COMING: A Citizens' Constitutional Investigatory Commission

On Thursday, June 29, 2000, We the People Foundation for Constitutional Education Inc. held the fourth Washington, DC conference at the National Press Club on the question of the legality of the income tax. The Conference was preceded by two full-page center-spread ads in the Washington Times (19 - 25 JUNE and 26 JUNE - 2 JULY).

Speaker after speaker provided enormously encouraging news and information, to the largest audience yet, on their respective aspects of citizens' confrontations with the federal government's abuse of its taxing power. Everyone present felt that it was, indeed, a moving, significant and memorable day. For a video-taped recording of the event click here.

A conference highlight was the luncheon speech by America's top money attorney, Edwin Vieira Jr., who provided the most profound comments of the day, including his call for a "Blue Ribbon," high-profile Citizens' Constitutional Investigatory Commission, to investigate four issues: 1) was the 16th amendment validly ratified?; 2) if not, is the federal income tax a direct tax or an indirect tax?; 3) because labor creates the tax, is the income tax slavery?; and 4) if the tax is a direct tax -- a badge of slavery -- then why have the charges regarding the 16th amendment been ignored? The Citizens' Commission would operate without any government assistance. It would hold public hearings and publish its findings. Edwin Vierra finished first in his class at Harvard Law School. His specialty is constitutional law. He is an expert on the federal monetary system and the Federal Reserve System. He is the author of PIECES OF EIGHT: THE MONETARY POWERS AND DISABILITIES OF THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION (1983). He is rumored to be the author of CRA$HMAKERS, which was published this year. We are now preparing a memorandum in which we will address issues related to the start-up of the Commission. We will post the memorandum soon.

Following opening remarks by Bob Schulz, we heard a powerful story about the nullification of a "willful failure to file" indictment by a jury in Illinois. We heard from both the defendant, Gaylon "Whitey" Harrell, and the key juror, Marcella "Marcie" Brooks, who made it clear that the "not guilty" verdict on all four counts was due to the inability of the prosecutor or the judge to identify the laws that required Whitey Harrell to file federal and state income tax returns. In deliberation, the jury asked the judge for a copy of the law Harrell was being tried for breaking, but the judge would not supply it. When they found that certain evidence admitted into the record during the trial by the defense was missing, they requested it of the judge and were again denied. They acquitted Harrell on all counts. Even though the parties were in state court and the official charge was "failure to file" state income tax returns, the case was really about the legal requirement to file a federal income tax return because, like most states, Illinois' law mandates the filing of a state income tax return if the Illinois resident is required to file a federal income tax return. Harrell's case is cited as PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS vs. GAYLON L. HARRELL, Case Number 97CF89 in the Circuit Court of the Twentieth Judicial Circuit, St. Clair County, Illinois.

We then heard from three employers, David Bosset from Florida, Dick Simkanin from Texas and Nick Jesson from California, who have stopped withholding income taxes from their workers and who have stopped filing W-2s and 1099s with the IRS. All three confirmed that they based their decisions on the so-called "861 sources" argument. See our web site article titled, "Connecting the dots." Bosset revealed that he is hiring a staff of attorneys whose job it will be to assist other employers before and after they make the decision to withdraw from the federal income tax system. See his material at and Also, Dave Bosset will email his material upon request. His email address is: Simkanin's speech was informative, particularly as he described the steps he went through in first trying to get the IRS and his Congressman to answer his questions regarding the legality of the operations of the income tax system, the steps he went through to enable his employees to make informed decisions about whether to stay with the company (Arrow Custom Plastics) or to leave before January 1, 2000, which was the date he planned to stop withholding. Nick Jesson detailed the events that led up to his decision to stop withholding. He read the letter he sent to the IRS and to the California Franchise Board (the State tax agency), in which he notified them that he was no longer withholding and would no longer be issuing W-2s and 1099s, and the legal arguments in support of that decision. We learned from Jesson that another California employer (in Costa Mesa) is about to do the same thing.

An unexpected pleasure were the comments by Gordon Smith who brought with him for distribution (at no charge), numerous copies of "Taxable Income," a report which details and validates the 861 Sources argument. The report was authored by Larkin Rose and can be downloaded for free from his new site .

