There is some reason to believe that I may soon be portrayed as a “domestic terrorist”. This article is intended to blunt that portrayal.
• Last Friday, I received notice from the TV program 60 Minutes that today, Sunday, May 15th, A.D. 2011, (about 35 minutes from now) they’d air a segment that includes me. I haven’t seen the segment, so I don’t know how I’ll be portrayed—but I have reason to believe that I may be cast in a false light and/or defamed by tomorrow’s program.
The cause for my concern is the 60 Minutes description of the segment on their “Up Next” webpage:
“Sovereign Citizens - Anti-government American extremists who don’t pay taxes and ignore requirements like social security cards and drivers licenses are on the rise. Called sovereign citizens, some have become violent and the FBI considers them a domestic terror threat. Byron Pitts reports. Clem Taylor is the producer.” Watch a preview
In March, I’d spent my 2-hour interview with 60 Minutes trying to rationally explain that the concept of individual sovereignty was the fundamental principle that animated the American Revolution, was the cornerstone for American liberty, and could be traced to our God-given, unalienable Rights. In the end, sovereignty is a spiritual (rather than political) concept. Judging from the 60 Minutes description (above), the segment may be more akin to a sensationalized witch-hunt than an objective investigation into the subject of individual “sovereignty”.
Apparently, I am being being linked to Jerry Kane who (with his son, Joe) died in a recent shoot-out with police. So far as I can recall, I’d never heard of Jerry Kane until after he died.
These kinds of express or implied associations (between me and anyone who’s died in a gunfight with the police) are dangerous to me in that they place me at risk any time I interact with police. Insofar as police are led to believe that I’m cut from the same cloth as Jerry Kane, they may believe that I’m “armed and dangerous” (I’m not) and therefore increase the probability that I might be shot without cause.
I don’t know what the net effect of the 60 Minutes segment will be. I probably won’t know the full effect of the program for weeks or months after the program airs.
But judging from the description and video preview (above), 60 Minutes may be promoting (or at least implying) the idea that I’m a “domestic terror threat”. If so, that’s untrue and I have a well-publicized track record for at least 20 years to show that the only “violence” I’ve advocated is reading the law, educating yourself, and using your knowledge of the law and paperwork to defend against governmental oppression and to hold governmental officials and employees accountable for their misdeeds.
As big government becomes increasingly tyrannical, I can understand that its agencies might want to define any dissident who accuses the almighty gov-co of criminal or treasonous acts to be a “domestic terrorist” (especially if the accusations against gov-co are true). But, hopefully, reasonable men and women will insist that a “domestic terrorist” is one who commits actual acts of unjustified violence for political purposes. If so, that label does not apply to me.
Yes, I have long-recognized that violence against an established government may ultimately be necessary to stop tyranny and despotism (witness the American Revolution, WWII and the recent “Arab Spring”). The very concept of using violence to “throw off” despotic governments is enshrined in the “Declaration of Independence” that we celebrate every 4th of July. Our Second Amendment was intended to guarantee that the people would always have the means (firearms) to “throw off” a despotic government. Both the Declaration and the 2nd Amendment anticipate the probability that even the American government would one day again grow despotic and that the people would need both the principles and means to “throw off” that despotism.
I have advocated that people be prepared for the possibility that violence may one day become necessary. But I have not advocated that people commit violence—except as a last resort. And I have never advocated that people start shooting now.
My reason for advocating firearm ownership is not to incite violence but to prevent it. An unarmed people are easily oppressed and subjected to genocide by their own government. Witness Nazi Germany, Stalinist Russia, and Pol Pot’s Cambodia. When a government confiscates the people’s firearms, genocide is usually imminent.
Lots of people advocate the ownership of firearms. I go a step further and advocate that the people be “armed” with both firearms and the reason for owing firearms. That reason is not to go duck hunting in the Fall. The reason for owning firearms—as found in the Declaration of Independence, the Preamble to the Bill of Rights, and the 2nd Amendment—is to overthrow a despotic or treasonous government.
It was my advocacy of the reason for owning firearms that brought me to 60 Minutes’ attention. I suspect that my advocacy of understanding the reason may be twisted by 60 Minutes to falsely suggest that I advocate violence. We shall see.
However, yesterday, I sent an email to Clem Taylor and Jessica Haddad at 60 Minutes advising them that I do not consent to be cast in a false light and/or defamed by 60 Minutes. That notice may have legal consequence, but I doubt that it will have any effect on tonight’s broadcast.
Here’s a copy of the text of the email:
Hi Jessica & Clem,
I received Jessica’s email (below) about 3:45 PM CST. It announced that you intend to broadcast a 60 Minutes segment this coming Sunday, that will include me.
I was initially excited.
