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IMPORTANT Please Consider Helping Aaron Russo in his Quest

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User ID: 74188
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06/03/2006 01:53 PM
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IMPORTANT Please Consider Helping Aaron Russo in his Quest
Lights, Camera - Activism!
by William Norman Grigg
June 12, 2006

Set to debut in theaters in July, the documentary America: From Freedom to Fascism recounts how our government is abandoning the constitutional framework of liberty.

Twelve-year-old Ricky Miller wasn't expecting anything dramatic when he answered the door one Saturday morning. His father Scotty Miller had just gotten into the shower. His sister Jennifer was just waking up from a slumber party with some teenage friends. By all appearances, it seemed like a typical early April morning in Virginia Beach.

This changed dramatically when Ricky opened the door and was confronted with 15 heavily armed agents from the Internal Revenue Service and state enforcement agencies. One of them threw Ricky to the floor, stuck a gun in his face, and ordered him to be quiet. The armed raiding party made its way upstairs, where it barged into the bathroom and forced Scotty out of the shower. Another small group burst in on Jennifer and her friends, who had yet to get dressed.

"There were four girls getting dressed, and these guys with guns were watching us," Jennifer recalls on-camera in the new documentary America: From Freedom to Fascism. "We tried to close the door but this guy blocked it with his foot." As the terrified screams of his daughter and her friends could be heard in the background, Scotty Miller, dressed only in a towel that was inadequate to provide him modesty, provoked a near-lethal response from the raiders when he reached toward his drawers to get a pair of underwear.

Scotty had known that there was some trouble down at "The Jewish Mother" in Virginia Beach, one of two locations of a family-owned restaurant chain. His wife Edy, who helped manage the restaurant, had called and frantically told him to come quickly.

Armed IRS-led raiding parties had descended on both locations, seizing cash registers, receipts, price lists, computers, calendars, telephones, Rolodexes - anything that could be pried from the store and carried away. Terrified staff were held at gunpoint while equally unnerved customers were forcibly evicted - some of them literally having the utensils taken from their hands as they tried to enjoy a meal.

For five months, John Colaprete, owner of the restaurant chain; the Miller family; and the chain's other employees were forced "to do business out of a shoebox," Colaprete relates on-camera in the film, while the feds held on to their property and their reputations were ravaged in the press. The store had lost as much as $20,000 on the day of the raid alone. The chain lost its liquor license, along with much of its customer base. Neither Colaprete nor Miller could figure out what, if anything, they had done to provoke a paramilitary raid on a popular and growing small business.

Five months later, they had their answers. Deborah Shofner, a bookkeeper who had been fired by the chain for embezzlement, had made false and malicious accusations against its management to the feds. When the raids failed to produce substantive evidence to corroborate Shofner's charges, the IRS returned the restaurant's property the following August, without so much as a syllable of apology.

By that time, however, "The Jewish Mother" had nearly been driven out of business. Scotty Miller, who was shunned by his friends and traumatized by the federal assault, had been hospitalized with clinical depression.

"A day doesn't go by that I don't wonder what harassment will occur next," Colaprete stated during his 1998 testimony before a Senate investigation of IRS abuses. "I would like to know why this dark entity known as the IRS has come into my life and refused to leave."

Origins of the "Dark Entity"

Colaprete's anguished complaint is echoed by thousands of other Americans whose lives have been disrupted - or ruined - by the same agency. Where did that "Dark Entity" come from? Why must we put up with it? How can we make it go away?

As Aaron Russo demonstrates in his riveting documentary - scheduled to be released in theaters on July 28 - the IRS itself is just one appendage of the "Dark Entity" that seized control over our nation in what could be called the Revolution of 1913.

For three decades prior to making his new documentary, Russo carved out a career of some distinction as a pop music impresario and movie producer (see profile on page 17). In the early 1990s he became concerned about political and social trends that he believed were carrying our once-free nation toward tyranny. Further investigation led Russo to conclude that our nation wasn't drifting toward tyranny, but rather being propelled in that direction by a powerful but dimly seen group of elitists whose handiwork includes the graduated income tax and the IRS. He made the acquaintance of several sober and responsible people willing to risk impoverishment or imprisonment on behalf of their belief that the income tax was a fraud.

But Russo's film isn't just about the "tax protest" movement.

"I set out on a journey to make a film about whether or not there was a law requiring Americans to pay an Income Tax � or was this tax a fraud," Russo explains at the outset of the film. "The process of discovery brought something much more dangerous and frightening to my attention - now I bring it to yours."

"In 1913," he narrates, "America was a free country. Then a band of powerful bankers achieved their fathers' and their great-grandfathers' goal. America has never been the same. Soon the world will not be the same."

