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News from Anguilla
13 February 2000. Issue 6


Please feel free to contribute to, reply to, comment on or (Heaven forbid) correct any item in these newsletters. Send an e-mail to: Your input will be discretely disseminated.

Latest News from Anguilla....

Sonesta Hotel has re-opened after hurricane "Lenny". As well as repairs and restoration, they took the opportunity to make some improvements. For a list of what’s open and what (still) remains closed, please send an e-mail to:

On the political front, the momentum continues (see recent issues of this newsletter) – more of the same.

'The law that never was'

A reader in the U.S., has forwarded this from Joe Bannister (for more on Joe, see the text of the article), who wrote:

"Please visit to read an extraordinary interview with Bill Benson, Author of "The Law That Never Was". Be sure to visit and forward this email to as many friends and relatives as possible."

Thank you,

Joe Bannister

The item was taken from , which holds the copyright. Readers are recommended to subscribe to this publication if they wish to see more of the same. It deals with the 16th Amendment to The Constitution of The United States of America, the one that brought you Income Tax and the I.R.S..

Geoff Metcalf's interview answers question, 'Is 16th Amendment legal?' A criminal investigator for the Illinois Department of Revenue for approximately 10 years, William J. Benson of South Holland, Illinois has been at the vanguard of debate and controversy surround the 16th Amendment for almost two decades. In 1984 he embarked upon a year-long project to examine the process of the ratification of the 16th Amendment and to determine whether or not it had been lawfully adopted as part of the U.S. Constitution. The culmination of Benson's work is the book, "The Law That Never Was."

Question: You have been engaged in this 16th amendment battle for almost 20 years. How did it start?

Answer: I was a former investigator for the Illinois Department of Revenue. I discovered a great deal of corruption within that department and for that the Director fired me. I told him if he fired me, I would sue him for violation of First Amendment rights. Six and half years later we were in court. We had a jury of six; it was a civil trial. They awarded me $353,000 for violation of First Amendment rights.

I began working with my attorney, Andy Spiegal. We had a wilful failure to file case in Indiana. Red Beckman had some documentation that showed there was some serious problem with the 16th Amendment. He got the documentation from a man named Dean Hurst, from Cheyenne, Wyoming. I purchased that documentation and made every attempt to have Andy get it before the court, and the Judge said no.

The judge gave us three real good reasons why he did that: The documentation is not notarized, it is not certified, and you do not have a witness to testify to.

That evening I said, "Okay, the judge has given us our marching orders. The only thing we have to do is go to all 48 states and get the documentation" to see if the documents have any validity. The attorney said, "Bill, you're crazy, you can't do that." I said, "Sure you can."

Q: How long did it take to do that?

A: It took a full year. There is not one state -- not one -- that has ratified the 16th Amendment to the United States Constitution. One of the most amazing documents I found was in the national archives in Washington D.C. -- a 16-page memorandum written by Ruben J. Clark, then the attorney for Secretary of State Philander Chase Knox, on February 15, 1913. What he says is that in the certified copies of the amendment passed by the legislatures of the several states ratifying the 16th Amendment, it appears that only four of those resolutions -- Arizona, North Dakota, Tennessee and New Mexico -- have quoted absolutely accurately and correctly what was proposed by Congress. The other 33 resolutions contain either errors of capitalization, spelling or wording. ...

Q: So what's the big deal? Why are errors of capitalization, spelling or wording so significant?

A: On page 15 of the 16-page memorandum, the attorney says, "further under the Constitution, a Legislature is prohibited from altering 'in any way' the resolution proposed by Congress." The right of the Legislature is merely to approve or disapprove the amendment. The last page is also interesting because it says the department has not received the copy of the resolution passed by the state of Minnesota, but the secretary of the governor of the state has officially notified the department that legislators of that state have ratified the proposed 16th amendment.

Q: Here's the obvious question that comes up all the time. Say it was a bureaucratic oversight, a procedural glitch or something. Why are we still saddled with this thing? The reality check is, if you don't comply you end up in a whole world of hurt, as you know from personal experience.

A: Oh, there isn't any question about it. And that is why I continue to defy the federal government. That is why, when we were in Washington (at the National Press Club) I said, "I have waited 15 years to get behind these microphones, and I challenge the United States, I challenge the Justice Department, to come and get me. Take me, and leave these people alone." Let's get the 16th Amendment argument on the table once and for all before a jury and let them decide.

Q: Why don't they just drag you into court and resolve the controversy once and for all?

A: I wish they would. This has been going on now for 18 years. They cannot win with the 16th Amendment argument.