Then I visited the 60 Minutes website and read the following description on the “Up Next” webpage:
“Sovereign Citizens - Anti-government American extremists who don’t pay taxes and ignore requirements like social security cards and drivers licenses are on the rise. Called sovereign citizens, some have become violent and the FBI considers them a domestic terror threat. Byron Pitts reports. Clem Taylor is the producer”
Judging from that description, it appears that the people at 60 Minutes may intend to use my interview to produce a segment that expressly says or implies that I am a violent extremist and/or domestic terror threat–and/or that I knowingly associate with violent extremists and/or domestic terrorists. Both descriptions would be false.
If 60 Minutes does “cherry pick” a couple of my offhand remarks out an interview that lasted nearly two hours to describe me as violent or any kind of terrorist, that description would be false and defamatory. Given your journalistic obligation to fully research your segments and given my extensive public background (including my A.D. 1992 candidacy for the Texas Supreme Court), such defamation would be knowing. I have a documented public history that extends at least back to A.D. 1990. This history has been expressed my radio shows, my magazine, my blog and a number of mainstream media reports. That history demonstrates that my position has always been to seek a civil solution to our problems with government. While I have always recognized that violence against government might be justified by government’s own institutionalized tyranny (as it was for our Founders in A.D. 1776), I have never advocated violence as an objective, but only as a last resort in defense of liberty.
Nevertheless, during the interview Mr. Pitts asked me repeatedly about a particular radio broadcast I’d done at some time in the past. In that one radio program, I explained that the primary purpose of the 2nd Amendment was to protect the people of The United States of America against governmental tyranny by shooting, if necessary, politicians and governmental employees who engage in tyranny. I attempted to explain to Mr. Pitts that my position on the 2nd Amendment was justified by the “Preamble” to the Bill of Rights. If 60 Minutes chooses to take my words out of context and without reference to the Preamble to the Bill of Rights, I might be defamed and falsely portrayed as an advocate of violence.
Here’s an article I wrote on the “Preamble” to the Bill of Rights and first published on or about April 14th, A.D. 2011:
As you may know, my landlord (a middle class businessman) at Utopia (where the interview was conducted) warned that 60 Minutes might edit my interview so as to not only defame me, but attract so much adverse government attention as to cause in a “Ruby Ridge-” or “Waco-” style raid on my landlord’s property. In fact, even though my rent was paid until the end of April, my landlord was so fearful of a possible government “raid” that he ordered me to vacate his property on Sunday, March 13th, and I did in fact leave on March 16th, right after the 60 Minutes interview.
After the actual interview, I mentioned my “eviction” to Mr. Pitts and Mr. Taylor. They both seemed shocked that anyone would distrust 60 Minutes journalistic integrity. Both men assured me that 60 Minutes had a reputation for fair and objective journalism and that I need not fear being falsely depicted on the final segment. Until now, I have trusted in Mr. Pitts’ and Mr. Taylor’s assurance and in the 60 Minutes reputation for fairness and objectivity.
However, because the “Up Next” description of the segment on “sovereign citizens” seems so sensationalized and biased against “sovereign citizens,” I am concerned that my trust in Mr. Pitts, Mr. Taylor and 60 Minutes may have been betrayed.
I am therefore sending this email to you as a Notice that:
1) I do not consent to be defamed by 60 Minutes; and,
2) I do not consent or otherwise agree to have any of my statements or images broadcast on 60 Minutes if those statements and images are used to cast me in a false light and/or are defamatory.
As I explained to Mr. Taylor and Mr. Pitts, I don’t expect the 60 Minute segment to be flattering. I recognize that the issue of “sovereignty” is controversial. But the issue of sovereignty is no more controversial than the Declaration of Independence from which our sovereignty flows. I therefore expect the 60 Minutes segment to portray me objectively and in a way that’s consistent with the overall impression of the 2-hour interview and with my 20 year history of political activism. If 60 Minutes can’t do that, and has instead chosen to defame me, I do not consent to be portrayed in the 60 Minutes segment on “sovereign citizens”.
CREED: At all times and places, I have been, am and will be as our Father YHWH ha Elohiym made me: An actual, physical man made in God’s image and endowed by my Creator with certain unalienable Rights. Unless otherwise expressly and voluntarily agreed by me in writing over my actual hand-written signature: I exercise my actual rights of religious and political freedom of choice to declare that the venue of all of my conduct, speech, writings, agreements, residence and domicile is: without the singular “United States” and actually on the soil within the physical boundaries of The County of Dallas located within the border of The State of Texas–one of the several member-States of the perpetual Union styled “The United States of America”; that all of my conduct is intentional; that all of my acts and intentions take place in a Year of our Lord; that I act at arm’s length and without prejudice to my capacity as a sovereign Dei gratia; that I do not consent to act as, or as part of, any “double personality,” “double capacity,” and/or “double character”; that my duty of obedience is only to that government that exists under the authority granted by our Father YHWH ha Elohiym as per Romans 13:1-7 and is consistent with the express charitable trust called “The Constitution of The State of Texas” and “The Organic Law of The United States of America”; that I have not knowingly, intentionally and voluntarily consented to be subject by virtue of mere statute, rule, regulation, emergency, or alleged moral or obligation to the authority of any unincorporated, implied charitable trust; that my purposes are at all times religious first and/or political second and dedicated to restoring understanding and respect for the spiritual principles which provide the foundation for the republican form of government guaranteed at Article 4 Section 4 of The Constitution of the United States ratified in A.D. 1788 and by Article 1 Section 2 of The Constitution of The State of Texas.