This was the year, 1913, in which three critical structural changes - two of which are examined by Russo - grievously undermined our republican form of government. The first was creation of the Federal Reserve System, which Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) describes on-screen as an agency created to "counterfeit money." The other two radical changes were the imposition of the income tax via the 16th Amendment to the Constitution, and the 17th Amendment, which effectively destroyed the U.S. Senate as a body representing the interests of the states. Prior to 1913, money consisted of gold and silver, with paper currency serving only as receipts for the same. In that year, however, Congress abdicated its constitutional duty to "coin" money to the Federal Reserve, which arrogated to itself the right to issue "fiat" currency - paper notes not backed by precious metals, but rather by the "full faith and credit" of the federal government.

Since that time, Russo observes, the dollar has lost roughly 96 percent of its purchasing power, as the Fed - which is owned by a government-created-and-sustained private cartel of largely anonymous banking interests - has relentlessly printed "money" to loan to the U.S. government, at interest.

Although the term was not in use at the time of its creation, the word "fascist" perfectly describes the Federal Reserve System: the Fed is a cartel of private banking interests allied with the central government in a corrupt and mutually enriching entente against the public interest, backed by brute force. The creation of the Fed was thus a key turning point in America's devolution from freedom toward fascism.

From Fascism to Communism

Benito Mussolini, the founder of fascism, was a devout disciple of Karl Marx, who devised a modified form of political collectivism called the corporate state. The system that now governs America bears a much stronger resemblance to Mussolini's corporatism than the constitutional republic we inherited from our Founding Fathers.

"I find it really difficult to believe that so many people consider our nation to be the most successful example of free market capitalism," Russo commented in an interview with The New American. "The foundation of our present economic system is a Central Bank, and the graduated Income Tax - two of the planks of the Communist Manifesto. So even though we're relatively prosperous, largely because of debt, it's really dishonest to say that we're in any sense a [free market] capitalist society."

The objective of communism, according to the Manifesto, can be summarized in a single phrase: "The abolition of private property." That this is the objective of those who exercise control over the executive branch of the U.S. government under both Republican and Democrat administrations can be seen in Russo's film.

Toward the beginning of From Freedom to Fascism, Russo gives time to prominent leaders of what he identifies as the "Tax Honesty Movement," whose members include former IRS investigators like Joe Banister and Sherry Jackson. That movement is devoted to the idea that there is no specific statutory requirement that individual American wage earners file a tax return.

Is there a specific law requiring Americans to file a return? To find the answer to that question, Russo interviewed two strikingly different personalities on camera. One was Rep. Paul; the other was former IRS Commissioner and General Counsel Sheldon Cohen.

Statesman vs. Bureaucrat

"Is there a law requiring Americans to file a 1040?" Russo asked Rep. Paul point-blank.

"Not explicitly," replied the congressman, who has studied the question in depth. "But it's certainly implied.... I can't cite a law. They think it's the law, and they have all the guns."

Russo posed the same question to Cohen, only to have Cohen lead him through dense thickets of doublespeak.

"I believe that a man's labor is his private property," Russo said.

"That's your view," Cohen said with a smirk, "but it's not the law."

Contemplate that answer for a second. If your labor isn't your property, to whom or what does it belong?

The obvious answer is that it belongs to "society," which is supposedly represented by the entity that extracts, at gunpoint, as much of the proceeds of your labor as it sees fit: the federal government.

How does this state of affairs differ in principle - not in consistent practice - from Soviet communism?

"This is a waste of time," grouses Cohen as Russo politely presses his question. "Whatever I say you won't believe." At another point, when Russo highlights contradictions between IRS enforcement policies and various Supreme Court rulings, Cohen plaintively protests: "You've caught me unprepared." Finally Cohen signals for the interview to end just before issuing what Russo, who grew up as a Brooklyn-born Jewish kid in Long Island, identifies as a threat spoken in Yiddish, an expression favored by gangsters that he translated as: "Aaron, nothing can help you."

Oddly enough, Cohen - who may be the most knowledgeable person alive where it comes to the tax code - did not cite Section 6012 of Title 26 of the U.S. Code, which states: "Returns with respect to income taxes under subtitle A [governing tax computations] shall be made by the following: (1)(A) Every individual having for the taxable year gross income which equals or exceeds the exemption amount." The penalty for violation of Section 6012 can be found under Section 7203, which calls for up to a $25,000 fine and one year in prison for an individual "who willfully fails to pay such estimated tax or tax, make such return, keep such records, or supply such information."

It would be expected that a former IRS commissioner would be able to cite those provisions on demand. Yet he finds himself confused and lost amid the abstruse details of the Tax Code. How can we expect to do any better? Laws protecting lives, property, and public order are clear and easily complied with. The same cannot be said of the mare's nest of "laws" and precedents cited by the IRS to justify seizing the product of our labor at gunpoint.