Q: Bill, at this event you guys had in Washington D.C. at the National Press Club in July, it seemed like a collection of former Geoff Metcalf guests, including Joe Bannister.

Joe Bannister is a former IRS agent -- a badge-carrying, gun-carrying agent who after listening to my radio program with interviews of other people and hearing discussions about this issue conducted a research analysis of his own to find out if he was enforcing a law that was a law or not. He submitted his findings to his superiors and asked them to either confirm or deny this stuff, or at least look into it. They basically said, "We'll be happy to accept your resignation, but we are not going to respond."

A: They forced him to resign. I think the entire nation owes Joe a great deal because of the courage it took for a special agent from the Internal Revenue Service to do what Joe Bannister did. On C-SPAN Joe Bannister told the entire listening audience that the IRS was a fraud, and that the 16th Amendment had not been ratified.

Q: It is fascinating that the first time you guys had a get together, it was broadcast on C-SPAN. I think they had the largest requests they ever had for any taped shows, and they ain't cheap. Yet, when you came back, they wouldn't even put you on the air.

A: That's true. I think the problem that arose was with the promoter of the program. He made a mistake. He went ahead and released a press announcement to the national press in Washington and to the President and right on down and told them what we were going to talk about.

The first session on July 2nd they had to bring in four people, two cameras, the lights and the whole thing, and we were on for three hours and 28 minutes. C-SPAN aired that program on four separate occasions. But they didn't show up on the second one and it was in my personal opinion because the cat was let out of the bag, so to speak, because of the error of the promoter.

Q: Bill, regarding this whole 16th Amendment issue, some folks say, "Well, it's an interesting academic argument, and they may be right on the 'technical' aspects of it, but the reality check is the golden rule -- and the guy with the gold makes the rules."

Were you ever approached by anyone "in government" regarding the documentation you had collected?

A: Yes I was. In 1985, prior to volume one being printed, Mrs. Benson had received a call from an attorney by the name of Warren Richardson. Warren said, "I am making this call on behalf of Senator Orrin Hatch. And of course," he said, "you know who he is? You tell Bill that it is an absolute emergency that he call Washington D.C. immediately."

Q: Did you call them immediately?

A: No, I had no emergency. I was lecturing on the 16th amendment. I did call them in a few days. Warren Richardson said, "I am making this call on behalf of Senator Orrin Hatch." He said "Bill, you cannot permit that book to get in the hands of the kooks out there. We know what you are doing."

I said, "Warren, by your making this telephone call to me you're one of the biggest kooks in D.C."

He said, "You don't understand what I'm trying to do? You have all of the books printed that you want. You name the number of books, and then you put a price on each and every book, and we will pay it. But then we want you never ever again to speak to one person, never again to get on one radio station, one television station or one group of people."

Q: Was that all?

A: No. Warren then said, "The last thing we want are all 17,000 certified, notarized documents that you have -- and you will be a multi-millionaire."

Q: What was your response?

A: I told him thank you, but no thanks. In fact, I told him to "go to hell!" I'm not for sale. America is not for sale. What I am fighting for is freedom, and that is exactly what I told Warren Richardson. I told him to carry that message right back to Orrin Hatch.

Q: You made that announcement at the second event in D.C. that C-SPAN chose not to broadcast. Did Orrin Hatch's office contact you to confirm, deny or threaten or try to sue you?

A: No, they have not.

Q: Have you made any effort to get in touch with them?

A: I haven't made any effort to get in touch with Orrin Hatch since 1985. I was waiting for the proper forum to release this information. I thought C-SPAN was that forum, because you're speaking to millions of people, not groups of 100 or 200, and it would get all over the country. But C-SPAN didn't show up.

Q: Bill, why is this whole 16th Amendment issue so critical?

A: In order for the federal government to collect anything from you, they must have a law. The 16th Amendment is what they collect the tax on. And I have proven beyond a doubt with 17,000 certified, notarized documents that not one state out of the 48 has ratified the law. They have all rejected it.

Q: Bill, thank you.