Alfred Adask a/k/a “ALFRED N ADASK”
radio: American Independence Hour T-W-Th, 10-11 PM CST, www.wwfar.com & WWCR shortwave 3.215; simulcast on http://www.theamericanvoice.com/;
blog at http://adask.wordpress.com
From: “Haddad, Jessica”
To: Alfred Adask <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Friday, May 13, 2011 2:10 PM
Subject: This Sunday on 60 Minutes
I just wanted to let you know that our segment will be airing this Sunday on 60 Minutes. Thank you for participating. I hope you enjoy the piece.
Let me know if you would like any DVD copies.
60 Minutes, CBS News
Of course, it’s possible that my concerns about defamation are unwarranted. Perhaps the 60 Minutes description (above) is just hype to promote the program. Perhaps the program will not be an invitation to a witch hunt but will instead be a fair and objective report of my position on sovereignty.
We’ll find out tonight.
In the meantime, what follows is an explanation for my concerns and my Notice to 60 Minutes.
• There’s an ancient aphorism that “Those who the gods wish to destroy, they first make mad.”
Here’s a modern variation on the same theme: “Those who the government wishes to destroy, they first demonize—with the assistance of the mainstream media.”
Mainstream media complicity in creating boogey-men suitable for destruction by government can be seen in examples like Ruby Ridge, Waco, Saddam Hussein, Iraq (WMDs), the “axis of evil,” Irwin Schiff, Larken Rose, Al Qaeda, “terrorists,” and even the former Soviet Union. By means of mainstream media reports, villains are created (or exaggerated or hyped) so as to create a sufficiently “terrifying” target for the almighty government to vanquish.
So long as the public can be convinced that there’s a boogey-man, real or imagined, the people can be convinced that: 1) they need and depend on the government; and 2) they’d best allow the government to pass any law imaginable (or break the laws that exist) in order to vanquish the boogey-man.
At bottom, the idea of a boogey-man is based on the existence of an emergency. So long as a boogey-man is out there, somewhere, and is out to get you, America—it’s an emergency! Your fearless leaders will therefore spare no expense nor be inhibited by any law from “getting” the boogey-man du jour so as to protect you, the “’Merican people”.
When the boogey-man is destroyed, thankful Americans can line up to kiss the government’s ass as a show of their appreciation and eternal gratitude. Our latest boogey-man was Osama bin Laden.
Mr. bin Laden became notorious for masterminding the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon on 9/11 A.D. 2001. Mr. bin Laden was no run-of-the-mill boogey-man. Given that bin Laden caused Building 7 to fall at the speed of gravity for no discernable reason, and similarly caused the bodies and luggage of the passengers, and the wings and engines of the airplane that allegedly struck the Pentagon to totally disappear—it’s obvious that Mr. bin Laden was some sort of evil, supernatural, Mooslim sorcerer!
Recently, Seal Team 6 allegedly killed bin Laden. What a relief, hmm? I hadn’t been able to sleep right for a decade knowing that evil bastard was out there, somewhere (maybe under my very own bed!!!) plotting and planning to harm me! Now, I (like you) know I can rest easy because, once again, the government has proved that it’s here to help us—the little people.
So, thank goodness, our gov-co was able to dispatch bin Laden—the boogey-man du jure. We can now dance about like Munchkins singing “Hail, Hail, the boogeyman’s dead! Which old boogeyman? The wicked boogeyman! Hail, Hail, the wicked boogeyman’s dead!” (You may also feel free to kiss Obama’s butt.)
Of course, we don’t actually have bin Laden’s body to prove the boogeyman was killed (that body was allegedly dumped in the ocean). In fact, if it weren’t for mainstream media, we might not have any “evidence” that this boogeyman really masterminded 9/11 or ever even existed, let alone was finally destroyed.
My point is that there’s a symbiotic relationship between government, mainstream media and boogeymen. Thanks to boogeymen (real or imagined), government can usurp powers and rights from the people (witness the Patriot Act passed unread by Congress after 9/11). Thanks to boogeymen, the mainstream media can sell a lot of newspapers, TV shows and advertising. From the perspectives of government and mainstream media, boogeymen are good (and even “big”) business.
• As I said, I offer these observations on boogeymen because I may be about to become one.
On February 22nd, A.D. 2011, Mr. Clem Taylor—a producer for the CBS TV program 60 Minutes—sent me an email asking if I would speak to him on the “sovereign citizens movement”.
