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“ille­gal muf­fler”

A story by Ralph Haulk

Sev­eral years ago, I decided to chal­lenge an “ille­gal muf­fler” charge in court, since I had bought the truck with the ille­gal muf­fler and had no aware­ness that it was ille­gal. Actu­ally, I got the case thrown out of court sim­ply by appeal­ing and request­ing a jury trial, but that’s not the point of the story.

Edi­tors note: I believe that the bible is the old laws in sto­rie from. There for I fol­low the lessons and leave the sto­ries for the next one who comes to learn.

Dur­ing the first trial, I ques­tioned the offi­cer who gave me the ticket, pre­sented my own wit­ness, and was asked to take the wit­ness stand. In my eager­ness to get on with it, I walked straight to the stand and sat down. Noth­ing hap­pened! The judge said noth­ing, the pros­e­cu­tor said noth­ing. Both sim­ply sat and stared at each other for sev­eral uneasy sec­onds until finally the bailiff spoke: “Uh…Mr. Haulk, you didn’t take the oath”.

I stepped down, took the oath, and was found guilty even though I had proven my inno­cence of any knowl­edge of the muf­fler. But this hes­i­ta­tion to ques­tion me with­out the oath was intrigu­ing, so I decided to look into it.

I learned that the Supreme Court rec­og­nized what we call our 5th Amend­ment right against self incrim­i­na­tion, the right to refuse to tes­tify against our­selves, as hav­ing its ana­logue in the bible. In Miranda vs Ari­zona, the Supreme Court, foot­note 27, stated that Mai­monides “found an ana­logue to the priv­i­lege grounded in the bible”.

Does the bible grant such immu­nity against self incrim­i­na­tion? Accord­ing to Tal­mu­dic law, it comes from Deuteron­omy 17:6 and 19:15, the “two wit­ness rule”, which ensures that no defen­dant can be con­victed for any rea­son with less than two wit­nesses.

It was held, by Tal­mu­dic inter­pre­ta­tion, that even if the defen­dant con­fessed, his con­fes­sion would not be held against him as evi­dence. In that respect, Jew­ish inter­pre­ta­tions exceeded the pro­tec­tion of our own 5th Amend­ment.

Actu­ally the Old Tes­ta­ment pro­vides more pro­tec­tion than that, as we see in Isa­iah 50:8. This group of scrip­tures are said to refer to Christ, but if so, do they refer to Jesus alone?

“He is near that jus­ti­fi­eth me; who will con­tend with me? Let us stand together: who is mine adver­sary? Let him come near to me?”

You see from this that we are not only allowed the right against self incrim­i­na­tion, but also the right to face our accusers if we are brought to trial. That is also guar­an­teed in our 6th Amend­ment.

But are these rights, today, only part of that which was given to Jesus? Not at all. Isa­iah 54:17:

”…Every tongue that shall rise against thee in judge­ment thou shalt con­demn. This is the her­itage of the ser­vants of the Lord, and their right­eous­ness is of me, saith the Lord.”

So we see clearly here not only the right against self incrim­i­na­tion, but the right to face our accuser, and the right of the pre­sump­tion of inno­cence, all guar­an­teed by those who seek to serve God!

All fifty states rec­og­nize the sov­er­eignty of God in some form!

So why do they ask you to take the oath in order to tes­tify? because, by tak­ing the oath, you are actu­ally waiv­ing your 5th Amend­ment pro­tec­tions!

The law says you are pre­sumed inno­cent until proven guilty. When I was asked to take the wit­ness stand, nei­ther the judge nor pros­e­cu­tor could pro­ceed to ask me ques­tions. Why? Because I had not waived my right against self incrim­i­na­tion!

You can­not be com­pelled to tes­tify against your­self in any way! Many read Jesus’ com­mand not to swear at all in Matthew 5, and also the pro­hi­bi­tion in the book of James. But they then assume that they are required to “affirm” their tes­ti­mony as true. They can not be required to either swear or affirm, since either one will waive their right against self incrim­i­na­tion.

But if the court already has a wit­ness against you, can’t they use that tes­ti­mony to con­vict you? For this, we go right back to Deuteron­omy 19:15:

“One wit­ness shall not rise up against a man for any iniq­uity, or for any sin, that he sin­neth: at the mouth of two wit­nesses, or at the mouth of three wit­nesses, shall the mat­ter be estab­lished”.