Final thoughts from interviewer Geoff Metcalf: Bill Benson claims that not a single state legally ratified the proposal to amend the Constitution in the manner required by law. According to Benson's book, "The Law That Never Was":

  • The federal government claims Kentucky was the second state to ratify the 16th Amendment, on Feb. 8, 1910. However, the records of the State of Kentucky show that after the Kentucky House proposed a resolution to adopt the amendment and sent it to the Senate, on Feb. 8, 1910 the Kentucky Senate voted upon that resolution, but rejected it by a vote of 9 in favor and 22 opposed. Apparently, the Kentucky Senate never did ratify that amendment. Federal officials, who had possession of documents showing this rejection, nevertheless claimed Kentucky had ratified the amendment.
  • In Oklahoma, the proposed amendment was passed by the Oklahoma House and the language of the resolution perfectly matched the one passed by Congress. However, the Oklahoma Senate obviously disliked what Congress had proposed, so it amended the language of the 16th Amendment in such a fashion as to have a precisely opposite meaning.
  • The California legislative assembly never recorded any vote upon any proposal to adopt the 16th Amendment. And whatever California did adopt bore no resemblance to what Congress had proposed. Several states engaged in the unauthorized activity of amending the language of the amendment proposed by Congress, a power that these states did not possess.
  • Minnesota sent nothing to the Secretary of State in Washington, but this did not deter Philander Knox from claiming that Minnesota ratified the amendment, regardless of the absence of any documentation from the State of Minnesota.
  • Article V of the U.S. Constitution controls the amending process, which requires that three-fourths of the states ratify any amendment proposed by Congress. In 1913, there were 48 States in the American union, so to adopt any amendment required the affirmative act of 36 states. In February 1913, Knox issued a proclamation claiming that 38 states had ratified the amendment -- including Kentucky, California and Oklahoma. But since Kentucky had rejected the amendment, California had not voted on it, and Oklahoma wanted something entirely different, the amendment was not legally adopted, the number of ratifying States being only 35. Then again, a total of 11 states failed to vote on the amendment, 33 changed the language of the amendment and Minnesota sent in nothing. In the final analysis, if the process of the adoption of the 16th Amendment is subjected to strict legal scrutiny, the amendment was never adopted.

Geoff Metcalf is a staff reporter and columnist for WorldNetDaily and is a radio talk-show host for KSFO in San Francisco.

Comments are invited on all of this. Here are a few for starters:

Some of today’s tax rebels also oppose the amendment on the grounds that Ohio was not, at that time, a legally recognised state.

Given that the arguments of Messrs Benson and Bannister are valid, it would be a thing of wonder, some 30 years after Watergate and in the era of the Internet, exactly what freedom is being denied to the American taxpaying public by the IRS.

The passing of the law, which became the 16th Amendment, squeaked by, close to Christmas 1912, when few Congressmen were in Washington to oppose its passage; it would certainly be stretching the imagination to assume that such an enactment reflected the mandate of the people at that time. Then, as now, it has tended to be the lower/middle range earning taxpayers who have borne the heaviest burden of taxation as well as audit attention [for every $x earned the number of audit hours is higher by a factor of 400 for a smaller taxpaying business man than one of the corporate giants].

In the post-Watergate disclosures, it was revealed that the IRS’s Special Services Section (SSS) established in 1969 had gathered information on some 16,000 entities including artists, intellectuals, activists and opinion leaders, some of whom were on President Nixon’s famed "Enemies List". Most of the information was never released to Congress but was turned over to the FBI, and proves that the IRS used the information collected to harass these carefully selected people: national statistics indicate that IRS audit rates indicate an average of 14% in the general "enemies" range whereas the SSS hit rate was as high as 28%.

In 1921 Congress enacted a law to audit several government agencies, including the IRS; but the Service resolutely refused to be included. The GAO has tried to encourage ethical conduct within the IRS, but former Robert F. Keller, Deputy Controller of the U.S. complained: "The I.R.S. has been a problem of long standing", while William G. Phillips, subcommittee staff director for the Committee on Government under the Freedom of Information Act declared: "The policies of the I.R.S. in Freedom of Information matters has almost become a national scandal".

So – where do we go from here? Anyone who seriously considers taking on the IRS has to keep in mind the picture of the lone demonstrator eyeballing the tank in Tiannemen Square. The good news is that the tank, of course, did stop. The bad news is that we all know what happened a few days later. We also have to recognise that any assault on the tax structure will not go unnoticed and may well attract disproportionate attention (either in an increased frequency of audits or even in the same way that the KGB or SS had their methods). After all, government bills do need to be paid, and such an initiative may well put a dent in the flip charts of President Clinton, where he is proposing a debt-free America by 2013. However, as many of us are aware, whether inside the territorial U.S. or, increasingly, beyond, the agencies like the IRS & OCC rely heavily on things being done by the book and per regulations; if you are doing something that hasn’t got all of its "I"s dotted or "T"’s crossed – Heaven help you. So it is only fair that they who live by the sword should die by the sword; if they are illegal ab initio, too bad. This would also mean that there would be no need for International Financial Service centres like Anguilla to respond to certain money laundering assistance requests arising from tax avoidance or even tax evasion because the tax itself was illegal right from the word "go".