Initially, I thought he was asking me for background information. However, after a series of telephone calls and email exchanges, an agreement was reached wherein I would be personally interviewed by 60 Minutes on March 16th, A.D. 2011.
• There were a couple of problems in setting up the interview.
First, while I was flattered and excited to be invited to be interviewed by (OMG!) 60 Minutes, I was also anxious. On one level, exposure on 60 Minutes might increase my stature (and perhaps income) significantly. On another level, exposure on 60 Minutes might cause me a lot of trouble by “inflating” me into the stature of a boogeyman of the sort the gov-co delights in destroying.
I’ve been a political activist for most of 30 years. In the 1990s, I led America’s biggest legal reform group. I’ve published the AntiShyster News Magazine for 12 years. I’ve hosted talk radio shows off and on for probably 15 years. I ran for the Supreme Court of Texas in A.D. 1992 (that’s supposed to be illegal) and received 201,000 votes.
The federal gov-co recognized my track record. Back about A.D. 1996, they published a book on anti-government activists that rated me as one of the top 20.
Because it’s always dangerous to try speaking truth to power, I’ve always understood that my choice to be a “political activist” could be hazardous to my health.
I therefore understand that the mainstream media can be dangerous to “politically incorrect” people like me. Insofar as I begin to attract national attention, I may also attract unwelcome national retribution from some agencies of “this state” or of the federal gov-co.
More, I understand from personal experience, that mainstream media can be used to discredit or defame a man or his ideas.
During the 1990s I attracted a lot of press—at least for a former construction worker. Articles about me appeared in the Dallas Times-Herald, the New York Post, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Newsweek, etc.. I was interviewed by French radio, Norwegian TV, and Dateline NBC. I was flown out to be on the Geraldo Rivera program. As a “leader” in the legal reform movement, I was a big fish in a small pond.
With all of the media attention I had, I always received a fair shake. Virtually everything written about me was fair and objective—with one glaring exception.
The exception was an A.D. 1994 interview by a Dallas TV news program concerning the issue of gun control (which I oppose). The news program called to ask if they could interview me at my home. I said Sure. I expected the interview to last about 3 or 4 minutes. The reporter would ask a couple of questions; I’d offer a couple of pithy answers; they’d say Thanks and be gone.
In fact, the news program sent an unexpectedly attractive female reporter. More, she didn’t interview me for 3 minutes—she interviewed me for an hour. More, she agreed with every word I said, seemed fascinated by my many insight, smiled at me incessantly and hung on my every word. I was sure that she would soon be attending our Citizen for Legal Reform meetings. And I even began to wonder if I’d found a “soul-mate”.
As I said, “silly me”.
When the TV news report aired a day or two later, there I was, speaking for less than a minute in support of gun control. They broadcast an image of me saying words that were exactly opposite of what I’d tried to say. I was embarrassed. I was humiliated. I was astonished.
How th’ Hell could my potential “soul-mate” have produced a report where I clearly said things which were absolutely opposite to what I believed to be true? That interview galls me to this day.
It also makes me laugh. The good-looking reporter played me for a fool. Consummately. She was a good-looking blond; I was a fool; the end was inevitable. (No fool like a young fool, hmm?)
But that reporter also taught me a valuable lesson.
I can do live, public interviews with almost anyone. So long as I have opportunity to fully express my ideas to a live audience, I don’t fear being misrepresented or significantly misunderstood.
But when you are privately interviewed for an hour, the interview is digitally recorded, and the final product is only 1-minute long, an editor has to sort through that hour of conversation to select which of your words will be aired to the public at some later date.
Thus, the editor controls whatever you will be perceived by the public to have said. So long as the editor is honest and ethical, he will select those statements that most succinctly express your opinion.
For example, in my A.D. 1994 interview, I spoke against gun control for most of an hour. It would be obvious to anyone hearing the entire interview that I was, in fact, absolutely against gun control. An honest and ethical editor would pick out 1 minute or so of my statements that offered the clearest and most concise expression of my position.
But if the editor was dishonest and unethical, and if the speaker misspoke at any time during the interview, the speaker’s brief mistakes might be selected from the one hour interview for inclusion in the 1-minute that would be broadcast. By means of this selective editing (taking words out of context), the speaker could be presented to the public in a manner that was clearly contrary to almost everything else the speaker had said.
That’s what had happened to me in A.D. 1994. Somehow, some way, I had made a couple of misstatements that were completely contrary to my fundamental opinion. The TV news editor found and selectively used those misstatements for his own purposes and ultimately used my own words to portray me in a false light.
The danger of editorial misrepresentation is only heightened by the fact that most people can’t speak on any subject for 10 minutes without including about 2 minutes of stupid statements. I like to think I’m better than that. I like to think that if I talk for an hour, I only include (at most) 5 minutes of stupid statements or misstatements.