Bill Benson highlighted his research report dealing with the ratification process of the income tax amendment (16th), entitled THE LAW THAT NEVER WAS, and read a letter he received in May of this year from Warren Richardson, the man Benson says called him in 1985 to say that he was speaking for Senator Orin Hatch, who was offering Benson to name his price not to publish his research and to turn over to Senator Hatch his 17,000 certified copies of the documents relating to the ratification of the 16th amendment Benson obtained from the archives of the 48 states and from the national archives. Benson revealed that he hasn't heard from Richardson in 15 years, so it was a surprise to receive Richardson's letter in May of 2000. In the letter, Richardson, an attorney, states in no uncertain terms that he agrees with Benson that the 16th amendment did not even come close to being legally ratified. That is, of course, why they wanted to suppress the research. Richardson goes on to say that he believes that an appropriate next step would be for constitutional scholars to review and comment on the legality of the 16th amendment. In 1985, Benson published the results of his exhaustive research on what actually happened in each state, between 1909 and 1913, regarding the proposed income tax amendment to the U.S. constitution. Bill's work proved that, in 1913, the lame-duck Secretary of State, Philander Knox, committed fraud when he declared that the income tax amendment had been properly and legally ratified.

Larry Becraft and Devvy Kidd revealed that their organization, The Wallace Institute, has been funded and is preparing to take the issue of the fraudulent ratification of the 16th amendment to the state courts, beginning with Oklahoma. See THE OKLAHOMA PROTEST, which was written by Larry Becraft.

Joseph Banister explained why, as a special agent of the Criminal Investigation Division of the IRS, he undertook, at his own expense, and on his own time, a two year research effort to prove that those people who were claiming that the 16th amendment had not been legally ratified and that there is no law that requires one to file or pay the income tax, and that there is no law that requires employers to withhold from their workers, were all wrong. Banister explained that he reached the conclusion, instead, that those claims were correct. He submitted his 90 page report to his superiors in the San Jose office of the IRS with the request that the report be passed up through the chain of command and that he be provided with the IRS's answer to his conclusions. Instead of getting answers, Joe was asked to resign, which he did in February of 1999.Banister's report can be viewed for free on his web site at

We also heard from Pat Shannon, the investigative reporter, who was, himself acquitted after being charged for something that should have been protected by the 1st amendment in a "conspiracy to impede the activities of the IRS" case. He briefly discussed his own case and his very recent interview with Gary Phillips, the career INS officer, who earlier this year was convicted of willful failure to file income tax returns and fled the country before the sentencing date. If sentenced, Phillips would almost certainly have been put in a prison where there would be illegal aliens Phillips collared while on the job with the INS. What is even more interesting is that Phillips was tried AFTER a grand jury refused to indict him on the charges. Phillips relied, in part, on the content of THE LAW THAT NEVER WAS in dealing with the grand jury. However, the judge refused to allow 19 of the 21 witnesses Phillips requested, including Benson and including Robert Manning the IRS agent who could not identify any law or regulation that required Phillips to file an income tax return. The jury convicted Phillips after the judge gave explicit instructions to convict. Shannon's interview with Phillips will be the subject of the cover story in the next issue of Media Bypass. For more information go to

We also heard briefly from Tayra Antolick, a law school student at George Washington University. She distributed copies of her report titled "PrimaFacie Evidence of Fraud with Internal Revenue Service Practices."

We heard from three men who responded to our open invitation, published in the Washington Times, for any constitutional scholars, presidential candidates, congressmen, or anyone else who has studied the issue of the legality of the income tax, to join us at the Press Club and participate in the conference. Howard Phillips, Charles Collins and Louis Wein did join us and gave modified campaign speeches. Phillips is the Constitution Party's candidate for President of the United States. Charles Collins is seeking the nomination of the Reform Party for President of the United States. Louis Wein is Right-To-Life and Constitution Partys' candidate for U.S. Senate. He intends to primary Rick Lazio for the Republican nomination as well.

Finally, the audience was made aware of the importance of our participation in an IRS hearing scheduled for July 18, 2000. The hearing is on "proposed regulations describing the appropriate basis for determining the source of income from labor or personal services performed partly within and partly without the United States." The Department of the Treasury published a notice of the hearing in the June 23rd issue of the Federal Register. The notice states. "The IRS must receive outlines of the topics to be discussed at the hearing by Tuesday, July 5, 2000" Obviously, this is an error. The IRS probably meant Wednesday, July 5th.

For a copy of Bob Schulz's closing remarks, click here.