Believe it or not, the majority of Americans don’t even have a passport, and have no clue as to how small their little boxes have become, as they have no frame of reference.
Notice, first of all, that I said second citizenship, rather than second passport. Here at Global Wealth Protection, www.globalwealthprotection.com, we receive numerous requests for second passports from Americans (we don’t do that, by the way, and instead refer them to our friends at The Dollar Vigilante,dollarvigilante.com). We’ve never received a request from a national of any other country. Many Americans, however, seem almost desperate in their search. Let’s label that Reason number 1.
It always makes me cringe a bit when I see a request for a “passport”. Travel is being manipulated into a “privilege”, rather than what it is—a basic human right. There’s an obvious campaign going onat the moment to wash the collective brain of US subjects, and get them to buy into the concept that the once-coveted US passport, once an introductory travel document, is now a travel license. At that point, the basic freedom to choose when, where and why you want to travel, work, live etc. in any location you choose, becomes a privilege which the current tyrannical government in Washington can grant, or take away, at its whim.
In fact, right now some unelected bureaucrat at the IRS, DHS, ICE, FBIand/or DoScan eliminate that basic freedom of movement with the stroke of a computer key, and without any due process(Reason #2). That, in case you were wondering, represents a fairly strong motivation for any freedom-cherishing person to look elsewhere for a jurisdiction that actually respects personal freedom, rather than just giving lip service to it. I’ll stress again, that the ultimate motivation is not to gain a travel document from a free country, but instead to live in, and be the citizen of, a country that makes basic common sense. One in which the basic culture, and therefore the laws of the land,are something that you can understand, respect, and happily comply with.
Over the past 16 years, I’ve traveled and lived in numerous countries where basic common sense still reigns supreme. Again, unfortunately, that means a majority of the countries outside the US. In a country such as that, one can correctly assume that if you’re not directly harming anyone (victimizing them), than you’re not breaking any local laws. After living in the post 1970’s USA, that comes as a huge relief. It just makes a guy feel free, and able to breathe. To give a very simple example: how about just being able to walk down the street with a beer in your hand?
I think most of you are aware that the Land of the Free has more people in jail than either China or India. Maybe more than both combined. I don’t mean on a per capita basis. I mean in absolute numbers, despite the fact that China has 4 times the population, and according to US propaganda is a totalitarian state that Americans should look down upon due to their human rights record. Add to that the typical abuse (or worse) that occurs in American prisons, and again, a critical thinking person should be at least slightly concerned.
Take a look at this BBC documentary on torture in American prisons http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IWxpQ87C4t4I urge you to watch this now before reading on. At least the first 5 minutes. Only in America do they want to throw hard working accountantsin shit holes like this for a few years for committing victimless traffic offenses. How do decent, basically harmless people, emerge after a few years in a place like that? Could it then be considered a form of death sentence? Knowing that the person who goes in will never emerge in the same state of mind, but rather a much worse one?
Interestingly, while the Brits, and people of civilized cultures in general, are concerned about the inhumane treatment that occurs in US prisons, the vast majority of people from the United Statians are completely unconcerned (Reason #3). No wonder the Brits refused to extradite the teenager who was accused of a felony under US law for retransmitting something over the internet….something completely legal in the EU, by the way.
Therefore, rather than seek a second passport, I submit that what you really should be looking for is to live in a country where the majority of people think, for the most part, primarily like you do. A place where the sheer idea of throwing a hard working professional in a place where torture, rape and even murder is common, is completely unconscionable. If you were to tell a Colombian, for example, that this routinely happens in the US, they’d be incredulous. It certainly wouldn’t happen in Colombia, so how could it happen in a country like the USA? Hmmmm. Difficult to answer, isn’t it?
You might also want to consider being the citizen of a country where the government wouldn’t even consider trying to take your hard-earned money away from you while living somewhere else.While living outside the US, and therefore being unable to enjoy any of the promised benefits that the government’s spending of those tax dollars are supposed to provide. That, by the way, again,is any other country in the world outside the US. Well, you might want to steer clear of Eritrea as well. That’s next door to Somalia.There, like in Washington, a subject would also legally be required to pay taxes even if they’ve decided that they can’t stomach the culture nor way of life there anymore(Reason #4).There is an expat group in Geneva, called American Citizens Abroad (ACA) http://www.americansabroad.org/ trying to get the US to break away from their Eritrean role models, and get in line with the rest of the world by taxing based on residency, rather than on citizenship.