In A.D. 1994, I spoke for one hour to a TV news reporter. I probably told them exactly what I wanted to say for 58 minutes, but I also gave them 2 minutes of stupidity or misstatements. The editor chose to ignore the 58 minutes and broadcast a segment out of the 2 minutes of stupidity.
Did I say the stupid words? Yep.
Should I be held accountable for my stupid words? Yes—but, not exactly. I should only be held accountable for my words in the overall context of the interview. If I said I opposed gun control for 58 minutes and then misspoke to say or imply that I favored gun control for a minute or two, it’s simply wrong (and arguably malicious) to publish the idea that Alfred Adask favors gun control.
The editor might reasonably have reported that Alfred Adask is inconsistent; that he sometimes opposes gun control and sometimes advocates gun control and broadcast one of my statements opposing gun control and one of my “stupidies” advocating gun control. But fairness demands that if the editor is going to pick just one of the positions I seemingly articulated, that he should select the position that I advocated predominately. To select those few words which reflect my misstatements is evidence of bias and malice on the part of the editor.
• More recently, I spoke to Byron Pitts of 60 Minutes for most of two hours. I guarantee that under the stress of the interview, it’s a virtual certainty that I probably made 5 or 10 minutes of statements that, selectively-edited and taken out of the two-hour context, can cast me in a false light and/or defame me. Similarly, I guarantee that the 5 minutes of stupid statements taken out of the context of 20 years of political activism, can also cast me in a false light and/or defame me.
Thus, I had reason to be apprehensive concerning the 60 Minutes interview. But I also trusted in 60 Minutes’ reputation for fair and objective reporting.
Most importantly, I felt that no matter how much danger might be involved, the Good LORD had opened a door which I was obligated to walk through as an act of faith.
I therefore entered into an agreement to be interviewed.
• My next problem with the interview was my landlord.
I was renting a travel trailer (about 300 square feet) as my home and also a little office space. My rent was paid through the end of April.
60 Minutes producer Clem Taylor expressed great interest in being able to get some video of me and my “trailer”. I speculated that he wanted to portray me as “trailer trash”—but I also speculated that he might want to show that even people who live in or near poverty can have an effect on national affairs.
But, 60 Minutes’ motive wasn’t important to me. The Good LORD had opened a door. I was going through.
Much to my surprise, when my landlord heard about the interview, he declared that he would not allow 60 Minutes on his property. My landlord (a middle-class businessman with five employees) was afraid that a 60 Minutes interview would attract so much government attention to me that government might launch a “Ruby Ridge” style raid against my landlord’s property.
60 Minutes was similarly surprised (and disappointed) that they couldn’t get access to the places where I lived and worked, but arranged to conduct the interview at a “bed and breakfast” located about 3 or 4 miles from my home.
The landlord misunderstood the interview location. He thought the interview as taking place somewhere around San Antonio (about 50 miles away) and that suited him fine.
But, on Sunday night, March 13th, my landlord realized the interview was only a couple of miles away. He went ballistic. Although the interview was not on his land, it was still too close. Although my rent was paid through the end of April, he ordered me out of the trailer and off his land.
So I spent Monday and Tuesday arranging to get a friend and a U-Haul, packing my belongings and loading them. The interview was held Wednesday afternoon. I was headed back towards Dallas an hour after the interview ended.
I was surprised by my landlord’s reaction. We’d been good friends for several years. Nevertheless, his fear of the consequences of a 60 Minutes interview was so great that ordered me off his land and ended our friendship.
While I recognized the potential danger in a 60 Minutes interview, my experience with news media in the 1990s had almost always been positive. I was apprehensive, but based on 60 Minutes reputation for objectivity, etc., I was optimistic.
My landlord thought I was a fool—and he might be right. But, as I said, the Good LORD had opened that door, so I had to walk through.
But I can’t help wondering how many people are there in this country who also would be terrified by the prospect of having 60 Minutes come on their land. I wouldn’t have thought there were any. But my landlord’s reaction suggests that there might hundreds of thousands, even millions of Americans who are secretly afraid of what might be called the “government/mainstream-media complex”.
Has America become a country where we should be afraid to speak our minds in public? Has the First Amendment’s right of free speech been compromised by the First Amendment’s freedom of the [mainstream] press?
• The interview itself start off smoothly. I’d researched Byron Pitts (the interviewer) before the program. He’s a relatively young African-American who’s overcome great obstacles in his life. As I recall, he grew up in the slums. He not only couldn’t read when he was 13 years old, doctors thought he was a congenital moron and didn’t think he would ever be capable of reading. But a school teacher took a special interest, worked closely with Bryon, and Byron not only learned to read, but made up his mind at age 16 that, before he turned 40, he would work as an interviewer on 60 Minutes. He did just that. His story is one of extraordinary achievement and inspiration.