Had Cohen not granted the interview, Russo points out in the closing credits, his film could not have been made. The interview itself is easily worth the price of admission. Forced from his natural habitat - the murky ambiguity favored by all corrupt governments - Cohen withers in the glare of candid inquiry like a vampire who, losing a game of "musical coffins," finds himself trapped in the pitiless advance of dawn's first light.

Americans by the millions need to see that interview. They need to look into Cohen's eyes and see the clinical indifference with which he dismisses the concept of private property, the absolute disregard he shows to the rule of law and the concept of individual liberty. A face needs to be put on the bureaucratic class that is choking our liberty, and Cohen's serves that purpose very well.

Force and Fraud

As Russo documents, the IRS embodies Lenin's definition of dictatorship: "Power without limit, resting directly on force, restrained by no laws, absolutely unrestricted by rules." Illinois resident Whitey Harrell, charged with evading federal income taxes, made a formal request for the statutory authority under which he was required to pay, promising - as any honest person would - to obey the law once it was clearly explained to him. During a videotaped tax hearing, an IRS enforcement official named Agent Craner replied: "I talked to my boss and he told me that my badge is my authority." That non-responsive answer is a pretty suitable paraphrase of Lenin's dictum.

New York Times reporter David Kay Johnston received a similar answer when he posed the same question at an IRS press conference: "Why won't the IRS answer the questions set forth in the petitions from the American people" regarding the statutory authority for collecting income taxes?" Replied IRS functionary Terry Lemons: "The government is answering the question, through our enforcement actions in the courts."

Freedom cannot exist where "laws" are too numerous to count, and too convoluted to be understood by intelligent people of good will. Yes, the IRS can cite statutory language to justify imposing and collecting income taxes, and prosecuting those who don't comply. But here's where the idea that the existing system is based on "law," in the American sense, breaks down: because of the volume, complexity, and self-contradictory nature of the tax code, many honest people - independent business owners in particular - are incapable of compliance. Taxpayers are compelled to offer evidence against themselves, and any time the IRS chooses, it can ruin Americans who have not committed any crimes against persons, property, or public order.

Compounding this outrage is the fact that income taxes are not used to pay the operating expenses of the federal government - a fact discussed by several of the experts interviewed by Russo. The 1983 Grace Commission reported that 100 percent of Income Tax revenues are used to pay interest on the national debt - which is to say that the IRS is in the business of collecting what mobsters call the "vig," or extortionate interest, on behalf of the banking syndicate that operates the Federal Reserve.

And this is made possible, Rep. Paul specifies - and Russo repeatedly emphasizes - because Congress has abdicated its constitutional responsibilities, and the electorate has permitted this to happen.

The real solution, as Russo's film demonstrates, "is not to ignore or defy bad and unjust laws that have been imposed on our nation by the forces that have seized control of our political institutions," comments Alan Scholl, Director of Mission and Campaigns for The John Birch Society. "We gain nothing if freedom-loving people become embroiled in expensive legal battles, or wind up in prison, rather than joining in an effort to restore constitutional government. That process begins with raising public awareness of the damage that's been done to our free institutions, and while our organization doesn't agree with every element of Mr. Russo's film, it has tremendous potential to rouse the American public from its lethal reverie."

Familiar Story, Told Well

Well-informed Americans will be familiar with much of the evidence Russo has capably assembled:

� The operation of a secretive power elite, most visibly represented by the Council on Foreign Relations, which seeks political and financial control of the world;

� The key disclosures made by Georgetown historian Carroll Quigley, who had access to the power elite's papers and secret records, as outlined in his book Tragedy and Hope;

� The use of perpetual war to generate public debt, and constrict individual liberties;

� The relationship between the banking cartel and corporatist trade pacts like NAFTA, GATT, and CAFTA - and how illegal immigration is being used to advance the consolidation of the Western Hemisphere into a European Union-style mega-state, which means the loss of our national identity, our prosperity, and eventually our liberty;

� The emergence of digital microchip technology portending the use of implantable IDs.

Many readers of this magazine are familiar with this story. Tens of millions of others, however, are not. Therein lies the tragedy - and the challenge.

Russo has made a tremendously informative and often entertaining movie. While not without its flaws, it must be said that, examined as a whole, the film defines the problem correctly. It also endorses the correct solution: organized, principled, peaceful citizen activism to induce Congress to reassert its constitutional authority on behalf of the sovereign people.

"Stop being good Democrats," Russo urges. "Stop being good Republicans. Start being good Americans."

