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If I were them...

(originally launched into cyberspace on 01/16/2003)

Dear List Subscriber,

I often write about how I think WE should do things in an effort to get the
truth out about the "income tax" deception. But in coming up with
worthwhile tactics, it's just as useful to look at the "chess board" from
the other side--what is THEIR best move (and how should it be countered)?
This message is about what I would do if I was the U.S. Minister of
Propaganda (and didn't mind lying, cheating and stealing). The following is
written from that perspective, regarding the best way to HIDE the truth
about the income tax.


First and foremost, do not let the issue reach the level of a rational,
national discussion. Use any distraction, intimidation, vilification,
mischaracterization, or obfuscation possible to avoid that. If the issue
even looks remotely debatable to the general public, the game is over. (The
resources are simply not there to try to forcibly collect money from
100,000,000 people who feel no obligation to pay up.) There are several
tactics that must be employed, all at once on different fronts. Here are a
few pointers:

Vilify anyone who questions the conventional wisdom. Paint them as scam
artists, law-breakers, and generally unpleasant people. Use envy whenever
possible. Pick a few examples, ones easy to vilify, and put them front and
center in the debate. (Present these people as representing ALL of your
opponents.) Point out the RICHES of these people; focus not on the issue,
but on how these "scam artists" are making MONEY off of the issue. Talk
about their expensive cars, houses, etc. Make the common folk resent them
for their wealth. Cause divisions by portraying the "examples" as being
rich because they didn't pay their "fair share," in contrast to the "honest,
law-abiding citizens who pay their taxes." (This also strengthens the
assumption that the question is about whether people should pay "their
taxes," not whether they actually OWE the tax.)

Use guilt by association whenever possible. Do not address any argument as
if it deserved a rational response, whether it has merit or not.
Characterize any issue with a similar sounding "punchline" as "one of those
tax protestor arguments." The general public will be unable to distinguish
the truth from the garbage, and so can easily be led to view ANY who
question the conventional wisdom as "those law-breaker tax-protestors."

Find the WEAKEST opponent, and put him on a pedestal. Find one or two who
use theories easy to disprove, and portray THEM as the best the other side
has to offer. Don't hesitate to GLORIFY them to a certain extent, as "one
of the leaders of the tax resistance movement." Set them up, and knock them
down. Focus on those who are easy to paint as charlattans. If you cannot
deter all public attention away, then focus public attention on their
WEAKEST link, portraying it as their "best shot."

Frame the debate as this: On this side, we have the learned, honorable
public servants, just urging people to be good, law-abiding citizens who pay
what they owe--and on this side we have the tax cheats, whose arguments have
been struck down over and over, and who have either been IMPRISONED before
(e.g. Irwin Schiff), or are now being PROSECUTED (e.g. Lynne Meredith).
Present THEM as the loyal opposition, as they are easy to refute, and to
hold up as examples of "here's what happens to you if you resist." (This
has a significant effect, even if some spectators think the "examples" might
be correct. "What's the point, if I'll go to jail for saying it?") By the
same token, AVOID addressing the issues as academic debates; speak in terms
of "ARGUE THAT AND YOU'LL GO TO JAIL." (The implication is that "resistance
is futile," whether it is correct or not, "so why bother looking into it?")

There are a few things that may go contrary to instinct, but which are the
wise choice. For example, LET these "examples" make their case, at least to
some extent. Allowing their incorrect theories to be stated publicly again,
followed by a reciting of how many people have GONE TO JAIL for arguing such
things, is much more effective than censoring them. (This also gives the
impression that you are generously allowing the other side to have its say,
while you are actually doing anything possible to silence those who
understand the truth.) Giving THEM "air time," while DENYING air time to
those who actually make an argument that matches what the law says, will
teach the public that "this is the best they have."

In fact, even knowingly allow those "examples" to have their followings.
Occasionally send one of their followers to jail, as an "example" to show
everyone else. The number of their followers will remain relatively
insignificant, and they can be used as guinea pigs from time to time to keep
everyone else in line. They will also usually be groups that are easily
stereotyped as right-wing, mentally-unstable zealots. (When one of them
acts that way on his own, don't interrupt; show it to the world; have THAT
be the image that everyone associates with "not paying your taxes.")
Conversely, NEVER EVER be caught in public having a rational discussion with
educated, well-spoken, and rational-looking people. You CANNOT WIN such a
debate. For anyone who fits that description, find ANYTHING you possibly
can--or just make something up--that will bring into question his character
or respectability.

Another counter-instinctive method to use is NOT to publicly try to debate
the substance of those who rely on the law itself. However good you think
your rebuttal might sound, if you lead the public to the SUBSTANCE of the
issue at all, you will be inadvertently leading a certain segment of the
population to the truth. Of course, NEVER publicly mention the actual names
of the web sites, videos, etc. that explain what the law itself says. Do
not show the public where to get the other side; give them only YOUR
"version" of what the other side thinks.