I’d also seen a video of Mr. Pitts talking about Building 7 at the World Trade Center wherein he admitted that there were “questions” about the cause of the building’s collapse.
Given Mr. Pitts’ background as a mis-labeled “moron,” his years in poverty, and his willingness to at least implicitly admit that there’s something fishy about the government’s explanation for 9/11, I hoped he might be “sensitive” to some of the ideas I was trying to advance.
I was particularly hopeful that Mr. Pitts, being African-American, would be especially sensitive to my evidence that the government had declared the people to be animals in the drug laws (see, http://adask.wordpress.com/2008/06/17/man-or-other-animals-1/). Surely, if any Americans should be sensitive to the idea of being regarded as “animals,” it would be African-Americans whose ancestors were enslaved on the presumption that they were only “animals”.
Likewise, many blacks believe that the “war on drugs” is being used as pretext to subject them to “genocide”. Therefore, I presumed that an African-American like Byron Pitts would be open to my evidence that, by declaring the people to be “animals,” our federal gov-co had indeed committed an act of genocide against the American people. (See, http://adask.wordpress.com/2008/06/17/man-or-other-animals-3/)
In fact, I’d explained the “man or other animals” and “genocide” evidence to producer Clem Taylor early on in the interview planning process. I’m convinced that the evidence that our government views of the people as animals and is thereby guilty of genocide against the American people is one of the biggest stories in American history. A journalistic career could be made on breaking that story to the people. 60 Minutes—famous for breaking extraordinary stories—would have to be crazy to pass up the “man or other animals” and federal “genocide” stories.
But Clem Taylor declined. He was determined to focus on the “sovereign citizens’ movement”. He had an agenda. Apparently, 60 Minutes was more interested in evidence of American resistance to governmental oppression, than evidence that the government was, indeed, committing genocide against the American people.
So, I was hopeful that Mr. Pitts would be intrigued by my “man or other animals” and genocide evidence. After all, those two concepts were intimately linked to the concept of individual “sovereignty”. “Sovereignty” is only for men and women made in God’s image and given dominion over animals (Genesis 1:26-28) and “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights” (Declaration of Independence). By reducing Americans to the status of animals, the government was depriving us of our individual sovereignty and thereby causing the “sovereign citizens movement”.
Therefore, I steered the interview to the “man or other animals” issue. Mr. Pitts let me proceed, expressed no interest in the concept, and when I’d talked myself out, moved on to another subject. I’m sure Mr. Pitts understood that I could talk privately in that interview for hours about any subject I liked, but the 60 Minutes editor would decide which of my comments would finally be broadcast and heard by the public.
• My hopes concerning Mr. Pitts were vain. Perhaps, 60 Minutes’ “in-depth reporting” may be more interested in “effects” (people resisting government) than in “causes” (government oppressing the people).
Even so, the interview started smoothly. Mr. Pitts and I walked around outside near a river, talked briefly and seemed to get along nicely. He seemed like a decent man and I enjoyed talking to him.
I felt confident that I was not being called in to be subjected to character assassination and that the interview would go well. My confidence remained until we went inside, sat down under lights and in front of cameras, and then, for the third time, Mr. Pitts asked if I’d previously said on one of my radio programs (I’ve done several thousand over the past 20 years; they selected one to focus on) that the purpose of the 2nd Amendment was provide firearms for the purpose of shooting presidents, senators, congressmen, judges, cops and government employees.
I answered Yes. I embellished the answer to more fully explain the purpose for the 2nd Amendment.
During the pre-interview process, Clem Taylor had repeatedly asked me the same question by email and telephone. He seemed to ask, “Did you really say that on the radio?!” I more or less answered, “Well, of course.”
Mr. Taylor couldn’t seem to believe that anyone would make that statement on the radio. I couldn’t believe that anyone would make such a fuss over the statement. While the implications of my statement might be unpleasant (a possible shooting revolution), the statement was nevertheless obviously and historically true.
The first time Mr. Pitts had asked about my statement that the purpose for the 2nd Amendment was to shoot politicians, I wasn’t surprised.
But when he asked the question again, about 5 or 10 minutes later, the hair began to stand up on the back of my neck. The question had been asked and answered. Why ask again?
The third time he asked that question (about 30 minutes into the interview), I became afraid. Apparently, 60 Minutes had an agenda. The interview was not intended to be a “conversation,” but rather an investigation of a “person of interest” in the “sovereign citizens’ movement” that would presumably lead to some sort of “indictment”.
I could feel the right corner of my mouth begin to quiver. I studied Pitts face to see if he’d seen any sign of my fear. I wondered if the quivering was obvious enough to show up on the video.
My mind raced as I simultaneously: 1) realized (as others had warned) I was probably in a trap; 2) continued trying to talk “naturally” to Mr. Pitts; and 3) tried not to panic; and 4) tried to figure out what could I do? In my memory, this mind-racing lasted about 3 or 4 minutes. But, in actuality, it might only have lasted for a very intense 20 or 30 seconds.
