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New Hampshire Patriot Not What Mainstream Wants You to Believe

By Mark Anderson

The circumstances surrounding the Browns, a New Hampshire couple convicted of federal income tax evasion, could turn on a dime.

Recently AFP interviewed Ed Brown, a Plainfield home owner who grew up in the Roxbury slums of Boston. He and Mrs. Brown, who is a dentist, are self-made people who worked hard for their lot in life, only to see it swept away by a government that takes in gargantuan sums of money via taxes on the domestic populace to pay enormous interest on the national debt (which cannot be repaid), much of which is due to America‚s endless military conflicts.

When AFP contacted Brown recently, he was living everyday life as best he can at the house he built on their 110 acres. His wife, who he said is in a state of arrest wearing an electronic ankle bracelet—is staying with a son in a neighboring state.

“The dental business died a week ago Tuesday,” Brown told AFP. “My wife’s a prisoner—like she’s a flight risk!”

The two are supposed to be sentenced April 24, having each been convicted Jan. 18 in federal court in Concord for not paying income taxes since 1996. The government claims the Browns owe some $625,000.

“Everybody should say, ‘show me the law and I’ll pay the tax,’ ” Brown told AFP. That is what he told federal authorities who can’t seem to produce a copy of a law requiring payment of the federal income tax.

Filmmaker Aaron Russo’s America: From Freedom to Fascism documentary interviews a number of former IRS agents and other authoritative people who say that the powers that be, when asked to provide a copy of the law, such as an enabling statute, that requires U.S. workers to pay federal income tax on their wages, come up empty-handed.

Russo concluded that if the federal income tax applies to anyone or anything, it applies to corporate capital gains, not the incomes of individuals, and that the IRS doesn’t even define income.

The proverbial “tax man” came down on the Browns just as they had considered selling their home and acreage so they could live in a warmer climate. Notably, their property is across the road from 500 acres owned by Supreme Court Justice Steven Breyer.

But making the best of the winter weather, individuals and families with children have been over to Brown’s place lately for sledding and skating—before and since the tax trouble began. Life still seems more or less normal, though Brown suspects that federal agents may eventually storm the house and arrest him, perhaps after the publicity on his and his wife’s plight calms down.

As of Jan. 25, he said the publicity was still significant, with TV news crews continuing to pay attention. He also told AFP that while he has always paid the 54 other kinds of taxes levied on Americans—with property taxes hitting $14,000 a year on their home and $18,000 a year on their office building for the former dental business—he won’t budge on the federal income tax.

For one thing, as already noted, no one can produce a copy of the law that requires payment of an unapportioned tax on the labor of Americans. Moreover, there are due-process issues whereby U.S. District Court Judge Steven McAuliffe apparently disallowed the Browns from bringing forth any evidence or witnesses they needed for defending themselves in court. Also, the issue of federal jurisdiction, or the lack thereof, comes into play, Brown pointed out.

Addressing some conventional media reports that characterized his home as a virtual fortress, or “compound” with a “lookout tower,” Brown replied, “It’s a deck, for crying out loud—an octagon-shaped compass deck.”

Just below the elevated deck on the large, well-built house—which has solar-power capability and was off the grid from 1990 to 2003—is a reading room.

“We’re very mainstream, middle-class people,” said Brown, who noted that media reports suggesting he’s “holed up” in his house are off base.

Some areas of the house have been boarded up to keep out blowing snow, so he is not “barricading” himself in the house, he explained.

The Union Leader seems also to have played the “antigovernment” card, even though many American patriots make a careful distinction by saying they are anti-corruption of government, not anti-government.

Notably, the Associated Press article in The Union Leader couldn’t resist the highly charged word “compound,” which conceivably could create a bunker mentality in the minds of readers and may quell public outrage if federal agents ever decide to forcibly enter Brown’s home to arrest him. As the article claimed:

 “A jury decided that the Browns plotted to hide their income and avoid taxes on Elaine Brown’s income of $1.9 million between 1996 and 2003. Over 10 years, they also used $215,890 of postal money orders broken into increments just below the reporting threshold to pay for their hilltop compound and for Elaine Brown’s dental offices.”

U.S. marshals said on a couple occasions they had no plans to forcibly enter Brown’s property and arrest him, though national media sources quoted marshals as saying that they “have to decide how to seize the Browns’ assets, possibly including their home.”

Citing a new twist in this case, a recent issue of The Boston Globe noted that federal agents “seized more than 30 weapons from the Brown house in May.”

Brown commented by telling AFP, “They stole $15,000 worth of my guns and turned them over to a gun shop.”

Brown was still at home on Jan. 25, preferring only to comment off the record about the situation.

(Issue #6, February 5, 2007)

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Updated January 27, 2007