You can­not be con­victed by less than two wit­nesses! Remem­ber Isa­iah 54:17? “Their right­eous­ness is of me, saith the Lord”.

Your full pro­tec­tion against self incrim­i­na­tion comes from the bible! what­ever, God has decreed as true, the state is bound to rec­og­nize it as a sov­er­eign power.

We must con­clude, then, that if you swear to tell the truth, or if you affirm your tes­ti­mony, you have pro­vided the sec­ond wit­ness allow­ing the court to con­vict you!

In my state, North Car­olina, the state rec­og­nizes the sov­er­eignty of God over nations. That means,If you are asked to swear on the bible and use God as your wit­ness, shouldn’t you be able to open the bible and actu­ally do it?

The judge is already bound by oath, as is the police offi­cer and pros­e­cu­tor. Why shouldn’t you also hold them to their oaths?

Think about this: When you walk into traf­fic court, you are fac­ing a plain­tiff or accuser who works for the state, a pros­e­cu­tor who works for the state, and a judge who has sworn to uphold the power of the state. Who, then is your defender? Since all fifty states rec­og­nize God as sov­er­eign, you only have to point to Isa­iah 54:17. Can they ignore this, or that the accused has a right against self incrim­i­na­tion? The Supreme Court has already rec­og­nized this right as hav­ing its ana­logue, if not its begin­ning, in the bible itself!

Let’s look at the priv­i­leges and immu­ni­ties clause of the 14th Amend­ment. It says that no state shall make or enforce any law that abridges the priv­i­leges or immu­ni­ties of cit­i­zens of the United States, and below that, no per­son shall be deprive of life. lib­erty, or prop­erty, with­out due process of law.

What is “due process”? Due process refers to any judi­cial pro­ceed­ing or court pro­ceed­ing. You can­not be deprived of life, lib­erty, or prop­erty, unless you have pro­vided your side of the story. But if the accuser, pros­e­cu­tor, and judge are all sworn to the author­ity of the state, how in the world can your side be heard? If you swear to tell the truth, you are plac­ing your­self at the mercy of the state, and since the judge is sworn to uphold the laws of the state, he must rule against you!

What is the orig­i­nal def­i­n­i­tion of due process? Jus­tice Joseph Story, who served on the Supreme Court from 1811 to 1845, was a rec­og­nized author­ity in orig­i­nal inter­pre­ta­tion of var­i­ous Con­sti­tu­tional phrases. Why? because he knew Hamil­ton, Jef­fer­son, Wash­ing­ton, and prob­a­bly all the founders. Jus­tice Story writes in his book “A Famil­iar Expo­si­tion of The Con­sti­tu­tion of the United States”, due process comes from Magna Carta: “Nei­ther will we pass upon him, or con­demn him, but by the law­ful judge­ment of his peers, or by the law of the land”.

Actu­ally, Jus­tice Story based his state­ment on the ear­lier con­clu­sions of Edward Coke, who had been the Lord Chief Jus­tice of England’s courts Coke had writ­ten that “law of the land” meant due pre­sent­ment and indict­ment, and being brought in to answer by due process of the com­mon law. Jus­tice Story con­cludes that “due process” affirms the right of trial, accord­ing to the process and pro­ceed­ings of the com­mon law.

You are guar­an­teed the right of trial if your life, lib­erty, or prop­erty is threat­ened by any power! No state shall make or enforce any law to abridge these priv­i­leges and immu­ni­ties!

As Jus­tice Story writes, “Indeed, in a free gov­ern­ment, almost all other rights would become utterly worth­less, if the gov­ern­ment pos­sessed an uncon­trol­lable power over the pri­vate for­tune of every cit­i­zen”.

When you walk into traf­fic court, that is exactly what you face, an uncon­trol­lable power, espe­cially if you go ahead and admit to guilt or even agree to swear or affirm your tes­ti­mony!

Actu­ally, traf­fic court is not based on the premises of the com­mon law as trial by jury, but is part of a process called in Jus­tice Story’s time indict­ment by infor­ma­tion, or sim­ply “infor­ma­tion”.