I concluded that: 1) this “investigation” is about my words; 2) I know words; I am sometimes capable of linguistic precision; and therefore, 3) I had, by God, better try to be extraordinarily careful about every word I said from then on.
My fear was gone. The quivering at the corner of my mouth stopped. If I had to guess, the intensity level in my mind increased by 30%. I may have still made some stupid, but inadvertent, statements. But, if so, there were a lot fewer “stupidities” than I might otherwise have made.
I’m not a smiley kinda guy, but for the first half hour of the interview (especially outside) I was probably relaxed enough to appear somewhat affable. But once I’d recognized the trap, I became as intense as an assassin. I doubt that my persona during the remainder of the interview will ingratiate me to the viewers. I probably began to resemble Zbigniew Brzezhinski. But what can you do? You find yourself in a fight for your life, it’s hard to keep smiling.
• If I say so myself, I did well. There were moments during the interview when I was pretty much amazed by my own performance. I knew that my speech was as good as it had ever been. Words and idea flowed. I didn’t find myself forgetting or groping for certain words. I may never be that articulate again, but I believe the Good LORD was helping me, guiding me, giving me the words.
Part of the reason I think I did well, is that Byron Pitts came back to that same question about the 2nd Amendment at least six, maybe eight times, during the 2-hour interview. I don’t know what they were looking for. Apparently, they wanted me to say something . . . or they wanted me to “explode” and say something with a particular style (“THAT’S RIGHT!! I SAY KILL ALL THE POLITICIANS AND COPS AND DO IT NOW!!!”?). But if they asked the question eight times, it appears that they did not get the answer they wanted at least seven times.
Repeatedly asking the same question about 2nd Amendment is pretty good evidence that 60 Minutes had an agenda. Apparently, it was Byron Pitts’ job to get me to say “something” (I don’t know what). Apparently, the interview was not intended to discover the principles underlying the sovereignty movement so much as to conduct an interrogation intended to generate “probable cause” for an indictment (at least in the mind of the public).
• And it was an interrogation. While we were walking around outside and developing a “rapport,” Byron explained that we’d have a “conversation” when we sat down inside. Great. I like conversations.
But after five or ten minutes of interview inside, Byron asked me a question and I responded with a question to him. He snapped back, “That’s not the way it works . . . I ask the questions . . . you provide the answers.”
OK. Then it wasn’t really a “conversation” (where both sides get to ask and answer questions) after all. It was an interrogation where Byron gets to ask and I can only to answer.
I didn’t mind. So long as I’m not being beaten with a rubber hose, water-boarded, or sleep deprived, I can handle interrogations. (After all, interrogations are fundamentally about words and after 20+ years of reading, writing, editing and speaking, I’ve become marginally fluent.)
• I remember three other “moments” during the interview:
1. When the inside interview began, I turned on a digital audio recorder. I wanted my own record of everything that would be said. Byron quickly asked, “What’s that?!” I explained. He accepted. But I could tell that he was disturbed by the possibility that I might have a complete audio record of the interview.
2. We were probably about 90 minutes into the interview and there was a moment when Bryon’s eyes and mine met and locked. In recollection, we seemed hold each other’s gaze for about ten seconds. In fact, that “moment” probably lasted for an intense two seconds.
Byron’s eyes bulged in what looked like disbelief. I don’t know what I looked like to Byron, but my emotion was one of absolute indifference. I wasn’t the least bit intimidated or afraid. He could not beat me. He could not “handle” me in this interview. I knew it and I believe that, in that moment, he knew it, too.
The interview lasted another 20 minutes or so, but it was over at that moment.
3. The third “moment” occurred after the interview ended. I got up to walk around, open a bottle of water, have a sandwich. Byron stayed in his chair. He slouched; he curled up in one corner of the chair; he had both of his arms wrapped around his chest and reaching to his back. He seemed to be hugging himself. He looked at me as if I were a monster.
I don’t doubt that Byron can do lots of things I can’t do. He’s personable, likeable in ways I might envy. But he’s not in my league intellectually—at least not on that day.
• Learning that I could “handle” a 60 Minutes interviewer was empowering. 60 Minutes is about as big as it gets. Speaking under the stress of being recorded for broadcast to 12 to 18 million viewers is “challenging”. I had a couple of rough moments, but if it had been a 10-round boxing match, I think I won at least 8 rounds.
I have gone toe-to-toe with 60 Minutes and I won.
Of course, 60 Minutes might laugh at my self-applause. They might say that I’m still a fool and I lost big-time. Maybe so.
But my conviction that I won gives me a level of confidence I’d not previously imagined. It’s hard for me to imagine another interview (or interrogation) where I’ll be easily intimidated.
• My belief that I “won” the “10-round fight” is, on one hand, personally inspiring. On the other hand, it’s meaningless.