Now, in addition to all that, and unbelievably, people from the USalso need to look for a country where the governmentwould never consider trying tocontrol; when, where nor why a citizen can travel. The former America is arguably now so completely broken that any hope of saving it seems like a pipe dream(Reason #5). An Afghan opium pipe that is. If you, like a few million others,have logically come to that conclusion, and simply want to leave and take your family to a place that makes more sense to you, it’s possible that you won’t be able to do so. That’s based on laws which are currently on the books in Washington, not just my personal opinion. Based on those laws, and the current complete disrespect for the most basic of human rights which were previously guaranteed by the Constitution, I’m afraid to even go back to the US to visit, for fear I might never get back out again. That substantiated fear is why I sometimes refer to it as the “Iron Curtain” of cold war infamy. Wow, back when I was a kid I never thought I’d be making that analogy. Ever.
I don’t personally think the people who are actually pulling the strings in Washington are stupid either. Actually, I think far from it. Therefore I sometimes have to wonder what the true motivation and/or goals are. If I were a conspiracy theorist, I might be tempted to suppose that the course of action since the Wall came down, might be to drive a few million of the most pioneering, freedom-loving, and hard core capitalist types out of America, and spread them around the globe as a phase in the project to achieve world hegemony. Therefore we’re doing their work for free. But I’m not a conspiracy theorist, so forget I just said that.
I became personally obsessed with becoming the citizen of another country myself after a culminating, straw-breaking-the-camel’s-back, type of event. At that point, it didn’t really matter which other country. Any other country would’ve been better. There were a series of previous events, but the one event that made me willing to sacrifice just about everything to get out happened back in 2001.Before that I had taken full responsibility for my own actions behind the wheel, which never resulted in property damage, let alone personal harm. Therefore I was quite happily becoming an expat, feeling like I had been done a great favor, until my ability to leave and livein peace was being threatened as well. What? I can neither stay nor leave? Bull shit. I went over the edge.
Stateless American: My Personal Nightmare
This is difficult for me to share. For years I couldn’t really discuss the whole mess due to the stress it had caused me, but as they say—time wounds all heals. I guess that was actually Capt. Hawkeye Pierce. I think he also said, “I’d rather have a bottle in front of me, than a frontal lobotomy” (or was that Groucho?), but I digress.
Well, long story short, facing a felony conviction that was being promised, and the 4 years at Raiford (one of the highlighted institutions in the BBC documentary referred to above), it was an easy decision. I equated going to Raiford with death. I’m not a criminal, and don’t know how to handle that kind of cesspool. When faced with death, a guy will do whatever’s necessary.
More painful background. I was in a spiral back in those days….. due to the fact that my driving privilege had been revoked form a traffic violation, and therefore my ability to provide for my family that I didn’t live with any more, I had taken a 3-year contract as an auditor with PwC in Saudi Arabia. I made a deal with the ex-wife that she and my daughter would live at my house rent-free in lieu of the $800 monthly child support. She accepted and moved in. Then after I got over there, she demanded more money. I refused. She made it impossible to communicate with my 9 year-old daughter, or to have her with me in the summer. I broke the contract with PwC and went back -without a driver’s license, nor any money. You can only imagine (I hope) how stressful it is driving to work and back everyday without a license knowing that if some blind, blue-haired old lady with 7 accidents on her record (but driving legally) rear-ends you at a traffic light, that you’re going directly to jail. Likewise, if you don’t drive, and therefore don’t work, in addition to losing your home and possessions, you go directly to jail for not paying child support.
After getting back, and incredibly somehow landing a job as my last dollar ran out, the ex dragged me into court for unpaid child support (??) -the additional amount she decided was hers after I went to Saudi. Although she testified truthfully that she lived at my house rent-free in lieu of receiving child support, the judge said I had never paid anything during the 18 months in Saudi. That, in addition to labeling me as a dead-beat Dad, came to “unpaid” child support of $14,000. The County Clerk, unbeknownst to me at the time, then added a usurious $4,000 of interest to it, put a lien on my house, and reported the balance to the Department of State under US law.
I was wondering why the hell I had returned to that hell-hole, when in 2001, as the firm’s revenues starting to decline, I got laid off. With prospects very dim, and money running out, I went out with a racing buddy, and one thing led to another, and therefore the felony traffic charge referred to above. I used to be ashamed of this stuff, but have long since realized, based on personal experience around the world, that this kind of stuff only happens in the US. I’ve never had a single problem in 15 years outside of that place. A couple of parking tickets here in Colombia, but basically another 15 years of driving, a la Paul in Saudi, UAE, France, Thailand, Australia, Perú, Colombia and Vietnam and feeling like a free man.