Due indict­ment or pre­sent­ment, as Jus­tice Story describes it, is “an accu­sa­tion, made by a grand Jury of its own mere motion, of an offence upon its own obser­va­tion or knowl­edge, or upon evi­dence before it…An indict­ment is a writ­ten accu­sa­tion of an offence pre­ferred to, and pre­sented upon oath, as true, by a Grand Jury, at the suit of the gov­ern­ment. ”

That is con­sid­ered due process, due pre­sent­ment, and due indict­ment. An indict­ment by infor­ma­tion, how­ever, is a charge brought by the pros­e­cu­tor, on his oath of office, to pros­e­cute accord­ing to “infor­ma­tion” pre­sented by another offi­cer of the state, the police offi­cer! That is NOT due process! Jus­tice Story has already defined due process as “law­ful judge­ment by peers” or law of the land.

It was the opin­ion of the founders that the cit­i­zen is the mas­ter of his gov­ern­ment, not its sub­ject. A more recent Jus­tice, Abe For­tas, who took part in the “Miranda” deci­sion, had this to say about rights against self incrim­i­na­tion:

“The prin­ci­ple that a man is not obliged to fur­nish the state with ammu­ni­tion to use against him is basic to this con­cep­tion.… [The state] has no right to com­pel the sov­er­eign indi­vid­ual to sur­ren­der or impair his right of self defense.…Mea culpa (con­fes­sion of guilt) belongs to a man and his God. It is a plea that can­not be exacted from men by human author­ity. To require it is to insist that the state is the supe­rior of the indi­vid­u­als who com­pose it, instead of their instru­ment”.



Pow­er­ful words from a recent Supreme Court Jus­tice!

But what about “indict­ment by infor­ma­tion”? This is very sim­i­lar to some­thing prac­ticed by the British before the Rev­o­lu­tion­ary War, called “Admi­ralty Courts”. In Admi­ralty Courts, the British gov­ern­ment brought charges against the defen­dant based only on infor­ma­tion pro­vided by an offi­cer of the gov­ern­ment! Sound famil­iar? The colonists hated this process, and denounced it. James Otis, in a famous case decry­ing “Writs of Assis­tance” by the British stated that Admi­ralty pro­ce­dures “savour more of…Rome and the Inqui­si­tion than of the Com­mon law of Eng­land and the con­sti­tu­tion of Great Britain”.

Pulitzer Prize win­ning author Leonard Levy, in his book “Ori­gins of the Fifth Amend­ment”, quotes another colo­nial state­ment that Admi­ralty Courts are sim­i­lar to “high com­mis­sion and Star Cham­ber courts”.

In defense of John Han­cock, accord­ing to Levy, John Adams argued that such admi­ralty pro­ceed­ings were a vio­la­tion of Magna Carta. Levy writes “the statue autho­riz­ing admi­ralty court pro­ce­dure in cases involv­ing penal­ties and for­fei­ture vio­lated the Eng­lish con­sti­tu­tion”, which was based on the prin­ci­ples of Magna Carta.

It was pre­cisely this type of trial with­out juries that prompted the founders to insure that right not only in the main body of the Con­sti­tu­tion under Arti­cle III, but also in the 6th Amend­ment. This right was included for all crim­i­nal pro­ceed­ings! Adams and the founders denounced such trial by infor­ma­tion!

The sim­ple fact is, all state con­sti­tu­tions rec­og­nize the sov­er­eignty of God, and all states are for­bid­den to make or enforce any law that abridges rights belong­ing to cit­i­zens. The sov­er­eignty of God pro­tects all who seek to serve and obey Him!

But what does the New Tes­ta­ment say about this? In Matthew 5, his great expo­si­tion on the law, Jesus said that we can set­tle mat­ters of tres­pass “out of court”. This was actu­ally an exten­sion of the “spirit” of Exo­dus 22:9: “For all man­ner of tres­pass, whether it be for ox, for ass, for sheep, for rai­ment, or for any man­ner of lost thing, which another chal­lengeth to be his, the cause of both par­ties shall come before the judges; and whom the judges shall con­demn, he shall pay dou­ble unto his neigh­bor”.