The problem is that it’s really an 11-round fight. The last round, the 11th round, is fought long after I’ve left the ring. That’s the “editor’s round”. That’s when a 60 Minutes editor gets to pare the two-hour interview down to the twelve minutes that will actually be broadcast.
So, if Byron won a round or two out of the ten, and the 60 Minutes editor selects only those two rounds for broadcast to the fans, the Sunday program will show clearly that Byron won and I fought like a chump.
If “selective editing” makes me look like a chump, I’ll be disappointed, but I won’t be surprised. Byron knows who won the fight. So do I.
• If I had it to do all over again, would I agree to be interviewed?
You damn skippy!
I’d be less optimistic and more wary from the git-go, but even if I knew it was a trap, I’d go again. And I’d go in with much more confidence.
First, because I’ve believed from the first contact with 60 Minutes that our Father YHWH ha Elohiym had opened a door and it was incumbent on me to walk through it as an act of faith. Whether I get mugged on the other side of that door is irrelevant. If the Good LORD opens a door, I’m goin’ through. Do not get in my way unless you want to get carried through that door, too.
If the Good LORD opens that door again, I’m going through again.
Second, rightly or wrongly, since about A.D. 1990, I’ve believed myself to be a “watchman” of the sort described in Ezekiel 3:16-20. It’s a good, blue-collar kind of job and I spring from blue-collar roots. Watchman suits me.
According to Ezekiel, if I see the enemy coming, I am to sound the alarm. I attempt to sound those alarms by means of my radio shows and by means of my blog. If the people listen to my warnings and are saved, great. If they ignore my warning, their blood is on their own heads.
But if I see the enemy coming, and I fail to sound the alarm and the people are injured or killed, their blood will be held to my account. My account. Mine. I’m not havin’ it—you understand?
I fear our Father YHWH ha Elohiym.
I have more than enough to account for, all by myself, without taking responsibility for a bunch of other people who may get caught in the gears of “this state”.
So, you can bet that if I see (or think I see) an “enemy,” I will be sounding the alarm.
But there’s a problem. I’m posted on some pretty low walls in some pretty remote places, so, even if I see the “enemy” (say, government committing acts of genocide against the American people), I can holler my warnings all day and only a handful of people will ever hear me.
My blog gets 20,000 views a month. That’s peanuts.
My radio shows might reach as many as 20,000 unique listeners each month. Clearly, I’m no Rush Limbaugh.
Over the past 21 years of writing, publishing and hosting radio shows, I doubt that I’ve reached more than one million unique individuals—and many of them, only once. Again, that’s not much.
But I don’t mind.
If the Good LORD wants to post me on a low, remote wall, it suits me just fine.
And if the Good LORD opens a door for me to holler my warnings from a very high wall (like 60 Minutes), you can bet I’ll be hollerin’.
Byron Pitts told me that 60 Minutes reaches between 12 and 18 million viewers each Sunday. Let’s suppose 15 million watch my interview tonight and 14 million leave absolutely convinced that Alfred Adask is the biggest a-hole that’s ever been on TV. By the time the program is over, those 14 million may all be convinced that I belong in a cage in Guantanamo.
But that still leaves one million listeners who might see through the editing, see through the bias, and understand my “warning”. That’s more people in 12 minutes, than I’ve probably reached in the past 21 years. As a watchman, there’s no way I can pass up that opportunity.
Of course, it’s entirely possible that 60 Minutes might be so skillful at editing my interview, that all 15 million viewers leave convinced that I’m a “domestic terrorist” who’d be best shot or locked up in Guantanamo.
But that’s not my problem.
See, Clem Taylor and Byron Pitts are also “watchmen”. They’re journalists. Whether they know it or not, they also “stand on the wall”. They’re also obligated to sound the alarm if they see the enemy.
I’ve done everything I can to make Clem and Byron see the enemy (governmental genocide). They’ve seen or had reason to see that “enemy”. If Clem and Byron nevertheless refuse to “sound the alarm,” and any of those 15 million viewers are subsequently injured or killed, their blood will be called to Byron’s and Clem’s accounts—not mine.
Not . . . mine.
• Look at what I’ve learned: I can go toe-to-toe with some of the best in the business. I may not be a champion but—with the grace of the Good LORD—I am a legitimate contender.
That knowledge means a lot to me and it could not have been acquired without first going through that door.
• Finally, I might be wrong. Maybe 60 Minutes will give me a fair shake tonight. Or, if they don’t, maybe they’ll give me a fair shake the next time they ask for an interview.
So, would I go again? If the Good LORD opens the door, you can bet I’m comin’ through.
Written at arm’s length within the venue of The County of Dallas, The State of Texas, The United States of America, and The Kingdom of God by me, Alfred Adask—a living man made in our Father YHWH ha Elohiym’s image (Genesis 1:26-28) and endowed by my Creator with certain unalienable Rights (“Declaration of Independence”).