Let’s draw an analogy here and put this in the perspective of current times. Various well-meaning environmentalists are doing admirable research and putting froward convincing arguments regarding the practices of behemoths such as Monsanto, or whatever it is called these days . Now, be that as it may, the C.E.O. of Monsanto, (OWIICTD) is not going to lose too much sleep over their leaflets. However, once these Greens talk to a contingency-fee driven law firm, and the C.E.O. hears the words "class action law suit", his demeanour and complexion both suffer radical changes. Perhaps then, continuing this "thinking the unthinkable" thread, someone in the legal fraternity, preferably someone who has been raised on images of Robert Stack as Eliot Ness in "The Untouchables", driven by perceived injustice, if not by dreams of wealth beyond riches, would take on the Feds. and seek repayment of the trillions of dollars taken from everyone over the last 90 years – plus interest, penalties and damages, of course. It goes without saying that part of the fee earned by the lawyers may well have to be squandered on ensuring that no accidents happen in the mean time, and the whole process could well take a few years to resolve, given the propensity of the parties to appeal judicial decisions. At this point perhaps it is well to remember the observation by Judge Walter Clarke, Chief Justice of The Supreme Court of North Carolina who said, in 1906: "A more complete denial of popular control of this Government could not have been conceived than the placing of such unreviewable power in the hands of men not elected by the people and holding office for life ….. If 5 lawyers can negate the will of 100 million men, then the art of Government is reduced to the selection of these 5 lawyers".

On a related theme……

We are grateful to the (Feb. 2000) newsletter published by Roy Bouchier of I.T.I. Ltd., in The Bahamas, for this:

"A client sent us this appraisal of the U.S. Governmental overseers. We cannot vouch for its veracity but it does sound about right and should calm the conscience of anyone who thinks he is being unpatriotic by wishing to place his assets elsewhere!

Can you imagine working at the following Company?
It has a little over 500 employees with the following statistics:

        29 have been accused of spousal abuse
          7 have been arrested for fraud
        19 have been accused of writing bad checks
      117 have bankrupted at least two businesses
          3 have been arrested for assault
        71 cannot get a credit card due to bad credit
        14 have been arrested on drug-related charges
          8 have been arrested for shoplifting
       21 are current defendants in lawsuits
       In 1998 alone, 84 were stopped for drunk driving

   Can you guess which organization this is?

It's the 535 members of your United States Congress. The same group that perpetually cranks out hundreds upon hundreds of new laws designed to keep  the rest of us in line.

Continuing our series of scams (!) ….

We recently received the following:

 Fraud Warning!



 If you get an envelope from a company called the Internal Revenue Service, DO NOT OPEN IT! This group operates a scam around this time every year. Their letter claims that you owe them money, which they will take and use to pay for the operation of essential functions of the United States government. This is untrue! The money the IRS collects is used to fund various other corporations which depend on subsidies to stay in business.

 This organization has ties to another shady outfit called the Social Security Administration, who claim to take money from your regular paychecks and save it for your retirement. In truth, the SSA uses the money to pay for the same misguided corporate welfare the IRS helps mastermind.

These scam artists have bilked honest, hard working Americans out of billions of dollars. Don't be among them!


This issue's (other) "how to avoid being the victim of a scam" article:
Advertising Materials (courtesy the NFIC – see phone number below)

Scenario: You pay to advertise your business on place mats, calendars and other materials that will be distributed in your area.

Scam: The materials are never produced or distribution is very limited.

Before you agree to buy, get references from previous jobs and samples of the materials that were produced. Contact the references to find out if the work was completed on time and the materials were distributed as promised.

Don’t be pressured into agreeing to anything immediately. Ask how you can reach the salesperson if you decide that you want to purchase the services.

Shop around locally to compare services and prices. It may be less expensive to produce advertising materials yourself or with a local business. Check with your Chamber of Commerce or other groups that you belong to for companies that may be able to help.

If you aren't familiar with the company, check its complaint record with the Better Business Bureau or your state or local consumer protection office. Lack of complaints is no guarantee, but it is helpful to know if problems have already been reported.

Get a written contract that includes the company’s name, address, and telephone number, the price and payment schedule, a description of the materials, the number that will be produced, and the date and plan for distribution.

Don’t pay the full amount up front. Insist on holding out a substantial amount until you have receive confirmation that the materials have been produced and distributed according to the contract.

Report fraudulent sales of advertising materials to law enforcement authorities and the Better Business Bureau or your local equivalent.

If you need advice about a solicitation or you want to report a possible scam, call the NFIC hotline at 1-800-876-7060. You can also ask questions or report fraud using their online forms.


Best wishes,


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