NEVER portray the substantive issues as even debatable. Use every
derrogatory insult you can think of (i.e. "scam," "bogus," "frivolous,"
"ridiculous," "nonsensical," etc.). The more reasonable the explanation,
the more UNreasonable you have to portray it. One convenient tool to use is
the fact that the old-school tax protestors often go out of their way to
bash those who actually understand the law. Spin it as "even the well-known
tax protestors say that THAT issue is hogwash."

In addition, by all means muddy the waters. Make ALL opposing views look
like one big, undecipherable and nonsensical mess. Make it look like no one
on the other side agrees with anyone else. Intentionally mischaracterize
positions. For example, when dealings with those who rely on what the LAW
says about which income is taxable, accuse them of arguing that wages aren't
income, or that only foreign income is taxable, or that the tax is
unconstitutional, etc. The vast majority of the public will be unable to
distinguish one argument from another; it will become one big unintelligible
mess that they will choose to avoid.

Never underestimate the power of blatantly lying, provided you do it
carefully. As long as you can later say "well what I meant was..." feel
free to either "spin" things to the extreme, or blatantly lie. Say the
Supreme Court has ruled against the 861 evidence. It's a blatant lie, but
when someone calls you on it, say that what you meant was the the court has
upheld the tax as constitutional. Of the very few who will ever know you
lied the first time, only a handful will see through such a
"bait-and-switch" tactic.

Dodge substance, and display credentials. The public worships credentials,
no matter how baseless the claims of the people who have them. A
particularly good example is federal judges. The public have the general
impression that "rulings" by judges must be the result of objective, well
thought out reasonings (though this belief has been somewhat weakened by a
few ridiculous rulings recently). It doesn't matter how low the level of
the court, or whether the "ruling" is legally binding on anyone, or how
baseless the "ruling." Saying "the Tax Court has ruled that 861 is
frivolous" will sway most of the people most of the time; they will never
bother to look up the cases, or look into the substance of the issue. If
they believe that "authority" has spoken, most will back off.

Likewise, use conventional wisdom like a club. History shows quite well how
the masses will cling to what "everyone knows," and can easily be made to
ridicule, despise, and even attack anyone who says something contrary to
what "all the experts" say. It also helps to portray the issue as beyond
the grasp of the general public, and this is particularly easy regarding tax
law. Do not even bother to try to explain the SUBSTANCE to the public;
always talk as if they, the mere peasants, can't possibly understand and so
they should always ask a "reputable tax professional" what the law means.

Do not fight everyone who opposes you. USE them. For example, all those
people arguing about the 16th Amendment are an ASSET to the deception, not a
liability. (The same is true of the followers of countless other theories.)
Their stated goals may sound bad to you, but what they actually ACCOMPLISH
is very useful. They are the absolute BEST distractions from the truth,
because they do not come from us; they come from those who are allegedly our
opponents. (Heck, if you can get away with it, FUND them.)

There is NO BETTER TOOL to preserving the conventional wisdom about the
income tax than the "tax resistance movement" itself. Keep it alive, and
even put it center stage, whenever the TRUTH threatens to drown out all the
incorrect theories and arguments. There are plenty of "untax gurus" whose
personal income matters more to them than the truth, and they will willingly
(and for free) act as the biggest NAYSAYERS of those who understand the law.
Again, there is no better weapon, because those who hate the tax will view
those people as their ALLIES, not their enemies. They will trust them, and
you can use that trust to obfuscate the truth, at least from those most
vehement about defeating us.


Okay, now I'm out of evil, power-happy authoritarian thief mode. I'm
betting some of you were angered by some of what I said. And I KNOW that
those who want the truth hidden delight in your anger. You are their best

Governments have understood propaganda for thousands of years. These days
(when a bunch of people have access to firearms), MOST government power is
the result of propaganda, rather than brute force. Those who do not
understand the game, no matter how noble and brave they are, can easily be
twisted into being pawns of the ENEMY, without their knowing. Are you one
of them?

Here's a hint: if you respond to what I say, or what the government says,
with mere EMOTION, you are a tool to be used by anyone who understands the
game. If you respond with THOUGHT, you can defeat those who would use you.

You can BELIEVE, and FEEL... and be a mere playing piece. Or you can
UNDERSTAND, and THINK... and right this wrong. Pick one.


Larken Rose
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

(P.S. Don't bother sending any angry letters to me about the above message.
They will only tell me that you are a pawn, easily manipulated and dragged
about by your emotions. Getting emotional might help you win a tug-of-war,
but it will make you lose a game of chess.)