for facing evil, unjust, hypocrites, who are only out to mooch and loot!
Kevin Whittington says:
April 10, 2009 at 8:58 pm
Towards the tail end of the 90’s I loaned $80,000.00 to John D. VanHove, (AKA Johnny Liberty). The money was supposed to be for a short term,(1 month) and return 8%. I had read many of John’s publications and met him and we had mutual friends that had known him for years. Soon, 3 months had gone by with frequent contact from John explaining the delays. I even called him explaining that I needed at least $3,000.00 for something or other and he sent the 3K to me from his personal checking account. I considered and consider him an honorable and honest man. Soon, John was being investigated and I was sent on an all expense paid trip to Hawaii,(John’s home state). I told the Investigator/Prosecutor’s that I was responsible for my decision and believed that John was doing his best to pay us our principle. (We found out later that someone he had been working with had taken all the money and skipped the country). John was the only one left to take the blame - and he did. I told the Prosecution to punish him by letting him do his job so he could pay all the loans back. Of course they didn’t really care what I thought and John went to prison for 5 years. With the exception of the 3K he paid me we have recovered an additional $464.00 of the $44,000 the government decided he owes me now. Of course, if I were John, I would feel that 5 years of my life was sufficient to repay my debt. Justice has been done. Society has been repaid and the Government Attorneys have done their job. Another horrible Villian has been put in his place so he can’t hurt any more innocent greedy people. Only thing is — My $76,536 is still gone and my friendship with a good man, John VanHove is over. While it has been a painfully expensive lesson, it is one that I needed. Relationships are what has true value. Rick, I miss chatting in your cubicle at Franklin Covey. Thanks for the journey.
Tim Usher says:
April 13, 2009 at 4:53 am
The subject of and cause for your article reminds me of a passage from ‘Atlas Shrugged,’ page 436:
“…There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What’s there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced nor objectively interpreted–and you create a nation of law-breakers–and then you cash in on guilt…”
We all ought to be wary of over-reaching legislation and regulations, some recently rushed through under the guise of urgency, and the motives of those who are empowered to implement and prosecute according to such.
Keep your guard up Rick.
Robert Arbuckle says:
April 19, 2009 at 6:15 pm
We have a son who sits in a Federal Prison I believe for many of the same reasons you listed in the article about grand juries and federal prosecutors. Not only were we threatened about getting him a descent attorney but when he was coereced into taking a plea deal the prosecutor never lived up to his promises. In the Eastern District of Texas prosecutors are out of control and the court appointed attorneys are working with them. We could tell you stories about the judges too. Is there anyone that could help us?