In the film's final frames, Russo does invoke the concept of "civil disobedience" - which he defines to include boycotts, strikes, and passive resistance of totalitarian impositions, where necessary and possible. But he never loses sight of the fact that any worthwhile changes have to be made through Congress as a result of conscientious citizen action.
Anonymous Coward
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06/03/2006 06:15 PM
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Re: IMPORTANT Please Consider Helping Aaron Russo in his Quest
don't give up!
Anonymous Coward
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06/03/2006 06:22 PM
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Re: IMPORTANT Please Consider Helping Aaron Russo in his Quest
I've already donated! The people will prevail and the state shall fall, but not without sacrifice!

Anonymous Coward
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06/03/2006 06:28 PM
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Re: IMPORTANT Please Consider Helping Aaron Russo in his Quest
bump for truth

User ID: 65489
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06/03/2006 06:30 PM
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Re: IMPORTANT Please Consider Helping Aaron Russo in his Quest

June 1, 2006

Dear Lovers of Liberty,

I am currently in Munich, Germany and receiving treatment at a cutting- edge cancer clinic. This is my third battle with bladder cancer but the prognosis here is very good.

In the United States I was told that I had very little chance, in fact, that I was a hopeless case and had no chance to survive.

I am fortunate to be in a position to seek care outside of the U. S where I am receiving the latest in high tech cancer treatment and quality patient care. Do not be worried. I am very confident of survival and that in this, my third battle with bladder cancer, I will finally kill it. The doctors here say that not only will I survive but leave here healthier than I have been in years.

I think the discrepancy in treatment between U.S and German health-care providers is directly related to the interference in Americans' healthcare system by the FDA. Which we all know ties into the theme of AMERICA: FREEDOM TO FASCISM.

I want to thank everybody for your ongoing support of this film. Based on the amount of emails, Internet activity and donations that we have received, I can tell that there are a lot of motivated Americans out there!

From the website alone, we've had over 500,000 downloads of the trailer and over 11,000 links to our website. We've screened the film in select U.S cities with sold out crowds and standing ovations. Just recently at Cannes, we had a standing-room-only crowd and another ovation for the film from the international audience of buyers and media.

And now the word is spreading to millions of more people worldwide via the Internet and there is interest from film festivals all over the world including Lebanon, Spain, Italy and Greece.

Positive reviews about the film are starting to come in (see below) and we also have multiple screens booked in five major cities for our July 28th release, which I' ll tell you more about next week.

To me this means that a lot of people are clamoring for a systematic change and the end of the New World Order and our film, AMERICA: FREEDOM TO FASCISM is primed to be the summer's wake up call.

But I am here receiving treatment for the next month, which makes fundraising and promoting the movie a bit difficult, so I need your help.

We need to raise at least $500,000 in donations to help with the release of the film. I'm asking for everybody to donate $100. If that is done, then we will have more than enough money to release this film on a nationwide basis.

If after making a donation - which is clearly the most important and necessary thing you can do now - you also wish to provide additional help, this is what we would need:

1) Sign up to volunteer - we need people to post information on blogs, create links and help spread the word through the Internet.

2) Link your website or blog to our website by downloading banners and badges from our site.

3) Forward this email to ten friends and ask them register on the website.

This is an absolute call to action from me to everyone who believes in freedom and the end of the concept of world government to act immediately. Everything is now in place so we can succeed. Now is the time we need it.

All Your Freedoms, All The Time,
--Aaron Russo from Germany

P.S. As you can imagine, I have been unavailable to access my email regularly so please forgive me if I have not been able to respond to you. But I have a team of people who are also helping with the film - please feel free to contact to them.

Additional Contacts:

If you would like to suggest a press outlet or arrange and interview, please send specific contact information plus the email address or phone number for the editor or producer as well as pertinent pitch angles to: press@cinemalibrestudo.com

To suggest theatres please contact: rcastro@cinemalibrestudio.com

To post your thoughts about the film visit our discussion forums on Freedomtofacism.com


"FOUR STARS" (Highest Rating).

The scariest goddamn film you'll see this year. It will leave you staggering out of the theatre, slack-jawed and trembling. Makes 'Fahrenheit 9/11' look like 'Bambi.' After watching this movie, your comfy, secure notions about America -- and about what it means to be an American -- will be forever shattered. Producer/director Aaron Russo and the folks at Cinema Libre Studio deserve to be heralded as heroes of a post-modern New American Revolution. This is shocking stuff. You'll be angry, you'll be disgusted, but you may actually break out in a cold sweat and feel a sickness deep in your gut; I would advise movie theatre managers to hand out vomit bags. You may end up needing one." --- Todd David Schwartz, CBS
shibumi2 (OP)

User ID: 74188
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06/05/2006 10:36 AM
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Re: IMPORTANT Please Consider Helping Aaron Russo in his Quest
I think the calculation was that every $10 in marketing would bring another 12 people into the theatre and thus into the light.

really time to take a stand and make this happen. Someone else has already done most of the hard work and stuck their neck out.