So Jesus clearly said that two peo­ple could set­tle mat­ter among them­selves out of court to save money. If you look at Matthew 18:1518, you will see that Jesus expanded on this idea, using the “two wit­ness rule” of Deuteron­omy 17:6 and 19:15. All that was required was agree­ment of two or more and “What­so­ever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven.…”(Matt 18:18).

If your adver­sary refuses to accept this, take it before the peo­ple or the church. If he still refuses, Jesus said to treat him as a “gen­tile or tax collector”.(verse 17). Appar­ently Jesus had no use for set­tle­ments paid by taxes!

When you think about it, this sounds remark­ably sim­i­lar to the “due process’ idea estab­lished in Magna Carta. Law­ful judge­ment of peers came before law of the land!

What did Paul say about it? In 1 Corinthi­ans chap­ter 6, Paul clearly advo­cated a form of “trial by jury” in which the least of the church mem­bers are allowed to judge. In chap­ter 5, Paul writes of deliv­er­ing a per­son to Satan. How is that to be done? If you look at Matthew 4 and Luke 4, you see that Satan says he is given power over the gov­ern­ments of the world. Both Jesus and Paul advo­cated set­tle­ment of tres­pass out­side of such legal pow­ers! “Law­ful judge­ment of peers…”.

But what of Romans 13? Paul said be sub­ject to the higher pow­ers. But if you’ll notice, Paul lim­ited the author­ity of those higher pow­ers! The chap­ter before, in Romans 12: 19. Paul quotes from the Old tes­ta­ment: “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, saith the Lord”.

And what is the respon­si­bil­ity of the Chris­t­ian? “If thine enemy hunger, feed, him, if he thirst, give him drink…be not over­come of evil, but over­come evil with good.”

Jesus him­self advo­cated a “sep­a­ra­tion of church and state” when he referred to the “eye for an eye” law. In Old tes­ta­ment times, penal­ties were accepted upon tes­ti­mony of two wit­nesses, who were then respon­si­ble for cast­ing the first stone. Jesus took that away from his fol­low­ers, and Paul specif­i­cally lim­ited vengeance, “eye for an eye”, to “higher pow­ers”.

But you will notice from both the teach­ings of Paul and of Jesus that there were two forms: “law­ful judge­ment of peers”, and “law of the land”. The rights and inno­cence of any indi­vid­ual was to be pro­tected by the judge­ment of the com­mu­nity!

As a con­se­quence of the teach­ings of both Paul and Jesus, the per­son was to be judged mer­ci­fully by the com­mu­nity, and then deliv­ered to “Satan”, who had author­ity over gov­ern­ments!

Paul stated clearly that the gov­ern­ments are “the min­is­ter of God, a revenger to exe­cute wrath upon him that doeth evil…”

So, for what rea­son are we to pay taxes or trib­ute? “For this cause pay ye trib­ute also, for they are God’s min­is­ters, attend­ing con­tin­u­ally upon this very thing”.

What “thing”? vengeance, AFTER power had been given to them by the peo­ple! This cor­re­sponds exactly to the “due process” clauses of both the 5th and 14th Amend­ments and Magna Carta!

The 1st Amend­ment grants this as the rights of the peo­ple!



About the author:
As for back­ground, I left the WCG in 1974, fol­low­ing Ernest Mar­tin in the “big split” from the South Car­olina church (Charlotte-​Greenville). Joined the marines (big mis­take) at the urg­ing of a neigh­bor, spent two years at a local com­mu­nity col­lege, where I was on the Dean’s List, and dur­ing the late 80’s I was the orga­niz­ing editor/​publisher of a world­wide eco­nom­ics forum by “snail mail” called the Eco­nom­ics “M2M” (Many to Many, a fore­run­ner of today’s inter­net forums.) I encour­aged at least three books from dif­fer­ent authors on eco­nomic his­tory and alter­na­tive eco­nom­ics that seek to by-​pass the Fed­eral Reserve and restore power to com­mu­ni­ties, and became a friend of Tom Greco, help­ing to pro­mote his first book, “Money And Debt — A Solu­tion To the Global Cri­sis”. Tom recently fin­ished a book on com­mu­nity based eco­nomic sys­tems called “The End of Money And the Future of Civ­i­liza­tion.” His web page is http://​www​.rein​vent​ing​money​.com/
or visit his active site Beyond​Money​.net
For more from this author, read “Godel’s The­o­rem”

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