Anyway, now the background has been now painfully revealed. So back to 2001 and facing sudden unemployment and other problems, I got a call from my biggest audit client back in Riyadh. A sweet offer was tendered and immediately accepted, and back to Saudi we go. You can’t even imagine the feeling of relief I had as my new boss drove me from the Riyadh airport to my new villa. I truly felt like I had just barely escaped from the jaws of death. Keep in mind, I had never harmed a soul, nor even considered it. I was just in the former America at the wrong era of its great history. Believe it or not, at that point, I still wasn’t bent on second citizenship, but wait, the real shit is about to hit the fan.
I had definitely decided that there was no reason for me to live back in the US. My daughter had already been poisoned against me, despite how close we had once been. The rest of my family, outside of my Dad, were already dead. My new Colombian/Swiss wife was glad to tag along, as she truly hated the American lifestyle. Commence to liquidating all hard assets into cash which involved selling my house.
At the time I was the Assistant Regional Controller for the Middle East and Africa of a very large American multinational. My wife was back in the States to sell the house and everything else that couldn’t be realistically dragged around the world. I’d already sold the car, truck and trailer. After a few months of selling everything but the house, I got her back down to Colombia and out of that place, while I worked on my visa and hers. The agent could handle the house.
One day I got a call from the agent telling me that I needed a document notarized, and it could only be notarized at the US Embassy. I took the document over to the embassy, where they informed me that they could notarize the document for a $75 fee, and asked me for my passport, which I handed over. Some guy came back 10-15 minutes later with a page and a half letter explaining that due to my child support arrearage of $18,000 that I was now a stateless United Statian, and handed me back my passport with holes punched in it. I assumed it was a mistake. It had to be a mistake, but yet it wasn’t.
The sudden reality was that I was an illegal alien in Saudi Arabia in June of 2001, in danger of being deported back to the USA and losing the job that I desperately needed. I was therefore trapped on my combination work/residential compound, as driving to the grocery store would greatly increase the chances of being deported if I got asked for ID, and only had my defaced passport to show. Again, I hope you can only imagine the stress level at this point. I still clearly remember my unsympathetic US boss laughing and calling me “a man without a country”. If it hadn’t been true, I might have laughed along with him. I similarly remember clearly once asking the Saudi government relations officer at my company if there was anything that could be done. He looked over at me and asked me “do you have a second passport”? All I could do was shake my head no. He put his head back down and went back to work. The decision had been made.
During the next six months that it took me to sell my house and pay the ransom, a couple of planes full of Saudis flew into some buildings back in the States. The next day at the office (60% Saudi workforce) was strange to say the least. I eventually did sell the house, and pay the bogus balance and usurious interest, and slumped out of that experience knowing that nothing in my future would be worth anything as long as I was under the thumb of such a fascist-leaning government. As a result, 8 years later, I’m a proud Colombian citizen, and feel much, much better.
One last, quick point to make. I seriously doubt that any of our readers is a reptilian-like whistleblower creature, but we always have 1-2 stray freaks on board at any given moment. You’re free to search, but the traffic offense charges were long ago dropped. I think they realized that after 7 years out of the country that the streets of the US could then be declared safe again, and you won’t find my likeness on the wall of the soon-to-be-defunct Post Office.
That makes me laugh. I read once that it was Hitler and Stalin who taught Washington how to maintain tyranny. Pass so many laws that practically everyone is a potential criminal, and then enforcement can become arbitrary and political. Twelve years later, with indefinite detention, a President who’s given himself authority to execute Americans (let alone Colombians) without trial, and drones all newly in play, the least of my worries is an ancient victimless traffic offense. I’m waiting for a drone to appear at my window and put a bullet in my head for expressing my newly non-existent First Amendment rights to free speech and political dissent(Reasons 6-1,000).
I’m absolutely certain that there are those of you sitting there smirking, shaking your heads, and feeling comfortable in the fact that something like all of that could never happen to you. ‘Maybe to some idiot like Paul, but not to me’, you’re thinking. Take on that false sense of security at your own peril. For those of you who correctly deduce, if it can happen to him, it can happen to anyone, I say—courage is contagious, go ahead and grow a pair, and LIVE FREE OR DIE.